Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Well, this was quite remarkable.

It was just as impressive as one of Obama’s better speeches, in its way. Oh, it wasn’t as soaring or spiritual, or soaring. It was pragmatic and grounded. It avoided grandstanding after accomplishing one of the most groundbreaking bills in history, while highlighting the idiotic mindless resistance of the GQP, who have apparently become fully possessed by 8Chan.

It emphasized how far we’ve come, and never once mentioned that the Former Guy left them with no actual plans or actions in place to combat either the economic disaster or the pandemic. Contrary to what Fox News sputtered in their response to this, Grandpa Joe went to great lengths to say this was for everybody in the country, not just his tribe. He even broke the plane of the podium to actually reach out, saying “I need YOU– All of you” yo help us bring this across the finish line, to play all four quarters and not feel like the accomplishments in control and vaccinations now allow us to get all kinky on the CDC guidelines.

Watching the inset ASL translator, I am now thinking I need to learn ASL.  She was great.

Even The Rude Pundit was moved to appreciation and mild optimism:

https://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2021/03/random-observations-on-presidential.html?fbclid=IwAR2ytgeamxZZAZzon0T6FIVbsKbIVTeLPzzmF8ZVEajg5xh53TU8DADXmmg

Yesterday, I talked with a longtime client. Hell, he’s more than that; I managed an apartment building for his father when I was in college, I have designed both he and his father’s offices more than once. I have designed his residences three time as his life has progressed. I have worked for three generations of his family, and I have to say he is also now a friend.

We had an issue on a current project that took about 4 minutes to resolve. there were a couple other things that we touched base on. But then we spent another 40 minutes talking about how we were dealing with the pandemic, about how he and his parents got the spike, and how he and his family have been dealing. He talked about getting the spike for his family, and that they are all having a family vacation in Florida, since his parents have had both doses too.

His office has been staggering office times, and they have all been keeping doors closed. In fact Have been sending everything digitally, and asking them to send my payments to my house, since I have only been going to my office once a week or less.

we are now friends , over the work we’ve done.  We have produced a few hundred ;living units in the city, and thousands of commercial square footage.

So we talked for like an hour. what we needed to talk about on our project took a bare number of minutes.  But as colleagues and friends, we talked at length about how much relief is felt, and how much relief there is that the Former Guy is in the rearview.

The palpable relief in the phone call was remarkable. We both acknowledged that our shitstorm is not nearly done — and there is certainly more we might not even see on the horizon– but that after 4 years of every day being continual horror show, suddenly we don’t wake every morning grabbing our phones in trepidation of what kind of shitting he has done.

His parents are both ardent Democrats, and he has, as is typical for kids of wealthy parents, has been a bit different. But in our discussion, the current political shit is not acceptable.

It is so totally amazing that we don’t have that every morning these days. And for my client, I am so chuffed for what he is able to do with his kids, who get to visit their cousins and grandparents, what a great relief and joyous time. (he celebrated by sending me a check!)

But the discussion we had is the thing. We have a President who is effective and is really great at what’s is needed in this moment. And he has put into place strong, effective and smart people to make this stuff happen. They have turned Vaccine delivery into a fucking machine, even if Q idiots refuse it. The previous administration didn’t give a shit about the operation of …well, anything, really. Smiling Joe has installed an administration that knows how government works, and is making out work.

Smart competent people repairing things and making them run. Dammit, it make me happy.

Goddamit it makes me feel optimistic.

There is a light in the black. Doctor Who spent several episodes working on this, and it was never properly closed.

And Monday night, the light started to break. And we started to close that crack.

I started writing this on Monday night, but frankly, the drinks won out. The sheer relief at having made it through, and watching that THING be hobble by his lack of Twitter was more than a bit schadenfreudelicious.

