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Stevie Nicks’ selfies from the 1970s
09.30.2014
09:05 am

Topics:
Art
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Stevie Nicks
Fleetwood Mac


 
Never-before-seen—until now, naturally—Stevie Nicks self-portraits from the mid-1970s. There are a lot wickedly cool Nicks selfies in this collection—all of which were shot with a Polaroid camera.

(Eat your heart out Kardashian clan! Your selfies got nothin’ on Stevie!)

Some people don’t sleep at night - I am one of those people. These pictures were taken long after everyone had gone to bed - I would begin after midnight and go until 4 or 5 in the morning. I stopped at sunrise - like a vampire… I never really thought anyone would ever see these pictures, they went into shoeboxes, where they remained. I did everything - I was the stylist, the makeup artist, the furniture mover, the lighting director. It was my joy - I was the model…

Leaving aside the matter of what was keeping Ms. Nicks awake in the 70s, the Morrison Hotel Gallery is doing an exhibition of her photos in Los Angeles and New York City. You can buy prints online if any image strikes your fancy.
 

 

 

 
A few more images after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Cranky Lou Reed interview from 1975 is full of hilariously nasty gems
09.30.2014
08:41 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Lou Reed


 
Oh, my…. Hell hath no fury like Lou Reed in close proximity to a journalist who has gotten on his bad side. I’d imagine a good chunk of the DM audience has already seen the hilarious clip of Lou Reed being royally unhelpful to some Australian journalists in 1974…. my first exposure to that footage was before a Morrissey show I saw in Dublin in 2009, it was part of the pre-gig entertainment.

This desultory interview from 1975 isn’t as well known, but it deserves to be considered in the same league as that Australian clip. It’s odd footage because it’s almost uncut raw footage, we get to see a dude with a boom mic several times—a couple times at the start or end of a take, the camera might zoom off crazily to one side, etc.
 

 
The best bits come right around the middle, when Lou and his interviewer engage in a series of one-liners that are somehow vaguely reminiscent of an ill-tempered Abbott and Costello routine:
 

LR: Don’t believe what you read.
I: No, I don’t.
LR: Don’t believe what you see.
I: Is it true that you wrote Sally Can’t Dance in the studio?
LR: If I say so, I guess….
I: But did you?
LR: I wasn’t there!
I: You were there.
LR: No I wasn’t. Dougie [Yule] did it.
I: Are you happier as a brunet?
LR: Ahh…. are you happier as a schmuck?
I: I’m no schmuck.
LR: I’m no brunet.
I: You were blond last time.
LR: No I wasn’t.
I: You were.
LR: I was a bleach blond.
I: A bleached blond.
LR: Trashy blond.
I: You looked younger as a blond.
LR: Well, you look older.
I: I’m not a blond, though.
LR: I know, it’s worse.

 
At one point, in response to an admittedly inane query about Berlin, Lou says, “It was a long time ago. I’m obsessed with Metal Machine Music.” So the interview was perhaps in support of what is widely considered one of the more prominent eff-yous in recording history, a fact that informs Lou’s contrary attitude, perhaps? (Or else it was for Lou Reed Live, which also came out in 1975.)
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
U.S. money redesigned with contemporary icons
09.30.2014
07:36 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Heroes

Tags:
money


 
Ah, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Iggy Pop were on the five-dollar bill? Or if Warhol were on the ten? I used to live in Austria, and back in the pre-Euro days, when they still had the Schilling, their banknotes had Erwin Schrödinger and Sigmund Freud on them—not bad. Belgium used to have Magritte on its 500-franc note. France put Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on one of their bills. James Joyce at one time was on Ireland’s ten-pound note.

How long before Iceland puts Björk on a bill? 

It’s difficult to look at these defaced U.S. banknotes, part of James Charles’ “American Iconomics” series, and not think of J. S. G. Boggs but Charles’ satires are less totalistic in their intent—closer to Mad Magazine, say.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
via Ufunk

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Ghost of black-eyed girl seen for first time in 30 years
09.30.2014
06:45 am

Topics:
Amusing
Occult

Tags:
Ghosts
paranormal

ablkeyeghst.jpg
Black-eyed girl selfie

The reappearance last year of a ghoulish apparition at Cannock Chase in England has led to considerable media frenzy in the UK and an allegedly “in-depth investigation” by paranormal investigator Lee Brickley.

Last summer, Lee wrote of his receiving an email regarding a sighting of the ghost of a black-eyed child. According to Lee, this ghoulish spectre was first seen in Staffordshire in the 1980s. The sighting created worldwide interest in “the black-eyed girl,” which eventually led to the ghost becoming an Internet sensation.

In 2013, the ghost has been seen by a mother and daughter while walking through woods at Cannock Chase. The account given to Lee Brickley was very similar to previous reports of the “Black Eyed Child—who has coal-black pits for eye sockets.”

The woman (given the pseudonym Mrs. Kelly) was out walking in the woods with her daughter, when they heard horrific screams which seemed to come from a terrified child somewhere in the woods.

“We instantly started running towards the noise,” she said. “We couldn’t find the child anywhere and so stopped to catch our breath. That’s when I turned round and saw a girl stood behind me, no more than 10 years old, with her hands over her eyes.It was as if she was waiting for a birthday cake. I asked if she was OK and if she had been the one screaming. She put her arms down by her side and opened her eyes. That’s when I saw they were completely black, no iris, no white, nothing. I jumped back and grabbed my daughter. When I looked again, the child was gone. It was so strange.”

On his website, paranormal investigator Lee said the woman’s experience mirrors the earlier sighting:

“In the summer of 1982, my aunt was 18 years old, and she and her friends would often meet on Cannock Chase in the evening time, probably in much the same way many teenagers still do today. One evening, just before dark, she heard a little girl frantically shouting for help. Rushing to locate the sound, she stumbled upon a dirt track and caught sight of the girl, about six years old running in the opposite direction. When my aunt caught up, the girl turned around and looked her in the eyes, and then ran off into the dark woodland. Her eyes had been completely black with no trace of white. There was a police search but to no avail. At the time, no-one had any reason to believe anything paranormal was going on. The girl certainly appeared to be of flesh and blood.”

Brickley goes on to speculate about these “black eyed kids” writing:

... if you look around on the Internet and read a few books you’ll find many different theories as to their origins. Some people believe them to be extraterrestrials, vampires, ghosts and even inter-dimensional entities, but there is one immense difference between the sightings of black-eyed children around the world and the stories coming out of Cannock Chase: only on Cannock Chase do the sightings consistently happen during the daytime.

In the U.S many reports suggest that black-eyed children often appear in groups, regularly knocking at the door’s of unknowing victims and asking quietly if they may “come inside.” Some other stories tell the tale of these devilish children appearing in the back-seats of cars when a driver is travelling alone at midnight, or walking around on empty early morning streets asking anyone around for help, but I wonder what would happen if you offered them your assistance? What would happen if you let them inside your house? Not many people know, but there are a few reports knocking around, like this one, originally posted in pararational:

“......so I let them in, the one who needed the toilet just walked in and straight up the stairs so I shouted up its on the right, I don’t know why I didn’t find this strange but most toilets are upstairs and as he was young I didn’t think anything of it. I told the other one that the phone was down the hall, “thanks” he said and he started to walk down the hall, I followed him and then I suddenly came over with a really awful feeling like something bad was going to happen, I became very nervous and a bit shaky I still cant explain how that happened, the boy stopped at the phone and paused, “everything OK?” I asked, he turned to me and looked up and that’s when I saw his eyes, and trust me I will never get that picture out of my head, I was so scared that I couldn’t even scream as I turned to run down the hall the other kid was standing at the end.”

“I became very dizzy and struggled to stand up, he walked closer to me and said that they had been sent to collect me, I still couldn’t bear to look into his face, I pushed away from him and ran into my front room and slammed the door shut, I was in so much shock about what was happening I couldn’t think straight, this is something that you don’t even expect to happen even in movies. After standing against the door for around and hour or so I finally got the courage to make a run for the back door, so I ran to it and unlocked it, I ran to the back of my garden and jumped over the fence not once looking back…..”

Very frightening indeed…..

Of all the paranormal phenomena experienced on Cannock Chase, black-eyed children have to be the most eerie by far. The only advice I could offer anyone who comes across these unhallowed, unrelenting and unsympathetic strays is: start running while you still can!

Last year’s sighting of the Black-Eyed Child has now made the front covers of several UK newspapers (must be a quiet week…) as well as local papers—none of which mention that the sighting actually/supposedly took place in 2013.
 
Via the Daily Mirror

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Erotic performance from Tanny LeClercq, groundbreaking ballerina later stricken with paralytic polio


Francisco Moncion and Tanaquil Le Clercq from Jerome Robbins’ ballet ‘Afternoon of a Faun’
 
Too often Tanaquil Le Clercq’s contributions to the world of ballet are unfairly attributed to her husband and choreographer George Balanchine, the so-called “father of American ballet.” Balanchine infamously exercised a kind of droit du seigneur with the dancers under his direction, marrying them, divorcing them, cheating on them with their coworkers and even firing them when they rejected his advances. Tanaquil Le Clercq, or “Tanny,” as she was known affectionately, was no different. After admittance to Balanchine’s school of American Ballet at the age of 12, Tanny quickly became one of Blanchine’s favorite dancers,

At the age of 15 Tanny danced alongside Balanchine for a polio benefit show he choreographed—Balanchine played polio itself while Tanny played his victim, ultimately overcoming her illness at the end after children threw dimes at the stage. At 19, when Blanchine’s relationship with his former muse (and first American prima) Maria Tallchief had cooled, he took up with Tanny. When she was 21, they were married, with nearly 25 years between them. During the next few years, Tanny came to represent the ultimate “Balanchine ballerina,” her thin frame and long limbs belying a lean muscularity and a deft nimbleness (you can see some of her explosive footwork here, from the ballet Western Symphony with Jacques d’Amboise). Balanchine had always favored leaner bodies—prior to his influence ballerinas were often built more like gymnasts, more visibly muscular and compact. It was Tanny however, with her ultra-long legs and impossibly narrow sternum that represented the extreme of his vision.

Tragically, at the age of 27, Tanaquil collapsed onstage and was rushed to the hospital. She was diagnosed with polio; she had avoided vaccination, which she worried would leave her sore and unable to dance for a short time. Wracked by superstitious guilt, Balanchine spent years trying to train her body to dance again, but Tanny herself accepted the inevitable earlier than anyone. Eventually they split, and Balanchine went after his new muse, Suzanne Farrell. (She spurned him. He fired her.) Tanny eventually regained the use of her upper body and returned to teach ballet, using her long arms to demonstrate what should be done with legs. (There’s an amazing documentary of her life story you can stream from PBS.)

The performance below, “Afternoon of a Faun,” is not choreographed by George Balanchine, but by his colleague Jerome Robbins, who also vied for Tanny’s affections before her marriage to Balanchine—after her paralysis he wrote her love letters and photographed her extensively. Jerome Robbins never got the high society credit Balanchine did after leaving ballet to choreograph movies like West Side Story, but he’s clearly a genius of the genre. The performance is devastatingly erotic, with pelvic movements not considered “pretty” in classical ballet, and the use of Debussy, an impressionist, rather than a romantic of classical composer lends a dreamy ambiance to the entire affair. It’s filmed beautifully, and as Le Clercg and partner Jacques d’Amboise break the fourth wall to turn from the sparse stage setting to look at the camera, the audience is made to feel almost voyeuristic.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
How many moles does Lemmy have? Play the Motörhead trivia board game and find out
09.29.2014
01:16 pm

Topics:
Games
Music

Tags:
Motörhead


 
How well do you know Motörhead? Even though I’m pretty much uh stalker-level with my knowledge of the band, even I didn’t know this game existed until recently. So how about you? DO YOU know how many women Lemmy has slept with? (Naturally, that’s a trick question as the number just keeps going up.) I suggest you put money where your Motörmöuth is by taking on the 1600 questions that are a part of the Motörhead trivia board game made by Swedish game makers, Rock Science.

