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The Unending Saga of Internet Cops, Robbers, and the Rest of Us

Creative chaos may be the mother of Internet invention. But inventiveness is a threat to the Powers-that-be. Is crime-fighting just another handy euphemism for Orwellian consolidation?

Music

Scott Walker and Sunn O))): If You Don't Beat Me, the Stasi Will

Soused’s trapped, bleating circus elephants are harbingers of the prison-planet drones and transhuman monstrosities yet to come. Prepare for heightened beatings, motherfuckers.

Science

Big Data Follows and Buries Us in Equal Measure

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange noted that the East German secret police employed ten percent of the population as informants. The genius of Facebook is that it's an emoticon-besotted surveillance apparatus through which friends rat out friends routinely.

Books

A Ton of Feathers: Behind Enemy Lines with the Sonnet

Without doubt, the sonnet offers rich terrain for rhetorical hijinks and abbreviated exposition. You might rightly ask then, why entrust such a tightly-wound machine to muddle-headed poets?

Norman Ball
Film

The Stubborn Speed of Sound Advice

We should have more thinking in our writing, even if it slows the normal process of reading to a useful crawl. Intellectual death has already claimed the distracted reader. May vital writers and their dwindling audiences always remain one paragraph ahead of the goon squad.

Norman Ball
Music

Scott Walker, The Only One Left Alive

Scott Walker is succeeding, devilishly well, at keeping himself to himself. Each release finds him more withheld to the point where the solipsism on Bish Bosch becomes deafening. We’re still here Scott, some of us anyway, and we are not all store-room dummies.

Norman Ball
Music

The Stars Are Out Tonight at Our Thoughtless Instigation: David Bowie's New Day

In an era when the Stones relentlessly seek to extend, exploit and parlay their accrued fame (as do legions of lesser legacy acts), David Bowie, ever the brave contrarian, is doing his level best to open the shutters on a fresh new day.

Norman Ball
Games

This Is Your Brain on YouTube

We seem headed towards a videosphere that captures and subdues the totality of human activity like some goopy, billion-eyed, grass-roots-driven surveillance cam.

Norman Ball
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