Yeah, it’s a bit Christmas-y, but don’t let that distract from the hypnotic interpretive dance performed by twin sisters Stella and Ella.
The below video was redubbed by Tom Blunt.
(via Christian Nightmares)
Yeah, it’s a bit Christmas-y, but don’t let that distract from the hypnotic interpretive dance performed by twin sisters Stella and Ella.
The below video was redubbed by Tom Blunt.
(via Christian Nightmares)
Paradise viewed from the couch
This short film created by a collective of film makers, writers, and actors in Boise, Idaho may be the best horror movie of 2011. It’s certainly one of the most intelligent.
Three sad couch potatoes find comfort in the familiar commercials they watch every day of their boring lives. Their reality comes at them in 30 second bursts of hypnotic, frantic and indelible visual and audio propaganda. In the Television Commercial Network, they have found their perfect drug: a station where non-stop jingles, slogans and catch-phrases, assault the viewer with promises of better things to come while reminding us of just how shitty things are right now. They have pills that will make you feel better if they don’t kill you. They have food that will satisfy your cravings for instant gratification while filling your body with the same kind of toxic sludge that the commercials are injecting into your brain matter. The whole fucking thing is insidious.
How many Americans diagnose themselves as having physical and mental problems as a result of seeing countless upon countless commercials pitching drugs for depression and erectile dysfunction? Suddenly millions of perfectly healthy men are suffering from performance anxiety and taking mood elevators to deal with it. As women are made to feel neurotic about their weight, age and beauty. We’re being sold products that pit us against nature and if we’re not winning we’re not fully human.
As TCN reveals, the commercials are a drug, which eventually need to be countered by another drug in order to cope and feel better. And if you don’t leave the room or medicate yourself to a far off island, today’s quick cut frantic back to back commercials of corporate snuff, pill popping propaganda and padded butt panties, will easily leave you suffering from similar effects to that of a horrible acid trip.
You can read more about the folks who made this video at their website: American Films. They’re part of a group of absurdist video artists who are keeping it real and unreal in Idaho.
The Commercial Network exists right now. Turn on your TV set late at night. What do you see? And how long can you watch it before you lose all sense of who you are?
Via Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs:
Andrew Kaczynski has dug up yet another buried video, a 1998 John Birch Society documentary starring none other than Ron Paul — a classic example of far right paranoia and conspiracy theorizing, as Dr. Paul calmly explains that the United Nations is plotting to take over America, create a New World Order, confiscate every red-blooded patriot’s guns, abolish all churches, and replace the US Constitution with the UN Charter.
If you haven’t seen the scans of The Ron Paul Newsletters yet at Et tu, Mr. Destructo? they’re worth a look (someone has even set up a Ron Paul Newsletter Twitter feed, breaking off 140 character bites for your reading pleasure).
Even better is the former staffer who tried to defend Ron Paul against accusations of homophobia and racism and comically ended up doing something else entirely…
Cue the Paulbots to defend their wacky hero!
For America, the misunderstanding was over the lyrics. Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Get Down” was assumed to be a nudge-nudge reference to oral sex, tied-in, perhaps, to the coincidental release of sex film, Deep Throat.
A surprised O’Sullivan explained his lyrics were:
‘...very British and to me the girl in “Get Down” is behaving like a dog - she’s jumping up on him, so “get down!”’
That’s his story, and he’s, you know. Though he did admit, if it had been about oral pleasures, then:
‘...we should sell 10 million and put it on the soundtrack of Deep Throat.’
Top of the Pops resident dance troupe, Pan’s People understood the song perfectly and reflected it in their innocent interpretation. With such a literal approach, the mind boggles how the girls would have choreographed the song if it had been about blow jobs.
Previously on Dangerous Minds
With thanks to Alison Wallace
Genesis performing their epic, seven-movement progressive rock sonata “Supper’s Ready” onstage at Shepperton Studios in 1973.
