Every band has a natural habitat. Where did they evolve to be heard? It seems important to me, a person who has learned firsthand that children in rural Mexico are un-moved by Operation Ivy despite the fact that I once felt it essential to get a permanent tattoo of them on my corn-shucking arm.
In this vein I would like to write a few (mercifully brief! less wingnutty?) blog posts about bands and their ecosystems. Beginning with the Pixies.
1,247 days to go until the End of Days, people. As long as you can defer your payments for three more years, Americans need not worry about paying off student loans or credit card debt. Come Christmas vacation in 2012, the planets shall align, great volcanoes will swallow the earth, and New Age misinterpretation of Mayan prophesy will finally come to pass.
The prediction that the world will end on Dec 21, 2012 (conveniently located right at the end of one last Holiday shopping season— put everything on the visa card! Bill collectors can’t find you where we’re going!) is gaining increasing scientific credibility (in the sense that a Hollywood CGI blockbuster depicting these events is scheduled for release in theaters this fall). To prepare for the End of Days, Many Little Things will be periodically taking trips around the world wide interweb to review the many signs, omens and misunderstood natural phenomena eerie portents pointing the way towards Armageddon/End of Debt Records.
This week: WARNINGS FROM THE JOVIAN DEPTHS!!
People who drink on my porch have already heard all they can possibly tolerate on this subject, but for the rest of you: the whales are trying to warn us of something. The repeated attempts by grey whales off the Pacific coast of Baja California to engage in friendly, inter-species communication raise many provocative philosophical question, and have only two possible explanations: either the NYT Magazine writer didn’t have a topic idea until he got high and watched that one Star Trek movie, OR hyper-intelligent behemoths from the deep have taken pity on their puny cousins back on land and are attempting to warn us that our time will end soon when the Age of the Sea-Mammal arrives.
Whereas the whales communicate with us, their only natural enemy— the giant flying squid— has taken a more confrontational stance towards humanity, and has been attacking our society’s major population center on the pacific ocean, southern California. There are fascinating deep-sea coalition politics to be explored here: in the eternal underwater conflict between the Squid and the Whale, is the whale’s attempt to warn humanity of its impending doom seen by the squid community as a ‘sell-out’ of their loyalty to the ocean-dwellers? Or perhaps, are the whales attempting to establish a relationship with humanity in the twilight of its existence, in hopes of gaining access to some technology of ours to aid in their battle with the squid, who have thus realized in turn they cannot wait for the Mayan apocalypse to end us and are taking history into their own hands to prevent technological transfer to their enemies?
Either way, the joke’s on the squids: they can’t fucking breathe on land, so the majority of the attacking squids have died writhing and suffocating on san diego and Oregon beaches. Altho some successful squid assaults have been staged on human scuba divers and swimmers, the body count has remained well in our favor. Hey, if I had to put money down on who will win the struggle for supremacy after 2012 covers the globe in oceans and the whales and squids duke it out worldwide, you can probably tell I wouldn’t be betting on these dumb-ass cephalopods to take home the gold. They may have more natural weaponry than the whales, but in terms of intelligence, it’s no contest. On the other hand, we all know who Cthulhu would favor…
Speaking of the coming sea-mammal conquest of the earth, America’s China’s Most Trusted News Source published a piece of scientifically peer-reviewed evidence corroborating these predictions. This news article on Dolphin evolution is not recommended for the easily frightened.
The Arctic Blob— a mysterious and apparently newly-evolved organic mass currently attacking Alaska because the liberal media hates Sarah Palin— is less interested in communicating with us, more into gradually absorbing/swallowing us whole. Continue reading
Over the next couple years you can expect to hear a lot about ‘economic indicators’. The economy is no longer in a civilization-threatening tailspin, but it is still quite bad, with a plenty of unpredictable volatility left to come. Different figures in politics, business, finance and the media will have conflicting short-term interests as they arbitrage our collective misery, and will seek to game the system by maneuvering around all sorts of spin about what is or is not about to happen next with that mysterious god in the sky we call the stock market. Our priestly elite will terrify and thrill us with mystical omens about whether the invisible hand we worship plans to smite or reward us, and would we please offer up our pensions and remaining collective bargaining contracts for sacrifice on the altars of neoliberalism.
Wild claims and rain dances will be the order of the day, based on a trippy genre of science fiction literature known as ‘economic forecasting’. Shouting heads on the teevee will make market predictions based on ‘indicators’ like the profit rate of various Nigerian internet con-artist schemes, the number of homeless people Alcoa’s CEO strangled for fun this month, or the credit card debt of the average meth addict in Missouri. Price volatility of certain deviant erotic services will be scrutinized by MBA’s, and gullible investors and voters will be lured hither and thither on the basis of information as relevant to reality as fluctuations in public moustache-popularity. I plan to make my own speculative, uninformed (nay, misinformed!) claims about macroeconomic indicators on this blog, and allow me to start with the one I know best: me and my friends.
You see, my housemates and I are what you would call a ‘negative economic indicator’. When america is booming, we are typically broke & struggling, at best aspiring to the status of ‘hobo’ or ‘criminal’. But when the country is in the shitter, well that is our time to thrive. Continue reading
The first book I ever shoplifted from Barnes n Noble, back in the heady spring of 1995 when I was first converted to leftist politics, was Ben Bagdigan’s The Media Monopoly. Me and my new comrades had many fascistic social trends to worry about, and one of the most obvious ones was the concentration of media ownership in the hands of a few big companies. Who could have predicted, back then, that we were would turn out to be right about global warming and deregulated finance— but the Cassini satellite and media consolidation, not so much? Thats the thing about making a lot of doomsday predictions: you cry wolf a lot, and you’re wrong a lot, and then whichever wolves you’re right about arrive and eat the sheep herd anyway. Continue reading
“The internet will destroy more businesses than it creates.”
Like the old media conglomerates, my life has been impacted in both positive and negative ways by the rise of the thing we used to call the ‘Information Superhighway’. When I was a kid the only job I could imagine myself doing as an adult was being a writer of some kind, and seeing my name on the spine of a book on a shelf has remained my fondest daydream ever since. Buying, selling, stealing and vandalising in the marketplace of ideas— now that’s the life!
But while arranging letters into words has never been an easy way for anyone to make a living, the internet has changed the game considerably. It has never been easier to participate in society’s discourse— and it has never been harder to make a living off it. Just ask the journalists, in line to meet with their caseworkers down at the welfare offices, waiting to get their next ration of foodstamps.
Luckily life had other plans in mind for me, and so I feed myself via a mixture of manual labor and with the professional advocacy of fringe ideas like labor unionism. I still occasionally write articles for one magazine or another, and I am theoretically ‘working on a book’, but I would no more try to survive on sentence construction than I would try to pay my electric bill with yo-yo tricks or a stamp collection.
The math of it just doesn’t add up anymore. And perhaps that’s for the best. Maintaining some separation between your economic balance sheet and your creative passions is an under-rated fact of life for most people. If you want to contribute to the world by painting art, does it really make sense to get a day job painting houses? I see friends try to make New York City rent by turning intellectual tricks: some temp copy-editing here, a freelance assignment there, hoping at first for a big break of some kind and eventually just dreaming about having healthcare. And then at night they work on their book, or whatever. To me, that’s like working in a paint factory all day for pennies on the hour, and then coming home afterwards and drinking a big bowl of paint for dinner. Just too much fucking paint. Continue reading