Friday, April 29, 2011

Titus Andronicus Show Jersey Pride In New Video

The Economics Of Destroying Alderaan

Via. Freakonomics:

The whole point of empires, according to the classic Leninist line, is that they sustain an unrealistically high standard of living for the bourgeoisie and the plutocrats back home by exploiting the cheap labor and undeveloped natural resources of the conquered territories. Empires need two things to sustain themselves: new markets for manufactured goods, and new exploitable sources for raw materials. A third element, not mentioned by Lenin AFAIK but presumably necessary, is a well developed military industrial complex back home to help turn those gas reserves/indigo plants/poppies into kerosene/fabric dye/opium in such a way as to profit the elites. Blowing up Alderaan is not much of a loss by this way of reckoning. It’s part of the galactic first world: there’s no new market, no new stock of raw material to be found there. And from what little we see of the planet, it’s not a *crucial* part of the Empire’s infrastructure. (one doesn’t imagine that the emperor – a sane one, anyway – would offer the same treatment to Geonosis). By reducing the number of citizens, the Empire can increase the per capita benefit to its remaining citizens.
Furthermore, let’s remember that Alderaan isn’t GONE. It’s just blown up. Suddenly all the metallic elements that were languishing away in the planetary core are floating around in the void, ripe for the plucking. And anyone who can plausibly claim to have owned them is dead. You can build a lot of Death Stars with that much tungsten. Well, not even a lot — but maybe one. Like any military industrial complex, it’s a self perpetuating cycle: if you’re going to build battle stations the size of planets, you’re going to need to harvest planets’ worth of resources to build them.

Real Life Heroes Protect NYC's Sex Workers

With the investigation apparently stalled and the police fighting amongst themselves, who’s left to protect the women this killer preys on? It would appear that job has fallen to–or rather been seized by–a vigilante group calling itself the New York Initiative. Posing on their Facebook page dressed in retro-futuristic body armor and steampunk goggles, and calling themselves superheroes without irony, the group posted an ad on Craigslist last week offering its advice and services to sex workers:
„If you absolutely don’t have a friend to help you [track your movements while on a date], you may use the services of the New York Initiative as your personal log book, as well as your rescue team in the event of an emergency. If you choose to do this, we will provide you with a number to call and a few one-number or one word codes you can say or text to us so that we can contact someone to assist you with a possibly violent date. Another idea is keeping us on speed dial, and if things get weird just call us and let the line open. We’ll know what’s going on immediately.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Superman Is No Longer American

In an America where we witness Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, the sanctioning of torture and lies that lead us into wars it is no surprise that "truth, justice and the American way aren't cutting for anyone anymore, not even Superman. From Comics Alliance:

The key scene takes place in "The Incident," a short story in Action Comics #900 written by David S. Goyer with art by Miguel Sepulveda. In it, Superman consults with the President's national security advisor, who is incensed that Superman appeared in Tehran to non-violently support the protesters demonstrating against the Iranian regime, no doubt an analogue for the recent real-life protests in the Middle East. However, since Superman is viewed as an American icon in the DC Universe as well as our own, the Iranian government has construed his actions as the will of the American President, and indeed, an act of war.

Activist Group Femen Protest At Chernobyl

A somewhat awkward explanation translated by Google.

Activists held a rally FEMEN in the 30-kilometer zone of Chernobyl "Murdered peaceful atom." The women's movement FEMEN expresses solidarity with all victims of the peaceful atom, and deep admiration for the heroic actions of the liquidators of the Chernobyl disaster and Fukusimskoy. 
FEMEN urges world community to draw the necessary conclusions and to adopt measures to peaceful atom never killed. 
Women's movement in protest against speculation on the Chernobyl issue. National tragedy should not be a reason for Congress tyrants in Ukraine and for the mourning of the Soviet Union under the nasal Cyrillic mourning. On the memory of the Chernobyl tragedy, this trio is preparing for the future of Ukraine political and humanitarian disaster. 
"Miserable condition of Chernobyl and overcrowded youth cancer hospitals in Ukraine - that's a dosimeter to measure cynicism and vulgarity of today's Ukrainian authorities!" - Said the movement's leader, Anna Gutsol. 

Mark Of Cain (A Russian Crime Tattoo's Documentary)

Lambert traveled on a shoestring budget to document the complex social hierarchy of Russia’s prison system, where inmates use highly symbolic tattoo art as a mark of rank. Since its earliest documented cases in the 1920s, this practice has remained largely a taboo and is actually illegal in Russian prisons, yet some estimates suggest that in the last generation alone, more than 30 million of Russia’s inmates have been inked. The unique visual language of the tattoos encrypts everything you need to know about an inmate without ever asking, from the number of convictions an inmate has to his rank in the crime world.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Burn Baby Burn

Last weekend my neighborhood caught on fire after a homeless man left a camp fire unattended. Over a hundred acres were burned a long with six house burned to the ground and another twenty more damaged. These are some pictures a took on my phone while it happened.

Obey Mural In Austin, Texas

Sex Pistols Original Pressing of "God Save The Queen" is the Worlds Most Valuable Record

The original single for God Save the Queen, the irreverent and angrily sung tribute to the monarchy during Silver Jubilee Year, was published by A&M Records, but soon after the company dropped the band and destroyed most of the copies, making any existing versions worth £8,000 today. The band was soon picked up by a young Richard Branson and his Virgin label, which re-released the single.