45 Minutes For Lemonade?!

Congratulations to Laura, Leigh, Kavi, and Stacie for graduating from UNC today!

currently playing: The Temptations — Pap Was A Rolling Stone

The Conservative Party:

Riding the cultural zeitgeist like it's 2001.

currently playing: The Primitives — Crash

Rockist! Popist! Duck Season! Rabbit Season!

They defected. Once, they were a second-tier Motown band, struggling to make themselves known amongst the other giants on the label. In 1971, they broke out of the maximum-security Detroit prison and headed for Atlantic Records, where they met a man called Thom Bell, the producer behind the "Philadelphia Sound" (horns! trumpets! Big Band Sound!). Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no-one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire The Spinners.

The Spinners — I'll Be Around

Formed as a reaction to being refused entry to Studio 54, the shadowy CHIC Organisation was a constant thorn in the side of people who hate fun. Groups that were funded by these members of the New Order include Sister Sledge (sadly, not a real nun), Sheila and B. Devotion, ABC, Madonna, David Bowie, and The Power Station. They remain sorry about The Power Station. CHIC currently resides in the fifth sub-basement of the MI6 building in London, waiting for the day that London is attacked and the building transforms into London's final line of defence; a 200-foot-high killer concrete robot.

ChicWhat About Me?

Incidentally, does anybody else feel uneasy about the choice of song for Euro 2004? I appreciate the sentiment, I suppose; it's about a period when two opposing sides of Europe came together for a game of football. But it's still about the First World War; aren't we past that sort of jingoistic image by now?

currently playing: The Postal Service — Sleeping In

Creepy Websites!

Note reassuring use of Flash.

Worth visiting so you can check out Guest House Kabul and Guest House Baghdad.

"Hi! We're hired killers! But doesn't our site look professional?"

All these companies are listed in a US State Dep. document about the Security companies currently doing business in Iraq. Amusing/Dull-horror-causing note at the top of the document:

The U.S. government assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms whose names appear on the list.

Also: the most tasteless job ad in history?

currently playing: Radiohead — Black Star

The Mouse Strikes Again

Um, if Disney said this back in 2003, then why are we only hearing about it now? Something seems odd.

(And it's not like this will stop a US release. When the same thing happened to Kevin Smith's Dogma, the film was quickly snapped up by another distributor. So I don't think it's quite as bad as the article sounds, although it is discouraging, if not surprising, that Disney are blocking the film)

currently playing: Orange Juice — A Place In My Heart

25 Years And We're Still Paying

"When Margaret Thatcher dies, I hope that they install a disco dance floor on top of her grave. It'll make things easier."

currently playing: Gene — I Can't Decide If She Really Loves Me

Quiz Show

I have installed MT-Blacklist. After getting ten porn spam comments in under two hours, I came to the conclusion that manual deletion wasn't going to stem the flood. Let me know if it gives you any problems when you comment.

So, I suppose the big comic-related news from the weekend is Micah Wright's confession. The writer of Stormwatch: Team Achilles and a WWII-propaganda remix book made much of his Army Ranger past, talking about his secret missions in Panama and other parts of South America, and using it when debating people who held views contrary to his own. He was featured in the Guardian, Fox News, and the Washington Post, his book has introductions by none other than Howard Zinn and Kurt Vonnegut, and he is currently working on another book of remixed propaganda posters, this time featuring Greg Palast. He's a military man who turned against the current government after seeing some of the horrors carried out in its name.

Except, on Saturday, he admitted that he never was a Ranger. It was a lie he made up eleven years ago, and he never got around to telling the truth. Until a group of Rangers, suspicious about his background, got in contact with the Washington Post, which led to a Freedom of Information Act request against his name. The truth took several months to come out, but yesterday, the Post published the truth, a few hours after Micah's confession on his forum. As you can imagine, the comic community has spent the last 48 hours talking about it (to be honest, it's something of a welcome diversion; previously, the most interesting thing people were talking about was whether Snapper Carr will be killed in Identity Crisis. And yes, that's as geeky as it sounds).

I'd like to say I wasn't taken in, but I was; he did sound fairly convincing when he talked about his past, although whenever he talked about military technology or tactics, he tended to be corrected by other forum members, which I found a little strange. His recent obsession with Skull & Bones conspiracy theories lead to me tuning him out in the same way that I did with Warren Ellis during his "Stalin" period. I'm not really shocked, or angry, or supportive, like some on his forum. The only thing that keeps coming back to me is this bit from Quiz Show:

I'm happy that you've made the statement. But I cannot agree with most of my colleagues. See, I don't think an adult of your intellegence should be commended for simply, at long last, telling the truth.

Stormwatch has already been already cancelled, so this won't affect that in any way, but Micah's second book has just been pulled by his publishers, and his new comic series, Vigilante, supposedly launching in November, looks like it may not appear (DC is refusing to comment at the moment). Plus, he's got a bunch of Rangers annoyed with him. And I hear they're not the forgiving sort.

currently playing: R.E.M. — Hope

The Greatest Thing Ever

This looks like so much fun.

What?

currently playing: Cat Power — Cross Bones Style

Offered Without Comment…

On the subject of the recent CBS 60 Minutes II story about American soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners:

While tens of thousands of U.S. men and women serve their country in the Battle of Iraq, 60 Minutes II has the audacity to violate their character by showing the disgusting actions of "several" of their comrades to foreign prisoners.

Not only do you "report" the incident, you distastefully show the pictures that only serve to brand all our loved ones in uniform. You leave little doubt, both past and present, of your liberal agenda and desire to taint this military action. --Raymond E. O'Neill

currently playing: R.E.M. — Be Mine

Meeting In Cafés

I think my computer issues are just about over now (to recap: blown motherboard, new motherboard with incompatible memory slots, and a fatal fall to my iBook), so perhaps the weblog will be updated with a little more regularity from now on. No promises, though.

Anyway, here's this week's music selection. This time, it's AN ALL—EIGHTIES—EXTRAVAGANZA!!

Prefab Sprout Appetite

I'm not quite sure how to explain why I like this. I suspect it has something to do with the female vocal that's keyed to the synthesiser. Or the line "If you steal - be Robin Hood". Or maybe it's this: "Wishes she could call him heartache / But it's not a boy's name." Download it and see what you think.

The Railway ChildrenSomewhere South

More jingly-jangly pop that owes more than a little to Orange Juice and Aztec Camera, with a dash of New Order thrown in for good measure (the group started out on Factory Records, the record label of Choice, after all).

Current thread at a music board I frequent:

Lauren Laverne smiled at me, which pretty much made my year

"The Internet fans are the scariest." — Lauren Laverne

currently playing: Happy Mondays — Hallelujah