Friday, May 27, 2005

A One Cannon Salute

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. -Hunter S.Thompson

As in life so, it seems, in death. Hunter S. Thompson's 'explosive' memorial will take place this summer. Unfortunately, the event is invitation only, which doesn't seem very Gonzo to me. The drug/gun-crazed journalist and author killed himself six months ago at his home in Colorado.

Thompson's ashes will be placed inside the cannon portion of a 45-metre-high tower designed to resemble his "gonzo fist" symbol. Organizers confirmed this week that the structure will be paid for by actor Johnny Depp. - c/o

Amazing Photo

*Whistling Sounds........I think the photo says it all. For hi-res images and the entire series visit

A dust storm similar to special effects on the big screen bellowed across the western desert of Iraq on April 26. The storm was spawned near the border of Syria and Jordan. As the storm moved closer the sky changed to a shade of orange until total darkness blanketed the ground. The storm passed over in about 45 minutes, leaving a heavy sheet of dust in its wake. Forecaster say the wall of dust may have reached 4,000 to 5,000 feet. -

And God said "Let There Be Corporate Tax Cuts!"

Is the fact that the US is slowly becoming a theocracy frighten anyone else? I'm shakin' in my agnostic boots and I don't even live in the country.

The true architectural wonder of New Life, however, is the pyramid of authority into which it orders its 11,000 members. At the base are 1,300 cell groups, whose leaders answer to section leaders, who answer to zone, who answer to district, who answer to Pastor Ted Haggard, New Life’s founder. Pastor Ted, who talks to President George W. Bush or his advisers every Monday, is a handsome forty-eight-year-old Indianan, most comfortable in denim. He likes to say that his only disagreement with the President is automotive; Bush drives a Ford pickup, whereas Pastor Ted loves his Chevy. In addition to New Life, Pastor Ted presides over the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), whose 45,000 churches and 30 million believers make up the nation’s most powerful religious lobbying group. - Soldiers of Christ: Inside America's Most Powerful Megachurch by Jeff Sharlett c/o

I don't pretend to be a expert in the US Constitution but isn't there something about separation of church and state in the document?

As they assemble in the vast sanctuary of Coral Ridge Presbyterian, with all fifty state flags dangling from the rafters, three stadium-size video screens flash the name of the conference: RECLAIMING AMERICA FOR CHRIST. These are the evangelical activists behind the nation's most effective political machine -- one that brought more than 4 million new Christian voters to the polls last November, sending George W. Bush back to the White House and thirty-two new pro-lifers to Congress. - The Crusaders by Bob Moser on

The Last Wingnut

Tom Cruise's recent appearance on Oprah was the most shameless display of celebrity ass-kissing - The entire interview can be summed up by "You're great Tom!", "Awww shucks, you're great too you know?", "No really Tom, you so cute" - Meanwhile he's leaping around the stage like a cornered squirrel on amphetamines. Oprah ate it up and I'm sure some of the ladies in the audience had to be sedated.

But last night on Access Hollywood the pint sized scientologist confirmed that he is completely nuts. Preaching the virtues of his "religion" Cruise railed against the use of psycho-tropic drugs like Paxil:

Tom Cruise has declared a public war on psychiatrists because he fears the "pseudo-science" has led to a drug-fuelled crisis for today's children. Becoming a scientologist in 1984 made the actor look closely at the controversial religion's anti-psychiatry stance, and he has since become a firm believer that the science and the medicating of children is wrong. The movie hunk declares, " I'm going right after psychiatry and these false labels and this pseudo-science."The actor also maintains that poor results in education in America can be blamed on mind-altering drugs that are given to children.-c/o

Hey, I'm no movie star or scientologist (read: wackjob) but maybe the real problem with the American schools is the Bush administration? The No Child Left Behind Act is pretty much a political smokescreen left over from his "compassionate conservative" election platform. No sorry, I'm wrong...Maverick is's the drugs, of course!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Southern Rock Revivalists

Kings of Leon didn't exaclty find God in the late 80's when they were traveling the deep south with their evangelist father. What they found instead was Rock and Roll. Right now these lucky buggers (all between the ages of 18 and 25) are touring with U2 and their album Aha Shake Heartbreak is on every garage rock fan's Ipod. The highlight so far:
In Seattle, on April 25th, the Kings hit their stride. "Eddie Vedder came out and sang 'Slow Night, So Long' with us," says Nathan. "We blew the fucking roof off the place." -RollingStone

RockSpeak Defined

Brilliantly funny author and Spin columnist Chuck Klosterman (of Sex Drugs & Cocoa Puffs Fame) has written a Rock Lexicon. Check it out at Highlights include:
SHOEGAZE:Music by artists who stare at their feet while performing—presumably because they are ashamed to be playing such shambolic music to an audience of weirdos.

RAWK: This is how people who start bands in order to meet porn stars spell rock. It is also applied to long-haired guitar players who can’t play solos.

Frustrating Pursuit

I've spent the last hour or so editing earlier posts in an attempt to get all my quotation fonts the same size and style. And as you can see it hasn't worked and I'm a few frustrating moments away from pile driving my computer. So screw it the earlier ones are staying up and I'll try and keep new posts in the same style.

Say it ain't so...

Everyone's favourite mormon super genius lost last night in the final round of Jeopardy's Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Not only did he lose he kind of got his ass handed to him by Brad Rutter, who's final three day score was $62,000. Jennings posted a dissapointing total of $34,599.

Rutter correctly ventured "Who are Carpenter and Cooper?" to the final Jeopardy!answer: "The names of these two original Mercury astronauts who orbited Earth in May 1962 and May 1963 are also occupations." Sensing he was about to lose, the amiable Jennings wrote "Go Brad" as part of his incorrect final answer after the three-day finals. His second-place win earned him $500,000 US.

But don't lament too much for the ousted Jeopardy Super Champ, the gravy train hasn't been derailed yet:

On Monday, Comedy Central announced that Jennings would star in a new game show for the cable network. He is also set to release a book in 2006 and an upcoming board game entitled Can You Beat Ken?. -c/o

Incredibly Shrinking Lindsay

I came across this vidcap from a recent SNL episode and couldn't believe it. I gather Ms. Lohan has vehemently denied that she has an eating disorder and insists she's just "losing her baby fat". No wonder young girls in North America have self-image issues. Her freakin' arms look like toothpicks! Nothing like a diet chock full of vodka red bulls and ephedrine. You'd think one of her publicists, or assistants could make her a sandwich.

Oh and apparently Disney has been digitally editing some Herbie Fully Loaded promo material:

Bouncy teen pinup Lindsay Lohan may be a little too, well, bouncy, for Disney. Moms at early test screenings of "Herbie: Fully Loaded" clucked about her being too prominent upfront to the point that execs spent more than $1 million to digitally downsize La Lohan's bosom and draw in higher necklines, reports Us Weekly. Lindsay's rep laughed off allegations of any alterations ... -New York Daily News

Have no fear the digital detectives at Defamer are on the case!

Bush's Buddy

Awwww ain't this sweet? Dubya and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah holding hands and getting all chummy. If these guys are such good buds then why are gas prices soaring through the roof?

According to energy analysts, soaring prices at the pump have more to do with Bush's attack on Baghdad than with the laws of supply and demand. "Instability in Iraq adds a 'risk premium' that increases oil prices by fifteen dollars a barrel," says Rachel Bronson, director of Gulf Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. -Tim Dickinson

Someting called Oil Production Peak that more people should be aware of:

The argument states that we don't have to run out of oil to start having severe problems with industrial civilization and its dependent systems. We only have to slip over the all-time production peak and begin a slide down the arc of steady depletion. The term "global oil-production peak" means that a turning point will come when the world produces the most oil it will ever produce in a given year and, after that, yearly production will inexorably decline. It is usually represented graphically in a bell curve. The peak is the top of the curve, the halfway point of the world's all-time total endowment, meaning half the world's oil will be left. That seems like a lot of oil, and it is, but there's a big catch: It's the half that is much more difficult to extract, far more costly to get, of much poorer quality and located mostly in places where the people hate us. A substantial amount of it will never be extracted. The United States passed its own oil peak -- about 11 million barrels a day -- in 1970, and since then production has dropped steadily. In 2004 it ran just above 5 million barrels a day (we get a tad more from natural-gas condensates). Yet we consume roughly 20 million barrels a day now. That means we have to import about two-thirds of our oil, and the ratio will continue to worsen. - Adapted from The Long Emergency, 2005, by James Howard Kunstler.

Both Articles c/o