Chlorine gas sickened several people and forced the evacuation of thousands of guests from a suburban Chicago hotel early Sunday, including many dressed in cartoonish animal costumes for an annual furries convention who were ushered across the street to a convention center hosting a dog show.
I know, first hockey now this, because I feel like talking about something other than politics and Rainbow Fascism. Let’s talk about music.
Music will never mean as much to you as it does when you’re a teenager; it has to do with the interplay of music and the rapidly developing adolescent brain. And it’s true, the farther my misspent adolescence disappears in the rearview mirror, the less and less I have cared about music, the harder it is for “new music” to break through to me. Most of contemporary pop music sounds to me like whores strangling cats (I’m looking at you, Bieber.)
But I haven’t hated all of the music of this century, and watching America collapse into the socialist abyss requires a soundtrack for comfort and refuge. Here are, IMHO, ten of the best songpieces to come out so far this century.
A Day to Remember – “All Signs Point to Lauderdale” – 2010 – Sometimes I just loop this song continuously for an hour or more. Freakin’ love this song
Boards of Canada – “Dayvan Cowboy” – 2005 – an almost impossibly beautiful composition. Once I was running on a hot day and passed out in the woods with this on my mp3 player. True story.
Perfume – 1 MM – 2013 – After Johnny Craig, you need an upbeat pallet cleanser. Tho’ I would probably hate this song if it were in English and Katy Perry was doing it.
Johnny Craig – “I Still Feel Her Part III” – 2009 – which I feel quite dirty for liking, if you must know, because Johnny Craig is a complete POS. Good song though.
Bear McCreary – “Apocalypse” – 2009 – Bear McCreary has done the music for BSG, The Walking Dead, and Agents of Shield. I feel like this will be considered classical music in another hundred years.
Kaiser Chiefs – “Ruby” – 2007 – Catchy, sort of retro, and the video speaks to my love of Sim City.
Jimmy Eat World – “Bleed American” – 2001 — One of the few albums released this century I can listen all the way through without skipping songs.
Saosin – “You’re not Alone” – 2006 - You really can’t discuss early 20th Century without acknowledging that Emo was a thing; and on rare occasion not a bad thing. (And doesn’t the little girl in the video look like Monica Lewinsky’s mini-me?)
It was a stupid story, and no doubt, it was as a result of ESPN trying to find an angle on the famous gay athlete and how his teammates were accepting the famous gay athlete in their midst. But instead, it provoked a backlash, a huge stink was raised, because as a society, we have lost the ability to say “Well, that was stupid,” and move on. No, every offense to PC sensibilities has to be an Outrage!Just ask Sophia Vergara.
ESPN was, of course, forced to bow down before the sensitivities of hypersensitive, neurotic gays and other stupid people whose feelers were hurt, and issue an obsequious apology.
Gee, remember all those intolerant bigots who thought the hype over Michael Sam’s sexuality would be a huge distraction and headache?
The answer to this is to be found in a show called ‘Continuum,’ which I have been watching on Netflix; because I’m a sucker for terrible sci-fi. Basic plotline is that a soldier-cop from the year 2077 (a time in which all political governments have been abolished in favor of the ‘Global Corporate Congress,’ and huge corporations run the world) travels back to our era in order to stop a gang of terrorists known as ‘Liber8,’ who are stand-ins for the Occupy Movement (minus the rape tents and pooping on cop cars). Liber8 wants to stop the evil corporations from taking over, the soldier-cop is trying to stop them.
There is no nuance. Corporations and everyone who works for one is EVIL; and Corporations commit mass murder pretty much all the time and get away with it. Those who fight the corporations are GOOD. And in-between them, are the cops, who slowly realize they are fighting on the wrong side. One character joins liberate after ‘the corporations’ carpet-bomb her remote mountain village for no reason other than “what the corporations cannot own, they destroy.”
The characters are so one-dimensional they make Ayn Rand look like Jane Austen. Everyone who works for the corporations is evil; literally killing people for profit (because, obviously, murdering your customer base is the key to building brand loyalty). Everyone allied with Liber8 is pure and good. And the head corporate dude from the future is the Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files.
Messages are delivered with the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the side of the head. One of the evil corporations is called ‘Sonmanto.’ They make agricultural products as cover for their real business; deadly chemical weapons production. Get it? Or do they need to flash “Sonmanto is an anagram for Monsanto! Corporations are evil, you morons!” at the bottom of the screen.
There is no comic relief. Every show is as dark and serious as heart surgery in a blackout. No humor can be permitted when your object is to WAKE UP THE PEOPLE about the threat of EVIL CORPORATIONS.
Political messaging really is the enemy of art, isn’t it?
Archie Comics has decided to kill off the titular “Archie” in a forthcoming issue. Archie will “die” taking a bullet for a gay senator crusading for gun control. (The assailant will probably be waving a Gadsden Flag and wearing an “Impeach Obama” shirt.)
All of the hot topics of today are involved in the storyline: the death takes place in a future where Archie, Betty, Veronica, and everyone else are all adults, and Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in the comics, is now a US Senator fighting for gun control and free contraceptives for homeless transgendered illegal immigrant children.
(OK, I may have made up the part in italics.) This is sort of like one of those Law and Order “ripped from the headlines” storylines, where the episode’s plotline was grabbed from a major news story, then twisted to fit a left-wing agenda. The thing about Law and Order was even if the killing at the start of the show took place in a wig store in Harlem during a Dominican Pride Parade, by the end of the show a rich white guy would be convicted for it and the rich white guy was probably having an affair with his secretary.
So, who actually reads Archie comics anymore? What is the core demographic? People who don’t know about the internet? This stunt is kind the kind of thing washed-up D-list celebrities like Margaret Cho and Ellen Barkin do when nobody cares any more and they desperately need attention; begin spinning PC bullcrap and hope the MFM notice and give you publicity.
Seems to be working. So, the decision not to have Archie die saving a conservative, pro-life woman senator was probably a good call.
I don’t really know how to express how puerile and silly the whole thing with the First Lady and that hashtag thing was, so I’ve put it down in a few thousand words instead (and included a thousand empty ones for you to play along and do your own as well).
(By the way, a whole bunch more here. I haven’t read through all of them, so if I accidentally ripped someone off with one of mine, it was totally unintentional.)
“Steven Petrow will be joining our advice ranks,” declares the Post, “with a special emphasis on LGBT and straight etiquette issues.” Petrow, states his bio, is “the go-to source for modern manners…known as Mr. Manners.” Why was he chosen for the job? He will tell you it’s largely because he’s the former president of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.
An expert on LGBT etiquette issues. Hmmm, I wonder what that’s like.
Q. Dear Mr Manners, I was attending an utterly fabu dinner party when one of the other guests casually mentioned that he voted for Romney. I promptly threw my glass of Chardonnay right in his face. I have since wondered if I had handled the situation properly. Any advice would be appreciated. – Sparkles
A. Gentle Reader, it was improper for you to throw a glass Chardonnay at your Republican guest; always use red wine when assaulting Republicans.
Q. Dear Mr Manners, my partner and I are planning a lovely June wedding. There’s a Muslim-owned bakery in town that makes splendid wedding cakes, but we are not sure how to approach them. What is your advice? – Harley
A. Gentle Reader, are you on crack? Find a Christian bakery and force them to do your cake. No one cares about their religious rights.
The other examples I thought of were kind of NSFW.
Cruz bumped Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) in the hallway, pointed and said “what’s that on your tie?” When Udall looked down Cruz flipped up his hand, batting him in the face. As Udall arrived at the Senate cafeteria, he noticed his lunch money was gone.
Suspect fitting Cruz’s description drove slowly by the White House, clinking three empty beer bottles stuck to his fingers and taunting, “Obaaaamaaa! Come out to play-ee-yay!”
Spends all Republican caucus meetings slowly rocking his back-row chair, chewing gum and cracking wise. Anonymous complaint filed with the Senate Ethics Committee alleged a certain Texas senator “only refers to Hawaii Sen. Schatz by the present-tense version of his name.”
Cruz interrupted a long answer by SecDef nominee Chuck Hagel, with “speaking of drones, we gonna wrap this up soon?”
Yesterday Rand Paul addressed CPAC. His speech was well-received and in some respects inspiring. He quoted one or two of the Founders, including James Madison, as well as Daniel Webster and William Lloyd Garrison. He quoted, I believe, only one modern figure–Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd, from a song called “Wish You Were Here”: “And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? … And did you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?” The Waters reference is at about the 8:30 mark:
I am not sure why Paul thought that Waters or Pink Floyd, a band of the 1970s, would have resonance for the youthful CPAC crowd. But while Pink Floyd is long gone, Roger Waters is still around. He is known, these days, primarily as an anti-Semite. More here. To me, it seems extremely odd that Rand Paul would single out a Roger Waters lyric from the 1970s in a speech that otherwise quoted classic American heroes. Was Paul’s admiring reference to Waters intended as a proverbial dog whistle to let listeners know that he hasn’t diverged too far from his father’s foreign policy views? Or was his decision to highlight Waters simply a random (albeit odd) choice made by a politician who is unaware that Waters, in recent years, has come to stand for an obsessive hatred of Israel?
Not much going on, right now. The Obamas are on yet another vacation, because wrecking an economy and diminishing American prestige is hard work. So, for the sake of generating content, here’s a completely oblique tangent.
For those of us above a certain age, this should bring back some childhood memories; horrible, horrible childhood memories. Memories of a time of the three-network tyranny. The music is what gets me, it’s like ABC was screaming at you to watch their cut up, commercial interrupted, edited for television versions of two-year old cinema or, worse, made-for-TV movies.
And your movie tonight is the second worst airplane disaster movie of 1977, SST Death Flight. Featuring 70′s closet case Robert Reed as your pilot; Billy Crystal already setting himself up to host the Oscars by playing a gay flight attendant, also Ginger and Q. Enjoy.
An Arizona couple was charged with assault and disorderly conduct after arguing with McDonald’s employees and throwing food at them, KNXV reports.
Michael and Nova Smith ordered a Number 2 and Number 4, but were outraged when they did not receive hash browns with their meal.
And this happened…
And this spokesman for his generation and low-information voters everywhere said this.
“Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed. I am not a fan of books.” ― Kanye West
And I can’t help thinking these events are related; linked by a common diminishment and rejection of standards of behavior across society. The people at the top of the political elite behave like street trash, and that lowers the bar for everybody else.
My mother passed away early this fall. My family is mostly made up of working/middle class folk who live in “flyover country.” We are the kind of people Obama and the rest of the ruling class look down their noses at, and dismiss as people who “get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”
But I will tell you this. Even those parts of my family that make ‘Duck Dynasty’ look like ‘Frasier’ had enough decorum and decency not to take selfies at my mother’s Memorial service.
But that level of respect and decency is apparently too much to ask from the Leader of the Free World. So we shouldn’t be surprised when his subjects throw tantrums at McDonald’s and denounce reading books as a waste of time.
Something that flew over the Facebook Transom: 80′s Pop Stars, Some Aging Gracefully, some… not so much. Some of the dames are holding up nicely; Debbie Harry, Jane Wiedlin (high school crush), even Terri Nunn — who must have mutant X-Men powers to not look like Helen Thomas’s corpse after all the whorin’ and whatnot — look great. Time has been less kind to Cyndi Lauper and Kate Bush.
Some of the men have held up well, expecially Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s singer (another surprise) who looks like he could be a London banker or Tory MP… or a Time Lord. And some of the other guys … again…. not so much.
Let’s take up a collection and buy Robert Smith a mirror
Overall, I’d say the ones who accept aging with grace instead of desperately trying to hold onto fleeting youth, and who apply some discipline to their personal habits (staying fit, eating healthy) seem to be doing better. But the major takeway from this photo essay, I think, is… don’t be Pete Burns. (more…)
Enough lefties understand that President Obama is drowning in scandals of his own creation that comedy shows can begin to talk about it:
But other lefties remain mired in denial:
Oprah…[said] “There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African American. There’s no question about that and it’s the kind of thing nobody ever says but everybody’s thinking it.”
Oprah ignores the fact that Americans elected Obama twice; the fact that everybody on the Left has been ‘saying it’ for years; and the fact that Democrats, to this day, show the greatest of disrespect to President Bush. Never mind the question of whether Obama has been dragging down the office with his unpresidential behavior.
As we all know, language undergoes change over time, especially idioms. I remember when “The mother of all X” became a popular U.S. English idiom (to mean “The greatest of all X”, as distinct from its earlier usage, “The origin of all X”). It was a little over 20 years ago, the time of the first Gulf War. Saddam Hussein promised us “The mother of all battles”, and it sounded humorously strange. Today, it’s a cliche.
One idiom I see becoming widespread is the use of “It begs the question…”, to mean “It raises the question…”
As with “The mother of all X…”, begging the question has a different, earlier usage. It meant an argument whose outcome you rigged, by simply assuming the conclusion (what you wanted to prove) as one of your argument’s premises. But I see ever more people using the phrase in a different sense, like this:
With the markets breaking all-time highs last week, it begs the question of just how high they can go.
To me, that’s a misuse. No, it doesn’t “beg” the question. It POSES the question. It RAISES the question. Unless the idiom has changed, and I’m just being cranky about it.
Which RAISES (!) the question: When do idioms change? What bell is rung? How much must an idiom be misused, before the grating mis-usage should be accepted as the new, correct usage? Or should some of us just keep pointing out how uneducated people sound, when they misuse it?
I’ve forgotten where I stumbled across this term, Mean World Syndrome, although it was yesterday!
“Mean world syndrome” is a term coined by George Gerbner to describe a phenomenon whereby violence-related content of mass media makes viewers believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is…”You know, who tells the stories of a culture really governs human behaviour,” [Gerbner] said. “It used to be the parent, the school, the church, the community. Now it’s a handful of global conglomerates that have nothing to tell, but a great deal to sell.”…
…Individuals who watch television infrequently and adolescents who talk to their parents about reality are claimed to have a more accurate view of the real world than those who do not, and they may be able to more accurately assess their vulnerability to violence…
What do y’all think of this idea?
I have only a few scattered fragments of thought about it, so far. First, I’m suspicious of anything that smacks of Behaviorism. But I also notice that this idea isn’t the standard fare, that our violent media culture somehow programs us to do violent crime. It makes a different point: that our violent media culture (and I would count TV News shows, in that) has given us all a darker vision of the world, making most people a little more frightened and suspicious. True/untrue/?