Monday, April 25, 2011

Birthday Party

This is officially my final post before my spring working break in Libourne, but since it is my birthday as well today, I am having a party and you all are invited. See you in a week or so!

My Birthday Song!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring Break

Due to the rather precocious spring we are enjoying here, nature seems to have gotten a jump start. Everything is early. I just received a call from Chateau Vieux Chevrol, where I have been involved in various medieval aspects of viticulture for the last 10 years, informing me that the vines were ready for l'ebourgeonage. So, I am going to a little place outside of Libourne called Neac which is the heart of the Lalande Pomerol area and spend the next week of so with a group of 6 people cleaning and removing the excess buds from 21 hectares of grape vines. Usually it starts in May. 
So, I am packing and getting ready for the little train trip from my local station in Condat and will be out of civilization for the time being. The video is of the area where I work, a little view of the vine country around the village of Pomerol. I also included a video of views of St. Emilion, which is very nearby and I visit often when I am working at Vieux Chevrol.
 A bientot, toute le monde!

Friday, April 22, 2011


was it good for you?

wORd ApRIL 22, 2011

the fish slapping dance

"If I had not gone into Monty Python, I would have probably stuck to my original plan to graduate and become a chartered accountant,  perhaps a barrister lawyer, and gotten a nice house in the suburbs, with a nice wife and kids, and gotten a country club membership, and then I would have killed myself."
John Cleese, 1997

Terror Alert 2011

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorists threats and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved". Soon, though, security levels may be raised again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross". The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the Blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.
Terrorists have been recategorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance". The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's Get The Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British Army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide."  The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly And Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress In Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade A Neighbor" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No Worries" to "She'll Be Alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend," and "The Barbie Is Cancelled." So far no situation has ever warranted the use of the final escalation level.
John Cleese-2011-British Writer, Actor and Tall Person

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Climbing Up The Ladder

Last night I posted a piece by the great Ernie Isley. The night before, I posted a piece by Phillip Lithman, aka Snakefinger. Tonight, I am posting Climbing Up The Ladder, which was a hit for the Isley Brothers which Ernie played on, but this is a live version by Snakefinger and his band 
The Vestal Virgins, from 1987. 

We Demand Nuclear Accountability Now!

