Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 09.30.02

Chuck Palooka, or whatever his name is…. that new one Lullaby is pretty okay. It’s like Vonnegutt giving up on wingnut pseudo-science to propel his diatribes against modern civilization and has embraced magic instead. Finished it Sunday morning in in just two sittings. Quite a popcorn event. The first third of the book is the best, up to and including the great rave-up screed on the proliferation of noise and its meaning. It doesn’t sputter out after that, but it was hard to get back into a narrative after it.

I’m now giving Coupland’s All Families Are Psychotic a go for sentimental reasons, as i used to quite like him once upon a time. No promises on completion there.

Still slogging through Kavalier and Clay, but am more enticed by Chabon’s Summerland at the moment, as kid’s books are always better, even if technically, i’m not a kid.

I apologize for the lapse in posting, especially after swearing that i’m recommitted.

Incidentally, Bush is still a waste of raw meat.

Ah, the bookstore. The crew still seems pretty good, although they are more underpaid than i imagined, especially the overqualified bossy ones. There doesn’t seem to be any way that the injustice can be righted though, without having my head lopped off.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 09.27.02

I ought to be writing emails, but just a bit on here….

still no music. Downloaded a few things, but nothing i’ve actually listened to.

Finished reading Life of Pi this morning, the first book i’ve borrowed from the bookstore. Quite nice little yarn, and unlike the readers, i don’t find the ending to be most absolutely crucial point of the book. It could have ended at the end of Part 2 quite satisfyingly for me, as the journey itself was quite enough. The third part is necessary though, but it’s a literary trick that i’ve grown used to. As beautifully done as most of the book was done, i’m not entirely certain whether the third part was executed as gracefully as the first two parts. Ambiguity remained, and it was enough. I was so absorbed in Pi’s narration that i might have just been annoyed in being pulled away from it so callously. If you hate hints of magical realism or the embrace of the belief that the universe unfolds exactly as it should, then you’d hate this book. I thought it was pretty damned magnificent, a poetic meditation on necessity.

It puzzled me that Buddhism was left out of Life of Pi, but what do i know? At the very least, it gives me something else to wrestle with after the reading.

No, i still haven’t finished the Chabon book, but i’m hellbent on borrowing another book, any book…

The bookstore has yet to open. I still don’t have a proper schedule, and have essentially been working seven days per week. Posting will be much easier when the store opens.

The crew itself seems better with each day. The horrid grouch girl has seemingly warmed up to me, although she’s still absurdly authoritarian. The lazy art school types are decent guys, but i know little more about them, aside from one wore an Elf Power t-shirt one day, but disavowed any direct knowledge of them. The Sleater-Kinney pilgrimage guy has also back off on revealing anything more of his musical taste. (Perhaps it spooks them to have some idiot manager grill them about music, but i swear that i mean no harm.) The rest of the crew seems far more interested in reading than the crew at my old bookstore, although some of their touchstones seem to be canonical obsession more born of pretension than genuine interest.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 09.21.02

Blah, blah, blah…. it’s detailed, but it still starts off with the implication that if the tradition of the Beatles is violated, then the music is tainted and unholy. Personally i prefer interpretations (as the Creekdippers performed quite a few fantastic versions of songs that they themselves did not write) to the factory of churned out hits, but then again, there’s nothing wrong with the Monkees, Sweet, Mud, or Smokie. Once you make it through the first couple of condescending paragraphs, the article warms up, as if the writer had to find a loophole past the Beatles to factory songs, to salvage some of his cred for his friends. I know very little about these professional songwriters even still, so it tickles me to know that the guy who wrote “Hit Me Baby” actually was imagining a song for Rainbow.

Found this on Metafilter. Some people were already decrying how low television and politics have sunk, and knowing that Fox is involved, they are almost certainly right. Whoever the presidential candidate that wins the contest will certainly sign over his life to Rupert Murdoch, just like Kelly and the other finalists did with Simon. However, i don’t think a show like this would necessarily be a bad idea if it was out of the hands of Fox. Primaries for candidates via 800 numbers might create a higher voter participation than the current system. It’s not really the selection that i’m interested in though…. it’s in the possibility that more candidates would have the opportunity to have free debates. In that last sham of an election in 2000, we had three debates in which nothing much was presented. The more debate is forced onto candidates the better though. A dunderhead like Dubya would have never made it so far if he had more debates with more people. Money’s the only thing that got him where is he.

Don’t bother worry about crass commercialization. Politics are already crassly commercial affairs. At least in the commercials we’d be able to figure out who really is putting down the dollars, instead of deciphering who gave what through a bunch of PACS.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 09.20.02

My friend Steve sent something quite odd earlier this week, an Ebay entry for a Damien Youth album that we both have. The bidding starts at $150, but thankfully no one has actually put money up for it. Although the seller is entirely accurate in just how rare the pressing is, and that the music is every bit as good as it’s supposed to be, it feels absurd for someone to buy an album that is by an artist who recorded it only a few years ago, is still recording, and still sells the CD of that music. There’s nothing unethical about it. It just seems strange….

I saw something quite embarrassing on the network news yesterday evening… Dubya hadn’t heard the actual comments of the Iraqi UN delegation when questioned by reporters, but instead of maintaining a shred of dignity, he behaved like a Jerry Springer guest, doing a mealy-mouthed interpretation of what he thinks that they might have said. It was much like his mocking of the woman that he put to death while governor of Texas, doing an ugly impression of her begging for her life, a simpering “Please don’t kill me!” . With Dubya behaving as mannerless trailer trash, Saddam would be justified in carrying out all further communications with the U.S. with a repeated transmission of that genocidal mustachioed fucker sniping, “Talk to the hand, bitch!” in a broken sound byte clip.

In real life, Dubya would certainly be bitterly disappointed that he didn’t think of it first. Ah, the progression of 21st century global leadership….

Then again, how could this clip beat out, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you…………………………. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

That paper that i was so up in arms about on Sunday is right here. For two days it seems as if it was scrubbed, and all that could be found was a partial Google cache. The only name i recognize on it is Wolfowitz (definitely no Cheney or Jeb Bush,) , and there seems to be no direct call for a “regime change” in Iraq, but the rest of the Sunday Herald article seems accurate.

Jim Hightower’s Rolling Thunder Tour is coming to New Orleans November 9th. I’ve been itching to see what one of these is like, but there’s one little hangup…. it’s in Armstrong Park, right across Rampart Street from the French Quarter. That’s a very good place to get shot in the head.

Last night i had a bizarre dream that Dubya & i were both in a grammer school as observers, and we’d jump at every question for the kids to take verbal shots at each other. In the end i wound up grabbing some unhygenic kid’s tube of anti-fungal ointment and cramming the tube into Dubya’s mouth. It was a great debate.

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you…………………………. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” You know, maybe that fungicide could clear this all up. I had a dream….

for all we know, he was muddling Who lyrics.

I was toying with discontinuing this page, as it certainly was nice not to worry about it while going through the job switch, but after a few more than encouraging words from Nicholas, not a chance….

Found this blog through Nerdball…. Nonstop Pop… i rather like the cherrypicking of Factory singles and LP tracks  with quick explanantions of why each song is an appropriate or meaningful choice. Most of them are not exactly the most obvious of choices, meaning it has great hints on new downloads.

Also, finally caught on that PTTL Jeff has done something with the Stop the Robots url.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 09.19.02

Quit working for the lab for good. I tried the two week notice thing, but when i walked back into the lab, after taking two days of vacation to help set up the bookstore, i realized that i couldn’t go back to that cesspool. I’ll miss the (few) friends that i made at the lab, but i’m not going to destroy my soul to hang around suffering at the hands of bigots and thieves to do it. My immediate supervisor was quite cool about me quitting, but i hated to end a job in such seeming spite, when it’s just that i’m more concerned with the future than handling loose ends for a bunch of unappreciative pricks.

Aside from the MRR unkept indie kids working at the new bookstore who yammer on about eroding civil rights, graphic artists, and the inadequacy of the minimum wage, there turns out to be one maniac who drove all of the way to Austin last weekend just to see Sleater-Kinney. Yes, i’m still surprised to run across these people in the non-internet world.

