THIS SICKNESS 8 from Bottomless Studio, featuring John Linton Roberson, Emily Kaplan, Chad Parenteau, Charles Alverson, Gianna Ratto, Chris DeWildt and a cover by Molly Kiely. 100 pages! Available in print & Kindle at Amazon!
I Didn't Write That!
28 February 2007
  "So They Tell Me" (1919)


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  How To Fix the Shitty Conditions at Walter Reed

Tell the wounded soldiers to shut up, that's how.

Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.

“Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,” one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

It is unusual for soldiers to have daily inspections after Basic Training.

"Support the troops" indeed. Remember, these are wounded men trying to recuperate. But they're just the help, after all.


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  A Terrifying Promo from Al Gore

I like.

Also: see how the very touch of Bush can kill the life in anything. Even a basketball's bounce.

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27 February 2007
 
Help Fantagraphics

Till Eros went hentai, parent company Fantagraphics' Gary Groth and Kim Thompson (and, more directly, my brilliant editor Michael Dowers) were, at least insofar as a freelancer can have one, my bosses. And very supportive, especially Kim and Mike(who has since moved on). If not for them, a great deal of what I've accomplished in the past three years--and if you count influence on my thoughts on comics, art and media, over twenty--would never have been done nor seen. They gave me my first professional publication and let me do as I liked, experiment, and develop. I owe them serious gratitude just for that.

In addition, both, along with Donna Barr, were instrumental in helping Working for the Man to be the success it was. Kim Thompson did a great deal to stimulate interest and find creators. Gary, of course, wrote the introduction. Neither hesitated to do this to help Bill & Nadine Loebs three years back.

In addition, without their steadfast, and sometimes abrasive, dedication to this medium, comics would not be what they have become. Gary Groth and Kim Thompson, as publishers, have contributed more to comics being considered a medium of expression than, I think, any other non-creator connected to the industry. Without them, Peter Bagge, Dan Clowes, Chris Ware, Los Bros. Hernandez, Al Columbia, and so many more would probably not be the formidable figures they are now. And they have faced a serious and constant rain of shit for their trouble.

Such a rain is being dropped upon them by Harlan Ellison, about whom I'll say no more(I can't say worse of him than he's given himself a reputation for being) except that this lawsuit of his is petty and childish, declared as a result of a personal vendetta by Ellison:
And that is why I am breaking silence against my attorney's good advice, and stating firmly, without equivocation, in no way open to misinterpretation...BUY FANTAGRAPHICS if you wish. I have no problem with that, because in not even the smallest do I seek to impair the company marketwise. This is a PERSONAL MATTER, for the 500th time!! No First Amendment issues, no commercial angst, just trying to get Groth et al to get the fuck out of my life, completely, and forever. If that harms Fantagraphics as a side-issue, that's not my intent, but it IS Gary's choice.
It's a shame; I looked up to him for a long time as a teenager.

And I was introduced to his work by the Comics Journal, back when "An Edge In My Voice" was in it.

Introduced to Ellison via Groth & Thompson. I've already belabored the irony by mentioning it, I think.
I can now expect them to use it as a banner headline to promote their shitty vile Eros line or apply it as jiggery-pokery in some other skip-logic venue...
Hey, that I resent. (And I'm also confused. "Jiggery-pokery"? "Skip-logic venue"?)

More about it here, including how to help Fantagraphics.

And one way is to buy something of theirs; three suggestions to click on at the bottom of this post; and this time, buy them new, otherwise Fantagraphics won't get any of it.

Court documents here.

Discussion here and here.

Good luck to Gary & Kim. They're great guys and vital to the past, present and future of comics, and no one has fought as hard for the medium's dignity. Fuck what other shit might be said about them.


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  Watch It Quick 37








Battlestar Galactica: Dirty Hands parts 1-3
Uploaded by nils82

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Children Heroically Throw Themselves Between Cheney, Bomb

Nineteen Iraqis were "killed or wounded"(they're still not sure about the numbers; why hurry? They're only Iraqis), most of them children, yesterday in a bomb attack in the "enormous success story" that is our war there.

But Cheney was saved, so that's okay. I'm sure it will give him no doubts or pause, and where there are dead bodies strewn on the ground, he will see only flowers and chocolates.

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  Curve

...And coincidentally, a similarly-named, though otherwise very different, British band I also like(and have for over a decade), that more people should have listened to. Do so now.

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26 February 2007
  Swill


Bill Murray - Swill
Uploaded by PigLips

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  Helen Mirren Gets What She Deserves


Okay, extended mash note time. One of my ten all-time favorite actresses and personal goddess receives her due: Best Actress.



Maybe now
O Lucky Man! and the Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover will see the light of day again.



But they'll probably just re-release
Caligula.













Depressed to see Shane MacGowan sold "Sunny Side of the Street" to some corporation for an ad.


But he probably needed drink, or a dentist.



Anyway, congratulations to her, and actresses of this day and age that have had all personality removed along, at first glance, with everything that seems now like an imperfection: look at Helen Mirren. Now that you've had the surgeon, you can never go back, and will never know what you would have looked like. And so: You will never look as good as that, at her age, which is to say almost hotter than when she was young. Scarily, her sex appeal only seems to increase over time.


*For the record, and in the order they occur to me:

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"No! This Will Never Happen! GB."

That's the first President Bush in 1988, on any possibility of making Donald Rumsfeld not even secretary of defense, which had been rumored, but even ambassador to Japan.
Rumsfeld was offered no position in the administration of George H.W. Bush.
I often think our current bastard in charge is Poppy's revenge on us for how little respect we had for him.

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25 February 2007
  Watch It Quick 36

My childhood was not unlike this.


Moral Orel 206 - God's Blunders
Uploaded by familyguykiller

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  Funding Our Enemies

Otherwise they might not be able to fight us. (Hat tip to the General.)


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  Watch It Quick 35


South Park - Christmas in Canada
Uploaded by kimbaltak

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  Your Frank Rich for This Week

Courtesy of Truthout.org.

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  Oprah's Blind Spot

Concerning Bill O'Reilly, and providing cover for the bastard.

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24 February 2007
 
Gitmo For The Guiltless

We're very well-organized in our war on terror. Not only do we have innumerable facilities to permanently hold those we claim are guilty, but also to do so with those we acknowledge to be innocent. Because we're thorough, you know.

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  Advice We All Should Follow


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23 February 2007
  Bush Doesn't Want To Lose His Power

But most children cry if their toys are taken away.

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  Why Britney Deserves to Be Savaged

At 2:21 into this video, be reminded why.

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  Newsmen Should Look Like Clark Kent

A piece on my favorite newscaster, Keith Olbermann.

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22 February 2007
 
Walter Reed

Meanwhile, what's actually important.

This government bullied us all into going along with their fucking war, and squelched--and still squelch--all dissent by making the claim that to be against the war is to harm the troops, and behind the chant of "Support the troops" they got a great deal of their way, did this presidency. You certainly couldn't argue against that. You might try, but it would wear you down.

"Support the troops."
Again and again, till your head became the headache.


See how this garbage that calls itself a government leads by example.

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Ladies & Gentlemen, the New Courtney Love

I have never given a flying fuck about Britney Spears, nor most of her useless, untalented, vapid and spoiled generation of celebrities. So it's enjoyable seeing her(click to see her attacking her ex-husband's car and, well, looking like she's on PCP), and so many of her soulless, synthetic sort implode, and know they will soon will have no careers, and will be out of our faces, except as fourth-tier media freaks, perhaps. Within one year this woman will be on a reality show. Mark my words. Or will be a trivia question. Or both.

(And at least Courtney Love did one good Hole album)


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  It Won't Blow Up Real Good

Why the fuck did the Army need to do this exactly?

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Limit the Mission: A Way To Stop The War?

The single most important thing stopping the Democrats from stopping the war in Iraq is the fear that the Republicans, who know the war is already lost, will then be able to pin upon the donkey the blame. Not to mention worse.

This is not, anymore, an entirely justified fear. The reason the Democratic Party now controls Congress is precisely in hope that they will stop the war. Its opponents have increased to a serious majority in this country, those not against it for the simple reason that it's evil dragged to that side by its incompetence, brutality, needlessness and futility no longer being something anyone can ignore or spin. And even its few supporters can only justify further deaths as honoring the deaths that came before, and cannot muster any more than the most formal and practiced enthusiasm. At best, they now seem embarrassed. The few rabid supporters of the war are paid to be. And have so tied themselves with mindless defense of this administration that, were it to actually fall, would take the propagandists like Limbaugh and Coulter down into the dustbin of history with it, in that pop-culture limbo among legwarmers and Father Coughlin.

The moment of meaningful control will only last two years that can be counted upon. And I'm afraid they very well may continue the now-reflexive cowardice in which the GOP has trained them. The trap they fear is no longer a trap. And is the point of gaining office simply to keep getting elected, and to accomplish what while you're there? This is one reason for my skepticism about Barack Obama, which is that he's barely been a senator a couple of years, and seems to have only used it as a means of introducing himself to a mass public; I can't think of anything meaningful in regards to Senate business that he's accomplished. He's more a symbol than a leader, and we don't need symbols. We need something real.

So it's heartening to see them come up with a way to constrain the war enough that it can be stopped. Which is to limit the mission, and take away the authority they granted Bush in 2002.

Let's see how this goes.

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  "Superman: The Movie" Re-Enacted By Bunnies


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  Edwards Calls Out Hillary

And if she can't stand up to this, the rest of her campaign is moot. And I don't think she can; I really do think she believed she would be the unchallenged Democratic candidate. But John Edwards, who apologized without excuses for his vote for the Iraq War(thus pre-empting this problem and establishing himself as an anti-war candidate, which Hillary can't really do now), calls her on her crap. Politely.

“If she believes the vote was wrong, then I think it’s important to be honest about that,” Edwards said. “If she believes that it was not, then she can defend it.

“I don’t believe this is very complicated,” he said.

She thinks she can have it both ways. She can't. She thinks she can threaten donors into only supporting her. They've thumbed their noses at her as a result. And as a candidate, she's starting to look worse than John Kerry and Michael Dukakis combined. No wonder Fox wants it to be her so much.

Not her. please. It'd be nice to win. She's not her husband.

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  Passion of the Christ: the Deleted Scene

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  Amphibians Dying Off Worldwide

And a fungus is doing it.

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21 February 2007
  Quote of the Hour
"You don’t win support by being assholes. You win support by showing the world that your opponents are assholes."
Barbara at Mahablog (brought to my attention by Sara at Orcinus)

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That Was A Quick Flameout

Hillary Clinton's campaign has managed to fuck itself up awfully quickly over Barack Obama. Over whose popularity they seem to feel offended. Especially given that Obama has been doing so well for support in California, which was always a Clinton stronghold and a state that Bill visited frequently. It would appear that Bill is not the only one prone to sudden flashes of unseemly anger, but unlike Hillary, he could bounce back on his considerable charm. Hillary, though, has all the charm of a lump of coal. And its subtlety as well.

To me, it seems she thought the nomination was something she is entitled to, and I don't really think we need more dynastic behavior in our electoral process.

And frankly, she voted to give Bush his war, and cannot even manage to say, straight out, that she was wrong. Because that's not really the word. The reason she voted for it was partly because she's already a hawk and not at all a liberal, and also on the assumption that it would have been political suicide not to. She helped give license to Bush to bring hell on earth just for the sake of her career. Deaths of thousands, enabled by her without remorse, Iraqi and American lives both nothing compared to her ambitions. And she miscalculated. Those who made that choice, and cannot say they were wrong(which John Edwards did, straight out, on Bill Maher's Real Time last week) ought to receive some sort of punishment, and it seems to me that should at least mean that you don't get to be president.

I'm still skeptical about Obama, and still like Edwards(the only political candidate I ever donated to, prior to his being chosen as VP nominee), but not Hillary. To me she's a potential Democratic Nixon. The very fact that the Republicans keep pretending that she's the worst thing that could be thrown at them, in order to guide us into making her the nominee, when you just know they've been saving something especially poisonous and career-destroying just for such a moment, tells me we would make a huge mistake if she became the Democratic nominee. The Republican political strategy often relies on getting rid of anyone they can't easily beat, and early on.

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  Watch It Quick 34

Apparently there's some sound delay; be warned.







Battlestar Galactica: A DAY IN THE LIFE
Uploaded by nils82

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  But They're Still No Match For The Kite-Eating Tree

Andrew Sullivan points us to a rather bizarre phenomenon that has developed in Pakistan: murder kites.
Over the past decade, Basant has been hijacked by kite-flying fanatics. Cut throat kite-flyers have been using metal twine. The aim: to cut opponents' kite wires. The collateral damage: hundreds of slit throats. A beautiful cultural tradition has degenerated into a murderous sport. Reports say that hundreds have been killed or wounded when their throats were cut by razor-sharp kite twine.

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  For You Zappa Fans Out There

I hate the Coneheads, but here you go:

Zappa Meets the Coneheads
Uploaded by PigLips

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Free Book

The Authoritarians, by Bob Altemyer, Ph.D., of the University of Manitoba. First six chapters in PDF form (with more to follow, equally free) available here.

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20 February 2007
 
Blair Tries To Rescue Already-Rotted Legacy

The Prime Minister of the UK emboldens the enemy.

I wonder if this will force Georgie's hand in a way that, so far, the new Congress has not had the balls to. It's one thing to write the President a nasty note; quite another to take 3,000 troops out of his clumsy hands.

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  Martial Law Much Easier Since October

Bet you missed this.
So it was with a provision quietly tucked into the enormous defense budget bill at the Bush administration’s behest that makes it easier for a president to override local control of law enforcement and declare martial law.

The provision, signed into law in October, weakens two obscure but important bulwarks of liberty. One is the doctrine that bars military forces, including a federalized National Guard, from engaging in law enforcement. Called posse comitatus, it was enshrined in law after the Civil War to preserve the line between civil government and the military. The other is the Insurrection Act of 1807, which provides the major exemptions to posse comitatus. It essentially limits a president’s use of the military in law enforcement to putting down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion, where a state is violating federal law or depriving people of constitutional rights.

The newly enacted provisions upset this careful balance. They shift the focus from making sure that federal laws are enforced to restoring public order. Beyond cases of actual insurrection, the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any “other condition.”

You know, now that I think of it, maybe it is better the troops are kept abroad.

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Send the GOP to Gitmo!

They've been accepting large donations for quite some time from an accused terror financier! So that's why they haven't bothered to find Osama Bin Laden.

Remember, every time you vote for the GOP, you're only helping the terrorists win. Why do the Republicans hate America?

Elsewhere, the slow fade of Dick Cheney continues. If Libby is convicted, look for Cheney to be forced out like Rumsfeld. (I can't imagine him leaving voluntarily)

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19 February 2007
  Watch It Quick 33


Moral Orel 19 - Holy Visage
Uploaded by PigLips

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  Now It Can Be Told

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  The Gay Fantasies of George W. Bush

By way of, as usual, Andrew Sullivan:
Speaking of George Bush, with whom Sharon developed a very close relationship, Uri Dan recalls that Sharon's delicacy made him reluctant to repeat what the president had told him when they discussed Osama bin Laden. Finally he relented. And here is what the leader of the Western world, valiant warrior in the battle of cultures, promised to do to bin Laden if he caught him:
"I will screw him in the ass!"

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  The Heather Show

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  New Dingo

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  "Decadence"

A film by Pria Viswalingam.

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  From "Cannibal: The Musical"


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18 February 2007
  The Great Right Wing Brain Glitch of 2007

From Tom Tomorrow. (click image to see full cartoon)

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  Watch It Quick 32


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17 February 2007
  Something I Was Messing With: Octobriana

...because of a thread over at the Comics Journal Message Board. These are two "open-source" characters, Octobriana(most famously drawn by Bryan Talbot in Luther Arkwright) and Projunior(most famously drawn by Jay Lynch and R. Crumb in Bijou Funnies). I might expand on this, might not. Might even make her Vladrushka's sister.

click to enlarge


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16 February 2007
 
Please Keep Discrediting Yourselves, Christsuckers

Ben Bridges, a Republican state representative in Georgia, tries to bring more friends to the creationist cause by putting out a memo claiming...well...
“Indisputable evidence — long hidden but now available to everyone — demonstrates conclusively that so-called ‘secular evolution science’ is the Big-Bang 15-billion-year alternate ‘creation scenario’ of the Pharisee Religion,” the memo says. “This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic ‘holy book’ Kabbala dating back at least two millennia.”
That's right, he thinks evolution is a Jewish plot. Ah, the Jewish conspiracy against everything. Always the favorite last resort of the absolutely ignorant. And what's great about it is that, as it's completely untrue, you can use it in any context. But wait, it gets better: he also doesn't believe Copernicus!
It also directs readers to a Web site which includes model legislation that calls the Kabbala “a mystic, anti-Christ ‘holy book’ of the Pharisee Sect of Judaism.” The Web site also declares “the earth is not rotating … nor is it going around the sun.”
Oy. Look, creationists, you can solve all this and annihilate 500 years of nasty, nasty science that makes your brain cell hurt if you just do one thing: prove, positively rather than just saying, "There must be," the existence of a Creator.

You can't? No shit.

Then why not shut your stupid mouths? If you want to pretend at being scientists, buy yourselves some chemistry sets and let the world progress. You had your chance, and blew it, centuries ago. You lost your right to guide civilization by dragging it down into darkness, and we're not letting you do it again. (And if we do, we don't deserve civilization)


If I sould like I take these assholes personally, I do. I've been fighting them since I was twelve. More on that one day when I feel like writing about it.

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Were the Gulags Getting Too Costly?

There is more than corn in Indiana! No longer are we shipping our disappeared overseas. A secret prison for Muslims has been revealed in Indiana.

Wonder how many more there are. Lots of dead space in this country where no one will notice. If you've ever passed through Wyoming, Nevada, Nebraska or Utah you know what I mean.

But you won't do more when reading this than think it's a shame, will you?

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  Burn the Beautiful People

Rich, coke-brained bastards in Manhattan and their take on Iraq.
Jacqie Venable, a 40-year-old music producer, was wearing a beret and jeans. She said she wasn’t wearing underwear.
She said the war in Iraq was meant to happen “karmically.”
“In my spiritual picture, it has to do with karma,” she said. “Everything that happens in life, to each of us, is what we call into our space. Everything comes full circle. So right now, it’s going to work out to whatever it works out to be. It might be happy for me and not happy for you.
“The people who are there fighting—it’s their journey. This is our journey,” she continued. “People are dying all around the world. Forget Iraq—they’re dying in this country. And their parents are suffering with them, and our parents suffer for us because we’re at Bungalow. There is no separation in the trauma.”

How does she feel as an American?

“I don’t see myself as an American,” she said. “I see myself as a child of a higher being, and I feel privileged to walk this earth with my daughter and my family. The war in Iraq just reminds me of my everyday war. The only way that I can make a difference is being really grateful for the good, the bad, the ugly—what I can do for me. If I’m straight and I love everybody in a grateful world, that’s the only contribution I can make. And I can teach that to my daughter.”
I asked what she’d rather be talking about.
“My daughter. Shoes. Handbags. Fashionistas to laugh at. Waxing the undercarriage—from your poonnany to your back door. It’s fucking painful.”
I met Holger Braun, a 31-year-old entrepreneur from Austria.
I asked if he cared that American soldiers are dying.
“Not for a second,” he said.
(Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan)

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More of Fox's Hideous New Show

Another clip. I thought Fox was against abortions.

I'm still scratching my head at this one. How is this funny? It's not even a clever commercial for Limbaugh and Coulter.

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15 February 2007
 
Thom Yorke: "Harrowdown Hill"

"The angriest song I've ever written," says Yorke. The subject: Dr. David Kelly, murdered by the British government in a "wet job" during the buildup to the Iraq War, because he knew the justification for war was a lie(though he probably wouldn't have done anything with the knowledge, being a timid sort), and because Tony Blair needed a sacrifice to seal his deal with the devil.

If you recall, he was said to have opened his veins in the forest. But who does that? And where was the blood?




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You Better Run, You Better Take Cover

Why do we need a secret military base in Australia?

It might explain racist Aussie PM John Howard's strange comments on Barack Obama the other day.

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14 February 2007
  Republicans Against The Surge

Some are coming to their senses.
A Florida Republican explained on the House floor today that he would not support President George W. Bush's troop escalation because it was bound to be a failure. Rep. Ric Keller criticized an earlier surge policy, warning that "the benefits were temporary, the body bags were permanent."

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  Watch It Quick 31








Rome - Son of Hades parts 1-3
Uploaded by Daleio

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It Makes You Love the Daily Show That Much More

So very fucking sad. I would feel bad for the failure they're about to experience, but it's Fox. The idea, though, of them doing a "fake news" program seems kind of redundant.

Behold a taste of Fox News' upcoming blatant, and incompetent, ripoff of
the Daily Show, brought to you by noted hack creator of "24," Joel Surnow. And I'm absolutely sure I've heard its title before on some summer replacement thing that, most likely, was on NBC. Isn't it wacky? And isn't it proof that propagandists do terrible comedy?

And do you really need a taste of shit to know it's bad? Well, anyway, judge for yourself. Meanwhile, here's Bob Cesca's takedown of this crap.

Then there's the unintentionally hilarious Republican racism in the show. The attempted joke in which the white male host compares Senator Obama to former Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry was weird and awful, especially considering the wide variety of, say, white politicians and public figures who have used cocaine. Like the president. To be fair, there are several funny liberals who occasionally employ racist humor. Most of the time, though, the successful ones, like Howard Stern, use it for satirical purposes. But anyone who listens to Howard knows he's not a racist and his intention is to expose its hatred and hypocrisy. However, when it comes from a network which has employed, promoted and shrugged-off racism with a wholly serious tone (here, here, and here for example) it doesn't sound like satire, it simply sounds racist. That said, it's an easy way to attain cred and laughter from Fox News viewers who are either racists themselves or who simply accept it with a chuckle. The joke wasn't meant to satirize and mock racism, the joke was designed to make a point that, apparently, black politicians use cocaine. You know, because they're all black and can't be trusted in positions of authority -- what with all their tar baby drug habits. That's racism. And it got the biggest (fake?) laugh of the segment.



Meanwhile, Stephen Colbert shows how it's done, and shows us a great new word--"frenemy." I intend to use this word often.


The Colbert Report, 13 February 2007
Uploaded by TLNNL

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Moorcock vs. Tolkien

Yes, I know the LOTR films were fun. (But in a time of such mediocrity, anything that at least tries would seem that way, wouldn't it?) The books are still a pile of corny, retrograde horseshit. Here's Michael Moorcock's take on it , which is much smarter than mine. (And here's "Starship Stormtroopers," his takedown of Heinlein)

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Total Bastard

I expect next he'll be suggesting we eat cake.

It's hard for me living in this beautiful White House to give you an assessment, a first hand assessment. I haven't been there. You have, I haven't.

Our bastard president

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13 February 2007
  Watch It Quick 30







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Torture: Not Fun Anymore?

A sign that the tone of this country really has changed is how the hideous 24(which I never liked, and it disturbed me my otherwise movie-violence-hating ex-wife liked it; the show will be looked back upon with guilt, the S.A. Mann Brand for our time) is now looking so well past its sell-by date. I'm glad to see that we still have a threshold of disgust, though it takes longer and longer for us to get to it all the time.

“People in the Administration love the series, too,” he said. “It’s a patriotic show. They should love it.”
Joel Surnow, lickspittle producer of 24

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12 February 2007
  The Plame Affair: Turns Out Nobody's Guilty

...because everyone is. What, are you going to put the
entire Bush administration in jail? Even if all of them turn out to have committed treason? Hmm.

Treason's all around, no need to waste it.


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  Fritz Lang's "M"


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The Police At The Grammys

Glad I didn't have to watch the Grammys to see this. And you know, I don't give a rat's ass if they don't sound as good as they used to. It's the fucking Police back together; shut up. Would you rather have another solo Sting album? I thought not.

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"The Passion of Joan of Arc"

The silent classic by Carl Theodor Dreyer. This is the entire film. Unfortunately, there is no music, but just put something on if you want some.

 
  Watch It Quick 29




BSG 3X14 parts 1 & 2: The Woman King
Uploaded by nils82

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"Eternity with Beelzebub, and all his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil." - E. Blackadder, 1791
JLRoberson Self-Portrait 2005.
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