The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'wrong'
Collection of unintentional humour of the day: Regretsy, a compedium of the inexplicable and inexcusable found on handcraft trading site Etsy, from badly painted Twilight-themed trainers to things made from dead animals to the surprising abundance of gynaecologically-themed articles on offer.
(via David Gerard)
A guy named Paul Scheer went to the exhibition of Michael Jackson's possessions, which were due to be auctioned, with a camera and took some photos. These have been posted here. It is a grotesquely unique collection, and one betraying the peculiar obsessions of one such as Jackson. There are plenty of portraits of Jackson in fantasy mediæval finery and heroic poses, or presented as various historical figures:life-sized little ginger girl dolls, just far enough inside Mori's Uncanny Valley to give you nightmares.
(via Boing Boing)
There is a tradition of restaurants serving meat having happy anthropomorphic cartoons of the animals whose meat they serve as their mascots. Of these mascots, there is a subset in which the animals actually slaughter or eat their own kind, usually with great gusto. There's a set of such logos here:
(via Boing Boing)
In the 1990s, Two Russian-born, US-based conceptual artists calling themselves Komar and Melamid created what they intend to be the world's most unlikeable song. The 22-minute opus is assembled from a palette of elements determined (through a poll) to be the least desirable aspects of songs, and includes things like an operatic soprano rapping about cowboys over a tuba-backed bassline and bagpipe breaks, a children's choir singing inane holiday ditties and advertising Wal-Mart, and someone shouts political slogans over elevator music. It is, in its own way, awesome:
The most unwanted music is over 25 minutes long, veers wildly between loud and quiet sections, between fast and slow tempos, and features timbres of extremely high and low pitch, with each dichotomy presented in abrupt transition. The most unwanted orchestra was determined to be large, and features the accordion and bagpipe (which tie at 13% as the most unwanted instrument), banjo, flute, tuba, harp, organ, synthesizer (the only instrument that appears in both the most wanted and most unwanted ensembles). An operatic soprano raps and sings atonal music, advertising jingles, political slogans, and "elevator" music, and a children's choir sings jingles and holiday songs. The most unwanted subjects for lyrics are cowboys and holidays, and the most unwanted listening circumstances are involuntary exposure to commercials and elevator music. Therefore, it can be shown that if there is no covariance—someone who dislikes bagpipes is as likely to hate elevator music as someone who despises the organ, for example—fewer than 200 individuals of the world's total population would enjoy this piece.Komar and Melamid also produced what their research pointed to as America's most wanted song; it's somewhat less interesting, being a schmaltzy assemblage of Kenny G-esque sax, FM electric piano, R&B female vocals and husky male vocals, not to mention the obligatory guitar solo and not one but two truck driver's gear changes. It is, quite literally, a statistical average of early-1990s commercial radio music; if you're morbidly curious, there's a MP3 here. They also did a survey of what the American public liked to see most in paintings, and produced the resulting work of art, an autumnal landscape with wild animals, a family enjoying the outdoors—and, standing in the middle of it, George Washington.
From the artists' own website:
In an age where opinion polls and market research invade almost every aspect of our "democratic/consumer" society (with the notable exception of art), Komar and Melamid's project poses relevant questions that an art-interested public, and society in general often fail to ask: What would art look like if it were to please the greatest number of people? Or conversely: What kind of culture is produced by a society that lives and governs itself by opinion polls?
(via Boing Boing)
This is not the Onion: The latest children's book to be making a ripple is "My Beautiful Mommy", written by Florida plastic surgeon Michael Salzhauer, and intended to help children come to terms with their mothers' plastic surgery:
"My Beautiful Mommy" is aimed at kids ages four to seven and features a plastic surgeon named Dr. Michael (a musclebound superhero type) and a girl whose mother gets a tummy tuck, a nose job and breast implants. Before her surgery the mom explains that she is getting a smaller tummy: "You see, as I got older, my body stretched and I couldn't fit into my clothes anymore. Dr. Michael is going to help fix that and make me feel better." Mom comes home looking like a slightly bruised Barbie doll with demure bandages on her nose and around her waist.
Then there are the body image issues raised by cosmetic surgery—especially for daughters. Berger worries that kids will think their own body parts must need "fixing" too. The surgery on a nose, for example, may "convey to the child that the child's nose, which always seemed OK, might be perceived by Mommy or by somebody as unacceptable," she says.
(via Boing Boing)
Remember Leoncie, the other eccentric Icelandic singer who gave the world pop classics like "Radio Rapist" and "Sex Crazy Cop"? (The world, meanwhile, responded with stubborn indifference, apart from perhaps the odd "no way, man".) Well, she now has videos on YouTube, where you can behold the sheer awesomeness that is her unique pop sensibility (which draws on sub-Eurovision pop-rock and the genre of smooth, high-tech black radio-pop that fell into the cracks between Prince and hip-hop, with general-MIDI instruments and vocal stylings which sound somewhere between Whitney Houston and a Wagnerian valkyrie, not to mention inappropriately risqué subject matter). Go on, take a look at Sex Crazy Cop; you know you're curious.
The Guardian's latest blogger is the 19-year-old son of a travel writer, who looks like a character from Nathan Barley and will be writing up his gap year holiday to India and Thailand.
At the minute, I'm working in a restaurant with a bunch of lovely, funny people; writing a play; writing bits for Skins; spending any sort of money I earn on food and skinny jeans, and drinking my way to a financially blighted two-month trip to India and Thailand. Clichéd I know, but clichés are there for a reason.
I'm kinda shitting myself about travelling. Well not so much the travelling part. It's India that scares me. The heat, the roads, the snakes, Australian travellers. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited. But shitting myself. And I just know that when I step off that plane and into the maelstrom of Mumbai - well, actually, I don't know how I'll react.
Anyway, I've had to get malaria tablets, purchase travellers' cheques, sort out travel insurance, try and find a universal bloomin' plug, buy a backpack, get iodine drops (whatever they are) and enjoy dozens of injections off a nurse who was grumpy and trying to get me to pay a hundred quid to minimise the after-effects of being bitten by a monkey. I still fancied her though. She was a nurse.And in the comments, mayhem has ensued as the Graun's peanut gallery takes him to task for being upper-middle-class/derivative/a smug twat and having only landed this job by virtue of nepotism; some people speculating that Chris Morris and/or Charlie Brooker are responsible.
Here's an idea, Max. Instead of setting off on yet another inane, identikit trip around Asia before you take up your place at Oxbridge (or wherever), why don't you leave your family's Highgate mansion FOR GOOD, cut yourself off from your father's allowance, move into a council estate in Salford, STAY THERE, and then consider writing a blog about your experiences.
As for skinny jeans , Max if ever you eat from the street you may wish you had something a little more baggy and easy to remove, alternatively you could take some nappies. I'm not sure that the street vendors take Amex though.
You can have your first ladyboy experience in Thailand, but maybe you won't journal that one, just look out for the adams apple.
Dear the Guardian, I spend my money on conventionally shaped trousers and other types of equally conventional clothing, food and beverages. My other outgoings include: mortgage, heating, electricity, sundries and entertainment. I commute to work, an experience which I sometimes find amusing but for the most part find an unpleasant grind which I attemt to ignore by listening to music or reading. I'm reasonably fortunate in that I can take about three weeks of holiday a year which I spend either visiting family or travelling abroad. Going abroad sometimes makes me nervous, as do many new experiences as I get older.
Can I have a blog too?
Hey everyone, I'm Max's friend and he's a real genuine guy and a dude with a passion for travel writing and writing in general. So go easy on him until you hear what he has to say. I guarantee you'll be impressed. And who knows, you might want to visit some of the places he's visited because you heard about it from this blog.
So what if he wears skinny jeans? All us kids do these days, don't hate us because you're old!
Oh, and he co-writes Skins, so he's obviously a real talent. AND he doesn't take any money from his parents at all, he shops at charity shops and everything.
My names Peter Getkahn, at 19 I got a job in a Meat Factory to help pay for my Education. You can't follow my career on a blog, because my Dad doesn't work for the Guardian.
He'll definitely find himself, every 'traveller' he meets will be exactly like him.
An African-American woman in Toronto who recently bought a sofa was shocked to find that it was labelled with racial epithets. Packaging on the chocolate-coloured sofa described it as "Color:Nigger-brown".
"She's very curious and she started reading the labels," Moore explained. "She said, `Mommy, what is nig ... ger brown?' I went over and just couldn't believe my eyes."The retailer blamed the incident on the manufacturer in Guangzhou, China.
This is not the only incident of English-language labels on imported products having been written seemingly with ignorance of taboo words. One I heard about involved the assembly instructions for a piece of furniture. Next to a diagram of a screw being driven into a hole was the one-word instruction, "Fuck".
Today's dose of wrongness comes in the form of an outtake from the new Momus album, on which he raps in a bad cod-Jamaican accent about "murdering a pretty little bonsai tree", over a trip-hop beat.
Five Americans who were injured in a Hamas suicide bombing in Jerusalem are suing to seize ancient Persian clay tablets, on loan from Iran to Chicago University since 1939, to be sold for compensation for Iran's role:
The tablets were found in southern Iran in the 1930s by archaeologists from Chicago University. Many fear that the action will deter future loans of art to the United States, but David Strachman, the victims' lawyer, insists he is just collecting damages from Iran. He admitted he had "no idea" how much the tablets were worth.
The battle stems from an attack by three suicide bombers in Jerusalem on September 4, 1997. The Iranian-backed Palestinian group Hamas claimed responsibility. Several Americans who were wounded in the bombing filed a suit against Iran and in 2003 a US judge awarded them $423.5 million (£246 million). Unable to make Iran pay up, five of the survivors went after Iranian art works and artefacts in the US.
Gil Stein, the director of Chicago University's Oriental Institute, said that the tablets were irreplaceable.Words fail me.
The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled against an ad for childrens' theatre tickets which mentioned convicted paedophile and glam rocker Gary Glitter.
Showing two young boys, it stated: "Like Gary Glitter in a sweet shop, you too can have your pick of kiddy treats in London's theatre world".
A spokesman for the website said: "We aim to create advertising which makes us stand out. However, on this occasion we realise that there has been an error in our judgment."
It looks like they're remaking The Prisoner. The new series is not going to be set in Portmeirion and is not going to have "the arty 'pop' feel of the original". Given that the remake is being done by Sky One, (News Corporation's mass-entertainment network and "the chavs' favourite channel" according to media troll and self-styled chav Julie Burchill), we can probably expect something between 24-style patriotic action thrillers and celebrity-sexploitation reality TV; in other words, unsubtle, lowbrow, cheap and of little interest to those who liked the original series.
Iceland has given the world a number of unique musical acts in recent years, among them Björk, Múm and Sigur Rós; and now there's Leoncie, the Singer with the Black Beautiful Powerful Voice, who "blends South American and Portuguese rhythms with modern pop-rock beats which creates a dynamic blend called Leoncie Music"; she also describes her music as "European PowerPop-and RaunchyRock-Dance", which is borne out in titles like "Sexy Loverboy", "Radio Rapist-Wrestler", "Sex Crazy Cop" and "Safe Sex - Take Me Deeper", which are accompanied by promotional photos of Leoncie smiling through heavy make-up and showing off her more than ample cleavage (in her own words, '"A Little Bit Of My Cleavage Shows, And Then The Icelandic Volcano Explodes." Boooom!')
There are two MP3s provided for your delectation; they vary from General-MIDI radio-pop-soul to General-MIDI beer-commercial rock, with vocals that sound somewhere between Whitney Houston and a Wagnerian valkyrie.
The site is a bit light on other examples of her music, though makes up for this with copious links to her CD shop, and even more copious nuggets of wisdom from the great artist herself:
Q: Any favourite politicians?
A: Definely. Tony Blair and George Bush. Blair is handsome, Articulate and has great distinction. Bush is Special too and has great Character and Style.
Q: Any favourite DJ' s ?
A: Everyone who plays my music, Worldwide.
Q: Any female Singer you admire a lot?
A: Yes. Britney Spears. Cher. Tina turner.
Q: Favourite male Actor/sNot only that, but she's a fabulous cook, and even sews some of her own stage clothes. Which is why everyone needs to buy her CDs now.
A: Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, The Rock, Mr. Bean.
On the internet, you can buy anything: even dangerous and/or endangered animals, no questions asked:
Gorillas are among the most highly-endangered species on the planet and all commercial trade in them is prohibited under the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). They are potentially lethal and need expert care and treatment, yet IFAW found a British-based website selling a seven-year-old gorilla in January this year "due to relocation of its owner."
Other, American-based websites sell monkeys along with "cute" accessories such as nappies, feeding bottles, clothes and toys, adding to the impression that these are a slightly more lively version of a doll. Traders in live primates call themselves "Monkey Moms" and the animals "monkids".
Threatened by poaching and loss of habitat, there are only about 5,000 tigers living in the wild; but thanks to the thriving trade in exotic pets, some 10,000 tigers live in captivity in the US. One US website advertised two-week old male and female tiger cubs for just $1,500 each.
In France, a bus company is suing a group of cleaning ladies for unfair competition for organising a car-pooling service which happens to run along its route. The company wants the women to be fined and their cars confiscated.
Inappropriate LiveJournal user icon of the day. You can count on the furries taking two segments of a Disney animation, juxtaposing them and making something that's just wrong.
An image recently found online:
(Posted on the unpopart LiveJournal community, which appears to be a den of Satanists, Nazi-fetishists, serial-killer fans, misanthropes and aesthetic extremists connected with the likes of Adam Parfrey, Boyd Rice and Jim Goad.)
I wonder whether the resemblance between Michael Jackson and Ronald McDonald is pure coincidence or intentional. Ronald McDonald predates Michael Jackson's adult career by more than a decade. Could McDonalds have finetuned their mascot's appearance to be more Jacksonlike during the 1980s (when Jackson was hot property, and was moving lots of units for Pepsi)? (The alternative theory would be that Jackson (consciously or otherwise) modelled his public image on the World-Famous Magical Clown, perhaps to better appeal to children.) Also, could McDonalds' recently announced makeover of their mascot also be an attempt to shed similarities to Michael Jackson (which could be more of a liability than an asset these days)?
For the freakazoid who has everything: a squirrel-shaped drinks flask, made from a real squirrel; nothing says coolness like pulling a real, formerly-live rodent out of your pocket, twisting the head off and taking a swig from its neck, without missing a beat:
(via bOING bOING)
Meanwhile, Target in Australia are now selling collectible Goth figurines, which, for some reason, are in the anime section. (Which is odd in itself; last time I was in a Target, they didn't have an anime section, let alone one with collectible figurines. Perhaps it's in the "grunge mall" Coles-Myer were planning to build in Melbourne or something?) Does this mean that the Goth subculture now has an anime series about it?
Proprietor of the Daily Mail (I think that's one of those ghastly British tabloids or something) Richard Desmond goose-stepped around a boardroom giving stiff-armed Nazi salutes and uttering a stream of Sieg Heils, during a meeting with management of the Daily Telegraph, which is likely to be bought by a German concern. Mr. Desmond, who dropped out of the bidding for the paper, asked if the Telegraph bosses were looking forward to being run by Nazis, and when rebuked, let forth a torrent of personal abuse at the other people in the room. Such, I guess, is the privilege of a newspaper baron.
It has emerged that Michael Jackson had written a film about a man who transforms into a car for a young boy to drive; Jackson wanted to play the starring role in the film. Isn't there a word for this particular fetish? (via Die Puny Humans)
Apparently killing zoo animals isn't just an Adelaide thing; some nutter has been poisoning zoo animals in Sao Paolo, Brazil:
Victims over the past week include monkeys, golden-headed lion tamarinds and more than 30 porcupines. Three chimpanzees, an orang-utan, three tapirs, four camels, an elephant and a bison died during the previous month.
Make your own jokes: The Book of Erotic Fantasy, a Dungeons and Dragons rulebook covering the role-playing of sex (as in by rolling dice and matching against character statistics), has hit the market. Judging from these reviews, they seem to have done their market research well, putting in something (from the SuicideGirls-style vampyrotica photos to extensive sections on fetishes to character species designed to appeal to the furry crowd) for every type of nervert, with the possible exception of hentai fiends (though maybe the reviewer just missed the bit about rolling to remove a sailor suit using tentacles or something). (via jwz)
For the love of Ghod, no: Russian Mafia-manufactured pedo-porn-pop duo Tatu cover The Smiths' How Soon is Now (aka "the song with the same guitar line as Soho's Hippychick"). And all signs are that it can't possibly be anything other than utter pants.
Tatu's Julia Volkova told NME that she had never heard of The Smiths before being given the song to sing: "[The producers] just put it on for us and we decided it was worth a try. Frankly speaking, we hadn't known this group."
So we know it's going to be dire; the question is: will it be dire enough to appreciate in an ironic sense (like Pee Wee Ferris' commercial-dance version of Blue Monday), or will it just be shite?
One-time big-name pop star Michael Jackson is releasing his first album in many years; and attempting to put his freak-show image and child-abuse allegations behind him, has attempted to make it as straight and boring as possible, with any eccentricities swept under the carpet of slick, commercial-strength R&B production. According to The Guardian, however, the result has been not only tedious, but also unintentionally disturbing:
Then there is The Lost Children, a hideous, syrupy sub-Broadway showtune featuring Jackson and an infants' choir. It ends with a fearful child's voice saying "It's so quiet in the forest... it's getting dark, I think we'd better go home now." It's creepy, has deeply unpleasant connotations and is appallingly misjudged.
The local street press has just confirmed the impending closure of the Punters Club (sometime after January), The proprietor is looking to open another venue somewhere less gentrified (possibly Northcote). Because of rising rents, whatever takes the Punters' place in Brunswick Street will probably be much more upmarket. In related news, a new venue has reopened on the site of the legendary Continental, another band venue which closed a while ago. It is probably enough to note that this venue is called the Boutique Dance Lounge, and recently played host to a single launch by manufactured Top 40 star and former Hollywood trophy wife Tina Arena. Ah yes, there's nothing like shiny machine-extruded crap for conspicuous consumption...
Death Disco: Is Hillary Clinton a key investor in a Nazi-themed disco near Auschwitz, or did someone along the way forget to take their medication? The mind boggles indeed. (from the Psychoceramics list)
They look so peaceful, don't they? A NBC investigative reporter has found out that an alarmingly high proportion of the toy cat figurines sold in the US are made from real cat fur. Various Chinese factories slaughter cats and dogs and use the fur to make those cute stuffed toys you see in shops; though sometimes this is intentionally mislabelled as rabbit fur as not to upset consumer sensitivities.
`What you're actually looking at there is what was a cat, killed in the most inhumane manner you can imagine, so that the fur could be glued to this plastic figurine. It's grotesque.'
(via Boing Boing)