I’m sure some of the liberals out there are racing to publish “America’s first birthday with a black president and what it all means” stories.
Me? I’m gonna sit on a chair made in China and get tanked on Irish beer and listen to English bands whilst eating German sausages with French mustard along with some Belgian fries… and I’ll do it wearing a shirt made in Honduras, jeans made in Malaysia, boxers made in India, and boots made in England but sold only through a Slovakian website… ‘cos that’s how I roll! Too bad I don’t have a Japanese car to drive to get to the party, no?
Seriously… Happy Independence Day, everyone! Have fun, but be careful out there!
Amusing true story: I stole the above graphic from the Bunny Ranch’s website. Here’s the NSFW page from Google’s cache.
You’ve probably heard the French band Nouvelle Vague before. Their music has been used in several TV shows and commercials including Sugar Rush, and a popular promo for the show L.A. Ink (which prominently featured Nouvelle Vague’s cover version of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself”).
For what it’s worth, the band’s name is a clever play on words: it’s French for “New Wave”, and it represents their “Frenchness” and “artiness” (after the ’60s “new wave” of French cinema), the source of all their music (cover tunes of old punk and New Wave favorites), as well as their actual style of music (which is bossa-nova, which is Portuguese for… “new wave”).
Anyway, the band has a new album out. This one is simply called 3, and it features an awesome cover of the Violent Femme’s “Blister In The Sun” on it. It sounds like it would be great to play at parties! Have a listen and tell me what you think:
Gene Robinson, the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire whose consecration set off a firestorm in the Anglican Communion, dissed the new Province in a recent interview. Robinson, derisively known as the “Simple County Bishop” (SCB) by conservative Anglicans, said in an interview that
“A church that does not ordain women or openly gay people – I don’t see a future for that.”
Oh yes, Gene… because that’s been a huge problem for the Catholic and Orthodox churches in the past 2,000 years!
Robinson could not explain why the Episcopal Church only gets smaller and smaller as it becomes more and more “inclusive”.
So I’m reading a book called The Great Mutiny: India 1857, which is about a rebellion of native Indian troops against their British masters. Like most rebellions, there were several underlying causes, but the impetus of the rebellion – the spark if you will – was when the British tried to introduce a new type of rifle cartridge that was supposedly covered in both tallow and lard, which offended both the Hindu and Muslim soldiers in the East India Company’s army.
I was struck by one passage in particular, which discusses what the British did to some of the rebels when they were finally tracked down:
Only those with the strongest stomachs, however, could remain unaffected when prisoners were blown away from the mouths of cannon, a punishment inflicted in the days of the Moghul emperors and subsequently adopted by the British in India…. The victim was lashed to a gun, the small of his back or pit of his stomach against the muzzle, then ‘smeared with blood of someone murdered by a member of his own race if such could be procured’. When the gun was fired the man’s body was dismembered. Usually the head, scarcely disfigured, would fly off through the smoke, the fall to earth, slightly blackened, followed by the arms and legs. The trunk would be shattered, giving off ‘a beastly smell’, and pieces of flesh and intestines and gouts of blood would be splashed not only over the gunners but also any spectators who stood too close. Vultures would hover overhead and with grisly dexterity catch lumps of flesh in their beaks.
It’s not that the actual method of execution is so cruel. I’m sure if you were unlucky enough to be strapped to the cannon, all you’d see would be a flash of light and it would be over. But what a message such an execution method sends! Don’t mess with John Bull, eh?
Here’s a list of all the songs heard on the show Ashes to Ashes, updated to include season 2.
UPDATE:Here’s the final playlist, with season 3 included.
Ultravox – “Vienna”
The Clash – “I Fought the Law”
Tubeway Army – “Are Friends Electric?”
The Stranglers – “No More Heroes”
David Bowie – “Ashes to Ashes”
The Passions – “I’m In Love With A German Film Star”
Duran Duran – “Hungry Like the Wolf”
Duran Duran – “Careless Memories”
Roxy Music – “Same Old Scene”
Tenpole Tudor – “Swords of a Thousand Men”
Madness – “The Prince”
Imagination – “Body Talk”
The Flying Lizards – “Money”
Visage – “Fade to Grey”
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – “Souvenir”
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – “Geno”
The Pop Group – “We Are All Prostitutes”
Heaven 17 – “Fascist Groove Thang”
Jon and Vangelis – “I Hear You Now”
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – “Show Me”
Chas and Dave – “Gertcha”
So… a “new life form” was discovered in the sewers of Raleigh, North Carolina recently:
Freaky lookin’, no? Although it looks like something out of the Alien films, they are actually run of the mill worms.
According to Dr. Timothy S. Wood, they’re really just “clumps of annelid worms, almost certainly tubificids”. He further states that they “[normally] occur in soil and sediment, especially at the bottom and edges of polluted streams. In the photo [sic] they have apparently entered a pipeline somehow, and in the absence of soil they are coiling around each other. The contractions you see are the result of a single worm contracting and then stimulating all the others to do the same almost simultaneously, so it looks like a single big muscle contracting”.