So, this past week saw new music releases from two of my favorite bands.  Shut up and sit the fuck back down and LISTEN, dammit…


First off, is a wonderful one-off by a fair number of the Mekons (billed as Mini-Mekons) teamed up with Robbie Fulks, a caustic and sarcastic punk-country musician from Chicago.  The bunch had toured Scotland a few months back, and recorded an album of re-imagined classics, twisted shanty, and a couple of originals including a version of the Mekons’ “Beaten And Broken”.  (Is it a cover if it is being covered by a significant number of the people who originally performed it?)  They recorded it on the island of Jura, so, without any artifice it is called “Jura”.

“The Mekons are so at one with liquor that with one or two notable-and unsayable- exceptions, no amount ever made them any different”

Needless to say, I find it amazing and wonderful and rollicking and just as out-of-left-field as I’ve come to expect from these folks.

I have been a long-time fan of Robbie Fulks since “Let’s Kill Saturday Night” a perfect distillation of blue-collar desperation and anticipation.

The team up of Robbie and the Mekons was inspired, and sending them to a stormswept corner of the globe inspired them.  The album is a superb side-travel for the band that I consider to be my muse, much as I need one.

I recommend that you watch the Making Of video up top, even for those of you who have little tolerance for my Mekons obsession.  It’s funny and has some good music in the background.  And I ALSO recommend you search out the album on all the typical download sources; I did.  I am also planning on purchasing the large black CD at local record store in the next day or two…

PART THE SECOND:  No Country For Old Hens

Rush also released a CD and DVD of their pretty-much-last tour (and after 40 goddam years, do you blame them?  I mean, the Rolling Wheelchairs are pretty much jokes at this point).  We did not have the opportunity to see them this time short of driving to Chicago, and having seen them for the last three or four tours, we passed.

By all accounts, it was pretty great.  But they always have been, from the time I saw them at the Madison Clamshell in ± 1979.  I always must mention that I took (proto) Wife Sublime to see them on the Moving Pictures tour, and it was pretty much her first ever REAL rock concert, lasers and EVERYTHING, and it damaged her enough that she married me.

R40 was a retrospective look back; on stage they started by playing the most recent stuff, and worked back to the oldest, while the stage was altered to reflect the pertinent eras.  Lovely concept, I have to say as a designer.  On the video, the bumpers were hilarious changes to the cartoon personas.

So tonight I was working, while playing the R40 DVD in the semi-background.  But I first noticed something when they played “Roll The Bones” perhaps one of the most-maligned Rush songs because of the semi-rap portions in the middle.  But this time, they had several guest stars lip-syncing the rap lyrics on the big screen up above, including the Trailer Park Boys and Peter Dinklage.  And suddenly, it seemed that being a Rush fan was no longer a bad thing….

I came to realize that this band, that has changed and evolved and tried new things and struggled and always still been friends and colleagues, has been one of the biggest parts of my life. (YES, bigger than the Mekons, sit down asshole).  I watched them play, and enjoying the 150 minutes they played for their fans.

I know there are many people who shit on Rush.  Never understood it myself, but whatever, you know?  These people give me shit, which doesn’t really bother me because when it comes to art, or Art; what you like is yours and yours alone and justification is not necessary.  Many people say “guilty pleasure” but I have no guilt about my pleasures.

And Rush is one of my greatest pleasures, believe me.  I am so glad I have seen them so many times, and so glad I introduced the young woman who became Wife Sublime to them and then introduced Young Zombie as well.

At the end of the day, they are musicians.  The learned their instruments on the fly, while in high school and playing bars that they were  not old enough to drink in.  They loved music, just as we did, and put that into what they did.  They got better.  They had some success.  They got better.  They challenged themselves to stretch; sometimes it was less than successful, but that’s what happens when you work outside your envelope.

Frankly, that is part of what keeps me working.

OK, I am also a bit of a metalhead, so they are heavy enough to bridge the gap to Genesis.  Sheesh.  Shut UP.

But here’s the thing.  While watching this video, I was tearing up.  Because I remembered the shows in the past.  They moved me and you can mock me all you want; it was my emotions and you weren’t there.  And I am, apparently pretty much always cognizant that I may not be here anymore as of ANY DAMN MOMENT.


It’s not unusual for me to talk about myself through music.  I trust none of you have missed that.

it’s a weird thing to make Imaginary Digital Friends.  After my Event, I found myself curious as to how that would echo down into the Internarfle tubes….I have realized that there are STILL people who have not been informed of the time my heart tried to secede.  But you know what? they are IRL people.

I use my blog and FB to talk about myself.  I have an internet persona, but it’s not too damn hard to penetrate, as I am sure mikey will attest.   But I am not a fake on either side.  When I write, I try to be honest.

Here is where I think the rubber meets the road:


When I reflect, my most loved artists are the ones who are honestly expressing themselves.  Painters, musicians, architects, crazed performance artists, rappers.  Be honest.  And when they are, I love it.  Hunter Thompson.  Lester Bangs.  The Lampoon.

Rush.  Mekons.  Both have spent all their their lives expressing themselves honestly.  Am I wrong?


Learning To Disintegrate

Posted: November 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

So, I am debased to the point of of using FaceBookShit for blogging. It is the filth, that is humanity…


It was a FB post by someone I respect, that talked about the lack of respect by the Kids these Days…

I demurred…

I have to say, Melissa, that I disagree. Our son came up through MPS schools, (not to mention North Shore TKD) and learned respect and thinking at Fratney, Lincoln, and Rufus King. I have worked with the Rieselbachs in teaching martial arts students from the earliest ages, and they are a delight. Willing, eager, and happy to learn respect and skills. I have worked at Riverside with the Robotics team, and have demonstrated the tactics of negotiation and working through practical engineering problems with creativity and determination. Nobody is ever handed an award just for showing up. But the kids who do show up, they are rewarded with amazing opportunities and skills and knowledge. And they love it. I have to say, that the kids I have worked with in all these situations are amazing and delightful. They do indeed, learn independence and problem solving. I might agree that the schools do them a disservice, but mainly because I believe the recent focus on high-stakes testing at the expense of actual teaching time has dealt a huge blow to the ability of teachers to relay these ideas. And further, I believe that the Republican Legislature’s demolition of the teacher’s unions makes it even worse, as the qualified teachers leave the profession. I realize, of course, that I am disagreeing with one of my instructors here…

And it was not so much.

I don’t disagree with any of that. Where I disagree is the idea that this has created the problems that we face in our country. I feel that it is much more to be laid at the feet of corporations who pollute our environment and then send our jobs overseas, politicians who give these corporations tax breaks for doing so as well as monetary benefits to the wealthy and the financial sector while ignoring the needs of our infrastructure and the people who actually live in this country. Political parties who want to respond to every single event by bombing and invading other countries, while ignoring the needs of the military people who do that actual work. People who want to blame teachers for the problems in schools that were created by the dictates of those original people. Politicians who want to be obsequious to the extraction industry by lying about the real threat dude to global warming. In the face of all that, a little disrespect from teens (which has been noted in the writings of old people since writing was invented) seems to me to be not the prime mover in these issues. [/soapbox]

It would have been stupid zombi yammering, except for the intercession of a certain Young Zombie:

My generation:
Uses drugs less than any previous generation
Exercises more than any the previous generation
Has better math and writing skills
Less crimes than previous generations
Fewer hate comments recorded
Fights less

And yet every time I hear people talking about my generation, it’s with disdain. It’s actually because of a phenomenon called “Juvenoia.” I think the single biggest difference between generations is that the stupid shit you say and/or do as an angsty teen™ is recorded now, so people are more aware of it.

I am almost certain Young Zombie, for all his intelligence, has never really heard this song:

hat I think, is that if you spend any real time with kids you come to respect them and love them.  Doesn’t matter of their heritage or home condition.  Small humans are lovely and amazing and if you have the opportunity, affecting them at those early ages is a precious thing.  And while sometimes, the parents are unable or unwilling to support that work; all you can do is to be an example that they may never have seen.,

I know this is a thing; a couple of people in the Robotics team have gone on to do college in Nursing and Engineering, who didn’t think that way.

It makes me warm and it makes me think of the music of this new punk band:


At the end of the day, my biggest argument on the FaceHell, was not in a serious love, but was, boiled down, to the problems faced by our country and society.  And my opponent felt that the basic problem involved how we raised kids.

On the other tentacle, I feel that our biggest problems are elsewhere:

don’t disagree with any of that. Where I disagree is the idea that this has created the problems that we face in our country. I feel that it is much more to be laid at the feet of corporations who pollute our environment and then send our jobs overseas, politicians who give these corporations tax breaks for doing so as well as monetary benefits to the wealthy and the financial sector while ignoring the needs of our infrastructure and the people who actually live in this country. Political parties who want to respond to every single event by bombing and invading other countries, while ignoring the needs of the military people who do that actual work. People who want to blame teachers for the problems in schools that were created by the dictates of those original people. Politicians who want to be obsequious to the extraction industry by lying about the real threat dude to global warming. In the face of all that, a little disrespect from teens (which has been noted in the writings of old people since writing was invented) seems to me to be not the prime mover in these issues. [/soapbox]

Bad zombie is being bad…


Come on, that was the most obvious title, wasn’t it?  But this may not be:

It has been remarked (mainly by me on the Facehell) that this whole idea that we need to restrict immigrants from the Middle East (which, to the xenophobic  idiots populating most of the right side of our political spectrum, means brown folks that aren’t Christian enough to handle snakes_) is not only stupid, transgressive, and un-Christian; but that based on the Constitution this crap is not only Un-Constitutional, but also based on one of our major American Symbols (provided by France, by the fucking way):

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Dammit, white folks, you all got here because your ancestors fled some shitty conditions in their home countries.  Do you really think white folks were the Natives in North America? I guess you do, because most of you are fucking xenophobic morons.

Special note to my favorite target Turdwaffle:  I guess your inability to graduate from college is representative, because you seem to be really fucking stupid.  The FUCKING CONSTITUTION does not allow you  to say we don’t want refugees.  If you really give a shit, let the Syrians come to Madison and Milwaukee, who already have a thriving (and non-terrorist) culture of various ethnic groups.  I look forward to some awesome Syrian restaurants opening really soon…

So, y0u paranoid, xenophobic idiots that, while you got elected to various levels of  office, have decided that understanding the actual text of the documents governing our goddam large, silly and kind of twisted country is less important than being obsequious to ALEC or a very few repulsively rich asswipes who may fund your future campaigns: let me tell you that not only are you stupid as fourteen open-end ratchets in a vacuum-bag, you also are not able to understand what the actual Constitution (which you claim to be fully devoted to), but you also misunderstand about what AMERICA IS FUCKING ABOUT.

DO YOU REMEMBER?  the ideas taught us in public school (and maybe this is a big part of the reason that the push is on to eliminate public schools) was that we were a country that accepted people from all kinds of other countries, especially the ones that were, in desperation, coming here in hope for anything better than the horrid things they were trying to escape…


Germans. Irish.  Mormons. Of course, the Jews during WW2 were turned away, because some of FREEDOM.  Asians, who were interred.  Hispanics, who lived in much of the southwest, but are still being treated is interlopers.  Blacks, who were stolen from their homelands and enslaved, and were not treated (legally) as equal citizens until…yeah, the 1960s.

Holy fuck, white people. We suck.

Can we try to do better with the people fleeing the horror of the Mideast (which we should, by all rights, accept that we have some responsibilty for).?


Well, let’s ask the many other governors who are apparently unable to understand the actual Constitution.

So I wish to offer these to graphs:



and here’s the actual legal version:



So, like I have said many times before, fuck yourself, Trudwaffle, You have been told by your oligharch supporters that everything you do at their behest is best and legal (and the second part of that is optional).  Your decision, in a rush of public xenophobia, is weak and sucky at best.

You are a weak, suburban white kid at best.  When I grew up near Madison, I started to learn the love of other cultures on State Street.  When I moved to Milwaukee, I found that the lively immigrant culture has given us some amazing restaurants and a vibrant-multi-cultural environment. The thing I see whenever I go enjoy any of these cultural parts, restaurants and festivals, is that they are effusively welcoming of me as a white germanic guy.

You know what?  I think we ought to respond by doing the same thing to immigrants and refugees.

Dammit, I love their food and their culture.  If you ignore it, you are not only being ignorant, but you are shutting down the possibility of finding new friends.


Go Fuck Yourself Also Too


Apparently not.

Fuck you , Turdwaffle.  The French have been so exemplary in that many people have offered their houses to displaced citizens…

In contradiction to our stupid fucking moronic governor who is stupid…

I would offer my zombie house to any Syrians who can get here.  Out governor is not representative of us; we in Wisconsin have always opened our doors to immigrants; Holy shit, the germanic heritage is due to the idea that we allowed for immigrants that were not acceptable to the eastern states.


OK, I have made much sport over the fact that I don’t like Lucifer, the orange, leaky-ass dog and she don’t like me neither.   She likes to steal my seat on the couch..


But here’s the thing; I like dogs, and cats, and most animals.  Like em better than most people, most times.  So even Snag’s Lucy was endearingly over-enthusiastic


(admittedly, I only had to endure her work for short periods of time; on a daily basis, maybe not so much.  On the other stump, Paleo’s Jaxon is a fucking delight to share a back seat with, especially coming home drunk from First Avenue).

But, here’s what has changed:  Me.  Since the Event, I have been told in very direct terms by any number of Health professionals that I need to change my ways. Usually accompanied by some variation of “and you need to do this for the rest of your life” delivered in as dark a tone as they feel they can get away with in a health-care setting (which makes me kind of chuckle, as I am conversant with serious foreboding in stupid horror movies, until I remember they are are talking about ME).  And one of the things they impressed on me is the need for daily exercise.  “Unless you want to die” is the unsaid half of that dire warning.

So one of the things I did is bought an extensible leash (Lucifer likes to range) but she also like to work fast, so she maintains a decent pace.  And in the summer, I went on many walks with her; the extensible allowed her to go up ahead, and to linger over smells, but only to an extent, because we needed to MAINTAIN A PACE, you foul beast…

And so now, whenever I get up and even make a motion toward the shoes, she gets excited.  “Walks? Walks?  WALKS WALKIES WALKIES”  Sorry, you damn pathetic beast, I am going to work.  In the oncoming fall, I have gotten back to my taekwondo family (instructor is also a cardiac therapist at the hospital that takes the REAL hard cases) and I joined a gym near my office where I can do an hour or so of mild, middle-aged style cardio.  It’s gonna be winter…

But I have a partner, Wife Sublime.  And she has been working crazy to make things happen for a large globe spanning corporate megalith that has also footed my bill for the recent Event, so I am hardly one to bitch.  So today, I did laundry, i cooked, and went to the grocery, and I took Lucifer to the dog park.  Made dinner, simple as it was.

Which she needed. (Both of them).  But Lucifer needed some Dog Time. She gets restless.   She is, as best we can tell, pretty much a pure-bred hound dog called a black mouth cur and we figure that she was abandoned by a puppy mill because she had a few white stripes across her snout.  Yeah, we got her from a rescue situation, what did you expect?

She is now old enough that her snout is mostly white (as is my hair, let’s be plain) but she still needs much exercise and as a hound, she needs to sample the smells in the neighborhood.  She also needs to run, and the dog park gives her some room.  And many other friendly dogs (some overly friendly, we watched one mount another).  Good doggy fun no matter, and she poops more than I really wanted.

She now likes me more than I expected, and the way she looks up at me when we walk on leash is heart-melting.  It almost makes me forgive her for the way she yanks the shit out of my arm…

Dammit.  I never expected Lucy, the orange, leaky-ass dog to be my avenue to being more healthy, let alone to being more composed.  Dammit.  This is what happened with the last damn dog.

Shit.  I know how this ends.

Wisconsin based band who moved to Austin, had an unexpected huge hit, then couldn’t deal with the one-hit wonder strangeness.  Still better than anyone ever expected, and Pat McDonald is still gigging around….

Anyway, I encourage all of you to gang together and get me this:

Making my own bourbon.  ZomBourbon.  Come on, that’s a win!

Also, here’s a lovely Christmas Cover song by the Wonderful duo of Blue Girl and Neddie Jingo:

It’s a big pretend gig, isn’t it?  Every politician pretends to be an obsequious Christian of some version, then is found to violate almost all of the personal statutes, and then professionally violate them all by screwing the poor and abetting the rich.  AND being self-righteous about their living right next to Jeebus all the while.

you know, it’s time to fuck them.  The idea that their adherence to the thousands-year-old doctrines passed down from pre-industrial farmers and shepherds who looked up into the sky and were frightened by thunder should be respected, let alone a basis for governance for a modern, post-industrial world is not only ludicrous, it is repugnant.  It is moronic.  It is Republican.

So, insane love child of a weasel and Joseph McCarthy, Ted Cruz now believes that atheists should not be able to serve in public office.

Hey, Ted:  Fuck off.  Fuck you with a large black dick, one made in Canada.

Tell you what, THEODORE. Let’s talk about works, which I believe your guy Jesus talked about.  I have worked within the poorest communities of the city I live in.  I have worked to improve the lives of people who do not have many alternatives.  I have also worked to teach martial arts to very young people, giving them self-esteem and teaching them to be people who are able to express themselves.  I have also worked to teach women (and men) self defense and the confidence to defend themselves in real life situations.

I have ALSO worked to interest high school students in an urban school system in STEM  careers, through helping them design and build goddam robots.  And I know for a certainty that we have sent some of these kids into college in STEM careers.  They will change the fucking world, Ted…

And here’s the thing, you whiny-voiced shitweasel.  I did all of these things, and more, while not believing in God.  Not yours, not another, not any mushy idea of a “Supreme Being”.  In fact, i bet that I’ve done more things in line with YOUR “god”‘s idea of what people would do than YOU have, you reprehensible half-intelligent lizard.

FUCK OFF, you nasally-obstructed opportunist. Not only do I think I am FAR MORE qualified than you for public office, based on your track record I am confident that I will be better than you at governing.  After all, I do not subscribe to the Tea Party bullshit that government is always incompetent and always bad; but I have seen and experienced the possibilities of government that can operate in the positive.

AS HAVE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, you fucking fucknozzle  fucknuckle (H/T Tengrain, with spelling differences!)

Atheists have just as much right to this country as you do, and if you really want to argue this, I have a number of things called “pressure points” that as a black belt, I would like to show you.  Also, I want too remodel your stupid weasel nose.


ETA:  Oh, yeah, I forgot this.  H/T to that Substance dude…

Go Fuck Yourself Also Too

Hey!  The Republican Stupidity Carnival is a block from my office!

I’d go over there, but there are no branes to be had.  Many helicopters overhead though.

Also, the parking prices are surprisingly low, considering it’s also a Bucks game night, and Wicked is also in town.  I would say you could probably soak those rich fucking right wing asshats a bit more, parking dudes!  Although soaking the Bucks fans seems kind of like kicking them when they’re down…

So, I think an Elvis song is appropriate…

Also, because Gawd and Jeebus will be claimed at every pause tonight, here’s a bit of XTC:

And, just because I went on a Mekons tear recently and still haven’t come down, here’s a favorite song, Orpheus:

here’s the pertinent lyric:

I will teach them from my lesson
I will teach them from my song
I will speak of all lives wonder
Where I land will be renowned

Where I land will be the fortress
Of this fight against the tides
Tides of rotten patriarchy
Tides of greed and tricks and lies

Whoah, the condensed stupid is leaking out and running down the gutters…