Sunday, November 30, 2008

For the Last Time Hitler was Not a Monorchid

Ron Rosenbaum is tired of all the bullshit about Hitler's light nut-sack theories and wishes you would just read his book, Explaining Hitler. Rosenbaum is a smart guy writing knowingly about the hidden aspects of culture and his pieces in Slate are on my regular internet highway stop. The tantalizing subjects of his work include the link between Yale's Skull and Bones Society and the CIA; J.D. Salinger's walled-in house; the Zagat restaurant guide; Borges's efforts to disprove the existence of Time; the Shakespeare Wars and an homage to my personel favorite Charles Portis. But this unending Hitler sex concern is worrisome. Don't get me wrong, its fascinating stuff but i am starting to wonder who has Rosenbaum's balls in a bind.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What They Hate About Mumbai

My bleeding city. My poor great bleeding heart of a city. Why do they go after Mumbai? There’s something about this island-state that appalls religious extremists, Hindus and Muslims alike. Perhaps because Mumbai stands for lucre, profane dreams and an indiscriminate openness.

Mumbai is all about dhandha, or transaction. From the street food vendor squatting on a sidewalk, fiercely guarding his little business, to the tycoons and their dreams of acquiring Hollywood, this city understands money and has no guilt about the getting and spending of it. I once asked a Muslim man living in a shack without indoor plumbing what kept him in the city. “Mumbai is a golden songbird,” he said. It flies quick and sly, and you’ll have to work hard to catch it, but if you do, a fabulous fortune will open up for you. The executives who congregated in the Taj Mahal hotel were chasing this golden songbird. The terrorists want to kill the songbird.

Suketu Mehta, a professor of journalism at New York University, is the author of "Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found.”
To read the full article of What They Hate About Mumbai go to the NYT

And a piece by Christopher HitchensOur Friends in Bombay

An interesting book about life in Mumbai by
Gregory David Roberts, who obviously loves it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

UPDATE: And Another Reason To Hate The Taliban

As we pointed out on 10/03/08, the Taliban, like some James Bond supervillian are attempting to corner the market on opium. Not since Auric Goldfinger starting painting prostitutes gold has such an insidious plot been hatched. The Taliban are pushers plain and simple, able to justify anything for their fucked up beliefs. Goldfinger at least had style and put his treasure to use in some original, albeit mad scientist ways. His obsession with gold was explicitly sexually: the yellow briefs, a collection of yellow-jacketed pornographic books and his penchant for fucking gold-painted women. He traveled in a yellow-painted car, employed a blonde secretary and even had a ginger cat. Though the cat was sadly eaten by Oddjob, his Korean henchman, who in hindsight and despite fricasseeing said feline seems a much better guy than the Taliban's Mullah Omar.

Goldfinger's colorful crimes were endearing compared to a hardline bunch of ignorant, psychotic fiends embracing pseudo-science and fairy tales of genies and angels. Caught in the grip of Muslim orthodoxy, the Taliban champion revelation over reason and predestination over free will. Like Mao they fear educated masses more than anything and their damning of mathematics as being against Islam is just one of the ethical glitches in their arch-evil manipulation of opium market forces. You have to wonder if these charlatans in beard and robe are dark age authoritarians who just need an Ian Fleming-type PR flack spinning 'drug dealer as hero tales' from the back of the cave.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Edible Brooklynite: John McSwain

The Jihadis among us talk of the promise of a Paradise complete with 99 black-eyed virgins. It's a nice lure but eternity with a bunch of hardline buzz-kill fundamentalists sounds like a perpetual pain in the ass and that's not a pun aimed at middle easterners' purported predisposition towards homosexuality. Though perhaps that should be a concern. I mean, how else could there be that many virgins left over to begin with?

