Apple and Microsoft still running neck-and-neck for title of “Most Evil Tech Company in the US.” Some things never change.
The saga of Ghostface Killah continues, his will made manifest thus in the form of a 70’s Italian horror movie. We are all Dario Argento’s children (save ODB, for whose style there is no father – shimmy shimmy ya, shimmy yam, shimmy yay; he liketh it raw, verily, unto the floor doth he liketh it forever and ever…)
Another blast from the past, this one from acclaimed French director Michel Gondry. I know the French fucked-up in WWII, but to be fair, we fucked them first with this whole notion that you can just overthrow whatever the hell governmental structure happens to be in-place at the time and instantly become a perfect, Platonistic ideal of democracy overnight. It’s true that our shit was derived to a significant degree from their philosophers, but it’s not like they took it seriously – at least not until 1789. We benefited from a freak one-time-only superfluosity of genius statesmen whose ambitions were unnaturally checked by a puritanical spirit of self-abnegation. They just ran with it, and their political and bureaucratic institutions have been fucked-to-hell ever since.
Say what you will, but the U.S. hasn’t produced a Michel Gondry. And it sure as hell hasn’t produced a Daft Punk. And I’ll trade you a Reign of Terror for Human After All any day of the week. But I digress…
While I’m rasping nostalgic about my youth, here’s a masterpiece by Chris Cunningham. It’s a scathing allegorical denouement for everything that’s wrong with the modern hip-hop music video, or something, I dunno, I think you just sort of go along for the ride with this shit. In any case, it’s a classic in its genre. The genre being… lemme get back to you on that…
Remember this from the DVD collection of Spike Jonze’s music videos. Back then I didn’t like rap, but I liked this video. A parody of the genre that at the same time is respectful and touching. Not sure how you pull that off, other than a video like this…
Ever heard the term “strategic bombing” and wondered what it meant? This cogent, readable history by Budiansky lays it out with all the context you need to understand this bizarre, fleeting dream: of war without fighting.
Imagine a war with no bloodbaths of opposing infantry. A war with almost no casualties, in which pinpoint strikes instantly cripple an enemy’s industrial capacity (or will) to wage war. A war ending virtually overnight in negotiated settlement, conceded by rational men because logistics rendered its outcome a foregone certainty. A war without bullets, disease, malice, or horror.
It’s easy to understand why this idea seduced idealists and military theorists alike before even powered flight was proven practical by the Wright Brothers. What’s harder to grasp is why it persisted the entire length of the 20th century, despite the nightmares of Guernica, the Blitz, Dresden, Hiroshima, and the Cold War’s inevitable doctrine of mutually-assured destruction. Budiansky follows the concept from its origin in the science-fiction of H.G. Wells, through the nuclear arms race and the second Gulf War.
Of course, you can’t really explain strategic bombing without discussing its perennially-neglected sibling, tactical air warfare. There’s plenty of good stuff about the role of Coningham’s RAF in the Battle of Britain (as it turns out, the bombers don’t always get through) as well as the hard-won (and promptly forgotten) lessons learned during WWII about close-air support, culminating in the air war of Vietnam, and that conflict’s embittered, prodigal son, the Fighter Mafia (whose championship of low-thrust-to-weight ratios led to a little ditty you may have heard of, the F-15).
Most importantly, this book’s aimed not at the airman, but the layman. You can easily digest its meaning and message even if you lack the slightest clue what I’m talking about. After all, I didn’t have a clue either, till I read it.
Damned good book.
From the album Three (2016). The next time you have to quit a job, just send this link as your letter of resignation – pretty much says it all. It’s also the most poignant – and in it’s own way, accurate – description of a bad hangover I’ve ever heard.