coffee.thought: Soros, Aussie Music Fascists, Grid-Blogging, McJobs, Barlow & the TAZ

[coffee.thought: Soros, Aussie Music Fascists, Grid-Blogging, McJobs, Barlow & the TAZ]

I wake up in the morning. And what do I hear? // Coffee.thought.

1... Some buzz, from Whiskey Bar, around George Soros' financial windfall & heavy support for the Democrats, which should get us North Americans more used to this unusually progressive billionaire's name & force (Geert Lovink and many other net.critics discussed his art & culture salvage operations on Eastern Europe during the late '90s on Nettime).Speaking of Lovink, check out his articles, licensed under the Creative Commons.

2... Ashley Benigno discusses her grid-blogging launch, set for December 1st (coordinated, tactical blogsphere implementation of meme).

3... And in the Evil File, McDonald's is trying to sue Merriam-Webster, the dictionary people, for defining the term 'McJob' as:"a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement." Collision Detection runs through a critique of that brilliant move by the McMonster McCrap McCorporate McBehemouth.

4... Ian Dickson posted this wonderful yet highly disturbing story to Nettime of Aussie police cracking down on hip-hop DJs for creating mixtapes--and equating such artistic production with 'bin Laden terrorist cells' and supporting 'organised crime'! My Deity. Beyond the humour, three talented, enterprising and brave teenagers now face five years in prison and never-ending, vicious lawsuits, whose sole purpose is to make an example of--of what? Of the fact that the music industry is fighting its own customers. Real brilliant. Let me voice some anger: fuck you, music cartels. If the music cartels (RIAA, etc) think the creative artists of today are pirates, then let us remember who the real pirates were. Pirates were often the name for either State-sponsored Looters, i.e. terrorists--such as the infamous 'Sir' Francis Drake, circumnavigator of the world, brutal plunderer, colonial looter--or, those who opposed them. Quite obviously, today's music pirates are the latter: fighting the State terrorism that encourages Corporate Pirates to ravage all creative havens on the high seas of art and music. Pirates, then, in the sense of Hakim Bey's corsairs :

THE SEA-ROVERS AND CORSAIRS of the 18th century created an "information network" that spanned the globe: primitive and devoted primarily to grim business, the net nevertheless functioned admirably. Scattered throughout the net were islands, remote hideouts where ships could be watered and provisioned, booty traded for luxuries and necessities. Some of these islands supported "intentional communities," whole mini-societies living consciously outside the law and determined to keep it up, even if only for a short but merry life.

'Short but merry life' isn't quite where I'd like to end up--'destitute and in jail' might be today's translation--but perhaps learning to network resistance, to once again embrace secrecy. What did the Aussie hip-hop DJs in was creating and maintaining a website that hosted copies of their music collection. Such projects once again require secrecy. They must not be open to the general public. A counter-net must be established: secure, open only to those who know.

5... This leads me to a comment that Abe said on the TAZ. In response to John Barlow's provocative essay questioning Burning Man (which apparently has become the sole focus of the SF Freaks), Abe says: "Its time to build not burn, the taz can wait a moment or two. For real." I can understand what he's saying -- but there's more to be understood here. First, we have to question what it might mean to build. Build what? A State? A better State? Build resistance? In the age of surveillance, as demonstrated above? Build opposition? The entire enterprise of building--the classic construction of thought as architecture--needs its double: unbuilding. Perhaps deconstruction. Invisible architecture is not built.

Moreover, I think the opposition is false--a binary the State, in fact, would like us to believe. Opposing the TAZ to constructivist approaches perpetuates a binary that is disadvantageous, which I think is Barlow's primary weakness when he says:

I felt as if I were watching the best minds of the next several generations blowing themselves into starry oblivions as deep as the desert night, pushing the envelope of strangeness into near-psychosis at a time when the world beyond The Playa seems to have gone quite mad enough already.

Yes--madness. But why would we argue, now, for a rational sanity? To or what are we trying to save? For whom do the Burning tribes come out of the desert, wandering for the promised land, and for what? For their future? The answer is, truly, a de-focusing on Burning Man. But not to 'turn serious'--rather, to sample Burning Man back into all aspects of life.

Every generation speaks its conservatism. HST bemoaned the fall of the '60s in the same fashion (notably in 'the wave' speech in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), as does Barlow, as did Ginsberg, and today, as does Hakim Bey, becoming more and more neo-Luddite with every publication, seeing no positivity to the Net's connectivity. All of which simply signals the gap which arises at every moment of collectivity; that each collectivity (collective memory to collective organisation) forms its own patterning which nonetheless and despite possible anarchic influences becomes an object of defense. This is inevitable. The tactic to joyous, Anti-Statist living is not only understanding nor fighting the defensive mechanism, but pursuing its continuous relocation or movement, which brings qualitative change. The TAZ is not opposed to 'the real' aspects of 'building'. The TAZ, in ways intensive, can become such a counter-construction if advanced via movement. As mentioned above, Bey's calls from the late-80s to establish a counter-Net have been all but unheeded, yet becomes more and more necessary. Social software & social hardware--alternative data havens--artist's enclaves--the State of Sabotage--Bey's counter-Net--these networks are necessary if the data pirates, the creative souls of the Earth, are not to be escorted and enslaved through arrest & persecution. Bey:

Thus within the Net there has begun to emerge a shadowy sort of counter-Net , which we will call the Web (as if the Net were a fishing-net and the Web were spider-webs woven through the interstices and broken sections of the Net). Generally we'll use the term Web to refer to the alternate horizontal open structure of info- exchange, the non-hierarchic network, and reserve the term counter-Net to indicate clandestine illegal and rebellious use of the Web, including actual data-piracy and other forms of leeching off the Net itself. Net, Web, and counter-Net are all parts of the same whole pattern-complex--they blur into each other at innumerable points. The terms are not meant to define areas but to suggest tendencies.

posted. Wed - November 12, 2003 @ 12:34 PM           |