You know you've made it when you send Raymi a note explaining how she should make out with the lead singer of a band along with a link to a video and she writes back saying, "Somebody put a boner in my pants." I am also pleased by the email reply I got from Hugh Hewitt last night but that is another story. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Sharon Stone and Basic Instinct 2 swept the Razzies taking four nods for worst of 2006: Worst Picture, Worst Actress (Sharon Stone), Worst Sequel and Worst Screenplay. As Hecklerspray puts it; worse even than Nicholas Cage and The Wicker Man "even though one of those movies features a bee-fearing policeman dressed up as a bear punching a woman in the face and the other one has boobies in it."
Inevitably, I thought it was a fine feature. For extended thoughts on the subject I refer you to K-Punk who observes "a film with this many bad reviews must have something going for it..." His review of the film should win an award of some kind.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance. This one is NSFW unless you are one of those people who goes around Soho sticking little cards up in telephone boxes in which case congrats on the wifi situation.
DefenseTech notes a seemingly innocuous tender for the United States Air Force meant to have a most ocuous effect, viz taking on integrated air defense systems. It turns out to be something auto manufacturers have been using for some time; a technology the USAF is calling "active combustion control."
Next up: Temperature controlled cup holders and a dvd player for the back seat.
French-speaking Flea-readers may enjoy perusing commentary on Shirley Manson's natal chart. To sum up with my own gloss: Virgo Sun, Capricorn Ascendant and - just barely - a Capricorn Moon. Shiirley is rarely on time but she is organized. But let's face facts, there is much more to a book than its plot, themes and characterization. The cover, for example. Let us all now pause to consider Shirley Manson in a hospital setting.
Shockingly like me at work; and a fair assessment of what I am looking for in life. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Recently noted for her "gaffe" about supporting an "independent" Québec, Ségolène Royal's program is drawing fire from an unlikely quarter. As noted in the comments at Rantburg, if the Independent thinks your program is too socialist you have a serious, serious problem.
Now open the door.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
"(no subject)" being the header of mail that made its way around Google's spam filter and into my in-box this morning. Intrusive spamming email. Check. No indication how these people came up with my email address or the fact I run a blog. Check. So enthralled with my opinion they made no effort to find out my name let alone the name of my blog. Check.* Note the peculiar minimum age range for adolescence settled upon by the University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Remember this the next time you read about a survey, opinion poll or any claims whatsoever made by an academic psychology department.
For your edification, my reply. I will keep you posted on developments in updates to this post.
* But wait: There's a cherry on top! Having got hold of my email address somehow and having asked for twenty minutes of my life with no remuneration offered for the trouble these high-handed (swearing deleted) append the following to their email. Normally I would strip even a spam email of names and addresses. I am making an exception.
By the end of the Great War the British boasted the largest, best equipped and most technologically advanced army and navy in the history of the world. But two years of conscription had taken their toll and with the expansion of the franchise there was a larger voting public to be bribed with bread and circuses. Consequently, the decision was made to take advantage of the peace dividend and justify it in part with a forecast of no repetition of events for the foreseeable future. The so called "ten year rule" held that extensive military research, training and procurement could all be held in abeyance as no major war would threaten the Empire for at least that time. The assertion was made year after year with increasing conviction until 1928 when - once again under Winston Churchill's watch - the "rule" was made permanent; to be assumed as a fact of the future in absence of evidence to the contrary. This deliberate enfeeblement was the state of affairs until sanity dawned in 1932. And of course by then it was very nearly too late.
The near tragedy of the continuation of the War repeats itself as farce in the ever tightening death spiral of Tony Blair's tenure as Prime Minister. DefenseTech covers a more recent manifestation of the old stupidity as Her Majesty's government may decide not to decide if the realm is worth defending. This time with half the fleet going into mothballs and the Royal Navy smaller than the French for the first time in centuries. I could spit.
Shadow trade and industry secretary, and quite possibly the only Tory in Parliament, Alan Duncan has suggested it is time to "re-civilize" the United Kingdom. Promises. Promises. Let us see if enough people agree the land is worth taking back from the castaways and Droogs or if at long last it is time to turn out the lights.
Feeling a bit Euro today: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
(INT. NIGHT: Seated at a table in a gothic coffee house)
GOTH GIRL #1: I don't eat shellfish; I'm allergic. I don't eat lobster. I don't eat crab. I don't eat shrimp.
GOTH GIRL #2: I don't eat shrimp either but because I like them. I mean I used to like eating them but then I saw them alive and I liked them alive so now I don't eat them.
BEN: What are those...
NICK: Sea monkeys.
(Star-wipe and fade to next scene as the group marvels at "how did they do that" and "when I heard that I didn't think 'sea monkeys'", etc.)*
* I explained it was all down to Piscean psi powers and also that I knew Ben was thinking of sea monkeys because I was also thinking of battering and frying them.
Fashionologie got my attention with a word that pops up all too infrequently beyond the purview of Oswald Boateng corsets or John Galliano's closet. Certainly, Givenchy has not been down this road since the days of Alexander McQueen.
I gather from Agent Bedhead that Garbage are getting back together; good news. Thing is, I do not link to Garbage much around these parts as I cannot bear to consider the existence of Shirley Manson too carefully. My all too impure thought might sully her perfection and in so doing I might commit an act of sacrilege against goddesses long unnamed or find myself brain-blind in too close an orbit to her beauty. Or something like that. But no reason you all should suffer for my failings. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
I believe that is the normal progression given the circumstances.
J.K. Rowling, who may be perfect, has completed the final Harry Potter novel at an Edinburgh hotel. A bit of whimsy on the way out the door is probably the first time the Balmoral will make money from vandalism.
I realize this news may be unedifying to devotees of ostensibly serious literature though it seems to me too many people have forgotten what fiction is for. As a parallel for instance, the above "wilful excursion into the third dimension" is Stuart Pearson Wright's portrait of Rowling; it deserves better than to be exposed to the precautionary mummification that is art criticism. But then, so does everything else enjoyable in life.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
The Flea was recently featured as part of Blog TO's occasional series on Toronto bloggers. I have been in Toronto for a while but it is only recently I have felt of Toronto. So it is nice to be asked.
The Creative Assembly has released its much anticipated Medieval II: Total War; surely the definitive strategy game for PC. But with terrifying system requirements - and a monster 11Gb of uncompressed hard-drive space just to install the thing - I expect I am going to have to wait for my hypothetical computer of the future before I get to play. That and a few spare weeks when I do not need to eat or sleep.
Now featuring castles, witches and tactical battlefield simulations sufficiently detailed to show your virtual troops impaling the hapless enemy. These screen captures give some indication of the juiced up detail in sets and setting. I am particularly impressed with this desert castle siege; that is not a painted back-drop, it is a rendered object. Curly-toed slippers don't fail me now!
Bill Ardolino posts his latest from his citizen journalist expedition to Iraq with an account of police transition teams in Fallujah. Major Brian Lippo points to drawing on the deep skills of the Marine Corps to do the job.
I have an old friend, an officer with the Toronto police force, who gave a year in Kosovo doing the same work under the auspices of the United Nations. It is to the lasting discredit of the free world the Americans should have been left to face this task alone.
There is something enormously appealing to me about an off kilter Paris of the future in French sf; with its debt to Los Angeles 2019 this Paris of 2054 is my favourite. But let's be clear about something: This is not Blade Runner. Maybe if Blade Runner was wearing beer goggles and made the beast with two backs with Immortel ad vitam its love child would look something like this. More important than the visuals - despite its visuals - this is a hard boiled crime story, not a film noir.
They talk about Boat People but they never talk about Elevator People: Why is that? I blame George Bush.
Doreta Peppa recently took the floor at the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It must have been something to see: For the first time since the dawn of Christian dictatorship, pagans are offering proper worship to the gods of Olympus.
The Guardian notes the Orthodox Church is not happy about this situation but it seems to me the real problem for a revived paganism lies just across the water. At least Christians could pay the jizya through those long centuries of Ottoman rule; humiliated, alive and nominally "People of the Book". Ellinais would have a much harder time of it. Time for some careful note-taking from 300..
I am dreading The Number 23 because of the confluence of my general annoyance with Jim Carrey and the inevitability of future conversations in which I am lectured on the eerie recurrence of the number. Yeah. Thanks for that. Just so we are clear, and for the record, there are quite a few of us who have been aware of the problem for some time. Wikipedia does a fine round-up of the 23 Enigma. Further study is best pursued by a close reading of Illuminatus!; pay special attention to the page numbering. If Robert Anton Wilson is going to be ripped off once again his estate at least should benefit from some book sales.
Don't get me started on the number 5.
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall He send His angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
The remainder of the passage may be found at Chamorro Bible. Alongside it: A high resolution image of two F-15 Eagles intercepting two Soviet MiG-29s on their way to Canada. Such was the contest between the Light and the Dark. Now the Power of the Unclean Spirits of the Air has gone to ground, his works to be found in box cutters and snuff films and someday soon the shipping container that makes its way across the line.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*
And you are also building vampire fangs? It takes a half hour to do some fangs? It is really that difficult? Not bad questions. A better question, you call yourself Crudelia? Dude: I know you are from Moldavia or wherever but you need to rethink the name lest Hasselhoff forever be your destiny.
In related news: Marry me German pink hair girl!
Sad news for Flea-readers not already in the know. It occurred to me Sky One should have been thinking about releasing the next season of Hex by now and I went for a look. No luck. Hex has been canceled and season three is not to be. Such is the fate of occult horror in prime-time. Or indeed of any horror in any medium undiluted by comedy or romance.
Only one year out of date: An improvement on my Lawrence of Arabia lore, at least.
There's a whole lot of Flea-dancing going on in this one: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Some Englishmen, of whom Kitchener was chief, believed that a rebellion of Arabs against Turks would enable England, while fighting Germany, simultaneously to defeat Turkey.
Their knowledge of the nature and power and country of the Arabic-speaking peoples made them think that the issue of such a rebellion would be happy: and indicated its character and method.
So they allowed it to begin...
My second thought on finally getting around to watching Lawrence of Arabia is precisely how little has changed in the last hundred years. The ostensibly romantic barbarians, the unsympathetic aspects of civilized peoples and their conflicts between and amongst themselves: The cast is the same. My first thought was precisely how much Frank Herbert's Dune was pillaged from this film. It is my distinct impression too that I have been reading the book all my life without knowing the "before" to the story which most everyone but myself must take for granted. So that's me up to speed then.
Here's another thought. They want a Caliphate so badly. Well, we took it from them. Let them have it back. To the Turk, say: All these lands are yours, save Israel. Then let Turkish nationalism do the job nobody else seems prepared to do.
That said, Obi Wan Kenobi as "Prince" Faisal is a bit much to stomach. We are keeping him for ourselves. So, take the whole lot except Israel, the Jedi and the oil. Almost forgot that last bit. The oil must flow.
Natural sweetness Update: And on a related note suffrage has been a real mess too. Women: Know your limits!
Only the marginally greater stupidity of our enemies can save us now Update: This one is only tangentially related but I do not like to formally update on the weekend. First, I cannot believe nobody rose to the bait with that last link. Second, please do yourself a favour and swing by Hugh Hewitt's radio archive for this week. Hour 2 of Thursday, February 8 features an interview with the President of the Society for Ethnomusicologists. Priceless. Beyond words. One of the best take-downs of an Ivy League jerk I have ever heard and a magnificent reminder of why I have left academia. It has taken a couple years but I little by little I can feel my soul being restored.
Listen to the full piece... you do not want to miss John Podhoretz and James Lileks' commentary.
Possibly the second greatest pop single of all time.* Ladies and gentlemen: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
* The greatest pop single of all time being Suspicious Minds.
Transcendent goddess, Aishwarya Rai and Bollywood co-star Abhishek Bachchan are engaged to be married. But first, Aishwarya has to contend with a lawsuit from folks upset at her purported tree marriages (hat tip to Rantburg).
You can see the problem. Though I gather we share something like 70% of our DNA with banana trees so this is nothing like as ridiculous as what Kirk would get up to in an average ST:TOS episode; and no lawsuits there.
The question: Can I get to London before June 10? I suppose I had expected the Exhibition to travel beyond Australia's shores. But somehow the thought never crossed my mind the Australian government would let the gold hotpants leave the country. If ever there was a national treasure... (hat tip to Agent Bedhead)
Best have another look at Spinning Around. It's the only way to be sure.
China takes to pole-dancing. You see? I am generally right about these things. Though I gather this is all meant to be in aid of exercise and not about sex. No matter. Socialism with Chinese characteristics still has a ways to go (via Danwei).
I cannot help but point out the seven pages of images accompanying the article strongly suggest uniform boots are a mandatory part of the curriculum. Quite right too.
Gabber is a form of Dutch hardcore techno distinguished by its ability to impel juiced up crap cars at speed through suburban housing developments in the small hours. That and a dance style all its own.
Which is all very interesting. This is one of those times, however, when a YouTube link is worth a thousand words. Flea-readers: Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance! Whether these latter day Swing Kids will have the mettle to face the Dark Times upon us is an open question. Jumping is not a crime, yet. Neither is music or flying kites or sending your daughter to school. And for the moment it remains a crime to throw acid in the face of a girl who has slighted your honour. So by all means dance while you can; but for the love of God pay attention. This could very well be the soundtrack for the mob when it finally takes up the torch against the enemy and then it will be jumping in earnest. For the moment, if I can convince my rivethead army to learn these moves we are going to fully own Savage.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
Rivet-media Update: I should confess this is my second favourite Kompressor single. My favourite is his Paul Simon cover.
I suspect Louis Vuitton is about to discover running an auto manufacturer is about a good deal more than brand management. Though it will be fascinating to watch them try to do better than Ford; I hope they surprise me. There are deeply entrenched shibboleths in the auto sector that might only be challenged from the outside.
How to describe this film? Basically, if The Fifth Element had inappropriate teenage sex with a mid-'80s Epic magazine on acid times a hundred it would be something like Immortel ad vitam. That's the visuals. The "plot" takes the same inspirations and throws them in a blender with Aleister Crowley channeled through a metric Ouija board. And for some reason New York of the future has the Eiffel Tower. I have never seen anything like it. This is one of the few films I have ever watched right through the end credits, stopped and then watched again from the beginning if only to be certain I did not accidentally write the thing in some parallel reality where I get production money.
I love this movie.
A summary of the graphic novel gives the gist of the thing.
Trust me, those aren't spoilers.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
There has been quite a bit of speculation in the press following the newly revealed anti-satellite capability of the PLA. Commentary that is not motivated by celebratory nihilism, self-loathing and will to decline tends to take the line the downing of a satellite is nothing to be alarmed about*; any hostile action at the onset of hostilities might take out one or two birds and all that would be left of the launch site would be a smoking crater.
This line of argument strikes me to be flawed for two important reasons. First, no American administration in recent memory has demonstrated a willingness to deal firmly with this sort of contingency. Second, and just as important, the ChiComs are not stupid. An alarming revelation in the Air Force Times appears to support the second of these contentions.
Mr. President: How many Pearl Harbor's is the West meant to endure this decade?
* Excepting the pesky resultant debris. The Canadian media seem to believe the Chinese have created a traffic hazard or, worse yet, littered in orbit. Both inconsiderate acts though it would be impolite to point this out too strenuously. Back to sleep, Canadia.
Dark Roasted Blend hosts images from the "American Memory project in a '30s collection: Pulp Fiction Comes Alive. Let's bring back this Chicago.
Also impressive: A frozen wave. Move over Lawren Harris.
Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.
And that right there is the problem. But the sacrifice is coming.
Update: Hope rides with Bill Ardolino. Seriously.
Never underestimate the power of Lacanian analysis; or rather, of the logic of desire that can be graphed using Lacan's methods. Take Marilyn Manson as a for instance. Does the end of his relationship with Dita Von Teese signal a problem with my supposition of a McGowan Effect? The apparent difficulty was Manson's taking up with the wholesome Evan Rachel Wood. But not for long; I say. Oh, the relationship may last, I would suggest for approximately the same time as each of Manson's previous relationships. His psychic defenses appear to be capable of misrecognizing his beloved in another through a specific series of operations whose telos is as predictable as Rachel's forthcoming change of hair colour. It is not the persistence of Manson's neurosis which I doubt but the persistence of Rachel Evan Wood's supposed wholesomeness. Go Fug Yourself points to a transformation that is already well underway (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).
For further details Flea-readers might refer to Joyce Huntjens "Vertigo. A vertiginous gap in reality and a woman who doesn't exist." Manson's neurosis is nothing exceptional.
Having been asked to draw attention to a transcultural nursing expedition I confess to a moment of skepticism. Then I remembered the Flea's working day is basically a transcultural nursing expedition and I need to fear for my footing. And I must say the view - from the Okanagan Valley or the warmer vistas of Ghana - is impressive. Is it too late to pack my bags?
For anyone who thinks "The Flea" is a bit OTT namewise, I suggest a quick look at Carpe Nocturne's Goth of the Month page.* Wicked Mina, Tryst and Dante Belmont are typical. My favourite is the extraordinary Wednesday Mourning. Though someone in Carpe Nocturne editorial needs coaching on the your/you're distinction, I hope we can agree her visage is as resplendent as her moniker.**
* Second from the left on their navigation bar. I cannot stand it when I cannot link to specific pages...
** And no naughty thoughts along the lines of "I've never heard it called a moniker before!"
Joseph S. Salemi has engaged in the admirable project of translating previously Bowdlerized epigrams by Martial. Reaction to his work is worth remembering the next time you hear someone describe universities as places of learned debate and free enquiry. It is to laugh.
Regrettably, the material is a bit risqué for the Flea. But well worth the look for anyone thinking Rome is misrepresenting the Romans.