Friday Cocktail Hour: Whiskey You’re The Devil

Ever since I started this feature, I planned for it to transition away from the Songs Of The Pandemic. It’s here to stay; eventually we’ll even skip the drinking songs thing but not just yet.

While I love the song Whiskey You’re The Devil, I don’t agree with its message. Vodka is the devil. That’s why I call it Russian Death Juice.

Whiskey You’re The Devil is an Irish song and it doesn’t get more Irish than the Clancy brothers or the Pogues.

Twit Takes On Twitter

President* Pennywise has been a busy boy of late: pitching fits and issuing orders left and right. Far right.

It’s unclear how meaningful Trump’s social media executive order will be. I was initially dismissive but the good people at TPM think it will, at the very least, cause chaos and confusion. It’s all the Trump regime seems capable of right now. That’s why I call him the Kaiser of Chaos.

One group that seems likely to benefit are lawyers, which is ironic given all the Republican fulmination about trial lawyers, especially here in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Phony Eddie Rispone spent much of his losing campaign attacking billboard lawyers. So it goes.

As with so much of Trump’s recent flailing about, the twit taking on Twitter is a sign of weakness. Twitter was afraid of Trump until recently. His inane and untrue rantings put the platform on the map: people who wouldn’t know a twit from a tweet have heard of it thanks to the Impeached Insult Comedian.

The fact that Jack Dorsey and his minions have turned on Trump is a sign that he’s losing. So much for all the winning the Kaiser of Chaos promised his supporters. It’s another sign that he’s following in the footsteps of Charlie, not Martin Sheen. The latter played a fictional president who was re-elected. That prospect is slipping away, which brings us to a brief musical interlude;

That song should be inapposite as it’s about a lost love, but Trump is acting like a scorned lover rejected by the Tweeter Tube. Oh well, he’ll always have Mark Zuckerberg.

I stumbled into a piece this morning that perfectly captures Trump’s latest toddler tantrum:

And what kind of president issues an executive order only to defend himself? This action is only because his feelings were hurt. This executive order doesn’t have anything to do with protecting anyone except Donald Trump. While the Trump cult and Republicans label liberals as ‘snowflakes,’ they are the most vicitimed and whiny people on the planet. Their leader is such a snowflake that he’s issuing an executive order because his feelings were hurt. In case you’re a Republican, THIS is why there’s a great big giant Trump Baby balloon. And the worst thing is, Twitter hasn’t even restricted him. He can still lie and defame people on Twitter without any empathy.

In short, Trump is what a friend of mine calls a whiny titty baby. He should stick a pacifier in his big fat bazoo and STFU. We all know he’s incapable of that, but I can dream, can’t I?

The last word goes to Richard Thompson with a song that fits Trump’s current losing streak:

The nerve of some people. I don’t know who you think you are.

Friday Catblogging: Looking Around

Here’s Paul Drake performing a cat scan while begging:

My cats have always liked Yes because of Jon Anderson’s high voice. That’s why they get the last word:

Dear Doctor

The Hotel Doctor post was a rousing success so it’s time for a few doctor songs. Given the times in which we live, these tunes will make house calls because office visits are fraught. I wonder if the hotel doctor would wear a mask?  .

When I throw these posts together, it’s usually off the top of my head. I make no pretense to be comprehensive in my selections. In fact, I enjoy having missing songs pointed out to me, especially if I’ve never heard them before. New music is always welcome. Today’s selections are mostly old favorites so I’ve contradicted myself again. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.

We begin our journey with some country doctor honk from the Rolling Stones.

We move from a Beggar’s Banquet to a feast for one’s eyes. I’m talking about Jackson himself. He remains a sensitive sex symbol after all these years.

I hate the term yacht rock so much that I refuse to capitalize it. It’s vague, meaningless, and a slur on sophisticated bands like Steely Dan. It makes me want to call Doctor Wu to ask if Katy really lied.

I mentioned Doctor Feelgood earlier today. Here’s Aretha with the details.

Next up is one from some hometown heroes with one of their most Little Feat-like songs.  It’s followed immediately by a house call from Lowell George and company.

It’s important to get a second opinion. In this case it’s a dissenting one. The last word goes to Humble Pie:

Blind Pig, Acorn

Hell has officially frozen over. I am writing for the first time in praise of the Turtle aka Mitch McConnell. He’s proven that there’s some truth in the hoary aphorism: “even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while.”

