Thursday, November 29, 2012

Putting the 'NS' in NSFW


There's a new Ed Wood movie out . . . 34 years after the schlockmeister's demise -- Revenge of the White-Trash Half-Wits.

What appears to be an angry YouTube outburst by knuckle-draggers is really the unexpected piéce de résistance of the bad-movie universe. Unless, of course, it actually is the real deal.

Unfortunately, this probably is more likely than it being an Ed Wood anti-masterpiece or some sort of bizarro performance art. Disturbing performance art, but still. . . .

Here's the story thus far, which has gone viral on YouTube, Boing Boing, Tosh.0Gawker and the rest: Trashy-ass gal named Ashli Hall-Gay, apparently one of the biggest losers in life's genetic sweepstakes, likes to make rambling, profane and patently obscene smackdown videos with her hapless sidekick, Cindy, otherwise known as Mom. (And please note that hapless is a relative term here; this is because "haplesser" is not a real word.)

Ashli
These videos -- to which I won't link because the one above is by far the least offensive, and even it's Not Safe for Work in giant neon letters above the entrance of the trailer park -- are directed toward people who have somehow disrespected Dumb and Dumber on the Internet. They've apparently directed the one above at a couple of teen-agers -- young teen-agers -- who posted a YouTube video making fun of Ashli's videos.

THAT'S RIGHT. That profane, whack tirade above (and stay with it past the 2:51 mark to see how bizarre and inappropriate it can get) seemingly is directed at a couple of little girls.

What the f***?

No, who the f***?

Indeed.

(By the way . . . where were those girls' parents? Kids were watching enough of this garbage that they could pimp on it?)

Again, if this is some sort of warped performance art, it's disturbing. If it's real, it's disturbing and tragic. Tragic that, yes, there are people who dove headfirst into the shallow end of the gene pool.

Then there's the much larger tragedy -- using one's limited resources for evil and not for good. Giving oneself over to a toxic wave of anger and spite rolling across an endless sea of futility. Abandoning any pretense of human dignity and grace . . . but there's more still.

Cindy
The worst thing about Ashli Gay and her mom, Cindy Hall, is that they not only reject the notion that God has created each one of us in His image and bestowed upon us great dignity just because we are, but that they make us all question the premise. I look at these pathetic wretches in the wilds of Mount Vernon, Ill., and I think that maybe somebody lied.

That maybe I'm lying to myself when I say apparently ludicrous things -- Well, look at the damn video! -- like "God has created each one of us in His image and bestowed upon us great dignity just because we are." Really?

Look at 'em! What kind of a dumbass could believe that?

Exactly.

LOOKING at the wide array of humanity and asserting that each human is made in God's image and charged with the dignity of heaven is nothing if not a supreme act of faith. Sorry specimens like Ashli Gay and mom Cindy -- and it doesn't really matter whether they're real or a giant Internet ruse -- make that leap of faith a longer one than it was yesterday.

Sometimes, the World Wide Web is an amazing thing. Here, though, it's just a networking tool for the devil. Ain't that right, Cindy?


"Yeah!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This afternoon's listening


It's not a bad way to spend 40-something minutes of a cool November day, listening to the Stones as the sun sinks behind the Nebraska plains well before suppertime.

This is the time of year when you're really starting to miss the daylight we had just the other day, it seems like. And you're wanting it back.

But as Mick Jagger says, "You can't always get what you want."

True, true. . . .

"But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need."


Like a late fall fix of 1969's "Let It Bleed," one of a stretch of albums the Rolling Stones made back when the Rolling Stones made albums that mattered. Mick from London -- another Mick from London, Mick Brown who writes for The Telegraph -- says that hasn't been the case for a very, very long time. And he adds that the bad boys grampaws of rock 'n' roll should just hang it up after a half century.
On Sunday night, while the Rolling Stones were performing for 20,000 people at the O2 in London – the first of five concerts they will be playing in London and New York to mark their 50th anniversary – one of their early heroes was also making an appearance a few miles across town, in the somewhat shabbier surroundings of the Kentish Town Forum.

Bobby Womack is the veteran soul singer who wrote, and with his group The Valentinos recorded, the original version of It’s All Over Now, which gave the Stones their first number one hit in Britain in 1964. Womack once recalled his chagrin at his mentor Sam Cooke giving the Stones his song, and depriving him of having the hit himself. “I was still screaming and hollering right up until I got my first royalty cheque. Man, the amount of money rolling in shut me right up.”

Womack, 68, who styles himself as “the Soul Survivor”, has survived drug problems, near-penury and cancer. He was performing songs from a new album, The Bravest Man In The Universe (modesty was never his strong suit), produced by another, younger admirer, Damon Albarn.

The Rolling Stones, who started out as a rhythm and blues covers band, borrowing heavily from black artists such as Womack (a debt which, to their credit, they have always warmly acknowledged), are now among the wealthiest entertainers in the world, a thriving corporation, steered by a CEO – Mick Jagger – who has demonstrated a mixture of shrewdness and business acumen that makes him the peer of any more strait-laced captain of industry.

The Stones are reportedly being paid more than £15 million for their five shows. Ticket prices for the London performances range from £95 to £375, with a “VIP hospitality” ticket priced at £950, and no concessions for the pensioners who are the group’s most devoted audience, many of whom will doubtless have travelled to the O2 on their Freedom Passes. 
We can put aside Jagger’s blithe explanations that when it comes to ticket prices the group are merely hapless victims of market forces, or Ronnie Wood’s shrugging dismissal that “we’ve got to make something”. The Stones long ago set the benchmark for shameless cynicism when it comes to exploiting “the brand”. Among the luxury items on offer when the box-set of Exile On Main Street was released two years ago was a limited-edition box of three lithographs, “signed individually by Mick, Keith or Charlie”, priced at £1,999.99. Note, that’s “or”, not “and”. 
By one account, the biggest crush of the night at the O2 was not at the front of the stage but at the merchandising stand, where eager customers were spending £200 on a poster of a gorilla’s face – the artwork on the cover of the the band’s newly released greatest hits, Grrr!. Of course, one should not begrudge a handful of pensioners a few bob in their declining years, but as Johnny Rotten once said, “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”
(snip)

It is an odd paradox that while the Stones have not made an album worth listening to since Tattoo You in 1981, they are bigger business now than they ever were – the prime example of Sixties and Seventies rock music as heritage industry. The Stones performing their greatest hits, Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds, Van Morrison performing Astral Weeks – these are rock music’s equivalent of the blockbuster Jackson Pollock or David Hockney retrospective.

Some manage this trick better than others. It is a tired and familiar trope to point out the irony of old rockers, who can barely make it to the stage unaided, singing the anthems of their rebellious youth: The Who, for example, singing My Generation at the Olympics closing ceremony (or to be more precise, half the Who, the rhythm half having sadly fulfilled the song’s prophecy). Paul McCartney has become a national institution, wheeled out at state occasions to sing the creaking Hey Jude – the post-war generation’s We’ll Meet Again – with ever-diminishing effect. Surely it’s time to give it a rest?
YEAH, I can agree with that. The Stones lost me with "Some Girls," on which they tried to be disco-relevant in 1978. The lowlight was the title track -- Google the lyrics and cringe.

Anyway, Brown was just setting the stage for his coup de grace . . . which I also can go along with.
Watching the splendid documentary Crossfire Hurricane, shown on the BBC over two consecutive weekends, reminded you of just how glamorous, how dangerous, how romantic the Stones were in their prime; a different species altogether from the cadavers who emerged, as if from creaking coffins, on to the O2 stage. Jagger is, as they say, marvellous for his age but nobody would describe him as “a soul survivor” – unless one counts surviving the inconvenience of tax exile, two expensive divorces and, by his own account, “dozens” of paternity suits.

It was always said of Jagger that his ambitions were to mingle with the aristocracy. He achieved that and more; in a sense, the Stones became the aristocracy themselves, in the process exhibiting some of the more disagreeable characteristics of their caste, with all the air of entitlement and the barely concealed disdain for the paying punter.

Another song comes to mind. “Let’s drink to the hard-working people/Let’s drink to the lowly of birth/Raise your glass to the good and the evil/Let’s drink to the salt of the earth.”

The song is Salt of the Earth by … the Rolling Stones. It was not a song they found time to play at the O2. They did, however, perform It’s All Over Now. Surely now, it’s really time it was.
AT LEAST we still have the albums from when the Stones still mattered.

Albums from a time before the talented cads became whatever it is they are today, which I suspect bears an unfortunate resemblance to the dirty old men of Bide-a-Wee Manor, regaling nurses half their age with stories of how they used to be somebody as they try to cop a feel.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We wish you a merry Christmas . . .


. . . and a happy ∫*©# you!

I think that's a holiday greeting folks in Denham Springs, La., can work with. If you're familiar with the burg just east of Baton Rouge, you know what I'm sayin'.

If you're, say, a sensible, low-key Midwestern type, you're probably about to tell the missus "Vi, come look at this! I think those people down there might have a screw loose." Which, of course, is a sensible thing for a sensible, low-key Midwestern type to think when exposed to random slices of life in the Gret Stet.

Oh . . . and there's thi
Personally, I gauge the degree to which I have become Midwesternized -- or at least Nebraskafied -- by the number of times I face palm over stories like this from back home instead of chuckle and repeat the mantra "Well, dat's Loosiana for you!"

THIS from The Advocate is a definite face palm, and perhaps a reminder to pay homage and leave offerings of thanksgiving at the statue of Tom Osborne at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln:
Thanksgiving has just passed and Sarah Henderson has already taken the holiday lights off her roof.

A visit from the police prompted by complaints from her neighbors might have hurried the process.

The lights were in the shape of a hand flipping the middle finger, neighbors said. Henderson said that’s what she intended.

“I got to looking, and I said is that what I think it is?” said Gemma Rachal, who lives at the far end of the street. “I put on my glasses just to be double sure.”

“I’m furious,” Rachal said “My 6-year-old tried to make the symbol with his hand.”

She said she was afraid her son might mimic the gesture again at kindergarten.

Neighbor Hunter Lee said the lights bothered him because of his children, ages 3 and 9.

He said he didn’t like “having to explain to the kids what it means.”

Amy Bryant, who lives a block away, said that when she first saw the lights this weekend she thought, “I can’t believe she did it.”

Police Chief Scott Jones said an officer went to Henderson’s house on Starlite Drive on Monday and talked Henderson into taking the lights down.
TAKE THIS incident and transpose the psychology to the realm of governance, politics and what passes for civil society in Louisiana, and you might gain a little understanding of the place. Then you'll do a face palm.

At this point, you might be asking yourself why someone would put a twinkling fickle finger of fate on their friggin' roof. That's a good question, one for which Henderson has an answer that makes up in entertainment value what it lacks in lucidity.
The finger was intended for neighbors with whom she’s had a yearlong disagreement over personal matters, she said.

“This is how I expressed myself,” Henderson said. “It’s the only means I have to express myself to these people.”

She said she has thought about replacing the extended finger with a swastika.
I THINK I had a flashback just now. Yes, I definitely had a flashback just now. That's because I can picture my mother doing the exact same thing.

One of the benefits of old age, I suppose -- albeit a benefit for the neighborhood, not her -- is that it keeps Mama off the roof.

Well, dat's Loosiana for you! 

Oh, crap.

(Face palm.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Whew! Frosty was getting a little despondent


Nov. 26, 2012: The first snow of the year.

Well, that took long enough, didn't it?

I don't know about where you are -- and no matter what, family and friends back in Louisiana think Omaha is an Arctic wasteland -- but I was starting to wonder what the heck was going on. So far, it seems like a dry and relatively warm fall on this little corner of the Great Plains.


CERTAINLY, so far it's no winter of 2009-10. (See the above video from the Christmas Eve blizzard of 2009.)

Stay tuned.

The web stream where your friends are


Oh, joy! My favorite locally owned, small-town, throwback-to-an-earlier-age, 500-watt AM radio station in the universe now is streaming 24/7 on the Internet.

If you want to hear "community radio" the way it was before Corporate America ate the radio dial, just tune in the morning show on KJAN in Atlantic, Iowa -- complete with "Hymn Time" and "What's New in Pink and Blue."

What it is, is local, small-town radio as it was when radio was . . . local. And radio.


FOR THOSE of a certain age who grew up in Baton Rouge, let me explain it this way. KJAN is a modern-day, small-town version of WJBO circa 1968, only punching above its weight class. If you're from Omaha, substitute WOW radio from that same year.

Also, "Radio Atlantic" has a wonderfully eclectic middle-of-the-roadish music format, placing emphasis on the "-ish." After all, it did just play some Joe South and "Renegade" by Styx on overnights a while ago.

Really, KJAN is a treasure -- and an endangered species. Give it a listen.

Favog of Omaha's Wild Kingdom


Call me Marlin Perkins.

Minutes ago -- and without Jim Fowler to do all the dirty work for me -- I just lovingly removed a red-bellied woodpecker from our basement family room. It was roosting on the carpet in a corner of the room, settled in for the night.

It had to have flown down the flue, as opposed to flew down the flown, and then pushed the iron door at the bottom open. Lucky for it it did; I've found a mummified bird in there before, and a live one or two over the years as well.

This, however, was the first woodpecker who decided to squat in the basement.


When I let it out the back door, it perched on my hand for a while like it was thinking about whether it really wanted to leave. Then it flew off.

Good choice. We have Molly the Dog and her house guest, Boo, who might have seen the woodpecker more as lunch than as fodder for a blog post.

Is what I'm saying.

Friday, November 23, 2012

People of Walmart do that thing they do


Look at this.

It must be Black Friday, and this must be the People of Walmart.
 
Yet Walmart management has a problem with its employees who demand a living wage, decent treatment and decent benefits to deal with the kind of mindless, consumerist barbarism the retail giant encourages every Black Friday. No, the retail giant hasn't cornered the market for this kind of mob mayhem, but there's a reason why you see so much of it at Walmart and other stores aspiring to Walmartishness.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., bloody well knows every single thing about its clientele, and management knows everything there is to know about the "downmarket" they target. Plenty of people at corporate know their sociology in addition to their retailing.

And management damned well knows what's likely to happen at "X" number of random locations on Black Friday, and I'd also wager it knows which "doorbusters"  are most likely to provoke the kind of mayhem you see here . . . and where.


NEVERTHELESS, the Bosses of Walmart are perfectly happy to send the Associates of Walmart into the violent maw of the People of Walmart, who were set off by the Marketing Strategy of Walmart . . . and pay them the Crappy Wages of Walmart for the dubious privilege. 
Oh but ain't that America for you and me
Ain't that America somethin' to see baby
Ain't that America home of the free. . . .

Thursday, November 22, 2012

If it's Thanksgiving. . . .


Gather the young'uns around the computer and be thankful for WKRP in Cincinnati.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Integrity . . . what a concept!


In television news anymore, the most common "I" word is . . . I.

As in . . . "I will do anything for ratings."

Or, "I was the emcee for the Bratz Appreciation Society's "Tart Up Your Tykes" event today, so here's a minute of airtime devoted to that instead of real news."

Or, "Did I look OK in that outfit? It didn't make me look fat, did it?"

Less common on local TV these days is another "I" word -- "integrity."

As in, "Management is treating employees really badly, and it's trying to get us to slant the news. Integrity demands that we not go along with this and bring attention to bad practices -- even if it might well be career suicide, especially amid media contraction and in this economy."

 
THAT'S the "I" word we're seeing play out here, live and local, as the anchor team for Bangor's WVII television -- one of them the station's news director -- quit at the end of the 6 o'clock news Tuesday. Most people probably will say theirs was a supreme act of stupidity, that no one in their right mind will hire them now.

“I just wanted to know that I was doing the best job I could and was being honest and ethical as a journalist, and I thought there were times when I wasn’t able to do that."
-- Tony Consiglio

I say that integrity is its own reward, even when it involves sacrificing one's career. Doing the right thing rarely makes you rich. Sometimes, it can get you killed.

And in the wake of Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio's most public of resignations from WVII, lots of people in Bangor -- and across America -- now know something's rotten in the state of television in that city. It certainly got the immediate attention of that city's newspaper, the Bangor Daily News, and other media sites. That's not nothing.

Michaels and Consiglio, who have a combined 12½ years’ service at WVII (Channel 7) and sister station WFVX (Channel 22), shocked staff members and viewers with their joint resignations Tuesday evening.

“I just wanted to know that I was doing the best job I could and was being honest and ethical as a journalist, and I thought there were times when I wasn’t able to do that,” said Consiglio, a northeastern Connecticut native who broke in with WVII as a sports reporter in April 2006.

Not everyone was shocked by the on-air resignations.

“No, that was unfortunate, but not unexpected,” said Mike Palmer, WVII/WFVX vice president and general manager. “We’ll hire experienced people to fill these positions sooner rather than later.”

Neither reporter had told anyone of their decisions before Tuesday’s newscast.

“We figured if we had tendered our resignations off the air, we would not have been allowed to say goodbye to the community on the air and that was really important for us to do that,” said Michaels, the station’s news director, who has spent six of her 15 years in Bangor’s radio and TV market at WVII.

Both Michaels, 46, and Consiglio, 28, said frustration over the way they were allowed or told to do their jobs — something that has been steadily mounting for the last four years — became too much for them.

“There was a constant disrespecting and belittling of staff and we both felt there was a lack of knowledge from ownership and upper management in running a newsroom to the extent that I was not allowed to structure and direct them professionally,” Michaels explained. “I couldn’t do everything I wanted to as a news director. There was a regular undoing of decisions.”

While choosing not to respond to individual complaints or charges, Palmer did take issue with the former anchors’ characterization of management’s role.


Upper management is not involved in the daily production of the news. Period,” said Palmer, who had just finished posting online job opening ads in his office at 10 p.m. Tuesday. [Really? Follow the link. Kudos to TVSpy. -- R21] “We’ve made great changes over the last few months and are not slowing down.”

Michaels said there were numerous things that contributed to their decisions.

“It’s a culmination of ongoing occurrences that took place the last several years and basically involved upper management practices that we both strongly disagreed with,” she explained. “It’s a little complicated, but we were expected to do somewhat unbalanced news, politically, in general.”

MAYBE the anchor duo will get lucky. Maybe Michaels and Consiglio will come out ahead financially and careerwise amid the fallout of their televised quitting. Then again, maybe not.

If not, standing up for what's right, and the self-respect that comes from that, will have to suffice. Like it says in the Bible, sometimes your reward will have to wait till kingdom come.



HAT TIPS: Romenesko, TVSpy

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Because there are no 'enhanced recounts'. . . .

The Honorable Whack Job from Florida has ways of dealing with sticky wickets such as this.

Unfortunately for him, however,  it would have been impractical for congressman Allen West to shove the State of Florida's head into a weapon-clearing barrel and fire his sidearm into the sand next to it until it gave him the result he desired.

So, according to this story from ABC News, the other guy has at long last won:
Rep. Allen West, a Florida Tea Party Republican who rode the wave of anti-spending fever to Congress in 2010, has conceded to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, who will take his seat as the youngest member of the 113th Congress in January.

The Associated Press today called the race for Murphy. West conceded in a statement, while saying “there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results.

“For two weeks since Election Day, we have been working to ensure every vote is counted accurately and fairly,” West said. “While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election.”

The race was decided by fewer than 2,000 votes, with Murphy topping West 166,233 to 164,316, according to the latest tally from the AP. The state of Florida must still certify the result.

“While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change,” West continued. “I want to congratulate my opponent, Patrick Murphy, as the new congressman from the 18th Congressional District. I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”

Murphy maintained a considerable lead while provisional and absentee ballots were counted, but West forged ahead with legal challenges.

“I appreciate Congressman West’s gracious concession today,” Murphy said today in a statement. “To those who supported my opponent, my door is open and I want to hear your voice.  I campaigned on a message of reaching across the aisle to get things done for the people of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches, and that is as important in this district as it is in Washington.  I am excited and honored to get to work.”
ON THE BRIGHT SIDE for the soon-to-be-former congressman, he'll have a lot more free time to engage in non-negotiable sex acts with his very own personal "porn star," otherwise known as Mrs. West.

Onward Christian soldiers, marching off to. . . .

So, an impressionist goes to a football game. . . .


You know, the university powers that be won't let you bring cameras with "detachable, professional lenses" into Memorial Stadium. So, you're pretty much stuck with your average, "idiot-proof" point-and-shoot camera when you go to a Nebraska football game.

I guess that's enough to turn anyone into an impressionist.

Or something like that.


Thus, the view from the stands when Minnesota came to town to do battle with Our Cornhuskers on a lovely Saturday afternoon.

Yay, team!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dear LSU: Never fire this man


How f***in' easy it was for me to largely stay away from the Internets on Sunday.

How f***in' easy it would have been for me to miss the most f***in' epic of all Les Miles' f***in' epic press conferences as LSU's head football coach.

Excuse my language.

But, WOW! What a press conference!

I don't give a flying expletive deleted what stupid-ass Tiger fans think about Les. Don't care how badly they want him fired for losing two games this season, or for shooting craps on the sideline and sometimes rolling snake eyes. I know a little about LSU fans, being one, and I know that if brains were dynamite, 48.92 percent of them wouldn't have enough to blow their nose.

And I know that a lot of them get even stupider -- not to mention meaner -- after they've been drinking Bud Light all day and night. So any noise they make about removing this great man as the Tigers' coach should be regarded as the drunken ravings of a bunch of dumbasses.

FOR ONE THING, if LSU ever fired Les -- particularly so long as he keeps winning more games than he loses -- it never would find any decent coach insane enough to take that job. Only one decent coach today is insane enough to put up with such a dumbass fan base . . . and his name is Les Miles.

Like, you did watch the video, right?

And for another thing, Les is one of the few coaches out there just as certifiable as Louisiana itself. The Mad Hatter is the personification of the Gret Stet when it's at its bat-s*** crazy best, yet he somehow manages to avoid being like Louisiana when it's at its bat-s*** crazy worst.

LSU -- and Louisiana -- cannot lose this singular individual who, in fact, is the only person in the state to have successfully pulled that off. Les Miles not only should never be fired, but the Ole War Skule instead needs -- and I'm talking right now -- to commence an all-out research program dedicated to cloning the coach and disseminating his gene pool widely throughout the state.

And if there's a university geneticist who can do this great service for Louisiana, you need to grab him and give him a big kiss on the mouth. If you're a girl.

OR A GUY, but only if she's a girl. Because on this here blog, "heteronormative" is not a dirty word.

Have a great day.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: Music for grown-ups

Longtime Monitor host Gene Rayburn inside NBC's Radio Central

This week on the Big Show, we're all on the Monitor beacon once again.

Monitor was a revolutionary program when it was introduced to NBC Radio in 1955 -- a mix of music, news, features and interviews that ran most of every weekend. But for me, it's a bit of home, a bit of the world I knew.

It's grown-up news, grown-up hosts and grown-up music for what seemed at the time a grown-up world. By the measuring stick of our never-ending silly season -- as in this present moment -- the world of Monitor . . . America in the 1950s, '60s and early '70s seems even more grown up, despite the upheaval of that era.

AT LEAST the '50s and '60s had honest, substantive conflict. We have rival factions of spoiled schoolkids throwing spitballs, calling names and alternately picking up their toys and going home.

Mom!

Dammit, we all need a happy place. The memory of Monitor is one of mine -- a memory of a world run by adults. As opposed to us.

The memory of Monitor also is the memory of "Monitor music," which seemed very adult and very square then but now, upon further review, seems very adult and kinda cool. We'll be playing a lot of that on this episode of 3 Chords & the Truth.

The Monitor theme of the Big Show this go around jibes with some other themes floating around the stacks of wax in the studio here. Like home, and can you go there again. We'll be exploring that musically.

And old days, lost youth and the march of time. That's a tasty thematic set as well on 3 Chords & the Truth this week.

THAT MAKES two more theme sets that kind of point back to Monitor . . . the long-lost happy place on the radio dial for geeks like me. Monitor, the vanquished redoubt of grown-ups who used to run the world, took serious things seriously and, truth be told, kinda had more class than We Who Knew We Knew Better Than the Old Fogies.

That's it. That's pretty much the show this week, and I think it's a good one. I'll bet you will, too.

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

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Boss, a soap box & 'that f***ing Obama'


In case you were wondering, this is where Mrs. Favog and I were for several glorious hours last night.

As is the norm for The Boss, it was a hell of a show at the CenturyLink Center Omaha. He hasn't lost a thing performing live since I saw him at the LSU Assembly Center on Nov. 11, 1980. Funny how you remember the actual dates you saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, isn't it?

Anyway . . .  ever seen a 62-year-old man crowd surf? I have now. Complete awesomeness.

And I totally got teary eyed when Jake Clemons, the late Clarence Clemons' nephew, did The Big Man's solo on "Thunder Road" and struck The Pose. He even looks a lot like the young saxophone god -- except for Jake's big hair.

That said. . . .


DURING the course of the show, we had to endure Mr. Obama Lover getting up on his damn political soap box.

Can you believe he made an impassioned pitch for us to give to the local food bank?! My Bible says if you don't work, you don't eat. It's somewhere in the back. Maybe the front. Whatever.

I was so outraged about all this political crap that I almost got up and walked out right there. I would have, too, if I hadn't thought that some layabout 47-percenter was waiting to take my seat. Concert welfare, don't you know?

Dammit, it's time to TAKE BACK AMERICA from the socialists . . . one rock concert at a time!

No retreat, baby, no surrender!























Cue Jonathan Swift.


It used to be that you didn't necessarily have to tell people you were being a sarcastic smart ass. We live, however, in an era that has killed satire, being that there's no more ceiling for bat-s*** craziness in politics or the greater culture.

So. . . .

Just so you know. . . .

Bruce's only soap-box moment in the entire show was a pitch for the Food Bank for the Heartland, of which I am fully supportive. What did put me off, though, was some a-hole in the men's room proclaiming "If he says anything about that f***in' Obama, he's gonna get booed off the stage!"

Yeah, that pissed me off. That and a whole world of hair-on-fire partisans who can't even let a man be entitled to his own political proclivities lest he be vilified, demonized and ostracized for them.

Bruce campaigned for Barack Obama. I didn't vote for the man (though, to be fair, neither did I vote for Mitt Romney). So what?

If you ask me, you don't have to be a communist to be quite Stalinist nowadays. Such is life in a country where we hate us, we really hate us.

Cue Jefferson Davis. Oh, wait. . . .

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

'In the deed, the glory'


I wish I were 30-odd years younger and had talent.

That's because I want to play high-school football for Coach Victor Nazario at Beach Channel, which now stands amid the ruin on the storm-swept Rockaway Peninsula of Queens. I would kick ass, take names, clean clocks and run through a brick wall for a guy who can put it all in perspective before a state playoff game like this:
"Sandy took a lot of shit from us -- a lot. It did not take our courage; it did not take our will. It did not take our courage; it did not take our will, because your will is what got you here today. So let's finish this job, gentlemen. Let's just go out there and go out in style."
Beach Channel suffered the same fate as many of its students: equipment room flooded out, pads, jerseys -- you name it -- swept away by Hurricane Sandy's storm surge. No power. No practice field. Before Saturday's state playoff game, Nazario had salvaged what equipment he could and borrowed those things he couldn't.

THE BIG QUESTION, though, was whether he could field a team from a student body hunkered down in darkened, cold homes or evacuated to God-knows-where. From a New York Times feature story:
Breland Archbold woke up hungry at his grandmother’s house on the Saturday morning of his last high school football game. Typically, Archbold, the quarterback and captain of the Beach Channel Dolphins, spends the night before game day at a teammate’s house in Far Rockaway, eats chicken fingers and macaroni, and then in the morning tackles mounds of eggs and turkey bacon. 
This time, Archbold, his 6-foot, 200-pound frame straining at the contours of a strange bed, awoke wondering whether he would eat at all before the game. It had been like that for two weeks, ever since Hurricane Sandy had flooded and disfigured his Rockaways neighborhood.
Still, there was a football game to play, and no ordinary one. Beach Channel was set to play at Port Richmond on Staten Island this past Saturday in the first round of the Public Schools Athletic League playoffs. Archbold, 17, who still dreamed of a scholarship offer, maybe from the University at Buffalo, was nervous, and grateful, too.

“This was the last time to make everything count, and in the middle of a crazy time,” he said.

Archbold’s father, Dexter, drove him to the team bus pickup spot, and the route, as it had been for days, remained otherworldly. Instead of stoplights, there were police officers dressed in fluorescent green directing traffic, and on the sides of sandblasted streets stood shells of homes and businesses, little more than piles of rubble.

Archbold’s own uniform bore the taint of the storm. His shoulder pads reeked of bleach, used to kill mildew; his rib guard was gone altogether, washed away after Beach Channel’s locker room flooded. Port Richmond, in one of a number of acts of kindness, had lent Beach Channel what gear it could. Beach Channel, in the nearly two weeks since the storm, had practiced only twice, on a dark and borrowed field at Far Rockaway High School.
 (snip)
Breland Archbold moped for a week after the hurricane. He thought his senior football season would be left incomplete. He was in his father’s car in a line for gasoline on Long Island when his coach called him. The playoff game was on, but could the Dolphins play?

Nazario salvaged what equipment he could from the flooded school, and Port Richmond Coach Lou Vesce would lend the rest. But it was Archbold’s job as team captain to find out if the Dolphins could field a squad. He called teammates he had not seen since before the storm.

“Are you serious? I’m in,” Fatukasi said.

The Red Raiders scored again after halftime. Then again. A scuffle broke out after Archbold, also playing safety, tackled the opposing quarterback, Victor Pratt, as he ran out of bounds. The Red Raiders’ captain, Compton Richmond, bumped Archbold with his chest, and Fatukasi rushed over to protect his friend. Referees threw flags. The score was 30-6 and the frustration was palpable among the dozen or so Beach Channel fans.

Dexter Archbold had used his youth league football connections to secure the Dolphins practice time at the powerless Far Rockaway football field Thursday and Friday. About 15 players showed up Thursday, but the scrimmage was little more than a head count. On Friday, four more players showed, and the team did its best in the twilight. A few parents tried to battle back the darkness by shining their headlights on the field, burning precious gas, but it was little use. Some would miss the game the next day because they did not have the gas to get to Staten Island.

If this were Hollywood, the Dolphins would have rallied. But this was Staten Island. They lost, 38-6. After the game, the team huddled on the field. Some boys wept. Fatukasi called his teammates family and told them that despite “all that adversity, we’re leaving this field with respect.”

HALF A CONTINENT away from the Rockaways, in Lincoln, Neb., there's an inscription on Memorial Stadium, where another football team plays: "Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory."

University of Nebraska philosophy professor Hartley Burr Alexander wrote that. Through the veil separating the world that is seen and that which we cannot -- across the boundaries of time and space -- I'd like to think the good professor was able to see those words of his, carved into stone in 1923, transform themselves. On a cold Saturday in Staten Island, an abstraction suddenly wasn't.

"Not the victory but the action." A high-school coach and a couple dozen teenagers.

"Not the goal but the game." A remnant in borrowed gear, huddled in a cafeteria-turned-locker room, ready to step onto a field and stare down the winds of fate.

"In the deed the glory."



HAT TIP:  Rod Dreher. 

Kulturkaempfert


A little more night music in the studio. Why do I suddenly want to watch the Big Movie or a game show?

Why am I pretty sure no one under 40 will understand?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When your president's a Muslin . . .

SECDEE!
Don Mason, via Flickr

. . . what the hell is a patroit supposed to do?

No, the troo patroit must secdee! Because we must detsroy this contrey inn order to save it!

Monday, November 12, 2012

If at first you don't secede. . . .


The last Louisianian with such a bright idea ended up taking potshots at Fort Sumter, S.C., in April 1861.  

That didn't work out so well in the end for Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, for the sovereign state of South Carolina, for secessionist Louisiana or for anybody else in the Confederate States of America. "In the end" came almost exactly four years later, after the United States Army had smashed the South into rubble, destroyed its slave-based economy, plunged its people into privation and ripped out a region's false pride with the business end of a sabre.

All at the low, low price of about 700,000 dead.

But if at first you don't secede, try, try again. Especially if there's a Negro in the White House who also happens to be a commerniss and a socialiss and maybe the Antichrist, despite governing a lot like Richard Nixon . . . and the black sumbitch done got re-elected by them DamnYankeePinkoFags. (OK, the Nixon part might qualify Barack Obama for his Antichrist Jr., merit badge.)
 
Anyway, the Gret Stet of Louisiana done had enough of that un-American crap, so one true patriot in Slidell decided that the only rational response to such a brazen attack on everything the United States stands for . . . is to blow up the whole damned Union. 

Trust me -- this makes sense to people in Slidell.

UNFORTUNATELY, reports Nextgov, it also makes sense to people in 22 other states who don't have Slidell as an excuse for being dumbasses:
Residents of 23 states had petitioned the White House for permission to peacefully secede from the union as of 4 p.m. Monday.

A petition from a Slidell, La., resident posted to the White House’s We the People website the day after President Obama’s reelection seems to have started the trend.Nextgov first reported on that petition on Friday. The other 20 petition were posted over the weekend.

The Louisianan’s petition was mostly an extended quote from the Declaration of Independence suggesting the time had come for his state to “dissolve the political bands which have connected” it with the rest of the nation.

The majority of the secession petitions are carbon copies of the Louisiana petition with just the state’s name changed. A few petitions, such as this one from Texas, offered their own arguments for secession.

The Texas petition crossed We the People's 25,000 signature threshold for an official White House response around 3:30 p.m. Monday. All the other petitions were several thousand signatures shy at that point.

“Every petition that crosses the threshold will receive a response but we don't comment on what the substance of that response will be before it's issued,” a White House official said.

The majority of the secession petitions were from states that cast their electoral votes for Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the presidential contest rather than for the president. Six of the 21 petitions, however, were from states that broke for the president, including petitions from New York and New Jersey.

As of noon Monday, secession petitions had been filed by citizens of Arkansas, South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, Michigan, New York, Colorado, Oregon, New Jersey, North Dakota, Montana, Indiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arizona.


I KNOW . . . I know. This is bat-sh*t crazy. And it's been long settled that a state can't secede from the Union.

And President Obama -- no matter how much he might want Louisiana and Texas to get the hell out of his rapidly graying hair -- has no authority to let any state go anywhere, being that that would require a constitutional amendment.

In other words, the secession crisis of 2012 was over before it started. This, however, is unpersuasive in Louisiana, which right now wants to know whether people thought it was over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. No, a stupid and futile gesture is required on somebody's part in the wake of Obama's re-election, and the Gret Stet just might give you a tax credit for it.

Check with Presidente Bobby Jindal.

MIND YOU, Louisianians who luv, luv, luv this petition are itching to extract themselves -- out of sheer pique over socialism, welfare Cadillacs and Obamacare -- from a country in which the hard-working, self-sufficient conservative pillars of the Gret Stet get to spend the livelong day sucking at the federal teat and bitching about how sour mother's milk has become.

Perhaps it's a fit of conscience emanating from a state that takes in $1.35 in federal funds for every federal tax dollar Washington collects from it. Maybe it's just the Louisiana "brain drain" having done a number on math skills -- after all, even with the taxpayer largess the state gets as recompense for a loveless marriage to Yankee tyrants, it still spends a smaller percentage of its budget on higher education than Haiti.

Wait till secession, when Louisiana's higher-ed budget drops overnight to about $273.86 annually. Then, the prospect of becoming another Haiti may well be a case of one's eyes still being bigger than one's distended stomach.


OR MAYBE all this secession noise might be a result of something as simple as mass insanity. My money's on this one. Besides, Louisiana has a long, sordid history of cutting off its nose to spite Washington's face, and not much of a history with civil society.


But if you're already nuts, you just as well engage in a little magical thinking. Post-secession policymakers in Louisiana would no doubt be optimistic that the sovereign state could soon -- maybe in a matter of just a few years -- be just as up-to-date as Port au Prince.

I mean, once Presidente Jindal's "kidneys for gruel" public/black market welfare partnership started turning a profit and contributing to the fiscal bottom line, the soot-choked sky would be the limit, right?