FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
Superheroes ‘trapped’ in a drop of water
01.25.2012
12:53 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
Lovely superhero emblems reflected in a droplet of water by German photographer Marcus Reugels. Visit Mr. Reugels’ Flickr page to see more of his awesome work.
 

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Tara McGinley
|
01.25.2012
12:53 pm
|
The Osmonds rock hard!
01.24.2012
03:57 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
As the world falls apart around us, there will always be “Crazy Horses” to provide a moments respite from the hellish visions that press their faces against the windowpanes of absolute reality.

Osmonds, now more than ever!
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
|
01.24.2012
03:57 pm
|
Handmade Stephen Colbert action figure
01.24.2012
03:30 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
Good job, CautionLowSign! The only thing mini-Colbert seems to be missing are his wire frame glasses.
 
(via reddit)

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
01.24.2012
03:30 pm
|
Anarcho-punk’d: Crass’s infamous ‘Thatchergate’ tape


 

These days we’re used to seeing public figures like Sarah Palin and Scott Walker punked, but in the early 1980s, the avenues for media hacking just did not exist the way they do now. The infamous “Thatchergate” tape—an audio collage constructed by Crass bassist Peter Wright (aka “Sybil Right” and “Pete Wrong”) of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan “talking” about nuclear weapons and the sinking of the HMS Sheffield as a deliberate attempt to escalate the conflict in the Falklands War was one of the first. The “Thatchergate” tape was an event back then, especially in the squatter/anarcho-punk crowd that I was a part of in London at the time. To hear about Crass perpetrating the hoax of Ronald Reagan getting “caught on tape” threatening to nuke Europe (to show Russia who was boss!) was nothing short of a blow against Moloch!

Today, there are a little more than 2000 items that come up on Google for “Thatchergate” and most have nothing to do with Crass. This story should be a lot better known, it’s one of the greatest pranks in history:

From San Francisco Chronicle, January 30, 1983.

Washington. A fake tape of a purported conversation between President Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was circulated in Europe this spring, possibly by the KGB, the State Department said yesterday.

“This type of activity fits the pattern of fabrications circulated by the Soviet KGB, although usually they involve fake documents rather than tapes,” the department said in a written response to reporter’s questions.

The department said that although the recording is of “poor quality,” a technical analysis revealed that the voices were those of Reagan and Thatcher.

But the department indicated the voices were spliced together and said they were not part of an actual conversation.

“We checked with the White House, which advised thay no such conversation took place,” the department said.

The President’s part in the recording apparently was lifted from his Nov. 22, 1982 speech on nuclear disarmament,” it said. “We are not sure where Mrs. Thatcher’s remarks came from.

The department said a copy of the tape was received by the U.S. embassy in the Netherlands a week before the British elections.

The tape dealt with the Falklands crisis and U.S. missiles in Britain, the department said.

It said, “From the drift of the tape, the evident purpose was to cause problems for Mrs. Thatcher by blaming her for the sinking of the British destroyer Sheffield and also for us by stirring trouble on the INF (Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces) issue.”

The Sheffield was sunk by Argentine forces last year during the war with Britain over the Falkland Islands.

Britain and the United Staes took part in a NATO decision to install intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe late this year as a counter to similar Soviet forces if an agreement on restriction such weapons is not reached.

The State Department said the tape-recording was sent with a covering letter from an anonymous person to Dutch journalists.

It is said an analysis by the language experts “suggests that the author was not a native speaker.”

The Reagan administration has contended for some time that the KGB has contended for some thime that the KGB has a forgery factory producing false documents to mislead target audiences.

It was also written up in The Sunday Times, on January 8, 1983

How the KGB fools the West’s press.

THE TAPE is heavy with static and puntuated with strange noises, but through it all can be heard the authentic voices of Ronald Reagan on the telephone: “If there is a conflict we shall fire missiles at our allies to see to it that the Soviet Union stays within its borders.”

At the other end of the telephone is Mrs. Thatcher. “You mean Germany?” she asks increduously.

“Mrs. Thatcher, if any country endagers our position we can decide to bomb the problem area and so remove the instability.”

If this is not hair-raising enough, we hear Mrs. Thatcher virtually admitting that she had the Belgrano sunk to end any chance of an agreement with Argentina. “Oh God!” says Reagan.

The whole conversation is fake. Both voices are real but the words spoken have been doctored, cut, rearranged and then expanded on the transcript of the tape. Every word from Reagan is extracted from his lengthy presidential address on nuclear strategy. When, for instance, he seems to swear at Mrs. Thatcher, he is in fact coming to the end of his speech and quoting a hymn: “Oh God of love, O king of peace.”

The tape surfaced in Holland just before last year’s British general election, but it never quite overcame the suspicions of Dutch journalists. They declined to publish the juicy exclusive, sent to them anonymously. But other journalists across the world have fallen for an increasing flow of such stories based on “authoritative” cables, memo and tapes. The State Department in Washington says they are all products of an increasingly sophisicated Russian campaign.

“They have accelerated their efforts and they have fine-tuned them,” claims Larry Semakis, deputy director of a State Department team that monitors what the Russians call “active measures.” He admits that “no one can specifically prove in a court of law that Soviet hand was on this or that item.” But he says there is a pattern in the use of forgeries which points unmistakably to the Russians.

The State Department believes that “active measures” are the responsibility of the KGB’s first directorate; that some forgeries go as high as the ruling Politburo for approval…

“[W]hich points unmistakably to the Russians”? I don’t think so…

Then one year later in The Observer newspaper on, Sunday, January 22, 1984, it was revealed that…

‘Soviet’ faked tape is rock group hoax

A TAPE recording, purporting to carry details of a secret telephone conversation between Mrs Thatcher and President Reagan, has been revealed as a hoax manufactured deliberately by an anarchist rock group.

The recording was taken to newspapers throughout Europe—including The Observer—but, apart from one Italian newspaper, nobody had been taken in by the hoax tape until it appeared in the Sunday Times earlier this month.

That newspaper described it as part of a KGB propaganda war. Unfortunately the tape was recorded not in Moscow but in an Essex farmhouse.

The New York correspondent of the paper reported that the State Department believed the tape was evidence of ‘an increasingly sophisticated Russian disinformation cam- paign.’

The real authors of the hoax tape, the anarchist punk rock group Crass, said that they had been ‘amused and amazed’ that the tape had been attributed to the KGB.

The recording first appeared in the offices of a number of Continental newspapers shortly before the British general election last year.

A covering note said it was a recording of a crossed line on which was heard part of the two leaders’ telephone conversation, and that the person who sent it wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.

Key lines in the tape include Mr. Reagan apparently asking why the Belgrano was sunk during the Fallrlands war, when Secretary of State Haig was nearing a peace agreement. Mrs Thatcher appears to reply: ‘Argentina was the invader. Force had to be used now, punishing them as quickly as possible.’

Mr. Reagan then says: ‘Oh God, it is not right. You caused the Sheffield to have been hit. Those missiles we followed on the screen. You must have, too, and not let them know.’

Later, in a discussion on nuclear strategy, Mr. Reagan is made to say: ‘If there is a conflict we shall fire missiles at our allies to see to it that the Soviet Union stays within its borders.’

The tape was first brought to The Observer by a Belgian journalist last June. We concluded, like most of the other newspapers, that it was a fake.

The quest for the real hand behind the tape led to an isolated farmhouse in north Essex, where the eight members of the band live with their children.

Reluctantly the members of the band, who sport names like Joy Be Vivre, G Sus and Sybil Right, admitted faking the tape. They showed how they had put it together over two and a half months, using parts of TV and radio broadcasts made by the two leaders, then overdubbing with telephone noises.

‘We wanted to precipitate a debate on those subjects to damage Mrs. Thatcher’s position in the election. We also did it because of the appaling way Tam Dalyell was treated over the Belgrano debate,’ they said.

‘We believe that although the tape is a hoax, what is said in it is in effect true.’

