Jeeves, fetch me my rocket launcher

typed for your pleasure on 20 August 2005, at 5.44 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Hoffmann’ by Asja auf Capri

At this very moment in writing, it’s raining outside, which is a fact that pleases me to no end. I mean, I normally prefer the skies to be cloudy and grey, but the fact that it’s doing it right now today is making me giggle like a schoolgirl. Why, you ask? This would be the week-end of the non-event known to people in the Southeastern Michigan area as the Woodward Dream Cruise.

The Woodward Dream cruise, if you’re lucky enough to not be familiar with it, is basically an excuse for all the gearheads and nostalgia freaks in the state (as well as a couple from neighbouring states) to cruise up and down Woodward, which is the main drag of the Tri-county area, as well as the dividing line between the west side and the east side. It’s ostensibly a sad reenactment of the ‘good ol’ days’ of the Fifties and Sixties, when Detroit had both a functioning auto industry and places worth visiting, and young people would drive aimlessly up and down Woodward in their oversized automobiles. Now, once a year for the past.. however many years.. all those individuals who grew up during those years that have reconditioned ‘classic’ cars spend an entire week-end, driving aimlessly up and down Woodward, slowing traffic down, and being a general nuisance.

On the one hand, people who support the Dream cruise say that not only is it fun, but it brings business to the shops in the area, the area being from 8 mile, to several miles north to Birmingham. It’s a chance to get that ’57 Chevy convertible that you’ve been wiping with a cloth diaper once a week for twelve months out of the garage and back onto the road where it belongs, and hang out with other like-minded car enthusaists, and their accompanying beer bellies. On the other hand, it’s a fucking annoyance, especially to those who live around Woodward, or use it habitually. You’ve got very loud, large, and ugly cars taking up three out of four lanes, and driving at an average speed of 20 – 25 mph. Quite a few business owners hate the Dream cruise cos it prevents customers from patronising their stores, cos people want to do what they can to avoid the traffic slowdown, and if it means not going anywhere near Woodward, then so be it. My friend Jeff and his wife regularly either leave town that week-end, or spend the majority of Saturday in cities that are far away from the cruise.

Now, not only do you have to deal with the hundreds of gobshites with their aircraft carriers on wheels, but then there’s the crowds of lookie-loos that line Woodward, in order to gawk at the cars. That aspect gets so ridiculous, that people set up lawn chairs a couple of days in advance. It’s fantastic to see these people have no other excitement or meaning in their lives, except to sit on the side of a fucking major thoroughfare for the purpose of watching loud cars and their equally loud owners, days before the actual event is underway.
I’d also like to take a moment to mention that right now in Michigan, a single gallon of regular gas is almost $2.80. Can you see why the Dream cruise makes less sense with each passing sentence?

It can be argued that I’m a wee bit biased. For one, I don’t really like American cars, as you may have gathered, especially ones built during the Fifties and Sixties, as I find them to be too noisy, and graceless in design. Plus I live about a mile away from Woodward — although I reside just south of the ‘starting point’ of the Dream cruise, I still have to fight my way through traffic if I want to go anywhere this eve. However, I hope to be attending the Battle of the Brits auto show this September. The main differences between that and the Dream cruise are that 1) the vehicles are better (‘British Made by British Labour’) and 2) the cars are not obstructing traffic on the goddamned road. The BotB takes place at an open-air park, where all the cars and motorcycles are parked on the lawn, and people walk amongst them and whatnot. Rather nice!

Right now, the rain has stopped. But it rained earlier this morn and stopped, so I’m hoping that it fires up again, and pisses all over the Dream cruise parade. Sorry, convertible owners! You’re probably gonna need more diapers

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This was Glorious Future, Vol.15

typed for your pleasure on 15 August 2005, at 1.21 pm

Sdtrk: something stirring and Communist

I’m sure you all recall that post I did months ago concerning the monstrous Ryugyong Hotel over in South Korea, right? Thanx to a tip from a mate of mine, I bring you the Soviet equivalent, aptly named ‘House of the Soviets‘. Going by the size of this place, the Soviets must be giants.

The House of the Soviets, begun in 1972, was never completed. The massive hulk now looms over the town like something out of a postapocalyptic movie, surrounded by decaying staircases and a plaza of four-foot high grass. Residents refer to it simply as “the Monster.” [..] At present there are no plans to do anything with it at all. “The authorities have decided it will be cheaper to let it decay on its own than to tear it down,” explained Olga Danilova, who shows tourists around. Only vagrants and drug addicts make use of the facility.
taken from this site

The story behind the House of the Soviets, or Dom Sovietov, isn’t exactly cheerful. During 1945, the German city Königsberg was awarded to the Soviet Union by the Allies. The USSR saw the city’s German heritage as a supposedly dangerous symbol of fascism, and they decided to pretty much level the town, and build a glorious new Socialist one called Kaliningrad in its place. In 1968, despite protests, one of the many buildings destroyed was Königsberg Castle, and in its place Dom Sovietov was erected, which was to be the central building of Kaliningrad.
Unfortunately, the construction teams really didn’t do their homework, as the 13th century Königsberg Castle had a network of tunnels beneath it. Consequently, Dom Sovietov is — you guessed it — structurally unsound, empty, and collapsing a little bit each day.

A lot of people have derided House of the Soviets due to its.. giant ugly brickness, but I think that’s why I like it. It reminds me a wee bit of Trellick Tower, and that whole heavy-handed pseudo-futuristic New Brutalism wave that quite a few designers were riding during the Sixties. But for Soviet Russia, it wasn’t New Brutalism, it was just plain ol’ Brutalism, cos Dom Sovietov is a fairly good example of how a lot of Soviet-era buildings look. I am Building, comrade, it says, I will stand firm against threat of Capitalist oppression. I am sturdy and thick, like good Communist woman. Or something.

On a positive note, archaeological teams are attempting to unearth and preserve what remains of Königsberg Castle. Hopefully Russia won’t make the same mistake twice, and they’ll choose to preserve House of the Soviets as well

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‘Wino Forever’

typed for your pleasure on 13 August 2005, at 5.16 pm

Sdtrk: ‘The Dignity of Labour, Part II’ by the Human league

I’ve been a fan of Winona Ryder ever since I saw her in ‘Beetlejuice’ — actually, a better way of phrasing that would be that I’ve been wracked with insatiable lust with Winona ever since seeing her in ‘Beetlejuice’ — and this sort of thing is always good to hear:

Winona Ryder, Sex Maniac

According to Female First, Winona Ryder has been dumped by her boyfriend Jay Kay (or Jay Gay, as Dave says) of Jamiroquai, because of her insatiable appetite for sex.

Yeah. That’s just the worst problem in the world. Your superhot, megafamous girlfriend wants to have sex all the time. Boo hoo. Putz.

Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay says sexy Winona Ryder wore him out with her non “stop demands for sex”.

He confessed: “She has these enormous breasts – bigger than they look on film.

“She did have this habit of constantly wanting to play hide the sausage. It was exhausting.”.

Jay Kay is right about one thing, though. Winona Ryder’s breasts are spectacular.

It is a bit disheartening to learn that she’s willing to date a boring tosser such as Jamiroquai, but then again, if her standards are that low, she’d be pleasantly surprised with me.

Does anyone have Nonie’s phone number on hand? The ones that I’ve been given don’t seem to work. Or, at the very least, can someone craft a silicone Winona-skin for one of the Actroids, and ship her to me?

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Multipoint non-point

typed for your pleasure on 13 August 2005, at 5.12 pm

Sdtrk: ‘C’est la mort’ by Stereo total

New items and articles relevant to your interest:

+ 20 Sept is the release date in the States for ‘Tender buttons’, the new Cd by Broadcast. I’ve heard a couple of the tracks, and despite the fact that the band is essentially down to a two-piece, what I’ve heard so far is quite ace. And they’re visiting Detroit again on 5 Nov!

+ Stereolab has three singles due out on 12 Sept: ‘Kybernetická babička’, ‘Interlock’, and ‘Plastic mile’. Three singles released on the same day?? Unpossible!

+ I’m carefully watching another Stylophone on eBaaah. Details to follow after the bidding is closed, cos I don’t want anyone else bidding on it, damnit

+ Lord knows I love the microcars. Apart from the smartcar, which is illegal to drive in the States, Brazil is throwing their hat into the ring with the Obvio ! (exclamation mark theirs). The 828/2 isn’t bad, despite its hallucinatory colour scheme, but that black-and-silver 012 is sexay. Undoubtedly, these will be illegal to drive in the States as well

+ And an inflatable church?? Yes.

Right, that’s the lot! Well, that’s all I can think of for now, at any rate

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What d’ya mean, ‘not big enough’?

typed for your pleasure on 11 August 2005, at 1.58 am

Sdtrk: ‘Out out out’ by NON

File this under ‘Things That One Only Finds in Japan’. Behold: the art truck phenomena.

As you probably suspect, finding decent info about art trucks (or, as they’re also known, ‘deko-tora’, short for ‘decoration truck’) in English is uncommonly difficult, but from what I gather, they’re simply trucks used for shipping that just happen to be heavily customised by their owners. Like those who ‘rice out’ or ‘dub’ their Asian-made sports cars, they’re for showing off, but unlike sports cars, art trucks are still used for actual freight and utility purposes. It apparently started in the 70s, spawning a couple of films starring Bunta Sugawara of ‘The Yakuza papers‘ fame, and recently a game for the PS2 was made, called ‘Shin Dekotora densetsu’ (‘New Decoration truck Legend’).

Pretty decorative, pretty crazy.

Yep, art trucks.
So, like, do they hand-polish these feckers, or what?

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Open the floodgates, or, Third time’s a charm

typed for your pleasure on 11 August 2005, at 12.36 am

Sdtrk: ‘Fizzing human bomb’ by Danielle Dax

*gestures at new new new tagboard*

I’m really sorry, Penda, but those smilies with those stupid goddamn hats were bugging me.
This latest tagboard is brought to you by the good humans at NVNCBL Chatterbox. Odhinn only knows what ‘NVNCBL’ stands for, and their website layout looks as though it was designed by a 12 year old who listens to too much Good Charlotte, but their service seems ace so far. So it goes!

Anyway! Enjoy the new tagboard, refrain from spelling funny or I’ll turn this car around, etc etc

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Doing double duty. Well, duty and a half

typed for your pleasure on 8 August 2005, at 8.10 pm

Sdtrk: ‘All beauty is our enemy’ by Merzbow + Genesis P-Orridge

If you’re a regular reader of The Diner [at] Penda’s Realm — of course you are — then you already know that she and her hubby are driving to and fro, hither and yon, from state to state, from Here to There, from Point A to Point B, etc, for a number of days. So I said I’d fill in occasionally. It’s a chance for you to read stuff that I’ve written that doesn’t revolve around either bitterness or Synthetiks, which I’m sure should please some of you more than others. Truly, a Rare Opportunity!

RETRO-EDIT: The offending articles are here:
My coach, the cat (08 Aug); My friend, you are no Jack Kerouac (09 Aug); Did he scream ‘I REGRET NOTHIIIINNGG’ as he fell? (10 Aug); Alles für Steve Jobs (16 Aug)

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