Thursday, July 29, 2010

Defiance

One of history's greatest heroes. We owe this man more than any word or phrase can adequately capture.

Warren Zevon: Werewolves of London (live)



In many ways this is the anthem that paves the way for all the werewolf does in this humble life. Likely, it is the finest song ever written. It has often been speculated that werewolf was conceived following a Warren Zevon concert in late 1980 or early 1981. It was during the summer of 1998, while drinking too much gin on the banks of the Zambezi river, playing a drawn out game of chess with a profoundly decent and generous Afrikaner at the Tahita Falcon Lodge in southern Zambia, that the epic nature of this song revealed itself.

Not sure what Warren has been drinking or smoking prior to this performance, but the legend himself is en fuego during this clip. I would have given the thumb on my left paw to see this song performed live by the maestro. Enjoy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Tempest in a Teapot: Faux controversey over Stanley Statue

In the history of colonial exploration and adventure, the most quoted man is likely Henry Morgan Stanley. Any educated person who isn't familiar with Stanley's famous "Dr. Livingston, I presume" should take-up skydiving without a parachute or drag racing in the fog without a seat-belt.  The Daily Telegraph has an excellent piece highlighting how the corrupt agents of skewed political correctness have hamstrung a Welsh town's ability to celebrate its' favorite son. The self-righteous, no-fun, limited, and myopic people who are hell-bent on obstructing the commissioning of this statue are a laughable testament to how bankrupt and shameless slaves to political correctness have become. Get a freakin' life, folks. Do you propose we tear down every statue to Woodrow Wilson, since he re-segregated the U.S. Civil Service, or most of the founding fathers, since they were active slave-owners? Let us not forget that Nelson Mandela was once a violent terrorist. We can devote our time to tearing apart most of history's heroes and noted characters, but sometimes saving our collective doubts and scorn for those villains who merit it, like Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hilter. Few things are as loathsome as selective outrage.

Stanley may have been a racist, opportunist, and shameless self-promoter. Not my place to judge (I save that for when it counts, like terrorism or genocide), and these are certainly not the traits that give cause to honor him. Undoubtedly, he was also incredibly bold, intrepid, and dynamic in terms of the risk and endeavors he pursued. Those are qualities that merit recognition and give cause for just remembrance and why he is likely one of the most quoted men in history. Here is to hoping the statue gets completed, and the vow that if the werewolf should ever find himself in the Welsh town of Denbigh, you can wager he'll be sporting a big smile next to the statue of Henry Morgan Stanley.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Funny Friday: Best In Show "Faux Love"

Desmund Tutu: Wishing Obama would Channel Bush on Africa

In a remarkable article published in yesterday's New York Times, Desmund Tutu, human rights legend and anti-apartheid luminary, publicly wonders why Obama is derelict on his pledges to Africa and the continent's struggle against the AIDS crisis. During the 2008 election, Obama's ties to Kenya were played ad nauseum, as if they somehow accentuated his already stunted credentials. The great irony that liberals can't seem to grasp, is that President Bush was the most Africa oriented President to every occupy the White House. Other legacies aside, that seems to be set in stone for the foreseeable future. When you've pissed off Desmond Tutu, and you can claim black African heritage and are the former poster-child for post-modern liberalism, you know you've lost some serious luster.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

African Terror: Recalling Mau Mau


Last February, The Daily Mail ran a great article from an acitve participant's perspective during the infamous Mau Mau emergency that took place in Kenya during the 1950s. The participant and author, Tim Symonds, paints a candid and thoughtful picture that pulls no punches. In this modern era of hyper-sensitivity and revisionist inclination, finding someone who calls it as it actually happened is refreshing. The Mau Mau were one of Africa's ugliest and most brutal terrorist insurgencies. For anyone with any passing interest in African history, security, terrorism, decolonization, or justice, this article is a breath of fresh air and a must read.

Here are some excellent passages from Symonds recollection:


Criteria for being targeting by the Mau Mau.
"Leakey was selected not because he was an enemy of the Kikuyu but, perversely, because he was widely considered a good man and therefore a more powerful sacrificial offering. He even had a Kikuyu nickname - Morungaru - which means 'tall and straight'."
 On blending in.
"Their sense of smell from life in the forest had become so keen that they could smell my freshly-laundered clothes. Another white man arrived. 'OK, film star,' he said to me. 'I'm your make-up man.'
He painted potassium permanganate on my hands, face and neck to stain the skin. Then he produced a small tin of boot polish and a tiny watercolour brush. 'Let's start with your right eye,' he said. 'Open wide.'
He brushed a small blob of the boot polish right inside the eyelid. It stung and I shouted, prompting peals of laughter from the Mau Mau men. He held out a mirror and, blinking uncontrollably, I looked at my eye. The polish had spread across it, turning the whites a streaky yellow"
 Jomo Kenyatta and the sinister benefits of incarceration.
"A white police officer met me and told me I was to take charge of a Land Rover with an African driver, who would take me to a secret destination to deliver a cargo. I went outside and met the driver. Crates had been loaded in the back of the Land Rover, covered by a tarpaulin.
Some time later we arrived at our destination where I gave a white Kenya police officer the papers to sign for the cargo. He invited me in for a quick drink before I had to set off for home base. Afterwards I came out to find the Land Rover only three-quarters unloaded. The mysterious cargo turned out to be crate upon crate of Scotch whisky.
The police officer explained that Jomo Kenyatta, the man accused of masterminding the Mau Mau, was being held under close arrest nearby. Kenyatta was being provided with three bottles of Scotch every day, which he was consuming.
The real aim, the officer said, was for Kenyatta to die of cirrhosis of the liver as quickly as possible. I could tell he wasn't joking.
Kenyatta was nearing 70 at the time. Eight years later, in 1963, he was to become newly independent Kenya's first black prime minister. Shortly after that he became Kenya's president, famed for his flywhisk, the symbol of a Kikuyu elder, made from the end of a cow's tail. Perhaps we pickled him instead of killing him: Kenyatta lived until he was 89."
It's a spectacular and compelling tale.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Feliz Cumpleanos, Alejandro!

The werewolf's oldest friend and companero through this struggle called life, the infamous Legal Beagle, turns 29 today. Feliz Cumpleanos, senor!  The werewolf can trace the roots of this long-lived friendship back to the Reagan administration where the werewolf would bully the poor little Legal Beagle around the pre-school yard. (There is actually a tit-for-tat game theory story embedded in there for your econ geeks) Despite the suspect roots, it has grown into a storied friendship indeed. Nearly three-decades later there is too much crap to unload in a humble blog post, however, it should be the noted that the werewolf is grateful for the years of friendship and wishes the Legal Beagle a splendid 29th birthday and hopes that you spend your last year of relative youth with some reckless abandon and carefree shenanigans. *Clink*

The whole freaking-out because the dreaded age of 30 is looming like a sinister and rusted guillotine blade suspended by a threadbare and well-worn strand of hemp will be saved for another post.

Billy Joel: We Didn't Start the Fire (live)



I never really thought this Billy Joel classic would sound as good live as it does. Hat tip to Billy and his band. Nevertheless, the lyrics are truly timeless.

It's a helluva song to try and karaoke, however, perhaps that's because one only karaokes when fueled by a case of beer. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Canada's Contribution: Longest Sniper Kill-Shot Ever Recorded

For those of you that question Canada's global value-add, as the werewolf does on occasion, you can assuage your concerns pronto. This fascinating little clip from The History Channel, showcases the longest successful sniper kill ever recorded. It was made a Canadian unit sniper, Rob Furlong, attached to the US Special Forces serving in Afghanistan in 2002. It's a solid and fascinating little segment that breaths fresh life into the concept of justifying Canada.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Great Villains in Fiction

Villains make the world go round. Could you imagine a villainless world? It'd be so boring, mild, timid, and tame. Would we know what we value without having to fight for it on occasion? Villains remind us of these important things and therefor perform an invaluable societal service.  For no good reason, villains have been on my mind of late. It always makes the werewolf smile when the bad guy wins, especially when the villains motives are ambiguous and unclear.

Here are some cinema/literary villains that are more than worth their weight in gold.

Hans Gruber (played by Alan Rickman in Die Hard): Strategic planner, gifted conversationalist, style hound, forward thinker, and cold hearted murderer.



Magua (played by Wes Studi in Last of the Mohicans): Warrior, hunter, sadist, savage cannibal, and consumed by a fiery hatred of the British that burns brighter than the sun.


Hannibal Lecter (played by Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon): Epicurean, psychiatrist, sophisticate, gentleman, and homicidal maniac with a preference for devouring human body parts.



Saruman The White (Played by Christopher Lee in The Lord of the Rings): White Wizard, scholar, thinker, mentor, engineer, petty, and power-hungry murderous traitor.

 Vincent (Played by Tom Cruise in Collateral): Professional, goal oriented, cool, efficient, unflappable, well dressed, and a ruthless trigger man.




Iago (Played by Kenneth Branaugh in Othello): Cool, clever, destructive, jealous, manipulative, and dashingly unsympathetic.


Ozymandias (Played by Matthew Goode in The Watchmen): Driven, accomplished, talented, myopic, brutal pacificst, treacherous, naive, and spiteful.
 

This is list is far from comprehensive. Who are your favorite villains?

David Bowie: Ashes to ashes (live)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Born On The Bayou (live)



Some serious rock 'n roll. God bless CCR. Some of my favorite lyrics of all time are sourced in this musical masterpiece.

"Now, when I was just a little boy,
Standin' to my Daddy's knee,
My poppa said, "Son, don't let the man get you
Do what he done to me
."
'Cause he'll get you,
'Cause he'll get you now, now.

And I can remember the fourth of July,
Runnin' through the backwood, bare.
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin',
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.


Wish I was back on the Bayou.
Rollin' with some Cajun Queen.
Wishin' I were a fast freight train,
Just a chooglin' on down to New Orleans.
"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

NASA: Wishing They Were Lost in Space



This clip is astounding. It further convinces the werewolf how the absurd has usurped common-sense and how the world is losing grips with reality. If you start watching around 1:20 mark, our esteemed NASA administrator, Charles Bolden, explains the three primary objectives of NASA under his watch. The first two or forgettable boilerplate, however, the third point is to "find a way to reach out and engage the Muslim world." WTF!

Is NASA planning to dust  off some old Gemini capsules to float over the Mecca and negotiate with some Muslims on flying carpets? We have reached a point were the absurd has been normalized in our society. It about as ridiculous as having the Department of Corrections deciding to go into the day-care business using ex-cons. Not only is it bizarre, dangerous, and creepy; but it stretches beyond the bounds of fiction. When NASA has been charged with executing cultural diplomacy, representing America with a difficult global constituency,  and being the agency apologizing for America, what the hell is the rest of government up to? If NASA isn't exploring space, who is, the Ministry of Funny Walks?

Nothing has prompted the need to dissolve NASA and privatize space exploration more urgently than this comical farce.  We live in strange times indeed.

Hell, it's good for an honest laugh.

Sisters of Mercy: Lucretia, My Reflection (Studio)



One of those songs that never got the love it merited. Excellent for running, working out, or speeding on the interstate.

African Money Laundering

During the werewolf's travels throughout Africa, Zambia specifically, he recalls getting his hands on some local currency, the Kwacha, that was so filthy, a haz-mat suit would have be advisable in handling it. The notes were so odious, greasy, yucky, and sticky, the werewolf wondering if they had been deposited in someones rectum at some-point. The gooey residue that seemed to coat each note managed to contaminate the werewolf's old travel wallet, rendering it useless. The filth has spread from local currency to international bills it seems. Anyhow, a friend sent the werewolf this update from AP on the need sanitize currency in Zimbabwe.

"Some have become almost too smelly to handle, so Zimbabweans have taken to putting their $1 bills through the spin cycle and hanging them up to dry with clothes pins alongside sheets and items of clothing.
It's the best solution — apart from rubber gloves or disinfectant wipes — in a continent where the U.S. dollar has long been the currency of choice and where the lifespan of a dollar far exceeds what the U.S. Federal Reserve intends."

This takes the meaning of dirty money to a whole new level.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Art of the Insult



I found this compilation clip via Instapundit. Insulting someone in a meaningful and effectual way is both an art and science on some levels. Balancing between painful truths, cutting language, and poetic timing can be challenging. Some of these showcased lines are epic. During high school, there was list of Shakespearean insults that circulated around much to our collective amusement. If people put more thought into the insults they hurled, perhaps the world be a more considerate and balanced place.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Life is too short not to get laid. Ten Reasons Why Sex Is Good for You

The werewolf didn't need 10 more reason to enjoy mounting an agreeable, attractive, and worthy female. However, for those of you that are having trouble closing "the deal," perhaps this list will somehow help you bolster your chances. Personally, 8 and 10 seem increasingly appealing from a strategic age management perspective.

"1. Sex is a stress reliever
Sex can lower blood pressure and reduce stress. One study looked at women’s heart rates and cortisol levels as a measure of stress response. It found women showed less stress after good sex with a partner. Emotional support alone didn’t have the same effect.

2. Sex boosts immunity
Good sexual health can mean better physical health. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of antibodies that can protect you from getting colds and other infections.

3. Sex burns calories
Thirty minutes of sex burns around eighty-five calories. That may not seem like much, but the more sex you have, the more you burn. Sex versus the gym… hmmm?

4. Sex improves cardiovascular health
Women who have more sex tend to have higher levels of estrogen, which protects against heart disease.

5. Sex boosts self-esteem
Researchers at the University of Texas found that a self-esteem boost was one of 237 reasons people have sex.

6. Sex improves intimacy
Orgasm and having sex increases levels of oxytocin, the so-called love hormone. It helps us bond and build trust. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina evaluated 59 premenopausal women before and after contact with their husbands and partners. They found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels.

7. Sex reduces pain
As the hormone oxytocin surges, endorphins increase and pain decreases. So if your headache, muscle aches or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, go ahead and thank the oxytocin.

8. Sex strengthens pelvic floor muscles
Bring on the Kegels! Doing a few of these exercises during intercourse offers several benefits. Women have more pleasure; they’re strengthening their pelvic area and helping to minimize the risk of incontinence later in life.

9. Sex helps you sleep better
According to researchers, oxytocin released during orgasm also helps you catch more z’s. And that can come from solo sex or sex with a partner.

10. Sex fights aging
Sex is a form of exercise. And like most exercise, it burns calories and can battle the onslaught of aging. In fact, nursing home experts say they wish seniors would have more sex."

Funny Friday: The Bleeps, the Sweeps, and the Creeps



Never ceases to amuse. 

Depeche Mode: "Policy of Truth" (Live)