July 31, 2008

Did I know I had met the most dangerous dark wizard of all time?


Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM



Zhang Ziyi, top ten successful Chinese actress of 2007 and sort of attractive, confesses she is "puzzled" by human rights protests* in the run up to the Beijing Olympiad (hat tip to Bill).

"I don't see why people are so negative. The games are about friendship," Zhang was quoted as saying in the current issue of Vogue. "I'm Chinese and I'm proud of my country."

I cannot imagine I am alone in finding this combination of sentiment threatening.

* Real human rights, not the Canadian kind.

Posted by the Flea at 05:08 AM

Kylie Minogue: Wow

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 05:04 AM

To succeed, planning alone is insufficient. One must improvise as well.

Ex-New Line Cinema founders Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne - perhaps best known for their stunning screen adaptation of The Lord of the Rings - are now set to produce an adaptation of Isaac Asimov's Foundation.

The complexity and scope of the story has been problematic for other producers, however these two are confident that they'll put something worthy together. Shaye explains "this is not a script you can knock out in six months." Certainly true!

The first book in the trilogy, Foundation, is a combination of five short stories written by the legendary Isaac Asimov that together form one plot. The book focuses on a society that has figured out how to predict the future based on a method called psychohistory and sets up a foundation devoted to scientific research to protect itself and ensure its survival. The books contain political themes that center on the rise and fall of civilizations and span hundred of years, which makes this series troublesome and challenging for adaptation.
Posted by the Flea at 05:03 AM | Comments (2)

July 30, 2008

X-Men Origins

This Wolverine trailer has a significant "meh" factor compared to TR2N p2rn. It could be Wolverine's Canadianity is leaking through; this should have the awesome and it is lacking.

Related: Trailers and video clips for Star Wars: The Clone Wars are now on-line. Cool looking, artless and affectless; such are the latter days of George Lucas, heresiarch.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM

Fais ce que dois

I am intrigued to learn Small Dead Animals has earned an editorial readership beating out Canada's French language newspaper of record, Montreal's Le Devoir. A SnapShot of our site analytics suggests the Flea may be approaching Kate's editorial league. Most satisfying.

I include another Canadian political commentary blog in those analytics to add perspective. Though in fairness I think its readership got a little bump from irritating the Canadian dextrosphere recently so best not to misoverestimate its importance or influence.

Posted by the Flea at 06:37 AM

Blur: Coffee & TV

This one goes with a shout out to The Michael Coren Show. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:34 AM

July 29, 2008

Monica Naranjo: Amor y Lujo

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (hat tip to Beautiful Atrocities).

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

Man, machine and the fusion of the two

Zoetica Ebb reviews Fantastic Contraption, an exhibit curated by Device Gallery owners Greg and Amy Brotherton.

Device is nestled comfortably among dozens of galleries along the ocean. The touristy neighborhood is full of art, boutiques and eateries but there’s nothing quite like Device here! The gallery has plenty going for it besides its location, too - the spacious interior is overflowing with art I’d only dreamed of seeing in one place. Where else can you see H.R. Giger hanging alongside the huge canvases of Eduard Anikonov, wander beneath the shadow of Brotherton’s Mercury 5000 and hover over the several enhanced insects on display before getting lost in Halleux’s menagerie of characters!
Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM


Warren Ellis offers a taste of classic British tv sf.

... while I’m waiting for my forebrain to spool up this afternoon, I thought I’d YouTube a bit and collect up some stuff that some of you may never have seen (and some of you will get hideous flashbacks off)
Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM | Comments (1)

July 28, 2008

Howlin' Wolf: Smokestack Lightning (1964)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:34 AM

The new Bond car

007 will be driving an Aston Martin DBS* in Quantum of Solace. Nice. And now some time has passed I realize I can stand by my first impression: Daniel Craig's Casino Royale is the greatest Bond film ever (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).

* Now with iPod integration. Must be worth a few quid.

Posted by the Flea at 06:33 AM

July 27, 2008

Pr0n 2

The Tron 2 aka Tr2n trailer is on-line.

Men of a certain generation are going to need some alone time.

Related: From the set of Watchmen, the interior of the Owlship (hat tip to Capt H).

Posted by the Flea at 04:06 AM | Comments (1)

July 26, 2008


It is a rainy Saturday afternoon in Toronto. Time for some DinoRun practice (via Ace).

Posted by the Flea at 02:14 PM

July 25, 2008

Björk: Bachelorette

Live at Fashion Rocks alongside the work of Alexander McQueen: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 02:54 AM | Comments (1)

July 24, 2008

Amon Amarth: Runes To My Memory

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:42 AM

Callooh! Callay!


Good news. Fetish model and former Suicide Girl, Apnea who is 22 years of age and 5'1" - just an FYI - and photographer Lithium Picnic have resolved their legal fracas with the aforementioned Suicide Girls. Good news. Though Fabiola offers a somewhat nuanced view of the turn of events.

Now, you gotta be fucking kidding me! After all the donations and charity AND a settlement from a large corporation such as SG, you STILL need help covering your legal expenses? And how? Sending all of the people that supported YOUR fight against them back to the site to sign up for a membership. Have you NO shame? No moral fiber?

Those legal bills do add up. And I want to point to my own exemplary moral fibre in choosing an image to illustrate this post. You all have Google in case you wish to investigate the, ahem, subject matter as thoroughly as I have done.

Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM

July 23, 2008

Subject: E-mail from Ireland

Besoeker receives an email from Ireland and thoughtfully posts it to the comments at Rantburg.

An email from Ireland to all of their brethren in the States. A point to ponder despite your political affiliation:

We, in Ireland, can't figure out why you people are even bothering to hold an election in the United States.

On one side, you had a pants wearing female lawyer, married to another lawyer who can't seem to keep his pants on, who just lost a long and heated primary against a lawyer, who goes to the wrong church, who is married to yet another lawyer, who doesn't even like the country her husband wants to run!

Now...On the other side, you have a nice old war hero whose name starts with the appropriate 'Mc' terminology, married to a good looking younger woman who owns a beer distributorship!

What in God's name are ya lads thinking over in the colonies!!!!!
Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM


Holy holy holy. Manchester University's School of Arts, Histories and Cultures has revealed the existence of 267 tapes found in Delia Derbyshire's attic when she died in 2001.

Amongst the recordings is some ethereal whooshing from a 1969 production of Hamlet at the Roundhouse in London; an extraordinary kit of parts for one of her most-admired pieces; and the theme for a documentary set in the Sahara which shows how she used her voice as an instrument.

Most unexpected of all, however, is a piece of music that sounds like a contemporary dance track which was recorded, it is believed, in the late sixties.

The BBC - for a brief moment fulfilling its public mandate - hosts audio clips. I confess I think they are over-blowing the dance track a bit. Despite what Paul Hartnoll says it is not a piece that could be released next week. It is, however, decades ahead of its time and part of a treasure trove for people who make electronic and experimental music. No need for hyperbole; Delia was the master.

Posted by the Flea at 06:39 AM

Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio: Do murder and lust make me a man

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:37 AM

July 22, 2008

'Tis as human a little story as paper could well carry


Ellen Bute’s Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake arrives via Feuilleton. Just the ticket to impress neighbouring cubicles with your erudition, love of language and of course Dublin.

Ellen Bute’s Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake is the kind of thing you would have been lucky to see on television even in the days when non-Hollywood fare was screened regularly.

Ulysses is quite popular as well, obviously.

Related: James Joyce reading from Finnegans Wake. Also, Accents and Edwardians.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (2)

VNV Nation: Electronaut

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:22 AM

Why India lost the war

Thoughts on why India lost the war with China include this telling comment by then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

"I remember many a time when our senior generals came to us, and wrote to the defence ministry saying that they wanted certain things... If we had had foresight, known exactly what would happen, we would have done something else... what India has learnt from the Chinese invasion is that in the world of today there is no place for weak nations... We have been living in an unreal world of our own creation."

They were neither the first nor the last to have made this mistake; something to keep in mind. Those were the days when mainland China was threatened with invasion from Taiwan... good times.

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM

July 21, 2008

Dizzy Gillespie: Manteca (The Funky Lowlives Remix)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 05:15 AM

It's difficult to get hold of dead horses

People are quite sentimental about that sort of thing in England. Failing that, get hold of a piano, some gasoline and your trebuchet project is good to go.

Posted by the Flea at 05:14 AM

July 18, 2008

Lallakiss Battle Song: Kill the Humans

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 08:23 AM

Virtual Gettysburg

Real soldiers. Real heroes. Real honour. Visit historic Gettysburg through these virtual panoramas.

Posted by the Flea at 08:21 AM | TrackBack (0)

July 17, 2008

The Hedgehog and the Fox

Isaiah Berlin on Archilochus' claim that the fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing.* Following Berlin's interpretation, the Flea is most definitely crazy like a fox. If, admittedly, an underachieving fox by comparison with the following.

...there exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vision, one system less or more coherent or articulate, in terms of which they understand, think and feel-a single, universal, organizing principle in terms of which alone all that they are and say has significance-and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, connected, if at all, only in some de facto way...
The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes; and without insisting on a rigid classification, we may, without too much fear of contradiction, say that, in this sense, Dante belongs to the first category, Shakespeare to the second; Plato, Lucretius, Pascal, Hegel, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Proust are, in varying degrees, hedgehogs; Herodotus, Aristotle, Montaigne, Erasmus, Molière, Goethe, Pushkin, Balzak, Joyce are foxes.

* With apologies to the blog where I saw this somewhat gnomic aphorism the other day; I have forgotten quite where it was.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM

Marianne Faithfull: Something Better

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

My Gothic Pony

This edition of Goth or not Goth arrives with a hat tip to the delectable SondraK.

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

July 16, 2008

At last

dr horrible.jpg

Joss Whedon presents Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. I have decided Neil Patrick Harris should play me when they get around to making a biopic of the Flea (with a hat tip to the Sister of the Flea).

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is the latest project from geek scribe Joss Whedon. It tells the story of a wannabe villain battling his archnemesis, Captain Hammer, and struggling to woo his neighbor, Penny. Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dollhouse, came up with the idea for the internet musical during the Hollywood writers' strike earlier this year.

So far, the first installment, or act, has been wildly popular, outpacing shows like Lost, The Wire and The Daily Show to rank No. 1 on the iTunes list of most popular television series.
Posted by the Flea at 12:04 AM | Comments (1)

Not about hardware and space battles

Caprica strikes out into uncharted territory for sf; an attempt to preemptively bore its audience.

"Caprica is a sweeping, highly emotional relationship drama — a Rich Man, Poor Man set in a science-fiction environment," says exec producer and writer Remi Aubuchon (24), who created the prequel with BSG's Ronald D. Moore. "The look is nostalgic, almost 1950s, with the men in hats, ties and stylish suits. It's not about hardware and space battles."

Or about Battlestar Galactica, apparently. No substitute for Deadwood or Rome but - let's face facts - I will watch the show regardless.

Posted by the Flea at 12:03 AM

Decoding the Northern Dunes

I am am convinced a careful examination of these landscapes of Mars will reveal worm sign.

Posted by the Flea at 12:02 AM

Buffy Allstars: Walk Through the Fire

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 12:01 AM

July 15, 2008

Kate Bush: Oh England My Lionheart

Let's start a new country and call it England; I still believe. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 05:54 AM | Comments (1)

July 14, 2008

Psalm 137


Charles Thomas Bolton, the first astronomer to present irrefutable evidence of the existence of a black hole*, crying on the steps of his observatory (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).

After 73 years of the observatory being open the University of Toronto sent Bolton an email informing him that he had 10 days to get get off the premises because the University in their "wisdom" had decided to close the David Dunlap Observatory. ...

The university used the excuse that the observatory was no longer useful due to light pollution, but this is a lie as the facility is perfectly useful long-term research programs and large survey programs where relatively few observations are taken of a large number of stars. But more shocking than the closure of the observatory is the poor way the university is treating Mr. Bolton. It's heartbreaking to think that when you're looking at that photo that they carrying out 37 years of his life's work. The University of Toronto should be ashamed of their shoddy treatment of a man who is a real life hero.

* Cygnus X, hole of color, etc.; whatever my American cousins might call the phenomenon in these latter days.

Posted by the Flea at 05:58 AM | Comments (4)

It takes a lot to make me cry

In case I had not linked Christopher Hitchens on the knighthood for Sir Salman Rushdie and a sullen, resentful boring atmosphere in the room. Featured: The then future mayor of London.

Update: Higher quality linkage of the same material courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood Drink Soaked Trots.

Posted by the Flea at 05:57 AM | Comments (2)

Feist: Counting to 4

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (hat tip to the Sister of the Flea).

Posted by the Flea at 05:54 AM

Kaidan sounds


Updates to the musical stylings of the Flea.

Update the first: I am delighted to have been included in a sampler for a special issue of Otaku Magazine; "Kaidan Sounds" accompanies Otaku Kaidan.

KAIDAN is the term used for the Japanese ghost stories, and, extensively, for the J-Horror culture. The Buddhist moralizing stories were rapidly transformed into international shockers; people wanted more frightening monstrosities and oddness, with no direct connection with the Western horror. Manga, anime, movies and the subcultures developed around them competed in shicks and panic. If you really want to know why on the Japanese horror movies is written 18+, take a look at the next issue of Otaku Magazine. Nevertheless, is our duty to warn you that all who looked inside certain pages of this issue have disappeared shortly after. Still, it might be just a story to send the children to sleep for good.

Update the second: I am also delighted to have been asked to contribute to "Free Tibet Free", a Dark Transmissions industrial sampler whose proceeds are contributed to the Central Tibetan Secretariat in Dharamsala. It is an honour to have been anthologized alongside Asmodeus X, Bleiburg, Horologium, Aesthetic Meat Front and many others. I am particularly delighted to find Life's Decay on the sampler, they are a Flea-fav.

Posted by the Flea at 05:53 AM

July 11, 2008

Marilyn Manson: Tourniquet

More from the mind of Floria Sigismondi. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 04:24 AM

July 10, 2008

Devo: Beautiful World

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Teenager finds baby bat in her bra

Goth or not goth.

"Once I realised it was a bat I was shocked, but then I felt quite sorry for it really. It looked very snug in there and I thought how mean I was for disturbing it."
Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM | Comments (2)

July 09, 2008

Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand

Spengler on America, a special grace for an "almost chosen people" and a billion more Christians in the world than in 1970. Such is the Good News.

Christianity, it might be argued, is garnering in a greater proportion of the world's population than at any time since late antiquity precisely because conditions in so many parts of the world resemble late antiquity. China alone is subject to the greatest migrations in human history, adding to its cities 10 or 15 million people each year. The Great Extinction of the peoples makes short work of the hope that all shall be saved, for those who cling to blood, soil, ethnicity and hearth-gods will perish.
Posted by the Flea at 06:24 AM

Queen: Dragon Attack

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:23 AM

Flags used by musicians

A search for imagery for the next Ghost of a flea gig revealed a handy resource for flags used by musicians. From this admittedly small sample, totalitarian imagery appears to have never gone out of vogue.

Posted by the Flea at 06:21 AM | Comments (1)

July 08, 2008

Clock DVA: Buried Dreams

Samantha Morton is a nice bonus. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:17 AM

Adventures in true facts

Japanese bloggers: A whole lot more glamorous than other bloggers, apparently (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).

Posted by the Flea at 06:14 AM

July 07, 2008

Blutengel: Vampire Romance

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM | Comments (1)

July 04, 2008

It’s the job of the good guys to kill the bad guys

The ten commandments for superheros according to Frank Miller (via Agent Bedhead)

6. The hero has a reason, but he doesn’t need therapy.

“When I first got going on what became The Dark Knight, I just thought about him a lot, what kind of guy would do this stuff,” he says of his endlessly influential 1986 reinvention of Batman. That said, Miller says he’s sick of “therapy culture” and hand-wringing heroes like Spider-Man who go around whining all the time about the burden of great power. In 300 Sparta’s King Leonidas didn’t have to ponder the Persian Empire’s diplomacy—he kicked Xerxes’ diplomat down a well.

Also via AB, Kiera Knightley Kiera travels the yellow brick road.

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM | Comments (1)

RTF3 contact in Afghanistan

GolfBravoUSMC asks us to note the Austrian Steyr Stg.77 AUG assault rifles in this footage of Australia's Reconstruction Task Force 3 (RTF3) in contact with the enemy in Afghanistan.

Posted by the Flea at 06:44 AM

Ghislain Poirier: Hit & Red

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

July 03, 2008

Our best qualities


Kathleen McGowan introduces the psychology of normality and some quite specific ways of being abnormal. Not certain how my antipathy toward normal people is classified by the APA but I figure it is a chronic manageable condition (via Five Feet of Fury, with a different spin on the piece).

Being normal is actually extraordinary. It's an unusual combination of specific traits that all have to do with being extra likable. The people who see themselves as most normal (and are seen that way by others) are much less neurotic than the average person, uncommonly easy to get along with, unusually respectful of propriety, and highly responsible.

Normal people may be nicer than average, but they also have character traits that aren't universally appealing. They're not adventurous. They're not above average in intelligence, nor are they outgoing. Truth be told, a lot of our best qualities are unusual. A sense for music like Mozart's is certainly exceptional. So is the ability to speak six languages, or the courage to leap onto the subway tracks to save a stranger's life.

As is the above image. Sadly, Kylie Minogue has retired her exceptional hot pants; something to do with aging gracefully (hat tip to Agent Bedhead).

Posted by the Flea at 06:04 AM | Comments (5)

Aimee Mann: Save me

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:03 AM

July 02, 2008

Somewhere more appealing

British proles are advised not to join the rush to Canada. Though I cannot say I will be disappointed if Daily Mail readers choose to stay home, it is difficult to disagree with the argument on any substantive level.

Culturally, Canada does not hold a candle to Britain. Its museums and orchestras are resoundingly second tier, though it may have an edge in country music festivals. This is, after all, the home of Shania Twain, whose full-throated warblings make Dolly Parton sound sophisticated. In the dramatic arts, Canada's greatest recent contribution - unless you include Jim Carrey and Pamela Anderson - is the incomprehensible, semi-nude contortion act of Cirque du Soleil. And as for its newspapers, they are lifeless and hobbled by the provincialism which divides the country.
As the Canadian poet Irving Layton once said, the Canadian political and intellectual communities' have a tendency to regard ' cowardice as wisdom, philistinism as Olympian serenity and the spitefulness of the weak as moral indignation'.

This via Quotulatiousness, observing "Better stay at home, where the loving eyes of the surveillance cameras can keep a better eye on you."

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM | Comments (3)

Apocalyptica: Nothing Else Matters

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

July 01, 2008

Yoshimoto: Du What U Du

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 05:44 AM