FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
Where Angels Fear to Tread: Willy DeVille, rock’s beautiful loser
06.05.2013
10:21 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Rocker Willy DeVille died in 2009 at age 58 from pancreatitis and other health problems resulting from his hard-partying lifestyle. Willy’s band Mink Deville was one of the original CBGB’s house bands in New York from 1975-77 and his hipness factor has been well documented. He spent much of his solo career playing in New York, New Orleans, and Europe, where he was incredibly popular. In fact, Willy’s eclectic music was much more well received in France than in the U.S. Undoubtedly his choice to record the Mink DeVille album Le Chat Bleu in Paris and his use of Cajun rhythms and French ballads contributed to his popularity there. 

DeVille had a deep-seated hatred for Los Angeles, even though he often recorded at LA studios where cocaine was plentiful, and utilized Latino musicians (including David Hidalgo from Los Lobos) to create his Spanish-Americana roots music. Willy told Sheila René for Rocknet in 1995, “I say it every time I record in L.A. — that I’ll never do it again, and I keep doing it. It’s crazy. I just record and go to the hotel, and never go out, then back to the studio. I hate L.A. It’s the worst. I think they eat their children there. I never saw any kids.”

He also had a mother-hen tendency to worry about other musicians, particularly expat Englishmen, who moved to The City of Angels.

French producer Philippe Rault, based in L.A., recalled a few years before Willy’s death:

“Willy should be worried about his own personal condition than about Englishmen coming to LA. To him, in the pantheon of myth of Willy DeVille’s mind, which is quite large, LA symbolizes Sodom and Gomorrah, the worst of the worst of everything. This is a Connecticut boy who was spooked a few times in LA and never got over it.  Basically everything that has to do with LA is bad.  To him, going there was a totally decadent situation and somebody was going to go off the deep end. He wasn’t completely wrong in a number of cases, because it has happened along the way.  When you look at what David Bowie and John Lennon and all these guys did when they came to LA at one point in their career, it kind of equals downfall and all kinds of wild lifestyles that led to a very difficult moment. But it’s such a stereotype, it’s not even funny. They got over their chemical dependencies but Willy never got over his. My wish for Willy is to get himself back together.”

 

 

Rault wrote to me recently:

Let’s look at the real facts of Willy’s career. If failure and addiction warped his vision of Los Angeles, this was mainly a result of his early encounters with two important local music business entities. For starters Capitol Records, which signed Mink de Ville in 1977 and thoroughly sabotaged the group’s career within the framework of a three albums deal, starting with Cabretta. The Capitol executives thought they had signed a ‘punk’ band out of CBGB’s and were expecting to have inked their own Ramones or Television. They probably never listened to the original demos that their scout Ben Edmonds had brought from New York, definitely no punks here. So that was misunderstanding number one. The second album, Return to Magenta, got totally embroiled in a dispute between the band and the company, mostly over money.  Le Chat Bleu, the final album recorded in France, was never even released in America and strictly left to the French division of Capitol/EMI, Pathé Marconi to put out.  Only Frenchmen with strange musical affinities would appreciate and enjoy that one. And they did, paving the way for Willy’s future European career.

Then there was Jack Nitzche, the musically super talented but also very twisted man Willy described several times as ‘my crazy uncle.’ He was the incarnation of excesses of all types, L.A. style, and consequently brought along a heavy doom and gloom vibe… So associated with the dark side of L.A. that he contributed in a big way to block that celebrated California sun out of Willy’s eyes. Jack produced the first two Mink de Ville albums and Steve Douglas, Jack’s protégé, would produce Le Chat Bleu. Then Jack returned and produced Coup de Grâce in 1981, this time for Atlantic. After that Nitzche kept coming back and knocking at Willy’s door.  In 1991 he was due to produce Willy’s first FNAC Music album Backstreets of Desire, but by this time Willy and his wife Lisa had finally seen the light. Willy had started straightening himself out from his heroin addiction and he decided to get away from his crazy uncle.

