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October 31, 2007

One who walked alone

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Once again I am blindsided by pop culture. The Whole Wide World is a biographical film about Robert E. Howard based on a book by Novalyne Price who had courted Howard in her youth. Starring Vincent D'Onofrio and Renee Zellweger, the film was released in 1996 - more than ten years ago - and somehow I never heard of it. Sometimes I think my time in England was spent in an air pocket; cut off from the wellsprings of cable television... I stumbled across the film through this hair-raising edit of Howard describing Conan. Just astonishing.

We know any film about the life of Bob Howard can only end badly; an American tragedy, heart breaking to watch. But think of it as a geek tragedy too. I am left with a sense of wonder at the pantheon we have been for ourselves these last one hundred years despite the scorn of the herd and literary elites alike. Most of all, I am left with a sense of gratitude for the gifts Howard left us. Imagine if some sensible soul had convinced him his gift was not worth developing, that he should pack away the typewriter and get a "real job". And think of all the people who have been convinced to abandon their art, now dead, forgotten. That is the real tragedy. Fight it.

Related: Solomon Kane - The Return of Sir Richard Grenville, a fine fan film. Also, and beyond belief, this Spanish fan film trailer for Slaine: The Horned God. I feel like I am missing something: Is this edited from video game footage? Too good to be true.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (1)

Faun: Tagelied

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Updated: I meant to mention this morning how the opening of this tune reminds of "King Volcano" by Bauhaus. I am now wondering whether this is a coincidence, a source of inspiration or whether both songs share a common antecedent in some medieval ditty of which I am unaware.

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM | Comments (3)

October 30, 2007

Ghost of a flea @ The Drake Underground

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10.30.07 . THE PiNG's presents ALL HALLOW’S EVE-EVE
featuring GHOST OF A FLEA and MiMo
@ the UNDERGROUND downstairs @ the DRAKE HOTEL
1150 Queen St. W @ Beaconsfield . W of Ossington . E of Dufferin
TUESDAY OCTOBER 30TH . 8PM . PWYC (5$ suggested)

Ghost of a flea is a noise/ritual/literary project by Toronto-based ... .... Ghost of a flea draws on techniques from musique concrète, found sound and angelic grammar to produce cinematic dark ambient music for opening the gates, for conjuring lost love, for summoning and binding. 93 93/93

http://www.myspace.com/ghostofaflea

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM | Comments (5)

Coil: Ostia (Death Of Pasolini)

My favourite track by my favourite act: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

* This student video has a clip with much better audio for anyone curious what the album track sounds like.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

Freedom is not free

The Tiger in Somerville points out how close we are to freedom...

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM

October 29, 2007

Devamped

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Somebody named Teresa Palmer has been cast as Wonder Woman. As opposed to, say, Kate Beckinsale. Which would have made sense. But no. Admittedly it is only a Justice League movie so who cares.

There is far wore news besides: Kate Beckinsale will not reprise her role as Selene in Underworld prequel, The Rise of the Lycans.

The prequel is set in the Dark Ages and traces the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires and their one-time werewolf slaves, the Lycans.

All fascinating, to be sure, but entirely beside the point.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Underworld: Two months off

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

Sir Ming

File under "you learn something new every day". For me, at least. The retirement of Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell lead me to the question: Why is Menzies pronounced Mingis?

Blame the "yogh", a letter in old English and Scots (see image, right) which has no exact equivalent today.

Pronounced "yog", it used to be written a bit like the old copperplate-style "z" with a tail, which helps explain the discrepancy between the spelling of Menzies and the pronunciation. The rise of printing in the 16th Century coincided with the decline of the yogh, and so it tended to be rendered in print as a "z", and pronounced as such.

More yogh information at Wikipedia. I think the letter resembles a yoke but I am probably drawing Indo-European etymological conclusions where there are not to be made.

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM | Comments (6)

Ana-Kin-Rexic

What is your Jedi name?

Your name is Ana-Kin-Rexic! You're loved amongst your other Jedi friends, a true socialite. You dress to impress, love to party, and always know how to have a good time. But you should eat something and lift some weights. Jedis need nutrition.

(via Agent Bedhead)

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM

October 26, 2007

The Ultimate Red State

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A forum on "Multiculturalism and its impact on democratic society" included two heaping scoops of Mark Steyn one-liners (more video of the event may be found here). I have never agreed "multiculturalism" was a useful term to frame the debate; it is all to easy to argue about definitions rather than issues of policy. But I do agree the real enemy we face is not only the sinister Dark Ages Scientology of bin Laden and his ilk but an all pervasive cult of relativism, masochism and the celebration of ignorance. "Multiculturalism," as Steyn puts it, "isn't about knowing anything about other cultures; only about feeling warm and fluffy about them." Exactly.

Steyn and I share an upbringing that included maps on the school room wall; pictures of the old Empire which - even in its enervated from as a Commonwealth - remained "the ultimate red state". Now all that remains is a pernicious ideology of decline and a tug of war future between A Clockwork Orange and Lord of the Flies.

Related: The sun never set on the British Empire. Also, a satisfyingly sinister map of America's "oil empire" (now featuring US military bases in New Zealand, apparently).

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM | Comments (2)

N-Type: The Way of The Dub

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later

Philip K. Dick waxes gnostic. Or possibly Lacanian (hat tip to My Most Favourite Secret Agent Ever).

It was always my hope, in writing novels and stories which asked the question "What is reality?", to someday get an answer. This was the hope of most of my readers, too. Years passed. I wrote over thirty novels and over a hundred stories, and still I could not figure out what was real. One day a girl college student in Canada asked me to define reality for her, for a paper she was writing for her philosophy class. She wanted a one-sentence answer. I thought about it and finally said, "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." That's all I could come up with. That was back in 1972. Since then I haven't been able to define reality any more lucidly.

Brand names, anamnesis and The Book of Acts figure prominently in his discussion. It turns out he was Episcopalian. Who knew?

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM | Comments (4)

October 25, 2007

Victorian England in colour

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Unless, like me, you are friends with a time-traveling stingray, this vision of Victorian England in colour may come as something of a shock. Trust me, the real Cheapside is considerably more shocking in person. Also featured are pictures of foreign parts; sexy.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM | Comments (7)

Momus: Hairstyle Of The Devil

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (1)

End of Empire

Writing for The Guardian, Maya Jasanoff reviews Piers Brendon's The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997. When did the Empire come to an end? Partition? Suez? Hong Kong? All very interesting, of course.

But this is the bit to which I would like to draw particular attention.

Even while the empire expanded, some were forecasting its decline. A 1774 issue of Lloyd's Evening Post published a futuristic fantasy set in 1974, describing a tour by two men from "the empire of America" through the ruins of London. No less unwittingly prescient was Edward Gibbon, the first volume of whose Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire rolled off the presses early in 1776. His sales could only have been helped when the American Declaration of Independence was signed a few months later.

As Mark Steyn has recently observed, a civilization in decline might be a comfortable place to be almost to the very end. Here is a thought: Future historians might look upon this last American century not so much as a new hegemonic power taking the place of the old but as a continuation of the British Empire. It is now a commonplace the "Anglosphere" somehow carries on England as once it was. I am suggesting something else, a story where the capital moves from London to Washington not in triumph but much as it once moved from Rome to Constantinople. "Byzantium" lasted another millennium; calling itself Rome as the old heart of empire muddled through a Dark Age.

The current splendour of our southern neighbour is a sight for all the ages. Even so, it should be pointed out that until recently a great deal more of the map was painted red. What is left is being whittled away; not so much at the edges but in great rents through the paper where once stood the cities of London, Manchester, Los Angeles, Detroit, Montreal...

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM | Comments (1)

October 24, 2007

Burial: Ghost Hardware

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

October 23, 2007

Bat For Lashes: What's a girl to do

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Jenna James

Ok, that thing I said the other day with the remix video? That was a joke. Alyson Hannigan as Jenna James in Hayley Wagner, Star:

This is fan service.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM | Comments (2)

October 22, 2007

Vulcan

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I still remember the sound of a Vulcan passing close overhead...

In 1961, four nuclear bombers entered United States airspace, flying high above the maximum altitude of the defending American fighters. Three jammed the ground-based and airborne radars directed at them. The fourth arrived unchallenged and unforeseen, over New York City.

The aircraft was an Avro Vulcan bomber, capable of carrying a 21,000lb nuclear payload. It looked like a scary version of Concorde. The New York stunt was part of an Anglo-American military exercise which proved the plane's ability to deliver nuclear bombs wherever they might be needed, whoever the enemy. The RAF called it "the tin triangle".

The Avro Vulcan bomber flies again after a fourteen year absence from the skies* (hat tip to the Armored Facilities Manager). Some googling lead me to the Vulcan's moment of glory. While the aircraft was designed to deliver a bucket of sunshine as part of the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent, the Vulcan saw action as a conventional bomber in the war to liberate the Falklands. Operation Black Buck - 1st May to 12 June 1982 - was an astonishing logistical accomplishment and, at over 4,000 nautical miles, was the longest bombing raid in history.**

* BBC video of the Vulcan here.
** More details and photos here. I particularly enjoy the Brazilian flag alongside her attack markings.

Posted by the Flea at 06:57 AM | Comments (5)

David Bowie: Sense of Doubt

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM

October 20, 2007

Hatred is the key

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Interviewed at the Guggenheim for VBS.tv, Genesis P-Orridge* on how Throbbing Gristle got back together. A photo in the post to Cosey Fanni Tutti did the trick.** Apparently, TG is a band built on anguish.

"The chemistry still exists as soon as we record or play music. The antagonism exists as soon as we stop."

So much here for devotees of industrial music, rave culture or modern primitive. A horrifying story about Ian Curtis, for example.

* Who has described my music as "very nice".
** Pictured above in her prime.

Posted by the Flea at 12:03 AM

Chris & Cosey: October Love Song

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 12:02 AM

Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge: Rest in peace

Psychic TV's Hell Is Invisible... Heaven Is Her/e tour is halted by the sudden death of Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge.

"Lady Jaye died suddenly on Tuesday 9th October 2007 at home in Brooklyn, New York from a previously undiagnosed heart condition which is thought to have been connected with her long-term battle with stomach cancer," said a post on group founder and frontman Genesis P-Orridge's website. "Lady Jaye collapsed and died in the arms of her heartbroken 'other half' Genesis Breyer P-Orridge."
Posted by the Flea at 12:01 AM

October 19, 2007

Why Goth refuses to die

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Danny Robbins and The Culture Show consider Whitby Gothic Weekend 2006.* "The only goths in the village..." Ha!

Note to self: Must get to WGW; or just Whitby to its friends.

The origins of WGW lie in an ad hoc meeting of around forty pen-pals who Hampshire had met through NME and which was arranged in 1994. [1]Hampshire states that Whitby was chosen for its Dracula connections, although probably more so because this had already fostered a sense of acceptance on the part of locals and businesses rather than any inherent romanticism regarding the location.

The festival was held yearly until 1997, when it became twice-yearly, now held in April and October. It has since grown into one of the most popular gothic events in the world, attracting attendees from across the UK and around the world. Most of the events are held at the town's 1,000 capacity Whitby Spa Pavillion (known just as ‘The spa’, this is also where the 'Goth Market' is held), however, other venues such as The Metropole Hotel are used for overspill and The Resolution Pub for unofficial events.
Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM | Comments (1)

Siouxsie Sioux: Into a Swan

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM | Comments (2)

Will no one rid me of this corpulent priest?

George Lucas offers few details about his forthcoming Star Wars television series beyond joking about "the life of robots". Better, at least, than a life of Jar Jar or yet more with a petulant, chubby Vader as a child.

The proposed series doesn't have anyone named Luke or Anakin in it, a story path that Lucas concedes is "taking chances" as far as connecting with an audience expecting the familiar mythology.

"The Skywalkers aren't in it, and it's about minor characters," Lucas said in an interview. "It has nothing to do with Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader or any of those people. It's completely different. But it's a good idea, and it's going to be a lot of fun to do."

And torture to watch: Lucas plans to write and produce the first season. Saying "Think about bounty hunter [sic]; that’s all I can tell you.", Lucas' producer Rick McCallum is already mooting four parallel Star Wars series and up to 400 one hour episodes. "It is going to be much darker, much grittier, and it's much more character based."

Meesa no think so. Meesa no liken dis.

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM | Comments (5)

October 18, 2007

Finding t.A.T.u.

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Egotastic thinks it is not going to be good. Whereas I think Finding t.A.T.u. is quite possibly going to be the greatest film ever made. Better than Showgirls, even.

Actress Mischa Barton is currently brushing up on her Russian in preparation for her starring role in the forthcoming t.A.T.u. movie. That’s the same Russian faux-lesbian poptarts who had a hit with ‘All The Things She Said’ a few years back. The film, which also stars the t.A.T.u girls as themselves, has an intriguing storyline.

According to Wikipedia, “The story is about two girls, Janie Sawyer (an American girl from New York, living in Moscow) and Lana (a Russian native), who become obsessed with t.A.T.u. They become best friends, with crushes on each other, and attend a t.A.T.u. concert. While in Moscow, Janie develops a drug problem. The girls at some point end up killing one of their mothers.”

In related news: What the hell is Mischa Barton thinking? It is not as though my mind control powers can reach Moscow (yet).

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM | Comments (9)

Britney Spears: Gimme More (Ghost of a flea Mix)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance. This is what we call fan service.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

The Russia Problem

It seems to me that Peter Zeihan overstates the efficacy of Russian military hardware in this Stratfor discussion of Russian grand strategy. "The Russia Problem" is fine read nonetheless; I have just re-read Isaac Asimov's Foundation and am in the mood for science fiction.

The Russian geography is problematic. It lacks oceans to give Russia strategic distance from its foes and it boasts no geographic barriers separating it from Europe, the Middle East or East Asia. Russian history is a chronicle of Russia's steps to establish buffers -- and of those buffers being overwhelmed. The end of the Cold War marked the transition from Russia's largest-ever buffer to its smallest in centuries. Put simply, Russia is terrified of being overwhelmed -- militarily, economically, politically and culturally -- and its policies are geared toward re-establishing as large a buffer as possible.

In which case Russia should be far more concerned about the Chinese than it is about the Americans. The latter are likely to be their only ally - their only hope - should Red China decide it likes the look of Siberia's wide open spaces.

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM | Comments (1)

October 17, 2007

Working for the British Secret Service

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Commander James Bond, CMG, RNVR is a fictional character created by novelist Ian Fleming, and the protagonist of the James Bond series of novels and films. I gather he is a middle-weight.

In the novels (notably From Russia with Love), Bond's physical description has generally been consistent: slim build; a three-inch, vertical scar on his right cheek (absent from the film version); blue-grey eyes; a "cruel" mouth; short, black hair, a comma of which falls on his forehead (greying at the temples in Gardner's novels); and (after Casino Royale) the faint scar of the Russian cyrillic letter "Ш" (SH) (for Shpion: "Spy") on the back of one of his hands (carved by a SMERSH agent). In From Russia with Love he is also described as 183 centimeters (6 feet) in height and 76 kilograms (167 lbs.) in weight.
Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM | Comments (1)

Led Zeppelin: Ramble On

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

October 16, 2007

The world is a vampire

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Tuesday, October 30: All Hallow’s Eve-Eve* Ghost of a flea and MiMo** play the AMBiENT PiNG at the Drake Underground! 1150 Queen Street West, Toronto. Doors open at 8. $5 19+

* Which I gather is Devil's Night - Angel's Night to others - but you get the idea.
** Stunning material. I am particularly taken with "Wiper"...

