Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Forgotten Albums on Spotify Vol. 1

So, I have not written on this, my first attempt at Blogging, since 2008. I am giving it another shot as a catch all for those things (poetry and sports related items) that I have other spots.

I have been using Spotify for a few months now, and despite the repetitive ads and general nonsense that gets in the way of my listening enjoyment, it is not unlike listening to a radio station that plays full albums. Yes, I still call them albums. And yes, I still listen to them in their entirety. I am no Luddite, however, and consider the playlist option the 21st century equivalent of a mixtape. Except you no longer give it to girls you like, friends you want to corrupt or friends you like and girls you want to corrupt. It just goes out to everyone!

These are the items I have found myself returning to a lot, which is not as maudlin for the 1980s as I would have expected. In fact, it is much more maudlin for the 1970s.........a wonderful time where disco never happened, Nixon did not win in 1972 and the Hippies matched their hedonistic celf-centeredness with, you know, actual political accomplishment. These are tapes or CDs that I owned at one time or another.

1. Genesis -- Nursery Cryme (1971)

Wonderful! Strange! You know you are in for a good listening when Peter Gabriel is singing a tune entitled "The Return of the Giant Hogweed". The opening track is the oddly spooky number "The Musical Box"; a collection of flutes, bells, guitar, what sounds like a harpsichord...which leads into an explosion of sharp chords surrounding the aging of a child's spirit after the child was murdered by a croquet mallet.

My favorite here has long been "Harold the Barrel" about a man

In a mouse brown overcoat/suitably disguised

What a horrible thing to do! Harold the Barrel
Cut off his toes and served them up for tea!
He can't go far!

You can't buy strangeness like that, with the exception of Amanda Fucking Palmer. And the crowd taunting him while he is on he ledge with "Take a Running jump" is doubly awesome, as the man has no toes.

2. The Kinks -- Something Else by The Kinks (1967)
Not only does it include well known songs such as “David Watts” (personally I cannot decide between the original and The Jam’s version), “Death of a Clown” and the excellent “Waterloo Sunset”, it  also has a wonderful lesser known song about the pleasures of tobacco addiction, “Harry Rag”:

Ah, Tom's old ma is a dying lass
Soon they all reckon she'll be pushing up the grass
And her bones might ache and her skin might sag
But still she's got the strength to have a harry rag

It did not sell well because the Kinks were under a ban for an on stage fight between the Davies brothers. 

3. Little Feat -- Waiting For Columbus (Live) (1978)

While it bugs me that they do not perform "Hamburger at Midnight", it is a great album right the way through. Want some strong versatile rock action, this is your band.  "Fat Man in a Bathtub" would not be out of place in a New Orleans dive, "Oh! Atlanta" sounds like a straight up pop song, "Triple Face Boogie" is the best parts of Skynard and The Allman Brothers mixed together.

4. Tom Tom Club -- Tom Tom Club (1981)

Maybe this is nostalgia....maybe this is the remnant of my evil teenage lust for Tina Weymouth. I mean evil. Dirty, foul lust.....

Words are trouble
Words are subtle

Weymouth and her husband (DAMMIT) are better known as the rhythm section for the Talking Heads and this album is better known for the over-sampled "Genius of Love".  It starts with "Wordy Rappinghood", which has aged very well. Hell, the whole thing has. If you like the samples, check out the source.

Who needs to think when your feet just go?

5. Joe Jackson -- Look Sharp! (1979)

Not to be confused with Roxette's album of the same name. It features "IS She Really Going out With Him", perhaps Jackson's best known song after "Stepping Out." The album, however, is one of the four great "New Wave" recordings of the Second Invasion (the others being My Aim is True and This Year's Model by Elvis Costello and the Attractions and Nick Lowe's Labour of Lust). Driven by exceptional bass on the part of Graham Maby (Sunday Papers, Fools in Love and Got The Time jump out). If anything, the original Got the Time rocks as hard as the Anthrax cover.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rube Pt. II

The nickname Rube came from a game in 1896. Pitching for the Franklin, PA town team, Waddell started the first game of a doubleheader against Oil City and won 8-0. The teams travelled back to Franklin for the second game. On the way, the scheduled pitcher for Franklin got thoroughly drunk, pressing George Waddell into service for the second game.

