Doug Kellner on 13 Nov 2000 21:55:31 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] smoking gun with the gun

opps, forgot to enclose TIMES article=

Gore camp demands FBI inquiry


THE FBI is being asked to investigate how thousands of mainly black
supporters of Al Gore were given ballot papers that had allegedly already
been marked for rival candidates.
Yesterday Democrat officials were examining claims that up to 17,000 ballot
papers in the Miami area had been tampered with in what they described as
"organised corruption". Lawyers from across the United States descended on
Miami and were busy taking statements from those complaining that they had
been cheated or intimidated out of voting for Mr Gore.

A senior Democrat official in Miami, who has hired a team of 20
investigators to carry out an inquiry, told The Times: "Until now in
Florida, we have been arguing foul-ups, human error and stupidity. But this
is deliberate corruption to spoil votes for Gore and that must be a matter
for the FBI.

"We don't want to be seen as playing the race card here, but the areas where
this happened are in poorer precincts, which are predominantly black areas
that would be expected to vote almost unanimously for Vice-President Gore.
We are not accusing the Republican Party or any other ethnic groups for
being behind this. All we are saying is the vote was corrupted. There are
just too many double-punched papers."

Jewish leaders in staunch Democrat areas of the city claimed that they, too,
had evidence of voting slips being marked before they reached polling
stations in areas populated by retired Jewish couples. At a rally in a Miami
synagogue, Lisa Versaci, Florida director of People for the American Way,
said: "There can be no innocent explanation for a pre-punched ballot sheet."

Republican leaders in Miami dismissed the allegations as "dirty-trick
 claims". A spokesman said: "A spoiled ballot is not uncommon. There is no
dark plot here."

Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Ltd. This service is provided on Times
Newspapers' standard terms and conditions. To inquire about a licence to
reproduce material from The Times, visit the Syndication website.

World News

November 13, 2000

Douglas Kellner
Graduate School of Education
Moore Hall Mailbox 951521
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Fax: 310 206-6293
Phone: 310 825-0977

----- Original Message -----
From: "Benjamin Geer" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2000 1:16 PM
Subject: <nettime> Video games and collective fears

> Yesterday, not having played any video games for many years, I downloaded
> the arcade game emulator, MAME, and the original ROMs of several games
> that I fondly remember playing in the U.S. in the early 1980s: Battlezone,
> Tempest, Joust, Xevious, Tron, Star Wars, Major Havoc.  It was eerie
> seeing and hearing them again.  After all those years, I still remembered
> details of the terrain in Xevious.  I felt as if I was 13 years old again.
> It struck me that my adolescence coincided with the advent of video games,
> and their early period of creative ingenuity using very limited
> technology.  I have mixed feelings about them.  They were a much-needed
> escape for teenagers who wanted desperately to get away from the real
> world, which we found cold and hostile.  That may be part of the reason
> why, although they're all war games, they're sufficiently abstract so that
> the violence isn't disturbing.  Perhaps this came back to haunt us during
> the Gulf War, when television showed us real bombings as if they were a
> video game.  At the same time, the early video games definitely fed on
> real anxiety and frustration.  Missile Command, from 1979, brings back
> vividly the everyday dread of nuclear war.  Video games, as computerised
> objects, offered us the opportunity to try to control, symbolically, the
> computer technology that were were afraid was going to control us.  The
> hint of political rebellion in the Star Wars game was tantalising: I
> remember my intense desire to belong to a "Rebel Force" (a mixture of
> medieval chivalry and a dash of proto-Marxism) and overthrow the
> establishment.  But playing all these games again, I was struck by the way
> they're all variations on the same theme: you're being attacked, your
> attackers get increasingly numerous and fierce, your anxiety increases
> because you're less and less able to fend them off, and finally you get
> killed.  That probably reflects pretty accurately how a lot of Americans
> felt about their relationship to the world in the 1980s: overwhelmed and
> unable to cope.  It also struck me that, in order to learn how to play
> these games, you have to die many times.  In Major Havoc, from 1984, you
> have to engage in a series of suicidal experiments in order to learn the
> exact procedure for getting through each level.  Of course, this was meant
> to get you to spend as much money as possible while playing.  But I think
> it also expresses a fear that we all had: whatever you do, something you
> can't anticipate will be lurking around the corner, and it will get you.
> The cards are stacked against you.  I suspect that this collective
> experience hasn't changed much in the past 20 years.  Even with the
> emulator, which lets me give myself as many lives as I want, I still feel
> the same anxiety.
> I stopped playing video games when they started to be about bloody
> hand-to-hand combat.  I couldn't relate to them anymore.  Did they start
> tapping into different emotions?  Or just express them differently?
> --
> Benjamin Geer
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