The Invisible Simian Labor Force

About a week back I posted a link on Twitter to this article about a Berkeley woman who has been hiring out her pet monkey as a fruit harvester.  For a small free and a cut of the fruit, you can get your trees harvested of all those sweet unreachables. Naturally, it took me until this morning to figure out it was an April Fool’s Day hoax.  What? Fact-checking? However, the basic idea is not too far fetched.  Humans have gotten a days work out of our simian cousins for a long time and continue to do so.  Helper monkeys aid people with mobility problems, giving them back their independence and providing companionship.  The Monkey Business alluded to seems to be merely a mashup between this concept and open fruit map. I was further encouraged to come across a kindred spirit, accused of primate-related gullibility: In the issue of Science […]

Butoh

click through for HD–recommended [Before I get into talking about Butoh, let me first just say that the above is a great example of how to make a single-camera document of a performance watchable afterward by people who weren’t there.  Greta job, Rick.  Everyone else, watch it full screen or not at all.] Butoh is an art with far more people saying its name than doing it well, the sort of thing that’s easy to get turned off of by the people who will excitedly tell you about it.  Think Stan Brakhage or yoga or string theory or quinoa.  I originally dismissed it all as another bit of the weird, modern East for performers to dig into for avant garde street cred.  Well, actually that’s pretty accurate but really, that’s just the part you’ve got to get over to really dig into the meat of it and not taste the […]

Adam Curtis Says You're as Crazy as Richard Nixon

In summary: the media is a vast jabbering mouth screaming all the ways you will die in terrible pain and loneliness.  Why the hell would we let a wretched creature like that in the room? Well, because maybe, just maybe, it might finally cough up a scrap of truth.  And we’re wired to hang onto that hope. I recommend you embrace doom, joyfully.

Hit Instrumental Songs

Regularly, instrumental songs became a #1 hit from Billboard’s inception in 1950. That is, until 1985. It has been 25 years since an instrumental charted that high. The last time an instrumental made the top 20 was 1996. What does this say about our culture today?