making jokes or drowning oneself in a river? DECISIONS, DECISIONS

this is, admittedly, another one of those “not exactly the longest update i have ever cranked out” updates, largely due to the fact that the time was split between “eh, a couple of things i could make some jokes about” and “eh, some political stuff that reminds me how American politics in the year 2012 often makes me want to fucking drown myself in a river like a bag of unwanted kittens,” but in either case, it didn’t really seem like ENOUGH of each to warrant a full-on update. but then time forced me to make a decision (sigh), and so i went with jokes. was that the right call? THE WORLD MAY NEVER KNOW. except that, you know, this just got posted, so i guess the world does have a chance to make up its proverbial mind.

Henry Baxter
the face of a man who would chop off his adoptive father’s head with a shovel? probably

Nashville man arrested for killing, decapitating adoptive dad

clearly, Tennessee has decided to give Kentucky (and sometimes Florida) a run for their ridiculousness title, although i think we need to be upfront with Tennessee: it’s going to take a LOT more than one crazy decapitation to get that title. try to work in some beard-eating! anyway, there’s actually a story that goes with this link:

“A twisted love triangle resulted in the murder and decapitation of a south Nashville man at the alleged hands of his adopted son. Metro police arrested and charged 37-year-old Henry Baxter with criminal homicide early Friday morning for the murder of 48-year-old Erman Thompson. Thompson’s headless body was discovered by a mail carrier in a vacant lot located at 169 Old Hermitage Avenue around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. His head was recovered early Friday in a garbage can in an alleyway next to a home located at 116 Claiborne Street. The addresses are less than two blocks apart.”

to be perfectly honest, i was REALLY hoping this story wasn’t going to involving a “love triangle,” considering it’s about a man and his adopted son; it might not end up as creepy and terrible as i originally suspect, but still, nothing good will come from said “love triangle” inclusion. that being said, i WILL give the police credit for locating the missing head quickly. that seems sarcastic, but it’s really not.

“According to Metro police detectives, last Sunday, July 8, Thompson and Baxter got into an argument over Thompson’s wife at the Claiborne Street address where the trio lived with three young children. Police said the fight escalated and Baxter took Thompson’s gun and shot Thompson in the head. He disposed of his body in a garbage can in the backyard. The following day, police said Baxter took Thompson’s body out of the garbage and decapitated him with a shovel. He then placed the body and the head back into the garbage can. Wednesday, Baxter took Thompson’s body to the vacant lot off Old Hermitage Avenue and dumped it.”

now, i know it goes without saying that someone who’s fighting with their adoptive father (over his adoptive mother) before killing them is probably not the brightest bulb on the string (and likely has some emotional problems); however, what’s weird is that he took the time to go back and decapitate the corpse… for no apparent reason. he dumped the body close by, so you have to assume it wasn’t REALLY done to defeat a police investigation, and he seems to have not done any creepy serial murderer stuff to the head, or have used it for any trophy-type role. as a wise man once said, this town deserves a better class of criminal.

“The mailman, who typically stops at the vacant lot on his lunch break, discovered the body the following day. He told police he smelled a foul odor on Wednesday afternoon but initially ignored it. Police said Thompson was partially clothed and his body was badly decomposed”

i’m not sure why this mailman has to justify not investigating a foul odor he smelled in a vacant lot. do we really suspect everyone to investigate every foul odor they randomly smell while traveling through an area? hell, i’m more surprised that he DID investigate the smell at all.

“”A homicide involving decapitation in this city is virtually unheard of,” Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron said during a new conference at the scene Thursday evening.”

however, “virtually unheard of” means it HAS been heard of at least one other time. I DEMAND INFORMATION ON THIS ADDITIONAL DECAPITATION HOMICIDE AARON FELT COMPELLED TO VAGUELY REFERENCE!

“He added Friday that the last decapitation the department can remember dates back 25 years.”

uh… well… it seems some heroic Tennessee reporter actually felt the same way i did, and that there was nothing interesting to report. so, okay, i’m satisfied. really, i am. sorry if that sounded sarcastic.

“Aaron said he credits the public for helping investigators quickly identify the body and thus make an arrest in the case. He said after a description of the tattoos on the body was released, the department received a tip from a resident who gave police Thompson’s name. Investigators went to Thompson’s Claiborne Street home after Baxter, who also happened to be the tattoo artist, confirmed his identity. Baxter admitted to the murder following his arrest.”

i guess it’s not totally weird that the murder victim’s killer is his adoptive son AND his tattoo artist, but i will saying this: these police officers have GOT to have been thinking, “wow, this is the single most convenient investigative twist that’s ever occurred in our careers.” they’re certainly never going to top this case in that regard.

“He told investigators he is the adopted child of the Thompsons and also fathered a child with Mrs. Thompson.”

…and that explains the love triangle part. also, this is where i realize, “wait a second, a 48-year-old is the adoptive father of a 37-year-old?” there is something fundamentally wrong with that part, although it might help explain why this Mrs. Thompson feels it’s kosher to switch back and forth between adoptive father and adoptive son as potential sex partners.

“Thompson had at least one child in the home. Police believed the third child to be fathered by another man. Nashville’s News 2 spoke with Mrs. Thompson on Friday afternoon. “My kids no longer have a father,” she said. “How do you tell your children their dad is not coming back? I can’t do it. I haven’t found the words yet. I know I have it inside of me and it will happen.” She continued, “Thank God for my friends giving me strength to deal with this. I won’t cry in front of my kids. I won’t show I am sad. [I hope] James Baxter rots in jail the rest of his life. I’m sorry, you don’t do that to someone you call dad.””

ah, so she’s classy to the extent that she has three kids by three men? lovely. also, your kids no longer has a father? actually, it sounds like only ONE of your children no longer has a father, and that another of your kids has a father who’s not even involved in this nonsense. hell, he might even be a well-adjusted member of society! although, given the child’s mother, i kind of doubt that she associates with that class of man.

“Mrs. Thompson said she was not at home when the fight between the two men broke out. “I was not home [at the time. I was] at church. All three [of the kids] were. They would [have] seen and heard a lot. I hope and pray they were not in the house to hear this,” she said.”

you were at church? AT CHURCH?! please allow me to call “fucking bullshit” on this claim.

“Baxter was charged with criminal homicide and booked into the Metro jail on a $750,000 bond. Additional charges are likely, police said.”

such as “really poor attempt to scheme,” i hope.

“The gun used in the homicide has been recovered. Baxter’s arrest history reflects convictions for criminal trespassing, driving on a suspended license and tattooing without a license.”

and frankly, that final offense is absolutely the best closing comment on this case.

Lauryn Hill
damn it, Lauryn Hill, looking normal in photographs is not going to help my case that you’re crazy as shit

singer Lauryn Hill pleads guilty to tax evasion charges

so i sort of resisted initially bashing Lauryn Hill over this because a) i often feel like these situations are often more “i got fucked over by my management” than the celebrity ACTUALLY being that much of a tax cheat and b) she seems like she’s legitimately got some mental and/or emotional problems, and those people aren’t the best to make fun of unless it’s going to be REALLY funny. luckily, it’s likely that Hill has now entered that territory.

“Moments before Lauryn Hill admitted today to federal income tax evasion, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Shipp asked the eight-time Grammy winner if anyone had forced her — either directly or indirectly — to enter the guilty plea. Hill took a long pause, then said: “Directly, no, but indirectly, yes.””

so here we go! basically, Hill’s accused of evading her taxes (hence the guilty plea), and despite her preceding history of crazy shit that can basically be summed up as “seems to have abandoned her incredibly talented and successful music career to live in a weird compound with one of Bob Marley’s less-talented children and pump out some kids” (which admittedly sounds less crazy when summed up), she THEN decided to post an insane rambling explanation of her “need” to evade taxes. i suspect the need for a plea was related to that for some reason.

“She then consulted with her attorney, Nathan Hockman, in whispers before answering “No” when the judge asked the question a second time. “Ms. Hill is very particular about language,” Hockman said. “Language is very important to Ms. Hill.””

with all due respect, no, she is just crazy. language being very important to someone USUALLY means they watch their use of said language in such places as “that federal court you’re currently in pleading guilty to income tax evasion.”

“Hill then pleaded guilty to not paying federal taxes on $1.8 million she earned over three years. The 37-year-old South Orange native and mother of six could face up to three years in prison and at least $75,000 in fines when she is sentenced in November. Hockman said the singer had been targeted by the federal government because of her celebrity status. “There are many people in society who fail to file their taxes on time who only face civil liability,” he said. “They chose Ms. Hill in particular because of who she was.””

now, okay, here i must object. yeah, the government singles out celebrities, but that’s because they’re a) well-known people who are often rich (this would seem to apply here, although i suppose Hill might not actually be that financially well-off) and b) they tend to owe a lot MORE money than the average tax evader. they make great examples for the rest of us of what NOT to do! that said, i don’t think you should JUST go after celebrities (or infamous criminals like Al Capone) and i am sure there’s some bias towards doing so (because it has GOT to be the most fun of such cases)… but come on now, no taxes on $1.8 million and i am supposed to believe you feel persecuted?

“Hill appeared startled when Shipp ordered her to undergo mental health counseling as directed by pre-trial intervention services. Through her attorney, Hill asked the judge to clarify what he meant by the word “directed.”
“I want to make sure you understand that term,” Shipp said.
“I don’t understand that term,” Hill responded.
It is unclear why court mandated counseling is required for Hill and the judge refused to clarify any further.”

well, since it seems “unclear,” let me clarify: because she is FUCKING CRAZY. first off, if you question why you need mental health counseling, typically you question why you have to have it at all, not why it was “directed” (or whatever other vocabulary word you have beef with). second, let’s say you are just awkwardly questioning why you have to have this counseling at all; the answer is clearly “because of that shit you wrote about why you had to evade your taxes at all.”

“Earlier this month, Hill used a personal website to post a lengthy explanation for why she failed to file her taxes, writing that she withdrew from society to keep herself and her family safe.”

INDEED SHE DID.

“She denounced pop culture’s “climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism.””

…which, if true, is certainly not something that affects ALL musicians, right?

“”I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities, but I did however put my safety, health and freedom and the freedom, safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns!” Hill wrote.”

okay, Hill, but here’s the thing: if you put, let’s say, the health of your family BEFORE your tax responsibilities, you ARE deliberately abandoning those responsibilities if you never go back and take care of them. but look, don’t feel bad, you’re not the first celebrity to be in this situation. why, let’s look at a random listing of some of those celebrities for no reason at all!

“Hill is not the first celebrity to run into tax trouble. Martha Stewart-“

Martha Stewart? clearly deserves to be jailed for her crimes. continue.

“-Lindsey Lohan-“

enough said, continue.

“-and Al Pacino, among others, have also been cited for failure to pay federal taxes.”

AL PACINO?! never mind, this “busting celebrities for not paying their federal taxes” thing is CLEARLY bullshit and/or a scam. seriously, though, Hill’s case IS at least a current event, but why are we randomly saying, “eh, fuck it, let’s remind everyone that Al Paicno once had a federal tax problem.” am i the only person who sees this as irrelevant and/or a crime against humanity?

“Hill rose to fame as a member of the Fugees in the 1990s. Her debut solo album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” sold more than 10 million copies after its release in 1998 and won five Grammy awards. Since then, her musical output and public appearances slowed dramatically. She released only one other album and appeared on a handful of singles, largely retreating from public life to raise her six children. Rohan Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley, is father to five of them.”

see, that’s the problem: when you combine “sold more than 10 million copies of an album,” even if you were getting TOTALLY fucked over by your record label, with “retreated out of public life to crank out five of Rohan Marley’s children,” it’s simply not going to be considered valid in the average person’s mind that you couldn’t manage to get your taxes paid. i do hope she gets the taxes and/or BEING INSANE stuff straightened out, i really do (especially if it meant we’d get some new and decent Fugees material), i just don’t feel BAD for her about all this.

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