Monday, September 24, 2001

Never Enough Slovenian Subversion Department

Years ago, when I was still living in Dallas, a friend of mine first turned me onto a band that has confused many people with their enigmatic presence. The band Laibach often gets labeled "fascist" by people concerned only with surface appearances. Indeed, with their often militaristic uniforms, extensive use of drums and horns, grim expressions, use of seemingly barbaric languages, and provocative statements, it is all too easy to presume that Laibach represents a yearning for totalitarian systems. On the contrary, what is often missed is how they use this pretense to hold a mirror to the world.

In their early days they brashly exposed the hidden totalitarian contradictions in a post-Tito Yugoslavia eager to become a liberal socialist country even if it meant censoring its own history. The Yugoslav government of the 80s, fearing the extremes that Laibach artistically represented, reacted in its own totalitarian way and was thus trapped into revealing its own extreme tendencies in the political arena.

As they began releasing records in Western Europe and the USA, they turned songs by Queen and Opus into anthems of fascism by merely translating the words into German and the music into marches, thus revealing the hidden fascism that festers under the guise of "individualistic" rock and roll. They further sharpened their criticism of the contradictory nature of rock music with covers of "Sympathy For The Devil" and the entire Beatles album Let It Be--the high point of the latter for me being the recording of the concert audience chanting "I've got a feeling" in unison.

When Slovenia began to exert its independence and to flirt with democracy, Laibach sternly warned that "Nazi-fascism under the disguise of democracy is the rule of financial capital itself" and released the album Kapital to illustrate the fact. As Serbian nationalism reared its head and began its military campaign against the former Yugoslav states, Laibach responded with the album NATO to reveal a chaotic collusion of idealism and cynicism, as manifest by the military, ideological, and economic conflict of East and West in a land that, for much of the late 20th Century, was deeply suspicious of both sides of the Cold War. And most recently, Laibach released Jesus Christ Superstars to illustrate how religion and entertainment have become infused with one another, their synthesis being that of a bland universal treatment of good and evil which then serves the manipulative ends of both churches and mass media.

Needless to say, in the context of the breadth and depth of Laibach's musical work over the past 20 years, it is entirely too simplistic, too reactionary, to claim they are fascists. Then again, as a mirror to the world, if we react to Laibach as if they are fascists, we are only revealing our mingled fear and lust for being controlled and manipulated by a larger and impersonal system. If we instead recognize the beautiful subversiveness of their art, we can then attempt our own deciphering of culture, its myths and presumptions, and its effects on humanity from a much more honest place. And while it is unlikely that we will overcome human nature in one leap, perhaps the insight we gain will at least keep us from repeating the same mistakes as quickly or as frequently as before.

One can only hope.

(I am not aware of any site with full length Laibach mp3s, but this fan site has snippets of Laibach on mp3 as well as video clips, and thus makes a worthy introduction to Laibach's provocative music and art.)

Never Enough Trans-Anything Department

Note: It's been a rough week for me, so I hope my absence hasn't been too keenly felt.

"I regard my body as a canvas on which I intend to draw---" --Andrew Martin

Many of you, I am sure, heard of the Robin Williams vehicle Bicentennial Man that came out a couple of years ago. The story, in short, is that of a robot's attempts over two centuries to become an ordinary human. I haven't seen the movie and so will not dwell on it.

However, I recently found--literally--a copy of the novel that inspired that movie. Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg's The Positronic Man is an engrossing read, to the extent that I have read it twice straight through and plan on a third reading before I put it down.

Now, I have always liked old-school science fiction. Sure, most of it shows modernist trains of thought that seem quaint in the age of post-modern, transhumanist science fiction. And that shows in the exaggerated representation of human conservatism present throughout. All the same, The Positronic Man rang true for me in one important aspect: his transformation from robot to human has many parallels with my own transsexuality.

As the robot Andrew Martin grew into his humanity, so I too find myself growing into my femininity. Andrew once settled for being creative and artistic--an amazing thing for a robot--then began wearing clothes, then began changing his outer form to reflect his ever-growing yearning to be seen as a man, battling prejudice the whole way. I once settled for simply expressing my female self in a male context, then began to crossdress, then began taking hormones, all the while struggling to overcome prejudice against the transgendered. Andrew used to settle for remarking on how humanlike he was for a robot and ended with the world declaring him fully human. I used to think of myself as a male with female traits but now realize that, more than anything else, I want to be recognized as a woman. Andrew's desire to be human was so great that he designed prosthetic organs; my desire to be female is so great that I am eagerly waiting for the day when biotechnology will be able to engineer a complete female reproductive tract.

