We’re just relaying it.
We’re just relaying it.
Murdochgate continues unabated. After yesterday’s questioning of Rupert and James Murdoch (and the cream pie incident), today has already seen the British Prime Minister David Cameron taking part in a parliamentary debate which has been broadcast live, and is set to continue till 7pm tonight (GMT).
It’s also interesting to see a British political scandal begin to get so much attention in the American media. Of course, there are some serious ramifications for the Murdoch’s American operations (especially now the FBI are to investigate it), but so far the story has been pretty well contained to the UK. However Jon Stewart rags on yesterday’s questioning of Brooks and the Murdochs here, and it’s telling that right wing US commenters on that blog post are still trying to pass the whole Murdochgate affair off as an inconsequential “celebrity” scandal (akin to Paris Hilton’s nails getting done, apparently).
Of course, it is much, much more than that. This excellent documentary by BBC’s investigative Panorama program, broadcast on Monday, recaps all the major points, features interviews with many of the key players (including the now-deceased whistle blower Sean Hoare) and shows how the hacking of murdered schoolgirl’s phone has begun to unravel the fabric on which three of society’s four main pillars are based (the media, the police and the political system). We will see how this plays out in the long run, bearing in mind the interests that are potentially at stake here and the possible onset of scandal fatigue in the public, but judging by the bizarre twists and turns this story has taken already, it’s best not to rule anything out yet.
Parts 2-6 after the jump…
Many thanks to the diligent work of YouTube uploader NOTWPhoneHacking, whose channel contains literally hundreds of clips recorded from the British media about the NI scandal since it broke over a fortnight ago.
This promotional film shot in 1967 for the band October Country was the cinematic equivalent of a demo tape intended to help the band land a record deal. The band tells the story of how the film came to be:
We were approached by Denis Hoffman who later that year backed Steven Spielberg in his 1st film called “Amblin” and asked if he could follow us around and film footage of us going to and from gigs. The life of a cover band who eventually got originals given to us by Michael Lloyd. We were working pretty steadily at that time. We worked with The Drifters, The Coasters, The Standells, The Sons of Champlin (Bill Champlin’s band. And after we got signed, The Buffalo Springfield, The Iron Butterfly, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, Linda Rondstat, The Turtles (great bunch of guys), Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, The YoungBloods, The Boxtops, and a whole bunch of other folks. We DID get signed because of this film. It was shown to Len Levy, then President of Epic Records/New York. Epic Records was then part of CBS Records so we recorded the album “October Country” at CBS Records, Columbia Square at Sunset and Gower in Hollywood, California. About the same time we asked to perform the music for Steven Spielberg’s “Amblin”. Caryle, our female lead singer sang it.
Fans of South California lite psyche and folk/pop bands like The Peanut Conspiracy, Harpers Bizarre and Spanky And Our Gang should enjoy this video rarity. Watching the band grappling with the concepts of hippie culture, lightshows and psychedelia while going about their basically boring lifestyles is quite amusing. They’re proud to be squares, which considering the era was probably not a great marketing concept. In 1967 it definitely wasn’t hip to be square. But, the film is still a wonderfully charming time capsule.
October Country’s debut album has been re-issued and you can purchase it here.
Yesterday was the anniversary of Nico’s death at 49 (October 16 1938 – July 18 1988) and I had planned to commemorate it in some way last night, but it took me awhile to find this documentary. Thanks to Jonathan Sprig, my search ended this afternoon.
Nico Icon directed by Susanne Ofteringer is a compelling, intimate, often sad, but never judgmental, look at the life of the mysterious, seductive and self-destructive pop icon who kept the world at a distance while drawing us into her alluring web.
It was a splatter of foam pie rather than any humble pie that Rupert Murdoch received today. It added a surreal touch to an odd day for the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Hearing, where Rupert Murdoch at first came across as a seemingly frail Wizard of Oz. It was only his hand slamming the table in front of him that gave any hint this is a man used to getting his own way; a man who is rarely questioned, let alone cross examined by a round table of MPs, who were, let’s be fair, rather ineffectual.
Rupert was humbly evasive, while is son, James easily deflected questions, though he did admit the rather shocking news News International has been (and may still be) paying the legal fees of the phone hacking journalist Clive Goodman and private detective Glenn Mulcaire.
Then came the pie master, an alleged comedian called Johnnie Marbles, who may have delivered a better hit than any member of the Select Committee, but in doing so took away from the serious intent of the proceedings.
Polaroid portraits of Truman Capote and William s. Burrooughs shot by Andy Warhol
There is a fascinating, well-researched article by Thom Robinson over at the might Reality Studio blog devoted to all things William S. Burroughs. Robinson is a British PhD candidate who has extensively researched Burroughs.
After setting up the backstory with anecdotes involving the mutual distaste that Burroughs (who apparently disliked effeminate homosexuals) felt for Capote (who might have snubbed Burroughs with Tennessee Williams and Paul Bowles in Tangier), Robinson relates the tale of a “curse” Burroughs placed on Capote’s literary talents in the form of an extraordinarily spiteful two-page “Open Letter to Truman Capote,” a copy of which now resides in the Burroughs Archive of the New York Public Library’s Berg Collection:
Burroughs’ “letter” begins with an explanation to Capote that his “is not a fan letter in the usual sense.” Acting as spokesman for a “department” with apparent responsibility for determining writers’ fates, Burroughs announces that he has followed Capote’s “literary development from its inception” and, in the line of duty, has conducted exhaustive inquiries comparable to those undertaken by Capote in his research for In Cold Blood. An engagingly surreal touch finds Burroughs reporting that these inquiries have included interviewing all of Capote’s fictional characters “beginning with Miriam” (the title character of Capote’s breakthrough story of 1945). Referring to “the recent exchange of genialities” between Capote and Kenneth Tynan, Burroughs concludes that Tynan “was much too lenient.” Going one step further than Tynan and accusing Capote of acting as an apologist for hard-line methods of police interrogation (and thus supporting those “who are turning America into a police state”), Burroughs next turns to the question of Capote’s writing abilities. Avowing that Capote’s early short stories were “in some respects promising,” Burroughs suggests Capote could have made positive use of his talents, presumably by applying them to the expansion of human consciousness (“You were granted an area for psychic development”). Instead, Burroughs finds that Capote has sold out a talent “that is not yours to sell.” In retribution for having misused “the talent that was granted you by this department”, Burroughs starkly warns “That talent is now officially withdrawn,” signing off with the sinister admonition, “You will never have anything else. You will never write another sentence above the level of In Cold Blood. As a writer you are finished.”
It should be noted that, at the time of writing, Burroughs was a credulous believer in the efficacy of curses (famously believing he had successfully used tape recorders to close down a London restaurant where he had received bad service). Regardless of how seriously Burroughs intended his prediction for Capote’s future, his words proved eerily prescient. After the publication of In Cold Blood, Capote announced work on an epic novel entitled Answered Prayers, intended as a Proustian summation of the high society world to which he had enjoyed privileged access over the previous decades. The slim existing contents were eventually published posthumously while one of the few extracts which saw publication within Capote’s lifetime notoriously employed Capote’s habit of indiscretion to disastrous effect. When “La Côte Basque, 1965″ was published by Esquire in 1975, Capote’s betrayal of the confidences of friends (who recognized the identities lurking beneath the veneer of fictionalized characters) resulted in swift exile from the celebrity world which Capote had courted for much of his career.
Given Burroughs’ curse on Capote, it is interesting to note that, in the years before his death, Capote’s dismissive views on Burroughs’ work became even more damning: “Norman Mailer thinks William Burroughs is a genius, which I think is ludicrous beyond words. I don’t think William Burroughs has an ounce of talent.” By the time these remarks were recorded by Lawrence Grobel in Conversations with Capote, successful canvassing by Mailer among others had resulted in Burroughs’ admission to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1983. After a long decline, wrought by the inability to break a harrowing cycle of alcohol and barbiturate abuse, Capote died the following year at the age of 59.
In Cold Blood: William Burroughs’ Curse on Truman Capote (Reality Studio)
Thank you Celia Rimell
Apparently these photos were taken right after the pie incident today.
Here’s helpful chart to identify certain strains of marijuana. While I do agree with the majority of photos represented, I have some reservations about the GDP (Grand Daddy Purple). GDP usually has a nice purplish tint to it. Also, the smell test usually wins every time when one can’t identify a certain strain. So says she who would know…
Click on the chart above to see larger version.
I blogged about EOL (End of Life) robot band’s cover of the B-52’s “Rock Lobster” here on Dangerous Minds before. Now EOL is back again with its cover of Manson’s “The Beautiful People.” The “Rock Lobster” cover is still superior in my humble opinion, but this is pretty cool.
(via Mister Honk)
Is there even one single member of Congress less sincere-seeming than House Majority Leader, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia? If there is, I can’t think of who that might be.
Cantor’s the most transparently phony and least-charming politician on the national stage today. Everything that comes out of his mouth sounds like he doesn’t believe it himself. I have to turn the channel when I see his face. Yuck. How did a punk like him get to be so powerful? He’s been elected six times. Is the field so shitty in Virginia that Eric Cantor is the best the state can muster? That’s pathetic.
Via Daily Kos