[MG Note: Pardon the weird paragraph leading today; WordPress is eff-ing up.]
[MG Note: Pardon the weird paragraph leading today; WordPress is eff-ing up.]
The list you’ve been waiting for:
Wait a sec: $3 million on cocaine? Steven Tyler of Aerosmith sez that’s how much he’s spent on blow in his lifetime. Doesn’t that sort of count as a crime against humanity? Like, y’know, when there are people dying of starvation somewhere while he’s pissing all that scratch away to get bumped?
Anyways, all the usual suspects are here: David Bowie of the late 1970s and early ’80s, Nick Drake, Lou Reed, Captain Beefheart, Fleetwood Mac when Stevie Nicks was burning a hole through her nasal septum, Marvin Gaye on the road to getting shot to death by his daddy-o, Billie Holliday — natch, and even one of my teen faves, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown.
Spent a cool night in the recording studio with the multi-talented Tony Brewer yesterday. He’ll be the next guest in my new interview series, Big Talk, carried over the air by WFHB and in print in The Ryder mag.
I dunno, I think I might give myself an inferiority complex if I keep doing these chats. First up was cartoonist, graphic novelist, record producer, musician, and otherwise walker-on-water Nate Powell. Now it’s Brewer, who’s been a sound effects guy, poet, roller derby announcer, pro typesetter, improv comic, artists’ consortium bwana, filmmaker, DJ, and…, aw, I’m getting tired just typing out what he’s done.
How do these people do it? I know I get exhausted washing the dishes. I need to take a nap after brewing my morning coffee. Where do all these movers and shakers get the drive and energy to do what they do?
That’s one question we may eventually answer in the Big Talk series. We’ll see.
So, here’s the Nate Powell chat that ran on WFHB. The full interview will run in the March edition of The Ryder. The Brewer tête-à-tête should air within a week or two, depending on how quickly I transcribe and edit the piece. But, trust me, there’ll be a lot of naps interspersed with the work.
Just thought I’d bring up a blast from the past. Remember when Michelle Obama told schoolkids they oughtta drink an extra glass of water a day ‘coz it’d make them healthier or some such thing?
The joke became, Now the Me Party-ists and all those crazy Right Wingers’ll come out against water, haha.
And, lo and behold, that’s what happened!
All true. Rush Limbaugh and the Washington Times and a bunch of Tea Party loons got all uppity, saying the FLOTUS’s science was hogwash and that she was now turning into Mrs. Michelle Hitler Stalin Attila the Hun bin Laden Obama.
These, kiddies, are the folks the Dems are now a’scared of in this fall’s mid-term elections.
Politics today is so frustrating. The other guys are whack jobs and my guys are tadpoles (i.e. invertebrate larvae). Sheesh.
“You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.” — James Thurber
Looks like that big fist of rain up around the Chi-town area is getting ready to come down upon us.
We’re still not ready to complain about another washed-out weekend, though.
In the category of People Will Believe Any Bullshit Anyone Tosses At Them, this book cover has to rank among the top ten:
And just to show how bizarre Homo Sapiens sapiens is, a London-based gossip columnist in 1956 described Milwaukee’s greatest piano player thusly:
“… [A] deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavored, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love.”
Upon reading this, Wladziu Valentino Liberace sued the gossip columnist and his newspaper, The Mirror, for libel. And won!
Liberace on the witness stand swore he wasn’t a homosexual (even though the columnist had not explicitly accused him of being gay) and said — I remind you, under oath — that he’d never had a homosexual experience.
And you wonder why some people believe Barack Obama was born in some terrorist madrasah in Kenya run by Karl Marx’s heirs, abortionists, and pedophiles.
And then there’s this from I Fucking Love Science. Many people were sorely disappointed the other night when the moon did not, as advertised, turn blue.
See, there was supposed to be a blue moon a week ago today. The Twitter-verse went full-tilt apopolectic when our celestial nightlight did not shine in the wavelength range of 475 nanometers.
Anyway, tons and tons of deep thinkers flooded the hell that is Tweet-ville with irate complaints that the moon was, well, still white.
And you wonder why some people believe it was Barack Obama who crashed the economy.
Still wondering if the Romneys understand what it’s like for the rest of us? That is, those of us who didn’t grow up uber-wealthy?
This is not to say a rich guy can’t have empathy. Franklin Roosevelt never missed a meal in his life but he had a feeling for those who had.
Originally recorded by Aretha Franklin, this version was done some 30 years later by Neko Case, perhaps the only woman who could do justice to it other than the Queen of Soul.
Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.
“Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.” — Frank Zappa
SAVE US, RICK
Gotta say it: I miss Rick Santorum.
The political debate has pretty much petered out now that the wackiest altar boy in the nation has quit the presidential race.
We Miss You, Man
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are involved in a staring contest over who loves women more. Romney said recently, “93 percent of the job losses during the Obama years have been women who lost those jobs.” Obama, in turn, has dispatched his wife, not to correct Romney’s awkward sentence construction, but to say her man is the greatest thing to happen to women since the invention of chocolate.
Michelle Obama actually said this about the her husband’s deeds for women: “We have an amazing story to tell. This president has brought us out of the dark and into the light.”
Suffragette Introducing Featured Speaker Barack Obama
And in some weird, Twilight Zone-ish turn of events, Ann Romney, a woman who has struggled valiantly to assemble a staff of nannies and maids, has become an icon for all the hard-toiling homemakers of this holy land.
I don’t suppose this debate-for-the-ages will rank with the Lincoln-Douglas wrestling matches of 1858.
Sigh. Oh, for the madness of Rick Santorum.
MAN ON THE THRONE
And, yes, I’m a political geek.
See, I’m pumped about the release in two weeks of the fourth volume in Robert Caro‘s brilliant series of books on the life of Lyndon Baines Johnson. It deals with the 1960 presidential election, Johnson’s ascendency to the presidency following the Kennedy assassination, and his electoral coronation in 1964.
Johnson Drives His Beloved Amphi-car
LBJ was one fascinating man. He stole elections, bullied opponents, battled for civil rights legislation, loathed John F. Kennedy and then served under him as vice president, allowed the nation to slip into a senseless war in Vietnam and found himself mourning that course of events. He issued orders to members of his staff while perched upon the porcelain princess with the door wide open.
Caro won the Pulitzer Prize for “The Power Broker,” his look into the life of New York City strongman Robert Moses. (BTW, Oliver Stone is working on an HBO biopic based on Caro’s book.) He copped another Pulitzer for the third volume in the Years of Lyndon Johnson series, “Master of the Senate.” For my dough, Caro has to win a third Pulitzer for “The Passage of Power” if it’s even half as good as the previous three tomes on the man.
Pick up any of the aforementioned Caro books; you’ll understand a lot more about how America works if you do.
BEYOND HUMAN UNDERSTANDING
Dig this observation by social ecologist Peter Drucker:
“Like the forces of war, depression shows man as a senseless cog in a senselessly whirling machine which is beyond human understanding and has ceased to serve any purpose but its own.”
The quote, written in 1939, has been interpreted as a description of the madness that was the Great Depression. It sounds to me more like an indictment of unfettered capitalism itself.
“Don’t give me that do-goody, good bullshit.”
POT VERSUS KETTLE
I’d imagine the number of local residents paying the slightest bit of attention to last night’s debate between Republican candidates for president hovered somewhere around, oh, zero.
This is, after all, Bloomington, Indiana, the capital-in-exile of the former Soviet Union and geographical magnet for this holy land’s unscrubbed beatniks, bomb-throwers, abortionists, and other Democrats.
So, The Pencil will do y’all a favor and point out the most eye-opening statement made by one of the fine and decorated statesmen and women who gathered to verbally spar in that other locus of undesirables, Washington, DC.
Minnesota Congressbeing Michele Bachmann dug deep into her her pocket thesaurus and threw a sophisticated two-syllable pejorative at Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Bachmann: “Fingers crossed — Someone Has Less Of A Clue Than I Do.”
The issue was Pakistan and Perry had just pronounced all future financial aid to that nuclear armed Stone Age nation a no-go as long as its leaders wouldn’t keep “America’s best interests in mind.”
Y’know, the way every other nation on this spinning globe keeps the well-being of the land of Donald Trump, Lindsay Lohan, and Black Friday in the forefront of all its deliberations.
Well, our plucky gal Michele found Perry’s logic rather lacking. Bachmann is a member of the House Intelligence Committee which, if nothing else, proves our elected representatives possess a sense of humor. She reminded Perry and the world that this country gains a lot of inside dope on the doings of the wild-eyed gun-toters who populate much of Pakistan’s desolate countryside. Our dough, Bachmann insisted, also insures that the borderline lunatics who run the place aren’t overthrown by certified lunatics.
Bachmann characterized Perry’s statement thusly: “I think that’s highly naive.”
Kudos to Bachmann on grasping the fact that the syllables of a word needn’t be separated by consonants.
Now, imagine how discouraged the cowboy governor is this morning to realize that Michele Bachmann — Michele Bachmann — considers him naive.
The election, folks, is a mere 49 weeks away.
I have a Twitter account, I’ll admit it. On the other hand, I haven’t touched it in more than a year.
Twitter is the 140-character preserve of semi-literate pro athletes, pathologically self-involved Hollywood stars, and that portion of the populace that was born, sadly, with the condition known as anencephaly.
Take the recent Twit (screw “Tweet” — I’m going with Twit) from Washington Redskins pass catcher Jabar Gaffney.
Poor Jabar was in a funk after his team lost to the rival Dallas Cowboys Sunday. Some Cowboys fan sent him a Twit ridiculing him and his Redskins mates. (By the way, I was under the impression that this was the year 2011. And still there’s a pro team called the Redskins? The Redskins?!)
Anyway, Gaffney promptly advised the Twit-sender to, um, commit suicide.
Yup. Gaffney thumbed these proto-words into his connection to the civilized world: “… I’m just proud I ain’t you get a life or kill urself.” The line is close enough to the human language known as English that I needn’t translate it for you.
Naturally, the NFL and representatives of the sane population of America had apoplexy. Hell, if people can blame Judas Priest, whose song obliquely referred to the ultimate form of self-determination, for a couple of teens’ deaths in 1985, then Gaffney’s unmistakable advisement is fraught with peril.
Gaffney then quoted another Twit-person who agreed with his original broadside. Gaffney thumbed: “I do want that man to kill himself..one less cowboys fan…”
Sheesh. Now we know there are at least two people in this nation who don’t know ellipsis is indicated by three dots, not two. America is indeed going to hell.
Cooler heads got to Gaffney and he apologized — the way many celebrities, politicians, and corporations apologize these days, which is not at all.
Gaffney Twitted a third time, “They say I can’t tell people to kill themselves didn’t know freedom of speech had limitations so I’ll just say #uknowwhattodo #HTTR better?”
In case this puzzling series of electronic grunts is indecipherable to you, I’ll help. Gaffney is saying: “My heavens, despite the landmark US Supreme Court decision wherein the noted jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. opined that shouting ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater is a practical violation of common sense, civility, and the spirit of the original 1st Amendment, I was under the impression that the concept of Freedom of Speech is sacrosanct. I will therefore alter my original pronouncement by saying, ‘Sir, do you recall that action I advised you to take which, apparently, I am not at liberty to utter in a public setting? If so, please take it.'”
Big time sports and the reprobates who perform in it and operate it are becoming less and less attractive by the week.
DON’T CRY FOR ME HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
The Loved One was incensed that First Lady Michele Obama caught the raspberry Sunday at a NASCAR race in Miami.
Obama: “I Can’t Hear You Because I Have These Big Things On My Head.”
Many in the crowd of some 80,000 booed the president’s wife lustily when she was introduced prior to shouting “Start your engines” into a microphone.
Aside from the fact that the speedway was filled with people who find deafeningly loud cars continually turning left at life threatening speeds entertaining, the race, it must be said, was held in Florida. That double-whammy indicates the crowd probably was lacking in thinkers who grasp the subtleties and nuances of today’s domestic and geopolitical debate.
Who was the last Nobel Prize winner to hail from the Sunshine State?
No matter, I actually tried to defend the crowd, which caused my lovely bride to eye me through narrowed lids.
I said, “The fact that people feel free to boo the wife of the boss of the most powerful nation on Earth is a good thing.”
The Loved One shook her head almost imperceptibly. And, I have to admit, I’m not thrilled with my argument either.