Tuesday: Allez Vous F

J’adore Stromae. I’m not in the hip hop demographic, but Stromae — whose real name is Paul Van Haver — pulls me in. This multi-talented artist born to a Rwandan father and a Belgian mother pulls together multiple genres of music laced with compelling au courant lyrics presented with stunning visual effects — how could I not love him?

This particular song, Papatouai, has a strong psychic undertow. This song asks where Papa is; the lyrics and video suggest an emotionally or physically distant father. Van Haver’s own father was killed in the Rwandan genocide when he was not yet ten years old. Is this song about his own father, or about inaccessible fathers in general? The use of older African jazz rhythms emphasizes retrospection suggesting a look backward rather than forward for the missing father figure(s). More than a third of a billion views for this video say something important about its themes.

Much of Stromae’s work is strongly political, but it conveys the difficulty of youth who are multi-racial/multi-ethnic unsatisfied with the binaries and economic injustices forced on them by oldsters. A favorite among kids I know is AVF (Allez Vous Faire):

“Allez vous faire!”
Toujours les mêmes discours, toujours les mêmes airs,
Hollande, Belgique, France austère.
Gauches, ou libéraux, avant-centres ou centristes,
Ça m’est égal, tous aussi démagos que des artistes.


Go fuck yourselves!
Always the same words, always the same airs.
Holland, Belgium, France, austere.
Right or Left? Moderate or Extremist?
They’re all the same to me – the demagogues and the artists.

Remarquable et pertinent, non? I’m also crazy about Tous Les Mêmes, a trans- and cis-feminist song with a marvelous old school Latin beat simmering with frustration. But there’s not much I don’t like by Stromae; I can’t name a song I wouldn’t listen to again and again.

If you’re ready for more Stromae, try his concert recorded in Montreal this past winter. So good.

Expedition to the Cyber Pass

  • UK wireless firm O2 customer data breached and sold (BBC) — O2 customers who were gamers at XSplit had their O2 account data stolen. The approach used, credential stuffing, relies on users who employ the same password at multiple sites. Wonder how Verizon’s recent hiring of O2’s CEO Ronan Dunne will play out during the integration of Yahoo into Verizon’s corporate fold, given Verizon’s data breach? Will Dunne insist on mandatory 2FA policy and insure Verizon and Yahoo accounts can’t use the same passwords?
  • Speaking of Yahoo: 200 million credentials for sale (Motherboard) — Yahoo’s Tumblr had already been involved in a massive breach, now there’s Yahoo accounts available on the dark web. Given the Verizon breach already mentioned, it’s just a matter of time before these accounts are cross-matched for criminal use.
  • Oracle’s not-so-good-very-bad-too-many 276 vulnerabilities patched (Threatpost) — Whew. Two. Hundred. Seventy. Six. That’s a lot of risk. Good they’re all patched, but wow, how did Oracle end up with so many to begin with? Some of them are in products once owned by Sun Microsystems, including Java. Maybe Oracle ought to rethink Java’s licensing and work with the software community to develop a better approach to patching Java?
  • F-35 ready, says USAF — kind of (Bloomberg) — Massively expensive combat jet now up for ‘limited combat use’, except…

    The initial aircraft won’t have all the electronic combat, data fusion, weapons capacity or automated maintenance and diagnostics capabilities until the most advanced version of its complex software is fielded by 2018.

    Uh, what the hell did we spend a gazillion-plus bucks on if we don’t have aircraft with competitive working electronics?

Light load today, busy here between getting youngest ready for college and primary day in Michigan. YES, YOU, MICHIGANDER, GO VOTE IN THE PRIMARY! Polls close at 8:00 p.m. EDT, you still have time — check your party for write-in candidates. You can check your registration, precinct, ballot at this MI-SOS link.

The rest of you: check your own state’s primary date and registration deadlines. Scoot!

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
18 replies
  1. rugger9 says:

    The French, they have a different word for everything! (Steve Martin).
    *
    Only 276? Wow, and having been hit by several data breaches, being a Luddite sounds better all of the time, except that the world will not go there. I also recall the 1MDB scandal that could have been worse, because a spelling error stopped a transaction that would have blithely gone through for many billions of dollars on a central bank or two. Given the amount of spam and “paypal alerts” and Nigerian scams already making the rounds, perhaps it is time that class actions go after those who collect, and sell our data (without our permission in many cases, or an ability to opt-out) but cannot be bothered to protect the data they have or even to ensure it’s right. Get your free copy of your credit report (1 per year from each agency, all you have to do is ask) and see what’s been fouled up by others.
    *
    The F-35 is the kind of project that bugs me, because these are going to be used by our airmen and by soldiers (ground support) and we already have better planes to do its jobs. Service folk are going to get killed to line the pockets of contractor executives (think Halliburton’s electrocution showers lining Cheney’s pockets) and that pisses me off as a Cold War vet on a fundamental level. Our troops need weapons that work and are better than our adversaries, because they have the numbers and we need the technology to overcome that gap.
    *
    This is even before one realizes just how much is outsourced to PRC firms because they are cheaper, I for one would not be surprised if a few back doors are placed into the programming to disrupt the weapons at just the right time.

  2. rugger9 says:

    OT, but too weird to pass up, did anyone else see the misguided vet hand over his Purple Heart to Trump, saying he had faith in Donald? Now a vet can pass a PH to whoever he likes but Trump’s answer was that he always wanted one. Well, Donald, go get your own if that’s your attitude. Donald, it’s not a collectible to be sold on EBay when your cash runs low. If it were me, I’d thank the vet for his belief and remind him that the PH is one of those medals that are earned in very hard ways and he should keep it for that reason, because he earned one. I’d be happy with the thought.

    • Procopius says:

      I was very lucky to not earn a purple heart, but I spent my time in Vietnam. You won’t hear too many guys like me. I was in a relatively safe area (Pleiku) and was a Personnel Sergeant in a Signal Battalion. I think we had two combat fatalities and three suicides in the eighteen months I was there. Amazing how many guys I meet who were Green Berets or LRRPs. Anyway, the medal is just a piece of material. It doesn’t have magical powers, or anything. I got the Good Conduct Medal, which some guys don’t. I think I can understand the thinking of the vet who gave his to Trump. He appreciated being appreciated, and that’s in his past now, and it’s not something he’s going to sit down and tell his grandkids about. He really doesn’t need the medal any more. Of course I could be wrong. I really don’t understand Trump supporters.

  3. rugger9 says:

    Obama is still all-in on TPP, but for me the deal breaker is the ISDS which is a sovereignty sellout. Trump is right about this agreement, as was Bernie, and HRC also says no now. Would anyone care to speculate whether the post-election lame duck Senate will approve this with the GAS factor that will be present?

    • John Casper says:

      Agree about ISDS.
      .
      Hope we can find, “common ground,” with wayoutwest and bevin.
      .
      David Dayen @ddayen is excellent on, “NAFTA on steroids,” aka T-PP. IIRC, he says the fight is in the House. We need the, “wingnuts,” in the “Freedom Caucus,” and progressive Dems to block.
      .
      Excellent question on the lameduck.

  4. bloopie2 says:

    “Expedition to the Cyber Pass” Love that !!!.
    .
    Here’s yet another hack—a doctor’s group in Ohio, pretty much everything on their patients was taken and dumped onto the Internet. As the article says, “Another day, another hack”.
    .
    https://motherboard.vice.com/read/hacker-dumps-sensitive-patient-data-from-ohio-urology-clinics
    .
    P.S.: How big is the Internet? This one was a 150GB dump—will it ever fill up? Will we then need to cart everything out into the ocean and dump it there? Or maybe New Jersey? Or, as Trump says, the “rotting” Rust Belt?

  5. bloopie2 says:

    To the US Attorneys who refuse to comment on why they are slashing the PG&E fine to almost nothing. You work for us. Get it? You Work For Us. Tell us what you are doing in our name, and why.

  6. Rayne says:

    bloopie2 (6:28) — 150GB is nothing, just a little over the amount in an older PC hard drive. The problem is what’s in that 150GB — like records of persons who’ve sex reassignments, diminished sexual capacity, so on, which can be used to blackmail people. Awful.

  7. Jessica Sager says:

    “Uh, what the hell did we spend a gazillion-plus bucks on if we don’t have aircraft with competitive working electronics?”

    Jobs in enough districts to keep congress in the pocket of the defense industry.

    • jo6pac says:

      Yep every distract and Canada just back down. The contract to little lobbyist to so-called congress members that are selling the sheeple the message just do it to get reelected to the greatest con-game ever. Party down f-35 contractors bought paid for merchants of death. Then the lame stream press feeds the sheeple why do they hate us.

      Dinner and whine

  8. bevin says:

    Interesting news from the WSJ and other media:
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/three-more-democratic-national-committee-officials-resign-in-wake-of-email-leak-1470164138

    The RT story contains these fascinating little factoids which reveal once again-what so many of know well- that it is a small world. And it gets smaller as you approach the centres of power:
    “….. “Another email, dated May 16, 2016, brings up an event headlined by Dacey and White House political advisor David Simas, and discusses using the offices of Hogan Lovells LLP as the venue. The mega-firm anchored in Washington, DC and London has represented Saudi Arabia in the US and has a long history of involvement with the Clintons.

    “From 2000 to 2007, known then as Hogan & Hartson, the firm also employed Khizr Khan, a Pakistani-American whose criticism of Trump at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last week touched off a media firestorm about Trump’s “disrespect” for Gold Star families. Another former employee was the current Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

    “Before joining the DNC, Dacey was the executive director of Emily’s List, a group dedicated to electing female Democrats. She has already landed on her feet, taking a job at Squared Communications, a Democratic consulting firm based in Washington, DC….”

    https://www.rt.com/usa/354407-dnc-staff-purge-emails/

    The connection between Dacey, Lynch and Khan and Saudi Arabia was new to me.

    • wayoutwest says:

      The problem with this type of news is that the true believers can’t digest it and process it as noise to be ignored. Your use of RT as a source just reaffirms their fantasy about Putin manipulating our sacred election process.

      I tried to have some compassion for the Khans beyond the loss of their son thinking they were being used by the Clintons but the fact that Papa Kahn has been a Clintonite player and insider for years and his mercantile interests in importing rich Gulf Muslims means he is fair game, just another Clintonite.

  9. Rayne says:

    Jessica Sager (7:30) — It’d have been far more effective to fund economic development, education+training, extended unemployment benefits in those districts directly to people who needed it. Instead some of the MIC and certain members of Congress have lined their offshore featherbeds. /choir-preaching.

    wayoutwest (10:57) — My stepson served in Iraq, came back permanently disabled. We were horrified that he was stop-lossed and retained to serve under Bush in an illegitimate war, but we hoped for the best, and this is it, his permanent disability. And I’ve been a Dem supporter for decades (though I don’t think much of the Clintons) . Having been through all that emotional upheaval, having felt just as the Khans did about their son — serve your country honorably and come back not a hero — your bullshit slagging on Khans makes me want to puke.

    I can’t even imagine the crap the Khans have been through because they are Muslim, on top of losing their beloved son to a cause they surely knew was illegitimate. Were I in their position, attacked by Trump along with everyone else who was likewise a Muslim American, I’d have taken the podium, too, to tell Trump he’s a Nazi douchebag. Thank the stars the Khans had that chance, because that speech may be the single tide-turning event against the election of an American Nazi president with unilateral powers assured by his recent predecessors.

    We all get you don’t like Clinton. You want to keep her in check? Vote for the Congressional obstructionists who kept Obama under control and enjoy your next two-to-four years of stasis.

    • wayoutwest says:

      Your reflexive defense of Mr Kahn illustrates clearly the indigestion I was referring to in my earlier comment. Is Bevin’s reporting the facts about Kahn’s vested interests in maintaining his government access through the Clintons what you call slagging? His lucrative business helping wealthy Gulf Muslims with EB5 visas would be harmed by Trump’s proposed restriction on Muslims entering the US until background and screening systems are improved but that is not a constitutional issue nor is it an attack on American Muslims as the Clintonite spinmeisters would like them to believe.

      People should continue to have compassion for any parents who have lost a son but that isn’t a shield to use to deflect criticism of their confused political ranting especially when they are standing with the politician who helped to send their son to his death and has never apologized for the deaths and destruction that decision produced.

      The Clintonites are showing their panic when they drag an emotional ringer such as the Kahns onto the political stage to behave as attack dogs against Trump but their dirty tricks and warped spin only seem to work on the true believers who will not decide this election. Their last ankle-biter little Liz Warren was easily dispatched by Trump with two words , goofy Indian, one a fact and the other her lie.

      • John Casper says:

        “Your reflexive,” attack, “of Mr Kahn illustrates clearly the indigestion,” you were, “referring to in,” in your, “earlier comment.”

        You wrote, “people should continue to have compassion for any parents who have lost a son…”
        .
        Thank you, Captain Obvious.
        .
        43. Are you a pacifist?
        .
        43.1 Are you paid by the word?

      • John Casper says:

        You wrote, “His lucrative business helping wealthy Gulf Muslims with EB5 visas …”
        .
        43.2 Are you opposed to Trump’s plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico?
        .
        43.3 Are you opposed to barriers to immigration?

  10. omphaloscepsis says:

    @Rayne (12:50):

    The military has been very careful since Vietnam to avoid showing the bodies coming back from wars all over the globe.

    They’ve gone to even greater lengths to keep the press under their control. Recall the pompous Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. at the podium, saying belligerently, “It’s on schedule and going according to plan.”

    They make wars seem as antiseptic as possible. A smattering of minor unpleasantness, nothing more.

    People like Beth Daponte, Cindy Sheehan, Mary Tillman, and so many more have tried to push back, with little success.

    The jingoists give us memes like “hero” and “thank you for your service” as a form of mind control.

    Smedley Butler said it most succinctly.

    https://archive.org/details/WarIsARacket

  11. Rayne says:

    omphaloscepsis (5:05) — Wow. Like I didn’t know any of that, mister. Somebody must have slapped a sign on my back that reads “NOOB.”

    Procopius (9:39) — It says something that most of the guys my stepson has seen during therapy are Vietnam vets, in spite of the number of recent vets in Iraq and Afghanistan, though it may reflect more directly on the draft then versus voluntary service now. Vietnam is still a hidden scar for this country and we’ve done too little to address it.

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