April 10, 2011


Ok, so below is a link to a cite i think most of our followers will find interesting, amusing, and for lack of a better word "the lolz". It combines critical theory with the epic suspense and strategy of a trading card game...... enjoy

April 8, 2011

Compensation for the Real: Hyper-reality, Speed, and Inertia in the Mass Media Coverage of the Arab Uprisings

The only thing faster than the protests that began nearly 3 months ago in much of the "Arab World" was the media-hyper orgy that followed behind it. News stations from all over the world covered in a multitude of languages and filtered through infinitesimal mirrors of representation and a systematic over- saturation. Systematic because it follows a throughly planned, researched and executed schema in the most literal definition it follows a system. It could seem at times that media and all of its accomplices, talk shows, headlines, interviews, opinions, interpretations, and images were intertwined to create a circus and general spectacle for the Western public.

Where has all the 'time' gone?

In just a days time it seems as though all of those geeks that were a part of the event have vanished. The Glenn Beck chalkboards, Think Tank reports, and political hooplah have seemed to slow down and even disappear; it even seems as though the revolution itself has seem to slow. A familiar for some(our own Hank Stolte) a Jean Baudrillard speaks to this in one of his more well explained aphorisms:

I repeat: it is a question here of a completely new species of uncertainty, which results not from the lack of information but from information itself and even from an excess of information. It is information itself which produces uncertainty, and so this uncertainty, unlike the traditional uncertainty which could always be resolved, is irreparable.(Implosion of the Social in Media: Selected Writings pg.212)

This "excess of information" is what the Arab uprisings became subject too. The information that travels at the speed of light over oceans and continents seeking to identify, define, and magnify every aspect of every detail of the revolution to its most extreme form confronts the audience with a chaotic potluck of interpretations, facts, and observations. The Resonance whichmany including those of our own faculty have spoken on is amplified to its extreme by the over- saturation of mass media culture and:

"This is happening today with electronic media, where information is beginning to circulate everywhere at the speed of light. There is no longer any absolute with which to measure the rest. But beneath this acceleration something is beginning to slow down absolutely"(Selected Writings: Fatal Strategies pg. 196)

This can seen by the sudden disinterestedness in Libya, now partly it is because of the downsizing of US involvement which makes it less relevant, but also because the Rebellion has failed to produce the final spectacle in a way that is reciprocal to the speed that media coverage has already produced allthe possibilities of the events finality. In compensation for the lack of real in the real, the media attempted to hyper- actualize its potential into a mass media frenzy that signified nothing to the actual revolution that was taking place- although appetizing and seemingly delicious for most of the American public. However, 'beneath this acceleration something is beginning to slow down absolutely' the over- saturation of the media and images shoved down our consciousness inevitably begins to bring us to a slowness, a place of uncertainty and inertia. We turn to Baudrillard's Fatal Strategies:

"Tentacular, protuberant, excrescent, hypertelic: this is the inertial destiny of a saturated world. The denial of its own end in {190 Fatal Strategies} hyperfinality; is this not also the mechanism of cancer? The revenge of growth in excrescence. The revenge and summons of speed in inertia. The masses are also caught in this gigantic process of inertia by acceleration. The masses are this excrescent process, which precipitates all growth towards ruin. It is the circuit that is short circuited by a monstrous" finality.(Selected Writings: Fatal Strategies pg. 190)

Our excrescent coverage of the phenomenon has entangled and essentially sped past(at the speed of light)the event, This simulated media transcendence of the event leaves the actual event as a dying carcass challenged to overcome its more perfected and hyperreal form that the media has produced. However, because it has failed to overcome this challenge for whatever reason, the event has been finalized, actualized, and transcended in its most extreme form. Thus the event has been 'caught in this gigantic process of inertia by acceleration' that has transcended and gone above the experience of the pure event. In this transcendence the physical body of the event these revolutions are frozen in time never able to proceed on its destiny because it has already been predetermined by the subjective creation of its end and finality.

April 6, 2011

Graffiti as Culture Jamming

"People say there is a graffiti problem. The only problem with graffiti is that there is not enough of it. Imagine a city where graffiti wasn't illegal, a city where everbody could draw wherever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colors and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a living breathing thing which belonged to everybody, not just estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like this and stop leaning against that wall--its wet"--Banksy in Existencilism

Before I begin my post this an introductory post that will be expanded upon at a later date.

