Saturday, March 31, 2012

 Buster Keaton, what a heroic ham!
I want to do this when I grow up!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Few Reasonable Questions

I have tried not to comment too much on this case. I made fun of Geraldo Rivera for his ridiculous comments trying to justify the actions of George Zimmerman on the basis of Trayvon Martins' hooded sweatshirt. I will readily admit that I do not trust the Sanford Police Department. I find the fact that there  has been no formal legal action against Zimmerman very suspect. Everyday gives him, the police and the media and the attorneys more leeway to create a smokescreen to obscure the foresnic evidence.
I also find the prevailing attitude in the conservative press and opinion so overwhelmingly anti factual. They seem to be intent on quashing any attempt to really get answers. They seem to be afraid of a real investigation because of the inherent racist nature of the alleged actions of Zimmerman, the potentially damning fallout to the position of gun right advocates. They seem to be grasping at any straw to obscure the search for facts. After reading of and viewing the video footage released by ABC News
last night, of  George Zimmerman arriving at the police station, I felt it was time to discuss the real facts of the case. I am truly attempting to stay away from letting my emotion sway me. The video depicts a cleanly-shaven man who “shows no blood or bruises” on his body. The claim of Zimmerman of being assaulted by Martin as the basis for his shooting of Martin has yet to be confirmed by any official medical report and certainly seems to be negated visually by this video. Every day that Zimmerman is allowed to claim he is hiding in fear of retaliation and protected by the local officials will make the ability to verify his claims more difficult while they build their character assassination of Martin in the Publics Opinion.
While media coverage of the case has been intense, there are several key questions that have yet to be answered about the case. Here are five of the most important:
1. What was the purported “conflict” that required the initial prosecutor to step down? On March 22 — after several weeks on the job — state attorney Norm Wolfinger stepped down from his role as prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case. Wolfinger relinquished his post after meeting with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi. He said it was necessary for him to step aside to preserve “the integrity of this investigation,” adding he wanted to avoid “the appearance of a conflict of interest.” He did not explain why his continued involvement would damage the integrity of the case or explain the potential conflict he was seeking to avoid. Did anyone at the prosecutor’s office know Zimmerman or his family? [Orlando Sentinel]
2. Why did the prosecutor ignore the recommendations of the lead homicide investigator? ABC News reported that Chris Serino, the lead homicide investigator on the Trayvon Martin case, recommended that Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter on the night of the shooting. Serino filed an affidavit that night stating “he was unconvinced Zimmerman’s version of events.” As the lead homicide investigator, Serino was: 1. In the best position to evaluate Zimmerman’s credibility, and 2. Intimately familiar with Florida law. Why was he ignored? [ABC News]
3. Why did then-Police Chief Bill Lee make public statements directly contradicting the official recommendations of the police department? On the day the Sanford Police concluded their investigation and handed over the case to the prosecutor, then-Police Chief Bill Lee stated publicly that there was no “probable cause” to arrest or charge Zimmerman. (Lee has subsequently “temporarily” stepped down from his post.) But the Miami Herald reports that on the same day the Sanford Police formally requested that the prosecutor charge Zimmerman, something known as a “capias” request. [ThinkProgress]
4. Who leaked Trayvon Martin’s school records? As public outrage increased, Zimmerman’s sympathizers launched a smear campaign against Trayvon Martin. This included details of several occasions where Martin was suspended for minor infractions (defacing a locker, possessing an empty “marijuana baggie.”) None of the information seemed to have any particular relevance to the night Trayvon Martin was shot to death. Was this a ham-handed attempt by the police or the prosecutor to defend their lack of action against Zimmerman? The Sanford City Manager announced he would launch an independent investigation into the source of the leak. [Miami Herald; NBC12]
5. Why was Trayvon Martin’s body tagged as a John Doe? The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart notes a police report “that was completed at 3:07 a.m. on Feb. 27 lists Trayvon’s full name, city of birth, address and phone number.” But yet, Trayvon’s body was reportedly “tagged as a John Doe” and his father wasn’t informed of his death until after he filed a missing person report later on the 27th. Why weren’t Trayvon Martin’s parents contacted immediately after the police confirmed his identity? [Washington Post]
Special prosecutor Angela Corey has promised to release additional information about the case once she makes a decision about whether to charge Zimmerman, something that could happen at any time.

Ground Speed.....

Earl Scruggs, "y'all come back now, hear?"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

La Bonne Etoile

My buddy, Clement, just started a pretty cool blog about music. Musicoldnews. It's in French, but Clement writes and speaks english better than he thinks he does. I'm sure if you commented in english, he would be very pleased. So far it is a very eclectic and very interesting mix of old and new music which relate. One of the first posts is about Icelandic Pop. It exists you know...where do you think Bjork comes from? I saw the band she was in during the 80's, The SugarCubes, in New York at CBGB.
He did a post on guitarists and one of the guitarists he featured was Mathieu Chedid, or the artist formerly known as M...Mathieu has been one of my favorite French artists for years. When he first started to perform, he created a fantasy persona, M. He seemed to think that he needed to become a super hero on stage to over come his shyness...In the last few years, he has shed the M persona and has actually acknowledged his cultural roots. He is of Lebanese origin and his father is the French Pop composer and performer, Louis Chedid. His grandmother was the Egyptian/Lebanese writer,  Andree Chedid.
As M, Mathieu developed into a very interesting guitarist and singer. He developed a teasing falsetto style and ceaselessly experimented musically. He has collaborated with many French artists. Recently with Vanessa Paradis and actually wrote and produced much of Johnny Hallydays last record. He collaborated with Sean Lennon on Seans upcoming musical project as well as recording and performing with him.
This is a live 2007 performance of his piece La bonne etoile and he collaborates with the cellist Vincent Segal.
Segal is one of the most eclectic cellists around. He is presently performing and recording incredible music with the Malian kora master, Ballake Sissoko, which I featured on this blog last year.....actually, it was 2 years ago, April 2010!

Geraldo's Hoodies

Oh the cruel godless hate of the liberals....why can't they just leave Geraldo alone? He apologized, (well, sort of) Now look what the hateful liberal blogging peoples has entire blog filled with images and what these twisted hate filled liberal minds consider  "humor" of Geraldo Rivera wearing his FOX NEWS Hoodie, which, I still can't order! I want one of these bad boys soo bay-adddddd!
(I'm sure they'll be back in the FOXNEWS ONLINE STORE again soon, after all Geraldo did apologize and they've got a warehouse full of these truly stylin made in China FOX NEWS HOODIES stashed in a warehouse somewhere and their marketing people say they just gotta move 'em)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

American Gastro

Rick Santorum  has a new campaign spot up on Youtube and it's so creepy it's actually unlisted (only those with the link can access it here). But, I actually saw it on a political commentary program this evening here in France. This tactic during a presidential election is strange. Why would one spend untold amounts of money making a professional-quality campaign ad only to restrict it as unlisted and #2, if you're going to go to these lengths to restrict it, why allow people like me to access the embed code? Technically, this isn't a Santorum campaign video because you'll note he never says at the end, "I'm Rick Santorum and I approved this message." So, obviously, it was commissioned and paid for by his SuperPAC yet put up under Santorum's official Youtube channel. But that's just the beginning of the strangeness.

So, Your Honor, I Just Had To Do Away With Him

So, this morning I remembered that I had seen a Fox News hoodie sweatshirt and I wanted to go to the FOX NEWS Store web site and see if I could order one of these bad boys....
but when I tried to find the item, and I searched, believe me...this was all that the FOX News website store had for me....
They took it off line? This very popular temporarily unavailable? But, I have to have one, NOW! Now, I'm sure that the extremely hip and stylish Geraldo Rivera has a closet full of these stylish items stashed away the way, here's two photos, can you please tell me which one is Geraldo Rivera?
The one on the right? Are you sure? Because if I saw either of these two jerks on my lawn in a FOX News hoodie, reachin' in his pocket to fondle his Skittles, I would have to tell my wife to get my goddam gun because I would be in mortal fear of the clear and present danger that the dreaded 70's Porn Legend, Harry  Reems was going to do some kind of a porno on my front lawn. "You see, your honor, it was like this.... I just had to shoot the man"....and if I was in Florida, I'd probably get a medal, either way.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I hate changing time...the most depressing day of the year, for me, is when
we set the clocks was the day we sprang forward here in Europe.
This is my next watch.....

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Boots Were Made For Stompin'

c'mon boots, start stompin!
The soundtrack is Destroy All Monsters version of The Boots Were Made For Walking...
One of the epic proto punk performance bands of all time. The Detroit Pop Painter,
Niagara sings, Ron Asheton from the Stooges is the guitarist, Michael Davis from the MC5
is the bass player, Rob King was the drummer. Mike Kelley, the ground breaking American conceptual artist was a member as well as post modernist painter,  Jim Shaw.  Earlier this year, both Mike Kelley and Michael Davis passed away. Ron Asheton died in 2011 while participating in the revival of the Stooges with Iggy Pop and his brother Scott....This was more than music, it was an art work in progress.....

Friday, March 23, 2012

On Lache Rien

This has become the French Speaking Worlds Anthem of Les Idignes or the 99%. This was Paris on Sunday. There were 100,000 people in front of The Bastille, brought together by Jean-Luc Melenchon, the presidential candidate of the ultra leftist Front Gauche, who as of today has over taken Marine Le Pen of the ultra right Front National as the third place candidate in the polling. This has been a very chaotic week in French politics with the first tour of the election only 31 days away. I have been trying to translate the lyrics to this song. I just saw a great video of the protest on March 22 in Montreal, using the same soundtrack! Here's my latest translation attempt: 

The bottom of my urban ghetto
Deep into your campaign
Our reality is the same
and resistance is growing everywhere
In this world we had not our place
It was not the face of employment
It was not born in a palace
It was not candy 

Homeless, unemployed workers
Farmers, immigrant, undocumented
They wanted to divide us
I will say they almost got there
and it was every man for his mouth
their system could prosper
But was that one day we wake
and 1%, the privileged heads will fall

We loose nothing, nothing to loose
nothing is loose, we loose nothing!
We loose nothing (Wallou)
We loose nothing (Wallou) (Wallou is Moroccan for nothing!)
We loose nothing, nothing to loose

They spoke of equality
and like fools we believed them
Democracy makes me laugh
If this were the case we have been able
to  balance our ballot
facing the law of the market,
Too bad my dear compatriots, but we thoroughly fucked
What the fuck are human rights against the sale of an Airbus
Basically there is a simple rule
sell more to sell more
The republic is a prostitute of the sidewalk dictators
Their rhetoric is longer believed,
Our leaders are liars


It's so stupid, so commonplace
to speak of peace, brotherhood
when the homeless dying on the slab
and we lead the hunt of the undocumented
We throw crumbs to the proletarians
History just to calm them,
they will not attack bosses millionaires
too valuable to our society
Amazing how they are protected, our rich and our powerful
There's not to say it can help
to be the friend of the President
Dear comrades, dear voters,
dear citizens consumers
the alarm sounded at the time it is
To reset the counters

As what has to fight, There is always hope!
As what we must do in life, There's some fighting
As we fight is that we are standing
While we're standing there let go
The will to win in our blood
Now you know why we fight
our ideal is more than a dream
Another world is not the choice

The Band is HK & Les Saltimbanks. The song, On Lache Rien is on their 2011 recording, World Citizen. They've been together since 2006

Rush Limbaugh's crack research team with their big scoop...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Dunkin Stool!

I have to admit that my first reaction to seeing this video was perhaps in a way sexist...Is it possible to bring back the dunkin stool? know the way the used to try witches in the old days?...They would tie the suspected witch to the stool, and lower it into water. If the suspect floated, then they were supernaturally deemed innocent, but if they sunk and drowned after repeated dunkings, then of course it was the good lords judgement that the suspect was probably guilty of being a witch. I kind of believe that since Republicans are trying to force us back into the 17th century, they might actually be cool with this concept. If they are, could we please start with this lady?
But we don't have to be sexist, the dunkin stool might be a much more interesting way for the Republicans to hold their primaries...I mean, if it were Santorum, Romney or Gingrich...would any of them actually float? Sorry, I forgot the old saying...shit floats. Perhaps not such a good idea.
But back to McMorris Rodgers and her insane statements here, daring to spin reality that Democrats are scaring women to drum up votes. Obviously, she is not serious, just out of her fucking skull, let's take a little walk down the GOP retro fuckery lane of horror:
Republican legislators want to shove foreign objects up womens vaginas.
Republicans compare women to fucking farm animals.
Republican legislators demand that women must carry DEAD Fetuses in their wombs, because that's the way it works on the farm.
Republican want to tax women for abortions.
Republicans are trying and have nearly succeeded to deny women access to any kind of health care what  so ever if it offends their twisted sense of morality.
Republicans are trying to legislate forcing women to view an abortion before having one.
Republicans are now trying to legislate requiring permission from the man, (father? rapist? who cares?) before being allowed to have an abortion.
Republicans want to force women to have to tell their employers if they are using the pill for birth control.
Republican think that a baby conceived by rape is a gift from god.
Republicans say contraception is unnecessary, just hold an aspirin between your knees.
And rape is just a figment of a woman's over heated imagination.....
As far as Republicans are concerned, women are sluts for wanting insurance coverage for contraception, after all they think birth control is just a pill to let them have all the sex they want when ever with who ever....and maybe the girls could afford to pay their own way if they stopped drinking so many soy lattes.....

Honestly, is this simply the work of Democrats trying to scare women or are we letting the Republicans drag us all back to the 17th Century? Because, if that's the case, I'm all for the return of the dunkin stool! Or is McMorris Rodgers simply out of her fucking skull?

The Tragedy Of Reigion

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One More From The Captain!

I know the Beefheart Festival is over, but this bumped into me today and frankly, I'm not sure if I have goosebumps of giant alien hives. Magic Band 1966 from Where The Action Is. Incredible!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Will The Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up


I had to post this, I will write more later, but this video is too good to not post now! Over 50,000 people in the rain at the Bastille on Sunday! The French sure know how to throw a great
Political Party!

Monday, March 19, 2012

MTA Evolutionary Diagram

Amazing eh? It works and keeps on working and keeps evolving ever since Alfred Beach built his first experimental and technically illegal air pressure powered subway under Trinity Street in 1869 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pink Slime

c'mon, it's like a totally fda approved meat by product....

Noahs Ark

Crazy Clown Time by David Lynch...
Rapidly turning into my favorite reality soundtrack


Incredible, Bollywood reinterpretation of American High Pop Culture!

Your Daily Duchamp

(please click on the image to view it larger)
The painting is titled Tu m'.  It is a French expression in which the verb is missing. It is a casual slang expression equivalent to "you (blank) me". You could either translate it to tu m'ennuies - you bore me, or tu m'emmerdes - a courser expression meaning the same thing, you bore me to shit.
Marcel Duchamp painted it in 1918. It was his last painting on canvas. It is quite large, more than 10 feet wide. After declaring his definitive break with traditional painting and creating his first ready mades and embarking on the process that led to the glass pieces, he accepted a commission from his friend, the Harvard art scholar, Kathleen Drier for a painting to be hung in her library.
Given the relationship he had with Drier, perhaps another possible translation of Tu' m might be - tu m'aimes - you love me...and perhaps more likely,  it is Franglais... tu and me.
Knowing the playfulness of Duchamp with language, the playfulness was always an important part of the idea of the art, it is probably all of the above. The painting is a visual inventory of Duchamps intellectual process, the path he had been following since the turn of the century. It is actually quite an attractive, compelling piece, custom made to fill a specific space in Driers library. In some ways, it is probably one of the most important conceptual pieces of art, ever created. It celebrates and destroys painting all at once. It lays the ground work for all that follows conceptually. It is as much of ideas and puns as it is of images. It is the task of the viewer to draw meaning from the elements. Tu m’ is a catalog of ideas about painting. Here is an inventory of what we see when we look at the canvas: 
A long array of color swatches, receding into the distance and zooming into the foreground. The swatches are painted, but the topmost swatch is fastened to the surface with actual metal bolt.
Spread across the canvas are three painted shadows of everyday objects, including some that were already  deigned "readymade" art.
tu m' as a three dimensional object
There is a long bottle brush, almost two feet in length protruding from the canvas at a right angle which emerges from a tromp l'oeil rip in the canvas. The rip is painted, but it has been "repaired" with actual safety pins.
Below the rip is a hand, painted by a commercial sign painter, hired by Duchamp, signed "A. Klang".
The hand points to a white rectangle rendered in perspective, a floating blank in the canvas, directly below the protruding bottle brush.
Trailing from the corners of the white rectangle are eight gently curved lines, derived from the 3 Standard Stoppages, flowing into the right side of the painting. The stoppages were part of his process of recognizing the role and the importance of "chance" in art. Perhaps, this is the real importance and the continuing artistic impact of the work of Edward Muybridge in capturing the spontaneous immediacy of reality through his photographic studies of motion.

For Duchamp, Tu m’ was a painting about the end of painting. Coming from an artist who disdained art that appealed to the eye, Tu m’ had a lot to say about the future of painting, pointing the way to abstraction, pure chromatics, and assemblage. But it was a future that Duchamp would decline to take part in. He never took up his paintbrush again.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lophophora Williamsii
a small endangered native american cactus. It may not have spines, but it
is probably has one of the most effectively evolved defense systems
in the plant world. unfortunately, it's vegetable intelligence,  ironically interacting
 with humans might be the real cause of it's endangered status.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pinky's Dream

Pinky's Dream from David Lynch's 2011 recording, Crazy Clown Time.
The footage is from the 1957 German film with the German actor, Richard Kruger,
"das singende, klingende baumchen" or The Singing Ringing Tree,
a surreal  East German adaptation of a Grimm Brothers Story.

spring fever

well, my posting is a little erratic these days...
80 degrees outside and a lot of work...
I've gotten in some early season long distance biking, but
I have to admit this is true spring fever! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ersatz Brothers Coffee

Another one of my favorite artists passed away at age 72, this weekend, Peter Bergman, a truly inventive, innovative comedian and writer, one of the members of the Firesign Theater and of course, Proctor and Bergman. This is a little film version of a piece from their 1970 recording, Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers. Probably one of the funniest and incoherent surrealist comedy records ever made.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Gerrymander

 Elections have consequences, and every ten years, the politicos in charge get to draw congressional districts based on the census results. When you allow Koch-beholden, ALEC-brainwashed, tea party candidates with few demonstrated critical thinking skills in charge of determining the congressional districts, you run the risk of losing progressives like Dennis Kucinich, at a time where we can hardly afford to lose another one. But moreover, besides the loss of sympathetic politicians, inevitably, the redistricting we're seeing isolates the poor and minorities by the processes known as "cracking, packing and stacking":
 Cracking means dispersing a group of voters into several districts to prevent them from reaching a majority. Packing means combining as many like-minded voters into one district as possible to prevent them from affecting elections in other districts. Stacking occurs when low-income, less educated minorities are grouped together to create a perceived voting majority but are placed in the same district as high-income, more-educated white voters who turn out in greater numbers.
The Original GerryMander
Many who spoke at the hearing said Republicans are lumping black voters (84 percent of African-American voters are registered Democrats, according to 2008 data from the state board of elections) in districts that will ensure minority representation. In turn, this aggregation would make it easier for GOP candidates to win in neighboring white districts. This is the classic illustration of the mythical Gerrymander beast, drawn and engraved in 1812 by Boston artist, Elkanah Tisdale. The word was a combination of the name of the Governor of Massachusetts, Ellbridge Gerry and the word Salamander.

Ben Griffin, vice president of the New Hanover County NAACP, called the plans "segregation for partisan advantage."
That kind of sneaky maneuvering kills democracy, plain and simple. Marginalizing minority votes, in combination with the voter ID laws cropping up around the country is putting us closer and closer towards that permanent Republican majority with which Karl Rove has threatened us for years. These are the biggest challenges that the Democrats face in the make it or break it election cycle coming up. We have the numbers, but how do you deal with systematic dishonest hacking of the basic operating system of our Republic?
In Ohio we just saw how the Republican State Government created a classic Gerrymander along the shore of Lake Erie, extending from Cleveland to Toledo. In creating this, Ohio lost 2 Congressional seats and Republicans moved Democratic Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich into the same lakeshore district. But the two Democrats don’t exactly live next door to each other — more like 120 miles apart. So Republicans drew a thin district connecting their homes, stretching from west Cleveland to Toledo along the Lake Erie coastline. The district is connected by a bridge that’s only 20 yards wide, as well as by a single beach at one point. When Crane Creek State Park beach is covered during high water, Democrats argue the district is not even contiguous. I know this area quite intimately. The shoreline is rather sparsely populated Marsh extending for miles along the Lake Erie coast.
The outcome of this artificial life form forced Kucinich and Kaptur to run against each other in the Democratic Party Primary last Tuesday. Kucinich lost his seat and now Kaptur will face Republican TeaBrainer candidate Joe The Plumber, who will be her opponent in the general election
I showed you the original drawing of a Gerrymander, but what pray tell, are we to make of this beast?
The red line represents the newly created 9th District. The place where the corner touches the Lake in Ottawa County is located in a Marsh at Crane Creek, which is a National Wildlife preserve. The boundary between Ottawa and Erie
Counties is truly Marshland. Very evident when you fly over in a plane. 

