Monthly Archives: October 2021

Saturday Odds & Sods: Art For Art’s Sake

Ambiguous Figures by Max Ernst.

There are rumors of a cold front later this morning. It’s really a cool front but cold front is the technical term and I’m a stickler for something or other. I’m just looking forward to not running the air-conditioner.

We’ve been talking Carnival in New Orleans. We all want it to happen but it’s unclear when it will be safe to cavort in the streets with strangers. Perhaps we should consult with Laurence Olivier’s character in Marathon Man:

Is It Safe Dustin Hoffman GIF by Top 100 Movie Quotes of All Time - Find & Share on GIPHY

Beats the hell outta me, Larry.

The City is allowing the annual Halloween parade for tourists to roll. It’s called the Krewe of Boo and this year it’s going to serve as an experiment into public gatherings. Contact tracing will be involved. If things go well, the chances of Carnival 2022 happening increase. If not, stay tuned.

This week’s theme song was written by Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart for 10cc’s 1975 album, How Dare You. That’s what Dustin Hoffman should have said to Olivier.

Here’s Art For Art’s Sake, money for God’s sake:

Graham Gouldman trivia time. He also wrote this wildly successful Hollies hit:

Let’s pick up our umbrellas and jump to the break.

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Cheek To Cheek

This week, one of the best loved tunes in the great American songbook. Cheek To Cheek was written by Irving Berlin in 1935 for the Astaire-Rogers movie, Top Hat.

This week’s artists could be called a hit parade of usual suspects. I guess that’s a mixed metaphor, but what’s a mixed metaphor among friends?

We begin with Fred Astaire and Oscar Peterson:

I get a kick out of people arguing about what the first concept album was. Frank Sinatra was at it in the 1950’s. This swinging version of Cheek To Cheek comes from his 1959 concept album Come Dance With Me,

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Stirring The Potpourri

As I pondered the potpourri images, it occurred to me that there’s been a lot of dumbassery this week. That’s why I went with the Magritte dumbbell caveman image. I hope I can live up to Magritte’s vision, if not I can always wear a derby/bowler in penance. Unfortunately, the only derby I have is green, which I wear during Carnival season and on St. Patrick’s Day. It hasn’t been worn since the pandemic started. Le sigh.

I rarely watch sports on the idiot box anymore. I felt compelled to watch the Giants lose to the Dodgers last night. It was a bummer, man. It was also a long bummer: a 2-1 pitcher’s battle shouldn’t last over 3 hours. Oy just oy.

I was also surprised by how many sports betting ads there were during the ballgame. I commend Shapiro’s sports gambling post to your attention. It’s the real deal. I used to play poker with Shapiro back in the day. He’s a real card. He never “let that Deal go down.”

Back to sports gambling teevee ads, there were a shit-ton of them during the New Orleans Saints-Washington No-Names game. I know I just said that I rarely watch sports anymore but viewing Saints football is a civic duty here in Debrisville.

Caesar’s Palace just obtained the naming rights to the Superdome, which has resulted in cheesy gambling-Roman crossover ads. None of the fake Caesars can top Peter Ustinov as Nero in the 1951 movie, Quo Vadis:

It’s a great performance in a bad biblical movie. I recently watched Quo Vadis on TCM OnDemand and only viewed the Ustinov scenes. I kept hoping that Nero would light the eternally wooden Robert Taylor’s character ablaze. I’m not talking about the RT who played Walt Longmire. He’s the strong silent type but like Gary Cooper that RT can emote.

There was a lot of Dipshit Insurrection news this week. A rioter named Brandon Fellows is representing himself in court. In classic Trumper fashion, he’s stupid and garrulous. Judge Trevor McFadden was not amused:

“You are charged with a federal felony. This is not a community college where you get pats on the back.”

“You’ve admitted to incredible lapses of judgment here on the stand, not least of which was seeking to disqualify a New York state judge. You’ve admitted to obstruction of justice in that case, and you’ve admitted to what was probably obstruction in this case in trying to have me disqualified, and only Ms. Halverson’s advice stopped you from doing so. You’ve engaged in a pattern of behaviors that shows contempt for the criminal justice system, and I just have no confidence that you will follow my orders if I release you.”

Fellows is still incarcerated. I’m waiting to hear him called a MAGA martyr when he’s really a MAGA meathead.

That’s why I call it the Dipshit Insurrection.

It looks as if Steve Bannon will be cited with criminal contempt for refusing to cooperate with the 1/6 Committee. The Twitteratti are excited by this news. They’re hoping for a perp walk and extended jail time. They’ve been watching too many cop shows. The truth will be less dramatic since Bannon is unlikely to make like Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon:

As Jon Gruden would surely say, Steve Bannon is a pussy. He incites riots. He leaves the rioting to dipshits like Brandon Fellows.

The Kaiser of Chaos issued a statement from his gilded Mar-a-Dorn exile the other day. It’s spectacularly dumb even by his standards:

“If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ’22 or ’24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do.”

Bring it on, Donald, bring it on.

It’s time to stop stirring the potpourri and give the last word to Graham Parker & The Rumour:

Wanna Bet On It?

Online Sports Betting

If you’ve been watching the baseball playoffs you’ve been inundated with ads for gambling websites. Oh, sorry, I mean gaming websites that allow casual fans to compete for pots of money based on correctly predicting who would win, by how much, how many total points would be scored, and many other aspects of the game.

But according to them that’s not gambling.

I’m not going to name the sites since I prefer they at least spend some of their profits on paying for advertising and they ain’t giving me any of it. And they do pay a lot. Watch an hour of a playoff game and you will likely see three ads for one particular site, plus there will be some banter (no doubt paid for) between the announcers about said site or the bets you the viewer can place. And make no mistake, you can place bets on just about anything that happens in a game; whether the next pitch is a curve ball or the next batter will hit a line drive or the batter after him will hit a fly ball to the right side that is caught by the shortstop who is playing over by second base because of a shift and will the team in the field continue to employ a shift for the next batter.

All from the comfort and ease of your living room through the miracle of cell phone technology.  What hath Steve Jobs wrought?

And if you thought “wait a minute, I thought sports betting was illegal everywhere but Nevada” you haven’t been paying attention to the Supreme Court. Three years ago the court in a pretty near unanimous ruling said the federal government had no place in preventing states from allowing sports betting. If Iowa wants to let their farmers bet on Hawkeye football who are the feds to tell them no? Interstate commerce and all that.

Once that ruling was announced the floodgates opened. All parties wanted their piece of what everyone knew would be a huge pie. The sports leagues, the statistics companies, the cell phone companies, the television networks, and of course the gambling sites. Sports leagues, which for years ran away from anything that even suggested there was gambling going on involving their games, suddenly were partnering with betting sites to make sure they got their cut. ESPN, having already purchased Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website a few years earlier, poised themselves to be the premier statistician for the new age of gambling. And of course all the networks became even more invested in sports programming. After all, having a money interest in the outcome of every play is a powerful incentive for the viewer to continue watching even during the commercials.

But it is the leagues, and through them the players, who have the greatest interest in fans putting a few bucks down on The Bucks. The cut from the gambling sites will more than offset any drop off in attendance or even, heaven forbid, a drop in their rights fees from television or radio. And the players see revenue from gambling as a piece of the pie they have a right to. This coming winter’s negotiations between Major League Baseball and the players over The Basic Agreement (the rules all clubs and players must have in their contracts) might very well come down to how much of a cut the players get from the gambling sites. After all, it’s their actual performances that are being bet on. Which brings up the issue of whether those performances or even the statistics that accrue from those performances are the intellectual property of the individual players or of the teams they play for or of the league as a whole.

So everyone is gonna make money, what’s the downside?

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Friday Catblogging: Suitcasing The Joint

One more picture from our recent suburban exile. Claire Trevor enjoyed shedding on our suitcase.

Supremely Anti-Democratic

Cartoon of four current and one former Supreme Court justices throwing dirt on a grave with a tombstone that says Public Trust in the Supreme Court.

Yeah, I know, this is an old image because there’s a couple of former guys in there. But you get the point.

Back in September, U.S. Supreme Court Justice and Former Workplace Creeper Clarence Thomas gave a speech at the University of Notre Dame. In it, he chastised judges for becoming too political. “The court was thought to be the least dangerous branch and we may have become the most dangerous,” he said.

Then a huge Vortex of Irony formed over Justice Thomas, and pulled him and all attendees into a void, never to be seen again.

Not really, but such criticisms are rich coming from the Federalists Society’s 2016 keynote speaker. The Deeply Hurt Feelings of the Supreme Court’s Conservatives theme also popped up later that month, when Sort of Whiny Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito called for the manager over criticism of fairly clear attempts to sink Roe vs. Wade via the Shadow Docket, which is a real thing and not a Marvel movie title. Again, at Notre Dame (which seems to be the hot spot for conservative justices to go gaslight), Alito said he believes all this media complaining is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate them. He singled out Atlantic writer Adam Serwer for direct attack. Proving you really should be careful when going after a sharp mind, Serwer clapped back:

Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island also chipped in his two cents on Alito yesterday in a Salon editorial.

The Supreme Court has never really been all that small-d democratic, but starting in 2000, it became anti-democratic in earnest. Ezra Klein shook the Very Serious People with his Vox piece in 2018 that pointed out this slide to anti-democracy, starting with Bush v. Gore to Citizens United to the Shelby County v. Holder decision. The latter pretty much gutted the Voting Rights Act and saw Chief Justice John Roberts curiously claim that racism was over. People got mad at Klein for daring to make such statements about one of our branches of government, but really, when you take out the institution worship-thinking and look at the evidence, it’s hard to make an argument he’s wrong.

Some of this is really a statement of a system in deep, deep need of reform, such as the Electoral College. Five of the nine justices were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote. Unfortunately, such reforms are hard to pull off, as it is hard to imagine the Electoral College going away.

The Supreme Court itself has been the subject of reform talks. Double-unfortunately, this is even harder to pull off, largely due to these strange ideas about the Supreme Court that many Americans hold. There’s this belief that the number of justices was a sacred creed handed down by the Founding Fathers. It’s not. But people against increasing the number of justices often seem to insist it is.

The current lifetime appointments rule may be an easier place for reform, and there are indications that President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court commission report, to be released today, may indicate an openness to term limits. Another potential place for reform is how justices are appointed. An unbiased observer would have their work cut out for them defending Mitch McConnell’s Merrick Garland shenanigans, which by the way, did not involve Turtle Person Mitch breaking any set rules of the Senate.

All of this has lead to a crashing approval rating for the Supreme Court. Not that it matters to the five conservatives, who are obviously there to serve a minority of Americans. It’s no wonder they are not really the cool kids anymore, as they haven’t put together a great track record over the last 21 years, and I haven’t even mentioned the mystery of who paid off Brett Kavanaugh’s debts. All the solemn granite statues and institution-talk about hallowed ideals do not matter a damn in the face of all of this. Might be time for all of us who care about this nation to pry ourselves loose from the mythology.

The last word goes to Mia Weinberger, who brings us a hip-hop-style tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg (let’s hope one day we expand the court so we don’t have to worry our system hangs on whether a sick elderly lady survives another year). None of this is her fault, to be sure.

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All The Children Cringe

You learn something new every day. I did not know that Trump-loving, eyepatch-wearing Texas Congressman, Dan Crenshaw, has written a children’s book. It’s about so-called cancel culture. I say so-called because it barely exists and surely doesn’t merit its own raft.

Here’s the publisher’s description of Fame, Blame, and the Raft of Shame:

In this Book 4 of Saga 1, “Fame, Blame, and the Raft of Shame,” BRAVE Books and Dan Crenshaw explore cancel culture and the effect it has on society. While today’s culture presents canceling others’ opinions as the solution to their problems, they don’t realize that a culture of canceling eventually cancels culture entirely.

Deep in the ocean, Starlotte City blooms beneath a dome made of glowing seaweed. The city’s beauty and strength are mirrored by its vibrant culture, and Eva wants nothing more than to take her place on Starlotte City’s stage. But, when one star performer suggests that they ought to cancel some animals for insensitive comments, the true strength of the seaweed city and its citizens is put to the test.

Will Eva have the courage to stand up to the crowds, or will she allow fear to silence herself and others?

Eva? Which Eva? Braun? Peron? Marcelle? Enquiring minds want to know all about Eva…

Dig how the suit-wearing cat has an eyepatch. I guess that’s supposed to be Danny Boy. He’s eternally vigilant and on the job or some such shit.

The illustrations are by a professional children’s book illustrator, Andre Ceolin. I wonder if the uber-nativist Crenshaw knows anything about his illustrator. Ceolin is Brazilian and has also worked with Scott Kelly, the twin brother of Democratic Senator and well-known gun grabber, Mark Kelly. It’s a small fucking world, after all.

Here’s hoping the raft of shame sinks under the weight of its own malakatude.

The post title was inspired by a Todd Rundgren song. Todd gets the last word:

With Friends Like These

It’d be one thing if we had a relatively solid or at least functional democracy, but watching the posturing and preening during an existential crisis…

Smh, as the texters say

Source.

More frustrating is the same elite media that can’t or won’t step up and instead acts like the devolution of the GOP to an authoritarian death cult is, I dunno, worth mentioning but nothing to be alarmed about, and likewise can’t or won’t press these two Vanities of the Bonfire to open up on why they’re willing to let it all burn down…

Over what?

Budget numbers (sigh) ?

Image/Spin/Narrative? Maverick-iness?

Mega-donors aside, if either thinks they could weather a Democratic defeat and subsequent GOP deluge (unless–and even if–they’re planning a full Joe Lieberman), they’re delusional to a degree even my own (relatively) far-left pipedream aspirations no longer bother to reach for.

Goddamn, the wingers are going apeshit over basic public health in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. They’re OPENLY undermining popular sovereignty

Global warming will (not might, will) wreak havoc for several generations, and, just me, but I doubt the ever increasing lunatic shibboleths of the death cult will allow either to carve out even a niche of a political career.

Manchin’s probably riding into the sunset anyway given his age…

Sinema…is it just ego or an attachment to donors? Who knows?

Either way, it’s certainly not to voters who elected her, and does anyone besides herself think big money will continue to have her back once she’s finished blowing up a Democratic agenda and is no longer useful to them?

You’d think they’d either realize the stakes or at least have it spelled out to them, which, again, just me, but if confronted with the reality as it stands, would be more than sufficient motivation to work WITH the lesser-of-evils (i.e, the Democratic Party, which, for all its flaws, is still nominally Democratic), instead of whatever the fuck they’re doing.

Same with the media.

Because after it burns to the ground, it’s not like there’s going to be any kind of insurance settlement.

It’ll be game over.

No replay.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Mrs. Candy and Saturday Night

Robert Tallant is best known for his non-fiction books about New Orleans. With this book, he tried his hand at fiction.

I wonder where John was when Mrs. Candy was out on the town. I hope everyone remembers John Candy. That joke was in his honor.

Jon Gruden’s Macaca Moment

Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden.

As a white guy of a certain age, I’m never shocked to learn that one of my peers has written or said something racist, sexist, or homophobic. I’ve been obliged to listen to my share of bigoted bullshit over the years. I stopped putting up with it years ago and started calling people out on this sort of shit. Make that men, it’s almost always men, especially when the language is homophobic.

Football coaches and executives tend to be manly men who reinforce their manly man-ness by throwing around homophobic slurs. Oakland/Los Angeles/Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden quit his job on Monday because of some emails exchanged with his friend and former co-worker Bruce Allen.

They’re both pro football lifers: Bruce Allen is the son of former NFL coach and noted wingnut George Allen. His big brother George Jr. was a Republican Governor of Virginia and a one-term US Senator who lost his 2006 reelection race, in part because of an ethnic slur. He called an Indian American guy a macaca, which is Portuguese for monkey. It went down in political history as the Macaca Moment.

Bruce Allen and his pal Jon Gruden had their own Macaca Moment when a series of emails they exchanged were leaked to the New York Times. As a Saints fan, I’m no admirer of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell but the Gruden/Allen exchanges made him almost sympathetic:

 In the emails, Gruden called the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, a “faggot” and a “clueless anti football pussy” and said that Goodell should not have pressured Jeff Fisher, then the coach of the Rams, to draft “queers,” a reference to Michael Sam, a gay player chosen by the team in 2014.

In numerous emails during a seven-year period ending in early 2018, Gruden criticized Goodell and the league for trying to reduce concussions and said that Eric Reid, a player who had demonstrated during the playing of the national anthem, should be fired. In several instances, Gruden used a homophobic slur to refer to Goodell and offensive language to describe some N.F.L. owners, coaches and journalists who cover the league.

The emails came out because of an NFL investigation into the Washington R******s. Bruce Allen used to be President/General Manager and all-around lackey to the Washington Football Team’s bigoted and creepy owner Daniel Snyder. FYI, Jon Gruden’s kid brother Jay used to coach the Washington No-Names.

This is some incestuous shit. You know what they say: Bigots of a feather flock together.

Bruce Allen won’t be frog marched out of the NFL alongside Gruden this week because he was fired by the Washington No-Names in 2019. But I thought he deserved an equal share of the obloquy over the bigoted emails. Gruden knew he was sharing his hateful thoughts with a receptive audience.

There were two waves of leaked emails. The first one involved racist slurs, which led Gruden to issue the bigot’s standard disclaimer: “I haven’t got a racial bone or blade in my body.”

That’s racist, Coach. Where he got blade from beats the hell outta me: grass, shoulder, knife?

The source of the leak is likely within the NFL itself. The NFL is all about the owners and Roger Goodell is their boy. Messing with the Commissioner will get your ass fired pronto. It could also be odious Washington No-Names owner Dan Snyder hoping to take some heat off himself.

It’s ironic that this genuine email scandal involves two Republican football men. One would have thought that they’d learned something from the Hillary Clinton email mishigas, but guys like Gruden and Allen are arrogant and entitled. White privilege anyone?

White privilege breeds Macaca Moments. Just ask George Allen.

If Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen were students of political history, they would have known of this admonition from former Gret Stet Governor Earl Long:

That’s the last word. Uncle Earl is a hard act to follow.

I want it all and I want it now

I’m really out of sorts and anxious these days, and I’m kind of angry about it, to be honest. We just spent 4 years being terrified of what TFG and Mitch McConnell would do and although I’m not as fearful as I was then, I am still pretty fucking anxious.

I know that big legislation takes time and negotiation and posturing, and that politics is the art of the possible. But watching the Democrats put Joe Manchin’s and Kisten Sinema’s faces on milk cartons so they can start talking is making me anxious. There’s a year left before the election and there is still other work that has to be done on voting rights, and that is going to take several months too.

I call Manchin’s office every week, and usually have to leave a message. I ask him why he can’t just help the people of this state. I tell him I honestly don’t understand how hungry, sick, poor, underemployed people aren’t part of the reason he’s in the Senate. All of this is made worse because I follow my home state senators, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, on Twitter, and they—Murphy especially—are so reasonable, sensible, and people-focused. I know my calls to Manchin don’t mean a damn thing to him, but at least I’m on the record.

I’m disappointed that there are so many Democrats who are so timid about fixing this country. Joe Manchin is just a lightning rod for a bunch of his fellow senators and some House reps who hide behind his metaphorical skirts. I know that the voting public is a center left electorate. I know that presidents make huge proposals that they expect to be trimmed down (the art of the possible at work), and that major legislation takes a long time to come together, so this is normal, but I still want more.

(Part of the reason there isn’t going to be more, is because of the weird quasi-contract that Manchin and Chuck Schumer secretly drew up over the summer. It’s a very puzzling document but Luppe B. Luppen, aka @nycsouthpaw on Twitter, has started a series that is worth your time.)

And the other problem I have is at I want it NOW!!! I have gone full Veruca Salt, it’s true. (And this reminds me that I still want to officially rename our girl kitty from Rey to Veruca. We named her as a shy quiet kitten who was the runt of the litter. As she matured she is a tiny beauty who has plenty of sounds to express her desire for all of it and all of it now!)

I am SO TIRED of waiting for the advisors to TFG to get perp walked off to jail for refusing to respond to a subpoena. And I know that there are politics embedded in the law in cases like this, and that because of that things have to move slowly. But damnit, these people need to start answering questions!

As I was thinking about songs about waiting, this fantastic song I forgot about came to me, and so Hall and Oates will sing us out:

 

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Picnic Suite

Jazz-Classical crossovers were the rage in the 1980’s. This album features jazz pianist/composer Claude Bolling and classical flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal and guitarist Alexandre Lagoya. The three players had something in common: they were all French. Perhaps that explains the weird menu at their picnic.

The cover art is by the prolific illustrator Roger Huyssen who executed nearly 100 album covers in his career.

Here’s the whole damn album via Spotify:

Ashli Babbittry Revisited

I’m sick of writing about Donald Trump. I had a lot of fun mocking him for 5 years, but much of the fun went out of it with the 1/6 Dipshit Insurrection. He was always a menace but the threat amped up over 100 decibels on that day. Ever since then, the Impeached Insult Comedians and his followers have minimized what happened. Their motto is: When In Doubt, Lie.

One of most dangerous lies they’ve told about the Dipshit Insurrection is that Ashli Babbitt was a martyr to the MAGA cause. They’ve turned a deeply disturbed woman into their very own Horst Wessell. I explained that in the first Ashli Babbittry post:

Like most right-wing populist movements, Trumpism is based on grievances, real and imagined. Such a movement requires martyrs. The Nazis had Horst Wessel a Brownshirt who allegedly died in a street fight with Communists. The truth was more complicated but his death led to an anthem of the Nazi movement, Horst Wessel Lied. Lied is of course the German word for song but it describes the modus operandi of both Nazism and Trumpism better known as the BIG LIE.

It Can’t Happen Here and Babbitt have converged in the name of Trumpism’s latest martyr, Ashli Babbitt. She was one of seven people to have died as a result of the Dipshit Insurrection. The Trumpers, however, have chosen to honor a troubled woman instead of the police officers who died defending the Capitol from attack. So much for law and order.

Yesterday would have been MAGA martyr Ashli Babbitt’s 36th birthday. The MAGA Maggots celebrated her sad, pathetic life as if she were a hero instead of a victim of the Big Lie.

From his gilded Florida exile in Mar-a-Dorn, the Kaiser of Chaos recorded a propaganda video. The MAGA morons love to be lied to and the former president* did not disappoint.

“My heart and the hearts of millions of Americans across the country are with everyone — everyone — who knew and loved her,” Trump said, after wishing Babbitt a happy birthday.

“Together we grieve her terrible loss,” the former president said toward the end of the brief video. “There was no reason Ashli should have lost her life that day. We must all demand justice for Ashli and her family. So on this solemn occasion, as we celebrate her life, we renew our call for a fair and nonpartisan investigation into the death of Ashli Babbitt. I offer my unwavering support to Ashli’s family, and call on the Department of Justice to reopen its investigation into her death on Jan. 6.”

Her death *has* been thoroughly investigated. The actions of Officer Michael Byrd have been vindicated by the DOJ. The reason he’s been singled out is that he’s Black.

It’s a racist trope straight out of The Birth of a Nation, a dangerous black man harmed an innocent white chick.

Former President* Pennywise made his feelings clear at a rally in July:

“If that were on the other side, the person that did the shooting would be strung up and hung.” At least one person in the crowd responded by shouting “Hang him!”

Robert Kennedy once said that “Richard Nixon represents the dark side of the American soul.”

Nixon was a piker next to Donald Trump. Nixon was a racist and a criminal, but he was smart and slick. He played on racial fears but never advocated lynching. Nixon was a seething pit of resentment and grievances, but he had a hardscrabble childhood to explain it. Trump grew up in a mansion wanting for nothing. His grievances reflect his greed for more, always more.

Trump not only represents the dark side of the American soul, he brings out the worst in people. He’s the reason that Sinclair Lewis’ dark vision in It Can’t Happen Here remains a threat to our polity. All the lies and Ashli Babbittry in the world cannot explain that away.

The last word goes to Billie Holiday:

What Country Friends Is This?

This sceptered isle

Shortages of, well, everything. Fuel, groceries, hope. The party in charge of the government shucking and jiving at it’s party conference, on the one hand singing karaoke and on the other blaming everyone but themselves for the country’s problems. Citizens incensed that even after election year promises not to raise taxes, taxes will indeed be raised. All as inflation rages, a pandemic endures, and no end is in sight for the misery.

Some third world s***hole nation?

No, this is England.

More specifically this is Boris Johnson’s England. The England of Brexit, the England of “You can’t tell us what to do Brussels”, the England that reveres it’s monarchy as the monarchy becomes more soap-operay and less relevant every day. This is the England that said “21st Century? Nah, thanks mate, we’ll stick with the 20th. Course it’d be better if it were the 19th”.

Rue Britannia.

A recent article in the no longer failing New York Times points out the disconnect the English public is experiencing with their Tory government. While the Tories spent a weekend partying at the party conference in ever so manly Manchester, the public was attempting to find food at the grocery stores and fuel for their cars. A shortage of lorry drivers (that’s truck drivers for all us US of A types) has the supply chain for many items ground to a halt. Why the shortage? Lots of them were older men who took the pandemic as a sign to retire. Meanwhile newer younger drivers were prevented from getting the proper licenses because the licensing offices were closed because of the pandemic.

Ah you say, so it’s all about COVID. Well, it’s a contributing factor, but a bigger reason is that 20% of the nearly 100,000 drivers needed to keep the English economy moving left the country when it voted to leave the European Union. Why? Because they were the so-called “wave of immigrants” who were keeping the English working man from having a good paying job according to the Brexiters. Hence those immigrant workers took the attitude that it was better to jump than be pushed and went over to the Continent for a surer paycheck, oops I meant pay cheque, and the better employment standards they were used to under the EU, standards that the English were proudly declaring they were going to do away with.

All products ultimately make it to your shelves via a motor vehicle. It’s the basic number one fact of the consumer society. And if there is no one to drive the motor vehicle, despite the best intentions of Waymo or their competitors, the shelves don’t get stocked. Same for the gasoline that your dino-mobile runs on. It doesn’t get to the pump without someone bringing it there first.

Thus England has lines down the block for petrol (gas) stations. Headlines in newspapers scream about “lines lasting days”.  That fabled English stiff upper lip gets more and more difficult to maintain when sitting in a queue just to get some petrol. Keep in mind also that just as petrol stations can’t get the black gold, Texas tea, neither can the public buses that ferry so much of the population. And when a modern country’s population can’t move about freely the economy of said nation starts to grind to a halt.

And what does the Prime Minister, the head of government, say to all of this?

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These Dogs Are Not Dogged By Stereotypes

Four native teens hanging out in front of their house

The kids of Reservation Dogs plot their next move in a quest for California.

My Native blood comes from my father’s side of the family. His education about Native ways was supplemented by visits to my grandmother a few times a year. She married a white man who was a terrible, abusive alcoholic, and in many ways, I feel like this was the entire relationship between Natives and non-Natives in America in microcosm. She loved him despite his many faults (although I would argue my grandfather had pretty much no redeeming qualities, unlike America – we have pretty good food, for example).

One of the things I learned from them was how deeply full of shit our country was about Native history, and how terrible portrayals of Natives are in the media. These portrayals have greatly clouded the average American’s perspective of Indigenous people. When I was on a powwow drum for several years, I experienced this first-hand. We’d get asked questions like “why don’t I hear you do the DUM-dum-dum DUM-dum-dum DUM-dum-dum” and we’d have to explain nicely that’s a movie thing, not a real Native drum song. People would sometimes get offended because that’s what the colonialist does when the conquered question the narrative. We understood these were people raised on movies featuring wild Indians woo-woo-wooing and Rock Hudson speaking pidgin English, but it was frustrating.

But recently, we’ve seen an improvement in Native-related media, with non-Native directors taking steps to make things right, and Native voices creating their own media. A great new example of this is the FX/Hulu show “Reservation Dogs.”

Reservation Dogs follows the story of four teenagers, Elora Danan, Bear, Willie Jack, and Cheese, growing up on an Oklahoma reservation and dreaming of a new life in California. This dream leads them to commit crimes to pay for their escape, including a heist of a potato chip truck in the opening episode. The show is historic in that it has an all-Indigenous writers room and directing staff. It is also extremely funny.

The stars Paulina Alexis (Willie Jack), Lane Factor (Cheese), Devery Jacobs (Elora) and D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (Bear) are relative unknowns, but there are some familiar faces. Veteran actor and American treasure Gary Farmer plays the elderly relative of one of the kids who tries to sell 15-year-old weed in a world where pot is legal and much better. Zahn McClarnon (you may know him from the TV series Fargo and Westworld) is excellent as a tribal police officer, and standup comic Bill Burr is wonderful in a dramatic role playing coach-turned-driving-instructor who helps Elora deal with a recent trauma.

The comedy is classic Native humor and a good introduction to that world. Real-life Native rappers Lil Mike and Funny Bone are a delight as two bicycle-riding guys who sort of serve as a hip-hop Greek chorus, but the real comic weapon is Dallas Goldtooth as the “Unknown Warrior.” The Unknown Warrior is a spirit guide to Bear, who meets him at first whenever he is knocked unconscious. You initially see the spirit guide as a stereotypical warrior astride a war pony, but you soon learn he’s kind of a goof. He died at Little Big Horn, but not in a noble way (a rather ridiculous way, in fact). The next time Bear encounters him, you hear him war-whoop and then you see him urinating next to a dumpster.

Trust me, these are jokes at your expense, White Person, because white stereotypes of Native Americans are a long-time deep source of humor for the Indigenous community. But they’re not mean-spirited, just funny because the odds are good that in the hands of a white showrunner, this character would fit the Noble Savage stereotype. But he certainly doesn’t.

Other aspects of modern Native life, such as reservation health clinics, are covered in the show, and there are also some nods to Native mythology (the episode that included the Deer Woman was sublime and Kaniehtiio Horn was born to play that role).

Overall, the show is excellent, likely to make some top 10 best shows of the year lists, and is currently available on Hulu. And the good news is it has been renewed for a second season. What better day to begin streaming it than today, Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

The last word goes to Native singer-songwriter Anne Humphrey, who packs more Native history in one song than most hear in 12 years of school:

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The Big Lie: The View From The Gret Stet Of Louisiana

My old “buddy” Steve Scalise of Metry was placed on Chris Wallace’s grill yesterday. He was asked three times about the 2020 election results by the only decent host at Fox News. He declined to admit to a simple truth: that Biden won, and Trump lost.

Scalise is cynical, not stupid. He blows with the wind and the prevailing breeze comes from Mar-a-Dorn. Scalise would rather look like a stupid hack than face an angry Kaiser of Chaos. I think Scalise is afraid of hearing jokes about his hair. It does look like an early-stage chia pet, after all.

Scalise doesn’t mind looking like a hack because he is one. He’s a loyal party man. He waited his turn for the Congressional seat vacated by David Vitter in 2004. He yielded to Bobby Jindal who used it as a stepping stone to a second run for Gret Stet Governor.

Scalise is currently the number 2 GOPer in the house. He’s biding his time waiting for KMac to slip. Scalise has been urged to slit the incoherent one’s throat, but he’s a patient man: if he could wait for PBJ, he can wait for KMac.

As a loyal party man, Scalise is selling the Big Lie and all its variations. He doesn’t believe any of it, but he’s sticking with Trump because he represents the most Republican district in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. He’s another weakling pretending to be a tough guy.

Speaking of fake tough guys, there was a raucous argument on the Tweeter Tube last week started by Never Trump Republican Rick Wilson. He claimed that Democrats were folding on the Dipshit Insurrection investigation. Later that same day, the White House announced that it was REJECTING the Impeached Insult Comedian’s assertion of executive privilege. Wilson then took credit:

I am not making this up.

Rick Wilson has always been a puffed-up chump and a lying sack of shit. He was the campaign consultant behind the smearing of Senator Max Cleland in 2002. Cleland was a genuine American hero who lost three limbs while serving in Vietnam. Wilson concocted the campaign against him on behalf of empty suit Saxby Chambliss. Cleland was “with the terrorists” so he lost his reelection bid. It was the political equivalent of this scene from Kiss Of Death:

Wilson has been invited to repudiate these tactics but has refused to. As a result, he cannot be trusted. Despite his detestation of Trump, Rick Wilson is a good party man who still enjoys owning the libs. That’s why I will never trust him. I know how to hold a grudge, y’all.

Steve Scalise and Rick Wilson are opposite sides of the same Republican coin. They’re both what John Dean called “conservatives without conscience.” Scalise is putting his hackery to use in service of the Big Lie whereas Wilson still supports the GOP smear tactics of the aughties: “You are either with us or the terrorists.” Thus spake George W Bush who is also a Never Trump Republican.

To be fair to guys like Rick Wilson, they’re still in the conservatives without conscience phase. His fellow puffed-up chump and lying sack of shit Steve Scalise long ago moved on to the radicals without remorse phase. Power is what he wants and if lying for Trump will get him there, so be it.

And that’s the view from the Gret Stet of Louisiana, home of Steve Scalise one of the hackiest hacks who ever hacked me off.

The last word goes to Randy Newman from whom I stole the puffed-up chump line. I only steal from the best.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – shart subject edition

All right, people, no more than two posts per thread,  aaaaand….scene!

Trump urged GOP senators to vote against McConnell debt deal
The Hill ^ | 10/07/21 08:33 PM EDT | BY OLAFIMIHAN OSHIN

Posted on 10/7/2021, 7:58:41 PM by RandFan

Former President Trump is urging GOP senators to vote against a deal that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) struck with his Democratic colleagues in the upper chamber to raise the debt ceiling.

“Republican Senators, do not vote for this terrible deal being pushed by folding Mitch McConnell. Stand strong for our Country,” Trump said in an emailed statement Thursday. “The American people are with you!”

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Thursday morning that he had reached an agreement with McConnell to raise the debt ceiling into the beginning of December.

The agreement would increase the debt limit by $480 billion. Aides expect that will make the next deadline Dec. 3, the same day government funding will expire.

McConnell confirmed the deal with Democrats during a floor speech on Thursday, saying: “The Senate is moving toward the plan I laid out last night to spare the American people from an unprecedented crisis.”

