“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.
“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.
Monday, June 30, 2008
The two main features of this set are THE MANSON FAMILY and DEADBEAT AT DAWN but the real treasures, in my opinion, are the short films on the companion disc to DEADBEAT AT DAWN.
Most people are familiar with Vanbebber's THE MANSON FAMILY, a low budget, but extremely elaborate, gratuitous reenactment of the Manson murders and recreation of scenarios from the Spahn Ranch. It is obvious that his main info sources were the 1973 Robert Hedrickson documentary MANSON (still my favorite) and Ed Sander's book THE FAMILY, while taking some aesthetic cues from Kenneth Anger. This set features the unrated version of the film, which includes extended orgy and murder scenes, as well as more prolonged scenes of the latter-day murderous Manson aficionados patched in by Vanbebber because the original was unfinished. The special features include amusing interviews with Vanbebber and his crew of actors recounting anecdotes about how he persuaded them to drop acid an reenact the orgy in a field in the middle of the night drenched with fake blood made from food coloring and karo syrup. Apparently the actor cast as Manson eventually grew too disturbed by the scenes Vanbebber was making him perform and dumped the whole project. The unfinished film sat in Vanbebber's refrigerator for several years before he decided to bring it up to date by including a sub-plot about some creepy post-punk Manson fans committing a Manson Family-like "assassination" of a TV producer making a documentary about Manson, he also amusingly enough got the same actors from the original to play their original "family" characters being interviewed in prison. Vanbebber plays Bobby Beausoliel. As I said above, most of the scenes are literal reenactments of scenes from Hendrickson's MANSON documentary. I admit I didn't really like this film when I first watched it a couple years ago, but seeing Vanbebber's other films and getting a sense of where he is coming from with his movies, made me appreciate it more. I'll give it a B+ for effort.
DEADBEAT BY DAWN is a deeply low-budget-lame New York street gang drama/revenge film wallowing in exaggerated teenage karate school violence, simulated drug consumption, and absurd costumes that seem to be vaguely inspired by Walter Hill's THE WARRIORS (1979). Possibly the least interesting film in the set, but I'll watch it again before committing to that. At this point I'll give it a C+ for effort.
MY SWEET SATAN is by far my favorite film in the set. Basically a reenactment of the Ricky Kasso story, which again wallows in the basest elements of the original scenario. A bunch of drugged out teenage pseudo-satanists scarf drugs and listen to shitty music, gathered around the Kasso character who sets himself at center of the scene by being the biggest drugged out loser of them all (and by passing out free Acid). The story culminates in a brutal murder fuelled by Beer, Acid and death metal music, depicted in blade-chunking, blood spurting, flesh perforating, bone crushing detail. I'll give it an A+
ROADKILL: THE LAST DAYS OF JOHN MARTIN
This was my 2nd favorite in the set. Just a short scenario portrait of a batshit insane shut-in and his private world of schizophrenic home decorating, inner voices, a cheap TV set, and a steady diet of raw flesh that graduates from dead possums to kids stranded on the highway. Cues seem to be taken from Richard Trenton Chase, Ed Gein, and Tobe Hooper's original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, but this is short and has its own ideas and its own special "vibe." I'll give it an A+
A tediously long short documentary about loser druggies whose lives center around their daily consumption of drugs. Truly drives home how worthless compulsive stoners are. For that it has some value, but it was an effort to sit through. F.
Very brief film of an Asian karateka performing a traditional kata in a dojo setting. Combat moves of the kata are juxtaposed with corresponding fight scenes vs. yakuza type characters in a jungle. Set to shakuhachi music. This should be a cult classic among traditional Japanese martial arts enthusiasts, but I doubt many of them even know it exists. I'll give it an A+ for thoughtfulness and sincere respect toward the subject matter.
