Saturday, August 28, 2010

Michelle Rodriguez Rulez

Why, you ask?

Because she showed up to the premier of Machete like she was going to a Slayer concert.

Restoring Honor

I just want to take a moment to endorse this great response to Glenn Beck's latest civil rights rally publicity stunt.
Beck was part of the "we" who founded the civil rights movement!? No. Here's who "we" is.

"We" is Emmett Till, tied to a cotton gin fan in the murky waters of the Tallahatchie River. "We" is Rosa Parks telling the bus driver no. "We" is Diane Nash on a sleepless night waiting for missing Freedom Riders to check in. "We" is Charles Sherrod, husband of Shirley, gingerly testing desegregation compliance in an Albany, Ga., bus station. "We" is a sharecropper making his X on a form held by a white college student from the North. "We" is celebrities like Harry Belafonte, Marlon Brando and Pernell Roberts of Bonanza, lending their names, their wealth and their labor to the cause of freedom.

"We" is Medgar Evers, Michael Schwerner, Jimmie Lee Jackson, James Reeb, Viola Liuzzo, Cynthia Wesley, Andrew Goodman, Denise McNair, James Chaney, Addie Mae Collins and Carole Robertson, shot, beaten and blown to death for that cause.

"We" is Lyndon Johnson, building a legislative coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats to defeat intransigent Southern Democratic conservatives and enshrine that cause into law.

And "we" is Martin Luther King, giving voice and moral clarity to the cause -- and paying for it with his life.

The we to which Glenn Beck belongs is the we that said no, the we that cried "socialism!" "communism!" "tyranny!" whenever black people and their allies cried freedom.

The fatuous and dishonorable attempt to posit conservatives as the prime engine of civil rights depends for success on the ignorance of the American people. Sadly, as anyone who has ever watched a Jay Walking segment on The Tonight Show can attest, the American people have ignorance in plenitude.

This, then, is to serve notice as Beck and his tea party faithful gather in Lincoln's shadow to claim the mantle of King: Some of us are not ignorant. Some of us remember. Some of us know very well who "we" is.

And, who "we" is not.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hear No Evil

This is two unfortunate ladies on staff the night of the Slayer concert. Someone had cruelly scheduled them close the stage and well, they weren't happy.

It should be said that Slayer had 30 Marshall amps, two stacks of 15 on either side of the stage, and it was fucking loud!

I wish I would have gotten a little more footage of these two, but I actually kind of felt bad for them.

Dirt Head City

It was easy to spot my brother when we got separated at the Megadeth/Slayer show. He had short hair and was wearing a white T-shirt. My hair is short, too, maybe too short, and I was wearing a gray shirt with a collar. We were representing the non-dirthead contingent.

A few thoughts on the show:

A) Maybe I'm just a cheap bastard, but I didn't really appreciate getting raped by the Rock Bottom Brewery for a couple of drinks. Two beers and two shots cost me $23 plus tip. Seriously? I'm in the wrong business. I should open a bar.

B) I own several Megadeth albums and have listened to them for going on 20 years now. However, they have never been among my favorite bands, and if they weren't playing with Slayer I probably would have never seen them live. With that said, I have a new respect for the band.

They were awesome live.

They played the whole Rust in Peace album, as well as a few other songs, and sounded good. Some bands sound like crap live. Not Megadeth. They sounded better than they do on record.

C) Slayer also sounded good, but here's the thing about Slayer: Slayer, like AC/DC, is one of those bands with only one gear. They do only one thing --in Slayer's case brutal, fast and unbelievably heavy metal -- but they do it really well.

Even then, after a few songs of brutal, fast, and unbelievably heavy metal in the same gets a little old.

Actually, let me rephrase: Watching Dave Lombardo beat the shit out of his drum kit didn't get old. But the Hanneman/King guitar tandem wasn't very visually exciting, and I didn't feel too bad for ducking out early.

All in all, a great show. Megadeth surprised, Slayer sated. Metal rulez!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Speaking of Metal...

The Big Four playing Am I Evil?

In casing you were wondering, this is bad ass.

The Weakest Ooh-Rah Ever

They like to play a lot of Five Finger Death Punch on the radio, which is fine if you like Five Finger Death Punch. I've tried to like them, but I don't know, something's just not clicking.

Take this song, for instance. It's called No One Gets Left Behind, which is a phrase familiar to any war movie buff, and lyrically, it touches on the same ground that Black Sabbath did in War Pigs 40 years ago.

Just for illustration's sake, here's Five Finger Death Punch:
Politicians banking in their greed
No idea on how to be all they can be
Play your war games with other people's lives
It should be you, on the front line
And here's Black Sabbath:
Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor
Heavy metal bands have been quoting Black Sabbath for decades, so I can't say there's anything wrong with the similarities...I just think Sabbath did it better.

But the other thing that bothers me about this song is the Ooh-Rah, which can be heard starting at about 2:13. Now if I was the producer on this record, I'd keep the Ooh-Rah, but instead of just having the singer do it, I'd bring in a whole room full of guys. One guy doing an Ooh-Rah isn't that impressive. A room full of guys doing an Ooh-Rah will give you chills.

Of course, I'm sure it all works out in a live environment, because what is a heavy metal concert BUT a room full of guys?

Monday, August 23, 2010

If You Don't Like Westerns're watching the wrong ones.


So instead of working all the way straight to the 30th, which was the original plan, I negotiated a one day reprieve. I'll have Thursday off, which is awesome not only because it's been weeks since my last day off, but it's also the day after the Slayer concert.

August 9th

That was my last day off. Today should be my day off too, but rather than sleeping in and enjoying an open schedule where I can do whatever I want, I'm going to work...


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Managed Ignorance *

I don't know if GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is a Christian. He might be a baby-sacrificing Satanist for all I know. But he says he's a Christian, so I guess I'll take him at his word...

*The title to this post is an allusion to this post by Jason Kuznicki, wherein he writes:
Ignorance has become a feature where it used to be a bug. Formerly it was the job of the media to correct ignorance, insofar as it was possible (and, truthfully, it wasn’t very possible). Now though it’s increasingly the job of the media to manage ignorance. To make a space for the ignorant, and to ensure that those kept in managed ignorance get just enough news, and never more than they need to remain exactly where they are.
You know, kind of like Mitch McConnell, who for purely political reasons, can't even admit that Obama is a Christian.

The fucker went to Reverend Jeremiah Wright's Christian church for over twenty years. If that doesn't convince you, you can't be convinced.

To Asset or Not To Asset

This kind of stuff makes me roll my eyes:
"The world we live in today is not quite the world that existed in 1950," he noted. "The nature of households and the rate at which they dissolve and reform, the nature of work and its transient nature across geographies are all things that suggest that maybe, just possibly, a middle-class American shouldn't stake themselves to an illiquid, very large, concentrated, leveraged asset —- that is to say, a house."
Maybe, just possibly, this is dumb.

Hopefully I'm not putting my thumb on the scale by pointing out that "an illiquid, very large, concentrated, leveraged asset" is better than no asset at all. That's the choice, really.

After all, it's easy to put up with "illiquid" and "leveraged" when you have "very large" at the end of the tunnel, no?