From Repower America:
ABC News went underwater in the Gulf with Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of famous explorer Jacques Cousteau, and he described what he saw as "one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen underwater."
Check out what BP does not want you to see. And please share this widely -- every American should see what's happening under the surface in the Gulf.
We’ve seen the oil start to wash up on shore, and we’ve seen satellite images of the slick. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg: You need to take a look at the underwater impact of the oil geyser and the dangerous chemicals BP is using to “disperse” it — effects that could last for decades.
This is one of the many reasons I will never hate on Tom Cruise.
I shouldn't even have to mention all the epic roles: Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Born on the 4th of July, etc.
No, I don't care what religion he serves or who he is married to.
Tom Cruise is a motherfucking rockstar.
If you haven't read the M.I.A. piece in the NY Times Magazine yet, you need to.
Author Lynn Hirschberg goes after Maya in a ruthless, fearless way.
And it works.
I have been saying for years that I thought Maya was a phony, but this is one of the harshest biographical pieces I have ever read.
I'm sure you've heard how pissed of she is at the author. Maya even posted Lynn's cel number on her Twitter feed.
Yeah, what a bitch.
But here in lies the ultimate truth of celebrity and artistry:
If you are not honest about where you come from, who you are, and why you do what you do... You will be caught. And it will not be pretty.
Read the article here.
Here is video footage of the Mike Conway crash at the Indy 500.
Holy shit, man.
I may not be into this "sport" but those drivers are badfuckingass.
Frank Rich wrote an interesting op-ed today in the NY Times:
FOR Barack Obama’s knee-jerk foes, of course it was his Katrina. But for the rest of us, there’s the nagging fear that the largest oil spill in our history could yet prove worse if it drags on much longer. It might not only wreck the ecology of a region but capsize the principal mission of the Obama presidency.
Before we look at why, it would be helpful to briefly revisit that increasingly airbrushed late summer of 2005. Whatever Obama’s failings, he is infinitely more competent at coping with catastrophe than his predecessor. President Bush’s top disaster managers — the Homeland Security secretary, Michael Chertoff, as well as the notorious “Brownie” — professed ignorance of New Orleans’s humanitarian crisis a full day after the nation had started watching it live in real time on television. When Bush finally appeared, he shunned the city entirely and instead made a jocular show of vowing to rebuild the coastal home of his party’s former Senate leader, Trent Lott. He never did take charge.
The Obama administration has been engaged with the oil spill from the start — however haltingly and inarticulately at times. It was way too trusting of BP but was never AWOL. For all the second-guessing, it’s still not clear what else the president might have done to make a definitive, as opposed to cosmetic, difference in plugging the hole: yell louder at BP, send in troops and tankers, or, as James Carville would have it, assume the role of Big Daddy? The spill is not a Tennessee Williams play, its setting notwithstanding, and it’s hard to see what more drama would add, particularly since No Drama Obama’s considerable talents do not include credible play-acting.
But life isn’t fair, and this president is in a far tougher spot in 2010 than his predecessor was in 2005.
When Katrina hit, Bush was in his second term and his bumbling was not a shock to a country that had witnessed two-plus years of his grievous mismanagement of the Iraq war. His laissez-faire response to the hurricane was also consistent with his political DNA as a small-government conservative in thrall to big business. His administration’s posture toward the gulf region had been telegraphed at its inception, when Dick Cheney convened oil and gas cronies, including Enron’s Ken Lay, to set environmental and energy policy. The Interior Department devolved into a cesspool of corruption, even by its historically low standards, turning the Bush-Cheney antigovernment animus into a self-fulfilling prophecy and bequeathing Obama a Minerals Management Service as broken as the Bush-Cheney FEMA exposed by Katrina.
Obama was elected as a progressive antidote to this discredited brand of governance. Of all the president’s stated goals, none may be more sweeping than his desire to prove that government is not always a hapless and intrusive bureaucratic assault on taxpayers’ patience and pocketbooks, but a potential force for good.
He returned to this theme with particular eloquence in his University of Michigan commencement speech 10 days after the Deepwater Horizon blowout. He reminded his audience that under both parties the federal government helped build public high schools, the transcontinental railroad and the interstate highway system, engineered the New Deal and Medicare — and imposed safety and environmental standards on the oil industry. Quoting Lincoln, Obama said that “the role of government is to do for the people what they cannot do better for themselves.”
We expect him to deliver on this core conviction. But the impact on “the people” of his signature governmental project so far, health care reform, remains provisional and abstract. Like it or not, a pipe gushing poison into an ocean is a visceral crisis demanding visible, immediate action.
Obama’s news conference on Thursday — explaining in detail the government’s response, its mistakes and its precise relationship to BP — was at least three weeks overdue. It was also his first full news conference in 10 months. Obama’s recurrent tardiness in defining exactly what he wants done on a given issue — a lapse also evident in the protracted rollout of the White House’s specific health care priorities — remains baffling, as does his recent avoidance of news conferences. Such diffidence does not convey a J.F.K.-redux in charge of a neo-New Frontier activist government.
Long before Obama took office, the public was plenty skeptical that government could do anything right. Eight years of epic Bush ineptitude and waste only added to Washington’s odor. Now Obama is stuck between a rock and a Tea Party. His credibility as a champion of reformed, competent government is held hostage by video from the gulf. And this in an election year when the very idea of a viable federal government is under angrier assault than at any time since the Gingrich revolution and militia mobilization of 1994-5 and arguably since the birth of the modern conservative movement in the 1960s.
