Monday, June 26, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
Er... I mean... good to have you back at it.
(Thanks to Tom Hilton for the tip!)
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Wednesday Vacation Blogging: Seattle
We have a number of friends there, and always enjoy visiting the beautiful Pacific Northwest. As who wouldn't?
Last weekend we flew up for a few days to see some of those friends and to watch the Giants get their asses waxed, polished and handed back to them on a combo seafood platter along with some shrimp, crab and oysters. (We actually had hoped that the Giants would take it to the Mariners, but such was not the case; eeee-youch!). Leaving aside the fact that the team we went to watch sucked enormous collective sea anemone genital, I have to say that Mrs. G and I had one hell of a good time. We certainly had a better time there than the Giants did.
As who wouldn't? I mean, what a great city!
As always, click on the pictures for the larger version.
Wait... was that out loud?
The Death of Yep, Another Goddamned Blog
Man, that's harsh. Blogospheric suicide. Not even abandoning the site or just curtailing the posts (like a lot of us do from time to time), but actually erasing the whole damn thing.
He started up a few months after I did, in part (as he told me at the time) because he was inspired by my efforts, and wanted an outlet for his own creative writing and interest in left-wing politics. His blog became much bigger than The Generik Brand ever will be, getting far more traffic and attention, and was known for his long posts and regular features like Assclowns of the Week, a take-off on DemocraticUnderground's Top Ten Conservative Idiots of the Week. JP never pulled any punches, and apparently made some enemies along the way, both on the right (which is a given in our line of endeavor) and on the left. From what I gather, his shutting down came in response to one too many sites admonishing him or deleting his comments or banning him altogether for disagreeing with and/or feuding with some of his more-established contemporaries. As he put it, he got out of the blogosphere in order to keep his sanity. I don't know all the particulars, and though he told me a little about what happened, I don't feel like it's something I should pass along or speculate about.
Instead I'll just say farewell, and raise a glass in salute. So long, JP, and thanks for all the rants.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Random Flickr Blogging Monday
"Glub glub glub!"
"Dang it, Little Earl! Stop foolin' around now, or there'll be no sweet p'tater pie for ya after th' evenin' service!"
Personally, I always felt the Baptists had the right idea with that full-body immersion thing -- they just never hold them under near long enough.
(Original picture here.)
Thursday, June 15, 2006
What He Said
Here's just a piece of the post:
Never mind that Jay Leno and George Carlin sat like trembling lambs while Coulter spewed gutter-level invective at millions of Americans - we've already seen the same obsequiousness from Larry King, Matt Lauer (who ended his faux-debate with Coulter by saying "always fun to have you") and others. The larger issue here is that despite an uproar from the progressive netroots, NBC saw fit to give Coulter a platform to continue her liberal-scapegoating and to slander women who lost their husbands on 9/11. (For the record, many rightwing bloggers denounced Coulter and several Democrats attacked her, but their focus was the substance of Coulter's words, not a criticism of the media outlets who continue to provide her a national forum.)
It's hard to deny that Coulter's words border on incitement. What she says is neither amusing nor smart nor humorous nor factual nor worthy of airing on a major media outlet. It treats a substantial segment of the population as sub-human, as creatures deserving of public scorn and worse (She said Jesus would say that "we are called upon to do battle" on liberalism). Careful not to violate Godwin's Law, I'll refrain from the obvious comparisons, but what we're dealing with here is a dangerous inflection point in American politics. When this kind of opprobrium is peddled by major media outlets, it's high time that the Democratic establishment and the larger progressive community understand that this is a make-or-break showdown with the media.
Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and their ilk have made an industry out of liberal-bashing. Coulter fits in perfectly with those hate-traffickers. And contrary to the false Michael Moore comparisons made by Leno and others, there is no progressive counterpart to these people on the national stage. The basic thrust of the left's critique is that George W. Bush and his administration are bad for America. It is in our tradition for citizens to defend the Constitution and to question the actions of their elected leaders. Rightwingers may characterize it as Bush Derangement Syndrome, but the progressive community, by and large, is going after government corruption and lies, not vilifying an entire group of Americans as Bin Laden-loving traitors.
He has a lot more to say on the subject, and it's well worth a read. It's unfortunate, though, that the folks who could most benefit from his words will probably never see them. And the media continues with its courting of the Republican Noise Machine, and casual dissemination of their talking points. Witness, just as a for instance, the front page of today's SF Chronicle, with Preznit Midas In Reverse's steely-eyed visage staring out at the reader, and a story by
compromised toadying hack political reporter Marc Sandalow playing up the surprise visit to Baghdad (or "'Mission Accomplished' in a business suit," as Sidney Blumenthal called it in today's Salon.com) on the heels of the conveniently fortuitous al Zarqawi kill. Sandalow -- and, indeed, most of the corporate media today -- would have us believe that this demonstrates the "strength" and "resolve" of this president, and that he can now expect a big bounce in the polls from the week's events, if not retention of both houses of Congress in November because of them. So far, that dog just won't hunt.
In any event, it's apparently up to those of us who aren't blindered by the corporate offerings of bread and circuses or drinkers of the right wing's Kool Aid to continue to point out that Americans are being sold a bill of goods by a powerful elite, with the completely willing help of the mainstream media. American Idle, anyone?
Monday, June 12, 2006
Naked Media Whore Exposed
Okay, then, why am I violating my own semi-rule and writing about her? (I almost wrote "writhing about her," which brings another, completely unwanted and unwarranted image to mind...) Well, partly because my friend in Southern California, Peter A. (who is not to be confused with another friend named Peter, who lives in Seattle and uses the online handle "Buffoon"), sent me an email message that I just couldn't ignore; and also because one of the few journalists that I truly respect, Greg Palast, released a book on the same day as the Princess With A Penis (6/6/06, apparently Coulter's father's birthday), and I'd like to see his book sell at least as well as hers (fat chance in today's America).
Among the things that my friend Peter mentions is that the word "coulter" means "plowshare." Could we possibly pound this repugnant pundit into that -- or something even more useful? Another suggestion he makes is that we use the acronym WINO, echoing the right-wing epithet RINO (Republican In Name Only), for the noisome flame-thrower. WINO, of course, would stand for Woman In Name Only. Finally, he wonders if skANNk isn't possibly the illegitimate mother of the Olsen twins. Oh, sorry, am I being ungallant here? Eee-yeah. Bummer, bitch.
The other reason that I bothered to post about the WASP-version of Michelle Malkin is that I read that the local paper in the aggravating harridan's hometown has published an open letter to her mother, as if it would do any good. So consider my job here done. I promise not to mention the name of the most disgusting and offensive spokes-skank again for a long time... unless, of course, I run across some pictures of her naked.
Excuse me while I go puke just thinking about the possibility.
***UPDATE*** Open letter link fixed. Thanks, SSM.
Random Flickr Blogging Monday
(The original image was posted by forgemind0003 here. My thanks to Tom Hilton for a new imaging-captioning addiction -- like I needed one!)
Friday, June 09, 2006
Thanks to my brother for the link.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
They Wanna Hear Some American Music
Last night, the Satanic Tuesday, June 6 -- 666, 06/06/06, or however you or the millenialists want to abbreviate it -- I witnessed a religious experience, a revival, if you will, out in the East Bay city of Concord that will stay with me for the rest of my days. Fortunately, I didn't have to handle any snakes -- Mrs. Generik did ask if we would have to before the show was over, and she wasn't being completely facetious, given the tenor of the show -- but I absolutely felt the spirit move me, and move me with great authority. Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band put on a show that moved me and a few thousand of my closest friends like few shows have moved me before.
Bruce came out late (rumor had it that he got lost on the way to the venue -- good thing, too, because my pal Marty and Mrs. Generik and I didn't get there until twenty minutes after the show was scheduled to start), but he still played for nearly three hours, and absolutely rocked the damn house. I mean, I haven't experienced a more powerful Bruce show since the first time I saw him in 1978.
"Good evening, sinners... and Concordians!" he said, to start off the show. Dressed like a revival preacher and playing the living hell out of his acoustic guitar, Bruce exhorted his fans to let him take them along on his latest musical and personal venture. The crowd immediately bought into the revival meeting atmosphere, and was well rewarded when the 76-piece band (it might have been somewhat smaller than that, but it sure seemed that big, if not bigger) overwhelmed everyone there with their immaculate chops. There were guitars, a banjo, keyboards, fiddles, a Dobro slide guitar, accordion, stand-up bass, percussion, backup singers, and more tambourines than a Salvation Army recruiting squad. One review I read called it the "Wall of Folk," and I think that might be the most apt description I've seen.
This show was all about America, and Americana. It was a show comprised not of Bruce's usual rock anthems, but of Pete Seeger's folk songs, tunes from the American songbook over the past three centuries, gospel, western swing, ragtime, rockabilly, boogie-woogie, traditional Celtic rhythms, radically reworked original tunes like Johnny 99, Atlantic City, Ramrod and Devils & Dust, and so much more. All of this was driven by an incredibly dirty -- and by that I mean fucking talented and absolutely KILLING, especially the trumpet -- horn section that put the New Orleans staple Dirty Dozen Brass Band to shame; a horn section that added a distinct raw and raucous Dixieland flavor to every song. It was almost an embarrassment of riches. No, it WAS an embarrassment of riches. It was an amazing and inspiring show. As my friend Marty said later, "I never would have believed that I would see an entire audience standing up and singing along to 'Froggie Went A-Courting' in my lifetime." And yet they did. And they enjoyed it.
Even better than the fact that he played all those American songs was that he turned so many of them into contemporary commentaries on the American situation today. He seamlessly connected the American songbook that so many of us are familiar with with the present-day situations we are faced with, from the oppression of the working class to the debacle in Iraq.
Here is the setlist from the show, and thanks to my good friend Marty for this:
O Mary Don't You Weep
Old Dan Tucker
Eyes on the Prize
My Oklahoma Home
Devils & Dust
How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
We Shall Overcome
Open All Night
Pay Me My Money Down (w/ Joan Baez)
Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam)
Rag Mama Rag
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
Froggie Went A Courtin'
When the Saints Go Marching In
It fucking rocked, and it rocked hard, and if you missed it, you missed one of the great shows of the early 21st century, and I feel sorry for you.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Hate Mail From Some Coward
Dear Cowardly Anonymous Troll --
Thank you very much for your latest missive. I especially appreciated the fact that you took the time to cut the letter I wrote out of the Sunday Datebook section of the SF Chronicle and write "BULL SHIT!" on it with your Sharpie. You have a fine handwriting style, bold and, dare I say, almost delicate in its firmness. Using all capital letters let me know that you are not fooling around here. I also liked how you defied the conventional wisdom and spelled out "BULL SHIT" as two separate words. You're definitely not a crowd-follower.
The text of the accompanying message itself leaves little doubt as to how you feel about the whole Stephen Colbert-White House Correspondent's Dinner affair, or, at least, Chronicle columnist Neva Chonin's take on it. And your assessment of my intelligence remains about the same as always, it would seem. You're obviously a man of strong convictions, albeit one who apparently doesn't have the courage to identify yourself or give a return address with which I might correspond with you. Over the years, I've occasionally had the desire to engage you in conversation or debate, but alas, you give me no way to do that with your calculated anonymity.
Just to let you know, despite your friendly attempt to address me as a chum, a pal, an acquaintance of long-standing ("Rickey, old boy..."), I should let you know that no one in my life has ever called me "Rick" or "Rickey." Where you got that, I don't know. I'm guessing you adopted it yourself as a means of luring me into the body of your message by presenting a false sense of camaraderie before you got to the part where you inform me that I have "shit for brains" and my "head up (my) ass." If so, may I say that I wasn't exactly fooled.
Double-underlining the word "Puke!!" after your rhetorical question ("You 'love' Neva's column?") was a nice touch, as was the stamp on the envelope with the picture of Bill Clinton in stripes and behind bars. I suppose you believe that I worship at the altar of All Things Clinton (Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, Billary, whatever), but the truth is that I'm really not so much of a fan of any of them -- although I did appreciate the fact that when Bill was president, we had a surplus and not nearly so much shredding of the Constitution. I suppose that from your perspective, the Clintons are dreaded "ultra-liberals;" but from my perspective, which is so far left of you as to be infra-red to your ultra-violet, the Clintons seem like moderate, Republican-Lite appeasers in many instances. I don't expect that you'll understand this point of view, but I thought I should share that with you just in case.
I notice that the postmark on this particular letter -- which was sent last Friday, and arrived in my mailbox yesterday -- was from Santa Clarita. I have to say, I actually preferred the one that you mailed from Napa a couple years ago. The reason for that was the line in that older one where you said that "Bush is GREAT GREAT GREAT!!!!!" (I may have left off an exclamation point or six; my memory is not what it once was.) I appreciate people with enthusiasm in their convictions. But there was no mention of your favorite president in this latest letter, and I have to say that I found that just a bit disappointing.
Anyway, in conclusion, thank you once again for thinking of me. I'll keep sending letters to the newspaper if you promise to keep sending me snail mail with your opinion of my positions. It would be really great, however, if, in the future, you sign your name or include a return address so that we might engage in a dialogue afterwards. These one-sided conversations are so unproductive!
Sincerely yours, etc.
Monday, June 05, 2006
In later years, after all that Neverland nonsense was just a dim memory, Wendy took to working as a motivational speaker and consultant in corporations all across the United States. With her faithful partner Tinkerbell and a personalized aluminum Louisville Slugger, she specialized in whipping some of the more recalcitrant "Lost Boys" in the corporate world back into line.
Executives attending one of Wendy's seminars later reported that they ended up more motivated by her tough love approach than by any "pussy Tony Robbins blather" or even a weekend symposium culminated by walking on coals.
(What's this about? See the post at If I Ran the Zoo, here.)