Saluting Don S. Davis

Open the iris.

Windom Earle: Garland, what do you fear most… in the world?

Major Garland Briggs (drugged with sodium pentothal): The possibility that love is not enough.

Q. Gauti has just informed me that Don S. Davis, the prolific character actor best known for his role as General Hammond on Stargate SG-1, passed away last weekend following a massive heart attack. Oof.

Stargate’s rad and all, but I’ll always remember Davis as the stern but gentle Major Garland Briggs on Twin Peaks, truly one of the most lovable supporting characters in television history.

Rest in peace, good sir. Safe travels to the White Lodge.

Fantastic Contraption Artist: Stephane Halleux

As promised, a look at one of the Fantastic Contraption artists, Stephane Halleux. Stephane is a Belgian artist specializing in mixed media sculpture. There’s an outstanding amount of labor that goes into each of his almost cognizant creatures, from the beginning stages of acquiring found objects to sketch concepts to actual construction. Here’s more about what Stephane does, in his own words:

I like crazy mixtures, unlikely associations, advanced technology mixed with mechanisms of long ago. I’ve always been fascinated by robotics, its advantages and contradictions. The importance of robotisation and its increasing influence on mankind. Who never dreamt of owning a robot able to do the dirty work. But where are the bounds? How far is a robot useful to men and when does it begin endangering their life ? That’s what I want to make: caricatures of robots that have gone beyond the limits, all that with a fanciful vision of the future. The future we imagined some years ago: big computers full of cables with warning lights everywhere. That’s what I like: an old fashioned universe’s future.

A few more of my favorite images, beyond the jump.

Kimba’s Saturday Morning Fluffcake

Good morning, children! Ready for your breakfast cake? You better be, because here in the cave that’s just the way we celebrate a proper Saturday morning. And once your teeth have really begun to grind from the sugar rush, might we interest you in a bit of song and dance? Yes, it’s time for the Hokey Morning Song with Kimba and friends on Kimba’s Cave. Don’t be alarmed, sit back and relax – this show’s for everyone, just like the lyrics say. A word of warning, though: don’t piss Kimba off or he might just get skimpy with the fluffcake.

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Hmm, that song sure had some strange notes.. And doesn’t Kimba look just a bit familiar? Click below for the big reveal that will have you regurgitating fluffcake for hours. With laughter, I mean.

Daily Mail Posts Striking Images, Condescending Text


Yesterday, Sociological Images reposted these incredible images, which originally came from the Daily Mail, a conservative British tabloid. These images appeared in “Femail” – the Daily Mail’s lifestyle section for women – under the title “Out of Africa: The incredible tribal fashion show inspired by Mother Nature.” Both SocImages and another fascinating blog, zunguzungu, took issue with the vapid exoticization that was going on in the article. I highly reccomend reading zunguzungu’s eloquent analysis of the Daily Mail’s presentation of these images, titled “Recycling Africa“.

Serious Business aside, I just want to say this: the images themselves are absolutely striking. When I separate these images from the Daily Mail’s silly writeup (“As they paint each other’s bodies and make bold decisions about their outfits… it seems that the only thing that motivates them is the sheer fun of creating their looks, and showing them off to other members of the tribe”), and from SocImages’ somewhat guilt-tripping Daily Mail smackdown (“What does it mean that people in the U.K. (and the U.S.) are consuming these images? What is the relationship between these images and colonialism? How do such images interact with “development” rhetoric about how Africa is un- or under-developed, developing, or undevelopable?”), on a purely visual level, I’m just absolutely inspired.

It’s amazing, how we can rearrange ourselves.


Announcing Fantastic Contraption!

Click above for full size flier.

Brace yourselves, for today I am the bearer of grand news! Seriously, if you like art, exhibits and mechanical parts you may want to have a seat and grab the smelling salts.

On July 19th Device Gallery in La Jolla opens what very well could be The Ultimate Steam-Cyber-Cog-And Otherwise-Punk Art Show. Once you’ve collected yourselves after taking a bewildered gander at the list of names I have provided below you will know I speak the truth. And if you somehow do not, have no fear. Over the next two weeks Coilhouse will be giving you detailed looks at the work of these skilled creators. Rejoice!

Ashley Wood Christopher Conte D. Hwang Eduard Anikonov Eric Joyner Greg Brotherton H.R. Giger John U. Abrahamson Kazuhiko Nakamura Mike Libby Nemo Gould Stephane Halleux Theo Kamecke Viktor Koen William B. Hand Wayne Martin Belger – Zoran Milivojevic [dear god someone please give me a link]

Naturally, at least one part of Coilhouse will be in attendance.

This One Goes Out to Coilhouse Baby-Daddy

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This song goes out to Meredith Yayanos – ethereal violinist, cryptohistorian, deer-butt art connoisseur. Want to give Mer a little birthday gift? Then I suggest you do this: check out all her awesome Coilhouse posts, find a post that you somehow missed out on, and really get into it. We all have those busy days/weeks when a post or two slips us by, and today’s a great day to catch up. Celebrate Mer’s birthday by letting her make you a little bit weirder!

All Posts by Mer

Shining Time Station Wish You Were Here

Shining Time Station: Mr. Conductor & his sister in One of the Family

“Most everyone refers to George Carlin as a comedian, which I believe to be slightly misleading. The man was a teacher, with a great gift to pass his ideas and observations through the use of comedy” – vlpod’s YouTube comment on It’s Bad for Ya! – 2008 (Part 7 of 7)

Everyone took a moment today to remember George Carlin. Some people scoured YouTube for Carlin from every era: the scrubbed, black-and-white ’60s Carlin in a suit as Al Sleet, the Hippie-Dippie Weatherman,  the shaggy-haired, FCC-infuriating Carlin performing the immortal 7 Words You Can’t Say on Television of the 70’s, the talkin’-like-he’s-from-the-‘hood Place for My Stuff Carlin of the ’80s, cab driver “George O’Grady” Carlin of the ’90s, and finally, the vitriolic, white-haired, Old Fuck (“not an Old Fart, but an Old Fuck, mind you!”) Carlin of the new millenium. This was my favorite Carlin. Now he’s gone, and the nation is just this much stupider; there’s this much less of a chance for people to question what’s around them. That’s how I felt all day.

Out of all the balding, acerbic little digital ghosts that paced around my screen today, there was one iteration of George Carlin in particular that put me weirdly at peace after a day of unrest. Mr. Conductor from Shining Time Station:

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Until today, I never even knew that this version of George Carlin ever existed. And that’s the thing; we always find ourselves researching people after they’re gone; hitting up their Wikipedia page, finding old interviews, watching clips. So he’s an idea: every week, pick one person who inspires you and research the shit out of them. Don’t wait ’til they die to learn what they’ve been up to, what you’ve been missing out on – be there and support them while they’re still out there. You have the entire internet at your fingertips – Carlin would probably tell you to enjoy that while it lasts.

Zo! Style Technician. June 23, 2008

My affection for Los Angeles is a drawn out, turbulent affair. I stay, for now, because of the nuances not found anyplace else, entirely unique to this place. Case in point: say you’ve got a party to go to and that party is Lenora Claire‘s birthday bash, held at Houdini’s mansion on Friday the 13th. You know for a fact that there will be: music, monkeys and circus acts. What do you wear?

When presented with an invitation to an event you know will be off da hook, as the people say, you’re given a choice to be understated/classy, or to concoct an outfit that will be admired by the drag queens in attendance and leaves a trail of jewels wherever you tread. My choice was made when I found a dress I’d forgotten about, a dress with a story worthy of a party with monkeys.

It was years ago at a now-closed deathrock club called Ghoul School. I complimented a perfectly obliterated girl on her pink dress. A vintage hand-beaded number dripping with faux pearls and diamonds, it was as out of place among the torn fishnet and leather as its tall, brown-haired fresh-faced owner. My compliment was met with an unexpected gesture of generosity: with one multi-step maneuver the girl slipped out of the dress, signed the hem, handed it to me and wandered off. Inexplicably, she was wearing a striped bikini underneath. My heart sang a song of gratitude.

When I saw Mer the night of Lenora’s party she said I looked like a cupcake and I knew it was right. Now I bring you a re-creation of the outfit as masterfully captured by secret photo agent Yoon. You can read a bit more about Lenora’s party in this LA Weekly article. Hit the jump for more.

Death is not a Joyride


I’m writing quickly from the humid crotch that is Houston, Tex-Ass, to sing the praises of a most comely and delightful band who opened for Faun Fables on the eve of the Summer Solstice two nights ago. Death is not a Joyride is a rollicking, zoomorphic avant-pop five piece from Austin who won me over immediately with their butt-wiggling exuberance on the longest, steamiest day of the year.Their first full length album, The Human Zoo, was produced by John Congleton (The Polyphonic Spree, Explosions in the Sky and The pAper chAse) and features 45 blissfully cracked minutes of “girl-fronted dark violin burlesque dance rock.”


Fans of Kate Bush, Bungle, Battles, Glass Candy and Stolen Babies are sure to find the songs of Death Is Not A Joyride particularly life-affirming. I’d love to see them on a bill with fellow Austin oddballs, The Octopus Project. Can somebody make this happen, please?!

In Praise of Copyranter

Larger images (NSFW and hello, Pigbutt Worm!) here and here.

The ads above, part of a European AIDS prevention campaign, appeared today on my favorite advertising blog under the title “There Are A Lot Of FishDicks In The Sea.

But before I tell you about more about this magical blog, a quick trip down memory lane: before blogging existed, back when I used hide in the school library because no would would sit with me at lunch, I discovered back issues of Consumer Reports and Ms. Magazine – in particular, their Selling It and No Comment back pages, which were eerily similar. Both departments critiqued advertising. Consumer Reports was strictly in the business of calling bullshit; highlighting self-contradiction, spoofing ridiculous copy, and pointing out deceptive images. Meanwhile, Ms. made it their mission to shine the spotlight on the advertising world’s misogyny. At 13, my obsessive love-hate relationship with advertising (currently a.k.a. “my job”) had begun.

All the pleasures I got from those magazines – from the pleasure of mockery to the pleasure of discovering an interesting photo, even if my beloved Ms. was hating on it – I now find at the incredible Copyranter blog. Copyranter is this phenomenally hateful individual, a New York advertising copywriter who’s been working at the same ad agency for the past 16 years.  His bio consists primarily of his exhaustive shitlist: capri pants, advertising, advertising people, PR people, marketing people… the list goes on and on, ending with “men named Jack” and Scrabble. Almost every day, he provides ingenious commentary on a given ad campaign (usually ripping it to shreds) with inimitable elegance and wit. Lots of insight about the advertising industry, our culture, and the creative process here. To show you what I mean, I present some of my favorite posts in categories of interest below:



Freaky Art Direction

Ads for/about The Ladies

Copyranter Likes

I love you, Copyranter. Even if you hate me.