September 30, 2004

Out of the apartment, into the bar

* The Foreign Press (Dave Jones, Scott Griset and myself) will be performing at an Americans Coming Together (ACT) Get-Out-The-Vote fundraiser for John Kerry tomorrow night at Staccato, 2006 18th St., N.W., in Adams-Morgan. The fundraiser begins at 6pm, and we will likely hit the stage for a short set around 7:30. No mimimum cost to get in, although generous donations are encouraged. Free food, drink specials, and a chance to see The Foreign Press play outside a practice space for the very first time. So, plan tomorrow's happy hour at Staccato, and support John Kerry at the same time.
lovely people living free upon the beach of sunny Mozambique

* Interesting, although completely unscientific poll of presidential choice of people from all over the world. According to the poll, Kerry has better than 90 percent support in the following countries:

Bosnia And Herzegovina
French Guiana
French Polynesia
New Caledonia
United Kingdom

71 percent of Americans who took the poll also support Kerry. Bush's highest support is in Niger (95%) then the Congo (70%).
And light it up forever and never go to sleep

* George Bush's top ten flip-flops. excerpt:

"Nation Building and the War in Iraq

"During the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush argued against nation building and foreign military entanglements. In the second presidential debate, he said: "I'm not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say, 'This is the way it's got to be.'"

"The United States is currently involved in nation building in Iraq on a scale unseen since the years immediately following World War II.

"During the 2000 election, Mr. Bush called for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from the NATO peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. His administration now cites such missions as an example of how America must 'stay the course.'

"Iraq and the Sept. 11 Attacks

"In a press conference in September 2002, six months before the invasion of Iraq, President Bush said, 'you can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror... they're both equally as bad, and equally as evil, and equally as destructive.'

"In September of 2004, Mr. Bush said: 'We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11th.' Though he added that 'there's no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties,' the statement seemingly belied earlier assertions that Saddam and al Qaeda were 'equally bad.'

"The Sept. 11 commission found there was no evidence Saddam was linked to the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people."

* Said Bush during the 2000 debates "I think people need to be held responsible for the actions they take in life. I think that — well, I think that's part of the need for a cultural change. We need to say we each need to be responsible for what we do. People in the highest office of the land must be responsible for decisions they make in life." [via tim thompson]

* John Cheever's short story The Swimmer. excerpt:

"It was one of those midsummer Sundays when everyone sits around saying, 'I drank too much last night.' You might have heard it whispered by the parishioners leaving church, heard it from the lips of the priest himself, struggling with his cassock in the vestiarium, heard it from the golf links and the tennis courts, heard it from the wildlife preserve where the leader of the Audubon group was suffering from a terrible hangover. 'I drank too much,' said Donald Westerhazy. 'We all drank too much,' said Lucinda Merrill. 'It must have been the wine,' said Helen Westerhazy. 'I drank too much of that claret.'

"This was at the edge of the Westerhazys' pool. The pool, fed by an artesian well with a high iron content, was a pale shade of green. It was a fine day. In the west there was a massive stand of cumulus cloud so like a city seen from a distance—from the bow of an approaching ship—that it might have had a name. Lisbon. Hackensack. The sun was hot. Neddy Merrill sat by the green water, one hand in it, one around a glass of gin. He was a slender man—he seemed to have the especial slenderness of youth—and while he was far from young he had slid down his banister that morning and given the bronze backside of Aphrodite on the hall table a smack, as he jogged toward the smell of coffee in his dining room. He might have been compared to a summer's day, particularly the last hours of one, and while he lacked a tennis racket or a sail bag the impression was definitely one of youth, sport, and clement weather. He had been swimming and now he was breathing deeply, stertorously as if he could gulp into his lungs the components of that moment, the heat of the sun, the intenseness of his pleasure. It all seemed to flow into his chest. His own house stood in Bullet Park, eight miles to the south, where his four beautiful daughters would have had their lunch and might be playing tennis. Then it occurred to him that by taking a dogleg to the southwest he could reach his home by water."

September 29, 2004

of horses wet with melted ice they would not heed my advice

It would seem to me that the harm is coming from what is in her hand, not what she is hearing. Any guesses (besides the obvious that it is Roanoke, Virginia) why the paper would run that caption given the picture? [via freakgirl]

* Thieves, a short story by Richard Yates. If you have not yet read Yates, do. excerpt:

That was how the evening's talk began at Blaine's bed. There was always a lull in the tuberculosis ward after the wheeling-out of supper trays, when the sun threw long yellow stripes on the floor below the west windows and dazzled the silver spokes of wheelchairs in its path; it was a time when most of the thirty men who lived in the ward convened in little groups to talk or play cards. Jones usually came over to Blaine's bed. He thought Blaine the most learned man and the best conversationalist in the building, and if there was one thing Jones loved, he said, it was a good gabfest. Tonight they were joined by young O'Grady, a husky newcomer to the ward who sat hunched at the foot of Blaine's bed, his eyes darting from one speaker to the other. What was talent? Blaine had used the word, Jones had demanded a definition and now the lines were drawn--as clearly, at least, as they ever were.

"Best definition I can give you," Blaine said. "Only definition there is. Knowing how to handle yourself. And the ultimate of talent is genius, which is what puts men like Louis Armstrong and Dostoyevsky in a class by themselves among horn players and novelists. Plenty of people know more about music than Armstrong; it's the way he handles himself that makes the difference. Same thing's true of a first-rate ballplayer or a first-rate doctor or a historian like Gibbon. Very simple."

"Sure, that's right," O'Grady said solemnly. "Take a guy like Branch Rickey, he knows everything there is about baseball, but that don't mean he'd of made a top ballplayer."

"That's right," Blaine told him, "that's the idea." And O'Grady nodded, pleased.

"Oh-ho, but wait a minute now, Bob--" Jones squirmed eagerly in his wheelchair, charged with the cleverness of the point he was about to make. "I think I got you there. Branch Rickey is very talented--but as a baseball executive. His talent is in that field; he's not supposed to be a player."

"Oh, Jones." Blaine's face twisted in exasperation. "Go on back to bed and read your comic books, for Christ's sake."

* How Republicans define security. excerpt:

"Election Day approaches, which means it is time for House Republicans to run fully amok. Today, the House will take up a bill by Indiana Republican Mark Souder to lift the gun controls in the District of Columbia. Souder's bill legalizes ownership of semiautomatic weapons and armor-piercing ammunition. How this would increase security around the White House and the Capitol is something that Souder and Co. have neglected to explain, but no matter. The House Republican leadership knows the bill won't pass the Senate. The only reason it was even introduced was to force House Democrats -- a number of whom represent gun-loving districts -- to vote on this nonsense.
"The definition of security, I suppose, can depend on who you think poses the greatest threat to the nation. In the age of Bush, Republicans (with a few notable exceptions) surely don't believe it's al Qaeda, from which they diverted our forces to fight in Iraq. Nor do they believe it's now our enemies in Iraq, against whom they did not prepare so much as a battle plan. Only if you believe the greatest threat to Republicans -- excuse me, to America -- is the Democrats, that it's worth blowing off the danger from Osama bin Laden to eliminate the peril posed by Daschle, does the Republicans' security policy make any sense at all."

September 28, 2004

get in some licks & hold your head up

[via skimble]
Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole

* Krugman:

"Let's face it: whatever happens in Thursday's debate, cable news will proclaim President Bush the winner. This will reflect the political bias so evident during the party conventions. It will also reflect the undoubted fact that Mr. Bush does a pretty good Clint Eastwood imitation.

"But what will the print media do? Let's hope they don't do what they did four years ago.

"Interviews with focus groups just after the first 2000 debate showed Al Gore with a slight edge. Post-debate analysis should have widened that edge. After all, during the debate, Mr. Bush told one whopper after another - about his budget plans, about his prescription drug proposal and more. The fact-checking in the next day's papers should have been devastating.
"During the debate, Mr. Bush will try to cover for this dismal record with swagger, and with attacks on his opponent. Will the press play Karl Rove's game by, as Mr. Clymer puts it, confusing political coverage with drama criticism, or will it do its job and check the candidates' facts?

"There have been some encouraging signs lately. There was a disturbing interlude in which many news organizations seemed to accept false claims that Iraq had calmed down after the transfer of sovereignty. But now, as the violence escalates, they seem willing to ask hard questions about Mr. Bush's fantasy version of the situation in Iraq. For example, a recent Reuters analysis pointed out that independent sources contradict his assertions about everything 'from police training and reconstruction to preparations for January elections.'

"Mr. Bush is also getting less of a free ride than he used to when he smears his opponent. Last week, after Mr. Bush declared that Mr. Kerry 'would prefer the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to the situation in Iraq today,' The Associated Press pointed out that this "twisted his rival's words" - and then quoted what John Kerry actually said.

"Nonetheless, on Thursday night there will be a temptation to revert to drama criticism - to emphasize how the candidates looked and acted, and push analysis of what they said, and whether it was true, to the inside pages. With so much at stake, the public deserves better."

