Saturday, June 19, 2010

THE SAN FRANCISCO ROCKET

All I know is I want one.

The Black Rock Arts Foundation writes:
“The 40-foot-tall art piece, The Raygun Gothic Rocketship, offers rococo-futuristic, highly-stylized vision of space travel circa 1930's-1940's science fiction and is the latest in a series of temporary public art exhibitions sponsored by BRAF with the aim of enlivening and activating public spaces. The installation first landed at Burning Man 2009, and has subsequently appeared at NASA Ames for Yuri's Night, and at Maker Faire. The piece is comprised of a single rocketship, poised as if to board passengers for a typical run to a nearby stellar destination. When installed in San Francisco, the sculpture will be accompanied by a descriptive exhibit, a "rocket stop", which tells the story of the rocketship, provides route, schedule and other information. The installation will be illuminated for nighttime viewing. We need your support!!!” (Click here for more)

Click here for Gene

The secret word is Countdown

THE IMMORTAL JELLYFISH















"The Turritopsis nutricula is known as the "immortal jellyfish" because even once sexually mature, it can revert back to its polypoid stage, its first life stage. And then rinse and repeat. Again and again. And because they are able to bypass death, the number of individuals is spiking. They're now found in oceans around the globe rather than just in their native Caribbean waters. "We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion," says Dr. Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute." But how their immortality stands up to the BP oil, of course, remains to be seen. (Lifted from Boing Boing)

Click here for Dr Feelgood (the relevance is tenuous and mainly in the word “jetty”)

PLUGS FOR PALS








Click here for another track from the upcoming virtual album String Theory by my longtime songwriting partner and band mate Andy Colquhoun (once and future Deviant and Pink Fairy). The title of the track is “Hot Rod.” The whole album should have been up on Andy’s website by now but some of them unforeseen tech glitches have beset the launch.

And while we’re viddying well, I just got a heads up that the tune “Bela Lugosi” from my 1977 album Vampires Stole My Lunch Money has been posted on YouTube by some kind person. It was written by Andy and me back in the day and features Chrissie Hynde and Sonja Christina singing backup. Click here.

DOC'S PAPERBACK CLASSIC'S # 78
















But Captain Kirk taught us all about green women, didn’t he?

GRATUITOUS BARDOT

Friday, June 18, 2010

KILL THE KILL SWITCH















No question. This has to be stopped. Now.

“US President Barack Obama would be granted powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet under a new bill that describes the global internet as a US "national asset". Local lobby groups and academics have rounded on the plan, saying that, rather than combat terrorists, it would actually do them "the biggest favour ever" by terrorising the rest of the world, which is now heavily reliant on cyberspace. The proposed legislation, introduced into the US Senate by independent senator Joe Lieberman, who is chairman of the US Homeland Security committee, seeks to grant the President broad emergency powers over the internet in times of national emergency. Titled "Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act", the bill stipulates any internet firms and providers must "immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed" by a new section of the US Department of Homeland Security, dubbed the "National Centre for Cybersecurity and Communications". Lobby group TechAmerica told ZDNet it worried that the bill would give the US "absolute power" over the internet and create "unintended consequences." (Click here for more)

Click here for Lennon

WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING DRAFT














Now that Afghanistan is the longest running war in US history and, with all the “new” mineral finds, it might go on for another fucking decade, where is the Pentagon going to get its manpower? Conscription? No, my friends, why risk all that a draft might precipitate when you can seemingly sucker the kids into the bloody risks of grunt-hood with video games? (And mass unemployment also helps, of course.)

“David Simon and Ed Burns are all too aware of young men and their often-misguided call to adventure. In their award-winning TV series Generation Kill, based on Evan Wright's embedded reporting for Rolling Stone, the series documents the first three weeks of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In it a new generation of young marines or ''warriors'', who have been raised on hip-hop, heavy metal and video games, request the evacuation of a young Iraqi boy badly wounded by one of their more trigger-happy colleagues. Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen ''Godfather'' Ferrando acknowledges the situation is worse than ''shitty'' but refuses their request. He reminds them that ''nobody put a f---ing gun to our heads and forced us to come here. We're all volunteers.'' But surely this is disingenuous. Every year, the Pentagon spends $US6 billion using the latest digital gaming technology for training for the armed forces. This in turn has given rise to an effective recruitment tool called ''militainment''. According to Peter W. Singer, director of the 21st Century Defence Initiative at the Brookings Institution, ''America's Army'' is one of the top 10 downloaded games on the internet. Singer describes it as a ''first-person shooter'', where the player is a soldier who goes out on various missions. However, to access the game online you must sign up and give your personal information, which helps recruiters find you. Although Singer acknowledges that a large number of the players engage for the fun of playing the game, it has turned out to be, according to one study, ''more effective than any other form of recruiting that the US Army has.'' (Click here for more)

Click here for Edwin Starr

The secret word is Colonialism

FLOGGING A DEAD HORSE

“On July 3, 1965 at the Rogers ranch in Hidden Valley, California, Trigger left this earth at the age of 30 (one day before he would turn 31), succumbing to old age. Reluctant to "put him in the ground," Roy was inspired by the animals on display in the Smithsonian. He decided to have Trigger mounted in his iconic rearing position on two legs and put on display at the Roy Rogers - Dale Evans Museum, then located in Victorville, California.”

But now the museum has decided to put Trigger up for auction. The dead horse is expected to fetch $100 thousand at Christies. (Click here for the catalogue entry)

Click here for Dead Weather singing Bob

Thanks to J-Walk for the heads up.

CATCH THE WAVE (Endless Summer)











Orange Beach, Alabama, 90 miles from the BP gusher.

Click here for ironic Beach Boys

THE FROZDICK FAMILY











Melinda Frozdick treated the pool as a serious challenge.

SPACE OPERA






















Click here for the Beatles on Dr Who

THIS BLOG IS STILL PROTECTED BY...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

WE ARE THE (THIRD) WORLD




















Sometimes it’s all in the juxtapositioning. Compare and contrast with the image below and then place your bets on who survives the apocalypse. (Photo by Pieter Hugo)

Click here for Burundi drums

Gary Shider -- RIP

WE ARE THE (FIRST) WORLD















Need we say more?

Click for Cliff

YES, NEIGHBOURS, IT’S RAINBOW BACON









Here at Doc40 we like to keep an eye on the bacon that’s being brought home.

“Neil Caldwell has come up with something that is pure genius. He has created the color wheel of bacon! No, this isn’t some graphic design trick (although Neil is a graphic designer). This is real, genuine colored bacon. Ever had trouble getting your kids to eat their meat? Well, we can just about guarantee that the kiddies won’t turn down a rainbow of sweet, sweet bacon. Just how does Neil create this fantastically colored bacon? Well, for the moment he’s keeping the secret under wraps. We’ll keep on the case though and see if we can’t get you a recipe for this colorful concoction.” Click here for more.

AND IF ANY MORE PROOF OF THE MADNESS WAS NEEDED














The insanity proliferates as the rabid Michele Bachmann springs like a dog at a bell (Pavlov joke) to the defense of BP. (But I guess BP is her corporate master's voice, as she serves to confuse the proles and the surly American lumpen.)

“The president just called for creating a fund that would be administered by outsiders, which would be more of a redistribution-of-wealth fund. And now it appears like we’ll be looking at one more gateway for more government control, more money to government. If there is a disaster, why is it that government is the one who always seems to benefit after a disaster, and that’s of course what cap-and-trade would be. They (BP) shouldn’t have to be fleeced and made chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest — they’ve got to be legitimate claims. The other thing we have to remember is that Obama loves to make evil whatever company it is that he wants to get more power from. He makes them evil, and what we’ve got to ask ourselves is: Do we really want to be paying $9 for a gallon of gas? Because that could be the final result of this.”

JIMMY, WE TOLD YOU TO STAY AWAY FROM THE BEACH

OKAY, WHO GAVE THE ACID TO THE CAT?













Click here for cat drama

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

MIASMA OF DISBELIEF












The President makes a ineffectual TV address. Oil CEOs appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee and display blind ignorance. A helicopter dices the night air over my apartment. Meanwhile crude oil still hemorrhages massively into the Gulf of Mexico without a tomorrow, while the estimates climb, killing the seas as though it was some prequel to Soylent Green, and all BP seems able to focus on is public relations spin and limiting their liabilities. So far – if witnesses are to be believed – they have manipulated Google, removed dead wildlife to prevent the carnage being filmed, and now they are refusing to supply clean-up workers with hazmat protective clothing, and threaten them with firing if they bring their own. Supposedly this is so BP will make no tacit admission that the oil and dispersants pose a health hazard that might be used in a court of law against them. I no longer know what to think. How long is it now? How long have we floated in this miasma of disbelief? 58 days? Oh mama, is this really the end? Is there any way out of this horror, or are we hearing the whimper with which the world ends? Is that Chicken Little I see, coming down the road, carrying a chunk of sky?

Click here for Cat Power

The secret word is Desperate

THE ANNALS OF MORALITY




















Our siblings over at Delancey Place sent us this snippet revelation of the farcical side of phone sex…

“We couldn't use any sexually explicit words or phrases till the caller used them first. We couldn't actually talk dirty to callers till they talked dirty to us, and strangely enough, getting a very horny man to talk dirty to you isn't as easy as it seems. Most of the callers are slightly socially retarded toward women. If they were able to talk to women about what they wanted, they would be getting laid without Ma Bell playing madam. The typical career expected you to be an easy verbal lay: Just dial the number and instant orgasmic satisfaction. But I couldn't give them what I knew they wanted without them 'feeding me the line.' So it was a conversational tug-of-war: 'Talk dirty to me.' 'Tell me about what you want me to do for you.' 'Talk dirty to me.' 'Come on, baby, tell me your fantasy.' 'I want you to talk dirty to me.' 'Tell me exactly what you want me to talk about.' 'Talk dirty to me.' And so on and so on." David Henry Sterry and R.J. Martin, Jr – Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys (Soft Skull)

Click here for Blondie

DOC’S DATING TIPS #2













(Anonymous was right. These do have a Jim Thompson vibe.)

DOC'S PAPERBACK CLASSIC'S # 77

THE FROZDICK FAMILY















Eyebrows were raised, even among the Frozdicks, when Imelda married Univac.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TALK YOUR WAY OUT OF THIS ONE











Our pal Wendy sent over the following story with the comment “try claiming this on insurance.”

“If you've ever driven between Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, on I-75 then you probably saw the six-story King of Kings statue featuring Jesus coming out of a lake with hands raised in front of the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. Monday night the statue was destroyed by fire after being struck by lightning. Monroe fire chief Mark Neu told the CNN Belief Blog he's never seen anything like the fire in his 32 years as chief. He said the 62-foot statue had a steel frame and was wrapped in Styrofoam and covered with a fiberglass coating to protect it. At 11:16 last night, the fire department got the call the statue had been hit by lighting and was on fire. "It spread from the statue to the amphitheater," he said. "There was heavy damage to the amphitheater where the stature backed up to. It was a fast-moving fire. We’re looking at $700,000 worth of damage." (Click here for more and a video)

Click here for Blind Willie Johnson

Click here for Nick Cave

The secret word is Odin

GIVE THE DOLPHIN AN iPAD










Our friend Aeswiren sent over this story of the dolphin with a computer. Damn. Maybe they’ll take over. They couldn’t make more of a mess than humanity has.

“The fact that there is a dolphin using an iPad is perhaps less amazing than the surprise that Apple’s marketing department had nothing to do with it. Yes, Merlin the dolphin has an iPad, and he and his trainer are using it to better understand each other’s communication patterns. If successful, the Apple gadget may help break the dolphin-human language barrier. Ever since the debut of the iPad, there have a plethora of cats, dogs, birds and mice playing with the Apple gadget. Though some, like the amazing cat Iggy, seem to demonstrate a level of self-awareness about the iPad, Merlin is the first mammal to use it as a learning tool. The innovative program was the brainchild of dolphin researcher Jack Kassewitz of Speak Dolphin, an organization dedicated to unlocking the secrets of cetacean communication. Kassewitz explains: The use of the iPad is part of our continuing search to find a suitable touchscreen technology which the dolphins can activate with the tip of their rostrums or beaks … We think that once the dolphins get the hang of the touchscreen, we can let them choose from a wide assortment of symbols to represent objects, actions and even emotions. The researchers have found a way to waterproof the iPad and are now using it to help Merlin — an animal that lives in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico — to make associations between physical objects and digital representations of those objects. The next step will be to layer in verbs and prepositions, making the dream of interactive communication with the brainiest animals on the planet a true possibility.”

Click here for Humpbacked Whales

DOC’S DATING TIPS #1














(Lifted from Brusquelles)

Click here for John Lee Hooker

SPACE OPERA

DON’T YOU MISS THE 20TH CENTURY? (Tuesday Finale)


















That's all, folks!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I’LL BE ON TV…















…but only in the UK
The show is called Rude Britannia and it starts up tonight on BBC Four. I didn’t receive the heads-up in time to warn you about the first episode that aired tonight at 9pm on BBC Four. The second is tomorrow (Tuesday 15th June) at the same time. Episode 3 (which is the one I’m – talking about the comic book Nasty Tales and the 1971 obscenity prosecution against it) will go out on Wednesday 16th June at 9pm. (Click here for a preview.)

THE BODY OF BIERCE



















Our pals at LOWFI have just posted a lengthy discourse by Brad Steiger on the legendary Ambrose Bierce…

“In the San Francisco of 1876, Ambrose Bierce reigned as unchallenged literary king, the best known writer west of the Rockies. Some of the contemporaries who nourished their lights in Bierce’s shadow are much better known today. Bret Harte, Jack London, and Joaquin Miller not only rate larger space in the textbooks, but their works remain easily available. Of Bierce’s voluminous writings, only a collection of short stories, In the Midst of Life, and fragments of The Devil’s Dictionary are easily obtainable. But if Bierce’s literary endeavors have not stood the test of time as well as those of certain of his contemporaries, he still enjoys a last laugh, because the mystery of his strange disappearance is better known than the entire life histories of Harte, London, and Miller.” (Click here for the whole thing)

And to give the story more heft, it comes hot on the heels of how…

“A construction worker in Chihuahua, Mexico unearthed what appear to be the remains of writer Ambrose Bierce from the basement of an old bordello demolished to make way for condominiums. Bierce scholars are excited about the unexpected discovery, considering that nearly a century of speculation as to what happened to the writer may finally be brought to an end. Rumored to have mysteriously disappeared in 1913 while investigating the Mexican revolution in his later years, 'Bitter Bierce' was well known in America for his disenchantment with politics, war, capitalism and his most favored target of all, human nature.”

Click here for the Death Proof Coasters

IF I HADN’T SMOKED ALL THAT DOPE I MIGHT STILL HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF MATH


















Click here for Chuck

DON’T YOU MISS THE 20TH CENTURY? (Monday Extra)

GRATUITOUS BARDOT

















Click here for mambo

Sunday, June 13, 2010

SUNDAY BREAKFAST











It has to be a while since I breakfasted on hors d’oeuvres and champagne. How long has it been? How long is the dream, girl? How far can it be extended? Too much of late has become just a matter of retreat into fantasy. But maybe that is just as well since, throwing off the warm dead sheets of illiterate self-pity, Renquist V – which is now well under way – could prove to be the hardest fantasy into which I have ever retreated. The good fight must be fought while I fluctuate at dangerous keyboard frequencies between “This is brilliant” and “Michael, you are going certifiably crazy”, but always stretching for the correct crack in the tuning-fork tonality has never been a symptom of sanity. But I don’t despair. It is early days yet. Characters old and new are loosed to scrabble randomly across the star-studded sidewalk like the windup toys of a indigent street vendor of Newtonian clockwork. Smile when you pray that, pilgrim. Only I know how clueless and simultaneously confident I am that it will all come together in the end and I won’t have to nuke the whole lot of them, because I did that on one occasion and it really pissed off many of you gentle readers. But, in the meantime, remind me to tell you about the Fermi Paradox and the Zoo Hypothesis before the ancient wistfulness silences me.

Click here for Tom Petty

MARILYN SEZ...














“Everyone needs a healthy and wholesome breakfast.”

Click here for Jim

MEANWHILE, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN…
















…someone doesn’t feel like breakfast.

The secret word is Slutwalk

Click here for Memphis Minnie

THE FROZDICK FAMILY













Frozdick family events had a tendency to jovial violence.

DON’T YOU MISS THE 20TH CENTURY? (Sunday Special)