Sunday, August 30, 2009
Fresh from the laffs of Carlos Mendias from the last posting, me though me post a couple of classic clips of the late, great Bill Hicks.
Many consider him the greatest comic to ever ply the trade. Better than Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy et al. The fact he passed on at the age of just 32 meant that his legacy is unsullied by shit sit-coms or movies.
Thing about him is that so often his monologues make complete sense & ye finds yerself nodding in agreement at the complete absurdity of things.
Fer those of ye unfamiliar with his work, me hopes these clips will spur ye to look further. The word 'genius' is often misused but not so in the case of Bill Hicks.
Have a good laugh this Merdeka weekend! Cheers!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
1) Like many others, me thinks Jeremy Clarkson is a brilliant writer who can twaddle on about anything & yet make fooking great copy.
2) Me has been banging on to anyone who would listen that if yer looking fer some wheels which are stylish, fun & affordable, there's nothing like the MX5. Having lived with one fer over two years, the car offers virtually everything from superb handling to soft/hard top practicality. Only downside is that it ain't that fast. But fook it, the MX5 single-handedly revived the sports car market & has received over 150 awards since its inception in 1989.
So me is hoping the article below will prompt some of ye to go check some out. Prices fer the older NA models start around RM40k & there are some very tasty specimens up fer sale at the local MX5 forum (click here to view: http://www.mx5my.com/forums/index.php?s=ce6591f522ea1f21f3c422b015421070&showforum=19).
As fer those who moan about practicality & the model being too flash, me retort is 'how fooking old do ye wanna be before having some automotive fun?'. And ye can do that fer less cash than the asking price fer a MyVi. And nope, they do NOT cost an arm & a leg to maintain.
Live life - Buy a MX5 now.
It’s far too cool for you, Mr Footballer
Jeremy Clarkson in The Times (UK) 13 Jan 2008
As the reputation of all the most exquisite cars continues to be embrowned by the nation’s footballers, those who try to combine extreme wealth with a splash of discretion and good taste find themselves in a bit of a quandary.
In the olden days, if you were to turn up at a party in a Ferrari or a Maserati, women might imagine that you were the Aga Khan. Today, however, they will cower in a cupboard all night, fearful that if they come out they will be roasted in front of a jeering mob who’ll record the event on their mobile phones and, in the morning, upload it all to the internet. “I have a Ferrari” is code for “I am a rapist”. Or, worse, “I am Kerry Katona”.
The solution, then, for wealthy people who are not rapists or Kerry Katona is to buy a car that simply isn’t on a footballer’s radar. A car that manages to be expensive and comfortable, and possibly even quite fast, without shouting, “Look at me.” A fatboy car.
The Bristol Blenheim is a fatboy car. So is the Mercedes SL. Then you have the Rolls-Royce Phantom, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, the Jaguar XJR, the Range Rover – but emphatically not the Sport – the BMW 7-series, and the car I was given for Christmas. A 37-year-old Mercedes 600 Grosser.
Launched in 1963, it was by far and away the most expensive car in the world, with a price tag, in America, of $20,000. In its 18-year production run only 2,677 were made and almost all were bought by people who did not play football. Idi Amin, Louis Winthorpe from the film Trading Places and Leonid Brezhnev. Mao Tse-tung was said to be very fond of his, and it’s easy to see why.
Today we marvel at the power-operated boot lids on cars such as the Lexus LS 600h but the Mercedes Grosser had this feature 45 years ago. And yes, while it does without such luxuries as a heated rear window, and the dim/dip light switch is on the floor, it does have power-operated seats, windows, sunroof and even doors. And the power does not come from a fickle electric motor either. Oh no. Everything that moves on the Grosser is powered by hydraulics. Small wonder it weighs three tons.
It’s not a car you can just get into and drive, either, because hydraulics also operate the suspension. So after starting the engine you must do a crossword while the body rises to the correct height.
Still, you can then make up lost time because it has a 6.3 litre engine. The first production V8 Mercedes ever made, it develops 300bhp, thanks to fuel injection. In other words, in terms of luxury and power this was quite literally 40 years ahead of its time. In terms of style, however, it was bang-on, pure, 100% 1963. This was a time when designers were allowed to fit a car with ornaments, and the Grosser is fitted with so many it could almost be twinned with Elton John’s head.
The double bumpers, the enormous grille, the chromed wheelarches: it is a festival of brightwork and I’m only surprised it isn’t followed everywhere by a flock of magpies.
It’s the same story inside, where it’s fitted with nothing so vulgar as tinted glass. Instead you get curtains, along with interior glass wind deflectors should you feel the need to drive along with the windows down, waving serenely at the untermenschen.
The only thing that it didn’t come with as standard – but that I shall be adding as soon as I’ve designed them – are two flags on the front wings. This is the only sound you want to hear as you cruise along. The fluttering of two pennants.
Or, rather, this is the sound I imagine you’d like to hear. I can’t say for sure because I’ve had the car for a week now and so far I haven’t actually driven it. This is because most of the time it won’t start.
Sometimes it turns over with a decreasing level of enthusiasm for 10 minutes before the Titanic battery gives up the ghost. And sometimes it doesn’t turn over at all. Occasionally it coughs a little burp of hope and I prod the throttle, trying like a man marooned on a desert island to breathe a little life into the sliver of flame. But never quite succeeding.
So then I plug it into a trickle charger, and after two hours have been spent pumping some fresh enthusiasm into the battery, the engine bursts into an uneven V8 strum. The sound of joy. Followed by the groan of despair as I realise that, this being Christmastime, I’ve passed the time as the battery charged with my face in a bucket of red wine. And now I’m too drunk to go anywhere.
And so we must now leave the olden days when cars worked only if there was some warmth in the month, and look at the complete opposite of the 600 Grosser. The Mazda MX-5.
When I first encountered the new version of this modern classic, I reported that it was a better-looking, more practical version of something we all loved anyway and that you should all have one. And you all responded by buying something else.
No, really. The new MX-5 is like the new Ford Mondeo and the Subaru Legacy Outback. It is one of those cars that’s absolutely brilliant . . . and nobody buys it. You never see one on the road.
Fearful, therefore, that I’d missed some crucial aspect of the car – a spike in the driver’s seat, perhaps, or a snake in the glove box – I decided to have another look. And there’s nothing; not even a preposterous price tag. The new soft-top Mazda starts at just £15,730.
So what’s the problem? I’ve given the matter some serious thought and I’ve decided what the car missed most of all was the mark. I liked the way the old car had few luxuries, because that made it light. For the same reason it had a canvas roof you raised and lowered by hand, and I liked that too. But actually, the fact is most of us would prefer some creature comforts and a roof that moved about using electricity. We may have been drawn to the idea of an MX-5 but actually we all went out and bought a convertible Vauxhall Astra instead.
Well, Mazda has obviously realised this too because the new 2 litre Roadster Coupé I tried has a superfast electric metal roof, a surround sound Bose stereo, and a button on the dash that says “Media”. God knows what it did.
All of this must be terribly galling for the engineers who struggled to make the new car only 22lb heavier than the old one. To find the marketing department adding stuff is probably enough to have them all disembowelling themselves but the fact is this: it doesn’t make a jot of difference.
The engine still feels unsullied by cotton wool damping and active exhaust tuning. The gearbox still snicks. The handling is still deliciously front-engined and rear-drive. You still feel hemmed in behind the wheel and the plastics appear, correctly in a car of this type, to have been fitted to shroud various wires and rough edges. Not as a surface you feel inspired to lick and caress.
The MX-5, then, still feels simple and sprightly and lively. It still feels basic and honest and wonderful. It’s still a bacon sandwich made with good bread, good butter and good meat. Only now it has a splash of HP sauce.
It is an epic car, this. A car for fatboys who are still thin.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Gut instinct told me this was gonna be yet another false dawn as hyperbole & fan expectation reaches fever pitch only to be met with glorious underachievement.
And last nite's tepid performance against the spurs underlined that. Lacklustre, devoid of ideas and quite simply one-dimensional, me beloved LFC were just shite.
To be honest, Spurs didn't really have to over-exert themselves to claim all three points.
Pedestrian? Fook, our footie is so fooking predictable that the lame pundits on Footie Focus got it spot on . . . All four of em predicted a 2-1 reverse fer us. How fooking sad is that?
Friday, August 14, 2009
Would the instantly recognisable ringing guitar intro to GnR's Sweet Child O' Mine sound the same if Slash had not used a Les Paul Gibson? And let's face it, many of us dreamed of posing with one even if we couldn't strum a single riff to save our bacon. It is an icon of cool.
Les Paul passed on yesterday at the grand old age of 94 after succumbing to complications arising from pneumonia. From recording techniques to iconic instruments, Les Paul has given music lovers everywhere countless hours of enjoyment.
Thank you sir & may yer memory live on forever.
For a more detailed obituary, please go to: http://www.malaysiainsider.com/index.php/showbiz/35144-original-guitar-hero-les-paul-dies
ps: Just in case anyone is confused, Les Paul is pictured at the top next to the Beatle. The other two pix highlight why his guitars are part of rock iconography.
pps: yer all invited to share yer fave Les Paul anecdote or rave about yer fave piece of music featuring his guitars.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
We were fortunate enough to have caught this industrial terrorists live during their Psalm 69 tour. With Pavement & Helmet in support, the gig left us with whiplashed necks in worse shape than Mickey Schumacher's musculus sternocleidomastoideus!
Anyways, Ministry weren't able to keep up the momentum created by those two LPs & soon slipped into mediocrity. LPs such as Filth Pig & Dark Side of The Spoon were abrasive without the vision & hooks that drove those earlier masterpieces. Worse, they highlighted main man's Al Jourgensen's all-consuming drug habit & he even complained that he was forced to buy crack from the streets as the record company refused to pay him in narcotics!!!
Anyways, after two decades of noise, chaos & some truly paralysing industrial metal, Ministry has decided to call it a day by releasing this live opus - Adios . . . Puta Mandres.
To download Ministry's noisy-as-fook farewell, please go to: http://rapidshare.com/files/216274903/Ministry-Adios...-2009-RTB.rar .
Happy retirement & thanks fer the memories!
ps: Even the classically-inclined intern in me dept was fooking blown away by Ministry. He now tortures his Cinapek blockmates with it! Take a bow Matthew Ong.
pps: Famous social blogger Muststopthis ran out of me bar when we were having a Ministry party! Suffice to say, this is not fer the faint-hearted or those with cotton-candy ears.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
What is me talking about?
Ok, we've all heard Fergie's latest rant against the ref fer the supposed blunder in the Community Shield last Sunday. Go to any newspaper football site & ye'll have man yew fans foaming at the mouth in similar fashion.
Now, someone explain this to me. After Evra was body checked by Ballack, where the did the ball end up? If ye just read the papers or listened to the pundits, ye'll have thought that Chelsea broke away with the ball & scored immediately.
In fact, ball landed at the feet of Rooney who continued playing & the ref played advantage. Rooney didn't kick the ball out. None of his scum compatriots signalled fer him to kick the ball out. Several passes were exchanged before Chelsea finally got the ball & broke forward to score.
So what gives?
Another example where me was forced to respond.
A man yew fan commented on article (in Malaysian Insider) about Stevie G's court case fer affray by claiming that our capt is a THUG! Like the rest of the team who go round maiming opponents on the pitch. S/he apparently canna understand how such thuggery can be applauded as passionate play. Went on to call fer Stevie G to be hung, drawn & quartered fer crimes against humanity.
So when me brought up the names of Eric "Kung Fu" Cantona, Roy Keane & Alfe Inge Haaland, there was no response.
Lest we forget, how commentators always seem to laugh at Paul Scholes two-footed lunges as some sort of trivial joke. "The lad is a damn fine midfielder but he canna tackle." Why is that even funny?
And then another man yew plonker says that at least those players owned up to their mistakes & duly paid the price unlike Stevie G. (!!??!!)
Hmmmm . . . so premeditating GBH on a fellow pro & then profiting from it in a ghost-written biography is "owning up"? Being caught on live telly lashing out at an abusive fan is allrite? Imagine everyone reacted similarly to abusive fans.
Fooking hell. Its like LFC fans trying to justify Heysel as a bit of fun that got out of hand.
Me admits people tend to get all hot under the collar & extremely illogical when it comes to their fave teams but please try to engage the brain before posting / speaking.
Ok, rant over fer the day.
ps: Before anyone decides to roll out that all-too familiar speech about it being just a game & that its a money-making franchise . . . blah blah . . . players & teams don't care bout us . . . blah blah . . . ye obviously don't get it & worse yer PATRONISING AS FOOK!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Me however set the record straight when me pointed out the Mighty Mini's proud racing heritage, in particular its famous Monte Carlo rally victories from 1964-67. (In 1966, Minis were suspiciously disqualified after claiming the first FOUR places on the podium.) Now, the Mini wasn't racing within a specified class, it fooking beat the living daylights out of many more exotic marques in those rallies - Jaguar, Aston Martin & . . . yes, Ferrari!!!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Revolutionary hero or war-mongering murderer?
If you want to have a closer look at the life of this infamous icon of armed struggle, do check out yer friendly pirated DVD emporium near you fer this 2-disc set. Running over 4-hours & directed by Steve Sodernberg (Ocean's 11, Traffic) & starring Benicio Del Toro as the enigmatic lead, this biopic is no walk in the park.
Heavy going at times, it does offer an insight into the life of a committed revolutionary. This film is based on Che's diaries & has been met with mixed responses. It has bombed spectacularly in the US but have garnered standing ovations in Latin America markets.
It has been snubbed at the Oscars, much to the dismay of Best Actor winner, Sean Penn (fer his performance in Milk), who believed it to be one the most important films of the year but Benicio did get the Best Actor gong at the infinitely cooler Cannes festival.
Me strongly urges you to check this out. Love or loathe Che's politics, ye'd still be fooking inspired by his dedication to the cause.
For a thorough analysis of the film, artistically as well as commercially, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Che_(film)
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
“We urge our fans to drink a lot of Welsh whisky as a form of disinfection,” VOB head Alexander Shprygin told Reuters.
“That should cure all symptoms of the disease.”
Russia’s Health Ministry has issued a public warning against travelling to Britain because of the spread of the A(H1N1) virus but Shprygin said he expected at least several hundred fans would go to Wales for the September 9 qualifier in Cardiff.
“Health officials say this virus is very dangerous but being a fan myself I can tell you that for a real fan nothing is more important than the well-being of the team,” said Shprygin, who also sits on the executive board of the Russian FA.
“Russian fans don’t fear anything or anybody so this virus will not stand in our way of supporting our team.”
The Russian FA also said health issues should not prevent fans from travelling.
“We don’t want our team to be without any support for such an important match so we urge our fans to go to Wales despite the health warning,” a spokesman said.
Germany lead European Group Four with 16 points from six games, one ahead of Russia, with Wales in fourth place on nine points from seven matches. – Reuters