26 November 2007

Our Fucked Country.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. - H. L. Mencken

We're fucked. We really are. There's no two-ways about it. When the only candidates speaking any kind of truth to power are considered totally inconsequential and/or unelectable side-shows and the most pandering, vapid, triangulating and/or authority-addicted are the only real candidates, it's only getting worse. It doesn't matter what "image" we decide to elect, we'll all "get it good and hard."

Viva la pointlessness. . .

04 November 2007

It's Alright, Ma' (it's only Jesus)

Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far
That not much Is really sacred.
- "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), Bob Dylan

Wal-Mart, surprisingly for the first time, is carrying a full line of religious toys including, but not limited to a talking Jesus and a talking Moses. Apparently the owner of the Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company, "was troubled by a lack of morals and ethics in toys." I suppose he has a point. In fact, most toys I owned as a kid revolved around blowing stuff up and killing your enemy and my sister's were more of the "you're never going to be this perfect or pretty" type. At least my toys didn't highlight my "flaws."

This really is not big deal. We sell Jesus at every opportunity. Whether it's a politician proclaiming his piety while his minions ratfuck the opponent or an athlete throwin' it up to "Big 'J'" after violently ramming his way to the end zone. "Praise Jesus! Now watch me [viciously smear/chop block] my opponent." It's all the same, as Jesus has had a part in many great narratives.

Of course what push-back against amoral and unethical toys would be complete with the declaration of war? The Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company has a subsidiary or division (it is hard to say which) called one2believe.com. One2believe.com is the moral and ethical warrior wing of the company, I guess. The "vision" is:
. . . to help children learn important Bible lessons and to have them come to faith in Jesus. Our goal is to provide fun ways of teaching children about the greatest people who ever lived. Through the toys that we design children will learn and play out exciting stories about real people. Our toys teach children that there are real superheroes they can believe in!

one2believe has a great desire to support parents in their battle for their children's hearts and minds. We pray that parents will take the lead by engaging their children in faith and get them excited about Jesus. In Phillipians it speaks about pressing on, at one2believe we believe that we will either influence the world or the world will influence us.
To advance this goal, they have declared a "Battle for the Toy Box." Because nothing spreads the word of God like kicking a little unbeliever ass, right? Or at least making sure your little Johnny never forgets that a white prophet from the Middle-East is the true Son of God. But do you think this will be a passive "battle" in the supposedly pacifist ways of Jesus and his gang? Check out the main graphic for the poster they recommend you download, print and distribute in your community and church.

I cannot tell if thats a "battle" or an "embrace." Either way, its kind of odd that in order to restore morality and ethics to toys, two, grotesquely-muscled, dudes engaged in "wrestling" is needed. But what should we expect?

Christianity, which a majority of people in this country "adhere" to, is always under assault and on the verge of being eliminated, right? So what better way to educate an attention-deficient child than with a toy! That will, like every other toy, eventually find itself at the bottom of the toy box, most likely sooner rather than later, battling over the toy box with maimed G.I. Joe figurines and miscellaneous Hungry-Hungry Hippos parts. UGH!!! There is so much wrong with this concept!

But the point is not educating kids about Jesus or the religious tenants of Christianity. No way. If people really practiced what a guy supposedly named "Jesus" who wandered the present-day Middle-East spouting Marxist screeds, changing water to wine and professing adulation towards the meek and the poor, we wouldn't recognize them as red-blooded Americans. This is Jesus as supremacy. Submit to him or Samson will sneak up behind you like you were Goliath (as depicted in the above picture). What's he doing to him anyways? Looks like he's trying to take back more than the toy box. Plus, I always figured Samson was down with that Delilah chick anyways.

To me, that's neither here nor there because. . .

BTW, check out more from The Bastard Fairies.

25 October 2007


It's coming for your kids. . .

Gordon Brown's plans to tighten the law on cannabis by increasing the penalties for possession suffered a fresh blow yesterday as the latest official figures showed the decision to downgrade the drug had been followed by a significant fall in its use.

British Crime Survey statistics showed that the proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds using cannabis slumped from 28% a decade ago to 21% now, with its declining popularity accelerating after the decision to downgrade the drug to class C was announced in January 2004.


Since cannabis was downgraded the proportion of young people using it has fallen each year from 25.3% in 2003-4 to 20.9% now. Among those aged 16 to 59, the proportion over the same period has fallen from 10.8% to 8.2%.

Quite honestly, I'm a little surprised by this development. Not because I'm against the gradual decriminalization or I think people who smoke marijuana should be punished severely (I don't think marijuana should be criminalized, nor it's users be punished at all). Rather, because I didn't think it would change the average usage that much. I just kinda figured the potheads in Europe were a lot like the American stoner - its available, lets smoke it. Weed is not that hard to find and, honestly, everyone smokes it*. So I guess it might be one of those things that becomes passe as soon as "teh man" doesn't care about it anymore?

Well, I guess not. . .
. . .The commission also says there is no evidence a drug's classification deterred use, and suggested that instead of tinkering the whole classification system should be placed outside the direct control of politicians.
Either way, hopefully this opens up the debate a little more. That or we can keep wasting money on a violent war against plants and chemicals. . .

* or personally knows someone who does

30 September 2007


Today, for the first post, we’ll start with something light. As a musician I can be a complete snob about what I like/dislike about various artists, genres and/or styles of music (something you will notice on this blog). So today, I plan to start by introducing you to THE BEST BAR BAND IN THE WORLD (The Faces coming in second, as their career as band was short lived): NRBQ, which stands for New Rhythm and Blues Quartet (though they are almost always known by their acronym). First, a little taste. . .

The above video contains the most noted, though not the most current, line-up. Pianist Terry Adams, and bassist Joey Spampinata are the only two original members left in the band and in that video. 'Big Al' Anderson (later replaced by Joey's brother, Johnny Spaminato) on guitar and the "cats meow," Tom Ardolino (still in the band) beating the crap out of the snare drum were part of a line-up that stretched from 1974 to 1994. Laying waste to musical convention and/or the idea that a band had to have a distinct sound. NRBQ's sound was singularly unique in that it was diverse and eclectic.

About 5+ years ago, around the time Wilco's much acclaimed Yankee Hotel Foxtrot record hit the stores (another story entirely), a friend and bandmate of mine turned me onto these guys. In our band (the now defunct Scott Carpenter and the Real McCoys), my friend was the official "mix tape" editor/producer. We traveled all over the country and with radio being unreliable and crappy he was an invaluable resource in this department. Popular in his mix-tape arsenal was NRBQ.When I first heard NRBQ I was only slightly intrigued. They sounded like a. . . well, just a band, playing pop songs. It wasn't until I saw them for the first time at the Euclid Tavern (a, since closed, dump) in Cleveland, OH did I understand what the, albeit under-the-radar, fuss was all about. Never before had I seen four musicians hit the stage and completely dominate every song and style they played (including a face-melting cover of Roy Orbison's short, catchy tune, "Chicken Hearted"). They were so unbelievably tight and cohesive that my dreams of being a "rock star" faded and since then I've just wanted to be in a band as good as NRBQ.

Unfortunately, NRBQ is a somewhat dormant band these days. While they are all active in music, seperately and sometimes in collaboration, they have not regularly played as NRBQ in a few years. Here's to hoping that changes. Either way you can catch Terry Adams doing four dates in November with the The Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet. Hopefully I'll catch a show in Cleveland.

Either way, I could go on for hours, but I'll let youtube do the talking for me. . .

BTW, both songs posted here are covers or adapted covers. Their orginal material is vast and incredible, but these are the one's I wanted to hear and it's my blog.

Greetings and salutations!

Welcome to the land gravity will hopefully forget. My goal is my own self-amusement, but should something on here grab your eyes, ears or other - even better.

A little information about me. . . I am a wage slave, musician, unabashed progressive, secularist and serious believer that anything not worth laughing at is not worth taking seriously, all rolled into one. This blog will be about all those things and more.

[Please note - I'm new at this whole blogger™ interface and I haven't done any serious HTML work in, easily, 8 years. Bear with me and if you have any helpful suggestions, they are always welcome]

24 September 2007

*cough* Check, one two, check. . . *cough*

Is this thing on?

More to come in the future, as soon as I figure this whole thing out.