Sunday, October 04, 2009

Things I'll Never Understand

While songwriting in Nashville, the publisher brought in his man from L.A. to tell us hicks what he wanted in rock songs. He played us a cassette of an unreleased tune called "Like A Virgin," and said it was the future of popular music, to which I replied, "God, I hope not." I always thought Cyndi Lauper would clean her clock. A pure product of the video age, her workout regimen must be fierce; especially the crunches. The only thing flatter than Madonna's stomach is her voice.

Every time I see one of these guys, I wonder if they might live long enough, infections aside, to seriously regret their self-mutilations. My generation grew our hair long to show we were in harmony with the natural order. This practice shows solidarity with the primitive rituals of isolated, Amazonian tribal savages. I'll hand it to you though, you sure look different.

Local News
Local news is actually regional stories with corporate direction. From coast to coast, they have been using the same formula for 35 years. A bi-gender, mixed race anchor team finish each other's sentences before throwing it to bleached blonde reporters in the field who are all looking to make it to the networks. We've all heard the phrase, "If it bleeds, it leads," by now. But must they drive a hundred miles away in the "news van" to find some meth-head who murdered his family because there wasn't enough serious violence nearby? And how come everything is always "Breaking News?" If the local news was all you watched, you'd never leave the house.

Chicken Joints
Why is it that every time you go into one of these places around dinnertime, they're out of chicken?

I understand I'm a provincial with an unsophisticated palate, but among the reasons man discovered fire, wasn't one of them so that we could cook our food?

Ronald Reagan
The "B" actor who co-starred with monkeys and co-operated with the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 50s, became a mouthpiece for right-wing causes before entering politics. Speaking against Medicare, he said, "One of the traditional methods of imposing Socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project." As Governor of California during the campus unrest of the 60s, Reagan said, "If it takes a bloodbath to silence the demonstrators. let's get it over with." And as President, he relaxed regulations on business and industry, imposed a draconian fiscal policy that his own Vice President called "Voodoo Economics," courted the religious right, and declared government as the enemy. I know the Republicans haven't had a hero since Theodore Roosevelt, but do they really want to carve a face on Mt. Rushmore of the man that said, "Trees cause more pollution than automobiles?"

Black Republicans
It must feel groundbreaking to be a big fish in a little pond, but they're using you, pal. How can a black man be the spokesman and apologist for an increasing virulent racism spreading among the base elements of his party? It's like Dick Gregory becoming the Grand Wizard of the KKK. They aren't your friends and are frothing at the mouth to toss you overboard. You believe you're a pioneer, but you're merely a stooge and your term as RNC Chairman will end badly.

A constant and persistent reminder that I ain't so damned smart. I have become such a numerophobe that when you discuss figures with me, my eyes roll back in my head. Math was my worst subject and created a visceral loathing of unknown origin within my soul. I only graduated college because they allowed me to substitute Ethics for Math. When someone tells me, "You do the math," I have a panic attack. I think that in a former life, I may have been an accountant.

Why? When did turning left become a sport? I'd like to see them try to negotiate Poplar Ave. If you asked me if I would like to watch some goober wearing a jump suit covered in small corporate logos, barrel a car blanketed with large corporate logos for 500 miles in an asphalt circle accompanied by the stench of burning tires and gasoline, I would have to say, "No thanks, I'd prefer to watch water evaporate."

Pot Prohibition
Since we have seen the outlawing of a weed, that grows almost anywhere, result in violent drug gangs that deal in bloodshed to protect their massive profits; the filling of our prisons with casual users; revolts in several states to de-criminalize its use by medical cannabis smokers; and the barbaric home-invasions of minor pot growers by DEA and SWAT teams, why is marijuana still illegal? I guess we'll have to wait for Obama's second term before we can even whisper about the complete failure of our government's absurd, 80 year old pot policy.

Fox News
There have always been agitators who blur the line between free speech and hate speech. From Father Charles Coughlin and the Nazi appeasers in the 30s, to Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 50s, to Rush Limbaugh today. But there has never been a 24 hour "news" network dedicated to propagating lies and slander with the intention of destroying a presidency and furthering radical conservative causes at the behest of its owner. I saw "Tea-baggers" wearing patriotic colors admit that they watched Fox News exclusively. They are unwitting water carriers for an unscrupulous, bare-knuckled, publishing monopolist from Australia named Rupert Murdoch, who could give a damn about the U.S. government so long as they don't re-regulate the multiple ownership of media outlets in one market by a single company. If Fox is to be the broadcasting propaganda arm of the far right, how about removing the word "news" from their title to conform with "truth in advertising?"

If you are holding a telephone, why are you typing on it?

Thug Rappers
I don't care how relevant, gritty, ghetto, or "street" the message is, I can't hear it because I can't stand being shouted at. And what is this affectation that every single rapper has adopted with the stiff-digits and thrusting hand motions? Are they all supposed to be playing "air turntable?" The "man" is exploiting you, fellows. Learn to sing.

Garth Brooks
See "Madonna" above. This guy has sold over 100 million albums with a talent that rivals Hootie and the Blowfish, yet he will surely be inducted into every existing music hall of fame. Did I lose my taste or my mind? And, truth be told, "I have friends in low places," is not that clever a song idea. I sure wish I'd written it though.


jane said...

You never disappoint!!!!

Jane said...

I forgot to add....I was there with you when our publisher played the demo of "Like a Virgin"...and we all thought it sucked!!! hahaha

Craig Fuller said...

I don't even try to understand anymore.

Never forget that half the world is below average.

ghg said...

Well, it didn't take as long as I thought it would. Read it here first, "RJ morphs into Andy Rooney". I'm smiling with a big grin on my face right now. You just sort of put yourself down, gathered up a whole mouth full of spit, and let your chair spin around letting it go in all directions with eyes closed and feeling no pain, didn't you?.,,,Nothing but love, old man.

So, what was the actual precipitant? There's the real story.

Anonymous said...

Amen Brother! Only thing you omitted was that Reagan probably suffered from Alzheimers prior to serving as President instead of developing the disease after his term. Would certainly have made it more understandable and acceptable!


kwk said...

One minor correction: "chimps", not "monkeys". Monkeys would take offense at insinuation that one of them might have stooped to a co-star role next to Ronald Reagan.

Anonymous said...

Yes, no chix'in is only half of the problem. What, No Extra-Crispy!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who idolizes Ronald Regan is certifiable and should stand in front of a large mirror and seriously question their own sanity. Are you kidding me? Ronnie Baby?!!!

Cousin Bob said...

Great blog as always. I remember my editor at the Boston Phoenix (Milo Miles, I believe) ending his review of Madonna's first album with a sentiment to the effect that she'd better learn to sing or her career would be short-lived. Guess he had not seen the videos yet, either.
As for Reagan, I long ago concluded that he understood three basic things about the American electorate:
1) (and most important) It wants to be told that we are great and only getting greater, despite any evidence to the contrary. When Jimmy Carter gave what has become called his "malaise" speech, I thought it was the greatest thing I had heard in my lifetime from a President. Reagan knew I was in the decided minority.
2) It wants a movie star for president. Do not discount Obama's charisma, racism notwithstanding, for part (much?) of his electoral success. I was saying "Robert Redford for President" in 1984.
3) It's best if that movie star is (or can channel) John Wayne, which is why I've always thought that Reagan's "I paid for this microphone, and I'll decide who gets to use it" (or whatever he actually said) was the key moment in his 1980 campaign. And why I'm also convinced that if Dukakis had said, "Yes, John Sasso violated my `no negative campaigning' pledge with his Biden attack video - but he only told the truth, and I refuse to fire him for telling the truth," he could have claimed the Reagan moment he needed to beat Bush I in 1988.
Write on!/Bob

BrandALofquist said...

What a surprise another liberal insulting black republicans you think republicans are using the blacks? Have you looked at your party? Hmm when is the last time you did anything for them besides use them to get votes and pretend that you actually care. It is so nice that you assume and are so closed minded about this situation...wait I thought only republicans did that...VERY COOL
I love love love how you insult Fox News and yet MSNBC can do anything and you will still be in love with that channel because it tells the truth...oh yeah like cindy sheehan protesting in front of Obama's vacation house...of course not.

I am so digusted that you point your fingers at republicans and tell them they don't listen and are closed minded and yet you are doing the EXACT same thing. Get a backbone you arrogant prick

trossini said...

geez, never dissapoint. You are so cool/uncool; so proud, yet not; so right there and then.......
What I mean to say, my friend is that you are an "original" and I'm proud to call you a former "band buddy"! All this stupidity from the "Rosconini". (so dubbed by the mighty "Haspel". Have a great day, my friend and party on. (Tony Rossini)

Urk said...

You know, in a weird way I I think that the flatness of Madonna's voice is a big part of her appeal. There's something that people like in someone singing the right kind of songs just a shade flat. Not that that would have gotten her anywhere without the look and the videos.

and you're dead on about Reagan. that man did alot of damgae to this country, and his ideas are still out there, walking around like zombies, eating people's brains.

Anonymous said...

Best graphics you ever did.

Anonymous said...


Scott Relf said...

YES!!!!!! And while we're at it, when did poker become a sport? Note to these guys with their shades and bad-ass scowls: You're not a rock-star, okay? You're playing cards and you probably still live in your parents' basement. Nobody thinks you're as cool as you seem to think you are. What's next? Televised Yatzee?

Sputnik57 said...

Thank you for your kind words, except that one guy. Another thing I'll never understand is why do wingnuts attack you personally when they disagree with your thoughts? What do my spine or prick have to do with it? Did I call you an asshole?

And Urk, you may be on to something about people liking a vocalist that sings a little flat. Frank Sinatra made a career out of it. And that's one more thing...

And furthermore...

Father Farken said...

Madonna? A singer? No!
A performing artist? Nah!
A Performance Artist? Yep!
Virgin? I report! You decide!

Piercings? Security stopped a boy @ Newark Airport. Had him unload his piercings from his face & Body. Just when we thought it was safe...his pecker set off the alarms! It was not pretty!

Love Sushi! There's a great Sushi/Bait Shop outside of Wren,

Ronald Reagan? Two words! Jimmy Carter! Those of y'all that want our president to fail ought to ease up and learn from history! The next one might really be the Anti- Christ! A pendulum swings like a pendulum do!

Garth Brooks? The Anti-Hank!

Black Republicans? We need more of them! Good Abe Lincoln Republicans that believe that there is life outside of the ghetto! We need more White Republicans as well...That believe that there is life inside the ghetto!

Fox News? 5 letters! MSNBC! There is Fox News & there is NSNBC & then there is the TRUTH! And may I add...I love 'em all!

Math? In the 7th grade Sister Mussolini at the Sorry Mothers beat me with a yard stick like I wuz a Blues Brother cuz I couldn't
"do the math!" I feel your pain kindred spirit!

Frank Sinatra? That's Saint Sinatra
to you bub! doobeedoobeedooo....

Randy! Thanks for the fun! The Peace of the Lord! Father Farken

The Watcher said...

If you want to read something that will make sense out of the last 39 years (since Earth Day 1970) check out Agenda 21 (World Agenda for the 21st Century). It will make sense out of many seemingly disparate issues that have cropped up over the past four decades, and more currently the impending Cap and Tax legislation. Here is a clue. The turning off of the water from the California Central Valley which is (make that 'was') America's major produce producer has nothing to do with saving a minnow. It has everything to do with the implementation of Agenda 21 in America. The Central Valley is now a desert and hundreds of farmers have been put out of business. Obama is a major player in the Agenda 21 cabal. If you like mystery and'connecting the dots', then google 'Agenda 21' and get an education in regard to where the planet is heading. Like someone asked a major player in the Agenda 21 scenario, 'Won't Agenda 21 conflict with the personal freedoms of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution'? The answer from the equivalent of Darth Vader was, "The freedoms of the individual will have to take a back seat to the 'collective'". After we lose it, freedom will seem so much the sweeter. Get ready for tyranny that will make the old Russian gulags seem like a walk in the park. The designers of this policy believe that the ideal world population should be around 500 million...down from the current 6 billion. Can you spell 'de-population'? For a shortcut to learning something about all of this, go to and enter 'Agenda 21 for Dummies'. It is breath-taking, and will ultimately be freedom-taking and then life-taking. Once they get America's sovereignty out of the way (which is Obama's assignment) the agenda will fall rapidly into place.

Anonymous said...

This is in reference to The Watcher's comment. Why do you think that Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize when he has only been President for 9 months and has done nothing to warrant his winning it? There are no results to base such a supposedly prestigious award upon. The answer is related to what Watcher said about Agenda 21. Obama's popularity has been waning and the big boys behind Agenda 21 are worried that he may not be re-elected in 2012. This would be a major set back to the implementation of their plans for the world. Obama and those that he has surrounded himself with are key players in the implementation of Agenda 21, so they arranged for this award in the hope that it might counter his declining popularity. They figure that this award might enhance his street cred, so to speak. They may never get someone who is as adroit at implementing their plan into the White House again. In regard to all of this it will really be interesting to watch the shenanigans as the 2012 elections approach. ACORN will not be around to throw the election with bogus voter registartion forms like they did with Al Franken's election. He won by 312 votes and ACORN provided 43,000 voter registration forms in that election. I wonder how many Donald Ducks were registered to vote in that election. I'm betting that there will be bloodshed as the 2012 presidential election approaches. Tighten your chinstraps, because it is about to be time for hardball, and I don't mean the kind that the wuss Chis Matthews thinks that he plays. The REAL deal is coming down the pike.

Happy Hal said...

Watcher and Anon 12:35:00 CDT,

This is outrageous! To think that these guys can fix an election, and influence the selection of a Nobel Laureate at will, but they can't ensure that their "boy" will be re-elected in 2012... What kind of evil cabal are they, anyway?

Are these the same guys that put fluoride in my kool-aid?