Veterans For Peace, a UK organization of war veterans, has recently set up a website in opposition to child recruitment of soldiers. Their mission is to raise the minimum UK recruitment age from sixteen to eighteen. The site makes its point with a set of (VERY) darkly humorous parody action figures: “PTSD Action Man,” “Paralyzed Action Man,” and “Dead Action Man.”
The site also features a set of (brilliant) fake commercials detailing the realities of war casualty.
Photo posted to Facebook of the scene outside the South Carolina statehouse during a brawl over the Confederate flag.
At approximately 7:15 PM on June 29th, a brawl broke out in front of the South Carolina statehouse between supporters of the Confederate flag and protesters seeking to have it removed from the statehouse grounds.
According to the Bureau of Protective Services, about 30 anti-flag protesters were on statehouse grounds when a group of fifteen vehicles carrying pro-flag supporters pulled up and stopped in the middle of Gervais Street, in front of the statehouse. Between eight and ten occupants exited their vehicles and began to engage in an altercation with the crowd.
One eyewitness claimed tensions escalated when a convoy of Confederate flag supporters began shouting “racist remarks” from their vehicles at anti-flag protesters.
According to another eyewitness, a Confederate flag was ripped from a passing car of hecklers. The car following behind stopped, and a passenger emerged, confronting the crowd, inciting the brawl.
Another eyewitness stated, “several people were fighting and it spilled into Gervais St, and some people started pulling over and getting out of their cars to join in. Police began separating the two groups and pushing them back onto the statehouse grounds, and then a small group charged the other group, a quick secondary scuffle broke out, and then the small group took off running with several dudes chasing them behind the capitol.”
One man was arrested at the scene and charged with disorderly conduct.
An amusing side-effect of the ‘90s post-Nirvana OMFG SIGN EVERY BAND WITH WEIRD CLOTHES RIGHT NOW moment was the attention given to quality strivers who would likely have escaped the mainstream radar altogether had the corporate music sector not taken to throwing entire scenes at the wall to see what would stick. And while yes, we had to suffer the temporary ubiquity of 4 Non Blondes and Crash Test Dummies, moments like this almost made up for it: sometime in the mid-‘90s, MTV took Melvins singer/guitarist King Buzzo mansion shopping in Beverly Hills.
I’m having trouble pinning down the actual date of this, but judging from Buzzo’s hair, my best guess would be between 1994-1996ish, give or take. (And I love the idea of Buzzo’s hair functioning as rock ‘n’ roll carbon-dating. Surely someday it’ll serve as an oracle.) This was squarely within the short period during which Melvins were on Atlantic records, but though they’d influenced very very successful bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden, the Melvins themselves weren’t really filling stadia in accordance with their accolades. Which, along with Buzzo’s natural charm and warped sense of humor (that ridiculous fake evil laugh gets me every time), is exactly what makes this video hilarious—America’s love affair with quality notwithstanding, he’s not a guy who’s ever going to be buying a Beverly Hills mansion.
Hanging with Kim Thayil? Cool, no doubt, but no mansion. Maybe a nice bungalow?
Hanging out with Kurt Cobain? STILL no mansion. Sorry, Mr. Influential.
And he hammers that point home at the end, attempting to pay for the place with indie-cred, in the form of magazine articles full of accolades for how influential he was. But of course, all that influence didn’t really make Melvins any real cash. The real estate agent, who took this shameless waste of her time in admirable stride, then proceeds to state the incontrovertible fact artists of all stripes have been trying to tell cheapshit clients for ages: praise and exposure for your work don’t support you if you don’t get MONEY for it. And really, in that era of overwrought and myopic Fugazi-purity, that it took a goofy prank on a real estate agent to point out something so screamingly obvious is actually kind of unsurprising.
By the way, Melvins are on tour, and Butthole Surfer Jeff Pinkus is serving as their bassist (he and BHS guitarist Paul Leary played on the last Melvins album Hold It In). If there’s a show coming your way, do try to make it out to see them. After over 30 years, they still bring it HARD.
Thanks, Rob Galo, for letting me know this exists.
Bootsy Collins is very much responsible for the insane cartoon pilot you see below. Named after his 1977 album, “The Name is Bootsy, Baby” is actually pretty fantastic; our titular hero uses his superhuman funk powers to surf through space (on his magical star bass, of course), fight crime, save hot ladies, and… battle vikings and dragons? He still makes time for the music and his legion of fans, but when some wannabe suit tries to jack his spotlight, Bootsy is forced yet again to battle the forces of anti-funk. Okay, so the premise is a little thin, but I remember 1996, and there were way more abominable attempts to sell merchandise and breakfast cereal than this one.
The cartoon wasn’t some two-bit operation either! Executive Producer Abby Terkuhle was responsible for some of MTV’s best animation—Aeon Flux, Daria, and Beavis and Butt-Head, just to name a few. Mike Judge, who gave us the voices of Beavis, Butt-Head, Hank Hill and more, lent his ridiculous vocal cords to the project. Bootsy voiced himself of course, and composed the music, but he also received a writer, director and producer credit. Obviously, “The Name is Bootsy Baby” never really got off the ground, but it’s rumored the cartoon was played before shows, making animated Bootsy his own opening act. That is some seriously meta-funkiness!