This is why the more revealing strand of Rand Paul’s post-primary victory romp may have been his musings about BP, not civil rights law — although they are two sides of the same ideological coin. He called out Obama and his administration for sounding “really un-American” in their “criticism of business.” He asked that we stop the “blame game” over the disaster and instead just accept the fact that “accidents happen.” Much as Paul questioned the federal government’s role in ordering lunch counters to desegregate, so he belittled its intrusion into BP’s toxic private enterprise. But unlike the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the role of government in corporate regulation is a continuing battle, not settled law.
Hardly were those words out of Paul’s mouth than the G.O.P. gave him the hook. He dropped his scheduled appearance on last Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader and Paul’s newly self-appointed minder, declared that his fellow Kentuckian had said “quite enough for the time being in terms of national press coverage.” Establishment conservatives have scrambled to portray Paul as either an innocent victim of a liberal media game of “gotcha” or an inexperienced citizen-politician who made the rookie mistake of conducting campaign interviews as if they were classroom seminars in Libertarian theory. We were told he really didn’t mean what he was saying, and that he certainly didn’t represent the G.O.P. or the Tea Party movement.
Whom are they kidding? Paul rightly described his victory as “a message from the Tea Party” that it was on the march “to take our government back.” And if he doesn’t represent the G.O.P., who does if not his most powerful supporters and ideological fellow travelers, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin? Aside from saying no to Obama, the Republican Party has no ideas except Tea Party ideas, Rand Paul ideas. And as The Economist, hardly a liberal observer, put it, Paul’s views are those of “a genuine radical who believes in paring government down to the bone.”
The president of the American Enterprise Institute, the conservative think tank, codified the mission in apocalyptic terms last weekend. The new American “culture war,” Arthur C. Brooks wrote in The Washington Post, is not “over guns, gays or abortion” but pits “the principles of free enterprise” against the “European-style statism” he accuses Obama of fomenting. It’s a war that takes no prisoners: the A.E.I. purged the former Bush speechwriter David Frum after he broke with the strict party line.
The stakes are high. To win this culture war, the right must rewrite history — and not just that of the Bush response to Katrina. In his jeremiad, Brooks held only “government housing policy” responsible for the 2008 economic meltdown and gave a pass to what he regards as an already overregulated Wall Street. Palin has brazenly accused Obama of being in financial hock to Big Oil when it’s her own “drill, baby, drill” party that has collected three-quarters of Big Oil’s campaign cash for decades.
The Tea Party is meanwhile busy rewriting America’s early history under Beck’s tutelage by enforcing a vision of the Constitution tantamount to the Creationists’ view of Genesis. We must obey the words of the founding fathers literally — or what the Tea Partiers think those words to be. (Many Tea Partiers seem unaware that Medicare is a government entitlement postdating Tom Paine.) There can be no evolution or amendments. Any Obama initiatives are sacrilegious. All previous add-ons are un-American and must be pared away, from the Department of Education to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Michael Steele, the party chairman, attacked Elena Kagan for joining Thurgood Marshall in finding the original text of the Constitution “defective” because, among other defects, it countenanced slavery.
The only good news from the oil spill is that when catastrophe strikes, even some hard-line conservatives, like Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, start begging for the federal government to act, and act big. It’s the crunch moment for government to make its case — as Obama belatedly started to do on Thursday. But words are no match for results. As long as the stain washes up on shore, the hole in BP’s pipe will serve the right as a gaping hole in the president’s argument for expanded government supervision of, for starters, Big Oil and big banks. It’s not just the gulf that could suffer for decades to come.
Truth Dig has posted yet another scathing piece by the brilliant Chris Hedges.
Read and weep.
Here’s to the Greeks. They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country. They know what to do when Goldman Sachs and international bankers collude with their power elite to falsify economic data and then make billions betting that the Greek economy will collapse. They know what to do when they are told their pensions, benefits and jobs have to be cut to pay corporate banks, which screwed them in the first place. Call a general strike. Riot. Shut down the city centers. Toss the bastards out. Do not be afraid of the language of class warfare—the rich versus the poor, the oligarchs versus the citizens, the capitalists versus the proletariat. The Greeks, unlike most of us, get it.
The former right-wing government of Greece lied about the size of the country’s budget deficit. It was not 3.7 percent of gross domestic product but 13.6 percent. And it now looks like the economies of Spain, Ireland, Italy and Portugal are as bad as Greece’s, which is why the euro has lost 20 percent of its value in the last few months. The few hundred billion in bailouts for other faltering European states, like our own bailouts, have only forestalled disaster. This is why the U.S. stock exchange is in free fall and gold is rocketing upward. American banks do not have heavy exposure in Greece, but Greece, as most economists concede, is only the start. Wall Street is deeply invested in other European states, and when the unraveling begins the foundations of our own economy will rumble and crack as loudly as the collapse in Athens. The corporate overlords will demand that we too impose draconian controls and cuts or see credit evaporate. They have the money and the power to hurt us. There will be more unemployment, more personal and commercial bankruptcies, more foreclosures and more human misery. And the corporate state, despite this suffering, will continue to plunge us deeper into debt to make war. It will use fear to keep us passive. We are being consumed from the inside out. Our economy is as rotten as the economy in Greece. We too borrow billions a day to stay afloat. We too have staggering deficits, which can never be repaid. Heed the dire rhetoric of European leaders.
“The euro is in danger,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel
told lawmakers last week as she called on them to approve Germany’s portion of the bailout plan. “If we do not avert this danger, then the consequences for Europe are incalculable, and then the consequences beyond Europe are incalculable.”
Beyond Europe means us. The right-wing government of Kostas Karamanlis, which preceded the current government of George Papandreou, did what the Republicans did under George W. Bush. They looted taxpayer funds to enrich their corporate masters and bankrupt the country. They stole hundreds of millions of dollars from individual retirement and pension accounts slowly built up over years by citizens who had been honest and industrious. They used mass propaganda to make the population afraid of terrorists and surrender civil liberties, including habeas corpus. And while Bush and Karamanlis, along with the corporate criminal class they abetted, live in unparalleled luxury, ordinary working men and women are told they must endure even more pain and suffering to make amends. It is feudal rape. And there has to be a point when even the American public—which still believes the fairy tale that personal will power and positive thinking will lead to success—will realize it has been had.
For the rest of the article, click here.
While this is not surprising, it is still quite shocking.
Officials from Jefferson Parish, Louisiana have told Yahoo News and local NBC affiliate WDSU that BP bused in hundreds of temporary workers to make it look like they were doing more than they were for oil-slicked local beaches.
The workers pictured above were lining the route for Obama's motorcade through the region yesterday. Officials told WDSU that as many as 500, perhaps including these, were brought in only for the day, at $12 an hour. Until that point there had been "no more than a dozen" workers on Grand Isle beach.
Councilman Chris Roberts told Yahoo News that "the level of cleanup and cooperation we've gotten from BP in the past is in no way consistent to the effort shown on the island [yesterday]... as soon as the president left, they were immediately put back on the buses and sent home."
BP claimed, to WDSU, that it was just coincidence that the workers happened to arrive in great numbers on the same day the president visited. Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said the company "moved in considerably more people to fight the battle where the oil is." A local contractor said it was "absolutely a sheer coincidence."
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|On Topic: In the News - Race in America|
The Daily Show has been on vacation.
And I am going through a major case of Stewart Withdrawl.
Thankfully, The Huffington Post comedy team put this up.
It will have to do.
Come back, Daily Show. Please.
A Rod hit a line drive right into the head of Indians pitcher, David Huff.
Ouch. Let's hope he recovers quickly.
Glenn Beck and a cohost mocked President Obama and impersonated his daughter on the radio this week.
How fucking creepy is this guy?
Janelle Monae, featuring Big Boi from Outkast.
I just got third degree burns on both my ears.
This song is white hot.
Here's the new banger from Kanye.
"21st Century Schizoid Man"
Sampled from the King Crimson song of the same name.
That beat is straight fire.
And this is why we can't stay mad at Mr. West. He is the Beat Master.
The President spoke today about the federal government's role in the oil spill cleanup.
The main issue I wanted to hear was reform of our mineral oversight committee.
And he said there will be drastic changes there.
He did a good job today. Now let's clean this shit up.
During batting practice last week at Wrigley Field, a Cubs fan catches a baseball with his beer and then chugs it down.
Reason #387 of why I love baseball.
Here is the much anticipated new single from Arcade Fire.
Song is entitled, "Month of May"
And it's a scorcher.
As far as live rock bands, no one touches Arcade Fire right now.
This is amazing. Hilarious, but amazing.
America Speaking Out is a new GOP website where like-minded simple folk can debate on what to do with baby killing pussies like myself.
I am in love.
Friends, family, lovers, if I don't pick up the phone or respond to email, Facebook or Twitter...
You can find me at this website. Fucking with Republicans on any issue I can either make up or reply to.
Please, I beg of you. Check out some of the topics being discussed on this site.
Some of them are priceless.
The best part: There are already so many liberal pranksters on here that I have been laughing for a straight hour.
And I can't stop laughing.
Just a few posts from the "American Values" section of the site:
Patriot102 "All this talk of oil spill is just another liberal media propaganda. Has anyone even SEEN the oil? NO because it doesn't exist. The extreme left wing only wants you to have windmills powered by the cow f@rts, and oil is so bad or something. OIL COMES FROM YOUR SKIN, it can't be that bad. He||, you even fry your chicken fingers in it for crepes sake. great, now i need some chicken fingers."
Mr. Poe "Order IMMEDIATE professional psychiatric help for Glenn Beck."
Nes232 "They should close down bodegas that don't sell American pie, and deport all the workers."
Couscous "I should have the right to name my children using numbers. If I want to name my child l33t, I should be able to name him that, darsh gone it. Who is the guberment to say that I can't name my children using numbers?"
Redblooded "Raise taxes on those making under $200,000 per year as an incentive for them to do better. Reward the hardworking free enterprise success stories making more than $200,000 per year with no taxes and, in fact, bonuses from the IRS that will help grow jobs and stimulate the economy. If anyone experiences a hardship, the under-successful types can work off their tax debt by working as housekeepers/cooks and groundskeepers/ranch hands."
Newsom "I don't like how bike riders are always showing off with their skinny shorts. If they like wearing their skinny shorts, they should do that when their with the men who like that, not me."
MJ "Aramaic as the Official Language of the US. We do this to respect two facts: this is a Christian Nation and Jesus spoke Aramaic, therefore, that should be our language as well. Anyone who refuses to speak the language of our Lord should be deported back to where they came from. This includes the Native Americans."
Like whoa. Like holyfuckingshit, whoa.
From 50 Cent fan site This Is 50, via Gawker:
"50 Cent lost a lot of weight for his upcoming movie 'Things Fall Apart.' In the movie 50 Cent plays a football player diagnosed with cancer.
He dropped from 214 pounds to an astonishing 160 with a liquid diet and three-hour-a-day treadmill walks for nine weeks.
'I was starving.' Now he's back on tour and says, 'I've been eating. I'll be back in shape in no time!'"
This shit is fucking crazy.
I did a triple take before I even believed it was him.
Guess he's serious about this acting thing.
Good, because his last record was a dud.
"You'd think that a proposal to make mega-rich hedge fund managers pay at least as much in taxes as, say, teachers or police officers would be a no-brainer, right?
But, with Wall Street executives going ballistic, even some Democrats are getting nervous about closing the "hedge fund loophole" that lets these wealthy investors—many of whom are big campaign contributors—pay less in taxes than the rest of us."
I honestly know very little about this loophole. When I learn more, I will post about.
The Honda CB750.
I may be a tad biased, as I own a 1978 CB750. But fuck off.
From Bike EXIF:
"Just when you think you’ve seen every possible take on the Honda CB750, here’s another one. It’s from the Japanese shop House Rockers, based in Saitama—some 30 km north of central Tokyo. There’s a definite look to House Rockers’ customs: usually high bars and rearsets, giving the CB750 a stubby, muscular mien. The bike in the above picture has been thoroughly upgraded, with performance to match the no-nonsense stance.
The motor has been rebuilt with a Wiseco 836cc engine kit, a polished and ported head, and big valves. The cam and crank are both forged race items, and the carbs are Yoshimura-tweaked Mikuni TMRs. A nine-inch oil cooler takes the heat away, and the stainless steel exhaust is simply a work of art. There’s aluminum all over the place—including the oil and fuel tanks, battery box and side covers. The frame has been heavily reinforced, and House Rockers has also upgraded the suspension with Kayaba components at the front and Öhlins at the back.
The cost? Around $38,000."
James Carville is the most fascinating political pundit on television.
He is a good ole boy from Louisiana, and a staunch liberal.
Here he lays it all out when asked what the President should be doing at the Gulf.
I love it.
One of my favorite artists of all time, David Byrne, is the latest artist to respond to GOP leadership for illegally using their songs in campaign ads and on the campaign trail.
From his blog:
Yours Truly vs. the Governor of Florida
I am bringing a lawsuit against the Governor of Florida.
A while back a friend told me that the Republican Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, was using the Talking Heads song “Road to Nowhere” in a campaign ad. He’s running for Senate.
Well, using a recording of a song, or even just using that song and not the original recording, in an advertisement without permission is illegal, unless the composition has gone into the public domain. It’s not just illegal because one is supposed to pay for such use and not paying is, well, theft — it’s also illegal because one has to ask permission, and that permission can be turned down.
Besides being theft, use of the song and my voice in a campaign ad implies that I, as writer and singer of the song, might have granted Crist permission to use it, and that I therefore endorse him and/or the Republican Party, of which he was a member until very, very recently. The general public might also think I simply license the use of my songs to anyone who will pay the going rate, but that’s not true either, as I have never licensed a song for use in an ad. I do license songs to commercial films and TV shows (if they pay the going rate), and to dance companies and student filmmakers mostly for free. But not to ads.
I’m a bit of a throwback that way, as I still believe songs occasionally mean something to people — they obviously mean something personal to the writer, and often to the listener as well. A personal and social meaning is diluted when that same song is used to sell a product (or a politician). If Crist and his campaign folks had asked to use the song, I would have said no — even if they had offered a lot of money, such as I have been offered in the past for ad use (though I’ve always turned these offers down).
I believe my audience is aware of this no-ad use policy of mine, and part of the respect I am accorded as an artist is due to my maintaining this policy. Needless to say, if they thought I’d licensed a song to a political campaign they might not respect me as much in the morning.
It might be pointed out that Republican campaign organizations have done this kind of thing before. John McCain’s campaign used the Jackson Browne song “Running on Empty” and Reagan’s folks used Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” Both were used illegally without permission, and in the case of the Jackson Browne song a lawsuit was brought. After the Republicans lost several motions attempting to dismiss Browne’s complaint, they settled with him. Part of the settlement said that the Republican National Committee promised to respect artists’ rights and to obtain licenses for the use of copyrighted works in the future. So, it’s not like they weren’t warned, or hadn’t been burned before.
Now, there is such a thing as fair use. Typically the type of free use that doesn’t require a permission might be a student quoting a passage in a book to make a point in a graduate paper, or someone using part (not all) of “Road to Nowhere” to identify, say, the marching groove in that song as a metaphor for the inexorable forward momentum of time, or some such notion. These uses are typically exempt from licensing, permission and fees. In this case, however, the use was not to comment on or explain something about “Road to Nowhere,” ’80s music in general, Talking Heads or Cajun accordion riffs — it was used solely to further Governor Crist’s advertising strategy in his Senate primary campaign… a campaign that has nothing to do with me or my music.
Another tactic the Republicans have used to justify this kind of thing is the right to political free speech. Their argument is that the song is integral to making a political point, and therefore falls under free speech. Well, that’s just crazy talk — the song has nothing to do with Crist’s political views. It simply has a title that is a handy catchphrase, as does the Jackson Browne song — but the content of the song itself doesn’t have any connection with the politician’s campaign or agenda.
So, my lawyers and I have filed a lawsuit — and we also hope the Republicans might not engage (again) in this kind of illegal behavior in the future.
From The Sound Strike:
Los Angeles, California, May 25, 2010
We are reaching out to get your ear for a minute about this critical situation in Arizona.
If you haven't heard, the Arizona state legislature passed a bill (SB 1070) that was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer that legalizes and sanctions racial profiling. Straight up.
It forces the cops to hunt down and target anyone they "reasonably suspect" that may be undocumented. And if the people they harass don't have proof that they were born in the U.S., they can be detained and arrested. This must be stopped.
Fans of our music, our stories, our films and our words can be pulled over and harassed every day because they are brown or black, or for the way they speak, or for the music they listen to. People who are poor like some of us used to be could be forced to live in a constant state of fear while just doing what they can to find work and survive. This law opens the door for them to be shaked down, or even worse, detained and deported while just trying to travel home from school, from home to work, or when they just roll out with their friends.
Some of us grew up dealing with racial profiling, but this law (SB 1070) takes it to a whole new low. If other states follow the direction of the Arizona government, we could be headed towards a pre-civil rights era reality. This unjust law was set into motion by the same Arizona government that refused to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr. day as a national holiday.
When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, they arrested her. As a result, people got together and said we are not going to ride the bus until they change the law. It was this courageous action that sparked the Montgomery bus boycott. What if we got together, signed a collective letter saying, "we're not going to ride the bus", saying we are not going to comply. We are not going to play in Arizona. We are going to boycott Arizona?!
Zack de la Rocha
Here's a list of the courageous artists who have taken a stand for civil and human rights in this collective decision to boycott Arizona:
Los Tigres del Norte
Rage Against the Machine
One Day as a Lion
Street Sweeper Social Club
We are asking artists the world over to stand with us, and not allow our collective economic power to be used to aid and abet civil and human rights violations that will be caused by Arizona’s odious law.
Vampire Weekend and their song, "Giving Up the Gun"
I really dig this new album of theirs. And this video rocks.
Directed by The Malloys, the video features cameos from Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lil' Jon and RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan.
This Wall Street regulation bill is a fucking joke.
Everything I have read so far, from the NY Times, The Washington Post, Politico, HuffPo, etc has been saying the same thing.
Maybe Sarah Palin is onto something...
Hey President Obama, "where is that hopey-changey stuff you were talkin aboot?"
Seriously. Where the fuck is it?
The Dems may be a lesser of two evils, but that's about as far is it goes.
I was fooled. I won't be fooled again.
Super Bowl XLVIII will be at the new Giants (Jets, too) Stadium.
Unless I'm in a Skybox...
Fuck that shit, people. Have fun.
It's gonna be a cooooooold evening in Jersey.
Here is an outstanding list of the really bad guys responsible for this oil leak disaster from the Deepwater Horizon offshore drill.
Please go to Gawker right now.
I have been looking high and low for someone with enough balls to put this list together, and here it is.
Yes, it is who most of you suspect. But they're all together. And each accusation is referenced.
What scares me the most is how little Haliburton is being railed in the public discourse. They are in the top three of the most heinous corporations in all the world.
Of course they are behind this nightmare.
Read up. Knowledge is power.
This is going to get a lot worse...
Rob Walker's weekly column "Consumed" in the New York Times Magazine is one of my favorites. So when I saw the title, "Hitting Rewind on the Cassette Tape" I was elated. This is right up my alley.
And as usual, he did not let me down.
Funny, he references Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, which I just finished a few days ago. Yeah, it's one of my favorite movies. But I had never read the book.
From the NY Times Magazine:
Over the last couple of years, sales of vinyl records increased; the numbers aren’t huge, but they sparked a lot of public musing about the format’s qualities. Cassette sales, meanwhile, steadily dwindled to a mere 34,000 last year through the retail venues tracked by SoundScan. Considering this not long ago, I concluded that the romance associated with vinyl doesn’t apply to its longtime analog rival. I was wrong about that. In looking (and asking) around online, I realize now that there is extensive evidence of ongoing appreciation for the cassette — or at least the idea of the cassette.
Part of what changed my mind was a long essay on the Web site Pitchfork. In that essay, Marc Hogan noted the cassette’s stunning fall from prominence (8.6 million sold in 2004), but only as a preamble to declaring that a “netroots resurgence” is fueling a cassette “comeback.” The essay pointed to examples of indie labels that are now releasing tapes, sometimes exclusively, and noted a variety of aesthetic and cultural rationales for what could certainly be construed as a willfully perverse stance in favor of a format that hardly anybody seemed excited about during its actual heyday. Perhaps because of Pitchfork’s distinctly music-crit worldview (“One sound that helped was chillwave aka glo-fi aka hypnagogic pop,” etc.), I wasn’t fully convinced. But I was interested.
Another essay, on the Web site PopMatters, argued flatly against a nostalgia-driven cassette revival. “As a canvas, the cassette just didn’t have the majesty of records” and is thus dying unmourned, Sean McCarthy wrote. It’s true that “the record” (or “the album”) retained its status as the core artistic form. Nobody ever looked forward to Prince’s “next cassette” or drew up a list of the “greatest cassettes of all time.” People go to (or miss) record stores, not cassette stores; the store in Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity” is called Championship Vinyl, not Championship Plastic. And so on.
Still, what struck me as I looked into the status of the tape in 2010 wasn’t so much examples of music still being released on cassette; it was the surprising number of representations of cassettes. Prints and paintings of cassettes; pouches, belt buckles and notebooks made to look like cassettes; buttons with little cassette images on them; envelopes, a watch, even a soap dispenser decorated with the familiar cassette shape. Many artists and designers — too many to name them all here — have chosen cassettes as raw material. Brian Dettmer has fashioned cassettes into a skull, among other forms. An artist identified on Flickr as iri5 has made astonishing portraits of rock musicians from tape carefully extracted from cassettes. Alyce Santoro has created “sonic fabric” neckties that incorporate recycled tape. Designers at Transparent House make impressive lamps with repurposed cassettes (in a direct “tribute to an object of their ’80s youth”). Marc Jacobs and Urban Outfitters have both created U.S.B. drives in the shape of a cassette; a British firm called Suck UK makes a sort of container for a U.S.B. drive that’s not only cassette-shaped but has an old-school foldout cover so you can write out the names of songs collected on the drive.
It’s worth noting here that one thing Hornby’s characters did with their records was... make tapes. The medium, crummy as it was, gave listeners a modicum of control. Some of that control had to do with portability — you could obsessively listen to your favorite artists without being yoked to a record player. The PopMatters essay noted that the Walkman let music fans escape into a mobile and private listening world; I would say the boombox and the car cassette deck were just as important in creating mobile and social ones. But using these tools to hear a custom-built musical sequence meant even more.
Sure, we have practically unlimited control at our fingertips now — a few clicks and drags make it easy to whip together a batch of songs and make it available to the world at large if you want to. But that’s just the point. When I floated this topic on the Consumed Facebook page and my Web site, Murketing, my correspondents reminisced about the cassette version of making and sharing as a “ritual”; the process “involved a level of engagement for both the maker and recipient” that can’t be matched by more convenient computer-enabled methods. “To receive a mixtape from a lover . . . ,” one wrote, not quite completing the thought or needing to. It seems the romance of the cassette is strongest in its connection to actual romance: the carefully picked batch of songs transformed a sorry piece of plastic into a precious object. A recent collection of writing about mixtapes is called “Cassette From My Ex,” but the music writer Rob Sheffield’s memoir of courtship, marriage and loss sums it up best: “Love Is a Mix Tape.”
Maybe this is why cassette imagery seems to be a good bit more durable than the medium itself. Tapes are an ex, and this romance isn’t really about wanting the past to come back; it’s about wanting to keep remembering it, fondly.
Now, as many of you know, I am not some freak flag flying hippie that rails against drilling for oil in America.
Would I like us to be far less dependent on the crude?
Yes, of course.
But as long as I, personally, am using petrol for fuel, I don't believe I can fully condemn the search for oil. And it pisses me off when Americans (mostly liberals) campaign to stop drilling in the Arctic while driving their SUVs with Hope stickers on the bumpers and crying about our wars in the Middle East.
That being said, I have never supported offshore drilling. Not that I predicted a spill like this. Nor did I ever think a spill like this was possible.
Though, here we are. This spill makes Valdez look like a puddle in the sidewalk.
And I do not appreciate the White House's reluctance to own this disaster.
Yeah, we know that this is a direct result of Bush/Cheney cronyism. We know that those monsters of the GOP were actually placing oil execs and lobbyists in regulatory positions.
Disgusting? yes. Criminal? debatable.
But that doesn't help us now. So Barack, keep pointing the blame, but shoulder the fucking cleanup. The fact that BP is still in charge of this mess is a direct result of your administration's fear of the 2010 elections.
Man the fuck up and take care of shit. Now.
From Bike EXIF:
"One of the most underrated custom platforms has got to be Yamaha’s Virago. It first appeared as the XV750 in 1981, and made an immediate impact—to the point where it was one of the bikes that prompted a US tariff on imported motorcycles over 700 cc, arguably to protect Milwaukee. The Virago sub-brand was soon spread thin with subsequent models going down to 250 cc, but the 80s big-bangers are still held in high regard. The custom shown here is a 1981 model, rebuilt in Haaksbergen in the Netherlands as a tribute to the Zero Engineering style."
Fucking beautiful, man.
A very good friend of mine, Mike Berlin, was featured on the news this past weekend with a couple buddies as they attempted the Guinness record for watching lost. Here's the video and the story.
From ABC News:
"When Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on the first episode of 'Lost' in 2004, a perplexing plot and a mosaic of complex characters -- all with secret pasts -- were thrown together, along with some polar bears on the tropical island and a few miracles. 'Lost' sparked an unrivaled cult following.
Far from the island, "Lost" fans Mike Berlin, Alex Green and Aaron Rosenthal are on a survival mission of their own this week: They are attempting a Guinness World Record for the most hours spent watching the supernatural-tinged show."
Professor Soto discusses the Arizona immigration law in her speech at the May 2010 Commencement Ceremony for the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Listen to the crowd.
I will tell you one thing that I know for certain...
A liberal American would never, ever treat a speaker like this.
This is not a far cry from how the GOP have behaved at Obama's State of the Union addresses.
Ignorance is embarrassing.
A bunch of my friends were at the Pearl Jam concert at MSG over the weekend.
I finally got to see them this past fall in LA at the Gibson Ampitheater. And it was one of the greatest shows I have ever seen.
Can't believe my first PJ show was at 30, considering I have been a huge fan since "Ten" came out when I was in 7th grade. Shame.
But I was blown away when I read about this duet above.
Band of Horses opened up for them at the Garden on May 21st.
Lead singer Ben Bridwell came out to sing the Temple of the Dog song, "Hunger Strike" and the crowd went nuts.
I'm sure that performance was a dream come true for Bridwell.
World renowned Spanish bullfighter, Julio Aparicio, finally learned the phrase...
"When you mess with the bull, you get the horns."
Karma is a bitch isn't it, Senor Aparicio?
He is in critical condition, and of course I hope he survives.
I don't really feel that sorry for him. I mean, I am by no means a vegetarian. Nor, an active volunteer with the Humane Society.
But what they do to these bulls is disgusting.
Stay classy, NY Post.
Consistently proving their merit as a serious journalistic entity.
This is hands down the worst motivational speech ever.
But I haven't laughed this hard all fucking week.
Yes, yes, YES.
What an ass.
Chris Matthews was on Leno and man did he nail it.
Leno asks him about the oil spill and Chris goes after Cheney with no holds barred.
Watch and learn. These are facts, people.
I've been ranting about Cheney's Hiliburton and Big Oil ties for a decade now and this sums it up in less than five minutes.
Come on, people.
Wake the fuck up. This is not Obama's spill. This blood (oil) is on Cheney and Big Oil, and their hands alone.
Oh, and Ms. Handler: When your intelligence is clearly outmatched, maybe it's time to shut the fuck up and be respectful.
Well played, Mr. Matthews.
From Bike EXIF:
"This vintage-themed Moto Guzzi looks like an 850T to me. And unlike most Guzzi customs, it’s not a café racer—there’s a definite bobber flavor here. This bike appeared briefly on a German website—which now appears to have gone under—and little information was forthcoming from the owner, apart from these images. At the very least, this machine has been given a custom-made tank and seat, vintage-style Firestone tires, a fatter exhaust system and a bobbed front fender. The bars appear to have a burnished copper finish—with matching fork uppers—plus built-in flashers and what appear to be wooden grips."
Look at that detail.
This may be the most beautiful motorcycle I have ever seen.
Lars Ulrich posted this beautiful farewell letter to Ronnie James Dio on Metallica's website...
I just got off stage in Zagreb. I was met with the news that you've passed on. I'm kind of in shock, but I wanted you to know that you were one of the main reasons I made it onto that stage to begin with. When I first saw you in Elf, opening for Deep Purple in 1975, I was completely blown away by the power in your voice, your presence on stage, your confidence, and the ease with which you seemed to connect to 6000 Danish people and one starry-eyed 11 year old, most of whom were not familiar with Elf's music. The following year, I was so psyched when I heard the results of you joining forces with my favorite guitar player. You guys sounded so right for each other and I instantly became Rainbow's #1 fan in Denmark. In the fall of 1976, when you played your first show in Copenhagen, I was literally in the front row and the couple of times we made eye contact you made me feel like the most important person in the world. The news that you guys were staying in town on your day off somehow embedded itself in my brain and I made the pilgrimage to the Plaza Hotel to see if I could somehow grab a picture, an autograph, a moment, anything. A few hours later you came out and were so kind and caring... pictures, autographs and a couple minutes of casual banter. I was on top of the world, inspired and ready for anything. Rainbow came to Copenhagen a couple more times over the next few years and each time you guys blew my mind, and for a good three years were my absolute favorite band on this planet. Over the years I've been fortunate enough to run into you a half dozen times or so and each time you were as kind, caring and gracious as you were in 1976 outside the hotel. When we finally got a chance to play together in Austria in 2007, even though I may not have let on, I was literally transformed back to that little snot nosed kid who you met and inspired 31 years earlier and it was such a fucking honor and a dream come true to share a stage with you and the rest of the legends in Heaven and Hell. A couple of weeks ago when I heard that you were not going to be able to make it to the Sonisphere shows that we would be sharing this June, I wanted to call you and let you know that I was thinking of you and wish you well, but I kind of pussied out, thinking the last thing you needed in your recovery was feeling obligated to take a phone call from a Danish drummer/fan boy. I wish I'd made that call. We will miss you immensely on the dates, and we will be thinking of you with great admiration and affection during that run. It seemed so right to have you out on tour with the so-called “Big Four” since you obviously were one of the main reasons that the four bands even exist. Your ears will definitely be burning during those two weeks because all of us will be talking, reminiscing and sharing stories about how knowing you has made our lives that much better.
Ronnie, your voice impacted and empowered me, your music inspired and influenced me, and your kindness touched and moved me. Thank you.
Not really digging this Kentucky boy.
But he is right about one thing, the confused and clumsy Tea Party definitely needs to figure out what the fuck it is that they are so angry about.
Can't just keep shouting "Curb spending" and "Smaller Government" into the wind and hope that any educated human will respect your vote.
There is an outstanding piece in Gizmodo about Foxconn, one of Apple's factories in China. Here's a snippet.
For the rest of the story, click here.
"Chinese newspaper Southern Weekly sent 20-year-old reporter Liu Zhi Yi undercover in Foxconn's factory in Shenzhen, China. For 28 days, he experienced dreadful conditions that the factory's 400,000 employees endure, churning out iPods, iPads, and iPhones for Apple nonstop.
There's no doubt about it. The Foxconn suicides were caused by job stress. Within half a year, there have been nine suicides attempts with seven confirmed deaths at Foxconn's Shenzhen factory. In the last month, that number suddenly increased to 30 new suicide attempts, prompting the company to hire counselors and even Buddhist monks to free the souls of the suicidal from purgatory.
Foxconn is one of Apple's main manufacturer contractors. Thousands of Mac minis, iPods, iPhones and iPads are assembled daily in the Shenzhen factory, which runs 24/7."
We forget too easily in America that there is a whole world of people enslaved to make our cheap products.
It's important to think about that next time you tell yourself you "need" something.
This is the future.
We need more of this and we need it soon.
I have seen first-hand the diet of inner-city school kids.
And it is terrible. But the parents can't usually afford better.
Vicious cycle, indeed.
Harley-Davidson has hired supermodel Marissa Miller for their new ad campaign.
And it definitely works.
Here she is posing on the new Fat Boy.
These are the people that are running our nation...
I keep wanting to hate on this kid.
But I can't. I just can't.
His new track, "Muddy Swim Trunks"
The video was shot in ONE take.
And yes, there are boobies in it. Yay for boobies.
Asher is gonna be around for a while.
I've been seeing a lot of buzz on these boys as of late.
And it's about fucking time.
Mumford and Sons.
"Little Lion Man"
Get on it.
My boy Chris has just left Capitol. He is a 25 year old SVP of A&R for Universal Motown.
This is his new project, Christian TV.
I wish him all the best.
Knowing thy enemy is the most important lesson in life.
But this guy... Hilarious.
Can't. Stop. Laughing.
This coming from the same guy who said, "I learned about Socialism by reading books from my public library."
Keep crying, amigo. And we will continue to pretend to care.
Atomic Tom brought the LOLZ with this one.
Well played, boys.
SNL goes after BP and Haliburton in their intro skit.
And it's not fucking bad.
I am in love.
From Bike EXIF:
"Owner Chad Goings posted his bike on our Facebook page, and after the comments lit up, I contacted him for more information. His Yamaha is a 1973 model, but it’s effectively just a name change from the iconic XS650: the only real difference is that the TX650 has a larger, more rounded tank. The TX is quite rare these days, so purists occasionally decry attempts to customize them. But Chad’s TX, built with the help of his father Bill, has silenced the critics. The Goings live in Wichita, Kansas, and have been working on the bike for two years now. The detailing is exquisite, from the powdercoating on the motor to the glass-blasted oil cooler. 'The theme of the bike was the [R6] mono-shock,' says Chad. 'We tried to make it as monochromatic as possible, from the paint to the overall design. Every aspect was thought out, and made very simple. Another thing was to capture a futuristic bike built in the 70s.'"
Peter Serafinowicz is a celebrated British writer/producer/director/actor/musician/comedian/voice model based in London.
He wrote an exceptional piece on internet piracy for Gizmodo, entitled "Why I Steal Movies… Even Ones I'm In."
Here is an excerpt on his views of the music industry, but click the link above for the rest of his outstanding blog...
"Frank Zappa once said that Communism could never work because people like to own stuff. I felt a similar way about CDs when music began to arrive in MP3 form. Now, my music happily resides in my iTunes library, spread over various computers and iPods.
Music's purpose is to be heard. It doesn't need to live on discs in boxes on a groaning shelf any more. When I go into a Virgin Megastore or HMV (a rare occurrence now, a vestigial habit) I just see a huge room filled with redundant plastic. Now with Spotify and other streaming services I'm even starting to begrudge the space taken up on my hard drive.
I recently directed the music video for Hot Chip's 'I Feel Better.' Contractually, the video had to be hosted on EMI's official YouTube channel, which disabled non-UK users from viewing it, limiting its audience by around 80%. Frustrated, I put it up on my own YouTube channel with no region restrictions, and at time of writing is just shy of a million views. EMI then remotely disabled embedding on my version, thereby limiting its audience again. If you're in the business of promoting a band, why would you want to stop people watching their promotional video?"
Man, thank god for the Alabama campaign videos this month.
You can't make this shit up.
Here is Republican Alabama Agricultural Commissioner candidate Dale Peterson.
Wow. I don't think you can get more American than that right there.
Our boy, Greyson, got signed by Interscope this week.
So happy for him and his.
From Crazed Hits:
"We can exclusively reveal that Interscope Records have signed 12-year old Greyson Chance, who has attracted over 13 million views on YouTube with his cover of Lady Gaga’s 'Paparazzi.'
According to our sources, several major labels tried to sign the 12-year old this week, with Interscope’s Jimmy Iovine eventually closing the deal.'
Congrats, lil homey.
Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Elton John, and Debbie Harry (later joined by Mary J. Blige, Trudie Styler, and other performers) sing Journey's Don't Stop Believing at the Almay Concert for the Rainforest Fund's 21st Birthday, Carnegie Hall, New York, May 13, 2010.
An interview with a true, no fronting, life-long rockstar.
Fucking Keith Richards.
Part I of Larry King's exclusive interview with Atlanta rapper, T.I.
T is both eloquent and apologetic. An absolute gentleman.
You or I had no idea what led to the gun charges that forced him into imprisonment. This outstanding interview gives us a bit of the background and reasoning, while offering a window into T.I.'s life.
For Part II and more, click here.
I'm gonna shoot some real talk at you right now.
This chick, Victoria Jackson, was never funny on SNL. I mean that. Never, ever fucking funny. I thought she was a tool then, and I think she's a tool now.
But seriously, this had me laughing.
Crying inside, for sure, but laughing nonetheless.
What a fucking idiot.
If Stephen Baldwin is looking for a partner in the "my career is over so now I'm going to join the Tea Party movement and score a few fans" move, than I think we would be in for a real show.