INTO THE BLACK
This film just cracks me up. I really want Jack Malebranche to review this film for a number of reasons. A silent 8mm film, complete with misspelled inter-titles written with sharpie pens on pieces of cardboard, depicting a vaguely ROAD WARRIOR like future world that consists of nothing more than a prison and an urban city run by gangs. This has to have been one of Vanbebber's earliest films. They deserve credit for doing all of their own stunts, some that could have easily resulted in severe road-rash, broken bones, stitches, or cracked skulls. Lots of ULTRA-cheap costumes, kung fu action fight scenarios, weird unconsciously homophilic sadomasochistic male-on-male "action" (to the near-total neglect of the female in distress). Also worth noting is one scene obviously ripped off by Tarantino for KILL BILL. Really funny stuff. I'll give it an A for amusement!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Judge orders prosecutors to be specific
Defense can't be built from litany of theories in fatal carjacking case
By Jamie Satterfield (Contact)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
A Knox County Criminal Court judge on Wednesday ordered prosecutors in a fatal carjacking case to answer four "Ws": what, when, where and who. In a straightforward case, Judge Richard Baumgartner's directive might pose little or no problem for prosecutors and might not even be a concern for the defense. But, as the judge noted at a hearing Wednesday, the carjacking-turned-torture-slaying of a young Knox County couple is anything but simple.
"This is a 46-count indictment," Baumgartner said. "It's just mind-boggling." Baumgartner spent hours Wednesday plowing through more than two dozen motions filed by attorneys Tom Dillard and Steve Johnson on behalf of George Thomas. Thanks to a successful speedy-trial motion already decided, Thomas will be the first of four defendants to stand trial in the January 2007 slayings of Channon Christian, 21, and boyfriend Christopher Newsom, 23.
The couple were carjacked, robbed and kidnapped, then held inside a house on Chipman Street in Northeast Knoxville, where both were beaten, tortured and raped. Newsom later was shot execution-style. Christian was held captive for several more hours, repeatedly raped, hog-tied and stuffed inside a trash can, where she slowly suffocated.
Thomas, along with co-defendants Letalvis Cobbins and Lemaricus Davidson, is charged with committing every crime prosecutors contend was carried out on the couple. Cobbins' girlfriend, Vanessa Coleman, is not charged in the carjacking but is accused in the kidnapping and rapes. None of the four is in reality accused of 46 different crimes. Instead, the indictment offers various legal theories of the core crimes, which are first-degree murder, felony murder, robbery, kidnapping, rape and theft. It is a common prosecutorial practice. But Baumgartner opined Wednesday that Thomas' defenders cannot prepare to defend him against a litany of theories and instead deserve firm facts on exactly what prosecutors allege Thomas did. "Because these events allegedly occurred over a four-day period, there's no way to tell when the state is alleging (each of several crimes) occurred," Baumgartner said. "Did these all occur at one time? Did they occur at separate times? "Was (Thomas) the one who actually committed the aggravated robbery, or is the state alleging he's going to be criminally responsible for whoever committed the aggravated robbery?" the judge asked. Wednesday's hearing came after a successful defense push to put Thomas at the head of the trial list. The grab for his Aug. 11 trial date was a tactical move by his defenders designed to seize upon a key weakness in what, on paper at least, appears to be a strong case for the prosecution - the lack of any forensic proof of Thomas' role. Prosecutors Leland Price and Takisha Fitzgerald allegedly have DNA testing linking brothers Cobbins and Davidson to the rapes and a statement from Coleman that allegedly puts her at the Chipman Street house while Newsom and Christian were being tortured and slain. Fitzgerald revealed, however, that the prosecution also has unearthed telephone calls Thomas made while behind bars that allegedly incriminate him. She did not detail the contents.
Hugh Newsom and Channon Christian:
The subhuman scumbags:
Background from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Channon_Christian_and_Christopher_Newsom
According to news reports, Christian and Newsom had gone on a date at a local restaurant on Saturday, January 6, 2007, but did not return home. During their night out, the couple was "hijacked, bound and blindfolded and taken back to Lemaricus Devall 'Slim' Davidson's rented house on Chipman Street."
Christian's parents found her abandoned Toyota 4-Runner two blocks away from the Chipman Street house the following Monday with the help of her mobile phone provider. An envelope recovered from the vehicle yielded fingerprint evidence that led police to Lemaricus Davidson and 2316 Chipman Street. When police went to the address on Tuesday, January 9, they found the home unoccupied and Christian's body in a trash can in the kitchen. Forensic evidence showed that Christian had also been raped vaginally, orally, and anally. One of the suspects, Vanessa Coleman, later told police that, "she witnessed Christian's mouth being cleaned with a bottle of some type of cleaner," in an attempt to remove DNA evidence. Forensic evidence showed significant trauma caused by "an object" to Christian's vagina, anus, and mouth, and that she had died slowly in the trash can, suffocating while wrapped in curtains, sheets, and several trash bags. There was also evidence of blunt trauma to her head leading to bruising of the brain in addition to bruises found on her neck, arm, back, and anal region. Coleman also said that she had seen "clothes that were stained with blood and smelled of gas being put in the washing machine at the house." Newsom was shot three times, "his body wrapped in a blanket, set afire and dumped alongside nearby railroad tracks." Evidence has also been presented that he had been anally raped.