Owning a patch of Paradise filled with nubile innocents sounds great except for a few years of awkward missionary sex. You'd need patience and a helluva sense of humor and there's only one guy I know enlightened enough to turn that scenario into nirvana, the perpetually effervescent John McSwain. This tall Floridian drink of water, with a bourbon back, has his own vision of Paradise, the Cheeseburger tattooed on his arm. So if McSwain can manage to die in Jihad and there's no swine in his burger recipe, looks to me like we have redefined heaven. And with plenty of burqa'd carhops to spare, the prospect of Paradise is looking better one bite at a time. Lets just call it McSwain's VirginBurgers and everybody willing to die is welcome.

For franchise information...

PS: If you Jewish guys wanna get in on the virgin land rush, we can '86 the cheese.

There's No Place Like Home

This peek at 70's rock stars in their parent's homes is illuminating for contrasting generations and its overall innocence. It's cute to see Frank Zappa, Grace Slick, David Crosby, the Jacksons, and Elton John hanging with their peeps in what are now somewhat patronizingly termed vintage surroundings. Just imagine the antique pickers frothing at the mouth over these mythical digs.

Still everyone's place looks a bit square and sad without a flat screen television to dominate the space. How on earth did they manage? It's no wonder they became minstrels, their parents were obviously Luddites forcing them to play stringed instruments and read (gasp) books. Regardless, I bet their libraries didn't hold a candle to this mad scientist's refuge. That there is some real star power.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ruck Fussia

After reading my prediction that Zimbabwe is doomed, Russian politico Igor Panarin counters with the assertion that the USA is done for and it will soon split into 6 parts. You know what this means? More government!

Asked why he expected the U.S. to break up into separate parts, Panarin said: "A whole range of reasons. Firstly, the financial problems in the U.S. will get worse. Millions of citizens there have lost their savings. Prices and unemployment are on the rise. General Motors and Ford are on the verge of collapse, and this means that whole cities will be left without work. Governors are already insistently demanding money from the federal center. Dissatisfaction is growing, and at the moment it is only being held back by the elections and the hope that Obama can work miracles. But by spring, it will be clear that there are no miracles." He also cited the "vulnerable political setup", "lack of unified national laws", and "divisions among the elite, which have become clear in these crisis conditions." He predicted that the U.S. will break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong. He even suggested that "we could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all."

Governor Palin, can't you do something about this Russian incursion into the American pysche? How stupid could we have been to let those Michiganders have control of all our cars.

Do The Collapse Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has been a country for 28 years but it looks like the honeymoon is over. It's hard to say the place is even on the brink of collapse so far down is the situation. The former Southern Rhodesia is a place famous in the British book of imperialist venture. A land renowned for hunting and exploration. Robert Baden-Powell's scouting movement, the parent to Boy Scouts of America was founded there. But few would argue that the 20th century has been a spiraling nightmare for the former British colony as mercenaries fought brutal unending wars all across Africa in attempts to prop up white rule. Since Zimbabwe's creation at the end of Rhodesian Bush War it has gotten progressively uglier and uglier. President Robert Mugabe once thought to be a savior not only for Zimbabwe but all of black Africa has run place into the ground, chasing success away at the expense of authoritarian control. All semblance of order, economy or national direction is lost. It's clear Mugabe is no boy scout though neither was Cecil Rhodes nor Ian Smith leaders of white rule in Rhodesia before him. The stories of war are so entertwined with place that even a hippie like Warren Zevon penned a song, Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner about the dark mayhem Africa has lived through. See also the Congo

The Mugabe of today is an obvious tyrant living an "Emperor's New Clothes" existence. Jimmy Carter said yesterday from a news conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.
I think it's the established policy of the Mugabe government that there's no crisis in Zimbabwe. The entire basic structure in education, healthcare, feeding people, social services and sanitation has broken down. These are all indications that the crisis in Zimbabwe is much greater, much worse than we had ever imagined.

And now we find a country with no health controls locked in the grasp of a cholera epidemic that's threatening to decimate hoards of people. And there is no cavalry, no one is coming to Zimbabwe's rescue. Sometimes its hard to imagine this kind of shit. Endless death shits.

Do The Collapse is of course reference to a Guided by Voices record produced by Ric Ocasek. The album signaled GBV's ditching of the lo-fi Dayton sound for promise of the big time. Hopefully, someday Zimbabwe can ditch its lo-fi history and turn a corner to peace and prosperity but until then, don't drink the water brother!

Frontline has some incredible resources about Zimbabwe and the disasters of Mugabe

UPDATE: A death warrant has been issued with immediate effect to all Zimbabweans following the closure of major government hospitals and clinics countrywide.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What Would Jack Ruby Do?

What the fuck was Ruby thinking?

The Breeders Will Have Their Say

The New York Times jumps our train from 11/13 noting that Rev. Ed Young of The Fellowship is still at it. His campaign drive for non-stop reproduction of little jesus freaks is entering it's second week. Seven days may have been good enough to create the earth but these guys are after something fundamentally different than the birth of a diverse and evolving planet.

Conservative groups as diverse as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference are all aboard with the The Fellowship's religious factory farming initiative and are driving national birthrates sky high. These guys make old fashioned Roman Catholics look like prudes. And while good god-fearing people at home having sex with the people they love may not come as a shock they are a definite impact on the population and the political fortunes of the US. In comparison to say the lackuster mating rituals of Vermont free-thinkers, George Clooney, american intellectuals, power lesbians, computer engineers, and even those lovable lunkheads at Jackass, it would seem America is going to get more and more religious and more and more conservative as these babies come of age. So whenever you have a chance young intellectual, forgo the prophylactic and breed. Tell your gal it's for the intellectual good of the country, The floundering economy may have killed the space race but the sex race is officially on, so Mr President you better make some hay while the sun is shining or at least get in there knock boots with Michelle. Planned parenthood indeed.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

D.B. Cooper Outed!

Deep Throat and D.B. Cooper were the two most mysteriously elusive characters of the last half of the 20th Century. Not long after Mark Felt was fingered as Deep Throat, attorney Galen Cook is positing that Bill Gossett, an ex-Marine who lived out his days undiscovered in Oregon, was D.B. Cooper. The identity of the legendary skyjacker has eluded the vaunted FBI since he jumped from of a Boeing 727 with 200,000 dollars somewhere over Washington State on the night of November 24, 1971. The FBI has investigated over 200 suspects but none has ever been confirmed as the skyjacker and the FBI has publicly stated that they don't believe the skyjacker survived the jump. The tale of that night has since entered into the realm American Folklore and the mysterious perp emerging a legend.

But Cook begs to differ and can be heard here a few months ago discussing the case. Since then he's named Bill Gossett as his definitive pick for the real D.B. Cooper.

According to Bill Gossett's son Greg, Gossett told his three sons he was the skyjacker and often spoke of the D.B. Cooper skyjacking even telling one of his wives that he could "write the epitaph for D.B. Cooper." Jumping from a 727 is no bullshit so it was always assumed that whomever the crazy bastard was he had some experience. Gossett indeed had parachute trained with the Marines in 1964 would have been 41 on that fateful Thanksgiving Eve 1971 when he plummeted scot free into infamy.

Now a Salt Lake City judge and friend recounts that "In 1977 he walked into my office and closed the door and said he was D.B. Cooper. I told him to keep his mouth shut and don't do anything stupid, and not to bring it up again." Gossett outfoxed the whole world by doing just that. He kept his mouth shut and didn't do anything stupid. His skyjacking remains a legendary exploit and it's about time the right guy got the credit.

Now with those two mysteries characters identified, if somebody could just tell me who the fuck Mullah Omar is I could get on with my life.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Texas Is The Reason or Shoot Here

An old man told me that growing up in Dallas his 1st birthday party just happened to be on the very day John F Kennedy was assassinated across town. He strongly remembered all the mothers crying around the television and the party ending abruptly with his father cleaning his rifle. Since then theories have abounded about what happened to JFK on November in Dealey Plaza and his birthdays have always been a bit of a bummer. Thanks for the anniversary, Texas.

There is the extended play version of what happened on November 22, 1963 as well as the jauntier Misfits' single.

Friday, November 21, 2008

God Damn I Love the 80's

Two of most compelling things about the 80's were the utterly monstrous, mind-roasting antics of OC and Stiggs via National Lampoon and the fist fighting to the oldies era of 80's Hardcore music. Both of these collectibles are hard to find in today's bubble gum media milieu, when true bohemia gets snapped up like an unguarded Beard Papa. But luckily ladies and gentleman you have me to rekindle. Through the hyper-dimensional connections of this blog, I know Randall Schwab of the old Lampoon gang. El Schwab, more often that I should admit, sends me perversions such as this remembrance over the internet. Why? Well OC and Stiggs so terrorized the Schwab family that like some fucked up Stockholm syndrome Patty Hearst type he keeps playing right along with them, to my undying amusement and to your good fortune.

The second goodie in this afternoon's cultural grab bag is the band 80s HARDCORE who are currently making the rounds in tiny clubs filled with topless girls in Doc Martens mysteriously undiscovered by the hipsterati. They're the worlds greatest hardcore cover band. You may be thinking, fuck a cover band. But if you remember my enthusiasm for the Sex Pistols posted last month, you should know I never miss a good show even if the band is lipsynching. I don't think 80's Hardcore lypsynchs cuz they fuck of lyrics constantly but no one is sure cuz the singer (Gavin McInnes) performs with a bag over his head. Anyhow, because my dedication runs deep I'm willing to risk a visit from the FBI and post their set list here. Music licensing and chinese democracy be damned!

80s HC SET LIST 11-21-08

Cro Mags “Hard Times”
D.R.I. “Rather be Sleeping”
Minor Threat “Straight Edge”
Black Flag “Wasted”
Angry Samoans “Lights Out”
Circle Jerks “Coup D’Etat”
Fear “Livin in the City”
Descendents “I’m not a Loser”
Agnostic Front “Victim in Pain”
Black Flag “Six Pack”
Iron Cross “Crucified”
Suicidal Tendencies “Institutionalized”
Bad Brains “Right Brigade”

Check them out tonight at Cakeshop ~ 153 Ludlow in Manhattan.
FREE. And print out the OC and Stiggs page. Chicks dig em.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tight Pussy, Loose Shoes and A Warm Place to Shit

In 1976, politician Earl Butz was asked by the right wing Republican entertainer Pat Boone why the party of Lincoln wasn't able to attract more blacks. Butz, the then US Secretary of Agriculture said "I'll tell you what the Coloreds want out of life. It's three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit."

This quip sunk Butz's political ship and inspired America's creative types to make Darktown After Dark in response. Hooray for Hollywood. And amen to the Big 3!

Related Posts~
I Am Not Gay But...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It Takes No Teeth To Eat Our Beef

Barbequed meats are the life blood of American culture and whether you prefer traditional sweet southern pork, the beefs of Central Texas' German and Czech traditions, Mexican influenced barbacoas and fajitas, or Cowboy styled muttons, Texas is ground zero. The King of Cue.

With apologies to neither vegetarians nor other regional pretenders, Calvin Trillin's piece in The New Yorker on Texas BBQ is worth ducking into, especially if the idea of beans and smoked brisket for breakfast tickles your fancy. Please tell me it tickles your fancy?

For the record here are the 50 best barbecue joints in the world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Pythons Are Mad As Hell And Not Gonna Take It Anymore

Monty Python is tired of getting screwed

Michael Pollan for Secretary of Agriculture

Ever wonder where your food comes from or how the food industry finds the awful garbage stuffed into most grocery store staples? Regardless, you need to know Michael Pollan. Give him a listen here, it's fascinating and devastating stuff.

If that isn't sexy enough for you heads out there, he's written quite glowingly about marijuana's intoxication is his book The Botany of Desire plus a super far out story for Harper's Magazine titled Opium Made Easy regarding his run in with the war on drugs and counterculturist Jim Hogshire.

To get Michael Pollan considered for the Office of Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America, sign the petition. It's your food, stupid.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Which Way Is Up?

The National Recovery Administration was set up as part of FDR's New Deal to create free competition and aid workers. In 1933, Jimmy Durante made this vaudvillian NRA promo to rally support but the free marketing industrialists deemed the whole shebang economic fascism and soon the Supreme Court struck it down as unconstitutional. Things are going to require even bolder and more innovative economic thinking today. If Obama employs any part of FDR's Blue Eagle strategy expect a lot of collectivist talk among obstructionists, if he does nothing, start praying to the anti-christ cuz the portending maelstrom is gonna suck us all down, down, down.

Either, boo, boo.

And then there's Lyndon LaRouche

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Crazed Trouble in Paradise

Reporting from the front lines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, our buddy Les Neuhaus gives a glimpse of life among the government troops: smoking pot, drinking booze, wearing women's clothing, and occasionally hacking the genitals off of rebel troops. The battle between Laurent Nkunda's Rebel for Christ led National Congress for the Defence of the People and the Government's Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo is essentially a reprisal of the Tall Ones vs the Short Ones War that decimated Rwanda. Talk about grim confusion in the boondocks. And that's before you add to an already surreal battlefield pentecostal christians and their pet dinosaurs. Tall guys vs short guys is an age old quarel but only in the remote regions of the Dark Continent is this trouble the King of Paradise.

ID Skeleton Key
Watutsi = Tall
Hutu = Short

You can read Les's On the Front Lines in DR Congo at AJE

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Texas Sized Marathon Sex Challenge

Of course, there's a hitch. Before you get too geeked about strap on love or packing your cocktail shaker with a preferred ratio of ecstasy, cocaine, viagra or ketamine remember this seven day Texas Sex-a-thon is designated for procreational sex rather than recreational. Since God created the world in seven days, Rev. Ed Young's flock is no doubt anticipating a payoff for their week long efforts. The Fellowship could probably use some pointers from the pro-orgy crowd but GLBT'ers this is a breeders only event. You guys and gals and tweeners will have to cowboy up some other time for the good of the world.

UPDATE: The New York Times reports that Ed Young is telling his flock a week later to "Keep It Up!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Biting the Hand That Blings

The last person you want to click into an internet
war of wits with is Gavin McInnes. Trust me on this.
So why would an obscure Austin, Texas blogger
known as daz76 muck aboot with the wildcats of
Street Carnage? No clue. But it seems to me only a
pro lion tamer would dare throw a stick in such a cage.
Or perhaps a poet.

Dear Street Carnage Why Am I Banned?

FLASHBACK to an archived profile of Big Pinky,
the loveable ebony to Mr McInnes' ivory.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Back In Black

Like a phoenix, extreme leftist groups are risen in France. A black flag from the ashes of Action Directe's 1987 destruction is on the prowl. Black, or the negation of color, is most often associated with NYC fashion and anarchist groups. Like-minders that stand in opposition to the oppressive structures of plain jane clothing and stupid ass government respectively. The latest on on this seasons anti-govt blackies comes from French terrorism expert Roland Jacquard:
The economic and financial crisis the world is now experiencing is a dream come true to the extreme-left, especially with mainstream leftist political parties unable to mount any real opposition to ruling conservatives. That brings the possibility of social unrest radical leftists may seek to exploit — or even provoke through violence of their own.

With apologies to Oliver Hardy, here's another fine mess unforeseen by the Project for the New American Century.


Monday, November 10, 2008

The Land of the Setting Sun

The miserable sods in the UK House of Commons want to abolish Pub Happy Hours in England and Wales. Reckless drinking is apparently stretching the police force thin. But if pub spawned disorder is suddenly a negative character trait, we're talking not only about the ruin of an Empire but the negation of the British birthright. Brits need their pints to overcome personalities obliged by society stereotyping to be polite. For me the quintessential Victorian pubmate, Harry Paget Flashman has always been the role model for British behavior.

Flashman is an antihero who runs from danger or hides cowering in fear, betrays or abandons acquaintances at at the slightest incentive, bullies and beats servants with gusto, beds every available woman, carries off any loot he can grab, gambles and boozes enthusiastically, and yet, through a combination of luck and cunning, ends acclaimed as a hero.

And despite all Flashman's inherent advantages, I fear he'd be a merely a pedestrian James Bond without the enthusiastic (bargain) boozing of Happy Hour. Drinking is clearly heroic in both cases however. So please MP's, reconsider for the good of the national character. On the other hand, I'm happy to relay that Italy is considering sanctioning the use of vigilantes. A move more holding to the course of tradition than the shortsightedness of the UK's damnable Home Affairs select committee.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Holyland ~ God's Monkey House

Monks brawl at Golgotha. Again!

Jerusalem's Old City is a place lost in time and people have been throwing rocks and fists at each other there since the beginning of competitive belief. Christians have only been partaking since say the 3rd century BCE and though late to the game these monks at the Church Of The Holy Sepulcher are so bugged out about Jesus they make British soccer hooligans look like American Idol fans.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Art Bell Finally Gets His Just Deserts

Our old buddy Art Bell will be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame tonight at a ceremony in Chicago. All the crazy stuff we've been through together: John Titor's time travel claims, the secret craft purportedly lurking in the Hale-Bopp comet's tail, Art's Parts, Mel's Waters' mysterious hole, the caller who reckless flew into Area 51 while speaking with Art, Richard Hoagland's contention that Old Navy was running the world and Art's endearing crush on Crystal Gayle make Mr Bell one of the most deserving radio men to ever be so honored.

Coast to Coast is still a fantastic radio program but no one will every replace Art Bell's ability to lull us to sleep with such a silky delivery, scare us to death with his demonic cackle and even interrupt our tormented dreams (due to the show's subject matter) with his hacking smokers cough. Art, we miss you.

Give Art a listen as some Texan flies into Area 51. Haha. It is awesome.

The Squandering of the Conservative Opportunity

Of all the conservative thinkers, I've always prized PJ O'Rourke above all. For starters, he worked for National Lampoon, where he deftly and repeatedly inserted nuggets of conservative thinking tinged with vice into his humor and because he's stuck to those irascibly loveable guns ever since:

"Conservatives generally tend to be funnier in their private lives because of the hypocrisy factor. I am of course a big fan of hypocrisy, because hypocrites at least know the difference between right and wrong--at any rate, know enough to lie about what they're doing. Liberals are not nearly as hypocritical as conservatives, because they don't know the difference between right and wrong. In public policy liberals are always much more hilarious. Liberals are always proposing perfectly insane ideas, laws that will make everybody happy, laws that will make everything right, make us live forever, and all be rich. Conservatives are never that stupid."

In a Weekly Standard piece titled We Blew It, O'Rourke begins "Let us bend over and kiss our ass goodbye. Our 28-year conservative opportunity to fix the moral and practical boundaries of government is gone--gone with the bear market and the Bear Stearns and the bear that's headed off to do you-know-what in the woods on our philosophy."

PJ O'Rourke is still the master so sit down, shut up and read him before its too late.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Lost and Found and Lost Again Weekends

The must attend event of the weekend if you have kids and a drinking problem is the Miss Pussycat Art Opening at Live With Animals in Williamsburg. Miss P, aka Panacea Theriac, is a New Orleans based puppeteer and the sexier half of the wild musical duo Quintron and Miss Pussycat. In addition to the display of her vast collection, there will be a live puppet performance of "The Mystery at Squirrel Ranch." Adult beverages are a must.

NOTE: Her puppet shows are revelatory so I suggest you get there early, as in 7pm on Saturday the 8th.

Trixie and the Tree Trunks produced by Gabe Soria

BONUS: Quintron and Miss Pussycat are playing the record release party for the their new album Too Thirsty 4 Love out on Goner Records at Santos Party House on Monday the 10th. Another rocking freak-out money-back guarantee presented by the Empresario.

Oh Shit!

Has Kim Jong Il Left the Building?

Rumors are ever swirling that North Korea's crackpot tinpot tyrant Kim Jong Il is dead. Famous for releasing crudely tweaked photos of food stores and functioning lights in order to prove the crumbling Pyongyang is a functioning Shangri-La, the North Koreans are at it again. The PR chicanery is now focused on showing the mysterious 'Dear Leader' woodenly taking in the sights like the roaming gnome of Travelocity as proof he's alive and kicking. The latest baited switch, to be released by (?), is a shot of Mr. Kim standing before an assembled group of military men. The Times of London niftily analyzes shadow angles and the background with the zeal of a moon landing debunker. Something is obviously rotten in more than just Denmark and the photo is a piss poor attempt at subterfuge to be sure. Though like that stolen gnome kind of funny.

You may wonder in a place so lost in time where does one find digital tricksters. As Guy Delisle showed, in his great graphic novel Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea, these guys are an animation superpower. So maybe a crafty Simpsons cartoonist snuck a pirated Photoshop 2.0 into "The Land of the Morning Calm." All said, the machinations of North Korea are wildly obtuse. Just where in the hell is KIm Kim Jong Il is anybody's guess. And if he's dead or incapacitated who's the ruling force striding the darkened hallways of the Grand People's Cultural Palace? Could it be the other mysteriously missing world leader, Scottish musician Gerry Rafferty is lending a hand?

Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you

Thursday, November 06, 2008

All I Want For Christmas

Political Life Imitating Art

All the post-election elation reminds me of a classic coming of age movie from an earlier decade. The innocence of Another State of Mind's aspirations was infectious to a generation of musicians in the 80's and served for the rise of alternative music as mainstream. Small bands of like minded kids giving completely of themselves, whether artistically or politically, has some resonance in Obama's hopeful hoards of young people working for change in the stagnant American political landscape.

Another State of Mind is a rollicking DIY trip down memory lane and an intriguing snapshot of the early years before punk scenes were choked with poseurs drowning in tattoos. Fashion, then as now, was always job one however. Message negated by messengers. So I'm praying we don't start seeing tattoos and mohawks on Obama's cabinet members, for if that's the case, I fear all hope will be lost once again. Change is for the inside and clearly TBD for the USA.

Part 2 A great slam dancing lesson at the 17 minute mark
Part 3 Youth Brigade, Social Distortion and New York City
Part 4 Ian MacKaye explains Straight Edge and Minor Threat plays

Flash Back Bonus: NYC Hardcore on the Donahue Show 4 years later

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Wild in the Streets

Serge Becker of La Esquina and Café Select is throwing an election results street party in Kenmare Square with large screen projectors, hot cocoa, and all the crazed fun of collective celebration. The energy in New York City streets tonight will undoubtedly match the best Carnival or SXSW or Ibiza has to offer. The Obamatons will be raging one way or another and if you're a McCain/Pallin supporter a night spent kicking up your heels "elitist style" might just be your savior. A good long drink and some cross party uncommitted sex on a fire escape sounds like a great way to beat back the post-election blues. Worked for Mary Matalin and James Carville.

Plus, New York Night Train Empresario, Jonathan Toubin will be hosting his own debaucherous election night fandango in Williamsburg at one of our favorite bars, Daddy's. But bring your fiddle in case the whole place catches fire. If it's good enough for Nero, its good enough for the Rogers Sisters.

~ an hour by hour
guide to election returns

Monday, November 03, 2008

Goodnight Opus

The final panel of the Sunday comic strip Opus was revealed yesterday and somehow with the pervasive nuttiness of politics and life, I missed it. I've been a fan of the penguin Opus since spotting Bloom County back on a 1980's University of Texas campus filled with Steve Dallas look-alikes.

Berkeley Breathed told Salon he's ducking out of cartooning because he fears the nastiness of politics seeping into the strip. So little Opus has been put to bed for the last time, albeit in a picture perfect finale, leaving me and all the other Steve Dallas look-alikes not quite believing we missed Opus' goodbye and sadly certain we'll miss the Sunday morning get togethers from here on out. Click the picture for the final revel.

Sleep tight Opus.

God's Gift To Politics

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman [Sarah Palin] who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.
~ Christopher Hitchens

What is the gift of the gods to which the subject refers? The return of Chris Hitchen's sanity perhaps or if you like Sarah Palin's emerging political prominence. It's your choice. Regardless, the first Tuesday of November is nearly upon us, so pray to the god of your covenience and keep your fingers crossed. After all tomorrow is another day.

Gaze of the Dead

The nice part about dying is that people finally think fondly of you. Even if you're a total fuck up while you're alive [link to Stockbauer on you tube hahaha], once you're dead the slate is wiped clean. As usual the Mexicans got it right (remember – they're MexiCANs, not MexiCAN'Ts). When it comes to honoring the dead, it's best to throw a big party. On Saturday, I was at the Oakland Museum of California where they spent some of their fancy museum money to throw a community celebration for Days of the Dead. The morning started auspiciously with a dead cat in the koi pond. Alters were erected upon which visitors placed their remembrances of loved ones. Of course being Mexicans these included sticky glasses of foamy pulque and cheap cigarettes. Some people went all out and typed up essays about the deceased, but I liked the more basic efforts. The best one was the stick figure of the dead cat, which was apparently more beloved than the koi pond cat, since no one made an offering for it before we pitched it into the dumpster. Some say that lilies are the flower for funerals, but the Mexicans go with marigolds for their gaudy color and rank smell that are said to attract the dead. They also burn lots of incense just in case you can't smell the flowers when you're dead. It's a colorful, stinking affair, just like most good parties. Add Aztec dancers with feather headdress; senoritas in white blouses, ribbioned braids, and traditional skirts; kids with their squishy little faces painted like skeletons; ladies making tortillas; hand painted sugar skulls; taco stands; a guy in a devil costume, an alter to dead gay lesbian and transgenders (it is the Bay Area after all), and a mariachi band selling peyote buttons, and you've got a party thrilling enough to raise the dead.

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A. Brown

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Skateboarding Is A Crime

Add another to the laundry list of unAmerican activities taking place in New York City. Only here would they incorporate street urchin criminal hi-jinx into the high school curriculum. How's this possibe in the US of A you ask? Well, Manhattan is technically an island off the coast of America and it's ruling cabal of leftists have rejected Joe Six-Pack morality for the promise of wealth and fame. Damn Socialists! The proud proclamation in City Halls up and down main street America recognizing skateboarding as crime is as forgotten in the Big Apple as the Commandment about coveting your neighbors ass. Hopefully, when the NeoCon Regime retains power on Tuesday (fingers crossed for the sake of this blog) they will take on Manhattan and the redistributive ways of its heathen Elites.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Bye Bye Chucky

On October 30th, Chucky Taylor was found guilty in US Federal Court of conspiracy to commit assassination and torture in the West African nation of Liberia. Taylor will be sentenced in January and faces life behind bars. Guilty here of torture in foreign lands? Read American Warlord, Johnny Dwyer's Rolling Stone piece about how the son of Africa's most prominent warlord improbably morphed from an ordinary suburban teenager into the first U.S. citizen on trial for torture committed abroad. It's a classic "Like Father, Like Son" tale that should put a nice All Saint's Day fright into you.

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the running mule

the running mule