Christmas unFriends, Robot

Dear Facebook automated complaints system,

I’ve had my ability to friend request temporarily suspended.

I believe this to be a systematic error.

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Mixtape µRadio

Summary.

We want to make Radio as intimate as a gift, as social as facebook, as mobile as a phone and, as local as a corner store.

We do this by merging the mixtape, mobile and radio in a very low cost, series of very local projects that we call Mixtape µRadio.

Motivation.

We care about our music, and we care about the declining quality of our musical culture, not just in Australia but around the world. We care that our culture and our communities have been slowly rent apart by identity politics, and the commercial forces that foment and profit from these divisions.

We believe it all starts with a song, but can end with a mixtape.

Concept.

The nature of the mixtape is that it is a gift. More than this, it is perhaps the most accessible art form to non-artists that doesn’t involve finger-paint. Everyone has been involved in mixtaping at some point. A Mixtape is this: A CD given to a grandmother by a granddaughter: a brother collecting some songs on a memory stick for his sister; A lover composing an iTunes play-list for an ex with the dreams of winning their object back. A tape you found underneath the seat of a car you havn’t cleaned in years.

The gift of music.

This is our content.

The stuff of real lives.

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(Australian) National Cultural Policy Submission

There is still a week to go if you want to Have Your Say on the mooted National Cultural Policy, due out 2012 sometime. And you should, reading-type-blogger-person that you are… you should have your say.

  • Take just (6) minutes to fill out the quick survey, then when ticking boxes and writing three sentence responses infuriates you…
  • Submit a fuller response to the 5 or so questions below.
  • If you’re exceptionally lazy, feel free to crib my submission for ideas. I know that imitation is the highest form of compliment, but try to resist the urge nakedly plagiarize, it will make my efforts look bad, and baby Jesus will cry.
  • N.B. You don’t have to be part of, or represent an organisation to respond. They want to hear from individual artists, and (more to the point) I want them to hear from individual artists… *Ahem*

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A Privileged Transgression

ENJOY SMALL PRIVILEGES, IGNORE LARGE TRANSGRESSIONS

Image from OBEY 'manufacturing quality dissent since 1989' as part of their support for the Occupy Wall Street movement. OBEY (aka Shepard Fairey) has a pretty big claim to fame: that he invented Stencil Art. Think about that. Read the manifesto. Click through on the image or just remember OBEYGIANT.COM

“Your tone-deafness and utter disconnection from the rest of the country has produced something extraordinary – You’ve managed to awaken one of the most indolent, lethargic and apathetic populaces in the history of the world.”

– Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker in his article…

This is Why They Hate You
and Want You to Die

I for one am glad that people are getting sick of things, are doing something about it, and that it’s coming from America. It easy to Yankee bash, particularly in a Chip-on-the-Shoulder country like Australia.  For those of you that have only ever been there through the telly, watch them work: Yankees don’t fuck around. They’re optimistic, and they’re rebellious by nature. More of that here please.

I’m not surprised that in Australia, the movement is being led by members of ANONYMOUS (“Knowledge is Free. We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not Forgive. We do not Forget. Expect Us.” – 21/1/08 4.5 Million Views on Youtube), a whole generation in age, style and experience away from University-Leftist, Union Bureaucracy or the Labor Party. I’ve been a big fan of this younger generation, and this particular layer circling around Anon, which has successfully politicised itself outside the existing structures, and (get this) before they turned 18 had organised global protests in 120 odd cities and half as many countries. Wonderful Stuff. Amazing Stuff. Also HILLARIOUS.

Overview

For an overview, I love the engaged and thoughtful thoughts of Sky Croeser Occupy Wall Street: movement’s and manifestoes‘,  or this critical article ‘Occupy Together: Who’s the 99%’ … She’s wonderful and serious at the same time, and has excellent instincts and a long memory for how these things can go – or rather, should go. She’s also pretty hot. That helps, right?

Aesthetics

If you (confused reader) find the aesthetics of protest movements and propaganda offensive because you’re used to having all your information delivered to you through a slick marketing machine, or the artifice of Professional Journalism, then maybe you should read this manifesto on Street Art, The Street and, The City by the guy that drew that thing up there. P.S. He also did the most famous HOPE poster of Barack Obama, an art piece of which hangs in the Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston. It probably wont change your mind, but I think it’s great and it left my little brother spinning for a bit.

Anarchist Pleas

If you’re engaged already, and just figuring out what this all means and what you can do, this is an open letter to the occupiers by Cloudfront an action of the ArtAnarchist’s from the Crimethinc ex-Workers Collective (CWC) who publish some of the most wonderful words and art of any anarchist group around. This is no exception.

 Socialist Analysis

If you’re like me, and you want a bit more meat and organisation around your activity, then I strongly recommend the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS.org) I have my problems with them, but they’re largely personal, and I cannot fault their commitment, intellectual rigour or independence. A complete and current list of their articles on Occupy Wall Street is here, or check my selections below.

I want a Democracy not a Plutocracy

  1. Protests spread across the US and globally by Kate Randall, 8 October 2011 — Anti-Wall Street protests continued to spread yesterday to cities across the US, with protests also being planned globally in more than 15 countries.
  2. “Occupy Chicago” protests continue into second week by James Nykvist and Kristina Betinis, October 8, 2011 — Under the banner of the “Occupy Together” movement, the city of Chicago has seen small protests continue into the second week.
  3. Occupy Wall Street and the Democratic Party  Editorial by Bill Van Auken (Office Holder and Ideologue of the American ICFI), October 8, 2011 — As the Occupy Wall Street protest enters its fourth week, the movement confronts increasingly sharp political pressures and choices that center on what its relationship will be to the Democratic Party.
Until we meet again, I wish you peace and fucking, or as my Montreal Quebecker friend JS says …

With Love and Rage,

Benjamin