Friday, September 27, 2013

Last Of The Merlot

It's that time of the year again...things get a little complicated and I have to be on call for the moment the grapes at Chateau Vieux Chevrol start to ripen. It was a very strange year and the latest it's ever been. I leave Sunday afternoon to journey back to the middle ages in the little village of Neac, France to carry tons of grapes on my back for approximately 2 weeks. So, I will be out of touch with the 21st century....I do have a little multi band radio...but that's it....a bientot, mes chere amis!

Monday, September 23, 2013

I don't know...I had this free plastic coated cardboard record that I got in an issue of MAD Magazine in 1963 for years...and I was reading about the current state of the disorganized debacle that is calling itself the Republican Party and it made me want to hear this again.....
One of the select cuts from the classick, Fink Along With Mad!

Spawn Of Cthulthlu

I have been a fan of H.P.Lovecraft from my early adolescence. My passion for other sci fi and fantasy authors came and went, but the obscene fascination and obsession of Lovecraft's work defined his genius. I did quite a few drawings and paintings inspired by the obsessive analogic voyages into the depths of our collective terror which Lovecraft was so brilliantly able to bring to to physical reality through his art. (The illustration for this piece is a white Conte pencil on black archival rag paper piece I did almost 30 years ago, inspired by Lovecraft...)  I also had trouble dealing with seafood in general for years after reading Lovecrafts work, but happily, today, that is behind me....
Here is something I've believed about Lovecraft, which has been largely ignored by his devoted readers. Lovecraft's work was actually very prophetic and politically significant. From the early 1920's Lovecraft was virtually the only writer to envision a rapidly approaching time when one person or a small cabal would have the power to destroy humanity. Nuclear science made this a reality militarily within ten years of his death, but advances in communication and propaganda technology, coupled with the concentration of previously inconceivable wealth in the hands of a few, have now made it possible politically.

Over the last half century, and with ever increasing intensity, the Republican party has set about creating in the United States a cadre of living zombies, people filled with rage and hunger, and immune to any kind of introspection or critical thinking. Like any Lovecraft villain, the leaders of the Republican party were absolutely sure they could put down this army of the mentally undead whenever it suited their purpose. And like all Lovecraft villains, they were wrong.
We have seen a long succession of leaders now, who have nothing in the world to offer except their willingness to pander to the mindless, voracious minions they have created, telling themselves at every step that they are in control and that the minions will do whatever suits the interest of their betters. Palin, Bachmann, Ryan, both Pauls, Gohmert, Alan West, and now perhaps the most vicious of them all, Ted Cruz, who openly states that he believes the entire Senate should consist of 100 people like the unrepentant race hater and corupt corporate tool, Jesse Helms.
Today, we are confronting an ugly reality- similar to, for example, the one faced by Weimar Germany in the 1920's- it is far easier to destroy democracy than it is to create it. The hordes of ignorant, greedy, hate-filled intellectual zombies the Republicans deliberately called up out of the swamps of American dysfunction are now running things, and those oh, so wise grifters like Gingrich, Boehner and McConnell are now helpless captives on a runaway train, with disaster the only conceivable future.

Now, this disaster may be only days away. Paul Krugman (as usual):

" the moment, it seems highly likely that the Republican Party will refuse to fund the government, forcing a shutdown at the beginning of next month, unless President Obama dismantles the health reform that is the signature achievement of his presidency. Republican leaders realize that this is a bad idea, but, until recently, their notion of preaching moderation was to urge party radicals not to hold America hostage over the federal budget so they could wait a few weeks and hold it hostage over the debt ceiling instead. Now they’ve given up even on that delaying tactic. The latest news is that John Boehner, the speaker of the House, has abandoned his efforts to craft a face-saving climbdown on the budget, which means that we’re all set for shutdown, possibly followed by debt crisis."
And a very real likelihood of a collapse of the world economy. Here's some more Krugman:
"...this story is all about the G.O.P. First came the southern strategy, in which the Republican elite cynically exploited racial backlash to promote economic goals, mainly low taxes for rich people and deregulation. Over time, this gradually morphed into what we might call the crazy strategy, in which the elite turned to exploiting the paranoia that has always been a factor in American politics — Hillary killed Vince Foster! Obama was born in Kenya! Death panels! — to promote the same goals.
But now we’re in a third stage, where the elite has lost control of the Frankenstein-like monster it created."

Frankenstein's monster, only because he didn't think of comparing it to its real literary equivalent: Cthulhu- a single entity with the capacity to destroy all humanity. Krugman suggests that the momentum behind this apocalyptic fit of destruction is now inevitable- the Republican party we have today is, against all rational self interest, intent on pulling the house down around them. Well, I guess that is what I believe too. At this point, as I said recently, they may as well get on with it and do all the damage they can, and then we can either exterminate them like the vermin they are and get on with repairing the damage, or we will succumb to their violence and irrationality, and the United States of America will vanish from the world like Rome, Assyria, Babylon and so many other great civilizations that exist today only as vague dreams of a distant glory.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Arthur Russell

An American artist who truly was his own genre. Arthur Russell, 1951-1992.
A multi instrumentalist, but many of his most moving works were simply him accompanying himself with his cello. He invented styles. He composed orchestral pieces, wrote and performed rock. He was very influential in the birth of the club music scene in Lower Manhattan. He was very instrumental in encouraging bands like The Modern Lovers and The Talking Heads, who he recorded with. He even worked with Bootsy Collins and Gerry Harrison. 
This name of this piece is, This Is How We Walk On The Moon.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There is no such thing as"still life"

Have It Their Way

Chief talking Fucktard, The Koch Brothers funded Reason Magazine Vice President of Policy, Adrian Moore on yesterday's Thom Hartmann Show explains why 70% of public opinion supporting raising California'a minimum wage to $10 and hour is a faulty democratic process. It's faulty simply because he' paid not to like it. He's just another overpaid whore.
The conversation started out discussing California's proposal to raise the minimum wage, and devolved into this:

MOORE: But, why should every job pay enough to live on? The whole idea of a diverse economy is that there are many, many, many jobs on which you can make a living, and there are many jobs which are not intended -- they're at the bottom of the scale -- they're not jobs you're supposed to be able to live on.
HARTMANN: Every job should make enough to live on, because every human being is worth living.
MOORE: No. When you're unskilled, you should not expect to be able to make a living off of your ordinary day's labor.

This of course is what the Koch Brothers and ALEC American third world population of cheap expendable labor with out the means to obtain education which would then give them the tools to earn the wages they would have to struggle to obtain to live on anyway. Remember, this is what they are doing to Detroit and they want to do it to you! A nation of underpaid fast food workers who can't even afford to have it their way...
If only the same could be said for overpaid, bloviating propagandists who are making their living keeping the rubes squabbling amongst themselves, while their billionaire buddies laugh all the way to the bank. As my dear little wife would say, "Schlack, Poom!" 

Schlack, Poom!
"The general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know."
Noam Chomsky

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Your Voice For Evil

And of course, this is what Fox had to say about this today. It's not about guns, gun control or the lack of medical and psychiatric care in America... it's all about video games! 

Tragically, This Is Truly About America....

Dr. Janis Orlowski is the chief medical officer at MedStar Washington Hospital, where many of the victims of yesterday's shooting were taken. Speaking to the press afterwards, Dr. Orlowski spoke not only of the number of patients, but what she saw as a disease in our society that allows these tragedies to occur far too often.
Via Mediaite:
"There's something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate," Orlowski said after decrying what she called "senseless trauma."
"There's something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries," she continued. "There is something wrong."
"I would like you to put my trauma center out of business," Orlowski added. "I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots and not to be an expert on this."
"It's a great city. It's a great country, and we have to work together to get rid of this," she concluded. "Because we just cannot have, you know, one more shooting with, you know, so many people killed."

She ended her remarks by saying "Let's end this. This is not America."
Oh, but this is truly about America. The violently dysfunctional America of today, where gun manufacturers' proxy, the NRA, cheers every time some crazy lunatic shouts liberty and offs ten or fifteen people while leaving a bunch more injured in their wake. These are the same people who fearmonger over the Boston bombers while shirking their own responsibility for the violence left in the wake of their devotees' fetishlike obsession with weapons of human destruction.
Yes, I'm afraid this is America.This is truly about America.  The America brainwashed into blaming this on a black president. The America bought and paid for by Koch Brothers, ALEC and the NRA. Brain damaged imbeciles arming themselves because they have to paranoiacally defend themselves from each and every other armed paranoiac imbecile.The America the NRA built, and one they'll cling to as long as the last man standing is armed.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Urban Terrorism 9/11/13

There was a blackout in Detroit, Michigan on September 11th this year, but the reason for it seems to depend on who you ask.
Addicting Info:
"If you ever had any doubt that Michigan has been taken over by a group of dangerous, radical extremists, what happened in Detroit on September 11th, 2013 should be enough to wake you up. There were several things significant about September 11th, 2013. Not only was it the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center, but the state of Michigan was also experiencing an unseasonal heat wave. In the city of Detroit,
power outages left people stranded in elevators, trapped four hours in the blistering heat. Hundreds were evacuated from buildings in the downtown area, traffic lights did not function, public transportation was disabled and 1,400 sites across the city were without power. Wayne State University and other key buildings still remained closed, the following day. All of this after the city’s power supply supposedly failed.
The Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, a twelve story building that conducts the city’s criminal proceedings was shut down and the building was evacuated. Earlier in the week, a prisoner had stabbed a Wayne County Deputy, before fleeing from the building.
A manhunt followed, with authorities searching for the escaped prisoner for several long hours, before finally apprehending him as he was trying to flee the city. In light of this, the power outage on September 11th created a tense and dangerous situation for officers, justice workers and visitors to the building.The problem is that the city’s power supply never failed.
On September 12th, 2013,
Bill Nowling casually stated that the city’s power outages were intentional. Officials and citizens working in the city were given no warning before the electricity was cut off. Law enforcement officials working in the Hall of Justice had no time to prepare. Senior citizens and disabled citizens using elevators in the city’s downtown district had no way to know what was coming. The entire criminal justice system was shut down without notice. Wayne State University Campus was just one of many sites evacuated under emergency conditions. Traffic lights across the city stopped working. 1,400 public and private locations were left without power. And the entire thing was intentional, to “send a message” to the people of Detroit. Bill Nowling works in the office of Kevin Orr, Detroit’s Emergency Manager.
Many people believe that the deliberate power outage was carried out because Orr’s office has been pushing for the privatization of the city’s power supply. The video shows Gary Brown laughing about the power outage. After saying that he deliberately took power away from the city, causing chaos in the process, of course, the need for privatization of electricity in the city is stressed. "
The following day, Erika Erickson with Detroit's WJBK
followed up with Gary Brown amid outrage over not only his statements, but also his laughter during the interview about the power outage. Brown attempted to defend his actions by saying that if he hadn't made the call to shut down power, that DTE would have.
However when called to verify, DTE offcials say that simply isn't true; they supply the power, they don't choose where the power goes.
As for injuries caused by the power outage, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Sharon Grier said that "Someone was injured. I know of her personally. She was injured, in extreme pain because of this."
Kevin Orr, Detroit’s Emergency Manager, was appointed by GOP Governor Rick Snyder to replace all of the city’s elected officials under the state’s “Emergency Manager Law,” and is the sole authority over the city of Detroit. He answers to no-one except the Governor. He is not elected and cannot be fired, as is also noted by Addicting Info.
But wait, this all sounds so familiar...

Ah yes,:
"One Enron employee tells a colleague in another recorded conversation, "I'm just trying to be an honest camper so I only go to jail once."
"Well, there you go. At least in only one country," the other replies, and laughs.
"Yeah, [expletive], this isn't a joke," the first employee says.
Earlier tapes obtained during the Enron-Snohomish lawsuit indicated Enron had manipulated the Western power grid for a year and a half.
Those tapes include traders gloating profanely about overcharging "Grandma Millie" in California."
I don't know if what the emergency manager's office did when they shut down the power was a crime. In a perfect world, it would be a crime, and someone would actually go to jail. Preferably a jail without air conditioning, or cable tv and situated on the banks of the Detroit River, next to the Koch Brother's
piles of petcoke. Will Detroit become the testing ground for the Koch Bros and ALEC's tactics to terrorize the rest of America into submitting to their exploitative plan to dominate and subjugate America? Will you allow yourself to be forced to putting on their the yoke of third world anti Union, anti social slavery. Because that is what this is about. If they can do it to Detroit, they will do it to you.
Make no mistake. This is your future if you don't ORGANIZE!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Twonky

A 1953 Comedy...sci/fi? film, but that's the problem with SciFi. what was the fantasy future in 1953 came and went and became historical fact in just a few short years. A great satire on technology starring Hans Conried....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

“The trouble with fiction is that it makes too much sense, whereas reality never makes sense."

An American In Rome

At the end of October, I am going to Italy for a week or so. I have only been in Italy once before and that was just for a few minutes...I accidentally went to Ventimiglia when I made a major wrong turn and got lost driving in France in 1986. We are going to visit Rome and then to Perugia as guests of a very old friend whose family home is in the Etruscan wall of Perugia. My wife lived in Perugia for a year in the mid 60's. I am trying to get ready for the trip by filling my head with the sound of Italian. I stumbled on this film today, I want to see the entire thing, but this much is pretty cool! Forgive me if I start posting Italian pop music in the next few weeks. 
Hey, wait a second, here's Luciano Pavarotti and James Brown! I guess you just got to give it up!
I had that dream again

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sometimes you just got to give it up...
James Brown, 1971 live on Italian Television with the guy I always wanted to be when I grow up
Bootsy Collins on bass and his big brother Catfish on guitar....

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Some Tuareg Music

Omara 'Bombino' Moctar is an internationally acclaimed Tuareg guitarist and singer-songwriter from Agadez, Niger. His nickname, from the Italian meaning 'little child', comes from his time with the band of renowned Tuareg guitarist Haja Bebe. Here he performs a live version of his song Amininine, from his second album Nomad. I am still very involved with the relief efforts of Groupe Coordination Aude Mali (GCAM). We are still accepting donations from the PayPal button on the side of this blog. There are still thousands of Malian Tuareg refugees trying to get back to their lands in Mali from the camps in Mauritania and Burkina Faso. Then there is the reality of helping them re establish their lives. While the political situation in Mali has temporarily calmed, the political roots of the problem, the cycle of revenge and religious/political intolerance still festers.  GCAM has promoted Tuareg culture, art and music and has helped them create a self sufficient agricultural economy and given them stability in their fragile political landscape that Mali has become.  GCAM has been working with a a few tribes from the Timbuktu region for over 30 years. Tuaregs have a rich culture that has been defined by the desert they live in since the dawn of history. I've written about Tuareg music and the efforts of Damon Albarn among others to assist them through exposing this rich culture to the world. The ancient libraries of Timbuktu, which consist of one of the oldest collections of books on the planet was partially destroyed by the Islamic Fundamentalists and much of it is still being safe guarded by the clans who have been conserving this trove of technical, religious and traditional literature for over 1000 years. If you'd like to learn more about Tuareg history and culture, perhaps you's enjoy this Wikipedia entry. You would learn that the Tuaregs share a culture that is not defined by modern political borders. The music has very direct links to traditional American blues which are still very much alive. I am going to start featuring more links to Tuareg music again. Maybe someday soon, the situation will stabilize enough that the musicians who have received world renown can return to their own country with out fear of being murdered by extremists.

Friday, September 06, 2013

My Philosphical Dissertation

People ask me if I can sing tenor, I say yes, they say, well how's about ten or twenty miles away from here? After 30 years, nothing has changed...There Is No Hope, but, You Gotta Go Against The must always go against the flow.
2 episodes of true terror from the legendary Pyramid Club in 1982 as the Giant Horrible Mr. Bubble Experience wreaks havoc. There is no hope and Go against the flow...You won't have to listen to this again, to paraphrase the philosopher, Richard Nixon. 

I Feel It Coming On Again

The piece of music is the 1980 song by the Robyn Hitchcock's great band, The Soft Boys This version is from a reconstituted version of the band  in 2001 and Robyn dedicates it to Dubya. The song parodied Punk Rock, but ironically it became a much covered punk rock anthem. Frankly, I discovered as a punk/grunge performance artist that through parody, you became the path to reality.  The name of the piece is I Wanna Destroy You, but the poignancy of the lyric: I Feel it Coming on Again Just Like It Did Before, says all I want to say about the recurring War Fever that is gripping the US Media and legislature.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly passed an authorization to use military force against Assad's Syrian regime. A military foray against Syria has bipartisan support- funny how Congress can agree about blowing the crap out of Middle Easterners but they can't agree to a jobs bill for citizens of the United States (unless they work for military contractors).
While the Assad regime is brutal, the opposition is a multifarious assemblage of disparate groups, ranging from pacifists to Islamic fundamentalist jihadis. My biggest concern is that U.S. foreign policy won't take into account the complexity of the former Syrian society, and that the Sunni/Alawite, Turkish/Arab/Kurdish, Druze/Salafi, and the Just-About-Everybody/Armenian conflicts that threaten to boil over and scald the entire region. The simplistic approach to the Iraq invasion led to a decade of sectarian violence, a conflagration which will only be "fanned" by a poorly-executed attack on Syria.
As if that weren't enough, Russia opposes American intervention and Iran, while not keen on Assad's use of chemical weapons, stands in opposition to U.S. military intervention as well. Does the U.S. government really need to get into a proxy war with Russia and Iran (the true victor in Bush's Iraq War)?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

After a week of having my computer hijacked by a thirteen year old kid
 and my life interrupted, I'm back.
Welcome to my world......