Tuesday, March 30, 2010

DARK OF THE SUN(1967) Original Theatrical Trailer

Wow. This movie looks incredible. The werewolf read and enjoyed the Wilbur Smith novel of the same name several years ago and wonders to what obscure vault this film has been banished and why.

He is aware that two other Wilbur Smith novels Shout at the Devil and Gold had been ttranslated into obscure films, featuring Roger Moore and Lee Marvin. However, this film has somehow slipped through the cracks of recognition and acknowledgment. It is definitely on must-watch list, even if he has to scrabble to find a VHS version and watch it in some halfway house.

The werewolf finds few tales are as compelling and fascinating as those of mercenaries in post-colonial Africa, imagined or real. Ever since he was a whelp, such tales have played to both his darkest and most passionate musings and aspirations of himself and on humanity. It's been a consistent interest that never chills or gets too hot in intensity. The werewolf has always been captivated by the storied endeavors of Mike Hoare and Bob Denard. Simon Mann, or what's left of him, is someone he would like to have drink with some day.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Cure: Close To Me (Acoustic)

There is nothing like the The Cure for some easy Sunday afternoon listening.

Iron Man 2: Trailer

Although he enjoyed reading some comic books as a little boy, the werewolf has been profoundly disappointed by most comic books translated into film over the past decade. In fact, he has little interest in most of them anymore. The exceptions being Chris Nolan's rebooted Batman franchise, the refreshingly pessimistic and dark Watchmen (which nobody liked but the werewolf), and Iron Man.

While he did't love the first installment of Iron Man, he found it generally decent and watchable as an experiment in cinematic escapism. Iron Man owes its' acceptability to the infinite and quirky charm of one of the werewolf's favorite actors, the human train-wreck that is Robert Downey, Jr. Beyond having an incredible soundtrack appropriately provided by the grand masters of hard rock, AC/DC, which unto itself causes a loud blip on the werewolf's radar; this new installment features Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel Jackson.

Like Robert Downey, Jr., Mickey Rourke is one of the werewolf's favorite Hollywood fuck-ups. Back in the day, Rourke proved his awesomeness in Diner, The Pope of Greenwich Village and Angel Heart. Sure he has had to reinvent himself almost as much as Madonna over the last three decades, but he pulls it off. From what little the preview shows, he seems well-suited to play some filthy, soul-less Russian villain. Check!

Scarlett Johansson is just incredibly sex-able. The werewolf would go to great lengths to woo and mount her, should the unlikely opportunity ever present itself. Check!

Samuel Jackson has been the werewolf's favorite angry black-man since he saw Coming to America and Pulp Fiction many moons ago. Hence, the werewolf just watches him in hope that he'll pull some righteous "Ezekial 25:17" whoopass on someone.Check!

Anyhow, between the promising music, imrpessive cast, and hopefully some cheese-dick comic book action, the werewolf is not ashamed to allow his inner geek out and line-up for Iron Man 2 next month.

SAABstory on notice

As he has noted previously, the werewolf is stuck in a rather loveless and stress inducing relationship with an uncooperative 2003 silver SAAB 9-3 he has driven for the last seven years. This automotive beast from Scandinavia is known as the SAABstory. He has likened her to a spiteful and vengeful ex-wife that is out to undermine your bank account at every corner, while simultaneously stressing you out, and rattling your cage for perverse shit-and-giggles. She has no remorse, no emotion, no accountability to anything other than the proliferation of headaches and misery on the werewolf. Lately, the SAABstory, clocking in 93K miles, has begun to show signs of leprosy. The air-conditioning and heating motors crapped out last February in the dead of winter leaving the werewolf to rely on the heated seat feature. There is a flaw in the seal of the passenger door causing a small flood on the floor with each rain. The passenger side floor is beginning to resemble the 9th ward of a post Katrina NOLA.  The CD player is beginning to act ticky and skips when it pleases. On principle, the werewolf refuses to bend over and sink scarce cash into this venomous and vindictive bitch, and he intends to drive her into the bloody ground, yet, she has been trying his patience lately. He would hate-crime her her if could, but sadly, the need to have a modus transportation trumps the righteous blood-lust for the time being. Read it here first, the werewolf is like an elephant. He keeps score and never forgets. When granted the ability for just vengeance an on account of the years this loveless and abusive relationship has subjected him to, he will take his many of pounds of flesh!

Obama: Broken promises and diplomatic incompotence

The shifting sands of international relations tend to see relationships defined by convenience and various short-to-medium term mutual objectives. Commerce, trade, defense, technology, mutual enemies, and even shameless posturing on issues such as human rights tend to define short term and mutually agreeable objectives that drive the relations between countries both positively and adversely.  During the Second World War, the United States and Britain shared a bed with the evil Stalin led Soviets to defeat the Nazis. In the 1970s the United States threw some tacit support the way of Red China to undermine the Soviet credibility and cause fissures within the global communist community. The apartheid regime in South Africa shamelessly threw their struggling allies in Ian Smith's Rhodesian regime under the bus, to get the west off their backs on a short-term basis. The fractious behavior of the French and vaginal attitudes of the Europeans in general display how weak the essence of the NATO alliance really is, especially in a post Warsaw-Pact and Soviet era. In the end, like a healthy and successful marriage, finding a truly dependable international relationship that transcends the short-term interests of convenience that normally define global diplomacy, is something sacred that should be be nurtured and cherished. 

There was this great myth pimped during 2008 election that America had a damaged reputation in the world on account of President Bush's robust diplomatic efforts. Certainly, segments of the retrogressive anachronistic European establishment and America's enemies have played this myth up, as their reflexive anti-Americanism would predict. Whatever your thoughts on that may be, and the werewolf treats such claims with skepticism, it is becoming tragically obvious that Obama has become more poisonous for America's international and diplomatic standing, then the previous occupant of the White House could ever hope to have been.

According to the Times of London:
"BRITAIN’S special relationship with the US — forged by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt in the second world war — no longer exists, says a committee of influential MPs."

The article goes to talk about key domestic pressures and a mild backlash to Tony Blair's stewardship of Britain, yet it is no secret that the Obama administration has displayed a shocking ignorance, retardation, and frankly pathetic sense of tact when dealing with America's closest ally and spiritual forefather. Between returning the bust of Churchill, refusing to hold a joint meeting of state, giving the Queen of bunch of DVDs coded for American electronics along with an iPod loaded with Obama's speeches (vain fucker), and rhetorically undermining the sacred relationship at every corner from dealing to Argentina to speaking about the nature of the relationship itself. The American people are bearing witness to the deliberate and intentional disintegration of one of the greatest historical legacies diplomacy ever known. The severe costs are obvious, yet, the benefits this are completely lost on the werewolf. Like being estranged from your closest family and friends, it saddens him to realize that America be cast adrift from the only relationship that potentially transcended the bullshit of normal inter-state relations to fill the myopic left-wing ignorance of the current POTUS. (Canada, Australia, and New Zealand also fit in this mold, but they are lesser players.) Although not without itself nuances and challenges; few things can beat a common language, legal heritage, diplomatic and historical ties forged in the heat of the greatest wars ever fought, along with key cultural compatibilities make the USA-UK something worth preserving and fighting for.

If someone can explain the contrasting upside to squandering this other than to please ignoramuses of the left, please make the case. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Is it really Saturday?

Despite being a tad nippy outside, it's a rather a stunning Saturday here in the District. The sun is shining and the cherry blossoms are beginning to emerge. As the werewolf drove into work this morning, he was briefly mesmerized by the wonderful spectrum of color provided by the throngs of kites be flown on the national mall. He regrets not being able to snap a picture, as it made for a fantastic visual. He was also infinitely amused by the ragged looked human derelict on a beat-up old bicycle who had an 1980s era battery operated ghetto-blaster strapped to the frame, blaring some sort of heinous rap, as he wove in and out of semi-gridlocked traffic. The werewolf appreciates humanity in the raw on occasion.

Although still busy, this week was far more sedate than his first week in DC. The werewolf was able to be semi-social on one occasion this week. He was reintroduced to an understated and agreeable pub near Dupont Circle known at The Darlington. Not too snobby, nor too dingy, reasonably priced, with an acceptable variety of spirits, it has the making of a venue where the werewolf can imagine himself holding court on occasion. It was an interesting night, because the werewolf discovered a new spring appropriate beer, Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat; crisp, refreshing, with a hint of fruit, it is very easy to drink by the pitcher. It’s similar to Blue Moon, but doesn’t feel as heavy. The lascivious vixen from a fortnight yore also serendipitously entered stage left for a portion of the evening. Since it was a weeknight, and work was on the agenda early the next morning, no tomfoolery ensued. However, the werewolf will never complain when a pretty young fox enjoy his tipsy musings at agreeable venues.

It’s a Saturday afternoon, and there a dozen better places to be sniffing around than being online, so the werewolf is off to capture what is left of this weekend.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead! - The Wind And The Lion (Original Trailer)

As he cryptically suggested a few weeks ago via this post, The Wind and The Lion is perhaps the finest film the werewolf has ever seen that captures the essence of American exceptionalism and entrance onto the global stage as a power player. The werewolf never truly understood why John Milius’s 1975 adventure classic never made it big as the iconic American classic. let's not fool ourselves, it is without question the epitome of cinematic awesomeness. If the werewolf were a history teacher (something that may not be to far off in this economy), this film would be required viewing for his poor students.

The film is an adventure classic of the highest order. Take 2 parts Barbary pirates, 2 parts innocent American ex-pats, 1 part U.S. Marines, a dash of scheming and ruthless European imperialists, a twist of decadent Muslim sheiks, a whole lot of exotic Moroccan landscapes, and throw in 2 parts of  Teddy Roosevelt in the raw for good measure, shake it up and serve on a screen. On those merits alone, it rates highly. Now imagine Sean Connery, Candance Bergen (in her pre-Murphy Brown prime), Brian Keith as Teddy Roosevelt, and the man with the greatest voice ever, John Huston, as Secretary of State John Hay. Like a classic cocktail mixed to perefection, you will not be disapointed by the cinematic brilliance that ensues.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guilty Pleasure: Wang Chung - Dance Hall Days

Do you have a song you absolutely adore for no good reason? I do.

Wang Chung is a very decent (the best of era defining mediocrity that is) 80s new wave act. They have a few recognizable notches on their belt and they managed to land the score to William Friedkin's superb crime saga, To Live and Die in LA. They are one those forgettable one-hit-wonder bands, that have that one song the werewolf loves unconditionally. However, he would refuse to see Wang Chung live (hopefully they've long since retired) on account of the fact that their intrinsic mediocrity may ruin his cherished, if not inexplicable love affair with "Dance Hall Days." He likes the relationship just the way it is.

"Dance Hall Days" makes the werewolf bounce. It's his happy song. The ultimate guilty pleasure pick-me-up. Not unlike real key lime pie. If he is out, prowling about, and has been properly lubricated with alcohol, this song has been known to prompt him to grab a female in close proximity and start dancing like shameless goof. Or to just start bopping like the jackass he is known to be at times. He always liked the horn section and sax portions of this song. Like crushing on the nerdy chick, it's the favorite song he'll never list because it is so out there compared to his other preferences. Here's to savoring those inexplicable guilty pleasures that add-value for no apparent reason.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

David Bowie: Rebel Rebel (live)

As mentioned in an earlier post, the werewolf is convinced that David Bowie just gets better with age. Here's one of his best songs.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A week in review

The werewolf apologies for being a truant blogger. So much has happened this past week. The transition from having an abundance of free-time to managing a scarcity of it has adversely impacted his blogging. Much to his eternal dismay. It's about half past eleven on a Friday night, and the werewolf finally has enough time to try and pound out an overdue post.

The weekend looks to be as chaotic as this past week was. Tomorrow morning, in true Kosavarian refugee style, the werewolf packs up his meager possessions into the Saab-story, and moves from downtown DC, to a small, but tranquil neighborhood in a northern pocket of DC. He's renting a furnished room in a rather nice, if not slightly cluttered house, from this strange older lady with bohemian inclinations, who has two cats for the next few months. (The werewolf believes that dogs are man's great ally in this struggle called life, and has absolutely no utility for cats. Plus, he is inherently skeptical of women with cats.)

As much as he loves crashing on his dear friends' couch, with all of the gourmet food, regular consumption of alcohol, the inclination toward tomfoolery, good company, and great location; being the third wheel attached to happily married couple in a small, but charming, urban loft isn't conducive to healthy long-term outcomes of one the most cherished relationships a werewolf can have. The move will get interesting because tomorrow is the Washington, DC marathon, and all easy routes from point A to point B are obstructed.

However, there is an additional hiccup to the weekend. The werewolf has been asked to work eight-hour shifts on both Saturday and Sunday. This doesn't bother the werewolf in the slightest, as he is prepared to work his paws off and the work being done is on the front line of the trenches of the upcoming health care vote in the House of Representatives. (It's grim looking folks, the dastardly dems are within inches of marshalling the needed votes to ensure we are on a road to serfdom.)  Since arriving in DC, the werewolf hasn't really had a chance to catch his breath properly. It looks like it will have to wait until next weekend. That being said, the shift from stale idleness of unemployed exile to frenetic overwork is embraced with the alacrity and joy of being reunited with your favorite lover.

The job is interesting. The werewolf works as a staff member for the political communications arm of one of the Republican congressional campaign outfits. The hours are long, 8am to 7pm, on a good day. But the days have yet to drag. They actually fly by much quicker then the werewolf's old days in the insurance brokerage or as vassal in the tobacco castle. There isn't a moment that has gone by this week with out the screaming chorus of buzzing phones, floods of emails, pressing deadlines, and such. Oh, the joys of a political press operation. While exhausting, it's good place for him at the moment. Plus, it's quite the cast of characters with whom he works. Expect some forthcoming posts about the girl whose laugh sounds like a warthog being gassed, the Kardashian wannnabe, the congresswoman who won't stay on script, and the mysterious soup filled crock pot that pops up in the oddest places.

That's all at the moment. Please bear with me as I get my ducks lined-up. In the meantime, have a great weekend.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Police: Man In A Suitcase (live)

Unlike certain fine wines, the Police did not get better with age. That doesn't discredit the occasional hit they produced during their later years, nor is it an attempt to impugn Sting's strange, yet occasionally decent solo career. Quite simply, they just happened to produce their best stuff during their first act. Their Zenyatta Mondatta album and its edgy blend of punk, reggae and new wave is unreal and never ceases to be a great listening experience. "Man in A Suitcase" may be the best Police song you have never heard before given all of the self-pitying strange musical experiments, like "Every Breath You Take," that seem to anchor their reputation by today's flaccid standards.

It's been an interesting few weeks for the werewolf. Last week he rejected the gradual stagnation of exile in suburban New York and relocated to Washington, DC, to pursue an opportunity in politics. Exile is still far from over.

The werewolf is grateful that his best friend of many a year, the Legal Beagle, has a loft in Chinatown and has allowed the werewolf to crash on the couch for the time being. A fringe benefit has been being spoiled by the Legal Beagle's gourmand wife, as he just watched her pack his lunch for tomorrow. It'll be hard to leave both the good company and excellent food that the Legal Beagle's yuppie domicile provides. Valuing relationships and nurturing credibility have been some of exile's key takeaways thus far.

This weekend will mark a strange new chapter in exile as the werewolf sublets a room in a house from a old hippyish, cat lady. They say life comes at you fast sometimes. No shit. The price is right for the time being and it gives the werewolf the ability to chase his dreams. Even though he will literally be a man in a suitcase for the next two to three months.

The abrupt move to DC has done wonders for his confidence and sense of self-worth. In some ways, the werewolf is beginning to reconnect with his long lost mojo. A prized characteristic he thought had atrophied months ago.

To celebrate his moving to DC, the werewolf allowed himself out of the cage and behaved as if the moon was full this past Saturday night. Although rusty and a tad humbler than before, he is pleased to announce that he hasn't lost his ability to be pleasantry pleasantly reckless and wild under the right circumstances. Someday he hopes to recount the improbable debauchery that ensued.

Yesterday was the first day of his transitional political job. It went well. The next few months will require some ball-busting labor, humble, but hungry attitude, and an appetite for risk. But for the first time in a long while, the werewolf feels slightly human. A-hoooo!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Intergalactic twits.

Some people have no shame. Really. While the repulsiveness that is John Edwards is abundantly clear, there is something really creepy about his new age psycho love bunny Rielle Hunter.

From the recently published GQ expose on this tired and sordid affair, Rielle advocates her own version of crazy like a champ.

"Why do you think he loves you?
Um… How do I answer that? [long pause] I mean, I could give so many answers. I could give a spiritual answer, that I reflect back to him large parts of himself that were unconscious. Like, he's a huge, huge humanitarian. He is very kindhearted and sweet. He's very honest and truthful. And all of that was hidden."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Funny Friday: Charlie Murphy's true Hollywood stories. Rick James Pt 1

This clip sling-shots the werewolf straight back to the reckless innocence and sincere humor that guided him through college. The Dave Chappelle Show was all the rage back in the day. It enjoyed true success on the merits of its hard hitting humor. Like Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, from days of yore, Dave Chappelle used to be hilarious. Why is it so seldom that great comedians can keep their edge?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

John Carpenter's Vampires Soundtrack - Cruel Highway - Looking Back

A song's ability to transport one back to a specific time and place can be be remarkable. Pictures can occasionally do the trick, but they can trigger different reactions as well. "Look at how thin she was back in the day," "wow, who knew you has such a thick head of hair," "those are the goofiest glasses," or "that's not you in the flannel shirt, is it?" Sometimes the right song unleashes a torrent of recall that transcends the imagery we occasionally get hung up on and recreates the atmosphere and emotions of a time. Bypassing nostalgic bullshit helps paint a more honest picture of from whence we came.

This most random song selection from John Carpenter's Vampires (a B-movie enjoyed by the werewolf) yanks the werewolf back to the winter of 2000 in New Hampshire. The maverick McCain had just captured the primary in that small state from GOP heir apparent George W. Bush. An inch or two of dirty snow on the ground defined the daily walk to class. The blistery winter wind had edge to it that the werewolf's inner-Californian never truly accepted. Uncertainty loomed. What college would he be bound for in a few months, was he really in love for the first time, what the hell was waiting ahead?

Specifically, this song brings him back to Christine Robinson's senior English seminar in a musty basement classroom in Phillips Hall. Exeter was famous for old buildings with worn down and scuffed stair cases and that constantly served as a reminder of the legions of students who had proceeded us. Exposed pipes, old bricks, no windows, and an ancient chalk board were all defined accents of that room. The crusty old lesbian ran a thoughtful classroom. Even if she didn't shave her armpits, she knew how to get you to think about what you read and tried her damnedest to make better writers of us all. No easy task when it came to the obstinate werewolf.

Specifically, he recalls an involved discussion about Quentin Compton's suicide in Faulkner's haunting novel The Sound and the Fury. It was one of the grimmest, darkest, and oddly thought-provoking classroom discussions the werewolf ever participated in. Later, a veteran and friend from the werewolf's time in Richard Morante's infamous Latin class, who was also an active participant in the aforementioned discussion, took his own life. The werewolf has been unable to pick up The Sound and The Fury since that dark day.

Being an open, liberated lesbian, Robinson would occasionally get a tad preachy and talk about famous gays to make her feel like some sort of important social change agent or whatever. Being a Los Angeleno, the werewolf recalls an odd conversation where she brought up gays in Hollywood. She asked the class to name famous gays and lesbians. Being a fan of older films and film history; Rock Hudson, Roddy McDowell, and Raymond Burr all came to the werewolf's mind and he blurted them out. She then added "did you know Errol Flynn was gay?" The werewolf said something to effect that he didn't care to know who was gay as long as John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Steve McQueen, Sean Connery, Cary Grant, and Charleton Heston continued to be Hollywood bad-asses and weren't going to be subjected to some-sort of revisionist rewrite of history that would diminish their respective legacies. Talk about a conversation killer.

Lastly, the werewolf recalls reading Othello in that classroom and actually snapping at a female classmate who kept referring to Othello as an African-American. It wasn't the first time he saw the pernicious impact of political correctness corrupt a talented mind's ability to judge history, but it was one of the more memorable instances.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oingo Boingo: Just Another Day

This is one song where you will want to turn up the volume. Trust me.

Growing up in Southern California, it's hard not to be an Oingo Boingo fan. I vividly recall the preferred rock station of my teenage years, 106.7 KROQ, hosting the occasional Oingo Boingo Halloween special featuring their most well known hit, "Dead Man's Party." The werewolf always loved their provocative and somewhat shocking "Little Girls."

Only recently has their talent on stage become apparent to the werewolf. Sadly, the band is permanently out of commission on account their lead singer's partial hearing loss. Tragic. At least clips like this can do their legacy justice for the unenlightened such as myself.

Massive change (not of the Obama variety) is afoot for the werewolf over the next few days. There is something oddly appropriate about this song that he finds comforting. The lyrics from the opening stanza have been running through his head since this weekend.

I feel it all around / I feel it in my bones
My life is on the line / When I'm away from home
When I step out the door / The jungle is alive
I do not trust my ears / I don't believe my eyes
I will not fall in love / I cannot risk the bet
Cause hearts are fragile toys / so easy to forget

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Wind and the Lion - American ascendancy and exceptionalism

Stunning and epic. This incredible scene from The Wind and Lion never ceases to amaze.

Finally, The Academy gets something right.

The Hurt Locker, a film seen by very few people, did deservedly well at the Oscars last night. This simple fact made the werewolf sit on his haunches and allow for an uncharacteristicly long smile. Here is an excellent piece by Nile Gardiner at The Daily Telegraph that articulates the virtues of why this win is worthy

It was during high school that the werewolf realized how fakakta the Academy really was when the vapidly pleasant Shakespeare in Love usurped the profound and epic Saving Private Ryan for best picture. He's been a raging skeptic ever since. He was glad that Avatar was rightfully overlooked, as it should have been. It is the small things that make us smile sometimes.

