Psy still exists and is available in stamp form - 10 Things
Another week begins, and there's more leadership speculation about whether Julia Gillard will be rolled by Kevin Rudd (well, they say third time's the charm) in order to lead Labor back into opposition at the next election. According to Fairfax - the benevolent patrons of this very website - Tony Abbott has now eked ahead as preferred PM, while Rudd is twice as popular as Gillard. Rudd's denying a run, as he will when asked for the next six months, but we here at TheVine are sick of the uncertainty and delighted to launch our own candidate: Quackles, the unaffiliated and non-partisan Pacific Black Duck! We think that Quackles is the perfect avian to lead Australia to a glorious new semi-aquatic future, unburdened by the grubby machinations of party politics or beholden to big business (except, admittedly, bread makers), and we ask all readers to prepare to write 1 QUACKLES on all of their ballot papers in September, and every official document they sign between now and then. Seriously, do it today on the first thing you need to sign - you'll see how right it feels.
Things just get nastier and nastier with the murder case facing Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee Paraolympic champion and "Blade Runner" accused of having murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Early reports suggested that perhaps Pistorius thought she was a burglar and accidentally shot her four times, but the alleged discovery of a bloodied cricket bat has reporters in the country already talking about the "rock solid" case against him. Expect this to get more ugly as details emerge.
Iceland is considering a ban on online pornography in a move that should be easy to implement and face no technical problems whatsoever. "Our approach is not anti-sex but anti-violence," according to Halla Gunnarsdóttir, adviser to the interior minister Ögmundur Jónasson, who is concerned about the nature of the porn being consumed in the plucky volcanic nation. Then again, have you seen the people in Iceland? It's a nation of elven sex gods. Why would they even need the internet?
Asteroid 2012 DA14 may have missed hitting Earth by a few hundred thousand kilometres, but while the world was busy watching it a sneaky smaller rock crept in and exploded in a mighty fireball over Chelyabinsk in Russia on Friday morning (their time). Over 1200 people were injured, mainly by being cut by shattered glass and the like thanks to the sonic boom that the asteroid unleashed, but since it happened in Russia and not in a country with a functional justice system, we have some amazing footage of the event. See, with law enforcement corrupt and in many cases functionally non-existant, drivers in Russia have taken to driving with windscreen-mounted cameras ("dashcams") in order to film accidents and robberies that would otherwise be ignored by the courts, which means that there was an amazing amount of top-notch footage of the event - like this!
In what's sure to confuse 12 year olds of all ages, Patrick Carney - the Black Keys drummer Justin Bieber declared was in need of a slap - has changed his Twitter handle to "Justin Bieber Carney". Biebettes have been suitably incensed, to the point of forgetting how verbs work ("Justin one joke about u and think it's ok to hate on Justin for attention???? Your life must be so sad"), while Black Keys fans are wondering why he's bothering. Carney, you might recall, suggested to a Grammys reporter that Bieber might want to comfort himself over his awards snub by enjoying some of that delicious money he owns. IT'S BLUR VS OASIS ALL OVER AGAIN!
Oh, Iran - whatever will you ban next? Islamic officials are finally cracking down on the obviously massive cultural threat that is Buddhism, confiscating statues of its benign and chubby deity in order to put a halt to the "cultural invasion" they represent. As the Guardian points out, this means ol' Buddsy now joins Barbie and Bart Simpson among the figures banned in Iran - which suggests that Iranian officials are working alphabetically. C+C Music Factory, Cate Blanchett and Charmander from Pokemon, watch your backs.
Remember Psy? Yeah, he did that song about the Gangnam and its related style and was the future punchline to all 2012-related pop culture jokes (which should make his imminent visit for Future Music Festival the quickest hit-to-irony transformation ever, especially if he holds fast on his conviction not to ever play the song again). Anyway, South Korea are delighted with him and his making-people-reference-South-Korea-in-news-columns ways and are celebrating him through stamps. Commemorative sets are available in 22 Seoul post offices and - in the words of Psy's management - "has PSY’s unique flavour stamped all over it." Which sounds biologically suspicious, if you ask us.
Today in Rumours About The New Star Wars news: apparently Harrison Ford has signed on to reprise his role as Han Solo in a forthcoming flick, presumably doing a framing scene before he gazes wistfully off screen and says "yeah, I remember doing the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs…" and fading out to a film about The Young Han Solo Chronicles or something. And look, let's just say it again: parsecs are a unit of DISTANCE, not time, and even if you use the fix proposed in some of the Star Wars novels that the Kessel run involves skirting around a series of black holes, the relativistic forces would still mean that a journey that takes Han hours would take decades as far as those back on Tatooine would experience it, making him a terribly inefficient smuggler. We're just saying: physics is physics.
Ewan McGregor meanwhile has expressed enthusiasm for reprising his role as Ob-Wan Kenobi, suggesting a film about "the desert years" when Ob-Wan was basically sitting around hiding from the Empire is exactly what the fans have been waiting for. It would still be better than Episode I, mind.
And finally, Boston Sub Pop representative, ex-Lemonheads/current Joe Pernice manager and all-around do-gooder and rabble rouser has started a campaign in Massachusetts to have the official state song changed from 'All Hail to Massachusetts' to 'Roadrunner', the classic punk anthem written by Jonathan Richman, recorded by the Modern Lovers, and covered by every band that only knows two chords ever since. If this sounds unlikely, note that Oklahoma made the Flaming Lips' mighty 'Do You Realize???' its official song in 2009, so it's possible that a US official state song mix tape could end up being pretty damn awesome.