* Bad News Hughes edits and factchecks Pitchfork. excerpt:

"from a review of U2's single Vertigo, written by some fucknut named David Moore:

"'The band sporadically adds a few grandiose flourishes: The Edge manages to drench the song's bridge in his trademark anthemic guitar stabs, and Bono momentarily stops preening and resumes brooding, belting out the song's climactic line ('I can feeeeel!') in heartfelt, self-glorifying agony.'"

"David, I have a question. How do you drench something in stabs? I think you have that shit backwards. See, it works like this: first, I stab you in the face with my penis, and second, your blood drenches your issue of McSweeney's. In the future, try and keep this straight. Otherwise, I'm sealing off Conor Oberst's asshole, denying you your primary source of food."

* Bare Your Breasts and support Your Candidate. [NNSFW] [via slipkid]

September 27, 2004

Well, I'm a lonesome schoolboy and I just came into town

ask me now
-- by John Sinclair

for edward sanders

standing at the finish line
of the boston marathon
in the middle of april

when americans pay their taxes
under penalty of seizure
or imprisonment,

thinking about boston harbor
where the american patriots
dressed up like natives

& stormed the british ships
to throw overboard
the hated crates of tea—

on this patriots day
at the end of a long & difficult run
let us rededicate ourselves

to the freedom & justice
our ancestors intended
when they founded this nation

& fought here in boston
& throughout new england
for the freedom of our country

& the right
to govern ourselves
as best we can, for better

or for worse,
however imperfect
or misguided—oh

let these truths
be self-evident,
that we shall be free to worship

as we may see fit,
that there are many people
& they have many different gods,

that what may be fit for you
just might not work for me
but let us live in peace together

& let us share our riches
with those among us
who have none,

& let the future of our nation
be secured by the intelligence
& creativity,

by the compassion
& commitment of our citizens
to the future of humanity itself

& to all people everywhere
who toil with us
here on earth, to make a living

for ourselves & our families,
to enjoy the fruits
of our labors, & fully partake

in the pleasures of life,
& the pursuit of happiness,

in whatever forms
it may present to us
for our enrichment

while we exercise the freedoms
guaranteed by our constitution—
to be free from armed invaders

in the comfort of our homes,
free to say or believe in
anything we might want to,

free to meet & mingle
with our friends, whomsoever
they may be,

free to get as high
as we want to, & enjoy all the substances
our happiness may require,

free to dance & sing,
free to make love with
whomsoever we may please,

free to have children
or not have children
as we may see fit,

free to live outside ‘the dictates
of conventional society’
like true americans,

tolerant of the differences between us,

quick to accept,
slow to anger,
loath to harm or destroy—

so let the word go forth
from boston today: yes, let us re-
dedicate ourselves

to the freedom & justice
our ancestors intended
when they founded this great nation
The kingdoms of experiencee in the precious wind they rot

* James Wolcott on political pundits vs. sports guys:

"Unlike political pundits, sports guys have to know their stuff and be able to back it up on cross exam; whereas William Safire and Andrea Mitchell can spin cobwebs every time they speak without losing oracle status. Meet the Press had a political panel this weekend that looked like a poker game for mummies."

* Top Ten Conservative idiots. excerpt:

Jimmy Swaggart, 6:

"But let's leave the serious topics behind now and get onto some more lighthearted entertainment. Last week serial prostitute-procurer Jimmy Swaggart said on his popular television show, 'I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died.' Wait a second - that doesn't sound very lighthearted. But don't worry, it's okay - see, Swaggart later clarified his position, saying his comments were 'meant to be a joke.' Oh, a-ha ha ha! I get it now! It's all a big joke! Man, don't you just love it when evangelist preachers make jokes about killing homosexuals? Hoo-boy. Swaggart made the remarks to "applause and laughs" during a televised sermon, but has since apologized, saying 'I am totally opposed to any type of violence against anyone.' He added, 'Everyone except gay men, that is. I'd kill them.' He further added, 'Just a joke, get it?' He concluded, 'Does anyone know where I can get a hooker 'round here?'

* Newsweek publishes an excerpt from Bob Dylan's new
memoir. excerpt of excerpt:

"The novelist Herman Melville's work went largely unnoticed after Moby-Dick. Critics thought that he crossed the literary line and recommended burning Moby-Dick. By the time of his death he was largely forgotten.

"I had assumed that when critics dismissed my work, the same thing would happen to me, that the public would forget about me. How mad is that? Eventually, I would have to face the music—go back to performing—the long-awaited ballyhooed reunion tour—gypsy tours—changing ideologies like tires, like shoes, like guitar strings. What's the difference? As long as my own form of certainty stayed intact, I owed nobody nothing. I wasn't going to go deeper into the darkness for anybody. I was already living in the darkness. My family was my light and I was going to protect that light at all cost. That was where my dedication was, first, last and everything in-between. What did I owe the rest of the world? Nothing. Not a damn thing. The press? I figured you lie to it. For the public eye, I went into the bucolic and mundane as far as possible. In my real life I got to do the things that I loved the best and that was all that mattered—the Little League games, birthday parties, taking my kids to school, camping trips, boating, rafting, canoeing, fishing... I was living on record royalties. In reality I was imperceptible, my image, that is. Sometime in the past I had written and performed songs that were most original and most influential, and I didn't know if I ever would again and I didn't care."

September 24, 2004

Listeners of the future come on and help me quick

* "It's gotta end...its just non-stop motherfucking lies." Wilco's Jeff Tweedy on the George Bush administration. [via chromewaves, who has a link so you can hear Tweedy's short rant.]

War Profit Litany
--- by Allen Ginsberg

To Ezra Pound

These are the names of the companies that have made
money from this war

nineteenhundredsixtyeight Annodomini fourthousand
eighty Hebraic

These are the Corporations who have profited by merchan-
dising skinburning phosphorous or shells fragmented
to thousands of fleshpiercing needles

and here listed money millions gained by each combine for

and here are gains numbered, index'd swelling a decade, set
in order,

here named the Fathers in office in these industries, tele-
phones directing finance,

names of directors, makers of fates, and the names of the
stockholders of these destined Aggregates,

and here are the names of their ambassadors to the Capital,
representatives to legislature, those who sit drinking
in hotel lobbies to persuade,

and separate listed, those who drop Amphetamine with
military, gossip, argue, and persuade

suggesting policy naming language proposing strategy, this
done for fee as ambassadors to Pentagon, consul-
tants to military, paid by their industry:

and these are the names of the generals & captains mili-
tary, who know thus work for war goods manufactur-

and above these, listed, the names of the banks, combines,
investment trusts that control these industries:
and these are the names of the newspapers owned by these

and these are the names of the airstations owned by these

and these are the numbers of thousands of citizens em-
ployed by these businesses named;

and the beginning of this accounting is 1958 and the end
1968, that static be contained in orderly mind,
coherent and definite,

and the first form of this litany begun first day December
1967 furthers this poem of these States.

December 1, 1967
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all

Two Selections from Ed Sander's bio in verse of Allen Ginsberg:

The Record Plant Sessions

This led to some memorable recording sessions beginning on November 9, 1971 at the Record Plant in NYC

Dylan brought a pal from woodstock with him the singer/guitarist Happy Traum also in on the session were Jon Sholle, David Amram, Ginsberg, and a number of poets including Gregory Corso, the Russian bard Andrei Voznesensky, and others

The filmmaker Barbara Rubin was on hand
and I was there too
my book on the Manson group, the family, had just been published

I remember someone was playing on a milk crate with wires stretched across it like a psychedelic psaltery.

There was a second session on November 17 Allen improvised an early version of "CIA Dope Calypso"
with Dylan on guitar

There were other tunes, including "going to san diego,"
an anthem urging
everybody to go to san diego
and protest Richard Nixon
(after Kent State and the secret bombing of Cambodia) --san diego was at that time the site of the Republican Convention though later it was moved to Miami Beach

They also recorded Allen's "September on Jessore Road"
which he was just putting in final form
in these temporary moments
in the quick flow of the Seventies

Early 1982

At Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland studio
on 8th St. in the Village
the Clash were recording

Ginsberg spent a few days with them
helped them write three or four tunes
His suggestions they tested
on empty tracks
to gauge their floow

The bard loved the ambience of
successful rockers
and couldn't resist the urge to teach
bringing Gregory Corso's newest book for instance,
and the City Lights classic Clean Asshole Poems by
Petere Orlovsky.

The album was called Combat Rock
and the bard, not always so modest
did not ask for
publishing royalties on the
tunes he helped doctor.

September 23, 2004

Deep in the back of my mind is an unrealized sound

Keith Moon, backstage somewhere in California, 1976

* Here's a Hint covers all your "whats going on music-wise in DC" needs.

* 15 year old soccer star Freddy Adu has been hitting the University of Maryland keg parties.
Daddy what if the sun stop shinin' what would happen then

* Russ Baker on why Bush's left Texas for Alabama. excerpt:

"Even more significantly, in a July interview, Linda Allison, the widow of Jimmy Allison, the Alabama campaign manager and a close friend of Bush's father, revealed to me for the first time that Bush had come to Alabama not because the job had appeal or because his presence was required but because he needed to get out of Texas. 'Well, you have to know Georgie,' Allison said. 'He really was a totally irresponsible person. Big George [George H.W. Bush] called Jimmy, and said, he's killing us in Houston, take him down there and let him work on that campaign.... The tenor of that was, Georgie is in and out of trouble seven days a week down here, and would you take him up there with you.'

"Allison said that the younger Bush's drinking problem was apparent. She also said that her husband, a circumspect man who did not gossip and held his cards closely, indicated to her that some use of drugs was involved. 'I had the impression that he knew that Georgie was using pot, certainly, and perhaps cocaine,' she said.

"Now-prominent, established Texas figures in the military, arts, business and political worlds, some of them Republicans and Bush supporters, talk about Bush's alleged use of marijuana and cocaine based on what they say they have heard from trusted friends. One middle-aged woman whose general veracity could be confirmed told me that she met Bush in 1968 at Hemisfair 68, a fair in San Antonio, at which he tried to pick her up and offered her a white powder he was inhaling. She was then a teenager; Bush would have just graduated from Yale and have been starting the National Guard then. 'He was getting really aggressive with me,' she said. 'I told him I'd call a policeman, and he laughed, and asked who would believe me.'

* Rolling Stone weighs in on Bush's Alabama Getaway. excerpt:

"Bush had a regular group of drinking buddies he hung out with, and during his stay in Alabama he was said to have dated an array of local young women, among them Emily Marks - 'One of the most beautiful women you have ever seen,' McLennan says - and Baba Groom, the estranged wife of writer Winston Groom, who years later would write Forrest Gump.

"Throughout the summer, Bush maintained his heavy social life. By September his behavior had become a problem. "Here's the thing that stood out," says Murphy Archibald, who arrived to work on his wife's uncle's campaign in September. 'People were glad to have me there. They said, to a person, 'You are going to like Jimmy Allison, but why did he bring this young guy with him?' The general feeling was that it was strange that someone of Allison's competence would have someone who didn't seem very interested in the campaign.'

"According to Archibald, Bush regularly didn't show until noon or later, and then would leave four or five hours after that. He'd spend most of those few hours in his office with the door closed. When he did talk to the staff - and he made the rounds each day as soon as he came in before he locked himself away - his conversation was often disconcerting. 'I found it so strange that in that position - in a United States Senate campaign - this guy who was twenty-six years old would come in and good-naturedly talk about how plastered he had gotten the night before. It was usually in the context of saying, 'I'm sorry to be coming in so late, but last night I really knocked them back.' He was very comfortable about talking about how drunk he got.'
"'George had one story he told a lot,' Archibald says, 'and the story was about how he was always getting picked up by the police in New Haven during his time at Yale, and how they would always let him go when they found out his grandfather was Prescott Bush. When he told this story, George would always laugh as if it was the funniest joke. The first time I heard it, I said, 'Who's Prescott Bush?' And he said, 'My grandfather - the United States senator from Connecticut.' I thought it was stunning. He knew he was bulletproof because of his family. I had never seen someone with such a well-defined sense of being 'above it.' And it was not so much because of his money as his family.'"

* What if the United States were Iraq. excerpt:

"What if the grounds of the White House and the government buildings near the Mall were constantly taking mortar fire? What if almost nobody in the State Department at Foggy Bottom, the White House, or the Pentagon dared venture out of their buildings, and considered it dangerous to go over to Crystal City or Alexandria?

"What if all the reporters for all the major television and print media were trapped in five-star hotels in Washington, DC and New York, unable to move more than a few blocks safely, and dependent on stringers to know what was happening in Oklahoma City and St. Louis? What if the only time they ventured into the Midwest was if they could be embedded in Army or National Guard units?
"What if there were virtually no commercial air traffic in the country? What if many roads were highly dangerous, especially Interstate 95 from Richmond to Washington, DC, and I-95 and I-91 up to Boston? If you got on I-95 anywhere along that over 500-mile stretch, you would risk being carjacked, kidnapped, or having your car sprayed with machine gun fire.

"What if no one had electricity for much more than 10 hours a day, and often less? What if it went off at unpredictable times, causing factories to grind to a halt and air conditioning to fail in the middle of the summer in Houston and Miami? What if the Alaska pipeline were bombed and disabled at least monthly? What if unemployment hovered around 40%?"

September 22, 2004

the postmark burning jet black in the summer sun

* Paul Craig Roberts on Attention Deficit America. excerpt:

"The story is: How did the US Congress, the opposition party, the news media, and the US public let the Bush administration start a war based on phony documents?"
"Speaking of questionable documents, the Bush administration has swallowed a large number. What about the obviously forged 'yellowcake' documents that were the basis for the 'mistaken' claim that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear weapons program?

The Bush administration did not check out the 'stovepiped' phony 'intelligence' fed them by Iraqi exiles with an agenda and by neoconservatives determined to turn the 'war on terror' into a war against Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

"The Bush administration ignored all warnings from real experts and CIA and State Department analysts. Bush invaded a country that not only posed no threat to the United States, but also had no weapons of mass destruction and no connections to Osama bin Laden.

"The Bush administration's forged war has cost more than 1,000 American families their sons, husbands, fathers, brothers and a few their sisters, daughters and mothers. Another 7,000-8,000 American soldiers have been wounded, more than half too grievously to be returned to combat. Many have lost arms, legs, eyes.

"What have we achieved with these enormous casualties?"

* Bush's Faustian Deal With the Taliban, written May 2001. [via drug war rant] excerpt:

"Enslave your girls and women, harbor anti-U.S. terrorists, destroy every vestige of civilization in your homeland, and the Bush administration will embrace you. All that matters is that you line up as an ally in the drug war, the only international cause that this nation still takes seriously.

"That's the message sent with the recent gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, the most virulent anti-American violators of human rights in the world today. The gift, announced last Thursday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, makes the U.S. the main sponsor of the Taliban and rewards that 'rogue regime' for declaring that opium growing is against the will of God. So, too, by the Taliban's estimation, are most human activities, but it's the ban on drugs that catches this administration's attention.

"Never mind that Osama bin Laden still operates the leading anti-American terror operation from his base in Afghanistan, from which, among other crimes, he launched two bloody attacks on American embassies in Africa in 1998.

"Sadly, the Bush administration is cozying up to the Taliban regime at a time when the United Nations, at U.S. insistence, imposes sanctions on Afghanistan because the Kabul government will not turn over Bin Laden.

"The war on drugs has become our own fanatics' obsession and easily trumps all other concerns. How else could we come to reward the Taliban, who has subjected the female half of the Afghan population to a continual reign of terror in a country once considered enlightened in its treatment of women?"

* Last Plane to Jakarta lists 101 Things to which you can compare Interpol besides Joy Division. excerpt:

- Edward Elgar
- Sonic Youth minus the noise fixation
- imaginary band named "Youth Sonique"
- old time hockey
- breakfast in Paris
- the sun setting after the monsoon rains
- the Manic Street Preachers
- Nirvana
- the credits to a French movie playing in a theater in S.E. Portland on a rainy day
- Sarah Records
- Blanco y Negro
- David Bowie's early singles on Pye
- "Downtown"
- Susan Amway-era Magnetic Fields
- lack of water
- lack of air

September 21, 2004

like a drunk in a midnight choir I have tried in my way to be free

Two Poems by Jules Boykoff:

Reverend Been There Meets Dr. Seen Some in the talk show waiting room the day before the international summit in order to discuss the unpruned velocity of antithesis tabulation, the creative function of corruption & cosignment as a metaphor for existence

Unaboming will get
you nowhere
while the hired
applause claps louder
"& that's 'bout when
I got an education
'bout my education,
Doc, when for the
first time I saw the world
end" to undo the
undulatory the
normativity functions
as a hinge
ruled out
from the outset
in other words

L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer Meets Earl "Little Roy" Lowe in democratic [ahem] Kuwait [ahem] to discuss the reconstruction of revisionism, the quizzical dearth of Jah in Fallujah & the creation of Islamic subtance jockeys with Christopher-Columbus in my pocket & I just can't get no love

Don't Cross the nation
where the rich man live
and the poor man die

where habeas corpus means
"Get out the corpse, Corporal"
where my hair was getting in the way
of good conversation where
ballistic batons & a rising tide
drowns all goats where he asked,
"May I borrow your notes?" The reason
is other; the other is reason but
Bechtel but the pharmacy
but the chop shop the chrome
globe the foreign policy
of carnivorous goat fiction.
o, carnivorous riproar!
o, socially acceptable Molotov!
o, old-school mushroom cloud!
o, fracturous rapture for two!
o, slow cold stiffie!
o, capitalism! [er, privatization]
& everyone knows it
I say everyone knows it
at the thrift shop
called today.

* Happy 70th Birthday to Leonard Cohen. The Guardian lists 69 things about Leonard Cohen you might not know.

September 20, 2004

You wanna play mind-crazed banjo on the druggy-drag ragtime U.S.A.?

* The British are leaving. The British Army is expected to cut troop levels in Iraq, beginning at the end of October. excerpt:

"The main British combat force in Iraq, about 5,000-strong, will be reduced by around a third by the end of October during a routine rotation of units.

"The news came amid another day of mayhem in Iraq, which saw a suicide bomber kill at least 23 people and injure 53 in the northern city of Kirkuk. The victims were queueing to join Iraq's National Guard.

"More than 200 people were killed last week in one of the bloodiest weeks since last year's invasion, strengthening impressions that the country is spinning out of control."

* Mark Kleiman reports on drug abuse control policy. excerpt:

"I just finished a four-day seminar with a group of federal judges at which we discussed drug abuse control policy.

"As part of my preparation, I had Kenna Ackley, my research assistant, pull together some numbers. Between 1980 and 2004, the number of drug dealers in state and federal prison is up more than twelvefold, from 24,000 to 325,000. Most of that increase is cocaine dealers.

"Over that same period. the retail price of cocaine is down about 80% in constant dollars, from $535 a gram equivalent in 1980 to $105 today.

"Those numbers convince me of something I wouldn't have believed: that, under U.S. conditions, no practicable level of drug law enforcement can raise the prices of mass-market drugs. (Prohibition itself, along with enough enforcement to avoid having the law become a dead letter, does influence drug prices: pharmaceutical-grade cocaine costs your dentist between $5 and $10 a gram.)" [via
drug war rant]

* This week's top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"5. Donald Rumsfeld
We have an exciting new standard for American foreign policy! In recent weeks various reports have been released revealing the scope of prisoner abuse and torture in Iraq. According to one, 'there have been about 300 allegations of prisoners killed, raped, beaten and subjected to other mistreatment at military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay since the start of the war on terror.' According to another, 'commanding officers and their staffs at various levels failed in their duties and that such failure contributed directly or indirectly to detainee abuse.' But don't worry about it! See, here's what Donald Rumsfeld had to say about the torture scandals last week: 'Has it been harmful to our country? Yes. Is it something that has to be corrected? Yes. Does it rank up there with chopping off someone's head off on television? It doesn't.' And there you have it, folks. As long as something isn't as bad as chopping off someone's head on television, we can do it. Talk about lowering the bar..."

September 19, 2004

All My Favorite Singers Couldn't Sing

* Recorded after hours September 17, 2004 by The Foreign Press: destablize the milddle east (0:55).

* Recorded late the evening of September, 3, 2004 by The Cut Ups: breaker one nine (1:43).

* Recorded August 13, 2004 by The Bourbon Sessions: a and six 1966 (1:33).

All songs improvised and recorded first take at themainroom, washington, dc.

September 17, 2004

See the sky about to rain

City Afternoon
-- by John Ashbery

A veil of haze protects this
Long-ago afternoon forgotton by everybody
In this photograph, most of them now
Sucked screaming through old age and death

If one could seize America
Or at least a fine forgetfulness
That seeps into our outline
Defining our volumes with a stain
That is fleeting too

But commemorates
Because it does define, after all:
Gray garlands, that threesome
Waiting for the light to change,
Air lifting the hair of one
Upside down in the reflecting pool.
Meaningless like when two fireflies fluoresce

* Howard Zinn on the war in Iraq, written in February 2003, a few weeks before Bush invaded. excerpt:

"At some point in this coming war, and no one can say when, the lies coming from the administration - 'the death of this family was an accident,' 'we apologize for the dismemberment of this child,' 'this was an intelligence mistake,' 'a radar misfunction" - will begin to come apart.

"How soon that will happen depends not only on the millions now - whether actively or silently -- in the anti-war movement, but also on the emergence of whistle blowers inside the Establishment who begin to talk, of journalists who become tired of being manipulated by the government, and begin to write to truth. And of dissident soldiers sick of a war that is not a war but a massacre --how else describe the mayhem caused by the most powerful military machine on earth raining thousands of bombs on a fifth-rate military power already reduced to poverty by two wars and ten years of economic sanctions?"
"There is a basic weakness in governments, however massive their armies, however wealthy they are, however they control the information given to the public, because their power depends on the obedience of citizens, of soldiers, of civil servants, of journalists and writers and teachers and artists. When these people begin to suspect they have been deceived, and withdraw their support, the government loses its legitimacy, and its power."
"If Bush starts a war, he will be responsible for the lives lost, the children crippled, the terrorizing of millions of ordinary people, the American GIs not returning to their families. And all of us will be responsible for bringing that to a halt.

"Men who have no respect for human life or for freedom or justice have taken over this beautiful country of ours. It will be up to the American people to take it back."

* U.S. casualties have been under reported. excerpt:

"Nearly 17,000 service members medically evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan are absent from public Pentagon casualty reports commonly cited by newspapers, according to military data reviewed by United Press International. Most don't fit the definition of casualties, according to the Pentagon, but a veterans' advocate said they should all be counted.

"The Pentagon has reported 1,019 dead and 7,245 wounded from Iraq.

"The military has evacuated 16,765 individual service members from Iraq and Afghanistan for injuries and ailments not directly related to combat, according to the U.S. Transportation Command, which is responsible for the medical evacuations. Most are from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"The Pentagon's public casualty reports, available at, list only service members who died or were wounded in action. The Pentagon's own definition of a war casualty provided to UPI in December describes a casualty as, 'Any person who is lost to the organization by having been declared dead, duty status/whereabouts unknown, missing, ill, or injured.'

"The casualty reports do list soldiers who died in non-combat-related incidents or died from illness. But service members injured or ailing from the same non-combat causes (the majority that appear to be 'lost to the organization')are not reflected in those Pentagon reports."

* New York judge, citing US Supreme Court, says its ok to be high or drunk while on jury duty. excerpt:

"New Yorkers dreading jury duty take note: it's OK to be drunk on booze or high on pot or cocaine while doing your civic duty.

"So said a New York judge on Wednesday, who refused to set aside the verdict on a retired city firefighter convicted of swiping souvenirs from Ground Zero, citing the U.S. Supreme Court to back her ruling."

"Samuel Brandon, 61, found guilty in March of petty larceny for stealing personal items from the ruins of the World Trade Center, asked for a new trial after a juror told him after the verdict that he had been drinking during deliberations.

"But Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Ellen Coin cited a 1987 Supreme Court decision which rejected the argument that jurors consuming alcohol, smoking marijuana, snorting cocaine and falling asleep constituted an 'outside influence' on jurors.

"Coin said being drunk on jury duty was 'reprehensible,' but that there was little she could do about it given the Supreme Court ruling.

"However severe their effect and improper their use, drugs or alcohol voluntarily ingested by a juror seem no more an 'outside influence' than a virus, poorly prepared food, or lack of sleep," the Supreme Court said in its decision.

September 16, 2004

Like Grape BubbleYum on Hot Asphalt

* Customs Agent charged with accused of driving a van packed with $1.6 million worth of marijuana from Canada to the US. excerpt:

"Cory W. Whitfield, of Point Roberts, Wash., told investigators he has worked for six years screening U.S.-bound traffic at Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

"According to the complaint, Whitfield tried to enter the United States at the Lynden border crossing Monday. He presented a diplomatic passport, telling Inspector Rodney Nash, 'I'm one of us.'

"Whitfield told Nash the purpose of his trip was to bring an engine block to a Ford dealership in Bellingham, but Nash found 536 pounds of marijuana in the back of the van, and Whitfield's story fell apart under questioning, the complaint said.

"Whitfield eventually told investigators he was blackmailed into bringing the drugs to Bellingham by a man who had compromising photos of him - photos that showed Whitfield, a married man with two children, surrounded by illegal drugs and in a sexual encounter with a woman at a party, the complaint said."

* Toplesstown, a short story /poem by Shel Silverstein. excerpt:

Ol' Miz Fletcher says, "This country's goin' down the tubes
They must think we're all just a bunch of boobs
They're our bosom buddies when it's time to pay tax and all that
Now they wanna go cut off our funds and just leave us flat"
Then Ellie McKay stands up and starts to rant and rave
Shoutin', "Ain't this the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Well, I feel a lot freer without that ol' boulder holder of mine
And I'm brave enough to stand up and let my little lights shine."

And from the Salvation Army steps up Katie West
She says, "I got a couple things I gotta get off my chest"
She says, "We got no more homeless, no unemployed
Because men have somethin' to reach for and the women are overjoyed
So I wanna tell these knockers of liberty
I ain't gonna let 'em put no halter on me
And if they keep makin' threats about a federal bust
It's gonna case a major cleavage 'tween Washington and us.

"Tell the president that according to the Constitution
We got the right to dress ourselves without federal intrusion
The right to take off what's tight and what don't fit
The right to pay our rent and buy our grits
The right to improve our lot by usin' our wits
The right to bear arms--and also to bear tits."

So we take a vote--the whole damn town
And announce unanimously:
"Topless Town hereby secedes from the Union
Because the Union wouldn't let us be."
And we declare ourselves an independent
Self-determined sovereign state
And we build a tall wall around us all--
No roads, no bridges, no gate
And we pledge allegiance to our flag
Two. . . well, you know what they are
And I ain't puttin' down Old Glory
But they're prettier than stripes and stars
And we're free and unbridled
Behind these ivy-covered walls
And you drive by on the freeway and
Never notice us here at all.

Yeah, we got no taxes--we got no crime
But we got no room to spare
You'd like to come visit? I'll bet you would
But, friends, you ain't got a prayer--
Topless Town's stayin' safe and sound--
You can't get here from there.

* Five of Bobby Bare Jr.'s favorites from a few years ago. excerpt:

American Water – The Sliver Jews
Just this past summer I was given this album. The first line out of DAVID BERMAN'S mouth on American Water is "In 1984 I was hospitalized for approaching perfection.” His words are always a happy surprise – he challenges everything and it sounds like he’s trying to fake you out with every line but I always seem to know what he is trying to say, so you’re not left with the cold feeling of being cheated. The backing band is pretty good at keeping up also – “playing tambourine for minimum wage."

I See a Darkness – Bonnie Prince Billie
Will Oldham was one of 15 people who came to our last show in Louisville, KY. The audience consisted of Will, his girlfriend, Jim James of MY MORNING JACKET and his drummer PATRICK, and PAVEMENT – along with five or six people who just happened to be sitting at the bar that night. We did seven or eight songs and then the PA blew up and Will still said nice things about the show and let me hug his sexy girlfriend. But that’s not why I like his songs. His subtle way of singing not so subtle songs makes me rethink everything I do – this album sticks in your mind like grape BubbleYum on hot asphalt.

Don't know why I can't stop smiling when I only need to cry

Potluck setlist

Words of Advice -- William Burroughs
Je T'aime Moi Non Plus -- Serge Gainsbourgh and Jane Birken
Joy Without Pleasure -- Daniel Johnson
Bike -- Pink Floyd
Let's Be Buried Together -- Bill Fox
Corvette Bummer -- Beck
Harness Yr Hopes -- Pavement
Foggy Notion -- Rockets From the Tomb
She Cracked -- Velvet Crush
License to Confuse -- Sebadoh
The Set Up -- Mission of Burma
Kennedy -- The Wedding Present
Bus Dance -- The Wrens
See America Right -- The Mountain Goats
Group Grope -- The Fugs
Nuclear War -- Yo La Tengo
Everyone Ive Ever Slept With -- Momus
Stars Burn Out -- Bevis Frond
Rasberry Beret -- Hindu Love Gods
Untitled -- Neutral Milk Hotel
Full Circle Song -- Gene Smith
Gonna Love the Hell Out of You -- Silver Jews
Ill Be Around -- Bobby Bare Jr.
Alcohol -- The Kinks
Some Velvet Morning -- Lee and Nancy
14 Shades of Green -- Chris Stamey
AK-47 -- Weird War
Bobby Peru -- Luna
New York -- The Swell Maps
The Fabulous Sequel -- Pere Ubu
Space Junk -- Devo
Packs of Three -- Arab Strap
Hurricane -- Bob Dylan

September 15, 2004

Once I thought I saw you in a crowded hazy bar

Three poems by Deena Linett:

Eventually They Come Ashore

the living and the dead
whether you wait for them or not
There are so many more
of the dead, and the living
drown on stony ground in grief
and anger, and the sea
does not care. We care
for it so deeply, need it
so we cannot comprehend
its treachery. We think
it must be part of Mind
and would not so mistreat us

but it closes its blue eyes,
a shunning, so defeats us.

Atlantic Beach

Dawn has come and gone but it is so early
that when I turn to see where I've come from
and where I will be going, it's still dark. I stroll
the narrow span between two great unknowns
toward where the sun unrolls
angled brilliants from her bolt of gold
and stop to watch gulls flitter above spitting foam
and sea, the thunder of its many tones
the music of the sphere we occupy. They hover
over swells like time stopped, or the heart,
then dive. Like boys who stand apart
from damages they do, they skim
the moving fields of blue as if killing were an art
and purpose and its deadly aim a part of joy.

Men Kneel

Like the unconscious and like art, beyond volition
and only partly human, what goes on
between men and women happens in the dark, feral,
without will. In gratitude or grief, at prayer,
before a bookcase seeking manuscripts or maps,
a man on his knees is entirely memorable.

Between my legs. Then humility opens in me
like a meadow, vase and blowy. Silky streaks
of limb, raw rutty bottoms: textures move us
to articulated knowing, acts pure, material,
blood fast and bright, arterial, that wild
indifferent sweetness when arousal takes us.

* And an excellent photo montage from Karl Lintvedt.
This song's about over but it will never stop

* Various artists on daniel johnson. excerpt:

Jason Pierce, Spiritualized

The most important thing in music is absolute honesty. People like Daniel and Roky Erikson - 'cos they're slightly damaged - have this great ability to touch your heart because they don't know where to stop.

When a child hits a piano he makes untainted music, and that's there in Daniel. He goes between extremes of naivety and darkness. The song I can never get out of my head is Funeral Home, with the line "Got me a car, all shiny and black/Going to the funeral, I ain't never coming back." There's a recording where he gets the audience to sing along like a church gathering.

Jad Fair, musician/friend

Daniel puts words together in a way that is very heartfelt and original. I first heard him in 1985 when he was making very raw tapes that caused a buzz in Texas where he lives. He puts so much emotion into what he does. He can play for 10 minutes or two hours and I've seen him break down crying but immediately after the performance break out in a laugh. I got together with Teenage Fanclub and we covered My Life is Starting Over Again, one of his most "up" songs, about what would happen if he became a famous rock star. He's aware of the irony and there's a wonderfully dry line: "I guess it's better than suicide." I've known him do a concert and when people scream for more he'll flee out of a back window.

* Ex-Mayor, ex-con Marion Barry voted back into office.

* Exactly. excerpt:

"President Bush's paramount problem with his National Guard years is not that he took shortcuts in 1972. The problem is that he still refuses to come clean about it."
One fall day in 1973, when Mr. Bush was a new student at Harvard Business School, he was wearing a Guard jacket when he ran into one of his professors. The professor, Yoshi Tsurumi, says he asked Mr. Bush how he wangled a spot in the Guard.

"'He said his daddy had good friends who got him in despite the long waiting list,' recalls Professor Tsurumi, who is now at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York. Professor Tsurumi says he next asked Mr. Bush how he could have already finished his National Guard commitment. 'He said he'd gotten an early honorable discharge,' Professor Tsurumi recalls. 'I said, 'How did you manage that?'"

"'He said, oh, his daddy had a good friend,' Mr. Tsurumi said. 'Then we started talking about the Vietnam War. He was all for fighting it.'"

Professor Tsurumi says he remembers Mr. Bush so vividly because he was always making outrageous statements: denouncing the New Deal as socialist, calling the S.E.C. an impediment to business, referring to the civil rights movement as 'socialist/communist' and declaring that 'people are poor because they're lazy.' (Dan Bartlett, an aide to Mr. Bush, denies that the president ever made these statements.)"
"More than three decades later, that shouldn't be a big deal. What worries me more is the lack of honesty today about that past - and the way Mr. Bush is hurling stones without the self-awareness to realize that he's living in a glass house."

September 14, 2004

tower to the skies an academy of lies

Don't Forget, Tomorrow is POTLUCK!

* For those of you who are interested in some of the lesser known things George Bush was up to during his National Guard Days, check out this article, from GQ. excerpt:

"An eight-month investigation by GQ has yielded a stunningly different portrait of Bush's 'missing year.' This magazine's findings contradict allegations that Bush avoided military service but also explain why the president has remained vague about his activities during those twelve months.

"In one respect, Bush's skeptics are right: Bush never did report to the Alabama Air National Guard. He may not even know where its barracks were. That's because during the period in question, Bush was serving his country elsewhere, in a clandestine military unit: the Special Undercover Missions Service (SUMS), an elite air-force agency specializing in national security and acts of espionage. Created by the Eisenhower administration in 1958 to respond to growing concerns about aerial reconnaissance by the Soviet Union, SUMS operated for twenty-one years in a shroud of secrecy. There is no offcial record of the organization; SUMS is said to have been terminated by President Jimmy Carter in 1979."
"When Bush returned from China, he discovered that Nixon was becoming increasingly manic about a domestic threat: the U.S. tour of the Rolling Stones. 'Nixon was convinced they [the Stones] were a bigger threat than John Lennon, who, if you remember, we tried to deport,' an FBI source said."

"J. Edgar Hoover had lobbied the president to arrest the Stones in 1971 on indecency charges for the band's album Sticky Fingers. In an Oval Office meeting, Hoover sat with the president and repeatedly showed him how to unzip the crotch zipper on the album's cover. A year later, Nixon obtained an advance copy of the Stones' seminal 1972 album, Exile on Main Street. He and aide H. R. Haldeman spent hours listening to the tracks.

"There is a song on that album called 'All Down the Line,' one former FBI agent recalled. 'Nixon listened to it a thousand times. You know that part, We're gonna bust another bottle, yeah / Well you can't say yes, and you can't say no / Just be right there when the whistle blows—he'd hear that and go completely batshit.'

"Bush was assigned to the Stones' 1972 North American tour. He was asked to infiltrate the band's inner circle and report on any illegal or possibly un-American activities.

"This time Bush chose to take on the identity of a roadie named Bo Bannister, an itinerant concert-business employee. Though cleaner-cut than most of the Stones' crew, Bannister enthralled his fellow roadies with tales of life on the road with acts that included Chuck Berry and Mel Tormé. Soon, he was given a position of great honor at the Stones' shows: inflating an enormous, forty-five-foot pink plastic penis at the beginning of 'Honky Tonk Women.'

"'I remember hearing about that,' said one Bush family friend. 'He used to say, 'God, if my mother could see me now, blowing up this giant pecker every night.'

"At night Bush would retire to his room and telephone Clyde Tolson, Hoover's longtime FBI deputy. The intelligence Bush was providing was not, as the FBI and Nixon hoped, evidence of a conspiracy to take over the country. Consider this written dispatch from Bush to Tolson, obtained by GQ through another F.O.I.A. request:



* DC housing prices are a bit out of control, anyone who has looked for a house or apartment lately has seen that without spending close to $500,000 its pretty difficult to find a decent sized living space in a fairly safe neighborhood. Not having that type of money to spend Ive been relegated to look in the "transitional" and "upcoming" areas. Yesterday, I looked at a home at 162 Irving, just off Georgia Avenue. The price was right -- $320,000 -- though I was aware that the neighborhood was a far cry from the 17 and P area where Ive lived for 9 years. Turing off Georgia (only six or so blocks north of Howard University) onto Irving it was apparent that this neighborhood would not be the place for me to buy a house, but still, I figured, lets see what $320,000 might buy. We arrived at the house and found a tenent -- a Howard student it appeared -- who let us in and said a family member owned the house. The place was a mess, pizza boxes and empty vodka and beer bottles lined the floors, the couches would look bad in a dump, and the sink was not only full of dishes with what looked like pasta caked on them, but was producing a very difficult to take smell. I noticed a kitchen window, which had three little holes in it. I had a pretty good idea what made the holes but still had to ask. I was told that indeed, "there are a lot of gunshots around here because of the gang activity on Hobart, and these three shots were fired, oh, maybe two weeks ago." Needless to say, we were out of the house quickly after learning that information. $320,000 for a house with bullet holes. Almost funny. The next person who looks at the place may find bigger holes now that the Assault Weapons Ban has been allowed to lapse.

September 13, 2004

its a sin when success complains

Three poems by Marianne Moore


I, too, dislike it.
Reading it, however, with a perfect comtempt for it, one discovers in
it, after all, a place for the genuine.

I may, I might, I must

If you will tellme why the fen
appears impassable, I then
will tell you why I think that I
can get across it if I try.

Love in America

Whatever it is, it's a passion --
a benign dementia that should be
engulfing America, fed in a way
the opposite of the way
in which the Minotaur was fed.
It's a midas of tenderness;
from the heart;
nothing else. From one with ability
to bear being misunderstood --
take the blame, with "nobility
that is action," identifying itself with
pioneer unperfunctoriness

without brazenness or
bigness of overgrown
undergrown shallowness.

Whatever it is, let it be without

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

September 10, 2004

Father logic sometimes gets cosmic, you know

[via atrios]
do not fret, the bus will get you there yet

* An open letter to movie chains regarding the high cost of moviegoing. via [tim thompson] excerpt:

"Last week I went to my local Famous Players - Silver City theater on a Friday night. A single ticket was going to cost me about $14.00. Let me repeat that. A SINGLE ticket was going to cost me about $14.00! For those of us who are mathematically challenged, that was about $28.00 if I had a date (as I already mentioned, something that doesn't happen that often). Having lightened my load of all that money, I was easily able to lightly walk over to the extortion , errrr… I mean Concession stand to get some popcorn and a couple of drinks. I noticed on the menu board that there was a combo DEAL. The word DEAL was a welcome sight to my now impoverished eyes. Here was the DEAL. 2 regular sized soft drinks and a large popcorn for… $12.00 after taxes?!?! $12.00 was the DEAL?!?! You do realize that I could have bought a 2 Liter of Coke and a 10 pack of Microwavable popcorn for $5 right? I nearly passed out when the girl at the counter told me a small bottled water would run me $3.

"So far I would have spent $40 for a night at the movies. Lucky for me I didn't have to pay for parking.

"I still remember not that long ago when after sitting in my seat, the only thing between me and my movie (which I had paid for) was a couple of trailers. Not anymore. Today we are forced to sit through 4, 5 sometimes 6 commercials before even getting to the previews. How does that work? We pay to get in! When we watch free TV we understand having to sit through commercials… but when I pay for a pay-per-view movie, I expect there to be none. $28.00 for a couple of tickets and yet I still have to sit through all these tediously annoying ads?"

* Potential track listing for the reissue of crooked rain crooked rain which is scheduled for release on October 26, 2004:



1. Silence Kid
2. Elevate Me Later
3. Stop Breathin
4. Cut Your Hair
5. Newark Wilder
6. Unfair
7. Gold Soundz
8. 5-4 = Unity
9. Range life
10. Heaven Is a Truck
11. Hit the Plane Down
12. Fillmore Jive


13. Nail Clinic
14. Camera
15. Raft
16. Cooling by Sound
17. Haunt You Down
18. Jam Kids
19. Strings of Nashville
20. 5-4 Vocal
21. Exit Theory
22. Unseen Power of the Picket Fence
23. Stare
24. Kneeling Bus



1. Broke in November
2. Soiled Little Filly
3. Follow Gently
4. Range Life
5. Stop Breathing
6. Ell Ess Two
7. Flux = Rad
8. Bad Version of War
9. Same Way of Saying


10. Hands Off the Bayou
11. Heaven Is a Truck (Egg Shell)
12. Grounded
13. Kennel District
14. Pueblo (Beach Boys)
15. Fucking Righteous
16. Colorado
17. Dark Ages
18. Flood Victim
19. JMC Retro
20. Rug Rat
21. Strings of Nashville (instrumental)
22. Instrumental
23. Range Life (w/ horns)
24. All My Friends

* Dick Cheney, back seat president. excerpt:

"He is not only the most powerful vice-president in American history. He is also the most controversial, a man whose decisions have repeatedly given even loyal Republicans pause. Four more years of George W. means four more years of Bush-Cheney: the closest thing to a co-presidency America has ever seen.

"For the past four years the two men have been inseparable. Most vice-presidents have to fight for time with their boss; Mr Cheney sees his several times a day. Most vice-presidents spend their days at state funerals; Mr Cheney, more than anyone else, picked the members of the current administration. Thereafter he helped to shape the administration's policies on everything from energy policy to the invasion of Iraq.

"The Republicans have repeatedly reminded Americans this week that September 11th 2001 defined this administration. But who was in charge on that terrible day? It was Mr Cheney who took most of the key decisions—from hiding the president to authorising the shooting-down of suspicious aircraft—while Mr Bush was holed up in Nebraska."
"The cumulative effect of all these mistakes not only suggests a worrying preference for ideology over common sense, but an arrogant indifference to the checks and balances that are the glory of the American constitution. During the Ford administration, the Secret Service gave Mr Cheney the codename “Backseat”. One of the big questions facing America is whether this particular backseat driver is taking his boss in the right direction."

September 9, 2004

History is a wave and we surf it beautifully

* Pravda on the Potomac. excerpt:

"The evidence of the media's bias in the 2000 election is clear and incontrovertible, as Paul Begala demonstrated in a November, 2002 Nexis-Lexis search:

"There were exactly 704 stories in the campaign about this flap of Gore inventing the Internet. There were only 13 stories about Bush failing to show up for his National Guard duty for a year. There were well over 1,000 stories - Nexis stopped at 1,000 - about Gore and the Buddhist temple. Only 12 about Bush being accused of insider trading at Harken Energy. There were 347 about Al Gore wearing earth tones, but only 10 about the fact that Dick Cheney did business with Iran and Iraq and Libya…

"And now, George W. Bush's administration, arguably the most incompetent and corrupt in US history, is given a free pass by the media.

"Had the current management of the Washington Post been in charge during the Watergate burglary, Woodward and Bernstein would no doubt have been ordered to get back to covering freeway smash-ups, and Richard Nixon would have finished his term, unexposed and unpunished.

"There are precious few indicators of change in this dismal situation. The New York Times and the Washington Post, flagships of American journalism, have both published tepid apologies for their failure to serve as responsible watch-dogs of the government, in the run-up to the Iraq war. But now, having apologized for their misbehavior, they are repeating it. There is an abundance of opportunity for critical, objective and balanced reporting of the current election campaign. Once again, it is an opportunity not taken.

"In the face of all this evidence, it is difficult to understand how anyone with more than a casual acquaintance with the corporate media persist in the belief that the media have a liberal bias."

* Top 25 Censored Stories from 2003-2004.

* Bob Mould has posted a mp3 of Pere Ubu's 30 Seconds over Tokyo. A great song, give it a listen.
Hiding in new places, getting wasted

* Interview of Mike Watt. excerpt:

MW: I’m 46 now. It’s all circumstance. I was born the year John Coltrane quit heroin, 1957. Sputnik went up that year also.

It ended up being a fortuitous time to be born because D. Boon, Georgie [Hurley] and me all graduated high school in 1976 which is right when punk came on. That’s why I believe we got to play in front of people because it was a scene that was open enough that would let anybody on stage.

DRE: How are you holding up?

MW: I’m much healthier. The last tour was my 50th tour and I was sick three times, the beginning, middle and end. I haven’t been sick since. I rebuilt my immune system. I got this illness three years ago that almost killed me. That’s what my next record is about.

DRE: I read that you tried to capture a sound of the illness.

MW: Yeah that’s what I thought about using an organ. This band I have is a bass, organ and drums. The organ is kind of churchlike so that creates the atmosphere. I was very grateful I got over being sick so I could pedal, paddle and plunk.

DRE: What are your fingers like?

MW: Well after a while you can’t really have the pads anymore because they get caught under the strings and rip off. So after a while your hands become like moccasins and more pliable so there is a thickness to them so they don’t tear. I understand all your nerves for touch and feel are there. So when they get torn open you are in a lot of pain. That was the early years but after a while my body gets accustomed to it.

DRE: I read this great quote from you, 'Being in a band is a political statement in and of itself.' I don’t know when you said that exactly but do you still feel that’s valid?

MW: Absolutely. For a young person a band is the most idealized form of a political state. Guys get together, make decisions and act on them. They enable creativity and actualize it by bringing it to audiences. The ensemble act of creating is kind of a political endeavor. Trying to find your own voice is also a political expression.

DRE: Have you always had that philosophy?

MW: Well a lot of these ideas came from Minutemen and my experience with D. Boon. We used to play in his bedroom until punk came then music was a whole new thing for us. When you could play for people we started thinking about all the different perspectives. We came up with the idea that the world was two different categories, gigs and flyers. Everything that wasn’t a gig was a flyer to get people to the gig. We were young men coming into our own and trying to understand how we fit into the world. We saw that music was one way we could relate to other people.

* Washington Post weighs in on the Bush military record scandal. excerpt:

"White House officials dismissed the latest criticism of Bush's service as partisan attacks in the midst of a heated campaign. In an interview with '60 Minutes,' White House communications director Dan Bartlett said 'partisan Democrats' were 'recycling the very same charges we hear every time President Bush runs for reelection' and added: 'It is dirty politics.' But he did not contest the authenticity of the documents, which could not be verified independently by The Washington Post."

Remember, yesterday Bartlett admitted to 'mispeaking' (read lying) about Bush's military record. And, it was Bartlett and Karen Hughes who, according to various accounts, were allegedly the two tasked with trashing the missing documents in the first place. Dirty politics. Ha.

* Bush sings Sunday Bloody Sunday.

September 8, 2004

i do my job each day empties crushed and filed away

* Excerpt relating to the insider trading allegations realting to Bush regarding Harken Energy from Molly Invins and Lou Dubose's Bushwacked: Life in George W. Bush's America:

"One of Bush's white knights, a friend of the Bush family consigliere James Baker III, is so interesting that to leave him out is the journalistic equivalent of a breach of fiduciary responsibility. Philip Uzielli's $1 million cash-for-trash deal in 1982 allowed GeeDubya to keep his company alive long enough to sell it to Spectrum 7, then to sell the again-sinking Spectrum 7 to Harken and then to unload his sinking Harken stock -- just before the bad news became public [think Martha Stewart]-- for a large enough profit to buy 2 percent of the ownership of a baseball franchise that made him $15 million in less than 9 years. Philip Uzielli (Uzi to GeeDubya) is a Panamanian businessman and Princeton classmate of James Baker. In 1982 Uzi was listed as CEO of Panama's Executive Resources and as a director in Harrow Corporation and Leigh Products. As [reported in a previous book by these authors], when Dubya's company Arbusto, was in a terminal cash crunch, Uzi showed up and paid $1 million for 10 percent of a failing company valued at $382,376, according to the company's financial statements. In other words, Uzi paid $1 million for $38,200 in equity. Bush had changed the name of Arbusto to Bush Exploration after his father became VP. By the time of the corporate name change, Arbusto had drilled so many dry holes that West Texas oilmen called it 'are-busted.'"
"Arbusto was not an oil company so much as it was a tax write-off company, taking advantage of the IRS tax code provisiohn that allowed investors to decuct up to 75 percent of their losses in the oil business. Bush did not strike oil, he stuck money from the friend of his daddy."
Bush failed to regularly file insider trading reports to the SEC which caught the eye of the SEC. At the time "the chairman of the SEC was Richard Breeden, who had worked for poppy Bush as an economic advisor. The walls of Breeden's office were so plastered with photos of poppy and Barbara Bush that a New York Times reporter observered: 'George Bush is Breeden's Mao.' The general counsel at the SEC was James Doty, the same James Doty of the Baker Botts firm, who represented GeeDubya when he bought his 2 percent interest in the Texas Rangers with the money he got from dumping Harken stock. The Houston firm was founded by the great-great grandfather of James Baker III, secretary of state under Bush pere and the point man for Bush the younger after the disputed 2000 election." Arthur Anderson was the accounting firm involved in the Harken trades.
"Bush filed four late forms reporting four separate [insider] transactions totaling $1,028,935 [way more than Martha Stewart]. During his campaign for Governor of Texas, Bush repeatedly told reported he had been exonorated by the SEC, adn Ari Fleischer repeated the same line in the summer of '02. But the report issued by the SEC's enforcement division in 1993 specifically said the investigation 'must in no way be conscrued as indicating that the pary has been exonorated.'"
"Harken was not Enron, but it was certainly Enron in the making. What Bush took out of Harken was also 20 times as much as Bill and Hillary Clinton lost in a crummy Arkansas Real Estate deal that cost American taxpayers 70 million to investigate.
Some people seem so obsessed with the morning

* The Provisions Library in Dupont Circle looks like a great place. Its mission is to "foster a creative environment for a diverse international community to explore and be active in social change and justice." Currently, there is an exhibtion by Roxanne Swentzell that looks pretty interesting. The periodical library has over 300 titles, including Tin House, the Believer, Dissent, and Cineaste, plus lots of international policy journals. And many books and journals that "offer voices from silenced communities." They have computer workstations with both pc and mac computers. And much more.

* James Carroll on The Unwinnable War. excerpt:

"George W. Bush finally told the truth. It happened last week when he said of the war on terrorism, 'I don't think you can win it.'

"We know it was the truth because of the way it embarrassed him, because of the way his handlers immediately required him to repudiate it ('I probably need to be more articulate'), and because the mass of Republicans were deaf to it. Just as Bush had inadvertently spoken the exact truth about the war on terrorism at its onset ('This crusade, this war on terrorism'), he had inadvertently done so again."
"Citizens of the United States are a decent, fair-minded people. The only reason we tolerate what is being done in our name in Iraq is that, for us, this war exists only in the realm of metaphor. The words 'war on terrorism' fall on our ears much in the way that 'war on poverty' or 'war on drugs' did.

"War is an abstraction in the American imagination. It lives there, cloaked in glory, as an emblem of patriotism. We show our love for our country by sending our troops abroad and then 'supporting' them, no matter what. When images appear that contradict the high-flown rhetoric of war -- whether of young GIs disgracefully humiliating Iraqi prisoners or of a devastated holy city where vast fields of American-created rubble surround a shrine -- we simply do not take them in as real. Thinking of ourselves as only motivated by good intentions, we cannot fathom the possibility that we have demonized an innocent people, that what we are doing is murder on a vast scale."
"Obviously, something else is going on below the surface of all the stated reasons for this war. The Republican convention last week was gripped with war fever, and the fever itself was the revelation. War is answering an American need that has nothing to do with the Iraqi people.

"Even though the war on terrorism is indeed, as the president said, a 'crusade,' it has nothing real to do with Islam either, although Islam is surely its target. Not Islam as it actually exists in dozens of different settings and cultures across the globe, but an imagined Islam that exists only in the troubled minds of a people who project 'evil' outward and then attack it. Alas, it is an old Christian habit.

"The war, meanwhile, answers the Bush administration's need to justify an unprecedented repressiveness in the 'homeland,' and simultaneously prompts widespread docile submission to the new martial law. But more deeply still, by understanding ourselves as a people at war, we Americans find exemption from the duty to face the grotesque shame of what we are doing in the world."

* The Economist speaks out against tougher comercial sex laws. excerpt:

"Two adults enter a room, agree a price, and have sex. Has either committed a crime? Common sense suggests not: sex is not illegal in itself, and the fact that money has changed hands does not turn a private act into a social menace. If both parties consent, it is hard to see how either is a victim. But prostitution has rarely been treated as just another transaction, or even as a run-of-the-mill crime: the oldest profession is also the oldest pretext for outraged moralising and unrealistic lawmaking devised by man.

"In recent years, governments have tended to bother with prostitution only when it threatened public order. Most countries (including Britain and America) have well-worn laws against touting on street corners, against the more brazen type of brothel and against pimping. This has never been ideal, partly because sellers of sex feel the force of law more strongly than do buyers, and partly because anti-soliciting statutes create perverse incentives. On some occasions, magistrates who have fined streetwalkers have been asked to wait a few days so that the necessary money can be earned."
"If those quasi-liberal experiments have not lived up to their proponents' expectations, they have also failed to fulfil their detractors' greatest fears. They do not seem to have led to outbreaks of disease or under-age sex, nor to a proliferation of street prostitution, nor to a wider collapse in local morals.

"Which brings us back to that discreet transaction between two people in private. If there's no evidence that it harms others, then the state should let them get on with it. People should be allowed to buy and sell whatever they like, including their own bodies. Prostitution may be a grubby business, but it's not the government's."

September 7, 2004

The wind it was howlin' and the snow was outrageous

* Kitty Kelly's new book on Bush states that W used cocaine at Camp David while his father was President. excerpt:

"Sharon Bush claims: 'Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once either.'

"Other acquaintances allege that as a 26-year-old National Guard, Bush 'liked to sneak out back for a joint or into the bathroom for a line of cocaine.'

"Bush has admitted being an alcoholic but, asked during the 1999 election if he did drugs, he said: 'I've told the American people that years ago I made some mistakes.

"'I've learned from my mistakes and should I be fortunate enough to become president I will bring dignity and honour to the office.'"
"Former student Torbery George says in the book: '[Poor Georgie. He couldn't relate to women unless he was loaded.'"

* Let's go way back: June 29, 1989 Washington Times headline Homosexual Prostitution Inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush. excerpt:

"The following archive paints a chilling portrait of what is really going on in the upper echelons of the ruling elite here in America. The story involves children from orphanages in Nebraska being flown around the United States by top Republican officials in order to engage in child sex orgies with America's ruling elite. It is a fact that during the 1980's, child sexual services were provided by top Republican officials to key, bureaucrats and diplomats but most importantly, there is a chilling proximity of all of these events and personalities, to the President of the United States at the time, George H.W. Bush. And there have been victims who claim that the President himself engaged in the activities. It is a tale of child sex, murder, espionage, blackmail, and huge payoffs. And all the players are involved. From the White House to the CIA to the media barrons to the Republican elite - right down to the orphanages where they procured their victims.

"This story was the second biggest scandal of the 1980's which was completely obliterated by the Bush White House - A complete coordinated blackout by the ruling elite in cooperation with the American television networks. (The biggest scandal being the Bush involvement in the attempted assassination of President Reagan) Since the elite who own the television networks in America are the same elite who feast off the carcass of the American population - just like the Bushes do and who sit on the same boards of the same corporate cartels as the Bushes do - most Americans will never hear of this explosive story. But thanks to the Internet all these suppressed news facts are re-surfacing. Perhaps the most chilling aspect of this horrific tale is that such realities can be so completely obliterated by the powers that be so that, even though these are simply the very biggest most explosive stories of our time - you will never know that they happened. That is why exists. To bring you the hard cold truth about what is really happening to our world. To inform you about who these people really are who rule America."

* "Listen: Keep llistening. Never become so self-important that you can't listen to other players. Live cleanly. Do Right. You can improve as a person. It's a duty we owe ourselves." -- John Coltrane

* "A man who is 'ill-adjusted' to the world is always on the point of finding himself. One who is adjusted to the world never finds himself, but gets to be a cabinet minister." -- Hermann Hesse

September 3, 2004

he asks that we allow the sex to make us unrecognizable

a poem by brett eugene ralph.

Firm Against the Pattern

When I saw Charity dancing
alone in the farmhouse kitchen,
eyes closed, lips parted, held aloft
in one hand half a mango,
a gigantic butcher knife
clutched in the other—I froze
at the screen door as I always do
when I come upon someone praying.

All night I had been hitting
on the daughter of a tiny woman
orphaned by Hiroshima.
Her grandparents had been lost, and her mother
would soon be dead though no one knew
if it was the blast or the facility
she retired next to in Utah.

This was the kind of bitter irony
that made you want to burn the flag—
even if it was against the law, even
on the Fourth of July on property owned
by a Republican state senator.
Which is precisely what would happen
later, after we’d drunk the wine.

Hey, he said in one of those voices
unique to fraternity members
high on nitrous oxide, Anybody want a drink
of hundred-year-old Romanian wine?
Before we could answer, he had produced
from one of the pockets on his wheel chair
wine he meted out, so help me God,
from a Mrs. Butterworth’s bottle.

By the time that bottle made its way
around the bonfire, I was drunk
on kimonos wed to atom bombs
and motherless children left to cultivate
an excruciating beauty,
drunk on crippled tipplers
scarcely larger than dolls.
On an evening such as this, one swig
makes little difference.

Like the wine my father fashioned
out of blackberries, out of plums,
it was sweet and very strong
and it wouldn’t have taken much to turn
Mrs. Butterworth upside down
until her skirts fell and I’d forgotten
that the cloud above Nagasaki rhymes
with the flag we raised on the moon.

As I watched Charity dance, I rested
my brow against the rusty screen
and that knife and mango might have been
a bottle and a beating heart,
a bomb and a burned up baby doll,
a flag and whatever comes to mind
when you read the word forgiveness.

Closing my eyes, I extended my tongue
and pressed it firm against the pattern:
I tasted yesterday’s rain, the forgotten
carcasses of moths,
broken glances, rebel tears,
the smoke of not-so-distant fires—
all those delicate gestures
we collect and call the seasons.

Two untitled poems by carl annarummo.

you'd sit, listening
to analog's hiss, and
kitchen hiccups under
the umbrella of recovering
alcoholic pre-recorded
as a sexed up claude monet --
casemated in crinkled jewels --
asking you to perform
a whispering-clinic in
a museum of modern art

left shoulder bursitis in a sling
from filing sheet music in
a two-tier filing cabinet prolific
in its ability to jeopardize the alphabet
and get you astride with jazz-
pile in hand, wondering if
you'd ever spoon Miles Davis
and if the preventative measures
against his violence would include
matching windbreakers
accustomed to screwheads

September 2, 2004

and they were only words and i never meant them

photo by laura holder, via travelers diagram.

also, photos from the Axis of Eve Panty Protest.
Proud brothers Do not fret The bus will get you there yet

* Maureen Dowd: Cutups and Cutthroats. excerpt:

"Despite the fact that the economy is cratering, Iraq is teetering, Afghanistan is reverting to warlords, Dick Cheney is glowering at the world, the war on terror has created more acts of terror, Ahmad Chalabi is an accused spy for Iran and the Pentagon has an accused spy for Israel, Republicans felt so good about themselves that when Arnold Schwarzenegger said he was inspired to become a Republican by Richard Nixon, they exploded. When Tricky Dick is a hot applause line, they're feeling cocky.

"Republicans are political killers. They are confident that Americans, in a 9/11 world, are going to be more drawn to political killers who have made some 'miscalculations' on Iraq, as W. put it, than with a shaggy-haired Vietnam War protester whom Bush 41 compares to Hanoi Jane."
"Just as the 'third party' ad effort has been ferocious and misleading, so have some of the attack speeches here. Dick Cheney stomped on John Kerry the way he's stomped on the world. In fact, he stomped on Mr. Kerry for trying to get along with the world: 'He talks about leading 'a more sensitive war on terror' as though Al Qaeda will be impressed with our softer side.' It's nice to know Mr. Cheney remembers Al Qaeda."

* Dave Gedge brings back the wedding present. [via chromewaves]. excerpt:

"It seems David Gedge has decided to reform his old band the Wedding Present following the realisation that his latest band Cinerama were beginning to sound just like them.

"'We were playing faster and more strummy' he told PlayLouder, 'so I just thought, 'I may as well reform the Wedding Present.'

"The equally adored and maligned singer now lives in Seattle where he worked on new stuff for an album which has already been recorded and should be due in October."

* The text of Zell Miller's March 1, 2001 introduction of John Kerry is still on his senate website. It reads, in part:

"I'm proud to be Georgia's junior senator and I'm honored to serve with Max Cleland, who is as loved and respected as anyone in that body. One of our very highest priorities must be to make sure this man is re-elected in 2002 so he can continue to serve this state and nation."
"My job tonight is an easy one: to present to you one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders – and a good friend.
"He was once a lieutenant governor – but he didn't stay in that office 16 years, like someone else I know. It just took two years before the people of Massachusetts moved him into the United States Senate in 1984.

"In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington.'
"John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment. Business Week magazine named him one of the top pro-technology legislators and made him a member of its 'Digital Dozen.'"
"John is a graduate of Yale University and was a gunboat officer in the Navy. He received a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three awards of the Purple Heart for combat duty in Vietnam. He later co-founded the Vietnam Veterans of America."