In this case, the blind pig is wearing a mask:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday made an extensive pitch for Americans to don face masks as a means to begin returning the country to normalcy while the coronavirus remains a threat.

“There’s no stigma attached to wearing a mask. There’s no stigma attached to staying six feet apart,” the Kentucky Republican said at an event back in his home state, referencing social distancing guidelines recommended to stem the transmission of the coronavirus.

<SNIP>

McConnell’s comments targeted at young people came after images of Americans partying over Memorial Day weekend flooded social media and drew rebukes from local health officials

“That’s not too much to ask of a younger person,” he said of wearing face coverings. “So to get through this next phase, as we ease back into normal, even if you’re in a low-risk category, do what we’re asking you to do for the good of others as we begin to move back to normal.”

Asked what lawmakers and federal officials can do to impart the benefits of wearing masks on fellow Americans, the majority leader said that he tries to set “a good example,” noting that there are photos of him “all over the place” wearing his mask and offering to put his back on and pose for more if necessary.

You know things are bad when President* Pennywise makes Moscow Mitch look good. The concept of setting a good example is utterly alien to Trump. It’s part of being an adult and a leader. He’s neither.

There’s also a cynical interpretation of the Turtle’s remarks. The most cynical man in American politics is slowly but surely putting some distance between himself and the Impeached Insult Comedian. McConnell can read both the tea leaves and the polls. The highly respected Cook Report believes that 9 senate seats are in play right now: 4 toss ups and 5 leaners. They’re are also 3 seats listed as likely GOP, which means they’re not out of reach if there’s a Democratic landslide. One of them is Kentucky, which should be solidly in the Republican camp.

The red wall is cracking. 5 more months of presidential* lunacy could see it crumble. Stay tuned.

Winning

mission_trump_covid

Real life has me busy, so I have to be short but…anyone remember this?

…We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning, you’re going to come to me and go ‘Please, please, we can’t win anymore.’ You’ve heard this one. You’ll say ‘Please, Mr. President, we beg you sir, we don’t want to win anymore. It’s too much. It’s not fair to everybody else…And I’m going to say ‘I’m sorry, but we’re going to keep winning, winning, winning, We’re going to make America great again.’”

Donald Trump, 2016

Sick and tired of winning yet?

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Hotel Doctor

Today’s entry continues our medical theme. I think he’s a doctor feelgood but who am I to judge?

Medicine

I wrote a rare, for me, angry post this morning. It felt good but I need a cure for what ails me. Music usually does the trick.

I’ve posted songs of loneliness, insomnia, time displacement, and other alienated anthems. This time, we’ll focus on that which makes us feel better: Medicine. I’m skipping the Mary Poppins tune because, while I’m feeling better, I’m not feeling chirpy enough for spoonfuls of sugar and the like.

We begin our medicinal musical entry with a song from the pride of Glasgow, Del Amitri:

Next up, the great Aimee Mann who’s busy spinning the medicine wheel.

We continue with two different tunes with the same title. The first is an instrumental written by George Benson and Crusaders’ keyboard player, Joe Sample.

The second Medicine Man was recorded in 1991 by the late, great Johnny Winter. It’s  a bluesy rocker written by Robbie Fisher and Henley Douglas.

Finally, the last word goes to one of my all-time favorite Traffic tunes. It was more often than not their opening number in concert:

American Carnage, 2020

Image by Michael F.

I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of sleeping badly.  I’m tired of having bad dreams inspired by death, disease, and the relentless flow of bad news. Above all else, I’m tired of Donald Trump. In short, as Civil Rights hero Fannie Lou Hamer said in 1964,  I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I woke up way too early this morning pondering President* Pennywise’s inaugural address. At the time, it seemed to be a blast from the misbegotten past of the crack cocaine epidemic or a twisted fantasy spun by Bannon and Miller:

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

The real carnage began that day. I didn’t see the speech because I was attending the Jazz Funeral For Lady Liberty protest march in New Orleans. I found the American Carnage line to be bizarre considering the progress made on the economy during the Obama presidency. I didn’t realize that it foreshadowed the dark days of 2020.

Trump’s presidency has reeled from one disaster to another. We all dreaded a major crisis occurring on his watch but assumed it would be a war in the Middle East, which is what Republican presidents do. Instead, we have a pandemic that has already killed more Americans than the wars in Korea and Vietnam combined. The pandemic, in turn, has caused a Second Great Depression that will not be cured by “reopened” shopping malls, barber shops, and restaurants.

The Impeached Insult Comedian has ostentatiously refused to take any responsibility for this American Carnage. Instead, he views it as a disaster afflicting him. This just in from Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman:

As he headed into Memorial Day weekend, Donald Trump complained that he was COVID-19’s biggest victim. “He was just in a fucking rage,” said a person who spoke with Trump late last week. “He was saying, ‘This is so unfair to me! Everything was going great. We were cruising to reelection!” Even as the death toll neared 100,000 and unemployment ranks swelled to over 38 million, Trump couldn’t see the pandemic as anything other than something that had happened to him. “The problem is he has no empathy,” the adviser said. Trump complained that he should have been warned about the virus sooner. “The intelligence community let me down!” he said.

Blaming the so-called Deep State won’t wash the blood off his hands. The buck for this American Carnage stops at the Oval Office. Unfortunately, we’ve gone from Harry (The Buck Stops Here) Truman to Donald (This Is So Unfair To Me) Trump whose latest title is the Buckpasser-in-Chief. This American Carnage is on him.

Perhaps my wakeful thoughts of the American Carnage speech were inspired by watching Rachel Maddow last night. She focused on the pandemic’s frightening impact on nursing homes and meatpacking plants. The latter debacle shows that this is a Republican problem, not just a Trumper problem. The GOP’s deregulatory fervor has tied OSHA’S hands. They issued some timid guidelines at the start of the crisis and nothing since then. I should have said that Republican Koch suckers have amputated OSHA’s regulatory hands. This American Carnage is on them.

One reason I’ve long thought the Kaiser of Chaos would lose re-election is that many Americans are sick and tired of being sick and tired. This president* believes that people can’t get enough of him. He’s wrong. He’s overexposed. Unlike past presidents, he’s incapable of leaving the spotlight. It will be his undoing.

Nobody other than Trumper true believers want to hear him accuse Joe Scarborough of murder. This is just the latest example of Trump’s specialty of tormenting families who have lost loved ones. Add the name Klausutis to the list that includes Khan and Johnson. This is not just a Trumper problem, it’s a Republican problem. Remember Terry Schiavo? This American Carnage is on them.

Waking up angry isn’t good for the soul but at least I have one. President* Pennywise only cares about himself, not the nearly 100,000 people who have died as a result of his grotesque incompetence. He’s falling back on medical quackery  vicious attacks, and magical thinking to salvage his wrecked presidency. One more quote from Gabe Sherman’s piece:

But the biggest obstacle standing in the way of a Trump-campaign reset is the candidate. “Trump is doing it to himself by tweeting idiotic conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough. Women are tired of this shit,” said another former West Wing official. An outside adviser agreed. “Trump can’t pivot to a different strategy,” the adviser told me. “He only knows one strategy—which is attack. It worked in 2016. But now it’s not what people are looking for.” The adviser told me that Trump’s New York friends are planning an intervention to get him to stop tweeting about the Morning Joe cohost.

And when he’s not feeling helpless or aggrieved, Trump continues to cling to magical thinking. “He lives in his own fucking world,” the outside adviser said. Trump recently told a friend that the Moderna vaccine is going to be ready in months.

Those of us who live in the real world think that another COVID-19 spike is coming because of the selfish Trumpian haste to “reopen.” The only thing they’re “reopening” is another death spiral. This American Carnage can only be stopped by voting Republicans out of office. This is on the American people. If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, throw the bums out. It’s time for them to go.

Since this post was partially inspired by a bad dream, the last word goes to Procol Harum and the original Nosferatu, Max Schreck.

If you thought that was insufficiently gloomy, here’s another song from the same album:

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Arnold Schoenberg

In addition to being a trailblazing composer, Arnold Schoenberg was a talented painter. Below are two covers featuring the composer’s artwork. The first is a self-portrait, which spoils my chance to make a joke about “long hair music.” So it goes.

Here’s one of the shorter pieces from the first album:

 

The Long Tail

One legacy, leading to another and another: 

The era of slavery was when white Americans determined that black Americans needed only the bare necessities, not enough to keep them optimally safe and healthy. It set in motion black people’s diminished access to healthy foods, safe working conditions, medical treatment and a host of other social inequities that negatively impact health.

This message is particularly important in a moment when African-Americans have experienced the highest rates of severe complications and death from the coronavirus and “obesity” has surfaced as an explanation. The cultural narrative that black people’s weight is a harbinger of disease and death has long served as a dangerous distraction from the real sources of inequality, and it’s happening again.

Reliable data are hard to come by, but available analyses show that on average, the rate of black fatalities is 2.4 times that of whites with Covid-19. In states including Michigan, Kansas and Wisconsin and in Washington, D.C., that ratio jumps to five to seven black people dying of Covid-19 complications for every one white death.

For YEARS I didn’t get a flu shot because my grandmother told us all about the one time she got one, and got sick for the one and only time in her entire life. I mean like I started getting the flu shot when I got pregnant, six and a half years ago. I was 38 years old, white and the daughter of a middle-class health professional, I went to college, I read books, I knew better, but: no flu shot for me, and even now, when I do get one, every year, somewhere in the back of my mind is my grandmother’s disappointment.

No voice is louder than that of family, ever, and yet we act like other people can just pick up and forget.

You can’t just walk away from what you created, ever. What stories did your grandparents tell? Mine talked about the Great Depression, about families with a dozen kids and no food, about orphanages and deprivation, making do and doing without. What the human body can survive is unbelievable. How hard we fight to stay alive, but that doesn’t mean any of it goes away. And we’re surprised there’s a retina burn on our history?

You’re staring straight into the sun now. What stories will the people most harmed by this tell their grandchildren, about deprivation, about want? About what they survived and what they had to do in order to do it, and who didn’t, and why? Those stories will determine the shape of their children’s worlds. It doesn’t even matter if they’re true, though I doubt anything is fiction anymore. I have no idea if my grandmother got sick from a flu shot; why would I look for proof? Her younger brother died of an infection today’s antibiotics would have cured in a week. Fear of want lurked beneath everything we did, though never for a day did we go without food.

There are aftershocks to every trauma; can you even begin to calculate what there might be, to something of this size?

A.

 

Decoration Day

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It was created in 1868 by a Union veterans’ group. They urged survivors of the fallen to decorate their graves on that day. Decoration Day did not morph into a way to reunite the opposing sides in the War of the Rebellion until after the end of Reconstruction.

You may have noticed that I’m an originalist on what to call the Civil War. In the Northern states it was called the War of the Rebellion. If Lost Causers can call it the War Between The States, I can use its Unionist name.

I was pleased to find a featured image that captured the original spirit of the holiday. Post-Reconstruction imagery often featured Grant and Lee shaking hands in front of entangled flags: the stars and stripes and the stars and bars. Forgotten were the reasons for the War of the Rebellion: the preservation of slavery and white supremacy. Such imagery troubled General/President Grant as well: as president he supported racial equality and civil rights. The South lost the war but won the historical battle.

Since I’ve been accused of “politicizing” the holiday by some online trolls, let’s go there again. President* Pennywise has desecrated the holiday by attacking Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper during what was supposed to be a Memorial Day address. The Governor is understandably nervous about the Republicans gathering in Charlotte for their convention. The Impeached Insult Comedian is livid that a mere Governor is raining on his parade. How about decorating his mouth by stuffing a Confederate flag therein? There were good people on both sides, after all.

The last word goes to Jason Isbell:

Memorial Day: Who I Remember

Memorial Day should be a solemn and somber holiday as we’re honoring those who served in the military during wartime, especially those who paid the ultimate price. The nature of this holiday is often honored in breach by those who crowd the beaches and parks. In ordinary times, that’s merely annoying. These are not ordinary times; in 2020, it’s infuriating.

Memorial Day 2020 is beyond somber, it’s downright grim. We’re approaching a macabre milestone: the 100,000 death from the novel coronavirus, which was memorably noted in Sunday’s New York Times. Two stories captured my attention this morning as I scanned the digital edition of the Gray Lady. The first is about how our monstrously mendacious president* went golfing this weekend as the country suffers from his misrule. He has yet to express sympathy for those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic; not even on his beloved Twitter. Mourner-in-Chief has long been part of the job description but he’s incapable of even paying lip service to the dead. In a word: monstrous. That’s why I call him President* Pennywise.

The second story is about the pandemic’s toll on Holyoke Home for Soldiers in Massachusetts.

Of the 210 veterans who were living in the facility in late March, 89 are now dead, 74 having tested positive for the virus. Almost three-quarters of the veterans inside were infected. It is one of the highest death tolls of any end-of-life facility in the country.

This is a gut punch of a story, reminding us of how hollow the nation’s commitment to our veterans often is. Meanwhile President* Pennywise golfs and tweets; oblivious to the grim milestone noted by the NYT. He is incapable of even feigning empathy with the survivors of those who have died due to his grotesque incompetence. It didn’t have to be this bad and the buck stops in the Oval Office. In a word: infuriating.

We return to our regularly scheduled annual programming, but I would have been remiss in not mentioning our current national tragedy on this most solemn of holidays:

There’s nothing like a national holiday to make one feel ritualistic.This post is making its eleventh annual appearance at First Draft. It was also published in our anthology, Our Fate Is Your Fate.

I realize it *should* be posted on Veterans Day since my remembered soldier survived the war BUT old habits are hard to break. Besides, I would face the wrath of both Athenae and Dr. A if I didn’t post it. So, here we go again:

The veteran I’d like to remember on this solemn holiday is the late Sgt. Eddie Couvillion.

Soldier Boy

My family tree is far too tangled and gnarly to describe here but suffice it to say that Eddie was my second father. He served in Europe during World War II, not in combat but in the Army Quartermaster Corps. In short, he was a supply Sergeant, one of those guys who won the war by keeping the troops fed, clad, and shod. Eddie was what was called in those days a scrounger; not unlike Milo Minderbinder in Catch-22 or James Garner’s character in The Great Escape. 

Eddie’s favorite military exploit was running an army approved bordello in France after hostilities ended. He always called it a cat house and bragged that it was the best little whorehouse in Europe. One can serve one’s country in manifold ways…

Eddie died 5 years ago [2005] and I still miss him. He was a remarkable man because he changed so much as he aged. When I met him, he was a hardcore Texas/Louisiana conservative with old South racial views and attitudes. At an age when many people close their minds, Eddie opened his and stopped thinking of black folks as a collective entity that he didn’t care for and started thinking of them as individuals. Eddie was a genuine Southern gentleman, so he’d never done or said an unkind thing to anyone and confided to me that the only one he’d ever hurt by being prejudiced was himself. I was briefly speechless because we’d had more than a few rows over that very subject. Then he laughed, shook his head and said: “Aren’t you going to tell me how proud you are of me? You goddamn liberals are hard to satisfy.”

Actually, I’m easily satisfied. In 2004, Eddie had some astonishing news for me: he’d not only turned against the Iraq War but planned to vote for John Kerry because “Bush Junior is a lying weasel and a draft dodger.” That time he didn’t need to ask me if I was proud of him, it was written all over my face. It was the first and only time he ever voted for a Democrat for President.

I salute you, Sgt. Couvillion. I only wish that I could pour you a glass of bourbon on the rocks and we could raise our glasses in a Memorial Day toast.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Pelosi-guided missile edition

Short one this week, good people.

Nancy Pelosi: ‘Morbidly obese’ Trump shouldn’t be taking hydroxychloroquine
washingtontimes.com ^ | May 18, 2020 | Victor Mortan

Posted on 5/19/2020, 12:44:31 AM by Berlin_Freeper

… She said taking that drug was not a good idea for the president because of his “age group and in his, shall we say, weight group,” which she described as “morbidly obese.”

DangerClose

” Rosie (O’Donnell) ’s a loser. A real loser. I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie.”

The Darnold, 2006

To: Berlin_Freeper

Has the ice cream eating Botox princess opened the door to body shaming?

3 posted on 5/19/2020, 12:48:21 AM by Ouchthatonehurt

I dunno – let’s find out!

To: Berlin_Freeper

“Morbidly obese?”

I think not. After all, with your pencil thin body, you might just get blown away by the next strong gust of wind!

6 posted on 5/19/2020, 12:56:39 AM by proud American in Canada (In these trying times, Give me Liberty or Give me Death!)

I’d say that’s a yes.
To: Berlin_Freeper

 

BMI 31 is on the lowest end of obesity
35 could be and 40 is morbidly obese

Ergo Trump at 31 is not morbidly obese

9 posted on 5/19/2020, 1:00:51 AM by a fool in paradise (Joe Biden- “First thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts.” (May 4th, 2019)l)

And don’t forget – according to him, he’s 6’9″ and 150#.

To: Berlin_Freeper

I wonder if Pelosi, “The Wicked Witch of the West”, is as STUPID as she blathers about such UTTER NONSENSE as this??

Yours, TMN78247

16 posted on 5/19/2020, 1:18:32 AM by TMN78247 (“VICTORY or DEATH”, William Barrett Travis, LtCol, comdt., Fortress of the Alamo, Bejar, 18car36)

 

I’m glad we cleared THAT up!

TrumpDoubleChin

To: Berlin_Freeper

I saw a twitter post saying it was treason. It didn’t even make sense.

They are just scared of him proving all of them wrong as he calls them out.

21 posted on 5/19/2020, 1:44:51 AM by HollyB

TrumpHydro

To: a fool in paradise

BMI 31 is on the lowest end of obesity
35 could be and 40 is morbidly obeseErgo Trump at 31 is not morbidly obese

Close, but no cigar.At Trump’s last medical exam, height 6’3″, eight 239lbs, that calculates BMI to 29.1, merely “Overweight”.

(I was saving this part of the reply for last)

Arnold Schwarzenegger, when he won Mr. Universe, weighed in at 235 lbs. 6’3″ and his BMI was 29.4, “Overweight.”

25 posted on 5/19/2020, 2:12:08 AM by Swordmaker (My pistol self-identifies as an iPad, so you must accept it in gun-free zones, you hoplophobe bigot!)

Yeah.

.
.
TrumpFatBastard

 

Hope you’d already had breakfast.
.
See you good peeps next Monday!
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Not Everything Sucks

Can’t stop the celebration signal: 

A huge part of Ramadan is about the community, Ismail said. Not just getting together with family and friends for iftar meals to break fast at the end of the day, but eating with strangers and gathering with large groups to celebrate in the mosque. He wanted to try to emulate that in a game that has been so appealing to people in quarantine precisely because of the community aspect.

He put out a call on Twitter, offering to host people to celebrate Ramadan on his island, and very quickly got a lot of responses from friends, internet acquaintances, and complete strangers. There was so much interest that he had to create a sign-up tool to ensure everyone could be distributed to different meals throughout the month (Animal Crossing only allows eight people to visit an island at one time).

Ismail decided to start hosting iftars and suhoors (the early morning meal before the sunrises) on Animal Crossing. He said so far he’s had 70 to 80 people visit his island for Ramadan, which began on April 23.

Eid Mubarak, everybody!

A.

ps. I do not have Animal Crossing, you cannot sell me any apples or whatever, but you do you.

Selfishness

Yeah:

I mean, as much as anything would shut the NRA crowd up, maybe a message of WEAR A MASK SO A FOREIGNER DOES NOT GIVE YOUR WHITE DAUGHTERS THE PLAGUE would have helped. These hissyfits almost never make sense, though, so I’m hesitant to attribute the behavior of the president’s fanclub to actual things and not to, say, whatever propaganda they’re absorbing through who knows what kind of talk radio signals.

Look, I’m claustrophobic and wear glasses and a mask makes me HUGELY uncomfortable. The sight of crowds of people in masks tweaks something in me and it’s scary, and you know what?

MY FEELINGS DON’T MATTER AT ALL GOOD GOD.

Crowds of people in masks seem scary, and so the answer to that isn’t to not wear a mask, it’s to not vote for a headass sentient cheeto who mishandles a pandemic so badly that we need to wear masks in crowds instead of having a summer that looks like last summer.

If  I don’t want to wear a mask, or see crowds of people wearing masks, I can stay home, stay away from crowds, and not do things like go to stores or the farmer’s market. That’s how I can not be scared while also NOT POTENTIALLY SPEWING VIRUS ALL OVER PEOPLE OR TAKING IT IN THROUGH MY FACE. It’s really a dumb argument to have to make, which is the point of making us make it, which is to distract us from all the dead people.

This isn’t about freedom, it never is. And it’s not even about protecting ourselves, because if it was, we’d be protecting ourselves by voting out every member of the GOP forever until the end of time. That’s the only way to end this.

A.

Saturday Odds & Sods: Shapes Of Things

Abstraction by Rolph Scarlett.

I don’t have a helluva lot to add to what I said as the 13th Ward Rambler earlier this week. I’m still keeping my head down during the lockdown. We’ve had a few front porch visitors, which breaks the monotony and allows Paul Drake to make goo-goo eyes at company and get his nose prints all over the lower glass panes of our front door.

This week’s theme song was written by Paul Samwell-Smith, Keith Relf, and Jim McCarty in 1966 and represented a  sonic breakthrough for The Yardbirds. The tune’s Wikipedia entry is absurdly detailed and argues that Jeff Beck should have received a songwriting credit as well. It’s okay: Beck assumed de facto ownership of the song after recording it with The Jeff Beck Group on 1968’s Truth album.

We have three versions of Shapes Of Things for your listening pleasure: the Yardbirds original, the Jeff Beck Group, and David Bowie from Pin-Ups. They’re all shapely and thingy:

Now that we’ve shaped things and contemplated Jeff Beck’s guitar virtuosity, let’s jump to the break.

Continue reading

Friday Cocktail Hour: John Barleycorn

Let’s cross the pond for some bibulous folk music. Rumor has it that the Brits like to tipple even with all the pubs closed. At least I hope they’re still closed. I know some Thatcherites are getting antsy. Freedom, man.

We’re going to keep it simple this week and post multiple versions of the same song. It’s known as both John Barleycorn and John Barleycorn Must Die.

In case you’re wondering who the hell John Barleycorn is:

The character of John Barleycorn in the song is a personification of the important cereal crop barley and of the alcoholic beverages made from it, beer and whisky. In the song, John Barleycorn is represented as suffering indignities, attacks and death that correspond to the various stages of barley cultivation, such as reaping and malting.

It’s hard to be a metaphor but John Barleycorn has borne it with grace for centuries.

We begin with two of the finest recent practitioners of traditional folk music, Martin Carthy, and the late Dave Swarbrick:

Martin Carthy is one of the leading members of the Waterson-Carthy family. It has various branches and tributaries including his wife Norma Waterson and his fiddler daughter, Eliza Carthy. The next bit of Barleycorn comes from the Imagined Village album and features Paul Weller along with the odd Carthy and a more modern sound starting with the second verse:

Up next, a John Barleycorn I’d never heard until today. It’s a typically tricky Tull arrangement featuring the Greek singer George Dalaras:

John Barleycorn sung with a Greek accent? Now I’ve heard everything.

Finally, you didn’t think I’d skip the Traffic version, did you? It was the first rendition of John Barleycorn I heard as a wee laddie:

The last word goes to cartoon Frank, Dino, and Sammy:

Headline Of The Day: GOP Sycophancy Edition

I awoke this morning feeling unproductive. It may have had something to with the 32 ounces of frozen margarita I imbibed last night. To paraphrase an old beer ad: Great taste, not so great feeling. Whiskey and beer are my jam, not tequila.

Shorter Adrastos, I’m feeling unproductive this morning. Did I say that already?

I may rally before the Friday Cocktail Hour but Charlie Pierce has bailed me out with this headline:

Ron Desantis’s Devotion To Trump Makes Brian Kemp Look Like Adam Schiff.

Both Florida and Georgia have governors who won close races against African American opponents. Kemp was helped by some good old-fashioned voter suppression and his refusal to resign as Secretary of State during the campaign

Neither DeSantis nor Kemp would have won without Trump’s support. Hence their endless sycophancy. They’ve both fiddled with the books to minimize the impact of the pandemic in their states. So much for the latest iteration of the New South. To paraphrase, H.L. Mencken: it’s the Sahara of the Trumper Bozart.

This tweet from the peerless Mr. Pierce set NOLA Twitter ablaze but left me nonplussed:

Been there, done that with Buy Us Back, Chirac. Pick up the phone, Macron doesn’t have the same ring to it.

The last word goes to The Champs:

Friday Guest Catblogging: Brother Louie

Little Buddy is a repeat offender. I’d like to introduce his canine brother, Louie. They appear to be giving their human, Kyle, the evil eye. He’s a drummer so he probably had it coming.

This one’s for the pooch: