Saturday, January 24, 2004


Isn’t it fun watching radio-tubby fascist talk-pundit Rush Limbaugh’s porcine wriggles and squeals as he tries to weasel out from under accusations of felony doctor-shopping to feed his Oxycontin habit? Better maybe than the aura of sleaze gathering round the White House. This nutshell on the state of the play comes from MSNBC. Lawyers for Rush Limbaugh reject a plea deal of 1 felony count, and prosecutors reject the defense offer of no felony counts, but some drug rehab (hey, didn't he already do that?) So a standoff ensues, with prosecutors saying they have evidence that Limbaugh committed up to 10 felonies.

Meanwhile, in a related tale from Yahoo News...Israeli police had to close an entire floor of their station because the pungent scent of tons of confiscated marijuana was making them high.


Having noted the birthdays of Popeye, Elvis, and Godzilla, and also Chinese New Year, let’s not more seriously forget that yesterday was the 31st anniversary of Roe v Wade, another tattered flag around which we defenders we may yet again have to rally.


So it would seem that, for the moment, the comment board is working and people are starting to complain which I guess means all is right with the world.

CRYPTIQUE – Are you sure you won’t be sorry?

Friday, January 23, 2004


For your appreciation, my analysis of George Bush’s speech of last week on his plans for Mars and the moon appears in this week’s LA CityBeat. Click and check it out. Although it was written before the Spirit Rover went off line, I think I have that covered. And for those who appreciate seeing how the process works, take a look back at Jan 10th, 04, for my first thoughts on this matter.


Half asleep on the couch, I semi perceived a TV commercial in which, I swear, the voice over was an actor doing a passable impression of Ronald Reagan. What this means in the scheme of things, I'm not yet sure, but I don’t think it bodes well. And for you in the UK, imagine if you suddenly heard the voice of Thatcher selling fish fingers or toilet paper.

Chinese New Year – Happy year of the monkey.

Thursday, January 22, 2004


Thanks to the mighty Rich Deakin, the comments board (the tiny link over on the top right of the page) seems now to be working. Apologies to all whom it previously thwarted.


According to MSNBC an Israeli rabbi has written a prayer for devout Jews to overcome their guilt after visiting a porn site on the internet. The rabbi recommends recitation of the prayer when logging on -- or having it flash up on the screen -- so they've got some coverage if they enter a porn site accidentally or even intentionally. The prayer: “Please God, help me cleanse the computer of viruses and evil photographs which disturb and ruin my work... so that I shall be able to cleanse myself of sin.” I ask myself, would it work for the contents and godless ideas of this weblog?


Yesterday I was complaining how no one seemed to be posting any comments even though the numbers of incoming hits were starting to look quite healthy. Then natalien informed me that she had attempted to cheer me up by posting a comment only to be confronted by a formidable column of error messages. The same was also confirmed by jfabiani (who decided the comment tech obviously hated him.) Thus it seems that we don’t have the technology, or, to be more precise, the technology we do have needs fixing. Life is always a work in progress. Right now I’m clueless, but help is on the way. (Thank you, Rich.) In the meantime, if you have something to say, you can always email me at


Since Jan 8, I’ve wondering about Godzilla’s 50th birthday. Finally I asked Yukiko in Tokyo and her response was succinct and immediate. “Godzilla's birthday is an easy question to answer. It's 3rd November, 1954, when they released the first film. On 3/11* every year, various events are organized in Japan to celebrate his birthday.” So we have a lot of time to plan a huge, scaley, radioactive-breathing, building-eating, motherfucker of a wingding, friends and neighbors.

(* That’s 11/3 to you Americans. Right around the presidential election. Which brings us super-neatly to...)


From Charles Lewis (The Buying of the President 2004) via Greg Palast

Our electoral process is broken, with about half or more of America's eligible voters not voting in every federal election cycle. After the Florida recount debacle, in which the likes of Fidel Castro and Robert Mugabe lectured us on how to conduct democratic elections, we still do not have a single, standardized system of voting throughout the nation. The campaign process has become so expensive that it limits the talent pool available today to only millionaires or those willing and able to raise substantial sums of cash from wealthy and powerful interests with business before the government. Forty members of the current U.S. Senate are millionaires; less than one percent of the American people are millionaires. And big money mixed with irregular and high-tech redistricting help explain why the incumbent reelection rate in the House of Representatives the past three elections has been more than 98 percent. These are the kind of numbers we expect to see in countries like North Korea or China, not the United States.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


No rants today. Spent the day at VH1 being a talking head. (Don’t ask, we all like to be on the telly. I’ll tell more when the thing’s about to air, and I know I made the cut.) I couldn’t however pass up this news story out of London. (And a chance to paraphrase the Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band.) Seems that a 104 year-old female Macaw called Charlie who once belonged to Churchill, is still alive at an English parrot sanctuary. Charlie is old, even by parrot standards, and reportedly does little but say “hello” and “good-bye”, but, every so often, she does break into a flow of invective against Adolf Hitler, although this may just be tabloid hyperbole.

Hey guys, when are some of you going to get down with comments? It’s the little link up on the top right of the page, between “the horror, the horror”, and “Funtopia”. Feedback makes a poor boy feel wanted.

Meanwhile, check out this fine political message...

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


“What are you rebelling against, Johnny?”
“What’ve you got?” – Dialogue from
The Wild One

Last Saturday I halted myself at the start of a rant about how liberals now want to call themselves “progressives”, I presume in the belief that the word “liberal” is now so tainted that it has become untenable. By Sunday, I had realized that I shouldn’t let it worry me. I was never a bloody liberal anyway. Yes, I embrace certain planks of a liberal platform, but liberals have always recoiled from a whole lot of what they assumed were my goals, firmly convincing me that liberalism was only ever a half-measure, and fell well short of the downfall of the Patriarchy and the overthrow of Western Civilization by lunchtime. And now they want to be called “progressive” I have to wonder just how much progress they really intend, and am thus holding off from flocking to the progressive colors.

I will admit, though, that part of my problem is a matter of heritage. Like the great majority of Englishmen, I’m somewhat disinclined to join clubs, parties, and organization. The British are notorious for being what sociologists call “unclubable”. Our juvenile gangs were always amorphous, like mods and rockers, and never went in for club colors and names like the Sharks, Jets, Diabolos, or Amboy Dukes. I have never enrolled in AA, the NRA, the IRA, the CIA, the PTA, or the Dead Rabbits. It’s all those damned cards that you have to carry, plus a bad case of the Groucho Marx syndrome; not wanting to be a member of any club that would have me as a member. Back when I was a teenager, my pal Alan Moore (no relation) tried to enroll me in the Young Communist League, dangling the temptation of commie gals who believed in free love. I was given a nice enamel badge, but I never completed the paperwork or went to a meeting. (The free love turned out to be largely mythic.) Which was just as well, because, if I had, I would have been excluded from entering the US without a lengthy process of recanting. I was once Minister of Information in the White Panther Party UK, but that was mainly an vehicle for agitprop ploys, and the confusion of the aforementioned liberals.

I fear I have always taken the stance of the lone rebel. The rebel stand is maybe a legacy of the Irish side of the family, but, by this stage of my development, I have been standing like a rebel for so long that it’s become a way of life. On the other hand, the political climate has turned so grim that maybe it’s time that we rebels gathered around some improvised black flag and began making a few demands of these progressives, in particular how we want our time honored, impossibly utopian, sex, drugs, and advanced rama-lama to be a part of the agenda – free, legal and polymorphous – otherwise we start slitting a few throats in the name of progress.

(And as I finish writing, I hear Kerry won in Iowa, which moves me nearer giving up on the whole process and endorsing Al Sharpton, because the fix is in anyway.)

A couple of weeks ago I watched The Seven Samurai, and realized, after all these years, that Yoda is totally based on the Old Man of the Village in the Kurosawa classic. Same face, same wrinkles, same way of walking. Check it out if you don’t believe me.

CRYPTIQUE – She has your number, and the frequency, Kenneth.




Monday, January 19, 2004


QM II -- Yukiko writes from Tokyo

Your post about the Queen Mary II (see Jan 15 '04) – I also noted the news, but mainly because of the point that the ship is, as you predicted, already cursed by the gods of the sea -- by deaths of 15 guests including a child/children who were invited last November for a special exhibition. A boarding bridge collapsed suddenly and they fell to their death off it. Maybe by now someone else may have told you this. I couldn't believe people were in a party mode so innocently at a place where 15 people died only a few months ago. But then again, the idea of the respect to the dead may be different in Japan from the West - the Japanese government STILL sends a ship every
year to Iwo Jima in order to collect bones of the dead soldiers and residents.

Or perhaps it's just the very rich in the West who have no respect.


There's a movie due this June called Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and the spectacular trailer lifts its imagery wholesale from the Superman Fleischer cartoons. Turns out the director's mother ( I think) was on staff at Fleischer at the time, and helped design the stuff. Takes place in 1937--retro-futurism. Angeline Jolie (small part), Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow. And if you really want to get your kicks, check out the trailer for Van Helsing, starring beautiful vampires, vile, snarling werewolves, and the Frankenstein monster. Can't vouch for either picture, but the trailers are just fucking brilliant. Links follow...

Sunday, January 18, 2004


Maybe, instead of doing the Sunday paper crossword and laying in the warmth of a winter bed, eating toast and marmalade, you might like to play a dumb-but-cool, inter-gender game that I found in my wanderings called What Kind Of Beautiful Woman Are You.


It turns out that not only is Godzilla celebrating his 50th birthday in 2004, (see Jan 8, 04) but Popeye the Sailor makes it to 75 this year on a diet of canned spinach (which means he’s six years older than Elvis Presley)

AP offers a nutshell bio...Popeye began life in 1929 in the popular "Thimble Theatre" comic strip as a limited story line guest. He graduated to movie shorts, many by the renowned animator Max Fleischer. Popeye battled everything from sassy goats to the bloated bad-guy Bluto while pursuing the affection of girlfriend Olive Oyl. He even appeared in a video game in the 1980s, collecting falling hearts from his rail-shaped love. He was played by Robin Williams in the Robert Altman movie version.

Unfortunately, like Godzilla, Popeye has no specific or designated birthday on which we can all get crazy.