Friday, September 28, 2007

FBO: 'Thoughts on Myanmar'


It's tragic watching the peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar turn violent. Turning on CNN, you see diplomats half a world away with carefully worded speeches and carefully combed hairstyles declare 'support' for the peaceful protests. I'm sure that means very little to the locals, scores of which have likely died.

During the FBO visit in 2004, several people in the impoverished country run by a military dictatorship since 1962 spoke of hope. 'George Bush says he supports movements for peace -- if we protest he will come, like he did in Iraq,' one person said. That worried me then, and more so now. You wonder how many people are expecting US to invade in their behalf now that protests are on the streets of Yangon, Mandalay and Sitwe?

Politicians should be careful of the things they promise.

Though it won't happen, there would be more cause to go into Myanmar. Unlike Iraq, there is a democratic party in place, and perhaps 99% of the locals would welcome a new government. After similar demonstrations in 1988 led to a national election, the National League for Democracy won it hands-down. But the military never transferred power. One NLD leader Aung San Suu Ky has been under house arrest for approximately 16 of the past 19 years. A few years ago, they even moved the country to a remote town: a defensive stronghold in the mountains.

Some argue stricter economic sanctions could help. But they can't. The catch is China, who backs the military for economic purposes (Myanmar has oil) and recently blocked a UN measure to basically say 'hey Myanmar, the violence isn't good.'

Getting tough on China (or India and Russia -- both of which are friendly with the Myanmar generals) might be a start.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, September 24, 2007

FBO: 'Loser of the Week'

More FBO-specific features are, to quote Queen, coming soon (a song from their award-winning 1980 effort The Game). Meanwhile, have a look at this week's FBO-inspired LOSER OF THE WEEK piece.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, September 20, 2007

FBO: 'FBO-spinoff Blog Finds New Home'


The Failed Bands of Oklahoma are finding more fans outside the realm of bands, failed musicians and symposia in Delaware. A colorful sports blog in New York -- BLEACHER BLOGGERS -- has asked Robert Reid of the Failed Bands of Oklahoma to contribute an FBO-inspired weekly column called "THE LOSER OF THE WEEK," which for the time being focuses on college football. Its debut came last week on these very blog-pages.

The first entry is up today.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

FBO: 'Football Story'

FBO's Robert Reid wrote a 'Touchdown Travel', a five-part story on football for Lonely Planet, including a real-live video (shown below).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

FBO: 'Mobile HQ in Nikolaevsk-na-Amure (Video)'

The white-building featured in this press-garnering trip to Russia's Far East served as the mobile headquarters for the Failed Bands of Oklahoma for several days.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, September 10, 2007

FBO: 'Loser of the Week: Navy football'

In line with the FBO creed, the FBO would like to introduce a new weekly feature, 'The Loser of the Week' -- designed to highlight admirable performance and verve during performances that fail.

Last Thursday, the Navy Midshipmen played football at Rutgers and surprised many of the Scarlet Knights with an actual game. Rutgers, presently overrated in the teens of the AP poll, pulled away in the fourth quarter. Not used to winning or ranking (or football, for many of the fans), Rutgers has done a lot to promote its (overrated) running back Ray Rice, by actively campaigning for the Heisman Trophy, given to the year's most outstanding player. A video reel is shown at Times Square, for instance.

When the game was out of reach, Rutgers kept Rice in. He had a hard day versus Navy, fighting for every two or three yard run, which often ended with a golden Navy helmet hitting him in the chest. Particularly towards the end. He was kept in for a last-second meaningless TD to pad his statistics. Navy coach said, "I was hoping he wouldn't get hurt in the last four or five minutes with them up 14 points."

Fans -- apparently clueless that their 'star' runner was needlessly in a physical game -- then booed Navy who, down by 17, called time outs with seconds left to try to get more points. That's losing right.

We applaud Navy for showing no quit, even when the game's over.

Rutgers fans are banned from FBO activities, including use of this website.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Friday, September 07, 2007

FBO: 'Promotional Video from Transylvania'

This promo video was shot in June 2006 in Deva, Hunedoara and Sibiel -- three Transylvanian towns with a fondness for music in all its forms.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

FBO: 'September is Video Month!'

FBO Reaches the Black Sea: February 2006

Some Kansan doubters have speculated that the Failed Bands of Oklahoma publicity trips to places like Siberia, Romania, Bulgaria, Mexico, Vietnam and Delaware have been rigged. Not so.

This month, the FBO will roll out short videos documenting publicity work in various locales.

This one-minute short comes from a winter trip to Varna, Bulgaria -- a city fond of its Black Sea coastline, even during in February's snows. Enjoy:

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY