Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Jag har bestämt mig för att äntligen flytta hela skiten till wordpress.com,

glöm runkbaset.blogspot.com och brytburken.blogspot.com, nu finns allt på


That's right folks, everything is moved to


See y'all there!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Philip K. Dick on STAR WARS

While I was there in Metz we saw the French premiere of STAR WARS and I was amazed at the theological implications of what, in the film, is called "the force". Have you seen the film? I then bought the novel. Beyond doubt there is a profound theological theme to it, and the audience is reacting to it. Also (and I tell you this witha certain hesitation) the description of "the force" in STAR WARS for unaccountable reasons resembles the entity or force which took me over during my religious experiences in March of 1974. That which I saw then, which I call VALIS or Zebra was a plasmatic energy. Read this quotation from the novel STAR WARS (p. 120):

"Remember, the force is omnipresent. It envelops you as it radiates from you. A Jedi warrior can actually feel the force as a physical thing."

"It is an energy field, then?" Luke inquired.
"It is an energy field and something more," Kenobi went on, almost mystically. "An aura that at once controls and obeys. It is a nothingness that can accomplish miracles. No one, not even the Jedi scientists, were able to truly define the force. Possibly no one ever will."

Now page 121:
"I've seen a lot of strange things. Too many to believe there couldn't be something like this 'force.' Too many to think that there could be some such controlling one's actions. I determine my destiny - not some half-mystical energy field."

Page 81:
"Let us say simply that the force is something a Jedi must deal with. While it has never been properly explained, scientists have theorized it is an energy field generated by living things. Early man suspected its existence, yet remained in ignorance of its potential for millennia. Only certain individuals could recognize the force for what it was. They were mercilessly labeled: charlatans, fakers, mystics - and worse. Even fewer could make use of it. As it was usually beyond their primitive controls, it frequently was too powerful for them. They were misunderstood by their fellows - and worse."

Eugene, this is as good a description of what I experienced taking me over and guiding me; actually controlling me, in March of 1974 as I myself could write. Also, the character Luke hears the voice of the dead Jedi knight Kenobi, just as, when the plasmatic field which I call VALIS took me over I, too, heard a voice - that of my dead and resurrected leader, Jesus Christ. Whether George Lucas knows it or not, he in his film and novel is making the mystery of our religion real to literally millions of people, by using new names, new descriptions. I have no idea how conscious Lucas is, how deliberately he acted ... or whether he was acted upon by God in his writing, as I think we all are to some degree.
Well, I am very tired from my trip and must sign off. Please write again soon, and forgive me for having mislaid your recent letter.

With warm regards,
Phil Dick

P. S. To clarify - I have no doubt that it was the Holy Spirit, the Third Member of the Trinity, which took me over in a theolepsy in March of 1974, but in my notes and novel VALIS I am striving for new formulations, new and fresh ways of expressing what I believe to be the eternal truths, just as I did in MAZE OF DEATH and other earlier novels. As St. Augustine said, there is no end to the wonderful mystery of the Trinity; one can contemplate it for all eternity and yet not know it completely. I do think George Lucas has done something of sensational importance and value for man in STAR WARS: I honestly believe that the Word and Hand of God guided and informed him, whether Lucas is aware of it or not. What I myself have done is a mere tittle in comparison to what Lucas has done - and my audience is a tittle compared to the audience he is reaching, for which I also thank our God, and I realize that our God knows how to reach into the mass of mankind, that mass of mankind being secular now and drawn away from religion. Did I not show this in my own novel UBIK, where the intermediary personality of Glenn Runciter, who stands between man and God, promotes the Word Itself of Ubik to appear in the garbage and rubble and trash of TV commercials, and in vulgar ads in general? I foresaw - and saw - that the Word would come to us not so much down from above, now, in these secular days, but up, so to speak, from the gutter. STAR WARS confirms me. I am sure of this. God speaks to us from popular novels and films; here is a supreme example. Names and creeds and doctrines and dogmas and formulations are not important; what is important is the living Word. And it is that which Lucas depicts and describes in "the force," as he calls it. And people everywhere are responding.

(p. 101-103, The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick vol. 5)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

24 lögner i sekunden

Hans Isakssons film- och TV-analyser är antagligen de bästa av sitt slag i Sverige. I större mändger blir dock hans gammelsocialistiska driv ganska tröttande (han tackar Mao Zedong, av alla personer, i förordet). Men hans resonemang har den förtjänsten att de ofta är både träffande och djupgående, och även om man inte kan stämma in i allt, så skärps ens eget tänkande betydligt under och efter läsningen. Och han har gott om humor. Att det sociala bereds så mycket plats på bekostnad av billigt psykologiserande och filmtekniskt mumbojumbo är uppfriskande, åtminstone för någon som likt jag står oförstående inför de hantverksmässiga mysterierna och cineatisk terminologi, och främst tänker på film mer som gladiatorspel och lägereldsberättande.

Isaksson har alltså medvetenhetens fnask i korshåret. Höjdpunkter är bl a Om gangster på bio (en analys i samma anda som det inledande Bertold Brecht-citatet: "Den borgerliga kritikern har alltid haft svårt att se småborgaren i gangstern. Jag tror det kommer sig av att de har så svårt att se gangstern i småborgaren"), hyllningarna till Ken Loachs Raining Stones och Riff-raff ("De - vi - har blivit invandrare i eget samhälle, tillfälliga gäster i vad som bort vara det egna hemmet"), och Något om TV och idrott i vår tid, varur vi gärna plockar två intressant citat.
"Dåtidens överhet var mycket medveten om att man genom att organisera industrisamhällets spänningar och våldsutbrott, ge dem fasta regler och överföra dem i symbolhandlingar på för ändamålet färdigställda arenor skulle kunna förskaffa sig ett modernt motmedel mot upprorsstämningar bland massorna."

"Lagidrotter där, liksom i football, de naturliga avbrotten är talrika, t ex ishockey och baseboll, har haft lätt att TV-anpassa sig. En av orsakerna till att den europeiska fotbollen haft så svårt att slå igenom i USA uppges vara dess relativt långa spelsekvenser som försvårar marknadsanpassningen och verkar nerkylande på sponsorer."
Sammanfattningsvis: - Oavsett om det handlar om Kubrick, Bunuel, Schindler's List, Åsa-Nisse eller Leif Loket Olsson, är det mesta i 24 lögner i sekunden intressant och ytterst välskrivet. Den rekommenderas till alla som suttit framför dumburken någon gång eller kanske t o m har haft oturen att lurats med på bio.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Television, The War On Drugs, The Swedish System: Sofia Modigh makes a fool of herself on the idiot box

In my younger teens I remember watching television obsessively, with an almost religious devotion. The TV was on and I was in front of it, even when when there was nothing on it. Not so much these days. There is one next to my computer, not even plugged into the cable net. I use it with my laptop to watch movies, but that does not happens much anymore, either. Anyway, I spent some days in the hospital recently, and what is there to do there, when you do not really have a head to read? Well, you can watch television.

My brain still swimming against the blissful waves of highly addictive opiates pumped into my blood during surgery, I caught something about the drug situation in Europe. The main message was that cocaine is flooding the continent in an unprecedented way. They followed that with a debate between a British politician and a Swedish politician. Many things to comment, so I'll try not to rant and rave and break down some basic points.

(1) Not having watched television for some time I found it irritating not being able to control the speed and layout of the show. I missed links to relevant information, unable to deepen my knowledge and understadning of the subject. Why do people watch TV anyway? I mean, to me it just doesn't seem very practical.

(2) Cocaine is getting bigger. It is not exotic like it was ten years ago. A major argument for legalization (at least decriminilization) of cocaine is to make it less sexy. Cocaine, a lame and boring drug that turns the nicest human being into the greediest, most moronic and monstrous douchebag imaginable, a substance in no way a part of traditional European culture in the same way as alcohol, solely has its rock n' roll buzz as selling point. When the hipsters enter that bathroom no small part of their brain actually believe they become the Ziggy Stardust that goes up their nose. It's a punk rock, Miles Davis, Al Pacino-in-a-Giorgio-Moroder-soundtrack kind of trip, which would lose much of its appeal if the powder was supplied by Apoteket (the Swedish, government controlled pharmacy). At least it would take away the initiative from the cocaine cartels completely.

If you believe these statistics, the rock n' roll argument might also apply to cannabis. Talking with the Dutch youth while traveling through their country, I was struck with their relaxed and distinctively unromantic attitude towards the herb. In the US, the home of the drug scare, kids seem to think that ganja is the coolest thing ever. The normal teenager samples weed before alcohol, as a part of the ritual of coming of age. And stoner culture is damn close to being the norm.

(3) The debate centered around how the drug problem should be tackled. A British politician represented the policy of harm reduction, while Swedish politician Sofia Modigh dismissed The Netherlands' succesful policies, claiming that drug related deaths are difficult to measure, and that statistics relating them are irrelevant. Reading the 2008 Annual report: the state of the drugs problem in Europe, issued by The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, page 84 and onwards, you realize that determining if indeed the drug, the social situation, the mental health of the user, or something else was the lethal factor can be tricky, and that the statistics should be used with caution - but you also realize that they have tightened their policies a lot to make the data usable. In short, the figures are too reliable to be ignored, especially when page 86 shows that Sweden has twice as many people dying from drugs as The Netherlands, and that the report from 1995 shows the figure to be ten times as high.

(4) The biggest problem with The War On Drugs is that it is a war on people. Occasional ganja puffers, if caught with the substance, are branded as criminals, parasites, (it is also ironical to see how the police always targets people in poorer areas, rather than the brats and the yuppies in the VIP). The big problem with the negative social cycles connected to being convicted of drug crimes and the social branding and isolation that follows are not taken into account, instead we get new robots repeating the same absurdities, "a drug is a drug", "there is no difference between weed and heroin", "marijuana leads to heroin addiction". Instead of realizing that human beings always will want to get fucked up in the head, for one reason or the other, they dream about "A drug free society". They should shoot for something more realistic, like perhaps... "A dance free society".

If you use heroin you have probably tried cannabis, but that does not mean that cannabis leads to heroin use. That is not logical reasoning. If cannabis would not exist, people would still die from heroin (and school massacres would still happen even if Marilyn Manson never were born). Of course, poverty, social alienation and unemployment leads to heavy drug abuse in a much higher degree than weed. Politicians would never think of banning poverty though - especially if they are Christian Democrats like Sofia Modigh. It's easier to point the finger at weed smokers (and muslims, both being traditional scapegoats of modern society. Much more than islamist ideology, poverty leads to other forms of antisocial behavior such as throwing rocks on fire trucks. It is no coincidence that is always in the poorest areas that these kind of things occurs, as noted by Skumrask).

It is the worst kind of political correctness, more concerned with maintaining a shiny social façade than with human lives. It is not even funny. What is funny is that I am doing these 14-hour shifts wiping shit so I can pay her salary. That is black comedy.

(5) Swedes, especially politicians, tend to think that what is Swedish is superior. Not just with their PC, moralist, contra-productive drug policies that they seek to export to the rest of the European Union. We might also talk about an education system and a job market unable to assimilate the competence of educated immigrants. The Swedish system is going straight down the toilet. The Swedish ideology of tolerance and openness is painted upon one of the most close minded peoples of the world, upon a reality hidden from mainstream media but clearly felt by any foreigner trying to make her way into the Swedish society. Prejudice and discrimination are not evil ideas that needs to be "debated" and "enlightened" away, they have their roots in a social situation, in economics. Integrating peoples from all parts of the world into the Swedish monoculture is not an easy job, especially in this climate of ever more aggressive capitalism. All this liberal and left wing uptight political correctness is just in the way of real improvements. If you are afraid to offend people, how can you then tell the truth? And if we can't talk openly, how can we then make things better?
"This fucking Swedish people, so afraid of change,
terrifed of everything beyond their little frame
bullied by the Jantelag and fake communism.
Therefore I rather take risks and end up in prison,
than to get lost and swallowed by a socialistic system"

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song

Saw Sweetback the other day, and I swear to God in heaven that some of the opening sequences qualify for being the grooviest shit ever put on reel. If you got funk, you got style, obviously. It drags on and on in the end though; half an hour could have been left on the editing room floor without me complaining.

The balancing act between radical politics and advanced pimpology is marvelously executed, the characters are some of the heaviest dude you'll ever see, and the soundtrack is a haunting, off-key, rambling swamp funk monster - that later got caught in Madlib's SP 1200 on Come On Feet.

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song is worth checking out, both for entertainment value and the historical interest - but you might want to add some drink or smoke to the mix to take you through the slower parts.

Friday, May 08, 2009

I found the Matrix, and it's in Texas

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Última Parada 174

In Última Parada 174 Brazilian veteran director Bruno Baretto tackles the explosive tale of homeless Sandro who one day will take a bus full of people hostage in central Rio de Janeiro, a theme already explored in José Padilha's brilliant documentary Ônibus 174.

While far from as thrilling and orignal as recent Brazilian masterpieces City Of God or Padilha's Tropa de Elite, it's a well executed project and has some great scenes, including a very tense opening (and the actor that portrays Sandro looks like a young Will Smith, which is a bonus).

(Fresh Prince in Rio de Janeiro.)

You get a much clearer view of the social situation for the very poor in Padilha's documentary, but retelling the story here, in a more easily acessed format, focusing more on a traditional, character-driven structure, also fills a purpose. The story deserves retelling, not just the story about Sandro's path through poverty and crime and prison and cocaine to a violent but strangely communicative death, but the story about police that kills street kids like their were cock roaches (and the middle class that applauds them for doing so, the interviews with random people in the street about the Candelaria incident being the most shocking part in Padilha's documentary).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Metropia (animerad film)

Det här ser ganska intressant ut.

Kanske är det, som det görs i intervjun ovan, på något sätt relevant att tala om Walt Disney i det här sammanhanget.

Kanske är det här en bekräftelse på det som man misstänkte vid slutet på A Scanner Darkly: att det faktiskt görs betydande animerad film utanför Japan igen.