Monthly Archives: February 2009
Ahoy there. You’re anxious about the transfer of television to all digital, aren’t you? I know I am, and it’s causing me not so excellent ulcers, not so excellent at all.
So it seems that airwaves will cease their relentless humming and be transferred into ground waves through cables of digital nature. It makes me sad a little, to think that you can longer get a shitty tv and a shitty antenna and then watch some shitty Spanish language soap opera through mild static. Such nostalgia for bad reception and honest to goodness programming. They just don’t make it like they used to. Now everyone’s all hopped up on reality and clarity and definition, as if what we see everyday through our eyes isn’t real and clear and defined enough. Maybe I WANT to squint every once and a while! COME ON!
Anyway, the abandonment of analogue for digital got me thinking, what exactly are they going to do with all of that airspace? Well they’re going to use it for emergency services and public stuff, but I like to think that’s not really going to happen and what they’re really going to do with the waves is just kind of forget about them. Which means, dear reader (me), that we will have open to us a veritable cornucopia of uncharted air-waters to pillage and plunder with our unique and artistic expressions.
Ah the pirating of airwaves is a dirty, dangerous (not to mention difficult) undertaking. Since stations are making the switch, it’s safe to assume that they’ll be turning off their analogue systems, which means that for this to work we’ll have to build our own transmitter. I don’t know how to do this, but I bet somewhere, somehow there are instructions. Instructions that one day will be followed.
To get motivated for our eventual take-over of the abandoned airwaves let’s take a trip down airwave-piracy-memory-lane….
On April 26, 1986, a man calling himself Captain Midnight, interrupted HBO’s transmission with the following:
It stayed on air for about five minutes and the words on the color bars are as follows:
FROM CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT
NO WAY !
[SHOWTIME/MOVIE CHANNEL BEWARE!]
Way to make a statement Captain Midnight.
Chicago, November 22, 1987. There you are in your living room watching Dr. Who: Horror of Fang Rock (apparently I really need to start watching Dr. Who) then this:
I don’t really know what one can say about that. Flyswatter’s my favorite part…
Throughout the remainder of the 80s and 90s there were a couple more broadcast interruption incidents one where some hoo-ha from the Christian Broadcasting Network interrupted Playboy TV’s transmission. I’m not quite sure what he did with that transmission, but it sounds dumb so that’s all we’ll say on that matter.
In other countries, like the Old Soviet Union, transmission interruption was a pretty regular occurrence due to people’s desire to see non-government TV. In Poland in 1985 four astronomers hijacked a TV signal and broadcast a plea for the people to boycott the upcoming election. And in 2006, Isreal hijakced Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV and showed propaganda, including the bombing of targets in Lebanon with words like “your day is coming.” Egad.
While our foreign neighbors use the piracy of airwaves for political purposes, good ole Americans keep it real with disembodied heads and complaints about pricing plans. And of course lets not forget our most recent foray into the fires of Television piracy…..
Hey there. So how about that Super Bowl, huh? Some pretty great footballin, it was excellent really pretty excellent (if you’re into that sort of thing and if you are, that’s great there’s absolutely nothing wrong with liking or even loving football, and I don’t mean to talk down to you either, not that I think I’m talking down to you, but I just think it’s important that YOU know I fully support your passions be they football foozball or murderball)
I don’t really have anything to write about so I’m going to write about nothing, empty space, the void, the vacuum. What amazes me and starts me on a weird and unusual line of thinking is this: the expanding virtual space into (onto?) which things can be saved, and how said space seems to be shrinking in real space but growing in virtual space. Take, for instance, this computer on which I type. Back in the day I would have been delighted to have, say, 1 gigabyte of hard disk space and now I have a whopping 200 gigs. And this, dear friends, is just the beginning. I now know words like terabyte (1000 gigabytes) and soon my lexicon will employ words like petabyte (1000 terabytes) and whatever will come after petabytes. I’m so baffled by where all this space originates and it’s ever-growing nature.
I sometimes wake in the middle of the night, sit upright, and imagine myself being pulled down into the dark bottomless void that is cyberspace. Will the space ever reach it’s limit? Will it begin contracting instead of expanding like the universe? (Is the universe still expanding? Have we hit the shrinking stage yet? We’ll tackle that another day)
Thinking about the end of space, cyberspace to be more specific, makes me feel like I’m living in weird reality that doesn’t exist. Step away from the hard drive. Get your photos developed. Buy CDs? Or even better yet, records? Stuff?! STUFF?!? What’s happening to all of our stuff? It’s being turned into ones and zeros. Maybe that’s best, maybe when the space gets flushed we’ll all be without stuff, just like John Lennon wanted.
GA – ROSS! Jesus Christ, put a lid on that thing. Do you have no sense of smell, of humanity, of MERCY?! Please! Seal it up! This is not excellent not excellent at ALL.
Ok, I know, I know, you can’t really smell anything, nor can I, but I can smell my imagination percolating away, perck perck percking! Smell is an incredibly strong sense. It can trigger memories, nausea, happiness, sadness, or homicidal compulsions. In fact, after some research on the old internet I found out very interesting things, very interesting things indeed.
Firstly, preferences of smell are learned and different for each individual. It’s not like taste where when you’re born you already have a preference for taste due to buds and chemical reactions and, you know, science and babies. But that’s neither here nor there. So yes, when you smell something while experiencing pleasure, pain, stomach upsetedness, or murder, your brain forges a link between that smell and that circumstance, making the two linked forever. For all eternity. Until the end of time and future space.
How has scents’ ability to bring back painful or happy memories or even induce strong feelings of fear or disgust been used? It turns out that governments caught wind (right? WIND? CAUGHT WIND??!) of this and decided to employ it in warfare. The first known instance of this experimentation was in World War II when the Office of Strategic Services developed a scent to be carried by the French Resistance. The scent was packaged in a pocket atomizer and distributed to French Resistance living in German occupied France. The idea was that with one squirt of the scent, called Who Me?, the French could embarrass the German officers so horribly that they would abandon their posts and go screaming back to Germany. Sounds highly unlikely right? Yes absolutely, it was highly unlikely, mainly because it turns out that Who Me? is quite hard to control and contain. The squirter could easily become the squirtee and then everyone just ended up smelling like the most horrible shit ever unleashed in Europe. Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), Project Who Me? was deemed an utter failure and the French went back to smelling of croissants and cigarettes, while the Germans remained reeking of borscht and sauerkraut.
Well that was over sixty years ago, what’s being used now? I want to know and I want to know bad! Turns out smell has kind of reached a dead end for being used in warfare. In the 70s the government did some tests: hollowed out chicken eggs and filled them with chemical compounds that stank of shit. These eggs were then lobbed at enlisted men to see how they would react. God bless the US Military! It was discovered that people usually adapt to a smell within fifteen minutes of exposure, so for all practical purposes using the ole’factory in warfare became kind of moot. Bummer. Still, the idea of the army bankrolling scientists to create the most horrible odors the world has ever smelt is hilarious and fascinating. To me… yes me… who me?