Friday, October 31, 2008

Rest In Peace Stud Terkel

Studs Terkel has passed away at the age of 96.

I always enjoyed him on the radio. He was often on NPR, and I always found him to be fasinating. He could tell a story that would keep me glued to the radio, unwilling to leave my car until he was finished.

He also shares my birthday.

Rest in peace old friend, you deserve it.

Happy Halloween!


Who says pirates can't kill you with cuteness?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Did You watch Obama's 30 minute program?

I confess, I teared up a little.

I want this so bad. He is what this country needs, and has needed. It's a damn shame Bush's deficit and fucked up economy will take away what could have been spent on a true progressive agenda.

America may just survive.

Go vote.

Still Undecided?

This may be one of the best political ads I've ever seen. It is short, it is simple, and it makes a great point.

Go Vote.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Alfred Matthew Yankovic

Yes, Weird Al turns 49 today. There was a time years ago, that I found him humorous. He came into his own at exactly the time MTV did, which was really the perfect forum for his brand of humor.

I find it slightly ironic that he still makes his living making fun of contemporary music, and I no longer enjoy him. How is that ironic you ask? The reason I no longer enjoy him is because I'm so freaking old I don't recognize any of the song he is parodying!

That's right, he hasn't become irrelevant, I have.

I realize many of you may not be a fan of his. I understand that. At the risk of falling into gender stereotypes, I get the feeling he is more popular among males than females. I imagine his demographic is the same as Mad Magazine's.

Love him or hate him, it's hard to deny his cleverness, and his longevity.

This is, I think, his Magnum Opus.

(Geek warning - There is a high level of Geek required to appreciate this song) -

Sorry, embedding is blocked, you'll have to click here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Voted Today!!!!

Early voting is open in Texas, and I voted today.

It didn't take very long, I only had to make one mark.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sending Out an S.O.S.

I've always considered song lyrics to be a particularly difficult type of poetry. If I could be a poet, I think I'd want to be a troubadour in the vein of Lyle Lovett or Townes Van Zandt. Yes, poets, both of them, to be sure. With song writing, not only does the poem have to speak to the audience, it has to fit within the frame work of the melody, not to mention the bridge. It is a skill I stand in awe of. That is not to say that only the singer/songwriter model of a lyricist is a poet, on the contrary, poetry can be found in every genre of music no matter whether it is to one's taste or not.

Hmm, funny how these blog posts work - that paragraph really didn't have anything to do with what I sat down to write about, but as I always tend to say - "that's another post", and then never get back to it, I think I'll expand a bit on that idea.

Yes, I suck at this stream of consciousness thing - So sue me.

Take Eminem for example. though you may revile his music, or him personally, and though his lyrics may be misogynistic and homophobic, the man is truly a wordsmith. Do I aspire to write his kind of poetry? Certainly not, but he is a poet.

It was through a song lyric that I first heard of Aphrodite. I looked her up in the library (no Internet back in those days), so I could better understand a particular song that was a favorite in my hard rocking adolescent days. I still look back amazed at how naive I was at 13. I can assure you, my children are far more worldly than I ever was.

So where am I going with this? I sat down to write about how this blog and blogging are a life line to me, and I suspect to many others, connecting isolated souls to like minded people. What made me think of this, was a song that came on while I was doing housework. More on that in a moment.

It may appear that I'm changing the subject again, but bear with me, someday I hope to have an amazing skill at tying seemingly disconnected ideas together into a beautiful post, but sadly, I am not there yet.

Do you remember a radio show called In The Studio With Redbeard? It apparently still comes on but I haven't heard it in years. The song I heard a while ago reminded me vividly of an episode of that show I heard many, many years ago. If you're unfamiliar with the show, Redbeard, the host takes the audience behind the scenes of a famous album and talks about when and how it was made, and interviews the artists, producers, etc... Great show, btw.

This particular episode was on The Police's 3rd studio album, Zenyatta Mondatta. During the interview portion, Steward Copeland called Sting the king of the three minute pop ditty, and noted that Sting considered it a high calling indeed. I think I'd agree with that sentiment on both counts. Yes, Sting can be pompous, and even pretentious, but come on - who else is going to work Nabokov into a pop song? A funny aside - during the same interview, Copeland said of Sting:
Sting is probably the person whom fame has changed the least, he was swaggering and cocky when he didn't have a dime to his name.

I love that.

So, back to the original post. As I'm cleaning house with the Satellite radio going, I'm thinking that I've really been neglecting my blog, and at the same time, not spending much time on other sites either. Most of my comments of late have been quick little one liners. I miss the ongoing conversations that comment strings can become. I was thinking to myself that it has been ages since I've sat down and just started writing whatever's on my mind. I miss it. I miss all of you, both here, and at your own little corner of the web.

As I'm think that, the live acoustic version of Message In A Bottle came on. As the final verse came on, I stopped folding the towel, and I just marveled at Sting's words. It gave me a little chill as he sang:

Walked out this morning, don't believe what I saw
Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore
Seems I'm not alone at being alone
Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home
Ill send an s.o.s. to the world
Ill send an s.o.s. to the world . . . . . . .

I thought to myself, that is exactly what blogging is, little messages, floating out on the vast ocean of the Internet, hoping to be plucked out of the water and to find a home. Who says pop music can't be poetry? Not me.

Here is a video of the same version of the song, it is most likely the exact same performance. It is from the Secret Policeman's Other Ball, and yes, I have the LP. Oh, and can one help but notice how young and beautiful he was back then?

Yeah, that's poetry.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wow, This Is Big . .

Did you see this?

Paul Krugman has been awarded the Nobel prize in Economics.

Hmm, I guess Phil Gramm wasn't on the short list.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Candidates, in Pictures

Via Christine

All You Need to Know

Way too funny!!

And The Nobel Goes To . . .

French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Cl├ęzio.

What do you think?

I have no opinion, because I've never read anything he has written. I suppose that's because my reading habits are too isolated and insular.


Monday, October 6, 2008

This Is What's Wrong

Fucking Pigs at the trough, that's what unfettered capitalism has given us.

In a display of greed that is positively Enron-esque, Lehman Brother's paid out millions in executive bonuses, even as they were negotiating with the Bush administration for a bail out.

Again I ask, why aren't we rioting in the street?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Things That Make Me Happy

This is just absolutely full of win.

It's only 3:32 long, trust me, you can spare 3 minutes. I dare you to watch this without smiling. Go ahead, I'll bet you can't.

UPDATE** - I just watched this for like the 9th time, I just noticed this - Watch when the bass line comes in (at about :41), the camera focuses in on what must be the only black person in the audience. WTF??? Are you kidding me?

Also, make sure you watch it all, the vocals are the best part!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It's A Trap!


A couple of you have noticed that I've been avoiding politics lately. To tell you the truth, I'm still a little bit dazed and disillusioned over the primary nastiness. I'm even more disgusted that we aren't up by double digits at this point.

Make no mistake, if Barack Obama were named Barry Oliver, had the exact same credentials and a bit less pigment, we would have a 30 point lead in every poll. (But that rant is another post)

Today, let's talk Sarah Palin. Because, you know, by gosh she just hasn't been in the news much lately.

I think we need to be very, very cautious, This entire ordeal with her has the stink of a Karl Rove October Surprise to it. Let's face it, she is not ready to be President, and even if she were, FSM help us.

However, when every morning I see a new conservative pundit tell the world she is unprepared and, well, shall we euphemistically say, intellectually incurious, (Who does that sound like? - YIKES!), I think we are being set up. We are all aware of the phrase, "the soft bigotry of low expectations." The bar for her performance in the debate is being set so low, that if she goes up there and pronounces her name right, pundits will say she exceeded expectations, is a fast learner, and shows that she is capable of tackling any job in the face of adversity, etc..... ad nauseum .

Don't be fooled friends.

To anyone who tries to tell you she appointed herself well, ask them to imagine what a Palin presidency would look like.

I just threw up a little in my mouth when I typed that.

She's the worst of Bush mixed with the worst of Cheney. Think the last 8 years on steroids, with lipstick.