Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Submitting your music to net labels

Net labels are online record companies that distribute digital audio files and may also issue music releases on vinyl, CD, cassette tape, and other formats.

Pseudo-elitist loser whiners, like you see in the dismal pessimistic net labels debate at GearSlutz, may complain that if your music is really good, a "major record label" would have already snatched you up. They man up and complain about how the net labels are mostly techno IDM music, all of it generic, uninspired Ableton pre-sets, with not much to distinguish them from each other.

They think if you have a lot of music posted at net labels, it makes you look bad.

I agree, for the most part, with their critique of the music that is often found online, but crappy music is also found in record stores, Amazon, and iTunes, so that critique is universally applicable, thus irrelevant and neutralized.

Just because music is distributed free, that doesn't mean it's "not good enough for anybody to buy", it just means that the artist is willing to let people have free music. The artist may be giving out free samples to generate publicity and buzz, or just because they believe art should be free and not commercialized.

Commercial art is not necessarily better or worse than non-commercial art.

Charging money for music doesn't mean it's good music. It just means somebody wants to make money off the music, and that might even be their only aim.

I applaud their condemnation of generic techno music, and mentioning how anybody can start a net label, and since they're inexpensive to maintain, they aren't compelled by financial necessity to feature potential super groups and glittering pop divas, in other words, music that will sell to the largest music buying demographics, the 13 to 23 year olds, but...

I must state that some of the best music I've ever acquired was free and it came from net labels and mp3 hosts like Puzzling Records, Weirdo Music, WFMU Free Music Archive, Ubu Web, Last.fm, ReverbNation, and Internet Archive.org

...and when it comes to establishment music titans and preferred music formats...

What pathetic cavemen!

Many of us more advanced music artists despise major record labels. We are too geeky to mess with physical music formats, beyond inflicting an occasional cassette tape, DVD, or CD of our music on our family and our shrinking circles of fans and critics.

Physical product record companies are no longer in the vanguard of music innovation and excellence, if they ever really were. Cassette-only releases, flexi disks, VHS tape, micro cassettes, and low budget vinyl have been grand vehicles of the advancing musical progress, for many decades now.

What the big record companies grind out may sell a lot of copies, and win awards on commercial awards shows, but where is the real, new, unexpected, ground breaking music coming from and ending up? That's what I, and a few other outcasts, are concerned with primarily.

The genres of Str8 Sounds music include techno, ambient, electroacoustic, acousmatic, noise, electronica, computer, Dada collage, avant garde classical, blues, reggae, and rock.

My primary genre is techno, or what I call "technomorphic" in that my tunes often shift and evolve and mutate wildly within a single track.

Sometimes one song will have 3 or more sections, or in classical terms "movements", sonic episodes that have mysterious segues and sound more like an EP (extended play mini-album) than a unified single. They start in one place, go to a totally other place, and end up in a disconnected zone, in a fluidly pleasing manner.

It's pretty easy to submit your music to a net label. The hard part is selecting a song that's appropriate to the specific net label you've chosen to submit a tune to.

Chose either your most popular and publicly praised song, or one you're most proud of and is the most perfect in every way, or your most unique, unusual, innovative, idiosyncratic, or surprising and hard-to-classify song.

You want to stand out as perfect in every aspect of the recording, from singing and lyrics, to melody and beat, to overall production standards excellence. The songs you submit to net labels should be totally professional, perfect in mix, volume levels, instrumental clarity,

Search for net labels according to the genre, the type or style, that most of your music belongs to, or the genre of the track you're sending.

I have selected 6 songs to send out, depending on the specific net label:

(1) "Rogue System Overdrive" is sent to net labels that I deem to be potentially tolerant of Vocal Techno.

(2) "Close Your Eyes" or (3) "Domination System Disconnect" is sent to net labels that prefer Instrumental Techno.

(4) "Anti War Mindbot" or (5) "Conch Shell Variations" are sent to net labels that seem to be oriented to "challenging music" or political protest.

(6)  "Oscilloscopic Prana" is my submission to electroacoustic, acousmatic, and avant garde classical net labels.

Most of the techno net labels feature predominantly instrumental techno, whereas a lot of music is techno with my personally branded "talk-singing", sea shanty chanting, or vari-pitched alien voices, or robotic vocalizations.

I begin with new net labels, assuming they are the most hungry for unique, original, unusual, high quality, challenging, and technically sophisticated music.

In my experience so far, most net labels either want you to upload a song via SoundCloud or you send them a 15 MB or smaller 256 kbps or better MP3 via email. Occasionally, they'll ask for a link to a hosted MP3, but this is not common.

Some net labels urge you to provide them with a linked list of locations where you host your music, like MySpace, Last.fm, ACIDplanet, ReverbNation, WFMU Free Music Archive, GarageBand, SoundCloud, etc.

I no longer provide links to my music on various MySpace pages, because MySpace has screwed up their User Interface (UI) and the format of band pages. Most of my music project pages have vanished, apparently, and it may be due to my not upgrading to the New MySpace format, which as I said already, is complete crap.

You should listen to some of the artist releases on a net label before you submit music to it, to ensure the likelihood of compatibility.

