April 18, 2006

I'm set free to find a new illusion


untitled, by tom cakuls

* The Rude Pundit: three signs that your superpower is becoming a cheap rip-off of the Soviet Union:

1. Members of the party in power pledge allegiance to their party's own symbol. At a GOP dinner in San Diego, the fine Republican attendees stood like good meerkats and began to say the Pledge of Allegiance until some observant Pavlovian diner noticed that there was no, you know, American flag to pledge to. "Pledge to the elephant," shouted one quick-thinking GOPer, and all the pledgers, including weepy Rep. Darrell Issa, turned to say the pledge to a starred and striped elephant banner.

2. Children sing songs in praise of the government, no matter how incompetent and dangerous they've been to those children. At the gay-infused White House Easter egg hunt, a group of "Katrina Kids" sang a song about how major great President Bush, Congress, and FEMA have been in helping them. It's a little like a National Guard member thanking Bush for sending him to Iraq 'cause it gets him out of the house. Except creepier. The song was sung to the tune of that song of blind optimism by Cy Coleman, "Hey, Look Me Over," which has the prescient line, "I figure whenever you’re down and out, the only way is up." Truer words, motherfuckers, truer words.

3. The government creates guidelines telling adults what they can and can't do with their bodies. The Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families has defined "abstinence" for abstinence-only programs seeking federal grants. That definition says abstinence ain't just a bullshit lie that conservatives tell teenagers. Nope, see, now the only time you can fuck is in a man-woman marriage. Otherwise, no fucking, of any sort: no single sex, no gay sex, no Scalia-approved orgies, no under the desk blow jobs, no on top of the desk anal, no muff-diving, no rim jobs, no hand jobs, no backward daisy chain monkey in the middles with a butterfly twist. No sexual stimulation between two people unless one's a guy, one's a gal, and they're miserably united in connubial bliss.

Hey, all we need is morning bread lines, absurd government secrecy, spying on citizens, a foreign policy of militarily imposing our ideology on others, and soaring fuel prices...oh, shit. Scratch that. All we need is morning bread lines, and then welcome to the Politburo's America.

* "War is a coward's escape from the problems of peace." RIPWilliam Sloane Coffin.

* interesting, longish velvet underground rant, ending with a listing of bands influenced by VU. excerpt:

"THE ROLLING STONES-Mick Jagger admitted that the Stones had a Velvet influence in a '78 ROLLING STONE interview, which makes me want to ask him "WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG TO 'FESS UP?" Since he made this oft-debated (by R. Meltzer in the pages of a NEW HAVEN ROCK PRESS review of STICKY FINGERS) statement known at the height of a punk-inspired Velvets mania I've answered my own question. The Velvets influence on the Stones was greater than anyone other than Meltzer or Lester Bangs would have admitted at the time, to the point where in the here-and-now it can be acknowledged that the early-Velvet Underground were a template for Jagger's harrowing tale of statutory rape "Stray Cat Blues," though I recently listened to FINGERS (considered by some the Stones' strongest Velvets/punk offering) and thought it sounded a lot like the Flamin' Groovies' TEENAGE HEAD, but since I'm a guy who thinks the Yardbirds sound remarkably like Count Five, you could say that I have my rockism priorities straight. Which brings us to..."
...
"AMON DUUL I and II-Krautrock might have sounded a lot weenier had the Velvets not happened. Take these guys for example...without the Velvet Underground in their makeup both editions of Amon Duul would probably have been as weak and lilly-livered as the ever-failing San Francisco bands they also emulated. Fortunately the Velvets added a punk verve to not only them but a whole bunch of groups who we can probably categorize with the Stooges and MC5 this far down the line rather'n with the Jefferson Airplane. Speaking of the 'plane, AD II sound like what I think that VILLAGE VOICE critic who heard the Velvets influence in the Airplane thought he heard, while it was none other than one Mike Stax of UGLY THINGS fame who said that AD I's PARADIESWARTS DUUL reminded him of a mythical jam with the Jeffersonians, the Velvets and the Manson Family! As for me, it sounds like the Velvets just before Cale left only using the acoustic-sounding gear from the third album. All Amon Duul I albums are recommended with interesting Velvet-sneaks tossed into those 48-hour drug jams, while the Amon Duul II releases seem to get less-interesting as time goes on although they still have their own charm. However, 1969's PHALLUS DEI still shines within the sixties' (and Velvets') mad dash to the point where even the fine playing doesn't seem to bother me anymore."

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