Sunday, December 30, 2007
Bomp (co-written with Suzy Shaw) entered the LA Times Bestsellers today at #13. So will it do better next week or quietly drop out? We wait and see.
(For all the dope on the book, scroll back to December 10th)
The secret word is Amazed
Friday, December 28, 2007
The New York Times informs us how, in western Virginia, far from the limelight, United States Attorney John L. Brownlee found himself on the telephone last year with a political and legal superstar, Rudolph Giuliani. For years, Mr. Brownlee and his small team had been building a case that the maker of the painkiller OxyContin had misled the public when it claimed the drug was less prone to abuse than competing narcotics. The drug was believed to be a factor in hundreds of deaths involving its abuse. Mr. Giuliani, celebrated for his stewardship of New York City after 9/11, soon told the prosecutors they were wrong. In 2002, the drug maker, Purdue Pharma of Stamford, Conn., hired Mr. Giuliani and his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, to help stem the controversy about OxyContin. Among Mr. Giuliani’s missions was the job of convincing public officials that they could trust Purdue because they could trust him. (For the whole vile story)
The secret word is Shameless
Thursday, December 27, 2007
The secret number of horsemen is Four
Ever since the time, as a young lad, I saw Kirk Douglas in the movie The Vikings, I have always considered the idea of worshiping Odin, Thor and the rest just as appealing as any other theological baloney. (This was, of course, before Jedi had become an acceptable mode of worship.) And thus this stir-crazy inmate in Utah gets all of my support. I mean, the Norse didn’t stone adulterous women (who also had the vote, incidently) or throw drunks into spurious rehab. I fact, I don’t think they even threw drunks out of Valhalla.
"An inmate is suing the Utah Department of Corrections for denying him his right to practice an ancient Nordic religion while behind bars. Michael Polk is serving time for aggravated assault and robbery. He filed a lawsuit against corrections officials in federal court, accusing them of denying him religious items that he says are necessary to practice the Asatru religion. The religion worships ancient Nordic gods like Odin, Thor, Tyr and Heimdal. In the lawsuit, Polk says he has been a member of the Asatru faith since 2005, and in order to properly practice it he needs items including: a Thor's Hammer, a prayer cloth, a Mead Horn used for drinking Wassail, a drum made of wood and boar skin, a rune staff and a sword."
AND FOR WASSAIL GOOD MEASURE
Here’s the return of The Viking Kittens
The secret word is Mead
And finally I have review-of-the-year media column in LA CityBeat that took on a life of its own and turned all kinda Yeatsian
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
The secret word is Missing
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Here at Doc40, it seems we can’t go a month or more without running a picture of Marilyn Monroe. This time, I’ve added a poem by Delmore Schwartz (who was also a mentor of Lou Reed.)
LOVE AND MARILYN MONROE
by Delmore Schwartz
Let us be aware of the true dark gods
Acknowledgeing the cache of the crotch
The primitive pure and pwerful pink and grey private sensitivites
Wincing, marvelous in their sweetness, whence rises the future.
Therefore let us praise Miss Marilyn Monroe.
She has a noble attitude marked by pride and candor
She takes a noble pride in the female nature and torso
She articualtes her pride with directness and exuberance
She is honest in her delight in womanhood and manhood.
She is not a great lady, she is more than a lady,
She continues the tradition of Dolly Madison and Clara Bow
When she says, "any woman who claims she does not like to be grabbed is a liar!"
Whether true or false, this colossal remark states a dazzling intention...
It might be the birth of a new Venus among us
It atones at the very least for such as Carrie Nation
For Miss Monroe will never be a blue nose, and perhaps we may hope
That there will be fewer blue noses because she has flourished
Long may she flourish in self-delight and the joy of womanhood.
A nation haunted by Puritanism owes her homage and gratitude.
Let us praise, to say it again, her spiritual pride
And admire one who delights in what she has and is
(Who says also: "A woman is like a motor car:
She needs a good body."
