Facebook Exposed to Wrath of the Breast-Feeders

Reuters – So Facebook’s anti-nudity restrictions have come under fire by mobs of angry breast feeding mommas as the popular social network started removing photos that were considered ‘obscene’ from user profiles.  By obscene, I think we mean ‘showing nipple’.  Each user was additionally threatened with account termination if the photos were re-uploaded.

Protesters argue that breast feeding is a natural act & not obscene – so it should be excluded from Facebook’s policies on pornography.  I might add that sex & defecation are also natural acts but both clearly violate Facebook’s policy (& possibly good taste), so I think the udder commission might not have much cleavage, I mean leverage, there.

On the other hand, far be it for me to say anything derogatory about breasts or the baring thereof.  Is breast feeding obscene?  Not usually, but you know how squeamish some folks are.  If it were up to me a topless shot would be MANDATORY for all female profiles – just so us guys could get an honest look at ya’.  [KIDDING – seriously, nobody wants to see me topless so why would I think like that].

Anyhow, it’ll be interesting to see how this jiggles, I mean ‘shakes’ out.  [I’m such a boob].

IMVU, or How I Wasted My Holiday Part II

imvuI don’t really like ‘chat’ proggies.  I’m basically an anti-social bastard at times & am annoyed by people pulling me into  IM sessions or trying to talk me up when I’m online gaming.  Hey, if I’m gaming then I’m in KILL mode – approach me at your own risk.  ;>

That being said, I DO get verbose when it’s the weekend & I’m home alone.  Often, rather than drink & drive, I’ll stay in.  Best to be safe, y’know? A by-product of my misspent youth is that I do still get rather social (translation – talkative) after a couple of beers.  Enter IMVU.

IMVU is another instant messanging app but with a difference; it allows you to see & interact with others.  Basically Second Life meets AIM.  And while Second Life allows for an expansive RPG-like experience, IMVU requires less of a learning curve & the ability to own a barebones area with no investment.  So for the occasional user such as myself, it’s a decent way to socialize online without too much effort.  Ok, it’s also nerDAY as all hell & may be indicative of severe social dysfunction issues, this I realize.

Regardless, this past week I went on a couple times, & had an expecially unusual encounter one night – even for IMVU.   I ended up dancing in a vampire club until 2am (my avi did, I merely watched) with some blonde vixen who was looking at me like a Doberman views a porkchop.  This was a semi-private chat room I’d stumbled into, apparently.  A rather avant one.

Not sure what was going on here but I ended up dropping off due to the computer issues I mentioned a few posts back.   Can’t help think that my avatar’s pic narrowly avoided ending up on cyber-milk cartons everywhere.

So word to the wise – like anything else, use this with caution.  Http://www.imvu.com, if you care to check it out.  Watch out for the vamps!

Movie Review: Valkyrie

Just got back from the new historical drama ‘Valkyrie’ – which detailed the infamous ‘Operation Walkure’ wherein some of Hitler’s own generals attempted a military coo & assassination on his life.

No matter what your personal opinion of Tom Cruise, go see this movie.  Take your teenage kids if you have them (like I did) & let the script by Christopher McQuarrie & Nathan Alexander educate while it transfixes.   Like any film rooted in actual events, you go in knowing certain key elements but ‘Valkyrie’ still manages to grab your attention & keep you on the edge of your seat just the same.  There is however a refreshing lack of the usual Hollywood panderings to lowbrow ‘action hero’ antics, gratuitous violence or sarcastic one-liners.  Director Bryan Singer (‘House MD’) shows us that history doesn’t necessarily have to be boring by presenting a storyline that is visually terrific, simplified without ‘dumbing down’,  & allowes his ensemble cast to work their craft.

Cruise plays Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who was instrumental in planning as well as carrying out this plot to overthrow the National Socialist control of WWII Germany.   His ability to speak without an accent yet bring believability to the character was impressive to behold.  The beginning narration, done by Cruise IN GERMAN, was enough to fool this dumb American – that I can tell you.

The rest of the cast was a producer’s wet dream, with the likes of veteran talent such as Terence Stamp, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy (who did an especially good job of portaying the jittery Gen. Friedrich Olbricht), Eddie Izzard, Tom Wilkinson and Thomas Kretschmann all turning in outstanding performances.

The audience sat transfixed for the entire 2 hour duration of this film, rarely did anyone even speak.  Afterwards, my twins & I  talked over what we had seen – it was refreshing to see their generation take interest in events over sixty years old.

Naysayers abound for this movie, no doubt looking for Scientology sub-contexts and anti-American rhetoric.  I didn’t find it to be anything of those, instead being an interesting look at the timeperiod & political environ of Nazi Germany, showing that not everyone supported Hitler’s world view.

I’m not a huge fan of this genre but would heartily recommend you ignore the critics & go see this film for yourself.  It’s well worth the time.

MANswers, or How I Wasted My Holiday Part 1

Nothing says Christmas like bad TV.  Really bad TV.  I’ve lost at least 2 evenings this week to watching the marathon of ‘MANswers’ episodes being run on SPIKE TV.

For those unfamiliar with the show, it is a humorous series of baudy questions addressed with tongue-in-cheek reenactments, gratutious cleavage shots & a smattering of factual documentation, answering a trainwreck of stoner-level queries such as “Which Float Better – Implants or Real Boobs?”, “Self Defense Tips in a Bar Setting” or “How to Tell a Real Hooker From a Cop”.  See what I mean?

But ya’ know what – after watching a few of these “dumb” segments back to back, I was hooked.  After all, I might just NEED to know how to survive if my elevator cable gets cut, or how to properly remove a bullet from my own flesh.

Somewhere out there you just know a cult is developing of wasted chip munchers, memorizing each answer for quotation later at their favorite watering hole.

And yeah – count me as one of them.

Fun With Computing

I haven’t  been posting much due to the fact the my computer was deciding to arbitrarily crash on me.  Kinda hard to get anything done when that happens.

After a little research, I had narrowed it down to either power supply, CPU fan or video card.  Was really hoping it wasn’t the video card;  it’s only 2 years old & it would be the most expensive thing to replace.  So guess what it was?  Yep, the video card.

I’m writing this using a second, older card I had laying around.  A little hardware swap, a simple driver update – badda boom, badda bing!  I’m back in business.

Now I’m off to Hooters, where I understand ‘elves’ will be appearing tonight.  Gonna celebrate my computer being fixed by. . . not doing anything on it until tomorrow. Unless of course I get to drinkin’ and need to play some Texas Hold’em on Facebook later.  We’ll see. . .

Hells Fire Sinners – Ravari Room, Columbus Ohio 12/19/08

At Comfest this year, while waiting in the beer line (WHERE ELSE WOULD I BE!?), I met a dude named aptly – Alan Dude.  He told me about his band which mixed Bluegrass, Country & Punk (!!) called the Hells Fire Sinners.   Well, since that time I’ve always meant to catch the boys in concert.  Friday they had a CD release party at the Ravari room, so I checked it out.  Here was the line-up;

The Narcota – Only second live show ever for these guys but to tell ya’ the truth, you really couldn’t tell. Good rock n’ roll with plenty of sweat & attitude. Singer Shawdalicious (it’s what the Myspace says – so I’m puttin’ it here) has some serious pipes, reminding me in a bizarre way of Nina Hagen.  Guitarists Denver & Clint jammed out while channeling some serious Angus Young.  Good bar band which will be interesting to see develop as an ensemble.

Next up was country riotgrl Lydia Loveless, who like every other band on the bill was a hybrid of multiple genres – in her case Folk, Modern Country with a smattering of hard-edged rock n’ roll attitude. Think Jewel, but pissed off and drinking beers.  Accompanied by only a drummer, Lydia sang & played acoustic guitar but don’t be fooled – she rocked it out like a 6 piece.  Almost turned the dance floor into a pit.  Very good stuff.

Following Lydia was the Psychobilly trio known as Vegas 66.  I love good surf & rockabilly, and these guys could serve it up!   Tight and well-honed musically – Jimmy, Jeremy & Rex Vegas filled the front of the stage with dancing maniacs while they took no prisoners with guitar driven tuneage reminiscent of Reverend Horton Heat or the Stray Cats.  I especially liked the vintage gear, it’s not everyday you see a ‘slap bass’ with racing flames down the side or a leopard-skin drumkit – very cool!

In the wee hours of the night, and despite a few technical problems that had plaqued the show all evening,  the Hells Fire Sinners kicked it in [Picture stolen from their Myspace].  As a metalhead, this might not be the band you would expect me to dig but I gotta tell ya’ – they have a unique sound all their own; one part mud stompin’ shitkicker, one part bluegrass harmony.  Another three piece, they consist of singer/guitarist Alan Dude, upright bassist Frank Shepherd & drummer Josh Hewitt.   Songs included ‘Psycho’ (probably my current fav), ’99’, ‘Real Men’, ‘Thick of It’, ‘Almighty Dollar’ and the classic ‘Zombie Killer’.  Hey, what other band dares to play Bluegrass, Punk AND sing about killing zombies!?  NONE, I tell ya’.   Check out the link to hear some of their stuff for yourself.

So at the end of the night, my ears ringing and my eyes bloodshot & tired, I had no regrets about this show.  As these performers tour around the region, I urge you to catch a show if you can.  You’ll not be disappointed.

The Necronomicon [31st Anniversary Edition]

On December 1st of this year, Ibis Press re-released the infamous ‘Simon’ edition of the Necronomicon – a ’31st Anniversary Edition’.  Strange-ass book collector that I am, of course you know I just had to pick one up as all the other hardcover editions have sold out very quickly & demand quite a premium on Ebay – if and when they ever show up at all.

For those unfamiliar with the text it is a book of summoning evil spirits & the like reportedly written in the 8th century by the “Mad Arab” and mentioned commonly in the works of H.P. Lovecraft and cronies (although Lovecraft always maintained the work was fictional).  I have no doubt that this edition is . . . ahem, not what it seems but it feeds my weakness for grimoires & ancient books of lore – even those of questionable origin and authenticity.  Especially dubious is the fact that the editor ‘Simon’, who reportedly disappeared back in the 80’s, will autograph one of the limited edition, leatherbound copies.  Uh, ok – so much for sticking with the backstory, there Simon.  If this were the Witness Protection Program, Big Pussy would have had you already.

Anyhow, this new edition has a more mundane cover when compared to the previous 4 editions, although the raised sigil and lettering on the front & side of the book are nicely done in silvery foil.  The binding is cloth and seems secure enough, but is hardly archival quality.  Typical modern publishing techniques here.  I’m sure the more elaborate leather version is well, nicer.  Not gonna shell out the bucks to find out, sorry.

The text is unchanged from previous editions as far as I can tell with the inclusion of a new introduction as well as maintaining all four previous introductions.  But no additional chapters or ‘bonus’ rituals.  Still, it’s a beautiful piece which needs to be taken for what it is – not so much a work of serious study as it is potentially a prop or conversation piece.  I doubt it be a grimoire anymore than the ‘Essential Calvin & Hobbes’ but do find the interweaving of Sumarian Myth with Lovecraftian characterizations to be interesting & worth inclusion into my library.

And if I hear later bloodcurdling shrieks in the middle of the night, then I might possibly take back my Calvin & Hobbes comparison.  Assuming those shrieks aren’t from the wife yelling at the dog.

The Scenesters

Found a clever site today – http://yourscenesucks.com.  The proprietor/artist Rob Dobi does pretty nifty profiles of about 20 ‘scenesters’ ranging from Emo to my personal fav, the Black Metal Knight [Left].  Each profile has an awesome illustration (complete with a breakdown of the important apparel pieces) as well as fairly spot-on depiction of what defines each scenester – whether actual members of that scene would care to admit it or not.

Pretty hard to make out the details from my smaller version so be sure to check out the site.  I found it amusing.  Of course, I’m not a humourless fuck like some of these folks.

If you find the artwork pleasing, Rob can make YOU into a scenester for a nominal fee of $200.  This includes key details of your apparel (my infamous black leather biker jacket for example, would have to be on mine) and other defining features (tattoos, piercings etc.).

Kinda comicbook-like to me, but that’s ok – I always wanted to be a superhero.  Oh wait, I already am!!