Mel Bochner, Meaningless, 2003
* William Burroughs narrates a video, possibly titled "Superstition: Middle Ages and Now," in which "all the witches have to show respect for Satan by kissing his ass."
The original satanic footage here is from a 1922 silent film which was re-released in 1968 with a soundtrack by Jean-Luc Ponty and narration by Burroughs. For the brand new second half, your guess is as good as mine.
* Iraq War public relations. exerpt:
"The Pentagon is buttressing its public relations staff and starting an operation akin to a political campaign war room as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld faces intensifying criticism over the Iraq war.
"In a memo obtained by the Associated Press, Dorrance Smith, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said new teams of people will 'develop messages' for the 24-hour news cycle and 'correct the record.'"
"Rumsfeld has complained bitterly that the press focuses too much attention on bad news coming out of Iraq, and not enough on progress being made there. As an example, during a trip to Nevada earlier this year, he said he was deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in 'manipulating the media' to influence Westerners."
"Ruff said today that the reorganization, spearheaded by Smith, will help the department "set the record straight" and provide accurate, timely information.
"He denied that the effort was set up to respond to the eroding public support for the war, or that it was aimed at helping in next week's elections. He also said he would not call it an 'information operations' program, which generally refers to a propaganda-type campaign.
"Ruff said the effort grew out of Rumsfeld's criticism of the department's communications capabilities, which the secretary compared unfavorably to how quickly and effectively terrorists can get their message out.
"'If I were grading I would say we probably deserve a 'D' or a 'D-plus' as a country as to how well we're doing in the battle of ideas that's taking place in the world today,' Rumsfeld said during a visit to the Army War College in March. 'I'm not going to suggest that it's easy, but we have not found the formula as a country' for countering the extremists' message.
"'We're trying to do better than a D-plus,' said Ruff."
* The Caribbean are playing The Trash Bar (256 Grand Street Brooklyn, NY) tomorrow evening as part of HomeTapes' CMJ showcase. The Caribbean are slated to hit the stage at 9:30pm. Labelmates Nick Butcher goes on at 8:45pm and Paul Duncan headlines at 12:30am.