Thursday, August 30, 2012

Move On Up

I heard My Morning Jacket's cover of "Move on up" last night on this blog's namesake, Uncle Dave's Dead Air. I then decided to look up Curtis Mayfield's original, which I have always loved passionately. And virtually simultaneously, Tami posted her last blog post, titled "Movin On Up."

Cosmic synchronicity!

Good luck Tami, wishing you all the best in your new endeavors. I will miss your blogular brilliance.

And Curtis, as always, we miss you.


Move On Up - Curtis Mayfield (1970)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Haley Watch: The Governor's star turn

As reported yesterday, our fashionable governor took the podium at the Republican National Convention last night, camera-ready for her big close-up, and the reviews are in.

How'd she do?

For those of you lucky enough to miss it, SC Governor Nikki Haley read Barack Obama the riot act:

Haley then accused the Obama administration of launching an all-out assault on her state.

"The hardest part of my job continues to be this federal government, this administration and this president," Haley said, going on to say that "Obama will do everything he can to stand in your way," even if you play by the rules.

According to Haley, her state had attempted to implement "one of the most innovative illegal immigration laws in the country," bring jobs to South Carolina through a deal with Boeing and enact a voter ID measure, only to have the Obama administration bring lawsuits against them.

The Justice Department has sued South Carolina over its immigration law and voter ID measure over concerns that the legislation put the state in violation of various civil and voting rights acts. Obama's National Labor Relations Board eventually dismissed a union lawsuit against Boeing, which Haley suggested was a response to the state getting "loud."

Haley got a standing ovation for her support of voter ID laws, saying that it was a natural step when identifications were required to pass through airport security or purchase Sudafed from a drug store.

And here we thought it was just her overall incompetence that made her...totally incompetent. Instead, she blames her incompetence on the president. Good work if you can get it, and this song-and-dance has obviously taken Nikki all the way to the podium in Tampa.

Actually, the "hardest part of her job" appears to be the job itself, which she seems patently unable to do. As the Charleston City Paper correctly pointed out, she can't even talk to the South Carolina press, and prefers to model clothing for Vogue magazine instead:
Nikki Haley has refused to speak with members of the press, both those of the state's two largest and most influential dailies, the Post and Courier and The State, as well as the state's two alt-weeklies, The Free Times and the Charleston City Paper. On one occasion, Haley even ran away from reporter Renee Dudley.
How is this habitual scampering away from reporters, the fault of President Obama?

Hard-core conservatives like Will Folks, however, weren't having any. He ably picked apart the fine points of Nikki's speech. Folks gives away his Ron Paul-partisanship, when pointing out that:
[The] fight over Boeing was clouded by the fact that the company relies extensively on billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidies doled out from both the state and federal governments.
Aside: It's a sad day when it's up to libertarians to do the job of (snort) "liberals," pointing out how working-class taxpayers regularly foot the bills for big business. This might be why Democrats do so poorly around here. It's usually been up to the Paulites to highlight CORPORATE welfare, while the rank-and-file Repubs natter on about "government handouts." I still remember our counter-demonstration at the local Republican debate, when Ron Paul supporters were the only ones to applaud one protester's sign, "Drug testing for corporate welfare recipients!" They loved it, as Will Folks would probably love it. The regular Republicans rolled their eyes and ignored us. (Same as they do with corporate welfare.)

Nikki Haley initially marketed herself as a Tea Party Republican, all ready to challenge the status quo, and she has instead rolled her eyes and ignored the malcontents, just like the rest of the big-money Repubs. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. One hopes the Tea Party-affiliated Republicans in this state will not sit back and simply allow her to shit all over them, in her breakneck-climb to the cover of Newsweek, her fashion spread in Vogue, and the Conservative Book Club bestseller's lists.

At left: Governor Haley's photo from The New York Times Magazine. (Since she is afraid to talk to the South Carolina press, we have to go to national media to find pictures of her.)

The Charleston Post and Courier reports:
Haley’s star status has been on display here for days. Monday morning, she won a standing ovation from Florida’s GOP delegation. Georgetown County GOP Chair Jim Jerow, who is at his first convention, was there and noted Haley “is growing in her job.”

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who had the biggest moment at the GOP convention four years ago, said Haley’s speech would be a good honor for the state and for her as an individual.

He said she needed to make the home team proud, please the “chattering class” in the media and make a personal connection. “I think she’s going to do really good,” he predicted.

Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., agreed with Graham’s prediction. “She’s going to showcase the state well. She always does,” he said. “It’s got to help her. I’m focused on how it helps us as a party. She’s going to be the face of the party.”
World-class stupidity as the "face of the party"! Well, they didn't mind hosting Dubya for eight years, so this isn't too surprising.

Growing in her job? WHAT, pray tell, does that mean? Sounds like an internship, rather than an elected office.

NPR says it's all about being a minority female. They are pushing her out front because they feel they have no choice:
It's become a perennial problem for Republicans, but not one that the party yet knows how to solve.

Recent polls show GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney taking a drubbing among minority groups, badly trailing President Obama among Hispanics, Asians and single women.

One recent poll showed Romney's support among African-Americans at 0 (yes, zero) percent.

In a sense, this is nothing new. As long ago as 2001, Rich Bond, a former head of the Republican National Committee, told The Washington Post: "We've taken white guys about as far as that group can go. We are in need of diversity, women, Latino, African-American, Asian."

What has changed is that minority voters now make up a large and growing share of the electorate. Between 1992 and 2008, the non-Anglo portion of the electorate doubled, to 26 percent from 13 percent, as measured by exit polls.

According to a recent National Journal analysis, Romney will need the percentage of white voters to remain at 74 percent nationwide — and he'll have to take 61 percent of that white vote — in order to win.

"This year or 2016 will be the last time Republicans can do as well as they've done in recent decades with [just] a strong showing among white voters," says Henry Olsen, vice president of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. "At some point in the not so distant future, Republicans have to start doing better among minorities or they will not win elections."

One way the party is hoping to speak to minority voters is by having minority officeholders speak to them. The GOP's convention lineup this week is loaded with high-profile minorities, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (Thursday), former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (Wednesday) and Govs. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Brian Sandoval of Nevada (who spoke Tuesday) and Susana Martinez of New Mexico (Wednesday).
Haley claims to be all about bringing minorities and women into the Republican Party. Um, since when?

Well, since she was elected and they gave her the script, of course:
"It's offensive to me as a woman and as a minority that Democrats can go and say, 'That party hates you,' and can get away with that," Haley told an editorial board from Gannett and USA Today on Tuesday.

Haley suggested that her party offers a welcoming home to many minority voters and is a good fit for them on issues such as the economy and jobs.
The "We Built It" theme of the Republican Convention, actually tramples all over minority people, who built most of the South, where the convention is. It tramples all over the maids and janitors who are cleaning up all the balloons and streamers and vodka-puke that the Republicans leave behind. Ann Romney's maids and assistants, the overworked-seamstresses who sew Nikki Haley's designer wardrobe, the lighting technicians and the retail/fast-food grunts and the hotel clerks and secretaries, THESE ARE THE PEOPLE who keep everything going. And they/we built it too.

And if you persist in NOT seeing this, Republicans, you will fail.

Your cartoon-convention, scrambling to find minorities and women to put on stage and on camera, is just that, a cartoon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Governor Haley goes nationwide tonight

Governor Nikki Haley, Vogue-vetted fashion plate, models her trademark designer duds, while mouthing some indecipherable nonsense in Tampa at the Republican Convention. Since she has proudly bankrupted the working class of South Carolina, this is the closest the rest of us will ever get to designer clothes, so you might want to tune in tonight at 10pm to see what she wears.


The good news is, maybe she will get a national gig and GO AWAY.

The bad news? Tonight, the unbearable Haley-fawning reaches a fever pitch... Newsweek, Vogue, Christiane Amanpour, The View, a hardcover biography and now she is at last ready for prime time. All this prepping, all this hoopla, and you can almost hear em sing THERE SHE IS, MISS AMERICA... as she struts those infamous mega-pricey stilettos up to the GOP podium. This is it! She's ready for her close-up, Mr DeMille!!!

Some of the up-and-coming politicians who have historically been selected for this coveted time-slot at past conventions include Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Yes, our little Nikki has hit the big time. And all she's done is creatively manage her dad's books and dodge an ethics investigation. Oh yeah, and receive endless genuflection from the national press as an attractive Indian-American female star for the GOP; currently the youngest governor in the country.

As Newsweek famously summed her up two years ago:

[The GOP's] freshly anointed gubernatorial nominee arrived: Nikki Haley, 38 years old and Indian-American, wearing a snug, saffron-colored suit and stilettos you could impale a small animal with. Only a few months ago, she was an obscure state representative. Then former Alaska governor Sarah Palin endorsed her, the Tea Party movement embraced her, and she proceeded to dispatch a U.S. congressman, the lieutenant governor, and the attorney general in the Republican primary and runoff. Now she’s the hottest thing in South Carolina politics. And if she wins in November, becoming the state’s first female and first nonwhite governor, she’ll likely rocket to national prominence and secure a spot in the GOP firmament.
Yes, and here we are.

Ron Paul draws thousands of eager, dedicated young kids to the Republican Party and hosts raucous Republican rallies, yet he is denied a speaking spot at the Republican Convention, while our governor, a walking disaster (albeit a very fashionable one), who can't even make sure our roads are repaired, is officially anointed as the hot new thing.

As Ayn Rand would say, choke on it, Congressman Paul, life isn't fair.

And all because she endorsed Romney early and allowed Mitt and Ann (as well as every other Republican presidential candidate) to use the Governor's mansion as a Motel 6, on our dime. She has just given her staff big raises (again, on our dime), but is nonetheless heralded as a fiscal conservative and Tea Party true-believer. And just wait till she gets started on her newest melodramatic role, "military spouse"--a role she coincidentally landed just in time for the convention.

It's enough to make you sick.

Like, really sick.

And hey, I ain't the only one. Her jilted lover, blogger Will Folks, is even more nauseated than the state's lefties are.

For him, it's personal, as he offers an amazing (and quite comprehensive) a laundry list of her offenses at his conservative blog, FITSNews. He reminds everyone of what is now known as the Savannah River Sellout, and fulminates at some length. (Preach it, Will!)

But in the end, we are just huffing and puffing. It's Haley's night. I've got some DVDs, some Marx Brothers, some American Dad, and if it gets too painful, I will not subject myself to lengthy torture. After all, I live here under Queen Nikki's rule, and I am tortured every time I drive down Woodruff Road, taking my life in my hands.

The only good thing about Romney possibly winning the election, is that Queen Nikki will undoubtedly be dispatched elsewhere. (But then, what about the rest of the country?)

I'm afraid there is no good outcome, and either way, we all lose.

Enjoy the speech... and the fashionistas among you may want to play "name that designer!" while you watch. Bring those anti-nausea meds.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

That's right, the women are smarter

Man Smart, Woman Smarter - Grateful Dead (Live 1985)

Music starts at about 1:25.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Letter from Ayn Rand

The following excerpt is from a letter to Sylvia Austin, dated July 9, 1946, in Letters of Ayn Rand, p. 287:

There is a great, basic contradiction in the teachings of Jesus. Jesus was one of the first great teachers to proclaim the basic principle of individualism -- the inviolate sanctity of man's soul, and the salvation of one's soul as one's first concern and highest goal; this means -- one's ego and the integrity of one's ego. But when it came to the next question, a code of ethics to observe for the salvation of one's soul -- (this means: what must one do in actual practice in order to save one's soul?) -- Jesus (or perhaps His interpreters) gave men a code of altruism, that is, a code which told them that in order to save one's soul, one must love or help or live for others. This means, the subordination of one's soul (or ego) to the wishes, desires or needs of others, which means the subordination of one's soul to the souls of others.

This is a contradiction that cannot be resolved. This is why men have never succeeded in applying Christianity in practice, while they have preached it in theory for two thousand years. The reason of their failure was not men's natural depravity or hypocrisy, which is the superficial (and vicious) explanation usually given. The reason is that a contradiction cannot be made to work. That is why the history of Christianity has been a continuous civil war -- both literally (between sects and nations), and spiritually (within each man's soul).
From: On Christianity, at the Objectivism Reference Center.


Graphic at top is from Library Grape.

Other recent, interesting commentary about Rand's strange new popularity:

Jim Miller: Ryan tone deaf to dissonance between Ayn Rand, his faith (Wisconsin State Journal)

Cynthia Tucker: Ayn Rand is odd deity for GOP (

Paul Ryan’s “conversion”: real or expedient? (Ottawa Citizen)

Paul Ryan's faith in Ayn Rand is a political problem for Romney (UK Guardian)

Paul Ryan Denies Ayn Rand Thrice! (Brad DeLong)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Another Earth

At left: Movie still from Another Earth.

I am recommending the independent movie Another Earth, with several caveats. It's slow, rather strange and ponderous. The good thing is that it's only 92 minutes, so if you are in the right slow, rather strange and ponderous mood, you can easily sit through it with no trouble. It's also very pretty to watch, as the photo at left makes clear. Actress Brit Marling (also co-author of the screenplay) is beautiful and quietly intense. If she wasn't, the whole plot would fall apart.

My main problem with the movie was logic. Dammit, THERE CAN'T BE ANOTHER EARTH up there. One comment left on the film's Internet Movie Database site, sums up my issues in a couple of words: "Um... our tides." Another comment goes further: "Where's the second moon?"

Yes, some of us do get hung up on the details.

It's a nice idea, though, if you can stop asking yourself pesky questions (such as: Didn't these people ever see When Worlds Collide?). You might enjoy the existential question: If there is another Earth, is there another us on that other earth? And what is THAT person like?

William Mapother, Tom Cruise's cousin, is Marling's co-star. When I wasn't shaking my head at the idea of another Earth up there, NOT causing tsunamis and earthquakes, I found myself wondering if Mapother is a Scientologist, too? (Are there Scientologists on the other earth?) Slow, ponderous movies allow the mind to wander all over the place, unfortunately.

