Saturday, June 30, 2007
LSF Review: Sicko
Ok dear readers, it isn’t often you hear me gush. But please, please go see this film. It sounds strange but it is a great use of your time and may just reward you in ways you don’t have a clue about while reading this. If you feel at all like I do, that you read, you volunteer and march, you donate and you vote and wonder what else you should do, this film will illuminate you on how you are still at the mercy of the corporate culture that dominates us so. It also thankfully gives us another lesson in how populism is all but dead in America on any kind of scale and needs to be revived if we are to move forward in any measureable way.
Health care has not been at the forefront of my mind although it’s something I think about and read about but after seeing this documentary I realized that I have been shoving it below the surface because it has been so troubling to me. I like to think I live an actualized life but like all of us I fool myself sometimes. Sicko showed me just how I’ve been fooling myself and I am so thankful for it.
The healthcare system in the US is an atrocity. We know it is bad but Moore shows us just how horrendous it is. He does it in two ways: by showing the facts and hearing the stories of Americans on one hand and showing us where it is done correctly. The combination of these things is incredibly powerful and the packed audience I saw it with responded wholeheartedly. Sicko covers a huge amount of territory, both factually and globally and the film is edited beautifully to guide you through a wealth of information. One minute you are hearing stories at Ground Zero and the next minute you are in London listening to a brilliant Englishman give you a history lesson that correlates wonderfully with everything that has come before it. Kudos to Michael Moore for his most mature film yet.
With all this praise must come a bit of criticism and I have to even qualify that. There is a section in Cuba that I thought could have been done better, as he is obviously given extraordinary access via Castro to Cuba’s people and infrastructure. That is given because Castro knows the film will be critical of the US. It is fine that this is done but it should have been qualified, if we are going to see what must have been some propaganda, then we should have been reminded of it in the narration or by a question asked. That said the Cuba portion of the film was the only point where tears were running down my face by its conclusion. It is that kind of film.
It is difficult to express how important this film is at this juncture of American history without giving away too much information. You have to take my word for it because you need to discover it for yourself but this film blew my mind because it is so incredibly empowering in a way few films are. Moore gives you so much information but also teaches you in the most extraordinary way. I’d love to hear your comments after you see it. By all means, get yourself to a theater and do it ASAP, you won’t regret it.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Rest in Peace, Brown v. Board of Education, beaten and abused throughout your fifty-three years. Sadly, it’s no surprise that far too many “white” Americans ignore the lessons of history, selfishly resisting social justice while building up more and more division in this country, as the chasms in our society widen and deepen. It’s only a matter of time before we all fall in.
When the “white” majority is no longer the majority, payback is gonna be a bitch.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
LSF Review: A Mighty Heart
The story of the kidnapping and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl is the subject of “A Mighty Heart”. The film takes us back to the beginning of 2002 in Pakistan after 9/11 and before the US invasion of Iraq. There is footage of Danny Futterman playing Pearl in scenes sprinkled throughout the film but only scenes that show him working on a story and also with his wife Marianne. Most interesting there are no scenes of him once captured, just the actor shown in the same poses that the kidnapped journalist was in that were released when ransom was demanded. This is laudable for two reasons, because that puts us in the same mindset as the people desperately trying to find him and also doesn’t pretend to know things that can’t be verified by an actual eye-witness that cooperated with the film. It lends an authenticity that is admirable in a large budget film these days.
Based on a book by Marianne Pearl, the film is directed beautifully by Micheal Winterbottom. I’ve been mixed on his work thus far but admire him for a wide range of topics and styles but here he is the wisest choice imaginable. He has filmed this viscerally like a documentary and without sentimentality and still manages to keep a taut pace throughout. You can tell in every frame how they tried to honor the facts of the case and also do a wonderful job showing how much there is to be learned in regards to what transpired. All but about five minutes of the film take place in Pakistan (although it was filmed in India because they were denied entry to the actual locations). This keeps the focus on the case and also on the politics of that region as the events unfold. You see the horror that is kidnapping from both sides, from the terrible kidnapping of Pearl to the treatment of Muslims by the police in Pakistan and also in their detainment in Guantanamo.
This is an incredibly important film because you see how mistakes on all sides have horrible consequences. The history of these actions are a long one and are only getting worse through terrible leadership on all sides. The center of the film is the incredible Marianne Pearl, a woman of faith (Buddhism) who is shown practicing what she preaches. It is a gut wrenching film and you cannot help but greatly admire her. Also admirable is Angelina Jolie who gives a wonderfully natural performace, totally steady and unflinching and most importantly without any movie star pretense. Jolie produced this film as well and chose her actors and director with care and the results are impressive.
It is very sad the film did not do well in its opening weekend despite very good reviews. The public clearly shows they do not want to go through this and yet until we do and gain better understanding the public in general cannot do what is necessary to stop this circular insanity. We must break the chain of revenge and dominance that fuels this and we cannot unless we have both regime change and a thirst for knowledge about why all this is happening in the first place.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Cages, Overt and Covert
Politics, at its most base, is about power, and the easiest way to exert power is to maintain control. In a democratic system, that requires controlling, and often limiting, the access that citizens have to exercising the vote. Perhaps there have been times in this country when some politicians relied on the force of ideas, on persuasion, on trying to broaden participation, but those times have been limited, and those who attempted it often fell to scandal or an assassin’s weapon.
Ward heeling, vote buying, electioneering, gerrymandering, caging ... so many names for so many tactics for one basic idea. Voters are dangerous, voters must be herded and pushed and prodded and kept under wraps. Protest and you’ll face being hurt or killed, or locked up in unsafe conditions. Maybe you’ll end up on lists that make it harder to get credit, or fly, or rent an apartment.
Most people don’t take to the streets. They have been raised to think that voting matters, that the system works, that the political pendulum always swings back. For most, the control takes other forms.
It’s gentler, often voluntary on the part of the citizenry. Join a group, give money, write a few letters. Best of all, be active in a church. Built in tendency to believe, to follow direction, to not rock the boat ... what could a money-grubbing, power-chasing politician or party want more than people pre-disposed to act in a predictable way?
Some will say, “what about MLK or the abolitionists or the Berrigan Brothers, they acted for social justice within a religious context?”
History shows that yes, good people have pursued leftist goals with the encouragement of their faith, but it’s important to remember that they were NOT encouraged to do so by the hierarchy of their organizations. Martin made other ministers nervous. The Berrigan Brothers were certainly not encouraged by the powers-that-be in Rome ... that church has been trying to kill social justice movements and liberation theology for decades now. It supports oppressive movements in this country, and the current Pope Ratzinger made it his CAREER to destroy that movement within the church:
1. Liberation theology is a phenomenon with an extraordinary number of layers. There is a whole spectrum from radically marxist positions, on the one hand, to the efforts which are being made within the framework of a correct and ecclesial theology, on the other hand, a theology which stresses the responsibility which Christians necessarily hear for the poor and oppressed, such as we see in the documents of the Latin American Bishops’ Conference (CELAM) from Medellin to Puebla. In what follows, the concept of liberation theology will be understood in a narrower sense: it will refer only to those theologies which, in one way or another, have embraced the marxist fundamental option. Here too there are many individual differences, which cannot be dealt with in a general discussion of this kind. All I can do is attempt to illuminate certain trends which, notwithstanding the different nuances they exhibit, are widespread and exert a certain influence even where liberation theology in this more restricted sense does not exist.
2. An analysis of the phenomenon of liberation theology reveals that it constitutes a fundamental threat to the faith of the Church. At the same time it must be borne in mind that no error could persist unless it contained a grain of truth. Indeed, an error is all the more dangerous, the greater that grain of truth is, for then the temptation it exerts is all the greater.
Furthermore, the error concerned would not have been able to wrench that piece of the truth to its own use if that truth had been adequately lived and witnessed to in its proper place (in the faith of the Church). So, in denouncing error and pointing to dangers in liberation theology, we must always be ready to ask what truth is latent in the error and how it can be given its rightful place, how it can be released from error’s monopoly.
Don’t forget that plenty of church leaders felt that slavery was supported by the Bible, and who can argue with them, it’s in the book as an institution supported by God, regulated by God’s laws.
It is BECAUSE of that history, because religion has been used overwhelmingly to SUPPORT the powerful, not to help the powerless, that the front-running Donklephants are elbowing each other in their rush to the pulpit:
More than 10,000 members of the United Church of Christ rose to their feet at their convention in a hockey arena here on Saturday to applaud one of their own who happens to be a Democratic presidential candidate—Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
Weaving biblical imagery with political promises, Obama, a member of Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s South Side, encouraged those in the audience to follow their consciences and fight for a better America.
“Doing the Lord’s work is a thread that’s run through our politics since the very beginning,” Obama told church members. “And it puts the lie to the notion that the separation of church and state in America—a principle we all must uphold and that I have embraced as a constitutional lawyer and most importantly as a Christian—means faith should have no role in public life."
For many, this corralling of political energy is off-putting, whether they recognize that it’s happening consciously or not. For those people, the explosion of the internet finally opened up possibilities to engage in political debate, to find other like-minded people without the filter of some big organization. It was exciting to find active and growing institutions like Daily Kos ... I know that I, your humble Madman, was thrilled, and there were so many passionate voices there, from so many political points of view.
Sadly, it’s not enough to control the vote, to control access ... it’s also important to control the debate, to control the CHANCE to debate. As the primary season for the 2004 election began to heat up, the tone changed, the push to conform, to swear loyalty oaths to the eventual fealty to the Donklephant nominee. Nader was the devil, Deaniacs needed to grow up and get with the program, or to shut your fucking pie hole if you couldn’t. Those who began to question this new direction, the bullying by posters who appeared more and more to be party operatives, were eventually banned from the “community", a community that was beginning to look more and more like one of those real-world communities where everything is controlled from how long your grass is to the color of your home.
To insist that something was amiss, that the site was serving a party moving hard to the right, was to be labeled a troublemaker or conspiracy theorist. To insist, as I and others did, that candidates like Testor and Massa and Casey were Republican trojan horses, and that several commentors and front-page posters were working for the party or for candidates was brushed off, mocked and was one more cause for banning.
Last June, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, former soldier, one-time Reagan Republican, and proprietor of the wildly successful liberal blog Daily Kos, sent an email to an invitation-only listserv known as Townhouse. Consisting of some 300 liberal bloggers, journalists, activists, and consultants, the list was an outgrowth of weekly strategy sessions held at a D.C. bar—a forum for brainstorming on issues and tactics, and a means of creating a “unified message,” as Moulitsas later put it. Its members were bound by one main rule: Nothing from the list was to be quoted or distributed, which, this being politics, meant that a leak was bound to happen.
In the message that would end up putting Townhouse, briefly, on the outside world’s radar, Moulitsas asked list members to “ignore” a blog item by the New York Times’ Chris Suellentrop that revealed that Jerome Armstrong—founder of the popular liberal blog MyDD and a close friend and business associate of Moulitsas—had once been implicated in a stock-touting scheme. Suellentrop noted parallels between stock-hyping and bloggers’ touting of candidates such as Howard Dean, who had hired both Armstrong and Moulitsas as consultants during his 2004 presidential campaign. Moulitsas, who had recently coauthored the book Crashing the Gate with Armstrong, told Townhouse members that these revelations were “a nonstory.” “So far,” he wrote, “this story isn’t making the jump to the traditional media, and we shouldn’t do anything to help make that happen.” He urged participants to “starve it of oxygen.”
When The New Republic’s Jason Zengerle blogged about the Townhouse email, “The Kos” urged readers to cancel their subscriptions, writing, “It is now beyond clear that the dying New Republic is mortally wounded and cornered, desperate for relevance. It has lost half its circulation since the blogs arrived on the scene and they no longer (thank heavens!) have a monopoly on progressive punditry. We have hit their bottom line, we are hitting their patron saint hard (Joe Lieberman) and this is how they respond. By going after the entire movement.” Many of Moulitsas’ followers—Kossacks, they call themselves—then filled Zengerle’s inbox with all manner of invective.
Wannabe playas working toward the inside, and thus another outlet for open participation is highjacked. The cages come in many forms, sometimes overt, with water cannons and plastic handcuffs and pepper spray, and sometimes they’re lined in the warmth of “community” and snake oil, dual-purposed to control and fleece. Seduced or corrupted, joining some branded herd that will make you easier to drive, easier to fundraise from, easier to control ... you’ve got no choice, after all.
So the debate is narrowed, choices taken away. Voters who stand in the rain in Ohio to try to vote, voters usually poor or brown or black who’d votes will never be counted ... they’re attacked by one of our political parties, and abandoned by the other. The corruption is deep and wide, and the churches there to lure them back in, the bought-off unions selling them out for access and a percent or two hike in our pathetic minimum wage.
This is a recipe for continued downward spiralling, as consenus is manufactured and dissent is caged off and silenced. In this new century of perfected PR and mass media saturation, the corruption seeps in everywhere. Seduction and co-option lead rich, greed, powerful empires to destruction. Gunter Grass wrote in his latest:
Günter Grass has said elsewhere that the success of the Third Reich was in dividing and subdividing responsibility for evil to such a degree that, while most adults in the country bore some responsibility, very few felt that anything much was their fault at the time. That sense of responsibility came to them afterwards, and usually in silence.
We’re not on a pendulum so much as a descending spiral. Some of us will continue to speak our minds out here in our rusty cages, but so many avenues, even this internet avenue, have been diverted and cordoned off, that it’s hard to see any way out.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Damn, Must Not Be Swearing Enough
Maybe THIS will help filthy the place up a bit:
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Life is "Sacred"
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
A Perfect Match
So, for the incredibly mediocre “front runner" of an increasingly pathetic Donklephant Party, her frightened sheep supporters picked a completely bland, pathetic, lifeless song WRITTEN FOR AN AD CAMPAIGN. It’s a perfect fit, really it is.
Celine Dion perfectly sums up the Clinton Party. Bombast lacking in actual meaning. Flash with no substance. Warbled doggerel without genuine pain or joy or honest human emotion. Something that is at least a decade or more out of date.
It’s perfect, it really is, in that Hallmark nation, lifeless, lacking-in-style AND substance way that sums up the mushy center-right that the Donklephants chase like mall walkers after fresh-from-the-oven Cinnabon.
Back when I worked in music stores, nothing made me want to slit my throat with the edge of a broken jewelbox more than a new CD by Dion, or the other clones, the “new” Josh Grobin, Andrea Bocelli, Kelly Clarkson ... gak, there are so fucking many of them, with soccer moms and Oprah worshippers rushing in to buy stacks of them, fake emotion from fake talents oversinging fake art to reassure them about the possibility of fake love. We can’t have Canadian-style healthcare, it might piss off her new favorite donors, but we can listen to a bad song by a Canadian for a Canadian airline. Don’t get me wrong ... Canada gave us Neil Young and SCTV and someplace to film Highlander and most everything on basic cable television ... but lets get the GOOD things, (the SUDSY things) from the Great White North, not a mediocre soundtrack for this most mediocre of candidates. I’ve looked forward my whole life to witness the possibility that this country might grow up and elect a woman President, but this is the best we can do?
Sadly it is, like Celine Dion is the “best” thing that the dying music industry can do, one fake diva and tenor after another, challenging no one, saying nothing, touching nothing but people so comfortable in the “middle” that they prefer artifice to honesty.
“You and I” is perfect for Candidate Clinton, perfect for the Donklephants, perfect for the frightened soccer moms and DC press and benighted citizenry that falls for fake terror threats and fake leadership and fake hope and fake withdrawals and fake plans for peace and fake elections. When we leave this smoking ruin behind us, someone out there should broadcast the video as a warning to other species flying by, at what happens when a people amuse themselves to death.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
A Blasted Landscape
We live in a blasted landscape, a culture denuded by hatred, fear, racism, the hot air of our own certitude in our goodness fanning montrous crimes. Our government, controlled by a supposed two-party system, is in service of the unfettered flow of rapacious capital and imperial war. Our culture, our government, our economic elites trample on hard-won standards of human rights, shredding laws of war, torturing, launching unprovoked attacks on other sovereign nations, tearing families apart with a system of laws that increasingly favor those with economic advantage, and grinds those without under ever more draconian penalties and economic exploitation. For many Americans we paid scant attention over years, but increasingly we see this behavior at home, in our brutal prison system, our shredded labor rights, in a healthcare system that delivers economic ruin along with grudgingly offered care.
It’s hard to look across that landscape, the sulferous gases of our aggressive loathing of life and decency stinging our eyes, coating our throats with barely-suppressed bile as we fight down despair and disgust, so it’s no wonder that we gaze with relief and joy upon any signs of life that break through the disasters we create, like the recent decisions about the men our government has tortured and held in legal limbo:
In our national debate on torture and the mistreatment of prisoners, one theme is consistently on the lips of those attempting to advance the president’s agenda. Our situation is, they say, without any historical precedent. I think when I hear these words that a scoundrel is speaking, for they are uttered with a simple object – and that is for civil authority to free itself from the bounds of civilization and tradition, indeed, from the bounds of common decency. This argument is raised with the object of justifying tyrannical rule and specific practices which defy any individual justification. And indeed, are there not an endless number of historical precedents precisely for such acts of barbarity?
We take faith in the idea that hope and life will overcome, that political conflict in the United States swings on some wonderful pendulum, that cases like this or an insincere law passed by the Donklephants to nudge the minimum wage up slightly are signs that we will be okay, that it’s natural for the system to right itself.
It’s dangerous to take so much comfort in these brief flowerings. It’ll take years of such court decisions, years of struggle, years of work to remind ourselves and those around us that we can choose to build something better than this lifeless, hopeless field of hardened lava. Over and over again, those with money and power have tapped into the burning fear and hatred that has been at the heart of this country since it’s settlement by white invaders: that bastard child of fear and hatred ... racism.
It is racism that has driven so much of this country’s economic development. It’s racism that has fostered so many of our wars. Manifest Destiny is just a nicer, holier name for White Supremacy. The Indian Wars, the various invasions of Central America and the islands of the Caribbean, the Mexican American Wars ... through all of them is woven the thread of racism, that “those people” are more primitive, weaker, dumber, less godly, that only by our intervention and their subjucation could they be civilized. One can look at the execution and planning of the current debacle and see the same attitude: our “leaders” thought they were dealing with primitive dupes, how hard could it be? The Hadjis are just the latest red savages, the latest niggers and spics and yellow devils for the big strong white man to grind under heel before he can be elevated by our paternal “charity”.
It is racism that also prevents us from fighting back, from leveling the playing field of our economic system. We resent people who are different than us, who’re “less deserving” of “help”, and for many people it’s skin color that determines who is “less”. If we want more flowers to burst through the blasted crust of this new century, we have to face and own up to how much we’ve ALL been cooked in the fires of this terrible flame. It’s in all of us. Face it.
But from that moment on I have been learning. I no longer resist the fact that I live in a racist world, in a racist society, in a racist city and a racist neighborhood. I spend my money in racist stores and attend racist classes. White doctors, teachers, service people, firemen, policemen and clergy are racist. I don’t care how many of us are here or how much money we are making or how many of us are graduating from how many colleges. When whites are born into this society, they know inherently that they are superior to all third world people, and especially to blacks. No matter what negative condition they find themselves in, they are still superior to blacks. And some blame blacks for their negative condition. Liberal whites decide just how much slack they will cut us, and then assume we should not only be grateful, but also friendly. I have never met and probably will never meet a white who believes himself racist. He will tell me about his racist mother or his racist brother-in-law or his racist neighbor, but not him. Rather than to accept the fact that I might be equal, or maybe even better, white people have told me that I’m “not really black”.
This situation will never, never improve until whites can admit to themselves that they are by definition and innately racist. They should identify as closely with their racism as they identify with their gender. If you are born white, you are born racist. Blacks like me become racist in defense. Identify that you are racist and, recognizing yourselves as such, you can check yourselves. Blacks do not want your love. Your like isn’t even important. And your understanding is not necessary. We don’t even care whether or not you smile at us. What we do want is that you not stand in our way. What we do want is equal justice by law, no favors. And just for the record, affirmative action is just that, not a favor.
Thirty years ago, in a fit of panic and pseudo-generosity prompted by fear, the white power structure admitted blacks, almost indiscriminately, to some schools and some jobs. Since this action was indiscriminate, many blacks failed. At which point the whites sat back and said, “See! We gave them a chance and they failed.” And that was the end of it. So now it’s cut welfare, cut the quota system, beat ‘em up and throw ‘em in jail.
It will take years of exposure for the rest of the United States of America to fully realize what a monstrous thing American racism is. And all during this time one proceeds quite naturally with one’s life dealing with racism on a day-to-day basis, too overwhelmed by the monstrosity of it ever to be able to get up on a soap-box screaming in rage. And as the realization slowly inches its way into the consciousness, the surprise, the hurt and then the rage take over. How many times must one silently, but clearly, be called “nigger” before it finally sinks in? And if one is to be a nigger, then one had better track down the meaning of this negritude.
My particular racism is my particular experience. I’ve never written about it before for two reasons: I wasn’t sure I was black enough to discuss it with blacks, and it does no good to discuss it with whites.
It’s not unreasonable to wrap this all up together as one problem. Our economy and our aggressive military structure and our broken political system are all fueled by our inability to see what we have in common with one another. When I come across a group of young black men on the bus, our on the street, little suspicions and fear flicker across my lizard brain ... hands tap pockets, eyes are averted. It’s a hard thing to face, but a lifetime of the propaganda that passes for news and entertainment has trained that more primitive part of me to see a threat. That ... is ... racism. For years, when I was younger, I got mad when confronted with it. “Not me ... I’m a liberal, I judge people by their ACTIONS,” I’d insist.
That’s all very comforting, but begs the question. We’re TAUGHT to be racist, either directly or indirectly, and it plays on the survival instincts we all have to recognize threats ... if a group of people is presented as a threat, whether by a modern media or personal experience, then the reptile brain kicks in and shuts off the higher reasoning parts of our natures. When that happens, clergy or politicians or parents or teachers or friends looking for a fight can give that brain a further kick, give it a push, make us lash out. This is why over and over again we turn on our fellow human beings ... we’re predisposed to see them as a threat, and dishonest or greedy people exploit that fear and hatred, riding our racism into a new war, a new round of disenfranchisement, another round of unjustified tax cuts to benefit those who least need them. It’s all tied together.
To fight it, you have to SEE it, even in yourself. We won’t have a just society, we won’t stop being a threat to the rest of the world, until we face this firey fuel that drives us as a country, that pushes us to consume so much of the world around us. It’s nice to take hope in those brief flowerings like the decisions mentioned above, but real change is going to take a change in the American heart, and right now it’s hard to see any sign of it coming anytime soon. Meanwhile, the blasted landscape spreads.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I know it’s fashionable to sneer at Michael Moore, but watching him speak to the CA legislature shows an activist who has come a long way toward focusing his message, this time about our criminal healthcare system. You can read the transcript at Democracy Now.
That is the system that we have. The reason why, as our friend here said, the reason why we have to eliminate health insurance companies, I mean, they literally have to be removed from the equation, the reason for this is that there is no room for them. Because there should never be room for the word “profit” when you are trying to make a decision whether or not to provide somebody care when they get sick. Bottom line. You can never allow this to happen. They can’t make a profit unless they deny care, unless they deny claims, unless they keep people off the rolls who have preexisting conditions or kick people off the rolls who have diseases that become too expensive for them. They can’t make a profit.
So, let me just pause for a second and say something on behalf of the health insurance corporations in America. Our laws state very clearly that they have a legal fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits for the shareholders. If they don’t do that, they could be put in jail. They’re required by law to turn as big a profit as they can. And the only way that can turn the big profit is to not pay out the money, is to not provide the care.
Here is video of part one of his speech:
Part two if you click “more”.
What is wrong with us? That’s not who we are, that’s not what we used to be about! This every man for himself attitude, pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You got your problems, I got mine. Don’t bother me. This Me, me, me. That’s not how they exist in these other countries – in Canada, Britain, Ireland, France, these other places. They believe in we, we. They believe we’re all in the same boat and we sink or swim together. They believe that if too many people fall between the cracks, their society suffers as a result of it. What happened to us? I think we used to believe that somewhere along the line, somewhere way, way back.
Well, I’d quibble with the idea that this isn’t what we’ve always been about ... but it is smart to play on what people THINK we’re about, our beloved Norman Rockwell myths. It’s a cracked mirror, but it’s a mirror nonetheless.
I don’t know that I can work up much hope for change anytime soon, but pressure is building. It is good, it is encouraging, to see more and more people fed up with the way things work, the institutionalized imbalances that cause needless suffering and death, the continuation of the exploitation of the many for the enrichment of the few.
Sneer at him, as so many do, but he’s at least raised some questions over the din of corporate cash and empty celebrity gossip and overblown fearmongering. I look forward to seeing Sicko. Perhaps it will help give the people a fighting chance ... it certainly couldn’t make things much worse than they already are.
Friday, June 08, 2007
fri rdm 10 - "Paris is our biggest problem?" edition
Really the circus aspects, the fucked up emphasis on all the wrong things. We have a brutal, inequitable prison system, increasingly privatized ... yet even when the travails of a celebrity gives us a golden opportunity to ask some questions about our priorities, we focus on all the wrong things, ask the wrong questions ... really, this country is in deep, deep trouble.
Oh, and Robert Bork ... you remember him. Rants and raves about an out-of-control legal system, evil lawyers suing business out of solvency, THAT Tort Reform Bork sues for 1 million dollars.
Really, a nation of bullshitters and hypocrites, and a media that managed to make me sympathize with Paris and made me curse a personal injury suit.
Today’s random tunes (been a while, I know, but hard to write these days) ... lets see what the Zen Micro serves up:
- “Last Goodbye" - Jeff Buckley
- “Jonestown" - Concrete Blonde
- “Bluebird" - Jim White
- “Since I’ve Been Loving You" - Led Zeppelin
- “Landslide" - Smashing Pumpkins
- "Man with a Gun” - Jerry Harrison
- “Pretty Maids All in a Row" - The Eagles
- “Fascination" - David Bowie
- "Blazing Saddles” - Yello
- “Toxicity” - System of a Down
Monday, June 04, 2007
Marisacat has the Donklephants’ number on their willingness to sell us all out to the zealots. In honor of their continuing slide into further disgusting pantomiming (Hillary: “look, I’m in a box called Iraq! The permanent bases are invisible!") of the winger right, here’s some Eddie Izzard for perspective.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Forty Years of Relentless Hype
Sgt. Pepper was released to play
They’ve been going in and out of style
But the boomers are guaranteed to smile.
So may I introduce to you
The act I’ve known for all these years,
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
I knew I couldn’t enjoy the show,
They’re Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,
Sit back and see the truth behind the hype.
Sgt. Pepper’s lonely, Sgt. Pepper’s lonely,
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely tired act.
It’s certainly not a thrill.
They’re such a overhyped mess,
I’d like to take an axe to it,
I’d love to crush it dead.
But I thought that you might like to know,
That the singer’s going to sing a song,
And he wants to continue to shill.
So let me introduce to you
The one and only overhyped album
It’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Someone, please, save us from the periodic hosannas to this fucking album and that damned mess Pet Sounds (that forty year anniversary was last year). I swear I’m not going to listen to the fucking radio at all in 2016 and 2017.