256 kpbs , 44 kHz, 16 bit MP3s are what I send via email, and my hosted MP3s, except for ReverbNation, are either 256 kbps or 320 kbps MP3s or WAVs. On ReverbNation, I use the free service which limits your audio file size to 10 MB, which means, depending on the time duration of a tune, the songs are 120 kbps, 96 kbps, or even smaller.

I'm taking one risk. I am not submitting music that fits in nicely with the net labels other artists. I am submitting music that is in the same general style, but is clearly different and creatively original, primarily due to my lyrics, vocal style, and technomorphic dynamics.

My music will not merge seamlessly with their other offerings. It will bristle with redolent sonic shimmerings and unequaled personifications.

If generic, safe, tame, tidy music is what they want, my music may seem too polytonal, archaically complex, metaphysically convoluted, extraordinarily extroverted, intrinsically trance-busting, intrusively introspective, over-confrontational, unsoothing, annoyingly peculiar, ultra-upsetting, hyper-controversial, or down right jarring.

Give the net label something that could easily have been created by an artist already signed up to their label? Let others with less imagination do so. For myself, I shall thrust forth my most bizarre and boot stomping material, that will make some sort of magnificent and mad impression.

Rather hit them with the New...than appease them with the Known.

Time will tell if this strategy is bona fide -- or banal -- clever and brilliant -- or irretrievably detrimental.

Net labels I have timidly and cynically submitted Str8 Sounds music to include:

* Public Records (via Loopmasters)

* Biologic Records

* Memory Format

* Terminal Station

* Astor Bell (rejection, reason = "We find your style a bit too far apart from what we do here at Astor Bell.")

* Nonstop Nonsense Net Lab

* Gargan Records

* Heavy Mental

* Deep X Records

What have you got to lose?

Even if a net label hates your music, wishes they could clean their ears of it, is angry that they can't get yoru rotten tune and bad voice out of their head, and consequently despises the very ground you wriggle upon, so what?

They lose a few seconds of time, you've made a new enemy, your music has suffered a fate worse than death, your career is over, and life goes on! But you won't get anywhere by just composing interminably and fussing eternally with your music. Send it out into the world, man!

If your music is just sitting around on hosting sites, or collecting dust in stacks of CDs, or collecting mold in old cassette tapes, why not get it out there for public consumption and collegial admiration?

Don't worry about rejections. Just get your music out there. All it takes is one net label to discover and promote your music, and then it might have a better chance of catching the attention of a major influential music person who can help launch or greatly advance your career.

It can't hurt. If you are confident that your music is as perfect and unique and polished and fun to listen to as it can possibly be, then who cares if people listen to it critically? They may laugh. They may growl. They may love it.

Let your music have a fighting chance. Let it compete with other music.

May the best music win, I say, even if my own loses constantly, and even ends up hated and heckled. As long as I can stand to listen to it over 20 or 30 times without flinching or being overwhelmed with embarrassment and remorse, then the stuff is fairly good. So why not? I will shove it out the door to see if anybody will accept it and think of it as precious, thrilling, or good for when you're painting, getting ready to go out club hopping, or cleaning house.

Submit your music to net labels and start the journey from Unknown and Unwanted --- to Known and Craved.

Best wishes to all.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Return to Fiction: Novels vs Short Stories

A Christmas present to myself: I will give myself the gift of fulfilling an early dream. I am going to get serious about publishing my short stories, those already written, and new ones I'm writing now.

I've had a book published and a few poems, but why did I stop there? Too busy doing marketing work for clients, and fooling around with electronic music, I suppose. Of course, both those activities shall remain in force, full steam ahead.

Happily though, after reading a lot of James Thurber's The Thurber Carnival, Mark Twain's Essays and Sketches and Who Is Mark Twain?, and Norman Mailer's The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing, I found a new and intense motivation to publish all the short stories rotting in cardboard boxes or squirreled away in my brain.

I have been a writer, and fan, of micro stories, extremely brief fiction, known as "sudden fiction", for most of my life. James Joyce's Araby is one of my favorites. I have several volumes of hardbound books containing famous short stories. I'm going to start reading them again.

Part of this renewed interest in short essays and short tales is due to my blogging work. I've noticed that my reading of James Thurber, in particular, has improved my blog writing for clients, and this synergy has me excited.

I find it curious that I often love an author's essays, but shun his or her famous works. Mark Twain, for example. I may have read Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn or A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court when I was a kid, but there's no way I'd read them now. Too long. Too much authentic dialect that's virtually unreadable. Some authors are more interesting to me when they're discussing writing in general, than when they're actually writing novels.

It's brief, succinct, quickly-told tales that catch my eye, capture my fancy, and hold my interest. It's not that I have a short attention span, for I can read an entire book by Jacques Derrida or Theodor Adorno with no problem, though I may not comprehend their deeper ideas completely.

A tale must begin with a bang! A shock! A headless man who is more attractive than ever to women! Something bizarre or challenging, a slamming of consciousness that turns your world upside down or casts you down forthright to the floor in utter astonishment.

