Thursday, August 28, 2008

Only Half?

From Tuesday's (8-26-2008) Daily Show.

[after series of right wing pundits saying what Michelle Obama had to say in her speech]
Fox News: "...she's got to talk about her patriotism."
John Stewart: "She's got to. She's a Democrat. She must prove she loves America as opposed to Republicans that everyone knows love America. They just hate half the people living in it."

Stupid Distraction

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dennis Brings It To Tha DNC

I still think this man would make a great President. Note that his speech was buried during a weekday. Were they afraid he would mention his steadfast attempts to put Shrub and Darth Cheney in prison?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Nose Knows

Nose Shower Gel Dispenser

The nose . . . blows! Just squeeze or press it and green shower gel oozes out of the right nostril. Gross and funny at the same time! Rubber nose attaches to flat surface with suction cups. Easy to fill; includes 5.3 oz. green shower gel and instructions. 9" high.

Somebody I know wants one of these real bad. At least I hope that's true. If I had the kind of shower that you could mount it in I would get it.

Super Cool Electric Car - Aptera

I'm kind of amazed I haven't posted a link to this car yet but a search reveals I haven't. It's called the Aptera and it looks just like what cars should look like by now... if only it could fly it would be the perfect car.

Democratic Convention Coverage

So we decided to watch and listen to the opening speeches of the DNC last night. In the living room KET (that's Kentucky Educational Television) was showing PBS's coverage while in the kitchen NPR's coverage was playing. While visiting my aunt we also saw some of CNN's coverage. I must say I was more than disappointed by both NPR and PBS. I expect breathless excitement and self centered reporting from CNN et. al. but I expected to hear and see the speakers on public broadcasting. Unfortunately narcissism was running unchecked on both outlets with constant talking and "analysis" from overly large cadres of the usual talking heads on both channels. While a former Republican was giving an excellent speech, NPR's staff was burbling about how signs were being handed out, and interviewing people on the floor. During the introduction for that speaker (which was a good speech in and of itself), PBS was showing their panel of "experts" analyzing something that hadn't even happened yet! NPR's coverage was particularly vacuuous with numerous mentions by the staff members of their own shows where they will have plenty of time to analyze the speeches the next day!

In short I give our public broadcasters a big F for failure. CNN, Fox, and the rest of the 24 hour "news" vomit on cable are doing just fine at talking breathlessly about how important they and their coverage are. PBS and NPR should shut the fuck up and let us hear the speeches.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I just heard on NPR's All Things Considered a letter from a listener. One line was, "It's not every day we hear our favorite band on the radio." I think that just about says all that needs to be said about American radio.

But I'm not the type to stop at "all that needs to be said," am I?

If American radio were any good, most people would be able to say they hear their favorite band(s) regularly on the radio. I am sure (going out on a limb here as I have no poll results to draw on) that amongst people who consider themselves music fans you will find very few who listen to music on the radio at all.

If you exclude the truly rich radio environments like New York, Atlanta, L.A., etc., and look at all the rest of the country you will find the music that is locally available is homogeneous and extremely limited. This means most Americans who are really into music will never hear their favorite band on the radio. All Americans everywhere can hear the vapid crap the music industry is marketing at us but few Americans can hear anything else... on their radio.

I'm a fan of radio. I think radio can be amazing. But I know that variety in radio is a thing of the past for those of us outside the major metropolitan areas. We have to move to our iPods and satellite radio but this removes that amazing touch of having this other person playing music for us.

I can remember listening to the FM radio late at night in the middle of nowhere in far eastern Kentucky and hearing some guy playing me some records he liked, and then tuning around on AM and hearing the voices of djs in Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans. The strange blasts of Mexican radio. Now we have the same Clear Channel stations everywhere we go. If you're in the middle of Kansas you're going to hear the same thing you'll hear in the middle of Kentucky or anywhere else more than 50 miles from a big city. There was a time when those music stations would've been locally owned and operated by people who were playing music for the people around them. Now the music is a carefully manipulated blend of nauseating crap that the dinosaur music industry in this country understands how to "market."

There was a time when a song would be released, and hundreds if not thousands of djs would decide whether or not they were going to play it and then tens if not hundreds of thousands of listeners would call in and asked to hear it again and that's how a hit became a hit. Now the record companies ship a million copies of a song, negotiate with Clear Channel and its competitor(s) for "rotation" and "number of plays" and voila, you've got a number one single. The thing the record industry doesn't get: A hit is now meaningless.

I am developing a long screed about the fact that marketing as a business is the parasite that is killing its host. Look for it.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Talk about a brilliant idea for a wiki!

Ted Stevens

Theodore Fulton Stevens (born November 18, 1923) is a notoriously pissy, out-of-touch drama queen and U.S. senator from Alaska. He is also a dick.

Ted Stevens is best known for several things, none of them honorable. Among them: blatant unfamiliarity with modern telecommunications yet still introducing bills concerning their governance; championing very expensive, highly wasteful projects for his home state; pitching a bitchfit on the Senate floor when those projects are voted down; and bribery.

He is also old. Like, Strom Thurmond old. In fact, Stevens has sometimes been referred to as “The Strom Thurmond of the Arctic Circle,” though it remains unclear whether or not he, too, secretly fathered an illegitimate “lust-child” with his family’s underage servant girl.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

W.W.J.D.: What Would Journey Do?

I originally read this in the "Readings" section of Harper's Magazine back in 1999. It was originally published in The Weekly Week in Boston in 1998. By Bill Wasik.

SITUATION ONE: Gregg and Heather have a picture-perfect marriage. The two are young and wildly successful–Heather is a bank-credit analyst, Gregg a top loafer salesman at a department store. But Heather’s job requires her to work long hours, and Gregg often feels neglected. If she really loves me, he wonders, why is she away from home so much?

It’s the quintessential modern struggle: a two-income family, overworked, always pressed for time. You may wonder how Journey, who walked the Earth so long ago, could relate to a problem like this. But did you know that Journey faced precisely this same dilemma–nearly twenty years ago?

In Frontiers 5, 0:48, they tell the story of a musician, always on the road, and the woman he’s left behind: “They say that the road ain’t no place to start a family. But right down the line, it’s been you and me. And lovin’ a music man ain’t always what it’s supposed to be. Oh girl, you stand by me. I’m forever yoursfaithfully.”

Faithfully. It’s clear that Journey intends a double meaning to this term: faithfulness to the absent spouse, yes, but also faith in Journey–and their power to heal broken relationships.

Devotional meditation: How secure is my faith in Journey? When is it strong? When does it falter?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Even NPR and ABC senior analyst Cokie Roberts is playing into the right wing propaganda machine's playbook and referring to Obama's vacation in Hawaii as "exotic." Since when is Hawaii an "exotic" vacation destination? Isn't it a State? Isn't it one of the most popular vacation destinations? Isn't Hawaii's entire economy built on tourism? More importantly, the question needs to be asked, "Is it exotic to go visit your grandmother when you take a break?" If he didn't go visit his family would he have been painted as "anti-family?"

It's bad enough that the Republican propaganda machine is able to paint their opponents as elitist, exotic, effete, liberal, etc. and make these words into unquestioned negatives but when the talking heads belonging to real journalists (as opposed to Fox Noise fuckwads) begin to use these labels as if they were legitimate reasons for doubt, who is left not in the hands of the enemy? I had respect for Cokie Roberts until Sunday but now that she has bought into the language of the propagandists I will look askance at her reporting. This is somewhat like Edwin R. Murrow reporting from London that they were being bombed by the Fatherland.

Government Doesn't Work?

There's this noise I've heard from the "right" about how much better business is than government. I recently heard the Libertarian Party's candidate for President Bob Barr on NPR's Talk of the Nation claim (unchallenged) that FEMA's abject failure during Katrina was proof that private business was more efficient than the government. The glaring error in this idea is that FEMA was a fantastically effective organization pre-Bush. What Katrina proved is not that government doesn't work, it proves that right wing government doesn't work, especially government under Republicans. It proves that a government agency that is filled with political hacks and cronies rather than trained professionals doesn't work. Katrina proves that Republicans (and by extension all right wingers) can't do anything right.

Barr also made the incredibly inane statement that private industry and individuals are better at caring for the poor and weak than government and went so far as to claim that during the Great Depression they did a better job than the government is doing now. First of all this is just false. During the Great Depression people were starving to death,

losing what little they did own, were being beaten and killed for organizing, and were forced to migrate far from home.

The wealthy didn't do shit to help the poor and they continue to do nothing. Secondly, the reason our welfare state is broken is because people like Bob Barr broke it! If it were left in the hands of progressives it could work, just as universal healthcare can work, just as liberal drug policies work, and just as diplomacy and support works better than sanctions and war.

Government of, by, and for the people can work wonders. Government of, by, and for the ultra-wealthy conservatives works wonders for the ultra-wealthy and fucks the rest of us. It is time to start calling these people out when they spout this kind of bullshit. It would be really nice if people like Neal Conan would grow some balls and challenge lunatics like Barr when they make absurd, ludicrous, and utterly false statements. I'm not holding my breath because Neal Conan and his limp wristed brethren are too busy getting ready for the next break to stop and ask questions or allow listeners to call in with objections.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ting Tings

Apparently the Ting Tings are a two piece. They've got that oddly British thing going where they just snag bits of other songs and sounds and weave them together into something new. Is that a sampled guitar part? He is playing the drums, right? I'm pretty sure I've heard the song linked below before in some dj mix but I know for sure that I heard them on an excellent live set from NPR.

De Martino and White were the only two musicians on stage, but there was no need for backup. Their sound was incredibly full and layered, due in no small part to De Martino's remarkable juggling skills, playing both the guitar and drums at the same time, while singing. But White was equally impressive, orchestrating a knot of effects boxes to loop her vocals while she hopped back and forth between keyboards and her own guitar.

They don't allow embedding their videos so go to YouTube and watch this one.

We Are the Physics

This has got to be in the top ten favorite new bands of the last year. It was almost exactly a year ago today that I downloaded a Wednesday BBC6 Broadcast. It was The Brain Surgery with Marc Riley and he featured the band We Are the Physics live in the studio. They opened the show at about nine million miles an hour from zero. Riley gushed about how this was the best band he'd ever had in the studio and the band's performances are just astonishing, especially considering the four songs are spread out over the entire two hour show so they were going from zero to nine million miles an hour for every song. I don't think there's a way to link you to this particular show, unfortunately. We Are the Physics were unbelievable.

I was so impressed with this band that I ordered their single from England the next day for something like $25, just to help them out in some way. They're really quite amazing and I just hope I can see them live some day. They have an album out now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Paris Hilton for President?

I never thought I'd have anything positive to say about Paris Hilton but her video response to McCain's bizarre Obama = Britney Spears + Paris Hilton ad is really pretty great:

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cell Phones May Cause Cancer: Assholes Panic

From The Borowitz Report:

New Cell Phone Risks Cause Panic Among Assholes

Douchebags Consider Switching to Land Lines

"We'll be kissing these goodbye," assholes said. A new medical report showing that excessive cell phone use may increase the risk of cancer has sparked widespread fear among the nation's assholes, prominent assholes confirmed today.

For years, America's assholes have talked relentlessly on their cell phones - while waiting on supermarket lines, sitting on the bus, or even crossing the street - regardless of the effect their annoying chatter has had on those around them.

When asked what he will miss most about his cell phone, Mr. Klugian said, "I loved when it would go off in the middle of a movie and wreck the experience for everyone seated around me - that was awesome."

"Thanks to rising gas prices, many of them have already had to give up their SUVs -- and now this," Dr. Logsdon said. "All in all, this has been a tough summer for assholes."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Art Car Leads to Momentary Fame

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that I drive an art car. If you don't know what one is you should look here and then search for art car (put it in quotations) on,, and whatever search engine grabs your fancy.

My car, The Institute for Psychic Reform Techno Car, has brought me a brief moment of local fame. This last Friday, coinciding with the beginning of the Kentucky Art Car Weekend, my car and I were featured in the Courier-Journal's Features section. The main picture (above) was embarrassingly large in the physical paper and the article was really nice. There was also an online gallery of pictures from the photo shoot. Starting first thing in the morning Friday at the car wash before the show and continuing all day Friday and Saturday people came up to me and said, "I saw you in the paper!" I kind of hope this will have freed some more local people up to come and talk to me about the car, which is one of the reasons I drive it. The hope is it will change people's minds at least a little bit and allow them to be a little more free and a little happier.

When I get my pictures from our big weekend uploaded to Flikr I'll link to it, but go ahead and visit my Flikr page now to see a ton of art car pics from several national events. If you have never seen a bunch of art cars in one place before, there are events all over the country and you should make an effort to attend one. Most are annual events (like the Kentucky Art Car Weekend) so if you missed a show near you this year it'll probably be back next year.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Death Parties

There are people that you want to die or whose death will make you feel like doing a little dance. So I've decided to start a list of people that I detest so much that I will have a party when they die. It may just be a few friends and some cocktails or it may be a pig roast and crawfish boil but I am going to celebrate when these people stop breathing. The list will only be in the order I happen to think of the names, and whenever I think of new names I'll post the whole list with the new additions at the top. When I have a death party I'll post a picture from the party and hopefully a menu and music playlist. When Dick Cheney dies I'm going to max out the credit cards. You won't want to miss that party!

Post your suggestions for the list (and reason). Please give a reason for celebrating each person's death if they are not a commonly known person (like the name of whoever invented the automated answering service).

And here is my list as of right now:

Justice Antonin Scalia
Robert Bork (disgusting Nazi Supreme Court nominee)
Rupert Murdoch
Ann Coulter
Michael Savage
Chris Matthews
Alberto Gonzales
John Ashcroft
Pat Buchanan
Rush Limbaugh
George H.W. Bush
Donald Rumsfeld
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney

Toby Keith: "Let's Lynch Somebody"

I was watching the Colbert Report the other night and the guest was Toby Keith, a great big redneck with a Nashville music career. I've seen him before on some shows like Bill Maher and he's kind of a stupid ape cracker with a tendency to go bumper sticker sentimental on you.

Anyway, Colbert gave him a pretty softball interview and then let him play a song. I turned it off because it was fucking awful. Apparently I should've paid closer attention. Check out these lyrics:

Well a man come on the 6 o'clock news
said somebody's been shot
somebody's been abused
somebody blew up a building
somebody stole a car
somebody got away
somebody didn't get too far yeah
they didn't get too far

Grandpappy told my pappy back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he'd done
Take all the rope in Texas
Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys
Hang them high in the street
For all the people to see

That Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune
And we'll all meet back at the local saloon
And we'll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing
whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
too much corruption and crime in the streets

It's time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send 'em all to their maker and he'll settle 'em down
You can bet he'll set 'em down...

WEEHOOO!!! Let's kill those mothers! Let's "round up those bad boys." Yeehaw!!! Let's kill niggers!

Oh. It got awfully quiet. There's no way that all-American Toby Keith could have been thinking about black men when he was talking about bad... boys. Nah, nobody would think of the most recent examples of people being strung up by mobs in Texas...