May 31, 2005

done is good but done well is so much fucking better

Rejected Arizona Record cover art, by Steve Keene, circa 1993

David Berman has been cleaning house to ready for an impending move across Nashville and found and has distributed (I sent him a cut ups cd) some of the rejected cover art for the first siver jews record.

Other rejected covers can be viewed here and here. more should be showing up on the silver jews bulletin board in the coming days. Thanks much, DCB.

In other Siver Jews news, Berman announced yesterday that: "the album is getting remastered this week. i had to open it up again and get some sponges i had left in the gut of it." Look for Tanglewood Numbers to drop in October.

* The Caribbean's new album is not out till September, but the band will be touring the west coast in July and have just put the track siamese sons up for your listening pleasure. go check it out. its good.

* In case you missed it yesterday. A scathing Minneapolis Star Memorial Day editorial. excerpt:

"In exchange for our uniformed young people's willingness to offer the gift of their lives, civilian Americans owe them something important: It is our duty to ensure that they never are called to make that sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of the country. In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse."

* Dronepop gives us Another Retail Rant. excerpt:

"You are not a turkey vulture, and I am not a 13-lined ground squirrel, at least last time I checked myself. Stop hovering over me and commenting on every thing I do. If you give me 100 CDs to look over, I do not need a rundown on the fact that said CDs are unbelievably valuable because they are: 1) a double cd set, 2) a "rare, live import", 3) bought off of eBay, 4) usually stored in your goddam asshole. First of all, I just don't care. Secondly, I've been doing this for over 15 years now, so don't argue with me when I tell you your Whitney Houston disc is just not worth $5 to us. Most of all though, let me do my damn job--I don't hawk over you filling out your TS reports or whatever, do I?

"This is America, you cheap motherfucker. I'm not a street vendor, or a car salesman, so I'm not gonna haggle with you. I really don't have the time to explain the concepts of capitalism to you."

May 25, 2005

As the pages turn, my eyes are glued

John Gutmann, The Artist Lives Dangerously, San Francisco, 1938

* Next month, as curator of the Meltdown festival Patty Smith Patty Smith will play it in its entirety on stage for the first time. She talks with Reynolds. excerpt:

"Patti Smith's an icon, alright, but she started out as an iconographer, developing her presence through close study of her heroes - Dylan, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and, implausible as it may seem, TV host Johnny Carson. From this seemingly middle-of-the-road figure, Smith learnt techniques of grace under pressure that helped her deal with the hostile audiences she faced early on. 'If I was making my stew, there's a big chunk of Johnny in there,' she chuckles.

"In some ways, the closest parallel for Patti Smith is David Bowie. Both emerged in the early Seventies, the point at which rock had built up enough history for it to be possible for artists to play games with the genre's own myths and archetypes. As much as it was Smith announcing herself to the world, Horses also served as homage to her godstar pantheon. 'What I wanted to do in rock'n'roll was merge poetry with sonic scapes, and the two people who had contributed so much to that were Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.'
"The highlight of Meltdown, though, is the 25 June performance of Horses in its entirety and original sequence (something Smith has never done before), with a band that includes Television guitarist Tom Verlaine and the album's producer John Cale. She tells me she has just learnt that the night sold out immediately. 'I was overwhelmed. To tell the truth, it brought tears to my eyes. Horses pretty much broke as a record in England. I always think of us as a semi-English band because we were so maverick in America and then we went to London and played that first date at the Roundhouse in May 1976, and the response gave me my first sense that "wow, we're really doing something.'"

* Three poems by James Tate:

Tickle Me Pink

Coco was an excellent manicurist, but
she tells me so much gossip it makes my head
wobble. Her boyfriend Benny comes too soon.
Her sister Sophie is sleeping with a married
man twice her age and has been set up with an
apartment that you wouldn't believe. Her
mother is spending all her time with another
women of questionable orientation. Her best
friend Rhonda is torn between three different
men and is falling to pieces as a result.
Her other friend June has been a vegetable
since Larry did what he did to her. She
stopped filing for a second. "How's your new
puppy? Cute as ever." "Run over by a
recycling truck. Flat as a pancake," I said.
"Oh my God, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," she said.
Now the ball was in my court and it felt good,
dirty, but good.

Toads Talking by a River

A book can move from room to room
without anyone touching it. It can climb
the staircase and hide under the bed. It
can crawl into bed with you because it knows
you need company. And it can read to you
in your sleep and you wake a smarter person
or a sadder person. It is good to live
surrounded by books because you never know
what can happen next: lost in the inter-
steller space between teacups in the cupboard,
found in the beak of a downy woodpecker,
the lovers staring into the void and then
jumping over it, flying into their beautiful
tomorrows like the heroes of a storm.

Head of a White Women Winking

She has one good bumblebee
which she leads about town
on a leash of clover.
It's as big as a Saint Bernard
but also extremely fragile.
People want to pet its long, shaggy coat.
These would be mostly whirling dervishes
out shopping for accessories.
When Lily winks they understand everything,
right down to the particle
of a butterfly's wing lodged
in her last good eye,
so the situation is avoided,
the potential for a cataclysm
is narrowly averted,
and the bumblebee lugs
its little bundle of shaved nerves
forward, on a mission
from some sick, young godhead.

May 24, 2005

Paranoia runs deep into your life it will creep

Music producer Phil Spector is shown in Superior Court judge Monday, May 23, 2005, in Los Angeles. A judge said Monday, he will allow four of 10 incidents of evidence in Spector's murder trial that prosecutors say illustrate the music producer's history of pulling guns on women. Spector is on trial for the Feb. 23, 2003, fatal shooting of B-movie actress Lana Clarkson.

* ClusterfuckNation. excerpt:

"We now face the Memorial Day weekend, traditionally the start of the summer motoring season, when upward pressure on oil prices tends to resume. Even if the tanks are full now, it pays to remind ourselves that nearly three-quarters of that gasoline comes from other lands, including lands full of people who don't want us to be happy. One of these, arguably, is Iran -- though many in the hairsplitting game would say it's only the leaders who hate us, not the youthful masses of the population, who don't remember the Shah and all that. Some months ago, our leaders said they would not tolerate a nuclear Iran. In reply, Iran told the US to, well, to go piss up a rope, so to speak. All has been quiet since that exchange. They've made it pretty plain what they aim to do. Who knows what we aim to do? But paranoia runs deep."

* From the June 2005 Harper's Index:

-- Annual cost of all 16 U.N. peacekeeping mission currently underway: $3,870,000,000

-- Monthly cost of the U.S. occupation of Iraq: $4,100,000,000

-- Revenue from Iraqi oil sales that the CPA could not account for, according to a 2005 audit: $8,800,000,000

-- Number of federal benefits in the U.S. that are tied directly with marriage: 1,138

-- Amount for which George W. Bush successfully sued Enterprise Rent-A-Car in 1999: $2,500

* "I was drawing long before I was able to play music. I could do a passable drawing of a helicopter exploding or Jesus with a gun while I was still hitting my grandma's piano like an angry penguin, wondering why the result didn't sound like "She Loves You." Come adolescence, all my characters replaced the weapons in their hands with guitars. ...For the last 30 years I've thought of myself as a musician; but whenever the guitar (or my grandma's piano, now downstairs) has nothing new to show me, I pull out the pencil, the canvas and the brush, to see what comes. It's a truism to say that art and music are related; like saying Australia is near New Zealand." -- Robyn Hitchcock [via]

* Pitchfork writes in todays review of Malkmus' Face the Truth that "Face the Truth is SM's third solo album and his first to hold the line against the work of Pavement and Silver Jews, the regrettably short-lived side project with D.C. Berman."

How uninformed can a music magazine be. Don't answer.

Well, the Jews live on, and have an album out in October.

In fact, Berman has said: "as long as two of us walk the earth the band is still together. and, as always, thanks to you that give a damn about what we do."

May 23, 2005

expect fun, you might learn how it runs

Dylan Thomas by Bill Brandt, 1941

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"Ted Stevens

"Thank God for conservatives and their small-government ways! Praise the Lord for Republicans and their valiant efforts to slash wasteful spending! And three cheers for Ted Stevens of Alaska and his... million dollar bus stop? Yes, it turns out that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Santa Claus) has appropriated a whopping $1.5 million of taxpayer money - that's your money, remember! - to improve a bus stop outside the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.

"Expressing some uncertainty about the idea of spending so much money on a bus stop, Anchorage's director of public transportation Tom Wilson said, "We have a senator that gave us that money and I certainly won't want to appear ungrateful ... [But] if it only takes us $500,000 to do it, that's what we will spend." Well that's good to know I guess - I mean, considering that $500,000 is fifty times the usual cost of bus stop renovations in Anchorage and all."

* James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) has recently introduced legislation that would essentially draft every American into the war on drugs. H.R. 1528, cynically named 'Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act,' would compel people to spy on their family members and neighbors, and even go undercover and wear a wire if needed. If a person resisted, he or she would face mandatory incarceration. excerpt:

"Here's how the 'spy' section of the legislation works: If you 'witness' certain drug offenses taking place or 'learn' about them, you must report the offenses to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide 'full assistance in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution' of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year prison sentence, and a maximum sentence of 10 years.

"Here are some examples of offenses you would have to report to police within 24 hours:

-- You find out that your brother, who has children, recently bought a small amount of marijuana to share with his wife;

-- You discover that your son gave his college roommate a marijuana joint;

-- You learn that your daughter asked her boyfriend to find her some drugs, even though they're both in treatment.

"In each of these cases you would have to report the relative to the police within 24 hours. Taking time to talk to your relative about treatment instead of calling the police immediately could land you in jail.

"In addition to turning family member against family member, the legislation could also put many Americans in danger by forcing them to go undercover to gain evidence against strangers.

"Even if the language that forces every American to become a de facto law enforcement agent is taken out, the bill would still impose draconian sentences on college students, mothers, people in drug treatment and others with substance abuse problems. If enacted, this bill will destroy lives, break up families, and waste millions of taxpayer dollars."

* Smog's 'A River Ain't Too Much to Love, and Stephen Malkmus' 'Face the Truth' out tomorrow. In other music news, Bars and Guitars features Hearts Kings Lies, by the cut ups.

* "The mere attempt to examine my own confusion would consume volumes."
-- James Agee

May 20, 2005

Pursue the small utopias: music, friendship, intimate love

from Ed Sander's 1976 booklet Investigative Poetry

* from concerning: the opening of case files

"...we have already mentioned how blake's work on the French Revolution which he decided not to print; and the later work of pushkin; how all this talk how poets calm down, how they "come to terms with it," how they become "more objective" is bunk from a punk; and is, in my opinion, a result of repression from governments, and the repression is due, in great part, to the efforts of secret domestic intelligence police. this is true from ancient egypt, to modern america, france, the soviet union; you name the country. hitler, after world I, led domestic intelligence assassination operations against leftist and intellectuals. nixon and haldeman and the fbi-cia surrealistic-complex were headed the same direction. case files pulled down the death's-head fluttering above the white house."

* We will see the day of


interrogate the abyss!

to go after an item of time
(as Olson says: p. 134 of
the human universe and other essays,

the essence is to

(after all, wasn't one of the shrieks of our generation to suck eternity from The NOW to hear in Sonny Rollins' saxophone, to hear in Snyder and Burroughs, to hear in meditation and mountain caves, the beauty of the present, of instant gratification, of word-wheel and world-wheel.)

Therefore how in tune with our era it is to open up a case file on an item of current time,

and to quote Olson, this time
to say that history is "whatever happens,
and if it is significant enough to be recorded
the amount of time of the event can be minute."

* from an interview of Ed Sanders:

CL: how did you come up with the name Fuck You Press?

ES: well, it was a catchy title, it got right to the point.

CL: what was the comic show like?

ES: that was at PEACE EYE, when we moved to the Avenue A location, early ’68… we moved into the East Village Other offices.. that was one of the first ever underground comix exhibitions, it occurred in November, ’68. We had Art Speigelman, Robert Crumb, Kim Deitch, Bill Beckman and Spain Rodreguez… Spain did the TRASHMAN series, he was the only Marxist comic book artist I knew… a brilliant artist, still around I think,… he did the sign for PEACE EYE… and he also did the sign for the FREE STORE around the corner. We always had artshows going on… in one we showed works by Gregory Corso… we did a book party for Abbie Hoffman’s Revolution for the Hell of It.
CL: was that your drawing on the cover of Roosevelt After the Inauguration (William S. Burroughs, Fuck You Press)

ES: well, Ginsberg drew that, I supplied him with a primitive light board and some cutting instruments. It was artform cutting stencils. You had to have a whole bunch of tools to do it well—which I still have. In fact, I still have my mimeograph machine in my garage… ‘cause if Bush.. if they ever open up CAMP ASHCROFT, I can start printing leaflets almost immediately – I don’t need electricity, I got ink. I got stencils. And I got my 1966 Gestetner mimeograph machine… what did Kerry say, “I will be reporting for duty” – for mimeograph duty if CAMP ASHCROFT opens.
CL: how did you come up with the name Fuck You Press?

ES: well, it was a catchy title, it got right to the point.
CL: was that the event where people circled the Pentagon and put daisies in the rifles?

ES: Tuli and I bought the daises.. THE FUGS just played the Ambassador Theater in Washington, and we were flush with cash, so we bought a whole bunch of daisies..

They were our flowers… people, including myself, stuck them into the barrels. Originally, we made arrangements for a small plane to fly over the Pentagon (!) and drop the daisies, but the plane was seized at the airport.

May 19, 2005

Deep in the back of my mind is an unrealized sound

Happy Birthday Pete!

* From the May 19, 1964 issue of the guardian. excerpt:

"The Mods and Rockers had their main pitched battle in the morning. After sleeping on the beach, the teenagers were being forced eastwards by the police when some hundreds broke away and reached the Aquarium Sun Terrace. Here a flight took place with deck chairs as weapons, until some 20 Rockers jumped clear. They continued to be the targets for litter, and some heavy looking litter baskets were thrown from above before the police took control.

"In a crowd as dense as that at Brighton control could not be easily maintained, and fights and rowdiness continued sporadically. Amid the masses of teenagers, however, there was no difficulty talking to individuals, most of whom shared the desire to keep away from physical violence. The only boy who said he regretted that he had not yet been involved in a fight was speaking in front of several girls. The battles, while real, came far short of total war.

"The statement, widely believed, that any youth in a leather jacket would be in danger on the Brighton front today was nonsense. Many wearing the Rocker outfit went unmolested. But any group of Rockers became a challenge which the Mods could not resist - particularly if there was a large crowd near by to watch."

* What not to wear to the grocery store. excerpt:

"The following cautionary tale must surely rate in the top five of 'most embarrassing things that can happen to you in public - ever.' According to UK tabloid the Sun, a 33-year-old Welsh housewife ended up in hospital after wearing Ann Summers vibrating Passion Pants to her local Asda supermarket in Swansea.

"Unfortunately, she became 'so aroused by the 2½-inch vibrating bullet inside that she fainted' then 'fell against shelves and banged her head.' This prompted the attendance of the paramedics who 'found the black leatherette panties still buzzing.' Having disabled the orgasmatronic underwear, they then whisked the senseless shopper to hospital where she made a complete recovery. Staff handed her back the Passion Pants upon discharge, discreetly concealed in a plastic bag.

"To its credit, the Sun does not name the woman. We assume, however, that she will be shopping at her local Tesco for the next ten years or so, or until everyone in the Asda who witnessed her ordeal is dead or has succumbed to total amnesia - whichever comes soonest."

* "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid." -- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954 [via]

May 18, 2005

the owls have been talking to me but I'm sworn to secrecy

Bob Kaufman, 1925 - 1986.

Kaufman was so dedicated to the spontaneous, oral tradition of poetry that he sometimes would not write his work down, and only did so at the encouragement of his wife. He would carry his son, Parker, into coffeehouses in San Francisco and 'hold court,' reciting his poems aloud and from memory. It is claimed that he invented the word 'beatnik,' and his work is essentially improvised. His work varies from Symbolist to Surrealist, and often involves political and social protest. He was often persecuted by local authorities, and even given shock treatment against his will. After difficulties with heroin, and prison terms, he began to experience a sense of solitude.

When Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Kaufman took a Buddhist vow of silence to protest the Vietnam war which lasted for ten years. During that period, until 1973, he neither spoke nor wrote anything. On the day the war ended, he walked into a coffeeshop and recited a poem called 'All Those Ships that Never Sailed.'

Three poems by Bob Kaufman:

All Those Ships that Never Sailed

All those ships that never sailed
The ones with their seacocks open
That were scuttled in their stalls...
Today I bring them back
Huge and transitory
And let them sail

All those flowers that you never grew-
that you wanted to grow
The ones that were plowed under
ground in the mud-
Today I bring them back
And let you grow them

All those wars and truces
Dancing down these years-
All in three flag swept days
Rejected meaning of God-

My body once covered with beauty
Is now a museum of betrayal.
This part remembered because of that one's touch
This part remembered for that one's kiss-
Today I bring it back
And let you live forever.

I breath a breathless I love you
And move you

Remove the snake from Moses' arm...
And someday the Jewish queen will dance
Down the street with the dogs
And make every Jew
Her lover.

Round About Midnight

Jazz radio on a midnight kick,
Round about Midnight.
Sitting on the bed,
With a jazz type chick
Round about Midnight,
Piano laughter, in my ears,
Round about Midnight.
Stirring up laughter, dying tears,
Round about Midnight.
Soft blue voices, muted grins,
Excited voices, Father's sins,
Round about Midnight.
Come on baby, take off your clothes,
Round about Midnight.

Jazz Chick

Music from her breast, vibrating
Soundseared into burnished velvet.
Silent hips deceiving fools.
Rivulets of trickling ecstacy
From the alabaster pools of Jazz
Where music cools hot souls.
Eyes more articulately silent
Than Medusa's thousand tongues.
A bridge of eyes, consenting smiles
reveal her presence singing
Of cool remembrance, happy balls
Wrapped in swinging
Her music...

May 17, 2005

There is absence, there is lack

after dinner games, irving penn, 1947

* Salon: A society can die of too many lies. (from an address given by Bill Moyers at the National Conference for Media Reform in St. Louis, Mo., on Sunday) excerpt:

"Without a trace of irony, the powers that be have appropriated the newspeak vernacular of George Orwell's '1984.' They give us a program vowing no child will be left behind while cutting funds for educating disadvantaged children; they give us legislation cheerily calling for clear skies and healthy forests that give us neither, while turning over our public lands to the energy industry. In Orwell's '1984' the character Syme, one of the writers of that totalitarian society's dictionary, explains to the protagonist, Winston, 'Don't you see? Don't you see that the whole aim of newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050 at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we're having right now. The whole climate of thought,' he said, 'will be different. In fact, there will be no thought as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking, not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.'

"Hear me: An unconscious people, an indoctrinated people, a people fed only partisan information and opinion that confirm their own bias, a people made morbidly obese in mind and spirit by the junk food of propaganda, is less inclined to put up a fight, ask questions, and be skeptical. And just as a democracy can die of too many lies, so that kind of orthodoxy can kill us, too."

* Editorial: The war on drugs simply not working. excerpt:

"Comal County’s district attorney and one of its district judges agreed this past week that the United States government’s “war on drugs” — and its judicial system — just aren’t working when it comes to stopping abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs.

"For decades, the government has been trying to enlist its citizens in some form or fashion as allies in the fight — only to find that many of them go over to the other side by creating the very demand the illicit drug trade depends on.

"Law enforcement fights what is at best trench warfare against drug-related crime. The two sides, mired in muddy holes they can’t pull themselves out of, stare at one another across no man’s land. They snipe at one another and there are casualties on both sides, but nothing ever really changes."

* "If you get hung up on everybody else's hang-ups, then the whole world's going to be nothing more than one huge gallows." -- richard brautigan

May 16, 2005

I wish I could read what his eyes are sayin'

Henry Miller with Twinka, Pacific Palisades, California, 1975

* Democracy Now interviews Seymour Hersh. excerpt:

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to start off with, is it true that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld attempted to break into your home?

SEYMOUR HERSH: Well, no, not literally, of course, but it is true that they asked the FBI to in 1975, when I was a reporter in Washington for The New York Times. I had written a story about, oh, some secret stuff involving the Navy and spying on Russia and intercepts. It was pretty sensitive stuff. It was given to me by people inside the bureaucracy who thought it was stupid, counterproductive and wasteful and dangerous, so there was a reason to write it. I mean, it wasn't as if I was just exposing something -- it had been the source of enormous dismay inside that we continued to do these provocative operations. This was at the end of the Vietnam War. And so, they got upset. Cheney and -- they were both -- one was Chief of Staff, one was his deputy. Maybe Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense then.

And what happened is that during the 2000 campaign when Cheney was nominated, a bunch of reporters from Newsweek went to the Ford Library in Michigan, Gerald Ford -- I don't -- Grand Rapids, I think it was. There's a library there, and they discovered they had declassified some documents, sort of a 25-year time period, and out popped this file on me. And those guys at Newsweek were very excited about it. They even shared it with me. They sent me a copy. It was about 50 pages of worrying about what to do, and at one point they did ask the -- Rumsfeld -- Cheney was writing notes. Rumsfeld was involved and others were, too, in the White House, the White House Counsel, etc., and people from the Pentagon, and they asked the FBI to do -- to go into my house as -- one of the options was go into my house. There were a series of options. One was do nothing. One was to ask The New York Times to try to do something about me, you know, to shut me down, but the most dramatic one was to go into my house.
AMY GOODMAN: The news of this Operation Matador that is taking place right now, US forces carrying it out, one of the largest post-Saddam military operations in Iraq, the US admitting it’s facing fierce resistance. What is the significance of this? When do casualties count, when don't they?

SEYMOUR HERSH: Well, they're not counting now. American casualties are discounted in the newspapers. We have had an awful lot of people, more than a dozen die in the last few days alone in Iraq. American casualties are back up. And it's not a major story. Once in a while it gets to be a story. And so, they put out -- they do their own sort of accounting. The one way they balance the bad news is they have raids. And we suddenly show us on the offensive. And part of it is what the information -- it's an operation, it's a public relations. It's a strategic deception in a way. I’m not suggesting the raids are not there. I’m not suggesting they may even be finding people. God knows who they find. But clearly, one reason they're being emphasized is to detract from what's going on, which is a steady increase in the insurgency and the resistance.

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"Dennis Miller: Poor old Dennis Miller. From the peak of his powers at the desk of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, to the booth of Monday Night Football, to political commentator on Fox News, to a show nobody watched on CNBC... it's all been downhill for Dennis since he decided to hitch his wagon to an ass named George W. Bush. Last week it was revealed that Mr. Miller's CNBC show has been canceled, a revelation which brought cheers and jeers from - well, nobody, because nobody watched it. Ah well, I guess he's still got the NetZero commercials."

* How to brew beer in a coffee pot.

May 13, 2005

Bells chime, I know I gotta get away

Two poems from "Capitalism," by Campbell McGrath

Capitalist Poem #5

I was at the 7-11.
I ate a burrito.
I drank a Slurpee.
I was tired.
It was late, after work -- washing dishes.
The burrito was good.
I had another.

I did it every day for a week.
I did it every day for a month.

To cook a burrito you tear off the plastic wrapper.
You push button #3 on the microwave.
Burritos are large, small, or medium.
Red or green chili peppers.
Beef or bean or both.
There are 7-11's all across the nation.

On the way out I bought a quart of beer for $1.39.
I was aware of social injustice

in only the vaguest possible way.

Capitalist Poem #7

I stole the UNICEF box.
I didn't mean to.
It was an accident.
I didn't turn it in at school.
I wanted it.
I kept it.
I hid it in my closet.

The box grew on my mind every day.
I thought of what it would buy for the Africans.
Four schoolbooks.
A dozen meals.
Eighty-five polio vaccinations.
Nine hundred million vitamin tablets.

Eventually I think I blew all the money at 7-11.
Some friends came with me and we splurged.

We bought: Chunkies, Big Buddies, baseball cards,
M&Ms, Charleston Chews, fire balls, rootbeer barrels,
Clark bars, Snickers, Milky Ways, bubble gum,
Sweet 'n' Sours, Red Hots, Marathon Bars, and Pixie Stix.

To be perfectly honest, I might have gotten that money one year
at Christmas when my best friend Bobby Wixam broke both his
legs sledding. I was OK, even though I was on the sled too
when we ran into the light pole. But it was Bobby's birthday,
either that day or the next, and the party favors were sets of
little blue dinosaurs which I really wanted. They actually looked
more like a pack of prehistoric dogs, or wolves. And on Sunday
his dad was going to take us to the Redskins game. But when
Bobby broke his legs we couldn't go. Everything was cancelled.
I was so disappointed that my mother gave me five dollars.

I don't really remember what happened to the UNICEF box.
I might have lost it.

McGrath, who now teaches at Florida International University in Miami, was living in DC when these poems were written. The specific 7-11 discussed in these poems is the one at Connecticut and Porter in Cleveland Park.

May 12, 2005

jean jacket and tie feel like such a lie

Jackson Pollock, untitled, 1949

* Molly Bingham's speech at Western Kentucky University last month is a must read. excerpt:

"We spent 10 months in Iraq, working on a story, understanding who the people are who are fighting, why they fight, what their fundamental beliefs are, when they started, what kinds of backgrounds they come from, what education, jobs they have. Were they former military, are they Iraqi or foreign? Are they part of al-Qaida? What we came up with is a story in itself, and one that Vanity Fair ran in July 2004 with my text and pictures. [My colleague Steve Connors] shot a documentary film that is still waiting to find a home. But the basic point for this discussion is that we both thought it was really journalistically important to understand who it was who was resisting the presence of the foreign troops. If you didn't understand that, how could you report what was clearly becoming an 'ongoing conflict?' And if you were reading the news in America, or Europe, how could you understand the full context of what was unfolding if what motivates the 'other side' of the conflict is not understood, or even discussed?"
"How many other American journalists, perhaps not as secure in their position as I, have thought to do a story and decided that it's too close to the bone, too questioning of the American government or its actions? How many times was the risk that our own government might come in and rifle through our apartment, our homes or take us away for questioning in front of our children a factor in our decision not to do a story? How many times did we as journalists decide not to do a story because we thought it might get us into trouble? Or, as likely, how often did the editor above us kill the story for the same reasons? Lots of column inches have been spent in the discussion of how our rights as Americans are being surreptitiously confiscated, but what about our complicity, as journalists, in that? It seems to me that the assault on free speech, while the fear and intimidation is in the air, comes as much from us -- as individuals and networks of journalists who censor ourselves -- as it does from any other source.

"We need to wake up as individuals and as a community of journalists and start asking the hard and scary questions. Questions we may not really want to know the answers to about ourselves, about our government, about what is being done in our name, and hold the responsible individuals accountable through due process in our legal or electoral system.

"We need to begin to be able to look again at our government, our leadership and ourselves critically. That is what the Fourth Estate is all about. That's what American journalism can do at its zenith. I also happen to believe that, in fact, that is the highest form of patriotism -- expecting our country to live up to the promises it makes and the values it purports to hold. The role of the media in assisting the public to ensure those values are reflected in reality is undeniably failing today."

bravo, ms. bingham, bravo.

* no fish story:

"An Irish fishermen accidentally caught a £275,000 drugs haul when he hooked a bale of cannabis hidden in a river.

"The fly-fisher spent much of the afternoon trying to drag his line from the River Liffey in County Wicklow. But when he finally landed his catch he discovered it was a bale of cannabis resin, reports He contacted local police who conducted a search of the area.

"'Follow-up searches uncovered 12 more boxes containing 20 bars each of what again appeared to be cannabis,' a police spokesman said.

"The find has been sent to the Garda Technical Bureau for analysis.

"A team of experts is investigating the discovery and continuing to search the popular fishing spot for more drugs."

* "I like America, just as everybody else does. I love America, I gotta say that. But America will be judged." -- Bob Dylan, quoted in: John Bauldie, ed., Wanted Man: In Search of Bob Dylan (1990)

* metropolitan has released a video for 'homeroom.' the video is based on / an homage to john carpenter's 1988 film, 'they live,' in which roddy piper uses sunglasses to see aliens and other hidden government messages. download it here.

May 11, 2005

lookin' for soul food and a place to eat

photograph of charles olson by gerard malanga.

-- by charles olson

[Charles Olson wrote this poem in memorium of his second wife, Elizabeth Olson, who was tragically killed in a car accident on March 31, 1964.]

It was herself which was my joy, she was
spirit before I had any, she was my nature until
I opened the book of nature and was denied the
heaven of the intellect having had the other three.

And my soul said
you can't go there

To this I owe my life and I pay here my memory of her
who was Elizabeth and I called Bet.

What Do Women Want?
--by Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.

-- by Beth Woodcome

The shame in the church crawls out of each human. A mild sin grows first behind the ears.

The wind: it comes without thought or any use of my hands. My hair grows the same color as the red scarf covering a lamp. I’ve heard of women who lead men into a chamber that is stained like the pit of a cherry. Place something upon the tongue. Go in peace.

Pretending there is no time to stop and look at the old gravestones that lean south, my father keeps driving. The common is cold and blown clear of leaves. This is near Chocksett School playground where a German shepherd tore up my soft back. My father took me to the dog that night to let it smell me. I held it in my arms. We’re all bound to something.

The strain of the body in trauma stresses the heart muscle. When I come up for air, the wind fills my throat before I realize I want it to.

May 10, 2005

if rock and roll dies it's not my fault

erratically recorded, ergonomically produced
drenched in the pleasures of the evening
unmastered, unregulated, unnecessary
HEARTS KINGS LIES: 12 tales of the times
by the cut ups. wdc.

- no exit strategy (motherfucker)

* John Cusack on Hunter S. Thompson. in full:

"Went to Hunter S. Thompson’s memorial service in Aspen. The next day, we went to Owl Farm -- which remained untouched since Hunter’s death two weeks before. The sun was shining and gunfire echoed as friends and family gathered and shot targets on the lawn. Norman Greenbaum’s 'Spirit in the Sky' booming. Books, notes, numbers, pills, bullets, totems and talismans everywhere. Outside his wife offered liquid acid to people in the driveway. In the kitchen where he took his life, a huge American flag overlooked his suicide. He was looking right at it.

I jotted down a few things he had written and posted on the walls.

In the kitchen:

Wisdom is better than wit -- Jane Austin

The final mystery is oneself. Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul? -- Oscar Wilde

Beauty is not in the face…it is a light in the heart -- Khahlil Gibran

One changes from day to day…every few years one becomes a new being -- George Sand

And down in the basement amidst the endless archives of a lifetime, in the 'war room' where he wrote his great works:

In my own country
I am in a far off land
I am strong yet have
No force or power
I win yet remain a loser
At break of day I say goodnight
When I lie down I have a great fear of falling -- François Villion

And finally, scribbled with customary flair on a half ripped paper thumbtacked above his desk:

the floor is slick
and greasy
And dangerous…
Get down on all fours to proceed
-- Doc

Goodbye Hunter. All the good ones seem to be moving on these days...

Here is just one of the good doctor’s final ruminations on our American experience. He sent it to me on a t-shirt a few months ago:

'Politics is the art of controlling your environment.' That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks that 'it doesn't matter who's President' has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World -- or been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property -- or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons -- or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted."

* dc media girl points out this coversation between anti-abortion extremist Neal Horsley and Fox radio's Alan Colmes. excerpt:

Colmes asked Horsley about his background, including a statement that he had admitted to engaging in homosexual and bestiality sex.

At first, Horsley laughed and said, 'Just because it's printed in the media, people jump to believe it.'

'Is it true?' Colmes asked.

'Hey, Alan, if you want to accuse me of having sex when I was a fool, I did everything that crossed my mind that looked like I...'

AC: 'You had sex with animals?'

NH: 'Absolutely. I was a fool. When you grow up on a farm in Georgia, your first girlfriend is a mule.'

AC: 'I'm not so sure that that is so.'

NH: 'You didn't grow up on a farm in Georgia, did you?'

AC: 'Are you suggesting that everybody who grows up on a farm in Georgia has a mule as a girlfriend?'

NH: 'It has historically been the case. You people are so far removed from the reality... Welcome to domestic life on the farm...'

Colmes said he thought there were a lot of people in the audience who grew up on farms, are living on farms now, raising kids on farms and 'and I don't think they are dating Elsie right now. You know what I'm saying?'"

May 9, 2005

you've heard it all before

three bathers among the stones, 1913, by ernst ludwig kirchner

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

3. George W. Bush

"We mentioned this item in passing last week but it's surely worth bringing up again -especially since most of the corporate media seem too scared to touch it. A secret British memo released last week reveals that George W. Bush was bending intelligence reports to fit his plan for invading Iraq, and also that the British and American leaders had already decided to invade, even while they were telling their governments and their public that they had not. Yes, according to Knight Ridder:

'A highly classified British memo, leaked in the midst of Britain's just-concluded election campaign, indicates that President Bush decided to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein by summer 2002 and was determined to ensure that U.S. intelligence data supported his policy.

'The document, which summarizes a July 23, 2002, meeting of British Prime Minister Tony Blair with his top security advisers, reports on a visit to Washington by the head of Britain's MI-6 intelligence service.

'The visit took place while the Bush administration was still declaring to the American public that no decision had been made to go to war.

'There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable,'the MI-6 chief said at the meeting, according to the memo. 'Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD,' weapons of mass destruction.

'The memo said "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.'

So - lying to the American people? Lying to Congress? Sounds like an impeachable offense to me. Or maybe not - I mean, sure he lied to Congress, lied to the public, got us into a war which has killed almost 1600 American soldiers so far and countless thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, is bankrupting us with an unnecessary war and a military budget which will soon total more than the entire rest of the world combined, created thousands of new terrorists and turned Iraq into a breeding ground for more, and because of his lies and his policies, America is decidedly less safe...

...but hey - at least he didn't get a blowjob, right?"

* The New Yorker discusses the mountain goats. excerpt:

"According to, a long-running fan site, the band has recorded four hundred and fifteen songs. Most of these consist simply of Darnielle singing and playing his guitar. The grind of the boom box’s capstan is often audible, but it does not overwhelm Darnielle’s stentorian voice or his violent strumming; he may be the least self-conscious singer alive. His songs, insistent and stuffed with words, are like late-night pay-phone calls from a lover determined to complete a thought before the quarter runs out—even when the thought is about vegetables. (Darnielle is a vegetarian.)
"Darnielle does not resemble the underdogs he writes about. In concert, he smiles and talks easily to the crowd. When he performs, he hollers like a preacher, and some shows include an audience sing-along of a Gaelic drinking tune. I’ve seen him live seven times, and I’ve never brought a guest who wasn’t converted by the end of the night. The Mountain Goats are no longer the kind of band that you would find only in a mail-order catalogue. The group’s last three albums were recorded entirely in a studio, and the most recent, 'The Sunset Tree,' which was released this month, features a full band, including a drummer, a pianist, and a cellist.

"The album’s genteel sound would not be out of place on a Starbucks CD, yet the lyrics are anything but anodyne. The first track, 'You or Your Memory,' begins with what could be a reminiscence of high-school debauchery: 'St. Joseph’s Baby Aspirin, Bartles and Jaymes and you, or your memory.' When the moon goes down, the narrator starts to wonder whether he’ll last the night, setting the tone for a series of increasingly grim songs. (The album is dedicated to 'young men and women anywhere who live with people who abuse them.') In 'Broom People,' Darnielle sings, 'I write down good reasons to freeze to death in my spiral-ring notebook.' He perks up on 'This Year,' a defiant anthem to survival: 'I played video games in a drunken haze, I was seventeen years young. Hurt my knuckles punching the machines, the taste of Scotch rich on my tongue. And then Cathy showed up, and we hung out, trading swigs from a bottle, all bitter and clean, locking eyes, holding hands, twin high-maintenance machines. I am going to make it through this year if it kills me.'"

* "There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another." -- Frank Zappa

* More info on the cut ups' hearts kings lies tomorrow.

May 6, 2005

the air hangs thick with dead electricity

Iceberg, 1891 by Frederic Edwin Church

-- by assata shakur

i must confess that waltzes
do not move me.
i have no symphathy
for symphonies.

i guess i hummed the Blues too early,
and spent too many midnights
out wailing to the rain.

-- by merry fortune

days acting like nights
come and go
like unjust profanities
casual and vain
louse ridden
like a good whore
not quite easy
not quite all there
the only one
in a half-lit room
crying for exposure
tempting you to exist

Sound Effects
-- by janice eidus

the sound waves of our orgasms
could destroy entire Japanese villages
in horror movies

and one of us could make a fortune
coming as the tornado in a remake of
the wizard of oz

Write a fucking poem
-- by Michael Golden

every fucking time
you don't know what to do
you'll have a body of work
despite yourself.

May 5, 2005

I wish I hit a triple off of catfish hunter

available monday on dust congress records.
Got brass in pocket

Walker Evans, Roadside Stand Near Birmingham, Alabama, 1936

* Contractors now charge as much as $35,000 each way for a trip from the Baghdad Airport to the Green Zone. excerpt:

RUSSERT: There is a road, a highway from the airport to downtown Baghdad that's called the Road of Death by many. I understand there's a taxi service on that road to take someone from downtown to the airport.

FILKINS: Yeah. There's actually a company in Baghdad that does nothing except offer rides to the airport and back. They've got an armored cars and some guards. And they charge $35,000 for...

RUSSERT: Thirty-five thousand dollars?

FILKINS: ...for a ride to the airport. And I think you know, if you miss your plane and you have to come back, it's another $35,000. But...

RUSSERT: How long--is it six miles?

FILKINS: I think it's about six miles, yeah. It's not a happy six miles. So, you know, they earn their money.

RUSSERT: Why have we been unable--or the Iraqis unable to protect that road, that stretch?

FILKINS: That's a real mystery. It's a really bad neighborhood that it goes through, and you know, people come in from both sides. And--but it's--you know, they'd have to occupy six miles of road 24 hours of day. I think in the dead of night, people come out and plant bombs and they stage attacks.

* The War On Drugs was the first test to determine whether Americans would willingly give up their constitutional rights, says the Progressive Review's Sam Smith. [via]. excerpt:

"...It turned out that they would and so for the past twenty years invasions of civil liberties increased, America threw more and more of its young people into prison, while exploding drug war budgets did nothing to stem the growth of the drug industry. Further, the drug war was a useful testing ground for repressive measures instituted following September 11.

"But to make all of this work you need a sufficient quantity of drugs, they had to be easy to find and a sufficient number of people had to use them. This is where marijuana came in. Although marijuana is far less danger than just legal drugs as cigarettes and alcohol and, even as a medical prescription, far less hazardous than ones routinely given out by doctors, it had the constituency, physical bulk and ubiquity to make it just the thing for adding to police budgets and taking away from human rights."
- Of the 450,000 increase in drug arrests during the period 1990-2002, 82% of the growth was for marijuana, and 79% was for marijuana possession alone;

- Marijuana arrests now constitute nearly half (45%) of the 1.5 million drug arrests annually;

- Marijuana arrests increased by 113% between 1990 and 2002, while overall arrests decreased by 3%; 1 Cooper, G. (2001, August 20).

- New York City experienced an 882% growth in marijuana arrests, including an increase of 2,461% for possession offenses;

- African Americans are disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests, representing 14% of marijuana users in the general population, but 30% of arrests.

* "Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art." -- Charlie Parker

* George Bush, you're an asshole.

May 4, 2005

you live the day you give, not get, your share

Ceiling, Library of Congress, by dronepop.

* Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post. excerpt:

"Twenty years from now, how will we remember this 'global war on terrorism'?
"The U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the United States has signed, bans the inflicting of severe "physical or mental" pain to obtain information or a confession. There's no way that the infliction of physical agony, prolonged sleep and sensory deprivation, confinement in painful positions for hours on end, sexual humiliation, threats with snarling dogs and other documented U.S. abuses fall short of the definition.

"Some prisoners were "rendered" to cooperating countries where old-fashioned fingernail-pulling is a routine investigative technique. Others have simply "disappeared," as if the U.S. government were some Latin American junta whose generals wear gold-braided epaulets as big as vultures. Most prisoners have been given neither adequate military nor civilian rights. Many don't know why they were arrested or what charges they face.

"It may be that these are all terrible people who wish to harm the United States -- we have no way of knowing, because the supposed evidence is secret. But even if they are, this mistreatment is wrong. If the price we pay for complete safety is complete abandonment of our ideals, the price is too high.

"How can President Bush preach to the world about democracy, about transparency, about the rule of law, and at the same time disregard national and international law at will? What message can Vladimir Putin be hearing? Or the dictators in Beijing? Or the mullahs in Tehran?

"The thing is, history tends to be relentless in pursuit of the truth -- and its judgments tend to be harsh. World War II may have forged the Greatest Generation, but the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps will never be excused.

"History, I predict, will not be kind to government lawyers who invented ways to interpret statutes against torture so that they supposedly permitted the abuses they were designed to prohibit. It will not be kind to medical doctors who attended interrogation sessions that clearly crossed the line -- doctors who helped inflict pain rather than alleviate it. Ultimately, there will be no free pass for the Bush administration officials who permitted torture, or for a Congress that let them get away with it."

* Nothingsville, MN

--- by Franz Wright

The sole tavern there, empty
and filled with cigarette smoke;
the smell
of beer, urine, and the infinate
sadness you dread
and need so much of
for some reason.

* For the Dead

--- by Adrienne Rich

I dreamed I called you on the telephone
to say: Be kinder to yourself
but you were sick and would not answer

The waste of my love goes on this way
trying to save you from yourself

I have always wondered about the leftover
energy, water rushing down a hill
long after the rains have stopped

or the fire you want to go to bed from
but cannot leave, buring-down but not burnt-down
the red coals more extreme, more curious
in their flashing and dying
than you wish they were
sitting there long after midnight.

* "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." -- Red Auerbach

May 3, 2005

the echoes of the laugher still remain

They get things right in the Netherlands: Picture on the road near a World War II cemetery at Margraten, Monday, May 2, 2005. US President George W. Bush will address a veterans' ceremony at the cemetery in Margraten on Sunday, May 8, to honor war victims.

* R2D2 enjoyed filming the new Star Wars film more than any other:

"Diminutive Star Wars actor Kenny Baker stopped complaining about his discomfort inside robot R2DT during filming for the sci-fi saga's final episode - because the film crew plastered its interior with pictures of naked models.

"The 70-year-old star dreaded filming the first five Star Wars films because the awkward metal outfit was unbearable, but his work on the sixth installment, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith was more tolerable because he shared the costume with pornographic images.

"He explains, 'The lads surprised me one day by sticking a load of Page Three pictures inside R2D2's head. I got inside and wondered what the heck was going on.'

"'I got cross-eyed looking at everything in front of me. But it was rather nice. It made it a lot more bearable.'"

* New York Times. excerpt:

"As he moved into the home stretch of his 60-day Social Security road show last week, it became clear that President Bush had saved the worst for last.

"Mr. Bush endorsed a proposal that would take a huge bite out of the Social Security retirement benefits for the middle class, claiming that would close some 70 percent of the system's financing gap. That figure is almost certainly overstated. Under the proposed reductions, young workers who now earn about $36,000 would face a 16 percent cut; those earning about $58,000 would face a cut of 25 percent, and those earning $90,000, 29 percent. People not yet in the work force would face even larger reductions."
"Politicians also have to face the hard truth about taxes. Raising the payroll tax by a mere three-tenths of a percentage point - starting 10 years from now and adding tiny increments over the succeeding 20 years - would be fair and lucrative, without being too steep or too sudden. It would also be fair to raise the cap on wages subject to the Social Security tax to about $150,000 from the current $90,000.

"President Bush's overall approval rating and his marks for his handling of Social Security have declined since he put privatization at the top of his agenda. The American people are trying to tell him that there are better ways to go. He obviously can't hear them, but we hope Congress can."

* "Remember, information is not knowledge; knowledge is not wisdom; wisdom is not truth; truth is not beauty; beauty is not love; love is not music; music is the best." --- Frank Zappa

* In DC? Tonight the Mountain Goats at the Black Cat.

May 2, 2005

Lost your love of life? Too much apple pie

Bonnie Prince Billy at last weeks show at Ottobar, Baltimore, Maryland

* Fafblog! interviews the U.S. Consititution. excerpt:

FAFBLOG: It's true - 9/11 changed everything, even math and Jesus.

CONSTITUTION: And that's why I've had to change to make America stronger and safer over the last four years. Treason against the United States is no longer defined as 'levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort,' but as 'lookin' funny.' The Fifth Amendment has been modified to 'Fuck 'em.' The Eighth Amendment has been modified to 'Fuck 'em harder.' And instead of 'Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States,' the president is now 'Gilded Child of the Sun and Eater of the Stars Whose Every Whim is Law.'

FAFBLOG: But how will we get people to enforce these new founding principles when judges want to stop them?

CONSTITUTION: Only Bill Frist can save us now, Fafnir. Bill Frist, or violent revolution.

FAFBLOG: Good thing I still have the right to buy an AK-47! Thank you and good luck.

* Daytona Beach News on prison populations and drug laws. excerpt:

Experts attribute the growth nationwide to the harshness of drug laws, a trend to give prison time for other convictions and the fact that inmates are more likely to serve longer sentences. Nearly half the inmates in this country are doing time for drug offenses.

Are we safer for it? Proponents of incarceration would argue that we are. The violent crime rate has been steadily dropping. But there are compelling reasons to doubt that the American lock 'em up mantra actually improves the safety of our cities and neighborhoods. The U.S. incarceration rate has been growing steadily for the past 30 years, but the crime rate began to decline only 10 years ago.
But a smarter approach would look at the policies that have put so many behind bars. Mandatory sentencing laws that strip discretion from judges are a dismal failure, sending people to prison for relatively minor crimes at massive public expense. The nation's drug laws are a shambles, assessing arbitrary penalties that hit hardest at low-income criminals who use inexpensive, highly addictive street drugs like crack cocaine. Most prison programs aimed at rehabilitation have fallen victim to budget cuts or political posturing.

The growing prison numbers -- and public expense -- show that this is a course the United States can no longer afford to follow.

* "Without meaning to belittle the wonders of science, I do not think they can absolve mankind of suffering, desire, madness and death." -- Lewis Lapham

* In DC? We Jam Econo, the story of the Minutemen, screens tonight at 9pm at the Black Cat (backstage).