In the second inning, Waddell was struck square in the forehead by a line drive and lay unconscious on the field for nearly five minutes. When he came to, he proceeded to shake off his teammates and demanded to finish the game. george pitched a complete game, hitting two home runs in the process. Oil City's manager told him after the game "You're a regular robber! No one but a true Rube could recover from an accident like that!"

Roughly 30 players in the history of the major leagues have had the nickname Rube. 17 of these were contemporary with Waddell; 23 of the 30 were pitchers. Of the Rubes, six were from Pennsylvania; four of these were left handed pitchers. Rube Foster, founder of the Negro National League, earned his nickname by defeating Waddell in an exhibition game. Richard Marquard said that after he pitched a minor league game against another up-and-coming pitcher, Smoky Joe Wood, in 1908, an Indianapolis sportswriter wrote that "Marquard is a lefty who is going places; he resembles the all time great Rube Waddell." From that day on he became Rube Marquard. The last active player with the name was Albert "Rube" Walker, a backup catcher from Lenoir, North Carolina for the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s.

Rube is synonomous with hick or hayseed, conjuring visions of farm boys piling off the train in a large city carrying a cardboard suitcase, baffled at the pace of the city and ridiculed by their teammates. It is a direct link to a pastoral past invented for the game, a myth of the country boy made good, rising with a God given fastball or batting eye to the heights of the profession.

Organized baseball needed the Rube and the rough Irish ballplayers that flocked to it in the 1880s and 1890s. If the myth of baseball as a platform of fair play and democratic principles were to work, every Kelly, O' Rourke and Rube had to be included. What emerges from the individual story of Rube Waddell is the crossroads of 1880s and 1890s baseball and the emergence of the "modern" game. Waddell at his best was a Hall of Fame caliber pitcher and a great drawing card for the baseball magnates. At his worst, he was an unreliable drunk and an awful teammate. However, the cranks (fans) of the time always had a spot for "Good Ol' Rube."

As the game drew more fans and concrete and steel stadiums were built to hold them, as the teams became investments, baseball would have no room for characters the likes of the Rube. The league that he helped to build in 1901 would have no use for him by 1910. As America became a more urbanized nation, players like Waddell became examples of the times. The workers who scraped together 50 cents for a seat on their day off were purchasing insulation from the crushing reality of the industrial age. Rube Waddell, even though eccentric, even though notoriously unreliable, was a man child from the country who could throw a ball faster than anyone else; this made him a great athlete.

What made him a hero to these men, women and their children was his ability to chase fire engines, play marbles with kids underneath the stands. His was the ability to live an unpredictable life in a managed world. He was the last of the red hot goofballs, an unsettled person who lived his own way on a rapidly closing frontier. He was the last of the baseball innocents, for whom the business was about playing the game.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Rube Part One

OK, so I will now begin to post my project on Rube Waddell, working title of "Last of the Red Hot Goofballs." Any comments/complaints/reactions are greatly appreciated. At this point, I am only up to page 16 or 17 on the manuscript, but will add things to the blog as they become available.

1876 was a year dominated by heroes, villains and technology. An alliance of Sioux and Cheyenne defeated George Armstrong Custer at the Little Big Horn in June, providing what seemed to some as a proper send off for the corrupt and depression-ridden Republican administration of U.S. Grant. The presidential election in November, pitting Democrat Samuel Tilden against Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, was not settled until the following January when Hayes won by a single electoral vote. The behind the scenes mechanations that made Hayes president centered on the end of Reconstruction; Democratic newspapers began to refer to Hayes as "Rutherfraud."
There were some bright spots, however, in the midst of a depression that began in 1873 with the collapse of the Cooke banking interests. Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call to his assistant Watson. William Marcy "Boss" Tweed was arrested in Spain after escaping from a New York City jail. The authorities recognized Tweed becasue of Thomas Nast's cartoons. The country celebrated the Centennial of the Declaration of Independence, albiet in a smober tone in the wake of Custer's defeat.
In February, Albert Goodwill Spalding and William Hurlbert met with other owners of professional baseball teams at the Central Hotel in New York. Hurlbert owned the Chicago White Stockings of the National Association, which had begun operation in 1871. Spalding had been coaxed to Chicago by Hurlbert after leading the Boston Red Stockings to the 1875 NA pennant. Spalding had won 57 games in 1875, and the Red Stockings won 71 of 79 contests. There was no pennant race in 1875, and the NA owners had the gate receipts to prove it. The Brooklyn Atlantics had won only 2 of 44 games; the Kekouk (Iowa) Westerners only 2 of 13 before the team disbanded.
Hurlbert and Spalding sought to create a new stable, competitive and lucrative league. 1876 saw the birth of the National League, with a 70 game schedule played by the Boston Red Caps, Louisville Grays, Chicago White Stockings, Philadelphia Athletics, Cincinnati Reds, Hartford Dark Blues, Brooklyn Mutuals and St. Louis Browns. Appropriately, perhaps, the White Stockings won the pennant behind the pitching of Spalding and the hitting of Adrian "Cap" Anson. The Browns finished a surprising second, led by 45 game winner George "Grin" Bradley.
Two pitchers were born that year, both destined for stardom in the National League. Both were born in October, 6 days apart. Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown was born on the 19th. A childhood accident with a threshing machine took most of his index and middle fingers of his right hand. It left him with a grip that produced a devestating knuckle-curve and the somewhat cruel nickname "Three Finger." His teammates called him "Miner" and he won 20 games for 6 consecutive seasons for the Chicago Cubs, who had began their existence as Hurlbert's White Stockings.
The other was born on Friday, October 13th outside the small village of Bradford, Pennsylvania, 86 years to the day before Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburgh Pirates would end the 1960 World Series with a home run at Forbes Field. His name was George Edward Waddell. His teammates called him "The Dutchman" or "Eddie." The fans called him "Rube."
When an intrepid fan types "Rube Waddell" into an internet search engine, the Baseball Hall of Fame is not the first link on the resulting list, nor is the Philadelphia A's Historical Society. The first link is to the website of a band named Rube Waddell, who chose the name of this eclectic man as a symbol of their eclectic style. The second is an article entitled "Rube Waddell: The Man, The Nutjob."
This is true to form about what has come down to us about the Rube, a man who his own father labeled as "touched" and "a Screwball." Sam Crawford, outfielder for the Detroit Tigers 1903-1917, said that
Waddell used to pour ice water over his arm before he pitched! Yeah, ice water. He'd go over to the big barrels we had
along the bench in those days, get a big dipper-full and say "I got so much stuff today, I'm gonna burn the catcher's mitt
off!" Then he'd pour water over his arm and say "Yep. That oughtta slow me down some."
The tales of Waddell are legendary: alligator wrestling, a starring role in the short-lived stage production "The Stain of Guilt", jumping his contract with the Louisville Colonels because manager Fred Clarke fined him $50. Waddell responded that the ball team existed to pay him, not take his money away.
Some of these stories obscure the talent. Waddell struck out 349 hitters in 1904, 110 more than anyone else that season; in 1903, his 302 Ks were 115 more than the runner up, "Wild Bill" Donovan of Detroit. Waddell won 96 games between 1902 and 1905 in the new American League. In an era in which batters choked up on the bat and sought to "place" the ball in the field of play, the strikeouts were extraordinary. Between 1900 and 1946, there were only 5 seasons in which a pitcher struck out more than 300 hitters: Waddell and Walter Johnson twice each and Bob Feller once.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Not Again!

Ohhhhh man, Lindsey's back in rehab. At least this is the 8th or 9th story on the dashboard at and is buried at near the bottom on All you people out there blasting the media for not covering news can be quiet.

Along with the deaths of 7 more Americans in Afghanistan and the traveler with TB that "exposes border security risks" according to msnbc, the media is on these stories:
--Crowd holds mattress as mom jumps from fire
--kisses, lunches likely to survive French reform
--Artist goes through 200k worth of LEGOs a year, and
--study says that female cheetahs sleep around.

Good grief. I don't even know where to start with this. At least one of Lohan's "family friends" said that "There is a lot of pressure on this 20 year old. The world has been hard on her." Well, I call BS on that. Granted, the constant media attention is a problem I would not wish on anyone. However, she is not making millions of bucks for awful films to stay home at night. She also is, quite simply, a drunk. A 20 year old drunk with a Mercedes and poor working habits. Her mom said "she's so bored." Ask Jane Fonda, a noted "vixen" and 1960s party girl, about Lohan's attitude and problems with boredom.

CNN also reports on the "DUI epidemic" in Hollywood. In the 1940s, the stars would get blitzed at home, and stay there. Bogey probably drove home in a cloud of booze once a week. Was he arrested? Probably not; of course, how many cops get quoted by Variety when Lohan gets arrested for a hit and run involving a shrub? We spend our lives living through these people, and we chuckle quite a bit when they go down. It's the nature of the celebrity beast.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Give it Up

When is it a sign that your favorite sport is foolish and redundant? When people begin to exhibit "best celebrities at NBA playoff game" reports. Gone are the days of Jack N. and Dian Cannon and Chevy Chase at the Forum, or Spike Lee trading insults (good naturedly) with MJ. You remember? When the NBA was entertaining? In the mid-90s?

Another thing that forebodes trouble is Brady Quinn being one of the top people. You know, Brady Quinn? Who ESPN masturbated over for two hours during the draft, giving Jemarcus Russell short shrift? Brady Quinn, who might hold out because he was really "a top pick" even though he went #22, 11 spots lower than the last jack ass to pull this "top pick" stuff, Matt Leinart?

Kobe is itching to get Jerry West back into the Lakers front office....and I yawn. Mention Kobe, and I yawn. mention LaBron James, and I marvel at the talent, but still yawn. The NBA is a boring game that is getting worse. It baffled me that Robert Horry was still playing, and baffled me that he gave what was described as a hip check to Steve Nash. Somewhere, mark Messier is shaking his bald head in disgust. That wasn't a hip check. Check out some of the flagrants that Rodman or Spider Salley used to hand out. Wussies. So what if half the team left the bench afterwards? They ought to get a medal for trying to save a short Canadian from some large man that is old enough to have stayed up late listening to Charles Barkley tell stories of what it was like to play with Moses Malone. Sheesh.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Well, If I make less than my father did, that will be a joke. But, men in their 30s are making roughly 12% less than their fathers did, according to this story:

"The canonical belief in an American meritocracy may be unraveling" the story says. I would argue that it has been unraveling since the early 90s. Ask anyone trying to get a job in education that sees baby Boomers hired back at reduced time so they can still collect their pension checks. How many 30-39 year olds do you know that work crummy part time jobs with no bennies because they are "waiting for that good job." As a Gen Xer, I understood early on that Social Security will most likely not be there for me, and that frankly the Boomers in general and the government in particular cared about me as a revenue source, not what I could provide to a community.

The middle class is shrinking, the poor are getting poorer and we all know what the rich are doing. Notice that your food prices are going up at the grocery store? Gas is not the only thing that is currently over $3 a gallon in this country; milk is in many places as well. Real Wages are at their lowest point since 1972-73. While household incomes rise (9% over the last 30 years) we work longer hours for less pay. Globalization benefits, in that it keeps some prices for goods low. What it also will do is keep wages low as a part of low prices. What it will also do is pump huge profits into businesses that will pay less in taxes than they did 30 years ago. If anything has characterized American business, it is not competition, but the ruthless destruction of any and all competition, including their own employees. After all, we can always find people to do jobs that Americans won't do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Steal This Film! What did he say?

Everyone should watch the wonderful show "orwell rolls in his grave" featuring hijinks by the Bushies that you may have missed, or need rehashed. Plus, it's got Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich waxing all Progressive and Moral. Excellent treatment of the lack of meaningful media coverage of the last three-four years.

The President made a speech today, in which he stated that Al-Quaeda was planned to use Iraq as a training ground for attacks on the US in 2005. Interesting date, which no one is paying attention to. Didn't Saddam and Osama exchange phone numbers? Weren't they friends according to these same jokers, say, I don't know, in 1999 or 2000? What happened since then in Iraq?

We created the vaccuum that Al-Quaeda is stepping into, along with the sectarian groups that have been killing each other for two years. I am fascinated that not many writers, outside the NY Times, are laughing at this, other than the meeting Bush mentioned has been public knowledge for nearly 2 years. While this is important, it dodges the question and avoids the point. Saddam hated bin Laden perhaps as much as he hated Bush. One rationale for this debacle was "material aid" to Al-Quaeda on the part of Iraq, which has been debunked completely. Now, Al-Quaeda has a ready made area to practice what it wants to, thanks to us. Makin' the World safe for Democracy, one oil well at a time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

No! Don't Do This! It Makes Me Respect You!

Orlando Bloom is going to quit movies and go back to "the stage," which is actor talk for "Now I must stop making money and be an actor and not a movie star." I HATE this. I mean, can't I just generally giggle at someone who makes a bajillion dollars by owning two expressions and making women swoon? Now I have to respect the guy.

Also,, THE Harry Potter fan site, has said that they do not want to have the last book "spoiled" by inside sources, and have threatened those that would spill the secret beans with pitchforks, feathers and tar. Good Work! Personally, I think Voldemort and Harry will both die, because one cannot exist without the other. And Harry is the Horcrux. And Dumbledore is not dead. And Snape is a good guy.


I was listening to the radio last week and heard the 1124th show since March that concerned high gas prices. In the midst of the name calling, Exxon bashing and groaning from jack asses that own SUVs, I heard a person calling from Bellvue who said "Taxes aren't high enough. I mean, that tax money goes to the government, and benefits everybody."

I won't touch the moronic "benefits everyone" business right off the bat. Take a good look at Washington's taxes, per and you will find:
--Washington has the 2nd highest smoke taxes and 3rd highest gas taxes in the country
--Washington ranks 22nd in property tax rates
--Washington ranks 16th in sales taxes.

Even California has lower individual sales tax rates (6.45%) than Washington does. In Whatcom county, the sales tax rate is over 8%. What Washington does not have is a corporate income tax, but a tax on gross receipts. NJ does the same thing. corporate income tax, no personal income tax, yet sales taxes nearly 2% over the national average, and gas taxes at 34 cents to the gallon? Who's paying the bill here?

And what are we getting? , the website for a non-partisan Washington state budget group, states that "even the modest funding proposals for education and health care in the governor's 2007-09 budget will not be covered by current and proposed revenues."
Far from Governor Gregoire's claim that Washington by 2009 will have universal health care and a "World class" education system.

Washington spends 2.6 million of the governor and lieutenant governor's bodyguards, 8.3 million to pimp Washington as a tourist attraction, and has trouble funding the pathetic 2% raise to teachers. BTW, Washington teacher pay currently ranks 35th in the nation. But, Washington does pay more out in general funds toward higher education and k-12 ed than the national average. Again, where is that going? It isn't to the teachers and professors. The Gov and Lt Gov each got pay raises this year to the tune of roughly 16%. Well done!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


The wife and I have roughly $75,000 in student loans, and two part time jobs to show for all that knowledge and debt. I have DirectEd loan servicing calling me twice a week. I guess in this sense I am a "Student Loan Whale." I don't know if my former colleges were implicated in steering students to a certain lender. We have loans because our folks had (have) no money.

I love to read statements like this, taken from the following article:

"live like a student while you're in school, so you don't have to live like one after you graduate."

That from some Joker named Ivan Noblitsky of Capital Solutions. CS is a retirement planning firm. So, they must know what it's like to have loans. Well, probably not. I would guess their kids don't either. Why doesn't anyone actually speak to college students about the pitfalls of the Student Loan industry? And what the hell would they no about "living like a student"? he probably wasn't in college past 1984; since then in NY alone college tuition has increased 224%. Like I say, what in the hell would that guy know?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I Hate All Baldwins

Not to pile on, but Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger should both be publicly whipped, made to eat tainted cat food and then whipped again with scourges made from the tops of those cat food tins.

Any duo of parents that has a shitty divorce and then puts their child in the middle of the recriminations that follow deserve public ridicule. Notice Baldwin's explanation says something vapid about "being driven to the edge by parental alienation for many years." What? Alienation by your parents, Alec? My dad called me a LOT of names, mostly ending with "head" or "ass" or some combination, followed by slapping, punching, etc; but he never called me a " rude, thoughtless, little pig."

Oh, and is this news? God Damn right it is. If only to rid us of Baldwins. And Kim Basinger. And Baldwins.


Why this randomly appeared today, I have no idea:

Riverside, Iowa has been home to some misbegotten small town lunacy called Trekfest for nearly 20 years. I've been to Trek Fest twice. The Wife even has a genuine Trek Fest T-Shirt. It usually involves three things:

1. Some yahoo who appeared in one of the original episodes, usually in a red shirt, who usually did not survive past the first away team. Of course, the yahoos who show up know what other TV shows this person appeared on, as well as what episode of Voyager, DS9 or Enterprise that they called this guy out of "retirement" for to appease those that still live in their parents' basements and have never kissed a girl.

2. Drinking. Lots of drinking. Beer tent, you ask? How about a beer main street? And beer walking to the beer main street?

3. Floats done up like the bridge of the USS Enterprise. Suspend your disbelief as you watch the honored chair of Kirk being pulled along by local farmer Kirk Alberhasky who has been drinking since 10 am for the parade that starts at 1 pm.

All of this goes to show the absurd length to which small town America will go to save themselves. Well, Good Luck, Riverside! No one cares about you, Solon, Olds, Ely, Crawfordsville, Hills, Morse or any other small towns in the Midwest that don't have prisons, good colleges what the rich coasties send their progeny to or cool Farmer's Markets where rich folks from Iowa City can come and slum with some of the Local Flavor. The Part Time Mayor is quoted in the story as saying "Maybe we can revive our downtown." Sadly, this is being said all over rural America, while most of the residents are blamed for shopping at Wal Mart and voting for Bush.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Haircuts and Insanity

I won't even talk about Virginia Tech. The shooter was obviously unbalanced, with severe emotional problems, and no matter of "gun control" would have stopped him from purchasing the weapons. A better question is this: If his English professor wanted him to go to counseling, and had plays about murder and bloodthirsty rage as evidence, why wasn't he forced to go by the university? What happened during the two hours between the first shooting and the 20 minutes of shooting in the engineering building?

In any event, a lot of excellent people were killed senselessly yesterday. That's the only god damn thing that's important.

If you want to post any thing, here is the memorial site run by the university: . Be Patient, as a lot of people are on the site.

1. The next time I hear a BBC anchorperson say that "when will the Americans learn that it is insanity to allow private citizens to own weapons", I will pitch my radio out the window and boycott Monty Python. It is not insanity: What is insanity is to trust to bureaucrats who will never make a decision concerning someone else that may be "actionable" and police to your own safety.

2. John Edwards paid upward of $400 for a single haircut. "Common man" indeed. Need any more evidence that NONE of our political candidates are "common people"? Edwards managed to find a "trendy, chic" salon for a $250 cut in Dubuque, Iowa. Now, my mom lived in Dubuque, I've been there several times. They have a dog track, a seedy riverfront, plenty of taverns and lots of Klan members, but they have no salons, let alone trendy ones. When did this happen? Shades of Clinton. I'd still vote for Edwards, though.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm Gonna Die

I took a life expectancy calculator today, and it came out to....86 years. So I have 52 years left. Figure work for 35, putz around for 17. Somehow that does not seem fair. Unless you consider the previous 34 years putzing around, then I'm even! or, 17 years ahead. Vengeance is mine, as I should outlive the wife by two years. Two sad, lonely years.

Here's the link for the test:


OK, so i heard the following on NPR's Morning Edition today.

1. The Concord School District is planning to take the axe to a 15 acre section of Walden Wood to build new athletic fields. Nearly everyone in Concord is up in arms about this (according to the story), especially a woman who "walks her dogs in the woods every day." The school district owns the land she walks her dogs on, and she lives in a large house next door....with a three car garage. She also sees no double standard in complaining about the ball fields. God Forbid that someone inconvenience her dogs. This message brought to you by I Got Mine Realtors, the same people who bring you those obnoxious No Chuckanut Ridge Development signs on large houses in southern Fairhaven.

2. In talking to Alaska senator Ted Stevens, Steve Inskeep asked him "What do you see as the connection between global warming and its effects, and drilling for oil? many people think the oil should stay in the ground." Stevens replied "I don't see what connection there is. Global warming is caused by the cars that burn the oil, not by drilling."

Some NPR listener wrote in to say that the connection is "pretty straightforward", in that drilling in AK will keep supply up and keep prices down. I call B.S. on that, because many NPR listeners, in arguing against drilling in AK, said that there is not enough oil left in AK to make that much difference in price. To then argue that the same supply is keeping prices down is nonsense.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Is This Really news Part II

In the midst of the Dow being up (by 4 points), the Long National Nightmare over Anna Nicole's baby being solved (good luck with that, Birkhead) and Imus confirming what many of us had suspected for years (he is a consummate jack ass), two things leaped out at this news hound:

1. Johns Hopkins and another college have placed their chief student loan officers in the status where bureaucratic careers go to die: administrative leave with pay. Andrew Cuomo, Atty Gen'l of New York, describes the student loan scandal, wherein stock holding Student Loan officers at at least 9 colleges directed students to lenders who provided kickbacks to universities, as "an onion." 32 lenders hold 90% of the student loan volume, according to Think Microsoft is the only evil monopoly? The bottom line here is this: if you are a college student, as one of my professors told wide-eyed freshmen once, you are nothing but a dollar sign. Sallie Mae runs my life, because it donates money it makes off of my interest payments to election campaigns of people like Maria Cantwell, President Bush, etc. In the meantime, the officers at WIU and WWU, not to mention the U of I, may have been (no proof, don't sue) pushing my account to people who paid the most money to the university. Kind if like those damn credit card offers and pathetic letters from the Alumni Foundation. Scumbags.

2. The housing market continues its downward slide, with the sub-prime lending market approaching you-know-where-in-a-you-know-what status. Well, want an economy built on consumer debt and housing sales? You got it. Spend up, richies! actually ran a story saying that us poor bastards should be "grateful" for rich people, because they buy yachts and houses that keep the economy going. Thank you upper 2%! I hope your yacht is captained by Ahab, your car was built in Detroit by a disgruntled Ford worker about to be laid off, and your 4500 square foot McMansion was built out of recycled particle board desks from Wal Mart. You know, Wal Mart? Where 60% of the people in this country shop because they can't afford to go anywhere else, or there aren't enough cappuccino swilling, Lexus driving assclowns to keep swanky places named "Brewed Awakenings" and "The Stalk Market" open.

We are doomed. Doomed.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Religion and Chemicals are the Keys to the Future

I received a comment from the MadWriter saying "No one liked 80s music in the 80s, so why relive it?" I beg to differ. Indisputably, there were awful 80s songs that should be consigned to the ash heap of history, with Communism, James Watt and the Return of Bruno album. I posit the following breakdown of 80s music; a Guidebook, if you will, to Help Avoid Awful Middle School Flashbacks.

Group One: Music that Holds Up
I would lump bands such as Devo, The Police, and the Off the Wall/Thriller Michael Jackson in this group. Certainly the Police went off the cliff with Synchronicity, which was no Regatta de Blanc. Devo's "through being cool" still has something. Even Adam and the Ants should go here; these bands made good music. Look at 1980, for instance. ABBA was in its (and discos) well-deserved death throes; even though ABBA had the 2nd best selling album in the US in 1980, Elvis Costello released Get Happy, The Pretenders released their eponymous first album with the great songs "Brass in Pocket" and "Tattoed Love Boys". So, there was hope. Not to mention Boy, Ace of Spades, and Sandanista.

Punk was going along with New Wave, creating a virtual hodgepodge that grew into the mid-80s college station rock with Sonic Youth, Husker Du and various others. REM was supposedly in "a class by itself", but I don't buy it. I hated Michael Stipe then, and I still hate him now. The reason I hated him in 1985 is that all the girls that I wanted to go out with only had eyes for Michael Stipe, and me listening to Lard, Suicidal Tendencies and others made me a burnout and irredeemable to girls that I wanted to go out with. I just hate him now on general principle.

Also, bands which rose in the late 1970s (The Jam, The Damned, Dead Kennedys) could be placed here as well, as 1980s pop music should be thought of as a reaction to all that was wrong and disco, which would return by 1986. Between 1980 and 1984, there was quite a lot of great music out there. Coincidentally, you hardly hear any of this at 80s Nites. Why? Because 80s Nite stuff is in group 2.

Also check out: The Tubes, Meat Puppets, The Smithereens, Joy Division, Black Flag, Joan Jett, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the Go-Gos.

Group 2: Things You Should Not Like, But Are Forced to Listen To

My personal cross in this regard is just about any song from Tears for Fears. For some it is the aforementioned Adam Ant, for some that obnoxious Dexie's Midnight Runners song that shall remain nameless out of fear of it bouncing around my bald head for 5 hours. For others it is Men Without Hats. Flock of Seagulls, Red Rider; the true genuine "1 Hit Wonders" that were spawned by the 1980s and remain fodder for those annoying Billboard CDs that have two decent songs on them. And 80s Nites. Why? Becasue they are happy and have a good beat that you can dance to. And they are absolutely, positively, meaningless, products of a culture divorced from rational thought and under the leadership of greedy, bad suited Baby Boomers that emerged from their Pot Clouds and elected Reagan. Lousy bastards. What they got was HS Thompson's "fear"; fear that a generation of people would actually take on the government and succeed, instead of getting sidetracked into drugs and self-exploration. In the words of Jello Biafra: "Got problems with protesters? Pump up your drug supply! We got our college kids so interested in LSD during the 60s they never got to strong." Mark David Chapman broke their hearts, Thatcher broke the unions, Reagan broke the bank and they sold their souls.

Also: Jesus and Mary Chain, Echo and the Bunnymen, Oingo Boingo, Big Country, The Buggles, Naked Eyes.

Group 3: Embrace the Suck
XTC (with the single exception of the song Mayor of Simpleton), The Smiths (with NO excpetions), Janet Jackson, Depeche Mode,Duran Duran just about anything recorded by any "popular" band between 1986 and 1989. Poison, Warrant and the Hair Metal Bands who were not fit to hold a cup of Lemmy's piss. My high school years were a desert of whining BS until 1989 when Nirvana and Public Enemy appeared. 10000 Maniacs, Edie Brickell; my generations answer to the emasculating tendencies of John Denver and Dan Fogelberg. In 5 years, the Beatles had gone from "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" to "Why Don't We Do It in The Road." The New Bohemians went from "What I am" to utter obscurity, along with Thomas Dolby, The Thompson Twins and Wang Chung.

I would, to many people's surprise, place two of my favorite bands in this area. The Kinks, post 1976, were exceptionally weak compared to what they had been. Jethro Tull downright sucked from 1981-1987, with only Catfish Rising saving what was a lost decade for my favorite band.

Also: Roxette, New Kids, Human League, Corey Hart, Pet Shop Boys, Quiet Riot, Winger, Spandau Ballet.