Glenn Beck talks to himself (or ‘Does being filthy rich make up for having no dignity whatsoever?’)

Dignity, schmignity! Who am I kidding, the man is shameless! Watch in slack-jawed boredom as Glenn Beck interviews himself, in a kind of idiotic (or demented, if you prefer) Swedish Chef impression.

Glenn Beck lost his mind (and the vast majority of his audience and influence) a while ago, but has Beck the showman lost his mojo, too?

He’s not even trying here. Well, he’s trying to take up airtime, I guess, but not much else. I can’t imagine too many people, not even stupid ones, would subscribe to this, or continue their subscriptions if this was the quality of the programming they would receive for their hard-earned dough. There aren’t enough hours in the day and this doesn’t even rise to the occasion of lame.

Thankfully the torture is under two minutes:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Steve McQueen and Charles Manson’s ‘Death List’

Steve McQueen was one of several Hollywood celebrities placed on a “Death List” allegedly compiled by Charles Manson. The other names were Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones.

On August 9th, 1969, members of Manson’s “Family” carried out the brutal murder of Sharon Tate and 4 of her friends.

McQueen had briefly dated Tate, and had planned to visit the actress the night of her death.

In December 1969, Manson and the killers had been arrested.

When McQueen heard he might be targeted by Manson’s followers, he started carrying a gun. In October 1970, a still cautious McQueen wrote to his lawyer to find out if any “Family” members were still active, and to have his gun license renewed.


October 17, 1970

Mr. Edward Rubin
Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp
6380 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90048

Dear Eddie:

As you know, I have been selected by the Manson Group to be marked for death, along with Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones. In some ways I find it humorous, and in other ways frighteningly tragic. It may be nothing, but I must consider it may be true both for the protection of myself and my family.

At the first possible time, if you could pull some strings and find out unofficially from one of the higher-ups in Police whether, again unofficially, all of the Manson Group has been rounded up and/or do they feel that we may be in some danger.

Secondly, if you would call Palm Springs and have my gun permit renewed, it was only for a year, and I should like to have it renewed for longer as it is the only sense of self-protection for my family and myself, and I certainly think I have good reason.

Please don’t let too much water go under the bridge before this is done, and I’m waiting for an immediate reply.

My best,

(Signed, ‘Steve’)

Steve McQueen


cc: William Maher

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Steve McQueen’s 1964 Driving License

The True Story of the Great Rolling Stones Drugs Bust

With thanks to Simon Wells, via Letters of Note

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘Sensational’ Sex Scandal said to have rocked UK Government

The Mail on Sunday is more than a little coy about a story on its front cover today, which claims:

No.10 rocked by secret love affair: ‘Stunned’ PM holds crisis talks over fears tryst will ‘blow political agenda out of the water’

The paper refuses to give details of this “sensational love affair” for “legal reasons” but says it does not involve anyone serving in Cabinet. But the scandal is “dynamite,” and “If the affair is revealed, it is likely to cause as much public surprise as the disclosure of the relationship between [former Prime Minister] John Major and [politician] Edwina Currie, which was kept secret for nearly two decades until 2002.”

The MOS begins the story as follows:

David Cameron has held crisis talks at Downing Street after being told of allegations of a sensational love affair which has potentially significant political implications for him.

For legal reasons, The Mail on Sunday cannot disclose the identities of the people involved or any details of the relationship – even its duration – other than that they are middle-aged figures. The affair has now concluded.

But this newspaper can report that when aides told Mr Cameron the identities of the alleged lovers he was ‘stunned’, and, according to sources, ‘immediately realised the importance of the story’.

The Prime Minister and his aides also discussed the possible fallout should details of the affair become public – and how such disclosure could ‘blow out of the water’ any major political set pieces planned by No 10.

One senior source told this newspaper last night: ‘This revelation is dynamite. None of us could believe it when we first heard it. Then we just thought, “What a complete mess”.’

The source added that, apart from the political implications, the revelation had caused ‘great personal distress to innocent parties’.

It is understood that the Prime Minister was told of the relationship - which does not involve anyone serving in the Cabinet - within the past few weeks.

