Friday, December 07, 2012

Hail Nasty Part 2

Driving home this morning, I tuned in to KBPI to hear Willie B choking up about Nasty's departure. He fought it off, but I think he did cry at one point.

He said Nasty/Willie/everyone didn't want anyone to boycott the station, which a lot of Facebook people threatened to do.

He said that 140 other jockeys around the country were fired, too, and it was a business decision.  Business.  Costs are going up, he said.  Electricity's going up like 264%!  (Yeah, he said it, but c'mon...)

The interesting thing, too, is that he said no one at the station knew about it until yesterday morning.  Corporate's been cooking this up for a while, but gotta love em...they spring it on them all secret-squirrel and sudden-like.

After cutting to a long-ass commercial break (don't have those on my iPod!), they played No Shelter by Rage Against the Machine.  It was....appropriate.

The main attraction distraction
Got you number than number than numb.
Empty your pockets son they got you thinkin' that
What you need is what they sellin'
Make you think that buyin' is rebellin'
From the theaters to malls on every shore
The thin line between entertainment and war
The front line is everywhere there'll be no shelter here

Such Pride!

This is something I'll never get...if you love being white so much, why mark up your whole body with racist tattoos?
This guy's not white. He's blue.

Hail Nasty

So I hear that Uncle Nasty, a staple of Denver radio for decades, was laid off from Clear Channel in a cost-cutting move. And hey, I get it. Live DJs are obsolete and the radio business isn't easy, not since Clear Channel done's their part to rule (or was it ruin?) the market. The last paragraph in this article cracked me up though:
On Wednesday, radio trade publications reported Moody’s analysts believe Clear Channel may have a tough time refinancing more than $10 billion in debt obligations due in 2016. Industry observers speculate that Clear Channel may have to consider a merger or a sell off of some of its assets. The company was acquired by Bain Capital in 2008.
There goes Bain again...creating jobs and improving industries.

Dan Simmons Being Dumb Again

This is what happens when a novelist mistakes himself for a real-life Nostradamus.
My speculative-fiction novel FLASHBACK, with its dystopian future of a debt-broken and politically/socially unraveled near future (2032) America, was based precisely on pursuing fictional premises to the aftermath of nations eagerly amassing unrepayable nation-breaking mountains of debt both here and in Europe.

The specific details of how and when the economic American "Big Crunch" occurred -- sometime in the 2010-2020 decade -- weren't spelled out in the novel. They're being spelled out right now in Obama's and the Democrats' eagerness to go over the 'fiscal cliff" and even permit that Frankenstein-monster-assembled obscenity, Sequestration, to occur so that, in Charles Krauthammer's phrasing, the Democrats can drive a stake through the GOP once and for all. Oh, and end Senate rules protecting the minority, the long tradition of filibuster, while you're at it. Oh, and turn vital government departments such as the Department of Justice and the EPA into political extensions of an Administration's grab for power and "fundamental change". Oh, and tax the national economy first into permanent doldrums and then into a sudden death spiral. Oh, and give the narrowly reelected american president Morsi-like excecutive powers of self-decree and extra-constitutional budget powers while you're at it. Oh, and . . .
Mercifully, Dan Simmons spares us any more "Oh ands." (I think it's because he couldn't think of any more.)

The funny thing --aside from the fact that Simmons thinks he's a seer instead of a storyteller-- is that it's the fiscal cliff that's going to kill us? And quoting Charles Krauthammer approvingly?

If that's where he's getting his information from, it's no wonder it's all garbage. Garbage in, garbage out.

Here's the thing about the "fiscal cliff." This is what it means: The Bush tax cuts expire, which they were designed to do when they were passed ten years ago, and with no budget deal or tax reform, already-agreed-to cuts will commence.

And despite the attempts to pin this on the Democrats, it should be said that this is exactly the scenario that Republicans wanted.

When they passed the Bush tax cuts, they knew they would expire in ten years time. Reasonable people asked why we should cut taxes in war time (and at the time, we hadn't yet invaded Iraq) but they were ignored. The Republicans said "So what?" to war-funding and promised cutting rich people's taxes would bring us all economic prosperity, and that sunset provision? Don't worry about it. We Republicans will be a permanent majority in 2012, so we'll just renew them.

(And how's that working out for you? For us?)

Turn out fighting unfunded wars is a good way to go broke. That we cut rich people's taxes and, within a few years, were in a Great Recession. And the permanent majority? They lost the presidency and the Senate last month. It's not even a majority at all.

Mad about "Frankenstein-monster-assembled obscenity, Sequestration?" Hey, I hear that. Unfortunately, the only way to get Republicans to agree to raising the debt ceiling last round was automatic austerity measures if debt talks failed.

It was an election year. Surprise, surprise. Debt talks failed. Republicans and Democrats refused to negotiate (both sides!) and instead held out hope that their guy would win, knowing the election outcome would dictate the policy direction.

It should go without saying that the Republicans did not win the election.

So what we have here is a Republican-designed trap that snared everybody, including the Republicans themselves. If the Bush tax cuts were such a great idea, why not make them permanent? If sequestration was such a bad deal, why demand it as a condition in negotiations on raising the debt ceiling?

It almost like Republicans intentionally do stupid shit that they can then blame on Democrats.

And hey, that's cute and all...but it hasn't really been working out, has it? They're not winning elections and their policies are not being enacted. All that's left at that point, I guess, is to retreat into fantasy, which Simmons has done with remarkable swiftness.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Everyone's a Critic

I am not, I swear, on a jihad against Alyssa Rosenberg.  I think she's a talented writer, just not a very good critic, and this post pretty much encapsulates why:
I skipped Black Rock at Sundance, even though I love The League‘s Kate Aselton, because it takes a lot to get me to watch a horror movie. The last one I watched was Drag Me To Hell, which I watched because it was about the mortgage crisis, and from which I learned that you should never foreclose on a powerful gypsy.
Two things a good critic should do is 1)  try to judge things on their own terms and 2) have an open mind.

For one, Drag Me to Hell was NOT "about the mortgage crisis."  If you haven't seen the movie, Drag Me To Hell is a fairly conventional horror movie about a gypsy curse, a gypsy curse which could have been for anything.   The denied mortgage loan (what gypsy has a mortgage anyway?)  was a plot device. 

But okay, mis-read Drag Me to Hell, fine...    But what's this "it takes a lot to get me to watch a horror movie" stuff?

Granted, I know a lot of people who steer clear of horror movies, or musicals, or foreign films, or any other genre or style or mode.  These people know what they like and what they want and they're reluctant to step outside their comfort zone.  There is nothing wrong with this approach.  Such an approach would describe lots of people.

But almost none of them are critics.

One thing a critic needs and the general public doesn't is an open mind.  In other words, don't cross entire genres off your list.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Best Pranks Ever

These videos had me laughing so hard no sound was coming out.  The guy hiding behind his backpack?  Hilarious.  But the guy who puts his fingers over his eyes and screams?  Oh man....

And then there's this one....oh man.