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For several years George Mortimer has run a website called Media Underground which has been a safety valve for the impending dystopian collapse; sort of a catch all for the fringe element of society’s global mind. His new book Bothy Culture is a seriously funny antidote to a world gone mad. In a cesspool of technological trinkets, mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook, the electric toothbrush and global surveillance Mortimer rips out the parking break and makes a complete u-turn. He drops everything and wanders off to a bothy.

For the “uninitiated” American a bothy is like a small shack out in the middle of nowhere in the Scottish outback free for anyone to use. The description on the book reads, “Bothy Culture focuses on exploring the rich subculture that can be found at some of the remotest locations throughout the Scottish wilderness”. In Scotland I guess they use the word “wilderness” but when Americans hear it we think of an actual jungle. I envisioned it more like a greener version of the Houses of the Holy album cover with creepy albino kids crawling on their hands and knees. It must be somewhere beyond civilization with no map to point the way and Aleister Crowley poking his head out every now and then.

Mortimer’s keen observation is a vast uncharted middle ground that no one actually explores because your average Scotsman A) only walks two blocks to the pub or B) is compelled to climb a sheer cliff up K2 with his bare hands. Mortimer creates his own category in the between world of fact, fiction, history, occult initiation and humor. His first bothy trip sends him on the path to record the history and impressions of every single bothy in the Scottish high country kind of like trainspotting for remote shacks. Or more of an off-grid bothyspotter with a backpack filled with beer, coal, roast duck, a pipe and “Blue Cheese” weed.

And don’t forget to bring coal to stay warm. Not charcoal or a Duralflame log. Actual coal like the kind demons shovel in hell or Santa Claus leaves in your stocking if you suck. It has to be enough coal to make the trip significantly hard as fuck. The whole deal with the coal was interesting because he never divulged the secret where he actually acquired it. As an American I can’t imagine they still sell it at the convenience store. I can only assume you might find it behind an electric plant or on display at a Charles Dickens museum. He keeps his cards close to his chest on the coal or maybe it just falls out of the sky in Scotland. The point is this is not a Fodor’s Travel Guide. This is more like a trail of bread crumbs to an unknown world.

Mortimer is not completely alone. Just as Don Quixote had Sancho Panza, Mortimer rides with an equally amusing Dazbo to share the pipe and beer. He speaks in an almost unintelligible Scottish accent as they ruminate on the arcane. There’s also The Matron who’s more of a professor type everyone looks up to. A more experienced veteran. Gacked out of their mind in a haze of “blue cheese” in a goddam shack out in the middle of nowhere they come up with an electronic gadget to detect poser wannabe hikers they call Outdoor Knobbers. By chapter two it all seems to make complete sense.

Lao Tzu should have got a copyright for the Tao te Ching because it seems George Mortimer in Bothy Culture has unwittingly stumbled upon its 2500 year old plot line. The basic Taoist back story goes something like this, “Lao Tzu (George Mortimer) was a record keeper (ran a subculture website) for the Chou dynasty (Scotland) who saw his country in decline so he departed for the woods (the bothy)”. It’s been said if you’re going to plagiarize you might as well steal from the classics but knowing Mortimer’s extreme distaste for religion we can only assume the more flattering theory that great minds think alike.

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I downloaded Zero Dark Thirty off BitTorrent because I thought I’d review the film exclusively for Media Underground. I’m not going to pay one dime for a Lockheed Martin commercial and I knew how it ends so here’s my take. The film should be called Zero Fucks Movie. It begins with a ginger anorexic pale Carrot Juice Maya bitch standing in the background during a torture scene but you’re supposed to feel sorry for her because she can’t stand to watch torture. First thoughts: Any CIA agent in that room is going to be a West Point graduate and a professional sadist and is not going to give a fuck about torture. When they keep cutting back to her with that Florence Nightingale compassion cunt face it’s utterly laughable.

Carrot Juice has a good guy sidekick. He’s the bearded hipster CIA Torture Bro who looks like a Christian Singles extra from the Left Behind series and Wolf Blitzer’s pothead stepson had an anal baby. He’s also a grown up version of the kid in MASK or Cher after her facial surgery. I guess they want the film to have that artsy glassy eyed North Korean indoctrination feel to it. Or maybe the Pentagon’s casting director spotted him at an industrial Screen Actors Guild party for the Kansas National Guard. I’m not sure which but he has to be the most annoying actor I’ve seen on film ever. And that means worse than Jar Jar Binks and Steven Segal in Above the Law combined.

Everyone thinks this film is hard to watch because of the torture scenes. The torture scenes are only difficult to watch because the movie sucks tail pipes. It has nothing to do with torture itself. The point is it feels like torture because you’re thirty minutes into this film and you know you have another two and a half hours of this stick figure Carrot Top creature who has the acting skills of a corpse. Worst acting I’ve seen since I watched NORAD explain the timelines to the 9-11 Commission. I wouldn’t even call it acting. I would call it a three hour snuff film. They repeat their lines like someone just asked them to repeat their lines. Two Girls and a Cup could walk into the room and begin to eat fresh shit off the floor, no reaction.

Come to think of it there is an actual Two Girls and a Cup scene in this movie and you don’t even notice. Torture Bro is eating a chocolate ice cream cone right next to a monkey cage. These are those little squirrel monkeys with AIDS. I’m not sure why they have monkeys at a CIA Black Site, but AIDS monkeys are always cute. And you can always get ice cream at a rendition site. Anyway, so he’s eating ice cream right next to the monkey cage and the monkey is grabbing at the cone like it’s a Two Girls and a Cup monkey documentary. He lets the monkey grab a handful of chocolate ice cream with his little monkey hands because after you’ve been torturing guys all day long who doesn’t want to feed a monkey with shit on its hands? The monkey has his hands right in the ice cream and Torture Bro puts the rest of the ice cream cone in his mouth. Again, no reaction. After he just ate AIDS infected monkey shit ice cream. Anytime you see a character in a film feed animals you know he’s the good guy even if he just punched the monkey in the face after he fed it. A guard walks by and says, “You Agency guys are twisted”. Yeah and don’t fuck with me because we’re trained to eat monkey shit.

Every five minutes watching this film I heard a voice in my head say, “I just don’t fucking care” but strangely it was the voice of Norman Mineta. It’s almost as if Norman Mineta the Secretary of Transportation was actually in my head sitting there, at a desk, behind a microphone, at the 9-11 Commission saying, “The movie is 50 miles out. The movie is 30 miles out. The movie is 10 miles out. Does the movie still suck?” At this point I see Dick Cheney turn and whip his neck around, “Of course the movie still sucks have you heard anything to the contrary?” Then back to Mineta’s head and his disembodied voice.

I’ll have to admit there are subtle clues to how evil these terrorists are. Carrot Crotch asks a prisoner named Faraj about one of his associates, “What does this guy look like?” Faraj says, “Tall, long white beard, thin, he uses a cane” and Fire Crotch says, “Kind of like Gandolf?” The camera pulls back to Faraj and he says, “Who?” There’s a long pause. Big Red looks back and you know shit is going to get real. Now it’s not catchin’ Bin Laden Dead or Alive. This crazy motherfucker didn’t get my joke and knows nothing of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. So they begin to beat and fuck him again unmercifully. He might as well have said, “I spit upon this Gandolf. Fuck you and fuck your Peter Jackson Infidel”.

Ok middle part of the movie. More shit blows up, people scream at each other, computers, cell phones, Ali Akbar, someone kills all the squirrel monkeys, Torture Bro shaves his beard off, years go by, Big Red is the only one working on the case, dusty shit, more ass kicking and naked men in plywood rooms, more dust, sunglasses, Pakistan, motorcycles, serious people, a guy pounds on a table and gets really pissed like Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. The plot is hard to follow but then again it’s the Fog of War and Bin Laden is sneaky. The whole middle part of the film could have been edited out and a cartoon inserted with Tom and Jerry pounding each other on the head with a wooden mallet.

