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30 August 2012

team sports builds character / Notre Dame football radio announcer calls for more criminals on the football team

 Click image to enlarge.

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* * * * * * *

Bloomberg News Service
USA newswire
Thursday 30 August 2012

Notre Dame Analyst Pinkett
Suspended After ‘Criminals’ Comment

by Scott Soshnick

University of Notre Dame football radio analyst Allen Pinkett was suspended for at least the season opener after he said the team needs "criminals" to win.

Don Criqui and Jeff Jeffers will handle the broadcast, according to a statement from IMG. The Fighting Irish open the season against the U.S. Naval Academy in Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday 1 September.

"The event deserves to be free of distraction," Andrew Giangola, an IMG Notre Dame Radio Network spokesman, said in the statement.

Further decisions on Pinkett, a two-time All-American running back at Notre Dame in the 1980s, will be made at a later date, according to the statement, which didn’t give details.

Pinkett said during a radio interview this week that successful teams need a few bad citizens. He spoke after Notre Dame suspended two players, including leading rusher Cierre Wood, for two games for violating team rules.

"I mean, that’s how Ohio State used to win all the time," he said. "They would have two or three guys that were criminals. That just adds to the chemistry of the team. I think Notre Dame is growing because maybe they have some guys that are doing something worthy of a suspension, which creates edge on the football team. You can’t have a football team full of choir boys."

Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick called the remarks "nonsense."

"Of course, Allen does not speak for the university, but we could not disagree more with his observation," Swarbrick said.

Notre Dame was 8-5 last season.

Bloomberg Radio is the broadcast home for Notre Dame football in New York.

- 30 -

24 August 2012

Bob's down with the clown yo / female Team USA sports enthusiasts offer to castrate Vleeptron Dude / not insane / Romney is not a weasel / Vote Larouche!

Click on t-shirt & gang sign to enlarge.

e-mail from, and back atcha, my old Army buddy who lives in the Greater Lower Thumb Region of the USA state shaped like a right-hand mitten so you can point to the palm of your hand to show where you live

Every former soldier ends up with an old pal named Joe Schlobladewski who phones long-distance once a year (often inspired by alcohol) to confuse & dismay the veteran's wife and children. I have designated myself R**'s Joe Schlobladewski.

R** has a wife and three interesting, accomplished children. One (male) is a rapper and Graphic Novel (modern name for Comic Book, and they don't cost 10 cents anymore either) artist; another (female) was a regional college water polo champ.

Go Blue! (My late father-in-law wore a sweatshirt that said


) and okay, one time i was doing my laundry in a laundromat and there was a guy with a sweatshirt that said [see illustration above]. For 20 minutes I focused all my dimly-remembered Hebrew skills on his chest and finally meekly asked the fellow: "Meshugineh?" (Hebrew for Insane.)

He smiled broadly. 

"Good guess, but no! MICHIGAN!"


----- Original Message -----
From: R** B****
To: Bob Merkin
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2012 11:09 AM
Subject: ICP?

Got your [SNAILMAIL] letter with the real US postage Stewie’s Big Adventure Commemorative Stamp on it yesterday. Cool.

I personally do not know much about the Insane Clown Posse. I had heard about them for some time but that was it.

The Free Press story on Vleeptron was the most info I have had.

I will see if T** can tell you anything more. I don’t think he sees them as serious rappers . . . Whatever that means.

Pizza Q: It’s a special sand blend or something.
[from my snailmail with the USPS Stewie stamp]:

P.S. We watched USA women's water polo. Okay, so I'm late, so I'm slow, so I was ignorant -- but I'm a fan! This is quite the amazing sport!
PizzaQ: Why aren't Olympic women's beach volleyball players covered with sand all over?  
We watched so much of the Olympics for those 2 weeks. Missed out on all the political talk shows. Ha.

So how was Romney as governor of your fair state?
He seems like a weasel to me.


As I desperately searched through a long lifetime of memories for someone, anyone, who might know stuff about the Caucasian-American rap scene in the Greater Lower Thumb region, suddenly there was an intense flare of sparking neurons.
But if T** says "They suck," sobeit.
But if he has any info or critical commentary re ICP and the Juggalos, please tell him Joe Schlobladewki a.k.a. Vleeptron Dude would be appreciative. (Tell him if he e-mails me anything, I'll be happy to redact all clues to his identity when I post it on Vleeptron.)
Okay, so I don't get to as many Rainbow Family of Living Light Gatherings and Vans Warped Tours as I used to (some Smith College Radio Babes took pity on old Bob and dragged me to a Rave, that was Very Odd), but I started reading about this ICP/Juggalo crap and I was horrified to realize that for 13 fucking years, thousands of Youths & Not-So-Youths have been roaming the Midwest, earning an authentic FBI gang designation, and pathetic old Out-Of-The-Loop Bob had never heard Word 1 about this crap.
So either I demand to know more and I demand to buy the t-shirt from the ICP web store, or I better start gathering pamphlets for Assisted Living facilities. I am losing my grip on The Present and The Future, and I used to pride myself on seeing hordes coming soon enough to step back on the curb and avoid being violated and pillaged.
But I am reassured to learn that my trusty FBI is as sharp as it was in our day, protecting the Homeland from high-school nerds [& nerdeusses] and assistant Garden Supplies managers at Home Depot.
Look -- okay, he has utterly no reason to listen to Clueless Old Joe, but T** needs to know that in my (news) racket, anybody who can get 3000 screwballs to follow them to mud-slogged mosquito-infested state parks for 13 years in a row, and get the national law-enforcement net buzzing with FBI gang BOLOs -- such achievements deserve our respect and props.
Terribly glad you liked the Stewie stamp! Turning them into real snailmail USPS stamps was the sweetest thing a family member has EVER done for me. I was sort of embarrassed when I took the letter to the Post Office and had to ask somebody what 1st-Class now costs -- i.e., how many Stewies would I have to put on the No. 10 [envelope] before I dropped it in the slot and sent it to Ann Arbor.
The nifty USPS feature, I guess it's about 4 or 5 years old now, well it had some awkward beginnings, people were making Hitler commemoratives and hommages to Fart Gas, and the USPS roll-your-own-stamp censors were letting some of the cuter designs slip past their vigilant inspecting.
* * *
Yeah, I was already here when Romney did a stint as our Governor, and he sucked. Here's a recent Vleeptron snapshot of his (almost) achievement in office:
How he got elected, well, I can only guess that the Dems that year put up an unusually sucky or detested candidate. This may be an All-Blue state, but the Dems have run some real doozies & losers, so from time to time we elect Republicans. (Vermont -- well, they're the only voters who send a Socialist to represent their desires in the U.S. Senate.)
When Teddy Kennedy died and we had to elect a new U.S. Senator, I get this phone call and a mild-mannered Youth asks me if I am all thrilled and enthused that our Attorney General, Martha Coakley, is running for the seat. I almost soiled myself -- boy, did I know Martha. As a District Attorney and then Attorney General, she has encarcerated more Non-White & teenage pot-smokers and street junkies than any racist scumbag public official in U.S. history.
"Are you kidding? Martha Coakley is the Democratic candidate? Look, buddy -- she's EVIL. I ain't voting for Martha Coakley."
The Clueless Youth got all surprised and flustered, but he recovered enough to ask me, if not Martha, who I might vote for.
"Is Lyndon Larouche running somebody? I'll vote for a Larouchie before I vote for Coakley."
(No, I didn't vote for Scott Brown, but that's how Scott Brown got his Senate seat -- I wasn't the only MA[ssachusetts] voter less than thrilled with Evil Martha.)
You say weasel, I say Romney is a dangerous pig. Ryan is (if possible) a worse & more dangerous pig.
Don't get me started, now I got to take pills to calm down.
Oh, you win the PizzaQ. Yeah, they use special sand whose grain size and texture doesn't adhere to perspiring young [female] flesh, or that's what the beach volleyball expert sitting next to Bob Costas said.
You have ended up being a lot closer to Olympic-class sport than I ever did or will. Bob the Old Kommie was pretty disgusted with the Beijing Olympics, I have trouble enjoying the triathlon when political prisoners are being tortured and their organs are being harvested too close to the stadium. Some fans of Abbey Wambach left comments on Vleeptron threatening to castrate me for giving their goddess the finger for her dumb comments
... and I will be as grateful to K*** for her opinions on these complex matters as I will be to T** for his guidance re Insane Clown Posse. (Tell her I swam, briefly, for NYU so I could sleaze out of mandatory Gym Class.)
I just think Amazing Sports Skills are not a Free Pass for Dumb.
But the London stuff didn't creep me out like the Beijing Olympics did. There was some taste and thought, and it was cool to see HRH Elizabeth II parachute out of a helicopter. The Brits don't harvest organs from the political prisoners they execute.
Well, I have to go pray now that Romney does not become our President. Hi to C**** & everyone, the talented, the creative, the champions.
Your old Army pal,
Joe Schloblowdewski

22 August 2012

Prince Henry of Wales loses bigtime at strip billiards in Vegas, mate takes cell phone photos, sells them to TMZ / it's good to be the Prince! / 2 balls in the corner pocket / Red Star over Tuchas

.........................................Click image to enlarge.

The Los Angeles Times
(daily broadsheet, Los Angeles, California USA)
Wednesday 22 August 2012

by Rene Lynch

Prince Harry has a reputation as the playboy prince. Now there are photos to prove it -- straight from Las Vegas.

Celebrity gossip website TMZ posted photos online of Britain's most eligible bachelor naked and cavorting with at least one nude woman in what reportedly is a Las Vegas VIP suite.

In one photo, the prince uses his hands to cover his privates while a naked woman wraps her arms around his middle. In a second photo, he appears to be playfully wrestling with a woman near a pool table, and is bent over her. (TMZ placed a red star over Harry's exposed behind.)

PHOTOS: Facets of Prince Harry

The photos are apparently not in dispute. Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Harry is indeed the strapping, red-headed fellow seen in the photos. The palace is declining further comment beyond saying that "Prince Harry is on a private holiday and is returning shortly."

Harry has made headlines over the years for a variety of questionable incidents, including wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party, complete with armband. He apologized for doing so.

He was in Vegas this week taking a break from his military duties. He'd already made headlines with some of his late-night Sin City activities, such as challenging Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte to a race -- in a pool -- as several women looked on.

TMZ says that the images were taken after Harry and some of his buddies invited a "bevy of beauties" up to his VIP suite at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino last Friday.

At this time, there appears to be little outrage over the antics. the Telegraph, however, raises the question as to whether the nude photos violate British army rules that state "social misbehavior" is unacceptable: "Military codes of conduct warn officers that they must maintain high standards of professionalism 'both on and off operations,'" the newspaper said.

Otherwise, reaction to the photos in Britain was precisely what you would expect. Very few expect much more from a handsome young man letting loose in a place like Vegas. In fact, many sounded a bit envious.

The Associated Press asked "an assortment of royal watchers and British subjects" about the photos. One construction worker was quoted as saying, "I'd be proud of him if he were my son," while another stated the obvious: "He's the prince. He can have any bird he wants!" Several women interviewed also rolled their eyes at the controversy. A child-care worker interviewed by the news service laughed at the uproar as she said: "He's a lad, for God's sake."
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21 August 2012

best pooch-screwing & foot-shooting award of 2012 campaign / "legitimate rape" guy vows to stay in Senate race, while his own party tries to push him under a bus

Click photo to enlarge.

Hot "game-changer" campaign news from the Republic of Gilead.


The Associated Press
(USA newswire)
Monday 20 August 2012

GOP congressman fights 

to save Senate campaign
after rape pregnancy comments

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI -- Rep. Todd Akin fought to salvage his Senate campaign Monday, even as members of his own party turned against him and a key source of campaign funding was cut off in outrage over the Missouri congressman’s comments that women are able to prevent pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape."

Akin made no public appearances but went on former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s national radio show to apologize. He vowed to continue his bid for higher office.

Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin created a stir among Republicans and Democrats when he made comments suggesting that the bodies of women raped by force will generally reject a pregnancy.

"The good people of Missouri nominated me, and I'm not a quitter," Akin said. "To quote my old friend John Paul Jones, I have not yet begun to fight."

But Akin seemed to be losing political support by the hour as fellow Republicans urged him to abandon a race the party had long considered essential in their bid to regain control of the Senate. Incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill is seen as vulnerable in public opinion polls and because she has been a close ally of President Barack Obama.

An official with the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee said the group’s head, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, called Akin on Monday to tell him that the committee had withdrawn $5,000,000 in advertising planned for the Missouri race. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the conversation was private.

Publicly, Cornyn called Akin’s comments "indefensible" and suggested he take 24 hours to consider "what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party and the values that he cares about and has fought for."

Two other Republican senators -- Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin -- urged Akin to step aside from the Senate race.

Brown, who is locked in a tight race with Democrat Elizabeth Warren, said Akin’s comments were "outrageous, inappropriate and wrong."

Johnson called Akin’s statements "reprehensible and inexcusable," and urged Akin to withdraw "so Missouri Republicans can put forth a candidate that can win in November."

Akin also got a swift rebuke from the campaign of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Romney and Ryan "disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.

“Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive,” Romney said in an interview with National Review Online.

The furor began Sunday in an interview on KTVI-TV in St. Louis. Asked if he would support abortions for women who have been raped, Akin said: "It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Later Sunday, Akin released a statement saying that he "misspoke." But the fallout was swift and severe.

During the somber interview on Huckabee’s program, Akin apologized repeatedly, saying he made "serious mistakes" in his comments on KTVI.

"Rape is never legitimate. It's an evil act. It's committed by violent predators," Akin said. "I used the wrong words the wrong way." He later made a similar apology in an appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio show.

President Barack Obama said Akin’s comments underscore why politicians — most of whom are men — should not make health decisions on behalf of women.

"Rape is rape," Obama said. And the idea of distinguishing among types of rape "doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me."

Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin created a stir among Republicans and Democrats when he made comments suggesting that the bodies of women raped by force will generally reject a pregnancy.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said a woman who is raped “has no control over ovulation, fertilization or implantation of a fertilized egg. ... To suggest otherwise contradicts basic biological truths.”

Between 10,000 and 15,000 abortions occur each year nationwide among women whose pregnancies resulted from rape or incest. An unknown number of babies are born to rape victims, the group said.

Research on the prevalence of rape-related pregnancies is spotty. One estimate published in 1996 said about 5 percent of rapes result in pregnancy, or about 32,000 pregnancies among adult women each year.

McCaskill was ready to move on, saying Akin should not be forced out of the race.

"What’s startling to me is that (Republican) party bigwigs are coming down on him and saying that he needs to kick sand in the face of all the primary voters," McCaskill said Monday at a campaign event in suburban St. Louis.

"I want Missourians to make a choice in this election based on policy, not backroom politics."

The McCaskill campaign seemed to favor a matchup against Akin. McCaskill ran statewide TV ads during the primaries painting Akin as too conservative even for Missouri. She also ran ads against his GOP rivals.

The Akin ads served two purposes for McCaskill: boosting Akin among the more conservative Republican primary voters to help get him nominated and raising questions about him among moderates and liberals.

Akin won the state’s Republican Senate primary just two weeks ago by a comfortable margin over millionaire businessman John Brunner and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman. Many considered him a favorite to beat McCaskill in November.

Experts say the rape comments were a game-changer.

"He may in fact have mortally wounded himself," said David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. "This is a statement that is so crude and so offensive to more than half the electorate that there’s a real danger here the he has dealt himself out of this race."

