Link to title reference.  Jon Langford and an AMAZING roster of fellow travelers banded together to create albums that funded the efforts to suspend the death penalty in Illinois, and it worked.  The gubblemint is not killing people in Illinois anymore.

Yeah; there’s still work to be done.  The recent horrid appalling torturous executions by experimental drug concoctions are pointing out how inhumane and yes, cruel this whole idea is.  Drug companies have refused to make the drugs that are used in executions; American companies don’t do it because they are appalled and there’s no money in it, because it’s low volume especially when compared to the market for boner pills.  Overseas companies are just appalled, and refuse to make the drugs because it is an atrocity that they refuse to be part of.  And so, the states that like to kill people are forced to use strange mixes of street drugs that may or may not kill the subject, like a downmarket cable channel version of Breaking Bad except there’s no good acting and actual real people are tortured and killed.

But after all, I agree with this judge.  Although he supports State Killin’, he says that we should go ahead and allow firing squads, blood brains and all. The drug cocktail death penalty methods were enacted because the other methods were ugly and horrific; but I maintain that state-sponsored murder IS ugly and horrific and if some states are going to do it, make it just as blatantly horrible as it is. In fact, if I were writing laws, I would require states that want to murder people to have the wronged person kill the dude personally.  strangulation, breaking his neck, or smashing his skull with a tire iron. It’s ugly at it’s base; how would those approaches be any more terrible that what happened in Arizona?

john Oliver recently pointed out that America’s prison grift is inherently fucked up.  We imprison WAY more people than any other industrialized nation, and we have actually surpassed China

….Wait.  WHAT THE FUCK?  America, the Lighted Lamp Of Personal Freedom, is imprisoning more people than China, the supposed epitome of authoritarian crackdown?

Well, for those of us who pay attention to news sources other than Fox (News), we know that we have several contributing factors; the racist laws and racist enforcement, the extraordinarily destructive sentencing laws, and the  stupidity of for-profit management of prisons.  We kill the (supposedly) violent offenders, and fill the backend with non-violent and low-level drug offenders.

bs095_cover_1

You know, once upon a time Christians were opposed to killing other people at any level.  Somehow, that has changed to the Vocal Christian Assholes are now the most vocal pushers of the idea that murder of other people somehow does not contradict the whole “thou shalt not kill”

As a former Lutheran, now atheist, I find conformance to the “thou shalt not kill” directive to be not only worthwhile but also an impelling moral directive.  And I am perplexed by the supposed followers of Christ who want to do things like deport helpless and desperate children, and remove health care from millions of fellow citizens, not to mention thrilling when the State murders on of our fellow citizens.

It’s fucking wrong.   every other developed nation in the world has abolished the death penalty.  America used to be considered the Shining City On The Hill; an ideal, that other people could aspire to.  Now we are becoming a horrible, violent, regressive nation that can’t support its own infrastructure.  But GUNS!

 

I am inherently an optimist, and that is part of why I would up in the profession I did.  I am predisposed to working toward progress and solving problems, and I have done that in my career.

But fuck me, I see developments on the worldwide stage that spend tremendous efforts toward green development that makes our meager efforts toward energy efficiency seem crazy.  I want to incorporate all of that into the work I do, and it is resisted by developers and bankers at aver level. In fact I will now commit to introducing solar and other elements will be included in our developments, and it will all be cut out.

But here is the point.  The death penalty is savage and wrong and irreversible.  It is something that America should not allow, if we claim to be a civilized nation. It’s savage and ugly.  The recent travesties point out how wrong and twisted it is.

Between the racism in the front end, and the savagery at the back end, there’s no way it can be considered just, or justice. It makes me barf.

It can’t be considered justice.  It’s not considerate and if you watch the videos, it’s  hardly even humane.  We should not be doing it.  It’s not justice.  At best, it’s vengeance.  And it it is disgusting and appalling and we have to stop it.

We really need to stop murdering people.

Hah.  I did that screaming sideways post about the permanence of the artistic impulse, and PUNCTUATED it with a the 10cc video.  And then bright and early on Monday Morning, Steve Simels posted a link to an acoustic set done by Graham Gouldman and the batch of dudes he is touring with.

For those of you who don’t know; Graham Gouldman has written more of your favorite songs than you ever realized.  Do you know he wrote Cream’s biggest hit?

I was turned on to 10cc by a friend I worked with when I was in high school.

it is weird to admit, but Kell was older than I and had a deformed hand due to the drugs being fed to his mother.  Regardless, he was a sporto and was considered for the Phillies farm team.  He introduced me to old-school Genesis, as well as 10cc; and also insisted that I also upgrade my standards both for alcohol and pot.

It is very weird to look back, but I was mostly into hard rock and metal , as a suburban mush-head teenager.  But Kell helped me move beyond that (admittedly, I had made some strides already, with my affection for Queen).

And after all these years and miles, I still smile when one of those songs come up on iTunes.  Gouldman and the others in the band are so unbelievably talented, that you can’t help bu be converted by their songs.

This is where I usually exhort you to go and pay the fucking musician; but I suspect Gouldman has oodles of royalties.  But I exhort you on the other side of it, if you like tremendous and superb music, go and download this thing.

what the fuck, it includes a version of Dreadlock Holiday.  And he is an Artist of the First Caliber, so pay fucking attention.  And if you love his work, go our and see a live band or pay somebody for music.

Because that is how it works.

But on a personal note, my personal favorite is One Two Five:

 

Yeah, the things we do for love.  That’s good.  But here’s the things: we do some things because we love them, right.  But at some point we (everybody) needs to get paid for doing them.  And the Goofle (not being EVIL) and the Spotify  are not actually paying artists at any meaningful level.

What I learned from 10cc is the ability to be good and great and intelligent, while working within the standard.  Conforming while screwing with the status quo.  A love song that is JUST THAT BIT weird.

 

You want to support musician in this environment of savage race to the bottom lifestyle?  two ways: go to their web site and buy something.  OR: go to a show and buy something.  Or, if you want to be zombie about it, sit your ass down and learn how to play a fucking instrument.  Not only will that give you some idea about how tough it i is to actually play music publicly, it will give you maybe-worthwhile skill when the entire system comes crashing down.

 

Good Morning Judge, indeed.

As everyone knows, the Last Original Ramone, Tommy Erdelyi, died last week.  It may be surprising that I did not post, but gosh, there were so many posts about his passing, including from such as thunderpants, and I chose to let others say what I wanted to.

(yeah, I saw him with the Ramones once.  The second time I saw them I think he was absent)

And in the last week or so, the horrendous news from all parts of the globe made musing on music art artifice about art seem to be trite.  Blowing the shit out of commercial airliners.  Land war in Israel.  Rising oceans, and an appalling humanitarian crisis in our own borders. A creepy unexplained gaping crater in Siberia. Hostile bug-creatures invading Antarctica.  Unimportant in the face of such.  (admittedly, I am facetious about one of them)

Tonight, I watched “Monuments Men” which is admittedly right the hell in my wheelhouse; Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, and John Goodman.

As I saw it, the theme of the movie was about the importance of art and music and yes, architecture to humanity, how it is part of our shared culture.  I have often talked to meatspace people about how I feel that aesthetics are crucially important and that design failures are nearly as tragic as other kinds of failures; I talk about this with my robot building kids, and now our robots look as good as any on the field.  In architecture, not only does a failure in this built environment contribute to a diluted and debased environment, but in a more meager lifestyle.  Reduced to viewing your city through the windshield of a car, going from garage to garage and isolated from any fellow human beings.

Used to be that even the factories of America used to care about how the things they produced looked; and how use would be integrated into that (yes, sometimes they failed.  As everyone does from time to time).  But now, when we don’t outsource that design to cheaper labor countries, it is usually half-assed and mainly people just follow Apple’s lead, creating knockoffs hours after their latest items are displayed.

The movie made a point that true fascist recognize that they have to control the artistic impulse and make it unavailable to people not of the 1%.  Yeah, take the art made by the poors but keep it for the review of the rich and powerful; even if they have no ability to be moved by it.

I believe the constant push to commodify artistic impulses – music; art; movies – is not only driven by the Madison Avenue need to make money at everything, but that it also serves to cheapen the IDEA of art for Art’s  Sake.

Because Art is something that can’t be controlled.  Artistic expression on it’s own can’t be controverted and turned toward specific ends.  It’s very nature means that it will express itself to it’s audience in ways that the audience determines.  That is why, as recently noted in an LGM thread, conservative whine-nozzles are STILL complaining about Duchamp’s “fountain” or “Piss Christ”  fucking DECADES after they were initially exhibited.

[admission.  I have seen DuChamp's work in person, and it still retains much of it's transgressive power, especially considering that it is in a series of galleries of modern and sometimes intentionally disturbing work.  THAT is the sign of true art, my friends and guinea pigs, that it continues to elicit strong emotions TEN FUCKING DECADES later]

Punk music was resisted by every means that could be brought to bear.  Police beat punks, the record labels refused to release it, punk clubs were shut down and the whole thing was treated as a further sign of societal decline.  Yet still; a couple of decades later:

I bought that album when it was released, and it didn’t blow up until several months later, knocking “Thriller” off the top spot.  And later, seeing the co-option of his music that and his other demons, added up to Cobain blowing his brains out in his own house.

Art scares the ever living fuck out of authoritarians.  Always has.  The Ramones scared them  Nirvana scared them.  Rock and roll scared them.  for fuck’s sake, POINTILLISM scared them.  Frank Lloyd Wright scared them.

Fuck me, the SEX PISTOLS scared them.  Have you listened to that Sex Pistols album lately?  It is so tediously mainstream that it makes you wonder why anybody paid attention.

Anyways, I really liked the Monuments Men, but that’s probably just me.  People who know more about movies say it was mediocre, and who am I to disagree?  I know it was pretty predictable, and even the Matt Damon/Cate Blanchett near miss was predictable.  But I found the underlying issues of what it means to have a culture, and what that is worth, to be a good thing to put out there.

In these days when savages are once again killing people indiscriminately and giving not one shit about the culture they are mowing under their tank treads and blowing to pieces with ordnance that, like as not, comes from our lovely MIC (thank you Darth Cheney may you rot in my backyard forever just so I and my descendants can piss on you daily until the Earth is consumed in the expanding sun) – I think it very important that we continue to consider the loss of our human cultural heritage.

Guernica 4

I think that the impulse to Art is something that humans have found to be kind of a package deal with our big brains.  We find the need to express our fears and loves and terrors and loves… in any way we can.  We bleed out onto the pages of books, into songs, onto canvases, carving stone and creating skyscrapers that make our souls sing.  And when a Van Gogh or a Mozart or a Calatrava creates something ineffable, thousands will respond and the destroyers will only think to break and crush.

And even if they manage to destroy the pieces of art that have been created, they will fail because we -those of us who find some connection to some ability to create something out of nothing- will only be further inspired by that destruction.

guernica

So let’s bring this back around to one of our punk forefathers, echoing a song from a descendant of American slaves

 

 

As humans, we make art.  we will continue to make art, spitting in the face of every damnable force that tries to stop us.  We will sing, and write and paint and play music and we will not stop; you can’t kill us all.  we will draw inspiration from the past and we will never EVER QUIT BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN.

soundtrack to this post:  Mekons.

OK, one of these days I have to update the Summerfestblog and close out the season, but I am so far behind in work after taking all that time off, that I find it necessary to DEFER PREPARING INVOICES.  Sheesh.

 

But, and in an emergency video post that will irritate Von because I did NOT break a sweat, here is a video that will probably only amuse me and paleo.  But since he is all concerned with his wife, dog and fishies, it will probably just amuse me:

 

 

Oh, and ya’ll were just ducky loads of help in naming that building.  No, that was great.  :/

The Stage Names

Posted: July 3, 2014 in Fridge Note, Shovels

we interrupt this Summerfest to bring you a bleg.  Hey!  Is it my first bleg?  Maybe not, I recall a SPECTACULARLY unsuccessful request for names for our new kittehs (which, for the record were finally officially named Cat Scabies and Princess Monster Truck and they blame all of YOU).

Anyway, we are working on this project:

6:23:14 massing alternate

And going forward we need a more romantic, attractive name than “largish mixed-use building that is alarming the neighbors”.

So, what do you guys think?  What name do you think this building should have?  For serious now, no “Zombizzle heights” or crap like that.  Break out the shovels and liquor, be creative!

 

Hey, new content at SummerfestBlog.  Go there, nuthin much happening here.  Except mocking Turdwaffle and his Bald Spot.

We have a summer thunderstorm tonight, and Lucy the Orange, Leaky-ass Chickenshit Dawg is hiding under the bed, while the cats are trying to figure out whether they should be chasing the lightning, the raindrops, the hail; or just generally being shit-scared of the sturm und drang.

the quintessential "all bark no bit" guard dog

the quintessential “all bark no bite” guard dog

Animals.  well, at least they make more sense than Republicans.  Although they also manage to get existentially scared of stuff that really doesn’t threaten them at all.  I like that idea:  The Modern Republican Party:  Terrified and Hiding Under the Bed.

Speaking of which, an excellent discussion of Turdwaffle and other Republican dirtvergers over at LGM.  Based on a superb article kneecapping Turdwaffle at the New Republic; further extrapolation at Political Environment.

Post title is a cheap ploy to get Mendacious D to pop up into the bloggerhood again through referencing a Japandroids song.  It is a faint hope; but I continue to beat my head against the walls that the bloggerhood have throne up.

Also, BG is trying to put together a stoned overnight in Colorado to watch Genesis videos.  She’s weird.

It needs to be said that after dithering for half a year, I pulled the trigger for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.  And amusingly enough, we got slightly better seats than my friend who bought right out of the gate.  Anyways, between that on Friday and the Old 97s on Sunday, we are continuing a big ramp up to the Big Gig.  Not to mention the Elvis show of last week, or the Something To Do rock party last weekend.

Me, I finished up the model diagram of the silly little strip building I am working on, and tomorrow have to move into some SERIOUS code work on a 7 story building.  But in the interim, you know who I’m thinking of?

Oh yeah, Chrissie Hynde has released her first solo album, Stockholm and do I have to tell you it is fine?  Of course it is, and here is here first single, official viddy:

Do I have to tell you?  Of course I’ve seen the Pretenders.  Simple Minds opened up, because Chrissie was pregger with Jim Kerr’s spawn at the time.  Coincidentally enough, it was in the same hall which I saw the Clash and will be seeing Nick Cave this week (albeit it has now been drastically remodeled).

(on the same night that we saw the latter-day Clash,  Frank Sinatra was at the adjacent shell; my favorite was the parking structure that has a sign saying “Welcome Clash/Sinatra Fans” like it was some bizarro world double bill.  A Sinatra patron was busted for lighting a pipe, not filled with anything illegal. Ahhh, Milwaukee during Harold Breier’s era.)

And here is how she played it live with The Roots on Fallon’s show:

 

Jeebus fuck, no wonder Elvis did his last album with the Roots.