May 31, 2007

Halo 3... Hundred


Destructoid had fun with this. Somehow Bungee and Frank Miller tap into the same core of emotion that goes so often untapped in an age of post-heroism and neo-barbarism.

Transit through the Straits Update: Not that we are bereft of heroic spirit.

Posted by the Flea at 06:57 AM | Comments (2)

Armand Van Helden: NYC Beat

Which just goes to show how far a little flange can take a body. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

Science Fiction Book Club to close

The Science Fiction Book Club is to close (via Warren Ellis). I am not certain why I find the news so sad; it is not as if I had been a customer for about twenty-five years. Still, I would not part with those shelves of valueless first-Book Club editions...

On Monday, Publishers Weekly reported that Bookspan, acquired just six weeks ago by Bertelsmann, will cut 280 positions and close some of its book clubs, which include Book-of-the-Month, Doubleday and The Literary Guild. It looks as if the 54-year-old Science Fiction Book Club, which offers a selection of graphic novels and comic novelizations, will be among the casualties.

Dark Blogules Update: Angie Schultz shares some SFBC memories; I expect many Flea-readers will empathize.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM | Comments (11)

May 30, 2007

Another Jerusalem


BLDGBLOG points to the most wondrous thing. Part of Manhattan is made of London. And Coventry. And Bristol. The Luftwaffe did its worst to England and ships unloaded of their precious cargo would return to the Americas with rubble in the hold...

When you're driving around on the FDR, in other words – or, for that matter, when you're simply looking out over the east side of Manhattan – you and your gaze are passing over fragments of British cathedrals and London housing stock, flagstones quarried from Yorkshire, the shattered doorframes and lintels – and eaves, and vaults, and partition walls, and bedroom floors – of whole towns, pieces of Slough and Swindon perhaps, embedded now in asphalt, constituting what would otherwise have passed for bedrock.

Down in the foundations of the city are other cities.
Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM

Thomas Tallis: Spem In Alium

"A song of fortie partes, made by Mr. Tallys." Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Wherever she was, there was Eden

Meryl Yourish posts a passage from Mark Twains' "Extracts from Adam's & Eve's Diaries" (via Instapundit). I have some vaguely clever observations to make about Creationism but after reading the last line of Eve's Diary I have decided they will keep. Seem to have got something stuck in my eye.

MONDAY NOON.–If there is anything on the planet that she is not interested in it is not in my list. There are animals that I am indifferent to, but it is not so with her. She has no discrimination, she takes to all of them, she thinks they are all treasures, every new one is welcome.

When the mighty brontosaurus came striding into camp, she regarded it as an acquisition, I considered it a calamity; that is a good sample of the lack of harmony that prevails in our views of things. She wanted to domesticate it, I wanted to make it a present of the homestead and move out. She believed it could be tamed by kind treatment and would be a good pet; I said a pet twenty-one feet high and eight-four feet long would be no proper thing to have about the place, because, even with the best intentions and without meaning any harm, it could sit down on the house and mash it, for any one could see by the look of its eye that it was absent-minded.

Still, her heart was set upon having that monster, and she couldn't give it up. She thought we could start a dairy with it, and wanted me to help milk it; but I wouldn't; it was too risky. The sex wasn't right, and we hadn't any ladder anyway. Then she wanted to ride it, and look at the scenery. Thirty or forty feet of its tail was lying on the ground, like a fallen tree, and she thought she could climb it, but she was mistaken; when she got to the steep place it was too slick and down she came, and would have hurt herself but for me.

Was she satisfied now? No. Nothing ever satisfies her but demonstration; untested theories are not in her line, and she won't have them. It is the right spirit, I concede it; it attracts me; I feel the influence of it; if I were with her more I think I should take it up myself. Well, she had one theory remaining about this colossus: she thought that if we could tame it and make him friendly we could stand in the river and use him for a bridge. It turned out that he was already plenty tame enough–at least as far as she was concerned– so she tried her theory, but it failed: every time she got him properly placed in the river and went ashore to cross over him, he came out and followed her around like a pet mountain. Like the other animals. They all do that.
Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM | Comments (1)

May 29, 2007

Rule No. 2


Emilie Autumn's "Lessons in Being a Wayward Victorian Girl" include Rule No. 2. Just remember to breath while viewing.

Your corset is your armour. Lace it tightly. Breathing is unimportant.

Normally I don't hold with vlogging; I am making an exception.*

* I draw the line at crafts. This far and no further.

Posted by the Flea at 06:47 AM | Comments (2)

Billy Corgan: Walking Shade

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:43 AM

Magic Is Afoot

Except when it's ajar, of course. Arthur features an interview with Alan Moore on the effectively interchangeable subjects of the arts and the occult.

Arthur: How did your interest in becoming a magician develop? How has being a magician affected how you approach your work?

Alan Moore: Brian Eno has remarked that a lot of artists, writers, musicians have a kind of almost superstitious fear of understanding how what they do for a living works. It’s like if you were a motorist and you were terrified to look under the bonnet for fear it will go away. I think a lot of people want to have a talent for songwriting or whatever and they think Well I better not examine this too closely or it might be like riding a bicycle–if you stop and think about what you’re doing, you fall off.

Now, I don’t really hold with that at all. I think that yes, the creative process is wonderful and mysterious, but the fact that it’s mysterious doesn’t make it unknowable. All of our existences are fairly precarious, but mine has been made considerably less precarious by actually understanding in some form how the processes that I depend on actually work. Now, alright, my understanding, or the understanding that I’ve gleaned from magic, might be correctly wrongheaded for all I know. But as long as the results are good, as long as the work that I’m turning out either maintains my previous levels of quality or, as I think is the case with a couple of those magical performances, actually exceeds those limits, then I’m not really complaining.
Posted by the Flea at 06:41 AM

May 28, 2007

His Dark Materials


While I have not read the first novel of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy upon which The Golden Compass is based I am an enormous fan of Nicole Kidman in slinky golden dresses. The trailer also features appropriate steam-technology and thus may provide a portal into a number of aspects of my true reality (as opposed to my going to work reality which is sadly zeppelin-free) (as of yet).

We have the technology Update: Mr. Ash writes to point to an HD version of the trailer. Ok, well that's a billion times better.

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

Einstürzende Neubauten: Sabrina

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM | Comments (1)


Blackle: Goth or not goth?*

* Some background information which may or may not reflect on the case (via Yummy Wakame).

Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. "Image displayed is primarily a function of the user's color settings and desktop graphics, as well as the color and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen." Roberson et al, 2002

In January 2007 a blog post titled Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year proposed the theory that a black version of the Google search engine would save a fair bit of energy due to the popularity of the search engine.


Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM | Comments (2)

May 25, 2007

Yes, I am posting this because Beth and Val are hot


So sue me.

How to explain the blogosphere and new media to people who pay for cable? Hmm. Take this WWTDD? post about the "Ask Anything with Beth and Val". Yes, their Anne Heche commentary was funny (ha ha) but funny (peculiar) was subsequent comment to the WWTTD? post. So far, so linear narrative. This is where the new media angle comes in: Beth and Val respond.*

* Caveat pascior: Some nsfw language and subject matter.

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

Serebro: Song #1

Hey, Serebro*, the Matrix called: They want their Michael Jackson video back. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (hat tip to Jeff).

* According to Babelfish, "Serebro" is Russian for "wants Flea". True fact.

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

I want, therefore I need

Theodore Dalrymple week at the Flea continues with his June 2005 New Criterion review of Sally Satel and Christina Hoff Sommers' "One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture is Eroding Self-Reliance." This is a sympathetic reading of an argument against "therapism", a term to describe an undermining of self-reliance and, more fundamentally, what it means to be an adult human being.

Therapism has ... corrupted large numbers of people. The assumption that people are easily and permanently damaged by various traumas has led many of them to act the part for the sake of receiving compensation. In this connection, I can’t help recalling a man I met who had been a torturer in the Middle East, but who had himself fallen out with the torturing authorities and had been severely tortured in his turn. When his torture was over, he fled to Britain. What really ruined his life, however, and made it impossible for him ever to work again, was a car accident in Britain, in which someone went into the back of his car at five miles per hour. You wouldn’t have to be a believer in the economic theory of history to spot the explanation of this particular story.

It should go without saying this Oprahfication of the culture extends far beyond the unrelenting and unearned self-esteem of undergraduates - and tenured faculty - which drove me from teaching. Not just our educational system but our foreign policy, indeed, our survival in the face of savages, now depends on the same thinking.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM | Comments (2)

May 24, 2007

Rammstein: Mein Teil

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

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

Equality of opportunity

Theodore Dalrymple week at the Flea continues with this particularly apt observation.

The arguments against equality of outcome have been more or less accepted. Not only is such equality impossible in practice – human nature will always subvert it – but it conflicts with the demand for justice, at least if justice has anything to do with the reward of individual conduct. Incidentally, I am always astonished by the way people always suppose that, if there were any justice in the world, they would be better rather than worse off. To the contrary, many should thank their lucky stars that there is no justice in the world: for otherwise they would die in prolonged agony.
Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM | Comments (4)

May 23, 2007

The Man We Want to Hang


I met Kenneth Anger briefly at the press preview to "An Old Master", a show of Aleister Crowley's paintings and drawings at the October Gallery (April 7, 1998); the first such show, in fact, in some time.

Better known for his writings on Magick than as a painter, this unique retrospective of the collected works of 'the Master Therion' constitutes the only public exhibition of his expressionistic work since its first showing at the Nierendorff Gallery in Berlin in 1931.

The vagaries of art film distribution are such, however, that it is only thanks to YouTube I have now seen Anger's film of the subject. That being the show and not our contretemps over a technical point concerning his subject matter. I believe you will agree Crowley could not paint or draw a damn. Best then to use one of Frieda, Lady Harris' Thoth paintings to illustrate this post, a number of those were also on display.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM

Justin Timberlake: What Goes Around Comes Around

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (nsfw due to language and possibly a sense of ennui).

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM | Comments (2)

May 22, 2007

Dorks & Damsels


The Flea is proud to present the trailer for what is quite possibly the greatest film ever made (more here). This via Unicorn Bacon, who cannot tell if it is a comedy. I am going with wish fulfillment/cry for help. Thunderbolt! Thunderbolt!

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM | Comments (4)

Talking Heads: Girlfriend Is Better

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance (with a shout out to KisP).

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM

How to Be Privileged and Yet Feel Extremely Aggrieved

Writing for The Guardian in August of 2002, Theodore Dalrymple considered the Bloomsbury Set via the work of Virginia Woolf.*

Virginia Woolf's name is not normally associated with great affairs of state, of course. Quite the reverse. She regarded them with a fastidious disgust, as a vulgar distraction from the true business of life: attendance to the finer nuances of one's own emotional state.

Such is, as Ace once more recently if less delicately put it, the "ovarian emoting" of a "stupid vag-clown". Though if these are less delicate times we have Woolf as much as anyone to blame. You feel me?

* There is a particularly fascinating interaction with the library of Michel Leiris, a man from a time when anthropologists still did anthropology.

Posted by the Flea at 07:01 AM

May 21, 2007

The biggest entertainment event of the year


Note to self: Must budget for an Xbox 360* by September 25, 2007. Glitch or no glitch. Halo 3 has a release date.

Diaries out folks – this is one date you’ll want to pencil in early, possibly with a few to booking some time off work before the Microsoft hype machine really starts a-rolling and everyone realizes just how geeky you’re being.

* Better yet, an Xbox 360 Elite. Oh yes.

Is Quisnam Protero Damno Update: Check out the fifth video for Halo 3 multiplay. Gotta love the trip mine...

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

Throbbing Gristle: Discipline

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:21 AM

May 18, 2007

I don't do perky well


She looks plenty perky to me but this, as with so much else, is in the eye of the beholder. Also featured in this month's Ion Magazine; the photography of Caitlin Cronenberg. Yes, that Cronenberg. ICONonline and the National Post both have further details. I now have two goals in life: To make music for a Cronenberg film and to have a Cronenberg designed album cover.

“I’m not falling out of my dress, am I?” Caitlin Cronenberg asks, as she gets ready for a photo shoot. The racy dress in question is a black and red tutu evening gown, designed by the Ryerson Fashion Arts grad for her Bottle Marked Poison clothing line.

“The whole inspiration is that it’s a Goth formal collection based on early Goth clothing and bands,” she says. “But that’s not necessarily all my influence. Different things influence me at different times.”

Surprisingly, she’s not influenced by her dad David’s years of filmmaking. In fact, it was only a few years ago, she sat down to watch some of his classic cult flicks such as Existenz and Crash. Most recently she enjoyed his most mainstream contribution to date, A History of Violence.

And while I am on about music career fantasies, a small note to say Ghost of a flea will be performing live at Savage Garden. It could lead to dancing. This will be an end of June date; specifics to follow.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM | Comments (1)

Yes: Owner of a Lonely Heart

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

In the Big Stupid there is always a certain force of credibility

The Flea's Law: Sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from evil.

First Corollary to The Flea's Law: The Big Stupid is a stupidity so colossal people assume it must be true because no one would believe that someone could believe anything that stupid unless it were true.

“The key-word here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts.”
- George Orwell

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

May 17, 2007

The Alchemist

Harkonnen Chair.jpg

This month's Ion Magazine (pdf file) features an interview with early '70s director-prophet Alejandro Jodorowsky; an important inspiration to John Lennon's art-film audience and Marilyn Manson's wedding ceremony (you are looking for page 29). The whole piece is worth a look but I expect Flea-readers will share my dismay to learn of a particular factoid of which I at least had been blissfully unaware.

I had seen H.R. Giger's concept sketches for a film adaptation of Dune.* But I had no idea of the true scope and majesty of this the greatest movie never made. Time to adapt a continuum transfunctioner to my Odic battle zeppelin's improbability drive, load up on gold bullion and do some time-traveling creative production.

Jodorowsky's nex project is an adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune. Jodorowsky brings in H.R. Giger and Moebius to collaborate on the project, casts Salvador Dali to play the emperor and gets Pink Floyd to provide the score. But this is before Star Wars and no one wanted to bank an expensive French sci-fi movie so the funding dries up. Moebius and Jodorowsky take some of their ideas from the Dune collaboration and end up making a series of French comics called The Incal which look suspiciously like Luc Besson's The Fifth Element. This starts Jodorowksy on a long and successful career writing comic books. He only occasionally dabbles in film again.

* More Giger film design here. Also, Giger furniture including his Harkonnen Chair. Nice.

Posted by the Flea at 07:44 AM | Comments (9)

Test Dept: Total State Machine

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:33 AM

Sympatico bites

After six years as a Sympatico high speed customer I am about to cancel my account. For years, Sympatico was a unique brand under the Bell umbrella for providing excellent reliability and technical support albeit for more than twice what some of its new broadband competitors charged. The combination of excellent support and the bother of changing to a new internet provider kept me a loyal customer even through the last six months of increasingly poor reliability.

Sympatico is now truly a Bell product. The last three weeks of rude and incompetent technical support has destroyed years of brand loyalty. Last night's performance left me reaching for the blood pressure medication after I was told that not only could Sympatico not get my four day old modem working but that the issue would not be forwarded to another technical support agent, to Bell Canada for a line check (this was the problem on Sunday and we have had a storm since) or followed up in any way. This combined with no reply whatsoever to Monday's emails to Sympatico Customer service means this is the end of the line. And now I am no longer bound to Bell for my telephone line I expect I will switch it too just as I switched to a competitor's long distance service several years ago.

Bell: This is why you are going out of business.

I would be grateful for Toronto-based Flea-readers for suggestions regarding an alternative high speed internet carrier. I would prefer to avoid Rogers but any port in a storm. At least with Rogers you know exactly how bad the service is going to be in advance. My apologies in advance for any disruption to Flea-posting.

Posted by the Flea at 07:31 AM | Comments (12)

May 16, 2007

Serebro: Song #1


Beautiful Atrocities returns to the blogosphere for a brief shining moment with a review of what is reported to be the worst Eurovision Song Contest ever. Which is saying something. Jeff has an excellent break-down of performance highlights including my new favourite musical act*: Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.**

* Though in fairness the Bulgarian entry was awesome. If you have ever wondered what authentic vampire babes are listening to as they descend upon latter day Jonathan Harkers the answer is Elitsa & Stoyan.
** I could totally have produced this. Hmm.

Posted by the Flea at 07:33 AM | Comments (4)

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar

But when it's a Havana it's a smoke. Fred Thompson, not returning to next season's Law & Order and taking time to deliver the single greatest political smack-down I have ever seen. Make that President Thompson, please.

Posted by the Flea at 07:28 AM | Comments (1)

May 15, 2007

A lot of temps on the Death Star too, apparently


An Imperial Press Conference cannot spin hard enough to obscure Palpatine's restricted career horizons. Not to worry. He can always get into trading carbon offsets.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (5)

Kraftwerk: Trans Europe Express

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM

Useful idiots

Former KGB agent and Soviet defector Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov explains Communist psychological warfare methods and results. Useful idiots, indeed. I want a transcript of this interview stapled to the forehead of half the faculty who ever taught me and half the faculty I ever worked with. The other half will also find themselves up against the wall. But it only seems fair we have some acknowledgment before the boot descends.

Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM

May 14, 2007

Like Firefly in an RV


Misunderestimated, Outland is best remembered for its one-line pitch, viz "High Noon in space." Simple, elegant and just what cautious production companies want to hear. But it can be all to easy to mistake a gimmick for an underlying art. Take Firefly, for example. The trick to Firefly is not that it is a Western set in space but an adventure with capers as a narrative core. We know the protagonists are rascals but we feel compelled to side with them against the Verse. Perhaps it is the old Christian message that despite our imperfections and despite our failings we might find Grace in spite of ourselves.

There is something precisely analogous at work in The Riches. The show shares Firefly's tendency to haunting fiddle and the cast inspires the same unbridled affection. I don't think I have ever loved a fictional character as much as I have loved MInnie Driver as Dahlia Malloy.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

Nelly Furtado Say It Right

Call it Stendhal's Syndrome, call it a would be Toreador caught up in the beauty of the world again, call it a near flawless pop song: I bow down to the mastery of Demo Castellon. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Reverb related: "Here comes the rain again" by Eurythmics. Also awesome: Nelly Furtado and Charlotte Church covering "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley.

Posted by the Flea at 07:03 AM | Comments (3)

The Nietzsche Family Circus

Fanatics are picturesque, mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reasons (via The Drink-Soaked Trotskyite Popinjays for WAR).

Posted by the Flea at 07:02 AM | Comments (1)

May 11, 2007

A mean looking beast


Long-time Flea-readers will know I had the great honour and opportunity to spend two years working with a team from BAe Systems Marine (then Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd) including the naval architect for the Astute-class next generation SSN. Given the security at Barrow-in-Furness - and particularly in the sheds - it is with some surprise I learn the BBC was allowed a look around (via The Stupid Shall Be Punished).

"It's a mean looking beast. I think it looks like the alien," remarks Chris Nelson of BAE Systems, as we walk round the front of the Royal Navy's new Astute submarine in Barrow. Looming above us is a construction shed 12 storeys high. Within it are three nuclear-powered submarines at different stages of construction.

Gizmodo has more Astute porn to illustrate the point. Fun fact: BAe is sometimes credited as secretly being drafted by James Cameron for a redesign of the Conestoga-class USS Sulaco and Marine pulse rifle. While Wikipedia somewhat more credibly sites Syd Mead as the designer, Chris Nelson has a point. Personally, I would be delighted if the Royal Navy ran with an H.R. Geiger theme. And if we could elect a government with the stones to use it.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM | Comments (1)

Decoded Feedback: Phoenix

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM

The last one

Warren Ellis reviews the latest Bjork offering, Volta.

Man, and I thought VESPERTINE was worthless. All is forgiven, little glitchy bollocks record. If I’d known VOLTA was coming, I might not have snapped you in half and thrown you in the bin to ensure you didn’t somehow reproduce.

More at the link. His thoughts on Spider-Man 3 are yet more succinct.

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

May 10, 2007

Jon & Vangelis: The Friends of Mr. Cairo

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:27 AM | Comments (4)

The Penalty of Projection

Carl Sagan explains elementary Puzzle Box tesseract construction via a trip to Flat Land.

Posted by the Flea at 06:24 AM | Comments (2)

May 09, 2007

As seen from Northanger Abbey


It is a little more blatant vanity blogging at the Flea today with an interview at Mr. Joe Blog's Blog!. Aside from his views on the way God intended whiskey to be drunk, he seems an entirely reasonable chap.

And I was delighted to discover Postpolitical through a Technorati search. This post is the first blogosphere-based review of my music... for me, a big deal.

... I visit his MySpace page and the guy is very 80s industrial (which is good). He also makes some very wild ambient music, which sounds kind of like a creepier version of early SPK (if you can imagine such a thing). He describes it as music for an “unwritten horror film.” Which is how Rhys Fulber and Bill Leeb once described Front Line Assembly’s genre ambition. Although Flea’s music actually sounds like it and FLA’s attempt with Delerium sounds like…well, let’s face it: Enigma.

I am particularly impressed by Lee Garnett's true and faithful use of "industrial" - a term so often misapplied to the likes if NIN* - and that he took the time to consider my stated musical influences. For Flea-readers who are not familiar with Clock DVA he links "The Hacker", a track from Buried Dreams; one of the creepiest albums I have ever heard.** My favourite piece from the album is "The Unseen". I think of it every time I read At the Mountains of Madness, I will link it once it makes its way on to the tubes...

* Thanks again to everyone who has sent me links to the new Trent Reznor marketing campaign and album material. No, I am still not going to link to it.
** Reportedly Jeffrey Dahmer's listening choice as the cops arrived. Thanks for that image Wikipedia!

Posted by the Flea at 07:14 AM | Comments (4)

Underworld: Cowgirl

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

May 08, 2007

So reluctant to admit it


There is no improving on the tag-line "Educating Dita" or Greg Sorensen's eerie take on her hyper-real pin-up image... The Telegraph interviews the extraordinary Dita Von Teese on Marilyn Manson, biography and - critically - the prospect of finding new love.

Recently, Von Teese has allowed herself to be set up on several blind dates by friends. 'I figure I have a better chance being introduced to somebody through a friend than I do meeting someone in a bar or on the internet,' she says. And though she 'isn't ready for another relationship yet', she is hopeful.

Oh Dita, do not rule out the internets. We have such sights to show you.

Posted by the Flea at 07:07 AM | Comments (8)

Feist: 1, 2, 3, 4

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

* Hat tip to the Sister of the Flea.

Posted by the Flea at 07:04 AM

May 07, 2007

I know of no time where matters of the spirit and matters of public policy ought to be more together than at this time


My dear American cousins,

Please elect Senator Fred Thompson to be President of the United States. You would be doing the rest of us a big favour.

For example. And these stories. And another example (hat tip to the Jawas for yet more Draft Fred Thompson linkage).


The Flea

PS by way of Update: The Jawas have more Fred Thompson stuff. His address to the Lincoln Club is particularly impressive. This is the first time I have heard the views of the rightosphere articulated by a politician. This man is awake and he is paying attention.

The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.
- Winston Churchill

Posted by the Flea at 07:23 AM | Comments (7)

Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Day Tripper

I was out with an American ex on Friday night. She was on about how great her boots were when we talked on the phone. I showed up in Stompity Stomp Stomp regalia, looked at her boots and said, "Those are some ok boots."

Other people think the same way as I do but to get their point across they use earrings in the past. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:17 AM

May 04, 2007

The latest in telecalculography

Steampunk Mouse.jpg

Jake of All Trades reports the latest development in telecalculography, a steampunk mouse "Bug".

One holds the device in a manner similar to the way a wood-worker holds a sanding block. The palm rests upon the “ball” in the foreground, with the fingers extending forward. The middle digit is placed upon the spiked cog, while the pointing-finger and the ring-bearing finger sit on the studded levers on either side. The thumb and small-finger rest comfortably on the side of the cylinder, helping to grip the contraption. The “Bug”, as the Professor calls it, is slid about upon a table top–thusly controlling a mobile indicator upon the Telecalculograph’s display.

This sounds a remarkably handy device - if you will excuse the word-play - and it strikes me as just the thing for enabling telecalculograph difference paintings of steampunk machinery (hat tip to the Flea's Kingston Agent in Place). Or, for the most advanced motion picture telecalculography, entire stop-motion features such as The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello. Surely this development implies an Age of Reason and Scientific Progress is upon us and an end to dervish irrationalism.

Posted by the Flea at 05:47 AM | Comments (4)

Bewitched: I'll blow you a kiss in the wind

Warning: This is almost inconceivably hot. Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.*

* Bonus and extra: The Iffin' Song.

Posted by the Flea at 05:44 AM

May 03, 2007

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts: I Love Rock and Roll

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:34 AM | Comments (1)

Swivel service

The British government once again shows its priorities: the Health and Safety Executive has decided moving a chair is too great an ordeal for their office workers.

In most offices, when a chair is in the wrong position then immediate action is taken. Somebody moves it. But not at the Health and Safety Executive. There, employees have been banned from shifting furniture on the remote chance that they might do themselves a mischief. They are told to book a porter to complete the task - and allow two days for it to happen.
Posted by the Flea at 06:33 AM | Comments (2)

May 02, 2007

Out damned T-dot


Horror as a genre only finds success - one might say only finds itself - in combination with other genres. Horror and science fiction, say, in the case of Ridley Scott's Alien, horror and comedy in the original Joss Whedon Buffy film and, of course, horror and romance in Anne Rice' Interview with the Vampire. Or romance again in Blood Ties by Tanya Huff whose protagonist must "walk a line between the supernatural and earthly worlds, torn between the men on either side."

After being asked to unravel a bizarre murder case, private investigator Vicki Nelson realizes that uncovering who — or what — the killer is may be a lot harder than for her typical case. During a stakeout the ex-cop meets Henry Fitzroy, who looks to be an irresistible twentysomething playboy but claims he's actually a 450-year-old vampire!

This is the show I have been waiting for. Not only does Blood Ties provide me with the elixir of life that is precious human vitae Vitamin Cheese missing since Hex but has set the stage for my own regothification project.* Ponderous and indigestible Can Lit may get passed of as Southern Ontario Gothic but to my mind Huff is the only living writer who has explored what Gwendolyn MacEwen called the Toronto inside Toronto. It is frankly wonderful to see her stories come to (un)life.

* In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out Tanya is a friend of the Flea.

Posted by the Flea at 07:27 AM | Comments (4)

Skinny Puppy: Worlock (Live)

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 07:24 AM

Optical illusion

If you look really carefully after a few seconds you'll be able to see Toronto's CN Tower in the background (via the Jawas).

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

May 01, 2007

There’s a piece of metal in your brain. You will die if we remove it. Think of it as jewelry.


Thanks to Jon Favreau - who apparently really does know what he is doing - the right actor has finally been cast for a superhero film, viz Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man.

"He's a superhero who is just a man," says Downey. "Not that I wouldn't play a guy who got bit by a spider or who has some freaky connection with bats, but I think this is a little more accessible.

"I guess that when Stan Lee created the character back in the mid-1960s - to see if he could base a superhero on a hard-partying, womanising billionaire who manufactures weapons, and still make him likeable enough to sell comic books - he clearly won his bet.

The kick ass image is courtesy of Bully's Comics while the good news with a hat tip to Ace, describing this as "the most awesomely awesome comic-book movie eveh." Also awesome would be Johnny Depp as Dr. Strange though I doubt that is ever going to happen.

Posted by the Flea at 06:54 AM | Comments (4)

Garmarna: Euchari

Now is the time at the Flea when we dance.

Posted by the Flea at 06:53 AM

Alchemy Wow!

Join us in the Great Work!

Posted by the Flea at 06:51 AM | Comments (2)