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Buying Bob Guccione, One Piece At A Time
08.19.2009
04:41 pm
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Poor Bob Guccione.  The Penthouse publisher and Caligula auteur had his Connecticut mansion seized last week and its contents put up for auction.  One of the items sold off was the golden calve below.  Leftover set dressing from Caligula, possibly, but still—how often does life reward you with on-the-nose symbolism like that?!  No stranger to Foster Kane-like ostentation, The Penthouser was also apparently fond of marble commodes and whale teeth.

Long on the losing side of the print vs. internet wars, Guccione is, though, donating the auction’s proceeds to Green Demolitions, an oddly-named non-profit that supports programs for people recovering from various addictions.  And for those of you still with me here on the “irony train,” yes, on the list of Green Demolitions’ treatable addictions, sexual addiction is listed 5th.
 
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In the Huffington Post: Guccione’s Strangest Auction Items

In the NYT: On The Block, A Glimpse Of The Lifestyle Of Bob Guccione

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.19.2009
04:41 pm
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On/Off: Mark Stewart from The Pop Group to The Maffia
08.19.2009
03:40 pm
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If not tomorrow night in Los Angeles, here’s a documentary I still very much plan on catching.  From Cinefamily:

This one’s a must for all post-punk junkies!  The name of singer/industrial hip-hop pioneer Mark Stewart may not be instantly familiar, but his influence is felt the world over.  From his early days with confrontational post-punk pioneers The Pop Group to his myriad collaborations with acts like Trent Reznor, Massive Attack and Primal Scream, Stewart has provided ghostly beats and haunting vocals for over thirty years, and shows no signs of stopping.  German filmmaker T?ɬ?ni Schifer, who followed Stewart with a camera for three years, has crafted a detailed, intimate portrait of the artist, supplemented by interviews with Stewart himself, his Pop Group co-horts Dan Catsis, Gareth Sager and John Waddington, Keith Levine (P.I.L.), Janine Rainforth (Maximum Joy), Douglas Hart (The Jesus & Mary Chain), Fritz Catlin (23 Skidoo), Daniel Miller (Mute Records), Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Massive Attack and many others, plus some terrific never-before-seen vintage performance footage.

Well, as post-punk authority Simon Reynolds says, reading an interview with The Pop Group was like “having your brain set on fire.”  And If that’s not enough enticement, here’s the trailer for ON/OFF:

 
More On Mark Stewart/On-U Sound

Director T?ɬ?ni Schifer on MySpace

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.19.2009
03:40 pm
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They Report, You Decide (or something like that…)
08.19.2009
03:25 pm
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It’s always instructive to compare how a particular news story is reported by different media outlets. Case in point, how CNN covered Barney Frank’s town hall meeting with some of his less intelligent constituents in Dartmouth, Massachusetts vs. the way Fox News handled the same story. Any commentary would be entirely superfluous, but it does go to show why flipping the channels can provide interesting insight into how opinion is manufactured. (And bravo to Frank for calling these folks out on their total know-nothing idiocy).

First CNN:


Then Fox News (featuring zany idiot Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann)

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.19.2009
03:25 pm
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“Hey, Aren’t You the Taster’s Choice Guy?”
08.19.2009
02:34 pm
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imageWe wanted to call your attention to a posting about an unusual lawsuit on the Wall Street Journal’s Law blog. I must admit, the first thing that crossed my mind was “How the heck did this guy AVOID knowing that his face was on the Taster’s Choice label?” It’s almost like being the Marlboro Man or Mikey the Life cereal kid without knowing it, right? How was this possible?

 

 

 

 

A fellow named Russell Christoff was at a hardware store one day in 2002, when someone told him he looked like the ?
Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.19.2009
02:34 pm
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The Beatles: The Video Game (And Trailer)
08.19.2009
01:39 pm
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While my video game muscles have long since atrophied (I was always more a pinball man), and I reach for my Revolver only rarely these days, I read every word of the NYT’s While My Guitar Gently Beeps, which describes the enormous effort that went into pulling off The Beatles: Rock Band.  Beyond its account, though, of welcome, surviving Beatles-Yoko Ono-Giles Martin d?ɬ

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.19.2009
01:39 pm
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Why Does the Media Pay Attention to the “Opinions” of Fucking Idiots?
08.19.2009
12:20 am
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There should be a SPECIAL Darwin Award for Pamela Pilger, the crazy lady who yelled “Heil Hitler” to an Israeli Jew in Las Vegas the other day at the health care town meeting, I’m sure she needs no further introduction, we’ve all seen her act like a complete fool in this clip.

But have you seen this one? Gawker posted this hilarious… well, at least unintentionally comic video of Pilger being interviewed about her “political views” before the meeting started. This lady is one SERIOUSLY stupid human being. She fits into the category of “so stupid she doesn’t know how stupid she is.” How do I know this? Because her husband has “two, no three jobs” and he doesn’t have health insurance… and she is still against universal coverage! Amazing but true. How much dumber could you be than Pamela Pilger?!?!?! She’s the new low IQ poster child!

But I ask you, how is it possible that the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh can convince these poor dumbasses to be against the very things that would actually benefit them the most—guaranteed health care in a cruel fuckin’ world—in the one life they’ll ever get?!?! It boggles the mind. Pamela Pilger in her staggering stupidity is a one-woman microcosm of the wider conservative KNOW-NOTHING mindset these people have. Facts? Who cares about FACTS? THIS is who is fighting against health care for all, a woman whose very own husband lacks coverage!