Each question has a different level of difficulty: “Poser” (what’s an umlaut?), “Fan” (knows the titles of all 21 Motörhead records) and “Scientist” (knows more about Lemmy’s current medical condition than their own). There’s even a “Rock the Song” category that requires players to hum a Motörhead song until someone guesses the title.

Methinks this dangerous game may take quite a lot of booze and time to get through, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday night. Or any night for that matter. It’s $79 bucks over at Motörhead’s merch store. Jack Daniels and amphetamine sulphate not included.
 

 
Motorhead trivia board game box

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
John Lydon on Kylie Minogue’s breasts, Megadeth and Bruce Springsteen
09.29.2014
12:03 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Punk
Television

Tags:
John Lydon

John Lydon Dreadlocks
 
John Lydon’s 1988 appearance on the low-budget video review show Video View is classic Johnny Rotten. Photographer Dennis Morris (who shot the Sex Pistols early on and designed the distinctive PiL logo), joins Lydon on the show to rate new videos from artists like John Illsley of Dire Straits and long-running Brit chart-toppers Status Quo. From the get-go Lydon is in top form, chiming in with trenchant and biting observations on the (then) current state of the music industry of the late 80’s and his opinion of Kylie Minogue’s breasts.

Lydon doesn’t hold back even when it comes to his former bandmate Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. However, it’s whatever is going on with Lydon’s hair, which appears to be the styling of an unskilled Rastafarian armed with a can of pink spray paint, that is the true unsung hero of this video. My point is this, if you want to hear a young John Lydon spitting out opinions on Bruce Springsteen or why he blames Herbie Hancock for giving him “epileptic fits,” then just hit play.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Its rubbish’: John Lydon brutally critiques the pop charts on ‘Jukebox Jury,’ in 1979

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The resistible rise of Stephen Fry and his plans for world domination
09.29.2014
10:23 am

Topics:
Books

Tags:
Stephen Fry

coversfrybookfool1.jpg
 
It would seem that fame, fortune and the adoration and seven-and-a-half million twitter followers is not enough for Stephen Fry. No. The well-loved, respected and overly indulged national treasure, etcetera, etcetera, wants his life (or at least the third volume of his autobiography More Fool Me) to become “a global story.”

Last week Penguin and the unstoppable ego that is Stephen Fry, launched YourFry a “global digital storytelling project” tied-in to the latest volume of the luvvie’s autobiography More Fool Me. The project will make available text, audio and photographic samples for developers and digital artists to create “whatever they like from apps and data visualisations through to animation and 3D models.”

According to Nathan Hull, digital product development director at Penguin Books, YourFry is:

....an interactive and collaborative project to reinterpret the words and life story of Stephen’s memoir, turning Stephen’s personal story into a global one.

We want to experiment, collaborate, open a conversation, learn and share—and we’re excited to see the creativity and energy of storytellers all over the world.

This is an interesting idea, but one that would (surely) be best served by some great work of fiction (fairy stories, Harry Potter, War and Peace) rather than Stephen Fry’s superfluous third volume of memoirs (how many volumes of autobiography does the privileged 57-year-old need?). The whole thing looks more like some desperate PR ploy to boost interest in this dud of a book.

More Fool Me is piss poor and reads like bits left out of the second volume The Fry Chronicles, where it would happily sit in an edited form under the chapter heading “C is for Cocaine.”

I spent the weekend reading Fry’s latest wankathon, and want to save you the bother of buying it, reading it or being scarred for life by its mediocrity. Save your money. Spend it on drugs, beer, a night out, or a suitably charming present for someone you love. For those still not heeding my words, here is a breakdown (almost) without spoilers.

Fry begins More Fool Me by recounting a recurring dream where he is arrested, tried and sent to prison. Whether it’s true or not, we only have Fry’s word. But its affect is to make the reader sympathetic to the author’s plight before he even begins his tale. Poor Stephen we think, as we then spend the next 50 pages reading a rehash of volumes one and two: Moab is My Washpot (which covered Fry’s life up to the age of twenty) and The Fry Chronicles (his life up to the age of 30).

The following 150 pages are mainly about his hedonistic years on cocaine (hardly revealing), hanging around the Groucho Club (who knew the place was so dull?) and meeting fellow celebrities (no, there is no juicy gossip as Fry loves everyone and anyway he claims he saving all the juicy stuff until after he’s dead). To be frank, there is nothing here of any merit, real interest or literary/cultural importance. The most talked about piece is Fry’s list of the places where he has snorted cocaine: Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the BBC, a long list of gentlemen’s clubs, and a selection of newspapers and periodicals, etcetera, etcetera. I seriously doubt that Fry was the first to hoover up Colombian marching powder in any of these various venues, and he is unlikely to be the last.

The final section of the book is a sub-Adrian Mole diary from 1993, which would not look out of place in the comedy pages of National Lampoon or Private Eye.

Fry was known as “Sly Fry” at school, which is about right, for he is smart (cunning?) enough to ensure his readers are sympathetic, by cleverly disarming any criticism throughout the book with his unhappiness, his self-doubt, self-loathing and the fact that he is encumbered with the omniscient curse of knowing exactly how his readers think:

..I do hear what I consider to be the voice of the reader, your voice. Yes, yours. Hundreds of thousands of you, wincing, pursing your lips, laughing here, hissing there, nodding, tutting, comparing your life to mine with as much objective honesty as you can. The chances are that you have not been lucky with the material things in life as I have, but the chances are (and you may find this hard to believe, but I beg that you would) that you are happier, more adjusted and simply a better person.

(Oh, do fuck off Stephen.)

This is Fry being “sleekit” here, a great Scottish word meaning “sly, secretive, up to no good,” telling his readers that his life may have been charmed, blessed, beautifully plumped like goose-feather cushions on the Chesterfield of life, but in actual fact, he is to be pitied for he is not happy, and all this success, this excess has not made our little Stephen happy.

Well, tough. Deal with it. You have never suffered the privations, the illness, the violence, the utter despair most people face every day of their lives. You are damnably privileged, and should try and think about how you can help others rather than seek approval from their applause.

Maybe it’s time for some kind of intervention? What if all the causes of Mr. Fry’s addiction to fame and public adulation are confiscated, and he is made sit in the corner where he can have a good long hard think about other people for a change.

And if you are still not convinced, well, more fool you, though I’m sure you’ll be interested in the global mass worshiping of Saint Stephen on 1st October… details below.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Eyes of Hitchcock’: Glorious video montage from the films of ‘The Master of Suspense’
09.29.2014
10:16 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Alfred Hitchcock


 
Here’s a wonderful video montage from Criterion Collection of powerful scenes in Alfred Hitchcock films that solely focuses on the human eye.

You can see just how well each actor emotes fear or batshit insanity without any dialogue. Their eyes alone speak volumes.

Anthony Perkins? His crazy eyes win by a longshot.

 
via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Donald Trump and the serial killers
09.29.2014
09:50 am

Topics:
Amusing
Crime
Current Events

Tags:
Donald Trump


 
Donald Trump does it again…

This morning Gawker reports that “gaping mouth with hairpiece” Donald Trump was pranked on Twitter by a “loser” (in Trump-sprach) who asked the “thick-fingered vulgarian” to retweet a memorial to his dead parents:

“My parents who passed away always said you were big inspiration. Can you pls RT for their memory?” asked Phil Bradbury, who goes by Feckhead on Twitter. Trump fell for the flattery and granted Feckhead’s request, but the photo he retweeted actually showed Fred and Rosemary West, convicted of torturing, raping and killing 10 girls during the mid-‘70s.

Fred hanged himself before he could be sentenced, and Rosemary is currently incarcerated for life.

Here’s, the greatest sentence ever written about Trump:

Trump, whose fuckup was retweeted thousands of times before he deleted it, continues to serve out his own sentence of life as Donald Trump.

Standing ovation.

Trump, having been trumped BUT GOOD is naturally threatening to sue!

Here are some responses from some of the people Donald Trump thinks are “losers”:

 

 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Title Shots: Luke Rockhold
09.29.2014
09:00 am

Topics:
Advertorial

Tags:
Luke Rockford

Luke Rockhold
 
In this episode of “Moving Portraits: Title Shots,” we travel to Santa Cruz to learn how a lifetime of surfing and skating has shaped middleweight Luke Rockhold’s fighting style.

If you’ve ever spent any time in a California coastal town, you’ve probably noticed dozens of people heading for the beach to surf every morning at sunrise. It’s like they have to be there. Ever known a surfer who you wouldn’t describe as an adrenaline junkie? The thrill that comes from riding the breaks seems mighty addictive.

Surfing is the ultimate man against nature sport. The ultimate man against man sport—at least that which doesn’t involve actual weaponry—is mixed martial arts and Luke Rockhold, has mastered both. He’s also a skater and believes that it is his agility on the waves and on his deck informs his fighting style and stance.

Rockhold grew up surfing in Santa Cruz with his father and older brother pro surfer Matt “Rocky” Rockhold (long the face of Rip Curl). The waves there spawn the world’s best surfers, but as he mentions in the video below, Santa Cruz may appear to be a sleepy idyllic place, but it’s a fairly hard town, especially the beaches which can get very territorial between groups of surfers.

Luke Rockhold seems to have channeled his need for that adrenaline rush with his professional aspirations. As he admits in the portrait below, he was a wild and crazy, aggressive violent kid. Today the former Strikeforce Champion is #5 in the official Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight rankings.

On November 8th, Rockhold will be battling it out with British MMA fighter Michael Bisping at UFC’s UFC Fight Night 55 at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. If their hilariously shit-talking press conference is any indication, it ought to be a doozy!
 

 
Sponsored by Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

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John Cleese: FOX News viewers are too stupid to realize that they are stupid


Be afraid, be very afraid…

For some years now, I have been fascinated with the Dunning-Kruger effect. I believe it was some Internet writings by Errol Morris that first turned me on to the idea around 2007. It’s incredibly useful, I feel like I find a use for it almost every day. If nothing else, it’s a spur to humility, because we’re all susceptible to it. Some, ahem, far more than others.

In a 1999 article called “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments,” David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University came to the conclusion that the qualified are often more skeptical about their own abilities in a given realm than the unqualfied are. People who are unqualified or unintelligent are more likely to rate their own abilities favorably than people who are qualified or intelligent. In the paper, the authors wrote, “Across four studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd.”

However, people with actual ability tended to underrate their relative competence. Participants who found tasks to be fairly easy mistakenly assumed that the tasks must also be easy for others as well. As Dunning and Kruger conclude: “The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.”
 

 
Charles Darwin put it most pithily in The Descent of Man when he wrote, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” As W.B. Yeats put it in The Second Coming: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.” Apparently there is a scientific grounding for that line.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is unusually suitable in describing the many frustrating positions and rhetoric of the Republican Party. My favorite (if depressing) example of the Dunning-Kruger effect comes from the mouth of George W. Bush in the days before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. As Bob Woodward wrote in Plan of Attack:
 

The president said he had made up his mind on war. The U.S. should go to war.

“You’re sure?” Powell asked.

Yes. It was the assured Bush. His tight, forward-leaning, muscular body language verified his words. It was the Bush of the days following 9/11.

“You understand the consequences,” Powell said in a half-question. …

Yeah, I do, the president answered.

 
Yeah, I do, the president answered. What on earth could that utterance by Bush possibly mean? Could it not be clearer that what was in Bush’s head at that moment and what was in Powell’s head at that moment had very little to do with each other? In effect Powell was taking Bush’s word that Bush had seriously considered the consequences of invasion, when to be frank, all available evidence, both at the time and later on, suggests that Bush was foolhardy about what the actual consequences of invasion might be.
 

 
Earlier this year, the research of Dunning and Kruger was referenced by a relatively unlikely source: John Cleese, the brilliant comedian who famously portrayed one of the single most obtuse and supercilious characters in TV history, Basil Fawlty. Cleese believes FOX’s viewership is too unintelligent to put the proper brakes on their own thought processes: “The problem with people like this is that they are so stupid that they have no idea how stupid they are. You see, if you’re very, very stupid, how can you possibly realize that you’re very, very stupid, you’d have to be relatively intelligent to realize how stupid you are.”

Apparently Cleese and Dunning are pals—he says so in the video, anyway. Here, have a look:
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Surrealists’ tarot deck
09.29.2014
08:22 am

Topics:
Art
Design
Games
Occult

Tags:
Andre Breton
surrealism
tarot


 
In 1940 and 1941 André Breton, widely considered the founder of Surrealism, and a group of like-minded individuals (René Char, Oscar Dominguez, Victor Brauner, Max Ernst, Jacques Hérold, Wilfredo Lam, André Masson, Benjamin Péret) decided to design their own deck of tarot cards. The deck they finally came up with was executed in a remarkably pleasing, almost ligne claire style. In accordance with the mindfuckery inherent to Surrealism, the group rejected the courtly/medieval theme of the traditional deck and nominated their own heroes to represent the face cards, including Hegel, Freud, the Marquis de Sade, Baudelaire, and so on.

(A quick clarification: It seems evident that this is a deck of playing cards or possibly a hybrid of tarot and playing cards. Sources seem unequivocal in describing the deck as a tarot deck, and so that’s what we’re going with too.)

The Surrealist deck of cards suggests a kind of post-Enlightenment, left-wing, revolutionary, intellect-based cosmology. So the royal hierarchy of King, Queen, and Jack was replaced with “Genius,” “Siren,” and “Magus,” this last word accentuating the occult roots of the project. Rejecting the traditional clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds as well as the traditional tarot suits (wands, cups, swords, and discs), the group invented its own symbolism, with flames and wheels constituting the red suits and locks and stars being the black ones. Flames represented love and desire; wheels represented revolution; stars represented dreams; and locks represented knowledge.

Brilliantly, for the joker, the group selected Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi (bottom).

Genius of flames: Baudelaire
Siren of flames: Marianna Alcofardo (author of Letters of a Portuguese Nun)
Magus of flames: Novalis

Genius of locks: Hegel
Siren of locks: Hélène Smith (nineteenth-century psychic)
Magus of locks: Paracelsus (Renaissance physician and occultist)

Genius of wheels: De Sade
Siren of wheels: Lamiel (from Stendhal)
Magus of wheels: Pancho Villa

Genius of stars: Lautréamont
Siren of stars: Alice (from Lewis Carroll)
Magus of stars: Freud
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
via Tombolare
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
John Oliver hilariously rips Ayn Rand fans
09.29.2014
08:11 am

Topics:
Idiocracy

Tags:
Ayn Rand
assholism
John Oliver


 
Someone far funnier than I am described “adults” infatuated with the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand as being like the geek who discovered OMD in the 8th grade, had his mind blown and subsequently never gave up on the idea that they were the greatest group in the history of recorded music!

Admittedly I was a huge Ayn Rand fan when I was a kid. I’ve read nearly every word Ayn Rand published during her lifetime—including all of the magazines and newsletters, transcripts of her speeches, etc—and in the end, intellectually it’s just rubbish for small-minded twerps and people who don’t realize how illiterate extolling her “virtues” makes them sound.

Ayn Rand wrote novels for people who don’t read (a sort of literary Enya, if you will, a performer beloved by folks who don’t actually listen to music). Because she was capable of writing truly engrossing and well-plotted page-turners—pity about the shit dialogue and one-dimensional characters!—even many non-readers made it through Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead, giving them a sense of feeble intellectual accomplishment.

“Objectivists” (and 99.9% of doctrinaire libertarians) are never worth debating on the Internet because you will never convince them that she’s anything less than infallible. Objectivists feel about their hero the same way Scientologists feel about L. Ron Hubbard. (In my defense my own infatuation with Ayn Rand was during junior high school, but it was intense, I’ll cop to that).

When someone is thick enough to be a big Ayn Rand fan, they’re beyond being self-aware enough to realize how dumb they seem to literate people. A (very, very) large component of why Ayn Rand is so popular is because her philosophy is so easy to understand and because it sounds like something that some, er… intellectually less-enlightened readers already sort of agree with. No one who likes Ayn Rand seems likely to have ever read, say, Sartre, Hesse, Faulkner, Dostoyevsky, Dos Passos, or even ... Dickens. (I have no proof of this, but I have a strong hunch that being “well-traveled” ranks pretty low on the priorities of many of Rand’s apparently unsophisticated readers.)

Last night on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the philosopher of selfishness was skewered mercilessly:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Strangest Bedfellows: Sonic Youth jam with the Indigo Girls, 1989
09.29.2014
06:57 am

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Sonic Youth
Night Music


 
Saxophonist David Sanborn’s late night program, Sunday Night (eventually re-named Night Music), ran from 1988-1990, lasting just 44 episodes. In that short time, Sanborn racked up an impressive and diverse list of guests—some rarely seen on American television, including The Residents, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Miles Davis, The Pixies, Sun Ra, Bongwater and Conway Twitty. Sanborn’s show also had its fair share of unusual, one-off collaborations.

The idea,” Sanborn recalled in a 2013 interview, “was to get musicians from different genres on the show, have them perform something individually — preferably something more obscure or unexpected rather than their latest hit — and then have a moment toward the end where everyone would kind of get together and do something collectively.”

One evening in 1989, Sanborn had on Diamanda Galas, the Indigo Girls, Daniel Lanois, Evan Lurie, and Sonic Youth, who were making their TV debut.

After pulling off a ripping version of “Silver Rocket” early in the program (which included a lengthy mid-song freak-out), Sonic Youth returned for an even more chaotic finale.

Joining the band to cover the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” are Sanborn, Lanois (then in the running to produce Sonic Youth’s major label debut, Goo), Don Fleming (Velvet Monkeys, B.A.L.L., etc., and acting as SY’s manager), the Indigo Girls (!), and members of the Night Music Band, including one guy rocking the keytar.
 
Sonic Youth on Night Music
 
Kim Gordon does her best Iggy growl, and the entire band—heck, everyone on that stage—is clearly enjoying this moment. Fleming seems to be having the most fun of all, singing back-up vocals with the Indigo Girls and sidling up next to Sanborn during his solo.

Obsessed with wreaking a bit of havoc at the taping, Fleming bought along a toy plastic whistle for the “I Wanna Be Your Dog” jam. During Sanborn’s sax solo, Fleming ran over and began playing in unison. If that wasn’t a strange enough spectacle, Fleming then decided to see if woodwinds could feed back and began smashing the whistle into an amplifier. “I was like, ‘What the fuck?’” Sanborn recalls. “But it was kind of funny. Weird theater.” (Goodbye 20th Century: A Biography of Sonic Youth)

Watching the credits roll—as this unlikely of alliances rages on—only adds to the bedlam and hilarity of the clip, which concludes before the performance actually ends. Somehow, the lack of closure is also fitting; it’s as if the chaos lasts an eternity.

25 years on, TV still rarely gets get as crazy this unless it’s on BRAVO.

Here’s the full episode (“Silver Rocket” starts at 6:50; “I Wanna Be Your Dog” at 42:30):
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
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