Archive | December 4, 2013

Snapped in the Seventies: Angel Dust, LSD and High School

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 11.05.03 AMSnapped
Juan G. Escobar

“In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey.”
-Beck
We are at Dave’s house, somewhere in the middle of late 70s southern California suburbia, when the drugs begin to take hold.  I hear zzzzzshshsh, echoing waves of an almost indiscernible, vaguely insectoid buzzing sound, getting louder, crescendoing, fading out, then coming back a few seconds, minutes, hours, days, eons later.  My mouth tastes like I’ve been sucking on a handful of loose change. “What the fuck is going on?”  “Where are all the pretty colors and dancing elves?”  “Oh shit.”  “Fuck, I gotta get outta here, man!”

I had scored a hit of acid at lunch from Benny; a tab of “White Lightning”, five bucks.  Cool. I eat it and proceed to walk of campus.

I blame disco.  I used to love to go to school dances when I was in junior high.  They would play rock music, like T.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Spate Of Frightening Clown Stalking Continues In United Kingdom

clownThe Guardian on the new candy-colored face of random street terror in the decaying metropolis:

A police force has told members of the public to ignore people dressed as clowns if they meet them in the street, after spate of reports of terrifying sightings.

Norfolk police received a report from a member of the public alarmed by a clown sighting in Gaywood, near King’s Lynn, on Tuesday evening. The suspect was described as wearing a “full clown outfit” with a red suit and red hair.

The following evening the force received a similar report after two clowns were spotted near a skate park in the town. These people wore “Halloween-type” clown masks. In both cases, the callers reported being alarmed and being chased a short way up the road. It follows recent reports of the circus characters scaring people in Northampton.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

There’s a £60m Bitcoin Heist Going Down Right Now – Watch It In Real Time

6538145_stdA high-tech heist worth £60m (about $98m US) went down over the weekend, and the internet is looking for the guy who did it.

Via The New Statesman:

One of the largest heists in bitcoin history is happening right now. 96,000 bitcoins – that’s roughly £60m as of the time of writing – was taken from the accounts of customers, vendors and administrators of the Sheep Marketplace over the weekend.

Sheep was one of the main sites that came to replace the Silk Road when it closed in October, but it too has now closed as a result of this theft. It’s a little hard to work out exactly what’s happened, but Sheep customers have been piecing it together on reddit’s r/sheepmarketplace.

Here’s what happened: someone (or some group) managed to fake the balances in peoples’ accounts on the site, showing that they had their bitcoins in their wallets when they’d actually been transferred out.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

On Consumer Choice And The Quest For Meaning

666girlsVia The New Inquiry Rob Horning warns that attempting to express our identities has become a zero-sum game:

Consumerism is sustained by the ideology that freedom of choice is the only relevant freedom; it implies that society has mastered scarcity and that accumulating things is the primary universal human good, that which allows us to understand and relate to the motives of others.

Choosing among things, in a consumer society, is what allows us to feel autonomous (no one tells us how we must spend our money) and express, or even discover, our unique individuality — which is proposed as the purpose of life. If we can experience ourselves as original, our lives will not have been spent in vain. We will have brought something new to human history; we will have been meaningful. (This is opposed to older notions of being “true” to one’s station or to God’s plan.)

The quest for originality collides with the capitalist economic imperative of growth.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Google Is Now Pouring Money Into Far-Right Wing Organizations

google earthPR Watch notes that Google’s political activities don’t necessarily match up with the views held by its workers:

Google, the tech giant supposedly guided by its “don’t be evil” motto, has been funding a growing list of groups advancing the agenda of the Koch brothers.

Organizations that received “substantial” funding from Google for the first time over the past year include Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the Federalist Society, the American Conservative Union (best known for its CPAC conference), and the political arm of the Heritage Foundation that led the charge to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act: Heritage Action.

In 2013, Google also funded the corporate lobby group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), although that group is not listed as receiving “substantial” funding in the list published by Google.

What Google considers “substantial” is not explained — no dollar amounts are given — but the language suggests significant investments from Google and, with a stock value of $330 billion, Google has considerably deep pockets.

Read the rest

Continue Reading