And there was more: From The Associated Press, Sunday, January 25, 1984
 

 
And still more…

Crass ‘KGB tape’ hoax (Sounds, January 28, 1984)

CRASS have been uncovered as the perpetrators of a bogus tape of a telephone ‘conversation’ between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

The tape was originally circulated last sammer before the General Election and was claimed to be a recording of a crossed line between the two leaders. Needless to say it is not complimentary to either statesperson.

During the coarse of the ‘conversation’ Thatcher replies to Reagan’s question about the Belgrano by saying: “Argentina was the invader. Force had to be used now, punishing them as quickly as possible.”

And later in a discussion aboat nuclear strategy Reagan says: “If there is any conflict we a shall fire missiles at our allies to see to it that the Soviet Union stays with stays within its borders.”

Most newspapers recognised the tape as a fake but the Sunday Times attributed it to KGB propaganda a couple of weeks ago and last Sunday’s Observer took considerable delight in tracking the tape back to Crass’s HQ in Essex.

Invoking the spirit of one of Reagan’s predecessors, George Washington, they explained that the tape had been put together from TV and radio broadcasts overdubbed by telephone noises.

They justified their actions by saying: “We wanted to precipitate a debate on the Falklands and nuclear weapons to damage: Thatcher’s position in the election. We also did it because of the appalling way Tom Dalyell (almost the only MP to raise any awkward questions over the Falklands affair) was treated over the Belgrano debate in the House of Commons.

I recall hearing at the time that Jane Pauley did a story on this on The Today Show in the US, but can find no record of that online, sadly… To this day, the members of Crass have never been able to figure out how the tape was traced back to them.

Pretty much there are only two ways to hear the “Thatchergate” tape: In the Crass song, “Powerless with a Guitar” you can hear a bit of it. It was also included at the end of a “God Told Me to Do It” mix by David Tibet which you can download at the excellent Kill Your Pet Puppy blog (where I got most of this information from and has audio interviews about “Thatchergate”). Since it’s not ideal listening—the conceit was that it was recorded due to crossed wires, so there is a ringing phone noise throughout (a nice touch)—here’s a transcript of the “Thatchergate” tape in full:

Thatcher: Own business!

Reagan. I urge restraint. It’s absolutely essential or the area ‘be “through the roof”.

Thatcher: Look, our objectives are fundamentally different. Al Haig…

Reagan: Secretary Haig….

Thatcher:. Doesn’t seem to be able to find a solution.

Reagan: Why eliminate “Belgrano”? You directed this. The Argentinians were then going…. Secretary Haig reached an agreement.

Thatcher: Argentina was the invader! Force has been used. It’s been used now, punishing them as quickly as possible.

Reagan: Oh, God, it’s not right! You caused the “Sheffield” to have been hit. Those missiles we followed on screens. You must have too, and not let them know. What do you hope to gain?

Thatcher: What I said before -“Andrew”- ....As “cruise” go in, I want incentives at all levels….

Reagan: There’s a deal….a third more submarine ballistic missiles, and you will see that the United States forces remain deployed. The intermediate range missiles are U.S. defence. You proposed building them in Europe. Build up the economy. They don’t work, they’re social programmes…. The United Kingdom is a….er….little nation….

Thatcher: You still need those nations, and you’re given long term international markets.

Reagan: We are supported by our allies, whether they want, or not.

Thatcher: I, I don’t understand you….

Reagan: In conflict, we will launch missiles on allies for effective limitation of the Soviet Union.

Thatcher: ‘Mean over Germany?

Reagan: Mrs Thatcher, if any country of ours endangered the position, we might bomb the “problem area”, and correct the imbalance.

Thatcher: See, my….

Reagan: It will convince the Soviets to listen. We demonstrate our strength….The Soviets have little incentive to launch an attack.

Thatcher: Our British people….

Reagan: London! ....

Thatcher: I think….

Reagan: Let that be understood…

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
|
01.24.2012
01:16 pm
|
Indie rock versus mainstream pop: Who do you love?
01.23.2012
04:41 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
A couple of interesting music related articles have popped up in the last short while that I want to share here. Both have instigated some heated debate, but it seems to me like they both represent different sides of the same coin, namely the age old battle between the supposedly “authentic” nature of rock music and the disdain that rock snobs in turn show for “pop” music.

