I can hear music.

The Free Press may have been covering Aretha Franklin in Chicago, but I was at the somewhat less glamorous spring concert of the Brownell Middle School instrumental-music students. Three grades, many combinations and recombinations — 6th-grade strings, 7th- and 8th-grade band, etc. The show ran past 90 minutes, mainly from all the shuffling, but no one cared. Kate’s ensemble, the jazz band, went last. They’re the only purely extracurricular music group in the school, this being a district that believes in arts education, a fading concept in today’s miserly public-school culture. The saddest scenes in this season’s “Treme” are of the New Orleans children in band class, learning how to keep time with finger snaps, because their instruments haven’t traveled down whatever tortuous path, through however many sticky-fingered bureaucrats, to make it to the band room just yet.

No problem with that here. The instruments (rented, mostly) gleam. The director told a story about rehabilitating the school’s harp for a particular number, with the help of a private teacher. Does your school have a harp? I’d imagine that’s a luxury for most. Kate had a little moment in a number called “One Flight Down” (not the Norah Jones song), where she had to carry the rhythm section for a series of baby-step improvisations by trumpet and sax players. It was nice. I told her so, afterward. She said her hand had been cramping and she couldn’t hear herself, so she assumed she’d screwed it up. Where do girls learn this sort of effortless self-effacement? From other girls, if my memory serves. Think too highly of yourself, and you’re stuck-up. The trick is to effusively praise all your friends while deflecting any compliments: I love your hair. It’s so pretty. I wish I had your hair. My hair is so ugly. Or, alternatively: Your thighs are so skinny, I wish I had legs like yours. But my hair is awful. You have better hair. They spend all their time creating an ideal self, made from parts of all the other selves they see around them. How long does this last? Until age 30 or so, I think.

Anyway, I saw Paul Clemens there. Reminded me he ignored my last e-mail, if it even made it past the spam filter. What author flogging a book wouldn’t want valuable publicity from a hyperlocal website? I mean, so what if he’s been on “The Daily Show,” I run GrossePointeToday.com, which draws tens of eyeballs every day. Well, at least now I know he’s in the Brownell phone directory.

I read that Aretha story, linked above. I expect the Freep will be covering all of Aretha’s concerts from now on, sort of a deathwatch deal, although as they point out, she seems healthy and in good voice. I hope this is the last time we’ll see the phrase “triumphant return” in a headline, however. That’s another one of those journo-clichés that has no opposite; everyone’s return is triumphant, or else it’s not noted. Charlie Sheen’s better-received Chicago show, after his Detroit disaster, was probably called a triumphant return to the one-man-train-wreck stage.

A long week, and I’m glad it’s over. We had another bank robbery here, right around the corner from my house, in fact. I have to stop reading about these things on Facebook, because it makes my eyes cross, some of the ignorant stuff people say. For instance: “Too bad no one had a gun, so they could have blown the guy’s face off.” Yeah, that is a virtual guarantee of a happy ending to any armed robbery, don’t you agree? Guy walks into a bank and sticks it up, and some dime-store avenger pulls his own gun, and for what? To keep a federally insured financial institution from losing a couple grand. Of course it would have gone well, because the avenger is able to pull his piece without attracting attention, his aim is true, and the worst anyone gets is a bad dry-cleaning bill. The things some people must fantasize about. It makes you shudder.

Not much bloggage today; I’m tapioca. But a little:

For the first time, a majority of Americans support gay marriage. Enjoy your island while it lasts social conservatives; you’re no longer connected to dry land, and the tide is rising.

Unless, of course, the Rapture occurs this weekend. Then you might be OK.

First comes grandchild, then comes marriage — OK, with different kids, but still. $P is a mother of the groom. Congratulations and happiness to the non-embarrassing members of the family.

And with that, I’m late and must run. Happy weekend, all.

Posted at 9:15 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

81 responses to “I can hear music.”

  1. Mindy said on May 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

    We’ll all fry together when we fry.

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  2. brian stouder said on May 20, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Speaking of “effortless self-effacement” and the fast-approaching end of the world, our 15 year old wants to meet a girl at Jefferson Pointe (an open-air mall) this evening (at 5 pm sharp!), and Pam and I are busily readying contingency plans and the like, for whatever occurs. In fact, the more we consider the possibilities (she’s nowhere to be found; she’s there with another fella; she bails within the first 5 minutes; etc), we’re not even sure what a “good” outcome would be (although we can go on and on about the not-good ones)

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  3. LAMary said on May 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I went to look at the Track Palin link and got distracted over there by something about Newt Gingrich and Dancing Queen. He’s got that song as his ring tone and he loved the movie, Mamma Mia. So did John McCain. His favorite song is Dancing Queen. What is up with this?

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  4. brian stouder said on May 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Mary – Rachel had me laughing uproariously last night, on the subject of Newty’s ring-tone. And the topper was – the Iowa town he was in when it rang:


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  5. nancy said on May 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I was wondering about this last night, when one of the numbers was a Queen medley. I hated Queen then, I hate Queen now. When did we decide Queen was a classic?

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  6. brian stouder said on May 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Right after every professional and semi-professional sports arena in the USA began playing “We are the Champions” whenever they’re not playing “We Will Rock You” on their PA systems

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  7. beb said on May 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Nancy, you hate Queen? Wow. I intensely dislike AC/DC but I wouldn’t use the work “hate.”