For the "skeptics" from SNOPES: http://www.snopes.com/politics/crime/newsom.asp
Sunday, June 22, 2008
MCFARLANE’S MONSTERS SERIES 2: TWISTED LAND OF OZ
Paint: original paintScale: 6-inchFormat: action figurePackaging: clamshellNot for children under 17. Bound and blindfolded, this exotic Dorothy is being branded by a group of evil little Munchkins. She may never find her way back to Kansas.
Height: 7 1/2 inches tall on base; munchkins are 3 1/2 inches tall. Articulation: Neck joint. Accessories: Base with integrated foot pegs, branding iron. Packaging includes Chapter 1 of Twisted Land of Oz mythology.
For 150 years, India's bone trade has followed a route from remote Indian villages to the world's most distinguished medical schools.... India has long been the world's primary source of bones used in medical study, renowned for producing specimens scrubbed to a pristine white patina and fitted with high-quality connecting hardware. In 1985, however, the Indian government outlawed the export of human remains, and the global supply of skeletons collapsed. Western countries turned to China and Eastern Europe, but those regions produce relatively few skeletons. They have little experience producing display-quality specimens, and their products are regarded as inferior.
Now, 22 years after India's export ban, there are signs that the trade never ended. Black-market vendors in West Bengal continue to supply human skeletons and skulls using the time-honored method: Rob graves, separate soft flesh from unyielding calcium, and deliver the bones to distributors — who assemble them and ship them to dealers around the globe.
Exports to North America are still small compared with pre-ban levels, but shipments are finding their way to American medical programs. Suppliers have ample incentive — it's a lucrative business. The skulls on the ground before me, for instance, would fetch an estimated $70,000 overseas.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
My work mines the debris of memory through the creation of intricate worlds sculpted in 1:43 scale and smaller. Often sealed under glass, the works depict the remnants of things past—whether major, transformational experiences, or the quieter moments that resonate loudly throughout a life. In much the way the mind recalls events through the fog of time, the works distort reality through a warped and dreamlike lens.
The pieces’ radically reduced scales evoke feelings of omnipotence—as well as the visceral sensation of unbidden memory recall. Hovering above the glass, the viewer approaches these worlds as an all-seeing eye, looking down upon landscapes that dwarf and threaten the figures within.
Conversely, the private intensity of moments rendered in such a small scale draws the viewer in, allowing for the intimacy one might feel peering into a museum display case or dollhouse. Though surrounded by chaos, hazard, and longing, the figures’ faces betray little emotion, inviting viewers to lose themselves in these crucibles—and in the jumble of feelings and memories they elicit.
The glass itself contains and compresses the world within it, seeming to suspend time itself—with all its accompanying anguish, fear, and bliss. By sealing the works in this fashion, I hope to distill the debris of human experience down to single, fragile moments. Like blackboxes bobbing in the flotsam, these works wait for discovery, each an indelible record of human memory.
Artists Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz construct eerie detailed artistic scenes hidden inside of snow globes.
Traditional snow globes house relaxing winter scenes of Evergreen trees, snow-capped houses and horse drawn carriages. However, these snow globes tell a different story.
These two artists have been working together since 1993. They sculpt miniature figures set in snowy outside scenes that depict sometimes horrible situations. Each snow globe tells a story and it’s up to the viewer to fill in the blanks of those stories. Some of these miniature people seem trapped in a fairy-tale like story.
The snow globes are part of their Travelers series. They are a limited edition as only 250 signed snow globes were made. As for the price of one of these, searching around on the Internet shows they are sold for $750.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Japan's Booming Sex Niche: Elder Porn
By Michiko Toyama
Besides his glowing complexion, Shigeo Tokuda looks like any other 74-year-old man in Japan. Despite suffering a heart attack three years ago, the lifelong salaryman now feels healthier, and lives happily with his wife and a daughter in downtown Tokyo. He is, of course, more physically active than most retirees, but that's because he's kept his part-time job — as a porn star.
Shigeo Tokuda is, in fact, his screen name. He prefers not to disclose his real name because, he insists, his wife and daughter have no idea that he has appeared in about 350 films over the past 14 years. And in his double life, Tokuda arguably embodies the contemporary state of Japan's sexuality: in surveys conducted by organizations ranging from the World Health Organization (WHO) to the condom-maker Durex, Japan is repeatedly found to be one of the most sexless societies in the industrialized world. A WHO report released in March found that 1 in 4 married couples in Japan had not made love in the previous year, while 38% of couples in their 50s no longer have sex at all. Those figures were attributed to the stresses of Japanese working life. Yet at the same time, the country has seen a surge in demand for pornography that has turned adult videos into a billion-dollar industry, with "elder porn" one of its fastest-growing genres.
Tokuda is rare among Japanese porn stars in that his name has become a brand. The Shigeo Tokuda series he has just completed portray him as a tactful elderly gentleman who instructs women of different ages in the erotic arts, and he boasts a body of work far more impressive than most actors in their prime.
Tokuda's exploits have proved to be a goldmine for Glory Quest, which first launched an "old man" series, Maniac Training of Lolitas, in December 2004. Its popularity led the company to follow up with Tokuda starring in Forbidden Elderly Care in August 2006. Other series followed, and soon elder porn had revealed itself as a sustainable new revenue stream for the industry. "The adult-video industry is very competitive," says Glory Quest p.r. representative Kayoko Iimura. "If we only make standard fare, we cannot beat other studios. There were already adult videos with Lolitas or themes of incest, so we wanted to make something new. A relationship between wife and an old father-in-law has enough twist to create an atmosphere of mystery and captivate viewers' hearts."
Director Gaichi Kono says the eroticism of elders is captivating to younger viewers. "I think that, as a subject, there is this something that only an older generation has and the young people do not possess. It is because they lived that much more. We should respect them and learn from them," says Kono passionately.
But Tokuda stresses the appeal of his work to an audience of his peers: "Elderly people don't identify with school dramas," he says. "It's easier for them to relate to older-men-and-daughters-in-law series, so they tend to watch adult videos with older people in them." The veteran porn star plans to keep working until he's 80 — or older, as long as the industry will cast him. Given the bullish market for his work, he's unlikely to go without work.
"People of my age generally have shame, so they are very hesitant to show their private parts," Tokuda says. "But I am proud of myself doing something they cannot." Still, he says, laughing, "That doesn't mean that I can tell them about my old-age pensioner job."
Japan's adult-video industry is believed to be worth as much as $1 billion a year, according to industry insiders, with the largest video-store chain Tsutaya releasing about 1,000 new titles monthly, while the mega adult mail-order site DMM releases about 2,000 titles each month. Although films featuring women in their teens and 20s are the mainstay of the industry, a trend toward "mature women" has become evident over the past five years. Currently, about 300 of the 1,000 adult videos on offer at Tsutaya, and 400 out of the 2,000 at DMM, are "mature women" films.
Ryuichi Kadowaki, director of Ruby Inc., which specializes in mature-women titles, says that when the company started offering the genre a few years ago, the term referred to actresses in their late 20s, and that last year it was expanded to those in their 70s. The company believes the advantage of mature titles is their enduring appeal. "Adult videos with young actresses sell well only in the first three months after the release," Kadowaki explains. "On the other hand, mature-women films enjoy a steady, long-term popularity, which after 10 years or so might lead to a best seller." And then there are the cost savings. A popular young actress can earn up to $100,000 per film, while a mature actress is paid only $2,000.
The market for elder porn has doubled over the past decade, according to Kadowaki. "In view of [Japan's] aging society," he adds, "I think that in the future, we will see a steady increase in demand."
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008
"While the concept of Kill Zones developed out of the ambush tactic, their use is not restricted to ambushes, nor are they used only by the military anymore.Kill Zones are used by terrorists all the time as well as by common street criminals. Targets of ambushes now include ordinary citizens along with government officials and corporate executives. And many violent crimes are committed in what could be classified as Kill Zones. (We will continue to refer to them as “Kill Zones” even though the street criminal may more often use them for robbery, rape or assault.)Kill Zones are a subject you should know about if you are serious about tactics and survival. It’s the last place you want to be if you are the target of an attack. Conversely, it’s the place you want to draw potential threats into."
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Technology and certain specific types of human knowledge and abilities are cumulative. Meaning some specific abilities become more sophisticated over time if the foundations are not forgotten or wiped out. For example: we go from throwing rocks to precision guided missiles. Or for counter-example: various cultures have experienced "Dark Ages" where aspects of civilization are lost or forgotten. The Ancient Greeks for example lost literacy then recovered it later. Of course civilizations also die, self destruct, and are wiped out.
This does not extend to collective psychology. Mankind does not "wise up" as a whole. There is no supporting evidence that he does. He just becomes more efficient at killing and comfort.
Taken collectively; mankind exhibits traits that would be considered retarded or psychotic in individuals. When interpreting collective behavior it is almost a safe rule of thumb to imagine what an individual of below average intelligence would do in similar circumstances but driven by the most negative fears and motives. Collectively mankind acts like the worst individual specimens, not the best.
"Big History" is my favorite niche of historical study, especially in conjunction with historiography and philosophy of history. I've actually read most of the important works on big history and "grand narrative" overviews, and attempts to discern patterns. I'm convinced all patterns perceived are projections on the part of historians based on grossly incomplete and randomly accurate/inaccurate knowledge and reasoning. Usually this is more evidence of the hardwired propensity of the human mind to abstract in terms of metaphors and analogies than evidence of any real pattern in "history."
The idea of overall "progress" in human history has pretty much been left in the dust (along with other ideological debris of the Enlightenment such as "equality"). I think linear and cyclical interpretations of history are just as much a projection and pipe dream. There is an ebb and flow on a micro-level, mostly because the human animal is by nature excessive and reactionary, so in some contexts collective behavior gives the impression of "pendulum swings" which in turn can be fantasized into a "cyclical" pattern just as sudden beginnings and abrupt ends can be fantasized into linear patterns. These are all constructs of the human mind trying to grasp complexity beyond its ability to comprehend.
Human history is as arbitrary and meaningless as the life of a termite mound.
Monday, June 2, 2008
-approapriate attire for wilderness activities ("cotton kills")
-how not to get lost :-)
-signaling for assistance (both day and night)
-building land markers to indicate direction
-choosing a location for shelter
-finding and purifying water
-basic medical kit and its use
-basic land navigation (and direction determination) without a compass
-also, well cover "child SAR", so parents are encouraged to attend Credits: Speaker:Robert Nielsen
Concentration problems are very serious and can ruin the life of your child, and the life of yourself as a parent, and your relationship as parenting couples as well. If you are living as the victim of your child’s behavior, and your child commands your every second of life with unexplained outbursts of venomous energy, no matter how many lavish toys you bestow, there is still help available to you.
We don’t degrade or demoralize your little star. In fact, we’re so committed to making sure your hyperactive, attention starved child is aware that he or she is truly a star that they’ll get an armband as soon as they arrive with a star on it, and they get to wear it for the whole time they’re here in our captivity!
Sunday, June 1, 2008
There was no sappyness or typical hollywood/comic book posturing, snappy one-liners, etc.
It was uncompromising in pointing out the idiocy of the christian moral worldview and the idea of "saving" humanity; the bad guys were bad, but the "good guys" (mercenaries) were not particularly good guys; they were racists and killers fighting for money, even though a few of them had something vaguely akin to a "moral compass" or at least Western sensibilities that you don't randomly go around killing gang-raping women or mutilating and killing children. That it portrayed mercenaries in a favorable light at all is a departure - I can't think of any other film to do so since THE DOGS OF WAR, although this film has much more moral ambiguity.
I think it ups the ante for action films in a manner reminiscent of the original Rambo film FIRST BLOOD, that I saw in the theater when it was first released; some people may not appreciate it now but at the time there was NOTHING like it in terms of non-stop intense action and likewise had a message without being too corny. Rambo 2 and 3 frankly sucked and were as disappointing as the lame sequels to the superb original DEATH WISH.
In this film there is even less sentimentality than the first film. Implicit in the film (and explicit in some of the deleted scenes) there is a resignation that war, violence, and inhumanity is hardwired human behavior; that it has always been with us and always will. John Rambo accepts this in the world and in himself - he enters the fray not for any high horse ideological reasons, but because killing is what he does, and does well, and it is simply his prerogative to kill who he dislikes to protect who he likes.
Seriously I'd give this one 5 out of 5 stars for substance and entertainment value.
Note: The "Prayer" in the trailer does not appear in the film.