Saturday, August 14, 2010


While all eyes are still on the Gulf, BP is killing the wild mustangs in Nevada. Our pal Elf Hellion writes – “I'm contemplating dropping an anchor baby in Sweden after watching this report by 14-time Emmy winning investigative journalist George Knapp and Above Top Secret. Clandestinely, British Petroleum is systematically killing the wild horses of Nevada (which is illegal) with the help of the Bureau of Land Management. Yes, THAT BP, although the Ruby Pipeline project folks will tell you its owned by Arco (which is BP). Please take a minute and watch this clip, and please distribute far and wide.” Click here and watch in disgust.

Click here for Dead Weather

The secret word is Scum

SPACE OPERA (Dinner Special)

From out of the rising sun comes something the world probably didn’t know it couldn’t do without. Yes, neighbors, it’s light saber chopsticks.

Click here for a video that takes itself far too seriously


Click here for Nanci Griffith


Click here for Christopher Walken
Click here for Vincent Price

Friday, August 13, 2010


It’s Friday the thirteenth so let’s get right to the bad news…

“Average temperatures during the month of July were eight degrees Celsius above normal in Moscow, he said, noting that "such a huge increase in temperature over an entire month is just unheard of." On Monday, Moscow reached 37 C when the normal temperature for August is 21 C. It was the 28th day in a row that temperatures exceeded 30 C. Soil moisture has fallen to levels seen only once in 500 years, says Brown. Wheat and other grain yields are expected to decline by 40 percent or more in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine - regions that provide 25 percent of the world's wheat exports. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced a few days ago that Russia would ban all grain exports. Food prices will rise but how much is not known at this point, says Brown. "What we do know, however, is that the prices of wheat, corn, and soybeans are actually somewhat higher in early August 2010 than they were in early August 2007, when the record-breaking 2007-08 run-up in grain prices began." Emissions of greenhouse gases like CO2 from burning fossil fuels trap more of the sun's energy. Climate experts expected the number and intensity of heat waves and droughts to increase as a result. In 2009, heat and fire killed hundreds in Australia during the worst drought in more than century, which devastated the country's agriculture sector. In 2003, a European heat wave killed 53,000 people but as it occurred late in the summer crop, yields were not badly affected. If a heat wave like Russia's were centred around the grain- producing regions near Chicago or Beijing, the impacts could be many times worse because each of these regions produce five times the amount of grain as Russia does, says Brown. Such an event could result in the loss of 100 to 200 million tonnes of grain with unimaginable affects on the world's food supply. "Russia's heat wave is a wake-up call to the world regarding the vulnerability of the global food supply." Click here for the whole story.

Click here for Martha (yes, it’s ironic)
Click here for The Who (equally ironic)

The secret word is Famine


Amelie Frozdick considered her iron ensemble tres chic, and even the hammer was preferable to the welding torch.


Right before the Elvis Death Day, our pal Jon sent us this twist of iconography. I’m not sure what I’d do with Elvis’ hair if I had it.

“One of his prize possessions was a bag of hair clippings that he had saved over many years while cutting and stylizing Elvis' hair. He ascertained at this time that this bag of hair clippings were personally saved by him and he verified to me with his solemn oath that this bag of hair clippings were actually Elvis' hair. Prior to Mr. Gill's death, he gave me this bag of hair clippings because of our close friendship and mutual love of Elvis. At this time, these hair clippings given to me from Mr. Gill have been in my sole possession up to this date. I swear and affirm that the above statement is true. I do solemnly swear and attest that the hair clippings are actually from Elvis Aaron Presley and were given to me by Mr. Homer Gilleland and are my sole property."

Click here for Elvis

SPACE OPERA (Metal Style)

I’m not a real Iron Maiden fan but the video for their tune "The Final Frontier" is really a piece of work. Click here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Each night, around midnight, an email appears in my inbox from our good friends at Delancey Place that contains something basic but really interesting. This gem showed up a couple of days ago…

"Approximately two billion years ago a pair of single-celled organisms made a terrible mistake-they had sex. We're still living with the consequences. Sexual reproduction is the preferred method for an overwhelming portion of the planet's species, and yet from the standpoint of evolution it leaves much to be desired. Finding and wooing a prospective mate takes time and energy that could be better spent directly on one's offspring. And having sex is not necessarily the best way for a species to attain Darwinian fitness. If the evolutionary goal of each individual is to get as many genes into the next generation as possible, it would be simpler and easier to just make a clone. The truth is, nobody really knows why people - and other animals, plants and fungi - prefer sex to, say, budding. Stephen C. Stearns, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University, says scientists now actively discuss more than 40 different theories on why sex is so popular. Each has its shortcomings, but the current front-runner seems to be the Red Queen hypothesis. It gets its name from a race in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. Just as Alice has to keep running to stay in the same place, organisms have to keep changing their genetic makeup to stay one step ahead of parasites. Sexual reproduction allows them to shuffle their genetic deck with each generation. That's not to say that sex is forever. When it comes to reproduction, evolution is a two-way street. When resources and mates are scarce, almost all types of animals have been known to revert to reproducing asexually.” – Brendan Borrell, Scientific American

Click here for Billy Idol

The secret word is Congress


And a couple more days before the above, we got this…

“Researchers have found that the ability to tell fibs at the age of two is a sign of a fast developing brain and means they are more likely to have successful lives. They found that the more plausible the lie, the more quick witted they will be in later years and the better their ability to think on their feet. It also means that they have developed 'executive function' - the ability to invent a convincing lie by keeping the truth at the back of their mind. Parents should not be alarmed if their child tells a fib,' said Dr Kang Lee, director of the Institute of Child Study at Toronto University who carried out the research. 'Almost all children lie. Those who have better cognitive development lie better because they can cover up their tracks. They may make bankers in later life.' Lying involves multiple brain processes, such as integrating sources of information and manipulating the data to their advantage. It is linked to the development of brain regions that allow 'executive functioning' and use higher order thinking and reasoning.” – Richard Alleyne, 

Click here for Alice Cooper


Back in the mid-1990s, the Deviants – the nucleus of which was me, Andy Colquhoun, and Jack Lancaster – recorded a song called “Hard Times”, first as a demo, and then as part of the CD eating Jello With A Heated Fork. As though to prove the song was about a decade and a half premature, our pal Butlincat has posted both versions on YouTube, along with a cover The Who’s “Whiskey Man” by the post-Pink Fairies combo Flying Colors that was Andy, Russell, and Sandy. You’ll notice the first version of “Hard Times” has fuck-words. The second doesn’t. We were trying make it radio friendly. It wasn’t. Click here.


Not content with going after Darwin, the insane Christians are now directing their pitchforks at Albert Einstein for creating a mathematical base for what they condemn as “moral relativism.”

“Some liberal politicians have extrapolated the theory of relativity to metaphorically justify their own political agendas. For example, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama helped publish an article by liberal law professor Laurence Tribe to apply the relativistic concept of "curvature of space" to promote a broad legal right to abortion. As of June 2008, over 170 law review articles have cited this liberal application of the theory of relativity to legal arguments. Applications of the theory of relativity to change morality have also been common. Moreover, there is an unmistakable effort to censor or ostracize criticism of relativity.” Click here for more nonsense.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Pronouncements that paper books are dead and should resign themselves to pulping have been made for at least a decade, if not more. The collapse of Barnes & Noble, however, has brought the idea boiling to the surface of the ever-simmering, Chicken-Little doomsday soup, and we have, once again, to face yet another round of doom, gloom, and corporate pessimism that will cause even more pain and tribulation for those of us who care more about the written word and the overall health of the culture than about media delivery systems. I’m certainly not going to miss B&N. For a very long time the national bookstore chain was part of the problem and never a solution, entrenching the concept of the monolith bestseller, encouraging the worst short-sighted excesses of major publishers, constraining diversity and experimentation, and generally making life difficult-going-on-impossible for mid-list authors and the owners of boutique bookstores who actually cared about the tomes they were selling. B&N wanted nothing more than a world of books reduced to the next Sarah Palin (or, worse still, Sarah Silverman), Left Behind, and Harry Potter, plus a lot of cookbooks and Christian parenting manuals. I will not mourn them, but I also can’t raise a great deal of excitement about electronic reading machines, be they Kindle or iPad or other. They can only mean the critical mass of literature will be wholly controlled by Amazon, Apple, Sony, some other dire global entity-to-come, and that manipulation and censorship will be rule of the game rather than an unpleasant possibility.
As a fantasist, I have a dislike of futurists, and am loath to make predictions, but even a cursory examination of the recent past should give enough hints. The book, and especially the novel, will mutate rather than die. Paper books will continue, much in the way that vinyl continues. Some kinds of paper volumes will be re-crafted as faux-luxury items while others will be demanded by folks who simply want to read that way. A lot of people will read e-books, a lot won’t, and by far the majority won’t anything read at all. What scares me in the short term is that writers, like musicians, will become expendable. The corporate salary person frequently cannot tell the good from the bad from the ugly, and runs like a mutt from the risky and the unconventional. At a time when authors should be crafting whole new conventions and creatively investigating how reading patterns are being changed by the internet and the inroads of contemporary tech, they will be left to twist in the wind, with publishers shucking off their traditional role of the bankers of writing. It was stupidity – not technology – that destroyed the magazine industry.
Like I said just now, I’m loath to make predictions, because, even when on the right track, I know they are never the complete picture. Thus, above all, I expect the unexpected and know I must be ready to run with it. Right now I am working on the fifth Renquist novel in a way that may well cause agents and editors – already clinging desperately to celeb non-books – to shake their heads in confirmation that I am as insane as they always suspected. But I continue, because, in the end, that’s both the strength and the downfall of all creative work. Whatever happens, you just gotta do it.

Click here to fill in some background with a more conventional view of the situation.

The secret word is Onward


Ramses Frozdick could levitate turtles.


Our pal Aeswiren sent us this very frightening map from the ultra-libertarian Cato Institute that appears to show how law enforcement in general and SWAT units in particular – mainly under the pretext of the War on Drugs – are busting into people’s homes and killing them. (We have no information on feline fatalities.) This is serious in so far as it seems to be a madness that is similar to the “federal ninja” arrogance of the 1990s that was part and parcel of Waco and Ruby Ridge. Only this time the cops involved are local and seem to simply detest civilians and believe the it’s a capital crime to question the actions or authority of an officer. (Click here.)

Click here for The Clash


Our pal HCB, “who is going ever further up the Tiber in search of the Spaghetti Western Heart Of Darkness” sent us this thrill-packed compilation. We think he’s writing a book. (And, yes, purists might claim that One Upon A Time In The West is not strictly a spaghetti western, but we love Jack Elam here on Doc40.) Click here.

And click here for some epic Ennio Morricone
Or click here for The Pogues (or do both)


Tuesday, August 10, 2010


This is Ash the cat who presides over Borderland Books, my favorite bookstore in the Bay Area. (And one of my favorite bookstores on the planet.) I’m posting the following story because it’s the silly season and also to escape the weight of the general malaise and misery of the world – the Rusian drought and the Pakistani floods, to name but two – and all the other things that seem to be going so worst-case, predictably wrong. I’m also posting it to buy time while I write something succinct and intelligent to counter all this Chicken-Little nonsense about the imminent demise of books which serves little or no purpose except to hasten the demise of writers. I’m hoping I’ll have the thing finished by tomorrow or the day after. Keep watching the skies.

"There's nothing quite like spending time in a neighborhood bookstore. Walk the aisles, often comfortingly creaky from the footsteps of so many curious wanderers who have come before you, and your eyes are drawn across thousands of titles, inviting you to enter countless worlds, lives, experiences. And it doesn't hurt if a cat is lounging about. When they aren't trashing the occasional pricey manuscript with their teeth and claws, cats - in all their blissful sloth - serve as wonderfully calming (if sometimes haughty) hosts: Have a seat, take it easy, get lost in a book. A bookstore cat is a shop's mascot and keeper, equally adept at charming customers and, when the lights go out, chasing away rodents. And so let us celebrate these furry souls - hopefully not an endangered species! - as more and more readers get their books delivered in shrink-wrapped packages from out-of-state corporate behemoths, or transmitted, in blips, to hand-held devices no cat would ever want to cuddle up to.” Click here for more

Click here for Bo

The secret word is Territory


A half hour interview video with me and Richard Metzger is now up on Dangerous Minds. It’s mainly about the new book Speed-Speed-Speedfreak, but it also wanders into other territory. (But, damn, do I look ancient.) Click here and enjoy.


This makes me very happy. For far too long these damned Christians have afforded themselves the right to pillory and condemn anyone who refused to embrace the narrow morality of their mindset. It’s nice to see the tables momentarily turned.

"These church people say horrible things about us," (Foxhole dancer Gina) Hughes said. "They say we're homewreckers and whores. The fact of the matter is, we're working to keep our own homes together, to give our kids what they need." Dunfee said it's not that simple. He said he consistently offers the women help, a chance at redemption. "I tell them, 'I will put a roof over your heads, and your bills will be paid, and your children's bellies will be full,'" he said. Yet they don't come inside. The first few weeks, Dunfee piped the sermon outside. But that "agitated" them, he said, and made them dance in the streets. He said their presence has united his church members and reinvigorated their mission to shut down the club. "They have now seen the evil firsthand," Dunfee said. "This has just made us stronger." Click here for the whole story.

Click here for The Downliners Sect
Click here for Elvis


(Image lifted from Bedazzled)

Click here, in passing, for the Pretty Things


(Lifted from the boys at World of Wonder)

Monday, August 09, 2010


When Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings production crew pulled out of Matamata, New Zealand, they left 17 hobbit holes on the private farm that was used as a stand-in for the Shire. Since then, the farm's sheep have moved in on this hobbit ghost town. Click for more pics

Click here for Jefferson Airplane

The secret word is Baaaaaa


It generally seems to be a day in the Doc40 world for wondering (and worrying) what other species might be up to.

"The Lord God first divided the darkness from the light. Then he divided the heavens from the earth and the earth from the sea. Evolution did the rest: It divided the earth between humans and ants, and in so doing created another fundamental dichotomy. There are billions of humans on earth, and trillions upon trillions of ants — an estimated 1.6 million for every human being. If the earth were a scale, and all the humans were placed on one side and all the ants on the other, it would not budge. Ants have answered the ever-expanding human biomass with an ever-expanding biomass of their own, so that the planet is poised, teetering between its two most successful civilizations — each of which is social, aggressive, expansionist, and well suited for war.” Click here for a whole lot more.

Click here for Adam


Yes, my friends, it really is a fully functional, full-auto, Hello Kitty assault rifle. Although isn’t killing ants with a machinegun an accepted definition of futility? (This comes from our paranoid pal at Kitty Hell.)

Click here for David


“Screw the ants, Earthlings, just wait until we get there.”


Click here for nuke porn

Sunday, August 08, 2010


Some of my friends suggested I should attempt to take slightly better care of my health before my general behaviour killed me. They pointed out the neither Jack Daniels nor Coca Cola were exactly beneficial beverages, so I experiment with alternatives – one of which was this stuff called Vitaminwater. Now I discover I have been wholly conned and there’s even a class action suit filed. I guess I’m going back to Jack and Coke. Separate or together.

“Now here's something you wouldn't expect. Coca-Cola is being sued by a non-profit public interest group, on the grounds that the company's vitaminwater products make unwarranted health claims. No surprise there. But how do you think the company is defending itself? In a staggering feat of twisted logic, lawyers for Coca-Cola are defending the lawsuit by asserting that "no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage." Does this mean that you'd have to be an unreasonable person to think that a product named "Vitaminwater," a product that has been heavily and aggressively marketed as a healthy beverage, actually had health benefits? Or does it mean that it's okay for a corporation to lie about its products, as long as they can then turn around and claim that no one actually believes their lies? In fact, the product is basically sugar-water, to which about a penny's worth of synthetic vitamins have been added. And the amount of sugar is not trivial. A bottle of vitaminwater contains 33 grams of sugar, making it more akin to a soft drink than to a healthy beverage.” Click here for more.

Click here for Marty Robbins and a cat.

The secret word is Sucker


“Fish wouldn’t even fuck in it.”

VOTE YES ON PROP 19 (If you’re in California)

Click here for a nutshell history of marijuana prohibition.

Click here for Tigers on catnip thanks to Peromyscus. (Image from Valerie -- Get well soon, gal!)