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Lovely photos from the annual Blessing Of The Animals
10.08.2012
04:10 pm

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Animals

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These photos from this weekend’s annual Blessing of The Animals at the Cathedral of Saint John The Divine in New York City make my heart feel full. As a human being, Priests scare the shit out of me, but the pigs, llamas, doggies, turtles and various strange and beautiful creatures seem to be very calm and happy at this event celebrating St. Francis of Assisi’s teachings on the interrelationship between all living things.

There’s a part of me that feels it is a form of human chauvinism and arrogance to think that animals need our blessings (we could probably use theirs), but I’m willing to cut humanity some slack when I encounter something like these photos. There’s a spirit of good will in them that can’t be denied. And I’m all for advocating good relations between all Goddess’s creatures.

For more photos visit the Gothamist’s website.
 
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Photos by Katie Sokoler via the Gothamist

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Nun caught on security cam stealing Four Loko
10.08.2012
03:37 pm

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Amusing
Belief
Food

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Here’s security camera footage of a nun—dressed in a traditional habit stealing beer (and some Four Loko?) from a convenience store. If she even is a nun, and not just a clever grifter disguised as a nun, because everyone knows that nuns don’t shoplift. Whatever the case may be, she’s a dangerous mind, indeed…
 

 
Via Geekologie

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Lloyd Dobler Effect: John Cusack onstage with Peter Gabriel
10.08.2012
03:14 pm

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Movies
Music

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Saturday night at the Hollywood Bowl, Peter Gabriel played his classic 1986 album So from start to finish. For the album’s big finale, “In Your Eyes,” Gabriel brought out John Cusack, who of course played romantic dreamer Lloyd Dobler in Cameron Crowe’s 1989 movie, Say Anything….

During that film’s climax, Lloyd holds up a boombox playing the song outside the home of Ione Skye’s character, Diane Court. It’s one of the ultimate, most immortal gestures of romantic love in all of cinema history so why am I even bothering to describe it?

In any case, it’s a great and iconic scene, and it’s cannily played out to exactly the perfect soundtrack. I’m sure that “In Your Eyes” was already a staple of romantic mixed tapes that lovelorn Gen X guys would have made back then even prior to Say Anything… but post-Say Anything…, well, that song became quite a statement indeed for a guy to put on a mixed tape. That meant he really, really liked you.

When I was in my 20s, I distinctly recall someone I know telling me how he kept VHS tapes of romantic comedies “casually lying around” his apartment for seduction purposes. I certainly don’t think he was the only guy to figure this out, and I would always take note if I saw that a male friend of mine owned a lot of rom com videos, you know, “chick flicks.” (A girlfriend of mine once told me how she’d been gushing about me to her mother because I had a VHS of Breakfast at Tiffany’s on my bookshelf and she felt this indicated great things about me. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it wasn’t mine and that I had no idea how it had gotten into my apartment and onto my bookshelves. When I met her mother she mentioned knowing that I was a big fan of Breakfast at Tiffany’s!)

The videotapes I always seemed to notice in the homes of these 80s Don Juans were things like Say Anything, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally and The Sure Thing (dig the Rob Reiner / John Cusack axis / overlap there). If these four films were as effective as Jägermeister, another no-fail seduction cliche of the 1980s, then imagine that you are the guy who actually played Lloyd Dobler and “Gib”?

Christ, that must be like having a superpower or something!

Below, Gabriel, in fine voice, performs a stellar “In You Eyes” at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, October 6, 2012:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Hannibal Lecter’s got nothin’ on these women: Miss Lovely Eyes Contest , 1930s
10.08.2012
12:47 pm

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Amusing

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A creeptastic photo from the Miss Lovely Eyes Contest in Florida, circa 1930s.

And speaking of Hannibal Lechter, readers who live in Los Angeles should go to see the hilarious new play Silence! The Musical (the unauthorized parody of The Silence of the Lambs), now playing at the Hayworth Theatre on Wilshire Blvd.

Via Retronaut

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Cocaine’s a Helluva Drug: John Cale’s Rockpalast freak out, 1984
10.08.2012
11:45 am

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Drugs
Music

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The first in an intermittent series of posts showcasing the most coked-out music performances of recent times, that are still available for the public to see via the magic of the internet.

Cocaine’s A Helluva Drug kicks off with this frankly terrifying clip of John Cale tearing up floorboards at the German Rockpalast festival in 1984, as he rips through Elvis’ “Heartbreak Hotel” on the piano.

The madness begins at 4:40, and it is preceded in this clip by a relatively sober Cale performing the same track at the same festival one year earlier, which gives great context for just how fucked up he is the following year. Apparently most of the crowd the second time round were waiting for London’s white-funk homeboys Level 42.

For the record, Cale’s interpretation of this classic is simply astounding, delivered here in a stripped down, chilling arrangement showcasing Cale’s delicious butter-from-the-gutter growl.

This is neither a warning nor an endorsement. It simply IS.

John Cale “Heartbreak Hotel” (Live at Rockpalast 1983 & 1984)
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Mr. Rogers Goes to Washington: An inspiring, spirited defense of PBS, 1969
10.08.2012
11:39 am

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Heroes
History
Television

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Since Mitt Romney’s predictable pathetic pandering to Fox News-watching idiots about doing away with PBS in the presidential debate last week, an extraordinary clip of Fred Rogers passionately defending the mission of PBS before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications in 1969 has gone viral. Rogers was there hoping to protect Public Broadcasting from draconian spending cuts proposed by Richard Nixon.

From the reaction he got, I think he succeeded in his mission.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Brain candle
10.08.2012
11:14 am

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Amusing

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I dig these handmade unscented brain candles—suspended in gel wax—from Think Geek. Even though they’re being marketed as Halloween décor, I think they’d be a fun accent all year around.

Each brain candle is $19.99.

Via Technabob

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Christ is with the Revolution’:  Watch Hugo Chavez doc, ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’
10.08.2012
11:10 am

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Current Events
Media
Politics
Television

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I first saw Kim Bartley and Donnacha Ó Briain’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised about six years back, the day after a very late night, “heroically” hauling myself out of bed and dragging myself up the road to the local cinema before sinking deep into a generously cushioned chair for the afternoon screening. If my viewing neighbors were delighted to be watching a film alongside what must have smelled something like a six-foot tall bottle of booze, their joy can only have redoubled when – approximately thirty-five seconds into the screening – this rancid alcohol-human hybrid (talking about myself, here) burst into tequila tinged sobs that rang out for the entire film…

Transpires, of course, that my extravagant and half-cut sentimentality was in aid of one of the most controversial documentaries of all time, one that has since even inspired a dedicated effort at debunkery, X-Ray of a Lie, which takes the unmistakable partiality of the filmmakers to task and accuses them of all sorts of questionable editing and bias.

What seems ultimately incontestable, however, is that the film captures – and from the eye of the storm – the attempted military overthrow of a democratically elected government, and its reversal by a popular uprising. And it is this – a familiar story with a less-familiar ending – that gives The Revolution Will Not Be Televised its awesome emotional pull, late night or not.

Whatever can be said against him, give me Hugo Chavez’s backslapping humanity (he appears to cuddle about a third of Venezuela in the course of this documentary alone) over the baby-kissing misanthropy of our own political class any day. Congratulations to him on winning another six year term. I hope he survives it.
 

Posted by Thomas McGrath | Leave a comment
‘Devil’s Harvest - The Smoke of Hell’: Best Ad for Marijuana?
10.08.2012
09:25 am

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Advertising
Amusing
Drugs
History
Hysteria

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Devil’s Harvest - now that’s a damned fine name for a good smoke.
 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

This is Your Brain on Marijuana


 
With thanks to Edna Bakewell (Mrs.) via Suicide Blonde
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Cook’s Story: An extract from the Journal of Katherine Mansfield, 1919
10.07.2012
07:29 pm

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Books
History
Literature

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Virginia Woolf was never sure of Katherine Mansfield. She thought she was a literary rival, someone to be wary of, not quite trusted, and never to be fooled by her appearance, especially those big brown eyes, the severe bangs in a line across her forehead, her school marmish uniform, or the way she sat crossed-legged and drank tea out of bowls. Mansfield frightened Virginia, and it was only after Katherine’s early death in 1923 (a hemorrhage caused by running up a flight of stairs), and the subsequent publication of her journal, did Woolf see that Katherine Mansfield wasn’t a rival but her own distinct and brilliant talent.

Mansfield’s journal contained a heartbreaking tales of hardship, poverty, and debilitating illness. Woolf was shocked that Katherine had achieved so much against such very terrible odds. Virginia noted in her own journal how she would think about Katherine for the rest of her days. She did more than that, Woolf was directly influenced by Mansfield’s Modernist short stories and tried her own hand at Modernism with Mrs Dalloway, To the LIghthouse, The Waves and Between the Acts.

Mansfield’s Journal contained many short notes, ideas, descriptions and oblique details of her life - situations were often ill-defined, people disguised by initials, and important events missing - she destroyed much. Originally, the Journal had been edited for publication by John Middleton Murry, her indifferent husband and part-time lover, who literally abandoned Mansfield at the time of her greatest need. It was for him that she ran up those fatal stairs. Murry was a selfish, ineffectual and weak man, who exploited others to maintain a fantasy of his own genius - his books are lifeless, poorly written and dull. Woolf saw through him, and this may have clouded her judgment on Mansfield.

That’s the unfortunate thing about relationships, too often individuals can be limned by their other half. Mansfield was fiesty, brilliantly intelligent, and a very real talent, compared to Murry’s straw man.

There is a story in the Journal which is heartbreaking, and sad. And though not really about Mansfield, it in part mirrors something about the worst parts of relationships. Where Katherine suffered Murry’s damning indifference and torturous infidelities, the Cook of this tale suffered in a more brutal way.

I want to share it, because I think we can often judge too quickly, and too harshly, without ever knowing how another lives.

The Cook.

The cook is evil. After lunch I trembled so that I had to lie down on the sommier - thinking about her. I meant - when she came up to see me - to say so much that she’d have to go. I waited, playing with the wild kitten. When she came, I said it all, and she said how sorry she was and agreed and apologised and quite understood. She stayed at the door, plucking at a d’oyley. “Well, I’ll see it doesn’t happen in future. I quite see what you mean.”

So the serpent slept between us. Oh! why won’t she turn and speak her mind. This pretence of being fond of me! I believe she thinks she is. There is something in what L.M. says: she is not consciously evil. She is a FOOL, of course. I have to do all the managing and all the explaining. I have to cook everything before she cooks it. I believe she thinks she is a treasure…no, wants to think it. At bottom she knows her corruptness. There are moments when it comes to the surface, comes out, like a stain, in her face. Then her eyes are like the eyes of a woman-prisoner - a creature looking up as you enter her cell and saying: ‘If you’d known what a hard life I’ve had you wouldn’t be surprised to see me here.’

[This appears again in the following form.]

Cook to See Me.

As I opened the door, I saw her sitting in the middle of the room, hunched, still…She got up, obedient, like a prisoner when you enter a cell. And her eyes said, as a prisoner’s eyes say, “Knowing the life I’ve had, I’m the last to be surprised at finding myself here.”

The Cook’s Story.

Her first husband was a pawnbroker. He learned his trade from her uncle, with whom she lived, and was more like her big brother than anything else from the age of thirteen. After he had married her they prospered. He made a perfect pet of her - they used to say. His sisters put it that he made a perfect fool of himself over her. When their children were fifteen and nine he urged his employers to take a man into their firm - a great friend of his - and persuaded them; really went security for this man. When she saw the man she went all over cold. She said, Mark me, you’ve not done right: no good will come of this. But he laughed it off. Time passed: the man proved a villain. When they came to take stock, they found all the stock was false: he’d sold everything. This preyed on her husband’s mind, went on preying, kept him up at night, made a changed man of him, he went mad as you might say over figures, worrying. One evening, sitting in the chair, very late, he died of a blood clot on the brain.

She was left. Her big boy was old enough to go out, but the little one was still not more than a baby: he was so nervous and delicate. The doctors had never let him go to school.

One day her brother-in-law came to see her and advised her to sell up her home and get some work. All that keeps you back, he said, is little Bert. Now, I’d advise you to place a certain sum with your solicitor for him and put him out - in the country. He said he’d take him. I did as he advised. But, funny! I never heard a word from the child after he’d gone. I used to ask why he didn’t write, and they said, when he can write a decent letter you shall have it - not before. That went on for twelvemonth, and I found afterwards he’d been writing all the time, grieving to be taken away. He’d done the most awful things - things I couldn’t find you a name for - he’d turned vicious - he was a little criminal! What his uncle said was I’d spoiled him, and he’d beaten him and half starved him and when he was frightened at night and screamed, he turned him out into the New Forest and made him sleep under the branches. My big boy went down to see him. Mother, he says, you wouldn’t know little Bert. He can’t speak. He won’t come near anybody. He starts off if you touch him; he’s like a wild beast. And, oh dear, the things he’d done! Well, you hear of people doing those things before they’re put in orphanages. But when I heard that and thought it was the same little baby his father used to carry into Regent’s Park bathed and dressed of a Sunday morning - well, I felt my religion was going from me.

I had a terrible time trying to get him into an orphanage. I begged for three months before they would take him. Then he was sent to Bisley. But after I’d been to see him there, in his funny clothes and all - I could see ‘is misery. I was in a nice place at the time, cook to a butcher in a large way in Kensington, but that poor child’s eyes - they used to follow me - and a sort of shivering that came over him when people went near.

Well, I had a friend that kept a boarding house in Kensington. I used to visit her, and a friend of hers, a big well-set-up fellow, quite the gentleman, an engineer who worked in a garage, came there very often. She used to joke and say he wanted to walk me out. I laughed it off till one day she was very serious. She said, You’re a very silly woman. He earns good money; he’d give you a home and you could have your little boy. Well, he was to speak to me next day and I made up my mind to listen. Well, he did, and he couldn’t have put it nicer. I can’t give you a house to start with, he said, but you shall have three good rooms and teh kid, and I’m earning good money and shall have more.

A week after, he come to me. I can’t give you any money this week, he says, there’s things to pay for from when I was single. But I daresay you’ve got a bit put by. And I was a fool, you know, I didn’t think it funny. Oh yes, I said, I’ll manage. Well, so it went on for three weeks. We’d arranged not to have little Bert for a month because , he said, he wanted me to himself, and he was so fond of him. A big fellow, he used to cling to me like a child and call me mother.

After three weeks was up I hadn’t a penny. I’d been taking my jewels and best clothes to put away to pay for him until he was straight. But one night I said, Where’s my money? He just up and gave me such a smack in the face I thought my head would burst. And that began it. Every time I asked for money he beat me. As I said, I was very religious at the time, used to wear a crucifix under my clothes and couldn’t go to bed without kneeling by the side and saying my prayers - no, not even the first week of my marriage. Well, I went to a clergyman and told him everything and he said, My child, he said, i am very sorry for you, but with God’s help, he said, it’s your duty to make him a better man. You say your first husband was so good. Well, perhaps God has kept this trial for you until now. I went home - and that very night he tore my crucifix off and hit me on the head when I knelt down. He said he wouldn’t have me say my prayers; it made him wild. I had a little dog at the time I was very fond of, and he used to pick it up and shout, I’ll teech it to say its prayers, and beat it before my eyes - until - well, such was the man he was.

Then one night he came in the worse for drink and fouled the bed. I couldn’t stand it. I began to cry. he gave me a hit on the ear and I feel down, striking my head on the fender. When I came to, he was gone. I ran out into the street just as I was - I ran as fast as I could, not knowing where I was going—just dazed—my nerves were gone. And a lady found me and took me to her home and I was there three weeks. And after that I never went back. I never even told my people. I found work, and not till months after I went to see my sister. Good gracious! she says, we all thought you were murdered! And I never see him since…

Those were dreadful times. I was so ill, I could scarcely hardly work and of course I couldn’t get my little boy out. He had grown up in it. And so I hard to start all over again. I had nothing of his, nothing of mine. I lost it all except my marriage lines. Somehow I remembered them just as I was running out that night and put them in my boddy - sort of an instinct as you might say.

An edited version of Journal of Katherine Mansfield is available here, and her brilliant Collected Short Stories are available here and here. A documentary on Katherine Mansfield’s life can be viewed here.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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