University of Missouri political scientist Peverill Squire said Akin’s comments could particularly hurt him among suburban voters, where Republicans have done well in recent elections and "where McCaskill really does need to pick up some votes to stay in office. This certainly gives her an opening."

Ushering Akin from the race is complicated by the fact that he has never been a candidate beholden to the party establishment. Since being elected to Congress in 2000, Akin has relied on a grassroots network of supporters. His Senate campaign is being run by his son.

Missouri election law allows candidates to withdraw 11 weeks before Election Day. That means the deadline for the November 6 election would be 5 p.m. Tuesday. Otherwise, a court order would be needed to remove a candidate’s name from the ballot.

If Akin were to leave, state law gives the Republican state committee two weeks to name a replacement. The candidate would be required to file within 28 days of Akin’s exit.

If Akin gets out, attention turns to Brunner and Steelman, but other possibilities include Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich, whom Republicans unsuccessfully tried to draft into the race earlier this year; former Sen. Jim Talent; and two members of Missouri’s House delegation, Blaine Luetkemeyer and Jo Ann Emerson.

Talent, who lost his seat to McCaskill in 2006, said he would not enter the race, The Washington Post reported.

Akin, a former state lawmaker who was first elected to the House in 2000, has a long-established base among evangelical Christians. He has been an outspoken abortion opponent, and his campaign website proudly points out that he is listed among Planned Parenthood’s “Toxic Ten” legislators.

Associated Press writers Henry Jackson in Washington; Jim Suhr in St. Louis; Chris Blank in Jefferson City, Mo.; and Lindsey Tanner in Chicago contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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20 August 2012

GOP Senate challenger's gynecology lesson about "legitimate rape"

Agence France-Presse (AFP)
(world's oldest news agency)
Sunday 19 August 2012

Furor over Republican
U.S. Senate candidate's
'legitimate rape' comment

WASHINGTON DC -- A Republican senatorial candidate triggered a firestorm of criticism, including a rebuff from Mitt Romney's campaign, after he suggested that "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy.

Explaining his complete opposition to abortion, even in the instance of rape, Representative Todd Akin said pregnancy from rape was rare because of biological reactions to "legitimate rape."

"First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare," Akin told KTVI television in an interview widely distributed by Democrats. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Akin then said that if a woman got pregnant after being raped, there should be consequences for the rapist, but not the unborn fetus.

"Let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment. But the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child," he said.

Democrats pounced, with incumbent Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill tweeting that she was "stunned" by the remarks and her reelection campaign using Akin's interview to ask for donations.

Romney, the Republican White House hopeful, and his running mate Paul Ryan immediately sought to distance themselves from Akin's comments on one of the most polarizing issues in American politics.

"Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," a campaign statement read.

In a statement later released by her office, McCaskill shunned the "offensive" position advanced by her rival.

"It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape," she said.

And her campaign website urged supporters to make a contribution "so we can ensure that Missouri is represented by a Senator who will fight for women's rights -- not set them back 50 years."

Akin later said he "misspoke," but stood by his opposition to abortion.

"In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it's clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year," he said in a statement released by his campaign.

"I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action."

Republicans have long called for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion.

Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved
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Vleeptron wishes all Eid Mubarak (with this pretty filched image)

Click on image to enlarge.

It's Eid al-Fitr عيد الفطر  marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Eid Mubarak -- a Blessed Eid to all.

18 August 2012

RATM guitarist Tom Morello shares his feeling about Paul Ryan -- who said RATM is one of his fave bands

Click photo to enlarge

The Rolling Stone
(USA weekly magazine, 

rock music & national affairs)
Thursday 16 August 2012

Op-ed column

'Paul Ryan Is the 

Embodiment of the 
Machine Our Music 
Rages Against'

Rage Against the Machine's guitarist
blasts Romney's VP pick and unlikely Rage fan

Last week, Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan, the Republican architect of Congress's radical right-wing budget plan, as his running mate. Ryan has previously cited Rage Against the Machine as one of his favorite bands. Rage guitarist Tom Morello responds in this exclusive op-ed.

by Tom Morello

Paul Ryan's love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades. Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn't understand them. Governor Chris Christie loves Bruce Springsteen but doesn't understand him. And Paul Ryan is clueless about his favorite band, Rage Against the Machine.

Ryan claims that he likes Rage's sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don't care for Paul Ryan's sound or his lyrics. He can like whatever bands he wants, but his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage.

I wonder what Ryan's favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of "Fuck the Police"? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!

Don't mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta "rage" in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions.

You see, the super rich must rationalize having more than they could ever spend while millions of children in the U.S. go to bed hungry every night. So, when they look themselves in the mirror, they convince themselves that "Those people are undeserving. They're ... lesser." Some of these guys on the extreme right are more cynical than Paul Ryan, but he seems to really believe in this stuff. This unbridled rage against those who have the least is a cornerstone of the Romney-Ryan ticket.

But Rage's music affects people in different ways. Some tune out what the band stands for and concentrate on the moshing and throwing elbows in the pit. For others, Rage has changed their minds and their lives. Many activists around the world, including organizers of the global occupy movement, were radicalized by Rage Against the Machine and work tirelessly for a more humane and just planet. Perhaps Paul Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening.

My hope is that maybe Paul Ryan is a mole. Maybe Rage did plant some sensible ideas in this extreme fringe right wing nut job. Maybe if elected, he'll pardon Leonard Peltier.  Maybe he'll throw U.S. military support behind the Zapatistas. Maybe he'll fill Guantanamo Bay with the corporate criminals that are funding his campaign -- and then torture them with Rage music 24/7. That's one possibility. But I'm not betting on it.
- 30 -

17 August 2012

Cahiers du Vleeptron is whipped up in a froth to see Cronenberg's latest strange thing, "Cosmopolis" / where is the harm? huh? / Ben & Jerry's, antidote for heartache / she said she was sorry

Cliquez le fiche pour le plus grande.

When Robert Pattinson -- famed from his "Twilight" saga teenage vampire movies -- made his first television appearance earlier this week, on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart and Pattinson devoured quarts of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Pattinson is just getting over the Worst Breakup & gf Betrayal Ever.

(She said she was sorry she banged the movie director.)

Cahiers du Vleeptron is a total sucker for any Cronenberg flick.

Our all-time favorite is Cronenberg's "Crash."

What are the 2 Great Themes of all Hollywood movies?

1. Sex

2. High-Speed car wrecks

So where is the harm, where is the harm, when Cronenberg mates Sex with High-Speed Car Wrecks? 


Where is the harm in getting stiff nipples and huge erections by smashing hot car metal and windshield glass on urban highways at 90 miles per hour?

Huh? Where is the harm?

No. We lied. Cronenberg's greatest, weirdest, screwiest, whackiest film is "Videodrome" with James Woods and Debbie Harry (of Blondie).

What TV channel has the filthiest most hard-core porn ever?

Civic TV -- with its hypnotic new enhanced encoded signal!

Okay, we're still lying. "Videodrome" isn't about weird ultra-kinky TV porn.

It's about Marshall McLuhan (1911 – 1980). He's the real star of "Videodrome."

"North America's getting soft, Patron."
Cosmopolis (film)
Directed by     David Cronenberg
Produced by     Paulo Branco
Renee Tab
David Cronenberg
Martin Katz
Screenplay by     David Cronenberg
Based on     Cosmopolis by
Don DeLillo
Starring     Robert Pattinson
Paul Giamatti
Samantha Morton
Sarah Gadon
Mathieu Amalric
Juliette Binoche
Music by     Howard Shore
Studio     Alfama Films
Prospero Pictures
Toronto Antenna
Distributed by     Entertainment One
Release date(s)    

    May 25, 2012 (Cannes)
    June 8, 2012 (Canada)
    August 17, 2012 (US)

Running time     109 minutes[3]
Country     France
Language     English
Box office     $2,837,056[4]

Cosmopolis is a 2012 drama film starring Robert Pattinson, directed by David Cronenberg. It is based on the novel of the same name by Don DeLillo. On May 25, 2012, the film premiered in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival,[5] drawing mixed early critical reactions.[6] The film was released in Canada on June 8, 2012,[7] and is scheduled to have a limited release in the United States on August 17, 2012.[8]


Billionaire Eric Packer (Pattinson) rides slowly across Manhattan in his limousine that he uses as his office while on his way to his preferred barber, even though there are traffic jams. The traffic jams are caused by a visit of the president of the United States and by the funeral of Eric's favourite musician, whose music he plays in one of his two private elevators. He has recently married. In the car and elsewhere, he has meetings with his wife, who does not want sex with him, to save energy that she needs for her work. Instead, he has sex with other women. In his car, while having a meeting, he has his doctor carry out his daily medical checkup; Eric worries about the doctor's finding that he has an asymmetrical prostate. After devastating currency speculation, he kills his bodyguard and follows a path of further self-destruction, including visiting his potential murderer and deliberately shooting himself in the hand.


    Robert Pattinson as Eric Packer
    Jay Baruchel as Shiner
    Paul Giamatti as Benno Levin
    Kevin Durand as Torval
    Juliette Binoche as Didi Fancher, Eric's art consultant, with whom Eric has an affair
    Samantha Morton as Vija Kinsky, Eric’s chief advisor
    Sarah Gadon as Elise Shifrin
    Mathieu Amalric as André Petrescu aka The Pastry Assassin
    K'naan as Brutha Fez, a rap artist
    Emily Hampshire as Jane Melman, Eric's chief of finance
    Patricia McKenzie as Kendra Hays, Eric's bodyguard, with whom Eric has an affair


News about a film adaptation of Cosmopolis first emerged on 10 February 2009 when Geoffrey Macnab, writing for, reported that "In his most ambitious project to date, international producer Paulo Branco is plotting a $10m-12m film based on the novel Cosmopolis by legendary US writer Don DeLillo. Branco's Alfama Films is producing the film about a day in the life of a young billionaire financier who, over the course of a traumatic day, loses all his wealth. A director will be named shortly and DeLillo is on board to collaborate."[9]

On July 26, 2009, it was announced that Canadian director David Cronenberg had become involved in the project and would now bring the novel to the screen. The film was scheduled to begin filming in 2010, with Paulo Branco's Paris-based production house Alfama Films co-producing with Cronenberg's Toronto Antenna Ltd.[10]

On September 3, 2009, Paulo Branco officially confirmed to that "Cronenberg has now finished his screenplay and is now looking to cast the film."[11]

On January 13, 2010, it was reported that Cronenberg was still committed to the film, although a cast and a starting date for production were yet to be announced. Cronenberg said that everyone was "happy with the script" and he was "very fond" of the project.[12]

The filming took place in Toronto and was completed in July 2011.

Colin Farrell was initially cast in the main role but left due to scheduling difficulties with Total Recall.[13] He was later replaced by Pattinson. Marion Cotillard was involved in the project but also left because of scheduling conflicts.[14]


Cosmopolis premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 25, 2012.

Cosmopolis received mixed to positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an aggregate score of 66% positive reviews from 46 reviews counted, with an average score of 5.8 out of 10.[15] Justin Chang of Variety wrote: "An eerily precise match of filmmaker and material, Cosmopolis probes the soullessness of the 1% with the cinematic equivalent of latex gloves. ... Pattinson's excellent performance reps an indispensable asset."[16] Robbie Collin of The Telegraph gave the film four stars out of five, stating, "It's a smart inversion of Cronenberg’s 1999 film eXistenZ: rather than being umbilically connected to a virtual world, Packer is hermetically sealed off from the real one. At its heart is a sensational central performance from Robert Pattinson – yes, that Robert Pattinson – as Packer. Pattinson plays him like a human caldera; stony on the surface, with volcanic chambers of nervous energy and self-loathing churning deep below."[17] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly stated, "Cosmopolis includes its own version of the Occupy hordes: scruffy, vengeful protesters who run around the streets, and into restaurants, brandishing the bodies of dead rats. ... Pattinson, pale and predatory even without his pasty-white vampire makeup, delivers his frigid pensées with rhythmic confidence."[18]

However, Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter criticized the film writing, "Lifeless, stagey and lacking a palpable subversive pulse despite the ready opportunities offered by the material, this stillborn adaptation of Don DeLillo’s novel initially will attract some Robert Pattinson fans but will be widely met with audience indifference."[19]

Films directed by David Cronenberg

Stereo (1969)
Crimes of the Future (1970)
Shivers (1975)
Rabid (1977)
Fast Company (1979)
The Brood (1979)
Scanners (1981)
Videodrome (1983)
The Dead Zone (1983)
The Fly (1986)
Dead Ringers (1988)
Naked Lunch (1991)
M. Butterfly (1993)
Crash (1996)

eXistenZ (1999)
Spider (2002)
A History of Violence (2005)
Eastern Promises (2007)
A Dangerous Method (2011)
Cosmopolis (2012)


The New York Times
Thursday 16 August 2012

Master of a Shrinking Universe

‘Cosmopolis,’ Directed by David Cronenberg

by Manohla Dargis

The first image in David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis,” a cold, funny number about the erotics of money and the seduction of death, is that of a chrome grille on a white stretch limousine. The shot is a close-up that’s so tightly framed that the grille, with its U shape and vertical bars, looks as if it were smiling. It also looks like a shark, a perfect starting point for a story about a master of the universe who, over one long day and night, lives, eats, evacuates and fornicates in the limo. A master who, like some kind of millennial Jonah, has taken up residence in the belly of a new beast.

The limo belongs to Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), a young money man whose mysterious ways with capital have made him so unfathomably rich that he seems to have transcended everyday flop-sweat wheeling and dealing and reached a permanent state of Zen. You first see him next to a building, as unmoving and marble white as a Greek statue (or maybe a stiff). He’s impeccably dressed in a black suit and white shirt, with a meticulously knotted tie, a luxuriant slick swirl of hair and fathomless blue eyes initially obscured by dark glasses. The world is his succulent oyster. But all that Eric wants — all that this contemporary god who lives in a tower and plays with money needs — is a haircut.

“Cosmopolis” is an extraordinarily faithful adaptation of the not especially well-regarded 2003 novel by Don DeLillo, so it’s no surprise that the movie didn’t find much love when it played at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The story is as sleek as its limo is symbolically lugubrious. While being driven around New York, a zomboid billionaire loses a great deal and, by doing so, becomes human. It’s the end of the world, or at least one world, in a movie that’s opaque and transparent, as well as discomfortingly real, suggestively allegorical and perversely comic, never more so than during a prostate exam that — with a snap of latex and the crown of sweat that beads across Eric’s perfect alabaster head — becomes a sexualized display.

The prostate exam, like so much else in the movie, takes place in the limo. But before Eric gets in to begin his strange journey, he diffidently informs his head of security, Shiner (Jay Baruchel), that “we need a haircut.” In this context the royal we is of course, preposterous, both too big for such a small desire and terribly puny for the centuries of royal prerogative that Eric evokes when he uses it. The first person plural also suggests that there’s an identity crisis lurking behind those dark glasses, and that the man who will soon settle into the limo isn’t a unified “I” in the familiar, comfortingly coherent Cartesian sense of “I think, therefore I am.”

Eric, you see, is a contingent creation, an accretion of habits and conventions, a postmodern construction. At first he seems like a manifestation of the artist Barbara Kruger’s brilliant 1987 commentary on consumer culture: “I Shop Therefore I Am.” Eric buys and sells money, but because money has changed, the self who buys and sells it has transformed too.