Joe Strummer: Bhindi Bhagee

Joe Strummer, the former front man and lead singer for the famed rock experiment The Clash, doesn't get enough credit or attention for the work he did during the twilight of his career. The werewolf isn't sure what gives with that sad fact. Unlike other musicians who fail to reinvent themselves successfully or allow themselves to fade into the shadows of obscurity, he adores Strummer in all of his iterations. Sadly, Strummer was taken from us prematurely. Bhindi Bhagee is an incredible rock ballad about take-out food in London. The energy and story telling is simply grand. Although he doesn't listen to it often enough, this song never fails to cheer the werewolf or get his feet tapping. Here is the studio version. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mickey Kaus: A Democrat the werewolf can get behind

Investors Business Daily has an interesting little blog blurb about Mickey Kaus's nascent senate campaign in California. The fact that thoughtful and unorthodox Democrats actually exist is a good omen. Kaus fits that mold beautifully. He is certainly a liberal in several regards and on substantive issues. What makes him unique in the modern political sphere is a respect for fact based metrics, an inherent contrarian streak that questions blind political hackery, and a understanding that the world is governed by several changing dynamics that static political positions can not effectively manage. Here's an inspiring excerpt:

"You don’t have to be a wild-eyed libertarian to realize something is very wrong with that. But, as Kaus points out, “You can’t find a Democrat politician criticizing the teachers unions.” That silence is hurting the liberal cause. “Unions are what make affirmative government unpalatable,” he said."
The werewolf is no Democrat, and finds many elements of modern liberalism intellectually appalling and a righteous cause for severe indigestion. He thinks Barbara Boxer is an ignorant slut at best and a vile, bigoted and condescending brutish genderless left wing wacko who deserves to contract some putrid STD at worst. He despises her as much as one can. She is the worst creature that modern politics breeds.

Still, he thinks it is important for the long term health of the republic to erode strictly partisan assumptions and practices as a norm. Plus, how conservative would a GOP senator from California really be, and wouldn't greater value be added via an honest and renegade oriented Democrat in terms of getting that leeward party to question itself at times?  Also, the werewolf is unsure of how he feels about Carly Fiorina given her topsy-turvey tenure at H-P and finds Tom Campbell more appealing at prima fascia. That means his preferred candidate has a snow-balls chance in hell of making it through the general if he clears the primary. However, that is a fluid observation subject to change. Mickey Kaus offers a promise along those lines. In many ways, he can be the liberal version to the straight-shooting contrarianism of Republican senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. That seems like something this country could use at the moment. Thoughts?

Echo and the Bunnymen: Lips Like Sugar - Live

Echo & The Bunnymen have been a perennial favorite of the werewolf since he stumbled onto them during college. That discovery was courtesy of one of history's greatest footnotes, Napster. What a find it was back in the day. He felt like Cortez stumbling upon the legendary Aztec city of Tenochtitlan and realizing the potential for something great. The song that pulled him into their orbit was actually the eerily addictive and chilling The Killing Moon. Echo & The Bunnymen served as the gateway that introduced the werewolf to the joys of Gary Newman, Peter Murphy, Tubeway Army and Joy Division along with the uniquely distorted electric sounds associated with the early 80s.

The song is great for other reasons. It tells the tale of that unattainable wench who steals our heart, drives our imagination wild in the most lascivious of ways, knows her power over us and leverages it as she tempts and teases with the sadistic cruelty normally reserved for a Spanish Inquisitor, while never allowing us the chance to follow through. You all know the type of women to whom I refer. Yet, we convince ourselves that the pay-off of enduring her torture is that her "lips are like sugar." What fools we men can be when it comes to allowing the fairer sex have imaginary dominion over us at times.

This song is on the karaoke bucket list. It'll take a bucket or two of beer to execute

Bond Title Sequence: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

To those that know him, it is no secret that the werewolf is an enthusiastic Bond fan. When he was a whelp, the werewolf's parents made the wise decision to allow him to watch all of the Bond films he could tolerate. Not only did this inform a young werewolf's sense of style (Connery), reinforce his love for the ladies, and cement his anti-communist credo, but it made him a wonderful and young jerk with an attitude. By the age of six or seven, the werewolf had committed most of the Bond films to memory, including the skiing scenes in On Her Majesties Secret Service, A View to A Kill, For Your Eyes Only and The Spy Who Loved Me. Based purely on the fact that he had watched Bond ski in four different films, the young werewolf was convinced that he himself could ski. Looking back on it, I can't think of a more ridiculous, arrogant, or asshole way to conduct myself. Needless to say, after a spectacular wipe-out, the werewolf whelp was ready to abide by his mother's advice and take skiing lessons.

Over the years, the werewolf's consistent love for the Bond franchise has manifested and matured in different ways including several failed attempts at romancing worthy young women with crass and crude one-liners. Alas, those tales merit a different post.

The werewolf has often felt that On Her Majesties Secret Service is the most under-appreciated Bond film. This isn't an attempt to glorify George Lazenby, he still sucks. Rather it is a testament to the film's captivating plot-line, which is unusually strong for a Bond film, along with the sensational beauty of Dianna Rigg (the werewolf's all time favorite Bond girl), and the clever villainy of  Telly Savalas as Bond arch-nemesis Blofeld. The music in the score along with Louis Armstrong's contribution of "We Have All the Time In World" are unreal. Anyhow, the werewolf loves the inter-franchise historical highlights captured in this Bond films opening sequence. Thoughts?

The werewolf interviews

One of the things the werewolf intended to write about when this blog was quickening, was the style and haberdashery of the modern man. (It's unoriginal, I know, but they say write about the things you like and know about.) To be charitable, the werewolf can be described as a rabid clothes hound with an insatiable appetite for classic tailored clothes and styles. He fancies himself a bizarre blend of trad, preppy, and country gentlemen when he is at his best.

The attempted look was the understated financial services professional seeking to blend in, yet knows how to dress. The suit is an two-buttoned, medium shoulder padded, single pleated, made-to-measure charcoal gray Adrian Jules from the now defunct Michael Christopher in Atlanta; the shirt is a light blue herringbone with french cuffs and a spread collar from Robert Talbott, the tie is standard navy and red Hermes; the cuff-links are hunting hounds from England; and the shoes are black Johnston & Murphy cap-toes that the werewolf acquired during his first internship on Capital Hill in 2001(They are faithful servants on their second sole).  During the end of business school and throughout exile, I have lost a little weight causing some billowing in the shirt, yet somehow, I look like a chubby-fuck in those pictures. I would love any input on the look, as I am constantly trying to improve and I fear exile has dulled my sartorial senses.

Anyhow, last Thursday, the werewolf was in Washington, DC, interviewing for a management consulting position. For the record and despite being an Vanderbilt MBA, the werewolf wants it to be known that he harbors a healthy skepticism for lawyers, investment bankers, and management consultants. (The werewolf recognizes and embraces the value that the aforementioned trades bring, but the consensus of their alleged collective greatness stokes his contrarian flames on multiple levels, plus consulting promotes the wearing of black suits, a hell-bound and unforgivable style sin in the werewolf's book) He'll think of something pithy to have engraved on his headstone that captures the aforementioned sentence and his strong emotions on the subject.

Back to the interview, for whatever reason, something about the interview had the werewolf profoundly nervous and agitated the few days prior. It was some sort of uncharacteristic lapse in confidence that was a first for him. Perhaps it was the fact that the quiet desperation of exile has him considering career options he vowed never to pursue and that breaking his own internal code of honor for all the wrong reasons just causes indigestion. He conquered his internal defects and rallied to put his best effort forward. In retrospect, The werewolf gives himself a B for his interview performance. He didn't royally fuck-up, yet, yet he didn't knock the truck window out. Quick overview, the werewolf had two interviews with senior managers in the firm, both lasting about an hour. The first interview was with the chief of research officer, a nice and smart guy, who had the attitude of a failed academic. It was lively discussion; there was were a few small case questions bandied about, however, the interviewer fixated at the werewolf's three years as an insurance broker, and was obsessed with trying to get the werewolf to confess that there is no longer a value-add in that important financial service. Rest assured, the werewolf didn't buckle. The second interview was the head of new product development. The guy was nice enough, but had a sever head cold, and was doped up on some sort of cocktail of DayQuil/NyQuil because he asked the werewolf the same question three different times throughout the interview and kept being intrigued by the same answer. Plus, his runny nose and glassy eyes were distracting. That's the quick wrap on it all.

The company itself was a tad sterile and stodgy. However, they must have had an unwritten policy that dictates recruiting tall attractive women from the volleyball teams of elite universities. While waiting in the reception area, three exceedingly lust-worthy women who exceeded 6ft in height, floated down the marble floored hallway with the sound of their clacking heels heralding their approach. They all had that bitchy and entitled "I know I am hot, asshole" look about them bred exclusively in elite universities. The werewolf was proud to be caught by the second one in one of those head-turning scope the chick's best features as she walks by moves. Sometimes, discretion is overrated.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jacob Zuma: Barbarian Extraordinaire

Will Heaven over at the The Daily Telegraph penned a great article regarding Jacob Zuma, the current president of South Africa. The article speaks truth-to-power about what a putrid schmuck Zuma is on all levels. At his very best, Zuma is ignorant firebrand who was active in the ANC's militant struggle to usurp apartheid. At his worst he is a retrogressive, rapist, thug, and hard-line left-wing nut-job who can't even claim to have finished high school. South Africa is in the very best of hands. Beyond being a decent political manipulator, he has shown no aptitude for anything noteworthy. The werewolf was in South Africa when the oh-so classy Zuma was on trial for raping the HIV positive lady, and having claimed that his post-rape shower negated his chances of contracting the virus. What a guy. (If it wasn't so real, it'd actually be amusing) The werewolf gave a little paw-pump when he thought Zuma had been effectively sidelined. Alas, it was premature. Here are some highlights from Mr. Heaven's article:

"Well, as Graham Boynton writes in today’s Telegraph, Zuma’s has faced a host of criminal charges during his career in the ANC: fraud, racketeering, corruption, and tax evasion to name but a few. He has so far escaped conviction, but in one of the most revealing episodes of his career so far, he was accused of raping an HIV-positive family friend in 2006.

Zuma, as has so often been the case, was acquitted. But during the trial he infamously admitted to having “showered” after unprotected sex with the woman because this “would minimise the risk of contracting the disease.” He knew the woman was HIV positive, but told the court that while he normally used condoms, he did not have one available on the night of the incident. As one Aids campaigner said at the time, “statements like that can throw years of hard work down the drain.”

A year before his rape trial, Jacob Zuma was head of the National Aids Council and South Africa’s Moral Regeneration Campaign. Is it surprising, then, that with a brute like this in charge, some six million South Africans are infected with HIV/Aids today? Zuma has even invoked traditional African culture as an excuse for not using condoms. A ludicrous idea on the face of it, but when you consider that an estimated 800,000 South Africans died of Aids in 2008, the true horror of Zuma’s influence begins to hit home." 

Zuma is a shining example of one of Africa's largest hurdles to prosperity and decency. The lack of a stable and respectable ruling class. As long as African democracy, autocracy, and governments elevate brutal thugs who ride the cresting waves of anti-western drivel, celebrate ignorance, and promote discredited economic management, Africa will stumble around like a blind drunk at an open bar, continuously being unable to be taken seriously. That in turn will retard efforts to address the public health, economic development, and global integration concerns that plague Africa. At this point, it is up to Africans to help themselves. Yet, with titanic buffoons like Zuma representing the best of African democracy, Africa will be riding the global short-bus for many moons to come.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Cars Live: Bye, Bye Love

The Cars are one of those iconic 80s bands that don't get the credit they fully deserve. The werewolf remembers being a little boy and thoroughly enjoying "Moving in Stereo" and "Best Friend's Girl" on the radio. This live version of "Bye, Bye Love" showcases the innovation inherent in their music. Plus, what's not to love about the collection of rockin' mullets?

This song also makes the werewolf wonder something about the fairer sex. Why are certain women like bad luck pennies? They keep turning up when you need them least.

Back to Exile

The werewolf is back in suburban New York City after a great run with the highly competitive state house race in northeastern Texas(Today is ELECTION Day). Campaigns can be a great time, really. They keep you on your toes and have refreshing energy about them.

It is a strange sensation going from 0 to 60 back to 0 in quick succession. The thrill of being actively engaged and having purpose invigorates one's soul in the best of ways, especially after an extended period of involuntary idleness. However, just as quickly as the sense of purpose is satiated, a terrible vacuum and refreshed emptiness reestablish themselves. Right before he left for Texas, a series of positive developments had occurred on the job prospect front for the werewolf, or so he thought. Several first round interviews were conducted in mid-February for a variety of jobs ranging from the publishing industry, to nonprofit, to management consulting.

In an odd twist of fate, the werewolf will be proceeding to a second round interview with a management consulting firm later this week. The irony at hand is that this was the most competitive of the job vacancies that the werewolf has applied to lately, the one he thinks he is the weakest fit for, and also the toughest one to secure. He is still a long way from securing it, and the case interviews scheduled for later this week have him deeply unnerved for a variety of reasons. (Unlike normal behavioral interviews, case interviews run a gamut of possibilities and can be highly combative and intense) Yet, it also begs a fundamental question about how the labor market operates, how we find our fit within it, how to manage our expectations for ourselves and how to nurture ambitions.

Hopefully, a broader portrait of opportunity will be painted over the next few weeks and more call backs will occur. In the meantime, here's to trucking away and turning lemons into lemonade.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nostalgia: Army of Darkness Trailer

God Bless B-Movies! Between heavily influencing pop culture via its plethora of one-liners, representing the pinnacle of Bruce Campbell's acting career and launching director Sam Rami's , and being a damn fun film, Army of Darkness is one the great legacies of the 1990's.

Shop Smart! SHOP S-MART!

UPDATE: The mean retards at Youtube have disabled the link embedded in the post. Sorry about that, folks. Here is an active link.