Friday, February 6, 2009

Deal or No Deal?

call me a skeptic, but whatever Snowe, Nelson, Lieberman and Spector came up with has got to suck...
whatever the senate passes, the "joint" committee will be where it's at....

Grammar and punctuation are ever evolving rubrics, as well

A lot of the legislative agenda is driven by assumptions that have reached the level of given facts. Science is an ever changing rubric and even such core principles as gravity have been modified over the years as more information has become available. As we enter into a debate on our various courses of action, I think it is important to examine the base line to see if there is enough “real” science to warrant the direction we are taking. To that end my next few newsletters will deal with Oregon’s environmental agenda.

If you ask any climatologist (who has not bought into a political agenda) if the planet is getting warmer the answer will be; “we don’t know”.


If you really love me, you'll find this t-shirt and buy it for me

h/t Pam

Because no one has accused the labor movement of being communist in the last week, we'll do this

Lex asks some important questions that no one responded to, so I will take a shot at getting some laboring questions answered.

First, let me say that a labor merger under the terms being discussed horrifies me. Let me grab a coupla quotes from that article:
There was general agreement that any future federation should focus on political and legislative matters, while also serving to encourage individual unions to do more to organize workers.

But many officials oppose a rotating presidency, saying the parent federation needs a strong, visible president who, by dint of serving for several years, is recognized by Congress and the news media as the undisputed voice for labor.

Several presidents have also called for creating a strong executive director’s position, partly in the hope that the parent federation would have two strong voices rather than one.

In other words, the AFL-CIO would become strictly a lobbying organization. Yay! I've always wanted to belong to a lobbying organization! Let the motherfucking revolution begin.

I do think we need a strong, strong president. Someone who can speak for "labor." Someone who is independent, answerable to no one. Someone who can demand unwavering support from everyone around him. Someone who can act decisively. Someone who has a lifetime position. Preferably someone willing to eliminate all enemies to labor, even those within the movement. I cannot see any problem with this at all.

But for fuck's sake, lets make sure this powerful man has a woman/minority assistant so that the workers can have someone to adore. Someone who looks like them. Some one who cares. Bam! Look out 21st century, here we come.

"The Leopards" is the most brilliant thing to come 0ut of Lex's mouth in some time.


The Kingsmill Smackdown

Obama spoke at a Demo "retreat" tonight, and apparently left the prepared remarks and dropped some smackdown on the rethug obstructionism....
I am glad to see the new tone....
Digby added her two cents:
She recalled a Skocpol essay from a couple weeks ago:
The idea that "elites" will "get serious about repairing the safety net" if they are FIRST given billions of dollars of payoffs to shareholders who made bad decisions is the height of naivete. There are no corporatist institutions in U.S. politics that can enforce this kind of bargain, that can corral all the interests and get them to carry through on mutual promises. That is why Obama and the Democrats will get for the people in general exactly what they push through right now and will squander opportunities if they give money and leverage to "elites" first!

This is what Ira Magaziner imagined with health care back in 1992 -- that he could get up front understandings with powerful interests by giving them concessions in the Health Security proposals, and they would let it get through Congress later. (I remember sitting in his office as I took notes for BOOMERANG and having him complain to me that he could not understand why the business roundtable types "lied" to him about what they would do!) Of course, they turned on him the moment Congress got ahold of things. Same thing will happen here.

digby added:
I noticed in passing that David Gergen is nearly in tears that Obama has betrayed the promise of bipartisanship tonight. He's heartbroken that Obama decided that it was more important to save the economy than kiss GOP hems and bow and scrape before the villagers. No word on the parade of GOP jackasses who've been all over TV laying down the law that the only stimulus they can possibly sign on to is one that would have been written by Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich. It's not as if they've been acting in good faith. (In fact, Huckleberry Graham's multiple tirades today were pretty much a throwdown to Obama's manhood, which is quite a spectacle coming from him.)

At least the spell is broken and the white house will be suffering no further delusions that the Republicans are going to play nice. If they sell out to them, it's because they have decided to do so on the merits. (Now all we have to worry about is the administration playing some kind of equally delusional byzantine inside game with the Blue Dogs...)

What do you think about Obama's Stimulation Package?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crap/Not Crap: US Labor "Getting the Band Back Together"

for reference purposes, please see Labor Calls for Unity After Years of Division -
The union presidents issued their joint call after the transition team for President-elect Barack Obama signaled that it would prefer dealing with a united movement, rather than a fractured one that often had two competing voices.

David E. Bonior, a member of Mr. Obama’s economic transition team who withdrew from consideration as labor secretary, helped arrange and oversee a meeting of the union presidents on Wednesday in Washington.

The leaders are hoping, by April 15, to approve a plan to reunify, one union official said. But some officials said they might fail to reach agreement.

Mr. Bonior, a former House majority whip, said he would organize meetings with labor leaders over the next few weeks in the hope of hammering out details about what form a reunified labor federation would take.

BHO saying it'd be easier to work with a united labor movement, and potentially using EFCA as a quid-pro-quo to consolidate his base/our movement? Not crap. Bonior as master of reconciliation ceremonies? Not crap. But then comes tougher questions:

  1. Is this "rotating two-year presidency" idea even more flaccid and in-efficacious than the UN-... I mean, the AFL-CIO's situation?
  2. Trumka? He's not crap, but the "pale/stale/male" tradition he embodies is undeniably so.
  3. Seriously, a new name? Can we call ourselves "The Leopards?"

Joker, smoker, midnight toker

Kathleen Parker

Making Fun of Little Children Horn

AC/DC's Big Score, by Andrew Earles :: The Memphis Flyer
Do I need to remind you that unconditional endorsee Andrew Earles is half of the force behind the Prisonship's 2008 Alb of the Year, and the engine behind m'b'loved Failed Pilot? I shouldn't have to.

Also, let me say this: for all of the babbling I do about enjoying the writing-about-rock, you'll know I'm really bought in to that venture when I abandon my too-easy-to-be-'good,' faux-Meltzer voice for a more expository (but no less writerly) one not unlike Earles'. This essay is about the (foreboding and horrible) irony of the legendary Aussie filth-mongers' team-up with WalMart. It'll be anthologized before you know it, but you should read it now. This is how you write about the social ramifications of rock records without coming off like Simon Frith or Greil Marcus of one of those munches. Why do I want to compare this essay to an Alan J. Pakula film? When I do so, I don't necessarily have this blurb in mind:
To a distant society in another part of the world, it might have looked like Americans were buying one album from one retailer for fear of electrocution by government-mandated shock-collars. Take out the shock-collar part, and you're getting warm.
What if Celebrity Nudity picked the Oscar winners? | A.V. Club
Celebrity nude database, huh? It's about damned time.

Prindle Record Reviews - Bruce Springsteen, Working on a Dream
Of course, the other reason I must veer away from the Coley/Meltzer vibe is that Prindle is Undisputed Reigning King of this style, and all the rest of us are just sort of historical re-enactors.

At this point in his career, Bruce just doesn't have the inspiration to write a great straightforward rock album like Born In The USA (or, for that matter, a dark acoustic masterpiece like Nebraska). As evidenced by The Rising and The Seeger Sessions -- the only two of his past five records worth buying -- he needs an overriding concept to wrap his brain around. This allows him to get into a certain mindset and craft an entire sonic and emotional experience for the listener, just as he did with The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle so many years ago. Otherwise, the result is exactly what we have here - a bunch of perfectly listenable pop-rock songs that nevertheless bring nothing new to our lives. Bruce fanatics will be happy because it's new Bruce, but casual listeners will be left wanting. Wanting and craving. With mad lustful desire.

(*sticks dick in Clarence Clemons' saxophone*)

Actually, the real problem might be that this is Bruce's fourth studio album in FIVE YEARS! I doubt that even a strong today's artist as formidable as Lenny Kravitz or Jamiroquai could pull that off with flying colons. Probably Soul Collective or Live could though; those guys are killer, and will have hit after hit for generations to come.

Of course I quite disagree with the positive appraisal of the Seeger Sessions, as I do with all positive appraisals of Pete Seeger. But Prindle's conclusion, that the alb is "just another batch of okay/not great pop-rock songs with a few stylistic surprises thrown in," rings true after my initial .95 listens.

TAD's Weird Ass Music and Books - Powered by CO.CC
Just a very, very good new site of reviews that tends towards my beloved 1970s rock. Get involved, huh?

Cluedo revamp: Jack Mustard, in the spa, with a baseball bat | Life and style | The Guardian
Movie Novelizations #2: Clue The Movie
A new version of Clue, which apparently the kids call "Cluedo" across the drink? Who knew? And also, I HAVE to own this novelization, which I believe might threaten even Hank Searls' Jaws 2 in my pantheon of righteous novelizations. For more on Jaws 2, see this review from a 29 year-old man named Jessica:

Jaws 2 ?It is a reading experience you?ll never forget. A novel of paralyzing terror that will grab you from the opening chapter?Jaws2.? Jaws2 is one of the most spine-tingling books I?ve ever read. It?s descriptive, scary, and the characters are realistic. The book by Hank Searls is descriptive; I always had a movie playing in my head when I read it. One part of the book that was descriptive was, ?A flattened, blood-red sun rose dead ahead?Twenty feet below the surface she swam dead on course for Montauk Peak?Before her, an invisible cone of fear swept the sea clean, from bottom to the surface.? I could really picture it in my head. A movie was playing in my head the whole time. It got so descriptive at times that I got scared at what I was picturing like I was watching a scary movie. Jaws 2 was scary because it explains what it is like to be attacked by a shark. My biggest fear is that exact thing. My mom said, ?When you read it it?s like you?re there inside the story, like you?re in the characters place.? That?s what I think too. Every once in a while I had to put the book down and take three big breaths for one minute. The realistic characters added some of the effect. The characters are realistic because of the way they?re described by the author; it is so real. I can picture a person perfectly from the author?s descriptions. An example of a realistic description is, ?The little attorney was burdened with all equipment money could buy. His mask was prescription- ground so that he needed no glasses. He wore a pressure equalizing vest. On the lawyers left wrist was a compass, and in his right was an underwater watch to give him below time. From his neck dangled a Nikonos underwater camera. Strapped to his left calf was a Buck diving knife, on his right was an aluminum scallop iron for their prey.? Jaws 2 is one of the most spine-tingling books I?ve ever read. You should get this book and read it right away! If you do, you?ll experience a frightening journey on the sea.

What novelizations make you twich, Rich?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dispatches from the class war

Lucky to be alive, I tell you. Amanda Carpenter and her colleagues, using their wit, daring, and near flawless camouflage,...


... infiltrate class enemy positions and get a small taste of the bloodbath that awaits upon the advent of our Glorious Socialist Яevolution, which will occur on or just before passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Her feverish dispatch:

Throughout the event labor members blasted employers who harassed them in the workplace for supporting the liberal policy. The funny thing is, several of those same labor members openly harassed a pair of men protesting the legislation.

Good lord, that never gets old! At any rate, yes, yes! Objective observer gets the vapors over the treatment of people with whom she's in no way associated!

The [sic] dressed up as "union bosses" looking for their payback for helping Democrats in the 2008 election: passage of EFCA [sic]

They dressed up with helpful signs pointing out that they were union bosses. Which helped, because otherwise a body would've thought they were two assholes there to disrupt the rally.

Anywhere Union Bob and Union Bill went, a crowd of union members followed them and pushed them to the perimeter of the rally. Union members pushed their way in front of them to hold up signs to hide the anti-EFCA signs from the cameras.

The bastards! How dare they try to silence two assholes there to disrupt the rally union bosses looking for their payback!

Essentially, they did everything the [sic] could to make sure no media could see an alternative message.

Unions, of course, being all-pervasive and able to keep the owners and managers of capital from using their various media organs to present a perfectly reasonable argument that the Employee Free Choice Act would TAKE AWAY EVERYONES JOB EVERYWHERE! AND NO PUPPIES! Thank the jeebus cracker Amanda Carpenter was to make sure these brave assholes' union bosses' voices were heard!

When I asked them why they were doing this most of them went mute.

One woman, however, had lots to say. She's in the third video and I'll warn you, her vulgar language isn't safe for work

OMFG! Members of the Яevolutionary People's Proletarian Vanguard cuss at their rivals!

The Huns! The savage fucking barbarians! Amanda was just kind of wondering about the irony of the whole situation, and someone had to go and drop the f-bomb. Why I've never heard those exact words boldly proclaimed in any workplace I've encountered over the last 8 years - thanks for that NSFW label!

But a taste of the fury that is class war has Amanda experienced! We have plenty more insults in store to sweep aside the NAM and their lackeys as we march to our Яevolutionary destiny: an amendment to the National Labor Relations Act! On, comrades!

WTF is up w/Solis Nomination

new story in the LAT about the Solis nomination and card check.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a leading business lobby, outlined its strategy to defeat the proposal, saying the bill would "effectively eliminate the secret ballot protection for workers" when deciding whether to join a union.

Solis's Cabinet nomination is in the crossfire. She was a co-sponsor of the bill in 2007, and has served for the last four years on the board of American Rights at Work. Solis receives no salary as a board member or treasurer.

Republican senators zeroed in on the organization in a series of written questions and answers obtained by the Tribune Washington Bureau.

In her initial public hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions last month, Solis faced criticism for sidestepping questions about the union organizing issue. She was more forthcoming in subsequent written replies, saying she intended to work for passage if confirmed as Labor secretary.

In the written exchange, Republican senators asked if that would run afoul of Obama's new ethics policy. Obama has announced that appointees who lobbied on an issue must steer clear of it for their first two years of government service. The president has made some exceptions, however.

In their questionnaire, the senators noted that American Rights at Work has lobbied for passage of bill. They asked Solis whether she would seek a waiver from the Obama administration or avoid any role in passing the legislation.

Solis replied that she does not need a waiver and has no intention of stepping back. She said she was only a member of Congress exercising her powers.

"I am not a registered lobbyist, nor do I in any way meet the statutory requirements for registration as a lobbyist," she wrote.

On the eve of the committee vote, Republicans were taking a cautious stance.

A spokesman for the top Republican member of the labor committee, Michael B. Enzi (R-Wyo.), said: "Sen. Enzi has received responses from Rep. Solis to his questions for the record, and he is reviewing those responses carefully."

Big f'in news that the CoC bastards oppose card check. And the nerve of the Rethugs demanding that she recuse herself from all actions on Card check.....Newsflash: they lost.....How is it that someone married to mitch mcconnell, and employed by the heratige foundation never caused a problem, but Solis' unpaid membership on a labor group is fouling her nom?.....Obama and the Dems need to go to the f'in mattresses on this...

Myth making at its worst

The only explanation I can think of is that the pseudo-feminism running rampant has made men feel guilty about our very fiber so long we’ve conformed to a feminist mindset. A mindset whose subtext would ultimately be, “If you think men and women are different … you’re a sexist.” Gender is a “myth perpetuated by society,” they’d say. The worst part is that many women haven’t even realized they’re the ones who have most victimized by this very ideology.

Cousin Oliver

I feel a bit like John Frusciante over here. I've followed the lads (and lady) at the OG here for years, even have the OG logo tattooed on my left butt check, and now I am the luckiest guy in the world because I actually get to jam with these mofos. Plus, Wobs has started to dial it in like he was Flea and Lex is busy trying to become an actor by playing a small-time thug in a Keanu Reeves vehicle. The parallels are uncanny. The only thing left for me to do is propose that we do a really ripping cover of Higher Ground.

As always when the new guy comes in, you will hate me. You will sit around and talk about how you used to read the OG before they sold out. (Speaking of which, can we get some motherfucking ads up in this bitch? I got two cats to feed.) But then the OG will conquer the known blog universe, win Grammies, and everyone will look at you funny when you say you liked early OG and drop a reference to Freaky-Styley. dave3544 Hillel is dead, long live me.

Still, the new guy has to be able to play the classics, if only for encore purposes. Hell, it's why I fell in love with the OG in the first place. So here's this:

Seriously, FUCK ANDY STERN. He's a Stalinesque piece of crap who wants power. His transparent need to grow his union to collect dues, not help workers, but to collect dues and expand his power is obvious to anyone paying attention. The deals his union works with employers, locking in low wages for years while pledging to work on the employers behalf is unconscionable. His ongoing battle with the California Nurses and now the UHW is not about helping workers, it is about power and control.

Alright,the classics done, let me point you to LaborNerd. For reasons I can't explain, I have hopes for this blog. Young people writing about labor, yes! Unfortunately, so far we have a strong endorsement of Robert Reich and a complete unwillingness to take sides in the SEIU-UHW affair. I mean, it's handy to have a clearing house for the info, but pick a motherfucking side. More calls for everyone to get along are not going to help. One side is more right than the other. Declare or shut the fuck up.


Millard Fuller

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Screw you, soul patch

The arts have failed. They no longer keep mass culture in check with thought-provoking art that challenges the establishment. Now they’re in charge of spreading the mainstream mandate of the Liberal Vatican. There isn’t an original thought among them, just a thousand-mile stare, a blue logo and the drone-like vocabulary of emotive, vaguely inspiring chants.

Well, shit, Tom Daschle....

Ezra Klein is out front with the chasepack for HHS Sec./Health Care Czar gig (feat. Oregonians Kitzhaber and Wyden, among others) now that Daschle has left the scene.

Truth is, this may be a bad hit for the administration's health care efforts (these have already taken a backseat to the stimulus blowouts, of course.) I don't claim to know whether of not having a "Man of Stature Who Knows Washington" will or won't be decisive, but clearly there's not a comparable MoSWKW waiting to assume Daschle's position.

You know what, tho? 'Hell with it. Government-as-such faces a deficit in the legitimacy dept. that has to be erased if we're going to see even the "compensatory neoliberalism" schema de l'Obama administration brought to bear on this sonuvabitch. So if it means a Daschle has to disqualify himself in the face of little but the appearance of misconduct...well, I think we've got bigger fish to fry. Anybody disagree? There's plenty of reason to disagree.

Of Course It's a "Water" Pipe

Radley over at the Agitator nails it on the Michael Phelps thing.
A Letter I’d Like To See (But Won’t)
Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Dear America,

I take it back. I don’t apologize.

Because you know what? It’s none of your goddamned business. I work my ass off 10 months per year. It’s that hard work that gave you all those gooey feelings of patriotism last summer. If during my brief window of down time I want to relax, enjoy myself, and partake of a substance that’s a hell of a lot less bad for me than alcohol, tobacco, or, frankly, most of the prescription drugs most of you are taking, well, you can spare me the lecture.
read on...

As a good friend of mine likes to say, the tyranny and the bullshit have gone on too long.

Agnosticism Even in Our Anti-Capitalism

(h/t: fellow twitter-er and Edwards/Dean/Jerry Brown strategy guy Joe Trippi)

Spiegel Online re: Davos...
Davos can deliver insights it doesn't necessarily intend.

The key messages that seemed to flow from four days of speeches, panels, "bilaterals" (i.e., chatting with someone), cocktail parties, and press briefings were these:

1. Everyone stupidly failed to see the financial calamity coming except roughly four economists who now must be heeded in everything they say and all they predict.

2. The private sector has ruined the global economy and can no longer be trusted.

3. Government is ascendant, with regulation closest to godliness.

4. These conclusions are correct and will stand the test of time.

What I took away instead was this: Beware conventional wisdom and groupthink. Be skeptical of tidy explanations for complex past events. Be even more skeptical of confident predictions of future human behavior. Don't fight the last war.

All true, my "non-ideological" friend. I fear for those among us who are too hopped-up about:
  1. New Deal 2.
  2. "More public, less private" as an end in itself.
  3. The fallacy that somehow favoring industrial capital over financial capital is an intrinsically good (or always necessarily meaningful) decision.
Brass tacks: be it in laissez-faire or mixed economy tones, the state always "regulates" the economy under capitalism (read your Dean Baker, or Poulantzas on the theory side.)

And to put a theoretical bow on things: on a political-cultural level, the 100% socialization of assets might somehow make our society 100% "public"...but it's not enough to undo the public-private binary that shapes the ideological playing field for social actors, social movements, etc.
Not to sound too lapsed-Catholic, but there's no getting out of the desert until the Original Sin of public-private discourse is undone, transgressed, defaced, profaned, overturned. Of course I'd rather the state administered/guaranteed my health care, and I'll go to as many informational pickets as you want in favor of it. But the state's still the (capitalist) state, in that instance.

What are you saying, Lex - Socialism or Barbarism? Well, of course I'm always at least implying that, I hope. But I'm also trying to make the more pragmatic point that there is a horizon - just a horizon right now, what with all of the totally necessary socialization/regulation/de-privatization we absolutely have to do right now - beyond which the socialization/regulation/de-privatization of capital will cease to be strategically viable aims for organized labor in particular, if not the "working class" in general. The work of agnosticism, which to me is also the work of democratic socialism, is to provide unflagging-but-contingent support for civil society, the public sphere and the state regulation of capital and capitalists, but without elevating those "empty signifiers" to the level of godheads or ends-in-themselves. These aforementioned are worthy socialist causes, but hardly the stuff of life-after-liberalism, let alone life-after-capital.

Any theologians out there interested in the question, "Is socialism capitalist?" It'd prolly make for good barroom talk if the company was right.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Way Beyond Academic Emo: 2009 Self-Inventory

There's nothing like hanging in your childhood home to lead you into deep, obscene feats of regression and recapitulation. Perhaps that's how I've pulled off such adolescent horseshit as mumbling "I don't care what happens to me" recently, and how I came to spend 20-35 seconds of actual, lived life on lamenting how my parents just don't "get" me. (These last episodes are a few days old, btw, and I've since hit the sea-floor and headed surface-way. Is that Ben Gardner's boat?)

Jeepers Creepers, Lex: I know. But circumstances are such that it'd be even stupider to go about mumbling to myself about just how asshole-ish I'd be to continue indulging these sophomoric courses of action and inquiry. Instead, I'll focus on some things that are keeping me on the sunny side, even if I mean to evoke "sunny" in the hollow, haunted sense of stark winter light.

(These're in no specific order, btw. No matter what the format seems to suggest at first glance, you are reading a now-slightly-better-off-than-totally-insane man's blog, not listening to sports-talk radio.)

1. John Hodgman’s Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require. These astonishing works have played a crucial role in helping me maintain the "keep larfing or you will die" dogma that has pretty much defined my internal and external goings-on since mid-12/08. The laughing's running a little thin, actually, but the wannabe Joycean attention to comedy-not-tragedy is both the upside of irish-catholic-ness, and my anti-spiritual skeleton key. What Hodgman knows, and what Lex believes, is that lies beat fiction: 'specially when it comes to larfs! Like the names of twitterers/life-heroes Tompkins, Scharpling and Barry, Hodgman's nom'll be muttered on my death bed when I ponder the 100s of saints who can claim to've at some point saved my life.
2. The District of Columbia. What is this place? Train, train, bomb threat, restaurant, train. When I say, "this is New York City to me," I mean it houses the better-than-sports, better-than-most-making-out politickery that I'm apt for ambling after, autumn after autumn. Now, to find a 'not crap' job therein!
3. Twitter. Listen, maybe this blog-form's imperfect for the rest of you...god knows I don't use Twitter "as directed," which is to say, via my cellphone. My firm commitment to the tweet-form is mostly forged of a formal affinity for the character limit, and a readerly attachment to a cultivated copse of friends'/celebs' banalities and abbreviated asides. If you don't get it, you're not me. (And if you're not me, congrats! That means your face probably isn't twitching.)
4. Cookie Monster.
5. NJ. Let's see, we've got the "lunar landscape" of the turnpike. We've got WFMU, non-crap pizza, and pizzerias whose delivery folks are all over 50. We've got penne vodka on the cheap. And et's not forget the assholes who drive like shit and a ubiquitous affinity for "semi-formal" men's leather jackets. Everybody's gotta be "from" somewhere, I suppose. Is this my "from" place, still?
6. Rules for Turning 30. More on this later. I talk about turning 30 as if I'm very apprehensive about it, but veteran readers'll recognize that I'm actually just arbitrary and vain. I'm taking the approaching birthday as an opportunity to outline an array of advisable/unadvisable life decisions, as well as the usual bombastic pronouncements. Really I'd just like to have my own apartment sometime before this or that equinox. That's my bleeping goal.
7. Le Foosbook. During the trying times of Holiday '08, I hit the Facebook like a bloody-mouthed, hungry lion. Mission Accompished, though! I think I found what I'd needed to find, and am happy to see myself pivoting back towards the blog-realm, be it long-form or be it micro. Now I'm just good pour the occasional status update while awaiting more insane archival Sewanee snaps. (If only I had a scanner, it'd be curtains for you kids.)
8. The Lite-ness of singlehood: have you ever taken LSD-25? I haven’t: not ever, ever, ever. BUT, I’m told that an alternate-universe version of me has done so. Allow me to imagine I'm him for a moment....When I used to dose on LSD (alt. universe 1997-2000) and the shite got thick, I'd contstantly have to put out my hands, slap the floor, and remind myself where my body ended and the rest of the material world began. This fetishistic work of boundary drawing reminded me how small and physical I was, and helped my occasionally heroic conscience semi-soothe me to the tune of "hold it down, hold it down." So, too, do I find myself seeking reassurance these days from things in the world, and from my own frail physique, as I go about demarcating me and everything else. I am small, I am light, I am unassuming, I am passionless. I am not positioned to hurt anybody or myself. But better, I'm on the way to learning how to just maybe "take it lite" with the enemy of my enemy, Lurks Durkinster.
9. My Grandfather. My grandfather's the kinda guy who, when you tell him you gotta go to the can, he says, he says, he says, “mention my name and they’ll give you a good seat.”
10. Prindle 73. Obviously.
11. Wlkmn. I understand how this fascination/affinity might seem weird to some, especially because on the surface these guys just seem like another iteration of the Brooklyn, 2001 rubric that even Pitchfork's starting to get snarky about. My history with this band: includes the legendary Jonathan Fire*Eater; gleefully acknowledges their way longer-running DC roots; but culminates with the non-context-y realization that I like every single sound coming out of their songs. My new Son Volt, le wlkmn? That's not the right comparison yet, not least because they haven't demanded my rabid attention for a decade yet. But there's something happening with me and they. (And by the way, this particular performance of "In the New Year" will forever connote Barack Obama being president for me. Hamilton's vocal performance is fucking commanding, his leather jacket hardly semi-formal.) I really don't care who else "gets it," and I'm perfectly cool with this being just a 'me' thing. There have to be 'me' things, these days, or I'd go the way of a beached whale.
12. Realizations re: Patrick, writer and Patrick, rocker. Okay, look: I can't sing. Even when the bands I've fronted have no-doubt rocked, it's never been cuz I approached my beloved Chiltons, Parsons, Farrars in the throaty pipes dept. I get this now, having made a solo alb where something like "singing" would've helped. You know what else? I can't even not-sing a la my guys Kinsella, Dylan, etc. Front-guy wise, I think I've done best sounding like, well, Lex Dexter, with all his unconsciously embodied Mark E. Smith, Lydon, Chris Leo-isms. Really, I'm fine with that. Especially now that I've decided not to waste my words on my own voice. Because, you see, I like what I write a lot, and I am pleasantly unconcerned about it winning an audience beyond you seven readers, so there's no need to dress it up all suitable-like for the bars. I'm right now happier doing writing-about-music than I am saddling my writings with music. Try to stop me, eh? And when I do sing again it's gonna be Lex Dexter-y rasp time, not falling-short-of-Chilton follies time.
13. MySpace qua Radio. The only reason to've a muhspuss pazh is cuz it allows one to cruise rock bands' mushpuss radio stations. Why didn't I think of this four years ago? I did, but had to cut bait when 225 students wanted up in my back catalogue. No such problems these days.
14. Relative Libidolessness. Can't help cataloging all of my less-ness-es right now, even if it means (non-)sex-nonsense-blogging now. I am seated between a Straw Man and a Blow-Up doll, and it's cold enough to see my breath. There's the sound of children's laughter pumped in from somewhere. I am my own niece. I shall not not not want for anything saltier than a paperback.

15. The State of Michigan (home of l'UAW, Joe Louis Arena, le Bellman,)

Even the Apostles stopped Always Pressing After the Pentecost.

Maybe my imaginary Reuther's better to Virgil me All throughout Anti-Purgatory. Every other year after every other year, there's Always Pickets.

Anti-Popes, After-Parties: Vinnie Johnson, Ron Gettelfinger, Elmore Leonard, Chet Lemon. All Pink wine And Pantlegs.

Fuck bread and roses! We want fixed prices on A lot full of Packards, and we want Awesome Pastels for our nephew and our niece.

Union Security for Dummies: Sure, dues checkoff = AutoPay.

It's gonna take A lotta Patience, Michigan. It's gonna take A lotta Poise.

16. Sam Adams/Two-Beer Patrick. Two-Beer Patrick is an important, prophesied deliberor, coming soon to yawn at you, be yawned at by you, and to go home early... ( Where's the vaign?) Sam Adams has been on my mind for months before I came home to Jersey and started slurping 1.25 of 'em every other evening. It's my new idea of "plain" flavored beer, and darned if it's not delightful having no more than 1.25 of 'em. Out of curiousity, what're you all's submissions to the Plain Beer Survey?
17. Big Black Boook of lists/dreams qua Open-Ended ‘What is to be Done?’ conversation with self. Thank god. 'I've sporadically maintained a big sketchbook (sans sketches) since my second night in Eugene, 2002. Lately I've returned to reading/adding to the retrospective catalog of rock shows, crushes, insane ambitions, dreams, French Trotskyists' speeches and list of girls kissed btw. 1996-2000. Don't you judge! I'm just trying to take it lite, and these days that's hard work, Regis.