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Weekly Wide Web

Remix Culture

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Thanks to the Internet, many people are no longer making building blocks themselves—but are instead rearranging them.

Remixing came to fruition in 1980s hip-hop, as artists would routinely take a small bit of another song for use in something completely different.

The first notable dispute in music arose between the band Queen and Vanilla Ice over the use of a baseline sample, resulting in an argument that amounted to a difference between dum-bada-dum-bada-DUM-dum and dum-bada-dum-bada-dum-DUM.

YouTube is full of videos that recut and reframe serious or unrelated clips into something humorous. TucsonWeeklyTV entered that game with the YouTube video Arizona Politicians: The Unfair Edit, in which we chopped up snippets of speeches and sound bites to make local politicos say something very different than they intended.

The world of high art saw something of a remix when pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein took things like Campbell's soup cans and comic strips and re-contextualized them into items you'd see in a museum. Books aren't immune to remixing, either; it's not uncommon to find a couple of zombies or androids thrown into Jane Austen or Tolstoy.

At heart, the remix is more of a re-contextualization. Fitting into the loosest definition of the term, the small bit of JavaScript found at the site erkie.github.com combines the arcade-shooter Asteroids with the webpage that you happen to be looking at. Who knew blowing away Web ads could be so much fun?


THE WEEK ON THE RANGE

We shared the news that both political stats wizard Nate Silver and the Cook Political Report say the race between Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Republican challenger Jesse Kelly was tightening; mentioned that Politico was reporting that Republican challenger Ruth McClung was closing in on Democratic Congressman Raúl Grijalva; broke the news of Giffords' $700K campaign haul in the third quarter (and later let you know that Kelly had raised $535K in the same period); and shared new TV campaign commercials from the Giffords and McClung campaigns.

We brought you a dispatch from the Tucson Tea Party, where Sen. John McCain got so wound up that he ended up shouting: "No one needs their taxes cut!"; linked to a Vanity Fair profile of McCain that noted: "It's possible to see McCain's entire career as the story of a man who has lived in the moment, who has never stood for any overriding philosophy in any consistent way, and who has been willing to do all that it takes to get whatever it is he wants"; and told you about the campaign theme song of Margaret DiFrank, who hopes to unseat Clerk of the Superior Court Patti Noland.

We told you that Kitabu, a lion at the Reid Park Zoo, passed away; let you know that Janos Wilder will be opening DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails on Monday, Oct. 18; and gave you a heads-up about the reopening of La Cocina at downtown's Old Town Artisans.

We previewed the Rialto Theatre's 90th birthday party (and we wish them many happy returns!); mentioned a number of local authors who have new books on the market; shared photos by UA students Ziniu Chen and Joshua Morgan; and posted samples of Kenneth Armstrong's bike art.


COMMENT OF THE WEEK

"Your call on Prop 107 is right on! Well done! This truly relates to me. I have a desire to start as a center for the Phoenix Suns. Well, I'm only 6 foot tall, and I can't really shoot outside very well, or inside, for that matter. My board attack is pretty weak, too. Oh yeah, and my ball handling skills are atrocious. In fact, I would be one of the last picked in a pick-up game. But hey, what's all this about "merit" anyways? I WANT to be a center, so if I whine often and loud enough, shouldn't the Suns organization be FORCED to employ me? Why should I be penalized because my mom made me come home at night and study, while the junior gang-bangers were spending all night playing hoops? Merit schmerit. Gimme gimme. I'm entitled!"

TucsonWeekly.com user "BillNelsonAz," in response to our 2010 endorsements, including our "no" stance on Proposition 107, which would ban affirmative-action programs in the state.


BEST OF WWW

If you picked up last week's issue of the Weekly, you probably noticed the special Pride section. On TucsonWeeklyTV.com, you can see how Pride on Parade turned out, with a video recap of the parade and some of the other goings-on during the LGBT event.

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