We were relieved today

We were relieved today to finally receive our package of goodies from Taiwan. Jessica’s sister had brought them back from Taiwan and mailed them last week from Phoenix. Why did it take a whole week to get here?
Anyway, apart from all the snacks inside, I got a stack of Beatmania Game Music CDs along with the first volume in the Hsiao-hsien Hou DVD box set. This one contains The Boys from Fengkuei (1983), A Summer at Grandpa’s (1984), A Time to Live and a Time to Die (1985), and Dust in the Wind (1986).
My buddy William is to thank for picking these up for me (I paid him, of course). In fact, he liked the look of the set so much that he picked one up himself, and is slowly getting into watching them. Me, I’m waiting until I finish Cowboy Bebop.

Cowboy Bebop’s Andy and

Cowboy Bebop’s Andy and George “Five-Gallon Head” Bush:
Separated at Birth?

More Cowboy Bebop Precog?
A few days ago I posted about the Cowboy Bebop episode with its portrayal of the Space Shuttle Columbia and a re-entry that nearly destroys the ship. Well, last night I watched another episode that had strange parallels with today.
Called “Cowboy Funk” (Session #22), the story features a mad bomber, Mr. Teddy Bomber, who has been setting off bombs in various high rises. The episode opens on one of these, looking like a combination of the World Trade Center and Malaysia’s Petronas Towers (it has a connecting structure halfway up). Spike catches the bomber before he is allowed to detonate the bombs (disguised as teddy bears), but before he can handcuff him, another bounty hunter called “Andy” appears and screws the whole thing up, thinking that Spike is the bomber, and letting the culprit go free. The scene culminates in the connecting structure exploding and falling to the city below, creating a dust cloud not unlike the WTC aftermath.
As Andy is written, he’s a big dope, a brainless, righteous faux-cowboy who creates disaster wherever he goes. Sound familiar to the phony Kennebunkport cowboy set on destroying the world? Ya think? Later we see that Andy is actually a spoiled rich kid who lives on a large yacht, and Faye Valentine meets him for dinner.

FAYE: Um… So why are you a bounty hunter? If you’re so rich, uh, I mean if you have so much comfort in your life…
ANDY: Why, Let’s see… BECAUSE it suits me. That feeling a cowboy gets when he corners a bull.
Andy laughs heartily. Faye forces laughter.
FAYE: Oh… but you don’t have to go after such a dangerous bounty, do you?
ANDY: Yes! I don’t worry about things like that! Once I set my mind on something, I can see NOTHING else!

Sounds like our single-minded monkey king, no doubt. Purely a coincidence, but there’s further parallels. Spike and Andy get so wrapped up in their jealous hatred of each other that they lose track of the bomber, allowing him to explode several more devices. Sound a bit like the U.S.’s foreign policy? Just where is Osama “Wanted Dead or Alive” bin Laden, O Crawford Cowboy? (Trouble with this comparison is that Spike Siegel is our hero and not in any way like Hussain!)
And the bomber’s philosophy? Pure Ted Kaczynski: “I wanted to give a warning against all the unnecessary waste created by capitalism lacking philosophy. Planets that needlessly get colonized. Media that needlessly get circulated. And buildings that are needlessly tall to symbolize all of this! And by destroying them, I wanted to raise the question of how a true pioneer should be.”
This is one of the funniest episodes so far, in a series that can swing from sentimental to absurd, episode by episode.
Andy image by way of Bebopdabebop.
Chimpy McCokespoon image by way of George W. Bush: Smirking Arrogance

We were hit by an

We were hit by an earthquake this morning at about 4:45 a.m. or so. It caused my framed Gerry Mulligan poster in our bedroom to detach itself and crash to the floor, scaring the bejeesus out of me. But that was all. In fact, I didn’t know it was an earthquake until I checked Yahoo near lunchtime. I had assumed that the nail or the hook attaching the frame to the wall was just cheap.
Anyway, there’s just so much evil going on, I don’t know where to start. First there’s the GOP jihad against White House Press Corps Truthteller Helen Thomas, one of the few who have any cajones left and who stands up to Fleischer. There’s the boiling oil war in Columbia coming soon, and what the hell are we doing in the Philippines? I get a headache just thinking about it all.
Thank goodness, then, for Cowboy Bebop, of which I had watched two-thirds. I will have more comments on it soon, but tonight’s episode, Wild Horses was creepy in a way the makers didn’t intend, and I’m sure that fans will note in the future.
The plot features Spike returning to earth to get his space-hopper fixed, and he returns to Doohan, the mechanic who helped design it in the first place. While there, Spike catches a glimpse (hidden from us) of Doohan’s hobby, restoring a famous spacecraft.
Much later, Spike rejoins his crew and sets out to catch some space pirates for the bounty on their heads. They wound his space-hopper and leave Spike to burn up re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. Doohan decides to come to his rescue and brings his restored spacecraft out of the hanger.
It’s the space shuttle. And not only that, it’s the Columbia.
Doohan and assistant rescue Spike and barely make it back home, with the shuttle in dire straits as well: “The heat panels have nearly all come off! I’m too young to die!” etc.
It certainly gave the episode a strange weight to it. One wonders if Cartoon Network will drop the episode (not that I think they should, but they have censored a lot of CB for America’s gentle viewers.)

Audio goodies in the mail

Audio goodies in the mail today! I finally upgraded my clapped out Aiwa double-cassette deck and bought myself a refurbished Nakamichi MR-2B single cassette deck from a Seattle-based recording studio for all of $125. I think these things sold for $750 back in the day (1986), and if you know anything about tape decks, you know that Nakamichi is da shiznit, with old decks outperforming modern decks from other companies (face it, nobody cares about cassettes any more). Nakamichi stopped making decks in the 1990s, but there’s still plenty of fans out there.
I did my research at the Naks site, where the entire history of the company’s cassette decks are outlined and worshipped.
So, how’s mine? Well, apart from the fact that all my tapes are currently at my dad’s house apart from one (Philip Glass: Mishima and Koyaanisqatsi OST), and apart from the fact that I’m still trying to sort out the problems with my speaker/receiver set-up at the new place, I would say it’s lovely. The mechanism is quiet as a baby. I mean, really, really, really quiet. Quieter than my CD or my VCR. And the sound is great, but I have yet to put it through its paces.
By the way, they still have plenty of these decks left at the place I got ’em. Check ’em out here, at Realtime.

Whether you have a yin

Whether you have a yin or a yang you’ll enjoy these links. The first is to Cynthia Plaster Caster’s collection of rock star penises, mostly weird, flaccid representations of the biggest cocks in showbiz (there’s something about plunging your member into cold plaster that stops a stiffy in its tracks).
Meanwhile, over at The Spectator there’s a great essay by Betty Dodson about the bait-and-switch sham that is The Vagina Monologues, which is close to my take on the subject. That is, it’s very easy to make women feel bad about sexual violence in the world; it’s difficult to make them feel good about themselves. In art, despair is easy, love is hard.
Warning: The Vagina Monologues essay link features an actual photo of an actual vagina (with an actual vibrator near it), but I think you people are sensible adults and have seen one before (you may even have one). Both links by way of the most excellent Daze Sex Blog

Well, this post is a

Well, this post is a few days late, as just after I finished writing it last night (Saturday), Internet Explorer decided to change my history cache at the stroke of midnight into a folder and promptly froze Blogger in the act of publishing. So I lost everything! Balls.
So here we are a day later (as I was busy all day), late Sunday/early Monday, with my report on Saturday. While everybody in the entire world was protesting, I was in a cocktail lounge in Burbank, being an extra in my friend Jon’s film, an engagement I had agreed to long before Iraq was a gleam in Karl Rove’s eye.

The main character meets his lawyer to sign divorce papers.
The film is called Beautiful People and I designed some magazine and book covers seen in the film and a very important wine label. When I get the rest of my site up, you’ll be able to see these in the artwork section. But for now take my word for it.
Anyway, I play a lawyer, to be seen once in wideshot, yabbering away into a cellphone. You can see my “scotch on the rocks,” which is actually ice tea.

As a respected actor, I insist on working with only the top names. You know, Jack Daniels, Glen Fiddich, Jim Beam, and Mr. W. Turkey.
After about 7 takes of this I was let free, and I could just watch the rest of the shoot. I had my camera ready and here’s some of the other things I saw.

The above is my favorite photo of the lot.

Jon’s girlfriend Ruriko (also a filmmaker) looks baffled. With Jon, she usually is.

Between the medium shots and the close-ups, we all took a break near the pool during a very overcast day.

Apparently, this is very bad for the eyes.

Ruriko reacting to the above photo.

“Put more vim in it!” urges Jon to his actors.

I’ve run out of funny captions.
So anyway, it was a nice 4-hour shoot. Assistant Director Mylie (spelling?) kept everybody on their toes and everything movie at a clip. We got done near six, which was when I walked out into the empty bar next door in time to see the evening news and the coverage of the protest marches on each network. It was an amazing moment, as it coincided with my relief of finishing the shoot.

Happy Valentine’s Day, freaky people!

Happy Valentine’s Day, freaky people! Love of my life Jessica bought me some books as a sign of affection, knowing they’ll go down better than a tie or cologne or whatever other rubbishy gifts the plebs buy each other. I got copies of Blue Note: Album Cover Art,
45 rpm, and
1000 Record Covers, all devoted, as you can tell, to album graphics, one of my favorite things to look at (and design). In return, I gave Jessica a dozen roses and a special Flash-animated card that I whipped up in my “spare” time. I think she liked ’em.
And that’s about as personal as I’m gonna get!

As found on Die Puny

As found on Die Puny Humans:

Man requests Jesus for legal help
GAINESVILLE, Missouri (AP) — A Missouri man is calling on a higher power for his legal representation.
Richard John Adams requested Jesus Christ as his trial attorney during a hearing Wednesday on tampering charges. Adams, who described himself as a patriot and a Christian, says lawyers are “devils” who are trying to undermine the Constitution.
Ozark County Circuit Judge John Moody told Adams the only person who can speak for him in the courtroom is a lawful attorney.
Adams is charged with tampering with a judge for hostile comments made during an earlier traffic case. He faces a maximum of 14 years in prison if convicted of both counts.

“I’m out of order? You’re out of order! This whole f***ing legal system based on secular ideas and not on the Divine Law of God is out of order!!!!”

Sorry Folks! It was all

Sorry Folks! It was all a false alarm!!! But it sure did help the BushJunta by shutting us up with fear and panic for a few days. I wonder what evil they got up to while everybody was distracted.

ABCNEWS.com : Alert Partly Based on Lies
A key piece of the information leading to recent terror alerts was fabricated, according to two senior law enforcement officials in Washington and New York.
The officials said that a claim made by a captured al Qaeda member that Washington, New York or Florida would be hit by a “dirty bomb” sometime this week had proven to be a product of his imagination.

You mean I did all this for nothing?