Monthly Archives: September 2009

Listening so you don’t have to: Pearl Jam’s Backspacer, Sufjan Steven’s The BQE

Pearl_jam_backspacer

The theme: “We’re tired of being marble-mouthed and mildly dreary. Let’s go play surf rock and some piano!”

The verdict: When an album is this bland, with such terrible lyrics and a complete reliance on the occasional familiar-sounding hook, don’t put some listenin’ on it.

sufjan_bqe

The theme: “Who needs lyrics when you’re a brilliant composer?”

The verdict: A playful, jubilant and at times epic album that feels like a indie version of Fantasia. And it’s the perfect length at 40 minutes.

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Filed under Monkeys, Music

The ugly truth on an ugly issue

Look, I get it. I’m racist, you’re racist, the GOP is racist, Obama is racist, Twitter’s racist…perhaps we’re all, as Avenue Q informed us, a little bit racist. In fact, I think it’s pretty safe to say that everything is racist. Did anyone see Transformers 2? I heard it made some money, and a few swipes at blacks. Has anyone ever watched Lou Dobbs? I heard he might not like Latinos. How many times have you seen a movie that featured a black guy as the funky sideshow, the Asian as the sly, intelligent one (or just Jackie Chan) and the white guy as the gorgeous hero?

Everything’s racist, prejudices are so ingrained into our society that there’s little that we can do to completely expunge ourselves of that. Most of it is subconscious, the subtle tightening of our grip on our backpacks when walking through urban black communities, making the passing assumption that the Korean kid in class is going to be instantly brilliant or casual references to “Mexi-packing” or equating frugality with those of Jewish heritage. Not to deny that it’s not a problem, but there comes a point where there’s simply nothing more to be accomplished by continuing to bring up race issues.

This comes from a completely utilitarian standpoint, so it forgoes the whole, “but if it’s wrong, we’ve gotta fix it!” mentality plenty of folks have. But I’m sorry Jimmy Carter, you fell right into the Republican party’s hands by accusing Obama’s opposition of opposing him because of his race. Yes, the subtext of baseless and tawdry racism was more than evident during the 9/12 protests.

I mean, come on! How stupid can you be? Is anyone going to be swayed by this inane image, carried about during the 9/12 event? What does it offer to the debate other than a ridiculous amount of ignorance and a breathless lack of tact?

I mean, come on! How stupid can you be? Is anyone going to be swayed by this inane image, carried about during the 9/12 event? What does it offer to the debate other than a ridiculous amount of ignorance and a breathless lack of tact?

But calling out those on the right who gleefully stew in their own 1800’s-style opinions on race does nothing but embolden them, and it gives the impression that Obama is trying to use race as an excuse to tar and feather all of his opponents by pigeonholing their opposition into one ugly category (even though he himself hasn’t really done much of that, and I’d doubt that Carter is a well-respected adviser to the current administration, unless peanut-related issues are now vital to national interests).

Admittedly, the race issue is still the skeleton in the closet, but dragging it out accomplishes nothing. It sets the health care debate back, it distracts from environmental policy, it grabs attention away from Afghanistan and it just bottles up the right and shakes them up, irritating them even more than they already are. As morally detestable as it may be, let the race issue sit on the back burner for now, get some legislation done, stow some accomplishments away and maybe then, once some curable ills are remedied, we can solve racism.

But don’t count on it.

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Filed under Culture wars, Government, Media, Morgan, Obama

That thing I said was true? It’s not. Trust me, since I’m so trustworthy…

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That he is. For example, he’s made a real difference in my sleep patterns, as terrifying visions of the exploits he detailed to a chap next to him (don’t actually click this, you don’t want to know what Duvall does in his spare time) have kept me clutching my pillows in fear of stairway-induced leakage.

But his tales of such minor indiscretions such as, say, having sexual relations with a series of lobbyists with little regard for his wife or the whole, “Hey, you might not want to have sex with people trying to persuade you to do things,” tenant of government, weren’t true!

No sir, for as you can read on his amazing one-page website…

I want to make it clear that my decision to resign is in no way an admission that I had an affair or affairs. My offense was engaging in inappropriate story-telling and I regret my language and choice of words. The resulting media coverage was proving to be an unneeded distraction to my colleagues and I resigned in the hope that my decision would allow them to return to the business of the state.”

So what does this mean? Well, either Duvall is a piggish storyteller who just wants to strut about the workplace attempting to impress his coworkers with imaginary stories of conquest, or he’s just one of a thousand lying politicians caught with their pants down (or the microphone on, I suppose in this case.)

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Filed under Government, Morgan

You lie! You liar! Booooooo!

Welcome to Congress.

The country is in the hands of a barrell of monkeys. And they're not even fun!

The country is in the hands of a barrel of monkeys. And they're not even fun!

Oh, you thought this was going to be something condemning Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst during President Obama’s health care address last night? How it was completely against the decorum of presidential addresses, in which the only acceptable response to anything the head honcho says is to either stand up and clap like the live audience of “According to Jim” (they had a live audience, right?), or fall asleep in your chair after Tweeting “Don’t like president, hungry 4 tacos.”

