Thursday, December 22, 2011


Bad acting? Crocodile tears? No, the salty droplets that trickled down millions of cheeks are as sincere as a Christian’s fear to spend eternity in hell if they were to ignore their God’s list of do and don’ts. In the isolated country of North Korea, where censorship runs rampant and the government’s propaganda machine is one’s main source of information, people are inclined to believe that rainbows and a new star indeed appeared in the sky when Kim Jong-Il was born.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is largely secular, but Kim was worshipped as a man with godlike qualities. He was the supreme leader, the general who single-handedly made North-Korea such a nirvana. In reality, the population lived in poverty while Kim was living it up and doing as he pleased.
But the people of North Korea aren´t ignorant — how could they be when the less-than-wonderful reality is part of their everyday lives? They know the score. They also know that complaining could lead to a life sentence, or worse.
The national impact of the larger-than-life Kim's death is something we privileged westerners will never be able to fathom. The great leader you were spoon-fed to obey and love dies and the news cameras are up close to record your sadness, so a subtle approach won't do. No, you turn on the waterworks. You cry harder than the comrades flanking you. You give the mothers of the Plaza de Maya a run for their money. You sob, bawl, cry a river, howl, scream. You thrust your fists against the wall and throw in an agitated “why?!” for good measure.
And if the sadness of some people appears less than genuine, well, that´s because no matter how adept they've grown at fooling themselves, they can never completely silence their inner bullshit-o-meters.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Mr. Fischer:

How classy of you to say such things so soon after Christopher Hitchens’s untimely death. I'm willing to wager the €8.23 in my savings account that this episode´s script was written months ago. I'm right, am I not? You are such a ghoul that you wanted to have a response ready the second Mr. Hitchens passed away.
Taking into account that he didn´t just defy your imaginary friend but also your imaginary nemesis, the idea of Mr. Hitchens in hell simply doesn’t make a lick of sense. You often say “Let me explain” in your videos. Not because your statements are intellectually compelling and need elucidating, but because they are so illogical that bending over backwards is required to make them appear infallible.
I completely fail to see how sending Mr. Hitchens to hell would be an act of love. No matter from what angle I approach this nonsensical concept, the conclusion is always: it would be an act of gleeful sadism.
Inspired by your reasoning, I wrote the following fictional dialogue between a mother and her child.
Child: “What’s for dinner tonight, mommy?”
Mother: “Sweetheart, you always have something bad to say about my cooking. You don’t like my salads and you flat-out refuse to sample my casseroles. Today it dawned on me how cruel it would be of me to keep serving you my culinary creations. This is why I have decided to force feed you dog turds from this point on. It’s the most logical and loving thing a mother can do.”

Definitely not yours,
Nancy B. Strickland

Monday, December 5, 2011



The title of this video is Activist Elijah. One person who reblogged this video called Elijah "a brave little man." Sigh. Young master Elijah is as much a brave activist as Basmallah ( is a determined antisemite. Both shy kids were obviously coerced into citing rehearsed lines.
Manipulation is suddenly okay when our side is doing it, eh? GTFO, hypocrite twits.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Two female American tourists in need of a tow knock on a German recluse’s door and end up being unwilling participants in a gruesome surgical experiment calledThe Human Centipede. And how, exactly, does one create a human centipede? Aided by a stomach churning slideshow, Dr. Heiter explains that the “segments” (the girls and a male tourist from Japan) are to be sewn “ass to mouth.” Gulp.

Dutch director Tom Six made two other films prior to The Human Centipede: Gay, a lowbrow comedy about, well, gays in Amsterdam; and I Love Dries, a comedy centering on the fictional kidnapping of a real Dutch singer by a married couple in short supply of celeb donor seed. Oh my. You’ll forgive me for being less than stoked upon the announcement that Six had another flick in the can.

When I was given the chance to see The Human Centipede at a genre festival in Amsterdam, I tentatively entered the auditorium with zero expectations (that’s not entirely true — I expected an abomination), but when the lights went back on, I’d been surprised. Not pleasantly surprised per se, but surprised all the same. While it's true that The Human Centipede (taking place in Germany but shot in Holland) gives new meaning to the phrase “ass to mouth,” Six left most to the imagination. Maybe he realized gore wasn’t necessary — the premise alone suffices to make some people heave — or perhaps he simply lacked the funds to create convincing special make up effects. Either way, it’s not in the gore department alone where Six shows admirable restraint: his actresses are topless for a significant portion of the film’s running time, but not once does the camera linger on their breasts.
The Human Centipede isn’t cerebral by any stretch of the imagination, but Six DOES seem to be more interested in the victims’ mental ordeal than in gratuitous exploitation.

The Human Centipede never becomes as intense as a, say, Martyrs, but the victims’ anguish is palpable enough: the two girls can’t do anything but moan and sob uncontrollably, their eyes expressing continuous fear and pain. Just imagine the humiliation, the strain on your neck, the cramps in your arms and legs, the inability to properly breathe, the knowledge that if you’d yank yourself loose…um, you know what, let’s not even go there.

A particularly interesting aspect of the film is that the victims and their tormentor are of different nationalities. Ironically, it’s the Japanese Katsuro Dr. Heiter made the ‘head’ of the centipede; while the intactness of his vocal cords enables Katsuro to verbally express hate and disgust, he neither speaks nor understands German or English and the crazy doctor simply treats him like a disobedient pet. At the same time, intonation proves to go a long way when it comes to conveying meaning and intention. Besides, the majority of the communication in this film is of the nonverbal variety anyway: pain, anger, and fear are international emotions that make subtitles superfluous.

Critics have been unkind about the acting abilities of leads Ashlynn Yennie and Ashley C. Williams. I don’t know on what kind of yardstick judging of acting with one’s lips wrapped around an “arsch” can be based, but I think both girls are solid. Creepy Dieter Lasser as Heiter is the undeniable show stealer here, despite — or because of — his tendency to ham it up (“Feeeddd herrr!”). Akihiro Kitamura is probably the best of the bunch, convincingly displaying a wide range of emotions.

I’m not sure if The Human Centipede is a good film. It’s an effective piece of work, that’s for sure, but it never becomes the hard slap in the face it could have been. Maybe Six lacks the experience to take the audience to a really dark place, or maybe he got scared of the material’s potential and opted to keep things as lighthearted and unpretentious as possible.

Looking forward to The Human Centipede: Full Sequence (to be released later this year) yet?