Tuesday, December 23, 2008

John Forté Pardoned!

Rap producer and performer John Forté has been released from prison.
God Bless America!
OK, he was popped at Newark airport in 2000 w/ cocaine, a LOT of cocaine!
But you know President Bush felt bad for a "fellow traveler" and hit him up with a Presidential Pardon to end his eight years in office.
In the song "Tryin' To Stay Alive" by Wy-Clef Jean and featuring John Forté I first heard the name...
"John Forte grab the mic roots sway it this way..."


Monday, December 15, 2008

King of Movie Soundtracks

NO, not Danny F-ing Elfman...!
Silly goose, Bernard Herrmann.
As a young lad I stayed up late and snuck downstairs to watch "Taxi Driver" on HBO, back in... the last `70s. Anyway... the haunting music in the film stuck with me and the sax parts and the strings were just amazing. I found the soundtrack on casette and wore it out, mostly sitting around smoking and drinking - it was music to get depressed and angry to. Just ask Travis Bickle!

So, years go by and as luck would have it I sat down to catch the original "Day The Earth Stood Still" (not to be confused with the recent re-make) and guess who did the music? That's right, Bernard Herrmann.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Bettie Page R.I.P.

A moment of silence please....

OK, for those of us men who grew up sneaking glances at the women's underwear section of the old Sears & Roebuck catalog before we even knew why we liked to do that, we must acknowledge how one "Bettie Page" took that fetish and ran with it at a time when cultural and sexual oppression was running rampant. Her courage and bravery should be remembered. She passed away and we will remember her iconic 'baby doll' bangs.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

YouTube "Dead Ends"

As an experiment in web "surfing" and as a test of the Situationist concept of derive', or 'drift', I went ahead and after clicking the bottom-right links of over 30 YouTube channels I got to this 'dead end', a 15 year old with no videos, no favorites, no friends, no comments, no subscribers and no subscriptions!
I tried this once before and found myself at a similar minimalist end point.
That's it, just a report on an observation.
A similar experiment took me to a bulletin board where the back-n-forth in name calling eventually ended in these two phrases repeated over and over...
"Black Helicopters" and "Tin Foil Hat". That about sums it up!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vanity Fair does it again...

I used to dwell with the Tin Foil Hat-N-Black Helicopter crowd... oh it was SO very easy to spin out tales of CIA-Mafia conspiricies to off any number of great people, Marilyn Monroe, JFK, RFK, MLK, E. Howard Hunt's wife, Cord Meyer's ex-wife, and plenty more. As time went on I realized a few things. One was that, for me, I gained a measure of solace from being convinced (through my own research and that of reliable investigators) that the plot to kill JFK was; 1. Apolitical, 2. Pre-existing to his Presidency and, 3. Quite small.
Hard to believe, I know!
Unlike the "everyone including the Secret Service" theory of Oliver Stone et al, I came to the reasoned conclusion that there was a group within the U.S. Government that was up to "something" (probably heroin smuggling from S.E. Asia) and that they would have had problems with any President that crossed their path.
In this case it was John F. Kennedy, but it could also have been Richard M. Nixon... ( I know, I know...) BUT... my theory has some advantages in that it dovetails nicely with known facts and is elegant in it's simplicity.
Vanity Fair magazine has often published excerpts from books (Anthony Summers' 'Official and Confidential' about J. Edgar Hoover) and from on-going research, such as that into the Iran-Contra Affair - 'A Crash in the Limo Lane' Dominick Dunne on Adnan Khashoggi (September 1989).
This time they reviewed the new book, Legacy of Secrecy: The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination,' by Thom Hartmann and Lamar Waldron.


The CIA's playlist on maximum rotation...

OK, so some Hip Hop and Industrial music can be torture, but the Seseme Street theme and that damn song by Barney the Dinosaur? Sheez! The CIA sure has some weird ideas on how to 'break' captives and make them talk. While the sounds of guitar and drum mayhem may assist in eliciting information and confessions, it can also serve to drown out the cries and screams of pain. The notoroious 'discotheque' of torture known as La Venda Sexy (The Sexy Blindfold or Bandage) that was run by Chilean secret police back in the 1970's is a case in point, dogs included.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Italian judge suspends trial of CIA agents?

"Prominent officials warn disclosures may endanger Italy's national security", so says the MSNBC online news headline... this case is very interesting. Osama Nasr Mostafa Hassan (aka Abu Omar) was taken by a team of kidnappers from Italy to Egypt in 2003. Some of them stayed for a few nights at the Milan Hilton hotel. Besides their passports being phony, the crack team of agents used cell phones and their movements were easily tracked. Another good article is this one, "The CIA in the Dock: MILAN'S EXTRAORDINARY RENDITIONS CASE", from Spiegel Online. Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy flight!