I won’t be posting here anymore. Maybe reblogging, but anything I write will live at http://zeroclarkthirty.com, or some subdomain thereof (blog.zeroclarkthirty.com, whammy.zeroclarkthirty.com, CHOICES). The code highlighting I’ve got set up over there will make things that much sexier. I think you’ll agree.
It has recently become fashionable to insist on an impending energy crisis. This euphemistic term conceals a contradiction and consecrates an illusion. It masks the contradiction implicit in the joint pursuit of equity and industrial growth. It safeguards the illusion that machine power can indeﬁnitely take the place of manpower.
To resolve this contradiction and dispel this illusion, it is urgent to clarify the reality that the language of crisis obscures: high quanta of energy degrade social relations just as inevitably as they destroy the physical milieu.
The advocates of an energy crisis believe in and continue to propagate a peculiar vision of man. According to this notion, man is born into perpetual dependence on slaves which he must painfully learn to master. If he does not employ prisoners, then he needs machines to do most of his work.
According to this doctrine, the well-being of a society can be measured by the number of years its members have gone to school and by the number of energy slaves they have thereby learned to command.
This belief is common to the conﬂicting economic ideologies now in vogue. It is threatened by the obvious inequity, harriedness, and impotence that appear everywhere once the voracious hordes of energy slaves outnumber people by a certain proportion. The energy crisis focuses concern on the scarcity of fodder for these slaves. I prefer to ask whether free men need them.
This album comes from an interesting time in my life. I remember spending an inhumane amount of time on the net, second only to perhaps the amount I spend here in the present. It was an era of discovery. I remember that Pitchfork was still something of a new, hot thing, and OiNK’s Pink Palace was roaring along with glee.
Of the two Mew albums I know well and love dearly, this was the first. This was the introduction (with “Frengers” being the other) to the bizarre Danish shoegaze progstonauts called Mew.
I was a big frequenter of music blogs at this point, and somewhere I remember reading someone refer to And The Glass Handed Kites as “Cocteau Twins freaks Sonic Youth”, or something like that. I never really got into Sonic Youth, but holy shit can you hear the Cocteau Twins on this one.
This album is influential to me for more than just its serving as my vector, my mis en scene, if you will, into Frengers. It was also the first time I can remember discovering a song so breathtaking, so pants-shittingly awesome, that I just kept it on repeat for hours on end.
That song is called “Special”, and it is. I still has the best start to a chorus of all time. That feeling you get when they hit it, and he cries, “I know what you said to me…” is fucking it. Turn it up loud and don’t take my word for it.
This album was also part of a brief proggy foray I took at that time, with bands like The Mars Volta, At the Drive In, Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears, The Sound of Animals Fighting, and Battles. It really seemed like neo-prog was the thing back then (somehow I missed out on The Fucking Champs metaling it up). Now we have Fang Island the newer M83 stuff, which is fucking great. What a rich genre.
Anyway, I’ve left the point somewhere on the side of the road, but go on and see if you can handle musical genius cocktail 1-part Denmark, 1-part shoegaze, 1-part spaceprog.
“The true reality is mostly darkness,” he intoned. “There is scarcely any light or matter—that’s just the graphic front end for the cosmic code. Most of the cosmic code is Dark Energy and Dark Matter. The stuff we foolishly call ‘reality’ is the cute friendly part with the kid-colored don’t-be-evil Google graphics. The true, actual, cosmic reality is the giant Google network pipes and the huge steel barns full of Google Cloud. It’s vast and alien and terrifying. Julio and Adrienne rashly pried off the surface of that code. Then the two of them, they just … They bluescreened. They snowcrashed. They went Dark.”
Big Data apps—they were hot—were full of ‘knowledge’ no ‘man’ was ever going to ‘know.’ Wolfram’s Mathematica could answer millions of questions no man had ever asked. Even Siri blurted out awesome surreal cut-up bullshit that William Burroughs couldn’t match in Tangiers.
“I’ve been suffering,” said Crawferd, “living with cosmic reality for three weeks now. I’m surrounded by terrifying networks of dark matter and energy which are one keyboard tap away yet can never be detected with our human senses.”