Tag Archives: WikiLeaks

Tea With Chris: Oblivion Scattereth

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Chris: “The ruins of Wonderland.”

Owen Pallett started a Tumblr devoted to Toronto show posters (2000-09), and it’s already fascinating – not only for suggesting what the local musical topography looked like a decade ago to us babies, but for its explicit rejection of nostalgia. Who wants to live in a museum?

New John Ashbery poem, 11 perfect lines, the last one almost a wink:

Oblivion scattereth her poppy, and besides
it’s time to go inside now,
feed the aggressive pets, forgive our trespasses
for trespassing against us.

Margaux: This sort of feels good, this video “#nov30 WHY I AM STRIKING”. “I’m going to try to do this, actually, without swearing and shouting.” (he doesn’t succeed)

Speaking of which, fuck you my Canada! for being the first to pull out of Kyoto.

I kind of like our lack of manners in the  age of WikiLeaks, but I like this article Good Manners in the Age of WikiLeaks from Slavoj Žižek too. “The only surprising thing about the WikiLeaks revelations is that they contain no surprises. Didn’t we learn exactly what we expected to learn? The real disturbance was at the level of appearances; we can no longer pretend we don’t know what everyone knows we know.”

A magical Spanish man named Eduardo Sousa has maybe provided one solution the nightmarish foie gras problem – as part of a slightly more Peta-friendly This American Life “Poultry Slam” broadcast.

This would be a nice service for adults too, What children’s drawings would look like if it were painted realistically.

This seems easy and useful – ethical fashion options.

“They’re making everyone do socialism to each other” – a wonderfully unrigorous rant on Ayn Rand and a Lulu Lemon misstep.

Carl: For my sins, I’ve been reading a shitload of year-end music lists. For my virtues, I have gotten to see this: A blog in praise of older women’s “advanced style”.

A man with a great many sins and virtues, Christopher Hitchens, died today. My closest personal connection to him was sometimes in the early 1990s being in the same room in which his Nation column was being edited, over the phone, by the fantastic and patience-of-a-saint-having JoAnn Wypijewski. So his death makes me think of her.

Also died this week: George Whitman, the 98-year-old proprietor of Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris (the successor to Sylvia Beach’s famous institution). Whitman would let writers and artists live in the (filthy) upstairs of the store if they would either work there a day a week, write a one-page autobiography, or pledge to read a book a day. The illustrator Molly Crabapple joined that tradition at 17: She made this picture today in tribute.

And on top of that, RIP to Russell Hoban, who managed in his life to write both this and this, among many other things. That’s a life.

If I were in New York this weekend I would go to this conference, “Occupy Onwards,” at the New School on Sunday.

But first, if I were American, I would do something about this Internet censorship bill in Congress: David Rees entertainingly helps explain why shit is fucked up and scary

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Filed under carl wilson, chris randle, linkblogging, margaux williamson

Tea With Chris: A Greater Don Cherry

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Carl: Amid Toronto’s gnashing of teeth over the remarks of the similarly named hockey-comment goon as part of our new mayor’s invocation, I mean inauguration, this week, it seems useful to remember that there is a greater Don Cherry whose name will outlast that of the self-proclaimed “pitbull.” Here he is with James Blood Ulmer (guitar) and Rashied Ali (drums) – I’m not sure of the year.

Whatever you think of what WikiLeaks has done, the idea of rendering individual “cables” as comic strips is hard to resist:

And finally, The Pee-wee Herman Show‘s recent Broadway debut is a reminder that one of the most blessed trajectories for the avant-garde may be to end up as children’s entertainment. In that spirit, here is the Paper Rad art collective’s cartoon show, The Problem Solverz, which apparently is coming to the Comedy Network next year:

Margaux: This coming Saturday, Toronto’s Art Metropole (that specializes in artist multiples and reproductions) kicks off their GIFTS BY ARTISTS sale. I think Cecilia Berkovic may be a gift-wrapping performer on the Saturday but I’m not sure.

On the following Thursday (Dec 16th), Double Double Land hosts the MARK CONNERY FUNDRAZER SILENT AUCTION FUN. It’s a benefit auction for Mark Connery, who recently lost many of his things in an unfortunate house fire. There will be lots of good art up for good prices including work from Shary Boyle, Jay Isaac, Damien Hurst, The White House, me, Marc Bell, Olia Mishchenko, FASTWÜRMS and many others (including some Mark Connery smoke-damaged originals).

Chris: Tens of thousands of students converged on London to protest the British coalition government’s tripling of tutition fees this week. Dan Hancox recorded what they were listening to, from Vybz Kartel to Nicki Minaj. He also links to an account of the day by fellow music writer Alex Macpherson, which describes the psychological punishment meted out by that “kettling” tactic police forces love: “This was not containment of violent protesters…It seemed more to be motivated by traditional aims of kettling that are rarely stated: to demoralise protesters so much that they are dissuaded from taking part again, and to exhaust them physically so that they go home quietly (not that there was any need for the latter by this stage of the night). While queueing to leave Parliament Square, a woman next to me jokingly told a police officer that if they let us go, she would promise that this would be her last demonstration. The officer replied, ‘That’s the point.'”

It seems all too familiar in Toronto, where we now know that an endless kettle during last summer’s G20 summit was accompanied by random beatings. (For added surrealism, one harmless victim has the legal name Mr. Nobody.) And what does our new mayor think about the largest mass arrest in Canadian history? “Personally, if you didn’t want to be down there, then you shouldn’t have been down there.” “The police were too nice.”

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Tea With Chris: Our Lives in CIA

Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:

Chris: Someone at a church in northern Italy found an ancient dinosaur skull lodged in the building’s walls. Maybe H. P. Lovecraft was right – about the unimaginable space gods, I mean, not the racism and fear of sexual contact.

You may assume that shambling lich Harry Reid won his U.S. Senate race in this week’s midterm election because he had the luck of facing an unelectable Tea Party lunatic. That’s half right: as this profile explains, Reid used years of cunning manipulation to ensure the Nevada Republican Party would nominate the worst, furthest-right candidate possible. The Senate Majority Leader is short on visible charisma or public speaking ability, but you don’t box for a living, as he once did, without learning about sleight-of-hand.

Margaux: On Facebook this week, I noticed an old Independent article (1995) circulating about the CIA’s extensive cold war funding of the modernists. Not much news since then, but here is the most recent, reasonable post I could find on the matter. Though really, where is the CIA when you actually need it? Like here in 2010 – where is the secret funding for the covert art project operation: “Why Can’t We All Get Along”, or the more manageable: “How We, As a Nation, Can Try to Appear Less Crazy to Europe”.

A couple in Nova Scotia won the lottery and then made my day: http://news.aol.ca/ca/article/nova-scotia-lottery-win-give-away/19703150.

Carl: Our friend Lauren Bride directed me to this Paris Review interview with Marilynne Robinson, the author of, among several (but not many!) other works, one of my favourite novels of the ’80s, Housekeeping. This passage, ostensibly part of a dialogue about religion (including a smooth-criminal takedown of Richard Dawkins et al), is more broadly a beautiful articulation of the cul-de-sacs of 20th-century modernism:

“There was a time when people felt as if structure in most forms were a constraint and they attacked it, which in a culture is like an auto-immune problem: the organism is not allowing itself the conditions of its own existence. We’re cultural creatures and meaning doesn’t simply generate itself out of thin air; it’s sustained by a cultural framework. It’s like deciding how much more interesting it would be if you had no skeleton: you could just slide under the door.”

Somehow related: I think this visualization of WikiLeaks war data is more art than it is journalism or politics. It doesn’t convey information we didn’t know, or tell a coherent story, but it does provide an emotional symbolic experience, and primarily through colour. That art doesn’t occur to anyone in the discussion thread helps explain why they all seem so frustrated.

And now for something completely different: There’s a new anthology of (Canadian-born) electronic-music pioneer Bruce Haack’s vocoder music out on Stones Throw Records, probably the most accessible collection of his work (which anticipated the likes of Kraftwerk) in existence – although it can’t compete on fun with his kids’ records like this robot-on-robot dance instruction track (“do not rust until you can move to it”).

Aside: Wouldn’t “The Announcements” be a good band name? I think so.

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