So much for that complex and ambiguous relationship with the record company and the producer. Career failure and drugs were certainly not the exclusivity of Los Angeles, but symbolically they surely contributed in Willy’s mind to associate the place with distrust and the dark side.

Now let’s see what ended up in the plus column in his association with Los Angeles.

His only ever gold album emerged from Los Angeles in 1992 and launched a whole new phase in his professional life, bringing him artistic and financial success that he had never enjoyed before. Not in America of course, but in Europe. This is the town where a great mariachi band, Nati Cano’s ‘Los Camperos,’ helped Willy create a new rendering of ‘Hey Joe,’ which would ignite his prospects in a big way. I had the privilege to produce that record and even though we did not know we had a hit at the time, we sensed something exciting and unique had happened in the studio. The Mexican touch gave a completely new spin to that hackneyed neo-folk song which had peaked in 1967 with Jimi Hendrix’s take on the story of the man running south of the border to escape the law and the consequences of his crime. Willy totally identified with the ‘bandido’ persona and slid into that character like a hand into a glove. The follow-up video shoot took place in Tijuana, naturally. His first and only gold single, right out of Los Angeles with an all Mexican musicians band, in a studio on Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood.

Also in L.A. I introduced Willy to John Philip Shenale in 1992, in that unhip place known to the world as the San Fernando Valley. This introduction resulted in a long and very creative relationship, which would generate four albums: Big Easy Fantasy, Loup Garou, Crow Jane Alley, and his final album in 2008, Pistola. Phil Shenale did great work with Willy out of his North Hollywood compound, with albums that maintained Willy’s career in Europe in a major way, as he had, in all practicality, given up on his American career. By then Willy did not want to work in the U.S. any longer and the music business here returned the favor. No label wanted to touch him. He was a junky, a has-been, an unreliable entity you did not want to get close to. Only Gary Stewart and Rhino Records’ Forward label attempted to make a go for it in the U.S., without success unfortunately, with the Backstreets of Desire album.

These are the hard facts in Willy’s career and should be taken into consideration as they run contrary to the myth and perspective he liked to propagate of Los Angeles as a ‘plastic’ town, an unholy place to avoid, a locale made for final artistic hell. One can truly argue that in the second phase of his career Los Angeles was quite good to Willy, as he was at last getting his life together again. For a recording career point of view, it turned out to be a very beneficial place for him to work from after all.

One final very positive and important event in Willy’s tumultuous life also happened in Los Angeles. He met his third wife at Capitol Records. Nina Lagerwall, the woman who in the last nine years of his life would stand by him and take care of him in his most difficult moments, until his demise in August 2009.

French guitarist Freddy Koella, who played and recorded with Willy (and shared a love for James Trussart guitars) explained in an e-mail this week why Willy did so much better in France than here:

“[Willy] represented a poetic picture of the American. The Europeans are still fascinated with the U.S. Willy also loved Europe. Its art. Europeans were touched by it. With his different costumes during the years, he was also very entertaining and difficult to grab. A certain mystery. The drug factor also played a role for the fascination. Europeans are also more forgiven about personal battles. He was the beautiful loser. For him to be popular in the U.S, he would have had to get aligned with the norm and work hard. He couldn’t do that. Fighting hard wasn’t his thing.

When he used substances, he was unpredictable. We can consider that a sickness. His team knew it and was ready for that.  At times, yes, drugs affected his work..  But physically he had a strong nature, so he was able to manage most of the time. But when he was on his game he was very easy to work with. A very good heart, good sense of humor, a genuinely good person. A friend. It was frustrating at times. But we would forgive him.

He was a very good musician, singer, very instinctive. He had his vision and stuck to it. He loved to emulate his heroes, the old blues guys. He had a very unique voice. You heard his voice for two seconds and you recognized him instantly. That’s the mark of a great artist.”

 

 
“Spanish Stroll” at Montreux, 1982

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright
|
06.05.2013
10:21 am
|
The Dead Pool: Jim Bell’s crowd-funded ‘Assassination Politics’
06.05.2013
10:20 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Richard’s epic rant yesterday on Ernst Stavro Blofeld Peter Brabeck’s unfortunate remarks on privatizing water reminded me of an idea developed by crypto-anarchist Jim Bell that was controversial even in those circles and that (according to some) is what landed him in Federal Prison in 1997, keeping him there on and off (mostly on) until 2012.

Bell’s idea and essay were entitled “Assassination Politics,” and if you haven’t encountered it before, well, you’re in for a bit of a shock, particularly as the nuts and bolts necessary are rapidly coming into place: Anonymous and untraceable digital cash (leveraging Bitcoin), uncrackable Internet traffic mixers in the form of the TOR network, and TOR hidden services. (According to Bell the idea is inevitable—it’s coming—though I’m personally quite skeptical of that claim. But no matter…)

Basically, the idea is this: What if there was a system that took bets on which politicians, military leaders or water-privatizing CEOs would be assassinated and when? And what if the system preserved the anonymity of any and all bettors and could pay those who “guessed” correctly without identifying them? Using modern cryptographic techniques such a system is indeed technologically possible and described (see video below). Remember The Dead Pool, Clint Eastwood’s final “Dirty Harry” film? Kinda like a high-tech crypto-anarchist version of that, but seen as a practical way to destroy the Shitstem. Big fun.

Now in case you’re tempted to believe that this is merely the dream of a Libertarian crackpot, it’s worth noting that Bell not only received a chemistry degree from MIT, he was a relatively early employee at Intel and even started a computer storage company. In other words, Bell, who admittedly is a bit of a weirdo, is most certainly not an intellectually challenged man and the AP idea makes use of a smattering of cryptographic techniques that have largely come to exist in the years since he first proposed it. So it probably can be done.

So now, you might ask, What’s so controversial about what is essentially a market for predictions? So what if people are betting on the deaths of world leaders? We all have to die sometime. Well, the key to note here is that the bettors can bet and get paid (if they are correct) without revealing their identity or location (read: IP address) on the Internet. Bell believed that this combination would prove truly irresistible to certain murder-non-averse types who a) Like lots of money and b) Like to kill people and, oh yeah, c) Who don’t mind knocking off hated dictators or other “enemies of mankind” (to quote Samuel Fuller). Indeed, according to Bell’s formulation, the system is designed precisely to encourage someone to, let’s just say, increase their odds of winning the “dead pool” substantially. Universal hatred of a specific figure would increase the odds of his or her impending transience greatly, as an enormous bounty is accumulated via all the bettors betting on (and thereby encouraging) a rapid demise.

In his essay Bell then went on to predict the collapse of world governments as they are understood today, because it would become just far too dangerous for even local petty bureaucrats to remain in their position and alive at the same time. Further claims by Bell and others predicted fewer wars, as aggressive military leaders got knocked off via gaining the opprobrium of the masses (thereby accumulating a huge payoff against his name) and then attracting legions of fortune-seeking assassins, one of whom is eventually successful and who can then cryptographically and anonymously collect his huge payout.

Of course, claims of the end of war or even the end of governments as we know them sound suspiciously like early comments about the Gatling gun: It’s such a terrible weapon that no one will start a war again (though it wasn’t too much longer before WW I showed us exactly how insightful that comment was). And does anyone really want a world in which, theoretically, anyone’s name can show up on a worldwide kill list? That’d kinda suck for American Idol contestants and pundits from the right and left. But the point here is that if the Brabecks and Koch Brothers of the world keep trying to put the rest of humanity into a great big headlock by attacking our water through fracking and privitization (an interesting combination, BTW), people with serious cypto skillz may get pissed off enough to actually build a secure AP system and load it up with a couple of names. You know: just for fun.

In other words, Herr Brabeck, you might want to rethink your position a bit. Do you REALLY want to make an enemy of practically all of humanity? Just stick to poisoning the world with your powdered baby milk formulas and candy bars and maybe you’ll live to a ripe old age.
 

Posted by Em
|
06.05.2013
10:20 am
|
Edible chocolate bumholes crafted from butt model
06.05.2013
09:27 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Yep, UK-based luxury chocolatier company Edible Anus believe they’re onto something with their bumhole chocolates which are “lovingly cast and crafted from the delectable posterior of our stunning butt model.”