The whole story suggests more than it offers, and as many of the “Conservative faithful” want rid of David Cameron, it would appear the Mail on Sunday may have the whiff of something which may expedite this sooner rather than later.

At 16.00 BST, there has been no coverage of this story on any of the UK television news networks—BBC, ITV and Sky News.

Only the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian have given the story any coverage.

The Telegraph, contradicts one of MOS assertions, by quoting a government spokesperson who declares:

“There have been no crisis talks or meetings.”

As a topical aside, the Telegraph ran a story, a few years back, about a survey on who would have an affair with a Downing Street politician.

Meanwhile, Roy Greenslade in his Guardian blog, is at a loss to explain the who, what, when, where, why, of the story, and can only conclude:

Of course, it could be nothing more than journalistic hype, but I somehow doubt that. It’s not in the nature of the MoS editor, Geordie Greig.

So what’s it all about? What “legal reasons” prevent us from knowing more? Is there an injunction in place, an anonymised injunction possibly?

I have asked and, as yet, no answers. I would guess that the MoS’s lawyers have advised those in the know to say no more.

Whatever the nature of this “sensational” story, it would appear that it is one, which will run and run—until the “truth” is out, and the political agenda behind the headlines has been done.

Read the whole MOS story here.

Another tale of interest, is this one regarding a past 10 Downing Street scandal involving 2 non cabinet members, which led to calls for resignation.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck has new conspiracy theory about being called a conspiracy theorist

Papa’s got a brand new conspiracy theory: Glenn Beck, the teary-eyed, former alcoholic Mormon “patriot” and multi-millionaire conspiracy theory media mogul believes (or, rather, *ahem*, says he believes) himself to be the target of, what else, a conspiracy to call him a conspiracy theorist.

Heavy meta!

It sounds like I am making this up. I am not making this up. Via Raw Story:

Conspiracy talk radio host Glenn Beck [see what he did there?] said Tuesday that he isn’t sure why he’s been labeled a conspiracy theorist in the media, but he’s pretty sure it’s the result of a “concentrated effort” somehow coordinated by the White House.

Building on his theory that CNN secretly orchestrated an incredibly awkward moment between host Wolf Blitzer and an atheist survivor of the Oklahoma tornadoes, Beck told listeners on Tuesday that it’s just another example of the media’s conspiracy to push a hidden agenda, in this case atheism.

“The media has their own agenda,” he said of CNN. “And if the media has a storyline, it just writes it in. And currently the storyline is ‘conspiracy theorist.’” Then, without irony, he asked: “Why is it a concentrated effort now to label me a conspiracy theorist?”

Fantabulosa! The man surely knows how to enthrall his audience of cud-chewing cows, does he not? They subscribe to this shit, baby! Pay the man a monthly fee to put stupid ideas in their heads. It’s genius, the best gimmick for separating fools from their money since televangelism or Scientology!

Glenn Beck is so gangsta, motherfucker, countin’ those stacks o’ Benjamins!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
The New Yorker goes all Wikileaks!
06:55 pm


The New Yorker

What was Bradley Manning’s real crime? His real crime was in trusting Adrian Lamo and in not using the TOR network and other anonymity services to leak the information he had extracted from the military network he had access to in Iraq.

Had he, however, dumped his data to something like New Yorker’s Strong Box—a new feature on their website that was developed for sending in anonymous tips by the late web activist Aaron Swartz—he wouldn’t be getting the Gitmo treatment in solitary now. Instead, a sanctioned news agency would be taking the heat and leveraging their plethora of lawyers and spin doctors to fight off government officials embarrassed by the real secret that had been revealed: That our foreign policy and war strategies were foisted upon the US (and the rest of the world, natch) by a small cabal FUCKTOCRACY of arrogant white men who simply refused to believe how stupid they are. (I mean, what else did the Collateral Murder prove but that our GUN-ho soldiers hadn’t been trained to properly identify and select military targets?)

