Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday Random Ten: Items on the agenda

I went to the library today and downloaded passprot application forms. Not planning a trip abroad, but it will be nice to keep my options open. Maybe in another country I can get away with, "Sure I'm Justin Timberlake, honey. Yeah, the hair and makeup people make me look a tad younger on TV."

Anyway, tunes.

1. Prince--A Case of You*
2. Jeff Beck--Loose Cannon
3. The Beatles--Love You To
4. Beth Custer and the Joe Goode Performance Group--Throw Stones at a Can
5. Elvis Costello & the Attractions--The Other End of the Telescope
6. Tom Waits--Green Grass
7. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings--Inspiration Information
8. Harry Nilsson--I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City
9. Dinah Washington--All of Me
10. Nellie McKay--Oversure

*Prince do love his Joni Mitchell.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lack of service advisory

Friday Random Ten has been pushed back to Saturday this week. I goofed up on it today, but we'll recover.

Well, so says my spiritual advisor, anyway.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Well, sports fans, you'll be relieved to know that the following comic strip is not drawn for kids.

Which leaves open the question of who it is made for. Are there more gun fellation fetishists than I thought? Maybe it's something we in the Northeast miss out on.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Change looms, children speak, words fail

I'm sure there are rational arguments for keeping same sex marriage off the books. Not that I buy them, but I believe some opponents can make their case without being hateful or crazy. As arguments go, though, "Some five year olds will have questions about it," doesn't really make the grade.

If the definition of marriage is changed "our children will be taught a whole new way of thinking." What's that called, again? Oh yeah, "education." Shudder.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Get to know your jitters!

It's been a while since I posted one of these kooky puppetoon kinda things. This one is appealing to me, despite or because of its apparent industrial film roots.

Sadly I don't speak Italian, or at least not the dialect spoken by anthropomorphic espresso beans. But they seem happy in this lifestyle of theirs.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Weekend Friday Random Ten

Maybe the first really hot day of the year, too.

1. RAdiohead--Sulk
2. Bjork--Earth Intruders
3. M83--Waves Waves Waves
4. Beth Custer & the Joe Goode Performance Group--Crack This Open
5. Arcade Fire--Lenin
6. Nancy Wilson--But Beautiful
7. The Beatles--Taxman
8. Jeff Beck--Left Hook
9. David Bowie--Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
10. Nat King Cole--Orange Colored Sky

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Well-nigh invulnerable

Want a pithy term for the way some people jabber on like they've got it all figured out when they need to shut the fuck up? How about "Robert Muellering." Because he's aggressively defending the treatment of terror suspects as preemptively guilty and/or subhuman just now. Just as it becomes clear that he's part of the reason America's response to 9/11 put us on the path to pariahdom. Of course he is.

"The concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing, radicalizing others," as well as "the potential for individuals undertaking attacks in the United States," Mueller told the House Judiciary Committee.

Even incarceration in a maximum-security federal penitentiary, Mueller said, does not completely eliminate "the potential for individuals undertaking attacks in the United States. All of those are relevant concerns."

In the same link, you may also note President Obama's strange belief that he can forget all that boring constitutional law jazz now that he's commander in chief. Another topic for another day. But if--as Mueller asserts--Supermax jails are insufficient for terror suspects who have never stood trial and might never do so, why don't we put all our viokent criminals on an island? Some of them have actually been proven guilty.

As of now, Mueller is being shielded by the Supreme Court--five of its justices at least. He and Ashcroft have been placed in a special class that's near-impossible to bring to account. By extension, so too have Ashcroft's successors Gonzales and Mukasey. To see just how wrong that is, read here.

Update: Just thought I'd throw in another tidbit to show why Michael Mukasey belongs on the list. Nice to know he wasn't hung up on that whole "equal protection before the law" thing.

Sugar Sugar

Wonderfully cheap graphics. Floating apples. Young Bjork in a Human League bob. How can you go wrong?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Aw, who smoked all the crack?

This is as big as I can get the image. The quality of the drawing is actually pretty good. And it shows us that teacher's ed faculty are indoctrinating young teachers into Marxist ideology so that those teachers can go out and further produce a bunch of commie kids. All of this is very disturbing, and I'm glad I don't live on the planet where it's happening.

No indeed. All the teachers I know have their hands full trying to get students to come to class, to not get pregnant, to not get a real suspension for talking about an imaginary gun. And some education does go on here. But if any of my teacher friends heard glorious tales about Mrs Schwartzman's days in the Red Brigades, those stories are all but forgotten. Sorry.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Time out for Friday Random Ten

A fun batch today.

Speaking of fun, when I'm a little fatigued at work I sometimes take a moment and lie down on the floor. I get to stretch and relax a little, and confirm that I'm not actually about to drop off to sleep. It's refreshing. I guess you have to pick your moments, of course...

1. Bjork--Pneumonia
2. Dresden Dolls--The Jeep Song
3. Broadcast--Tears in the Typing Pool
4. Harry Nilsson--Jump into the Fire
5. Captain Beefheart--Sue Egypt
6. The Beatles--She Said She Said
7. Fairport Convention--One More Chance
8. Arcade Fire--Headlights Look Like Diamonds
9. Beach House--Auburn and Ivory
10. Charles Mingus--Minor Intrusion

Thursday, May 14, 2009

100 proof breakup song

This is one of those YouTube clips that's not really a video. Whatevs. It's a badass song. "It Makes No Difference" by Cardiff's Darling Buds. (Maybe I should save it for next St David's Day, but I don't want to forget.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Free wheeling

Here in Providence, there are apparently no more pay phones. About 1.5 blocks from my building there's an old-fashioned Clark Kent phonebooth, and the phone has been yanked out of it. So did all these "so 20th century" phones stop working at the same time? That would be a hell of a coincidence, no?

I spend work time and much of my free time on the electronic ether. This does not quell all my doubts about how we're using technology, or vice versa. Which is a roundabout way of saying that reposting this funny, all-too-credible video is not my way of striking out at Mac users in particular.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fear of a black comic

You believe that I didn’t do a series of tests? You are right to not believe it, because I’m going to go ahead and admit that I do not believe what I just said, it was what’s described as a 'joke.' Um, I’ll be telling a bunch of them here tonight.
:David Cross

James Wolcott gets it extremely right on the absurd Wandy Sykes kerfuffle.

Honey, it's all about the timing. I laughed when Sykes said "I hope his kidneys fail" not because I wish Limbaugh physical ill because of the dagger-thrust of her delivery, the brio of it, her awareness that she was going to far but what the hell. It's akin to that evil lift of the eyebrow that Louis C.K. does just before he goes in for the shock kill. Even when her material faltered, Sykes knew what syllables to hit, what pauses to take, how to keep everything conversational (telling Michelle Obama she can't be going patting the Queen on the back like she just slid into home) so that the routine never ascended or descended into a rant. A professional comic knows how to probe the audience's defense system, sense its soft spots, then launch a sneak attack. I don't think Feherty should be hounded for what he wrote, everyone should be allowed a fuck-up or two, but comedy has never been a level playing field subject to strict rules of propriety and political fairness. Attitude and technique widen the chalk lines of what's considered out of bounds. So spare us the concern-troll handwringing:

Apparently Christopher Hitchens has weighed in, but like most things Hitch-related it's too depressing for me to talk about. Probably the best way to judge is to [gasp!] see and hear the offending material.

Jeez, if this is too hot for you, stay away from unguarded conversation. And any Mexican food stronger than Taco Bell.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Random Ten just under the wire

Almost didn't post this one before the clock clicked over to Saturday. Man, where's my head?

1. Radiohead--Planet Telex
2. Beck--Scarecrow
3. Dinah Washington--Big Long Slidin' Thing*
4. Talking Heads--Happy Day
5. Fairport Convention--Poor Will & the Jolly Hangman
6. Broadcast--Subject to the Ladder
7. Spoon--Well All Right**
8. The Dresden Dolls--Girl Anachronism
9. Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross--It's Sand, Man
10. TV on the Radio--Halfway Home

* It's about a trombone. Where's your head at?
** Not the Buddy Holly song, but it kind of sounds like it could be one of his.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Head down on the table for naptime

One weird thing is to fall asleep in a coffee shop. That happened to me this evening. Even if I wasn't drinking straight coffee, I was caffeinated enough. Well, except I hadn't gotten nearly enough sleep last night.

The thing is that if you wake up in a place that's not your home, you have no immediate idea where you are or how long you've been there. You just hope you're not at a highway rest stop, too far from home and not far enough from the shallow graves you dug. Or maybe that's just me.

Still, I was able to do some writing when I came too. Actually it flowed pretty easily. Score one for disorientation.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oh hush! Black is slimming.

As you may have heard, there's a slot opening up on the Supreme Court. And this is good. I'm just as glad that at least one moderate-to-liberal justice is resigning before president-elect Sean Hannity issues his fiat in 2013.

Paul Campos, though, has unearthed some unfortunate reactions to some of Obama's potential picks. They're related to America's schizophrenic body image, and not necessarily limited to the right.

While obesity is a legitimate health worry in this country, it's also true that people--frequently women--get tagged as obese when they don't match any sane real world definition of it. And some on the internet are finding--as an example--Sonia Sotomayor too fat to be on the high court. Or a network sitcom, presumably.

Within hours after the news broke that Souter was resigning, concerns arose that Kagan and Sotomayor might be too fat to replace him. A commentator on the site noted that of the three most-mentioned candidates “the oldest (federal judge Diane Wood) is the only one who looks healthy,” while Kagan and Sotomayor “are quite overweight. That’s a risk factor that they may not last too long on the court because of their health.”

At The Washington Monthly, a commentator claimed to have employed a more scientifically rigorous method: “To all the short-sighted libs who are clamoring for the youngest-possible nominee... Right idea, wrong methodology. You want someone who will serve the longest, i.e. with the greatest remaining life expectancy—and that involves more than simple age. I tried assessing their respective health prospects, and ruled out all who even border on overweight. Best choice: Kim McLane Wardlaw, whose ectomorphitude reflects her publicly known aerobic-exercise habits.”

(Wardlaw’s “ectomorphitude” also gets rave reviews at legal gossip site Underneath Their Robes, which describes her as "Heather Locklear in a black robe. This blond Hispanic hottie boasts a fantastic smile and an incredible body, showcased quite nicely by her elegant ensembles.")

"Legal gossip site"? Jesus, Mary and Joseph! The whole ridiculous TMZ/Jennifer Love Hewitt/swimsuit kerrfuffle was some kind of height of Western Civilization? We're basing our laws on that now?

In conclusion, I'd point out that Antonin Scalia has been on the SCOTUS for over 22 long, looooong years now and shows know signs of going anywhere. I could make a cheap point by running a few pictures of him, but we're above that, aren't we?

Monday, May 4, 2009

When apes groove

Man, these guys were awesome. Think there's any hope of a reunion tour?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Random Ten while waiting for new neighbors

Yeah, the lady with the cat who lived next to me moved out. I'd call her a cat lady, but she only had one. I don't think her boyfriend will be returning my screwdriver. I went to the apartment on the other side of her to ask what's going on, but she's gone too. Ah well, everything changes.

1. The White Stripes--Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn
2. Nick Drake--Riverman
3. Tori Amos--Cruel
4. Nancy Wilson--If It's the Last Thing I Do
5. Duke Ellington*
6. Prince--Little Red Corvette
7. Beach House--Apple Orchard
8. Harry Nilsson--Coconut
9. Walter Wanderly--Voce e Eu
10. Sarah Vaughan--More Than You Know

*One cool thing about these old Duke Ellington numbers was the way that they played up their black origins, when some of the folks on the dancefloor may have wanted to forget that. The title of this song is one hint, as is the mention of African sun.