Weekend Question Thread: Health Care Edition

My father is a pharmacist. Growing up, we went to the doctor when we couldn’t figure out what was wrong, when we sincerely thought we might be dying, or when we were bleeding from something that needed stitches. Everything else was taken care of at home, usually pretty adequately.

And my feeling is, why bother the doctor if I am not sick? Like there are sick sick people in the world who need the doctor’s time. Why I am I taking his or hers up if all I need is rest and fluids and stuff? When I was in the ER last week, it was because I’d screwed my back up so badly I couldn’t MOVE. Everybody there for the sniffles made me homicidal.

Mr. A finds this mindset maddening. He gets regular checkups. He has good relationships with his PC and his dentist and has every ache and pain investigated just in case. He’s not a hypochondriac, but he’s thorough.

Where do you fall on that scale?

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey

Monkeyland

Sideshow banner by Fred G. Johnson

As much as I love Carnival, I’m always glad when it’s over. We live inside the parade box, which means we have to be cognizant of what’s going on even when the parade sucks. In short, we cannot monkey around even if it *is* the year of the monkey.

Chinese New Year was February, 8th this year, which was Lundi Gras in New Orleans. My father had many Chinese friends and business associates, which made him honorary Chinese as far as they were concerned. Dr. A’s best friend is Chinese so she has the same status. Me, I’m just a guy who loves Chinese cuisine and has never been involved in anything that remotely resembles the title of this song:

That obviously was not this week’s theme song. It was just more monkeyshines on my part. I suspect you’re used to that by now, especially on Saturdays.

This week’s theme song comes from one of my favorite records of all-time, the White Album. I was obsessed with it when I was a tadpole and Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey is one of my favorite tracks. It beats the hell out of Revolution #9, which is also a Lennon-centric track but Monkey works. Hmm, I wonder if the monkey in question is a capuchin helper monkey?

Since we ‘re talking monkey tunes, this early Boz Scaggs song was the runner-up as title song. It’s  got a good beat, you can dance to it, but the title isn’t as good even if it’s more concise:

Now that I’ve made the odd monkey joke and posted the odd monkey tune, it’s time to get on with it and brachiate to our next segment. That’s a fancy way of saying see you after the break.

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One pill makes you larger…

Of all the things I’ve gone through this year, the one thing that always freaked me out most was medicine.

I went through a bilateral carpal tunnel surgery in October, leaving me with limited mobility and a great deal of pain. The surgeon prescribed me these pain pills that were enough to turn me into a drooling idiot. Regardless of how much pain I was in, I really tried my best to just gut it out and not take the pills.

“The doctor gave them to you for a reason,” my lovely wife would say in her best exasperated nurse voice. “Take the damned pills.”

I did when I felt I had no other choice, but for the most part, I tried like hell to avoid them.

Near Christmas, the overwhelming pressure of the life chaos I described in “Heroes Often Fail” was persisting to the point of physical and mental maladies. I waited as long as I could before I went to see the doc. She asked a bunch of questions about my mental state, pretty much coming to the conclusion I needed some level of sedation.

I protested vehemently. “I don’t want to be a zombie,” I pleaded.

She assured me that despite what I had heard about these kinds of pills, I’d be OK and I could take them whenever I felt I wanted them to smooth out the stress.

That was my problem. I was worried that I would want to and that I couldn’t stop.

Addiction is a fear of mine for reasons both simple and complex. When you grow up Catholic, the nuns basically train you that everything is a slippery slope that leads directly to hell.

That time you shook your dick twice after peeing? It’s leading to masturbation, illicit sex, prostitution, AIDS and death, in case you were wondering… That time you lied? It’s leading to you violating family trust, hocking the family silver and having to scar your fingerprints with battery acid before you go on the lam, just so’s you know…

The other reason was that addition runs in my family. My great uncle was a pharmacist, on a path to a great life, only to find out he liked prescribing himself stuff more than selling it to other people. He died basically broke and alone. My grandmother fought alcoholism her whole life, holding off the beast at the bridge for her final 25 years, even as she battled cancer to the end. Still, her life was rough until she finally became a friend of Bill W. Others in my family also have similar issues. It’s not an unreasonable thought that something might get a grip on me when I’m not paying attention.

And then there was Saturday…

I’m heading to the store to pick up a prescription for my mother-in-law when I get a text from a former student. The kid is going on 30 now and it’s been years since I had him in a classroom. He dropped out to run a bar, a nice joint I stop in at from time to time, only to leave him hints and tips that, hey, you can always come back and I’ll help you. He worked at the student paper when I was there as well, making him a great colleague as well as a nice kid.

He tells me he’s sorry he’s been out of touch and that he didn’t respond to some help I asked for and that he’s sorry if it’s shitty that he asks for a favor after that, but he’s going to ask anyway… See, his brother just died of a heroin overdose and this kid wants to know how to write an obituary for him because he doesn’t trust anyone else to do it and he is afraid he’s going to screw it up…

I felt like I got throat punched. All I could do was text back stuff like “Are you OK?” and “I’ll send you my notes when I get home.” My mind is reeling about how this guy is dealing with his sibling just dropping dead. The guy apparently was clean for three years, got mixed up in the wrong situation and took a hit.

He died. Game over. That fast.

What messed me up more was that this is the second one of my former students to lose a family member to heroin in the past year or so. A kid I absolutely adored from Mizzou had her brother die after battling the beast for a few years. It was another situation of something getting its hooks into a kid and never really letting go.

Grandma used to tell me that she never could look more than one day ahead when it came to addiction. It wasn’t something you ever “cured” or “reformed” yourself from, to use the parlance of a long-ago, ill-conceived term for addicts on the comeback. As a “make a list, cross shit off” kind of guy, that’s scary as hell. As a control freak, it’s paralyzing.

There is such a pull and tug between how we see medical issues and how we are supposedly supposed to see them. For the longest time, addiction and mental illness were viewed as simply being weak. The reason you couldn’t get off the bottle? You were a pussy who needed man up and dry out and learn how to hold your liquor. The reason you were depressed? You just needed to snap out of it and get your shit together. Look for the positives, man!

These answers are wrong and will always be wrong, as both are linked to actual scientific, chemical concerns. To help the illness, we need to use medicine.

However, it also seems like EVERYTHING has a pill for it. Watching the Super Bowl, we found out that there’s apparently a pill for people who can’t shit because they are on opioids and there’s also a pill for people who shit too much. Apparently, the market for people who can’t form proper turds is blossoming.

Low T, restless leg, toenail fungus, limp dicks, lack of female desire… You got something or don’t got something? We got a pill for that.

And that’s where they tell us that some of these addictions to shit like heroin start. Watch the Real Sports piece on heroin use among athletes and it all comes back to painkillers. It hurt, so we gave them a pill to fix it. Then, the pills didn’t work well enough or were too expensive or ran out so they needed something and then, bam, heroin.

And then they die and we wonder why.

The hard part here is trying to figure out where that normal resting pulse actually sits for me. Is it normal to be depressed? Sometimes, maybe, but if it gets too bad, and I’m creating a problem for other people and can’t snap out of it, shouldn’t I try to get that fixed? OK, so what happens when I can’t function without that pill? Or it stops working and I need more of it? How much is too much? How will I know? At least with booze, the vomiting for me is a pretty good red flag that shit went wrong. Same thing with pain. How much is acceptable and how much can I take of whatever it is until I’m actually doing more harm than good?

The state of Wisconsin started an anti-heroin campaign called “The Fly Effect” that talked about how you take the one shot and you’re pretty much screwed. (I’d link to the site, but for reasons past my understanding, it doesn’t exist anymore as it once did. Maybe another budget cut…) So, understanding that a) taking something might be a one-way ticket to addiction, b) things that doctors gave us we once thought were safe can lead you on the nature trail to hell and c) I generally have constant anxiety about losing everything, it’s a pretty bad idea for me to trust that a chemical can solve a problem for me without creating another problem.

How the hell do you deal with the anxiety you’re facing over your anti-anxiety medication?

Maybe there’s a pill for that. Hopefully, it’s non-habit-forming.

Friday Catblogging: Bouncing Back

Della Street hates Carnival. She hides from company, then glares at us after they leave: “What the hell are these people doing in my house, dammit?”

There are two stools sitting side-by-side  in our living room that belong to Della. This year we moved them out of the way to make room for a keg of excellent homebrew made by our friend Greg. Della was not amused. Her stools were finally restored to their proper place on Monday after 4 days of upheaval. Della was relieved and promptly sat under one of them.

IMG_4954

I’m glad that Della is finally bouncing back much like the narrator of this Robert Cray classic:

Hail, Caesar

I love movies about movies. My favorites include Sullivan’s TravelsSunset Boulevard, The Bad and the Beautiful, The Barefoot Contessa, The Player, and Barton Fink. The last film in the list came from the twisted minds of the Coen Brothers as does Hail Caesar.

The Coens haven’t done a primarily comedic movie since 2008’s Burn After Reading, which also starred George Clooney. Clooney plays a rather dim superstar who’s making a film within the film called Hail Caesar: A Tale of the Christ. At least that title doesn’t have an exclamation point, so I chose to ape it. It is, the year of the monkey, after all: Kung hei fat choy.

Clooney’s kidnapping by a group of communist writers kicks the dizzy plot into high gear but the plot isn’t the point of a movie like this. The sole question to ask is: did it make you laugh? I certainly did. The laughs, however, aren’t Marxian (brothers) belly laughs but dry chuckles. The Coens *are* from Minnesota and specialize in wry, deadpan humor.

I  also got a kick out of guessing which golden age Hollywood figures the characters were based on. Slate’s Matthew Dessem has a fine piece about who may be who with which I largely agree. I do, however, think Clooney’s character is a composite of Robert Taylor and Clark Gable. Taylor was rumored to be gay and did some sword and sandals epics in the ’50’s, but the blackmail story made me think of Gable, especially since Ralph Fiennes’ character is based on the great director George Cukor. The story goes that Gable had Cukor fired from Gone With The Wind because he’d serviced the director when he was a street hustler. There’s no way to verify the story, but it’s become a seedier part of Hollywood legend.

I really enjoyed Hail Caesar and give it an Adrastos Grade of B+, 3 1/2 stars, and an Ebertian thumb way up. I’ve never been quite sure where the proverbial thumb is inserted though…

One reason I decided to review Hail Caesar is that it gave me a pretext to post a picture of my friends Bob and Julie’s brilliant Mardi Gras costumes. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Caesar, Salad.

Caesar.Salad

Photograph via Julie Graybill.

Cletis Ate The Last Bag Of Cheetos

From Album 6

So it looks like the Oregon standoff is at long last coming to a conclusion, with the end game every bit as bizarre and incoherent as everything else that’s happened. I guess it’s only fitting that the last chapter began with Cliven Bundy’s arrival / subsequent arrest (wonder if he was going to regale us with his, um, theories) — and Michele Fiore‘s position as negotiator/go between.

Wow. Only in America…

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Murder Is A Killjoy

One would have thought this was obvious:

2713905915_d6aa77bc5f_o

Wishbone Ash Wednesday

argus

I cannot believe I blew the chance to use that pun with the ACAW feature. Better late than never. I’m still recovering from the long Carnival season. My feet are sore, my legs are stiff, and I ate way too much king cake. There was so much king cake around the house that Dr. A made a very yummy king cake bread pudding yesterday.

I’m a bit behind on the political news but the Granite State primaries went as expected. Any time there’s a New England Democrat on the ballot, they win in New Hampshire; even Mainer Ed Muskie in 1972. That’s right, McGovern didn’t win in NH, he exceeded expectations. On the GOP side, it could be Goodbye Rubio Tuesday all over again as Marcodroid Rubiobot laid an egg after being eviscerated by Governor Asshole at the last debate.

Wishbone Ash is, of course, a venerable British band who never quite achieved the success they deserved here in the good old US&A. This punny title is unlikely to help their cause but there are actually two-count ’em two-tenuous links between them and Carnival. First, the title of the song below evokes king cake if you’re inclined to whimsy. Second, it comes from an album entitled Argus, which is the big Fat Tuesday parade in suburban Metry.

It’s probably time for me to atone for this post title but we all know I’ll pun again. It’s what I do. Besides, I’m not Catholic and the only thing I’m giving up for Lent is Carnival. I considered amputating my aching legs but some friends talked me out of it. Why? I’ve always wanted to use the old Vaudeville line: Cut off my legs and call me Shorty.

That is all.

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Horn Meets The Hornet

On a break from grubbing for beads in the streets. I saw a local newscaster (I don’t remember who) discussing Super Bowl half-time shows and how at one early Super Bowl the show consisted of a “trumpet player.” That was true, but it was New Orleans’ own Al Hirt who was a much-loved figure in this city until his death in 1999. And Hirt had a popular nightclub in the Quarter from 1962-1983, so the world could come to him. Things like this make me pull out what little hair I have left: use the Google and learn something instead of being ignorant. Ignorance is not bliss and we’re awash in newbie ignorance in this town.

Now that I’ve ranted, let’s move on to this rather peculiar 1966 LP. It features Al on the cover with Van Williams, teevee’s Green Hornet. Bruce (Kato) Lee is nowhere to be seen. Hirt was selected by composer/arranger Billy May (a past ACAW honoree) to record the theme song for the Green Hornet.  The album consists of Al Hirt doing space-age jazz versions of that and some other popular teevee theme songs.

The Horn Meets The Hornet

Since Bruce Lee didn’t make the LP cover, heeeere’s Kato:

666d45bf261586fb4e266794eaabc411

Finally, since we’re buzzing about The Horn Meets The Hornet, here’s the entire album:

Newspaper Advisor Fired Because Newspaper Accurately Chronicled Stupidity of Local Official

Not the Onion, guys: 

The president of Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland on Monday fired two faculty members without any faculty review of his action or advance notice. One was a tenured professor who had recently criticized some of the president’s policies. The other was the adviser to the student newspaper that revealed the president recently told faculty members concerned about his retention plans that they needed to change the way they view struggling students. “This is hard for you because you think of the students as cuddly bunnies, but you can’t. You just have to drown the bunnies … put a Glock to their heads,” the president said.

Clearly reporting that is far, far more offensive than, you know, SAYING IT. Basically this asshole figured out a way to peg students who’d be losers on day one and make sure they got rid of themselves or else he’d do it for them. From the Mountain Echo’s excellent news story on the topic: 

On Sept. 21, after giving a presentation in Knott Auditorium to a group of freshmen about the orientation survey results, Newman spoke to a small group of faculty and administrators, including Murry. According to Murry, Newman asked him to compile a list of freshmen whom Veritas Symposium professors had determined were not likely to complete their freshman year successfully.

Murry responded that “we don’t have enough information to determine that, and you might be kicking out some students who would make it.”

According to Murry, Newman replied, “there will be some collateral damage.”

Collateral damage. Like being kicked out of college or possibly tossed in a sack in the river. METAPHORICALLY OF COURSE.

Following the article’s publication the university proceeded to threaten and intimidate the student journalists like a bunch of ten-a-penny-fascisti:

Some accuse the Echo of not having given President Simon Newman a ‘fair shake’ when it came time to talk about retention rates. The president called our article “one sided” in a campus-wide email on Jan. 20, saying that he “offered to sit down with the Echo” without mentioning that the Echo had given his office over a month to offer email comment on an article that he was well aware could be published at any moment after Dec. 9.

In addition, one of the reporters who wrote the story personally approached the president after his open forum with underclassmen on Dec. 8, asking if he had any comment and inviting him to submit a letter to the editor or an Op-Ed piece, either of which the Echo would have published.

All to prevent this jerkwad from being embarrassed because he said embarrassing, stupid shit IN WRITING. I swear, is there a human alive right now who doesn’t know you don’t write stuff like this down? I mean it, anyone? He’s gone and fired the kids’ advisor, which they have rightly told him is the worst kind of bullshit:

Ryan Golden, managing editor of the newspaper, said he was “appalled” and upset by Egan’s dismissal. “He has been a good mentor for students, always encouraging us, always raising questions of ethics about our reporting.”

A.

Happy Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, 1938 (11)

Photograph by William Vandivert, 1938.

Where most of you live, it’s a work day. In New Hampshire, it’s primary day. In New Orleans, it’s Mardi Gras day. It’s the culmination of a long season. We’ve had parades 10 of the last 12 days and if you’re like me and live near the parade route, it takes over your life.

I’m planning a low key day because this year’s Carnival has worn me out. Instead of wandering the streets for much of the day, Dr. A and I plan to watch the Rex parade near Adrastos World HQ and come home early. Mardi Gras can be celebrated in many ways and that’s one of them.

I’ve enjoyed being in the Carnival bubble during the endless hype leading up to New Hampshire. As a Democrat, I am unhappy that 2 of the whitest states in the country have  a disproportionate impact on who we nominate for President. They could be determinative or it could be like 1992 when Bill Clinton won neither Iowa nor New Hampshire and was elected President. Who the hell knows? I hate the current primary system almost as much as the hype. It makes no sense for an ethnically diverse party to pick its nominee in Whitelandia.

As for me, I’m going to play some Mardi Gras music and try to get into the swing of things for, as we all know, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.

 

The Fog Of Historical Pictures: King Zulu, 1949

The Krewe of Zulu is a predominantly African-American group that was formed as a parody of the Carnival parade thrown by the rich, white folks of Rex. Its King is usually a member, but in 1949 they honored the great Louis Armstrong:

lg-louis-armstrong-as-king-of-zulu-on-mardi-gras-day,-1949-

Photograph via the Louisiana State Museum.

You’re not hallucinating: Pops *was* in blackface. Krewe members to this very day wear blackface whilst parading, including white riders. It’s one reason Zulu nearly died in the 1960’s. Zulu is now seen as a symbol of African-American pride, not as minstrelsy or Uncle Tommery as it was at the peak of the Civil Rights movement. I still have qualms about the whole blackface thing though.

Satchmo was thrilled to be honored in his hometown but continued to live in Queens. He was unwilling to be treated as a second-class citizen, which meant living in New Orleans was out of the question. Besides, he spent most of the year on the road but New York was where he hung his hat or is that horn?

Louis received another signal honor that year. He was on the cover of  Time Magazine:

Time-Louis

Zulu has a brand spanking new signature float this year that honors their 1949 King. It will make its debut on Mardi Gras Day.

zulu-its-great-to-be-king

I’m not sure why the caption and the logo on the float don’t match but we’re not big on detail here in the Crescent City.

It’s time to give the great man the last word:

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – the terrible two edition

Morning, good people!

Well, I knew that Free Republic is very Trump-friendly, but it’s starting to look pretty one-sided.  The Freeperati have been running their own poll periodically to ask the members who they intend to vote for.

Latest poll results, please?

Cruz – 1347 votes

Trump – 2211 votes

Hmm – almost two to one.

So – how the hell did The Darnold lose Iowa?

Limbaugh: Trump Lost Iowa Because He Attacked Cruz ‘Like A Liberal Democrat

The Daily Caller ^ | February 2, 2016 | Christian Datoc

Posted on ‎2‎/‎2‎/‎2016‎ ‎1‎:‎18‎:‎23‎ ‎PM by Cincinatus’ Wife

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said Tuesday that Donald Trump lost the Iowa caucus because his criticism of Ted Cruz made him sound “like a liberal Democrat.”

“I don’t think Trump skipping the debate had a thing to do with what happened last night,” began Limbaugh. “This is a Republican primary. It’s Iowa. Conservatives win in Iowa.”

“Donald Trump, I don’t know if you forgot – one thing that everyone remembers – he went out and tried to criticize Ted Cruz,” explained the talk-show host.

“Ted Cruz isn’t the enemy,” he continued. “Hillary Clinton is the enemy. Ted Cruz is not a nasty guy. Ted Cruz is not a Canadian.”

“Nobody is going to believe that, especially when you offer that criticism sounding as though it could come with Bernie Sanders. In a Republican primary, you do not win if you’re going to sound like a liberal democrat criticizing Ted Cruz.”

1 posted on 2‎/‎2‎/‎2016‎ ‎1‎:‎18‎:‎23‎ ‎PM by Cincinatus’ Wife

Freepers?  Your thoughts?

 

To: lodi90

 

I didn’t turn Rush on today but I hear that he’s pumping Cruz & Rubio and tearing down Trump.

I’m so done with Rush.

3 posted on 2‎/‎2‎/‎2016‎ ‎1‎:‎21‎:‎16‎ ‎PM by Kenny (RED)

Which begs the question:
To: Kenny

 

“I’m so done with Rush.”

If one is for Trump, is there a conservative talk show host or commentator who is left in good graces?

15 posted on 2‎/‎2‎/‎2016‎ ‎1‎:‎27‎:‎19‎ ‎PM by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)

BreitBartBehave
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To: D-fendr

 

Well, they got Ann Coulter. Which is good, because nobody else wants her anymore :)

72 posted on 2‎/‎2‎/‎2016‎ ‎1‎:‎38‎:‎06‎ ‎PM by Boogieman

BurnNapoleon
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More anal-isis of former Freeper icon El Flushbo after this word from our friends at GoldLine.

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SMV: Speaking Freely With Paul Kantner

I meant to post this 2001 interview with the late, great Paul Kantner last week, but forgot to set the timer thingamabob. Oops.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Hey Pocky Way

Rex Float 1960's

Rex parade some time in the 1960’s.

Carnival may be a marathon, not a sprint, but I’m feeling winded after our annual Muses open house, which was a bit too open for my taste this year. Additionally, the crowds on the parade route are getting rowdier and more aggressive even on our relatively civilized corner. Even the best parade throws such as a Muses decorated shoe are just junk on Ash Wednesday. So it goes.

I hate to do this but this week’s Odds & Sods is going to be characterized by brevity. I’ve been having back problems, which led one of my friends to prescribe a cure: a fifth of Jameson’s. I only had some of it but I’m a bit the worse for wear anyway. I’m not even sure I feel like punning right now. I suspect you’re uncertain whether to be scared or relieved at this point…

I may be crapping out this week but there *is* a theme song. It’s one of the great Carnival anthems, Hey Pocky Way. It’s rooted in the traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians, with which Art Neville of the Meters and Neville Brothers is intimately familiar. His  beloved Uncle George Landry was Big Chief Jolly of the Wild Tchoupitoulas.

The song was written by the original Meters and began life as Hey Pocky A-Way:

I’m not sure why the A was dropped by the Nevilles since they’re definitely A students when it comes to music:

Finally, a live version from the good old Grateful Dead with keyboard wiz Brent Mydland on lead vocals. The Dead started performing the song after touring with the Neville Brothers:

That’s it for this truncated edition of Saturday Odds & Sods. Time to eat some party leftovers including some homemade chicken curry courtesy of one of Dr. A’s colleagues. In the meantime, don’t forget to:

Egghead

 

 

Friday Catblogging: Carnival Beggars

Oscar and Della aren’t much for company but they do like the extra food that guests bring. Here they are looking winsome and playing their Carnival begging game:

Beggars

I don’t know about you but it looks like a Cheap Trick to me:

 

The Daddy Party

From Album 6

More like the Bratty Party. You’ve got the short fingered troll insisting that Tailgunner Ted is both the heir to Nixonian tactics (well) and about as popular and personable as Snidely Whiplash (also true)…

Schoolyard bully and Mr. Creosote doppelganger Chris Christie’s taken to calling Iowa caucus bronze medalist Marco Rubio the Bubble Boy…to be fair, I’ve thought Rubio vaguely resembles the Boy Wonder…maybe he’s got extra water on his utility belt…but one thing he lacks is an explanation for his rather creative financial history.

