Right out of the oven:

An uncharacteristically photogenic Akon pleads not guilty to fan-tossing charges despite lawyer's claim that it was a "spontaneous reaction during a live concert that Akon deeply regrets." Hmmmmm, interesting defense strategy...Montel Williams makes his demolitions expertise public knowledge by threatening to blow up newspaper intern, staff...Damn, can't W get anything right?! (and, by the way, someone needs to get Tony Blair on some serious drugs cuz its evident from this Barney-cam train wreck that he's in denial about the whole getting-kicked-out-of-office-
thanks-to-his-affiliation-with-Bush "thing")...Interesting Kangaroo factoid of the week: they can swim, they just can't box and swim at the same time...Interesting masturbation-accident factoid of the week: if you get a big metal ring stuck around Mr. Johnson, try using a hand grinder...Reason 537 to never go hang-gliding, followed closely by reason 538...And finally, Bishop Thomas Ray Clute shows vandals who's boss by restoring his oft vandalized holiday display: "It's very vulgar some of the things they do with the stuff and write on it, but I just tell them and we come back. We replace it all and make it look like it never happened" - I'm taking a wild guess that this guy has never done any of the following: thrown darts, taken target practice, shopped at Target, seen the film Targets...

The "I wanted to throw up after that Barney-cam thing, but then I came across this" moment of the week:

So, for those of you that read my last post indicting pop stars for their willingness to hawk anything and everything for money, I present as corroborative evidence, verbatim, the latest fragrance copy for "L", the new frangrance "developed" by former punk-rebel-shit kicker and current poser-sell-out-and-apparent-chemist, Gwen Stefani (emphasis and observations added):

"Dillard's is pleased to introduce L, the new L.A.M.B. fragrance by Gwen Stefani. The iconic style of Gwen Stefani pushes boundaries beyond music and fashion (Ozzy Osbourne pushes the boundaries beyond music and fashion...) in this debut scent. The signature fragrance is a masculine and feminine fusion (Ooooo, sounds too intersting to ignore, truly ground breaking!). The luscious floral scent is bursting with sparkling freshness and notes of watery greens, and wraps you in the warmth of sensual musks (Are we buying perfume or getting a spa treatment?). L, a L.A.M.B. fragrance by Gwen Stafani, is available as eau de parfum spray, shower gel, and body lotion (Of course it comes in all 3 - America is all about options!) at Dillard's, dillards.com, or by calling 800-345-5273." (Courtesy of, Vanity Fair, November 2007, p. 32)
Wow. Disturbing is, I think, a pretty apt word for this...

You should check out:

Hidden Shoal Recordings (http://www.hiddenshoal.com/); bad ass bands, bad ass downloads and bad ass art work...of particular interest should be Monocle's Outer Sunset - two words: Spooky, Killer

Right out of the oven:

In case you're still looking for Christmas gift ideas for that special someone in your life, Demeter Fragrance Library proudly presents: Play-Doh Cologne...Kangaroo quits his "mob" in favor of making humans look stupid...British teacher in Sudan executes "poor judgment" (otherwise known everywhere else in our solar system as completely rational, sane judgment) by letting her 7-year old pupils select the "M-name" to recognize their class, ahem, teddy bear...Predictably, local radicals deem the prison sentence for her transgression too lenient and, instead, call for her execution ...Seemingly-can't-miss reverse penis-psychology (pop-up warning) fails to sway jury...As Steve Martin once exclaimed, "He hates these cans!" - to that, I give you, "He hates these ox testicles!"...Let's see, I've heard of dog fights, cock fights, prize fights, bull fights and cat fights, but sledgehammer fights?...And finally, fake-bar-employee slashes actual-bar-patron's face over unpaid $4.50 tab after they both got thrown out...

