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Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People
09.23.2009
05:24 pm
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Many people who have come by the dubious charms of bizarro cult movie Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (1977) got there by way of Patton Oswalt’s classic stand-up routine about the film. You hear him rant about it and you just have to see it. I mean, you pretty much know from the title if you’re going to enjoy this or not, don’t you?

Cribbed from its Wikipedia entry:

A large, black, four-poster bed, possessed by a demon, is passed from owner to owner. The Demon was a tree, who became a breeze and seemingly fell in love with a woman he blew past. The demon then took human form and conjured up a bed. While he was making love with the woman she died and his eyes bled onto the bed, causing it to become possessed. Those who come into contact with the bed are frequently consumed by it (victims are pulled into what is apparently a large chamber of digestive fluids beneath the sheets). The bed demonstrates a malevolent intelligence as well as some psychokinetic and limited telepathic abilities to manipulate dreams.

A running commentary or chorus is supplied by the ghost ?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.23.2009
05:24 pm
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“At Merlotte’s,” The True Blood Sitcom
09.23.2009
04:51 pm
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Watching True Blood (my own “Yoo-Hoo” show) alone is almost unbearable.  There’s just so much to laugh at, not being able to share it often puts me to sleep at about the 20-minute mark (or whenever Tara’s exposing her heart to someone she’s better off hiding it from).  In fact, based on my highly informal poling of friends and total strangers, very few people seem to be watching True Blood alone.  Well, thanks to Unclejubalon and the wonder of laugh tracks, no one might ever have to!

Via New York Magazine: True Blood Finally Gets a Much-Deserved Laugh Track

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.23.2009
04:51 pm
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Max Blumenthal’s Republican Gomorrah
09.23.2009
04:00 pm
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Max Blumenthal, writer for The Nation and The New York Times, and senior writer for The Daily Beast, is out making the promotional rounds for his provocatively-titled bestseller, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party.

In it, Blumenthal hacks through what The New Yorker‘s Hendrik Hertzberg calls the “dank forests of American Christianism.”  Yesterday, he sat down with—and withstood—Joe Scarborough (see above), who grills Blumenthal on everything from birthers to death panels.

Blumenthal was also a recent guest of Terry Gross.  You can listen to the interview here.  In it, Blumenthal calls out such lesser known, behind-the-curtain players as the late RJ Rushdoony and his “financial angel” Howard F. Ahmanson Jr., who, after emerging, “saved,” from a mental institution, declared, “my goal is the total integration of biblical law into everyday lives.”

Beyond his work as a writer, though, Blumenthal’s produced a number of videos—including the “banned from YouTube” vid, Feel The Hate.  You can watch that here, but you should also check out In The Land Of Queen Esther (below), where Blumenthal explores the possible Sarah Palin connection to the biblically-inspired Queen, and how Alaska’s crown-like shape might betray its ultimate purpose: serving as an end-of-days, post-rapture refuge for everyone in the lower 48.

 
Bonus: Max Blumethal’s Gun Show Nation!

 

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.23.2009
04:00 pm
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Paul Laffoley in Paris at Palais de Tokyo
09.23.2009
02:51 pm
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Douglas Walla and New York’s Kent Gallery announce a big Paul Laffoley show in Paris, to be held at the Palais de Tokyo as part of their Chasing Napoleon exhibit, from October 15, 2009 to January 17, 2010. If you happen to find yourself in Paris this winter, it’s going to be a must-see show.

When Paul moved a couple of years ago, several early works from the Sixties were found hidden in his storage space and make up the bulk of this show. The piece above, I’ve seen in person and—like all Laffoleys—it’s truly stunning, vibrant and electric.

Tara and I own two of Paul’s paintings that will be in the Paris show. We were sure sad to see them leave our home a few weeks ago. Now the walls seen so bare! (They’re huge, 6 by 6 ft).

 

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Thanton III, 1989 (you can buy a fantastic poster of this painting here)

 

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Alchemy, 1973

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.23.2009
02:51 pm
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Visualized Map of the Nearest McDonalds
09.23.2009
11:17 am
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Frightening!  Stephen Von Worley says, “As I hurtled down the highway, a pair of golden arches crept over the horizon, and the proverbial lightbulb smacked me in the forehead.  To gauge the creep of cookie-cutter commercialism, there?

Posted by Tara McGinley
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09.23.2009
11:17 am
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The Amazing Hair Hat Man!
09.23.2009
01:33 am
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I am not someone who wears hats, but I do have hair.  Will this be my compromise?!
 
(Via Japan Probe)

 

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.23.2009
01:33 am
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Flying Face-To-Face: The New Economy Class
09.23.2009
12:45 am
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In a further sign of our culture’s coarsening—or militarization—we may soon have to start paying for that typically abused flight privilege of facing forward.  As The Daily Mail reports:

Air travel is being overhauled with a new aircraft design which plans to seat passengers facing each other in rows.  The controversial design is intended to save space and money and could see 50 percent more passengers packed on to each plane.

Howard Guy, director of the UK company Design Q, acknowledges that some people will not be happy with the plan, but says they will be able to pay less for any inconvenience.  ‘Having passengers face each other is not an ideal situation,’ he said.  ‘But this will see increased revenue for the operator and more economical tickets for the passenger—so by keeping both happy, this concept makes an attractive alternative.  Sure the passenger can choose a flight facing forward in a traditional seating position, but he or she will have to pay more for the luxury.’

Nevermind that having passengers sitting beside each other isn’t usually an ideal situation, either, the air travel of today hardly evokes glamour or luxury.  To better remind ourselves of where we came from, take a look at the Pan Am promo spot in your lower window:

 
New Aircraft Design Puts Passengers Face-To-Face In Rows For Budget Travel

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.23.2009
12:45 am
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Stephen King’s Hardcover Artwork
09.22.2009
10:44 pm
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As a kid I spent roughly two hours a day getting bussed back and forth to middle school and when I wasn’t dodging apples, I had plenty of time to immerse myself in the then still-slim oeuvre of Stephen KingCarrie, Salem’s Lot and The Shining all made somewhat more tolerable the stupidity of my fellow riders, and gave my own outsider-ish existence if not heroic contours, then something just as good: the potential for them.

I mean, I knew I wouldn’t be bumping into migrating vampires or telekinetic prom queens.  But say I did, and needed to save not just my ass, but the asses of everyone I loved, and even, what the hell, the asses of those apple-chuckers.  In terms of how to make that happen, King’s books offered up a pretty persuasive set of blueprints.

Maybe more than King’s novels themselves, though, I remember being absolutely mesmerized by their covers, and spending many long moments at the local library (a frequent King setting) simply gazing at them.  The artwork of those early hardcovers did a fantastic job of whittling core themes down into imagery that was as simple as it was evocative (see above).

If you’d already read the book, with just a glance at its cover, you could relive it all over again.  And say you hadn’t read the book, the covers made you want to, like, immediately.

Well, fans of that early artwork can now skip the library and gaze at the more than 2,000 King covers gathered over at StephenKingShop.  They’re arranged by title, and I find it particularly interesting (and saddening) that, with the advancement of years—and books—the elegance of the cover art grows less and less striking.  And that’s especially true for the paperbacks.  Don’t get me started on those “Signet” ‘90s!

Via Cabinet: All The Stephen King Covers In The World

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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09.22.2009
10:44 pm
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Insane Footage of the Sydney Dust Storm
09.22.2009
08:39 pm
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Watch the sky turn black before your eyes. Incredible!

Via Tom Coates’ Twitter feed

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.22.2009
08:39 pm
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Job Losses in the News Industry Significantly Outpace Losses in the Overall Economy
09.22.2009
07:17 pm
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This is, uh, a little depressing! Earlier this morning I read that in 2008 over 50,000 new US college graduates held journalism degrees and 60% of them were still out of work. The ones who are working are probably being paid minimum wage or interning. The old joke about a theater degree qualifying you for a job as a waiter can now be used with just about any creative industry for the set-up now.

You read that Obama and Congress “want” to save the newspaper industry, but HOW? The magazine business model is defunct too. If newspapers are reeling from the problem of being rendered “yesterday’s news” the moment they get printed by the relentless churn of the 24 hour Internet news cycle, how difficult would it be to edit a monthly magazine these days with a 90 day lead time? It’s a fool’s errand.

Aside from a few magazines that deserve to be read in print (Vanity Fair, Vogue and The Economist come to mind) there’s not a whole lot of excuses left to print on dead trees and so the idea of paying $60,000 or $120,000 for a print ad in a glossy magazine will also go the way of that same dinosaur. And that of course sets off an entire print industry food chain spiral of death in every career path from media buying to driving a newspaper delivery truck. The main problem—and it’s an insurmountable one—is that most people choose to get their information in the freshest, easiest, most up to date manner possible and that is not via print media.

In 1995 I personally subscribed to SEVENTY magazines and got five daily newspapers delivered to my office(oh those lazy hazy daze of expense accounts!). By 2005 I was buying just a monthly issue of MOJO at the newsstand and I haven’t bought a copy of that now in over two, almost three years. So I’ve gone from being print’s best customer to not spending a cent in the arena. As in ZERO cents and NO dollars. I’m simply not interested. It’s not like I read any less, I read far more! It’s just that I tend to be reading it off a monitor, not the pages of a newspaper, magazine or—I’m almost ashamed to say—book.

When VIBE magazine got shuttered last year, a wag on Gawker made the comment that if you had any plans to make a career writing about music for a living you could effectively FORGET IT when people were more interested to read the public’s Amazon reviews than “professional” record reviews in a magazine. Ouch! But it’s true. The entire gestalt of print is passe, it’s just that simple. How do you get around something like that? You don’t. And lest you think I’m saying “Bring it on” or laughing at the death of print, I’m not, I certainly don’t see what’s coming next as an improvement or anything, but as a former journalist and publisher myself, I just can’t see any way out of it.

From Unity’s press release:

UNITY 2009 Layoff Tracker Report shows sharp quarterly spikes in job losses

MCLEAN, Va.  ?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.22.2009
07:17 pm
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