Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Sound Geek's Look at The World Cup

This is what a sound geek's mind drifts to during uninspiring stretches of World Cup matches: To my ears, the Vuvuzela drone centers slightly sharp of a B-flat. Within the manufacturing tolerences, there is a tonal drift up to about a B. For the $1 it costs to make them, I'm guessing they don't do quality assurance and hand-tuning on each one. This is probably a good thing: I shudder to think what would result of a stadium full of these blasting a precise frequency of say 390 Hz. The sympathetic resonance would probably flatten nearby structures of that resonant frequency.

This it also he reason it is so annoying. Slight detuning can be a very useful in music - the natural variations in intonation from the players in an Orchestra gives the sound a richness, and the tuning drift of analog synths is a large part of their charm and warmth.

However, with this degree of detuning relative to one another, a stadium of vuvuzelas yields this smear of frequencies that together give you a cacophony more like a car horn or a busy signal - think two adjacent tones on an out-of-tune piano.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Texas Board of Education Should Be Added To Some Required Lists

Just when you thought the intellectual rigor of our country couldn't sink any lower, we have Bible-thumping dentists and real-estate brokers are determining the science and history standards for millions of kids nationwide. The Texas Board of Education has locked in the de facto education standards for our country with their textbook guidelines for the coming decade.

Because Texas buys the most books, the 3 major textbook manufacturers will these standards nationwide so the rest of the country gets dragged along in this idiocy. Thomas Jefferson has been expunged from a list of the country's great thinkers, and writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. have been removed from recommended reading lists. The roles of minorities and women in the struggles for civil rights and suffrage are downplayed (it was surely just the benevolence of the ruling white males that brought these about, no?).

I hereby propose the following: School boards from all other states should immediately add the 9 majority-voting members of the Texas School board to the list of this country's greatest morons. Maybe at least *their* names can be remembered for generations to come.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Who needs health care anyway?

Looks like healthcare reform is on track to be watered down to the following: 1) A lucky dozen uninsured people will be allowed to pay full price to become insured and 2) Insurers will be required to provide everyone either a free desk calendar or a mousepad.

Thank you, dysfunctional political process!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Domu Calls It A Day

[NOTE His own sites are rapidly disappearing, so I'm re-posting this for those who missed his original farewell to the music industry earlier this week ]

The End

It's over. I can't go into the personal reasons, but of course will leave you some explanation as to how I got here. It feels a bit like walking away from a life of crime or the Mafia. I am Carlito, I have finally made the break from the old dangerous way of making a living. I just hope Benny from the Bronx doesn't shoot me as I am boarding the last train out of here. The point is that I am no longer Domu. He is a character, always has been, and as of Friday 13th November 2009, he no longer exists. Neither does Umod, Sonar Circle, Bakura, Yotoko, Rima, Zoltar, Blue Monkeys, Realside or any of the other names I put out music under. I am cancelling all my gigs and not taking any more. My hotmail is closed, my Twitter is closed and my Facebook is closed. If any of you want to talk to me and know me well enough to have my mobile number then that is still the same, and please feel free to call any time. My other email address I mail from occasionally is still open to tie up any loose ends.

I had started to change, for the worse I am now sure. My confusion was growing, my insecurity and bitterness getting out of hand, a lack of creative direction and focus were leading me somewhere very dark. I have felt so depressed by all of this. Believe me I have searched my soul long and hard this year to find the reasons again why I do this, but I can't locate them. Too much of 'me' is mixed up into all of this, and no one should ever give so much of himself or herself to a job. I once believed in all of it, that I made and played music for a certain type of person, for people who didn't want to adhere to the 'normal' way of life, the free thinker, the independent or open minded type who was bored of the genres, the staples, the blueprints or the formulae. The underground. But I just don't truly believe I am needed in this battle anymore. It has been passed down to another generation, who are doing it their way, and I have no desire to try and edge in and start proclaiming to be fighting a fight that is no longer mine. I am a 31-year-old man. I can't claim to be holding a torch up to something that meant so much to me at 15. At 21, maybe. But now, after ten years going full time, I think I have said all I had to say. My creative light has dimmed. Maybe because I started so early, who can tell? But I feel satisfied that this is it.

I have had an amazing time. I've travelled the world, drank and partied and made a decent living out of entertaining people throughout all of my 20's. I met some incredible people in cities I never dreamed I would visit, shared my thoughts and collected wisdom from a huge range of deeply profound and lovely people. But I have also met some real arseholes, and I could feel I was becoming one. Playing records I wasn't sure I liked to people who had no idea who I was. I had gone cold, cold to the music, to the reactions and to the point of it all. I was changing what I thought I liked, so that I would be liked. I am not a chameleon. I am not Madonna, I can't stay abreast of the current styles and keep changing with it just to stay in fashion or retain some kind of credible status or career. I have had my moment. If you know me well, you would have sensed a change in me over the last two years. I have always suffered with problems of confidence, but I know that's not why I am throwing in the towel. I feel like I have to change so much of what I think is 'me' to carry on. What I believe in, how to talk to people, how to behave. I just don't think I can be so arrogant and harsh to stand out anymore. There is so much noise out there that people have to shout louder and louder to be heard. And for what? I am beating myself up over something I no longer believe in for an income that is stressfully patchy and more often than not, very low...

...I'll leave you all with this. Life isn't the X-Factor. No one has a God given right to his or her dream or ambitions coming true. I have worked hard and had some great luck. I followed some opportunities, squandered others. I have no regrets, other than not stopping when I knew I should have done this time last year. The only thing you have to guide you through your life is your instinct. Sometimes the right decision isn't the easiest, but between your conscience and your intuition you will find the answer. Please listen to it. It's you.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pointing Backwards, Indeed.

[I had meant to post this the other night, but better late than never - C]

""Say it ain't so, Joe…There you go again, pointing backwards…"  Sarah Palin's overly-crammed brain was aching to unload these canned Reaganesque quips at some point during the debate. 

It is understandable that her handlers would program them into her limited arsenal.  They were emergency generic punch lines just waiting to be delivered in lieu of substance-- a diversionary device like a flare or a smoke bomb to be used in case of an unanswerable charge from Biden.  Do whatever it takes to keep the focus off your party's disastrous record on nearly every issue.

Never mind how we got in this mess.  Pay no attention to the past.  How dare you bring up the record we're running on (while we're simultaneously trying to run from it)? We can't learn anything from history.  If it didn't happen in the last 5 minutes, it's ancient history…our slate is clean.  Everything is new and unprecedented.  I call do-overs!  Mulligan!! I am the great and powerful Oz!!! Umm…what was the question again, Gwen?

I imagine her car mechanic tells her "No, don't tell me about your car's symptoms or the service records…that's all in the past.  I'm sure we're dealing with some utterly new problem unique to your vehicle.  I'll just get to fixin' the problem…"

Sometimes there's a reason for the blame game.  It does matter as to the causes of global warming, avoidable wars and financial meltdowns.  It matters because you can't address the cause if you don't even know what it is.  Treatment is much different whether a headache is caused by encephalitis or a hangover.

Even Palin understands this on some level because, (miracles aside), she realizes that sex is the overwhelming cause of pregnancy. She determined that the cause of her daughter's pregnancy was not the failure of abstinence programs.  It was caused by unprotected sex with a boy and therefore needed to be solved by a ceremony involving a shotgun and a preacher. 


Thursday, October 02, 2008

USS George W. Bush - a joke continues.

There is a joke email making the rounds among Republicans...3 new naval vessels are supposedly being launched and the email shows pictures and describes the specs.  The USS Reagan is (appropriately) a massively expensive behemoth--a war hawk's wet dream of a floating city-sized arsenal.  The USS Clinton is an unarmed slow ship made of recycled materials docked in Canada whose only mission is to appease.  Finally the USS Barack Obama is simply shown as a rusty sinking boat teeming with refugees from Cuba (theapparent implication:  he has dark skin, so is from the third world?) .  Priceless.  Ah...such trenchant wit.  

Anyway, you get the picture  (I'm not going to drive traffic to these sites, but Google "Three New Navy Ships" and you'll find some variant of it on every right wing blog). 

I got to thinking...wait a minute--they're missing a ship in this lineup! You know the guy--that funny-talking guy they were so into for 8 years.  I had more than a little fun imagining what his Naval namesake might look like:

USS George W. Bush     [Crusader-class]
This ship (nicknamed "The Decider") is estimated to cost in excess of $700 Billion dollars.  However, since it is entirely funded by off-budget [read: perpetual crisis] dollars, the true cost could exceed 3 Trillion dollars in payments to Halliburton and Bechtel with no-bid contracts.
The sheer weight of this vessel -- 80,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons -- has lowered the standing of the US in the world...literally.  It has physically sunk the North American continent nearly four feet, causing New Orleans to disappear beneath the Gulf of Mexico.  The USS Bush  is equipped with onboard shadow prison cells complete with the most modern enhanced interrogation techniques...enough to take all of the Abu Ghraib and Gitmo detainees and many more.  Operating in International waters allows the crew to skirt those "quaint" Geneva conventions and saves the taxpayers money currently spent flying prisoners to Syria for extraordinary rendition.  Its enormous cargo holds can carry enough democracy to administer freedom (by force feeding or, if necessary, via other orafices) to foreign societies around the globe.
It is not known if it is actually sea-worthy, since the design was entirely faith-based. Political ideology concerns overrode all design recommendations of so called "experts"  -- the physicists, mechanical,  naval and materials engineers with their fuzzy "math" and "reality-based" science.  This intelligently-designed ship has real small town values and, in fact, was fully assembled in place at an actual small town in rural landlocked Nebraska.   These simplistic "common-sense" ideas sought to make the hands-off operations ot the vessel "idiot-proof".  However, during unmanned test runs over an 8 year period, a mentally-challenged simian operated the prototype unsuccessfully with universally catastrophic results
The vessel's low-slung decks allow it to be operated almost completely in stealth.    One tradeoff inherent to this design is that it yields an extremely limited view of the surroundings.  From such a short-range perspective, the vessel's obscenely high fuel consumption is not seen as a problem, since cheap, plentiful oil is expected to be available forever and ever.    Even in normal operations, a nearly impregnable "bubble" surrounds the commander's quarters making it nearly impossible for communications from the outside world to reach them should a change of course be neeeded.
Standing orders are to have it operated by loyal political appointees only.  People with Naval experience and elite "knowledge" need not apply. The commanding philosophy of the ship will be to jettison of all naval regulations and international standards  -- by "getting government out of the way," these true American heroes aboard can act from their gut from all times, doing God's work.  Voluntary compliance with Constitutional protocols is allowed, but not encouraged. 
This vessel specializes in reactionary missions--continually responding to situations with historical precedence, yet were completely unforseeable by anyone.   By removing weighty traditional post-mission planning facilities, the USS GW Bush was designed to quickly attain full speed -- careening headlong into conflicts (alongside its stalwart fleetmate, the USS Cheney) before anyone has time to think.  Significant cost savings were achieved by eliminating navigational systems, which were deemed unnecessary.  This leaves the decision entirely with the states as to which dark-skinned oil-rich country is to be invaded next. Interestingly, it is the horrific wake of this ship which has proven to be particularly devastating to the environment and the global economy.  As such, many nations no longer want anything to do with it and have denied it entry to their coastal waters.