YouTubidity

Friday, April 26, 2013

Phil Ochs, Pioneer Of American Protest

When I was a kid, I collected Phil Ochs albums. Phil was a protest singer who never seemed quite certain whether the songs he sang were political or simply topical…but as this commenter notes, there was never any doubt in the listener’s mind:

Seasass 1 year ago


How about an update in light of recent events at Penn State:
“Oh, look into the shower, there’s a schoolboy being raped
I saw the old man dogging him, but now he has escaped
Guess I could have done more than call Dad and tell JoePa
But what do lowly grad assistants know about the law?
And I’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody …”

In April, 1976, Ochs hanged himself after a long period of depression and creative exhaustion…so he “ain’t marchin’ any more,” but obviously his tunes are still strutting across the politcal frontier. Bravo, Phil!

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 04/26/13 at 08:05 PM
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Force Ten Love Ballad

Jacques Brel is well-known as a hellacool songwriter who redefined many genres of love songs in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

Everyone who knows Brel has a favorite tune already. However, ‘70s legend Scott Walker may have claimed a new title with this version of “Mathilde”—a bipolar Apache dance of a love ballad that’s punctuated by impossibly complex instrumentation you couldn’t duplicate with a computer algorithm.

Take my word for it, gang—you have no choice but too enjoy this tune. Scott Walker was the greatest neglected talent of the last forty years. And now the movie, folks:

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 04/23/13 at 06:24 PM
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Don’t Make Me Use My Stuff On You, Baby

And by “stuff,” I mean, “ricin.”

Alas, this week’s Elvis impersonator just can’t compete with the greatest Elvis impersonator of all time.Obviously, being a duplicate King of Rock is even more dangerous than we can imagine. 

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 04/23/13 at 05:55 PM
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I’ll Roshambo You For It

Forty years after the National Lampoon was a monthly addiction for snarkologists, Cheech Wizard remains an Amusement Destination for those of us who like our snark mixed with rare plant juices, stage magic and acute testicular swelling.

Even in clunky computer claymation, the Zydeco Hat is the Cultural King of my g-g-generation. DUCK, LIZARD!

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 04/23/13 at 03:22 PM
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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Cuba Libre

Two items in the news about Cuba (optional soundtrack below):

As Balloon Juice commenter Lamh35 pointed out in the bitchfest thread, it’s probably unwise for Marco Rubio to try to turn Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s trip to Cuba into Benghazi II: The Castro-ation. It’s dumb for several reasons:

1) Castro is a doddering, toothless old fart whose utility as a wingnut bogeyman is receding faster than his gum line.

2) Beyoncé may be more widely worshipped than Jesus at this point, so Rubio will piss off her millions of fans, and for what? The Cuban exile vote can’t even swing an election in Florida anymore, much less the US.

3) The only reason our absurd Cuba policy continues is because, a) most Americans don’t know / don’t give a shit about it, and b) numbers 1 and 2 above haven’t quite sunk in yet with the political-media industrial complex.

Rubio released a statement on Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s trip, saying, “U.S. law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive and murderous regime.”

Well, yeah, but Saudi Arabia is a medieval dictatorship that openly enslaves half of its population and beheads people for fucking sorcery, and yet I’m allowed to travel there as an American citizen. If I had to be parachuted into either Cuba or Saudi Arabia, I’d damn well go where the cigars and mojitos are.

Second news item out of Cuba:

The parents who kidnapped their own children from the kids’ grandmother and sailed out of Tampa Bay earlier this week have turned up in Cuba. Several things about this story smell fishier than Hemingway’s tackle box:

1)  The parents, whom the media characterize as “anti-government protesters,” were busted last June in Louisiana for pot and firearms after a disturbance at a hotel. The cops allege they made bizarre references to Armageddon, prompting the court to put the kids in foster care. The father later confronted the foster parents, waving a gun around and demanding his children before running off before the cops arrived.

2) This supposedly prompted the authorities to terminate parental rights and pass custody of the kids to the grandmother in Florida. Practically everyone in Louisiana and Florida is “anti-government” and skulks around with pot and guns mumbling about Armageddon. And from what friends in CPS tell me, terminating parental rights is REALLY, REALLY hard, even for people who have a documented history of thrashing their kids half to death. And yet these people’s parental rights were terminated in less than a year for guns, pot and Armageddon talk?

3) Wingnuts at Big Dirt Nap and the Fonzie of Freedom Institute for Leather Jackets and Dagny Taggart Fappery have seized on the “anti-government protester” angle to claim that the parents are merely libertarians and/or tea partiers being persecuted by the Kenyan Administration.

But now the government of Cuba says it’s going to hand them over to the US, apparently without even pausing to wring any anti-US propaganda mileage out of them. Even if the parents are bona fide, bug-eyed loons and / or the most annoying Paultroons in the universe, that’s unusual. There’s more here than meets the eye.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 04/09/13 at 04:57 PM
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Categories: BoozeMusicNewsPoliticsNuttersTeabaggeryYouTubidity

Tuesday Afternoon Music: Robert Wyatt’s Shipbulding

I don’t really want to prolong the picking over the bones of the Thatcher legacy, but since the American right seems desperate to exploit her passing to defend its post-Thatcherite concensus, as embodied in Reaganomics and all the other worldwide fallout from her time in office, I wanted to post this song, written by Elvis Costello and Clive Langer in response to the Falklands War, and sung by a one-time member of the Communist Party with the voice of a weary angel.

A lot of very vibrant, overtly angry music and art came out of the Thatcher years—along with a lot of biting satire. There’s plenty of anger and despair behind this song, but it proves that if you have the heart and you’re skilled enough, you can transmute those emotions into wry, timeless, deeply human beauty that stands on its own.

If you like, you can use this thread to continue boggling at the ludicrous claims being made about Maggie’s Farm by those who never experienced it in real life, suggest some other songs or clips from that era (and I’ll post them if they can be embedded), or talk about anything else whatever.

Update: New Youtubidity from the comments after the fold!

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 04/09/13 at 11:14 AM
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thank God Easter Only Comes Once a Year

There’s so much seasonal WTF in this clip from FilmOn TV Networks (via Battlecam TV) which is going viral.

There’s a fairly graphic trailer near the beginning for their stunt at the weekend, when they plan to crucify a guy identified by a usually reliable source (Daily Mail) as Robert Garrison, “a 30-year-old sado-masochist from Florida,” so presumably as long they’ve found some card-carrying sadists to do the nailing, everybody’s cool with that.

Then there’s the increasingly tetchy mobile unit interview between Joe Fioranelli of FilmOn TV and David Phelps—which, for the by now no doubt growing increasingly nervous, I’ll excerpt below, but sounds like it’s an outtake from SNL.

As the scene begins, Phelps—who starts off the interview as grumpy as Hell, and doesn’t get any sweeter as it progresses—kicks off with the charming opener, “I’m David Phelps. And God hates fags. If you hear nothing else I say, I need that message to get out.” Then Fiorelli cites biblical reasons for some skepticism about Jesus’ heterosexuality, which doesn’t go any way toward making make him Phelps’ BFF.

Phelps: This is a mockery. It’s been a mockery from the very beginning. Is this what you plan for your mock crucifixion as well?
Fioranelli: It’s not a mock crucifixion, we’re actually crucifying the guy. I mean, he is actually gay.
Phelps: Do you have any idea, do you have any idea what it is to receive the payment for your sins from a wrathful, an angry God? Romans 12 says He will pile it on your head like hot coals from a fire. ... May God bring His wrath in a way that all will know it comes from Him.

Things don’t get any better from there on in for Phelps as he makes a bid to abandon the interview, and the fate that awaits him may have made him pray for a visitation from a nice cozy bushel of hot coals. Whatever, he will verily have been in no doubt that It hath come from Him, who moveth in mysterious ways.

For at this point (at 1:30 for the impatient), yea, a 500-pound stark naked ex-wrestler MC by the name of Billy the Fridge emerges from the closet (imagery!) where he’s been waiting and lurches ominously toward Phelps.

Phelps: What do you want?

Now, in the circumstances, most of us might agree that’s not the sort of leading question you want to be asking. Never mind, since Billy ignores it anyway.

Billy the Fridge: THE LEVIATHAN! WE WILL GET YOU! LEVIATHAN! THE LEVIATHAN! WE WILL GET YOU!

At this point Phelps makes an extremely rapid getaway through the door, with Billy in hot, hot pursuit. Over to the Mail again:

An eye-witness later claimed that he saw Phelps being pursued down the street outside the mobile studio by a naked fat man.

Rob Cutler, from Topeka, Kansas, where the church is based, said: ‘I was amazed, first I see David run out of a motor home and the next thing I know he’s been sat on by this giant naked man who is screaming “who’s your daddy now Davey?”’

The way the Phelpses have been bailing out of the hitherto lucrative family cult over the past few years, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Davey—his cherry now well and truly popped, possibly along with some vital organs—and Billy are an item. Happy Easter.

Posted by YAFB on 03/28/13 at 07:27 PM
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hillary Clinton Comes Out…

...in favor of marriage equality:

Good for her.

Andrew Stiles at NRO implies that Secretary Clinton is dancing for donations from gay puppet-masters:

Big Money Backs Clinton on Gay Marriage
 
Former secretary of state and potential 2016 presidential contender Hillary Clinton announced her support for gay marriage on Monday in a video posted online by the Human Rights Campaign, one of the Democratic party’s most prolific campaign donors over the years.

The Human Rights Campaign has contributed more than $10 million to Democrats since 1990, and has spent more than $21 million on lobbying since 1998, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which describes the group as a “heavy hitter” in federal elections.

On what planet does $10 million in campaign contributions over 23 years qualify as “big money?” Hell, Sheldon Adelson shook $20 mill out of his sofa cushions for Gingrich’s Quixotic primary run before going on to spend serious cash on the actual nominee. And he’s just one dude in one election cycle.

The consensus for marriage equality is accelerating, thanks to the Democrats, notably President Obama. Conservatives like the nitwits at NRO still can’t quite believe this is happening, so they’re casting about for alternate explanations.

Republicans who have the most well-developed sense of political self-preservation will climb off the bigot bus toot sweet, leaving sad busybodies like NOM’s Brian Brown holding a pile of white sheets and “God Hates Fags” signs.

It’s a joy to behold.

Posted by Betty Cracker on 03/19/13 at 07:24 AM
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Categories: LGBTPoliticsHillary ClintonNuttersYouTubidity

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random Stuff + Why People Hate the Government

A short clip of this Stones song was featured in “Argo.” The lyrics are obviously the result of a prolonged heroin binge, but the song rocks nonetheless:

In a comment on an Oscars thread yesterday, Robin G praised “Moonrise Kingdom.” I’d been meaning to see it and finally did last night. Awesome movie—highly recommended—and thanks for reminding me of it, Robin G: It was exactly the thing I needed to see.

Why People Hate the Government

My teenage daughter will soon go on a class trip that involves a domestic flight. Among the many neuroses her father and I share is an aversion to flying, but we try not to allow our eccentricities to completely dominate our child’s life, which is some of the hardest work in parenting. However, our ignorance of the demands of modern air travel nearly put the kibosh on a trip for which we’d already paid $1,400 (non-refundable!).

We foolishly assumed minors accompanied by fellow students, teachers and chaperones on a school-sponsored class trip would be allowed to board a winged bus to a destination within the United States with only common forms of identification like a student ID card and birth certificate. Not so; now, even a child must have an official state ID card from the DMV to board a plane. (Because of 9/11? If so, that’s reason enough to take a scuba trip to the North Arabian Sea, find Osama bin Laden’s skull and fashion it into a poop-scoop.)

Anyhoo, we learned that to obtain an official state ID card, a kid must have a Social Security card or a specific printout from the Social Security Administration verifying her application for a Social Security card. The form containing the same information that is issued to new parents to enable them to deduct children from their taxes doesn’t count, or so I was told by the DMV.

To obtain the magical correct form, one must have many additional forms of ID, which may or may not be acceptable to the person at SSA who ultimately reviews it. County school district vaccination records are considered a kind of gold standard, though. I learned this after finally reaching a human being following multiple excursions into the SSA’s hellish, circular automated call menu, which is designed to automatically dump callers if too many other luckless supplicants are in queue, a situation that is apparently the case 90% of the time.

Thus it came to pass that the kid and I took a day off of school and work last week and visited the Three Circles of Bureaucratic Hell in a nearby city. First we sat in the overflow holding area at the county health department to secure the vaccination records, occupying a zone teeming with screaming toddlers, anxious children and nervous families applying for citizenship or refugee status. 

Then we languished in the waiting room at the local branch of the Social Security Administration with many crabby elderly folks, some of whom seemed to be practicing outraged speeches to unleash on the indifferent heads of bureaucrats seated behind numbered, Plexiglass-barred window openings in a vast, echoing hall that would make a great set for a MiniTruth scene from “1984.”

After emerging from that ordeal limp and exhausted by ennui, we made our way to the DMV for another crushing round of paper-shuffling and waiting. All told, it took around seven hours (not counting transportation), which was actually less than I thought it would. But it occurred to me that perhaps the experience of being gnashed in the gears of bureaucratic machinery is a more potent driver of people’s reflexive hatred of government than I’d realized.

I’m a confirmed fan of Big Government. I don’t enjoy paying taxes any more than I look forward to dental work, but I understand the necessity of both. The only thing that pisses me off about my tax rate is that Mitt Romney pays a lower percentage, and I’d gladly exchange a larger chunk of my income for a Scandinavian-style social safety net.

But I flatter myself and the Balloon Juice / Rumproast communities by believing that we’ve thought this through more than Honey Boo Boo’s core audience has. To them, the silly hoop-jumping requirements, appalling run-arounds and astoundingly inefficient service on display at the customer-facing outlets of local, state and federal agencies are The Government.  Which makes it easier to understand why assholes like Rand Paul get elected.

Maybe better customer service would help consign Reaganism to the political dung heap it so richly deserves? It’s a thought.

Please feel free to discuss movies, music, parenting, soulless bureaucracy or anything else. In other words, open thread.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 02/26/13 at 10:51 AM
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Categories: MoviesMusicPoliticsElection '12MittensSkull HampersYouTubidity

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Donald And Walter, Served Up As Only Woody Herman Can

Big band colossus Woody Herman didn’t cover hack songwriters or marquee bands. In fact, he preferred to duplicate the songmaking of artists whose fame and talents rivaled his own. That became apparent yet again when Woody dedicated half a vinyl album to a cream-of-the-crop selection of Steely Dan tunes.

Herman’s Dan collection was hard to find (and expensive once you found it) when I acquired mine 15 years ago. I don’t know whether that situation has improved in the intervening years. But just in case the tracks are still fugitive, here’s what Polly and I excavated on YouTube. Enjoy the signature Fagen/Becker medley of American blues styles, with a steaming dollop of woodchoppers’ winds and horns on top!

There’s more below the fold:

read the whole post »

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 01/24/13 at 07:32 PM
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Eyes Were Never This Good

...qr at least it’s safe to say that formal attire and buzzing, hive-like sound effects were optional. All I wanted to do was see what I was looking at.

Today, it turns out that even replacement eyes are hard to come by. I was driven to my eye and ear center this morning, presumably for the unveiling of a prosthetic eye that was being hand-painted for me by a local ocularist. Instead, I was thrown out of my doctor’s office for not already having acquired a fake eye at a cost of $3,000 out-of-pocket. No-one had ever told me that buying a prosthetic peeper was my job, and that I would be subjected to howls of derisive laughter for not doing the job no one ever assigned me.

Now, I’m a blind guy with one eye and a “your ad here” sign in the other socket and all I have for the moment is the marvelous magical Residents who must have bought their eyes in bulk. Feast your orbs!

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 01/17/13 at 06:49 PM
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Why Didn’t I Listen To Todd When I First Heard This Song Back In 1974?

The world is on fire
Your body doesn’t burn
Kill yourself before receiving
Something out of all this breathing
Don’t you ever learn

“Don’t you ever learn?” is a song about temptation, easy solutions and stupid decisions. Playing it just the other day reminded me yet again that the first 56 years of my life were a long pleasant boulevard through time, lined on either curbside by things that had fallen out of my pockets over the years. Wandering this street at my leisure after living it in real time has yielded many treasures comparable to finding money wedged between two cobblestones or a brand new Portofino cigar still in its tube. I plan to spend a lot of time here from now on, and I intend to equip myself with a pair of high-capacity swag bags to hold all the tips and trinkets and memorabilia that I encounter in my travels. ETW, this is my last self-serving tribute to Todd—at least for today. Some other day, I may feel an urgent need to write my long-delayed master’s thesis on “International Feel,” the kick-ass bookend tune from A Wizard, A True Star.

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 01/13/13 at 08:32 PM
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sarah Palin, In A Pair Of Comfortable Peep-Toe Flats

I don’t know why Adam Ant’s signature video, “Goody Two-Shoes” and the happy-happy stomp dance made me think of Sarah Palin, except to note that nothing else makes think of her at all anymore.

Certainly, there had to be some significance in Adam Ant’s retro-couture Napoleonic settings and costumes, apart from the lightning-fast assumption that Adam was going to usher in the second coming of Paul Revere and the Raiders, featuring Mark Lindsay.

Whether or not Adam was singing about Sarah Palin in 1982, it goes without saying that whatever about her was ever truly unique, one-of-a-kind, name-brand or timeless, has wound up where it was always destined to be—somewhere between Clark Kent’s costume closet and Al Capone’s Vault.

You don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do? Nothing to see here. Move along.

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 01/12/13 at 07:54 PM
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What The Republican Party Looks Like Without A Charismatic Front Man And A Boatload Of Sequins

Who knew that two years ago I’d shoot myself in the head, go blind, rack up a two-million dollar hospital bill, suffer the non-fatal effects of cold-turkey withdrawal from cigarettes and alcohol, die a half-dozen or so non-clinical forms of clinical death, and resurrect myself months later in a world where Sarah Palin wasn’t even running for magistrate of the sanitation division, and the GOP had just placed all of its mismatched irreplaceable sulphur-stenched eggs in Mitt Romney’s spectacularly ill-woven basket.

What can I tell you? Time flies when you’re dead.

Here’s what else I can tell you: God bless the Pips for taking up the gauntlet of being fired by Gladys Knight with a stunning medley of And The Pips top 40 hits, entirely driven by toasty harmonies and occasional woo-woo! sounds, and unencumbered by the usual, predictable, elevator-worthy one-mike stand. This was a memorable moment from Richard Pryor’s summer TV variety series in the late 1970s.

Given the fact that I don’t remember 90% of what happened last week, the fact that I thought to include it in this post is testimony to Pryor’s uneraseable presence in American minds.

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 01/12/13 at 07:26 PM
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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Don We Now Our Gay Apparel

Two things that never appeared previously in the Superman Comics Universe:

•  Fashionably color-dampened Superman without his bulging red underpants.

•  Stylishly-bearded Cluck Bent answers Bruce Campbell’s immortal book title, If Chins Could Kill.


Sad to say, that’s all I know about The Man Of Steel franchise that debuts its first $1.95 burger platter later this year. For all intents and purposes, it looks like The Man Of Steel will more nearly resemble That Guy From Last Night or audition-losing talent who weren’t selected for the Brawny paper towel wrapper. If Jor-El sucks as badly in this film as he did during ten years of hyperventilating fatherhood in the TV series Smallville, the next Superman film will be the last one ever…starring Michael Richards.

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 12/29/12 at 01:06 PM
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