Happy Birthday Speech Synthesis

Around 40 years ago, Forrest S. Mozer created the first Integrated Circuit speech synthesiser, modelled on his voice, and licensed it to a company creating instruments for blind people. But you’ll more likely recognise it as the voices in Berzerk and later sampled in the Stakker track ‘Humanoid’. Ploque are plugging a new plugin ‘chipspeech’ based on this and other classic speech synthesis which you can hear in the video, but more interesting is the free compilation to go with it – including the Humanoid remix heard in the video. If you like 8-bit music, you’ll like this as it includes the likes of GOTO80 and Torley and many others. (via Ian Fondue)

On terrorism

There have been some frankly awful analyses of the attacks in Paris a week ago, and the fallout from them. Either from surprisingly from my side, the left and anarchists seemingly serving our masters by wanting to take freedom of speech away like desperate young Tankies also doing a very good impression of hand-wringing liberals, or the sadly inevitable Islamaphobia, attacks and rhetoric that’s lead to the frankly silly proposal from David Cameron to try and spy on us all. Security theatre and unworkable solutions mixed in with xenophobia and fear. Which unsurprisingly those supposed watchmen of the left are completely ignoring. No surprise there, because I suspect they secretly like the idea of terrorism or totalitarianism? And don’t get me started on that staged ‘walk’ and the hypocrisy within.

This is why the few good responses are so important, especially in the fact of the ludicrous and financially involved Fox News, that blithely puts out the #foxnewsfacts that Britain and France are full of Islamic no-go zones, shariah law and police enforced Muslim dress codes and in fact Birmingham is completely muslim (as someone who actually has been to a Muslim country unlike seemingly Steven Emerson I can emphatically say this is NOT the case). Cue much-needed pisstakes from Brummies and Brits….but Fox doesn’t care, the necessary lies have gotten out.

Russell Brand does a good job in these videos of debunking Fox and the prevalent ideology…I’ve had so many arguments over the last week it’s not true (and invented the maxim that ‘All Facebook groups attract the exact opposite of the group title’ in the process because it seems those in Gay groups are hardly evern queers, and those in left/Anarchist groups are anything but.), since it seems on both sides the shutters have gone down. You have the non-ironic religious talking about ‘radical Islam’ being all about blood thirsty war, then the progressives bleating on about free speech being somehow lesser if you don’t agree with it, because ‘Charlie Hedbo was a right-wing paper’. I see very little proof of this, but I see a lot of people jumping to conclusions just seeing a single cartoon, just like the terrorists did in Paris. In fact if you bother to look up the work of one of the victims Cabu you see a different story, and if you bother to find out what those ‘obviously’ racist/misogynist/anti-immigration/anti-semitic covers were about, you might find out that they weren’t what you thought. But that’s harder than jumping to a conclusion isn’t it?

And there are a few other good analyses from The Guardian and FirstLook which are well worth checking out for giving a nuanced persective, rather than preaching to the choir – especially Glenn Greenwald’s article, which points at some of the real criticisms that are worth pointing out, that Charlie Hebdo along with all the other press seem to think it’s fine to criticise or mock Islam, but other faiths are not OK. Charlie Hebdo did mock others, and in fact fired one of it’s employees over ‘anti-semitism’ tellingly, so certainly not to the same degree or relish. That is a problem, but rather than shutting down speech as those at say, Jacobin want in a strange reversal of ‘I’m not racist but…’ to ‘I’m not defending terrorism but’, speech should be extended to ALL religions and ALL politics, to be truly an ‘equal opportunity offender’. Nothing should be sacrosanct, and people should stop constantly looking for offence, and only measure the things that are definitely hurting them…I don’t think a silly cartoon is ever one.

And anyway, satirical magazines like CH are nowhere near as terrifying or as outwardly evil as the Fox News piece mentioned in this, where Judge Jeanine Pirro tells people to go kill and bomb:

All of this is a sideshow, even the bleating about the obvious ‘new’ cover (what were they going to do, put out a blank cover? I did laugh at the grimly ironic the guy quoted from the Paris mosque saying ‘It’s not funny, and unpleasantly provocative considering all we’ve been through the last few days’ – ah poor lamb, so hard for you, not being shot in the head. Bless.) The important thing to remember is the right to free speech, even if that free speech isn’t what you agree with, and that free speech also doesn’t mean it’s speech without consequences or response. Hate speech and calls to violence are still wrong (classic fire/theatre example) but that’s already enshrined in law in most places.

Free speech works not just both way, every way – and I find it odd when groups from the left and LGBTQ blindly criticise such speech (a good question is to ask Why? Why are you criticising this? Are you secretly happy these people were killed? Does it make your ‘radical’ wannabe-terrorist genitals secretly tingle like some hanging judge? What’s your point?) when they are benefactors of such freedoms too. Or have y’all forgotten Gay News being banned? That we had to fight for our publications in the fact of ‘it’s offensive, it’s obscene, it’s blasphemous’ too? (in fact the Mary Whitehouse Gay News court case was about blasphemy, about a fairly mild poem.)

The other thing to remember is the true causes of this terrorism, and not to ascribe, blame or ask all muslims to ‘fix’ it. I made that mistake early on, although I do find the silence of many slightly odd, I think many are scared in the way the neighbours of the killers were scared into silence?

Uderzo - Charlie Hebdo response
(Albert Uderzo is a childhood hero of mine, spending days copying Asterix and Obelix, so I shed a tear over his response, you can see his upset and anger. Perfect.)

It is something we all need to fix together. All the terrorists come from poor backgrounds, people who have little to lose and have forsaken society or been forsaken by it, that have experienced discrimination and racism. Lack of opportunity is classic breeding grounds for extremism, be it Islamic terrorists or fascists. And as Russell says, the wars and drone attacks that most just ignore, as well as not feeling like you’re part of society (and probably a dash of second or third generation immigrant cultural dystopia/disenfranchisement to boot) lead to people getting radicalised. Give the youth of all backgrounds opportunities, makes people feel party of society, make people feel loved and not feared, and stop killing people in the Muslim/Arab world for pointless wars over oil – these are how you fix this. Not scare legislation that won’t actually change anything, or attacking people for who they are.

Mort Garson

Exploring the world of Mort Garson at the moment. I’m not really how you go from this, funky disco Kung Fu, to Moog Satanic spooktronica in a similar vein to Haack’s Electric Lucifer album:

To Summer of Love floaty psychedelic astrology floaty bobbins (thanks to Ben Soundhog for pointing me in the direction of this album, which started me down the Yellow Brick Rabbit Hole):

To exotic lounge music which he co-wrote for the Ruby and the Romantics (you probably will know this song via covers):

Deranged hippy version of Wizard of Oz where Dorothy wants to know ‘where it’s at’? Check:

And back to novelty electro disco songs about UFO’s (with the obligatory van/truck reference – surprised they didn’t crowbar a CB reference in there?)

I haven’t even listened to the album for plants yet ‘Plantasia’…they talk about a ‘full life’ and ‘eclectic tastes’, but no-one has anything on Mort Garson’s career!

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