Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tree Branches in the Evening (1)

I was very busy for a while. Then I was very tired. This was followed by being kinda sick. Now, tomorrow morning I'm hopping on a plane to spend a few days in southern California on work-related stuff....

Anyway, maybe I'll blog a bit from California. In the meantime...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Layers of Wire

Shrink Rap

It has become apparent to me that it's about time for the establishment of some sort of officially recognized hierarchy in the world of quacks. Read (and watch!) in wonder and awe as Scientology blames Al-Qaeda terrorism on psychiatry:
Chairman of CCHR Florida [a "Scientology front group"] Dave Figueroa claims that terrorism is inextricably linked to psychiatry. As he puts it: “behind those individual acts of mayhem you find psychiatrists, you find psychologists and their drugs." In bin Laden’s case it was Zawahiri: “that ideology of terror was coming from bin Laden who was influenced by a psychiatrist and that really is the bottom line."
I can't wait for the Tom Cruise docudrama...

[Link via Daimnation!.]


Words cannot express how utterly envious I am of the guy in this video:

Nothing says "attitude" like nunchaku!

[Via Japan Probe.]

Monday, February 23, 2009

By the River

A little sick and very tired these days. A couple of cell phone pics...

I suppose the argument could be made that standing around in the rain smoking cigarettes and snapping pics on one's cell phone might play some small part in causing one to be "a little sick"...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

In Passing...

A couple of genuine rock 'n' roll luminaries died recently...

It's pretty hard to find a video of The Stooges that features Ron Asheton, their original guitar (and later bass) player. Iggy's a bit of a camera hog...

[Asheton's work with Destroy All Monsters also comes with Kyklops' highest recommendation.]

Lux Interior also died recently. Being the lead singer of The Cramps, he was always at the front of the stage.

"I've got 96 tears and 96 eyes" (from "Human Fly"): yeah!

Obligatory Valentine's Day Post

Taken in December at Nyutabaru Air Show.

Click here if you're curious about Valentine's Day in Japan.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Strawberry Letter 23

Since hearing this song a couple of weeks ago (for the first time in a long time), it's been stuck in my head. I mean, it's a great tune and all, but make it go away! Maybe if I do some funky Ringu-type hex (i.e. get someone else to listen to it), my brain can resume its regular background noise of death metal and stuff...

Shuggie Otis-Strawberry Letter 23

Did you listen? Did you? You have to listen...


As a brief follow-up to some comments I made a couple of weeks ago about inept users of Google, I give you:
Yeah, caps and all... Whatever, dude...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Are You Really that Stupid?

As each post-Obama-election day passes it becomes increasingly clear that the American "right" consists of nothing more than a bunch of whiners and sissies. Big Hollywood is probably the best example of what I'm talking about. How the right can drone on about a "free market" while crying about Hollywood making money on (allegedly) "leftist" movies is quite beyond me.

And really, it's ridiculous and pathetic at the same time to read something like this:
Nowhere is Hollywood bias more blatant than at awards shows. The nominations and prizes provide a remarkable window into the political leanings of the industry. The snub of Clint Eastwood for Best Actor in “Gran Torino” is symptomatic of that overwhelming bias.
Now, as anyone who's been watching movies since anytime before, say, yesterday, knows, Clint Eastwood has been nominated eleven times for Academy Awards (he's won best director and best picture twice, as well as a lifetime achievement award--that's five Academy Awards).

What really pisses me off, however, about the above-linked piece-of-shit-posing-as-political-commentary, is the attempt to whore-out, as it were, a true American icon like Clint Eastwood (and by "true" I mean real, not some bullshit facsimile).

I don't give two flying fucks what Clint Eastwood's actual political leanings are. In fact, since I only "know" Clint Eastwood through his movies, I have no idea how he votes. I have no idea what Eastwood thinks of abortion, of the stimulus package, and a whole bunch of other shit (well, OK, I'm pretty sure he likes jazz).

I'm a huge, and I mean fucking gigantic, fan of Clint Eastwood's body of work. Unforgiven is an existential masterpiece by my reckoning ("It ain't got nothin' to do with deservin'..." Damn!).

Apparently I'm the only guy on the planet who had no idea that Clint Eastwood was/is a political conservative. How can that be? I'll tell you how that can be, in case it isn't so obvious to you. I know Clint Eastwood through his art. He's a fucking artist, not some shill for a bunch of Christ-bothering, knuckle-dragging, racist, sexist, ultimately fucking stupid bunch of losers who wouldn't know a good movie if it came up and bit them on their sorry asses.

Pocket of Light

Cell phone pic.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Bad Plus

Great band with a stunning cover of a Pink Floyd classic. The Bad Plus is basically a 3-piece jazz band (piano, drums, bass) that primarily covers rock and pop tunes. They do an admirable job of avoiding shtick and staying true to the core of the tunes they cover (they do a version of Sabbath's "Iron Man" that beggars description). On their latest album, For All I Care, they've added a very fine-sounding vocalist.

Give this a chance. In particular, as the song builds in the second half, the juxtaposition of the haunting vocals and the band seemingly going off the rails does a nice job of conveying both the beauty and the horror of someone losing his/her mind.

The Bad Plus--Comfortably Numb
Alt. Link

Jugs o' Whiskey

I guess there's nothing particularly unusual about a 4 liter jug o' whiskey (mmm... whiskey...), but I was mildly surprised to come across a booze section while shopping at the newest Yamada Denki here in Miyazaki.

Yamada Denki is Japan's largest chain of electronics shops. Their stores tend to be really big--imagine a WalMart with nothing but electronics--and this new one, aside from being huge, also has a pharmacy, sells kitchenware, booze, and designer goods. Need a new watch? Here they start at about a buck and go all the way up to a Rolex. Pretty clever, if you ask me. The store I was in yesterday recently opened across the street from a competitor's shop (Kojima), which itself had opened less than a year ago.

Saturday, February 07, 2009



Things You Learn as You Get Older...

You know all that lame, stupid shit that used to drive you crazy when you were younger?

Guess what. You're doomed. Doomed, I say, to teach it to your kids.

Tonight, out of the fucking blue, I taught my daughter the "Chicken Dance."

You've gotta believe me. I had no fucking idea that I even knew the chicken dance. I was, like, just playing around with my kid and, next thing I knew, I was teaching her the chicken dance. What have I done? What kind of future am I giving my daughter?

[If you didn't at least crack a smile at that second video, well, have a nice day in hell! Thank you, YouTube.]

Friday, February 06, 2009

Please Don't Adjust Your Sets...

A minor program note for the 3 or 4 of you who drop by here regularly: I've decided that it's a bit awkward and cumbersome to make people who actually know my name refer to me as "Kyklops." Therefore, although this blog will likely always be named Kyklops, posts will now be signed by my real name--Rick...

Huh? Just one name? (you're asking yourselves--or not). Yeah, just one name. I'm like one of those Brazilian soccer players, you know... In fact, if I were a pro hockey player, I think I'd just go by "Rick." Of course, if I were in the NHL using only my first name I'd probably get the shit kicked out of me about 20 times before the end of the first period of the first game I played.

This is just a blog, though...

About 8,392 Kilometers

A Piece of Public Art Near My Place

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

At the Art Museum

This past Sunday I went with my family to the Miyazaki Prefectural Art Museum. There was a big exhibition of young, local artists from all over the city. It must have been quite a thrill for these young artists to have their work displayed on the same walls where frequently hang the works of Monet, van Gogh, Picasso, and the like.

As (I believe) with most museums, the taking of photographs is generally frowned upon. I had to surreptitiously snap the ones below with my cell phone, so I apologize for the poor quality. You can click any of the photos to get a larger view.

As the images below make clear, young Japanese artists have many artistic influences, and follow many of the great artistic "schools." It's quite common for most of these young artists to work together in one large room while honing their craft. Not being especially artistically inclined myself, and having no formal training in the fine arts or art history, it's beyond me to pinpoint the specific influences of each of the artistic groupings you see below. Perhaps you, gentle readers, can help me?

Here's one of the young artists hamming it up for the camera:

And here's a sampling of her work:

Eating Sweet Potatoes after Digging Them Up
and Roasting Them over an Open Fire

Apparently one of the young artists (I think his name was Escher...) was so highly regarded that they put a number of his works in their own room just down the hall.

Maybe next week we'll go check out this Escher fellow...

A Minute or So by the Shore

Just what the post title says...