Walking Ghosts: Obama Steps up Nuclear Threat

October 15, 2010

“The walking ghost phase of radiation poisoning is a period of apparent health, lasting for hours or days, following an acute dose of radiation. As its name would suggest, the walking ghost phase is followed by certain death.”

- Webster’s Online Dictionary

When the Cold War ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union back in 1991, it was supposed to signify that the threat of nuclear holocaust was over. No longer would the world suffer under the consciousness that nuclear extermination might occur at any moment. Little did we suspect that, like the walking ghost phase of radiation poisoning, the illusion of safety was but a temporary reprieve; that the use of nuclear weapons would again become not only a renewed possibility, but even quite likely. Recent noises emanating from The White House regarding the issue of Iran’s continued uranium enrichment, in which the Obama administration has refused to rule out the option of a preventive nuclear strike against Iran, have brought the threat of nuclear warfare closer to home than at any other time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Perhaps the end of the Cold War was really nothing other than the walking ghost phase of the nuclear threat, a temporary respite before impending death.

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Classy Space Opera: Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan

September 21, 2010

Star Trek, eh? While I’ve never been what you might call a devoted fan, I do have some affection for the original TV show. The series staples – William Shatner’s orotund pronouncements on the nature of man, the constantly recycled plots about God-like yet childishly irresponsible beings, the blithe, “we know what’s best” human intervention in alien affairs – it’s all cheerful enough nonsense. The considerably more po-faced Next Generation, with its insipid characters spouting pseudo-scientific gobbledygook while forming “meaningful” relationships with each other, is where I beam myself away to more interesting horizons. As for the films, well they’ve always been pretty much hit and miss, with rather more ticks in the “miss” column than in the “hit” column. The Wrath of Khan is the one film where they struck upon just the right formula. The pretensions to “serious” science fiction in Star Trek: The Motion Picture were ditched in favour of a rollicking space action yarn. And let’s face it – that’s the way it should be. As much as I love 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek is not really a suitable franchise to try and re-capture the atmosphere of Kubrick’s magnum opus. If you’re going to have ray guns, warp drives and pointy eared aliens spouting catch phrases, then you belong firmly in the space opera camp.

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Smoking Really is Cool: Irrefutable Evidence Disclosed

November 6, 2009

smoking

Bahhh - the pleasure police are out to get us for everything these days. Call it the Calvinist / Protestant value system our modern day western cultures are ultimately derived from, but all that’s really expected of us is that we pinch pennies, subsist on lettuce and rain water, cultivate an appropriate glare of righteous disapproval and do our level best to never, ever enjoy ourselves. Never mind the loathsomely puritan obsession western society has with outlawing, demonising and severely punishing the users of any substance known to dispense any kind of gratification. Even the simple pleasure of placing an ignited stick of tobacco in our mouths and inhaling deeply of the rich blend of toxic chemicals, carcinogens and nicotine it joyfully emits, is frowned down upon as if it was the favoured past time of the devil himself.

Hey, you’re still allowed to do it - governments derive a lot of revenue out of those expensive cigarette tariffs – but only in the designated areas. Which is pretty much nowhere apart from locked inside your own cupboard while sitting underneath a ventilation system. The simple satisfaction of sitting in a pub or some other den of iniquity while partaking of your favoured beverage and puffing away contentedly on a death dart is an activity now consigned to the dustbin of antiquity. They’ll tell you anything to get you to stub your tab out. Lung cancer and passive second hand smoke and heart disease and whatnot. Well let me ask you this? Whoever heard of an Aztec warrior with lung cancer? Precisely. They even try to tell you that smoking is not cool. Well, here at The Grand Inquisitor we’re not having it. We’re here to tell you that smoking is, in fact, very cool indeed. Not only that, but we have irrefutable evidence to support our case, as you dear reader, are about to discover.

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Despot of the Week #8 – Baron Ungern von Sternberg

October 27, 2009

Baron

“He’s out there operating without any decent restraint, totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct. And he is still in the field commanding troops.”

- General Corman on Colonel Kurtz, Apocalypse Now.

Back in the bad old days of Imperial Europe, before the two Great Wars of the 20th century finally reined in the long history of bloody conquest plaguing the continent, violent psychopaths did not become serial killers. They ruled nations. By the time the 1900′s rolled around, Europe’s aristocracy were the scions of a dozen centuries’ worth of treachery and inbreeding: sociopaths, perverts and lunatics all. Perhaps no other Empire had a crazier nobility than the Russians, and the Russians produced no more demented an individual than Baron Ungern von Sternberg, a fanatic nationalist who came to believe that he was the reincarnation of Genghis Khan. He pursued a bloody adventure of rampant lunacy through Siberia and the Asian Steppes, torturing, plundering and exterminating Jews along the way. He even managed (briefly) to conquer Mongolia. This is the story of a man so unhinged he was convinced that by shooting people, he was doing them a good turn.

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John Bolton Excited by Prospect of Nuking Iran

October 16, 2009
john bolton

Neo-con lunatic John Bolton urges Israel to launch preventive nuclear strike

“John Bolton is the kind of man whom I would want to stand at Armageddon, or what the Bible describes as the final battle between good and evil”

    – Former US Senator and arch-conservative crackpot, Jesse Helms

Good old John R. Bolton. Everybodys’ favourite bushy-lipped neo-con psychopath has just gone on the record to state that the only way to stop Iran getting nuclear weapons is for Israel to go ahead and nuke the shit out of them. The way he see’s it, containing a nuclear armed Iran is simply out of the question, so Israel better hurry up and do it now, before those demented Persians get their hands on an A-bomb and hit the button first. Y’see, in the deformed thought processes that pass for sound reason in the fevered, bloodthirsty neo-con nerd fantasies of a man like John Bolton, all roads lead to nuclear mayhem. Talk like this would’ve had even Dr. Strangelove peddling his wheelchair furiously towards the fire exit. Does Bolton have a hard-on for the A-bomb or what? What is it JR?  Is the thought of unleashing the destructive power of all those big, hard, 10 metre tall nuclear cocks getting you all hot and bothered?

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Kill the American Dream: The King of Comedy Review

October 15, 2009

The King of Comedy

The world is still not ready for The King of Comedy. It bombed at the box office upon its 1983 release, and it remains the most overlooked, misunderstood and under-appreciated film in the collaborative filmography of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. Perhaps the title is too confounding. The King of Comedy is not really a comic film; at least, not in any sense understood by traditional Hollywood conventions. That’s not to say that it isn’t funny. It’s a scathingly funny movie at times. But it’s also disconcerting, painful and ruthlessly honest. More than anything, it’s a condemnation. It’s a spit in the face of modern celebrity culture, of the soulless ghouls who inhabit that world, and the vacuous public multitude that seeks to worship and emulate them. Literally nobody is spared the lash in The King of Comedy. The dead-on characters who inhabit the film’s satirical landscape engage in spectacularly conceited behaviour. It’s a left hook to the jaw of everybody who fell for the cosy lie of the American Dream: that fame and fortune is available upon demand for anybody who wants it badly enough.

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Carrousel d’amour: La ronde Review

October 7, 2009

La Ronde

An irreverent, knowing look at casual sexual desire and infidelity in turn of the century Vienna, Max Ophul’s La ronde is a witty, frivolous bit of cinematic confection, realised in exquisite style, if ultimately somewhat inconsequential. Based on Arthur Schnitzler’s scandalous fin de siècle play Reigen, La ronde is surprisingly risque for its 1950 release date, being far more boldly suggestive than the Hollywood pictures typical of the era. Although less openly graphic than most contemporary movies, La ronde’s flippantly acquiescent stance towards promiscuous adultery still feels rather daring.

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