Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Sunn 0))) -- Aural Chinese Water Torture

Now I can die in peace, for I have seen Sunn 0))), a must for all connoisseurs of Chinese water torture, sticking bamboo needles under your fingernails, or if your idea of a relaxing weekend means being nailed by your testicles to the ceiling.

I arrived too late to see Circle; the infernal Sunn 0))) intro tape of a million decibels was already on, playing from behind the closed curtains of stage, and it must have lasted at least as long as the actual gig. It's a sheer wonder people didn't go nuts from the noise and start killing each other.

Finally the gig started, and I was relieved of the idea that the noise torture would end, but it just all went on and on. Imagine a bunch of guys with guitars in hooded monks' robes playing something (doom-gloom-grindcore-whatever metal; sorry, I'm not really an expert with these genres) that sounds like: "Growl... growl... growl... growl... growl... growl... growl..." and ad nauseam, for a time that feels like a hundred millennia, and you might get close... but only slightly. Like watching "Spinal Tap" on video... frame by frame until you reach your pension age. And all you hipsters, The Wire mag loves them, so be now the coolest kid on your block and check this aural equivalent to Spanish Inquisition out!

One guy growls something that might be the vocals; Satanic invocations from your favourite metal album, played backwards and on 16 RPM (on the other hand, the lyrics might be of the type: "Sugar and spice and everything nice", or something about driving your E-Type Jaguar on Sunset Strip, but how can you tell?).

I swear there was also this little skinny bearded hippie type running around naked in front of stage, but he actually made me think more of Charlie Manson than Jesus; making me wonder if they were going to sacrifice us all to Lucifer to give an appropriate ending to the gig. I heard Tero Viikari of Klubi removed said naturist by grabbing him by the arm and his you-know-what (not without putting on a rubber glove first, understandably).

Maybe you should be on a permanent diet of downers and already half-deaf from tinnitus to be able to appreciate this. Well, I have to admit it really removed wax from my ears, so the benevolent side here must be something of shock therapy style. If you want to torture your family and neighbours, or get rid of unwanted guests who have already worn out their welcome, I recommend you to play a record of Sunn 0))) to them. Or if you're even a biggest sadist, take them to Sunn 0)))'s live gig. For all you aspiring flagellants and people into self-mutilation out there. Of course, one man's torture is other man's orgasm, so sorry to all you Sunn 0))) fans who read this.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Eclectro Lounge 7

Eclectro Lounge 7 on Easter Thursday: we were afraid not too many people would attend since there was on the same night a competing event at Telakka called Bass & Beer Party, with some hiphop headliners and a quite popular DJ called Bob Ryynänen playing electro too. Yes, it was quiet early in the night, but gradually some people seemed to move in, probably lured by free entrance, so it was not a disaster either. In fact, our first clients were Sami Koivikko and this nice girl I know called Taru. Though I don't know if Taru was disappointed when I did not play Yoko Ono or Stereo Total's version of Nico's 'Chelsea Girls', but it being Easter, the season of the witch, I felt a bit gloomier music was in order tonight. Sorry if I let you down, Taru, but perhaps some other time... Some young hiphop kids were not aware this was supposed to be an electronic night and asked to hear some rap or reggae, but gladly I got an old school hiphop compilation in my bag, so I could oblige. All in all, playing records in a "lounge" sort of bar and space always has its restrictions; you have to keep yourself down, and can't play as hard stuff as you might like to.

The Obligatory Drunken Idiot Department: after it was Mika's turn to play and for me to take a break, I thought it would be a suitable time to take a leak since my bladder felt like bursting. Unfortunately the men's room was occupied but I felt I couldn't hold myself, and I decided I could sneak in quickly to the ladies' room, which was empty at the time; thinking I could do my business rapidly without anyone taking notice. I was wrong. After I was ready, I washed my hands, and with no towel available I just shook the water off my hands. And lo and behold, when I opened the door, there was a drunken couple behind it, a guy with moustache and a bespectacled woman. When they saw me emerging from the ladies' room, they started to insist from me: "Are you a woman? Are you a woman?" I decided it would be better not to say anything, and just returned back to the DJ booth where Mika was now spinning records. But like this was not enough, suddenly there were more shouts from the ladies' room. The moustache man came to me and said: "What have you done? The floor is all wet!" Probably they thought I had pissed on the floor! The guy started to grill me about it, but I just thought I'd better restrain myself and keep my mouth shut. Gladly Abbas, the manager, just wiped the ladies' room floor clean, and the incident seemed to be over, when said couple soon stormed off the bar. Now this feels funny, but I have learned to keep myself in check always when drunkards are involved, them usually being like little children; impulsive and unpredictable like wild animals.

Now we've got only one Eclectro Lounge club night to go, on Thursday 31 April. After that we should have a monthly night on Fridays, but I don't know when that will happen, since Sane seems to have double-booked our first scheduled date on 8 April... Playing records as such is not so hard, but promoting the event and spreading posters yourself as a foot soldier always is. That's been quite energy-consuming for me; therefore I'm glad to have a break from Eclectro Lounge nights now. Though with my catastrophic money situation it's always nice to get some extra.

Here's the playlist for 24 March '05.

1 2 3 4 5 6

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Pagan Origins of Easter

If it's in your intentions to start celebrating Easter now, it's good to remember that this religious holiday, as are also Christmas and Midsummer celebration -- supposedly in honour of John the Baptist -- is of pagan origin, and only appropriated later on into Christianity.

Many, perhaps most, pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a fictional consort who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was Attis, who was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period 22 March to 25 March. About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill. Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection.

Wherever Christian worship of Jesus and pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation.

Many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus' life that were recorded in the Gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity. Ancient Christians had an alternate explanation; they claimed that Satan (who else?) had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of Christ in order to confuse humanity (well, that explains it all then, doesn't it?). Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a pagan myth of little value. They regard Jesus' death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition. Those more free-thinking individuals among us, who consider the Jesus cult of Christianity just another world religion of certain historical perspective and certainly not any more important than, for example, Hinduism or Buddhism, can study this subject with a bit more open-minded attitude.

Pagan fertility festivals at the time of the Spring Equinox were common -- it was believed that at this time, when day and night were of equal length, male and female energies were also in balance. The Easter sunrise service is derived from the ancient pagan practice of welcoming the sun on the morning of the Spring Equinox, marking the beginning of spring. What we now call Easter lilies were revered by the ancients as symbols of fertility and representative of the male genitalia. The ancient Babylonian religions had rituals involving dyed eggs as did the ancient Egyptians.

Wiccans and other modern-day neopagans continue to celebrate the Spring Equinox as one of their 8 yearly Sabbats (holy days of celebration). Near the Mediterranean, this is a time of sprouting of the summer's crop; farther north, it is the time for seeding. Their rituals at the Spring Equinox are related primarily to the fertility of the crops and to the balance of the day and night times. Where wiccans can safely celebrate the Sabbat out of doors without threat of religious persecution, they often incorporate a bonfire into their rituals, jumping over the dying embers is believed to assure fertility of people and crops.

It should also be remembered that here in Scandinavia Easter celebration is strongly associated with witchcraft. In Central Europe, witches are out and about especially on Walpurgis Night, but in the Nordic countries they fly between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the time when Jesus is still lying in the Garden Tomb behind a sealed stone door. According to popular belief, witches were old women who had sold themselves to the devil. They were much feared, because they had the power to hurt people and domestic animals. In some parts of Western Finland, the custom still remains of burning bonfires on Holy Saturday. This is said to be connected with the age-old habit of scaring witches.

Furthermore, in Palm Sunday, Finnish children dress up as Easter witches, and go from door to door with sprigs of willow in their hands. As a reward for reciting a special verse they are given sweets or money (as a counterpart to the "Trick or treat" tradition of Anglo-American Halloween). Known as virpominen, this ritual was originally a Greek Orthodox custom, familiar to people of that faith in eastern Finland. On Palm Sunday, people went about, lightly lashing their friends and relatives with willow twigs, while reciting a charm to ensure good health and success. The tradition of children dressing up as Easter witches, a figure in local superstitions, was documented in Swedish children's traditions at least a century ago. Thus Finland's modern willowbearing Easter witches combine the Scandinavian witch tradition and the eastern Orthodox virpominen.

Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth, part 1
Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth, part 2
Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth, part 3
Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth, part 4

The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion by Sir James George Frazer. A monumental study in comparative folklore, magic and religion, The Golden Bough shows parallels between the rites and beliefs, superstitions and taboos of early cultures and those of Christianity. It had a great impact on psychology and literature and remains an early classic anthropological resource.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

USO's Richard D. Anderson Album Review @ MIR

(Hey, MIR guys, hope you don't mind me reprinting this here...?)

Dilettante's Digest
Musically Incorrect Fanzine #2

USO: Richard D. Anderson Album (CD-R, pHinnMilk)

It's nice that not all experimental underground coming from Finland nowadays is untalented "forest folk" shit. USO utilizes some acoustic guitars, too, but mostly it's electronic stuff. Combining elements of Beck (does anybody remember him?) at his most experimental, poor man's Aphex Twin, all other kinds of weirdness, and ironic takes on different kinds of music, this is surely different, experimental and goofy. That, however, is not really my thing. I appreciate the effort and care put into this, and there are some good moments, but as a whole this has a bit too
much of a art school vibe for me.

Pekka PT

Mika Vainio Wrestles Chicks on Speed

What Is Music 2005
Melbourne, Australia, various venues

The initial visceral thrill of hearing Pan Sonic's stentorian electronics flooding the room, bursts of white noise scarifying huge edifices of primal rhythm, eventually gave way to a tiresome structure -- insert beat, efface with scouring distortion, repeat process. Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio did offer one of the festival's most enduring moments, invading the stage and wrestling with members of Chicks On Speed during the latter group's punk-electro number "Turn Of The Century". The Chicks's show is usually pure pleasure, but the trio looked as though they were going through the motions, until the shuffle-tech of "Fashion Rules" shocked them into overdrive.

- from live review by Jon Dale, The Wire, April 2004

An Individual In Confrontation With The World, Pt. 4

1 2 3

That night Sebastian dreamt he was at the gates of Hell. He could hear the lament and wailing of souls, smell the sulphur and putrescent flesh. A three-headed dog with its eyes like flaming embers showed its teeth to Sebastian and growled at him as invisible demons pushed him on. Meat hooks tore Sebastian's bare flesh but even that didn't hurt as much as being in love had been.

The greatest of demons -- maybe Lucifer, the Light-Bringer himself -- among the others who called themselves Baphomet, Samael, Azrael and legions of other names, spoke to Sebastian:

"I will ride you to the end of your days, as Crowley rode Neuburg. You will forever wander those barren streets and lifeless deserts of concrete where no flower shall blossom nor a bird sing. You will never know woman's love or anyone's friendship. People will loathe you and curse your name. You will be eternally trapped in the prison of your fragmenting mind as your body withers and fades away, but still does not die to release you from your suffering. Your notebooks will be filled with pathetic clichés and banalities, with not one single trace of originality. Your days will be empty and your nights lonely."

Sebastian woke up soaking in sweat. The spring sun was already up like a burning, angry eye in the sky; easter eggs hatching serpents. Sebastian swore he would never again eat pepperoni pizza and watch Hellraiser on video just before he went to sleep.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Jorge Luis Borges and the Gaia Hypothesis

Borges (the author of The Aleph) writes:

Animals in the Form of Spheres

The sphere is the most uniform of solid bodies since every point on its surface is equidistant from its centre. Because of this, and because of its ability to revolve on an axis without straying from a fixed place, Plato (Timaeus, 33) approved the judgment of the Demiurge, who gave the world a spherical shape. Plato thought the world to be a living being and in the Laws (898) stated that the planets and stars were living as well. In this way, he enriched fantastic zoology with vast spherical animals and cast aspersions on those slow-witted astronomers who failed to understand that the circular course of heavenly bodies was voluntary.

In Alexandria over five hundred years later, Origen, one of the Fathers of the Church, taught that the blessed would come back to life in the form of spheres and would enter rolling into Heaven.

During the Renaissance, the idea of Heaven as an animal reappared in Lucilio Vanini; the Neoplatonist Marsilio Ficino spoke of the hair, teeth, and bones of the Earth; and Giardano Bruno felt that the planets were great peaceful animals, warm-blooded, with regular habits, and endowed with reason. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the German astronomer Johannes Kepler debated with the English mystic Robert Fludd which of them had first conceived the notion of the earth as a living monster, 'whose whalelike breathing, changing with sleep and wakefulness, produces the ebb and flow of the sea'. The anatomy, the feeding habits, the colour, the memory, and the imaginative and shaping faculties of the monster were sedulously studied by Kepler.

In the nineteenth century, the German psychologist Gustav Theodor Fechner (a man praised by William James in his A Pluralistic Universe) rethought the preceding ideas with all the earnestness of a child. Anyone not belittling his hypothesis that the earth, our mother, is an organism -- an organism superior to plants, animals, and men -- may look into the pious pages of Fechner's Zend-Avesta. There we read, for example, that the earth's spherical shape is that of the human eye, the noblest organ of our body. Also, that 'if the sky is really the home of angels, these angels are obviously the stars, for the sky has no other inhabitants'.

- Jorge Luis Borges: The Book of Imaginary Beings

This idea of Earth as a living organism, fits in also with James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis, which he first publicised in his 1979 book Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth.

Born in 1919, James Lovelock was educated at the University of London and Manchester University and holds a Ph.D. in medicine. In the United States he has taught at Yale, the Baylor University College of Medicine, and at Harvard University. Some of his inventions were adopted by NASA in their program of planetary exploration. It was while working for NASA that Dr Lovelock has developed the Gaia Hypothesis.

In collaboration with other NASA project researchers, Lovelock predicted the absence of life on Mars based on the consideration of the Martian atmosphere and its state of being in a chemically dead equilibrium. In contrast, the Terran atmosphere is in a chemical state described as being far from equilibrium. The unlikely balance of atmospheric gases which comprise the Earth's atmosphere is quite unique in our solar system. This fact would be clearly visible to any extra-terrestrial observer, by comparison of the images of the planets Venus, Earth and Mars.

What was happening upon the Earth which enabled the maintenance of such an unlikely combination of chemical gases -- specifically nitrogen and oxygen. What complex processes are at work within the terrestrial atmosphere -- and have occurred for many billions of years -- to explain this uniqueness? How have these processes arisen and what today maintains these processes at this equilibrium which is chemically far from equilibrium?

In the late 1960's Lovelock took the first steps in answering these questions by considering the the beginnings of life upon the planet Earth. The earliest of life-forms existed in the ancient oceans and were the smallest and the simplest -- less than single celled. Contemporary microbiological research points to the fact that almost 3 billion years ago, bacteria and photosynthetic algae began extracting the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releasing oxygen back into it. Gradually -- over vast geological time spans -- the atmospheric chemical content was altered away from the dominance of carbon dioxide, towards the dominance of a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen -- towards an atmosphere which would favorably support organic life powered by aerobic combustion -- such as animals and mankind.

So it was then that Dr James Lovelock, in looking for the evidence of extra-terrestrial life on Mars, observed the Earth as might an extra-terrestrial, and began to formulate a method of explanation as to why the Earth appeared therefore to be not so much a planet adorned with diverse life forms, but a planet which had been transfigured and transformed by a self-evolving and self-regulating living system. In view of the nature of this activity, Earth seemed to qualify as a living being its own right. And so the hypothesis took its initial form. And as the story goes, while on a walk in the countryside about his home in Wilshire, England, Lovelock described his hypothesis to his neighbour William Golding (the novelist of Lord of the Flies fame), and asked advise concerning a suitable name for it. The resultant term "Gaia" -- after the Greek goddess who drew the living world forth from Chaos -- was chosen. However, there was a big difference between postulating such a grand schemed hypothesis and having it accepted by the traditional scientific community, and there remained much research work to be done in order to be able to more clearly specify the entirety of the processes by which the modern planetary atmosphere had been evolved and was continuing to be evolved. And in this task, in the early years of his further research concerning the Gaia hypothesis, Lovelock was supported by the collaboration of Dr Lynn Margulis, a leading and forward thinking American microbiologist.

"The entire range of living matter on Earth from whales to viruses and from oaks to algae could be regarded as constituting a single living entity capable of maintaining the Earth's atmosphere to suit its overall needs and endowed with faculties and powers far beyond those of its constituent parts...[Gaia can be defined] as a complex entity involving the Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback of cybernetic systems which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet."

"To what extent is our collective intelligence also a part of Gaia? Do we as a species constitute a Gaian nervous system and a brain which can consciously anticipate environmental changes?"

And not to forget about the worshipping of "Mother Earth" (or Goddess) in certain ancient cultures, either, which has been revived in the later years in the paganist, ecologist and feminist circles.

More on the Gaia Hypothesis:

The Gaia Hypothesis:
A Resource compilation of scientific commentary on the work of Lovelock

The Gaia Hypothesis in Finnish

Monday, March 21, 2005

An Individual In Confrontation With The World, Pt. 3


Sebastian always paid attention to alcoholics, winos, drunkards, bums, borderline psychotics, and those schizophrenics left loose from asylums because of budget cuts. Sebastian saw on the street a little man shuffling along with crutches: life had passed him by, fate had kicked him in the head.

Bottle collectors with their bicycles would patrol the town streets every Saturday night, picking up empty bottles partygoers had left lying on pavement. Come Monday, some extra coins would be made from the bottles at supermarkets and liquor stores: a nice addition to the dole money and scant pensions.

How did marginalization start? Was there some crucial blow at some decisive stage of life, after which it was all a downhill road, or were some people just born to lose? Was every one of us part of some vicious social-Darwinistic experiment?

Mr. Average, a little bourgeois man was so full of his fears, prejudices and projected fears that he couldn't see beyond them, so he lived his life trapped in them, with no way out. Sebastian understood this clearly, but did not think he would be any better than that.

Being somewhat a fatalist, Sebastian had learned not to be afraid of death. Mystics said there was no death; only a transition from one energy level to another. Sebastian did not know what to make out of it. On the other hand, if all consciousness just evaporated after death as atheists thought, it might not be so bad, either. After all, existing consisted of so much misery and pain, that just vanishing totally and ceasing all thinking, emoting and being sounded only all too merciful.

Sebastian had thought about committing suicide a lot when he was younger. Not a month had passed by without a thought of ending it once and for all. These days, the thought occurred very rarely to him; probably all therapy and medication had done their work. Life wasn't that dramatic any more, merely lukewarm mostly. And there had been already too much pain in the lives of his close ones that he wouldn't like to add to it. Sebastian could well describe himself an ex-suicide candidate. Still, sometimes he wondered.


An Individual In Confrontation With The World, Pt. 2


One could say Sebastian was anti-authoritarian. This puzzled him very much, since a person of his age was not supposed to behave like an adolescent kid any more. A sense of injustice, both common and personal, was still only too strong. For example, he felt his boss had never respected him too much, which was one reason Sebastian's disliking the idea of ever having another wage job.

When he was a child, Sebastian had always been a good boy. Well, mostly, but he never got into any real trouble with authorities. When other kids made a row or had their adolescent revolt against the teachers -- after some more successful attempts by the rowdier pupils, more sensitive female lecturers had left the class in tears -- Sebastian had always conformed. It was easy to manage through the education system when one let the others do all real thinking for oneself. Rebelling too visibly only led into trouble, it was too much effort. Now Sebastian felt he had really been in sleep through all these years, his real self never emerging.

Sebastian's grandmother was the real matriarch in his family, a woman with very strong opinions if not downright disciplinarian, and Sebastian gradually learned never to argue with her. You see, grandmother was a master in manipulating people with guilt, and Sebastian who disagreed with grandma's dominating manoeuvres was always duly informed that he was merely an "ungrateful child".


Chicks on Speed at Triangle Club, Tokyo

Chicks on Speed at Tokyo Triangle Club shots;
again via Alex of Cos:

Matthew Jonson and Alex

Shot before the show










See also Scanner FM story and MTV Asia

Chicks on Speed in Singapore shots

Singapore shots,
captions by Alex of CoS:

Our friend Chris Ho

Harry, the man who creates the vibe at the club

Andrea, our Singapore lady

Backstage, just before the show!





Pics from Andrea:

Alex and a fan
Alex and Bruno
Crawling X
Harry and Alex
X and the Chicks

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Attention Economy

Everyone wants to be a celebrity these days. Even if one doesn't get to appear on a reality TV show or Idols, Popstars or Do You Want To Be A Millionaire, one can maintain a blog on the Internet. Nothing is too trivial or banal there: may I have your attention, ladies and gentlemen?

Let me bore you to death in the course of these following columns of personal tedium and with my ill-advised opinions no one wants to hear. Let me share with you the deadening details of the drudgery of my everyday existence. Join me in my latest nerve-wrecking neurosis and existential ennui. Do you really want to hear the explicit details of my excursion to a grocery store today or of my exciting adventures in the lift (that's "elevator" for you Merkins)? Well, countless blogists around the world seem to think so. Everyday life has become the Spectacle.

Everyone has become a brand in the so called attention economy, which feeds unbridled narcissism. A marketing-consultant-cum-lifestyle-guru in his neatly cut tailor-made suit earning thousands of euros for one hour's "lecture"; spouting for full auditoriums of CEOs platitudes of "finding one's inner hero", and receiving a standing ovation from his corporate fans.

Pseudo-celebrities whose sole claim to fame simply is that they're famous, but no one knows what for. Garish gossip mags feed off these people -- their marital crises, alcohol problems, eating disorders -- though the relationship here is not really parasitic but symbiotic. A pseudo-celebrity can't exist without the constant spotlight of publicity; otherwise she will wither like an untended flower.

I think pHinnWeb is an anti-brand, and pHinn an anti-celebrity. I am amused by the thought of someone reading any of these lines, and attaching them with "a deeper meaning", though, like everyone else, I'm fascinated with "the ecstasy of communication". The centre is eveywhere, and everyone can be a guru. May I have your attention, ladies and gentlemen?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Kari Sipilä

Juri provided info on some Kari Sipilä's early 1970s hippie comic books on Mysteeni Publications. It would be interesting to find more info on Mr. Sipilä's works. Anyone? For more information, see Jorma Elovaara & The Finnish Age of Aquarius.

Author: Kari Sipilä
Title: Zen 1: Aika Ibizalla
Published: Helsinki : Mysteeni r.y, 1972
26 p : 21 cm

Author: Kari Sipilä
Title: Zen 2: Sarjakuvia
Published: Helsinki: Mysteeni r.y, 1975
25 p : 21 cm
("Tähti" : an occultist magazine ; 1972: 5.)

An example of Kari Sipilä's art

F***ing USA

"This is a very shocking anti-American propaganda video which is said to have been made by North Koreans and previously broadcast on South Korean television and Japanese TV."

Eclectro Lounge 6

I don't know if I'm some sort of idiot savant, or just a plain idiot. Eclectro Lounge 6 last night was very much like most Eclectro Lounges lately. Not too many people attending, but what is different compared to my previous depression because of the lack of people at recent clubs, this time I had learned to resign to my fate. Well, at least Abbas, the Iranian manager of Apadana seemed to like our music.

I don't know what's happening, but most things seem to leave me these days untouched and emotionally detached. I'm too tired to even feel angst most of the times: I feel like living inside a giant cotton ball; blood is seeping through occasionally but that's just OK for me. Someone hit the fast forward button without telling me, and I don't know if I'm even keeping up with my own life. Well, but is it too bad if one is an observer even for one's own life? Anyway, we've still got two more weekly Eclectro Lounge nights to go this March; then from April on, we are going to have only one Friday monthly (the first one of this new order will be 8 April).

Here's the playlist.

Eclectro Lounge 5
Eclectro Lounge 4
Eclectro Lounge 3
Eclectro Lounge 2
Eclectro Lounge 1

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Leena Krohn

Leena Krohn (b. 1947) is a fascinating Finnish writer whose works combining science fiction, fantasy, philosophical, metaphysical and ethical issues could well be compared with those of Jorge Luis Borges or Philip K. Dick. She has written both for grown-up readers and children. And indeed, many of her stories have the mood of a melancholic fairytale, where unexplainable and sad things happen with a surreal dream logic. Krohn often reflects on current culture with an essayist's mind, even with a satirical bite and ever-surprising flashes of irreverent humour, and deals with such "on-the-edge" issues as artificial intelligence, cryogenics, transhumanism, apocalypticism and so on. My favourite Finnish writer, hands down.

The novel Tainaron ("Tainaron - Mail from another city", 1985) consists of a series of letters sent beyond the sea from a city of insects. Umbra (1990) has as its protagonist a doctor who accepts perfectly ordinary and thoroughly unusual patients into his Burnt-out Aid Clinic while compiling a burgeoning archive of paradoxes. The Finlandia Prize-winning Matemaattisia olioita ("Mathematical beings", 1992) creates a new genre, the essay novel, an intensive investigation of human identity and the basis of choice. Krohn's collection of essays Kynä ja kone ("The pen and the machine", 1996) is a meditation on age-old issues -- art, philosophy, physics, morals -- and their chances and application in an increasingly technological world. Pereat mundus (1999) is a 'novel' constructed of miniature prose pieces devoted to the philosophy and fear of ending: the end of the world, the millennium, humanity, nature, employment, literature, play, love... In Unelmakuolema ("A Dream Death", 2004) the writer puts forward people's paradoxical desire to live forever and die for good. The idea of eternity as a consciousness with neither beginning nor end is comforting -- the dead are still among us -- but it is also terrifying.

You can read here her Tainaron in English.

The Son of the Chimera from Pereat Mundus.

The writer introduction in English

An interview in English


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

An Individual In Confrontation With The World, Pt. 1

On another morning of his misery, Sebastian looked back on his life. "The swine...!" he thought to himself. He was due to have an appointment with his employment counsellor. They were going to point him to a job, or at least training; to polish the bleak employment statistics at least for his part. "Yeah, right", he thought.

What choice did he have? He had dropped out of university; he couldn't take the stiff world of academia, the pomposity and biting sarcasm of professors, competing factions of faculties, ongoing tedious theorizing completely alien to life. He didn't need any theories tasting of paper and dust; he wanted something to grasp, something that was alive and breathing.

He didn't need that cold, detached look on life where everything was arranged and preserved in neat little boxes called theories; and above all, because university always represented for him his father, a senior lecturer living in another town; with his new wife that Sebastian detested. It was easy to say Sebastian and his father were estranged. Father sent him money for Christmases and birthdays, and occasional postcards from holidays. Every time Sebastian duly sent his father an e-mail to thank and perhaps formally tell some news of his ongoing "projects", but that was about all communication between Sebastian and his father.

Sebastian's mother, a heavy person both physically and mentally, never spared her words in telling Sebastian what an unfeeling, convoluted and selfish person Sebastian's father had been, still was. Then she started to grill Sebastian again on his lack of academic success. This was something Sebastian had heard about a thousand times before. Or then mother would start to ruminate on the past once again and wallow in her guilt.

Sebastian thought of the human waste on the streets; after all, he was not that far away from those miserable wretches. Maybe he would even be one of them one day. How many shortcomings would it take for a person to end up there?

He felt deep hatred and anger; fear too, when he had to consider his options. Educational system had let him down. Working life seemed to be based on draining an individual empty. A brief stint in the army made him realize the shallowness of democracy which has to be maintained with such means that deprive an individual of human dignity. People like him seemed to be on their way to a total dead end.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls by Sparks

Ugly guys with beautiful girls. You always know what the story is. Beautiful girls with ugly guys. What do they take us for anyway? What do they take us for anyway?

Ugly guys with beautiful girls. Ugly guys with beautiful girls.

As they walk down the street arm in arm, I see them and once again feel the need to ask myself the question, the question that has weighed heavily on me of late. How is it possible that a guy and a girl so dissimilar in physical appearance, there being such a disparity in how attractive each is, be nonetheless in what would appear to be some sort of relationship?

It ain't done with smoke and mirrors. It ain't done with smoke and mirrors. It ain't done with smoke and mirrors.

Ugly guys with beautiful girls. Ugly guys with beautiful girls. Ugly guys with beautiful girls.

How do we explain this? An attraction of opposites? No, that theory has been refuted by many experts in the fields of human psychology. A much greater attraction seems
to come from one more similar to oneself. Personality, perhaps? Without intending to sound judgmental, I would say that he doesn't look like what was once called a "live wire" or "the life of the party". He appears rather expressionless. His movements are stiff and even awkward. Perhaps he is a person of some intellect -- an expert in science, the arts, political theory. No, I think not. See how well-tailored his clothes are, how well cut his hair is.

It ain't done with smoke and mirrors. It ain't done with smoke and mirrors. It ain't done with smoke and mirrors.

Ugly guys with beautiful girls. Ugly guys with beautiful girls. Ugly guys with beautiful girls.

I must confess to you, my listeners, that I have been a little less than honest in pretending I had no answers to my previous questions. You see, I lost someone very dear to me, someone very beautiful, to someone much like him.

Ah, you ask, surely there must have been other areas where you were deficient and he was not. No, I don't believe so. My shortcomings were of an economic nature. He was rich. I was not.

You see, I underestimated the appeal to her of things -- imported things on wheels, large things with manicured lawns and Olympic swimming pools, things to wear around
her neck that would glisten in the night light. Things. Still, I am not bitter. Rather, I am an observer who saw firsthand how life may not be fair. Would things have turned out differently between me and her had I moved up the corporate ladder quicker, been born of more noble stock, or done better on one of our journeys to Las Vegas? Perhaps. In fact, I'm certain of it. Things would have turned out differently between me and her. I know this now. It ain't done with smoke and mirrors.

Ugly guys with beautiful girls. You always know what the story is.
- The Sparks (a.k.a. Ron Mael & Russell Mael)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Martin Denny R.I.P.

Martin Denny
10 April 1911 - 2 March 2005

Martin Denny, who created "exotica" music in the 1950s and lived to see it enjoy renewed worldwide popularity as "lounge music" and "tiki culture," has died at his Hawaii Kai residence. He was 93.

Christina Denny, his daughter and primary caregiver, said that her father "passed peacefully at 9 p.m." and that he had been "ready to go."

"With the passing of Martin Denny, the world has lost one of its great popular musicians," said Michael Largarticha, Musicians Association of Hawaii president.

"He created a sound that remains unique to this day, an entire genre of music which Martin described as a fusion of Asian, South Pacific, American jazz, Latin American and classical."

Chaos and Panic by the DJ Turntables

I'm slowly returning back from the Twilight Zone of my flu, hoping to function normally by the end of the week. I still get the sweats, coughs and some green slime, but swallowing doesn't hurt any more, and it seems I have by now recovered from the worst. As a personal health tip, I've noticed eating very spicy foods helps when you're having a cold: for the last days I've been having chicken with Indian rice and Tikka Masala sauce.

Well, having to DJ when you're sick is always a drag, but I've got a principle that if I have promised beforehand to do a gig, I will also keep my promise if I can only stay on my two feet, my mind and body are focused enough for the job, and my condition doesn't exactly require staying tightly in bed or a medical treatment at hospital.

It wasn't easy, though, on Saturday when I was due to play a gig at a club taking place at Laterna, an atmospheric venue slightly reminiscing old pre-Revolution Russian style. The club was called Hehku ("The Glow"), and it was arranged in conjunction with Tampere International Short Film Festival, which is a large event held here every March.

I played two mini-sets: one early in the night for the nearly-empty floor, then another later on when there were a bit more crowd. But alas! People didn't get exactly warmed-up to my old-school electro; obviously I should have played "harder" ravey and trancey sound, as it was obvious when the crowd got only warmed-up when I spinned 'Area 5' by Sem with its synth loops a bit more reminiscing of trance. Then I got this drunken guy insisting me to spew out smoke out of smoke machine to the dance floor, and I nearly panicked trying to find the right button, while simultaneously trying to get the next record to play, and some girl also at the same time asking me to put on more bass... dealing with some exhausting punters with their irritating requests, whines and whatever is always hard and stressing for me even when I'm in a better physical condition, since I'm not technically such a virtuoso DJ, and I've got to use all my concentration on just keeping my set together. Just then I don't need any extra shit from people! In situations like this my aggressive, animal-pushed-into-a-corner panic/flight/attack reaction unfortunately takes over, and I swear to God that I just would have liked to kick the shit out of that guy. But fortunately my civilization-trained impulse control usually keeps me from committing massacres in situations like this, and I just tried to yell to the guy with my croaking flu voice that he should get the lightning man in his hands to help with that confounding smoke machine, since I'm just a DJ... well, another DJ gig for me feeling fucked-up amidst total chaos.

Later, I found out that I in fact knew the guy in question. Well, basically a nice person, but usually when I meet him at some club, he's drunk and fucked up beyond all recognition, trying to explain me something totally incomprehensible in his drunken slur. And whenever you happen meet people like this sober, they're usually very faint and feeble, as if apologizing for every inch of their existence, far from their previous manic and intoxicated incarnations. This total change in personality has always made me wonder about people like these: are some people's normal every-day personalities so totally repressed that they require this manic inebriation to release them out of their mental cells...? As if in the story of Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll. Well, I guess I'm repressed too, but I think I've learned to handle my dark side a bit better by now...

Saturday, March 12, 2005

New URL for Noise Production

Mind at the End of Its Tether

The end of everything we call life is close at hand and cannot be evaded. Ours is a closed universe, yet we need something beyond it... Man must go steeply up or down and the odds seem to be all in favour of his going down and out. If he goes up, then so great is the adaptation demanded of him that he must cease to be a man. Ordinary man is at the end of his tether. Only a small, highly adaptable minority of the species can possibly survive... Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative.

- H.G. Wells: Mind at the End of Its Tether

One of the purposes of this blog is to combine both what is personal and what is common level. I usually speak from my own daily experience, more or less limited, but still hope there would be something touching the universal nerve too; and it wouldn't be too much personal (and exhibitionist?) navel-gazing and washing the dirty laundry of my own. My apologies to the reader if I'm not successful there, and my sincerest joy if there's something someone else manages to relate to.

This is something I won't get tired of repeating, but I really think our culture is on the brink of collapse. This collapse might mean the end and destruction of all civilisation as we know it; in other words, the apocalypse; or it might mean the new beginning for us. Of course, I'd like it to be the latter, but we should really take into account both these possibilities, lest we start to congratulate ourselves for possessing a skill of accurately foreseeing the future.

There is an increasing gap between the wealthy and the poor, only accelerated by the prevailing right-wing and neo-conservative political thinking, which results in such things as giving more benefits to the rich by reducing their taxes, and on the other hand, taking those benefits off from those not-that-well-to-do. Will the downtrodden masses in the long run stay content in their apathy, brainwashed by TV and entertainment, and nourished by junk food; or are we facing the threat of another major malcontent uprising before too long?

This negative development is further implemented by the rise of citizen surveillance and control, even downright tyranny, with the increasing police state-like features in the wake of post-9/11. The ever-continuing economic growth is the credo #1 of our time: the resulting rat race leading only to the workers' increasing mental ill-being and the rapid deplection of ecological resources. Our culture is schizophrenic, seemingly intent on tearing itself apart.

H.G. Wells' last book, Mind At The End of Its Tether (1945), expressed the science fiction writer's pessimism about mankind's future prospects, after having witnessed two world wars and the dropping of atom bomb on Hiroshima; in Wells' view:

Homo Sapiens in his present form is played out. The stars in their courses have turned against him and he has to give place to some other animal better adopted to face the fate that closes in more swiftly upon mankind. ... The cinema sheet [i.e. screen] stares us in the face... Our loves, our hates, our wars and battles are no more than phantasmagoria dancing on that fabric, themselves as unsubstantiated as a dream. ... There is no way through the impasse. It will be the Dark Ages over again, a planetary instead of a European Dark Ages.

Since 1945, other remarkable thinkers have repeated Wells' ideas, and even outgrown his pessimism. H.G. Wells represented the tradition which had started in the age of Enlightenment, believing that science and demolition of superstition (including traditional religion) would wipe away all mankind's problems, and finally lead us to a secular "Kingdom of Heaven on Earth". However, something went badly wrong with this dream. Science and so called rational thinking proved to be not that omnipotent. Something was seriously missing from this equation.

Unlike the traditional leftist critics who mostly concentrate on the materialist facts, personally I'd like to emphasize a "spiritualist" point of view that I think our culture is seriously lacking. And by "spiritualism" I don't mean the dogmatic, fundamentalist religion shared both by the so called "born-again", prayers-back-to-schools neo-conservatives of the Bible Belt USA, or, let's-blow-them-and-ourselves-to-smithereens-on-our-way-to-Paradise Islamist bigots.

Since I think both Jesus and Karl Marx have seen their best days by now (great theory, bad realization), we seriously have to consider what this "New Spiritualism" would mean for us in the situation we find ourselves in. By this I don't mean any New Age type of gibberish that reduces any potentially meaningful ideas into the property of charlatans and marketplace trinkets. By this I'd rather mean a totally new type of "syncretism" (of the Brazilian style which effortlessly assimilates Christianity with both African and Native American natural religions) which would take into account what is common and shared (and not divisive) in all existing spiritual beliefs found from all over the world, and give them a working practical and "exoteric" (as opposite to "esoteric") outlook.

Let me explain a bit my own personal position: it is hard for me to accept as such "the historical materialism" which is preached (and I don't use this word accidentally) by the traditional forms of socialism, since I would find a world devoid of anything but its material level only cold, dead, and meaningless. Again, I subscribe to Jung's idea of man being basically a religious creature (and if that bodes ill for you, you can replace the world "religious" here with "spiritual"). As an obvious form of substitution, in the atheist Soviet Union religious icons were replaced by the all-present images of Marx, Lenin and Stalin. Sigmund Freud thought all human activity was sublimation for sex; with Jung, replace sex with religion.

On the other hand, I'm too much of a Doubting Thomas, or a sort of a skeptic, to accept the dogmas of an organized religion as we know it. I do my best to respect the beliefs of these people (and there are good folks among them, not just narrow-minded bigots), but there's too much of an incongruency between my intelligence, and the acceptance of and following the blind faith just like a child. If someone asks me, I describe myself as an agnostic, but this description is far from satisfactory for me. Robert Anton Wilson calls himself a "transcendental agnostic", and I quite like the sound of it.

Furthermore, what I also disagree with major organized religions, is their discorporeal tendency to see flesh as something sinful and bad. Is it so hard to accept the fact that we are both angel-like creatures of soul, and, come to this world from "between urine and feces"? Not to mention the very biological way every one of us has received their corporeal origins with...?

Well, I'm getting a bit far from where I started. I'm merely trying to define my own position here, and outline some possible ideas on how to help in our current socio-economic-spiritual crisis. I don't provide any answers here, only tons of questions. These ideas are admittedly more or less vague, and I don't claim to be any great or original thinker (far from it, I'm afraid), but these are only my furtive efforts to shape into words some thoughts that have been lingering in me quite a long time now.

Take away the pragmatic level, and you're merely left as another utopian daydreamer. Neglect the spiritual level and you remain trapped in cold materialism (consumerism in its capitalistic reincarnation). Too much emotionalism, and you pave way for another anti-intellectual tyranny. Too much intellect, and you throw the soul away in dishwater. Truly, the road is not easy.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Eclectro Lounge 5

So, for Eclectro Lounge 5, yesterday night, I was totally zombiefied because of my flu. Probably a lot of it was caused by the stress, and both physical and mental exhaustion: of having to worry again if there will be people this time or not, and so on. Gladly, it seemed people had this time just received their monthly wages, student subsidiaries, dole money and so on, because the place was, if not totally packed, just crowded enough (since the entry is free, our fee is paid from the alcohol sales during the night; and if there are no people buying booze, we don't get paid either). You see, the local club culture runs on the purchase power (aargh!) of students, and whether they have money this time of month or not.

Since I was so pissed off because the bad success of our previous nights, I decided to scrap all this cute-cute glamour stuff altogether, and had created for the night some (not-so-)nice and provocative B/W posters around this old artwork of mine; with such slogans as "Are you another faceless pro$titute for capitali$m?", "No more $lave Mu$ick" (psy-whatever-trance, Goa, Ibiza, superstar DJs and other commercial bullshit), and so on. For the other poster I wrote by hand (the "chicken stratch" style) the slogan "Capitalism leads to destruction!", and used this nice image from Risto Jarva's 1970 film Bensaa suonissa ("Gas in the veins"). And I added the epitaph "TAMPERE CLUB CULTURE IS DEAD" to all posters.
Naïve and childish, of course, but I had a helluva fun making these posters.

And the DJ sets went surprisingly well too, though it must have been quite schizophrenic: Pop Group's 'We Are All Prostitutes' next to Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love'. We decided not to have any guest DJs any more, and it seems we are going to continue these regular clubs only to the end of March, since it seems a hellish pain to do all that promotion myself, and worry if people will be there or not.

Here's the playlist.

The Miskatonic Acid Test

I just got this mysterious message from a gentleman called Rob MacKenzie; probably his interest was raised by pHinnWeb's Beyond The Calico Wall page, dedicated to 1960s psychedelic garage rock (for me, the best rock'n'roll ever made):

I'm writing to spread the word about The Miskatonic Acid Test, a very ambitious feature length movie which is currently filming in Maine and Massachusetts, USA. The film combines psychedelic rock (influenced by groups like the Elevators, Watchband, Stooges, etc.) with cosmic horror concepts pioneered by the writer H.P. Lovecraft, mixing in a good bit of philosophy, antiwar politics, and humor along the way. It's going to be a gas... and did I mention the psychedelic rock?

Here's the outline: in 1969 a group of students at Miskatonic University in witch-haunted Arkham, Massachusetts decided to emulate the West Coast and put on their own sort of "happening", where "music and atmosphere could combine to create an alteration of consciousness", with the clandestine help of a little LSD. Or maybe a lot. Unfortunately, the professor they chose to serve as faculty adviser on the project had an agenda of his own; see, he was a philosophy professor, one who specialized in the "study of Evil", and one who saw the Miskatonic Acid Test as an opportunity for a little experiment. As the music and drugs reached their peak he ascended the stage and began to read incantations from the dread Necronomicon... and soon everybody learned a lesson about "cosmic consciousness"... they learned that some things are cosmic, and, unfortunately for us, they are also conscious.

The official site at has more on the film, including set photos, a "teaser" trailer, an early script draft, and - just added! - the first of many soundtrack downloads, "Where the Sun Touches the Sky" by The Conqueror Wyrms.

A bit about me... I'm Dark Lord Rob, the writer and director of the film (I also play Professor Firth, the evil philosophy professor). Before this I was founder and bass player for the well-regarded 80's/90's garage/psych combo The Not Quite ("a major band" - Pulsebeat; "classic psychedelia by any standards" - Freakbeat; "One of the strongest bands in the genre" - Knights of Fuzz). After the band evaporated I turned my hand to writing, creating the Electric Druid website, which evolved into American, where literally dozens of projects are evolving - novels, screenplays, teleplays, and, um, other. The Miskatonic Acid Test will be my first film... a lifelong dream achieved.

Also in the all-star cast is Chris Horne, formerly with garage legends The Brood.

If this sounds like an exciting concept, I hope you'll take a moment to have a look and a listen on the website. If you like what you see/hear, I hope you'll help spread the word about the movie (with a link, news blurb, or just by telling your friends) so that we can start building some momentum and make this film an event. Thanks!

Dark Lord Rob
American Entropy Productions

More CoS pics from Australia

Again, via Alex of Chicks on Speed...

Backstage Metro Sydney!

CoS in Adelaide

Alex's mum, Nanan and Valda:


A Fever Dream

I spent the early week sticking Eclectro Lounge's posters on bulletin boards. On Wednesday I felt the first symptoms of flu coming, and on Wednesday night fever rised. I was so hot that one could have probably fried eggs on my skin. I shivered under three blankets, and was probably a bit delirious since I had strangest sensations; half asleep, half awake. Time was lingering on painfully as if in slow motion; I had to rationalize my every thought and movement as if they were not self-evident any more: more like fragmented instead of the every-day normal, "automatic" state of continuum -- now I'm moving my hand, now I rise from the sofa, now I walk from the point x to the point y. It was all a bit like being drugged. From cold shivers my teeth started chattering against each other, and soon I realised it was rhythmic and accelerating as in shaman's drumming, probably meant to be trance-inducing. I was wondering if I was going to have an out-of-body experience.

Then, I don't know what happened but soon I dreamt (if that's the right word for my state of mind) of being back in the suburb Kaukajärvi of my childhood, and strangely I met myself as a child; a little boy in his flared trousers living in his fantasy world. And the most peculiar thing was that I was both myself as a child and as an adult, feeling as if being in a sort of "double exposure". It took place at the street of Järvikatu, near the pub called Kivitasku, where I used to buy Space: 1999 Trading Cards from a kiosk.

Me as a little boy was scared and lonely. Me as a grown-up tried to consolate this little boy, telling I was him, coming from the future the little boy was always dreaming about. I told him the future of 2005 was not exactly the sci-fi world of space stations, moonbases, and interstellar adventures (not at least yet), but fantastic in other ways such as with the Internet, mobile phones and so on (this probably sounds naïve now but remember I was not in my normal state of mind, it was more like being in the middle of fairy tale); there was not going to be a nuclear war (not at least by 2005), and everything was going to be fine in his life despite of all hard times he'd be through. I took him by the hand, and we flew over Kaukajärvi. And that's about all of it.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Chicks on Speed Touring USA... Maybe In 4 Years

Recently a Chicks on Speed fan from the USA asked from the Chix: "I was wondering if you could tell me when there will be a possiblity to see the Chix in Los Angeles before Bush kills us all?".

And Alex of CoS answered:

Hello there,

Sorry, we cannot save you, you should evacuate the USA as soon as you can!

To answer your question, when we will come back to the USA:

Never, we had the worst experience going through LA recently, on our trip to Australia, first they fingerprinted us, then photographed us and then locked us in a jail-like room for three hours, with CNN propaganda and chips.

It's not so inviting, and we didn't even have any intentions on entering the "holy" land.

Sorry, I don't think we will come back whilst Bush is in POWER!

Get out now!


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Astrological Ponderings

The planetary processes are modified by the twelve signs by virtue of their elements. There are four elements: fire, earth, air and water. Each is further differentiated by being expressed in one of the three ways: cardinal, fixed or mutable. At this point it is enough to know that the fire signs [Aries, Leo, Sagittarius] work most happily through action; the earth signs [Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo] through practical manifestation; the air signs [Aquarius, Gemini, Libra] through mentality; and the water signs [Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio] through the emotional nature.

-Alice O. Howell

My own star sign is Leo, a fire sign ruled by the Sun. I'm born on the 26th of July, which means there is also a strong Cancer influence (an emotional personal type); meaning for a Leo I'm a bit more of modest temperament that my star sign usually is. (I don't know my rising sign, which would be quite interesting to find out.)

Anyway, I feel being both blessed and cursed by being a Leo; which means I crave for attention and people's acceptance. When I get people's admiration, I just shine, but when I feel only neglected by people, I'm totally down. In psychological terms one could call this just plain narcissism, but I feel there's something much more involved there.

I've always found it hard to develop a healthy sense of self-esteem; free from either of any trappings of delusions of grandeur, or, lying down in the depths of my miserable self-pity. Nevertheless, I'm a strong believer in the old maxim of "Know thyself", and both undergoing personal therapy and studying on my own a bit of psychology -- and also some more "esoteric" arts -- have helped me considerably in understanding myself better.

A major guide on my own road here has been the ideas and writings of C.G. Jung, the master of combining both modern psychology and ancient esoteric thinking -- which are not so far from each other as one might suppose. Recently, I found from library American astrologer Alice O. Howell's book Jungian Symbolism in Astrology, which I have now read with great interest. You may smirk at astrology and horoscopes, but I think astrology is something that should not be understood as any logical science in the modern sense, but more as an art of intuitively trying to understand the human nature. Basically, star signs can be considered another set of Jungian archetypes, or indications of different personality types. (Also, Jung's idea of synchronicity, a set of meaningful coincidences, has always interested me a lot. Well, how about this for one synchronicity: also Dr. Jung's own birthday was the 26th of July; finding this out felt really meaningful to me.)

After my own recent personal shortcomings it really struck a nerve when I read from Howell's book the following passage of the positive and negative aspects of the Sun signs including my star sign, Leo, because those descriptions fit in perfectly with my own situation and state of mind:

How, you may ask, can the nature of the Sun be negative? It becomes negative through excess or weakness, when it is out of balance. In nature, the result is aridity, heat, drought, and barren desert -- a fierce, blinding and destructive heat. Or, it can be pale, wan, cold, vapid, and listless. The parallels in the psyche are the destructive aspects of tyranny, obsessive will, and the inflation and subsequent corruption of power and unbridled anger; or the cold cruelty and heartlessness of someone locked in a sunless inner world. One does not know whom to feel sorrier for -- such a person or those around him or her.


The nature of the Sun in Aries is to lead and in Leo to rule. When life conspires to permit this in a constructive way, good things happen. But whenever this energy is frustrated, a complex is set up: the need to be recognized becomes imperative and the person becomes dominated by a subversive insistence which causes troubles in relationships and triggers anger, resentment, and sometimes downright hostility. This, in turn, interferes with the success and achievement the Sun is craving for.

Reading this helped me immensely in understanding my anger and frustration. I'm probably at my best (hope I don't sound like a typical pompous Leo now) when I feel my unfettered ambition is let reign freely; but when this is, for one reason or another, hindered, my asocial, dark side easily becomes prevalent; expressed either by bouts of anger, or just as resigned sadness and melancholy, even depression.

When I was a child, more often than not, I was overwhelmed by the feelings of being neglected or misunderstood, just like the "Invisible Child" in Tove Jansson's fairytale. I became a loner, but to my fortune I had a vivid fantasy life, and I loved books and reading, so I always had a private world of my own where to retreat.

However, my social development was lacking, and even these days I find it easier to communicate with people by any other means than an actual face-to-face conversation. These means are music, art and writing.

And this is quite interesting since it fits perfectly in with Leary's and Wilson's theory of the Eight-Circuit Model of Consciousness, where the idea is that we compensate our missing attributes with others in their stead; i.e. a person missing social skills tends to compensate, for example, by developing his/her intellectual faculties.

Probably my whole pHinnWeb "empire" acts as a huge compensation for my missing "real life" communication skills. Dealing with social situations still confuses me, and I'm afraid my combination of shyness and moodiness (caused by the inner conflicts mentioned above) is often misinterpreted as arrogance and hostility. I have always been "the weird one". Still, I have always somehow managed to bypass this by other means -- which I have found very, very lucky.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Chicks on Speed Pics From Australia

Via Alex of Chicks on Speed, here are fresh pics from their March 2005 What Is Music Australian tour:

Forum Melbourne: What Is Music

Mari's new place; in the garden eating figs off the tree

Mari, Marion and Alex

Chix live in Adelaide:



Here is also a pic of Melissa and Ted's baby. pHinnWeb congratulates!

Juri comments...

Juri wrote as a comment to my latest jeremiad:

I would hate to see you go, so try to hang on in there! Keep these words in mind - it's something Henri Langlois of Cinematheque Francaise said -, there will be three people in the first Carl Th. Dreyer retrospective, thirteen in the next and thirty in the third. And so on. Keep on doing the good deeds! That's the most important thing. What you do is far more important than what those trendy hedonists do or even dream of doing.

In another words: koeta kestää!

Well, thanks for encouragement, but I'm not "going" anywhere, and certainly am not going to stop whatever I'm doing. It will only re-surface somewhere else even if one project stopped. Pitbulls are not the cutest dogs in the world, but once they get their teeth on something, they won't easily let go. However, it's always nice to whine.

Pentti Haanpää on Economy

Finnish novelist Pentti Haanpää (1905-1955) was in his lifetime a controversial character, whose leftist-leaning writings were not seen favourably in the nationalist-militarist Finland of the time. (Harri Teikka chose his writer pseudonym as tribute to a character called Pate Teikka in Haanpää's Noitaympyrä ("Witch Circle")). In 1933 Pentti Haanpää wrote (and was subsequently fined for his troubles):

Talousjärjestelmä on muka luonnonilmiö, jumalainen koneisto, jonka toimintaan valtiovalta ei saa sekaantua. Tätä saarnaavat juuri ne piirit, virkakunta, pankit ja yhtymät, jotka juuri valtiovallan sekaantumisen kautta ovat saaneet yhteiskunnassa kadehdittavat olot, vapaudet ja väljyydet.

("The economic system is supposedly a natural phenomenon, a divine machinery with which government can't meddle. This is preached exactly by those circles, bureaucracy, banks and corporations who have gained their enviable status in society, their freedom and elbowroom, just through the government meddling.")

More on Haanpää (in Finnish)

Saturday, March 05, 2005

How To Cope With Disappointments

On Friday I felt like collapsing. I would probably had burst into tears, if I had still only known how to cry (this is no joke, I haven't actually cried since 1987). It was as if I had been collecting in me this large amount of energy, tension, and it had been suddenly drained out of me. Feeling totally alone in a hostile world, dodging blows directed at me. The experience of disappointment and all my efforts being in vain was just so overbearing. Feeling misunderstood and being somehow out of touch, and certainly not for the first time in my life. "Something's happening here, but you don't know what it is, Mr. Jones." One should think that when one gets older, one will learn to cope with disappointments easier, but I don't know about that.

I remember this boy in my class at school: he was something of an athlete, and was reduced to tears every time his team lost in a football game; so intense was his concentration, devotion and willingness to win the game. Others found his reaction peculiar and even a bit funny: after all, it was just a game. I am a bit like that boy myself: I put myself in totally, and can't comprehend if someone else gives less than 100 percent. I suppose it's right to say I'm an extreme personality: either I don't bother at all, and am lazy and careless, or then I will push myself to the limits. Maybe the solution for me too lies in the realisation that it is all just a game. One can take it or leave it, win it or lose it, but life goes on nevertheless. Back to the Great Laughter?

Friday, March 04, 2005

Eclectro Lounge 4

Also last night's Eclectro Lounge 4 was pretty much what I was afraid of: just a handful of people coming in on Thursday night. A handful but not enough. Here is the playlist.

I'm afraid to say I'm a bit of a manic-depressive, reacting quite strongly to personal losses like people not coming to my club after all work I had done; and after having a couple of beers that night, I felt my depression getting just deeper, gloomy thoughts criscrossing my mind. Think of this: you spend days sticking posters to bulletin boards in cold winter weather and freezing your fingers (I already wrote about this), and generally working your arse off to promote the club, just to meet up with people's indifference and face their absence. You feel most of your efforts are only futile in the end. When Mika took me home in his Lada after the night, tons of destructive/self-destructive thoughts bombed my brain, and I was already thinking that I would tell everyone just to fuck off on pHinnWeb's mailing list the following day.

But that's just alcohol talking, and usually after having slept over night, my aggressive booze thoughts have evaporated. Anyway, if I had maintained my late night state of mind, it is something along these that I might have written (but didn't):

During my "career" in music I have seen more than my share of self-serving and greedy egotists, who only want to get paid, get laid and get stoned, and clueless partygoers enjoying their ephemeral pleasures.

These people are lazy, self-indulgent and selfish bastards; a bunch of unindependent herd animals who only chase after the latest trend or what is deemed fashionable in media at the time.

People are freeloaders who only want to enjoy the fruits of other people's labour but are not themselves willing to work or make sacrifices themselves to gain the end result.

Probably most people I wanted to come to my club stayed at home with their Playstations, their bongs and playing with their unmentioned body parts.

So why should I care or see the trouble for little shits like these?

And so on. And so on. To be continued.

So, this is what I might have written but didn't. Gee, I'm such a bitter man. I can hardly wait for my senior years as a grumpy old tosser, whining all day in my shabby armchair, babbling about "good old times" and threatening little kids with my walking stick on my walk to bingo.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Crocodile Gena and Other Russian Cartoons!

Really cute!

Ego and Self by C.G. Jung

C.G. Jung writes in his Memories, Dreams and Reflections:

Somewhere deep in the background I always knew that I was two persons. One was the son of my parents, who went to school and was less intelligent, attentive, hard-working, decent, and clean than many other boys. The other was grown-up -- old, in fact -- skeptical, mistrustful, remote from the world of men, but close to nature, the earth, the sun, the moon, the weather, all living creatures, and above all close to the night, to dreams, and to whatever "God" worked directly in him. I put "God" in quotation marks here. For nature seemed, liked myself, to have been set aside by God as non-divine, although created by Him as an expression of Himself. Nothing could persuade me that "in the image of God" applied only to man. In fact, it seemed to me that the high mountains, the rivers, the lakes, trees, flowers, and animals far better exemplified the essence of God than men with their ridiculous clothes, their meanness, vanity, mendacity, and abhorrent egotism -- all qualities with which I was only too familiar from myself, that is, from personality No. 1, the schoolboy of 1890. Besides his world there existed another realm, like a temple in which everyone who entered became transformed and suddenly overpowered by a vision of the whole cosmos, so that he could only marvel and admire, forgetful of himself. Here lived the "Other" who knew God as a hidden, personal, and at the same time suprapersonal secret. Here nothing separated man from God; indeed, it was as though the human mind looked down upon creation simultaneously with God.

What I am here unfolding, sentence by sentence, is something I was then not conscious of in any articulate way, though I sensed it with an overpowering premonition and intensity of feeling. At such time I knew that I was worthy of myself, that I was my true self. As soon as I was alone, I could pass over into this state. I therefore sought the peace and solitude of this "Other", personality No. 2.

The play and counterplay between personalities No. 1 and No. 2, which has run through my whole life, has nothing to do with a "split" or dissociation in the ordinary medical sense. On the contrary, it is played out in every individual. In my life, No. 2 has been of prime importance, and I have always tried to make room for anything that wanted to come to me from within. He is a typical figure, but he is perceived only by the very few. Most people's conscious understanding is not sufficient to realise that he is also what they are.

Jung went on later to define his "personality No. 2" as the Self, the part that apprehended "the One", the oneness of all living creatures and the universe. Whereas the "personality No. 1", the ego, perceived the objective world which arises through the process of duality, "the Two".

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Mika Taanila's Optical Sound

Talking about Mika Taanila (who also made the documentary on Erkki Kurenniemi), his latest short film, Optical Sound, will be
featured at the Tampere International Short Film Festival, 9-13 March 2005.

Optical Sound (2005) is based on the live performance of the Symphony for 12 Dot Matrix Printers by the Canadian artist duo [The User]. The film inter-cuts close-ups of the mechanical parts of the printers performing the piece, taken from surveillance cameras placed inside the machines, with images of the ASCII files' score being played, which has been photocopied straight onto clear film without the use of a camera. These live images are contrasted with time-lapse footage of large modern office blocks shot from the streets, at dawn and dusk, in Helsinki.

[The User] says of Symphony for 12 Dot Matrix Printers, "Nowadays technology defines our relationship to our surroundings. Whether it's about communication, making music, or producing food, the tools; phone, record player, genetic engineering; have a crucial role in the process and the result itself."

Taanila says of Optical Sound: "Our senses are used to the grey noise of technology that floats among us all the time. Its time, for a change, to LISTEN to that technology! Optical Sound focuses the attention of the spectator on the presence of technology. The film is critical of the `brilliance' of technology; intentional mis-use of technology becomes art. While contemporary technology is trying its best to be smooth, invisible and fast, the film makes it visible and
plays around with it."



Finland / Suomi
Experimental // 6 min // 35 mm // col., b&w
Director: Mika Taanila
Script: Mika Taanila
Photography: Jussi Eerola
Sound: Olli Huhtanen
Editing: Mika Taanila
Music: Emmanuel Madan, [The User], Thomas McIntosh
Production: Kinotar Oy
Contact: Hannes Vartiainen

Office technology becomes quickly outdated. Old tools turn into
musical instruments of the future. The film is based on a composition
for twelve dot matrix printers by the Canadian [The User].



A New Futuro House Site

There's a new Website at, dedicated to the plastic Futuro house designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in late 1960s, and immortalised by film director Mika Taanila in his 1998 Futuro - A New Stance For Tomorrow.

The Futuro House site includes the following statement on its Mission page:

"This site is dedicated to locating and documenting, with as much information as possible, all of the remaining Futuro Houses throughout the world. First with old information that’s out there, then with your help, updated photos and histories.

If you are a current owner, past owner, neighbour, or whatever please contact me with whatever information you have. Let's gather and record history together."

Like Eero Aarnio's Globe Chair, Futuro is truly both a Finnish design classic and a quintessential 1960s pop culture artifact. But however, as the Futuro film press release notes put it, these futuristic dreams were short-lived:

"The 1973 oil crisis shattered the optimistic illusions about continuous economic growth and the infallibility of technology. The price of plastic climbed drastically, and the production of Futuro became unprofitable. Although the innovative Futuro attracted plenty of attention around the world, and production and sales licences were sold to 24 different countries, it never fulfilled the expectations of its commercial potential.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Yum Yum! Kevin Blechdom's New Record Cover

Here is Kevin Blechdom's new record cover (via Alex of Chicks on Speed). Warning: not for vegetarians (or other people with weak stomachs)!

The Beatles' notorious "Butcher" cover just pales in comparison, don't you think...?

pHinnWeb March 2005 Chart

Here is pHinnWeb's March 2005 Chart for the records I've purchased/listened (mostly latter) during the last month.

So again, most are records borrowed from the excellent music department of Metso, Tampere's Main Library. You Americans reading this might not get it, but here in the "socialist hellhole" (authentic comment from the good old US of A) of Finland, it is still totally free to borrow records of all major musical artists and genres from public libraries, which has facilitated me to fill in the gaps of my musical education. And unlike downloading, it is totally legal too.