Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My TV is dead. I'm so Sad

My TV is dead
I'm so sad
we took it apart
and tried and tried
but it died
but it died

Burning Memories

Lake St. Claire, Belle River, Ontario, Canada, 2006

Friday, January 25, 2008

Comedy Night at San Francisco Bathhouse

January 24, 2008 the Wellington Comedy Club, San Francisco Bathhouse.


The MC, Benjamin

Steve Wrigley, Billy T Nominee

The Lonesome Buckwhips (Also Billy T Nominees): Gareth Williams, Miriama Ketu, Arthur Meek, Ben Hutchison

The Wellington Comedy Club presented two of the 2008 Billy T Nominees, Steve Wrigley and The Lonesome Buckwhips, hosted by MC Benjamin. Transforming the space with tables and candles for this stand up event was audience friendly. But you have to book a table in advance or sit on the side, which is okay, unless like my friend Kazz Funky Blue, you have no where to put your drink and wedges.

Wedges? That is funny to a North American like me because we call them fried potatoes. Or French fries. That is until the Iraq war in 2003 when France would not support the US, and in retaliation some restaurants changed the name of this carcinogenic food favorite to Freedom Fries. That's funny too. Why? I don't know. Eating grease-soaked potatoes named freedom as a patriotic act is just silly.

Comedy must be the hardest art form. The best comedians just tell the truth. We laugh despite ourselves, sometimes we feel uncomfortable and are relieved some one is saying what we know, what we feel. Like Lenny Bruce in the U.S. He wrote about everything, calling his scripts "bits." In 1964 he went to jail on an obscenity charge. But that was just an excuse, Lenny was a political artist and, after all, he was Jewish; and, he was jailed the same year the US passed the Civil Rights Act. Bruce died two years later at the age of 40 from an apparent accidental drug overdose.
To read more: go to Lumiere:

Another Anti-American Ad

Walking down the street in Central Wellington I noticed this ad and how it's obviously anti-Starbucks. This is because the 500 cafes in this town of population of approximately 450,000 make and serve one cafe at a time. Fair enough, there are enough Starbucks in the world.
The ad below it though once again shows Kiwi ingenuity by using women as sex objects to sell something men want. It never ends, the most sexists advertising I've seen is right here in the country that prides itself on giving women the right to vote first.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

John of God - Comment

I received a comment from Linelle, the woman I wrote about in my review of a documentary about John of God in Brasil. Scroll down to 16th January and click "comment". Linelle says she felt 'completely safe and happy' with her John of God experience and still does. Linelle said, "...don't feel sad i'm exploited on national tv, cause i was there, in brasil and it was the most fab experience of my life."

I am grateful to Linelle for her kind words. It was after all her experience. Read the full comment below.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Billy Bragg - A Review in Lumiere

Billy Bragg, San Francisco Bath House, Wellington, January 16, 2008

Billy Bragg can't sing. Or so he said. His actual words from the stage, "I get by."

Political songs, stage presence, two electric guitars, a capo and his motor mouth all came together for a very satisfying good time. Bragg likes to tell stories, many humorous and political. He's called a political performer but his rants are about justice and if that's Radical Left, then so be it. I didn't mind his rants, mainly because I agreed with everything he said. Bragg, from the UK, is an old Clash fan and his punk roots were loud but clear as he segued from his hard core punk songs to more recent songs of love and loss in relationships and in society. His fans know all the words to every single song. My friend "A" and I seemed to be the only ones in the room who didn't sing along.In fact when Bragg lost his place in one song, the audience kept the lyrics going.

This review is also published in Click on to read the full review and see other great stuff on what's happening in the arts in New Zealand.

Mister Skid

Mister Skid is a gentle soul. He came through the cat door and skidded into the kitchen, and so his name.

He's in great shape; comes and goes as he pleases. I'm sure he belongs to someone, but lately he prefers here. Some day he may go home, but for now, he roams this home to my delight. I've had a lot of cats but none as sweet as Mister Skid.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

JOHN OF GOD - From the "I don't believe it" file

UPDATE NOTE December, 2015:

This post is a "review" of a documentary on TV I watched while living in Wellington, New Zealand and says so in the opening sentences. This is not from a personal experience. You are welcome to comment; however, I do not publish anonymous comments.

Is John of God a fraud?

I contemplated this question while watching a recent documentary on TV about three New Zealanders who went to Brazil in hopes to be healed. John of god is a Brazilian man, born in 1942, who is not a doctor but does psychic healing for millions of people who have a disease and/or are dying.

I kept an open mind knowing the mind is very powerful. It can heel us. The power of the mind is fascinating and for me no more so than the heroin experiment. Heroin addicts were given a 'fake' drug and still got high and even more amazing went through the usual withdrawal symptoms from the fake heroin. The mind has a mind of its own!

Back to john. He seemed harmless enough; let people believe what they will. He doesn't even charge for his services. What can be the harm? Many claim he cured them. However, there was a moment watching the documentary when I realized the man was indeed a sexual pervert.

The woman in question, a (young and attractive) New Zealander who was skeptical -- but gave her will over to john in the belief that she could be cured -- leaned against a wall with her eyes closed, head back in what seemed like a trance waiting for john to do his surgery. John of God looked her up and down, grabbed both her breasts in his hands, opened her blouse to take a peek at her left breast, exposing her bra, and then shoved -- what looked like a 4 or 5 inches long -- surgical forceps up her nostril and twisted it quite violently -- it caused me to wince.

Later the woman said she wasn't sure how she felt or if the operation worked. (Days later she was hospitalized the moment she got off the plane in New Zealand.) I was sure she would say something about his groping hands, I was embarrassed for her just watching it, but she said nothing about it - nor did anyone else in the documentary. I was perplexed by this. It made me angry and sad to see this woman who completely trusted john -- as well as agree to be filmed for this documentary -- be so savagely violated.

Perhaps the filmmakers believe the film speaks for itself, including this sexual violation, which in some countries is a crime, but obviously not in Brazil. If john, or anyone needs to cop a feel before plugging into the spirit, then it is safe to say, yes, JOHN OF GOD is a fraud and shamelessly a sexually perverted fraud as well.

Cassie Edwards - from the "Laugh Out Loud" file

From my Laugh Out Loud File:

Cassie Edwards, a popular romance novelist who has written over 100 novels, is accused of plagiarism. In her defense of the charge she said she did not know she was supposed to credit her sources. "When you write historical romances you're not asked to do that." She said.
Reported in The New York Times by Felicia R. Lee, January 16, 2008.

Ha ha ha ha.

According to her website a lot of Edwards' books are about romance between white women and Native American Indian Men. Some sample titles: Savage Intrigue, Savage Quest, Savage Skies, Savage Glory, Savage Darkness, Savage Lies, Savage Heart, Savage Flames...I'm unable to continue. I have to go throw up.