The strange, tragic story of the Brothers Muse. The sideshow called them Eko and Iko, cannibal savages from Borneo, sheep-headed men, ambassadors from Mars, highlighting their signature white dreadlocks in every poster. In reality, they were George and Willie Muse, taken from their parents in 1899 in rural Roanoke, Virginia by bounty hunters working for sideshow producers fascinated by their albinism. [more inside]
Jun Togawa is sort of like what you'd get if you crossed Kate Bush and Mike Patton. Togawa, who became known in Japanese culture after appearing in a bidet commercial, was half of the electro-cabaret band Guernica, which sometimes sounded very classical and sometimes sounded very new wave and sometimes much stranger. Somewhat more straightforward is her rock outfit Yapoos, which similarly varies quite a bit in sound and style. Her solo work, unsurprisingly, is quite melodramatic, with some very interesting arrangements, both parodically poppy and funky. I particularly like her covers of All Tomorrow's Parties by the Velvet Underground, Brigitte Fontaine's Comme à la Radio, and – weirdly – Pachelbel's Canon.
This post will get you through times of no movie better than the movie will get you through times of no dope.
Looks like The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers have been slated to star in their own stop-motion animated movie, Grass Roots: The Movie, produced by bolexbrothers! Here, the Freaks' creator, Gilbert Shelton, talks about the movie. In true stoner fashion, though, it's been "in production" since 2006, but you can watch a teaser here. While you're waiting for the movie to be made, here's the youtubed version of bolexbrothers award-winning stop-motion feature length film, The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
We think it’s normal to work all day every day at a dead-end job. It’s normal to fight with our spouses and our children. It’s normal to eat and drink and drug ourselves to escape, to veg out and stare at a screen for hours a day just to dull the pain. It’s normal to hate our lives and be miserable, it’s normal to be lonely, it’s normal to feel hollow. The Freak Revolution Manifesto.
Tod Browning's 1932 cinematic masterpiece Freaks tells the story of a close-knit group of circus sideshow workers who are wronged and take revenge. The film's use of real-life freaks so disturbed audiences that some ran screaming from theaters, distributors refused to handle the film, and it was banned in Britain for over 30 years. [more inside]
"We, due to our experience in riding chopper bicycles, tallbikes, and the like, will finally find ourselves at the top of the food chain, and it is we who will lead humanity out of the rubble Welcome to the world of mutant and freak bikes. While just fun for many some folks see the freak bike movement as something political but as often happens politics can bring controversy. It's a worldwide phenomina with roots going back to the 19th century. Mutant and freak bikes at flickr. A previous related post.
Our desire for the freakshow is on the wane, or at least it seems that way based on some recent closings. Is it the difference in admission costs? If the EH's relative value calculator is to be believed, that 1841 dime museum should only cost about $2.10 to get into in 2003, not five bucks. Even for free on MetaFilter only about twenty people care to discuss freaks. Perhaps we've just gotten used to seeing this kind of thing on sponsored television and don't want to travel to see it. It's certainly not because our tastes have gotten so much more evolved. Perhaps our threshold for how whack something has to be before we consider it freakish has been raised somehow...
"Why Nerds are Unpopular" is an essay by Paul Graham that looks at how being smarter than the average bear -- usually an advantage in "the real world" -- is a liability in the Lord of the Flies world of adolescence. It's a long read, but an engaging writeup of the high school pecking order, how the school structure encourages this behaviour, the freak/geek alliance and gives some hope to the current crop of high school nerds (my fellow dweebs, it does get better). Even though high school is something like twenty years in my past, I still winced when I read the essay. Were you one of the high school geeks? Are you one now?