Saturday, October 13, 2007


The pills had worn off and I was awake far too early, sitting at the computer by default, reading the MSNBC online news, because the word “Blackwater” had caught my attention while the damned machine was booting up, and I’ve been figuring for a while this private, capitalist, and highly profitable gun-thug legion requires a whole bunch of our attention – and maybe more – lest we find our sorry selves in a world of armed goon-terror and because vast areas of basic law enforcement will seemingly be sold to for-profit sociopaths. The news story was pretty much what I expected up until the end of this excerpt.

“Blackwater has an airstrip and hangar filled with gleaming helicopters, a manufacturing plant for assembling armored cars, a pound filled with bomb-sniffing dogs and a lake with mock ships for training sailors. An armory is stacked to the ceiling with rifles. Throughout the place are outdoor ranges where military, intelligence and law enforcement authorities from around the country practice shooting handguns and assault rifles at automated metal targets made by the firm. An incessant pop, pop, pop fills the air. There's no other place quite like Blackwater, at least not in private hands. The complex anchors a global training and security operation that is one of the government's fastest-growing contractors and both a fixture and a flashpoint of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a decade, Blackwater's revenue from federal government contracts has grown exponentially, from less than $100,000 to almost $600 million last year. In August, the company won its biggest deal ever, a five-year counternarcotics training contract worth up to $15 billion shared with four other companies.”

At which I exclaimed “Hold it the fuck right there!” Because – with this fucking contract – it would seem Bush & Cheney have gone and sold the War On Drugs to a cartel of Uzi-toting fundamentalist storm troopers with cart-blanche to kick my fucking door down if they so desire because they think I’m a reefer smoking old trouble-maker. And this is the first I’ve heard about it -- when it’s already a done deal! Time to get the .50 caliber and plan for the blaze of glory, methinks.

A background video from The Nation

The secret word is Rabid

Friday, October 12, 2007


Gene Vincent died on this day (October 12th) in 1971. He is missed, he is mourned, especially by me, so is it too unethical to remind you all that I wrote a book about the man, and it would be nice if it was more widely read? I mean, it’s a really good little book, infinitely collectable and absolutely guaranteed to make you the envy of all your hipster friends. And if this has over stepped the bounds of respect for the iconic dead, here is a clip – killer in its magnificence – of the late great Ian Dury singing Sweet Gene Vincent (watch for a dementedly inspired solo by my old friend Wilko Johnson) and also Gene himself doing Baby Blue.

The secret word is Gone


According to Doug the Bass, the following instruction was included with a child’s Superman Halloween costume. "The wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly."
(The illustration shows the death of Superman in January 1993 – Superman vol. 2 #75. Could it be he didn’t read the label?)

To be honest, today I don’t feel so good. My mind is a slug and I think I am hiding from the more serious stuff like (for instance) indignation at Turkey having the unmitigated gall to get miffed and recall its ambassador after the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs passed a resolution condemning the 1915-17 Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


You realize there are people in this world who have read this book? They are out there. They may be your dentist’s receptionist or standing behind you in the 7-Eleven. I believe they are harmless, as long as they don’t come off the meds. They also have John Tesh CDs.
The secret word is Normal

Scientology, how about that? You hold on to the tin cans and then this guy asks you a bunch of questions, and if you pay enough money you get to join the master race. How's that for a religion?-- Frank Zappa, to a concert audience at the Rockpile, Toronto, May 1969

(Yesterday we had a shot at the Creationists and the sky didn’t fall, let's see if this gets a response.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


One of the problems with liberals – or progressives, if you prefer the term – is that they are just too damned well brought up. (As opposed to Reds, Anarchists, and other snarling malcontents who just love to mix it up.) Liberals tend to treat even the most rabid fundamentalist with a degree courtesy will never be reciprocated – since the fundamentalists have a history of abuse, mutilation, torture, and an entire menu of slow and excruciatingly painful methods of execution reserved for those who disagree with them (that they now insist President Bush bring back into common usage.) Put 98% of liberals in proximity with some religious body part spouting how the world was created 6000 years ago and Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs, and they will quietly sidle to some other place and watch South Park. Only 2% will warn the religious nut-job that if he or she doesn’t can the arrant nonsense their cat will claw their holy rolling eyes out. Thus this linked film makes me very happy since it seems to have been made, or at least instigated by, a crew of extremely pissed off scientist who are not afraid to call an evangelist an asshole.


And from the War on Creationism let's move swiftly on to Lego. (As a child, I loathed Lego, but this really redeems it.) Some might say this Lego model of Stephen Hawking is inexcusably tasteless, but I figure Hawking would dig it. He has been on The Simpsons, and managed to have an affair with his nurse while as immobile as Davros*. Also, at Doc40, tasteless is our business. And while we’re still in Legoland, here's Eddie Izzard’s Death Star Canteen and Cake or Death with Lego animation. (Thanks Noudela)

* just ask.


Okay, so now it’s getting really infantile. Left is the Disney version of the tri-porkers, but this is Christopher Walken.

The secret word is Huff


A comment on how Che is missed and missing from the world by Joan Brossa (the late Catalan (visual) poet) Sent by Valerie.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


“Let me say, at the risk of seeming ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” – Ernesto Che Guevara

Forty years ago today Che Guevara was murdered in a schoolhouse in the tiny Bolivian hamlet of La Higuera. His killer was Mario Teran, a Sergeant in the Bolivian Rangers Special Forces, who had drawn a short straw after, according to legend, his superiors including Felix Rodriguez, the CIA agent who had coordinated Che’s capture, proved too chickenshit to do the deed themselves. On the first attempt, it’s alleged that Teran so botched the job that the badly wounded Guevara screamed “Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.” After the killing, Rodriguez the spook stole Che’s Rolex watch, his only possession of any value, as a souvenir. Then his body was lashed to the landing skids of a helicopter and flown to neighboring Vallegrande where it was laid out in the local hospital and displayed to the press like a trophy in a big game hunt.

Some girl pointed out that today’s Los Angeles Times contains a surisingly even-handed retrospective on Guevara, and a video with some rare film footage. “Great men like Che never die," said Ubanis Ramirez, one of hundreds of Cuban doctors and teachers imported by leftist Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose office features a likeness of Guevara crafted from coca leaves. "His lesson is with us always."

Another video.


Around 1995, I spent the best part of a year writing a script for a movie about Che. The movie was supposed to be released on the 30th anniversary of his death. Needless to say, it was never made. The first draft was brilliant, a thing of courage and beauty. The second was good. The third was quite good, and after that, a million notes from assholes later, it sucked shit. It was around that point that the director decided the film was really a love story. And he didn’t mean the obvious one between Che and Fidel. I was thinking in terms of Lawrence of Arabia. Fuck knows what he was thinking about except that arrogance and money could answer any question he might be asked. It was then that I knew what might have been the project of my life had died, and I went to the Formosa CafĂ© and became very drunk. Seems like everyone in the entire Los Angeles basin believes they can write a movie script. I know for sure that they can’t, but that still puts me in the minority.

The secret word is Hasta

And here’s my good pal Johnette singing "Everybody Knows", just to complete the cycle and serve as the requiem .

Monday, October 08, 2007


This is the most hideous cover ever inflicted on one of my novels.

But who says I’m not a fucking icon? In yesterday’s London Sunday Times, Mick Jones and Tony James talked about the formation of their new band Carbon/Silicon.
“We met when Mick was being thrown out of another band,” James says. “They aid to him, ‘We’re chucking you out, but here’s this other bloke.’ We got talking on the Northern Line on the way back to Mick’s gran’s.”
“You had a silk bomber jacket and loons,” suggests Jones. “I never had a silk bomber jacket,” counters James, apparently accepting the loon-pants allegation, “but he had girls’ shoes on.” Such was the confused state of fashion between glam and punk, and in a dull and dispiriting time, Jones and James realised that they were kindred spirits. “We were into the same bands, we both read Creem [a US rock magazine] and we were both reading Mick Farren’s The Tale of Willy’s Rats – and I’ve never met anyone else who’s even heard of that book, let alone read it,” says James. “So here we are, 32 years later. Who else can you trust but your best friend?”
(For more)

But, if you’re one of those people who’ve never heard of The Tale of Willy’s Rats, you can download it for free from Funtopia.


“Edgar Allen Poe died in the Washington College Hospital today after a strange affliction drove him to madness. Poe was found in the Baltimore streets on October 3, and was taken to the hospital shortly. He was frantic and delusional, and never regained coherency before his death. Poe became famous in literary circles, and infamous for long sodden bouts with whiskey. His loyal friend was his mother-in-law. She nursed him to sobriety, nodded agreeably to his hundredth promise, and never left his side,” eulogized The Lawton Constitution on July 27, 1976. “The world had turned its back on the genius. But not Maria Clemm. He was sent to Washington Hospital. He survived four days in screaming delirium. Edgar Allen Poe died on Sunday, Oct. 7, 1849.” Edgar Allen Poe remains one of the most important figures in American literary history. From poems such as The Raven and Lenore to short stories including The Fall of the House of Usher and The Masque of the Red Death, Poe’s style and voice has influenced countless authors and poets since." (And Roger Corman) From HCB

And here’s Christopher Walken reading “The Raven”.

The secret word is Nevermore

“You’re a nice little raven.”


I almost regret that the tapeworm as a slimming aid went out of fashion around 1900. A staple in your stomach is somehow more acceptable? Or liposuction? And just imagine the TV infomercials.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


“Another dastardly pot pusher meets his well- deserved fate, ay!”

The New York Times reports from Ottawa that the Canadian government is reversing its highly intelligent earlier moves to decriminalize marijuana use. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced new legal and spending measures against reefer use, cultivation, and distribution. In 2005, when the Canadian Liberal Party was in power, legislation was in the works to eliminate criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana. The bill did not pass Parliament however, before an election in which a majority of Canadians succumbed to the same idiot political narcissism as Americans, and voted Harper and his Bush-friendly Conservatives into power. Needless to say, the bill was never reintroduced.
Harper has now escalated to becoming a total Bush collaborator in the War on Drugs and is mouthing the usual tired horseshit and adopting the faux-macho posture. “For far too long now in Canada, governments have been sending out mixed messages on drugs. Canadians hardly know what the law is anymore.” And to ram home the idiocy that drug use is still illegal, Harper will spend some $64 million on anti-drug campaigns and increased enforcement, including mandatory sentences for dealers and smugglers. The most telling part of the statement, though, was the avowal of “increased coordination with the United States.” A clear signal that Harper is busy cozying up to Bush, the DEA, and the NAFTA bureaucracy, and making sure that Canada does not become the Holland of North America.

(On the subject of NAFTA, though, (even if the segue is kinda loose) former Mexican President Vicente Fox revealed to the media last week that George Bush, the smirking, swaggering cowboy is actually afraid of horses.)

The secret word is Bud


Here he comes to save the day with a Sunday treat! A new-look Mighty Mouse cartoon from the creators of Ren and Stimpy!