notes from
the MUCK . . .

How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.

Friday, April 28, 2006

"Like Dick Cheney, I've eaten too many twinkies."

Stop what you're doing, and check this out. Then return to what you were doing with a few more endorphins flowing through your brain.

You're welcome.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nobody Move

we have Snoop Dogg, and we won't give him back till you provide three clear examples of irony in comments.

We'll also send over James Blunt, the only person who is cockney rhyming slang for himself, and won't allow him back.

Also, if you could say herb properly, that would be nice.

Funny thing at the end of this article, Snoop offered to take David Beckham out on the town last time he was in London but his wife, Posh Spice Victoria Beckham replied thusly:

"Look Mr Snoopy, you're not taking my husband out. I know all about your reputation."

What more can you say? Hurry up in those comments, Blunt's a coming.

"What's that Woodstock? What's James Blunt rhyming slang for?? Remember when Charlie Brown tried to kick the ball, after Lucy triple promised she wouldn't take it away at the last moment, and she did, and Charlie Brown flew through the air and tore his shorts? Remember what he shouted? No, not "I can't STAND it", the other thing he said".


UPDATE; 5/2/06

I thought I'd post Jeff's comments here, as I can't bear to think of them being eaten by haloscan. Needless to say, Snoop Dogg is all yours again, I would like to apologise for the disgraceful treatment of Snoop: Sorry.

1) An ironic statement, in which the meaning is the opposite of what is actually stated:

The muck sure is popular these days.

2) Dramatic irony, in which characters reveal their inability to understand their own situation:

Fool you once, shame on Lucy. Fool you 173 times, shame on you, Charlie Brown.

3) Socratic irony, in which someone appears to adopt a view he does not share in order to make it appear ludicrous:

Despite the fact that they could bring a great deal of money to your establishment on the evening in question, it was the...nature...of Mr. Snoop Dog's 30 strong entourage that compelled you to turn them away, right? Let's face it, Leonardo DiCaprio's pussy posse would have been much more whi - er, welcome, right?

"You fuckin' nincum fuckin' poop"

If this man is in Heaven, where can I buy my ticket to Hell?


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

'scuse me, while I kiss the sky..

Hot on the heels of Jeff's sneak peeks at upcoming attractions, I heard today (maybe belatedly but I don't think so) that Quentin Tarantino has agreed to direct the biopic of Jimi Hendrix, read here for the story.

I'm pretty excited about the project, even if it is another biopic about a musician. Hendrix remains something of an enigma which has much to do with the iconography that cloaks a lot of stars from that era; musical and cinematic alike. For me, Hendrix was one of the only artists to truly earn this legendary status and I relish the opportunity to see a portrayal of his life; wharts and all. I hope they take the slice of life approach, (discussed by Jeff), which seems like it may be the case.

However, I was sad to read that they are gonna try and get Lenny Kravitz as the lead role; I may be wrong but the dude is too symetrical, too clean cut to do Jimi, and I'm not talking just in terms of facial features...With Kravitz as the lead I can see a performance that glosses over much of Hendrix's frailties, while going overboard on the whole rock god, setting guitar on fire, playing guitar with tongue etc etc. I would love to see Andre Benjamin asthere seems to be a good parrallel there; violently vivacious musical personas who appear detatched and shy in person...who knows?

From what little I've read, Hendrix was introspective, quiet, almost shy at times in person, in stark contrast to the flamboyant images he produced with his physical performance and music. Apparently, though he died of a sleeping pill overdose (which may well be contested by the movie; the exec. producer, a family friend, has gone through previously sealed docs like the autopsy), his main vice was alcohol; he would become extremely violent, wrecking hotel rooms, lashing out against his girlfriend/s, and generally be uncontrollable. For me, what we be a more compelling movie is a study into an artists mind as he seeks to move to some other place that hasn't been imagined yet, something like a dream that you can't quite remember via his guitar...I would like it to show how the intrument really was just that for Hendrix, a tool to get to a higher place which was ultimately flawed because no matter how good he played it, he would still be constrained by chord structures, the flexibility of his strings, and his own damn hands. It would capture the frustration and anger of this man, and the consequences of his journey path.

Anywho, it may well turn out to be like that anywho, but I'm still not sure of Kravitz, and the choice of Tarantino doesn't fill me with confidence either. I watched Kill Bill vols I & II back to back one night this week and I've come to the conclusion (somewhat late, but hey, I got there) that the man is the ultimate triumph of style over substance. Everything has to be cool, and measured, and just a bit cooler. I've not seen the man create a real character yet, but maybe he could use his considerable talent to put across a personality through concert footage and a stylish facade. Let's hope so anyways.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Top Five (OK, Seven) Upcoming Movies

With a few exceptions, things have been pretty dull at the movie theaters lately. I guess we're still in that dead zone between Oscar season and summer time. Fortunately, it seems like the good stuff is starting to roll out slowly. Here's a quick roundup of the movies I'm most looking forward to seeing.

Little Miss Sunshine - While not a winner at Sundance, it was apparently one of the most popular. It does have a good cast: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, Greg Kinnear. Frankly, I get a little tired of the post-modern American family satire. Maybe this one's story will keep it focused on something other than the quirkiness and/or hypocrisy of its own characters. Mainly I just want to see what the buzz is about, but the trailer does have some funny moments.

The Notorious Bettie Page Gretchen Mol is supposedly outstanding in the story of one of the sexiest sex symbols of all time. I'm not going to lie - this is a biopic, and as such it's most likely to go the route of almost every other biopic I've ever seen. Enjoyable, but ultimately forgettable. These movies are usually all about the acting. This one has some delicious eye candy, as well, and that alone might be worth the price of admission.

PS - This was written and directed by Mary Harron, who made the excellent "I Shot Andy Warhol." Maybe she can bring the quality up a few notches above the average for the genre.

Hard Candy Now we're getting to the really interesting stuff. "Hard Candy" is ostensibly about a young teenage girl who gets seduced by an online predator and lured to his house after an in-person meeting. The trailer implies that, as a twist, it is all part of a revenge scheme orchestrated by the girl. It looks to be a very dark, taut thriller that gives me the creeps just to think about. I've been talking about this one for a long time with any luck it will play in Charlottesville sooner than its DVD release.

Marie Antoinette OK, you remember what I said about biopics? Well, there are some exceptions to that rule of mediocrity. The difference between a decent biopic and a great one is something that's difficult to pin down, but it has something to do with the spirit of the thing. "Ray," for example, was a by the numbers outline of its subject's life: first there's was some traumatic childhood shit, then the fame, and then there were some drugs, and now sprinkle some redemption on top and you've got yourself a legend. It just kind of plods along. "Raging Bull," on the other hand, was a real movie, full of passion and artistry, that happened to be biographical. Watching the trailer for Sophia Coppola's follow up to "Lost in Translation" has me guessing that it will likely fall into the latter category. I love how surprising the packaging is for this movie - the way the contemporary music and font juxtaposes with the setting. At the same time, they are somehow perfect choices for a movie about Marie Antoinette.

Last but not least, there's a documentary coming out that has me more excited than anything I've mentioned so far. Then again, I'm a big fan:

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man Finally, a real movie about one of the greatest songwriters of all time. It features interviews with Cohen intermixed with concert footage from a recent tribute tour. I'd prefer concert footage of Cohen himself, but the great thing about his music is how easily other artists can take his words and compositions and make them their own. Besides, it's the interview component that's going to make this a really special movie for me. What the hell did he do in that monastary? With any luck, he'll dish up some good Scientology gossip as well.

*Special Philip K. Dick(esque) Futuristic Dystopia Bonus Films: A Scanner Darkly and Southland Tales

Monday, April 24, 2006

Calling All Geeks

Here's the thing - "Veronica Mars" might not get renewed for a third season. Not only are its already low ratings slipping since it moved to a different night, but when the big UPN/WB merger goes down, some shows aren't going to make the cut for the new channel's line up. "America's Next Top Model" is a shoo-in. Adorable critically acclaimed neo-noir high school detective drama, not so much.

And you know what? It's my fault. I'm part of the problem. Instead of paying inflated costs for cable, I download all my favorite television shows illegally. With shows like "24," "Lost," and "The Sopranos," I don't have one ounce of guilt about doing it, either. To the television executives I say the same thing I say to the record companies - lower the price and I'll pony up. Until then, I remain a willing and gleeful thief. And those shows will stay on the air.

Unfortunately, this means that I can't do a damn thing to save one of the best shows on TV from going under. "Veronica Mars," if you aren't familiar, is an hour long drama/comedy about a teenage girl who solves crimes and struggles with the difficulties of living a lower middle class life amongst the rich assholes of Neptune High. Lest you think this is a show about the angst of having a pimple on prom night, Veronica's problems are far worse than those of your typical high schooler. Her best friend was murdered, for one, and when her sheriff father had the cajones to cast suspicion on the most reputable family in town, Veronica's life came apart at the seams. She lost nearly all her friends as people sided with the Kane family and shunned the Mars clan. Her alcoholic mother ran off mysteriously, and her father was fired from the police department. Oh, and she might also have been raped while unconscious at a party. All of this happens before the pilot episode, and things only get more complicated from there.

If the description sounds stupid, it's because the brilliance of the show lies not so much in its premise, but in its ability to pull it all off with considerable charm and intelligence. Kristen Bell is perfect as the sarcastic and precocious protagonist. In fact, the entire cast seems to understand the delicate balance essential to the shows success: it's funny but sad, silly but erudite, bubble gum but operatic. While each episode is a self-contained, semi-disposable mini-mystery in the tradition of Encyclopedia Brown or Nancy Drew (via Raymond Chandler), the real meat of the show is composed of the long narrative arcs that are developed throughout the entire season. This 'mythology' is lurid, tragic, and full of surprises. Like "The Wire" and early season "24," this arc builds and builds to a dramatic climax, which is to say that there's a beginning, middle, and end that seem to have been mapped out thoughtfully ahead of time. The mystery structure also keeps it from digressing aimlessly like a bad soap. Mostly, though, it's just a lot fun.

So please, help me out. If you have cable, tune in to UPN on Tuesdays at 9:00pm, and tell all your friends to do the same. Through the power of the Muck, together we can save Veronica from a shallow grave beside those of "Arrested Development" and "Freaks and Geeks." I promise I'd watch if I could afford the service. Broke as I am, though, watching recorded TV serials (and talking about them) is one of the few modes of entertainment I have.

Besides, how can you resist:

Friday, April 21, 2006

My Friday

Today was really like any other day, but for some reason, I feel the need to share a couple things with you all.

1) When I go to work, I have to take the bus. One of my measuring sticks for whether or not the day is going to go well, is whether or not I get to ride at the front, on top, to the right, just above the driver on the bus. If I get up the stairs and find the seat empty, I feel the journey passes by smoothly, I have a much better view, I'm ahead of everyone else (head of the pack) and I can pretend I'm driving the bus. I arrive at work in a much better frame of mind, and perform better. This means kids stay of the street, crime in London goes down, and politicians have one less thing to try and woo us with.

Yesterday, I got to the top of the bus, and saw the seat was empty. I enjoyed the journey, surveying the people below me as they went about their days, and wondering whether I should bring a hat next time for the occasion. Then some little kid sat down next to me. He really wanted the seat too because there were plenty of other free spaces that he could've sat down with his mother.

"I see" I thought. Emotional blackmail. A lot of people may have moved, but a lot of people are weak. I held my ground and the kid had to get off before me; score one, however petty.

Today, as I was climbing the stairs, I saw the seat was empty. Just as I was getting to the top of the stairs and preparing to take the one step I needed to make to get the seat, I was cut off by some guy already upstairs, who wanted the seat himself. I could not do anything about it and had to take the seat behind. Next time, next time.

2) While watching wrestling I saw Rey Mysterio. He always wears that mask. Whilst watching him I thought it would be cool to have one, maybe to wear at the front of the bus, definitely to play poker in, and I spent a good 10 minutes trying to decide on what colour I would go for. Gold and silver where to showy I thought, while a black one would look far too much like a gimp mask. I decided on a red one with blue trim, or a blue one with orange trim. Hey, if anyone has one, get in contact through comments, we need to talk.

That's all.

"Right Reeves, I aint falling for the ol' "bomb on the bus routine" again. I got here first and I'm stayin; and best BELIEVE I'm staying above fiddy".

Jeff Wins this round.

But who will win the war? This is a suitably protracted, convoluted and drawn out commemorative post for our very own Jeff, who won the most recent Movie Said What competition. I am well aware that Jeff googled it, but he was very nice about my clues, and I doubt that anyone would've got it without ol' papa google.

Anywho, here we go. This is adapted from a very long joke I've had the courage to tell twice. Both times people got angry. If you have to go anywhere in the next 3 hours, or are in a bad mood and would kick your monitor if it offended you in anyway, leave this post till later, or just forget about it've been warned.

A story for Jeff:

Once upon a time, there lived a young man named Jeff. Aged 21, he had just finished college and was ready to take on and engulf all the wonder and joy of the world as if it were a splendid milkshake. Everything he did, he did with passion and verve for he felt to do it any other way would be akin to a butterfly deciding not to unfurl it's wonderfully coloured wings to the world, and deciding just to walk everywhere.

Jeff felt that he needed a project, a higher calling, a mission if you will. He wanted to serve others, he wanted to leave a legacy, and he wanted make a difference. His biggest passion was film; maybe he should make a film, a sweeping epic weaving together a vivid tapestry of life with the various colourful threads of humanity.

No he thought, that would not be enough.

He wanted more than one film, more than one language, more than one cast, more than one ending, he wanted to give the world a cinema, a home for film that would showcase the most poignant, humorous, witty, heart wrenching, achingly beautiful films from all over the world. It would be a meeting of the minds, a place where those who had suffered and those who had prospered could meet and begin to talk about starting again; black and white film would engulf the world in colour, and there'd be kettlecorn. Lots of kettlecorn.

Jeff started work diligently. Every morning he would get up at
6am to work on the film house. From working on the blue prints, talking with town planners, community leaders, people on the streets, in offices, working in fields, the rich, the poor, black white red and brown, about what the cinema should be, where it should stand, and what it should stand for. He poured himself into his work, so much so that he was unable to travel, unable to go off on other adventures he may have done otherwise, but it didn't matter. This would be worth it, and when it was done, he would have the world for the rest of his life, and it would be a better place for him to be in.

Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months inevitably grew up into years. Jeff's friends eventually left town to embark on their own adventures. He got postcards from them sometimes, and he kept them in a room where the original blueprints were sprawled across a table. He didn't keep them for inspiration, he didn't have to. Everyday he went to bed (usually around
3-4am) and the fact that his cinema was not complete burned him like the fires of hell.

Some 10 years after he had first sat down with his pencil to design his masterpiece, the cinema was complete. As he hammered in the final nail, a warm breeze ruffled the back of his neck. He stood back and surveyed his work; yes, it was grand, it was a showcase for cinema after all, but it was humble in its simplicity. It was the perfect venue for holding a spectacle but it could not be accused of trying to steal the thunder from film; it's large interior were simple in their grandeur, hinting at the greatness that was to be witnessed without interfering with it.

The sun shone, birds sung, crowds thronged outside and the smell of kettlecorn cooking filled the air. Jeff smiled to himself. He knew he had done well and that the best was yet to come.

Just as he was making his way to the back of the queue, Jeff heard a noise. A low, rasping mechanical sounding first Jeff was scared one of the projectors had broken and he broke out into a little jog. Then he realised the sound was coming from outside, his heart skipped a beat, was someone in the crowd out to sabotage his creation?

No. Jeff looked to the horizon and saw a bizarre sight indeed. A Harley Davidson was rapidly advancing towards the cinema, piloted by a green rabbit wearing a helmet with a picture of a skull on it. Jeff was bemused; in all the films he had seen in preparation (which had been a lot) he had NEVER witnessed anything like this. He knew somehow that there was nothing he could do but wait and see what the green rabbit on the enormous motorbike did.

The rabbit grew closer and closer to the cinema "jesus, thought Jeff, he'd better slow down or he's going to crash into the cinema". Just as his mind said, or thought, the word crash, lo and behold, the rabbit turned into a skid so that the bike was parallel to the building and with a mighty BOOOOM!!! crashed into its side.

The entire East side crumbled without protest.

The rabbit and bike emerged, unscathed, and drove away till it was almost a speck on the horizon. Then it turned tail, and began another assault, bearing down on the West side this time; BOOOM!!!

Jeff sank to his knees, but was beaten by the West wall.

Again and again the rabbit did this until all that remained of the cinema was a cloud of dust. There wasn't even any more kettlecorn.

Jeff lay face down on the grass and listened to the hum of the bike disappear into the distance. He didn't have to look up to know that everyone had survived. He didn't know why, but he knew that the rabbit had come for his cinema alone, and that he needed to learn from this. For now though, he needed somewhere to sleep; for the last 4 years he had been living in a broom cupboard in the cinema.

The one thing that had survived was a picture of Jeff when he had just graduated, aged 21 he beamed back at the camera and the world. Jeff caught his reflection in the frame; his face was more hallowed, more tightly stretched across his face. It somehow hurt to smile, but he would find time to sort that out, he had told himself. Now all he could think about was how to make another cinema, and how he could make it right this time. He was convinced the rabbit had come because he had failed in the planning process somehow.

Work began that afternoon. He worked twice as hard this time, spoke to more people (mostly over the internet, he could not afford the time or money to travel anymore), and he slept for a mere 2 hours (dreaming of course, of the cinema). A further 20 years went by, friends who had gone off to travel, to work, to drink, had come back and left again, this time mostly to work or have babies, or work to feed babies. Sometimes they would send him xmas cards, photos of their children. Jeff kept them all still, and everytime he looked at them he wanted to smile, but could not.

At the end of the 20 years Jeff got up and looked at what he had achieved. He was 50 years old. Even though he had been working on this for over almost a quarter of a century, he still had to catch his breath when he looked upon what he had built on this glorious day. It stood on the same spot of the old building, but that is where the similarities ended; it was superior in every department. Again, the crowds thronged, in them he noticed people who looked like his friends growing up; they were of course their children, the projectors began to whir, the kettlecorn popped in excitement and a honeybee buzzed in the distance.

Wait a second. That was not a honeybee. It was getting louder. And louder. And louder. Jeff could not look, but invisible hands forced his head in the direction of the approaching sound. The black and silver of the bike mingled with the green of it's rider as it sped towards the cinema. For a second Jeff thought that it may be coming to give its seal of approval. Deep down, however, he knew that the only reason it came was to destroy. Jeff struggled to hold down the feelings of hate pulsating through his body as the bricks flew and the dust settled; "It's just telling me I have to do better". Without so much as even ripping a blade of grass, Jeff got up, and began work in the rubble.

It is impossible to put into words the amount of work Jeff put into the next 25 years. He lived, ate, and worked amongst the rubble, till it was not rubble. The postcards had mostly stopped from his friends, though sometimes their children would drop a line from wherever they were. He kept them as always, but they may as well have been dropped from the moon for all they meant to Jeff; his planet was now the creation forming around him. He knew this was his last chance at creating his cinema, the world's cinema, and he knew that as his body decayed, he must put every ounce of his being into his mission so that people would know he had at least tried.

The building was like nothing the earth had ever seen; Jeff had succeeded in making the building a living breathing monument of every dream, every thought, every plot twist that had every laid foot in his mind. Unlike the other creations, this one did not even begin to attempt to keep within the boundaries of sanity or structure; steeples soared and then seared off, dropping down down down into the pits of despair. Stained glass windows bore images of cinematic icons, but also his friends, of far off lands only glimpsed through celluloid, and of the very first cinema he had made.

On Jeff's 75th birthday, he woke up. He put up the curtains that would frame the screen, and sat down in a seat. It was finished. He reached down for his bag of kettlecorn, and began to eat.
He could hear the crowds outside waiting, there may have been a million, maybe two, he really didn't know. He sat and ate. The film showing on this screen (there were over 1200 screens), was showing Kung Fu Hustle. He laughed.

Jeff moved slowly out of the cinema and squinted into the sun. The day was almost perfect, damn, it WAS perfect. Hot sun with a cool breeze and not a cloud in the sky.

Apart from that small cloud on the horizon. But hey, what are you going to do?

The cloud grew a little bigger, seemed to get closer...hmmm, thought Jeff. He tried to ignore it, think happy thoughts, but the cloud continued to grow, till it engulfed the whole sky; there was no sound anymore because Jeff had taken to wearing earplugs. Suddenly the taste of brick dust filled his mouth and he gagged. He turned and saw past his ruined cinema, the green rabbit racing away on its chariot.

There was only one thing to do now, he could not build, he had too little time, but he could chase the fucking rodent and find out why, WHY, it had destroyed his life’s works.

Jeff knew he had one thing left in the world, and that it, like his dream, would soon would soon be gone; his energy. He began to run, hard and fast in pursuit of the buck toothed hells angel with a fire in his heart.

He ran through magnificent green fields, jumped over babbling brooks, swan through crystal lakes, and climbed up and over mountain ranges that tickled the belly of the heavens. He ran, forged, swam and ran some more for a solid week; fuelled by his passion which was escaping from him like air from a balloon. As he saw the beautiful landscape rushing by, he thought of how he could’ve enjoyed them so much during his lifetime instead of concentrating on his film house. The beauty stung his heart like diamond tears.

Eventually he tracked the rabbit down to a forest. He lost his quarry over a 1000 times as the green rabbit disappeared then reappeared through the foliage. He edged up to a tree upon which the Harley Davidson was resting; he felt it was still warm. He looked down on the seat, and saw light green fur of his nemesis. He spat, forcefully onto the seat. It was the first outward show of anger he had allowed himself since he was 21.

Slowly he climbed the ladder up the rabbit’s tree house. He pushed aside the bush that was used as a door, and there it was, the green rabbit sitting with it’s feet up drinking orange juice and watching tv. When the rabbit saw him, it sat bolt upright, twitched its nose, and wiggled its ears.

So many questions ran through Jeff’s mind; so many, but all he asked was,

“Why did you destroy everything I created? Why did you do it?”

The rabbit played with one of its ears for a second, and then answered:

“I didn’t. Please see yourself out”.

Jeff gasped, searching for breath as if he had been hit in the gut by a sledgehammer. He crawled to the door and almost fell down the ladder. He lay face down on the forest floor and laughed and laughed.

I told you should’ve just skipped this. I’m really very sorry, if you’re left wanting an explanation, that’s the point. It’s a very long story with no point; kind of like what our protagonist experienced.

This is what happens when you combine a promise of a commemorative post and blogger’s block.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

There's Something About Benedict XVI

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"Crazy" Video

Here's the video for Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," and a good chance to hear the song if you haven't heard it already. This was the first song ever to top the charts in England based on computer download sales alone. I like it a lot, but I do have to admit that it's almost too catchy for its own good. I might even be sick of it already.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Caption Contest

I haven't had much time to post lately, but some things are too good not to share. Jeff once commented that without fail, I manage to post images that haunt him for weeks. It was my proudest moment as a blogger. In that tradition, I offer:

Take it away, Ben.

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Happy Easter!!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Andre The Giant Has A Posse

If I weren't a lazy SOB I would finish the post I started a few days ago. It was going to be great, and it began thus:

"The Strange Case of Dutch Savage and Andre the Giant"

It was one of the first truly nice spring days when Holm - er, Matthew walked into my office with a deeply troubled look upon his countenance. I knew the chances of my enjoying the weather in peace and relaxation had dwindled to an immeasurable percentage as soon as I saw him. Grabbing my coffee, I readied myself for the bad news.

"What's the mystery today, Matthew?"

"Quick, Jeffrey, go to our site meter."

Doing as he asked, I immediately discerned the cause behind his fretfulness. According to the Muck Meter, our readership was unnaturally high, and it all seemed to be owed to a series of inexplicable hyperlinks from a strange site, unknown to either of us, by the domain name of

Alas, I AM a lazy SOB and, quite frankly, a little drunk at the moment. Therefore, I have abandoned the Sherlockian narrative in favor of a more direct exposition of the problem.

Thing is, internet surfers the world over are coming to this site via a google search for an image of Andre the Giant. The pic in question? This little beauty from one of Ben's posts many months ago:

If you clicked on the link, you may have noticed that the picture doesn't actually appear in the post - it is only linked to. In any case, we have a lot of questions. Chief among them: What The Fuck?!?!?!

We're getting upwards of a dozen hits per day because of this picture, and we want to know why. How is it that we linked to some image on "" and yet google is sending people here when they click on that very same image? That's the technical side of the mystery.

More interesting to me, however, is the mystery of why so many people are doing image searches for Andre the Giant all of a sudden. Before this recent outbreak of Andre hunters, I can't recall a single hit related to that picture. Despite researching the question, none of us can find any recent news items relating to the deceased wrestler. It isn't an anniversary of his birth or death, and there aren't any recent projects regarding his life as far as I can tell. There was one small story about an Andre biopic recently, but I can't find any other mentions of it and it seems an unlikely solution to the enigma.

Please, if you are reading this because you linked here from the picture in question, give us the scoop on how you got here.

Or at least give us a clue.

PS - I saw a documentary on this a while back and loved it. It's a really interesting exploration of how cultural objects can be constructed and propagated basically from nothing in the post-modern era. Might this tie in with our mystery??

Friday, April 14, 2006


I don't run as much as I would like to, and when I do, I see anything out of the usual. However, one time, a couple of weeks ago, I saw a parrot. I noticed it's bright green plumage first, then the way it elegantly swooped towards it's perch. Maybe someone lost it I thought, and jogged on. I made a note about contacting the RSPCA, but really, was there any point?

No. One, they wouldn't have been able to find it, two, the damn thing was wild. After I told my mum about my exotic find, she told me that there are loads of them all over London. A few must have escaped, and hey presto, London has parrots.

Today, while I was running past the same spot I saw the parrot, I saw a walking cane resting up against a tree. People lost lots of things, gloves, jewelry, children, parrots, footballs and lots more besides, so why did my brow furrow like a field in summer (i think)? If someone went for a walk with a cane, surely it would be a constant fixture, you'd know you didn't have it because you wouldn't be able to walk, or would find it a lot more difficult. You'd put 2 and 2 together, say "ah, my walking cane" and get it.

Why then was this walking cane resting up against a tree? I see a number of possibilities:

1) Someone was afflicted with some kind of walking impediment but by some miracle was cured and duly left behind their trusty wooden cane for someone else who needed it.

2) Someone stole it from someone whilst out walking, felt guilty, and put it somewhere they thought it would be found.

3) Someone was out walking with a companion. They needed the stick, or so they thought. Their companion convinced them that they did not need it, that it was a placebo, and that they could walk without it. Lo and behold, they could. Hey presto.

4) A parrot dropped it.


Forget Bird Flu

Watch out for the mumps.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Some people have it bad. A woman went into severe depression after her father died and refused to leave her sofa. She died of a heart attack age 39. Things were so bad she would not leave the comfy seat to go to the loo, her flesh rotted, and she grew facial hair. Her life was spent thusly:

"...watching US wrestling videos and daytime TV soaps while wolfing down eggs on toast brought by her mother".

Hmmmm, maybe not so bad. But come on, you gotta get up to go to the toilet??

And what of her family you may ask? What of them indeed.

Apparently, they were too embarrassed by the situation to do something. When she was wheeled out by paramedics, her mother was heard to say "what will the neighbours think???".
Neither her son or mother made any attempt to help the woman. Maybe I'm being harsh, the mother lost her husband after all. But but but wait, it gets worse, the mother opened her heat to a nurse after hearing that her child had died,

"What a year it's been. I've broken my wrist, the rabbit has died and now this."

Now, you may know that the muck, and this author especially, are not insensitive to the passing of a scaled, feathered, or fluffy beast. I'm also aware that the article may well have failed to disclose the full story.

But jesus. How bad can a broken wrist be, or how close can you get to a rabbit?

Coming soon; Jeff's commemorative post, and one for Niki too, cause she beat the bitch.

Comfy. TOO comfy????

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hello there, you're looking well. Me? Fine, fine...

Well, thanks to our router at home, I have been unable to access the internet and the beloved Muck. I missed reading it, I missed contributing to it. During my enforced absence, I felt like one half of a wrestling tag team who is sat on the sidelines just itching to have a go at the champion but being denied my big opportunity by the dumb ass ref who can't see me being tagged in.

Damn, I felt like I was going to explode.

Well, sometime today, the tag was made, I was released back onto the net, and nothing was going to stop the champion from getting what he deserved. I get to him. Boy, he sure is big. His shadow engulfs me and I shiver, maybe through the chill but mostly from fear. I look up, the champ is smiling and clenching his fist; on his massive torso the words "blogger's block" are written. I crumple before he swings a punch.

Damn. I blame daylight savings and the unexpected resulotion of the internet problem. Jeff, rest assured I will be thinking of a commemorative post for you. More needs to be made of Niki's amazing victory in Assassins, as well as her fallen bitchy nemesis.

In the meantime; carry on.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

LOST: "Dave" (spoilers)

There seems to be something of a divide in the reaction to last night's episode. I fall firmly into the "loved it" camp. It was easily the best episode in weeks, and it reminded me of why I fell in love with the show to begin with. Granted, I can't claim to be one of the smrt ones who figured out that Dave wasn't real. If I had, maybe I wouldn't have liked it as much. I only realized it just as the doctor pulled out the photo to show Hurley - seconds before the actual reveal. Many people seemed to have guessed it right away, though. I'm certainly familiar with the recent "surprise-the-person-isn't-real" trend, but I guess I never had any reason until last night to think that Hurley was THAT crazy. Plus, people see things on the Island all the time that have definitely existed before. In retrospect I should have picked up on it as soon as I saw that basketball scene, but then again I've never been very good at predicting surprise twists. You'd think I be fairly skilled at that by now since I watch so many movies.

Anyways, there was lots of other stuff to get excited about so I'm going to put this aside for now. I do have one question about it, though. When Hurley sees Dave on the Island, is it because he's reverted back to his mental state in the hospital, or because the island is doing the same thing to him that it has done to Jack, Shannon, Sayid, Kate, Sawyer, etc. In other words, I think it's significant that Hurley keeps saying he got better since leaving the institution. It is my belief that this was not a relapse, but another example how the island (or the disease?) seems to tap into the inner most thoughts of the survivors. Only thing is, Hurley isn't likely to see it that way, is he?

I was also glad to see the writers put the final nail in the coffin of the "it's all in their minds" theory. When Dave tells Hurley that the entire Island exists only in his psyche from inside the mental institution, we are basically being instructed to forget about that idea all together. Why would they bring it up now if it truly was the answer to it all? Besides, given the omniscient POV of the show does this theory really make any sense whatsoever? No. Furthermore, it would be wholly unsatisfying.

We didn't get much about Henry Gale last night, but the stuff we did get was pretty exciting. What can we believe, though? I actually think that when Henry said he was "done lying," that was a cue for us as viewers to switch into a different, more credulous mode. If that's true, then we now know a little bit more about the button. We know that the world doesn't end when the counter reaches zero, and that something that "sounds like a magnet" makes a few noises before the counter starts over. The man is full of lies, obviously, but so far all of his lies have served a purpose. Why would he lie about this? On the other hand, if he's an Other then why does he seem to have such limited information about the hatch?

My favorite lines from Henry were when he was talking about how even God doesn't see the island, and when he talks about how terrified he is of "him." He was essentially willing to be killed right then and there rather than face the powerful wrath of this mysterious "him." Why? Would "he" have been able to harm him right then and there, perhaps using psychic powers (remember that DHARMA was researching some pretty radical stuff)? If you buy into the "Aaron theory" (which I don't), Gale could might be referring to Evil Aaron. Or maybe this little weasel IS "him." Where does Alvar Hanso fit into all this?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Who Killed Superman?

As promised, here's a list of the most intriguing celebrity murder/death mysteries of recent times. Since I've already touched on Biggie and Tupac some, and since those cases are so familiar, they have been excluded from my list. My aim is not to glorify or exploit these victims for the purposes of entertainment, but I can't help expressing a certain fascination with these cases. Fame is an integral part of human culture, and fundamentally linked to our fear of death. Therefore, it is particularly interesting to me when those two concepts collide, and especially interesting when we are left without justice or resolution for the fallen idol. These are the ghosts of Hollywood.

The Black Dahlia
The Black Dahlia case is perhaps the most notorious unsolved murder of the 20th century. Though not a celebrity at the time of her grisly slaying, 22 year old Elizabeth Short was found dead in Los Angeles shortly after she moved there to pursue a career in the movie business. In January of 1947, her body was found mutilated and left out in the open, but the murder remains a mystery to this day. It is tragic that her death gave her the fame that she seemed to want so desparately. There have been countless books, documentaries, and websites devoted to "The Black Dahlia," and a film by Brian DePalma is due out later this year.

Bob Crane
Beloved star of Hogan's Heroes and amateur pornographer, Bob Crane was bludgeoned to death by an unknown assailant in 1978. Many presume that his friend and co-pornographer John Henry Carpenter was to blame. In fact, Carpenter was charged and tried for the murder, but aquitted. Crane's story is the basis for the Paul Schraeder film Auto Focus.

Bruce Lee
What really caused Bruce Lee's brain to swell fatally as he lay on his couch prior to a dinner engagement on the evening of July 20, 1973? He complained of a headache before settling down for the nap, from which he never woke up. Instead he fell into a coma and died on the way to the hospital. Officially, he died from a cerebral edema, but there has been much debate about what actually caused the swelling. The theories range from murder at the hands of Chinese gangsters, to whom he may have owed money, to the supernatural effects of a family curse (the same curse that some suspected to be behind Brandon Lee's death years later).

Natalie Wood
Did she drown accidentally, or was she murdered in the midst of a drunken argument about a torrid love triangle? The former, more than likely. In any case, it doesn't ease anyone's mind to know that Christopher Walken, Captain Creepy himself, was present at the scene of her death.

George Reeves

Star of T.V's The Adventures of Superman, George Reeves died on June 16, 1959 from a single gunshot wound to the head. The coroner ruled the death a suicide, and many speculated that Reeves was in a state of depression at the time. He was having difficulty finding work due to his being so strongly associated with the character of Superman. However, there was no suicide note, and the curious position of Reeves' body suggests that he may have been murdered. He was found in his bed, lying on his back with his feet still touching the floor. Yet, the bullet casing was found beneath his body. There were no fingerprints on the gun. Suspects range from his finace Lenore Lemmon to the mafia. His co-stars, including Noel Neill (Lois Lane), were very outspoken against the suicide ruling and clamined that Reeves was too strong to take his own life. There was an Unsolved Mysteries episode on the case, but to this day the official ruling stands.

"Superman's" death epitomizes the tension between the reality and the fiction of fame. How could Superman die with so little dignity? The larger than life status of stars like George Reeves and Natalie Wood makes it difficult for some to accept that they may have died due to human weakness - an inebriated slip into the water, or a fragile moment of sadness and desparation. Surely, something stronger and more malicious must have taken their lives. How could Bruce Lee, a Kung Fu powerhouse, die so young at the hands of something as unglamourous as "cerebral edema?" The movies and television shows these people enter our lives through are so dramatic and full of great stories, shouldn't their deaths be as well? I am not saying there was no foul play in these cases, but I do wonder how much of this speculation would exist if one were to take out the celebrity factor. Even where Elizabeth Short's death is clearly the result of a brutal crime, a great deal of the theories that have emerged over the years are pretty outlandish.

Other infamous deaths that are surrounded by controversy include those of Edgar Allen Poe, Marilyn Monroe, Ted Binion, and even Jonathan Brandis (suicide or auto-erotic asphyxiation gone wrong?). It you're curious about them, there's a whole internet waiting to help you solve the mysteries.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

GOP Babe of the Week Update

I first highlighted the GOP Babe of the Week website back on February 24, at which time I vowed to our reader(s) that I would "continue to monitor this prestigious award." I don't make such vows lightly, and true to my word I have diligently checked to see who would supercede Kim Smith as the new Republican hottie. Well, folks, I'm sorry to say that it has been over five weeks since I made that ill-advised commitment and if you head over there today, this is what you'll see:

Kim Smith is still the GOP Babe of the "Week." This confirms my suspicion that sex and Republicans go together like Paris Hilton and Algebra. Nonetheless, my commitment to our reader(s) is such that I will continue to monitor the award and apprise you all the moment a new GOP Babe of the Week is selected.

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Mo' Money, Mo' Litigation

I confess to not knowing a great deal about the Biggie Smalls civil case, but I am a fan, and this news does make me happy.

The murder of Christopher Wallace, as well as the murders of Tupac and Jam Master Jay, carry a certain intrigue for me. It seems crazy to me that these crimes are still unsolved. Chris Rock has a great bit about it, and explains the madness better than I could ever hope to:
Even the United States Government hates rap. The government hates rap. You know why I say that?

'Cause they don't arrest anybody that kills rappers. They don't got no clues, no suspects... they don't have shit when it's a dead rapper. They don't fill out a police report, they don't even have a chalk line when it's a dead rapper. Shit, if you want to get away with murder, all you got to do is shoot somebody in the head and put a demo tape in their pocket.

"This is a rap killing. Let's go home."

The Government hates rap. Man, look at all these dead rappers, man. Biggie Smalls, Jam Master J, Tupac Shakur. Hell, Tupac was gunned down on the Las Vegas strip after a Mike Tyson fight. Now, how many witnesses do you need to see some shit before you arrest somebody? Shit, more people saw Tupac get shot than the last episode of Seinfeld. And you know what's fucked up?

Every year, Tupac comes back from the dead; records a new album with clues in it. Every record got a clue if you listen real hard.

"The brother in the red shot me dead!"

Right there! Track 4! Pac is trying to tell us something! Listen again.

"It was a nigga named Kevin with a Mac 11."

Right there! Pac is reaching out to us. Listen!

The government hates rap, man. And all these rappers get gunned down like this. Now, I'll tell you right now. If Billy Joel, Elton John and David Bowie got shot, they'd have Bruce Springsteen's house surrounded. The govnerment hates rap.

And only the good rappers are dead. Only the good ones. Biggie dead. Tupac dead. Vanilla Ice still alive.

The government hates rap. You mean to tell me that they can find Sadaam Hussein in a fucking hole, but you can't tell me who shot tupac? Shit! They found Saddam in fucking Iraq. Tupac got shot in Vegas. Tupac in Vegas. Not on no side street. The mother fucker got shot on the Strip in front of Circus Circus! Damn, it's all fucked up. The entire world is fucked up.

You can read more about Biggie's murder here, and lots of other places, too.

As I've been suffering from a bit of writer's block lately, I plan to follow this up with a related post tomorrow on the all time most interesting celebrity murders.

If Suge Knight and the Charlottesville PD don't whack me first, that is.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Clue Update

So, for anyone still playing, here's some more clues. I'm gonna give the answer tommorow if no-one gets it, truthfully.

For this, you could also read this, this, or this.

And for this, you could also read this, these, or him.

Good luck.

Never Pee In the Amazon

A word to the wise, because we care:
The candirú or canero (Vandellia cirrhosa) or Toothpick Fish is a freshwater fish in the group commonly called the catfishes. It is found in the Amazon River and has a reputation among the natives as the most feared fish in its waters, even over the piranha. The species grows only to a size of an inch in length and is eel shaped and translucent, making it almost impossible to see in the water. The candiru is a parasite. It swims into the gill cavities of other fishes, erects a spine to hold itself in place, and feeds on the blood in the gills, earning it a nickname as the "vampire fish of Brazil".

It is feared by the natives because it is attracted to urine or blood, and if the bather is nude it will swim into an orifice (the anus or vagina, or even in the case of smaller specimens the penis - and perhaps deep into the urethra). It then erects its spine and begins to feed on the blood and body tissue just as it would from the gills of a fish. The candiru is then almost impossible to remove except through an operation. As the fish locates its prey by following the water flow from the gills to its source, urinating while bathing increases the chance of a candiru "homing in" on a human urethra.
You've been warned.

In other, less cringe-inducing news, NFTM is pleased to annouce the auspicious debut of Rat Bastards From the Muck, a cooperative venture with two of our cyber-sisters over at the Rat Bastards and Other Hazards blog. RBFtM is breaking down barriers and competing as a team in the Dylan Pool, where we placed an impressive 27th out of 324 teams on the first night of Bob's tour. The handsome and mysterious Ed Namillion led the team with 56 points. Lily, Rosemary and the Ann of Hearts brought in an additional 51 points. Strong showings by Omar Dink and Shatner boosted the total, while Lightbulb Carrier struggled a bit, earning an additional six points for the team. It's a streaky game, though, and we expect great things from lightbulb carrier over the course of the tour. Stay tuned for updates as the competition heats up, or follow the action here.

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Clued in?

I thought this may have some people stumped. Sadly, I derive some sad satisfaction from that.

Here's a clue:

For the answer, mix this

with a little of this:

Answer soon.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Movie said what?

So, after the roaring success of the quote game last time out, I've decided to try and make things harder. I'm not trying to tempt fate, but there's a good chance people may not get this one so quick; if that happens, I will post cryptic clues till one of y'all gets it. And remember, a rambling, convoluted commemorative post could be yours if you win.

"Gold frames are perfect for a Clerk! I think I look good, so why keep picking on me?"

Just to recap on the scores, Katy 1, rest of the world 0. Have at it.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

How many holes in Blackburn, Lancashire?

Well, I don't know, but I know there were at least two more of them wandering around there this past couple days.

Yep, our Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has taken Condi out on the second date, after she was sweet enough to take him out for chocolate cream cake in Alabama. Now the pair have been spotted galavanting* around the north west of England, including Blackburn, Lancashire. This area also has a significant Muslim population, needless to say, the pair have not been greeted with welcome arms, sadly, the whole Iraq thing is still irking some people, and even Condi posing with a premiership football shirt won't appease them. I don't know, there's know pleasing some people.

And what of the lovebirds themselves? Well, The Guardian put it best;

"Much has been made of the special relationship forged since Mr Straw feasted on chocolate cream pie at Jim 'N' Nick's in Ms Rice's home town of Birmingham, Alabama, in October. But both ministers bore the awkward air of fulfilling a rash promise made to a distant cousin at a particularly merry wedding".

Condi was then asked if she could sing "A Day in the Life" by the Beatles, but simply blurted out Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Poor. Those nasty reporters didn't stop there though;

"Mr Straw had "Rice 10" put on the back (of the shirt); Ms Rice was asked if this was the number of days Iran had to comply over its nuclear programme".
But, lets get a grip people. Rice was big enough to admit that they had made mistakes, quite a few in fact:

"Yes, I know we have made tactical errors, thousands of them...But when you look back in history what will be judged on is whether the “right strategic decision” was made".

Far be it from this author to pick hairs, so if you'd like to define the vital difference between tactical and error for my benefit in comments, I'd appreciate it.

But are we at all justified in criticising this trip? I say no.

Come on people, give these people their space and go after the real targets, like Tom Cruise, Brad, Angelina, Jennifer, and Britney. All Condi and Jack did was shake a few hands, sign a few papers, make "thousands of mistakes" and drop a few bombs, let's have some perspective here.

Jack immediately regretted trying to play footsy, and racked his brain to think of an excuse.

* By galavanting I mean looking tense and awkard.