Friday, May 31, 2013

A Myth Is As Good As A Mile

A Swedish minister having assembled the chiefs of the Susquehanna Indians, made a sermon to them, acquainting them with the principal historical facts on which our religion is founded — such as the fall of our first parents by eating an apple, the coming of Christ to repair the mischief, his miracles and suffering, etc. When he had finished an Indian orator stood up to thank him.
‘What you have told us,’ says he, ‘is all very good. It is indeed bad to eat apples. It is better to make them all into cider. We are much obliged by your kindness in coming so far to tell us those things which you have heard from your mothers. In return, I will tell you some of those we have heard from ours.
‘In the beginning, our fathers had only the flesh of animals to subsist on, and if their hunting was unsuccessful they were starving. Two of our young hunters, having killed a deer, made a fire in the woods to boil some parts of it. When they were about to satisfy their hunger, they beheld a beautiful young woman descend from the clouds and seat herself on that hill which you see yonder among the Blue Mountains.
‘They said to each other, “It is a spirit that perhaps has smelt our broiling venison and wishes to eat of it; let us offer some to her.” They presented her with the tongue; she was pleased with the taste of it and said: “Your kindness shall be rewarded; come to this place after thirteen moons, and you will find something that will be of great benefit in nourishing you and your children to the latest generations.” They did so, and to their surprise found plants they had never seen before, but which from that ancient time have been constantly cultivated among us to our great advantage. Where her right hand had touched the ground they found maize; where her left had touched it they found kidney-beans; and where her backside had sat on it they found tobacco.’
The good missionary, disgusted with this idle tale, said: ‘What I delivered to you were sacred truths; but what you tell me is mere fable, fiction, and falsehood.’
The Indian, offended, replied: ‘My brother, it seems your friends have not done you justice in your education; they have not well instructed you in the rules of common civility. You saw that we, who understand and practise those rules, believed all your stories; why do you refuse to believe ours?’

– Benjamin Franklin, “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America,” 1784


This Australian cartoon, SheZow will debut this Saturday on The Hub. It's already blowing some conservative minds in some very unusual ways. The premise involves  a 12 year old boy who finds a magic ring that transforms him into the crime fighting super hero, SheZow, who happens to be a girl. Needless to say, the resident gay-o-logist, Jeff Johnston, of the Focus on the Family organization has a lot to say about this. Obviously, he is not amused:

JOHNSTON: SheZow presents at a pop-culture level what transgender activists believe and what some academics have taught for years: that gender is completely socially constructed and that people can change genders… Instead of giving kids good role models to follow, this cartoon reflects our culture’s confusion about the two sexes, and kids don’t need that confused message.

Johnston regularly uses his platform at Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink outlet to trash transgender identities. He believes that trans identities are not “healthy” and are “problematic psychologically,” even suggesting that gender variation can be caused by sexual abuse. He also denies that gender is socially constructed and separate from sex, merely because none of the “other genders” can “replicate itself.” Focus on the Family regularly promotes ex-trans ministries, encouraging the use of shame to reject trans identities.
Despite its gender-bending premise, SheZow is not even about a transgender character. Instead, it simply sends the message that it’s okay to stray outside the rigid lines of gender norms, a sentiment which could go far to help reduce anti-LGBT bullying. Watch the show’s descriptive intro:
I spend a lot of time promoting tolerance on this blog. I have so many gay friends and relatives. I have lived a lifetime dealing with hate and intolerance. I have spent a lifetime dealing with my own sexuality and how I react to the different varieties in the other humans I interact with. If I saw this when I was a kid, it wouldn't make me gay. It would probably make me think about who I was and who other people really were. This is about demystifying and mythologizing sexual attitudes. We all have to work at becoming more human. This could help! I believe I have an empathetic understanding of the real nature of human sexuality. What I don't and won't tolerate is hate and closed minds. 

Our Little FrankenPlanet

1910 Edison Sudio Version of Frankenstrein!
This morning, I ventured out of my house after yesterdays deluge to go down to Terrasson to do some shopping. It's been a pretty depressing spring, I must say. My life has become more and more dominated by the climate. I grow most of my own vegetables and a lot of my favorite soft fruits. I have worked for the wine producing Chateau for the last 11 years. Normally, I work for a few weeks in late April into early May on the 21 hectares of vines preparing them for the growing season. This year, the vineyard which has been cultivated by the same family for almost 200 years was flooded and nothing good was happening. If you are interested in learning about Chateau Vieux Chevrol, which is a grand Lalande de Pomerol Wine, check out their site. These people are truly my other family. Hopefully, I will be working there this summer for the Vendange Verte, if the grapes start growing  normally. 
My big vegetable potager was turned over a month ago, but because of the rain, I have to re cultivate it again when and if it dries out. My friends who went ahead and started their gardens are all experiencing die offs of tomatoes and the tender plants they put in because of the continuous rain and cold weather. Today on the news there were flood alerts for the Pyrenees, the Northern Atlantic coast and warnings for this area. So, I drove down the Elle River Gorge through the forest to Terrasson and watched the little river rage over it's banks on it's way to the Vezere. In Terrasson, the Vezere was almost at flood stage. Pretty depressing, eh? It's almost June, I've bought and burnt a few trailers of fire wood...I'm still cutting wood and trying to get enough to get me through the next few weeks. All that is really growing here is the weeds and the grass.  After the bizarre spring of last year...we had very warm winter, everything started to really grow in late March, we had one of the most severe cold snaps that France had in over 25 years in mid April! It killed everything! This winter wasn't so warm, and things looked good, there hasn't been a killing cold wave, but it rarely gets above 55 degrees and it rains non stop!
Terrasson, La Vezere, the 11th century bridge on
a "nice day".
Well, now France’s main weather channel, Meteo, is reporting that there’s a 70% chance that the summer is going to be record-breaking cold and wet across much of western Europe. Meteo says that it’s been the coldest spring in 20 years in France, and the forecast is looking so bad, there’s talk of this being “the year without a summer” across western Europe. Europe hasn’t had one of those since the unusually brutal year of 1816, when Mary Shelley, reportedly stuck inside due to the bad weather, wrote “Frankenstein.”

European weather forecast for the summer shows temperatures below normal in much of western Europe, and a rainier summer as well. (source: Meteo)
This is our depressing summer here in France, rain, rain and more rain and for a solar powered being, such as myself, the season looks pretty bleak. I am already coming up with a few of my own Frankenstein variety plots to entertain myself with..
But, I think my dampish and chilly little summer will only be a minor discomfort. I might experience chafing and unpleasant humid discomfort, but you folks in North America? Let's look at the complicated inter action. Rapidly melting icecaps create hyper cool currents n the North Atlantic, which  along with the change in the salinity of the water, influence the flow of the Gulf Stream. This is what produces the abnormal temperatures in Europe. Most of our present cold weather is influenced by the melting of the Greenland ice cap. The abnormal temperature of the Gulf Stream as it comes into contact with the hotter than usual Ocean temperatures in the rest of the ocean. The results?

Image: NAS
It's about that time. The lights are back on, and theres a plume of smoke pumping out of that  old Frankenstorm factory Y'all done built. Frankies puttin' his boots back on....
Hurricane season officially begins officially, tomorrow on June 1st, and climatologists and meteorologists are bracing for another "above normal" or "extremely active" season. Above normal because humans built that frankenstorm factory in the first place, when we loaded up the atmosphere and the oceans with carbon and methane and cranked up the greenhouse effect. Now American government climate forecasters say you're in for another hell of a season these next few months.
Last year, you'll recall, saw Hurricane Sandy transform into FrankenStorm Sandy, after the tropical storm collided with another system that had moved in from the Midwest. Scientists were unusually quick to direct some of the blame for the storm's unusual potency on climate change—warmer-than-average ocean temps helped fuel the storm's amphetamine fury, higher sea levels made deluge easy.
It was a storm of storms, and it was the national headline. For a while there, we were all talking about global change. Even Republicans.
But as we're wont to do, we soon moved on to other tragedies and curiosities, shootings and bombings and presidential politics, and we forgot that the Frankenstorm factory was just idling for the winter.
Now, in its annual forecast, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to bring 13-20 tropical storms. As many as 11 of those will turn into hurricanes. As many as 6 of those could become a Category 3 or more. That's a 110 mph+ storm, folks.
NOAA chief Kathryn Sullivan
told Reuters that "For the six-month hurricane season which will start June 1, NOAA predicts an above-normal and possibly an extremely active hurricane season."
has more: "Speaking at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, she said the hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico threatened "quite a lot of activity" due to a combination of several climate factors, including warmer-than-average temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean."
Alas. Warmer-than-average ocean temperatures are like Red Bull for storms. More energy, more anger. Just a key component of the frankenstorm factory, though, a fact of life. Oceans are warmer now, so are global average temps, and that warmer air holds more moisture. Stormier storms. It's bad news for East Coasters, some of whom still haven't finished repairs on the damage left by the last frankenstorm. Some of whom are still homeless.
Doesn't matter much to the new-and-improved-and-hotter-than-ever climate system though. It's hurricane season. Let's see what Frankenstorm factory cranks out this time.

But, Some Universes Are Way Cooler Than Others

It has been 20 years since the being whose name was officially listed on his American passport as Sun Ra left this universe. His birthplace according to his passport was the planet Saturn. Such was the absolute force of this being who managed to exist outside of any reality except his own. He was a true musician, he understood the rules of music as they were written and played jazz in big bands and small groups for years. He understood the reality of sonic physics as they existed in this universe, but he found another way, another path, another logic, another discipline, a gateway to his own own personal universe. This man and the noise he created changed my life many years ago. It still resonates and the echoes are still changing the way we hear and think about music. Even in Sun Ra's present universe, he still is influencing ours.
This is his 1974 movie, Space Is The Place, the entire movie...One of the greatest "cult films" ever made. 
Absolutely indispensible for the opening sequences alone, but the entire film is full of inventive low budget alternate reality wit, wisdom and music of another universe from the Master, Sun Ra.
Sun Ra began his sojourn on our planet in Birmingham, Alabama as Herman Poole Blount on May 22, 1914 and departed on May 30, 1993...I used to drive the Seligman Brothers crazy in their great record store on Sylvania Avenue in Toledo, Ohio in my quest for his music. Sun Ra's recordings were self issues. For years much of it was limited pressings with hand made covers sold out of the trunk of cars. The Seligman Brothers almost always came through for me!  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Release The Bats

Hey Mr. Ailes, I made this video to remind you how photogenic I still am and if you'll help me with my  cosmetic surgery bills, I'll do a deal to work for you for say, only 2 Million a year!
Perhaps she'll have to leave before her term is up? That's how this shit usually goes down, one grain of sand, then another and then the entire damn sand castle gets swept away.....What ever, good by and good riddance. Who'll be the next in line?
excuse me.....

thank you for accommodating my unseemly enthusiasm....
With sort of creepy digitized patriotic background music, a frozen smile and vague generalities, she paints herself as a victim and tells us all that she isn't leaving because of the mounting ethical scandals gaining momentum and the very distinct possibility that she couldn't win another term, but 
hey, Michelle, you never really said why you are leaving.  Maybe to go hang out with Toronto Mayor Ron Ford and smoke some of that conservative crack he's been pushing? Marcus is going to freak, having Michelle underfoot all day long. Gonna crimp that boys style.
In case you are confused as to why I think Michelle is flat out Bat Shit Crazy, you can read a few of the reasons, after the break:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Booji Boy Breaks It Down

Krikey, the best 9 minute experience I've had in a few days...One of the most unlikely collaborations of all time, Neil Young and Devo, is really one of the best things I've seen and heard in ages...and it was made in 1982. A segment from the film, The Human Highway starring and co-directed by Neil Young under his pseudonym Bernard Shakey. Dean Stockwell co-directed the film and acted along with Russ Tamblyn, Dennis Hopper, and the post-punk and new wave band Devo. Included is an unusual collaborative performance of "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" by Devo and Neil Young with Booji Boy singing lead vocals and Young playing insanely brilliant lead guitar.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Five Minutes To Live

Tonights Entertainment...I cannot believe I never saw this.... This amazing bank heist movie stars Johnny Cash, Vic Tayback, Ron Howard, and country music great, Merle Travis. Johnny Cash gives a surprising performance as a guitar playing, sadistic psycho-killer. Six year old Ron Howard is absolutely adorable and practically steals the whole show. Relax, take your shoes off, get a bag of Cheetos.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


It's a plot for a sci fi thriller, but only, tragically for all of us, it's all too real. The faceless behemoth, Monsanto is trying to control the worlds food resources and eke every last micro decimal point of profit by trying to own the very genetic material in every morsel of food you consume. They destroy farms, bankrupt farmers, actually destroy seed banks of varieties of plants they cannot control. The latest Supreme Court Ruling on Monday May, 13th 2013 demonstrated that that our outdated constitutional operating system has been hacked by these corporate criminals. The Supreme Court ruled that a farmer does not have the right to use seeds contaminated with Monsanto patented genetic material  with out paying Monsanto royalties, no matter how the genetic material appeared in the seeds. In other words, if you are a farmer and you save seeds from year to year and the seeds you save came from your own crops which were cross pollinated with Monsanto crops, producing seeds that contained genetic material identified as the Monsanto genetic material, you have to pay Monsanto or have the seeds destroyed. For the record, I would like to point out my take on the legal aspects of this ruling and rant:

The intentions of the patent laws was not to create endless monopolies and nor was it to protect inventors stupid enough to invent and sell self replicating products.
This is also completely anti-innovation. Where is the incentive for Monsanto to invest in new, better products when they've been handed control over most the worlds agriculture? If their seeds were soon out of demand, they'd be forced to innovate to stay relevant after the initial profits. The seeds could be priced in their first year to reflect the development costs and a reasonable profit, and the cycle started over and again. 

This just proves one thing I've thought for a long time. The last thing "capitalists" want is a free market. In spite of their ceaseless lobbying, the danger presented by the utter greed of Monsanto has been recognized here in Europe and many European countries, including France, Germany, Hungary and Poland have out lawed Monsanto GMOs. Their astro turfing defenders argue that they are creating reliable crops for the future of the planet, but you only have to look at the track record of ecological disasters in progress all over the planet to see the havoc this monster is wreaking.
Here is one of the latest corporate crimes Monsanto has committed in the USA with the assistance of the State of Illinois Agricultural Department: An Apple River Illinois internationally renown naturalist and bee keeper, Terrence Ingram has been doing research for many years on the effects of the Monsanto
herbicide, RoundUp on bee populations. He's been writing about and raising bees for 58 years. Terrence Ingram. Though not big in a physical sense, when it comes to saving the American Bald Eagle, there is hardly anyone in the United States held in higher regard than Ingram. His years of documented research and expertise regarding eagles and the work of the Eagle Nature Foundation, founded by Ingram, is in great part responsible for the bald eagle being removed from the “Threatened Species List “ in the United States
On a "tip' from Monsanto, agents of the Illinois Department of Agriculture illegally raided his apiary and seized his bees using a phony excuse. They destroyed the queens ruining 15 years of Ingrams research. He was never told about given information regarding his seized bees after the illegal warrantless seizure. He believes they were turned over to Monsanto.
I truly believe that Monsanto has to be destroyed, like a sci fi monster attacking our planet if we are going to have a future. All the faceless corporatasaurus that is Monsanto is interested in is profit. The corporation has survived by mutating itself as it wreaks one ecological and human health catastrophe after another. Plastis and Asbestos wewre their game before they discovered the scam of patenting life forms and lobbying the world's governments to help promote their pesticides to control the worlds food supply.
Please join and participate in the World Wide Protest Against Monsanto today. Learn more from their facebook page or participate on line, here. For the future of humans on Earth,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friendly Galaxy

Sun Ra around 1965. This piece and it's variations always intrigued me. The mutating time signatures, of course, but the free form stride style piano solo is a kind of minor miracle.

Daft Train

The #1 recording on the planet this week seems to be the new Daft Punk release, Random Access Memories. I can't get the groove, Get Lucky out of my head. I mean it's just perfect. Perfect because of the fact that they are using real musicians, perfect because they have hit the mother lode of slick R&B Dance music from the 70's and early 80's...Get Lucky could have been a hit from Earth Wind And Fire! It's perfect because they collaborated with the true masters, Nile Rogers and Pharrell Williams, who play on the recording. It's perfect because even the lyrics are unsophisticated/cool, as if they were lifted by some kind of sci fi plagiristical device from some ambitious hip kids book of lyrics from 1977....I have found the bootlegged version of the video for Get Lucky, the look for, check out Prince and buy your afro pik now, cause it might be 2013, but we are going back, way back to 1973, and I'm going with you!
Here's my advice for Daft Punk, if you really want to sell music, you gotta just go back a little further to the birth of the real R&B Dance punk funk, by the ultimate masters, The Isley Brothers.....