“Money has taken a turn,” says Eric’s chief of theory, Vija Kinsky (Samantha Morton, a mesmerizing, droning delivery system), one of the handful of visitors who pop in and out of Eric’s limo, dispensing bad news and aperçus. The Greeks had a word for the art of moneymaking (“chrimatistikos”), but now, she continues, “all wealth has become wealth for its own sake,” and money, having lost its narrative quality, “is talking to itself.”

From the way that Eric’s business is quickly spiraling downward, money appears to have stopped talking to him. This may be why he wants a haircut, but only from his father’s old barber, a yearning that summons up family, tradition, simplicity and those old lost days when money bought something tangible, something you could touch as effortlessly as the bristles of newly shorn hair.

Eric may work with money, but only in the most abstract sense. He doesn’t move money, but rather gazes at numbers flowing on the glowing blue monitors in his limo. What’s missing is the thrill of the hunt, the buy and sell, the fear and desire. He sprawls on his thronelike perch in the limo, having satisfied every whim, and while he wants more, always more, there’s a sense that he’s bought himself into oblivion.

A series of events, some involving the mysteriously unpredictable yuan, forcibly and with escalating violence shake Eric out of his torpor. Nearly affectless at first, Mr. Pattinson makes a fine member of the Cronenbergian walking dead, with a glacial, blank beauty that brings to mind Deborah Kara Unger in the director’s version of J. G. Ballard’s “Crash.” Mr. Pattinson can be a surprisingly animated presence (at least he was on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” where he recently put in a game appearance), and he may be capable of greater nuance and depth than is usually asked of him. Certainly, with his transfixing mask and dead stare, he looks the part he plays here and delivers a physical performance that holds up to a battery of abuses, including that prostate exam and some anticlimactic tears.

Mr. Cronenberg’s direction throughout “Cosmopolis” is impeccable, both inside the limo and out. The difficulties of shooting in such a tight space, which seems to expand and contract depending on the scene (as if the car were breathing), are conspicuous but rendered invisible by his masterly filmmaking. Mr. Cronenberg keeps you rapt, even when the story and actors don’t. Some of this disengagement is certainly intentional. Taken as a commentary on the state of the world in the era of late capitalism (for starters), “Cosmopolis” can seem obvious and almost banal. But these banalities, which here are accompanied by glazed eyes, are also to the point: the world is burning, and all that some of us do is look at the flames with exhausted familiarity.

Eric conducts a great deal of business inside his limo, a dark, gleaming space in which different monitors are roused to virtual life like luminous underwater creatures. The limo is an extension of Eric: it’s car and carapace both, but it also provides him with literal windows onto a world that, as the day unfolds, comes ferociously, threateningly alive with anarchist protests, a vision of self-annihilation and stirrings of revolution. From inside the limo, these images surround Eric like a wraparound movie screen and can look as ersatz as the rear-projection in an old Hollywood film. Each time Eric steps outside, though, these screens fall away, and he’s left in a mounting frenzy of life and death, one that affirms its reality with brutal finality.

“Cosmopolis” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Adult sex and violence.


Opens on Friday in Manhattan.

Written and directed by David Cronenberg, based on the novel by Don DeLillo; director of photography, Peter Suschitzky; edited by Ronald Sanders; music by Howard Shore; production design by Arv Grewal; costumes by Denise Cronenberg; produced by Paulo Branco and Martin Katz; released by Entertainment One. Running time: 1 hour 48 minutes.

WITH: Robert Pattinson (Eric Packer), Juliette Binoche (Didi Fancher), Sarah Gadon (Elise Schifrin), Mathieu Amalric (Andre Petrescu), Jay Baruchel (Shiner), Kevin Durand (Torval), K’Naan (Brutha Fez), Emily Hampshire (Jane Melman), Samantha Morton (Vija Kinsky) and Paul Giamatti (Richard Sheets/Benno Levin).

- 30 -

12 August 2012

Insane Clown Posse & 13th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos / it's a freedom party / it's a gang / Whoop-Whoop!

Click photo to enlarge.

The Detroit Free Press
(daily broadsheet, Detroit, Michigan USA)
Sunday 12 August 2012

8000 Insane Clown Posse fans
party hard in rural Illinois

by Brian McCollum
Detroit Free Press Pop Music Writer

CAVE-IN-ROCK, Illinois --
One is a convenience store manager from Colorado, another an unemployed electrician from Michigan. One is a high-school single mom in Ohio.

Together, they say -- their voices often cracking, arms dotted with goose bumps -- they are family.

•More photos: The Free Press is blogging on Instagram from The Gathering; follow along with @freepent on Instagram and Twitter or go to to see the pictures!

At the 13th Gathering of the Juggalos, which started Wednesday and wraps up today [Sunday] at a campground near this dot on the map by the Ohio River, they've arrived about 8000 strong, seeking community and celebrating the world of Detroit rap group Insane Clown Posse.

Since starting as an impromptu fan convention in Novi in 2000, the Gathering has evolved into a bucket-list event for ICP fans -- part summer pilgrimage, part family reunion for thousands from across the country.

"First time here," said one young Ohio man. "First time home."

After "whoop-whoop!" -- the incessant greeting of Juggalos at the fest -- the word you hear most here is "family." These fans will tell you straight up: They are society's outcasts, the put-upon, the bullied. They grew up wearing hand-me-downs. They listen to music mocked by the mainstream.

With its booming rap music, raucous wrestling events, nude flashing, drug trade, street-fighting contests and Faygo pop drenching, the Gathering is their solace. Here, they wear shirts declaring "Proud To Be A Fat Kid" and soak up the flirting they can't always get on the outside. Food is shared, acts of kindness doled out.

"We're here because we were all jokes growing up," said a 34-year-old Florida fan who calls herself Joei Terrifyin'. "They gave us a place to be loved, to fit in."

Nick Pool of Kentucky calls himself a "real redneck country son of a bitch."

"This is the one place I can be who I want to be," he said. "We ain't the rich class. We are who we are. We're people. We're just different."

This is ICP's handiwork: the vivid culmination of a vision honed two decades ago by a pair of high school dropouts from Oak Park. With their tight-knit, faithful Juggalo community, ICP's Violent J (Joe Bruce) and Shaggy 2 Dope (Joey Utsler) have fostered what just might be the last organic subculture in modern America.

"Here, they find a family that will accept them no matter what they look like," said David Dunagan, a bearded, braided ICP fan from Arizona. "It makes them go, 'I'm so comfortable with me, I can do anything.' "

Fans are well acquainted with the skepticism of onlookers such as Al Kovacs, 63, of South Lyon, who wrote the Free Press to remark on the Gathering.

"I'm looking at the pictures of a scruffy mob of pariahs," he said. "These outcasts represent a growing core of what young America is today."

Kovacs described the Gathering as the end point of '60s culture: "My generation gave rise to chilling events that evolved into the disturbing actions and approaches of today."

Freedom and derision

The Gathering is a distinctive stew of spirits: the counterculture air of a Grateful Dead show, the assertive freedom of a biker rally, the open insouciance of a nudist colony, all laced with ICP's comic-book, horror-show imagery. It's a self-contained dollop of anarchism in the hills of southeastern Illinois near the state's border with Kentucky.

"There's a lot of freedom going on here that you don't see at other festivals," said Farris Haddad, an attorney for ICP.

On a late night at the Gathering, fire dancers abruptly emerge in the crowd before disappearing into the night. Water bottles hurtle overhead as '90s-vintage hip-hop plays from the main stage. Heavy drugs are sold and bartered as enterprising fans peddle cigarettes, liquor shots and custom apparel. Impromptu parties at campsites spring up all night.

The outside world has become weirdly fascinated by it all, looking on curiously, derision ready at hand. ICP's colorful infomercials have become "Saturday Night Live" parodies, and Gathering photos turn into online viral hits. The fest draws a heavy presence from New York's hip alternative media, including Village Voice and Vice magazine.

