Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween horror movie thread II

Purty Fresh Market pumpkins!

~*~



I hope you are all having a great Halloween. I have been busily running to and fro, and haven't had as much time to yammer on here as usual. I DID get a chance to pick up my beloved Fresh Market pumpkin coffee, which is to die for. I'm sure it's politically incorrect as hell, not bird-friendly and blah blah blah, but... I love it!

(((shakes head in embarrassment over this admission))))

Yall KNOW I sell all manner of politically correct, organic stuff for a living, right? Shhh! No telling.

~*~


Decided on another Halloween horror movie thread, as I did last year. Below, trailers from some of my favorite horror movies. Once again, I heartily advise SESSION 9 (below) for the brave and courageous viewer.

DON'T GO TO SLEEP!



Please add your own! I have seen most of the films that were kindly recommended here last year. Last night, JEEPERS CREEPERS (2001) robbed me of sleep. Tonight, looking for more thrills and chills. (Check out Rob Zombie's FEAR FEST on American Movie Classics!)

First we start with some vintage punk jams. My favorite Halloween song: HUMAN FLY by the Cramps. And I say BZZZZ, yes I say BZZZZ.

And did he really drink beer out of a tennis shoe? (These were the REAL PUNKS, people!)

The Cramps - Human Fly

[via FoxyTunes / The Cramps]



~*~

Once again, the fabulous SESSION 9 (2001)



Canadian psycho-director David Cronenberg (meant totally as a compliment) titled this film SHIVERS (1975) in Canada, but Roger Corman changed it to THEY CAME FROM WITHIN for USA distribution. Well, of course he did! (I confess I love the Corman title best.)

The ending is one of the all-time great horror movie endings, much copied.



Cronenberg's THE BROOD (1979) is widely considered a sexist movie, although I beg to differ. (What would Freud say?) I think it illustrates how utterly terrified men are of women's childbearing capacities. Cronenberg once said he was going through a divorce and attendant custody-battle when he made the movie, and brother, it seriously shows!



And in Cronenberg's RABID (1977), men desiring to bed the beautiful, legendary porn star Marilyn Chambers end up, well, sick as the very devil. Talk about your sexually transmitted diseases!



As a tyke, I was haunted by THE SCREAMING SKULL (1958), which was originally marketed to audiences with a certificate promising free burial services to anyone who dies of fright while seeing the movie.

I admit, I liked that it was a woman haunting a man for a change. He deserved it!



Francis Ford Coppola's DEMENTIA 13 (1963) similarly spooked me as a child, and I refused to go near ponds situated way out in deserted areas or woods ever again, even in the daytime ... no matter how sweet and bucolic the setting. Something might... be...floating... in it... (AIYEE!!! What's THAT?!)

Not ashamed of my overly cautious ways either--I'm HERE to tell the tale, yes?

Note: This may be the first-ever trailer that starts off with a psychiatrist!



And one of the veritable Cadillacs of the genre, from which we get the standby DON'T GO TO SLEEP!!!!

The original hair-raising ending of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) had Kevin McCarthy (brother of Mary!) ranting and hollering on the highway: YOU'RE NEXT! But unhappy endings weren't allowed in the 50s, so the studio wasn't having it. They quickly tacked-on an ending in which authorities discover a suspicious truck hauling weird giant pods from Santa Mira. (whew!) The ending of this trailer was actually the original ending of the film, before studio meddling.

One legacy of this movie is that the town of "Santa Mira" is featured in lots of horror movies, possibly second only to Bodega Bay (from Alfred Hitchcock's THE BIRDS). You may also notice the first scream in this trailer is delivered by none other than Carolyn Jones, who would go on to distinguish herself as TV's Morticia Addams.



Such an amazing Cadillac it is, the remake in 1978 was also fantastic. The introduction of psychology and new age blather was a brilliant innovation, making me think that every generation might actually update this movie for themselves. (Although the third remake, by Abel Ferrara, left a lot to be desired.)

Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum and dazzling movie diva Veronica Cartwright (big favorite here at DEAD AIR!) have a great exchange in this movie that bears repeating:

Elizabeth: I have seen these flowers all over. They are growing like parasites on other plants. All of a sudden. Where are they coming from?

Nancy: Outer space?

Jack: What are you talking about? A space flower?

Nancy: Well why not a space flower? Why do we always expect metal ships?

Jack: I've never expected metal ships.


Only Jeff Goldblum can deliver a line like that and make you laugh when you are simultaneously scared out of your wits.

Also, a Christian aside for those attuned to such minutiae: when (notably Jewish, in this context) Goldblum offers himself to the pod-people mob to save his friends, he stretches his arms out just like Jesus. (No greater love than this, and even a horror movie takes a second to remind us. For emphasis, this scene is featured in the trailer accompanied by AMAZING GRACE, on bagpipes no less, at 1:55.)



Unfortunately, I couldn't locate a trailer for the old Stella Stevens/Shelley Winters shocker, THE MAD ROOM (1969), and too bad. If you find it anywhere, have a look, great fun it is.

Have a great Halloween, everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Merl Saunders 1934-2008

Merl Saunders, photo by Bob Minkin.

~*~



I haven't had a chance to write a formal obituary... but wanted to acknowledge the Deadhead family's loss of Merl. A friend called me at work to tell me over the weekend.

Also see Annie's wonderful post.

~*~

Merl Saunders dies at age 74


Merl Saunders, a keyboardist best known for his collaborations with Grateful Dead front man Jerry Garcia, died Friday at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco of complications from a stroke he had several years ago. Saunders was 74.

A musician who worked in a variety of genres in a long and varied career, Saunders played piano and keyboard but favored the Hammond B3 organ. He led his own bands and worked with an array of musicians, including the blues-oriented Bonnie Raitt and B.B. King, jazz legend Miles Davis and the jam band Phish.

He played on the Grateful Dead's 1971 album "Grateful Dead," but it was his collaborations with Garcia away from the group that earned him lasting notice. Starting in the 1970s, they worked on a variety of projects and recorded several albums together, including "Heavy Turbulence," "Fire Up" and "Live at the Keystone." Years later they released the popular New Age album "Blues From the Rainforest." Saunders later released a video chronicling his journey to the Amazon.

Garcia credited Saunders with teaching him the Great American Songbook and expanding his knowledge of harmony.

"He taught me music," Garcia said.

