Thursday, June 21, 2018

Bob Dobbs Reviews the Film “McLuhan Way, In Search of Truth” with Scott Norris

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
28 December 2007

“Apeshit” Explained

Notes on Burroughs

The Nation
28 December 1964, pages 517-519
by Marshall McLuhan

1. Today men’s nerves surround us; they have gone outside as electrical environment. The human nervous system itself can be reprogrammed biologically as readily as any radio network can alter its fare.

Burroughs has dedicated Naked Lunch to the first proposition, and Nova Express (both Grove Press) to the second. Naked Lunch records private strategies of culture in the electric age. Nova Express indicates some of the “corporate” responses and adventures of the Subliminal Kid who is living in a universe which seems to be someone else’s insides. Both books are a kind of engineer’s report of the terrain hazards and mandatory processes, which exist in the new electric environment.

2. Burroughs uses what he calls “Brion Gysin’s cut-up method which I call the fold-in method.” To read the daily newspaper in its entirety is to encounter the method in all its purity. Similarly, an evening watching television programs is an experience in a corporate form — an endless succession of impressions and snatches of narrative. Burroughs is unique only in that he is attempting to reproduce in prose what we accommodate every day as a commonplace aspect of life in the electric age. If the corporate life is to be rendered on paper, the method of discontinuous nonstory must be employed.

3. That man provides the sexual organs of the technological world seems obvious enough to Burroughs, and such is the stage (or “biological theatre” as he calls it in Nova Express) for the series of social orgasms brought about by the evolutionary mutations of man and society. The logic, physical and emotional, of a world in which we have made our environment out of our own nervous systems, Burroughs follows everywhere to the peripheral orgasm of the cosmos.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Give the Revised Firefox a Try

Firefox now has built-in ad tracker blocking—prevents hidden trackers that follow you online—and a “container” that can be installed to prevent Facebook from monitoring your activities across the web. If this is something you want to try, after installing Firebox, download the Facebook “container” and add uBlock Origin [to block ads]. Finally, you can choose to use “DuckDuckGo” as your search engine from the Firefox search box—DuckDuckGo does not track you.

The New York Times
by Minh Uong

Do you ever feel that the web is breaking?

When shopping online for a toaster oven, you can expect an ad for that oven to stalk you from site to site. If you have just a few web browser tabs open, your laptop battery drains rapidly. And don’t get me started on those videos that automatically play when you’re scrolling through a webpage.

The web has reached a new low. It has become an annoying, often toxic and occasionally unsafe place to hang out. More important, it has become an unfair trade: You give up your privacy online, and what you get in return are somewhat convenient services and hyper-targeted ads.

That’s why it may be time to try a different browser. Remember Firefox?

Mozilla recently hit the reset button on Firefox. Mozilla released a new version late last year, code-named Quantum. It is sleekly designed and fast; Mozilla said the revamped Firefox consumes less memory than the competition, meaning you can fire up lots of tabs and browsing will still feel buttery smooth.

Most notably, Firefox now offers privacy tools, like a built-in feature for blocking ad trackers and a “container” that can be installed to prevent Facebook from monitoring your activities across the web. Most other browsers don’t include those features.

After testing Firefox for the last three months, I found it to be on a par with Chrome in most categories. In the end, Firefox’s thoughtful privacy features persuaded me to make the switch and make it my primary browser. Continue reading at The New York Times

Publicist Jeanine Pepler Dies by Suicide at 50

Photo: Patrick McMullan

Page Six
by Richard Johnson

Jeanine Pepler, the publicist who represented novelists Jay McInerney and Candace Bushnell, hanged herself Sunday night in her home in Sag Harbor, LI, taking her life the same way Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain did earlier this month. Sources say she was 50.

Pepler, who was raised and educated in Cape Town, South Africa, arrived in New York in 1996 and worked in public relations with the likes of Tina Brown, Michael Eisner, Julian Schnabel and Julie Taymor.

Friends said her body was discovered by her boyfriend, artist Steve Miller. “He is just devastated, as are we all,” said one. “She seemed to be doing great. They had a lot of plans for the future.”

Pepler moved to Sag Harbor a few years ago and was running a new boutique agency, AKA Life.

Pepler had dated McInerney for six years before they amicably parted in 2005 and she temporarily moved into Bret Easton Ellis’ apartment.

“We will still love and care about each other even though we’re not together anymore,” Pepler said at the time.

They remained friends after McInerney married publishing heiress Anne Hearst.

Globalized Capitalism Explained Through Bananas

“In 1954, my team fumbled the Guatemalan socialist intervention and Arbenz was forced to resign. I was in the dog house again. I was ordered to get to know the new North American “vectors" since it looked like I wasn’t going to be based in Europe anymore.

This apparently regretful turn in my espionage career turned out to be very fortunate. I spent the rest of the 1950s becoming very interested in American pop culture, which I had largely been sheltered from during my youth in Paris. This is when my love of American rhythm and blues was embedded and led to my early interest in Frank Zappa’s work at Studio Z in Cucamonga, California.”
Bob Dobbs interviewed by Joan d’Arc
Paranoia Magazine, Issue 44, Spring 2007

Bob Dobbs Appears on “Time Takes a Cigarette” with Joey Zero & Joey Agony

The Carter Family Does the Louvre without the Crowds & Makes Art

The New Yorker
by Doreen St. Félix

In 2014, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and their first daughter, Blue Ivy, went to the Louvre. It was a private tour, conducted on a Tuesday, the day the museum is closed to the public. (“Louvre Us Alone!” TMZ’s headline read.)

The couple, both art lovers, documented the visit with a series of touristy selfies—re-creating the poses of the Hellenic statues around them—and sweet, staged candids, one of which showed the two swinging their daughter at the base of the Daru staircase, which leads to the Winged Victory of Samothrace. The most widely shared photograph showed Jay-Z and Beyoncé flanking the “Mona Lisa,” approximating her elusive expression. It was a playful dispatch from a marriage; were it not for the lack of crowds, the Carters might have seemed like any other giddy American family.

In the past, the Carters have been accused of being art fetishists. On “Drunk in Love,” Jay-Z raps that their foreplay ruined one of his Warhols; Beyoncé shot the music video for “7/11” on an iPhone in the Tribeca apartment that they once owned, where works by Richard Prince and David Hammons were unceremoniously on view. “Apeshit” is a gospel of acquisition, recalling in spirit the luxury-brand name-checking of the couple’s duet “Upgrade U,” from 2006. Twelve years ago, it was all about the Audemars Piguet watch; now it’s G8 jets and diamonds as translucent as glass. But the video is a display of something that can’t be so easily quantified: influence. Beyoncé and Jay-Z seem to suggest that their own footprint will be as indelible as that of the entire canon of Western art. (“My great-great-grandchildren already rich / That’s a lot of brown on your Forbes list,” Beyoncé raps, haughtily.) Saiz often captures the couple standing or sitting still, holding court with the same air of permanence as the art-historical treasures around them. Continue reading at The New Yorker