Recent musical discoveries

March 19, 2007 at 8:17 pm (music, politics)

Jenny Wilson: Love and Youth

I was sitting in the living room of a friend in Sydney with the TV on. A bizarre little music video with black-and-white doodles wandering around the screen came on, with a vaguely lazy post-electroclash sound and a woman singing delightfully strange adolescent lyrics. What made this embarassing was that I had no idea who this person was despite Jenny Wilson having been massively hyped by the Finnish/Nordic press when her album was actually new. And I think she is the author of my favourite sound byte of the past couple of years – I obviously don’t remember it word for word, but the gist of it is that as she was an unemployed single mom while she was working on the material for Love and Youth, she can be thought of as a product of the Nordic welfare system. Which sounded wonderful and a little disturbing.

On one hand, this is what you get from a strong welfare state: exceptional talent comes out and benefits the state (here: probably the Swedish tourism bureau) regardless of economic background. On the other, the government gave her money while she wasn’t even trying to find a job, and just played around with samplers and lyrics and things. I suppose it depends on your political affiliation whether you think this is worthwhile. I’d like to think that it is, but for this kind of a system to be supported, rich people will have to pay lots and lots of money in tax.

Rufus Wainwright: Want (Two) Read the rest of this entry »

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Slippery Little Devil: Feminism

March 14, 2007 at 4:05 pm (politics)

Feminism is funny

When I first discovered my mother’s stash of Doris Lessing books, I was delighted. My mom – dedicated warrior against all things genre (unless the genre was nouvelle vague or Russian realism) – had forayed into science fiction? Also, female sf writer? Has to be feminist. And if she’s a feminist, she must agree with me on gender equality issues, and I can safely expect her books to offer me the warm fuzzy smugness of agreeing on politics. Little did I know that Lessing was but a few years away from denouncing her status as a “feminist icon” (having already denied writing “science fiction”), or that feminism was mighty different back in the day (1970s). I trudged part way through her Canopus in Argos series, and wasn’t quite sure whether to laugh or cry when I got to what can only be described as the sf precursor to Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – part two of the series, The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four, and Five (1980, admittedly).

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Ostalgiaa

January 4, 2007 at 9:49 pm (politics, travel)

Trabi-Land

Kiellettiinkö sinulta lapsena Aku Ankka, koska se on amerikkalaista kulttuuri-imperialismia? Tiedätkö, mikä on Kipinä-lehti? Teitkö aikanaan lasten sanaristikoita, joiden ratkaisuun kuuluivat olennaisena osana mm. sanat “rauha” ja “solidaarisuus”? Tuleeko Che-paidoista aina ensimmäisenä mieleen isä sammareissa? Kutsutko Castroa vieläkin etunimeltä? Kyseessä on nähdäkseni ns. ostalgian lievempi kotimainen muoto, taistostalgia. Read the rest of this entry »

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SPR: Synkkä ei homoverelle

November 2, 2006 at 5:40 pm (politics)

HOMOVAARA

Tämähän on vanha juttu, mutta heräsin lehtijutun myötä taas kauhistelemaan: Suomen Punaisen Ristin Veripalvelu pitää miesten välistä seksiä pysyvänä esteenä verenluovutukselle. Ihan totta! Ns. “kaikille” on voimassa kolmen kuukauden luovutuskielto uuden seksipartnerin kanssa hommailun jälkeen. Luulisi tämän seulovan bareback-orgioissa riehuvat poppers-päiset high-risk-homot luovuttajista jo valmiiksi (laske suomenkieliset sanat edellisessä lauseessa). Veripalvelu kuitenkin pelkää homoruton riistäytyvän käsistä, jos naapurin Erkki ja Esa päästetään laverille. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cosmetics of Evil

October 7, 2006 at 12:09 am (politics)

My friend recently directed me to an ancient link about the labour practices of the cosmetics company Lush Canada. The article featured in a 2000 issue of A-infos, “a multi-lingual new source by, for, and about anarchists” (let the reader beware), and states that the workers at the Lush Canada manufacturing centre went on strike when their employer said they could not organise and actually fired some of the workers for joining a labour union. Allegedly. Read the rest of this entry »

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