Archive for the ‘It’s not the heat, it’s the humanity’ Category

I have found it to be remarkable how the Presidential debates have developed.  On the right, it has been a cavalcade of hatred, bigotry, lies and slander, ugliness and fascism.  Otherwise known as Republican Politics.

On the Dem side, the debates have been mostly civil, respectful, and much filled with actual content and actual ideas for improving things.

I suspect Hillary and Bernie had a discussion prior to getting into it, to agree that the focus was on issues and not attacks.  And good for them!

Hey, did you hear there was another Democratic Debate tonight?  And it was held in Milwaukee, at one of the public universities that Turdwaffle is working to destroy?  Look, you can find this shit, you know how Goofle works, so I ain’t linking.  I have to make this post….

The debate was held 6 blocks north of my house, so I stayed downtown cuz I have work to do and I do NOT need Secret Service dudes questioning me about my state of decease.  Wife Sublime had a shot at tickets, as she is a student (yes I am married to a HOT COED) but it didn’t seem to go anywhere.

From what I hear, the debate was, as the other ones, pretty great.  RESPECT to Hillary for wearing UW-Milwaukee Panther colors, and sorry Bernie, i know men only have the choices of blue, grey and black, but you could have sported a yellow and black tie?

I am not following these debates, because there is no FUCKING WAY I am voting for a Republican Clown, and I like both Hillary and Bernie; I have a pretty good idea what they stand for.  As the Professional Left says, in the general, i will be voting for whoever Bernie votes for.  (Although I might change that to say Feingold)…

Interesting (but maybe only to me) story.  Last time round, when Hillary was running and Obama was the New Kid, WS and I talked and we agreed that we were both leaning Hillary.  And then I voted Obama in the primary; WS seemed hurt.OK, I understand. Since then, Obama has proven himself, so THAT seems OK.

I like both of these candidates, quite a bit.  Bernie’s heart is in the right place, and Hillary is smart, talented, and experienced and I think much of the criticism she receives is based on her husband’s tenure.  And much of the remainder of her criticism is based in barely disguised sexism.  Having reviewed her history to some extent, she seems to be much more progressive than she has been able to expose to date.

 But here’s what I have seen;  Clinton is MASSIVELY experienced, more than nearly any other presidential candidate in many years.  She is battle-hardened, she worked with Obama in his administration, she has connections out the wazoo.  Yeah, she was cozy with Wall Street.  But she was their Senator, you know?  People try to blame her for her husband’s work, but isn’t that stupid?    If I poop my pants, are we supposed to blame my wife?

Let’s be clear.  I do not endorse everything Hillary has ever done.  Although blaming her for her vote for the AUMF is ridiculous; there was only one vote in the Senate against (guess who it was?)  But you know what?  I have NEVER endorsed everything done by any politician.I mean, I am a fucking hippie-punk….I don’t endorse everything ever done by any politician that I voted for…

I confess I WANT to follow up the first African American President with the first Woman President (or first Jewish President!)  and I find no validity to the arguments about electability, which were also brought out in 2008…

I think this difference has been well demonstrated by mikey and a mutual friend on FaceHell.  Mikey has been consistently been beating the drum for Experience and Electability.  To which I say “excellent point”   and the other person says Bernie has the moral high ground.  to which I say “excellent point”!  But no matter how valid these points are,   at the end of the rope there is a very simple two pronged aspect of electability and experience. And as The professor has been demonstrating, there is a huge advantage to being the Clinton in this race (and it should be noted that the Prof, in addition to being an excellent sci-fi blogger and former New Wave musician, has over-performed Nate Silver in predicting the Big Races…

Also, and i do not think this is an inconsiderable part, but Hillary Clinton ‘s time on the world stage is a very significant advantage.  As Secretary of State, she has not only been integral to the current administration, but she has been effective in a fair number of foreign policy advances.

I have said that I will be voting Bernie in the primary and voting for whoever Bernie is voting for in the general (the Professional Left strategy).  However after much consideration, and completely ignoring the Democratic debates (although paying attention to the Usual suspects for reviews).  The Wisconsin Primary is nearly meaningless, but we usually see all the candidates show up.

also, Hillary performed a righteous slam on Turdwaffle, and that makes me happy.

At the end of the day, I really feel that from a strategic standpoint, Clinton is much more powerful in the general, which makes me feel that Bernie will be more effective remaining as Senator; actually, M\ORE effective after the way his successful national run raises his profile…

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Recently, doing some discussion late night with folks on FaceHell about houses and designing houses and how architects actually design houses.  It was late at night on both sides, but I expressed a bitter side of it…

 

I have often said that I am conflicted, sometimes.  I bill a bit less than most attorneys, but I still kind of figure that when I spend time on your behalf, that I should be recompensed.

But what is weird, is here.  Many many people figure that if I work on their behalf and they never go forward with the project, they really don’t owe me anything.  Which is never part of whatever agreement we have (admittedly, I am perfectly willing to spend some amount of time for clients that I have an ongoing relationship with, but that is based on already cashing some checks,even if they are on other projects.  Good credit, you see….)

I have done work for impoverished areas to improve the housing stock, and I have also done multi-million dollar penthouses in the factory district.  I have one client for whom I have done his residence three times….and he is a third generation person who used his parents to help him become a big time developer; he is mostly Republican, although his parents are die-hard Democrats.  But here’s the difference; He has learned, through working for his parents, the value of being a decent developer and he is one of the most respectable people I have ever met in this debased business.

In fact, here was a recent conversation I had with him:

“blah blah blah “

(Side conversation) ” have a good weekend pam”

You’re letting Pam have the afternoon off? (this was like 2 PM on a Friday)\

Shit, on a Friday I am pretty much the only person here.  I am the best boss ever

You don’t have to tell me.  I have had some pretty crappy clients….

His parents are also lovely people, who I have done work for.  They are first-person contacts with the Obamas (so I am 2 degrees, right).  I started working for his father’s company when I was in college, and managed a 24 unit building (a block from where I live now) and later, designing a new office down the hall from my office in a rehab building (they resided in their previous office for like 27 years!) and then designing their offices later when they moved to a a rehab building in the Third Ward.  I have to say that there is no better feeling than when someone keeps coming back to you as a professional….

But I digress.  I came here to talk about the draft.  Wait.  Let me back up.  I was here to talk about Shithead fuckhead people who stiff people who gave them credit.

Like Turdwaffle. Yes, he will eventually find a way for his captive Legislature to turn that back to us in Wisconsin; in fact, they might find a way to make Milwaukee bear the brunt, if not taking it out of the hide of the UW or, in the end, public schools.  So many victims!

Like I said, I am conflicted.  As an architect, my clientele tends toward the wealthy, because who the fuck else can spend and extra 5-8 percent on their construction cost for a turtleneck-wearing motherfucker?  Or more, if that motherfucker has already designed houses for all your parent’s friends? (I don’t wear turtlenecks)

Myself, I have designed several extra-million dollar house projects.  So how am I to feel about those?  When they happened, I sucked up to rich fuckers as as necessary, and cashed those goddam checks, you know I did.

I don’t want to blow my own horn, but I am  fucking good architect, who has had many design awards. But that’s not even the point; the idea is that I do some great works, both outside and inside.

And should I not be paid for that?

I understand, that when it comes to the work I have done for the NFP corporations in the distressed areas of the city.  But When I have done the same work for other cities?  Damn.

After many years, I am fucking great at several aspects:  Code work.  Existing buildings.  design.  GREAT design.  coordination with all the other assholes.

What I suck at?  getting money from dickwads.

 

There is an important, reasonable and reasoned, and emotional post here from Kevin Drum.  Used to follow him a lot, fell out of the habit.  May have to rectify that.

America is resoundingly backward about Death with Dignity.  I am guessing it’s due to the number of ridiculously stringent reactionary and strident religionists that left other countries, mainly because they couldn’t get along with anyone else in their home countries, and saw America as a great place to be as severe and strict as they wanted to be.  And a fanatical devotion to the Pope…

And that has been working out SO WELL…anyways…

I recently did a draft post about our nephew, who some may remember took another way out; he blew his brains out in his parent’s backyard.  He was not sick, that we know of; he was young and had a checkered past and broke and desperate and seemed to find this was his best option; and I am unable to say he was wrong, because it was his life…

But the thing here is that the various Death with Dignity and Assisted Suicide laws do have one thing they pretty much all do:  anyone looking to avail themselves have to get medical reviews.  And if they have other issues, depression, treatable illnesses, weird noses…they get treatment first.

And I have to believe that would have made a difference for Mike.  No. I don’t HAVE to believe that, like it’s something that makes me feel better; I actually do believe it would have helped.  He had issues, he had depression likely; but that is workable.   Treatment and therapy at the least.  Removal from danger vectors (like access to a firearm).

Earlier this year, in the midst of The Event, I was suffocating in an ER.  I stopped being able to focus, didn’t even look at the medical professionals working on me.  Couldn’t take anymore.  Was thinking “here I go, hope I can meet Lou Reed…”  Wasn’t thinking any further ahead at the time, but it was the kind of thing that in retrospect could have resulted in Dain Barrage (“and who would have known” shut up assholes).  And Wife Sublime and I have medical proxies for those things, and I trust her to make those decisions; but if I had non-life threatening brain damage, what do I do?  Unplugging isn’t it, but even as crappy as this brain is, if it stops working I am going to be unhappy…

My parents both went relatively young, and had a very short period of decline.  They were conscious and coherent mostly up to the end, and passed peacefully and we all got our opportunities; both died in hospice without pain.

On the other tentacle, Wife Sublime’s parents both went after extended periods of dementia.  As a newcomer to the family, memory of me was one of the earliest things to go, and while it wasn’t painful because I am only an in-law, it was very uncomfortable at the end…

I have no doubt that WS’s mother would have chosen death with dignity – except she was Catholic.  Not so sure about her father ( mean, he was Catholic; I dunno about his choices).

None of this, of course, has anything to do with the imaginary “Death Panels” trumped up by the Teabaggers; Panels which never existed.  End Of Life counseling, which existed before the PPACA and still does, has little to do with that paranoid fever dream…

I am an educated white guy who is clinging to a middle class existence in an urban environment.  I am willing to bet that if it comes down, I will be able to find the support I need for Assisted Suicide, or Death With Dignity, whatever you want to call it.  But as a liberal, I hate that this situation gives people from lesser resources little ability to make the same choices, except for horrid ones like a damnable gun .

Like my nephew.  FSM love you Michael…

 

 

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:

refugees

 

and here’s the actual legal version:

 

12247058_10153221340777006_8941382203842784063_n

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.

 

I have an ongoing discussion with mikey about music economics, (NOT AN ARGUMENT DAMMIT!) mostly on FaceHell but that must wait, let it be, let it be

Also, there is much to be said and shouted about TurdWaffle and his misbegotten imaginary Presidential ambitions, not to mention the depredations he is inflicting upon Wisconsin, a once beautiful and progressive state.  I am thinking I may need to bring back more frequent blogging just to drain the pus he is creating within my psyche.  Expect some Fuck You Fridays, o my yes…

But all of that must be put aside Because there is MUSIC.

Many people came to Robyn Hitchcock during a brief mid-80s dalliance with MTV stardom; although he ultimately proved too weird, and the channel moved into hair metal and rap and then into reality television, so he was likely better off; who wants to see Robyn drinking the blood of Hall & Oates in an abandoned warehouse building?  I mean, besides me?

I digress.

I was introduced by a comp tape produced by an architectural student friend, Ken, who had a running competition with one of his friends who was a jock on a campus station out east.  This tape was stellar; it opening with “Pink Frost” by the Chills, then went into “Shadow Of A Doubt” by Sonic Youth.  anyway, it had three songs from the man One Particular Bastard calls Uncle Robyn:

It says something that unlike most songs, you don’t have to put the band name in the search to come up with a relevant link.  Also, I am currently all on the iTunes Radio algorithm, and it just served up a Mekons song (one that features Neko Case vox, no less!) between some Yo La Tengo.  O well played, Apple robots!

I mostly always prefer the Egyptians period of his work, but I have seen him play several times in both incarnations (he asked about the gas station visible across the street, saying he didn’t recall it from the first time he played Shank in 1991).  Saw him with the Egyptians at Summerfest once, natch…

But he is an endearingly weird and engaging performer in any format.  He is obsessed with sex, fish and death, although he also played a song more-or-less tailored for Wisconsin:

I almost passed on this show.  I am swamped with Klark Kent duties, robotics is eating my branes, and winter is consuming our souls.  But Wife Sublime questioned that decision, so I pulled the trigger and SO GLAD she made me change my mind.

He is touring with an Aussie named Emma, and although she is diminutive, she has amazing pipes and she joined him for several songs.  Their voices blended wonderfully; but the real payoff was when they brought out Yvonne, ostensibly their driver, for the final song.  Their encores were all covers, and while one might expect them to be the covers on his recent album (The Crystal Ship and The ghost In You, for the record) ONE WOULD BE WRONG.  One of them was Love Hurts, and actually my favorite cover of that is by Milwaukee expatriate Kevn Kinney (yes I spelled that right, dammit)….

…umm, where was I?  O yeah, the final song.  The three of them, Robyn, Emma and Yvonne did an AMAZING version of Brother Lou’s song “Pale Blue Eyes”, trading verses and join on the choruses and was it sweet?  You tell me, but if you don’t think so, we might as well fight right now.  As I told Wife Sublime, I could sit there drinking beer and listening to the three of them sing songs all damn night…

plus, I need to have my hairdresser work my melon into this hairstyle.  Dammit, my hair is almost PERFECT.  maybe a bit more wavy.  But we can make it happen:

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I have mentioned that I had been on the periphery of the Milwaukee music scene in the 80s and 90s.  The owner of Shank Hall is an acquaintance of mine from college days – I did load-ins and load-outs for the gigs he booked on campus, and once spent a drunken afternoon setting up his expansive entertainment system in his apartment (he is legendarily fumble-thumbs).  I knew the sound guy working tonight, and later this week we are seeing one of my favorite local artists, Scott Wooldridge at the same damn place we were tonight.

I have seen Scott and his bands since they moved up here from Indiana, and helped them finance both his solo album and the upcoming Wooldridge Brothers album…I have requested a long-dormant song (named after a street we lived on at the time) and Scott has said he will see if he can dredge up the chords.  But hell, since I am credited as a “Contributing Producer” on his album, maybe it will happen!

I have had a not-wonderful early 2015, but as anyone who reads this bloggo knows, nothing evens my keel like music, especially live music.  I have like 8 shows in the next 4 weeks, several with one of my best friends; one of them is Wussy in Chicago, for which both of us are so stoked that we are willing to STAY SOBER ENOUGH TO DRIVE HOME!

Wife Sublime and I are in love with live performances; she leans toward theater, and I lean toward music.  Both of us, however, are completely captivated by the efforts of artists on some kind of stage, blowing their best out at you; the electricity of performer connecting with an audience is one of the best things humans do.  It connects us; it grounds us.  It reminds us that we are social, it reminds us that we are all artists.  In certain cases, it inspires some of us to stand up, to pick up a guitar or a script or a paintbrush or a camera or….whatever.  It reminds us that humans, despite all evidence to the contrary, are still a Creative bunch.

OK, that creativity includes the Romantics.  Shit.

I tend to like latter-day Marillion better (probly because that’s the period I’ve seen them live) but this makes all the Fish days worthwhile:

 

after dominating the entire game, the Packers had a couple of breakdowns and some stupid bad luck that tossed the overtime to the SeaChickens.

Well, at least they didn’t need incompetent refs this time around.

So, the Bradys and the Seachickens in the Stuper Bowl.  A friend will be having a party, for which I will be preparing the traditional jambalaya.  And we will be hoping that the halftime entertainment will explode and take them all out.