Thursday, May 23, 2013


One of my all time favorite authors is the writer, Emile Zola. His work is so incredibly descriptive. His love of photography shaped his writing. In his great novels and all of them were great novels, his writing is visual, photorealistic to the point of trying to make you experience tastes, odors, the very quality of light. More than not, he succeeded, though, for his descriptions of the cheese cellars in his novel Le Ventre de Paris (The Belly of Paris) really need to have the frame of reference that most modern Americans, in the sanitized, individually wrapped sliced world they are obsessed with, sadly will never experience. Zola's critics dissected his work and said that though his descriptive writing was unique, he lacked the ability to create memorable characters, like Balzac. I would argue that Zola created memorable characters, but really what he did was to take symbols, like the coal mine in Germinal,  the alcohol still in L'Assommoir, the locomotive, La Lison in La Bete humaine and of course Les Halles, the grand produce market of Paris and and give them the characters of living beings. He refused to make any character larger than life, but the focus of his novels, the market, the mine, the still, the train all become the real personalities of his great works.
Emile Zola
One has to read the Rougon-Macquart series of 20 novels, a psychological and social history of a family in Second Empire France, from 1851 to 1871 to understand what he was really trying to achieve. The novels contain over 300 major characters are an unprecedented attempt to, in his words, present a social and natural history of a family under the Second Empire. The series culminates in Nana and the nations humiliating doom in the Franco Prussian War. Zola was concerned with the transformation of society. He was ultimately an optimist. He promoted the rise of Socialism as a path to a greater society and more just world. He became the conscience of France, celebrated by the humanists and derided by the conservatives. All of this came to a head in the Dreyfuss Affair.  If you need to know about the Dreyfuss Affair and the rise of anti Semitism in France follow this link. It became the issue that destroyed families and ruined friendships. Everyone felt passionately, one way or the other. Dreyfuss was framed and made a scapegoat and his Jewish identity became the means to destroy him. He spent years as a prisoner, sentenced to life imprisonment on Devils Island. Zola became his passionate advocate and finally in 1898, he wrote his public letter to the President of France, Felix Faure which was published in L'Aurore with the scandalous headline, J'Accuse...(I Accuse) in which he layes out his charges and proofs stating that Dreyfuss was framed and  unjustly accused and must be freed!
Zola had previously received The Legion of Honor, which was taken from him and then charged and tried for criminal libel because he had embarrassed the government. After the conviction, Zola left france with out even having time to pack his clothes and lived in exile in London until June 1899. He came back as the Faure Government collapsed and shortly after wards, Dreyfuss was freed, but it wasn't until 1906 that Dreyfuss was totally exonerated. In 1902, sadly, Zola died of carbon monoxide poisoning. It was considered an accident, but his detractors celebrated his death and claimed he had committed suicide because he knew that Dreyfuss was really guilty. Zola was mourned as a national hero and his supporters claimed that he was murdered. He was buried in Montmarte, but in 1908, he was re interred in The Pantheon, sharing a crypt with Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas. Interestingly enough, in the 1920's a man who was a roofer working on Zola's house claimed on his death bed that he had been paid to seal Zola's chimney, causing his death.
The letter, J'Accuse is marked as the rise of the power of intellectual ideas in shaping the power of the state. At the time of Dreyfuss' release, Zola said, "The truth is on the march, and nothing shall stop it."
I have been reminded of the power of Zola's quest for truth and intellectual justice over the last few months here in France seeing the unholy alliance of the extreme right, the neo fascist racists and the conservative catholic church in their attempt to use Francois Hollande's Socialist Governments Commitment to The Freedom Of Marriage as a political tool to seize power. France has become a very tolerant country for Gay Rights in the decades following WW2. France legalized homosexuality, abolished the death penalty and legalized abortion. Each of these social advancements were made over the kicking and screaming protests of the same conservative religious and political blocs. Paris has the biggest and the most flamboyant Gay Pride Parades on the planet. The Mayor of Paris is openly gay. France has had a legal Union for persons of all sexes for years called the Pacte Civile. In fact, the actual statistics for marriages was declining as more couples opted for the flexibility of a Pacte Civile. I have a very good friend who is now openly gay and has been the very popular Mayor of a small South Western French Village for 3 terms now. The disorganized factions of the UMP Party, which had been in power under Sarkozy is trying to co opt the Neo Nationalist Front National, which has been gaining strength again as they try to become more "mainstream". The FN doesn't really have a platform, they,
The Poster which appeared all over France
attacking The  Present Socialist  Minister or Justice,
Christiane Taubira. 
as they always have are playing off of the economic problems and appealing to the racist masses. They could be compared to the American Tea Party as they are just plain against almost everything and seem to be yearning for the authoritarian fascism of the Petain years and the faded glory of Frances colonial past. They don't like Jews or Arabs and are for the most part conservative catholics. Another portion of this disorganized mess is the Royalist Party...Conservative Catholics clinging to faded titles who still dream of restoring the monarchy and their inherited class system! Again, they are rich, deluded conservatives who yearn for the fascist order of Occupied France under Petain and for the most part haven't even accepted that the catholic church stopped celebrating mass in Latin since the 1960's. The church itself has been actively recruiting youth using the supposed liberal hipper image of the new Pope who ins spite of his statements about the poor, is a rabid homophobe. One more ingredient, the Front National, which is trying to change it's image from the rabidly racist corrupt image of it's founder, Jean-Marie LePen who led the party into disgrace and almost total bankruptcy. They tried even to rename the party Le Blue-Marine after the daughter of Jean-Marie, Marine LePen, who is the new leader.These groups have coalesced, each trying to play the other. There is a spokesperson, a born again trashy actress and failed pop singer who calls herself Frigide Barjot...a pun on Bridgette Bardot, I suppose, but the word Barjot is French Slang for crazy. Elle est totalement Barjot! She has jumpstarted her failed career getting free publicity, TV appearances and what looks like a healthy kickback from the conserative catholic groups to be the Jeanne d'Arc of homophobic hate. She makes more and more extreme statements calling for violence. The swastika and SS symbol tattooed neo nazi skinhead thugs have started to come out of their caves and create chaos at the rallies and target gay men and women on the streets. Gay Bars have been trashed. The law passed last week. In a "protest" the 78 year old crypto fascist propagandist, Dominique Venner committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun in the crowded Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Tuesday. He had been a member of the fascist and extremely racist domestic terrorist group, OAS, which tried to assassinate DeGaulle on a few separate occasions. Of course, the act by this deranged monster, who was not a catholic in any traditional sense will be seized on as propaganda fodder by the anti homosexual groups, but the act by Venner reveals the where this is heading. The champion of the Marriage Equality Law has been the present Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira. I have profiled her in this blog. There will be another protest in Paris on the 26th of May and the posters that are popping up on the internet and furtively on the streets have taken a decidedly undeniable racist turn. Most French support gay rights and the majority support the new law and gay adoption, but the mood of the country has become very ugly. We aren't seeing the violent massive homophobia and racism of Eastern Europe or even America, but this is what these groups are trying to mobilize. They are creating hate. They are creating an atmosphere of domestic terrorism. They are using homophobia and racism to destroy the Socialiste Hollande Government. If Emile Zola was alive today, he would be screaming J"Accuse! I will do it for him:
This is the present poster being used to promote the anti Marriage Equality Law protest
this weekend. In it, Taubira has been photo shopped into a monstrous. racist version
of King Kong. 


Probably the most important, influential and bravest artist of our time,  Ai Weiwei, in my pantheon is right up there with Duchamp and Warhol as a conceptual genius, but he takes it so much further. He is multi disciplined artist who puts his art and body on the line politically to change China and is slowly succeeding. Ai Weiwei has branched out into music. I had heard he was recording a series of songs a few months ago and this is the first release. I think it goes way beyond what I expected or imagined. The piece, Dumbass, is the first piece from his recording, The Divine Comedy which will be released on June 22, 2013. Here are the lyrics:

Dumbass (Explicit Lyrics) 
When you're ready to strike, he mumbles about non-violence. 
When you pinch his ear, he says it's no cure for diarrhea. 
You say you're a mother-fucker, he claims he's invincible. 
You say you're a mother-fucker, he claims he's invincible. 
Fuck forgiveness, tolerance be damned, to hell with manners, the low-life's invincible. 
Fuck forgiveness, tolerance be damned, to hell with manners, the low-life's invincible. 
Oh dumbass, oh such dumbass! Oh dumbass, oh such dumbass! 
Oh dumbass, oh such dumbass! Oh dumbass, oh such dumbass! 
Lalalalala, lalalalala Lalalalala, lalalalala 
Lalalalala, lalalalala Lalalalala, lalalalala 

Stand on the frontline like a dumbass, in a country that puts out like a hooker.
The field's full of fuckers, dumbasses are everywhere. 
The field's full of fuckers, dumbasses are everywhere. 
Fuck forgiveness, tolerance be damned, to hell with manners, the low-life's invincible. 
You say you're a mother-fucker, he claims he's invincible. 
You say you're a mother-fucker, he claims he's invincible. 
The field is full of fuckers, dumbasses are everywhere. 
The field's full of fuckers, dumbasses are everywhere. 


Perhaps, if you re not familiar with art, you might recognize Weiwei's brilliant stadium designed for the Chinese Olympic Games. He was internationally recognized for his bold vision and celebrated in China  for the cultural acclaim he gave the country, but Weiwei was already a controversial social critique. His piece Dumbass is a surrealistic autobiographical version of his life. The fact that he continues to march bravely on and keep provoking the authorities with his genius and humor is a testament to the great spirit which resides in this man/
Ai Weiwei wrote, soon after the Beijing Olympic Games:
"Beijing is two cities. One is of power and of money. People don’t care who their neighbors are; they don’t trust you. The other city is one of desperation. I see people on public buses, and I see their eyes, and I see they hold no hope. They can’t even imagine that they’ll be able to buy a house. They come from very poor villages where they’ve never seen electricity or toilet paper. --
The worst thing about Beijing is that you can never trust the judicial system. Without trust, you cannot identify anything; it’s like a sandstorm. You don’t see yourself as part of the city—there are no places that you relate to, that you love to go. No corner, no area touched by a certain kind of light. You have no memory of any material, texture, shape. Everything is constantly changing, according to somebody else’s will, somebody else’s power.
None of my art represents Beijing. The Bird’s Nest—I never think about it. After the Olympics, the common folks don’t talk about it because the Olympics did not bring joy to the people.
There are positives to Beijing. People still give birth to babies. There are a few nice parks. Last week I walked in one, and a few people came up to me and gave me a thumbs up or patted me on the shoulder. Why do they have to do that in such a secretive way? No one is willing to speak out. What are they waiting for? They always tell me, “Weiwei, leave the nation, please.” Or “Live longer and watch them die.” Either leave, or be patient and watch how they die.
This city is not about other people or buildings or streets but about your mental structure. If we remember what Kafka writes about his Castle, we get a sense of it. Cities really are mental conditions. Beijing is a nightmare. A constant nightmare."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Class Warfare In America

A stark visual aid to illustrate the co relation of the prison population, the so called "war on drugs" and then the way it fuels the profits of the corporations that run the prison system in America. The first modern privatized prison was in Hamilton County, Tennessee in just 1984. The graph indicated the beginning of the sharp upwards spike as judges became more and more owned by the corporations and became all too eager to feed the human fodder that provides the profits that pays the kickbacks they get.
As of December 2000, there were 153 private correctional facilities (prisons, jails and detention centers) operating in the United States with a capacity of over 119,000.
The trend toward privately operated correctional facilities has continued with 85,604 adults (3.7% of the total US prison population) now housed in 107 privately operated prisons.  Companies operating such facilities include the Corrections Corporation of America, the GEO Group, Inc. (formerly known as Wackenhut Securities), and Community Education Centers.
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has a capacity of more than 80,000 beds in 65 correctional facilities. The GEO Group operates 61 facilities with a capacity of 49,000 offender beds. The company owns or runs more than 100 properties that operate more than 73,000 beds in sites across the world.
Most privately run facilities are located in the southern and western portions of the United States and include both state and federal offenders.

Ancient Wisdom

The recent North Korean crisis seems to have petered out, but it leaves the 
rest of the world wondering, what the fuck? Who is in charge there?
Yesterday, for the second time in a year, the North Koreans had to apologize to the Chinese for the abduction of Chinese boats and their crews in neutral 
waters by members of the North Korean Military who then tried to demand a ransom.
Isn't there some ancient eastern proverb that states, "when you only have one friend in the
world, don't piss them off!"

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Fat Ass Hattery Flat Tax Proposal

Who Will Win The Golden Turd 2013 Award?

Kenneth Starr wasted well over 70 Million Dollars of your tax dollars on his unsuccessful witch hunt attempt to bring down a successful Democrat President. His actions shut down the government and empowered his party to do what they do best, obstructionism for the sake of sheer power and greed. 
The amount of money the Republicans have wasted over their attempts to re energize their "base" over the repeal of "ObamaCare" is now well over 50 Million Dollars and rising fast. How much money has been wasted on the now discredited attempt to destroy the Obama Administration and derail the political future of Hillary Clinton over the Benghazi Embassy Attack? I am trying to find out a real figure for that one, but given the cost of inflation and the fees that John McCain is collecting for his Sunday morning Television appearances alone, we've blown the past figures out of the water, easy.
Oh yeah right, it's mediamatters video of CBS News Taking points, so maybe Jennifer Rubin
is gonna demand that I just pul the plug on the truth, which of course contradicts her Fox News
Paycheck financed version of how she peddles her FLAT ASS! Time to pay up, if you gonna play, babe!

Soundtrack to this trauma provided by Sir Vivian Stanshall, my current hero.
 It doesn't stop there of coure, the cost to you, the taxpayer over the sequestration BS, the cost to you because the Teabrains want to bring down the government because they attracted the focus of the matter that any number of Socialist Librul groups had the same scrutiny....they want their tea stained buttocks licked. I think I'm gonna fall off my little stool here, so I'd better stop ranting......
Obviously, the Republican strategy is "If you can't govern, then just obstruct." But who pays for this? We do! Look, my proposal is simple: If you wanna be an asshole, then you gotta pay to play.....
I'd say this would be a much more fiscally responsible move than any number of socially repressive libertarian policies to take aid from education, health care and destroy the Social Security System and Medicare and the physical infrastructure of America to enrich a bunch of already rich Conservative Assholes at the expense of our national welfare and security. But, I guess that makes too much sense....
The Fat Ass Hattery Flat Tax....You gotta pay to play......Am I right? Huh?

A Depression Named Bob

There he is, Bob, off in the North Atlantic on May 15, 2013. Now Bob is sitting squarely over this part of Europe. It rains and rains, the wind blows and it's cold, nothing is growing except for the weeds and the grass. Sigh.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Something's Broken In The Promised Land

Brother Wayne Kramer explains what went wrong in the Promised Land. It's all about jobs, right? It's all about fiscal responsibility? Right? Look, if you've followed this blog and have any idea of who I am, you have to realize that I define myself as a Detroit, matter where I have been, no matter what I have ever done, the stain remains the same, and I am proud of it. Detroit has always been an industrial dumping ground. In the 1880s' it was the place where the buffalos were finally processed when they were exterminated.

Following the wholesale slaughter of buffalo on the Great Plains, settlers earned money by gathering the skeletons. “The bones are shipped East by the carloads,” reported the Dodge City Times. “where they are ground and used for fertilizing and manufactured into several useful articles.” This mound of buffalo bones at the Michigan Carlson Works in Detroit, c.1870, suggests the extent of the devastation.
It is almost a historical by note that the historical corporate geneology of the Michigan Carlson Works links it to the Oxbow Corporation which is owned by the third Koch Brother, William I. Koch. The Oxbow Corporation  is currently responsible for the newly rising mountain of potentially hazardous Petroleum waste now incrementally growing on the shores of the Detroit River. 

As reported in yesterdays, May 18, 2013 NY Times, a three story mountain of Petroleum coke has rapidly grown on the shore of the Detroit River since the Koch Brothers owned, Koch Carbon Corporation started importing and refining Alberta, Canadian Oil Sands since just this last November. I guess it's just a small and almost irrelevant foot note that this is almost the same location that the mountain of buffalo skulls was located in 1870, or for that matter, who even remembers the massive refinery fire that occurred on April 27, 2013, uhh, that would be just three weeks ago for all of you with limited attention spans, at the Koch Brothers owned Marathon Oil Refinery that is processing the Canadian tar sands only a few blocks away.

The logic being spewed to justify using Detroit as a toxic waste dump facility is that the Oxbow Corporation is going to export this stuff to China, India and Mexico to be used a a cheap energy source for low tech, polluting industrial energy for brick making among other things, because they just don't care about sissy environmental stuff like air quality. The promoters of this logic are touting the fact that Oil Sand Petroleum Coke can be used to be mixed with concrete and, get this, to be burned in American electrical generating plants. Somehow, magically, it is generating revenue and jobs for Michigan while the pile keeps growing and the run off pollutes the already compromised ecosystem of the Great Lakes. Well, I suppose if you look to the future, if there is one here, someone is going to have a job cleaning up this mess. The Marathon Oil Refinery explosion created a mini disaster that required  almost 1.2 square miles of down river Detroit to be evacuated. The all ready decimated emergency managed Fire Department had to cope with the emergency. I hope they are at least getting overtime here. The bottom line is the only ones making money here are the Koch Family Corporate Enterprises and they are getting a free ride courtesy of YOU!

Eurovision 2013

Last night I watched the entire Eurovision 2013 Competition in my usual state of numbed fascinated horror. Why? Every year I say, "Never again!" But, it's the sick part of my brain, my obsession with trash pop culture that draws me back again and again. As usual, the performances and the songs all kind of ran together in one over produced Euro Trash Pop brain numbing mantra. For diversion, there was a musical tribute to Sweden, the host of this years festivities that featured giant dancing Swedish meatballs. There were two countries that stood out. Greece, which for my money, should have won with a little ditty called Alcohol Is Free and then this! Cezar from Romania! This performance defies description! Immediately following Cezar was Englands traditionally pathetic entry. The plump aging diva, Bonnie Tyler, horribly embarrassing herself and even more unfortunately, wearing the same dress as Cezar. He wore it ever so much better.
Below is the song that should have won!  Greece's entry, Alcohol Is Free! 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Parking 101
I have to take a driving test next week to get an official
French I've been watching these instructional videos.

L'Age d'Or

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hey Yah...

I've started to realize that there is a striking resemblance between
Toronto Mayor, Ron Ford and the Mayor of Springfield,
Diamond Joe Quimby. Below is a list of quotes from Diamond Joe
and Ron Ford? Can you identify who actually said what?
On Thursday, Gawker’s John Cook reported the existence of a video that allegedly shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. Since entering public service as a city councilor in 2000, Ford has been known for his odd and improper public behavior and comments, a habit that only got worse after he was elected mayor in 2010. Whether he’s accosting out-of-towners at a hockey game, offering to help procure OxyContin for a constituent, or railing against streetcars and anti-poverty activists, Ford has consistently tested the limits of “mayoral behavior.”
In fact, the public servant Ford most closely resembles is the fictional mayor from The Simpsons, Diamond Joe Quimby. Both men are heavyset. Both are often at odds with constituents, colleagues, and the press. And both are prone to saying outrageous things in public.
I’ve prepared a 20-question quiz of quotes from Ford and Quimby. Which mayor said which wildly inappropriate thing? Answers are at the bottom.
1. “Are these morons getting dumber or just louder?”
2. “It’s hard to hide 300 pounds of fun.”
3. “People don't want to see their mayor stuck in an office all the time, they want to see him right at their door.”
4. “We'll blow up our dams, destroy forests, anything! If there's a species of animal causing problems, nosing around your camera, we'll have it wiped out.”
5. “Demand? Who are you to demand anything? I run this town. You’re just a bunch of low-income nobodies.”
6. “Let’s call a spade a spade. The left would have taken it and just wanted to spend it on crazy, stupid things like more social programs ...”
7. “Oh my god, I never want to hurt a bike. That’s the last thing I want to do, precious little bikes.”
8. “I ordered the re-opening of this prison to send a message to the criminals of [name of city]. If you commit a violent crime in my town, you are going to end up here. To demonstrate what you're in for, I will now strap myself into this electric chair, which was deactivated over 30 years ago, and, I can only assume, still is.”
9. “Water is the healthiest form of liquid.”
10. “By the way, this woman is not my wife, but I am sleeping with her. I'm telling you this because I'm comfortable with my womanizing."
11. “I'm sick of you people, you’re nothing but a pack of fickle mush heads.”
12. “Tuesday, Nov. 27, I’m going to be playing hooky from City Hall.”
13. “Those Oriental people work like dogs. … They're slowly taking over.”
14. “Now on to the next item, the proposal for putting term limits on public office. All those in favor say, ‘I have sex with animals.’ ”
15. “I’d love to see us sell the zoo and make money on it if we can. ... Keep the elephants here and take it from there.”
16. “You don't scare me, that could be anyone's ass. Now beat it! I'm calling the shots.”
17. “I will retract the word ‘ass.’ ”
18. “Very well, if that is the way the winds are blowing, let no one say I don't also blow.”
19. “You are tampering with forces you can't understand, we have major corporations sponsoring this event.”
20. “I’m as clean as the days are long.”


2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 17, 20

Quimby: 1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 14, 16, 18, 19

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vivian Stanshall

The last real eccentric Englishman. I first heard of Vivian Stanshall from a truly strange Scottish fellow, Geoffrey Inveriarty who somehow was transported to Toledo, Ohio due to asome kind of time/spacial warp in 1970. We never could figure out what Geoffrey was doing there and neither could he. He did give me a few Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band records in appreciation for the metaphysical assistance I was able to provide before warp sucked him back to Inverness. I think Stanshall profoundly altered the way I related to the rest of the universe, forever. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jack

Jack Bruce, one of the great musicians of our time, turns 70 today. 
A great composer and multi voiced musical voyager whose ship is still sailing into the unknown.
These jazz pieces were composed by him 60 years ago, when he was 15. The video above was made around 1970.  The original recordings were on a record called Things We Like. It was a quartet the same personel in this trio, John Heckstal-Smith on Saxophones...yes, Heckstal-Smith was a student of Rashaan Roland Kirk, he practiced circular breathing and could play multi voiced sax parts by playing two instruments at the same time. The Drummer is John Hiseman. On the original record, John McGlaughlin plays guitar. John and Jack went on to play in the seminal Jazz Fusion Group, The Tony Williams Lifetime. Incredible music from an incredible musician. Jack influenced the music we listen to by being the ultimate outsider. A classically trained tenor vocalist and pianist who rewrote the way rock bass was played by playing rock as if it was avant garde jazz. Happy Birthday Jack. I's so glad he is still around today and playing!
Incase you missed Jacks earlier work, here he is live at The Whiskey a Go Go in 1967 with a little band he was in called Cream. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Big Franchise Deal.....

The George W. Bush Presidential Library, Amusement Park and My Pet Goat Petting Zoo officially opened in a strip mall near Texas SMU to a resoundingly vacuous resonating echo of apathy. They turned down a lot of my proposals...the 9/11 Karaoke Bar and Grill and Gift Shop for example, but I think I am getting a few bites now with my franchising idea. Coming soon to an abandoned strip mall near you! Your local Branch of the George W. Bush Library Virtual Freedom Fantasy Experience! Imagine the excitement and the temporary low paying jobs as the initial rush of Virtual Bushiosity temporarily gives a few unemployed hookers temporary work in your depressed urban wasteland. Heck, I can almost taste the excitement! or the diesel fumes, what ever...I'm designing the Neon displays now and I have registered this concept, so don't even think of trying to horn in on this deal! Meanwhile, here's a pretty great piece published by the great Ohio Writer/Blogger, Cliff Schecter. This essay was published in Al Jazeera English over the weekend:
Our Very Own West Texas
On April 25 - Thursday evening - American icon and humble hero George W Bush took one small step for man, one slip-and-fall for humanity - as he re-entered a spotlight until-recently blissful to have been abandoned by him, for the dedication of his presidential library. Put aside for the moment that having an actual structure that houses things you read dedicated to him is like honouring Chris Christie with a gluten-free restaurant or naming a Bar Mitzvah after Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Hell, I half expected him to don his trusty flight suit and declare "all major combat operations over in Iraq", you know, just for the memories.
But really, he did not have to do anything of the sort. For it was perfect timing for the My Pet Goat Athenaeum to emerge from the steamy Sun Belt hydrofluorocarbons just as one disaster after another befell the country, a helpful reminder of the eight torturous (in more ways than one) years he and his corrupted West Texas ideology made the rest of the United States resemble, well, West, Texas.
From the explosion at the fertiliser plant due to flagrant flouting of environmental regulations to the attack in Boston, the rejection of common sense gun safety to the square dance around sequestration; this was shaping up to be a Bush Legacy week whether he stayed home to paint nude portraits of Jeb or chose to step out and try to defend a presidency many Americans must be still convinced was just one long phantasm brought on by a bad batch of Peyote.
Michael Lind points out in, Made In Texas, that we have had conservative presidents over the past century and southern presidents. We have not had the combination. And it is an important distinction. As Lind put it in an interview with BuzzFlash (2002), "His [Bush's] political values - ranging from aggressive militarism in foreign policy to small-government ideology and fervent support for laissez-faire economics" have come to define much of our political culture in Washington - hence last week.
First, we had the Festrunk Brothers launch an attack on the Boston Marathon two weeks ago, and just about everything involved had Bush's West Texas political culture written all over it. Because of the NRA, which "worked out of his White House", there is no way to track where gun powder was bought as there is with plastic explosives. Because... freedom! (And defence contractor profits!).
There was the fact that these two clowns apparently committed these atrocitiesbecause of anger over Iraq - for which I hope the younger brother (I refuse to give them attention by using their names) spends a nice, long, pain-enveloped life carving rocks into chess pieces at Shawshank. Ahh yes, Iraq. Remember that war? The one that George W Bush lied us into with tales of yellowcake and"curveball", that has now cost up to about $2 trillion?
It is because of this war, unpaid for tax cuts and Big Pharma boondoggles that we apparently have to eliminate Medicare, according to the Pied Piper of granny starving, Congressman and former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan. But let us eliminate, post haste, the part of our silly self-created "sequestration" - flight delays! - that causes inconveniences to wealthy members of the Congress on their way to the next Ladybank-single-malt-festooned, campaign contributor bribe-fests.
We were also recently treated to the West Texas answer to allowing weapons of war on our streets to blow apart toddlers in schools. Nothing. Unless you count Congress' finding ways to allow itself to insider trade again. Because... freedom!
Finally, there is the tragedy in West, Texas. A fertiliser-plant explosion near Waco (just like the Crawford pseudo-ranch!) that engulfed the neighbourhood, due to an understaffed and barely functioning Chemical Safety Board (by Congressional design), a lack of common-sense zoning requirements and the no-follow-ups rule we like to impose on the Environmental Protection Agency when they find that a plant like say, this one, had no risk management plan in 2006. But hey, the plant self-reported (is that like self-deporting?) that it posed "no risk" of fire, and why would they lie?
You may remember that a certain convict-Congressman named Tom DeLay - of West Texas - compared the EPA to the "Gestapo" and current lunkhead Texas Governor Rick Perry attacks the very same EPA for its "misguided and job-killing policies", as opposed to his people-killing ones. And then there is, once again, George W Bush. The Decider decided as President that, as dictated by his West Texas ideology, he would assault the EPA by any means necessary, short of naming the former Arabian Horse Association guy to run it (he saved that for FEMA... phew!).
So, in a way, it was fitting to see the George W Bush library opening this past week. It is his West Texas world. We are just stuck living in it.

This syndicated column first appeared at Al Jazeera English and I have to admit it's pretty damn good, except I really hope it doesn't fuck up my franchise deal!