Monday, July 31, 2006

what have we learnt?

a man on the radio opines, or perhaps repeats, or perhaps suggests that israel, or at least some important israelis, are surprised by the lack of a swift knock-out blown to hizbullah thanks to their overwhelming military force.

hmmm, is there perhaps a precedent for this... iraq ('fear and awe')? afghanistan? vietnam? er, palestine? i don't know enough about all the other 20th century conflicts to generalise further, but it seems like this shouldn't be a surprise to trained military planners. a superior force is never, ever going to completely beat down another people... surely one of the few things that the entire history of the world with all its ridiculous conflicts and wars and rebellions and oppressions and dictatorships makes quite clear. why can't we all just get along? won't someone think of the children?

one day we might try and actually tackle the root causes of conflict instead of just building more bombs, just think about that!

meanwhile, i watched rabbit proof fence. i find it really pleasing - in a head-shaking, disbelieving, so ridiculous it must be true just like all that other shit we pulled kind of way - that our *ahem* decent, civilising colonialism led to such measures as taking children who were part aboriginal and part european away from their mothers so that they could be raised as civilised, white people. the irony of the 'civilised' thinking this was a progressive, modernising stratagem is just too astounding; the skin-tone test involving a chap having a look and deciding if a particular child was white enough to have a well-developed brain, and therefore suitable for a european education, was similarly incredible. that the process continued until 1970 even more so. how, exactly, can anyone, no matter how racist or ideologically wrong-headed, think that this is a civilised course of behaviour? and that taking away kids while shouting "i've got all the paperwork here, there's nothing you can do about it" even remotely makes sense? [for more on this see, for example the stolen generation]

civilisation? i'd give it a miss if this is the sum total of its achievements.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

trying to break freedom, again

An interesting story about VoIP in today's Guardian really gets to the heart of the matter where police and government are concerned:

"At present, law enforcement agencies have great difficulty in tracing the origin of VoIP calls," wrote DS Macleod. "This poses significant threats to our democratic society and it is for this reason that the DCG believes that it must be mandatory for VoIP service providers to be required to retain adequate records in respect of calls made using this technology.

Just to make that a little more explicit, Matt Beal, BT's director of Core Convergence and Capabilities for their new '21st century network' (developed in consultation with GCHQ) says of the internet:

The network was never designed with identity in mind. When it was set up it was for the free and easy exchange of data.

YES! Free and easy! Please fuck off with your 'this poses significant threats to our democratic society' - you pose significant threats to our democratic society you morons. THIS IS DEMOCRACY, in full swing, in action. Free and easy thank you very much.

So let's get it clear. In the digital age VoIP is just a data service like everything else. You've had it easy in the past as analogue, fixed lines were easy to monitor and tap. This is not a given, this is not a pre-requisite of democracy, it's just the way things turned out. Now that the data is flowing in a free and easy manner you don't have control, technology has liberated us. Not only that, but these fears of terrorist and criminal usage of untracable methods of communication are founded on these people knowing less than your experts and therefore not being able to circumvent your surveillance. I don't believe this, you need only look at the history of hacking and encryption technologies (PGP for example) to know that there's probably someone out there clever than you.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Originally uploaded by monkeyinfez.

to ingenuity, to man as god, to technology, to power, to our sci-fi future.

to waste, to want, to desire supplanting need, to man as devil, to our sci-fi future.

tv rip

it's a sad day: my tv has been replaced. after 10 years of good service the artefact which i bought with the wages of sin from my first summer job has died. it's strange how you get attached to such objects, but then again you spend a long time looking at a tv.

rip my tv.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


just not quite the same without a fix of doctor who. amazing how quickly you fall back into the old ways.

Monday, July 10, 2006

beautiful dead bunny

beautiful dead bunny
Originally uploaded by monkeyinfez.

to reach the clouds

Nottingham Playhouse 7th July 2006

On a stage, a white ring of lights, a square platform, a man juggles. Monologue. Tall towers, wind and sky, the platform becomes rooftop becomes dream.

The story is Philippe Petit and his desire to perpetrate the ‘artistic crime of the century’: to tightrope walk between the twin towers of the world trade centre. The plan is illegal and requires the meticulous research of a bank robbery, the objective to steal a moment of impossible beauty.

The play is amazing, capturing the determination and arrogance and crazy-wild-eyed joy of Petit. Dreams have to be fought for, dreams are hard. But this is how life should be, full of desire and bizarre conjecture and fun. And this is how plays should be, spare and sparse and so evocative that you are there at the top of the towers with Petit as he surveys the city laid out below him, living his dream and cheering him on in his inspired, maddening poetry of performance.

reviews on the playhouse site