They protest at the funerals of gays, dead American servicemen and now the sociopaths of the Westboro Baptist Church are threatening to protest the funeral of comedic dare-devil Ryan Dunn of the “Jackass” gang. They called Dunn a “drab pervert [who] hawked porn-level filth (e.g. toy car up his rectum for entertainment.” Gimme a break:
The notorious Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. announced Tuesday that its members will protest any public service held for ‘Jackass’ star Ryan Dunn, who died on Monday in a high speed car accident, according to Daily Local of West Chester in Pennsylvania.
The church has a history of protesting high-profile burials, often calling deaths a punishment from God. The group has been denounced as radical by many Christian organizations.
“WBC will picket any public memorial/funeral held for Dunn, warning all not to make a mock of sin, and to fear and obey God,” the group said in a news release. It’s headline states: “Ryan Dunn is in hell!”
DellaVechia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc said services and interment for Dunn will be private. A public memorial service will be announced at a later date.
What a bunch of flaming assholes. I hope Dunn’s friends and family take them on “Jackass”-style if they go through with this. That could be fun to watch!
Ryan Dunn Death: Westboro Baptist Church Threatens Service Protest (IB Times)
There’s a super bleak story in The Independent about a home-made heroin substitute that’s becoming popular in Russia. The problem is that “Krokodil” is so detrimental to the human body that it practically eats right through it. There are up to two million junkies in Russia, the most in the world and around 100,000 of them are addicted to Krokodil which can be easily produced for a fraction of the price of smack.
Even hardcore methfreaks are better off than Krokodil addicts. Withdrawal from the drug can take an agonizing MONTH (Heroin detox lasts a week to ten days, a relative walk in the park).
The home-made drug that Oleg and Sasha inject is known as krokodil, or “crocodile”. It is desomorphine, a synthetic opiate many times more powerful than heroin that is created from a complex chain of mixing and chemical reactions, which the addicts perform from memory several times a day. While heroin costs from £20 to £60 per dose, desomorphine can be “cooked” from codeine-based headache pills that cost £2 per pack, and other household ingredients available cheaply from the markets.
It is a drug for the poor, and its effects are horrific. It was given its reptilian name because its poisonous ingredients quickly turn the skin scaly. Worse follows. Oleg and Sasha have not been using for long, but Oleg has rotting sores on the back of his neck.
“If you miss the vein, that’s an abscess straight away,” says Sasha. Essentially, they are injecting poison directly into their flesh. One of their friends, in a neighbouring apartment block, is further down the line.
“She won’t go to hospital, she just keeps injecting. Her flesh is falling off and she can hardly move anymore,” says Sasha. Photographs of late-stage krokodil addicts are disturbing in the extreme. Flesh goes grey and peels away to leave bones exposed. People literally rot to death.
This is like something straight out of Burroughs or Cronenberg, but as I was reading the article, I was thinking more about what a modern day Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky would make of a plague like this.
Read the entire horrific story: Krokodil: The drug that eats junkies (The Independent)
This is descibed as “one of the earliest film[s] that experimented time-slice or bullet-time effect filming technic.” Made by Ryoichiro Debuchi using 18 still-cameras arranged in a 360 degree sweep around one central model. The footage was then transferred onto Super 8 and screened at the Pia film Festival in 1982. Quite impressive, but nothing compared to what can be achieved by Timeslice today.
Sometime Ariel Pink cohort, and an undoubted forefather of the chillwave phenomenon, John Maus has just released his new album We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves on the evergreen independent label Upset The Rhythm.
Isn’t it great when someone you really want to like is actually someone you really do like? Because if John Maus wasn’t as good as he actually is, I would be seriously pissed off that someone else had nicked my idea of doing for synth-pop what Portishead have done for spy soundtracks and torch songs. Even moreso than Ariel Pink, Nite Jewel or anyone else on the haunted-call-it-what-you-like-scene John Maus seriously ticks my boxes. For the uninitiated, it’s pretty simple. Maus takes synth-pop and squeezes it through a lo-fi, shoegazey filter until it comes out the other side dripping in an unreal atmosphere. Imagine OMD on 33rpm, or the soundtrack to a long forgotten 80s art film you saw on cable one night, multiply it to the power of a bongs-and-mushrooms trip, and you’re nearly there. It’s so spectral it’s as if you have dreamt it before. In fact maybe I didn’t invent this idea and it’s all just aural deja-vu.
