Alexander McQueen Dies
02.11.2010
08:45 am

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Art
Fashion

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So sad to hear this. From the Associated Press:

Company spokeswoman Samantha Garrett said McQueen’s body was found in the morning but that she had no information “in terms of circumstances.”
Police did not directly comment when asked about how McQueen died, but said officers were called by the ambulance service at 10:20 a.m. (1020GMT) to an address on Green Street, in central London, and found a 40-year-old man dead. They did not name him but said next of kin had been informed.

The force said a post-mortem would be held but that the death was not being treated as suspicious.

Update: Alexander McQueen commits suicide: Britain has lost a great designer – and fashion ambassador

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Star Trek: The Sexed Generation
02.10.2010
03:39 pm

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Sex

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Brilliant mash-up of Star Trek: The Next Generation as one gigantic cosmic sex act. This is pertinent to my interests!

(Get Up Make Love: 21st Sentury Space Sexploration)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Harlan Ellison: Don’t Fuck With the Quote
02.10.2010
03:34 pm

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Books

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While I recognize that linking from Letters of Note has become dreadfully gauche (I think every blogger in the world thought they were the first person to discover and re-link from the site, including me), I couldn’t resist this Harlan Ellison broadside. This is light on the Ellison-Reams-Publisher meter. (My favorite story is of him mailing dozens of bricks COD to a publisher until they took their ads out of his book!)

HARLAN ELLISON

12 February 92

Dear Amy:

You may use this on Connie’s new book. In full, no ellipses, no altering for any edition. And send me a copy of the book, please. And warn the troll drones in your art and publicity departments that if they fuck around with the quote, change it or alter it for a meaning not intended, I will come and find them and kill them so dead I’ll murder their ancestors!

Charmingly,

(Signed)

“The writing of Connie Willis is irresistable. Clever, cunning, and capable of tantalizing the most demanding reader.”

HARLAN ELLISON

(Letters of Note: Harlan Ellison)

(Harlan Ellison’s Books)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Literature’s Most Mind-Blowing Drugs
02.10.2010
03:28 pm

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Books

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The Guardian reports on literature’s weirdest drugs, starting from that beaten-like-a-dead-guy-on-Horse motherlode Naked Lunch.

News of a documentary about the life of William Burroughs sent me scurrying – giant bug-style – back to his most celebrated work, Naked Lunch. Actually, it was more of a tentative crawl, because this was and remains the most difficult book I’ve ever encountered.

Maybe I’m about to commit hara kiri on my intellectual/literary credibility – such as it is – but I must confess: I find Naked Lunch pretty much unreadable. And not in the Dan Brown/misery lit/sleb memoir sense: I could read those if I had to, I just wouldn’t enjoy it.

But Naked Lunch, my God … It’s like someone swallowed the diaries of a hallucinating lunatic and vomited the resultant mess into your ears, stomach bile and all. While I can admit Burroughs was an important and seminal (pun probably not intended) writer, I can’t read Naked Lunch without feeling queasy. And I can’t finish it.

Lord knows I’ve tried. I wrestled with it again just this week. But once more this slim volume defeated me, forcing me to pound the mat and yell, “No more!” I felt as exhausted and brain-fried as someone coming out the far end of a two-week bender, but without any of the pleasurable memories.

Each time I get about halfway through, battling each disconnected sentence, all that disturbing weirdness, trying to mentally force some kind of shape onto these brilliant, demented ramblings, and then … I don’t know. I run out of energy, maybe. Or interest. Or time. Or willingness to engage with the most grotesque and unsettling imagery this side of a prog rock album covers compendium. (The specific line this time round, the literary straw that broke my camel’s back, was: “Mold odors of atrophied testicles quilted his body in a fuzzy grey fog …” I’m not sure which disturbs me more: the horrible vision conjured up, or the annoying spelling of “mould” and “odours”.)

(Guardian: Lit’s Most Mind-Blowing Drugs)

(Naked Lunch: 50th Anniversary Edition)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Mark Of The Beast Chips Not Coming To Virginia
02.10.2010
01:19 pm

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Belief

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“My understanding—I’m not a theologian—but there’s a prophecy in the Bible that says you’ll have to receive a mark, or you can neither buy nor sell things in end times.  Some people think these computer chips might be that mark.”

The “mark” that Virginia Delegate Mark Cole is referencing there is, of course, the Antichrist’s “mark of the beast.”  Fortunately, Cole, along with his fellow House Delegates, passed a bill today that forbids companies from forcibly implanting tracking devices in their employees.  Cole, though, is not the only one equating silicon with apocalypse:

Evangelical Outreach, a Web site run by pastor Dan Corner, states that “[w]ith modern technology, it is very possible that this mark may be directly linked with a computer chip.”

“Radio frequency identification (RFID) implants are currently the prime candidate for this beastly technology,” says the Riding the Beast blog.

David Neff, editor of Christianity Today, says that “this is part of a larger attempt to constantly read current history in the light of the symbolic language of the Book of Revelation,” according to the Post.

Opponents of Cole’s measure argue that it’s “a solution in search of a problem,” the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star reports.  Virginia Democratic delegate Bob Brink said: “As I went door to door, there were a number of issues that never came up.  I didn’t hear anything about the danger of an asteroid striking the earth or about the menace of forced implantation of microchips in humans.”

But Cole says it was his constituents who brought the issue to his attention.  He says people are concerned that chip implants will replace employee ID badges in offices.  If passed by the full legislature, Virginia will become the fourth state in the US to have such a law.  California, Missouri and Georgia have all passed a similar measure, or are working to pass one.

Momentum behind microchip implants has been building for years. Perhaps most significantly, Florida-based VeriChip introduced an implant in 2001 that can store medical data. The FDA approved the technology for use in humans in 2004.

Human Microchips Seen By Some In Virginia House As Device Of Antichrist

(via TRS)

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Calling All Christs!
02.10.2010
12:51 pm

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Belief

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Dangerous Minds readers in New York who bare a more or less passing resemblance to Jesus, have we got a job for you!

My daughters sweet sixteen is in 5 weeks from friday, she is a huge film buff. Her favorite movie of all time is Passion of the Christ and I want to surprise her with someone dressed as Christ to dance with her after she does her sixteen candles. We are holding the party at a well known club in New York City. Please get back to me ASAP with 4-5 sentences on why this is for you and a picture of you dressed as Jesus Christ

And for those of you applicants wondering what this day of Sweet-Sixteen dress-up might entail, please consult the video below:

 
Craigslist link here

(via BIOTV)

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Stunning New Photos Of Twin Towers’ Collapse
02.10.2010
12:23 pm

Topics:
History

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Two images taken on 9/11 by a police helicopter during the World Trade Center’s collapse.  These images are just part the 2,779 photos newly obtained by ABC News via their filing of a Freedom of Information Act request in ‘09.
 
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Aerial Photos Released Of Twin Towers’ Collapse

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Doopees
02.09.2010
08:36 pm

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Amusing
Music

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courtesy of Mutant Sounds
 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
The Burning Bush: George Bush told Jacques Chirac that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog
02.09.2010
05:37 pm

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Kooks

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I had not heard this one, but trust me, it’s a fuckin’ doozy… Reposting the entire article here, via Secular Humanism:

A French Revelation, or The Burning Bush by James A. Haught

Incredibly, President George W. Bush told French President Jacques Chirac in early 2003 that Iraq must be invaded to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse.

Honest. This isn’t a joke. The president of the United States, in a top-secret phone call to a major European ally, asked for French troops to join American soldiers in attacking Iraq as a mission from God.

Now out of office, Chirac recounts that the American leader appealed to their “common faith” (Christianity) and told him: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.”

This bizarre episode occurred while the White House was assembling its “coalition of the willing” to unleash the Iraq invasion. Chirac says he was boggled by Bush’s call and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.”

After the 2003 call, the puzzled French leader didn’t comply with Bush’s request. Instead, his staff asked Thomas Romer, a theologian at the University of Lausanne, to analyze the weird appeal. Dr. Romer explained that the Old Testament book of Ezekiel contains two chapters (38 and 39) in which God rages against Gog and Magog, sinister and mysterious forces menacing Israel. Jehovah vows to smite them savagely, to “turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,” and slaughter them ruthlessly. In the New Testament, the mystical book of Revelation envisions Gog and Magog gathering nations for battle, “and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

In 2007, Dr. Romer recounted Bush’s strange behavior in Lausanne University’s review, Allez Savoir. A French-language Swiss newspaper, Le Matin Dimanche, printed a sarcastic account titled: “When President George W. Bush Saw the Prophesies of the Bible Coming to Pass.” France’s La Liberte likewise spoofed it under the headline “A Small Scoop on Bush, Chirac, God, Gog and Magog.” But other news media missed the amazing report.

Subsequently, ex-President Chirac confirmed the nutty event in a long interview with French journalist Jean-Claude Maurice, who tells the tale in his new book, Si Vous le Répétez, Je Démentirai (If You Repeat it, I Will Deny), released in March by the publisher Plon.

Oddly, mainstream media are ignoring this alarming revelation that Bush may have been half-cracked when he started his Iraq war. My own paper, The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia, is the only U.S. newspaper to report it so far. Canada’s Toronto Star recounted the story, calling it a “stranger-than-fiction disclosure … which suggests that apocalyptic fervor may have held sway within the walls of the White House.” Fortunately, online commentary sites are spreading the news, filling the press void.

The French revelation jibes with other known aspects of Bush’s renowned evangelical certitude. For example, a few months after his phone call to Chirac, Bush attended a 2003 summit in Egypt. The Palestinian foreign minister later said the American president told him he was “on a mission from God” to defeat Iraq. At that time, the White House called this claim “absurd.”

Recently, GQ magazine revealed that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld attached warlike Bible verses and Iraq battle photos to war reports he hand-delivered to Bush. One declared: “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.”

It’s awkward to say openly, but now-departed President Bush is a religious crackpot, an ex-drunk of small intellect who “got saved.” He never should have been entrusted with the power to start wars.

For six years, Americans really haven’t known why he launched the unnecessary Iraq attack. Official pretexts turned out to be baseless. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction after all, and wasn’t in league with terrorists, as the White House alleged. Collapse of his asserted reasons led to speculation about hidden motives: Was the invasion loosed to gain control of Iraq’s oil—or to protect Israel—or to complete Bush’s father’s vendetta against the late dictator Saddam Hussein? Nobody ever found an answer.

Now, added to the other suspicions, comes the goofy possibility that abstruse, supernatural, idiotic, laughable Bible prophecies were a factor. This casts an ominous pall over the needless war that has killed more than four thousand young Americans and cost U.S. taxpayers perhaps $1 trillion.

James A. Haught is the editor of the Charleston Gazette (West Virginia) and a Free Inquiry senior editor.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Under the Neon: Mole People of Las Vegas
02.09.2010
05:26 pm

Topics:
Current Events
Economy

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Photograph by Austin Hargrave
 
Al Jazeera English’s Witness takes a fascinating look at how the homeless survive in Sin City’s underground tunnels:

“Under the Neon” is an extraordinary journey below the surface of the bright lights of Las Vegas, to meet some of the city’s homeless people who are battling to make a home for themselves under the streets of gold in the city’s storm-drains and tunnels.

 

 
(via Mister Honk)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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