Thursday, September 28, 2006


the rest of the dancers

these words are from blacklight, an inspiration in most categories and a wonderful friend:

...the most interesting thing to me was that they caught me, and my kindred. This got me to thinkin about the phenomenah of dancefloor kindred. The way I've experienced it is they are the ones, correction, WE are the ones, who in ANY large group where there's a buncha people and dancing, especially with electronic music, [although it happens no matter what the music is], who recognize eachother no matter where we are on the dancefloor as those mufuckas. the ones who are like a pulse for the floor. the ones who are driven beyond the love of dance to a place that looks a lot like NEED. we fucking HAVE to move. we HAVE to shake down and give homage to the gods of Rhythm and Bass and Tone and Note. like, there is no choice. I don't even remember their names, my kindred from Boom, but I will forever remember their faces, their energies, their beauty and acceptance and generosity. ... that morning, I had stumbled out of my tent down onto the dancefloor, not even really in the mood to dance, and then the two of them, who up until then I had only had the mutual recognition with ..[YOU your'e one of them, yep, you are too.. all this through our movements and eyes, no words..], greeted me with a raucous cheering and exhorted me to immediately lose my mind.. which I did poste haste, and the three of us just fuckin raged it for the next however long... just feelin it HARD the entire time. this is...a HUGE shout out to all of those dancefloor kindred all over the globe, all over the galaxy. .who will forever be the instigators of inspiration to me, to you, to all their movements and energy touches. Aaaannd, last but not least, this is a shout out to all you who spark us whether you know it or not.. by watching us. by encouraging us, by cheering us on, by complimenting us before, after and during, by filming us and taping us and shooting us and posting us.. I thank the ones of you who are genuinely moved and inspired by us. Know that it is indeed a completed cypher, and though we absolutely HAVE to move.. we have to, it makes it an infinitely more enjoyable experience when we get to inspire you who inspire us who inspire you..

the boy speaks full truth. there are so many moments i have in my head...full communication with no words and full communion without even touching. i've made close friends who speak pigeon english, and smiled and waved and run to embrace people i've never met. these ones, the rest of the dancers, they are full family. always.


part iii of how many people in the world would actually think this is music?!

i just had this great conversation with ian about glitch, and i wrote some words that i like. basically, the question put to me was: 'what IS it that you people really get out of that stuff?'

before i let loose, let's do some definitions on some undefined genres. there's glitch-hop, which is bassy, a super-dance-able version of hip-hop, with scratching and glitch layered over it. and that actually covers most of what i go out to dance to. (i mean, ish. most of these genres are just trying to provide a term for something that's pretty scattered and diverse.) for glitch-hop, let's say that's boreta, eprom, kraddy, ooah, edit, with some kitty-d on the side and rodman darting in and out. and then there's *glitch*... which is also a problematic genre name, but in this case i'm talking about 'music' that is primarily scratchy beepy sounds. there may or may not be a layer of really smooth melodic sound as a base, and there will be some beats, but the focus of the thing is the straight bEEp beeErP tch skreeeeE tch cLiCK. i don't know the names of a lot of glitch producers, but slidecamp is glitchy, and so is mr projectile, and i think watson and toast. and maybe RD. DISCLAIMER: most of the boys i listed don't really think of much--if any--of what they do as 'glitch'. it's a hard term to get right, right now.

so i'm seeing two categories of people loving this music--the uber-awesome dancers and the music geekhead producers. which leads me to believe that it is awesome for dancing and probably technically pretty fun to ponder and play with.

first, the dancers. glitch is TOTALLY dance-able. even most of the really pure glitch, provided your drugs are working properly. the dancers that i dance with are pretty stoked on music that let's you get creative with your body and move slowly but intricately. so the midtempo breaks stuff that we've been so into for the last couple years is great--loooots of bass, but a slow enough tempo that you can bend over backwards and touch your elbow behind your opposite knee if you want to. now glitch-hop is taking the midtempo breaks and layering some new sharper scratchier stuff on top, right? so then you've got the sloooow bassline to match with your torso, but with this set of sounds on top that you can match with your arms or head or feet or whatever. lots of space for total movement insanity. and there's the little matter of how incredibly well it lets us all dance together... the -hop part is slow, making it easy to move with someone else, and super-sexy, which makes everyone move way hotter; and then the glitch lets folks be more playful.

dancing to the pure glitch is way different, but also fun. it's super *sharp* music, and some of it's pretty spare and sparse, which i like. it's music to test your reflexes :P how many beats can you hit, with how many body parts, in a given short timespan? also, everyone likes to be a robot sometimes :)

and then the djs. the fact that so many producers and dJs that i like are interested in glitch makes me surmise that it's probably fun to listen to from the perspective of how-the-hell-did-they-make-that. also, it must be fun to make or they wouldn't keep churning it out.

and my personal connection... i mean, it's incredible to dance to. just incredible. the first troubled youth mash-up set i heard made me tear up. not kidding. and their set at priceless was even better. i cannotobjectively determine what it is, other than the paragraphs above about dancing, that makes this music resonate with me. but it does. it REALLY does. the glitch-hop, the melodic stuff with glitch on top, the electro-glitch, and whatever else. all of it.

i've never had any genre that reeeeally did it for me before. i like and listen to a pretty broad range of genres, but i'm very artist-specific. i didn't ever get into the jamband scene, despite circumstances that suggested i should. i had a quick little ska phase, but just cuz it was a fun thing to do. i never got into any of the punk or emo or indie shit that people went through in high school or college--i just never heard a genre or subgenre that had more than a couple bands that i really loved. so this is my first time where i'm ready to just completely immerse myself in a type of music, and let myself be okay with the fact that, well, i pretty much listen only to *this* genre now when i'm in the car or cleaning or whatnot. i used to think that that sort of behavior was inCREDibly lame and narrow-minded of people, but now i'm seeing that i just hadn't found a genre that i loved the way they did.

and in response to the argument that it's getting love because it's hip and underground and edgy... yes, it's underground, and it's got the whole too-cool thing that goes with underground. but i'm going to be sweetly naive and be one of the DANCERS, and you can't fake the dancing. have you seen us? i mean, i've seen us, and we are faking NOTHING. so i'll just kick it with my dancers, and we'll go to ruby skye if it's for something that we can't get elsewhere (but if you can get it at nickie's then why in god's name would you go to ruby skye?!), and we'll be happy :)

(my post on the first non-dancing glitch show i went to, and how startled i was at how much i like it, is here:



yesterday i got to go to a conference in monterey on desalination. i learned quite a bit, and since it's pretty interesting to me (and SHOULD be pretty interesting to anyone who plans on living in california for the next several decades), i thought i'd share some of my notes.

there are about 12 existing coastal desalination facilities in california, with a total production capacity of about 2.7 million gallons per day (mgd). they're used mostly for emergency backup, industrial supplies, and drought relief. at the moment, there are more than 20 new plants being proposed for california, and they're at all stages of the planning and environmental process. by one estimate i found, these proposed plants would add about 370 mgd of production capacity. [note: 2.7 mgd is peanuts. 370 mgd is definitely not peanuts.] the biggest plant in the world is on the order of 72 mgd. the biggest one in the uS is in tampa bay, and i believe it's about 25 mgd. the existing plants in california are all very smallish. some of the proposed california plants would be on a large scale. a bunch would be bigger than 10 mgd; two would be on the order of 50 mgd; and one would be 120 mgd. i got the impression that 10-25 mgd looks about reasonable and rational for a large plant in california right now. anything larger than that would probably be called 'big' by industry standards.

summary: a bunch of small pilot-y desal projects currently exist in california. lots of desal projects, some of them huge, are proposed for california.

desalination takes a LOT of energy. at the moment, the rate of energy usage to create desalinated water from normal oceanic saltwater is 6.81-8.90 kilowatt-hours per kilogallon (kwh/kgal). 20 years ago, though, that would've been about 30 kwh/kgal, so the technology's come a long way. and it's still improving. at $0.08/kwh (which is low in california, i believe), this comes to $2.37-2.80/kgal (about $3 per thousand gallons of desalinated water). (what's a typical price for water in california? i'm not sure...)

desalination plants cause a variety of impacts. the impacts can be divided roughly into these categories:

-construction – normal construction impacts; not a big deal; but note that pipeline construction is included in this category.
-intake – intake of water can cause impingement and entrainment (trapping and sucking in) of marine species; but some methods are way better than others, and technology is improving while research is being done on the impacts.
-discharge – the water that is returned to the ocean after the desal process is highly saline. this can affect all sorts of marine life. this is dealt with by co-locating the facility (see below) and by careful planning regarding the location of the outfall.
-energy use and emissions – very energy-intensive; using brackish water would be more efficient; emission problem could be solved with alt energy source.
-land use – coastal access issues; sensitive habitats are located in coastal zones; zoning is stricter; etc.
-socioeconomics – it's an expensive way to get water, so rates go up
-co-location issues – in california, plants are generally co-located with another facility, such as a power plant or wastewater plant, so that the brine byproduct can be disposed of into an already-existing plume of outfall water. this makes the salinity impact much lower. however, power plant outfall plumes are bad in and of themselves, environmentally, and california is trying to phase out once-through cooling systems at power plants. if the power plants are decommissioned, the desal plants will have to do much more to deal with their wastewater.

it is important to remember, however, that all these impacts must be balanced against the environmental impacts of all other ways to get water. habitat destruction, species destruction, overdraft, seawater creep, and the various socioeconomic impacts associated with water politics...

that's the gist of the basics, issues-wise. know too that the field is very regulated. one plant under discussion had to get 5 federal permits, 12 state permits, and 7 local permits. that is a LOT of permits.

Friday, September 22, 2006


dayquil: love and hate

dayquil is GREAT, right? it makes your head work. it makes you functional. it makes it possible for you to get through a day of coldishness without collapsing. it's also very fun to be on with caffeine and alcohol when you're dancing.

BUT-T-T-T-- so this week i've had a series of really intense nights full of AWFUL dreams. long, vivid, disturbing, emotional dreams. i'm not getting very good sleep, and i'm remembering tons of each dream when i wake up. aside from the actual unpleasant feelings at the time of dreaming, this is resulting in additional problems as i try to go through my days with images from the dreams in my head. i've been depressed, emotional, and insecure all week. it's been bothering me and compounding as i've tried to figure out why... so i'm terribly relieved to have noticed this correlation.

dayquil. wow. bad.


if applied properly, success guaranteed.

i was at beatchurch last night with bex, b2, reagan, benchun, and nevada. we got there early and things were sloooow to get started. i doubt the evening ever got very crowded, but the beginning was particularly dead. neptune was playing some kind of blah mellow something-or-other, and the sound was a little too loud in the front room, so we went into the back room and sat around talking. 20 minutes later... i'm sitting talking to ben and b2; the other girls are standing behind us talking. suddenly, neptune kicks into a random unidentified new track. b2, ben, and i--still sitting down and talking--all start dancing at the same time. behind the boys i see bex and nevada do the same thing.

'twas truly magical.

this, i'm sure, says something very important and profound about the effect of bass on my friends. i'm wondering if this same thing would have happened with every other human everywhere? or is it just a specific subset of the population? could we do a test to find like-minded dancers in which we put a group of people together and the ones that start twitching when the bass hits get culled off and given tribe profiles?

i'm also curious if this can be used as proof that different genres do different things to different people.

oh, and if it can be used as proof that i have rad friends.

Monday, September 18, 2006


one year ago *this* weekend

was the *second* rodman sunrise at toxic beach.
and this time, we were smart enough to have some historians.


i'll just repost what i said in response to amy's notification on the date...

a million years ago and just yesterday... thanks for reminding. my body just sighed with slumped shoulders, which makes me think of all the change we move through in this town even as we seem to just keep on playing... that dj--the one who stole our collective heart--is mia. the location is no longer useable without stress. the crews and groups have shifted... that morning could and would never happen again.
after load-out was complete that morning, i went with alxndr, stephania, and tyler to breakfast, and then we drove over the golden gate to a hidden treasure alex knew about. after an hour or so of transcendent bliss, we drove down to a beach and watched san francisco through a fog-free set of afternoon minutes... we are the lucky ones...

Friday, September 15, 2006


on why i may or may not be a bad person

last night i went to modern times bookstore to hear readings from 'bitchfest', a 10-year-anniversary collection of articles from and for bitch magazine. and, since anyone who knows my habits at all will know that this trip was an oddity when viewed in the context of my normal standardized social calendar, i shall quickly confess that i have not suddenly developed a new conscientiousness regarding feminist issues; rather, i was attending because friend b(2)rendan was one of the seven authors doing readings.

i have a very minimal education on most—if not all—issues that bitch magazine typically encompasses. my gender studies coursework was limited to a single class called 'gender, nation, cinema' as part of my film studies minor. a very good course, it's true; but probably not sufficient to grant me credentials in any serious conversation about any variety of gender theory. and aside from this course, i think the most reading i've done on the subject of feminism has been a brief foray into 'backlash' by susan faludi. not to say that i've never taken part in educated discourse on gender and feminism—no one in the davis progressive scene could have possibly come out unscathed in that regard, unless they felt like making dozens of enemies—but i don't have a firm background on the subject.

so. i went through a surprisingly challenging set of minutes during and following the event last night. each of the pieces i heard was interesting, and each one made me think. (well, except maybe for the one on christian virgins as sexual deviants—hilarious, yes, but not terribly thought-provoking.) and i could and would enjoy spending several hours talking through a lot of the points that the writers brought up. but i felt, both while i was listening and then afterwards when i tried briefly to express some thoughts, that i wasn't qualified to be critiquing or commenting on the subjects at hand. that made me uncomfortable and nervous, and i believe i got noticeably snappish and frustrated.

upon further pondering on both the readings' subject matter and the meta-issue of my security with the topic of gender theory, i have come to the conclusion that i am limiting myself and being lame.

but i'm still not sure how to devise an acceptable solution.

see... the bulk of my insecurity stems, i believe, from the fact that i tend to disagree with large chunks of dominant feminist theory. and so, when i find myself disagreeing, i assume that i must be WRONG, probably because i don't know enough about the subject, or possibly because i didn't understand the author/speaker's words. because really—why would a nice progressive girl disagree with feminists unless she was being a totally clueless idiot? oh, and pompous. a totally clueless pompous idiot.

but then when i step back a level—and last night was a good night to observe, since there were a bunch of topics being discussed—i notice that i don't disagree with *all* gender theory or feminist theory. i love love love everything i've ever heard on masculinity, maleness, reverse-sexism, and such. also, last night i had no argument with the pieces on body image, and was in fact particularly interested in the piece regarding envy and desire with respect to body issues and how women view each others' bodies. as a matter of fact, *everything* last night rang true for me except for one piece (the one regarding 'girl power' and its counterproductive effect on the feminist movement; i was bothered by what i saw as the author's simplistic and judgmental views of mainstream imagery). and because everything sat well with me except for one subject—and a subject that i know i've taken issue with before—i'm suddenly feeling a lot better about my opinions. i mean, i'm a smart girl. and i'm interested in social theory. so i can generally have long and excellent conversations with friends about this sort of thing without it devolving into a sharp difference in opinions (even if i sometimes do need to be filled in on the proper terminology and the newest thoughts from academia). and because this is true, if i'm finding myself NOT agreeing with a sub-set of theory, i'm thinking that maybe i should trust myself and keep trying to enunciate what i disagree with.

the problem remains that, while *i* might trust me, this excellent self-assurance won't necessarily grant me credibility with people who know more on the subject than i do. and so here's the part of the problem where i don't have a solution yet. in the present case, i'm hoping that a long conversation with a friend who's knowledgeable in feminist theory and who generally trusts my intelligence will be a good start. but in the longer run... i think that my tendency towards self-deprecation and my inability to feel comfortable in a subject until i speak the language perfectly are going to continue to impede my public (or semi-public) speaking on the subject. ach, well... i suppose i'll just have to do some reading...? given the parameters of my personality, i suppose that's all i can do. and that's fine...but in the meantime i'm still feeling frustrated.

not a very good incentive for me to stray outside my normal trains of thought, is it? yuck. i don't want to avoid subjects because i get insecure about not being smart enough. although, to be fair to my brain and ego, which i love, adore, and cherish, i will remind them that this tends to only be problematic in a few politicized areas of thought.

(and a note on this issue from a broader viewpoint: i have similar issues on the subject of affirmative action, another progressive foregone conclusion that i don't really agree with. over time i've come to terms with this because i think i understand my perspective pretty well and can feel morally okay with my opinions. so i think it's likely that over time i'll be able to more eloquently and logically explain my disagreements with feminist theory. it just might take some work. oh, and some willingness to piss people off :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


i *heart* the interwebs.

(thanks mike ryan for the tip.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006



[ed note: i didn't participate in any of the discussions around 'v for vendetta' when it came out, because i hadn't seen the film yet. so i have no idea if this is something that's been churned up and beat to death. new to me, and i really want to share.]

there's a bit in the times about al qaeda-related websites and their choices of invective yesterday. maybe it's just because i finally watched 'v for vendetta' the other day, but i felt a sudden tweak in my perspective when i read these paragraphs...

With God’s help and yours, let us make the fifth anniversary of the events of Sept. 11 the beginning of a boycott of all Zionist-American products that are sold in Arab and Muslim countries. Many continue to buy these products despite all they see and hear about the killing, torture and destruction that Muslims are faced with due to the Crusader and Zionist-American war. Let us boycott these products because we do not need them, nor are they to be considered absolute necessities. Here is a list of the companies and products that should be boycotted: Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Nike, Mars, McDonald’s ... “Pepsi” stands for “Pay Every Penny to Save Israel.”
In the name of God the merciful and the compassionate, Monday morning is the fifth anniversary of the glorious attacks on New York and Washington accomplished by the 19 heroes of the Muslim community — may God have mercy on them and raise them to the highest rank for their sacrifice. They pressed America’s nose into the ground and allowed the whole world to witness the destruction of its economic and military citadels. In so doing, they crushed the myth with which America had terrorized the world, namely that it was the greatest power on earth and no one was strong enough to confront, let alone make an enemy, of it.
Hunger, disease, thirst and regional wars instigated by poverty all stem from the greed of the West, its thirst for plunder and desire to control the world’s wealth. These in turn lead to a rate of destruction every year that equals the destruction World War II effected over six years.

The mercenaries who dominate the World Trade Organization ... the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund ...the bloodsuckers of the world’s poor, the immiserators of nations and the thieves, murderers, shedders of blood: these are the ones who control the international political system. They are the ones who spread their armies throughout the world, terrorizing and stealing the wealth of nations while enslaving them. They are the ones who are exterminating the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and other places. They are the ones who ally themselves to the despotic rulers in order to suck the blood of the people, using companies that are owned by the leaders of their countries and headed by murderers and criminals.

as a progressive and some-time activist american, with my head tuned to a frequency that worries about fascist regimes and totalitarian tendencies, i do of course harbor the thought that a revolution may some day be necessary if americans wish to maintain current levels of certain freedoms that we have at this time.

conversely, as a woman trained in non-violent conflict-resolution and confrontation, and as a human who aspires to live and tout a pure version of pacifism, i would wish to avoid destruction of life in all situations, and the destruction of property as well if possible.

so i wonder...

-at what point is violence justified against a repressive or power-hungry nation?

-isn't economic domination a crime worth punishing, as much as physical domination?

-what about the proliferation of a destructive cultural hegemony?

-can we, as observers from within the dominating power, ever see clearly what is or is not justifiable?

-can we even see what steps we would need to take to get to a place where we could objectively observe the situation?

-if the attacks on new york had brought about shifts in foreign policy such that the uS became more of a nation that i, my peers, and the world as a whole could respect, would the attacks have been considered justified?

-could such a shift ever happen, though, when most forms of rebellion are called terrorism and therefore looked on as actions that cannot be yielded to?

-what is the line between terrorism and revolution, if revolutionaries are necessarily pushed towards 'terrorist' acts since they are otherwise powerless?

-what is the critical mass of opinion and participation that would make acts of destruction or violence valid in the eyes of the world theatre?

-how is the acceptable critical mass different if the participants are citizens of the nation in question, or if they're citizens of a repressed country?

i was in new york the morning of the attack. i was spending my summer as a resident of the east coast. i've been grateful since that day that i was there that summer, since it meant that i was able to observe the event through the lens of a person much closer to the impacts of the event than if i'd just been a liberal hippie californian. i've been grateful that i was able to get as upset and angry as i did, and that the event made me question my pacifism. no one i knew on the east coast that summer was untouched, and the violence and destruction that resulted from the event were devastating.




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