I swear I went to school with this guy, only his name was Scott Daugherty. But anyhow, the above is Jimbo of the blog, Jimbo.info. His blog is the gateway to a grip of gay-centrific blogs which are genuinely on top (bottom?) of the new original 21st Century pop culture thing. If 30 is the new 20, then Jimbo and his like-minded compatriots are in the sweet spot of the new cult of originality. Just stop by Jimbo's site, and surf the links for half-an-hour or so. Voila! Savitude is enhanced!
ZTOHOVEN is not the Anonymous of the Czech Republic: They're funnier.
Imagine hacking a public television station, and replacing the weather report with footage of the same countryside that features an early-morning atomic bomb exploding. In the US, that would equal instant prison. In the Czech Republic? Art-prank outsiders ZTOHOVEN have been embraced by international art circles, and the video of the stunt recently went to #1 on YouTubeEurope with nearly a million views.
While the prank itself took place this past June, the video of a super-imposed atomic blast on a Czech Republic public television morning weather report by prank-art group ZTOHOVEN only recently took off, and is now as popular in Europe as the recent Tom Cruise Scientology video is in the US.
Attention to the ZTOHOVEN prank — as well as the group's awe-inspiring video — has been steadily gaining momentum, to the point it is now getting international play in traditional major media media outlets such as BBC News and International Herald Tribune. And today's coverage in the New York Times obviously breaks even more new ground for ZTOHOVEN/teh lulz.
The group's members now face criminal charges even after Prague's National Gallery awarded the group the new NG 333 prize for young artists — 333,000 koruna, the equivalent of $18,350.
What seems to most be capturing everyone's attention is that provocateur's pulled off such a silly prank without an entire nation losing their minds. First most on everyone's minds? This question: "What if this had taken place in the States?" In other words, there are some places in the world where people are NOT taking themselves so seriously. In fact, if there is a point to made here, it's that there are some places where well-thought out fun equals $$$ and LULZ.
Here's the group's artistic statement:
"We are neither a terrorist organization nor a political group, our aim is not to intimidate the society or manipulate it, which is something we witness on daily basis both in real world and in the world created by the media.
"Whether the reasons are political interests, market interests, financial interests or interests of supranational companies – we meet hidden manipulation and attempt to invade the subconscious mind of citizens with specific products or ideology, using all available means. We do not think that a subtle distortion of such system or an appeal to pure common sense of people and their ability to remain unaffected are harmful, not even in a democratic society. That is why, several years ago, the art group “Ztohoven” penetrated the public sphere of Prague, questioned the space given to advertisement generally and the space given to specific adverts. On the 17th of June 2007 this group attacked the space of TV broadcasting. It distorted it, questioned its truthfulness and its credibility. It drew attention to the possibility of using images of the world created by the media in place of the existing, real world.Is everything we see daily on our TV screens real? Is everything presented to us by the media, newspapers, television, Internet actually real? This is the concept our project would like to introduce and remind of. We believe that even the free space of public service broadcaster is able to endure such action and such impeachment. We hope our action will become an appeal for the future and remind the media of their duty to bring out the truth.
"Thank you for independent media and free space for our society."
The group still faces criminal charges in the Czech Republic, but as the anything heavier than a light fine seems unlikely. “It’s not that we would not have supported this kind of art, if they had come to us,” Ladislav Sticha, the spokesman for Czech Public Television went on the record as saying.
See the spike? That's the traffic increase, a load up to 8 times the site's usual traffic. Whatmore, the attention that the live unfolding of this story is driving even greater trafficto the site. In fact, it is further serving to increase the burdensome traffic load every time one of us clicks on the link, scientology.org.
What we are seeing here is history in the making. It is the 21st Century putting its attention squarely on a a small component of itself, in the form of a website representing an organziation which what may or may not be a religion (which has 8-to-15 million adherants worldwide).
Specifically, the internet is casting an objective eye up on the religion/whatever's internet presence, and the main site of the the Church of Scientology is clearly unable to sustain the load. In one context it's abominable, frontier justice done vigilante-style. But in its proper contemporary context, considering that every visitor's click which adds to the site's over-burdened server load is a vote, it is clearly the expression of justice of a very young new Epoch at the front-most head of a just-born Millennium.
We all of us are not by-standers. We all here have the tools of the internet at our disposal. What we are noticing is our not being spectators; but watching alone, on the internet we are clearly participants.
This is not democracy. This is not collective, even. This is aconsensusual movement. And it is newly minted and newly real.
Is it time to realize that, as human beings aware of the reality of evolution, we are experiencing evolution? Because if it is, for the first time ever, not only are all of us experiencing evolution, all of us know it.
If the Church of Scientology is unwilling to play nice (in the same way the rest of us on the internet who — like-it-or-not — must and do take responsibility for our actions), but the Che Church of Scientology has found itself being led by individuals unwilling to own up to the organizations reprehensible behavior, then, for the troubles it finds itself being inundated, Scientology has no one to blame for but itself.
As reported earlier this morning, the attack on Church of Scientology by hacker alliance Anonymous has been verified...by a press release from Anonymous!
The press release — complete with contact information — was posted on free internet press release service PR Log early yesterday morning. It reads as follows
Internet Group Anonymous Declares "War on Scientology" By Chan Enterprises Dated: Jan 21, 2008 "Anonymous" are fighting the Church of Scientology and the Religious Technology Center.
CLEARWATER, Florida - Anonymous announced their intention to combat the activities of the Church of Scientology on Monday. A spokesperson said that the group's goals include bringing an end to the financial exploitation of Church members and protecting the right to free speech, a right which they claim was consistently violated by the Church of Scientology in pursuit of its opponents.
This announcement came as a response to attempts by the Church to keep secret an internal video meant to be viewed only by Scientologists, featuring actor Tom Cruise. Despite their efforts, the movie was leaked and rapidly spread across the Internet. The video caused much controversy, and members of Anonymous posted a message to several of their websites proclaiming war against Scientology. Soon after, Anonymous struck at the church; they blocked access to its website, made prank calls, organized protests, distributed anti-Church pamphlets and information, and extracted secret files from the Church of Scientology and its parent company, the Religious Technology Center.
Anonymous' members cited several reasons for their actions against the Church of Scientology: many have stressed the alleged human rights violations under the auspices of the Church. Others accused the Church of fraud due to its costly ceremonies, while some merely sought the entertainment they refer to as "lulz," a corruption of the Internet slang "LOL," or "laugh out loud." Most members, however, were concerned with the threat to free speech that the Church posed. This was most evident in the recent attacks on websites such as Digg and YouTube, where the Church filtered anti-Scientology comments and replaced their content with the text "[This comment is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Church of Scientology International]." "The so-called Church of Scientology actively misused copyright and trademark law in pursuit of its own agenda," one Anonymous commented. "They attempted not only to subvert free speech, but to recklessly pervert justice to silence those who spoke out against them."
The Church of Scientology's legal struggle with its online detractors began in 1994 with the Usenet group "alt.religion.scientology", a community which spoke out against the Church. Legal representatives from the Church confronted them specifically over the use of Scientology in their name, citing trademark infringement and misrepresentation. This led to numerous lawsuits, and the group was shut down. The Church of Scientology later found itself in several further conflicts on the Internet, including some with popular websites such as Google and Slashdot, as well as an alleged "war" with users of the website YTMND.com.
The members of Anonymous do not plan to end their attacks on the Church of Scientology. Instead, they will continue until the Church of Scientology reacts, at which point they will change strategy. Their main goal is to render the church powerless, and so the war could be one of attrition. Science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard founded the Church in 1953. In the 55 years since its inception, the Church has faced allegations of being a commercial enterprise that harasses its critics, exploits its members, and neglects adults in its care. Scientology has also faced criticism over the cost required to progress through its "auditing" system, with the total bill for completing the course estimated at $365,000 - $380,000.
Category Religion, Internet, Society Email Click to email author Website http://chanenterprises.org Phone 206-600-7880 Fax 206-600-7880 City/Town Clearwater State/Province Florida Country United States
"Traffic to the Scientology website had already increased 18-fold prior to the attack, following increased attention after the Tom Cruise video appeared on the Internet. At that time, one in three visits to the site came from BBC News, and the website increased to number 3 in the company Hitwise UK's Lifestyle-Religion category."
In other words the attention that is being drawn to the site by its being shut down is increasing the effect of the attack exponentially. See for yourself, no Church of Scientology website.