Thursday, November 27, 2008


For some reason I've been thinking about counterfeit goods lately. In the art world, it seems pretty much universally accepted that forgeries are inferior to original works of art. While debate continues as to whether the fact of a forgery causes a work of art to be actually aesthetically inferior, or inferior on a range of other grounds including the importance of originality, art history and economics, this would seem beside the point – in any event, a number of well reasoned arguments are given for the fact that counterfeit or forged artworks are inferior. Forgery is also a problem in the fashion world – almost everyone has seen counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags sold in back alleys the world over. This forgery is decried universally by the fashion industry. However, the arguments to this effect seem weak. Cynthia Nellis provides some reasons why counterfeit 'high-fashion' items should not be supported:

1.Counterfeiting robs the U.S. alone of more than $200 billion a year. It's a cash, tax-free business; legitimate citizens like yourself will still get stuck paying taxes, while counterfeiters line their pockets at your expense.

2. Terrorists, gangs and organized crime syndicates all profit from selling counterfeit merchandise. Sometimes designer handbag knockoffs are lined with drugs and used for smuggling things like heroin, too. There is also evidence that the bombing of the World Trade Center in '93 was funded by the sale of counterfeit apparel.

3. You might realize that things like knockoff toys or electronics are an unsafe idea, but did you know that even items such as fake sunglasses can hurt you. According to IACC counterfeit sunglasses can shatter easily; they may fail to provide UV protection as advertised.

In summary: We should support counterfeit goods because they're tax free, support terrorism and will hurt you. This sounds like scare-mongering – terrorists and cut eyes! Bin Laden's money comes from construction, and anyone believing that the UV protection quality of a $5 pair of sunglasses would always be equal to that of a $500 pair would seem to deserve retinal damage, if only to advance natural selection. As for the tax thing – this would seem to rely on the idea that there is something morally wrong or reprehensible about tax evasion, which is a far wider issue than the one in question here.

Nellis goes on to say that “now, fakes are so good that you simply can't tell the difference”. If so, why should it matter who makes them, if the end product is essentially the same? The only difference in this transaction would seem to be that money is going to Chinese enterprises, rather than Western shareholders.

This is not to say that there is nothing wrong with counterfeitting, but rather that some arguments advanced for this idea seem rather weak. A better explanation for the problem with counterfeit fashion would include reference to the originality of a design, and this forming the basis of value in expensive fashion items. Also, it cannot be ignored that much of the appeal of such items comes from the fact that their price elevates them to the standard of “luxury goods”, inaccessible to a majority of people. You could even say this is the basis of these brand's appeal – status symbols. With counterfeits, this value is eroded. Such arguments probably do already exist in a fully reasoned form, but if so I can't find the articles. Sorry, Google, for I have failed you.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tapes - even more obscure points than flexi 7"s?

When the tape slows down, that means the battery's run out. But, I listened to these tapes on a deck which thankfully has the wonderful addition of an AC power cord, and so the danger of slowdown was avoided. Thank fuck for that – fast music slowed down generally sounds like funeral doom made by spastic three year olds. Unlike slow music sped up, which either sounds like a) Alvin and the fuckin' Chipmunks or b) 9 Shocks Terror (all their riffs are stolen from Boulder records played at 78rpm) but fuck whatever, this is a pointless fucking divergence that I never should have started down. Anyway, I got a couple of tapes lately and decided to review them. They're probably old as hell too, but fuck it:

Shortlived: Turns out this tape is actually just the CD-r demo (but, obviously, on tape). Still, it fucking slays – 8 tracks of ripping Fastcore ala What Happens Next or R.A.M.B.O before they added all the melodic shit.

Walrora: KhrvstP0nx from Australia, am digging these guys at the moment. Tape is pretty short (only four tracks) but somehow manages to pack in a bunch of influences – from the stoner-rockish (I swear that's a legitimate fucken term) first riff in Toothwalkers to blast beats, d-beats and a few generic crust riffs. Female vocals work well – am reminded of Detestation or the heavier Garmonbozia parts in this regard. The artwork is rad as hell too – only now do I realise how bad ass walruses are.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Of the Standard of Taste in People

I don't know if this is a common or universal thing, but I often hear people all like "man that person is shit at life" etc. It has got me thinking... how possible would it be to create an objective standard of being "GOOD AT LIFE". You'd need some sort of judge, at least, to set some criteria. Now, I'm in no position to take on such a demanding metaphysical position - I have no idea what the criteria would be. All I know is that this guy:

Wouldn't be the judge. Because he fails hard at life. Any judgment would be subject to endless discussion as to whether it's worse to a) have be in koRn, b) be Christian, or c) have played on THE WORST LIMP BIZKIT ALBUM. When the answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE, everything becomes invalid.

SPECIAL BONUS!!!: Holy shit. Godtube.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

An Imagined Interview with Hatebeast, Christchurch's Premier TWISTED METAL band.

HATEBEAST are a band that has captured the imagination of numerous suburbanites across Christchurch, proving that all you need to play "some totally fuckang sweet as and hella moshable" music is bad white-man dreadlocks. I caught up with them to discuss the band.

Why don't you tell everyone reading this about HATEBEAST?
Ohhhaharakkata untisss YEAHHHH

Okay... You guys have been labelled 'twisted metal'... what does this genre mean to you?
Uh rakkata-ahh yeah SICKNESS. Ohhhwahahha.

Jesus christ. Fuck this. Final words?