“The pathway our Democratic colleagues have accepted will spare the American people any near-term crisis,” McConnell added.

1 posted on 10/7/2021, 7:58:41 PM by RandFan
Personally, I think “RandFan” should change his name to “RandFanDancer”, but that’s just me.
To: RandFan
We see who runs the GOP and it’s not Trump. Trump is a fool. I’ve said it since 1/7 and I’m proven right every day, Trump needs to renounce the GOP and form the Workers MAGA Party. As long as Trump stays with these hacks he will continue to be rolled, played and destroyed.
3 posted on 10/7/2021, 8:06:00 PM by hardspunned (former GOP globalist stooge)
To: hardspunned

I don’t know why people here on FR insist that Trump has a core base of support of 80 million voters.He doesn’t.

He probably has 25-30 million dedicated supporters. The rest of the 80 million who voted for him are really just GOP partisans who voted the party line and probably would have preferred another candidate if that option was available.

16 posted on 10/7/2021, 8:47:11 PM by Alberta’s Child (“All lies and jest, ‘til a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”)
Next up – I see the Qberts are still posting threads about someone else who abandoned them almost a year ago –
Q ~ Trust Trump’s Plan ~ 10/07/21 Vol.374, Q Day 1441
qalerts.net ^ | 10/7/2021 | FReeQs, FReepers, and vanity
Posted on 10/7/2021, 7:22:13 PM by ransomnote

To: ransomnote
Hey Q: is Trump back in office yet?
4 posted on 10/7/2021, 7:25:45 PM by TiGuy22

 

 

Read more at the “read more”…..

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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – “Missed opportunities” edition

After I moved from Waco to Dallas, I still returned from time to time to see my family.
And I always made a stop at Ray Hennig’s Heart Of Texas Music.

Before Ray moved to Austin and got famous for selling Stevie Ray Vaughn his famous Stratocaster, he was famous in Waco for his ingenious sales technique.

At any other music shop in Waco, if you asked to try something out, you got the stinkeye, an unspoken question of “Are you going to buy this?”, and a grudging “ok”, followed by an admonition to not play it so loud.

At Ray’s, it was different. He encouraged you to crank it up, even if he knew that he wasn’t going to make a sale that day.

Actually, because of his friendly approach to local musicians, he made a LOT of sales, eventually running two of the three Waco music shops out of business. Everything I own, with the exception of a couple of basses and a keyboard, came from there.

Ray’s was where local musicians came to hang out and talk as well. Hell, when the increase in his business led to his leasing the space next door and knocking a big hole in the wall to cojoin the two, he actually put a big couch and easy chair in there so we could gather in comfort.

Anyway, this led to a lot of local musicians hanging out there, and there were quite a few on the day I went by there in 1990.

We were all talking and catching up (everyone there wanted to know how I had fared so far in Dallas) when a gangly dude plugged a guitar into a 100-watt Marshall and started playing.

Badly.

REALLY badly.

“Smoke On The Water” intro badly.

“Sunshine Of Your Love” chords badly.

He was out of tune, couldn’t determine what key he was playing in – at around 110db – you get the picture.

In 5 minutes, he had emptied out Ray Hennig’s.

Completely.

We all headed for a local warehouse where a lot of locals rehearsed, to escape.

I walked past this tone-deaf moron on the way out, and he had the nerve to smile a smirky smile at me.

I found out later on that his name was Vernon Howell.

Yeah – THAT Vernon Howell.

If I’d known then what I know now, I could have crushed his windpipe and killed him.

I would have done possibly 6 years for manslaughter, and all of those men, women, and (especially) children would still be alive.

Missed opportunities…….

.

This is (was) Ray –

 

And this is (was) Vernon Howell –

 

.

Burn in hell, Vernon.

 

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Biography: Vincent Price

There’s no such thing as too much Vincent Price. His life story is every bit as interesting as his movies.

 

Saturday Odds & Sods: People Are Strange

Twin Sisters by Diane Arbus.

Things are slowly returning to normal in post-Ida New Orleans. The trash problem seems to have abated somewhat, but there’s still a lot of tree and construction debris about. It’s time to take the debris out of Debrisville.

I usually only have a Spring allergy problem, but that’s no longer true. I suspect it has something to do with the dust in the air after the storm. Whatever it is, I wish it would relent. Achoo.

I’m getting my Pfizer booster shot at noon today. Unlike Gary Cooper in High Noon, I won’t beg for help. I can take a jab with the best of them.

This week’s theme song was written by Jim Morrison and Robbie Krieger for the Doors’ 1967 album Strange Days. It was originally credited to the whole band. That’s what hippies did; not that Morrison was a hippie. He was one of the original goths.

We have two versions of People Are Strange for your listening pleasure: the Doors original and a cover by Echo & the Bunnymen from the 1987 movie, The Lost Boys.

That was almost as strange as the Diane Arbus featured image. Those twins have always given me the heebie jeebies.

Now that I’ve creeped you out, let’s join arms and jump to the break.

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