- Please send as far and wide as possible.
Editor, The Konformist
Steamshovelpress.com is back! New web content! New book product! New conference information! PLUS: a new, daily, twitterish quip: "Parapolitics Offhand!"
Now available on CD and through US Mail only: Popular Parapolitics, 219 pages, illustrated, of comentary on the nexus of parapolitics and popular culture. $15 post paid from Kenn Thomas, POB 210553, St. Louis, MO 63121.
Wedding Photos: Blueboy & Fluffer
On March 21st, 2012, Konformist employees Blueboy & Fluffer officially became a married couple after living together for a little over a year. Their registry is at Target...
The Konformist Meets Rock Hall of Famers
On March 2nd, Konformist editor Robert Sterling, along with Konformist Kontributor and pal Chris Dolan of Celebrity Circle Television (a L.A.-based cable show from the 80s returning soon after a 22-year hiatus) arrived at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa. The end result: we were within five feet of Rock HOFers Alice Cooper and guitarists Robbie Krieger (of The Doors) & Steve Cropper (of both Booker T. & The M.G.'s and The Blues Brothers band) as they rocked out to a few Cooper tunes. The cause? the Second Annual Patrick Warburton Golf for Kids Tournament, a charity event that benefits St. Jude Children's Hospital, founded by the actor best known as Seinfeld's David Puddy. Steve Cropper was particularly kind, as he and Dolan are old friends, and we had a great time with his wife Angel and his friends. Among the others at the event were fellow Seinfeld alumni John O'Hurley, Jerry Cantrell (former Alice in Chains guitarist), actor Robert Hayes, actor Rob Morrow and comedian David Spade. A pretty mind-blowing event. For more info:
Meanwhile, on March 1st, Sterling & Dolan were at the Golden State Collective Cannabis Lab in Santa Monica for another worthy cause. It was The 420 Collection, an exhibition of paintings by Grace Slick to raise awareness on the issue of medical cannabis. It was a honor meeting Ms. Slick, who literally had a deep conversation with the two of us for over a half hour. A portion of the proceeds went to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). For more info:
The Road from Ruin: California
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Slaloming the Malibu through cavalcades of tumbleweed and dust mixed with the flower petals of Almond trees, I jettisoned myself further away from Barstow. 5 was even bleaker. The northward travail punctuated with signs that read: Congress Created This Dust Bowl with Pelosi's, Costas's and Boxer's names crossed out. NAFTA uber alles. Thought of all the produce I had eaten in my life that was grown in this region. No more.
A bit of rain and fifty degrees gave me relief from the desert harshness I had escaped but the gas station I had stopped at seemed but an odd oasis of sorts. Not meant to be there although the 4.70 per gal. prices said otherwise. I leave and a giant tumbleweed careens into my grill, shatters and vaporizes before the north wind sweeps it away instantly.
Road fatigue didn't set in until I passed through Bakersfield and managed to bail out on a much welcomed side road, working my way through some verdant, mountainous terrain. A tenuous sense of peace pervaded, like being on the cusp of something unique, if not extraordinary. Yet this too was co-opted territory. By what I couldn't tell.
Met my host in a small town at a Safeway, after passing by a lake rendered idyllic by twilight. I followed her through the dark and serpentine roads for well over an hour until we reached a depressed town on the edge of an Indian reservation.
Definite meth stronghold here I felt.The dark didn't really add anything to the gloom, but I was glad when we reached the gate of her property and made it to the top of Spirit Mountain. Greeted by a 140 lb. German Shepherd and a sophisticated Doberman who was a bit demure at first, it was nice to get out of the car.
A pleasant alpine expanse greeted me the next morning, home to Black Bears and Mountain Lions. The terrain seemed content somehow, assuaged by clouds and fog. A bit of climactic respite, although the feeling of something looming prevailed.