The first of these articles appeared in the Guardian on Thursday, and is titled “Indie Rock’s Slow and Painful Death,” by Dorian Lynskey. I’m pretty sure you can guess the content of the article by the headline alone, but here’s a taster anyway:

Just before Christmas US music writer Eric Harvey compiled a list of sales figures for the top 50 albums in Pitchfork’s end-of-year poll, inspiring the Guardian to conduct a similar exercise [re-published at the bottom of the article]. Each list prompts much the same conclusion. Of the five albums in Pitchfork’s list that sold more than 100,000 copies in the US in 2011 only two (Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes) are indie artists. In the Guardian’s top 40 the only alternative acts to pass 100,000 (the benchmark for a gold record) are Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Noah and the Whale, PJ Harvey, Radiohead and Laura Marling.

Of course critics’ polls are not an authoritative measure and other indie artists exceeded 100,000 sales in the US (including Wilco, Feist, the Black Keys, the Decemberists, My Morning Jacket), the UK (Elbow, Kasabian, the Vaccines, Snow Patrol, two Gallagher brothers) or both (the Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead). If you really stretch the category then Coldplay, Foo Fighters and Florence + the Machine also did the double, and if you count 2010 releases you can add Mumford & Sons and Kings of Leon. And let’s note that, because of Spotify and YouTube, sales figures aren’t the only measure of success. That said, it’s still an unforgiving climate for the kind of crossover alternative rock act that not so long ago was taken for granted, especially when so many of the bands mentioned have been around for a decade or so and selling to loyalists rather than new fans. This sobering data invites two questions: how long will indie’s big slump last? And does it matter?

To an extent pop trends are cyclical. To borrow the language of economics, after each speculative bubble bursts (grunge, Britpop, mid-00s indie) there’s a market correction that leaves many casualties. In 1999 and 2000 there were many brilliant records but they were disparate and rarely suited to magazine covers, throwing both Select and Melody Maker into first panic and then closure, when just five years earlier it had seemed like the stream of charismatic, platinum-selling, magazine-shifting rock bands would never end. Of course just a few months later the Strokes and the White Stripes heralded a vibrant new phase, which led to the Libertines and Franz Ferdinand and then another bubble: landfill indie. By the time radio and magazines were pushing dreck such as the Automatic and the Pigeon Detectives the writing was on the wall.

While I think the thrust of this article is applicable in both the US and the UK, I feel it’s important to note that in the UK “indie rock” is seen as an actual genre of music rather than just a descriptive term for independent artists. Because to these ears “independent” is the last term that comes to mind to describe acts like Oasis, Snow Patrol, Foo Fighters, the Strokes and Mumford & Sons, and it seems somewhat absurd to judge the success of supposedly “alternative” acts on how much they sell. Also, the term “landfill indie” refers to a glut of bands whose names begin with “The” and who tend to dress similarly and make similar sounding records, who get signed for a year and release a “buzz” album, before being dropped once the PR budget runs out. 

I think the real subtext of Lynskey’s article is that there is a crisis in mainstream music journalism. As less and less genuinely interesting music reaches journalists’ desks through the traditional PR channels they have relied on since the 1990s, the journalists in turn cry that “music is dead!” Because surely excessive PR spin is the only rational explanation for the acts mentioned above being considered “alternative” or “independent”? And speaking of Spin, I think it’s the same reason that magazine has decided to abandon music reviews in favour of tweets, while claiming that there are “fewer and fewer actual music consumers” (a claim which is demonstrably false, by the way.) There is no dearth of interesting and forward-thinking music being made in the world, but as is repeatedly pointed out in the article’s comments section, journalists need to look a bit harder to find it now.