I already posted to Raindogs and PTTL about this, but…

Me, Lou, & some friends went to see the Creekdippers at the Parish in New Orleans last night. I had a fond spot for some Jayhawks, and respected Victoria Williams as a quirky songwriter with a voice that could be wearing for extended periods, but last night, i was converted. Nicholas & Stanislav (his wife Sarah generously drove us there from BR. We were to take my truck until it was discovered four humans couldn’t quite fit comfortably in it, which is just as well, as Lou’s too familiar with my particular style of sleep-driving as is) were already longtime fans, familiar with whole catalogues, but i was astounded by how outright Great the show is. I feared the lazy familiarity of the Continental Drifters (who i wouldn’t pay to see, and feel no connection to. Nice folks, but the last few times i’ve run across their shows, no magic ever unfolded for me) but the Creekdippers seem to leave them in the dust. Two entirely different bands in nearly different genres.

It seemed like it would be just a nice roots-rock affair, but i completely misunderstood the pure creative chaos that Vic can inject into the show, and just how damned flexible and talented the Creekdippers really are. When she took her turn singing, it was as if she was plunging off a cliff to see if she could fly, and with their backing, every time she pulled it off, soaring off to the horizon. It was a pleasure to see just how dependent this band was on cues to each others changes, willing to stretch, flex, and shift at the slightest nod, glance, or just pure telepathy.

Had no clue just how jazzy Vic could be. She was certainly folksy, but she was no cliche of that musical niche. She could be the missing link between Tom Waits and Bjork. I’ve heard her described as a nasally folksinger so many times that it misled me as to just how expressive she is and just how broad her range is. Whatever failings and cracks her voice might have, she has mastered the pauses, phrasings, and pacing. Watching her sing is knowing that she’s pulling every sound from the core of her being, sometimes prying it out with a winch and a crowbar.

Mark’s birthday was last night. Now i wish that i brought something, because he was so warm and welcoming, that he even seemed to deserve a birthday hug. The man is a rock. Couldn’t place the familiarity of his voice, because i never listened to the Jayhawks THAT much, but damn it…. i KNEW it. The instant embrace of warm music.

it was definitely a night to sit on the floor and pretend to be in their living room.

Kicking myself for not bringing along enough money to buy both of their new albums, as i didn’t expect to be so enthralled. It’s one thing to be entertained, like i expected, but this was more than mere entertainment for me. We walked out of there with me feeling like a hell of a lot more is possible than i believed, without quite knowing why. Instilled a new faith in instinct and intuition.

Hell, between the switch in jobs and generally feeling rundown, i probably wouldn’t have gone had not Lou urged me that it would well be worth it, and gently pushed me out of the several month long rut of a 8 pm bedtime.

Doing a quick referrals check, it seems another mostly musical blog has linked. Papercities. Has a nice reeevaluation of the Make-Up a couple of days ago, with complementary mp3s. He also takes the bootleg movement to task, as he doesn’t quite see the distinction between “Stroke of Genie-us” and the mostly sloppy predations of P Diddy. Kinda see where he’s coming from, although this does not change my ambiguously defined value system.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 09.15.02

The page is not dead. It’s just been a few of days of quiet, but yes, it’s uncharacteristic of me. 9/11 seemed to be a terrible day to post, because while i mourn the people who were murdered, i’m now far more pissed off about the exploitation of their deaths for darkly political purposes. In trying to have a little respect, i felt it best if i just keep my mouth shut for a day.

Then i was hired for that management position at the bookstore on Thursday. I don’t know what the hell i’m managing or what store i shall be working in, but i’ve been mucking about with that. Today, like yesterday, i will be stocking shelves at the new store. The top manager stuck me in a corner and said go to it. I almost made it all day without speaking to anyone, as no one is interested in speaking to me and i’ll be damned if i start mouthing off before i can assess the situation (unlike my tendency in music.) It seems that i’ll be working two jobs for the next two weeks. I haven’t even given a two week notice at the lab. The only good point is that as nasty and meanspirited as the upper management of the radiation lab is, i might be able to quit on the spot tomorrow when one bastard or the other throws a temper tantrum. It shall be a rough two weeks, but i will post when i can.

Besides, i have Thursday off, as Wednesday night, Lou & i are going with Stanislav & Sarah to meet another friend (from the Raindogs listserv) to see Victoria Williams.

I don’t normally read the Sunday Herald, and Lou’s not awake yet to advise me, but this article about the plan for a “regime change” in Iraq before Dubya was ever elected is extremely scary. Please read the articl if you give the slightest damn about this peculiar desire of the Bush administration in Iraq. If the authors of this study and the conclusions that they allegedly reach are accurate, then congressional hearings need to be opened NOW. This is not conspiracy theory.

Oh, fuck it, i’ll just reprint it. Permission or not, it feels like an important article, as it’s not mere speculation. Some of you may already been aware of this, or sensed the true reasons, but i’m outraged that this information has been sitting out in the open and it’s gone unreported except in the most biased and speculative of fringe media.

Bush planned Iraq ‘regime change’ before becoming President

By Neil Mackay

A SECRET blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure ‘regime change’ even before he took power in January 2001.

The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a ‘global Pax Americana’ was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld’s deputy), George W Bush’s younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney’s chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America’s Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

The plan shows Bush’s cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says: ‘The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.’

The PNAC document supports a ‘blueprint for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests’.

This ‘American grand strategy’ must be advanced for ‘as far into the future as possible’, the report says. It also calls for the US to ‘fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars’ as a ‘core mission’.

The report describes American armed forces abroad as ‘the cavalry on the new American frontier’. The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document written by Wolfowitz and Libby that said the US must ‘discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role’.

The PNAC report also:

l refers to key allies such as the UK as ‘the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership’;

l describes peace-keeping missions as ‘demanding American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations’;

l reveals worries in the administration that Europe could rival the USA;

l says ‘even should Saddam pass from the scene’ bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will remain permanently — despite domestic opposition in the Gulf regimes to the stationing of US troops — as ‘Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has’;

l spotlights China for ‘regime change’ saying ‘it is time to increase the presence of American forces in southeast Asia’. This, it says, may lead to ‘American and allied power providing the spur to the process of democratisation in China’;

l calls for the creation of ‘US Space Forces’, to dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent ‘enemies’ using the internet against the US;

l hints that, despite threatening war against Iraq for developing weapons of mass destruction, the US may consider developing biological weapons — which the nation has banned — in decades to come. It says: ‘New methods of attack — electronic, ‘non-lethal’, biological — will be more widely available … combat likely will take place in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes … advanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool’;

l and pinpoints North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes and says their existence justifies the creation of a ‘world-wide command-and-control system’.

Tam Dalyell, the Labour MP, father of the House of Commons and one of the leading rebel voices against war with Iraq, said: ‘This is garbage from right-wing think-tanks stuffed with chicken-hawks — men who have never seen the horror of war but are in love with the idea of war. Men like Cheney, who were draft-dodgers in the Vietnam war.

‘This is a blueprint for US world domination — a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world. I am appalled that a British Labour Prime Minister should have got into bed with a crew which has this moral standing.’

One of the things that i won’t like about being manager is that two scruffy looking guys that were shelving books near me. Art books. They were spending more time looking at the books and discussing the artists and their work than shelving. These guys wound up talking about the erosion of civil rights in America…. how it doesn’t really affect their daily lives yet, but how disturbing it will be to wake up one morning to realize just how much has been lost. It’s been awhile since i’ve heard anyone voice this fear anywhere except in cyberspace or closed doors…. but these guys were really goofing off, and i know it will be my responsibility to push them harder. Yeah, fuck corporations and all that, man…. but lazy is lazy. No one has even given these guys anything to rebel against yet, aside from the concrete fact that they are underpaid… but looking at the men that are hired as temps to unload the trucks, it’s not really fair to grouse about being overpaid, as shelving books is a hell of a lot easier and the job security is a lot stronger. If one need to get all righteous about the matter, classism and racism is a lot more obvious at the moment, although the balance seems better than at my previous bookstore.

Music. Yeah. I still listen to that stuff…. unfortunately one of the worst things about my new job is that this chain of bookstores pipes in the most godawful soulless smooth jazz and lite funk-pop that in the coming weeks i might take to wearing earplugs. Despite the general aura of evil of the lab, i did have the right to listen to my own music.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 09.10.02

Meant to post last night, but it felt like my eyes were going to start bleeding any moment. Some of those samples, these rubbery filtration grains, grow a thick mildew after several weeks, and even a shower couldn’t get the evil spores out of my nasal passages. It’s a wonder that i didn’t wake up with veins filled with some kind of fungi.

In listening to the Liars “This Dust Makes That Mud” i am hit by the distinct impression that they are taking the piss of a certain classic rock radio staple Deep Purple song that i cannot remember the name of… possibly “Space Truckin'”? Post-punk Foghat? Damn, first the Flaming Lips become Styx, and now some of the cool new post-punk bands are giving the nod to hoary stoner arena rock.

The Damned fixation i had a few weeks back just popped back up. A few of the songs from an aborted attempt to download all of their Black Album popped up in the harddrive, and the bouyant pop of “Silly Kids Games” has me hooked. I don’t know whether the lyrical reference to choosing between the dustbin and the cuddly toy is some reference to taking the path of their contemporaries the Sex Pistols or that of Harry Nilssom, but that’s what i choose to believe, as that’s what it sounds like musically. It’s a rare nonsensical baa baa baa baa anyway….. I hate growing up being misled into believing that punk and melody were completely antithetical to each other. The same goes for “Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” incidentally. Lush fanfare horns…. it sounds like Robyn Hitchcock before he disappeared up his own obtusely precious lyric ass. Gothic my foot…

Oh, and although i felt guilty about admitting that new Bright Eyes album is indeed pretty exceptional, like admitting that recently it seems that some Republicans are doing more to fight Dubya’s power grab for the executive branch than the majority of Democrats. But fuck that… That not-really-split EP between Conor Oberst and Britt Daniel is quite to my liking. I don’t think that Britt Daniel needs any help from Oberst, as Kill the Moonlight is as perfect a guitar pop that i need (and yes, i know that it’s not dominated by guitars, which makes it a much better guitar pop album. The best guitar pop might not have guitars at all, but only create the suggestion that they are in there somewhere.) I don’t know whether Oberst needs Daniel either, but Daniel imprints the urgency and conciseness that Oberst neglects in his rambling confessions and tirades. Oberst can pull together some nice melodic lines that i can vaguely remember, but he wallows in self-indulgence that he ignores that he and his song can wear out their welcome quite quickly, even if the listener has managed to find a way to get past the initial horror of knowing that he’s going to be one of those people singing in a fragile, cracked voice. Daniel doesn’t manage to get him to quit spitting that bile (as that third song, “Southern State” is still a bit much. Had to quit it with each try,) but if Oberst was stuck with Daniel in an apprenticeship, then this would benefit both. I write this all on the assumption that i really like “Spent on Rainy Days”

In truth the two Daniel songs are the best ones for me, but Oberst is definitely adding a certain ragged charm to them that makes these songs distinct from the songs of Spoon’s last two albums. Oberst was mentioning in Mojo that he’s been reading Raymond Carver. Maybe he’s picking up on the more is less in words. (i never did.)

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 09.09.02

It was quite a surprise to find that one of my biggest disappointments in weeks has been LCD Soundsystem’s “Beat Connection”. Quite a few tasteful people insist that it’s better than its A-side “Losing My Edge” but after a logn time anticipating what it might sound like, it seemed rather static and overly drawn-out. Instrumentals never do that much for me, and the words don’t kick in until around 4:20, and they are not varied enough to invite as much speculation as to what the hell the narrator is going on about. Yes, i’m approaching a dance track all wrong here, looking for lyrical content when i should be submitting to the rhythm, but i get more into the Turtles “I’m Chief Kamanawanalea” (over in just 1:34, while i’m still waiting for LCD to warm up the full barrage of its beat) which just might be more optimisitc in the connection between dance & sex….. and it’s not like anyone can even dance to the Turtles.

One of the bands that i despise, Glassjaw, has an inexplicable video featuring Vincent Gallo. Knowing a little about Gallo’s taste,which is not particularly good but seemingly excluding drek like Glassjaw, i’m utterly confused. Yes, i actually watched MTV2 for a little while yesterday, and it’s just so disappointing… when are they going to toss together M3, and create what M2 once was, a virtual freeform station? I now miss most of those dance videos that i used to grouse about, as they had better concepts and images than the paint-by-numbers darkness of metal and plastic sexuality of the rest.

Greil Marcus actually has negative criticism of Sleater-Kinney. No, really…. apparently they failed his expecations of how they could best interpret that event i don’t feel like bothering with anymore this week. Quite a surprise from that gnomic bastard.

Christgau seems to becoming more senile, as he actually gives the Apples in Stereo an A-. I enjoy them as a ’60s fetishist, so it seems odd to see one of the big name critics revising assessments of AiS to one of respect. It’s not as if Christgau’s magical grading system ever made any sense but he keeps finding another band to undeline just how arbitrary his judgement is, with standards so relative and elastic that they are indecipherable.

I started reading The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay yesterday. It doesn’t quite have me engaged to the level i need, but it manages to be dense without losing the narrative. The tightrope it walks is a slack one though. I doubt if i’ll finish it.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 09.08.02

Ah, it’s Toby Keith that i hate. No, this article doesn’t say anything particularly insightful, but i am now finding out who is lining up on what side… which is more accurately “mawkish or hawkish” than conservative or liberal.

Speaking of mawkish, after finding some merit in Ani DiFranco yesterday, i downloaded the new Bright Eyes album… He’s still such a whinging bastard, and self-righteous child, (accusations which he already attempts to fend off by declaring himself that before anyone else can,) but i’m kinda impressed…. no, i AM impressed. Period. His nerdy quakey voice and rambling self-obsessed narratives are still just as clingingly precious as ever, but i defer to the Pitchfork review. However, it feels like that this album deserves better than my snotty dismissals. It is impressively sprawling and overreaching. I might actually be able to learn to liek it, if i can only get past the knowledge that Conor can be such a mawkish, irritating figure.

We watched Blue Velvet on DVD last night. It’s not nearly as spooky as i remembered it. There is the small problem that i used to hang out in a equally creepy little town listening to the Blue Velvet soundtrack, creating our own personal hell to plumb for “mysteries”.

The documentary that went along with it is was odd. It was mildly unsettling, although not unexpected, that Lynch laughed all of the way through the filming of the rape scene. It was also nice to see that Dennis Hopper finally realized that his idea that Frank’s character should be huffing amyl nitrate instead of helium was really not quite as unsettling as Lynch’s original idea.

People have been mocking Dubya for his misstatements that his handlers in the White House had to correct… but it was no mistake. Check the news cycle. He was not corrected until Saturday, when few people watch the news or read the papers. That tactic has been worn to death in dramas like “The West Wing”. The misstatements will quite probably outweigh the corrections, because the people who want to believe it will not be satisfied with such “liberal” biases as truth.

There was also the report that Dubya spent “all morning” on the phones to the other permanent members of the UN Security Council. NPR was quite impressed with this amazing dedication, even remarking that he was burning up the phone and the receiver was pressed against his head so long to give his ear a cramp. Uhhh…. he was on the phone for a grand total of 30 minutes. That’s not all morning. That’s not even a sizable fraction of the time i spent on the phone to Ludlum in trying to troubleshoot the problems calibrating a mid-range radiation detection meter on that very same Friday.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 09.07.02


Gene Clark White Light looked like it would be worth investigating, as the Mojo piece last month seemed interesting. I skipped Gene Clark, because i have a mild prejudice against the Byrds that occasionally waxes in power, but what really roped me in is that White Light is a tangential VU reference, even if that’s not what Gene Clark meant at all. I’ve bought than a few records on mistaken deductions. Stanislav played a track from it today, “The Virgin” and all this afternoon, i’ve been fighting the limpest of connections to acquire a little more of the album.

That occasional mild irrational prejudice against the Byrds…. no, that’s not easily explained. However so far with Gene Clark solo, i don’t hear those triggers that set me off, which might actually have to do with the departure of Gene Clark. It was an unconscious thing that must have nagged me all of these years. What a surprise….

Lou also sat me down earlier to play Yoshimi… all of the way through, out-loud, not on headphones, at a decent volume. It was already growing on me, but now, with perceived parallels between the Flaming Lips and Styx or not, i’m quite fond the the record. It has just the right amount of blurps and beeps, in the right rhythm, to keep me in an enoyable zoned-out state. Any critical jabs that i may take at the lyrics are forgotten. It still seems like a happier album than the Soft Bulletin, which doesn’t seem to turn up in a lot of writing about Yoshimi... Despite all of the talk of fighting, i don’t hear the physical fraility of “Suddenly Everything Has Changed”, “The Gash”, or “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate”…. the mortality of “Do You Realize?” is one thing, but the disease of The Soft Bulletin seems quite another.


Finished reading most of the most recent Mojo, with the White Stripes cover. It surprises me that Jack White seems so damned serious, pronouncing nonsense like if someone looks like he’s having fun on stage, then he’s obvious not doing his job, as performing is serious business. Statements like that make me believe that the entire interview is an extended joke, as it’s hard to accept that Jack White intends for his guest appearace on “Danger! High Voltage!” to be taken as serious art.

The Popshots dissection of “Losing My Edge” is pretty good reading. It’s funny how such a seemingly slight piece as a shouted playlist could muster such analyzation. Every new examination begs another crack at what is going on there.

Stanislav pulled a relatively brave stunt today, as some poor misguided person called up to request Better Than Ezra during his show. Stanislav came on the air later to state in no uncertain tone that at no time will anyone ever hear him play Better Than Ezra, Phish, or Dave Matthews Band during his show, so don’t bother asking. This may seem severe to those who have never heard KLSU, but Stanislav’s is one of the only specialty shows on the station, and he has just been relegated to a timeslot that guarantees a sparser audience (even if it allows me & Lou to hear it more readily.) I still don’t understand the mentality of people who must be spoonfed the same songs every hour of the day off one of the very few records that they already own. If only the caller had wanted until Stanislav ended his show, Better Than Ezra probably would have been on the air within minutes anyway. It’s the same mentality that some people have that their requests actually have some bearing on the countdown of MTV’s TRL… and i don’t even turn up my nose at all of the music played in that format.


Ani DiFranco. “Self Evident”… i’m quite embarrassed about this. I stopped writing about a lot of things on this webpage, because i was annoying myself. Some of my interests are reactionary, indefensible, and plain old flakey. That’s why i rarely go into nonsense about my obsessions with extraterrestrials, parallel universions, astral bodies, auras, telepathy, cryptozoology, and general Fortean weirdness. I believe in all of that junk with a passion, but it’s distasteful to push it on a casual reader.

I feel the same way about this song/ poem. Ani DiFranco is someone i could respect, but never appreciate for her music. She just irritates the living shit out of me. Part of it is a disaffection borne of my repulsion to a certain fan of hers i knew, but on Ani’s own merit, i often find her to be strident, sanctimonious, tedious, and overly verbose (irony, it’s irony….) It bugs the shit out me that she’s expressing everything i feel about America and the world for the past year in a nine minute piece that’s as pretentious and bombastic as anything that she has ever irritated me with.

She did an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday, and it was the same Ani that grates at every fiber of my being at the same time a swell of grudging respect wells up. It’s not Gil Scott-Heron, but damn it, i want more than a Steve Earle track here and a Bruce Springsteen track there…. as Neil Young has already completely blown it. It gives me knots to listen to her interpret the last moments of others’ lives, probably more out of how awkward and overreaching the effort is than the actual poignancy.

I don’t really know what to think of this poem/ song. It’s not Ginsberg’s “Howl”. It’s not Barry Maguire’s “Eve of Destruction”. I want to like it, but it sets off every alarm i have warning of overly percious righteousness. Anyway, fuck it…. i’ll just go right back to pretending that Ani DiFranco is completely off my radar, even if embarrassingly enough, there’s something in that piece that resonates in me.


Looking at the rain, and the inevitablility that we will be sealed into the apartment by the LSU football game tonight, it looks likely i’ll be marathon posting today. (Yeah, right) Downloading a bunch of Blondie that i’ve been intending to get since mp3s first began to flourish on the intenet, but not really listening to anything in particular.

There was a Reuters report that has already dropped below the headlines that denies that there was a 100 plane raid, as reported in British papers, and now the Pentagon claims that twelve planes dropped 25 weapons. Bullshit. I may have overreacted in accepting the reports of 100 planes, but it’s more likely that the Pentagon is fudging numbers than the nontabloid British press is completely fabricating numbers. The Pentagon has far more reasons, both legitimate and illegitimate, to misrepresent the facts.

It also would be nice to know exactly who this Italian journalist mentioned in this piece on the real purpose of pushing debate over the legality of unilaterally attacking Iraqi, as it’s an opinion i share.

Poor, poor Kelly… i’ve been reading the terms of her contract when she became a finalist in American Idol (along with the other nice,) she signed her rights over in perpetuity. Now Lou’s telling me that the girl is going to sing the national anthem on 9/11, on the spot that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Had a Dream” speech. I’m mildly impressed with her winning, as i liked her better than that smug Justin, but what the hell does blatant commercialism have to do with patriotism? The corporation who owns her is welcome to sell her by any reasonable means, but cashing in so crassly on American cultural moments just to sell manufactured pop is a bit beyond the pale. Tying the two together only drags both through the muck, muddyign the meaning of patriotism and making pop a leaden, joyless affair.