Posts Tagged ‘ Culture

Mixtape Amnesty

click to see BIG
I picked up the Irish Times today and had to take a snap of the back. There on the page of ads was a big one for Mixtape Amnesty. I thought, this can’t be serious….


The website is here is you want to find out how you can get rid of these criminal cassettes. Cleaning up after the 80s, deleting history from the analog, tape by tape.

Spoiler alert..
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Green : an idea suppressed by Your Country Your Call

I submitted a proposal to Your Country Your Call on February 18th entitled “Green” promoting a change in the way we view the Cannabis Sativa plant. It was not the only proposal I submitted, there were others, including “Bring Back Glass Bottle Deposits”. “Renegotiate The Corrib Gas Deal” and “Free Computing, It’s Easy” (open sourcing public sector computers). Unfortunately I can’t link to “Green”, well I am, but it will only take you to a page that reads; “You are not authorized to view this idea.”

When I put it up on the site it was hidden from the chronological page view within several minutes and also removed from search results and tags. But the page remained. A few similar ideas sprang up in the following days only to be removed. A couple remained, which dealt only with industrial hemp but of course there were comments about a broader use of the plant. I linked in interested people from those proposals and they supported mine and commented about the censorship of ideas. It was nearly there for two weeks, hidden in limbo within the walls of the call, before it was deleted completely. This type of innovation it would seem was not in line with the spirit of the site. So what is the “spirit” of the site? Well maybe I will leave that one for later. For now I will press on and show you my idea. It’s not new, it has been said time and time again, but the usual response to it is “sure it would never work in Ireland”.
But it could and it should and someday it will, but not until after a lot of damage is done to society as a whole.

Green : a proposal submitted to Your Country Your Call on 18th February 2010
My proposal is for a Green Ireland, a new tourism angle for us which also creates agricultural and processing industries around a plant which grows easily. The plant can be used in manufacturing of high quality textile products, it’s oil for cosmetic and culinary use and it’s common use as a relaxant, with medical benefits as well as being a spiritual and creative stimulant.
The idea requires an open mind and and to be tolerant about the vices of others. What’s right for one person may not be for another. We are living in the 21st Century where we can easily compare customs, habits. rituals from other cultures and accept them. The present approach of the “war on
drugs” does nothing but criminalise innocent people who are no harm to anyone but themselves, No more, “Down with this sort of thing” The bleating nay-sayers of this country have led the way for too long. What has developed is a sheepish mentality whereby issues are not looked at in all their detail and instead spun into a misconceived view of reality. The drugs issue is not all bad.
Pharmaceutical companies are allowed to sell us all types of harmful compounds which are an accepted part of our health system. But it is just one system. Alcohol is accepted as a dangerous drug which can be fatally harmful to our health, spurs aggression and violence and yet we happily pay unaffordable money for this pleasure. Because we enjoy it so much, it is worth taxing so much. So even as we drown our sorrows in our overpriced pints, paid for from welfare cheques, we can feel better knowing that we are contributing to the economy. What is needed is education on drug use and a way to ensure that recreational drugs are of good quality. We are now in a situation where drugs which are available legally in head shops are
potentially more dangerous than their Illegal counterparts.
We need to break this taboo
Free the weed.
(and tax it!)
So why was this pulled? Why is this discussion not allowed on the table? In the past few days another idea has been removed, one that had gotten over 8000 votes of support. This was “A Resourced Based Economy”, a proposal inspired by the idea behind the Venus Project for a sustainable economy heading toward utopia. This has been removed for what has been called “spamming”. It does seem apparent that there was a movement to get people onto the site to support it, a canvassing so to speak. Now while it does seem in this case that there was maybe something askew, it would not be the first proposal to employ this tactic, as the fifth most supported idea,“Talent Tank”, demonstrated. People who support the Venus Project have been bombarding YCYC’s Facebook page and the website itself with irate comments about the removal of the proposal. So while there may be some validity for the removal of that proposal, even if somewhat misguided, at least it was only removed after it became popular and garnered some attention.
My “Green” proposal however was obviously hidden, while a discussion probably took place about whether this sort of frank proposal could be tolerated. It wasn’t, it was removed, people might see it after all and that wasn’t an option.
“Down With This Sort Of Thing”

In the last two weeks another hemp proposal has gone up, “Grow hemp as our new raw material”, this time getting the support of the Venus Project troops and bringing in 111 votes of support at last count. I can’t be sure, but mine got around about 20 votes and it wasn’t even visible to all. It is kind of fitting that the most supported proposal is for a pharmaceutical drug, LDN, given that marijuana for medical use has proven benefits in the same areas
as this manufactured drug. So what do the people behind Your Country Your Call say about this then?
This was put up on their blog last week…
Inappropriate proposals
A core objective of YCYC is to create a platform that will enable the
presentation and development of ideas that can be put into action to
develop opportunities for investment, employment and consequently
prosperity in Ireland.
Unfortunately not all the proposals submitted to date are similarly
motivated. In particular, over the past few days the site has been
the subject of a sustained spamming exercise with multiple comments
from a small number of sources around a small number of proposals.
That activity has impacted negatively on genuine users of the site.
The source of those postings have their own agendas and are not
compatible with the objectives of Your Country, Your Call. On that
basis they are no longer posted.
Then there are five questions to ask yourself before submitting a proposal,
so I give you my answers…
Why you consider Ireland to be the ideal location for your proposal?
Because it is green by name and green by nature and could do with a new economy boost.
What you think Ireland has that could really make your proposal work?
At the heart of it, Ireland is a tolerant nation which has had to put up
with a lot of hassle. Apathy has crept in over the years and innovation
met naysayers standing in the way, talking about change but hesitant to
help any one but fein. The heart grow cold as it was swayed by greed. If we
can let go of the nosey neighbour psyche and seek community again,
we can really have a great and open future. Too much gets swept
under the carpet in this country.
How you think your proposal could create opportunities for employment
and prosperity in Ireland?
Employment with result first off by giving farmers a new (albeit
ancient) crop to grow, for industrial hemp processing and for
medicinal and recreation use. So there is employment gained in
agriculture, processing, retail, health and tourism industries. Yes
we would attract hoards of peaceful hungry people from all around
the world, no it would not be as bad as the drunks we like to think
the rest of the world thinks we are. Let’s get over stereotypes.
Recreational drug use is not underground, nor should it be. It needs
to be in the open, to be safe and to be tolerated.
Why you thinkthat the timing is right for your proposal?
What with the frenzy
over headshops at the moment we need to step back and look at the
bigger picture. People are resorting to headshop products in lieu of
an illegal safer alternative, namely Cannabis. There is a huge
demand and thus a need for supply. The popularity of the headshops
has only served to make this point crystal clear. There is a lot of
money to be made, would you rather it be made by criminal gangs who
contribute nothing to society but fear?
I will leave it at that for the moment…
So what do you think?

U 'Steal This Film' 2


I’ve just finished watching the second installment of ‘Steal This Film‘. Put this on top of the first part and it is a damn good look at the ‘culture of copying’ which has existed (as a form of communication) since the dawn of time. I met with one of the makers behind this worthy project at Picnic Network last year and was very impressed with the idea behind the film. It does the necessary job of putting into motion pictures the issues surrounding copyright which are being written about so much these days by forward thinking scholars. The first part focuses largely on the debate surrounded piracy online and in particular the story of The Pirate Bay. This recently released second part takes a closer look at the history of ‘copying’ with good sections on the printing press (which was accused of being black magic on it’s dawning!) and on the rise of the internet from it’s inception as a reaction to Sputnik.

Anyway I won’t ruin the film, that would be worse than stealing it…so go ahead and download it!

Steal This Film II


I Wouldn’t Steal
Good Copy Bad Copy