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first harvest

i've decided that tomorrow is wednesday on the blog and that today is thursday, because sometimes you just need to shake up the order of time. [she means that the world wide wednesdays post will be up tomorrow. -ed.]

for today, i have a little trinket of news for you who might have perused posts here about music. in the last few years, i've backed off writing reviews of albums for a number of reasons [chief among them that any writing i was doing at the time for others was about music and the whole purpose of this space was that it was somewhere i could talk about other things], but that doesn't mean that i've stopped having opinions about music. it really doesn't.

recently, i got in touch with the editor of heathen harvest, which for years has been akin to the bible of extreme music of various sorts. somehow, i've ended up convincing them that it would be a good idea for them to inflict me on their readers. the first album review i've written in years- of the new halo manash release- is now up on the site and there will be more to follow.

it feels good to be writing about music again and i'm a firm believer that there remains a point to writing about music even in an age when we can all just click on play to see whether or not a song or an artist appeals to you. it's a way of throwing out ideas to spark conversations about music [because music damn well should be something that can be discussed, not just enjoyed] and it's a way of linking things to a larger picture, providing a context that can help people find other things that they like. alternately, it can just be a venue for people who like to talk about music too much to impose their opinions on others.

heathen harvest, however, is a lot more than that, with news, interviews, exclusive videos and podcasts and lots of interesting work done by people who aren't me, so i highly recommend that you spend some time perusing the dusty nooks and crannies of the site and getting to know what it is that they do.

i had a few tag lines that i'd thought of using for this new venture, such as "proof that i know what capital letters are" or "it's like the blog, but edited by someone who knows what they're doing" [hey! -ed.] or "written more or less sober for greater coherence". but not every new writing adventure requires a tag line. some just require saying "i'm doing this new thing and i'm very excited about it!" and i am.

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as long as you're here, why not read more?

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …