30 November, 2009

Bikin'


Ladies, I want you all to understand something about the men in your life:
Yes, we all want a motorcycle.

With that said, I really do miss the desert. I never thought I'd feel this, but I do.

Dubai is a Piss Hole

See it all here.

I've always hated the idea of Dubai. What's strangest about this whole situation-- of Dubai imploding in a whirlwind of debt and idiocy-- is that I, a man of little education, saw all of this coming.

Of course Dubai is a festering wound on the ass-end of the Middle East. Of course it is. It's a weeping sore like on multi-billion dollar investments in a sand-filled pit can be. What I'm most surprised about isn't that I was right, but how all of these men, with their business degrees and money and experts, somehow managed to not see what a guy with half of a film degree could see.

In the words of a man greater than myself, shit's stupid.

The Naked Prey


I just watched this. It was pretty good. It was a less gory Apocalypto with a good soundtrack and colonial Africa, which, as you may well know, is basically I have ever wanted in a movie.



Trailers From Hell : Naked Prey - The most popular videos are here
It's also on the Criterion Collection, so don't just take my word for it. These are the people that made The Rock a part of the American film canon. I think they know a thing or two about a thing or two.

29 November, 2009

David Simon on Newspapers


He made The Wire, so I figure he knows what's up.

Stop the Presses

Police: murderous moose a suspect in Swedish death

Go home. No more news for today. We found our lede.

28 November, 2009

A Bar, Somewhere in Berlin


This looks like a place to have a conversation about the state of your affairs at three in the morning, waiting for the first train, while drinking a grey hound and wondering how you're going to get this blood out of your suit if I ever saw one.

(Photo stolen from The Constant Siege)

Just Doin' His Thing


Glorious Leader hard at work making sure the Capitalist Puppet Government has not placed razor blades in this year's batch of Patriot Delicacies.

Refugee

Spear Throwing is Metal as Fuck

I was watching Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome for the first time today, so I don't think it's a coincidence that I stumbled onto something on Vice that correlates. Here it is:
Heavy Metal Aborigines.

Of course you want to click on it.

Exploding Dogs and Flying Tanks

Once upon a time in Soviet Russia, the Red Army tried to make flying tanks.

It apparently didn't go as poorly as you would expect something called an "experimental flying tank" would go. It was apparently fairly successful, at least in the sense that no one died and the thing didn't explode. While they never managed to drop tanks on Hitler's head, experiments continued on into the 1970's.

Good for you, Soviet Union. Never give up on that dream.

Saturday is For Dope Gentlemen

So, as you may or may not know, I'm currently writing a comic book about Victorian soldiers in Imperial India. So far I'm pretty happy with it and I haven't received any serious negative criticisms yet, so that's nice. Anyways, a part of my writing this comic (which I realize I've been doing for almost one entire year) is doing lots and lots and lots of research. To a fault, even. I probably spend way too much time on Wikipedia chasing trivia than I do writing.

When Ray Bradbury came to my high school he said two things that stick out in my mind: A) You shouldn't watch any TV (which was contradicted by David Hyde Pearce who said you should watch more TV) and B) Don't do any research for your writing. Just write the damn thing. While Bradbury knows what he's talking about, I've found that I can't write that way. I need

Which is where Richard Burton comes in (but not that Richard Burton).

Burton is one of those crazy guys you find wedged between big historical events. They're the kind of guys you're always looking for in these books. They're guys so driven and so unique, they can't be called anything other than "characters."

Just take this excerpt from a new biography on the man:
General Sir Charles Napier, impressed by Burton's reports, asked him to investigate ru-mours of homosexual brothels in Karachi that catered to British soldiers. With characteristic thoroughness, Burton spent several evenings in these lupanars and prepared a paper that included all possible details of prices and esoteric practices (the brothels were soon shut down). Four years later, taking the identity of Shaykh Abdullah, a Pathan mystic, he embarked, newly circumcised, on the perilous journey to the forbidden places of the Hejaz, which, when written up as the Pilgrimage to al-Madina and Mecca, secured his lasting fame.


But that's not all!
He prided himself on looking like Satan (beetle-browed, with a fierce stare) and boasted that he had committed all the sins in the Decalogue and drunk more brandy than Dr Johnson. When he talked, Bram Stoker said, "the whole world of thought seemed to flame with gorgeous colour". "Dirty Dick" Burton translated the Kama Sutra, thought Islam better than Christianity, praised polygamy and wrote treatises on human sacrifice.


And lastly, this wonderful bit:
His 16-volume edition of the unexpurgated Arabian Nights was, he admitted, "a talisman against ennui and despondency". Most remarkable are the reams of footnotes, featuring, among many strange things, a geography of sodomy and tales of Egyptian men copulating with crocodiles.


Now there's something we should all be as clever to come up with.

27 November, 2009

Metropolis


This is a beautiful little anime movie that came out in 2001. It's fantastic and even if you hate anime (as all God-fearing Americans should), it's a movie well worth checking out. It watches a bit like an old Disney movie if Disney ever actually found its balls.

This Looks Pointless


. . . And I mean that in the best way possible.

Beards and Bellies Blog



Go to there. If only for the Batman with a beard.

I've always been a big supporter of facial hair. They harkens back to a simpler time when comfort came secondary to a man risking his face freezing off. They were made of sterner stuff, these bearded forefathers of ours.

26 November, 2009

Blaaaargh!

Hurk. . .hurk. . . blaaargh!

25 November, 2009

Ahahahahaha!

Mussolini's blood and brains have been stolen and are being sold on the internet.

Ahahahahahaha!

Mr. Eastwood


Clint Eastwood really doesn't want to go to your art gallery opening. Please don't push it.

24 November, 2009

Genuine Badass


The last US soldier to lead a bayonet charge dies at the age of 88.

Millett placed himself at the head of two other platoons, ordered fixed bayonets, and led an assault up the fire-swept hill. In the fierce charge, Millett bayoneted two enemy soldiers and continued on, throwing grenades, clubbing and bayoneting the enemy, while urging his men forward by shouting encouragement.

"Despite vicious opposing fire, the whirlwind hand-to-hand assault carried to the crest of the hill," the citation states. "His dauntless leadership and personal courage so inspired his men that they stormed into the hostile position and used their bayonets with such lethal effect that the enemy fled in wild disorder."

23 November, 2009

Eat it, Faulkner


Now this is literature.

You Done Embarassed the Little Fella'


All those trashy pulp novels and flagrant references to your "lady problems," you done made the hamster bashful. Look at him. He can hardly bear to be here at all.

It's Just One of Those Days


You ever had one of those days where you're pinned in a barn by a squad of Krauts with nothing but a pistol, some gumption, and a dame with huge knockers.

Fuck Your Shit, I've Got a War to Win


Thanks for keeping it real, G-8.

You give them jerries what for.

Further Reasons Why Not to Be Japanese Between the Years 1939 and 1934

It's Not All Suicide Bombs


Somewhere in Afghanistan, the year 2008.

22 November, 2009

Alert! A Massive Gay Approaching!

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Me with Yoji Shinkawa and game designer Hideo Kojima, November 30th, 2004.

Neither Shinkawa nor Kojima are impressed with me.

Metal Gear?!


Yoji Shinkawa is by far one of my favorite artists of all time. The only real reason I know who he is-- or anyone really-- is because he did the art for one of the most famous videogame series of all time: Metal Gear Solid. I noticed his militant mixture of impressionism and manga back when the first one came out and I've been a fan ever since then. It's a shame I haven't seen that much of his work lately. I guess he's probably busy making a living, but that doesn't mean he can't throw artists and nerds a few bones every once and a while.

Yoji Shinkawa is the type of guy more people need to steal from.

Yoji Shinkawa is the type of guy I need to steal from.

BEING A MAN

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THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE EVERY DAY

21 November, 2009

Half a League, Onwards


Part of me is inspired by the charge and the other part of me has his arms crossed and is bitching about how a futile act of violence managed to inject a bunch of jingoism into an exploitive imperial government.


The first part of me is wondering where the second part gets all of these phrases from.

Wherever the truth may lie, I'm of the opinion that we should never become jaded about things were a bunch of Russian soldiers got killed. If I stop caring about that kind of thing, just box me up and put me in the ground.

In summary, fuck the haters.

(Quick Note: I love how the guy reading that poem sounds like he's almost falling asleep.)

The Coldstream Gaurds at Alma


I won't appologize for all of the unpleasant opinions they held or actions they performed, though I'd be a liar if I said that there wasn't a certain charm to the Victorian Era. Oh sure, they were racist, imperialist pawns, but goddamnit, people had class in the 19th century. I suppose acknowledging those flaws is what makes me like them so much. I can accept all of the good things about them while at the same time I can condemn the uglier aspects. What I'm sayings is that I refuse to let aspects such as racial superiority and poor dental hygiene overshadow how great those hats and mustaches look.