And: "I sun bathe in the nude, because I want to be blonde all over.")
This is spiritual piety and physical ebullience
This is vivd glory, spiritual and physical,
Of Miss Marilyn Monroe.
The secret word is Nembutal
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Okay, so it’s Battlestar Galactica merchandise, and I find myself having increasingly more sympathy with the Cylons, but this merch is so damned well designed, here’s a link. (Sent by Some Girl)
Meanwhile Valerie sends us this clip from the New Scientist in which Tom Simonite speculates that humans are really fucking boring on a galllactic level. “Messages sent into space directed at extraterrestrials may have been too boring to earn a reply, say two astrophysicists trying to improve on their previous alien chat lines. Humans have so far sent four messages into space intended for alien listeners. But they have largely been made up of mathematically coded descriptions of some physics and chemistry, with some basic biology and descriptions of humans thrown in. Those topics will not prove gripping reading to other civilisations.” (Click for more)
The secret word is Vigilance
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Maybe someone allowed a chink in the curtains. The sunlight prenetrated the vice presiental gloom, and his attendant vampires conflagrated?
The secret word is Undead
Or would you rather watch a Doc Marten commercial that was banned in the UK?
Monday, December 17, 2007
Saturday’s excursion out to the frontiers of science instigated by Sky Element 115 seems have gleaned a few more links to the outer limits of our knowledge.
KILLER BLACK HOLES
Noudela sent us this amazing video clip of a particle beam being projected from a black hole. Which is aces. And this is the news report that goes with it from Some Girl.
Jon posted this link on comments to much that you might need to know about Zombies.
"Zombies are hypothetical creatures of the sort that philosophers have been known to cherish. A zombie is physically identical to a normal human being, but completely lacks conscious experience. Zombies look and behave like the conscious beings that we know and love, but "all is dark inside." There is nothing it is like to be a zombie."
AND HOW WE SEEM TO BE EVOLVING AT AN ALARMING SPEED
Ink-Stained Wretch sent us this intriguing report that humanity appears to be evolving faster that we should be.
"Humans have moved into the evolutionary fast lane and are becoming increasingly different, a genetic study suggests. In the past 5,000 years, genetic change has occurred at a rate roughly 100 times higher than any other period, say scientists in the US.
This is in contrast with the widely-held belief that recent human evolution has halted." (Click for the full fascinating story)
I’m not even sure about this myself. Should I do it? Or would it be gauche or bad form? From Counter Punch to Susie Bright I see all these blogs and static websites having what they call fund raising appeals to cover their operating expenses. Now I couldn’t say that Doc40 exactly had operating expenses, and we don’t take adds or (so far) sell you stuff, but funds are a constant headache, so being the Yule and all, I shed all shame and say what the fuck? The sensei puts out his begging bowl. Let’s have a one-time fundraiser. So Paypal contributions or Amazon gift vouchers or whatever will be very welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org (The illustration, by the way is an original by the later lamented Edward Barker, who I miss greatly.)
The secret word is Cheer
Saturday, December 15, 2007
(left) Gravity waves (but who waves back?)
