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Girl Talk day to day video blog, ebay auction, RiP trailer and more...

Girl Talk- for the Grateful Web

Girl Talk's fall tour in support of the release of Feed The Animals has officially kicked off! And with it, comes all sorts of fun Girl Talk-related things to check out!

Girl Talk fans can see what its like to be on the road for a 6 week tour by checking out the day to day video blog created by Girl Talk (aka Gregg Gillis) and his production crew. Each day a new video will be added to Girl Talk's Myspace page. Check out days 1, 2 and 3 below. Day 1 includes an interview with a guy who proposed to his girlfriend during Girl Talk's set, an interview with Gregg's dad, Gregg and co. eating Philly cheese steaks and more.

Day 1 Philadelphia - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJIpZJrfBDI
Day 2 Washington, D.C. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EpwBXoa9Kw
Day 3 Baltimore - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXts5thBoQ8

Additionally, concert meteorologist Torie Shaw has created a "Girl Talk Concert Forecast" which will be running throughout the tour. Check out the first one here.

Girl Talk is also prominently featured in a new film, RiP: A remix manifesto. Gregg's dad makes an appearance here too! RiP explores the robber barons and revolutionaries squaring off across the digital frontier.  From the control rooms of Washington to the favelas of Brazil, web activist and filmmaker.

Brett Gaylor explores the concept of copyright in the information age, mashing together the media landscape of the 20th century and shattering the wall between users and producers. Along with Girl Talk, the film's central protagonist, Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig, Brazil's Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil, and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow are also along for the ride. The film has its "beta" launch at the Festival Nouveau Cinema Montreal, then off to the CPH:Dox International Documentary Festival of Copenhagen, then the International Documentary Forum of Amsterdam (IDFA) November 20th.  Stay tuned for US festival appearances in 2009! Watch the trailer for RiP, remix footage and find out more info here.

There's an ebay auction going right now for Girl Talk's Jordan headband. This headband was stolen from Gregg from a place where he used to sleep very often. "Actual Air Jordan headband worn by Gregg Gillis (aka Girl Talk) as seen in pictures hanging out with Bone Thugs and Harmony from his Facebook page. This headband is reversible and in good condition. It can be worn red or black. Buy it and add it to your Girl Talk shrine, or have him autograph it at his next show." The auction ends 10/23. Check it out here. (Gregg's dad is not involved in this ebay auction.)

Halloween Bash, Rex Caravan Tour and more...

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Halloween Bash!

Dark Star Orchestra is thrilled to perform a Halloween Bash at the Pageant in St. Louis, Friday, October 31. We will be hosting a Costume Contest at the show and awarding prizes to the most unique and enlightening costumes with the prizes including tickets to future shows, DSO merchandise packages and more!

NYE Ticket Update

DSO New Years Eve update: Thank you to everyone for your overwhelming response, New Year's Eve VIP Tickets and Early Bird tickets have both completely sold out. You can still save $20 off the door price by securing your Advance Tickets for $59. NYE tickets include a champagne toast, finger foods and party favors, while rocking into 2009 with Dark Star Orchestra! Also see DSO lead up to NYE with gigs in Richmond (12/28), Norfolk (12/29) and another East Coast venue (12/30) to be announced soon!

Black Tie-Dye Ball Raises Money and "Grateful Red"

Dark Star Orchestra performed at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood on September 27 for the Black Tie-Dye Ball, where Dark Star Orchestra helped raise over $9,000 for the Rex Foundation as part of their 25th Anniversary celebration. DSO was delighted to have Bill Walton representing at the show, where he boldly stated, "Dark Star Orchestra rocks the world-and we are the lucky ones - -we were there." DSO will be holding an east coast Black Tie Dye Ball at the Nokia Theater in New York City, Saturday, November 29. Since 2002, Dark Star Orchestra has raised over $130,000 for the foundation through a series of Black Tie Dye Ball benefits and donations, and now the November/December 'Rex Caravan Tour' where $1 will be contributed to the Rex Foundation for every ticket sold. DSO will be hitting the road again in support of the Rex Foundation, making contributions from all along the entire 22-city East Coast tour.

Like a Tumbleweed Tour
Thur 10/09 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR  
Fri 10/10 The Showbox Seattle, WA TICKETS
Sat 10/11 The Showbox Seattle, WA TICKETS
Sun 10/12 McDonald Theatre Eugene, OR  
Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue (a Rob Eaton side project)
Sat 10/18 Belly Up Aspen Aspen, CO  
Fri 10/24 Boulder Theatre Boulder, CO  
Halloween Bash
Fri 10/31 The Pageant St. Louis, MO  
Rex Caravan East Coast Tour
Fri 11/07 9:30 Club Washington, DC TICKETS
Sat 11/08 9:30 Club Washington, DC TICKETS
Sun 11/09 Paramount Center for the Arts Peekskill, NY  
Tues 11/11 Capitol Center for the Arts Concord, NH TICKETS
Thur 11/13 Calvin Theater Northampton, MA  
Fri 11/14 Community Arts Center Williamsport, PA TICKETS
Sat 11/15 Palace Theatre Albany, NY TICKETS
Sun 11/16 McCarter Theatre Princeton, NJ TICKETS
Tues 11/18 Magic City Music Hall Johnson City, NY TICKETS
Thur 11/20 Garde Arts Center New London, CT TICKETS
Fri 11/21 Memorial Auditorium Lowell, MA TICKETS
Sat 11/22 Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA TICKETS
Sun 11/23 Klein Auditorium Bridgeport, CT TICKETS
Wed 11/26 Penn's Peak Jim Thorpe, PA  
Fri 11/28 Nokia Theater New York, NY TICKETS
Sat 11/29 Nokia Theater New York, NY TICKETS
Mon 12/01 Higher Ground South Burlington, VT TICKETS
Tues 12/02 Higher Ground South Burlington, VT TICKETS
Thur 12/04 Grand Opera House Wilmington, DE  
Fri 12/05 Theater @ Lancaster Host Resort Lancaster, PA TICKETS
Sat 12/06 Shea Center For The Performing Arts Wayne, NJ  
New Years Eve Run
Sun 12/28 The National Richmond, VA  
Mon 12/29 The Norva Norfolk, VA  
Tues 12/30 TBA TBA  
Wed 12/31 Rams Head Live Baltimore, MD TICKETS

Rex Foundation: Black Tie Dye Ball, Musical Caravan Shows & More

Black Tie-Dye Ball with DSO - photo by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Rex Musical Caravan keeps growing with upcoming events, community fundraisers, festival presence and great success with Rex Jams at recent summer festivals, all demonstrating the musical community's support of the Rex Foundation.  Check out all that is happening and join in for the great music, fun connections and celebrations of our 25th anniversary:

    * Donna Jean & the Tricksters, Saturday, September 20th, Knitting Factory, NYC - Come early for the pre-concert reception with musicians, food, drinks, and VIP Balcony access.  Click here for ticket details.

    * Black Tie-Dye Ball with Dark Star Orchestra on Saturday, September 27th, Henry Fonda Theater, Hollywood, CA

Be part of this fun evening featuring a pre-concert reception with the artists, food, drinks, goody bags and local area entertainment.  And, there will be a silent auction.  Click here for more details, including how to purchase reception tickets if you already have your concert ticket and to check out the local area programs designated to receive proceeds from the event.

    * New Riders of the Purple Sage, Tuesday, September 30th, The Blue Nile, New Orleans, LA.

The Rex Foundation has given over $20,000 in Katrina relief since 2005.  We are pleased to celebrate our first fundraising event in New Orleans with our good friends the New Riders of the Purple Sage - a pre-concert reception with the musicians, finger foods, drinks, and concert tickets.  Due to the recent hurricane weather in the New Orleans area, ticketing for this event is not yet available.  Please check out our website next week for updated information and ticket links.

Blue Turtle Seduction is on board the Musical Caravan, helping raise funds for the Rex Foundation during their Human Rights Awareness tour September 19th - November 2nd.   All shows during this tour are free to students and help raise awareness for human rights.

Dark Star Orchestra Rex Musical Caravan Tour - Join Dark Star Orchestra as they travel on the Rex Musical Caravan through their East Coast tour between November 7 and December 6th, where $1 of every ticket sold supports the Rex Foundation.   We'll have a celebratory Black Tie-Dye Ball on Saturday, November 29th, at the Nokia Theater in New York City.  Stay tuned for more information regarding this event.  

The Rex Foundation is honored to be a designated recipient of proceeds from The Give Festival, taking place Saturday, September 20th in Philadelphia.  We hope all of you in the Philadelphia area will attend.

Rex Jam Success!

The Rex Foundation would like to thank everyone who has participated in the Rex Jams at the Mountain Jam, High Sierra, All Good, 10,000 Lakes, and the Gathering of the Vibes Festivals.   Thanks to everyone's generosity and great efforts, $10,709 was raised to help support local area music programs for youth.   For a complete recap, visit our 2008 Summer Festivals page.

Rex Foundation at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

The Rex Foundation is honored to be one of the non-profit organizations present at the upcoming Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival on October 3rd-5th in San Francisco, CA.   Stop by the Rex Foundation booth to find out more about our current activities and get on board the Rex Community Caravan.

Check out and post your comments on the Rex Blog!

Want to know what is happening in the world of Rex? Get involved with the Rex Foundation Blog by posting your comments to share your views on the topics presented.  Add the RSS feed to your favorite social network and let your friends know you are a proud supporter of the Rex Foundation.

Save the Date for our 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco on December 13th!  Details soon to come.

As we celebrate our 25th Anniversary we are reminded of the help we have been able to give thanks to generous supporters like you.  We are proud to travel on the Rex Community Caravan with everyone and continue our efforts through the power of community, service and the arts.

Dylan, Cash, Miles + More at Morrison Hotel's 30th St. Exhibit

Miles Davis - photos by Don Hunstein- for the Grateful Web

On July 18 the Morrison Hotel Gallery's Soho loft (116 Prince Street, NYC) will offer the first fine art photography exhibit drawn from the extensive Sony BMG archive. "In Session at the Columbia Records 30th Street Studio" will feature candid, in-the-studio photographs taken mostly by Columbia Records' in-house photographer Don Hunstein, at its legendary 30th Street Studio in New York City. The exhibit will feature over 30 limited edition fine art silver gelatin prints - many of them never-before-seen - of singular figures such as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett, Miles Davis, Muhammad Ali, and Charles Mingus among others. Prior to the exhibit's public opening, the Morrison Hotel Gallery will host invitation-only previews of "In Session" on July 17.

In 1949, an abandoned Armenian Greek Orthodox church at 207 East 30th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, was transformed into one of the world's greatest recording studios, where some of the most dynamic and enduring records were created. From Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" to Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story," from Miles Davis's "Kind Of Blue" to Glenn Gould's interpretations of Bach's "Goldberg Variations," the 30th Street Studio provided a distinctive ambience, featuring a kaleidoscope of sublime sonic qualities unparalleled in the recording industry.

Though the building itself was demolished, "In Session" frames the momentous occasions that occurred within the 30th Street Studio walls and allows fans to hold on to them forever.

Each print to be featured in this exhibit was meticulously hand selected by the Morrison Hotel Gallery and Sony BMG's ICON Collectibles (www.Icon-Collectibles.com), and represents a piece of musical history. Prints by Don Huntstein are numbered and signed by the photographer, who still lives in New York, and plans to attend the 'In Session' preview events. Prints will also be available for sale at morrisonhotelgallery.com.

About The Morrison Hotel Gallery
Founded in 2001 by former record company executive and producer Peter Blachley, former independent record store owner Rich Horowitz and music photographer Henry Diltz, The Morrison Hotel Gallery has grown to become the major brand in fine art music photography. With already thriving locations in Soho in NYC, La Jolla California, and Los Angeles, MHG opened their largest location to date in March 2008, at 313 Bowery Street in NYC, former home to the legendary CBGB Gallery.

About ICON Collectibles
ICON Collectibles is a business specializing in selling unique Fine Art Prints, Music Plaques, Cover Art and one-of-a-kind memorabilia featuring a diversified collection of some of the world's greatest recording artists including: Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald and Muhammad Ali. All offerings are showcased and sold on Icon-Collectibles.com. Powered by SONY BMG Music Entertainment, ICON Collectibles is headquartered in New York City.

Rex Foundation: Summer Festivals, Limited VIP Tix & More

The Allman Brothers in support of Rex- for the Grateful Web

The Rex Foundation would like to thank the following festivals for including us as one of their non-profits at their 2008 Summer Festivals!   It is with collective efforts we are able to give back to the communities in their areas.  We encourage everyone to attend these festivals and tell them... Rex sent me!

The 2008 Rex Musical Caravan keeps growing and we still have a limited number of VIP tickets left for the upcoming summer shows where RatDog tours with Gov't Mule and then with the Allman Brothers Band.  Enjoy access to top-priced, reserved seating tickets at the shows listed below, while also supporting the Rex Foundation.  Each ticket price noted includes a $50 charitable contribution.

RatDog with Gov't Mule at the Mountain Winery, Saratoga, CA

Wednesday, July 9th - SOLD OUT

Thursday, July 10th - SOLD OUT

RatDog with the Allman Brothers Band:

Wednesday, August 13th, Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY 

These tickets at $210 each include a special party before and during the concert with food and beverages, along with VIP Parking.  Theresa and Sandy look forward to seeing you and joining in on the fun.

Saturday, August 16th, Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA - $113 per ticket

Friday, August 22nd, Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands PAC, Canandaigua, NY - $115 per ticket

Saturday, August 23rd, Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ - $131 per ticket

Saturday, August 30th, Red Rocks, Denver, CO - $113 per ticket

Click here to order tickets or call the Rex Foundation office at 415-561-3134.

Check out Sandy Sohcot's blog posting about The World As It Could Be human rights education project.  Post your own comments and consider forwarding to others who might be interested in this project.

Keller Williams "Rex" Download Reviews?  If you have downloaded this album and have any comments, please post your review on the Rex blog page.  Rex is anxious to hear your thoughts.

Whether we cross paths at one of the Summer Festivals, Jones Beach or in cyberspace, we look forward to traveling the world of giving together with you.  Check out Rex's web site to see what you help make happen.  Climb aboard the Rex Community Caravan and together we can further what the Grateful Dead started in 1983.

Swingin' West, Road to Roo & more

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

DSO Hosts Special Guests On & Off Stage

While DSO's own soundman Cameron Blietz dropped off tour to address his chronic back pain (get well soon Cam!), DSO was honored to have the Grateful Dead's former soundman Dan Healy... Seen here 'On the Bus'. Additionally, on March 1, fans in Atlanta were treated to a special guest performance from luminary soul keyboardist Ike Stubblefield. Thanks so much to everyone for sharing in the music.

Swingin' West Again

After the upcoming European performances, DSO will be hitting the road again stateside with a string of Colorado and West Coast Tour Dates.  There will also be another three-night stand at the Great American Music Hall, so if you're in the Bay area, be sure to get your Tickets early as the shows are sure to attract any number of special appearances and always sell out in advance.

Summer = Fields, Forests and Festivals!

Dark Star Orchestra would just like to thank the folks at Langerado for another great pre-festival season warm up (literally) in Florida this past week.  A great time was had by all and we now look forward to Jam in the Dam this week, and then further down the line performances at Mountain Jam, Bonnaroo, 10,000 Lakes Festival and many more festival appearances still to be announced.

Road to the Roo Tour Dates Announced

After 'Swingin West' the band loads up the bus again - this time for New England.  DSO will be hitting some new cities and venues on this tour, so be sure to check out our Website and get your tickets ahead of time with DSO Ticketing.

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Sat 3/15 Jam in the Dam Amsterdam, Netherlands TICKETS
Sun 3/16 Jam in the Dam Amsterdam, Netherlands TICKETS
Mon 3/17 Jam in the Dam Amsterdam, Netherlands TICKETS
Swingin' West Tour Begins...
Fri 4/11 Valar Center Avon, CO TICKETS
Sat 4/12 Belly Up Aspen Aspen, CO TICKETS
Sun 4/13 Belly Up Aspen Aspen, CO TICKETS
Wed 4/16 Fox Theatre Boulder, CO TICKETS
Thurs 4/17 Fox Theatre Boulder, CO TICKETS
Fri 4/18 Fox Theatre Boulder, CO TICKETS
Sat 4/19 Oriental Theater Denver, CO TICKETS
Sun 4/20 Oriental Theater Denver, CO TICKETS
Tues 4/22 Depot Salt Lake City, UT TICKETS
Thurs 4/24 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, CA TICKETS
Fri 4/25 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA TICKETS
Sat 4/26 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA TICKETS
Mon 4/28 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA TICKETS
Tues 4/29 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA TICKETS
Wed 4/30 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA TICKETS
Fri 5/2 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR TICKETS
Sat 5/3 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR TICKETS
Sun 5/4 McDonald Theatre Eugene, OR TICKETS
Road to Roo Tour
Sun 5/25 Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA  
Thur 5/29 North Fork Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY  
Fri 5/30 State Theatre New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ TICKETS
Sat 5/31 Mountain Jam Festival Hunter, NY  
Mon 6/02 Higher Ground South Burlington, VT  
Tues 6/03 Higher Ground South Burlington, VT  
Thur 6/05 Bergen Pac Theater Englewood, NJ TICKETS
Fri 6/06 Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom Hampton Beach, NH TICKETS
Sat 6/07 Cape Cod Melody Tent Hyannis, MA TICKETS
Sat 6/08 Sovereign Pac Reading, PA TICKETS
Thur 6/12 Bonnaroo Manchester, TN  

Dark Star Orchestra – More Than Just a Cover Band

photo(s) by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

It was a happenin' day in Princeton as deadheads filled the quaint town just as they have in the past. Tie dies filled the streets, fathers brought their sons to tailgate in the lot, and fans were getting carried out of bars before the show for a trip down memory lane. The Grateful Dead only played one time in Princeton in 1971, which made Dark Star Orchestra's visit that much sweeter. But instead of playing in a gym, DSO chose the beautiful McCarter Theatre as its venue. The ushers at the theatre deserve recognition because they allowed fans to dance in the aisles and indulge in activities usually frowned upon in this venue.

As many people know, DSO covers actual shows note for note like the Grateful Dead played them originally. Tonight it was a show that occurred almost exactly 27 years before. It was May 10, 1980 in Hartford, CT that was being celebrated tonight. They opened big with "New New Minglewood Blues," which got the crowd on their feet early. A little known fact about this song is that it is constantly mislabeled. Many people as a shortcut call it "Minglewood Blues" or "New Minglewood Blues." The reason why this is incorrect is because those are totally different songs already. Both songs were written by Noah Lewis and performed by different jug bands in the 1920's and 1930's. The lyrics have no similarities between them. Speaking of similarities, the next song was haunting because of the likeness of lead singer John Kadlecik's voice to Jerry's. "Peggy-O" was sung with perfect tone and inflection. Then it was Rob Eaton's turn to belt out a hot "Mexicali Blues > El Paso" run.

Next was the first of the Saturday songs. Robert Hunter's lyrics of "Althea" read, "You may be Saturday's child all grown moving with a pinch of grace," blended perfectly with the older crowd enjoying the nostalgia. Smokin' guitar riffs and loud applause came with "Passenger," the song that was originally written as a joke by Phil Lesh. He said that it's a take on the Fleetwood Mac song "Station Man," just sped up with a few different chord changes. The crowd tonight was on their feet clapping along until the calm Brent Mydland song sung by the great Rob Barraco "Far From Me," where everyone sat down to listen. After, Rob Eaton said, "We can't express how grateful we are to play in such a beautiful environment." He was right, springtime in Princeton is gorgeous, and as it drizzled lightly outside, DSO played "Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance" inside. The crowd got a little sleepy until Kadlecik's guitar solo in the set closer "Deal" breathed life back into the theatre, and the crowd was up and clapping in unison.

dsoThe second set opened with one of my favorite song runs "China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider." The rest of the show was pretty much played one song into another until close to the end. "Feel Like a Stranger" kept the crowd going strong.  "Comes a time when the blind man takes your hand says: don't you see?" The lyrics of "Comes a Time" are some of the most inspiring words ever written. This rendition gave it the justice it deserves. "Estimated Prophet" was performed with the same zeal and energy that the subject of the song would preach it with. Weir and Barlow wrote it about the crazy and high type of fan with an important message they felt had to be delivered to everyone. We've all seen them in the crowd.

"He's Gone" and "Uncle John's Band" gallantly took us into "Drums." Then, the fan friendly "Not Fade Away" had the crowd participating as usual. Finally, the best song of the night "Sugar Magnolia" closed the second set. DSO did a great job in the second set convincing the crowd that they were in 1980. I love to watch people's faces at DSO shows because one can always tell who has never seen them before. They all react with amazement and wonderment at the beauty of how well they play the part of the Grateful Dead.

The encores were "Alabama Getaway" and "One More Saturday Night" from the original show, which were performed very well. But, DSO had one surprise for the grateful crowd. They added the traditional classic "Don't Ease Me In" as a filler.

Overall, this show was a lot of fun, and I hope that DSO comes back to this venue because I think that it lends itself very well to their shows. The theatre as well as the sound was full and vibrant. Check out the band with their heavy tour schedule this summer and fall. It will truly be a fun adventure.

Rex Foundation Summer Festivals and More

Support the Rex Foundation!- for the Grateful Web

As summer quickly approaches, the Rex Foundation looks forward to seeing many of you at the following summer festivals:

    * July 4-8            Grateful Fest, Nelson, Ohio

    * July 13-15        All Good Festival, Masontown, W. Virginia

    * July 18-21        10,000 Lakes Festival, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

    * July 20-22        A Bear's Picnic, Milton, Pennsylvania

    * August 9-12     Gathering of the Vibes, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Check out Festival details via the Rex Foundation website, including the special 10,000 Lakes (10KLF) ticket purchase discount with a contribution to the Rex Community Caravan.  And, thanks to 10KLF and Matt Butler with The Everyone Orchestra, there will be a special Rex Jam on Friday, July 20th .  We encourage carpooling to minimize environmental impact.  In that spirit, the All Good Festival will contribute to Rex for each vehicle with 3 or more people.

The 2006 Annual Report was just mailed out, and is also available online.  We hope you enjoy reading the Report and seeing all that your support helps make happen.

Plans are underway for fall Rex Foundation benefits and fundraisers.  Plans include a special Dark Star Orchestra Rex Musical Caravan Tour beginning September 26th, where $1 per ticket will be contributed to the Rex Foundation, and a celebratory Black Tie-Dye Ball will happen along the way.

No More News!

Vampire Rabbit- for the Grateful Web

I've decided to stop watching the news. I'll stop reading it, too. No more compulsive tapping on the refresh button on the CNN.com home page in the hopes that something wildly tragic has happened somewhere so I can palliate my boredom for five more minutes. No more news, because the news has blackened my worldview.

I no longer see happily playing children, bustling big cities, nor dedicated world leaders. Instead I see kidnapping victims, terror strike opportunities, and shifty members of clandestine organizations who are orchestrating psychological attacks on the news-viewing public. Each time I flip on the TV or pull up a news site, I'm looking for the next big hit: another 9-11, a ballsy daylight assault, a new tragedy to fill up that hole in my soul that used to be reserved for Three's Company and What's Happenin' repeats. In other words, tragedy has become my entertainment.

And Hollywood and the media are way ahead of me. In the same week that two children were abducted following the bludgeoning deaths of three of their relatives, Fox was plugging a new show called The Inside.  "The evil that scarred her as a child now gives her insight into the FBI's most heinous crimes," goes the tag line. To paraphrase: A sexy gal who was abducted as a sexy child puts her trauma to work in a crime unit investigating sexy serial killers. My god, maybe someday poor little Shasta Groene will become a hotty with the balls to entertain us in this fashion. When I saw the promo for this new show, I realized how deeply the lines between entertainment and reality have bled.

The idea that I or anyone else could start thinking about the horrors of the nightly news as prime-time amusement forebodes a grim illness creeping into society. Would someone please issue an Amber Alert for my soul?  I'm freaked out enough by the terrible stuff that actually happens. In addition to troubling my sleep, worrying me about my defenseless nieces, and convincing me that I'm going to die in a bombing that will martyr me against my will to "freedom," does it also have to be glamorized by putting a woman in a sexy skirt and sending her slithering right into the arms of fear? And it is being glamorized.

I'm no social scientist, but I am a journalism grad and there's a reason that people who commit suicide don't usually get a lot of air time. Yes, Fox News viewers, journalists do have a code of ethics (it's a self-policed policy for the most part), and it states that we don't glorify jackasses. Somehow the code doesn't stretch to cover people who commit crimes of incomprehensible violence on others. Instead we plaster their shameful faces over hill and dale, produce TV movies, and publish scads of minutely detailed infotainment on their deeds that make celebrities of them. I blame The Real World. They were our first taste of glorified criminality. That lot of bigots, unintellectual social deviants, and cretinous turds fallen from the scabby asses on high of Abercrombie & Fitch certainly gave the world the impression that we hanker for a hunk of the sordid.

Now, I'm not saying that it's all the fault of the media that there's been a noticeable upswing in tragedies. After all, it's the job of the media to report such things and if we discovered an unreported incident, we'd wonder what conspiracy was operating to withhold it from us. But I do think it's important to recognize when we, individually, start perceiving news stories as entertainment.

Admit it. When you saw the first, fresh footage of the attacks on 9-11, when you watched the president announce that we were going to war with Iraq, or when you heard that Saddam Hussein had been captured in his spidey-hole, you felt that little surge of electricity shoot up from the pit of your stomach, didn't you? It jolted you into calling someone, emailing someone, running to someone's desk and sharing the big news. You wanted to have a little half-day for water cooler discussion. You craved the next big development. You gnashed your teeth wondering how it was all going to pan out and hoping for another little surge of excitement.  Go on, admit it. And when your regularly programmed viewing was interrupted last week for "breaking news" on the London bombings, you thought, "Finally, here it is!" and sizzled there in a little 20-volt jolt of excitement. You spent the rest of your day checking into news sites, hourly, hoping for another whopping revelation. You may even have been a little disappointed to eventually discover that only just over 50 people died.

This is why I must stop giving so much of my sparse attention to the news. If you really think about what kind of sensation you're getting from the news, you might discover that not only is it causing you to view the world through blood-tinted lenses, but it's also turning you into a vampire. We should respect and fear tragedy as anomalies, things that are not acceptable and not everyday, expected events. We shouldn't dampen our sense of shock by wallowing in bad news. We certainly shouldn't start expecting the same kind of macabre rush from movies and fictions that glorify killings and rapes.

There's a line between being well-informed and working bad news into my leisure activities, unfortunately, it's becoming more and more difficult for me to make the distinction, what with so much information available at all times and all the media chasing after increasingly more horrific stories with which to satiate my growing appetite. I partially blame the Internet, with its 24/7 access and its ability to network psychopaths into self-sanctioning groups that allow them to believe that their bizarre inclinations are acceptable . . . but that's getting ahead of myself. News addiction is a tough one to break. After all, how will I amuse myself every five minutes without discretely packaged clips of sensationalism? Will I be expected to turn to a book, where it will take me days to uncover the story, where the finale is life-altering character development, and where I have to provide my own, unmediated, one-sided analysis, without the guiding hand of Wolf Fucking Blitzer? It may very well come to that. And I hope to eventually recover the less wounded Weltanschauung of pre-9-11.

Photo Credit for Vampire Rabbit: Philip Lindsay

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Other Mindy Jamiel Articles:

 A short message regarding the value of life according to Jebus

America is Dead! Long live the King!

More From Chris & Aaron

- for the Grateful Web

It's all pretty screwed.  The best thing  - -> large mother fucking meteorite!  Perhaps kilauea crater will slide into the ocean.  That would do it.

Chris, I don't have all the answer, I'm just some techie goof that is as frustrated as you.

I do know that the most powerful think we can with our money is buy locally.

Giving money to the local sandwich shop rather than McDouche, never ever go to walmart, say away from huge hardware stores, home depot, etc.  Be proud of that.  Be proud that you are broke as shit because you didn't save $3 bucks on bulk sausage at super kmart!

YES they are waaaaaaaaaay cheaper, but what is really happening?  

All across the nation, people are losing their downtowns, their central base, or whatever you want to call it.  You know why?  Well, we just keep going into those BIG ASS global marts (Walmart is the best example).

They pay shitty wages to young kids, divorced moms, and illegal immigrants. They aren't socially responsible.  Who told you that?  Yes, they may be more accountable in a lot of ways, but look who is paying off bush so he will reduce their taxes and reduce pollution restrictions, etc.

people come to the store and pay less.  What happens is that that local money instantly LEAVES the local community and wides up at corporate headquarters in little rock, or new york. 

While all the local money is being sucked out of town, it's also snuffing out the local mom and pop stores that cannot compete with the prices.  It's a huge circle of local death.  The core dies and people sprawl outwards, turning more pasture into concrete, disrupting more ecosystems, encouraging more reproduction.

This is leading to local communities losing power, losing control of their own destiny.  This is globalization. 

Eventually, all the power would leave the people and be in the hands of the one global group that owns all the global businesses. 

That goes for WATER as well.  If we continue on this pace, some global group will own all water rights in the world.

It's ugly.  Most people have no clue to this at all.  NO clue.  Society is getting further and futher away from nature.  That's the whole problem.  WE are under a huge diabolical spell.  It has been cast.  We are slaves to the machine.  It's the real version of the Matrix.    What will wake us, I don't know.

NEVER NEVER EVER give into this!!!!!

At the end of 2012, when the biosphere morphs into the noosphere, it will trigger the cosmic PSI BANK to release its memory (I has something to do with the Van Allen radiation belts and DNA).  At which point, we will be reminded of what we really are...the world as we know it will end and things will be better. So we've got that going for us.

aaron

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When I read your reply, Aaron, I am of course reminded of many of the  reasons why I still take JFK2 over Bush...but I hardly feel there is a  positive option for our planet...I had a little back and forth with someone on RSS (RED SEA SCROLLS - on Huskerillustrated.com) this am...about the drug companies...it started with Levitra's new "Tackling Men's Health" campaign...give me a break, what are they going to tell us about health? that we can fix anything with a pill...then someone said "hey I get paid to do cancer research because of products like Levitra.."  Then the wave of realization that we are just caught in a horrible loop...thousands need the big companies, whether it is drug, soda, or mac-n-cheese, as employers and providers...society would collapse on itself without the monster corporations, and they are perhaps evolving into something better than what they used to be...companies that are developing a conscience and a resposibility, maybe out of necessity...anyway...today was colored by that thought that there really is no going back, there might be little pockets of the old reality playing at their little communal ideals,  but they also still rely on the outside world and just an exercise in ego, that they can be right and separate from the masses, which is BS...sort of a "Brave New World" kind of thing with the wild lands outside society, I don't think it really could stand on its own... so ultimately, how does it work  out?  how should we proceed politically, socially, economically, morally...?

I know we have talked about living as close to that deepest cosmic groove, the vibration of life...how does the Iraqi war fit that? how does Monsanto's bioengineering fit that? how does heavy metal fit that? hip hop? opera? SUV's? bicycles? electronics? advertising? philosophy? religion? opinion? family? conversation? whatever...

just a little depressed with with the Human Condtion as it now seems to be
today...someone give me some answers!

chris