Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"If it's not at Walmart, it's not real"

Quoting the late Randy J. "Bisucit" Turner, of Austin punk band the Big Boys. This guy had some things to say.
"I got a place over by the university for $45 a month," he recalls. "About a week after I moved here, they had a big music festival out where the old baseball park used to be by where the UT art building is now. I remember it was the Allman Brothers, It's a Beautiful Day, Pacific Gas & Electric – all for $3, with people rolling joints outside in full view. I just thought, 'God, I'm in heaven; this must be Mecca!' It was a wonderful time for me because suddenly I was surrounded by my kind of people, who reassured me that I wasn't nuts and who immediately gave me the encouragement to start being as weird as I wanted to be.

"Austin opened me up to the vastness of other people like myself, people I could really trust artistically and with my soul. People who would reassure me that I'm not crazy, that who I am is okay, and that the most important thing is to be happy. And I think moving to Austin showed me that right away.

"I had grown up in a horrid little backwater East Texas town and been earmarked almost from day one as resident weirdo. I remember I had to tuck my hair under my graduating hat in high school so that they'd let me graduate with the other students. I had a peacoat mod outfit and a little John Lennon hat I would wear that would freak people out. It was pretty weird, and that sort of leaves an impression on you. Even now I equate things like this: If it's not at Wal-Mart, it doesn't exist. And that's what I think all these small-town Texans think. If it's not at Wal-Mart, it's not real."
The rest of the article from the 8/19/05 edition of the Austin Chronicle is here at this link. Apparently Biscuit was found dead of natural causes at his home days after the article was published.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Coward tries to beat up Toronto bike messenger

...after the coward threw garbage on her and she threw it back. It's a good thing he did not get her pissed off; she could probably pull his head off as she's no doubt in about 8 times better shape than the coward.

Yes I read about it on Boing boing.

More photos here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The President just outranks the law!

From Fafblog:

Q. Is the president above the law?
A. Nobody's above the law! As commander-in-chief the president just outranks the law.
Q. So the president doesn't break the law. He just appoints new laws to fill vacancies in the office of law, as empowered by Acticle II of the Shmonstitution!
A. In the presidential order of succession the law falls between Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson.
Q. You can't put the law any higher. It would just slow down the War on Terror with bureaucratic rules and regulations like the Geneva Conventions and the Bill of Rights.
A. If the law outranked the president we'd never get anything done! The president would go toss Osama bin Laden through a plate glass window and the law would call him into his office an go "Dammit president, you're outta control!"
Q. And then the president'd be all "You're outta control, chief! The whole freakin system's outta control!"
A. And then the president would totally turn in his badge and quit the force to fight crime!
Q. Fight crime... with mind-powers.
...Wow I'm glad that little matter is cleared up now. I just had to have it explained to me by someone not afftilliated with Fox News or Evangelical Christianity. Whew. Now I can get back to mowing my lawn and saving for that new Chevy Suburban. ...Pass me that American flag so I can wrap myself in it.

Danger Log

90 feet of driftwood.

You never see things like this in Arizona.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Gonzales Protest at Georgetown

Ya, ya, ya, so I'm posting something that already got posted on Boing Boing, who cares? Boing Boing has a way of boiling things down that I really like- they get to the point.

The Point is here, that the Bush Administration, AKA BushCo, is trying to establish a legal precedent for warrentless searches. Boing Boing tells here of law students at Georgetown University bravely getting up, turning their backs, and holding up a banner with a famous quote by Ben Franklin. These actions took place during BushCo's Attorney General's rhetoric-storm regarding the supposed legality of warrentless searches.

Giant hole in BushCo rhetoric: if the warrentless searches of phone records are about suspected threats of attacks on the U.S, why not just get a warrant? It's all about letting BushCo slime its way into being able to do whatever it wants, that's why. It goes to show you they are depending on the people who hear news of Gonzales' bullshit-tour to be either: uneducated, feeling powerless and beaten, or worried about not towing the party line.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

punks and George Hurchalla

Author George Hurchalla has an awesome book out about the punk rock music scene. It's called Going Underground: American Punk, 1979-1992.

Your Imaginary Friend, at Kzsu Stanford, has just interviewed the author and included the interview as part of a 6 hour punk rock special. The special ecompasses music from roughly 1980-1984, mostly the "hardcore" part of the punk scene in those days, i.e. the time when metallic influences crept their way into punk, and slowed us all down forever. The way it happened, meaning and messages could be heard more clearly. Lots of punks are very literary, and meaning, influences, and spur-of-the-moment fun have a huge influence, although the music and dance is decidedly chaotic and admittedly anarchic.

Hurchalla's interview, for those of you who love the message, the music and the social scene, is kickass, and may be archived sometime at www.shavedneck.com. This is a good archive and you music fans should check it out, especially if you dig the punk rock scene.

