PLOT TWIST in NC Stage Collapse – Promoter Convicted Previously for Extortion and Wire Fraud

from WCNC Charlotte - Shelby stage collapse photos

from WCNC Charlotte – Shelby stage collapse photos

I’ve been covering every bit of information I have gotten on the stage collapse that happened – I thank each and every production tech, every audience member, and every industry vet who has weighed in on the accident.  I was lucky enough to have a large pool of on-hand folks to call on to comment on this mess.  Unfortunately, the mainstream media publications don’t have this pool of information, and once again, the major funded publications have printed information that just isn’t accurate.  Print and TV publications like the Charlotte Observer, WCNC Charlotte, WSOC-TV, et al have published comments by the promoter, Bobby McLamb, whose attitude is just short of being criminally negligent when it comes to the safety of the people he’s promoting concerts for — and comments by the production company’s owner, James Little, who made claim in the last article published by the Charlotte Observer, for example, stating that there were 12 towers holding up the roof when it was blown over.

That comment made me go back and look at the first images of the collapsed stage.  Let’s do it together — and check my math here, but I count FOUR TOWERS holding that stage up, not twelve.  There are TWO towers that appear as if they used to hold up the FOH “truss,” and another TWO towers that appear to have held up the upstage “truss.”  Count with me here — there are not even 12 towers IN these photos.

the L&N Productions stage

I see a total of FOUR towers in this shot.

L&N Productions' "Safe stage"

Let’s play COUNT THE TOWERS HOLDING UP THE ROOF.  I count 4, not 12.  Where oh where did the other 8 go?

This kind of crap just sickens me.  As one of my anonymous sources on the road with one of the bands involved in this near fatal accident said, “you can count on this guy using this truss again and again.”  Sadly, this is probably true.

I did some research into Bobby Mclamb‘s past, and I found some very troubling information.  Mclamb was convicted of extortion and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in a Federal RICO (that means Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) case back in 2004 that stemmed from good ol’ Bobby exerting his influence over state fair decision making.  Mclamb ran for North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner and lost to a woman named Meg Scott Phipps; once he lost, he joined her campaign as an aide, then all of the f*ckery began.

I wonder why no major news outlet put two and two together on this? 

From the Lexington Dispatch, March 19, 2003, via Google Newspapers:

lexington-dispatch-3-19-2003

Here’s just a little more information on this case — it sort of reads like TiVO programming instructions until you understand that Mclamb served time for influencing entertainment decisions at the state level.  From a 2003 article in the Carolina Journal:

RALEIGH — A federal grand jury has indicted two former aides to Agricultural Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps, a U.S. attorney said at a press conference Tuesday.

The charges against Linda Johnson Saunders, of Louisburg, and Bobby C. McLamb, of Raleigh, include conspiracy, extortion, wire fraud, and mail fraud, said Frank Whitney, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The charges are related to the 2000 Meg Scott Phipps Campaign for Commissioner of Agriculture. Saunders was treasurer of the campaign. She was appointed special assistant to the commissioner as a paid employee of the Department of Agriculture after Phipps took office. Saunders resigned for health reasons Dec. 1, 2002.

She is charged with five counts of mail fraud and four counts of wire fraud in connection with post-election fund-raising to pay off the campaign debt of McLamb, who was Phipps’s Democratic primary opponent.

She is also charged with money laundering and structuring transactions to avoid federal currency reporting requirements including the handling of $26,000 in cash from a Phipps fund-raiser.

One scheme detailed in the indictment included post-election contributions solicited and received by the Phipps campaign that were diverted to pay McLamb’s $75,000 Centura Bank Loan and $25,000 BB&T bank loan. Saunders concealed the diversion of the funds by filing false reports with the state Board of Elections, according to the indictment.

McLamb joined Phipps’s campaign after he lost to her in the primary. Phipps appointed McLamb assistant commissioner of agriculture after she won the general election. Phipps fired McLamb on Jan. 31, 2002.

Phipps and McLamb both had significant input into the operation of the State Fair, according to the indictment. Both are charged with violating the Hobbs Act, a federal statute that prohibits state officials from using their official power to extort money from people who have dealings with the state.

Shortly after Phipps was inaugurated in January 2001 news reports raised questions about her fund-raising. In June 2002 the State Board of Elections held a three-day hearing and fined the Phipps campaign $130,000 for campaign finance violations. Law-enforcement officials then took interest.

If you check out Bobby Mclamb’s website, he is indeed a comedian, and a motivational speaker.  I ran a background check on him, he is indeed the owner of Artists and Attractions, the papers and the TV news has already put that forth:

bobby-c-mclambWhat is scary is that he’s already been convicted of doing shady business deals once in the entertainment industry.  Do you think that perhaps allowing L&N Productions to construct rigs for him for 20 some odd years has put anyone else in danger of collapse or misinstalled equipment?  Mclamb was quoted in the Daily journal:  “…Bobby McLamb says he’s confident that L&N Productions of Hickory did a good job of putting the stage together…  McLamb is with Artists & Attractions of Raleigh and says he had never seen a roof collapse over a stage.  McLamb says he’s used L&N for more than 20 years and will continue to do so.”

Something else that Mclamb said was posted in the Charlotte Observer on August 18:

Some blamed L&N Productions Inc. of Hickory for shoddy construction of the stage. Others accused concert officials of not monitoring weather conditions.

McLamb has heard the rumors, but discounts negative comments from “people who look at online pictures and were not there at the fairgrounds when this happened.”

He stands by L&N, a firm he’s used at shows for more than 20 years and plans to keep using.

“They’re very professional,” McLamb said.

Well, Mr. Mclamb, we are an industry of experts and trailblazers, with chumps who do dangerous work mixed in — you choose to use a contractor who puts your eventgoers’ lives in danger.  Many of us have been doing this long enough to know when we see photos of accidents that better decisions have been made; you don’t have the experience that we do to make those decisions.  You shouldn’t dismiss our intelligence so quickly.  What you do when you pick people like L&N Productions to do the work for you while you stuff more money in your pockets is drive up ticket prices for future events, skyrocket insurance prices for other promoters, and give our industry a really bad name with YOUR sneaky backwards behavior.

Here’s some examples AGAIN of what Bobby Mclamb feels is professional, giving our entire industry a punch right in the throat.  Remember:  Bobby Mclamb thinks this is “very professional.”

It’s come down to this — since no one is going to do anything about this and no one is going to stop L&N Productions and Bobby Mclamb from doing shows that are equally as unsafe as this, below you will find the phone numbers and email addresses of L&N Productions, publicly posted from their website.  Give them a call and drop them an email, tell them to not only get their shit together, but to start acting responsibly in the face of the Entertainment Production industry that we all call our own.  This world is way too small for people like this to give the rest of us a bad name.  The media isn’t going to do anything for us, we must take care of this ourselves.  Tell your fellow production and touring friends to be careful around any gigs associated with L&N Productions.  The photos speak for themselves.

L&N Productions828-328-3235

James Little (Owner): [email protected]
John Little: [email protected]

Also, since Bobby McLamb, the promoter, has stated in the Charlotte Observer that he “has used L&N Productions for 20 years and will continue to do so,” give him a call and let him know that he should reconsider L&N Productions until they decide to do their work with a little more safety and security.  Here’s his contact information, he’s the president of Artists and Attractions in Lillington, North Carolina:

Artists and Attractions (also answering to this phone number is B+R Management, another Entertainer/Amusement Park management company Mclamb is involved with somehow)
Phone:  919-845-8378
[email protected]
http://www.artistsandattractions.com

For more on Bobby Mclamb’s corrupt entertainment industry decision making (from http://www.crime-research.org/news/2003/03/Mess2201.html)

RALEIGH, N.C. – An offer by a winning politician to a vanquished candidate to help repay campaign debts has resulted in federal fraud, extortion, money laundering and conspiracy charges.

Charges against two former aides of Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps were related to fund raising during and after Phipps’ 2000 campaign, a federal prosecutor announced Tuesday.

Former campaign treasurer Linda J. Saunders was charged with 17 counts. Former commissioner candidate and assistant commissioner Bobby McLamb was charged with two counts – extortion by a public official and conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Frank Whitney said.

Phipps was not charged. During a hearing before the state Board of Elections last year, Phipps repeatedly denied knowing about her campaign’s payments toward McLamb’s loans.

But the indictment said Phipps called and wrote to Centura Bank, where McLamb owed $75,000, asking that the loan be extended.

“My husband Robert and I are holding a series of fundraisers now and after the election in November to assist Bobby in retiring this debt and feel we should have no trouble raising the money to satisfy his debt to Centura Bank,” Phipps wrote in an October 2000 letter to the bank.

During the elections board hearing, Phipps said she and her husband talked with McLamb and a campaign contributor about helping McLamb. But she said she never agreed to use her campaign money to pay off McLamb’s debt.

“I would have been terribly upset had I known that,” Phipps said in June. “My husband and I have much more of an amount of campaign debt and it should have gone to us first.”

According to the 42-page indictment, the alleged crimes began after Phipps’ campaign told McLamb the campaign would help repay his debt. McLamb received the assurance May 2, 2000, the night of the primary after McLamb offered to support Phipps in the general election.

The indictment said the Phipps’ campaign diverted at least $86,000 in contributions to repayment of McLamb’s $100,000 debt. McLamb had separate $75,000 and $25,000 bank loans and Phipps called at least one bank asking that the loan be extended while her campaign raised money for it.

An attorney for McLamb said he hadn’t seen the indictment and couldn’t comment on the charges. An attorney for Saunders didn’t return a telephone call and numbers for Saunders in Raleigh and Louisburg weren’t answered.

McLamb’s first court hearing is scheduled for March 24, according to the court clerk’s office. No hearing had been scheduled for Saunders.

Federal prosecutors said McLamb was issued a summons to appear for his hearing, while an arrest warrant was issued for Saunders. The summons gives the defendant a chance to come to court voluntarily, while the warrant tells marshals to detain the defendant.

“I’m not surprised that the indictments came down,” said David Long, McLamb’s attorney. “My client has been interviewed.”

Whitney said the U.S. Justice Department has made official corruption a priority, right behind terrorism and cybercrime, and that the charges weren’t what he normally sees.

“In my 12 years in the Justice Department, I am not aware of any charges like this in North Carolina … two senior state officials indicted for allegations of extortion,” Whitney said.

Saunders, a longtime assistant to Phipps, and McLamb were accused of soliciting money they said would go toward retiring Phipps’ campaign debt. But state campaign finance reports filed by the campaign didn’t disclose the payments to McLamb.

The indictment also said after Phipps was elected in 2000, Saunders told fair midway companies they would have to contribute to help Phipps repay debts to be considered for a contract for the 2002 fair. Phipps replaced the longtime provider of midway shows with a new company.

Saunders, 43, also was accused of accepting two cashier’s checks totaling $14,500 from unidentified donors who wanted to influence the awarding of the midway contact for the North Carolina State Fair, according to the charges. McLamb, 42, also received a $20,000 check from someone seeking a vendor contract at the fair, the indictment said.

The indictment said Saunders funneled $22,000 in cash “through a complicated structure of financial transactions” to avoid a bank currency transaction report.

McLamb had received a $75,000 loan from Amusements of America, the New Jersey-based midway operator that won the midway contract for the 2002 North Carolina State Fair, the indictment said. One of the bank loans was to repay that loan, which was funneled through the owner of a private county fair. The repayments were sent back through the same route, the indictment said.

Whitney said the indictments resulted from a nine-month investigation by state and federal law enforcement. Whitney also said the investigation is continuing and declined to say if more people would be charged.

The counts against Saunders carry a maximum prison sentence of 175 years and fines totaling $5 million. McLamb faces maximum penalties of 25 years in prison and fines of $500,000. Whitney said neither defendant, if convicted, would get the maximum sentence.

It wasn’t the first investigation of Phipps’ campaign. Last year, the state Board of Elections fined her campaign $130,000. The board said the campaign had taken $84,202 in cash from donors it could not identify and more than $14,000 in illegal corporate contributions.

Phipps, 47, is the daughter of former Gov. Bob Scott and granddaughter of Kerr Scott, who served as governor and U.S. senator. She declined to comment on the indictments, citing the ongoing investigation, but said “I have faith in our system of justice ….”

Also, here’s the original indictment, in PDF:
http://www.masstort.org/Downloads/StratesLawsuit.pdf

More:
http://www.carolinajournal.com/articles/display_story.html?id=413

From the State Attorney’s Office:
http://www.justice.gov/usao/nce/press/2004/2004-Mar-03.html

http://www.justice.gov/usao/nce/press/2004/2004-Oct-19.html

And a little bit more on Phipps, who started all of this mess in the first place – Star News, October 23, 2003:

star-news-10-23-2003

UNPRECEDENTED IDIOCY – Shelby Stage Collapse Organizer Says ‘Safety Protocol Was Followed’

from WCNC Charlotte - Shelby stage collapse photos

from WCNC Charlotte – Shelby stage collapse photos

This article shot me out of bed like a cannon.  Bobby McLamb, the promoter for this potential death machine, says that the rig that tumbled last weekend in Shelby, North Carolina followed safety protocols, and that L&N Productions out of Hickory used all “industry standard” practices.  The mainstream publications need to get ahold of me or another expert in the industry to put an end to this crap.  They are printing garbage that makes the promoter and L&N Productions look like they did no wrong!!!

Get a load of this, from the Charlotte Observer:

The event in Shelby was part of the American Legion World Series concert series and featured three Christian rock bands, including the headliner, the top-selling national group MercyMe.

Eddie Holbrook, co-chair of the local American Legion World Series executive committee and a Cleveland County commissioner, said L&N Productions had worked last year’s Montgomery Gentry concert at the American Legion World series.

“They’ve been very satisfactory,” he said. “We’ve had no problem.”

Holbrook said performers and stage managers expressed no reservations about the stage.

Also, he said the weather had been a concern. Holbrook said officials had been tracking storms on weather radar.

A line of storms in the area of Greenville, S.C., appeared to be edging north of Shelby, he said.

When a severe weather alert for Cleveland County flashed on the radar, Holbrook said, “we immediately started getting people off stage.” The surrounding area with electrical equipment was also evacuated, he said.

The National Weather service had no reports of damaging wind gusts – 50 mph or stronger – in Cleveland County on Aug 10. But an automated weather station on the north side of Shelby measured a wind gust of about 35 mph between 3 and 4 p.m.

At the fairground, which is on the east side of Shelby, a “quick burst of vicious wind” got under the stage roof and “disassembled it,” Holbrook said.

Law enforcement and emergency personnel were already at the fairground. But thankfully, nobody got hurt, Holbrook said.

Looking back, “I don’t know of anything we would have done differently,” he said.

MUST this be posted again?!  Here’s one of the first pages of the Genie tower safety manual:

genie-tower-wind-safetyMore from the article at the Charlotte Observer — apparently L&N’s rig adheres to building codes, according to James Little of L&N Productions:

James Little, owner and president of L&N Productions, Inc., said the company has been in business more than 25 years, carries liability insurance and has done events all over the U.S. Local code officials aren’t required to inspect temporary stages, Little said, but some, like Hickory, do inspect the structures.

Wherever L&N sets up a stage “we adhere to building codes,” Little said. “Ultimately, people can be hurt, and you have to be cautious in what you do.”

In Shelby, Little said the fire marshal inspected the stage, which met industry standards and had been assembled by L&N employees and 30 members of the Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department.

The stage’s roof was held up by 12 18-foot-tall Genie Super Towers, not four as stated by some on the Internet, Little said. The towers were secured by straps tied to 4-foot metal stakes driven into the ground.

Wind bent the stakes, but didn’t pull them out of the ground, and all the straps held, he said.

According to Little, the roof shifted 10 feet and lodged against a lighting pole, about 5 feet above the stage. No musical instruments or electrical equipment were damaged, and 10 light bulbs out of 108 were broken, Little said. Although he doesn’t have a total damage estimate, he said six of the towers, valued at $3,000 each, are out of commission.

A spokesperson for the Genie lift company said the super towers aren’t designed to support structures like roofs.

But Little said what was used at the fairground wasn’t a load-bearing roof, but a stage cover, and that the towers weren’t supporting the entire rig. He said the Genies supported canvas and lights individually and that the practice was common in the industry.

WHY does the media keep posting this shit without getting ahold of one of us experts in the media?!

THIS is what happens when your rig is NOT UP TO INDUSTRY STANDARD SAFETY PRACTICES, LET ALONE EVEN FOLLOWING THE MANUAL ON THE GEAR YOU USE!  These photos are from L&N’s OWN WEBSITE!  Did the media not even do their research?!

GAH!  This is infuriating!  PLEASE, mainstream media, YOU ARE NOT EXPERTS LIKE WE ARE!  Start asking around!

Last Week Recap – Roxy and I Escape Death, Shelby Stage Collapse, and Shoddy Rigging

Oh, friends and neighbors, it’s been a crazy last week here on JimOnLight!

Just to catch you up:  I started a new job last week, Laura and Roxy and I have settled into our new apartment, and we’re 15 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean.  That alone is going to provide us some serious peace and tranquility, at least until Hurricane Season!  Hopefully the Hurricane Center will add my suggestions to the naming conventions list…  Hurricane Ru Paul should be making his or her way up the coast any day now!

Let’s recap on last week’s posts – we found out that L&N Productions in North Carolina had some photo evidence on their website of their crappy rigging that nearly took out some of the performers from the band The Afters, followed by some unbelievable images of the stage collapse L&N was involved in…  the promoter called it “weather related,” but as John Huntington from the awesome blog Control Geek noted, that’s a bunch of BS.  And, AND, this weekend I missed my death by about 15 seconds, as a couple of thugs who stole a car wiped out on our street (which is a 25 mph zone) going about 70.  Check them all out below!

Last week’s top posts:

ANOTHER STRUCTURE FALLS:  Roof Made from Construction Genie Towers Falls in North Carolina

from WCNC Charlotte - Shelby stage collapse photos

from WCNC Charlotte – Shelby stage collapse photos

 

MORE Contradiction in the Shelby, North Carolina Stage Collapse:  Weather, Equipment, NEGLIGENCE

from WCNC Charlotte - Shelby stage collapse photos

from WCNC Charlotte – Shelby stage collapse photos

And, from the weekend:

If Roxy Had Pooped 15 Seconds Later, We’d Both Be Dead Now

Crashed Mustang

Crashed Mustang

Stay tuned, as always — we’re going to have a lot more great stuff this week on JimOnLight!  Thanks for reading!

If Roxy Had Pooped 15 Seconds Later, We’d Both Be Dead Now

car-thieves-jimonlight-9

You will never believe what just happened.  As I am posting this, maybe 20 minutes has elapsed since the entire thing went down.  It’s 5:56pm EST.

Roxy and I were doing her afternoon walk; she poops, and we head towards the elevator. As soon as we get off of the elevator, we hear a screech, an explosion, and see a Ford Mustang flip horizontally in the air and slam into the tree you see below in the photos.  A black male jumps out of the car and runs away down the highway right by our neighborhood.  One of my neighbors runs after this man and grabs him swimming away in the canal by the apartment complex.  The driver of the car, also a black male, also jumps out of the car but is detained by the cop who was chasing this pair in a 25 mph zone and one of my other neighbors who was helping hold the offender down on the ground.  The cop runs after the first runner, but returns after he sees him jump into the canal.

If Roxy had decided to have her constitutional 15 seconds later than she did, both of us would be dead.  D-E-A-D.  The car left the roadway and hit the grass causing them to tailspin across both lanes of the neighborhood road RIGHT where she took her shit.  I was interviewed by the police who told me that these guys stole a purse and an iPad from a Publix down the street, and were being chased.  The officer believed the car was also part of the theft.

What the hell is wrong with people?!  I hope the driver enjoyed his f*cking concrete burns, there were kids playing on the other side of the street where the car impacted the tree.  THERE WERE KIDS PLAYING.  THIS IS A NEIGHBORHOOD.

F*cking criminal bastards.

Are You an Out-of-Work Entertainment Professional? Be Wary of Wal-Mart Pharmacy – Please SHARE

WTF-walmart

Are you an out-of-work Entertainment professional with no insurance right now?

If you answered yes to that question, you’re like me and tens of thousands of other people depending on cash for their maintenance meds every month.

Wal-Mart Pharmacy across America is known for having $4 prescriptions for many popular prescription drugs, and for many people, this is a necessity.  For people who depend on places like this in order to live, being able to buy their meds AND anything else they might need in order to live (you know, like auto insurance, food, OTC meds when you can’t afford to see your doctor, etcetera), having to pay only four bucks for drugs is a serious plus!

Well…  I have to tell you a story.

I’m one of those Entertainment pros without a job or insurance right now, so I’m paying out of pocket for my meds.  I went to the Wal-Mart pharmacy in East Peoria, IL last week to pick up two scripts written for me by my doc, and one of the drugs I’m on is supposed to be on the Wal-Mart list for low-cost drugs for people without insurance.  The woman manning the pharmacy – the non-Pharmacist tech, looked me right in the eyes and said “that’ll be $800.39, please.”  Unbelievably, I had no choice but to pay that $800 out of pocket.  We asked the woman to check again on the price, and both the pharmacy tech AND the pharmacist then took my $800.39 for the one drug.  It wasn’t some kind of cancer drug or an experimental drug not covered anywhere, either.  It’s a standard drug that a whole hell of a lot of people need.

Literally one week later, I saw an advertisement for Schnook’s Pharmacy, a drugstore in a grocery store in Peoria, IL, that was advertising my specific drug for $89.75.  I called that pharmacy and asked about my specific medication, and they confirmed that yep, it’s $89.75.  As you can assume, I called the Wal-Mart pharmacy directly after, asking them why a similar pharmacy in town had my drug for $89.75 instead of Wal-Mart’s price of $800.39.  The pharmacist put me on hold, and after five minutes came back and told me that I should come in for a full refund of that cost, as they had that medicine listed for $80.39, not $800.39.  But, I got the excuse that “Wal-Mart corporate sets the prices, we don’t.”  That sure didn’t stop them from pocketing my $800 bucks.

When my dad and I went over to the pharmacy and asked the supervisor of the pharmacy what they would have done had we not come back in for that refund of over $700, she confirmed that yes, Wal-Mart corporate sets the prices, and yes, they would have not corrected the cost difference and pocketed the difference.  The actual conversation, verbatim, went like this while waiting for a Customer Service manager to give us the refund:

My dad:  “So, what would have happened were we not to have come checking on this?  Would you guys have just pocketed the difference and that’s that?”

East Peoria Wal-Mart Pharmacy manager:  “Yep.  We would have.”

This is unbelievable to me, at least.  If you’re off insurance and in need of your meds, please make sure you price check in your town to see that you’re not getting Wal-Marted on your drugs.

I posted this to the Wal-Mart Facebook page, and it never made the public light of day.  Anyone surprised?

From the WTF Files – Ladies and Gentlemen, A DMX-Controlled Fire Machine

Stage-Equipment-Fire-Machine

hahahaha – “spray the fire”

I had no idea that something like this existed until I saw it from your buddy and mine, Big Clive.  Clive apparently got one of these from China; it’s powered by an electric spark, an aerosol can (like air freshener), and a spring that basically pushes the aerosol canister into the block that sprays the aerosol gas.  What blows my mind is that it’s DMX controlled.

Holy moly.  DMX controlled fire.  Better hope you didn’t track that through all of your cues in Act One!  From Big Clive’s YouTube channel:

Internal examination and demo of a typical Chinese fireball and flame jet type of effect that I bought purely to take to bits. Note that I used a can of air freshener as the fuel source inside the unit and this is not endorsed in any way by the manufacturer of the unit or indeed the air freshener. :) The official fuel cannisters are probably either butane/propane with or without added flame colourants. I used the can of air freshener because it was a handy can of butane with a dip-tube that goes to the bottom of the can so that a mist of fuel is sprayed from the nozzle. While it would be nice to be able to use standard cans of butane refill gas, they only produce a small blue flame because the amount of gas coming from the jet is much lower than could be achieved with the mist of a dip-tube can. The resultant small flame mixes more thoroughly with the available air producing a low intensity blue flame.

Most standard cans of air freshener are quite tall and may not fit in some units without a hack on the spring loaded base. The one I used was actually too short and I had to use an inverted metal chutney dish to centre it and raise it to a good height. The short stubby aerosol air fresheners used in timed release units are no good because of the single shot dosing valve built into them. Not all air fresheners use combustible propellants. The Puresse range by Ambi Pur make excellent fireballs. Keep in mind that any ingredient in the freshener will be incinerated and may be toxic. But then, they were probably toxic before they got burnt anyway.

Do not use air fresheners in this way and never do anything like this indoors as everyone in the vicinity may die etc….

Check this out:

Thanks a lot for being so awesome, Clive!

Vigilante Cell-Phone-in-a-Theatre Justice – Kevin Williamson vs Rude Cell Phone Talker

You wouldn’t have your cell phone stuck to your face when you’re screwing, right?!  THEN TURN IT OFF IN THE THEATRE!

CELL-PHONE-JAMMER

I have an extensive background in Theatre, and any time I see an article that mentions some douche with a cell phone ruining the experience of Live Theatre for everyone around them, I have to read it.  Anyone who knows me knows I have my freaking iPhone plastered to my face or 6 inches in front of my near-sighted eyes (and I DO wonder if my arms will ever get short enough for my vision), but when you’re in the theater for some Theatre, put your damned cell phone away!

I often wonder why more theatre companies dont just invest in a cheap DIY cell phone jammer that can be enabled and disabled with the flip of its switch.  Consequently, here’s an awesome article on Hacked Gadgets on Cell Phone Jamming for those interested.  If you can solder a DMX cable together, you can make a cell jammer.  Make sure, however, that the thing is legal in your jurusdiction — you’d hate to give the theatre cell idiots any more reason to be annoying.  Just imagine the morons with their iPhones who keep trying to get service — they’ll either put them away or leave, both of which are true theatre WINS!

Back on point:  Theatre reviewer Kevin Williamson and his date went to see Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 at Kazino in NYC; long story short…  oh, I’ll just let Kevin tell it:

I had a genuinely new experience at the theater tonight: I was thrown out.

The show was Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, which was quite good and which I recommend. The audience, on the other hand, was horrible — talking, using their phones, and making a general nuisance of themselves. It was bad enough that I seriously considered leaving during the intermission, something I’ve not done before. The main offenders were two parties of women of a certain age, the sad sort with too much makeup and too-high heels, and insufficient attention span for following a two-hour musical. But my date spoke with the theater management during the intermission, and they apologetically assured us that the situation would be remedied.

It was not. The lady seated to my immediate right (very close quarters on bench seating) was fairly insistent about using her phone. I asked her to turn it off. She answered: “So don’t look.” I asked her whether I had missed something during the very pointed announcements to please turn off your phones, perhaps a special exemption granted for her. She suggested that I should mind my own business.

So I minded my own business by utilizing my famously feline agility to deftly snatch the phone out of her hand and toss it across the room, where it would do no more damage. She slapped me and stormed away to seek managerial succor. Eventually, I was visited by a black-suited agent of order, who asked whether he might have a word.

In a civilized world, I would have received a commendation of some sort. To the theater-going public of New York — nay, the the world – I say: “You’re welcome.”

There is talk of criminal charges. I will keep you updated.

Well Kevin, I can’t say I blame you, and it might not have been a great move to toss the moron’s cell…  but I probably would have done the same thing had my wife let me get away with something so vigilante.  I salute you.  Let’s hope you don’t get arrested for property damage.

kazinonyc

Here’s something awesome from the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin to their talking and texting patrons during their movies, it’s well worth the watch!

Thanks to The Gothamist for more info on the story!

From the OMG WTF Files – The Ancient Art of EYEBALL SHAVING

eyeball-shavingI still can barely believe this — I researched “eyeball shaving hoax” extensively before posting this.  It is in fact a real thing, practiced in China, and apparently for hundreds of years if not thousands.

Meet Liu Deyuan, a barber (yes, a BARBER does this) who offers the ancient (and albeit abandoned) art of Eyeball Shaving at his little barber shop in Chengdu City, in west Sichuan Province, China:

615x330_china-eye-shaving

Let’s recap really quickly here:

  • There’s a barber in China who shaves people’s eyelids and eyeballs for about 5 yuan, which is $0.81 USD
  • A BARBER IS SHAVING PEOPLE’S EYES AND FACES WITH THE SAME KNIFE
  • A BARBER IS SHAVING PEOPLE’S EYES
  • PEOPLE PAY TO HAVE THIS DONE.

From an article at ChiEnglish.com, bolding is mine:

First, Liu uses some water to rinse off the knife that he had just used to shave a customer’s head and pulled up a stool. Using his fingers to hold open the customer’s eyelids, he scraped the blade back and forth over the eyelid and then the eyeball. Then he took out another tool — a small rod, which he placed in the customer’s eye, sliding it back and forth in the upper eyelid like a windshield wiper. Liu repeated the process on the lower eyelid. When the left eye was done, he did the whole thing again on the right eye. The whole process took about 5 minutes.

Holy mother.  Look at these tools – yeah, they look really sterile, don’t they!

eyeball-shaving-tools

I’m not sure what else to say but GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.  This practice has been abandoned by most, and is shunned by doctors for the risk of cross-contamination.  Yeah, like cross-contamination is the only real issue here.  WHat happens when ol’ Liu there sneezes while shaving ze eyeballs?!

eyeball_shaving_eyelids

I love the look on that dude’s face on the right in the photo above.  That is the perfect “Caption THIS” image!

Eyeball-Shaving-China

EYEBALL_SHAVING

 

WTF Files: Dude Eats A Light Bulb in Under 34 Seconds

Wow. Ok. So, this guy in the video below is about to crunch-and-munch a light bulb and swallow that sucker.  The rules were that he had to eat all non-metal parts of the light bulb and swallow them.

That, uh, that guy ate and swallowed all of the glass in a light bulb.  The guy in question is named RJ Williams, and you can see his record accomplishments here.  Whoa.

Does Pepto Bismol cover this? You know, it just occurred to me that HE PROBABLY HAD TO REHEARSE!!!!!!!