Monthly Archives: May 2014

Saturday Night Music: Carnival Game

A little live Cheap Trick for your entertainment:


Pay No Attention To The Screaming Child, Mr. Haitt

From Album 5

Or to the grieving families, the spouses or other family members stressed to the breaking point during deployments, the “collateral damage” among people Haitt was allegedly concerned for — but who were actually just props in his steely-eyed macho man fantasy (a fantasy he conveniently holds from the safety of the sidelines)…pay no attention to the ocean of money an actual war requires, or to domestic needs that get pushed aside because of the expense…and especially pay no attention to the fact that after a decade plus of blood, lives, and money…we’re no closer to “ending” the threat, such as it is, than we ever were.

Cardinal Columns: Dead Issue

To avoid burying the lead:

The final issue of Cardinal Columns for the year has been killed by censorship. An administrator “suggested” several changes, refused to say if the suggestions could be ignored and then pushed it off onto another administrator who won’t be in until Monday. Based on the current printing schedule, submitting the issue next week will guarantee it won’t be ready until after graduation, effectively killing the whole thing.

And now the back story…

About two weeks ago, I got a note that the Fond du Lac school district appeared to finally start acting right. A source told me that shortly after Memorial Day, a six-person committee was going to meet to review some sample student media policies. The committee would include two members of the Cardinal Columns staff, the paper’s adviser, the director of pupil services, a member of the English faculty and an assistant principal. The idea would be to create a policy for the FDL school district that would better reflect free-speech protection while still providing that coveted “adult oversight” that administrators appear to crave. The idea would be that the district could look “official,” the kids could get back to journalism and everyone would save face.

People I talked to said they felt optimistic. I didn’t.

The arrogance of the superintendent, the general lack of knowledge present in the administration and the inability for all the shame in the world to not even dent their shell of cluelessness had me figuring this to be a sham.

As Steve Buscemi said in “Armageddeon,” I hate knowing everything.

Today, shortly before the discussions were to begin on the drafting of this policy, Assistant Principal Peter Snyder handed over the draft copy of the final edition of Cardinal Columns for the semester. On it, he had written several comments and decreed several changes “should be made.”

Snyder was pinch-hitting for Principal Jon Wiltzius, who was out of school all week and wouldn’t return until Monday. It’s unclear if these were the feelings of Snyder or his administrative doppleganger Jim Sebert. Apparently Sebert’s name was uttered more times in the discussion of what has to be done than Donald Trump uses the word “I” while dictating his autobiography during a meth jag.

Things that needed to be cut, according to Tanvi Kumar’s Twitter account were:

This and several other things were required to be cut because writing about them, “reflects negatively on Fond du Lac High School.”

Of course, Snyder quickly found out that you can stop the press, but you can’t stop the news. Before the end of the day, he was fielding phone calls from the media and emails from others, based on a social media explosion on the topic. Apparently, he told the students he was “trying to do us a favor by stepping in while Wiltzius was out.” He then declined to tell the kids if they had to actually change stuff or if these suggestions could be discussed or ignored. He then exacerbated the stupidity of the situation by telling the kids to take it up with Wiltzius on Monday.

If the paper doesn’t get out to the printer until next week, it won’t be back in time for graduation. If that happens, it’s worthless, so it probably won’t be printed. In short, by demanding unreasonable changes to this issue, the administration has effectively prohibited publication. Thus, the textbook definition of censorship.

When this policy first came about, several school board members tried to play it off as being much ado about nothing. One even noted that he didn’t imagine that anything would really change and that no real impact would be felt.

Quick question for Mr. Sunshine: Has the paper ever FAILED TO COME OUT before? If the answer is “no,” it’s pretty clear this policy IS having an impact and it IS a negative one.

Even worse, this puts a damper on the whole idea of crafting a policy that could lead to peace with honor for everyone. The administration could have said, “We understand people are upset and although we feel we’re within our rights, we want to be good citizens and really discuss the issue.” The kids could have said, “We’re glad they heard us and are willing to work with us toward a mutually beneficial solution.” The superintendent could have even looked like a decent guy with a “ We’re glad this is all behind us and we can get on with the business of this great school district” quote.

Instead, all that Snyder and Sebert have done here is cast doubt and suspicion on the upcoming process. If I’m the Cardinal Columns kids, I have NO REASON to trust ANYTHING that the administration says. (Shit, if Sebert and I were standing outside right now and a rainstorm was soaking us to the bone, he could say, “Man it’s raining out here,” and I’d STILL ask someone else to verify that fact.)

If the Cardinal Column kids are reading this, here’s my advice. During this “Gang of Six” committee meeting, go in there with your chinstrap buckled tight and watch your six.

Trust is something these people have yet to earn from you.


How many people have to fuck this up on Twitter before we start laughing the suggestion out of the room? 

Personal favorite: 


Disco Dave Dewhurst

Rachel Maddow had a swell segment on her show about bad political commercials. The one that caught my eye was for recently defeated Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. It even has a cheesy disco/funk jingle. Check it out:


Okay, I'm back. I had to get up and do the hustle or some such shit. The ad wasn't unleashed on the world until the day before the election, so my hunch is that the campaign knew it was a turkey, but also knew they were gonna smoked by their teabagger opponent, the Other Dan Patrick. This teawad idiot should not be confused with Sports Dan Patrick who was Keith Olbermann's partner on Sports Night back in the day.

Losing to the Other Dan Patrick is quite a comedown for the man who brought the gavel down on the Wendy Davis filibuster, and was once the frontrunner in the 2012 Senate race. He lost that time to a certain uber malaka named Ted Cruz. Now Disco Dave is about to dance his way off the stage. And yeah, I know Charlie Pierce calls David Gregory Disco Dave, which makes the Texas pol the Other Disco Dave if you wanna get technical about it. I don't and it's my blog. Neener, neener, neener.

Another reason the ad tickled my fancy is that it reminded me of some local teevee ads for NOLA ambulance chaser Chip Forstall. Here's one of the Chipper's commercials. Btw, he stands tall:


Actually, that Zydeco jingle is a helluva lot better than the KC and the Sunshine Band lite thingamabob in the Dewhusrt ad.

Texas is not only Louisiana's next door neighbor but we have something else in common. We have Diaper Dave Vitter and they have Disco Dave Dewhurst. I'm hoping that Dewhurst's defeat will foreshadow Vitter's defeat in next year's Gret Stet Governor's race. I am not holding my breath: there's no room on Diaper Dave's right.

It just occurred to me that I should give the Gret Stet's own Zachary Richard the last word with his classic Zydeco rock tune, Dancing At Double D's:


I just realized that Dr A, our friend Mark Folse and I were in the crowd that day. I only wish the chick next to YouTuber  ZviZeav would have STFU. She almost ruined Zach's accordion duel with David Torkanowsky.

God, Sullivan is an Officious Prick

"Any blogger:" 

What is or is not a government secret relies ultimately on the law – which is rightly determined by our elected representatives, not by any blogger, however well-intentioned. That’s the essence of democracy.

Earth to Sully #1: YOU'RE A FUCKING BLOGGER. Lose the sneer. And the only decent things that have ever happened to check government power in this country have happened because somebody (later joined by lots of somebodies) took it up on him- or herself to challenge the contention that the law is unjust. 

And you know that, because you're stupid, but not like that. 

Right now, for example, what the public knows and does not know about the NSA is determined by Glenn Greenwald. He has in his possession vast troves of information that he is keeping secret, until he decides it will becomes public. He is picking and choosing what to divulge and doing so over an extended period of time. In that sense, he is close to being an alternative government, but without any internal checks and balances, and with no recourse for the public through the democratic system.

What the FUCK? Greenwald has been publishing and working with more editors than Sullivan, currently, so again with the sneering. As to "recourse for the public" against an individual freelance journalist, what exactly is Sullivan suggesting here? We vote him off the island? Glenn Greenwald is not our bitch. 



Friday Ferretblogging: de Blasio FTW

Fuck yeah, New York City: 

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City health officials are considering a repeal of the city's ban on keeping ferrets as pets, officials said on Wednesday.

Keeping the small furry mammals in New York City has been prohibited for decades, but health officials would recommend lifting the ban if changes include such requirements as rabies vaccinations, according to a spokesman for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The move comes under the administration of Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, a liberal who made the banning of carriage horses in Central Park an issue in his election campaign last year.

Don't forget to Freep this poll, which asks if ferrets should be banned because, as fierce and violent predators, they pose a danger to children. I mean, clearly: 


(I miss my Tilly.)



Friday Catblogging: Side-by-Side Undignified

This is an old picture of Oscar and Della from Dr. A's Facebook page. Don't remember this one but it was taken in the winter because they're lying on the blue quilt. That's all I know:


Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Mitch’s Bitches edition

Morning, gentle people – damn, those corroding drums of Freeperati toxic mental sludge plie up to the roof if you’re not disposing of them, so let’s get started.


In case nobody noticed, there was a festering heap of GOP primaries last week, and the Freeperati have been promising to prove that they’re NOT a gibbering minority fringe of the fringe, and sweep the elections!

And that McConnell guy?Toast, baby!

So – let’s go to the son-of-a-Mitching Live Primary Thread!

Primary Live Thread (AR,GA,ID,KY,OR,PA)
Posted on 5‎/‎20‎/‎2014‎ ‎5‎:‎26‎:‎54‎ ‎PM by cotton1706

It was suggested that one be started so I’ll take the lead!

1 posted on 5‎/‎20‎/‎2014‎ ‎5‎:‎26‎:‎54‎ ‎PM by cotton1706

To: tennmountainman

It’s simple. Lose Turtle via Grimes and Boehner if possible – 21% of his district voted against him – and, voila! Cruz leads Senate and Gowdy the House.

27 posted on ‎5‎/‎20‎/‎2014‎ ‎5‎:‎56‎:‎47‎ ‎PM by txhurl (Trump/Cruz ’16, and everybody else for Cabinet members.)

To: cotton1706

Tea Party faces the music.

34 posted on 5‎/‎20‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎10‎:‎36‎ ‎PM by Ted Grant

As another poster urged –LET’S ROLL!!

To: cotton1706

Yeah and Fox news has already called it for McConnell.

40 posted on 5‎/‎20‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎22‎:‎38‎ ‎PM by CFW

Well, at least I can depend on the Freeperati to not turn a foregone conclusion into an end-of-the-world, bloody-revolution-in-the-streets moment…

It is CLEAR the battle to ave (sic) America will need to take place AFTER IT IS INITIALLY DESTROYED.

On the other hand…

We simply do not have the numbers to defeat two corrupt parties. And it is clear Republican’t voters are just as STUPID, IGNORANT and EASILY CONTROLLED/INFLUENCED as democrat voters.

Get ready.

I’m READY!! OBUMMER shows up on my doorstep to take my guns and force me to gay-marry my dog, I’m not going down without a fight!! And you, my Freeper friend, will lead the armed resistance and bloody fighting!!

What did you say your name was again?

33 posted on 5‎/‎20‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎09‎:‎15‎ ‎PM by Captainpaintball(Immigration without assimilation is the death of a nation)

More electile disfunction after the vote tabulation..

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Angry at Not Getting What You Want

Again, and again, and again:

Why did seven people die in Santa Barbara last night? It would be wrong to pin the crime on Internet forums that indulge in self-hatred, then project it on to everyone else. But they’re certainly not the solution. Misogyny and violence against women is a social problem as well as an individual one. The fact that these men see “game” as the remedy to all personal and social ills is perhaps the greatest indictment of the way they view the world.

