Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pomplamoose




Pomplamoose went on tour this year. And, because of streaming and the ideology of "free music" being the way things are done now, this is what happened to them:

that’s $135,983 in total income for our tour. And we had $147,802 in expenses.
We lost $11,819.



Read the whole thing and then explain how giving away music for free means people can make a living in the music business.

Breaking Into Music With Aimee Mann






This is an interesting "as told to" piece that shows how Aimee Mann broke into the music business back when there was still a "music" business that would allow people to learn and grow.

She readily admits that this is all gone now, but it's worth reading.

Simple Minds Promised You a Miracle Covers
















There are plenty of things to like about these releases from Simple Minds. I threw in the promo copy just to try to be a bit of a completist, but so what?

The single, Promised You a Miracle, is not something I have thought about in recent years, and this is less about the single, more about the specific care of the art direction and the effort put into these sleeves. You're seeing the cover of the twelve inch single and the cover and back of the seven inch single. This is, of course, a little bit before the advent of the compact disc single.

As far as pop music singles being a throwaway, this is definitely not what you would call cheap, temporary, or done haphazardly. These covers are vastly different affairs showing a great deal of design maturity and skill. I love the colors, the distressed appearance, and the use of typography.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Proud Day in American Jurisprudence











The law simply doesn't work for a vast number of Americans. It works well for the police, and for a power structure that has money and the phony construct of race on its side. It does not work well for African Americans or people of color or the poor. Another American city burns tonight because people are like, no, you may not execute us in the streets and leave us to lie like dead dogs. How uppity of them.

Of course we should elect more Republicans. That'll solve everything. Sheesh.

Oasis Promotional Single Covers From 2009










Here are three samples of the covers used to market the singles from the last Oasis album, Dig Out Your Soul. I have a feeling this will be the last proper Oasis album for quite a while, but I could be wrong about that.

These have always bothered me. I hate the white text in the middle; I hate that font with a passion. Love the music, love the colors and the overall design ethic used here, but that font was and is a disaster.

Chuck Hagel Just Got Fired




Chuck Hagel is gone:

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down amid criticism of the president’s national security team on a series of global issues, including the threat posed by the militant group known as ISIS.


Senior defense officials confirmed to NBC News Monday that Hagel was forced to resign.


The officials say the White House has lost confidence in Hagel to carry out his role at the Pentagon. According to one senior official, “He wasn’t up to the job.”


Another senior administration official said that Hagel has been discussing a departure from the White House "for several weeks."

It will be fun to watch the confirmation hearings for whoever the Obama team convinces to accept the job. I can't think of any candidates for the job, other than former senator James Webb, who would be about as difficult as Hagel to predict or manage.

We need to get out of the nation building business and get into a leaner and meaner version of what we have now, with an emphasis on people, not miracle weapons. My suspicion is that we are going to go the other way and Hagel may have been actively trying to pursue an agenda that came into conflict with the idea that everyone in the world wants to be just like us.

Friday, November 21, 2014

This is the Smartest Move Ever




The best way to ensure that African Americans feel safe and that their right to protest has not been infringed upon is to flood the area with FBI agents before anything happens.

Did I get that right?

Hurricane #1 Are Still a Thing







Confounding everyone who had forgotten they existed, Hurricane #1 has reformed without the band member who wrote most, if not all, of the songs and played lead guitar.





When Andy Bell left Hurricane #1 to play bass for Oasis, little did he know that he was laying the groundwork for one of the biggest "WTF" reunions ever.





Wait, where's Will Pepper?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Church Pride Before A Fall




Here's the new video and single from the Church:


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuq4KUWtjD4&w=660&h=415]
All I can add to this is, "wow."

They are hitting it out of the park now, revitalized and amazing, and they are creating the best music of their lives.

All Aboard for the American Tour




And Interpol will soon be booking an extended tour of the upper Midwest in January and February...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Pride of Minden, Nebraska




Minden, Nebraska is the home of at least one asshole. The rest of the people may be nice but I have it on good authority there's one a-hole living there and he makes his own signs.

