Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Random Review: "Kairos" by Sepultura

When I first heard Sepultura's newest album I didn't care for it at all.  I especially didn't like their cover of Ministry's Just One Fix, a personal favorite of mine.  The album kept popping up in my brain though and over time I've actually come to enjoy it very much.  It's a very old-school style of death metal, executed so perfectly that it feels eerily out of place among Sepultura's typically more progressive fare.  The album's cover art perfectly represents this with an image of a woman flipping an hourglass as her flesh dissolves into sand and bone.

Sepultura has undeniably suffered since the departure of Max Calavera, to the point that it's very cliched of me to even be mentioning it.  Kairos is the long overdue proof that they no longer need him.  Kairos, with its fascinating and novel reinterpretation of classic death metal, is Sepultura's finest work since their own classic, Roots.

And really, their cover of Just One Fix is perfect.

From the titular song Kairos:

never lost sight of my fate

Many tried to block my ways but persistence kept me going on
Now we trespass the line of time
Going back but I´m right here, now and then, all done


Wake the dream and face the facts
Bridge the gap between the gaps
In every blast that starts your mind
You are there and only there you are


The lines are crossed I´m way ahead
Just need to balance the razor´s edge
Nothing can stop us right now
Cause it was built from what we gave. That´s right!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Seems (Un)reasonable

I've never been off of the North American continent.  Still, this article at Salon.com seems to be the most lucid and reasonable assessment of the riots in the UK that I've read so far.

The underlying causes of the rioting are difficult to say with certainty but one key fact must be considered: youth unemployment.   
The rioters were overwhelmingly teenagers and kids in their 20s. About 20 percent of 16-24 year olds in Britain are unemployed. That figure is much, much higher on council estates -- the British term for housing projects. (You can leave school at the age of 16 in this country). Unemployment statistics in Britain are sadly vague, but a reasonable estimate of youth unemployment just in Hackney is 33 percent. (Those attending college or performing any form of unpaid apprentice work are considered to be employed.) There don't seem to be any statistics for youth unemployment on council estates -- as I live in the neighborhood I would say well above 60 or 70 percent is a good guess.   
When there are that many young men with nothing to do and no money to spend, it doesn't take much to set off violence. The immediate flash point -- in this case the death of Mark Duggan -- is quickly forgotten. A group hysteria takes hold.
What happens after the rioting subsides is difficult to predict -- entry level jobs are in short supply these days -- and as the government's austerity measures begin to bite here, it's not likely to get better any time soon.
Large numbers of people with nothing to do and nothing invested in the society around them.  How could that possibly go wrong?

The real mystery is, "where are the Punks right now?"  British punks are constantly playing songs about riots, I wonder how many of them are actually out in the streets?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I am outraged, OUTRAGED, at this polling corruption!!!!

No, I'm not talking about anything related to the recall elections today in WI.  I'm talking about 1up.com's homepage poll today.

Which cancelled game would you most like to see revived?

Megaman Legends - 33.76%
Shenmue III - 24.91%
Starcraft Ghost  - 20.64 %
Starfox 2 - 17.51%
Sam & Max: Freelance Police - 3.18%

WTF?!?!?!?  How is Starfox 2 not winning?  This is a TRAVESTY of EPIC PROPORTIONS!

I demand that the people on the internet correct their worldviews!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

(Incoherent Ramblings about) Norwegian Terrorism

When I heard about the recent shooting/bombing in Norway, my first reaction was not "MUSLIMS!!!"

It was something along the lines of "That's awful" followed quickly by "Oh fuck, please don't be a Black Metal band."

I generally love black metal music, though I find the superstitious underpinnings annoying and have always been troubled by the violence associated with its early years.  And even today racism, misogyny and homophobia often ruin what would otherwise be good music.

It bothers me very much that so many people seem to fetishize the church burnings and murders.  Those actions were disgraceful and unjustified acts of terrorism.

I don't know how the man responsible for the recent shootings felt about black metal, or if he was in any way associated with it.  It seems very clear though that he was motivated by the same type of xenophobic bullshit that was the excuse for the arsons in the early 90s.  The main difference between motivation is that the black metal groups saw the Christians as the outsiders and Anders Breivik was afraid of Muslims.

I don't know where I'm going with this post or what I'm really trying to say.