Mapother is very good, and you may remember him from that arresting, outstanding movie of about a decade ago, In the Bedroom.

I have always found the idea of a planet taking up a great deal of the sky, to be especially enchanting. I have often wondered what Jupiter or Saturn must look like, as seen from one of their many moons. I am sure it's a spectacular view! Thus, I found the movie-visuals exciting, when I could stop thinking about the illogical lack of earthquakes.

I am recommending the movie for one reason: the ending. Excellent, just plain excellent, and worth the whole 92 minutes.


I taped tomorrow's radio show yesterday afternoon, and was informed it is my 51st show. I can hardly believe it.

We will be discussing the ongoing clown act that is Rep. Todd Akin, on our radio show tomorrow. Also in the studio (Gregg's basement) will be our Occupy Greenville mentor, Double A Battery! When my show is finally syndicated and I am a big radio star ((grunts for emphasis)), Double A will be a permanent fixture. He is a real inspiration to me.

We also revisited the Trashing of Ayn Rand, which I started on last week's show. (Since Rand was a rape apologist, like Akin, it was a perfect tie-in.)

Hope you will join us. Saturday at 9am here in the upstate on WFIS radio, 1600 AM and/or 94.9 FM on your radio dial. You can also listen online at any time, by going to our radio blog.

Another Daisy Deadhead radio show on the other earth? Well, why not?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Religion, Warthogs and Republicans...

From LOLCATS, this comic reminded me of this hapless incident I wrote about a couple of months ago. (You can click to enlarge.)


As far as I know, this has not been reported locally. I'm very glad that we have the internet to inform us of the unpopular news stories. From the Freedom From Religion Foundation:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a federal lawsuit May 30 in U.S. District Court in Columbia, S.C., against School District 5 of Lexington and Richland Counties over a district policy that sanctions graduation prayer. Matthew “Max” Nielson, 18, who graduated May 30 from Irmo High School, was named as principal plaintiff.

Nielson has received a $1,000 Catherine Fahringer Memorial Student Activist Award from FFRF and will speak at FFRF’s 35th annual convention in Portland, Oregon, October 12-14.

On June 11, FFRF filed an amended complaint adding two new plaintiffs, Jacob Zupon and Dakota McMillan. They will graduate respectively from Irmo High School in 2013 and 2014, keeping the lawsuit ripe. Zupon and McMillan “reasonably anticipate constitutional injury” similar to Nielson’s, due to prayer at their upcoming graduations. All students describe themselves as “religiously unaffiliated,” meaning “they subscribe to no particular organized, institutionalized religion, nor other prescribed set of beliefs.”

A district policy titled “School Ceremonies and Observations” sets guidelines for benedictions and invocations at graduations and athletic events: Use of prayer “will be determined by a majority vote of the graduating senior class with the advice and counsel of the principal.”

Nielson was forced during his senior year to participate in a “vote” by graduating seniors on whether to pray at their 2012 graduation. That vote was organized, distributed and tallied by teachers and other staff. He met with Principal Rob Weinkle and Superintendent Steve Hefner to express his concerns. FFRF formally objected, but the district refused to remove the scheduled prayer. FFRF filed suit on the day of the graduation.
This kind of thing is very common even in public schools here in the Bible belt. Also common: impromptu public prayers given on the spot--usually before standardized tests, sports and field trips. Whoever chooses not to participate in these prayers, is often considered rebellious and/or a troublemaker, simply by fiat.

My daughter also had Bob Jones University students as student teachers in her public high school, believe it or not. (BJU is unaccredited.) In addition, due to budget cuts and lack of space, her school also had instrumental music concerts/recitals in various local churches that were kind enough to volunteer space. Thus, parents and families who wanted to attend their children's recitals were forced to go the churches.

Aside: The aformentioned BJU student teacher (a music teacher), addressed the audience of parents at one such local music recital and informed us he was thankful to his Lord and Savior. This aggravated me, since I went to hear the kids perform, not to listen to a sermon. However, at the time, I did not want to make an issue of these things and put my daughter in a precarious social position.

Therefore, I am pleased these students and FFRF are finally challenging this stuff. Maybe this will make them think twice.
The prayer at the graduation, written by the district but delivered by a student “volunteer,” was addressed to “Father.” The prayer asked for the “Lord’s guidance, protection and mercy,” asked students to be “touched” by “the Lord,” to be led “on the path you intend for their lives to lead,” and thanked a deity for “the teachers, parents and administrators that were here through our 12 years of school.”
... and if this is not your faith, well, they really don't care what you think.


At left: My daughter took this adorable photo of a warthog mama and baby at the San Antonio Zoo. DEAD FROM CUTENESS!!!

Speaking of warthogs (and how many of you caught that segue?), REST IN PEACE Ron Palillo!


Other links of note:

Lisa Marie Presley Says "So Long" to Scientology (Village Voice)

POLITICO e-book: Obama campaign roiled by conflict (Politico)

The Conservative Psyche: How Ordinary People Come to Embrace Paul Ryan's Cruelty (AlterNet)

Raising the Ritalin Generation (New York Times)

IN CELEBRATION: Thankful for the Life of Phyllis Diller (GendErratic)

The bizarre, unhealthy, blinding media contempt for Julian Assange (UK Guardian)

Americans ignore the war in Afghanistan, despite 2,000 US casualties (

Prayers At Republican National Convention Expected From Cardinal Timothy Dolan And Prominent Mormon Friend Of Mitt Romney (Huffington Post)

Limited Convention Broadcasts Shut Out Ann Romney (New York Times)

And on that happy note (tee hee), we wish you a happy Wednesday evening... don't forget, local peeps, "The Feel-good, Fabulous, Four Hour, Fun-Filled, Festival-like thing we refer to as Dead Air!" (namesake of this blog) is on WNCW-FM tonight, as we speak.

Only a dullard could resist!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Color Fear

I watched an old interview of Jimmy Breslin on C-Span over the weekend, originally aired in 1991.

I just loved what he said, and decided to quote the last segment of the interview in its entirety.

It's as true now, as it was in 1991... as it was in the time he is describing, the 50s.

[C-Span CEO Brian] LAMB: You said earlier that you can't go a day without writing about and thinking about race in New York City.

[Jimmy] BRESLIN: Well, it hits you in the face in New York City. It's all there is.

LAMB: OK. Is the problem -- and I don't know whether you call it a problem or not -- but will the problem be solved?

BRESLIN: It's a very new problem, and we've got a long way to go with it.

LAMB: Why is it new?

BRESLIN: Well, it didn't start until -- when did it start in New York City? I told you a movie was made in 1950 that only had two blacks in it -- shoeshine people -- and now we're in 1991 and we're beginning to see how many are there. I found in doing the research for this book, the John Deere Company in Iowa gave me their company newspaper and a lot of old press releases from the largest train ever to carry farm equipment in the United States in whatever the year was then. It left Des Moines with 141 flatcars filled with the John Deere 99 cotton picker, and it went to the South, to Atlanta, where there was a huge civic celebration there, and it went all across the South depositing these 99 -- the first shipment, largest in the history of the nation. Each machine did the work of 90 field hands, and they went all across the South. Now, and here it came, into New York they came, these sad-faced women with their arms leaden from carrying babies and a long ride.

Day coaches from Jacksonville, buses from Spartanburg; they came from Durham, in the tidewater area of Virginia. Into New York they came and they changed the city. We were unprepared for them, the city was unprepared. The city didn't even know what was happening. Congressional people on agriculture committees didn't know what was happening. Nobody knew what was happening. It was a huge movement, and it happened without any public notice. Into New York they came.

Where else would you go if you were chased off a farm? Where else would you go -- to Knoxville or to Atlanta or to Boise, Idaho, or Casper, Wyoming? You'd go to New York! Where else would you come? And they came.

This was a city that had a reputation of feeding and clothing anybody who couldn't make his own way, but it never was prepared for this. Then at the same time you had into New York from San Juan, they came on the so-called chicory lights. It came in late night flights from San Juan, loaded to the gunwales. They landed -- the airport then was called Idlewild, not even Kennedy. The cold wind would blow across the tarmac from the Atlantic Ocean across Jamaica Bay, whip across them as they came out of these planes dressed in short-sleeved sport shirts and flowered summer dresses, the women. Somebody from the Bronx would run up and throw a coat around them. I remember there was the fellow mentioned here -- Jimmy Cannon, wrote that they were 'summer people in winter clothes,' coming into New York.

These two from San Juan and from the South together formed the greatest number of people to enter the city of New York that we ever had at one time -- greater than anything from Ireland or Eastern Europe or Southern Italy, much greater. All here, and we didn't know what to do with them because they weren't white. You could take a whole load of Jewish people from Eastern Europe who couldn't speak the language and dressed strangely with their beards and hats, and you could take them and put a statue and have songs and poems and pictures -- dramatic things. Extol them forever. You could take the Italians from Calabria and from Naples -- great. Couldn't speak English -- who cared? They were great. Any Polish that came in, great.

Here came Americans but they weren't white -- wow, here we go.

Now, that isn't that long ago that the real numbers started coming in. They were coming up in the late '40s and into the '50s, but when those trains with this farm equipment really started to come, now it was a crush and we got hit with it. Now we're in something that nobody has ever done before. We're trying to somehow survive and have economic and share economic and political power. We're not asking people to love each other. I don't think you're ever going to get anyone to love anybody anyway. Forget that. Let's just live together and see what happens. That's 100 years. When you say that's 50, 75 years easy, nothing can be done. It's going to be a long, long, long thing.

LAMB: Why do the whites and the blacks, when they don't get along, why don't they get along? What is the reason?

BRESLIN: Color fear on the part of the whites.

LAMB: Color fear?

BRESLIN: That's where it starts. Also stubborn refusal on that word "color fear" to realize it's one other thing to admit it and to do something about it.

You can tell a guy if he has a job just by looking at him. The guy walking up the street, if he's working, forget it. You can tell by a look. A glance tells you a working man, and a working man doesn't do anything but go home from his job. There's no crime if people are working. Unheard of. Nobody working at a job with any chance in life goes out and does anything wrong. They don't do it. It just doesn't happen. If they would have this color fear, if they would begin to put it in their minds that hey, you don't have to be afraid if the guy is working. The whole word is jobs. You know that. What am I telling you? You sit here every night and know it. What, am I telling you something new? That's the only political word worth discussing is jobs.

LAMB: We've only got a minute or so. If Damon Runyon were living today, would he have trouble writing?

BRESLIN: No, not at all. How could you have trouble with what's going on today? And also his style of writing going right down to the street, you'd come up with the same one word.

If the guy ain't got a job, he's not going to behave. If the guy doesn't have bread, he's going to steal it. Now, let's face it. He was writing about people who came in from Texas. Miss Temple Texas gets off a bus on a Friday, meets a guy and comes around on Monday morning with a brand-new mink coat and says, "Look what I found in the subway." Well, they were coming in from out of town and making it. Now, all you need is somebody coming in from the south end of Brooklyn, or his family that followed him, who gets ahead -- gets some bread and gets ahead in the world. There's no trouble. Jobs. He would understand that. If the guy is working, everything's all right.

I'm confident in that.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

And When the Sky was Opened

A very old woman ran into me at the market today, slammed me in the butt with her cart. She started to cry, and her daughter (about my age) swooped in to rescue her... and I realized that she was what we used to call 'senile'. I guess the acceptable term is now Alzheimer's, that catch-all diagnosis for when the mind goes. I patted her, assured her it was okay. But I was alarmed, because in her distress, I could see myself and what awaits us all.

Buddha told us to meditate on death, and I have.

I once realized the abject terror in the old Twilight Zone episode, "And When the Sky Was Opened" -- was based on the fact that it mirrored our own experience and terror of death. In the show (written by Rod Serling and adapted from a short story by fantasy-genius Richard Matheson), three men come back from a flight into space, and begin to disappear, one by one. The title of Matheson's original story was, fittingly, Disappearing Act.

On the day of their return, the newspaper headline reads "Three Spacemen Return from Crash: All Alive" and then, after a strange chain of events, there are only two. But... there have always been two. The newspaper headline has changed, and now announces: Two Spacemen have returned. It is as if the third astronaut never existed. The two astronauts remaining start to panic, as everyone around them insists, no, there were only two of them, not three. Never three.

At the end, it is James Hutton (father of Timothy) who is the last astronaut left, looking for his suddenly-missing friend, the second astronaut. He then sees the newspaper headline, which now says only ONE astronaut has returned. The expression on his face has remained with me all of my life, ever since seeing this particular Twilight Zone episode as a child. And when I Googled the image, there it was (see above). Obviously, I wasn't the only one.

He knows he is next.

And the show ends with an empty room. None of them have returned from the flight. The camera pans to where their aircraft was. It is gone, too.

My grandmother died in 2004 and my mother died in 2006; it was when my mother died that I realized, I was up next. Maybe not for awhile, one hopes, but up nonetheless. It was no longer a far-away thing that happened to the old people... I was now the old people.

And so it was today, when I saw the old woman in the store, crying and confused. I saw that it was not simply her confusion that made her cry, although it was that, too... it was that she was afraid. I saw James Hutton all over her face. And then, I saw myself.

As I comforted her, I hoped someone would do the same for me.


Speaking of which, a sweet voice of my childhood is gone. Let us take a moment to remember Scott McKenzie, who recorded John Phillips' folkie-pop hippie anthem, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)".

I remember being in San Francisco, hearing the song and feeling oddly displaced, because of course the San Francisco I had moved to was not the one in the song, although it had always inspired me. I had moved to Kool and The Gang era San Francisco, the end of the disco era. I remember falling asleep under an open window and starry sky in Oakland and hearing it there too, thinking how odd it was that the song had helped make San Francisco too expensive for people like me to live in. For this reason, it made me sad to hear it, one of the first feelings of aging that I ever remember experiencing.

I came home from the market, and my experience of the woman running into me and weeping, to hear that McKenzie had passed.

It was the perfect ending to a day I had started with an extended meditation on death.