The Return of Ride




Ride, 2014







Ride, Early 1990s


Ride have put themselves back together:

Ride have announced their return, confirming a series of live dates for 2015.


The band will reunite in May for a UK tour that includes dates in London, Manchester and Glasgow, plus shows in Paris, Amsterdam, Toronto and New York. Ride will also make festival appearances at Primavera Sound in Barcelona on May 29 and London's Field Day on June 7.


In this week's issue of NME, on newsstands and available digitally now, Ride's Andy Bell said: "It's going to be really cool. As we were all still friends, we always thought when the time was right we'd do it. And now the time is right."


"People bought our records first time round," frontman Mark Gardener added, "but our music has grown in significance since we've been away... We want to give the people what they want. We'd be idiots to go out and play a new album, but that's not to say we wouldn't make new music."

There will be a series of live dates in 2015:


Glasgow Barrowland (May 22)Manchester Albert Hall (23)London Roundhouse (24)Amsterdam Paradiso (26)Paris Olympia (27)Barcelona Primavera Festival (29)Toronto DanForth Music Hall (June 2)New York Terminal 5 (4)London Field Day (7)


I hope people show up. The problem they face now is apathy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ride




Does this mean that Ride, a band from the early 1990s, have reformed to play a Spanish music festival?

Who the hell knows?

More tomorrow...

The Frothy Glitter of Show Business




How do you explain to anyone under the age of forty who or what Elvis Presley was? I find it impossible to communicate the reality that was Elvis to people because there is no real comparison. Michael Jackson wasn't as universally loved because he didn't make 150 albums. It took Jackson years to make one album. In 1972, Elvis released six albums.

Oh, and then there's the story of how Elvis died, and that's where the comparison to Jackson is most apt:

Four years later it would be established in court that during the seven and a half months preceding Elvis’s death, from January 1, 1977, to August 16, 1977, Dr. Nichopoulos had written prescriptions for him for at least 8,805 pills, tablets, vials, and injectables. Going back to January 1975, the count was 19,012. The numbers defied belief, but they came from an experienced team of investigators who visited 153 pharmacies and spent 1,090 hours going through 6,570,175 prescriptions and then, with the aid of two secretaries, spent another 1,120 hours organizing the evidence. The drugs included uppers, downers, and powerful painkillers such as Dilaudid, Quaalude, Percodan, Demerol, and cocaine hydrochloride in quantities more appropriate for those terminally ill with cancer. In fact, at about 2:00 a.m. on the morning of his death, Dr. Nick was again ready to prescribe. He responded to a telephone call from Elvis by prescribing six doses of Dilaudid, an opiate that was Elvis’s favorite drug. One of Elvis’s bodyguards, Billy Stanley, drove over to Baptist Memorial Hospital, picked up the pills at the all-night pharmacy, and brought them to Graceland. The bodyguard said that he saw Elvis take the pills. The autopsy, however, showed no traces of Dilaudid in Elvis’s body.

In other words, Dr. Nick killed him, just as Michael Jackson's doctor killed him as well.

Dr. Nick, like Elvis’s other physicians, had been seduced by the frothy glitter of show business, and with his tanned and striking appearance he fit right in. His style diverged from the practice of medicine that was increasingly a matter of business and less a matter of personal service. 

No one should be a "celebrity" doctor. That should be an automatic loss of medical license kind of a thing.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Shameless and Nameless




What is happening in Ferguson, Missouri is a shameless attempt to escape accountability. The evidence from the Grand Jury proceeding will show, and I'm guessing here, that Michael Brown was just culpable enough in his own execution to justify letting Darren Wilson escape justice.

Was this an example of really bad police work? At the local level, absolutely. Was this an example as to how unarmed black males are executed on a regular basis in this country? Yep, Will anyone be held accountable? Nope.

There's no telling what will happen. Maybe everything and maybe nothing. But we have lost another opportunity to talk about race and class in a way that fixes the problems. We have another example on our hands as to how the tribes will stay divided and how the rule of law benefits whites.

Name names. Shame those who fail to police this country appropriately. Let the jurors be ready to explain themselves. Let the country decide whose country this is at the end of the day. It never belonged to anyone who didn't already have most of the guns.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Only 25 Kids?




Did you think Idiocracy was a documentary? I know, me too!

A Memphis man with at least 25 kids by 15 different mothers is at it again.


More women claim he’s fathered children, and he’s still not paying up.


We first told you about Terry Turnage two years ago.


They called him the worst deadbeat dad ever. As we’ve found out since then, he’s wanted in another state by more women.


“Everybody tells me, ‘What you doing talking to him? How you didn’t know he had all these kids?’ Uh duh, I’ve been in school. I wasn’t out like that,” 22-year-old Paula Stewart said.


Stewart says she now knows the father of her 2-year-old son is the father of many.


Turnage shows up in court in rags, but around Forrest City, he’s known as the flashy club owner that drives fancy cars and goes by the name TYB. Those who know Turnage say it stands for ‘Take your B—-!’


Miesha Davis said she found out about Turnage when she called the Forrest City child support office.


“When I called. She was like, ‘Who?’ I said Terry T. Turnage. She was like, ‘He’s famous,’” Davis said.

That's not the good kind of famous, by the way. That's small town baby daddy fame.

The Sweaty Nutsack




Charles Pierce and an image that will be burned into your brain forever:



A lie is apolitical, or at least it should be. If there is one thing that unites clear-headed Americans, it's a belief that our leaders must be transparent and honest. And yet, there seem to be two types of lies in our political discourse: Those that hurt "my party" and "my policies"; and those that don't. We condemn the former and forgive the latter-cheapening the bond of trust that enables a society to progress.


Yes, Virginia, there is a Google.


Karl Rove exchanged e-mails about Pat Tillman with Associated Press reporter Ron Fournier, under the subject line "H-E-R-O." In response to Mr. Fournier's e-mail, Mr. Rove asked, "How does our country continue to produce men and women like this," to which Mr. Fournier replied, "The Lord creates men and women like this all over the world. But only the great and free countries allow them to flourish. Keep up the fight."


If you have at any time in your career as an alleged professional stroked the sweaty nutsack of Karl Rove, who never has exhaled a breath in which he didn't "cheapen the bond of trust that enables a society to progress," you have lost the ability to lecture people about bonds of trust ever, forever.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Spotify is a Terrific Fraud




The reason why Spotify is mad at Taylor Swift is not because they are white knights who have paid struggling artists $2 billion dollars. They're mad because the business model that supports Spotify is a fraud.  Spotify wants to use an artist like Swift to bring in listeners. When they branch out and listen to other artists, Spotify can pay those "small time" artists a meager royalty and make money.

Their own numbers simply don't lie:

Spotify may have 50 million subscribers, and yes, it may pay 70% royalties out to artists, but when you calculate the money that goes into albums per user, the numbers are tiny and embarrassing.


When people ‘used’ to buy albums they would retail around $10 or more. An album would typically contain 10 or more songs with some bonuses, and a cover with added info about the music.


Fast-forward to reality: Each artist on Spotify will receive approximately$0.006 to $0.008 per stream, so for 10 songs or 1 album an artist will get $0.08 in total instead of $10. Now of course, tracks will get repeated plays, but in order for a music artist to get $10, their songs will have to be listened to 1250 times, or each album will have to play 125 times to get the same amount of money.


We can argue that people spend more money on music when they sign up to a Spotify account on a yearly basis, but in actual fact Spotify is providing users with unlimited access to millions of songs for pennies, and artists are not making money. In fact, only the major superstars are really getting any traction out of it (albeit with a huge paycut) while indie artists are being financially ruined. The reason for this is that Spotify has downgraded the cost of individual tracks and people now expect to pay virtually nothing for access to everything. Spotify wins. The consumer wins. The artist dies.

In other words, Spotify makes money because of the diversity of the audience. They are taking advantage of the market, like any good capitalist. However, the only individual who is supposed to be a socialist and give everything away is, of course, the artist. No one is giving away bandwidth. No one is giving away computers. And now Neil Young is selling a FLAC music player (selling, not giving away, of course, because the only entity that gives things away is supposed to be the music artist, otherwise everything collapses).

With that many people listening to such a disparate number of artists and genres, they can give away everything, pay a pittance, and make money on the margins.

Again, it all turns to shit of the musician expects to get paid. The money is made providing access to content and the content itself has to be paid next to nothing otherwise the model falls to pieces.

I've said it before--movies and video games are not given away for free, so why do we tolerate free music? It has meant the death of artists, near and far.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Jameis Winston Will Debauch a Toll Road Before the Year is Out




The list of crimes this young man has been accused of grows by the week. You'd think that Florida State would have hired "handlers" for Winston by now, but that's not the case. They're simply allowing him to have the run of the place.

Shouldn't someone point out that Winston's education is more important than anything else? Shouldn't there be some tacit acknowledgement that his Heisman Trophy is rented, not owned at this point? No? Okay, then.

There aren't many crimes left--bigamy, carnal knowledge of a goat, failure to remove cheese from a sales display before the freshness date passes, dancing without a permit on Sunday. This young man in the wrecking ball that the NCAA simply wasn't designed to stop.

How is it that he's allowed to play football? And I should add, "ever again?"

Mocking the Megawealthy

The brutal application of satire has long held a place of warmth in my heart. Great satire eliminates the lines of defense that keep the clueless from being held accountable. Paul Krugman embraces the Krugmanization of a billionaire who can't see past the Hamptons.

Now, it's true, if you're a billionaire who's interested in decorating your high-end real estate with high-end art, then, yes, your personal inflation rate is higher than others. But tough luck. (I'm pretty sure you'll manage). The Fed, you see, isn't worried about the Billionaire Price Index. It's worried about inflation on goods and services we all face. And that, despite zero interest rates, is still below the Fed's 2 percent target. That's not going to change anytime soon, either. Indeed, just because the super-rich are bidding up the prices of houses in the Hamptons doesn't mean that middle-class people, whose wages are flat, are going to bid up the price of, well, anything.

This reminds me of the brutal Soviet architecture of the 20th Century.





It defies satire because it is so massive and thick and impervious to everything, except of course raindrops, which destroys the cheap concrete and renders the whole thing ludicrous. You'd have to be willfully indifferent to facts, evidence, and common sense to see things that aren't there, like functionality or beauty.

People like Singer are enamored with their own brilliance and impervious to slights or criticism. As a monument to capitalism, he looks a lot like the building above.

Thanks, Obama




If the jobless rate has hit a six year low, and if Obama has been President for six years, then all of this is his fault. The voters just punished a sitting President for successfully creating jobs and ending unemployment for millions of Americans during his presidency.

Remember when nobody had a job and nobody had any money and the world economy was in freefall and everything was broke and stuff?

Me, neither. Thanks for nothing, Obama.

The Butt Grabber

John Epps Jr. is a serial butt grabber.

Epps Jr. has been accused of inappropriately touching two middle school females in Montgomery County. It's all on videotape, apparently, and his actions caused Montgomery County Public Schools a tremendous amount of embarrassment (which is what we call legal liability) when it was revealed that he had worked at nearly 60 different schools in the district.

In the old days, you would call him a pervert or worse. Now, you just call him a contractor:
So, how did Epps Jr. manage to gain access to nearly 60 schools in a day and age when student safety and wellbeing are two of the highest priorities? MCPS administrators were quick to point the finger at the 44-year-old's employer, Rockville-based Netcom Technologies, Inc.
In May, Netcom, Inc. hired Epps Jr. from a temporary staffing agency. Yet, instead of running its own independent background check, Netcom, Inc. accepted the paperwork the temp agency had on file. MCPS says those documents were grossly inaccurate.
"Going forward, Netcom has said [it] will do full checks on any temporary employee hired to work in a school. We are also reminding all of our contractors who work in our schools what their obligations are under the law and requiring they re-run checks on their employees working in schools," MCPS spokesman Dana Tofig said in an email sent to ABC 7.
Netcom, Inc., which has earned tens of millions of dollars in contracts from MCPS over the last 20 years, did not return our phone calls seeking comment.
Going forward, Netcom Inc. will still make a lot of money putting perverts on their payroll and pretending to know something about the people they hire. Profit margins being what they are, does anyone really expect this company to sweat a little butt grabbing? That's for the lawyers to work out.

Epps Jr. has made a career out of butt grabbing. Let's hope someone finally registers him as a sex offender (another failure documented in the article) and keeps him away from school kids.

Russia Continues a Policy of Permanent Invasion




Right on cue:

Kiev (AFP) - A column of 32 tanks and other heavy weapons has entered Ukraine from Russia, the Ukrainian military said Friday, after the latest fighting left five dead and at least 31 injured.


Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said a convoy made up of 32 tanks, 16 howitzer cannons and 30 trucks of troops and equipment crossed the border into the rebel-controlled Lugansk region on Thursday.

With American foreign policy in disarray, and with winter approaching, Russia moves troops into Ukraine for three reasons:

1. Because they can

2. Because no one wants to disrupt the flow of natural gas to Western Europe

3. There is no viable alliance of NATO countries with military capability

These troops will root around in Ukraine, and then they'll leave in order to be replaced by others. At some point, Ukraine is going to run out of troops and equipment and then the Russians will have what they want. Opposing them or driving them out would require logistical support from NATO which could, through the costly application of air power, assist Ukraine in taking control of the skies. We would lose a lot of planes and pilots, but so would the Russians. There is no stomach for any of that.

Western nations don't understand the Russian people. They are used to being deprived of things that we cannot live without. They're a tough people, and they will snap the necks of the Ukrainians while we worry about nonsense.

What will happen when Russia invades Finland? Will that be another nothingburger? This is what's happening right under our noses:

Finland and Sweden plan to work more closely with Nato by signing a pact that allows assistance from alliance troops in the Nordic countries in emergency situations, officials said on Wednesday.


The move comes as Nato prepares for a summit next week in Wales amid heightened tensions with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. Finland shares a 1,300km (800-mile) border with Russia.


The Finnish government said the host nation support agreement applies to situations which include "disasters, disruptions and threats to security". It also enables joint training exercises and military cooperation.


Finnish defence ministry senior adviser Mika Varvikko said Finland intended to sign the agreement at next week's summit. Sweden is also expected to do so.


Both countries, which already train and work closely with Nato in international operations, insisted the agreement did not mean they were moving closer to joining the alliance.


"There is a very sharp difference between being a member and not being a member," the Swedish defence minister, Karin Enström, told the Associated Press. "We are an active partner with Nato and we want to deepen our partnership with Nato."

From October:

Seven months ago, when Russia seized and annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, Finns seemed relatively unconcerned. The world's northernmost country shares some 800 miles of border with its huge neighbor, but just a quarter of Finns said they felt threatened by Moscow. And a similar number told pollsters their country should consider joining NATO in interest of self-defense.


Since then, Russia's behavior has become more provocative, and not just in eastern Ukraine. During one week in August, Russian military aircraft conducted three unauthorized overflights of Finnish airspace. The Finnish public reacted accordingly. A poll last month by Finnish daily Aamulehtishowed that 43 percent of those polled perceived Russia as a danger, an increase of nearly 20 percent from March.


But support for Finland joining NATO remained almost unchanged: a mere two percent higher, the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation (YLE) found. Why hasn’t Finnish wariness translated into stronger support for NATO membership? And what, if anything, would persuade Finns to join the defense pact?

 And a fine example of blaming the victim:

Do Finland want to start World War III? It's something to think about if Finland wants to join NATO, warns Russian President Vladimir Putin's personal envoy Sergei Markov.


It's not Russian hatred against Finland, but if Finland joins NATO, it shows that the country has a Russia-complex, said Markov, who is a political scientist, to the newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet.


NATO will not save Finland, no matter what the treaty says. The Finns should embrace their Russian overlords and hope for mercy. They won't get any help from the West unless someone finds oil or natural gas in abundance somewhere in a part of Finland that is conducive to extraction and exploitation. What's happening in Ukraine is a forecast of what will happen for the frontier of Russia over the next decade.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

This is Why the Democrats Lost on Tuesday




Your newly segregated America:

Brad Paisley:

"Accidental racist" Brad Paisley, one-half of the Country Music Award's hosting duo on ABC last night, tried to make a joke about Black-ish, the show that would have normally aired during the time slot. Shockingly, it didn't land!


"If any of you tuned in to ABC tonight expecting to see the new show Black-ish—yeah, this ain't it. In the mean time, I hope you're all enjoying...white-ish." Haha? Kacey Musgraves and that one woman from Nashville were not laughing.

Paisley is the nervous spokesman for a people beset on all sides by things that are popular and black. Country music isn't one of them, of course. Under their breath, you could hear the collective gasp of a people afraid of losing their job because of their hatred for the President of the United States of America. The sickening thing is, these people consider themselves the only real "Americans" left in the country. Their ignorance only makes them more popular with a rapidly dying population.


Anthony From San Diego:

The caller, who gave his name as Anthony from San Diego, California, identified himself as a Republican and started out talking about the direction he thinks the new GOP majority in Congress should take.


"I would just like to say, that the Republicans — and I'm a Republican — please do not overreach," the caller began. "I know they're going to overreach but I'm telling you, if you advocate for the repeal of Obamacare and you get too extreme, then Hillary Clinton will be elected president in 2016."


"This is about race," he added. "The Republicans hate that nigger Obama."

Well, someone finally spoke truth to power. William F. Buckley, your seat at the table has been ready all week--too bad you're not around to vocalize Anthony's salt-of-the-Earth missive and turn it into something genteel enough to repeat at breakfast with the Rotary Club.

Oh, and who could forget the fight to restore Colonel Reb?

A Mississippi heritage group has launched a proposed ballot measure which would amend the state's constitution to recognize Christianity as the official religion of the state and English as the official language of the state.


The 12-part measure would also establish "Confederate Heritage Month," which would provide a curriculum base for school children to learn about "Mississippi's Confederate history, heritage, achievements, and prominent people," the initiative reads.


The initiative has been endorsed by former Miss America and Mississippian Susan Akin, Mississippi author Julie Hawkins and former state Rep. Mark DuVall, who tried and failed to pass legislation while he was in office in 2011 that would have allowed the restoration of Colonel Reb as Ole Miss' mascot.



America is segregated by those who are trying to live their lives and those who hate the President because he's black. The apathy of the former empowers the latter.






Race is a social construct, by the way, and does not exist. But, you know, the Army will let you self-identify as a Negro so it's all good. The rebranding of the Republican Party continues in the same direction it was always headed. All we need now are white sheets and torches.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

There Are No More Great Bands




The takeaway from this article is, "the great bands that can headline a festival are disappearing and there is nobody to replace them." And the disparity between who is big and who isn't grows every day. A band like Kasabian can headline Glastonbury and, weeks later, tour America. This year, they went from Glasto to the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. Tell me that doesn't do in someone's head.

Nobody left to headline Glastonbury? Really? Okay, then.

That right there should tell you something about the music industry. We are down to a handful of artists who are living as if it is twenty years ago--they have music labels, they get money to tour, and they get promotion of their "album." They release stuff, they live on advances--things like that.

For the vast majority of surviving musicians, there is a need to play live, cross-promote themselves, and then somehow survive on that $41.75 they get from Spotify for a million plays.

Anyone who tells you that music should still be free is delusional. The beast that was the music industry is dead. If we were to apply the economic model of music to the video game industry, then gaming would be over, too.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Arbeit Macht Frei Gate Stolen From Dachau




The bastards:

An iron gate with the notorious Nazi slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei" has been stolen from the former Dachau concentration camp in Germany, officials said.


The slogan, which translates as "Work sets you free," became emblematic of the forced labor camps of World War II in which so many inmates died.


The gate was stolen overnight from Saturday to Sunday, officials at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial said in an online statement.


While this is the first such theft at Dachau, it's not the first time that the slogan has been targeted by thieves. The famous "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland was stolen in 2009. It was discovered shortly afterward cut into three pieces.

Having been there, and this is my personal photo of the gate in question, I can tell you--I am not surprised that it was removed and stolen. In the general vicinity of Dachau are any number of places to put a truck or a vehicle capable of driving away with the gate. Security exists, but this is in the middle of the town and is situated next to a road lined with businesses. All it would take are two or three individuals who can carry several hundred pounds a few hundred yards and that's all.

Anyway, it's a shame. This is a denial of history (or a feeble attempt to make a little money).

Out on a Limb With the Ratfuckers




This is how you ratfuck someone.

Here it is, election day, and one of the great non-scandals of our time (the IRS scandal, whereby the IRS looks at people involved in politics because they're laundering and handling money in exchange for ratfucking, among other things, from both sides of the political spectrum) explodes in the blogosphere.

The media are all over it. Well, almost.

If you look at the "sources" for all of this, you have Tucker Carlson's pathetic attempt at relevance, the Breitbart Kidz, the Stupidest Man on the Internet, and not much else. Oh, and the sad and frustrated Mickey Kaus, who has to work for Tucker. This is a fevered pitch from snake oil salesmen. This is a circle jerk enabled by ignorance. This is a monument to the folly that is the idea that our working media are saving us from crazy ideas. Will this matter? Probably not, but nobody's going to jail for this and nobody is going to be held accountable for the money used to finance this nonsense. Our laws just aren't as sophisticated as the ratfuckers.

Damn the luck.

I'm willing to go out on a limb here and say that this is a non-event in a non-scandal that has surfaced only because someone wants Shaheen's seat in Congress and they have, so far, failed to buy it outright for themselves.

Our politics are s suck-ass business, and the ratfucking will continue unabated.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Howard Dean Was Right




Did you know that there are at least ten Senate races that are still too close to call? And that Election Day is tomorrow?

How'd that sneak up on everyone?

How is it that this race isn't a referendum on race relations? It should be. The Republican Party has coddled racism since the First Inaugural. Why do they support policies that blatantly keep minorities from voting? Why do they believe in rewarding people who question the birthplace and religion of the President of the United States? Why do they support policies that cripple our economy through obstructionism in the Congress? They should be answering those questions every day.

Nate Silver believes that the Senate will flip Republican, and I wouldn't be surprised to see that happen. It is very hard to unseat incumbents, but it's even harder to elect a Democrat in a Red State. We are, effectively, looking at a terrible Senate cycle and that's what gets almost no coverage. The Senate map this year makes it almost impossible for Democrats to hold the Senate by winning in Republican-controlled states that went for Romney and McCain the last time around (North Carolina being the exception, among others).

Presidents always take a beating in mid-term elections--that's nothing new. But when you add in the crappiness of the map we're looking at and the inability of the media to properly identify craziness, well, you end up with Ted Cruz making threats BEFORE he's won anything.

In a last-minute gift to Democrats on the eve of the midterm elections, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has announced his plan to push for Senate Republicans to declare a rightist war against Democrats if the GOP wins control of the Senate. Set aside the campaign pitches of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Colorado Senate candidate Rep. Cory Gardner (R), Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst (R), Georgia GOP Senate candidate David Perdue and Alaska GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan, who promise to end gridlock in Washington and govern for "all of the people." Cruz says they are all wrong. Cruz wants a political war against Democrats. Cruz is the real voice of what will happen if Republicans take control of the Senate.

Oh, that's comforting.But this is all posturing. Ted Cruz doesn't care about governance. He cares about television appearances and the money that rolls in when he does something stupid that costs someone else politically or otherwise. He should be the face of the Republican Party right now. The Democrats ran on what this time? Not sucking? Being not that friendly with Obama?

Senator Michal Bennet was handed the stink bomb of 2014 and so I look forward to people blaming him (well, I would but he is a non-presence in the race and nobody knows who he is). I would fire the head of the DNC and get rid of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and I would go back to a 50 state strategy (or a 48 state strategy and just write off Mississippi and Alabama).

The title of this post says it all. Howard Dean was right and he paid the price for it. He was destroyed by Rahm Emanuel for being right about everything that has gone wrong in this country. We should ask Dean to come back and run things. We won't, but we should. Maybe, after tomorrow, we make the next race about how these people are incapable of governing and are besotted with lunatics.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Never Mind the Bollocks is Rated About Right




I don't know what John Lydon is angling for here since his work with Public Image Limited has been just as influential, if not more so, than his work with the Sex Pistols:


John Lydon has said the Sex Pistols' seminal album 'Never Mind The Bollocks' is underrated and that he's always felt misunderstood as an artist.
In the new issue of NME, which is on newsstands now and available digitally, Lydon said the music press have failed to recognise just how subversive the Pistols were in their prime.




It amazes me when I see these all-time top albums lists, and 'Never Mind The Bollocks' is hovering around Number 10, 15 or even 20," he said. "This is a band that pushed it so far we were discussed in Parliament under the Treason Act, you know?"





He's not entirely wrong, but he's biased against the work of others, specifically the Clash, who were more successful and more influential. 


As we look back on that era, one thing stands out to me--Joy Division have been vastly underappreciated and that's an absolute shame. When you put the artistry of Closer up against the shot to the throat that was Never Mind the Bollocks, how do you compare them? Do you even try?


I think that Lydon may have a problem with The Smiths and with The Stone Roses as well, since their best records always rate higher than the Sex Pistols. It doesn't need to be like this--the lists themselves, being subjective, don't mean anything more than a critical consensus that could be argued into submission if you look at how many people started a band after hearing so-and-so's band and whatever else. 


It would also be easy to argue that importing dance music and rap into Great Britain transformed music in the 70s and 80s to a degree that eclipses the influence of punk. We have a ethno-centric view of rock and roll being at the top--the blues driven music of Clapton, Led Zeppelin, et al, having the top status over everyone else while genres like punk and new wave come in for less respect or acclaim. This gives short shrift to black artists, and that's how it has always been. Are the biggest stars in England rappers or not? Are they straight pop artists? Lydon himself is a lover of reggae and it would be hard not to argue that reggae drove the music of his era in directions that were more lasting and influential than power chords and sneering.


But, really, there are reasons to look at everything that went on and list the Sex Pistols about where they are--they were shocking, incredible, and exciting but they were only around for a few years. Everything they started was taken over by bands that went on to define the era.

A Student of the Game


Attendance at college football games is declining rapidly in this country. It may have something to do with the fact that college football programs are in decline as well:
Despite the ready availability of tickets at University of Michigan's “The Big House”—the largest college football stadium with the capacity to hold 109,901 Wolverine fans—sales have dropped precipitously in their student section. In 2013, the Michigan student section had about 19,000. This season, that number is somewhere between 13,000 and 14,000. In response to declining student attendance, athletic director Dave Brandon announced a decrease in student season ticket prices by 37.5 percent for next year.
That was published today. Michigan football is in the toilet--the team sucks, Dave Brandon is already history, and kids are paying way too much for an education that won't get them decent jobs.

When you have student loan debt through the roof, nobody is going to reach deep in their pocket and give to an alumni association. That's because they're broke paying back loans.

The "duh" factor in this story is incredible.