Legalize murder now!

There has been a lot of talk lately about abortion. The laws in the US have changed again recently, and arguments have erupted in Quebec as well, with people coming down strongly on both sides of the issue. I saw a pro-choice protest at the Palais de Justice where a parade of women went topless to make their point, and I thought, finally an issue I can get behind.

But personally, I don’t think abortion should be legal. See what people are going to turn into first. What happens if you accidentally abort the next Picasso?

I do, however, believe we should legalize murder after the onset of adulthood.

Staying alive requires a license renewed yearly to remain not-murdered. Everyone has to show up at some government office and take a number that also has letters on it for some reason and wait in two different line ups and eventually have their photo taken to prove somehow that they are not an absolute piece of shit. Just showing up clean and clothed counts for, like, 80 percent.

All politicians are required to be murdered after they serve their elected terms. Celebrities have to be disposed of after, say, seven years of stardom. Each and every Kardashian spawn needs to renew their special licenses every six months.  

We get to choose how to die, though. That’s the upside. Most people nowadays are going with the shot-to-the-head, have-a-nice-sleep special, although the struck-by-a-falling-grand-piano is also very popular. We could call society’s enforcers, oh I don’t know, Karma Police, or something similar.


Shit & Rats

World War II movies don’t exist anymore. Movies are about individual and collective identity now. A friend and I who worked together at the Telluride Film Festival were discussing this recently. At that festival, it was a bit of an inside joke, dark albeit, that every year there would be a Holocaust movie that would very realistically, almost gleefully, depict Jews crawling through a sewer full of shit and rats. Shit and rats up to their eyeballs. Wading nose-deep in shit and rats. The reason we don’t have those kinds of movies anymore is not merely because identity politics have taken over where global politics left off, but because the entertainment industry wants to make room for World War III movies.

In these movies of the future, we will see other groups of people wading through shit and rats. Ukrainians first, then whomever is next that we all agree to stand by and allow to disappear as if they were one of three potato chip brands, or HBO miniseries, on some perverse social media meme: You can only save one, the rest have to go.

The highest compliment that you can give any place in the world is the shit and rats stamp of approval. If, in a World War III picture of the future, you would be willing to be seen wading through rats and shit, that’s the place. That is your homeland.


On golf

I’m not normally one for sport, but this summer I did have the good fortune to go golfing with James Woods and Jeremy Irons. Jeremy Irons and James Woods both teed off with 1-Woods. On the fifth fairway with about a hundred yards to the cup, to Jeremy Irons’ amazement, and mine, James Woods took out his nine iron and nailed the shot. But the game went poorly thereafter and by the eighteenth hole James Woods had broken nearly every one of his irons, and Jeremy Irons had spent most of the time looking for his balls in the woods. Jack Paar rounded out our foursome.


Before Tapping Oxford MBAs, Thom Yorke Approached Other Departments, Schools

Oxford MBAs secretly worked alongside Thom Yorke’s management company helping brainstorm marketing ideas for his latest solo album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, the University has revealed. But before assembling “Team Yorke,” as the crack troupe of Saïd Business School candidates came to be known, the Radiohead frontman’s Courtyard Management firm fruitlessly attempted to mine a number of the University’s other departments first.

It would appear that for the task of crafting clever branding tactics, not all academic departments are created equal. “It was immensely useful to have the input of the MBA students on data analysis and new marketing strategies,” said a spokesperson for Courtyard Management. “Shame the same cannot be said for those great tits at the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology. Fucking useless.”

Ethnobiologists were not the only malefactors, it seems. According to Courtyard, researchers in the Quantum Physics department insisted that the album was “mostly empty.” And students at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies added: “In emptiness, there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no formation, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind, no ignorance, no end of ignorance, no old age and death, no end of old age and death; no suffering, no cessation of suffering, no wisdom, no attainment, no non-attainment, no modern nor obsolete boxes.”

In addition to approaching Oxford, representatives for Courtyard sought to enlist scholars from a host of other schools, with some hopefuls still contributing peripherally to the project. James Heckman, Director at the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago urged that higher sales could be achieved by “relaxing and/or removing the restrictions of regulators, music critics, and other self-appointed gatekeepers.”

However, during a misguided packaging focus group, confused hopefuls at the ITT Technical Institute mistakenly whittled yesterday’s old-fashioned boxes from Basla branches and stray twigs.

Nonetheless, the hand-made containers will see an exclusive expo at Manhattan’s Pace Gallery in Chelsea in 2015, where it is rumoured Marina Abramović is to open each box, one by one, over the course of the next 44 years. Sotheby’s confirmed that the collection will be acquired following the exhibition by the Joseph Cornell Estate. After a private preview, the American artist Matthew Barney raved, “They whittled the shit out of those boxes, God love them!”

Released September 26th via file-sharing site BitTorrent, the company declined to report official sales figures for the full album. But Reddit users have pointed out that Radiohead have since set up a website for similar future collaborations, entitled “LinkedIn Rainbows,” signalling that a new record cannot be far behind.


Will Santa Claus Disrupt Music Distribution?

In addition to iTunes depositing MP3s straight to your computer, and BitTorrent charging for what is otherwise worthless, you may soon be getting your music from another unlikely content delivery service: Santa Claus. Yes, that jolly old soul of mystery, who usually confines his deliveries to Christmas Eve, has of recent months upturned the entire music distribution marketplace with his new start-up – Snta.

After an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter campaign seeking to “disrupt first-generation reindeer games” raised more than six million dollars, Snta has firmly planted its footprint in the snow. This morning, dressed in customary black belt-cinched red-and-white suit and cap – which have become his product-launch trademarks – Snta’s co-founder and CEO Mr. Claus unveiled SleighBel, a new user-modifiable cloud-based storage service app, at many points ho-ho-hoing the crowd of journalists and businesspeople into veritable frenzy. Anticipating unprecedented growth, Mr. Claus moved his company in October from the North Pole to a disused warehouse in Williamsburg, where his team say they enjoy “bigger beards and better coffee.”

Similar forays into content delivery by the Easter Bunny (who launched eStrBx in late 2013) and the Stork’s fledgling Strk Corp. failed to generate the buzz Snta is currently relishing: Strk suffered from persistent bundling issues; and more disturbingly, eStrBx was charged with 2743 counts of sexual harassment on its first night of operation – none of them from clients. Both struggling companies have since been acquired, and shelved, by Apple. But following a strong I.P.O., Snta seems to be gaining traction where others fell short.

This could be because of its relative simplicity: orders are placed via Snta’s webshop, and delivered directly into users’ homes while they sleep. There is no signup required, and no software to install; however Snta has recently come under fire for its inherently intrusive platform – one startled customer reported seeing mommy kissing Santa Claus – and its questionable milk-and-cookie policy. Many have complained that a 4 x 4 foot chimney, the minimum bandwidth requirement, is still years away from becoming standard in most areas. And, as Naomi Klein uncovered in her latest exposé for the Guardian, the recent unexplained suicides of two elves have prompted an official inquiry into Snta’s dubious labour practices.

Whether or not Snta has the staying power of an Uber or Twitter remains to be seen: analysts project it will ultimately come down to whether consumers are naughty or nice. Partner and VP of marketing Mrs. Claus explained to Gizmodo, “Rooty toot toot and rummy tum tum.” But if its current “must own” status on “Mad Money” is any indication, we have only just glimpsed the beginning of Snta.


Canadian Heritage Moment

Fresh-faced Peter Mansbridge, the young newly-hired grocery clerk with locks of thick and vital flaxen hair braided beyond his waist like a horse’s mane, picks up the intercom microphone at SafeWay, a grocery store chain that is spreading like ice over the northern parts of North America, the sub-arctic tundra known to its thick-skinned residents only as the Great White North. “Clean up in aisle 7,” Mansbridge announces. In the dairy section, flickering in and out of existence under the fluorescent blue light that keeps the cottage cheese cool, a gnome pricks up his ears. Seconds go by. With urgency, Mansbridge repeats: “Clean up in aisle 7, tonight!” The gnome quickly mounts his trusty steed and gallops down through frozen foods, across the bakery, and up aisle 7, being sure to hurdle over its cause for cleanup – a child’s sick from tasting a spoilt sample of salmon paté in aisle 13. Wide-eyed and snatching young Mansbridge by his apron-stringed lapels, the gnome shouts, “YOU, grocery clerk! We must have YOU and your errand boy voice for our Canadian Broadcasting Corporation!”


Moves of 10

10: 1988’s 10 best 6-CD changers

9: Top 10 military coups d’etat

8: Buckethead’s 10 best buckets list

7: 10 best numbers between 0 and 11

6: 2007’s 10 best bitrates

5: Pailhead’s top 10 pails list

4: 1995’s 10 best-selling mouse pads

3: 10 most devastating terminal illnesses

2: Metterling’s 10 most puzzling laundry lists

1: Dudley Moore’s “10”


How ‘Dialectic of Enlightenment’ Was Really Written

Adorno: So, how should we do this thing? Like, should I write one sentence, and you write the next one, and on and on like that, or….

Horkheimer: Naw… How about: I write one word, and you write one word and back and forth like that?

Adorno: Yeah, that sounds like fun, man. Ok Ok Ok. So, who goes first?

Horkheimer: Let’s do rock paper scissors.

Adorno: Capital! Ok. Ready? On three. One… Two…

Horkheimer: Wait Wait Wait! Does that mean like on ‘three’, or you go like “one two three, go”, and then we do it?

Adorno: No, no man, it’s always on ‘three’, so I go like “one, two three” and we do it right on “three”. Got it?

Horkheimer: Got it. I was just…

Adorno: …clarifying. I know. No, it’s good to get things clear from the start.

Horkheimer: That way there’s no resentment.

Adorno: No, you’re totally right. Ok, so ready?

Horkheimer: (rolling up his sleeves) Yeah, let’s DO THIS!!!

Adorno: Ok. One… Two… THREE!!!

[Adorno has ‘rock’; Horkheimer has ‘scissors’]

Horkheimer: FUCK!!!

Adorno: Oh, well, I guess you go second…

Horkheimer: Ok, fine. That means I get the last word then!

Adorno: Yeah, whatever man.

Horkheimer: Ok, so GO ALREADY!!!

Adorno: Ok Ok Ok, Don’t rush me! ……… Sooooooooo, what should we start off with? Hmmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmmmmm. Ok, I got it: “Enlightenment!”

Horkheimer: pfff!!!!!

Adorno: What? I just said “Enlightenment” What, you don’t think that’s good?

Horkheimer: Well, we’re writing a book called ‘dialectic of enlightenment” and you start off with “enlightenment“. I just… I just expected more from you, that’s all.

Adorno: Well, it’s your turn now, fuckwad, so what are you going to come up with, huh? No, really. I’m really looking forward to this now. What you got brewing under that ol’ noggin of yours, hmmm?

Horkheimer: “Understood”.

Adorno: ………………. Well played, my man.

Horkheimer: Thank you.

Adorno: Ok, soooooo my turn again. Hmmmmmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Ok: “in the”

Horkheimer: You can’t do that!!!


Horkheimer: You took two turns! That’s it! You’re washing the dishes tonite!


The (Un)True Identity of Burial

Ask any DJ (or electronic music aficionado or bath-salt-sniffing club-goer, if you can get close enough to them without having your face eaten off), and they’ll likely tell you that the true identity of Burial is of course William Bevan, of the Woodford Row Bevans – that is, they would do if they’d bothered to show up for their set. Nonetheless, debate and speculation swirled this year as to Burial’s, that is Bevan’s, that is his (or her), real identity. A now-infamous tongue-in-cheek tweet from Four Tet at the end of 2012 seemed to indicate that Kiran Hebden might actually be the man behind Burial’s mysterious moniker. And the cryptic sample at the tail end of Burial’s most recent release only adds another fresh squeeze of lighter fluid to the fire. But at long last, here and now, for once and for all, I will finally and definitively reveal who Burial really is – and also that, if you happen to be his landlord, you should definitely never accept his personal cheques.

Over the course of the year, social networks and blogs ebbed and flowed with cases proving or discrediting Burial’s true identity as Hebden’s. But this theory rests upon the assumption, made quite incorrectly if I may point out here, that Kiran Hebden is indeed Four Tet in the first place, given that it is equally plausible that, armed with this information, Bevan is Four Tet. Let’s test the logic: if Hebden is Burial, then Burial isn’t Bevan, but if Hebden is Burial, then the identity of Four Tet must be called into question, assuming the output of Burial and Four Tet is too voluminous and stylistically divergent to attribute to one man, even if that man does possess all the hairstyling skills of a young Dr. Emmett Brown. Therefor, if Four Tet’s identity is up for grabs, one William Bevan could just as plausibly helm the Four Tet project as anyone, now that Bevan is all of a sudden unemployed, or at least underemployed, as the fake Burial he’d been masquerading to be all this time, in addition to being the laziest Tweeter in the history of show business.

What none of the commentators ever knew, however, and what I am prepared to reveal to you now, just before going into hiding in the same place as Edward Snowden, Walter White, and Charles Manson, is that neither Bevan nor Hebdan exist at all; they are merely fabrications, like unicorns, or leprechauns, or Boris Johnson’s conscience. Here it comes, are you ready? It is, in all manner of fact Paul McCartney who is not only both Four Tet and Burial, but also hundreds if not thousands of other artists, working across dozens of genres, for a half-dozen decades, from Wings to Jimmy Buffett and Olivia Newton-John, from Garth Brooks and Jennifer Lopez to every member of One Direction – and their entire stage crew. Behind a wall of secrecy that would make David Bowie’s entourage look like a sewing circle, it’s rumored that McCartney even drives the tour bus, which is convenient for everyone involved – everyone, in this instance, being only Sir Paul. Fortunately for McCartney, who has accumulated more moving violations than any other former Beatle including John who once drove a Rolls Royce into a swimming pool, he only has to drive it in One Direction.

Once you lift your chin up off the floor and we examine the evidence that Macca is everyone under the sun in the sober light of day (or the still-drunk light of day, if you’re that DJ mentioned in the first paragraph), the truth resounds clear as a bell. It’s so obvious that it’s a wonder we hadn’t uncovered it all before now. Let me fill you in on history. In the 1960s, during McCartney’s first incarnation as a member of a little indie rock band called the Beatles, a rumor spread through the popular media of the day that Paul had died. The rumor escalated to the status of urban legend, fuelled by American radio, tabloid press, speculation from journalists and fans, and hysterically confirmed by a Yoko Ono lament performed live in Toronto, the lyrics to which nobody actually understood, even though everyone pretended to.

Verily, the “Paul is Dead” story is so well known as to be stuff of legend today, with the ultimate proof of infamy: its own Wikipedia page. But the most curious supporting tale told at the time – and the one that turns out to be true – came from the most unlikely of sources: the minutes from a 1969 meeting of the Union of New York City Hot-Dog vendors. One such vendor, a man named Artie Fufkin of the Coney Island Fufkins, and a diligent due-paying member of NYC Hot-Dog vendors’ Local #29IF, told the story of how McCartney once ate a hot-dog at his stand, and choked dead right there on the spot.

McCartney had been travelling in the US under the assumed name of Wilford Brimley, but was apparently only wearing an oak leaf over one eye as a disguise, and mumbling about how there were cocoons at the bottom of the pool in his retirement community that were keeping him looking so young, making his identity as McCartney impossible to miss, as well as confirming the atrociousness of his otherwise uncannily prescient Wilford Brimley impersonation. The FBI and CIA quickly swooped in, removed the body, and replaced it with a robot of reasonable likeness. This story is well documented, alongside such other notable subjects as ‘squeezable mustard: gift or curse?’, in the transcripts to the New York City Local #29IF Hot-Dog Vendor’s meeting of August 32nd, 1969.

What is less-well documented, however, is how this top-secret FBI and CIA-led conspiracy continued over the past half-century until this very day, their robot imposter technology refined not only on Macca, but also on a disturbingly long list of artists who were also secretly replaced with McCartney robots of reasonable likeness – robots disguised much more cunningly than McCartney had been on that fateful day in Coney Island in the late 1960s. For example, McCartney’s reasonable likeness Garth Brooks robot disguise involves the donning of a 10-gallon hat fashioned out of two 5-gallon hats. His Jennifer Lopez costume requires a complex welding-on of the boot from a 1984 Opal Corsa. More currently, as Kiran Hebdan, McCartney’s robot wears Brillo pads on his helmet. In the case of William Bevan, well, let’s just say that that isn’t a ‘hoodie’ in that Twitter profile pic. We are officially through the looking glass here, people.

Questions surrounding the identity of great artists are nothing new: historians long thought that Michelangelo’s work originated from a dedicated team of Michelangelisti spiders that clung to the ceiling and worked with tiny paint brushes, and literature scholars once believed Sir Francis Bacon was Shakespeare, but he apparently just had a chicken bone caught in his throat. Recently, Kanye West has sparked rumors by admitting to being an iPhone. But ultimately, the most shocking truth of this whole crazy story – the truth so incredible that it truly sends chills – is that McCartney himself never existed either. All along, he’s actually just been Dick Clark with a bad wig. In addition to still being very much alive, Dick Clark is in fact everyone who has ever lived; from Moses to Susan Boyle, and you guessed it, even you and me. Take a deep breath and let that sink in. We have just lost cabin pressure. The truth is, we are all Dicks.

The real takeaway of this tale, though, is that if you’re going to covertly die choking on a Coney Island hot-dog, or get a facelift, or all of a sudden reveal your real identity, it’s probably best to post it simultaneously to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, WordPress, Instagram, Vine, SoundCloud, Mixcloud, YouTube, LinkedIn, MySpace, possibly even Friendster, certainly in a sample at the end of your new EP, and most importantly, fill out a change of address form with the post office.