“Old Michael went past the pet shop, which was never open, into the park, which was never closed, and the park was full of a very smooth, clean, green grass. So Henry took off all his clothes and began rubbing his flesh into the wet, clean, green grass. He accompanied himself with a little tune - it went like this…”
In a sense, this is the ultimate example of what they did during the Peter Gabriel era. There’s a detailed Wikipedia page about this song, which took up almost all of side two of their Foxtrot album.
There are still several screenings left of Kinji Fukasaku’s bloody, over the top cult film, Battle Royale, at Cinefamily in Hollywood this week:
The most controversial Japanese film of the millennium comes to The Cinefamily over the extended Xmas weekend in its first North American theatrical run EVER! In A Clockwork Orange for the 21st century, the late, great Japanese auteur Kinji Fukasaku tackles the anti-authoritarian Battle Royale — a gorefest with a purpose, an astonishing opus of teen rebellion, generation-gap satire and gleeful bloody anarchy. Seasoning the time-honored “Most Dangerous Game” scenario with an adults vs. teens twist, Fukasaku tells the dystopian tale of a depressed society run rampant with teen violence, as the government decides to tame insubordinate youngsters by shipping entire 9th-grade classes to a remote island for the ultimate test in survival. Whether goody-goody or troublemaker, the kids must prepare to kill or be killed. Shocking, hilarious and as thrilling as any classic Spielberg or Scorsese epic, it is one of the most incredible and explosive action films of the last few decades, made even better by a devious, ice-cold performance of a lifetime by Beat Takeshi (one of Japan’s greatest movie stars). Withheld from U.S. distribution since its original release in 2000 due to its disturbing teen-on-teen carnage, Battle Royale will blow you away. Whether it’s your favorite film, or you’ve never before witnessed this masterpiece of mayhem, join us for the theatrical experience of the season!
Below, the Cinefamily-created trailer for their exclusive theatrical run of Battle Royale:
Jim “Motorhead” Sherwood, standing, top left
Sad to hear that Jim “Motorhead” Sherwood, one of the original Mothers of Invention (atonal saxes, nasal noises, tambourine, vocals), died on Christmas day, at the age of 69.
As reported in The Guardian, Sherwood:
... was a member of Frank Zappa’s original Mothers of Invention. He appeared on all the group’s early albums, up to and including Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970), as well as on Zappa’s solo disc Lumpy Gravy. He later performed with the Grandmothers, a group of musicians who had accompanied Zappa during different phases of his career.
Born in Arkansas City, Kansas, Sherwood first met Zappa in 1956 when both of them were attending Antelope Valley high school in California. Sherwood was in the same class as Frank’s brother: “Bobby found out that I collected blues records and he introduced me to Frank, and Frank and I sort of got together and swapped records.”
At the time, Zappa was already in a band called the Blackouts, but this soon disintegrated. Then the brothers moved to Ontario, California, and started a new band, the Omens, which also included Sherwood. He would regularly jam with Zappa in a string of different groups, and eventually, in 1964, the Mothers. The following year, the band signed a recording contract with MGM records, and set about the lengthy process of recording their first album, Freak Out!, with producer Tom Wilson. At the time, Sherwood was not a fully fledged member of the band, which changed its name to the Mothers of Invention. He described his role on Freak Out! as “just making sound effects on some of the songs”.
After the album’s release in June 1966 on MGM’s Verve label, the band went on tour, then in November that year took up a six-month residency at the Garrick theatre in New York, during which they played 14 shows a week. Sherwood was working for the band as equipment manager and roadie, and sometimes operated the lighting during the Garrick shows. These were a bizarre mix of music and performance art, featuring puppet shows and interludes when the band would pelt the audience with fruit.
It was when the Mothers made their first trip to England, in mid-1967, that Sherwood was finally hired as a full-time musician. It was the band’s vocalist and percussionist Ray Collins who gave Sherwood the nickname “Motorhead”, through his love of working on cars and trucks and motorcycles: “He said ‘it sounds like you’ve got a little motor in your head’, so they just called me Motorhead and that seemed to stick.”
Sherwood contributed on baritone and/or tenor saxophone, and sometimes percussion and vocals, to Absolutely Free, We’re Only in It for the Money, and the doo-wop album Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, taking in the Zappa solo album Lumpy Gravy en route. Zappa disbanded the original Mothers of Invention in 1969 for financial reasons and what he perceived as public apathy, but Sherwood appears on the albums Uncle Meat, Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Weasels Ripped My Flesh, recorded before the split but released subsequently.
Jim Sherwood obituary (The Guardian)
File this one anywhere you want: A soon to be published biography of Richard Nixon by former UPI reporter Don Fulsom makes the claim that Nixon was bisexual. Yeah, Nixon. Insert your own “Tricky Dick” joke here, I can’t be bothered:
Due out next month, Fulsom’s racy bio, Nixon’s Darkest Secrets, asserts that Nixon carried on a decades-long affair with Mafia-connected Floridian Charles “Bebe” Rebozo, unquestionably one of the 37th U.S. President’s closest confidants. Rebozo often vacationed with Prez Dick in Key Biscayne, both with Nixon’s wife Pat along and not. During the men-only visits, the twosome reportedly frolicked together in and out of the water, and gushed over their shared passion for Broadway musicals.
But was there ever anything more than a strong bromance between the dark duo? Nixon’s final chief of staff, Alexander Haig, reportedly joked about the pair being lovers and threw in an imitation of Rebozo’s limp wrist for good measure.
Of course this could easily be chalked up to Haig’s jealousy over Rebozo’s unshakably close connection to the president. But what of the repeated journalistic whispers—like the Time magazine reporter quoted by Fulsom, who claimed that when he once bent down to retrieve his fork at a Washington dinner, he realized that Nixon and Rebozo were holding hands under the table?
Richard Nixon once called San Francisco “the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine,” and he blamed the fall of Rome on homosexual emperors. Anyone who has read the transcripts of the Nixon tapes knows how many times “[expletive deleted]” appears in the text, quite often in place of the word “cocksucker,” an expletive Nixon apparently loved to throw around. The man was clearly not comfortable about the topic of homosexuality. The idea that Nixon was bi seems as utterly preposterous to me as the idea of Nixon being sexual at all (although of course, he did have two children so we know he got laid at least twice).
In the completely ridiculous tape below, John Ehrlichman, Bob Haldeman and Nixon discuss homosexuality and “Archie Bunker” in the Oval Office on May 13, 1971. There is a 14-second bleeped out section where Nixon is meant to be running down a list of supposedly gay entertainers. It starts to pick up steam in the latter part of the clip, at around 5 minutes in, in terms of the yucks value.
It’s Even Worse Than It Looks is the title of a new book co-written by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstrein that examines today’s hideous, almost universally hated Congress, by comparing it to not-so-great times in American history. As Mann told NPR recently, “there have been battles, delays, brinkmanship — but nothing quite like this.”
“There were a few really bruising periods in American congressional history, not only the run-up to the Civil War, but also around the War of 1812,” he says.
A Gallup poll published earlier this month found that just 11 percent of Americans approve of Congress’ performance. A whopping 86 percent gave a thumbs-down. That’s the lowest rating since Gallup started taking the public pulse on this issue in 1974. A similar poll conducted by The Associated Press registered a 12 percent approval rating, and a CBS/New York Times poll in October placed Congress’ approval rating at 9 percent.
Lawmakers are acutely aware of the failing grades they’re getting from the pundits and the public alike. After punting two months down the field on the payroll tax cut, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) clearly registered his disgust.
“Washington needs to stop adding confusion and more uncertainty to people’s lives,” he said.
Somewhat ironic coming from a craven son-of-a-bitch like Eric Cantor whose sole role in civic life seems to be actually causing it…
“t’s disappointing, but not surprising,” was the reply when NPR asked another Virginia politician, Senator Mark Warner (D), what he made of the poll numbers registering record public disapproval:
“For most of my lifetime growing up, America was so far ahead of every other country — economically, educationally, on infrastructure,” he says. “But those leads don’t exist any more.”
Warner says he’s looked for the people who say they approve of Congress’ performance.
“I go out and I ask people, ‘Are you part of the 9 percent that thinks we’re doing a good job?’” he says. “And I have yet to find anyone who will raise their hand.”
Good luck with that one, Senator…
Reading through some of the year-end “summing up” articles appearing around the blogsphere post-Christmas/pre-New Years, there seems to a general consensus—right, left and all parts between—that if 2011 was an “interesting” year, then 2012, with a US presidential election as its centerpiece, should be a real firecracker. This year we had an Arab Spring, full-scale burn-shit-to-the-ground riots in England, a crisis in the Euro-zone, the re-awakening of the labor movement in Wisconsin and Ohio, Occupy Wall Street…yes, it was a, um, novel year, indeed.
We keep hearing that 2012 will = “the next 1968”—but if that’s true, did 2011 = the Summer of Love???
What’s love got to do with it?
Or is there something else entirely going on? (And no, I am not referring to the fucking Mayan Calendar running out, okay? There’ll be none of that around here…)
I think people are simply starting to wake up to which side of the fork they’re on.
And nothing less… That’s a very big deal for mankind, most who would rather not think about such matters.
Even for dummies who only get their “facts” from Fox News or talk radio, enough… ah… “reality” is still slipping through the cracks that it’s becoming harder and harder to remain ignorant of how the financial elites have left the world in economic ruin.
It’s not like you can blame this shit on the unions, illegal aliens or the budget deficit anymore, no matter what Fox News or Rush Limbaugh tells you. That entire worldview is leaking water.
Looking back on 2011, personally, the thing that I found the most astonishing—at least in terms of the media, which is all there really is anymore, right? I mean that in a Lacanian sense and in every other sense, too—is how so many mainstream commentators have taken it upon themselves to crank the rhetoric of “class war” up to 11.
It used to be that—how shall I put this—drumming up support for “the revolution” was not done in polite company. What is today casually said on television (and applauded) could have gotten you blacklisted—or worse—in the 1950s.
Nope, it used to be that unless you went out and looked for, you know, “left wing rhetoric,” it just didn’t come find you. Or you didn’t discover it by accident. And certainly not by accident in your own home. It was something you basically got from sources like ‘zines and punk rock records.
This was true up until fairly recently. This year, however, things changed in a big way and you could see and hear reasonable-seeming people making reasonable-sounding arguments for beheading stock brokers in the opinion pages of the major daily newspapers on cable TV.
Personally, I think it’s about time that, say, Jello Biafra’s politics became mainstream. As far as I am concerned, it’s taken long enough already… but make no mistake about it, it is happening.
There is a particularly good example of what I am talking about written by novelist and financial reporter, Michael Thomas and published at Newsweek/The Daily Beast. Thomas is no wide-eyed leftie or aging punk rocker, he’s a 75-year-old man who has lived his life at an especially high vantage point, one that makes him able to understand how the world really works: He was a partner in Lehman Brothers, where he worked for 30 years. He writes for the New York Times, WSJ, and the New Yorker. He’s got some hard-fought wisdom to share with us and it doesn’t sound all that different from what we’re hearing on the street level, too.
Is it significant when a former partner in Lehman Bros. publicly predicts, and indeed seems to support, a retroactive confiscation of Wall Street’s ill-gotten gains? I sure think it is, because it’s starting to look like common sense when there are these bastards living in gated mansions in Connecticut and upstate New York while entire families are living in their cars. What did Huey Long say in his famous “Every Man a King” speech? Oh yeah:
How may of you remember the first thing that the Declaration of Independence said? It said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that there are certain inalienable rights of the people, and among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”; and it said, further, “We hold the view that all men are created equal.”
Now, what did they mean by that? Did they mean, my friends, to say that all me were created equal and that that meant that any one man was born to inherit $10,000,000,000 and that another child was to be born to inherit nothing?