This is from Science Frontiers No. 173, Sep-Oct 2007, pp. 1&2 and sent by Sky Element 115
"Is "something" fine-tuning the universe for life – specifically human life? Fine-tuning the parameters of the universe is akin to the alignments mentioned above, being merely amore extreme example of nonrandomness. The fine-tuning addressed here is enshrined in the so-called Anthropic Principle. P. Davies, in a recent issue of *NewScientist,* provides a definition of the "strong" version of the Anthropic Principle...the laws of physics possess a weird and surprising property: collectively they give the universe the ability to generate life and conscious beings, such as ourselves, who can ponder thebig questions. Scientists never tire of providing examples of bio-friendly coincidences and fortuitous fine-tuning that permit the evolution and continued existence of earth life. A favorite example points out that if protons were just 0.1% heavier than neutrons, instead of vice versa, atoms cold not exist and neither could life chemistry.[A biologist might instead single out the astounding bit of fine-tuning seen in the properties of genomes---but of course genome chemistry is intellectually subservient to physics. Should it be?] Assuming the truth of the Anthropic Principle, P. Davies looks for an explanation---one not involving any religious entity. Reaching instead into the vast grab bag of quantumweirdness, he finds that time really has no meaning so that .the existence of life and observers today has an effect on the past. Ergo, we are permitted what is called "quantumpost-selection." This permits J. Wheeler to claim that: ...the existence of life and observers in the universe today can help bring about the very circumstances neededfor life to emerge. In short, today's life and its bio-friendly universe is the result of actions taken in the future by whatever humans turn out to be! Quantum weirdness allows this just as it permits the weirdness of entanglement. [Circular reasoning here?]"(Davies, Paul; "Laying Down the Laws," NewScientist, p. 30, June 30, 2007)
The secret word is Matter
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
"Kylie Minogue has made a guest appearance on the cover of the latest issue of the Doctor Who magazine wrapped around a rather unimpressed-looking Dalek.Minogue, who plays a waitress in Doctor Who Xmas special Voyage Of The Damned, said of the shoot: “I was in the presence of a legend.” She provocatively added: “The Dalek was in great condition, and much bigger than I’d expected."
About a week ago in Huffpo I found this very succinct nutshell history of US labor relations by Matt Stoller. Other stuff got in the way but finally I posted it.
"The roots are traceable directly to an authoritarian South, a one-party unique region in America that has held the balance of power since the 1930s and that was and is dedicated above all to a race-based hierarchical society. Through shaping even progressive legislation, like the Wagner Act, Dixiecrats ensured that broad-based class movements failed. It's not widely-understood, but the reason the South flipped to an anti-labor stance in the 1940s is because the CIO had tremendous success in organizing multi-racial unions as World War II labor markets tightened. This was a direct threat to Jim Crow, and so Southern Democrats cooperated with Republicans to pass Taft-Hartley, a piece of legislation which basically made labor organizing impossible and turned unions into groups that can only advocate for their own survival. At the same time, there were massive pre-McCarthy purges of leftists and decertifications of leftists unions, leaving unions open to infiltration by the CIA, FBI, organized crime, and bureaucratic inertia. The biggest movement for social justice in American history - the labor movement of the 1930s - ran up against the South, and the South turned it into a pro-Vietnam reactionary force that rejected the New Left in the 1960s.
In 1945, there were more strikes than there had ever been in American history. From 1946-1948, the purges happened. And then the 1950s somehow placidly came, and women were no longer in the factories and African-American soldiers were somehow living back in segregated neighborhoods. It's funny, how history is written by the winners. It's funny how the history of the post-WWII reaction, the women in factories in WWII being forced out of work and the returning African-American soldiers and population migrants being forced into racist structures, is just kind of glossed over. It shouldn't be. That's when the national security state, the seeds of the authoritarianism that sprouted into Vietnam, Iraq, and a radically unfair media and economy, were fertilized."
The rest of the piece was interesting, but not succinct
This week in LA CityBeat I have a piece on Robert Hawkins, the Omaha mall slayer.
The secret word is Exfoliate
Do we mourn Ike Turner?
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Those voices in your head? Maybe you don’t need a tinfoil hat. They may be a commercial mindfuck. The A&E cable channel is literally targeting consumers with hypersonic beams on billboards. The rays broadcast sound in a beam, so the noise is inaudible unless the consumer/victim strays into the target area--in which case they may experience the sound as a voice in their head. (Click for more.)
About a condition that only stopped a month or so ago here in LA, and can come back any time it feels like it. (And was sent by Dr Adder)
“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.” – Raymond Chandler, Red Wind
Monday, December 10, 2007
30 years of rock'n'roll viewed from the garage. Features full color repros of the first rock'n'roll zine Mojo Navigator (1966 to 1967) as well as its successors, and repros of Bomp fanzine and magazine (1970 to 1979), with original writings by Lester Bangs, Greil Marcus, Ken Barnes, Gene Sculatti, David Harris, Lisa Fancher, Greg Shaw and many others. Features in depth interviews and major features on The Doors, The Grateful Dead, The Ramones, Blondie, The Standells, The Troggs, The Runaways, Sky Saxon and The Seeds, Barracudas, Janis Joplin and Big Brother and The Holding Company, and a lot more. Also includes the missing Bomp magazine issue #22, and the story of the Bomp label. Edited and introduced by journalist and author Mick Farren, with essays by Suzy Shaw and contributions by Lenny Kaye, Peter Case, Mike Stax, Brendan Mullen and others.
For copies of the book, plus the peripheral goodies like the matching CD and t-shirt, best go to the Bomp Store. (Where, if you run a search, you can also find most of The Deviants CDs at real friendly prices.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
As I sit endlessly at this computer I forget just how much I take it for granted. The picture to the left is of the hard drive memory unit from a 1956 computer in transit. Clearly we have come a long way from there. The memory that took us to the moon now hangs on a key ring with plenty more. We have also totally deviated from this 1965 video clip of how computers would be organizing our lives by 1999. (I like those multiple screens, but other wise…well…I think the coming application of LSD was a very good idea.)
In fact, our computers have come so far that that our pal Valerie can link us to a site that will render any word into R2D2 audio-speak, which you can then you download it onto your cell phone should you so desire. Now that’s what’s called progress. We humans seem to have the knack of trivializing just about anything.
The secret word Singularity
“I know you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.”
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
This, of course, is famous fuzzy photo of the Grey alien, possibly a Roswell crash survivor, supposedly in the custody of the US military. They presumably didn’t have an orange jumpsuit small enough.
For a while, after George Bush came to power, the attack on Manhattan, and the invasion in Iraq seemed to stop the odd, the seeking, and the disturbed in their tracks. Area 51 was put aside as Amercia feared their own shadows and Sikh cabdrivers. Mulder and Scully were out of a job. The Trench Coat Mafia went to ground. We had no aliens autopsies, and no demented kids or disgruntled employees going on a shooting sprees because they’d been fired from their demeaning minimum wage gig. But suddenly it seems like they’re back with a vengeance, one lighting up the sky and the other shooting up the mall. The following, about alien bacteria, comes from Scientific American, sent by Valerie…
"If, as many scientists believe, life can readily emerge under the right environmental conditions, it is possible that life arose on Earth more than once. Researchers are now seeking evidence of a second genesis by searching for exotic microbes that are bio-chemically different from all known organisms. Some of the best places to look for alternative life-forms are ecologically isolated niches such as ocean-bottom volcanic vents and the dry valleys of Antarctica. Alien microbes may also lurk right under our noses. Scientists can hunt for these organisms by looking for the markers of alternative biochemistry." (Click for more)
Then secret word might be Peyote
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I’ve been working all night and am square eyed and badly in need of sleep. Thus I have neither the time nor the energy to post anything more profound or provoking, but I do find this UFO clip filmed near Bakersfield, and the reaction of the two women behind the camera amazingly plausible. But give it time because it starts out kinda chaotic, quite as one might expect.
The secret words are Zeta Reticuli
But don't forget Doctube
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
(From Clive Thompson) "The Berkeley Pit is a copper mine that was abandoned in 1982; it's 1,780 feet deep and a mile and a half wide. In the last twenty-five years, it has filled with water, and as the water has soaked up the residual arsenic, aluminum, cadmium and zinc, the pond has turned as acidic as vinegar. In 1995, a couple hundred geese landed on the water and instantly died. Nice. Nonetheless, Don and Andrea Stierl -- two chemists who live nearby -- wondered if any lifeforms could endure such grim surroundings, so they pulled out some of the pond's goo and cultured it in Petri dishes. Whaddya know: They've found 142 organisms in the muck, and have isolated 80 chemical compounds that exist nowhere else. Better yet, it looks as though some of those compounds might be useful in killing tumors!" (for more)
The secret word is Adapt
AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States. A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it. (Click for more)
The secret words are Enough and Already
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The secret word is Rage
KHARTOUM, Sudan - Sudan charged a British teacher Wednesday with inciting religious hatred after she allowed her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad, an offense that could subject her to 40 lashes, the Justice Ministry said. The charge against Gillian Gibbons was sure to heighten tensions between Sudan and Britain. In London, Foreign Secretary David Miliband urgently summoned the Sudanese ambassador to discuss the case, the British government said. Gibbons, 54, was arrested Sunday after some of her pupils' parents complained, accusing her of naming the bear after Islam's prophet. Muhammad is a common name among Muslim men, but giving the prophet's name to an animal would be seen as insulting by many Muslims. Yes, it's just another 'click-me' Yahoo headline, but am I right in thinking "This global religious fundamentalism thing they've all got going on...maybe a bridge too far?" Paddington Bear asks you to spread the word...
I can only shake my head and agree as we attempt rapport with these horrible 12th century maniacs.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"As droughts reach record levels from Atlanta to Australia, no one is asking the tough question: What happens when there is not enough water to go around?"
Thus read the subhead on the Alternet story forwarded by Iggymak, and after that the examples abounded, as in...
"Over the last decade, 15 to 20 percent decreases in precipitation have been recorded. These water losses have been accompanied by record temperatures and increasing wildfires in areas where populations have been growing rapidly. A fierce drought has settled in -- of the hundred-year variety. Lawns can be watered but just for a few hours a day (and only by bucket); four-minute showers are the max allowed. Car washes are gone, though you can clean absolutely essential car windows and mirrors by hand."
Click here for the whole story, but it always struck me that water crisis might even break up nations. A terrible future crunch could come in the US South West where two expanding cities – Los Angeles and Las Vegas – occupy approximately the same desert and depend on common water sources. I may not live to see a favorite paranoid fantasy -- nuclear war over water between California and Nevada -- but that's not to say it couldn’t happen around 2040.
The secret word is Evian
CRYPTIQUE – Fish fuck in it.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The secret words are Are You Looking At Me?
Monday, November 26, 2007
“Of course I drop some acid when I see Mick and Andy. It makes them even more interesting.”
Mick Farren and Andy Colquhoun will once again pumping out their two-man psychedelic deviant future blues – with their new guitar buddy Tom Gardner – at Tequila Mockingbird’s Club Fluffer at the Hyperion Tavern at 1941 Hyperion (look for the red fairy lights) in Silver Lake this Thursday (November 29th) and you are cordially invited. Showing up around 9.00 would be about right.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Every since Blogger made it possible, I have been including links to what I considered the best music videos I could find on YouTube and elsewhere, and they seem to keep you guys amused, and even simulate some positive feedback as in the recent case of The Monks that everyone seemed to like. But the blog moves on, and it can be hard to scroll back and watch something again, plus there’s also so much more out there than can be posted on Doc40 and still leave time and space for fighting the oppressor, exposing the idiocy, watching science fiction become reality, and all the other fun stuff we seem to enjoy. Accordingly, I sat down and constructed a new parallel page that goes by the name of Doctube that will act as a virtual video jukebox and is now up and running. The regularly updated content will simply be the very best stuff I can find, although some may find it the predictable taste of a antique boho, but what the fuck. It’s something to do in the long winter evenings and some of this stuff is truly amazing.
The secret word is Eclectic
CRYPTIQUE – This ain’t your daughter’s MTV