("The Coldstream Guards at the Alma," by R.C.Woodville)

Hugo Chavez Loves to Never Shut Up

In a speech to international socialist politicians, Mr Chavez said "Carlos", a Venezuelan, was not a terrorist but a key "revolutionary fighter".
He is serving a life sentence in France for murders committed in 1975.
Mr Chavez also hailed Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the late Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.

Don't ever change, you delusional, hateful prick.

We need jerks like you in the world.

El Rico Neuvo

When a gram of coke is purchased in North America, much of the profit ends up blood-stained in the back pocket of a Mexican druglord (or more precisely, in one of his crates of greenbacks in a warehouse somewhere). And what will the druglord spend it on? Weapons and gold, mostly.



Gold plated guns are always a good investment. That's what my accountant keeps on telling me. People always need more guns and more gold. It's basically a recession proof investment.

Say what you want about drug dealers, though, at least they've got good taste.

(Via Planet Magazine)

19 November, 2009

Notes From From a Great (Racist)

I have a love hate relationship. It's probably somewhere close the relationship I have with my dad. On the one hand they both seem to have their heads on straight and make some great work. On the other hand, they seem to be terrible racists, wrapped up in an ignorance that they wear like armor. They each seem to have mustaches, too. Make of that what you will.

But when Kipling hits the mark, there's really no arguing with him. Western civilization loves him despite the racism, not because of it.

They copied all they could follow, but they couldn’t copy my mind, so I left them sweating and stealing a year and a half behind.

--Rudyard Kipling

I just finished Kim the other night. That bloody thing took me forever, but I'm glad I did. It was worth it and I'll pump more blood out of Kipling than any other author I've ever read (at least for the next year or so).

This is probably because he's public domain.

Though I suppose I'm stealing a hundred and eight years behind.

Bill Nighy is a Class Act


Yup. He sure is.

Spetznaz


Spetznaz-- Too dope to give a fuck about the Geneva Convention.

Seriously, though, the Spetznaz will fuck your shit up.

More Places You Should Be Glad You're Not From

I understand our culture has a lot of silly things about it. I probably understand it as only an American can. I understand it as all of us Americans understand it. We know that Paris Hilton is a horrible fame-vampire and that the Octo-Mom is a crazy bitch and that Pete Wentz needs to be thrown into the bottom of the ocean and we know that, yes, we've probably started more wars than has been entirely necessary. We've got our fair share of flaws and even though we invented the light bulb, the television, and went to the moon it doesn't excuse us when we allow things like Jeff Dunham on TV.

So it's without a hint of guilt or unpleasant, racially tinged judgement that I can say that Mauritania has some really stupid goddamn problems.

What problem is it? Well, they have force-feeding camps where they plump up young women in order to be marriagable.

"I beat the girls, or torture them by squeezing a stick between their toes. I isolate them and tell them that thin women are inferior." Desert settlements like this 1000-strong farming community with no electricity or running water are popular spots for leblouh because there are no distractions and no easy ways to escape. But Elhacen denies that her work amounts to child cruelty. "No, no, it's for their own good," she almost shrieks. "How will these poor girls find a husband if they're bony and revolting?"

Charming. What a wonderful culture.

Now it isn't that it's Africa or that they find fat women to be more attractive, it's that their culture basically supports a terminally unhealthy lifestyle in order to have a better boner. What's even more unpleasant than fourteen year old girls having to eat their own vomit to net a husband is that in a weird sort of way it basically insures that women are kept at home and mildly disabled. Not to say that being a bit tubby make you a cripple, what I'm saying is that it's hard to throw off the shackles of the phallocracy when standing up can make you run short of breath.

Think about it.

Anyways, my point is, if you were thinking about moving to Mauritania, don't. You're welcome.

18 November, 2009

On Second Thought


Upon meditation, I realized that The Limits of Control, admittedly, isn't all that great. There's a lot of cool stuff in it, but most of that is nestled in between long stretches of nothingness. Arthouse, cinephile nothingness. Which is fine if you really want to see Isaach de Bankole kill Bill Murray, but if you want a movie, it isn't the first place you should look.

Still, though, it might be worth getting stoned and watching it at least once. Or it might not.

Instead, let's enjoy the trailer one more time


Or you can enjoy this movie instead


I mean, whatever, it's your life.

17 November, 2009

I Don't Know Who This Is

“There is nothing more frightful than imagination without taste.”

--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I don't know who this is, but he's got a fairly solid opinion here.

