Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Art as Terror

Magnetic LED ads for Aqua Teen Hunger Force cause terror alerts in the U.S.

A pretty jumpy people, no?

Jason King

Long ago, an obscure spy show from Britain would air in syndication in Canada, tucked away on Saturday afternoons.

Wikipedia says: Jason King was a UK television series produced from 1971 to 1972. Each episode was one-hour in duration, and the series had a run of one series of 26 episodes. It was broadcast in the UK and was also screened in Australia.

They leave out Canada...

My friends and I watched this show for a brief period, and in the intervening years, it has been largely forgotten.

But with the coming of sites like YouTube, this lost relic can be *enjoyed* again.

He is Austin Powers, just more gay, with a touch of Noel Coward (though these clips seems to feature British actor Dennis Price, and are tilted in his direction).

And dig that crazy computer.


Drum Roll Please. Spanish kids show, broadcast at least in the U.K.. Cuteness overload.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Stonehenge builders' houses found

Archaeologists say they have found a huge ancient settlement used by the people who built Stonehenge.

Excavations at Durrington Walls, near the legendary Salisbury Plain monument, uncovered remains of ancient houses.

Read more here

Unlike CNN's headline earlier today (quickly changed): "Village found under Stonehedge"

The Beatles

38 years ago today.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Missing DVD titles

"I have complained to the Emperor, I have complained to all the crowned heads of Europe, I have complained to God"

Doesn't help though, certain titles are still not available on DVD.

Now I'm sure you have your own wish list, and these are probably not on it, and neither is this my complete list. These three do kind of fit together though.


Samson and Delilah 1949


Cecil B. DeMille. Victor Mature. Hedy Lamarr! Could you ask for more? You could? Ok, Angela Lansbury. Angela Lansbury impaled on a spear!

That got ya.

This is arguably the first of the mid century cycle of Biblical Epics (other would cite the next film for this honour), which ends with "The Bible" in 1966. It's pure DeMille, silent movie acting style with dialog, sin, decadence and a great finish.


Quo Vadis 1951


Yes, Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr are, shall we say, wooden. It's still in fullscreen, and it's all overlit, and the middle act is *really* preachy..but..but..Peter Ustinov as Nero!

He's worth seeing the movie for. No question.

and Third

Becket 1964


Not a biblical epic, but also dealing with faith and power. Of the three, I am most surprised by it's unavailability on DVD. Richard Burton overacts only slightly and Peter O'Toole is wonderful.

The Collins Kids

Rockaway Rock c. 1958. The boy later wrote "Delta Dawn" btw...

Rome II ep 3


HBO's Rome continues with..yes..yes..Don Dee's having a wait!..

Oooo, a Roman whore cat fight! Now we're talkin'!

The writer's assumption that we have never seen the Godfather movies continues with a heavy handed scene where Tweedle Dumb learns he must never speak out against the family again...ever.

Meanwhile, back at the rich folk's....

"Is it any good?

You bet it is, It's from Macedonia! It's Reefer Madness!


Just goes to show what terrible awful criminals Atia and Co. are. They'll be downloading illegal music next.

And who should come calling at Atia's but Agrippa, while the Tweedles have a little spat, and Antony doesn't want to go to Macedonia (but but, the hemp?!) and the Tweedles spat some more, and revenge runs wild, and just what is the mysterious brother up to, and just where the hell is Cicero? Fucking Belgians and quick, reference "I Claudius". Kiss me, you fool!

Oh look! Buttocks!

Let's just say there are one or two story lines...some even having to do with real history...somewhere in there somewhere.

Best part: The Great Silken Tent of Insults.

"I am the King of Turkey and you sir, are an idiot"

And are they serious? Brutus is "Born Again"...and "Three months later..."?


Friday, January 26, 2007


Good Will To Men (1955)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Haunted. You can watch if you want to.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Haunted. You can dance if you want to. used to have a page devoted to the garage bands of 1960's Montreal. Their list was:

Les Anthems, Aristos, Aristocrates, Asteks, Atomes, baronettes, Bartholomew Plus Three, Beaumarks, Bedtime Story. Bel Canto/Bel Kanto, BNA Act, Chancelliers, Chantels/Remy And The Chantels, Chosen Few, Copains, Dabsters, Dalcos, Devalons, Differents, Equipe 79, Excentriques, Faucons, Les Fleaux, Fortiches, 409, French Revolution, Gamines, Gants Noirs, Gendarmes, Habits Jaunes, Haunted, Heritiers, Les Hou Lops, Impairs, Intugantes, Intimes, JB And The Playboys, Lincolns, Loups, Loups Blanc, Les Lutins, Luths, M2+AC, Majestik, Merseys, Michele et les French Canadians, Mike Jones Group, Million-Airs, Les Misrables, Les Monstres, Munks, Les Mykells, Michel Pagliaro, Denis Pantis, Napoleons, Nicky Lee And The Playboys, Le Pouvoir des Fleurs, Rabble, Les Rats, Regent, Revoltes, Revolution Francaise, Les Sextants, Les Sinners, Les Shadolls, Spectres, Les Sultans, Talismans, Talmud, Uncertain, Unics, Valiants, Versatiles, Les Vampires, Les Z

For me, only three names stand out; The Haunted, Michel Pagliaro (of 70's fame) and The Rabble. M.G.& The Escorts do not show up on this list, though their song "A Someday Fool" is known to me.

The Rabble hailed from my part of town, and I remember seeing them driving around in a car painted with their name. I later went to school with the brother of one of the members.

the west islandFormed in early 1966, The Rabble were a psychedelic/garage act that hailed, originally from Pointe-Claire, Quebec on Montreal's west island.

Their first single, after being signed to RCA Records, had been written by leader Mike Harris in 1965 called "I'm Alaboundy Bam".

The band recorded their single "Golden Girl" in December 1966 and released in the summer of 1967 on Trans-World Records.

The band's follow-up effort, 'Give Us Back Elaine', was recorded through the end of 1967 into early 1968 and released in 1968 on Trans-World. By this time the band had played The New Penelope Coffee House and throughout Greater Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, as well as touring northern Ontario. In April of 1968 The Rabble substituted for Cream, who had cancelled at the last minute, at The Paul Sauve Arena in Montreal to 5,000 fans. Despite the band's unrehearsed show, they impressed the crowd with an hour-long set of songs consisting of their singles and album material.

Following this impressive show, promoter Donald K. Donald had to turn down engagements on their behalf because they were already booked on a tour of one-niters throughout Quebec and Ontario.

They soon secured a recording deal with Roulette Records in the US and toured California in 1968 to 'underground' music fans.

In May of 1968 the band was double-billed with the Guess Who in a 'Wildest Pair' tour at places such as the Loyola Arena and the Dorval Recreation Association.

The source does not say what happens after, but they do fade away (as do most in the above list), even losing a member to the Haunted. Their recordings do seem to be rare, with sites lamenting the lack of re-releases.

The Haunted I have no memory of seeing, but I do remember hearing them and the local buzz they recreated.

1-2-5Assembled by Jurgen Peter in Chateauguy, Quebec in 1963 this instrumental guitar band originally was originally known as The Blue Jays but soon changed their moniker to The Haunted.

The band became popular in Montreal and in early 1966 they won a Dave Boxer 'Battle Of The Bands' contest at the Montreal Forum giving them the first prize of a recording contract with Quality Records.

That year they released two singles, the hit "1-2-5" and its follow-up "I Can Only Give You Everything". Quality Records salesman Don Wayne Patterson started Jet Records in 1967 to release canadian bands I managed and found in places like New Brunswick , Alberta & Ontario and soon scooped up The Haunted.

In due course, they released a full-length album which gained them some prominence in Montreal but nowhere else.

Through a multitude of member changes the band finally collapsed in 1970.

There has been continued interest for this instrumental guitar act and in 1983 Psycho Records even bootlegged the debut album for reissue.

At this point I can offer an audio example of Montreal at arguably its height in the 20th century. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Haunted with 1-2-5. Sadly, Montreal is now best remembered for The Safety Dance...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Rome II ep 2

blinkSLAP! Nice manors for a whore.

It's true, Mark Antony's manors could be better.

The fun continues this week on HBO's Rome as everyone is mad at everyone. There is much glowering.

And fighting! SLAP! Where's my money? SLAP! Fine, I'm going to stay in the country with my "friend" Agrippa. I'll show *you*.

Cleopatra comes to dinner, most of the main characters are there (except the Tweedles!), and so are we given witty couch conversation?

Nope, we are given a close up montage of them eying each other, knowingly.

Blah. And not even an after dinner murder..what a jip.

It isn't all bad, though the Tweedles are still mysteriously looked over by the rich (didn't Cleopatra give Tweedle Dumb a double take).

And who have thought it. Tweedle Dee is more psychotic than Tweedle Dumb. Tweedle Dumb had gone from the angry young man to being henpecked by his ex slave (yes dear, I'll look into it...)

No, on the plus side, the change in Cleopatra's character. No longer the drugged out princess, she is strong, talking to the Romans as inferiors. Nothing a Roman loved more than to be talked down to.

More glowering.

And more attempts by the writers to be shocking, with "fuck" this and "fuck" that thrown around.

"Have you ever been bitten by a moray eel?"


Anyway, Tweedle Dee is now Don Dee (reinforced by some visual nods to "The Godfather"), having rid the neighbourhood of Fanucci, I mean Erastes Fulmen. He himself prefers the more friendly title of "Son of Hades".

And oh look, Atia's murderous horsemen slave has a home life....Joy! More story lines...and are they implying an affair between Cicero and Servilla.


Friday, January 19, 2007

You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General

GONZALES: ... The fact that the Constitution — again, there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution. There is a prohibition against taking it away. But it’s never been the case, and I’m not a Supreme —

SPECTER: Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute. The constitution says you can’t take it away, except in the case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus, unless there is an invasion or rebellion?

GONZALES: I meant by that comment, the Constitution doesn’t say, “Every individual in the United States or every citizen is hereby granted or assured the right to habeas.” It doesn’t say that. It simply says the right of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except by —

SPECTER: You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.


Andy Griffith vs. Patriot Act

When a sixties tv show has a higher standard than current know we're in trouble.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

When advertisers go wrong - Orville Redenbacher

Ewwww, mommy mommy! That dead guy touched my popcorn!

Orville Frankenbacher rises from the grave in this very creepy CG rebirth. Made by Digital Domain, directed by David Fincher.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dean Martin, James Stewart & Orson Welles

Yeah, yeah, I know, it ain't's far worse.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I hate Borat part6

The "I hate (let's all laugh at the man with the funny accent - come on, Laugh!, he's a genius) Borat™" theme continues today with the depressing news that the Borat *cough* film has won a Golden Globe.

America, can you hear the laughter? It's the world, chuckling.

You are in the Bush era, and are not seeing clearly. When it's all over, and you wake up in the morning and see Borat in bed beside you, it will be too late for regrets.

One fears though, that America and Borat will have a love child...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Rome II ep 1


"No prostitues, actors or unclean persons will be allowed".

It's a wonder they got all the cast back after that, but regardless of rumours that HBO's Rome had been cancelled, season II is here.

And everyone is so happy! So why all the long faces. Oh yes, Caesar is dead.

Dead, and the show also seems to have less budget this time around as well. No grand shots, no marching armies.

This episode had less of the mind numbing plot twists of season I, and had only one out and out howler ("ok, so I beat your man to death, will you marry me?")

She says "yes" btw.

Battle lines are being drawn here, what with Tweedle Dee cursing his soon to be missing childern, and Antony hating Brutus, Antony hating Cicero, Atia hating Servilla, Octavian trying to get anyone to listen to him.

Ixnay onway atthay insestway ingthay, okway?

The people of Rome are annoyed too.

This all in the first 10 minutes.

"I'm not getting out of bed until I've fucked somebody"

It had its usual selection of every day life, and "shocking lines" spread out here and there.

"Fetch that German slut from the kitchen"

Later, Octavian gets *all* the money, so he is listened to more.

So all and all, not a bad episode. All the chess pieces are in place, the game begins.

Best line: "You too, mother?"

Friday, January 12, 2007

I hate Borat part5

It's like a terrible accident you see coming but are powerless to stop...

Box office sensation "Borat," a largely improvised faux documentary about a boorish Kazakh journalist, gained more Oscar momentum Thursday as it was nominated with four other comedies for the 2006 Writers Guild of America Awards.


Clues found for early Europeans

An archaeological find in Russia has shed light on the migration of modern humans into Europe.

Artefacts uncovered at the Kostenki site, south of Moscow, suggest modern humans were at this spot about 45,000 years ago.

Read more here

Too late for soul searching

American Conservatives who now don't back the war in Iraq, but did at first are looking for a way out.

Andrew Sullivan, Time's gay republican (ooo sorry, conservative) blogger*, writes today that people opposed the war in Iraq out of a:

"reflexive hostility to American power, partisan hatred of Bush, and blindness toward Saddam's atrocities"

How about in the months leading up to the invasion, everyone I talked to knew Bush wanted to have a war, and was bending the facts to make it so. He was spoiling for a fight, and it was clear to see.

A child could see it, why couldn't Mr Sullivan?

* a Gay Republican, a rare and somwhat mystifying creature, somewhat related to a Jewish Nazi.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Home Tasering


Yes, can't wait until these babies are in the hands of everyday citizens, like you and me! Ooooo, and in pretty pink too!

"The Taser C2 can stop a threat up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) away, allowing you to protect yourself and your family from a safe distance...

...[it] can truly stop an attacker, even those under the influence of drugs and alcohol...

...[it] will function only after the owner completes a background check. Purchasers must be 18 years or older"

Gee, I feel a whole lot safer now.

Get yours here

NBC presents The Beatles

Well, in 1967, to promote Hard Day's Night on NBC.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dumb Christians strike again

This time right here in Canada.

"A school program to fight childhood obesity that includes yoga is drawing complaints from some Christian parents in the Quesnel area in B.C.'s Cariboo region.

They say yoga is a religion, and shouldn't be taught in public schools.

Chelsea Brears, who has two children in the school system, said her son was asked to do different poses and "to put his hands together."

Brears, a Christian, said she doesn't want her children exposed to another religion during class time.

"It's not fair to take prayer out, and yet they're allowing yoga, which is religion, in our schools."

Local rancher Audrey Cummings doesn't believe Christian children should be doing yoga at all.

There's God and there's the devil, and the devil's not a gentleman. If you give him any kind of an opening, he will take that."

The two women have complained to the education minister and the Quesnel school board.

But school board chair Caroline Neilsen said the yoga is being taught as a stretching exercise, not as a spiritual practice.

Neilsen also noted that children who don't want to practise yoga can do different exercises or leave the classroom."


Benny Goodman

Duke Ellington

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


New Apple phone, the iPhone

Very nice, very expensive...not available until June (big mistake)

Yeah, yeah, what do I know.

Oh yes, there is an Apple TV, but it has too many restrictions to make it worth having.

And, it's no longer Apple Computer, but Apple Inc.

fix it

Gad...and the new Apple page greets you with a Big Broken Quicktime logo..

Rome is baaaaack

After rumours that Rome season II was a no go, it seems the high class trash is back...this weekend!

True to form, here is the official graphic from HBO.

more crack!

And yes, I will be there disbelief.

Merry Olde England

How dare you try and prevent me from being a hateful, spiteful person in the name of Jesus!

"New laws banning discrimination against gay people in the provision of goods and services face a Lords challenge.

The Sexual Orientation Regulations have been criticised by some religious groups who say people will not be allowed to act according to faith."

The kicker is: "people will not be allowed to act according to faith"

Translation: people will not be allowed to act like cunts, and hide behind 2,000 year old writings.

"Critics say the regulations would mean hotels could not refuse to provide rooms for gay couples...Some critics also say a Christian, Jewish or Muslim printer could be legally forced to print a flyer for a gay night club, or a teacher would have to break the law to promote heterosexual marriage over homosexual civil partnership"

"Christians have no desire to discriminate unjustly on the grounds of sexual orientation, but they cannot and must not be forced to actively condone and promote sexual practices which the Bible teaches are wrong."

If they want to follow the Bible, then follow it, word for word....bring back slavery, take away the rights of woman, take away...

Oh..that *is* what they want....

One can only assume by their reaction that they want to discriminate, and are miffed from the possibility of being prevented from doing so.

Any group, any one, who has to use violent force (real or "according to faith") to prove the rightness of their cause, have lost any moral high ground, and have lost the argument.

No other group in society can do this, can claim to have rights to be pricks above the rest of us.

Ok, ok, maybe politicians and some rappers...

The humble message should be: Love One Another. The rest was windowdressing.

We need protection from any and all "religious" people like this. T'weren't called the Dark Ages for nothing.

Read more here

Woohoo update:

"New rules outlawing businesses from discriminating against homosexuals have been upheld in the House of Lords.
A challenge led by Lord Morrow of the Democratic Unionist Party failed by a majority of three to one.

He had argued that the rules forced people to choose between obedience to God and obedience to the state.

But Northern Ireland Minister Lord Rooker said it would be "quite wrong" to elevate the rights of one group above those of another."...

...Labour's Lord Smith said: "I am somewhat puzzled by the arguments that have been advanced.

"It seems to me, in my simplistic way, that what they (the opponents of the regulations) are arguing for is quite simply the right to discriminate and the right to harass.

"And those arguments are being made in the name of Christianity."


Monday, January 08, 2007

[Their] long national nightmare -- still going strong

done nothing, then you get what you deserve

"Activities that shocked the country 32 years ago are now being codified into law, at the behest of the Ford administration veterans."

Read more here and here

Are Americans really this stupid? They should crack open a history book about the Romans sometime.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Brian Sussman tells caller to say 'Allah is a w****'

Disney has tried to silence a blogger named Spocko who *dared* post these clips from a station (KSFO) they own in San Francisco.

Listen and save them.

Read more here and here

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean 2

Dead Man's Chest

I don't plan to spell out the plot here, as not even the writers seem to have a 100% grasp of it. Even they seem to agree that it needed at least one more rewrite, to make certain plot elements clearer.

That being said, do I think it is worth seeing?



Even more than the first, it is Johnny Depp's movie. Even though he's on screen a lot, I don't think he overshadows the other characters (except perhaps Orlando Bloom, as a blade of grass could do that).

Davy Jones is fun to watch (Bill Nighy nails it), and is a CGI milestone (though there is still a cut out paper feel to some of the layering of characters, especially in sunlight).


The other highlight: The Kraken. I won't show the beast in any detail, you have to see it for yourself.


On the downside, too many story lines, too many characters. That, and it suffers from what many sequels suffer from: bloat. The stunts are bigger (they had more money it seems) and more unbelievable. But some are very funny (like the one pictured below)


And some are just plain dumb and over the top. Look, even the cast thinks so.


Still, it was worth it, if only for the compostion of the closing shots of the Kraken (and the reference to Douglas Fairbanks).


Bye bye Johnny, cya next summer.


And if Jagger doesn't show up as Mrs. Sparrow, I give up.

Oh yes, there is a scene after the credits, but it's a dog.

Scientists are looking....RUN!

The DNA so dangerous it does not exist.

"Says Greg Hampikian, professor of genetics at Boise State University in Idaho, "There must be some DNA or protein sequences that are not compatible with life, perhaps because they bind some essential cellular component, for example, and have therefore been selected out of circulation. There may also be some that are lethal in some species, but not others. We're looking for those sequences."



"Further down the line there is the possibility of constructing a "suicide gene" to code for deadly amino acid primes. It could be attached to genetically modified organisms and activated to destroy them at a later date if they turned out to be dangerous, Hampikian suggests."

More here

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

On Sacifice