At a seminar Friday, a sympathetic Violent J reminded fans that they make an easy target for the establishment because "everything about ICP and Juggalos is a joke to the mainstream world."

The Juggalos aren't laughing, however. ICP announced Friday that it will sue the FBI for designating Juggalos as a gang -- a move that the group says has hurt its multimillion-dollar merchandise sales and spurred police harassment of fans.

Juggalos say the labeling is unfair. "What we're doing here isn't harmful," said Dunagan. "People aren't dying."

Brazen and vigilant

Outside the fest site -- a private campground -- country roads teemed with law-enforcement vehicles. 15 festgoers were arrested en route to the event Wednesday, most on drug offenses, the local sheriff told the Free Press. Paramedics said one fan was flown to a hospital after overdosing and was in intensive care Friday night. 

Two other helicopter evacuations followed Saturday. Fans were vigilant: The medical helicopters may have helped spawn rumors of a Department of Homeland Security flyby, and fears that the Gathering would be raided persisted through the weekend. There's an ever-present edginess to the Gathering, the sense that anything could happen, for good or ill. Schedules are loose, and Thursday night was marked by no-shows, including headline rappers DMX and the Game.

At the fan-christened "Drug Bridge" at the campground's center, peddlers lined the path, offering an assortment of wares to all comers: marijuana, ecstasy, LSD, prescription pills. Elsewhere around the site, drugs were pitched by megaphone: "We've got rolls! We've got molly! We've got liquid acid!"

There are standards at the Gathering: The Drug Bridge was closed at least once by festival staff, and adult film star Ron Jeremy was kicked off the site late Thursday for an unnamed transgression.

Beyond the Drug Bridge, the Gathering vibe is less dangerous than mischievous. Members of one group of teenage fans vowed that, come hell or high water, they were going home with the main-stage banners in their trunks.

Still, for even experienced rock festivalgoers, the fan brazenness at the Gathering can be jarring. One security guard lamented that many new attendees are "coming now just for the drugs."

Some Juggalos have dubbed them the "Dirty Dirties" and say a division is taking root among the fan base.

Jacqui Aruda, 27, of Boston was in high school when she realized her love of ICP made her a target for classmates' mockery.

" 'Oh, you listen to the clown people, the 40-year-old men in makeup,' " she remembers them saying. "But ICP's message is about family, about getting rid of those entities in the world that are bad. And we're the problem?"

She and other Juggalos are on guard and eager to keep the sense of community intact.

"The more newbies that are coming in, the more mainstream it's getting, the more we're getting of those who don't understand it," said Aruda. "Family has never been more needed than now."

More Details: Follow the festival

Free Press Pop Music Writer Brian McCollum and photographer Romain Blanquart are at the 13th Gathering of the Juggalos.

The annual festival celebrating the world of Insane Clown Posse is being held this year at Cave-In-Rock in rural southern Illinois.

You can read additional reports about happenings at the event at

Also check and watch /thegatheringphotos for Instagram pictures.

- 30 -


The Rolling Stone
weekly magazine USA
Saturday 11 August 2012

Insane Clown Posse
to Sue FBI
Over Gang Designation

Horrorcore duo announce legal action
at Gathering of the Juggalos

by Miriam Coleman

Insane Clown Posse plan to sue the FBI
over what the rappers claim is an unfair designation of their fans as gang members, Spin reports. During the ICP Seminar at the 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope announced to some 1,500 fans that they would be demanding that the FBI remove them from the gang list.

Last November, the agency released its 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment report, designating a section to Juggalos and referring to the ICP-loving subculture as "a loosely-organized hybrid gang."

"Although recognized as a gang in only four states, many Juggalos subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence," the document says. "Law enforcement officials in at least 21 states have identified criminal Juggalo sub-sets, according to [National Gang Intelligence Center] reporting." The report goes on to note that "Juggalo gangs" are expanding in New Mexico, "primarily because they are attracted to the tribal and cultural traditions of the Native Americans residing nearby."

"Let's get this straight, a Juggalo is not a gang member," Violent J said in an interview with Vice. "Consider a Juggalo that, 15 years ago, got a hatchet man tattoo or something. Now they've got a family, they're working in real estate or something, and they're driving home and get a speeding ticket. Next thing you know, he's in the gang file, and that will be taken into consideration in any trial. Suddenly, it ain't just somebody who fucked up, it's a gang member that fucked up, and they're getting a heavier sentence."

To help build their case against the FBI, Insane Clown Posse and their label, Psychopathic Records, have launched the website, where they will be seeking testimony from Juggalos who feel their rights have been violated as a result of their affiliation.

"We want to show our appreciation and support for our fans and we are prepared to assist you in learning about your legal rights and to fight for you in Court, if possible," a statement on the website says.

Read more:
- 30 -

01 August 2012

Pussy Riot's musical challenge to the Putin-Patriarch Partnership heading the punk girls to 7 years in the Gulag Archipelago

Click photo to enlarge.
Then join Amnesty International.

Yeah, we -- the USA, I live here when I'm not vacationing on Planet Vleeptron -- got our political prisoners, people doing Mucho Hard Time largely or entirely because of the Bad Breath that came out of their unpopular mouths.

But Putin's Russia -- and it's his, there aren't any checks and balances in Russia, no institution with any power to thwart this ex-KGB chief -- is proudly reverting not just to the worst oppression and suppression of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, but to the Tsar era, where one despot's word was instantly law and instantly carried out.

I got a big mouth with a lot of unpopular bad breath.

But I live in the USA. The health of the USA, our political vital signs are measured in how few unpopular bad breath loudmouths end up doing hard prison time.

I don't want to take too much credit for the culture of the USA, but we and the Brits practically invented political Bad Breath, and made the rest of the world envious of how much nasty crap we could scream in public without being tossed into a gulag or vanishing in the bowels of a soccer stadium.

The question isn't how artistically wonderful The Sex Pistols or Lenny Bruce are.

During the opening theatrical extravaganza of the London Olympics, the soundtrack blared the line "God Save The Queen" by The Sex Pistols -- while HRH Elizabeth II was there to open the games. 

So what? Doesn't every Brit sing "God Save the Queen"? 

Well ... no, not the way the Sex Pistols sang it.

The question is: What happens to rude, vulgar, loud critics of the establishment in nations like Russia or the People's Republic of China? What happens to people who dare to criticize the Royal Family of Thailand? 

Live in Saudi Arabia and got a gripe about the King? Stand up and share your feelings with your neighbors.

And how much do the people of the rest of the world envy the few nations that do a pretty good job of tolerating Free Political Speech?


For their extraordinary vulgarity and anti-church, anti-Putin musical filth, Pussy Riot may end up doing a 7-year stretch in the Gulag Archipelago.

But a HUGE bunch of Planet Earth wishes they had the guts to be Pussy Riot.

Because it's very wearying and dispiriting to be frightened of speaking (or singing) your opinions about your government or your government's Partner Church.


(newswire UK)
Tuesday 31 July 2012

Russia's 'Pussy Riot'
on trial for cathedral protest

by Alissa de Carbonnel

MOSCOW, July 30 (Reuters) -- Three members of a Russian female punk band went on trial on Monday, facing up to 7 years in jail for protesting against Vladimir Putin inside a Moscow cathedral, a prosecution they said was aimed at spreading fear and silencing dissent.

The trial of the women from the band "Pussy Riot" is being seen as a test of the longtime leader's tolerance of opposition at the start of his third presidential term.

The trio were charged with "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility" for a performance in February when they entered the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, ascended the altar and called on the Virgin Mary to "throw Putin out!"

Conservative writers and church leaders have demanded harsh punishment, while civil rights groups say a long prison sentence would be out of proportion with the crime, and prove that Putin is determined to crush opposing voices.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, were brought to Moscow's Khamovniki court for Russia's highest-profile trial since another opponent of Putin, former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was convicted of embezzlement in 2010 in the same courtroom.

Supporters chanted "Girls, we're with you!" and "Victory!" as the women, each handcuffed by the wrist to a female officer, were escorted from a police van into the courthouse.

The group's members have consistently maintained that their protest was political and that they meant no harm to Christians.

"We did not want to offend anybody," Tolokonnikova said from the same metal and clear-plastic courtroom cage where Khodorkovsky sat with his business partner during their trial.

"Our motives were exclusively political."

In opening statements read out by their lawyers, the women defended their actions and denounced the prosecution. The case marked "the start of a campaign of authoritarian, repressive measures aimed to ... spread fear among politically active citizens," Samutsevich said in her statement.

Pussy Riot burst onto the scene this winter with angry lyrics and surprise performances, including one on Red Square outside the Kremlin, that went viral on the Internet.

The band members see themselves as the avant-garde of a disenchanted generation looking for creative ways to show dissatisfaction with Putin's 12-year dominance of politics.

The performance in the cathedral was designed to highlight the close relationship between the dominant Russian Orthodox Church and former KGB officer Putin, then prime minister, whose campaign to return to the presidency in a March election was backed by the leader of the church, Patriarch Kirill.

The church, which has enjoyed a big revival since the demise of the Communist Soviet Union in 1991 and is seeking more influence on secular life, has described the performance as part of a sinister campaign by "anti-Russian forces."

The prosecution dismissed accusations of political motives.

"This is not a question of our parliamentary or presidential elections, but a criminal case about ...
banal hooliganism with a religious motive," said Larisa Pavlova, who represents Lyubov Sokologorskaya, one of several people who work at the cathedral and are appearing at the trial as "victims" of Pussy Riot.

Sokologorskaya, who described herself as a "profound believer", said only clerics were allowed at the altar and that the defendants' bare shoulders, short skirts and "aggressive" dance moves violated church rules and offended the faithful.

"When I talk about this event, my heart hurts. It hurts that this is possible in our country," she said. "Their punishment must be adequate so that never again is such a thing repeated."

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev dismissed criticism of the case. The trial was a "serious ordeal" for the defendants and their families but "one should be calm about it" and await the outcome, he told Britain's Times newspaper in an interview posted on the Russian government's website.

Whether the group's performance crossed the line from a "moral misdemeanour" to a crime was "up to the court to decide," Medvedev, in London for the Olympics, said.

A defence lawyer for the musicians, Nikolai Polozov, said Medvedev's comments were aimed at putting pressure on the court to "punish blasphemers": "The court is being very one-sided, slanted towards the prosecution, which of course in our view is motivated exclusively by political bias in this case."

The women looked thinner and paler than they did when they were jailed following the performance in
late February, shortly before Putin, in power as president from 2000-2008 and then as prime minister, won a six-year presidential term on March 4.

"She looks like she has been on a long hunger strike," Stanislav Samutsevich said of his daughter. "I think this is like an inquisition, like mockery."

A reporter on state-run TV presented a different picture, focusing on occasional smiles and chuckles, by the women, who whispered to each other as a prosecutor read the charges.

"Look at their faces; they are laughing and joking," the reporter said on the news, adding that a viewer might think they were "continuing the action" they carried out at the cathedral.

In their opening statements the women said they were protesting against Kirill's political support for
Putin and had no animosity towards the church or the faithful.

"I have never had such feelings towards anyone in the world," Tolokonnikova said in her statement, describing the charge of religious hatred as "wildly harsh".

"Our performance contained no aggression towards the public -- only a desperate desire to change the situation in Russia for the better," she said. "We are not enemies of Christianity. The opinion of Orthodox believers is important to us and we want all of them to be on our side -- on the side of anti-authoritarian civil activists."

Alyokhina's statement said: "I thought the church loved all its children, but it seems the church loves only those children who love Putin."

Prosecutors asked for the trial, which was streamed live on the Internet, to be closed to the public and the media. The judge rejected the motion but ordered live streaming shut off during witness testimony and some other proceedings.

Amnesty International said the Pussy Riot performers "must be released immediately" and that the prison terms they face if convicted are "wildly out of all proportion."

"They dared to attack the two pillars of the modern Russian establishment -- the Kremlin and the Orthodox Church," regional programme director John Dalhuisen said in a statement.

The performance was part of a lively protest movement that at its peak saw 100,000 people turn out for rallies in Moscow, some of the largest in Russia since the Soviet Union's demise.

The trial comes as Putin, who is 59 and has not ruled out seeking another term in 2018, tries to rein in opponents who hope to reignite the street protest movement this autumn.

On Monday, Putin signed a law enacting stricter punishment for defamation. That follows recent laws tightening controls on foreign-funded civil rights groups and sharply raising fines for violations of public order at street rallies.

Opposition leaders including anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny and socialite Ksenia Sobchak have had their homes searched and faced repeated rounds of questioning over violence at a protest on the eve of Putin's inauguration on May 7.

Lawyers for Navalny say investigators are preparing to charge him, in a separate case, with a crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison. He was summoned to the federal Investigative Committee on Monday and told to return on Tuesday.

- 30 -


The Telegraph
(UK daily broadsheet)
Monday 30 July 2012

Pussy Riot on trial
in watershed case
for Putin's presidency

Three members of Pussy Riot, the radical group of Russian feminist activists that has challenged the Kremlin, went on trial in Moscow on Monday in a case that will set the tone for Vladimir Putin's new presidency.

by Tom Parfitt, Moscow

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, and Maria Alekhina, 24, are facing up to 7 years in jail for their "punk prayer."

The musicians stormed into the city's main cathedral in February and cavorted in front of the altar, shouting, "Mother of God, Blessed Virgin, drive out Putin!"

Delivered to court in handcuffs, the women denied a charge of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred", saying they were sorry to have offended Orthodox believers but innocent of wrongdoing.

The Pussy Riot group, whose members wear brightly coloured clothes and knitted balaclavas, was virtually unknown at the time of the protest at Christ the Saviour Cathedral, having carried out only a few minor "actions" including a guerrilla gig on Red Square.

But the three women's arrest in March brought them into the spotlight and chimed with the street protests against Mr Putin's rule that swept across Russia over the winter.

A video of the cathedral incident, in which believers in headscarves can be seen trying to usher the frantically dancing young women out of the church, was posted online with a soundtrack of heavy guitars and extra shouted lyrics laid over the top including: "Black cassock, golden epaulettes; all believers crawl and prostrate."

The trio, who were remanded in custody and denied access to their families, have since attracted worldwide support from stars such as Sting, Peter Gabriel and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who say their prosecution is excessive. Amnesty International has named the women prisoners of conscience.

Their trial is being seen as a weathervane of Russia's course after Mr Putin's return to the presidency in May. Critics already perceive a backsliding on democracy.

This summer the Kremlin-controlled parliament managed to push through a series of tough laws, including restrictions on foreign-funded non-governmental organisations and the internet, and legislation increasing the scope for libel prosecutions.

Security was tight on Monday as the Pussy Riot women were delivered to a dock made of steel and bullet-proof glass at Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court, in the same courtroom where jailed billionaire and fellow Putin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky was convicted in his latest trial in 2010.

In a passionate statement read to the court by a defence lawyer, Miss Tolokonnikova admitted that she and her friends may have committed an "ethical error" and were "very regretful" if churchgoers were insulted by the cathedral protest.

But she said their song was a reflection of many Russians' discontent at Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, showing open support for Mr Putin as a candidate before the presidential election on March 4.

"We, like many of our compatriots, find unpleasant the insidiousness, deceit, venality, hypocrisy, acquisitiveness and lawlessness with which our current leadership and authorities are sinning," she said.

The "punk performance" was a targeted protest at the Patriarch propping up Mr Putin's "authoritarian and antifeminist course", she added.

Prosecutors said the group had "insulted in a sacrilegious manner the centuries-old foundations of the Russian Orthodox Church".

The trial has opened a wider debate about the role of the church and its leaders in Russian society.

Patriarch Kirill appeared to refer to Pussy Riot when he said recently the church was "under attack by persecutors" and that "blasphemy, derision of the sacred is put forth as a lawful expression of human freedom."

A cathedral attendant who witnessed the protest at Christ the Saviour was summoned as a prosecution witness on Monday and said the women had "desecrated all that is holy to me".

Pussy Riot's supporters say the church is a part of the corrupted nexus of business and politics that is trying to stifle dissent and preserve hardline rule in Russia.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph before the opening of the trial, Nikolai Polozov, one of Pussy Riot's defence lawyers, said: "They went on to Putin's sacred ground and he's a vengeful person. I'm sure he gave the signal for this prosecution."

Mr Polozov said he expected a guilty verdict but could not predict the sentence. "It could be 2
months, it could be 7 years," he said.

"If Putin is under pressure, say on Syria, or something else happens, he might use the girls as a distraction and earn some political capital by putting them away. And then they'll be sewing felt boots, like Khodorkovsky, in a prison colony." The trial continues.

- 30 -



    07/31/2012 02:37 PM

    Boycott Russian vodka until Pussy Riot is free!!

    07/31/2012 08:45 PM

    You'd do well to lay off the hard stuff permanently, so it seems...


    07/31/2012 12:40 PM

    Democracy is a funny thing. We 'in the West' are given a choice of three public school boys, who

themselves have been selected from a further group of public schoolboys who do not in any way live in

the world which the rest of us do.

    No wonder Russians are sticking with Putin.


    07/31/2012 02:14 PM

    David Davis, who should have won the Conservative leadership, is NOT a public schoolboy.


    07/31/2012 08:49 PM

    Ah, but he got blocked by his own party, didn't he...


    07/31/2012 06:35 AM

    If he treats them harshly, then he makes martyrs out of them. If he treats them leniently, he

provokes more of the same.

    Give the naughty girls a good spanking, then put them to bed without their tea. That would be my



    07/31/2012 10:17 AM

    Had it been a one-off, this might have been good advice. However, they have form in anti-social

behaviour and "outraging public decency" as they say in this country.

    07/31/2012 01:58 AM

    Put them in a male prison for a month.


    07/31/2012 02:03 AM

    The stupid cnuts themselves may be "naughty", but their paymasters can only be described as very

devious and determined.


    07/31/2012 02:29 AM


    The paymasters think they are super clever that they can fool some of the people some of the time.

    But in reality they cannot fool all of the people, all of the time.


    07/31/2012 03:52 AM

     if you manage to fool all of the people some time and some people all of the time that just may be

    Especially if the later category is the prevalent one

    07/31/2012 02:33 AM

    You'd be surprised by the number of libtards who swallow NWO propaganda line, hook and sinker

    07/31/2012 08:16 AM

     I'm not surprised at all!


    07/31/2012 01:40 AM

    "The musicians stormed into the city's main cathedral in February and cavorted in front of the

altar, shouting, "Mother of God, Blessed Virgin, drive out Putin!"

    This is a lie. What is quoted is the soundtrack they had prepared in advance. What they actually

chanted in the cathedral itself was, repeatedly, "Shit of the Lord! Shit of the Lord!" ('Sran'

gospodnia!') -

    Once you bear this in mind, the whole "punk prayer" defence goes out of the window.

    What the article also doesn't mention is that the "girls" have form. A couple of years earlier

they, as part of a larger group, held a fuck-a-thon in Moscow's Biology Museum (during opening hours

btw), filmed it and put on youtube. One of them (Tolokonnikova) was 8 months pregnant at the time. -, from 0:37

    On yet another occasion, one of the "girls" went to a supermarket and stuffed a whole chicken up

her cnut (again, that was filmed and put on youtube - from 3:55).

That also must have been in protest against Putin, I'm sure.

    07/31/2012 01:53 AM

    wow a whole chicken! the dirty mare.


    07/31/2012 01:48 AM


    This is the DT, please do not ask for the "Truth", as in the DT China article allegation, it has



    07/31/2012 02:01 AM

    I am not that naive, mate! Just trying to fight back against NWO lies on the enemy's own ground...


    07/30/2012 11:55 PM

    They should receive an appropriate punishment. They thought it was ok to desecrate the church and

offend sensibilities of everyday Russians just because they did not agree with Putin or the Orthodox

Church. They only expressed regret after the fact and realizing they would be punished.

    There is a line and they crossed it. That detracted from whatever message they had. 'Anything' is

not ok.

    David Camerpong

    07/30/2012 11:36 PM

    This an excellent opportunity for the Russians to see of the americans by punishing the girls

having them clean the church for the next 7 months or let the church decide their punishment..


    07/30/2012 10:08 PM

    Let's just wait for the verdict and then the sentence if they're found guilty before jumping to

conclusions, hmm?

    They haven't even been found guilty yet, and seven years is the maximum sentence for the offence -

the maximum sentence in Scotland for Breach of the Peace is life imprisonment!


    07/30/2012 08:53 PM

    It's still Soviet Russia isn't it?  Has anything changed?  In the USA the worst that would happen

might be a disorderly conduct charge which is basically a slap on the wrists.  They didn't hurt anybody

and only caused a commotion.  Put them in jail for 7 years for this?  Sounds crazy to me.  Let's face

it, Putin is the new dictator of Russia. 

    07/30/2012 10:33 PM

    The Orthodox Church in some ways is even less free than it was in the days of the USSR.  The senior

clerics knew in the 1970s they were not free, but now they have a Patriarch who has openly enslaved the

Church to the criminal and corrupt regime of Putin - whose period in office he has even dared to call a


    07/30/2012 09:31 PM

    Don't brandish the USA's leniency, please. The USA on a daily basis commit crimes against humanity

across the world, plus having death penalty across own states (how many innocent people they have

executed?)... With regards to own citizens, recently more than 16 Russian children died at the hands of

US sadistic adoptive parents, not to mention regular shootings across US by disgruntled individuals.
    Nobody has sentenced the idiots to 7 years - 7 years is the maximum, they may get as much as 2

    Oh, just read about Mitt Romney's admiration for the Israeli cultural and religious superiority,

real nazi stuff...

    07/30/2012 08:41 PM

    They can't possibly understand how people in Britain feel about Woolly Beard, Archbishop of

Cantebury, supposed moral guardian of the nation's values. Keep quiet, keep coining it in, agree with

the secular profiteers.

    writepudding on twitter

    07/30/2012 11:49 PM
    RT @parfitt_tom: "Pussy Riot on trial in watershed case for Vladimir Putin's presidency" My report

in the @telegraph
    Commenter's avatar   

    almackin on twitter

    07/30/2012 11:15 PM
    Vladimir Putin promises to jail Pussycat Dolls and Atomic Kitten next


    albino_monk on twitter

    07/30/2012 10:31 PM
    RT @MickAxten: Please read and RT if you want to support pussyriot and oppose the Russian

governments position #pussyriot
    Commenter's avatar   

    paulmorrisTIM on twitter

    07/30/2012 10:27 PM
    Fuck yeah Pussy Riot.
    bridld83 on twitter

    07/30/2012 10:24 PM
    @PeteTheRed88 sounds like something you would get caught up in.
        JessieJessup on twitter

    07/30/2012 10:18 PM
    Pussy Riot on trial in watershed case for Vladimir Putin's presidency

    MickAxten on twitter

    07/30/2012 09:46 PM
    Please read and RT if you want to support pussyriot and oppose the Russian governments position


    WrightArchitect on twitter

    07/30/2012 09:17 PM
    Still no free political speech in Russia: "Pussy Riot" jailed; they offended the Orthodox Church!!!