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Reagan answers some questions about the Arms-for-Hostages scandal
02.17.2011
01:40 pm

Topics:
History

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Some highlights from President Reagan’s March 19, 1987 press conference, at which he finally answered questions that had built up in the four months since the Iran-contra scandal broke:

“... I don’t know ... I don’t know ... I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was ... I did not know at that time that there was any money involved. I only knew that ... All we’d learned ... Helen, I don’t know. I only know that ... All that I know ... Sam, all I know is that ... I can’t remember ... There are other people that don’t remember either ... I did not know that I had said it in such a way ... I didn’t realize that I had said that ... We didn’t know ... I didn’t know how far we could go ... I still do not have the answer ... It was a complete surprise to me ... We’re still waiting for that to be explained ... I don’t know ... I don’t know ...”

Excerpted from the “Reagan Centennial Edition” of my 1989 book The Clothes Have No Emperor, available here as an enhanced eBook.

 

Posted by Paul Slansky | Leave a comment
Delightful image of Glenn Beck’s dropped sponsors
02.17.2011
10:10 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Current Events
Media
Politics
Television

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Over 300 hundred companies who refused to advertise on Glenn Beck’s show by Chris Piascik.

(via Certified Bullshit Technician)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Chris Rock on Tea party racism
02.17.2011
09:43 am

Topics:
Heroes
Thinkers

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In the March issue of Esquire magazine, Chris Rock is interviewed by Scott Raab and manages to put a hopeful spin on the Tea party movement:

“Like many nice Caucasians, I cried the night Barack Obama was elected,” said Raab. “It was one of the high points in American history. And all that’s happened since the election is just a sh—storm of hatred. You want to weigh in on that?”

“I actually like it, in the sense that—you got kids?” asked Rock. “Kids always act up the most before they go to sleep. And when I see the Tea Party and all this stuff, it actually feels like racism’s almost over. Because this is the last—this is the act up before the sleep. They’re going crazy. They’re insane. You want to get rid of them—and the next thing you know, they’re f—-ing knocked out. And that’s what’s going on in the country right now.”

A sage perspective, indeed.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Glenn Beck commits the cardinal sin of television: He’s getting boring

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There’s no way around it: Glenn Beck is just getting dull. Yesterday’s pulseless rant against Google is the lamest Glenn Beck clip I’ve yet seen. Fuckin’ Google??? How can he expect to reverse the nearly 50% loss of his audience with banal rants like this one? If Beck’s not incendiary, he’s nuthin’ and this is just limp. You can tell that he’s only reading off a script here. Even he doesn’t believe his own bullshit. The dots he’s supposedly connecting wouldn’t impress the dumbest people in his audience. And this whole George Soros thing? Give it up, dude, you’re getting no traction with it. Tides Foundation? Van Jones? Where is the rage, Glenn Beck? Have you lost your mojo, but good? It’s like someone nailed your shoe to the floor. Now you just walk around in circles, repeating the same nonsense each day.

Yup, dude needs a new schtick soon or he’s headed for the scrap heap. Who’d want to watch someone say the same shit day after day after day, like Beck does? Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert can’t get much mileage from Beck when he’s this dull. If even his detractors stop caring, where will Beck be a year or two from now? (Dancing With the Stars, perhaps? Raptured? Let’s hope!). Even an audience comprised of a bunch of dummies needs a little spice.

Glenn Beck’s act is feeling really long in the tooth. He’s petering out. Remember Joe Pyne and Morton Downey Jr.? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I think the trajectory of their careers is what fate has in store for Beck, too. He’s got a novelty act and novelty acts simply get tired after a few years.

Why doesn’t Fox News just go straight to the source and replace Beck with Alex Jones, I wonder?
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dangerous Minds in Dazed & Confused
02.17.2011
07:26 am

Topics:
Kooks

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Dazed Digital, the web arm of the Dazed & Confused publishing group in London have posted a short Q&A with me about Dangerous Minds. Dazed editor-in-chief, Rod Stanley, asked the questions. Read it here.

Dazed Digital: Come the apocalypse, where will you be hanging out and what will you be doing?

Richard Metzger: Tara and I will be with our dogs. We don’t have anything special planned.

(The image is a drawing that Michel Gondry made of me and Tara and the original photo. I’m totally baked as you can see from my eyes. I think Gondry must have known this from the way I am drawn, don’t you think? Tara is the blond, blue-eyed Cheech to my Chong…)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Are dreams messages from the future and do we ignore them at our own peril?
02.17.2011
02:06 am

Topics:
Belief
Movies

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The Edge Of Dreaming, Amy Hardie’s investigation into the prophetic quality of dreams has just opened theatrically in Manhattan. It was broadcast on PBS last August. And you can stream it now from Netflix.

My dream life has been very active of late and I’m starting to pay more and more attention to the patterns of images and information in my dreams. I feel as though I’ve never taken my dreams seriously enough, which is odd, considering how much time I spend dreaming and how often the dreams do seem to be sending messages, teachings or warnings. So, Amy Hardie’s film is of great interest to me. Are dreams cognitive tendrils into the future? Should we give them more respect by simply paying more attention to them.

Do dreams, especially the portentous kind that you cannot easily shake off, predict the future? That question is investigated in “The Edge of Dreaming,” a deeply personal film by Amy Hardie, a Scottish science documentarian whose world was shaken after she experienced a series of related nightmares.

The first, in which her beloved horse keeled over and died, so alarmed Ms. Hardie that she ran out of her house in the Scottish Borders and found him dead of a heart attack. In the second, her oldest child’s father, who had died in 2004, appeared and told her sadly that her 48th year (the one that was coming up) would be her last. The third dream showed her how she would die.

Ms. Hardie, who is married to a psychotherapist, became obsessed with the possibility that the dreams were prophecies. She became even more frightened after she developed a mysterious breathing ailment that threatened to collapse her lungs.

“The Edge of Dreaming,” which carries her through her 49th birthday, does not have the trappings of a psychological horror film. Ms. Hardie, a self-described scaredy-cat since childhood, systematically searches for explanations, both medical and spiritual. She studies Jung; consults with Mark Solms, a neuroscientist; and ultimately revisits her dreams with a shaman. This shamanic journey is visualized in an extended montage sequence.

“The Edge of Dreaming” is not the confession of a true believer who has found the Answer but of an intelligent woman with an open mind and heart who embarked on a serious metaphysical quest.

If you have a Netflix account, stream here. This compelling interview with Hardie should pique your interest.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
1960s French videos: Francoise Hardy, Spencer Davis Group, Marianne Faithfull, The Equals and more
02.16.2011
11:50 pm

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture
Television

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Here’s a compilation of video clips made in the 1960s for French television. Most of these videos were new to me when I discovered them and the quality is impressive.

The Spencer Davis Group, The Equals, Vince Taylor, Tom Jones, Jacques Dutronc, Johnny Hallyday, Francoise Hardy and Marianne Faithfull.

If you love this stuff and must have more, it’s available on import DVD here. It ain’t cheap and you’ve got to have an all-region DVD player, but man what a goldmine.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Bad Brains live in Florida 1987: Full show in high quality video
02.16.2011
11:07 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

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Proshot high quality video of the Bad Brains playing in Florida on March 20, 1987. Shorter clips from this show have appeared on the Internet but nowhere near this quality. This is the Bad Brains’ performance in full and it looks and sounds great.

The Chevrolet banner hanging from the stage declares that “This is the heartbeat of America.”  I agree. But the college kids on spring break that make up the audience seem clueless.

Setlist:

1. Intro
2. I
3. House of Suffering
4. Daytripper/ She’s a Rainbow
5. She is Calling you
6. The Youth are getting Restless
7. I against I
8. At the Movies

total runtime 24:49:21
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
So you think you can shoegaze?
02.16.2011
04:37 pm

Topics:
Music

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Here’s an incredibly generous and, truth be told, unconventional (hello Kate Bush !) look at the so-called genre known by some as Shoegaze. I personally can’t stand the term (yes I’m being sarcastic in my use of the word in the masthead here on DM) despite the fact that my early-mid 90’s band Medicine is often lumped in with it. But Mr. Ning Nong here has not only shown the excellent/highly questionable taste to lead off with Medicine but to also include many other possibly controversial, yet tasty choices. It would be churlish to complain when being presented with 3 bleedin’ hours of the stuff though, right ?
 

A fresh, sun-drenched Typecast from Boston mainstay Ning Nong, diving into the world of classic guitar rock and indie some of us are still so afraid of. Go on, dip your toe in – nobody’s watching I promise.
If you like this, check the Ning Nong Radio show on WZBC 90.3 Boston every Tuesday evening (10-12) for more epic musical voyages.

 
1. Medicine – One More (Creation)
2. Serena-Maneesh – Honeyjinx (4AD)
3. Slowdive – Morningrise (Creation)
4. Arab Strap – Last Orders (Chemikal Underground)
5. Yo La Tengo – Saturday (Matador)
6. Unrest – Imperial (Teen Beat)
7. Moose – Suzanne (Hut)
8. Altar Eagle – Spy Movie (Type)
9. His Name Is Alive – Lip (4AD)
10. Swirlies – Bell (Taang!)
11. Dinosaur Jr – In A Jar (sst)
12. Swervedriver – Duel (Creation)
13. The Verve – Drive You Home (Hut)
14. Blur – Resigned (Food)
15. Pale Saints – Kinky Love (4AD)
16. The House Of Love – Love In A Car (Creation)
17. Ride – Like A Daydream (Creation)
18. The Boo Radleys – Almost Nearly There (Creation)
19. Teenage Fanclub – Alcoholiday (Creation)
20. The Jesus & Mary Chain – Something I Can’t Have (Blanco Y Negro)
21. Interpol – Not Even Jail (Matador)
22. Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Where Does Yer Go Now? (Mantra)
23. Mogwai – Year 2000 Non-Compliant Cardia (Chemikal Underground)
24. Sunset – Man’s Heart Complaint (Autobus)
25. Flying Saucer Attack – In The Light Of Time (Domino)
26. Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career (4AD)
27. My Bloody Valentine – Sometimes (Creation)
28. Swallow – Peekaboo (4AD)
29. Kate Bush – Cloudbusting (emi)
30. Tindersticks – Drunk Tank (This Way Up)
31. Bark Psychosis – All Different Things (Cheree)
32. David Sylvian – Let The Happiness In (Virgin)
33. Cocteau Twins – Ella Megalast Burls Forever (4AD)
 

 
With thanks to Danny Gromfin !

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
‘Who’s Out There?’: Orson Welles explores the possibility of Extraterrestrial Life in 1975
02.16.2011
03:33 pm

Topics:
Science/Tech

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In 1975, a year before NASA’s Viking 1 spacecraft orbited Mars, Orson Welles presented Who’s Out There?, a NASA produced documentary examining the “likely existence of non-Earthly life in the universe.”

Thirty-six years on, this is a fascinating piece of archive, and rather timely with the news that NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory is due to be launched in November in a bid to make the first precision landing on Mars in August 2012.

Starting with H G Wells novel, and his own infamous radio production of The War of the Worlds, Welles, together with Carl Sagan, George Wald, Richard Berendzen and Philip Morrison, explore what was then “the new view of extraterrestrial life now emerging from the results of probes to the planets,” and conclude that “other intelligent civilizations exist in the universe.”

Carl Sagan:  The most optimistic estimates, in the view of many, about the number of civilizations that there might be in the galaxy is of the order of a million, which means that only one in a few hundred thousand stars has such civilizations.
 
George Wald:  That would mean a billion such places just in our own galaxy that might contain life.
 
Philip Morrison:  As I believe there’s a society of these groups, not just one, there’re probably very many.  There’s only one, we have no hope of finding them; there’re probably thousands, maybe as many as a million.  They probably already have had long history of this same experience, of finding new ones and bringing them into the network.
 
Carl Sagan:  And I would imagine, an advanced civilization wanted to talk to us, they would say “Oh, look, those guys must be extremely backwards, go into some ancient museum and pull out one of those – what are they called – radio telescopes and beam it at them.”

In summation, Welles says:

In 1976 we’re going to be able to explore Mars for perhaps not so humble microorganisms.  Before and after that, we’ll be searching the planets and the galaxies for clues to fill in the new patterns we’re discovering, the evolution of evolutions that has produced us and the possible millions of other civilizations….
 
...The difference between the spacecrafts of NASA and the lurid flying saucery of that old radio War of the Worlds is the difference between science and science fiction and, yes, between war and peace.  It’s our own world which has turned out to be the interplanetary visitor; we’re the ones who are moving out there, not with death rays but with cameras, not to conquer but simply to learn. We are in fact behaving ourselves far better out there than we ever have back here at home on our own planet.

 

 
Bonus - Orson Welles directs The Mercury Theater’s radio production of The War of the Worlds
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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