Chambo's Top Five Friday Internet Activities

Voodoo Funk

• MORE AWESOME TAPES (AND 7-INCHES) FROM AFRICA: Frank lived in West Africa from 2005 to 2008, and he tells us all about it at Voodoo Funk, a collection of stories, MP3s and awesome record store art. He’s also DJing a “Lagos Disco Inferno” party this weekend in Brooklyn, and you can get a preview of the heavy grooves from his crates with this kinda sloppy and totally delightful downloadable mix. [Voodoo Funk]

• MEXICAN JOURNALISM 101: Tucson-based writer Charles Bowden is by far the best guy when it comes to reading about drugs and Mexico, partly because in Mexico you are not allowed to write about drugs and Mexico. In last month’s Mother Jones he wrote this terrifying story of a reporter who wasn’t even trying to do that, but Mexican Army psychopaths decided to try and kill him anyway. He fled to the United States looking for asylum so we put him in jail and took his kid away. [Mother Jones]

CHILEAN ELECTRONICS: Arthur pal Raspberry Jones is adding a bunch of tunes to Newly Lost Edge, including some interesting electronic music from South America. Jones is a regular go-to guy when it comes to this stuff, helpfully directing our attention to mixes such as this one from Matias Aguayo, a Chilean dude “putting on his various friends from around the world – artists from Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Cape Verde, etc. – who aren’t just doing the local thing, so much as mixing that local thing with a (for lack of a better term) minimal techno vibe.” [Newly Lost Edge]

• ENDGAME TIME AGAIN: The Guardian UK joins the Financial Times in shoring up the British mainstream press’ reputation as a hub for radical anarcho-primitivist thought, following the Jared Diamond interview we wrote about last week with this pleasantly archaic exchange of letters between two dudes, one of whom is like “The writing is on the wall for industrial society, and no amount of ethical shopping or determined protesting is going to change that now” and another guy who’s like, “you’re just horny for the apocalypse.” [The Guardian]

NEW ANIMALS: Did you see the new animals yet? World Wide Fund for Nature has all kinds of information about the 350 different species of plants, amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds, mammals and invertebrates that humans have recently discovered hiding out in the Eastern Himalayas (so not exactly “new,” so much as “new to us”). Including this flying frog that glides around from tree-to-tree with its webbed feet. That guy is most likely on the anti-industrial society side of the debate. [WWF via Science Daily]

P.S. Happy Birthday Joe Strummer! You can read Kristine McKenna’s beautifully sprawling Q&A with the dearly departed Clash frontman and all around inspirational hero from Arthur 3 (March 2003) by clicking here. We’ve also got plenty of hard copies left in the Arthur Store. Click here to go see about that.

Buy American?

Not to get all protectionist-ically jingoistic, but wouldn’t it be great if there were a way that we could produce marijuana without having to deal with directly fund Mexican drug cartels?

Imagine, a pot-farming Shangri-La where most of the gunfire is some penny-ante bullshit between paranoid trigger hippies and trigger-happy meth heads popping off into the open sky, trying to figure out who has the bigger box of bullets. Or hey, maybe forget the guns altogether (except for target practice and varmint deterrence, of course) and see if some New Age-type hippies can find a way to cultivate cannabis for medical use, etc. without torturing and killing thousands of their neighbors?

Perhaps someday we’ll find a way to grow our own. Until then, we’ll have to rely on the dirt weed that psychopathic gangsters and their terrified migrant-labor minions are smuggling in through sewer pipes, raising in environmentally-devastating wilderness grows and ramping over the border in pickup trucks. Wait, what?

From the February 1, 2009 New York Times:

Tougher Border Can’t Stop Mexican Marijuana Cartels
By SOLOMON MOORE

TUCSON — Drug smugglers parked a car transport trailer against the Mexican side of the border one day in December, dropped a ramp over the security fence, and drove two pickup trucks filled with marijuana onto Arizona soil.

As Border Patrol agents gave chase, a third truck appeared on the Mexican side and gunmen sprayed machine-gun fire over the fence at the agents. Smugglers in the first vehicles torched one truck and abandoned the other, with $1 million worth of marijuana still in the truck bed. Then they vaulted back over the barrier into Mexico’s Sonora state.

Despite huge enforcement actions on both sides of the Southwest border, the Mexican marijuana trade is more robust — and brazen — than ever, law enforcement officials say. Mexican drug cartels routinely transported industrial-size loads of marijuana in 2008, excavating new tunnels and adopting tactics like ramp-assisted smuggling to get their cargoes across undetected.

But these are not the only new tactics: the cartels are also increasingly planting marijuana crops inside the United States in a major strategy shift to avoid the border altogether, officials said. Last year, drug enforcement authorities confiscated record amounts of high potency plants from Miami to San Diego, and even from vineyards leased by cartels in Washington State. Mexican drug traffickers have also moved into hydroponic marijuana production — cannabis grown indoors without soil and nourished with sunlamps — challenging Asian networks and smaller, individual growers here.

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