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There are no good pics… [image from Sydney Morning Herald]

[From the “the more things change, the more they stay the same” files.]

The time was 1994 and, downunder at least, it was when the last great wave of gender feminist lunacy was peaking before sanity once more prevailed and it disappeared back up its own asshole to hibernate for a decade or so.

Reclaim the Night rallies were still drawing enough numbers to embolden some to splash porn stores with red paint and the great fear-n-loathing du jour was date rape…

The mood of the time, and the surreal deformation of conventional reality that accompanied it, was captured quite creepily in this passage from Christina Hoff Sommers in Who Stole Feminism?(more…)

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It kept us sane.

I grew up with MaximumRockNRoll. Whilst far too often wallowing in identity politic nihilism, it was a priceless resource for alt.culture in the pre-internet stone age. It kept many of us sane, providing endless resources to other folks like us cruelly separated by the tyranny of distance. The premier issue was July 1982 – which makes us scumfucs that remember pushing 50 and beyond. The age that we used to hate with a fearsome passion.

Central to MRR’s appeal was knowing you were not alone. That there were others on the planet that held the same contempt for what passed as pop culture of the time. For me personally, rock bottom was reached here, also in 1982 – ABC and Look of Love [masochists can click here]. I cannot articulate the despair that was evoked by this nothingness that was everywhere – every music teevee show, every commercial radio channel, every shopping mall, pub and club. Noxious, spotty teenagers pumping dimes in jukeboxes playing the same non-music, bubblegum garbage everywhere. There was no escape. But there was MRR – and it was a lifeline.

The most wonderful feature of MRR, and similar zines such as Metal Forces for the headbangers, was the personals section where folks would post real addresses for correspondence and, most importantly, cassette tape trading of music – very much the Napster of its day. (more…)

[continued from part 1]

gimme, gimme, gimmeGive me convenience or give me death

The Dead Kennedys

So forget impending government doom for now. The far more realistic threat of a totalitarian surveillance and censorship state will not arrive via that route in the short term, but by one less anticipated. One could argue that it is already here. Of the twin dystopias of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Huxley’s Brave New World, it would appear that Huxley’s vision was by far the most prescient – and the reasoning for that is captured with absolute perfection in this web comic by Stuart McMillan. [Far too big to reproduce here, but you can also download a 7.5 meg .pdf copy. Bonus trivia, McMillan is an OzBrisbanite]

The absolute policing of our thoughts and (except for Britain where its already a fact of life) saturation surveillance will not arrive by gunpoint and anonymous spiffily uniformed thugs. It will be (and already has been) invited in the door by the general public that is oblivious to what they are enabling. (more…)

Why are you here?

It’s the sort of question that if dwelt on for too long as a generality drives men insane and makes them invent religions. So don’t think about it in the general way. Instead, take the question literally and apply it to this precise point in time – then there is a simple answer and it doesn’t require any priests or shamans or philosophers or spooks. You are here, reading this, because sometime in the ’70s the US defense department gave a pile of blank cheques to a bunch of libertarian hippies and told them to build a communications network that could remain functional even in the event of a nuclear war. And they did.

That’s why you are here. (more…)