Saturday, August 16, 2008

American Exceptionalism

I was checking online to see if the cheap cat food that I purchased for the 2 strays outside the new homestead had been recalled, and I came across this example of public policy excellence:

Notice that they never mention that they do not have statutory/regulatory authority to recall any product(for pets or humans). They also can not force companies to change any procedures.
No steps before the pets mysteriously become "ill"
Can France boast a bureaucratic response to rival this?

Never could find out if the cheap food had been recalled...


Top 5 Actors in a Film(ic) Role

Which 5 males have captivated you at the cinema/on your television/in yr mind just by doing the 'theatrical' work that they do? Which 5 performances (by men*) never fail to electrify you?

For me, it's these:

5) Orson Welles, The Third Man
4) Michel Piccoli, Contempt
3) Roy Scheider, Jaws
2) Ben Gazarra, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
1) Elliot Gould, The Long Goodbye
Honorable Mentions include Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed, Robert Shaw as Quint, Jack Nicholson as the Chinatown guy, Jean-Pierre Leaud as Truffaut, etc. - every role Joe Spinnel ever played!

(* why 'by men'? because this way we can do the 'by women' topic separately, sometime soon.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Post Wherein I Advise NBC on Its Olympic Coverage

I'm not so much concerned that I, being a West Coaster, will not be able to see Michael Phelps win his eighth gold medal live, but I would like to object to NBC thinking that 12:30 am is an acceptable time to end their coverage.

If an event happens at 12:30 am on the East Coast because it is live that makes some freakin' sense, but how 'bout cutting to the chase when you can for those of us on the West Coast? I know, I know, there are ad dollars to be considered, but I'd be just as happy to watch the semi-final heat for the women's 400 IM at 6 pm the next day. Happier even. Then you could hype the hell out of the final that night. Instead, we get the main event of the night, say women's gymnatsics, starting at 10:30 pm and ending past midnight.

I'd also like to mention that synchronized diving is no more a real sport than anything happening in the X games. We have had to watch an s-load of synchronized diving. But as long as we are watching it, why can we not get that strobe motion replay on every dive? I mean, you have a really cool, powerful tool to show the audience exactly how in sync [insert Timberlake reference here] the divers were, but you don't use it. Why?

Lastly (for now), I know the beach volleyballers of both sexes are sexy with a capital S-E-X!, and maybe we need to see the Americans dominate every single team they face in the prelims, but couldn't we slip in some badminton or something every once in a while. It's pretty freakin' hot action and it's a sport we're all familiar with. Ping pong? Anything other than volleyball (beach), swimming, diving or gymnastics? No? Okay.

Okay, really lastly, if I have to watch one more Mary Carillo "Isn't China Awesome" segment, I will puke. I'm not some wingnut who thinks that every mention of China should involve a discussion of human rights abuses and the dangers of communism, but jeebus.

With that I leave you with the Spanish men's basketball team and their publicity shot for the Games. For the record, they didn't mean to offend anybody and they meant it as an "affectionate gesture."

Speaks for Itself

In case you can't read the text, these are word clouds formed from the campaign websites of McCain and Obama. McCain at top, Obama on bottom.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cucumber Wig at New Zone

The spouse of my mentor is currently vying for the local title that is "Slug Queen," and as part of that campaign l'advisor and i'll be playing tomorrow night at New Zone Gallery, in conjunction with Constance's juried Art Exhibit - or 'salon' - re: Slugs.

Consider yourself forewarned - there will be ELO, Big Star and pre-disco Bee Gees covers. We're talking about a 5pm start time, mavens.

Betrayed on a Snackular Level

So last night I was organizing the hell out of some grievances (after going and seeing Pineapple Express again, an experience I "highly" recommend) and I ordered up some South Asian food from the Pony Express Delivery --

-- Digression #1. I am big into ordering food on the internet and having it delivered to me. Two drawbacks, it costs money and food delivered is fattening. Nobody delivers salad. Okay, they do, but who orders salad in? Delivery almost requires that the food be bad for you. The thing is, I can't order from all the places on the menu, because something in my brain tells me that it is "ridiculous" to get delivery from a restaurant within, say, a 15-block radius. Completely arbitrary boundary. Getting delivery from campus, perfectly fine. Getting delivery from South Willamette? Bespeaks laziness. --

I ordered some chicken curry, under the self-impression that chicken curry is better for "me," by which I mean my weight, than, say the lamb curry. But then I also ordered the Keema Nan, which is nan stuffed with spiced ground lamb. For some reason, the nan is listed under "Tandoori Bread" on the Bombay Palace menu. --

-- Digression #2. Is there a world where your average Eugeneian is familiar with the properties of the word "tandoori" but can't handle the word "nan"? Is there someone asking "What the hell is 'nan'?" Only to have it explained to them that it is "tandoori bread," at which point enlightenment occurs? "Ohhhh, tandoori bread. Why didn't they just say so?"

-- Digression #3. Does "Keema Nan" actually exist in India? Or is this something invented for Americans, who love meat stuffed in anything, especially fried bread?

I ordered the curry spicy. Two bites made me realize that I never want any part of curry. I'm not a guy who loves the hot stuff, but jeebus, I can't imagine wanting food hotter than this was. I know that eating the spicy is supposed to help in the heat, as it makes you sweat, but it wasn't working. Now I was just hot and sweaty, laying on the couch trying to watch tv without drinking too much water, as I was bloated as all get out from the large quantities of popcorn consumed during the movie and the rice consumed to make my chicken edible. In other words, I was miserable. Only one thing can help a man out in such a cream sandwiches.

As it happened, Ginger was leaving the house to go pick up Amber from a friend's house. Now, I am not the kind of guy who is going to ask his wife to go out of her way to get him ice cream sandwiches, especially when I have rendered myself unable to drive to get my own ice cream sandwiches and am trying to avoid having it pointed out that walking to the store could do me no harm. I am not that guy. I am a guy, however, that is perfectly willing to remind his wife, while she is in the car about to pull out of the driveway, that the household is running dangerously low on toilet paper, and, if she felt like it, stopping at the store might be a good idea. I am also not above slipping in the point that she and our daughter use a disproportionately high percentage of the toilet paper in the house, so her getting the toilet paper would only be fair.

Having secured Ginger's agreement that the household needed toilet paper and that stopping at the store on the way home would not be out of the question, I then moved on to the suggestion that maybe, just maybe, since the toilet paper aisle, at Albertson's at least, is not that far from the ice cream section, maybe some ice cream sandwiches might be in order.

By asking, even tentatively, that my wife stop and pick up some ice cream sandwiches for me to consume, I have opened myself up for all kinds of counter-attacks. She could come back with

1. "Ice cream sandwiches are the last thing you need to be eating, you fat pig." Now she might couch this more gently by reminding me that I had consumed a large popcorn already that day. Or that I had eaten fried bread earlier. Stuffed with meat. But the message would be the same. And it would hurt.

2. "How much have you spent on food already today?" What with lunch, the movie, popcorn, a drink, and the the South Asian food, I had spent approximately $46 on food and entertainment that day. Sweet jeebus, could I be more selfish?

3. "Does you getting high actually mean that you are incapable of providing yourself with anything? You've become some sort of baby?" Given that we had already had this conversation that night (in a joking manner), it was just sitting there. Living with a non-smoker is not the easiest thing in the world. There's a delicate balance that must be maintained because at any moment your partner can bring the entire weight of societal condemnation and judgment down up on you.

Anticipating these counter-attacks I offered these pre-emptive disclaimers, "No, don't. I don't need them. Well, maybe. No, we don't need to be spending money on snacks for me. Would be good, though. I guess I could just walk my ass down to the store to get them. But you're going there anyway. Maybe those Lean Cuisine ones you bought that one time. Alright then, see you later."

I returned to the house already savoring the delicious sweetness of American chocolate cookie surrounding even sweeter and possibly even more delicious vanilla ice cream. As Rachel Ray would surely say, yumm-o!

Of course, anticipation only breeds apathy the munchies, so I ventured into the kitchen where the snack bowl is kept to retrieve the Starburst brand fruit snacks I had purchased the previous evening. I bought two packs because they were on discount. I had eaten a half-a-pack the night before while watching the gymnastics, so you can imagine my shock and surprise to find the snack bowl devoid of Starbursts.

--Digression #4. While it should probably be said that beef jerky is my go-to snack of choice, it has many draw backs, most notably the price. Trying to avoid the preservatives, I tend to go for the Market of Choice house-brand jerky, and it runs $20 a pound. Which is not out-of-line with regular jerky, but it is so much more palatable at $5 for 4 oz than $20 a pound. I mean, that's some freaking expensive meat. Market of Choice has, however, been featuring their "Teriyaki" flavor pretty exclusively and that's a flavor I just can't seem to get down with. As a back up choice, Starbursts, while completely different flavor-wise, also bring the chewiness to the table and have a decently low calorie and fat count. If I can't go salty, I am happy to go citrusy.

Having a tweener in the house, I figured it was good bet that AB had consumed a lunch made up exclusively of a pack-and-a-half of Starbursts. And who could blame her, really? They are tasty and there really is no way to explain to her how imperative it is that she not eat the snackables I have purchased. How do you explain to her that at times, one certain nights, her father will have a need to snack that amounts to a physical imperative and she must not consume the snacks he has purchased, as their sudden disappearance can actually do him harm. You can't. These are the things that I have to put up with.

-- Digression #5. I'm not saying that I deserve any kind of father-of-the-year award or anything.

So I get on the horn to call Ginger. I'm thinking maybe she can give AB some grief for her poor food choices. But, not being the kind of guy who hurls wild accusations, I open the conversation with "You didn't happen to eat any of the Starbursts I bought last night, did you?" If you guessed that Ginger did, in fact, eat my Starbursts, then you are still reading this.

I hurled the accusation that she had betrayed me on the snackular level. Not so much an accusation as an observation, as she had already admitted to the foul deed. I must admit, she handled my (faux) outrage with a nonchalance that secretly impressed me as much as it outwardly (faux) devastated me.

-- Digression #6. I decided long a ago that my wife was more important to me than snacks. I love her way too much to be really upset with her for eating my snacks, whatever form they take. I'm not saying I deserve any kind of husband-of-the-year award or anything.

-- Digression #7. I was reading a crime novel recently that was a bit of a whodunit, but the author used the power of the foreshadowing a bit too casually and I was able to deduce the culprit in the first 50 pages. Foreshadowing is a tricky bit of business that must be done carefully, so as heighten the suspense, but not give the entire game away.

But this would not be the biggest betrayal of the evening!

So there I was, watching the Olympics snack-free, in anticipation of ice cream sandwiches. Every car that passed by the house was torture and I live on a busy street. Every time the dog moved at all was a signal that Ging was in the driveway. Every commercial break brought me one moment closer to those sandwiches. I sat pondering which would be sweeter, the ice cream or the delicious anticipation.

When Ginger and Amber finally did get home, I bound off the couch and ran to the door. But wait! Let's play it cool. Back to the couch, casually throw the foot over the back of the couch. "Oh, hey girlies" when they come through the door? No wait, excitement over seeing AB for the first time that day! AB is more important than ice cream sandwiches! "Hey baby AB, how's it going?" I asked in my best cool dad voice. I'm not sure what her response was, I'm sure she was fine, look at her, she's fine. My focus had, of course, shifted to whether I was going to be required to get off the couch to get my (first) ice cream sandwich or whether Ginger would bring it to me. That's when Ginger said something I did not expect, "I got you some Starbursts."

Starbursts? What good were Starbursts to me now? Were Starbursts cold and chocolaty and ice creamy and delicious? I ventured tentatively, "Um, what about the ice cream sandwiches?" "They didn't look good." They didn't look good, she said. Now, I know my wife and I don't see eye-to-eye on everything, I'm not even sure that we live on the same planet some times, as I sure as heck do not live on a planet where it is possible for ice cream sandwiches to exist, but not look good. "What do you mean, 'they didn't look good,'" I asked, quite reasonably. "They just didn't look very good," she replied.

Now, I recognized that I was the altered one here and I know that Ginger is a sharp cookie, but I literally could not comprehend how ice cream sandwiches could "not look good." Were they all smashed up? Covered in freezer frost? Neither of these seemed like reasonable explanations. As I was pondering, AB offered up that "They were really expensive." How expensive? I inquired, while trying to come up with a sum of money that would plausibly require passing the sandwiches up. Twenty dollars? Twenty-five? That's not how much they cost. Ridiculous. AB says, "They were five dollars!" My brain is unable to process this information any more than it was able to grasp the idea that they might not "look good."

"Five dollars?"

"Yeah, we thought that was too just too much for ice cream sandwiches."

"I would pay $40 for someone to hand me an ice cream sandwich, right now."

"Really? 'Cause I'd go get you some, if you'd really pay that much."


I was pretty devastated. Ginger wasn't having any of it, though. "You said not to get them." She was right, I had said that, but I thought I had said it in a way that made it clear that I wanted them, but couldn't be seen to be actually asking for them, but that she was supposed to get them because she loves me and she'd be giving me permission to eat ice cream even though I'm a fatty, had already spent too much money that day, and/or am a baby. I tried not to mention how disappointed I was, but I did let on a little. It was quickly made clear to me that any further discussion of ice cream sandwiches or disappointment regarding the lack thereof would result in a discussion of my shortcomings listed above. So I dropped it, put on a happy face, and ate my Starbursts. Because I love my wife way more than snacks. Even ice cream sandwiches.

-- Digression #8. I, again, am not trying to say I should win husband-of-the-year or anything.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

If no one else is gonna ask, I will


Not that you owe us an explanation or anything. But if you care to share, I, for one, am curious...

more on the memos

i'm still enthralled by the Clinton memos -in particular, how unprepared Team HRC was for life after February 5th. please see Josh Green's synopsis of the whole entire helicopter crash, and let's sort through the detritus ensemble, non?

On Geese and Ganders

It may have occurred to you to ask why it is such a huge deal that John Edwards cheated on his wife, but not a huge deal that McCain cheated on his first wife. You may have asked this question, perhaps rhetorically, over dinner with your wife or at a ballgame with a conservative friend.

Fortunately, the Republicans have answers.

1. John McCain was a prisoner of war for five and a half years.

2. Edwards' wife has cancer, whereas McCain's wife was merely crippled in a car accident.

3. Five and a half years. Beatings every day.

4. It was thirty years ago.

5. Senator Byrd used to be in the Ku Klux Klan.

6. Five and a half years of beatings every day.

7. John Edwards condemned Bill Clinton for having an affair. (He voted "not guilty" twice, unlike McCain, who voted "guilty").

8. You try being a POW for five and a half years and see if you don't cheat on your wife.

Don't believe me? Watch the video here.

(My) Bambino Blogging: birthday edition

I have thus far avoided blogging about my offspring in this space for a number of reasons. I maintain a separate momblog, mostly for the amusement of the fam. And I have this hangup that goes something like this: when a man blogs about his kid, it's touching and sensitive; when a woman blogs about her kid, it's "jeebus, WTF is all this girly crap?" Not that I think any of you are thinking that. This is strictly internal dialogue coming from my own pathologies (and one too many run-ins with fellow feminists who are anti-mom.) Anyway, that said, I am putting all that aside for today because it's my wee one's second birthday. I am home today celebrating and, while he's napping, pondering how this little guy:

grew into this little monkey:

Happy birthday, Baby R.!

What Would Bela Say About It?

The Chinese forging passports so that underage gymnasts can compete? Completely believable, a huge deal, and international disgrace!

The Bush administration forged a document linking Iraq and Al Queada and made it part of the rational for the war? Not credible, not a big deal even if true, and who cares?

say it is, in fact, so, Joe

could it be? could it really be? it'd certainly make me happy. and as jerobaim pointed out, watching him debate romney'd be priceless.

Post-'Black Politics' Politics

Wow, Mel Reeves has a nice response to the recent NYT Magazine bit on an Obama victory somehow signifying the end of black politics on BlackAgendaReport. There's also a related, cool BAR editorial here.

This "post-racial, post-partisan, post-political" wishful thinking of neoliberal organs like the NYT is as much an example of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" pedantry as the mudslinging and handwringing betwen six-comrade Trot factions. We can't get there, and we shouldn't, because ultimately there is no reason to believe a "post-racial" political culture would be any less racist than this one. But as a guiding light and utopian precept, this "post-everything" outlook needs to be interrogated.

Who among us desires a post-political social organization? Wouldn't it be necessarily post-democratic? Is their a capitalist myth-dream out there in which the market's foreclosure upon the social (i.e., infrastructure, civil society, welfare) is a mere prelude to foreclosure upon the political? Not a lessening of elections, but a lessening of electoral impact - less distinction between parties, lessened state authority vis a vis the market - and a subsequent, fundamentalist reduction of legitimate democratic activity from free association AND the right to organize to simply voting as such (think about the EFCA 'secret ballot' debates.) At what point does voting become indistinguishable from consumer "choice"? How much of this has already happened?

crap/not crap: Reading the Bible from a Literary Point of View

Either the authorial fallacy, as in "did you know that the Evangelist Mark was actually three men in Galilee, born some some seventy years after His Majesty?"

or a 'new criticism' approach a la "maybe it's just the blank verse translation of Psalms hitting me here, but I feel as though a certain leitmotif of shadow and light, sort of, i dunno, undergirds this section of scripture. subsequent authors pick up on it, and gain moral (read: rhetorical) authority merely by maintaining a thematic consistency."

or, "careful study of competing Messianic texts made available after the publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls allows us to understand perfectly the ellipsis between early tales of Christ as a child and his subsequence emergence as a thirtysomething."

that sort of thing. is it "crap"?


congrats to Evo Morales, Alvaro Garcia Linera, and the 55-60% of the Bolivian polity that reaffrirmed their support of the indigenous, socialist government. However, while this referendum was helpful in shoring up popular support against the entrenched, white oligarchy - even expelling two anti-Evo prefects - the Right has already done its damage through 'autuomony referenda' which empower provinces rich in natural gas to avoid nationalization and profit-sharing and perhaps to sink Morales' ConstituentAssembly. Gramscian sociologist that he is, Linera has an interesting view on the political work ahead for the Bolivian Left. But I'd turn you to this analysis by Andrew Lubyarsky for the best intro into to the situation. Why are initiatives and referenda everywhere tools of the Right?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Human Drama of Athletic Competition

Why was I up until 12:45 am last night watching the US men win a bronze in an event I don't even acknowledge as a legitimate sport?

Damn you Olympics! Damn you!

Have No Fear

I know it's not fair to pick on every wingnut who starts a blog, but this woman is actually published in a wide variety of places, including the MSM (at least according to her mini CV at the bottom of her webpage).

In a column about the dangers of drinking on the public - liberal, secular - college campus, Marie Jon wrote this paragraph, which I thought was the most hysterical hysterical paragraph I have read in a long time.
Binge drinking — excess for its own sake — is encouraged by other students. As a result, hospitalization of their peers for acute alcohol poisoning is becoming practically epidemic. It is not unusual for some students to down as many as twenty-two shots of vodka while in a dorm room waiting with their friends to start a weekend of partying. Poisoning resulting from the intake of such massive quantities of alcohol in a short span of time has become widespread on campuses across the nation. Approximately three hundred students die each year.
Twenty-two shots just pre-funking (as we called it in my day)? Not unusual? That's amazing. It's amazing in both the "I don't believe it for a second" sense and the "why 22 shots?" sense. Depending on how you measure a shot, that's either 86% of a fifth (1 oz), almost a whole liter (1.5 oz) or 1-1/3 liters (2 oz) of vodka. Not unusual. Before you go out partying. If this is the case (it is not), then I tip my hat to the college student of today. Thank God He made it so that one need not fear, if one has consumed the liquorous spirits before one partakes of the beer.

I'm sure Marie would like to cite her sources on this, but how to you link to Pastor Tim's lecture about the dangers of alcohol at the last youth fair at the church?

As for the Wii beer pong game, I want one and wouldn't this be a lot more sanitary than actual beer pong? But what the hell happened to quarters? I imagine as the economy continues to sink and money tightens, we'll see a return to a less equipment-intensive drinking regime.

More McGovern (on Fox)

Follow the link for McGovern's anti-EFCA interview on Fox News. This is what a union-buster looks like.

(ps - for some reason youtube's having momentary issues with posting clips to blogs. otherwise you'd be watching said video minus all the unnecessary clicking.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

oh, nillie!

i am transfixed before the Clinton campaign memos. woah.

i relish the opportunity to do surveillance on fascinating weirdo Harold Ickes, and to stand around somebody else's burnt ground. somebody else's mistakes, campaigns.

novick on novick

this is a strenuous piece of self-criticism from a genuine badass. if only he were our U.S. senator.

July 2008 - month that it was - Tape

(Help yourself confidently to the tape. I've been listening to great bands throughout this hectic time of living i've had for so many weeks now. I believe this will have to be remembered as an all-time great playlist in terms of customer satisfaction. In this case, the "customer" is me. Sure, I need to get off the computer. Sure, I could probably stand to take some walks. But I'm listening to good records while I work myself into middle-age.
Unfortunately, copyright minutae and private property as such have intervened in the inclusion of Leon Russell's "Tight Rope:" make a point of experiencing that for yourselves, tho. also absent is "She's Crazy for Leaving", from a Guy Clark alb that I love despite it's crappiness.)

st johnny 'i give up'. when i heard of these guys back in them early 90s, they were always shrugged off as young sonic youth proteges with a yen for drug references. well, they somehow got signed to geffen! and the resultant record, while hardly "great," is nonetheless really good. it sounds like siltbreeze-y Crazy Horse standing in an empty field, trying to play music that's somewhere equidistant from sonic youth and dinosaur.

ida 'lovers' prayers'. fantastic title cut from a fantastic record, recorded with Levon Helm in Woodstock, by a band that has a sensibility towards album rock that betrays their East Coast, 'hc' pedigree. i will follow this band, from here on out. already bought three records from them this year. beautiful, haunting, a la the good Elton John albums like honky chateau. is it sometis okay to be sentimental, so long as you're in the right company and never, ever sentimentalist?

karate 'cherry coke'. from the split with crownhateruin. i have come full circle on this band, who, not unlike st johnny, were maligned en masse among at least the sort of wankers i once knew. the guy is a fantastic guitar player. and i've always associated them with ida - not sure why.

the baseball project 'past time'. my favorite song of 2008? it's not just the baseball references - it's the steve wynn swagger, dumbass! - and it's the paul muldoon-like decision that, yes, i will unleash a sea of non-sequitor namedrops for the sake of a sonorous-er afternoon! poetry needs to continue to exist, sis. even oscar gamble, bobby wise and joe pepitone are hip to that.

electro group 'la ballena alegria'. now we're talking - this is my new band, here. i just swallowed them up whole, after builtonaweakspot dropped them in my face. this is your bleed-y post-shoegaze that also retains weird polvo elements. very float-y, but a lot tougher than most of the wannabe mbv-type bands. i love this band.

faces 'if i'm on the late side'. god, we never talk about how great Faces' ballads are, cuz we're so busy talking about how hard they rock.

toshack highway 'i thought i saw my ship a-coming'. this is the solo outing by adam franklin, another 1990s badass from 1990s badasses swervedriver. this is really sedate, scott walker-y pop with tastey tones and advanced songwriting. placid. why did nobody never send me the memo about swervedriver? that's franklin's old group, too. recommendations?

bruce springsteen 'silver palomino'. i must confess that i have no idea how the Boss got from being a guy who reads Steinbeck to being a guy who alternates between writing b-grade Nelson Algren genre scenes and Horse Songs like this. but it's so, so idiosyncratic - the Jersey Guy dreams of Horses! - that i'm ready for it. his version of "the street" was always a little contrived, too. but since when was this thing we do ever about verisimilitude?

the walkmen 'lost in boston'. soon i will have more to say about the walkmen's new album, which is really cool....but this joint is a deep cut from 100 miles off, which is one of the only rock records of the 2000s that i really love. as i was saying to my friend with the new, cool blog
the other day...the walkmen are my dream hybrid of the faces and fugazi. 100 miles off is the closest we'll ever get to having guy picciotto front the highway 61 band.

beauty pill 'the cigarette girl from the future'. wow. the guys from infamously-obscure dischord geniuses smartwentcrazy have emerged in this format, like a 'pop'(/'Pop'?) june of '44. this record is, of course, 7 years old by now.... where have i been?

drive like jehu 'good luck in jail'. this joint is from the self-titled, a colossal part of the guitar canon that rules all over the polvos, pitchblende's et. al. if you like the guitar playing on "Down by the River" or "Death Valley 69" than you have to love this, even tho it's also more punk rock than either.

make believe '(i can't understand) satisfaction.' one of two recent releases from tim kinsella, make believe's going to the bone church is, among other things, home to the most dominant guitar performance of 2008, that of sam zurich. (i can't understand) satisfaction is both a godard-y, situationist-y derive of the stones' legendarily sexual single, and the platform upon which zurich and the really, very downbeat-y rhythym section can really wreak havoc. this music is like a slow, intermittent tornado.

the crownhate ruin 'lesson in thread'. this is righteous terrain - the bass-driven post-hoover outfit considered by many to be the highwater mark of their family tree. mixed metaphors do no justice to this weird, smart, angular power trio. find out about it at hardcore for nerds.

curtis mayfield 'freddie's dead'. and now let's get a little deeper inside the pocket. vamp city, drum land.

garden variety 'harbored'. a punishing, grating, chugging, math-y battery from an overlooked power trio who made one amazing pop/core record a la jawbreaker, and then one very mathy, ploddy art record. guess which this comes from? check out builtonaweakspot's profile of 'em, and help me find whatever 7"s of there's're out there.

shipping news 'untitled with drums'. it's weird when they're balladeers. this song is a sleepless, overcaffeinated, exhausted wooden roller coaster.

wayne shorter 'ana maria'. getting weird with you again: this is from wayne's collaboration with milton nascimento, entitled 'native dancer'.

joan of arc '9/11 2'. the other side of tim kinsella circa 2007-2008 - a much-maligned track from this new, seemingly 'confessional' joan of arc release. and personally, yes, i think the song lives up to the promise of the title. i think 9/11'll be a full-functioning metaphor for loverly relationships by 2009, if it isn't already.

Vacationing in Hawaii Is Fascist

Cokie should have taken Bob Roberts' advice and stayed off of the crack.

These are the things you think up while high. Going on vacation to visit your grandmother is not something real Americans do. Just because Hawaii is a state, doesn't mean it's not foreign. Myrtle Beach, SC is real America where real Americans go on vacation.

Please, someone, tell me more about the liberal media.

Told Ya So

This is some hot Olympic action.

For those that don't know, the Frogs pledged to "smash" the Americans.

Punk Rock Monday

In my immediate post-high school years ('90-'94), I picked up the nickname "Loser" as in "Loser Dave." Nominally, this nickname distinguished me from the 5 other Daves that flitted in and out of the social circle, but was also indicative of the twin facts that I didn't go to college and worked fast food for a living. Of course, these were the grunge years, so the appellation "Loser" had some positive cache. Anyway, the Descendents' "I'm Not a Loser" became my unofficial theme song, at least until Beck's "Loser" came along and I moved to Baltimore. That said, I was never a big fan of the homophobic message at the end of the song, although I think I recognized that the Descendents were making a statement about how the pain and anger of socital rejection can lead one to lash out randomly at something everyone hated more than you.

On the three occasions I was able to see either All or the reunited Descendents, this was the song I enjoyed moshing to the most. It kicks ass. Back then, I had that skater haircut where your hair was shaved aroung the sides and you let it grow long and wore it in a ponytail. Looked like a coonskin cap. Unleashed, my hair hung down about 6 inches past my chin. About the same length as my goat. I enjoyed flinging my hair around as I banged my head to "Hurtin' Crue." Go ahead, undo the ponytail and fling your hair around now.

This is simply my favorite song of all-time.