Jeb!’s just waiting for an appropriate moment to pack it in (Mission Accomplished!), and the others, including Kasich (regardless of how he finishes in New Hampshire), are statistical rounding errors.

In other words, these are your GOP’s final four…from hell. Well…maybe not Christie, but since he managed to bully his way into some coverage

They really do make Bush-Cheney seem almost…statesmanlike. Damn…no…goddamn.

 

Quote Of The Day: Boy In The Bubble Edition

I hate to even mildly praise Chris Christie but I got an enormous kick out of his post-Iowa slam at Marco Rubio:

“You know me, unlike some of these other campaigns, I’m not the boy in the bubble. We know who the boy in the bubble is up here, who never answers your questions, who’s constantly scripted and controlled, because he can’t answer your questions,” Christie told reporters after a rally at his campaign headquarters in Bedford. “So when Senator Rubio gets here, when the boy in the bubble gets here, I hope you guys ask him some questions, because it’s time for him to start answering questions. He wants to say this race is over and it’s all him?”

He may be an assholish jerk but Christie is right about Rubio. There’s something synthetic and unreal about him. He did surprisingly well in Iowa, but the flying monkeys of the hard right are in the saddle in the GOP primaries. They still haven’t forgiven his apostasy on immigration. Remember when Republicans said they needed outreach to Hispanic voters? That’s why Rubio got involved before bailing on his own bill when it flopped in the House. One might even call it McCain syndrome since Senator Walnuts did the same thing during the 2008 election cycle. In this year of xenophobia and immigrant bashing, it will be interesting to see how Little Marco does in future states. I do not have access to a functioning crystal ball so it beats the hell outta me.

The politician Marco Rubio reminds me of the most is John Edwards. There’s just something about him that’s insincerely sincere and downright robotic. Mr. Data on Star Trek: TNG was more human than Rubio. He also looks like a compendium of nesting dolls, stacked uneasily on top of one another. I’m unsure whether he’s a boyish man or a mannish boy, but either way he bugs the living shit out of me. He’s unworthy of this clip, but the tune is in my head so what else can I do?

Speaking of bubbles, I’m in the Carnival bubble right now. It’s a good place to be and I’m going to enjoy it until Ash Wednesday when I may or may not repent my sins. I plan to enjoy myself and spend less time on the idiocy of the 2016 campaign and the endless punditry about the significance of two of the whitest states in the Union, especially on the Democratic side. Maybe Utah should move its primary up. I misplaced my ouija board so what happens *after* the Granite State beats the hell outta me. I do, however, think the candidates should take nothing for granite…

For myself, I’ll be posting my regular features, eating and drinking too much, and doing Carnival shit. I’m not quite sure if I’ll be the New Orleans version of the boy in the bubble but you can never tell.

Speaking of talented jerks, I’ll give Paul Simon the last word:

Here’s some Simon Lagniappe. Hmm, sounds like a florist from Opelousas:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Spitfire

Paul Kantner died a week ago, but I still feel like honoring him and the band he initially led, then lost, and finally took back: Jefferson Starship. Spitfire was a big hit in 1976. It clearly dates from the era when it was okay to have three lead singers, Kantner, Slick, and Balin; something that was frowned upon by the 1980’s. It’s the most balanced of the first three Starship band records, which is one reason I remain fond of it.

I’m also very fond of the opium smoking dragon riding chick on the cover: “Dance with the dragon til the year is done.” The artwork was done by the Japanese artist Shusei Nagaoka and he hit it out of the park.

Spitfire cover

The back cover isn’t as artistically interesting but the layout is good. Besides, the band still look like fucking hippies…

jefferson-starship-spitfire-19762009-inside-cover-197074

Below is the whole damn LP via the YouTube. My favorites are the most Kantnery tunes: Dance With The Dragon, St. Charles, and Song to the Sun, which has a full title too long to be typed here. I’m a blogger not a court reporter. Time to turn the clock back to the bi-centennial year of 1976:

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