The second article I have read lately that has provoked some commentary is Wallace Wylie’s “Why Pop Music Matters (No Matter What Age You Are)” on the Collapse Board website. While, again, the content of the article is explained pretty succinctly in the headline, this time it’s a bit more composed and thoughtful than Lynskey’s piece, taking in as it does criticism of both rock and pop:

The tragedy of rock music is that it went from cutting edge rebellion to conservative defender of values in a very short amount of time. Music magazines still run stories of Dylan going electric as a singular moment in rock history, and each person who reads this story shakes their heads sadly at the idea that anyone would castigate Dylan, thinking that, obviously they would have embraced this thrilling new sound. These same people then decry the current state of music and complain loudly at almost every new development, claiming that the current version of pop is some degraded, commercialised bastardisation of what music once was. Despite the obviousness of the historical lessons above, each generation still produces thousands of individuals who imagine that THIS time music really has drifted too far from its roots, that some essential quality is missing, that music has become meaningless.

Utimately, nobody can prove one way or the other whether ‘music’ was ever good or bad, and to think that anybody can launch a rational argument based around the idea that the entire musical output of a new generation is somehow not meeting some in-built standard is foolish beyond words. No art form or style has ever held firm amid the onslaught of modernisation and emerged the victor. The only thing able to somewhat succeed in ending innovative thinking and inevitable change thus far has been murderous totalitarian governments. Left to their own devices, many artists willfully experiment, and those in the commercial field are no different. This is not to say that pop music is above criticism. If pop music has a problem, however, it is in its process and in its reception. While the music plays on regardless, an intellectual war rages beneath the surface. With charges of frivolity thrown constantly at pop, postmodernism came to its rescue, bringing a brand new set of problems in its wake.

There is something rotten at pop’s core. While it is undoubtedly more welcoming to women and non-whites, it has a tendency to use and discard those same people at will. Women’s looks are under constant scrutiny in the world of pop, to the extent that a little extra weight can undermine a performer’s entire career. Once a person’s moment under the spotlight is over, hosts of cackling jackals take great delight in declaring that person a non-entity. Pop worships at the altar of youth and beauty, and anyone deemed old or ugly should probably wander off into the cold and die the moment their time in the spotlight is over.

It’s important to note that there are differences, of course, between popular music culture in the US and the UK, but Wylie addresses this in his article (being a British writer based in America writing for an Australian site, he’s well aware of these differences.) But I’m with Wylie on this. “Pop” is just as valid a “genre” as any other you’d care to mention, and I have an innate distrust of those who dismiss pop music out of hand. It seems nonsensical to me to disregard any music simply because it is popular, just as it would be nonsensical to dismiss all music made before an arbitrary year like, say, 1974. It’s not a sign of having more developed and advanced taste I’m afraid, it’s actually the exact opposite - your taste must be pretty weak if it is swayed by the amount of people who enjoy a song rather than the song itself.

What is more interesting to me though are the core arguments that get bandied about in relation to the perceived “authenticity” of rock music as opposed to pop, and how these notions can lead to enjoyment of pop music being seen as shameful. As Wylie mentions in the comments to this piece, an artist like Neil Young is perceived as being somehow more “authentic” than, say, Missy Elliot, despite coming from an upper middle class family with a famous father, while Elliot came from a truly impoverished broken home and had to fight harder to achieve her popular status. There is another excellent Collapse Board article on this same issue that music fans should also read: “Everything Is Plastic: The Corrupting Ideal of Authenticity In Music” by Scott Creney.

There’s much food for thought to chew on in these articles, but it’s important for me to re-state here on DM—a site where only last week a newish rock band experimenting with electronics called Errors got dismissed as being clones of, err, Hawkwind?!—that following music is now easier than ever. It’s as accessible as simply surfing the net, and as mystifyingly off-putting to older generations as that pass time can be, too. It’s the lame-ass reason that Spin is cutting its reviews (because the audience can hear the music before the review is read - yes, that is what they said!), it’s why Dorian Lynskey’s desk is overflowing with dross, and why shitty “indie rock” matters less now than it ever did.

