Class Warfare: Radical French philosopher Guy Debord’s Situationist board game
12.02.2016
09:33 am

Topics:
Class War
Games
Politics

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Kriegspiel


Guy Debord and Alice Becker-Ho playing Kriegspiel in 1977. Photo by Jeanne Cornet via Cabinet
 
After he disbanded the Situationist International in 1972, one of the obsessions that consumed Guy Debord was a board game he invented. Kriegspiel, or Le Jeu de la Guerre—German and French, respectively, for “war game”—was based on Debord’s reading of the military theorist Carl von Clausewitz. The London-based group Class Wargames describes Kriegspiel’s purpose concisely:

For Debord, The Game of War wasn’t just a game - it was a guide to how people should live their lives within Fordist society. By playing, revolutionary activists could learn how to fight and win against the oppressors of spectacular society.

So convinced was Debord of the game’s utility and revolutionary potential that, in 1977, he founded Les Jeux Stratégiques et Historiques (Strategic and Historic Games) to produce a limited run of Kriegspiel sets. Ten years later, Debord and his wife Alice Becker-Ho published a book about Kriegspiel, Le Jeu de la Guerre. Debord opens the sixth chapter of his memoir Panegyric with these reflections on his game:

I have been very interested in war, in the theoreticians of its strategy, but also in reminiscences of battles and in the countless other disruptions history mentions, surface eddies on the river of time. I am not unaware that war is the domain of danger and disappointment, perhaps even more so than the other sides of life. This consideration has not, however, diminished the attraction that I have felt for it.

And so I have studied the logic of war. Moreover, I succeeded, a long time ago, in presenting the basics of its movements on a rather simple board game: the forces in contention and the contradictory necessities imposed on the operations of each of the two parties. I have played this game and, in the often difficult conduct of my life, I have utilized lessons from it – I have also set myself rules of the game for this life, and I have followed them. The surprises of this Kriegspiel seem inexhaustible; and I fear that this may well be the only one of my works that anyone will dare acknowledge as having some value. On the question of whether I have made good use of such lessons, I will leave it to others to decide.

The Atlas Press English-language edition of Becker-Ho and Debord’s book, A Game of War, comes with a board and punch-out pieces, but Board Game Geek warns that this edition “has a faulty translation of the rules, making it more or less unplayable.” The Radical Software Group’s web version of the game has been down for some time. So if, like me, you enjoy using things without paying for them, the best bet seems to be Class Wargames’ printable boards, pieces, and battle maps. Their website also has the free book Class Wargames: Ludic subversion against spectacular capitalism, plus information about such radical board games as Imperialism in Space, which promises to give players “a critical understanding of the political and theoretical arguments of Vladimir Lenin’s famous 1916 pamphlet Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism.”

After the jump, an explanation of Kriegspiel’s rules….

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Why not have a ‘Doctor Who’ Weeping Angel-themed Christmas tree this year?
12.02.2016
09:24 am

Topics:
Amusing
Television

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Weeping Angel tree topper can be found here.

If you haven’t guessed by now, the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who are by far my most favorite predatory creatures from the sci-fi TV series. They’re nastier than the Daleks! I’ve blogged about them a lot here on Dangerous Minds. They’re truly terrifying (don’t blink around ‘em). What I didn’t know though, is that you can actually dress your Christmas tree from head to toe in Weeping Angel gear! If you want a considerable less joyeaux noel tree this year, why not go all the way and make it a terrifying one?

I did a little Internet digging and was able to construct an entire tree festooned of Weeping Angels. It’s easy! I’ve added the links of where to buy underneath each image.


Weeping Angel string Christmas tree lights can be found here.
 

 

Weeping Angel ornament can be found here.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Meet ‘The Fred Banana Combo’ Germany’s first new wave punks
12.02.2016
08:56 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

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While the name of Düsseldorf band The Fred Banana Combo might sound more like something you’d come across in a bargain bin at your local record shop, don’t let their amusing moniker fool you as it appears the somewhat obscure band was responsible for releasing what has often been classified as “the very first independent punk/new wave single” to come out in Germany in 1978. The single contained two hot tracks, “No Destination Blues” and the in-your-face “Jerk off All Night Long.”

The band were one of many that played legendary Düsseldorf punk club the Ratinger Hof in the 80s, which also served as a rehearsal place for the band. The Ratinger Hof was a mecca for up and coming punk bands, many who gained a foothold thanks to the The Hof’s fertile breeding ground. Discovered by Krautrock king Conny Plank (who would produce the band’s first four records) Fred Banana’s sound, much like Plank’s, is rather unique. Purely punk at times FBC enjoyed infusing their sound up with new wave and power pop with most of their jams punching out in less than three minutes. The band’s first full-length album, 1981’s FBC was fast, loud and rowdy and when combined all eighteen tracks on the record clock in at just over 30 minutes. Like a lot of bands trying to cut their teeth FBC was fond of doing covers and have recorded a few great ones including Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” and “Runaway” by Del Shannon. Both songs feature the fantastic vocals of FBC’s Nicolle Meyer—formerly the muse of influential French photographer and Man Ray protégé Guy Bourdin. The multi-talented Ms. Meyer also doubled as the timekeeper for FBC.
 

 
FBC were no more by the late 80s only to return with their original lineup in 2015 and a new record containing eleven fresh songs. One of them, the devastatingly cool “Splinters”  features the guest vocals of Sara Jay of Massive Attack fame. The Best of The Old Shit and The New Shit also contains twenty tracks from the band’s back catalog as well as a DVD featuring FBC appearances on Rockpalast. I’ve included two FBC live performances from 1980, their excellent cover of “Bird on a Wire,” plus the original song “I Don’t Know,” as well as “No Destination Blues” and “Splinters” for you to listen to below. I would have posted the masterfully weird “Jerk Off All Night Long” but it came along with lots of photos of topless ladies which while they pair perfectly with the songs title, was a little too visually stimulating to post here on a family publication like DM. You can “listen” to it here whenever you’re needing some alone time.

Much more after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Black Flag: Scorching multi-camera pro-shot concert, live in San Francisco, 1984
12.01.2016
03:29 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

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Here’s an outstanding specimen of Black Flag as a galvanizing live act. This was one of Black Flag’s strongest lineups, Greg/Henry/Kira and Descendents stalwart Bill Stevenson on the drums.

This was recorded on August 26, 1984, at the Stone in San Francisco for the explicit purpose of making an official SST live album and video. The album came out—its title was Live ‘84—but the VHS release never happened. The Jettisoundz VHS release known simply as Black Flag is not the same show, that set was recorded in Bradford in the UK a few months earlier.

Black Flag start the show with an 8-minute-plus version of “The Process Of Weeding Out” that (even though it sounds good) had me in the mind of making a Spinal Tap “jazz odyssey” joke, but wouldn’t you know, the next three songs are “Nervous Breakdown,” “I Can’t Decide,” and “Slip It In” and the unmistakable Black Flag fury is fully present and accounted for. Kira is in excellent form during this entire set.
 

Setlist:
The Process Of Weeding Out
Nervous Breakdown
I Can’t Decide
Slip It in
My Ghetto
Black Coffee
I Won’t Stick Any of You Unless and Until I Can Stick All of You!
Forever Time
Six Pack
My War
Jealous Again
I Love You
Swinging Man
Three Nights
Nothing Left Inside
Fix Me
Wound up
Rats Eyes
The Bars

 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment