Thursday, January 23, 2020

The abomination of Trumpolation


It has been many years since I've wanted a goddamned thing to do with the professionalized, politicized "pro-life" movement. Why? Because it's God-damned.

That sad fact becomes clearer by the day, if not by the minute.

Any organization that isn't wouldn't mock the Almighty by saying, with apparently straight faces -- both of them -- that Donald John Trump was "a voice for the unborn and continuously working to build a culture of life." That is a whopper of Trumpian proportions, at least.

Trumpian, hell. Orwellian.

Having Trump speak at an alleged March for Life is like having the ghost of Joseph Goebbels keynote an Anti-Defamation League convention. This most vile and dangerous of American presidents is building some kind of culture, alt-right all right, and it is anything but a "culture of life."

A CULTURE OF LIFE does not see ripping children from their parents at the border, then placing them in squalid and overcrowded Border Patrol stations as a feature and not a bug.

A culture of life's stance on the treatment of women does not include "grab 'em by the pussy."

A culture of life does not celebrate war crimes, it does not threaten war crimes, and it does not tolerate peacetime assassinations of foreign leaders.

A culture of life seeks to ease the struggles of the poor -- it does not cut their SNAP benefits.

A culture of life takes a dim view -- a really dim view -- of referring to women as "dogs."

A culture of life does not claim there's "some very fine people" among neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.

A culture of life does not celebrate someone who's told 16,241 public lies in his first three years in office.

A culture of life is not racist.

A culture of life is not anti-Semitic.

I could go on, but it's late and I'm tired.

WHEN I SAW the March of Life's tweet, the first thing -- literally -- that came to mind was "abomination of desolation." That's Bible speak, roughly describing something horrific and defiling. Apocalyptic, even. Think of erecting pagan monuments on the ruins of the temple in Jerusalem, as the Romans did.

Think of building an altar to Satan in a Catholic church.

Think of having Donald John Trump speak at a March for Life.

I'm thinking of the Archdiocese of Omaha sending busloads of teenagers to the March for Life -- and all of its hyperpoliticized Trumpdolatry -- like lambs to the spiritual and ideological slaughter. One of three things is likely to happen to each poor soul, and none is good:

* The kid might die of irony overload right on the spot.

* The kid might become a MAGA enthusiast, endangering his or her immortal soul and causing much harm to others somewhere down the road.

* The kid might be unusually perceptive, see this for the evil, blasphemous bullshit that it really is, take note of who and what brought him or her into this moral clusterfuck . . . and be lost to the Church (or Christianity, period) forever.

What an amazing witness for Christ. America -- and the church -- will have much to suffer because of such sulfurous subversion from the depths of hell.

I'm also imagining Jesus on one of those buses full of Nebraska teens as it crosses the Potomac River. It is written, "As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it."

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Somewhere in Hastings, Nebraska in 1958

Courtesy of eBay
"Good news, Emil!"

"What's up, Verl?"

"I found the money in the budget for a half-page ad in the TV Guide!"


"That's fine, Verl."

"There's a rub, though, Emil."

"And. . . ."


"Well, there's not enough money to get anything printed up at Hasenpfeffer's Print Shop."

"Jesus, Verl, that's not good."

"No, Emil, but dollars don't grow on trees, y'know."

"That's my line, Verl."

"Sorry, Emil. I got carried away with frugality."


"There's hope for ya yet, son. So, what do you propose we do for this TV Guide advertisement, then?

"Well, we still got the picture for Fran's cooking show that we put on the poster in the Hinky Dinky produce aisle that time."


"And. . . ."

"Well, Emil, I been goin' with that gal, Willa -- you know, the new art teacher at the high school."
Courtesy of eBay
"I think I know where you're goin' with this, Verl. Not a bad solution."

"I think it'll work out. But I think all she has would be pens and those new itsy-bitsy kinds of Marks-a-Lots."
"That'll be just fine, son. It'll look just as good as those ads for KETV in Omaha."

"Oh . . . Emil?"

"What now, Verl?"


"Did I mention that Willa has a little bit of palsy?"

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

War is over. (If you want it.)


"The battle is always lost within the castle."

Well, John Lennon got that one right. We elected Donald Trump president -- or at least voters in states comprising a majority in the Electoral College elected Donald Trump -- and what seems to be a nearly inevitable war with Iran already is lost.

It didn't -- doesn't -- have to be fought. The fuse was lit when Trump pulled the United States out of the multinational nuclear agreement with Iran, then ramped up sanctions in an attempt to destroy the Iranian economy.

After a year or so of tit-for-tatting with the mullahs, Trump poured jet fuel on the burning fuse by ordering the (nominally) peacetime, extralegal assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, said to be the second-most powerful member of the Iranian government. The Iranians will strike back -- hard.

When they do, Trump, who has blown up any plausible deniability that he is a madman, has threatened to respond by committing war crimes on an epic scale -- airstrikes against 52 Iranian targets including civilian sites and cultural treasures.

THE IRANIAN regime is not innocent in this, and Suleimani had much blood on his hands, including American blood. Then again, so does North Korea's Kim Jong Un. Trump considers him a friend . . . at least for the time being.

Tomorrow, who the hell knows?

No, Iran is not innocent. But after years of neocon warmongering, Trump's diplomatic duplicity, foreign-policy recklessness and -- now -- an illegal assassination of a foreign official that pretty clearly was an act of war, the United States stands before a global jury guilty as charged.

We are a deeply wrong country set to embark on a clearly illegal and unjust war.

And we are guilty of putting the madman who's about to pull the trigger in just the position to do it. With impunity.

As we say during the Roman Catholic Mass, "Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."

But . . . perhaps if getting into this catastrophic mess is our fault, maybe we also can get out of it. Somehow, like we eventually did in Vietnam. 

"War is over. (If you want it.)"

Friday, January 03, 2020

Proverbs 16:18


For God's sake . . . as opposed to whom or what evangelicals are worshiping these days.

Just saw this in The New York Times, and my disgust and revulsion know no bounds:
In his first public appearance since the strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran, President Trump rallied his evangelical Christian base of supporters on Friday, portraying himself as the restorer of faith in the public square and claiming that God is “on our side.”

Mr. Trump brought to the stage Cissie Graham Lynch, a granddaughter of Billy Graham, the founder of Christianity Today, to offer an implicit rebuke of the magazine’s recent editorial calling for his removal from the White House.

Ms. Lynch’s appearance underscored how sensitive Mr. Trump was about any signs of fracturing in his base; many evangelical allies denounced the editorial, and Ms. Graham Lynch vowed on Friday to help Mr. Trump win re-election. She then welcomed a supporter to the stage who told attendees that they could not trust what the news media wrote about the president.
REALLY, why worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph when you can go all in for a Golden Calf Orange Ass. Willful delusion is the worst kind of delusion.
Ass, Orange
Outside the rally, supporters said they came to offer their unblinking support for the president. In a city where Hispanics make up 70 percent of the population, many supporters chatted with one another in Spanish as they waited for hours in the blazing Miami sun.

“He’s talking from his heart,” said Michelle Hoff, who came to the rally with two other women from her prayer group. “I can’t remember when we had a president who was honest like he is. Like everyone else, he’s a sinner saved by grace. A lot of people say stuff that they don’t do. He’s doing it.”

Asked if she opposed anything the president said or did, Ms. Hoff said that she only wished he would appoint judges to fully overturn Roe v. Wade and same-sex marriage.

The rally inside the massive church began with energetic Christian rock, with many supporters clad in red M.A.G.A. hats dancing and lifting their hands in prayer.
GOD is not mocked. And if you know anything about the Old Testament -- which Donald Trump doesn't -- you suspect it probably isn't a good idea to f*** with the Persians at this juncture.

Proverbs 16:18, y'all. Proverbs 16:18. And to America's Orange Ass evangelicals . . . good riddance.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: We need a lot of Christmas


The bigger the show, the less I'll write about it. And the Christmas edition of the Big Show is a big, big show, indeed.

In fact, it's the biggest Big Show we've done in more than 11 years of doing the program. There isn't a little Christmas in this week's 3 Chords & the Truth; there's a lot of Christmas.

There's a simple reason for that, pally.

These days, we need  a lot of Christmas. Every single minute. We need a lot of Christmastime.

In this case, 3 hours and 13 minutes of Christmastime. You're welcome. Actually, thank our sponsor, What? Do a Shot . . . the drink America drinks when it needs to black out.

So there you have it, big Big Show, small post about the holiday music marathon.

It's A 3 Chords & the Truth Christmas, y'all. Be there. Alo-ho-ho-ho-ha.


Friday, December 20, 2019

Donald can't Trump the God's honest truth

I am a Bad Catholic. But at least, unlike so many evangelicals and others, I remember this one thing.

Donald Trump's gaslight, sadly, is poison for the brain and deadly for one's immortal soul.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Resistance is futile


There are a lot of entities and ideologies, nay, powers and principalities, out there waiting to assimilate your ass.

The vast majority represent bad, nay, weird ass, stuff. Feel free to substitute a more colorful noun than "stuff."

If you wonder what I speak of, you haven't been paying attention to our sorry and strife-filled times. But this isn't about that.

This is about being assimilated by something good and interesting and, nay, something good for your brain and your soul.

THIS . . . is about 3 Chords & the Truth. We're like the good Borg, and we only require to assimilate a modest and reasonable portion of your mind to the hive.

And maybe your feet, with which we will guide you to use for dancing and tapping.

Apart from that, there's just another exceptional edition of the Big Show to alert you to this week. Good music and a few great Christmas songs as we lead up to the giant Ho Ho Ho Extravaganza next week.

That . . . is all.

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


Saturday, December 07, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Power of tunes


The power of tunes is . . .

Three minutes of Christmas joy that makes you forget about a world of hurt for just a bit.

Songs that make you think, reminding you of the important things in life.

Music that lets you scream and rage at the insanity of this present darkness . . . without actually screaming and raging and getting carted off to the nearest psych ward.

THAT SOMETHING beyond words that touches you inside in a way beyond description.

The force multiplier of twist and shout.

Not caring whether "the force multiplier of twist and shout" actually makes any sense. You know what you mean.

"She loves you, yeah yeah yeah!"

Now, komm gib mir deine Hand, and I'll lead you to a magical place. We call it the Big Show.

We call it 3 Chords & the Truth.

Be there.

Aloha.


Saturday, November 23, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: A broken radio


There's a hole in Donald's head where all the crazy goes.
And America died for nothing, I suppose,
Little minds have big mouths.
Don't stop to count the cost,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.
(Apologies to John Prine)
THAT'S US. We're a broken radio, and the sweet songs -- our democratic heritage -- can't last too long. Not when we're going like this.

The Big Show will do what it can. We will play our sweet songs as long as we can. But if our national -- our cultural -- hatred of the truth, of the rule of law . . . of one another . . . doesn't end, the sweet songs will fade into static.

What cannot go on, won't.

That is the message of this week's episode of 3 Chords & the Truth. We're here in the 3C&T apocalypse bunker beneath Omaha, by God, Nebraska, and we're doing what we can.

Mainly, that's to play the best music we can, to remind you -- briefly -- of some basic, important things, and to keep alive the better angels of our cultural nature for as long as we can.

That's what the Big Show can do. You have to do the rest. Now to the music.

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


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

'Trump' ist Deutsch für 'no bottom'

There is not a single one of the Trumps fit to wash Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's skivvies. According to those who knew Donald Trump Jr., in college, the boy could have earned a minor in underwear-washing.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: It's all we got


Some years back, when LSU football was going through a meh stretch, and the Tigers had lost in agonizing fashion to one hated rival or another, a fellow native Louisianian was in despair.

My wife, trying to be encouraging, said something platitudinous on social media . . . you know, like "The sun will come up in the morning, and this, too, shall pass. So count your blessings, bucko."

Midwesterners. They're so frickin' earnest.

My fellow expat friend was having none of that bullshit.

"You don't understand," she said. "Football. It's all we got."

We Louisianians damn grew up in Trumpworld -- we just didn't know what to call it then. It's not like anyone was going to spend the money or give two shits enough to build a world-class university the Tigers could be proud of.

IT'S NOT LIKE, magically, government would generally work and voters would generally care.

It's not like the K-12 school system wouldn't always rank somewhere around dead last in the country.

It's not like the poor wouldn't always be with us, always be killing one another, always be hopeless and always have Bubba -- who had a union job at the chemical plant and would die of cancer in about 20 years -- blame the poor for their mean estate.

But goddammit, the LSU Tigers always had a shot. Except when they didn't.

It's all we got.

Folks in places like Nebraska don't get that. If the Nebraska Cornhuskers were magically transported to my home state, along with all their fans, in their present losing condition . . . well, "Nebraska" would supplant "Jonestown" in the Grim Reaper's thesaurus.

SO, YOU ASK. What's this have to do with the Big Show, with 3 Chords & the Truth?

Well, Cap, we all live in Trumpworld now. And we're all learning that, no, it's not darkest just before the dawn. It's darkest just before it gets even darker.

It's suckiest just before the president gets all jiggy with his Twitter account and commits witness harassment against one of his own ambassadors who -- at that very moment -- is testifying at his House impeachment hearing. And then things get even worse.

And then you learn to hang on to what you got. For as long as you can.

In the Gret Stet, that's football. And great food. And a rich culture. And a world-class musical tradition.

Being educated, having long lives and a minimally functioning government, with good roads and shit . . . not so much.

Louisiana will always have gumbo, Russia will always have great vodka, Catholics will always have the Sistine Chapel (I think), and America will always have what was the most amazing patrimony on earth -- until it all went to shit.

ME, I'M CLINGING to 3 Chords & the Truth. I look on the program as a flashlight in the darkness, a nod to musical truth, a tribute to what we had . . . and a hope that this present darkness just might be the precursor to dawn after all.

I guess that Pollyanna-ish Midwestern optimistic crap might be starting to rub off on me after 30-something years.

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


Friday, November 15, 2019

Dude's a #£¢§´#% miracle of modern medicine

I think our present state of affairs in these United (for now) States may lie somewhere between laughing to keep from crying . . . and dying laughing. That last thing isn't meant to be figurative.

God help us all, because we certainly haven't been able to help ourselves.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Music, music, music


We live in a world where people like to spoon feed you both kinds of music.

You know, country and western. Rap and hip-hop. Classic rock and classic hits. Classical and orchestral.

Here at 3 Chords & the Truth, we play one kind of music -- good. The bad, we don't mess with.

So, in the course of one show -- like this week's -- you're apt to hear The Young Rascals followed by Leonard Cohen. Mama Cass followed by Sarah Vaughan. Charlie Byrd followed by Squeeze.

ANDY WILLIAMS followed by Nazareth. I'm pretty proud of Andy Williams followed by Nazareth.

It all works. It all expands your mind and your horizons. It all makes up the rich musical gumbo you know as the Big Show.

Screw radio homogeneity, and screw the programmers and corporate suits who sell you short on an unending basis.

We don't roll like that. We're 3 Chords & the Truth, dammit.

Be there. Aloha.


Friday, November 08, 2019

ok gen z

This is from the year of my Boomer birth (note how I capitalize here -- try it sometime), 1961.  This exemplifies what some might call a "high-functioning culture."

When y'all look up from your TikTok videos long enough to consider how to write a piece of music in 7/4 time -- much less how to dance to a piece of music in 7/4 time -- come get me so I can see what you've come up with. I'll be having a cocktail . . . legally.

Friday, November 01, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: The smart choice


Style and substance -- the Big Show has both. Always has. Always will.

In radio today, I'm not sure what's the rarer thing, style or substance. Some stations and programs have some degree of style. Others -- not a bunch -- have substance. Few have both.

Actually, having both is a good way to not be on the radio. Having both, come to think of it, is a good way to be totally screwed in lots of ways in our culture today. Such are the times in which we live.

The blessing and the curse of 3 Chords & the Truth is that it's the program that doesn't give a damn.

Bad news: This sort of thing is a horrible way to make any money. Good news: We've no money to lose from not being dumb-ass enough, so you're gonna hear some wild sh . . . stuff on this here little podcast. (Gotta watch the language. "Style," don't you know.)

Style and substance. Boy is that happening on the Big Show this week.

And, boy, do you need to be listening to the Big Show this week.

Really, aren't we all tired of the dumb and the artless? Time for a change.

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


Saturday, October 26, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: It's late


It's late.

And I'm afraid we have no idea how late it is . . . says someone who is a member of a group of tens upon tens upon tens upon tens of millions of Americans just deemed "human scum" by the president of the United States of America. Just because we happen to oppose the mean-spirited, disastrous misgovernance of said president and his band of craven partisan enablers.

The words "human scum" made it possible to kill 6 million Jews. Made it possible for Hutus to slaughter between half a million and a million Tutsis in Rwanda. Allowed the Turks to butcher about 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I.

"HUMAN SCUM" on American lips gave permission for Southerners to enslave millions of blacks and egged them on as they declared war on their northern brethren in defense of the indefensible. Nearly 700,000 Americans were dead by the time the carnage played itself out in 1865.

This edition of 3 Chords & the Truth is predicated upon the lateness of the hour in these United States. This edition of the Big Show also harbors a musical prayer that it's not too late.

Sorry to get all serious on you but, alas, these are serious times. But at least we work plenty enough fun and tuneful enjoyment around the seriousness . . . in my humble opinion.

But don't take my word for it; I'm just "human scum." Why don't you just listen for yourself instead?

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


Friday, October 25, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Snapshots from Amerika . . . or Syria. One of the two

I'm told this is a snapshot sent home to Saint Petersburg by a Russian diplomat at a consulate somewhere in the United States.
The guy who mailed it to me said, "Sir, this is what the Russians think of us right now. We're in a bad way, and they're just yukking it up, sir!"
Believe me! True story!
I wonder whether the Kremlin still will be laughing when their asset in the Oval Office starts pulling the wallpaper off the walls to replace the lettuce on his Big Macs, then starts playing with the nuclear codes as he jumps up and down yelling "KILL! KILL! KILLLL!"

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Unfortunately, the judge believed in jail

Aug. 8, 1974: The front page of the Baton Rouge (La.) State-Times had the biggest headline I'd ever seen in my 13½ years on Earth: Nixon to Quit.
Inside, on Page 20-A, was this campaign ad for Gil Dozier, running for Public Service Commissioner that fall.

His campaign chairman, Dr. Billy Cannon -- local orthodontist and LSU's only Heisman Trophy winner -- paid for it. Dozier lost.
But the next year, Dozier got himself elected Louisiana agriculture commissioner. And in 1980, he got himself convicted on federal racketeering and extortion charges. After a failed appeal in 1982, he took up residence in the federal pen in Fort Worth, Texas.

In 1983, Cannon ended up in federal prison, too -- in Texarkana, Texas -- after being convicted of counterfeiting $6 million in $100 bills. Both got out of the pen in 1986.

I wonder how many folks ever think "Hey! Both of these guys went to federal pen -- funny how life works" when seeing an old newspaper political ad from their misspent youth. I'll bet a bunch . . . if they're from Louisiana.

Monday, October 14, 2019

What hath Farnsworth wrought?

We have discovered that PBS Kids is for kids of all sorts.

Like, for example, Belle the Dog who, as we say around here, "is very, very 1."

We think Elmo and the rest of the Muppets are her favorites, but she's also a big fan of Daniel Tiger. As you can see.

And if you get the headline . . . welcome to geekdom.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Hello in there


Fall just fell, the heat is running, the coffee's on . . . a great time for you to pop in and say "Hello in there!"

Or maybe the Big Show will just drop by your place to say hello. Either way is fine.

Well, while we're saying hello, we just as well have some pumpkin spice stuff -- coffee, treats, booze, air freshener, whatever. Apparently it's required.

And we at 3 Chords & the Truth do what's expected of us.

Uh . . . once we did. I think.

Anyway, say howdy, grab some kind of pumpkin stuff and settle in for a bunch of really good music. As is our custom.

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