The well known street artist Banksy adequately captures the feelings of many revolutions, an attempt to make society and the city unified and a collective unit not one run by a larger superstructure. While Banksy describes it through the aesthetics of art in his article "Bombing Modernism" Amos Klausner describes how the social conditions, the slums and the ghettos that began to fester across the United States during the modernist push post World War II was not exposed and brought to public attention by politics but instead "It came from the heart of the ghetto where new voices were quick to take up arms against the status quo. Holstered with felt tip markers and spray cans, truth was recognized in a colorful show of force and bravado. For graffiti artists , manipulating letters became lifeblood and fighting back meant getting ill, and ill-legible." (Read all of Klausner's Article Here)

In later posts I will go more in depth analyzing Kalusner's observations of graffiti on the built environment. This introductory post just means to pose the question is graffiti a line of fracture? How does graffiti contribute to revolutionary movements? The answer is actually found in a graffiti slogan of May '68 "This Concerns Everyone." Graffiti reaches all those who see it and influences their perception of the space around them because the graffiti reshaped the area and creates a new aesthetic feeling for the area that can affect individuals who pass by. Is it coincidence that in order to communicate rebel groups in Libya use graffiti to organize meetings similar to the way the French resistance did in World War II? In the posts that follow over time I will devote 4 Post to 1. The role of graffiti in revolutionary communications 2. The affect graffiti has on the spatial plane 3. The movements influenced by/that utilize graffiti as a form of culture jamming 4. A collection of my personal favorite graffiti. Stay tuned for the posts to come.

April 5, 2011

Poetry: "Ramen"

boil two cups of water in a sauce pan
add the noodles and cook three minutes
stir occasionally
turn off heat, drain excess water
add content of seasoning packet
serve immediately for best results
and that’s how you make
Top Raman
Chop up some hot dogs and throw it in the pot
Cause that’s my shit
Fuck using the stove when you can microwave it in a bowl
Cause that’s my shit
Find the bottle of hot sauce to spice it up a bit
Cause that’s my shit
No need to wash dishes either cause you can crush it up in the bag
Shit, now that’s the mo’ fucking shit
Eating Top Ramen three times a day, every day, seven days a week
Cause mom has no money and that’s all we can afford to eat
Ain’t that some shit
In our house top ramen was the only father figure
The only person putting food on our table
While mom’s just working to keep the lights on
Sense the money was as absent as dad was
There was no hope left
The last ounce of essence she had left ,was crushed into a powder
and sealed in a tin foil package
so when you pour it in the mix
it shows the true meaning of soul food
injured by budget cuts so deep
that mom would stock our cabinets with 24 packs of orange and red
first aid survival kits
she was strong like ramen strait out the package
but every time she’d reach her boiling point
she would go into her room and release her tears into her pot of insecurities
so we never see her soft side
knowing that the tears she shed make the green in you pockets
go a little bit faster…
if you just add water
and the noodles would swell up like your face after you get done crying
strain all the water out, and your left with something so beautiful
how can a man leave someone so beautiful
but the tears keep coming back
how can something so beautiful come from the worst thing that can happen to you
and our mailbox gets filled with
numerous monthly statements instead of child support checks
I know it’s hard
To always feed us top ramen
Feeding us the chicken noodle soup of your soul
Even if you where sick or tired
We are sick and tired
Of your watered down stories telling us everything is going to be all right
But its all gunna be all right mama
Cause I know all about your beef with the bill collectors
And I know that I’m but a shrimp compared to your problems
But you would never be contingent to tell us what’s going on
Cause you knew that your shit can only make my noodles taste nasty
Mom raised us with the intention of us being raw men
So every night she would pray with a face full of tears
And prey to god that we can be men
And that our stomachs are never empty
She would slave through her graveyard shifts every night so she can make her zeros
Staring into the night sky singing of her super hero
Except I never had a super hero
We never had a super hero
Going through childhood in a broken home, this soup is our hero
It’s name is top ramen
Full of the power packed msg
Which never stood for
Mono sodium glutamate
But stood for
Mom stayed grinding
And also when it comes down to us
it stands for
She made us something great
And finally it stood for
My souls gratification
So this is an ode to you
Presented in a bowl like needles in a compass
Which was seasoned with by the seasons
You spent encompassed by the struggles of us
So take this hot soup as homage
Thanks mom, my childhood was delicious

April 3, 2011

Album Art Contest

Alright folks I know I haven't posted in forever, but i need yall to help me out. I have Four Albums made up and none of them have art... submit to me the original artwork for any one or all of the albums and if i pick yours you get a free copy.
email me your submission at briangonzaba@gmail.com

The titles are:
Arguments (the collection of all the songs i sing in debate rounds)
Yeah, I sing the Blues
Hiding Under The Covers
The Difference O' Love

thanks for all the help