Friday, October 10, 2003

Once Were Muthaf**kin warriors.
Allhiphop.com reports that "Ice Cube has signed on to replace Vin Diesel in the sequel to the 2002 action hit, “XxX.” According to Revolution Studios, each subsequent sequel will introduce a new character in the franchise of films.
Vin Diesel starred as an extreme athlete who became a secret agent in the original flick, which was directed by Rob Cohen. Cohen will not direct the sequel and has been replaced by Lee Tamahori, who directed the James Bond thriller, “Die Another Day.” and "Once Were Warriors".

Meanwhile, over on Ebay, Tupac Shakur's Hummer is back up for bids. Seems the winner of the previous auction didn't have the money to pay, and neither did the second highest bidder.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Red, White and Bland.
The White Stripes got interviewed on hip and groovy ol' TV3's News last night - the story consisted of the reporter making three rather bland points - that the White Stripes have been described as the saviours of modern rock n roll, which Jack White was rightly dismissive of; that he has been romantically linked to movie star Renee Zellweger, which Jack replied to, saying that he was interested in the creative life, not the public life, and when he goes to a musem to look at paintings, he's not interested in what Salvador Dali had for breakfast; and the reporters final comment was on their ticket price of $80, saying for that much they better be good. He also mentioned that Kate Moss was in their last video, for I Don't Know What to do with Myself; but made no mention of Burt Bacharach. Not the most impressive piece of research on the questions front. Sigh.
All I could think was how cool it would have been to see Dylan Taite interviewing the White Stripes. His presence is sorely missed from our screens.

There's a panther wandering round Ashburton, Roy Horn (of Sigfried and Roy) gets critically injured by one of his tigers on stage in Las Vegas, and the New York Police have to deal with a 400 pound tiger being kept in a Harlem housing project. The tigers owner, Antoine Yates, went to hospital for treatment for 'pit bull bites', but hospital staff were sceptical and alerted police, who discovered the tiger living in Yates 5th floor apartment. Yates also had an caiman (alligator-like creature), and had kept them for the last two years.
"Yates, increasingly hard-pressed to control the tiger, apparently decamped to a nearby apartment. He continued to feed the beast by throwing raw chickens through a door opened just narrowly enough to keep a paw the size of a lunch plate from swiping through, neighbours said.
The big cat-ty family started to unravel on Wednesday when Ming the tiger mauled Yates, 37, as he tried to stop him from attacking a pet kitten.
Yates bought the tiger from a couple in Minnesota, who also sold him a lion cub. It wasn't in the apartment when Police went in - where is it?
Here's some pictures of the tiger.
Reports of the tigers weight vary between 400 and 600 pounds. Some news reports also claim it was in a Manhattan apartment, not a Harlem one.
Its just so ghetto.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Bring the noise
Chuck D and LL Cool J testified at a senate hearing on recent legal action by the recording industry to stop file sharing recently.
MTV.com says that Chuck D wasn't about to let online freedoms be curbed. "P2P to me means power to the people," he said. "I trust the consumer more than I trust the people at the helm of these [record] companies."
LL used a rather bizarre metaphor to render the practice of illegal file-sharing down to its basic element: stealing. "If a contractor builds a building, should people be allowed to move into it for free, just because he's successful?" asked Mr. Cool J, as he was addressed at the hearing. "Should they be able to live in this building for free? That's how I feel when I create an album or when I make a film and it's shooting around the planet for free."
What kind of werd-ass housing arrangement is LL down with? If you read that back, in a sense its like he's saying sharing files is like living in a house that someone else had built. Let him keep working for the man.
And Chuck D? He's still on point. This is from his column on PE's website...
"... 911 is no joke now… and here we are two years later... the truths are still hazy and tucked. Thousands of people perished two years ago from a day of tragic infamy. Today the aftermath of the IRAQ invasion, as well as the AFGAN bum rush also has thousands killed, soldiers are getting knocked off on both sides... the Middle East has a suicide bombing every week and can’t get it together, the peeps keep catching hell, and the headz are all still here. The names BUSH, BIN LADEN, RUMSFELD, COLIN, CONDE and SADDAM all sound like characters from an HBO TV show. Again, somebody’s not telling the truth. Governments are the cancer of civilization."

Monday, October 06, 2003

San Quentin, I hate every inch of you.
I ended up watching two tv programs this weekend featuring prisons. Friday was Breaking the Silence: Truth and lies in the war on terror, a documentary by journalist John Pilger (thanks to the NZ Herald for thoughtfully renaming the show The War is a Fraud, just in case you weren’t familiar with Pilgers leftie leanings), and the other was Johhny Cash Live at San Quentin.
Pilger set about examining the war in Iraq, backgrounding the reasons given by the American and British leaders for the war. He picked apart their flimsy justifications, til there was nothing left but bones. It was very depressing.
He showed more of those sickening images of the prisoners of war, or 'enemy combatants' as the US calls them, held in shackles, blindfolds and masks in Guatanamo Bay. The 641 detainees have no rights under the Geneva Convention, as the US doesn't consider them POW's, and they haven’t been charged with anything. They’re in limbo.
He interviewed such US neo conservative hawks like William Kristol, who wrote the document for the right wing group Project for a New American Century suggesting Saddam's removal(supporters include Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, John Bolton). When Pilger asked him about Americas new role, in attacking solid democracies, he said they have never done that. Pilger corrected him, noting that America has intervened in other countries 72 times since the Second World War. You really don't try and play fast and loose with a journalist of the calibre of Pilger; he does his homework. Kirstol responded by saying that Pilgers claims were ludicrous. Cut to a list in alphabetical order, scrolling down your tv screen, naming all the countries. When he interviewed US Undersecretary of State John Bolton, after the interview finished, Bolton made a dig at Pilger, saying “Are you a member of the Labour party?” Pilger shot back, “no they’re the conservatives in my country”. “You must belong to the communist party,” replied Bolton, laughing. Yeah, funny.
A former senior CIA officer and personal friend of George Bush senior said that when Bush senior was in the Whitehouse, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld were commonly known as ‘the crazies’. That’s what the Whitehouse thought of them, then. Now, they’re in power. Pilger dug up footage of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam, back in 1992, when the US was supplying Iraq with chemical weapons.
Watching this made me think how can powerful men live with themselves, when they appear on my tv night after night telling lies to maintain their status quo? Pilger’s final words talked of there now being two superpowers, the US government of George W Bush, and the rising tide of public opinion. He talked of the battle between these two forces, closing with the observation that "If we remain silent, victory over us is assured."

And there’s the late Johnny Cash, singing "San Quentin, I hate every inch of you..." inside San Quentin, to the prisoners, back in 1969. You wouldn't get away with that today; the powers that be woudn't allow it. They'd want to vet your material, check your lyrics first. The modern equivalent might be letting Ice T into a jail in LA to sing Cop Killer.
Cash's performance is amazing; what a brilliant storyteller. He talks about a song he wrote, about getting arrested in Mississippi for picking flowers, and spending a night in jail. "Imagine what they'd do if I'd picked an apple!"
The latter part of the film is intercut with prisoners telling their crimes, and it comes to one prisoner who tells about going to a party, making a pass at a girl, and at the end of the night there's just him, the girl, and her 12 year old son, who was in bed asleep. He and the woman were on the couch, the son comes in and says what are you doing to my mother, and the guy ended up strangling them both - he didn't know why he did it. He got taken to court, found guilty and the judge sentenced him to death. The rest of the film switched between Johnny Cash's performance (including the first public performance of A Boy Named Sue), the prisoner, shots of the gas chamber, and a guard describing the routine of a condemned prisoner. Sometimes I despair for this world, and then I just get angry. Hats off to Bruce Springsteen for saying impeach the President.

I went to the Auckland vs Northland rugby game at Eden Park on Saturday - watched Auckland run out onto the field to my song R U Ready, for the second time. As they ran out I turned to the field, and there they were - half a dozen of those agile young women for the Auckland Sky City Cheerleaders on the sideline facing the stands, dancing one of their routines.... to my song! It doesn’t get much better than that, aye.
Auckland won 50-17, moving up from 8th to 4th in the NPC championship. I wanted to get there earlier, as the Black Ferns (NZs world champions womens rugby team) were playing a World XV - I saw the last ten minutes. There was absolutely nothing about the game in The Saturday Herald, and the Sunday Star Times had no coverage of the game either - good on you, tv news for covering the game. The Black Ferns won 37 nil. They are seriously good.

Thanks to the Guardian’s list of the top 40 bands in Britain today, I now know that there is a band in the UK called Selfish Cunt. For some weird reason, the Sugarbabes sit at number 14 while Mr Scruff is at number 38. That is just wrong.