(Via The Impossible Cool)

Churchill, Too is Wise

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

- Winston Churchill

(Via The Impossible Cool)

Cormac McCarthy and the Wall Street Journal

Someone asked Flannery O'Connor why she wrote, and she said, "Because I was good at it." And I think that's the right answer. If you're good at something it's very hard not to do it. In talking to older people who've had good lives, inevitably half of them will say, "The most significant thing in my life is that I've been extraordinarily lucky." And when you hear that you know you're hearing the truth.

This man is wise and he can write incredibly well. Listen to him.

Johnny Cash, International Man of Mystery


He's been everywhere. Including SPECTRE's secret Japanese volcano base.

Now That's Poetry


Just try and write something better than that.

16 November, 2009

BEING A MAN


If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand.

I Think The Solution Would Be Carpet Bombing

Of course officials in Salinas are seeking counter-insurgency experts to fight their gang problem. Of course they are. What other city in California would have to bother?

Truth be told, I think we should have pulled out of Salinas years ago.

New York Je Deteste!


Just foolin, New York, you're okay.

(Stolen via PDN Photo of the Day)

15 November, 2009

Battle of Makin


The Battle of Makin began on the 20th of November, 1943. It ended four days later on the 24th with an Allied victory.

The assault troops were also surprised to learn that even though they were approaching the beach at high tide as planned, a miscalculation of the depth of the lagoon caused their small boats to go aground, forcing them to cover the final 250 yards (230 m) to the beach in waist-deep water.


In the end of the battle, the US Army lost 66 men while the US Navy lost a grand total of 697. The Japanese on the other hand, lost 395. Only five survivors out of the entire battle walked away.

The years 1939 to 1945 were not good years to be Japanese men.

Proverbs

Who gossips with you will gossip of you.

--Unknown, traditional

That's as profound of a statement as I've heard today. Probably words to live by.

(Via The Constant Siege)

Even Osama's Friends Are Against the Fort Hood Massacre

Yup. One of Osama Bin Laden's original spiritual advisor soundly condemned the attack on Fort Hood.

This is a fairly interesting news story and I get this feeling that it isn't going to be aired all that often.

Way Out!!!


Truly the 1960's were a more interesting time.

Or you know, whenever this photo was actually taken.

Sunday is Babe Day


Because why the heck not?

And How Are You, Ms. Welch?


Yeah, me too.

12 November, 2009

No-Chinned Douche Nozzle

They aren't to be trusted. And here's why.

A chin like that could never serve in the armed forces. It's simply impossible.

11 November, 2009

Let's Give a Hand for Social Justice!

Here's something interesting, in that, frustrating, terrifying, Kafkaesque manner.

Inside is the story (more or less, mostly less) of a man named Troy Davis, who seems to have been steamrolled into a conviction of first degree murder by the state of Georgia. It's worth a gander and maybe passing along, because it seem to be a pretty fucked up case, all things considered.

Remembrance Day


So, as I'm sure you're aware (because you didn't have to go to school today), today is Veteran's Day/Armistace Day/Remembrance Day (for you Canucks). Originally the holiday was made to remember the unprecedented carnage that was World War I (which ended with an armistice signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month-- clever, huh?), but now it obviously means much more than that, extending to not just those that died, but those that are living (where as Memorial Day is just for the dead, I assume).

(Stolen from Hark! A Vagrant.)

Armistace Day


The final scene from Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory.

Hey, Remember Those Guys?


Apparently they're slightly less insane than I thought they were. And almost as equally, less interesting.

10 November, 2009

Once More, With Feeling


Happy birthday, you old salty dogs.

Note: Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, so I'm pretty much going to be doing the same thing then.

Happy 234th Birthday!


From the Halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.
Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.
Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

Happy Birthday, Marines


This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than the enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.

My rifle is human, even as I am human, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other.

Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy.

He Makes a Good Point

…everybody is now writing about everything in Afghanistan:

Burleson, William E. 2008. ‘The Kinsey Scale and the Pashtun: The Role of Culture in Measuring Sexual Orientation’, Journal of Bisexuality, Vol. 8, No. 3.

Good luck translating the name of that journal into Pashto.

Posted in Afghanistan, Society/Culture

Yeah. I think we're officially out of new subjects.

Also: There's a Journal of Bisexuality?

(Via Ghosts of Alexander)

I Feel the Need


The need for duty!

I've posted this image before, but I just don't care. It's a cool image and today is a phone in day. God bless.

