Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!



Peace on Earth & Good Will to Men, Women, Children and those In-Between All Categories.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Books Next to My Bed, Part I



Dorothy L. Sayers died today. Back in 1957. If you haven't read any of Miss Sayers work, hit yourself very hard right between the eyes with a big stick and then go to the public library or your favorite bookstore and find something by her. Anything by her. The pain in your head will immediately cease upon the first word of the first story or chapter.

You need to know Lord Peter Wimsey. Knowing Wimsey is like knowing Sherlock Holmes - it's a thing you need to do before you die. I'm only a neophyte Sayers-fan, I have to admit, but I'm hooked. I read an omnibus novel collection a few years ago and I have a another book of Sayer's stories on my bedside table right now. I read a story every few months. It's like taking a short vacation into pure pleasure.

I've been meaning to write about the Books Next to My Bed for a while. Just a moment ago I saw that today was the anniversary of Sayers' death and I decided the time was nigh. Don't worry, there will soon be music. We've had computer "problems" at home lately that have prevented me from doing lots of stuff I want to do for you, because I love you furry critters so much...but they are fixed and music will come again. Soon.

Gasket Blowing Chunk-O-Meter



I blew one on a comment left last night by an "Anonymous" person. Several things caused me to spew bile and chunks.

Anonymous. Couldn't even take the time to get a decent username. Hiding behind silly names while lashing out at our enemies is a time-honored American tradition. Just ask Richard Saunders. (Now that's a silly name! Gomonkeygo got nothin' on Dick S.)

Misquoting Thomas Jefferson. Or any other "Founding Father." Hate that. Really, really hate it. Especially when the misquote is used as the bulwark to a juvenile sense of reasoning regarding important issues, like gun control. "Give me liberty or give me a fact-checker?"

Telling me to stop "crying" or "whining" - This really pushes my buttons. Only conservatives and Republicans can say that things are bad in these United States, by their rules. Otherwise you're just a whiner. Republicans and conservatives are, after all, the only Americans endowed with "common sense" and "values." Common sense and values that have plunged us into two unwinnable wars, turned former friends into foes, destroyed our economy, worked to discriminate against the basic human needs of companionship and love...and I could go on further but I'll just send you over here if you need reminding.

So, I let it all hang out. It felt kinda good too, not to hold back, just to rage. If "Anonymous" ever comes back, I probably won't even blink, I've gotten so much toxicity out of my system now. So, thank you, Anon - you're better than castor oil or enema. Not much, but...

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Republican Master Plan to Retake the White House in 2012



Part I: Send the nation into a dizzyingly deep Depression by allowing the auto manufacturers to fail and millions to lose their jobs.

Part II: Blame Obama.

Part III: Hope Obama can pull us out of it because we ain't got shit for brains.

Folks, if you believe in God, pray. Me, I'm sharpening pointy sticks.

Update: My Smart Wife reminded me of a subsection to Part I which I failed to append:

Part I, Subsection A: Destroy the heinous UAW. Because workers united is bad, bad, bad. We hates them, hates them all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

All Choked Up



I can't help it. I've missed him so much. To know that he's back in the swing of things brings real joy to my heart.

Who? What returning hero of the world plucks my heartstrings so? Jeebus come again? Zombie Reagan? Batman? No, WTF and if only. It's actually none other than ol' Turd Blossom himself, Karl Rove.

Yes, Rove is back, baby! And as batshit crazy as ever!!!

Take a look at the first line of this Wall Street Journal piece he wrote on the forthcoming Republican "comeback":

What a difference a month makes. Since November's election, the GOP is three wins, no losses.

Wow. It's like honey dripping on my eyeballs, it's so sweetly sick and wrong. Ever the true-red loyalist, TB has already forgotten Ted Stevens. And he chooses not to mention that the filthy Saxby won via an anti-Obama white vote in a run-off. And that the new "hero" of the Republicans, Ahn "Joseph" Cao, won against the slime-bag Dem William Jefferson. I could have beat Jefferson. Wearing a paper bag on my head. Naked.

Rove goes on to lie at length as only Turd Blossom can. It's nice to see he hasn't lost touch with losing touch with reality. I invite you to read the entire article. Sometimes oldies are goodies.

We've missed ya, Turdie! Welcome back!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Cold Dead Hands



Take a gander at the snapshot above. This is from our Big Trip South this last summer, taken at a giant convenience store - country-style gift shop - fireworks depot somewhere in way southern Missouri if I remember rightly. And this was on the door.

Why? Why do we need signs like this? What makes people (to use the term loosely) like the NRA think that every damn one of us should be waking around packing concealed heat? If you ask me, it's a sad interpretation of the 2nd Amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

I know most folks read this as the right for every nutjob to own and carry around as many weapons as he or she physically can at any given moment, but I don't. I've always read it as pertaining to the arming of state-run citizen militias and not individual citizens. It doesn't make sense to me otherwise.

Gee, just when was the last time my local militia group trained? Gosh, I can't remember. Oh, wait - they call it the National Guard and the United States Army now and we don't need any local militia units full of shotgun- and pitchfork-wielding farmers!!!

Now, I'm no big-city liberal that's never held a gun in his life. I grew up on a farm, aw shucks and by golly! I shot BB-guns and .22s and shotguns and a few rifles growing up. Even a pistol once. Yee-hah! I used to go skeet shooting and target shooting and just generally sometimes shot shit up around the farm for the sheer hell of it (aka boredom). My poor GI Joe collection would still be around today if it weren't for firearms.

I also took a "Hunter's Safety" class like just about every damn kid within 40 miles of me did, run by the NRA. In Wisconsin, it's a deer-hunting tradition that at least one moron per year, one that should never have been allowed near a gun or even ammunition, shoots the heart out of his best friend/brother/father by not following proper hunting safety guidelines. Because of fools like this, I used to think that it was pretty cool that there was a group committed to the safe use of firearms and teaching people how to properly use them.

But as my buddy Mr. Memphis noted in the comments to my previous post, that ain't what the NRA is about now. They are about politics. They are more like the IRA than the NRA of old, an armed wing of the Republican Party wielding a disproportionate amount of political influence based on the number of weapons they own and their pretty plainly stated desire to use them in the name of keeping automatic weapons, cop-killing bullets and any other lethal weapon possible freely available on the streets of America for all of our less-than-levelheaded citizens to enjoy and kill with.

Bastards is all they are now. Total bastards. Complete bastards. Lying bastards. Bastards.

PS I hope someone stuck a gun in Charleton Heston's "cold dead hands" before they stuffed his filthy corpse in the ground. If there is a God (isn't, but just for argument's sake), he's gonna need it when he gets to Hell.

BREAKING UPDATE! Ya'all need to check out the comments. Ed makes the single best argument for banning concealed weapons I've ever seen. Bravo, Mister Ed!

Coincidence City, Arizona: Our supper last night was interrupted by a phone call. Of course, it was a telemarketer. For...the NRA! The nice lady wanted to know when was the last time I got out and enjoyed myself while hunting. I could have been very rude. I could have said, "I'm enjoying myself right now - just keep talking!" But I told her politely that it's been a few decades since I went hunting and that I do not support the NRA or any of the positions they hold about anything. She thanked me and hung up. I finished my salad. A good time was had by all.

PS I will give a free face-licking to the first person to identify the source of the pop-culture meme used as preface/header/whatever on the above paragraph.

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Now playing: Julian Cope - Come The Revolution
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dirty Rotten Bastards



Only a few stinkin' days to go, but Bush can't let one of them go by without flipping off the American people. His hatred and contempt for us is absolutely unique, I think, in the annals of the Presidency. Today's outrage?

For purely political reasons, Bush has lifted the 20+ year old Reagan-era ban on concealed weapons in our national parks. Yeah. Think about it - that meth-addled redneck in the campsite next to yours will now be packing heat, legally. And there's nothing you can do but pray he don't mistake you for a bear or a narc when you leave your tent to piss in the middle of the night.

Back to why. I said Bush the Cretin is doing this for "purely political reasons" and I mean it. This dastardly, evil, screw-us move by Bush has been done solely to throw crap in Obama's face. The NRA is already singing tight-balled hosannas in praise of Bush, so you can see where I'm heading.

When Obama eventually moves, with the completely and totally Democratic-controlled Congress (bunch of wusses that they are) to repeal this idiocy, the NRA and the rightwing nutjobs can all scream bloody murder and "I told you so! He's takin' away our guns, I tells ya! I told you he would!"

With the recent news that Rove is back in the White House in charge of the white-washing of Bush's disaster of a Presidency, this kind of move shouldn't surprise us. He probably slipped it under Bush's door in passing, you know, just to keep on being the helpful Turd Blossom we all know and love.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Revolution Time Now




I've been kinda busy this week, trying to get back on the blogging beast, but also working my day job and tackling a new website that's kinda taxing the limits of my meagre abilities. Taxing is good though, maybe I'll break on through to the other side. Too much staleness in the noggin' these days. Need to have it all blown away!

And the soundtrack I've chosen this week is Spacemen 3. I have not one single live boot of these guys - did they even play live? But I found this on the YooToob and thought I'd share.

Have a great day, kids! I'll be back to regular stuff soon.

PS Don't ya just love the profile shot of the three guitar necks! Gives me spacegoose bumps!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jazz Is Dead




In fact, all human endeavors have now been made moot, pointless, silly, beyond worthless.

Let us all just die gracefully and give up the planet to our new walrus overlords.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Back from the Beyond


I needed a break from blogging. So I took one. But I'm back, because Ed hit me with one of these things. I thought it'd be a good way to get going again.

1. Five names you go by:
a) J____
b) Dad
c) Hon
d) Mr. W____
e) Joeyjojubglubub (Yes, really).

2. Three things you are wearing right now:
a) My blue pullover zip-up thing.
b) Funky socks - I'm sick of plain socks.
c) My wedding ring.

3. Two things you want very badly at the moment:
a) Bush to hand over the keys to Obama.
b) To be at home. It's very clean now, thanks to company for the weekend. I barely left the house in four days and didn't want to leave this morning. A clean house is a comfy house.

4. Three people who will probably fill this out*:
a) -valis
b) Nazz Nomad
c) Nuzz Prowlin' Wolf

* But I do not put an onus on them to do so, though I'm sure their answers would be better than mine.

5. Two things you did last night:
a) Made a flier for The Boy's middle-school food drive. An homage to Andy Warhol. I told him he had to get them to print it on many different colored sheets of paper and plaster the walls with them.
b) Installed Photoshop on the PC I hammered, glued and duct-taped together this weekend for my "Office" in the basement.

6. Two things you ate today:
a) A slice of cold pepperoni pizza. But really good cold pepperoni pizza.
b) A second slice of cold pepperoni pizza. (That's it so far!)

7. Two people you last talked to on the phone:
a) Dr. N. in an involved conversation about colostomy bag accessories. (Not kidding).
b) My Smart Wife.

8. Two things you are going to do tomorrow:
a) Fold laundry.
b) Try and find the power cord to the scanner for my "Office."

9. Two longest car rides:
a) Boca Raton, FL to Rockton, IL with four other people in a four-door sedan. One of whom had just been dumped by her boyfriend and who could only emit unintelligible moans for 24-hours.
b) Kirksville, MO to Madison, WI with a very very very very very unhappy infant in the car. I still shudder when we take that route and pass certain landmarks.

10. Two of your favorite beverages:
a) Beer. Particularly a nice, bitter IPA. (I saw no reason to change Ed's answer here).
b) Mendota Springs carbonated water (lime).

And finally, a clip from a favorite movie.
"Runner!"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

(Working Myself Up to?) A Fever Pitch



My Smart Wife, out of town on bidness, tried to talk me down (a phrase that I guess now should be in quotes with a little superscripted TM after it, thanks to Rachel!) about the SECRET VOTE by THOSE BASTARDS in the Senate the other day, during which they lovingly caressed Joe Lieberman's backside with tongues, fondue paddles, Shamwows and disintegrating digits (you can't get too close to Lieberman - the waves of foulness and hatred emanating from the hole where his heart used to be have a corrupting influence on human flesh and souls - just ask John McCain). But, as you can see, smart as she is, she didn't succeed. I'm just too stubborn and stoopid sometimes.

Finally, Big Joe got his happy ending and the American people once again have to wipe themselves off and crap their pants in disbelief.

Oh, Harry Reid - you're a worthless toadlike excuse for a human being, a pig of a man, a cancer on Congress, a leaking stopper on the bunghole that is the Senate and many more things that I don't dare write else I'll face an obscenity trial in Boston if I'm not already scheduled for one. I don't care what kind of political games you and your cretinous buddies are playing, what kind of deals have been struck, what kind of relaxed attitude I'm supposed to be having about this because you guys obviously know better than me what's going on and I should just lay back and trust you to rape me gently all night long because eventually I'll enjoy it.

Not gonna happen.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Nubian "Dave"?



So, what'd we do with the rest of our weekend?

After bumming around downtown post-planetarium, we went to our hotel, relaxed, looked around for a decent restaurant. Thankfully, that's something Chicago does not lack. First place we called had room for us at either six or eight, but nothing else. We took this as a good sign and we were right. I won't bore you with the details, but if you're ever in Schiller Park near O'Hare and really, really hungry, you will not regret going to Giannotti's Italian Steakhouse. Dang, but the 'monkey had a happy stomach Saturday night.

From supper back to the hotel for a while - the next stop on our agenda wasn't until 10pm. We lazed about like overfed lions, watching The Three Stooges. Nothing beats a good Stooge. Except another Stooge.

Finally, we rolled downstairs and set out for The Big Show: Robyn Hitchcock, performing I Often Dream of Trains at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Kids, it's been nearly two decades since we last saw Robyn and excited as we were to hear him do Trains live, we had trepidations. We had qualms. Was this really just a joke, a way to squeeze some cash from old fans, was Robyn still as good live, etc and so on.

The answer: We is idjits. Robyn is if anything better than he used to be. Trains live was a moving experience. Robyn put everything into the performance, ably abetted by his two multi-instrumental accomplices, and we should never have doubted him for a second. We beg forgiveness.

The show was nearly two hours long with barely a few minutes of off-stage time between the album performance and the almost equally long encore. Robyn began with an antique Walkman tapeplayer, brought out by an accomplice, who propped it on the grand piano next to the microphone and clicked it on to "Sometimes I Wish I Was a Pretty Girl." After a minute, Robyn came out, sat at the piano and began messing with the tape speed, slowing it down down down before he finally shut it off. Easy joke? Hypercommentary on the possible stupidity of paying to hear an album probably every person in the audience already owns? (I think I have four copies...) Whatever, it was amusing. The Boy laughed.

And then he was off. Some songs were nearly note-perfect performances, like the opening piano piece, "Nocturne." Other times Robyn couldn't resist messing with his own lyrics, turning "drawn by Nubian slaves" into "drawn by Nubian Dave" for instance. I'll never hear the song the same again. And he did substitute once, a song I don't know well but that is on the new CD edition of Trains, called "That Fantastic Mother Church," for "Furry Green Atom Bowl." I gotta give him that one. I was wondering how he'd pull it off.

Standout tunes: Robyn slipped in a sublimely psychedelic rendering of "Winter Love" (technically not on the original album but I'm not gonna quibble) with electric and acoustic guitar, live manipulation of his vocals, piano and pulsing chord-organ sounding electronic keyboard. One of the most beautiful things my ears have ever heard. What else? How about a funny as hell - but it better be! - and enthusiastically performed "Uncorrected Personality Traits." Awesome "Sleeping Knights of Jesus, " too. Robyn apologized after this one, though. He wasn't attacking Jesus, he said. Jesus was cool, ahead of his time. He was attacking Christianity. Big laughs from our trio and other parts of the auditorium, some rather dry and forced I thought. (Godlessness is good; "Christianity is Stupid").

Encore set was lots of fun. "Raymond Chandler Evening" with a stunning improvised pocket trumpet solo and many more, including the show closing "Goodnight I Say," one of my favorite Hitchcock tunes. It's still in my poor little head. I think we also got to hear a brand new, totally spur-of-the-moment song. While they were tuning, folks started calling out song titles. Robyn studiously ignored them all until a woman yelled "Vegetable Something!" Robyn started to laugh, said she'd broke him down, stepped out to the mic and out poured a sixty second song about "vegetable something!" I'm not sure which of his "vegetable" songs she really wanted, but this one rocked!

And that was it. Standing ovation and he was gone. The Boy, My Smart Wife and me were in a musical and mental daze. We went back to our hotel and finally got to sleep around one. Hit the Lego Store in Schaumburg on Sunday morning and headed home.

A good time was had by all.

(PS - Saturday night Robyn wore the groovy shirt he's wearing in the picture above, though this isn't from the Old School. I want a shirt like this.)

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Now playing: Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians - Hangin' Out with Dad
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jammies and the Moon



Went to Chicago for the weekend. Here's what happened....

Straight to the Adler Planetarium first. Never been there before. But I'd go again in a second. Beautiful building with gorgeous deco-style architecture. Took my breath away, except for the too modern Office-Chic remodeling which has gone on inside to accommodate all of the new exhibits, cool as they are.

And one in particular was about as cool as anything ever gets for the 'monkey. First exhibit we went to was one designed for youngsters about the history of our manned space and moon explorations, but specifically based around the life and story of astronaut Jim Lovell. This was really, really, really, really incredible.

Why? Because though I knew it was there according to the brochure, knowing about something and experiencing it are very different things. After a few minutes of looking at the rather juvenile displays, I turned the corner to find something completely different...an original Gemini space capsule.

Has your heart ever leapt into your mouth? Mine did when I proposed to my wife. And when I turned the corner on the Gemini capsule. "Wow" is probably the only word marginally sufficient to cover my emotions, because it expresses all of them at once. I walked around and around it, trying to shove my face through the glass. My heart was pounding. I was crying.

Last December I turned a corner at the Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis and almost touched my favorite piece of art on the planet. I didn't know it was there. I could have spent the entire day just standing there, staring staring staring. No reproduction I've seen has ever done it justice. The depth and vivacity of the colors are stunning. And it is huge!!! I didn't think I'd ever feel that way again until yesterday. standing within inches of a Gemini capsule trumped the Max Ernst a hundred-fold at least.

After walking in circles for a while, I sat with the family on the conveniently placed benches (for watching a short film about Lovell's Gemini flight which was surprisingly good). The whole time, though, I kept looking back at the capsule. Wow. Wow. Wow.

I've been in love with NASA and our space program my entire life. Memories of Apollo missions are among my earliest. I remember my mom making me take a nap in the middle of the afternoon, jammies and everything, but I would only do it after watching another Saturn V blast off from the Cape. My breath just caught writing about it. My eyes are watery. My heart is almost aching.

Why aren't we on the moon now? Why haven't we reached Mars? Why aren't we exploring the asteroids? For chrissakes, it's 2008!!! We need to move on, to explore, to leave this planet. It's a great place, a wonderful starting point, kids - but we gotta move! We're made for this. If we want to survive, space is the place. We're here to go. And we have to go now.

More on the weekend tomorrow...

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Now playing: Tangerine Dream - Invisible Limits
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's....THEM!!!



I'm working on a big thing for you kids, so please be patient. I kinda mentioned it before with my last music post, but I decided to go the extra mile which is why it's taking me so long. Problems have occurred. People have been sacked. Villages too. Be patient, children of the night, be patient.

That doesn't mean you can't have fun while you're waiting. Check out this awesome video post by Ed at Enriched Geranium. Thrill your ears to the magnificent sounds of the Appliances-SFB! Gorge your eyes on their unearthly beauty! Poke your tummies, amazed at the pleasure waves emanating therefrom!

I'm not joking. The Appliances-SFB rank as one of the best bands I've ever seen. Read Ed's admittedly somewhat biased appreciation of his old band. I really can't improve on it. Sometimes, wrapped in my blankie, zoning on my astral-navel contemplations, I think of the Appliances and I shudder with cosmic awe, amazed and grateful that I was lucky enough to witness them live...dozens of times. But you can watch one song by them. That's good, right? Right?

Space rumor has it that there are re-releases of Appliances-SFB musical confabulations now available. I think this rumor should be heeded.

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Now playing: Laughing Soup Dish - Teenage Lima Bean
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, November 9, 2008

UPDATE! Monk Fight Rages On



Well, those crazy monks is at it again, kids. Recently, this blogger brought you a story of bloodied tonsures, but today we've breaking news of monks rioting at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

One of the reasons these holy men are so hopping mad is over a hundred-plus year-old argument about a ladder. I shit thee not, brothers and sisters. This is part of the reason I'm an athiest. When I break a bottle over a dude's head and push the broken end into his eyes, it's because he insulted: A) My Momma, B) My Sister or C) My Big Fat Ass. In other words, I commit violence for serious reasons.

Silly monks - riots are for Moslems! Right? That's what the guys on the TV always tell me. Jeez, they aren't even cool monks, like in D&D or on Kung Fu.

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Now playing: The Mars Volta - Metatron
via FoxyTunes

Our Stoned Ancestors



I'm a megalithic junkie, kids. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Right now, I'm just gonna point you at what's probably the coolest story in ancient archaeological news in generations - the discovery of an extraordinary hilltop temple complex in Turkey, consisting of dozens of megalithic stone rings, predating Stonehenge by a couple thousand years. It's a find that may revolutionize our understanding of pre-history. I've been watching it develop in bits and pieces for the last few years, but here's a great story with pictures that'll amaze you!

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Now playing: Roky Erickson - I Have Always Been Here Before
via FoxyTunes

Flushing for the Future!



The greatest invention of Western Civilization? The printing press - nah! The internal combustion engine? Hell, no! Shaving cream? Why I oughta...

It's simple, every man out there will pull a Homer and slap his forehead with the force of spiritual revelation:

The toilet.

Yes, the lowly, the lovely indoor toilet is the greatest invention of our often ridiculous and contradictory and crazy Western civilization.

Think about it. Besides giving us a comfy place to read while crapping, the indoor toilet revolutionized how we deal with our waste. It carries it away from our homes on little tidal waves, into equally revolutionary public sanitation systems that keep our crap and piss out of the streets. The end result - less disease, fewer epidemics, a healthier and safer population.

Pretty cool. What if we could help the whole world to a toilet of their own? Check out this article about the need for a Flushing Revolution. We only need a celebrity spokesperson to kick start it.

May I suggest Jack Black? I'm not aware of any cause célèbre to which Mr. Black has attached himself and I can't think of any celebrity better suited to this toilet task.

Mr. Black, if you're out there, will you help us Flush for the Future (TM)?

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Now playing: Wolfgang Dauner - Just Bring It Out
via FoxyTunes

Friday, November 7, 2008

Celebration Salsa!



CELEBRATION SALSA '08

(2) Cans diced tomatoes (drained)
(1) Cup white vinegar
(1) Cup shredded carrots
(5) Whole jalapenos (stems removed)
(1) Bunch fresh cilantro (washed, stems removed)

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Chill. Serve.

This is my basic smooth salsa recipe. I used carrots this time, but I've also substituted various fruits, fresh or canned. Makes a great dip, topping for baked chicken or throw a half cup in your favorite tomato sauce for a zingy pasta dish.

If you like it chunky, don't process and leave out the vinegar, add some cracked pepper and lime juice and you've got a nice pico de gallo. Sans onions, you'll notice. Some of us love onions but are not loved in return by them.

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Now playing: King Crimson - Cat Food
via FoxyTunes

The Greatest American Hero

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Plans I Make



Man, but I'm tired today. Didn't have to stay up too late last night, being in the Midwest and all. More emotional drainage. By ten o'clock we had the news. And we yelled and hollered so loud the cats went running!

A few minutes later, when it all started to sink in, we were watching Jesse Jackson's eloquently silent face at Grant Park and the tears streaming down his cheeks, biting on his hand to keep some of his reactions inside. We joined him - with tears of joy and relief and release, but tears also for all who struggled so long and so hard in this country, many of whom are not here to see this new American day. A new day in which the real message for Americans is not that a black man can be President of the United States but that any person regardless of skin color, religion or gender can be President of the United States. And that democracy, as freakish and imperfect a social and political system as any yet devised, can still respond to the will of the people when they decide to exercise that will.

It was an incredible moment. People in our little city were celebrating - we could hear them from blocks away! And the images of people dancing and cheering outside the White House - I'll never forget that. I hope it's burned on Bush's eyeballs, that he sees it in his meager dreams for the rest of his sad life.

For the rest of the world there was also cause for celebration. Like my pal Nuzz at Bleedin' Out, I know I've got quite a few overseas visitors here - to them I want to say thank you for your support and encouragement in this long, long election season. I hope that the end will justify the struggle, which is really just beginning as we try and clean up eight years of ruinous domestic and foreign policy, and that America will once again be a leader and a partner with other nations around the world. Thank you for hanging in with us.

Something I read this last weekend helped me hang in. I'm in the middle of a great novel right now by Christopher Priest called The Separation. I can't recommend it too highly. One passage hit me dead between the eyes. One of the primary narrators is writing about patriotism and the Second World War from several decades remove:

"I live in a time when it is fashionable in some quarters to be cynical about patriotism, bravery, political leadership, national purpose. I feel it myself sometimes, as in a properly sceptical democracy who should not? In 1941 things were different, for which I make no apology." (Pg. 71)
I feel like the last eight years have been a tremendous war, not over yet even if a battle has been won. Not anything as pathetic as a "culture war" or as mundane as a military war, but a war to define America in the 21st century. (See my earlier, weirder post for more on this). I also feel that my own definitions of "patriotism, bravery, political leadership, national purpose" have been more finely honed and sharpened during this war, that my sometimes nonsensical pursuit of meaning has been directly tied to these ideas and ideals more than at any other time in my life. Frankly, the cynicism that walled me in for most of my life should have led me to roundly dismiss these absurd, antique daydreams, to throw them in the trash. But that was before I saw my country ravaged by foul, literally evil men like George Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. Men for whom nothing mattered but their own ends, their own betterment, their own enrichment. They were wild dogs barely constrained by human form.

I therefore will make no more apologies in the round for the sometimes weird, sometimes angry, sometimes heartfelt things I write on this blog. If I screw something up or go beyond the pale and let my emotions get the better of me, I'll acknowledge it. But I'm done apologizing for caring and hoping. If anything, I'm more ready to continue the fight and win this war than at any time in the past. There's no going back, no giving up.

This is our time. Our time is now.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Terrorists Strike Today!


I wasn't gonna post today - but then I saw this diary on DailyKos:

Bomb threat closes Wis. polling place

Naturally, this got my Badger blood heated up, so I had to read it...to find it's about my old high school! Middleton High School, in Middleton, Wisconsin, where I graduated third from the bottom of my class in 1984, received a bomb threat this afternoon, while students were still present and polling was ongoing.

Election mayhem or student prank? I think the former. I was in Middleton this last weekend and there are Obama signs everywhere. Even my own brother's lawn was literally festooned with them! (I didn't expect it - we don't discuss politics though I never really thought he'd be voting for McCain-Palin).

I know just how nutjob and plain fuckin' retarded folk around Middleton can be. I went to school and then lived there for years. There's still a very conservative rural element around there, regardless of all the freaks from Madison that have moved into Middleton.

I assume the threat wasn't real, there is no bomb, it's just scare tactics. But to the students of my alma mater (no matter how much I hated it while I was there), I extend my sympathies. No one should have to endure these kind of TERRORIST TACTICS in the United States, especially when they are perpetrated by fellow Americans.

In case you haven't fuckin' done it yet - GO AND GODDAMN VOTE, YOU STUPID SLACK-ASS MOTHERFUCKERS! And do it right. Vote Obama.

Update - I was wrong. It was a student prank. I still stand by my assertion about the backwardness of some residents of Middleton, though. This was evidently the work of a student at the school. He's been arrested. He's a stupid little shit. I don't like to condemn teens - I work with them all of the time and I know full well how much on the edge some of them are and can be, far more than many people realize - but he terrorized fellow students and the public and disrupted the voting process too. I'd like to know why he did this, but it doesn't really matter in the end. I'm just glad a bunch of other idjits and morons and mouth-breathers didn't take it upon themselves to emulate him or take his stupidity one step further.

If I was a "little" more emotional and foul-mouthed in this post, I apologize. My nephew may have been in that building at the time of the threat and I was very upset and worried.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Final Countdown



Less than 24 hours to go, kids.

It's been a long freakin' year, hasn't it?

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but we were there in Springfield when Obama announced his intent to run. As a former Wisconsinite, I've experienced cold weather in my lifetime, but I can tell ya that was one mother of a freezing day on the square at the Old Capital building. We're all glad we went though. One doesn't get to witness history very often, to say "I was there!"

And tomorrow, regardless of the outcome, we'll all be "there" - where ever "there" is for you.

What are your plans?

Me, I'm getting up as normal, getting the family fed and caffeinated and off to school and work, then I'm going to vote. I'm not really expecting huge lines. Our precinct isn't that dang big. But I'll bring a coffee and a book (reading a great one now - subject of a future post!).

Then off to work myself. I've got a lot to do this week, so the day should go by quickly. After work, we're coming home and doing all our normal junk - running The Boy to his martial arts class, taking out the trash, making dinner, etc.

Finally we can settle down and watch the returns. I think I'll make some pico de gallo for snacking. We've got a fancy, expensive, tiny bottle of champagne in the fridge already. And I've got my Laphroig at hand too. Plus our favorite Wisconsin beer - now in CANS!

Remember, if Obama wins Virginia, he's won it all. You can start celebrating then. If he doesn't, you'll just have to wait a few hours longer.

And, if for some reason you are still undecided or think that Obama is some kind of weirdo liberal nutjob, check out this piece by a former speechwriter for Nixon and Reagan, who's endorsing Obama. He calls Obama a "conservative"! (And if his definitions are right, so am I to an extent. Very creepy.)

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Now playing: Roky Erickson - The Looking Glass Song
via FoxyTunes


Friday, October 31, 2008

Trickster? Or Treat?



Julian Cope - Live on the Radio (1985)
Julian Cope - Live on the Radio (1991) Part 1
Julian Cope - Live on the Radio (1991) Part 2
Julian Cope - Live on the Radio (1991) Part 3
Julian Cope - Live on the Radio (1992-94)
Julian Cope - Live on the Radio (1995)
Julian Cope - Live on the Radio (1996) Part 1
Julian Cope - Live on the Radio (1996) Part 2
Julian Cope - Live on the Radio (1996) Part 3

You lucky bastards. I've been working on this all week and only just got it all done and uploaded this morning. I hope you appreciate it, you ungrateful swine!

I'm just kidding. Maybe. I've been wanting to post this stuff since day one, but organizing it was a bit of a chore and I'm a lazy sod, so you've had to wait. Nothing here is on Julian's Floored Genius Vol. 2 - which you should immediately buy if you don't have it already. I do have enough unused tracks from the same sessions used on FG2 to fill a whole CD. If you send me lots of love and kisses, maybe I'll edit them together for you crazy kids.

Have a safe and happy one. As I do every night, regardless of the season or holiday, I will be sitting on my porch tonight, throwing candy and razorblades at the children. Candy razorblades, naturally. Don't the kids just love 'em!

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Now playing: Julian Cope - The Great Dominions
via FoxyTunes

Storm the Reality Studios!



We are at War.

Not in Iraq. Though we are. Not in Afghanistan. Though we are. Hopefully not in Iran or Syria or Pakistan in the final few days before this fateful election. Though we might be.

We are at War for Reality.

On one side (or one of the sides?) we have the last eight years of misrule as represented by the Bush Administration.

On another side we have a continuation of and possibly even an expansion of this misrule as represented by John McCain.

On the third side we have a new (or is it an old?) revisioning of American politics as represented by Barack Obama.

Why do I say this is a Reality War? Why isn't it just another Presidential election cycle? Because we're talking about our Commonly Perceived Reality or CPR. (Pretty nifty how suitable that acronym is given the deflated state of the economy and our political spirit, eh?) Because the three sides of this imaginary coin each represent a different version of reality that we can either accept or reject, that we can submit to or battle against.

When you vote next Tuesday, if you haven't already, you are casting a vote as a shaman may cast a spell. Your intent is to change reality.

Our current CPR is a bleak, fearful, distrustful and discouraging one. Do not believe that this is an accident of time and space, that it is the sole result of accident at all. The engineers of our current CPR spent years planning and maneuvering to achieve the type of control over our perceptions that they now have. The public records and history of Cheney and Rove and friends make this very clear, though pundits and historians will only talk of this as politics and policy. It is neither.

It is piracy. Their stated goal was a "permanent Republican majority." Translate this as "permanent reality control" and you now understand. Like others before them who imagined permanent control, who dreamed of Thousand Year Reich’s, the Republicans hoped to have perpetual control of our reality via the Presidency, the Congress, the Courts and certain parts of the media. Bush had planned war and using the side effects of war to cement power and change our CPR before he entered office. The events of September 11, 2001 were, without meaning to trivialize them, only a fortunate catalyst for his plans. The terrorists gave Bush a powerful wedge on that day with which he could shift reality. And Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield and Rove took full advantage of it.

The result is the America we live in today. It is not the America of ten years ago, not that the CPR of the Clinton years was a perfect one, regardless of the nostalgia so many Democrats feel for it. There probably is no perfect CPR. We are too diverse a nation to create perfection.

But we can strive for perfection. This has always been part of the American CPR, the idea that we can be better than we are. Our nation would not exist without this central tenet. In retrospect, we may endowed our past efforts with this idea, but we could never have risen up against and overthrown a king without this belief. We are the children of the Enlightenment. Progress and perfection are inherent in our founding, in our idea of reality.

This has been lost to us in the current CPR. We have been blinded to the idea that we can work for the betterment of all. Fear and ignorance - willful and imposed - have worked to rob us of this basic American ideal. The enrichment of a few at the expense of the many, using manufactured fears and political weapons of control, has been a dominant theme of this CPR.

It's time for that to end. It's time for the people to go to war with reality. With a flip of the coin, we can reveal a new face for the future. Our votes are power and with them we will perform a tremendous feat of magic on November 4, 2008. We will change reality.

What we do with it after that is up to us.

Vote Obama!

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Now playing: Steve Hillage - Saucer Surfing
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

North to Alaska, Comrades!



In case ya hadn't heard, Sarah Palin is the Governor of the most socialist, spread-the-wealth state in the Union!

Every damn individual in Alaska gets thousands of dollars handed over to them every year - totally tax-free and without any condition except citizenship - as a government stipend from oil revenues. This year, Governor Palin increased the refund by $1200 per person! And she claims that Alaskans somehow actually own the land of their own state, not the oil companies and other corporations - silly girl! - so that the people of Alaska "share in the wealth" when their resources are plundered. What a Commie!

That, my friends, is a socialist welfare state if ever I heard of one. It's the biggest dole in the nation. Nothin' but a handout to keep the proles happy. I'm surprised they don't have free satellite TV - with every ESPN channel! - for every citizen.

No wonder she likes being so close to Russia. Probably misses the good old days. Spends hours staring out her million-dollar windows at the Promised Land, sighing, wishing for a man like Joseph Stalin again.

Thanks to JedL at Daily Kos for jumpstarting this brainfart for me.
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Now playing: Roger Miller - The Promised Land
via FoxyTunes

Monday, October 27, 2008

A "Baa" In the Night



It's very simple really. It all came clear to me this morning as I drank my Obam-Aid (TM) Orange Style Simulated Breakfast Drink with Extra HOPE! Also, I was online looking at pictures of the hundreds of thousands of smiling, hopeful people that have been turning out to hear Obama in just the last few days, in Coloradaoand Missouri and everywhere else he goes in the country.

We just want a future. And Obama is the first candidate since JFK and FDR before him that says we can have a future. Not just a continuation of past policies, a reinforcing of the status quo, but an honest-to-Jeebus future for ourselves and our children. He's not promising that it will be easy, either. He's not talking down to us. He's said repeatedly that it will be a struggle and that we will have to work together for this future. I don't mind. I'm ready to work. I think I've been waiting all my life for this chance, for this kind of job.

And I like that. I like being asked to take responsibility and do some work. I don't want another old man talking down to me and telling me that if I give him my sacred vote he'll take care of me, just trust him, don't worry about the details, everything will be okay, close your eyes, go back to sleep, sleep, sleep my little sheep..........

Don't be a sleepy sheep. Wake up and "Baa!"

Vote O-Baaaaa!!!-ma!

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Now playing: DAVE KUSWORTH - The Story So Far
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Party Divided...Let's Hope



Sarah Palin doesn't seem to like being in the No. Two position. And John McCain just plain doesn't seem to like her. And the party seems bent on self destruction, so...I'm guessing here...but I think that after Obama wins on November 4th, we may see the Republican party split itself in two. Does that immediately make you think of the Meat Puppets? Yeah, me too.

On one side, the older and more conservative side of the Party. What I call the "reasonably sane" Republicans, if still not to be completely trusted. They'll get to keep the franchise name and dumb animal trademark.

On the other - nutjobs. Cranks. Crackpots. Crazies. Wingnuts. Loonies. Freaks. And Sarah Palin. I'm bettin' they have the word "American" in their party name. To differentiate themselves from all us un-Americans.

Hmm. I can't make up my mind if this is a good or a bad idea. What do you think?

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Now playing: Jimi Hendrix - Wild Thing
via FoxyTunes

Bartleby the Voter



In America, we should be able to say "Fuck You" to power. I'm pretty sure that's in the Constitution. In fact, I'm positive. It's called "The First Amendment." And fuck you right now if you're gonna say it's not in the Constitution, it's in the Bill of Rights. I know that. Everyone who took middle school civics knows that. But the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are complimentary documents, like some kind of crazy political geometry theorem. Pretty much one and the same in the American heart now.

The most powerful "Fuck You" every American has at his or her disposal is our vote. Our Sacred Privilege. Our Finger on the Button. Or Our Middle Finger in the Air.

Don't be a Bartleby. Don't say "I'd prefer not to." That's un-American.

Instead, on Election Day, proudly stand up and say, in your loudest voice, as proudly and patriotically as you can:

"Fuck You!"

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Now playing: Neil Young - Pardon My Heart
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Glass Jaw Just Dropped. Anyone Got Glue?


Cognitive dissonance. Remember these two words while you watch this video.




This is the best question asked of any candidate this entire, overly long, incredibly stressful political season. It needs to be asked repeatedly of Palin and McCain, of Obama and Biden too. I want all of their answers on record.

If there is any way you are still clinging to McCain-Palin, still thinking that they can do a better job than Obama, unless you are a bomb-making doctor-killing foetus-loving domestic terrorist yourself, these few seconds of video should change your mind.

I won't elaborate any further, just push you over to this much better piece on Daily Kos.

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Now playing: MC5 - Poison
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Get Out of the Bathroom




Obama's gonna visit his sick Grandma for a day or two. He's a good kid. While he's gone, watch this clip from his speech in Virginia yesterday.

If you are an "undecided voter," if you still don't know who you're voting for, if you are in some way still waffling after watching this, the exit is to your left. Or right. Depending on your political perspective.

Vote Obama!

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Now playing: Oil Tasters - Get Out Of The Bathroom
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You Want Fries With That?



A very cranky old man was on MSNBC this morning. No, it wasn't McCain. It was Lawrence Eagleburger, Bush the First's Secretary of State. Golly, but he had some tough words for that whippersnapper Obama!

I think Morning Joe Moron, after getting thoroughly beat down by Zbigniew Brzezinski yesterday (who, btw, is not one of my favorite people in the world regardless of his association with President Carter - the man was a scary freakin' hawk who would've been better off with Reagan), wanted a soft-ball player to make him feel better this morning and back up his favorite meme about Obama having no experience. (If you haven't watched it yet, check out ZB eloquently and politely crushing Joe's skull in his aged fingers. It's a good thing.)

But Secretary Hamburgler couldn't have been a worse choice. Besides calling Obama "Governor," he both played the "inexperience" card and then refuted the argument when it was asked of him that, technically, didn't Jimmy Carter have more foreign policy experience than Reagan during the 1980 campaign? Hamburgler almost choked on his milkshake at this point, spluttering about how that doesn't matter, that's irrelevant, by gum! - because Carter's experience didn't count! Experience, to paraphrase this senior Republican moment, only counts when you agree with the candidate's policies!

Oh, to the Hamburgler's credit, when Pat Buchanan tried very hard to get him to say that the Powell endorsement was all about race, the old man wouldn't take the bait. He quite resolutely and politely put that racist cracker bull down where it belongs by refusing to speak to it.

All in all, though, it was a textbook example of IOKIYAR. They finally pulled the plug on the guy and went to commercial so that Joe could clean his soiled parts in private. I think Mika B. was laughing by the end of it. She seems to be getting a charge out of yanking Joe's sad chain lately. I bet she's voting for Obama! I was laughing so hard I almost spilled my coffee.

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Now playing: Neil Young - The Last Trip To Tulsa
via FoxyTunes

Our Founding Fathers, Eighth in a Series



Captain Beefheart - Live at the Radar Station (1980) Part 1
Captain Beefheart - Live at the Radar Station (1980) Part 2

The wonderful world of bootleg recordings is full of highly obsessive people. Thankfully, one of them obsesses highly about the Good Cap'n, Don Van Vliet. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to tell ya'all that this is a live compilation bootleg from different venues and different years, supposedly recorded in the late '70s and early '80s. Though the oldest recording date is 1980, according to the info I was given about it. The information on bootlegs is often highly contraindicatoryful, if ya know what I mean.

(Funny thing I noticed on the home page of the Beefheart obsessatorium, that there's a link to an early interview of the Captain by Rick McGrath, who is another obsessive personality - J. G. Ballard is his thing. I've traded extensively with Rick over the years; got an incredible Fahey recording from Madison in 1984 from Rick that I haven't figured out how to share with you yet. Rick wanted some of my 1960s back issues of New Worlds. But he ain't ever gonna get 'em. Hey, I offered scans! I may be a jerk, but not a total ass. I'm just kinda obsessive myself is all. Anyway, the point is that it's a small, shiny world, kids.)

Personally, the Captain and I met when I bought the rerelease of Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) in the late 80s. Fact, I think I bought it from Ed when he was working at Rose Records. Hey, Ed - do you remember this? You were very excited. Can I say bouncy, even? Previously, I had stared in wonder, horror, awe and cosmic trepidation for several years at a battered LP copy of Trout Mask Replica behind the glass of the counter at Penny Lane Records (I think this was the name of the store) prior to this.

Buy the Captain's shit!

APOLOGIES: 'Tis fixed now, but I forgot to put the download link in when I posted this. That'll teach me to not get enough sleep - stupid monkey!

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Now playing: The Byrds - 5D (Fifth Dimension) {mono}
via FoxyTunes


Monday, October 20, 2008

Funny Pictures = Serious Message




I really like this. The animation is easy on the eye, with a multi-decade retro style going on, and the filmmaker presents the information in a graphically memorable way. That's not easy.

Vote Obama!

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Now playing: Mumps - Dance Tunes for the Underdogs
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weird Reasons to Vote for Obama #9



Women you do not know will smile at you.

Do you want pretty women to smile at you? Are you an even vaguely heterosexual guy between the ages of 25-to-Death, losing your hair, seriously worried about what you still affectionately call your "love handles" for some stupid reason, and think it's totally awesome if strange when a woman you don't know smiles at you for some unknown reason?

Then fret no longer, my friends, because I have the answer to the last of your pathetic problems if not the previous ones:

Get an "Obama" button.

Seriously. Women you do not know and will never see again will smile at you in public, regardless of how balding or fat or ugly or stupid you look. I'm pretty much all of these things and "It" has happened to me. More than once in the last week.

Why, I've been wondering, are women smiling at me in public? That's unnatural, that's weird, that just don't happen to the 'monkey. It honestly scares the 'monkey. The 'monkey prefers not to be noticed by man, woman, child, dog, cat (maybe not cat) and insect when in public. He don't like it. It bothers him.

Today, I realized why. When a woman at the chain-store-box-hardware-place-thing smiled at me, making me very uncomfortable and causing me to wonder where I knew her from though I obviously didn't know her and thus freakin' me out even more - AND DOING IT AFTER LOOKING AT THE MIDDLE OF MY CHEST WHERE MY MANBOOBS ARE!!! - I got it. It's the damn "Obama" button!

It ain't me they're smilin' at - it's that goddamn Obama! Christ on a stick, but that's an ego-deflater if ever there was. Just his name in writing on a small circular piece of pressed metal stuck to a windbreaker is more exciting and interesting and cool than I am in the flesh. Damn, but this confirms every suspicion about my place in the Universe that I've ever had.

Sometimes fat, bearded, bespectacled, balding, stupid, liberal white men just can't get a break. No wonder Powell endorsed Obama - he did it for the chicks! Screw you, Pat Buchanan/George Wills/Rush Limbaugh - race ain't got nothin' to do with it.

I hope My Smart Wife gets that this is a joke.

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Now playing: Gunslingers - Gigolo Albinos
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hey, Joe!



Joe McCarthy's ghost is haunting John McCain's campaign a lot these days, chortling with glee, shaking the red-hot chains of Hell wrapped around his bloated throat, egging McCain and Palin and their demonic surrogates and racist supporters on and on an on to greater heights of lunacy and depravity in their almost demonic obsession to keep control of the White House in the hands of the Republican Party and keep a black man out of it.

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Now playing: Roky Erickson - Stand For The Fire Demon
via FoxyTunes

Friday, October 17, 2008

An Invitation



I've been cross-posting some of my bits here on Daily Kos lately. Just a couple. Today the 'Kos got one first. If you want to read it, you gotta go over there. Don't be a lazy sod - just do it!

And check out how we're changing, kids, how the paradigm is flipping out. It's a weird world, eh?

I'm looking for more tunes for next week. Any requests?

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Now playing: Throbbing Gristle - Weapon Training
via FoxyTunes

Oh, How We Danced All Night



The Mummydogs - Live at the Press Club, Sacramento, CA (1/7/00)

Have you been without your "Guy Kyser's Scary Voice Fix" for too long? Then jones no longer, my friends, because here are...The Mummydogs!

You guys really like Thin White Rope, from the evidence in the Download Vault, so here's the only show I have by his more recent band, The Mummydogs. Yeah, huzzah, hurrah, yippee!

As far as I know, only one album out by this band, on good ol' Frontier Records. Remember Frontier? They were one of my faves long ago. Even put out a Madison band, E*I*E*I*O and I wish I had something live to share by them, because good as they were on their albums they were much, much better live. Great band for dancing and drinking. I took my little sister - when she was still in high school, I think - to see them at the long gone Turner Hall and she couldn't believe her big brother could dance like he was dancing, and for hours. She was the one that had to take a break.

If you don't know them, the Turners were and still are a kind of German-American institution dedicated to "Sound Minds and Sound Bodies" or some suchlike Germanic scary thing that would later turn nice young blonde boys into perfect cannon fodder for Hitler. Anyway, they built these big buildings with a gymnasium and a stage (and usually a bar in the basement, naturally) that were perfect for punk rock shows in the 80s. Saw the Minutemen and Hüsker Dü and The Replacements and Naked Raygun and tons of other shows at Turner. I remember watching Bob and Greg drag a completely wasted Grant Hart from this little room at the front of the building all the way through the crowd to get him onstage. One of them was on either side of Grant with an arm hitched under his pits, Grant's feet behind them dragging on the ground, head almost hitting the floor. He played amazingly once he was propped up behind his kit, for the first half of the show. He was nodding off big-time by the end, barely able to keep a beat. Wonder what was in his tea that night?

The old Turner Hall building was downtown, just blocks from the Capitol building and in a great location to bring weirdos together - something the City didn't really like happening. It was bought by the State or the City, I can't remember which, back in 1991 or '92 and then torn down. The Turners built a new building somewhere, I've heard, but I've never been there. Probably used for a lot of weddings now, I bet.

I didn't say much about The Mummydogs, did I? Just download and listen and enjoy your weekend. Grab that Neil Young show, too, if you haven't - it's a lot of fun! Have big guitars in your head all of the time, that's my advice - it's the best way to stay sane.

Buy the 'dog's shit!

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Now playing: Gate - Spirit
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Insert Caption Here




A moment of levity is called for after the last of the 2008 Presidential debates, as we find out that the Secret Service is derelict in its duty toward Barack Obama and openly partisan in its actions, as we endure more racist bullshit from the people McCain so brazenly defended last night, as Obergruppenführer Sarah continues her mad rampages into Bizarro World, intent on destroying the last vestiges of dignity still clinging to the Republican standard.

If you can think of any captions to make this already insanely funny picture even funnier, leave them in the Comments, please.

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Now playing: The Dream Syndicate - Weathered And Torn
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Loss for Words (Or, If It Quacks Like a Duck)



The conservative right intellectual set is flailing as wildly in the waters as McCain-Palin. Somebody pulled the plug, the waters are swirling and the drain is fast approaching!

First, Christopher Buckley - one of those Buckleys - endorsed Obama. In right and conservative circles, this is a Judas moment of epic proportions. I love it. It tickles me inside, gives me a kind of pink and green glow that I'll cherish for days.

Then, in an act of contrition to the editors of the The National Review, which Buckley's father started, he offers his resignation. They grab it like free french fries at a fat farm! (I used five F's in that last sentence. I've never done that before.)

And now they've come up with a new meme to slander Obama, based on first-year college lit-crit level analysis: Obama didn't write his own books. Bill Ayers did.

Wow. As an idjit who can read "Rape!" into a Cindy McCain campaign statement, even I'm flabbergasted. Perhaps in awe. Certainly my pink and green humors are all a-quiver.

If you have the stomach for it, read it. But it's a vaguely constructed argument full of obvious bias against both authors, aligning coincidences as facts and jumping rather willy-nilly from idea to idea, from technique to technique. The best - using "best" sarcastically, of course - is how the author compares books by Ayers and Obama to a book about boxing that he himself wrote. The logic in use is something like this: "My book was a memoir about boxing and can be used as a standard for what all memoirs are and should be." The gag-factor is very high here.

I do have a favorite part, though, lest, gentle reader, you think me naught but a partisan hack set upon destruction only. I particularly love the notion, only hinted at because the timeline is so loosely constructed it can't hold up to intense scrutiny, that Obama and Ayers met in early 1995 and somehow, within weeks, struck up a relationship so close that Ayers ended up writing Obama's first book. And managed to get it written in weeks, too, in order to meet the publishing timeline given! Dang, these guys are supermen!

If you're unfamiliar with publishing, the above notion won't rankle you as it does me. Allow me to explain why you should be pissed that this hack of an intellectual wants you to buy this gold-covered crap.

In the last ten years, I've worked on several books with different authors, proofreading and also sorting out the kind of confusion that results when a dozen articles from as many years get smashed into one book - making a mess of footnotes and references. My Smart Wife has indexed a number of books too, having to pay careful attention to schedules. I have friends that are small press publishers and have heard their tales of woe, waiting on long overdue proofs and how those damn writers don't understand printers and deadlines!!! So, I'm well aware of the kind of long-term scheduling that exist in publishing and how deadlines have to be maintained. The timeline so cavalierly hinted at by the author is ludicrous and insulting to the brain parts of the body. I think he realizes it, too, which is why it gets only a very short and choppy reference.

Anyway, cooling down, as I said before this is like a bad college lit-crit piece or a poorly conceived historiography paper. Here's my logic for why I can say this: I've read an awful lot of them. I even get paid once a year to read a few dozen of these for a college prize committee. It's not a fun job. Reading this isn't fun either. What most reminds me of this odious chore is when the author concludes that not knowing the true authorship of Obama's books is comparable to Sadam hiding his nuclear weapons program. Dangerously thin intellectual territory, kids. The average freshman would be told to rethink and rewrite this while the average senior would be slapped down with lead-filled sappers for this kind of loose cannon logical bull. And the author of this crap has a Ph.D. in American Studies. Or so he claims...

Finally, it's telling that this is the level that the intellectual arm of the right has sunk to in its senescence. They are looking desparately around for validation and support, while the few actual intellects they have are pulling up stake and looking for greener pastures. I wish those few luck and as for the rest...I honestly don't give a damn. They'll be asking Rush Limbaugh if he needs new writers soon.

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Now playing: Bill Dixon - Scribbles
via FoxyTunes