Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thoughts. I Have Them.

Must say, I've given The Newsroom a lot of crap over the years but I do admire the chutzpah of Sorkin titling the finale What Kind of Day Has It Been. #westwingrulez

State du Moi

So far this week I seem to have a problem almost walking into people on the sidewalk. I go right they go right, I go left they go left. Wtf?

________________________________________________________________

“You said it, lil’ buddy,” I agreed. “No drinking tonight.  In bed by ten o’clock.  Big day tomorrow.”
“Rats!”
“Yeah.  You’re right lil’ buddy.”  We crossed over Grand Avenue and onto the sidewalk.  “I guess they’re all big from now on.”
I looked back up and found myself directly in front of a young girl within a throng of kids that had just been let out of school for the day.  I beared my right as she did her left, and then we both did the opposite back and forth for a few seconds, dancing wordlessly in front of each other, until she finally yelled to break the silence:
“Learn to swerve, motherfucker!”

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Last Hours of George Washington

Which, apparently, included a lot of bleeding:
Back in 1799, Washington’s physicians justified the removal of more than 80 ounces of his blood (2.365 liters or 40 percent of his total blood volume) over a 12-hour period in order to reduce the massive inflammation of his windpipe and constrict the blood vessels in the region.
"I'm on the $1 bill, motherfuckers! Quit cutting me!!!!"

Anarchy in the UK

I've worn this record out over & over since I was 14, and I still get blown away every time I hear it. Here's a ittle background #stevejonesisaBEAST

Interesting du Jour

It seems to me that the people who are pro-torture are also the ones who most vociferously fetishize the troops. Surely this is some sort of cruel paradox; can you think of a single worse thing that can happen to troops serving in hostile territory than last week’s torture report?

Of course they’d also set a precedent in that the same people are the ones who are always clamoring to put the troops in harm’s way in the first place, so. Curious.

Officepartycow

Someone still hasn't recovered from the office party.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Kids In Philly

I remember this clear as a bell, and now it's finally popped up online. Enjoy.

Friday, December 12, 2014

State du Moi

After 42 years, I think I just accidentally learned how to fold a t-shirt.

Life. It's really happening, isn't it?

Sandinista!, Baby

Today's the 34th anniversary of the release of The Clash's sprawling (to put it mildly) three-record Sandinista!  Listening to it now, part of its charm might be that you can't really pin it down to a single album. I remember reading a quote from Mick Jones once that the album was meant to be skipped around, and that if it had been released in the cd age its legacy would be different.

I'm so old that while in college I actually called Rolling Stone magazine and told them I wanted to write a college paper on the Clash. They were so baffled that they actually SENT mimeographed copies of every article on the Clash that had been in RS, along with a personal note "Greg - hope this helps, let me know how it goes." I still have the stuff they sent me; doing something like that in today's internet age is pretty unthinkable.

Okay, here's my single-album version early:
Hitsville UK
The Leader
Someone Got Murdered
Lose this Skin
Police on My Back
The Sound of the Sinners
Career Opportunities
Bankrobber (my artistic license, so suck it)
The Street Parade

I also feel this could be changed into a Christmas song.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Office Tote Bags

Shouldn’t the “Die Trying” be the line that’s crossed out? I mean, I’d like to be rich, not dead. Just saying.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

NYC December

Nothing makes me miss New York City like December. Buzzfeed has a list of 21 Reasons Christmas in NYC Ruins You Forever.

Made me think of this post from back in December 2007. I'll post here so you don't have to hit a link which you weren't gonna fucking do anyway, right?
The only thing I like as much as complete and utter darkness outside is when it snows. And today, finally, brings the first snowfall of the year, which led me to start thinking about certain albums that snow reminds me of. Sometimes it's the sound, sometimes some stupid memory attached to it. Such as