Too many high eyes in these parts for a teetotaler such as myself. Stoned is more than just a way of life, rather a blight that makes people content with their own mediocrity. In a trailer, I was forced to listen to this doped up woman patronize a carpenter 30 plus years older than her. She claimed she could see his glowing soul through his skin but I could see otherwise-her cosmically sourced, ulterior motives were quite transparent to me. I got up and left without excusing myself and apparently that offended her from what I heard the next day. Nothing that the acupuncture she learned to do couldn't cure. The scene left me wishing for some needles stuck in my own meridians -primarily in hopes that they would alleviate the lingering disgust I had-for the carpenter-who was more than mesmerized by her uplift rap.
Time to sign off folks. My green tea is getting cold here in this coffee shop. I've got to tough it out at least until the fall. Funny what having no money forces a person to do-just never thought it would be like this-the desperation that is.
Future Theater Interview with Kenn Thomas
March 10, 2012
Tonight's show was just an amazing romp through Kenn Thomas land, where you will hear, as he says on his site Steamshovel Press, "All Conspiracy. No Theory." And I neglected to thank our kind columnist Adam Gorightly for the intro, so I thank him here and now.
We talk about the enigmatic Fred Crisman and the strange way that Kenn was initially drawn into the whole Danny Casolaro story. There's way too much to write about here, so just listen. Then, check out Kenn's books. Welcome to the edge.
You can also download it at The Konformist
Humor Break: Calvin & Hobbes Classic
Photos from Yahoo.com, NYDailyNews.com & DailyMail.co.uk...
Jennifer Love Hewitt of The Client List
Awesome Quotes: Stanley Kubrick
"Never, ever go near power. Don't become friends with anyone who has real power. It's dangerous."
Rock Tour of the Year: Kiss & Motley Crue
As Gene Simmons put it, "Come out, we'll blow shit up, go home and fuck your girlfriend!"
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/kiss-and-motley-crue-announce-the-tour-20120321
Football Moves & Analysis
* Denver Broncos sign Peyton Manning
End result: Good but not great. Whether it's Manning or Tebow, John Elway's team isn't a major Super Bowl threat. They'll probably win the AFC West again, though.
* Tim Tebow to the New York Jets
End result: A terrible move. A better place for Tebow would have been either Jacksonvile or New England, where he could learn under the best behind Tom Brady, like how Steve Young sat for four years behind Montana.
I'm no Tebow hater, but he needs either one of two things to succeed: a team where he is either the clear starter or a competitive option to be one, or a team where he is clearly a backup without soap opera, where he can sit and learn. The Jets are the worst of all worlds, a place already with unproductive soap opera that will only get worst with Tebowmania, and his inclusion in the roster will only rattle an already suspect Mark Sanchez. Instead of having two good QBs this year they will likely have zero.
I'm a big fan of Rex Ryan (hell, the Jets were my Super Bowl pick last year) but I'm kind of worried that he may turn out to be the Billy Martin of football. A smart guy who does know strategy, a great motivator when he comes to a team, but a dude that has an act that runs thin after a couple of years. The Tebow move smacks of desperation, and it doesn't help sway my suspicions at all.
The Jets probably won't make the playoffs in 2012, and don't be surprised if they end up last in the AFC East.
* Jacksonville Jaguars don't land Tebow
End result: The Los Angeles Jaguars become increasingly likely.
* San Francisco 49ers don't sign Manning, sign Alex Smith
End result: If anyone can repair the damage done to Smith's confidence over SF's inclusion in the Manning lottery, it's coach Jim Harbaugh. Signing great receivers like Randy Moss and Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham helps even more, along with what should be the best defense in the NFL. Look for the 49ers to win the 2013 Super Bowl.
* New Orleans Saints get busted over player bounty scandal, leading to coach Sean Payton's suspension by the NFL for the entire 2012 season
End result: Major bad. What would've been in my top three teams to win Super Bowl XLVII (along with SF and the Detroit Lions) probably won't make the playoffs in a highly competitive division, even if Bill Parcells became the temporary coach. Still, the penalties were necessary and deserved for the crimes. Look at the Cam Newton-led Carolina Panthers winning and the Atlanta Falcons getting a wild card. Despite the setbacks, Drew Brees will have another superstar year, and they will be back in 2013.
God Bless America
Bobcat Goldthwait has delivered a movie that may just be the perfect antidote for everything that's wrong in the USA. Here's Richard Metzger of DangerousMinds.net describing it:
The great French film director Jean-Luc Godard once famously quipped "All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl," but it's unlikely that he had anything like Bobcat Goldthwait's outrageous new satire, God Bless America in mind when he said that.
The most vicious, hilarious and timely takedown of American culture since Network, God Bless America follows the downward trajectory of the dismal life of Frank (Joel Murray), an unemployed sad-sack everyman who is given the sort of medical diagnosis that no one wants to hear. Alone, dejected, depressed and suicidal, Frank opts to put a gun in his mouth and pull the trigger, but is distracted by a monstrously selfish Beverly Hills teenager on a TV reality show. In a flash, Frank decides that if he's going to go, he's going to take this pampered brat with him.
Frank's execution of Chloe is witnessed by one of her classmates, Roxy, played by Tara Lynne Barr in perhaps the single most gleefully nihilistic performances a teenage girl has ever given in all of cinematic history. Roxy's Tarantino-esque rant about why Alice Cooper is the greatest, most influential rockstar of all time I mean, she does prove it here beyond all argument is one of the film's comic highlights.
Egged on by his curiously homicidal teen accomplice, Frank decides to mow down more rude, selfish people before his disease takes him. Like a Bonnie and Clyde for the YouTube era, Frank and Roxy embark on a wave of carnage and mayhem, eliminating a blowhard TV pundit based on Glenn Beck, religious extremists and in the film's over-the-top climax, most of the studio audience at an American Idol-type program.
As Frank so earnestly puts it: "I only want to kill people who deserve to die."
Let's hear it for cinematic auteur Michael Bay for being a voice of reason among the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles community. "Fans need to take a breath and chill... Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of 'Ninja Turtles' to help expand and give a more complex back story... We are just building a richer world." His calm coolness is impressive, though I wonder if it's possible to take TMNT to even greater intellectual density than the labyrinth-like tales that rivaled The Sopranos. Also, how do you top hiring Vanilla Ice to sing your theme song?
John Edwards Named in Prostitution Ring
Robalini's Notes: I know Edwards is considered persona non grata at this point, but it's hard to not be cynical that the only three politicians outed in US prostitution scandals (Edwards, Eliot Spitzer and Dominique Strauss-Kahn) happen to be three guys who were potentially the biggest threats to the banking establishment...
Obligatory Dick Cheney Joke
Dick Cheney received a heart transplant from a donor. No word what they did to the donor's body after slicing him open in offering to Satan...
YouTube Special: The Mason's Secret's in the Bible Exposed
Welcome back, Mad Men & Game of Thrones...
Adam Sandler Flick Jack and Jill sweeps all ten categories at the Razzies:
Ashton Kutcher to play Steve Jobs on film:
Tiger Woods wins again:
Magic Johnson becomes the new face of the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership for $2 billion:
12-year-old Tom Schaar becomes the first skateboarder to land a 1080:
The 2012 Basketball Hall of Fame class, led by Reggie Miller, Don Nelson and Ralph Sampson, was announced:
The Kentucky Wildcats (coached by John Calipari, who previously took two other schools two the Final Four without a championship) cruised to victory behind the dominating presence of Anthony Davis on defense:
Meanwhile, Baylor, led by Brittney Griner, won the women's title, capping an undefeated season Griner may be the best female player ever, and they will be decided favorites to repeat undefeated next year, with the possibility of breaking UConn's 90-game win streak in 2013-14:
Chaleo Yoovidhya, co-founder of Red Bull, the energy drink company:
Earl Scruggs, bluegrass banjo player: