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Archive for December, 2004

In Which It’s A Good Excuse To Use Up My Bandwidth

December 30th, 2004 1 comment

As a special treat, here’s a song that I thought I’d lost and just recently found and thank god for that!

“Slap ‘Er Down Again, Pa” by Arthur Godfrey proves two things –

1) That the “good old days” weren’t so good

and

2) Shock doesn’t have to involve swearing

I’d write more but my kids are and acting up right now and…well…

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In Which I Grow Nostolgic

December 29th, 2004 No comments

I woke up about a half hour ago and I’m cold. My wife likes to keep the heat down at night so until I turn the heat back up for the day I’ve got to bundle up. This morning, the first thing that popped into my head was the phrase, “Well, then throw on a sweater.” My mom used to say that to me during the energy crisis in the 70’s when Jimmy Carter suggested that all Americans keep the heat down to help thwart OPEC and save energy. And a lot of Amercians agreed.

That would never, ever, ever happen today.

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In Which Something Good May Come Of Something Bad

December 28th, 2004 3 comments

Sadly, I caught just the very end of the second hour Mike Gallagher show. Mike, true to form, showed his compassion for the victims of the tsunami by using the occasion to call for the US to leave the United Nations.

Apparently someone called for a tax increase to raise money for the victims. It’s a little to fresh to Google for details, and I’m pretty lazy any way. Mike showed his listeners the insanity of this –

Ya know…Florida got hit by FOUR HURRICANES. How many countries sent us money to clean up? I’ll tell you how many – None! That’s how many. But they expect US to give them money to rebuild their country? I don’t think so.

For once I agree with him. What has Sri Lanka ever given us?!

Fucking leaches. I hate the third world.

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In Which Cable News Ramps Up For A Good One

December 28th, 2004 1 comment

My wife and I usually curl up on the couch in the evenings after we put our kids to bed and crack wise at the news on CNN. Tonight, as I we turned the TV on, I thought about the devastation in the Indian ocean and the more than 22,000 people dead as a result. Despite all our technological advances, nature will always kick our ass. That’s what nature does. Nature humbles us. Sadly, the twenty-four hour news services manage to package the humility we ought feel and blunt its effects.

Larry King looked as if he wanted to weep and as I watched him fight for restraint, I felt the tears start to well up in my own eyes. I don’t even like Larry King. 22,000 dead. Jesus H. Christ. Look at this guy struggling to keep it together until after the break! But then they brought on (and the name is probably wrong) Dr. Thomas Barnard who informed us that –

It’s still safe to go to the beach and people shouldn’t be concerned about it.

Wow. Is that something that really needed to be said? Should we really be focusing on propping up the pluck of beach-going Americans right now? Don’t worry, pale, pasty Americans! Don’t be afraid to work on that tan tomorrow while thousands bury their loved ones! American beaches are safe!
I’m not fond of Aaron Brown’s soliloquies but this disaster seemed tailor made for a form that he excels at – cleared-eyed empathy. As we waited for Dr. Barnard to shut up, I wondered how Aaron would start off.

“It was supposed to be a sunny day at the beach. Frisbees were to be thrown, drinks were to be drunk – just another day in paradise. But not today.” Something like that. I could see Aaron typing furiously away, chomping at the bit to make this his crowning achievement in broadcast journalism.

Instead, we got Tucker Carlson – bow-tied and botoxed.

Tucker started off dully enough with a generic “god what a tragedy” opener and then things got weird. He interviewed a man who woke up just before the tsunami hit. Kind of.

Tucker: Imagine having a wonderful dream and waking up to see a wall of water just about to crash down on you. Well, that’s what happened to John Austin. We’ve got him on the line right now. Mr. Austin? What did you do when you woke up to see the tsunami?
Austin: Hello?
Tucker: Mr. Austin?
Austin: Hello?
Tucker: Hi, Mr. Austin.
Austin: Hello? This is John Austin. (You could almost hear him follow up with “To whom am I speaking with”)
Tucker: Hi, Mr. Austin. What did you do when you woke up to see the tsunami?
Austin: Are you looking for John Austin?
Tucker: Hi, Mr. Austin. Are you there?
Austin: This is John Austin. This line isn’t very good.
Tucker: What did you do when you woke up to see the tsunami?
Austin: Hello?
Tucker: What did you do when you woke up to see the tsunami?
Austin: Oh, hi. Well, I’d been drinking the night before so I was a little bit groggy from it and I turned on the Discovery Channel and started watching a thing about Hitler and how there were twenty seven assassination attempts about him when I…

Tucker cut in to try to focus him, but by that time, the interview effectively ended. The producers went with the “trouble on the line” gambit and broke it off.

After recovering their dignity with truly horrifying footage of the wave destroying a resort and people stranded on a rapidly sinking bus, we got a report that should have been titled – Tsunami! Can It Happen Here?!

Apparently, it could. The West is more vulnerable but there’s a good possibility that the East Coast could get buried, as well. Here’s the main reason that Tucker should never be allowed in the anchor chair.

So, tell us about the possibility of an East Coast tsunami wiping out the Hamptons.

Once you’ve hosted Crossfire, you should be disqualified from real news.

Of course, you can’t have successful disaster coverage without an icon; an emblem that brings the whole tragedy into stark relief and tugs on the heart strings of the people in the Mid-West. Yes, I’m speaking of white children. You can bury all the third-world kids that you want, but what drives home the point better than a white two-year old boy that can’t find his parents? Nothing. That’s what. Absolutely nothing.

We turned off the TV. I hope you will, too. It’s all downhill from here. We all watched far too much 9/11 coverage to know that as the death toll climbs, so too will the level of emotional pornography. Already people are talking about what could have been done to prevent this. This question only serves to buffer us even more from the fact that nature will kick our ass no matter what we do. Could lives have been saved? Probably. But whose lives are we most concerned about? The lives of the tourists with enough money to jet off to exotic locales or the people who serve them their drinks?

Please consider sending a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. And you might want to tell CNN that this is not a Movie of the Week.

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In Which My Stats Log Jars My Memory

December 27th, 2004 No comments

You may have noticed that I’ve taken a break from Wingnut Radio lately. I do plan to get back to it. After the first of the year, I’m going to attempt a daily blog again. Given my ADD, we’ll see how long that lasts. But for the moment –

I’ve spent a lot of time lately monitoring my stats log in a battle against a certain host of a show on TLC that a substantial number of surfers want to see nude pictures of. I couldn’t tell you whether the pictures exist or not, but I do know that I don’t have any here. In the process, I’ve enjoyed the ever popular game of “WTF – You Searched For WHAT?”. The best hit I’ve got came from someone searching for the words “think of a time when you chose the wrong word or rhetorical mode to get a point across. in a short essay 3-4 paragraphs explain the situation the outcome what you would do differently now and why.” Well. Other than that, it’s the standard searches such as “ignorance is like a delicate fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone” and “men wearing firemen uniform wanting man to suck their cock“. A diverse and interesting mix.

Hidden in this Goggle-y stew, I found “nigger msn emoticon pack” which surprised me since I’m not a big fan of the word “nigger”. It’s an easy word to abuse so I use it sparingly. But there it was in reference to the way Wingnut hosts appeal to their constituency’s latent (or overt) racism in the way they charatarize liberals.

The quote (for those too lazy and shiftless to click the link) read

I don’t know if you listen to wingnut radio, but the fact of the matter is that if you substituted “nigger” for liberal, the vast majority of the country and the FCC would shut them down in a heartbeat. Listen to a snippet from a commercial for the Mike Gallagher show.

I mean, liberals are bad drivers! They are! You know, I’ve never met a bad conservative driver in my life. Ever. That’s a great bumper sticker – Liberals are bad drivers!

The fact that Gallagher said this ramps up the irony quotient even more.

I don’t listen to A Prairie Home Companion and I won’t even dignify it with a link. The few times someone subjected me to it, the whimsy quotient made me want to clap my hand to prove my belief in fairies and I refuse to do that. But after the election, Garrison Keillor made the statement

“I am now the chairman of a national campaign to pass a constitutional amendment to take the right to vote away from born-again Christians. Just a little project of mine. My feeling is that born-again people are citizens of heaven, that is where there citizenship is, is in heaven, it’s not here among us in America. …”

Pretty funny, I’ll grant him that.

Gallagher, on the other hand, saw a more sinister Message.

Did you hear about Garrison Keillor? He said that blacks and Jews shouldn’t be allowed to vote! That’s what he said! He said that blacks and Jews shouldn’t be allowed to vote. They were too stupid and dangerous a group. They would sway the election and destroy the country. Blacks and Jews! Can you believe that?! He said that blacks and Jews….”

And continued saying “blacks and Jews” for the next five minutes the way kids who figures out that he can’t get hit for saying “hell” if he uses it in the proper context.

Five minutes later he corrected himself –

Oh, I’M SORRY! I misread that! It doesn’t say “blacks and Jews” it says CHRISTIANS! He said CHRISTIANS shouldn’t be allowed to vote! That’s a whole lot different isn’t it. Big difference between not letting blacks and Jews vote and not letting Christians vote, isn’t it, folks? BIG difference. It’s ok to discriminate against CHRISTIANS but if you discriminate against BLACKS AND JEWS…well…then you’re a racist.

Heh. Heh heh.

Earthy/crunchy-wise, no one should hate anybody. (DUDE!) Realistically, however, each of us has a segment of the population we despise. Wingnuts claim that, contrary to what those miserble fucking liberals who rape children and want to steal your property say, they accept everyone. As long as you goosestep to the Wingnut Marching Song, they’ll take you in. Are you a gay, black heroin addict? If you think bush is doing a great job then they’ll hold you up as an example of how liberals are the real racists keeping the black man down with their pro-legalization of drugs dogma. If, however, you turned to drugs because your factory job got outsourced to China, well, you suck.

Perhaps keeping track of Wingnut Hypocrisy is futile. There’s Liberal Hypocrisy, too. Following my gut instinct, I should rag on Air America as well as the Salem Radio Network.

But I really fucking hate them.

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In Which Christmas Isn’t A Good Enough Reason For Some

December 25th, 2004 No comments

The parking lot of the CVS in Watertown generally spills over with cars at 9pm on a Friday night. There’s a couple of restaurants that use the same parking lot and finding a parking space takes time. Or you park wherever you feel like it. Many motorists visiting CVS opt for parking curb-side and screwing up traffic even more. After all, they’ll only be there for 20 minutes or so.

Not surprisingly, the parking lot was fairly empty on Christmas Eve. This didn’t prevent people from parking curbside, though. Perhaps it’s force of habit. Perhaps they’re just too busy and the 5 second walk to the store might make them run late for church. Maybe I’ve got the whole Christmas thing backwards. Maybe Christmas, rather than a day to be extra good, is a day to do whatever the hell you want because you’re less likely to get yelled at.

Tonight, a big black Mercedes ML350 SUV stood idling at the curb with it’s lights off. The Armenian version of Tony Soprano sat in the driver’s seat, possibly singing Christmas carols. I took a deep breath thinking “what would Jesus do” as I passed it. I decided not hock a loogie onto the trunk.

Despite the lack of cars, CVS was humming. I needed just a couple of pieces of candy to even out our stockings. Six, to be exact. With all five registers open, confusion reigned – was this a make-one-line situation or did each register have it’s own line. The formation was hard to read. The farthest register certainly existed independent from the other four, but the scatter pattern of the customers made it impossible to know the protocol. I stood scratching my head. A pregnant Haitian woman got in line behind someone in the far right lane. A bark rang out.

“There is ONE line for these – four – registers! Get in line!”

The lawgiver, in her mid-fifties, wore a full length black fur coat that match the color of her dyed black hair. She glared at the interloper, who muttered to her husband in French. Sasquatch readjusted the pack of Huggies under her arm and looked satisfied. She glanced imperiously at the other shoppers secure in the knowledge that NO ONE would cut in line on HER watch and that we should thank her for her vigilence. On a hunch, I sidled over to the door, pretended to study the magazines and waited for her to leave.

As I thought, she brushed past me and climbed into the SUV.

Merry Christmas, Baby Jesus!

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In Which I Can’t Say This Strongly Enough

December 23rd, 2004 No comments

The Joni Mitchell song “River” is NOT A FUCKING CHRISTMAS SONG!! To make this assumption is like saying that “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” is about breakfast. Please stop mixing it in with the other Christmas songs.

“River” is about an alienated and money-driven Joni Mitchell being a bitch to her boyfriend and hiding behind her career for solace and yearning for her Canadian homeland. It’s not a Christmas message.

Let’s be very clear about this. Christmas songs, BY DEFINITION, expound on the joys of the holiday season. Simply saying the word “Christmas” does not make it a Christmas song. Cloyingly depressing musical references to “Jingle Bells” do not cut it.
Christmas songs exists for one purpose – to tap into an emotion common to all of us that directly relates to the Christmas holiday, thereby bringing us together as a people. They break into three categories –

1) Uplifting message of well-being: These includes “Jingle Bells”, “Winter Wonderland” and the ilk. Listening to these song brings on a feeling of involuntary warmth.

2) Songs of vague melancholy or blunt depression: Songs like “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” evoke sad sighs or wistful smiles. Loretta Lynn’s “Christmas Without Daddy” (‘cuz Daddy’s getting shot at in Vietnam or Iraq) leave you sobbing into your Walmart apron.

3) Outright hilarity: “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” or Yorgi Yorgenson’s “Ya Yust Go Nuts At Christmas” tickle your funnybone and make you buy copies for everyone you know, whether they like that kind of thing or not.

“River” contains NO uplifting message and it’s certainly not funny (unless you’re the kind of person who laughs at other people’s psychic pain). Does it cause vague melancholy or blunt depression? Maybe, but only in a I’ve-run-out-of-Chablis-oh-nevermind-I-found-some-in-the-basement way.

Perhaps the vast majority of Americans live shallow, fame-obsessed lives that paint them into a cell without bars where the only option is to make another record while despising the record industry that pays for your therapist to go on tour with you. If that’s the case, then “River” certainly touches on a common thread and I’m the outcast.

If not – then let’s stick with Frosty the Snowman and leave Joni The Ice Queen to sniffle into her espresso in some cafe in Barcelona

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In Which I’ve Found A Regret

December 21st, 2004 1 comment

Normally, I don’t go into for regrets. I find the question “if you could have done one thing differently in your life, what would it be” utterly pointless. That fact is that the life you have is the life you have. Ruminating over where you might be if you hadn’t punched out your boss or blacked out or stayed with this or that person only distances you from where you are now. Bitching about it won’t change the fact. Once you accept the present, then you see how you got there and if you’re not happy with it, you know what to change. That’s not to say that you CAN (or even want to change it) but at least it makes sense. The mistakes you make are not mistakes. They are the building blocks of your life. Each adversity you (or others) bring upon youself adds more definition, color and contrast to your life.

Having said that, I wish that I’d read Edith Wharton in my teens instead of Ayn Rand. I might have understood better the practical politics of life as opposed to learning masturbatory certainty. Which is more useful? The blunt step-by-step and blow-by-blow of navigating social pitfalls or a 120 page speech about self-containment? If I internalized John Galt, perhaps I might have internalized May Welland and learned to be pleasantly manipulative rather than churlishly pissing people off out of “principal”. Or become a cross-dresser.

Bit by bit, I learn. The worst thing is not to grow. So, in the end, I really don’t have any regrets since I’m finally reading Edith Wharton.

It’s so terribly wonderful of all of you to have stopped by to read this post! I cherish each of you! I hope you don’t find the sauce for the salmon too thin!

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In Which The Kids Are All White

December 20th, 2004 No comments

Via Cruel Site of the Day, comes the most adorable duo of pre-pubescent Aryan girls you’d ever want to drop off in Roxbury at 3am on a Sunday morning.

This Viceland Interview gives you all you need to know right up front.

Is there anything cuter than two identical twin twelve-year-old girls who have a band together? How about if they dress in matching plaid skirts—that ups the cuteness quotient, right? And what if they perform folky versions of classic racist songs by bands like Skrewdriver and Rahowa? Whoa! Now we are heading into the cute danger zone.

It is, of course, possible for 12-year olds to form strong thoughts and opinions and have enough rhetorical skill to put them across effectively. My own daughters amaze me at times with their ability to analyze the world around them. But this interview reeks of the same “spontaneity” of the Bush Twins “Live Chat”. (The transcript of which seems to have vanished from the GOP website).

The point is – answers like this don’t just trip off the tongue of even the brightest 12-year old.

What do you think is the most important social issue facing the white race right now? Do you have any songs that address this issue?
Not having enough white babies born to replace ourselves and generally not having good-quality white people being born. It seems like smart white girls who have good eugenics are more interested in making money in a career or partying than getting married and having a family. And yes, we are working on some new songs about this issue.

Uh. Of course you are. Or at least your dad is.

Are they rockin’? Well, you be the judge.

And if you enjoy directory surfing, you can check out whatever other shit is hosted there – http://www.counterculturemusic.net/images/

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In Which I’m NUMBER FUCKING ONE, Baby!

December 20th, 2004 No comments

If you’re Googling “can i book to go on unicorn central football team” then you’re coming to ME, motherfucker! ME! I’ve worked GODDAMN hard to get to this point in my blogging career and NOBODY can knock me down! NOBODY!

And if you want to know the answer to the question “can i book to go on unicorn central football team” then I will tell you plainly and clearly without a single note of hesistation in my online voice –

I DON’T KNOW!

So, fuck y’all!

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