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Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Wit and Wisdom of James Pearce

Don't expect people to tell you the truth. The truth hurts, and most people would rather be liars than assholes.

Weekend Fever

I had a major case of Weekend Fever today, aggravated by going out with my friends last night. We went to Governor's Park, a nice little bar down by the Governor's Mansion in Capitol Hill, but didn't stay too long. We ended up back at my place, laughing and joking as friends do, but you know how these things go. It's all in good fun, until someone starts puking.

And, quite unusually, the puker wasn't me. By the end of the night, my buddy Kurt, who can knock them back with the best of them, was too drunk to drive so it was decided he would crash on my couch. Sometime later, he uttered a famous Monty Python line:

"I need a bucket."After a few rounds of praying to the porcelain god, Kurt recovered enough to eat some pizza and then crash out. He was alright this morning, perhaps a little worse for the wear, but at least he didn't pull a Jimi on my couch.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pookie

In the spirit of tastelessness that I displayed so hilariously at Creepy's blog, as well as a vague reference to Gwar in a previous post, I'm going to post a few clips I'm in Love (With a Dead Dog).

First, you must hear the opening strains here. It's perhaps the only intelligble part of the song, and also one of the funniest, in a dumb high school jerk kind of way.

Then the part I referenced in my blog, where Pookie meets her unfortunate end under the wheels of the gigantic uncontrollable whirling death machine, oh no!

Sing Sing Sing

I'm sure everyone's heard the famous Benny Goodman song Sing Sing Sing, even if you don't recognize the name. It's a swing classic, and deservedly so. It's one of my favorite Benny Goodman numbers, and not just because it's popular.

No, it's because I heard the live recording of the version they did at Carnegie Hall in 1938. The wiki describes it as such:
By the time the band got to the climactic piece "Sing, Sing, Sing", success of the night was assured. Bettering the commercial 12-inch record, this wild live performance featured passionate playing by tenor saxophonist Babe Russin (who plays a cool, more modern solo than Vido Musso did on the studio record in 1937), a rip-roaring Harry James, and then a strangely pensive Goodman, backed by Krupa in a (for him) sedate accompaniment. But the really unforgettable moment came when Goodman finished his solo and unexpectedly tossed the ball to pianist Jess Stacy. Stacy later said he was totally not expecting the move, and that if he had been anticipating it he probably would have messed it up from being so nervous. Instead Stacy played four magnificent choruses in a very quiet "church-like" style. It should not have fit with all the hullabaloo that had preceded it, but somehow it did, and the solo has become one of the most famous ever played.
And it is a great piano solo. But I don't know if I would call Krupa's drumming sedate, even for him. Listen to this and tell me if "sedate" is a worthy adjective.

My guess is that while Krupa was pounding away, his hair was flying everywhere and he had a great big smile on his face.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

In the News

Don't go near the Denver Post today if you don't want to be overloaded with JonBenet Ramseyabilia. You think I'm kidding? Just looky here.
I'm surprised they made an arrest. But I'm not surprised that the Ramseys were cleared.

In other news, Joe Scarborough is creating a ruckus with his politely frame rhetorical question Is Bush an idiot? Uh....yah!

Sorry, that's all I got.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

George Will Hearts Cindy Sheehan

Quick, someone read George Will's new column before it's gone!

But first, you have to read this sentence aloud:
What problem has been solved, or even ameliorated?
If you can get through that last word without sounding inebriated, you're less marble mouthed than I.

And you'll never believe what he says.
The theme is that better law enforcement, which probably could have prevented Sept. 11, is central to combating terrorism. F-16s are not useful tools against terrorism that issues from places such as Hamburg (where Mohamed Atta lived before dying in the North Tower of the World Trade Center) and High Wycombe, England.
George Will even says John Kerry "had a point" when he said the War on Terror (TM) should be fought through law enforcement with the occasional military endeavor.

Who would have thought that was possible?

Tough Day Tuesday

The weekend passed with no new chunk of Poets Row posted. I'm still working on it. I'm not really liking what I'm doing with it, so I'll be interested to hear any other comments when I do finally post it.

When will that be? Not tonight, though. It's been a long day.

First I went to a meeting at 7:00AM which lasted an hour and a half. My shift officially didn't start until 10:00AM, so I wandered aimlessly for an hour and a half before going back to work. Then, of course, I was there all day.

But, thanks to my efforts yesterday, I came home to a clean house. Yes, I devoted myself yesterday to cleaning up the mess that I had made of my home. I picked up, dusted, vaccumed, swept, did all the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed the bathroom, changed my sheets and made my bed. I was going to mop, too, but it rained late in the day, which meant that my freshly mopped floors would have been covered in muddy dog prints anyway.

My brother stopped by tonight and decided to shave. For some reason, he always comes over to my house and starts shaving. Maybe I just have the posh shaving stuff. Maybe he does that whereever he goes.

He told me our cousin John is getting married on Friday. Funny, I wasn't invited. I think if I was getting married, I'd make an effort to invite all of the family I could think of, even if they didn't like me or I haven't seen them in years. I would call them, get their addresses, mail them an invitation, do what I had to do. More wedding guests means more gifts, and if not, a bigger party anyway, but that's just me.

So congrats, John. Here's to you, buddy.

Video of the Day

My brother showed me this video, and though I don't endorse the explicitly Christian soundtrack, I think what you're seeing is damn inspirational. It brought a tear to my eye.Don't be afraid of the scary guy in the speedo and swim cap. This WILL tug at your heart strings whether you like it or not.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Put on Your Critical Thinking Caps!

I read this awful piece by a Bush apologist in Newsweek, and I say awful because if you apply your critical thinking skills, a lot of what Michael Gerson has to say doesn't make any sense.

First this paragraph had me scratching my head:
First, the nation may be tired, but history doesn't care. It is not fair that the challenge of Iran is rising with Iraq, bloody and unresolved. But, as President Kennedy used to say, "Life is not fair."
As if these two events occurred in a vacuum, unrelated to one another entirely, two separate individual challenges that, dammit, are just so unfair. As if our bold actions in the Middle East, going all the way back to the Shah even, had nothing to do with it.

Gerson further confuses history when he says muck like this:
Iran's destabilizing nuclear ambitions are not a guarded secret; they are an announced strategy.
Right, much like our announced strategy of regime change and nuclear prevention. Iran calls us the Great Satan. We call them part of the Axis of Evil. How is this kind of rhetoric fundamentally different?

The only difference is that it's right when we do it, wrong when Iran does it. I'm not sure if the right word to describe that is hypocrisy, self-righteousness, or moral relativism, although I think all those terms certainly apply in this case.

If it's wrong for Iran to use apocalyptic rhetoric to scare their enemies, then it's also wrong for us to engage in it, too.

If it's okay that we call Iran an "axis of Evil" and openly talk about bombing the shit out of their country and changing their government, then I guess it's okay for Iran to do the same.

Pick one and live with the decision. Otherwise, how am I to condemn Iran for X number of reasons, when those same reasons can be applied to ourselves?

Gerson, of course, isn't trying to convince his readers to take a principled stand on the Iran issue. His sympathies and loyalties are clearly evident; he used to work as a speechwriter and policy advisor for President Bush. His job was to come up with pithy little things that come off like perfectly contained kernels of airtight logic, but really only have the hollow truthiness of slogans.
Yet Americans, in turn, must understand that in a war where deception is the weapon and goal of the enemy, every mistake is not a lie; every failure is not a conspiracy. And the worst failure would be a timid foreign policy that allows terrible threats to emerge.
Woah, woah, woah, slow down. Deception is the weapon and goal of our enemy? Are you sure about that, Mike? Which enemy are we talking about here? The Taliban? Al Qaeda? Sunni Iraqis? Shiite Iraqis? Iranians? Syrians? British Pakistanis? And let's not forget, deception is only one of their weapons...

And while it's true that every mistake is not a lie, and every failure is not a conspiracy, it's a little hard to assume that we have been treated to pure honesty in these regards. Bush's credibility is so low that most of his own people don't even believe him. You think Middle Eastern Muslims are going to take him at his word?

As for the timid foreign policy whack, which is a familiar refrain from crooked politicians desperate to cling to their congressional seats, bah. The implications are apparent (Vote Republican if you want to live!) but Gerson forgets to mention one thing. He's right in the sense that the worst thing would be a timid foreign policy, but the next worst thing would be a stupid foreign policy. While I'm not fully convinced that the Democrats are the party of a "timid foreign policy," I am convinced that the Republicans are the party of a stupid foreign policy.

With Gerson, the hits keep coming.
There must be someone in the world capable of drawing a line—someone who says, "This much and no further."
And of course, that's us. The noble Americans with our lines in the sand.

Surprisingly however, some of Gerson's slogans do have some resonance.
At some point, those who decide on aggression must pay a price, or aggression will be universal.
Hmmm, I wonder what the Decider thinks of that one.

I'm also wondering about this paragraph:
There is no question that democratic societies are more likely to respect human rights, less susceptible to ideological extremism, more respectful of neighboring countries, more easily trusted with nuclear technology.
I wouldn't say there's NO question, because I'm starting to have a lot of questions myself. We here in America are a democratic society, but let's face it, man: Our human rights record isn't unblemished, we have a whole Congress full of ideological extremists, we're not too nice to Mexico, and we were never trusted with nuclear technology. (Anyone remember the Cold War?)

And don't forget, democracy got Hamas elected into the Palestinian government. When democracy showed up in Yugoslavia, everyone voted to kill the Other Guy. In our own democracy, gerrymandering, vote blocking, and other assorted gremlins have played tricks on our own supposedly superior system. Democracy does have its flaws.

All you need to remember is this: Democracy is great, but it doesn't mean anything if everyone is an idiot.