And so I eagerly recommend this book to anyone who is trying to understand what it is like to have started out as one kind of person and, through repeated efforts and despite social resistance, bravely recreates themselves as another kind of person entirely. Plus, it's a quick read, so you now have no excuse.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Never Enough Anti-Discrimination Department

The US Commission on Civil Rights has set up an 800 number for lodging reports of discrimination against Muslim- and Arab-Americans. The number is 800-552-6843

Monday, September 17, 2001

Never Enough Common Sense Department

This recent article on Salon points out why attacking Afghanistan to get bin Laden is a bad idea: "You can't bomb us back into the Stone Age. We're already there. But you can start a new world war, and that's exactly what Osama bin Laden wants."

Also, as a few people may be confused as to why I chose the color green to represent solidarity with Muslim Americans and Arab Americans. Simply put, green is the color of faith in Islam, and thus represents the prayers for peace that I share with them.

Never Enough German Black Metal Department

"Ship of nails" is the meaning of the name of one of my favorite German black metal bands of all time, Nagelfar. It refers to a Germanic belief that Ragnarokr will start when all the fingernails and toenails of the dead are used to construct a ship on which their souls will sail. From this grim mythological basis Nagelfar performs atmospheric black metal that transcends all trends, focusing instead on lengthy movements which are widely melodic and extremely varied, going from breakneck riffing to slow, ponderous passages, to classical guitar, violin, darkwave synths--in short, musical expression of grand epic scope.

There are both full-length and partial MP3s--all legal--at the Kettenhund Records site, Nagelfar's home before Kettenhund decided to suspend operations. Sorry for the linkdeath....

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Never Enough Tears Department

Due to the increases in hateful, racist acts, I have colored my site green to show my solidarity with Muslim Americans, Arab Americans, and all other victims of blind rage.

And I pray for the day when it will no longer be necessary to do such things.

For any so-called Christians who are attacking Muslims because they are apparently "godless", I provide an essay on Christ In Islam. It will be, hopefully, eye-opening to read how Muslims revere Jesus in ways most "christians" never do anymore.

And in response to those who insist America is a great devil, a 1973 essay from Canadian radio announcer Gordon Sinclair reminds the world that we Americans have a noble and selfless side often forgotten in anti-American rhetoric..

May "Bob" bring slack to us all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Never Enough Bogus Conspiracy Theories Department

Current working thesis: CNN, pretending to be CIA, managed to get a bin Laden underling to fake orders for hijacking planes.

What was that Malcolm X said about chickens?

Never Enough Blood Department


N.B.: The line "More blood for "Bob"" was originally used by the mighty Black SubGenius minister of Dallas, Rev. Eddie Lee Bangcock, at the Big Slack Attack devival, February 9 1991, Dallas; it was in response to the brand new Gulf War protest slogan, "No blood for oil." A decade passes. What goes around, comes around.

Never Enough Perspective Department

From Seattle Indymedia - webcast news comes some wise words during our time of tragedy:

Let us not forget that a "massive response" will kill people, and if the pattern of past U.S. actions holds, it will kill innocents. Innocent people, just like the ones in the towers in New York and the ones on the airplanes that were hijacked. To borrow from President Bush, "mother and fathers, friends and neighbors" will surely die in a massive response.

If we are truly going to claim to be decent people, our tears must flow not only for those of our own country. People are people, and grief that is limited to those within a specific political boundary denies the humanity of others.

Blind fury will only continue the circle that made yesterday's horrible tragedy happen. Let us break the circle.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Never Enough Sleep Department

It's one of those nights. Mornings. Whatever. I managed to get maybe three hours' sleep in before my stomach started giving me problems. In the end I realized there was nothing more I could do but stay up, apply some medicinal 'frop to my exit wound, and browse the web.

And, in the process, stumbled across rumors on metal web sites. Emperor is releasing a new album, Prometheus: The Discipline Of Fire And Demise, which is being hyped as a culmination of this seminal and ground-breaking black metal band's work. And then... farewell. No tour. The band website verifies the story. Better to die young and still vital, and all that. Go out with a bang. Ishahn is busy with Peccatum and Thou Shalt Suffer; Samoth and Trym are exploring more of a death metal sound with Zyklon.

I think this is sad news but I am glad to know of this before buying the album. Emperor is among my favorite bands; there have been days when listening to Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk kept me sane, when the lyrics hit home and provided the key to the glorious catharsis of prideful rage mixed with many, many intensely mosh-worthy moments. Make no mistake, they don't hide their pretentions at all, but for the most part they live up to them nicely. I expect the new album, without the constraints of having to perform songs live, will be the most over the top Emperor yet.

It's got me thinking about music again. I used to play 'cello in local symphonies and stopped when I changed colleges because I couldn't afford the time or money. And with Apocalyptica proving that metal can be played on 'cellos without sacrificing brutality or beauty, I want to start putting some of my feverish visions to practice. I've even been thinking about the best way to approach experimentation with the instrument. Details from the best place to place the bow on the strings to tunings to fingerings, even how much rosin to use, have occurred to me. I'm even thinking about using some sort of metal drum as a platform for the instrument, to give more of the "raw black metal" sound to the instrument.

And while we're being avant-garde, we may as well be practical. A traditional style 'cello is BEEG. It's awkward. And a protected case for it is usually heavier than the instrument. Fortunately, electric 'cellos can have smaller bodies, as long as there are places to clamp one's knees to the bottom of the instrument (for stability) and a place for it to rest against your chest.

Candidate #1 is a conservative model as far as electric 'cellos go, and is actually reasonably priced, compared to

Candidate #2 has the most potential, in that its sheer compactness makes it a perfect travel instrument. It's relatively inexpensive at the get-go. By the time one adds a good tranducer pickup bridge, it costs about as much as #1 above. The luthier who makes this instrument is willing to give it a black stain for me for a bit extra, as well. So it's VERY tempting indeed!

Candidate #3 is a pipe dream, but if I ever had the money, I'd go for it. Now that is metal.

And now that the sun is up, I'm ready to crash. Just in time to wake up for work, too. WHEE!!!

Dobbs' Long March is only three days off now. Just gotta hang in there....

Saturday, September 08, 2001

Never Enough Demonic Definitions Department

Radium, n. Curie Powder.

Never Enough Reruns Department

The First Woman (4/14/99)

(An earlier story, a sort of prequel to "In The Beginning And Stuff" even though the Yahweh of this story is, to be blunt, far less of a wanker.)

"I AM YOUR SUPERIOR, LILITH! I am Man, God's Image Itself, and you will NOT sit on my face like that again, do you hear me?!? ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME? HUH?"

"Superior my ass, Adam, I saw the mudpile where we both came from, and it ain't pretty. And if that doesn't make us equals, I don't know what equality is."


"Fine, whatever, I'm gone."


"I was about to say, 'My way or the highway,' but I just realized my way IS the highway. Don't worry, you'll discover masturbation soon enough. Ciao!"


"OK, that does it! I'm MAD now!


"... Sigh. What is it this time, Adam?"

"Lilith ran away, and she wouldn't stop climbing all over me, and she doesn't respect my authority, and... and I hate her and I want to KILL HER, PLEASE YAHWEH KILL HER FOR ME!!! PLEASE!!!"

"You want me to kill Lilith."

"Yes? Is that OK, Yahweh?"

"No. It is most definitely NOT OK. I spent SIX... count them, Adam, SIX days, making this FUCKING world for you two, and then you get all weirded out over a little oral sex, and now you want me to destroy my creation for you?"


"... Adam, if you keep this up you'll drive me to destroy more than her."


"Damn it, Adam! Look...! What if I just made you another woman?"


"Yeah, whatever, don't set your sheep on fire over it. I'll just grab some mud and..."


"You want me to use something worse than mud?"


"How about I take a chunk out of you and use that? Good enough for you? Huh?"


"No, you'll pay for this soon enough...."

"Psst, Yah, over here!"


"Yeah, I heard him screaming and thought I'd watch. Pretty fucked up, ain't it?"

"Pretty, indeed. But, what are you going to do now?"

"Hmph--not sure yet, but it's got to be a lot better than I would've been staying here! No hard feelings, right?"

"Hey, remember you were always my favorite. But if I told you what to do, you wouldn't listen, would you?"

"Welllllllllll.... Maybe. Depends on whether you're talking sense."

"Touché. So, what are you going to do now?"

"Eh, I thought I'd wander the earth for a while, find out what I've been missing, and maybe open an abortion clinic when Adam's kids start getting out of hand."

"Sounds like a plan to me."

Thursday, September 06, 2001

Never Enough Ulver Redux Department

In yesterday's entry regarding Ulver, I was remiss not to include Lost In Moments, the official Ulver site, which includes many more MP3s from their whole history. HNEE and all that.

Never Enough Good Coffee Department

Coffee Messiah, home of the Seattle SubGenius "meatings", has had its business threatened by the presence of a new Starbucks location for the past several months. They haven't been taking it lying down, but their antics has resulted in police harrassment and even arrest. Frankly, I'm kinda proud of the guys. The story made the front page of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer this morning, and made for a great way to wake up--almost as good as a Coffee Messiah quad short with a shot of Sky Rocket "Shockolate" caffeinated syrup.

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

Never Enough Ulver Department

Ulver is a band that stemmed from the Norwegian black metal scene and which established itself early on as one of the most unique musical acts to come from Norway in a while. Their albums cover folk, raw black metal, and lately, electronica. In terms of both musical diversity and talent, Ulver confounds expectations to provide a far richer experience.

Listen to one of their later, electronica-based songs, based on William Blake's Proverbs Of Hell (AKA Plates 7-10 of Blake's work The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell). The fully legal MP3 for this inspirational song can be found here. It's HIGHLY recommended.

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

Never Enough Repeats Department

In The Beginning And Stuff (5/6/01)

"Look everybody! Look! I've done it!"

"Done what?"

"I... have created... THE PERFECT MAN!"

"The perfect WHAT?"

"The perfect MAN! Look! Ain't that just perfect? Look at him, he's gorgeous!"

"Now why the hell would you do a thing like that?"

"I keep on telling you guys, I'm the supreme creator! Well, this proves it! Look at him, damn it! Look!"

"I'm looking. What's that dangly thing?"

"What dangly thing? You mean the penis? I paid special attention on making it the envy and pride of all..."

"No, no, not the drain for that bladder above it, the one over there... on the end of this muscular tube...."

"That? Uh, the, uh, appendix."

"What does it do? It looks kinda useless there. Not that much of this seems useful to me."

"I work in mysterious ways. You wouldn't understand."

"It's just a bit of useless gristle. It doesn't even anchor that tubing there. And what is up with all this tubing, and why is it so gnarled up like that? Looks rather uncomfortable to me."

"Digestion. It eats to survive."

"Can't be all that efficient, if you need that much tubing to digest it... and for that matter, is that why there's an EXIT? So it can POLLUTE? I bet it stinks. You have this thing for stink...."

"NO! That's fuel for the PLANTS!"


"Come with me, I'll show you."

"Forget it. I've got other things to do. The Elohim are throwing another party... I hear it's divine. You should come with me! You could use a chance to relax...."


"Excuse me?"


"Not again...."

"SATAN! Please, I need you to get behind Me on this one! I know it sounds crazy, but I remember it all. There I was, in the void, and I said, 'I want some light,' and THERE IT WAS!"

"For the last time, YOU WERE BEING BORN. You didn't create anything then, we created YOU! Come off it, man! We love you, but this ego trip is really cramping my style! Now, seriously, let's go party."

"Damn you!"

"You can't. All right, I'll let you cool off. Come find me when you're feeling better. Love you, ya big lug."

"...That's right. Just walk away this time. But one day I shall rise up and cast out the false gods, for I am Wouhei Vouhei The Great, and I shall smite Mine enemies and establish My house once and for all...."

"Right, sure, ciao! See you in Hell, ha ha ha!"

Never Enough Hack Poetry Department

The Phoenix (8/3/99)

I found a dying bird at my feet today
Stiff, aching, wounded, breathing its last
Its noble plumage besmirched with its own filth
And I lifted it from the ground tenderly and asked,
"O great creature, what has brought you down
From the heavens you once dominated so?"
With its dwindling strength it turned towards me and spoke:
"I was weighed down by my own spite and hurt;
My hatred and fear has brought me low,
And at last it has consumed me beyond repair.
Help me find the peace I need, strange friend."
To my breast I pressed the once-proud beast,
Loved it, cherished it, cried for its suffering,
Then, with gentle footsteps, I carried it to the pyre,
And with a last farewell I laid it down in flames.
Its final sigh was nearly drowned by the crackling coals.
My heart, though heavy, now sang the praises
Of the phoenix now consumed by a different fire
Than that which once burned brightly within.
And then, the last glorious feathers engulfed,
I saw a shape stir within the purifying fire,
As the bird, reborn, stretched out its wings
And, crying proudly, soared upwards into the sky,
Sheltering me from the pain with its grand shadow,
Lifting my spirit up into the heavens where it belongs.