31 May 2010

Being Blogged About

From the PU desk

In the recent weeks I have had many mentions here how, first I was writing a story and then later how it was uploaded online. I am very happy that while I had no intentions to draw a picture prettier than what exists, but rather to try to understand the realities as they are, the article was met with open minds by its subjects. I think that’s a positive testimony to their own attitudes in the industry. Perhaps someone less confident could’ve seen the realism as a disrespect. That’s the kind of world we live in, but the reason why I am writing now is to shamelessly plug the kind words Damian wrote on Pioneer Unit blog. I appreciate.

If you found this blog from the Pioneer Unit site; welcome, have a look around by all means.

Lastly, that EP; it sounds heavy – take it from the earwitness.

Tomorrow's History Happens Today So Don't Wait.


“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Not my words, but the ones of Søren Kierkegaard, and while our understanding can often only be described as backwards, he, no doubt, meant as in retrospect.

As a general rule after various events have taken place and we have gained a comfortable distance to them, we are able to take a stand and clearly show who and what do we lend our support to. In retrospect every one always loved Nelson Mandela and were against apartheid; no South African voter certainly seems to have voted for it (it still baffles me how it survived for so long with no supporters); no one supported Hitler either, and during his time there were no anti-Semitism in allied countries, and nor were there anybody who would have wanted to drop the bombs on those two unfortunate Japanese cities.

It makes sense – perhaps it is the distance in time or just the new zeitgeist; the consensus that what took place was morally wrong although perhaps at the time it was too difficult to admit and too comfortable not to.

We as a people are brave to stand up for things in history that have already happened and for which our stand has no impact on. At the time events unravelled, the jury was still out and none of us had the courage to speak out. Add Rwanda to this list. Darfur. Palestine.

Right now the independent aid ships aiming at Gaza with, at least as it has been covered in the news, humanitarian aid and activists – some of them famous and some less so – have been attacked by the Israel Defence Forces on the international waters and the death toll is, last time I checked at least fifteen people with many more injured. This is not the first time, of course, that in the conflict between Israel and Palestine the non-citizens of these specific places are targeted and in the last all out major conflict (not to undermine the ongoing activities) even the Red Cross Hospital was bombed, although allegedly this was an accident. Here, the power-relationship is such that with the ongoing support from the so called west the economy of this conflict is like Chelsea playing serious match of football against kids on the street.

A little bit of me feels bad about taking this topic up now, when the victims are foreigners when locally there has been casualties in only too generous measure. A lot of me, however, feels that regardless of the details of timing, this isn’t how it makes me look like, but about the fact that whatever the facts are, there is a problem. There is a problem now, and should we follow our human tradition we let the historians to decide what was right and wrong and then place our support accordingly, but that is not how the world works; once we know undeniably who was wrong and who was right, even if it ever should happen, we are not able to return in time and start picketing. I myself am always a bit sceptical about all the information that comes from all sides, because there are too many people who have their own agenda; how could they not, but to let this cloud our own judgement would be also wrong.

Noam Chomsky, in his Hegemony or Survival suggests that we have still two super-powers left in the world. Instead of the old cold war setting they are United States and the Public Opinion.

We are that public. We are also that market that drives the media’s behaviour. We are the voters that supposedly in democracy are being asked. It’s us. It is our inaction or increased interest in the colour of candidates tie, instead of their thoughts on Palestine that inform our occasional opportunity to impact. Don’t blame anyone else on that.

Perhaps we must rethink our role and our stance. I am not here saying what you should think or feel, but rather only that perhaps you should think something. As far as I understand the situation, it is complicated – sure – but that doesn’t justify the actions that currently taken by the state of Israel. ‘The army with a state,’ as that same Chomsky book had quoted, was built on the principles of one group of people over the other. Placing people on someone else’s place, misplacing them is not a good placement of people. And it isn’t the first occurrence of this either. Perhaps unusual book recommendation here, but you can read from Hugh Masakela’s Still Grazin’ how horribly wrong this had gone in Liberia.

Religion provides little clarity and a lot of confusion. It’s more of a tag on people. Israel is a Jewish state and Palestinians are predominantly, although not exclusively, Moslems, but perhaps it is important for us to attempt to set aside our personal religious affiliations and their perceived opposites, and view this thing outside of any religious set-up. It isn’t a match of football where you have an emotional tie with one team over another. If religion continues to be in the centre of this – and I don’t think for a moment it actually is – then the people will never see eye-to-eye. Perhaps opposing Israeli military actions against Palestinians isn’t anti-Semitism by default.

Of course many anti-Semites are jumping on the bandwagon, which then provides the supporters of the Israeli actions, if only in their own opinion, some justification for the harsh measures, but the same happens with Islamophobes as well. Here the agenda is different. These motives can be acknowledged as they pop up, but there will not be much clarity for the major concerns unless we let go of the religious definition. Just like in Belfast there is religion at play, but it isn’t the root cause, and to claim it is, is simplification of the matter, except instead simplifying, it actually complicates it to no end.

Having lived in South Africa for a few years, and following its post-apartheid struggle for a respectful society, I’ve seen many things that don’t add up; the beneficiaries of the old system seem often confident that they were its victims and also oppressed, which arguably also might have a small truth in it – they were subjected to heavy brainwashing campaigns and propaganda – but is in conflict with the other prominent claim of having participated in the struggle against it. Globally it is the same – everyone is talking about how international pressure got Mandela out of prison, but how come it took nearly 30 years if everyone always was up in arms against it? They weren’t. We weren’t. Towards the end many were, but for the first decades most of us didn’t mind even if we were aware. Now it is very fashionable to say that we were there supporting the cause and the icon, but that shouldn’t be confused with actually taking any action. And by that action, in this current situation that is happening now as I type, I mean, find out what your candidate thinks of these things, vote with your wallet when you are shopping, participate in demonstration, support media that makes sense and find out facts that you trust and make up your mind. Or don’t. But if you decide not to, remember that it is the final insult to the long suffering people when you pledge your support for their past struggles when it no longer matters.

29 May 2010

Examination time

Okay, my school wasn't quite like this, but it still is how exams make me feel. Or made until this week. Perhaps it was due time to rethink them.

I am nearly done with my studies for now. A few more bits and pieces, but by and large everything is close to its end. This week I had last of my deadlines and the exam. Exam. I don’t like exams. They remind me of the kind of school where I wasn’t very good. The kind that perhaps didn’t bring out the best in me, whatever that best is. But this time it was all very different. It was for a course on Political Communication which I had enjoyed so much and worked very hard for. It was also my first ever open book exam. The Professor put it like this – memorising is for parrots.

I also had the chance to type it with laptop which was great, because my handwriting is appalling and after a bit my fingers really start aching. I may have evolved to that direction since the school days. Either way, essentially the exam gave a few questions and asked you to make an argument one way or the other. Pretty nice task, I though; that is what I do here in my blog all the time.

So I had two hours to write two blog posts in an academic context. Quite casually I’ve done it for five years (in a few days time), so perhaps I had a slight advantage, but nothing I haven’t earned with endless hours of doing something out of love for free, first for no one but myself, then mainly for my dad to read (he has used this to learn English) and more recently a readership which is increasing, although nothing out of control yet (humble thank you is still in order).

So, the next few bits are just something that I said in school. Well, a bit modified versions of that. I thought I should post them here as I wrote them a bit like they could be.

State of the Nation

Right for protection

South Africa, a year and a bit after its last General Elections, finds itself in a mild hangover from the political hype and campaigning, which is only diluted by the football fever. In the previous elections the only post-apartheid governing party ANC was largely campaigning as the only option for the majority of the country’s previously disadvantaged population and the power struggle which within the party earlier had brought Jacob Zuma to leadership, ousted Thabo Mbeki and resulted to large extend with the birth of competing COPE party, seemed to have relatively small, although quite visible, impact to that. The main opposition party DA is burdened by its white image which in the new democracy is not one that at this point will attract broader support outside of the province of the Western Cape which traditionally has never been a stronghold for ANC.

ANC is a big party which has its history in the liberation struggle and it is that very aspect of it, that creates a confusion, as it still is a political home to people from communists to Christians, Africanists and more recently even business tycoons. It has got a Youth League which is visible in the media as well as a little less dominant Women’s League and it is part of the tripartite coalition with COSATU and Communist Party. In all this, and the historical context of South Africa, a vote becomes emotional decision rather than a targeted one as one cannot target any one specific politician, but rather a party, which is broad. It is therefore the electoral system in South Africa that is in need of rethinking.

Perhaps if the voting public would vote for an individual, they could target the mandate they are giving a bit more specifically and the politicians within parties would be forced to be more accountable. Now, that the party is in power, it is easier to avoid being pinned as a cause of any wrongdoings or lack of service delivery, which currently is causing increasing protests all over the country, as party is no one in specific; not even its leader as Zuma has many time proved. In reality, of course, party is its membership and other supporters and doesn’t exist in any other sphere, and therefore a different electoral system would perhaps bring in more accountability on a personal level and would avoid events like sidelining the President Mbeki in Polokwane by party insiders, even though the voting public in the previous elections had given their votes to ANC on the premise that it was lead by Mbeki. Now, in the middle of his term he was ousted and the voters were not asked, only, it was said by the party, the ANC acted within the mandate that had been given to it in general.

ANC, or some of its members have publicly disagreed with an electoral system that would be more personal basing their argument on the communal way of understanding society, as it is dominant in South Africa, and that South Africa is a young democracy, but there is some likelihood that this is also because they currently benefit from the electoral system, and their image is connected to many heroes of the struggle. The different kind of electoral system would probably take some attention from the movement and its image and ask more difficult questions from its individual candidates.

Electoral reform could perhaps also address what for instance happened with the COPE as their leading candidate, even if not the leader or indeed the presidential candidate, Mosiuoa Lekota who in all probability was the reason for many to vote for the party informed the nation soon after the polls closed that he will not become an MP, but instead remains working at the offices of the party. After having his face in many election posters, this seemed a little unusual.

Another kind of question is raised by one of the most vocal and visible politicians in the country, Julius Malema, who as a leader of the Youth League of the ANC gives many comments and statements which are in conflict with his own party, and even if he is one of the individuals who attract a lot of attention, and one assumes many votes, is not a member of the parliament. The people who vote ANC because of him, end up giving their votes to an organisation he so often criticises.

As a foreigner in South Africa, the country’s political climate always looks a little vague. The actual real life implications of the CODESA negotiations have been secret and one is left to guess what is even possible to happen realistically and what exactly are the conditions of IMF and World Bank loans (as was studied by Naomi Klein in Shock Doctrine). The many promises of the struggle, which in itself was such a different context as the current one, may be a reason for many to vote for the ‘Mandela Party’ as one elder referred to ANC, but realistically, the conditions of the international loans may make these promises impossible to fulfil. On the other hand the trading relationship with China has brought in some other considerations; one visible of these was not letting Dalai Lama to South Africa.

Many critics of South Africa fail to acknowledge these factors and limitations that the country’s history and system has created. They have also, perhaps conveniently, forgotten, that regardless of handful Black tycoons, the business capital is largely in the same hands as it has been for long and this, financial power, is not lesser to the political power. As a young and slowly healing democracy South Africa will eventually find a space where the future will be more important than the past, but for now, the vote is determined by the past probably for all the parties.

Note: this piece was originally written for my university as an answer to a question. I have modified it a bit to fit here.

Visuals of the media

Ever seen a photograph from demonstration against the Israel's military action in the news where angry bearded men are not burning American flags? Me neither, but I’ve taken a few.

Why are the news visuals like they are? Whether photos or video? I have been thinking about these things recently, and I suspect it’s the money. I am sure there are many factors, but the political economy of media – where the money comes from – determines much of the media production practices and through them the texts produced. Visual images, moving and still, are largely a result of the commercialisation of media. Political actors are able to take advantage of the media’s need for content which attracts maximum audiences by allowing them access to shoot visuals, while themselves benefiting from these photo opportunities in, if all goes as planned, by improving their public image. They can be seen to talk to ‘real people’ and ‘to care’, whatever the link between these and their real world actions are. For politicians and the spin industry it is in their interest to get their candidates to create the right kind of emotional response in the audience, whether it is to be ‘statesman like leader’, ‘caring but firm’ or a ‘strong leader to take the nation to war’ for instance. In 2010 UK General Elections the less known leader of the Liberal Democratic Party Nick Clegg was said to have appeared like a ‘leader’ for the first time in the first televised debate and that created a momentum unseen to his party, and perhaps is one of the main reasons why he now is in the government.

The audiences understand images largely through their own context and experiences and therefore one cannot quite guarantee the impact of the visuals, but media producers can use their methods of controlling the images which include framing, priming and agenda setting. Noam Chomsky has written extensively on the power of these methods in controlling the public opinion (e.g. Media Control, Hegemony or Survival), and explored how the politicians together with the less visible but as present spin industry can guide the audiences to the directions that are preferred by them.

The unfortunate outcome of media visuals being influenced by their economics and how to sell them, or how they are used to sell newspapers or attract attention online, is the simplification where media gives public what it perhaps assumes it wants or is able to digest. This creates an inherently unequal power relationship between the dominant media production countries and the less powerful ones, and poverty and famine ends up being highlighted, perhaps to attract people to donate money for charities or to justify government aid, which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing (although Dambisa Moyo 2007 argues against it), but the lack of context that is provided can result with vast areas, such as the continent of Africa, to be represented as a one unfortunate monolithic mess in the eyes of the so called westerners (and I say this as someone from such country having witnessed these images for several years), where as the actions of the dominant media production countries are presented in a more subtle way where symbolism plays larger role and the viewer of the images is expected to put in perhaps a little more reading. It can also result with for instance conflict images to be cleaned up for editorial purposes, but those reasons are also relating to political economy as editors are in charge of copies being sold as well.

Traditionally scholars have been more interested in the content that is more straight forward to analyse and images are difficult as they need a lot of interpretation to be understood and these interpretations might not always enjoy consensus amongst the researchers. Traditional text, written or spoken, is perhaps easier to study using quantitative methods and images may have been seen as something to only anchor or support the story, but they haven’t been seen as a very useful in providing context. However, especially since the events of 9/11 in United States the visuals have become crucial driver for the public opinion. Those events – perhaps unbelievable to many – were confirmed by visuals, but the visuals were also a great selling tool for the stories as the viewer of those images were able to attempt to make sense out of them on their own.

Of course, the argument could be made that visuals are part of journalism like any other ones of its aspects, but with the commercialisation of the media it would still be depended on the economics. This characteristic may start already on the production as the photo journalists more often work for news agencies and compete to have their images published (as their income depends on that). This can result with the already short listed images in the editorial stage to be an outcome of individuals shooting images that are specifically suitable to confirm the sale. The visuals in the media which funds itself differently, for instance Public Service Broadcasting media organisations such as BBC, may be determined by less economically orientated set of rules, but for them, what is important is to justify the licence fees, which, in its own way also relates to their political economy very directly.

Note: this piece was originally written for my university as an answer to a question. I have modified it a bit to fit here.

24 May 2010

'Labour of love & hard entertainment' now online.


Finally it's done. I've had so many projects taking place simultaniously, that it has felt like all of them have taken forever. Now we have reached the point when I start seeing some results. Here's the article I wrote on Rattex - if you are a reader of this blog on regular basis, you knew I was busy with it and if not scroll down and see it for yourself. I've uploaded it in Scribd which is such a wonderful online publishing platform (with its few bugs that occasionally cramp the letters on top of each others), and also I have created another page on my blog, now that blogger allows it, called Featured, where it also is and that's more suitable for mobile phone browsing as well. Currently, it still lacks a few photos that are part of the actual story, but perhaps in the next few days I can try to add them there. All the images are on my Flickr site anyway.

RATTEX: Labour of love & hard entertainment

20 May 2010

'Reading Political Media' ebook up online

I have been writing three different essays on media in politics this year. They've been a part of my post-graduate studies, and I am reasonably happy with them so I decided that instead of letting them to be forgotten somewhere deep in my computer hard drive, let's make them into an ebook and upload it online. And bam! Here it is now. I have an actual ebook on its way also soonish, but it's currently being checked by people cleverer than me.
Reading Political Media

18 May 2010

Things on their way.

Rattex in Studio
A bit of preview from my fortcoming article on Rattex.

Marking, writing, waiting, searching, editing, scripting, baby sitting, tour guiding, scanning, copying, driving, calling, emailing and occasionally eating and sleeping a bit. That’s what I have been up to. Not very exciting – all a bit limboesque at the moment – but soon enough there should be some actual results to show that I am not quite lying either. Within a week I will post an article I’ve been writing and for which the image in this post is for, a collection of essays; a trilogy on reading political media texts and possibly my actual e-book might make its first proper appearance some time soon as well. Who knows with a bit of luck before my fifth blog anniversary which is less than a month away.

Everything else for now is details. I have also added a widget ,as they call them, that has my shared items from my news reader. If you don’t know what that means don’t worry – it’s just something where you can find articles, images, video or audio online that I rather recommend. Have a look, it’s in the side column underneath the blog archive.

12 May 2010

Open letter to my Facebook friends

Dear Facebook friend,

I hope this letter finds you well. Myself, I am doing quite fine. I have been busy and I have some major changes in the not so distant future as I, together with my family, am about to return ‘home’ after eight years of self-defined exile. But I am not writing to you because of that. I am writing to thank you for sharing this platform, Facebook, with me for however long we have been connected here. I opened my account sometime in 2007 and the number of you – my Facebook friends – have varied between 130 at one point to around 50. Currently I have 66 people on my list. I like things that one can do in Facebook except that all of them you can do a lot better elsewhere. I like Flickr for photos, Twitter for updates and links and blogs for most other things. Even if in Facebook all these things happen in the same place, it’s a bit clumsy and to me its only redeeming quality is that it’s got everyone. Well, I am not after everyone and quite importantly since I am not really selling anything, I see no longer any reasons to have the account. I will delete - note, not deactivate - it tonight.

This moment is liberating. Facebook has for some time been going against some of my principles that I perhaps with naïve foolishness hang onto. For a long time I have felt troubled by its ever changing terms and conditions and distinctly unclear privacy settings. I am not necessarily that private person – I share a lot in my blog and Twitter – but I struggle to appreciate the feeling of being tricked into new rules. I also find it impossible to appreciate the possibility of my information being used for advertising or other commercial purposes. That’s the kind of stuff that really gets my go. I also cannot let some company like this to pressurise me to let them define my friendships and social interactions with constant reminders of ‘maybe you should be this person’s friend’, and even more so, I would not wish to appear for other people in that way either. I have been tweaking my settings, but really, it should not be that complicated.

So now, after back and forthing around the subject for a long, I have finally decided to free myself from it. It feels a lot better than the time when I recently deleted my MySpace account. That hardly was a sacrifice; I didn’t use it anymore anyway, but in Facebook I am every day. A bit like I drink excessive amount of coffee every day, but I know it’s not ideal.

I am also aware of the possibility that deleting the account will lose me a few contacts. We have become so used to the idea of contacting people through Facebook, that we don’t even have everyone’s email address anymore, and even if we do, we keep the contact by clicking the 'like' button on each others’ witty updates. The stage online should be at, at the moment, at least if I should believe the ones thinking a lot about it, is somewhat social. I quite like that, but Facebook on everyday level to me has become less social and more like a register or database of people I may or may not have a strong connection with. Some people have popped up from decades ago to my life, only to say nothing to me or me to them. Twitter, where you will easily find me, is easier space to communicate without all the clutter and the prerequisite of communication that is, at least theoretically, but also technologically two way relationship; I don’t see any sense in adding people to my list and then hide their updates and such. Why are they there then anyway – as said, I am not trying to sell you anything so I don’t need a mass audience, and I am old enough not to worry over the quantity of my friends. I know this may sound like a criticism to someone, perhaps even you right now, but really, I am only talking about how I feel about it; not how you should. I’ve also got my blog which really is the centre of my web presence and I like that as a place to express. There, by the way in my view, is not anything wrong with people using Facebook for grassroots promotional purposes; it's just that I don't.

So without being overtly dramatic about it, if my deletion of this account means that our relationship, whatever it may have been is finished, then there are no hard feelings involved. Life is such that people enter and exit your life and only a very few stay for long time. No beef involved. That natural lifespan of social relationships was always to my dissatisfaction disturbed by Facebook anyway.

Regardless of whether I have been one of your few or a few thousand Facebook friends I wish you well. I am sure there has been some reason why we were on each other’s lists. I hope to see you in the real world, in Twitter, to hear from you via email or converse in my or your blog. Who knows, maybe soon again there will be a new service that doesn’t leave me feeling short changed and we meet again there.

All the best and like they say, let's stay in touch,

Twitter: @mikmikko

7 May 2010

Democracy as it transpires


I have really tried to keep myself up to date with the UK elections. Now they’re in the bag, although the final results not quite yet available and there is even less clarity on what exactly will the Government look like. I am sure that information comes in bit by bit, but my gosh, it’s been an interesting one. I no longer live in UK and I’ve never had a vote there, but who cares, let me write down a few thoughts nonetheless.

Who would have thought that Liberal Democrats in what seemed like their most promising attempt in absolute ages should actually lose seats? After all the hype they’ve had. To me it seems almost like voters went back on their verbal quasi-contract and Nick Clegg’s lot should get their monies back. I assume it’s relatively safe to say that it’s the electoral system that’s to blame, and I hope that for the future reference that should be looked into. You know, just so that no one needs to forcefully try to bring the democracy into UK. Well, pardon my slight exaggeration, but why is it that the loudest critics of the poor countries’ democracy always end up having questions – whether big or small – hanging over their own proceedings. People not being able to vote, running out of the vote slips and so on. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that they’d be the first ones to practice what they preach.

So Labour seems to have lost a lot of seats – nearly 100 it appears – and hopefully they’ll do some accounting on what went wrong with Blair, expense scandals and most of all Iraq. Tories, I am sure, would’ve done the exact same or worse. Only we like to assume that the ones who were not in power did not abuse the power not because they didn’t have it, but rather because they're more righteous. That’s text book opposition stuff.

Hung Governmentt? In other words multi-party Government. Coming from a country that wouldn’t have it any other way, I can’t see the harm in that. I actually feel that the single-party Governments are too absolute and no team should be given that much power – I mean they’re still just politician who are no strangers to corruption and corrupt corruptors who try to always corrupt them with corrupt gifts when the rest are looking the other way. In the current zeitgeist that’s pretty often considering how much other stuff there is to look at.

Of course, we are also often looking the right way – sure – and talking about it in Twitter and blogs; stuff like that. I did a small research paper on this recently and it was my conclusion, and it’s not just the little old me who thinks this, the online social media as a part of political process creates a stronger sense of participation than is about that participation in any real world terms and it is more important as a media event than as a political milestone. These two – politics and media – however, are not that different anymore, that I must add to this in the name of balance an honesty. Also, of course, whenever one rants about media and politics the spin masters of the background go on with their lives untouched. There are more political players and only a few we vote for.

A lovely aspects, I thought, of this election was the decline of the populist right wing hate mongering lark. I hope that’s a trend that takes over our continent that has long struggled with our internal insecurities, god complex and phobias over the ones we have tend to feel superior over. It appears that in the big league of the national politics, the other questions were more important to the floating racists and more moderate cynics or nationalists than what was offered by their umbrella organistaions.

The results, as they now look like, were not what I hoped for. Not quite what I expected either, but somehow I am feeling a bit hopeful. I am a sceptic of the political process as it transpires, I don’t find democracy flawless; only the best available system, and I feel that lobbies and spin industry needs to be brought into the foreground so we know who, and what, we are dealing with. I think we as people need to learn the lessons of accepting politicians as people instead of either liars or saints. These things are never, well, mostly never, absolute, and on a practical political level within the British electoral system, I hope that the third party – Liberal Democrats – becomes a contestant that it now has promised instead of a lost vote in a tactical selection process where one goes for the lesser of two known evils.

5 May 2010

Driemanskap on Bandcamp

<a href="http://driemanskap.bandcamp.com/track/sphumegugs">S'phum'eGugs by Driemanskap</a>

I was an instant fan of Driemanskap the day I heard their songs Kwek Madoda and Itsho Into. That’s some years ago now. I used to play these tracks and a few others a lot in my radio show. After that, a lot has happened and their first proper album was released last year after a few collaborative mixtapes. My story, to which I stick and which also has been confirmed  by  the representatives of the label, is that I was the very first person in the entire world who bought this record. I like the idea; it's very high on my CV of social capital of a music fan.  

The record Igqabhukil' Inyongo is great and everyone should have it. Well, everyone who shares my musical tastes even a bit. And this is where the good news come in – you can now buy it from their Bandcamp site. Bargain price for the download of the full album and some tracks are even free (or pay as much you wish). Try for instance one of the top tracks Camagu which also has a nice video to go with it. The track I chose from it however is a bit harder than most of the tracks and it’s called S'phum’eGugs. Play it loud.