Monday, July 26, 2010

"Angie" by The Rolling Stones

Rock icon Mick Jagger today turns 67, making him eligible for his pension - if he'd only sit still long enough to claim it! It's easy to forget, if one had only seen him recently, that once upon a time - prior to all the debauchery and before he became a grotesque parody of himself, albeit an entertaining one - Sir Mick was a major sex symbol; that's partly why I chose this vintage bit of fun to post today.

Mainly, though, I chose Angie because of the story behind it...

Originally included on The Rolling Stones' 1973 album Goats Head Soup, the song was primarily written by Keith Richards, whose daughter Angela had just been born; from that simple explanation has sprung 35 years' worth of gossip and whispering and generally speaking all the stuff that makes the Internet so fun*. Some people seem to think the song is about an affair Jagger is alleged to have had with David Bowie's wife Angela; still others think of the song as a ruse or a smokescreen or a bluff or an apology, possibly even intended to cover up an affair Jagger might have had with Bowie himself.

Either way, the song has become a part of pop music lore, precisely because of the uncertainty surrounding its provenance; that it was used without permission as a campaign song by German Chancellor Angela Merkel is meaningless next to the possibility that it might signify a little intra-celebrity adultery that may or may not have happened more than three decades ago.

*Aside from porn, of course.

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The Life And Crimes Of Ed Gein


As a serial killer Ed Gein* was never going to win any awards. While he's known to have killed two people, and is suspected in the deaths of ten more, those numbers aren't even going to get a mention on the Six O'Clock News these days unless there's some kind of weird kink involved, which is where Gein's story starts to get newsworthy...

Naturally, his childhood was a disaster, destroyed in part by a violent, alcoholic father; whatever joy his father didn't manage to wring from the life of his young son the boy's devoutly Christian mother (and her fondness for the Book of Revelations) did. Gein - born in August 1906 - was also a slight child with an effeminate manner, which meant that he couldn't even find solace in his peer group at school, which he left anyway after the seventh grade. In other words, being raised by monsters turned him into a monster, and so he never had much of a chance to be anything else.

Following the death of his father from a heart attack in 1940 and the mysterious death of his brother Henry in May 1944**, Gein lived alone on a remote farm outside Plainfield, Wisconsin, with only his mother for company. His mother's own death from a series of strokes just months later in 1945 left him all alone in the world; thanks to his mother's teachings he was unable to form friendships, let alone with women. It was during these years that Gein began visiting area graveyards and exhuming the bodies of recently deceased middle-aged women to harvest their body parts as macabre trophies.

For some reason known only to Gein - he may, in fact, have been looking to replace his mother - he killed local hardware store owner Bernice Worden in November 1957. During their investigation of that crime, police not only discovered Worden's body in a shed on his property, they also discovered the evidence of Gein's other nocturnal activities, including definitive evidence that linked him to the murder, three years earlier, of another local woman named Mary Hogan - he'd kept her face and scalp and fashioned it into a mask.

Ed Gein's crimes so riveted people that it was only a matter of time before his grisly influence crept into the culture; the characters of Norman Bates (Psycho), Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and Buffalo Bill (The Silence of the Lambs) and their stories were all based, in part, on the life and crimes of Ed Gein who, on this day in 1984, finally found peace when he died of respiratory failure while incarcerated at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, Wisconsin; he was 77. His place of burial - next to his mother, in Plainfield Cemetery - is currently unmarked, because ghoulish souvenir seekers first vandalized then stole his headstone***, for which he should consider himself lucky.

Thanks in part to the bad name people like him have given it, very few people rob graves anymore, for which he should consider himself grateful.

*Pronounced GEEN, with a hard G like 'ghoul'.
**Henry Gein allegedly died while fighting a wildfire near the family farm, even though the cause of death was several blunt traumas to the skull.

***The headstone was recovered near Seattle the year after it was stolen, and is currently kept at a museum in Wautoma, Wisconsin.

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"Fat Lip" by Sum 41

Birthday wishes go out today to Dave Baksh, founding member and former lead guitarist of Canadian pop-punk trio Sum 41; since leaving that group in 2006, Baksh has been affiliated with the metal-reggae quintet Brown Brigade.

Fat Lip was the first single from the band's second album, 2001's All Killer No Filler, and is arguably the band's biggest single to date; Rolling Stone magazine described the sound of the song as if Sum 41 went from blink-182 to Beastie Boys to Black Sabbath, all in one song - which seems an entirely apt description of the proceedings.
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POPnews - July 26th

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[Although it took the arrogance and douchebaggery of the Tories to win World War II, after that horror had ended the British electorate clearly felt it needed a different type of government when it came time to rebuild their shattered kingdom... It was under the new Prime Minister that the modern welfare state took hold in the UK - a hold that wouldn't be broken until another Tory, Margaret Thatcher, came to power in May 1979.]

811 CE - At the Battle of Pliska Byzantine emperor Nicephorus I was slain and his heir, Stauracius, was seriously wounded.

1139 - Following a decisive victory by Prince Afonso Henriques over the Almoravids (led by Ali ibn Yusuf) at the Battle of Ourique the previous day, Portugal declared its independence from the Kingdom of León; the prince then became Afonso I, King of Portugal, after calling the first assembly of the Estates-General of Portugal at Lamego, where he was given the crown by the Bishop of Bragança as confirmation.

1469 - During England's dynastic Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Edgecote Moor pitted the forces of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and the House of Lancaster against those of King Edward IV and the House of York, as commanded by William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke.

1533 - The climactic moment of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire came when Incan emperor Atahualpa - who'd been captured by Francisco Pizarro in November 1532 at the Battle of Cajamarca - was forced to abdicate.

1581 - Following the establishment of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands as per the terms of the Union of Utrecht (signed in January 1579) the Dutch issued the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (or Act of Abjuration) - drafted by Andries Hessels, Jacques Tayaert, Jacob Valcke, and Pieter van Dieven - with which they declared their independence from the Spanish king, Philip II. This act of defiance wouldn't be formally recognized until the signing of the Twelve Years' Truce, which brought a temporary cessation to hostilities in the Eighty Years' War between 1609 and 1621.

1788 - New York became the 11th US state.

1803 - The Surrey Iron Railway, arguably the world's first public railway, opened in south London.

1847 - Liberia declared its independence from the United States; the country's first president was Joseph Jenkins Roberts.

1882 - Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal received its world premiere at the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth.

1887 - L. L. Zamenhof published Dr. Esperanto's International Language.

1945 - The Labour Party won a resounding victory in Great Britain's first postwar general election, sweeping Winston Churchill and his Conservatives from power and sending Clement Attlee to 10 Downing Street in Churchill's place. Although the election was held on July 5th, it took three weeks for officials to tabulate and announce the results.

1948 - The US military was desegregated when President Harry S Truman signed Executive Order 9981.

1952 - Egypt's King Farouk abdicated in favor of his son Fuad, three days after a coup staged by General Muhammad Naguib and Gamal Abdel Nasser of the Free Officers Movement.

1953 - Fidel Castro led an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks, thus beginning the Cuban Revolution.

1965 - The Maldives were granted full independence from the United Kingdom.

1990 - The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush; the act would later benefit his son, who managed to become president despite being a total retard.

1991 - Paul 'Pee-wee Herman' Reubens was arrested in a Sarasota porno theater.

1999 - Combat in the so-called Kargil War between India and Pakistan ended - a day still celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas in India.

2005 - The Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off on flight mission STS-114 - the first to be scheduled following the Columbia Disaster in 2003.
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