May 30, 2006

Synchronicity - F for Fake & The Man in the High Castle

Our works in stone, in paint, in print, are spared, some of them, for a few decades or a millennium or two, but everything must finally fall in war, or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash - the triumphs, the frauds, the treasures and the fakes. A fact of life: we're going to die. "Be of good heart," cry the dead artists out of the living past. "Our songs will all be silenced, but what of it? Go on singing." Maybe a man's name doesn't matter all that much.

I watched the old 1974 movie F for Fake last night. It's a strange semi-documentary about deception, fraud and fakery with Orson Welles, the creator and narrator of this film. It's mostly about infamous art forger Elmyr de Hory, who painted and sold great works of art to art dealers for more than twenty years without getting caught. Clifford Irving is also featured prominently, who wrote a best selling book about Elmyr [Fake!] and also went on to write an unauthorized biography of Howard Hughes, which he eventually admitted was a hoax. It's a pretty decent movie, a little dated but has a lot of fun with its subject matter [especially towards the end!] and really makes you question who the real fakes are, the art forgers or the art establishment.

Strangely enough, I started reading Phillip K. Dick's 1962 novel The Man in the High Castle this morning, an alternate history novel that explores what life would be like if the Axis powers had won World War II. What I didn't know until I got a little ways into the story, is that it also deals with fraud in the form of fake American collectibles. The themes it explores in that regard are very, very similar to what Orson Welles explores in his movie, especially the dealers who know their products are fake but continue to maintain the fraud because it's in their best interests. Weird. A good book though, not as crazy as some of his work, as least so far, but meticulously constructed and very enjoyable.

And just to connect this to my previous post on Mike Patton, here's the lyrics to the Faith No More song Stripsearch from Album of the Year:

It's over today
The heat is gone
Time is gone
F for fake
I feel no wrong
Hide no wrong
I love this place
The lights
Under this face
So dry

Only way to change
Give yourself away
Don't be ashamed
Next in line
Close one eye
Just walk by

In these days
I'm breathing stone
Crying alone
I'll win this race
I'll leave alone
arrive alone.

Love this place
The lights
Under this face
So dry

Stripped to the bone
I did no wrong
Truth is my name
Give yourself away

F for fake
F for fake
F for fake
F for fake
Give yourself away
Give yourself away
Give yourself away

Posted by Fungii at 09:50 PM

May 29, 2006

Peeping Tom

Mike Patton

Mike Patton, of Faith No More fame, has a new band called Peeping Tom. It's a strange mix of hip-hop, rock and well, generally weird Patton shit. I love it! They were on Conan last Friday and it's on YouTube. Although the album isn't out till tomorrow, you can listen to all of it streaming from here. Oh yeah, there's supposed to be a music video of Mojo coming out that features Danny DeVito in it. I've got to see that man, too much!

Ipecac Recordings

Mojo, Peeping Tom

those haunting rhymes are keeping the time
but they'll never get through to me
its my party but I'm waiting for someone to start it
at my party theres noone but me in the corner
gotta get my mojo running, engine humming don't I?

now roll it up and smoke it again
line me up and snort it again
now fix it up and shoot it again
I can't believe I did it again

keep haunting me, drawn to me
but they'll never get through to me
its my party but I'm waiting for someone to start it
at my party theres blood on the ceiling and the carpet
gotta get my mojo running, engine humming, don't I?

now roll it up and smoke it again
its bottoms up and drink it again
now fix it up and shoot it again
I can't believe I did it again

I'm reading the signs that makes me wonder
why they're getting through to me
gotta get my mojo running, engine humming, don't I?
gotta get my mojo running, engine humming, don't I?

now roll it up and smoke it again
its bottoms up and drink it again
now fix it up and shoot it again
I can't believe I did it again

Posted by Fungii at 07:02 PM

May 21, 2006


Last week I picked up a new DVD player, the RJ-Tech RJ-1800DVXII. It has a ton of features, check it out in the extended entry for this post.

My first impressions weren't too good though. When I brought it home and plugged it in, I tried to eject the tray so I could load a DVD and nothing happened. I was faced with the prospect of bringing the damn thing back to the store or opening it up and trying to fix the problem myself, thereby invalidating my warranty. I, of course, opened it up and found the problem was pretty simple - the laser mechanism is supposed to drop out of the way when ejecting the tray. It wasn't, so the tray couldn't move at all. I simply pushed down on the tray and heard a "whirrr" as the assembly swung out of the way and the tray popped out. I tested it about ten times to make sure it was working and everything was fine, so I slapped her back together and hooked her up.

Then I put the supplied batteries in the remote and it didn't work. Eek! This was easily solved, fresh batteries worked fine. Kinda stupid, supplying dead batteries with your product.

Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with the unit. It plays almost all the movies I tested it with, the only one it hasn't played is an AVI file I recorded with my Canon camera. No biggie, I can just re-encode it if I have to. It does read directly from my camera's Compact Flash memory card, although one of the pictures didn't display properly. It appeared all corrupted for some reason.

When you load a CD-R with media files on it, you get a display with different sections for video, audio and pictures. The display is pretty cramped, you can't see the full file names because there isn't enough room. Even worse, they only display DOS 8.3 names, not the Windows long filenames. You also don't get access to the MP3's tag info. Pretty bogus. Also, if your listening to an mp3 and go into a menu, the music stops playing. They really should let you listen to music while you look at pictures in another folder. Also, it would be nice to have some kind of screen saver on when listening to music, or something like Milkdrop from Winamp. Having that static menu on display while listening to music probably wouldn't be good if you had a plasma TV.

I did have a problem playing back one DVD - the Hulk. It began stuttering badly towards the end of the movie. If you purchase this unit, I would definitely hang on to my old player as backup for the odd movie this thing can't handle. I also had problems with a PAL movie, not sure if this was because it had problems converting it from PAL or some other reason. I haven't tested it with Divx movie subtitles yet, I'll have to give that a shot today. Couldn't get the Karaoke function to work, might have been a wonky mic I was trying it with though. The picture quality seems a bit washed out compared to my old Sony player. The remote is pretty ugly, square shaped with sharp corners and super tiny buttons.

Despite all my complaints, I am still pretty happy wth the unit. It just has a lot of room for improvement. And I can't wait to try and hook up an external hard drive via the USB port on the back, that should be pretty damn cool! I might try out the VGA out with an old monitor I have lying around to see how that works.

Update: It looks like it reads .srt files but not .sub files as far as subtitles go. Damn! I'll have to see if I can convert sub→srt.


  • Plays DivX® 5, DivX® 4, DivX® 3, and DivX® VOD video content in compliance with DivX® certified technical requirements
  • Supports Xvid, AVI, Mpeg 4 files
  • DivX® Subtitle Compatibility: SMI, SRT, SUB, TXT

  • Supports GMC and PCM Audio

  • DivX® Subtitle Language: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Swedish, Polish

  • Card reader support: MMC , SD ,MS/MS-Pro, CF,SMC, Micro Driver

  • Supports USB1.1
  • Full DVD function

  • Format compatibility: DVD/DVD-R/DVD-W/VCD/SVCD/CD/CD-R/CD-RW/JPEG/CD+G

  • Full karaoke function

  • Enjoy singing by connecting to your amplifier and use our professional karaoke song selection program for songs in DivX® CD+G, CD+G , DVD, VCD, and MP3

  • Progressive scan video out
  • 5.1 Channel audio out

  • Multi-TV System: NTSC/PAL

  • Multi-Voltage: 110V-220V

Specifications :

  • Dolby digital AC-3
  • VFD display

  • OSD in multi-language

  • Full-function remote control

  • Zoom at still or running mode

  • Frame by frame advance

  • Screen aspect ration (16:9/4:3 letter box/pan scan)
  • Parental lock with password

  • Continuous repeat A-B

  • Repeat mode (chapter/title all)

  • Capable of playing PAL/NTSC discs

  • Automatic screensaver

  • Super slim loader mechanism featuring super error correction
  • Menu driven setup screen

  • Connectors:

    • Analog mixed 2-ch stereo (L, R) audio

    • S/PDIF coaxial digital audio

    • S/PDIF optical digital audio
    • Composite Video, S-Video

    • Component video (Y, Cb, Cr)

    • 5.1-channel RCA audio

    • Scart Output

    • VGA output for Monitor and Projector

  • Power:

    • 110V-220V, 50Hz/60Hz AC universal power supply

    • Automatic short circuit protection

  • Net weight: 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)

  • Dimensions (W x D x H):

    • Unit size: 255 x 300 x 43mm

    • Gift box size: 460 x 310 x 60mm

    • Carton size: 490 x 326 x 130mm

Posted by Fungii at 07:12 AM

May 07, 2006


Last week I finally got around to buying a Playstation 2. The price dropped down to $130 and I had a $25 off coupon, so I figured it was a good time to take the plunge. I bought two games to go with it, GTA: San Andreas and God of War. GTA was about what I expected, I played the first one on the PC before and wasn't terribly impressed. This one is about the same. I'm not sure what people see in this game, it's pretty mediocre overall. As for God of War, I'm more than a little pissed with it. I got to the place where you fight the Hydras, rather early in the game, and I keep kicking this Hydra's ass, but it doesn't die and I see no special moves I can use to kill it. Consulting a walkthrough, it says I have to bash it's head against a pole three times to break the pole off, then I can beat it. I go back to the game and bash the Hydra's head against the pole at least a hundred times, literally, and the damn pole never breaks off! Going back to the internet, I find out there's a "glitch" [bug] in the game where sometimes the pole doesn't break and you have to start again from the begining. Argh! So I go back, start the game from the begining, make it back to the Hydra, and the fucking pole still won't break off!! Now I'm totally pissed off and I'm not sure if I want to go through this bullshit a third time to get past this fucking bug. So much for console games being "bug-free".

The console itself seems pretty sweet though. It's the "slim" model so it's pretty damn small. I put it on top of my old NES to keep it off the carpet, and it's amazing how much smaller it is than the good old Nintendo. I'm not sure I like the gamepad though, too many buttons and I keep hitting L2 when I'm trying to L1. The handles are also smaller than the Gamecube's controller, I have to kind of crunch my hands up to hold it. And if you're using the anologue stick all the time, it should be where the d-pad is, not way in the middle. Meh, I guess I'll get used to it. The power/reset and eject buttons are also way too small, hard to find in a darkened room. And I wish the red light didn't stay on when the unit is turned off, it's fucking distracting. It also seems rather cheaply made, at least next to the Gamecube, which is built like a tank. The one thing I do like about it is the digital out. After switching it over to the digital output it sounded much better! I guess they used cheap D/A converters to keep the cost down.

So yeah, I like it, but it certainly has it's flaws. Any must have games for this console? I was thinking of getting Gran Turismo 3 or 4 as they seem to be selling cheap. Maybe Shadow of the Colossus if I can find it cheap. Or Katmary Damacy if I can find it at all.

Update 1: It looks like I might have to return my copy of GoW, apparently this glitch is hard-coded into the game itself and there's no way around it. What a piss-off!!

Update 2: I found out how to get past it! Apparently, you have to hit the "O" button like a madman before the post will break. Doh! Oh well, I got past the Hydra, saw the naked chicks and made the vase fall off the shelf. Woohoo, this is getting good!

Posted by Fungii at 05:37 PM

May 03, 2006

Stephen Harper Eats Babies!

Meanwhile, when asked about his time with Harper at the National Citizens Coalition, Nicholls said: "I worked with Stephen Harper for five years and never once did he, in that time, eat a baby."

Toronto transit signs hacked to display message "Stephen Harper eats babies!", hilarity ensues.

Posted by Fungii at 08:27 PM