We believe the anus range can dissolve the cultural boundaries of race, gender, class and sexual orientation. Join the uprising, spread the joy and let’s teach the world to love the anus.

I think a better name for this product would have been “Assterisks,” but hey, that’s just me…

They’re selling boxes of 10 anus chocolates for £4 plus shipping. Okay!
 

 

 
Via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
06.05.2013
09:27 am
|
The Rolling Stones continue their long march toward self-annihilation
06.05.2013
05:23 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Taylor Swift may look the part but but she’s no Marianne Faithfull. Not by a long fucking shot. Not only can’t Swift sing, she has no emotional grasp of the song she’s singing. “As Tears Go By” is one of the most beautifully melancholic songs ever written. Swift and the increasingly pathetic Jagger do a staggeringly insensitive and clueless rendering. Tears? Indeed.

Rolling Stones, you’ve managed to wipe out your own fucking legacy. You’ve stomped it into the ground and turned it into something that no longer remotely resembles the rock ‘n’ roll you once made that changed my life. Go fuck yourselves!
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
|
06.05.2013
05:23 am
|
‘Solo Trans’: Rare Neil Young concert film directed by Hal Ashby
06.05.2013
03:58 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Solo Trans is an uneasy blend of unfunny skits with a 1984 solo concert by Neil Young in Dayton, Ohio. Neil is in Kraftwerk meets Gene Vincent and Bo Diddley mode with some of the bits feeling downright Daft Punkian.

Solo Trans was directed by Hal Ashby and released on long-out-of-print laserdisc. While it’s not Young at his most sublime, it is an entertaining document of Young at his most whacked-out, unpredictable, contrarian and prophetic. Here’s a rare chance to see it. Thanks YouTube.


“Heart of Gold”
“Old Man”
“Helpless”
“Ohio”
“Don’t Be Denied”
“I Got a Problem”
“Hello Mr. Soul”
“Payola Blues”
“Get Gone”
“Don’t Take Your Love Away From Me”
“Do You Wanna Dance?
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
|
06.05.2013
03:58 am
|
Schmaltz king Michael Bolton had a big-haired rock band called Blackjack in the late 70s
06.04.2013
09:08 pm
Topics:
Tags:

Blackjack
Look at all that beautiful hair
 
Yes, before he was the king of terrible waiting room music, Michael Bolton (then performing under his real name, Michael Bolotin), was in a butt-rock band called Blackjack. While they only really existed for about two years, the drunken karaoke material they produced is immeasurable in value. Blackjack’s promotional film from 1979 borders on being an unintentional Spinal Tap-type parody of the most insincere (or possibly just coked out) elements of the music industry.

I know they were paid to say it, but the assurance with which the producer (that’s Grammy award-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Tom Dowd, who worked with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Derek and the Dominos, Rod Stewart, Cream, Lulu, Chicago, The Allman Brothers Band, Joe Bonamassa, The J. Geils Band, Meat Loaf, Sonny & Cher, The Rascals, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross, The Eagles, Kenny Loggins, The James Gang, Dusty Springfield, Charles Mingus, Herbie Mann, Booker T. and the MGs, Otis Redding, and Aretha Franklin, among others) and industry dude (“Doctor” so and so) tout them as The Next Big Thing is kind of awesome—definitely the product of a bygone era in the music business.

Fun fact: Blackjack once toured with Ozzy.

Below, a promotional film containing two gloriously dated videos of Michael Bolton fronting a rock band, with all the hallmarks of the era.
 

Posted by Amber Frost
|
06.04.2013
09:08 pm
|
Irish town erects fake shop fronts for G8 summit
06.04.2013
06:50 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
I shit you not. Apparently the G8 leaders and their entourages are such delicate flowers that they can’t bear to see the effect of the global recession on the towns they drive through, such as upcoming host Enniskillen in Northern Ireland.

Via RTÉ, the Irish national broadcaster:

Local councils in Northern Ireland have painted fake shop fronts and covered derelict buildings with huge billboards to hide the economic hardship being felt in towns and villages near the golf resort where G8 leaders will meet this month.

