If You Want To Preserve Your Power Indefinitely…

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of author, philosopher, and futurist Aldous Huxley. This fascinating, short video was made using audio from an interview by Mike Wallace on May 18, 1958 combined with the animations of Patrick Smith. In the video, Huxley foretells a future when presidential hopefuls use television to rise to power, drugs grab hold, technology takes over, and frightful dictatorships rule us all. On the day of this United State’s presidential debates and the eve of our election, this video seems particularly prescient. From Blank On Blank:

But what these people are doing, is to try to bypass the rational side of man and to appeal directly to these unconscious forces below the surfaces so that you are, in a way, making nonsense of the whole democratic procedure, which is based on conscious choice on rational ground.


Pat “Sample Detective” Shannahan

This interview with sample clearance expert Pat Shannahan is worth a couple of minutes of your time. Pat is hired by musicians and record labels to clear samples used to make their music. Pat tracks down the original owners of the works being sampled and convinces them to OK the usage in a new original work.

While Pat has worked for a whole slew of notable artists (her first client was Prince Paul) it seems she is most proud of the work she has done clearing samples for both of The Avalanches albums (and rightfully so seeing as how their recent release had a sample that was directly approved by Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono).

The Avalanches have stuck very hard to the true art of sampling, which as I always understood it in the hip-hop community, the true art of sampling was to find these very obscure records and to sample them. They would all go to where the old records are and go to garage sales. They literally dig very deep into the recordings.
I always understood that that was the true way of sampling, not, you know, sampling the current hits that are out there. I guess I get the reputation for being “The Detective” because these records, it was so hard to find who owned them. Like I said, they were all put in the resale bin for $0.99 or whatever.

Bookslut Is Dead. Long Live Bookslut

RIP Bookslut. It has published its final issue. I’m sad to see it go. I was never a heavy reader the site but I always had an affinity for it. See, my foray into the blogging world started fourteen years ago with a book blog that started just a month after Bookslut. So I have always considered Bookslut to be a much more worthwhile, articulate, entertaining and much smarter stepsister-blog to my little “I Love You Too” book blog.

There is an excellent interview in Vulture with Jessa Crispin, the site’s founder and editor. Here’s a favorite pull-quote to get you salivating:

There’s always space to do whatever you want. You won’t get as much attention, but fuck attention. Fight for integrity. Now everyone has a TinyLetter instead of a blog. As soon as the first writer got a book deal for a TinyLetter, everyone’s TinyLetter just became book-deal bait, written the same way. This weird conformity just takes over as soon as the possibility of money or access or respectability comes up. That’s disappointing.

Audioscrobbling Turns 10

Today audioscrobbling turns ten years old. Wired has a nice interview with Richard Jones, audiscrobbling’s inventor, that discusses his inspiration, success and future plans.

I started scrobbling songs in 2006 shortly after the merge with Last.fm. As of today I have scrobbled 22,861 songs. You can see annual overviews (complete with visualizations and top 10 lists) of my scrobbles for 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006.

Brook Shields And Stiv Bators

Brooke Shields And Punk Rock

This photo of H.R., lead singer of Bad Brains, smoking weed with a supposed Brooke Shields has been circling the internet like crazy the last couple of days.

Brooke Shields And H.R. Smoking WeedPhoto Courtesy of @davehill77

Although it would be incredible if this really happened, I’m sorry to say I’m 99.9% sure that isn’t really Brooke Shields. Which is too bad because it would have been the best picture ever if it was. However, don’t be too let down, Brooke actually has some strong punk rock roots. First off, Brooke did have an actual photo shoot with punk originator Stiv Bators, lead singer of the Dead Boys.

The above interview from Efrom Allen’s Underground TV was taken during the photo shoot with Stiv Bators. It aired on Manhattan Cable’s public access channel in the 1970s. The 12-year-old Brooke Shields actually gets a little flirty with the American punk rock innovator.

Furthering her punk rock roots, Shields opens up Agent Orange’s song ‘Bloodstain’ for the ‘Rondey On The ROQ Volume 1’ compilation. The album also includes rougher versions songs from the Circle Jerks, U.X.A., Black Flag, and Circle Jerks. Have a listen: Agent Orange – Bloodstains

Brooke Shields And Stiv Bators

Photo courtesy of astralsilence

2001 Explained by Kubrick

The end of 2001: A Space Odyssey is confusing to say the least. I have seen the movie a number of times and never really got it. In a 1969 interview given to Joseph Gelmis, Stanley Kubrick explains what happens in the movie in its simplest terms.

You begin with an artifact left on earth four million years ago by extraterrestrial explorers who observed the behavior of the man-apes of the time and decided to influence their evolutionary progression. Then you have a second artifact buried deep on the lunar surface and programmed to signal word of man’s first baby steps into the universe — a kind of cosmic burglar alarm. And finally there’s a third artifact placed in orbit around Jupiter and waiting for the time when man has reached the outer rim of his own solar system.

When the surviving astronaut, Bowman, ultimately reaches Jupiter, this artifact sweeps him into a force field or star gate that hurls him on a journey through inner and outer space and finally transports him to another part of the galaxy, where he’s placed in a human zoo approximating a hospital terrestrial environment drawn out of his own dreams and imagination. In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death. He is reborn, an enhanced being, a star child, an angel, a superman, if you like, and returns to earth prepared for the next leap forward of man’s evolutionary destiny.

That is what happens on the film’s simplest level. Since an encounter with an advanced interstellar intelligence would be incomprehensible within our present earthbound frames of reference, reactions to it will have elements of philosophy and metaphysics that have nothing to do with the bare plot outline itself.

The film’s ending actually makes a bit of sense to me now. I think I’ll be watching it again soon. (via Kottke)

Leadville Ski Joring Championships

This weekend was the 2010 Annual Leadville Ski Joring Competition. The Leadville ski joring event has been going on in since 1949 and is considered the premier event of its kind in the country.

The sport it is a timed race with skiers being pulled by horses on a track with large jumps and flat landings. In between the jumps the skier must try to spear small circular rings while swinging from one side of the track to the other – at speeds in excess of 40 mile per hour. Missed rings add 2 seconds each to your time. With average times of less than twenty seconds a single missed ring, with skiers of this caliber, will cost you the event. The winner will have the most rings and fastest time. Ski joring is no simple feat – particularly the Leadville race.

Last year, for the 60th annual race, I had the good fortune of making the draw and was able to compete. I wiped out on the first jump. My apologies to the rider and the man who wagered $250 on me. Video evidence below.

[flashvideo file=/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Skijoring.flv height=390 width=500 /]

My wipe out was nothing compared to Chris Anthony’s (former Alaskan Extreme Skiing Champion, veteran of 9 World Extreme Skiing Championships and 20 Warren Miller films) fall in the 2007 races. He didn’t walk away from his. Video evidence below.

[flashvideo file=/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/wipeout.flv height=390 width=500 /]

To get a real idea of the sense of speed, tradition, and community this ski joring event brings to Leadville watch this documentary by Foresight Multimedia. To get a sense of what the skier is seeing watch this first person video on youtube. To get a sense of my attitude before the race, read my interview in the Colorado Springs Gazette.