My first New Year's Eve in France was in 2000. I had flown from New York the day after Christmas via Frankfort to Toulouse. My plan was to take a train from Toulouse to Brive la Gaillarde. The night before I left, the news was pretty ominous from France because the storm of the century had sliced across the country and had devastated the region around Paris. I was relieved, because the Dordogne seemed to have been spared, but the storm was a one, two punch...the next day another more powerful storm came ashore at the mouth of the Gironde, above Bordeaux and roared south. I was blissfully unaware, on my Lufthansa flight. As I took my connecting flight from Frankfort to Toulouse, there was rough weather at one point, but in Toulouse, there was gentle rain and rather mild temperatures for the season. I took a bus from the airport to the train station, le Gare de Toulouse Matabiau, where all hell was breaking loose. My French at the time was pretty spotty. I looked at the board of arrivals and departures and saw the train I wanted. I was wondering what all the carrying on around me was about. I stood in line to buy my ticket only to have the clerk tell me that there was no train to Brive. I thought it was my bad French and I didn't quite understand, so I pointed to the big board where my train was still posted as "on time" and the clerk again tried to tell me that there was no train to Brive.
Then, a fellow who spoke English explained to me that there had been a second more terrible storm and the lines were totally out of service. Dis oriented, I called my wife from a pay phone to tell her. She was amazed that the phone rang at our house. It had been out all day. She had been in the house in terror during the storm which destroyed the veranda and damaged the roof. We had gotten off easily, but I was stuck in Toulouse for a few days until they could get some sort of arrangement. My wife couldn't leave because there was no gas for the car as the electricity for the gas station pumps was out. Finally, I made it to Montauban and we arranged a rendezvous. The trip in the car from Montauban to our little house outside of Thenon was heart wrenching as we viewed the increasing devastation of roofs and forest. It took years for the forests to recover. We still come across areas that show the scars of the storm.
When we finally got back, it was a week of living in the middle ages. No electricity, no water as the system was powered by electric pumps, the only heat was the fireplace. Still we had out New Years Eve with friends who lived just inside the area that had power.
the Blayais Reactor complex
In the days to come, we learned how serious the damage really was. The electrical system had been crumpled like toys cast off by a petulant ill tempered child. Then news about a "little problem" at the Blayais Nuclear Reactor on the estuary of the Gironde. There had been a "little' release of radioactivity, but nothing to look at, move on....
Only now, 11 years later, after the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan is data making it to the public as to what really occurred at Blaye. Blaye was hit by a tidal wave and totally flooded and lost power and began to over heat. It took days of frantic work to shut the plant down and it was months before it went back on line. Nobody knows the levels of radioactivity that was actually released.
Surry Nuclear Facility
Earlier this week, a series of devastating tornadoes swept through the south and mid Atlantic states in America. The storm system was said to be the worst in 40 years.  A news item which I never really saw reported in the American press, surfaced in the Guardian. It reported that the Surry Nuclear Facility in Virginia had suffered damage and had shut down. The electricity to the plant was knocked out and they were trying to operate the cooling system with diesel generators. I googled for more information and found nothing in the American Press but a reference in a Virginia Business News Site that was little more than a passing reference.
The other place I found a reference was through Reuters Africa Energy News. 
As the reality of what occurred in Japan unfolds and though the enormity of the disaster is hard to comprehend, one point cuts through...the level of disinformation and denial of TEPCO, The Tokyo Electric Power Company, who operates the plant. After a weeks of denial, now we learn that there was actually a partial melt down in Unit 2. The clean up will never be over. Like Chernobyl, this will become another Nuclear Industry Sacrifice Zone on the planet. 
As long as our governments sanction the insane nuclear power industry, they will cover up the realities.
Germany abandoned it's Nuclear energy program definitively after the Fukushima disaster and had already started to phase nuclear out after a supposedly safe Nuclear Waste Storage facility was compromised by an unforeseen shift in the geological structure of the abandoned salt mine it was located in. 
That is why, the next post down, the post about the RDTN Kickstarter project is so interesting. It is about creating a network of independent monitors to hold government and the industry accountable by making our own real time data base of nuclear levels and emissions. Watch the video.

RDTN Radiation Detection Hardware Network

This is a video about a project on Kickstarter which is creating a network of independent non government observers who will monitor world radiation levels. They are presently trying to get the system going in Japan, where the information is not reliable and there are many areas that are not monitored. has a website and software that allows independent observers to report and record their realtime data.
The immediate goal of the Kickstarter project is to purchase at least 600 Geiger Counter devices to be deployed in Japan. The information collected will be made available to anyone who needs it. Watch the video and if you are interested, here's the link to the Kickstarter project.

Back To Square One

Another of the most distinctive players in rock, but probably one of the most unsung, Ernie Isley, who started playing with the family band, The Isley Brothers when he was just a kid. His first mentor was a guy named Jimi, who played with the Isleys while he was becoming Experienced! I'm sure you've heard Ernie a million times on the iconic Isley Bros hit, Who's That Lady?

Immersion (Piss Christ)

Immersion (Piss Christ)
Andres Serrano 1987

In 1987, New York artist Andres Serrano placed a plastic crucifix into a glass of his own urine and artfully lit and photographed it as part of series of photographs he made of religious objects submerged in fluids such as milk and blood. The exhibition of the pictures in 1988, specifically, the Immersion (Piss Christ) photo led to a heated debate in the Senate about the public funding of the Arts. Senator Jesse Helms went as far as to become an art critic, saying of Serrano, "He's not an artist, he's a jerk."
Serrano defended the concept of the photos as a criticism of the "billion dollar Christ for profit industry" and as "a condemnation of those who abuse the teachings of Christ for their own ignoble ends."
The photo of course, only gained power from the controversy and became a powerful icon and an expensive piece of art. It made Serrano's career.
There was an attempted incident of vandalism in New York by a priest in the gallery it was first exhibited in and it was vandalized in Australia and by neo Nazis in Sweden in 2007.
The work has been shown in France several times with out incident and was presently being exhibited in Avignon by Yvon Lambert, a dealer who put together a show called, I Believe In Miracles for the last 4 months. The show is scheduled to finish next month.
France, of course is supposed to be a laic state. The Catholic Church has been stripped of it's property since 1905. France has had a long and violent history of religious racism and violence. Supposedly, we were over that.
Until recently, when Nicolas Sarkozy started to play the religion card to court the far right. The far right is traditionally conservative Catholic and was the backbone of Vichy France. The extreme right party, The Front National, which until lately had been discredited and losing membership has become newly energized by linking the issues of the economy and immigration under their new leader, Marine LePen, the daughter of the founder, Jean-Marie LePen. The Front National's base is fervently professed fundamentalist Catholic.
As the fortunes of the UMP, Sarkozy's party, faltered, he is presently the least popular president in the history of the 5th Republic, Sarkozy, the ever imaginative manipulative campaigner has exploited racism and religion to court the far right conservatives that he his party was losing.
He tried to sponsor a failed "debate" on Laicity, which even his party had to disown as they were promoting it. Most of France does not want to go there. The leaders of every major religion in France denounced it. Even though, at the same time, France passed the most restrictive ban the public display of head coverings and the burka in Europe. The laws are being contested as counter to the EU Constitution now.
But passing an unworkable and unconstitutional law never stopped Nicolas. He is playing to the grandstand, the racists hooting in the balcony of his political theater. The results? The empowerment and legitimization of the sentiments long banished to the dark shadows. Racist commentators and politicians now openly justify their statements by saying, "I'm just saying what everyone is thinking." Of course, as we have seen in America, people don't think about something until they are told it's okay to think it.
So last weekend ago, Piss Christ was destroyed in an act of vandalism after a campaign led by the far right archbishop of Vaucluse, Jean-Pierre Cattenoz and public demonstrations organized by the far right Catholic Group, Civitas.
After a few weeks of threats, the gallery hired guards, but on Palm Sunday, 4 youths entered the gallery and in a violent scuffle, they managed to slash and smash the picture.
The Gallery director, Eric Mezil, said they would continue the exhibition with the destroyed work on display, "so people can see what barbarians can do."
In a statement, he said the movement against Piss Christ had started at the time of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party's controversial debate on religion and secularism in France. At a record low in the polls before next year's presidential election, Sarkozy has been accused of using anti-Muslim and extreme-right rhetoric to appeal to voters and counter the rise of the Front National.
Asked by the daily Libération why the Piss Christ protest had happened now, Mézil pointed to Sarkozy's speech in March lauding "the Christian heritage of France" at Puy-en-Velay, where the first Crusades were preached.
He said: "Clearly we saw in Saturday's demonstration that a Catholic fringe wanted to take the president at his word, with extremely violent appeals." He said there was a climate of tension, with protesters insulting museum staff of north African origin. One guard said he heard: "I'm going to pour donkey piss on the Qur'an." An email to the museum talked about "plunging the diary of Anne Frank in urine".
In earlier posts, we discussed what is art. Clearly, this is a powerful piece that fulfills any definition of art. More importantly, it can be physically destroyed, but it is a conceptual piece that can be easily recreated by the artist. This act of destruction, perhaps was just as important as it's creation, wouldn't you think?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beatnik Party

Phillip Lithman, alias Snakefinger (1949-1987) with his band, The Vestal Virgins performing Beatnik Party

The Utter Hypocrisy Of Faith

This is the cover of this weeks Time Magazine. I am extremely tolerant when it comes to matters of other people's concepts of faith. But, there comes a point when I ask myself, what is faith? What do I have faith in? I truly hope the sun will rise tomorrow, but frankly, I don't count on it. I hope it will be a nice day and I use the wisdom of various scientific disciplines to help me predict the immediate future, but, I don't count on it. I try to retain the hope that the innate genetic instinct of self preservation will guide humanity into a more stable, sane path, but I don't count on it.
It's curious to me, that the most innately moral and stable and saner people I know are all agnostic or of the atheist persuasion. To be fair, I know many profoundly religious people who are truly empathetic, selflessly generous and socially aware, but, lately to even admit this is giving ammunition to those who want to use and misinterpret the graciousness of others to promote their own scurrilous agendas. Case in point, a week ago, Bill Donahue dishonestly distorted the meaning and intention of Richard Dawkins statement in his 2006 book The God Delusion, that the Catholic Church has "been unfairly demonized" in regards to the charges of sexual misconduct and abuse, to somehow justify his position that the legal cases against the Catholic Church in these matters are unjustified and in effect a "witch hunt". His Catholic League took out a full page ad in the NY Times to make his case that the charges amount to that homosexuals were somehow unfairly taking advantage of the church by trying to portray the abuses as pedophilia, when according to him, "the children involved weren't raped" they were active participants.
Of course, Dawkins was trying to be realistic and fair in his investigation into this issue and should be commended for it, but his attempt to be fair was unfairly hijacked by Donahue.....
One has only to look at the real records to realize that the majority of the cases were not of a homosexual nature and that the majority of the cases took place between youngsters and mature, adult priests. But, in the world of Faith and the manipulation of interpretation, if you are a true believer, you only have to turn your head and look away.
That is one of only a myriad of issues I have with the concept of FAITH. Americans regard the Constitution as a sacred writ. But how many Americans know anything about the Constitution? In the minds of many it is the Constitution of Independence...a weird construct, like a Holy Card filed away in a dusty prayer book. A concept with out any real meaning which can be interpreted by shysters, like a snake oil selling preacher in a tent to mean what ever they want the language to be manipulated to mean.
The Constitution was adopted in 1787.  That was 224 years ago. It was written as a framework to protect the rights of the states and citizens thereof in the operating environment of the 18th century.
It worked to a point and has been amended and stretched to its breaking point a number of times. In other words, we are running a country in the 21st century with an operating system that has been hacked together since the end of the 18th century. 
How many times in the last 5 years have you had to upgrade the operating operating system of your computer? How often do you have to upgrade the security protection of your system? How often do you have to run anti virus programs to protect your system from subversive viruses?
This is real time, not dream time....
So, while the majority of Americans are dreaming, encased in the synthetic fantasy of a perfect democracy and not knowing what the operating system of America is about, it has been systematically hacked by those who want to exploit every flaw and as the system gets older, it becomes less responsive and more open to hacking. Faith means nothing. Being good because you don't want to go to hell is so fucking lame. You either have a true moral compass or you are adrift. Being good because of the threat of eternal damnation is a joke to me. Hitler professed to be a christian, republicans and Wall street bankers who destroy the lives of the poor profess to be fervent christians. The decision to be socially responsible takes guts, determination and action. You can either live in a dream or choose between passive "faith" and active hope.
I chose HOPE a long time ago... and every day I say "Thank You" to Sister Mary Theonella for beating hope into my skull against a ceramic wall in St. Monica's Grade School in Detroit. I have become and will always be, your very worst nightmare.....umm Sister Mary Theonella, if you want to get a preview of hell, click here, NOW!

Me And The Devil

One of America's greatest living poets, Gil Scott Heron from his latest recording, I'm New Here.
Video directed by Coodie & Chike and Michael Sterling Eaton.

For information, and to keep up to date with the latest Gil Scott-Heron news please visit:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Somewhere In The Snow, Sarah Screeches

Yesterday in an April snowstorm in Madison, Wisconsin, the Tea Baggers tried to hold a Corporate sponsored rally. They bussed in their usual crowd of zombies to create their special media effect of a simulated popular movement and had Andrew Breitbart and Sarah Palin as their special attractions.
But unfortunately, things went a little skrewy as thousands more anti TeaBaggers showed up and drowned out Breitbarts effervescent effluence which drove him to wittingly scream "Go To Hell" repeatedly at the crowd. Then Sarah came out......
You know, the saying goes, "Everytime a Rethuglican wails about Angry Liberals, an angel gets his wings". Sometimes, it's a wonderful life.

A Decade Of Fear

What would a timeline of the world’s greatest fears look like? Like this.
A spiced up, interactive version of Mountains Out Of Molehills. Now sporting filters, click-throughs to the data and a ‘scale by deaths’ button. Just like Bond villains have.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friendly Advice To A Lot Of Young Men

Friendly Advice to a Lot of Young Men

Go to Tibet.
Ride a camel.
Read the bible.
Dye your shoes blue.
Grow a beard.
Circle the world in a paper canoe.
Subscribe to The Saturday Evening Post.
Chew on the left side of your mouth only.
Marry a woman with one leg and shave with a straight razor.
And carve your name in her arm.

Brush your teeth with gasoline.
Sleep all day and climb trees at night.
Be a monk and drink buckshot and beer.
Hold your head under water and play the violin.
Do a belly dance before pink candles.
Kill your dog.
Run for Mayor.
Live in a barrel.
Break your head with a hatchet.
Plant tulips in the rain.

But don’t write poetry.
August 16, 1920-March 9, 1994

World Order

いま日本で起きている地震、津波、原発という前代未聞の震災は今後、どのようにでも変わると思います。そこで僕なりにメッセージを届けようとWORLD ORDERで表現しました。この災害は文明の転換点となるものだと捉えています。世界の人々が現状の社会、経済、政治のシステムに対して地球と共存する変革の時期が来たと­思います。出来事と言うのは中立です。この深い闇の中をさまよう僕らですが一人一人が恐れを手放し前向きに事と向かい合えばどんなことでも乗り越えられると信じています。­世界は変わりません。僕ら一人一人が変わるのです。そうすれば世界が変わります。夜明け前の夜は一番暗いもの。人類にとって本当の輝かしい朝を迎えるためにみんなで立ち上­がりましょう。 WE ARE ALL ONE 
Many disasters are ongoing in Japan; earthquakes, Tsunami, and nuclear accidents. These unprecedented things may be able to change however from now. That's why I expressed through World Order to convey some message to you on my own way. I see these accidents will become a turning point of civilization. I think the time of revolution is coming, where people in the world coexist with this planet against the system of modern society, economy and politics.
Any accident is neutral. Although we are straying around this deep darkness, I believe we can get through anything when each of us can let go of our fear and face things positively.
The world won't change on its own. We do change one by one. That makes the world change. The darkness just before the dawn is deepest. So, we do rise up together to greet the brilliant morning truly coming for the human beings.

Genki Sud0

Your Daily Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp, De ou par Marcel Duchamp ou Rrose Sélavy, La Boîte en valise, 1941
Duchamp's custom made boxes were a portable limited edition gallery. His glass works are reproduced as acetate overlays with notes explaining the process and "mythology" behind the various layers. In quite a few ways, the valise is a conceptual breakthrough. Follow the links  for more information and the movie is about an hour, but well worth it.
Interview/documentary with Marcel Duchamp recorded at the time of his first one-man show/retrospective:

Friday, April 15, 2011


Today, I took a bike ride and realized that the Noyers were beginning to get leaves. Noyers are walnuts and they are the principle crop of this area. The hills are covered with walnut trees in neat rows. Walnuts are the last trees to get leaves and the first to lose them. There are a few legends about noyers, one of which is a warning to never fall asleep under one. It's true that the tree produces a substance called jugend which is a natural herbicide, which is why one never sees weeds around the base of a walnut tree.
But jugend is powerfully aromatic. The aroma of walnut leaves and chatons is very spicy. The oil oxidizes black and is the base for the black stain and wood treatment traditionally used here. The fresh oil pressed from the nuts is used on salads and as a seasoning. Fresh walnut oil on white or feve beans is delicious. We use walnuts fresh in salads, ground in pastry as a "breading" on pan fried veal and chicken or fish. Walnuts are used in cheese spreads and dried sausages
There are many local variations of a gateau aux noix. My favorite is a filled gateau, like a tart. The pastry is made with flour and ground walnuts, sugar and butter. The filling is either creme fraiche or in my variation, yoghurt mixed with chopped nuts, sugar and some cornstarch....then when the gateau is cooked, it is napped with chocolate and decorated with fresh walnuts.....
There are a few famous regional distilled liqueurs made from the green shells which cover the nuts, but I make a batch of Vin de Noix, which is the classic aperatif of the Dordogne, every year. I have been making for the last few years from immature green walnuts, usually collected on June 1st. They are pierced with a nail, then steeped for a few weeks in eau de vie. Here, in the country, licenses are passed in families for the production of eau de vie, which is fruit alcohol, pretty high proof stuff. The licensees usually have alembics on trailers which they set up in the villages near a spring and the farmers all bring their barrels of fermenting plums. It's quite a social scene.
Here in Badefols d'Ans, the broullier sets up all winter long in a tent next to the spring.
This year, though, I decided to make the original recipe I learned about 11 years ago, which I believe makes a more aromatic final product. Instead of immature nuts, I collected the sticky baby leaves and flowers from trees. The oil is quite powerful and turns your hands brown pretty fast!
I took the leaves and crushed them into a liter of eau de vie. They will steep in it for a month. Then I buy 3 bottles of new Corbiere dry red wine. I use Corbiere because it is not expensive, and the wine should be good and fruity, but not aged. I mix the wine in a big pot with a kilo of sugar until it is dissolved. Then I add the black, strained, walnut oil infused eau de vie. 
Then, simply put it in fancy bottles and let it sit for three months.....
You could do this with black walnuts and use commercial fruit alcohol in the States. The variety of wine is not that important, it just needs to be a fruity dry red....Try this at home, and let me know how it works!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"If we knew it was what we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
Albert Einstein

Shovelin' Shit.....

direct hit!
almost 2 tons of nicely aged horse manure
then the soil gets cultivated
The season is in full swing here. I spent most of the day occupied with horse shit...My neighbors are mad, they rehabilitate abused horses. At times, on various plots of land around here, they have up to 22 horses. Needless to say, this is an endless source of "black gold".  So, I filled a tractor bin 5 times with the priceless substance and then dumped the piles in the newly turned over garden and proceded to distribute it with a pitchfork. Then my friend Marius came by with is tractor with the newly repaired cultivator and finely mixed it all in. Just in time, because every one here knows that today is the day you have to plant potatoes! So today, I plant potatoes.....
my doggie, J Edgar wanted to get on the blog....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Your Daily Duchamp

Anemic Cinema
Anemic Cinema or Anémic Cinéma (1926) is a Dadaist film made by Marcel Duchamp.
The film depicts whirling animated drawings -- which Duchamp called Rotoreliefs -alternated with puns in French. Duchamp signed the film with his alias Rrose Sélavy.

Rotoreliefs were a phase of Duchamp's spinning works. To make the optical "play toys" he painted designs on flat cardboard circles and spun them on a phonograph turntable that when spinning the flat disks appeared 3-dimensional. He had a printer run off 500 sets of six of the designs and set up a booth at a 1935 Paris inventors' show to sell them. The venture was a financial disaster, but some optical scientists thought they might be of use in restoring 3-dimensional sight to people with one eye. 
In collaboration with Man Ray and Marc Allégret, Duchamp filmed early versions of the Rotoreliefs and they named the first film version Anémic Cinéma.
The Rotoreliefs are alternated with nine revolving disks with the following text in French, consisting of puns and alliteration by Duchamp:
  • "Bains de gros thé pour grains de beauté sans trop de bengué." (BenGay was invented in France by Dr. Jules Bengué)
  • "L'enfant qui tète est un souffleur de chair chaude et n'aime pas le chou-fleur de serre-chaude."
  • "Si je te donne un sou, me donneras-tu une paire de ciseaux?"
  • "On demande des moustiques domestiques (demi-stock) pour la cure d'azote sur la côte d'azur."
  • "Inceste ou passion de famille, à coups trop tirés."
  • "Esquivons les ecchymoses des Esquimaux aux mots exquis."
  • "Avez-vous déjà mis la moëlle de l'épée dans le poêle de l'aimée?"
  • "Parmi nos articles de quincaillerie par essence, nous recommandons le robinet qui s'arrête de couler quand on ne l'écoute pas."
  • "L'aspirant habite Javel et moi j'avais l'habite en spirale."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nuclear Disaster Level 8 3/4

Level Seven and Three Fourths?

Fossil Fuel is one thing, but as more and more of our planet becomes a Nuclear Power Industry  Colateral Damage Sacrifice Zone, and let's face it, we are all considered colateral damage to this insane industry's quest for profits, a "Manhattan Project" to push for passive energy sources now, is our only reasonable path to planetary survival...Today, The Japanese Government upgraded the Fukushima disaster to the maximum level, 7, the same maximum level that the Chernobyl Disaster was given....with one reactor in partial open air melt down and a new fire in reactor #4, perhaps we'll have to invent Nuclear Disaster Level for tomorrow, 8 and 3/4ths?


I had to post this. I'm such a fan of Khaled. Great performance.
Anyone know who the guitarist with the black shirt and short hair who takes the second solo is?
The guy with the hat is Don Was.....

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Clever Republican Job Scheme Succeeds!

In August, 2009, I posted an article which explained the mechanism behind one of the most awesome tax evasion schemes, EVER. The article detailed the working s of the INGKA Foundation which is based in the Netherlands. INGKA is controlled by Ingmart Kamprad, who, ahem, was once the owner of IKEA, but now isn't, but perhaps his wife might possibly own IKEA, but not really. It's all set up so that IKEA will stay in his family after his death and even now, the massively profitable international company pays virtually no taxes...anywhere.
Read the post, I think that it unravels the web of interconnected groups and trusts controlling the 40 billion Euro Kamprad fortune in a fairly rational fashion.
IKEA built their fortune by selling furniture, a uniform look for the entire world. The furniture is made very cheaply in their Swedewood plants in Sweden. Swedewood has a reputation for being a great employer but they have decided to branch out, cut corners and start using cheap non union labor in a backwards, backwoods corner of the Third World, West Virginia.
Their first American factory is a model sweatshop, with rock-bottom wages, mandatory overtime, abusive vacation policies, and forced reeducation meetings for employees who support forming a union:
Some of the Virginia plant's 335 workers are trying to form a union. The International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said a majority of eligible employees had signed cards expressing interest.
In response, the factory -- part of Ikea's manufacturing subsidiary, Swedwood -- hired the law firm Jackson Lewis, which has made its reputation keeping unions out of companies. Workers said Swedwood officials required employees to attend meetings at which management discouraged union membership...
Laborers in Swedwood plants in Sweden produce bookcases and tables similar to those manufactured in Danville. The big difference is that the Europeans enjoy a minimum wage of about $19 an hour and a government-mandated five weeks of paid vacation. Full-time employees in Danville start at $8 an hour with 12 vacation days -- eight of them on dates determined by the company.
What's more, as many as one-third of the workers at the Danville plant have been drawn from local temporary-staffing agencies. These workers receive even lower wages and no benefits, employees said.
This would seem to be the results of the clever Republican scheme to create more jobs in America by turning it into a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Beck's Brain #3

Only Glenn Beck could make Bill O'Reilly look like a statesman.

Compay Segundo feat cheb khaled

non stop direct flight from Havana to Algiers!
Compay Segundo, who died a few years ago a duet from his last recording with Cheb Khaled!
a simple, handy explanation of the process used to reach an agreement on friday's budget compromise which temporarily averted a government shutdown

Saturday, April 09, 2011

River and Tides (extraits 1)

Last night I posted a comment on The Engineer of Knowledge's blog about what was art in response to a quote by the artist, Christo. The quote was "A work of art is a scream for freedom".
To my way of thinking about art, a work of art is freedom, because art is what the person who deems himself an artist says it is. If you look at something and say, "That's Art!" well, in that moment, for you it has become art. It is not up to me to impose my esthetic or opinion on what someone else considers art.
There is good art and bad art, but what makes it good or bad is purely decided by your own subjective observation. I observed that Christo was more interesting to me for his conceptual drawings and proposals for his projects which involve hundreds of assistants and thousands of dollars of funding and have been criticized for their environmental impact. None the less, I find a lot of his work exciting and provocative and esthetically stunning.
On the other hand, I suggested that you look at the work of a Scottish Environmental artist, Andy Goldsworthy. This work is ethereal in the sense that it is not meant to exist outside of nature. Some of it exists for seconds. It melts, falls down and blows away. For me, Goldsworthy's work makes some very profound connections about Time, Nature, Impermanence and our place in all of this.
This is an extract from the documentary, Rivers and Tides. The music in the original piece is by Fred Frith.

Effect And Cause

You just gotta love this congressperson. Donna Edwards takes the House floor to give a lesson to her Republican colleagues about all the seniors, service members and children who would be affected by a government shutdown by using the lyrics of The White Stripes' "Effect and Cause"
I guess you have to have a problem
If you want to invent a contraption
First you cause a train wreck
Then you put me in traction

Well, first came an action
And then a reaction
But you can't switch around
For your own satisfaction
Well, you put my house down, then got mad
At my reaction

Well, in every complicated situation
You're the human relation
Makin' sense of it all
Take a whole lot a concentration

Well, you can blame my baby
For her pregnant ma
And if there's one of these
On the order for laws
It's that you just can't take the effect
And make it the cause

Well, you can't take the effect
And make it the cause
I didn't rob a bank
Because you made up a law
When you people robbin' Peter
Don't you blame Paul
Can't take the effect
And make it the cause

I ain't the reason that you gave me no reason to return your call
You built a house of cards and got shocked when you saw them fall
Well are you sayin' I'm innocent?
In fact the reverse
But if you're headin' to the grave
You don't blame the hearse
You're like a little girl yellin' at her brother
'Cause you lost his ball

Well you keep blamin' me for what you did
And that ain't all
The way you clean up a wreck
Is enough to get one pause
You seem to forget
Just how this song started
I'm reactin' to you because you left me broken-hearted
See, you just can't take the effect
And make it the cause

Can't take the effect
And make it the cause
I didn't rob a bank
Because you made up a law
Blame people robbin' Peter
Don't you blame Paul
Can't take the effect
And make it the cause
Unfortunately for the good congresswoman, the words are merely pearls before swine.
Here's White Stripes:

Friday, April 08, 2011

Le Printemps
Beck's Brain #2

Beck's Brain

from Mother Jones
Ben Gleck announced he was going to end his regular FOX Program in September. Fine, but why wait?
Here's just a sampling of some of the wild and crazy one liners he gave America:

"God is giving a plan I think to me that is not really a plan. The problem is that I think the plan that the Lord would have us follow is hard for people to understand. Because of my track record with you who have been here for a long time. Because of my track record with you, I beg of you to help me get this message out, and I beg of you to pray for clarity on my part."

"I don't think we came from monkeys. I think that's ridiculous. I haven't seen a half-monkey, half-person yet."

"I know the progressives are using progressive tactics. They're not using Nazi tactics. The real answer is the Nazis were using early American progressive tactics. And that's not my opinion, that's historic fact."

"You know, we all have our inner demons. I, for one – I can’t speak for you, but I’m on the verge of moral collapse at any time. It can happen by the end of the show."

"This president I think has exposed himself over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist."

'There are a lot of universities that are as dangerous with the indoctrination of the children as terrorists are in Iran or North Korea. We have been setting up reeducation camps. We call them universities.''

"I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out. Is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus -- band -- Do, and I've lost all sense of right and wrong now."

"The only [Katrina victims] we're seeing on television are the scumbags."

"You know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9/11 victims' families. It took me about a year. Just like, oh, shut up. I'm so sick of them because they're always complaining. [...] I didn't think I could hate victims faster than the 9/11 victims."

"They [Democrats in Congress] believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You're going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.''

"Let me tell you this. They shut me down on radio, that's fine, I'll do TV. They shut me down on TV, that's fine, I'll do Internet. They shut me down on the Internet, that's fine, I'll do stage shows. They shut me down on stage shows, that's fine, I'll go door to door. You will have to shoot me in the head. We are not stopping."