Northern Ireland’s government has spent £2m (€2.3m) tackling dereliction over the past two years, the environment department said. Some buildings have been demolished and others have been given a facelift in an attempt to make areas more attractive.

Almost a quarter of “dereliction funds” were freed up for local councillors in Co Fermanagh in anticipation of Britain hosting the annual Group of Eight leaders’ summit there on 17-18 June. More than 100 properties have been spruced up. In the one-street town of Belcoo, the changes are merely cosmetic.

At a former butcher’s shop, stickers applied to the windows show a packed meat counter and give the impression that business is booming. Across the street, another empty unit has been given a makeover to look like a thriving office supply shop.

Locals are unimpressed. “The shop fronts are cosmetic surgery for serious wounds. They are looking after the banks instead of saving good businesses,” said Kevin Maguire, 62, an unemployed man who has lived all his life in Belcoo.

Full story here.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
|
06.04.2013
06:50 pm
|
Dangerous Finds for 06/04/13
06.04.2013
03:25 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
The next Doctor in Doctor Who should be a woman - Slate

After Fifteen Quiet Years, Rodan’s Jeff Mueller and Tara Jane O’Neil Speak - VV

Stream Rodan’s Fifteen Quiet Years - Pitchfork Advance

Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes - BBC News

1,021 drivers stopped at Burbank DUI checkpoint; 0 were drunk - LA Times

An all cardboard trailer of Werner Herzog’s Fitzcaraldo - YouTube

Community will ticket parents of chronic bullies - Today

Drone-delivered pizza - Boing Boing

Ira Glass on how and why he became an atheist - Explore

Evolution of the Star Wars logo - Tenth Letter of the Alphabet

Teen prohibited from attending prom because her breasts are too big - Gawker

The Taco Bell “Taco Licker” has been fired - BuzzFeed

As our capacity for abstract thinking grows, so too have our IQ scores - Salon

Fight broke out during amputee football match - Arbroath

Just a short Robert Tilton tongues blast: He loves you - Christian Nightmares

“Came across a 150lbs wolf dog” - reddit

Doctor Who: Matt Smith replacement could be announced next month - Radio Times

Animations of Oscar Wilde’s children’s stories The Happy Prince and more - Open Culture

CBS 3 anchor Nicole Brewer really doesn’t like weatherwoman Carol Erickson - The Philly Post

Facebook disables game in which Orthodox Christians destroy gay activists - Towerload

Breaking Bad is almost over, new poster cruelly reminds us - Vulture

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
06.04.2013
03:25 pm
|
DO THE MATH: Woman’s passionate demolition of ignorant immigration argument is AMAZING
06.04.2013
02:58 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
Wowzers! A truly heartfelt and passionate poetic rant by Hollie McNish on why people’s thoughts on immigrants “destroying the country” are so wrong… Because math.

“Immigrants bring more pluses than minuses.” She’s talking about Britain, but Hollie’s math applies to just about everywhere.
 

 
Via UpWorthy

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
06.04.2013
02:58 pm
|
Time of the Assassins: ‘The conversation’ about privatizing water needs to end NOW

“The purpose of my writing is to expose and arrest Nova Criminals.”
― William S. Burroughs, Nova Express

In the mid-1970s, William Burroughs wrote a monthly column for the rock magazine Crawdaddy called “Time of the Assassins” (which he got from a line of Rimbaud’s “Voici le temps des Assassins”).

Evocative, isn’t it? The “Time of the Assassins.” It has such a nice ring to it.

That we may soon be (or already are) living in an age that would require assassins struck me last week as I was watching the controversial statements made by former Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (today he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nestlé S.A.) who said that water should be valued like any other commodity. Brabek’s comments were made in a 2005 documentary, We Feed the World, and are today, eight years later, being scrutinized in horror and exchanged feverishly by lefties on social media. As a result, Brabek’s been on the receiving end of quite a lot of stick on Facebook and Twitter, and not without some justification, if you ask me.
 

 
Brabeck’s flawed “free market” remarks betray such a peculiarly evil “logic” that only an extremely wealthy man, far, far removed from the rest of humanity, could have conceived of it:

My name is Peter Brabeck. I’m from Villach in Carinthia. And for the past 7-years I’ve been head of the Nestlé Group, the largest foodstuff corporation in the world, with a turnover of around 90 billion Swiss francs or around $65 billion, and with around 275,000 employees working directly for us. So, it’s quite a large ship. We’re the twenty-seventh largest company in the world.

Today, people believe that everything that comes from Nature is good. That represents a huge change because until recently, we always learnt that Nature could be pitiless. Man is now in the position of being able to provide some balance to Nature, but in spite of this, we have something approaching a shibboleth that everything that comes from Nature is good. A very good example is the organic movement. Organic is now best. But organic is not best.

After 15-years of eating GM food products in the USA, not one single case of illness has occurred from eating them to date. And in spite of this, we’re all so uneasy about it in Europe that something might happen to us. It’s hypocrisy more than anything else.

Ah yes, if you overlook what that benevolent gangsta Monsanto is doing to the soil and the water in much of the country and the fact that our vegetables have mere fractions of the nutrients they used to (like apples and spinach), then, yeah, I see his point. LOL.

There’s that lovely old Austrian folk song: “The dear cattle need water, hollera, holleri,” if you remember. Water is of course the most important raw material we have today in the world. It’s a question of whether we should privatize the normal water supply for the population. And there are two different opinions on the matter.

The one opinion which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means that as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution.

It’s an extreme position to expect… water? Wait, wait, come on, let’s let the man who is the Chairman of the world’s largest multinational manufacturer of bottled water define his terms, before we lay into him, shall we:

And the other view says that water is a foodstuff like any other and like any other foodstuff it should have a market value. Personally, I believe it’s better to give foodstuff a value, so that we’re all aware that it has a price, and then that one should take specific measures for the part of the population that has no access to this water and there are many different possibilities there.

Okay, folks, I’ve heard enough, go ahead get your knives out for this bastard.

And if that wasn’t bad enough already, then he really goes off into the stratosphere:

I’m still of the opinion that the biggest social responsibility of any CEO is to maintain and ensure the successful and profitable future of his enterprise. For only if we can ensure our continued long term existence will we be in the position to actively participate in the solution of the problems that exist in the world.

What.The.Fuck.Is.This.Guy.Talking.About? The obesity or diabetes epidemics he’s done his part for, perchance? Brabeck-Letmathe helmed goddamned Nestlé for seven years! It’s the largest foodstuff corporation in the entire world and just look at what their over-packaged, corn syrup-heavy product lines consist of! Nestlé, the corporation that ran a massive advertising campaign in Africa discouraging breast feeding and then sold African mothers powdered milk, which they diluted with dirty water resulting in the deaths of literally millions of infants? (The UN had to get involved!) Nestlé the corporation that turns a blind eye to child labor practices… That Nestlé?
 

 
I’d trust Peter Brabeck—who started working for the corporation in 1968 and was the 2007 recipient of a “Black Planet” award given for destroying the environment, monopolizing water resources and tolerating child labor—and Nestlé‘s shareholders with the water supply of a Third World nation like I’d trust a fuckin’ coyote to keep an eye on my Chihuahua. A Russian hacker with all my online banking passwords. A famished shark with my good luck ham.... (Sorry, I think I got carried away there).

First it will be some country we’ve never heard of and will never visit in our lives. Next thing you know, a Republican governor will be proposing to privatize the water supply in a southern state… because, you know, the freemarket is more efficient than the private sector or perhaps just because a Swiss multinational food company donated a shit-ton of money to his campaign ....

We’re in the position of being able to create jobs: 275,000 here, 1.2 million who are directly dependent on us in principle. That makes around 4.5 million people in total—because behind each of our employees are another 3 people, so we have at least 4.5 million people who are directly dependent on us.

