Saturday, April 03, 2010
I have never liked Easter. As a child, things always went wrong at Easter. Indeed, it’s no exaggeration to say I truly loath Easter. Of all the Christian holidays, it is the one most transparently stolen from Mithras or his like. Too obviously a purloined pagan springtime fertility fest. But I don’t want to go into any reruns of South Park or Eddie Izzard about the totally implausible incorporation into violent Christian sacrifice of marshmallow chickens, chocolate eggs, the Warrens of Golgotha, or the Bunny Who Should Be Pope.
I won’t even speculate why, when alcohol is a major built-in element of Christmas, there’s no tradition of drinking at Easter. Not even a clean Bombay martini to hail the lengthening day. Maybe the pagan’s ran out of booze by the end of February. Maybe that’s why Easter is so miserable when it should be a feast of optimism and joy that we made it through another winter. Of course, the Christians removing the sex from the fertility, and substituting fear, agony, and death didn’t help.
As an English schoolboy, I was force fed all the crap about Jesus saving us from our sins, and guaranteeing our eternal salvation by coming back from the dead after three days. Even as young as age seven, I found it all extremely and unbelievably depressing. (And there’s nothing more pathetic than a depressed seven year-old.) Easter totally convinced me of the absolute need for a separation of church and state. Every year the horrible weekend rolled around. First we had to go through the dreadful Thursday night with the weird Da Vinci meal, and then Jesus being ratted-out by various disciples like a lost sequence from Godfather II, and taken downtown by the Roman gestapo for all that Mel Gibson torture and barbed fishhook whips, while debate over jurisdiction fight ping-ponged between the Roman Gov and the Sanhedrin. To paraphrase Bob, the trial was bad enough, but the hideous execution was ten times worse.
I made the mistake quite early in life (although it was more on account of Spartacus than Jesus) of discovering that crucifixion was not a tidy matter of blood and iron nails, but horrendously slow asphyxiation, fighting for every dying breath. I was well aware why traditional vampires feared crosses. They scared the shit out of me.
And then it was Easter day. No presents, no big dinner, and, in the story, Jesus came out of the lousy cave, but even I, as a very small boy, could see that he was by no means quite right. Hell, he wasn’t even as robust as Dracula in a sequel. He kinda faded in and faded out, and I knew it was some supernatural confidence trick like ectoplasm. I guess it was the weird, fucked-up Easters of my childhood that really laid the foundation for my grown-up wish that the Rapture would move its lazy ass and get here so we can be rid of all the troublemaking born-again assholes, their spread-eagled deity, and their singular bloody piety. Let the Beltane fires burn and freedom ring. Yes, my friends, I really hate Easter.
But click here for Johnny Cash anyway.
The secret word is Disbelief
Posted by Mick at 4/03/2010 03:58:00 PM
Friday, April 02, 2010
“At least I had the decency to stay out of politics.”
When I read the item below, I realised that, here in the Shadow World of the Tubular Internets, this video is now a milestone in virtual chicken-history.
"CHARLOTTE, NC.—AEBN has announced that it will be streaming the infamous Paris Hilton sex video for a limited six-month engagement, and that the storied video also has been encoded for RealTouch, the company's proprietary haptic male masturbation device. Hotel Heiress: The Paris Hilton Sex Video, which first hit the internet in 2004, features Hilton and then-boyfriend Rick Salomon in a bedroom romp that includes the green-tinged night vision footage most readily associated with the celebrity sex video. One of the first leaked sex tapes in the age of ubiquitous internet use, clips from the video were widely circulated across the web."
Click here for Main Title Theme (from The Man With The Golden Arm)
Posted by Mick at 4/02/2010 04:16:00 PM
Only a couple of days ago the UK tabloid media were bent out of shape about the designer drug mephedrone, but now we learn from this Sky News report, forwarded by our homeboy Arsyd, time has marched on and today they are wholly hysterical about something called naphyrone that is ten times worse on the disco-party drug fantasy scale of horror. Should the mind boggle or just pour itself a drink?
“Dave Llewellyn, who admits supplying large quantities of mephedrone to customers in the UK, said the new chemical is so dangerous he was refusing to sell it on his website - although it would not be against the law. "This stuff is absolutely evil - it's going to cause all sorts of psychological problems," he told Sky News. "It will cause long-term brain damage from the very first hit and eventually it's going to end up with bodies."
Naphyrone is already being marketed as a mephedrone replacement, but according to Mr Llewellyn it is far more toxic than many illegal drugs like cocaine and ecstasy. The substance is sold online under the name NRG-1 and costs as little as 25 pence a hit. The fact it is so cheap means, according to Mr Llewellyn, that it is likely to become hugely popular with youngsters. "I think it really could be Europe's crystal meth. I can see an epidemic where people are getting into it without realising what they're getting into and then having to go back for more." For the moment naphyrone is not widely available in the UK, but its presence is a concern for many established scientists. Medical director of the charity Addaction Dr Ken Checinski has warned those considering taking the designer drug to think again. "We know a little about its chemistry. We know it's a variant of other substances both legal and illegal that can cause psychological and physical harm," he said. The Government is currently trying to outlaw mephedrone - but naphyrone is likely to escape the ban for the moment.”
Click here for very designer Floyd
The secret word is Wasteland
Posted by Mick at 4/02/2010 03:57:00 PM
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Okay, so the Large Hadron Collider has cranked up, crossed the steams, annihilated particles, but, even though it is April Fool’s day, nothing terribly bad has happened so far. No mini-black hole has vaporized Western Europe. No Time Lords have come burning back from the future to put a stop to it all. The Vatican is still standing. And my best instinct tells me that time is moving just as it always did, although it can sometimes be hard to tell. On the other hand, the Hubble telescope is keeping an eye on a mysterious X-shaped object traveling through outer space at 11,000mph. NASA says that P/2010-A2 may be a comet, product of the collision between two asteroids, but what’s really making the Hubble’s circuits sit up and take notice – aside from the thing resembling both a Klingon Bird of Prey and one of those evil Shadow vessels from Babylon 5 – the 100 meter-wide nucleus of the weird X is outside the dust halo and separated from the trail. This something never previously seen with a comet or any other object on a natural, solar-system system flyby. Click here for close-up and more.
Click here for Husker Du
The secret word is Stardate
Posted by Mick at 4/01/2010 03:55:00 PM
When Samuel R. "Chip" Delaney published his novel Dahlgren, in 1975, if all but floored me. I had just started publishing book length fiction – The DNA Cowboys Trilogy to be precise, and I thought I was pretty smart. Then I read Dhalgren – with its layer upon layer of ambiguous complexity and, in addition to speculating if Delaney was the natural heir to Bill Burroughs, I wondered if I was supposed to write shit like that. Mercifully I wasn’t and we all went on with our lives. Now Dhalgren is a play. Damn.
“It seems appropriate that Dhalgren, or at least the latest mutation of it, will return this month to the city of its birth. On April 1—Delany’s 68th birthday—the Kitchen will begin staging an adaptation called Bellona, Destroyer of Cities. Its director and writer is Jay Scheib, an MIT professor and rising theater-world star who’s been obsessed with Dhalgren for years. He once devoted an MIT course to the book, and has even adapted it into a play in German. “It took me roughly a year to read Dhalgren for the first time,” Scheib says. “I would read the same ten pages over and over and over again.” The loop structure impelled him to keep coming back. “You get the feeling that the story has been going on like a fugue for millennia,” he says. “The second time you read it, it’s thrilling. The third time, it makes you high. After that it’s like reading philosophy.” The play’s producer, Tanya Selvaratnam, took the opposite approach, reading the entire book in a day and a half; by the end, she says, she felt like she was hallucinating. One of the actors told Scheib that reading the novel was the hardest thing he did all year. (Delany hasn’t read the book in probably fifteen years and has little interest in doing so; his energy is focused on “futzing” with his next novel, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders, due in November.)” Click here for more.
Posted by Mick at 4/01/2010 03:48:00 PM
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Yesterday we wondered if humans were too stupid to prevent climate change. Today we wonder which ones are stupid enough to pay sixteen hundred bucks for a ripped t-shirt. I lifted this intact from World of Wonder.
"The $1,625 Balmain t-shirt. "Go for stylishly disheveled cool in Balmain's olive green distressed detail cotton t-shirt. Work the runway look by teaming this statement staple with cargo pants and ankle boots for a luxe spin on utility chic. Balmain t-shirt with distressed hole detail has a high round neck, short sleeves and simply slips on. 100% cotton."
Click here for Bryan Ferry
The secret word is Grift
Posted by Mick at 3/31/2010 03:29:00 PM
"History celebrates the greatest of Roman emperors for their vast conquests, civic architecture, engineering, and legal institutions, but Elagabalus, who ruled from AD 218 to 222, is remembered, to the extent that he is remembered at all, for his outrageous behavior and his fondness for young boys and silk. During his reign he managed to shock the jaded populace of the ancient world's capital with a parade of scandalous acts, ranging from harmless pranks to the capricious murder of children. Nothing, however, commanded Rome's attention (and fired its envy) as much as his wardrobe and the lengths he went to flaunt it, such as removing all his body hair and powdering his face with red and white makeup. Although his favorite fabric was occasionally mixed with linen - the so-called sericum - Elagabalus was the first Western leader to wear clothes made entirely of silk. – William J. Bernstein, A Splendid Exchange”
Doesn’t he kinda look like Bob Denver?
Posted by Mick at 3/31/2010 03:23:00 PM
The following was forwarded by our good pal Wendy. Please help stop Klondike Barbie.
"Sarah Palin has signed on with reality TV producers and Discovery Communications to star in a new TV show about Alaska and its outdoors. But the ugly reality is that as governor for only two-and-a-half years, Sarah Palin escalated a bloody aerial wolf-slaughter campaign that continues to this very day. She even planned to offer a $150 bounty for the severed forelimb of each killed wolf. Palin also fought against increased protections for endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales and America's dwindling populations of polar bears. Sign our petition to Discovery Communications -- and let them know that Sarah Palin doesn't deserve to represent the "powerful beauty of Alaska" in front of millions of people." (Click here to sign.)
The secret word is Grifter
Posted by Mick at 3/31/2010 03:19:00 PM
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I didn’t want to say it myself, but…
“Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change from radically impacting on our lives over the coming decades. This is the stark conclusion of James Lovelock, the globally respected environmental thinker and independent scientist who developed the Gaia theory. "I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change," said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. "The inertia of humans is so huge that you can't really do anything meaningful." One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is "modern democracy", he added. "Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while." Lovelock, 90, believes the world's best hope is to invest in adaptation measures, such as buiding sea defences around the cities that are most vulnerable to sea-level rises. He thinks only a catastrophic event would now persuade humanity to take the threat of climate change seriously enough, such as the collapse of a giant glacier in Antartica, such as the Pine Island glacier, which would immediately push up sea level.” Click here for the whole story
Click here for Bob
The secret word is Wonder
Posted by Mick at 3/30/2010 04:06:00 PM
Every now and again a new club/rave drug comes along which throws the sensational media and hidebound drug warriors into a total panic. This tale of alarm was sent by the ever watchful Valerie.
"Legal high kills two teens," cries the Daily Express. "Legal drug teen ripped his scrotum off," roars The Sun. A steady stream of stories in the UK media about a little-known "legal high" variously called mephedrone, plant food, miaow-miaow or m-cat reached fever pitch this month. Newspapers, teachers and parents demanded an immediate ban. Les Iversen, the UK government's chief drugs adviser, recommended that the drug be put in the same class as amphetamines, making possession punishable by five years in prison. Later today, the government is likely to announce plans for an emergency ban that could be enacted this week. Mephedrone is a synthetic analogue of the herbal amphetamine cathinone, found naturally in the leaves of the khat plant, Catha edulis. Chewing khat leaves is a popular ritual in some east African communities. Mephedrone, or 4-methylmethcathinone, is part of a family of synthetic cathinones created to mimic khat's stimulant properties. Its precise origins are unclear, though early reports suggest it was being supplied by an Israeli legal high seller called Neorganics as far back as 2007. Fearing it would affect army conscripts, the government there banned mephedrone later that year. Around that time, mephedrone began appearing on internet chat forums, and the drug seems to have spread rapidly since then: significant use is now reported in Sweden, Finland, the UK, Ireland and Australia. The vast majority of mephedrone is produced in China and sold to dealers for between £2500 and £4000 per kilogram. No one knows how much is being exported globally.” Click here for more.
Posted by Mick at 3/30/2010 03:55:00 PM
The nightclub Voyeur in West Hollywood – that features faux-lesbian bondage shows and naked women as décor – has graduated from an up-market, trendy hang-out to a political scandal after the Republican National Committee dropped a couple of grand there. To demonstrate how our politicians spend other people’s money, here are a couple opposing views of the joint; comments from a nightclub website that I don’t really care to link or publicize.
“The girl at the door sent us in right away and told us to go to a table by the bar and get some free Champagne. Seriously. This club is amazing. There are topless "dancers" acting out S&M scenes throughout the night on one of the side stages, there's a half-naked girl hanging from a net across the ceiling and at one point I walked to the bathroom and pretty much just stopped dead in my tracks to watch two girls simulating oral sex in a glass case. Really understated elegance here. Also, Lindsay Lohan was at our table at one point.”
“Apparently this is the hottest club in Hollywood right now where all the celebrities like to hang out. I personally found this place kinda shady! And I'm not talking about the dark lighting or the topless dancers dangling from the ceiling. If you do table service, forget about any sort of VIP treatment. You still have to wait awhile in line and they seem to expect you to order one bottle for every 2 people. WTF? How are 2 people supposed to finish a bottle of vodka? And in less than 3 hours considering the club's closing time at 2am?! Since there are topless women all throughout the club, there is a strict no photo policy, even if you're taking pictures of your friends and the go-go dancers are nowhere in view of your camera. And no, I didn't see any celebrities or paparazzi. Probably because I was too drunk and don't even remember leaving the place.”
Posted by Mick at 3/30/2010 03:47:00 PM
Monday, March 29, 2010
Now the hideous RDX and shrapnel explosions at the Lubyanka and Park Kultury stations in the Moscow subway are being assumed to be work of some radical Islamic crew out of the North Caucasus, the Russians become much stronger de facto allies with the US in the mythic War on Terror. Meanwhile, Obama is signing a nuclear warhead reduction treaty with Russia, that the idiot bloody Republicans will – raising their uncomprehending snouts from the corporate trough – attempt to block, doubtless dusting off all their demented Cold War, the-missiles-are-flying rhetoric, and sending out Palin because she can see Russia from her porch. But they could now fall into a massive trap that, by not allowing Obama to chum up to the Russians, they would be damaging a crucial Alliance Against Terror. Is that an open can of worms we see before us, or what? Under Chicago rules, the Dems are obliged use it.
Click here for a BBC report of the tragic basics.
Click here for Iggy
The secret word is Yalta
Posted by Mick at 3/29/2010 03:42:00 PM
Some days I think we only survive in a twilight zone created by the ultimate stupidity of our corporate wanna-be masters. Maybe this is how NBC news came to learn that “the Republican National Committee in February spent about $2,000 at a sex-themed California night club called Voyeur West Hollywood. It also spent more than $15,000 on ritzy Beverly Hill hotels.”
“Want to know what expenses your boss claimed last month? How much your colleague makes? What the co-worker down the hall is really working on? Forget about hacking their computers – you might want to hit the nearest photocopier instead. Turns out the newfangled, multi-purpose copy machines in your office keep a wealth of copied data on a hard drive that anyone can hack. In the age of everything digital, the photocopier is probably the one workplace item you never thought to worry about. It's just making a copy of a document, right? How risky could that be? Very risky, as it turns out. You might want to press cancel on the copy machine right about now. Victor Beitner, a security expert who reconfigures photocopy machines destined for resale in Toronto, says businesses are completely unaware of the potential information security breach when the office photocopier is replaced. They think the copier is just headed for a junkyard but, in most cases, when the machine goes, so does sensitive data that have been stored on the copier's hard drive for years. "If I was the kind of person looking for certain information, this would be a gold mine," said Beitner, founder of Cyber Security Canada, a security, privacy and threat management company. "People have no clue of what the risks are." Click here for the rest.
Posted by Mick at 3/29/2010 03:37:00 PM
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Don’t you just love contemporary misconception? But she didn’t need to worry. She might have come to Woodstock for love and music, but shortly after the depicted moment she would drop the brown acid, see God, engage Cthulhu, loose her clothes, and participate in a mass mud orgy. Later she would be recruited by a splinter group of the Weather Underground, change her name, go on the lam, and be killed by the Oakland PD during a shootout at a radical commune in 1971.
Click here for Jimi
The secret word is Peace
Posted by Mick at 3/28/2010 03:41:00 PM