journal article help

If anyone has access to the Blackwell-Synergy database of the Journal of Popular Culture before 1997 could they do me a massive favour and get this article for me?

Conroy, S. S. (1983) “Popular Technology and Youth Rebellion in America” Journal of Popular Culture 16(4): 123-??

I have had the article but now I can’t find it. It is really annoying me as I have just spent about 2 hours searching the two hard disks of my computer for a PDF but the version I had could have been a photocopy sent through my university’s document delivery. I don’t have time to stuff around with the library so if no one can help me out I’ll just have to buy a copy online through the above link (for US$29 what a complete fuckin rip off, grrr…).

UPDATE: Found a print out in a box. Must have lost the PDF.

Muse: Supermassive Soundtrack

It is not at all ironic that first track on the latest Muse album is titled “Take a Bow”. The track is actually about some country’s leader who has rigorously committed grievous sins against it. So in the context of the song, of course, yes, the title is ironic, but I read it more as a stage direction for Muse, on Goffman’s stage of everyday life, that they wrote for themselves. Yes, they are good, and they bloody know it. Take a supermassive bow.

The operatic heights of high art school rock are reached once again by Muse (every pun intended). After hearing the last album I wanted to kill something for the injustice of the universe that a band this good could suddenly realise it and hence immediately and for all time become exceptionally shit, or, worse, tiresome. What the latest album has over all others is that Muse have decided to listen to more 1970s opera rock and soundtracks to epic films and television shows. They have created an aesthetic tour de force of epic rock, which unlike chart-pop which only manages to harness the awesome power of a refrain or two (or maybe half a dozen if you are the Rogue Traders), each Muse track on the current album is a multiplicity of refrains. A multiplicity. Is this even possible? Each riff sounds like that riff I heard before, but different. The beats and rhythm work in tandom like a slick pick-pocketing duo to steal my subconscious proprioceptive concentration and replace it with a tapping foot and nodding head. I step out into the world when I am relaxed and seated and listening to this album; it is of the world, but one which hasn’t yet come and yet at the same time repeats everything that has already happened. Supermassive refrain.

The last track is my favourite: “Knights of Cydonia”. If you ever wondered what a Tim Burton science-fiction film set in the cross-over universe of Harry Potter and Mad Max would sound like in epic rock form then this is it. Cydonia is of course a geological structure on Mars. The track does have a “Final Countdown” feel to it, more in the sense of a resolute course of action, a finality, although less Swedish. It is an excellent gym song, or perhaps driving song. It has a pretty decent ‘kick’ halfway through; you know, the bit of the song where it ‘kicks’. Think Bohemian Rhapsody in the Wayne’s World scene. That is the kick. But this is infinitely more strange and familiar at the same time. The uncanniness of moving back to a place that was once your home a long time ago and which has been lived in by someone else. It kicks in a rolling, continuous way, not unlike a Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song (perhaps in the famous Viking Kittens form, which I thought was Viking Hamsters when I saw it years ago, but whatevers). Holy Shit. I just did some more googling and they have made a movie of sorts.

Starlight” sounds like an episode of the new Dr Who series perhaps in some moment where there is a makeshift romantic dinner, one that is actually shit, perhaps on the edge of some apocalypse or another, but through the supreme power of a generous imagination it is accepted as the most romantic evening in all eternity, and this song is the kiss that seals the evening as a success and a memory, as this kiss becomes that kiss. However, a very British kiss, more British than Dr Who. The moment of the kiss is spread out thin in musical form like a sheet of pasta to be cooked by Jamie Oliver for some slightly inebriated b-grade celebrity who is also one of his ‘mates’. Supermassive British.

Perhaps the most intriguing song is “Super Massive Blackhole“. Maybe they have been reading A Thousand Plateaus, or maybe just the crib sheets, on someones website. I think it is more likely that they were trying to capture the sophistication of a teenager stepping out wearing heels for the first time. A certain kind of innocence, a will-to-sophistication. They are not quite sophisticated yet, but they are trying so hard in a cool and hip sort of way that should become an advertisement for mobile phones involving accelerated time-lapse footage of the history of the universe. From Big Bang to Blackhole… Supermassive Blackhole, sorry. It’s Super. It’s Massive. It’s… log.

The fellows at Muse have grasped the nature of contemporary listening practices perfectly. Unlike Deleuze and Guattari’s minor literature producing a new Earth for a people yet to come, Muse’s pure genius is to have produced a soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t yet exist. This album is pure movie soundtrack. They should get labels made up, like the 99% fat free or 100% pig meat, they need 100% movie soundtrack. In the shape of a big star. Movie soundtracks have a special place in my heart, they allow me to work at my computer for hours on end. The latest one is “Lady in the Water” but Muse’s album is even more epic than that. Contemporary listening practices mean computers and iPods and MP3 players. Listening to Muse means turning your bus trip and walk home or arduous stacking of some irrelevant item at work into an epic battle of restraining yourself. A pure musical ‘unleashiness’ raging through the listening body. It is a battle more epic than that of Rohan’s Gate. Swept away, caught up, inspired to dance upon the face of the world. The battle is between this awesome power of Muse and the crushing biopolitical reality of workplace discipline or public transport etiquette. Well done Muse, because we catch the bus and walk like a Johnnie Walker advertisement, or continue to work day in day out, we suffer a thousand little defeats everytime we listen to your soundtrack. The soundtrack to a thousand little defeats that keeps us slaves going everyday. You, Muse, inspire me in a post-gothic sort of way that makes me want to buy a thickshake.

And can someone please buy the lead singer the present he didn’t get at Christmas when he was 7 and really wanted so he stops sounding like a whining arsehole? That or he thinks he is still 7 years old and pretending to be a ghost.

WhooooooaaaaaAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhooooooooo! <-- best Muse lyric ever, or at least it is their favourite cause they have him sing it ALL THE TIME. I sing it all the time now too: WHHHHHhhoooooooooherrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRReee aaaaRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrre myyyyYYYYYYYY CAAAAAAARRRRRRRrrrrrrr ke e e eeeeeyyyyyYYYYYYSSSSSS!?!?!?!?! Muse, a revelation: Get over yourselves.

War: Border Security

I suggest a grass roots campaign to boycott any and all advertisers for the show ‘Border Security’, but it is not screening this week!?! Crap. I’ll have to wait until it comes back on. As I write below, I shall watch the show and make a record of all the advertisers. Then we need everybody so inclined to boycott those companies that advertise and support the show. Hopefully if there is enough exposure not only will the show be pulled, but a few people will realise how damaging it actually is. Hmmm, need a banner to advertise it.

Here is the less polemical part what I wrote on Larvatus Prodeo:

Reactionary stupidity is reactionary stupidity. Both here and the US (and elsewhere) there are political paties going out of their way to cultivate it and use it as a political resource. John Howard actively produces stupidity. He is not sitting there with a hammer and chisel etching Australian identity into rock, he uses far more subtle tools. One example would be a refusal to describe Australia as racist, particularly after the Cronulla riots. Or to condemn the radio shock jocks for spreading bullshit before the riots. Yeah, sure, not racist… ‘Most’ people just want ‘others’ to ‘go home’. On the other end of spectrum of the same process, why are there currently ads running about Australian citizenship? They serve the same function. To reinscribe national identity in the most reactionary, fascist way imaginable.

I am talking about the mass-individuating capacity of representations of ‘border security’ in the mass-media. Relating this to an actual invasion is absolutely insulting and an offence to those who have suffered under the arms of aggressors everywhere in the world. Do you really not understand the function of all this reactionary shit on tv at the moment? It has absolutely nothing to do with the actual governance of the sovereign borders of Australia, if you think it does, then please demonstrate how, I would really like to know. Maybe you think it is already training the next generation of border security guards? The point is the reinscription of the idea and ‘reality’ of a border in the bodies and minds of consumers of such mass-media, and to harness these reactionary bodies as an audience and a market. Advertisers for the show should be boycotted. In fact, I am going to watch the show and write down every company that advertises in that show and name them on my blog so they can be boycotted. Not only are audiences cultivated, and markets produced for advertisers, but policians across political parties (but not across the political spectrum) use these bodies as a resource. What sickens me is that the current Australian government is cultivating a catastrophic level of stupidity masquerading as ‘Australian nationalism’ in the Australian population.

Clinton Global Iniative

One of the remarkable things that can be seen in the business community at the moment is the gradual shift towards investing in environmentally friendly R&D on an absolutely massive scale.

The Clinton Global Initiative conference closed this week with 215 commitments valued at $7.3 billion from companies, governments and non-profit groups. Commitments were focused on the four themes of reducing climate change, disease, poverty and religious conflict.

See what actually comes of it.

And here is Clinton on the biased Fox News (via Larval Subjects). He goes after the interviewer because he feels like he has been set up. Clinton’s performance reminds me a lot of Keating’s a while ago in that they both are certain they know what actually happened and they refuse to accept anything else.

Urbanomic: Collapse

Robin Mackay has been one of the driving forces behind the development of a new philosophy publishing initiative called Urbanomic and journal (book series?) called Collapse. I have placed an order. Here is something of a manifesto for Urbanomic.

collapse

Robin’s old blog is here, and the translations available on the sidebar are worth checking out. Including a translation of Badiou’s text “Numbers” and a translation of an interview with some infuriating French intellectual-actor Mehdi Belhaj Kacem (which is now offline?).