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM | Comments (1)

The Smashing Pumpkins: Bullet With Butterfly Wings

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:15 AM

"Glenn Reynolds"

The Instapundit looks exactly the same in every picture he takes; more so even than Paris Hilton (loud link). One might say suspiciously similar, as if we are dealing not with a man but an elaborate hoax. I mean - seriously - you can see the line where they Photoshopped the face into this picture. It might as well be J.R. "Bob" Dobbs.* And it is all too easy to imagine a Dobbsian cult springing up about the man...

* I admit this piece repudiating the notion of collective rights under the Second Amendment tends to mitigate against my case. One word: Pixar.

Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM | Comments (1)

October 15, 2007

Peak Whale Theory

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From the archives of the Coyote Broadsheet dated April 17, 1870: One of Coyote Blog's distant relatives explains the importance of addressing the United States' every growing population and unsustainable consumption. There is no way resources can support America's population as it reaches an astronomical 40 million souls.*

Take the issue of transportation. Currently there are over 11 million horses in this country, the feeding and care of which constitute a significant part of our economy. A population of 250 million would imply the need for nearly 70 million horses in this country, and this is even before one considers the fact that "horse intensity", or the average number of horses per family, has been increasing steadily over the last several decades. It is not unreasonable, therefore, to assume that so many people might need 100 million horses to fulfill all their transportation needs. There is just no way this admittedly bountiful nation could support 100 million horses. The disposal of their manure alone would create an environmental problem of unprecedented magnitude.

* No Mo Uro elaborates on the point in a comment at Rantburg.

In the 1830's, Nantucket was the wealthiest town in the U.S. and one of the wealthiest in the world. By the 1850's, it was so poor that the town government didn't even bother to collect taxes. The difference? Petroleum, which displaced whale oil as a lamp fuel.

The oil ticks in the ME should take notice.
Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM | Comments (2)

David Bowie: DJ

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Should the US switch from the dollar to Monopoly money?

There is a strong case for a change to the Monopoly Standard.

Price of Boardwalk in 1950: m$400
Price of Boardwalk in 2007: m$400
Concurrent decline in the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar: 87%
Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM | Comments (1)

October 12, 2007

Giorgio Moroder: Leopard Tree Dream

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM

Courchevel, December 2005

Note to self: When one of my business ventures renders me independently wealthy it will be time to book a holiday at Courchevel in the French Alps. Best way to get around the town and surround? Sure, the cable-car is impressive but try landing on the mountain airstrip in a Pilatus PC-12.*

This one goes with a shout out to Mr. Taylor who I can only assume has at least simulated a combat drop into the area.

* Not to be confused with Peyresourde in the Pyrenees. I had thought Courchevel a likely suspect for the airstrip opening Tomorrow Never Dies...

Posted by the Flea at 08:04 AM | Comments (4)

October 11, 2007

Kylie Minogue: 2 Hearts

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The following contains a video spoiler but, given the state of my heart after an aching 2 minutes and 31 seconds of suspense, I feel it is my duty to announce: Kylie's bum is back. O frabjous day.

BOT have we here? KYLIE claimed a while back that she was retiring her mighty bottom as she thought she was too old to show it off. But good news, fellas, my cheeky clip from the video for her single, 2 Hearts, out next month, shows she’s rearing to go again. Her new MARILYN MONROE look, complete with diamanté microphone, is pretty hot too.

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (via SondraK, whose bum is world famous).

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM

Authors@Google: Neil Gaiman

Flea-readers with some time for a cup of tea, a couple biscuits and a nice sit by the window can turn up their multimedia speakers and give a listen to Neil Gaiman speak about his book "Fragile Things" amongst other things. All very interesting and particularly his Duran Duran revelations; though I cannot say I have ever understood the Neil Gaiman leather jacket thing.

Posted by the Flea at 08:14 AM

Water under the bridge

My past life diagnosis:

I don't know how you feel about it, but you were male in your last earthly incarnation.You were born somewhere in the territory of modern North India around the year 1425. Your profession was that of a builder of houses, temples and cathedrals.
Your brief psychological profile in your past life:
You had the mind of a scientist, always seeking new explanations. Your environment often misunderstood you, but respected your knowledge.
The lesson that your last past life brought to your present incarnation:
Your lesson is to study, to practice and to use the wisdom that lies within the psychological sciences and in ancient manuscripts. With strong faith and hard work you will reach your real destiny in your present life.

Do you remember now?

Via Will, whose thesis was a woman thereby accounting for his current antithesis. Or something like that; I am not certain how a Hegelian reading of multiple lives works. Plus I think he is being sarky.

Posted by the Flea at 08:11 AM | Comments (7)

October 10, 2007

I have crossed oceans of time to find you...

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Agent Bedhead considers Bram Stoker's Dracula via Francis Ford Coppola; "random boob shots" feature.

With all of this lofty grandeur, one would think that fine acting would necessarily run throughout the film itself, but apparently, Coppola was so busy managing all the visual hoo-ha and inserting random boob shots that he forgot to pay attention to the performances. This omission is perhaps best illustrated during the precredit sequence when (not-yet-Dracula) Vlad The Impaler (Gary Oldman) returns from battle and drops to his knees next to his very dead wife, Elizabeta (Winona Ryder), who visibly flinches. Oh wait, that can’t possibly be correct — lemme check ; nope, no Oscars were given to any of the actors or actresses in the film.

Say what you like about Keanu Reeves' acting or for that matter, Winona Ryder's. Say, for example, they suck. Gary Oldman still gets one of my favourite lines of all time; one I have had cause to quote in appropriate circumstances, I am happy to report.

Posted by the Flea at 08:07 AM | Comments (6)

Wojciech Kilar: Vocalise

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:04 AM | Comments (1)

Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?

Governor Romney's glacial response to a wheelchair bound man's plea for medical marijuana is the most damning since Governor Dukakis lost seven percent of his support overnight following the October 13, 1988 debate.* Many Americans oppose the death penalty but Americans are electing a man (or a woman) as much as they are electing a policy or a platform.

Mitt Romney will never be President of the United States.

* His reliance on attorneys to let him know if as President he could defend the United States, the free world and liberty was also a sign of a serious problem. By contrast, Senator Thompson's smack-down of Christopher Matthews was most satisfying and Mayor Giuliani's zinger about Canadian health care was spot on.

Related: Some excellent questions for Christopher Matthews.

Posted by the Flea at 08:03 AM | Comments (2)

October 09, 2007

What to do, what to do

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One-hit, possibly two-hit wonder, Ian Brown has dismissed Kylie Minogue's music as "rubbish for little kids" (hat tip to the delectable SondraK*). This following the knock-backs of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and recent departure of long time boyfriend, whatshisface. Now the Flea learns Kylie fears she may never be married, never have children (hat tip to Moron Pundit).**

It seems to me the solution is obvious.

* Also via Sondra, the adventures of Battle Hard Bear.
** She does have the new album coming out; very good news even if frustrating for Dannii.

Posted by the Flea at 08:47 AM | Comments (4)

Kentucky Lightning: Come to my window

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (via the Ugly American) (arguably nsfw).

Posted by the Flea at 08:44 AM

Keyboard spray warning

An effective approach to telemarketers.

Posted by the Flea at 08:43 AM

October 08, 2007

I can't see the [expletive deleted] thing

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An extended consideration of the F-22 Raptor's capabilities includes a succinct assessment on the part of the Royal Australian Air Force.

"I can't see the [expletive deleted] thing," said RAAF Squadron Leader Stephen Chappell, exchange F-15 pilot in the 65th Aggressor Squadron. "It won't let me put a weapons system on it, even when I can see it visually through the canopy. [Flying against the F-22] annoys the hell out of me."

Which might account for kill ratios against F-15s of up to 108:0. Nice.

Related: A quote from a DefenseTech post on the prospect of a two-seat F-22 Raptor. Leaving aside the merits of such a beast, this piece suggests a feature which is in some ways scarier than the Raptor's invisibility or its lethality.