Don’t make the same mistake! By using Strong Box which, in turn, can only be accessed through the TOR network, aspiring leaker, your chances of being tortured or held indefinitely in solitary are greatly reduced, as TOR (properly used!) eliminates the possibility of tracing the origin and destination of traffic sent through the TOR network. Basically, each TOR node collects up lots of traffic, encrypts it, and then sends this whole wad to another TOR node (or “Onion Router”), where it gathers up traffic originating from a bunch of nodes and then encrypts the whole ball again. If anyone has the ability to crack TOR, it is only a handful of governments in the world, and they won’t risk revealing what they can do unless it’s something really important. Go on over to TOR and download a TOR browser and poke around a bit. If you are going to access, say, Dangerous Minds without leaving a trail, make sure the browser is showing https, because TOR doesn’t automatically encrypt your traffic as it enters and exits the TOR network.

TOR itself is fascinating as the basic ideas were developed by Cypherpunks and other anarchically inclined people in the 1990s, and most nodes are run by private individuals on their own time and dime. Through TOR you can also check out Silk Road, an illicit substance marketplace that functions a lot like eBay. Of course, you can’t actually buy anything on Silk Road unless you have learned how to handle Bitcoins (and have an account), but it is fascinating (is it not?) to see a “TOR hidden service” like Silk Road, the physical location of which can’t really be determined (and I mean to tell you, it would be hard for even top-secret government agencies to determine the location of the Silk Road servers).

This, my friend, is freedom, though it’s not what you might have thought freedom was going to look like. But it’s a freedom that was taken through the sheer force of mathematics, and there is probably no government on earth that has the power to stop it.

Posted by Em | Discussion
Family Guy: Marko Mäetamm, one of the best multimedia artists you’ve probably never heard of

Marko Mäetamm is a multimedia artist, who works within the mediums of video, photography, drawing, painting and the Internet. Over the past 2 decades, Marko has established himself as an original and provocative artist, and his work has been exhibited across Europe.

Born in South Estonia, Mäetamm ‘grew up without any artistic influences,’ and did not consider becoming an artist until he was 18.

‘The first time I thought doing something creative was through this friend, who was a great fan of Prog Rock and Heavy Metal,’ Marko explains. ‘And the first time I felt I really wanted to do something visual or artistic was when I was looking at the these Heavy Metal and Prog Rock album sleeves at his place.

‘This was at the beginning of the 1980s, when Estonia was part of Soviet Union and you couldn’t legally buy any Western music in stores. It was all smuggled in somehow, so you had to know people who knew people who knew other people to get access to original albums of any kind of Western music. It was more common to share tape-recorded copies of the albums rather than to have the original vinyl.

‘So, my first “serious drawings” were copies of all of these album covers and bands.’

Marko jokes that these were ‘terribly bad drawings,’ but it was still enough to inspire his interest, and after 2 compulsory years in the Soviet Army, he studied study printmaking at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn.

‘It was still the end of Soviet regime, so we didn’t get much information of what was happening in the world of contemporary art. My first influences were all these great modern artists we had to study—Rousseau, Matisse, Chagall, Picasso and so on. That was until I discovered Pop Art, at the end of my studies, and got really into it.

‘This was all happening around the same time the new wave of Young British Artists jumped on the stage, but then nobody was talking about it in Estonia. So it shows you how huge a gap there was between the art here in Estonia, and international art. It took the whole 90-s to cover this gap.’

Dangerous Minds: How would you describe yourself as an artist and how would you describe your art?

Marko Mäetamm: ‘It is always difficult to describe yourself. It is kind of a tricky thing. We never see ourselves the way like the other people do, even when we look in the mirror we actually see our image in a mirror – the eye that we think is our right eye is actually our left eye for other people and so on. And our voice we hear coming from inside us is totally different from the voice other people hear us talking with.

‘But to try to say something - I think I am quite obsessed by my work and I probably need it to keep myself in balance. I say, “I think” because I do think that it might be like that, I don’t really know. And I think that I may not function as good if I didn’t have that channel – art, to communicate with the world. I have come to recognize this by thinking of my own projects during my career. And how my ideas change. People have asked me if I have a therapeutic relationship with my work, and I have always answered that it is absolutely possible. But I really don’t know and I don’t even know if I would need to know it. I don’t know if that would make my work better.’
More art and answers from Marko, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Conspiratards: Reddit forum mocks Alex Jones & Ron Paul fans; maybe they’ll learn something?

There’s a fantastic new—at least I think it’s pretty new—sub-reddit section that’s a catchall for some of the more idiotic conspiracy theories out there. Titled ‘Conspiratards,’ for the most part, the forum consists of postings debunking the willy-nilly fever dream dot-connecting of Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, the 9-11 truthers, birthers, LaRouchites, Tea partiers, Ron Paul fanboys and David Icke. If you are so inclined, it’s a fucking laugh riot.

As you might imagine it’s also one of the most vicious and biting forums on all of reddit—which is really saying something—and many true believers have a vendetta against the forum’s very existence. There’s a disclaimer on the sidebar that directs readers to the “Controversial” tab:

Special Note: Conspiratards hate free speech and religiously down-mod good submissions here, so be sure to check out the “controversial” submissions that they don’t want you to see!

When you talk about conspiracy theories, there are, of course, REAL conspiracies and crimes—things which can be proven in a court of law and that actually happened historically (Watergate and the Iran Contra scandal come immediately to mind) and then there’s the utter lunatic bullshit that Alex Jones propagates on his radio show, the Montauk Project book series and Brice Taylor, the self-proclaimed mind-controlled sex slave of Bob Hope, the CIA and Henry Kissinger). When you get down to the “lizard people” level, I’m not sure what value these empty mental calories provide as a part of one’s intellectual diet, but from a sociological viewpoint, it’s fascinating to gawk at the loopy things that some people are willing to believe, absent any proof other than a sweaty, obnoxious fat guy shouting that it’s all a big government cover-up (A pic of Alex Jones looking suitably barking mad is the Conspiratards’ mascot).

I’ve watched as the conspiracy theory subculture degenerated from serious, yet unorthodox, inquiry and investigative journalism (the high point was the late 80s, early 90s when zine culture still flourished) to the mentally unstable jabberwocky of Jones, the Fox News reichwing propaganda machine and the smirking, immature fratboy fascists at Breitbart we have today. It’s gone from fascinating to pathetic and there’s a world of distance between the likes of a great, non-conformist mind such as Mae Brussell or her disciple Dave Emory, and a bi-polar paranoid numbskull like Alex Jones.

Because of the popularity of Disinformation, which launched in 1996 when the Internet was still a new thing to most people, I was often asked to comment on conspiracy theories on television shows and newscasts from all over the world. Out of “nowhere” these “theories” appeared to be gaining a level of acceptability in the culture, and this seemed to alarm traditional journalists and so they would have someone like me—or Jonathan Vankin, author of Conspiracies, Cover-Ups and Crimes, still the definitive book on conspiracy theorists) explain it for their listeners, viewers or readers. Both Jonathan and myself were bemused onlookers, not true believers in any way, so we tended to be the “go to” guys for that stuff back then.

I was always asked these two questions, or some variation thereof: “Have you ever investigated a conspiracy theory that you were skeptical of, only to find that you ultimately came to believe it?” (“No,” is the very short answer) and they also always wanted to know how the general public would be able to tell shit from shinola in this brave new Internet era…

This was the trickier question to answer, but to a large extent, I’d give the same answer today as I did fifteen years ago: “If it sounds like something they already believe, and it’s presented with a certain level of slickness, be it a professional TV graphics package, or good web design, then a certain segment of the population probably will believe it—fervently—and there’s not a lot that can done about it.”

I’ve had TV hosts gasp when I said that, but I wasn’t trying to imply—certainly not—that Lyndon LaRouche’s website would be on equal footing with The New York Times, but I was on the record several times back then predicting that “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” as defined by Richard Hofstadter in his famous 1964 essay of the same title, would become very popular in the coming decade as a form of entertainment.

It’s not about the John Birch Society-type ideas, or those of Glenn Beck’s idol, W. Cleon Skousen, per sethey’ve been languishing in the background for 50-60 years—but the slicker presentation of these kinds of ideas in a wide-open, low barrier to entry mediaverse that is seeing them flourish and gain traction in a way that never could have been imagined when Hofstadter wrote his essay. Today what used to be the fringe is the mainstream.

Consider the right wing “bubble” that the Mitt Romney campaign and the GOP were accused of living in during the 2012 election. If looked like Free Republic, it’s doubtful that it would carry the same weight in the minds of conservatives as the freaking New York Times, if you take the point, but to many on the right, it DOES have the same value, a fact that came out repeatedly in the election post-mortems. Breitbart? WTF?

Then there’s Fox News. Imagine how threadbare that network would appear without the slick motion graphics and the blonde newscasters? It would frankly look just like the Alex Jones podcast without the Fox-y ladies and professional art directors. Ever noticed how few live reports Fox does? Local newscasts get out of the studio more often than Fox does and many times, they’re using the same feeds as CNN, perhaps even licensing these feeds from their competitor. It looks like a news network and has all of the trappings and outer appearance of one, but is it really news that Fox offers its elderly viewers in between all of the Gold Bond powder and MedicAlert commercials?

In any case, my perception of the Conspiratards sub-reddit forum is that it represents (by its explicitly mocking name and irreverent attitude) a really, really interesting new development in conspiracy theory culture. Not merely a “get your head out of your ass, dude” place to vent, it’s actually a place where even the folks who troll it will inevitably get a dose of counter reality that will bounce off the back of their heads like a basketball of logic.

I can understand why people are Glenn Beck fans or Alex Jones diehards, but it doesn’t mean I have any respect for how their tiny minds process and evaluate information sources. Conspiratards on reddit looks to promote a modern—and necessary—form of media literacy, no more, no less. The educational system might be failing us, but take heart that we can still teach each other something.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Alan McGee unveils his new label: 359 Music

Legendary music impresario and Creation Records founder, Alan McGee has announced details of his new record label 359 Music, which will be a joint venture with respected indie Cherry Red

In a statement issued with co-founder of Cherry Red Iain McNay, McGee said he hoped 359 Music will provide “an outlet for new music artists that have been shut out by the system.”

McGee has also pledged to listen to all submissions personally.

The joint statement reads in full.

Alan McGee:  ‘Recently I found myself reinvigorated by new music again after being 5 years away from music living in rural Wales, and from which there has been much talk about how I will return to music. As recently talked about in the press, my original plan was to do a deal with major label backing in Japan. But when it came down to it I realised that I didn’t want to come back to music through a major music label - that’s not what I want to be part of. That’s when I had a chat with Iain McNay from Cherry Red and we quite quickly put our heads together and developed between us a much better deal for 359 Music which will be a joint venture with Cherry Red.

The first ever person to ever approach me about music when I was 19 was Iain McNay from Cherry Red. That was 1980 and 33 years later Cherry Red still continues to send me publishing cheques for songs I wrote then. To me that just proves nothing but honesty and diligence. To me it makes sense and it excites me - it’s where it all started and where I will have my, more than likely, last record label. 

My vision for 359 Music is a launch pad for new talent and some ignored older talent. We intend to release on average a dozen new bands per year every year - maybe more if I find a lot of new talent I like. Hopefully some of the artists will stick around and make numerous albums with 359 but some will go on to other things and that is just nature of the musical beast.

Due to technology the world is much smaller these days and 359 Music will be run from rural Wales by phone and computer and the day to day engine room will be run by the Cherry Red team in London. So basically the day to day logistics of 359 Music will be handled by Cherry Red Records and the A&R signing policy and creative decisions will be my domain.

There is no agenda of ‘let’s be the biggest like Creation Records’ - if in 5 years’ time people who I respect and who love music can turn round to me and say 359 Music has put out some great music then that to me will be success. There really needs to be an outlet for new music artists that have been shut out by the system and I hope 359 Music will be that outlet.

If you are an artist and want to be considered for 359 Music send an mp3 to INFOAT359MUSIC@AOL.COM and I will personally listen.

“So there you have it - 359 Music. I am extremely happy to be working again with my friend Iain McNay and to be again involved in the Cherry Red family after 33 years’”

Iain McNay:  ‘Alan and I go back a long time, over 30 years in fact.  Cherry Red celebrate their 35th birthday next month and we just continue to grow and grow. We released 623 albums (all on CD) last year, mostly catalogue but with an increasing number of new recordings.  I only know of two other labels that have survived the late ‘70s Independent breakthrough intact in the UK; that’s Ace and Beggars. I like to think of the three of us as the ‘A,B and C’ of British Independent labels.

I have always admired Alan’s passion and belief in the music he loves. His maverick side will sit well with Cherry Red’s committed Independent stance. I have no doubt we will have a great adventure together. One thing is for certain, working with Alan McGee is never going to be boring…..’


Iain McNay talks about Cherry Red Records


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Ray Harryhausen: The film-maker who made the impossible possible has died

The legendary visual effects master Ray Harryhausen died today at his London home, he was 92.

A statement was issued on behalf of The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation:

The Harryhausen family regret to announce the death of Ray Harryhausen, Visual Effects pioneer and stop-motion model animator. He was a multi-award winner which includes a special Oscar and BAFTA. Ray’s influence on today’s film makers was enormous, with luminaries; Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK’s own Nick Park have cited Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations.


Harryhausen’s genius was in being able to bring his models alive. Whether they were prehistoric dinosaurs or mythological creatures, in Ray’s hands they were no longer puppets but became instead characters in their own right, just as important as the actors they played against and in most cases even more so.

If it wasn’t a monster movie, then it wasn’t worth watching. That was my narrow view of films when I was a child. There was the usual list of werewolves, and vampires, and stitched-together cadavers from Frankenstein’s lab, but there was nothing quite as thrilling as seeing Ray Harryhausen’s name on a film.

Harryhausen’s name on a movie meant unforgettable special effects that made any average film extraordinary. Before VHS or DVD recorders, we memorized those key scenes to replay in our heads, and discuss at our leisure. The ghoulish, resurrected skeletons that fought Jason and the Argonauts; the Rhedosaurus that tore up New York in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms; the Terradactyl that terrorized Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C.; the sinewed goddess Khali that fought Sinbad; these were memories that made many a childhood special - mine included.

It was seeing the original version of King Kong that started Harryhausen off on his career. His ability to duplicate some of Willis O’Brien’s groundbreaking effects led the young Harryhausen to meet and then work with his idol on Mighty Joe Young, in 1949. Their collaboration won an Oscar, and set Harryhausen off on his career.

Today, tributes poured in from across the film industry praising Ray Harryhausen‘s genius:

“Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much.” “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no STAR WARS”  —George Lucas.

“THE LORD OF THE RINGS is my ‘Ray Harryhausen movie’. Without his life-long love of his wondrous images and storytelling it would never have been made – not by me at least”   — Peter Jackson

“In my mind he will always be the king of stop-motion animation”  —-  Nick Park

“His legacy of course is in good hands because it’s carried in the DNA of so many film fans.”  — Randy Cook

“You know I’m always saying to the guys that I work with now on computer graphics “do it like Ray Harryhausen”  — Phil Tippett.

“What we do now digitally with computers, Ray did digitally long before but without computers. Only with his digits.”  —Terry Gilliam.

“His patience, his endurance have inspired so many of us.” — Peter Jackson

“Ray, your inspiration goes with us forever.” — Steven Spielberg

“I think all of us who are practioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now all feel that we’re standing on the shoulders of a giant.
If not for Ray’s contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn’t be who we are.” — James Cameron

A sad loss, and a sad day, but what movies he has left us!

Ray Frederick Harryhausen


With thanks to NellyM

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
New Cat Species: Found on Google Street View?
06:19 am


Google Street View

Cute and strange at the same time. A cat “cut-in-half” / shortened by Google Street View’s camera.
Previously on Dangerous MInds

Hand-job on Temperance Street (NSFW)

Via Google Street View

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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