Twistin’ in the Wind

While the residents of Moore, Oklahoma are coming to grips with the horror that happened yesterday, their beloved Senators didn’t waste any time in boning them hard in the hoo-haa. Actually, Sen. Coburn would probably prefer to diddle the poor of this country as roughly as possible, but it looks like Sen. Inhofe isn’t sure if he’d like to aid in lubrication–granted it doesn’t cost too much and loosen up other parts of the body–so to speak.

A little rough for you? Too bad. If you’re offended by my salty language, you’re not paying attention.

See, if you haven’t noticed, the GOP has this thing about NOT helping the poor, and they’ll go to any lengths to do it–including stalling federal monies to help out disaster-ridden areas until cuts are made to OFF-SET the costs of disaster relief. Where are these cuts supposed to occur, you ask? Why, to programs that benefit the poor and under-served in this country, that’s where! C’mon guys! We allll know that the folks/entities who REALLY need our help are the 1 percent and big oil! Wee! (Like I had to tell you. If you don’t know, then once again, you ain’t paying attention.)

Sen. Tom Coburn (courtesy AP)

Sen. Tom Coburn (courtesy AP)

See, Coburn’s misguided and archaic conservative values are more important than actually helping his constituents, and he’ll get away with it because he’s retiring in 2016. He doesn’t have to worry about re-election so why the hell not?

The ideology of Coburn and his ilk is much more important than ensuring that US citizens are relatively safe and cared for. What’s even more disturbing is there isn’t any economic rationale for this choady behavior. In other words, they’re doing it just to be assholes.

What I find surprising is none of the pundits and other GOP mouthpieces haven’t come out in support of Coburn … yet. I’m hoping that maybe they’re just as in shock as the rest of us who care about our fellow Americans, and believe that we need to pull together when disaster strikes.

But, who knows.

However, if memory serves, his fellow conservative legislators will be toeing the Coburn line soon enough. Before that happens, I hope they all have the balls to watch some of the footage of survivors, and witness the anguish on the faces of those who lost loved ones in the twister.

I’ll even provide a smidgen of the footage for them to look at whilst yanking the puds of BP, Wall Street et al.

Slayer Player Slayed?

On Thursday, 49-year old Slayer guitarist, Jeff Hanneman died of liver failure at a Los Angeles hospital.

Now, liver failure is not all that unusual–especially for a hard-livin’ rock star–but in this particular case it is. Some in the medical field are saying that a spider bite Hanneman received 2 years ago was the catalyst.

You read that correctly: A SPIDER BITE.

(courtesy Billboard.com)

(courtesy Billboard.com)

Here’s how the story goes: Apparently, whilst Hanneman was partaking in the ancient art of hot-tubbing, he got hisself bit by an arachnid. The owie healed–sort of–but Hanneman didn’t get medical help and soon necrotizing fasciitis set in.

Don’t know what that is? Well, I was about to post a pix of folks who had this ick, but the pix I found even made me wanna hurl, so I nixed it.

You’re welcome.

While I am not a huge Slayer fan (their music is too damn mellow for McCrabass), and I initially half-ignored the news of Hanneman’s death until I heard about the spider bite.

Some of the worst pain I’ve ever felt was when I got nipped by a Black Widow years ago, which is why this death-by-spider-bite-two-years-later angle has me flummoxed.

Spider bite deaths are rare in this day and age, which is why I am intrigued by what allegedly happened to Hanneman. I’ve heard of people almost losing body parts due to the toxic Brown Recluse bite.

But dying? There’s gotta be more to the this tale.

Until more is discovered, here’s a sweet, little slide show about the most toxic spiders on the planet. Hat-tip to the Daily Beast.

 

 

 

 

The Balcony is Closed

It’s been a while, I know, and I was all ready to write about something I came across earlier in the week.

However, I feel the need to pay tribute to someone who’s work meant a great deal to me–Roger Ebert–who died today after a long battle with cancer.

The Eberts at an event I covered in 2007.

The Eberts at an event I covered in 2007.

His death saddens me tremendously because he was a huge voice, not only in film criticism, but in life in general. His prose and wit were unmatched (except by his late-partner in crime, Gene Siskel), and there isn’t a film critic today who comes close to his abilities. He knew how to read a film, then discuss it in a way that wasn’t condescending or obnoxious.

Ebert was a writer, first and foremost, and that made him so good at his job. His love of film just added to that talent.

As most I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in the Chicago area, so watching Siskel & Ebert, and eventually just Ebert, was required of all Illinois citizens. Also, we had to read their columns to learn how to write criticism, and well, how to write in general. After Siskel died, Ebert was the only critic I paid attention to. Sure, Kenneth Turan, A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis are fine, but…meh…their work doesn’t compare to Ebert’s.

I’ve met Ebert a few times and each meeting, he was kind, gracious and witty. The most memorable was years ago when I was a senior at the University of Wisconsin. My father had the same lawyer as Siskel and Ebert, and said lawyer had an open house at his fab, newly rehabbed greystone in one of Chicago’s tonier neighborhoods. I was an obnoxious, know-it-all film student who became quite verklempt when I heard my father say, “Oh Mr. Ebert, I’d like you to meet my darling daughter, Julia. She’s a film student at Wisconsin, and will be graduating in a few weeks. Hey, any advice you can give her would be GREAT! THANKS!”

Aaaand, my dad disappeared toward the bar.

Thanks, dad.

Great.

This guy is gonna eviscerate me, test me on my knowledge and I’m gonna, like, dieeeee. Imagine my surprise when the exact opposite happened. Ebert and I spent the next hour or so discussing Kurosawa and how important his films are to not only the film world, but to the world in general. We discussed other film makers as well, but I believe that Ebert was touched by the fact that someone so young with an odd hairstyle, dug someone like Kurosawa. Siskel eventually tagged in and the two of us discussed Truffaut for another hour or so.

Needless to say, it was one of the most memorable moments of my life.

I could go on and on about Ebert, but I won’t. I do suggest reading his past columns and his essays on contemporary American life. He had a lot to say and the world will feel this tremendous loss for years.

I leave you with two things–one of my fave Ebert’s quotes, and a Sneak Previews/Siskel & Ebert episode where the two critics discuss the disturbing trend of violence toward women in films.

“’Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.” —Roger Ebert

And the clips–

Plus, a bonus out-take bit with Gene. Classic.

RIP, Roger. The City of Big Shoulders won’t be the same without you.

Damn.

February Can Blow Me

Well, February did blow but not in the way we all know and love.

I got nothing out of it except that I got to celebrate the 18th anniversary of my 29th birthday with some friends/family (got an iPad out of it–SCORE), learned that I’m a reporter/writer/editor and NOT a research editor. and was provided with even more evidence that I need to live in warmer climes and take bets on hermit crab races.

While I was reeling after the latest shit sandwich of a temp job that ended up with me ‘not being a good fit’ (whatever the fuck that means), a few awesome stories almost got past my radar.

The first is my fave. I don’t know how else to describe this particular yarn except, well, to wonder why I am not a drug addict after reading such a tale.

From Oddity Central.

Indian Sculptor Makes Creepy Bust of Favorite Politician from His Own Blood

My head hurts now.

(courtesy of FooYah.com)

(courtesy of FooYah.com)

Apparently, some loyal constituent in the world’s largest democracy, decided it would be neato to pay homage to his fab fave politico by sculpting a bust of said pol. Nice and not that unheard of in this day and age. However, busts of this sort are normally sculpted out fo marble, or stone or clay. Maybe even shit if certain materials are not abundant.

But, this particular bust was made out of … wait for it … BLOOD. (Thank god my gag reflex has calmed considerably after my years of being bulimic because my computer would be covered in puke right now)

Read on…

“An Indian man known only as Hussaini has recently unveiled a shocking work of art – a bust of J. Jayalalitha, Chief Minister of the Tamil Nadu state, made from 11 litres of frozen human blood, donated by him and 32 of his students.

Apparently, nothing shows admiration for a person like making a creepy sculpture of them from human blood. At least that’s what Hussaini, a sculptor and archery teacher from Chennai, must have thought when he got the idea to create a bust of Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha out of his own frozen blood, for her 65th birthday. The noted artist wanted to thank the politician for being the “most sports loving CM of India” and for her support to his archery association, and since he had a few liters of his own blood stored for special occasions, he decided to put it to good use. You see, Hussaini has had his blood drawn at three-month intervals, over the last eight years, waiting for an opportunity to use it as a medium for his sculpture. But he only had 6.5 liters of blood, and this special project required 11. Luckily, his 32 archery students were more than willing to donate the extra 4.5 liters needed to complete the project.”

Oh no, not just Hussaini’s blood is in this masterpiece, but the blood of his archery students too. There are so many jokes there that my mind can’t handle the overflow, and my stomach is starting to churn, so the need to down Maalox by the gallon starts NOW.

I know you’re all probably wondering how the entire fuck he did this, so grab a pen and paper and write it down. Or, to really get in the mood, you may want to write in your own blood.

“To create his blood sculpture, the artist first created a made one from clay. He then prepared a silicone mold, encased it in a hard outer shell and filled it with the 11 liters of blood. The mold was finally frozen at -27 degrees Celsius, for two months. On the day of the unveiling, Hussaini revealed the other big idea behind his plasma artwork – blood donation. “If I can organize 11 liters of blood, then every other citizen can follow suit and save many lives,” he said.”

I hope Hussaini realizes that donating blood to make art is not the same as donating blood to, you know, save lives.

(Courtesy of New India Express)

(Courtesy of New India Express)

I hope the recipient has proper storage for this since India is not exactly known for its mild climate and low humidities. Ahem. Craaaap–can’t get that image out of my noggin. Fuuuuck.

On a somewhat happy note, the Chief Minister was none too pleased with this tribute and advised Hussaini to never do this again.

I hope he heeds her advice.

The parade of weird continues in the south Pacific.

Indonesian mother kills son over ‘small penis’

From Raw Story.

Apparently, whilst mum was prepping her darling son for his circumcision, she said “Fuck it, I’ll just kill him because his peen is so wee, he’s in for a lifetime of hell because of it.”

And she did.

Nothing else can be said about it by your’s truly here.

According to one of my fave websites, The Sartorialist, these are the penny loafers to own. Of course, they can’t be bought stateside, so you have to wing on over to Milan to purchase them.

(Courtesty of The Sartorialist)

(Courtesty of The Sartorialist)

Not your style, eh? Well shit howdy, at least they ain’t made out of blood–that’s enough to get me to buy ’em and I don’t even wear penny loafers.

Dear Mike, Louie, Rush and Bryan:

Eat a dick.

Same goes for the news producers who are using social media to get to Sandy Hook Elementary School children with the hopes of interviewing them. You’re a disgrace to my profession.

Oh, and Rep. Louie Gohmert? I got nothing. Fucking bastard.

Rush.

Finally, seek help, Mr. Fischer because you don’t know dick about God.

 

PS-I’ll be back to my regular wit and snark later this week. Thanks.

Darwin Awards, Twitter-Style

My sympathy level has reached an all-time low.

Over Labor Day weekend in Ontario, California, five young men lost their lives in a car crash. Horrible. Sad. I am sorry for their family and friends.

However, my deepest sympathy is somewhat limited in this case. Turns out the driver, Ervin McKinness, 21, was drinking, Tweeting and driving. Even though it’s been proven that using any type of mobile device whilst driving can be deadly, many folks–mostly youngins–choose to ignore it. One would think that with all of the information out there about how dangerous it is to text/Tweet while driving that most folks wouldn’t partake in something so dangerous.

Not so fast. Enter #YOLO or “You Only Live Once” — a saying made famous by the performer Drake, which has since been turned into a popular Twitter hashtag used by Tweeters ranging from ordinary folks to Katie Couric. Apparently, young folks have taken this #yolo as a shout-out to do real dumb things, like drive drunk and Tweet about it.

It’s sad that the aspiring rapper/singer’s life & the lives of four others were cut short by his stupidity.

What irritates me about the Vibe.com article is this part: “Ervin McKinness, 21, died in the car crash, which police say occurred around 1:40AM on Labor Day (Sep. 3), but approximately twenty minutes before the deadly accident, the 21-year-old sent out a tweet that could have saved his life if someone had intervened.

Intervened? How exactly–by driving around, calling him as an attempt to talk some since into him? Hey, here’s a novel idea, how about not drinking and driving? Seriously–how fucking stupid, in this day and age, do you have to be to realize that alcohol consumption and driving do not mix? Is this article saying that this horrible accident was not the driver’s fault? Does the author of the article, Charley Rogulewski, even follow and understand Twitter? If he did, then he’d know that most Tweets are bullshit, and only capture the attention of the reader for about a nanosecond–unless it’s porn, of course. Is the po-po supposed to monitor Twitter like a hawk? Think about it–If the cops were monitoring Twitter for possible criminal and life-threatening Tweets, crime outside of the Twitterverse would be out of control.

This crappy crap pisses me off.

Or, is this an instance where social media failed too?