Kentucky Elvis: Sin Filled Life
04.06.2010
07:03 pm

Topics:
Belief
Kooks

Tags:
Christianity
Elvis

 
Kentucky Elvis sings his own special rendition of Suspicious Minds at his church, but his version is called Sin Filled Life.

Via Christian Nightmares

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Orgasm: The Pop Art Explosion of John’s Children (featuring a pre-T. Rex Marc Bolan!)
04.06.2010
02:09 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Marc Bolan
John's Children

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Before Marc Bolan blew minds as T. Rex, even before he gently blew beards as Tyrannosaurus Rex, he was demolishing stages with John’s Children, a pop-art mod band hell bent on one upping The Who in the auto-destructive art department. 

Featuring Andy Ellison on vocals, Geoff McLelland on guitar, John Hewlett on bass, and wild man Chris Townson on drums, Bolan joined the band briefly in 1967 and wrote one of their most beloved songs, the very twisted and far out Desdemona, which can be heard in the above video that features photos of Bolan with the band.  Although he doesn’t sing lead, his patented guitar playing is front and center and his one of a kind vibrato voice provides backup. The suggestive lyric ‘Lift up your skirt and fly’ was enough for the BBC to ban the song, and after a brief four month stint, Bolan moved on to develop himself as a solo artist.

Sans Bolan, John’s Children would continue to plug away, wrecking stages in their midst and creating a reputation based on their antics rather than their musicianship. They even released an album that would find American distribution on White Whale Records called Orgasm, which was ruined by a record exec’s brilliant idea of inserting crowd noise between songs to make it seem “live.” 

Below is a little-known promotional video the band made for the album, which is apparently part of a film called Smashed Blocked that never saw the light of day. Band member Andy Ellison, whose Corn Flake Zoo must be heard to be believed, even commented on an older post of the video that “Smashed was a mod term for drunk, and blocked was a mod term for being pilled up (high on amphetamines).”  This newer version of the video has significantly better sound that others.  Dig it!
 

Posted by Elvin Estela | Leave a comment
“Mom, Can I Have a Big D**k?”
04.06.2010
02:06 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Copyranter

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Via Copyranter, here’s a particularly uh… manly ad.

This is my rifle, this is my gun…“Jimmy’s got a Big Dick. Mark’s got a Big Dick. C’mon Mom, it’s FREE!!!” A “powerful but harmless” gun, it was 23 inches long, 9 inches high and made of iron. At the height of W W One, every boy in town wanted to kill Huns with a fucking Big Dick Gun.

(Copyranter: “Mom, Can I Have a Big D**k?”)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Space Storm Slams Earth
04.06.2010
02:03 pm

Topics:
Science/Tech

Tags:
Space
Storm

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A gigantic space storm (the biggest in three years) slammed Earth yesterday. Good lord, no wonder everything was so wonked.

The most powerful geomagnetic storm since December 2006 struck the Earth on Monday, a day earlier than expected.

On 3 April, the SOHO spacecraft spotted a cloud of charged particles called a coronal mass ejection (CME) shooting from the sun at 500 kilometres per second. This velocity suggested the front would reach Earth in roughly three days.

“It hit earlier and harder than forecast,” says Doug Biesecker of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.

Fortunately, the storm was not intense enough to interfere strongly with power grids or satellite navigation, but it did trigger dazzling auroras in places like Iceland.

(New Scientist: Earth struck by most powerful space storm in three years)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Metaphors For Life: Chuck Jones’s Phantom Tollbooth

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SHORT POST: Hey, down there at the bottom, The Phantom Tollbooth movie.  Animated by Chuck Jones, it’s long out of print, it’s got pretty colors, give it a look!

LONG POST: What with last week’s Kraken re-releasing, I’m reminded once again of the perils of adaptation, and how meddling with the stories we cherish as children is, in most cases, a doomed proposition. 

Not so much because movies, regardless of their “faithfulness,” never fully capture the scope and detail of the books they’re sometimes based on (Dune, Harry Potter), or that the sheer act of turning words into images, states of mind into dialogue, necessitates a sacrifice of some kind when jumping from interior-minded Literature to exterior-bodied Film (The Hours, Atonement).

All those notions are valid, sure, but they presuppose something that rarely gets mentioned in the great Book vs. Movie debate: that despite the slippery slope we call Language, there’s such a thing as a universally experienced book to hold against a universally experienced movie in the first place.

In other words, when male friend X tells me, “Well, I liked Atonement, but it wasn’t nearly as good as McEwan’s book,” I’m always left thinking, “That’s great, but who am I to gauge your private experience of McEwan’s book?”

In fact, maybe my private experience of McEwan’s Atonement not only kicks ass over X’s private experience of it in terms of analytical sophistication, but the “good” things he found in it are the same things I found both “trite” and “manipulative?”

Okay, now I have never read Atonement (hey, I saw the movie!) but I have read, on numerous occasions, Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth.

It’s also, along with Disney’s Song of The South, the first film I remember seeing in theaters.  Directed by Chuck Jones, with a screenplay by Jones and Sam Rosen, The Phantom Tollbooth totally blew my then-puny kid gaskets.  I remember stumbling out of the theater declaring it the best film (out of the total four, maybe) I’d ever seen.  It was certainly the best film I’d ever seen starring The MunstersButch Patrick.
 

 
I haven’t seen Tollbooth since, and it remains out of print, but, thanks to Vimeo (see above, below), I recently took some time to revisit it.  And now…well, let’s just say Jones’s imagining of Milo’s adventures in the Doldrums and beyond no longer constitutes what I consider the best film I’ve ever seen.  In fact, it’s now maybe the opposite of that.

But why, though? Why, exactly, does Jones’s version compare so woefully to the beloved Juster book?  Well, it’s not just the crude animation and unsophisticated storytelling.  It’s something that leads back to the above-mentioned perils of adaptation and my own private experience of the book—a few pages of it, anyway.  Jones mangles a particular sequence I found—and still find—incredibly resonant: Milo’s conducting of the sunrise. 

The shorthand goes like this (for those of you with the book handy, it’s Chapter 11, Dischord and Dyne): during his quest to save Rhyme and Reason, Milo meets Chroma the Great, the conductor responsible for all the colors in the world.  The beauty of trees and sunsets, of sunshine and fireworks, all stem from the movement of Chroma’s hands and the thousands of musicians playing silently around him.

Wanting to let Chroma sleep in a bit, Milo takes the next morning’s sunrise shift.  One by one the musicians come to life: piccolo players summon the day’s first rays, cellists make the hills glow red.  Milo’s overjoyed, “because they were all playing for him, and just the way they should.”

Joy turns to terror, though, when Milo’s musicians start playing louder and faster, the colors of the world becoming “more brilliant than he thought possible.”   Milo tries to keep up, but soon the sky’s changing from blue to tan and then to red.  Flowers turn black.  “Nothing was the color it should have been, and yet, the more he tried to straighten things out, the worse they became.”

Or, to use another metaphor, one plate in the air.  Then two plates.  Soon dozens of plates.  All moving in harmony.  And then they start crashing down around you.  In all of literature, I can’t recall a more compact or accurate description of the creative process.  Or its possible dangers.

And while I’m pretty sure my kid mind didn’t grasp its meaning then, I’ve been returning to that passage ever since.  Because that’s what metaphors do.  The better ones, anyway.  They hit you in the gut before you know how or why they’re useful. 

If we’re lucky, we recognize it, maybe in the moment, maybe years later.  Is it any wonder then that the book-to-movie process can be so fraught?  One adaptor’s trash might very well be another reader’s treasure.

Which brings us to the version of this scene as imagined by Chuck Jones.  It’s in Part II, 19 or so minutes in.  As per the book, Milo meets Chroma, sends him to bed, and prepares to conduct the sunrise.  And this is where things veer off course.  Way the fuck off course.

Before those piccolos have a chance to breathe, celestial activities start going to hell, denying Milo – and the viewers – a single moment of pleasure.  Not only does this rob Juster’s sequence of its poetry, but Jones turns the creative process into all danger, no joy whatsoever. 

It gets worse from there.  As the world unravels, Juster restores order by having Milo drop his hands, signaling the musicians to stop.  What does Jones have Milo do?  He has him retreat.  Flee the scene.  Act cowardly in the face of the forces he’s unleashed.  Now, I ask you: what kind of metaphor for the creative process is that?!  Not one I’d ever expose a child to, that’s for sure. 

Jones’s Tollbooth might fail me now as a metaphor for the creative process, but it does say something about growing up, growing older…

If that process can be boiled down to the saying goodbye to everything we hold dear, maybe it’s a relief that some of those things we hold most dear aren’t worth holding on to so tightly in the first place.

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
What anesthetic could this be?
04.06.2010
10:08 am

Topics:

Tags:

 

 
This particular brand of anesthetic apparently causes unicorn hallucinations and gives one the natural ability to freestyle rap about Jesus.  Where can we find this stuff?

Thanks Ras G!

Posted by Elvin Estela | Leave a comment
This Guy Hates a Ton of Shit
04.06.2010
09:07 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:


He needs to tell us how he really feels.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
God Wants You to Buy The Lincoln Trillion Dollar Bill for $2.50
04.06.2010
08:37 am

Topics:
Belief

Tags:
Lincoln Trillion Bill

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This bill has a gospel message written on the back:

The trillion-dollar question: Will you go to Heaven when you die?

Here’s a customer review of the Lincoln Trillion Bill:

I just ordered 2 packs of these and can’t wait to see how God uses them to open doors! Think of the ways you can use it, for kids, as part of your tip at a restaurant, even cashiers at the check-out line. Thanks for making these and helping further the Kingdom!

Lincoln Trillion Bill


(via J-Walk Blog)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dr. Jack Cassell: Idiot doubles down, removes all doubt that he’s a moron

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Dr. Jack Cassell, Orlando urologist and Republican crackpot, is the asshat who put up the sign in his practice reading: “If you voted for Obama…seek urologic care elsewhere. Changes to your healthcare begin right now, not in four years.”

Predictably the “liberal media” went nuts on this guy’s dumbass—he deserved it—and Cassell’s been seen making a fool of himself all over the media lately trying to stick up for himself and managing to damage his reputation even further. From The Washington Monthly:

But perhaps the most important coverage was an interview between Cassell and Alan Colmes on the radio Friday night. The host tried to get a better sense of why, exactly, Cassell hates the Affordable Care Act so much. The urologist specifically argued that officials, in light of the new law, are “cutting all supportive care, like nursing homes, ambulance services.”

Colmes: What do you mean they’re cutting nursing homes?

Cassell: They’re cutting nursing home reimbursements.

Colmes: Isn’t what they’re cutting under the Medicare plan what was really double dipping; they were getting credits and they were getting to deduct them at the same time.

Cassell: Well you know, I can’t tell you exactly what the deal is. [emphasis added]

Colmes: If you can’t tell us exactly what the deal is, why are you opposing it and fighting against it?

What a good question. Cassell struggled to explain himself, saying he’d seen some things “online,” and adding that the information he needs to understand the law “should be available to me.”

Of course, the information is available to him, and has been for months. Cassell chose not to do his homework before driving patients away—patients who, it turns out, may know a lot more than he does about the law he claims to hate.

This is painfully common—some of the loudest, angriest critics of the Affordable Care Act are also some of the least informed, most confused, embarrassingly ignorant observers anywhere. In this case, Cassell has become a national joke because he’s repulsed by a health care reform plan that he fully admits he doesn’t understand.

It’d be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.

Roger that…

Cassell’s Crass Confusion (Washington Monthly)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
It’s Pot Season!
04.05.2010
09:21 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Marijuana
Pot

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(via The Daily What )

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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