Posts Tagged ‘Hell Freezes Over’

Apparently, the CDC is preparing for “28 Days Later”

One of the traits which made Osama bin Laden such an effective leader of the organization he founded was his ability to get individual terrorists and terror groups to look past their political, sectarian, and national differences and focus on a common goal. This ability to overlook contradictions apparently extended into his personal life.

Then:

I knew from the beginning that [bin Laden] was not willing to drink any soft drinks from American companies, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Sprite, 7-Up. He was trying to boycott all American products because he believed that without Americans, Israel cannot exist.
– Palestinian journalist Jamal Ismail, who met bin Laden in 1984
Source: Peter Bergen, “The Osama bin Laden I Know,” p. 39

Then:

“My Muslim Brothers: The money you pay to buy American goods will be transformed into bullets and used against our brothers in Palestine. By buying these goods we are strengthening their economy while our poverty increases. We expect the women of the land of the two Holy Places and other countries to carry out their role in boycotting American goods. The security and intelligence services of the entire world cannot force a single citizen to buy the goods of his/her enemy. The boycotting of American goods is a very effective weapon for weakening the enemy.”
– Osama bin Laden
“The Declaration of Jihad on the Americans Occupying the Country of the Two Sacred Places”
August 23, 1996
Source: Peter Bergen, “The Osama bin Laden I Know,” p. 165

Now:

May 4 (Bloomberg) — The two polite Pakistanis who helped Osama bin Laden hide in the shadow of their country’s army bought bulk food orders, chose major brands and equally favored Pepsi and Coke, neighbors and a local shopkeeper said.

2011 Update: I found this unpublished draft of my review of GNR’s “Chinese Democracy” album sitting in my WordPress posts, originally written in 2008 but never published for reasons I’ve since forgotten. I’ve tweaked it a little for clarity, but the fundamental editorial points remain unchanged.

 

So it looks like hell finally froze over and Axl Rose finally released the much anticipated Chinese Democracy, which has been in the works for well over a decade.

One of the sources of friction between Axl and the rest of the original Guns lineup, besides the fact that by the end of their heyday, he owned the name and the rights to the band exclusively and could hire and fire people at his will, was musical direction. Axl was very much influenced by industrial music (listen to the Use Your Illusion II track “My World”), particularly Nine Inch Nails (historical irony: one of NIN’s early breaks was as the opening act for Guns n’ Roses and Skid Row during a European tour back in 1991) and that influence is abundant on Chinese Democracy.

Thankfully I didn’t have waste time or money buying or downloading the record, but it’s still an hour of my life I’ll never get back again. The guitars and vocals, which were the driving force of every previous Guns n’ Roses record, are an absolute mess. It’s not that the musicianship is bad or amateurish. It is high quality production and technically proficient, but there’s no attitude or groove to any of it. Rolling Stone’s David Fricke gave it a rave review recently. I read it and am left wondering whether he and I listened to the same record.

I remember reading an interview with Slash ages ago where he said something to the effect of, “I thought The Fragile was an amazing record, but I wouldn’t want to make it.” The bottom line here is Axl tried to make a Nine Inch Nails record and failed. Call it whatever you want, but don’t call it Guns n’ Roses.

This could very well be the greatest stunt ever pulled on the media in modern times.

It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.

Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.

And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months. MSNBC, which quickly corrected the mistake, has plenty of company in being taken in by an Eisenstadt hoax, including The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times.

I don’t know what’s sadder, that Sarah Palin set the bar so low with her gaffes that people believed this to be true, or that the media ran with it without checking his bona fides. Remember the famous line from Ronald Reagan: “Trust but verify.”

Chinese Democracy

Posted: October 12, 2008 in Hell Freezes Over, Music
Tags: ,

I’ll believe this when the album is in my cold dead hands.

Well, it’s looking more and more likely that Guns N’ Roses’ follow-up to 1991’s Use Your Illusion albums, Chinese Democracy, will actually see the retail light of day in our lifetime.

Last month there were rumors that frontman Axl Rose had inked a deal with Best Buy allowing the chain to be the album’s sole purveyor, and that GN’R’s manager, Andy Gould, told 900 Best Buy employees during a Dallas convention that the LP would be on store shelves by November 25. Now comes word from Hits Daily Double (you need to register to access the site) that Interscope has arrived at a hard-and-fast, set-your-clock-to-it release date of November 23.

Although a spokesperson for Interscope had not responded to MTV News’ requests to confirm the report as of press time, Hits Daily Double claims the record will drop the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving, giving the record a full seven days at retail before entering the December 2 Billboard chart; typically, albums are released in the U.S. on Tuesdays.

With the site reporting a firm release date, it seems Chinese Democracy is finally imminent, but without label confirmation, the report could just be the latest in a long string of rumors. A track from the album called “If the World” accompanies the closing credits of “Body of Lies,” the new thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Plus, Guns N’ Roses’ song “Shackler’s Revenge” appears on the new “Rock Band 2” video game.

If the report is true, then November 23 marks the end to what’s been a 17-year saga, rife with broken promises, confusing delays and rock criticism punch lines. And you’d have to imagine no one could be happier about it than Rose himself. In 2006, in an online posting that promised the band would do its best to have the record ready for release that year, the frontman said that “to say the making of this album has been an unbearably long and incomprehensible journey would be an understatement.

That’s the record low percentage of people who are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Because polls like these tend to be a referendum on the party in power, if I were a Republican campaign operative or candidate, I would lose sleep over this.

Karl Rove has launched a website. As if you needed more tea leaves that McCain was in trouble, the most prominent Republican strategist of his generation is projecting an Obama win in his analysis of the Electoral College map a month out from Election Day.

Separately, this Politico article points out the pressure the McCain campaign is under to defend Virginia, which has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1964. But it also looks at the national map as a whole, and how the unfriendly dynamics of the race are forcing the McCain campaign to adjust in the final stretch:

Beyond the financial implications of that approach, the GOP ticket is confronting new demands on its time. The McCain campaign would prefer to have the Arizona senator and Alaska governor campaign together, but they are now being forced to protect more states so they may have to spend more time apart.

It’s a akin to a campaign version of whack-a-mole, where finite time and money is being spread across the landscape to defend against sudden and unexpected Democratic surges on GOP turf.

Not good omens for the GOP with less than a month to go before the election.