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