The fact that anyone sees violence as a remedy to all personal and social ills is a problem, but how many times a day do we hear about somebody keeping the white man down? It’s always the chicks who aren’t sleeping with you, the minorities taking your college scholarships, the foreigners taking your jobs. It’s always somebody else’s fault you’re not where you thought you’d be with who you thought you’d be with, and that someone else is always somebody just a little bit poorer, a little bit smaller, a little bit less powerful than you.

The greatest trick our Republican politicians ever pulled was convincing us they didn’t exist.

So don’t look at the people who really keeping you down, keeping you poor, keeping you back. Don’t ask why the rich are getting richer if there are no jobs for you. Don’t ask why college is more expensive than ever when the administrators’ pay has never been higher. Don’t ask why you can’t be happier, why life can’t be easier, if you did everything right. Don’t ask why your mortgage is underwater and there are unfixable potholes in your street.

Just get mad, preferably at somebody less than you, and pick up a gun.


Battle of the Bulge: Erickson’s War on Masculinity Nonsense

The war on Erick Erickson: 

For all the talk of a “War on Women,” there has actually been a war on masculinity for a few decades. And more and more twenty-something young men are getting lost and acting out while society tries to find something new to replace the tried and true. Society used to expect men to open doors, protect their families, and be champions of modesty and virtue. But chivalry is dead

There is no war on masculinity. There may be great disagreement over what "masculinity" means, as for many men it seems to mean raping people, saying stupid sexist shit all the time, groping their employees, and running around Chipotle with fucking machine guns. For those of us who live in the world that is not currently burning down, masculinity means being a goddamn grownup however you define that, and not yammering on all the time about how chicks won't fuck you because WHINY. 

The twentysomething young men of my acquaintance are not at all lost because they can't figure out what society or ladies expect of them. They are a little bit lost because of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, paying $1,000 a month for a studio with a hole in the floor in the middle of a DMZ, worried all the time their jobs as code monkeys will disappear overseas, but they are not at all concerned that they can't open doors for women anymore. 

(I will never understand the wingnut article of faith that liberal women won't let men open doors for them. It's like the spitting on a Vietnam vet story of the culture wars. Men open doors for me all the time, especially when I'm carrying Kick around, and I say thank you, and we all go on about our days. Sometimes I say, no, I got it, if the fellow appears older/frailer than I am and I don't want to inconvenience him, and we all go on about our days. And if you don't know who you are or where your penis is without opening a door for somebody, there's really nothing "society" can do for you.)

You know what makes a man feel like he can't protect his family? Getting laid off from his job the day his wife gets out of the hospital from a major surgery for which they now have no way to pay. Watching some jackass in a suit take his job and give it to somebody half his age for half his pay and then listen to said jackass tell him it's the young guy's fault. Staring into the mirror every night knowing there's not enough time for work and family and any kind of meaningful enjoyment of anything but a half hour of TV before collapsing into bed because the morning commute starts in four hours. Watching his kids' college tuition savings go up in a cloud of Wall Street farts, and then hearing that the pension he thought would sustain him into old age is just too much to expect from the company that took his hands and knees and hearing and the best years of his life. 

There's a war on masculinity, all right. Femininity, too. There's a war on all of us. It's just not the one Erick Erickson thinks he sees when he holds up a mirror to his own dick. 


Thursday Night Music: Won’t Be Home

Here's a great live version of a song with a classic opening line: "You're a bottle cap away from pushing me too far."


Odds & Sods: Another Reading List

The-who odds--sods

We're having an extended allergy season here in New Orleans this year. Plus there's a major drainage project on Napoleon Avenue 3 blocks from Adrastos World HQ. This means that I am one wheezy and itchy motherfucker right now. My eyes are all swole up and puffy, and benadryl is the best thing for it. That, in turn, makes me groggy and not feel like writing. That's a long way to explain why I've been a bit on the quiet side of late.

Since I'm feeling uninspired today, I thought I'd steer you to some interesting things I've read on the interweb. The links are all in sub-headers since I'm feeling sub-normal and unlike Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Guess that makes me a substitute for another guy…

Grandee or Scalawag? Ed Kilgore has written the best thing I've seen about the Cochran-McDaniel mishegas. It remains to be seen what will happen next door in Mississippi.

Chrissie Hynde Goes Solo: The Pretenders frontwoman has recorded her first solo album. This is an excellent profile by the Guardian's Tim Lewis wherein she opens up more than usual. Good job, Tim.

Why Bobby Jindal Will Never, Ever Be President: Spot on piece by Gambiteer Clancy DuBos. My only quibble is that he was reluctant to say that PBJ is one ugly little bastard both inside and out.

The Case For Reparations: I suspect most of y'all have already read this Ta-Nehisi Coates opus. It's both exhaustive and exhausting, but a must read. I was particularly interested in the discussion of redlining in the Chicago real estate market.

 Finally, I've never posted a tune from the Who compilation LP that gives this feature its title. It's time to rectify that:


Pulp Fiction Thursday: Arthur C. Clarke

I'm still having Mad Men withdrawal symptoms. Stanley Kubrick's film version of Arthur C Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey was a recurring theme this season so I thought I'd post some pulpy covers of *other* Clarke books. The 2001 covers are insufficiently pulpy but these two are pulptastic:

402 Arthur C Clarke The Other Side of the Sky Signet 1959 1 Ac clarke

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Brain Salad Surgery

ELP in their prime were bombastic, over the top, and pretentious. My younger self loved it but their music hasn't held up very well. I cringe now when I think of their version of Pictures At An Exhibition but you gotta give Keith Emerson credit for chutzpah. Brain Salad Surgery was their masterpiece and it's still eminently listenable.

Cover artist HR Giger is best known for his work on Alien. He died recently at the age of 74. The story of his work with ELP is a classic. Here's Giger's own account from his web site:

It was then that I received the news, from my friend H.H. Kunz, and from Gustav Zumsteg, who was then the Swiss manager of ELP, that ELP was interested in having a record cover done by me and that the group would be playing in two days at the Hallen Stadion. On this occasion an expert opinion about the design could be given. This was already my second contract for an album cover, and I began with enthusiasm on the work.

The title of the album was supposed to be Whip Some Skull On Ya

Translated it means fellatio and the obvious thing was to combine lips, penis and skulls. The graphic artist for ELP had the idea that the cover should be able to be opened up like a gate; not a good idea, as would later become apparent when they were stacked. This same graphic artist wanted to decorate himself in false feathers, in that he replaced my name with his as design-creator on the album. I was, at the time, very offended. I forgave him, however, since shortly thereafter he lost his life in an auto accident.

Back to the contract. Because I was, at this time, working on the aforementioned triptych, those elements flowed into the picture. The wished-for duplicate picture was created, as it were, overnight.

After the concert, Keith Emerson came with Zumsteg and Kunz. I was terribly excited, as I had never stood directly across from a pop-star, and the house, as it happened, was also full of people. Lake, Palmer and a photojournalist arrived later. I was ceremoniously showered with compliments on my work. Nevertheless, Keith suddenly informed me that the title of the album was now going to be Brain Salad Surgery. I was dismayed until he explained to me that this expression, likewise, connoted fellatio. After the group posed for the photographer, with the air of connoisseurs and meaningful gestures, the hubbub died down.

A part of the printing was, as wished, metallic, in contrast to the one received here in Switzerland. This one was possibly printed in a shop that specialized in pornography. There they have a tendency, for the embellishment of the thing, to apply too much red. The print came out "cow-shit-pile-brown."

A classic classic rock story. Here are Giger's originals for the cover side-by-side:


It's time for some music that will make you want to stab the nearest keyboard, Keith Emerson style. Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends: