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Messages - Gefechtsgruppe10

[1] 2 ... 7
Interzone / Re: Progress failed
« on: December 10, 2012, 01:59:04 PM »
Sub Saharan Africa is also a multiregional powderkeg with many of the same global actors involved. Chinese and US interests are set to clash therein. There isn't anything outside major powers can do militarily if and when China and India clash over fresh water. China is damming it up for hydropower and dumping for industry. India needs the same water sources for its own people and industries.

Word, homie.  Some five million have died in Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo since 1996.  Rare earth metals and foreign funded militias abound in this area.  Something like 20 African nations are covertly involved and most of them are backed by outside powers.  I figure all sides will keep things in the hands of locals here, regional militias/defense contractors will cover the mining areas and seek corporate protection; the never-existent sovereign power of these African states will become an increasingly obvious smokescreen for business interests. Look to South Africa - the communist ANC comes to power in the early 90's but DeBeers nonetheless dictates its own policy regarding its diamond and chromium mines and pays former Rhodesian mercenaries to guard it.  During the cold war only Cuba ever committed large numbers of soldiers (40,000+) to fight in Africa and only then when the USSR provided the money for the venture.  Nobody wants to put 'boots on the grouond' in sub-saharan Africa, its a fucking shithole beyond compare... during the cold war we let our South African proxies take care of business for us.  The question is, will defense contractors and covertly funded militias be enough to fill the vacuum  of the absence of an actual state as far as executing policy across a continent? 

Also keep an eye on the Northern Polar region: England, Norway, Russia, and Canada are all quietly moving military assets to cover this region which is supposed to be rich in minerals.  And water man, everywhere there is going to be a big squeeze on water with huge problems concerning large rivers that flow through multiple nations.

Interzone / Re: Progress failed
« on: December 10, 2012, 10:06:11 AM »

The 49.1% of the population in a household that gets benefits is up from 30% in the early 1980s and 44.4% as recently as the third quarter of 2008.


And they rediculed Mitt "The Glove" Romney for his 47% quote.  I recall the Wall Street Journal running an oped piece predicting this election being the first in US history to be won on the basis of government handouts.

Among the anticipated crises is the worry of global economic collapse, fighting among nations that don't adapt rapidly enough and the possible spillover of instability in the Mideast and South Asia to the rest of the world.

History tends to show that the danger of regional conflicts is fairly low when there is a single hegemonic power like the US.  A single global arbiter of force will tend to keep most conflicts fairly localized as the ambitions of any strong regional players will be kept in check by the greater force.  The danger lies in the loss of will, real or apparent, of the United States or an appreciable decrease in our military power.  With the budget sequestration goes into effect defense, among other things, is going to take a large cut in funding.  The way that Obama's foreign policy alienated allies (Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Philippenes/Taiwan/Japan) and infuriated Russia and China (in Syria, Iran, and other places) they are likely going to be looking for some payback.  With our scheduled retreat from Afghanistan, defense budget cuts, and increasing focus on the worsening economic crisis at home, our Will will be seen as weakened (and will likely be weakened) and our military power visibly enfeebled, expect various local/regional problems to be expanded by Chinese/Russian interference.  Without the calming influence of US military force, watch as the Ankara-Tel Aviv-Riyadh Axis faces off against the Tehran-Moscow-Peking Axis to fight over the remains of Syria/Iraq.  Europe's energy supplies will be gravely threatened but they will be powerless to respond and any EU consensus would likely be broken by aggressive pipeline politics by both sides.  Any number of locations along the periphery of East Asia would likely be threatened by China and may be resisted by various combinations of our Pacific allies... but just like in the late 50's, in the absence of American power east Asian nations will be isolated one by one and come to various accomadations with China until the vital sea lanes of the east are dominated by a power hostile to freedom of the seas. 
All this will just further deteriorate our economy and the global order as the mutually-beneficial trade order we've built over the past 60 years with a core of strategic allies will fall apart.  As long as we can preserve the peace, the structure of the economic order will remain in place until more economically adept political leadership can be elected/selected.  Both Rome and Britain suffered through various economic problems, but as long as they held the far frontier, the system righted itself and continued to benefit the most.

Interzone / Re: Favorite killer/serial killer
« on: December 10, 2012, 09:21:53 AM »
There is always this guy:


He must get up very early in the morning, hahaha.

I do recall reading a book about killers by Neuroscientist Dorothy Otnow Lewis.  She notes that the vast majority of people who commit murder have severely limited intelligence (her claims that it is due almost entirely from childhood trauma ring false.  I think the implied assumption in her analysis is that the people examined in the book 'could have been anything they wanted to be' if it had not been for the trauma.  Clearly a false statement).  She examined one prison executioner and found him to be very similar to the prisoners she examined.  I do seem to recall that serial killers tend to be a bit smarter than your run of the mill murderer. 

As far as Jack the Ripper goes, don't most serial killers go after prostitutes because they are such easy targets?  That, and most serial killers have some fucked up sexual pathologies.

Metal / Re: First metal album
« on: December 09, 2012, 06:57:56 AM »
Not that I like Ozzy, it was just obvious the band was falling apart on "We Sold Our Souls...."


We Sold our Souls for Rock and Roll is a compilation of the first 4 Sabbath albums.

Yeah, my mistake.  By "Sabatoge' it was obvious the band was coming apart at the seams.

Metal / Re: First metal album
« on: December 07, 2012, 05:05:20 PM »
I was probably about 12, over at my friend's house, a guitar player. This kid listened mostly to ska and punk rock, but for some reason he was playing the opening riff to Metallica - One. I was enthralled by it. Soon after, I bought ...And Justice for All. At first I thought it was boring and the only song I liked was One for its simple soft-hard songwriting. But seeing as it was the only CD I had, I kept listening to it, and it started to grow on me. I liked how epic and serious it sounded, and the climactic solos sent shivers down my spine. Looking back now, the album is very overwritten and the production is shit, but as a kid the nuances of song structure were well beyond my intellectual ken and I had no point of reference as to what a good production consisted of; all I could do was enjoy it, and enjoy it I did.
I actually liked the production on ..And Justice.  The guitars sound great, very cold, and their faggit lead-guitarist does some nice soloing on songs like "Shortest Straw."  However, no man in his right mind would put Ulrich's godawful drumming THAT much  to the front of the mix.  He is just terrible.  If I had a nickle for every misplaced accent with a splash/crash by Mr. Lars, I'd be a millionaire.  That being said, Metallica maxed-out their composational skills with "Four Horsemen" and the subsequent albums were just the technical skill of mastering the studio-craft. 

My first metal album was listening to my parents' copy of "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" by Black Sabbath.  The record was in poor shape and I was listening to it on my Grandma's old 1930's grammaphone, but it was nonetheless badass.  Heavy, technical-ish, lyrics  that weren't whiney or about love.  I rapidly acquired "Black Sabbath" and "Paranoid" and soon owned the entire Ozzy-years albums.  Not that I like Ozzy, it was just obvious the band was falling apart on "We Sold Our Souls...."

Interzone / Re: Greek Literature
« on: December 01, 2012, 01:05:05 PM »
No, Herodotus obviously never mentions Rome in his writings, and I never meant to imply that he did.  Merely that he wrote some material pertaining to the back-history of the Trojan War.  The Aeneid concerns the connexion between Rome and Troy.

Interzone / Re: Greek Literature
« on: November 29, 2012, 09:35:59 PM »
Are you sure? Herodotus wrote his world histories in the 5. Century BC.
I am certain.  IIRC he gives background information as to why the Acheans launched the expedition in the first place.  Its involved in setting the scene and establishing the historical enmity of Greece and Persia before his central description of the war between Persian Empire and Greece that Herodotus was writing about (and which ended before he composed the book).
Also, Alexander the Great visited Troy before setting out on his conquest of the Persian Empire.  He supposedly found a shield there that supposedly belonged to Achilles, who he considered to be his ancestor, that helped save his life in India.
I do know that the Iliad is mentioned frequently in various other Greek and Roman writings, although I cannot think of them without consulting my library.  I figure that you can probably put some of your own work in on that, as Greek literature is pretty entertaining and interesting in its own right the Trojan war notwithstanding.  I'd suggest reading Xenophon's book about Socrates to see a much different person than Plato captures in his pages.  Tacitus also is good, writing about the ancient Celts in Britain as well as the Germans living on the east side of the Rhine.  I've seen those books of Tacitus quoted on these forums several times in connexion to black-metal, etc.  Enjoy.

Interzone / Re: Greek Literature
« on: November 28, 2012, 08:30:48 PM »
I believe the Aeneid is a continuation of the story... the Trojans go on to found Rome basically.  Herodotus also has some sections about it in the early books of his "Histories." 

Interzone / Re: [add to buddy list] <-- ?
« on: November 21, 2012, 04:19:07 PM »
I just added you both to my buddy list and now it's giving me the option to "frot" you. Wth?


Metal / Re: Question for metal composers
« on: November 07, 2012, 05:02:51 PM »
It really depends for me.  I usually have the 'theme' for a song in mind as I start it, or the 'theme' suggests itself as I work with the melody/riff.  Often I am inspired with a melody or riff which I then play over and over again until I can play it well and I've ironed out the weaknesses, then I will start to do variations on it - add some harmony bits, maybe some passing notes, or a pedal note - until new riffs and melodies start suggesting themselves.  Even playing the riff in a different key or the relative major/minor (although my songs tend to be so atonal/modal that songs tend to have wandering tonic notes) can help give a new look at the riff that might expand your thinking.

Mixing and matching odd/old riffs with new ideas is also a good way to move a piece along or at least give you a different look at the same thing.  I also like to change instruments;  playing a guitar riff on the bass might suggest a simpler, more coherent way of writing the idea, and playing it on the keyboard might suggest a more subtle, secondary role for the guitar, etc.

Generally, I would say most of my writing is more subconcious, while most of the editing is concious. 

Interzone / Get your Opera on
« on: November 05, 2012, 07:01:08 PM »
Dvorak has long been a favourite composer of mine.  I've been a fan of Wagner since childhood but other than some limited exposure to Mozart and some Italian stuff, I didn't delve deeper into opera until fairly recently as I needed to expand my horizons beyond metal vocals.  Most singing on popular music (including metal) has bothered me because its almost always badly done in a technical sense.  Most popular singers who are considered good get along more by having compelling voices and not by having good voices.  Plus, most of what they sing about is pretty gay... hence preferring metal voices because you can just not pay much attention to what is being said and more on how its said.  I never took this idea to its logical conclusion until recently;  opera is mostly sung in foreign languages that I only vaguely understand at best.  When I discovered that Dvorak had done some operas that were influenced by Wagner I had to Czech them out for myself.  "Rusalka" is an absolutely beautiful piece that, unlike most other operas I've heard, stays totally compelling throughout its length.  After listening to various versions I chose to buy the version with Milada Subrtova and Ivo Zidek leading as Rusalka and the Prince.  Ms. Subrtova has an amazingly versatile and utterly beautiful voice.  Mr. Zidek is supposed to be in his declining years on my CD, but he sounds earthy and believable in the role of the Prince... I do like his voice quite a bit in Rusalka and Branibori v Cechach by Bedrich Smetana.  To mention Czech national opera bit further, it seems to be heavily influenced by Bruckner for its melodic and harmonic ideas and that is something I find quite appealing.
The story of Rusalka is basically the little mermaid but concerning a river-spirit instead of a mermaid.  It opens with Dvorak stealing Wagner's Rheinmaidens from the Ring Trilogy and improving on the idea by a great deal.  What strikes me about the storyline is that Rusalka wishes to become human for love and uses the witch Yezibaba to get her wish.  She ends up killing her beloved Prince and herself in the end.  The folly of separating oneself from natural law as well as the destructive nature of the persuit of individual ego are strongly highlighted in the story.  All the parties, save the Water King, seem to be acting solely in their own narrow interest and merely exacerbate a tenuous situation.  This is the reason I got the version featuring Subrtova as Rusalka:  Gabriella Benackova plays the part as an 'innocent, delicate' little girl.  As beautiful as her voice is, she gets the character wrong.  Subrtova's steely and vibrato-encrusted interpretation gives one no doubt that she is a  PRINCESS and will get what she shrilly demands.

Here is one of my favourite sections of the opera, just after the beginning with Rusalka telling her father the Water King about her desire to be human and love.  This is the version sung by Benackova as I could not find any good versions with Ms. Subrtova singing.  Ondrej Malachovsky does a great job as the Water King.  This is a 'movie' version of the opera broadcast on communist Czechoslovak TV during the 70's.  I think the costumes and choreography are fucking excellent, and the lip-synching actors do a great job... Rusalka's actress is particularly bang-able.


And for good measure here is the wonderful Ms. Subrtova doing Mesicku na nebi Hlubokem (song to the moon)


And for even better measure, and to show the great expressive range of her voice, here is the great Ms. Subrtova and Ivo Zidek singing a piece from Branibori v Cechach by Smetana (really, the only really great piece in the whole opera.  I kind of regret buying this one.)



Edit to add:
For you pan-nationalists out there, Dvorak wrote the music of Rusalka to take advantage of the natural melodies of the Czech langauge and used a theme from mythology of the Slavs.

Audiofile / Re: Arkona
« on: November 05, 2012, 06:24:48 PM »
Nice upload, thanks.  I was asked not too long ago if I'd heard of the band Arkona.  I got excited until the person starts telling me about the woman singer.  "Arkona doesn't have a woman singer...I must go now.  Another space war if you can believe it."

Interzone / Re: U.S. companies eject burdensome employees
« on: November 05, 2012, 04:47:03 PM »
What I've been reading in the Wall Street Journal and from what I've heard from contacts:  there are many unfilled skilled-manufacturing jobs.  Jobs doing fairly interesting work using machine-tools, and CNC-type machines that require a good amount of both creativity and problem-solving skills as well as a basic set of certify-able learned technical skills.  This suggests two possible causes: either there are not enough Americans who posses these skills, or the ones who do posses them are not actively looking to receive remuneration for their skills.  Jobs that get you into the 'middle-class' with wages of $15-30/hr plus benefits.  As I recall in high-school such technical training was available, but very few took advantage of it and instead concentrated on getting into college to get a degree (about half for professional degrees of which most payed off, and the other half for 'arts' degrees which qualify them to wait tables at Dennys).  Community College and other similar types of establishments also offer such training, but again, its based on motivation and not nearly enough people take advantage of it.  I think that a step in the right direction would be to allow these companies to recruit Jr. High students to attend a "company high school" that will be an apprenticeship followed by a contractually obligated term of employment.  A useful side-effect of this would be a re-emergence of company loyalty and a qualitative, as opposed to quantitative, outlook this implies.

Interzone / Re: Re-issues are d-bag
« on: November 05, 2012, 04:18:23 PM »
Supposedly, Century Media is reissuing Far Away from the Sun, but I guarantee that it will suck. Those two-for-one reissues of Runemagick's first three and Sacramentum's second and third full-lengths had one of the worst "remasterings" I've ever heard, actually physically painful to listen to. Luckily, I have the originals of all those albums now (including Sacramentum's debut EP and first full-length).

Dark Descent always does a great job with their reissues, but they're about the only one I trust consistently. Their Timeghoul digipack is legendary, and their Uncanny reissue did it properly by allowing the original album to stand on its own and putting the demos (which are also excellent) on a separate disc.

Two-for one reissues are also terrible.  Again, I will gladly pay the extra money to just have them separate, as our Blond-Haired, Blue-Eyed, German-Speaking Jesus "Bull Moose" Christ Himself Intended.
The Darkthrone reissue of TH was inferior to the original.  Whoever was in charge of that cleaned up too much of the original tape distortion, pops, etc.  Fortunately, I generally buy a reissue only if I want to listen to the album in the car, as I am fearful of the originals getting destroyed in the less-controlled environment of the car, so the 'improved' sound matters a lot less because one cannot listen too closely to music while driving.
Dark Descent is a label I gather?  Do you have a link?  Thanks.

Metal / Re: More bullshit music: "tech death"
« on: November 04, 2012, 10:57:14 PM »
On a related note, I've been learning Battles in the North and Blizzard Beasts recently, and those are relatively "technical" albums (especially Blizzard Beasts - those riffs are so stupid on their own, but so cool within the context of the album).  It's funny that everyone goes on about how Black Metal requires no musicianship, while Death Metal is uber-technical (etc.); clearly none of these people has ever sat down with mid-era Immortal before.

Immortal always seemed like a death metal band trapped in a black metal band's body.  And maybe the genre-change operation didn't quite take for a while but in the end they were able to accept themselves for who they were despite the ravages of repeated invasive surgeries.  Listen to Storming through Red Clouds and Holocaust Winds and tell me that isn't a death metal song recorded in Grieghall?
Another chink in the armour of the 'black metallers need no ability' idea is the fact that Darkthrone put out an excellent technical death metal album before they started playing in the 'simple' black metal style.  Even the album Blaze... is pretty technical at times, IIRC.  Even the very simple album Under a Funeral Moon has plenty of moments of 'technicality' in that Fenriz is making consious musical decisions to add depth and meaning to the music.  Listen to Walk the Infernal Fields.  The restrained drumming highlights the brilliant interplay of the vocals, guitars, and bass as they move in parallel and diverge into 'counterpoint' only to connect again tangentially and then run parallel again, etc.  Its really a brilliant piece of music executed by inspired musicians who knew exactly what they were doing.
Another good example is Mayhem's song Life Eternal.  The vocal melody is quite haunting against the unified bass/guitar line until Atilla screams 'you pray for death!' (at least, that is what I assume he is saying) before the bass guitar recapitulates (more or less) the initial vocal melody.  See how the basic 'verse' guitar riff is recapitulated in different forms by both the bass and the guitar itself in different voicings.  This leads to the argument that the musicians had a specific idea and were presenting it in as many relevant ways as possible so as to elucidate/reinforce the idea.  And so forth.  The point is, these were inspired musicians who knew exactly what they were doing.
Listen to a recent Meshuggah song.  Listen to how terrible it is.  It sounds all complex-y but really is pretty predictable... notice how it comes back to the 4/4 beat?  Notice how the 4/4 beat is really the basis of all of their songs?  And how the solos sounds all crazy and technical but you forget about them even as they are being played?  The point is, these guys are not inspired musicians but they do know exactly what they are doing. 

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