Oh and I forgot. That voice in my head saying, “I don’t fucking care”? That’s actually in the movie. One of the main CIA boss characters looks Carrot Juice right in her ginger retard face and says, “I don’t fucking care about Bin Laden”. So it’s not just me. Even a character in the film itself is saying what I’m thinking. And that my friend is a frightening epiphany. When you have the voice in your head authenticated by a Defense Department Domination porn video, when “objective” reality is synched to confirmatory factor analysis there’s a moment when the hair on the back of your neck stands up. It all becomes crystal clear. YES my Intelligence Officer actor friend! I don’t care either because since 9-11 we have killed, maimed, tortured, starved, raped, pillaged, smart bombed, blasphemed, marginalized, humiliated, pissed on, piled up, imprisoned, carpet bombed and droned fucked over one million of our fellow human beings for an attack that killed only three thousand Americans. That’s not eye for an eye. That is 333.3 eyes for one fucking eye. Get over it. This war has gone on too long. Kill fucking Bin Laden or let it go or shit or get off the pot I don’t care anymore. And we don’t need another fucking movie about this. Even the goddam CIA and Navy Seals don’t want you to glorify it anymore they just want to come home and drink a goddam beer. Please for the love of God shut the fuck up this movie was a waste of time.

I steal eBooks off bittorrent. Get over it. The internet is the new printing press and library all wrapped up into one little machine inside your own home. If you want to “check books out of the library” learn how to use bittorrent, Calibre and file shares. Wrap your mind around it. What do you think a library is? It’s a place to find and read free books. Plain and simple. I’m sure when the first library was built there were authors who pissed and moaned about how no one would be paying for their books but where the fuck are those authors now? They’re dead. And if you’re only writing to make money then you shouldn’t be writing in the first place.

“Of all writings I love only that which is written with blood. Write with blood: and you will discover that blood is spirit.” — Nietzsche

The most frightening thing to people in power is a more powerful printing press and a gigantic library where anyone can read anything they want. Think about it. The publishing industry and our government would absolutely love to control this but the genie is already out of the bottle. Those in power will never out hack the hackers and this internet you are using right now was literally built by hackers and the free flow of information.

“Isn’t it still stealing?” You should also tell that to Jeff Bezos. I make .89 cents per book from my $10.00 book. A book that I wrote myself, made my own cover, formatted it, published it, promoted it and uploaded it. How does that work exactly? When the Kindle version is just a simple download? How does Amazon make 90% off my book and every other small author’s book? Fuck me if that’s not stealing too.

And what about the publishing industry? Why didn’t they accept my book so I could sell it legitimately like a real author? Or my movie? Oh let me see, I think they said something like they were both too controversial or not mainstream enough. (You’ll probably say, “Because they probably suck” but whatever, to each his own). But what is my option for a distribution platform? How do I get my book or movie out to my audience since the Today Show isn’t knocking on my door?

When the printing press was invented it was a giant leap forward. Here’s a quote I stole outright, copied and pasted straight from Wikipedia, “The invention and spread of the printing press is widely regarded as the most influential event in the second millennium AD, revolutionizing the way people conceive and describe the world they live in, and ushering in the period of modernity.” When the people in power realized anyone could build a printing press and distribute whatever information they wanted they knew full well they were losing their grip. So what was the next step? Control the printing press.

Imagine a world where every individual has in their own home their own printing press. When you right click on a file (no matter how large it is) and copy and paste it you can make an exact copy of that file. What do you think you’re doing? It’s the same thing as the printing press only multiplied by millions. Not only is it possible to copy and paste millions of bits of information but millions of average people have this technology in their own home.

Now imagine an author who writes the next modern day version of The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine. What if Amazon won’t allow it on their site? What if the government doesn’t want it distributed? What if all the mainstream media outlets are dead set against it and the church is preaching at the pulpit on how dangerous it is? How would anyone ever hear those ideas if everything is under control and no one could share information? Not just in the US but think of fascist dictatorships and fundamentalist theocracies. This technology would be a revolution and that is exactly what is happening right under your nose but you’re too fucking stupid or unwilling to face it.

What’s amazing to me is that the average person has had the ability to do this since 1997 (when even my parents bought a computer) and somehow I’m the freak? Maybe it’s because I use this uncontrolled flow of information and you are still living in a goddam cave. I am using a giant library that you couldn’t even begin to imagine and you are only reading what you are told you can read or what you can find on Amazon. Half of the books on my Kindle right now you couldn’t find at a physical library if you tried.

“Oh but James with a real library you don’t pay for books, but you do have to return them within a set period. With file-sharing the book is not being returned, it is being kept indefinitely.” That just makes this kind of “library” that much more amazing, hard to comprehend, revolutionary and giant a paradigm shift.

The whole concept of the internet was first envisioned by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). During the cold war they were worried that during a nuclear attack, if they had all their intelligence in one place, how would they protect it? You couldn’t build a bunker deep enough and the Soviets would find the location. So they came up with the idea to distribute that information everywhere. With a giant web of information any place attacked wouldn’t be a problem because it would also exist somewhere else.

Now we the People have that same technology in our hands. The Puppet Masters don’t mind. Trust me they wouldn’t let us have this power if it were really that dangerous. Plus they probably realized it would be a great leap forward and help topple dictatorships and tyranny all over the world. Look at P2P and bittorrent as the same thing. It’s a giant library that exists on millions of hard drives all over the world. I know on one hand you can look at it like it’s a way to “steal” music, movies and software. But what if something happened? Like all the media outlets came under control of a small group of people (which is actually happening as I write this), or a giant war broke out or a natural disaster. All of that information, music, film and software would still be out there somewhere on all the millions of hard drives and computers. That is a giant indestructible library. And even if the internet is shut down or it becomes so chaotic we don’t have electricity that data is still on those hard drives. When we rebuild an infrastructure we’ll be able to access it and share it again. Think about that asshole who torched the Library at Alexandria. There will be no way some religious nut could burn it all down.

“Oh James but if everyone just pirates books off the Internet all the writers would just quit because they would have to get real jobs to support themselves.” That sounds like the Fundamentalist Christian argument against homosexuality. They argue, “What if everyone becomes gay? No one anywhere on the planet will reproduce and eventually we will all die off as a species!” Give me a break. There will always be people who buy books, music, film and software. People still buy my book and there is no way I can control what they do with it after they have it in their hands. This is just a fact of life and I can either accept it or whine and complain about it. Or I can actually look at it from a different perspective.

Every system has its problems and attributes. I used to work at a Public Library and if you only knew what kind of controls and red tape that went in to what books ended up on the shelf your head would explode. Also I have always asked myself why certain books weren’t even available at Border’s or Barnes & Nobel. It has to do with distribution and who controls what goes on the shelf. Now I’ll agree the downside to this new “library” is the problem with compensation to the creator. But you cannot deny the fact that with this new kind of distribution platform there is way, way more variety, selection, freedom and access. Ever go to a grocery store and wonder why they have the worst books by the checkout lane? It’s because someone controls that shelf space. It’s as simple as that. I used to wonder if everyone was just too stupid to read good literature or was it the marketing? Were these books actually brilliant and I’m just the fucking idiot? Was it the manager of the store who had no taste? Go to another store from the same corporate chain on the other side of town and you’ll see the same books right there on the shelf. There’s a conspiracy to dumb down America and if you don’t see it I don’t how to explain it to you. Something is under control. Sometimes I feel like Winston Smith from 1984 when I discus this problem and I am amazed at how people just repeat the same slogans they hear off the Telescreen. And anyone who thinks differently is committing Thoughtcrime. If you’re too stupid to steal books or think it’s morally wrong then don’t. I don’t really give a fuck.

“I hate the reading idlers.” – Fredrick Nietzsche

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