I believe you can judge a story from it's first few sentences or paragraphs. If the beginning startles or intrigues you, right off the bat, then it's probably going to hold your attention and satisfy you.

I especially like short stories that end up going places you would never guess from the opening statements, works that deviate from expectations, like Mark Twain's "Conversations with Satan" which seems very disrespectful to the Arch Fiend, by virtue of it quickly digressing into a passionate discussion of cigars and how nobody can really tell a good (expensive) one from a bad (cheap) one, except by the box or wrapper it's in.

I've never understood why it would take 400 pages to tell a story. Not that much, of earth-skaking significance, happens to most people in real life to warrant a 400 page reporting of it. Try writing a summary of your life. I'll bet you can do it in under 50 pages.

So why should a novel, even a narrative detailing someone's life history, or the story of several generations of a family, take so many pages?

As I've stated, most of what happens to a person is filler, boring, of no narrative merit, completely void of entertainment or educational value.

Of course, some writers, probably because they are not good in plot construction or dialogue, fill their novels with tedious descriptions of environments, locations, clothing, and other matters of little consequence, even from a symbolic viewpoint.

I know what I like and I know that I don't like novels, especially novels with convoluted plots involving a cast of more than 5 or 6 major characters. A story should be something you can get through without a spending a lot of time and going through a lot of trouble, in my opinion.

"Now who is this person, is that the hero's father, or his university professor, or a step-uncle?" I find myself asking, then flipping back to find where that character is first mentioned. You do that enough times, and you start to get really weary. You begin to wonder why the author can't just cut through all these perfunctory personalities and mundane details -- and jump ahead to the main action or the point the author's trying to make.

Perhaps authors are insecure. Maybe they fill their novels with characters and prolix descriptions to make the novels seem more substantial, or serious, or intricate. To me, it's just a bewildering maze that taxes my patience and burdens my memory powers with unnecessary clutter.

Big fat novels! They're too intrusive, they become an all-consuming escape from reality.

I don't want to escape reality, just to enter something more complicated and tiresome than my own life experience. I'll take a short break from reality, by way of a short story or a little poem, but I'm not interested in devoting a huge amount of attention and memory to a bloated narrative full of characters that you must memorize.

Long novel narratives waste large portions of your valuable time and energy as you ponder people that don't exist and events that never happened.

Whereas, as short story doesn't overwhelm your imagination or replace your own reality, at least not for very long. You dip into it, you swim around a bit within it, then you're out again, often with a moral or a lesson or a better sense of how life works. No big commitment, no long list of characters and their complex relationships with each other.

As a general rule, I will not purchase a thick, long novel. I limit myself to collections of short stories and if I buy a novel, it has to be short, with few descriptive details, actions that are quickly communicated, and lots of dialogue and psycho-philosophical remarks.

I note that the artist and writer Tom McCarthy has a new novel, with the short title C,  in the bookstores. I almost bought it yesterday. I will probably purchase it later, but I'd much rather have a collection of his essays on avant garde art, if such a book exists, which I sadly doubt.

Rainer Maria Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge is a fairly short novel that I greatly enjoyed, even though is said to have no plot, and seems to be a collection of impressionistic essays and dream-like sketches of a person attempting to find coherence in a fragmented world. The Amazon reviews are quite to the point.

Alain Robbe-Grillet's Djinn is a really short novel and is surrealistically phenomenal, though a recent Artforum article on Robbe-Grillet didn't even mention it. I think it's one of the best novels (or novellas)  ever written.

There are exception to my Short Novel rule.

The Bible, for example. I have always wished it was ten times longer, and had books in it that were written by women. "The Gospel of Martha" or "Psalms of Deborah" or "Prophecies of the Female Prophets" would be great.

As a side tangent, I am one who rejects the Danvers Statement, evangelical patriarchy, and male domination, since these concepts are clearly non-biblical distortions of carefully selected proof-texts. Male supremacists often condone or ignore wife battering, exploitation of females, incest, and psychological abuse of women.

Example: a woman told her pastor that her husband was violently abusing her. The pastor then told the husband that his wife was gossiping about him. Such a perversion of male roles and church leadership is more common than one would like to think.

Marcel Proust's multi-volume Remembrance of Things Past, Dostoevsky's The Idiot, and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged stand out as exceptionally well-written long novels that are worth slugging through.

But enough of aesthetic theorizing and the vanity of self-revelation!

It's time to get back to my fiction writing. I am venturing forth, once again, into the Literary Realm.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Misery Bear Christmas VIDEO

BBC Comedy "Misery Bear's Christmas"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Most Annoying Website Mistake You Can Make

Since I have encountered this problem a lot lately, I declare it to be the #1 Most Annoying Website Mistake.

Using light gray text on a white background.

Why on earth would anybody do that? Don't you want users to read your text? What do you hope to accomplish by making the text so faint it's nearly illegible?

Here's an example of what I see on websites and blogs quite often:

I am making my web text nearly invisible, so you have to squint and strain to see it and I don't care what you think about it because it's my right to design things any way I want to!!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha.

Do you get my point now?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Making TV Commercials Go Viral Via Embed Code

Heineken "Walk In Fridge Ad"

Have you ever seen a commercial on TV, and thought it was brilliant? Hilarious? Classy? Instructive?

We all have favorite commercials, even though we may generally resent having programs interrupted by them. Sometimes the television commercials are even better than the sitcoms, new shows, or movies we're watching.

Then again, we all have commercials we absolutely hate. To me, almost all automobile TV commercials are despicable or boring. My main complaint is that car commercials often show people driving at super high speeds, bordering on recklessly, with no other traffic or pedestrians around. This is both unethical and unrealistic.

For example, I like the Capital One TV commercials featuring the Vikings.

I also like the Geico caveman commercials, but I find the gecko commercials extremely stupid and annoying. Sometimes I wish the Geico caveman would catch the Geico gecko, roast it, and eat it. Just kidding, but I'm not the only one who gets a bit passionate about certain TV commercials.


Well, if people are really enthusiastic about a TV commercial, even if it's just because it's really funny, there's a missed opportunity for corporations. If corporate websites posted their TV commercials in an archive, and provided code to enable fans to embed their commercials in their blogs, think of how that could help promote the brand.

Even though they're laughing, people are still thinking about your product and brand, if the commercial makes it clear what's being advertised and uses humor correctly to highlight a product benefit or differentiation from competing brands.

You'd think that businesses would love to have people embedding their TV commercials in their blogs. That's FREE advertising, unpaid distribution of marketing material. If the blogger is influential, the company's credibility and good will would increase a lot also.

Companies could put the embed code right into the frame of the video, so people who visit a blog and view the commercial could also embed that video in their own blog. I think you now see the viral potential available here.

So why don't corporations post their TV commercial videos on their websites?

Why don't they post their TV commercials on YouTube?

Why don't they provide video embed code for their TV commercials?

I have pondered this for years, and only today did I realize this would be a good thing to blog about.

I have found some websites that post TV commercials and provide video embed code. Check out the Computer Associates "Caesar" commercial posted at Clipland.

TBS gets it.

They sponsor a TV commercial archives website called Very Funny Ads, and under Share This Ad, they provide video embed code, along with ways to promote a video on Twitter, Facebook, and other social bookmark and networking sites.

When will companies wake up and do the same on their corporate and ecommerce websites?

Pepsi "Kung Fu Ad"

New World Order commercial starring Helen Thomas, George Bush Jr. & Sr., etc. (no embed code available).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Television adventures LP tribute

The seminal but murky and evocative early punk / new wave album (though it's really closer to British psychedelic-poetic prog-rock ) Television "Adventure"  was a beloved artifact and huge influence for what I have done in my own musical career, currently embodied in Str8 Sounds.


Up on the high, high hills - with my floating friend -
Watchin' all the silver - no one can ever spend
I feel the touch of her hand and all it will erase;
These footprints I followed tho they followed my every pace -
Days, be more than all we have.
No matter how much I cross I always see the same stream.
I'm standing up on these bridges that are standing in a dream.

"Days" is one of the most beautiful songs in music history, while "Ain't That Nothin'" and "Glory" are among the most triumphant. "Foxhole" is weirdly allegorical, if not downright mystical.


I was out stumbling in the rain staring at your lips so red
You said, "'Blah, blah, blah" you got a pillow stuck in your head"
How could I argue with a mirror
She looked at me. Yes, I hear her.
When I see the glory, I ain't gotta worry

She said, "There's a halo on that truck, won't you please get it for me?"
I said, "Of course my little swan, if ever and ever you adore me."
She got mad. She said, "you're too steep."
She put on her boxing gloves and went to sleep -
When I see the glory
 I ain't got no worries.


Soldier boy stands at a full salute.
He wants your orders to execute.
Send him out - 'neath the screaming red lights
In a narrow ditch for the funny fights.

Foxhole, foxhole Too much danger
Foxhole foxhole Where's my guardian angel
Foxhole foxhole - oh no
You show me the war, I don't know what for.
You show me the war, but the war 's such a bore.

In the line of duty, in the line of fire
A heartless heart is my proper attire.
Foxhole foxhole Too much danger
Foxhole foxhole Where's my guardian angel?
Foxhole foxhole - oh no
The flashing sword has been explored.
The perfect slice, perfect slice of life.

I feel the shells hit, moonlight web
Goodbye, arms. So long, head.
Foxhole foxhole
No more danger
Foxhole foxhole
Hello guardian angel.

Pin me down, go ahead it's a cinch
You pin me down, you'll feel the pinch
I was trained for fights
Foxhole, foxhole
Foxhole, foxhole.

The entire album, in fact both of them, original and tribute, stand as an enduring work of anthemic rock music art, a collection of prime poetry and sound by modern minstrels, a timeless monument, radiating a profound immaterialism in the heart of nitty gritty rat holes, much like their namesake, the cathode ray tube box.

This "L'aventure" tribute is like "Adventure 2.0" -- for it is a perfect companion, and not a replacement for, the original album by Television. You'll want them both, playing one after the other, for a long long time.


I jump out of bed and pull down the shade
I used to have such sweet dreams - now it's more like an air raid.
I see the opposition clear - I see them stare
I don't care - it doesn't matter to me - I never think about it
Slip out of myself like a shadow and somersault thru walls
I can't tell, it's really so odd
Is this spring or fall?
Your wine is just sour grapes
Pour me a glass anytime I'm not there
Careful Careful
I'm not bitter I just get so sore
I need that girl more and more
Cuz when she whispers in my ear it gets so hard
It get's so hard to get out of bed
It's more than I can do.
If someone must work today, let it be you.
All this confusion hit me like a dare, but I don't care.

Greatly treasured by the discerning elite, "Adventure" is often neglected by current critics, though it remains a glittering street-nomad gem. Generated by a pioneering NYC band around the time of Patti Smith, The Ramones, Max's Kansas City -- Television's "Adventure" has now been resurrected in spirit.


The elevator called me up.
She said you better start making sense.
The stone was bleeding, whirling in the waltz.
I went to see her majesty. The court had no suspense.
She said, "Dream dreams the dreamer."
I said it's not my fault.''

"Adventure", Television's second and last official album, was just as good, if not better than, their highly acclaimed first album "Marquee Moon" (how often does that happen?). It has now been re-done by some excellent Los Angeles bands. They have great charm and their respect and awe for this mighty work of art can be heard in their crepuscular renditions.


The snow fell lightly and disappeared.
I felt the old ropes grow slack.
I thought I'd dissolve
when the beacon revolved.
I just get so carried away.
Once I had a ship, yes I had a map
I had the wind like a tree has sap
I sank into these banks of clay
I get carried
Those rooms were freezing and always dark
but where we were never mattered
Your head was golden
There was lightning in your arms
and then the glass shattered.
It was noon at midnite.
The day that never ends -
The lamp it whispers and makes amends -
everything was more than I took it for.
I got carried away.

Beautiful, dreamy, eerily phantasmic recordings of major musical artistry -- "Aquarium Drunkard Presents L'aventure" is a new work of beauty to honor a classic work of mystery. You could think of them as smooth-rolling, easy-listening versions, but they don't stray too far from the misty pulsations underbulwarking strings of Lower East Side operations of French symbolist poetry.


Storms all that summer we lived in the wind,
out in some room in the wind,
Your hands they were folded.
You knew no demands.
My tongue, it clattered like tin,
My eyes repeat. They take my seat.
Your eyes they say you resigned from the heat.
We leaned in the cold, holding our breath,
watching the corners turn corners.
Coins on the table, the cards in the air,
the face at the window kept smiling.
Storms all that winter we stayed locked away.
Waiting. Watching. Falling.
End of the street. Horizon retreats.
You ran with it. I wish I could.
Sleep is not sleep. My eyes repeat.
You take the voltage that watches you weep.
You caught the voice. I listen close.
All I heard was the echoes.
Praise emptiness.
Her rose-colored dress.
Her circling motions.
Praise emptiness.
Everything scattered, nothing was missed.
We took our house in the fire.


You're pushin' a furnace
You're workin' too hard
You're setting things off -
all over the yard
You play with your 'top' -
till your eyes start to spin
Then you shrug your shoulders
and ask me where I've been
Travel fulfills you but
the distance it kills you
Oh oh ain't that nothin'
Why don't you tell me somethin'
Ain't that nothin'
I just wish you'd tell me something -
The fan keeps whirling
The wind stays hot -
but I can't keep from slippin' a lot
I look in that purse
It's a blessing and a curse
Discover dishonor with
its thousand commands
It ain't worth a shot
That target is sand
But I love disaster and
I love what comes after.

A great tribute and a nice introduction to the original material and Tom Verlaine's exciting underground art-rock ensemble. Generally the songs are a bit softer, with lush, evocative arrangements that make the songs sparkle in delightful new shimmerings.

Get a free zip file of the mp3s at Aquarium Drunkard "Television's Adventure Reimagined"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

JIB JAB Thanksgiving Cranberry Slaughter VIDEO

Jib Jab "Thanksgiving Cranberry Slaughter"

First Thanksgiving with Sean Connery VIDEO

Blame Society Films "Bric A Brac: The First Thanksgiving"

Christopher Walken, Sean Connery, Dr. Phil, and John Madden land in the new world with the rest of the pilgrims. They must decide whether to give thanks for it, or completely annihilate it...

Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA Hustle don't touch my junk VIDEO

This text will be replaced by the player

Health Ranger "TSA Hustle: Don't Touch My Junk"

SEE ALSO ... my full photo essay on TSA Gestapo tactics and the dangers of skin cancer from backscatter X ray machines:

"Airport Full Body Pat Downs and X Ray Scanners"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hartley 2 Comet as Rock Star

He came down from heaven, this shining projectile, the Hartley 2 comet.

Comet or UFO? A space ship passing by? Scientists are already talking about its structure seeming to be two objects "fused together". Will we ever be able to interview the engineers who performed this feat?

If we assume Hartley 2 is moving from right to left in the photo above, those light emissions in the tail end of the craft would be the propulsive apparatus jettisoning some super-advanced form of exhaust and ballistic force vectors, to propel the rocket and its crew along their way.

The side lights on the craft are the ship's high-velocity spectrum blasters, keeping it in an elliptical orbit, rather than shooting forward in a straight line, off into outer space, escaping the Milky Way and trespassing on forbidden territory, arousing furious gyrations and angry apogees of protest by assorted intra-galactic objects and high-ranking foreign (non-Milky Way) star assemblages.

Whatever it was, it was a rock star.

Everyone saw its picture in the paper and on the screens. Never before has a comet been so candid and transparent. Hartley 2 stole our hearts and breezed on by without bidding us a farewell or a see you later.

But it kissed our camera with an image that shocks and satisfies, educates and mystifies. If only we could hitch a ride.

Watch the Hartley 2 short film. (.MOV file)

Here is a success to emulate, a mighty being, a self-contained robust module, on a joy ride around the galaxy, without a care in the world.

The turkey leg missle. Hartley 2. We miss you already. You rode into town, then vanished off into the distance again. What do you see out there? What stories could you tell?

This year's return of comet Hartley 2 is freaked out awesomeness.

The comet can't be stopped.

We were unable to capture it for nomadic analysis, as it rips through our plasma nets like they were cotton candy.

The doggone thing has made its perihelion passage on October 28th, 2010, having passed at a distance of 18 million kilometres from the Earth on October 20th. This has been badass Hartley2's  nearest approach to the Earth since its discovery in 1986 and by far its closest approach in the next century.

Comet Hartley 2 flew by us, laughing at our sophisticated instruments and education, at 16.4 million kilometers from Herschel on October 20th, providing a chance to thumb our noses at him and impudently gather a bunch of rather, um,  sensitive measurements, which were gentlemanly, for example they were very considerate and graciously complementary to the observations from EPOXI and other secret space spying facilities.

Rumors that Hartley 2 is not a comet, but rather obviously a spaceship from another, more advanced and artistic civilization, have gone uncontested, as scientists scramble to absorb the new information and hold conferences about it so as to more effectively spin out the academically correct version of the themes contained within the collected data.

PHOTO ABOVE: Comet Hartley 2 as seen by Herschel/PACS. This processed image was taken with PACS on October 25th, 2010, in its "blue" channel (70 micrometer), ten days before the EPOXI's Encounter phase, with a distance between Herschel and comet Hartley 2 of 17.5 million km. The Sun symbol and arrow indicate the projected direction towards the Sun.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bern Porter and Unintentional Art

Is a novelist a novelist because others consider him a novelist, because he has published novels and is embraced by other novelists as one of their own?

Or is a novelist simply one who contains and expresses his creativity in novels? How about if they're never published or never even written, but remain in the imagination? Is it enough to think a novel, or do you have to scribble down somewhere?

Does a sonata exist in the composer's mind as a sonata, or is it not a sonata until someone else hears it or reads the score?

Where do we draw the line? What makes an artist an artist? What makes art something other than non-art? Being non-utilitarian and extraordinary in design?

When we strictly define "art" and "artist", according to some whimsy of Mind as it attempts to differentiate, categorize, and understand, we arbitrarily negate much that is existing artistically without being labeled or "considered" such.

One would think that after Adorno, critics would no longer define art by what men called art in ages past, but would evaluate items according to their inner necessity and external impact on an audience.

Today we look at Unintentional Art and the Artist's Intentions.

"If I'm humming or whistling it, it's music," the composer said.

"If I'm reading a long story, it's a novel," the reader replied.

"I paint, therefore I am...a painter," the painter explained.

What about that splotch of color, the result of rain on iron, is it a "painting"? What if the image attracts the eye and pleases it? Those clouds above in the sky: are they white and grey vapor paintings in motion against a blue backdrop?

Intentionalism states that a novelist is someone who has decided to write something and he calls that something a novel and it resembles, to some degree, other novels that exist and are referred to as "novels".

Unintentionalism states that randomly occurring images, non-self-aware constructions, accidental art that does not think of itself as art, is not presented or packaged as art, that may not even have an identifiable artist as cause and holder of intellectual property rights over it, may still be Art.

We've all seen it.

You're walking along, and something colorful, beautiful, glittering catches your attention. You bend toward it to get a better, a closer view. You reach for it, to pick it up...then draw back, repulsed.

It was just a mutilated toy, apparently chopped up by some lawnmower, a headless action figure, a plastic playtime hero, with bright clothing, shining garments, a radiant uniform.

For a moment, until you knew what it was, that lump of plastic was, for you, an object of art.

Bern Porter called these stumbled upon (and sometimes re-assembled) items "Founds".

He assembled scraps of text and discarded photos into collages and called them art ("something to look at").

You may view a large number of selected Bern Porter "Founds" at Ubu Web, from the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art, NYC) collection.

Back when I was about 13 years old, I used to cut comic strips out of the Sunday newspaper, then glue them into a notebook in a Dada manner, mixing up the narrative, forcing things out of context, artistic mayhem and creative contortions.

But who is the artist, Bern or me? Or both? Or neither? Mind, which rests in categorical constructions, wants to know!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jacques Derrida defines deconstruction VIDEO

Jacques Derrida "Derrida Defines Deconstruction"

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blogocombat Against Anonymous Internet Trolls

I have criticized Tech Crunch and many other blogs for allowing anonymous comments, and a recent experience confirms my position.

Anonymous comment posters add nothing to a discussion. They only detract from serious online conversations.


Because, hiding in the shadows, one can say anything. There's no accountability, no retaliation, no sense of responsibility. Say whatever you want. Nobody knows who you are. Nobody can go to your blog and confront you, or start a debate in one of your topic threads.

Anonymous comment posters like to troll blogs and social networks, picking fights, stirring up trouble, trying to make others look bad.

When you accuse them of being anonymous cowards, they act like you're just being too technical about rules, netiquette, and common decency. They will never reveal themselves, because they're afraid of what might happen.

Since internet trolls have no reason to be polite, factual, or logical, they can have fun with accusations, slander, misinformation, racism, sexism, homophobia, lies, and abusive language. Because nobody knows who they are.

Trolls are frightened by technology and rigorous argumentation. They're afraid of looking stupid. They don't want their friends laughing at them when they're defeated by a forceful and highly skilled debate opponent.

They like to try to cause trouble in an online community, make wild statements, then withdraw back into the caves of their ignorance and insecurity. Anybody can sound tough when they're invisible and nameless  and their whereabouts are unknown.

Anonymous trolling, flaming, and slurring is their only method for being bold and outspoken. Face to face, they would wilt and wither away. Anonymous comments make them feel big and strong. They make their buddies laugh. They hope to make you angry.

They don't understand that text on the web is just text on the web, there's no reason to register any emotional response to it whatsoever. The blogosphere is a cold, indifferent medium, where nothing is necessarily what it seems to be. Praise and criticism are equally ephemeral, unsubstantial, inconsequential to a hardcore blogocombat veteran.

Anonymous trolls may not even be smart enough to create their own blog. Most of them seem technically deficient, as well as mentally backward.

Anonymous trolls don't deserve to be heard.

Anonymous trolls have no legit reason to say anything in the blogosphere.

We don't care about their opinions. They're irrelevant. Maybe someday they'll put their big boy pants on and fight like a man. Until then, they will be ruthlessly flamed or tiresomely ignored, depending on how much coffee I've had that particular day.

When someone posts a comment, and embeds a link to their blog in their name, and their blog gives their real name, then they have some credibility. Without that, their remarks in forums, blogs, and social networks are just empty nonsense by a nobody who is nowhere.

"Don't feed the trolls" is a common saying. It means: "ignore anonymous flamers". This is good advice.

However, as a Social Media Strategist, I occasionally will engage in a brief skirmish with trolls, just to show other, legit comment posters and readers, what's going on and how to expose them.

EXAMPLE of Blogocombat Against
Anonymous Comment Posters

In this case the anonymous commenters are hiding behind the nicknames Kudos and Notimendum. They are accusing me of spreading false stories, when I was very clear and specific about the information and how I got it. Probably for political reasons, they want to try and bash me.

I have deleted all references to the specific thing we were debating, because I don't want to get sidetracked into that debate. I simply wish to show how trolls talk and how to reply to them. We jump to the end of the discussion thread.


KUDOS says: “Bloggers” should not spread lies in order to promote a personal agenda (IMO).

NONTIMENDUM says: Vaspers, you reported this as a fact on the Spy site.  Now you ask what anyone else has done to corroborate your claim?  Here’s a better question: Were you just spreading a rumor?

VASPERS AKA STEVEN E. STREIGHT says: KUDOS and NONTIMENDUM -- You have zero credibility, because you’re anonymous, with no link to a blog or website, thus, your opinions don’t matter in the blogosphere. Once again, Anonymous Cowards post comments to bash other comment posters. This is why I disallow webless trolls to post comments on my blogs. Go back to your cave and paint your remarks on the walls.

NONTIMENDUM says: Vaspers: Thanks for reminding me of the Rules of the Internet.  It’s easy (and logical) to forget that a reasonable doubter with a false name is, by default, subservient to one with a real name who appears to be spreading false rumors.  You keep puttin’ the world right brutha.

VASPERS AKA STEVEN E. STREIGHT says: NONTIMENDUM -- And you keep trolling forums with anonymous comments, it’s so much safer that way, and you can say ANYTHING you want, because you’re completely unknown and unaccountable. You’re a Real Big Dude with a real big mouth, hiding in the shadows, accusing people of spreading rumors, when you offer no evidence of your own.

NONTIMENDUM: Evidence to disprove your false rumor?  I am, indeed, left wanting.  You didn’t really “spy” something, now did you?

VASPERS AKA STEVEN E. STREIGHT says: NONTIMENDUM -- As a rule I don’t engage in debate with Anonymous Cowards who troll blogs and forums. Chances are, you’re just a 13 year old World of Warcraft dork. Consider yourself lucky that I paid even this much attention to you. When you put on your big boy pants, and link to your own blog, give it another try.


Also see:

Ubuntu Forums "Definitive Guide to Trolls"

Encyclopedia Dramatica "Troll"

Wikipedia "Troll (Internet)"

Usenet Angelfire Forum "How to Handle a Troll and Beat Them at Their Own Game"

CureZone "Internet Troll / Forum Troll"

Team Technology "Beware The Troll"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

top SEO sites for str8 sounds nov 9 2010

As of today's Google search on "str8 sounds", here are the best sites for SEO (search engine optimization). In other words, these sites came up highest in the SERPs (search engine result pages).

(1) MySpace

(2) ReverbNation

(3) Last.fm

(4) YouTube

(5) Vimeo

(6) Vodpod

(7) flickr

(8) Facebook

(9) Eventful

(10) Pure Volume

(11) The Rising Storm

(12) Pluperfecter

(13) ACIDplanet

(14) Rhizome

(15) Ustream

(16) Peoria Scene

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sundown and Shadow photo meditation

Dog of noble mind
and courageous heart.

Inner dog is larger than outer dog.

Two air conditioners
and make that to go please.

Light pools in kitchen.

Blanket dog.

Play is inside. 
Outside is for work.

Shadow dog with autumn leaflets.

Alert. Ever diligent. Squirrel watch.

Deck reflections.

Inner acorn aches to be tree.

Shadow dog on deck.

Deck is watchpost for surveillance dog.

Surveillance dog deck shadow.

 Done for one day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Absurdist Books I Wrote or Am Writing

(IMAGE: new McDonald's  
under construction at University
and War Memorial in Peoria, IL)

(1) Build Your Dream Home for $1.49

(2) How To Succeed at Anything By Doing Nothing At All

(3) Sleep and Get Rich: The More You Sleep, The More Money You Make

(4) Slightly Positive Affirmations: The Timid Auto-suggestion System

(5) I'm Rococo, You're Rococo

(6) 30 Ways to Twist a Paper Clip Into a Radio Antenna

(7) Dream Recording and Playback Systems: A User's Guide

(8) Make Money With Childish Art That Poses As Primitive

(9) Abstract Hyper-maximalism and The School of Insobriety

(10) Be Your Own Mental Butler

(11) I Don't Feel Like Doing That: A Manual for Underachievers

(12) Floppy Disk Microfiche: Brave New World of Data Storage and Retrieval

(13) How To Be Pretty Much Like Everybody Else: A Primer in Strict Conformism

(14) 30 Exciting Games You Can Play with Pillows

(15) We Keep Getting Stranger: A Guide to Asocial Media

(16) Blaming, Bashing, Bewildering: Secrets of Professional Politicking

Monday, October 11, 2010

IT world tries to save federal government

"The federal government must move quickly to embrace the innovative methods and technologies that help drive productivity increases -- and cost decreases -- in the private sector. The alternative is to remain mired in deficit and recession, choking U.S. competitiveness and stifling the fundamental driver of our country’s growth and greatness, American society itself."

So concludes the Technology CEO Council "1 Trillion Reasons" report. The Technology CEO Council is "the information technology industry's public policy advocacy organization comprising chief executive officers from America's leading information technology companies", as stated on their website.

The Dell Palmisano Manifesto has arisen to challenge the administration to do what's right, smart, and urgently needed.


Consolidating the government’s myriad supply chains is likely to save $500 billion. And applying advanced analytics to reduce fraud and error in federal grants, food stamps, Medicare payments, tax refunds and other programs could save an estimated $200 billion by making these programs more adaptive, responsive and even predictive.

This is not just theory. We’ve seen both the cost savings and the innovation that these approaches can unleash — in both the public and the private sectors.


It's the Information Technology world's ultimatum to the federal government. The gist? Get your act together technologically, or perish.

The message: Government is old fashioned, trapped in outdated, easily compromised computer networks that need to be hardened. Now.

I can read between the lines. It's not just criminal fraud that's the problem. Government systems need to be upgraded and reinforced due to the cyberwar that Chinese and Iranian hackers are inflicting upon our critical utilities, military, and security operations.

As a member of the IT community, I applaud Dell and IBM for having the guts to boldly declare what needs to be done, immediately, to protect federal funds, taxpayer money, from abuse and impropriety.

But does the government, the least intelligent institution of human society, care about fraud? Is the government itself a clever hoax, a delirious delusion, a miserable throwback to hierarchical dysfunction that preceded humanity declaring itself a collaboration of equals?

Exposing systems fraud in an institution could backfire. Ruling elites are rarely humble and want everybody to think they themselves have all the answers. Outside help, from the private sector, is often insulted and ignored.

Especially if sleazy inside dealings are rampant and being carefully protected.

That is -- if foxes are guarding the hen house, a hen-house inspector specializing in fox eradication will not be a welcome guest.

If the current administration rejects this offer of FREE detective and corrective work, and will not yield to public pressures to accept it, we have all the evidence we need as to the quality and nature of the installed potentates.

Read the entire proposal: "Washington Can Save $1 Trillion" by SAMUEL J. PALMISANO & MICHAEL DELL at Politico 10/6/10 4:30 AM EDT