Seinfeldian moment of the week:

In an odd twist of fate, the formerly great Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams had yet another comeback cut short last Monday night. If it was anyone else, I would consider a routine, season-ending injury a shame, but given the bar this guy has set, I'm a little disappointed. I mean, what happened to the Ricky that used to compress himself in his locker due to a major psychological disorder? Or the Ricky that used to wear his eye-shielded football helmet while conducting post-game interviews? Or how 'bout the Ricky that decided to live in a tee pee? Whatever happened to the 2002 league rushing champion who gave it all up after declaring dope-smoking his #1 priority? I miss that Ricky. I was looking forward to welcoming that Ricky back into the fold.

Unfortunately for all of us out there awaiting the next head-scratching move from #34, he went quietly this time by running the ball on Monday night a mere 6 times. On his 5th run, he got "stepped on" and after attempting a 6th run, he left the game injured only to find out later that the torn chest muscle he received in the aforementioned "stepping" incident will render him out for the remainder of the season.

Wow, after 2 years in football purgatory (aka Canada), multiple off-the-field issues and a career that, thus far, closely resembles the EKG read-out of a heart-attack victim, I was expecting a little more than a season-ending game-related injury. He could have at least injured himself at home using a weed whacker (pun intended) or something. Oh well, at least he'll be back in 2008, healed up and ready to go. Well, maybe he'll be back...

Did you ever notice?

So, the other day The Smoking Cupcake was flipping through a recently purchased copy of MAD Magazine - yes, that MAD Magazine - and came across a very prescient observation: it used to be seen as honorable for pop-culture icons to avoid product endorsements and cool to speak their minds. That made me think...whatever happened to that code? Since reading that comic, I've noticed idiot pop-stars everywhere hawking clothes (Fergie), perfume (Diddy) and even cable subscriptions (Beyonce). Cable TV...you've got to be kidding me?! And of course, when pop stars endorse something remotely meaningful like, say, free speech (Dixie Chicks), they're boycotted and kicked out of the hive for creating a disturbance. So, to this I ask: If its inappropriate for me to hear The Dixie Chicks' opinions on The President, then how is it not inappropriate to hear how great Beyonce thinks Direct TV is? Does she know anything about microwaves and fiber-optics? My guess is a resounding no. So, why are poeple more inclined to take her word for choosing cable, yet scoff at the opinions of fellow taxpayers?

When did the priorities of our populace get so screwed up and what sort of example is it that we revere a pop star for telling us how great his vitamin drink is (50 Cent - glad to know he's into nutrition, I would have never figured...) yet show nothing but disdain for those that attempt to get people thinking about how screwed up their country is by exercising free speech? I think at somepoint someone on Madison Avenue, in collusion with Congress and the rest of the machine, said, "Hey, I've got a great idea, let's sucker people into surrendering their freedom of independent thought by taking these completely transparent opinion leaders and using their influence to sell the gullible sheep of America a bunch of crap they don't need! That way, they'll think they're super important, lose what little voice they have and inadvertently give up their self-determination though pacification and debt accumulation!" That (fascist) sounds (fascist) suspiciously (fascist) familiar (fascist)...

How and when this reversal of focus started would make for some startling revelations, I'm sure...or a killer dissertation.

You should check out:
Synthetik by Komputer...if you like Kraftwerk and/or were lucky enough to stumble over I Start Counting or Fortran 5 in the late 80's or 90's, this is the disc for you
Right out of the oven:

Driver's Ed instructor institutes unique training method involving a carrot and his pants...surfing the Internet often leads to finds of epic proportion; for example, did'ya ever notice the pimp in Superman: The Movie? What about Mr. Kinney from RoboCop? Or how 'bout those poor bastards Doctors Hunter, Kimball and Kaminsky from the U.S.S. Discovery?...When antelopes attack: Abe the Bongo Antelope gores handler with horns after disagreement over who was going to sleep in the barn...Woman hits giraffe with car in South Carolina; I've been telling people for years that those South Carolina giraffes are vicious...Local youths (or as Vincent Gambini would say, 'yutes) pull the old bait and switch, replacing man's elaborate Halloween display with giant can of Mountain Dew - someone needs to sign these boys up as Presidential campaign pranksters while there's still a chance...Poncho the alligator assists the Sweetwater, FL Police Department in burglary bust by eating perp...And finally, giving new meaning to that old adage about using everything you've got, Mario Gomez leads Vfb Stuttgart to victory with his penis...

Its shit like this that's gonna bring the situation to a head - The Jules Winnfield Observation of the Week:

Recent news of the Clinton campaign's event-question planting raises more than a few, uhm, questions and brings back several bad memories. In addition, the story appears to be gaining some traction, as it should, headlining on the front page of CNN.com throughout the day today (11/13) and appearing with varying levels of visibility on other outlets' sites such as The New York Times, FOX News and the L.A. Times. Surprisingly, the always-ready-to-bash- Democrats-named-Clinton FOX News rendered this story less important than Fred Thompson (speaking of needing some traction...) getting the National Right to Life Committee's endorsement. Perhaps FOX News is fair and balanced! Just kidding...the Cupcake's guess is that abortion stories trump Clinton-gaffe stories 9 out of 10 times in Conservative American media, especially on FOX News. In any event, I certainly hope this question-planting story gains a lot of traction because it highlights the main drawback I've had about Hillary from the very beginning, the very drawback I've been preaching to both my Republican and Democratic friends from the get-go: The artificiality and shiftiness of Hillary, and now her campaign, is something to be considered very seriously and something to be extremely concerned about. Don't vote blindly because you hate W or love Bill. Hillary is not the antithesis of W and makes Bill look like he invented the word genuine. The Smoking Cupcake is, of course, not going to run out and get on the Romney train or get box-seats the next time Barrack Obama's 2008 World Tour comes to town, but I am not going to blindly follow the center-left's obsession with getting Hillary (or any Democrat) elected at all costs for the sake of trying - and I stress the word trying - to undo the Bush administration's multiple failures if they can't walk the talk. Her candidacy, indeed her post-White House political career, has been nothing more than a well-orchestrated smoke and mirror show to get her to this point. She has to prove she's got ideas, as well as balls, and this incident supports the long-held notion that she's got neither. People wonder why this country is so apathetic when it comes to the way its led and who does the leading. You need look no further than students being strong-armed into suppressing their voices in exchange for status-quo campaign staff-fed questions so as to avoid making the candidate answer a legitimate inquiry. Where is Mr. Democratic Process in this scenario? Clearly, he's in the bathroom taking a dump, or perhaps he's off in a corner sleeping on the job. Who knows, but I'm not so idealistic to turn a blind eye to the fact that most campaigns do things like question-planting. The problem here is the slick and shifty way the campaign and the candidate have thus far dealt with this PR nightmare. My guess is, should she get elected, we would all do well to get used to the lack of genuineness and the sheer artificiality of the Hillary we've seen so far.

You should check out:

You don't need to know who Joy Division were, nor do you need to know who Ian Curtis was, to enjoy Control. Although I am admittedly partial to the band (and all of its offspring), this film is essential viewing. The fact that someone had the balls to even make it says it all...
Right out of the oven:

This will make me think twice the next time a friend asks me to hold their sword for them...Cat earns keep by randomly picking winning lottery numbers...Talk about your rotten luck; 20-year affair ends with loss of penis, life...Hey kids, let's eat some testicles to help raise money for charity!...After exerting as much mental effort as possible in planning what he thought would be the perfect thrill-seeking convenience-store hold up, Robinson Rivera sets pace for Stupidest Criminal of the Year honors...Rouge cow executed for crimes against Cambodian villagers...While we're on the subject; phantom bull described by witnesses as clever, sneaky, elludes police for hours in Miami Lakes (the accompanying picture says it all)...And, on a final note for the week; Christian Clown Klutzo busted for clowning with kids - and, in a bizarre twist of fate, other, law-abiding Klutzo from same town forced to retire because of mistaken identity...

WTF? moment of the week:

In a less than surprising revelation October 9th, the Bush Adminstration proved their incompetence yet again...According to the SITE Intelligence Group, a secret video of Bin Laden was obtained and subsequently passed on to 2 high-level Bushites with the caveat that they not reveal their possession of the tape until Al Qeada itself released the video to the general public. This, of course, did not happen and within hours the Administration officials had made its existence common knowledge to numerous intelligence agencies, cable news (Let's get it right on FOX so we can scare the shit out of every Republican in the country!) and, generally, every major worldwide broadcasting outlet. That, in and of itself, is disgusting and simply provides more support for those that argue that the White House is untrustworthy - remember, these are the same untrustworthy people who made me actually feel sorry for John Ashcroft after Alberto's strong-armed Corleone-esque hospital visit was recently revealed. Unfortunately, the exposure of Bush et al as untrustworthy deal-breakers with unparalleled near-sightedness is nothing compared to the years of work by SITE that went up in smoke in a matter hours thanks to the cowboy attitude we've all grown so accumstomed to. So, add this one to the growing list of failures accomplished by the Bush Adminstration:

- 9/11
- Closed-door energy talks with Enron
- Intelligence Book-cooking
- Guantanamo
- Tora Bora
- The "end" of major combat operations
- Abu Ghraib
- Madrid
- London
- Domestic Surveillance
- The Gestap...whoops, I mean The Patriot Act
- Hurricane Katrina
- The Walter Reed Hospital disgrace
- Prosecutor Firings
- Alberto Gonzales
- Blackwater
- Intelligence Mishandling
- and it goes on and on...

Is there (a more reprehensible person on the planet than Ann Coulter)?
In case you missed it, her foot-in-mouth disease reared its ugly head again the other day on the Big Idea with Donny Deutsch when she asserted that, not only should America be comprised of nothing but Republicans, but America should be exclusively Christian as well. Deutsch, being Jewish, naturally asked her to explain herself to which she leveled the normal, biggoted slander we're used to from her, asserting that Jews should be "perfected" and that, essentially, Christians are better. Whether said in jest or out of true feeling is not certain when watching the clip. What is certain, however, is that even remotely biggoted remarks like it are common from her, hence her continued appeal as a flashpoint for the left and a martyr on the right. Her constant twisting of the facts, propogation of hate and absolute reluctance to recognize that we're all in this together is so beyond disturbing to The Cupcake, I cringe just thinking about her. What's even scarier to think about are the millions of Americans out there just like her. If anyone needs perfecting, its her (and them). Wait a second, I forgot, I'm not a biggot, so to merely suggest such a course of action is against my faith in the American people to judge for themselves what lines of reasoning they want to believe. However you personally slice it, God help us.

You should check out: With Signs Following by Creech Holler...to use one of Jules Winnfield's favorite adjectives; these guys are the baddest-ass mushroom cloud-laying mutherfuckers I've heard in a long time. Their set at Star Bar was unreal, check them out at all costs

Lagrange Point: the five positions in an orbital configuration where a small object affected only by gravity can theoretically be stationary relative to two larger objects

Every once in a while life has Lagrange Points. Perfection slips in and out of reality, yet sometimes it can hold the line and maintain its integrity far after, theoretically, it should have dissolved. There are a few things in The Smoking Cupcake's life that have achieved - and thankfully maintained - Lagrange Points. Some of these revolve around an absolute synchronicty between people I know (e.g., Mrs. Cupcake, Isaac, etc.), others revolve around media (e.g., Electronic's first album, Thief, etc.) and still others are preserved as the most tender, real and sacred days past. Today, most likely in concert with much else contributing to this phenomenon - time with a certain respected celebrity friend, a center at work whose fragility simply refused to hold, unexpected conversations with the sincerest of old friends, etc. - I came upon an album that caught me by such surprise (though it shouldn't have), I can consider the experience a true Lagrange Point to add to all the others.

What album you ask? Mary Star of the Sea by ZWAN.

This album had been recommended to me by so many people that know me, I'm ashamed that its taken me more than 6 years from its release to actually give it a listen (apologies around, especially to Cian's sweet mother)...Nevertheless, I've finally gotten around to it. After hearing it now for the 4th time in a mere 4 hours, what surprises me the most about my reluctance to listen to it upon its release is that Billy Corgan cut it almost immediately on top of his brief stint as a contributing member of New Order during the Get Ready sessions and that album's pre-release mini-tour. I guess, never being a huge Pumpkins fan (blasphemy!), my subconscious reluctance precluded a college-try of a listen back in 2001. I couldn't have underestimated an artist or a record or a vibe more than I did with this absolutely brilliant stab at superstardom redux.

This is a true grower, gaining importance with every listen as the layers, both musically and lyrically, come out like a Seurat. Moreover, as you peel away these layers and superimpose them on the era that it was recorded, Mary Star of the Sea quickly bridges that flux between the death of Britpop, the disintegration of great Emo and the incoming wave of neo-post-punk (see The Killers) that was the early 2000's - fucking fantastic, yet unclassifiable. Imagine, if you will, Carnival of Light era RIDE mixed with Technique. A bitter and unthinkable [or even unfathomable to the uninitiated] proposition, true. Yet, in 2001, it seemed a perfect proposition to anyone that lived through both Shoegaze and Madchester. It suspends a time that never really existed - a Lagrange Point if you will.

Fucking brilliant. The perfect album for those waning days of summer, even if its already autumn.

Right out of the oven:

Apparently, Will Smith doesn't think his career has had enough misfires - this idea sounds like a steaming turd of a mistake before it even sees the end of the tunnel (I guess next they'll let Adam Sandler helm a remake of Rocky)...High riding tensions in the School of Media Arts at Chicago's Columbia College lead to donkey cock, firings...I don't know, after scaling 29,035 ft. at temperatures hovering around 14 degree Fahrenheit, maybe you'd feel like taking your clothes off too...Kansas has its share of problems: tornadoes, harsh winters, renegade llamas...Leave it to a bunch of clowns to open up shop in a country where they routinely execute cabinet ministers and military leaders for going against the grain...Good times go bad when skunk gets yogurt container stuck on head...And finally; German tourist who allegedly threatened to kill passengers on board by opening an exit door at 30,000 feet learns how not to get a free in-flight cocktail the hard way...

Scary George W. Bush moment of the week:
About a month ago I posted a link for a recent Congressional Research Service report outlining the many problems associated with employing private security contractors in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately for all of us, this intriguing document came much too late as Blackwater, the largest private security contractor in both Iraq and Afghanistan, has recently been bathed in negative headlines, showing itself to be a less than great investment for American goodwill around the globe. For example, its evident from every report The Cupcake has read, most notably this eyewitness account about the Heat-style shootout on the streets of Baghdad on September 16th, that no matter which one it is, the contractors our government has hired operate well outside of normal military protocol. With an air of recklessness already imbedded in my mind from the Iraq mess, I then came across this deplorable story of a seemingly avoidable 2004 plane crash in Afghanistan where a plane piloted by Blackwater contractors deliberately altered course to make their own attempt at the Kessel Run that resulted in the deaths of everyone aboard, including the three U.S. troops that Blackwater had been tasked with transporting. Infuriating you say? Of course. Preventable? Not necessarily. Why? Two words - corporate malfeasance. Until this country wakes up and places the defense of our nation squarely on our military's shoulders once again rather than on mercenaries who are better paid, financed and supplied, corporate malfeasance will be the reason we lose in Iraq, Afghanistan and God knows where else. If our military fails its our fault. If a contractor screws up its their fault. Disgraceful...and all this under the keen, watchful eye of W, self-appointed "Savior of the Middle East." You're doin' a heck of a job Bushie, keep it up!
11th Hour Disclaimer: For any right-leaning readers out there quick to label me anti-military or anti-Iraq or whatever, U.S. military reports made available just this morning (10/5/07) clearly indicate the 9/16 Blackwater incident in Baghdad was completely unprovoked.

