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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Plan For Iran

It's important to plan ahead. You don't want to be caught off guard when the moment comes, with nowhere to go, nothing to do, nobody to hang out with. So, to help you prepare, we ask:

When the attack on Iran begins this spring, what will you do?
  1. order pizza and watch the events unfold on tv as part of CNN's thrilling "DISARMING IRAN" show
  2. monitor the situation carefully on the Internet using sources like Information Clearing House, The Guardian UK, and Democracy Now
  3. start rioting
  4. shun rioting, and instead adopt a more thorough regime-change strategy as outlined by Thomas Jefferson
  5. weep for the state of perpetual suffering forever at the heart of the human condition
  6. write a letter to your senator and congressman/woman explaining your feelings about the expanded offensive in the Middle East and how you would like them to make your feelings known to their colleagues on Capitol Hill
  7. break into the apartment next door and viciously beat the occupants since it is possible their dog is the one that has been shitting in your yard (if they don't have dog, this will at least deter them from trying to acquire one)
  8. pray for the safety of American soldiers and Iranian civilians
  9. pray for forgiveness for taking the Lord's name in vain so often, lest The Rapture be imminent
  10. smoke a cigar to congratulate yourself on a job well done

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

February In London


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Friday, February 23, 2007


I keep trying to walk. You need to walk. Everyone I've ever respected has been a walker. My wife is a Walker. I used to walk - not professionally, but I was publically lauded for my walking nonetheless - but now I don't walk much.

I walked this week. But I always make the mistake of bringing the still camera and then I'm walking and stopping and walking and crouching and walking and peeking over people's fences.

My friend George walks an hour every day. Not for exercise. For meditation. George is an admired and respected artist.

I've never heard anyone say - apart from myself - I've never heard anyone say:

"This daily walking routine is messing up my life."

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A 300 Review

7 months ago, I reported from Comic-Con that I had seen the most exciting thing ever in my entire life - the preview for the film adaptation of Frank Miller's "300".

But these Comic-Con previews can be misleading.

Oh, such excitement and high-hopes I had for "Van Helsing" (2004), which, based on the thrilling Comic-Con 2003 preview, promised to be an exciting revitalization of and tribute to the Universal horror monsters - instead of a sophomoric, very boring idiot-fest, occasionally made bearable by moments of extreme lousiness.

Did I dare get my hopes up again?

I respect Zack Snyder ... but do I trust him?

Well, Mike Sizemore has seen "300".

Mike Sizemore declares: "It is good."

In fact, Mike Sizemore actually says: "It's great."

I am mad with joy!! - or some other equally manly expression.

Read Mike's review at Londonist.com.

Or ... just watch THE "300" TRAILER.

And if, after watching the "300" trailer, you are not completely blissed out with geek-endorphins (or, as we say, "geedorphins"), then you really have no business reading the rabbit + crow blog , and should hasten back to your MySpace.


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Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Drakonhead The DRAKONHEAD Class "venture ships" were built by Livingstone High Enterprise for Your Agency, for use as a multipurpose very-long-range transport.

The Drakonhead was used first for outer-solar, then near-interstellar exploration and commerce. It was the first vessel to employ a bismuth reactor-powered gravity wave drive. The bismuth drive, in effect, increased the vessel's rate of travel by a factor of 10. Drawbacks were that it was very hot, unstable, and even with dense shielding, was a radiation hazard to cargo and crew. Bismuth drives were blamed for dozens of deaths, some through radiation poisoning, more commonly through sudden, catastrophic detonation.

Nevertheless the Drakonheads were used throughout the late Expansion Period. When they were replaced by the vastly improved Drakonwing craft, the Drakonhead design was licensed to companies that otherwise would have been unable to afford interstellar travel.

When heavy element drives gravity drives became common at the end of the Expansion Period, the ships - still used for cheap, unlicensed transport - were derogatorially called "Dragging-heads".

The Drakonhead is the archetype for the Expansion Era venture ship. Although used far less frequently than the Drakonwing and other heavy-element reactor vessels, the Drakonhead conjures images of risk and endurance that has come to be associated with the Expansion Era.

Learn more at:



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Monday, February 19, 2007

Camera Testing

HD camera shoot out on Shepperton's Stage E - with free beer and sausage rolls.

shepperton camera test

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Shepperton Sheep

Went down to Shepperton Studios this past weekend for an HD camera comparison test. Very geeky and very cool.

A dozen cameras on Shepperton's Stage E were lined up with helpful camera assistants and operators and DP's standing by. And homie asked lots and lots of questions (because I'm writing a magazine piece on the tests, yes - but also because I am a curious man).

There is a cafe at Shepperton called "Oscars". Should the Motion Picture Academy sue?

Also there are lots of sheep milling around Shepperton! Why, it was just like being on an L.A. studio lot - specifically in the executive building.

David Lean Drive

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

And so it came to pass...port

new passport
So I became a British citizen last month.

But the citizenship status is effectively useless, unless you have the passport to back it up.

And now I have it. Finally. Finally, I have it.

It was hard getting a British passport. It took a long, long time to trudge through the bureaucratic hoops, the forms, the paperwork, the registered mailings. I started the process in October. Well, that's not true entirely. I actually started the process - began to ask questions, fill out forms, wait in lines - when I was back in Los Angeles. I became acquainted with the British Consulate there, in Westwood, where they have tv sets blaring CNN at you all the time, keeping you abreast of the terrible, terrible danger on all sides. And that was ... when? ... September? So, to get this passport took six months.

And actually that's exactly how long they said it would take.

But logic says it should not take that long. If you do all the math: "this process takes one month", "that takes two weeks", "this takes three weeks more", it all adds up to about three months, max. But somehow, as if through some miracle of physics - some kind of bureacratic theory of special relativity - time gets mysteriously added and ... voila ... six months.

Maybe that, like the speed of light, is the Passport Constant. It is six months. It will always equal six months, no matter how fast you complete the forms, no matter how many times you use express mail.

It was a difficult six months. My favorite part, I think, of the whole thing was after finally getting my certificate of British citizenship, having corresponded back and forth for months with the Home Office, they sent me a letter saying that they couldn't send me my passport because they needed independent verification of my mailing address - the address they had been using for five months. Trippy.

Yes. It was difficult. Hard.

How hard?

Did you ever see that movie, "Touching The Void" (2003)?

That's how hard it was.

But now I have my passport. And you know what that means. That means I can get my name on a bank account. And I can be officially employed by Britishers. And I can go on vacation to foreign countries and completely deny being an American and have the documents to prove it - which is handy.

My passport has an antenna in it.

Yes. It does. It's one of the special, new, high-tech "biometric" passports. It has a microchip embedded - and an antenna. When I first flipped through the burgundy-covered little treasure I saw the antenna and I joked: "Heh! Why, it looks as if they've even put an antenna in the passport! Heh!"

But then, reading my "UK New biometric passport Essential information booklet": "Your passport...contains an electronic chip and its antenna."

So it wasn't as funny after that.

I don't like having an antenna on my passport.

Unless I could broadcast from it:


I think I'll start doing that - broadcasting good old fashioned pirate radio from my passport antenna. So if you see me at the airport, mumbling into my jacket pocket, I'm just broadcasting. You should come over and say something. Maybe we could do a live on-air interview.

The passport has lots of images of birds on it pages. Wading water birds and birds of prey.

But the coolest part is that there's a unicorn on the cover.

Is that awesome, or what?

A unicorn!

The unicorn pictured has got kind of a limp wrist, which is not my personal preference, but still - it's a unicorn! That's pretty cool. We don't have unicorns in the United States. But here in Britain, you can turn around with running into a unicorn, swishing about, hooves flapping, dancing all night to Kylie Minogue.

Do unicorns have wrists?

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Models - Too Thin? Too Long?

In London right now there is a lot of talk about how thin fashion models are and how very, very bad it is that they are so thin.

I personally don't mind if they're thin, as long as they're not too long. There's nothing worse than a long model.

Some models can be up to 20 meters long. I don't like those. I don't like the long ones.

I once saw a model that weighed 89 lbs, but was actually 39 meters long. Her name was Natalia Stringofaire.

In some countries, they don't have super-thin models. They have super-wide models. In Finland, some models are two meters wide. The standard size is about 1.7 meters. Famous model Milka Verinowikka is 3 meters across, and weighs 900 pounds, but she is only about six centimeters long.

It's important to know how big fashion models are, because the camera adds 10 lbs and you won't have any way to know the truthfulness of everything unless you have access to some facts and figures.

Thin fashion models make me sad. :(

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Friday, February 09, 2007

rabbit + crow meets Gabbly

I have just discovered Gabbly - a simple web utility that lets anyone anywhere chat instantaneously about any URL anywhere. I think my life is about to get even better:

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Big Eye

There's a lotta structures out there.

Lotta people moving under & around & inside them.

Lotta old stuff, lotta new stuff.

It was freezing out there today. But the snow - very beautiful.

London Ben

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Total Information Awareness

What with governments scrambling to acquire TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS (aka "TIA", which mean's "AUNTIE" in Spanish - like "Big Sister", instead of "Big Brother"), I sometimes have this nagging feeling that I'm being watched.

My computer is supposed to tell me when my webcam is turned on or off. But could my computer be a filthy liar?

Neal at work

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Sunday, February 04, 2007


Planet Tharat


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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Who Are We?

Writer Charles Bear assesses his America - as published at www.ichblog.eu:

Who Are We?"

Saturday, 03 February 2007

By Charles Bear

"There is no escaping the fact that the U.S. is an imperialist nation conceived in genocide and racism that has continued through the ages, and worsened with the rise of modern technology and weaponry. With the advent of smart bombs came stupid and immoral leaders. Our litany of crimes against earth and humanity are concealed under layers of moral language, but the actual deeds belie the intent behind what is being done in our name. Ignorance, however, does not absolve anyone from culpability - Charles Sullivan

The Chinese leaders and intellectuals with whom I was meeting were incredulous. How could a majority of the population in an allegedly free country with an allegedly free press be so totally misinformed? The only answer I could give the Chinese is that Americans would have been the perfect population for Mao and the Gang of Four, because Americans believe anything their government tells them. - Paul Craig Roberts

02/03/07 "ICHBlog' -- The United States is the land of insidious intent and self-induced amnesia. I am no longer a young man full of hope for himself and his fellow kind. Being born in 1943 brings with it a special responsibility. I have a letter my father wrote from the war - “the horror, the horror of it all.” It went way beyond his ability to give words to it, but I was with him when he died. The horror, the horror of it all still plagued him to his death. With his dying breath he referred to himself as a murderer - the results of mayhem in Europe and Africa while I lay in my crib or at my mother’s breast. But this is 2006, my father now two years gone.

But now my own horrors plague me, I live in the greatest Empire of all time - the elite of this country controls or tries to control the world. Neither the war to end all wars or the continuation called WW II has stopped the horror. Americans of the twentieth century have much blood on their hands - my hands and your hands - our hands. Way too much blood. And it continues to be let - in your name, in my name it continues: torture, destructions and death on a global scale.

At this time of another great war, it must be asked, again and again until we can become the question and live the answer: how do we find our way of being human. If any kind of redemption is possible, if any kind of forgiveness comes to us it will only be when we - you and I stand up together and say to men like Bush and Cheney and their cohorts that this must stop and stop now. Because if it does not we will bring redemption with their blood and our own blood if necessary.

We have failed, we have not only not found the answer, but we do not even dare ask the question. Who are we? We make great machines but I submit that we know very little about being human.

We are the people who have lost their grip on life; we live in a world modeled after Disneyland. Safe for all ages; and all, an illusion. We feel our being most as we shop the malls and Wal-Marts of America, as we seek those bargains with dollars that have no home. Homeless dollars for homeless minds and homeless bodies, for we have never truly made the Earth our home. We’re the people always going somewhere, never anywhere and always on the move.

We have lost all sense of morality, the value of life for us is in the Super Bowl, played without too many commercials and having our team prevail. Who are we; we are the empty men and women of a society trying to remake the world in our own image. Who are we; we’re US Citizens without any sense of citizenship.

If only “they” would behave and listen to “us”. They should, we say, because our TV commercials are the best in the world, we know how to package so that no matter what the product, it is wrapped in sex. We act as if the world belongs to us, we are the Gods of war, and know we have the right to demand and command. Just take a gander at the man we call President, a war mongering sociopath. He is a true demander and commander, but with no experience of the horror of war.

But if we had any sense of life and freedom we would have rebelled in 2000 as the freedom loving people of Oaxaca, Mexico are doing. Is it not strange that after 500 years of oppression Native people still know how to stand and fight for life, while we and our 200 years of democracy have no idea of what life or freedom is? We think we’re free because we can’t see the bars of containment—the incarceration society we’ve become, because the bars live inside of us.

For us life is just what we have as long as we do not exercise it, being human and free is just what we are as long as no crisis confronts us. Who are we, the empty men and women of America, the cowards who deny we are imperialist and deny we’re trying to remake the world in our image. We have become the New Fascists, the Americans who demand security as we gut the world and take it as we can and are willing to exterminate to get it.

In a society where being has lost all meaning we have replaced it by a mythology of life. I ask you: where do you live? Where are you free? To be human and live you must first be able to think, and thinking was ruled out by the third grade. We were taught the importance of the fuehrer, pardon me, the teacher. We created a school run for and by the bosses—based upon cue-response training. Yes, it is not the place to learn to be human - just to pee, one must first gain permission. To speak one must say the right words in the right order and to the right person. Is this the way of being human or the way of a robot?

Corporations run on fascist rules. Spend some time looking into what happens to whistle blowers: seekers of truth coupled with freedom of speech. We make freedom an after work activity, something we participate in when we go shopping or at home in the privacy of our own television. Work is submission - them that got, rules them that don’t.

Our police, including agencies like the FBI, functions as an enforcer for them that got and protects the booty and the institutions of power. Open your eyes if you can- –fifty shots fired into whom? Yes, yes I know they were wealthy white men just out for a good time before the shackles of marriage - sounds absurd. When did a white man with money ever get shot by the cops? Ask Leonard Peltier or Mumia Abu-Jamal about justice and life in America. Justice is something expected except by those who need it most.

Yes, we are the hollow men and women, we demand our rights as Gods. So why are we thought evil - because we are evil. We are the pretend people. We pretend freedom and we pretend justice. We just will not allow it to be practiced - here or any where else.

What are the essential elements of freedom and life? Right of self-defense, right of speech, right to land and justice. In this country we have none of these, we have empty words expressing our rights but the words are like vapor in a strong wind. And for me the most amazing realization is that as a culture and as a society we simply do not care. We simply accept our own lack of freedom by proclaiming ourselves free and then we go shopping.

Who are we? We are the people of great self-deception. We are the people who prefer the lie to the truth. If you doubt any of what I say here, think back to the war against Vietnam, those of you who are old enough remember - “never again”, and here we are back killing colonial peoples of color over resources again. Not only are we not free here but we do not want people anywhere to be free, especially if it interferes with our entertainment, our shopping or our car.

So who are we, we’re the people that put freedom down in …. name your place. So who are we? We are the New Fascists. Don’t you dare to use the word freedom again with out the word hypocrite conjoined.


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Third World Snow

Tanita Tikaram on. "Ancient Heart"

This is such a nice album - and it's not just the nostalgia factor talking.

It snowed a week ago. Or was it two weeks ago? We woke up to find a light layer of white on it all. It was that carefully deposited snow, snow that had fallen particularly and slowly and quietly and so by morning was beautifully balanced on tree banches and ledges and telephone wires.

january snowOur cats had never seen snow.

I'm still not sure if they've seen it.

Cats are not dogs, you might have noticed. Dogs have language abilities, are able to think abstractly. If you point out at the window at the snow, a dog will understand the pointing symbol and the indication of direction and will look to where you are pointing. Whereas a cat will stare at you, wondering why you have extended your arm and your finger, and then seeing no real reason for your idiotic behavior, will walk away, exposing its asshole to you.

The United Kingdom is the world's most expensive Third World Country.

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