Friday, January 18, 2008


Currently close to 200,000 veterans – mainly of the Bush wars – are homeless, and essentially being denied government help. Paul Rieckoff runs down one shameful example in today’s Huffpo.

“Veterans represent one-third of the adult homeless population in this country, and that number is rising. While almost 200,000 homeless veterans line the nation's streets every night, almost twice as many experience homelessness at some point throughout the course of a year. Essentially, we have the population of Des Moines, Iowa or Montgomery, Alabama "sleeping under bridges." (Click for the whole story.)

The secret word is Despicable


TOMORROW (Saturday Jan 19th) the new book Bomp!: Saving the World One Record at a Time gets a signing by co-author Suzy Shaw and myself, coupled with a live performance in celebration by Joe and Mike Nolte from The Last. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. La Luz de Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., L.A., (323) 666-7667. Free beer is rumored.

Bobby Fischer -- RIP

Thursday, January 17, 2008


“You bastard. You told me there’d be a Target and a Starbucks.”


The following was sent by Brer LW (to whom I owe a jocular email). He is talking to Danny Baker on Baker’s Brit radio show.

"Dan, around the time Micky Farren was working at NME, he did a wonderful thing. Whenever Mickey, or any of us lot ( The Lone Groovers), bought something that had Polystyrene packing, he would take said shaped blocks, and stick them on his ceiling, thus creating Farren`s Moon City. Of course, when we had partaken of a drop of the old Peruvian Beaver Cheese, we would lie on our backs and observe said Moon City, until of course, we felt as if we were in space, looking down at the rare and strange buildings. Ah, them`s wuz the days."

Oh course, our styrofoam moon city looked nothing like the one above although it might have done had I worked on it longer and more obsessively. (And of course, if we’d had video camera phones back then, there’d be film of it.) But there are people out there who truly believe an alien city of rare and strange buildings exists on the Moon. Click for the somewhat implausible story and pics.

The secret word is Selenite

Oh yeah, after yesterday’s poke at Tom Cruise and Scientology, no men in black suits are lurking outside my building. So maybe they’re not as all-powerful as we assume. (Or better at lurking.) On the other hand, the Vegas odds against any C of S member reading this blog are probably ultra astronomical.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


A rumor has been circulating around my frequently unreliable neck of the woods that the Tom Cruise/Katy Holmes offspring is not Tom’s at all, but in fact Katie was inseminated by the frozen sperm of L. Ron Hubbard, and that the child Suri is, in fact, being groomed to be the Scientology Messiah. Do we believe that? Of course not. We’re too scared of their lawyers, but if I’m dead or missing tomorrow, it might be true. Meanwhile check out Tom making the impassioned pitch. This has been ripped down from most websites, but Gawker swear they’ll keep it up.(Thanks Southern Belle)

The secret word is Clear

“Doc has posted a whole new selection of his truly bizarre and often depressingly retro musical selections on DOCTUBE, but I think I’ll just lounge here and be decadently fetishistic.”

Monday, January 14, 2008

BEATING ON DITA and why you can’t read it on the web

Regular readers will know that every two weeks I write a media column titled Mick’s Media for the tabloid LA CityBeat, and every two weeks I post a link so all you folks from Birmingham to Bangalore can also read it. But no longer it would seem. In their less than infinite wisdom, the management of LACB decided to revamp the site, which everyone agreed did look a bit circa 1998. But instead of some new, user friendly, techno-wonder, the lackwit contracted to do the job launched some dysfunctional piece garbage that is little short of a cybernetic puzzle from hell which would lead most readers to assume LACB Online was out of business. Whether anything will be done about it remains to be seen, and whether I’m fired for calling out management on their ineptitude also may need watching. For the moment, I intend to post the columns here in full instead of fruitlessly linking them. (Only, of course, after they have hit the stands in print.) We shall see what happens. This is from last Thursday’s issue.
According to the capricious Doc40 color code, I think I’ll print these in turquoise, indicating that I wrote it, but that it has already been published elsewhere.

The secret word is (yet again) Clusterfuck

A modest proposal for the immediate execution of Dita Von Teese

I have eliminated physical newspapers from my home. I receive the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post via the Internet (and also the New York Post, ever a mind-boggler). In addition to saving trees, the computer allows me to trippingly bypass the mindless filler that struggling broadsheets vainly believe will deliver the grail of the 18-to-35 demographic. But on Sunday, December 30, I made an exception. With no false modesty, my co-author Suzy Shaw and I had entered the L.A. Times bestseller list at No. 13 with our new book, Bomp!: Saving the World One Record at a Time, and I wanted to admire my name in old-
fashioned print. (Something I actually couldn’t do, but that’s another story.)
Having not had a copy of the Times in the house for months, I was surprised by its bulk. Surprise escalated to amazement when I encountered the “Image” section, dominated by a vast headshot of Dita Von Teese and the message “like the car you drive, or the watch you wear, the bubbly you reach for … speaks volumes about who you are.”
Perhaps my world has become a trifle cyber-esoteric, but I initially wondered on what terminally decadent planet I’d landed. I had clearly been lamentably ignoring plutocrat idiocy. My recall of Von Teese was as Marilyn Manson’s former flame, a modern pinup girl with interesting taste in corsets and a burlesque act that, although a highly pleasing method of punctuating rock-band performances, was little more than old-school stripping with some Belle Epoch pretensions, or a Weimar edge.
Now I discover she’s some kind of spokes-shill for the champagne industry, which, led by Cristal, was pimped-out in the 1990s by P. Diddy and is now selling itself like liquid bling: Witness the $300 Armand de Brignac in its gold-plated bottle (promoted by Jay-Z and an item in Academy Award nominee gift bags). Then, two days after reading a soufflĂ© of a full-page interview about how Dita has had “offers” to act, and once purchased $500 worth of pies to throw at her friends on New Year’s Eve, the TV told me that, in the real world, oil had hit a record hundred bucks a barrel.
Von Teese herself also seemed to have physically changed. While with Manson, she affected a glossy, neo-counterculture style, but as the “Image” cover girl she appeared to have undergone a conservative makeover, causing her to resemble Monica Lewinsky’s slimmer, prettier sister. But perhaps this is just a last hurrah, a neocon bunker apocalypse in which the measure of a man will be judged by the brand of champagne he drinks, but only until the champagne runs out.
On the other hand, this is the Los Angeles Times’ happy promotion of an obscene level of social and cultural inequality that – in a country at war, and a world in which deadly crises are too numerous to count – will hardly build circulation or comfort its existing readers. Dita and her decadent ultra-marketing seem to be doing nothing less than moving routine Hollywood lipstick pointlessness toward a full-blown Marie Antoinette let-them-eat-cake. Historically, that attitude has a limited half-life; before too long, the guillotines are rolled out, the blades fall, the crowd cheers, and equality is imposed the hard way with the head in the basket.
I suppose I’m joking about Von Teese’s execution, but, as we move into the eighth hellish year of the Bush regime, we are obliged to examine all the absurd legacies that will remain, and the Dita Von Teese school of talentless celebrity and disgusting over-consumption has to be one of them. Maybe the foolishness of gold champagne bottles, being promoted by women famous for little more than their lovers and their foundation garments, will be recognized by the changing times as patently absurd.
In the meantime, I’m clicking over to Craig’s List to check out rented tumbrels and carpenters who might be willing to construct some cheap serviceable decapitation devices.

Maila Nurmi (Vampira) -- RIP