The Replacements "Tim": any Replacements album has a fall/winterness to it. Tim sounds like winter cause of the reverb, plus I can still hear it as David English's huge gray truck pulls us out of a ditch on a snow day.
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The Replacements "Don't Tell a Soul": in love for the first time, listening to this going sledding with a broken heart.
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Husker Du "Flip Your Wig": everything they did sounded like a blizzard, right?
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Pavement "Slanted and Enchanted": doesn't sound wintry, but it was snowing when I first heard it in a station wagon (and I REALLY wanted to hate it.)
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The Phil Spector box set: camon. All those songs reek of winter; somehting about that wall of sound. And that's BEFORE you put the Christmas record on. Prolly THE winter/snow set.
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The Ramones "Halfway to Sanity": was another snow day when I bought this (12/22/87) at Doc's in town. Loaded up in my friend Brian's Capri, went to Richmond to walk around the mall all day.
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U2 "War" and "The Unforgettable Fire": just sound wintry. I guess that video for "New Years Day" helps.
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The Beatles "A Hard Day's Night": cozy wintry sound, and makes me think of all the snowy nights I played this on the juke at the Halloween Bar.
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DT & the Shakes "Don't Let Me Down" single: has that enclosed, compressed sound to it that reeks of cold, winter night. and I grew up worshiping them and the Rational Herdsmen and the Undecided, all at JMU in the mid-80s, and I'd always picture them playin at a bar while it snows outside. Awwwwwwww.
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And of course if you see snow and don't immediately think of "Fairytale of New York", then you ain't human.

Serge!

Longtime Xmastime buddy Serge Bielanko was on The Today Show this morning...on a side note, if I'm being honest, I cannot say I would put off Crazy Lee Giffords advances should they come my way...

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Torture Report, Cont.

As for rectal feeding, surely someone's already used the "I thought it was don't shit where you eat, not don't eat where you shit" joke already?

CD

After being decommissioned since the 90s, Charles Dickens' personal postbox has been re-opened for service:
A postbox of Christmas past, specially installed for Charles Dickens, has been put back in service 150 years after the author first used it.

It was one of the earliest wall boxes to be introduced. Dickens, a prolific letter writer, had lobbied for it to be installed outside his home in Gad’s Hill Place, Kent, to spare him the mile-long trek to his nearest village of Higham.
How batshit would this dude have gone over email, Facebook and Twitter?
The author’s great-great-granddaughter Marion, who officially opened the box at a Victorian-themed ceremony, said Dickens wrote more than 14,000 letters, with more of 2,000 of them posted from that box between 1859 and 1870. The amount of mail was so huge he warranted his own Post Office private mail bag.

In America

The only kind of governmental over-reach Republicans seem to not mind is torture.

“My tax dollars going towards brutally torturing someone whether it’s effective or not” = GOOD
“My tax dollars going towards ensuring someone can get marginally affordable healthcare” = BAD

Got it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Your Aunt Pat du Jour

:)

On Torture

Moral stances aside, the sad fact is that in the end it simply does not work. Moi, back in 2008:
The thing about torture to me is that UNFORTUNATELY, I live in the real world - a world that does shit I don't really wanna know about, as long as the end result actually works without me finding out the details. In other words no, I DON'T want to know how the sausage is made; but I DO want the sausage to taste good.

For years now I've been yammering that as immoral and wrong as torture is, if it actually WORKED I could be swayed to "look the other way" - if wars could be over with in minutes, if real information was given, if torture made the price of McNuggets come down I might be okay with being willfully ignorant. Hey, a lot of shit goes on that we're better off not knowing about...but enough about Star Jones' shower.

But where torture loses me is that it just does not work. For fuck's sake, I said this a year ago:
...if you’re going to do shit that’s immoral and illegal and repulsive to anyone who’s even part human, at least make sure the shit works! Water-board my ass and within seconds I’ll tell you I shot Kennedy, fuck little boys and have never watched all of Caddyshack. Torture does not work; is it worth being morally bankrupt?
Torture is like shooting a deer, skinning it, and then leaving the meat in the forest. Wtf? If you're gonna shoot Bambi, you better fucking make some venison stew that can feed a whole neighborhood.

Also on torture last year I wrote about the absurdity of our "thirst for information!" when I wrote about Saddam's hanging:
How come we love torturing whatever low-on-the-totem-pole terrorist there may be, these are the people we use to justify water-boarding...but we couldn't fucking wait til Saddam Hussein was executed? If torture is so effective, if torture is the key, then why the fuck wouldn't we have tortured him?

Didn't we go to war under the presumption that Saddam had WMD? And...did we not capture Saddam? So, if we thought Saddam had the capability of destroying the USA...I mean, if anyone had info on the whole war it'd be him, right?...and if we were into torturing people...why were we so excited about the execution of Saddam; if he really was the master behind WMD, wouldn't we have wanted to keep him around for awhile?

Hasn't the execution of Saddam belied our whole philosophy on torture?
Still a mystery to me.

But now we find out that torture DOES work...IN FUCKING OURSELVES OVER!!!!
I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq.
That's nice, right? While not being effective in any way, we morally bankrupt ourselves AND make the very problem we were looking to solve a thousand times worse. Hmm. Seriously, is there ANY other way we could fuck ourselves over with torture while we're at it? I mean, can we give away the cure for cancer in this equation somehow? Maybe find out a way to eliminate the NFL while we're at it?
For fuck's sake. Torture: like a Sarah Lawrence graduate, it just don't work.

Proud to Be an 'Merican

Even glancing at the released torture report is depressing, with its reprehensible brutality matched only by its head-shaking ineffectiveness. Awesome.

That's What She Said

Was Linda the first person to use the phrase? From a 1984 Playboy article with Paul McCartney that for some reason she was involved with:
PLAYBOY: Has the McCartneys' relationship with Yoko changed since John's
death?

LINDA: No comment! Only kidding. That's what she said.
Well. She was no Michael Scott, that's for sure.

Damn You, Prince William!

Prince William and Princess Kate-Xmastime are in Brooklyn. Which they never did while I lived there. Grrr.

Ah yes, George: The Lookaway. Nice. I invented that one back in 1993, you're welcome very much.
"But Xmastime", you say in the voice of Craig “Ironhead” Heyward from those soap commercials (RIP), “wasn't your live-bloging of their wedding the single greatest moment of the Internet?"

Sigh. Yes, faithful readers. Yes it was.

I Am Un Chien Andalusia

It's been 25 years since the release of The Pixies awesome Doolittle, and this guy might know why it's so great.

Doolittle is a great album. For one, at that point it was the only album I had ever bought sight unseen, never even having heard of the band. More importantly, it's the album I bought when this happened.

Nom nom nom!!!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Sorry, John Updike

Moi a couple of months ago after not even bothering to finish Rabbit, Run:
My official word on John Updike: he's a great writer, but not a good storyteller. 
It bugged me throughout even if Rabbit did seem real or not, I simply didn't believe Updike. And then a few days ago, via Sully I may have the answer:
Harold Bloom once snarkily quipped that John Updike was “a minor novelist with a major style.” After reading Adam Begley’s biography, Updike, Daniel Ross Goodman seems to agree, noting the writer’s “lack of intense passion.” He speculates the deficit “was because Updike did not experience the deep suffering of many other literary geniuses”...Updike’s literary setbacks were those of a lottery winner who stubs his toe on the way to the bank and then has to wait in line before he can cash his check.
Maybe it's not fair to judge another's trials, and I'm probably the only person I know that doesn't like Updike, but I certainly sensed the above as I was reading him.

Also, the lottery bit makes me laugh, thinking of someone's breakdown of why George Harrison was always so grouchy:
Finally, the film really never investigates the real mystery of Harrison: What was he so morose about?...Harrison has always had a sense of the aggrieved about him. I just don't know what the source of it was. In Harrison's mini-autobiography at the front of I Me Mine, the unasked-for collection of his song lyrics, he seems mostly unhappy about … the travel indignities he suffered during the Beatles years.

Footnotes

I'm often fascinated by uber-footnotes in history; either in pictures (ie. who's the woman in the picture they always show kneeling over the body at Kent State?) or otherwise (ie Raymond Jones - to quote Wikipedia: The Beatles had recorded the 'My Bonnie' single with Tony Sheridan in Germany...Epstein's version of the story was that a customer—Raymond Jones—walked into the NEMS shop and asked Epstein for the "My Bonnie" single, which made Epstein curious about the group.") Who are these people? Has anyone ever interviewed them? That should be a whole book, interviews with these footnote people. There's millions of 'em.
I never seem to have watched it all the way through at any one time, but the one scene below from the 1988 documentary Imagine I never seem to miss is when some hippie wanders up to John Lennon's house, and instead of releasing the hounds Lennon not only talks to him but invites him in to eat!

Who the fuck is this guy? Is he alive? He's probably about 60 now. Has anyone ever found out who this guy is? Wouldn't it be great to ask "what was it like to find yourself sitting at a kitchen table eating toast with one  of the goddam Beatles?"?

See other Xmastime footnotes HERE
 

12/8

There is a strange juxtaposition to celebrating the birth of Brothatime!! on the same day we mourn the loss of John Lennon. I mean, here we have a guy that has been there for every one of my 42 years, a constant friend by my side through all times good and bad and who will be there for me all the rest of my days, and then there's also Brothatime!!  HIYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

34 Years Ago Tonight

John Lennon signing an autograph for Mark David Chapman hours before Chapman returned to shoot him outside Lennon's Dakota home.