Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hamburger On The Highway Up-Date

First intelligent & informed statement we've seen about the whole non-mess:
As the traffic experts say, it doesn't take many drivers to change their ways for congestion to go away.
If it only takes a few to improve flow, let's keep on keeping these fools out of their shitmobiles.

Little Annie Fannie

Episodes 18-21, 1965.

Clydesdales, Mink Farms & Videotape

Sure, all of these clowns getting the financial shaft warms the cockles of our schadenfreude-infected heart, but this is special.
Thanks to 1970s hits like “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Stranglehold,” hard rock guitarist Ted Nugent was at one time among the highest-grossing concert attractions in America, Unlike many other rock musicians his age, he has famously never indulged in drugs or alcohol, instead preferring such diversions as hunting and running a “Kamp for Kids.”

Unfortunately, he still ended up broke. The Nuge found himself in this very situation after his managers invested his considerable wealth into a series of bad business ventures, such as investments in Clydesdale horses and mink farms. Nugent declared bankruptcy in 1980 as a result, but he recovered before the decade’s end and still enjoys a busy career today.
Too bad the ending's so happy.

Less so: Marvin Gaye. We made a couple hundred bucks from his attempt to sabotage the album from which Anna Gordy was to profit.
The late Marvin Gaye is known as one of the greatest soul singers of all time, known for such classic songs as “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and timeless albums like What’s Going On. However, his love life didn’t match the success of his singing career. His marriage to Anna Gordy was damaged beyond repair when he had an affair with a woman and fathered two children with her.

Gordy filed for divorce, but Gaye had very little money for alimony and child support payments. Despite his impressive record sales, his bank account was nearly depleted, thanks to extravagant spending on cars, real estate and cocaine. Believing that it was the only way she was going to see any money from him, she agreed to take $600,000 in royalties from his next album instead.
Gaye filed for bankruptcy in 1976, and the album in which she held a stake, bitterly titled Here, My Dear, was released in 1978 to scathing reviews and poor sales.
We managed our little profit by working for an outfit that provided video services to touring acts in the pre-MTV days of Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, when bands suddenly realized they couldn't keep up if they remained ugly shoegazers, & had better jazz up the visual part of the show.
Not that there much necessity of that w/ Marvin: The tour to promote the album was an expensive Vegas spectacle, & hiring [REDACTED] Video Systems to videotape the rehearsals for reference was another extravagance to lessen whatever money the aggrieved Ms. Gordy would see from the album.

Hell, we should listen to it sometime to see if the album itself was a deliberate suckfest.

Obligatory Daily America Hate

Friday, July 15, 2011

Late Enough For Music

You Thought They Couldn't Get
Any Loonier, But ...

Do not expect a split between the allegedly not-religious-at-all Tea Party & the Religious Right. Paranoia just draws them closer together.
But this convergence between the two groups goes well beyond coalition politics and reflects a radicalization of conservative evangelical elites that is just as striking as the rise of the Tea Party itself. Indeed, the worldview of many Christian Right leaders has evolved into an understanding of government (at least under secularist management) as a satanic presence that seeks to displace God and the churches through social programs, to practice infanticide and euthanasia, to destroy parental control of children, to reward vice and punish virtue, and to thwart America’s divinely appointed destiny as a redeemer nation fighting for Christ against the world’s many infidels.
This is followed by a laundry list of lunacy from James Robison, & a conclusion.
After examining the beliefs of the contemporary Christian Right, candidates like Bachmann and Perry seem less like pols cleverly straddling factions and more like leaders of a single constituency. In particular, the fiery “constitutional conservatism” espoused by many of them reflects a belief in a God-given Founders’ design that equally demands limited government, absolute property rights, a ban on abortion (including some forms of contraception) and same-sex relationships, the right to a Christian education, a stern attitude towards economic “losers,” and hostility to foreign countries other than Israel.

When the Christian Right leaders convened by James Robison come together in Houston on August 6 at Rick Perry’s invitation to hold a “national call to prayer for a nation in crisis,” it may or may not be connected to a presidential run by its host. But it will illustrate that the Christian Right is hardly dead or asleep, and is no longer by any means at odds with the fiscal and economic radicalism gripping the rest of the conservative movement.
A recap of some of the more colorful Xians who'll be praying 6 August.
Masochists/aficionados/connoisseurs of the genre will find longer versions here.

Today's Dimbulb

Rick Perry:
Sure, Rick, because nowhere else on this planet is there even a concept of personal property or ownership. Only in America is a man able to own things that are his own! (Covered here, but the best part was missed!)

Today's First Runner-Up:

Mittens Romney, Constitutional Scholar.

None of you can deny that your species is incontrovertibly fucked in every hole. W/ a splintered broomstick. Enjoy your descent into the abyss, & don't come to us whining for help.

Passing For French

Melvin Jerome Blank.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Today's History Lesson

A gloss on history ends w/ this:
The point of this gloss on history is that all of modern, post-Enlightenment history has primarily been driven by demands for political and economic justice. The difference between pre-Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment struggle has been that the human search for justice and equality was, in the religious civilization of the past, focused on virtue and its reward in heaven. After religion was undermined by the Enlightenment, human plans, doctrines, ideologies and struggles for justice were necessarily confined to temporal lifetime.

If there were no God, as the philosophers of the Enlightenment insisted, then human and social justice had to be sought in this world, and the rulers, aristocrats, the rich and privileged, who stood between ordinary people and justice, had to be destroyed. The aristocrats, held responsible for the dynastic and imperialist wars of the period, and finally for the Great War itself in 1914-1918, had to be swept away.

That was what the French and other European revolutions were about. It is what socialism and then communism were about, initially in their idealistic and utopian versions, and then in their bloodthirsty and nihilistic versions in Leninist Russia, in “National Socialist” Germany, then in Spain and even in impoverished and exploited China. People resorted to violence under leaders thrown up from the working and middle classes.

They were all, of course, idealistic and ideological when they began. This is what brings me back to Washington in July 2011. Congressional Republicans and the Obama Democrats are locked in the most extreme conflict over social justice and the equality of citizens that the nation probably has experienced since the Civil War. They are at the same time mindlessly committed to what amounts to a kind of racial and religious war of America with Muslim civilization. They seem ignorant, or indifferent, to what such irresponsibility has led to in the past.

Visit William Pfaff’s website for more on his latest book, “The Irony of Manifest Destiny: The Tragedy of America’s Foreign Policy” (Walker & Co., $25), at www.williampfaff.com.
© 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Almost The Fourteenth Of July

Unsanctioned & strictly amateur pyrotechnics. (No audio.)We've observed similar phenomena in swingin' Silver Lake on previous Fourths, 'though not from a height, or time-lapsed. And there was a fair amount of live fire around the bunker this yr., 'though we didn't leave to catch the visuals. Details, credit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Paris (Not Texas) & Kerrville (Way Texas)

Apparently 'Murkuh is becoming a nation of limp-wristed fairies. All over.
No sign when we visited (1960).
And Woody Allen has sold out.
The film, which cost $30 million to make, is still in the top 10 box-office movies of the week after seven weeks of release. And even more surprising, it's doing business everywhere, even in small towns like Kerrville, Texas, the hometown of Sony Pictures Classics Co-Chairman Michael Barker, where the film has been playing at the Rio 10 Cinema for the last month.

"That's definitely a first for us," Barker says. "My stepmother is really happy, because she finally can take all her friends to see one of our films. But that's what makes this film such a pleasure. It's playing in theaters that have never played a Woody Allen film before. It's getting big numbers in theaters in Idaho and Montana, in Mississippi and Alabama."
Say good-bye to your Heartland, reactionaries.

Extra interesting/only reason we bothered: An ancestor owned the Mobil(?) station in Kerrville many yrs. ago. Maybe we could hit up native Sony Classics Co-Chairman Barker for a creative consulting gig on that basis.

Also on the cinema:
Barr: I hate movies. I hate the whole fucking movie business. I hate everything involved with movies. Producers. Moviemakers. Those people are freaking nuts and criminals. I can’t take it. They’re not like the rest of humanity. I’d rather hang out with plumbers. They’re so self-important. And everything they do is bullshit. Excuse me, but movies are bullshit. They’re tidy little fucking bullshit stories. They all have a rape thing in them. They’re all anti-woman. They’re all fucking bullshit. There isn’t one of ‘em that speaks to me or says anything decent. Somebody could go in with the best fucking script, like, Grapes of Wrath, and they’d come out and it’d star Kevin James. Nothing can happen good in movies and it never does.

Q. Grapes of Wrath with Kevin James!

Barr: Yeah! That’s the best that could ever happen in movies. And they all go and sit in the big building and congratulate themselves. I just hate movies. I hate the entire movie business.

Hey-Bop-A-Re-Bop

Can't Make It Any Clearer Than This

David Fitzsimmons, Cagle Cartoons, The Arizona Star

"Fake Democrats"

Milwaukee's finest uses the phrase five or even six times, once in quotation marks. And once w/ "protest Democrat."
Huber has long been an official in the Ozaukee County Republican Party. She was one of six so-called fake or protest Democrats put up by the state Republican Party to force primary elections in the recalls of six Republican senators, giving the senators another four weeks to campaign before facing a final recall election.
Aha! Revelation as we copy, paste & type. We did not know there was a method to the Republican assholery, we'd assumed (Yes, we know.) they were doing it simply to be jerks about it, as is their wont. Us, surprised by cynical activity!

Related in a syllabic style:

Open Letter

An awful whore who claims to read this piece of shit regularly (We're not sure if that figures or not.) somehow obtained our e-mail address & sent us a pathetic request to link to some bullshit advertising site ("onlinecertificateprograms") because of a "crummiest fucking losers ever to appear in the All-Star Game" list she no doubt stole. We assume this is a result of a search for "web logs what mention baseball." (Big mistake mentioning outdoor activities other than shooting & blowing stuff up, we guess.)
Hi,
I’m a frequent reader of your blog and wanted to let you know that I just posted an article on my site that I thought you might find interesting, “10 Most Laughable All-Stars in Baseball History”. If you think your readers might like it, too, would you consider sharing or mentioning it on your blog? I’d appreciate it if you have time to check it out.
[Link removed, you betcha. — M.B.]

Thanks!
Jena Ellis
Well, Jena Ellis (If that is your real name, & it probably isn't; we'd guess you're a Chinese or Russian street-walker who's just made a lateral move in the prostitution field.) we wouldn't link to your garbage if you appeared right here in our lonely bunker & applied a lip-lock to our love-muscle (as you & your mother are so used to doing to any gentleman who has the price).

Sincerely,

Malignant Bouffant, typing for the editorial collective of Just Another Blog (From L.A.)™

cc: Jena Ellis ellis.jena912@gmail.com

Monday, July 11, 2011

Medium & Message Confused

And who's mixing them up? Irk Irksome.
Because younger voters would have gone for McCain & his crazy old person/idiot bullshit if only he could have gotten them to visit his website. Or something. Why didn't Sarah Palin help more, w/ her Tweetin' & Facebookin' there, Irksome?
You just aren't going to get 21st-century voters w/ 19th-century bullshit, whether they read it on the Internet or hear it from FOX News.

Murdoch Wrap-Up

From Trotsky Central:
The ongoing exposure of systematic hacking of thousands of phones and computers by employees of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World lifts the lid on the rampant criminality of the corporate and political elite, in Britain and internationally. At least 7,000 people have had their phones hacked and their privacy invaded. The trawl for personal information has targeted a wide range of victims, from politicians and members of the royal family to the families of murder victims and soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

The scandal is revealing the thorough-going decay of democracy and all of the official institutions in Britain, including the major parties, Parliament, the judiciary and the media. The most powerful media corporation in Britain, which constantly trumpets the need for “law and order,” has presided over serious violations of the law, including hacking on what one MP called “an industrial scale.” It has done so year-on-year with virtual impunity.*

Murdoch executives and reporters are notorious as well for threatening and bullying politicians and other notables who criticize the operations of News International or otherwise arouse the ire of the Murdoch family.

Now reports have emerged that a News of the World executive destroyed millions of potentially incriminating emails in order to thwart further investigations.

Both of the major parties, Conservative and Labour, are implicated in these crimes, not only because of their refusal to call to account News International, the parent firm of Murdoch’s British media outlets, but because of their intimate relations with Murdoch’s media empire. They never challenged the Metropolitan Police for accepting the patently absurd claim that these illegal practices were the actions of one rogue reporter and a private investigator, even as it surfaced that police officers had received tens of thousands of pounds in bribes from News of the World.

It was only after numerous civil cases had been taken out against the newspaper by celebrities whose phones were hacked that, in January, the Crown Prosecution Service announced it would review material held by police on phone hacking at News of the World to “assess if a fresh criminal trial is likely.”

Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday was forced to acknowledge official collusion with the Murdoch press, stating, “The truth is, we have all been in this together—the press, politicians and leaders of all parties—and yes, that includes me.”

He added, “During the last government, a police investigation was undertaken, it was inadequate and not enough was done. There were reports from the information commissioner and they went unheeded. There were select committee reports on phone hacking and there was no follow-up. Throughout all this, all the warnings, all the concern, the government at the time did nothing. And frankly, neither did the opposition.”

This mea culpa is Cameron’s attempt to limit the damage to his government from the scandal. It came the same morning as the arrest of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, Cameron’s head of communications until Coulson’s forced resignation in January. However, neither Cameron’s admission of responsibility nor his guarded swipe against former Labour governments do justice to the extent of the incestuous, decades-long relations between the Murdoch empire and Britain’s political elite.

Murdoch is forever associated with the Conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, and above all with Thatcher’s brutal assault on the working class. He cheered on her deregulation of the City of London, privatisations and tax cuts for corporations and the rich from which he benefited more than most. News of the World’s parent company, News International, carried out an infamous union-busting operation, sacking 6,000 print workers and transferring production to Wapping in London’s East End in 1986.

Then, after Murdoch decided that the Tories had exhausted their usefulness as a vehicle for attacking the working class and enriching the ruling elite, he switched support to Labour—which was more than ready to do his bidding. Murdoch dictated government policy to such a degree that Lance Price, a media advisor to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, called Murdoch “the 24th member of the Cabinet.” Price added, “His presence was always felt.”

Murdoch himself has publicly boasted of setting the agenda of the Labour government on Europe and “the breakdown of law and order in Britain.” The Murdoch press has relentlessly promoted wars of aggression, most notably the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. Blair telephoned Murdoch personally on three occasions in the days leading up to the US-British invasion.

Current Labour leader Ed Miliband is now posing as a critic of News of the World, seeking to make political capital out of Cameron’s relations with Coulson and Murdoch press executive Rebakah Brooks. This is a transparent fraud.

The News of the World hacking scandal first came to light in 2006 and was swept under the carpet by the Metropolitan Police, without challenge by the Labour governments of Blair and his successor, Gordon Brown. On April 9, an anonymous ex-minister told the Guardian that Murdoch had “relayed messages to Brown last year via a third party, urging him to help take the political heat out of the row, which he felt was in danger of damaging his company.”

It was only last month that Miliband himself attended News International’s summer party in London, alongside shadow chancellor Ed Balls, two of his closest advisers, Tom Baldwin and Stewart Wood, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander. TheGuardian noted at the time that Labour luminaries outnumbered a Conservative delegation headed by Cameron and his wife, Samantha.

These relations underscore the travesty of the electoral process in Britain. State policy is determined not by the population’s choice to elect a Conservative or Labour government, but by a clique of billionaires that sets the agenda of all the major parties—of which Murdoch is a particularly influential member, thanks to his control of the media.

How does one account for the ability of employees of News International to engage in such rampant criminality without let or hindrance?

The official structures of politics and the media in Britain and internationally have become entirely divorced from and openly hostile to the interests of the general population. They have become the province of a plutocratic layer that acts without legal restraint.

Murdoch himself is widely acknowledged to be the most powerful man in Britain and one of the most powerful people in the world. He is the archetypal representative of a global financial oligarchy that has arisen on the basis of financial parasitism and an unprecedented growth of social inequality.

The narrow layer of the super-rich to which Murdoch belongs has dictated every aspect of political, economic and social life over more than three decades. His 175 or so newspapers and television channels, including Sky in Britain and Fox in the US, are widely viewed as kingmakers inside the political establishment.

Murdoch is the supreme purveyor of a particular type of gutter journalism, whose emphasis on sex scandals and the antics of the rich and famous is meant to divert and confuse the public and encourage the most backward sentiments.

In America, Fox News and the New York Post serve the same function as the Sun, News of the World (which Murdoch shut down on Sunday) and Sky TV in the UK, while the Wall Street Journal editorial page articulates the political agenda of the most reactionary sections of the US ruling elite. The Murdoch media befoul social and intellectual life with an unremitting torrent of right-wing social nostrums, warmongering, national chauvinism, glorification of “free enterprise,” and demands that essential services on which millions rely be slashed.

The most significant expression of the political and ideological putrefaction this has produced is found within the former social democratic parties, such as the British Labour Party. They all easily adapted themselves to Murdoch’s brand of politics, emerging as unabashed defenders of the savage austerity measures demanded after the 2008 financial crash.

The scale of the criminal activity that has been exposed at News of the World demands a full and public accounting. All of the major figures associated with News International, including Coulson, Brooks and Murdoch himself, must be questioned under oath as part of a full-scale criminal investigation. In any such inquiry, they should be joined by Blair, Brown, Cameron and their associates.

It is clear, however, that the British ruling class will not carry out such an investigation. Any inquiry under the control of the existing political establishment will be a cover-up, aiming to protect News International and its allies in the political establishment and state apparatus.

Justice will be secured, and the predatory and socially destructive activities of the media barons halted, only in connection with the development of a mass political movement of the working class that sets out to remove from power an elite which has demonstrated that it is entirely unfit to rule.

Chris Marsden
The cynical among us might think that it is the very unfitness of the ruling class that makes it so successful.

*In these United Snakes, we haven't completely privatized this sort of thing.

This Wk. In Suckitude

Sunday, July 10, 2011

60 Yrs. & Counting

We figured we'd stolen enough from Evanier for the day (And would have found this anyway, as we subscribe to dantanasgirl's YouTube channel.) but as today is the anniversary of Mel Blanc's death ...We'll just add that we remember the RTD's 85 line, seen in the beginning, which ran until 1984 or so.

Same corner in 1965, after the NBC studios had disappeared.

In Absentia

Vent Figs

Even to someone unemployedwho hasn't worked for several yrs., for whom the days blur together like sands through the proverbial hourglass, Sunday afternoon is sucky & odd. (Probably the crummy telebision programming.) And to make it worse, these, from here & here via here (Culled from the best of flickr's vintage ventriloquism pool, we suppose.):
Freudian nightmare.