But not before this bit of wonderful writing came in over the transom from FB friend Peter, about…well you know:

As I think back, a few moments stand out to me. I remember in late november of 16, still shocked and depressed by the outcome, walking around the lantern festival in westchester county, trying not to be so morose as to ruin it for the kids, and mostly managing by keeping my distance. It was a crisply cold night, with clear skies, and that familiar chill coming off the Hudson. It reminded me so much of my youth in NY, and yet the feeling of catastrophe very much the opposite of the feeling of safety I associate with childhood.And in February 2017, coming back to the US from a trip to Iceland (shitty place, btw, skip it and go elsewhere) to an America already changed. Detention at the airport of muslims and trump critics. Lawyers lined up outside offering probono help to those targeted for discrimination and intimidation.Nazis in the streets murdering people – evidently such murderers are “very fine people.”Children ripped from their parents and caged like animals.People dying in federal custody simply because of neglect by those officers charged with their care.Lies innumerable. And remarkably with no accountability for broken promises. We’ve blown the two-week timeframe for the GOP health plan by many years now.A rush to execute federal prisoners lest the incoming administration not murder them.400,000 Americans dead – and counting – for no reason other than a narcissist’s inability to consider anything important that does not feed one of his appetites.And so much more.I am grateful, relieved, and exhausted that in less than 24 hours Trump will be out of office. But the damage to our country will take much more than a change of administration to repair. And I doubt I will ever feel about this country what I used to. That’s probably not a bad thing, but it is heartbreaking to realize how shallow the veneer of goodness really is when 10s of millions look at the last 4 years and say, ‘more of that, please.’

As I responded to him, my memories of that night was watching the returns become bleaker as the night went on, and I became drunker. Wife Sublime popped out of her office to go to bed, saying “how does it look” and I said glumly “it looks bad.”

And it was. And it actually became worse than we ever imagined. No one ever thought it was going to end with an attempted insurrection. By internet-fueled cosplayers. Incited by Trump, and supported by Republicans at several levels.

Tuesday morning broke, and DC was completely calm. the Inauguration came off without a hitch, and it was fucking beautiful. All the real presidents were there (except for Jimmy, and I think at this point he deserves a fucking pass) And the Prominent Women were in coordinated jewel tone coats and suits that were plain lovely.. AnThe poem by Amanda Gorman was fucking gorgeous and brilliant and fuck me she’s FUCKING ONLY 22!?!?!? and let alone the fact that we are making up for lost time with TWO white house dogs, but also a WH cat, but having fucking top shelf ART be part of it again? I plotz.

The pomp was mostly passed by (although after the fact, I saw FLOTUS gown, and it was lovely and inclusive and understated Absolutely knocked out of the park) , because our new POTUS and VPOTUS took the “Day One” normal boilerplate seriously; Biden signed 17 Executive orders (and never bothered with the conspiracy idea of the 3-fold-video display, like a first grader showing off his finger paintings.

Well, look, I am a bit giddy. Trump left in ignominy and bitterness, and facing a life of lawsuits and (more) bankruptcies. We have a new Administration, and an entire country (well, a lot of us) who are now dedicated to repairing the damage and rooting out the rot — meaning destroying the fucking Republican Party.

And. That shit ton of fucking damage It and his servile fascist party has done for four years.

as I said to a friend, it is refreshing to not wake up every morning, yelling like Dorothy Parker “What Fresh Hell is this!!!”

Also, White House Press conferences now seems a pleasure, not an exercise in terrible mendaciousness. Although I am sad we won’t have more opportunities to see Melissa McCarthy drive that motorized podium around. Maybe the new Press Sec can borrow it for a quick run.

Anyways, so as I said I am a bit giddy, and here we are Friday, and Here it is tomorrow.

The New OK

Posted: October 29, 2020 in Body Count, Fuck You Friday, Uncategorized

It is incomprehensible that Fucker is even within the last 2 minute magic of winning this shit. American white supremacism is resounding in a way nobody expected.

Well, the polls in Wisco show Biden up either by 7 or by 17 (i read a commentary by public functionaries on the red west side of the state, who had a compelling on-the-ground response of the underground rebellion against Trump and the Wisco Republicans, and how the results of hardcore Republican nuttiness is damaging their lives) . count em and deal em. Frankly, I think the polls are pushing the numbers down because they get paid by the media who live for the horse race, and also that they have adjusted their models to compensate for their perceived failures in 2016.

Meanwhile, Fucker is killing his supporters in Omaha by abandoning them on a frozen highway, in lieu of killing them by making them sick. (this is where I would post a song from Eleventh Dream Day, “Frozen Mile” but can’t find an internet version.)

Marquette, a notably reasonable polling operation with slight rightwing bias, puts Biden up by 7 in Wisconsin. Trump’s campaign, who have no more money, abandoned Wisco.

2018 was a wave middle election. This one looks like a fucking tsunami.

I know, don’t count the eggs. But at this point, Clinton only had a cumulative 2 point advantage, which did not include the suppression efforts in the rust belt. Now, we see an advantage of 7 points, and the states that were fucked with last time have gone to great lengths to avoid the bullshit suppression.

But it seems the militias and police are completely fucking ready to roll violence (augmented by completely ridiculous military ordnance they are now armed with) and the paranoid rightwing militias who are armed to kill minorities and liberals.

Trump is already whining about invalidating mail and absentee ballots. And his rigged Court is already threatening changing vote counts if they need to. Considering how competent the Biden/Harris campaign has been to now, and the access to legal brilliance in the Clinton orbit, I have to believe they expect all of it and more, and have war rooms preparing rapid response, if not preventative.

I am normally an Optimistic Zombie. for the last election, I spent a night drinking beers with a good friend and trying to talk him down. later, I apologized for being wrong. I am still optimistic zombie. I have to think this may go the way of breathers. I don’t want to have to shamble you all down and eat you.

But there does seem violence on the horizon. Many paranoid idiots with terrible impulse control, little experience, and WAY too many terribly fatal machines that they view as toys. fortunately, this seems to be the level of competence:

Well, there you go. the perfect Trump voter, One can only hope that he his his testicles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRE9vMBBe10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRE9vMBBe10

But there is this

Goodnight, Lucy. You were a Good Gurl.

Of course, this post is not about any of those things.  It is, however, heavily involved with Robyn Hitchcock, who once used that as a title of one of his albums.  And I felt that a title that directly telegraphed the actual subject was just such a terrible giveaway.

A few years back, Uncle Robyn paid tribute to one of his musical inspirations with Robyn Sings, a cover album where he played the entire Dylan show where he went electric with the Hawks.  For the longest time, that album was the only Dylan album I had (which has since disappeared, so I am trying to figure out which blackout that was.)

Hitchcock (who is one of my favorite artists, and one of my favorite to see live – I have seen him with a band and color many many times, he likes Milwaukee and always plays his Cheese Song.

But the album Robyn Sings made me re-evaluate Bob Dylan, which then led me to the band.  And just recently, I watched the new doc “Once Were Brothers” which made me realize how intertwined The Band and Dylan were.  So then I watched The Last Waltz.  All well devoted time.

So, here’s Robyn Hitchcock, an Englishman raised on Beatles and English pop, who found himself in Dylan’s songs, and then converted them into twisted, punk-influenced neo-psychedelic classics.  And now Uncle Robyn moved to Nashville…

And meanwhile… a young musician from Oz decided that moving to Nashville was the thing that needed to be done.  while she knew almost nothing about Nashville music scene, or indeed American music in any way.  And somehow, Emma Swift met Robyn  Hitchcock and they are now a Nashville Music Couple.   And, while I have seen them play together, they got all about Bob Dylan together and in these times Emma released an 8 song homage to Dylan.  And.  Well.

This is a recent song, and if that old bastard can still write like this, I guess the argument is pretty much over.  But for me, I have pretty much listened to this song AT LEAST twice a day for the last week.

 

And if you want older crap,

 

Go to band camp and download this shit.  I order you.  Or I will eat your fucking brains.

Today, I came into my office for the – what, 3rd time?- in 3 1/2 months.  The first time I came in, the air handler had stopped working and it was stifling hot. Managed to get the owners to fix that. Then, the mailbox lock got jammed and it got replaced, but it still doesn’t work.  Then I managed to get a couple of prints of the things I needed, but the next time I came in, the plotter needs 3 of 4 print cartridges replaced. Paid for and replaced.  Now it is demanding 3 printheads be replaced.  So I have spent $250 on consumables for this fucker. Plotters is difficult.  And expensive.

This is an old one, even the repairman I had in remarked on how it was remarkable I was able to keep it going for so long.  I guess I better start putting aside 5 or 6K for a new one…

The limited opening nonsense is going on, but fuck that, I wear a mask and get take out.  Many do not.  Many are idiots.  At least I can get a lunch from local restaurants.

I had to do much normal maintenance that has been deferred…cleaning the toilet, taking out the trash…

Our office is low density, there is a handful of tenants and most people are being careful about their appearances, working from home where possible.  My office doesn’t really have anyone right now, except me, so it is extremely low exposure risk once I get here.  Travel is all mask-based.

And we all complain about the difficulties of working remotely; but a year or two ago, the Mekons got together across like twelve continents to gather in the southwestern desert, resulting in a brilliant, spare and arresting album Deserted”

But also the way the song keeps saying “you should see us after the rain” and then it devolves into Meat Puppets soundscapes, all spiky and atonal…

But here is the real lesson to be learned, and once again you will be taught by the Mekons. The have always refused to even write an album until they are in the same place, and they were scheduled to be in Valencia to create the next album.  Which obviously had to be canceled. So they pulled back, and figured out how to get it all done, and Dave Trumfio and Lu Edmonds figured it all out.  A true collaborative effort.

They responded to the fact that we can’t be there, by saying we are still artists and we know how to do this.

They did.

Most of you will hate this.

 

You are wrong.

 

Sing For Joy

Posted: June 28, 2020 in Uncategorized

Just watched “Florence Foster Jenkins” and it has much drama involved, and much outside of the life of Florence herself.

It is postulated that she knew that she was a figure of ironic mockery, but that she loved music and singing so much that she didn’t care.

In that, she was the first punk  FUCK OFF IGGY.

Her husband never made love to her, always had a bit on the side, and still spent much of his time making sure that she was never exposed to ridicule for her appearances.  Even without sex, that is a level of love and devotion that is fucking epic.

The movie minimized Cosme McMoone’s ability to be a sarcastic piano player who did not respect his patron but cashed all the checks.  Frankly, he could have been an architect…

But we also saw a performance of  “Souvenir” at the Milwaukee Skylight Theater which was played for comic effect.  And it was fun.

But her story is so much more.

She loved music within every aspect of her life.  She gave up her inheritance, at one point, to continue musical pursuits.  She was moved to tears by musical performances.

She played piano . but what she desired, more than anything, was to sing.  She did not have the talent.  But she had the will, the desire, the discipline to work at it for hours.  She had a loving husband who managed to produce shows in front of people who did not laugh at her. And she played Fucking Carnegie Hall.

In the movie, and the stage show, the line is “people can say I couldn’t sing.  But they can’t say I didn’t sing”

Florence Foster Jenkins, the First Punk.  Many people will tell you that you can’t sing, and you can’t play.  But FUCK THEM. You CAN .  You can sing.  You can paint. You can sing.    no one can tell you that you cant

She loved music more than her ability to perform it.  But that never stopped her.  If she ever encountered an electric guitar, she would have played it like I do.  If she had ever lived in Britain, she would have been a Mekon.

That is nothing but respectable and honorable, and this one is for you, Florence Foster Jenkins.

If I ever release an album, it will be titled “Florence Foster Jenkins”

(the guy in front is Alan Doughty, from Jesus Jones)

A recent comment thread at Lawyers, Guns and Money, reminded me of a minor episode from the past. the moment that brought this up was:

In their mind, once you’ve taken away their impunity (which they are often very happy to use against white people that piss them off too – just that white people don’t piss them off as much because they are racists),

This goes back a few years, and I may ramble.  Fair warning!

Back in the old days, I shot darts in a league (steel tip, none of this fake plastic tip bullshit) and our team was know as the one that would pay our way at the bar-sometimes the bartender would say, ‘yeah, these guys take one drink all night.  You guys, you make it work!’  and after one Dart Night, we went up to a bar near Marquette University, where we bought beers and paid for music.  However, since this was a bar that sometimes had underage drinkers, the police descended, unplugged the juke, and demanded we all get in line to exit.

Since we were all of age, we didn’t care and elected to finish our beers.  However, that did not show the proper obedience.  Some of our group managed to get out the door, but me and another friend did not, and the cop said “you didn’t get in line, so you can’t leave.”  Some of our friends were the last ones to be ‘authorized’ to leave, and one of them turned to see what was going on, and he asked the officers to be able to talk to us about where we could meet after.  The cops told him “THEY AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE, JUST GO ON” and my friend said “no, I just want to talk to them” to which the cops said “HANDCUFFS”

Here’s the hilarious part.  My friend who was cuffed is an attorney.  My missed opportunity would have been to ask the cops if I could call my attorney, and then responded by saying “Hey Pete!  I need a lawyer!” to the guy sitting 10 feet away from me.  Pete spent the episode fuming.

So, I sat there, being obnoxious white guy.  I asked the bartender for another drink.  He told me to shut up.  At this point, I had not ever done anything wrong.  Let’s emphasize that.  We were drunk, but that is still not a crime by itself.  We were drinking in a bar that sometimes had underage drinking but that is still not a crime.

So I was beg horrible and my buddy was trying to be conciliatory, and eventually took our IDs and gave them to another officer, saying, just run these, we’re OK and she snatched them and they were fucking gone.  Meanwhile, I was being obnoxious, getting snacks from the machine.  There were a few underage drinkers sitting there, watching in astonishment while I was completely refusing to acquiesce.  But we still had not broken a single law.

At this point, I watched one of the cops with a terrible toupee arguing with the cop that took our IDs, saying “What the fuck is his record!” and she responded “nothing” and then he said “DON’T GIVE A SHIT, I WANT TO BUST HIM!” and two other cops said ‘he hasn’t actually done anything” to which toupee cop said “I DON’T CARE!!”  I was not being properly subservient.  Yeah, I managed to be a white guy pissing off a white cop.  He was frothing.

Meanwhile, all the time this is happening, my friend Pete who is the attorney has been sitting on a stool on the other side of the room, furious.

Oh, this is where I will mention that Pete is Hispanic.

I was being ridiculous, but this was obviously white privilege.  I would not have been allowed even this level of insolence if I wasn’t white.

Pete was not even out of order, and in the entire episode, he was the only one in cuffs.  I was obnoxious and ridiculous and confrontational, and yet I walked.  It was obviously racist. It was, in a word, Milwaukee.

After an extended time where they were obviously deciding if we had ever done anything wrong (let’s keep in mind that at this point, all we had done is come to a bar), the one police officer came over with our IDs, and an obsequious grin, saying, you guys can go.

This is hardly comparable to the experiences of black Americans, I know.  But after seeing what we have over the past couple of weeks, this memory came back, and the obvious difference in treatment based on race became obvious.  I was a drunk, obnoxious white guy who faced no backlash; my friend, a hispanic who just wanted to double check on our status, respectfully and without being confrontational, was handcuffed.

The most hilarious thing?  We were all pretty drunk, and all they had to do was follow us to our cars for a righteous bust.  Not only imperious, but kind of stupid.

Yeah, we need a revolution in what we consider to be law enforcement in this country.

I’ll bet the Mythbusters can figure out a way to melt the tanks and war pieces in our police ‘forces’

Minneapolis, the central home of polite people, is burning.

There was an innocent black man, choked to death by a white man he had worked with, by kneeling on his neck, for an alleged fake 20 dollar bell.  Kneeling on his neck for 9 minutes while three other cops looked on, and they ignored the pleas from EMTs to release the man and check his pulse. Now a black man’s life is worth a fake 20 dollar bill, which is actually worth nothing.  This was a straight up execution. Because cops know they are untouchable.

This was mere days after police-associated vigilantes pursued and shot a black man for jogging, in his own neighborhood.

Since then, protests have erupted across the country, which are echoing other protests when black folks have been senselessly slaughtered and murdered by white police, or just random white people with guns deciding they are the law.

When not being strapped, white racists decide to call 911 when black people are just in their presence, being black, knowing that the black person is pretty much going to be arrested if not shot dead.

Henry Louis Gates was arrested on his front porch for being black in his own home. I guarantee he worried for his life.

AND NOW.  A black man has been senselessly and ridiculously executed by a white racist violent militaristic cop, who kneeled on Floyd’s neck.  He fucking knew what he was doing, the three other cops let him do it. It was white racist fucks lynching a black man, because they could.

I have a friend that I worked with here in town, and now is an architect in San Francisco, and is African American.  He posted “Living as a black man in America is fucking exhausting.”  I have no frame of reference for that pain.

And now.

Tonight, my city is experiencing a second night of curfew, and the protests persist.  I’ve got a friend reporting on FB from his bike. There are caravans of armored vehicles, and incessantly circling helicopters.  The common game of ‘gunshots or fireworks?’ seems to be nearly continuous.  Parts of the freeway were shut down yesterday.

Trump is hiding in the Bunker, and tweeting every-more insane incitements to violence.  His white supremacist worshippers are listening, too and showing up at protests to try and turn them violent.  There is some organization to the effort, too; pallets of bricks are showing up before the protests start. The police are reacting as expected: they are waging violent war at the least provocation or no provocation.  The are shooting rubber bullets at the heads of journalists, when they are intended to be target to legs. On more than one occasion, this occupying army has been proudly flashing the ‘white power’ hand sign and giggling like Chucky the murderous psychopath doll.

I change my assessment.  America is burning.

This makes me feel like I need to go listen to Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads album, which led me to Mercy Seat, which led me to Johnny Cash’s cover, which led me to the most perfect cover video of a Nine Inch Nails song (aside-that song is playing on a perpetual loop at the Cash museum in Nashville):

And now – now, the dog needs to go outside to pee, and that’s getting harder for her.  We have started the process to bring in another rescue, because after all these years, the concept of not having a dog is kind of incomprehensible.  So, life goes on.  Somehow.

I am not usually one to echo Imaginary Digital Friend mikey’s glum worldview, but I am having a hard time imagining the way forward out of this.  I can imagine Murder Hornets, tigers roaming the city streets,  and a zombie holocaust, but that’s not one my brain can wrap around.

But life will go on.

Won’t it?

I had forgotten how much I loved that Nick Cave album.  But a word of warning; do NOT listen to it if you are feeling fragile.  It is harrowing.  Over the course of the album, hundreds of people are killed. And after all that bloodshed, they did an all-star cover of “Death Is Not The End” which is normally a song of hope for the afterlife but coming at the end of this travelogue of murder, insanity and depravity, becomes more of a threat:

BRING OUT YOUR DEAD

Posted: May 24, 2020 in Uncategorized

America, the “most advanced country in the world” who is actually, somewhere around 25th when averaged, has such poor management and health care that we are now about 12th in the word for deaths due to the plague.

This is so appalling that even the NY Times has made it a front page issue, posting names of the deceased.  But it has been pointed out that they can’t get there, they can only do about 1000.  The number they need to post is 100,000.

100,000

That’s just Americans.  Worldwide is much larger, but reporting numbers from places like Russia and Chine are not reliable.  Actually, I would say the reporting number from America are not reliable either, so thee numbers are almost certainly a fair bit higher.

100,000

One hundred thousand actual people, with families and children and loved ones (and some of them were children) with families and friends and loved ones who not only were not able to be there at their agonizing last moments, but are now left to mourn them with no contact, no ability to make last contact.

100,000

The Vietnam Memorial Wall is currently showing some 58,000 Americans who died there.  The Vietnam war changed American politics forever. Now, we have A plague that has already killed twice as many -and the predictions are saying we are on the way to more the 200,000 Americans before this gets under control.  Other countries have already said that we are so bad at control, that they refuse entry to anyone from the US.

100,000

Zombies acknowledge that Fucknozzle Trump is not the source of the plague.  But it was happening in December of last year, and he was notified.  He couldn’t be bothered.  He was golfing.

In January he was warned.  He couldn’t be bothered.  Too many words. He was golfing.

In February, there were were alarms from the CDC and the  military.  He cut their budget. He was golfing.

100,000

In 2018, Trump destroyed the agencies created in order to respond to pandemics and the people who could have led the effort.

Now we have 100,000 Americans dead due to negligence.  And Trump is golfing.