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01 avril 2006


Peter Gabriel's song "Shock the Monkey" was originally titled "Shock the Lemur".

Some of you are probably wondering how we've been limiting ourselves to a single picture of an animal per day here on the site. Well, we've been trying to control ourselves, but those days of restraint are over.

Today we present to you belgianchocolate's photostream on Flickr. Her photos of the fauna in Madagascar are just incredible and in no way related to the piss poor CGI movie of the same name.

The picture above is a lemur, a primate that lives only on the island of Madagascar.

Bonus Lemur trivia: Peter Gabriel's song "Shock the Monkey" was originally titled "Shock the Lemur".

Theatre Review: More Trouble in the UK

Our search for fine British plays continued on the North Side where we took in a timely neighborhood drama and a comic slice of life.

Osama the Hero, Dog & Pony Theatre

“We do what we’re told, told to do.” – Peter Gabriel

A community on edge from a terrorist threat and a fear mongering media goes ballistic when a bomb detonates in Mark’s (Brian Rickel) garage, killing his wife. Gary (Jarrett Sleeper), an awkward high schooler suspended for calling Bin Laden a hero to his followers, is kidnapped by Mark’s neighbors Louise and Frances (Lois Atkins and David Gray), who tie him to a chair and then, along with Mark and his friend Mandy (Kim Purdy), force him to confess or face their wrath. As Sleeper plays the scene, we truly believed he was innocent and no one else cared to believe him.

osama cast.jpgWhat followed was some of the most disturbingly well-staged violence we’ve seen in a long time, a moment where playwright Dennis Kelly and director Krissy Vanderwarker pinpoint the psychology of misdirected rage in the name of national and international security.

Too bad Kelly structures the rest of the play in more static monologues, confessionals, and petty squabbles, staged claustrophobically by Vanderwarker. We reach the climactic struggle familiar with the characters but not terribly invested in anyone. Louise’s stubborn ethical relativism and Mark’s arrested development and frightening pathos were excellently played. They, and these issues, deserve to be part of something bigger.

31 mars 2006

Satire: Fruitcake Wishes and Sledge Hammer! Dreams

Walking around Sea World one day, I saw a woman in the worst getup ever. Black shirt, hot pink lycra/spandex capris, and black heels. I was suddenly struck with a horrifying clichéd '80s flashback. Ugh. Shudder. From there, I was transported instantly to a recurring dream I've had for almost twenty years.

You see, I have this nasty problem. Whenever I hear
Peter Gabriel, I'm sucked into this whirling vortex of every kind of terror involving David Rasche sex. Tell me you've seen those three words (David Rasche sex) together before. Please. Please?

Sledge!It's always the same scenario. I'm lying in bed. As I begin to drift off into a sweet sleep, I become aware of a presence in the room. My eyes open and I see David Rasche, naked, carrying his gun. He slides into bed next to me...
"put your mind at rest," he whispers. I sit bolt upright. He says, "you could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks. You could have an aeroplane flying, if you bring your blue sky back." I'm so tired that it sounds rather sweet, lyrical even. I can't really protest.

He sets the gun off to the side, leans in close to me, nuzzles up to my ear and says,
"you could have a big dipper going up and down, all around the bends. You could have a bumper car, bumping this amusement never ends."

My mind reels. Somehow, his movements are sensuous and the sound of him speaking is as smooth as can be. Thus, he becomes that big dipper, going up and down, and around my bends.

He continues to sing to me, in
Peter Gabriel's voice, "show me round your fruitcage, 'cos I will be your honey bee. Open up your fruitcage where the fruit is as sweet as can be." So I open up my fruitcage and let him go to work on the sweet nectar the little honey bee's craving.

I'm getting into the delicious sensations that he's dishing out. I've forgotten the '80s haircut and the silly tie he has on. Yeah. He was naked except for that tie.

Getting more and more turned on, I feel my excitement building.
"I've been feeding the rhythm - going to feel that power, build in you. Come on, come on, help me do...yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I've been feeding the rhythm I've been feeding the rhythm - it's what we're doing, doing all day and night..." he croons.

He moves away from my
"fruitcage" and stands beside the bed. I ask where he's going. He merely points to the door. I ask, "Will you be coming back? How will I be able to find you?" And he sings, "all you do is call me. I'll be anything you need."

"But, what do I call you?"
I ask."Sledge Hammer!" he replies. And he's gone.

I'm left with a quivering body, horny and aching for more. I am lost in a world of turquoise, neon pink, and lots of tall hair. I can still hear his words. I seek satisfaction, as he's left me hungering for more...
"oh won't you show for me and I will show for you. Show for me, I will show for you." Oh, I'll show him!

Twenty years of this, people. Anything that evokes a massive '80s flashback brings this all rushing back to me.

I want to be your sledgehammer
why don't you call my name oh let me be your sledgehammer this will be my testimony I want to be your sledgehammer why don't you call my name you'd better call the sledgehammer

There's no denying the terrible love/hate relationship I have with those memories. There are days when I pray for 42 episodes of sitcom fulfillment. I have been known to crave a ration of Rasche.

You know, my birthday is coming up soon. Maybe two seasons of some comedic cop video is in order.

My therapist really loves that new car of his.

30 mars 2006

"Crooked Teeth" video is a Peter Gabriel homage

Death Cab for Cutie weathers their major label transition with grace


It sounds fine! So, the "Crooked Teeth" video is a Peter Gabriel homage [after his video for "Sledgehammer"]. Who in the band is the big prog fan?

Chris [Walla, guitarist/keyboardist] is the biggest prog fan. He's like a library of prog bands. I didn't realize in the world how many members of King Crimson have been all over the place. He's always, "That's a Robert Fripp thing." [But] I'll give a lot of credit to Ace Norton, the guy who directed the video. He came up with the concept, put it all together. We just sort of read the treatment and we were like, "That's great! Let's totally do that."

This video is part of Directions. What was the genesis of that project for you guys?

It was an idea that I actually had with one of my friends, Aaron, who I had grown up with. We came up with this idea and brought it back to the band, and said, "Hey, would you guys be into this if we could get it together?" and everybody seemed pretty excited about it. There's actually thirteen total videos. Eleven for the record and then we made two videos for two B-sides. [For] all thirteen videos we ended up hand-picking the director and treatment we really liked. We are so incredibly proud and happy of how the videos have come out and how the project has taken shape.

27 mars 2006

Death in the desert

Here is another example of our steady march of progressive degradation in Iraq.

by Allen L Roland

"The fact is that every war suffers a kind of progressive degradation with every month that it continues, because such things as individual liberty and a truthful press are simply not compatible with military efficiency:"
George Orwell - Homage to Catalonia

Here is a short must see 5 minute flash presentation written by
Chris Floyd with haunting music by Peter Gabriel & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and brilliant flashwork by Richard Kastelein ~ which records a recent criminal and inhumane act of murder committed by the United States military on March 15th, 2006 ~ just another example of our steady march of progressive degradation in Iraq....

This comes on top of a report in the online edition of Time magazine that U.S. Marines went on a rampage in the village of Haditha and deliberately slaughtered 15 unarmed Iraqis in their homes. The Iraqis were still in their bed clothes, and 10 of the 15 were women and children.

The Marines turned in a false report that the civilians were killed by an insurgent bomb. But the evidence of wanton carnage was too powerful. Pressed by Time's collection of evidence, U.S. military officials in Baghdad opened an investigation. Time reports that "according to military officials, the inquiry acknowledged that, contrary to the military's initial report, the 15 civilians killed on Nov. 19 died at the hands of the Marines, not the insurgents.

The military announced last week that the matter has been handed over to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which will rightfully conduct a criminal investigation.

Please watch this moving and powerful video presentation ~

Allen L Roland

Click here to view

26 mars 2006

Peter Gabriel to end humand rights abuses in Burma

Legendary Musician and Activist Peter Gabriel to visit Washington, DC to Urge UN Security Council Resolution, End to Human Rights Abuses in Burma

For Immediate Release: March 23rd, 2006
Contact: Jeremy Woodrum, (202) 223-0300 or Matisee Bustos (718) 783-2000 ext. 306

(New York and Washington, DC) -- Legendary musician and activist Peter Gabriel will visit the U.S. Senate on April 4th to host a film screening and discussion on the need for continued support in ending egregious human rights abuses in the Southeast Asian country of Burma, where more than a million people have been forcibly displaced and the “modern-day slavery” of forced labor prevails.

Gabriel plans to press for U.S. leadership in passing a UN Security Council resolution on Burma. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the authors of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, will host the event. The event, on Tuesday, April 4th at 3:00 pm in room SC-4 of the U.S. Capitol Building, is sponsored by WITNESS, the nonprofit human rights organization founded by Gabriel, and the U.S. Campaign for Burma. The event is open to the public.

“It is long overdue for the UN Security Council to respond to the deepening crisis in Burma," said Gabriel, "we need people of conscience to act now."

Gabriel will introduce the video “Always on the Run: Internally Displaced People in Karen State,” produced by WITNESS’ partner organization Burma Issues, as well as recent footage and testimony showing the increasingly desperate situation inside eastern Burma. Representatives from WITNESS and U.S. Campaign for Burma will be available to answer questions on the situation.

“Always on the Run" captures the fears and hopes of people caught in one of the world's most serious humanitarian crises—forcible displacement in eastern Burma. Over the past decade, Burma's dictator Than Shwe has destroyed 2,700 villages in a brutal anti-insurgency campaign that has left over half a million people homeless in the country's eastern jungles and forced millions to flee the country. Child mortality and malnutrition rates in eastern Burma are now comparable to those among internally displaced persons in the horn of Africa.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights and General Assembly have passed 28 consecutive resolutions condemning the atrocities. Instead of honoring these nonbinding UN resolutions, soldiers of Than Shwe's military regime continue the onslaught—in the past few weeks thousands more persons have fled their homes in fear to hide in the jungle, or cross into neighboring Thailand.

Concerned about the situation in the country and its impact on regional peace and security, the UN Security Council considered Burma for the first time in history in an informal briefing on December 16th, 2005. South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize recipient Desmond Tutu and former Czech president Vaclav Havel have launched a global campaign for the Security Council to go further and pass a formal resolution demanding change.

The video offer insight into just one of the reasons UN Security Council action is merited. Reports make clear that the ruling military junta has engaged in a deliberate policy to repress the democracy movement led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient; and that it also conducts a scorched earth policy against ethnic minorities that includes the destruction of food storage, production sources and even entire villages.

Additionally, the military junta (considered one of the world’s most brutal military regimes) has forcibly recruited 70,000 child soldiers—more than any other country in the world—forced millions into what the International Labor Organization calls “modern slavery,” and locked up over 1,100 political prisoners. ##