Oncle Bernard, Charlie Hedbo (n°446, 03/01/2001)
Ma prophétie : « La Bourse est une institution inutile et néfaste. »
Faites suivre et prions le Ciel.
Oncle Bernard, Charlie Hedbo (n°446, 03/01/2001)
Ma prophétie : « La Bourse est une institution inutile et néfaste. »
Faites suivre et prions le Ciel.
I’m taking a few days off. While I’m away, go reading Joel on Software and all the funky people linked on the sidebar.
Happy new year. Dropt the debt.
A Music Entry
Any folk even slightly interested in music is putting online his top-ten CDs list of the year these days, especially among fellow webloggers, and I’m not going to be an exception.
Some people might find this showing of strictly personal taste, full of redundancy, pretty boring. If somebody tells me he couldn’t care less whether I put Grandaddy or Venus as my number one, he’s definitely got a point.
What I think, and what IMHO allows me to write this, is that the large number of published lists may eventually convey a statistical « truth » about what were the best albums in 2000. Last year, a lot of Guided by Voices fans had the Dismemberment Plan Emergency & I record in their top-five, so I got this CD and I haven’t been disappointed at all. If you buy your new CDs with respect to the advertisement, you get Blink 182, and if you buy it thanks to music papers, you’ve got to be very rich, as most publications claim for finding the new OK Computer every week.
Anyway, back to the tunes. I don’t think 2000 was a tremendous year for pop music, as 1999 had been (see dEUS, Venus, GbV, my top-three last year). Big stars made damn good and promising albums (Kid A), but no groundbreaking stuff ; newcomers were rare and modest (except ATDI). But all of the music presented below is certainly worth a listen, and the top-five are definitely must-haves (in all categories).
1. Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump
2. Venus – The man who was already dead
3. Coldplay – Parachutes
[... find the whole lists here]
Concerts coming in Paris, Feb-Mar 2001 : Don’t feel afraid to mail and join me !!
* At the Drive-In, Trabendo, Feb 04 (110 ff !)
Punk-rock sensation from the Grand Royal label, one of the best live acts this year, they say.
DON’T MISS IT !!
* Grandaddy, Feb. 22
Third gig in Paris in less than one year. Excellent band, #1 in my top-ten.
Space rock and soft-punk, the only rock band that knows how to use keyboards today.
* PJ Harvey, Feb. 26
The miss is still angry, but she’s in love (or so it seems). A perfect career, a perfect musician.
* Placebo, Zénith, March 20
If there’s somebody to join me, I’d be OK to see again the most glamorous punk band in Europe and the #1 reason to become gay : Brian Molko.
A very cool link : emulations of the first and second generation browsers (Mosaic, IE and Netscape <2, had you ever seen them ?). Surf the web of today with the tools of yesterday. Pretty interesting ! [via Webmaster Richard]
Speaking of computing « history », the X-Web Abandonware is a great site (in French) where you can download the forgotten games of your youth. I got Indiana Jones 3, so cooool !
Piece of advice : get (on another abandonware site) the Hitchhiker’s guide…, a full text-mode adventure that opens in a small window (based on the famous novel). Great to play at the office (low-profile…).
«J’ai écrit ce livre dans une amertume sans fond. Un sentiment desepéré le traverse. Je ne crois plus qu’aux choses ; l’esprit sait y pressentir ce que leur apparence renferme d’éternel. La philosophie la plus éclairée n’est-elle pas celle qui enseigne à se méfier de l’homme ? De cet optimum, de cette créature suprême, qui forme l’aristocratie naturelle du monde vivant ? De celui qui apporte – quand par exception il devient vraiment lui-même – l’excellent mais aussi le pire ? Vainqueur des monstres et monstre lui-même à jamais…»
François Bizot, Le Portail
Comment, nanti d’une telle préface, le livre de Bizot eût-il pu ne pas être absolument passionnant ? Français vivant au Cambodge à l’époque où la guerre du Viet Nam s’achève et les Khmers Rouges réalisent leur terrible ascension, l’ethnologue se fait écrivain le temps d’un récit magistral, revenant sur le drame sanglant qui eût lieu, fruit des utopies et de l’aveuglement (maoïstes, colonialistes, anti-américains).
Ce livre nous touche en premier lieu car Bizot y raconte son amour perdu, celui d’un peuple d’une bonté incomparable et d’une terre aux traditions séculaires, assassinés par les actes conjugués du dogme importé et de l’orgueil académique. Détenu dans un camp de maquisards communistes à vingt-cinq ans, témoin et acteur de l’évacuation de Phnom Penh tombant au mains des Khmers Rouges cinq ans plus tard, il retrace ces évènements dans cette langue précise et simple qui est la marque des grands écrivains, dans un souffle qui le place au côté des Malraux et des Cioran.
Témoin trop téméraire, chroniqueur minutieux, homme desespéré, impuissant mais stoïque, Bizot nous fait vivre par ses yeux et par son corps les derniers instants, forcément irréels, avant le désastre. Terriblement destabilisants sont les rapports ambigüs qu’il va nouer avec des bourreaux qui n’en sont qu’à leurs premiers faits d’arme, ou les instants suspendus dans le calme trompeur des rues de Phnom Penh envahie.
Le scepticisme de Bizot, né de la douleur de la perte, de la contemplation de la cruauté humaine, de la culpabilité inévitable et du dégoût engendré par la suffisance des intellectuels, ce scepticisme renvoie à leurs études tous les cyniques de salon. Par des phrases simples, un vocabulaire soigné, sans effet de manche, sans affectation, ce livre rejoint pourtant pour la profondeur de ce qu’il révèle de l’être humain les abîmes dévoilés par Primo Levi ou Hannah Arendt.
S’il faut être tout-à-fait honnête, on pourra reprocher au Portail une construction pas toujours à la hauteur de la narration et des ellipses qui rendent le contexte historique malaisé à distinguer dans toutes ses nuances pour le non-initié que je suis. Malgré tout, c’est là un livre à lire absolument car il se range dans la catégorie des classiques, de ces oeuvres qui atteignent le tréfonds des questions posées à l’âme humaine. N’oublions pas que l’apogée génocidaire de la tragédie khmère, qui prit place quelques temps après que le récit de Bizot ne s’achève et dont les évènements décrits annoncent l’arrivée, ne date que d’à peine plus de vingt ans et que les principaux coupables n’ont toujours pas été jugés.
Sorry for the rarity of my posts these days. The end of the year is a very busy era.
Do It Yourself
At a recent dinner, a friend asked me why I’m doing this whole weblog stuff I had just told him about (one says that France is technologically three years late with respect to the United States, and weblogs are totally unknown here, even in the I.T. community). This question made me really uncomfortable : WHY am I doing this ? Unable to find a satisfying answer, I must have replied with a neutral comment about alternative ways of using the internet, or something…
When I come to think again about the underlying purpose(s) of running a weblog, I end up comparing this activity with the panel of other ones offered to us.
Consume. Most of us, most of the time, when we want to enjoy ourselves a bit, to relieve our souls tired by corporate work or university courses, we GET stuff. Drinks, DVDs, books, restaurant meals, furniture, clothes, CDs, and so on… But think about it a minute : how long does the pleasure last ? How long are you uplifted by this brand new leather couch, or this damn good fine dinner, or even this wonderful novel ? Very soon it melts with the rest of our environment, as an unnoticeable sign of our fading ability to enjoy the treasures of life. Go to your bed, you’ve got to wake up early in the morning on weekdays…
Now, I’m talking to you guys who ever tried to create something with your own hands/brain/heart. Whatever you’ve done, painting, writing, composing, coding, building etc…, doesn’t it shine as one of the few worthwhile moments ever in your life ? Don’t you feel proud, fulfilled, caring towards others, a true human being, when you happen to experience again the fruit of your dedication (reading your article, standing near your building, running your software, looking at your sculpture…) or even merely think about it ?
When I have to sum up my life in a few words, I end up mentioning composing songs (lame ones, you can’t imagine, but who said you’ve got to be Mozart ?), gaining a degree, writing articles, building a relationship, and I realize I forgot writing role-playing games, arranging gaming nights, recording stupid radio-shows, and so on…
This is what life, for me, is about. Giving away bits of myself, sweating over my creations to do the best I can. This is why internet in general, and weblogs in particular are choice tools. Your potential audience is the world, your actual public is only made of the people who choose to come and see what you have to offer. No limit, no obligation.
(This is also why I hate all those websites designed to sell me stuff, bringing me down to my condition of consumer I should never have left in this neo-liberal society.)
But, hey!, what’s that need to offer the world something coming from me ? A lot of people just live and let go. Why do I feel almost compelled to leave something out of my brain, heart and hands ?
I plead guilty : I’m afraid to die. Like everyone of us. I will get back to dust and that scares the hell out of me, true. The most moving thing on earth is those people who survived through their work, their kindness, the love they still inspire, the friends they still bring together.
So, next time, I will swallow my pride, and to this same question about the reasons that drive me doing this weblog, I will answer : « Because I’m scared to die sooner or later, dude, and that you could forget me all ».
Now, more relaxed stuff :
- « quite a lot of percussion, big, sweeping sort of stuff » : this is the pleonastic way Tom « Chemical Bros » Rowlands describe the new material for the fourth album of my favourite duo and this is the best piece of news heard lately !
- While browsing again the Annals of Improbable Research, I found this hilarious article about sex in an elevator.
- A genius dude has wonderfully re-made the three Star Wars episodes in 5 minutes each and in Flash. Congratulations.
Quelques mots en français :
De nombreuses analyses montrent qu’on est en face d’un marché de surconsommateurs d’images, des gens qui achètent quantité de DVD et vont quand même au cinéma, ont le câble, Canal +. Ils achètent au delà de leur goût et même de leur simple capacité physique à les regarder, il y a un désir très fort de posséder l’objet dès qu’il parait.
The bio/about me page is online. I’ve been postponing to « design » this one for ages, but now I’m really satisfied with the way it looks.
A small Xmas wish-list, in French. May be updated in the coming days (as ideas will come). It’s a pity that amazon.fr doesn’t make this service available (as the US or the .co.uk sites do), so this is a list in the good old not-linked way.
Ma liste pour Noël
Michel Houllebecq, Lanzarote (livre)
Bebel Gilberto, Tempo Tango (musique brésilienne)
Chemise / Cravate (sobre svp)
Une montre (pas trop chère !)
Tori Amos, Under the Pink (CD)
Elliott Smith, X/O (CD)
…mais j’aime aussi être surpris
Your gestures of kindness move me
As Charles Darwin (1871) sagely noted over a century ago, « ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge »
And now, this hypothesis has been scientifically confirmed by psychologists. Very nice research article.
Ever felt like murdering your cat after one of its walk on your keyboard ruined your work ? PawSense is the solution to your problems : this is the first software that detects cat walking on the keyboard and locks your workstation. Did you thought your job was useless ?
[last two links are 2000 IG NobelPrize Winners, from the Annals of Improbable Research.]
I’ve found the first relevant French-speaking weblog : Emmanuelle.net is run by a young and brilliant journalist from Libération (living in California !) and mainly focused on new technology. It’s nice, and i’ll keep visiting it.
ESCOM rules !
Congratulations to Thibault, Dominique and Jérémy for their unbelievable achievement : the folks WON the 6th « Défi Expérimental Laboscope ». This is a contest for chemistry students, with practical experiments, where the best schools from France compete. I’ve been brilliantly eliminated during the first turns two years in a row, so I bow to your greater talent !!
A big thank you to all the people who’ve been coming since a few days. And for you that are just looking for info about the Aiwa MM-VX100 MP3 player, the manufacturer website is www.aiwa.co.jp/eu/vx. Sorry for the detour.
Today : dicks and boobs. Lucky you.
>Did you ever wondered if it is possible to do that with your « Johnson » ? And… well… there’s a website and a mailing list.
>It seems to me that plastic surgery has been invented just to let you roll your mouse over the picture. The best achievement so far in the noble art of medicine, sure.
From now, you can come here thanks to this new redirection : manur.isfuckingcool.com. A fucking pop-up appears, so you’d better use www.manur.com anyway. I just thought it may be fucking fun.
Halo 33 is a nice weblog I like to read.
Now, those links are french :
Tonight I long for innocence…
Last Friday : Conversation with the guy in charge of computers maintenance at the new job this morning :
me: I have this problem with my new computer : when I listen to an audio CD, its plays at a somewhat slower speed than the normal, ruining the music. [much like a slow pitch on a turntable..]
guy: you mean, it goes like this : « meowowowii » [he makes the sound of a slow-pitched record on a turntable]
guy: I don’t have any solution to this problem. Feel free to download a new driver at your-computer-brand-name dot com. [he LEAVES !]
Thanks, man, you’re a real prince.
(this exact same day, i missed half of Grandaddy’s show. just great.)
Forgotten Cambodia. A good easy-to-read article that says it all.
just a rat in a cage (again and again)
Getting off the subway station this morning, i had the most disturbing encounter. There were three or four retired senior citizens from Attac, the most important pro-Tobin tax and -alternative ways of living organisation in Europe. They were giving away leaflets.
In our times, your life is drawn for you from the start. From 0 to 22, distract yourself (don’t ever forget to drink Coca-Cola, wear Nike and listen Sony), and learn to be productive. From 23 to 65, you’re really useful. Give everything to economics and trade (don’t ever forget to make children). After 65, you’re useless, that’s all. If you were gregarious enough to invest lots of money in a bank, you’ve got the right to travel in sunburnt places, but please don’t deal with business and society matters anymore. You fully deserved your right to be mute and watch stupid TV shows.
As I was seeing the retired senior citizens distributing leaflets at the exit of the subway station, I was thinking to myself : those people are much more useful to the society and to any of us than the 20.000 of us executives in this business district together.
See what brings a bad working environment, you bosses : anarchists.
At least !
Okay, guys, I won’t say it twice, so open your ears and listen well:
You probably already knew that I’ve been bearing the nickname of « Manur » for quite a while (10+ years!), because Emmanuel often becomes Manu, and the ‘r’ make it sound like « Ben-Hur ». I still keep it ’cause it’s hardly taken as a login (much less than my first name), and lots of my friends are used to it.
Anyway, from now you can visit this page by simply typing manur.org in the location bar. I guess it’s a huge improvement with respect to the actual url , so feel free to update your bookmarks and/or keep it in mind : it’s easy.
Technical remark : this is a mere redirection, so eventually you’ll end up at the exact same place than before (it’s a pity for bookmarking, i just understand…).
And by e-mailing me to the new address firstname.lastname@example.org, your messages will end up to my regular e-mail account, too. Isn’t technology great ?
Pictures of our september trip to Greece
My God, I want to go back there !.. The weather was so perfect, people so nice, time so fulfilling…
We made our way to two different islands of the Cyclades: Santorini and Paros. The first one is particularily famous for its volcano, in the middle of the crescent-shaped bay. One can even take little boats and go there, ON the volcano.
Surprisingly, we enjoyed Paros even more than Santorini, precisely because sightseeing spots are modest, not overcrowded, and much more typical of what we think is Greek life. The two main cities of the island are Naoussa, a very picturesque village of fishermen and sailors, and Parikia, the « capital », a very lovely and moderately sized resort.
Last but not least : wonderful sunsets !
<- And, oh, that's me re-reading The Catcher in the Rye on our hotel room’s balcony…