Author Archive | mortimer

‘The Unbookables’ and the Dark, Not Entirely Pleasant Side of Touring Comics

Elise Czajkowski of SplitSider.com reviews The Unbookables

There are two things to know when watching the The Unbookables: this is a look at a side of the comedy world that’s not often shown, and it’s not going to be particularly pleasant.

The Unbookables Tour is the punk rock version of a comedy tour, founded by Doug Stanhope (an executive producer on the film). The documentary follows the current lineup of James Inman, Andy Andrist, Sean Rouse, Brendon Walsh, Norm Wilkerson, Travis Lipski, Brett Erickson and Kristine Levine on a van tour of Texas, Kansas, and Illinois.

The shows are bad, the lifestyle is crazy, and the comics aren’t particularly sympathetic. Watching the film the first time, my notes include the phrase “unequivocally terrible human beings.”

If there’s a somewhat accidental protagonist of the story, it’s Inman. At the beginning of the film, he’s stealing hydrocodone from a gout-ridden one-night stand.

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The Great White Stanhope: Excess In Moderation

Photo: Tom Brogan (CC)

[disinfo ed.'s note: this original essay was first published by disinformation on February 8, 2002. Some links may have expired.]

I can’t exactly recall how I first came across the peculiar comedy of Doug Stanhope. I think it was just after Disinformation had published an article I had written expressing my controversial opinions of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks (or maybe it was some other article altogether – I can’t recall), however I remember receiving an email from a guy claiming to be a US comedian who said he liked what I had written and that he would add me to his mailing list. I, of course, saw this as an opportunity to put him on my own mailing list (for my site) since being an opportunistic bastard, I like to promote my deranged writings whenever at all possible (well, some poor fucker has got to tell the truth, even if it does mean almost getting lynched, or risking being sued for libel, or having to occasionally hide behind obscure pseudonyms so that I don’t get sacked from my inspiringly creative day job).… Read the rest

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Help Make A Disinfonaut An Astronaut

Smelly armpit deodorising company, Lynx (or Axe as they are known outside the United Kingdom) recently launched a contest to send 22 people into space, and I want to be one of them (vote for me here).

Via Space.com:

The company today (Jan. 9) kicked off its new AXE Apollo Space Academy, an online contest that promises to send 22 winners to the edge of space and back aboard a private spaceship. The winning space travelers will launch aboard a suborbital Lynx space plane built by the U.S. company XCOR Aerospace and operated by the tourism firm Space Expedition Curacao, AXE officials said.

“Space travel for everyone is the next frontier in the human experience,” Buzz Aldrin, who became the second person ever to walk on the moon during NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission in 1969, said in a statement. “I’m thrilled that AXE is giving the young people of today such an extraordinary opportunity to experience some of what I’ve encountered in space.”

The contest is open to men and women in more than 60 countries who sign up on the AXE Apollo Space Academy website (AXEApollo.com) and write about why they should be chosen to fly in space, while others will vote on the entries.

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Elon Musk’s Mission To Mars

Picture: Steve Jurvetson (CC)

Commentary from Media Underground

How exactly is it that SpaceX can do everything so cheaply? Well, it would seem from this recent interview with Elon Musk that there are a couple of reasons in particular. The first being that there’s a tendency for big aerospace companies to outsource everything to subcontractors who then, bizarrely, outsource work to other subcontractors who subsequently – in what seems to be little more than an utter bureaucratic shambles by this point – outsource to other subcontractors and so on and so forth… ad nauseum. As one commenter aptly points out at the foot of this Wired article: “One reason for all that expensively administered subcontracting is that it pleases exactly those committees [who control NASA's funding]. The large projects they favor can subcontract in many different districts, whose congressmen then have a good reason to vote for NASA’s budget. This means the committee members need not trade away any more of their political capital to get the projects that support contractors in their districts.”

In short, SpaceX don’t engage in this subcontracting farce but do it all themselves from the bottom up.… Read the rest

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Peter Russell: The Primacy Of Consciousness

A rather fascinating and important lecture from Peter Russell. Could the fundamental nature of reality actually be consciousness?
In his documentary Peter Russell explores the reasons why consciousness may be the fundamental essence of the Universe. Many have made such claims from metaphysical perspectives, but the possibility has always been ignored by the scientific community. In this talk, he discusses the problems the materialist scientific world view has with consciousness and proposes an alternative world view which, rather than contradicting science, makes new sense of much of modern physics. He presents a reasoned argument that shows how they are pointing towards the one thing science has always avoided considering — the primary nature of consciousness.
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John’s Phone: Subversive Mobile Technology

john01Via Media Underground:

Saturday afternoon and I’d been sitting in my local pub for at least an hour drinking the remains of my second pint of beer. The local clientele were doing their usual: scrutinising their hand-held devices as though they were personal life-support machines requiring constant tweaking and attention.

Meanwhile, on the pub TV, the sordid details of News International’s phone hacking scandal were unfolding live before my very eyes.

“Jesus H. Christ!” I exclaimed out loud. “This isn’t just affecting a small cross-section of the population, this is a goddamned epidemic of massive proportions!”

The fat lawyer sitting in the corner briefly glanced up at me from his iPhone with an expression that suggested a mixture of contempt and confusion, before taking another quick swig of his drink and refocusing his attention on his brightly lit touch screen.

“Whatever happened to coming to the pub to engage in social interaction!?” I exclaimed.… Read the rest

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Torrent Underground: Kenneth Anger’s Original Lucifer Rising With Jimmy Page Soundtrack

Sent to me anonymously, this is the original version of Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising with Jimmy Page soundtrack.

The quality of the VHS tape that I received is far from good, so the digital rip is exactly as is. Given that this is probably the only copy anyone is ever likely to see, I’m sure connoisseurs of the curious and unusual will be delighted to see it nonetheless.

Don’t ask me where I got it — I don’t even know myself. All I can tell you is that I put the feelers out for this about twenty years ago, and somehow it ended up in my lap.

According to accounts, Kenneth Anger originally commissioned Page to compose the soundtrack for this film, however, after 3 years Page had only produced around 28 minutes of material. Page was subsequently fired from the project and the film was released with a soundtrack recorded by Manson Family member Bobby Beausoleil whilst serving time in prison for murdering music teacher Gary Hinman.… Read the rest

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Torrent Underground: Kenneth Anger’s Original Lucifer Rising With Jimmy Page Soundtrack

Sent to me anonymously, this is the original version of Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising with Jimmy Page soundtrack.

The quality of the VHS tape that I received is far from good, so the digital rip is exactly as is. Given that this is probably the only copy anyone is ever likely to see, I’m sure connoisseurs of the curious and unusual will be delighted to see it nonetheless.

Don’t ask me where I got it – I don’t even know myself. All I can tell you is that I put the feelers out for this about twenty years ago, and somehow it ended up in my lap.

According to accounts, Kenneth Anger originally commissioned Page to compose the soundtrack for this film, however, after 3 years Page had only produced around 28 minutes of material. Page was subsequently fired from the project and the film was released with a soundtrack recorded by Manson Family member Bobby Beausoleil whilst serving time in prison for murdering music teacher Gary Hinman.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Torrent Underground: Kenneth Anger’s Original Lucifer Rising With Jimmy Page Soundtrack

Sent to me anonymously, this is the original version of Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising with Jimmy Page soundtrack.

The quality of the VHS tape that I received is far from good, so the digital rip is exactly as is. Given that this is probably the only copy anyone is ever likely to see, I’m sure connoisseurs of the curious and unusual will be delighted to see it nonetheless.

Don’t ask me where I got it – I don’t even know myself. All I can tell you is that I put the feelers out for this about twenty years ago, and somehow it ended up in my lap.

According to accounts, Kenneth Anger originally commissioned Page to compose the soundtrack for this film, however, after 3 years Page had only produced around 28 minutes of material. Page was subsequently fired from the project and the film was released with a soundtrack recorded by Manson Family member Bobby Beausoleil whilst serving time in prison for murdering music teacher Gary Hinman.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Torrent Underground: Kenneth Anger’s Original Lucifer Rising With Jimmy Page Soundtrack

Sent to me anonymously, this is the original version of Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising with Jimmy Page soundtrack.

The quality of the VHS tape that I received is far from good, so the digital rip is exactly as is. Given that this is probably the only copy anyone is ever likely to see, I’m sure connoisseurs of the curious and unusual will be delighted to see it nonetheless.

Don’t ask me where I got it – I don’t even know myself. All I can tell you is that I put the feelers out for this about twenty years ago, and somehow it ended up in my lap.

According to accounts, Kenneth Anger originally commissioned Page to compose the soundtrack for this film, however, after 3 years Page had only produced around 28 minutes of material. Page was subsequently fired from the project and the film was released with a soundtrack recorded by Manson Family member Bobby Beausoleil whilst serving time in prison for murdering music teacher Gary Hinman.… Read the rest

Continue Reading