Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lest Your Bile Subsides

What with all my Rock and Roll postings lately.

The essential cursor.org has, among many worthy overlooked news items, a couple of pieces involving Iraqi novelist and ex-Saddam prisoner, Haifa Zangana. The first is an article at the Gaurdian by Zangana herself about the assassination of educators and intellectuals in Iraq. The second is a 2002 piece by Surrealist Movement USA which heavily references Zangana.

While a piece by a group of obscure American artists/philosophers may seem like an a bit of a stretch in the legitimacy department, I like it for, well, it's absurdity. I like it for the fact that the truth of everyday Iraq has indeed become fundamentally surreal while the declarations from a Surrealist organization come across as being remarkably level-headed and reasonable. Then again, perhaps that's always been the point of the Surrealist movement. Anyway, both are pretty good, quick reads, guaranteed to get your dander up a little bit.

A clip from the Surrealist Movement USA article:

Make no mistake: The proposed "regime change" in Baghdad is solely about replacing a fractious death-squad subcontractor with a more passively compliant one... Carnage apologists, militarist demagogues, war profiteers, and their fundamentalist Christian cheerleaders charge that those who are unable or unwilling to fathom the hateful logic of their policies are plainly guilty of the terrible crime of being "unrealistic." For our part, as surrealists, we readily affirm that we despise the so-called "realism" that is based solely on the clumsy hypocrisy, swaggering boorishness, and ecocidal greed of a few cowardly billionaires along with their political/ military/ journalistic yes-men.

Monday, February 27, 2006

What's That Mommy? Why It's Integrity, Son!

Indie rockers reject big money from the king of gas guzzlers.

Grizzly Man Redux

A buncha people are landing here after doing searches for Tim Treadwell (the poor deluded soul in the film Grizzly Man). For whatever reason the search isn't linking to the actual entry I wrote, just the main page. So, here's a link to my Grizzly Man Commentary.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The legendary Sex Pistols were inducted this year. Please note their response. I wish it really meant something.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Steely Dan Diversion

Dug up this up too. A bloody fantastic two year old NPR interview with Steely Dan. Note the links for the raw unedited interview and for their appearence on the Piano Jazz show earlier that year. Not bad listening for a Friday afternoon.

You Can't Keep A Good Man Down

Cleaning out my inbox netted links to two great Alan Bishop (Alvarius B. of Sun City Girls infamy) interviews. Both seem to be email Q and A's about his last solo record, the outstanding, Blood Operatives of the Barium Sunset, the ongoing Sublime Frequencies world archive project and various personal politickin'. The first, from indieworkshop.com, is the better of the two for my money, but they're both very interesting reads. Here's to occluded knowledge.

A sample:
Q: Time and location is ambiguous in the story lines of your songs. It often appears you are speaking both about the past and the present at the same time. Is the ambiguity of time and place in your lyrics something that is important to you?

A: I don’t think along the lines of anything particularly having to be important. Whatever similarities continue to manifest in any of my work throughout the years may result from a variety of phenomenon. I cannot say with any clarity where my ideas originate from. What fascinates me most is why human beings have very little to offer these days. Mankind is weak and shallow. Outstanding beings are difficult to find. Most of what every human says to me, I have already heard via the collective media or from public opinion. They are under hypnosis without realizing it. So I am attracted more to those who can break through the epidemic of hypnosis and operate at much higher levels. Time is an illusion, therefore past, present, and future are only separated by the limits of one’s perception.

1) Indieworks interview.
2) Foxy Digitalis interview.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Photo Post

"Topless at Church"
Poorly Scanned Polaroid
Copyright 2000, B. Hoben

Does Not Compute

All the crap I did yesterday to the layout of the site was looking pretty good on IE5 here at work. I got home and loaded it on Firefox and, of course, it looked like a five-year-old had put the page together. I have no idea how this stuff works or why it won't translate. Any suggestions? I'm trying to avoid paying to get all of Blogspot's special features (like server space for designs, mp3's, etc.) and would gladly settle for a pleasant, if bland, layout.

***Update: Picked a template that looked decent enough. Tweaked it. Done. That's enough of that monkey business.

***Also, it should be mentioned that this facelift was partially inspired by the redux of the mighty Rpoop site. Props.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Winter is dark and gray enough without having the gloomy color scheme on this blog to look at every day. (What's that Lewis Black bit about opening a vein just to see some color?) So I'm fixing this silly little site up a bit by, of course, ripping off someone else's page and then tweaking some things. Having some issues getting shit where it needs to be and looking how it should. It's a miracle of patience for me. A real milestone. Hoo-ray.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Emo Inferno

Checking the news around my old hometowns on the internet is a good way pass the time on slow days here at work. Today, I went to peruse the happs in ol' Gainesville, FL and found this headline: Fire ravages abandoned building. Thankfully nobody was killed or even hurt as the vacant building went up--a sacfrifice to the student ghetto gods. In fact, several of the locals seem to have enjoyed the spectacle in typical Gainesville fashion, by turning it into a party.

As firefighters tore out the windows of the flaming house, college students with beer cans in hand watched from their carports and back yards. Alex Vranescu, who lives in a house near the one that burned, watched as firefighters prodded and sprayed the still-smoldering house. "I walk outside with a drink and I'm like, bro, check that out!" he said. "The whole tree right there just went woosh."

Ahh, Gainesville.

It was only on my after I'd moved on in my news cruise that the address of the house sounded familiar. I re-loaded the page, Googled the address and, sure enough, I knew that place. It was a house right across the street from a little apartment I spent a year in almost nine years ago now. In the main picture below the headline you can see my old front door beyond a charred wall frame, all lit up beneath the house's crime-fighting spotlight. That goddamned light probably kept more than a few crackhead, would-be burglars at bay with its day-into-night illumination prowess. Which I appreciated even if it gave the constant feeling that a hi-beamed SUV was parked just outside the window. Ahh, Gainesville.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Enemy Within

Back on my feet today. A little malnourished, a little wobbly, but at least I'm outta bed and not bent over the abused toilet bowl. My own personal enemy within has been overthrown. Cast out. Bested. But, not surprisingly, I emerged from my four day stupor and cruised the headlines and the blogs only to find that the enemy within our great nation remains. Perhaps even stronger than ever. I needed a little pep-talk to help get my soul up to speed similar to the Pepto that helped get my GI up to speed. I found this:

Read "The Enemy" column by William Rivers Pitt at Truthout.org at your nearest convenience. Thanks.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sick Leave

Been laid up with either a bad flu or bad food poisoning. The first big evacuation party of 2006. All ashore that's going ashore! At least I've finally lost some weight.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lawnchair Balloonist

The Athanasius Kircher Society has a bit on the Lawnchair Balloonist, Larry Walters, who flew in a lawnchair (tied to 35 helium-filled weather balloons) from a backyard up to 16,000 feet over greater Los Angeles. His uncontrolled jaunt has been wonderfully documneted by Mark Barry, who's apparently writing a book on Larry Walters' incredible but poorly thought-out idea. On Barry's site, be sure to check out the eighteen minute audio file of the radio transmissions between Larry, the ground crew (his girlfriend and pals) and various emergency personnel.

Monday, February 13, 2006

America, Awash in Propaganda

While it's been at us hard and heavy for decades now, the mind-fuck from on-high has been ramped up with the Bush regime's ascendancy. Doubly so now that their agenda has taken on more water than the Titanic. So, it should come as no surprise that, the Swift Boating of Iraq has begun. Try not to get any throw-up on yr keyboard.

(Via Cursor.org.)

Beware of the Blog - WFMU's MP3 Gold

Maverick New York/New Jersey radio station WFMU can be alot of fun. It's a non-commercial beacon for underground music of all stripes and a Mecca for today's armchair cultural archeologists and the ironic psychic surgeons who dust off, inspect and present lost gems and current oddities from across the sonic spectrum. While I haven't met anyone who can stomach all strands from the sheer variety of round the clock programming, there's sure to be a few shows in the schedule that'll catch yr ears.

In addition to their outstanding broadcast radio (both in the ether and on the web), they've been running a top notch blog that really captures the brilliant, twisted thinking behind the station. It's a compact text version of what goes out over the airwaves, all linked up with sound and video files and plenty of arrows pointing to the outside world should you want to learn more about anything in particular. Killer lost rock, funk or dance tunes, art-noise, goofy, camp jingles, assorted web zen and plenty of other, genuinely interesting shit are all presented with the same earnest, if often ironic, care that's made the radio station thrive since it's split from Upsala College in 1994. Most employees rather than being out to climb the corporate ladder or pick up some easy credit hours, work for free out of a love of the mission and the material. It's the sharing of their love of impossibly great songs, odd floatsam and kooky ephemera with like-minded listeners that has built a genuine community around WFMU and kept the 100% listener-funded station and blog afloat.

Check out their blog: Beware of the Blog

And if you've got some time, file through their Audio/Video download page. There's plenty of music and commentary, but more of the gems are hilarious finds like these:

  • "GRANDPA PSA" by American Family Association MP3
    The best public service announcement we ever received, which was mailed to every radio station in the country by Donald Wildmon's American Family Association, which apparently still harbors fantasies of liberal Gestapo squads shoveling heaps o' Bibles into the secular humanist bonfire. No word on whether this magical piece of radio theater generated the million signatures they were aiming for.

  • "THE THEME" by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network WMV
    Airing Thursday nights in Canada on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network or APTN, Inuit Mittatin's official description reads "This program sets out to find the funniest, quirkiest Inuit in the communities of Nunavut. What is so distinct about Inuit humour? What role does humour play in Inuit life?" We think the following description is more apt: "This program is a lunatic Inuit woman running all over the barren north making up songs and inviting us along as she sinks deeper and deeper into dementia."

  • "K-ROCK BRINGS YOU PAVEMENT" by Annoying Concert MC MP3
    Says our friend Bill W.: "I'd like to 'put my hands together', with his neck intervening."

Friday, February 10, 2006


So, I decided to play hooky from work today. There were so many little errands and chores that needed doing and, quite frankly, I was confident that the ol’ finance department could let a day go by without the lowest guy on the totem pole and the world would continue to spin. I was right.

The alarm went off at 4:30 as usual, I gently woke Sarah and went back to sleep. Actually it was more of a shove and a caveman-esque, yelp along the lines of, “Hurgaah, sheesha larmm,” followed by a fish-flop to face the other side of the room. After a few weeks of her wickedly early classes, I’ve got good at not letting the alarm get my adrenaline pumping, though it does still wake me up if only for a minute or two. Today was no exception. The dog also quickly fell back asleep after a couple of death-breath yawns and a gummy-eyed look around. The two of us eventually woke at our biologically programmed 8:30. We’ve been in some kinda inter-species synch like that lately. I hope that’s not what the President was referring to when he mentioned human-animal hybrids in the State of the Union speech.

It was an otherwise normal start to the day except when I went to swing my legs out of the bed, my knees smacked into something soft yet unyielding. “Hey!” came the voice from somewhere under our six-blanket bed nest. Sarah had played hooky too.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Well, I'll Be Dipped In Shit

An example of the lenghts these twisted bastards will go to these days to bend the weak minds of the nation:

Fox News edits out applause from Rev. Lowery's speech, then they comment on the lack of applause. How positively Soviet of them!

This is, of course, in reference to the GOP manufactured scandal involving the speakers at Coretta Scott King's funeral.

(Via Daily Kos.)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Pat Robertson: Proud Racist

OK, Ok. I'm as shocked as you are to see this boob in the news again. He's apparently so desperate for attention that he's taken to sharing any half-baked, cockamamie thing that pops into that twisted little brain of his.

Actually, I don't think he's dumb at all. I think he very sharply playing to his base with these jaw-droppers. He's stoking the indignation from his true believers who are presumably part of a thinning flock now that the nation is beginning to wake up from its 9/11-induced, pants-shitting, weak-kneed, save-me-daddy, embrace of all things Republican/Conservative.

All pathetic fund-raising gestures aside, it's great to once again see the kind of commitment to balls-out wackiness that died-off with the cancellation of The Three Stooges. And really, Ol' Pat's made each barnburning whopper better than the last. The latest titty-twister from the mouthpiece of God's America:

During the February 6 edition of Christian Broadcasting Network's (CBN) The 700 Club, host Pat Robertson said that "Europe is right now in the midst of racial suicide because of the declining birth rate." Robertson blamed the declining birth rate on the existential philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, which, according to Robertson, "has permeated the intellectual thinking of Europe" and has left Europeans without "a faith in the future." (via Media Matters.)

Did you catch that? The Satre inclusion was sheer brilliance. No doubt. I mean who would've thought to go there? But the real gem here is buried a wee bit deeper. Go on read it again.

There you go. That's right, he said "Racial Suicide." What race do you suppose he was talkin' about? African immigrant Europe? Naah, probably not. Asian immigrant Europe? Doubt it. And he sure as shit wasn't talking about Arab immigrant Europe. Well, perhaps, then, he was alluding to the Jewish or Gypsy or maybe even the Catholic population? Maybe, but I sincerely doubt it. No. I think we all know who he was name dropping here.

Yea, he was giving a shout out to the White Anglo population--or, rather, I should say, he was baiting his followers with yet another variation on an old theme; his golden goose of the last 4 1/2 years: racial panic. The same loopy horseshit tactic that "White Might" groups like Aryan Nation and National Front or whateverthefuck use. The same racial apocalypse sermon that's used to scare dipshit teenage rednecks and braindead, beerbellied yay-hoo's into shaving their heads, hoisting Nazi flags and on occasions, when they outnumber them by about 30 to 1, beat the living shit out of folks with the poor fortune of being different than them. Wow. Think about it. Pat Robertson, close personal friend and religious guiding light of the president of the United States, Pat "drop by the White House on a whim" Robertson and his tax-exempt organization are using the EXACT same tactics that abominable, neo-Nazi thugs and various home-grown terrorists use to gain and keep followers. It's truly amazing.

So, hooray, Pat Robertson. Whether this latest tantrum is a tactic to shake more dough from the pockets of suckers, or you really are afraid that the philosophical legacy of Jean-Paul Satre (and his sinister gang of depressed thinkers) has sent the whole of Europe into a self-loathing, fuckless, downward spiral, you sir, have once again struck comedy gold. Congratulations!

"Grizzly Man" Review

Sarah and I watched the documentary "Grizzly Man" last night. I thought is was a masterfully made film by Warner Herzog. He really took what could have been a hack-assed TV movie of the week and made an incredible meditation on the boundaries of human nature and, well, nature nature. Anyway, this is my Netflix review:

(Note: the addendum speaks to several Netflix customer reviewers who openly complained about not getting to see any particularly graphic footage.)

“Grizzly Man” is an extraordinary exploration of one particular dark avenue taken by one particularly alienated, mentally unbalanced individual. Tim Treadwell’s delusional and daffy behavior among the wild bears of Alaska could, of course, only reach one conclusion. Herzog lets us quickly recognize that Tim is one strange dude who’s destined to die out there in bear country. There isn’t much by way of revelation as the film plays out. We’re left to soak up Tim’s mental and emotional state as it’s bounced off the reality around him--a reality that he, for whatever reason, cannot see to save his life. The two worlds, the human one Tim so wishes to detach from and the unflinching reality of Nature, unavoidably come together like a tectonic collision as Tim’s life reaches its inevitable, gruesome conclusion. It would be nice to imagine that in his final moments Tim understood the chasm between the two worlds could never be crossed regardless the size of his (horribly, horribly misplaced) love for the animal world. It’d be nice, but after the portrait Herzog paints, I doubt it, because with Tim’s divorce from human society came a divorce from reality. In fact, the point of the film may well be the mutual inclusion of the two (one cannot abandon the trappings of human society without abandoning its benefits, both corporeal and psychological). In any event the film remains a fascinating study of human compassion, folly and madness played out against a backdrop of breathtaking beauty.

*For those disappointed no visual or aural human carnage was visited upon Tim during the film, remember, even if you despised the guy he was a real person, this wasn’t a slick Hollywood production. Desiring to witness the violet death of someone you casually dislike is probably indicative of a mental disorder similar to Tim’s. Perhaps you’d do best to learn from him and seek help before it’s too late. Or maybe just go public and petition Netflix to start stocking the “Faces of Death” series.

Monday, February 06, 2006

But What About "The War on Bottled Water"?

Bottled Water - the $100 Billion Fraud Industry

Yea, yea. Sounds a little dumb, or at the very least, innocuous, but it's actually an interesting and relevant article. (I say as I check my pocket protector and push my glasses back up the bridge of my nose.)

From the article:
"...More fossil fuels are used in packaging the water. Most water bottles are made with polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic derived from crude oil. 'Making bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year'..."

(Via Digg.com)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Pat Robertson: Bloodthirsty Politico In Sheep's Clothing

He's at it again, that goofy nut-job. While some say he's an easily ignored kook or dusty relic, his repeated appearances on various Right Wing media outlets says otherwise. And of course, begs the question, "Who would Jesus assassinate?"

Details at The Carpetbagger Report.

(Note: In any event, he stands, for me, to be a symbol of what's wrong with mixing religion and politics.)

Build Yr Own iPod

My lifelong DIY funk just might come to an end after reading this.

The EchoMp3 is a small DIY* MP3 player. It's cheap and of excellent quality.

(via digg.com)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bush: Lying Sack of Shit (Another in an Ongoing Series)

The following is from a Wednesday dailykos.com post:

Why are we supposed to believe anything Bush said yesterday [in the SOTU speech] when his own administration claims it was all bullshit?

Administration backs off Bush's vow to reduce Mideast oil imports
By Kevin G. Hall
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.

Maybe the White House press corps can ask Scotty which parts of the speech Bush meant literally, and which parts were, um, not literal.


THIS is also worth a look... and probably a groan.