While Pynchon has been placed firmly into the masculine canon of the previous century, Oedipa is his breakout character: a woman who, against all odds, strives to remake the world into a place of meaning and structure. It is the men in Pynchon’s California who are secondary: they are duplicitous, flighty, and weak .... In our present moment, it is necessary, rather than radical, to be paranoid. Paranoia is now the result of being aware and observant. We are being watched, tracked, traced, and catalogued. Oedipa’s nightmare has become our reality. Therefore, 50 years later, we should allow her to become our guide. Nick Ripatriazone on Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49
The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence has some travel tips for you, citizen. (SLYT) [more inside]
Eventually, I wind up in the master bedroom, looking at a poster against the wall that has a hand-drawn map of Area X on it, just like I thought the former director would have left behind. It’s a poster I drew myself, of course. But I stare at it for a while, and a genuine feeling of dread and fear travels up my spine. I’m seeing the room through Control’s eyes—he’s looking at a map created by some unknown source, wondering what the hell it’s doing in the former director’s bedroom.
Getting an entire trilogy published in less than a year is bad for your (mental) health, as Jeff Vandermeer found out writing the Southern Reach trilogy.
Getting an entire trilogy published in less than a year is bad for your (mental) health, as Jeff Vandermeer found out writing the Southern Reach trilogy.
Ashley Terrill was in hiding the first time I heard her voice, splitting time between her Los Angeles home and a $600-a-night room at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Terrill had locked her laptop and phone in a secret vault, and would only contact me on disposable phones—all because, she claimed, the estranged co-founder of Tinder was trying to destroy her. And that fear was mutual. [more inside]
Under the name Attaboy Clarence/The Secret History Of Hollywood, Adam Roche creates very long, very in-depth podcasts about classic Hollywood how it relates to broader sociopolitical trends. Clocking in at 171 minutes, Hunting Witches With Walt Disney goes into the background, motivations, and effects of the Red Scare in Hollywood and the House Of Un-American Activities. The nearly 3 hour long podcast spans a cast of characters including Budd Schulberg, Elia Kazan, John Garfield, Dorothy Comingore, Edward Dymytryk, Dalton Trumbo, Walt Disney, Humphrey Bogart, and of course, Howard Hughes
If someone had told me even a few years ago that such a thing wasn’t pure coincidence, I would have had my doubts about that someone. Now, however, I reserve my doubts for the people who still trust. There are so many ghosts in our machines—their locations so hidden, their methods so ingenious, their motives so inscrutable—that not to feel haunted is not to be awake. That’s why paranoia, even in its extreme forms, no longer seems to me so much a disorder as a mode of cognition with an impressive track record of prescience. --Walter Kirn on modern paranoia in The Atlantic [more inside]
"It is simply easier for some people to believe that the United States government has concocted a vast conspiracy to take away all of our guns than it is to believe that it is too easy for a mentally ill person to acquire one and shoot anyone they want. And now those same people are taking it out on the families of the victims of gun violence after a tragedy." What Do You Say To A Roanoke Truther? Ben Collins, The Daily Beast
About fifty years ago, the governor of Indiana received a letter complaining about obscenity in the lyrics of a rock'n'roll song, and passed that letter on to the FBI. For the following two years, FBI agents examined potential lyrics of the song (which were incomprehensible on the recording, partly due to the singer's braces) to find grounds for an obscenity prosecution. They ultimately failed, but produced a 140-page report, listing numerous possible obscene readings of what the lyrics could be, and in doing so, turned Louie Louie by The Kingsmen from a footnote into a bona fide rock'n'roll rebel anthem. [more inside]
Abdellatif Kechiche, whose film La Vie d’Adèle / Blue is the Warmest Color recently won the 2013 Palmes d'Or at Cannes, has "let loose everything he has on his heart" (lâche tout ce qu’il a sur le cœur) in a long text submitted to the French magazine Rue89 (in French; moderately good English translation here). [more inside]
Artist Toby Allen has created fantastic faces for monsters which many are all too familiar with: Anxiety, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Depression, Paranoia, Dissociative Identity Disorder, And Social Anxiety. [via]
DJ Hennessy Youngman follows up CVS BANGERS [prev.] with his new Soundcloud mix, NSA BANGERS. NSA BANGERS is an audio landscape full of paranoia, espionage, epic snooping, unhealthy obsession, and the stress of being a contemporary type human being. Basically, NSA BANGERS is the soundtrack of Freedom! And Freedom is expensive y'all! Apparently, it like, costs your Freedom!
The zombie apocalypse. Threads. Pandemic. Doomsday Preppers. Post-apocalyptic pop-culture fiction of doom. What's it about? A Stanford scholar explains.
