12.26.2011

one exemption

that the following is buried on a secondary blog instead of the last thing posted at pitchfork before the staff commits ritual suicide is why i agree with myself about music criticism mostly being a waste.


SR writes that maybe the energy expended on the politics of pop should just go back to politics and that that may be a good thing. on some level i agree but then the same bland pluralism and flattening that he sees in the pop landscape is what was turning me off from OWS. lady gaga:underground music::1%:99%. if totalizing change can't even be conceived of in culture, you know, good luck with global political ontology. also peter green:eric clapton::mikhail bakunin:karl marx?

12.25.2011

my 2011 in music

I don't think I can write a long post. I am sick of opinions. Especially mine.

Like:

Can't Decide:

Hate:
Hipster House (ironic distance and dance music don't go together well but people who should know better seem to become enraptured by the pomo bullshit that some people in this scene use to defend this crap - makes me wonder what a lot of people liked about house in the first place)
Vapid "Ethnic" Influences (black people be dancin', yo! "they burn so bright whilst you can only" buy)
Music Criticism ("a latticework of reference points and sources that span the decades and the oceans but never quite manages to invent a reason for itself to exist")

12.20.2011

Notes from the underfoot

I guess I haven't been writing because things just feel pretty fucking bleak. Although I have people to commiserate with, as close as here in NYC and as far away as the UK and sometimes Australia, it's not quite comforting to know that we are all in the same boat. It's actually quite distressing. If only because I can't imagine that anything could really be accomplished if we were all in the same room together. The hacienda won't be built.

I have been drinking a lot more than usual lately. Don't worry, I am taking the next weekend or two off. Maybe I'll get some more writing done then.

I do plan on writing a bit about music again. Or maybe I will do so now. I don't know what I mean to say when I say write. Because you all expect paragraphs. Arguments. I don't want to do that. I just want to say that what I find disappointing about music now is that I wish there was something large enough, a statement, a concept album, even, or just a sound, that could really describe an encompass what the world feels like now. I can bitch and moan about how there is nothing new, idea-wise, but that's not quite the problem. Novelty has always been relative. But music now and the discourse surrounding it has concerned itself solely with music, and that is why it is all dead. Music is no longer an interpretation of life as it is or should be, but rather of music itself. Nothing can be accomplished in this way.

You may say to me that this is all my fault. I am depressed. Lots of people aren't. So why should I expect others to have a desire that makes no sense to them. Well. Maybe some people are not fucked, but we are fucked. Which is more arrogant? Trying to speak for more than one person, or asking me to listen to a record about your feelings just because you are you? I prefer a general lie to a specific truth. At least it is a vision.

Am I making sense? I don't know. My mind is still hazy.

People should know better than to accept things the way they are. Don't tell me that when you first heard whatever it is that made you who you are that you wanted taxonomy. "Who would care to contribute to a culture that cannot be satisfied no matter how much it devours, and at whose contact the most vigorous and wholesome nourishment is changed to 'history' and 'criticism'?" Only historians and critics, apparently.

12.19.2011

Bullisht

Some dude said that life without music would be a mistake but I can't help but feeling that the opposite is true. In my experience, there is no human endeavor that has drawn the distinction between what life could be and what it is better than music. Compared to the sublime feeling I have had listening to music, the drudgery of daily life has been aberrant. I spent too much time listening to music with friends this evening. I haven't been able to fall asleep yet and now I have to be at work in five hours. Surely that is the mistake!

11.26.2011

Still arguing!

It's been over 40 years since Miles Davis added instruments that required electricity into his music, over twenty-five years since the first techno record came out, almost twenty years since the first drum and bass record, and conversations like the below are still happening. Thankfully, not only does Mtume have a talent for dope early 80s r&b but also for comedy! As Miles would say, he's a motherfucker.

11.13.2011

Ones and Twos

I played some records last night as part of a belated birthday celebration for myself which managed to draw all of one friend besides the two who regularly DJ that particular night and were nice enough to hand a few hours off to me. All of you who know me personally and don't actually live in New York were not expected to come, of course.

I played well. I played badly. I played a lot of records I wanted to hear and wanted others to hear and I didn't always think about my selections in terms of what would actually be good to mix (it was just a bar, you know?). More than a few mixes involved some speed changes that were pretty unacceptable outside of the context of a handful of inebriated people hanging out at the end of the night. Here's the track list. Mixes are mostly not listed - just check the links...

(Friend #1 plays, then)

Set One:
1. Mr. Fingers - Can You Feel It
2. Fingers Inc. - Mystery Of Love
3. Projekt:PM - Deeper In The Tones
4. Nagual - I Feel The Rhythm
5. Cassio - Paradise
6. Jon Cutler - Don't Move
7. NY's Finest- Do You Feel Me
8. Jomanda - Got A Love For You
9. Darryl Pandy - I Love Music
10. Mod Wheel - The Way
12. Sweet Exorcist - Testone
13. Virgo - Ride
14. Convextion - AA

(Friend #2 plays, then)

Set Two:
15. Jamie Principle - Bad Boy
16. ESP - It's You
17. Joe Smooth - I'll Be There
18. JM Silk - Music Is The Key
19. Octave One - Blackwater (NB video is not the exact mix I played but closest)
20. Model 500 - Starlight
21. Psyche - From Beyond
22. Jam & Spoon - Stella
23. Jacques Greene - Another Girl
24. Frankie Knuckles presents Satoshie Tomiie - Tears
25. New Order- Thieves Like Us

(random messing around, some other records not from my bag, then)

Last Record:
26. Bizzarre Inc - Playing With Knives

11.11.2011

11.08.2011

Accidental Break

I guess I was always a Leftist but there's nothing better to turn abstract concepts into hardened beliefs than direct experience. Reading Rousseau in bed in high school not particularly worried about food was a bit different than trying to fit reading a similar work around less free time, less energy, less mental space for contemplation, etc. I was 16 and I think I can be forgiven somewhat for the distance that existed in my head between thought and action. But what about those who are no longer teenagers but who still have so many of the aforementioned benefits of my youth? Is it inevitable that only personal suffering will turn predilection to conviction?

As for me, work sucks, my apartment sucks, I have no money, and I am tired. I haven't been here to lament human misery towards political ends. I'm just livin' it right now. Well, sort of. I have a job. I have a home. There are certainly billions worse off than I am. Let's just say there are two types of torture. The worst happening and the constant reminder that it could happen at any moment. In my case it is not paranoia.

I still haven't gone down to OWS. I feel like a hypocrite. You should read Disaster Notes on the specter of hierarchy that is currently haunting the still-legitimate movement. One and Two.

Until sometime in the future...

11.03.2011

Personal Ad

When I am drunk I like to play air bass to "Love Sensation" by Loleatta Hollway. The Shep Pettibone mix, of course. All I want is a basement, a TV, a joint, a collection of classic Film Noir movies and a girl to cuddle and watch them with. But it ain't that simple, and neither are you. Oh well.

10.16.2011

Night "Life"

Of the 34 hours since I left work Friday evening, I have spent 8 at home and the rest out.
1. Female - any girl who asks me what I do for a living - I just assume the worst. It's amazing, when you think about it, how underdeveloped the social skills of socially-popular attractive girls can be.
2. Male - there are times when it is appropriate to display your fondness for freestyle rap - but I have yet to be a party to them. So please shut up.

That's less than all...

10.04.2011

OWS Personal Prelude

I haven't gone yet. I will. I had started a post (a nice long one for a change) about my concerns. But, really, can anything I write have any significance without first-hand experience? I don't believe so. I do just want to throw this one thought out though, based on my experience with this site.

While there are certainly a lot of truly tragic stories, many of these people seem to be angry that they no longer have the opportunity to become cogs in a machine that has always treated and will continue to treat people as they are now being treated. Do they resent the existence of an island of suffering, or are they mad they were denied entry to the last boat leaving it?

9.29.2011

American Exceptionalism

The belief that American lives are worth more than others has cost more American lives than it has saved.

9.16.2011

Budgeting for infinite desire just got easier. I now only need $1 trillion minus $350.

Two amazing LPs are being reissued on vinyl. They are prohibitively expensive used.

It's fucking awesome news.

For me.

For another blogger.

I hope for you too.

See.

I

Can

Be

Happy









Well Foraminute

And a few more when I BUYBUYBUYBUYBUY and maybe

listen ;-)

9.15.2011

Not and Nuts

Of course the Skrillex track sucks. Of course. It's not the extremity or even silliness of the sounds but the way they are deployed and arranged. It's intense like a war movie not like war. But I found myself at the RA forums reading (mistake one!) and I still stand by the idea that "the opposition" is bullshit. Everyone there taking great pains to say how they either used to or never listened to crap but, regardless, they have been saved by X. Whereas X is usually something tepid and overrated. Whereas the Skrillex track below is overloaded, filled with every effect that producer can muster, your typical "I like real music" record nowadays is completely bereft of ideas. Berghain Techno. Detroit House. It's all pretty horrible. Boring drum patterns. Flat textures. I don't even know what's going in the world of micro/minimal. Last I checked, as mentioned here a few years ago, it just sounded like prog for "edgier" people.
_____________

I'm starting to think that DJing is done. Or maybe it's just that I'm done with it. I am totally losing the desire, never mind to proselytize, to share. Perhaps this is just the end result of spending all my time in an insular scene. But I don't want to play my best records. I don't want them to be available to the maw. The endless mouth digging for food and chewing and spitting out as soon as it is found. It's a weird situation for a sometime-DJ to be in. I just can't help feeling that the same records that once may have galvanized the collective now break it into ever-smaller pieces. I may have the facts wrong but I think the feeling is right.

9.14.2011

A Different Ten Year Milestone

I am actually tempted to go out and buy a copy of Spin for the first time since late 2000 when I was tempted out of another hiatus from the magazine by an article in this issue regarding UK garage by, of course, Simon Reynolds (no offense to him but it does seem a bit silly that there were so few writers covering dance music with any intelligence back then and only a few more now that I have to keep bringing him up any time I write about dance music!).

The reason for the temptation? Apparently, rave is back, and not just the bullshit circa-1999-trance-pop that passes for popular music these days. Of course, it could just be other bullshit. But how could I put it down? All the things I could say about Skrillex I could also say about Rufige Cru, right? Nasty drug noise. Lumpen teens. Tasteless. Blah blah blah. I like "Terminator". Really, all the defenses of the 'nuum against the complaints of the Chicago and Detroit folks could easily be turned around and used to defend "brostep" against 'nuum purists. I wonder if anyone appreciates the irony.

As for me, I'm still stuck in my prison of tastefulness, enjoying the records I enjoy but staring longingly out the window all the same.

Maybe I will have more to say when I read the article, but some random ramblin' shit, voila:

1. It's not getting old, it's getting experienced. Seriously, how many thousands of dance records have I heard at this point?

2. Is music the only realm of human endeavor that values youth and inexperience over age? Or am I being ageist against myself? I can hear some kid saying "you just don't understand". But rather, it's really the opposite. I understand so my mind is closed a bit more.

3. "Dumb" noise is just as conservative amongst kids as tasteful chords are amongst adults. Listening to the Smiths alone on a Sunday evening is just as isolating for me now as it was 15 years ago but the nature of that isolation has changed a bit, hasn't it?

4. Just as before in, say 1994, I'm guessing that nu-rave is isolated from and unaware of ye olde Detroit and Chicago traditions. On the one hand, I don't care. I could get all sad imagining that none of "the kids" care about "Strings of Life" but "Strings" is older than the kids themselves. And fuck it, they need their own anthems. On the other hand, I can't help but feeling that dance music in America has suffered because of it. Whatever directions the 'nuum has traveled in, it always seems to be the same core community, people, geography, etc. In America, trends come and go and that's about it. I'm reminded of, forgive me, a quote from The Big Lebowski: "Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos". Which is not to say anything about UK Junglists or whatever, it's just: American teens like dance music. Why? That "why" only makes sense if the music is part of a culture instead of just stuff.

4a. US rave kids isolation from Detroit and Chicago creates two problems: (1) unlike in the UK, the template of the native innovations was never expanded upon enough domestically to become an actual, vital musical discourse and those that are partial to those original sounds are completely stuck in their own ghetto where they (we) have to choose either fealty or (usually empty) innovation, folk culture or Vegas; (2), that ghetto is the ghetto of tastefulness that is so imprisoning. It's the endless repetition of pieties from the original and old audience for those records and also the perpetual re-discovery of "the classics" by those hipsters who are refugees from the "lumpen" culture for all the wrong reasons. The former are undervalued, I think, because of the schisms of the 90s between "proper" techno and rave, and also, between Americans who got into dance music as an American music versus those who got into via Europe and who therefore feel that purism as an insult to their early rave memories. The latter are overvalued, of course; torpid elitism, an unwillingness to belong or to participate directly before or without the mediating factors of social and critical acceptance; this is the stuff that kills culture. The American techno/house legacy in 1999 was dead because nobody gave a shit. Now, it's because of the unending stream of reissues of marginal crap.

4b. Again I want to mention the irony. Skrillex is probably not "real" rave to ravers who still probably feel hurt for hearing that "rave" is not real techno back in 1994.

4c. So yeah, I guess I am in the purist camp but not happy about it, as said above.

4d. The thing that really sucks about the split from binaries to multitudes is that entryism doesn't really exist any more, does it, as an option for trying to infect pop discourse with something other, or vice versa. I guess what I am getting at is that, as opposed to tensions existing within a genre, which could just as easily be called a narrative or a history, each tension just creates a new scene. There's no "conscious" side of "dumb party music" to keep it honest, nor a real hedonistic edge to the "proper" parties to keep them fun. Rather that creating an imbalance of meaning, meaning is flattened. Of course it's easy to say "brostep" lacks one, but the preservationist house and techno culture, with little new blood except for dribbles of chin-scratching connoisseurs, reverent all, by trying to hold on to old systems of meaning, only consigns itself to irrelevance. I guess I am part of the problem but Deadmau5 isn't the solution.

Music and "music" and etc:

9.11.2011

A Decade Ago

Don't have much to say about today. Something tragic happened a decade ago. Almost immediately, something seemingly very discrete became something else. And that something else is still happening. I say seemingly because I feel I was naive before 9/11. And certainly not alone. Smart bombs. Just war. Sanctions. Surgical actions. No-fly zones. I think I might have thought that nobody really died. OK I wasn't quite that stupid. But everything was more abstract. I had read plenty of Leftist thought. But I was still somehow a liberal. Actually, it was really Iraq, not even Afghanistan, that pushed my beliefs towards where they are now. Not that I was ever gung-ho about Afghanistan.

Anyways, since today is all about "stories", here's mine:

9/11/01. I was in school. When the first plane struck I was in a class called "Earth Transformed". We got out early, though not because anyone knew what was going on. I went to the student center to get a snack and saw the burning towers on the TV screens. I thought it was a movie. I was quickly disabused of that notion. I went on to my next class. It was, of course, cancelled. The name of the class? "Utopian Visions".

9.02.2011

Heh... Urgh

If I didn't work overtime, I would not even be able to afford to work at my job. OK that is a little dramatic. Better put: if I didn't work overtime, I would have virtually no discretionary income. Almost all of the income from my first forty hours of work each week goes to subsistence. Overtime is records, beers with friends, my weekly delivery of Chicken Tikka Masala (which I had to forego this week towards train fare to CT to see a friend). I eat lunch at my desk to assure myself a little more overtime. At the end of the day I have to decide what is more important: my mental health (leaving) or a bit more stuff (staying). Because everything I have earned up to that point in the day is already gone.

8.28.2011

It wasn't that bad

I don't want to make light of Irene as people did get hurt. But for me, it was nothing. Now I have a lot of bottled water and nothing to do with it but drink. I didn't go nuts stocking up. The aforementioned water. A bit of canned pasta. Smokes. That's it. After being one of the last neighborhoods to get plowed during the blizzard (wealthier neighborhoods had priority), it was nice to see a more equal-opportunity storm. South Brooklyn was hit hard. But so was southern Manhattan. And the suburbs. The Hamptons. Westchester. I spent Saturday morning getting my provisions and then went record shopping. Priorities, you know?

Today was anticlimax.

Still, I hope my East Coast readers are all safe and secure.

Highlights from record shopping:

8.24.2011

Law and Order

Ironically, I have been watching the show a lot this week. The first season. Made back in 1990 when at least someone within the government (on the show) would protest when either the police or prosecutors wanted to or did break the law.

As always, most people will get caught up in who is getting targeted ("Hey I am white and live in the suburbs this has nothing to do with me") and miss the larger picture. As someone else has said, it is a mistake to conflate being ignored and being spared.

USA

UK

8.23.2011

RIP Ashford

My favorite today... could be any of a number of songs tomorrow...

8.12.2011

Lustily Oblivious!

NYT on the Rockaways from a few months ago.

Barrel:
"Word of the cheap rents, easy commute and underpopulated beaches spread quickly, especially among beach-starved New Yorkers who find places like the Hamptons either too expensive or too bourgeois for their tastes. " (Bold is mine.)

Fish:
"a new grass-fed-burger shack"
"single-gear bicycle, Zipcar and the occasional skateboard"
"quinoa black-bean burgers and rice-milk smoothies"
"Urban wave-rider boutiques like Surf NYC in SoHo have opened. Art shows devoted to surf culture have swept Chelsea galleries."
"who owns Rockaway Taco, along with Ñ, a tapas bar on Crosby Street, and Rice, an Asian fusion restaurant in NoLIta and Dumbo"
"The lineup includes Babycakes, a vegan bakery on the Lower East Side; La Newyorkina, which makes ice pops in exotic flavors like hibiscus and horchata; and Vinegar Hill House, a rustic restaurant near the Brooklyn Navy Yard with a wood-burning oven."
"The one- and two-family units are priced between $559,000 and $899,000, and one 3,400-square-foot model includes a rental unit that can be furnished with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances."
"who found his studio apartment on Craigslist and pays $4,000 for a six-month season" (in addition to his regular rent, I'm sure)

"'Sometimes you want a rest from chic-ness.'"

8.10.2011

Wealthy, educated "Leftists" in condescension shocker

Pere Lebrun for the fucking win. I can't overemphasize how much I was waiting for that!

Let's start from the middle. Virtually anyone who has used the word "trainers" in their article or blog post or whatever about the riots is disqualified from further comment*. As PL suggests, do you really think that taste, of all things, in looted goods, has any significance unless your goal is to either restore the law-and-order you either love as a member of the right-wing or detested as a member of the Left until that order was broken in a way that didn't support your paternalistic view of what the working class should be up to?

Ironically, the same violence that is necessary for the right wing to justify further repression, further cuts is now being used to establish hierarchy on the Left. Did it ever occur to any of you that the reason these riots don't conform to a desire engendered by years spent leisurely poring over the latest missives from teachers at the European Graduate School is that there is, ultimately, no real place for the rioters in your theoretical non-neoliberal vision of the future as well? If you think sneaker thieves idiots now, what were your plans for them tomorrow?

Damage to property is not worse than damage to humans. The violence of the state is worse than anything done within the UK so far. Take your self-satisfied brooms and go to Libya or Iraq.

*What teenagers aren't status obsessed? Fashion obsessed? What would you steal if you were a looter? Rare vinyl? Some "cool" thick-white-plastic-framed sunglasses? Do you think the guy who stole a bag of rice stupid? I think him quite practical!

8.05.2011

MVP

Another good post at a blog many of the people who link to me have, for some unknown reason, yet to link to. If you can stand me then why not someone smarter, more eloquent and more generous of thought?

Interesting that a lot of the thoughts on the petty bourgeois that are quoted and summarized can apply equally to both right-wing agitation and the weakness of both the salaried, centrist liberal and also the petty bourgeois "socialism" of what I'll call the Northampton progressive. Especially in the latter cases, the competitiveness for credentials amongst those supposedly in sympathy with the poor seems exceedingly ironic.

Of everything quoted, this stood out the most:
(b) Spontaneism, i.e. contempt for organization, and the abstract cult of direct and ‘spontaneous’ action, no matter where or how — the expression par excellence of petty-bourgeois ‘individualism’;
Just another reminder of why I've always been miserable at any large-scale protest I have attended.

That's all for now.

8.02.2011

Sober and Homesick

Yeah so what's up. I've deleted around ten entries since last week. I'm not bleggalgazing. I'm navelgazing. I don't doubt the efficacy of the blog as much as the person writing it. My boss is smart to not pay me more. I'd save up $5K and quit. I really need six months in the woods. I've been tempted to re-read On The Road lately. I know it's a lie. There's no freedom. There's just better and worse responsibilities. And your ability to choose them. It's the narcissistic focus on the former that forms the vast world of small differences that distract us from our relative powerlessness concerning the latter.

As for me, life assumes a familiar pattern from my unhappy and precocious childhood:
1. Do nothing.
2. Feel sorry for myself in public.
3. Receive nice comments from friends (all of whom eventually tire of this game).
4. Feel better about myself.
5. Go to 1.

This is 2. Instead of 3, I need help with 1. I don't know how to do otherwise. Except at work. Somehow, it's much easier to work for other people than myself. Of course, if I never learn how to work for myself, I'll always be working for other people.

7.25.2011

Drunk and Homesick

Yeah. It's Monday. Wanna make something of it?
(Not the best but all over PGC a couple of years before I left)

7.23.2011

Principle Of The Second Man

From Edmund Bacon's Design Of Cities:

Any really great work has within it seminal forces capable of influencing subsequent development around it, and often in ways unconceived of by its creator. The great beauty and elegance of Brunelleschi's arcade of the Foundling Hospital... found expression elsewhere in the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, whether or not Brunelleschi intended this to be so.

The first significant change in the square, following the completion of the arcade in 1427, was the construction of the central bay of the Santissima Annunziata church. This was designed by Michelozzo in 1454 and is harmonious with Brunelleschi's work. However, the form of the square remained in doubt until 1516, when architects Antonio da Sangallo the Elder and Baccio d'Agnolo were commissioned to design the building opposite to Brunelleschi's arcade. It was the great decision of Sagnallo to overcome his urge toward self-expression and follow, almost to the letter, the design of the then eighty-nine-year-old building of Brunelleschi. This design set the form of Piazza della Santissima Annunziata and established, in the Renaissance train of thought, the concept of a space created by several buildings designed in relation to one another. From this the "principle of the second man" can be formulated: it is the second man who determines whether the creation of the first man will be carried forward or destroyed...

The quality of Piazza della Santissima Annunziata is largely derived form the consummate architectural expression that Brunelleschi gave the first work, the Innocenti arcade, but it is really to Sagnallo that we owe the piazza in its present form. He set the course of continuity that has been followed by the designers there ever since.

7.22.2011

Good Luck

Seriously. I always teeter back and forth between not wanting to accept any solution besides the dismantling of the current system and more reformist options. Ultimately, I prefer the former, but I don't like the idea of being one of those Leftists who feels that the precondition for revolution is mass suffering. Maybe it is. But there's a fine line between believing that and needing the suffering to happen. On some level, if I had to choose between a theoretical utopia and this country actually closing most of the distance between ourselves and Sweden, it would be hard to hold to my more radical principles. Or rather, I would hold to the first principle I have, the one that lead to all the others, that the vast majority of human suffering extant is unnecessary and must be eradicated. Free health care, better wages, etc., would take us a long way towards that end, even if the state is still compromised.

That being said, I really don't see how a progressive party could be viable after Citizens United. What, exactly, would be the platform for spreading ideas? Most media would be closed off without significant sums of money, and that money has to come from somewhere and strings are always implicitly attached. Please don't say the Internet.

I'm a reasonably intelligent person and the Internet turns me into a hyperconsumeristic, non-committal mouth breather after a few hours. For the most part, it is a medium that, at this point, acts almost constantly to achieve the normalization of an alienated, consumerist lifestyle. On a positive note, the Internet can be a great tool for getting a lot of people to show up at the same place at the same time, but beyond that? Do you feel, as a blogger or someone who reads blogs, that you are part of any sort of "we"? Do you feel empowered knowing other people are just as pissed off as you? I sure as hell don't. I take some solace in the fact that others are as pissed off as I am, but I also feel very aware of the fact that I am just a dude staring at the screen. But even if the Internet worked, is the progressive dream that it could help manifest worth it? In the interim, perhaps, but, ultimately, no.

Sweden is just an illusion, if only because not every country can be Sweden. In the interconnected, interdependent global economy, I can't help but thinking that any reduction in inequality in one place will be accompanied by an increase in inequality elsewhere. I haven't been to Sweden, but I imagine that, even if the wealth is distributed more evenly there, part of what makes life affordable for Swedes is the availability of the same litany of products produced in third-world countries as here. Any structural critique of capitalism that you care to make can still be made.

And that goes for one's personal experience of life as well. If you are exhausted with a world of vain and superficial attempts at self-differentiation. If you feel that buying green is still buying. If you will never feel magically self-actualized by a higher level of job satisfaction, but rather are already counting the days until you don't have to work for someone else anymore, then the progressive dream has to be a nightmare. The progressive dream is one in which middle class people fight for more people to live the same lives as them. Fifty hours a week to pay off the college loan and the mortgage on the house that shelters the kids you never see. But with added patchouli and sanctimony.

And that, ultimately, is why I am sympathetic to more radical critiques. I can't understand the desires of those who just want to live a private life, and whose vision of politics stops when that life becomes plausible for them and, at best, for others. I demand to live a life I cannot imagine.

But, until then, if you need help ending the wars, fighting for nationalized health care, and increasing taxes on the wealthy, I'm down. As long as we don't have to eat at Whole Foods before the demonstration.

7.21.2011

Certainly Worthy...

...Of three (online) pages! This is probably the most "objective" reporting I've read in the Times in a while. Perhaps they should reassign some of the H&G writers to cover Bradley Manning?

Really, really, I am a pacifist. And I worry that, in the same way that some believe our treatment of Native Americans continues to haunt our nation, and is responsible for our aggressive yet fearful foreign policy, a revolution soaked in blood, regardless of its goals, will never be able to wash itself clean. Yet it really is articles like this that tempt me over to the dark side. Trickle-down economics leaves me feeling wet and smelling of urine. Violence is impatience.

7.18.2011

Hold Your Horses. All Of Them.

Well. My computer at home has been broken for a few weeks and it is going to stay that way for a few more. I have a few entries that I have written but have not published because they have all been redundant, boring even. You really want to see me bitch about Krugman again? He has nothing new to add (ie he still assumes that Obama is trying to do right by the majority of the citizens of this country and failing and therefore in need of helpful advice) and neither do I.

On top of the computer, at least three components in my studio are in dire need of repair, two of which have already spent time in the shop over the last couple of months (the computer was repaired in April and I have had to reformat the hard drive monthly since then - sadly this fix no longer works). It will probably take me at least through the end of August before I catch up to to where I was last weekend. Being broke is pretty exciting. I'm almost tempted to start working part-time just to see how much worse things can get.

While I can, obviously, write at work, I find that I don't do my best constantly looking over my shoulder. I also can't preview music and movie clips, which is certainly having a negative impact on my ability to post on certain other blogs I have been invited to post on (patience please). So it will be a while before anything here is worth reading or linking to again.

So how you?

7.01.2011

So Dope

Dude!
Really!

I love this one. It's one thing to be constantly told to "support our troops" when I thought we were just stealing the oil for ourselves. But now! Man! Does this mean in our twisted world that we can now call George W. Bush a Communist? Perhaps the greatest American Communist ever? Who else has given so much to the Chinese state, the largest Communist nation on Earth?

I really wish I had a television now. I want to know if the major networks will pick this up. I want to know if the ramifications of this story will find their way through the layers and layers of high fructose corn syrup and cheese product that encases the brains of our citizens. If I were a Republican (citizen not politician), I would be so pissed!!!

6.28.2011

Good Songs Ruined By Good Movies

1. Born Slippy/NUXX - I don't think I would actually play this out even without the movie connection - it's just not "my" Underworld track and never has been.

2. Goodbye Horses - Jonathan Demme owes me an apology (not really - I heard this first in the damn movie too). Nice, dark, track that still sounds a lot more like what I always wanted Goth to sound like than Goth ever did. I wonder if it really is too late or if constant play at a weekly residency might reclaim it for some moody, druggy, subterranean dancefloor somewhere. It may help if somehow Silence of the Lambs becomes a cult movie. People aged 21 were zero or one when the film came out. Fuck! Getting older is going to be interesting!

Forgive me: I'd play this. I'd play this hard. See, even I can't help it!

3. Dark and Long (Dark Train Mix) - Another one form Trainspotting. It may help that this was a huge record before the film came out. I might get a copy.

4. I can't think of more now, but I'm sure you can. Post your comments and I'll add your choices.

Nostalgia is Internet

So, as some/all of you know, The Rapture has released a new single from their upcoming album. I like it. It does feel weird, though. They have released music for thirteen years now. And listening to this, I honestly feel a bit of nostalgia for the early 2000s. Yes, the period can now be seen as the beginning of the "retromania" era, but, perhaps because the Internet was not quite as overused now, or because copying the past so directly was newer, providing bands the opportunity to borrow from more obvious sources, even precedented music somehow felt a little newer. Or rather, the contours of an era where the past would be an object of obsession hadn't been mapped out yet. Still feel a bit dirty typing this, though. I was younger then, yes. I thought I was disillusioned, though! Oh, I had no idea! Music:

Thoughtless

6.17.2011

Bravo!


I don't understand that old argument "you didn't vote so you don't get to have an opinion!" I don't vote because I have an opinion.

I think people think of voting too much like buying. It would be pretty bad form to walk into someone else's house and say it was ugly, or to get into someone's car and say it smells. Perhaps people think of "their" politician in the same way.

Alternately, some people, formerly including myself, may see the whole thing as a tug of war. "If you aren't pulling your weight on one side of the pit, how can you stand there and tell me I'm wasting my time?" Of course, once you figure out that you don't get any cookies if you win..

EDIT: ... Even more...

If politicians can put their hand on the stove and not get burned, why should they stop?

6.10.2011

RIP

One of my favorite voices.

6.02.2011

Small Hola

Belatedly, I am here to say something nice.

Disaster Notes has kicked ass ever since its inception and I think the slightly broader themes engaged with there versus the author's old blog has improved the consistency of the writing.

At some point I may take a stab at writing something more substantive regarding this post, but, for now, just read it and take it as an invitation to examine your own relations with other people. I know I need to.
__________________________
I know mine have suffered recently. In the same way that the economic crisis has not resulted in a new creativiy in music, it has not resulted in a new solidarity in relations. How many people do I know who are intelligent, broke, hopeless and alienated? When I get together with them, when they get together with each other, at best, commiseration. It doesn't help that we are correct in our dim view of the present and severely outnumbered! I oscillate between acquiescence and escapism. But there's enough of us out there to try other things. To build or destroy. Subvert. Prank.

I don't want to sit and talk about sadness in half-empty bars. Let's go to the bottle service clubs and chain clothing shops and gastro-pubs and the soulless cafes where nobody talks to each other and return our miseries to the senders.

5.31.2011

Small World

Good read over at Pere Lebrun.

The world he describes reminds me of something small yet somehow pertinent that I deal with every day. At work, I read email constantly. It is the preferred method of communication even amongst people who sit next to each other physically. With this much email, a "house style" has developed, and the most infuriating aspect of it is that, in an otherwise fully-typed email, the only words ever abbreviated are "please", aka "plz" and "thanks", aka "thx". Those are usually the only "nice" words in an email, so the fact that they are the ones abbreviated seems suggestive of the lack of real interest in or concern for other human beings.

So... please read the essay I linked to.

Thank You.

5.26.2011

The Other Kind of B & B

I guess I have some readers and I am guessing some of you are here in New York so I am just going to throw this out there.

In general, I'm not looking to whine. I just want the world to be a better place.

And what would make my world a better place (dis-including the death of capitalism, the end of complacent bourgeois culture and having an apartment large enough for a cat to be happy in) is simple: a place I could go after work to get a good burger and two beers and not be fucking annoyed before, during or afterwards.

Given the expanse of Brooklyn, and the constant proliferation of "authentic" neighborhood bars, you would think that this would be an easy thing to find. But no, of course not.

What are the criteria?

1. The place should be on the 2/3/4/5 or A, C lines in Brooklyn not East of the Nostrand A/C stop.

2. The place should be usually not too full but not empty either. There should be two seats at the bar.

3. The clientele should not be too tilted towards any type of social group, including mine, whatever the fuck that is (seriously, I don't know).

4. The bar should offer a good, correctly-cooked burger that doesn't take itself too seriously.

5. The bar should have a few above average beers. At least Yuengling or Brooklyn Lager. Better and/or more esoteric beers are welcome but optional (I don't need an Orval or an Ayinger or anything like that with my burger).

6. Two beers and a burger with a generous tip should be less than $25. Less than $20 would be even better.

7. I should not have to order my fries separately.

Applebee's meets all of the above criteria. I don't want to go to Applebee's. But I am starting to think about it. Because I can name at least twenty well-reviewed places that can't even meet these basic standards, standards that are met all over the country every day. But, seemingly, not in Brooklyn.

Your ideas?

Don't say Dutch Boy, Franklin Park, Soda, Cornelius, Woodwork, Plan B, or any place in DUMBO. I have yet to explore the region between the Atlantic Ave subway complex and Grand Army Plaza (basically, Flatbush Avenue). Maybe there is something behind Atlantic towards Ft. Greene but not too far from the subway?

Thanks.

PS Anyone have any klew as to why there is so much space between paragraphs? I can't seem to fix. Thanks again.

5.25.2011

Tolstoy on 21st century music...

... and its "critics"....

...from Anna Karenin:
He had a talent for understanding art and probably, with his gift for copying, he imagined he possessed the creative powers essential for an artist. After hesitating for some time which style of painting to take up - religious, historical, genre, or realistic - he set to work. He appreciated all the different styles and could find inspiration in any of them, but he could not conceive that it was possible to be ignorant of the different schools of painting and to be inspired directly by what is within the soul, regardless of whether what is painted will belong to any recognized school. Since he did not know this, and drew his inspiration not directly from life but indirectly form other painters' interpretations of life, he found inspiration very readily and easily; and equally readily and easily produced painting very similar to the particular style he was trying to imitate.

The graceful and effective French school appealed to him more than any other, and in that manner he began painting a portrait of Anna in Italian costume, and he and everyone who saw it considered the portrait a great success.

5.23.2011

Mor(e)on Malaise

Since 1999? Uh-oH!

Hydrogen Hitz



What's most curious to me is the way these problems continue to feed on themselves. All the people reacting to the "fakery" of Beatport-b(r)(l)and-techno who have just bought themselves a few old synths towards doing something more "authentic" have already created their own overpopulated genre of Theo/Moodymann/Ron Trent-inspired deep house that is just as boring in its own way as yet another Mike Dehnert release. Where do all of these people come from, and what lies behind their compulsion to make music? The music itself sure doesn't explain anything.


Given the fairly accurate progression of events that Goldmann lays out, one would imagine that there would actually be less music out there as opportunists would be turned off by the low rate of return. But no. The less money there is, the more people are into it! I can't imagine that they are all pure in their motivation.


I think the most important part of what Goldmann wrote about is how it's not only artists who are suffering from the lack of income and the lack of having the possibility to really develop their talents (that has to be a major reason music sucks now - it takes, what, 10,000 hours to become expert at something - that's almost 5 years with 40 hours a week of work), but also distributors, record store owners, critics, etc. Some may describe these people as parasites. I disagree. But even if I did agree with that sentiment, I would still find them valuable for one reason: they are people who want to be part of the music scene who are, bless them, usually not making tracks.


That't the whole catch of the DIY thing, isn't it? If you are trying to actually build some alternative form of society, than that society needs to be a complete one. Which is to say, there needs to be people to perform all the different functions that makes that society run. If there is no way to participate in this alternate society except as an artist, than everyone who wants to participate becomes an artist; one who completely lacks any meaningful infrastructure of support. I hate to use the word, but this is unsustainable.


And, at least for me, it negatively affects the music. I can't be objective. I am a nobody in my little scene. I buy records once a week and try to check new stuff out sporadically, and yet, still, I feel like everyone is up in my face, you know? So much self-promotion. Bands make no money but they make music videos. And there is no rest from it. I dislike the music because of it. My respite is listening to old records. Which only means that new artists have to try harder to reach me. And so the cycle continues...

5.21.2011

I always feel like

Depeche Mode are really one of the most underrated bands of the 80s aren't they (and the 90s to a certain extent)? At least, I always feel that way when I go through an intense phase of listening to them nonstop, which happens more than a few times a year, and is happening now.

It's not like they weren't popular. It's not like they still aren't. But, perhaps like a heavy metal act (and, from what I understand, THE heavy metal act, Black Sabbath, at least for a while), any critical respect for them is fairly begrudging. Once a band has millions of fans, and a critic has been enlisted to write about them for a national paper, their article usually must contain some acknowledgement, usually a backhanded compliment, that, yes, people like them.

But even with their millions of fans and millions of albums sold, they still somehow feel like perennial underdogs to me. They don't fit the narrative of rock music, of course, nor hip hop, and their influence on electronic music was to inspire numerous people to pick up synths and make music that didn't sound like Depeche Mode. They've only been "repaid" by spawning countless bootleg remixes of their tracks.

They only get a page in Rip It Up and Start Again. Christgau hates them (of course). But Daniel Miller signed them. They worked with Gareth Jones, Flood and Francois Kevorkian* in the first decade of their career, and hired Anton Corbijn to do what I think is some of the best work of his music video career. The worst you could say about them is that many of the lyrics are too straightforward. On the other hand, the composition is excellent, the arranging, especially during Alan Wilder's years with the band, is excellent, the sound design is outstanding, and Music for the Masses and especially Violator are some of the best-engineered albums I know (admittedly it's easier when the instruments plug directly into the mixer). They brought (admittedly post-experimental-phase) OMD and Wire to play the Rose Bowl with them. Most laudable of all, perhaps, is how well they balanced integrity and success. Their records got darker and less tied to conventions of pop songwriting and they got more popular because of it. When does that happen?

Anyways, today's pick:

*really, this group along with Alan Moulder were a big part of a sort of "texture-focused" branch of the music narrative of the 80s and 90s that I think will eventually be looked upon as just as fertile as the line one could draw around and through the Velvet Underground, Roxy Music, Eno solo and as producer, David Bowie and Iggy Pop in the 1970s. I mean, check the discographies!

5.20.2011

Now that I am empty of thought...

... I have created an email address for this damn blauwg.

I think it a damn fine one, too.

Check it out over yonder ->

Screen of Silence

Well yeah I don't know what to say. Said better!





I keep thinking I need a vacation and then I realize it wouldn't work because I would have to bring me along.

5.17.2011

Disgusting




There is no last straw, is there? It's just a bit disingenuous to bitch, isn't it? At this point, I'm just entertained. What's next? Please elect a Republican, America. I prefer their hallucinations to Obama's inspid paternalistic hypocrisy.

5.02.2011

Now THAT'S what I call a re-election campaign!

It's good to be incumbent, isn't it?

As for me, you can already guess at my reaction.

I long ago gave up any expectation that the judicial system would be involved in this process in any way, shape, or form, so that whole "it's not justice unless he is tried in criminal court" attitude belongs somewhere in a past that ended when Bush II won his second term.

I guess I could look down my nose and call the celebrations of some citizens "unseemly", not only because "yay death" is a bit gross, but also because, you know, we killed a lot of other people on the road to this latest killing. But meh.

I'm just curious as to exactly what excuses will be concocted to continue our policies in the Middle East, which I doubt will change at all. I can't wait for the inevitable "we must remain in Afghanistan/Pakistan/Yemen in order to aggressively defend ourselves against those who would want revenge for Bin Laden's death". You know it's coming.

EDIT:
Nice try. "When we lose the sadness part - when all we do is happily scream 'USA! USA! USA!' at news of yet more killing in a now unending back-and-forth war - it's a sign we may be inadvertently letting the monsters win." May? Inadvertently? Letting? Monsters? Oh, sir. Please. The bloodlust of the simple-minded is not a fucking Al Qaeda invention!

Also. Is it me, or is closure one of the worst words ever to enter the general lexicon? Why doesn't the death of Osama Bin Laden feel like that day when I paid off the last of my student loans?

The naivete of the mainstream liberal/Left world is really in stark evidence with those two posts. What halcyon place was America before 9/11? Clinton bombed people. Bush I bombed people. Reagan? Him, too! The gap between rich and poor has been growing for decades. Social services have been under attack for decades. It was only after 9/11 that it came to be seen as embarrassing to some to have voted for Nader in 2000. The same Nader who decried political corruption and the similar commitment to neo-liberal economic policy that was and is shared by both political parties. So what, exactly, are we trying to get back to? As far as I can tell, the desire is return to a time when illegal war didn't have the taint of ambiguity and doubt. Victory?

5.01.2011

Track List

I played some records last night. That was the first time I have DJed publicly in five years, and the first time I have played out in New York City. I had, well, a decent time. I've played music, either as a DJ or as a drummer, off and on for probably about fifteen years now, and little has changed in terms of how I feel afterwards: empty. From the first time I played drums in a band in front of others all the way until tonight, I became and continue to be sympathetic to all the problems that many musicians have. What I mean to say is that I can't help but think that other musicians feel the same emptiness after a performance that I do. And so they do heroin or screw a girl or a few girls they don't care about. I don't do either, so my sympathy is pretty theoretical. Yet it exists.

DJing is not easy in that there is always the challenge of expectations. If you are in a band and play original music, there is a strong likelihood that whoever is coming to see you knows what type of music you will be playing. While this is true to a certain extent for DJs too, of course, the fact that, as a DJ, any piece of music that has ever been recorded is fair game for requests changes things a bit. For instance, I was guesting at a night that is pretty specifically devoted to house music and, for lack of a better term, black classics. So that is what I brought with me. Few of the people in the bar this past evening were there specifically to hear the kind of music that was played. So even though, from many standpoints, I DJed well, and played some pretty obvious records (instead of trying to hip people to Dutch acid techno), most of the people I played for were, at the very least, indifferent. So am I good DJ because I played my records well or a bad DJ because I didn't play the records most people wanted to hear? I don't know. There is no way to please everybody and, as I surveyed the crowd, it was hard for me to imagine most of them dancing for any reason other than having closed a particularly lucrative financial transaction.

Regardless, for your benefit, here is what I played:

A fun way to open the night.

Dig those fucking pianos. Genius. Seriously.

It was obvious at this point that anything I played would get no reaction.

Well, I was feeling it.

5. Projekt:PM "Take You Higher (Take No. 12)" (Can't find a sample of this one)
Well, I was getting higher. Note to young DJs: be wary of free alcohol.

The best Marc Kinchen impression in years.

7. Repair "Forgive and Forget (Richard Davis Remix)" (Can't find a sample of this one)
I allowed myself one "micro" record.

Bang it out... I probably played this at around +5!

It was advised that I should start playing something people know. So I did. I thought I was already playing popular records. But nobody was there for house music. Oh well.

I don't think this really makes sense thematically to play after the Madonna record. But It surely expressed how I felt at the time. Why do I like DJing again?

Another pop record. Another matter of indifference. Brilliant remix.

I was running out of pop music. When I played this I got compliments from both of the people who weren't DJing that night who actually liked house music. I guess the difference between DJing a bar is New York and in Washington, DC is that you can get gigs from the person who isn't ignoring you.

Nice transition track - starts off harder and then the piano comes in. It was definitely time to take it down. There's a difference between a lot of indifferent people in a room and a few.

14. Raze "Break 4 Love (Instrumental)" (NB video is not the right mix - it has vocals, obviously)
The mix into this was pretty spectacular, if I may say so myself.

Not four-on-the-floor so a good way to chill things out even more. That few people even got into this one really signified to me that there was absolutely no pleasing anyone.

Only goes with the above insofar as it is another Prince production. Otherwise, this was a pretty inconsistent mix lyrically. Yes I care about those things, though savvy listeners will notice that I stopped caring a few records ago.

I knew it was going to be my last one so I just played something I wanted to hear. I just dropped the record in right at the point where she begins repeating "put some Grace in your face" consistently.

That's that. Listen to the links. Enjoy.

4.28.2011

Litany Unending

Sometime last summer I finally got around to buying Legacy of Ashes, a fairly exhaustive, though not neutral, history of the CIA. I purchased the book from a bookstore in Grand Central Station before taking a train to some random town upstate so that I could spend the day sitting in a park staring at the Hudson and reading. I never finished the book. Although well written, the book was too repetitive.

Legacy of Ashes was too repetitive because the United States does the same damn thing over and over again. Instead of allowing the CIA to be a neutral collector of facts towards allowing Presidents to make informed foreign policy choices, the most important original mission of the organization, the CIA has been used as a weapon against other nations and always wielded ideologically; any evidence that the CIA may posses that would tend to undermine the rationale for the various pre-determined and immutable arguments that one administration or another would make for covert or conventional action against another nation is ignored. The CIA is constantly called upon to help various administrations enact policy that the CIA itself thinks will not work.

Insofar as the military is an organization that does what the President tells them to as opposed to trying to use fact as a counterweight against whatever apocalyptic visions may transfix whomever resides in the White House, it is entirely consistent of President Obama to nominate a General to lead the CIA. Perhaps, as the Post says, the influence of the military has increased within the CIA, and it is true that Petraeus' nomination shows, again, hypocrites to be hypocrites, but in nominating Petraeus, Obama is making tradition explicit, not breaking it.

Of course, that tradition is the tradition of destructive and heartbreaking interventions into the Southern Hemisphere, the tradition of playing chicken with nuclear weapons while pretending the Soviet Union wasn't collapsing, the tradition of strangling any democratic movement that would challenge American regional hegemony. Ultimately, it is the tradition that expanded and is now destroying American prosperity. Whatever excitement you feel when thinking about the death of our corrupt and corrupting empire, just remember that, when it dies, it won't be the killers who suffer.

4.23.2011

Home Computer Working

Vacation to reality is now over. Oh well. I got stuff to do. Music:



4.19.2011

To all the lonely German ladies out there...

... wanna get married?

If, according to this article, minimum wage in Europe is $19, then I want to work at a McDonalds in Berlin and get a raise.

I was found shivering in the corner of a construction site in Gowanus. I have had all my shots and am house-trained. I am good with kids and other animals and I like to lay my head in laps and purr. Please rescue me.

I am witty and possess a soon-to-be-great collection of New York house records. I will do the dishes. I'm sure I can master the preparation of fresh pasta. I already like German beer and Fassbinder very much so my adjustment time will be minimal.


4.18.2011

Couldn't have said it better myself...

... and angry it even has to be said. The way things are going, the Republicans are going to have to be really creative to continue to find ever-more ludicrous schemes to scare Democrats into voting for people to do the things they would have done themselves.

I would say that this should be the final nail in a very, very expansive coffin for anyone still thinking Obama might be "their man". But then again, there have been a few times I have thought that, and, sadly, there probably will be more times I will think this in the future. Nevertheless, unless the Republicans plan on using our nuclear capabilities, there is nothing they can do that would make things worse in terms of foreign policy, treatment of detainees and objectors to the nihilistic desire to empty our weapons stockpiles on the heads of others to keep the military contracting gravy train rollin'.

On the domestic front, I can still see how some people, specifically everyone who is not a straight, male WASP without a conscience, can still feel scared that whatever previously- or currently-discriminated-against group they belong to might suffer unduly should a Republican become President, but as I have said before, that fear is what enables all the other bad acts to occur. Better full legalization of gay marriage and/or a final end to the endless debate about Roe v Wade end AND not killing all sorts of people worldwide than despite, no? After all, regardless of the nature of your concern for yourself and your own group, if that is all you care about, you are not moral. You are selfish.

4.16.2011

Party Tonight

... you know where if you know...

4.15.2011

Democracy

Democracy rethunked

The difference between despotism and democracy is whether the leader kills his or her own innocent citizens or innocent citizens somewhere else.

Or at least that is what it feels like living in the United States.

4.14.2011

Tigers of Convenience

I had a moment, maybe lasting as long as the time it takes to get from 4th Street to Canal on the A train, of thinking that maybe, just maybe, I should edit yesterday's post slightly towards the positive to take into account Obama's sudden desire to raise taxes on the wealthy to ensure the (not-really-threatened) fiscal solvency of the United States government. But that moment passed and my next challenge was to find something to say as to why I am not excited. Thankfully, BLCKDGRD took care of this quite handily:
See, this is why I'd rather autoblogography and bleggalgaze than reiterating the obvious. What should I say about Obama's (quintuple pint bets stand) cynical and well-executed pivot and the motherfucking professional rubes who cynically don't note Obama's cynicism while applauding Obama's well-executed pivot and pig-trap sprung? Only 512 days until the General Election, boyee! Still, I've been warned to stop bleggalgazing, and since that recent seizure is squeezed dry anyway, OK, though it can't possibly be as squeezed dry as reminding you what a fucker Obama still is and what roobish whores our professional progressives are.
I mean, it's nice he wants to tax wealthy people and all. It's just, why not try to accomplish this task when it was easier to accomplish? Why wait to plant your seeds until the ground is frozen? Because: strategery. Fuck strategery.

Here's the thing about morality. You can either look at it negatively or positively. I guess I am moral on some level because I have never shot someone in cold blood, at least compared to people who have. But, I could also compare myself to others who haven't and yet have had opportunity or even apparent motive to do so. Those people who don't pull the trigger are certainly more moral than I am. That Obama only seems to be concerned about doing good at the times when he can't really do anything? It's worth about as much as what you should be paying me to prevent tigers from eating your children. Have your children been eaten by tigers? No? I guess I am doing my job well!

4.13.2011

Your loyalty is the fertile soil...

... from which the weeds sprout.

Greenwald sets it straight (does Krugman read?)

I guess that essay has already been written in various forms throughout the last few years, or even longer, really, but it continues to bear repeating. The "peace" Obama seems to be aiming for is the kind where everyone is equally unhappy.

Given just how unprincipled Obama has been, (which, really, seems a lot more incomprehensible to those of us who are passionate than just another ideologue we happen to disagree with - who could imagine wanting to be President for no compelling reason at all!), it is time for some of you to just, you know, go ahead and admit it, via mantra (I recuse myself having not voted!):

Advertising works.
On me.

Advertising works.
On me.

Advertising works.
On me.

All my Coastal Liberal disdain
My fancy degrees
From voting I shall abstain
That's change
in which we can all believe

Because

Advertising works.
On me.

EDIT:
More stuff here. Reading the comments, I can't believe there are still people saying they will vote for Obama despite despite despite. Whereas in 2008, all one could do was make an educated guess as to what the nominees would do while in office, but, in 2012, one of the nominees will have already provided almost four years of data. Why vote for someone if they are not going to do what you want them to do? I am confused. Vote for Obama because he seems like he might not relish blowing up children? Whereas the Republicans almost certainly relish doing so? How about not blowing up children at all? That option is not on the table? Hmm! I wonder why that is?

4.12.2011

$1.75 for wash, $1.00 for dry

I've written a bunch of unpublished posts but don't know what to say anymore.

You might be interested to know that there is actually something that makes me more cynical than the machinations of the power elite: Dancing With The Stars.

I don't own a television. And I don't mean that in some boring Adbusters-bullshit sense, either. Given how cynical I am about my own future and the future of this country, I see no reason not to get stoned and play video games for the next 50 years or so. But I can't really spend that kind of money on anything right now. And besides, there aren't that many good video games.

Without a TV, I don't have to watch Dancing With The Stars. Nor do I. Except at the laundromat. I catch a few minutes there when I am switching my wet clothing to the dryer. I really don't understand what is going on.

I don't have anything interesting to say about Dancing With The Stars, nor anything funny. I'm just curious. What the fuck century is it anyways? What decade? Who are the Americans who watch this shit? It looks like some bastard child of the 1950s and the 1970s. The most crowd-pleasing, mind-numbing crap for the most brain-dead and credulous dolts. These people believe in an America that still looks like a commercial for breakfast cereal or coffee or Reagan or something. Maybe they even live in one too, or have convinced themselves that they do. We don't bomb anyone! Fuck, they vote don't they?

I mean, can you just sit back and laugh for a moment? Marxism? Anarchism? Feminism? What? Ha! Ha! Ha! I think Big Brother invented it all just to keep us over-analytical weirdos busy. What a headache it would be for all of them to have to talk to all of us all the time! They wouldn't be able to enjoy the dancing, the celebrity drama, the commentary, the orchestra that makes the most maudlin Glenn Miller sound like Anthony Braxton in comparison. You gotta feel sorry for them! We're the ones trying to ruin their lives, not the other way around!

Thank goodness for these blogs so we can all talk to each other and leave everyone else alone!!!

4.05.2011

Three Thoughts

1. Faith has something to do with believing in contradiction...

"I still have a gut belief that Obama shares our values..."

Why? Seriously!

And what is it with this country and our fucking guts and our fucking hearts? What about our fucking brains? Maybe it's a Christian lineage thing? Like learning to love a god that is pretty ruthless but who ultimately is only doing it for "our own good"? I dunno.

2. Violence only provides release for the violent...

In my darkest moments, I begin to think that revolution has to be violent. But it doesn't quite work, does it? The only way a violent act would be received as an act of revolution and not as the spasm of a lunatic is if there were enough people to support that opinion. And if there are enough people to support that opinion, there is really no need to be violent at all, is there?

3. Last night I had a dream that Paris existed.

3.31.2011

Addendum

Ok so maybe this post was more a summary of trends over the last few decades. Seemingly, the right-wing rank and file might get some of what they want, and during a Democratic presidency, instead of during the time when Republicans controlled the executive and legislative branches. Ironic? Nope. Not even if you've barely been paying attention.

And not ironic for two reasons:
1. The obvious issue of Obama not being a progressive, or even a liberal, or even really a centrist given, say, Nixon's domestic policy.
2. It always seems that the party that doesn't have the executive branch has the testicles. Will there even be a US anti-war movement again until the day after Jeb Bush's inauguration in January, 2017?

C'mon Now

Libya a humanitarian intervention? Silber says "please" ie "bullshit". Also, give the man some money if you can. I plan on doing so in April; I hope you will too.

3.30.2011

Friends of D

Nice post regarding "what is to be done" by Leftists in regards to the Democratic party (comments good so far too). I just wanted to note that, in some ways, Republicans aren't really getting what they want either. At least not "our" counterparts.

It would be better to talk of four groups (at minimum):
1. Socially liberal financial/political elite (gay marriage OK as long as we can keep outsourcing entry-level white-collar service jobs)
2. Conservative-leaning financial/political elite (gay marriage not OK and also we need to secure more oil)
3. Conservative to right wing working- and middle-class people (all the cliches)
4. Liberal to Leftist working- and middle-class people (all the other cliches)

Depending on which party is in power, either group 1 or group 2 have more influence on policy, always to the detriment of groups 3 and 4. Group 1 needs group 4 to get elected and plays to them when out of power, only to ignore them when in. Group 2 needs group 3 to get elected, and still, at least, pretends to act in the interest of Group 3 while in power. But, just as Group 4 has plenty of reasons to be disappointed when it comes to Group 1's progress on core values, so does Group 3 have every reason to hate Group 2. No prayer in schools yet. No constitutional amendment to ban abortion yet. No real vanquishing of existing gun control legislation yet. In regards to economic matters, while Group 3 government intervention out of fealty to a concept of negative freedom and individualism, Group 2 takes advantage of that sentiment to advocate for the positive freedom of the companies they are involved in or represent, further imposing corporate control (and therefore government control [get that through your heads, Tea Party!!!]) on the lives of Group 3.

Bottom line is that rank-and-file Republicans aren't getting what they want, and, if they could bring themselves to read books by Leftists, they would understand that they are just as fucked as "we" are even if their desires were to remain opposed to ours.