The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from an urban verb along a French river flowing opposite of expectation, for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly.
Memo to BP and Obama
It has become clear that BP's (and now the Obama Admin's) many failed attempts to stop the oil spewing from the Gulf floor were so-named in hopes of success: Top Kill and Top Hat were named similarly so that the public eventually remembers the entire operation as a success (which of course failed). The "Junk Shot" was also a bust, so now we're being told that the two wells being drilled (BP only wanted one but Obama sources insisted on two, how's that for government intervention?) won't relieve the flow until August. "The probability of them hitting it on the very first shot is virtually nil," said David Rensink of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, "If they get it on the first three or four shots they'd be very lucky." The total amount of oil already coating coastlines and the ocean is unknown (anywhere between forty gallons and four million) yet conspiracy theories are flying, only aided by the $77,051 Obama received from BP and its assorted PACs. Yep, the President who is overseeing the spill is the biggest recipient of donations from BP over the past 20 years (which doesn't include $15.9 million BP spent on lobbyist last year alone). "Drill baby, drill!" was Sarah Palin's failed mantra during the election, yet it is fair to ask what's really going on. Obama not knowing that Mining and Mineral Services Director Liz Birnbaum was either fired or had resigned last week says much, same with denials of knowing that Bill Clinton represented the White House while telling Joe Sestak not to challenge Senator Arlen Specter. Something stinks; at least we knew Bush/Cheney were evil, but Obama/Biden aren't as good at playing dumb. Good thing our allies are always around to keep us safe and distracted.
Our Special Friend's "Bloody Massacre"
One conspiracy recently whispered in my ear is how BP used to control all of the oil in Iran before we installed the Shah, so this whole oil mess is intended to cut supplies and force another invasion; we already stole Iraq so why not Iran? Aided by Israel, BP's pal Obama will lock up most oil reserves in the Middle East. Crazy huh? Maybe not after Israeli commandos overtook Turkish-flagged ships full of pro-Palestinian activists on Monday in international waters. A 4 a.m. fight, soldiers firing then getting assaulted with knives and ad hoc weapons, leaving nine activists dead and six soldiers wounded. The activists were trying to bring supplies and attention to Israel's blockading of the Gaza Strip and it worked; of course, Israel called the attack "self-defense." Turkey (Israel's sole ally in the region) called the incident a "bloody massacre" with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan not mincing words: "We see clear murder taking place, and we see an aggressive country. We're sick and tired of your lies. Be honest." Of course blind-faith pro-Israel fanatics will call Mick an Anti-Semite for even reporting on this sorry incident, which just proves my point.
"After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as Tolkien's Middle Earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures," said director Guillermo del Toro as he quit trying to make "The Hobbit." Director Peter Jackson and MGM made myth come to life (and billions) with "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but the long-planned prequel has suffered through delays (MGM has yet to green-light the project) so del Toro had to step aside; sad it is, because the director of Pan's Labyrinth and the Hell Boy movies could have done wonders. Maybe the Shire should be left alone, any more greed and a hobbit will surely hurl a stone at producers' heads with precision, yet no ill-will.
One Miniature Casket and Much Coke Required
Dennis Hopper is dead. Or is he? Like Keith Richards, his body is already so full of chemicals that aliens will uncover a perfect mummy next millennium. After being cast alongside a flash-in-the-pan named James Dean, Hopper established his bad-boy image by being chased with a loaded gun on the set of True Grit by an irate John Wayne. Then, with a $380,000 budget, Hopper directed Easy Rider - magically making Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson seem likeable - then hurling himself into awful b-movie roles with rare glimpses of brilliance, including Apocalypse Now (yes, Hopper was "maybe" paid in cocaine for the role) and Hoosiers. Married five times and dead at 74 of prostrate cancer, watch Land of the Zombies to see what a complex character this actor and artist was, even when fighting flesh-eating mutants from his chic urban tower. Equally vexing for aliens will be the unearthing of Gary Coleman, who also died this week, aged either 42 or 8. Diff'rent Strokes brought slapstick racist stereotypes into our homes from 1978-1985, leaving the entire cast ravaged with angst, drug addiction and prostitution. Born with a congenital kidney disease, Coleman never reached five feet in height yet used his stature and addictive catchphrases "What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" and "Where'd my money go, mom and dad?" to become a creepy adult celebrity, whether running for Governor of California or having a seizure on The Insider. Coleman suffered from intracranial brain bleeding in Provo, Utah, and his wife immediately took him off life support, which is exactly the indignity we expect our child stars to be afforded.
Other Shocking Death News
You love your iPhone and other Apple products, but do you love the workers who are dying to make them for you? Foxconn's factory in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen employs 300,000 people who work, eat and live and, apparently, die Apple for you with at least 13 workers trying to commit suicide recently - ten successfully. Exasperated company spokesman Liu Kun, clutching an iPad with one hand and a sharpened iPod in the other, explained, "Foxconn has never seen anything like this before in the past 20 years of operating on the mainland. We've checked the work records and couldn't find any direct link between the working conditions and the suicides." Even more confounding was the scene Klamath, CA, police found in U.S. cage fighter Jarrod Wyatt's room this weekend: Blood spattered everywhere, an eyeball, and the heart of Wyatt's training partner, Taylor Powell, cut out of his body and burned. Wyatt's defense is solid: Claiming he drank hallucinogenic tea before training with Powell, Wyatt became convinced his partner was possessed so he did what anyone would do - cleaving and ripping Powell's heart out (the autopsy showed he was still alive at the time) and burning it, ripping off most of Powell's face, Wyatt then stood victorious above the vanquished Devil naked until police arrived. Any jury of cage-fighting peers will surely acquit Wyatt, especially in California.