Saturday, May 30, 2009

Leave Sonia Sotomayor Alone!

Leave Sonia Alone

How fucking dare anyone out there make fun of Sonia after all she has been through!

She lost her dad, she went through a divorce. She had two fuckin' degrees!

Her first nominator turned out to be a loser, a cheater, and now she's going through a confirmation battle. All you people care about is…La Raza and making points off of her.

SHE’S A HUMAN! (sob!) What you don’t realize is that Sonia is getting you all this ad revenue and all you do is write a bunch of crap about her.

She hasn’t ruled on baseball in years. This story is called “Right Wing Media Harlots” for a reason because all you people want to do is WHORE, WHORE, WHORE, WHORE, WHORE!!!

LEAVE HER ALONE! You are lucky she even judged for you BASTARDS!

Barack Obama talked about professionalism and said since Sonia was a professional she would’ve walked it back no matter what.

Speaking of jurisprudence, when is it jurisprudential to publicly judge someone who is going through a hard time?

Leave Sonia alone...please.
Leave Sonia Sotomayor alone!…right now!…I mean it.

Anyone that has a problem with her you deal with me, because she is not confirmed right now.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Unbearable Lightness Of Relative Self-Interest

Mickey's Jihad

Huffington Post

'...I was on a panel the other day which opened with a question about the impact of the Internet on the entertainment business, and I responded, "I'm a guy who sees nothing good having come from the Internet. Period."

Now, the blogosphere does not take so kindly to provocations like that, and it didn't take long for online critics to compare my words with those of one of my Hollywood predecessors, H.W. Warner, who famously said, "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"

But, I actually welcome the Sturm und Drang I've stirred, because it gives me an opportunity to make a larger point (one which I also made during that panel discussion, though it was not nearly as viral as the sentence above).
And my point is this: the major content businesses of the world and the most talented creators of that content -- music, newspapers, movies and books -- have all been seriously harmed by the Internet.'

- Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment

I disagree.

What the Internet has done is hold up for close examination the various business models used for manufacture and distribution of the above products, and reveal them to be not only grossly inefficient, but highly weighted in favor of corporate mendacity and rapaciousness at an onerous expense to the consumer.
Harm...or enlightenment? In the eye of the beholder, one supposes.

In the case of music - in spite of numerous portents that indicated change was afoot, the major labels continued blissfully apace with the same 'traditions' that worked so well when a virtual monopoly of supply and market access existed (minor bootleggers, occasionally in cahoots with their industry counterparts excepted).
The retail music business, from production to pressing plant to the point of sale, had a chance to assimilate a new reality from the ground up and gain early and decisive control within the new medium of exchange, yet elected en masse to stick their heads in the sand and wait for a perceived fad to pass...Short-sighted thinking from a fad-driven industry, surely.

In newspapers and print media, a battle that was joined upon the introduction of television and radio to the mass consciousness, one that made the speed of information delivery (and rapid updates to that information) paramount over objective quality has placed entities dependent upon a decreasing natural resource (paper) somewhat behind the curve and losing ground with consumers, in spite of adopting sensationalist tabloid ways of attempting to catch their attention.

And with movies, I daresay the ongoing stratagem of mass appeal through planned derivativeness holds as much blame for fiscal downturns as the unlawful redistribution of copywritten works.
The American film industry (sui generis Hollywood) has placed itself willingly into an ever-tightening loop of higher budgets needing safe bets to recoup expenses prior to profit - regurgitating sequels and prequels galore, or remaking mediocre films of the past merely because they are known quantities and undemanding turns for bankable stars.
Where once 'traffic-builders' financed more esoteric productions that gave a studio artistic credibility, now only the sure things are touted and developed...The blockbuster mentality run rampantly amuck.

What has been lost in this case is a fundamental truth that the most cost-effective part of any film production is the script...Yet by demoting this needed backbone of production from an engaging original story to a cut-and-paste function, all that comes after becomes mere window dressing...Pretty pictures that flicker briefly, and are gone after the merchandising window closes.

Conversely, the various foreign and independent film concerns that are forced to do without such luxuries as name recognition and pre-existing templates become more pragmatic, developing new stories and talent for a lower 'above-the-line' cost which makes revenue from a potential mass success much easier to realize.

Being that my reading habits are mostly confined to works of a somewhat non-commercial nature, I have little to add as opinion on the aspect of books within this paradigm, save for the suggestion that an unvarnished examination of the bestsellers lists with an eye toward overly hyped 'bandwagonesque' and shamelessly populist content, and a cursory overview of latent publishing industry chicaneries with respect to unestablished authors would explain much of their shared trajectory with their compatriots above.

Of course, nobody likes to be ripped off, and in this regard Mr. Lynton has my full sympathies. Seeing a multi-million dollar or, for that matter any investment released into the wild by unscrupulous types for a fast illegitimate buck is a most unsavory aspect of such rapid data transmission.

To reduce exposure to this, content creators and distributors whether separate entities or one and the same need to adopt more stringent internal security measures prior to release, and vigorous legal followup to counter infringement.
Many of these methods are known, tried and true, and eschew gimmickry to ensure a successful conclusion where the consumer is happy with the product offered at the price and the provider is happy with the profit derived from the sale.

In the modern reality, one in which the Internet has saturated global public interactivity (save for the most perversely dedicated Luddite, cavebound and proud)...One must strive to minimize risk, while at the same time being aware that it cannot be eliminated entirely.
Provide a better, more cost- and quality-aware original product and the vast majority of law-abiding users will pay a fair price for it that will more than offset the losses incurred from the actions of a small cadre of criminals and the socially irresponsible.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Overnight

Johnny Smith, with Perry Lopez, Arnold Fishkin and Don Lamond, side one of Walk, Don't Run (Walk, Don't Run!, Loverman ,'S Wonderful, and Lullaby of Birdland), 1954.

Tetsuo Sakurai, Greg Howe, Dennis Chambers and Akira Onozuka, Punk Jazz, Yokohama, 2004.

SexMob, Blue and Sentimental, NYC, 2009.

The Gunther Schuller Orchestra plays Jimmy Giuffre's composition Suspensions, 1957.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Leave Mah Boys Alone

Newty Mama

"What we're seeing now, in a very sad way, is as bitter a partisan attack on the Bush people, as we've seen since the McCarthy era. The degree that they're putting specific people at risk for criminal prosecution is unprecedented in modern America."

It never surprises an observer of American politics in the common era to hear hyperbole used shamelessly, the sort of hyperbole that appears utterly ludicrous in cold hard print, yet no doubt sounds plausible to some when mouthed by cynical opportunists who are quick in glossing over their close ideological relationships to the negatives within the contrasts that are made...Nevertheless, hyperbole which is blurted out unchallenged on many a 'news show' while the talking heads go bob-bob-bobbling along...
(and by 'news show' I'm inferring a sort of televisual old-boys club, penis-equipped or otherwise, filled with chatty comity among the overprivileged and a breezy evasion of serious factual analysis).

But some blurtings stand out, such as the above, and illuminate quite a bit more than the speaker might care to reveal truthfully under their own power.

I have seen this dumbshow played out for decades now, by criminals seeking to evade justice through misdirection and subterfuge...'If the President does it, that means it is not illegal', the pardoning of felons to avoid 'the criminalization of policy differences', the abuse of words such as liberal, witchhunt, and partisan to the point where they are rendered devoid of meaning, which is perhaps the intent after all - for if words become duckspeak, as they have in many cases so far as the public is concerned, then anything deemed expedient becomes permissible with little or no explanation required.

Followers of the American scene will no doubt be overly familiar with Newt Gingrich's history and imperatives, thus I will not add to them save to say that Mr. Gingrich has always struck me as a rather obvious hypocrite bereft of any thoughts that do not benefit him directly.

Yet here, he shows a most tender solicitude for the 'unfortunate'...
(and by 'unfortunate' I'm inferring those poor souls who lied to the American public and the world, fixing the 'facts' around the policy in order to commence a war that would fulfill their ideological yearnings, and cheerfully breaking their own nation's laws and longstanding international treaties in an effort to make the process as deliciously self-beneficial as possible).

What a selfless display of concern, hmm?

In my opinion, a conservative politician in the United States using the phrase McCarthyism in an accusatory way is one potential proof of the non-existence of a supreme being...For should there be such a deity, a tawdry specimen like this would be forced to spontaneously combust upon the utterance, out of the sheer shame of verbally authoring archly self-serving twaddle in front of grown-ups.


aside: My posting will be light for a while...Numerous issues of a personal nature have asserted themselves.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday Overnight

Albert Ayler, with Don Cherry, Gary Peacock, and Sunny Murray, Mothers, 1964.

Jack Bruce, with Dick Heckstall-Smith, John McLaughlin, and Jon Hiseman, Born to be Blue, 1968.

Gil Evans and his orchestra, Las Vegas Tango, 1964.

Carla Bley and Steve Swallow, Utviklingssang, 1988.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Is There Anything Else You're Not Telling Us?

Prejean Hormones

A occasional fact of wonder to me while engaging in this blogging diversion from my personal socioeconomic Armageddon, is that not only do I have several viewers and correspondents who self-identify as religious in varied fellowships, in some cases strongly so...But that these gentle spirits actually respect and encourage my right to express myself as I see fit, even when these exhibitions grind against their personal cosmologies.

I feel that people such as these are the true embodiment of their faith - showing wisdom, empathy (the kind that judges never will have) and personal forgiveness for transgressions against them, regardless of whether the offending party acknowledges or is even aware of those feelings.

Many of these fine people espouse a creed of personal responsibility...That one's own life is the ultimate example, a state of wholeness with God and man being a worthy temporal goal...and that notches on one's belt of those that one has personally 'saved' are no benchmark that is recognized by higher authority, come whatever reckoning awaits.

Knowing that they can co-exist with and betimes thrive in a world often hostile to their ecclesiastical notions goes a small way toward offsetting the panoply of rampant unenlightenment perpetrated by those who use their religion as a social battering ram, and license of assumed superiority to perform wickedness and moronisms 'in the Lord's name'.

For those of you who see themselves in the more positive light that I have described, I cannot share your faith...But I will defend your right to it, and do no harm.

For those like Carrie Prejean - As your fleeting beauty fades, do continue to be prideful of your ignorance...for it is all you will ever have in this world.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sunday Overnight

Bing Crosby, with the Paul Whiteman orchestra featuring Bix Beiderbecke, Changes, 1928.

Count Basie, with Sonny Payne, Freddie Green, and Norman Keenan (featuring Ralph Gleason on Camel filters), Twenty Minutes After Three, 1968.

Ron Carter, Willow Weep For Me, Switzerland, 1984.

Maynard Ferguson, with Pete Jackson, Randy Jones, and Dave Lynane, Summertime, 1971.

Night Flight From Coney

Night Flight From Coney

A little late for the contest...But I'll put this out for all my NYC pals, because I'm in a New York state of mind.


Friday, May 01, 2009

And all my g*ddamned books, too

Ben Folds Five, Song For The Dumped, 1998.

Rice, Full Of Beans


Crooks & Liars - Countdown: Rice's Tortured Excuse

Q: Even in World War II facing Nazi Germany, probably the greatest threat that America has ever faced –

RICE: Uh, with all due respect, Nazi Germany never attacked the homeland of the United States.

Q: No, but they bombed our allies –

RICE: No, just a second, just a second. Three-thousand Americans died in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

Q: 500,000 died in World War II –

RICE: Fighting a war in Europe.

Q: — and yet we did not torture the prisoners of war.

RICE: We didn’t torture anybody here either.

Frankly, comparing one of the great industrial powerhouses of the 20th century, held in the grip of a sinister right-wing eliminationist responsible for the murder of millions of innocents in their drive to conquest and a truly representative face of fascism, to a ragtag amalgamation of zealous cadres in the thrall of fundamentalist paymasters who achieved a showy Pyrrhic victory with stolen resources is specious at best and malignantly duplicitous at worst.

And for this pugnacious bit of dissembling to come from one who sat in front of a hearing on the events of 9/11 and successfully bluffed them on her own incompetence is particularly galling.

Condoleezza Rice was stunningly ineffectual as U.S. Secretary of State, blown as a reed in a breeze on whatever noxious winds issued from the Executive office.
One might infer from observing her term that she held that office not by dint of qualification, but so an eager vassal would be in position to act on a child-king's whims...A repeated pattern seen rather conspicuously during the Bush administration.

As to her claims that the Nazis performed no offensive acts on the 'homeland of the United States'...When her boss's grandfather is balls deep in business with them, should this be surprising?

This week, she offers the double fungoo - The Sergeant Schultz defense ('I vas just following orders') blended with the Nixon/Frost neener neener ('I'm the President, the law is whatever I say it is').

Will this be enough to save her, America?

Over to you.