Thursday, July 30, 2009

Onwards from Gutenberg

Ever since Gutenberg, Caxton and Wynkyn de Worde changed the world with movable type there has been no excuse to avoid print.

Pamphlets, books, brochures, fanzines all owe a debt to the makers of the printing press.

And here's a site telling you all about letter press printing.

Here's a good link to pictures and descriptions of printing presses. I am always amazed at how something so functional can also be so beautiful, but that may just be me.

Without the printing press there would be no easy access to literature or science.

Three cheers for the printing press.

Gutenberg and Caxton had their part to play but for furthering the art of printing the plaudit must go to the printer Wynkyn de Worde.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More Spooky Men's Chorale

Back in 2007 the Spooky Men's Chorale had a solution to Australia's political, economic and social problems. Their solution was to Vote the Bastards Out.

Spooky Men's Chorale

A mate introduced me to the Spooky Men's Chorale:

And here they are singing about men and tools:

Innuendo never made me smile so much!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Life, Zizek and Kung Fu Panda

Sometimes when you have things to do, places to go, cricket matches to watch, books to read, films to see work rears its ugly head and you have to put the important things on hold.

Today, over breakfast, reading the LRB, I caught Zizek's latest piece on Iran, Ahmadinejad, Berlusconi and Kung Fu Panda.
But whatever the outcome, it is vital to keep in mind that we have witnessed a great emancipatory event which doesn’t fit within the frame of a struggle between pro-Western liberals and anti-Western fundamentalists. If we don’t see this, if as a consequence of our cynical pragmatism, we have lost the capacity to recognise the promise of emancipation, we in the West will have entered a post-democratic era, ready for our own Ahmadinejads. Italians already know his name: Berlusconi. Others are waiting in line.

Is there a link between Ahmadinejad and Berlusconi? Isn’t it preposterous even to compare Ahmadinejad with a democratically elected Western leader? Unfortunately, it isn’t: the two are part of the same global process. If there is one person to whom monuments will be built a hundred years from now, Peter Sloterdijk once remarked, it is Lee Kuan Yew, the Singaporean leader who thought up and put into practice a ‘capitalism with Asian values’. The virus of authoritarian capitalism is slowly but surely spreading around the globe. Deng Xiaoping praised Singapore as the model that all of China should follow. Until now, capitalism has always seemed to be inextricably linked with democracy; it’s true there were, from time to time, episodes of direct dictatorship, but, after a decade or two, democracy again imposed itself (in South Korea, for example, or Chile). Now, however, the link between democracy and capitalism has been broken.
And then comes the punchline:
Berlusconi is our own Kung Fu Panda. As the Marx Brothers might have put it, ‘this man may look like a corrupt idiot and act like a corrupt idiot, but don’t let that deceive you – he is a corrupt idiot.’
So how do you deal with idiocracy?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Full Picture

Not a partial picture. Not a bit of the picture. But a whole picture.

An ancient advert for the Guardian.
An event seen from one point of view gives one impression.
Seen from another point of view it gives a quite different impression.
But it’s only when you get the full picture you can fully understand what’s going on!
They don't make 'em like that anymore.