Did that mean, my friends, that someone would come into this world without having had an opportunity, of course, to have hit one lick of work, should be born with more than it and all of its children and children’s children could ever dispose of, but that another one would have to be born into a life of starvation?
That was not the meaning of the Declaration of Independence when it said that all men are created equal of “That we hold that all men are created equal.”
Now was it the meaning of the Declaration of Independence when it said that they held that there were certain rights that were inalienable—the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Is that right of life, my friends, when the young children of this country are being reared into a sphere which is more owned by 12 men than it is by 120,000,000 people?
It’s taken a while, but nearly 80 years after Long said those words, the consensus position is anger. The default conventicle, only now beginning to be discussed in public, is becoming retribution. (And please don’t mistake my position here as advocating anything—even if I would advocate or otherwise support something like this because I most certainly would/do—I’m merely trying to make the case that this is something likely to become one of THE defining topics of 2012).
This time, I fear, the public anger will not be deflected. Confessions, not false, will be exacted. Occupy Wall Street has set the snowball rolling; you may not think much of OWS—I have my own reservations, although none are philosophical or moral—but it has made America aware of a sinister, usurious process by which wealth has systematically been funneled into fewer and fewer hands. A process in which Washington played a useful supporting role, but no more than that.
Over the next year, I expect the “what” will give way to the “how” in the broad electorate’s comprehension of the financial situation. The 99 percent must learn to differentiate the bloodsuckers and rent-extractors from those in the 1 percent who make the world a better, more just place to live. Once people realize how Wall Street made its pile, understand how financiers get rich, what it is that they actually do, the time will become ripe for someone to gather the spreading ripples of anger and perplexity into a focused tsunami of retribution. To make the bastards pay, properly, for the grief and woe they have caused. Perhaps not to the extent proposed by H. L. Mencken, who wrote that when a bank fails, the first order of business should be to hang its board of directors, but in a manner in which the pain is proportionate to the collateral damage. Possibly an excess-profits tax retroactive to 2007, or some form of “Tobin tax” on transactions, or a wealth tax. The era of money for nothing will be over.
But it won’t just end with taxes. When the great day comes, Wall Street will pray for another Pecora, because compared with the rough beast now beginning to strain at the leash, Pecora will look like Phil Gramm. Humiliation and ridicule, even financial penalties, will be the least of the Street’s tribulations. There will be prosecutions and show trials. There will be violence, mark my words. Houses burnt, property defaced. I just hope that this time the mob targets the right people in Wall Street and in Washington. (How does a right-thinking Christian go about asking Santa for Mitch McConnell’s head under the Christmas tree?) There will be kleptocrats who threaten to take themselves elsewhere if their demands on jurisdictions and tax breaks aren’t met, and I say let ’em go!
At the end of the day, the convulsion to come won’t really be about Wall Street’s derivatives malefactions, or its subprime fun and games, or rogue trading, or the folly of banks. It will be about this society’s final opportunity to rip away the paralyzing shackles of corruption or else dwell forever in a neofeudal social order. You might say that 1384 has replaced 1984 as our worst-case scenario. I have lived what now, at 75, is starting to feel like a long life. If anyone asks me what has been the great American story of my lifetime, I have a ready answer. It is the corruption, money-based, that has settled like some all-enveloping excremental mist on the landscape of our hopes, that has permeated every nook of any institution or being that has real influence on the way we live now. Sixty years ago, if you had asked me, on the basis of all that I had been taught, whether I thought this condition of general rot was possible in this country, I would have told you that you were nuts. And I would have been very wrong. What has happened in this country has made a lie of my boyhood.
The Big Lie: Wall Street has destroyed the wonder that was America (Newsweek)
And then, after you have, watch this video of Ian Bone’s infamous “hypothermia speech” from 1985’s Class War conference. Notice how they’re sorta saying the same thing? And how long will it be before Ian Bone has his own TV show, anyway? I’d watch, wouldn’t you?