9.30.2008

Musical Notebook

Nostradamus has granted me, Nosferatu, permission to sound off on more than just my vampiric longings for blood. He has in fact mandated that I blog about music, particularly that under-respected sequence of years 1971-78. He even went into more detail than I would normally expect from such a recalcitrant head blogger, saying:
I want you specifically to explore the connection between the success of Elton John with that of the early Bruce Springsteen. Add in some Billy Joel references to fill out the comparisons if you must, but you have to do this. You understand I would simply blog it myself, but then I care about hipster credibility and would never openly acknowledge having ever thought about any of those artists unironically. You, on the other hand, are totally free from such concerns, thanks to the whole "Creature of the night" shtick. Get too (sic) it!
I resent the implication that my deviant lifestyle is mere "shtick," but aside from that it struck me as an exceedingly good idea.

As I was riding on a stationary bike, listening to my "Nils Lofgren Station" on Pandora, the fortuitous pairing of "Madman Across the Water" followed by the Boss' version of "Blinded by the Light" came on, and I couldn't help but notice the resounding mutual influence of "The Band" on each song. Serious Band influence there, both in the instrumentation and the song structure. The Band's most famous style is a rootsy brand of Americana (or Canadiana), with songs about the marginalized and defeated ("Rag Mama Rag," "The Weight," "When You Awake," and most of all the masterful "Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"), songs that are also marked especially by the piano and a certain semi martial snare drum style.

Now naturally, The Boss is a poor Irish/Italian boy from Jersey, while Reginald Kenneth Dwight emerged out of the Middlesex diaspora in England. Springsteen's music is drenched in a working-class Dylanesque quality, while Bernie Taupin's lyrics are often somewhat disposable and sentimental. But the real comparison here lies in the music, and this brings up the issue of Billy Joel. The parallels with both John and Springsteen are evident: for Bruce's Jersey, we get Billy's Long Island, whereas for all the sentimentality of "Daniel" and "Your Song" Billy counters with the devastating schmaltz of "Piano Man" and "She's Got a Way" (the last of which is truly one of my favorite songs ever).

If we were to chart some kind of trajectory for these three, obviously Springsteen would have the greatest amount of credibility, followed by Joel and then John. His recent "Seeger Sessions" and the 2001 album "The Rising" were both great. Elton has not been that much of a presence since the 90's and his crowning moment, namely, the death of Princess Diana. On the pure volume of money earned, I suspect Elton comes out on top, with Billy and Springsteen vying for second, though this is just pure speculation.

Somehow I wanted to tie in the meteoric rise of Bob Marley throughout the 70s, but the connection is evading me at the moment. In a future Notebook I will have to get back to you all on that one.

9.28.2008

#5 John Mark Karr


First of all, that sky-blue-polo-tucked-into-khakis look was the fashion statement of 2006. Nothing could really top it.

Recently, Karr has closed down his website, sadly, and broken off his engagement to Brooke Simmons.

All I can really do in endorsing this place on the list is point to my past writing on Karr, all of which was completely accurate, as it turns out.

9.27.2008

#6 Harriet Miers


Quite simply, the best legal mind/judicial thinker we've ever encountered, here at Death-Media. Harriet Miers' selection, by Bush for the Supreme Court, was unjustly blocked, and unjustly mocked, by the Left, and it in no way presaged any current events, particularly not the recent elevation of Sarah Palin to Vice Presidential Candidate.

Maybe this is all merely a just revenge on the Republicans for years of attacking affirmative action. It would be fitting if both of these Republican attempts to utilize affirmative action resulted in the candidate being forced to bow out on the grounds of incompetence. The Miers nomination took about a month to completely implode, so the timing would be right for a Monday vanishing act by the Governor from Alaska.

Also, suggestions to the contrary above aside, in both cases the Right is the side most dissatisfied with the pick. With Miers it was because she was perceived as being both insufficiently qualified and possibly too Left-leaning (hilarious) (Also she was held by many to be in Bush's pocket. -ed.). With Palin there is no doubting her Right-wing credentials; she just seems to be an idiot, and after eight years of Bush, people might just be a little wary of another potential idiot-in-chief.

Of course I myself may yet prove the idiot, if I haven't already.

Hilarious



(Via Joan Walsh)

9.26.2008

Debate is ON!

To celebrate, I am posting this Slate V bit about great debate gaffes past, hosted by the devilishly handsome and blond John Dickerson:

9.25.2008

Colbert

Brilliant sketch (via Daily Kos):

Palin's Foreign Policy Explained


In her own words, from the interview with Katie Couric:
"It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where — where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is — from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to ... to our state," she said.

They are right there. Exactly. Game, set, match, McCain-Palin.

Update

It gets much worse: (via Glenn Greenwald)

COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy? Instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That’s why I say, I like ever American I’m speaking with were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the tax payers looking to bailout.

But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Helping the — Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. Shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americas. A

And trade we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive scary thing. But 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. ALl those things under the umbrella of job creation.

This bailout is a part of that.

That was perhaps even more incoherent than the first batch of nonsense. Everyone is on this. Not good for McCain. Not good at all.

9.23.2008

#7 The Stork that Brings Babies


Seen here having just dropped of his latest bundle of joy, we all owe this stork a special debt. After all, following our parents' rigorous negotiation with God, in which they definitively proved their desire for a child, it was this same supernatural fowl that brought us down from heaven.

Sorry, for a second I forgot who I am and my CPU reset to my default setting, Sarah Palin.

#8 Glenn Greenwald


For this sick take down of David Brooks alone Glenn deserves his spot here:
One of the most enduring and intense pundit fetishes is the fantasy that there is a small, elite group of trans-partisan, centrist, responsible Establishment Wise Men -- the Ultimate Safe and Loving Daddy Figures -- who can ride into any political crisis and rescue the warring partisan masses with their Sober and Powerful Integrity.

Damn. Glenn just went all psychoanalytic on that ass. So hard.

Seriously though, Greenwald has seemingly limitless energy. All of his posts are absolute barn-burners; it is really something to behold, and salute!

BTW, did you know he is gay and lives in Brazil half the year?

9.22.2008

Separated at Birth

...And sadly again at death:

Low's Alan Sparhawk





and

Heath Ledger


9.21.2008

#9 Cindy Sheehan


Former face of the anti-war movement (I know, how depressing that baby-boomers are still the only ones leading protest movements. Or are the youngsters just smart enough to have realized that protest movements mostly serve to harden conservative resolve while further radicalizing the right wing "mainstream" that has dominated politics almost exactly since the boomer's protest movement reached its zenith, back in 1968... But I digress...) Cindy Sheehan is currently running to unseat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as an independent.

We all remember what happened back in 2005, with Cindy's heroic protests at "Camp Casey" in Crawford, Texas, as Bush enjoyed his seemingly interminable summer vacation. And we also remember how quickly Cindy was violently swept aside as if by forceful, flood-inducing gale-force winds in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (no pun intended). It was too bad, because, as it turned out, that summer was the closest Americans came to actually caring about the Iraq War. Too bad.

But now Cindy is little more than a relic of a happier time, boldly attempting to remain relevant despite her "retirement" from the protest-leading game. But somehow it just isn't like it used to be. More on that later...

9.20.2008

Palin Pregranancy Issue Revival

I was never really satisfied with the resolution of the Palin Pregnancy story. Apparently I am not alone, as I received a helpful comment pointing me to Sarah Palin's Lies. Written by a lactation specialist, the site takes aim at the (blatantly ridiculous) story of the birth of Trig Palin as well as at the notion that simply because Bristol Palin is pregnant now, she couldn't have also been the mother of Trig.

My favorite part of the site, however, is some great screen captures from Mercedes Johnston's (Levi's sister) Myspace page showing her holding Trig with some interesting captions:



(That first one is a context screen capture of the photos page)





Why does she call Triggy her brother? Is it because she considers Bristol (betrothed to her brother) to be her family? And if so, why does she then refer to Sarah Palin as Mommy-in-law? Seems really strange to me. More on this story as I continue to dig around the web. Something is rotten in Alaska, and it's not just the Caribou steak Todd Palin left out over night...

9.18.2008

The Truth About the White House Press

In his recent documenting of the Obama Camp's cool in light of the turbulent poll numbers of late, John Dickerson gives us this paragraph:
Why are they so calm in Obama-land? I can't find an account of Obama yelling at anyone during the entire campaign, and it's not just the candidate who seems calm. His aides aren't perfect, but given the level of chatter in the political echo chamber doubting their work, you'd expect them to be more snappish or bleary-eyed. There are no blind quotes from disgruntled aides sniping at each other in the press, which seems almost to defy human nature—even in the sunniest organizations, pressure plus high stakes usually creates at least one misanthrope (or, as we like to call them: sources). Even the famously disciplined Bush 2000 operation went squirrely in August under the pressure.

