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After England’s Riots: David Cameron calls for Social Media clampdown

In response to the English Riots, British Prime Minister, David Cameron announced a series initiatives to “do whatever it takes to restore law and order and to rebuild our communities.”

Amongst the suggested plans (including removal of face masks) was the rather disturbing news that Cameron plans to block access to social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Blackberrys.

In a speech to Parliament, Cameron said:

Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media.
Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill.

And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them.

So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.

The Iranian government claim they have a suitcase which can block the internet.

A little closer to home, the French have been punting this idea for quite some time, and earlier this year President Nicolas Sarkozy urged his G8 buddies that it would be a good idea to have:

...private, high-level, inter-governmental talks, in an attempt to work out a global strategy for Internet regulation.

Like the script to some dystopian film, It will be only a matter of time before Western Governments decide to regulate and control the internet on grounds of National Security, Public Safety, or Law and Order.

Which in the short term means, if Cameron gets his way, then it may not be Anonymous that ends blocking Facebook on November 5, but the Conservative government.

With thanks to Niall O’Conghaile

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Michele Bachmann upset that even math is under attack by godless liberals: ‘There is no truth! ’

Mother Jones found a video Michele Bachmann made during her time as a Christian education activist. In Guinea Pig Kids II, she warns of a Holocaust that will be brought on, she claims, by the U.S. public education system.

Bachmann’s co-star, Michael Chapman, get even more descriptive and paranoic , claiming in the video that “globalists’ were plotting to destroy Christian America by indoctrinating children with a morality that would lead to a second Auschwitz.

A conservative Christian group called the Maple River Education Coalition made and distributed Guinea Pig Kids II, the obscure conspiracy theory video starring Bachmann and Chapman, in 2002.

Via Mother Jones

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Police breaking down doors for trainers a dumbass photo-op right about now
01:36 pm

Class War

England riots

No matter what your views are on the cause of the riots, the rioters, or even law and order itself, doesn’t sending the police into council estates like vengeful Daleks to do reverse “smash-n-grab” jobs seem like a misguided attempt to restore normalcy to English life?

What do they expect to retrieve a belt, some shirts and few pairs of trainers?

Go back to what you were doing. Everything is under control!

Photo via The Guardian.

Thank you Chris Campion!


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Mink DeVille live in San Francisco 1978
01:11 pm


Mink DeVille

Willy and his wife Toots
In a more perfect world, Willy DeVille (August 25, 1950 – August 6, 2009) would have been a huge star. He had the voice, the look, the chops and the charisma.

I remember seeing Mink DeVille perform at Trax in New York City in 1977. Mick Jagger was sitting at a table near the stage when Willy and his band came out. DeVille was dressed to kill, in snakeskin boots and gravity-defying pompadour. They tore into “Spanish Stroll” and I looked over at Jagger. Mick looked awestruck and, to my eyes, a little bit scared. It was as if he were watching a harder core version of himself. I wondered in that moment if Jagger was thinking that Mr. DeVille might dethrone him as rock and roll’s Satanic Majesty. The band played a scorching set and Jagger’s eyes never left the stage.

I knew Willy and the guy was the real deal.  His whole being radiated a downtown Manhattan vibe that was mythic, romantic and dark. A badass with a sweet side and a sardonic smile, DeVille walked the walk - rock and roll poetry embodied.

DeVille had to leave his beloved New York in order to make a living in Europe. He couldn’t sell records in the States. People just couldn’t figure him out. Punker than punk, but not really a part of any scene, Deville was his own animal, modern and yet rooted in old-school r&b, as comfortable with the music coming off the Bowery as he was with the sounds of Fifties Harlem, doo-wop and Louisiana zydeco. He was a musical shapeshifter that confounded record companies in his pursuit of his own vision and style. The fact that he never “made it” in the States is a commentary on the parochial nature of the American music business and mainstream rock audiences complete lack of curiosity and taste

Mink Deville at Winterland in 1978.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Vintage X-Ray ‘Vinyl’ from Russia
01:09 pm



W.C. Hardy’s “St. Louis Blues”
Between the years of 1946 - 1961 one of the only ways to listen to American blues, jazz and rock’n’roll in Russia was to obtain smuggled records, some made on old x-rays. There’s a long article and back story about these interesting x-ray records on, but it’s all in German and a little bit difficult to make sense of using Google Translate. 

If you got caught with American popular music back then, you could find yourself in a world of hurt. Apparently it could get you thrown out of school or even arrested in extreme cases, but still the population wanted to hear the music. These x-ray records are physical artifacts from that era of Soviet censorship.

Percy Faith’s “Delicado”

Fred Astaire’s “Cheek to Cheek”

Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel”
(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Unknown Swiss girl-group sings Slade’s ‘Gudbye T’Jane’ in 1974
12:33 pm



Sometime in 1974, an unknown, all-girl rock group from Switzerland performed an extremely mild version of Slade’s “Gudbye T’Jane.”  This is very, very Swiss.

Celtic Frost aside, the Swiss are not a people well-known for rocking out, are they? The “Swiss rock” Wikipedia entry is rather short, which is hardly surprising.

Thank you Douglas Hovey!


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Air Swimmers: Remote-controlled flying sharks and clownfish
11:44 am


Air Swimmers

Imagine the hours of fun you could have torturing your pets with this!

It looks like the Air Swimmers website is currently down due to heavy traffic.

(via High Definite)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Massive Attack respond to the London Riots on their Facebook page
11:07 am

Current Events

London Riots
Massive Attack

From Massive Attack’s Facebook page:

In context with the complicit support of the government, the banks looted the nation’s wealth while destroying countless small businesses and brought the whole economy to its knees in a covert, clean manner, rather like organised crime.

Our reaction was to march and wave banners and then bail them out. These kids would have to riot and steal every night for a year to run up a bill equivalent to the value of non-paid tax big business has ‘avoided’ out of the economy this year alone.

They may not articulate their grievances like the politicians that condemn them but this is absolutely political. As for the ‘mindless violence’… is there anything more mindless than the British taxpayer quietly paying back the debts of others while contributing bullets to conflicts that we have absolutely no understanding of?

It’s mad, sad and scary when we have to take to the streets to defend our homes and businesses from angry thieving kids, but where are the police and what justice is ever done when the mob is dressed in pin stripe.

Thanks, Angela!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
VU reunion: Lou Reed, John Cale, Nico on French TV, 1972

In 1972, Velvet Underground alumni Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico reunited before the cameras of the Pop 2 TV program at Le Bataclan, a well-known—and very intimate—Paris venue. It was Cale’s gig originally and he invited Reed and Nico to join him. Reed, who hated rehearsing, spent two days with Cale working out what they were going to do. According to Victor Bockris’ Reed biography Transformer, rock critic Richard Robinson videotaped these rehearsals, which took place in London.

Both the videotape and just the audio from this show has been heavily bootlegged over the years. A legit CD release happened a few years ago, but it still sounds like a bootleg. A high quality video turned up on various torrent trackers and bootleg blogs after a rebroadcast on French TV a few years ago. It’s fairly easy to find. Now if only some of the outtakes from the Le Bataclan filming would slip out—they did “Black Angel’s Death Song” which I’d dearly love to see—not to mention what Richard Robinson has!

This is Reed coming off his first solo record and just a few months before he recorded “Walk on the Wild Side” with David Bowie and took on a totally different public—and we can presume, private—persona. This is “Long Island Lou” seen just before Reed’s druggy bisexual alter-ego showed up. Cale is heard doing “Ghost Story” from his Vintage Violence album and Nico looks stunning and happy here singing “Femme Fatale.” It’s before the damage of her drug addiction took its toll on her looks.

One thing worth pointing out here is that during “Berlin” you can see Nico’s face as Reed sings a song which he told her was about her. She might even be hearing it for the first time.

More from the Le Bataclan performance after the jump!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Marijuana-themed chess board
10:34 am



An amusing weed-themed chess set with 32 pieces in the shapes of bongs, bowls, joints and pot leaves. I’ve never played chess a day in my life, but “weed chess” seems like it could be more entertaining. Smoke a bowl every time a piece gets taken? A joint for checkmate?

The Stonerware Pot Leaf Chess Set is available on a lot of sites. I found it here for $26.71, but you may be able to find cheaper elsewhere.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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