Cut Into The Present & The Future Leaks Out

Indulge me with some lazy blogging, m’kay?  It’s been a busy week,  but here’s a little cut & paste of a creative cut & paste from the crazed uncle of all angelheaded hipsters, Wm. Burroughs.

Credits Due: Cut-Ups from Matti Niinimäki on Vimeo via Boing Boing.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Over at BoingBoing, a few videos have caught my eye. And now I shall stick ’em in yours:

First up: A tripped-out add for Schaefer, the finest of American pilsners, and which was at “one point the world’s best selling beer. By the 1970s, however, it had ceded the top spot to Budweiser.” Perhaps harnessing the power of the Moog wasn’t the best way to appeal to the base:

Up next, Zappa scores some ‘ludes, uh, scored a Luden’s cough-drop commercial:

And finally, Perry Farrell returns to his roots for the benefit of some sort of telethon for the kids:

Jeepers creeper, I liked feeding these to my peepers. May the same be true for you.

Adolf Eichmann’s Bling

The Economist recently ran the above photo of Holocauster Adolf Eichmann to accompany a review of a new book about him and his big Argentinian outing by a globe-trotting and chutzpah-raging yet still-green Mossad.  It wasn’t till the second glance at the portrait that I noticed the skull gleaming from just above the brim, set like a bedeviled guru’s third eye, channeling Kali and calamity.

And it reminded me of an old Glenn Beck rant (this being a few years before he started invoking the Mormon eschaton nightly on Cable TV) where he pondered what it must be like to be a Nazi, to get up each day in the officer’s barracks at Belsen, to get dressed up in your spiffy black SS uniform, and to look in the mirror and to never have it cross your mind:  “Hey, maybe I’m the Bad Guy.”

Bipolar Politics

The Economist recently ran the above illustration on the cover, launching a look at the ways in which China does (and does not) have us all on the hook.

According to the article, in China there is a new mindset which is catching on around the globe.  The meme is that “geopolitics is now a bipolar affair, with America and China the only two that matter.”  In other words, the recent G20 meeting would be more accurately christened the G2.

The article goes on to explain how this is not entirely true, that the EU is still the world’s biggest economy (although I still think it’s cheating to lump all ’em wee li’l countries together like that) and that India is also rising nicely as well.  However, for a Cold War Kid like me, this is paradigm-popping stuff.  Glad I married in when I did.   Whew!

True Heroes of Cheese! I Salute You!

“Have you met the Compliment Guys?”

That’s the question bouncing around the ivy-covered halls and cinder-blocked walls of Purdue University these days.  Every afternoon, these two determinedly upbeat kids get their kicks by sticking a smile to winter-chapped collegiate lips.

The formula?  Just saying something nice.  Read more, be inspired, spread the cheese.

Christopher Nolan

I had never heard of him until he died.  The Economist ran this obituary, and I’d encourage you to take a moment to read it.

Christopher Nolan was not just a writer.  He was a maestro attuned to the melody of language.  But, unable to speak due to a crushing case of cerebral palsy, the only instrument he was able to master was a stick taped to his forehead enabling him to poke out a word here and there on a custom keyboard.  Sometimes it went as slowly as just a few words an hour, and that with the help of nerve-spasm dampening drugs and braces and lifelong love from selfless parents.

There are times when the efforts of the disabled, the downtrodden, and the otherwise less-advantaged are rewarded because they show stamina and strength despite the odds.  Every parent knows this first-hand as we praise our children’s attempts to create and learn.  Life is full of sliding scales and context counts; there is nothing wrong with this.  But Christopher Nolan is doubly unusual, and thus doubly tragic.  There is the first tragedy of the diseased disruption of  any afflicted life.  And then there is the second tragedy of the many body-bound works that will never be published.   The briliance trapped in his brain, unable to find a vessel to mark the words, could have filled volumes.  His writing stands on its own.  As the obituary pointed out, I wouldn’t want to be Christopher Nolan.  But still, I think I’d give a lot write like that.  I think.

Hey Andy, Where’s Ruthenia?

I love the Twentieth Century.  Not only were we all famous for 15 minutes, a whole nation could exist for only a day.

Case in point:  Ruthenia, which shone gloriously free on March 15th, 1939, the day after the Nazis left and the day before the Soviets rushed in.  How does Mr. Warhol fit into this?  He was the son of two Ruthene immigrants to the New World.  Though born in Pittsburgh, he is the one-and-only famous son of the Sub-Carpathians.

Despite the Man with the Can, the Ruthenians are currently without a plan.  And that seems to be just fine by them.

YouTube Remixed

My good buddy Jason C. sent this my way a few days ago.  Phenomenal!  Check out the rest over here.  I love the graphic deisgn on the site too, perfect static-graphic play on the dynamic-video content.  Worth a peek!

Yes, I Was A Cold War Kid

This interesting photo just popped up on the interwebs showing a fit-as-a-fiddle Vladamir Putin posing as a camera-happy tourist who just happened to bump into Reagan and Gorby touring Red Square.

Truth be told, he was a KGB plant, assigned to keep an eye on the propaganda machine which was in full swing as the leaders summited to great heights of love and understanding.

Golly, I miss those days.  When I was a youngster, the good guys were grandfatherly ex-cowboys who thrilled my imagination with talk of Star Wars Missile Defense and a steadfast belief in Truth, Justice, and The American Way.  The bad guys were part of an Evil Empire that was probably run by Darth Vader, though I assumed he never left his gulag-surrounded lair in deepest Siberia.

When we had to fight it out, we were polite about it.  Discretion was always in order.  Sometimes we’d send Ollie North to move a few guns into the swarthy hands of our simple, yet trustworthy friends south of some border or another.  For more delicate tasks involving the French or other suspiciously-accented Europeans, we could count on our ally James Bond to drop in leaving things shaken, not stirred.  Jack Nicholson really did need A Few Good Men.  And when it came down to it, I was pretty sure that the whole G.I.Joe thing was just a little too perfect not to have a root in a top-secret reality where they were poised to strike if the Commies came a-knockin’.

And Red Dawn?  No, not just a movie.  Rather, it was a warning and a guide as to what to do when your country really needed you.  Wolverines!

To anyone over the age of 45, please don’t tell me I’m wrong about any of that.  M’kay?  I’d hate to have to send the ninja’s after you.

Elvis Costello & The Spirit of ’77

I’m catching on to this guy, thirty years too late.  Hey, I was only a wee little three when the Two Sevens Clashed, so cut me some slack.  I stumbled across this SNL performance that makes me wonder how much I’m still missing:

Many thanks to the fine Melvillain Blog for turning me on to this.  Take a minute and read up on his write up.