Oz

KINGS Is The Best TV Show You Have Never Seen, And Ian McShane Is A Genius

You know what? I enjoyed Avatar. I might never see it again, I wasn't particularly emotionally invested in any of the characters. Sigourney Weaver, who I have always held in high regard, was underwhelming, if typically cool, but that her role was a pure amalgamation of her two most famous (Alien & Gorillas In The Midst) I found strange to say the least. Rah though. It was pretty flippin' spectacular. I got kick out of the flying dinosaur scenes. The forest was gorgeous. It made me think about going on adventures. It reminded me of a time when the future mapped out in my head was all unmapped oceans and vast bleeding skies and flourecent jungles and thrilling, endless adventure.

Not bad for a movie, right? Not bad. But never mind that. Because we have been watching KINGS, and for sheer thrills, spectacle and wonder, KINGS kicks shit out of Avatar.

KINGS is an American TV show, and it is amazing on a number of levels. It is gorgeous, super-cinematic, brilliantly executed High Concept. Man, I love me some brilliantly executed High Concept. My old band had a song called Aliens VS Rudeboys VS Dinosaurs VS Apes In Space. Mothboy produced it. It was about a massive fight between aliens and rudeboys and dinosaurs and apes. IN SPACE.

Anyway. KINGS. Ian McShane plays the mighty King Silas, an analogue of the Biblical King Saul, ruling over a contemporary fucking kingdom, living in fear and defiance of a literal, Thunderbolt wielding Skygod... his brother-in-law plots his downfall along with the tortured, closeted prince, while endearingly naive farm boy David takes out a tank called Goliath with a hand grenade and becomes a national hero, threatening the absolute rule of the monarchy with his very existence. IT IS THAT LITERAL. Oh, sweet Baby Jesus, it is awesome. McShane is as good as he was in Deadwood, and if the rest of rest of the cast more than keep their end up, making magic of the uncommonly Shakespearean scripts.

Indeed, the dialogue is unflinchingly poetic. The pacing is immaculate. The sets are glorious.  The thing looks not a penny cheaper than the $4 million it cost per episode,  and over the show's thirteen episdoes the story builds with a truly dramatic, feverish intensity I have not seen in television since Oz. It should have been on HBO, but it was, unfortunately, birthed on NBC. Naturally, the network missold it as a Sci-fi show, it failed to find it's audience, and it was cancelled after one glorious, note-perfect series.

OOPS.

Never mind though. You can watch the whole thing online over here, and you can get The DVD for 25 quid. As for the mighty McShane, he's starring in a TV adaption of The Pillars Of Earth, an historical fiction set in England during the period known as The Anarchy, AKA Angelstrike... For McShane alone, it is the only TV show I am even remotely looking forward to. I need more McShane. I am even considering downloading old episodes of Lovejoy, an eighties BBC TV sundaydrama in which he played a randy antiques dealer, which I never saw as we didn't have a TV at the time. Ufck it, dude's a genius.

Akon: A Con

akon locked up"I got accepted by the gangster crowd because they saw that I wasn't afraid of nobody and I would fight anybody...Before I knew it, I became the most popular kid in Jersey City as a good bad guy." Akon, 2005

"I always had a way of getting over on people, whether manipulating or conning them." Akon, 2007

Sweet soul singin' sensation Akon has been outed as a dirty liar by those investigative journalists (what, what the fuck is one of THEM?!) over at The Smoking Gun.

Turns out the crooner DID NOT go to jail for a combined 4 and a half years like he claimed, the basis of his whole career - his label is called Konvict Records, every song he does has the sound of prison bars clanking, etc. His public personal has been like a cross between Robin Hood and Simon Adebisi from Oz.

Akon has claimed over the years he was the "ringleader of a notorious car theft operation," who went to jail after some underlings snitched him out. In prison Akon was a scrapper who "had fights every day of his life", AND a singer. He claimed he wrote his hit Locked Up in jail.

The song, he recalled, "was like an anthem in there" and C.O.s would often ask him to sing its chorus, which goes "I'm looooocked up! They won't let me out!"

N. E. WAE. Transpires that whole backstory was "to an overwhelming extent, exaggerated, embellished, or wholly fabricated" according to The Smoking Gun:

"While the performer's rap sheet does include a half-dozen arrests, Akon has only been convicted of one felony, for gun possession. That 1998 New Jersey case ended with a guilty plea, for which the singer was sentenced to three years probation. Another 1998 bust, this one in suburban Atlanta, has been seized upon by Akon and transformed into the big case that purportedly sent him to prison (thanks to his snitching cohorts) for three fight-filled years. In reality, Akon was arrested for possession of a single stolen BMW and held in the DeKalb County jail for several months before prosecutors dropped all charges against him.

So there was no conviction. There was no prison term between 1999 and 2002. And he was never "facing 75 years," as the singer claimed in one videotaped interview."

Damn homie! What next, we find out Lil Wayne never shot crack?

Here's a video of Akon telling porkies. Now, these revelations aren't gonna make me enjoy dude's excellent music any less. I never believed a word of it anyway. But These interviews? Not so much. I like interviews. They are one of my favorite side effects of the pop star thing. But I do like to be able to believe an interview. Is that perverse?

Music journalism is an oxymoron, and I have said this for a long time. Music writers, as they should be called, primarily copy-paste press releases these days, with no thought, or care, for the content, or consequence. But, since we're aware that politics is merely the entertainment arm of the war industry, should we really give two craps about pop singers?

I mean, don't we all know it's bullshit by now? Do we really want our pop stars to be one hunnerd percent honest? Does a rapper need to pretend to be a bandit in real life in order to sing abut it? I mean, it's not like Johnny Cash ever did. What do you mob think?

Stream: Akon ft Nas - Locked Up (remix)

Stream: Obie Trice ft Akon - Snitch

Rested

After a nice little rest, I am back in London with a pink pack of eyeballs on my case. That shit looked nice on IE, but fucked up Mozilla. I don't know what it was doing to Macs. So he will live to the right. Read a bunch of Hilaire Belloc's The History Of England Vol XI, From The First Invasion By The Romans To The Ascension Of King George The Fifth on the train. I now realise that we are living in an oligarchy. Well, a strange, new fangled sort of oligarchy masked as a democracy. With a bit of a monarchy. But it is an oligarchy, nonetheless.

This book was published in 1915, and, interestingly, predicted that Russia would do what America has. The author is also in favour of true aristocracy, and I can see his point.