The Wall

$15 BILLION for a wall along a small stretch of the southern border does nothing but cost taxpayers.

We have over 100,000 miles of border, 5,525 with Canada, 1,989 with Mexico, and 95,000 with the oceans… You really think a wall on 2% of the border is going to do anything?

If you’re worried about drugs, remember that 3.1 million Americans admit to abusing non prescription cough medicine (Addiction Center). 2.4 million Americans admit to abusing prescription drugs (National Institute on Drug Abuse). And that is just stuff you get from your doctor or medicine store, so is a wall going to stop that?

Worried about “illegal” immigrants? Well if we ignore the fact that borders are a human concept and that no human is actually illegal, and we ignore our moral obligation to help our fellow man, then let’s just remember that migration from Mexico is LOWER in recent years than before. It peaked in 2007 and now is at or around NET ZERO PERCENT (Politifact, Center for Immigration Studies).

Guns… This is America, I can buy a gun from a family member and it does not have to be registered, nor do I have to be licensed. Only if I want to carry it in public would I need a permit, which is just a matter of a background check and $20. In 2013, there were more than 10.9 million manufactered guns in America (Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms, and Explosives), in 2009, it was estimated that Americans possessed at 310 million (2012 Congressional Research Service report)… Think about that considering our population is 318 million. So is a border wall going to stop anyone from getting a gun? No.

But ‘illegals’ don’t pay taxes! Wrong - undocumented immigrants pay more than $10.6 billion in local taxes every year (Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy), and 50%-70% pay income taxes (Congressional Budget Office), and if we provided a pathway for citizenship, they would contribute even more.

‘Illegal’ immagrants cannot receive welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, or any other benefit (CNN Money), so don’t go there either.

I think it is also worth mentioning that Trump’s proposed 20% tariff on Mexican imports to ‘reimberse’ American taxpayers, would actually cost us. Mexico is our third largest trading partner (U.S. Trade Representative) and a terrif would raise CONSUMER prices… In layman’s terms, Mexico will increase the price of car parts, food, medical equipment, etc, to cover the cost of the tarrif, passing the burden onto American consumers (Tax Policy Center).

And lastly, let me just remind you that in August of 2005, Mexico literally sent us their best - for the first time since 1942, Mexican troops entered the United States to respond to Hurricane Katrina. Then President Vicente Fox -the same one who called Donald Trump a child and said “I am not paying for that fucken wall”- offered us his condolences on behalf of Mexico, the Mexican Red Cross sent experts, the Mexican Navy sent ships, rescue vehicles, and helicopters, personnel, and 250 tonnes of food. The Mexican Air Force sent planes with 200 tonnes of food. 349 sailors and 184 solders, as well as other personnel and experts, crossed our borders to help us as our citizens across the region faced unimaginable disaster.

So let’s take a moment to think this through, ignoring every aspect of the fact that these are human beings and Mexico is a partner, based on our own economic benefits, this wall makes no sense, and when you think about it, we will only be hurting ourselves.

Drop FM” by A.G. Cook ft. Hannah Diamond


GNJ first wrote about PC Music with Hannah Diamond’s “Attachment” because I saw a similarity between it and the music of pop god Nadia Oh (we covered “Bipp” too, but without any context.) We haven’t kept up with it since because I was spectacularly wrong to do so. But as it becomes increasingly clear that Nadia’s probably not coming back, having moved on to what seems like a well-earned and fulfilling life outside the music business, and her producer Space Cowboy has gone silent as well, leading to at least a few people speculating that Nadia was Space Cowboy (which oh man, I want to believe it), I figured it was worth revisiting what I missed and why.

The first thing about Nadia Oh songs was that they sounded very of the moment and very much apart from it all at once. She was creating moombahton and EDM-influenced pop ahead of the zeitgeist, and she was using these futuristic beats to drop goofy jokes and electronically fuck her voice up every other line, as if she and Space Cowboy had never heard of a bad idea because they knew they could make anything sound good. Their masterpiece, Colours, sounds like pop music from a dimension just slightly removed from ours, recognizable but singular, sillier and stranger by a few degrees. It’s boastful, it’s sexual, it’s celebratory, and in ways no other artist has managed to replicate. It’s the best album of the last decade by a long shot, don’t @ me.

PC Music reminded me of Nadia at first, and I was thrilled - she left a void I’ve been trying to fill for three years now. But theirs is an approach that only borrows the superficial characteristics of her music: the vocal pitch-shifts, the slightly left-of-the-dial beats. What made Nadia herself was how fully she embodied and embraced that sound - how she delivered lines like “Yo, the girls they call me London/ Cos I am based in London” with a nonchalance that suggested she was in on the joke, that in fact it wasn’t really a joke at all if you looked at it right, and that you’d be a lot happier if you’d just embrace it along with her; how she delivered lines like “When I walk in all these bitches talkin/ ‘Shorty what your name is, what’s your star sign?’/ Can’t you see I need some mother fucking me time”, too. How she delivered both in the same song, as if there was no line, no limit, no juxtaposition she couldn’t make sense of with her spectacularly autotuned voice. Nadia Oh was willing - happy - to make herself sound like a robot, but she was naturally unnatural, inescapably a person with a specific and singular perspective. Listen to half of Colours and it’s easy to feel like you know her as well as any pop star who fills tabloid pages.

That’s what I missed when writing about “Attachment,” and what PC Music has missed from the beginning. There’s no there here, no sense of anything beyond the surface. It is, admittedly, a brightly sparkling surface - pleasant and expertly produced - but it’s polished itself into non-existence, into a realm where it might as well be elevator music or the soundtrack to a commercial in the background of a cartoon, except that both elevator music and TV composers do their jobs better than this. You don’t need to be a person to make good pop, but you do need personality.

And I’m aware PC Music’s got its own set of goals, of which furthering the work of Nadia Oh isn’t one (not least because that would highlight how a woman was doing this more interestingly, more strategically, and years earlier than they are.) There’s nothing inherently wrong with creating hollow pop music. But there’s nothing to suggest that “Drop FM” and its companions are anything more than the sort of idea that seems brilliant when you’re shooting the shit in a dorm room, either: “hey, what if pop music was immediate but intentionally empty and ephemeral” is only an interesting idea if A) we accept the assumption that those qualities are what defines pop and B) we didn’t have decades of music that’s managed to be the former and not the latter.

When I started writing this, I was mostly just annoyed that “Drop FM” wasn’t particularly immediate, either. But the more I think about this song and this entire project, the less I like it, and the more I feel like it’s completely superfluous. The points PC Music was making with this senior-thesis-turned-genre landed long ago. They weren’t particularly new or interesting points with “Attachment” (James Ferraro has been doing similar work recently, Brian Eno was doing it decades ago, and it’s not hard to trace a lineage to Raymond Scott in the 1950s) and they haven’t gotten any deeper - or any catchier - since then. And while lacking depth is irrelevant to the creation of great pop music, lacking catchiness is damning - even moreso because it was only a few years back that Nadia Oh was embodying these sounds and style with not only massive hooks but a liveliness and sense of humor that PC Music have co-opted and calcified into the most hackneyed kind of shtick. This isn’t the first time GNJ has covered PC Music. But it’s gonna be the last. 


That idea, the conceit that making pop music that is immediate but intentionally empty (or worse, a trojan horse for brands) never outright indulges the belief that pop is always an empty vessel, but it feels underwritten in the PC Music ethos. “Drop FM,” aside from any creepy ethical implications, isn’t a very fun listen. It ghosts around like words disappearing from a page, becoming more and more meaningless with each tonal shift. As with the rest of the PC Music catalog, it comes very close to working as a sugar dusted dance track, a bit of pixelated weirdness for a DJ to drop early in a set. But its most practical use is in commercials, especially for toys. At its core, “Drop FM” is incredibly simple music, the kind that tinkles out of a music box, chopped into little bits and sewn together wrong to produce the glitchy, head-jerking, futuristic effect that’s most immediate. The futurism is window dressing, PC Music aren’t making anything more out there than “Greensleeves." 

It’s possible to listen to a PC Music song without ever coming into contact with their manifesto, but since they are primarily an underground and/or internet phenomena, it’s unlikely that most listeners will be shocked by the surprise hollowness of what they’re hearing. DV is correct to trace the PC Music lineage back through Brian Eno and Raymond Scott. But what PC Music want to be is The Archies, or the Monkees, or the Partridge Family. They want to slip onto AM radio under the cover of night, seize the top spot on the Billboard chart, and then be revealed a dead rat under a pile of coats. The end of the 1960s is perhaps the genesis of the real/artificial divide in mainstream music and PC Music want to adapt this (very lame) ideology for the Boiler Room set. Ultimately, this isn’t even what bothers me most about PC Music. It’s their insistence on framing all of this total trash with a woman’s voice. Another nameless, faceless, disembodied woman’s voice. I’m not as certain about when and how women became synonymous with pop’s artificiality but the best pushback I’ve seen recently is from Sophia Clara, writing about Carly Rae Jepsen’s critics: 

i think it’s indicative of a v aggressive attribution of hyper-construction (which is gross ofc, ew pop music, ew ~lack of artistry~) to the producers of pop music while simultaneously framing the singers themselves (in this case carjeps) as like, helpless ghosts in the machine

which is why, in this strange gross paradigm, carly rae’s music can be simultaneously overprocessed and manufactered but she can also be inadvertent, because y’know her vocal intonations are ACCIDENTAL because she’s not an ARTIST

In the case of "Drop FM,” the woman’s vocal is absolutely accidental and incidental to the song and its affect. The suggestion, then, is that all female driven pop music can be reduced to this mess. That the only difference between something deliberately devoid of artistry (like PC Music) and something carefully curated to replicate the feeling of falling in crush love (like Carly Rae Jepsen) is the subtle touch of a male mastermind. 

Made with SoundCloud

Hellfire and Brimstone: Apaches

Missile developer and manufacter MBDA and defence contractor Boeing, which produces the Apache to look into the feasibility to determine whether Britain’s Apache helicopters could carry Brimstone missiles

Learn more about the Vossen Forged Design Process!!


Historical Gun Myth: The 1903 Springfield was the main battle rifle of US forces in WWI.

Historical Gun Fact: 75% of US soldiers actually used the 1917 Enfield.

Before WWI the British standard battle rifle was the Short Magazine Lee Enfield .303 rifle.  British ordinance decided that it wanted a more accurate rifle that used a German Mauser action.  The result was the P-14 .303 Enfield rifle.  When WWI began the British mainly manufactered the SMLE but also contracted American companies to produce the Enfield P-14.  When the United States entered the war, the Army Ordinance department decided that it would be easier to adapt P-14 production to .30-06 caliber rather than retool the entire gun industry to manufacture Springfield rifles.  Thus the .303 P-14 Enfield was converted into the 30-06 1917 Enfield.  While the Springfield was the official rifle of the US military, 75% of American troops who went overseas as part of the American Expeditionary Force were issued M1917 Enfields instead.


Part 3 of our “How its Made” Series!

anonymous asked:

holy shit even CARMEN gets more hate than sarah and maybe even sabrina lol this fandoms hatred for rowan and how she doesn't cater to anyone's discomfort with her dedication to being herself is fucked

The thing is if Rowan DID try to be all bubbly, cutesy and unopinionated then she wouldn’t be being herself. She would be portraying a persona that Disney had manufacted for her. Literally every past Disney Star has said that Disney did this to them and controlled their every move. This is what people are used to, and they don’t like change.

Someone even had the audacity to say that Rowan treated her fans horribly because she called out a “fan” who was bullying Carmen LIKE ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? This “fan” literally said

“Carmen is looking really tan lately; surprising because she’s always standing in her sister’s shadow.”

Then a so-called “Tanner Buchanan” account began defending the “fan” and that’s when the whole “Fake Tanner Drama” started.

Anyway, all Rowan said to the bully was that she wouldn’t tolerate hate toward her sister. Then the bully began lamenting “Woe is me!” and Rowan haters lapped it up.

Rowan was then labeled the “bully”.

What I hate most is when people compare Rowan and Sabrina and turn Rowan into an “Angry, problematic bully”. It also brings up a frightening reminiscent of age old stereotypes with Sabrina being the “Perfect and Pure Aryan Princess” and Rowan being “Dark, Jealous and Dirty”.