NOBODY is too old for pop music, or even the music of the younger generations, regardless of genre. I’ll leave you with this quote from Wallace Wylie:

When a music fan starts to imagine that the essential sprit of music lies in holding on to an old idea rather than embracing a new one, it’s probably fair to say that they have become something of a musical conservative. I say this without labeling myself the most forward thinking of listeners. I merely state it as an absolute, unarguable fact.

Further reading:

Wallace Wylie: “Why Pop Music Matters (No Matter What Age You Are)
Dorian Lynskey “Indie Rock’s Slow & Painful Death
Scott Creney “Everything is Plastic: The Corrupting Ideal of Authenticity In Music
Slate.com “Spin Magazine To Review Albums On Twitter: Is This the Death Of Music Criticism?

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
|
01.23.2012
04:41 pm
|
He-She: The most cunning, vicious and fiendish killer of all time!
01.23.2012
03:33 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
One of the weirdest villains in the history of comic books was the formidable He-She. A creation of writer and artist Chuck Biro, the part man/part woman baddie appeared in the pages of Crimebuster comics featuring crime fighter Chuck Chandler. The series ran from 1942 to 1956.

Crimebuster had no super powers. Chuck Chandler decided to fight crime (Nazis, specifically) after his parents were murdered by Iron Jaw, who was Crimebuster’s main recurring nemesis and a really pretty nasty bad guy.

Want to read the whole exciting comic featuring He-She? Go here.

Posted by Marc Campbell
|
01.23.2012
03:33 pm
|
Rock banned: X-Rated pop music
01.23.2012
02:51 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
Broadcast on UK Channel 4 in 2001, Top Ten: X-Rated looks at the banning of rock and rap songs and videos on radio and TV. Hosted, appropriately, by a snarling John Lydon.

Ironically, the documentary itself was not banned despite been chock full of nasty bits - thanks to the progressive programming at Channel 4

Among the banned: Scott Walker,  2 Live Crew, The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, The Sex Pistols, Ice T, N.W.A, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Kool Keith, Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin and The Pogues.
 

 
Part two after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Marc Campbell
|
01.23.2012
02:51 pm
|
Mickey Mouse meets Joy Division (official Disney merchandise!)
01.23.2012
02:37 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
WTF?

Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey’s image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That’s appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!

No, this is not merely another lame meme, this is something that is actually manufactured and sold by the Walt Disney Corporation! Reedonkulous. Buy yours at the Disney store...
 

 

Thank you Lenora Claire!

Posted by Richard Metzger
|
01.23.2012
02:37 pm
|
Wolfgang Riechmann’s ‘Wunderbar’ in a video mega-mix
01.22.2012
04:40 pm
Topics:
Tags:

image
 
Here’s something from the Dangerous Minds’ archives that was originally posted on March 4, 2011.

Wolfgang Riechmann was part of the German electronic scene of the 1970s centered in and around Düsseldorf . He started composing music in the 60’s in a group called Spirits of Sound with Wolfgang Flur who later became a founding member of Kraftwerk.

Riechmann released only one album, the brilliant Wunderbar, just one month before he was tragically stabbed to death in a random act of violence.

In Wunderbar, which was released from Sky Records in 1978, the influences of the so-called Berlin school (Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze etc.) and the so-called Düsseldorf School (NEU!, Kraftwerk, La Düsseldorf) can be recognised. The main elements of his compositions are simple sequencer and drum patterns, filtered through Riechmann’s personal harmonies and simple (even simplistic) but mature melodies. The music in Wunderbar has been described as ‘‘modern, electronic pop, in a league with Kraftwerk and NEU!.”

The following video consists of all six tracks of Wunderbar.

1. Wunderbar (5:40)
2. Abendlicht (4:21)
3. Weltweit (7:00)
4. Silberland (7:41)
5. Himmelblau (8:38)
6. Traumzeit (1:11)

The video is a collage of vintage European erotica that contains some nudity that most viewers will find more campy than sexy. But I think it works nicely with Reichmann’s music.
 

 
Previously on DM: Brad Laner on Wolfgang Riechmann

Posted by Marc Campbell
|
01.22.2012
04:40 pm
|
Pirate Bay’s brilliant statement about SOPA and PIPA


This template for the SOPA blackout (the one we used) was created by Zachary Johnson.

Depending on where you live, you might not be able to read the thought-provoking polemic posted by the Pirate Bay yesterday, so here it is in full. It’s well worth reading.

INTERNETS, 18th of January 2012. PRESS RELEASE, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

Over a century ago Thomas Edison got the patent for a device which would “do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear”. He called it the Kinetoscope. He was not only amongst the first to record video, he was also the first person to own the copyright to a motion picture.

Because of Edisons patents for the motion pictures it was close to financially impossible to create motion pictures in the North american east coast. The movie studios therefor relocated to California, and founded what we today call Hollywood. The reason was mostly because there was no patent.

There was also no copyright to speak of, so the studios could copy old stories and make movies out of them - like Fantasia, one of Disneys biggest hits ever.

So, the whole basis of this industry, that today is screaming about losing control over immaterial rights, is that they circumvented immaterial rights. They copied (or put in their terminology: “stole”) other peoples creative works, without paying for it. They did it in order to make a huge profit. Today, they’re all successful and most of the studios are on the Fortune 500 list of the richest companies in the world. Congratulations - it’s all based on being able to re-use other peoples creative works. And today they hold the rights to what other people create. If you want to get something released, you have to abide to their rules. The ones they created after circumventing other peoples rules.

The reason they are always complainting about “pirates” today is simple. We’ve done what they did. We circumvented the rules they created and created our own. We crushed their monopoly by giving people something more efficient. We allow people to have direct communication between each other, circumventing the profitable middle man, that in some cases take over 107% of the profits (yes, you pay to work for them).

It’s all based on the fact that we’re competition.

We’ve proven that their existance in their current form is no longer needed. We’re just better than they are.

And the funny part is that our rules are very similar to the founding ideas of the USA. We fight for freedom of speech. We see all people as equal. We believe that the public, not the elite, should rule the nation. We believe that laws should be created to serve the public, not the rich corporations.

The Pirate Bay is truly an international community. The team is spread all over the globe - but we’ve stayed out of the USA. We have Swedish roots and a swedish friend said this:

The word SOPA means “trash” in Swedish. The word PIPA means “a pipe” in Swedish. This is of course not a coincidence. They want to make the internet inte a one way pipe, with them at the top, shoving trash through the pipe down to therest of us obedient consumers.

The public opinion on this matter is clear. Ask anyone on the street and you’ll learn that no one wants to be fed with trash. Why the US government want the American people to be fed with trash is beyond our imagination but we hope that you will stop them, before we all drown.

SOPA can’t do anything to stop TPB. Worst case we’ll change top level domain from our current .org to one of the hundreds of other names that we already also use. In countries where TPB is blocked, China and Saudi Arabia springs to mind, they block hundreds of our domain names. And did it work? Not really.

To fix the “problem of piracy” one should go to the source of the problem. The entertainment industry say they’re creating “culture” but what they really do is stuff like selling overpriced plushy dolls and making 11 year old girls become anorexic. Either from working in the factories that creates the dolls for basically no salary or by watching movies and tv shows that make them think that they’re fat.

In the great Sid Meiers computer game Civilization you can build Wonders of the world. One of the most powerful ones is Hollywood. With that you control all culture and media in the world. Rupert Murdoch was happy with MySpace and had no problems with their own piracy until it failed. Now he’s complainting that Google is the biggest source of piracy in the world - because he’s jealous. He wants to retain his mind control over people and clearly you’d get a more honest view of things on Wikipedia and Google than on Fox News.

Some facts (years, dates) are probably wrong in this press release. The reason is that we can’t access this information when Wikipedia is blacked out. Because of pressure from our failing competitors. We’re sorry for that.

—THE PIRATE BAY, (K)2012

UPDATE: The reddit thread about this essay is also worth reading.

Posted by Richard Metzger
|
01.19.2012
05:57 pm
|
Page 131 of 213 ‹ First  < 129 130 131 132 133 >  Last ›