Since the US government hasn’t given us enough reasons to staple-gun a tin-foil hat permanently to our heads, the BBC recently revealed an ongoing project called SBInet (yes it was actually called that, because apparently the government takes its cues on what to name its projects from 90′s movies about the internet):

A third-party observes the scene in silence: an army of electronic sensors acting as watch guard in a place where the arm of the law would not otherwise reach. One false move and what seems like simple rocks and stones spring into life, sending alarm signals to a nearby tower. In a matter of seconds radar and infra-red cameras sweep the area in search of intruders.Information travels in microwaves to a control room and human patrol men are sent co-ordinates and images to let them detect whether the subject is armed.

No this is not some excerpt from a Phillip K Dick novel. This is a project in which George W. Bush’s administration gave the go-ahead to use Arizona as a testing ground for a “virtual fence”. This project’s purpose was to install almost 2000 miles of surveillance technology along the border. In order to reach this goal the US government purchased 7,500 tiny, solar powered sensors between 2003 and 2007 to create a movement detection perimeter known as Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS). In addition to these censors they also purchased watchtowers with infra-red radars and optical sensors. On top of that Homeland Security purchased unmanned drone aircrafts capable of detecting people and vehicles from a height of almost 20,000 ft and ominously referred to as “desert phantoms” to patrol the skies over Arizona, Florida, Texas and North Dakota. These bad boys were fitted with radar, seven video cameras, an infra-red sensor and a powerful zoom. Because $180 million on planes wasn’t enough money to burn on aircrafts they were also looking into testing self-controlled surveillance blimps equipped with cameras, known as “floating eyes.”

We all know how well that’d probably turn out.

So how much of this supposed 2000 miles ended up actually being viable? 50. freaking. miles. And how much did it cost? 1 Billion dollars, of course. This for something that can’t tell the difference between a tree and a person.  And it was supposed to be in complete working order by 2011, yes this year. Luckily for a few drug traffickers and arms dealers (but mostly people coming to this country to live a shit life of cleaning toilets and picking tomatos in 100 degree weather) it turned out the wall was a technological nightmare.

And best believe this isn’t the first time they tried this. They also tried the same thing in 1998 and 2005, and these attempts also failed. You’d think three times would be enough to let the government know this is a shit project, but despite the three failed attempts, the US government is ready to try for a fourth, with plans to invest another $750m into a project called “lntegrated Fixed Towers” aka “Operation Fix the Shit We Haven’t Been Able to Get Working the First Four Times Around.” The Department of Homeland Security’s natural response to these failures  has been to invite private companies to bid on building six new radar and camera-equipped towers, to be installed by 2020. Government throwing money at failing projects  with companies in which they currently, or inevitably will have future financial engagements with? Surprise Surprise.

Here’s an idea! Why doesn’t Homeland Security just hire a private contractor to build a giant magnifying glass and point it towards a huge stack of tax-payer’s money. Once the money is engulfed in flames they can laugh maniacally and light their cigars on it. They then can hire yet another contractor to clean up the ashes that remain. That would probably be a better use of government funds.

 

GOOSEBUMPS “SCARED TO SEE A DOCTOR” RECORD RELEASE SHOW AT 538 JOHNSON (FULL SETS FROM GOOSEBUMPS, AJAX, MERCENARY, LIBYANS, AND LA MISMA)

Like an episode of Jerry Springer, but with more fireworks.

FIGHT CLUB: THE BEST OF FRIDAY NIGHT THROWDOWN

Following the news of Throwdown’s return at SXSW this year with a Texas vs. NYC event, it seems only appropriate to take a look back at the history of Friday Night Throwdown, and the coverage we’ve had of it here on Superchief over the years. For the uninitiated; Friday Night Throwdown wasn’t just NYC’s best underground boxing event, it was NYC’s best underground party.

TEXAS VS. NYC: THROWDOWN RETURNS AT SXSW THIS YEAR

The organization that brought Ford models, Marines and Bloods together for New York’s best underground party is bringing their business to Austin, and bringing with them a Texas vs. NYC event…and Superchief will be covering the whole thing, from start to finish.

THIS APRIL: SUPERCHIEF GALLERY NYC PRESENTS JOHN FELIX ARNOLD III’S “EXCORRIGIA | THE SCOURGE”

From the world of UNSTOPPABLE TOMORROW, Superchief Gallery NYC returns this spring with John Felix Arnold III’s EXCORRIGIA | THE SCOURGE, an exhibition of new works in painting, drawing, mixed media, installation, and sound. The exhibition will run from April 3 through April 13, and there will be an opening reception on Thursday, April 3 from 6-10pm at CultureFix on 9 Clinton Street.

HIGH ON HUNGER: JANE CHARDIET

“High on Hunger” is Jane Chardiet’s new zine, featuring personal essay, photography and interviews with 12 artists, including some of our favorites, about their 2013 and their artistic goals in the new year, along with photographs of each licking fire. It’s good stuff, so I asked Jane about her 2013, because turnabout’s fair play and that’s how the game works.

12 O’ CLOCK BOYS (BALTIMORE STREETBIKE REALNESS)

Whatever your city is doing, what the homies out in B-More are doing is 10x as crazy. 12 O’ Clock Boys is one of the hardest movies we’ve seen in a long time, hands down, exploring a city and a culture that just doesn’t give a fuck (and featuring Baltimore himies like Schwarz on the soundtrack) the film gets more done in it’s 75 minutes than most documentaries do in twice that.

TAPE BAG #1: I HAVEN’T GOTTEN OFF MY COUCH IN DAYS.

Talking shit on random tapes cuz I wanna. Round one: Mongrel, Skinny Puppy, Madonna, Gowanus Mutant Kommandos, Temple of the Dog and MORE.

R.I.P RICKY LUANDA OF CHAIN GANG

Ricky Luanda of the experimental NYC punk band Chain Gang, one of the coolest bands ever, passed away earlier this week from esophogeal cancer. Watch 10 minutes of the bands’ rare, legendary, batshit crazy 1980′s film “MONDO MANHATTAN” right here.

ALWAYS KEEP THE CAMERA RUNNING: MAKS SUSKI’S VIDEOS OF THE NYC MUSIC SCENE

Maks Suski has been hard at work documenting live music in NYC on video for the last 4 years; we asked him to compile a list of some of his favorite videos that he’s shot, a list that includes Japanther, Action Bronson, Death Grips, Culo, Crystal Castles, Limp Wrist, Black Pus and more.

THERE IS A TINY LEG A QUARTER OF AN INCH BELOW YOUR TENTH RIB.

“Although Tiny Leg’s sound owes much of it’s inspiration to the Oakland glucose and thumbtrack scenes of the mid-nineties, and has been called by HotFridge magazine ‘a thumbcore homage to the sound of Velvet Curtis and Taco’ and ‘a slick-stale, neo-juicy, post-hipster alchemy, somewhere in between gluke-wave and puke-base’ by PeckerwoodsToday, those sentences are too journalistic and not souague enough, if one may permit my french.”

DAWN OF HUMANS, HANK WOOD & THE HAMMERHEADS, AND PHARMAKON PLAYED PS1 SATURDAY NIGHT (FULL SETS)

PUNK NOT ART NOISE NOT MUSIC ACK ACK ACK ACK

TOD SEELIE’S “BRIGHT NIGHTS” BOOK RELEASE & PHOTO SHOW AT SUPERCHIEF GALLERY AT CULTUREFIX (VIDEO)

Tod Seelie’s book release and photo show at Superchief Gallery at CultureFix was a celebration of the last 15 years of New York’s underground, for sure; but it also kept an eye on the future.

FUCKED UP CLOSED OUT 285 KENT’S LAST SHOW (FULL SET)

285 Kent finished it’s run last Sunday night; check out full video of Fucked Up’s headlining set right here.

SUPERCHIEF GALLERY AT MIAMI ART BASEL 2013: WILL SMITH CAN SUCK IT.

Superchief Gallery’s showing at Select Fair 2013 is even bigger, better and more batshit crazy than our 2012 showing was – check out photos here, and for homies in Miami, we’ll be at the Catalina Hotel all this week!

STACY KRANITZ’S SKATOPIA (50+ Photos From a Burnout’s Paradise)

Photographer Stacy Kranitz recently journeyed to Skatopia, a famed 88 acre skate park/commune in Ohio which was founded in 1995, documented in the 2010 film of the same name, and once described by writer Kevin Duffel as “a demented mess that meets halfway between an anarchistic Mad Maxian Thunderdome and a utopian skateboard society.” Goddamn if it isn’t one of the best things we’ve ever seen.