The most-watched show in the history of the National Geographic Channel isn't Wild, Taboo or even the longest-running documentary series on cable tv: Explorer. It's Doomsday Preppers, a show that documents the "lives of otherwise ordinary Americans" as they prepare for the end of the world. [more inside]
But back in 1996, users of the proto-Web community Usenet got spammed with messages that reached an almost transcendent level of bizarre—a weirdness so precise it implied the influence of a very human intelligence. “Markovian Parallax Denigrate,” read the title of each post, followed by a mountain of seemingly meaningless word spew:Unraveling the Internet’s oldest and weirdest mystery
Seconds (John Frankenheimer, 1966) is a disturbing film to watch. With its unresolved, horrific ending, it’s possibly one of the most depressing films ever made [SPOILER]. [more inside]
Welcome to the testing room of the Parallax Corporation's Division of Human Engineering. [more inside]
People generally associate the TSA with airport security…but now , starting in Tennessee, we have moved on to other forms of transportation, such as highways, buses and railways That's why Tennessee is the first State to partner with TSA to do random checks on highways.
Talk Radio's Alex Jones, the Most Paranoid Man in America. Charlie Sheen's interviewer opens up.
In 2007, Beck, then the host of “Glenn Beck,” on CNN’s Headline News, brought to his show a John Birch Society spokesman named Sam Antonio, who warned of a government plot to abolish U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada, “and eventually all throughout the Americas.” Beck told Antonio, “When I was growing up, the John Birch Society—I thought they were a bunch of nuts.” But now, he said, “you guys are starting to make more and more sense to me.”A secret history of Glenn Beck, by way of Robert Welch, Willard Cleon Skousen and the John Birch Society. From the New Yorker.
It's been estimated that the average UK adult is now registered on more than 700 databases and is caught many times each day by nearly five million CCTV cameras. So how hard would it be for an average citizen to disappear completely? That’s the subject of a new documentary film: Erasing David, (Trailer: YouTube, Vimeo) which premieres this evening in the UK on More4. It's also now available worldwide online at the iTunes store and through several Video On Demand services, as well as through Good Screenings. [more inside]
Thinking about becoming a parent? You might find the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's list of recalled items fun! It looks like there's just under a zillion things out there that might harm your new tot. And that doesn't include ... y'know ... toys.
"To make off with hubby's fortune, yea, I think I heard of that happenin' once or twice around L.A. And… you want me to do what exactly?" He found the paper bag he'd brought his supper home in and got busy pretending to scribble notes on it, because straight-chick uniform, makeup supposed to look like no makeup or whatever, here came that old well-known hard-on Shasta was always good for sooner or later. Does it ever end, he wondered. Of course it does. It did. Thomas Pynchon's next novel, the 416-page Inherent Vice, is described by Penguin Press as "part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon — private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog." While we wait for its August 4 publication, we can read an essay on the dystopian musical he co-wrote at Cornell or watch a clip of that movie they made of Gravity's Rainbow. [more inside]
"Civilization is Just a Thin Veneer. In the absence of law and order, men quickly revert to savagery. As was illustrated by the rioting and looting that accompanied disasters in the past three decades, the transition from tranquility to absolute barbarism can occur overnight. People expect tomorrow to be just like today, and they act accordingly. But then comes a unpredictable disaster that catches the vast majority unprepared. The average American family has four days worth of food on hand. When that food is gone, we'll soon see the thin veneer stripped away." [more inside]
Violence, the RPG. In 1999, Greg Costikyan, designer of Toon, Paranoia, and the Star Wars RPG, released this satirical and profane take on violence in games anonymously. It's now available as a free download. [more inside]
The Last Roundup. "Is the government compiling a secret list of citizens to detain under martial law?" [Via]
When your research subjects notice you watching.... The fine folks over at Little Green Footballs discovered "a pile of results and code" from an observation of their on-line discourse on a server at Carnegie Mellon. That led to a heated thread of sometimes paranoid speculation that eventually calmed down (somewhat) when the researcher's academic advisors posted a good-natured mea-culpa (wea-culpa?) and explanation.
London's Metropolitan police have a press campaign to help us
inform on each other identify terrorists. How do you spot your terrorist? Well he could be the one with the camera pdf. Or he could be the one with two mobile phones pdf. Or the one with a chemistry set and a house pdf. Flickr folk have their alternative takes on the poster campaign. Photographer's rights in the blue previously. And the met have already gone to bat against the terrorists an innocent photographer
Odyssey of State Capitols and State Suspicion. "The story behind an exhibition: postcards, designs, photography, travels, history, stamps and law enforcement." [Via BB.]
Traditionally, media doesn't print names/photos of people only accused, but not yet convicted, but not always. Lots of towns have a police blotter section where arrests are listed. Here in Seattle, the FBI recently asked the public for help in identifying two men seen acting suspicious on the ferry system. The Seattle PI has decided not to publish the photos. Other local media have. The commentary on if the PI made the right choice follows predictable paths...
Zeitgeist, the movie [Google Video link embedded] - An interesthing, if bizarre, mix of buffed-up comparative mythology, 9/11 conspiracy theories and New world order rambling about banks, loans, debts and war. Is paranoia the spirit of our times?
Game developer/ perfume critic Theresa Duncan has died, and longtime companion Jeremy Blake is missing. The art world is buzzing about the seeming suicide-by-water of video installation artist Jeremy Blake. The perfume blogs are fizzing with sadness over the death of Theresa Duncan, whose suicide preceded Blake's. The cops are not releasing the notes left by the late, pretty people, but a clue might be found in the paranoiac screed Duncan posted on her blog in May, in which Blake's ex-girlfriend, the CIA, FBI, Church of Scientology, Jeff Gannon, bloated plutocrats and many other bugbears of the psy-ops crowd were put on Duncan's mental merry-go-round and given a real strong spin.
Right Web, founded in 2003, is a program of the International Relations Center (IRC) that tracks the work of those, in and outside of government, who have been instrumental in shaping or supporting U.S. policies in the global war on terror, also has the archives of Group watch (1985-1991), which profiled more than 125 private, quasi-governmental, and religious organizations that were closely associated with the implementation of U.S. foreign policy, especially in Central America. Profiles of Right wing individuals, organisations, corporate, and government.
Slate's ongoing "Survivalist" series lays out the steps that you can take to prepare for the disasters threatening to snuff out civilization in general (and, apparently, New York City in particular). Find out how to survive nuclear terrorism, an earthquake, a skyscraper collapse, an electronic apocalypse, and global warming.
The technology seemed so harmless at first. But as in any war, there was escalation. The pursuit of pointless perfection in shaving comfort now offers our beards only insanity. And now the multiblade wars have spilled over into electrics! Will these shaving firms not be satisfied until they've peeled the skin from our chins? Tell you the truth, I'd rather grow a beard.
Burma's military overseers, possibly in fear of a US invasion or internal strife, are moving the country's capital. At 6:37 a.m. on November 6th, (a time selected by one of the country’s leading astrologists), Myanmar's government began relocating its ministries to a 100 square-km complex in Pyinmana, a remote forest-bound location about 390 km north of Rangoon. Some analysts said the move is being driven by fears of a US invasion, while many in Myanmar believe it is due to worries about a possible internal uprising. (This despite a commitment to a "discipline-flourishing democracy".) The country's neighbors were put-off because they hadn't been informed of the move. Fortunately, the government is sure the relocation won't affect the country's tourism industry.
Newsfilter: Emilia DiSanto, chief investigator for Chuck Grassley was attacked at her home. Was the attack connected to the Finance Committee's investigations into Medicare Fraud, drug secrets and insider trading, or the Abramoff scandal? (via)
Did God create hurricane Katrina? Well, probably not. But perhaps, it was George Bush continuing his plan for world domination by using HAARP and scalar technology to control the weather by applying the suppressed theories of Nikola Tesla! See, once Bush has induced economic armageddon it will quickly induce the peak oil crisis thus leading to permanent martial law whereby he'll be able to suspend the constitution. Once all these pesky government controls have been removed, then Bush will finally be able to achieve the neocon dream of a New American Century.
Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession. In the late 1970s to the end of the 1980s, LA's Z Channel was a pay-TV cable channel that would play loads of esoteric films. It'd been credited with starting the trend of "director's cuts", bringing passed-over directors and films to the public's attention, and in some cases, was directly responsible for Oscar Nominations -- and was basically the work of one man, Jerry Harvey. Unfortunately, Z Channel folded shortly after Jerry Harvey killed his wife and then himself. Xan Cassavetes' film tells the story of Jerry Harvey and Z Channel through interviews with filmmakers and those involved, including an archival interview with Harvey himself.
Inside the mind of a paranoid schizophrenic. Memorize the keywords with which the lizards of the stage world will attempt to distort your reality. Can you accept your own vampirism? Are you familiar with the most common reality fishing techniques and horse movements? This is the painstaking record of a man for whom delusions have completely overtaken reality. Spend some time with it - the detail is mind-numbing and the reality he has created is utterly insane... and occasionally convincing. Mirror in case Geocities croaks.
we have talked about darknets before. The motivation exists. Some solutions exist, speculation is prevalent. What would it take for you to become faceless.
Covert Call allows you to alter the caller id that is sent to the phone you are calling. It can operate just like a calling card, all for the price of a normal long distance call. Caller-ID spoofing for 5¢ a minute, for all your prankster/paranoid/social engineering needs.
RFID to track students in Spring, Texas... the information is fed automatically by wireless phone to the police and school administrators. That's right: constant and continual monitoring of all the schoolkids in the district by the local police department.
Tracy Givens' weblog: "The Voice to skull continues along with the attacks to my body" ... "some of the neighbors might be experimenting with a crude homemade device"... "They have child rapers in my fan club. Found it on line."
Attention Alpha Complex troubleshooters of blue clearance or higher, good news! The open source version of Paranoia has gone gold. Just in time for GenCon. The happiness control officer will be around soon, to check on your compliance. Have a nice day!
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