Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey

Updated to add the title I forgot to put on last night. Sometimes things get lost in the crush of cross-posting and the rush of life.

Yesterday was great weather, great wind, so I played hooky and headed out to the lake. On the way I stopped at a chain liquor store for a 6 pack and ice. I was waiting in line behind a black couple at the cash register when I noticed the clerk give a hard time to the folks in front of me.

The clerk was just plain rude from the get-go, hassled him about his ID, made him produce 3 ID's, and then questioned his significant other about hers. The clerk eventually, grudgingly, accepted their cash.

Me, I'm thinking the clerk was just having a hard day or was habitually rude, except when I got to the counter she was all sunshine and happiness and accepted my credit card with no problem and no request for my DL or anything that would prove it was my CC.

It was obvious, blatant racism on the clerk's part.

There is nothing I could say to the clerk. There's nothing I could say to the couple.

But I know the mangers of this chain and I said something to them. It was probably an exercise in futility, (ya just can't fix stupid), but she's going to be out of a job, and probably will blame black people even more.

I really hate this crap. There's no win/win in racism, it's all just lose/lose.

Here's some brain bleach from the same band from the title of this post.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We Come In Peace

We Come In Peace

And if you don't watch out, This boogie man will get you

(Colored Spade starts at 7:50)

I haven't visited Rick Moran lately, but i just discovered he's still capable of shooting his rhetoric in the foot, as always, with no hint of awareness.

In re: the Gates/Crowell contretemps,, he gives a really great windup:

The facts of the case are a fascinating example of how race divides America. Police, as authority figures, have a notorious history in African American communities — sometimes deserved, sometimes not. It appears from unimpeachable eyewitness accounts that in this case, despite Sgt. Crowley being an expert in how to avoid racial profiling and diversity training, the perception on the part of Professor Gates was that he was being singled out for being black.

Of course, Gates had no idea that Officer Crowley had such a stellar reputation or possessed such tolerant credentials. All he knew was his experience as a black man in America and his assumption that if he had been white, the police would not have asked for his ID.

We’ll never know if that assumption was correct. Just as we’ll never know if the anonymous woman who called the police after seeing Gates try to break into his own home would have done so if she had glimpsed a white man trying to do the same thing. We can assume the best or the worst from all involved and, within the context of our flawed understanding of each other, assure ourselves that we are correct.

The point being, all the actors in this little drama have their perception of the incident colored by what divides us. The actions of everyone were programmed by the rules under which we currently interact as white and black Americans. Gates felt his dignity attacked — an anathema to whites who can’t understand how he could fail to appreciate the police looking after his property. For his part, one might wonder how much more patient Crowley could have or should have been with Gates before arresting him.

Wow. Reasonable. But just as Tourettes' Syndrome will result in a nice person unable to control their speech and mannerisms, Moran just has to revert to his own programming with absolutely no self-awareness:
No doubt he acted professionally. But even with someone as evenhanded as Crowley apparently is, the nagging suspicion that if Gates had been white he would have somehow been treated differently is hard for many to shake. That is the trap that history has set for us and is one from which we refuse to release ourselves.

"No doubt he acted professionally . . . evenhanded . . . " yep. Because as a white guy who has experienced reading words about racisim, he believes that the white cop (on of 'his' people) is de facto evenhanded and professional. As a guy who can pay lip service to the idea that racism may have actually occurred, to fall victim to his own programming and bias is sadly amazing to behold.

And predictable.

The toss-off line about property deserves further unpacking:
Gates felt his dignity attacked — an anathema to whites who can’t understand how he could fail to appreciate the police looking after his property.
Here's a translation: . . . an African-American could fail to appreciate the police looking after his property.

Dude, many African-Americans remember clearly when the police made sure they (African-Americans) were property. And I'm sure most black folks, when pulled over for DWB (driving while black) are thankful the cops are looking after city streets, which are their (as citizens) property.

And a sadly large number of whites still appreciate police hassling black folks, because 'they' are always up to something, like trying to steal jobs through affirmative action, or complaining that their ancestors were slaves while modern white folks had nothing to do with that so they just dont' want to hear about it.

Post-racial my ass. But in the end, Moran does speak truth:
the nagging suspicion that if Gates had been white he would have somehow been treated differently is hard for many to shake. That is the trap that history has set for us and is one from which we refuse to release ourselves.

Indeed. I just wish you really got it as someting other than an intellectual exercise.

A commentor at Moran's post adds this:
Gates is 5′7″. He walks with a cane. He is 59 years old. He was dressed in business casual attire. It was broad daylight. He had no weapon. He was carrying no burglar tools. No getaway car was parked outside. No one was inside the house crying for help.

Veteran cops develop an instinct for this. Crowley did not believe Gates was a criminal. Not unless Crowley is an imbecile.

Since when did conservatives start believing that the police have unlimited powers to arrest any and all who vocally disapprove of them?

If Gates had been white and holding a hunting rifle every conservative in the country would support him. But he was black. So conservatives pull a 180 and support unrestrained police power.

A large portion of the conservative community still rants and raves over FBI attempts to enter David Koresh’s compound — a compound where there were stockpiles of guns and allegations of child abuse. And don’t tell me it’s just because of the fire, the FBI didn’t start the fire, the FBI and ATF were trying to enforce legal search warrants.

This is racism in action. Pure and simple. Crazy white people with guns? They’ve got a right not to be hassled by cops. Black scholars in their own homes? Not so much.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Red skies at night

In 1984 (!) at the height of the last act of the Cold War and Reagan Worship Syndrome, a movie called Red Dawn was released. It quickly became porn to a subset of the far right in this country, both the desktop warriors who worship violence, and the actual wing-nuts who fetishize gun ownership, and believe that any moment someone, probably a Democrat, is going to swoop down in a black helicopter, take their guns, and force them to go to socialized medical clinics. Just like they did to the patriots at Ruby Ridge and David Koresh's Waco compound.

These folks, both the passive chickenhawks, and the gun-toting militia-loving survivalists, have one thing in common: the enemy is the Left. It may be Libtard bloggers in the US, liberal elites who actually went to, you know, school, or Commies from Cuba, Russia, or Nicaragua. Ask Michelle Malkin, high priestess of the people, and she'll likely tell you it's all 3, and more.

Here's the problem. The only person who wants to have military action in the US, to circumvent the Constitution and detain U.S. citizens, is that stalwart of the far-right, Richard Bruce 'Dick' Cheney.

Glenn Greenwald, attorney and constitutional scholar, explains:

This new report today from The New York Times' Mark Mazzetti and David Johnston reveals an entirely unsurprising though still important event: in 2002, Dick Cheney and David Addington urged that U.S. military troops be used to arrest and detain American citizens, inside the U.S., who were suspected of involvement with Al Qaeda. That was done pursuant to a previously released DOJ memo (.pdf) authored by John Yoo and Robert Delahunty, addressed to Alberto Gonzales, dated October 23, 2001, and chillingly entitled "Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the U.S." That Memo had concluded that the President had authority to deploy the U.S. military against American citizens on U.S. soil. Far worse, it asserted that in exercising that power, the President could not be bound either by Congressional statutes prohibiting such use (such as the Posse Comitatus Act) or even by the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which -- the Memo concluded -- was "inapplicable" to what it called "domestic military operations."

Though it received very little press attention, it is not hyperbole to observe that this October 23 Memo was one of the most significant events in American politics in the last several decades, because it explicitly declared the U.S. Constitution -- the Bill of Rights -- inoperative inside the U.S., as applied to U.S. citizens. Just read what it said in arguing that neither the Fourth Amendment -- nor even the First Amendment -- can constrain what the President can do when overseeing "domestic military operations" (I wrote about that Memo when it was released last March and excerpted the most revealing and tyrannical portions: here). Here's just a small sample to convey the rancid taste of that Memo (click on images to enlarge):

. . .. . .

Today's NYT report is the first which reveals that high-level Bush officials actively considered and even advocated that the power to use the military to arrest American citizens on U.S. soil be used.

So, proud 2nd Amendment loving conservatarians, lovers of freedom, believers in limited central government, fans of States' Rights, reconcile this. Your party, your guy, wanted to bypass the beloved constitution (I know, only the 2nd Amendment counts, the rest is liberal posturing) and use the Army to arrest citizens on U.S. soil.

Where's the outrage? C'mon, Wolverines, spring into action.


For another song called Red Sky at Night, here's David Gilmour:

(I worked a gig as guitar tech for Berlin, opening for The Police at Hollywood Park in '83. The Fixx were one of the opening acts. I didn't talk with any band members, but their crew were fine folks, and they played a heckuva set.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Uncle Walt, Chet, and David

The most trusted man in America.

The passing of Walter Cronkite last week marked the end of an era in broadcast journalism. Cronkite was the epitome of the TV news anchor, and millions of Americans relied on him every evening to keep them abreast of events in his straightforward yet reassuring manner. It comes as no surprise that the last week has been filled with remembrances of Cronkite by a generation that grew up with his voice and image coming from their parents' TV sets night after night. I can offer few firsthand memories of Cronkite, as my father preferred to get his news from Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.

It seems today that my dad was the only man in America watching Huntley and Brinkley. Hard as it is to believe today, NBC's Huntley-Brinkley Report was actually the most-watched evening news broadcast for most of the period between 1956 and 1966, with CBS and Cronkite not taking the ratings lead until 1968, maintaining it until Cronkite's retirement in 1981. Cronkite earned his position as TV's most-trusted journalist.

Huntley and Brinkley's newscast launched in the fall of 1956, replacing the venerable John Cameron Swayze. Swayze had been slipping in the ratings, and NBC executives hoped that a change in personalities would bolster viewership. NBC executives Ben Park and Bill McAndrew suggested teaming up Huntley and Brinkley, who had earned praise for their work at the 1956 political conventions. The network came up with the unique arrangement of basing Huntley in New York and Brinkley in Washington. Neither man cared much for this approach at first, as both were hoping to host their own program. Their producer, Reuven Frank, was also skeptical, but on the broadcast's first night he wrote the closing lines - "Goodnight, Chet." "Goodnight, David. And good night for NBC News." Huntley and Brinkley didn't care for this at first, either, but it became one of the era's most enduring catchphrases.

The rugged Westerner Huntley possessed an authoritative voice considered among the best in TV, and the witty, erudite Brinkley was an excellent foil. The Huntley-Brinkley Report got off to a slow start - ratings remained low at first, and President Eisenhower complained to NBC brass about the new pairing. Although the duo seldom saw each other in person, their chemistry was unmistakable, and by the end of 1958 theirs was the highest-rated news program on TV.

The Huntley-Brinkley Report also had the coolest theme music of any network news program:

In the early 60's Huntley and Brinkley were TV's most prominent journalists. As it often happens, their enhanced reputations led to accusations of editorializing the news, and their egos had become bigger than the stories they presented. Huntley was even once accused of editorializing by moving his eyebrows. Yet by this point they had gained a nightly audience of over 20 million viewers, and Frank Sinatra even sang a ditty about them. Ratings at rival CBS declined accordingly, and by 1962 the network deemed it necessary to replace their anchor Douglas Edwards, himself a legend of early broadcasting.

Walter Cronkite was a product of St. Joseph, Missouri, growing up in a Midwestern small-town environment where the neighbors sat on the front porch to discuss the day's events while the kids chased fireflies in the yard. While Huntley and Brinkley were the dedicated pros, Cronkite came across as the neighbor who kept up with everything in town, letting you in on the day's events. Despite his folksy demeanor, Cronkite had already compiled an impressive resume by the time he came to the anchor's desk. He began as a print reporter in 1935, and took his first broadcasting job with WKY in Oklahoma City the next year. He distinguished himself with his work in covering World War II for United Press, and joined the fledgling CBS TV news division in 1950. Over the next decade he stood out as one of the network's top political reporters, and also made a name for himself hosting the popular historical program You Are There. On April 16, 1962, he succeeded Edwards as host of The CBS Evening News.

The next year, Cronkite was praised for his respectful, dignified coverage of President Kennedy's assassination. Yet, as with Huntley and Brinkley, Cronkite was slow to gain an audience at first. Disappointed with his low ratings, CBS replaced Cronkite with Roger Mudd for their coverage of the 1964 conventions. In return, CBS received over 11,000 letters of protest from viewers asking that Cronkite be reinstated. Cronkite returned to convention coverage in 1968; more importantly, CBS discovered that their anchor had struck a deep chord with the American public.

Cronkite's popularity continued to build, and by the mid-60's CBS was in a position to overtake NBC as the nation's top news network. Several factors led to CBS and Cronkite's ultimate preeminence. One key was the decision by RCA, NBC's parent corporation, to cut funding to its news division, leaving the better-funded CBS with the resources to produce higher-quality stories. America's fascination with space exploration in the 60's also contributed to CBS' rise. Cronkite had a keen interest in science and technology, and often approached the space missions with a boyish enthusiasm. Huntley and Brinkley, on the other hand, were little interested in the exploits of the astronauts. An AFTRA strike in 1967 also hurt the duo's reputation. Brinkley honored the pickets, but Huntley continued to work - he considered himself "a reporter, not a performer".

By the end of the decade, CBS was firmly established as the nation's #1 news network, and Walter Cronkite was well on his way to becoming a legend. More than any other news reporter ever had, Cronkite earned the trust of America with his genial, knowledgeable demeanor, and he became known for a catch-phrase of his own- "And that's the way it is." His voice was so respected that he could make world leaders sit up and take notice. Nowhere was this more apparent than in his coverage of the Vietnam War. His disapproving editorial following the Tet Offensive carried so much weight that it was a factor in Lyndon Johnson declining to seek re-election in 1968.

Huntley and Brinkley said goodnight one last time on February 16, 1970. Chet Huntley returned to his Montana ranch, and died of cancer in 1974. His early passing has made Huntley something of a forgotten man among the early TV journalism greats. David Brinkley is better remembered today, mostly for moving on to ABC in the early 80's and hosting This Week With David Brinkley, an opinion show that along with the rise of Peter Jennings, Sam Donaldson, and Ted Koppel finally put ABC News on a par with the other two networks. Walter Cronkite continued as CBS' main anchor until he retired in 1981, and he would continue to contribute to news specials for many years afterward, specializing in his passions of politics, science, and technology. Yet for all the major stories that Cronkite witnessed in his long, distinguished career, the one he wanted to be most remembered for was his role in bringing The Beatles to America. Sharon Cobb tells the story of Cronkite's role in this part of pop cultural history.

Times were different then. News reporters had the money to do their jobs properly. Coverage had yet to emphasize feelings over facts. News was not yet considered to be merely another form of entertainment. We may never see the likes of these men again. Chet Huntley and David Brinkley were masters of their craft. Walter Cronkite was the granddaddy of them all - more than just defining the role of the TV news anchor, he became for many, the voice of America. And that's the way it is.

Goodnight, Chet.

Goodnight, David.

Goodnight, Walter.

(Crossposted at Pole Hill Sanitarium.)

No reason to get excited . . .

Among all the feigned outrage and angst from folks both left and right clutching their hankies because Obama said the Cambridge cops acted stupidly, one fellow makes the most sense twice.

Take it away, Ta-Nehisi Coates, first with this:
It's worth watching Obama's statement. I really can't begrudge him--his priority is health-care. Me, on the other hand, I'm pretty exhausted. What follows is the raw. Not much logic. Just some thoughts on how it feels.

I feel pretty stupid for going hard on this, and stupider for defending what Obama won't really defend himself. I should have left it at one post. Evidently Obama, Crowley and Gates are talking about getting a beer together. I hope they have a grand old time.

The rest of us are left with a country where, by all appearances, officers are well within their rights to arrest you for sassing them. Which is where we started. I can't explain why, but this is the sort of thing that makes you reflect on your own precarious citizenship. I mean, the end of all of this scares the hell out of me.

(Emphasis mine)

And then this (the last graf is the money quote):
Chris thinks Gates that by calling the officer a racist, Gates bears some of the responsibility for the incident. He goes a bit further in responding to an e-mail:

In my mind there is no equivalency here, but the reader does raise a good point: there is, and never will be, a white equivalent to the N-word, but "racist" - when unsubstantiated - comes close.
Chris is good dude, and a smart writer. But I think, even in its hedged, qualified form, this is quite wrong. I think we'd all agree that if my spouse gets mad and calls me a sexist, and I fire back by calling her a bitch, I've gone somewhere else. I think we'd agree that if a gay person, without proof, calls me a homophobe, and I fire back by calling him a fag, I've ventured into another league. We are not "close" in terms of the level of our offense. The question then becomes, why is it different for "racist"?

My only answer is that it's because we, again, equate racist with "immoral." Michael Jackson once called Tommy Moottola, a racist. From what I know, it was unsubstantiated. The only way I can close the space between that, and Mottola, say, calling Jackson a nigger, is to think of racist as the equivalent of rapist, or child-molestor.

Again, I think this makes sense, if you believe racism to be the province of societal pariahs, not people who hawk their wares on MSNBC. But if you believe that we live with it every day, that the worst part of racism is how it hides in the hearts of otherwise decent people, than this is rather puzzling. If you've had friends who've looked you in the eye, and said something racist, you may feel differently.

This is say nothing of history, obviously. I think when we have black people driving slaves and perpetrating terrorism, when we have the Nation Of Islam hunting Jeff Sessions, all while yelling "Get the racist!" we will be close. When whole blocks start relocating because they suspect a racist has moved into the neighborhood we will be close.


At this point I think it's pretty clear Crowley arrested Gates because he didn't want to look like a pussy in fron of other cops. If this was exacerbated by Gates being a black man getting in Crowleys' face, we likely can't know. But in the end, Crowley really looked like a pussy at best, or a thug at worst, for arresting an older gentleman who, as Ta-Nehisi points out above, "sassed him".

And Crowley's reaction when asked on camera about Obama's comments:
"Well, I didn't vote for him"
takes on a racial tension all on its own, I think. The way I heard it was:
"Well, I didn't vote for one of them"

Maybe I'm wrong, but the whole thing is really tawdry and sad. Racism not only still exists, but flourishes in this country. To deny it is to deny gravity and air. They exist.

Friday, July 24, 2009

We've all come to look for America

Ok, so music 2 days in a row. Music is always right.

Oh, and only a moose like Chris Squire can make a Rickenbacker 4001 bass look like a ukulele.

Rock on.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm dreamin' my life away

Apropos of nothing, this is perfect music. Doesn't need reverb, doesn't need a high priced mixer/producer, just needs people singing, playing guitar, making real music.

And everyone who came after and sang harmony vocals should bow down and worship these guys. Who do you think The Beatles copied? And every other British Invasion group? And every other pop act since with more than one singer?

And for those California-centric folks: Yes, Brian Wilson was a fan.

Oh, and these vocals were live. Track was maybe recorded on Cathy's Clown, but All I Have To Do Is Dream is clearly live. This is how these guys sang and played, every day.

Where did they get their influences? From guys like this:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm Burning, I'm Burning, I'm Burning for You

Teen Pregnancy and Disease Rates Rose Sharply During Bush Years, Agency Finds

Teenage pregnancies and syphilis have risen sharply among a generation of American school girls who were urged to avoid sex before marriage under George Bush's evangelically-driven education policy, according to a new report by the US's major public health body.
The CDC says that southern states, where there is often the greatest emphasis on abstinence and religion, tend to have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and STDs.
Kristi Hamrick, a spokeswoman for American Values, which describes itself as a supporter of traditional marriage and "against liberal education and cultural forces", said the abstinence message is overwhelmed by a culture obsessed with sex.
Poor Kristi, she didn't get the memo the teenage sex, and pregnancy, and single mothers are to be celebrated according to the GOP's vice-presidential candidate.

She also doesn't understand statistics. The rate of pregnancy and STDs went up the most in the states that had the most aggressive Christain policies of 'abstinence.'

Monday, July 20, 2009

And I'm feeling good

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MS) is, on most things, one of the good ones. That's why I was disappointed to see her tweet tonight (on Twitter):
I support public option,as long as private can compete.

My first question is WTF? Seriously? Private insurance companies compete so well that they HAVE NO COMPETITION! They are an oligopoly (many buyers, few sellers) who charge high rates, fix prices, make huge profits, and whose incentive is not to deliver any kind of product, but just make maximum profits.

This is just wrong-headed thinking by anyone, much less a leading Democrat senator.

Here are what some other folks who follow McCaskill on Twitter said:
Isn't that just corporate welfare? Subsidize me, not megacorps.

Private Ins Co's don't need protection from us, we need protected from them. Why else have a Gov't?

Does that mean you want to artificially inflate public option costs so private companies don't have to lower prices?

If they want to compete, they'll adapt. That's what the free market does. Public Option FTW.

the private sector ins cos has been gouging for decades. Why enable them further? They raised my small biz rates 38% in a year.

Indeed. The main reason 47,000,000 Americans have no health insurance is they can't afford it. And insurance companies, every year, post record profits. Medicare is administered with only 2-3% overhead costs, making it the most efficient health care provider in the US.

Can private companies compete with this? I don't give one crap. Blue Cross isn't Starbucks, an impulse or disposable income purchase. It's a virtual necessity. And I don't really single-out Blue Cross, all insurance providers, with few exceptions, are predatory. Health care is one of the glues keeping society together. All 1st world countries except the U.S. have single-payer or socialized medicine. And it works.

If you're a conservatarian who, like the awful phony Grover Norquist, wants to shrink government down so small he can drown it in a bathtub, then you don't have to participate in a "public option". Keep subsidizing Blue Cross's sky-high profits, Just don't stop me from saving money and improving my longevity by using a new, public health care system.

And Sen. McCaskill, please pay attention to polls: Americans favor radical changes in health care. Don't be a conservative on this issue. If Blue Cross and big pharma try to buy you off, come to your constituents, let them know what's happening. You'll still get your needed campaign contributions. Something Senators and Congresspersons have learned: The Netroots rewards good behavior.

Magnificent desolation

I've tried over and over to come up with a significant or even clever post about Collins, Armstrong and Aldrin making the first landing on our Moon happen, along with 400,00 NASA employees.

I was overwhelmed then, I'm overwhelmed now.

In honor of their accomplishment all I have is this, the transcript of their mission

I don't care what they say I won't stay In a world without love

Gordon Waller, of Peter and Gordon, passed away last Friday. He was 64. It seems a bit ironic since Paul McCartney wrote the title song of this post.

As I recall I only had enough money to buy either Chad & Jeremy or Peter & Gordon for my first 45. I went with Chad & Jeremy, but I've since bought P&J albums on vinyl and songs on iTunes, they were some of the songs of my youth.

Enough about me, here's what Peter Asher said about Gordon on their website:
Gordon played such a significant role in my life that losing him is hard to comprehend – let alone to tolerate.

He was my best friend at school almost half a century ago. He was not only my musical partner but played a key role in my conversion from only a snooty jazz fan to a true rock and roll believer as well. Without Gordon I would never have begun my career in the music business in the first place. Our professional years together in the sixties constitute a major part of my life and I have always treasured them.

We remained good friends (unusual for a duo!) even while we were pursuing entirely separate professional paths and I was so delighted that after a hiatus of almost forty years we ended up singing and performing together again more recently for the sheer exhilarating fun of it. We had a terrific time doing so.

Gordon remains one of my very favourite singers of all time and I am still so proud of the work that we did together. I am just a harmony guy and Gordon was the heart and soul of our duo.

I shall miss him in so many different ways. The idea that I shall never get to sing those songs with him again, that I shall never again be able to get annoyed when he interrupts me on stage or to laugh at his unpredictable sense of humour or even to admire his newest model train or his latest gardening effort is an unthinkable change in my life with which I have not even begun to come to terms.

Full disclosure: I worked for Peter Asher Management on my last major tour. They did the best job of any management company I'd ever worked for. Our contracts were solid, a call home would straighten out any problems with the clubs, and the prep work they did for my artist was incredible. We knew how far and directions to not only the next hotel and the next venue, but the stores and bookstores within range of our hotel. It almost made the artist happy.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Sunday, July 19, 2009

When your riding sixteen hours and there's nothing much to do

Welcome to the first installment of the novel I'll never write.


Back when I started touring with rock bands as a sound engineer, (yes, I was a sound engineer, a 'sound man' can make his band sound good, I could make almost any band sound better, country, rock, punk, New Wave, etc.)

When I was young I started out feeling this is just the start of something GREAT! And it is great! When you start out that young as good friends at the start of a tour, it's you against the odds & the world. You're playing clubs, getting attention from A&R ... and girls, and believe in your band so much you just can't think anything can stop you. But life has a funny way of turning dreams into reality.

You learn the hard way almost anything can stop you. The drummer's wife gets pregnant and he has to get a day job. The singer gets a studio job singing commercials. The guitar player gets a better offer. The A&R folks want a member or two, or maybe the whole band, but they have a stable of engineers and your services are no longer required.

Back to what I was saying about tours: Now these aren't the tours that The Rolling Stones are on, they're club tours where you're driving hours after tearing down and striking last night's gig into a van and a Ryder truck to make the next town. When you get to the next town all you want to do is find your room, or maybe just the place on the floor of a friend to the band, so you can crash.

You carry your own lights and sound because you can't do your show without them, but you have to scale them depending on the size of the venue and what is already provided ... and the scheming, crooked club owners & managers who love you ... as long as you keep making their bottom line higher.

Week one and two are pretty cool, it's still exciting, you enjoy the set breaks, but when the band is onstage you're feeling the power of the room and the rush of being part of that is at least as intoxicating as the JD shots the cute bartender keeps coming you way.

A little Bolivian marching powder doesn't hurt and some crystal blue persuasion helps those late night load outs go even faster.

Weeks 3 & 4 are still OK, you're road dogs now! The stories you share are priceless. "Hey did you see that guy pass out with his head in the mid-bin!?" and "Wow, nice move, I can't believe you didn't miss a beat when you laid that guy out with your strat when he climbed on stage after the singer!"

About week 5 you think to yourself "I miss my girlfriend back home", not that it stops you from enjoying the 'hundred mile radius rule.'

Week 6: Damn, I'm tired and I can't sleep because the guitar player is fucking the girl I wanted to bring back to the hotel ... four feet away from my bed. I hope he gets the clap. Bastard. The coke and crystal have nothing to do with why I can't sleep.

Week 7: I hate the guitar player, I hate the bass player even more because he's louder than the guitar player and we're in a club where the manager is all on my ass because of the volume. The singer is darting daggers because she doesn't have enough monitor to hear over the guitar and bass player. And the guitar and bass players blame the drummer for hitting his cymbals too loud.

I sorta agree with all of them, but I'm the only one who has to deal with the club manager. This really sucks.

Week 8: I hate them all. They fight with each other, they fight with me, I fight with them, they fight with what ever gash they picked up last night ... so nobody is sleeping.

We don't even do drugs anymore, except for liquor & the constant eye out for pot. It's a lot easier to find alcohol in a club. And it really, really helps, but has nothing to do with why I can't sleep.

... hopefully, TBC.

I'll leave you with my favorite song about the road.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Take another little piece of my heart, now, baby . . .

You'd think when someone passes who had a near perfect approval rating with the American public, like Walter Cronkite, both sides of the political spectrum would make nice. After all, many on the left weren't too harsh with William F. Buckley's passing.

But good friend Howie Klein, of Down With Tyranny, did some digging in the fever swamp, and came up with a load of crap:
In case you thought the grieving for national icon Walter Cronkite is universal, you probably don't pay much attention to the Republican Party base Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, John Ensign, Mike Pence, Eric Cantor, Mark Sanford, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are all fighting over. Turns out the kinds of people who make it possible for Republicans like Catherine Crabill (R-VA) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) to run for office didn't feel comfortable with someone as dedicated to Truth-- and in such an uncomfortably public way-- as Walter Cronkite. Fox is their medium and unadulterated hate is their message:
I hope his sorry carcass rots for the next thousand years and he has to live with the stench of his own body. Most trusted man in America!!?? I spit on his lies and only regret that I'll never get the chance to dance on his grave!!

Here's more from the ironically titled Free Republic, from right-wing blogger Debbie Schlussel:

I just heard the news that former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite died. And perhaps I will be one of the few with the guts to be real and say it: I'm not sad to see this overrated liar go. Buh-bye.

Cronkite enjoyed a long and glamorous life, unlike many of our late teen and 20-something American troops against whom he editorialized on a nightly basis. They died on the killing fields of Vietnam in no small part because he contributed to the video demoralization of America and the resulting lack of commitment to help our boys win the Vietnam War.

I'm sure that Cronkite will be remembered gushingly by all of the liberal mainstream media robots whom he spawned and who idolize him (and probably many gutless idiots on the right, too). In so many ways, he is their Michael Jackson, minus the creativity and talent. In life, they already exalted Cronkite far, far beyond what he deserved and completely ignored his awful transgressions against our country.

Walter Cronkite Defeated America on TV But the man they called "The Most Trusted Man in America" was really something far different: The Most Destructive Man in America. And that is how he should be remembered. He had the blood of thousands of American men--some of them really just boys--on his hands.

The delusion is deep. First, unless you were alive and conscious when the Viet Nam war was going on, then you're going to have to prove you know what you're talking about. Because Ms. Schlussel, born in '69, wasn't around in '68 when Cronkite famously wrote what was his alleged sin, that led to his excoriation by the far right:
Tonight, back in more familiar surroundings in New York, we’d like to sum up our findings in Vietnam, an analysis that must be speculative, personal, subjective. Who won and who lost in the great Tet offensive against the cities? I’m not sure. The Vietcong did not win by a knockout, but neither did we. The referees of history may make it a draw. Another standoff may be coming in the big battles expected south of the Demilitarized Zone. Khesanh could well fall, with a terrible loss in American lives, prestige and morale, and this is a tragedy of our stubbornness there; but the bastion no longer is a key to the rest of the northern regions, and it is doubtful that the American forces can be defeated across the breadth of the DMZ with any substantial loss of ground. Another standoff. On the political front, past performance gives no confidence that the Vietnamese government can cope with its problems, now compounded by the attack on the cities. It may not fall, it may hold on, but it probably won’t show the dynamic qualities demanded of this young nation. Another standoff.

We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds. They may be right, that Hanoi’s winter-spring offensive has been forced by the Communist realization that they could not win the longer war of attrition, and that the Communists hope that any success in the offensive will improve their position for eventual negotiations. It would improve their position, and it would also require our realization, that we should have had all along, that any negotiations s must be that—negotiations, not the dictation of peace terms. For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. This summer’s almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation; and for every means we have to escalate, the enemy can match us, and that applies to invasion of the North, the use of nuclear weapons, or the mere commitment of one hundred, or two hundred, or three hundred thousand more American troops to the battle. And with each escalation, the world comes closer to the brink of cosmic disaster.

To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy’s intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could

This is Walter Cronkite. Good night.

from Who, What, When, Why (CBS report), February 27, 1968
Mrs. Schlussel, and other Freepers, unless you can claim more critical education than from William Kristol and other blind war hawks, just shut the fuck up. You have no idea what you're talking about. Clapping louder to save Peter Pan is not a real world solution.

For perspective, here's some music from 1968:

Addendum by The Sailor:

In the days before cable and network and local blow dried anchors we had Walter Cronkite to tell us what was going on. He wasn't the only one, network news then wasn't supposed to be a profit engine, it was an integral part of what they gave back to the nation in return for their broadcasting licenses. The news division was expected to lose money, but in return they actually did reporting, and reported the truth. It was the networks' version of tithing.

Remembering Walt:
He became one of the top American reporters in World War II, covering battles in North Africa and Europe.[9] He was one of eight journalists selected by the U.S. Army Air Forces to fly bombing raids over Germany in a B-17 Flying Fortress.[14] He also landed in a glider with the 101st Airborne in Operation Market-Garden and covered the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he covered the Nuremberg trials and served as the United Press main reporter in Moscow for two years.
I only recall one time when he choked on the air. It was while he was watching the confirmation come in on John Kennedy's assassination.
Just as he had said that, the editor handed Cronkite the bulletin. Cronkite stopped speaking, put on his eyeglasses, looked over the bulletin sheet for a moment, took off his glasses, and made the official announcement:

From Dallas, Texas, the flash, apparently official: (reading AP flash) "President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time." (glancing up at clock) 2 o'clock Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago.

After making that announcement, Cronkite paused briefly, put his glasses back on and swallowed hard to maintain his composure. There was noticeable emotion in his voice as he intoned the next sentence of the news report:

"Vice President Johnson *cough* has left the hospital in Dallas, but we do not know to where he has proceeded. Presumably, he will be taking the oath of office shortly and become the 36th president of the United States."
He then tossed coverage of the events to colleague Charles Collingwood and left the newsroom, but would return several hours later to anchor The CBS Evening News as scheduled.
He was originally for the Vietnam war, but after going there and seeing things for himself he just told the truth as he saw it. When he spoke out against the Vietnam War, President Johnson said "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America." Johnson was only partially right, he'd lost middle America when everyone knew someone in their own family or a neighbor's family that had died in the war. Cronkite just gave voice and reported facts to what middle America was feeling.

During the 1968 Democratic convention he called Mayor Daily's free speech repression for what it was "I think we've got a bunch of thugs here, Dan."

Mr. Cronkite loved science and was a big fan of the space program. When Apollo 11 launched, the first mission to land a man on the moon, he shed his studied demeanor and shouted "go baby, go!"

He was on the air for 27 of the 30 hours till Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down safely on the moon. He was awarded an Ambassador of Exploration Award by NASA. The first person to receive the award that wasn't an astronaut or NASA employee.

And he was a great and generous sailor ... after his family convinced him to give up racing cars.

He had a long, full and productive life and I've barely scratched the phenomenal events he reported on.

When I see the news media stars of today, with their carefully coiffed hair and obeisance to power and willingness to relay whatever tripe they were told by 'anonymous' sources as truth, I fear we'll never see his like again.

Thanks Walt, you gave so much more than you got. And what better thing can we say about a fellow human.

And that's the way it is, July 18th, 2009.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hoist on his own retard

Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, the man who wasn't confirmed as a Federal Judge due to his racist past, got pwned by a wise Latina.

From, of all places, the Wall Street Journal:
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), seeking to discredit Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy, cited her 2001 “wise Latina” speech, and contrasted the view that ethnicity and sex influence judging with that of Judge Miriam Cedarbaum, who “believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices.”

“So I would just say to you, I believe in Judge Cedarbaum’s formulation,” Sessions told Sotomayor.

“My friend Judge Cedarbaum is here,” Sotomayor riposted
, to Sessions’ apparent surprise. “We are good friends, and I believe that we both approach judging in the same way, which is looking at the facts of each individual case and applying the law to those facts.”

Cedarbaum agreed.

“I don’t believe for a minute that there are any differences in our approach to judging, and her personal predilections have no effect on her approach to judging,” she told Washington Wire.
“We’d both like to see more women on the courts,” she added.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Born in the USA

Soldier balks at deploying; says Obama isn’t president

Says he shouldn’t have to go to Afghanistan because Obama is not a U.S. citizen

U.S. Army Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook, set to deploy to Afghanistan, says he shouldn’t have to go.

His reason?

Barack Obama was never eligible to be president because he wasn’t born in the United States.
If you think the Major is crazy, read the comments on the linked article. But deploy your tinfoil hat first.

Instead of a video of the title song, I thought this one would be more appropriate:

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Monday, July 13, 2009

happy blogiversary* skippy!

Happy Blogiversary skippy! We baked totally photoshopped you a cake!

original pic from here

* y, wkJMaTLctp (translation: yes, we know Jeralyn Merrit at Talk Left coined that phrase.)


Skippy is one of the greats, not just in blogtopia (y!sktp) but especially here in L.A. Pam & I have partied with skippy and his lovely wife several times, and they are really quality folks.

Skippy was also, IIRC, the first big-time blogger to give us a link, back when I was running this joint all on my own. For that we'll be eternally grateful.

In fact, to honor skippy and his lovely wife, we want to publish a picture. Say hi to them the next time you spot them walking down the street:

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Baby you're a rich man

Oh for God's sake: Amity Shlaes is at it again, pimping out Atlas Shrugged as the owner's manual for Glibertarians trying to find their way through the awful Obama years:
Some assumed the late libertarian philosopher would fall from view when the Berlin Wall fell. Or that at least there would be a sense of mission accomplished. One Rand fan, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, wrote in his memoir that he regretted Rand hadn't lived until 1989 or 1990. She'd missed the collapse of communism that she had so often predicted.

But "Atlas Shrugged" is becoming a political "Harry Potter" because Rand shone a spotlight on a problem that still exists: Not pre-1989 Soviet communism, but 2009-style state capitalism. Rand depicted government and companies colluding in the name of economic rescue at the expense of the entrepreneur. That entrepreneur is like the titan Atlas who carries the rest of the world on his shoulders – until he doesn't.

Thankfully Libertarians are a distinct minority today, and tend to actually be Right-wingers who carp about big-government unless it's helping line their pockets.

But then Shlaes actually, well, lies by misdirection and illogic:
In 1986, a year when "Atlas Shrugged" sold 60,000 to 80,000 copies, the top 1 percent of earners paid 26 percent of the income tax. By 2000, that 1 percent was paying 37 percent, and "Atlas Shrugged" sales were at 120,000. By 2006, the top 1 percent carried 40 percent of the burden.

Yet President Barack Obama has made it clear he would like to see the rich pay a greater share. Anyone irked at that prospect can find consolation in Rand's fantasy, in which the most valued professionals evaporate from the work place because of such demands.

Going Galt, as it's called today. Yes, such producers of goods and services as hedge fund managers and Wall St. buffoons going Galt will be disastrous . . . for hedge fund managers and Wall St. buffoons.

Here's the real story on taxes and wealth in the USofA. It's a fairly long piece from the Univ. Ca. Santa Cruz (likely a communist front), but it spells out just where our tax burden is. (Hint: it's really not the ├╝ber-wealthy!):
In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2004, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.3% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.3%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one's home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.2%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2007).

. . . Here are some dramatic facts that sum up how the wealth distribution became even more concentrated between 1983 and 2004, in good part due to the tax cuts for the wealthy and the defeat of labor unions: Of all the new financial wealth created by the American economy in that 21-year-period, fully 42% of it went to the top 1%. A whopping 94% went to the top 20%, which of course means that the bottom 80% received only 6% of all the new financial wealth generated in the United States during the '80s, '90s, and early 2000s (Wolff, 2007).

. . . A key factor behind the high concentration of income, and the likely reason that the concentration has been increasing, can be seen by examining the distribution of what is called "capital income": income from capital gains, dividends, interest, and rents. In 2003, just 1% of all households -- those with after-tax incomes averaging $701,500 -- received 57.5% of all capital income, up from 40% in the early 1990s. On the other hand, the bottom 80% received only 12.6% of capital income, down by nearly half since 1983, when the bottom 80% received 23.5%. Figure 5 and Table 7 provide the details.
Figure 5: Share of capital income earned by top 1% and bottom 80%, 1979-2003 (From Shapiro & Friedman, 2006.)

So no need for worrying about the tax burdens on poor Donald Trump or George Soros. They're doing quite well, thank you.

And Shlaes will continue receiving wingnut welfare and deluding the already delusional.

Here's Warren Buffet on the American taxation system:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Was feelin’ about half past dead

We saw Levon Helm on Letterman last night. He's a shadow of his former self, although being 69 and a cancer survivor may have something to do with that:
Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer in the late 1990s after suffering hoarseness. Advised to undergo laryngectomy, Helm instead underwent an arduous regimen of radiation treatments at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Although the tumor was successfully removed, his vocal cords were damaged, and his clear, powerful tenor voice was replaced by a quiet rasp. Initially Helm only played drums and relied on guest vocalists at the Rambles, but Helm's singing voice grew stronger and on January 10, 2004, he sang for the first time at one of his Ramble Sessions. In 2007, during production of Dirt Farmer, he estimated that his singing voice was 80% recovered.

Still, Levon has participated in some classic American music. Here's Levon with his old band, The Band, doing The Weight at some place called Woodstock:

Here's an interesting and multi-faceted analysis of "The Weight":
Music From Big Pink’s initial success was, in retrospect, surprisingly modest for an album which frequently appears in lists of the Top 100 Rock Albums of All Time. It got to #30 in the US charts while the single, The Weight, written by Robbie Robertson, reached only #63. Other artists had more sucess with covering The Weight. Versions by Jackie DeShannon (US #55, 1968), Aretha Franklin (US #19, April 1969, featuring Duane Allman on guitar), The Supremes with The Temptations (US #46, September 1969) all charted. Significantly for both royalties and for general public awareness, the Diana Ross and The Supremes With The Temptations’ album from which the single was taken reached US #2 and the Aretha Franklin album, Soul 69, reached US #15. The Weight was also heard on the soundtrack of the Peter Fonda / Dennis Hopper film Easy Rider in 1969, which in turn spawned a successful soundtrack album (US # 6 in October 1969 and 41 weeks on the chart).

Interesting, read, worth clicking through to the actual post.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Michael Jackson is still dead.

Sarah Palin's career is still dead.

Stay tuned for more breaking news.

This has been a pubic service announcement.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

I don't believe a word of it.


Donald Rumsfeld has finally said he's sorry. Sort of.

In an interview with biographer Bradley Graham, the former secretary of defense says he has regrets about the administration's controversial detainee policy.

The twist is that Rumsfeld doesn't regret the policy itself -- specifically the abandoning of the Geneva Conventions for detainees picked up in Afghanistan. Rather, he regrets how the policy was formulated.
Just like Rumsfeld was shocked over the photos from Abu Ghraib, it wasn't the torture, it was the outing of the torture. It's weirdly semantic. He and his cohorts still haven't understood exactly WHAT the world's revulsion is all about.

In comparison to this feeble reasoning, Robert McNamara's repentance appears saintlike.:

HUFFINGTON POST: In the course of producing the Fog of War what did you learn about Robert McNamara? And how did he see his place in history?

MORRIS: There are no simple answers to those questions. He is an extraordinarily complex figure and will probably remain as such... It is an amazing career and an amazingly complex career I might add. I don't share this view that McNamara is this clearly evil man. I think that he is extraordinarily complex and that may be a result as well of the extraordinarily complex history that he was part of. Nothing has a simple answer. Maybe nothing ever does. It's very easy to condemn him for these policies but harder to understand what his role was in these policies.

By the end of his life, McNamara clearly felt a sense of contrition. But did he feel as if he was responsible for what happened in Vietnam or did he think of himself as a victim of history, engulfed by the events that surrounded him?

I think that it is part of who we are, in general, that we would prefer to see ourselves as victims rather than as villains. Having said that, dealing with McNamara was dealing with a person who agonized about his past.

Update, emptywheel has more.

crossposted at Rants from the Rookery

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Que, Sarah, Sarah!?

Updated below.
Columnists award Palin dubious honor
Sitting Duck Award goes to 'the most ridiculed newsmakers in America'

Past president Mike Leonard, a columnist for The Herald Times of Bloomington, Ind.: "As a Hoosier, I feel that she's done something that Dan Quayle could never do. Which was to make Dan Quayle look good. ... After the election, the video of Sarah and the poultry processing factory ... that pretty much says it all. The gift that keeps on giving."
Update: In an interview with ABC ... wait, what!? It's the media's fault but she keeps doing everything she can to extend her 15 minutes of infamy!? Anyhoo
As to whether another pursuit for national office, as when she joined Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the race for the White House less than a year ago, would result in the same political blood sport, Palin said there was a difference between the White House and what she had experienced in Alaska. If she were in the White House, she said, the "department of law" would protect her from baseless ethical allegations.

"I think on a national level, your department of law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we've been charged with and automatically throw them out," she said.
The WH has a 'Department of Law!?' Huh, who knew?[/snark]

I've seen comments on other sites that the reason Dems & some Repubs are 'attacking' Sarah (if by 'attacking her' they mean 'letting her talk') is that we're scared of her.

I have to admit I'm scared .... but for her not of her. I'm scared she won't make it to 2012 if someone doesn't put her on a respirator stat! She's too stupid to breathe.

And I disagree with her latest award, she's not a sitting duck, she's a turkey in a hopper.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

Sunday, July 05, 2009

R.I.P. Allen Klein

He made Geffen look like Shirley Temple, back in the day. Saint Peter just got beat down for 51% of the mechanicals on the whole back catalog of heavenly hymns.


Friday, July 03, 2009

And Another One Bites the Dust

Queen Sarah is abdicating her throne. On one of the biggest Friday Night Dumps a politician can spew down the toilet of the MSM:

Productive, fulfilled people determine where to put their efforts, choosing to wisely utilize precious time... to BUILD UP.

And there is such a need to BUILD up and FIGHT for our state and our country.
Gosh, does she need to spend more time with her family!? Is she spending her time on her campaign to be president and ignoring her vows ... to be governor? Has she been hiking that 'Appalachian Trail.' Read the whole thing and decide for yourselves.

In the mean time, stay tuned for the next (psychotic) episode of Moose & Squirrel: Dahling, What Big Antlers You Have ... or ... Republican Hopes Are Riding On My Back!

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

It's a Grand Old Flag

Submitted (almost) without comment:
Stars and Stripes is a Department of Defense-authorized daily newspaper distributed overseas for the U.S. military community. Editorially independent of interference from outside its own editorial chain-of-command, it provides commercially available U.S. and world news and objective staff-produced stories relevant to the military community in a balanced, fair, and accurate manner. By keeping its audience informed, Stars and Stripes enhances military readiness and better enables U.S. military personnel and their families stationed overseas to exercise their responsibilities of citizenship.
- Revised DoD Directive 5122.11
Stars and Stripes is a daily newspaper published for the U.S. military, DoD civilians, contractors, and their families. Unique among the many military publications, Stars and Stripes operates as a First Amendment newspaper, free of control and censorship. We have published continuously in Europe since 1942, and since 1945 in the Pacific. Today, our readers number well over 350,000.
That was then, this is now. From the Stars and Stripes:
Army bars Stars and Stripes reporter from covering 1st Cav unit in Mosul

Asserting that Stars and Stripes “refused to highlight” good news in Iraq that the U.S. military wanted to emphasize, Army officials have barred a Stripes reporter from embedding with a unit of the 1st Cavalry Division that is attempting to secure the violent city of Mosul.
“Under the embed rules and the congressional mandate of editorial independence for this newspaper, it does not fall under the authority or competence of the command to decide if we do a story, what story we do, or what angle we take in writing the story,” Leonard wrote in his appeal.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak

I've been looking so long at these pictures of you that I almost believe that they're real

Remember Shepard Fairey, of the iconic Obama campaign poster? Turns out he is friends with Jeff & Jo Ann, the parents of Pablo, the little dude who lost his fight with cancer last week. At the memorial celebration Tuesday night, Shepard's portrait of Pablo was unveiled. Aw, how lovely, you might say. Well, it gets better.

After Jeff introduced Fairey, they held up for all to see both the original photo which inspired the artwork and the new work itself. While hard to see over the standing-room-only crowd, I was able to get a glimpse of the new work. But Jeff, realizing that not everyone could see the new piece, simply handed it into the crowd to pass around so everyone could see. Keep in mind that Fairey prints sell for $400+, and original art commands an astronomical price, yet this act of trust and love seems typical for Pablo's parents.

Having worn their hearts and emotions on their sleeves for so long now, the idea that they trusted people, some of whom they had never met, with a new image of their precious boy, is mind-boggling, yet completely in character. Should such a tragedy ever happen to me and mine, these are the people I would choose as my guides.

Here is what Shepard & Amanda Fairey said about Pablo, along with the portrait:

Pablo is the son of our friends Jeff and Jo Ann. He died of cancer on Saturday, just a few days after his sixth birthday. As parents it is impossible for me and Amanda to imagine facing what Jeff, Jo Ann, and Pablo faced courageously. There is a moving diary of Pablo’s battle with cancer at Yes, we all know that cancer affects a huge number of people, but what you see at this blog is a very compelling demonstration that cancer can strike anyone, any age, and no amount of love can cure what science has no cure for yet. People like Pablo remind us why cancer research is so important. You can find out more and make a donation to the Pablove Foundation here:
I lost my sister Kristin, my Mom, and our friend Lizzie to cancer (and side effects) in the last 7 years. I know, that and $.50 will buy today's LA Times, so prevalent is the disease. Yet Dr. Mascarenhas, Pablo's Oncologist, says we'll have a cure for cancer in the next several years. While this cure will not have helped Mom, Kristin, Lizzie or Pablo, it WILL help untold others who will not die from the awful disease that eats the body, and sometimes even the soul.

So may the universe bless Pablo's Papa & Mommy, Dr. Mascarenhas, Shepard & Amanda Fairey, and all others who's lives are altered by this awful disease.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

It Don't Matter If It's Brown Or White

Don't Matter If It's Brown Or White

There is no way I'm looking for a scene

Candy coated cleverly crafted pop music at it's best:

God Help the Girl is a musical film due to be shot in 2010, written by Stuart Murdoch, frontman of Scottish indie pop band Belle & Sebastian. The film will feature new songs written by Murdoch, along with two Belle & Sebastian songs "Funny Little Frog", which reached #10 in the U.K. charts in 2006 and "Act of the Apostle", as well as a number from Stevie Jackson. Murdoch held open auditions in which members of the public could send in videos or audio clips of themselves singing for a chance to sing on the God Help the Girl soundtrack, which was recorded in 2008. The LP features lead vocals by newcomer Catherine Ireton, and guest vocals from Asya, lead singer of the Seattle teenage indie band Smoosh and Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy. Also featured are contest winners Brittany Stallings and Dina Bankole, as well as Celia Garcia and Alex Klobouk.

The God Help the Girl soundtrack was released on 23 June on Matador Records in North America, and on 22 June on Rough Trade Records in Europe. The first single 'Come Monday Night' was released on 11 May.

As homage to '60's pop music, it's pretty stellar.