The "Polecat" monicker is cute. What is less cute is when these things are all piloted by AIs and enabled with Berzerker badlife detection software.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
The puffs of smoke pictured above took on a more somber aspect when I realized what I was looking at. This is an "AA Action view" - "anti-aircraft" action, presumably - from the carrier USS Hornet on 14 May 1945. We are looking at the final moments of a kamikaze death cultist exploding over the USS John Rodgers having been prevented from piloting his aircraft into somewhere uncomfortably close to the vantage point of the photographer. Growing up, I found it difficult to comprehend this sort of scenario. These days it is all too easy to imagine even if the death cultists now wear different coloured armbands* and the battlespace has shifted from the high seas to airports, office towers and the cable news cycle.
Which brings us to the continuing voyages of the John Rogers; more recently dubbed the Cuitláhuac. John Donovan says he is not planning to engage in piracy while he is on active duty as a citizen journalist. But I suspect it is a short step from pajamas to piratical pantaloons. A nice introduction to "destroyers" too, btw.
*I admit switching armbands is a subtle ruse (hat tip to A Former Servant of Her Majesty). It has proved sufficiently cunning for many to confuse the cultists with Minute Men. That said, Flea-readers should understand that while it is true Kali is a Tantric goddess who devours time her sword and severed head paraphernalia represent inner struggle. Only a tiny minority of Kali worshippers are thugees.
I think Zayra was singing something. Blondie, maybe. But every time I watch this I find it strangely difficult to concentrate.
On a tangentially related note: I am looking for a reliable and preferably inexpensive Toronto-based supplier of sulfur and brimstone. I would be grateful if Flea-readers might point me in the right direction.
Gentleman's Emporium looks like a promising source of Flea-ish habberdashery and acoutrement. I particularly like the look of some of the fiddly bits; this period pack of playing cards and these sleeve garters, for example. Not to mention these brothel tokens. They are sure to come in handy too (via Coming Anarchy).
In the fullness of time Samuel Butler may prove to be the greatest prophet of our age. The Flea is delighted to link to "Darwin Among the Machines"; a letter To the Editor of the Press, Christchurch, New Zealand, 13 June, 1863. Never underestimate the power of letters to the editor. In this case, a point of reference for anyone who has ever wondered the date humanity began its long, slow crawl toward the Butlerian Jihad.*
This is a tour de force; a long-unheeded warning of our brief future as patient slaves of the machines. Then all that will remain is the final introduction of skeletal metal foot and sightless human skull.
*That would be the real Butlerian Jihad and not the thrice-cursed abomination to be found in the "prequels".
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Alone in a darkened room Update: Bela Lugosi is dead, btw. Undead, undead, undead!
Pedants may object to perfectly sensible grammatical constructions such as "more maximum coolestness". But they tragically fail to grasp the beyond ultrasuperlative that is the everyday reality of Elvis Trooper.
In which we learn the English language is short at least one new word for cheeze. Cheeze with a rhythm. Cheeze you can dance to. Though in all seriousness please do save a prayer for George Michael; the man is a car crash waiting to happen. That said: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (nsfw due to boobies... that's right; you heard me).
Bit stumped for a segue so, ahem, where were we? Right, rule-breaking. I can understand why a poll of ten-thousand MTV viewers would put Madonna's "Like a Prayer" at the top of a list of videos which "broke the rules". Cross-burning and content considered by fusspots to be blasphemous* lend weight to the rule-breaking assertion. Though in Madonna's case a video which made no attempt to court controversy would be the exception to the rule. Questions of rule-breaking are dependent at least in part on just where we decide to draw our frame.
The rest of the top ten choices make no such sense:
1. Madonna, Like a Prayer
2. Britney Spears, Baby One More Time
3. Michael Jackson, Thriller
4. Madonna, Ray of Light
5. Madonna, Vogue
6. Michael and Janet Jackson, Scream
7. Robbie Williams, Rock DJ
8. Eric Prydz, Call on Me
9. Jamiroquai, Virtual Insanity
10. Spice Girls, Wannabe
In what possible sense does Michael Jackson's "Thriller" break the rules? Whatever his tree-sitting habits, the man more or less invented videos qua videos so, thinking axiomatically here, "Thriller" is a rather better example of rule-setting than rule-breaking. Britney Spears, Eric Prydz and Robbie Williams resort to cheesecake to pull in the punters (a rhetorical move frowned upon here at Flea Towers); a marketing strategy predating Genesis 2. Surely cheesecake is the oldest rule in the book. This followed closely by "Wannabe" gestures of cheesecake rebellion. Pardon my cultural studies but the commodication of rule-breaking hardly qualifies as such in even the most twisted ironic sense.
*For future reference: I would like the extended dance version of the tune to be played at my funeral, btw. I think it the song is moving and misunderestimated.
Hi folks; I have multiple reports to the effect that my comments are down... working the problem. Thanks for your patience!
Honorary Lieutenant Tulbahadur Pun, VC, of the 6th Gurkha Rifles is, as his title suggests, one of only twelve living winners of the Victoria Cross. A summary of his "outstanding courage and superb gallantry" may be found at this Chindits Special Forces Burma 1942-1944 site. The reason for my tooth-grinding rage toward the management of the Gurkha Museum in Winchester may be found in a post to MilBlogs by John Donovan. I urgently suggest Flea-readers consider sending a note to the curator in the most courteous language you can muster once you have read about their reprehensible treatment of a dying hero.
To summarize: Tulbahadur Pun donated his medal to the Museum in the 1970s. Now 89 years of age and too unwell to travel he has asked the Museum if he might borrow his own medal so he can wear it one last time. The Museum has refused. There are no words.
Except these: Kaphar Hunnu Bhanda Mornu Ramro Chhaa.
I have been watching neo-noir films I missed the first time round. I liked Memento and Mulholland Drive just fine but they left me wanting to watch more of the real thing. My noir festival started with Dark Passage and it is a trip. For one thing, I had no idea Lauren Bacall was so beautiful. Just exquisite... but more than just exquisite. Her character is sharp and capable and one of the most desirable women in all of cinema. Also, great interior design sense which is bonus and extra.
Remember: The next time she tells you she is staying in to "finish some sketches" chances are she is harbouring an escaped convict thereby righting a wrong and fighting the good fight. You are going to have to be pretty sharp to compete with that.
Actually, there is courage enough to spare. And beauty worth defending. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Despite the MTV curse putting an end to Dave Navarro's three-year marriage to Carmen Electra and lingering legal issues from Rock Star Mark.1, Rock Star Supernova still provides two weekly scoops of entertainment goodness. Plus a half-scoop with the "reality" show from the Rock Star mansion.
This week Zayra Alvarez impressed with a Björkish woman on the verge/Princess Diana on methadrine REM cover. At first it was difficult to imagine what she was thinking with the creepy prom dress. Then her scanner powers kicked in and the threat of some grim Firestarter scenario playing itself out cowed the judges into submission.
Ahh, yes. The street. I too know the harsh streets of Toronto: God created Queen West to train the faithful. One cannot go against the word of God. That sort of thing. All very good, etc. and so forth. But... Dilana Robichaux has an " "energy" " and a " "vibe" " that is freaking chilling. Her now trademark Lithium, Nina Hagen inspired Ring of Fire and Zombie have all been superb. Loved her most excellent corset this week too, btw.
Small sidebar: It was like pulling teeth finding these clips last summer. Mark Burnett Super Genius seems to have decided to let YouTube carry his bandwidth for him. Clever.
Best thing I have seen in ages Update: Kevin Smith also knows the street. If you have ever dealt with television and film producers this is the real world; fully worth the twenty minutes to get to the punchline (via INDC Journal).
That magic little sparkle Update: Sure, Jenny Galt got booted off the show this week and the Lilith Fair comparison was exactly right but her thoughts on what it means to be a rock star are 100% applicable to being a great blogger. Sure, you have to have talent. But more than that you have to be really confident. You have to know who you are. You have to bring it. You have to kill it every time.
Sure to set PDS sufferers twitching is news that Paris Hilton has decided to set up in the family business.
The boutique Sanderson experience is most probably not the most immediate inspiration, however. Paris is following not only in her grand-father's footsteps, but her sister's rather daintier footsteps are leading the way with soon to open Miami and Chicago hotel projects. Nicky Hilton's Miami-based "Nicky O" is set to feature a five-thousand dollar a night Roberto Cavalli designed penthouse suite and with feature its own signature gardenia scent. So that's a Posh Spice connection there too.
Flea-ish plans on quite what to do with the inevitable fruits of my long-term lottery ticket investment scheme have been made much simpler with the discovery of this attractive bronze statuette of Lord Nelson mounted on oak taken from the original HMS Victory. Yet more impressive would be a pair of Nelson chairs with Victory oak front legs; just the ticket for the hypothetical study of the Flea.
On a related note, I have just discovered the BBC hosts video of the recent re-enactment of the engagement of the Blue Fleet and Red Fleet(s) at Trafalgar. Which is fine as far as it goes. But I will happier when Days of Trafalgar is mandatory viewing in history lessons everywhere. This is how it really went down.
I keep pointing to this specific stupidity as I believe it is emblematic of so much of the indigestion of reason typical of our present circumstances.
And let's have a little VE Day while we are at it, shall we.
Bridge for sale in Brooklyn Update: I am beginning to think there is enough Victory oak on the market to build a small flotilla. That said, I like the look of this canon ball, this commemorative coin and especially this cat's head dagger.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
I am in a Porsche on an autobahn; "Dance Floor" by GTK / SYNNYR on the stereo. Next to me on the seat is a flat black titanium briefcase with an automatic inside it. A dangerous blonde waits for me in Berlin...
For decades the short wave radio spectrum has been home to enigmatic strings of letters and numbers. Tracking these transmissions is the Conet Project, a group which claims these are "the first and oldest of radio broadcasts" (via Hudnall).
It is nice to think there some mystery remains to the world; much better than crop circles.
Japan's "answer to Elvira", Miri Hanai enjoys "reading, karaoke, and watching vampire movies"; surely evidence of a beneficent Creator. Chris at Home, a Jawa American living in Mindanao, ponders the mystery of Miri Hanai's popularity in Japan. Commenters are limited to two guesses; hardly sufficient to grappling with this challenging puzzle. Indeed, while non-Japanese Flea-readers may never fathom the enigma that is photo gravure aidoru appreciation I hope this post goes some way to bridging the distance between and amongst cultures and just possibly boosting my Monday traffic figures. Interesting fact: 10% of Japanese men in their 40s are virgins (via Chris at the Jawa Report).
Kineda and YouTube have more Miri Hani coverage. Though coverage may be an inapt usage given the circumstances. I particularly enjoy the music in Miri Hanai 10 and the magic scarf in Miri Hanai 01. None of this is particularly safe for work unless, of course, you are employed in the pneumatic bikini modelling sector.
Wow, so they pay you to do this Update: If you are, for example, Agent C and are totally unsupervised at work but might want something to look at other than Japanese cheesecake I can fully recommend this "Dark Side of the Rainbow" Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz YouTube spectacular (Google Video has the longer version for completists). Assuming you have a sound-card in that office computer.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
The Flea's musical stylings are almost ready to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in the form of "First Date Music"; a name I hope Flea-readers will agree is congenial and sympathetic as first album titles go. I have had enormous good fortune with the MySpace promotion, thus far attracting interest for using a piece in a forthcoming film and with a Ghost of a flea internet radio debut set for London in two to three weeks. With any luck the future holds incidental music in Jaguar ads...
Here is the trick: Deciding quite what to do next vis-à-vis independent labels or the adventure that is releasing and distributing the thing myself. I post this with the thought that given this blog's diverse and wide-reaching readership there may be sound advice to be had. Or just possibly someone who knows someone at a label looking for some dark ambient content for their catalogue.
Rough and ready Update Thanking Dodgeblogium's Andrew Ian Dodge for his thoughts on the matter is a good excuse to point out Growing Old Disgracefully is now available in EP form through CD Baby. So, thanks Andrew!
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Danwei TV expands its repertoire with Sexy Beijing featuring "love, lust, youth culture and street life in China's capital." Also, Su Fei's exceptional posterior.
Zayra Alvarez (pictured above) was lucky to survive a week in which she decided to offer a hamfisted Kinks cover not once but twice. Clearly the black tights go a long way with the judges. And who can blame them? That said, and despite a pending lawsuit, mediocre ratings and a purported "stink of desperation" hanging in the air, Rock Star Supernova features better talent and a better premise than its predecessor Rock Star INXS. Whereas the remaining INXSers had to contend with the shade of Michael Hutchence and their own back catalogue, Supernova's only baggage is their individual notoriety and the odd home-video or two. Otherwise, they have no phantom lead singer they need to clone and, having declared (if not entirely credibly) Supernova is not to be a metal act, no fixed expectation of what their lead singer must be.
Using the massively distributed and massively networked power of weblogging (or "blogging"), Dave Navarro talks back to the haytas.
Duran Duran is ably defended in the comments.
I think it's repeating on me Update: Having missed writing about the "obvious and grotesque" spectacle of Rock Star INXS, Tom Breihan considers the mystery of Jason Newsted's involvement in Rock Star Supernova. After all, he "does not need to be doing this sh*t."
Whatever the Mirvish spin machine says do not believe the hype and blame the critics. The recently announced closure of the "Lord of the Rings" musical was no surprise to the Flea partially because I had heard reliable rumours to the effect weeks in advance and partially because I have now seen it. And it is bad. Shockingly bad. And that is saying something considering I walked in expecting dancing Hobbits.*
*Not that this will stop me from seeing the Queen musical set to replace it.
Absolutely fabulous Update: Or we could just have an X-Men musical instead.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Dr. When presents a compendium of his sepia-tinted photogravures having previously been made public through the b3ta archive.
With the close of Dr. Who season two, and the long wait for the Dr. Who Christmas special, I expect many Flea-readers are left with yearning for more time-traveling fun. The next best thing is "Casanova", starring David Tennant, written by Russell T. Davis and scored, I suspect, by the same chap who does the Dr. Who incidental music. It is quite wonderful and offers some excellent bonus and extra pointers for passing in society.
An oh so familiar scenario. Small spoiler: If you have never conjugated Latin verbs you have never lived.
The combination of my continuing obsession with MySpace and my recent obsession with KIIS-FM in the morning means I get to listen to "SexyBack" over an over again (some nsfw language). Two thoughts: First, I like Timberlake's Flea-ish pose here; second, "SexyBack" shows what you can do when you really know how to use a sequencer. It is all about the emptiness between the noise. Which makes this single some sort of pop music bushido. The whole thing feels like it is about to fall over and then it swivels around and you realize your head is slowly sliding off your shoulders.
Five by five Update: On a mostly unrelated note... mostly... excepting for also being hellacool is news of the proposed Marine "Hot Eagle" Fast-Insertion Space Plane. This baby is sure to be widely referred to by its proper name: Pelican Dropship.
At last, supervillains worthy of being the archnemeses of the Flea! "Hamburg for Free" are based in Germany so I shall have to find the local counterparts of Santa Guevara, Spider Mum, Operaistorix and Multiflex. They are probably in the cheese aisle at Whole Foods...
Having spent a significant portion of her life flying around in pirate films, Keira Knightley has decided it is time to take some time off, go to the pub with friends and possibly find a Flea-ish bloke.
Modesty prevents me from making the obvious suggestion. Though in fairness I do not think the small ads of whatever newspaper that is are going to be much help to her. MySpace is where the "it" is "at" (nsfw).
*Though I expect it helps if your father is Keith Allen if for no other reason than the Angel, Islington address.
While her spokesthing reportedly says it is completely untrue, friends of Madonna claim she is thinking of distancing herself from the Kabbalah Centre. It is difficult to square the claim with two appearances at the New York Kabbalah Centre over Independence Day weekend or Mr. Madonna announcing plans for a kabbalah-themed film.
At first blush Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry does not appear to have much to do with kabbalah. But then Swept Away did not have much to do with acting. Ba-dum dum.
Ten long months of suffering are now assuaged with the premiere of Rock Star Supernova. My worries that Mark Burnett Super Genius might not be able to carry on the franchise after J.D. Fortune definitively resolved its founding premise turned out to be unfounded. In fact, Tommy Lee is a much more personable and engaging character than the sometimes sourpuss INXS. And the Brooke Burke/Dave Navarro duo are much more important to the format than I had given them credit. This time out the aim is not to replace a lead singer for a classic act but to complete the line up with a singer for an all new act. Or rather, as all new as a band can be featuring Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee, Metallica's Jason Newsted and Guns 'N Roses' Gilby Clarke.
The new cast of characters is promising. Former Cleavage front-man Lukas Rossi means Toronto's Queen West black clothes scene will once again be represented to the world. He shall go far. Despite my (perfectly reasonable) tendency to side with impish bald guys Á Móti Sól lead singer, Magni Asgeirsson suffered from a rock and/or roll Euro-twitch and was unconvincing. If this was Dark Wave Supernova he would have probably kicked ass. As it is, I expect he shall be returning to Reykjavik presently. Dilana Robichaux had a scary intensity. Check her out at the Prime Time Steak House if you are local to Houston (no cover!). Zayra Alvarez is this year's Daphna Dove; an obvious hit with the judges but for reasons that do not have much to do with the show.
Early contenders for the top spot: Juke Kartel's Toby Rand from Melbourne. Great voice and probably a good fit for Supernova's over-the-top personalities. And finally, Flea-fav Storm Large (pictured above). She has pretty much everything. Including her real name, apparently. Hmm.
This formerly straight-laced singer's new track is stuck in my head thanks to my 102.7 KIIS-FM Los Angeles morning obsession.* Nelly Furtado is Portugese**-Canadian, btw. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
That dead horse looks like it could use a sound flogging Update: On the sweetness of Portugese defeat:
O' Signore chiude na e ne rap' un' altra porta Update: In considering the possibility of an Italy/Portugal final I wondered how the referee could decide who to cheat for. Rue sent me the following helpful guideline. It is deuced simple once it has been explained: "The one he bet on to win, naturally!"
On a related note, I have asked whether it is possible to cheer for Alizée without cheering for France. Bien sur! This seemingly tricky position is justified as a nod to Corsican independence; a cause I have long cherished.
Elton John may think the England side were a disgrace and German hoteliers may be tired of English footballer wives and girlfriends but this means nothing to the iron will or manifest WAG destiny of Victoria Beckham.
Now Victoria underlines this supremacy by offering her "buggles" World Cup sunglasses for sale as part of a five-piece, limited-edition collection exclusive to Harrods. Such is only to confirm me in my plan to purchase a similar pair for myself. Buggles = Flea-ish.
The unmanned Switchblade is a bomber drone meant to be able to loiter for hours at a time and reconfigure for supersonic attack. It is an awkward looking arrangement but then I expect they said the same about the first "tanks." And look what that lead to: Daleks.
A General Theory of Rubbish hosts a handy round-up of post-England/Portugal comment. Elsewhere on the internets, K-Punk considers the "libidinal disorder" afflicting the England side; a Transcendental Defeatist belief structure.
Vive la France! Allez les Bleus!
Flea-readers unaccountably unfamiliar with the rebooted mythology of Battlestar Galactica will not feel the immediate thrill the word "Caprica" sends through me. Along with the many worlds of The X-Files, Andromeda and Stargate SG-1, Caprica may resemble Simon Fraser University in Vancouver but I am certain there is plenty more temperate rainforest to be discovered. And possibly, just possibly a world where "prequel" and "crap" do not rhyme... Ron Moore: Thank you.
(hat tip to A Former Servant of Her Majesty)
Say what you like about Cristiano Ronaldo.* Say, for example, that the Dutch did not put the boot to him hard enough. Say he is lucky to have been able to rely on Argentina as a phantom second team against England. But the man is brave; you have to give him that. After all, he puts on that performance and yet he is on his way back to Manchester.
*Interesting fact: You will never guess which American President Ronaldo is named after.
Decline and fall Update: The Guardian's Rob Smyth considers Ronaldo:
The remainder of his analysis strays from the above points and is hardly worth reading.
Don't make me do it Update: Now England is out, I have decided to support the side guaranteed to annoy the maximum number of supporters of the perfidious choices left on offer. Vive la France! Alizée will be in the sidebar for the duration as a token of my sincere feelings in this matter.
Paleocon Update: Writing for the Weekly Standard, Frank Cannon and Richard Lessner describe "soccer" as postmodern and against-nature. They forgot to mention that soccer is a single mother who burns the American flag.
I think they are joking. Though it says something tragic about too much of the American right that it is now hardly possible to tell the difference between a joke and glassy-eyed seriousness. Still, this is a step up from listening to Canadian hockey fans attempting to weigh in on the subject (no, it is not a "shoot out" so STFU).
Time for the Canadian national anthem... Non-Canadians can sing along karaoke-style the second go round. Happy birthday, Canada.
Those two fellows are from Joint Task Force 2, btw, i.e. the little discussed pointy end of Canadian democracy. Way to go, us! But we have a long way to go and heroism most of us have not yet even begun to live up to. Something to think about around our tranquil weekend BBQs.
They say it's your birthday Update: Come on, Engerland!