Fans of Maus’ previous work won’t be disappointed with We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves. In it he retains all the core values of his last album, the officially awesome Love Is Real, but now the sound and the songs have had a wee tightening up. But don’t worry yourselves with thoughts of “sellout” - where before the lo-fi nature of the recordings created a dank haze the listener had to aurally peer through, this new, slightly more clean approach gives room for the individual parts to breath. Being able to distinguish them in the mix in no way detracts from their shimmering nature and actually adds to their power. There are less tracks than before, and the running time is just over half an hour. There is little over-indulgence here - and that is a very good thing. From the Upset The Rhythm website:
Pitiless Censors’ as an album displays a more delicate touch than its predecessors. “Hey Moon” is John’s first duet, performed with Molly Nilsson, who originally wrote the song. It’s a serene elegy that subtly weaves an impression of nocturnal loneliness and romantic dreams.
Closing track “Believer” is equally evocative with its bells, choral soaring and echoing sentiment. Of course, a John Maus album wouldn’t be a John Maus album without the same anthemic genius and dark humour that we’ve seen previously with songs like “Maniac” and “Rights For Gays” and this new album finds its succour in “Cop Killer”. The eerie waltz-time offspring of Body Count’s controversial 90s protest track, it is dystopian, bleak and ridiculous and, in short, classic Maus.
Unlike the last two albums, ‘Pitiless Censors’ looks towards the future in all its absurdity. It’s a record where promise takes the lead for the first time, providing a counterpoint to John’s default existential calling. The cover of “Pitiless Censors” depicts an airbrushed lighthouse, thrashed by wave after wave, bringing to mind Beckett’s quote “Unfathomable mind: now beacon, now sea.”
And one final thought - the slightly grandiloquent title undoubtedly has a proper explanation (Maus is a philosophy professor) but maybe it’s also a subconscious pitch to have his music featured in the work of Adam Curtis? It’s definitely worth a shot, as the two would go beautifully together.
Absolutely spot-on parody of BBC documentarian Adam Curtis’s signature style by “psychonomy.” Perfectly encapsulates my own reaction to each and every one of his films:
In a landmark new documentary produced for YouTube, Adam Curtis has not examined his career and laid bare his style in the light of some confused academic papers he stumbled across on the internet. Instead, I have plundered various video archives and ripped him off, up, down, left, right and back again.
The documentary films of Adam Curtis are entertaining, for sure, and thought-provoking, too, but I always feel that he takes but one strand of a very complex braid of historical confluences, and then presents this sliver of history as if it is THE received truth in that authoritative BBC voice of his. I do enjoy watching his films (and I like his blog, too) but he completely fails to win me over to his arguments each and every time.
This is quite amazing - a T-shirt that can convert music into electrical energy.
This prototype hi-tech T-shirt is called a Sound Charge and is the brainchild of global telecommunications firm Orange in collaboration with renewable energy experts Got Wind. The Sound Charge produces enough electricity to charge a cell phone, and will be debuted at the Glastonbury Festival, in England, this weekend - as explained in an Orange news release:
The eco charging device uses an existing technology in a revolutionary way; by reversing the use of a product called Piezoelectric film, allowing people to charge their mobile phones whilst enjoying their favourite headline act at Glastonbury.
Usually found in modern hi-fi speakers, an A4 panel of the modified film is housed inside a t-shirt which then acts much like an oversized microphone by ‘absorbing’ invisible sound pressure waves. These sound waves are converted via the compression of interlaced quartz crystals into an electrical charge, which is fed into an integral reservoir battery that in turn charges most makes and models of mobile phone. As the ‘device’ is worn, a steady charge is able to be dispensed into the phone via a simple interchangeable lead which fits most handsets.
After a weekend at Glastonbury the Orange Sound Charge will almost certainly be in need of a good scrub, so the Piezoelectric film panel and electronics are all fully removable to enable you to stick it straight in the wash.
The development team behind the device estimate that when used at the festival with sound levels of around 80dB (roughly the same as a busy street), the Orange Sound Charge will generate up to 6 watt hours (W/h) of power over the course of the weekend – enough to charge two standard mobile phones or one Smartphone. Of course festival goers will also be able to plug in their phone for a quick ‘top up’ charge whenever they need it.
Damon Albarn has written and will star in a new opera about a 16th Century alchemist, Doctor John Dee. Titled simply Dr. Dee: An English Opera, the production will premiere next month at the Manchester International Festival, running July 1-9.
Albarn played one of his compositions from new production, titled “Apple Carts,” on The Andrew Marr Show over the weekend. Simply gorgeous.