Is there (a more tormented soul than O.J. Simpson - as asked a couple weeks ago)?
Yes, as a matter of fact a new candidate has emerged...Michael Vick has definitely entered O.J.'s orbit by having those nasty, yet totally not-unexpected, state charges brought against him. Then, as if dodging defenders and cutting hard for the end-zone for one of his patented whipped-cream-on-shit touchdown runs, it then emerged that he failed a September 13th drug test. The Cupcake will be the first person to say that the Michael Vick circus that came to town all those moons ago has indeed gotten out of hand and has, in most circles, worn out its welcome. However, did anyone bother to notice that he apologized, showed contrition, accepted responsibility and found Jesus on August 27th, yet didn't test positive for dope until the 13th of September? Clearly, that 2 week-period was life-altering to the point where he was able to get his priorities straight and get his life back on track - giving him the benefit of the doubt, one can only assume he was reading the Bible high as fuck. Way to keep keepin' it real Mike.

You should check out: Once Upon A Time in the West by Hard-Fi...following up an album as good as Stars of CCTV was daring enough, for it to be this superb is an accomplishment of epic proportions

Right out of the oven:

Face it, some people, like Charles Hoyle, have a death wish...Guillermo gets 5-years in the fun house, a deportation after he serves his sentence and the rest of his life without his testicles...Cartoonist takes it to the limit one more time with the Muslim world, creating the usual mass hysteria (this picture says it all - when is someone gonna introduce these people to quaaludes?!)...The state of Idaho might want to consider adding a driving-while-passengers-have-intercourse-in-back-seat section to standard driver's ed curriculum after Joshua Frank loses control of his SUV...In case you're at a loss for creative gifts to give this Christmas, Celebtrity Skin and Bodily Fluids is selling, among other things, hermetically sealed canisters of Mike Tyson's poop...“When he saw me, he said he was bathing, and asked me if I had some shampoo.”...Any of you guys out there having trouble, er, attracting women? Well, maybe you should try bathing yourself in urine...And, on an electrifying end note for the week; "I don't remember what happened. One minute I was taking a leak and the next thing I knew I was in the hospital!"...

Scary George W. Bush moment of the week:

I have no doubt that most of you would name the Nelson Mandela moment as your top pick, but giving the President the benefit of the doubt after reading that response in context, I'm confident it was blown out of proportion for a cheap laugh, most notably by The Daily Show. So, all jokes aside, the truly "Scary George W. Bush Moment of the Week" for The Cupcake was stumbling across this Dan Froomkin article from The Washington Post regarding Bush's compentency, and more importantly, the real impact of his administration's consolidation of power within the executive branch through his use of political patronage in rewarding long-time loyalists with key administration positions. There once was an administration that thought/practiced the way this one does - consolidation as a necessity to maintain control, categorically lying to the public about a misguided war, using the wheels of the federal bueracracy to elimate its enemies...and they were forced to resign so we could all start over. If you're getting the Nixon vibe I'm putting out, great. If not, you should probably brush up on your American history.

Hopeful "Generation Y is not completely asleep at the wheel" moment of the week:

In a show of true defiance, J. David McSwane, Editor-In-Chief of the Rocky Mountain Collegian at Colorado State University, stuck to his convictions and refused to pull his very concise editorial. Good for him. If only more news outlets had the balls this kid does, we'd be a lot better off.

You should check out: Three Days of the Condor Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Dave Grusin...most of this album could have just as easily been found in the porn of the 70's - killer stuff

Right out of the oven:

On one hand, there could have been worse things to take your frustration out on; on the other hand, cows for target practice?...Area deer suffering from mid-life crisis decides to end it all...Excuse me, flight attendant? I asked for a bag of peanuts, not a bag of penis!...Ever wonder what celebrity you look like? The people at My Heritage have that and a lot more to offer...Sending e-greetings is, in this day and age, passe to say the least, but someecards.com has the opportunity to pump a lot of new life into your on-line greetings...What, exactly, was the best part of Lillian Dunn's morning? Was is the whole driving-with-a-blanket-over-her-head thing? Maybe it was running head-on with her car through the front door of the police station? No, wait, it was definitely the part where she gave that curious, just-almost-mown-down officer the finger in defiance of his concern for her and then sped off...Vanity taken to a new level: Neuticles for your male dog to keep him looking, uhm, virile...and, on an explosive ending note for the week; this suicide-land-dispute-resolution-dinner party sounded like a sure-fire blast...

WTF? moment of the week:

The Smoking Cupcake likes Kanye West as much as the next guy, especially in light of him keeping it real during the Katrina telethon, but his rant at the MTV VMAs last week was absolutely ridiculous...And when I say ridiculous, I don't mean ridiculous because I had a problem with him being upset about not winning despite being nominated for 5 awards. Disappointment, anger, etc...all that I can understand. With probability being like gravity, one would think it safe to assume he's taking home one of those 5 awards. That said, my beef with tha'K to-the-anye is that he was so pissed about not winning an MTV Video Music Award, the single-most irrelevant award given throughout the entire irrelevant award circuit. I mean, are ya' kidding me? It's not like he got stiffed for an Oscar or a Grammy. He got stiffed for a Moon Man! What's even more impossible to believe is he was that upset yet had nothing to do with 2 of the 5 nominations he received (and, technically, a third since being nominated for the Quadrulple Threat of the Year Award merely meant he'd been nominated for 4 other "awards"). Follow my logic: Kanye was nominated for Best Editor and Director. My guess is that Kanye knows as much about video editing and directing as the Cupcake knows about nuclear fusion (my knowledge of which begins and ends with the first 10 minutes of Escape from New York). In fact, according to MTV's own web site, he had absolutely nothing to do with the editing or the directing of the video nominated in both categories. So, why on Earth was he so pissed, for example, about missing out on the Moon Man for Best Editor? Why was he even fucking nominated if he didn't actually do the editing? Mystifying...

Is there:

A more tormented soul on the planet than Orenthal James Simpson? The Juice outdoes himself yet again in Las Vegas to the tune of armed robbery. If we can just get a grand theft auto and imbezzlement or something, maybe he can be nominated for Quadruple Threat of the Year at the 2008 VMAs.

You should check out: Carnival of Light by RIDE...undervalued and overlooked gem from the progenitors of Shoegaze despite abandoning the wall of sound

Its a good thing there were no other kangroos reported missing in the entire country of Germany (shocking, I know) or else the cops might have had trouble identifying Skippi...Taking parody to a whole new level, the latest in ghetto fabulous footwear is even offered in kids sizes - just in case any of your little ones at home are aspiring drug lords (free shipping too, woo hoo!)...I was beginning to think bees (or lack thereof) would be the death of us...Larry Craig isn't the only conservative who likes public restrooms as Operation Summer Heat nets Episcopal preist, among others, in North Carolina...Those Orlando squirrels are vicious I tell you...Ah, the things that lead to severe genital bruising: "He pronounced her name May-gan, instead of Mee-gan, prompting Conroy to get upset"...When I think of animal attacks, buffalo rarely come to mind, especially unprovoked buffalo...The victim — described as a “quiet family man” — was attacked after playing pool with pals at a bar in Washington, Tyne and Wear...I'm glad Michael Vick realizes what he, you know, did was immature and that he has to, you know, grow up...The recent GAO report on the less than adequate performance of the Department of Homeland Security comes as no surprsise..."Those fireworks were meant to go up 30 to 40 feet in the air," he said. "And they went off in his face instead!"...and, finally, ever wondered what it would be like to own a lighthouse of your very own? Check out these digs located 3 miles off shore in the middle of the Delaware Bay...

You should check out: ...and this is our music by Brian Jonestown Massacre (thanks to Charli for her immaculate directions)...Anton is on his game big time

The Smoking Cupcake has had his usual disjointed week...

What a way to have your girlfriend wake you up for accidentally urinating on her...Has anyone else out there thought about the long-term consequences of the government's trend toward private security contractors in Iraq? The Congressional Research Service did and they uncovered some troubling ramifications that our crack, money grubbing team at the White House surely considered when employing so many of them...Have you heard about that other war we're losing?...Carnivals, and the carneys that work them, have scared the shit out of me for years..."I remember watching people sing karaoke," said Lawrence, a 5-foot-8 woman still in obvious pain. "And then the cops kicked my ass"...I think this op-ed from the Orlando Sentinel sums up my version of the Michael Vick fiasco quite succinctly...Since we're talking dogs, seems Chucky the dog had a serious problem with his owners not getting any mail yesterday (don't the owners always say "it was a freak accident?")...Pete Doherty has got to be stopped!...Neighborhood hawk provides area man with uncommon household problem...

You should check out: Dreams by The Whitest Boy Alive (many thanks to Robbie and Cassavetes)...yes, it runs out of gas toward the end, but the record cover alone make this worth repeated listens

With the recent passing of Tony Wilson, I've been immersing myself in several Factory Records related indulgences; New Order's back catalogue, late-night screenings of 24 Hour Party People, articles I've saved over the years and documentaries such as PBS's Rock 'N Roll installment "The Perfect Beat" and New Order Story. While watching the latter this afternoon over lunch, I was struck by an interview with sleeve designer (and Factory's image creator) Peter Saville...he was talking about how, due largely to his success in creating an image of the band through his grahpically stunning yet nebulous record sleeves (which were often devoid of the band's name or titles), fans could, literally, recognize a New Order album without there being a single identifying character on the front - other than one of his brilliant designs. I thought about that for a moment and realized that I knew exactly what he was talking about - I had experienced that very sensation, and I remember thinking at the time how cool it was that there was a band out there that was that fucking good and cared so little about making money that they were audacious enough to not even put their name on the covers of their records. The disc was an import copy of Touched by the Hand of God, the stop-gap single between Substance and Technique. Killer song. Serial killer sleeve, right down to the stipped down, bare-bones graphic design on the inside and back of the sleeve. Saville and New Order and Tony Wilson and the lot of them had a quality that had never been seen in popular music before and may never be seen again. Wilson called Factory an experiment in human nature - I think it was more than that. And while its impossible to put a finger on how, exactly, it was more, I think you can glean a lot from the images in Saville's work. His images are visual documents that accompany not only the music, but the ride we all took during the lifespan of Factory. And that's what makes them special; they are as much a part of the music as the people playing the instruments.

The Smoking Cupcake's recent downtime has been overloaded with the usual bombardment of trivial and seemingly inconsequential material - there is truly more out there than meets the eye. So, in an effort to periodically give you a window into what I find scary, practical, trite, comedic and absurd, I give you the inagural Outpost Trasmission:

Ever wonder what would happen if somone ground-burst a 550 kiloton nuclear warhead in your backyard? The people at the International Journal of Health Geographics did...All yea, all yea, Tony Wilson, co-founder of Factory Records, passed from cancer August 10th (I'm sure the ever-exploitative Wilson would want you to go watch 24 Hour Party People right now)... In 1983, Rev. Tom Bird allegedly murdered his wife - creepy stuff...Is anyone else tired of Amy Winehouse and her douchebag husband?...Looks like Kevin Morford definitely chose the wrong week to stop sniffing glue...Sometimes, lawnmowers suck...I've been trying to explain the military draft conundrum to people for 6 years...Something tells me Lazaro shouldn't be defending himself...

You should check out: Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 - Greatest Hits (many thanks to Mr. & Mrs. T-Bone)...this guy is so popular, he can't even go to the bathrooom in South America
The Smoking Cupcake is back in the fold and looking forward to getting on with things. 2007 has been a complicated year but with The Cupcake's birthday passing today and nothing but great things to look foward to (e.g., US Open, Labor Day, lots of free airline tickets, an impending proposal, collages, Erik Estrada events, etc.), today seems a good a day to revisit documenting my life with the written word.

To mark my return, I completed a new compilation of the songs most likely to have been drilled into my head over the last 2 months. You can find the tunestack to your left in the menu section. Want a copy? E-mail me at: mcmurphywantsrevenge@yahoo.com.

In celebration of my 33rd year, I will be sharing the evening with my closest friends throwing darts, shooting pool, talking politics, film, and music, and simply spending time with those that I love most. A great night shall be had by all, and I have already been guaranteed that year 34 will start tomorrow with more promise than any of those that came before.

Those not here will be missed. Those gone will be missed more. All, however, will be remembered.