28 February, 2010

Damnit, Gorillaz

Why you gotta come out with an album when I ain't got no money?

It's downright inconsiderate.

I've bought all of their albums, including the special editions, including the b-sides,and even a single or two. How dare they not take me into account when releasing a new CD.

150 Movie Posters

I found this website somewhere in my RSS feed.

It's a list of 150 "creative" movie posters. Some are better than others and lot are derivitive of Saul Bass and a lot are just the same idea recycled all over again, but there's more than a few graphically interesting movie posters on that list, even if the movies themselves are well worth missing.

26 February, 2010

He Say You Brade Runnah


Street Scene by Syd Mead.

The 'Nam


The 'Nam's a motherfucker.

Hippos are Jerks


Dangit, hippo, get off the dang tarmac, we got a war to fight!

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction

The Guardian put this online a couple of days ago. It's pretty funny and a little helpful article by authors about writing fiction. I always like listening to what writers have to say about writing even though, the odds are, at least one of them is trying to screw with us.

I figure writing is a bit like a puzzle. There isn't only one way to solve it and everyone goes about it differently. Though, I realize it isn't like a puzzle at all because puzzles really only have one solution.

This analogy is terrible.

Anyways, here's some quotes from the article.

Don't just plan to write – write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.

--PD James

Have humility. Older/more experienced/more convincing writers may offer rules and varieties of advice. Consider what they say. However, don't automatically give them charge of your brain, or anything else – they might be bitter, twisted, burned-out, manipulative, or just not very like you.

AL Kennedy

You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You've been backstage. You've seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.

Margret Atwood

25 February, 2010

Try Not to Dance to This


I dare you.

Also, the best part of this video is obviously the weird looking Italian professor. That guy is dynamite.

Berlin Graffiti


Russian graffiti in Berlin, July 1945.

23 February, 2010

The Way of the Gun


"Fifteen million dollars isn't money. It's a motive with a universal adapter."

Tarzan!


Tarzan has had an assful of your monkey-ass bullshit. The time of talking has gone, it's ape stabbing time.

Manatee Secrets


"Sometimes I wonder if I topped out. If being this miserable is as good as it gets."

World's a Mess: Mercenaries and You!

A couple of years back I wrote a paper on private military companies. My primary source was Blackwater by Jeremy Schahill. I had a few other sources on the paper, including Shadow Company, a worthwhile documenatry on the whole PMC situation, but Schahill's book was the wheelhouse of the whole project.

Anyways, I ended up getting a D on the paper despite having learned something, written a decent paper (I know that I've written worse papers and received better grades), and made a pretty good presentation. I truly believe that I received that grade on account of my ancestors having despoiled the west on account of their inconsolable blood lust. The teacher was an Indian that looked more Jewish than he did Iroquois, but that's okay.

That's another issue for another day. And I'm proud of who I am despite Noam Chomsky and that professor's insistence that there's something inherently wrong with what I was born as.

Anyways, PMCs. They're a fact of life in America's Long War. They aren't going away. They deliver our mail, they guard our politicians, they debug our embassies, they escort our journalists, they train foreign troops, in addition to a hundred other duties that, for whatever reason, our troops can't perform. Like anythi

Blackwater Inc (now re-branded as Xe) is the bottom of the barrel of mercenary companies. While, no, they haven't attempted any coups in Africa, they have killed a number of people under questionable circumstances and, more famously, walked into an ambush in Fallujah while delivering kitchen supplies, the fallout of which generated some of the ugliest images of the Iraq War (remember those "contractors" that were hanging from a bridge? Those were Blackwater employees).

Lately, as CBS reports, the corporation was responsible for the death of a Lt. Colonel through negligence. This report ran on 60 Minutes last night and you should take out a few minutes to watch it. It's important stuff. What's more is that it looks to be good journalism. It's an endangered species and you should all get a look before it's gone.

On Writing

"Do not place a photograph of your favourite author on your desk, especially if the author is one of the famous ones who committed suicide."
--Roddy Doyle

(via the Guardian)

DRUGS

DRUGS

Sometimes, Just Sometimes

Sometimes life gets me a bit down. I'll get a bit depressed or confused or angry for no real reason. It's kind of stupid, but I'll find myself wondering if the whole world is just out to screw everyone over. It makes it hard to just appreciate what you have when there's so much petty, ugly shit going on in the world.


Shine on, you crazy diamond.

22 February, 2010

Con Artist


There. Done. I got it out of my system and all it took was eight months and hearing the joke nearly a dozen times. But it's done. Finally. Now all I have left is to illustrate that joke about the eagle that's a flight risk and I'll really be done.

21 February, 2010

Comics are a Dying Medium!



Don't read this comic or it might kill you too! Run! Run while you still can!


I like how this comic turned out overall. I think the metal rivets and such could use some work-- they look way too flat and dull for my taste-- but the wall paper that was photochopped into the background turned out pretty well. We can thank the Comics page's impresario, Victor Camba for that. That man knows a thing or two about a thing or two.

(My junk as featured on the Union Weekly. Hooray.)

World's a Mess: That's Our Hugo!

If you weren't aware, Hugo Chavez is the president of Venezuela and he is a crazy asshole. As a man who is in charge of a country that sits on a massive store of oil resources and as the host of a television show, Allo, Presidente, that often has a running time of five hours, he tends to have his moments of crazy.


Recently, he's started saying that Venezuela's power shortages have been due to saboteurs. It isn't quite as juicy of a story as "the US killed 250,000 people using Alaskan radio waves to shift the earth's crust," but it's the just kind of crazy that I have come to expect from good ol' Hugo. Of course it's people that are out to get him, but what else could could explain a power shortage in one of the most oil rich nations in the hemisphere?

He also kind of looks like a Latino version of Fred Mertz. So there's that.

Sure, Mr. Chavez has created some fairly effective policies that fight illiteracy, poverty, and so forth, but does he have to be such a crazy asshole about it? Maybe he's just lashing out at boogeymen like electricity vampires and rock songs that kill because he doesn't have an actual nemesis like George Bush II in office. Or maybe he's always been a loudmouth that was nuts and it just feels more pronounced.

Who knows?

The only thing that's certain with the man is that he's going to do some even crazier things in the future. On this, I think all of us, left, right, and center, can all agree.

Here's Something Pretty


I've said it before, but you should watch Control. At least once.

Couples

My friend Will sent this photo shoot my way. He said that he liked them. I'm inclined to agree.

19 February, 2010

It's a Bad Day to Not Be Rich and Japanese

Because just look at how cool this thing is.

Joe Kubert is Dope as Hell


You probably couldn't give a tinker's fuck about Sgt. Rock or any of the DC war comics, but you should pay attention to Joe Kubert who, even though he probably didn't draw most of Rock's comics, he is basically inseperable from the tough-as-nails war hero. Kubert is one of the last old school artists. Kirby is dead. Stan Lee is still alive and kicking, but he's hardly busting out the hits like he once did. Kubert is still working and it isn't as though his work has lost any of its edge. His work clearly shows that he's been cartooning for fifty years. The man has his own drawing school for a reason. What I like the most about Kubert's work is that it's gritty, its sort of rough looking, but behind the criss crossing brush strokes is some deceitfully simple and elegant cartooning.

I guess he's lucky in that way.

Side Note: Apparently Steve Ditko is still alive. Good for him.

Shit Fuckin' Yeah

The Criterion Collection just released a channel on Hulu.

And Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman is but one of the films that are freely available online right now.

Well, That Was Fun

Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo.


I'm totally ripping this off for something.

(via A Photography Blog)

The Chand Baori


The Chand Baori is a step-well in India.

You might recognize it from the movie (or more likely, the trailer of) The Fall and I guess the director (or someone) took more than a few photos of the movie as it was being filmed. You can see the well from another angle here.

The One Godard Movie That I Own


It's a pretty good movie. Just wacky enough to be original, just structured enough to be watchable, just funny enough to forgive any of the many faults it has.

But other than that, screw Godard. I did my time in French cinema. You ain't draggin' me back.

(via whatever the fuck this website is)

17 February, 2010

What a value!


The world must be a better place thanks to the works of Joe Kubert. It just has to be.

Welcome to Siberia #13


Where they've been commies so long they forgot what proper religion looks like.

Sorry, Russia, it does not involve cartoon mice.

My favorite part of this is that their nerds look exactly like our nerds, if a bit more, Russian? That isn't very descriptive, but that's the only way I can think of these idiots.

"Tree on Fire"


By Christian Patterson.

It's Just Like Munich!

It's finally happening!

Everyone get to your closets, quick!

16 February, 2010

Tasteful


The Sino-Japanese War Exhibition, 1938.

SHAMELESS SELF-AGGRANDIZEMENT

I just uploaded a project I did for the Union Weekly for the Halloween issue. It's a brief history of monster slaying. It isn't timely, but I'm pretty proud of the work I did there. So if you want to look at it, check it out here.

15 February, 2010

To The Finest Race of Men Ever. . .


. . . Ever to peel a potato.

I love this movie. Go see it. It's awful and harrowing and it might just ruin your day, but it's brilliant and it's one of my favorite movies. I mean, that should sell it to you, if anything, right?

He Say You Brade Runnah


I'm of the opinion that every movie-- whether it was intended to be or not-- should be like The Mist or Shawshank Redemption and should have a "Black and White" option on the DVD.

There's a quote by Orson Welles where he says "There are no great performances in color!" He was probably employing hyperbole, but the man has a point. Everything is better, for whatever reason, in good old fashioned black and white. Except for scopitones. That would be an awful idea.

Or at least enough of them should have it so I can get annoyed with it and realize that something like that would be a bad idea.

If only I were color blind. Then I'd be happy.

Kate Beaton Makes Webcomics

You should read this one.

It is about St. Francis of Assisi. Everyone loves St. Francis! Even wolves!

14 February, 2010

Jason Aaron on Writing

Comic book writer Jason Aaron wrote up a little bit of how he gets his writing done. I just wrote something for his ongoing series, Scalped, for the Union, so I thought it would be well timed for me to share.

– The first five pages and the last five pages of any script are usually pretty easy. It’s always that shit in the middle that’s hard.
– I suck at coming up with character names. I’ve reused lots of the same names, usually of people I know. When I was in college I would always flip through CD liner notes to find good names, but these days all my CDs are packed up in boxes in the basement. I try to keep a list where I jot down interesting names I encounter. The sheriff in SCALPED takes his name from a road sign I passed years ago in Ohio for the town of Wooster. I used to also keep a notebook for jotting down interesting bathroom graffiti, though I’m not sure anything useful ever came of that.

It's not Writing Comics 101, but it's insightful and I guess that is useful in its own way.

Happy Val Kilmer Times


If you don't listen to Ryan Adams at all, you owe it to yourself to rectify that.

Charles Addams Rocks


Happy Valentimes.

(via This Isn't Happiness)

Welcome to Siberia #12


That isn't Siberia. That is Ukraine. What are you, some kind of a doofus?

(via the LJs)

I Learned Something Today

The violent history of The Santanic Verses is pretty interesting. Lots of smart people seemed to have been stabbed over it.

I should get around to reading this book one of these days, because I figure, if it pisses off this many assholes, then there must be something in it that is worth while.

12 February, 2010

Renodevous


I'm not even going to bother today with you, Faulkner. There's nothing I can say that I haven't told you already. I sometimes think you want to fail.

(via Pop Sensation)

The Best in the World

Hey, go look at the winners of the World Press Photo Contest at the New York Times.

The Ritz, huh?


The Ritz, Long Beach.

Hey, I think I know you.

(via If Charlie Parker was a Gunslinger)

11 February, 2010

To my first wife

This is what we're getting married to.


Sorry about all the stuff I did later.

One From the Heart (or the Archives)

So, if you hadn't heard, I finally got my old PC back. It had been broken for a year and a half and now that it's back in working condition I am appalled at the amount of sheer shit I had amassed inside it. File after file, image after images, pointless videos and gifs and chatlogs and God knows what-all else. Lots of shit. I had a whole folder just with images of the Mario Brothers. Why? Because I could? Because each made me feel mildly like the curious seven year old looking through the locked glass cabinets at Circuit City on Lake Avenue if only for a moment? I guess. Anyways, I had to clean house, but upon doing so I found a lot of awesome pictures that I had plum forgot about. From the cleansing fires rose a few interesting pictures. Due to my saving habits, most of them are irrecoverably severed from their source. So, sorry. I will make my penance. In the mean time, here's some fun stuff.

Enjoy.







That's a Calcutta book seller, Prypiat, and monkeys knife fighting, respectively.

10 February, 2010

The Killers


This should go high on the list of "Things I Should Have Bought, Back When I Had Money."

C'est la vie. Ronald Reagan will be there waiting for when I do.

Goddamn!

A bunch of aerial photos of the World Trade Center on 9/11 were released to day.

Interesting stuff.

Take a Hike, Faulkner!


I don't know who taught you to write, but you need to go back to them and punch them in the neck, because, I mean, really pal, get a fucking paragraph break. It won't kill you! And another thing, have you ever had your books described as "knife-edged with peril?" Doubtful. "Dull as a butter knife edge," maybe. Forget it, pal, you just don't have the chops for real, legitimate literature like this.

(via Pop Sensation)

We'll Miss You Mr. Wilson


Thanks for helping the mujahadin kick the Soviets' asses. That took some doing. Sure, it kind of sort of wasn't the most long sighted project we ever undertook in Central Asia, but hey, that's not really your fault. Besides, like you said, the Afghans were going to fight the "Evil Empire, if you will" no matter what we did or what we gave them and that "History would judge us poorly if we let them fight with their bare hands.

So, fuck it. Here's to you, Mr. Wilson.

For those who missed it, Charlie Wilson from Charlie Wilson's War died today. And not the guy who screamed "Wilson!" but the actual guy, Wilson.

Hope that makes sense.

The 'Ghan



You should really watch this Frontline report on the Afghanistan War.

'Cause this shit is important, gotsdurnit!

It's kind of funny, I made aware of this documentary by my friend, Joe, while I was writing one thing on Afghanistan and now that I'm finally getting around to watching it, I'm writing another thing on Afghanistan. Actually, the timing is fairly convenient, because this Frontline relates directly to the kind of thing that I'm writing.

So, there it is.

Bogie Was a Pretty Man


Just don't tell him that to his face.

Damn. It's hard to get much cooler than Bogie fighting a bunch of mysterious, hooded goons. . . Maybe if he did it on top of a blimp.

(via This Isn't Happiness)

"Cossacks of Saporog Are Drafting a Manifesto"


"Cossacks of Saporog Are Drafting a Manifesto" also known as "Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire" by Ilya Repin, 1880-1891.

09 February, 2010

He Say You Brade Runnah


There's a lot of these paired down poster designs running around the internet and it's always cool to see one done right.

(via Jamie Bolton)

I Think it's Okay to Laugh at This

Little Known Black History Facts.

It's a celebration of a culture! And it's clearly written by someone who knows a thing or two about a thing or two! No, I won't feel guilty about this, damnit! Maybe you're the intolerant one for judging me, ever think about that, huh?

08 February, 2010

Hippos are Jerks


I don't care if he's a crocodile, there's no horseplay in the pool!

SEE Rural Baltimore!


SEE the vacants!

SEE real urban decay!

SEE the American underclass in its natural environment!

SEE an escape route!

Just Pants and a Gun


What else is a man in need of?

(Via Cinema is Dope)

Whoops


That can't be good.

07 February, 2010

From the Archives


"I liked you in Performance. Big fan."

Armed


By Ralph Gibson

Glory to Dai Nippon!