In case you missed it…(just skip to the one-minute mark)

Well, it would be, if the Democrats didn’t show the same lack of class during President George W. Bush’s 2005 State of the Union address…

Do we need to send everyone to the quiet corner again? It’s not like the opposing sides don’t get their cranky responses immediately after the president is done with their address, whether it be in the form of pundits or Rep. Charles Boustany (who may be a doctor, I forgot after the thousandth time he mentioned it). Is it Christmas Eve? Are they so excited to have their voices heard that they just have to blurt their discontent? Do they wake up super-early that morning, creep downstairs in their footie PJ’s and sneak a peek at a leaked transcript of the president’s speech?

To say “sheesh” is, I think, the only way to sum it all up.

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Filed under Culture wars, Government, Morgan, Obama, Uncategorized

Health care? Who cares?

UPDATE: Well isn’t that appropriate? The liveblog didn’t happen, since I was in a meeting for a huge chunk of the speech. Oh boy. There’s competence for ya.

Us. Duh.

Click the link below for the Opinions blog’s live coverage of Obama’s ringing of the bell for round two of this factitious debate! Only here, and only at 8 o’clock.
Obama’s Big ‘ol Speech

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Filed under Culture wars, Government, Health, Morgan, Obama, Uncategorized

Glenn Beck Presents: Art

The gauntlet has been thrown, the faces have been besmirched with soft, white gloves, the noses have been pinched and the spit has flown both ways. And now, Glenn Beck (oh, he does present so much material doesn’t he? It’s a terrible thing to talk about him, but it’s so enjoyable, he is the living embodiment of Howard Beale…just wait until he starts preaching, We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies…The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business.”

Jerry Saltz, senior art critic of New York Magazine, challenged Beck to host two art shows, after his recent guide to New York communist art by free association, and you know he’ll do it. You know it, I know it and presumably he knew it two weeks ago, since he and FOXNews do a pretty good job of being two steps ahead.

Here’s Beck’s segment by the way, in case you haven’t seen it yet. And if you have, look at it again, and carefully analyze his natural showmanship, his gestures, the triumphant echo of his voice on the stage…the man is a born Pied Piper.

Now just what sort of art should Beck include in his own shows?

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A gallery of U.S. Agent’s best moments, since the classic Captain America is too much of a wuss and the current Captain America, while an avid gunman, was brainwashed by commies at one point.

death

escher-relativity

A depiction or two of the aftermath of universal health care would fit quite nicely.

rothko

This piece from Rothko, which obviously symbolizes the plight of the true American (embodied by the deep, heartland red in the center) who are always boxed in by the light, more frail, less hardy liberal fascists and separated from their true countrymen (who are currently at Wal-Mart and a bit out of reach). The more feathered edges of the liberal box also represents their lack of backbone, and what’s that in the middle of the liberal square? Oh, the true heart of America, the Republican party (or really just Beck, who never really seems to praise anything anyone does).

glennbeck

And what art show would be complete without a self-portrait?

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Filed under Art and fancy things, Culture wars, Government, Media, Morgan, Obama

We don’t need no education

Keep your kids out of school. And if you are a kid, keep yourself far away from the classroom. Not only just on Tuesday, when king commie fascist progressive Nazi-cuddling Empire-loving Khan-supporting butter-side-down-eating President Obama will be addressing schools that decide to broadcast his subversive message.

And what message is that? Well, it’s actually to work hard, stay in school and all of the typical stuff that my generation learned from Captain Planet and Darkwing Duck. But since no one has actually heard the speech, no one can actually accurately gauge it’s content, unless you’re anybody in the media, in which case you don’t have to wait until Monday, when the White House will release a transcript of Obama’s speech.

Or you could tell your kid to join up with P.A.S.S. Day (Parentally-approved-skip-school-day), a group formed by folks who also, presumably, will also dropkick teachers who even mention that Obama is the current president.

Or you could raise your arms in uproar over Obama’s “indoctrination and grabbing of your kids.” (As called by Glenn Beck) Or you could look at Arnie Duncan, the Education Secretary, and his letter sent to principals encouraging them to show Obama’s video (how dare they! the gall of people in Obama’s cabinet to support Obama!).

Or, and here’s the big one…you could wait until the transcript comes out! Maybe he doesn’t say anything about the kids going out and smashing their capitalist parents beneath ACORN-purchased tanks. Maybe he won’t use hypno-beams to turn all of your kids into homosexual illegal immigrants. Maybe he’ll just tell them to go to class, believe in themselves, strive themselves and drink their milk. But then, even if he did that, someone would find a cow with a spot that looked vaguely like Lenin, and accuse Obama of using communist dairy propaganda.

Though I did hear from a decent source that he just might do that...

Though I did hear from a decent source that he just might use those hypno beams...

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Filed under Culture wars, Education, Government, Media, Morgan, Obama