Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lowered expectations and falsehoods

Now of course, I'm all for the fact that the death toll is lower for US G.I.s now that July has ended.

What I'm opposed to is that the Right will pounce on this data to prove that THE SURGE is working.

First of all, it's not working. Secondly this administration is nothing but a bunch of opportunistic fucks who pretend to love the troops.

Of course, this is what "love" looks like in Bushworld.

CandyGram for Mongo

Gawd. Abu Gonzales is such a little creep.

Cruel Summer

Ummm, hardly.

Nope, just a post to baselessly reference that great little pop song from Bananarama in the summer of '84 and to celebrate the absolutely glorious summer we're having here in NE Ohio.

Here's the forecast for the upcoming week...again. And those isolated storms have been very few and far between since May.

As for Bananarama, those girls were the hottest chicks of all of the pop tartlets of that era. If you think I'm joking, check out what they look like today.

Jul 31
Mostly Sunny 86°/66° 20 %
Aug 01
Sunny 88°/68° 10 %
Aug 02
Sunny 89°/71° 10 %
Aug 03
Mostly Sunny 84°/67° 20 %
Aug 04
Mostly Cloudy 83°/69° 10 %
Aug 05
Isolated T-Storms 88°/71° 30 %
Aug 06
Scattered T-Storms 84°/67° 40 %
Aug 07
Scattered T-Storms 80°/64° 30 %
Aug 08
Mostly Sunny 80°/66° 10 %
Aug 09
AM Clouds / PM Sun 79°/65° 0 %

Monday, July 30, 2007


Wow. Tom Snyder dead today as well.

I'm confident that he was probably an asshole with an over inflated sense of himself. I always dug him though, at least for the fact that he had John Lydon, Iggy, The Ramones, Harlan Ellison, Patti Smith, The Jam, and Elvis Costello and Wendy O. Williams all on his show.

Snyder was way ahead of his time. He really hated what had happened to discourse in the country. May he rest in turmoil


Nearly six years later, and David Rees' Get Your War On is still damn funny.

Case in point...


His earliest memories, he once said, were of light and death.

Ingmar Bergman, dead at 89.

I never got the appeal of Bergman until I saw Fanny and Alexander. I went back to the more adventurous stuff after that experience and still didn't get a whole lot more, but I certainly understood his affect on all that followed.

Especially Woody.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Here Kitty, Kitty

I'm going to assume that everyone saw or heard of this cat story yesterday.

Now if only I could direct him to the metro D.C. area...(hat tip to the brilliant photo shop skills of Attaturk).

Friday Random Ten

Sleeping Lessons--The Shins
Still Too Soon To Know--Elvis Costello
Got Ma Nuts From a Hippie--The Fratellis
Higher Ground--Red Hot Chili Peppers
Chains--The Raveonettes
Less Than You Think--Wilco
Store Bought Bones--The Raconteurs
Fire In the Canyon--Fountains Of Wayne
Give My Love To Rose--Johnny Cash
Do You Realize??--The Flaming Lips

Friday, July 20, 2007


Until I heard his new song, my favorite Merle Haggard tune had always been, "The Bottle Let Me Down".

This one is better.

Friday Random Ten

We're rockin' in the free world this morning.

All the Negatives Have Been Destroyed--Spoon
Utopia Parkway--Fountains of Wayne
Sex and Candy--Marcy Playground
Going Down Fast--The John Doe Thing
Pretty and High--The Roches
Trying Not to Think About Time--The Futureheads
Celebrity Skin--Hole
Back To The Life--Spoon
High School Confidential--Jerry Lee Lewis

Bonus cut:

Girl Sailor--The Shins

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cognative dissonance

Although this news item is in direct conflict with my peace loving Assimov quote at the top of the page, it's still the feel good story of the year. I always loved Phil Hartman and loathed the talentless Andy Dick.

But I'd never heard this part of this sad tale until this happened. Good on Jon Lovitz. Plus, I really hate cocaine.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New digs

Few rants and mostly raves for the new Art Museum in Akron. Here's an article in today's WaPo, (you may need to register to read it via the link).

Candy ass kids

And to think of all the hard work my friends and I did in the late seventies to pave the way for the next generation to revel in their own brand of debauchery, this is the thanks that we get.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

George Gershwin

Did everybody know that George Gershwin was only 38 years old when he died? Huh, I didn't.

Anyway, I had heard on the radio today that he passed away on this date in July of 1937. What an amazing person he was. There was a memorial concert held in his honour two months after his demise at the Hollywood Bowl where entertainment luminaries of the day (George Jessel, Fred Astaire, Al Jolson and Otto Klemperer) literally sang his praises.

The last song that they played and that Gershwin ever wrote is You Can't Take that Away From Me.

The way you wear your hat,
The way you sip your tea,
The mem'ry of all that --
No, no! They can't take that away from me!

The way your smile just beams,
The way you sing off key,
The way you haunt my dreams --
No, no! They can't take that away from me!

We can never, never meet again
On the bumpy road to love,
Still I'll always, always keep
The mem'ry of --

The way you hold your knife,
The way we danced 'til three.
The way you changed my life --
No, no! They can't take that away from me!
No! They can't take that away from me!

Monday, July 09, 2007


I've never been a huge Neil Young fan but this is terrific.


Dirty Fuckin' Hippy retired Gen. Wm. Odom lays out a new meaning of "support the troops".

Insert head in sand


Yeah, that's right, it's noise that caused this guy to shoot multiple people, or maybe he's not a civil enough neighbor, or he's a rage-a-holic. Shit.

How come guns and easy access to their inherently designed killing power is never broached on these all too numerous occasions of a shooting rampage?

Listen, everybody gets angry at some point in their lives to do what this Cleveland fireman did over the 4th.

Seriously, we do. He's not unique.

The real issue at hand here is guns. We can get as pissed off as we want, maybe even hit our neighbor with a ball bat or a tire iron, but there's no fucking way we can kill and maim numerous times without that weapon in our hand.

We've proven time and time again that we're just not evolved enough in this American society to warrant the use of legalized firearms. Until we come to grips with that sad and very apparent truth, no one should be "surprised that this could happen here"...

No more Dickin' around

Go here to sign the petition and tell your friends

Shiny Happy People

Wow. Even bitter ol' Cintra Wilson was moved to believe and hope for a better future.

July 8, 2007 | On Saturday, Al Gore simultaneously took over and saved the world.

It was a historic moment, signifying a vast sea change: the death of the Hummer and the rebirth of Flower Power. Two billion fans, 130 countries, seven continents and Jon Bon Jovi can't be wrong.

Watching the Gore-backed, star-packed Live Earth festival -- which included televised, Web-streamed concerts in New York, London, Johannesburg, Rio De Janeiro, Shanghai, Tokyo, Sydney and Hamburg -- there was an overwhelming sense that one was seeing the better angels of the human spirit rise lotus-like through the mud and unfold into a better, sober, new counterculture based on a peace, love, understanding and eco-consciousness. Like the sixties, only without so much meth.

Al Gore's barn-burning second act is an effort to raise consciousness about global warming but it is also an affirmation that there are more of us than there are of them – a demonstration that there is a better Western consciousness at work than the one that has inspired such hair-raising international enmity over the last few years. The strong contention held by Live Earth that thinking about the collective good is simply a better way to do business was at least a nice idea, and at best, a potentially empowering paradigm-shift.

The concerts themselves assiduously avoided any mention of political agenda, apart from a general, collective resistance to buying into false, corporate-manufactured ideologies. If there was any glaring omission, it was that there seemed to be an outright kibosh on Republican-bashing. The concerts were effortlessly positive, and successfully intent on bringing home a handful of specific messages in an eco-conscious "Seven Point Pledge" (e.g. buy florescent lightbulbs) … all of which could be distilled into the one simple message: Every little bit really does help. You too can contribute to the sum of a unified, greater effort to pass on a healthy planet to the kids.

The concert Gore originally wanted to take place in Washington, DC, was considered "too hot" politically. From an April Washington Post article: "Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, vowed to block Live Earth from coming to the Capitol, telling the Hill newspaper that 'there has never been a partisan political event at the Capitol, and this is a partisan political event.'"

It must be remembered that both Bush and Cheney came from the energy industry, and that there's a link thissclose between the energy policies of the Bush Administration and U.S. military strategy.

In early 2001, President Bush's top foreign policy priority was to address the nation's "energy crisis" by increasing the flow of petroleum from suppliers abroad to U.S. markets. Hence, the Dick Cheney Energy Task force was assembled with the help of late Enron CEO Ken Lay. The members of this task force included, according to a document obtained by the Washington Post in 2005, officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco, Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc.

Documents turned over in 2003 as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch, showed that the Cheney Energy Task Force contained a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects. These documents were dated March 2001.

But none of this was mentioned at the Live Earth concerts -- it was just a smiley-face, rockin’ good time: proud, happy, respectful and, above all, hopeful -- the most feel-good event since villains hijacked America and took us all as prisoners of war on 9/11.

Even the perennially depressed Roger Waters from Pink Floyd was having such a good time he looked as guileless as a 10-year-old.

Shakira’s hips didn't lie in Hamburg -- few torsos in the world are more fun to look at. Host Karen "Duff" Lambrose heckled Shakira, a bit, for "shaking it like a Chippendales dancer…. Those were some $5 moves." But all things considered, Shakira is a better role-model than the Pussycat Dolls, and if her celebrated caboose can bring more attention to keeping car tires inflated, hey, bring on the T&A cams.

Chris Rock, who seemed a bit dubious about the whole affair (and made one vast clunker of a laughless joke about Jamaican babies bursting into flame) nonetheless caught the wave long enough to urge his audience to get "smaller-ass cars."

Alicia Keys, the breakaway star of the event, really torched the roof off with her Category 5, gale-force radiance. Great performing artists can maintain poise while seemingly losing all control: Keys literally quivers from the wild waves of supersoul rippling through her. Her backup vocals on "Gimme Shelter" redeemed the otherwise limp Keith Urban and, if hooked up to a generator, could have powered all of the dryers in Dubai.

Madonna, looking -- that bitch! -- more gorgeous than ever, really seemed to enjoy herself, and made Wembley stadium go bonkers. She sent the important message that, given proper vigilance, a woman can push 50 and still get successfully dry-humped in Lycra-Spandex dance-pants.

The somewhat insufferable Melissa Etheridge, singer of Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" theme song, nearly cleared the stadium by interrupting her songs to offer long-winded lectures about the virtues of biodeisel, but even this was somehow forgivable.

The mainstream global press has seemed intent on under-reporting and undermining Gore's message and the success of the concert. But the naysayers have been, unsurprisingly, reflective of the corporate media conglomerates that ran the articles.

The News of the World, Britain's biggest-selling tabloid, detailed estimates of carbon emissions from Madonna's nine houses, many cars and private jet, calling her a "climate-change catastrophe." News of the World, of course, is owned by News Corporation, which is owned by the shameless Republican propagandist Rupert Murdoch.

The Sunday Telegraph, long considered the "house newspaper" of the U.K. Conservatives (and until recently owned by the disgraced Conrad Black), quoted U.S. reports of Madonna's alleged financial links to companies accused of being major polluters.

In an interview with NBC's Ann Curry at the concert, Sting's wife, Trudie Styler, denounced Chevron, one of several companies that gave detailed energy policy recommendations to the Cheney Energy Task Force, for its recent exploits in Ecuador, illegally dumping toxic waste into the drinking water of three indigenous tribes of people and giving them cancer.

The perennially ageless Sting bumped the mood back up, after his wife’s gruesome news. The reformed Police were joined by a highly excited Kanye West in a duet that was actually moving, because it was sincerely felt:

"We can save the world!"
"Sending out an SOS…."
"We can save the world!"
"Sending out an SOS…."
"We can save the world!"

Counter-insurgency, General Patraeus has said, is about capturing hearts and minds. There was simply no denying the infectious, unforced good feelings of Live Earth. You can only front for so long: Joy is real or it isn't. This was the kind of love-fest you can't buy or steal … and even snarky reviews can’t kill.

Outside the hotel in which I was watching the concert on TV, I saw a shuttle-bus driver, having trouble getting out of a roundabout, leave his van running to go argue with another driver. His headlights were on; exhaust was pumping into the heat.

The van driver would not have done that if he had seen that concert. The formula is simple: Pay attention to what you buy and the energy you use. Try to decrease your carbon footprint a little bit.

America will look back with deep shame over the last six years, with a regret as awful as a bad drunk tattoo. The enduring problem of terrorism will require international collaboration; collaboration requires motivations beyond self-interest. But, has hippy-delic as it sounds, the case was made: by loving the planet, we can love ourselves, love each other -- and literally save the world.

At the end of the day on Saturday, a certain truth was self-evident: we can do the right things for the right reasons, and the right answer can benefit everyone. Al Gore demonstrated nicely that the truth, however inconvenient, will eventually set you free.

Random Monday Ten

Monday, Bob? Yeah, I'm really shakin' things up now...

Goodnight, Goodnight--Hot Hot Heat
Spidey's Wild Ride--Tom Waits
Happy Flower--Nellie McKay
I'm Free--Rolling Stones
Two Shoes--Cat Empire
Oh Susanna--James Taylor*
Hotel Majestic--Fountains of Wayne
You F******g Love It--Dirty Pretty Things
14 Days--Nick Lowe
Layfette don't fail me now--Spoon

*This is from the Sweet Baby James album, which at the time, my father labeled, "jungle music".

BTW, I really love this Cat Empire record.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Underdog

The release date on Ga-ga-ga-ga-ga is next Tuesday. Until then, here's a video of the single from the best band in America.

Brother Dave saw them last night at Summerfest in Milwaukee. Naturally, he said that Spoon rocked.

Oh, and by the way for you locals, The Redwalls are at the Beachland Tavern tonight. If you luv John inlfuenced Beatles, you'll luv The Redwalls.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Steve Bell

Yeah, that's right. Our American democracy is viewed as wildly popular overseas.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


This guy was one of the first "bloggers" I remember seeing when Dave and I collectively discovered that weblogs weren't just vehicles for teenage girls to share stories about how much they love horses.

No, blogs were politics and discussion and interaction and anger. Perfect.

Jim Capozzola will be missed.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Flip Flop Nation

This column EXACTLY describes my issues with Flip Flop Nation.

Why do I care?...I dunno, but I too, (as is crabby pants Jim Kunstler), am often ashamed at the sloppy comportment of the "men" of this nation.

Just sayin.