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Technology is a Sacrifice
 
\\ Coresect : History : History (Reverse order)
Here follows all items in this section, in chronological order.

The Rape of Nanking

By admin (when...  25/08/2008 @ 11:38:55, Where History, linked 814 times)
On December the 13th, 1937, the then capital of the Republic of China, Nanking, fell to the Japanese Imperial Army. In the following 6 weeks, the Japanese carried out the still little known Nanking Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking. Their attrocities left as many as 300,000 dead. The Japanese soldiers carried out widespread theft, looting, rape and murder. Hundreds of women and girls were raped every day, and afterwards they were usually killed and mutilated, though some were forced into military prostitution for the Japanese army. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East stated that 20,000 women were raped, including infants and the elderly. The killing was so rife that the Japanese dug the "Ten-Thousand-Corpse Ditch", which contained over 12,000 corpses.

Recommended reading.
 

Street Lights

By admin (when...  09/08/2008 @ 00:02:01, Where History, linked 921 times)
The Street Lights...
It probably seemed like a good idea at the time, we were young, and stupid...
It was late one evening, I seem to recall it was around November, and all the pubs had already closed so there was very little to do. Very little that wouldn't get us in to trouble, that is. So, the flat was missing something, and we decided that that thing was a yellow, flashing street light, the kind of thing they put all around road works. Seeing as we had some friends round and two cars were there begging to be used an idea came to someone's mind, I seem to recall it was Ben. The plan was to divide into two teams, each with a car, and then we were to head off into London to look for the lights. The car which returned with the least lights would buy the other team drinks, or something like that. Daft, huh? What can I say..?
First stop , petrol, and we argued on the forecourt about the rules. What rules..? I don't have a clue. The other team sped off as soon as they had filled up, and one of my team, John, yelled at them out of the car window. I don't remember his exact words, but "fuck off" was in there somewhere... Just at that moment (what perfect timing, and it wasn't to be the last time John's timing bore fruit that night) a police car passed on the street in front of us. As those words left Johns mouth they four policemen in the car turned to look at us, and we all looked at them. They sped past and slowed down. "I'll lose 'em", Carl said with a grin and we tore off in the opposite direction and headed down a narrow back street. The rest of us in the car were in a kind of shock, what the hell was going on..?
We did a left, a right and then Carl looked at me with a kind of confused look on his face, "Hold on" he mumbled, "we haven't done anything yet..." He stopped the car. At that moment there was a squeal of tires on tarmac and the police car shot round the corner behind us. Four hearts in our car stopped. Another police car appeared out of nowhere at the junction in front of us. I realised this was not a good night.
The second police car then left, the first didn't. The police came to our car, for some reason they looked kinda pissed off. After they checked us out, frisked, the usual, we found out why they were not happy. "What did you yell at us when we passed you at the garage..?" So that was it... Johns big mouth. We spent about ten minutes explaining that he yelled the delicate words at our friends in the other car, and eventually they believed us. "Just take more care about what you yell", one of them warned us and that was it, we were free. Maybe we should have gone home at that point, but experience only comes with time, so off we went looking for the lights...
Even though it might seem absurd, after one hour we had found just two lights, and one of them didn't work. We decided to head for the city hoping to come across better spoils. Crossing Bethnal Green High Street we noticed that in the middle of the road there was one light on a broken traffic light.
I thought that it was a waste of time stopping for just one light, and said so, but John was already opening the door. "Wait till that car passes!", yelled Carl. No good. Too late. I looked through the back window of the car and saw the comical figure of John running in to the middle of the road, picking up the flashing light and sticking it under his long coat. Something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. A distant car was coming towards us, and it was accelerating hard. Not again...
Yes again. It was a police car, but not just any police car. Oh no, where would the fun be in that? It was the same police car as earlier. Oh good. They must have been bored, and fans of Starsky and Hutch as they seemed to want to leave most of the tyre rubber on the road by swerving and slamming the handbrake on. I would have been almost impressed if I wasn't wondering how to hide. Oh, and if it wasn't for the fact that that sort of thing doesn't impress me in the slightest. "You stupid bastards!" was the first thing we heard. "Nice to see you too, officer", I thought...
Two policemen stayed with Carl and I, whilst John was grabbed and bundled into the back of the cop car. It then sped off and disappeared down a little alley. That wasn't a good sign. The words 'Police brutality' came to mind. With relief the car backed out of the alley and I realised they were just turning the car around. Now we all got bundled into the car, it was cramped, and we got a free ride to the station, down the wrong side of the road. I think they were trying to make up for the fact the car didn't have any blue lights to flash. Poor guys. Poor us actually, I had pieces from two lights in my pocket (I'd dismantled them to turn them off. If they frisked me and found them, would they want to look at our flat..? What if our friends had stashed some lights there too? Nicking one light was a prank, but five, or ten...
There are two ways of getting into Bethnal Green Police station: the front door or the back door. The latter takes you in past all the cells. Guess which we got to see? Once past the dregs in the cells we were shown to the Desk Sergeant who actually seemed to think all this was very funny. I really didn't feel like laughing. Once it was clear what we had done, who we were and where we lived we were left in a corner to feel uncomfortable for about 23 minutes. All the time I had my hand in my pocket holding the bits from the other lights.
Eventually we were summoned, it was punishment time. The Sergeant was asking the policeman who had brought us in what charges they should press... "Well, Jim. We could do them for conspiracy to steal streetlights, a major crime if I ever heard one" and he laughed. Then he got serious, "I'm not going to write your names down because you don't want your names written down by the police...", hmm, he is so right. "I want all of you to hold out your hands" so we did, what on earth was going on?
I guess I should have expected something stupid, but not this stupid... It is pretty ridiculous having the back of your hand spanked by a fully grown policeman in front of a load of his colleagues whos smirks have now turned to full on laughter, but we were about to be set free. Not so fast though, on our way out Jim informed Carl to take the light back to where we had stolen it, but there was a condition, he had to hold it on his head.
So we walked back up the high street and Carl did look a treat with his flashing "hat", thankfully it was about 02:00 in the morning and there were hardly any people about. We had decided (finally) to give up the game and go home, Carl in particular was not happy, it was all Johns fault and now he was carrying the light on his head. A car came towards us and as they passed we turned to look at them. Inside the car three policemen and a dog turned to look at us. I swear even the dog looked at Carl with disbelief. We kept on walking...
We heard the car turn round and follow us. As always the handbrake was the chosen method of slowing down (it creates an impression, I reckon) and they lept out. "What the hell are you doing with that light on your head?" Why did I know they were going to ask that. We explained what had happend, and that this was the idea of a joke of their colleague Jim. They called in on the radio, reported our progress, laughed a bit. The dog barked.
When we finally got home the flat was empty, no lights in the hallway so maybe we had a chance with our two lights. Maybe not. Half an hour later the rest of the guys got back and opened up Bens room and showed us the 'haul'. 75 flashing streetlights in all their glory. There were versions on legs, versions which turn on when it gets dark and off when it gets light, square ones, round ones, square ones with round bits on top, old knackered ones and nice new ones. They had won, it was obvious, and we didn't give a damn either way.
Kids, don't try this at home...

 

Expiate, now what's that all about then..?

By admin (when...  16/07/2008 @ 23:31:21, Where History, linked 789 times)
So. XP8 was a clubnight I ran back in 1997 here in Rome, in a club that was called Velvet. I liked the name, but Italians didn't get it – language problems you see, but I'm getting ahead of myself, lets go back further still...
Now, when I was what I'd call “a kid”, in a distant early 80's, a good friend of mine was helping my music taste evolve (Paul in Sheffield, it's all your fault I'm here now, thank you for your wisdom...). I had my own fascination for all things electronic, Kraftwerk were seducing my ears before I even had an inkling of seducing members of the opposite sex, lets put it that way. But my mate Paul, he was on a different planet, he was my own personal pusher of Cabaret Voltaire, Hula, Pink Industry, Peter Hope And The Jonathan S.Podmore Method... the list of weirdness goes on...

Anyway, I'd discovered Test Department somehow, and Paul pointed me to a dance company that used Test Dept music. AIDS was just beginning to rear its head, and this dance company was trying to represent this through what they called Physical Theatre: very Butoh inspired stuff, with an industrial soundtrack. It was pretty fucking impressive for a 17 year-old, I can tell you, but the best was yet to come. They had, and still have, the best name ever:

DV8...

Awe-inspiring, no two ways about it. They might not have been the first to use it, but they formed in 1986, so they probably beat any clubs you know. Well, you can imagine, it was a name that worked. It was short, sweet and read out loud said “deviate” (just for the non-English speakers).

For many, many years afterwards I tried to find another one like that. Trust me, I've tried every bloody letter and number combination in the book, and I got everything from H8 (nice, short, tasteful) to XLR8 (could it be a piece of audio equipment, or a car part?) but nothing worked till I found that word... Expiate.
Ah yes, paying pennance for one's sins, perfect, at the time I was the only DJ in a clubnight that I was trying to push towards electro-industrial, but the scene in Rome was (is) so goth orientated that it was indeed a “dark night”(and I had few problems with that). So, with sinning and suffering in the air, I used the name XP8 for a year. Unfortunately in Italian it became “Icks Pee Otto”, and lost any significance, but the fact it was short, could become a logo easily (something I later did with the group, pick a decent font and the name becomes a logo. This was very important for me, and alas, only me. The idea of a name that was also the logo can only be appreciated by designers I guess) meant it was everything I looked for in a name.
Some time afterwards Windows XP came along and fucked things up for me, and then there was an Amiga game of the same name, and a car or some shit like that, but anyway, I'm still convinced, I came up with a good one.

Not as good as DV8, but fuck, not bad, eh?
 
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