Monday, 18 November 2013

Why Australia must be “sued into sutainability”

The elimination of the woefully inadequate carbon tax by the Abbott Government is depressing. Knowing as much as I do about the extremely low productivity, age and infertility of the Australian continent those with serious ecological knowledge would hope for better.

Nonetheless, is there a point in crying over something scientists can do nothing about??

The answer is no - we must look to alternative causes to see why Australia lags further and further behind the rest of the world in greenhouse emissions reductions, when its infertile soils, hot climate and high species diversity suggest firmly it needs to be moving further and further ahead. It is pointless arguing the toss: Australia will move away from sustainability as the rest of the world moves toward it.
This map, taken from the FAO site “”, shows just why Australia has such a poor sustainability record: it has little incentive to be efficient with land and energy use due to its continuous and abundant very flat land.
The map above is based on the FAO’s map of median terrain slope, with the modification of cutting off cryospheric land as if it was above about 9˚ slope. Although my rendition is not perfect, it is striking how vast the areas of extremely low slope are in most of Australia, and how even the relatively steep areas of the east coast, the Kimberley and central Australian ranges are not highly “dissected”. The vast supply of continuous flat land northwest from the Main Divide is rivalled - and barely - only in the Amazon and Sahara under climates equally or more inhospitable, and there the flat land is far more broken and less economic for farming or housing.

This is why “feeling” types, strongly interested in other people and deep romantic relationships, are attracted to Australia’s suburbs, whereas “thinking” types who are interested in things and ideas more than people gravitate to Eurasia and the Americas, where dense populations and lack of space allow for intensive discussions but little room for nurturing families.

Countering the natural tendency for exploitation in Australia and conservation in the northern and western hemispheres requires a completely different line of attack.

The most likely method is to demonstrate why Australia is responsible for global warming even though its emissions are not yet a large proportion of the global total (though they certainly will be in the future). Per capita emissions, especially given the relative ecological energy consumption of Australian vis-à-vis Enriched World ecosystems, are enough reason to give Australia an exceptional responsibility for man-made global warming.

With time the power of the Enriched World to demand Australia pay its fair (large) share for the costs of man-made global warming abroad will decline. This makes the Kyōtō Protocol more of a failure than its sceptics think, and makes a complete rethink of policies all the more urgent. If Australia was made to pay or sued for demonstrable damages, it would completely alter its ultraconservative, pro-mining and pro-freeway politics at a stroke. The effect would be immense compared to the changes made of late in Eurasia and the Americas!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Why people compain about the weather - reversing the popular myth

I have for a long time thought it odd that people in places blessed with comfortably cool climates - even if they are gloomier than could be desired - complain so much about the weather. England and Seattle are the most prominent places where people are supposed to complain a lot about the weather, but Europe throughout is known for this type of talk. One person on the web whom I will not name says:
“if your country has better weather than England you’re not allowed to complain about it”
This statement is based on the assumption that most of the world has much better weather than England. Whilst this a common perspective, I would dearly wish people to think about it logically. England does have a rather gloomy climate with a large number of rainy days, but it does not have:
  1. extreme winds and heavy rainfall as is found in the tropical cyclone belts of Australia, Asia and the Caribbean
  2. extremely uncomfortable and even dangerous humidity as occurs in the summer or year-round in southern and eastern Asia, eastern North America, eastern South America, West Africa and most of Australia
  3. unpredictable and extreme droughts and resultant dust storms and stock losses as found in Australia and southern and Eastern Africa
    • nor does England have the huge flood flows that occur in wet years in Australia, where the Burdekin River, with a VMAD of around 330m3/s, can reach a flow equal to that of the Congo.
  4. extremely hot and dry weather with dangerous sun conditions, as found in the hot deserts on the eastern side of subtropical anticyclones
  5. extremely heavy snowfalls as found in northeastern North America and northern Japan
  6. extremely cold conditions as found in northern North America, Siberia, Manchuria, Mongolia, Central Asia and Antarctica
If one factors in all these conditions, it becomes apparent that the vast majority of planet Earth as we know it must have worse weather than England!

More than that, some of those other places known for complaint about the weather, such as Seattle, also have unusually clement weather with mild summers and damp, cool winters. Seattle is quite a bit sunnier than England at about 5.2 hours of sun per day, and is very dry and sunny in the summer with 10 hours of sunshine and only 17mm of rainfall in July: in fact Seattle’s longest rainless spell is over fifty days, quite a bit longer than here in Melbourne.

What this clearly implies is that people in England complain about the weather so much because they are, relatively speaking, spoiled by having it so good compared to most of the world. As I see it, between 80 and 90 percent of the world must have worse weather than England. When the weather becomes a little uncomfortable or what they do not wish for, Europeans are easily upset, in contrast to Asia, Africa and most of Australia or the Americas where people accept dreadful weather very willingly as they acclimatise to it and tolerate it. It certainly takes a lot to cope with an average annual top of 36˚C as in Wyndham, or with -20˚C winters and humid 25˚C summers as in Harbin, but those used to them will see them in ways that make them less awful then they are. For instance, the extreme seasonal contrasts of Manchuria - which can be life different planets in summer and winter - no doubt becomes extremely interesting to those who live there, as would the extreme fluctuations of drought and flooding cyclones in the Pilbara.

With this sort of variety, horrible climates become something other than subjects of complaint, whereas comfortable climates generally cannot be thus transformed.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

NME’s Top 500: A “repeat” of ‘Rolling Stone’ in 2003

Today, in the Bailleau Library, I had a look at “best albums” lists on a special scholarly site and saw that British magazine New Musical Express had only a few months ago written their own “Top 500”. The identity of its top album, which I have seen strongly praised and aggressively criticised (citing the Warlock Pinchers “Morrissey Rides a ****Horse” in the latter case), was enough to make me have a look, and here is the full list, with albums I own highlighted in pink.
1The Queen Is DeadThe SmithsNY
2RevolverThe BeatlesNN(Y)
3Hunky DoryDavid BowieN(Y)N
4Is This ItThe StrokesNN
5The Velvet Underground and NicoThe Velvet UndergroundYY
6Different ClassPulpNN
7The Stone RosesThe Stone RosesNN
9The BeatlesThe BeatlesNY
10Definitely MaybeOasisNN
12HorsesPatti SmithYN(Y)
13FuneralArcade Fire
14LowDavid BowieN(Y)N
15Let England ShakePJ HarveyNN
16CloserJoy DivisionYN
17It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us BackPublic EnemyYN(Y)
18LovelessMy Bloody ValentineNN
19Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m NotArctic Monkeys
20OK ComputerRadioheadNN
21My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyKanye West
23The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from MarsDavid BowieN(Y)N
24Exile on Main StreetThe Rolling StonesN(Y)N(Y)
25What’s Going OnMarvin GayeNN
26Pet SoundsThe Beach BoysYN(Y)
27ScreamadelicaPrimal ScreamNN
28Back to BlackAmy Winehouse
29Marquee MoonTelevisionYN(Y)
30Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)Wu-Tang ClanNN
31Dog Man StarSuedeNN
32Paul’s BoutiqueBeastie BoysNN
33Modern Life Is RubbishBlurNN
34Abbey RoadThe BeatlesNN(Y)
35In UteroNirvanaN(Y)N
36Blood on the TracksBob DylanNN(Y)
37Forever ChangesLoveYN
38Never Mind the Bollocks… Here’s the Sex PistolsSex PistolsYN
39London CallingThe ClashN(Y)N
40Unknown PleasureJoy DivisionN(Y)N
41Daydream NationSonic YouthYN(Y)
42InnervisionsStevie WonderNN
43Rubber SoulThe BeatlesNN(Y)
44The Holy BibleManic Street PreachersNN
45Parallel LinesBlondieNN
47Strangeways, Here We ComeThe SmithsNN(Y)
48Hounds of LoveKate BushNY
49Sound of SilverLCD Soundsystem
50Dusty in MemphisDusty SpringfieldNY
51RumoursFleetwood MacNN
52Let It BleedThe Rolling StonesN(Y)N(Y)
53Station to StationDavid BowieN(Y)N
54Remain in LightTalking HeadsNN
55Sticky FingersThe Rolling StonesN(Y)N(Y)
56After the Gold RushNeil YoungN(Y)N(Y)
57The Man MachineKraftwerkNN
58Surfer RosaPixiesNN
59In RainbowsRadioheadNN
60Blue LinesMassive AttackNN
61The ClashThe ClashYN
62Blonde on BlondeBob DylanNN(Y)
63BlueJoni MitchellNN
64Highway 61 RevisitedBob DylanNN(Y)
65Automatic For the PeopleR.E.M.NN(Y)
66The BendsRadioheadNN
67(What’s the Story) Morning GloryOasisNN
68Astral WeeksVan MorrisonNY
70Up the BracketThe LibertinesNN
71HarvestNeil YoungN(Y)N(Y)
72TransformerLou ReedNN(Y)
73Bringing It All Back HomeBob DylanNN(Y)
75DookieGreen DayNN
76DiscoveryDaft PunkNN
77White Blood CellsThe White Stripes
79Kind of BlueMiles DavisN(Y)Y
80Raw PowerIggy and the StoogesN(Y)N(Y)
81Trans-Europe ExpressKraftwerkNN
82TapestryCarole KingNN
83The BandThe BandNN(Y)
84Live Through ThisHoleNN
85Born to RunBruce SpringsteenNN(Y)
86GraceJeff BuckleyNN
87Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club BandThe BeatlesNN(Y)
88For Your PleasureRoxy MusicN(Y)N
89The Miseducation of Lauryn HillLauryn HillNN
90A Grand Don’t Come For FreeThe Streets
91Purple RainPrince and the RevolutionNN
92RadiatorSuper Furry AnimalsNN
93Songs for the DeafQueens of the Stone AgeNN
94Beggars BanquetThe Rolling StonesYN(Y)
95Spirit of EdenTalk TalkNN
96Fear of a Black PlanetPublic EnemyN(Y)Y
97The SmithsThe SmithsNN(Y)
98In the Aeroplane Over the SeaNeutral Milk HotelNN
99The LibertinesThe LibertinesNN
100Hatful of HollowThe SmithsNN(Y)
101Computer WorldKraftwerkNN
102The Soft BulletinThe Flaming LipsNN
103Electric LadylandThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceN(Y)N(Y)
104FunhouseThe StoogesYY
105Rain DogsTom WaitsNN
106IVLed ZeppelinNY
107Rage Against the MachineRage Against the MachineNN
109Darkness on the Edge of TownBruce SpringsteenNN(Y)
110Liege and LiefFairport ConventionNY
111DareThe Human LeagueNN
112Liquid SwordsGZA
113If You’re Feeling SinisterBelle and SebastianNY
114Kid ARadioheadNN
115BandwagonesqueTeenage FanclubNN
116ElephantThe White StripesNN
117The Lexicon of LoveABCNN
118Searching for the Young Soul RebelsDexys Midnight RunnersNN
1203 Feet High and RisingDe La SoulNN
121Selected Ambient Works 85-92Aphex TwinNN
122TechniqueNew OrderNN
124GracelandPaul SimonNN
125Live at the ApolloJames BrownNY
126Ill CommunicationBeastie BoysNN
128Urban HymnsThe VerveNN
129On the BeachNeil YoungN(Y)N(Y)
130Turn on the Bright LightsInterpol
131ThrillerMichael JacksonNN
132Dark Side of the MoonPink FloydNN
133John Lennon/Plastic Ono BandJohn Lennon/Plastic Ono BandNN
134Stories from the City, Stories from the SeaPJ HarveyNN
135The Marshall Mathers LPEminemNN
136Fever to TellYeah Yeah YeahsNN
138IllinoisSufjan Stevens
139DisintegrationThe CureNN
140Bryter LayterNick DrakeNN
141Natty DreadBob Marley and the WailersNN
142Histoire de Melody NelsonSerge GainsbourgNN
143DesireBob DylanNN(Y)
144Are You ExperiencedThe Jimi Hendrix ExperienceYN(Y)
145Odessey and OracleThe ZombiesNY
146Relationship of CommandAt the Drive-In
147Channel OrangeFrank Ocean
148NebraskaBruce SpringsteenNY
149Either/OrElliot SmithNN
150Original Pirate MaterialThe Streets
151DryPJ HarveyNN
152Deserter’s SongsMercury RevNN
153The La’sThe La’sNN
154To Bring You My LovePJ HarveyNN
155Music for the Jilted GenerationThe ProdigyNN
156Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in SpaceSpiritualizedNN
157PsychocandyThe Jesus and Mary ChainNN
158Two DancersWild Beasts
159Entertainment!Gang of FourNN
160XTRMTRPrimal ScreamNN
161The SuburbsArcade Fire

162The BoxerThe National
163Neu ‘75!Neu!NY
164At Folsom PrisonJohnny CashNN(Y)
165Let Love InNick Cave and the Bad SeedsNN(Y)
166This is HardcorePulpNN
167Lady SoulAretha FranklinNN
169Don’t Stand Me DownDexys Midnight RunnersNN
170Siamese DreamSmashing PumpkinsNN
171Fear of MusicTalking HeadsNN
172Songs in the Key of LifeStevie WonderNN
173IIILed ZeppelinNN(Y)
174I’m Wide Awake, It’s MorningBright Eyes
175Young AmericansDavid BowieN(Y)N
176Want OneRufus WainwrightNN
177Young TeamMogwaiNN
178The CoralThe Coral
179Miss E…So AddictiveMissy ElliottNN
180Germ Free AdolescentsX-Ray SpexNN
181Music Has the Right to ChildrenBoards of CanadaNN
182Everything Must GoManic Street PreachersNN
183Speakerboxxx/The Love BelowOutKastNN
185Paid in FullEric B and RakimNN
186The BlueprintJay-ZNN
187Isn’t AnythingMy Bloody ValentineNN
188A Love SupremeJohn ColtraneN(Y)Y
189A Wizard, A True StarTodd RundgrenNN
190Piper at the Gates of DawnPink FloydNN
192Franz FerdinandFranz FerdinandNN
193GoldRyan AdamsNN
194Appetite for DestructionGuns‘N’RosesNN
195A Hard Day’s NightThe BeatlesNN(Y)
196Rattus NorvegicusThe StranglersNN
197Back in BlackAC/DCN(Y)Y
198Sign of the TimesPrinceNN
199Giant StepsThe Boo Radleys
200Last SplashThe BreedersNN
201Hex Enduction HourThe FallNN
203Teen DreamBeach House
204BadMichael JacksonNN
205Straight Outta ComptonNWANY
206Slanted and EnchantedPavementNN
207PearlJanis JoplinNN
209The Kick InsideKate BushNN(Y)
21069 Love SongsThe Magnetic FieldsNN
211NightclubbingGrace JonesNN
212Youth and Young ManhoodKings of Leon
213One Nation under a GrooveFunkadelicN(Y)N(Y)
214Moon SafariAirNN
215MezzanineMassive AttackNN
216Power, Corrruption and LiesNew OrderNN
217Lust for LifeIggy PopNN
218Primary ColoursThe Horrors
219All Mod ConsThe JamNN
220AlligatorThe National
221Broken EnglishMarianne FaithfulNN
222Fever RayFever Ray
223Neon BibleArcade Fire
224Heaven Up HereEcho and the BunnymenNN
225Electric WarriorT. RexNN
226The DoorsThe DoorsNN
227ImagineJohn LennonNN
228Brighten the CornersPavementNN
229Metal BoxPublic Image LtdNN
230Aladdin SaneDavid BowieN(Y)N
231The ChronicDr. DreNN
232Songs of Leonard CohenLeonard CohenNN(Y)
233Down in AlbionBabyshambles
234BehaviourPet Shop BoysNN
235Murder BalladsNick Cave and the Bad SeedsNN(Y)
237The xxThe xx
238Show Your BonesYeah Yeah Yeahs
239Boy in Da CornerDizzee Rascal
240New Boots and Panties!!Ian DuryNN
241Ray of LightMadonna
242Off the WallMichael JacksonNN
243The Hissing of Summer LawnsJoni MitchellNN
244SmotherWild Beasts
245Fuzzy LogicSuper Furry Animals
246MTV Unplugged in New YorkNirvanaN(Y)N
248The Slim Shady LPEminemNN
249The Fat of the LandProdigyNN
251Surf’s UpThe Beach BoysN(Y)Y
253Exile on Main StreetPussy Galore
254Meat is MurderThe SmithsNN(Y)
255The English RivieraMetronomy
256This Year’s ModelElvis Costello and the AttractionsYN
257The Boatman’s CallNick Cave and the Bad SeedsNY
258Five Leaves LeftNick DrakeNN
259Yo! Bum Rush the ShowPublic EnemyN(Y)N(Y)
260The SpecialsThe SpecialsNN
261Live!Bob Marley and the WailersNN
262Criminal MindedBoogie Down ProductionsNN
263I Speak Because I CanLaura Marling
264Please Please MeThe BeatlesNN(Y)
265Celebrity SkinHoleNN
266A Rush of Blood to the HeadColdplay
267StupidityDr. FeelgoodNN
268ToddTodd RundgrenNN
269SkyingThe HorrorsNN
270The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation SocietyThe KinksNY
271LoadedThe Velvet UndergroundN(Y)N(Y)
273The College DropoutKanye West
275QuadropheniaThe WhoN(Y)N(Y)
276Ocean RainEcho and the BunnymenNN
277Reading, Writing and ArithmeticThe SundaysNN
278CutThe SlitsNN
279Trout Mask ReplicaCaptain Beefheart and his Magic BandYY
280DrukqsAphex TwinNN
281My Aim is TrueElvis CostelloN(Y)N
282Grand PrixTeenage FanclubNN
283Roxy MusicRoxy MusicYN
28413 SongsFugaziNN
285Midnight LoveMarvin GayeNN
286DustScreaming TreesNN
287Reign in BloodSlayerNN
288Music of My MindStevie WonderNN
289The Modern LoversThe Modern LoversYN
290Expecting to FlyThe Bluetones
291Younger than YesterdayThe ByrdsN(Y)N(Y)
292The New FellasThe Cribs
293High Land, Hard RainAztec CameraNN
294Myths of the Near FutureKlaxons

295DoggystyleSnoop Doggy DoggNN
296Let’s DanceDavid BowieN(Y)N
297Ege BamyasiCanYN(Y)
298Malcom McLarenMalcolm McLaren NN
29916 Lovers LaneThe Go-BetweensNN
300The Who By NumbersThe WhoN(Y)N(Y)
301World of EchoArthur RussellNN
302HomeworkDaft PunkNN
303Mingus Ah UmCharles MingusN(Y)N(Y)
304UFOrbThe OrbNN
305Every Picture Tells a StoryRod StewartNN
306The Freewheeling Bob DylanBob DylanNN(Y)
307Midnight VulturesBeckNN
308It’s a Shame About RayLemonheadsNN
310Countdown to EcstasySteely DanN(Y)N
311GuerillaSuper Furry Animals
312TreasureCocteau TwinsNN
313Frank’s Wild YearsTom WaitsNN
315Cheap ThrillsBig Brother and the Holding CompanyNN
316Imperial BedroomElvis Costello and the AttractionsN(Y)N
317Grievous AngelGram ParsonsNN
318OG Original GangsterIce-TNN
319Who’s NextThe WhoN(Y)N(Y)
320SwordfishtrombonesTom WaitsNN
321Lost SoulsDoves
322This is HappeningLCD Soundsystem
323Bitches BrewMiles DavisN(Y)N(Y)
324Life’s Rich PageantR.E.M.NN(Y)
325Sea ChangeBeckNN
326I Can Hear the Heart Beating As OneYo La TengoNN
328Yoshimi Battles the Pink RobotsThe Flaming LipsNN
329HeroesDavid BowieN(Y)N
331Kick out the JamsMC5N(Y)N(Y)
332HMS FableShack
333Band on the RunPaul McCartney and WingsNN
334Since I Left YouThe Avalanches
335…Like ClockworkQueens of the Stone AgeNN
336Raw Like SushiNeneh CherryNN
337The Grey AlbumDanger Mouse
338Ready to DieNotorious BIGNN
339TenPearl JamNN
340We Are FamilySister SledgeNN
341Closing TimeTom WaitsNN
342Lazer Guided MelodiesSpritualizedNN
343John Wesley HardingBob DylanNN(Y)
344Beautiful FreakEelsNN
345Punch the ClockElvis CostelloN(Y)N
346Low LifeNew OrderNN
347DirtySonic YouthN(Y)N(Y)
348WhitneyWhitney HoustonNN
349An Awesome WaveAlt-J
350BRMCBlack Rebel Motorcycle ClubNN
351Sweetheart of the RodeoThe ByrdsN(Y)N(Y)
352White Light/White HeatThe Velvet UndergroundYN(Y)
353Mclusky Do DallasMclusky
354Hot Buttered SoulIsaac HayesYN
355New York DollsNew York DollsYN
357Copper BlueSugarNN
358Rock BottomRobert WyattNN
359We’re Only in It for the MoneyThe Mothers of InventionN(Y)N
360Room on FireThe Strokes
361A Nod is as Good as a Wink The FacesNN
362Hello NastyBeastie BoysNN
363DamagedBlack FlagYN
364For Emma, Forever AgoBon Iver
365Fresh Fruit for Rotting VegatablesDead KennedysNN
366Songs of Love and HateLeonard CohenNY
367Nights OutMetronomy
368Hail to the ThiefRadiohead
369Strange MercySt. Vincent
370Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, WhateverThe Cribs
372AtomizerBig BlackNN
373There’s No Place Like America TodayCurtis MayfieldNN
374In the Wee Small HoursFrank SinatraNN
375Vauxhall and IMorrisseyNN
376Live at the Harlem Square ClubSam CookeNN
377StormcockRoy HarperNN
378Pink FlagWireYN
379The Boy with the Arab StrapBelle and SebastianNN(Y)
380Silent AlarmBloc PartyNN
381Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)David BowieYN
382Bridge over Troubled WaterSimon and GarfunkelNN
383Someone To Drive You HomeThe Long Blondes
384Elvis PresleyElvis PresleyYY
385Get Behind Me SatanThe White Stripes
386RevivalGillian WelchNN
387Combat RockThe ClashN(Y)N
388Happy SadTim BuckleyN(Y)N(Y)
389Le TigreLe TigreNN
390A Northern SoulThe VerveNN
392Beauty and the BeatEdan
393Dirty MindPrinceNN
394Chairs MissingWireN(Y)N
395De StijlThe White StripesNN
397Reasonable DoubtJay-ZNN
398Everybody Knows This Is NowhereNeil YoungN(Y)N(Y)
399The Lyre of Orpheus/Abattoir BluesNick Cave and the Bad SeedsNN(Y)
400This Nation’s Saving GraceThe FallNN
40120 Jazz Funk GreatsThrobbing GristleNN(Y)
402Twenty OneMystery Jets
404No OtherGene ClarkNN
405Otis BlueOtis ReddingNN
406Rated RQueens of the Stone AgeNN
407Going Blank AgainRideNN
408Crooked Rain, Crooked RainPavementNN
409Tago MagoCanN(Y)N(Y)
412Endtroducing…DJ ShadowNN
413Pills N Thrills and BellyachesHappy MondaysNN
414Dig Your Own HoleThe Chemical BrothersNN
415Chet Baker SingsChet Baker
416Merriweather Post PavillionAnimal Collective
418Electro-Shock BluesEels
419Let It Come DownSpiritualizedNN
420People’s Instinctive Travels…A Tribe Called QuestNN
421Radio CityBig StarYN(Y)
422Too-Rye-AyDexys Midnight RunnersNN
423Live at LeedsThe WhoN(Y)N(Y)
424The Joshua TreeU2NN
425Nancy and LeeNancy Sinatra and Lee HazelwoodNN
426GooSonic YouthN(Y)N(Y)
427Here Come the Warm JetsBrian EnoNN(Y)
428Born in the USABruce SpringsteenNN(Y)
429Bleed AmericaJimmy Eat World
430Scott 4Scott WalkerNN(Y)
4332001Dr. DreNN
434Steve McQueenPrefab SproutNN
435EasterPatti SmithN(Y)N(Y)

437Dear ScienceTV on the Radio

438Aha Shake HeartbreakKings of Leon
439The FutureheadsThe FutureheadsNN
440Life’s a Riot with Spy vs. SpyBilly BraggNN
442Al Green is LoveAl GreenNN
443Sometimes I Wish We Were an EagleBill Callahan

444ViolatorDepeche ModeNN
445TuskFleetwood MacNN
446The WarningHot Chip

447Diamond DogsDavid BowieN(Y)N
448Sci-Fi LullabiesSuedeNN
449AMArctic Monkeys
450Rid of MePJ HarveyNN
451Third/Sister LoversBig StarN(Y)Y
452The B-52sThe B-52sNN
453The House of LoveThe House of LoveNN
454The Writing on the WallDestiny’s ChildNN
455Vampire WeekendVampire Weekend
456September of My YearsFrank SinatraNN
457Black CherryGoldfrapp
458Yankee Hotel FoxtrotWilcoNN
459The Black AlbumJay-ZNN
461Generation TerroristsManic Street PreachersNN
462Master of PuppetsMetallicaNN
463PodThe BreedersNN
464Because of the TimesKings of Leon
465High VioletThe National
466The WWu-Tang ClanNN
467The IdiotIggy PopNN
468Chutes Too NarrowThe ShinsNN
469HollandThe Beach BoysN(Y)N(Y)
470GraduationKanye West
471Oracular SpectacularMGMT
472Mellon Collie and the Infinite SadnessSmashing PumpkinsNN
473A Storm in HeavenThe VerveNN
474Tarot SportFuck ButtonsNN
475Smoke Ring for My HaloKurt Vile
476Foo FightersFoo FightersNN
477Crystal CastlesCrystal Castles
478Trouble Will Find MeThe National
479The Real RamonaThrowing MusesNN
480I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love YouAretha FranklinNN
481SmileBrian Wilson
482Lady in SatinBillie HolidayN
483Blood and ChocolateElvis Costello and the AttractionsNN
484The RiverBruce SpringsteenNN(Y)
485Good Kid, M.A.A.D CityKendrick Lamar
487Sound AffectsThe JamNN
488I’m Your ManLeonard CohenNN(Y)
489George BestThe Wedding PresentNN
490Back in the USAMC5YY
491ActuallyPet Shop BoysNN
492HiddenThese New Puritans
493BloodThis Mortal CoilNN
494The Head on the DoorThe CureNN
495Hot FussThe Killers
497Random Access MemoriesDaft Punk
498BerlinLou ReedNN(Y)

What struck me when I compared this list with Joe S. Harrington’s from 2001 on Blastitude and the Rolling Stone list from 2003 is that the number of albums from Harrington’s list in this New Musical Express list is only one less than in Rolling Stone’s list (I haven’t checked agreement).

What this suggests to me is that New Musical Express, regarded in the past as less of a promoter of “popular” rock than Rolling Stone or Spin, is today no different from them. Writers like “janitor-x” have said that such magazines should ignore music that does not resemble 1960s music, like 1980s Metallica, Slayer, the Dead Kennedys and Black Flag, but this is hardly in evidence.

More than this, and probably more than with the Rolling Stone list, there is little consistency of any sort in the New Musical Express list, noted from when the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was at #87 instead of being at #1.

The treatment of the most famous “popular” singers and bands since the “punk revolution” is not consistent either: if Whitney Houston gets one album, should not all the popular “easy listening” singers since then do so??

More than that, those who have studied music for as long as I have – which dates back to my discovery of Harrington’s list by an accident on Google in 2001 – are so aware of the large number of omitted artists that I have decided to compile a list below of twenty omitted artists from the writings of Harrington, David Keenan and Piero Scaruffi. Whilst I am in no way certain that these are the twenty most deserving omitted artists, they would certainly change the list quite dramatically if added.
A Representative Album by Twenty Artists Recommended by Two or More of Scaruffi, Harrington and/or Keenan and not on NME list
Free JazzOrnette ColemanAside from Davis, Coltrane and Mingus, these three were the giants of avant-garde and free jazz during the period it was the underground music
Spiritual UnityAlbert Ayler
AtlantisSun Ra
The Hangman’s Beautiful DaughterThe Incredible String BandEither adored or hated by most; NME omission understandable given the magazine’s history as a promoter of punk music.
Live DeadThe Grateful Dead
Easter EverywhereThirteenth Floor Elevators
The Parable of Arable LandThe Red KrayolaRegarded by some as more experimental and eccentric than Beefheart; have heard but cannot agree fully.
In the Court of the Crimson KingKing CrimsonRegarded frequently as the first and best progressive rock album; though progressive rock is generally disliked at NME.
The Marble IndexNico
Master of RealityBlack SabbathOriginally reviled, latterly revered and amazingly ignored by NME.
Faust IVFaust
Tyranny and MutationBlue Öyster CultArguable the first pop metal band, often ignored by critics.
The Dictators Go Girl CrazyThe Dictators
Wild GiftXCritically revered post-punk band
Ace of SpadesMotörheadCited as the precursor to Metallica by that band, yet ignored by NME and many others.
Minor ThreatMinor Threat
Double Nickels on the DimeThe MinutemenAmong most critically beloved bands of 1980s, but never dented Billboard Top 200
Charmed LifeHalf Japanese
Twin InfinitivesRoyal TruxAcclaimed avant-garde band of 1990s
Slow, Deep and HardType O NegativeFrontman Pete Steele died in 2010; band known for its gothic metal style with humorous but dark themes

Friday, 8 November 2013

Insulting as a child, but with hindsight funny

A few days ago, without seeing it in the post, I saw that my mother had found a letter to me from Front Porch Republic:
It amazed me that the writers mistook me for a woman with “Dear Ms. Benney”!

As a boy, I was often called a “girl” and many children at PEGS said loudly “Julien’s sex is a female” and that insulted me enough that I said “My sex is a male”/“My sex is a male” and the teasing boy replied “fe” when I said it. I felt that whoever was teasing me really needed severe punishment so they would never, ever think of doing it again; however none of my schools did a thing to stop kids teasing me, to the point that I felt physical fighting was the only way I could hurt them enough, although I knew myself as much weaker than the bullies.

With age, I feel as though it’s not nearly so insulting to be called a female as it seemed in the manly world of Bush Senior Era youth, brought up on bands like AC/DC or Guns’n’Roses who (implicitly) had an ideal of a world without women. This world, which approximates what the masses in the Enriched World want today, clearly is not sustainable given the large government debts universal in Eurasia, the Americas and New Zealand and the absence of natural resources with which to pay for them. Being depicted as feminine and soft is in that sense inherently countercultural in the Enriched World, and for this reason I have not responded to what Front Porch Republic did as I would have in school.