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Robert Crumb on Charlie Hebdo: God according to Mohamid Bakshi

Robert Crumb has repsonded to the Mohammed Charlie Hebdo cover story. And Crumb knows all there is to know about religion. He wrote the Bible:





Crumb drew:

Aline [Mr. Crumb’s wife is the cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb] saw something on the internet…All the big newspapers and magazines in America had all agreed, mutually agreed, not to print those offensive cartoons that were in that Charlie Hebdo magazine. They all agreed that they were not going to print those, because they were too insulting to the Prophet. Charlie Hebdo, it didn’t have a big circulation. A lot of French people said, “Yes, it was tasteless, but I defend their right to freedom of speech.” Yeah, it was tasteless, that’s what they say. And perhaps it was. I’m not going to make a career out of baiting some fucking religious fanatics, you know, by insulting their prophet. I wouldn’t do that. That seems crazy. But then, after they got killed, I just had to draw that cartoon, you know, showing the Prophet. The cartoon I drew shows me, myself, holding up a cartoon that I’ve just drawn. A crude drawing of an ass that’s labeled “The Hairy Ass of Muhammed.” [Laughs.]

Crumb explains:

Libération called me and said, “Crumb, can you do a cartoon for us? About what you think about this, you know, you are a major cartoonist, and you live in France.” So I thought about it. I spent a lot of time thinking about it. I’m doing the dishes, or whatever, I was thinking, “What should I do for that cartoon … ” I had a lot of ideas. Other people come up with these, you know, clever cartoons that comment on it, like … This one guy did a cartoon showing a bloody dead body laying there, and a radical Muslim standing over him with a Kalashnikov, saying, “He drew first!” Stuff like that. That’s good, that’s clever, you know, I like that. But, me? I gotta like, you know, when I do something, it has to be more personal. I said, first: “I don’t have the courage to make an insulting cartoon of Muhammed.”

Then I thought, “OK, I’m the Cowardly Cartoonist … As a Cowardly Cartoonist, I can’t make some glib comment like that, you know? I have to, like, make fun of myself.  So instead of drawing the face of Muhammed [laughs], I drew the ass of Muhammed.  [Laughs.] But then I had myself saying, in small lettering, “Actually, this is the ass of my friend of Mohamid Bakshi, who’s a film director in Los Angeles, California.” So if they come at me, I’m gonna say, “No, look, it’s not Muhammed the Prophet, it’s this guy, Mohamid Bakshi.” So, you know.

[…] So, then Aline [Crumb’s wife] had this idea for another cartoon, which we also sent to Libération, a collaboration, that’s showing her looking at the drawing saying, “Oh, my God, they’re going to come after us! This is terrible … I want to live to see my grandchildren!” And then she has me saying, “Well, it’s not that bad. And, besides, they’ve killed enough cartoonists, maybe they’ve gotten it out of their system.”

Read it all here.


Posted: 16th, January 2015 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Read Robert Crumb’s Weirdo Comic Book On Philip K Dick’s LSD-Driven Meeting With God

WE get to see the face of God in Robert Crumb’s Book Of Genesis. But was the representation of the Creator accurate? In 1974, Crumb gave us another image of God, one based on Philip K. Dick’s memory.



Dick’s Divine vision was triggered by seeing a delivery girl,who was wearing a Jesus fish on a chain about her neck. Dick had taken LSD:

In that instant, as I stared at the gleaming fish sign and heard her words, I suddenly experienced what I later learned is called anamnesis—a Greek word meaning, literally, “loss of forgetfulness.” I remembered who I was and where I was. In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, it all came back to me. And not only could I remember it but I could see it. The girl was a secret Christian and so was I. We lived in fear of detection by the Romans. We had to communicate with cryptic signs. She had just told me all this, and it was true.

For a short time, as hard as this is to believe or explain, I saw fading into view the black, prisonlike contours of hateful Rome. But, of much more importance, I remembered Jesus, who had just recently been with us, and had gone temporarily away, and would very soon return. My emotion was one of joy. We were secretly preparing to welcome Him back. It would not be long. And the Romans did not know. They thought He was dead, forever dead. That was our great secret, our joyous knowledge. Despite all appearances, Christ was going to return, and our delight and anticipation were boundless.

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Posted: 23rd, March 2014 | In: Books, Flashback, Key Posts Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Robert Crumb predicted twitter and the internet (photo)

DECADES before it went live, Robert Crumb predicted Twitter and the internet:

“Everyone will be tuned into everything that’s happening all the time! No-one will be left out. We’ll all be normal!”

Crumb – a life in photos; the Crumb Bible; the Crumb rejected.

Posted: 10th, February 2013 | In: Flashback, Key Posts, Technology, The Consumer Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Robert Crumb: the same-sex marriage cover art the New Yorker rejected

WHY did the New Yorker magazine reject Robert Crumb’s same sex marriage cover (see above)? Nadja Sayej got the bottom of why the New Yorker didn’t use this art by Robert Crumb: They never told him

Did the rejection offend you?
I’m in a privileged position because I don’t need the money. When you go to the cover editor’s office, you notice that the walls are covered with rejected New Yorker covers. Sometimes there are two rejected covers for each issue. I don’t know what the usual policy is, but I was given no explanation from David Remnick, the editor in chief, who makes the final decisions.

Has the New Yorker attempted to commission work from you since this cover?
Yeah, Françoise [Mouly, the art editor] keeps mailing me these form letters, which they send to various artists they like to use. It says something like, “OK, so here are the topics for upcoming covers.” They send it out a couple of times a year or something. But it’s a form letter, not a personal letter.

Did you receive an apology?
An apology? I don’t expect an apology. But if I’m going to work for them I need to know the criteria for why they accept or reject work. The art I made, it only really works as a New Yorker cover. There’s really no other place for it. But they did pay me beforehand—decent money. I have no complaint there. I asked Françoise what was going on with it and she said, “Oh, Remnick hasn’t decided yet…” and he changed his mind several times about it. I asked why and she didn’t know. Several months passed. Then one day, I got the art back in the mail, no letter, no nothing.

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Posted: 10th, February 2013 | In: Flashback, The Consumer Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Robert Crumb – a life in photos

ROBERT Crumb – her might be an American hero:



Posted: 10th, February 2013 | In: Celebrities, In Pictures Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Study the Bible, with Robert Crumb’s Book of Genesis

IT’S Sunday. Time to study the Bible, with Robert Crumb’s Book of Genesis.

Greta Christina reviews:

Of course I’ve read Genesis. More than once. It’s been a little while since I’ve read the whole thing all the way through, but it’s not like it’s unfamiliar. But there’s something about seeing the story fleshed out in images to make some of its more striking narrative turns leap out and grab your brain by the root. There’s nothing quite like seeing the two different creation stories enacted on the page to make you go, “Hey! That’s right! Two completely different creation stories!” There’s nothing quite like seeing Lot offer his daughters to be gang-raped to make you recoil in shock and moral horror. There’s nothing quite like seeing the crazed dread and burning determination in Abraham’s eyes as he prepares the sacrifice of his own son to make you feel the enormity of this act. Reading these stories in words conveys the ideas; seeing them in images conveys the visceral impact. It makes it all seem vividly, immediately, humanly real.

Now, that is something of a mixed blessing. Spending a few days with the characters in Genesis isn’t the most relaxing literary vacation you’ll ever take. Richard Dawkins wasn’t kidding when he said, “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction.” The God character in Genesis is cruel, violent, callous, insecure, power-hungry, paranoid, hot-tempered, morally fickle… I could go on and on. And God’s followers aren’t much better. They lie, they scheme, they cheat one another, they conquer other villages with bloodthirsty imperialist glee, they kill at the drop of a hat. This isn’t Beatrix Potter here. It’s more like Dangerous Liaisons by way of Quentin Tarantino. With tents, sand, and sheep.

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Posted: 10th, February 2013 | In: Books Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

15 Things Mad Magazine Gave The World

MAD publisher Bill Gaines, 1970.

MAD publisher Bill Gaines, 1970.


MAD Magazine is an American institution. It’s been going since 1952 and is still funny, but it’s given the world more than just gags…


In 1961, a group of composers including Irving Berlin (writer of White Christmas) tried to sue MAD following a series of parody songs they’d published, to be sung to the tunes of the originals. The case ended up in the Supreme Court, which ultimately ruled in MAD’s favour – they basically ruled that it was clear these songs were jokes, that they weren’t intended to be mistaken for the originals, and that they weren’t damaging. This was seen as a landmark case in terms of making parodies legit, and is still regularly cited in courts.






Antonio Prohias’s Spy Vs Spy strip was a wordless ongoing saga of a black-clad spy and a white-clad spy trapping, bombing, shooting and blowing each other up in contrived-but-amazing ways using good old-fashioned big round bombs with “BOMB” written on them. As well as needless violence, though, it’s an allegory of the Cold War, the thirty-year period of general global tenseness that led to the revolution in Prohias’s native Cuba. So it’s well clever, innit, with its explosions. Prohias died in 1998, but the strip continues in airbrush-and-stencil form by Peter Kuper, still bearing the credit “By Prohias” in spy-esque Morse Code every time.







The grinning, gap-toothed idiot on nearly every cover of MAD, Alfred E Neuman has become a beloved American icon despite rarely if ever showing up in the magazine itself – his appearances are limited to the cover and a quote on the contents page. On the covers, though, he’s been everyone from King Kong to Justin Bieber to Jabba The Hutt to the baby from the Nevermind album. He and his catchphrase (“What, me worry?”) have still become enormous – Jimi Hendrix introduced his Woodstock set with “What, me worry?”. Barack Obama, arguably the most powerful individual in the world, once described himself as having “the politics of [former Presidential candidate] Alfred E Smith and the ears of Alfred E Neuman”.





You know that impossible-to-colour-in optical illusion of a trident that might be a bident? MAD named it – it’s called a poiuyt (which is a very satisfying word to type). They also enjoyed popularising obscure German or Yiddish words, like potrzebie, veeblefetzer and furshlugginer, which became ingrained enough in American culture to recently pop up in Boardwalk Empire.







One of the trademark features of any issue of MAD is Al Jaffee’s Fold-In, an image on the inside back cover that starts off as one thing and, by folding a section of the page into another, reveals a hidden message – like the one Marge’s cellmate has tattooed on her back when she goes to prison in The Simpsons. They’re ridiculously clever, and the now 91-year-old Jaffee does them with no help from Photoshop or computers at all, preferring to paint on a stiff wooden board and only seeing the folded-in image when he’s sent the magazine. Try making one. You can’t. It’s just too HARD.






Most magazines feature loads of dead space in the margins. At MAD they decided to make them a bit more interesting, by getting Sergio Aragones (owner of a badass moustache and known as the fastest cartoonist in the world) to doodle in them. He’s been doing this since 1963, only missing one issue when the Post Office lost his mail.


Bill Gaines being understated, London, 1971.

Bill Gaines being understated, London, 1971.




MAD founder Bill Gaines was the son of Max Gaines, who had been instrumental in the success of Action Comics in the 1930s before setting up his own company, Educational Comics (EC). After Max’s death, Bill took over and started publishing first romance, then horror comics. These comics – including Tales From The Crypt and Weird Science – were really successful but led to the Comics Code Authority, essentially a censorship board. Gaines responded by transforming the two-year-old MAD from a comic into a magazine. When MAD became successful, Gaines became known for his eccentricities and simultaneous cheapness and generosity. Every year he would take the whole staff on an overseas trip – one year, he found out MAD had one subscriber in Haiti, whose subscription was about to run out, so he took the whole staff to visit him and persuade him to renew it. He also once paid twice the market value of really low-grade paper because he felt MAD shouldn’t be printed on nice stock. Until his death in 1992, he was greeted by staff members with a cheery “Fuck you, Bill”.






A lot of pretenders to MAD’s throne stepped up over the years, of varying degrees of quality. Cracked (which survives as the genuinely excellent was an unabashed poor-man’s version of it that nonetheless lasted forty years, while Crazy, Sick, Flip, Whack, Nuts (not that one), Wild, Riot, Bughouse, Eh, Unsane, Get Lost and Panic all bit the dust pretty quick.






After the success of the amazing 1978 film Animal House, produced in association with the magazine National Lampoon, MAD became attached to a similar college-set film called Up The Academy, starring former Bond girl (and later wife of Ringo Starr) Barbara Bach. It was by all accounts a complete dog-egg, leading MAD to disown it, and Bill Gaines to pay $30,000 to remove MAD’s name from it and offer handwritten apologies and refunds to anyone who’d sat through it.


Mad Magazine cartoonist Sergio Aragones, left, Jack Davis and Al Jaffee, right, speak with Savannah College of Art and Design professor John Larison, second from the left, during an event hosted by SCAD and the National Cartoonists Society, Friday, Oct. 11, 2011 in Savannah, Ga.

Mad Magazine cartoonist Sergio Aragones, left, Jack Davis and Al Jaffee, right, speak with Savannah College of Art and Design professor John Larison, second from the left, during an event hosted by SCAD and the National Cartoonists Society, Friday, Oct. 11, 2011 in Savannah, Ga.




Before the switch to magazine format, founding editor Harvey Kurtzman created the majority of the magazine, but after the switch, freelancers known as “the usual gang of idiots” came in and made the magazine their own. Regular readers of MAD learned to look out for certain names on features – if Dick DeBartolo had written a Mort Drucker-illustrated film spoof, you knew it was going to be good. One of their strangest but best-loved contributors was Don Martin, known for his incredibly unusual way of drawing feet and ridiculous sound effects – like Wonder Woman undoing her bra being soundtracked with “Snap ploobadoof”. Both loved and hated was Dave Berg’s The Lighter Side Of…, a long-running, severely inoffensive feature which featured probably the worst-dressed characters ever drawn.


Cover by Drew Struzan.

Cover by Drew Struzan.




As well as influencing a ton of big names (there’d be no Daniel Clowes without MAD, Robert Crumb cites it as a huge influence, and Alan Moore has claimed that MAD’s Superduperman spoof was a direct influence on Watchmen) some properly big deals have passed through the doors of MAD. Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman, of Maus fame, was a regular contributor, Drew Struzan and Frank Frazetta both did covers, and one issue a few years ago contained contributions from no less than ten Pulitzer-winning cartoonists. Plus “Weird Al” Yankovic once wrote for them.




Viz editor Graham Dury, creator of the Fat Slags, tells us “MAD magazine had a massive influence on me when I was little. The two blokes on earth I would most like to get stuck in a lift with are Don Martin and Sergio Aragones, so long as they had a big stack of paper and some pens with them. I loved the way everybody Martin drew had that fantastic self-confident strut and shoes that flopped over at the end. And Aragones’s scribblings were probably the best bit of the magazine. They showed that the editors really cared about it and wanted to just pack it with stuff. But I doubt I’ll end up in a lift with either of them. Well certainly not Don Martin anyway, as he’s dead. If any of your readers see Sergio Aragones getting into a dodgy looking lift, could they let me know?”



Much in the same way that Nirvana only really felt like they’d made it when they got a call from “Weird Al” Yankovic, being spoofed in MAD is kind of like a badge of honour. MAD’s letters page regularly features notes from celebrities proudly holding up magazines taking the piss out of them. When asked about big moments in his career, Slash from Guns N’Roses said “The magazine cover that has meant the most to me was probably when I appeared in MAD magazine, as a caricature of Alfred E. Neuman. That was when I felt I’d arrived.”






If there was an alien race out there that had only ever been exposed to MAD, they’d have a pretty decent grasp of modern American history. You can trace wars, leaders, politics and technology through it, as well as the history of entertainment, from issue #4’s Superduperman to last issue’s Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus cover. MAD’s first cover after 9/11 nearly didn’t happen – the initial cover story was on the New York Marathon, and showed corpse-laden NY streets. They wisely decided to pull it, and replaced it with an image that was simultaneously funny, respectful, patriotic and… excuse us, there must be dust in here.



Comics in the 50s didn’t encourage people to question anything – everything was more about being pleasant and not rocking the boat. MAD came along and started picking holes in the American Dream, suggesting the products Americans were buying were crap, their leaders were clueless and that the people were being treated like dicks. These days everyone’s a cynical bastard, but MAD invented it.

Posted: 5th, March 2014 | In: Books, Key Posts, News Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Shameless nostalgia – the 1970s with a Ravioli Smile

SHAMELESS Nostalgia journeys to the 1970s to showcase: Robert Plant in his budgie smugglers; Keith Richards wondering who or what Mick Jagger is; Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific; Sleazy 70s Stag Films; Live and Let Live with Kloss; a Ravioli Smile; the Sex Pistols are childminders; Stoned Again with Robert Crumb; and Needlepoint for men…


Spotters: here and here

Posted: 16th, February 2012 | In: Flashback, Key Posts Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

100 Greatest Living Geniuses: Osama And Bill Gates Tie

THE top 100 living geniuses according to the, er, geniuses, at Creators Synectics, a global consultantncy outfit.

The list is the result of a survey of 4,000 Britons in the summer of 2007.

Marks out of 10 for: paradigm shifting; popular acclaim; intellectual power; achievement and cultural importance.

Apparently bin Laden could have written windows:

1= Albert Hoffman (Swiss) Chemist 27
1= Tim Berners-Lee (British) Computer Scientist 27
3 George Soros (American) Investor & Philanthropist 25
4 Matt Groening (American) Satirist & Animator 24
5= Nelson Mandela (South African) Politician & Diplomat 23
5= Frederick Sanger (British) Chemist 23
7= Dario Fo (Italian) Writer & Dramatist 22
7= Steven Hawking (British) Physicist 22
9= Oscar Niemeyer (Brazilian) Architect 21
9= Philip Glass (American) Composer 21
9= Grigory Perelman (Russian) Mathematician 21
12= Andrew Wiles (British) Mathematician 20
12= Li Hongzhi (Chinese) Spiritual Leader 20
12= Ali Javan (Iranian) Engineer 20
15= Brian Eno (British) Composer 19
15= Damian Hirst (British) Artist 19
15= Daniel Tammet (British) Savant & Linguist 19
18 Nicholson Baker (American Writer 18
19 Daniel Barenboim (N/A) Musician 17
20= Robert Crumb (American) Artist 16
20= Richard Dawkins (British) Biologist and philosopher 16
20= Larry Page & Sergey Brin (American) Publishers 16
20= Rupert Murdoch (American) Publisher 16
20= Geoffrey Hill (British) Poet 16
25 Garry Kasparov (Russian) Chess Player 15
26= The Dalai Lama (Tibetan) Spiritual Leader 14
26= Steven Spielberg (American) Film maker 14
26= Hiroshi Ishiguro (Japanese) Roboticist 14
26= Robert Edwards (British) Pioneer of IVF treatment 14
26= Seamus Heaney (Irish) Poet 14
31 Harold Pinter (British) Writer & Dramatist 13
32= Flossie Wong-Staal (Chinese) Bio-technologist 12
32= Bobby Fischer (American) Chess Player 12
32= Prince (American) Musician 12
32= Henrik Gorecki (Polish) Composer 12
32= Avram Noam Chomski (American) Philosopher & linguist 12
32= Sebastian Thrun (German) Probabilistic roboticist 12
32= Nima Arkani Hamed (Canadian) Physicist 12
32= Margaret Turnbull (American) Astrobiologist 12
40= Elaine Pagels (American) Historian 11
40= Enrique Ostrea (Philippino) Pediatrics & neonatology 11
40= Gary Becker (American) Economist 11
43= Mohammed Ali (American) Boxer 10
43= Osama Bin Laden (Saudi) Islamicist 10
43= Bill Gates (American) Businessman 10
43= Philip Roth (American) Writer 10
43= James West (American) Invented the foil electrical microphone 10
43= Tuan Vo-Dinh (Vietnamese) Bio-Medical Scientist 10
49= Brian Wilson (American) Musician 9
49= Stevie Wonder (American) Singer songwriter 9
49= Vint Cerf (American) Computer scientist 9
49= Henry Kissinger (American) Diplomat and politician 9
49= Richard Branson (British) Publicist 9
49= Pardis Sabeti (Iranian) Biological anthropologist 9
49= Jon de Mol (Dutch) Television producer 9
49= Meryl Streep (American) Actress 9
49= Margaret Attwood (Canadian) Writer 9
58= Placido Domingo (Spanish) Singer 8
58= John Lasseter (American) Digital Animator 8
58= Shunpei Yamazaki (Japanese) Computer scientist & physicist 8
58= Jane Goodall (British) Ethologist & Anthropologist 8
58= Kirti Narayan Chaudhuri (Indian) Historian 8
58= John Goto (British) Photographer 8
58= Paul McCartney (British) Musician 8
58= Stephen King (American) Writer 8
58= Leonard Cohen (Canadian) Poet & musician 8
67= Aretha Franklin (American) Musician 7
67= David Bowie (British) Musician 7
67= Emily Oster (American) Economist 7
67= Steve Wozniak (American) Engineer and co-founder of Apple Computers 7
67= Martin Cooper (American) Inventor of the cell phone 7
72= George Lucas (American) Film maker 6
72= Niles Rogers (American) Musician 6
72= Hans Zimmer (German) Composer 6
72= John Williams (American) Composer 6
72= Annette Baier (New Zealander) Philosopher 6
72= Dorothy Rowe (British) Psychologist 6
72= Ivan Marchuk (Ukrainian) Artist & sculptor 6
72= Robin Escovado (American) Composer 6
72= Mark Dean (American) Inventor & computer scientist 6
72= Rick Rubin (American) Musician & producer 6
72= Stan Lee (American) Publisher 6
83= David Warren (Australian) Engineer 5
83= Jon Fosse (Norwegian) Writer & dramatist  
83= Gjertrud Schnackenberg (American) Poet 5
83= Graham Linehan (Irish) Writer & dramatist 5
83= JK Rowling (British) Writer 5
83= Ken Russell (British) Film maker 5
83= Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov (Russian) Small arms designer 5
83= Erich Jarvis (American) Neurobiologist 5
91=. Chad Varah (British) Founder of Samaritans 4
91= Nicolas Hayek (Swiss) Businessman and founder of Swatch 4
91= Alastair Hannay (British) Philosopher 4
94= Patricia Bath (American) Ophthalmologist  
94= Thomas A. Jackson (American) Aerospace engineer 3
94= Dolly Parton (American) Singer 3
94= Morissey (British) Singer 3
94= Michael Eavis (British) Organiser of Glastonbury 3
94= Ranulph Fiennes (British) Adventurer 3
100=. Quentin Tarantino (American) Filmmaker 2

Spotter: MK

Posted: 16th, December 2008 | In: Celebrities Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

20 Greatest Living Geniuses

THE Twenty greatest living genuises. “Creators Synectics, a global consultants firm, chose their geniuses by awarding scores out of 10 to each entrant against a number of factors: paradigm shifting; popular acclaim; intellectual power; achievement and cultural importance.”
1= Albert Hoffman (Swiss) Chemist 27
1= Tim Berners-Lee (British) Computer Scientist 27
3 George Soros (American) Investor & Philanthropist 25
4 Matt Groening (American) Satirist & Animator 24
5= Nelson Mandela (South African) Politician & Diplomat 23
5= Frederick Sanger (British) Chemist 23
7= Dario Fo (Italian) Writer & Dramatist 22
7= Steven Hawking (British) Physicist 22
9= Oscar Niemeyer (Brazilian) Architect 21
9= Philip Glass (American) Composer 21
9= Grigory Perelman (Russian) Mathematician 21
12= Andrew Wiles (British) Mathematician 20
12= Li Hongzhi (Chinese) Spiritual Leader 20
12= Ali Javan (Iranian) Engineer 20
15= Brian Eno (British) Composer 19
15= Damian Hirst (British) Artist 19
15= Daniel Tammet (British) Savant & Linguist 19
18 Nicholson Baker (American Writer 18
19 Daniel Barenboim (N/A) Musician 17
20= Robert Crumb (American) Artist 16
20= Richard Dawkins (British) Biologist and philosopher 16
20= Larry Page & Sergey Brin (American) Publishers 16
20= Rupert Murdoch (American) Publisher 16
20= Geoffrey Hill (British) Poet 16

Posted: 29th, October 2007 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Five Most Underrated John Carpenter Movies



JOHN Carpenter’s film career has had its critical ups and downs, but time – the final arbiter of success, perhaps – has been almost universally kind to the vast majority of his cinematic work.

Reviled upon release in the summer of Spielberg’s E.T., John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) is now revered as a horror classic and a work of art superior to the Howard Hawks film of 1951.

Similarly, Carpenter’s anti-yuppie battle cry, They Live (1988) has been re-evaluated as an ahead-of-its time masterpiece about the imminent death of the middle class in America, and “vulture capitalists” picking at its bones.

Even In the Mouth of Madness (1994), dismissed on original release as lesser-Carpenter, is widely considered now to be the finest interpretation of the Lovecraft aesthetic yet committed to film.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 1st, May 2014 | In: Film, Flashback, Key Posts Comments (8) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Truth About Libya’s Musa Kusa: How The 270 Were Betrayed

MOUSSA Koussa, aka Musa Kusa – crazy name, crazy guy – has defected from Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya. He is the former Libyan Foreign Minister now living in the UK in a secret location.

The media looks at a defector wanted by police in connection with the Lockerbie bombing and the murder of Pc Yvonne Fletcher.

A short bio:

Kusa, 61, is widely suspected of masterminding a string of terror attacks. He was a high-ranking leader in Libya’s notorious “external security bureau”, the Mathaba, which has been repeatedly linked to the 270 murders at Lockerbie.

It’s believed he was also behind the bombing of a French jet that killed 170 people in 1989, as well as a 1986 blast at a German disco that killed two American servicemen and a woman from Turkey.

And many believe he knows who killed WPC Yvonne Fletcher, gunned down in 1984 by two assassins firing from inside the Libyan Embassy in London.
Kusa was himself de facto ambassador to Britain in 1979 and 1980. But he was kicked out after openly backing the IRA – and announcing plans to murder two Libyan dissidents on British soil.

The IRA Years:


Picture 1 of 20

Undated handouts of victims of the Omagh bombing. They are (top row, from the left) 12-year-old James Barker, Esther Gibson, Sean McGrath, Gareth Conway, Elizabeth Rush, Fred White, Lorraine Wilson and (bottom row, from the left) Veda Short, Alan Radford, Bryan White, Brenda Logue, Deborah Cartwright, Geraldine Breslin, and Oran Doherty.

The Nicknames:

Branded a “superstar of terrorism” and “envoy of death”, the list of atrocities linked to Libyan Musa Kusa send shivers down the spine. Described as the “black box recorder” of the regime…

The Cowardly Old Man:

Libyan spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said Mr Kusa had permission to go to Tunisia as he was sick with diabetes and high blood pressure, but the regime was surprised to learn he had flown to London.

“People are saying ‘So what? If someone wants to step down that’s his decision’,” Mr Ibrahim said. “He is tired and exhausted. He is an old man. His heart and body cannot take the pressure.”

He Fled Us To Be With Us:

A senior Whitehall source said of Kusa, 62: “He came over because he thought we were going to bomb him. It was quite simple. He was scared and acted out of self-preservation.”

The Money:

MUSA Kusa’s interrogation will last from two to three years as MI5 officers ¬painstakingly squeeze every bit of ¬information they can from him.
But it may be well worth it to him, clinching a huge financial deal and a safe haven here or possibly in the US.

One source told the Daily Mirror that it was highly likely a secret Cabinet committee meeting in a few years would agree a package for him, perhaps worth several million pounds. But whatever his demands, no promises or even a hint of an offer will be made to him for at least six months.

He’s One Of Us, says Paul Pillar:

But I think his decision reflects more than just a calculation of odds about the outcome of the current Libyan civil war. Kusa is an urbane, polished man who would not look out of place as a minister or ambassador in the service of a western government. He has a western education, in the form of a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. He is not the image of a revolutionary or a subversive; he comes across as a polite and pragmatic diplomat. Whatever thuggish history may be in his past, it is hard to picture him as representing the current thuggish elements of the Libyan regime. In this moment of trial, anguish, and uncertainty, probably something inside told him that he belongs in the west.

The Immunity:

In his statement Mr Hague said:

His resignation shows that Qadhafi’s regime, which has already seen significant defections to the opposition, is fragmented, under pressure and crumbling from within. Qadhafi must be asking himself who will be the next to abandon him.

We reiterate our call for Qadhafi to go. Musa Kusa is not being offered any immunity from British or international justice.

Who now speaks for the 270 people murdered at Lockerbie?

Frank Duggan, president of the Victims of Pan Am 103 group, said: “He should not be treated as a witness but as part of the criminal enterprise that brought down the plane.”

“He knows who ordered it, who made the bomb, who paid for it, who transported it to Malta and how it was put on the plane. He knows the details of (bomber) Megrahi’s release from the Scottish prison, including the role of the British officials,” he said.

Jim Swire’s daughter Flora was killed in the mass murder:

Mr Swire, who met Mr Kusa during a visit to Libya in 1991, described Mr Kusa as “extremely frightening. More frightening than Gaddafi himself”. He said: “He was clearly running things. If Libya was involved in Lockerbie, he can tell us how they carried out the atrocity and why. I would be appalled if by now the Scottish police are not in England interviewing Mr Kusa. It is a great day for us.”

We’re the good guys:

But Mr Cameron hailed the defection of Kusa as a ‘serious blow’ to the ‘crumbling and rotten Gaddafi regime’.

Change the words around and you get:

But Mr Gaddafi hailed the defection of Kusa as a ‘serious blow’ to the ‘crumbling and rotten Cameron regime’.

That’s hard on Cameron. The difference between democratic Britain and Libya is that the Tony Blair-led Labour administration that fixed it for Abdel Basset al-Megrahi to escape justice and live out his days in freedom has gone. But the overriding message remains unaltered if the British Government does not get justice for the 270 and continues to lie and connive to sacrifice truth for money.

Says Cameron:

“Let me be clear, Musa Kusa is not being granted immunity, there is no deal of that kind. The point I would make about the dreadful events over Lockerbie, that investigation is still open and the police and the prosecuting authorities are entirely independent of Government and they should follow their evidence wherever it leads and the Government will assist them in any way possible.”


Susan Cohen, 72, of Cape May, New Jersey, who lost her 20-year-old daughter Theodora in the bombing, added: “He should go to jail, he has to be put on trial and he has to see justice. Britain has to take responsibility for this guy and do the right thing. This time Britain has to mean it.”

Tory MP Robert Halfon adds:

“I think what has happened is comparable to Rudolf Hess coming here during the Second World War. The fact is that this man is most likely a war criminal, allegedly been responsible for the deaths of British citizens, allegedly the organiser of the Lockerbie bombing. He needs to go to the international court to face trials for war crimes. There’s no way the British taxpayer should be subsidising one of Gaddafi’s henchmen to live in the UK.”

Posted: 1st, April 2011 | In: Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Spooky News: How iPhone Ghost Capture App Dupes Tabloid Readers

ON 15 February, The Sun ran this story as it continues to try to prove ghosts and aliens exist, write MacGuffin of the Tabloid Watch site:

This picture was apparently taken at Gwrych Castle in North Wales. The Sun says:

And the shadowy girl appears to be on the first floor, in what used to be a magnificent banquet hall. The floor in that room crumbled away years ago, meaning there is nothing for a person to stand on.

But if the floor crumbled away ‘years ago’ how come this picture from October 2007, posted during a discussion on the photo at the Ghost Theory website, shows the same window and – shock! – a floor.

As does this video on YouTube.

So who gave this story to the Sun? ‘Company boss’ Kevin Horkin. Ghost Theory found he runs a ‘Psychic Management Agency’ called Parallel Management and is hoping to buy Gwrych Castle to set up a Psychic School of Excellence there.

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Posted: 3rd, March 2010 | In: News Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The X-Factor: Anthea Turner Goes Down

ALEXANDRA Burke is the “£10million winner” (Mail) of TV’s X Factor, and makes real the “£1m dream” (Mirror).

To her go the spoils of recording contract, to be called the “new Leona Lewis” and to sing a warbling cover version of Little Drummer Boy.

But for every winner there must be a loser, and the Mail brings the associated front-page news that Anthea Turner is a “100m LOSER”.

Anthea Turner weeps as she reveals she might lose her £5million mansion in the credit crunch.

Says the woman who lent her hair to X Factor hopeful Eoghan Quigg:

I don’t think a £5million mansion makes you happy.

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Posted: 15th, December 2008 | In: Celebrities Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Victoria Beckham Serves Up Turkey Twizzlers

victoria-beckham-turkey.jpgVICTORIA Beckham, international Duty Free enthusiast, is in conversation with the Mirror’s 3am Girls. Or as the Mirror puts it: “POSH TELLS ALL TO 3am.”

First up Vicky tells the girls how she and Julia Roberts are “both mums with young children so we had a lot to talk about”.

She goes on: “Most of my friends in LA, like Katie Holmes and Kate Beckinsale, all have children so we get together and do very normal things”, like waiting for the cleaner to hoover up the spilt Rice Crispies.

“I’ve become really good friends with mums from my sons’ school as well.” No names are provided, but you know who you are. And if you don’t know, best get an agent.

Listening in, one may suppose that Her Poshness only meets people through her children. In the Sun, Posh tells us that she serves hot lunches at her sons’ school.

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Posted: 14th, May 2008 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids Comments (13) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0