WHY ARE THE MEDIA PAYING ATTENTION TO THE OPINIONS OF FUCKING IDIOTS?

REPUBLICANS ARE ASSHOLES. PEOPLE WHO ARE AGAINST HEALTH CARE FOR *OTHER PEOPLE* ARE MORAL PARIAHS.

Meet Pamela Pilger, the Crazy Lady Who Yelled ‘Heil Hitler’ at a Jewish Supporter of Health Care Reform [Note that the Gawker posting includes ways to contact Pamela Pilger yourself. Thank you Cajun Boy for this public service, you’re our hero!]

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.19.2009
12:20 am
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Roger Ebert on Universal Health Care and Sarah Palin’s “Death Squads”
08.18.2009
04:52 pm
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HURRAY, BRAVO and THANK YOU, Roger Ebert for saying this so beautifully! REPUBLICANS ARE ASSHOLES!

imageThe notion of “universal health care” does not mean “socialized medicine.” It means just what it seems to mean. America is the only developed nation on earth that does not provide it. Why does it inspire such virulent opposition? Who is behind it? It is opposed mostly from the far right, whose enthusiasm seems to be encouraged by financial support from some (not all) insurance companies. Those companies have priced American insurance out of the reach of millions.

One result has been that our national life expectancy ranks 42nd among all developed nations. We spend more on medical care that any other nation, and get less than 41 of them. These figures are pretty clear.

I don’t pretend to know if this information is available to the angry people who have shouted down their representatives at town hall meetings. I think I do know where their anger is fed. The drumbeat of far-right commentators fuels it. Their agenda is not health care, but opposition to the Obama administration. It takes the form of demonizing Obama. It uses the tactic of the Big Lie to defame him him. An example of this is the fiction, “he wants to kill your grandmother.” Another is the outrageous statement that he is a racist who hates white people. A person capable of saying that is clearly unhinged and in the grip of unconditional hatred.

“Death Panels.” A most excellent term by Roger Ebert

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.18.2009
04:52 pm
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Wacky Japanese Meth Warning
08.18.2009
04:36 pm
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I spotted on Japan Probe this possibly Reefer Madness-inspired bit of anti-meth propaganda.  If it looks hastily assembled, it’s not surprising: The Japanese government released the video shortly after beloved singer and actress, Noriko Sakai (aka Nori-P), was arrested on “suspicion of possessing stimulant drugs.”
 
Nori-P’s #1 iTunes Hit: Aoi Usagi

 

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.18.2009
04:36 pm
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The (Real) Smell Of Death
08.18.2009
03:20 pm
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As the recent earthquakes in China and Italy showed us, tragedy can keep unfolding far beyond those first few seconds of violent shaking.  In the China quake alone, vast number of people were either killed or buried, still alive, under mounds of earth, steel and concrete.  Locating these bodies can take days, even weeks.  With this in mind—and as an occupant of quake-prone Los Angeles—I’m very much encouraged by the progress made in “chemical profiling” which

could eventually lead to a portable device for detecting human bodies at crime scenes and disaster areas.  To develop such a device, scientists must identify what gases are released as bodies decompose under a variety of natural environmental conditions.  In addition, they must detail the time sequence in which those odorant chemicals are released in the hours and days after death.

How far off is such a death-sniffing device?  Well, researcher Dan Sykes is currently affixing sensors to decomposing pigs, “They go through the same phases of decomposition as humans, as well as the same number of stages.  And those stages last about as long in pigs as they do in humans before complete decomposition occurs and only the bones remain.”
 
Via Physorg: New Insights Into The Smell Of Death
 
The Aftermath: How To Embalm A Body

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.18.2009
03:20 pm
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David Lynch: New Paintings
08.18.2009
02:26 pm
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From David Ng in the LAT‘s Culture Monster:

Not many big-name movie directors deserve to be called artists.  Among those who do, few take the label as seriously as David Lynch.  The director of “Mulholland Dr.” and “Blue Velvet” has avidly pursued painting, photography and sculpture in between his idiosyncratic film projects.  Starting Sept. 12, the master of weirdness will exhibit some of his recent works in the solo gallery show “David Lynch: New Paintings” at Griffin in Santa Monica.  The show, which is being presented in collaboration with the James Corcoran Gallery, will be Lynch’s first solo exhibition in L.A. in more than a decade, according to Griffin.

Lynch will present a series of his “monumental” (or large-scale) paintings, said the gallery.  The only work available for preview is “Crucifixtion” (2008-09), a mixed-media on canvas painting that is 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide (pictured).  The director has had a lengthy relationship with James Corcoran Gallery, which organized solo shows of his work in 1987, 1989 and 1993. This will be the director’s first show at Griffin.  “New Painting” is scheduled to run through Dec. 12.

Well, I’m definitely looking forward to this one!  As much as I admire David Lynch the filmmaker, he’s notoriously unforthcoming with explanations as to what his films mean.  That’s fine by me—even preferable. 

But when it comes to describing his own process as an artist, Lynch has been as generous as he’s been expansive.  There are many clips out there detailing what Lynch does to “catch the big fish,” and its relationship to transcendental mediation.   One of the more lucid ones follows below.

 
From the BBC: Scene By Scene Clip With David Lynch
  
The Griffin Presents David Lynch: New Paintings

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.18.2009
02:26 pm
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