(Aviation Week and Space Technology's David) Fulghum states in his article "Recent operational experience with the F-22 produced an aural environment, described by participants as “spooky,” where aircrews seldom speak and move information by data link, which is faster and more accurate than talking."
Posted by the Flea at 07:57 AM | Comments (7)

Human League: (Keep Feeling) Fascination

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:53 AM

Arana Mecanica

This robot spider is a serious contender for the Fleamobile; no problem parallel parking this sucker (hat tip to Cha0tic).

Posted by the Flea at 07:51 AM | Comments (1)

October 06, 2007

Stop the presses

The Western Standard print edition is done. Jay Currie comments. Update to my Western Standard post below.

Posted by the Flea at 12:53 AM

October 05, 2007

Christopher Walken: Delilah

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM | Comments (3)

He has used the wrong knife

Harry Enfield reconsiders Terminator 3.

Related: I have been known to wear my hat at a jaunty angle.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

October 04, 2007

What is best in life

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Literary respect, it seems to me, is a two-edged sword. Heaven forbid the author of Conan ever become respectable.* If it takes the establishment nearly a century to recognize a man's work it seems the fault lies not in the man or his work but in those offering a much belated eulogy. Ace points to a two-volume complete works of Robert E. Howard. What is best in life? Ace offering further comment:

I guess Conan appeals partly for the same reason Firefly does: It's a pessimistic view of the world while a somewhat more positive depiction of actual people. Those with faith in organizations and causes may flock to Star Trek, while many of us are turned off by its antiseptic and gray view of humanity, preferring the dirtiness, horniness, and human-ness of Firefly.
Conan wasn't fighting for a damn thing except himself, and, occasionally, a hottie or young warrior he took a shine to. At no point in any Conan story was there ever the promise of a coming utopia and final defeat of evil; evil always had to be fought, but it could never be conquered, and would be present so long as man existed. In National Review/WFB terms, there was no Immanentization of the eschaton in Hyboria, ever, and the very nature of the world precluded such a soft-headed notion of a Return to the Original State of Grace. Hyboria looked a lot like earth, in other words, at least as many saw it.

For all he was brilliant, Robert E. Howard was an odd duck, btw.

* "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." - The Tower of the Elephant (1933)

Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM | Comments (2)

Blue Oyster Cult: Veteran of the Psychic Wars

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM | Comments (1)

October 03, 2007

Hilary Duff: Happy (Ghost of a flea Mix)

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I am slowly paying back my debt to Coil. In kind. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:17 AM

October 02, 2007

Jonathon the Impaler

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Flea-readers may not be shocked to learn I first heard Jonathon Sharkey was running for President of the United States from Toronto vampires heaping scorn on him for giving the impression vampires are Satanists. Such is the fate of Canadian vampires that they are necessarily Canadian.

In the history of the United States he's the first Satanist vampire that ever tried to run for office. As much as I want to mock the media for that, that's the story. If you look at his platform, he's a moderate Democrat who leans left with the exception of his impalement policy, and he had some interesting ideas for Minnesota. We didn't get too much into that, because to me it wasn't the story.

Right leaning on national security, left leaning on social policy and vigorously pro-impalement: My politics in a nutshell.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (1)

Milosh: The City (Walter Robot)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM

October 01, 2007

He lives!

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Agent Bedhead may be popping an egg for The Rock* but that guy has got nothing on Rowdy Roddy Piper.** Evidence takes the form of one of the great wrestling matches of all time: Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper and Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff.***

With Muhammad Ali as outside referee.

And Liberace to ring the bell.

* Nothing against The Rock; The Rundown was a fine film. They Live was better. Sin-Jin Smyth looks promising too.
** The classic anti-villain.
*** So, has anyone ever noticed a strong resemblance between blogging and pro-wrestling?

Posted by the Flea at 06:57 AM | Comments (4)

The Residents: Gingerbread Man

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

A paradigm for the cosmos

Jools Holland asks Stewart Copeland to explain his drums. He has, amongst other observations, a great bit of advice for musicians seeking to produce something original.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM