Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dave Mustaine is an Asshole.

Call me biased, but I never liked this asshole and his shitty non-music. Call me crazy, but it was always Black Sabbath (Ozzy-era, the only good one). The Sabs wrote "War Pigs" ferchrissake! In the lyrics of "Master of Reality" and "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath," they challenged God himself as a hypocrite, and so they challenged all authority. That's fucking cool! Heavy music began as a music of protest, but I never thought Megadeth was anything but pandering crap. Megadeth is a cop-out to thinking. Slayer has been the same over the years, though I'd take their early-period any day (River's Edge!).

Did the MC5 and the Stooges suffer for this shit?! Did Deep Purple? The Sex Pistols? Blue Cheer? Motorhead? Leave it to metalheads to misinterpret something done better by someone-else. Take the New York Dolls--how did that become Poison and Motley Crue?! The irony is that those bands made glam more homoerotic. The shitty music is bad enough, but do you have to make a clumsy attempt at politics too? If you polled all the metalheads in the world, I guarantee the vast majority would be reactionary conservatives. Real rebels. Neo-nazis like Megadeth, too. Do a google-search for "Aryan Nations Megadeth," and tell me what you find.

During Operation Desert Storm (Bush War I), some Air Force pilots contacted the band Slayer and told them how great it was listening to their music while they were bombing-and-strafing Iraqi civilians. Naturally, Slayer was thrilled! That is a far cry from the glory days of Black Sabbath, the true cornerstone of metal. What happened? They got fat and lazy, dumbass--just watch that pussy Mustaine crying his eyes out over how lousy his career has been in "Some Kind of Monster." He sucks, and he knows it. So you can play fast? How juvenile is that mentality?!

It's scary to watch people parading their unwillingness to grow up, kinda like Grateful Dead fans used to be. It just gets creepy after awhile. With metal, it's CREEPIER.
But anyway, look at some Megadeth fans, it isn't pretty. You've seen them at the County Fair, and you've seen them leaving the parking-lots out at the drag strip. But when there's a sports-riot, or a carnival and cheap-beer...they are there. I know this, because I have lived my entire life in a museum dedicated to the childhoods of these kind of turds.

You might even know them, and I'm sorry if you do. My next-door neighbor definitely is, but I won't let him borrow anything and he also likes Lynyrd Skynyrd. Unlike Dave Mustaine, I don't think my neighbor was a supporter of H.Ross Perot. Dave's grandstanding for Perot must have been during the "cocaine period" at MTV, which would be his only excuse. But did he freebase it?
Did he ever do crack? Crystal-meth? Maybe this is why he's such a spastic-idiot.

Yes, my Northern Indiana has East Chicago where John Dillinger was assassinated by the FBI, the dunes, and Notre Dame has her fans...but the rest is Mennonites and ass-rockers in tights. There was a time when Chicago gangs could hide around the country lakes, hiding in their safe houses. Hoosiers have never been that skilled, but nowadays slobs abound, people who were genetically programmed for factory work. Maybe they're just mentally lazy. It doesn't matter. They're simply dull. Some of them resemble "Z-man" from "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," only they're faggier.

Maybe this whole machismo act in metal is about overcompensation? Lenny Bruce nailed it when he said, "There's nothing sadder than an aging hipster." That's Michiana, the place I live, filled with aging white trash rockers who hate culture. And THAT, is Dave Mustaine's audience, the people who think that their years in Middle and High School were "the best years of their lives." Yes, and then we all had to grow up and work, and do whatever.

During my Senior year of High School, the person who told me, "I'm so glad to be graduating. Now I'll never have to read a book again," was a Megadeth fan. Frankly, you have to be a reactionary idiot to be a fan of this band. So, today, it was with little surprise when I happened to see Megadeth's new album cover. It features the UN's NYC building exploding, with the title "United Abominations". Yeah. It says nothing, just like everything Dave Mustaine has ever touched. OK Dave, you say you think the UN is ineffectual (as he implies on the cover of "Peace Sells..."), and who knows what the hell the new-cover is saying? You have two Jack Kirby-era Marvel supervillains on the cover, and these explosions dotting the UN's headquarters coming from...what? Who did it? Or is it the World Trade Center?
What the fuck does this yearbook-drawing cover say, you Libertarian asshole?! Pay your taxes, chumpzillas, tax cheats.

You see, this is what's so annoying about Dave Mustaine. It's his political-posturing, as though he were the mental equal of a Joe Strummer or a John Lydon. He's not, he's a dumb-fuck who should shut-up and not-not play guitar. But he's not alone in metal, that domain of the sub-intellect. But first, understand that I'm a fan of most of the classics of heavy metal. I even like early Judas Priest and Motorhead. At one time, metal was populated with reasonably intelligent people. It didn't last long.

But take Black Sabbath's bassist, Geezer Butler: he was the mastermind of the most- mportant of Sabbath's lyrics during the Ozzy era (part of why Ozzy can't remember them?), and his lyrical points were always clear. War Pigs is obviously an antiwar song. Sabbath even had lots of anti-drug songs, though that is another story! But you always knew where they stood as a band from their lyrics:

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor

Mustaine's lyrics never make any sense, his postition is usually unclear, and his vocals make Ozzy Osbourne sound like Pavoratti:
What do you mean, I dont believe in god?
I talk to him every day.
What do you mean, I dont support your system?
I go to court when I have to.
What do you mean, I can't get to work on time?
I got nothing better to do.
And, what do you mean, I dont pay my bills?
Why do you think I'm broke? huh?
Sounds a lot like a moron with no credibility, doesn't it? Oddly, it's almost like a weird metal version of Stan Ridgeway and the Wall of Voodoo. He sounds like a politician, using a lot of words, but saying nothing. At least Ridgeway said something with his lyrics. That's OK if you're doing art-rock! Mustaine literally sounds like he's whining the lyrics, a kind of preverbal grunt/whine of a rat. He has had the worst haircuts I have ever seen, forget mullets.

Mustaine's guitar work: a lot of multi-layered crap with bad guitar tone. It has too much treble and not enough mid-range or bass for heft. It's thin.
Solos: the usual unexpressive scale-exercises for beginners, with lots of grandstanding. Worse than mullets. Not even Steve Jones could save their disastrous cover of "Anachy in the UK," it's awful. The Shocker soundtrack--what a classic. In fact, Mustaine's entire catalog is spectacularly bad. He has bigger problems.

Wearing glasses actually made Mustaine look stupider.
We can be assured that "United Abominations" lives up to its title. Now we hear that Dave has a fixation on the number 11. Yes, 11, as in 9/11? The CD/MP3/8-track/Reel-to-Reel/Mini-disc will have 11 tracks (12 in Japan, which means WHAT DAVE?! WHAT?!). The artwork was the 11th entry in a contest for the best cover. Get it? Me either, and thank God for that.

[ED.-OH WAIT!! WOW! SHIT! I get it, like in Spinal Tap!! You got me, the 60s-70s weren't worth this shit.]

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Models (1999) review

Let's be frank: these times are going to be seen as more decadent in-scope than the Weimar Republic. I have only recently come to find Ulrich Seidl's documentaries, but this is how it should be done when portraying a society, and her inhabitants. His style is very matter-of-fact, and is pretty voyeuristic. While this documentary is ostensibly about a subculture of models in Vienna, Austria, it really could be anywhere in the Westernized world. This is a common-theme of Seidl's documentaries, and I believe it isn't always his intention. Like the director, we are seeing these people and their lives for the first-time.The same social-trends and phenomena going-on nearly everywhere in our era, and Seidl is simply capturing them as they are.

Of course, all cinema is artifice, but somehow, even in his set-ups, the director is able to capture those amazing moments-of-truth that even escape the participants. What is singularly-depressing and distressing is how much all of this resembles America. Why travel, when everything is a hellish urban-sprawl underlining the meaningless-existence of our current human-society? Seidl
has an answer: People, and how they deal with this yawning-abyss of modernity. It's an observation that offers some hope. Somehow, individuals survive and continue-on. People matter to Ulrich Seidl.

Some reviewers have stated they felt Seidl "hates his subjects," which I find to be patently-false. He shows them unadulterated, and for what they are. His camera's-gaze is--as in all of his films--non-judgmental and authoritative. There has been some controversy over the director's documentaries being "staged," which is unlikely given the obvious sincerity of the models. Somehow, Seidl managed to get his subjects to relax, and to be themselves with no filtering. It's sad that young-women enter this life--if you want to call it that. They mutilate-themselves, starve-themselves, and hate-themselves. Maybe they already did.

The final-tableau is an incredible-moment that is undeniable in its truth: the main-model and her boyfriend are having a post-coital conversation (while drinking-in-bed in a Hotel). An ambulance is heard outside, and she says, "They're taking someone like you away," and she laughs. She continues: "You know, I know a good psychoanalyst." The boyfriend responds, "I didn't think people like you could survive without a psychoanalyst." The extended laughing-fit he falls-into is both hilarious, and chilling, as the model seems to slowly sinks-into-herself...a powerful-truth has been revealed in the birthplace of analysis. This is the time we live-in. Models is a documentary that delivers on all-fronts, and exposes the Nietzschean-abyss. We're blowing-it.

"Fascism": Rummy Throws a Fit

According to Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, critics of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan are responsible for "lack of vision" and all the tactical-errors. Donald Rumsfeld was not Sec. of Defense, the public was. What a strange psychology this individual has (I hasten to call him a man). He hasn't got-long now, and I think this is the reason for the public-outburst. Rummy knows that the President and Dick Cheney are abandoning-him. After all the years of working-together, after all the years of planning and serving these East Coast elite twits--you get the scapegoat job. Blame the ministers, blame the Prime Minister, just like in the Middle East. But we know the policies originate with: Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and George W. Bush (probably in that order). Now, now that they know Iraq is disintegrating, that Afghanistan is going-to-shit, and their war with Iran will be met with massive-resistance from the they have nothing-left but rhetoric and hyperbole. They've been using their echo-chamber in the mainstream, throwing-out the term "Islamofascist" for months now, even on the blogs.

It won't wash. It's hype. It's a lie. For-one, it's an oxymoron. You cannot have a purely-theocratic state--as many tyrannies in the Middle East are--and have fascism. The state is total, it is corporatist (very Western) , and it is secular. Indeed, in Spain and Portugul, the Church shared power with the military regimes, but they weren't sovereign outside of the state. OK, let's assume it's "fascist": since fascism also implies that state power is behind recent terrorist-attacks, this would include 9/11. I believe this applies to this action, and that Saudi Arabia used the hijackers as a proxy-force in what was basically a military-attack by another state. The problem is still with the definition. Saudi Arabia is a kingdom, comprised-of a clannish feudalism, not a fascist-order. If it is anything, it is a religious-authoritarianism. Ah, but he said a "new type of fascism". That's thin, and a weird admission that all terrorism originates with the state.

The French: Now valuable because they actually have experience in diplomacy, Rumsfeld began fressing them for help.

Rumsfeld obliquely acknowledged mistakes and setbacks in Iraq, quoting the French statesman Georges Clemenceau as calling all wars "a series of catastrophes that results in victory." Moreover, in a reference to recent charges of war crimes against U.S. troops in Iraq, Rumsfeld said that "in every army, there are occasionally bad actors -- the ones who dominate the headlines today -- who don't live up to the standards of their oath and of our country." (8/30 Washington Post)

Hey, whatever happened to those "cheese-eating surrender-monkies"? Oh, now they become the "noble French", our allies, and critics in Congress want to "cut-and-run". We nearly lost most of our allies forever, thanks to the Bush administration, but now that the neocons know they're the French to talk to the Syrians and the Lebanese warlords. This would be funny if it was a comic-book. Maybe America should have diplomatic-relations with Syria, don't you think? Just a thought. Jesus, quoting Clemeceau, the guy who made WWII inevitable (thanks for Versailles, giving the Nazis more ammunition than they would ever need). Clemenceau also caused the weakening of the League of Nations, so I guess Rummy is in good-company--the fuck-ups. Yep, fascists.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Iran's theocratic-President Challenges America's theocratic-President to a Debate

This could be interesting. We all know that George W. Bush will refuse the challenge (pussy), but he should for his image. Let's-face-it: most of us on the Left hate him because he isn't a "sport". He just won't drop-the-attitude and play-along with everyone-else--you know, just 60% of America that's against-him. Without Giant Baby Man (Rove) to smear the Iranian in real-time, it's going to be tough, though the translation-gear would provide a good cover for his prompting. Who's on the other-end, anyway? NO silly, not Jesus, Jesus. If I had to bet $50 on it, I'd say it was Rove.

They could do a preemptive air-strike on Iran before the debates, then maybe they could win. Maybe.
I know the Bush administration claims they have the Red Batphone to God, but what if you have to come-up with the goods? Katrina--oh, don't mention that one. Maybe Jesus did warn Bush that the levees would be topped for four-hours, but I think Clinton knew-about the problem (Rhodes scholar). Honestly, the Presidents and their staffers must have a "political time-bomb" list, and the levees surely were at the top of it when Dumbya sidled-into the Oval office. Next-to the enemies list(s).

Maybe Clinton's staff didn't transmit that one to em', you know, as a surprise-gift! Maybe the list was on one of the computers and ballpoints they made-off-with. After-all, the levees were a bipartisan-deal in mismanagement, being underfunded by both sides-of-the-aisle for years.

Never-forget: the troops didn't arrive with genuine rescue-teams into New Orleans for eight-days. Before that, it was the Coast Guard, God bless them, and lots of ordinary-people. Hopefully, they won't be touched by the same "reforms" that FEMA was. It took less-than 2hrs. for Federal troops to enter San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. Sure, there were problems with coordination, but communications were primitive by today's standards. No, lack-of-will and expertise is what occurred in Louisiana and Mississippi last-year, and no will to do anything substantial. It was preemptive, alright.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Agony (1981) review

Having seen Elem Klimov's "Come and See" (1985), I was very excited to find that Ruscico had a full-length cut of this film, and in ear-popping 5.1! I won't do an accounting of the oft-repeated saga of Rasputin ("The Mad Monk"), but it should be noted that in present-day Russia, a majority-faction of the Eastern Orthodox Church is working to make old Grigori a saint. This should be distressing to people the world-over, as it shows a possible degeneration (once-more!) in Russian-culture and the social-fabric. By the time Rasputin arrived in Moscow (1907), he had already acquired a lengthy criminal-record, and been defrocked by an order of monks. His life resembles that of Stalin in many-respects. A small-wonder that a faction of the Eastern Orthodox Church is considering making him a saint--Russia must have her gods.

Also, in this early-period, Grigori was involved in a couple religious-cults--one known as the "flaggellents." Another (the name escapes me) taught him the notions of religio-sexual libertinism, and a philosophy of "sinning in-order to be forgiven." He was a drifter, and a pilgrim, a sinner...and possibly, one-day, a saint. But, what characterizes Rasputin was his dishonesty and cunning, as well as an uncontrollable sexual-appetite that is well-documented. Like a modern-day Simon Magus, he considered himself a sovereign, a man who recognized no decorum and no law. In this sense, he most resembles Stalin, and even anticipates him. Klimov seems to imply that Rasputin--through dialog of certain Tsarist courtiers--WAS the Russian people. If this was so, Russian society from 1905-1917 was truly lawless and degenerate, and in free-fall. And yet, much of what really happened (illustrated like a Mario Bava horror by Klimov) supports the notion that Rasputin was almost not a man, but an instrument of social-forces, a Siberian shaman.

In one-instance, he is cunning and calculating, while in another he is literally seized by forces-unseen. It is much like Hitler: social anti-Christs, they were truly men of their time, channelling and completing the spiritual and cultural-deterioration of their countries. The Russian people were looking-for a miracle, but what they got was a nightmare in Rasputin's influence over the Tsarina--and thus, the Tsar. A disaster became worse--a nightmare resembling a hell-on-earth in the Bolsheviks. Truly, Grigori Rasputin was a prophet-of-doom, and Elem Klimov's film illustrates this so expertly. THIS is truly what constitutes horror. Definitive. There is no better depiction of Rasputin's assassination anywhere, it is painful to watch.

PS: Kino is releasing a DVD in the USA of this film--their initial-announcement stated a runtime that is 10-minutes shorter than the Rusico version (NTSC, all-regions), and is in mono. WHY?! I would go with the Rusico-version, it's complete. Kino sometimes has the tendency to overcompress their DVDs, too.

Vatican's Exorcist: Hitler and Stalin Were Posessed By Satan

Since he has a lot of proximity with the new Pope, he would know--Benedict was in the Hitler Youth and volunteered for the Wermacht (Army). I don't have to tell you the title of Father Amorth's favorite movie. It gets-better: "According to secret Vatican documents recently released wartime pontiff Pope Pius XII attempted a "long-distance" exorcism of Hitler which failed to have any effect." Why didn't they just excommunicate him? Yes, Hitler (real name, Adolf Schickelgruber) was a Catholic who was never excommunicated. The fall of the Hollerzollen dynasty, and the abdication of the Kaiser left a power-vacuum. War-reparations, then the Great Depression made a fertile soil for National Socialism and Hitler. People were starving, people were desperate, looking for someone with solutions--any solutions. So much for the Devil. At one point, Hitler had entertained the idea of the priesthood.

What about Stalin (real name, Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili)? He had attempted training as a priest in the Eastern Orthodox Church, like Rasputin. He was expelled for insubordination, a trait he shared with Hitler. But, the cobbler's son couldn't fit-into the discipline of Orthodox monasticism, so he became a roadside-thief, and later a bank-robber for the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and the Bolsheviks after the failed 1905 Revolution in Russia. But why did Stalin act the way he did? Why did he order the murders of millions? His father beat him, which was common, but Russia faced a demographic disaster caused by WWI. Infrastructure was destroyed, and faith in traditional-authority vanished after Tsar Nicholas II's unwise move to head the military in a losing-war. A power-vacuum existed within social chaos, where criminals like Stalin could flourish and climb to power. So, when someone like Exorcist Amorth tell us "the Devil made them do it," we should know they were the source. Human beings made these atrocities, we are responsible for them, not the Easter Bunny.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Like a Bad Frontier Neighbor, State Farm Is Not There.

Time for a lyric-change in those ads, though they aren't alone in ripping-off their clients. If Americans know anything, it's this: insurance companies are the bane of our daily-existence, and they'll do anything to get out-of-paying on a claim. Why? They aren't regulated-enough, you dumb Libertarians. Right, you say you want "pot-legalized" as bait, but you're really just Republicans, so push-off. "We don't want any regulations," goes the usual conservative/libertarian line, an ideal rooted-in the 19th Century's most criminal-tendencies. If only there were a frontier again--so I could rob you without any penalties, and do whatever I wanted to with the water-supply. Ah, and the lynch-mobs that were everywhere. Yes, we really should return to the days of the Old West mining-towns, where there was no law-and-order, and a glance could get one killed. Ted Nugentland. Miltias. Anti-immigrant hysteria. What utter-crap. I think Americans are smarter than this. The majority of Americans won't vote Libertarian, because they know they represent a social-breakdown. They're just another type of crook.

The Good-news from the AP: We have two-whistleblowers at a subcontractor of State Farm who are claiming pressure was being applied to make engineers reject disaster claims. There was even a template-document that they inserted into the decisions. Anonymous since March of this year, high-profile lawyer Richard "Dickie" Scruggs has revealed their identities in his case against insurers dodging Katrina-claims (mostly in Mississippi, the forgotten state in all this). The sisters resigned abruptly after the announcment. I know, it's hard-to-believe that insurers would try to used backdoor-methods like illegally coercing engineers (employees/subcontractors) to side with their predetermined-decisions. But, the insurance companies know nobody in Washington is watching-them with the GOP controlling all-three branches of the Federal government--at least until something as epic as Katrina exposed those polices for what they really were and are. You have to be hopelessly-naive to think business will ever police-itself. Whistleblowers prove it:

That startling admission — and their subsequent resignations — ended a risky charade. The Rigsbys say they spent months collecting reams of internal State Farm reports, memos, e-mails and claims records before they gave them to Scruggs and state and federal authorities.
The sisters, who managed teams of State Farm adjusters, say the documents show that the insurer defrauded policyholders by manipulating engineers' reports so that claims could be denied.
"I think we've given him the smoking gun," Cori Rigsby, 38, told The Associated Press during a recent interview at the home she shares with her sister near Ocean Springs. (AP)

The cowboy pundits are indirectly arguing that we should return to the days of unregulated-industry where people died in factory-fires, like the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Businesses did whatever they wanted, and fraud was rampant 100-years-ago. There were no-regulations for fire-safety in the workplace, and there often were no-bathrooms for employees. Fire escape ladders were uncommon. Garment workers usually worked 14 hours-a-day, 60-72 hours per-week, but Americans in other industries worked as much as 16 hours-a-day. The seamstresses were locked-inside the multi-storied Asch building in New York City, and had to jump to their deaths from the 10th floor, often in-flames. Bodies literally piled-up on the pavement in-front of the shirtwaist factory, and outrage grew rapidly in New York and spread nationally.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire fueled the labor movement in ways that were unimaginable before the fire, and even aided in the later push for the NLRB in the 1930s. There are numerous examples of these excesses in our history by employers, but even a crooked administration like George W. Bush's cannot control everyone and everything in the Federal bureacracy, and many safeguards are remain-intact in Bureau mandates and legislation. It's stunning that we're hearing American food-purity is terrible again, 1oo-years after Teddy Roosevelt created the FDA, it's like a new-chapter in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. It's just more fallout from deregulation. Deregulation is not-working, and it never will for the little-guy (except getting an FM-license!!). Neoliberal Congressional Democrats of the 1990s also bear the responsibility for these deregulation-trends. Bill Clinton was less a "labor President" than Richard M. Nixon.

Since 1994, the GOP has proven that government doesn't work when they're in-office, but to their chagrin, there are still many people in the bureacracy who believe in serving the public. They have done-their-best to make these public-servants' lives difficult under their governance. Why else do you think all these leaks are happening, and happening with a frequency that is almost a daily-occurrence? Why else pass-laws that punish government whistleblowers, while we still don't know everything about the outting of Valerie Plame? The right would have us believe that we live in a "Hobbesian universe" (every-man-for-himself), which is a distortion of Hobbes's argument for why we have a social contract, and why we have laws. It's a circular-argument. But, if you look at their lives, the GOP's politicos certainly live them like barbarians.

We've watched too-many movies where the "hero" kicks some ass (all illegal today). I know, if only we could all be outlaws again, raiding farming-communities, and leaving the dead scalped so it looks like Indians did it, but no-dice (don't try this at home). And I've heard people don't usually fall-down instantly when they've been shot, they scream and bleed a lot, which is messy (definitely, never try this at home, please). Nope, not even in Montana or South Dakota, it won't wash to be an outlaw anymore. The frontier is a legacy Americans need to leave-behind forever. The "rugged-individuals" were trying to survive a historical-accident that allowed lawlessness to thrive on the frontier, and because-of that, it don't make em' heroes. Most of them were the cause of the nightmare that was the Old West. Eventually, we all have to come to town and build a society, a person at a time. The person that says rugged-individualism is the American-way doesn't believe in the social contract (, and that makes them criminally-minded. Ask-yourself: What is a society for? It should be an easy-answer. We banded-together to survive, and we agreed to respect the rights of eachother so that there is a social-peace. When society abandons people, this contract has been rejected, and chaos is not-far-behind. When State Farm cheats a family out of a legitimate claim-settlement, they kill society one policy at-a-time.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bartelby (2001) review

"I would prefer not to."

Herman Melville was a pessimist, which should be unsurprising to anyone who has read him. Taken from his short, "Bartelby the Scrivener", this is the second of two-attempts to translate this story to film. The first was a good British-version (1972) that is much-closer to the original story, but suffers from being placed outside of its American-context. "Bartelby" is about America, and is Pre-Marxist in its criticisms of American-capitalism. What is remarkable is that it was written in the 1850s (unlikely to have been influenced by Marx in any way), when we were gradually becoming a business-run nation, and moving-away from being a purely-agricultural one. This process would commence more-fully after the Civil War, but for someone like Melville, living in New York City was the writing-on-the-wall. The movie is updated to be contemporary, taking-place in an office. Like the short, it's a funny story that becomes more-and-more disturbing and weird. Naturally, Crispin Glover was born to play this role, and gives a performance for the ages.

But what makes "Bartelby" so amazing and chilling is that it resonates so strongly today, it hasn't aged as a story about America. The problems we face now, due to the distortions inherent in our economic system, are still with us. If Melville said anything in his short-story, it was this: "What will become of the Bartelbys of the world?" Not everyone fits-into this job-system, and this should be no-surprise regarding an economy of "winner-takes-all", money-Godism. Under our profit-motive economy, people are simply left-behind, and Melville challenges our indifference to the needy. "What kind of a people do we want to be?" asks Melville and the director of this adaptation.

The character Bartelby is more than just a non-conformist--he represents everyone who is neglected by our culture and economy. He reminds-us of the inhumanity in our daily-lives, and a reminder of why we have to continue-on. Melville enjoins-us to help the next Bartelby we see, and acknowledge our responsibility for the way things are. The office-boss character feels he isn't responsible for Bartelby and his "I would prefer not to" difficulties, but Melville is really saying that he IS. There is an implied collective-guilt in the story that would not be addressed adequately until the Holocaust, which helps it retain a sense of the contemporary. Melville even prefigures Kafka and the school of absurdism in his story, it is genius. This film is an expert updating of this story, and it works well! It's both funny and pitch-black in its despair regarding modern life. Crispin Glover is inspired, with the qualities of a silent-film actor (Lon Chaney, or Conrad Veidt from Caligari) in his expressiveness, and there are some great slapstick-gags. This is film-making at its best, it's what you need. You will feel vindicated.

Friday, August 25, 2006

George W. Bush Runs-Home to Mommie & Daddy

Sorry, but what a pussy. Your President has gone running-home to the Bush clan's compound in Kennebunkport. Wha? Yes, he was born in Connecticut, he's not-entirely the Deliverance-extra you thought he was--must be part of why he pardoned that guy Randall Neece Deal, from the movie Deliverance. Was he the one who told Ned Beatty to "squeal like a pig"?

Unfortunately-not, according to CNN: 'Deal's "Deliverance" performance consisted of a single line: "It ain't nothing but the biggest [fuckin'] river in the state!" For the record, Deal did not play one of the surly locals involved in an infamous rape scene with actor Ned Beatty.' That sucks, I wish he had. Deal was pardoned for a 40-year-old conviction for moonshining. He's now a Georgia Sheriff (moonshiner). When Beatty was here to film his part in the dumbass-movie "Rudy," an old High School chum yelled the same lines from the rape-scene at him. Ned didn't take-kindly to it, and became very-disturbed and upset. Apparently, he still has scars from that. Scars that will never heal. Some directors just want too-much realism, I guess.

Anyway, they were shooting in his ma's bar as an stand-in for Corby's Bar. Why? Someone got-whacked by the mafia in the actual-place, and...uh, you get-the-point, heh-heh. Rumor has it that Rudy likes to hit-on underage-girls around here, usually while he's doing odd-jobs like putting up aluminum-siding poorly. Oh yeah, Ned Beatty: again, he got pretty freaked-out by the "Ewww-ewwwws!" Oh well. Burt Reynolds claims that film still disturbs old Ned, so I'll cut-him some slack.

Bush's second-vacation in a month: Yup, he's in Kennebunkport, Maine, vacation-spot for the effete, East Coast elites--his family. But we know why he's there--dad's connections and advice. I wonder if cyanide-capsules figure-in to that advice? Hope-so. Since Katherine Harris (aka "The Joker") cannot steal votes in Florida's congressional-election, and Bob Taft (aka "Moon Mullins") and his cronies are on-ice in Ohio for various-reasons (Jack Abramoff, aka "The Hat"), the GOP might actually have to face a legal-election. We know what will happen if the Democrats don't fuck-up--investigations will finally move-forward since they can no-longer be blocked by GOP-reps in both Houses. Bush knows there is a good chance he'll be impeached, or worse. Worse? What's worse than that? Prison. Hey, we're a nation of laws, or we're NOT. We know which laws have been broken, your President told-us. Ewwwwww! Ewwww! Squeal like a pig!!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Eric Filipkowski's "Hollywoodphony" site!

Fellows/guys: You gotta check this site out. If you need a humor-break from the post-9/11 world, if you CRAVE goofy-stories that defy-logic, yet show some incredible comic-genius--Eric's site is your oasis. I found it strongly-recommended by Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show, Ben Stiller Show, Tom Goes to the Mayor) at, another site you should check-out for yucks. Genius, just pure-genius, Eric.

Karl Rove and Elmer Fudd

I dunno, they sure look-alike to me!


Science Strikes a One-two Punch on the American Right


It's a better-day in America, some belated good-news! A final compromise on the Plan-B pill, which is merely a concentrated-dose of the same-chemicals found in birth-control pills, has been reached at the FDA. Even the "decider" President has decided it's OK. But why? To insure his nominee for the FDA is approved, which isn't unreasonable for-once. Compromise. That's a word we haven't heard very-much since 9/11, because they have been virtually-nonexistent in Washington. From the AP:

The FDA's long delay in deciding on Barr's application ensnared
President Bush' nominee to head the regulatory agency. On Thursday, two senators said they would lift their block on Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, making it likely he will win confirmation as FDA chief, perhaps next month.
In recent weeks, anti-abortion groups, angered that approval was imminent, had urged Bush to withdraw von Eschenbach's nomination. Bush said Monday he supported the doctor's decisions.

But, it still doesn't help America's teenagers. The United States is first in unplanned-pregnancies in the developed world. Also, nine states have already approved the same measures, allowing pharmacies to dispense the Plan-B pill to women 18-and-up without any prescription. The pill is effective within 72 hours of unprotected-sex. Granted, it was done for political-reasons, but it appears there have been some major-debates within the FDA with a victory for science and reason. While the religious-right has her boys dominating all-three branches of the Federal government, you would think the results would be greater. It's my opinion that Bush and most establishment-Republians don't agree with them. Sure, they promised-them the sky to get-elected, but it's hard to be that idiotic in-practice. Still, teenagers aren't going to be getting the pill without-supervision, which is a GOP-concesssion to them.


The British scientific-journal, Nature, published an article Wednesday about a new-technique developed by Advanced Cell Technology that does no-harm to embryos. The technique, it is said, allows for the creation of stem-cells without destroying an embryo's ability to eventually develop into a fetus. Of course, there are going to be detractors who try to take this argument into the realm of fairy-tales, but it doesn't matter. "But a spokeswoman for President Bush, who last month vetoed legislation that would have allowed federal money for embryonic stem-cell research, called it a step in the right direction," reported the Kansas City Star, today. This lets the Bush administration off-the-hook with many on the religious-right, and stem-cell research was a fight I don't believe they ever really wanted. They just wanted the votes of the religious-extremists. It's sad that they won't accept the inevitability that we will all die someday, but why politicize your own neuroses? Well, that's folks-for-ya'!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Iraq and Jonbenet Ramsey: Media-White-outs and Baseball

As the President would heartily-agree (in-public): Jonbenet Ramsey's murder over ten-years-ago is NOT related-to Iraq. But, he admitted-this about Iraq and 9/11 this-week, so he's got problems that prevent him lying as-much. That's what Karl Rove and his talking-necks in the media are for. The old bait-and-switch is the only-way to steal those bases, or to build permanent-ones in Iraq while the public is sexually-obsessed about a dead-girl. We earned this Presidency by allowing Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton to deregulate nearly-everything in-favor of Big Business. Americans got complacent, greedy, lazy and took-for-granted the sacrifices of the labor movment--we look-like a bunch of benched-players.

Remember, the Prez is a BIGTIME baseball-fan, and his team is kicking-our-asses. There's hope--there's always hope--but we're still sitting on the sidelines like pussies. Better people in the Ukraine rejcted their rigged-elections and took-to-the-streets, they left the bench to kick-some-ass. They succeeded. We know this. Still, Castro could kick-his-ass as a pitcher, and he doesn't snort-coke, drink, or smoke-dope. He also doesn't have rumors about him being bisexual, while George W. Bush does. I bet he could get Bush to strike-out from his hospital-bed TODAY. Yep, tiny Cuba is winning-against the American Establishment, while we the people are losing the same-fight. People with virtually no-resources are winning, equipped only with the WILL. We are pathetic. We are the Cubs. It's easier to fixate on a dead white-girl who was likely murdered by her pedophile-father, than to have to face-responsibility and route the neocons, the GOP, and their masters in the shadows of power.

But consider-this: There is an internal-contradiction in all democracies. Its strengths are also its weaknesses. People essentially have the ability to undo democracy, because of democracy (see Plato's and Aristotle's criticisms of democracy). Our best-example for the fall of a democracy is the one we know best: Athenian democracy. It was because of the First Peloponessian war and the formation of the Delian League, that democracy crumbled in Athens. Once a legitimate-force in fighting the Persians (sound familiar?), it was misused by the oligarchs for imperialism. There was a misguided Sicilian-campaign, and others, until eventually the treasury was drained. Nuff-said. Reason had been abandoned, as it has now. It was a contention of the ancients that tyranny is only possible with democracy as its prelude. We all get the world we deserve. Live like a schmuck, die like one.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Crispus Attucks & the Boston Massacre

Black people have been on the front-lines in securing freedom and liberty in America since the birth of this nation. Even 40-years-ago, they expanded our liberties and rights--small-surprise this isn't heralded in a racist culture. The first-man to die in the American Revolution was escaped-slave, Crispus Attucks. On the night of March 5th, 1770, Attucks led-the-charge and was gunned-down by British troops.

Ironically, the Captain in charge of the Twenty-Ninth English Regiment yelled, "Don't fire!", and the crowd simultaneously yelled, "Fire be damned!" The troops fired. Five died that night, and the subsequent trial was considered rigged. Most Americans wouldn't have many rights were it not for people like Crispus Attucks. It's time for more men like him.

Bush Admits No Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, National Editors Ignore Comments

From the White House Press conference of 08/21/2006:

Q Quick follow-up. A lot of the consequences you mentioned for pulling out seem like maybe they never would have been there if we hadn't gone in. How do you square all of that?

THE PRESIDENT: I square it because, imagine a world in which you had Saddam Hussein who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction, who was paying suiciders to kill innocent life, who would -- who had relations with Zarqawi. Imagine what the world would be like with him in power. The idea is to try to help change the Middle East. Now, look, part of the reason we went into Iraq was -- the main reason we went into Iraq at the time was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. It turns out he didn't, but he had the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction. But I also talked about the human suffering in Iraq, and I also talked the need to advance a freedom agenda. And so my question -- my answer to your question is, is that, imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein was there, stirring up even more trouble in a part of the world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens. You know, I've heard this theory about everything was just fine until we arrived, and kind of "we're going to stir up the hornet's nest" theory. It just doesn't hold water, as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.

Q What did Iraq have to do with that?

THE PRESIDENT: What did Iraq have to do with what?

Q The attack on the World Trade Center?

THE PRESIDENT: Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a -- the lesson of September the 11th is, take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq. I have suggested, however, that resentment and the lack of hope create the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders to kill to achieve an objective. I have made that case. And one way to defeat that -- defeat resentment is with hope. And the best way to do hope is through a form of government. Now, I said going into Iraq that we've got to take these threats seriously before they fully materialize. I saw a threat. I fully believe it was the right decision to remove Saddam Hussein, and I fully believe the world is better off without him. Now, the question is how do we succeed in Iraq? And you don't succeed by leaving before the mission is complete, like some in this political process are suggesting.

You read-correctly, the Bush administration is finally admitting there was NO CONNECTION between 9/11 and Iraq, none. Wonder when we'll ever read this in the press?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Snakes on a Plane/Gerald Ford/Loofahs

Is that motherf***ing-movie about Airforce One? Does Samuel L. Jackson have any credibility left? Gerald Ford moved-closer to being Dick Cheney today--he got a pacemaker. Now, we can have TWO cyborg-Presidents alive at-once! Man, that George W. Bush chimp and his anti-science stance, what a loon. A monkey refusing-to-believe that they are a monkey somehow makes-sense, and sounds like a science-fiction story I read once. Was it by Harlan Ellison ("I Have No Brain, and I Must Scream")?,_and_I_Must_Scream
God love yah', Harlan, you've outdone almost every human-being in the cynicism department--even myself. It's simple, we're monkies folks, and primates are mean and senseless. Maybe we need to start throwing-shit at the guys who clean our cages? Oh yeah, that Ford-guy...

Soon, very-soon, Gerald Ford's spirit will have fully-transmigrated into the shell of George W. Bush, since there are some vacancies. And soon, he'll be tripping-over everything, and the next Chevy Chase will become-addicted to percodan from doing impressions of him. After that, he'll have to go to the Betty Ford clinic. What would St. Augustine say about this? Problem: what if Bush falls, killing-himself? Maybe he'll only keep tripping over consonants and vowels...they say words cause permanent-damage. How will the high-price of petroleum-products affect the adult-film industry? Will our hippocampus revolt, rending our frontal-lobes for the crime of selective-memory? Did Michele Foucault look too-much like Telley Savalas, and will someone please tell Bill O' Reilly about the joys of escourt services? Why fantasies about loofahs? Why do crying-children stop to take-a-drink, then resume their crying?

Chimpy McFlightsuit (TM) almost speaks: "Iraq is straining the nation's psyche."

"These are challenging times, and they're difficult times, and they're straining the psyche of our country. I understand that. You know, nobody likes to see innocent people die. Nobody wants to turn on their TV on a daily basis and see havoc wrought by terrorists," stated the Chimp in Chief to the White House Press Stenographers. Does he really understand?

Just a few years ago, we were all told Bush never reads-newspapers, never watches the news, and even recently has stated he isn't affected by the polls. YET, he makes comments like the above, so it's clear that he has recently taken these factors into account.

Right, we know Cheney never watches any other news except on Fox( ). He's really the President, after all, and who wants to watch bad news that relates to oneself? Anyway, Bush keeps insisting that if we leave, then a disaster will become a "disaster" and it "would provide a safe haven for terrorists and extremists and give them revenue from oil sales."

Oh, instead of oil revenues to our own terrorists at the White House and the oil-sectors of the "global economy". And what happened to that $9 Billion that simply vanished when Paul Bremer left Iraq?( And funny, no accountability whatsoever. Did it happen under Bill Clinton's watch? Of course, the right wishes they could blame it on him, but no-dice. The whole thing is just another resource war, and 2/3rd's of the American public aren't going-along anymore. They're too lazy to do anything, including going-along. The Preznent's angry, which is tough-shit, the people have spoken: "We're too lazy, and besides, American Idol is on." Sometimes, apathy is a double-edged sword. Soon, they'll probably be speaking-loudly when gasoline is $5-6 dollars-a-gallon, and their atrophied-buttocks can get some circulation.

Like Joseph Goebbels during Stalingrad, the neocons and their supporters think if they keep spinning, lying and obfuscating the truth, that reality will conform to their propaganda on the ground. History has never worked this way, and it never will.

Before the invasion: Iraq was not a haven for terrorists, though it became one once we invaded. It's also becoming a combat training-ground for terrorist groups, where it had never been one before. Having been created by the British as an artificical nationstate with artificial borders, Iraq has been a hodge-podge of rival ethnic-groups, and it really isn't worth-saving. There have been many experts in geopolitics who have said splitting the "failed nation" into three-parts is likely the best route for Middle Eastern stability. Ah, and then there is the influence of Iran in Iraq nowadays, something that was impossible under Saddam Hussein. I think it's time--we need to invade our own country, but how will we justify it? Who knows, but we'll find one.

Speaking of justifications, the last pillar of "Why we went into Iraq" fell last week--with no reaction in the press whatsoever. The Bush administration, and the State Department are thinking seriously of "alternatives to democracy", because they have finally realized that the hodge-podge was only governable with an iron-fist (almost there!). We created this mess and we cannot avert a Civil War once it has begun, and it began long ago. The bill is coming due, much of it from People's Republic of China. We could build a bunch of escape pods and do a collective dine-n'-dash, but that would be communist.

Eventually, they're going to want Taiwan in the package too. Oil might not be based on the US dollar anymore. While morons talk about antiwar activists and the Left "appeasing" (who? North Korea?) "Islamofascists" (an oxymoron for oxymorons), the reality on the ground is going to make it clear what is really going on. We illegally invaded Iraq, and we are being repelled by attrition like any imperial power. Just like France in Indochina, just like Great Britain in North America and just like Spain and America from Cuba. Bye-bye empire, the gambit failed. We'll be better off for it in the end. But then, I believe everything I see on CNN and Fox. Oh, and I'll have fries with that too.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

It Stays-Here: Did George W. Bush Blow a Man in Vegas in 1984?

This one has been around for-awhile: the story that George W. Bush arranged to have a bisexual-encounter in a Vegas Hotel with Leola McConnell (a 2006 Gubenatorial candidate) and Victor Ashe (now ambassador to Poland, a homophobic nation)? Rumors persist that during the encounter, Bush gave Ashe head. Sure, I know, this NEVER happens, and has never-happened in the political-history of the world. Certainly not in America. Ancient Rome, maybe, but not America. Maybe off-the-record, guy-stuff, but never a public-admission. Of-course, it could be total-bullshit, too. However...

This is the type-of-story that would give the Roman-chronicler Suetonius something to-write-about. In his "Lives of the Twelve Caesars", written-from the internal archives of the Empire, the chronicler wrote of the numerous debaucheries of the early Roman Emperors. While many of these stories were well-known, many had been held in ministries of state--they were literally "state secrets". It is well-known that our own system was founded-upon many of the same structures and principles of Rome as it was understood 200-years-ago--many-of-which were wrong, and idealisitic interpretations.

Like Augustus, an emperor that George W. Bush shows some similarities to, it wouldn't be strange for our own Patrician President to have bisexual-tendencies. Augustus's daughter, Julia, was known to fuck anyone in the streets of Rome. Why? She hated her father's hypocricy and exposed-it. In his will, Augustus would not allow her to be buried with him, oh well. Where are these kind-of women today? They should speak-out, but would the Press listen? Apparently, they've heard these rumors, but have they been called-off of investigating-them?

The problem is, it's a political-liability in Puritanical America, and even in Rome, Augustus had to hide many of his own sexual-activities. Why? There were actually morals of family, abstinence and marital-fidelity then. Yes, in ancient-Rome. Augustus was one of the first-leaders in the history of the world to cement his rule around being a "leader of the people", and an upholder of "family-values". The problem was: he was a hypocrite, just like many politicians are today, and he couldn't keep it in-his-pants. Apparently, there is a possibility that George W. Bush cannot either. Who knows? We might know the truth in our lifetimes--but I wouldn't wager-on-it. The truth is probably more mundane, but it could be even-darker. If you have any tips, let-me-know, I'm a natural-voyeur. The Empire never ended.

Joe Lieberman: "I'm still a Democrat." No shit?

This is something-else. On today's Meet the Press, Joe Lieberman says he's still a Democrat. Yes, this is still technically-true, but that's like saying Hitler was always a Catholic--even at the end in the Bunker, hiding-from Soviet troops. It didn't make Schickelgruber a good-Catholic, but what is a good-Democrat? That should be obvious to anyone over-30: someone who is more an FDR, domestic-spending member of Congress. Someone who votes for a major redistribution-of-wealth. On some of these points, Lieberman has actually voted-for these things, which is what makes him a tragic-clown. But, substance-wise, this is not what Joe Lieberman has been since 1994, any more than Bill Clinton and his "neo-liberal" agenda of the 1990s was. Sadly, they are typical of the Democratic Party since Carter.

They aren't truly "liberal", and if you think the Clintons sincerely wanted universal health-care, I have a bridge to sell-you. Nevermind that Howard Dean--nobody-important, just the DNC chairman--has called-for Lieberman not-to-run (no-dice). Like the Clintonistas, this shill is just a front for corporate America, only desiring to be re-elected. Maybe he and the Clintons and their ilk once-believed in something, but when was that? 1972? Also referenced by the Lie-man, was his insurance-policy article in the May 19th, 2003 issue of the Boston Globe. On-the-surface, the article does criticize the Bush administration for mishandling the occupation of Iraq, but supports the contention that:

The liberation of Iraq was noble and necessary. The men and women of our armed forces performed brilliantly. Their victory now gives us the opportunity to win a battle in the war on terrorism, which is not only a war to capture and kill Al Qaeda, but ultimately to win over the hearts and minds of the Islamic world to the cause of freedom.

This is the Bush administration's standing, and Lieberman's today, while the majority of the world correctly-viewed the invasion of Iraq as being akin to September 1st, 1939: the invasion of Poland, which was also touted as a "pre-emptive" strike. The legitimacy of the invasions have also been-voiced by John Kerry and Hillary Clinton (but not Ted Kennedy). The new-move is to say that the aftermath was "mismanaged"--something the shrewd Joe Lieberman figured-out in 2003, he must be given-his-due here. These hawks are hardly-alone in the Senate. Even-worse, Lieberman and the other hawks populating Congress only confirm the fears of moderate Muslims who have found it more-difficult in countering the suspicion of many in the Middle East that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq are the beginnings of a war on Islam-in-general. They all share the same-assumptions for the invasion and its war-aims. If the war went-off fine, then they would still be cheerleading the Bush administration today. The hawks in Congress support an imperial-Presidency, and still support the underlying-assumptions of this role. It has bipartisan-support.

Lieberman summed-it-up best in the Globe article by writing, "I raise these concerns as a strong supporter of the war, not as a lingering critic. The world is safer because America had the will and way to remove a repressive and homicidal tyrant from power." Right. America is not-safer because of the invasion of Iraq. It is time to remove an entire political-generation from-office. Maybe he is a mainstream-Democrat after-all, but he and his species haven't realized the context has changed. It is time to rid-ourselves of these scum, forever. If they steal the elections again, it's Ukraine time.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Freddy-vs-Jason-vs-Jabberjaw-vs-Magilla Gorilla-vs-Scooby-Doo

Now where's the OFFICIAL breakfast cereal for this disaster? Why are there movies like this? Time for a zero on the ratings-scale, we have to accomodate this and Uwe Boll and Roland Emmerich. Mourn the corn that had to die to make the film that was wasted on this crapulent-void. Freddy Vs. Jason is depressingly-bad, boring, with an obviously-stupid premise that begs to be mocked like a has-been rapper or a neophyte-punker. Very few films are this bad, except for the movies of Ed Wood jr. . You can actually feel your soul dying when you watch this, it's weird, like watching an infomercial. OK, I made that up, but it's so bad I watched the clock the whole time. I wanted out, but I decided this film really deserves one-more slam on the internet. Hopefully then, Uwe Boll and Paul Thomas Anderson can not-not direct movies anymore. With some luck, they'll all perish in a single plane-crash enroute to Cannes (not to show their movies, just to go to Cannes). You have that existentialist-awakening that you are literally wasting your life watching this kind of corporate-made dreck, like a Rolling Stones concert film. It aspires to be merely-bad, when it is really so bad it makes you wish the backers were all killed in a plane-crash, or a slow-decaying death-by-syphilis (there's hope here!). A movie that is more boring than the videogame, and would make good-punishment for most felonies (repeated-viewings).

Worse than crap, your knowledge of its existence will itch at you. It's only memorable for how retarded the title is. This is the kind of dumb shit you think-up when you're 8. Fortunately, it won't be remembered in 20-years, except as a bad-joke (if-that). Dumb. Incredibly-dumb, and proof to foreign-audiences that Americans cannot make good films anymore. The audience for this movie is the cannon-fodder of tomorrow, for jarheads. It's OK if you were a retarded 16-year-old to think this will be remembered as anything but a joke, and a bad-idea for a movie. Even as dumb-entertainment, this is hateful and stupid and as-cynical as a concentration camp. It is a mockery of the cinematic-experience, and a spit-in-the-face of all reasonable and intelligent people. Now we know why Aleister Crowley was so shocked by Hollywood: the lack of a soul, and this movie is that abyss of meaningless cultural-death. Thank your god that you didn't direct this garbage, because the director didn't either...the backers did.
But hey, the violently-retarded have to watch SOMETHING. Fuck- you Roland Emmerich.

Save Joe L-I-E-berman: Some Ancient HIstory from August

This is old-news: College Republicans in Connecticut sent a mass-email to get-out and support Lieberman in the primary--he lost. How does all this look, with all his repeated-denials of being cozy with the GOP and the Bush administration, especially now that they are ACTIVELY helping-him? It looks like, yes, he lied. The Connecticut Post had this to say in August 4th:

Sen. Joe Lieberman’s campaign denied Thursday that they are hiring Republican college students to help get out the vote in Tuesday’s primary. “It is another lie the Lamont campaign is pedaling,” said Dan Gerstein, a Lieberman volunteer and former spokesman for the three-term senator.

The email was discovered by "liberal web sites", and published all-over the blogosphere at sites like DailyKos, etc. . I wouldn't exactly say that these sites are directly-connectedcut (pun-intended) to the Lamont campaign, but without any prompting, that was the Lieberman-response. But, when you're a liar and a crook, you believe everyone else is too. Sorry, but this isn't always true. And so, it has always been obvious that Lieberman has been a Republican in deep-cover, even to the most casual-observer. Now we know-for-certain, and it's time to blast him out of the Senate forever. He's not-alone, there are others who have to go, many-more.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Karl Rove SPINS a Poll 3: Save Joe L-I-E-berman

These fuckers at CNN just never-give-up on this--today (4:18pm Central), Wolf Blitzer is saying that Joe Lieberman is leading-Lamont by 12-points! Yesterday, it was 10 (really 9, according-to the Quinnipiac poll), now they're pushing-it to 3-more-points in-favor of Lieberman. This is a joke. My-advice: leave the watching to the watchdogs, quit-watching CNN. They were a joke under Ted "I'm a Communist" Turner, and they are a joke now. What crap.

Jesu: Justin K. Broadrick's Back.

Just a little note here: I've been-listening to Justin's music since 1991, back in the glory-days of Godflesh, Scorn (hi Mick!), Napalm Death and Kevin Martin's God (as well as the numerous side-projects). In 2005, the self-titled "Jesu" LP was released, and it got some rave-reviews and sold-well. 2006: Justin released a new-EP this-year called "Silver"on Hydrahead records, and it is a treat. It sounds-like metal at first-listen, but has that layered-quality of My Bloody Valentine, and more. If you like music that has feeling and emotion, and expresses the spirit of our times, get this. You won't feel so-alone anymore, it's affirming and excellent. Also, be sure to check-out the music of ISIS (owners of Hydrahead), who sport a similar, atmospheric-sound. Long-live the new-flesh!!

PS: Check Justin's THREE-REMIXES of Agoraphobic Nosebleed on the bonus-disc of "PCP-Torpedo", they're earth-shattering and decadent. Also, check Kevin Martin's "The Bug" project, some insane hardcore-techno dancehall with genuine Jamaican-vocalists Daddy Freddy and Bounty Hunter!

Found-On-Road-Dead/Fix-Or-Repair-Daily: Ford is Dying

Today's great-news for American-workers and the unions: Ford is dying! Yes, those "Captains of Industry", those wise, brave men who have run the company have blown-it. Never-mind worker-controlled plants, never-mind all the suggestions that the company was making vehicles that were barely fuel-efficient, and never-mind all the recalls. American Executives know-best, and know how to direct-us into the 21st Century--as a bankrupt nation. But, oh well, at least they have their golden-parachutes, unlike everyone-else:

We know this decision will have a dramatic impact on our employees, as well as our suppliers," Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford said in a note to employees. "This is, however, the right call for our customers, our dealers and our long-term future. (Yahoo news)

Hey, at-least the customers (and most-importantly, the investors)Ford has-left will be served. But, thank-you to all the Union Bosses who cozied-up to managment and ownership all those years-ago, thanks-alot. Congratulations: you have wrecked an entire-nation, and the well-being of America, which now barely has an industrial-base. Soon, we won't be making-anything except insurrection, and your victims will be looking-for-you.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Karl Rove holds a Poll 2: Fact-checking

It must be wishful-thining on their part, but I heard CNN-pundits (on-TV, a big-difference from the web) and other talking-necks say that Lieberman was "10-points-ahead" of Ned Lamont, and I heard it over-and-over. Yes, squeeze that one, teensy-point. Pertinent question: will the GOP steal the election for Joe Liberman? Do they have to? There aren't any Blacks in Connecticut, right? ;0) You watch TV for news, then you read-articles online...completely-different.

President Loses Wiretapping Suit After Week of Accessorizing

It's official: U.S. District Federal Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has ruled that the NSA's warrantless roving-wiretaps are unconstitutional. The lawsuit was initiated by the ACLU "on behalf of journalists, scholars[constitutional too?] and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs," reports AOL news. Well duh. A ten-year-old can read the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights and realize this in around 2-minutes, tops. OK, give him some time to scratch his/her/shim's nose (sorry, someone might be offended). Wiretaps aren't new in the USA, just do a google-search on the anagram "COINTELPRO", and you will find a plethora of declassified-documents proving this. Most are at the National Archives.

The irony of all this is that Arlen Specter has been threatening-investigations and hearings for months--but nada. Of course, there will be an appeal, but what until-then? Maybe El Prez can do a signing-statement on this one, or prod the GOP in Congress to make another retroactive-law making his crimes "legal." Funny, it's like a stickup-man telling a court that he called his Congressman, and that the law is no-longer valid. Problem: the law was in-effect, a basic-premise of all law, for a system-of-laws to have any effect on order and the social contract. But, as we know from the last six-years, the social contract is all-but-extinct. Then, laws will mean little, and order will break-down, and people like Donald Rumsfeld can claim there is no Civil War here, either. Kick-out the jams, motherfuckers, Detroit Rock City.

Karl Rove holds a Poll: Save Joe L-I-E-berman!!

Quinnipiac University--known for it's neutrality--released a poll today stating that Joe Liberman leads Ned Lamont by ten-points (49%/38%) amongst registered-voters in Connecticut. Yeah? In July's WSJ, they were quoted "that 51% of likely voters would support Lieberman, with Lamont second at 27%." Well, it didn't work-out that way. Polls aren't about accurate-predictions, so why is it skewed in-favor of GOP-aims now--again? According to the poll, registered Republican voters are abandoning Alan Schlesinger, and going-towards Lieberman--a onetime-Democrat (not-really). Odd, he used to be called "centrist", something a Republican wouldn't vote-for...unless one has no-principles except money-hoarding. The polls have been wrong before, and it's time for a major-fight against Lieberman. This man must be destroyed as a political-entity in the court of public-opinion, and the voting-booth. But, the timing of this poll is definitely suspicious.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Kei Fujiwara's Organ (1996) review

Frankly, I'm astonished at some of the bad reviews of this film--ignore them. If you love extreme cinema that explores the basis of the human animal, you have found a home in the cinematic space-time continuum. Ostensibly, this is a Yakuza and detective film, with elements of film noir and expressionism.

It is not a purely genre film at all, but an art film with incredible complexity about what it is to be human. Fujiwara is best known for her role in Shinya Tsukamoto's "Tetsuo: the Iron Man" (her role is a memorable sex-act), and her relationship to his work shows here. That's because she was co-author of the film, a fact that often gets overlooked. The first Tetsuo film is just as much hers as it is Tsukamoto's. You can still feel her absence in his most recent films.

The human body is the battlefield, as well as the human soul. Much of life to Fujiwara consists-of: birth/mutilation/exploitation/death. Joy is a small-part of this process. To the Buddhist, life is primarily misery that has to be transcended. Maybe it took an inspired woman to say this, and a Buddhist one at that. In so many ways, this feels like a tale by Edgar Allan Poe! The similarities are in the psychological nature, as well as an obsession with repulsion. As a matter of fact, "Organ" is on-par with Poe and his Japanese analog, "Edogawa Rampo" (a pen-name), the other legendary detective and psychological horror writer. This is a film I have watched several times, and it always delivers a new revelation or insight. One viewing is simply not enough to begin to understand it, as in all cinema that aspires to be art.

If Organ is ugly, it's because life has ugliness. If it has beauty (and it does), it is because life does. Even in mutilation, even in our decay, there is a visual beauty. Just ask David Lynch, and just ask a mortician or a coroner. Lividity has an incredible range of colors. Repulsion can be transformed into an attraction to the life-process, it's a philosophical choice. There are roughly two narrative paths to the film: first, the story of the outsider detective searching for his "dead" partner after their uncovering of a horrific black market organ-smuggling ring run by Yakuza, and secondly, the story of the insiders of the ring, a brother and sister. The detective-narrative reminded me strongly of Kurosawa's "Stray Dog" (aka "Nora Inu," 1949), and is probably a conscious nod by Fujiwara.

Other noirish elements reminded me of two films by Yasuzo Masumura: Blind Beast (1969), that has similar themes of destructive sexual-obsession, and Manji (1964). Both films center on a sexual-obsession that intensifies towards death and an ultimate bodily-mutilation. This is why some comparisons of this strain of Japanese cinema with the works of director David Cronenberg are off-the-mark. Fujiwara knows her cinema well.

In the depraved underworld reality of Organ, the surgeon brother has reanimated the "lost" cop and is doing hellish experiments on him, transforming his form into a monstrosity (while paradoxically making him more spiritually human and further dehumanizing himself). Meanwhile, his incestuous sister Yoko runs the organ-snatching gang, and fends-off the outside world, keeping their spiritual sickness and decay alive. It's an interesting structure of hidden worlds and unseen images, which makes the film eminently rewatchable. The philosophical themes of birth-and-death are also very rewarding.

Yes, it's an extremely low-budget film shot on 16mm, but it's also a well-executed work by a genuine maverick of cinema. The rejections of this work come from the gore and the thematic-structure, which must be seen to be believed. Americans have a fear of nearly everything, but especially graphic depictions of death-and-decay and the disintegration of the personality. At the film's philosophical-core is the relationship with the surgeon brother within the organ ring, and the reanimated cop.

As grotesque as the half-dead cop appears, he's more human than the internally-diseased brother and sister. In fact, he's metaphor for the surgeon's remaining-humanity that's slipping-away; Fujiwara makes it clear that the brother and sister were horribly abused as children by their psychopathic mother, making it the origin of their spiritual-decay and sadism. Fujiwara tends towards "nurture" rather than "nature" in this respect regarding the origins of human injustice and sadism. The film, then, is about cycles. As though in some diseased womb, the reanimated cop is hidden away by the surgeon in a secret room where the two have an "internal-dialog" that's a philosophical debate for OUR benefit.

The other half of the narrative is also very powerful. The outsider detective's obsession finding his partner has taken a horrible toll on his family. It seems that being a cop hasn't done himself or his home any good, even before the body snatching incident. These tableaux are just more of the examples of the cycle of abuse and neglect in the film, and they're potent ones. Again and again, Fujiwara paints life as such (so you don't miss it): birth, mutilation/exploitation at the hands of others, and finally, death.

Sadly, this is the fate that awaits many human beings in this inhuman era we inhabit. Consider this when you buy products "Made in China" sometime. Out of the themes of this film, one could surmise that Mrs. Fujiwara has a strong ambivalence to motherhood. What is puzzling is why so many women do not. This film is a contemporary masterpiece, hands-down. "Organ 2" [Ed., 08.30.2008--Called "Id," also extraordinary.] has been completed, so expect more of the same!

Jack Carter, Lord of Vegas?

OK, Jack Carter won the Democratic-primary for Nevada's senatorial-race, this is good. His GOP-nemesis John Ensign (does this mean he's a lower-rank? why not?) has been a staunch-supporter of the Bush-agenda (voted yes for the war), but also has a pretty solid-base in Nevada. Yes, he's no Joe Lieberman, as it's hard to be more-supportive of the President than when one is a Democrat. Or is it? The Carter-candidacy seems to auger a revolt within the Democratic-ranks, though Jack's connections to business would make many a Republican jealous: offshore-banking in Bermuda, and his own business there! This deserves scrutiny, but I feel assured it will next-month...after-all, Jimmy was on the Trilateral Commission, he's as establishment as one can get.
The images on the right are from the Bohemian Grove "Annals Book", 1987-1996. The people who feed Moloch our children, how quaint.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

As Gerald Ford dies...

...the more his soul transmigrates into the body of George W. Bush. Recently, Bush nearly fell down the stairs of Airforce One, so the transfer must be complete.

Conrad Burns' Dancing-teeth!

Yep, he's the same guy who berated firefighters in Montana for doing a "piss-poor job" at an airport-encounter. Now, today, the Republican Senator admits he's a loser in the Billings Gazette:

And just like I say, I'm the only guy in the world probably getting beat running unopposed," Burns said. "But I can self-destruct in one sentence. Sometimes in one word."The Burns comments came from a transcript prepared by Montana Democrats, who videotape Burns at every public event. The Burns campaign did not dispute the transcript.

Keep-talking, I'm thinking the "one word" is "nigger". What a back-slapping hick. He isn't the only kiss-ass carpetbagger from Missouri--remember John Ashcroft? He was the only senatorial-candidate to lose-to a dead man, just ask CNN:

I'm hoping that Montanans show the same reason and logic in their choice. Clearly, a dead man can do less-harm to us than the shambling-idiot that is Conrad Burns.

PS: He has ties to Jack Abramoff, but you probably knew this.

The Moon landing & Tin-foil Hats

If you want to gauge how truly insane and moronic some Americans can be, just do a google search on "Moon landing conspiracy."

So contentious is the issue that the topic on Wikipedia is now blocked from editing. What idiocy! We have a President spying on most of us, three wars, and THIS is what 6% of us find most important?! Yes, according to a Gallup Poll in 1999, 89% of us believe that we landed on the moon in 1969-onwards, while 6% do not.

Amazing, and we know how they vote. I'm not giving any of the living-proponents of this crap theory any advertising, so here's the deadite who started it all: Bill Kaysing. Kaysing was generally a transient who worked a short time as a technical writer for Rocketdyne (like "Yo-Yo Dyne" from Buckaroo Banzai) until 1963, but was generally a bum who found a new way to make money. He could be called a former "disgruntled employee."

Fox News' overly-credulous 2001 special on this goofy conspiracy theory just goes without saying about the quality of their programming and of their viewers.

Some theories have Stanley Kubrick being part of the conspiracy, helping with the same effects he used in "2001: A Space Odyssey." But, it seems movies have probably played-a-hand in most of this.

In a brief scene in the James Bond thriller, "Diamonds are Forever" (1971, three years before Kaysing's book) there is the faking of a moonlanding! In 1978, the movie "Capricorn One" increased the popularity of this theory.

I saw Capricorn One when it was first released, and it is more relevant as an expression of post-Watergate cynicism towards the federal government than anything. Oh yeah, O.J.'s in it, nuff-said, it sucks.

Today, the tin-foil hat crew are rejoicing: NASA says it cannot-find the original master tapes of the video-feed from the first moonlanding. Big deal, we have copies from it, and I'm betting they locate them soon. It all reminds one of how much "aliens" from abduction accounts resemble aliens from bad 1950s B-movies. I'd chock-it-up to the fact that many people don't understand allegory and metaphor--they can only view the world, movies, books, words, as literal reality (like the Christian Bible). This makes them crazy, of course, and dangerously stupid. We now know the political results of this lack-of-consciousness. We saw it 60+ years-ago in Germany...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Gesualdo: Death for Five Voices (1995) review

This is the place where the modern horror genre begins--with characters like the Italian Renaissance Prince, Carlo Gesualdo. Possibly born in 1561 (or 1566, depending on who you believe), Gesualdo was born into nobility, and was the recipient of a Principality in the town of Venosa, and a Duke of the Kingdom of Naples. The Gesualdos were connected by blood-ties to nearly every noble family in Renaissance Italy.

Carlo was considered a child prodigy like Mozart, and was an accomplished performer of the lute and harpsichord.

In 1586, he married his cousin, Maria d'Avalos. The woman was known for both her incredible beauty and her amorousness (though this is debatable), and the marriage was possibly ill-fated due to Gesualdo's abusive behavior. It is unknown whether this is the reason for d'Avalos's infidelities, though his second wife consulted a witch who poisoned the Prince in an attempt to enchant him. Both this wife and a concubine were imprisoned and tortured for the deed, with the concubine dying shortly-afterward from the ordeal. D'Avalos would meet a much darker fate.

It's uncontroversial that the Prince was a sadist, and Gesualdo had wanted them both hanged, but the Church interceded. There is a strong possibility that the Prince plotted to murder his wife for years. However, it does appear that infidelity was the reason why Carlo slaughtered d'Avalos and her lover in what is considered the most heinous murder in the history of Italy and easily of music.

By 1590, the marriage had gone sour: the Prince had found the apartment that the two lovers were using from an uncle (a Cardinal who had unsuccessfully attempted his own affair with d'Avalos). The place was a niche-room in his own palace, and he commenced the planning of a murder. In a premeditated act, Gesualdo told d'Avalos he would be away on a hunting trip overnight with a party of his own senechals--except that he and this personal guard waited nearby until the two had consummated their lovemaking, finally falling asleep.

Gesualdo kicked-in the door and stabbed Maria d'Avalos dozens-of-times in the abdomen and vagina, as well as similar sexual-mutilations on her consort, the Duke of Andria. It is told in local legends of Venosa that after Gesualdo had dragged their bodies into the street, a San Dominican monk committed an act of necrophilia on the body of d'Avalos, adding to the depravity of the event.

This didn't sate the Prince's bloodlust: Gesualdo had their bodies displayed publicly on the steps of a Church, eventually using the corpses for an alchemical experiment that rubberized their organs and circulatory-systems. The bodies are still on-display in a Church in Venosa, making Carlo Gesualdo an evil genius who was clearly ahead of his time in almost every respect. Because of Gesualdo's station as a Prince there were no charges.

From the time that Carlo Gesualdo murdered his first wife, until his death in 1613, he did penance by composition and flagellation.

It is said that he suffered from asthma and constipation, and was possibly further enfeebled by his poisoning by the witch and sorcerer at-the-behest of his concubine and his second wife. For the rest of his life, Gesualdo composed his haunting choral madrigals, and was well-known in his time as a composer of inspired genius. Today, he is even more well-known, which is probably due to the depraved life he led and this documentary by the also-legendary Werner Herzog (commissioned in 1995 by ZDF).

The murders haunted Gesualdo until the end of his life. Immediately after the killings, he personally cut-down the forest surrounding Castle Gesualdo, much like Macbeth's fear of Birnham woods. Interest in the occult was universal in the time of the Prince, and it begs-the-question whether Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe were informed of Gesualdo's story through the court of Elizabeth I. An unsurprising number of Elizabethan and Jacobean plays come from stories with origins in Renaissance Italy. It's my opinion that this fact bears some investigation in the case of Carlo Gesualdo. By the end of his life, Prince Carlo Gesualdo was madder than Macbeth. There is every reason to think that the modern horror story was influenced by the horrific acts of Gesualdo. A hunch, yes, but it deserves investigation.

Werner Herzog does an incredible justice to the story of Gesualdo, and the events which made him famous. But he goes further by interviewing contemporary residents of Venosa on the impact left by the man into today, and his results are interesting and often seductively enigmatic. The region of Italy that he once reigned over is still haunted by him and other aristocrats.

Today, many people around the town still shun the name of Carlo Gesualdo, while the mentally-ill of the region fancy that they ARE the Prince, reincarnated. Others, such as the mad opera singer who "haunts" Castle Gesualdo, fancy they are Maria d'Avalos. It seems that the belief in magic is alive-and-well in Venosa and Ferrara, where local occultists enter the castle to exorcise it regularly with all manner of methods (one uses a bellows bagpipe).

With an extraordinary skill, Herzog wipes-away centuries with his approach, making this story a living one about the battles within all of humankind that continue to this day. The music of Carlo Gesualdo is unearthly, yet it is so terminally human, just like his legacy. Perhaps we find him so interesting because he was nearly 300-years ahead of his time, compositionally and alchemically. "Five Voices" is the documentary as high art and possibly Herzog's best work in the medium. There is a fascinating magic to this story, and the director has captured some of it on film.

Revised, 03.28.2009