Moebius portrait of Jimi Hendrix

Les Maitres du Temps

In 1982, the French illustrator, Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius collaborated with Rene Laloux
Lieutenent Blueberry by
Jean Giraud
to create the animated film, Les Maitres du Temps. Moebius was one of the greatest modern sci fi illustrators and cartoonists. Giraud was born in 1938 and was a professional illustrator. He was a as young French band desinee artist and author who began publishing western themed stories and achieved great success with the widely translated Lieutenant Blueberry series in the mid 1960's. He went on to innovate with sci fi story lines and refine his clean but eccentrically detailed design style. He collaborated with Dan O'Bannon, Ridely Scott and Alejandro Jodorowski and the English author Michael Moorcock. His collaboration with O'Bannon, The Long Tomorrow was the basis for the style of Bladerunner. 
He later went on to work in American Marvel comics and designed the look of the Tron Films.
tryptych from The Long Tomorrow
Les Maitres du Temps has been translated into English and is available on line.
Moebius was one of the great visionary illustrators of our time, I was certainly very influenced by him.
He passed away yesterday at age 73.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reality In Black And White

the original photo which inspired the 3D version of Hugo's nightmare.
The accident occurred in 1895 at whenLe Gare Montparnasse was the Gare du l'Ouest. The Granville -ParisExpress rail engine 120-721 failed to stop  and overran the buffer stop. 
The engine careened across almost 100 feet of station concourse, crashed through a 2 foot thick brick wall, shot across a terrace and sailed out of the station, plummeting
onto the Place de Rennes, 33 feet below, where it stood on its nose. 
Fortunately, there wereno fatalities or, miraculously, no really serious injuries!

this was so cool in 3D!
Scorcese's recreation of the famous train wreck at the Gare Montparnasse
in Hugo

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Catch A Falling Star....

Depardieu, Wednesday on British Television
On April 22, for your information, France will hold it's first round in the Presidential Elections. The process is so swift compared to the long drawn out Grand Guignol of the American Process. There is an air of depression around the Sarkozy UMP Camp. The Little Hyper President's polling remains stuck, hovering below 30% approval by the French Public despite daily attempts to try to draw the far right into the folds of the UMP. The French humor show, Groland, has repeatedly made the point that the main tactic of the UMP is to panic the elderly. They have been doing a series of skits of a French UMP sponsored bus vacation senior citizen tour of the urban modern ghettos we refer to the Ban lieu.
But the desperation is evident in the difficulty of his main far right threat, Marine LePen of the Front National, in obtaining the necessary sponsorship signatures of 500 mayors to be officially registered as a candidate. It's UMP dirty politics that stop mayors from signing. Since the sponsorship[ is a transparent process, the mayors are being told that if they sign for LePen, they will be cut off from subsidies for their towns in the future. Marine LePens' campaign is up and running and she has numbers that are a serious threat to Sarkozy. 
On the other hand, as of today,  the Socialist Candidate, Francois Hollande is sporting an easy lead for the premier tour of the election, even according to the very conservative TF1 polls.  In the second Tour, after the elimination, the same TF1 polls show Hollande winning by more than 10%!
Saving the analysis for perhaps another post, I am very optimistic without losing my sense of extreme caution that perhaps, France will have a Socialist government again. Hollande carries the onus of never really being in any position but a regional political leader and one time leader of the Socialist Party. His power base is the heartland of France, the Correze. France does have a historical Socialist Majority in the  Senate now. The UMP has never been so factionally divided and unpopular. Hollande has come out very strongly as an anti corporate champion of the middle class and poor. He is the 99% candidate!
The Left seems strangely united. The UMP seems strangely lethargic, riven with internal warfare and demoralized. Sarkozy even has spoken of his life after politics if he loses. Carla is incredibly disliked. In recent European polls, Nicolas Sarkozy has scored as the least favorably viewed leader by other countries. None the less, Angela Merkel has tied her political fortune to Sarko. She is intervening in French politics by actively supporting Sarkozy and supposedly, she has told other conservative European heads of state to shun Hollande and deny him credibility by refusing to meet with him before the election. This has had the effect of backfiring here in France and the President of Poland has already defied Merkel. 
In the last French presidential election, Sarkozy was pitted against Segolene Royale. Hollande was the head of the Socialist Party and Royale was his long time companion. The lived together and had 3 children, but were never married. The strain of the campaign destroyed the Royale/Hollande relationship and it has taken a few years for them to be able to exist in the same political sea, none the less, Segolene remains a charismatic and powerful regional political leader and seems to be a very effective team player. She will be a member of the Hollande Government if he wins.
In the last election, Sarkozy was able to get the support of few big name French super stars....interestingly enough, most of the personalities who supported him seem to have had their careers decline and disappear. The one big name he had was Johnny Halliday. Halliday is like the French Elvis, except Elvis had the grace to die...Halliday keeps going from liver transplant to liver transplant.
He actually has become an embarrassment for Sarkozy because since the election, he has figured out how to not pay taxes in France after demanding and being paid 1 million Euros to perform at Sarkozy's victory  celebration.  He lives in Switzerland now. There are billboards all over the region advertising another Halliday tour...and bookies are taking bets as to whether he will actually survive long enough to perform. I would be interested to know if there is a money back guarantee if he kicks off before the concert date.
The Socialists have a pretty good stable of young intelligent artists actively supporting them including one time World Tennis Champion, Yannick Noah, who over the last 20 years has transformed himself into the biggest musical star in France. Interestingly enough, both of Noah's sons have become sports superstars in the USA. The Socialists are seemingly able to take the  American Obama/Democrat techniques and make them work here in France. They have had a pretty effective internet campaign going for months now while the UMP is still getting the bugs ironed out on line image.
They keep talking about Sarkozy's fresh start...he's had a fresh start to his campaign at least 6 times now and it's still pretty stale. One PR disaster after another. Carefully orchestrated media events that go horribly wrong. Today, bus loads of senile UMP supporters at an event and Sarkozy screaming to shut them up caught on camera. On Thursday, Carla remarks that her and her husband are simple unassuming plain people.  8 year old children made to wave flags and chant Sarkozy president, when he visits their school, and then the parents complaining. Tuesday massively booed at a speech in Bayonne on camera.
But tomorrow, he;s gonna try to turn it around again with a huge media tailored event and he seems to have snared Gerard Depardieu, once a populist rebel superstar, once a charismatic brilliant actor, 
sarko's shoes
But though,  Depardieu might have flashes of lucidity once in a while, he is more often caught in an alcoholic daze. The last time we saw him, he was excusing himself for phblically pissing in the aisle of a Irish Passenger Jet. The picture of him above is from a British Television talk show from Wednesday night. The snide comments in the article referred to him as being a public drunk. He's publicly exploding, physically and mentally. Once again, Sarkozy has seemed to catch a falling star. Depardieu is going to appear at Sarkozy's rally tomorrow and give his support to the president and perhaps publicly piss on the little hyper presidents elevator shoes.....

Maybe You're Wrong, Maybe I'm Right

I lived in Manhattan for 30 years and this really sums up my love/hate relationship with this place.

Friday, March 09, 2012

International Day Of The Woman Ritual Celebration

Yesterday was The International Day Of The Woman.  I was too busy "celebrating" to actually post anything about it. It was day of joyous ritual ceremonies that included splitting wood, digging up and landscaping a new section for roses and assembling a new fold out couch bed that arrived by truck with instructions that had to be interpreted by an Egyptologist expert on hieroglyphics.
Then I made dinner.  Here is what I made. Cleo's Daddy's Fried Chicken! The best damn fried chicken on the planet, the recipe is my interpretation of the authentic fried chicken sold for years at John's Fried Chicken on East 116th Street in Harlem. Pretty simple:
Take chicken pieces....I usually buy whole legs and thighs and cut them up myself. I put them in a big bowl and finely grate, let's just say liquefy an onion. I have a few of those new micro planeer graters. Then you put in two or so teaspoons of's not exact. Then add a tablespoons of mustard. Since I am in France, I use regular strong Dijon, but in America, you can use good ole' yellow American mustard. Then, I pour in some milk, just enough to cover the pieces and mix it all together with my hands.
Then I cover the bowl with some cling film and let it sit in the fridge for at least 6 hours. 
Then I get a broiler pan and put foil in the bottom and preheat the oven...geez, my oven is celsius...225 degrees is about a 400 degree fahrenheit oven.
Then I heat some oil in a big frying pan and get put some flour on a plate. Take the pieces of chicken from the milk mixture, dredge them in the flour and fry them in the oil until they get nice and golden. For the best results, I try not to crowd the chicken pieces in the frying pan. Then, as the pieces get golden, take them out of the pan, put them in the broiler pan and put the chicken into the oven for 25 minutes.
Then they really get crispy, all the fat goes out of the chicken and they get completely done.  Please, don't take my word for it, listen to my wife, she's the brains of this organization, who says it is the best damn chicken on the planet!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Only 2 X 35 = 70

Rush Limbaugh, in his lame apology claimed he chose two words "inappropriately".
That would make 70 inappropriate choices in a 3 day period.
LAME, Now That's deliberate choice of words on my part. LAME!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

More Things You Can Put On A Car Roof

Clean energy is just a liberal fantasy according to Mittens lame attempt at sarcasm, yesterday in Zanesville, Ohio. Apparently, to him, the only thing you can put on a car roof is a dog. 
For Mitt, it will always be Super Tuesday!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Rush Limbaugh Is A Sorry Sloppy Fat Assed Whore

In the above clip, Al Franken humorously dissects ( among other things) Limbaugh's ability
 to generate the ratings he has. It's more about the marketing technique
 of creating a morbidly pathological fascination. 
Here are two quotes which emanated from the same gaping orifice: 
1: "A lot of broadcasters might have lost their jobs by saying something so stupid, offensive, and misogynistic."
2: "I mean, this is part of what he does. He likes to stoke outrage and draw attention by saying things that are a bit over the line."
Both quotes came from Howard Kurtz, CNN's resident professional jerk off Conservative Apologist and in the context, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that quote #2 referred to Rush Limbaugh after Rush, the pathetic fat ass media whore he truly is, caved in and impotently apologized when he felt fascist progressive inhuman pressure being applied to his wallet after insulting every woman in America for three or four days.
For the record, quote #1 was Kurtz's flaccid outrage directed to Ed Schultz after his apology when he called conservative talk show personality, Laura Ingraham a "right wing slut". For the record, Schultz was forced to take a weeks unpaid leave from his MSNBC radio program for his one time remark. 
There is a media double standard. I've just shown it to you at the beginning of this post. The only time in the whole discussion Howie decried the use of the word "slut" was when talking about Ed Schultz, not Rush Limbaugh. Yes, there's a media double standard. It's the one that lets Rush Limbaugh get away with saying despicable, hateful things while Howie airbrushes it as "entertainment."
Look, let's be clear. Rush came down hard and fast on Sandra Fluke with as much meanness as he possibly could to send a message to us all: Speak out, women, and you're next. Dare to claim your rightful and equal place in this country, and I'll take you down just like I did Sandra. That's why he was so toxic. Rush Limbaugh is a 61 year old multi-multi millionaire who heads — albeit, unofficially — the Republican Party. And he has now headed it into shame, disrepute, misogynistic attacks, and we are left on the sidelines, watching the implosion.
Limbaugh has lost many corporate advertisers, and many companies lost by those advertisers, and possibly for the first time in his life he has been forced to apologize for his actions.
But his apology is not enough, not satisfying, not fulfilling. It is empty, shallow, the excuse-ridden day-late homework assignment of a fifth grader who copied it while looking over his shoulder at someone else’s work. Limbaugh apologized because he finally realized that even he could go to far, and his comments all week had not only weakened the nation, not only weakened the Party, not only weakened his bank account, but had weakened his brand.
Finally, let’s be especially clear: Rush Limbaugh did not apologize out of sincerity. Limbaugh did not apologize after wrestling with his inner demons, or after soul-searching, or after consulting with his better angels. Limbaugh apologized after losing a half-dozen advertisers — and after knowing more were about to jump ship. In short, Limbaugh apologized because he finally realized that even he could go too far, and his comments all week had not only weakened the nation, not only weakened the Party, not only weakened his bank account, but had weakened his brand. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the only reason Rush Limbaugh offered his three-paragraph apology.
Rush Limbaugh’s apology, full complete text:

For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week.  In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.

Too little, too late? This isn't about "Freedom Of Speech". Listen, if the Clear Channel felt they had to let a fat assed embarrassing drug addled liability go for "economic and image reasons" they'e do it in a New York Minute.
No, Rush, no one fears you anymore. Now, we merely pity and despise you. And that’s the way apologies work. No one is forced to accept them. You have to hope you have enough good will stored in your bank of gratitude to pay for it. And yours, Rush, has been overdrawn for decades.
When history has had its say on you, trust me, Rush, it will not have chosen the wrong words.

Sunday, March 04, 2012


I often wonder what my life would be like if I were an adolescent today. An absurd question, I suppose, because we are the products of the effect of the influences in our environment. The world has radically changed in the 45 years since I was a teen. Would I have been flagged as possible problem and singled out as a potentially anti authoritarian misfit and then treated?
My bigger point is America now is mass producing it's own monsters. When I was young, there was a lot more leeway to be an individual. You life should be yours to screw up or excel. I made the observation very early that some of the most disturbed kids I knew were the siblings of psychiatrists. Back in the 60's, they were the kids on Ritalin and in and out of "treatment".
As the pharmaceutical industry grew along side the trend to professionally treat kids with problems, America seemed to suddenly have an explosion of kids with profound problems. Why do we refuse to co relate the use of psychoactive mood altering drugs to modify anti social. anti authoritarian behavior with the evidence that most of the irrational violence in schools and our work places demonstrate this relationship over and over again?

Every time we turn around these days someone is taking another bite out of our freedom or exerting some authority over us. We all have problems with how we handle authority. Kids who are angry, defiant and uninvolved with ‘authority’ always have good reason to be so. Neglectful, abusive, chaotic families do not create secure attachment which would lead to a desire to be in relationship with those who have more power, knowledge etc, and instead foster resentment, envy and high levels of anxiety.
If your amygdala screams at the perception of a powerful others, and there is no rewarding dopaminergic connection with such figures, what can we expect?
Instead of diagnosing, medicating and trying to control these persons, how about understanding and joining their really painful reality? Just giving words really helps.
That's the key here. It's too simple to diagnose. It's too simple to medicate. If a kid is really a problem, well then, there are professional facilities to file them away in.
In Lacanian terms, trauma that can not be talked about, will be expressed in some kind of action that involves the body, and not the conscious mind.

Easy to hand out chemicals, but listening and really educating, harder and priceless.
I read a really great piece by an American Clinical Psychologist, Bruce Levine, who tries to illustrate the how the clinical laziness of the discipline creates the very monsters it claims to be dealing with. Psychiatric Medicine becomes an abusive tool for control. Anti conformity becomes a symptom. Questioning authority must be treated. Most remarkable humans in our history, if they had fallen into the hands of clinical institutional psychiatry would have been classified as having potential problems which in many cases, would have been treated. The treatment only re channels the impulses into different and  warped direction.  I feel American parents are basically afraid of their children. This isn't new, it didn't happen over night, and of course there is a great quote from Frank Zappa, circa 1966, when the Mothers of Invention were playing at The Whiskey a Go Go on the La Strip and busloads of tourist would come in to watch the freak show. Frank would tell the middle aged tourists, "If your kids knew how lame you really were, they'd murder you in your sleep.
(the music is from 1989 by the great LA Thrash Core band Suicidal Tendencies.
 They nailed it!)

existential comix

A message from Batman makes Nietzsche realize how 
bad some english translations of his work are

Saturday, March 03, 2012


le blazon du Brive-la-Gaillarde

Tour de Cesar/ Allassac
Yesterday, I took an entire day to go to my big city, Brive-la-Gaillarde to do a few errands and generally just hang out. Brive? Well, it is a real town, with a population of around 50,000. It is the biggest town in the Correze. I live just across the border, I can walk to the Correze. The stones of the buildings change from region to region, The stones of the Dordogne are limestones that are light grey or  in the south, golden yellow. Here at the edge of the Dordogne, as the topography begins to change, the predominant stone is ochre red sandstone. The elevation gets higher, the mountains of the Massif Central can be seen in the distance. As we cross into the Correze, the land is ridges and valleys and a typical form of conical sloping hill called a Puy. The Puys are topped with ancient fortified villages that were here before the Romans came. In this part of France, the roofs change. Most of the Dordogne is red clay tiles. The truly old buildings are topped with pieces of limestone called lauzes. As we get closer to Brive, black slate, ardoise, is the traditional look. The last real working ardoise quarries are here. My house has an ardoise roof as well as my village, Badefols d'Ans. In fact, as you get closer to the Brive area, ardoise becomes a construction material. It is cut into rectangular bricks and then sealed with white chalk mortar. Some of the ancient churches of the villages in the region, such as Allassac and Objat are magnificent examples of this technique. Allassac, just north of Brive is dominated by a huge tower that looks like a giant Chess piece, a huge surreal rook made totally of black ardoise "bricks". The  ancient architecture of the area is quite unique as well. Massive, an organic gothic eccentric hybrid, with fantastically shaped cupolas. Like nothing else I have seen in France. My drive to Brive takes about an hour, which shows how rural and remote I am. Perhaps, that is why it is so exciting for me. If I go there, it is a big deal. I have to group my errands. Computer, hardware, a good butcher, underwear...It's not like I can just jump in the car and drive to The Mall.
l'eglise d'Objat
Brive itself is located in a great basin, la bassin du Brive, the confluence of rivers, The Correze and the Vezere. It has been a crossroad of culture and commerce since prehistory. The Pont du Cardinal over the Correze was around since the Romans as part of the rout to Toulouse. It is a major connections for trains.
Brive-la-Gaillarde / la bassin du Brive
Brive was mentioned in the works of Gregory of Tours, the medieval historian who wrote his very entertaining history of the Franks around 600 ad. The name, Brive, is a Occitanian version of the original Latin name given to it by the Romans, Briva Curretiae (Correze Bridge). The central medieval section of Brive was defined by walls. The city is still built on a circular plan. The walls exist in a vestigial form as part of some of the buildings, but the outer wall is now defined by a road canopied by ancient pruned plane trees  that circles the inner city with great old stone houses that still give testament to the mercantile power of this important commercial center.
The town was always Brive, but it gained it's sobriquet, la Gaillarde...which translates to "the gallant" after WW2. Brive was an important center for the French Resistance and was the first French city to officially liberate itself from the Nazis. Indeed all over the medieval center, there are many monuments remembering individual heros and squares renamed in their honor.
It's a rough hewn city. The massive architecture of the Correze constructed with carefully cut stone blocks of brownish grey limestone or carefully cut asymmetrically fitted pieces of granite  define the look. It is an massive architecture defined by eccentric detail. As you walk through the circular maze of the old medieval city, you are constantly coming on unexpected cul-de-sacs hiding renaissance towers, elegantly hewn masonry...architecture that reveals the unplanned civic evolution of almost 1000 years. But Brive is not a historical monument frozen in time. This is a culturally vibrant living city. The home of France's biggest festival of literature, out side of Paris, Le Foire de Livre in November is host to hundreds of authors with a special train that comes from Paris to transport the writers. Brive is the best sports town in Central France...CA Brive Rugby is the premier regional team.As a passionate bicyclist, I am always amazed at how many cycling stores are in the region and how many serious teams they support.  Then, of course, the food. Sigh....Perhaps worthy of a totally different post. This is seriously gourmand town. What do you like? Patisserie? Chocolate? The best cul noir, maigret ou boeuf de limousin? Charcuterie? The area is well known for the distillation of specific alcoholic products, like Gentiane and  you can visit the Denoix Distillerie where their famous walnut aperative, among other varieties are made....All in all a great place to just hang out. So many little cafes,  the perfect place to perfect the lost art of wasting time with a great cafe corse in a sunny medieval square in a cul-de-sac off a seemingly forgotten medieval back street. Which is what I did, on a perfectly sunny freakishly pre spring day in a t shirt, warm in the sun.
So, yesterday I gave myself the entire day to hang out. As we crossed the medieval center of the town, we saw that the entire circular heart around the 12th Century church, La Collegiale Saint-Martin was enclosed by fences and being excavated. The Saint Martin is Saint Martin of Spain, who is buried there.
The church was originally from the Dark Ages, with Merovingienne crypts under the more modern structure dating from the 12th century. The pavement of the central oval the church is located on was interrupted by a huge fenced off pits that were being worked on by teams of archaeologists. The were uncovering, 6 feet below the present street, ground level of Brive prior to 1000 ad. Even more amazing, they had discovered graves dating back to the pre 500 ad and were carefully examining skeletons in the earth. I spoke with one of the researchers and she let me into the site. I think she was amazed that I was able to convey with my very clumsy French my passion for and understanding of what I was looking at. When we got home later that evening, I turned on France3 Limousin and saw a little report on what I had just seen in it is: