Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Gates of Hell 1, Catholic Church 0


The Catholic Church -- the institutional church, at least -- in this country is finished. The gates of hell, we are assured by scripture, will not prevail against the church everywhere, but they have here.

I say this after reading a "little" story from Pennsylvania uncovered in today's grand jury report on the spiritual, ethical and legal cesspool that is the Catholic Church there. The entire document is here. Maybe you have the stomach to tackle it in its immensity -- I do not.

But this one snippet from a massive global scandal and sacrilege is instructive. A huge story begins to just become a jumble of factoids and statistics, but the horror is best appreciated in looking at just one thing.

JUST ONE destroyed life. Sorry, make that two . . . because abortion. Just one mutilated soul. Just one sociopathic prelate.

This, from Diocese of Scranton in the 1980s, is just one in an unbelievably long parade of horror from just one American state since World War II. Here is the account from the local newspaper today, the Times Leader:

You can be assured that what the grand jury -- various grand juries over recent years -- uncovered in Pennsylvania will likewise pop up out of the clerical swamp in every diocese from sea to shining sea.

You also can be assured that most of our shepherds are wolves in chasubles and mitres.

I feel as if I should have more to say about this, something eloquent, profound and original. I don't.

Perhaps it's the cynicism I've clung to for the last 16 years as a coping mechanism. It's not ideal, but it seems to work for me and keeps me somewhere within Christianity instead of screaming "F*ck you!" as I storm out the door into . . . what? Nothingness?

Yeah, probably nothingness. And then the pointy-hatted motherf*ckers could notch yet another lost soul onto their liturgical staffs.

And yes, I just said "pointy-hatted motherf*ckers." The great scandal of American clericalist Catholicism is that all the "right" faithful will be a lot more scandalized by my phraseology than by priests raping young boys and girls, homosexual brothels disguised as Catholic seminaries and "princes of the church" aiding and abetting all of the above.

If you are offended, go say a rosary for my damnable soul . . . on the grave of an abuse victim who killed himself or herself after the misplaced shame and the unceasing torment became too much to bear.


Some of us will remain Catholic in the wake of this filth. I don't know which -- the jury's still out for most of us, I suspect. But I do know this: Whichever way we find to keep the faith, such as it is and assuming we do, it will not be the way we have kept it in the past. At all.

The collapse of the institutional church will follow the collapse of the hierarchy's reputation and credibility, a process begun in earnest in 2002 and finally completed today with the Pennsylvania grand jury's scathing 900-page report. The collapse of that credibility flowed out of the collapse of episcopal integrity, the visible sign of God-knows-how-many collapsed episcopal souls.

May God have precisely as much mercy on them as they showed their flocks.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: It all starts here


It all starts here.

Right, Robin? Becky? Michaela? Carol and Ashley?

This . . . is 3 Chords & the Truth. And it allllllllll starts here.

Not there. Here. And we've put it all in a nifty Summer 2018 scrapbook to prove it.

Because the great sounds of summer all start here on the Big Show.

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


Friday, August 03, 2018

Look, it's everybody's mama at Winn an' Dixie!


Well, this looks like just about everybody's mama makin' groceries when I was a young'un.

(Midwestern translation: "This is amazingly close to how nearly everyone's mother looked when they were grocery shopping when I was a child.")

Add some curlers to the hair of that lady on the right, stick a cigarette in the mouth of that lady on the left, maybe add some cat-eye spectacles to that lady in the middle . . . and you'll be knowing that your butt is so gonna get whipped when you get home if you don't BEHAVE RIGHT NOW!

Welcome to domestic life in Baton Rouge, July 29, 1968.

And you just wait until your daddy gets home.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Land of the Pee (Tape), and the home of the depraved


I fear war is coming to America.

But you want to know what's even worse than that? That I think civil war no longer is the worst possible thing that could befall this benighted land.

The triumph of this is the worst possible thing that could happen to the United States of America. I call it "White Trash Fascism." And Donald Trump is its prophet.

Because that's exactly what it is, and no further explication is necessary. None. Not a goddamn bit.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Musical truth


Like any product of the 1960s and '70s, I admit my fondness for the Top-40 radio of that now long-ago era. Whenever I hear a recording of that, from then, something comes over me.

Nostalgia, wistfulness, longing . . . whatever you want to call it. It's like an emotional wave crashing upon the graying sands of a middle-aged shore.

But Top-40 by definition is musical popularity, which is something quite different from musical truth. There can be truth in there somewhere . . . but my musical truth and yours isn't subject to the Billboard charts or a survey of local retailers.

Musical truth comes from the soul -- from what speaks to you and moves you, deeply and immediately. That is what 3 Chords & the Truth  is all about.

FOR ME, that's what this week's show is about, what last week's show was about and what every episode of the Big Show will be about. It's kind of like walking a tightrope without a safety net. You know the songs you play, and how you string them together, speaks to you. But will it speak to anyone else?

Good question, no pat answer.

It's an art, not a science. Science has its purpose, but this isn't one of them. Every week, I'm hoping for the best and fearing the deafening silence of the worst.

And I'm hoping for that kernel of musical truth for me and for you.

That's all anyone can do when it comes to the God's honest musical truth.

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


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Rep. Adolf Gump

I can't be sure, but a fat legislative Bubba from Georgia throwing it in reverse with his britches around his feet and trying to use his ass as a battering ram while screaming "AMERICA! AMERICA!" could be one of the signs and wonders Jesus told us would herald the Apocalypse.

It's in the Bible. Somewhere in the back.
THIS HERE? Also from Georgia. This fool is running for governor.

Oh . . . we sooooo doomed.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Color your world


This is the episode of 3 Chords & the Truth where we look at the whole flippin' world of radio, both on the Internets and online, and tell it to just hold our damn beer.

Because we're gonna show our true colors on the Big Show. All of 'em. Many of them in the same set of music.

This is not something you would hear on your local commercial radio station. This is something you'd hear on vanishingly few non-commercial radio stations.

This is something you hear all the time on 3 Chords & the Truth.

That's about all I have to say . . . HEY! I TOLD YOU TO HOLD MY DAMNED BEER, NOT SPILL IT!!!

Y'all, I gotta go. I have to fetch what's left of my beer. You can't trust most of the radio world to do anything.

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


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Plunging into the ruined, moldy heart of a metaphor

Vintage FCC 'history card' for WJAR radio



Last month, an urban explorer trekked into the wilds of East Providence, R.I., in search of adventure and long-abandoned places.

Wielding nothing but a video camera and a respirator, "RnK All Day" brought his YouTube viewers along as he pored through the ruins of radio stations WHJJ, WHJY (94 HJY) and WSNE that once broadcast from the crumbling building at 115 Eastern Ave. He got more than he bargained for -- as did we.

What the intrepid archaeologist of urban abandonment found was a moldering, unsealed time capsule of mid-market AM and FM radio, circa 2002. It almost seemed as if, going on a couple of decades ago, the DJ on 94 HJY was playing Lenny Kravitz's latest CD while the talk guy on WHJJ argued with a caller about George W. Bush . . . and then the apocalypse.

The lights blinked. The phone went dead. A blinding flash. Someone spied a mushroom cloud in the distance.

Then everyone ran from the building, in a panic and in search of a fallout shelter. No one ever came back.

Yes, scavengers would go through the place from time to time. But they were looking for canned goods, cash and booze. Maybe some forgotten weed from the HJY wing. Broadcast electronics held no attraction for nuclear survivors worried more by the threat of irradiated zombies.

Fate had left these postmodern ruins amazingly intact, save for the smashed windows, some trashed rooms . . . and the mold that was everywhere.

THIS WAS the result of no nuclear detonation and the sudden collapse of civilization, though. This was another kind of apocalypse -- a corporate apocalypse.

There were no glowing zombies staggering through deserted streets searching in vain for human brains. The survivors of this apocalypse were the ones who brought it about -- the business-attired men and women walking crisply through cubicled offices in search of shareholder value.

Sometimes, they spat out glib clichés about "thinking outside the box" and "It is what it is." Other times, they merely moaned "EBITA! EBITA!"

A few years ago, one of this country's tens of thousands of "downsized" (or "right-sized" . . . or "redundant" . . . or "laid off" . . . or whatever) radio professionals -- I was told it was a disc jockey fired about 2003 -- cornered a regional program director outside the offices of a "station cluster." He just wanted answers to a few questions.

Would he ever feel useful again?

Was his training -- were his talents --  now useless?

The man in business casual was silent.


"Will I ever fucking work in my profession again!?"

Quoth the Craven "Nevermore."

Yet the suits could move three stations out of one building into another building with new equipment . . . and just abandon all the old. Utterly. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, at the time, of "utterly."

That waste represents "shareholder value," no doubt. Efficiency and belt-tightening, don't you know?


OK, I LIED about the tale of the questioning DJ. I don't know that it happened. I'll bet it probably did somewhere, however. I didn't lie about the apocalypse part. What's befallen radio -- and to a lesser extent, TV -- since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 ushered in the Lord of the Flies is an apocalypse. In ancient Greek, "apocalypse" meant "an unveiling." In modern English, it can mean a prophetic revelation . . . or an inferno . . . or a great disaster.

The tens upon tens of thousands of cashiered broadcasters say, "Take your pick, man. Hard to go wrong." And millions of listeners across the land might agree.

Once, WHJJ was a big deal in Providence. Before 1980, the call letters were WJAR, and for much of its history, it was a pretty big deal in the Northeast. After first taking the air in 1922, WJAR became a charter affiliate of the National Broadcasting Co., in November 1926.

And legendary NBC announcer Don Pardo (of Saturday Night Live and every-damn-thing-else fame) got his start at WJAR in 1938.

SO LOOK at the mysteriously, confoundingly abandoned studios, once the pre-ruinous home to the jewels of the Franks Broadcasting Co., Inc., beginning in 1980. Before Franks Broadcasting, the old WJAR was the pride of The Outlet Company.
 

Outlet owned WJAR for six decades. Franks owned it for a few years. Then it gets consolidatingly confusing until you end up at iHeartMedia, a crapload of assumed debt and -- how do they put it? Ah . . . yes. Efficiencies, economies of scale, elimination of redundancies and . . . "right-sizing." 

It sounds so much better than "You're fired." But it still means "apocalypse." And the abandoned, fully equipped ruins in East Providence still make for a hell of a metaphor for an entire ruined industry and an entire unraveling country.

What you hear wafting across the ether today is substantively denuded. The happy-clappy corporate speak of besuited Visigoths is risible -- especially if you jack up your eyelids with toothpicks, turn your radio on and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to the stupid in the air.

. . . and listen to th. . . .


SORRY. The program server had a bit of a meltdown, nobody's in the building after 5, and I had to drive in from home to reboot it.


Next time that happens, just go online and call up the iHeart station in (fill in the blank). It's playing the same damn thing -- probably at the same damn time. How're you liking those "economies of scale"?

The legions of former radio people -- the first casualties in the apocalypse, the ghosts inhabiting our East Providence metaphor in ruins, the men and women who have radio in their blood and nowhere to show it, the ones who talk incessantly about the old days on Facebook because there are no more new days -- they're not liking those "economies of scale" at all.

And they don't much care for your station, or for bombed-out radio studios full of perfectly good equipment being perfectly ruined.

Neither, I suspect, do they care for metaphors. Unfortunately, it seems as if metaphors are the only damned thing we have left in this sad, sad land.

Don't forget to call in your request to the studio line. No one will answer.

Monday, July 16, 2018

A dispatch from somewhere near the end of America

A Facebook missive from a congressman for our times

Rep. Don Bacon
Nebraska 2nd Congressional District
c/o Den of National Disrepute
Washington, D.C.
Amerikan Soviet Kleptocratic Republic

RE: Your equivocating Facebook missive



Dear Rep. Bacon:


Congressman, the president has done squat that he wasn't effectively forced to do by a veto-proof majority of both houses. His words will never match his middling actions . . . which definitely were not his own idea to begin with.

What Donald Trump will willingly do is aid and abet a country that has attacked the United States via cyber- and psychological warfare. He is a traitor. He is a clear and present danger to the physical security and the philosophical underpinnings of this creedal nation.

Let me repeat: He is a traitor. He is on a path to make Julius and Ethel Rosenberg look like milquetoasts. In a non-deranged country, you damned well know what this tangerine Benedict Arnold's fate would be.

The. President. Is. A. Traitor. And he was a fascist before that.

Now let's see your words and actions rise to the level required by what now only can be characterized as indisputable fact.

There is a word for those who go along with traitors and tyrants -- collaborators.




Sic semper nocendi perfido,







M. Favog 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

This is a thing on Facebook. Probably Russian.


This is called "How We Lose Sure-Thing Elections." And November hardly is a sure thing.

This also is called "How We Start a Civil War." South of the Mason-Dixon Line, it's called "What Got Us to Fight to the Death . . . and Finally Win."

I despise Trump and what he stands for with every fiber of my being, but I'd join the fascists and fight to the death with 'em if this was the sort of revenge his removal would visit upon whole swaths of the country, entire religious denominations and entire demographic groups . . . including the region I live in and the religious demographic I belong to.


It wouldn't be a matter of me being a fascist; it would be a matter of simple, calculated self-preservation for myself and on behalf of people I know and love.
 

THIS IS stereotyping and demonization worthy of Donald Trump himself . . . and of his idiot followers. It is goddamned madness, and this sort of thinking will lead to a bloodbath like this country never has seen once it gets out of hand.

Which I expect it to do.


Madness is upon us, and we're all eating it up like a hog does slop.

Come to think of it, how much do you want to bet "Renee Torres" is really Renata
Torchinovich, hard at work in a cubicle at the Troll Factory in St. Petersburg. As psy-ops, this stuff is golden -- the dog whistle is blowing, and "progressives" are howling at the moon.

3 Chords & the Truth: What was the question again?


Injury a head who knew you could from reading the news get?

Certainly not your Mighty Favog.

Scones!

Week this on Chords 3 Truth & the, think I we have a jolly show good. Fun we are having with plenty fun of music.

And . . . sure (the royal) we are that play we will some favorites of your. That's plenty reason to sit yourself down, click on the link, and listen to some music right now. The Big Show on. Is what we're saying.

Are we playing Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage"? Well, no, not this week. Why do you ask?

It's the great show. It's the best show. It's the unequaled show in all the universe.

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

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

Scones!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Britain's humiliation, America's shame

This is what Donald Trump does when he is a guest of what was our closest ally. When he is a guest of Theresa May. Timed for when he is there.

Adolf Hitler would have inflicted no less than the humiliation this walking, talking, bloviating turd with a bad haircut just visited upon the British prime minister. If politics is life and death -- and often it is in this world -- May surely will die of embarrassment, and this indignity at the American president's tiny, tiny hands is upon all the United Kingdom by extension.
 

Trump Baby
It is shameful, and that shame is upon all the United States as well. We have become a shameful country -- through our fault, through our fault, through our most grievous fault. For the time being . . . for a little while still . . . we are one people as Americans, and it is we who elected this despicable son of a bitch.

This sad, troubled land is riven by many things in this unfortunate age. But for now, the most deadly serious divide in the United States is this: On which side do we stand? 

With this evil man, this existential threat to the very idea of America, or against this plague upon decency and the rule of law?

"Which side are you on, boys? Which side are you on?"



FROM THE article in today's edition of The Sun:
Theresa May’s new soft Brexit blueprint would “kill” any future trade deal with the United States, Donald Trump warns today.

Mounting an extraordinary attack on the PM’s exit negotiation, the President also reveals she has ignored his advice on how to toughen up the troubled talks.

Instead he believes Mrs May has gone “the opposite way”, and he thinks the results have been “very unfortunate”.

His fiercest criticism came over the centrepiece of the PM’s new Brexit plan — which was unveiled in full yesterday.

It would stick to a common ­rulebook with Brussels on goods and agricultural produce in a bid to keep customs borders open with the EU.
https://imgur.com/gallery/p4NryqrBut Mr Trump told The Sun: “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.

“If they do that, then their trade deal with the US will probably not be made.”

Mr Trump made the bombshell intervention during a world exclusive interview with The Sun — the only British media outlet he spoke to before his arrival in the UK for his first visit as President.

It will pour nitroglycerine on the already raging Tory Brexiteer revolt against the PM.

And in more remarks that will set off alarm bells in No10, Mr Trump also said Mrs May’s nemesis Boris Johnson — who resigned over the soft Brexit blueprint on ­Monday — would “make a great Prime Minister.”

A big US-UK trade deal, long promised by Mr Trump, is cherished by Leave campaigners as Brexit’s biggest prize.

But the President said Mrs May’s plan “will definitely affect trade with the United States, unfortunately in a negative way”.

He explained: “We have enough difficulty with the European Union.

“We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading.

“No, if they do that I would say that that would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States.”

Questioned on Boris’s comments at a private dinner two weeks ago that Mr Trump “would go in bloody hard” if he was negotiating Brexit, the President swiftly replied: “He is right.”

He added: “I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me.

“She wanted to go a different route.

“I would actually say that she probably went the opposite way. And that is fine.

“She should negotiate the best way she knows how. But it is too bad what is going on.”

IF I WERE Queen Elizabeth . . .  and the U.K. is exceedingly lucky I am not . . .  I would serve Donald Trump some of Minny's chocolate pie for tea. After he had eaten the whole thing, I would inform him that I thought it complimented pee tapes quite well.

Then I would inform him that NO FOREIGN LEADER treats any prime minister of mine, Tory or Labour, as he has treated Theresa May, and to get his vulgar, orange arse out of my goddamned castle.

Being 92 and royal has its privileges.

God save the queen.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: The best sound. The greatest sound.


This show is the Miracle of Modern Sound.

The 3 Chords & the Truth, I guess I speak well. You know, we turned away thousands of people. They never say I'm a great speaker. Why the hell do so many people listen?

Why -- I don't think -- it's true, why do they come? Why? Why, oh why, do they listen to the Big Show? It's got to be something. I guess they like my policy -- maybe my policy. No, it's true. Have you ever noticed, you never hear that -- you never hear that. You never hear it.

I mean, there's got to be a reason. I have broken more Elton John records, he seems to have a lot of records and we beat -- and I, by the way, I don't have a musical instrument.

I don't have a guitar or an organ. No organ.

Elton has an organ and lots of other people help him. You know we've broken a lot of records. We've broken virtually every record because you know, look, I only need this space on the Internets. They need much more room for basketball, for hockey, for all the sports. They need a lot of room.

WE DON'T NEED IT. We have people in that space, so we break all these records. But really we do it without, like, the musical instruments. This is the only musical, the mouth, and hopefully the brain attached to the mouth, right?

The brain, more important than the mouth is the brain. The brain is much more important.

But they -- Do you ever notice? -- do you ever hear something, they say -- you know we had a case last week we were in a great place in Wisconsin? And we had a tremendous crowd and we have like the choice of a 22,000 seat arena and in retrospect, we would have packed it and they would have sent away thousands of people.

But the people said to me, very innocent people, they were great. But I hadn't met them. I said why didn't you -- they -- they filled up a 7,000 seat arena, walked away thousands of people, like over 20. and we would have filled -- and I said why didn't you use the bigger arena?

He said, sir, we knew that if you had five vacant seats, empty seats -- see vacant just because I was in the womp womp womp, I'll say use that term. If you had five empty seats, they would say the Mighty Favog was unable to fill the arena. And I said, you know what, you're right.

And I plagiarize the best people. The most unbelievable people. You wouldn't believe -- but they did.

SO . . . and you've been a great American crowd, the greatest crowd . . . almost as good at Putin's crowds . . . Putin has the best crowds because they do what he says . . . but you people are what's gonna Make America Great Again maybe . . . but we'll see.

Anyway, it's 3 Chords & the Truth. Be there.  Aloha.