Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Crooks & Liars:
Former vice president Dick Cheney went on Fox's "Hannity" show last night to discuss the recent plans to reduce the Army to levels not seen since 1940 — through a reduction in personnel and removing a class of warplanes from the field — in an effort to cut budgets after a decade of war, calling the decision "over the top."
He told host Sean Hannity that President Obama would "much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.” ... Earlier in the interview, Cheney said, "The fact of the matter is he’s having a huge impact on the ability of future presidents to deal with future crises that are bound to arise. ... I can guarantee you, there’s never going to be a call from the future secretary of defense to Barack Obama, to thank him for what he’s done to the military. This is just devastating.”
But yet, as with most other things in the cold and unfriendly word of Dick, there's another side to the story:
Cheney pared defense while Pentagon chief - The Boston Globe, April 29, 2004 WASHINGTON – Vice President Dick Cheney, who has been charging that John Kerry would be a dangerous president because he opposed many key weapons that the military now relies on, himself presided over the biggest cutbacks in defense programs in modern history when he was secretary of defense under the first President Bush.
As Pentagon chief from 1989 to 1993 Cheney canceled or cut back many of the same weapons programs – bombers, fighter planes, battle tanks – that he says Kerry tried to deprive the armed forces of.
Many of the Cheney-era cuts were made at the end of the Cold War, when the administration of President George H.W. Bush was seeking to reduce the size of the military. But some of these downsizing efforts would have affected the military of today.
'In the name of Christian justice, someone should cut your head off!' - Charles Manson.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Being something of an minor league art cannibal, I've been observing the recent controversy created when a local Miami artist acted on impulse (or in a premeditated fashion, depending on who you believe) and broke elements of an expensive art installation to protest the museum's perceived lack of community outreach, once again exposing a typical gallery game to light where the well-known are used (and abused) and the unknown are ignored for the sake of commerce. Plus ca change...
An irony abounds here, however - for the artist whose work hit the tiles has himself made a name by indulging at times in forms of vandalism for the sake of a greater point - in his case, to protest the masses' uncaring attitude toward their own cultural history. A fair point, and yet...
The fact that this same artist now decries such highbrow hooliganism holds the irony, and the comparison used to justify his revisionism ('You cannot stand in front of a classical painting and kill somebody and say that you are inspired by the artist') makes as little sense as a purely destructive act committed in and of itself. Who is 'killing somebody' here, in the interests of metaphoric comparison?
Further to that, actual murder has allegedly inspired art, as art has been the inspiration for murder...which thus dooms the comparison to irrelevance, in any case.
It's likely that the art was overvalued for insurance purposes, as the artist acknowledged - and my opinion is that it is overvalued for artistic purposes also, as dipping an ancient relic in high-visibility paint provides a point (to me) abstract at best and nebulous at the worst, much like another artist who took the mundane and made it more...mundane.
'Fuck off', indeed.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Bring me a hit
Don't make me market
this tired, worn-out shit
Give me a first quarter like Occidental...
And scratch artist tsouris that drives me mental!
Mr. Sony (Yeessss?)...
Let's make a star
not just an assclown
who beats a guitar
Give them some talent that we can trumpet
and an image that just screams strumpet!
A juicy payday
would be so peachy for my 401K
So please try to be gallant
Mr. Sony, bring me,
please, please, please,
...bring me a bastard with talent!'
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Thursday, February 06, 2014
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Those of you out there willing to still spare a glance have no doubt noted that I don't really offer as much music around here as before (cue Miles Davis here, hipsters).
There could be several plausible explanations for this sordid state of affairs, of course. The most obvious one (to me, at least) was that, much like sex, music is far more fun to do or watch than to type about...And I'm not going to have that kind of fun typing around here.
The others are far more subjective. I'm fresh out of proselytization sauce for my word salads, perhaps. Selah.
However, I'm always a mark for a ginned-up controversy - it's been my stock in trade for years, and this one in particular positively reeks of the juniper berry.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers decided long ago they were never going to mime a live performance. The band made an exception for the National Football League, it turns out. The group's bassist, Flea, said in a letter to fans posted on the group's website Tuesday that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members pretended to play along to a pre-taped track of "Give It Away" during the American football championship Super Bowl halftime show as Anthony Kiedis sang live. The request came from NFL officials who felt it was too difficult to pull off a completely live performance because of potential sound issues. The admission came after observers noted Flea and his bandmates weren't plugged in while performing Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.Well! I am shocked! My solicitors will be in touch! And all that rubbish.
From the top, I think Flea has pretty much put it with reason, albeit in a tragically flawed way:
...and one must give props to Anthony, who did it live, so good on him and now lose the 'stache there, Sonny Porno.
I'm always amused by these 'music controversies', because they say much about the actual attention and retention span of a mass audience over time. Quite frankly, many among us would do far better to always be aware of the incessant playacting and sideshows offered without apology around the dial and around the clock, let alone awareness of the things that actually matter. As imaginative as I might think I am or pretend to be, I cannot imagine a mind that suspends logical activity to that degree within the parameters of observing such tightly scripted and cued major entertainment, sporting and political events upon which more money and other intangibles than most of us can dream of lay tremulously upon a very tight line. Even commonplace musical events - or at the very least, commonplace to the performers (ahem) - are not to be left to chance. I daresay if one could identify this somewhat credulous demographic and cross-correlate with other known deviancies, a quite remarkable psychological profile might emerge for further study.
Meanwhile, let's observe these rank offenders against the common perception that everything is real in simpler times, when their hickory trickery fakery was far less obvious. Young children, avert thine eyes.