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fashion & clothingtravel & foreign lands

Who are the hair police?

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Whip my hair

This week, ifeng.com, a website run by Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV network, reported that there are 28 officially acceptable haircuts in North Korea – 10 styles for men and 18 for women. Unsurprisingly, the styles are pretty conservative – dye jobs are out; nothing spiky is permitted (nothing too long either, even on women) and definitely NO MOHAWKS. [Read more →]

Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: The pathos of Jacko, plus muumuus and balloons

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I’ve been listening to vintage Michael Jackson lately. The ancient stuff.

And I continue to be struck by the transformation MJ went through over the years.

This has been documented ad nauseam, but it still makes for compelling speculation, mostly because the metamorphosis was so stunning. How exactly does one go from wholesome teen idol to David Cronenberg creature? What forces must conspire to create such a mess?

[Read more →]

art & entertainmentmusic

Non-stinky rock n’ roll side projects

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Ah, the rock n’ roll side project: in any long career it’s difficult for a rock star to resist the temptation to indulge. Weary of their official identities, worn out by fan expectations, they seek in a change of name or collaborators a reinvigoration of the creative juices.  So yes: while Mick Jagger’s Superheavy was indeed pretty rotten, it is easy to understand why he joined up with Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, one of the Marleys and that chap from Slumdog Millionaire.

THIS IS BAD, DON’T LISTEN TO IT:


[Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Basketball announcer fired for speaking the truth

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As I sit here watching the Oscars pre-show, I am struck by the odd nature of entertainment. We spend an awful lot of time and money to be entertained, and it becomes such a focus of our daily existence that we are also willing to watch the stars of that entertainment pat themselves on the back for hours on end. Sports, of course, is really just entertainment in many ways, and for some of us, it is our primary escape. The biggest difference between movies and sports is that a lot of people (myself certainly included) often take sports a lot more seriously, to the point that a loss can not only affect our moods for an extended period of time, but can also lead us to anger over very silly and insignificant things. Early this week, the announcer for the University of North Dakota’s basketball team was suspended for two games for using the phrase “choke job” to describe the team’s loss to Northern Arizona last Saturday. [Read more →]

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Goodbye to wrestling?: Another pitiful modern sports story

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Anybody who knows me at all knew this one was coming. The IOC board voted to dump wrestling from the Olympics starting in 2020. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten movie mashups

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10. The Bourne Yesterday

9. Escape to Brokeback Mountain

8. The Empire Strikes Back to the Future

7. Alien vs. Kramer

6. My Left Footloose

5. Dr. Strangelove Is a Many-Splendored Thing

4. No Country for Grumpy Old Men

3. The Dark Knight of the Living Dead

2. Romeo & Dumber

1. Slumdog Squarepants
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

living poetry

Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (Dali)

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#83

There is no time. There’s only memory,
Rows of sodden boxes beneath a sea
So pure that even the sardines have dreams
Of swimming through the sun’s occluded beams.
A bullet from the brain becomes a memory box,
Transfigured by the melting of the clocks.
Floating mountains and rootless trees in pieces
Will linger, so, until duration ceases.
These aren’t headstones of recollection.
Impervious to breath and desiccation,
They can become too numerous to count.
I, for one, would like to know the amount.
Each box retains its substance, color, and shape,
But when it’s opened nothing can escape.

Note: This poem is one of many poems after paintings or images, which can be viewed at the blog, Zealotry of Guerin.

religion & philosophysports

How to predict the future using the Super Bowl

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Those who move in spiritual circles often talk about how we are all connected, that our thoughts create our future reality, and that the universe provides us with clues about our direction in life. Personally, I look at spiritual principles as scientific rules that we just don’t understand yet. Not too long ago, the idea that people could get sick from tiny bugs they couldn’t see or that invisible waves could carry images or music was thought to be magical thinking, until science proved it to be true. So if these spiritual principles are indeed a rule of our universe, there should be a way to test and predict their occurrence. Doing this on an individual scale might prove challenging though, since one person’s thoughts may not have enough energy to make something manifest in a testable way. But what if there were an event that millions of people were focusing on, and this event inspired heated, emotionally charged thoughts that could result in only one of two possible outcomes? If only we had such an event, why, we just might be able to predict the future on a grand scale! [Read more →]

art & entertainmentbooks & writing

The good Stalinist

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Àíäðåé Ïëàòîíîâ

“Hm? What? Stalin? Yeah, I kind of dig him…”

As a fan of Soviet literature, one of my great frustrations is the lack of good writing from a pro-Stalin perspective. There is no shortage of books about the evils of Stalin and the system he created- Solzhenitsyn, Shalamov and Bulgakov all spring to mind- but what about those writers who actually believed in his vision for the USSR? [Read more →]

educationThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that adult education teachers shall carry Taser stun-guns

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 04 AMP: Lately, there has been a great deal of talk about arming teachers — for the protection of the children and so forth. This debate may continue, but the Emperor sees another reason for arming teachers — particularly instructors of adult education (night classes, certification classes and so-forth). Recently (not that he needs it, you understand, but because it pleases him to do so) the Emperor has been attending a particular class and he has drawn this conclusion: the majority of adult-ed. students are egocentric idiots who just want to hear themselves yammer. “I know you already said that the State has not determined what will happen as a result of this situation,” said one graying woman with glasses perched with planned randomness on the top of her head, “but what will happen?” How the professor didn’t respond by smashing her on the bridge of the nose with the spine of his laptop, the Emperor does not know. The professor is to be commended for his patience. But I think we all agree that the woman really deserved to be Tasered. In short, in the future: asinine question = intense electrical shock. Likewise, anyone who raises his or her hand, gets called upon and then opens with “I have a question…” will feel the white-hot fangs of high-amperage at the hands of his instructor. “OF COURSE YOU HAVE A QUESTION, YOU LUMMOX. THAT’S WHY WE RAISE OUR HANDS IN CLASS!” GZZZZHHHHHHH. Perhaps, after pondering for a moment amid the mingled scents of burnt flesh and ozone, the next moron in line will think twice before blurting forth his own extraneous, time-devouring, attention-sponging ejaculation.

The Punishment: Professors and instructors who do not comply shall simply be doomed to keep as they are: suffering at the hands of those over whom they should hold dominion. (It really is an opportunity not to be missed.)

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Should basketball and football players have to go to college?

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Nerlens Noel is a freshman basketball player at the University of Kentucky. Pro scouts and draft gurus all had Noel penciled in as a very high draft pick in the next NBA draft, with some considering him a candidate for the number one overall pick. On Tuesday night, Noel tore his ACL in a gruesome-looking incident during his team’s game against Florida. A debate began immediately about the NBA’s draft eligibility rules, which require a player to be at least 19 years old and at least one year out of high school before he is eligible. It’s certainly possible that this rule may have cost Noel a whole lot of money. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingenvironment & nature

Top ten answers to the question “How cold is it?”

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10. It’s so cold, you have trouble jump-starting your polar bear

9. It’s so cold, TSA agents are required to put on mittens before fondling you

8. It’s so cold, your teeth won’t stop chattering – and they’re still in the glass

7. It’s so cold, nobody’s calling the fire department when their house catches on fire

6. It’s so cold, aquariums no longer really need the glass

5. It’s so cold, a temperature was actually recorded that was colder than the shoulder General Petraeus’s wife is giving him

4. It’s so cold, you hang around menopausal women just for the hot flashes

3. It’s so cold, Victoria’s Secret is now showing its latest line of parkas

2. It’s so cold, you had to scrape the window on your microwave

1. It’s so cold, even your farts have a wind chill factor – it’s fifteen degrees out, but it smells like nine
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

living poetry

Enso (Hakuin)

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Turn over the road
and shove the wheel
beneath the void.
Make a deep breath.
Nothing and its time
can be destroyed.

Note: This poem, which arrived virtually complete in a dream, is one of many poems after paintings or images, which can be viewed at the blog, Zealotry of Guerin. “Enso” is Japanese for “circle.” A calligraphic enso is a symbol for enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and the void.

books & writing

Lisa reads The Punch Bowl: 75 Recipes Spanning Four Centuries of Wanton Revelry by Dan Searing

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If you think of punch as something in bowl with ginger ale, melting rainbow sherbet and fruit juice, this book will change your mind. The Punch Bowl: 75 Recipes Spanning Four Centuries of Wanton Revelry aims to take you back to the glory days of punch, when it was brewed from spirits, spices and not-too-clean water. Our sanitation has improved and so has our taste, which leaves me eager to try some of these recipes.

The book begins with a history of punch, which is actually more interesting than I anticipated.

“…in its golden era, punch embodied all things exotic and expensive: spice, sugar, fruit, imported spirits, and, if the imbibers were trult fortunate, clean water.” [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingliving poetry

Top ten favorite lines for a Valentine’s Day poem

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10. If anyone deserves a special day,

9. It’s you, my Valentine, my dear Maureen.

8. You are so fair, in every single way.

7. With fiery eyes that flash aquamarine.

6. With temperament of self-possessed composure.

5. And touch that makes my very spirit fly.

4. With lips that taste of heavenly ambrosia.

3. Your heart so full of Love, it fills the sky.

2. You make our souls unite, and send us flying!

1. My Love for you is truly death-defying!
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

religion & philosophytrusted media & news

Ex-popes, politicians and pensioner pop stars

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See y’all later… it’s a fine art, knowing when to quit.

This Monday Pope Benedict XVI surprised the world by resigning, making him the first pope to do so in 600 years. Immediately the media was abuzz with countless instant articles on the legacy of “God’s Rottweiler”. Most of it was written by non-Catholics, none of whom have a dog in the fight, but that didn’t stop them from rambling on.

A non-Catholic myself, my response was nonetheless admiration- that the Pope knew when to call it a day. As spiritual leader of 1.2 billion people, it must be difficult to get up in the morning and deal with all that responsibility when you’re geriatric and sickly. I can barely be bothered with it myself and I’m 47 years younger than Benedict and spiritual leader of nobody. But power has a strong allure, and very few people surrender it willingly. [Read more →]

technologyThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that all cell phones are banned

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 555-3342: Seriously, with the cell phones, people. Sweet Jesu. Enough. It’s pathetic. Besides, the only call you really need to hear is the Emperor’s call, n’est-ce pas? All minions of the Empire will surrender their cell phones by midnight, Thursday, so that they may be summarily destroyed. Yes, you heard correctly.

IMPERIAL SUBJECT: Oh, but Magnificent One, what about safety…

EMPEROR: [pinching fingertips and thumb together] PSHHHT!

SUBJECT: But, Emperor…I use mine for work…

EMPEROR: [pinching, again] PSHHHT!

SUBJECT: But, Emperor…I use the GPS…

EMPEROR: PSHHHHHHHHT!

SUBJECT: But… [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Recruit’s mother steals his letter of intent

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Wednesday was the biggest day of the year in the world of college football recruiting: National Signing Day. Over the last several years, this day, and recruiting in general, has become such a circus that I am rarely surprised by anything that happens. Press conferences, hat ceremonies, and millions of people hitting refresh on their browsers are normal occurrences on this day, as people wait to find out if some teenager has decided to play at their school. I have to admit, though, that the saga of Alex Collins was not one I could have predicted. Collins, from Florida, was committed to play at Miami until Monday, when he changed his mind and announced his intention to sign with Arkansas. His mother had other ideas, however, and she not only refused to sign his letter of intent at the signing ceremony, she actually ran out the door with the papers. [Read more →]

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

BurnYourTickets.com

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Like many a sports-crazed lad, I grew up thinking about what it would be like to take my kids to a ball game. We’d be sitting in a colorful arena, watching our team, in the midst of a pleasantly churning crowd, cracking nuts, smiling at the ease and joy of it all. But it’s not like that anymore. Big-time sports at all levels are hopelessly corrupt, egocentric, decadent. You have to be willfully ignorant to look past it all and soak in the simple joys of a game. But we are lollipop heads,so we keep fueling it with our interest. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmusic

Top ten things overheard at last night’s Grammys

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10. “How are LeAnn Rimes and Busta Rhymes related, exactly?”

9. “Yes, I’m Vanilla Ice. Now can I show you to your seat?”

8. “In what month is thing scheduled to end?”

7. “What’s the difference between ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Record of the Year’?”

6. “Exactly when did Taylor Swift join Cirque du Soleil?”

5. “I hear Snoop Dogg got endorsement deals in both Colorado and Washington State.”

4. “I haven’t seen this many commercials since the Clios.”

3. “This year they’re giving a Grammy for Artist Whose CD Was Easiest To Open.”

2. “I’m glad Adele mentioned she was pregnant. For a second there I thought she was up for Best Group Performance.”

1. “Excuse me, but I want to introduce Lady Gaga to the Goo Goo Dolls…Gaga, Goo Goo!…Goo Goo, Gaga!…Oh, and look who just came in: Kajagoogoo!”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

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