Saunders said their association had a "charisma and chemistry you couldn't question."

"We wouldn't play together for a couple of years, then we'd walk onstage and sound like we'd been playing together every day," Saunders told the Los Angeles Times shortly after Garcia's death in 1995. "That's called knowing. Sometimes I still play off him; I hear what he's doing, the notes he'd be playing, even though he's gone."
Resquiat in Pace, dear friend.

More at Dead.net.

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Listening to: Grateful Dead - I Know You Rider
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Christian 'ex-lesbian' faces contempt charges for refusing visitation to ex-lover

At left: Cousin Bethie's yard fountain. (Probably some pagan goddess I don't know the name of.)

~*~



Warning, the links below are to a so-called "pro-life" web site.

I originally found this on a Catholic board:

Mother to Face Contempt Charges for Refusing Visitation to Former Lesbian Lover

Christian ex-lesbian could face total loss of custody or jail time for defying visitation order
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

October 27, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Lisa Miller, a former lesbian who rejected the homosexual lifestyle and returned to her belief in Christ, will face contempt of court charges today for refusing to give unsupervised visitation of her daughter to her former lesbian partner.

Miller, 40, told LifeSiteNews in a extensive recent interview that her six year old daughter, Isabella, has said that she would like to kill herself following an unsupervised visit, and has complained of being forced to bathe naked with 44-year-old Janet Jenkins, according to Miller (see interview here) Her Vermont attorney, Steven Crampton, reportedly plans to present sworn testimony of evidence of abuse during today’s hearing.

Vermont courts have awarded liberal visitation rights to Jenkins, despite the fact that she has no biological nor adoptive relationship with Isabella. Lisa Miller conceived Isabella through artificial insemination and says that Jenkins took little interest in the conception and pregnancy. The two were joined in a “civil union” under Vermont law.

If Miller is found in contempt of court, she could be imprisoned on the spot, and could face a steep fine. The judge could also choose to transfer full custody to Jenkins. Miller has already paid a $10,000 fine for refusing further visitation to Jenkins.

According to Miller’s attorney in Virginia, Rena Lindevaldsen, Vermont law makes no provisions for parental status in the case of a spouse conceiving by artificial insemination, even in marriages and other unions between heterosexuals. However, a Vermont judge decided to fill the vacuum by declaring that parental rights were automatically conferred.

The judge “said there was no law and he created law to decide who is a parent ... he said the legislature hasn’t passed a law, I don’t know what to do, so he created a new law and applied it to this child who had been born two years earlier,” Lindevaldsen told LifeSiteNews.

Although Virginia law clearly rejects any and all rights and claims stemming from homosexual “marriage” and “civil union” arrangements in other states, Virginia judges have repeatedly upheld the decisions of the Vermont courts.

The case has also been appealed to the Supreme Court twice, but the court has refused a hearing for Miller.

However, despite the enormous opposition she faces from the court systems of Vermont and Virginia, Miller says that she continues to trust God.

“I believe that God is in control and I believe that anything that is going to happen – He is going to allow it,” she told LifeSiteNews. "I don’t have any fear. I feel at peace that God is with me. He has protected me and Isabella for the last five years and I believe that He is going to continue to do that."
Well, silly me, I have a question, as usual.

How is this case "pro-life" and why is it being featured on a pro-life site? Is it somehow understood that "pro-life" is necessarily anti-gay? Why?

I'm glad you are all voting "pro-life" and for Obama, since you all want to end the murderous slaughter of the Iraq war ASAP, of course. Right?

And you want to end the death penalty, right? Glad to hear it!

(that usually brings them out of the woodwork)

Meanwhile, to keep this ABOMINATION (Biblical word used deliberately) from happening to another parent, let's all encourage our friends in California to VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 8, so that gay people's parental rights will be protected, despite what some confused fundie ex-partner might choose to do.

My heart just bleeds for Jenkins; she shouldn't have to deal with this nonsense.

The provocative and rather cutesy name of Miller's Facebook group is Only One Mommy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Odds and Sods - down to the wire edition

Politico says McCain is getting hosed by the press. (Obviously, they haven't been watching Faux News.)

John F. Harris and Jim Vandehei write:


Reporters obsess about personalities and process, about whose staff are jerks or whether they seem like decent folks, about who has a great stump speech or is funnier in person than they come off in public, about whether Michigan is in play or off the table. This is the flip side of the fact of how much we care about the horse race — we don’t care that much about our own opinions of which candidate would do more for world peace or tax cuts.

If that causes skeptics to scoff, perhaps they would find it more satisfying to hear that the reason ideological bias matters so little is that other biases matter so much more.

This is true in any election year. But the 2008 election has had some unique — and personal — phenomena.

One is McCain backlash. The Republican once was the best evidence of how little ideology matters. Even during his “maverick” days, McCain was a consistent social conservative, with views on abortion and other cultural issues that would have been odds with those of most reporters we know. Yet he won swooning coverage for a decade from reporters who liked his accessibility and iconoclasm and supposed commitment to clean politics.

Now he is paying. McCain’s decision to limit media access and align himself with the GOP conservative base was an entirely routine, strategic move for a presidential candidate. But much of the coverage has portrayed this as though it were an unconscionable sellout.

Since then the media often presumes bad faith on McCain’s part.
Some of us regard this as a CORRECTIVE to all of the mindless media fawning over McCain that I mentioned here.

Meanwhile, piggy Michael Savage said on his radio show yesterday:
[Barack Obama] benefited from affirmative action, stepping over more qualified white men, I actually lost as a result of affirmative action, many times in my life. ... [W]e have America's first affirmative action candidate about to become president.
I would answer with that famous punchline: Whatcha mean WE?

~*~

Excellent feminist campaign reading:

Check out Blowing the "Sexism" whistle (mirabile dictu)

Bint shows compassion and understanding in her post How Many Times Should John McCain be Allowed to Mention he was a POW? (My Private Casbah)

Season of the Bitch addresses the topic of Obama the Socialist Boogeyman (Global Comment)

I have been terribly delinquent in my lack of coverage regarding California's anti-gay marriage Proposition 8, so you might want to have a look at Stand Up Against Proposition 8 for more details, with linkage. (The Curvature)

And The Girl Detective tells us about her Phone Banking Adventures (Modern Mitzvot)--she ALMOST got to talk to Zach Braff!

EDITED TO ADD:

Sarah Palin: Marxism For Me, But Not For Thee (bastard.logic)

What the Election Means (elle, phd)

~*~

Speaking of elections: GOT NERVES?

Note: I have not been paid for this commercial. As Lily Tomlin's housewife-character (Mrs Judith Beasley) used to say: "I am not a professional actress, I am an ordinary citizen like yourself."

TENSION RELEASE, by Megafood, is one of the best supplements I have ever encountered. Unfortunately, like most good things, it is terribly overpriced. But it is fabulous and totally delivers on its promise and name... a really boffo combination of Ashwagandha (in the extract patented as Sensoril®), Reishi Antler Mushroom, Purple Kculli Corn, Skullcap and Lemon Balm.

If you are a nervous wreck waiting for Obama to win---check it out! ;)

~*~

Settling an argument with Mr Daisy regarding exactly WHO is playing on the original TRAIN KEPT A ROLLIN, and I find this very weird, stylized excerpt from Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up--which yes, shows us that BOTH Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page are playing. (Now, was this true for the studio recording, or did the original Yardbirds get together for the movie? Does anyone know? Comments and trivia welcome.)

Weird = EVERYONE IS STANDING SO STILL. This is the YARDBIRDS, people! How can you stand so BLOODY STILL, I thought this was SWINGING LONDON in the 60s and all like that? And they are just looking comatose. Was this some direction of Antonioni's? You know: Look alienated and bored! You are not in touch with yourselves, be postmodern! Same reason David Hemmings brings that enormous PROPELLER back to his flat. Heavy symbolism, whammo, over the head. (I liked him better in Barbarella!)

In any event, Jimmy looks like he needs a shave. Who knew he would go on to form Led Zeppelin in a few years and become richer than God Almighty?

Jeff finally smashes up his guitar (he's no Pete Townshend) as the band continues playing, seemingly not even paying attention. More alienation! When he throws guitar-detritus to the audience, they suddenly come alive and dive for it, like piranhas. Keith Relf looks half-glazed over as he continues singing without a pause, may his soul rest in peace.

Hemmings battles the crowd for a shard of the guitar, is chased out of the club brandishing it like a weapon. When he gets outside, he looks at it, puzzled, and throws it down. Then dashes off.

An onlooker pauses, picks up the guitar-piece for a second, then also throws it down.

Genius! Weirdness and heavy symbolism or not, I've watched this hypnotic clip about a half-dozen times now. This short sequence sums up our love of novelty, glitz; our infatuation with NEWNESS for its own sake... this kind of existential brilliance is obviously how he got to be Michelangelo Antonioni.

Monday, October 27, 2008

More memes, for your edification

View from my cousin Bethie's house.

More photos on my Flickr-for-Cheapskates account.

~*~

Rachel Maddow recently said there is one way to know for sure that you are a Democrat: Do you still expect Obama to lose?

Well, there's my answer.

I do expect that; I'll believe it when I see it and only after the final vote is tallied in the deepest, darkest corner of Florida.

~*~

Natalia tagged me with her fun 8-Homes meme:

Where would you have yours, if you were as insanely rich as the McCains?

List them. You don’t have to list your reasons, but if you do at least for a few of them, it would be more fun. And remember that the only rule is: the homes must be within the borders of the United States of America or else, within the borders of the country you live in, so as to utterly emulate the McCains. When you’re done, tag 8 people, so that they may join in the self-indulgence, forgetting about the crappy property market and the equivalent of The End of Pompeii on Wall-Street. You could spend your time hammering your doors and windows shut in preparation for the apocalypse instead, but it would be much less fun.
Yes, she's right, of course!

1) Columbus, Ohio, my hometown. To be specific, German Village, where I briefly lived as a child, before it got all tarted up. Mr Daisy would especially enjoy living within walking distance of The Book Loft.

2) Asheville, North Carolina, preferably on Biltmore Avenue, down near the French Broad Co-op and Orange Peel.

3) Hendersonville or Black Mountain, North Carolina, (general vicinity) in the Blue Ridge mountains. I love it there.

4) Athens. Georgia, not Greece.

5) Berserkley, California. Lots of reasons, several I won't get into now, due to a profound lack of nerve. Suffice to say, it is probably the only city as consistently lefty as I am.

6) Like Natalia, I'd love to have a house in Buckhead (Atlanta), but I could never clean one of those things. "Call me pretentious, whatever," says Natalia.

Okay, me too!

7) New York City, a modest co-op would be fine. I don't know the neighborhoods, but is anyone working-class even LEFT in Manhattan these days? Or do the service workers arrive and depart with the rest of the bridge-and-tunnel crowd?

Wait, this meme assumes I'm rich, I forgot. And it's bloody hard to think that way!

Confession: I would not particularly enjoy being surrounded only by OTHER rich people! For this reason, I might not do so well as a rich person, so I guess it's a good thing I'm not, huh?

8) One of the South Carolina islands--Kiawah, Pawley, Folly, St John's, St James, Seabrook--any one of those would be utterly terrific, except of course during hurricane season!

~*~

I was also tagged by Renee and Sarah, for a Seven things meme:
* Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.

* Share 6 / 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.

* Tag 6/ 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.

* Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:

1) I'm allergic to avocados, an allergy that has recently worsened considerably. I am upset since I love guacamole, which I could handle in small amounts every month or so. NO LONGER! Bah. :(

2) I've seen DAYS OF HEAVEN about 20-30 times. Estimate. Maybe more.

I know Linda Manz's narration by heart.

3) And THE WILD BUNCH too.

4) As I recently stated in my comments on Pop Feminist's fabulous blog, I get an involuntary chill whenever I hear the first few notes of Remember, Walkin in the Sand, by the Shangri-Las.

5) I have oodles of meaningless certificates that certify (natch) I know how to do various and sundry things, such as: fiddle with DOS and Wordperfect; Medical Transcription; consult with people about herbs and enzymes; "customer service specialist", and other illustrious pieces of paper that I have long-since misplaced or lost.

6) I've seen lots of famous, legendary bands, including The Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Ramones (three times), Patti Smith, Frank Zappa, Muddy Waters, and of course, the collective namesakes of this blog.

7) I've also seen a collection of non-legendary bands such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer, J. Geils Band, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Heart, Foghat, Todd Rundgren, The Cars, Cheap Trick, etc.

~*~

Tagging whoever wants to do this! But particularly my droogs, Jojo, Annie, Thene, Jenn, Chaos, Mike and John Powers!

Anyone else who wants to, go for it. And if yall don't want to, conversely, don't worry about it.

HIPPIE MEMES, always! :P


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Listening to: The Who - Heaven and Hell
via FoxyTunes

Her equal would be hard to find, she likes the warm and sunny spots

Below, my Cousin Bethie's cats, Elvira and Pharoah.

Elvira, the brown-striped tabby, was originally my daughter's cat, then mine, and now resides with Cousin Bethie. Pharoah was rescued by Bethie's husband while on a routine work assignment, the day before he was scheduled to go to the shelter.

Elvira's ears are a bit flattened because she is spooked by my reappearance in her life. Obviously, cats do have memories! She seems afraid that I will take her away, or at least, becomes noticeably nervous and disoriented whenever I reappear. (Do I look different, but sound the same? The opposite?) She might be further confused by my voice, which sounds a great deal like my daughter's. (She always recognized my daughter's voice instantly and would run to greet her.) Elvira is almost 12 years old now.

She hated Grand Old Man with a deep and furious passion.

When I pet her, she looks up at me--meowing and purring immediately. It's as if there is a tactile memory that reawakens; just between us.

~*~







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Listening to: Bob Marley & the Wailers - Satisfy My Soul
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Local Grandmother Claims Doll Says 'Islam Is Light'

At Left: An innocent doll? Or an agent of Islamofascism? You decide! (photo credit from Mattel)


~*~


Think you've heard it all? Guess again!


Woman Hears Hidden Message From Granddaughter's Doll


GREENVILLE, S.C. -- An Upstate grandmother said on Friday that there's a hidden message coming from a baby doll she bought recently.

At first the baby giggles and says the word "mama."

But at the end, Ann Ward said she swears she can hear the words, "Islam is the Light."

While she has no problem with religions different from her own, she said she doesn't want her 14-month-old granddaughter saying something they don't believe.

Ward said it's not unusual for her to spoil her only granddaughter. The child even has her own room in Ward's house.

"This is her little play stuff that she plays with," Ward said of her granddaughter's toys.

So Ward said, when she saw the doll, she couldn't resist buying it.

"I would hope this would be a doll that she would want to carry," she said.

Built with a motion sensor, the Little Mommy Cuddle 'N Coo doll makes noises when something moves near it.

Sometimes it coos, but Ward said she started hearing something else.

"My theory is that it's saying, 'Islam is the Light,'" Ward said.

She said she couldn't believe what she was hearing, so she listened to it over and over again before taking it to work for another opinion.

"When I got that many opinions and everybody's saying they're hearing the same thing, then that's when I'm thinking I don't want her to have the doll," Ward said.

Mattel makes the doll. In a statement, Mattel said, "The only scripted word the doll says is 'mama.' To avoid any potential misinterpretation, we have eliminated that segment of the sound file from future production."

Ward said she plans to bring her doll back to the store.

"I don't want her saying the first doll she got was saying something we don't agree with," Ward said.

When the time comes, Ward said she wants to teach her granddaughter about other religions, but she doesn't want that lesson learned from a doll.

Mattel said anyone with questions or concerns about the doll can call their consumer relations center
.
Note: The accompanying WYFF video can't be beat. (This will only be available for a short period; go to linked video page and choose story from the indexed selections.)

Halloween really brings them out of the woodwork, yes?

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Listening to: The Volebeats - Radio Flyer
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Governor's New Clothes

Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, looking suitably color-coordinated. Photo from her #1 fansite, Fox News.

~*~


The Obama campaign needs to hammer at the Palin Family's clothesgate, which I initially blogged about here:


The Republican National Committee appears to have spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.
Certainly, most of us working class schlubs have at some point received "clothing allowances" on several gigs, but this is ridiculous.

Over at Politico, Drew Westen astutely comments:

If the economy continues to tank and the stock market continues to plummet, nothing McCain or Palin can do or say will make much difference. But it would certainly be helpful to the Obama team to connect the dots for voters—that as middle class voters are struggling to pay their mortgage, Palin and her husband are spending hundreds of thousands on their wardrobes on a shopping spree at “elite” stores, courtesy of contributors big and small, and that this is just one more example of how out of touch with what the average American family is going through that McCain and Palin are. The impact of a story like this depends on the story you tell about it, and if it’s just “Palin bought nice clothes,” it will have no effect. If the story is that this is yet another index that they don’t “get it,” it would have a very different meaning to the average voter, since that’s already a concern they have about the GOP ticket.
Meanwhile, McCain sounds like he had to get Palin up to snuff in a hurry; as an Alaskan ragamuffin, she didn't possess the necessary bling to be a good Republican:

John McCain defended the Republican National Committee’s decision Thursday to spend more than $150,000 dollars on clothing and accessories for running mate Sarah Palin.

“She needed clothes at the time,” McCain told a group of Florida reporters.

The Arizona Republican said that the clothing will be donated to charity and that there was nothing unusual about spending the committee’s money on Palin’s look.

“They'll be donated at end of this campaign. They'll be donated to charity,” McCain said.

“It works by her getting some clothes when she was made the nominee of the party and it will be donated back to charity,” he added. “It works that the clothes will be donated to charity. Nothing surprises me.”

According to financial disclosure forms, the RNC shelled out thousands of dollars in the days following the announcement that Palin would be McCain’s running mate.

Since the news broke Tuesday, the RNC has taken heat for choosing to spend so much to clothe Palin during such a daunting year for GOP candidates across the country and in the midst of an economic meltdown.

While McCain defended the decision Thursday, he does not have Republican donors pay the tab for his shopping.

“I pay for my suits,” McCain said in an interview with WSLS, a Roanoke, Va. television station.

“I pay for all of my own clothing.”
And so, I guess the answer to the question posed as the title of my first post about clothesgate is now apparent: Does she get to keep the clothes? No.

I'll bet she's pissed to find that out now.

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Listening to: Grateful Dead - Jack-A-Roe
via FoxyTunes

Stuck in Moderation? Here's what to do!

Left: from postmodernbarney.com





Yes, we've all been stuck in moderation at some point, particularly if we frequent certain circles: uptight feminist prigs, right or left wing absolutists, hard-core religion blogs, etc.

(Hmmm, this begs the question of what these censors have in common?)

Certainly, I back the right of any blogger to get rid of anyone they think is obscene or harassing. However, the idea that any opposing view is automatically harassment is simply wrong. I don't understand why anyone blogs if they can't stand an opposing view, presented politely and respectfully, with no obscenity, sexism, racism, personal attacks, threats, etc.

In my opinion, this means they can't handle opposition.

Concern trolling is disturbing, but then again, there is concern trolling that is nasty and deliberately divisive and there is concern trolling that is basic yammering, and pretty easy (and even fun!) to refute. Some concern trolling gives one the opportunity to present new information or clarify one's views. Some makes the troll look like a wanker (yes, I've picked up some British slang from Caroline at UNCOOL)...and actually underscores your point for you without any additional efforts.

In any event, I am terribly honored to be the one to kick off a BRAND NEW BLOG, brought together by the aforementioned fabulous Caroline, titled IN THE MODERATION QUEUE

The intention of this blog is to publish comments censored on various blogs, because they are ideologically unacceptable, or challenge the view of the blog-owner in a way they can't handle or properly respond to:


Some blogs moderate comments to exclude trolls, some to allow a "safe space" for a discussion amongst like-minded people who can develop and strengthen their arguments without fear of ridicule or uninformed or inflammatory criticism. Other blogs, however, use these excuses to silence the 'opposition' and/or refuse them the opportunity of a platform to defend themselves against often distorted or completely untrue statements. This can be not only incredibly annoying, but also stopping questioning and challenging comments stunts any real discussion and even a chance of a possible solution to a problem.

So, this blog is for those who have attempted to join a discussion and been frustrated, either by having their words ignored or distorted. It is also for those who wish to challenge their own views or to inform their arguments.
AND SO, without further ado, I urge you to go to IN THE MODERATION QUEUE to read the two very simple, unadorned, boring comments of mine that were censored today on Women's Space, the blog run by Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff, erstwhile presidential candidate.

Heart has been running some pro-McCain/Palin pieces on her blog, which I find rather WACKADOODIE for a (supposed) radical feminist. Her mindless fawning over anti-abortion, homophobic, right-wing fundamentalist Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been particularly disturbing, completely unfeminist, illogical and downright weird. (One of her bizarre posts I responded to, posited the "dream ticket" of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin!!! Excuse me?!?) Several posts have attacked Barack Obama, at a time when I believe feminists and lefties should be united against McCain. We have a real chance to bring the troops home (Heart, note: some are women!).

In these censored comments, I deliberately focused ONLY on the subject at hand, the election and Heart's posts; in addition, made these posts as tepid as I could, given my strong beliefs on the subject of Obama's election.

When I realized that regardless of my deliberately-boring, even wonky writing, I would STILL be censored by Heart (for reasons she has NEVER enumerated or explained to me), I wrote an email (only one, despite her recent post that she was being spammed to death, or something) to ask her if she was going to approve my comments. Period. No editorializing at all. I didn't want to assume this was due to her busyness (she usually manages several posts a day, often quite lengthy, so I assume she either works at home or has constant access to a computer at her workplace, which I don't) ...or preoccupation with other matters. I told her I would assume the answer was no if I didn't hear from her, and I gather, I won't. I haven't.

There is also the fact that Heart calls her site "Women's Space"--when in fact, most FEMINISTS (let alone most women) don't qualify for inclusion under her hyper-zealous moderation style.

I waited for other comments to be approved AFTER mine, before deciding that YES--it was time to be the first BRIGHT, SHINING EXAMPLE on the new IN THE MODERATION QUEUE blog.

As a sometimes-anarchist and dedicated free-speech purist, I am honored!

Note: If you have a post lost/stuck/or languishing forever in moderation, send it to our free-speech friends with the pertinent links.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blow the horn and tap the tambourine



Annie posted a long statement from John Perry Barlow on her blog, which is just fabulous:








Ten years ago when I was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School, I was on a panel with Senator Ted Kennedy and my tragically late sidekick John Kennedy, Jr. The focus of our discussion was determining when the Internet would likely have the pivotal role in shaping a presidential campaign that television had assumed in the 1960 election of their brother and father. Oddly, for a couple of guys who were deeply suspicious of Cyberspace, they both thought this would happen much sooner than I did, possibly as early as 2000. I said it would be a decade at least. It has now been a decade. And this will now be that election.

Among the many lines of division at contest here - between the 50's and the 60's, between football and frisbee, between a high regard for education and a contempt for it, between weed and whiskey, between Monotheism and Pantheism, between love and fear, between greed and responsibility - is the contest between the highly cybergenic Obama and the apoplectic old race-bating, fraudulently heroic, tail-hook gunning, womanizing, pathologically gambling, unindicted Keating 5 co-conspirator who is literally treasonous enough to possibly entrust the American republic during its darkest hour to a woman who has great legs and cheekbones, combined SAT scores lower than either one of mine, and who, with her "First Dude" were helping lead, until recently, the Alaskan Independence Party, a powerful pro-secession movement. (Imagine Lincoln choosing Jefferson Davis as his first running mate and you get the idea.)

McCain, that disgraceful curdle-brain, that grimacing little tantrum of spoiled Naval nepotism whose greatest military accomplishment (if you don't count crashing three multi-million jets while on joyrides, and contributing to a deck fire that almost sank the Forrestal) was in getting shot down and breaking under torture, spent the first part of the debate whining about Obama's low blows and then informed the women and children of America that his opponent had promoted an Illinois law that now legally requires doctors to refuse medical treatment to any child who somehow survives an abortion attempt. Given the abortion methods I'm familiar with, I'm inclined to think such a child would also survive the flame-throwers they'd be using against him toward the end of the movie.

But among his other qualifications for being a 21st Century President , Senator McCain remains proud that, like both Bushes before him, he is computer-illiterate and that he makes his wife Cindy deal with all that.

I thought George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had made me ashamed to be a Republican. But McCain and Palin have pretty well completed the job.

However, since God is merciful, McCain probably doesn't know what I'm talking about. He's watching the campaign on television where he's presented with an edit of reality that is far less damning to him and his campaign than the one I've been watching on the Internet. John McCain is blessed indeed to be spared the online version of himself.

On the Internet, he would see the "people's edits" immediately, like the YouTube condensation of all 3143 of his eye-blinks during last night's debate into a thirty second segment, or the highlighting of his reference to Obama's "eloquence" in a fashion that left no doubt that this was his painfully polite euphemism for the vile effluent one can squeeze out of an fast-talking sack of lying shit when he talks about the "health" - a word McCain enclosed in finger quotes - of the baby murdering "mother", who is unable to accept that a child is the natural punishment for her coozing around in fornication, which is pretty much all these black Muslim terrorist baby mamas do, if you know what I mean.
If he watched the much more elaborate coverage of the campaign on the Internet, even McCain would have to be in awe of the fact that Senator Obama has shown almost superhuman dignity, humor (as opposed to sarcasm), and that quality that Hemingway defined as courage, "grace under pressure" even while being carpet-bombed, first by the Clintons and now the McCain/Palin Golem, with six months of sucker punches, lies, trivialities, the guilt of distant or even non-existent associations (often involving black people behaving ungracefully), and now, finally, the direct incitement of murderous intent in crowds spiked with many people who are insane with racial hatred, well-armed, and trained by their government in the accurate use of long-range weapons.

He would have seen the look of enlightened acceptance on Obama's face tonight when McCain fiercely declared his pride in the people who attended his rallies, including, presumably, the ones who shout "kill him" and "off with his head." As he pronounced his appreciation for these unmasked Klansmen, someone like me who doesn't have an abused wife he can use as a computer interface could, with a slight enhancement of certain frequencies, make clearly audible the dry, cold wind that was whistling through McCain's dentures.

At this point, I must pause and ask any other digeratum who zoomed into the Senator's forehead pulse at such moments: Who do you want answering the phone at 3:00 am in the White House: someone with unassailable poise and courage or someone whose rage-readiness and blood pressure make him a fine candidate to pop a valve, thus creating the scenario in which the more blink-resistant President Palin returns the call at 3:45 am?

Who do you want salvaging the economy, someone who believes that if the government is going to recover what Bush's and McCain's cronies looted from the public treasury, the very rich will have to pay some taxes, or someone who believes that we can spend extravagantly on war, greed, weapon systems we don't need, and subsidies for our friends, while taxing only the middle class and the poor?
Read the whole thing!

Outrageous, honest and wonderful, as anyone who has written the lyrics to several of the most poetic Grateful Dead songs would HAVE to be.

Thanks to Annie for the great missive!

----------------
Listening to: Grateful Dead - Cassidy
via FoxyTunes

Voodoo Chile, slight return

Our Lady of Fatima appears to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco in Portugal in 1917, stained glass from St Mary's Church in Greenville, SC.

~*~



We are discussing archetypes, mountains, deserts, religion, Jesus, Philip K Dick novels, psychedelic drugs and other cool stuff over on the Rapture thread, so if you one of those old hippies into all that, bring it!



On the thread in question, I embarrassingly confessed that I once had a profound mystical experience listening to 70s progressive ART ROCK, God help us. (((blushes bright pink)))

To make up for that, and to mend my musical reputation, I hurriedly add that I also had a mystical experience listening to THIS... yes, along with most of the rest of population of Berserkely and all points Westward.

Only someone possessed of the Holy Spirit could make a guitar (or anything else) sound like this. And he played it upside-down and left-handed, which as any religion scholar will tell you, cinches the deal.

PS: And if people want to talk about Voodoo, go for it!

Must be played very, very loud for maximum spiritual benefits.

~*~

Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix



And if I don't meet you no more in this world
Then I'll meet you in the next one
And don't be late
Don't be late.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Does she get to keep the clothes?

Photo from Access Hollywood.


For a small town gal, married to the First Dude, all in touch with Mr Average Citizen/Joe Six-Pack, it seems that Vice Presidential candidate and moose-hunting governor Sarah Palin is LIVIN LARGE:


RNC appears to shell out $150K for Palin fashion

By JEANNE CUMMINGS, Politico.com
October 21, 2008


The Republican National Committee appears to have spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

Politico asked the McCain campaign for comment, explicitly noting the $150,000 in expenses for department store shopping and makeup consultation that were incurred immediately after Palin’s announcement. Pre-September reports do not include similar costs.

Spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to answer specific questions about the expenditures, including whether it was necessary to spend that much and whether it amounted to one early investment in Palin or if shopping for the vice presidential nominee was ongoing.

“The campaign does not comment on strategic decisions regarding how financial resources available to the campaign are spent," she said.

The business of primping and dressing on the campaign trail has become fraught with political risk in recent years as voters increasingly see an elite Washington out of touch with their values and lifestyles.

In 2000, Democrat Al Gore took heat for changing his clothing hues. And in 2006, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) was ribbed for two hair styling sessions that cost about $3,000.

Then, there was Democrat John Edwards’ $400 hair cuts in 2007 and Republican McCain’s $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes this year.

A review of similar records for the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee turned up no similar spending.

But all the spending by other candidates pales in comparison to the GOP outlay for the Alaska governor whose expensive, designer outfits have been the topic of fashion pages and magazines.

What hasn’t been apparent is where the clothes came from – her closet back in Wasilla or from the campaign coffers in Washington.

The answer can be found inside the RNC’s September monthly financial disclosure report under “itemized coordinated expenditures.”

It’s a report that typically records expenses for direct mail, telephone calls and advertising. Those expenses do show up, but the report also has a new category of spending: “campaign accessories.”

September payments were also made to Barney’s New York ($789.72) and Bloomingdale’s New York ($5,102.71).

Macy’s in Minneapolis, another store fortunate enough to be situated in the Twin Cities that hosted last summer’s Republican National Convention, received three separate payments totaling $9,447.71.

The entries also show a few purchases at Pacifier, a top notch baby store, and Steiniauf & Stroller Inc., suggesting $295 was spent to accommodate the littlest Palin to join the campaign trail.

An additional $4,902.45 was spent at Atelier, a high-class shopping destination for men.
Obviously, she is deeply in touch with the working classes, as is the Republican party!

----------------
Listening to: Bruce Springsteen - Radio Nowhere
via FoxyTunes

Q-and-A with Daisy - part IV

Fresh Market Halloween pumpkins! Purty!


I get fascinating emails, particularly on the Sabbath. This one arrived in my inbox last Sunday evening.

~*~


Dear Daisy,

Your blog is interesting. I found it through your link about "Is Barack Obama the anti-christ?" You seem to think this is a funny question and it IS NOT at all. Please take this seriously.

You seem to have the timeline confused. I see from your blog that you are Catholic and most Catholics have no knowledge of the anti-christ or Rapture. Let me explain using Biblical principles.

Satan works in the world and he shapes people and society to achieve his goals. Knowingly or not, anti-christ will force people to follow and obey an agenda that appears to be in the best interest of its people but, in following the pattern of human history and man's rebellion to God, will bring about pain and suffering until Christ comes again.


(Insert pertinent quotes from Revelation 13 here, Mark of the Beast, et. al.)

A time is coming when society and lives will be ruled by a self-imposed system where mankind is monitored, analyzed, measured and evaluated by computers. In those times, anyone who refuses to accept this system will be tortured then killed.

We are moving towards a ubiquitous society where people from all walks of life can access anything, anywhere, and at anytime regardless of time and location. The implementation of RFID technology in retail stores is one example. It's estimated that the majority of retail merchandise will use RFID within 1-5 years, and will replace standard bar codes which have been used for the past 30 years.

What drives such development is the belief that we will live safer, easier, richer and more enjoyable lives by using technology to manage everyday aspects of daily life. In a society that craves automated financial management, instant communication and security, it's not a far stretch for RFID enabled biochips to be implanted into the body, and eventually, replacing currency that is easily stolen, lost or hidden.

In the near future:

1) All people will be required to have a biochip. All economic operations will use this chip, thereby replacing today's unit of monetary exchange.

2) There will be privacy invasion and freedom will cease to exist.

3) A charismatic leader, who is the Anti-Christ, will rule the whole world through a system that is interconnected and interdependent.

MARK OF THE BEAST
[1] IN THE HUMAN BODY, WE MUST NOT RECEIVE IT. (REVELATION 14:9, 14:11, 16:2)

Accepting this mark is the irreversible act of selling your soul to Satan. This sin is unforgivable and cannot be reversed by physically removing the mark. (see Revelation verses, above). Your soul belongs to God. Therefore if you receive this mark, you then belong to Satan.

If you receive this mark, you are willfully placing your faith in man and not in God. You are actively choosing to live without a loving God who desires to spend eternity with you in Heaven. God does not want you choosing Hell's path.

God knew these things beforehand
[2] and because He loves us and wants us to acknowledge this, it was revealed to us through the writing of the apostle John in Revelation around 100 AD.

If you are not taken up to heaven and are thereby left behind for the tribulation, you must not receive the mark of the beast even though you will be tortured then killed for not accepting the government's sanctioned acts of Satan. You must remember this at all times because the hope of heaven still remains.

The Rapture
[3] is reserved for those saints who will be lifted into the sky upon God's trumpet call, saints that are to be Raptured will be lifted into the sky to meet Jesus in the clouds. (1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17) The rapture is reserved for those believers who wear spiritual white robes. Their physical body will be transformed.

Jesus will be coming in the clouds for the salvation of Mankind.

If you remain in lukewarm faith, Jesus will spew you out, so you must not be this type of believer, Daisy! (Revelation 3:16) Jesus' first coming was to bring salvation, but his Second Coming is not to bear sins, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Those with lukewarm faith, those who are tied with the world, and those who do not know Jesus Christ, will be left behind for the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation will be the most devastating time in all of human history. All saints must realize this truth and pray for Jesus Christ's return. Be awake in the spirit and know that Jesus Christ's return is very near.

Maranatha,
[4]

__________
(real name given, phone number, the works!)


~*~

[1] Does anyone remember the German horror movie, MARK OF THE DEVIL(1970), that promised free vomit bags to the audience?

[2] I dunno about this. Theologically, it's kind of tricky.

[3] Although my correspondent dutifully links this site, I don't have the heart to tell him that I was already banned from the message board years ago (after only ONE post that didn't contain a single cuss word).

[4] Which congregation started this fad? Who exactly decided to dig up this old Aramaic word and use it all the time? Was this Lonnie Frisbee or somebody like that?

Speaking of which, thanks to John Powers for the heads-up on the documentary of Frisbee's life, which I watched over the weekend, courtesy of Netflix. I enjoyed it, but the music was horrendous and made me want to rend my garments, if I may sound suitably Biblical for a moment. If I had to listen to music like that all the time, I'd be praying for the Rapture to hurry up and get here, too.

My criticisms: not enough explanations regarding precisely what Pentecostalism IS and the various factions therein. Thus, when these various factions started accusing each other of not being genuinely Pentecostal, it wasn't very clear what they meant, theologically. (They all seemed equally Pentecostal to ME, for example.) I certainly enjoyed the chronicle of the Jesus Movement, although I would have greatly preferred more exactitude: dates, times, places and names all seemed to blur together. It was unclear to me if Frisbee was integral to the actual founding of Calvary Chapel and The Vineyard, or if he was just part of the ongoing charismatic scene. The filmmakers never once clarified the geographic locations of any of these places, which was pretty shoddy. And the hugely controversial nature of "being slain in the spirit" was skimmed over, given very short shrift.

I found the central spiritual concept of the last half of the movie--where Lonnie says, "They want my gifts, but they don't want ME!"--to be most interesting. This is similar to what so many artists say, which begs the question of whether charismatic spirituality is a unique talent or possibly a specific art form.

And again, the music made me want to shriek. It might have been the worst music I've ever heard.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Standard Operating Procedure

...just ripped my guts out.








(Caution: the photo-links in this post are extremely disturbing. Click at your own risk.)



Errol Morris' incredible documentary about Abu Ghraib seared my consciousness. After viewing it, I dreamed about a dead body on ice, which is what soldiers did to one prisoner who died during interrogation. They knew if they took him out of the prison in a body bag, this might result in a riot, or a bombing of the prison (which was already a common occurrence). So, they packed the body in a cell, on ice. The ice melted, and the body began to smell and rot.

In my dream, I could see and smell the dead prisoner. Open the door, let him out, I kept repeating. In my dream, I started plotting a way to open the door and let him out, so that he could run away. It was as if he would come to life, if I could just get that door open.

The subject of my dream had a name. His name was Manadel al-Jamadi. He was beaten to death during interrogation. And they finally opened the cell door, but he remained dead.

They put a fake IV in the corpse's arm, and took the dead prisoner out of the prison. Where to? Soldiers didn't know. In fact, they didn't know who interrogated the prisoner in the first place. These guys would come in, unregistered. "This prisoner isn't here, he doesn't officially exist," they would tell the soldiers. These strange fellas with the unnamed prisoners were entered into the log as OGAs, Other Government Agencies. CIA, et. al. Nobody knew what that was about, and knew better than to ask.

Spc. Sabrina Harmon gives the thumbs-up over the body of al-Jamadi. Photo from Antiwar.com.

Mark Rothschild of Antiwar. com writes:

Seymour M. Hersh reported in The New Yorker that in November, a prisoner was beaten to death while undergoing interrogation. His body was packed in ice overnight. The next day Army medics placed an IV on one arm, and the body was walked out of the interrogation area on a stretcher.

The man on the stretcher was a "ghost prisoner"; he had no prisoner number. So-called ghost prisoners are not entered into the prison’s inmate tracking system -- they are non-persons whose disappearance or burial is not to be recorded.
We don't know anything about this person. He haunts me, since his blood is on the hands of every citizen of the United States of America, which does include me.

~*~

It's a helluva movie. I highly recommend it for everyone, and particularly every American.

It seems very weird, at first, all the photos. What in the hell were they doing, partying? Well, yes, in a sense, they were. We all try to make our work more fun, don't we? They were doing the same.

US soldiers were given various orders regarding certain prisoners, including some who were children, thought to be the offspring of terrorists. Soldiers were instructed to keep prisoners awake, one hour of sleep, one hour awake (for days at a time) and while prisoners were awake, soldiers were ordered to "fuck with them": put women's panties on their heads; rearrange their bodies in what they called "stress positions"; play deafening music to keep them awake (one of the songs blasted over and over was Metallica's "Enter Sandman"--irony, anyone?) and on and on. Eventually, they brought in the dogs. (Yes, the dogs attacked, but the aforementioned Sabrina Harmon was good enough to stitch up the guys' leg, offering another of her trademark thumbs-up grins.)

Although Lynndie England has been cast as the main villainess of the piece (mostly for her appearance in these now-famous photos), for my money, Sabrina Harmon has her beat hands down for sheer sociopathic detachment. England is obviously angry, cynical, misanthropic, feels set-up, etc. and in short, acts just like someone who took the fall for many other people. Sabrina just quietly abdicates responsibility, sounds almost dreamlike and even reflexively smiles while cataloging the horrors. (Why didn't somebody tell her NOT TO SMILE? Or does anyone care about her enough to counsel her about the filmed interview with Morris?) Sabrina Harmon is the one who will give you the nightmares. Her letters to her wife Kelly (the term Sabrina uses in the film, also signing her letters this way), provide much of the film's narration. Sometimes she is upset by what she sees, but often, it's just (yep) standard operating procedure.

She is the one taking many of the most famous photos.

~*~

On a feminist note, watching white American women, one lesbian, torture and sexually humiliate non-American men of color... was disorienting. For those radical lesbian-feminists who insist that uniquely-patriarchal oppression automatically and always trumps all others, have a good long look at this movie, and get back to me.

Liberal Second-wave feminists have always demanded that women have a societal role equal to men in all things, without allowing any accompanying radical critiques of said institutions. In the US and many other nations, this meant active participation in the military and domestic police forces, which radical feminism tacitly approved by disdaining any radical analysis of these institutions as "focusing on men." The only sustained feminist-based critiques of the military that endured were by peaceniks like Barbara Deming and non-Americans such as Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp.

And so, we see that feminism did not prevent what we see on the sceen--women stripping men and sexually abusing them FOR A CAMERA. The proof is right in front of us: Women can do it, too.

And I don't want to hear they were "put up to it by guys." Because the guys, in fact, were put up to it by STILL OTHER guys, and that doesn't abdicate them, either, now does it?

I am haunted by the movie, but even more, by these women who come from my class, who could have been in my own family. They come from Kentucky and Virginia. Well, of course they do. They are hard-bitten and unafraid; they have learned to take responsibility for what they have done.

I hope certain radical feminists, the ones who claim sexism is the root of all evil, will observe these women, these photos, and understand that their ideology, alone, is simply not enough.

PS: Don't forget to vote.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Golden Country

I'm pleased so many people enjoyed "Monster" by Steppenwolf. For those who think that sort of hell-raising song was rare or a fluke during the 70s, let me assure you, it wasn't.

Below, a fantastic, must-see video set to still another 70s revolution-oriented staple of FM rock radio, Golden Country, by REO Speedwagon. (Their very popular song Ridin the storm out was probably the first hippie-survivalist rock song, or at least the first to start with an air raid siren.) Golden Country likewise starts off like major gangbusters--I used to leap over furniture to turn up the radio when I heard those first few distinctive wah-wah notes. Kevin Cronin wasn't always the best singer, but what he lacked in talent, he made up for in sheer verve. This song was written by lead guitarist Gary Richrath and originally released in 1972. Richrath's guitar work is blazing and obviously heartfelt.

No, you don't have to listen to all 8:27 of this either. Lyrics below. Various lefties of my acquaintance used to make fun of the line "and your freaks are crying"--but hey, it rhymes with "dying," okay? (And yes, despite the bad rhyme, us freaks were crying, then as now.) We could also argue that a COUNTRY's face can't actually be red, but well, I suppose that's quibbling.

Enjoy, you counterculture maniacs! The visuals on this one are exemplary! (Even the late Iron Eyes Cody makes it into the video!)



Golden country your face is so red
With all of your money your poor can be fed
You strut around and you flirt with disaster
Never really caring just what comes after
Well your blacks are dying but your back is still turned
And your freaks are crying but your back is still turned
You better stop your hiding or your country will burn
The time has come for you, my friend
To all this ugliness we must put an end
Before we leave we must make a stand

Mortgage people you crawl to your homes
Your security lies in your bed of white foam
You act concerned but then why turn away
When a lady was raped on your doorstep today
Well your red man's dying but your back is still turned
And your freaks are crying but your back is still turned
You better stop your hiding or your country will burn
The time has come for you, my friend
To all this ugliness we must put an end
Before we leave we must make a stand

Golden country your face is so red
With all of your money your poor can be fed
You strut around and you flirt with disaster
Never really caring just what comes after
Well your blacks are dying but your back is still turned
And your freaks are crying but your back is still turned
You better stop your hiding or your country will burn
Now you don't wanna see it burn

The time has come for you, my friend
To all this ugliness we must put an end
Before we leave we must make a stand

Oh people, doncha know, we must make a stand