[UPDATE 1/30/06: go to http://www.shavedneck.com/SoundFilePage.htm>this link at Shavedneck.com for the archive. Archives, folks.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

BushCo meltdown comes out in the laundry

A funny article in the L.A. Weekly called "4 Reasons to Be Glad Bush Is Still President" not only lists in plain language the reasons this is such an absolutely fucked-up presidential administration, but also states clearly a very timely point: Bush & friends did some really stupid things in the first 4 years, things so stupid that the consequences are now being seen all over the place. And those consequences show just how bad the Bush administration is.

Points from the article
The national debt. Now it's at 8.1 trillion, up 40% from 5.7 trillion, while Clinton's conservative balanced budget has been smahed to bits. Some economists are now worried about a total economic collapse in the U.S. Great. Thanks BushCo.

The invasion of Iraq. Had Kerry been president, getting us out of that mess would be on his shoulders. Instead, now the mess is the responsibility of BushCo- and now the drain on resources, the Haliburton-style corruption, the violation of human rights, the deaths, the instability- BushCo is also responsible for all of that.

The election seemed fishy to many of us. We all thought Kerry was winning. Then, poof! A mysterious situtaion in Ohio and a few other states turned that around pretty quick. My point about this is nobody talks about it anymore. It's one of the most sickening things, and it makes you feel so powerless. Do you remember the asshole who worked for the voting machine company- a Republican who was feeling mighty cocky at the time, coming right out and saying they were going to fix the election?!

It seems like that cockiness is gone now and more and more evidence is coming out in the laundry. You can't just trample the democracy we live in and not be held responsible, and as scandal after scandal unfolds, as more BushCo slimy doings come to light, more and more people know it, and more and more the people like O'Reilly and Limbaugh start to look like the clowns and bullshitters that they are.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Slowin' it down with the dead John Cage

Some folks in Germany are putting on a performance of a piece by John Cage entitled "organ2/ASLSP." The ASLSP stands for As SLow aS Possible.
In view of our fast moving age this plan is a way of trying to slowdown, the „discovery of slowness” and the planting of an „musical apple tree” can be understood as a symbol of confidence in the future.

According to this story in Yahoo news Cage wrote the piece in 1985 for piano- a twenty minute piece consisting of a few chords and some silence. Pretty cool eh? Well there was an organ transcription made a couple years later, then the folks putting on this performance in Germany got to thinking that since the piece is after all supposed to be played as slowly as possible, that it might be nice to stretch it out a bit and make a little ceremony to commemorate the building of an organ in Halberstadt. The catch is that the organ, which was apparently quite the organ in its day, was built nearly 650 years ago, and this performance of Cage's "organ2/ASLSP" is scheduled to last 639 years.

The performance began in September of 2001. The name of the project is The John Cage Organ Project. The website has some stunning photos of the old church where this is taking place.

This just says a lot about pace, a lot about history. A lot about stretching one note in music. That's one of the things I like the best in music; really long notes, which is why I like the bands Sun o))) and Earth so much!

Monday, January 02, 2006

It all started with Saturnalia

Well maybe not exactly, but I've always felt decorating an evergreen tree with lights in the dead of winter to be a powerful symbol of life and harmony and everything that's right about this place we live in.

This lovely article I stumbled across while surfing a cool site linked to the ubiquitous Boingboing has a nice rundown of all the old traditions that show up in modern xxxmasss celebrations. Pagan traditions, i.e. nothing to do w/ Christianity. I don't have a problem with this pagan thing and the word doesn't mean that much to me as I tend to see religion and etc. through the eyes of an anthropologist.

I just like the tree. I like celebrations and what they mean for us, what they symbolize, and the general health they add to our culture- although my friends know I'm a huge bah humbug & passionately hate the commodification of xxxmasss.

I couldn't find out who wrote the article I cite above. The article is on altreligion.about.com, so obviously it's written by someone who doesn't accept the line of shit most churches seem to dole out. This is kind of where my point is here- being sick of so-called Christians having an all-out shitfit about anything that does not match their cafefully sculpted social guidelines and barbwire-fence-encrusted dark ages belief system.

I guess we could agree that Christmas sucks and that the positive side of it all really boils down to spending some time eating with your family and yucking it up a bit around the fireplace, wine-glasses in hand. This kind of gets back to my point here too, that we are all kind of looking for the same things and we are capable of coming together, generally speaking, rather than being divided, but tolerance is lacking these days, and it seems some wealthy and powerful people these days (I call them NeoCons) don't want us coming together and agreeing on anything at all.

So in other words, when your neighbor has a Paris Hilton shrine in his yard with a manger where the baby Jesus is reprsented by a Paris Hilton's pet monkey, or better yet by "Kevin" from South Park (!!) (also see the excitement about this South Park episode that was apparently cancelled due to its outrageous funniness), laugh. Realize that the U.S. is not a christian nation, it's a nation where you should participate, and not shove your religion down other people's throats. You can make fun of me sitting in the desert reading Zen Buddhism all you want, and don't throw a shitfit when a cartoon makes fun of your own stupid religion.