As a rule I try to avoid posting heroic images of Japanese soldiers, but I really dug this image because of of the soldiers on the left hand side. He's the second one down. Just look at him. All trying to slink off like he's not being charged by Japanese infantry. Thinking, maybe if he staying quiet enough and plays like nothing happened, no one is going to notice him.

What a busta.

06 February, 2010

See London in Glorious Kodachrome!


Will ya look at that. It's almost like they didn't just get over having the shit bombed out of them. Then again, old boy, they've got the stiff upper lip and all that, what?

(via How to Be a Retronaut)

05 February, 2010

Hippos are Jerks


They're nature's killer bees.

04 February, 2010

Hey, scumbag!

Giant Robot needs your help!

So do it!

This isn't Haiti, but hey! Whatever! Do something already!

All Time Greatest Actors


Steve McQueen is one of the motherfuckingest actors of all time. Sure he was in a lot of bad movies, but he was also in a lot of great movies and regardless of what he was in he was great in all of them and he was Steve McQueen in all of them. Regardless of what he was in, he was Steve McQueen and nothing can take that away from him.

There are more than a couple of movies of his that I profoundly hate. But, then again he was the coolest character in The Great Escape. And, above all, he was Steve motherfucking McQueen. If Steve McQueen fucked any of your mothers, your dad would just have to tip his hat and let things roll, because that was the kind of regard Steve McQueen has. He is what manhood, more or less, looks like. Jumping a motorcycle over Nazi barricades, shotgunning criminals, slapping women (that deserve it), getting drunk, destroying classic automobles, and dying young.

That's what being a man looks like.

And I won't have it any other way. Because if it is any other way, it isn't being a man.

(Photos via The Selvedge Yard)

03 February, 2010

Extraordinary Finds


Last night I finally got my turn table to work. I don't know why last night was any different from the nights before, but I'm glad it was. I now have access to an incredible amount of LPs, EPs, 45s, 33s, and anything else you could think of in the vinyl world short of a 78 (the Kislingbury household has working turn tables for for a number of years, hearkening back to the dawn of time). It's cool.

So I started pawing through my dad's vinyl collection and there's a lot of cool stuff. Lots of Johnathan Winters albums, a bunch of Creedence Clearwater Revival, a few Dylans, and just about the entire discography of The Beatles. The entire original discography of The Beatles, mind you. My dad is no spring chicken.

And so I picked up one album The Beatles Yesterday and Today and, like a few of the albums, I ran its serial number through the internet. Most of them netted hits. They all were evaluated at price ranges between twenty and maybe eighty dollars. I'm not going to sell any of them, they're worth far more to me in hand than at Cantebury's or at Pennylane's or on eBay. And then I ran this one album through.

And it brought up the most infamous aborted album of The Beatles' entire career, the "Butcher Cover," a cover so poorly thought out that it was pulled practically on the same day it came out. A cover so ignomious that it was the only album from The Beatles that ever lost money. That was because every one of the albums that weren't bought by fans were pasted over with an alternate cover. Every printing thereafter had the pasted over cover in place of the butcher cover. But, these recalled albums became huge collectors items. At the highest price, a mint-in-package, stereo Butcher album is worth upwards of ten thousand dollars. Even the pasted over covers are worth several hundred dollars.

And I heard this legend for years. It was a mystery. These things were unicorns. Everyone heard about them, but no one eve saw one and no one ever fucking caught one. Not ever. And The Beatles-- there's no bigger band in the 20th Century. As great as Michael Jackson was, I don't know if he's got the same prestige that The Beatles had and still have. So for a long time I've been told about the little minutea of The Beatles. The butcher cover was one of these things and it had always been this thing in the distance, something I'd never ever see and certainly never own. Not without finding out that there's a gold vein under my parent's house. The butcher album is one of the great items of paraphenalia with The Beatle's name on it.

And I have one.

And it's been sitting on a shelf, in plain sight for at least fifteen years. Even my dad, who bought the damn thing didn't know what he hand.

It all matches up. The serial number. The extra thickness of the cover. The peeling edge of one corner that reveals the same color as the original cover. "Ringo's infamous black V" as the vinylophiles call it. I have the album and it fell into my lap because my friend Mike gave me a turn table.

Sorry if this sounds like bragging, but this is cool. This is cool as fuck. This is the coolest thing that has happened to me in a long time and it happened to me years and years before it would have ever meant anything to me.

Now that's cool.

SHAMELESS SELF-AGGRANDIZEMENT


If you missed it the first time, I've got my portfolio online now.

Spread the word. Or if you don't want to (I can't blame you), at least follow it. Every person that follows my blog staves off my suicide by at least six weeks.

MY LIFE IS IN YOUR HANDS

Alright. Sorry about that. I'll get back to reposting images of movie stars from the early 1960's just as soon as I get a chance.

Comics You Should Read


Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips is one of them. It's one of the best written and best drawn comics out there. Plus, it's well done noir-- a rarity, as it always was.

Read it, already.

Hey, here's a new interview with Mr. Phillips in Judge Dredd magazine!

Move Over Faulkner


Here's more HIGH LITERATURE RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES.

You can take your time travelling retarded southerners and your watches that don't work and shove them in a box, because they're never amount to a hill of beans. You hear that, Willie? You'll never write HITLER'S DAUGHTER, so why even bother?

Go home. You're embarrassing yourself. You're embarrassing me.

Stack O Lee


I love that song. I think I first heard it when Warren Ellis linked it on his website way back when Black Snake Moan was coming out in theaters. This is the first time I've ever seen the song in the movie, though. Now that I've seen it, I realize there's basically no reason for me to see it on screen, because the recording is perfect as it is.

Despite the fact that Samuel L. Jackson's bullet mathematics don't quite add up and that scene needs a whole lot less of, as a less polite man might call her, "That white bitch that needs a shampoo," the song is still awesome as anything I've ever heard. I mean, I own the soundtrack to Black Snake Moan and I've got very little desire to seek it out and watch it.

Anyways, the song has quote a history, because it's a bad mother fucking song, goddamnit.

ONE LAST NOTE: I did see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds perform their version of Stagger Lee live. As vulgar as Sam Jackson's version is, Nick Cave's is a bit rougher. A mite bit rougher.

02 February, 2010

Welcome to the Wakhan Corridor


Where our primary export is being crippled and freezing to death!

Get it Down

Obviously they all serve different purposes, but they are all in fact bent to the same purpose, the essential purpose of writing: getting the idea down before you forget it. Doesn’t matter if the idea’s crap. Doesn’t matter if it’s not immediately useful. Doesn’t matter if it’s half-formed. Get it down. Jot it in a text file on your computer and toss it in a folder called Loose Ideas.

Warren Ellis talks about his writing kit and he reinforces something I've heard before and one of the only things I've found to be true in my own limited experience: Just write it down. It's as easy as that.

Iraq Photo of the Day


Iraq Photo of the Day.

Re: Child Rape

Just out of curiosity, in what world do these people live in?

Speaking of Roman Polanski movies, the rats are going absolutely ape-shit in the walls for the past couple of weeks. I hope this doesn't interfere with my up and coming hair dressing career.

01 February, 2010

Quiet the Professional

Last night 60 Minutes did a report on the Green Berets in Afghanistan called "The Quiet Professionals." I thought it was pretty interesting, even if the comment about the beards in the beginning is rather suspect.

And here's an interesting analysis of the piece.

My conclusion: The Special Forces are badass motherfuckers, but what the hell was hitting those kids about? How does a professional pull a bonehead move like that?

LIGHTNING ROUND BONUS: Here's a journalist at the New York Times speaking on his months of captivity at the hands of the Taliban.

MIFUNE MONDAY

The 38th Chamber from Douglas Haddow on Vimeo.


I miss watching samurai movies. Though it's not like they went away or anything. . .

(via World's Best Ever.)

The Lone Gunman


Once again, my memory (and my file saving skills) have failed me.

Here's my penance:

Le Samourai. Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. 1967. One of the coolest movies in the history of time.