San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair) - Scott McKenzie

In this video of McKenzie performing the song at the Monterey Pop Festival, you see Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Mama Cass... again, the perfect ending to my daily meditation...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Shutting the door on it

I am fascinated by what people will and will not allow on their Facebook Timelines.

The much-ballyhooed "Timeline" is an online biography. It is therefore especially interesting to note what people allow there, and what they won't.

Today, on the radio, I fussed that our history is being forgotten, and ordered everybody to post their radical history online ... or (quite honestly) ANY history.

I have long been amazed that certain events have seemingly been completely forgotten, dropped down the proverbial memory hole, and cannot be found even after extensive online searching. They have evaporated into the ether, or they have been totally buried in dusty academic archives. My antidote was: tell your stories, share your histories. And then I decided I should probably practice what I preach.

I opened my long-forgotten cedar chest and created a photo album aptly named Daisy opens her magical cedar chest. I unearthed a bunch of old leaflets and posters of radical events, benefits, rock bands and even now-defunct businesses (such as the old Trotskyist-themed bookstore in the photo above, Red Rose Books), and hoped people would pass them on. And some of them did.

If you know how Facebook works, you know what it means when I say I "tagged" various people in photos or notified them if they were at various events. This means these events had to be vetted before they would be permitted to appear on these folks' Facebook feeds or timelines. And yes, I get that. I don't want Republicans posting political propaganda on my timeline (and I know plenty of em), so I am grateful for the feature. But that's what I mean when I say: I was fascinated by what was allowed to be shown and what was not.

Certainly, I understand when pro-marijuana activism is not posted on one's timeline, even if it WAS from 30 years ago and easily explained away as youthful indiscretion. If I used my legal name on Facebook, which I don't, I would be reticent about that, too.

But what about something you should be proud of, like helping to organize the American Rock Against Racism tour? I would be proud of that, even if I used my legal name. I have always been proud of my involvement in that cause.

Other people aren't.

I am wondering: Is anti-racism as a cause UNCOOL now? Is it possible that people are afraid anti-racism from white people is somehow too weird or too radical? Are they concerned it might get them fired? What would be some possible reasons for not wanting to own up to it?

If you have done an about-face in your political alliances, I can understand not wanting to own up to your past radicalism. But the few people I know who HAVE done such an about-face, do not seem to be the ones worried about that.

The worried people seem to be the ones who have moved up, who now have the good jobs.

Aha, thought Daisy, is THIS why the history is disappearing? Have people been just plain BOUGHT OFF?

The baby-boomers often like to brag about having done all kinds of great political stuff (I include myself), and yet, it seems plenty of these same baby-boomers are not proud of actually OWNING their political stuff and putting a name and date to it. Their one-time radicalism is a warm and fuzzy memory, but nothing they want to seriously contemplate now. Perhaps because (as one of my friends suggested) they are no longer doing anything political, and feel the reproach of their past-selves?

Whatever the reasons, it bothers me.

After all, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

And so, as I listen to a diehard Republican statistician on C-Span assure me that Mitt Romney WILL win the presidency (and gives us the electoral-vote numbers, backing up his assertion), I wonder if that will be what it takes? Or do the masses of baby-boomers now only worry about obtaining ample medicine and antidepressants? Have they (we) conceded the fight?

I have (wholly unwelcome) visions of turning into Mother Jones, an old lady rabble-rouser, leading a bunch of young kids (probably immigrants) into the fray, raising hell all the way up to the house of Mitt Romney (as Mother Jones once organized a children's march to the home of Teddy Roosevelt). I find this an unnerving vision, as I ask myself: Where were her contemporaries? Why was she the only one left? Why were there so few others?

I am starting to get it. I don't WANT to get it, but I am getting it nonetheless. I don't think I will be all alone out here, but I don't think there will be very many of us. And I once thought there would be droves. In fact, I worried I could not keep up.

One of the "promises" of Alcoholics Anonymous is: We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. Which of course, is a pretty tall order.

But you know, it was not an ORDER, it was a PROMISE. I was startled when I discovered that this promise has come true for me. And like so much else, I wish I could share this reality with other people, who did not have the benefit of needing recovery... and as a result, they have had to muddle through their lives without making friends of their pasts.

Thus, they never learned how.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Odds and Sods - Don't you let that Deal go down edition

Back from Georgia, where the interesting ex-Democrat, now Republican Nathan Deal was elected governor in 2010, by less than 2500 votes. At least, that's the story, and they are sticking to it.

As you know, a Deadhead could never resist the lyrical reference. (song is below!)


And here is the recent scoop/scandal on Deal, all over the Atlanta Journal Constitution the day of our arrival.


Nathan Deal and his wife, Sandra, owned 90 percent of a failed sporting goods store started by his daughter and son-in-law by the time it closed, according to documents released by the state ethics commission through an open records request.

The state Ethics Commission's investigative file for the Nathan Deal cases is hundreds of pages long and contains complaints that resulted in him agreeing to pay $3,350 in fees but saw major complaints against him dismissed.

The ownership by the Deals in the Habersham County venture is greater than they had previously acknowledged. The financial woes of the business became an issue during Deal's 2010 campaign for governor.

During the race, Deal downplayed his involvement in Wilder Outdoors, which went out of business in March 2009. Deal — who with his wife co-signed for $2.3 million in loans that launched the store — said at the time that he was simply a father helping a child. The Deals also invested another $2 million in Wilder.

But Deal's actual ownership stake in the store had been in question. His 2007 personal financial disclosure, when he was a member of Congress, declared him a 50 percent partner in the venture. But a 2009 bankruptcy filing by Deal's son-in-law, Clint Wilder, and daughter, Carrie Deal Wilder, said the Wilders were 100 percent shareholders. Nathan Deal's name appeared nowhere on the bankruptcy documents which were filed in the midst of the gubernatorial race.
It just goes to show, don't trust opportunistic politicians who switch parties just to suck up and get a cushy government job, regardless of which party they start out in.

It never works out well.


Last year, I tried to get a job at JC Penneys, and didn't make the cut. Therefore, I experienced some rather unsavory Schadenfreude in reading about their recent financial woes.

Ha ha! 23% loss in the last quarter! They had their chance to hire me and make it right... unfortunately, the Dreaded Yippie Curse is now on their heads. Too late for you, JC Penneys!
Penney’s January pricing-shift confused customers who already had everyday low prices from Wal-Mart, monthly specials from competitors like Kohl’s, and clearance prices like, well, every other single retailer on the planet! So Penney’s made other pricing changes. And then cancelled advertising while they rethought strategy. Now, they’re making permanent cuts throughout the store and is jettisoning the month-long bursts of sales in what Mr. Johnson has characterized as simplifying pricing, which kind of makes you wonder what the ‘fair-and-square’ stuff was all about to begin with, beyond funny commercials

Anyway, [CEO Ron] Johnson had a call with analysts, where he was quoted as saying, ”early response to these efforts have been very encouraging.” But one can only suppose that’s true if you define “encouraging” as same-store sales not being down 30%!
Cheapie price-hunters, saddle up! You know what THIS means!

The prices should be bargain-basement level by the end of the month, especially for overstock from the summer. Bathing suits, shorts, all of that. Prepare to descend on the place. The 3rd Quarter will end in September, and the last week of September will therefore be the prime shopping time for markdowns, says Daisy the Retail Fairy.

GO GALS GO! Take all that inventory off their hands, and get some stuff at 75% off while you're there. Win-win all round.

Meanwhile, almost-employee Daisy has high hopes that JC Penneys goes under. (I know, that isn't nice, but I've never taken rejection well.)


I am sick over the selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate. Mostly because this means we will have to listen to his worthless, Randian-groupie ass NON-STOP during the rest of the campaign. (screams)

Some interesting links: Ten reasons why Ryan is right for Romney (Salon)

The Washington Post Spews Paul Ryan Fan Faction (AlterNet)

Vice president nominee Paul Ryan’s love-hate with Ayn Rand (Politico)

Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, and the Political Contradiction of Christianity (Daily Kos)


The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization of Catholic nuns, is under attack from the Vatican for their feminist positions.

As I have heard approximately five thousand times: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. (And they say that with considerable pride, not shame.)

Uh-huh, we know. From last week's Washington Post:
Many, many Catholic eyes are on St. Louis as the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, by far the largest representative body of U.S. nuns, has their annual meeting. On the agenda for the Silver Spring, Md.-based organization: Whether the group should remain an official arm of Rome, or become independent.

This is their first meeting since April, when the Vatican’s doctrine-guarding arm issued a report saying the Conference isn’t focusing enough on abortion and traditional marriage and is dabbling dangerously in “radical feminist” ideas such as whether women could be priests. The report said the group needs to be “reformed” and is calling for essentially a takeover and monitoring of the Conference, whose members represent about 80 percent of the country’s sisters.
You may be forgiven for scratching your head at this theological juncture. Baptists and Pentecostals, not exactly known for radical feminism, have women ministers and pastors, but women priests? Dangerously dabbling in "radical feminism"!

The conference ended with the nuns staying under the authority of the Holy See. (Daisy pouts) But I do understand why.

As Willie Sutton famously said, that's where the money is.
American nuns on Friday backed away from a direct confrontation with the Vatican, saying they want a respectful “open dialogue” with Rome about disputes over gender, human sexuality and authority.

The decision by the Silver Spring-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 80 percent of American nuns, came at the end of an intense annual conference in St. Louis this week, where about 900 women met to decide how to respond to an April report by the Vatican saying the group had strayed dangerously far from orthodoxy and the pope and needs to be “reformed.”

The women considered generally accepting the report, rejecting it and becoming an independent Catholic organization (rather than an actual office of Rome), or finding some middle ground.

In a statement Friday, the women said that members want to pursue dialogue with the three-bishop team appointed by the Vatican to approve their conference speakers, literature and training programs.
Can this marriage be saved?


Every time I pass this sign, I think about how Jimmy Carter's one-term presidency was judged to be a complete disaster.

We had NO IDEA what awaited us, did we?


As all dedicated news-hounds and political junkies have undoubtedly heard by now, Fareed Zakaria is in hot water for plagiarism, and his popular Sunday-morning CNN show, "GPS", has been suspended. The question now is whether the suspension will be temporary or permanent:
Zakaria was suspended from both CNN and Time magazine after using several paragraphs written by another author in his Time column and a blog post on CNN’s website, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Zakaria issued an apology on Friday, saying in a statement that the incident was his fault and that it was “a terrible mistake,” The Journal reported.

Zakaria was suspended for a month at Time, pending a review. CNN pulled the blog post from its website and suspended his Sunday talk show, filling the time slot with other CNN programming. CNN is also conducting a review of the incident.

“Fareed Zakaria is a smart journalist who did a dumb thing, by his own admission,” said Howard Kurtz, a veteran media reporter, on his CNN show, Reliable Sources, on Sunday.

“I've seen a number of plagiarizing cases far more extensive than this one, but that misses the point,” he said. “Borrowing someone's words without credit is a journalistic sin, which is why Fareed did the right thing, which is quickly owning up to his mistake.”
Well, that's nice. But seriously, someone of this stature and importance?

And this isn't the first time, according to the Huffington Post:
This is not the first time Zakaria has come under ethical fire. Columnist Jeffrey Goldberg accused him of lifting quotes without attribution in 2009. He also caused controversy for his series of off-the-record conversations with President Obama, though he said they were no different than those the president held with any other journalist.
A peon like your humble narrator (or, say, a reporter at a relatively low-level outfit such as the Greenville News) certainly couldn't get by with this, offering a simple ooops! It would destroy their journalistic reputation and career. But Fareed? He will recover nicely and go on to rake in more speaking fees at a staggering $75,000-a-pop.

As Eric Zuesse, another HuffPo commentator, carefully reminds us:
When Fareed Zakaria was suspended on Friday from Time and CNN, for plagiarism, this wasn't merely justice, it was poetic justice: it rhymed.

What it rhymed with was his own lifelong devotion to the global economic star system that he, as a born aristocrat in India, who has always been loyal to the aristocracy, inherited and has always helped to advance, at the expense of the public in every nation.

He was suspended because, as a born aristocrat, who is a long-time member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, and many other of the global aristocracy's primary organizations, he is so well-connected that his writing-commissions are more than any one person can possibly handle, and he consequently cannot possibly actually write all that is attributed to him. He certainly cannot research it all.

Like many "writing" stars, he has a staff perform much of the research and maybe even actual writing for him, and many in his situation are actually more editors than they are writers; but, regardless, he cannot let the public know that this is the way things are, because this is simply the way that the star system works in the "writing" fields, and because the public is supposed to think that these stars in the writing fields are writers, more than editors.

And, it's a very profitable system for such stars. As Paul Starobin said, headlining "Money Talks," in the March 2012 Columbia Journalism Review, Zakaria's speaking fee is $75,000, and "he has been retained for speeches by numerous financial firms, including Baker Capital, Catterton Partners, Dreihaus Capital Management, ING, Merrill Lynch, Oak Investment Partners, Charles Schwab, and T. Rowe Price."

So, he's clearly a very busy man, with a considerable staff; he can't possibly do everything himself.

But he needs to appear as if he does. He needs to present everything "he" does, as "his."

Most of the top-paid people in the media are "writers" whom the public are deceived to believe do all the researching and writing of "their" material. The actual writers (usually called "research assistants," or sometimes just "interns"), unlike these bosses, lack the connections to be able to succeed "on their own," and are therefore obscure workers for these aristocrats -- the writing-stars who make the big incomes. If one of these workers bows down sufficiently to his boss so as to be plucked by him to become a star "on his own," then that lucky acolyte will almost certainly share the existing hierarchical values of his boss, and so may become a new aristocrat in the full sense, and go on to produce his own reputation, and perhaps even dynasty. But the others will never win the connections and thus the money.

This is the world Fareed Zakaria has actually lived in all of his adult life, and even before that -- it was the world he saw around him when his father was a politician with the Indian National Congress, and his mother was the editor of the Sunday Times of India. He knew how corruption works, because he was surrounded by it, all the time.

Fareed Zakaria knows the way it works. So, he cannot afford to admit when he is being credited with the work of his employees. Far less damaging to him is to admit that he has done plagiarism himself, as he has admitted in this particular case -- regardless whether it's true.

If Zakaria didn't actually do this plagiarism, could he very well announce to the world "I didn't do it; I didn't even research or write the article"? No. Romney and the Republicans say that the "job creators" at the top are the engine of the economy, and the aristocracy need to maintain this myth. It's very important to them -- that they are the stars, and that the people who might be the actual creators who work for them are not.

Zakaria wouldn't want to burst the bubble atop which he is floating. To people in his situation, it's a bubble of money, and it's theirs. They don't want to share it any more than they absolutely have to. (They despise labor unions for that very reason.) And their employees are very dependent upon them, so no one will talk about it -- not the stars, not their workers.
Although I enjoyed his show, I have no illusions that we couldn't get the same thing from someone else. Maybe better.

I heartily recommend my old friend, classmate, and former co-star in two class plays (we were fantastic!), Joe Johns, now seriously under-utilized at CNN.

Long before anyone ever heard of "nontraditional casting," African-American Joe played my father in a Junior High school play... totally shocking the 1972 Midwestern audience. Our radical drama teacher thought we had the best auditions, by God, and we were going to be the leads, race be damned. She would not be deterred.

It was supposed to be a comedy, God help us, but our first few jokes met utter silence. I still remember how we bugged our eyes out at each other.... our expressions conveying some version of: OH MY GOD, WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!

We soldiered on through the mostly-silent First Act. Finally, during the Second Act, there was a titter, then a few giggles, and then ... (like a comforting wave) a roar of laughter at the best jokes, which were delivered by Joe--crossing his arms and sternly addressing me as "young lady!"--like a stereotypical TV dad. We had crossed over into borderline-camp, but it worked.

We ended with thunderous applause. It was nice.

I still remember the triumphant smile we shared, tempered with relief: whewwww.

Chant with me: WE WANT JOE! WE WANT JOE!


As promised, the source of our blog post title for today... it stops at around five minutes, since it probably went on for a good half hour! ;)

Deal - Grateful Dead

I been gambling hereabouts
for ten good solid years
If I told you all that went down
it would burn off both your ears

It goes to show
you don't ever know
Watch each card you play
and play it slow
Wait until your deal come round
Don't you let that deal go down

Friday, August 10, 2012

Greetings from Redneck Nation

Finding politically-correct targets for the trendinistas to hate, is getting more and more difficult.

How can they prove they are the cool trendies unless somebody is the inferior rube? And the usual suspects (the darker peoples, the disabled, the foreigners who dress funny)... well, all of that prejudice is starting to look really BACKWARD and ignorant, even to the trendies. Who'd a thunk it? This seems to have touched off a crisis in confidence. They can't even use a well-seasonsed, drive-by insult like "mouth-breathers" anymore, without somebody getting irate. It's getting harder and harder for them to find people beneath them to safely ridicule. WHERE ARE MY INFERIORS?--howl the trendies, starved to recognize their innate superiority.

Ah, yes. Of course. Their inferiors, as always, are south of the Mason-Dixon line. What Robin Williams once amusingly called the Manson-Nixon line, even though one of those men was born in OHIO (which is ABOVE the Mason-Dixon line, last time I checked) and one was born in California. But that's quibbling... let's not let the facts interfere with good anti-southern insults!

On my show tomorrow (which I taped yesterday in scenic Simpsonville, SC), we have a first-rate, top-notch, Daisy-rant in store! This was occasioned by the newest affront perpetrated against Redneck Nation, an unbelievable Reality TV show on The Learning Channel (!) titled, HERE COMES HONEY BOO-BOO. I didn't watch too much of it. Needed drugs after only five minutes.

This mocking, derisive show manages to combine hatred of southern rednecks (the only form of overt classism now openly celebrated in the USA) with hatred of fat people, exploitation of children and early-sexualization of girls, all in one happy little package. You can almost see the TV-executives, triumphantly tallying up all of these factors on their nasty fingers: heyyyyy, we got KIDS, we got a BABY BEAUTY-QUEEN, we got a FAT FAMILY of DUMB REDNECKS! (high fives all-round) Whoever thought up this show, got himself a raise and probably a promotion.

Already, the trendies are stampeding forth to "defend" the show against... well, against who? Do they understand that they like it because it was MADE FOR THEM? Apparently not. (The irony, it burns.)

I started thinking about the cultural geneaology of Ms Boo Boo and where she came from. Brainstorming with my ever-astute radio co-hosts (Consiglieri Gregg Jocoy and Occupy Greenville Mentor Double A Battery), we came up with a noxious stew of the murdered JonBenét Ramsey, the rise of awful Toddlers and Tiaras (where Ms Boo Boo was "discovered"), Dance Moms and other such shows, as well as Little Miss Sunshine. We then segued into Larry the Cable Guy and Jeff Foxworthy. Nobody is safe, once we start naming names!

To make matters worse, there is also a constantly-replayed show titled World's Dumbest Hillbillies. After thinking really hard, we could not come up with single other group of people that would rate such a TV show named after them, try as we might. (Any takers?)

I invite you to listen. Saturday at 9am, WFIS-AM, 1600 AM/94.9 FM on your local upstate radio dial... or on our radio blog.


Taking a short break for the neighboring Peach State.

Trivia time: there was once a minor-league baseball team actually known as The Atlanta Crackers. This came from the pejorative term, Georgia Cracker. (staying on topic!) My father-in-law saw the Atlanta Crackers play several times, and the first time I ever heard him comment about that, I was momentarily confused. (You say what?)

There was also a Negro-league team called the Atlanta Black Crackers, which is an even weirder team name.

See you when I get back. Keep the faith, redneck brothers and sisters.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday Tunes: Mind of the South edition

Mary Huff, calling up the ghost of my mother (right down to the hair and the bass), sings "Nitty Gritty"--yeah!

Nitty Gritty - Southern Culture on the Skids


Mary's bouffant hairdo made me think of Kate Pierson's.

In case you didn't know, there is also a pretty good movie named after this song, titled My Own Private Idaho, starring Keanu Reeves. It's based on Shakespeare's Henry IV and Henry V. Really.

I love Fred's canary-yellow pants.

Private Idaho - B-52s

(Did you catch the Twilight Zone theme?)

The lyrics also contain some excellent advice, as well as an important historic workers-reference (see link):

You're living in your own Private Idaho
Living in your own Private Idaho
Underground like a wild potato

Don't go on the patio
Beware of the pool
Blue bottomless pool
It leads you straight
Right through the gate
That opens on the pool

You're living in your own Private Idaho
You're living in your own Private Idaho

Keep off the path, beware the gate
Watch out for signs that say "Hidden Driveways"
Don't let the chlorine in your eyes
Blind you to the awful surprise
That's a-waitin' for you at the bottom
Of the bottomless blue, blue, blue pool

You're livin in your own Private Idaho
You're out of control, the rivers that roll
You fell into the water and down to Idaho
Get out of that state
Get out of that state you're in
You better beware

You're living in your own Private Idaho.
You're living in your own Private Idaho.

Keep off the patio
Keep off the path
The lawn may be green
But you better not be seen
Walkin' through the gate that leads you down
Down to a pool fraught with danger
It's a pool full of strangers

You're living in your own Private Idaho
Where do I go from here to a better state than this?
Well, don't be blind to the big surprise
Swimming 'round and 'round like the deadly hands
Of a radium clock
at the bottom of the pool

Whoa, oh, oh, oh
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah
Get out of that state
Get out of that state
You're living in your own Private Idaho
Livin' in your own Private Idaho

Who could argue?


I know I've played this one before. This is my favorite song by Pylon, the best Athens band you never heard of... the band who didn't get famous, while all their friends did.

And they should have. :(

Danger - Pylon

Silent film footage is from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920).

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Empire Strikes Back

Graphic courtesy of the Feminist Majority Foundation blog.

Millions of poor chickens have to die en masse, all to prove that Christians hate gay marriage. I am one of the minority of folks who worries about the innocent chickens in this whole fiasco. (waves to fellow vegetarians)

As you are undoubtedly aware, the Chick Fil-A hoopla continues, as everyone in the world continues to brawl on Facebook, Twitter, Blogdonia and beyond. (The pro-gay kiss-in protest was held today, in various areas of the country.) The gay marriage debate has now reached every corner of the USA. People are being defriended right and left.

Meanwhile, the beleaguered, hard-working Christians who head up the nation's soup kitchens and homeless shelters, wonder why they can't get even one-eightieth of these Christians to assist them, when they put out their constant pleas for help.

Maybe its the food? The soup kitchen fare is no match for fried-fowl sandwiches, apparently.

Or maybe it's easier to grandstand, pose in a fast-food line for TV cameras, then eat and run. POOF, you are a devout Christian! No caring for the poor, no mopping floors, no boring bake-sales, no ladling out soup for dirty junkies who have been sleeping out in the used-car lot. No work necessary. No need to leave your comfy suburb and associate with filthy lowlifes, publicans and sinners. In fact, you do not even need to leave your air-conditioned vehicle if you decide to go to the drive-thru. Its much easier, quicker, AND you get to be on TV! All your friends will see you! You can take a photo of yourself and put it on Facebook so your parents, preacher and other buddies can see what a good Christian you are! Mike Huckabee will sing your praises on Fox News!

Serving the poor and such, as Jesus actually advised his followers to do? The Franciscans have been doing this since forever, and as we know, nobody puts them on Facebook or TV. They are boring, poorly-attired and do not understand good PR, as Dan Cathy obviously does.

Too bad we can't get these Christians to care about the poor and homeless as much as they care about hating gays. Society might actually change for the GOOD, and we certainly can't have THAT!

More on this topic tomorrow, on my radio show. I taped it today, ranted and raved, and even shouted once. (What, me worry?) It's entertaining and lots more fun than Mike Huckabee.

Tune in tomorrow!

And speaking of Mike Huckabee, what happened to his concerns about weight, wholesome foods and health? He goes from talk of healthy eating, to exhorting us all to eat fried garbage? Huh?

He used to talk about the importance of Americans eating good food, but I guess he can't now that he has his Fox News marching orders. I mean, he's under contract, you know.

Locally, here in Bob Jones University land, we actually had a PROTESTOR! More on the show tomorrow. In the meantime, eat HERE instead of nasty Chick Fil-A. (check out the show for the reasons why)


A few other links:

[] South Carolina Boy wrote about his tarot reading... I love it when people write cool stuff about me. :)

My best wishes are with him at this time, as always.

[] Private prisons spend $45 million on lobbying, rake in $5.1 billion for immigrant detention alone.

[] And finally, Harry Reid decides to go after Romney in a big way:

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid is unabashed as he makes a serious, unsubstantiated claim about Mitt Romney: that the Republican candidate for president did not pay any taxes for 10 years. That, the Nevada senator says, is why Mr. Romney will not release tax returns beyond those he has already made public, his 2010 return and an estimate for 2011.

Senator Reid, in fact, is so certain he’s doing the right thing that he repeated his charge on the floor of the Senate Thursday night, and put it out in a statement.

Let the games begin!


And did you all see THE DARK KNIGHT RISES yet? Did you notice the trashing of Occupy Wall Street?

I did find it very interesting that Bruce Wayne has now lost his money... do filmmakers think a rich hero is no longer sympathetic? As one of my friends also said, the tumultuous economy means we find this new plot-development totally believable, if alarming: Good Lord, even BRUCE WAYNE IS POOR NOW? Is nothing sacred?

The director, Christopher Nolan (whom I have admired ever since his wonderful movie-masterpiece MEMENTO) said in his Rolling Stone interview:
We put a lot of interesting questions in the air, but that's simply a backdrop for the story. What we're really trying to do is show the cracks of society, show the conflicts that somebody would try to wedge open. We're going to get wildly different interpretations of what the film is supporting and not supporting, but it's not doing any of those things. It's just telling a story. If you're saying, “Have you made a film that's supposed to be criticizing the Occupy Wall Street movement?” – well, obviously, that's not true.
For the record, I don't think its "obviously" not true at all... someone is trying to have his cake and eat it too.

Meanwhile, the new game Call of Duty is also taking direct aim at Occupy. And the two have something in common, it turns out. From SALON:
Reporting on the upcoming new edition of the game “Call of Duty” and the imminent release of the film “The Dark Knight Rises,” reports:
The game’s main villain is Raul Menendez, described as the “idolized Messiah of the 99%” – a Julian Assange-like character who’s old, experienced, and hell bent on starting a global insurrection against the status quo…

The character, as with the rest of the story, is the creation of David S. Goyer. Goyer is the co-writer of “The Dark Knight Rises,” which also shares a similar story featuring Bane as Batman’s primary antagonist, who starts a class war aimed against the rich and privileged of Gotham City with the backing of the common man.
In 1988, a Konami executive said pop culture industries were looking to “take anything remotely in the news and make it a game.” Obviously, this move to put the headline-grabbing “99 percent” concept into video games and movies shows what that enduring strategy looks like in practice — and it doesn’t look very good.
It has also been pointed out to me that the new villain in the next James Bond movie, Skyfall, (named "Silva" and played by Javier Bardem) has whitish-blond, Julian Assange-ish hair. No kidding?

As Ryan Gilbey of the UK Guardian wrote:
One unwritten rule of the series is that 007's opponents tend to personify the perceived threats or preoccupations of the era which spawns them. We can discern from the plot titbits present in the Skyfall trailer that the security of British spies is compromised when a disc containing information about their identities is lost. So we have a potentially hazardous leak of top-secret data, presided over perhaps by this bright-haired man named Silva. As if Julian Assange hasn't got enough to worry about, he won't even be able to pop to the local multiplex in October without seeing a menacing supervillain modelled on him.
The Empire Strikes Back.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gore Vidal 1925-2012

You will be greatly missed.