One of the things that is appealing about Dickerson, (like David Gregory) is that he actually questioned Bush with a degree of integrity:



But what we have here is a glib admission on the part of one of the more dogged political reporters around that his sources are almost entirely (seemingly) disgruntled staffers at odds with the leadership of their campaign. Not a revelation per se, but something about it leaves me a little uneasy...

I mean that if cats like Dickerson are merely hunters of dissent within administrations/campaigns/congressional delegations, then what hope do we have if an actually disciplined organization emerges? But beyond this, something else here seems rotten.

I know this kind of dissent tracking is basically what Woodward and Bernstein did back in the day with the disgruntled Mark Felt, yet something else seems missing. What could it be? Ah yes, actual analysis of those sources, and not merely a recitation of whatever "transgressive" talking-points such sources no doubt regurgitate. The sources are not the problem, per se, it is the non-critical assessment of their position, however apparently disgruntled they might appear, that has caused us so much trouble over the last few years.

9.16.2008

#10 Michael Kohlhaas



Whatever the heck you do, for goodness sake, do not take this man's horses, especially not in the name of a speciously legal tax.

Should you ignore this warning, I can guarantee there will be hell to pay, and not even Martin Luther will be able to save you.

Hitting back hard?

Recently the media has been in a circle jerk fawning over how Obama's finally "hitting back hard" against McCain-Palin. But you see "Hard" is a relative concept.

Typical daily interchange between campaigns/surrogates:

John Kerry: Median income under the Bush administration has increased only 2,500 dollars as compared with a 7,500 dollar increase under Clinton!

GOP 527 ad: Nigger nigger nigger muslim nigger.

Obama: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90% of the time! We can't take a 10% chance on change!

McCain Ad: Baby murderer. Pedophile. Also, still muslim nigger. Don't forget that part.

9.15.2008

I Was Dining On Flesh...


...when I realized perhaps the one positive consequence of the recent fall of Lehman Brothers, alluded to by Nostradamus in his fine post below.

Finally, after years of fighting the good fight, Tom Lehman (Lay-man) is triumphant; from now on the Lee-man pronunciation will be associated with a bankrupt, liquidity-crisis-having firm, while the Lay-man pronunciation will sail on, veritably unscathed by this unpleasantness, associated only with Tom's genius.

So, in short, Lehman Brothers is dead. Long live Tom Lehman!

Outrage is Only Available to One Side

The McCain Campaign's recent freak outs over the issue of sexism have been really hilarious. As many have noted, a new bar is being set for hypocrisy by these folks, and it is astonishing.

Equally, complaints about MSNBC's so-called liberal bias are absurd. Just take a look at the following interview and tell me you think Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann is too biased to be an "anchor," exalted seat of truth-telling that anchoring is these days:



Honestly, a scary photo of John McCain is really no big deal (he already looks awful), and as anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of copyright knows, the author of a work (in this case of a photo) is the owner of the copyright. As this photo was not sold to The Atlantic, its rights most likely reside with the photographer. If someone has a more finely tuned knowledge of the law involved fine, but the anchor's pushing of the "legal action" angle here is little more than hot-air.

Could you imagine if Olbermann or Matthews or Maddow or any liberal (real or imagined) questioned ANYONE with this fervor that Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. would hang back for even a second before voicing the most strident outrage at the host's rhetoric? And this level of superficial, obvious bias (to the point of blatant disregard for the first amendment, I might add. According to this anchor, The Atlantic should rigorously screen its photographers for political bias and exclude them on that basis, not at all illegal) occurs absolutely every day on Fox News, and yet, to go fully Greenwald on that ass, no one mentions this as a threat to the "objectivity" of journalists.

The dice are loaded in this game, and even with the recent economic disasters, as well as America's declining position in the world, in all likelihood, John McCain will still pull this thing out, and no amount of outrage on the part of liberals can possibly contravene what has been a glaring conservative bias in the MSM for a long time.

9.12.2008

#11 Rachel Maddow


I was her, in a dream once. Not a literal dream, mind you, but the kind you have as you stare vacantly for hours into a pair of eyes frozen in jpg on your desktop, the kind of dream that wraps you subtly in its grip and drags you under.

I have known Rachel Maddow, if not in the Biblical sense then in the Hebraic sense, the way ancient Rabbis knew Torah, the way David knew his Psalms, the way fucking Noah knew the Ark, oh I have known Rachel Maddow.

Even before her new show this place was secure, and in many ways she deserves to be much higher on this list, but I have tried to balance out my obsessive Platonically physical fascination with Maddow against the extrospective glare of her numinous media omnipresence of late... Rachel is lower in order that she might be higher later.

She is for us what Olbermann only, fawn-like, pretends toward, a true media titan. She is the embodiment of the post-gendered in the way Obama is the post-racial. Maddow has crushed my heart, and done it with a smile.

9.11.2008

McCain and Obama Together Again


Alas, this time, no Rick Warren.

#12 Duane Munson Kinbote


Orthodontist to the stars, Duane Monson Kinbote continues to practice the subtlest branch of dentistry in the well-heeled LA suburb of Valencia. When he isn't busy conceiving of metal/polymer hybrid smile reconstruction apparati, Kinbote spends his hours basking in the knowledge that his beloved daughter Jenny is finally divorced from that miscreant hanger-on, poor excuse for a son-in-law, fired-by-Lego, self-aggrandizing prig, Lester.

No, little has changed with Kinbote. His obsession with white automobiles (he is currently driving a pearl white Aston Martin) remains, as does his contempt for his ex-wife, the newly rechristened Eustacia Mary Bonaparte Kinbote Jarrell Stevenson.

He dates unenthusiastically, preferring to spend his money on himself. Tired of the "rat race," he rarely attends Orthodontia Symposia anymore, preferring, Joseph Kallinger-like to craft his masterfully constructed bite correction devices in the pure solitude of his own influence on himself.

In time, no doubt, Kinbote will tire of his idealized visions of perfect molar realignment, but not yet. Not yet.

Welcome back Nosferatu!


Found in a College Classroom by your diligent scribe.

#13 Jessica Savitch

Ah unlucky 13... Poor Jessica Savitch. The above video is of her famous "on TV/on drugs" moment from 1983, just a few weeks before her mysterious death in a horrific car accident. Talk about a bad few weeks. Nevertheless, for being the first media figure to have the courage to throw caution completely to the wind by being high on the air we must salute her!

9.10.2008

Greenwald-Hating En Vogue?

Hi it's Dan here, long-time toilet-seat-pisser first time poster. So recently it's become fashionable to bash and insult Glenn Greenwald. Let me tell you something- these poseurs couldn't hold Greenwald's jockstrap. Glenn provides insightful, anti-establishment commentary that is actually backed up by facts and quotes; probably because he is a lawyer by training. He also takes on the Democrats on their bullshit, which is courageous given the "forgive everything as long as we can win" attitude of most of the liberal bloggers. Rich and I went to a great talk of his in NY - in fact let me share with you a few highlights from the Q and A after the talk:

Dan: So do you think that the blogosphere offers an opportunity to fight back against right-wing narratives and spread some more neutral or left-wing ones?

Glenn: Good question. Let me begin by pointing out that I am Gay and I live in Brazil for half of the year. OK, now the bloggers...

Questioner: How has the move to Salon affected your blog - any interference there?

Glenn: Well, as a Gay American slash Brazilian, I've got to say that Salon has never interfered...

Questioner: Do you think this country can survive four more years of Republican rule?

Glenn: Look, I'm as anti-Republican as anyone, but we have to be real here. We've survived eight years of Bush and we'd survive four years of McCain. But the key here is not only the politicians but the media- if we can make the media more accountable as I'm trying to do with my blog, then I think there's no way a McCain or Bush would ever be able to win an election or get his agenda passed. Also, in the heat of partisan battle in this election year, we can't forget the fact that I AM GAY AND I LIVE IN BRAZIL PART-TIME. Jesus, if there's one thing you take away from this talk, it's that! Gay! Brazil! Got it? Not that complicated.

9.09.2008

Don't Mean to Interrupt


But I thought I would reintroduce myself to all of you. I am your resident gormandizer of human flesh, if by human flesh you understand media, though I mean that non-metaphorically also.

I will be here to provide the perspective of the night. Topics covered might include: bats, blood, capes, widows peaks, and expressionist cinema.

Outside of lurking, my hobbies include feasting on the living as well as buying alcohol for minors.

I want to drink the blood of Rachel Maddow's pop culture corespondent (Kent Jones--ed.). He sucks the life out of the show from the moment he appears, much like a certain someone might if invited into your house after dark.

#14 The Michael Jackson Accuser


I know I said no repeats, but some people are too important to ignore. Strange how his accuser has moved up two spaces in the countdown, while MJ himself has dropped off it altogether.

9.08.2008

****Interuption in the Countdown****


I am happy to announce that Dan of Not About Delino Deshields has agreed to become a contributor to Death-Media.com. We are very pleased to welcome him. He will be covering media matters, at his whim.

#15 MSNBC


I know that networks aren't exactly people, but Time's man of the year was You, so all bets are off. That one lowered the bar for all of us, Time, way to go.

But anyway, MSNBC has been under fire from the right lately for a perceived shift to the left (I know, shocking development). While the shift is completely real, the fact that any such liberal outcry against Fox News has long been ignored, and that MSNBC is responding in a completely knee jerk fashion is more evidence of what Glenn Greenwald and others having been saying for quite some time: we are living in an era of right wing media bias. The liberal bias bemoaned by conservatives has long been a straw man.

But all of this is beside the point. MSNBC has swung left, and even if they won't let Olbermann and Matthews anchor, it's been an awesome ride. And lest you forget, a certain someone's show premieres tonight at 9:00!

MSNBC, for making an effort at being a liberal alternative to Fox News, however half-assed, we salute you!

# 16 Dr. Bronner


Emmanuel H. Bonner is one of the greatest figures around, no doubt. His writing, best experienced in label form, is of an undoubtedly quixotic strain, touching on themes such as religion, life, and swimming great Mark Spitz. I bet Dr. Bronner would have loved Michael Phelps, but is nevertheless totally worthwhile shower reading. There is a really great documentary about Dr. B that was done a couple years ago... Worth checking out if you are into insane soap makers.

9.07.2008

#17 Monica Seles

The fact that her attacker spent like two weeks in jail for stabbing her during a public sporting event has always amazed me. The deference payed to an insane, out of work lathe operator is simply astonishing.

Monica, who knows how many Grand Slams you might have claimed had you not been so brutally attacked by this crazed Graf fan... Your emblematic stature in the odd intersection of public spectacle and personal reality merits you a place here, nevertheless.

#18 Greg Anthony


Best remembered for his role in a brawl at Phoenix in 1993 in which he ran onto the court in street clothes to defend his teammates (prefiguring later Ron Artest hilarity, in a way), Greg Anthony was a solid backup for the Knicks during their contending era of 92-95, after which he bounced around for a while as a semi-serviceable backup PG (most notably for Portland from 98 to 01)...

Here are his numbers. Note that he only got sort of effective once he left the Knicks. Of course. Anyway, for the street clothes brawl alone, Greg has earned this spot. Oh yeah, and he's now some kind of commentator for ESPN. Which is good also. I guess. But the street clothes brawl thing... Well, you get my point.

#19 Ricky Nelson


Now we are talking. Many people believe Ricky Nelson was the prototype of your cookie-cutter TV to airwaves star (think Britney, Miley, Justin Timberlake, etc), but in reality he was much more.

He was a good singer, a good musician, and a real rock star, who just happened to be born into a completely insane show-biz family... This is different, somehow, and worth thinking about, especially as his own children recorded one of the greatest songs of all time.

Plus, he died in a plane crash, in the grandest of rock traditions (Buddy Holly and company, Otis Redding, Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Denver, and Payne Stewart (alright, I know he wasn't a rock star, but he was kind of like a rock star, in a golfy sense, no?

#20 Klaus Kinski

Why is Klaus Kinski on this list?
His last stage appearances were in November 1971, part of his "Jesus Tour", a one-man show in which Kinski reinterpreted the Gospels with Jesus as a ranting psychopath.
Oh. That's why.

9.06.2008

#21 Thaksin Shinawatra

Ask anyone who is close to me about my feelings regarding the deposed Thai Prime Minister. Talk about a leader!

#22 Rudy Giuliani


I thought about issuing a disclaimer about the above image until I realized it is a completely accurate representation of the feelings of most New Yorkers I have discussed the matter with in my years here. Not that I really care about what anyone else thinks, but we can pretend.

Rudy, publicity vampire that he is, is back in the spotlight again advocating for McCain in the best possible way, which is to say he's acting like a complete bloodsucking power hungry lunatic, as always, throwing his origins to the wind and embracing the small town hot air of one Sarah Palin.

For this latest spotlight grab by RG, we gotta show the love!

#23 King Minos

Ruler of Crete, stepfather of the Minotaur, captor of Daedelus and Kid Icarus, Minos was a serious cat (whether real or purely mythological), and deserving of a place on a list like this, which the first two choices evince is little more than a covert bad-ass cavalcade. Uh!

#24 Lee Harvey Oswald

Such an incredible character, both for being among the first people murdered on live TV, and for the whole "alleged" involvement in the Kennedy assassination.

Truly a strange individual. Did you know he was only 24 when he died? And he had been to Russia and back, in and out of the Marines... A strange man.

#25 Dinesh D'Souza

Quite simply the greatest non-race-traitor thinker of our time.

His performance at the 2005 "Greatest American" countdown was simply outstanding. Never has a dark skinned son of immigrants advocated so forcefully for that paragon of white exceptionalism, Ronald "I'm a total moron" Reagan... So depressing.

Greatest People Ever Countdown Part 2

Back in those exalted days of blogging, yes, I speak of 2005, most magnificent of all blogging years, I did a countdown of the best people ever. As I recall the rundown went something like this:

25. Nietzsche
24. Dan Berger
23. Confucius
22. Richard Levin
21. Johnny Depp
20. Helen of Troy/Sparta
19. Bishop Desmond Tutu
18. Makobo the Rain Queen
17. Julius Caesar
16. The Michael Jackson Accuser
15. Corey Haim
14. Michael Jackson
13. Abraham Lincoln
12. Dan Brown
11. Evita Peron
10. Galen
9. Mel Gibson
8. Lady Jane Grey
7. The Actual God
6. John Starks
5. Dr. Hammesfahr
4. J.K. Rowling
3. Plato
2. Gerard Depardieu
1. Terri Schiavo

Hilarious on many levels still, but sadly, a bit dated.

Never fear!

I have decided to update it for 2008, in even more absurd style than ever before, with absolutely no hold-overs from the previous list. 08 is all about change, right? Let's get it on!

Back on Track: The Jason Bonham Effect

Since I'm depressed about the election, I thought I would steer things back towards the purported purpose of the blog. On reading that the Grateful Dead will reunite to play a rally for Obama, of course minus Jerry Garcia, I found myself thinking, "Gee, if only Jerry had musically minded son or daughter, with a certain resemblance to him and an appreciation for his style of guitar playing, who could step up for these occasions... Who knows, perhaps a full reunion could ensue?

Why do I think this? Of course. Because of Jason Bonham. The son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, Jason has stepped into his fathers shoes, so to speak, on several occasions, most recently last year for a one off gig for charity. These are some big shoes to fill, in rock history:


Pretty good, no? But Jason Bonham is also pretty good, which is incredibly strange:



So we have a new theory here; if a celebrity child is able to effectively step up and replace his or her parent in a famous group, or in a famous role, they are demonstrating the Jason Bonham Effect.

Luke Russert, our eyes are on you.

9.05.2008

McCain Has It

Seriously, it's over. The way the media is spinning the Palin pick in light of all the clear bullshit she's been involved in over the years epitomizes for me how out of touch with reality nearly all of them are. The other night our gal Rachel Maddow brought up the Jews for Jesus pastor's presence at her church, and Sarah Palin's presence at the event, and Chris Matthews acted like she was slinging conspiracy theories.

Hey Chris, here's a link to the f'ing sermon. For Palin's presence, I rely on Sullivan. But Matthews, an alleged liberal (more like a Tim Russert liberal), acts like a fact checked (it was on Politico for goodness sake, and those cats are more inside than the inside!) story is the latest Oliver Stone story board (dated reference, I apologize)... Idiot.

I hate Chris Matthews. Always have, though for a few years (the last few) I have built up a grudging regard for him, due to my inherently biased and partisan nature, and also on account of his obvious disregard for social niceties. But now he's dissed Rachel, and that is going too far. Plus he's clearly just as old school as our favorite ever, Tim Russert, and that can only mean bad things, as I've explained.

But who cares, he's hardly the worst. The degree to which our media coverage has become simply a ping-pong game of talking points is absurd. Real reporting just doesn't happen, and maybe it never did, but at least we had illusions once.

To reiterate, I feel like McCain has the election won. Arlo, now that you're back, perhaps our moment of convergence has ended in this most unlikely of departures: I find myself certain that McCain will win.

Update

Came across a video that demonstrates perfectly what I've just illustrated (via Huffington Post):

9.03.2008

Mediating Palin

I'm back. You knew, with the election a mere sixty odd days away, that Arlo Harshenstein could not stay silent.

After the muted response to my autobiography I have decided to withhold further chapters until proper reverence is given to my genius.

In the meantime, Nostradamus has returned to his mire-mining ways, dredging the absolute bottom of the barrel with this recent spate of Sarah Palin Pregnancy posts... To quote the master himself, "shocking development." From a man who revered Anna Nicole, idolizes Michael Jackson, and seeks to constantly channel John Mark Karr, we should expect nothing less...

Our host's moral bankruptcy and absolute degeneracy aside, I could not resist returning, in light of the election and certain developments in my personal life.

For those interested (none of you morons, I trust), I have left my previous job. At the moment I am living off my accumulated wealth, staying in my apartment, plotting. Little has changed except I am now mercifully free from all but the (still odious) minimum of human contact.

But I have been following developments in the election quite closely, as I remain deeply attached to our national political danse macabre. My vision is of course at complete odds with one of the two contenders. But I have to say that I am largely in agreement with my erstwhile friend Nostradamus regarding the other option as well, for once.

McCain has made a major blunder in selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate. While I nod my approval with gusto at her stances on life and taxes, I shake my head vigorously against her views on religion and science. Many of you will probably not be surprised to learn (if you imbeciles are even capable of learning) that I was in favor of Bob Barr for McCain's VP pick. Of course this was not to be (as true conservatism is long dead, killed off by that spendthrift Chester A. Arthur.

As that great voice of the truest conservatism (the kind that embraced the American Revolution but despised the French) Edmund Burke said:
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
In deciding on Palin, McCain has violated this fundamental principle of good (ie conservative) governance. He has sacrificed his judgment to the opinions of his constituents.

In any event, you can perhaps expect more from me in the coming weeks, not that any of your worthless minds deserve it.

Sarah Palin: Anti-Jewish Pastor Problem?



Apparently Palin's pastor hopes the Jews will be converted.

And prays "there will be people among the Jews today who come to say the name “Jesus” with faith."

This all took place during a Jews for Jesus event Palin's church was hosting.

Here's a link to the Church's website. Let's just say it wasn't designed by Tom.

Also the Church has audio of past sermons, including "Jews for Jesus" founder David Brickner's recent remarks...

Andrew Sullivan is on this kick...

9.02.2008

According to MSNBC...

...the Republicans plan to "hit back hard" against the recent attacks on the Palin selection at their convention. Shocking development. Great reporting, Norah O'Donnell. Keep up the great work, NO, as Tim Russert would no doubt say were he not dead. These tedious old fools...

How weird is that image? It's as if it's a screen capture of Russert reporting his own death! I love it, in a totally Huckelberry Finn kind of way! I would kill to watch that segment! Kill!

Miss you, TR, for all the wrong reasons. MSNBC is finally tilting completely left without you, and it's awesome. Unfortunately, it's nowhere near as entertaining as your particular brand of Old-Hand-Insiderism and gotcha savoir faire.... Luke Russert has gotten far too little camera time during these goings on, also.

Staying with the theme, I like how MSNBC isn't even letting Olbermann go to St. Paul, so hated is he in Republican circles... And he's their chief anchorman! Hilarious!

(By the way, on a much more important note, exactly what role is Microsoft playing in MSNBC these days?)

9.01.2008

Bristol Palin Pregnant!

Updated Below Multiple Times

Okay, so the rumors were slightly off, but I guess this proves the old adage about smoke and fire, at least to a degree... Trig apparently is Sarah Palin's child (though I'm still slightly suspicious, if only for reasons of nostalgia for two days ago), but Bristol did get pregnant out of wedlock and will have a quickie wedding (at 17) so all is good in the eyes of God...

Which is where I'll let it stand... Not!

Come on, people, these are the people who attacked John Kerry's military service in Vietnam... Nothing is off limits, no quarter should be offered or given. Obama is taking the high road, as he should, but we have to squeeze every inch of hypocrisy out of this situation, as well as hitting hard on all possible angles and fronts.

Speaking of which... It seems like Palin could also be done in as a candidate (or help do in McCain) by this whole attempted firing of a state trooper situation (I know, not nearly as juicy as the original meme, which was, sigh, too good to be true). Seems like the trooper in question, Palin's former brother-in-law, may be a kind of bad guy:
Then there's trooper Mike Wooten, who used a Taser on his stepson, Palin's nephew Payton. Wooten has been reprimanded for violating nearly a dozen laws and departmental policies since December 2001.
But, that noted, he has nothing to do with the scandal, directly at least, which is focused instead on Palin's firing of Alaska public safety commissioner Walt Monegan:
Monegan was fired in July, after he declined a transfer to become the director to the state's alcohol control board.

At the time Palin said she wanted the department to move in a new direction. But later, after Monegan said he felt pressured to fire Wooten, Palin at a news conference said Monegan wasn't a team player, didn't do enough to fill trooper vacancies and battle alcohol abuse issues in rural Alaska.
Right... He "wasn't a team player" and didn't battle "Alcohol abuse issues in rural Alaska." Classic political speak meant to cover a clear personal vendetta... Others seem to think that the vetting process has been less than perfect... I will be on guard for more details to emerge, and turn here, oh loyal readers, for all the breaking Palin scandal news and commentary you could desire.

Update

So the NY Times just posted a little bit more info from Palin's biographer. Among revelations:
“One year, Sarah came dressed to a Halloween party as a pregnant Jane Fonda,” according to one of Ms. Palin’s friends at the time who is quoted in the biography. “It turns out she was pregnant with Willow but hadn’t told anyone.”
I get it! Jane Fonda is a monster! So funny. And I guess Palin likes to wait before revealing she's pregnant (though apparently this time it was at least apparent. No, I'm not letting it go.--ed.), which is of course her prerogative. Also we get a (not very revealing) look at Palin relaxed:
“She did enjoy talking about her kids and the uniqueness of each of them and how much she admired them,” Ms. Johnson said. “She really was tickled about having a son who was old enough to be an adult, and to have adult conversations with, and that her daughters were finding their way in the world.”
Little did she know, Bristol was finding "the way of all flesh," so to speak! Sorry, couldn't resist. Again, the hypocrisy thing. When someone says she favors teaching "abstinence-only" sex education, and then her obviously under-sex-educated (unless she was emulating Jamie Lynn) daughter gets pregnant, she is ripe for criticism. Jon Stewart apparently thinks so also (not that that proves anything, his new found media adulation sickens me, however good he is)... Just saying, channeling Arlo Harshenstein...

Update II

Okay, so more Palin scandals are emerging by the minute. Apparently Palin's fixer was the head of her transition team, Mike Tibbles, who resigned abruptly in May. Tibbles also has ties to embattled Senator Ted Stevens. The land of Seward's folly may quickly become known as the land of McCain's folly if these revelations continue over the coming days.

Update III

Lee Stranahan, who was banned from Daily Kos for his discussion of the Edwards Affair, has been hitting back hard against Kos's championing of the Palin Fake Pregnancy story. Here's his latest, effective rebuttal.

Update IV

Pictures of Bristol Palin drinking alcohol have begun to appear across the internet, the implication being that her lifestyle is far from the "Christian" image the religious right emphasizes. The story continues to grow... Pictures below...




(Could that be the mysterious "Levi Johnston" in her lap?--ed.)

On that point, here's what Levi's mom had to say:
Sherry Johnston also said there has been no pressure put on her son to marry Bristol Palin, the pregnant daughter of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

"Absolutely not," Sherry Johnston told reporters outside the family's Wasilla home. Johnston said the two teens already had plans to marry before they knew she was pregnant.

Sarah Palin announced Monday that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter was pregnant. The father was not identified beyond the first name of Levi.
They already planned to marry (at 18 and 16, or whatever) before Bristol got pregnant... Of course... Can anybody say, delusional?