Friday, May 13, 2011

Big Brother Google Housekeeping

This blog, and every other one on the Google Machine apparently, has been down since Wednesday. In addition The Big Google Brother swallowed up my last post, you know, the one with the commie Karl Marx graphic, and I'm still waiting for them to restore it, if they can, since I may not have a backup. They say nothing you post on the Internets Machine is ever lost. OK, PROVE IT, Big Google Brother!

Well, back to my subversive rants. Where to begin;  I've got a backlog, and a headache ...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cuba Libre Ain't Just Rum And Coke?

Looks like another communist paradise is about to wave the white flag at Das Kapital. The MSM has made much of little brother Raul Castro lifting travel restrictions for Cubans to venture abroad as "tourists" — so long as he can hold a gun to their relatives' heads and discourage defections — overlooking the sweeping reforms by the Cuban strongman that begin to inject a sort of creeping capitalism into its stagnant economy.

The model isn't the U.S. so much as it's post-Maoist China, which is poised to become the world's #1 economy by 2016. What would our Cinco de Mayo birthday boy, Karl Marx, think of all this? He'd probably recognize those idiots in the three-corner hats as the "petty" bourgeoisie that brings the entire capitalist system crashing to its knees by threatening to "primary" Republicans who dare raise the debt ceiling, leaving the old communist nations — Russia, China, Cuba — standing to pick up the pieces. The fifth Marx brother might just get the last laugh after all ... and if he were around to see it go down, he might be celebrating with a Cuban cigar and Jamaican Rum mixed with Mexican Coca-Cola — you know, the good stuff that's still made with real cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. Or host a Tea Party with Chinese green tea.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Funnin' Rachel Maddow: The Fifth A-Teamer!

A month or so back, Rachel did an 80s-themed segment that literally wowed me and may explain why I’m partial to Rachel, above and beyond the fact that she’s the best, of course. Talking to David Sirota about his book titled Back To Our Future, Rachel said to David: “I have to tell you, I watched every single second of the A-Team that was ever put on television. I was absolutely obsessed with the  A-Team. Can you explain to me how that warped my mind?”

And I went, “Wow, you’re kidding me, Rachel. Me too!”

The A-Team was my absolute favorite TV show at the time. Honestly. I can’t say for sure that I caught every single episode, but I didn’t miss many. A friend who is black (the Reagan years weren’t exactly peaches & cream for African Americans) and I were immediately turned on to the A-Team as a scathingly funny commentary on the age of Reagan. Both of us hated Reagan as we watched the rise of the Right in America with shocked disbelief. In the A-Team we saw a hilarious reflection of the times. For us it was a comedy; our friends puzzled over our finding humor in it.

Do you remember the show in which the Chinese mafia was extorting money from a meek, family-owned Chinese restaurant? The outside shot of their HQ showed a narrow building with a Chinese laundry in the first of two floors — they could magnify every imaginable ethnic stereotype. The shot cuts to the interior and we see palatial quarters totally disproportionate to the building’s dimensions, with the Chinese Mafia boss sitting on a throne looking like a cross between Fu Manchu and a 12th century warlord, as he intones: “The Golden Pagoda Restaurant MUST BE DESTROYED.”

My friend and I would laugh at how mean the bad guys were, at the deliberately poor production values, and how some characters just “can’t act.” If the show had a Mexican theme, they’d pipe in the Mariachi music and cut to a hastily decorated “Mexican” bar, with extras sitting about wearing ponchos and sombreros and drinking beer. Then there was the obligatory Southern small-town sheriff nabbing drive-thru Yankees in speed traps from behind the obligatory billboard, extorting money from the victims. The sheriff character was a cross between Buford T. Justice, played by Jackie Gleason on Smoky and The Bandit, and Chief Bill Gillespie from In The Heat of The Night, played by Rod Steiger. Naturally, the A-Team Southern sheriff had a beer belly and a short black tie. In a scene in which the sheriff worked over a terrified victim, he leaned over snarling, “I OWN this town!” My friend noticed that the only visible wall decoration behind him was that famous picture of Ronald Reagan, as the smiling Gipper! Hahaha. And so it went.

We always saw the show as a hilarious satire of all things Reagan. For us the show was a comedy, accidental perhaps, but I don’t think so, given all the subversive liberal clues that were sprinkled about. It was ostensibly a kid show that liberals could appreciate. So, though I’ve not read Sirota’s book, I think it’s a stretch to suggest the A-Team influenced preteens negatively; certainly not adults. You watched every episode and turned out OK, right? Sure, we may be a little warped … but we’re OK.

Memo to the scumbags at the Daily Caller: In case you haven’t noticed, Rachel’s HOTTER today than she ever was. It’s too bad she’s spoken for.

Gary Lucas: The Greatest Living Electric Guitarist You've Never Heard Of

Today's New York Times has an interesting article about virtuoso guitarist Gary Lucas, whose guitar-picking skills have colored the music of artists like Jeff Buckley and Captain Beefheart, to name a few. The Times describes his music as a distortive creative ensemble of influences:
In addition to performing on electric, with an assortment of pedals, boxes, slides and other effects to distort his sound and create delays and loops, Mr. Lucas also plays acoustic guitar extensively, his favorite being a steel-body National of the sort favored by bluesmen. But in both formats, he strives for a sound that might be called music from the Delta — both the Mississippi and the Ganges.

“I love drones and the deep, hypnotic grooves they can produce,” he said. “It’s the mother source of music, and most of the music I really like, whether Miles or Coltrane’s modal stuff, Indian or Jewish or African music, springs from that. Even the pedal point of a Bach cantata has a drone going through it. It’s a holy centrifugal force, a reference that can ground a piece so that you can ascend and lift and improvise in a celestial way.” (Emphasis mine.)
I love Lucas's own description of his music; of MUSIC period. — “A holy centrifugal force.” Lucas's AWESOME soundtrack for these two surrealist silent films gives us a taste of his rich guitar riffs. In this one, “as part of his ¨Sounds of the Surreal" live music/silent film program, the famous New York psychedelic guitarist/composer performs a live electronic tour de force, conjuring up astonishing worlds within whirls with his original solo guitar score (created on a commission from the Film Society of Lincoln Center) to accompany Fernand Leger´s 1924 silent surrealist masterpiece, Ballet Mecanique.” It's a visual/musical experience to get high on without one's little helper:

And here Lucas scores the charming 1912 Russian silent surrealist classic The Cameraman's Revenge (Ladislaw Starewicz), telling the familiar transgenerational story of Mr. Beetle who falls for the Dragonfly's seductive guile in the "Gay Dragonfly" nightclub ... but “Mr. Beetle should have guessed that the aggressive, jealous grasshopper was a cameraman.” — an early incarnation of the paparazzi, who are also known to be insects?

Rachel Pulls Her Punches: Why, Oh WHY!?

This segment would've been better, more truthful, were it not for Rachel's inexplicable unwarranted apologia:

"I'll admit this is petty ..." PETTY? I don't get it Rachel. Are you speaking for yourself or for the racist ALL WHITE cabal in your business and network who cannot bring themselves to give our BLACK President his just deserts? They must, as a matter of RACIST "professional" prerogative, piss all over the black guy's parade.
"Who does he think he is?!? WE, the IDIOT PUNDITOCRACY, get to decide when the President gets the "credit" and by how much! He's already hogged TOO MUCH of the oxygen and media spotlight from OUR Sunday bloviations; it's time to knock our uppity President down a peg or two."

Watching the hot air parade of these right wing jackals given an open platform to express their RACISM and LIES is not high on the list of liberals and progressives. We catch the highlights, if there are any to be had, on Huff Post. As for the media rascals and Idiot Punditocracy playing knights of the roundtable — please. I do not care to regurgitate my breakfast.

PETTY? That's the least of their faults. I really reaLLY REALLY hope you weren't speaking for yourself, Rachel. No, it's 4-1, Rachel. Anita Dunn is a mole, if you catch my drift. Why else would your rascally colleagues book her if she were not off-putting in front of the camera: Behold, your liberal elitist!

COMMAND PERFORMANCE: Not So Subliminal Advertising

If you missed the President's riveting interview on 60 Minutes in which he crushed Donald Trump's "YOUGE, IT'S YOUUGE" TV show in the ratings — 60 Minutes # 1, Celebrity Apprentice # 4, "YOUGE, IT'S YOUUGE" — watch it here. Check out the ironic, not so subliminal sponsor:

Lawrence explains ... nicely done:

And Bill Maher brings it home: "Barack Obama is one efficient, steely-nerved, multitasking, Black Ninja, Gangsta President!" Hmm ... Didn't I say something about a President with "nerves of steel" who "multitasks" while making fun of Trump at the White House Correspondents dinner? Happens a lot to our Zeitgeisty little blog; only we always seem to get out in front of the cultural zingers:

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Trump v. Palin Via SNL

Tina Fey is BACK as the definitive Mama Grizzly!

Derby Analyst Bragging Rights, The Thinker v. The Daily Racing Form: Guess Who Won?

Of the so-called “experts” in America’s premier racing publication — the Daily Racing Form — whose Derby “Analysis” and “Selections” were published under their name, picture, and byline, only one, Marcus Hersh covering the Illinois racing circuit, was sufficiently competent to select ANIMAL KINGDOM on top.

Marcus is a solid handicapper and deserves honorable mention here.

The other 14, including the CONSENSUS picks which supposedly gathers the combined “wisdom” of these “experts,” had FOUR slots to pick ANIMAL KINGDOM and NEHRO, the Derby 1-2 finishers in any order. Of these, only one other “expert,” Steve Klein, picked the 1-2 finishers 3-2. Of these 15 “expert” selectors, only FOUR picked the 20-1 Derby winner ANIMAL KINGDOM in any of their four top slots.

The CONSENSUS which seemingly reflects the amorphous know-nothing “public” predictably failed to pick any one of the top three finishers.

There must be an intense debate raging around the Racing Form’s watercooler over who gets bragging rights as top Derby analyst: Joe Klein or Marcus Hersh. The CONSENSUS appears to be leaning in Marcus’s direction, if only because he managed to pick the WINNER ON TOP, even if he didn’t have the runner-up.

The Racing Form is an outrageous ripoff at $7 a pop, with the very dubious distinction of being America’s most expensive daily newspaper. Recreational horseplayers for whom the Form, despite its legion faults and near-monopoly on relevant racing information is indispensable, would be much better served by boxing THE THINKER's top three picks in a $1 exacta for $6 to reap a return of $168 versus boxing ALL 15 “expert” Form selections for a total of $90 and getting in return, exactly — NADA. ZERO.

Not to speak of playing my top pick ANIMAL KINGDOM to win and collecting an extra $43 for a $2 bet.

So much for the Idiot Punditocracy being quarantined to the Beltway. It has metastasized to media outlets with a demand for “experts” and pundits to explain the complexities of actionable information in simplified ways. The quality and accuracy of their information is not important, so long as they deliver it with authority and faux “expertise.”

On the rare occasions they’re exposed, as in this compare-and-contrast takedown of the vaunted “Analysis” and “Selections” of the Racing Form, they remind us more than anything else of the man behind the curtain in The Wizard of Oz.
~ ~ ~
Clarification: Rosie Napravnik wasn't the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby; but she was the woman with the best chance to win it since Julie Krone won a Triple Crown race back in the '90s. And I didn't mention SHACKLEFORD, the fourth-place finisher in the superfecta, but named the speed horse I thought would take the lead, COMMA ON TOP, rather than the other one above. They're interchangeable if you play speed v. closers. Needless to say, I didn't hit the $24,000+ super. My bad. It was totally hittable, given the edge I had in this race. My analysis of the race was spot-on-target.

And I took numbers and named names. Racing Form: FAIL. (Thinker: 1 Racing Form: 0)