Wednesday, August 13, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Takin' it easy


The Big Show is early this week.

Things to do, places to be.

So, here's 3 Chords & the Truth now, because I'll be busy taking it easy later. A mini-vacation, don't you know?

And technically, the mini-vacation already has started, so you're on your own in finding out about this week's edition of the Big Show.

Embrace the mystery -- although I'm reliably informed that a great way to find out about this week's program is to listen to it. Whatever.

Do what you will. I'm off duty.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Nattering nabobs of know-nothingism


I miss Eric Sevareid.

I miss the days when newscasters stuck to the facts and not their ill-informed opinions. I miss the days when silence, or moving on to the next story, was a viable alternative to babbling about those things one does not yet know with certainty.

I miss the days when grown-ups sat behind the TV anchor desk, not overgrown teen-agers emoting when thought -- or silence -- would be more appropriate.

Those are not the days in which we live.

Eric Sevareid
THE CLIP ABOVE represents the days in which we now live. Days in which we are free to speak ill of the dead, so long as we put on a somber face and gravely speak words which signify nothing apart from our ignorance and prejudices. Fox News' Shepard Smith must have thought he was saying something when he blithely proclaimed that "something inside you is so horrible, or you're such a coward -- or whatever the reason -- that you decide to end it."

Like too many journalists today, Smith doesn't know what he doesn't know.

But that doesn't matter today so long as the words -- which words matter not -- just keep spewing from one's mouth like vomit out of a drunk behind your local tavern. It's all good. If forced to, you can vomit out an apology later.

Over at CNN, entertainment reporter Nischelle Turner inadvertently -- Isn't that always the case? -- indicted her genre of journalism and all its malpractitioners:
“I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from the mental health community in using that word,” Turner said. “A lot of times when we’re doing live coverage we say things and we’re talking and we don’t realize what we’re saying. They’re absolutely correct. That it is a disease, so I apologize for using the word demons.”
HERE ARE some words to live by for broadcast journalists when the red light goes on: If you don't realize what you're saying, it's far better to say nothing at all.

Still, all of this nonsense today apparently is much preferred over researching a subject, mulling it over and committing reasoned and humane commentary.

Because Eric Sevareid is dead. And journalism -- particularly that of the broadcast variety -- is busy at present committing suicide. Are all the Shep Smiths in the world just so many cowards, or is it that something inside of them is so horrible that they just can't help themselves?


Film at 11. Until then, we'll just prattle on about things we know not.

While today's talking heads are doing that, watch this master of the past and weep for the present.

Monday, August 11, 2014

For Robin


All we could see was the mask. All we wanted to see was the painted-on smile.

Behind our laughter, though, was the jester's unspeakable pain and, ultimately, despair. What hell on earth is this? What hell is this to believe to the depth of your soul that the world would be a better one without you?


http://www.biography.com/people/robin-williams-9532797You've probably had your moments; I know I have had mine. But what unspeakable hell is this to not be able to -- to, at the very end, not want to -- pull out of the nosedive of despair?

What is this hell depression?

What is this hopelessness suicide?


May the merciful God take Robin Williams into His arms and wipe away the tears. May He also dry ours as we contemplate the utter waste of it all . . . and the utter conditionality of our love.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Confusing kids, 1 at a time


The older I get, the more I understand that I come from a place and time that's largely indecipherable to the younger among us.

Typewriters . . . mystery. Cassette decks . . .  enigma. Rotary-dial phones . . . puzzle.

OHMYGAWD! You didn't have Internet back in the '70s? How did you live?

Well, in an analog manner, I guess.

Thus, in an age when something as pervasive as radio is becoming an anachronism like the rest of my life, perhaps it's time to explain a few things.

For example, you know this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth? Lots of radio stations and programs -- which we listened to . . . and we liked it -- were kinda sorta like the Big Show.

THERE was some variety going on. Top-40 meant just that . . . the top records on the pop chart, no matter what they might be.

You also had things like progressive-rock stations. Freeform stations and shows.

Freeform? Like, they'd play ANYTHING?

Yep. Just like 3 Chords & the Truth. You never quite know what's coming next. Back in the day, we found that adventurous and stimulating. ANDFORGOD'SSAKEDON'TTAKETHEBROWNACID, MAN!!!

I don't know where that came from.

Anyway, once there was this thing called radio. Take a seat, kid. Let me tell you about it and play you some stuff. You ever seen an LP record or a 45 before . . . ?

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Thursday, August 07, 2014

I am the keeper of magical secrets


At first, as I watched these kids interact with Stone Age technology -- a.k.a., a manual typewriter -- I had determined that the time had come to just kill myself.

But then I had another think coming.

Now I have another plan . . . which involves a future for your humble, 53-year-old unfrozen caveman blogger.

I'm going to take out the power grid. AND I'M GOING TO RULE THE WORLD!!!


Or what's left of it, anyway.


(Insert diabolical laughter here)


HAT TIP: Kim Komando.


* * *


UPDATE: And then there's . . . this.




THE KIDDOS really need to watch this. It'll explain everything.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Allen Funt was an amateur

 
You thought the first Jeff Gordon "test drive" ad was good?

Well, here's a sequel that's even better -- mostly because he takes an automotive journalist who was convinced the first ad was a fake, and that Gordon wasn't even behind the wheel, for an expressly non-fake ride of his life. And I'm sure Jalopnik's Travis Okulski saw his life flash before his eyes.

Maybe twice.


RARELY do you find a sequel to anything that lives up to the original. But this Pepsi Max viral commercial by Davie Brown Entertainment/The Marketing Arm matches, then surpasses the original produced by TBWA\Chiat\Day. Don Draper (not to mention Allen Funt) would have thought this was awesome. Which it is.

http://www.nascar.com/en_us/sprint-cup-series/drivers/jeff-gordon.html
Gordon as an ex-con cab driver pulled over by the cops? Epic.

"I can't go back, man. I f***in' can't go back!"

Well, Gordon the "cabbie" can't go back, but I can go back to this video again and again.

And Pepsi certainly has gotten its advertising money's worth over and over again the last few months with this gem. I mean, when you see so many absolutely idiotic commercials -- when you just can't avoid so many idiotic commercials these days -- it's just such a joy to see one done to perfection.

I MIGHT even go buy me some Pepsi Max in appreciation of a job well done.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: 3 Chords town


When you're alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go . . . to 3 Chords town.

When you've got worries, all the noise and the hurry seems to help, I know -- in 3 Chords town.

Just listen to the music from Omaha, by God, Nebraska. Linger on the website where the Big Show's there for playing. How can you lose?

 
The sounds are much brighter there -- you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares.

So go to 3 Chords town! Things will be great when you're in 3 Chords town! No finer place for sure, 3 Chords town . . . everything's waiting for you!
 

DON'T hang around and let your problems surround you, there is great music . . .  in 3 Chords town. Sooner or later, you'll click on these links, and you'll be in . . . 3 Chords town!

Just listen to the rhythm of a classic rock 'n' roller. You'll be dancing with 'em too before the show is over -- happy again. The sounds are much brighter here; you can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares.

So go to our town. Music's the best in Big Show town. Click on the bloody link -- 3 Chords town! Good times for you tonight -- my town! You're music future's bright . . . this town!

Just take my word for it . . . 3 Chords & the Truth is the bomb!

Downtown.

Uptown.

Midtown.

Outta town.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth y'all. Be there. Aloha.



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Old Testament is a bitch


Stay classy, Israel.

This "protest" in Tel Aviv begins with the crowd chanting their hatred for Ahmad Tibi, an Israeli Arab politician and physician . . . and member of the Knesset. In fact, he's deputy speaker of the Israeli legislative body.

"I wanted you to know the next child to get hit is yours. . . . I hate Tibi the Terrorist!" the protesters chant. "Tibi! Dead! Tibi! Dead!"

Then after calling for all Arab Israelis to be stripped of their citizenship, the crowd unveils another pithy chant about the military strike against Gaza:

"There's no school tomorrow. There are no children left there!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_Israel#mediaviewer/File:Gas_the_arabs_painted_in_Hebron.JPG
AND THEN you have the ongoing vigilante attacks against Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. . . .

For the life of me, I can't imagine why Palestinians would want to fire rockets at a country where this is just another "slice of life." Funded in large part, by the way, by American tax dollars.

What could go wrong?

IN A LAND where the bloodiest parts of the Old Testament are never forgotten -- and, indeed, are still as new as tomorrow's sunrise -- it's always Mississippi 1959. With Palestinian suicide bombers and rockets and Israeli bombs and missiles.

For all this country's faults and sins, at least the U.S. government never bankrolled the Ku Klux Klan or the Black Panthers. At least not in this country.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Beavisovich and Buttheadinsky build a death ray


There is a geopolitical moral to this story where two Russian kids build a death ray out of a microwave oven by attaching the magnetron tube to a long cable and focusing the radiation with a "cantenna."

This allows them to do neat -- and deadly dangerous -- tricks like lighting up unwired light bulbs and blowing up a boomboxky by aiming the tin-can antenna at it.

(Music.) Bbbrrrrrrraaaaaaaappppppp . . . BOOMSKY! (Ding!)


As Gizmodo said in its post on Beavisovich and Buttheadinsky Meet the Geek Squad:

So don't take a microwave apart. Don't. Take. A microwave. Apart. Don't do it. Don't! But if you were curious about what would happen if you did, these idiots have you covered. It's as awesome as it is stupid! It is very awesome and very stupid.
NOW, to the geopolitical moral of this story. Don't think the Russian armed forces haven't thought of the same thing as a couple of kids in Bumf**kinsky, Russia. Only bigger. Much, much bigger.

This is why you trad carefully around the Russian bear. This is why you don't poke the Russian bear with a sharp stick just because you think you can. You know, like pushing NATO right up to its borders -- or like fomenting revolution in Ukraine.

That's the foreign-policy version of screwing around with a microwave oven for kicks and giggles. What could go wrong?

NO, the moral here isn't overly complicated or obtuse. Don't screw with the Russians. Don't. Screw. With. The Russians. 

Them people's crazy.


UPDATE: I knew there had to be some weaponized version of this out there. And there is. But imagine what the Russkies probably have done with the technology. Bet their anti-personnel version does more than cause "excruciating pain."

Vive la France! Vive la France!



Cheese-eating surrender monkeys, my ass!


HAT TIP:  Rod Dreher.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Hot day, cool tunes



Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the A/C inside's delightful.

But the summer heat's bad enough for us to go . . . let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

OK, your Mighty Favog has many powers but -- unfortunately -- the ability to make it snow at the end of July is not among them. So we'll do the next best thing on this week's 3 Chords & the Truth.

We'll play an extra cool, extra long set of music designed to conjure up the cooling power of December in the middle of meteorological Hades. It's sort of like Prof. Harold Hill's "think system" of music education, only we're thinking winter in hopes of taking the edge off of summer.

APART FROM that, you could say the show has its highs and lows this go around. Of course, even the lows -- and the Lo's -- are high points. As we strike a mortal blow against Yankee imperialism.

What? Hell, yeah!


Huh? You bet!

Confused? Relax. We got this covered.

All you have to do is listen to the Big Show, and all will become clear. Your confusion will turn into a profusion of musical enlightenment. And a cooling trend on a hot summer's day. 

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dial 'N' for 'Now You Can Dial'


Before bored teenagers were calling 867-5309 in the 1980s, no doubt they were asking Sarah to connect them to Pennsylvania 6-5000 back in 1940.

In Tommy Tutone's day, it was no big deal to randomly dial up folks unfortunate enough to share Jenny's phone number and annoy the crap out of them with your crank calls. But in the heyday of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, you likely would need the assistance of your local telephone operator to prank New York's Hotel Pennsylvania.

Seventy-something years in the past, direct-dialing your desired number largely still belonged to the future. 

Confused by a telephone with this round dial thingy? What would you make of a telephone with nothing but a handset and a switchhook atop a blank, black box?

Switchhook! Switchhook! It's a thing that. . . .


Aw, forget it.


THE PATH from "Operator, can you connect me to UNion 7-5309" to teenagers self-dialing annoyance upon a small, unsuspecting subset of phone customers started for most sometime in the 1950s as Ma Bell -- Remember Ma Bell?" -- converted one manual telephone exchange after another to automatic. And "automatic" equaled "direct-dial."

And as crazy as that sounds today, the phone company -- Yes, THE phone company -- had to teach folks how to do that, how to dial up a phone number. Judging by the lengths to which Now You Can Dial went to make sure the worst imbecile could work a rotary phone, it seems the world of 1954 must have had no shortage of dopes.

How damned complicated could it be to dial Pennsylvania six five oh oh oh?



HOW damned complicated could it be to send a text message on your new smartphone?

Good point, well taken.

And that said, I'm guessing you'll know exactly what to get the kids for Christmas. An old rotary-dial phone -- without spokesmodel assistance by Susann Shaw.

I wonder whether you can still get a party line with that. Maybe I could ask Sarah.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

3 Chords & the Truth: Expect the unexpected


Did you know that, back in 1956, you could get Elvis Presley on 78 RPM records?

You could, and my folks did . . . and we have just that on 3 Chords & the Truth this week.

That's just one of the unexpected things you'll hear on this, and every, episode of the Big Show. Because we're all about surprises. And good music.

Let's see -- what else would you like to hear about this venture into the world of 3 Chords & the Truth and the stupendous music we play?

WELL, there's all the good doo-wop and R&B this time on the program. And there's all the good jazz. And then there's some tasty tunes from the world of rock.

And, of course, then there's the. . . .

Hey! You don't think I'm going to give away all the intimate details of how this week's 3 Chords & the Truth excels, do you? C'mon, sit still for an hour and a half and find out for yourself.

It might be the most satisfying 90 minutes you'll spend this week. And we do it all over again almost every week on the Big Show. You just might learn something -- or hear something you have laid ears on in years -- and you'll have a ball doing it.

Really.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all.  Be there.  Aloha.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cue Don Henley . . . one more time



"You're a dumbass, aren't you?"

"Yes. Yes, I am. And the only side of an interview I really listen to is mine.

 "So . . . could you tell whether the missile came from Russia or Ukrainia?"

IT'LL BE just our luck that the last thing we'll hear before the Apocalypse is some Howard Stern fan pranking some cable-news doofus about the shock jock farting H-bombs.

TV news is infamous for babbling idiots and their epic fails, but this has to be one of the epic-est of them all.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The car fell off the concrete blocks


This episode of a long-lost local Baton Rouge game show may or may not tell you all you need to know about my Louisiana hometown.

I was a student at LSU when this episode of We Play Baton Rouge ran on Channel 2 in 1982. Though I am loathe to endorse the consumption of illegal narcotics, it is my understanding that this vehicle for WBRZ weatherman Pat Shingleton (who's still there) was best experienced stoned out of your ever-lovin' gourd.
 

I mean, at the beginning of the show, Contestant No. 1 bumps into his "car" on the set -- and it falls off the concrete blocks. Then, after the first commercial break, the contestants have managed to switch places. And coming back from a break toward the end of the show, Pat thanks announcer Gary King . . . who hasn't said a word.

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT:
Imagine how funny that stuff might've been back in the day if you'd been ingesting substances known to cause normal people to laugh at a bag of Doritos.

Now, the object of the game was to "navigate" local streets to arrive -- wait for it -- at the Highland Road studios of Channel 2. Unfortunately, Baton Rouge isn't known for its efficient street-grid layout . . . or much of a street grid at all.

This ultimately led to the demise of We Play Baton Rouge, which apparently was canceled by WBRZ because most of the contestants kept getting caught in traffic on Perkins Road. Which happens a lot to cars in Baton Rouge when you add tires and subtract concrete blocks.