Late Night: Pastafarian and Klingon, The Politicians We Love

The stodgy, meanspirited partisan politics of some elected officials often reminds us of why we can’t have nice things. And then there are politicians who really seem to enjoy their jobs, or at least the beginning and end parts. Take Christopher Schaeffer, a new town council member in Pomfret, N.Y. who took his oath of office while demonstrating his faith.  Schaeffer wore a spaghetti strainer on his head as an article of faith because he is a self-professed Pastafarian, and a minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The newly-elected council member told the Dunkirk Observer:

It’s just a statement about religious freedom. It’s a religion without any dogma…Mostly, I’m just looking forward to making sure that the town is run smoothly and we meet the needs of all of our citizens. If anybody ever has any concerns or questions, I hope they contact me, because I want to make sure that everyone is represented.

Schaeffer pointed out that last summer members of Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster were attacked in Moscow by the Russian Orthodox activist vigilante group Bozhaya Volya, or God’s Will, along with Russian police, who beat and then arrested the peaceful Pastafarians.

Meanwhile, in the small town of Indian Trail,  N.C., city councilmember David Waddell tendered his resignation in Klingon.

According the Charlotte Observer, Waddell

expressed frustration with what he saw as runaway development in the town as well as concerns with how requests for public information were being handled. In November, the council tabled a plan to establish more fees for some public records and add more restrictions on how records could be viewed.

Late Night: Miami Art Basel and Bugs at the Museum

Miami Art Basel starts tonight–500,000 people expected in Miami for the art fairs–Art Basel and established satellite fairs Scope, Pulse, Aqua; plus half a dozen others, along with almost every building available turned into a gallery, pop-up or party venue. Because where you have art, you have opportunity for marketing booze, clothes, cars and yourself.

There’s a whole district in Miami, Wynwood, where street artists have decorated the walls with art, spawning the Wynwood Walls art fairs where around any corner you can see  brilliant splashes of color and swooping lines mixing political commentary. Graffiti has become big business worldwide, with companies Red Bull and Converse sponsoring artists who hope to gain additional deals like clothing lines and gallery shows.

Is graffiti art?  When does it step over the line from dangerous destructive hobby to a multi-million dollar piece of art?

 

Photo: Soten in Wynwood, photo by Emerald Arts via CARTWHEELart.com

Late Night: Witch, Please! Stevie Nicks Coming to Coven

I love American Horror Story: Coven. It’s way prettier and less suburban and lots funnier than the drab Witches of East End. And now Stevie Nicks is gonna make a cameo appearance. In the series, swamp witch Misty Dawn who has a really extensive collection of diaphanous neo-boho faux homespun fairy wear, is obsessed with rock goddess Stevie Nicks, playing her songs on 8-track tapes. Today series creator Ryan Adams tweeted that Nicks–who is aware of her influence on the show–will be appearing at some point, making 11/12/13 truly a magical day.

La Stevie has downplayed rumors of her interest in the occult in recent years, but in the 1980s my friends in the antiquarian book business (great sources for insider info; what people collect reveals so much about them)  told me that Nicks bought lots of old, old books on witchcraft, magic and alchemy, and had amassed quite a collection.

The witch world and blogosphere are bubbling like a cauldron at Yule with news of Nick’s appearance. I met Nicks once, in the early 1990s when I was working at Atlantic Records; she came in for a meeting with my boss, wearing a very sedate black and white fitted silk dress, she was tiny, nice, and very pretty–my boss, knowing my occult interests insisted that I come in and meet her (as well as taking the coffee and Perrier orders, lol!). She had a certain vibe about her, one of woman who is capable of achieving her goals.

Misty Dawn, the AHS:C witch who worships Nicks, has the magical power of resurrection, so it’s appropriate that the next phase of Stevie Nick’s career emanates from her hands, and how wonderful that Stevie has embraced her legend, inspiring a whole new generation of witch-lettes like she did in the 1970s and ’80s when a friend of mine named her daughter, born in the mid-’80s, Rhiannon (and Riri lives up to it, too; she’s quite good at the mantic arts!).

My goddess-daughter, Rhiannon. (more…)

Late Night: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!

There’s a lot that’s going on out in the world and while some of it has nothing to do with Halloween it does provide some good fodder for costumes. Other costumes are in bad taste, “too soon” or not. What are you doing/wearing for Halloween?

Now for the very scary: According to a certain Christian sect very popular among elected conservatives, Ted Cruz is the Anointed King who will redistribute wealth. And why if liberals want to do it, distribution of wealth is Evil; but if Ted Cruz does it, it’s totally cool? The answer lies in a sermon delivered by Dominionist preacher Larry Huch at his megachurch August 26, 2012, where Ted Cruz’ father Rafael Cruz also delivered a sermon. Huch preached:

The number 12 means ‘divine government’, that God begins to rule and reign. Not Wall Street, not Washington – God’s people and his kingdom will begin to rule and reign…I know that’s why God got Rafael’s son elected – Ted Cruz, the next Senator. But here’s the exciting thing – and that’s why I know it’s timely for him to teach this, and bring this anointing. The rabbinical teaching is, especially amongst gentiles, who God opens their eyes, that in a few weeks begins that year 2012, and that this will begin what we call the “End Time Transfer of Wealth.

And that when these gentiles begin to receive this blessing, they will never go back financially through the valley again. They will grown and grow and grow. It’s said this way – that God is looking at the church, and everyone in it, and deciding, in the next 3 and 1/2 years, who will be his bankers. And the ones that say, “Here am I, Lord, you can trust me,” we will become so blessed that we will usher in the coming of the Messiah. This message if for you. Would you welcome our good friend Rafael Cruz ? What a tremendous man of God.

The elder Cruz then took the pulpit and said:

The pastor [Huch] referred to Proverbs 13:22, a little while ago, which says that the wealth of the wicked is stored for the righteous. And it is through the kings, anointed to take dominion, that that transfer of wealth is going to occur. God, even though he’s sovereign, even though he’s omnipotent, he doesn’t let it rain out of the sky – he’s going to use people to do it.

The theological implications of this are huge, as are the political and social.  And scarier than any goblin at your doorstep.

Late Night: Bear Stories

Tonight we have stories about three bears and about panda bears which aren’t really bears. First the panda bears which are China’s “goodwill ambassadors.” More like China’s payoff for uranium and other trade deals. Poor pandas. After Obama met with Dalai Lama, China recalled Panda cubs, because the giant cousins of the raccoon are property of the state. For a while they were renting the cute black and white critters to zoos, but stopped after an outcry. Pimping an endangered species is gross.

Sad news for candy lovers: The grandad of Gummi-Bears has died. Hans Riegel, 90, founded the candy company Haribo in Bonn (Hans Riegel Bonn) in 1946,when Hans and his younger brother rebuilt his father’s candy factory after World War II though Gummibärchen have been “the original since 1922.” Gummi-Bears  have spawned a whole range of gummy candies, including  Halloween faves gummy worm, gummy spiders, and gummy skulls.

Dodgers security evicted a would-be rally mascot, Dodger Dancing Bear, from Dodger Stadium last night after furniture store owner (and the former mascot for several minor league teams), Mark Monninger, jumped up on the Cardinals dugout and danced for about 12 seconds. Security was booed when they escorted him off the grounds, and he had to sign an agreement to not return to Dodger Stadium for six months. The Dodgers are one of four major league teams that don’t have a mascot.

And our fourth bear? He’s up top, playing tether ball! Meet LG who was found as a starving, frostbitten cub and brought to Animal Ark.  The original intention was for Animal Ark to rehabilitate and release the cub as part of its black bear rehabilitation program, but LG’s boldness, along with the loss of his ear tips to frostbite, did not make him a good release candidate, so LG was given a permanent home at Animal Ark.

Late Night: One Thing the Shutdown Was Good For

Farewell, panda-cam and octopus-cam, much beloved perks from the National Zoo which went dark with the government shutdown. Yosemite is closed on its 100th birthday, tens of thousands of government employees are out of work. It pretty much sucks. Except for this:

A planned Ku Klux Klan rally at a historic landmark of American history won’t happen due to the federal government shutdown.

The Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan event at Gettysburg National Military Park was approved  for Saturday, October 5. But the gubmit went and canceled their all-white sheet-head party. Clearly it’s some grand conspiracy engineered by Obama and libruls to keep them from rallying. Eleventy dimension chess, ya know.

Park officials  granted the permit because

they have a responsibility to make the land available for citizens to exercise their right to freedom of speech, even if the views expressed are contrary to those of most Americans.

The Republican-orchestrated shutdown of all non-essential government services caused the park to rescind all permits.

Meanwhile the San Diego Zoo offers live panda-cam.

Late Night: The Cosmos Is Unstable, Professor Over-Proves

 


 
Guess what? The cosmos, like Victoria Jackson and life itself, is probably inherently unstable. Most of us probably already know that instinctively without needing the Large Hadron Collider to prove it.

I once had a teacher in high school, Jim Hosney, who wanted to teach a course in existentialism where there would be no rhyme or reason as to why people got the which grades that day. That concept might not have gone over real well at an all-girl prep school where eating disorders and substance abuse seemed to be part of the curriculum.

Hosney was a brilliant and challenging social history teacher who showed us films like The Beguiled, Weekend, and The Devils. Hosney’s methods thankfully had nothing on this professor of quantum mechanics, apparently a frustrated (and very bad) performance artist, who began his lecture by saying:

in order to learn quantum mechanics, you have to strip to your raw, erase all the garbage from your brain and start over again. … Everything you do in your everyday life is totally opposite of what you are going to learn in quantum mechanics.

 

 

A science professor at Columbia University on Monday began a quantum mechanics lecture by stripping into his boxers and eating a banana while rap music played in the background….The professor, Emlyn Hughes, proceeded to redress himself in black, complete with sunglasses, and hug himself on stage at the front of the classroom, a large theater.

As Hughes sat in the fetal position, two “actors” dressed in ninja costumes walked onstage and placed white stuffed animals – lambs – on stools before the audience, according to a student-recorded video of the incident posted on Vimeo.com by “Bwog,” a campus news website run by Columbia students.

The ninjas blindfolded the lambs, then a ninja impaled one of the stuffed animals with a long sword and banged it against the stool – right as an image of a plane hitting one of the Twin Towers on 9/11 started rolling on a large screen behind the performance…

After the lamb’s grisly “death” and the images of 9/11, the footage turned into a montage that included clips of Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Hitler – as well as numerous shots of war images – tanks rolling, bombs exploding, people hanging upside-down, troops marching, and the like.

 
Weekend, Jean-Luc Goddard:

The Beguiled:

The Devils:

FDL Late Night: Save the Pubic Louse?

Not this!

Mankind’s ability to drive species into extinction is tragic and legendary: The Tasmanian wolf and tiger, the dodo bird, the freaking passenger pigeon, plus hundreds, nay thousands, of other species of fauna and flora–remember the moly plant? Nope, no one does because it was so prized by the Romans as both an abortifacient and flavoring, it was harvested to the point that it no longer exists; it may have been related to fennel–and disrupting the earth’s delicate ecosystem.

But what about the pubic louse, Phthirus pubis? Yeah, crabs, aka crotch clingers, a (usually) sexually transmitted critter that is embarrassing and yucky and itchy and colonizes pubic hair. Eeuuuw!

Would we, would the world as whole, be better off without the pubic louse, aka the crab louse? What to do they do aside from prove somebody’s a skank? Well, we may be finding out the answer to that sooner than later, since the pubic louse may soon join the Bengal tiger on the endangered species list. And not because of pesticides, or detergents, but because we are ripping out their environment: Our pubic hair.

Bloomberg reports that:

Waning infestations of the bloodsuckers have been linked by doctors to pubic depilation, especially a technique popularized in the 1990s by a Manhattan salon run by seven Brazilian sisters…Ten years ago, U.K. doctors noticed a dwindling in cases of pubic lice even as patient numbers and prevalence rates of other sexually transmitted infections increased. Janet Wilson, a consultant in sexual health and HIV, linked the trend with the growing popularity of pubic hair removal she and colleagues observed among patients attending the genitourinary medicine department at the General Infirmary in Leeds, northern England.

And this is causing concern to those who care about bugs:

“Pubic grooming has led to a severe depletion of crab louse populations,” said Ian F. Burgess, a medical entomologist with Insect Research & Development Ltd. in Cambridge, England. “Add to that other aspects of body hair depilation, and you can see an environmental disaster in the making for this species.”

 

THIS!

 

[HT:  newsvandal.com]

Late Night: New Years Day!

My past few New Year’s Eves have been really, well, not the best way to start the new year.  But sorry to argue with Bono and U2–this year something changed on New Year’s Day!

SURPRISE! Like always, New Year’s Eve companionship (when I had it, because sometimes I escaped parties early and stayed with the dogs, may they rest in peace, so they wouldn’t freak out over gunfire) was excellent; but this year somehow got off to a more optimistic start and has stayed that way. Men revealed themselves to be gentlemen, as opposed to men who were uncovered as lying cads (those new years holiday 2005/2006 and 2009/10 sucked); women were kind and more beautiful than ever. Plus there was a high speed chase through the Valley televised around 9:30 as I rested at home after six-course dinner (amuse-bouche; oysters with caviar and champagne foam or truffled eggs for appetizer; followed by the temptation of either house smoked/cured sea trout or the best steak tartare I’ve ever tasted; a choice of butter poached lobster or prime New York strip; and to finish either cheese or chocolate pots de creme. yes, I went chocolate. (Best of all, my friend Skip was cooking along with Chef Tim at Papilles, which is my local dining hall, so it was pretty cool).

Skip’s wife Stacy runs a company called Iconic PinUps, and I boldly had her and her partner Carol shoot me as a pin up girl for my Krampus gift to myself (To offset the meals at Papilles, I now work out 3-5 days a week, and now have three part time jobs as opposed to one, so maybe the whole Obama economic recovery thing is actually working!).

I overheard the best thing last night as I waited for my dude roommate Mark Ebner to pick me up after my return to Papilles for the New Year’s Eve toast. A couple walked by me outside and the guy said:

And then she tore the bow tie off my face and I was ‘What the fuck?!’

Uh, maybe you shouldn’t wear a bow tie on your face?

It got weirder in England where:

A spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary said: “Police are seeking a group of four people, two of whom were dressed as Oompa Loompas, who attacked a male on a night-out.

“Two of the males were dressed as Oompa Loompas from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory with painted orange faces and dyed green hair and were wearing hooped tops.”

The spokesman added: “One of the males in the group then pushed the victim to the floor before he got up.

“He was then hit on the head, fell to the floor and hit again.”

Ahhh, when Ooompa Loompas attack….

I always make Hopping’ John, black-eyed peas (coins) with greens (folding money); other friends have pancake breakfasts (pancakes being “gold coins”). Here are some other New Years Day superstitions. Do you have any?

I just feel this is going to be a good year, and hope you all feel the same way. And that we’re correct in our beliefs!

Best of all, look at what 2013 backwards spells… And can’t we all use a little of that?

Late Night: Genetics, Booze, and Babies

 

The BBC reports the scientists have discovered that binge drinking has a genetic component–has to do with dopamine.  And hot on heels of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s royal puking, a British porcelain company has launched a mug celebrating the cause of Her Royal Highness’ hyperemesis gravidarum.

Scientists believe some people have a gene that hard-wires them for binge drinking by boosting levels of a happy brain chemical triggered by alcohol. The gene – RASGRF-2 – is one of many already suggested to be linked with problem drinking, PNAS journal reports.The King’s College London team found animals lacking the gene had far less desire for alcohol than those with it. Brain scans of 663 teenage boys showed those with a version of the gene had heightened dopamine responses in tests….

When the researchers later contacted the same boys at the age of 16 and asked them about their drinking habits, they found the boys with the ‘culprit’ variation on the RASGRF-2 gene drank more frequently.

But binge drinking isn’t the cause of Kate’s clutching the throne. Nope she’s preggers. And within hours of the announcement,

a Staffordshire pottery firm said it was already starting work on a commemorative mug. The Emma Bridgewater firm, in Stoke-on-Trent, started to produce the blue, red and white mugs, which say, “A royal baby in 2013″, on Tuesday morning.

The company said it also planned to produce another with the baby’s name to mark the birth.

What should the baby be named? Tradition holds that they have the name of a past monarch, preferably one in good standing. Oliver (as in Cromwell) is a non-starter. Diana, oh my. That would be rich. I am hoping for Dagobert or Hagar. Here’s a list of projected popular names for 2013.  What suggestion do you have?

 

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