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June 2006 Archives

June 30, 2006

The Measure of Progress in Iraq

In an article about how US soldiers are now being investigated for the rape and murder of a young woman and the murder of her family, we get this look at the bright side of things:

U.S. officials say killings of civilians by U.S. troops at checkpoints and on convoy duties have dropped sharply to about one a week now from one a day last year due to new efforts.

Great, after three years of war, we've finally figured out how to only kill one innocent person per week at checkpoints instead of 7! I predict we will soon be greeted as liberators any day now! I mean, why wouldn't we be? You can be damn sure our record on this front is better than say, Saddam's. And isn't that what matters?

June 27, 2006

See how much fun the war can be?

Bush jogging with double amputee

In his latest entry for Most Misguided Self-Serving Photo Op, Bush goes jogging with double-amputee U.S. Army soldier Sgt Christian Bagge. Hey, youth of America! Get maimed, work out with the President! Great!

Miss Beazley and the double-amputee

Miss Beazley seems less convinced.

June 26, 2006

Busta's ex reveals the bitch in him

Busta Rhymes and his ex at high school prom

This photo from Long Island's Uniondale High School prom in 1991 could almost be a Who'Dat?™: Before They Were Stars edition, but that hair and Woo-Ha grin give it away. Today's NY Post includes a sort of backhanded celebration of this weekend's Gay Pride festivities in the form of a lengthy sympathetic interview with Busta Rhymes' estranged ex-girlfriend with whom he's had a nasty custody battle over the last four years. The ex, Joanne Wood, claims that Busta has been so vicious to her in the press and in front of their kids because after their 10 year relationship ended, she started living with a female partner.

The article clearly takes Wood's side in the case, and gives her plenty of space to vent about the abuse that Busta has dished out since their breakup. "His ego is definitely hurt," she said. "If he's being emotional, then let him just be emotional - that's like the bitch in him. If you want to be emotional, I don't have a problem with that, but he's wearing his emotions on his sleeve." She claims that Busta has openly called her all kinds of horrible names to their three sons, T'Ziah, T'Khi, and Trillian, who repeat Busta's cruel words to her--most creatively, a "man-bitch lesbian".

The custody fight ended in December with Busta winning, though he has a criminal record involving illegal guns and assault which the Post helpfully summarizes in a sidebar. Wood and her lawyer claim that the court decision in Busta's favor makes irrelevant references to her "lifestyle" and her "lover", suggesting that the court believes her homosexuality makes her an unfit parent, though no case of neglect or abuse of the children is cited. The decision also refers to an occasion in which one of the kids walked in on her and her partner having sex in the bedroom, but as she and her lawyer point out, "Where else should they have sex?" The kids are now living with Busta's mom while their legal guardian is out on tour supporting his new album "The Big Bang". Wood can see them twice a week and every other weekend.

Could this be the most pro-gay rights piece the Post has ever published? Well, maybe. Or maybe they're still just pissed that Busta won't give up the goods on the shooting of his bodyguard earlier this year that he likely witnessed.

June 20, 2006

Awesome Videos

Twisted Sister video shot

Considering their snotty, obscurer-than-thou reputation, Pitchfork's staff collection of 100 Awesome Music Videos really is a great list. All the videos in this list had to be available on YouTube, so maybe that helped keep the inclusions pretty mainstream and accessible.

This will totally eat up your entire workday, but I encourage you to browse the list, which is alphabetical by artist. A few highlights:

  • Busta Rhymes, "Woo Ha!! Got You All In Check!" Often imitated, but there's no one like Busta.
  • Lionel Richie, "Hello". As Pitchfork says, "like the Plan 9 From Outer Space of music videos."
  • Röyksopp, "Remind Me". Neat bit of computer animation of the mechanized urban workday. One of my personal favorites.
  • David Lee Roth, "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody". From Dave's early solo career, outrageous self-parody.
  • Kidz Bop, "Since U Been Gone". Surprisingly creative cover of the Kelly Clarkson song, it's structured like a brother and sister making their own music video using an old videotape of an elementary school play. The little-kid rock concert scenes are some of the most energetic stuff I've ever seen in a video. It's cool.
  • R. Kelly, "Trapped in the Closet". Described by Pitchfork as his "12-part inadvertant surrealist masterpiece." Really worth watching if you haven't seen it yet. Weirdest mainstream video in recent years.
  • Vitalic, "Poney". I start laughing uncontrollably around 1:05.
  • Twisted Sister, "We're Not Gonna Take It". Obviously.

June 14, 2006

Who's Older?™: Actresses with arrest records

Daryl Hannah gets arrested

Today's edition of Who's Older?™ examines two actresses who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, though in both cases for relatively dull civil disobedience arrests at organized protests. Yeah, sorry. I'm confident that Natasha Lyonne will provide some more salacious criminal activity before too long.

Daryl Hannah got arrested yesterday as she sat in a tree with other environmental activists to protest the planned development of a farm in South LA. "I'm very confident this is the morally right thing to do, to take a principled stand in solidarity with the farmers," Hannah told AP by cellphone before she was removed from the tree. Other famous people also joined in the cause, including Joan Baez, Danny Glover, Alicia Silverstone, Martin Sheen, and Willie Nelson, but none of them spent three weeks in that walnut tree like Daryl apparently did!

Back in 2002, Cynthia Nixon was arrested at a NYC City Hall "near-riot" where she was protesting cuts to the city's education budget. Just after her arrest, she talked about warning her young daughter, who attends city schools, that she might get in trouble for protesting. Nixon said, "My daughter herself brought up Martin Luther King, so she says she understands that sometimes you have to go to jail to make things better."