08 November, 2009

My Sole Addiction


My one and only addiction is to Eva Green's tahtahs.

I feel that it is justified.

I Wish It Were Raining


I really do. It'd be great.

Evidentally Chickentown


Happy Sunday, everyone.

07 November, 2009

A Look at the Proto-Little Girl

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The inking on this makes me want to vomit.

Shitty Contrast Comics

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06 November, 2009

Places to Avoid

Add Brazil to the list.

05 November, 2009

Dawn in the 'Ghan

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Damn You, Sartorialist

Just when I'm about to give up on you, you go and interview the Coolest Dad in the World.

You've saved yourself a spot on my RSS feed for at least another six months.

This, This is It


This is why ladies like a man in uniform.

Hell, even I might sleep with the guy. It's Errol Flynn for goodness sakes. I could do worse. We could all do worse.

Top Five Favorite Directors

I saw some widget on Facebook on this, but I thought that instead of signing up for some shit over there, I'd just spell it out over here. It's slightly more private and I can be slightly more obnoxious. Everybody wins.


1. Akira Kurosawa-- Why Kurosawa? Well besides the fact that he redefined film grammar time and time again with his films and besides having one of the more fruitful partnerships in film history with Toshiro Mifune and besides directing such masterpieces as Yojimbo, Rashomon, Ran, and Ikiru, he also made Seven Samurai, which is the best movie ever made. I'd also wager that Kurosawa has more heart in just one of his movies than most people do in their entire careers. Plus, I own way too much money invested in the man for him to be anything less than number one.


2. The Coen Brothers-- Like Kurosawa (and Herzog, as you'll read later), I have far too much money, time, and energy put into the Coens to not put them in the top five. They aren't without their faults (The Ladykillers, Burn After Reading), but when they're on, they make some of the best movies-- all genre movies, mind you-- of any director out there. Their love of the past comes through in their movies in a way that isn't overwhelming or needlessly nostalgic, either. The movies exist on their own as great narratives-- No Country For Old Men, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, Blood Simple, Raising Arizona. A director could be a great with just one of these movies, but this many? Even divided by two, they're clearly fantastic filmmakers.


3. Sergio Leone-- Leone is a kind of cliched choice, but he's important to me, damnit! He's got a love of cinema that's palpable and unlike a lot of far more pretentious Europeans, he doesn't let his love of movies and his cleverness over power the story. He uses homage, references, and tributes as tools to make his mythological tales that much more fantastic. Sure he basically stole A Fistful of Dollars from Kurosawa, but he also made a chunk of other incredibly well done movies (and not only westerns, mind you). Also, for me, the ending of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is an experience I can only describe as "religious."


4. Werner Herzog-- Lately I've been talking too damn much about this man for him not to be in the top five. If I didn't, it feel false and weird. If he couldn't make it into the top five, then who would? Herzog is a consumate draftsman and ambitious of a director as there ever was one. He also gets results. Aguirre, Grizzly Man, Fitzcarraldo, Encounters at the End of the World, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Kaspar Hauser, Cobra Verde, Nosferatu the Vampye, etc etc etc. The man knows how to make a movie.


5. Ridley Scott-- Oh yeah, sure, lately the elder Scott hasn't been pumping out quality films like he should, but even at his nadir of creativity, the worst that can be said about him is that he isn't trying anymore. Not that he sucks, but we know that he can do so much better. He made Alien, Blade Runner, and Gladiator. He's obviously got some skills in him and while American Gangster might not demonstrate it, you can't take the rest of his oeuvre away from him.

04 November, 2009

Goddamn, I'm Worn Out


Not this worn out, mind you.

You!


Yeah you. I'm talking to you.

Look Ma, I'm an Academic!

The fiction of the gaze opens a space for the discourse of the image.

See how easy it is?

Write your own jargon!

Bear Conquers Kashmir

Pakistan, India look on in horror.

03 November, 2009

Pulp Villainess Tuesday!


Irma Vep a la Les Vampires.

Everyone Act Casual, Fu Manchu Just Showed Up


"The most evil man the world has ever known." A bold statement, politically incorrect but wonderfully designed movie poster.

Beware the Face of Fu Manchu



I don't care what all the PC fruitcakes and cultural studies experts have to say on the subject, but Yellow Peril villains are awesome. Fu Manchu is awesome. Mandarins are awesome. Dragon Ladies are kind of weird, but that's the line, the rest are fantastic creations of sort-of-racist turn of the century thinking.

You'll take my Fu Manchu from my cold dead hands.