Showing posts with label stupidity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stupidity. Show all posts

Monday, June 10, 2019

I may not be woke, but I got common sense!

My father has been dead for 18 years, now, and his words keep coming back to haunt me . . . and mock the insane times in which I now live.

During one memorable kitchen-table argument -- where the young, college-educated me was sneering at some then-self-evidently incredible thing he was throwing at me -- the retired pipefitter's resentment of the degree he'd paid for was as subtle as an acetylene torch.

"You might have book learnin', but I got common sense!" my old man thundered.

About 35 years later, I get it. I really get it.

I may not be on CNN, but I got common sense. And any political party that is questioning whether "electability" is important in a system where candidates run for office, and the one with the most votes wins . . . has a big damn problem.

And the mental, cultural and philosophical rot in the Democratic Party is such that -- God help us all -- Donald Trump is going to win in 2020, just so long as he doesn't spark a depression or cause us to lose a war.

No,  I may not be writing stories for The Atlantic like Jemele Hill, but I got common sense. Which leads me to not even consider writing a couple of paragraphs like this:
Nevertheless, Biden’s elevation to front-runner is a testament to how much President Donald Trump has shaken the faith of those who believe the White House could better reflect what America looked like.

This is perhaps Trump’s most crucial victory yet: successfully persuading Democrats—especially African American voters—not just to lower the bar, but to abandon the idea that inclusion and bold ideas matter more than appeasing the patriarchy.
HOLY SHIT on a $7.99 shingle, Batman! Alas, 1968 repeats itself . . . this time as parody.

Well, yeah, Donald Trump might be the end of American democracy, if not America itself . . . but . . . but . . . if we run someone who can beat him . . . does that mean we're giving in to The Man?

The bat-shit, it burns! Doctor, my eyes!

Meanwhile, this is the cover story in the current edition of The Atlantic.

I'M SORRY, Daddy. I'm sorry for everything.

I hope the last laugh you're having, free of this vale of tears, is a long and satisfying one.

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.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Back to the future with President Stupid

Well, ladies and germs, it would appear that President Stupid is about to get us all into a real, honest-to-God trade war of the Smoot-Hawley variety.

Those never end well.

I fear the chill'uns are about to get a lesson on what it was like when their grandparents -- folks my age -- were teenagers and college students. The cool stuff you really wanted was really expensive, and you seriously had to save up for it. 1980, I was working about 20 hours a week at minimum wage -- then $3 an hour. Today, that would work out to $9.22. And being a total gear head, I really wanted a cool new stereo receiver.

To get one, I had to save for months. The Yamaha receiver I bought cost just shy of $400, or around $1,100 in 2018 dollars. That was serious money then, and it's even more serious today, as wages haven't come close to keeping pace with inflation the past four decades.

Later, I decided I wanted a color TV, a nice one, for my bedroom.  So I got a "Sony of my owny," to borrow the phraseology of the era's advertisements for the brand. It was a 12-inch Trinitron color set with push-button tuning. I also could tell you the model, but that would just bore you and out me as a total anorak, which is a particularly geeky way to say "nerd."

My Sony cost a mere $369.95 ($1,086.25 today).

GOOD LUCK doing that now as a student making minimum wage at a part-time job. For one thing . . . your wages have been depressed.

For another thing, your depressed wages in 2018 go toward lots of stuff we didn't have in the late 1970s and early 1980s -- like monthly cellphone bills.

And monthly cable-TV bills to watch programs and sporting events that were on free, over-the-air TV in 1980.

And then there's Hulu and Netflix and Amazon Prime Video so you can watch the popular shows that aren't on cable.

Oh, yeah. There's your monthly broadband-Internet bill, too.

Then there's college tuition. In 1979, my old man shelled out $295 in tuition and fees for me to attend Louisiana State University full time for the fall semester ($995.29 in 2018, about a $2,000-a-semester discount over one of today's "reasonably priced" state universities). Back then, state legislatures tended to think public universities were, well . . . public.

By the standards of today's Republican Party, we all were pinko-communist, socialist radicals living in a thoroughly collectivized country . . . and we liked it. We particularly liked not being bankrupted by student-loan debt which, of course, can't be erased by bankruptcy.

And I saw Bruce Springsteen in 1980 for the princely sum of $8 a ticket ($23.30 today). The Who cost $12. I had great seats.

Sucks to be you, kids. There's a reason so many of you live with Mom and Dad till you're 30. 

SUCKS TO BE us old farts, too. When prices go through the roof, the economy craters and our 401(k) retirement accounts come to naught, we'll probably die at age 80 . . . shivering in an unheated hovel, eating cat food and wallowing in our own shit.

On the bright side, maybe Donald Trump will just get us nuked instead, and we'll never know what hit us.

Monday, September 18, 2017

There are none so blind. . . .

"Uncle Pelz" deserved better than this. He deserved more dignity than what you'd afford a Pekingese in a write-up about someone's dead lapdog.

In death, as in life, he deserved to be just a man -- not a "negro" or a "darky." Especially at 87.

He deserved to be written about as a member of the human race, not as slightly greater than a thing. Or a dog.

Pleasant Quitte was a man. He had feelings. He was loved by God Almighty. He knew things. He saw things. He remembered things. He possessed the wisdom of his many years.

This obituary from the Sunday edition of the Morning Advocate in Baton Rouge, La., ran Nov. 2, 1941. In the Deep South of 1941, an 87-year-old African-American almost surely would have been born a slave.

Certainly, he also had an amazing story. Maybe he had children and grandchildren -- and great-grandchildren. They, if they existed -- and that, we do not know because it wasn't considered newsworthy --  did not know Mr. Quitte "familiarly" or otherwise as "Uncle Pelz." In the South of 1941, "uncle" was the patronizing moniker white people hung on black men of a certain age and fancied it respectful.

"UNCLE" was the language of those who found "the idea of a darky and a Pekinese" just ridiculously adorable enough that it might make a hell of a magazine cover. The Saturday Evening Post, perhaps.

Maybe Better Hoods and Crosses.

Mrs. J. Simon, Jr., of 617 North Boulevard -- and in Baton Rouge back then, if you had the money to live at 617 North Boulevard, you had the money to have both a Pekingese and an old black man to walk it -- presumably was who informed the newspaper about the passing of this downtown adornment with whom Baton Rougeans were "familiar" . . . but not too familiar. If you know what I mean.

Too familiar in the Baton Rouge of 1941, as well as the one of my birth two decades hence, would be acknowledging the humanity of an 87-year-old African-American. Too familiar would be acknowledging that "Uncle Pelz" had a story -- a life -- beyond walking Mrs. Simon's Pekingese and being a familiar downtown sight, like the Old State Capitol, Stroube's drug store, a palm tree or somebody's big crepe myrtle.

Too familiar would be saying hello to Mr. Pleasant Quitte, as opposed to that "darky and a Pekinese."

Would you like to know what's too familiar in my hometown in 2017? Pretty much everywhere in the United States in 2017?

How about those too delusional to think that kind of cultural memory -- that sort of cultural reflex -- just disappears without a trace in 50 years, or even in 76 years. Culture is in it for the long haul. It doesn't just disappear, or even change drastically, without concerted effort.

AS RODGERS and Hammerstein told us in South Pacific, "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught." Likewise, you have to be carefully untaught. Probably more carefully untaught.

The problem with white supremacy, however, is that it just might hurt its perpetrators more than it does its targets.

First, it dulls the conscience. Then it goes for one's human empathy. Finally, it attacks the bigot's intellect, curiosity and ability to fully perceive reality. It makes one prone to delusions, particularly delusions of superiority.

Maybe it even cripples the ability to be taught further . . . or, rather, to be untaught.

If the Morning Advocate obit demonstrates anything across the span of seven and a half decades, it's that callous, incurious and shallow is no way to go through life.

That's a lesson all too rarely taught -- or learned. Especially these days.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I have three words for this

As I write this, 129 people are dead and 352 lie wounded in Paris after coordinated terrorist attacks attributed to ISIS -- the Islamic State in Syria, Etc., Etc., and So On.

Apparently, some delicate flowers out there are upset this is taking away from the coverage of the "terrorist attack" at the University of Missouri, where rednecks wielding AR-15s and hand grenades slaughtered hundreds of students of color and left hundreds more grievously wounded. . . . Oh, wait.

Redneck idiots yelled the N-word, and somebody drew a swastika in poop.

As bad as that is, and as much as that needs to be dealt with, it's not the wanton slaughter of 129 people and the wounding of 352. And I have three words for those hysterical and solipsistic nervous Nellies who are demented enough to think it is.

Unfortunately, this is a family blog.

HAT TIP: Rod Dreher.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Beavisovich and Buttheadinsky build a death ray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Them people's crazy.

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

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Even Russia has a Mississippi

Иван пропустил Darwin Awards от это много.

(Translation: Ivan missed the Darwin Awards by this much.)

How, oh, how did I miss this when it appeared a couple of years ago?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The unimportance of being earnest

The Pillsbury Doughmagogue strikes again.

Let me explain Gov. Dave Heineman's latest smoove move as Nebraska's chief executive: It's as if Poppin' Fresh had appointed the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to the Confectioners Council a few years after the big guy got busted for spreading malicious lies about Mrs. Smith. And after he never got around to paying his fines for an unfortunate 1984 incident in Manhattan.

Of course, the press learns of the whole deal, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man abruptly withdraws, saying his dad had just been turned into a s'more. And Poppin' Fresh is left without even a hardy "Hoo hoo!" for curious reporters.

What the doughboy can't say is this, because it is true: "Who cares if the dude stinks up the kitchen? He's my kind of culinary hack!"

Or something like that.

I THINK you'll find my analogy reasonably close as you read about how terribly hard it is to be a D'oh!-magogue in a world where the press occasionally pays attention:
Bellevue businessman Patrick Shannon said Monday the governor knew about Shannon's state fines for campaign violations before appointing him last week to the Nebraska Legislature.
Shannon withdrew Friday several hours after questions surfaced about an anonymous smear campaign he orchestrated against an opponent in a 2004 legislative race. Shannon cited a family medical emergency as the reason for his withdrawal.

Gov. Dave Heineman declined to say Monday morning whether he knew about the $16,000 in state ethics fines levied against Shannon before appointing him to the vacant District 3 legislative seat.
Heineman: D'oh!
“He's withdrawn, and we're in the process of finding a new senator to appoint to District 3,” Heineman said. “That's the most important priority.”

Later Monday, The World-Herald contacted Shannon at his Bellevue tax and accounting business.

Shannon said the vetting process for the appointment lasted about three weeks. It included a private, in-person interview with Heineman that lasted about 40 minutes and “one or two” follow-up phone conversations with the governor.
Shannon said during the in-person interview that Heineman questioned him about the $16,000 in fines.

“He told me he knew (about the fines) and asked what did I learn from it,” Shannon said.

Shannon sent an email to the governor's office Friday, stating he couldn't fill the seat because his father had “just suffered a heart attack” in Oklahoma and it would be necessary for him to help provide care for his mother.

In an interview Monday from his Bellevue office, Shannon said the heart attack was mild and his father had been dismissed from an Oklahoma hospital and was recovering at home.
OBVIOUSLY, what Shannon learned from the ethics fines was that if you don't pay them, nobody notices . . . or cares. What he also learned is that the governor doesn't care if his appointments stink up the unicameral, just so long as it smells like Republican hackery.

What I love about Nebraska -- and what has been its saving grace since Boss Dennison's fall from power in Omaha -- is that Nebraska pols are just so bad at this stuff. Would that all politicians were so utterly incompetent at all the right things.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Not The Onion

Iowa is a nice enough place, but Iowans are just, well . . . different.

After reading this story from USA TODAY, I eagerly await news of the Hawkeye State's first visually impaired, gay shotgun wedding.
Here's some news that has law enforcement officials and lawmakers scratching their heads:

Iowa is granting permits to acquire or carry guns in public to people who are legally or completely blind.

No one questions the legality of the permits. State law does not allow sheriffs to deny an Iowan the right to carry a weapon based on physical ability.

The quandary centers squarely on public safety. Advocates for the disabled and Iowa law enforcement officers disagree over whether it's a good idea for visually disabled Iowans to have weapons.

On one side: People such as Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington, who demonstrated for The Des Moines Register how blind people can be taught to shoot guns. And Jane Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, who says blocking visually impaired people from the right to obtain weapon permits would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. That federal law generally prohibits different treatment based on disabilities

On the other side: People such as Dubuque County Sheriff Don Vrotsos, who said he wouldn't issue a permit to someone who is blind. And Patrick Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, who says guns may be a rare exception to his philosophy that blind people can participate fully in life.

Private gun ownership — even hunting — by visually impaired Iowans is nothing new. But the practice of visually impaired residents legally carrying firearms in public became widely possible thanks to gun permit changes that took effect in Iowa in 2011.

"It seems a little strange, but the way the law reads we can't deny them (a permit) just based on that one thing," said Sgt. Jana Abens, a spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff's Department, referring to a visual disability.

Polk County officials say they've issued weapons permits to at least three people who can't legally drive and were unable to read the application forms or had difficulty doing so because of visual impairments.

And sheriffs in three other counties — Jasper, Kossuth and Delaware — say they have granted permits to residents who they believe have severe visual impairments.

"I'm not an expert in vision," Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere said. "At what point do vision problems have a detrimental effect to fire a firearm? If you see nothing but a blurry mass in front of you, then I would say you probably shouldn't be shooting something."
IN A RELATED development, the Iowa Legislature has just sent a bill to the governor that would require violent criminals to continuously beep during assaults and robberies.

Well, not exactly. That was a joke . . . today.

Tomorrow, who knows?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The hefty troll of census acquisitions

I am from Louisiana. Thus, I have seen some political train wrecks in my time.

But this one in Port Allen, just across the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, takes the cake.

All you need to know is this: In five months in office after her November election, Mayor Deedy Slaughter billed the taxpayers for a personal trip to President Obama's inauguration, raised her salary by $20,000 when no funds had been budgeted for that, hired her brother-in-law as chief of staff, fired the city's chief financial officer -- pant, inhale -- was ordered by a state court to reinstate the city's chief financial officer, subsequently took away the chief financial officer's authority to deal with finances or sign checks, complained to the U.S. attorney general that white council members were running a smear campaign against her because she's black -- wheeze, gasp -- and hasn't yet gotten around to formally introducing her city budget proposal, even though the new fiscal year begins July 1.

But at a council meeting Wednesday, Deedy explained it all: "I been witch hunt since Day 1. I been fighting acquisitions after acquisitions."

Well, if you put it that way. . . .

For all the fun the local newspaper and Channel 9 have been having with this pluperfect example of civic dysfunction in the Gret Stet, Channel 2 in Baton Rouge, WBRZ, has been having more. Here's a f'rinstance from February.

NOW, if you're not from Louisiana, do not do an Internet search for any of this stuff. Chances are, as a non-native, you don't have the stomach for it . . . or a brain acclimated since birth to craziness like this.

Go in cold, and you may never emerge from the secure wing. It would be akin to a Mormon partying with Keith Richards -- you just know that's not going to end well.

Sooner or later, the guy unaccustomed to even caffeine is smoking anything that will burn and chugging anything in a bottle and snorting anything that will pass through a straw . . . and then he can't remember what happened next.

In this case, you -- the outsider -- might stumble across a local Internet forum or something and see how poorly everyone is acquitting themselves in what became a racial pissing match about three seconds in. You'll come across the N-word, and eventually you'll start thinking representative democracy is way overrated.

Just save yourself the trouble. Enjoy the show. Try not to think about how this isn't reality TV but, instead, is reality somewhere in these United States.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Alex Jones explains it all

To the best of the non-whack-job world's knowledge, the United States does not have a "weather weapon" it uses to attack unsuspecting cities with killer tornadoes.

I'm fairly certain, however, that the federal gummint has a "bat-sh*t-crazy weapon" it apparently has been testing on unsuspecting conspiracy theorists. Seems to work well. Still, I wish radio could return to more civilized times, when quack doctors sold audiences more useful fare . . . like goat-gland miracle cures.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The political Twinkie

Apparently, labor unions are the source and summit of everything that is bad in this country.

In recognition of that, you're supposed to celebrate the resurrection of Twinkies -- which now will be produced in bakeries as free of labor unions as the little sponge cakes are of any nutritional value -- by waddling to your local grocer, purchasing a pack of empty calories and applying them directly to your ass.

After all,  according to one learned commenter on ForAmerica's Facebook page, "unions are destroying this country, remember Jimmy Huffa and organized crime, the mob runs unions." (Sic -- a great big sic. -- R21)

If you ask me,  what's destroying this country is us. Whacked-out, pissed-off, greedy-ass, political-nutjob us. We're pathological. Our angry zeal so consumes us that we've just f***ing politicized the Twinkie.

And . . . wait. Jimmy Huffa?

Do they have bourbon-filled Twinkies?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Going after the twit vote

This is almost enough to make me vote for Mitt Romney out of sheer disgust at the mind-numbing emo craptasticness of it all.


What I want to do is to start a social-media campaign to convince any college kid susceptible to this kind of stupidity to not bother on Election Day (Erection Day?) -- that his or her vote really doesn't count. That everyone under 35 should just dial up something sufficiently navel-gazing on the ol' iPod, crack open a six pack of PBR and call it good on Nov. 9.

(Wink, wink.)

And if that didn't work, I'd be open to poll taxes and literacy tests. Or mass kidnappings. One approach or the other.

Because, like, President Obama, you're creeping me out, man. The only thing worse than the cynicism behind this ad -- the whole "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public" je ne sais quoi of it all -- is that it probably represents an astute reading of the demographic tea leaves.

In other words, "Just kill me now."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tweets from the tolerant

This is America, which now means that if you express the "wrong" opinion, the "right" people are justified in doing any damned thing they want to you.

Three words to that, Roseanne: "Eat mor chikin."

With that, we begin another episode of Tweets From the Tolerant, brought to you by the Internet . . . if you have nothing constructive to say, say it here!

* * *

Suck my d*** chick filet- nazi chicken f***ing pricks

-- Roseanne Barr,

flunked sex ed, biology
(via Twitter)

anyone who eats S*** Fil-A deserves to get the cancer that is sure to come from eating antibiotic filled tortured chickens 4Christ

-- Roseanne Barr,

off to grab a s*** fil-A sandwich on my way to worshipping Christ, supporting Aipac and war in Iran.
-- Roseanne Barr,

christian liars: i never wished cancer on you at all-jesus will punish u 4 ur deceit-I said processed foods cause cancer.
-- Roseanne Barr,
angry theologian

I lost two brothers to cancer, Roseanne. What a truly heinous thing to say.
-- Jim Henson,

Retreading my tweet I realize that I used the wrong word-I shouldn't have used the word deserves

I shouldn't have used the word deserves in my tweet and I apologize

-- Roseanne Barr,
got a call from agent

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thou shalt not take Obama's name in vain

I had a couple of teachers this stupid, ignorant and hostile when I was in school.

And I can't get the IQ points back that those fools cost me.

Some school systems tolerate this kind of willful incompetence and bullying. Those would be bad school systems, best avoided.

The problems with this moronic gasbag of a social-studies teacher at North Rowan High School in North Carolina -- as evidenced by the video -- begin long before she suggests the government of the United States
hass veys of dealink vith doss vhat "slander" der Gott-Kaiser Barack Obama. That the woman still is employed (suspended with pay) by the Rowan Salisbury School System more than a week after her "discussion period" is all one needs to know about the Rowan Salisbury School System.

This "teacher" doesn't need firing so much as she needs defenestrating.

No, I didn't learn that word from those crappy teachers I had, just like I suspect no kid in the the presidential-respect commissar's class learned a damn thing about social studies this year.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

A kiss to build a rap sheet on

Steal a kiss, go to jail.

Ah, the ineptness of being earnest.

Ah, the importance of bewaring the earnest who troll the halls of government -- as we learned today in the Nebraska Legislature.

Some freaked out parents in Sen. Bill Avery's Lincoln district were appalled, appalled that a local pervert grabbed their adult daughter on the mean streets of our state's capital and gave her an unwanted kiss. The earnest lawmaker was shocked, shocked that the only thing the cops could nab the guy on was disorderly conduct.

THUS, we today have Legislative Bill 797, otherwise known as the unicameral's latest complete waste of time and paper products. From the Omaha World-Herald:
Avery's bill would add mouth-to-mouth kissing without a victim's consent to conduct that could be charged as second- or third-degree sexual assault.

It would be up to a prosecutor's discretion whether charges should be filed in a particular situation, he said.

"I admit that it would be a difficult statute to enforce," he said. "Everybody that claims they were kissed without consent is not going to have charges filed."
NOW THAT sounds like a game plan (not) -- enact "a difficult statute to enforce." Clog up the cops, the courts and the sex-offender rolls with matters best handled A) by the sudden appearance of fireworks, tingles down the spine, more kisses and eventual nuptials or B) a slap in the face and/or a knee to the groin.

Of course, I am not being earnest. I am making sense.

This is why I am fundamentally unfit for American politics. This also is why I'd be phenomenally unsuccessful at it -- telling paranoid parents to quit wasting my time and instead buy their daughter a can of pepper spray is no way to win the ninny vote.

Hell, I understand capsaicin is all the rage nowadays; why not try using it on Lincoln horndogs instead of peaceful political protesters?

I'm sure Sen. Avery would be shocked,
shocked by this notion.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

It's oy veh, oy veh. . . .

Kill me now. No . . . wait. No need to. Just let this here video play out, and that should do the trick.

Is it just me, or did Christianity start to lose its savor (if not its Savior) when it stopped leading the culture -- embracing and creating art for beauty's sake, because beauty itself is a manifestation of the divine in this world -- and started following a false gospel of crass utilitarianism?

I wonder what went first, the church's mind or its heart?

You remember how, in "American Pie," Don McLean sang "the Father, Son and Holy Ghost caught the last train for the coast"? I now know why the Holy Trinity might have done that.

Sorry, guys, there's no escaping sanctified diarrhea like "Sunday," which merely rebrands the secular diarrhea of Rebecca Black's "Friday." And sadly, the fact remains that crap like this is about the best American Christianity can muster anymore.

crap-evangetastic mush such as this liturgical lounge lizardry if the mere association weren't totally unfair to Nick the Lounge Singer.

It ain't
rocket science, brothers and sisters.

If you spend four or five decades bombarding the wretched masses with superficial garbage and calling it Christian, don't be shocked that the world isn't beating a path to the church house door. Even heathens (well, some of them, at least) have standards.

And eventually, they come to think that God is as full of crap as His people.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A flaming zip

The good news is that we're still a creative, innovative nation.

The bad news is it's increasingly in the service of the banal. The dumb. The pointless.

And the profane.

Enter the Flaming Lips' new
YouTube project, something the group is calling a "cell phone symphony." It really is quite clever and innovative -- 12 separate videos that correspond to a single track of the band's new free single. (Profanity alert, etc., and so on . . . click at your own risk.)

The idea is for you and 12 of your closest mates to each download a track, go "one, two, ready, play" . . . and you're the Flaming Lips. Or your iPhones are the Flaming Lips . . .

AND WHAT is this new development in popular music? It's a little avant-garde number called "Two Blobs F***ing."

Paste magazine was all over the story. I hope it was practicing safe keyboarding:
The Flaming Lips have been known to experiment with ideas such as this in the past. The 1997 album Zaireeka is made up of four discs intended to played all at once. Around the same time, the band produced “The Parking Lot Experiments” and “The Boombox Experiments” inviting fans to simultaneously play cassette tapes issued by the band with varying pieces of music through their car stereos and ghetto blasters to create a psychedelic symphony conducted by the band.

Now, the next logical step has come to fruition with “Two Blobs F***ing,” which was specifically designed to be utilized with the mobile devices that dominate our increasingly digital culture. “Imagine the lo-fi symphonic joy that you, along with family, friends, pets, and others, will create at the touch of a button,” reads a press release. “The more devices, the more harmonic possibilities can be constructed. You and your device, at one with the music, become the orchestra, just as the Gods of Technology naturally intended it to be.”
OF ALL the things that could have been done as the first multitrack, interactive, do-it-yourself smart-phone single, we get vulgar nonsense like "Two Blobs F***ing." What could have been genius -- and kind of is genius from a technical standpoint -- ends up being birthed as the idiot offspring of cleverness and a dirty mind.

It's rather like a Philip Glass composition consisting of variations on the theme
"There was a girl from Nantucket. . . ."

Call it the debasement of art. Listen for yourself, though. (I assembled all the audio tracks in a multitrack digital audio workstation so you wouldn't have to . . . or have to try to round up 11 friends with smart phones -- and a high threshold of pain.)

I'M NOT SURE what this is more of, prurient or pointless. Actually, what it's more of is 8th grade -- which is where, unfortunately, too much of our culture's "artistic" sensibility lies.

As it is, "Two Blobs"
just leaves me with . . . nothing. I'm not shocked. Neither am I outraged.

The single didn't have much of a beat, and you couldn't really dance to it. I might give it a 42, Dick.

It didn't leave me smiling, and it troubled me not with deep thoughts. Really, it's nothing. And art -- music -- should not be nothing.

But we're addicted to pushing envelopes for the pushing's sake, even when we have nothing to say. Unfortunately, increasingly, we're a culture that has nothing to say.

It's almost as if we were 300 million blobs mentally masturbating. Call it a mortal sin of the mind.