Because the world needs moar Kit-Kats! The idea that the notoriously predatory Nestlé is somehow “a part” of the solution to poverty at this advanced stage of capitalism’s life cycle is surrealism at its best. Brabek’s like a caricature of a crazed Bilderberger. I half-expect him to goosestep around wearing a paper Burger King crown and tissue boxes on his feet in his private moments. He is Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, incarnate. Ah Pook is here!

The part of the video clip that has nothing to do with privatizing water is actually the best bit, in terms of the off-the-scale absurdity of this privileged man’s blinkered 1% vantage point.. on the “little people”:

If you want to create work, you have to work yourself, not as it was in the past, where existing work was distributed. If you remember the main argument for the 35-hour-week was that there would be a certain amount of work and it would be better if we worked less and distributed the work amongst more people. That has proved quite clearly to be wrong. If you want to create more work you have to work more yourself. And with that we’ve got to create a positive image of the world for people, and I see absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t be positive about the future. We’ve never had it so good, we’ve never had so much money, we’ve never been so healthy, we’ve never lived as long as we do today. We have everything we want, and still we go around as if we were in mourning for something.

The Japanese. You can see how modern those factories are; highly robotized, almost no people.

(Shakes head) You get the picture. I present to you, solely on the basis that he spoke these words (which he ostensibly seems to believe), that the man is a criminally insane psychopathic wanker. He has the worldview of a sociopath top executive of a large multinational, which of course, he is. If Peter Brabek were willing to share his nine million euros a year salary with some of Nestlé‘s rank and file workers in Bangladesh, I’ll bet they’d be JUST FINE with with cutting back their work week and spending more quality time with their kids instead of slaving in sub-human working conditions to make Hot Pockets that’ll be bought on a credit card at Wal-Mart by a morbidly obese couch potato living in Georgia… Just sayin’...
 

Image via The Yes Men

Naturally, seeing the consternation his words have unleashed, Brabeck tried to back-peddle furiously, limiting the damage that his 2005 remarks have caused in an essay that he (or more than likely a PR flunky at Nestlé) wrote for Huffington Post (Whose side are they on, anyway? Brabeck or humanity’s?)

At its heart, though, is still the kernel of the idea that it’s a good idea to put a price tag on water:

I do need to correct a misconception that has fueled a lot of the criticism on Facebook and elsewhere.

I do not deny that clean and safe water to drink or for basic hygiene is a human right. Of course it is.

However, I do not think it is right that some people in the world do not have access to a clean, safe supply when others can use excess amounts for non-essential purposes without bearing a fairer cost for the infrastructure needed to supply it.

When we give water a value, we use it more carefully, and this does not mean privatization.

Sounds almost high-minded, don’t it? I love this part, too:

Why does a company like Nestlé care about this?

Our consumers need access to clean, safe water and decent sanitation, wherever they are in the world, as do our hundreds of thousands of employees, their families and friends. As a good global citizen, we have a responsibility to be part of the solution.

And to skim a little off the top and then eventually skim a lot off the top... Hey, that’s capitalism, baby! The first sip is free!

Which brings us full circle back to William Burroughs: In The Naked Lunch, the author laid out a nightmarish vision of an out-of-control, planet-destroying consumer culture addicted to that which will most certainly kill it, with the metaphor of a junkie hooked on, and controlled by his metabolic need for heroin.

As Burroughs wrote to Jack Kerouac:

“The title means exactly what the words say: naked lunch, a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork.”

“The little people” are what will be on the end of Nestlé‘s fork if elitist viewpoints like Peter Brabek’s hold sway over public debate. It’s an idea that should be stomped out with extreme mob violence, if you ask me. Eliminated from the conversation.

I think it’s fair to say that 100% of the human race is “addicted” to water and this is why, when I listened to what Herr Brabeck had to say, I thought of William Burroughs and wondered, if he were alive, what he would make of all this.

What chance does the human race have with enemies of Earth like this, when vast monied interests and multinationals start to have designs on our drinking water?

Time for the assassins?
 

 
Thank you Paul Gallagher!

Posted by Richard Metzger
|
06.04.2013
02:57 pm
|
Page 967 of 2233 ‹ First  < 965 966 967 968 969 >  Last ›