    Came across a news article on Yahoo where a town in California was shocked to discover that they were paying their full-time professional lifeguards $200,000 a year. That was the headline. The second paragraph said it was $100,000 — in the weasel words “total compensation” and further down one discovers that average pay for these full-time professionals was more like $16-$22.

    And reading further one finds that the full-time professional lifeguards are a part of the fire department and the head of the group holds a position comparable to Fire Battalion Chief. And that the professional staff are mostly managers for the part-time summer staff. And run training programs and such year round. It almost sounds like someone was writing a hatch piece to undermine the position of the Lifeguard’s union while they are negotiating a new contract.

    And Atrios links to an article where someone is aghast that bus drivers make $38,000 a year when they should obviously be making so much less.

    Makes you think there’s class warfare going on.

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  8. Scout said on May 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    @beb – I’m with you on the AC/DC thing. Nothing gets me scrambling for the remote faster than the opening gong on “Hells Bells.” Ugh.

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  9. nancy said on May 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    “Hell’s Bells” sucks, but “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” — that’s art.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on May 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks, Mindy, I hadn’t thought of Tom Lehrer in years. “Doing the Vatican Rag” was always a favorite. Utter brilliance.

    It’s not really surprising that so many Repubs like ABBA, is it? Even on its first time around it was elevator music, and I say that as a deep fan of the movie Mamma Mia.

    Does it sound like the latest Palin marriage was a rush job?

    The sun, she is shining–I’m out to enjoy it.

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  11. Jeff Borden said on May 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I cannot let the trashing of “Hell’s Bells” stand. The Chicago Blackhawks play it as the team comes out of the tunnel and it’s perfect. And AC/DC shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Queen.

    Meanwhile, I’m wondering what Track and Britta will name their child. My guess is a male child will be named Truck and a female SUV, in keeping with the Palin habit of hanging goofy monickers around the necks of their kids. I sure hope this young woman and her family understand the weird and horrible world they are entering by marrying into Alaska’s most blatant grifters.

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  12. Jenine said on May 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I love Queen but no one else is obligated. It’s probably just been long enough to “rediscover” them.

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  13. brian stouder said on May 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    And speaking of spring fever/effortless self effacement, just a few days ago Pam was telling me about the first boy she kissed, who took to calling her Elizabeth. This was because he was a big-big-big fan of WWF wrestling, and his favorite character was Macho Man, whose girlfriend was….Elizabeth. (So by extension, he was calling himself Macho Man, but we digress). And then today – BOOM! – comes the news that Macho Man (Randy Savage?) had a heart attack while driving his car, and that was the end of his world.

    Anyway, it gave Pam pause (and I am actively resisting the urge to make any number of stupid puns, while she mourns)

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  14. coozledad said on May 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    There are a couple of Queen songs I like, mostly because they’re in the mold of that Marc Bolan three chord boogie. Sparks did heavy metal Victoriana first, though, and probably better. I’m always surprised how pedestrian my musical tastes are, even after learning stuff about how it’s done.
    My wife and I differ on certain bands. She finally got to the point where she could listen to the first two Everything But The Girl LPs. But when I put on Pet Sounds, and Brian Wilson starts keening “Don’t talk (Put your head on my shoulder)” She inevitably says “Shut that fat son of a bitch up or put on your headphones”.

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  15. nancy said on May 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Terry Gross did an interview with one of the Queen guys, who’s now an astrophysicist or some other rocket scientist. He described how he made the sound of the clap/stomps on “We Will Rock You” using 70s-era analog technology. It involved prime numbers, and quickly sailed over my mathematically numb skull, but it sounded entertaining.

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  16. basset said on May 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    When Mrs. B. and I were first dating, she thought John Denver did country music. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and a few Willie Nelson concerts soon cured that.

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  17. Connie said on May 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I had a brief conversation earlier this week with Erik Larson, author of “Devil in the White City” and newly released “Beasts in the Garden.” I told him I had heard him on Fresh Air the previous week. He told me that 1) His Fresh Air appearance had an immediate and amazing impact on sales, and 2) Terry Gross never ever has her guests in her own studio. Which, having heard the raunchy provocative interview with Gene Simmons a few years ago I was relieved to hear.

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  18. brian stouder said on May 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and a few Willie Nelson concerts soon cured that.

    Don Williams.

    All I recall, from when I caught his show here in Fort Wayne at the outdoor theater by Franke Park (thirty-odd years ago) was that he audibly sniffed the air, and then drawled “Smells like rain”; and then – off to the side, somewhat muffled – “definitely smells like rain t’me”

    And within an hour, it was raining

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  19. Carolyn said on May 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Nancy and Brian – The best reading on middle school girls’ life that I’ve encountered is called Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. I couldn’t have gotten through little B’s middle school years without it. Tina Fey’s nouveau classic movie Mean Girls is based on the book. As Wiseman writes: The power politics of Dick Cheney’s White House was nothing compared to seventh- and eighth-grade girl world.

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  20. Peter said on May 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Cooz, I can understand. My lovely spouse loves oldies, but any time a Beach Boys song comes on, or someone starts playing Pet Sounds, the station gets changed or the radio goes out the window.

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  21. Bitter Scribe said on May 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Enjoy your island while it lasts social conservatives; you’re no longer connected to dry land, and the tide is rising.

    Sentences like that are why this is one of my new favorite blogs.

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  22. Dexter said on May 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Brian May is an interesting cat. Here’s a link, isolating his interview with interview-king Ron Bennington. I have heard the guitar that he used with Queen was made from wood from an ancient fireplace. May also wrote songs for the band, both solo projects as well as dual-credit projects with Mr. Mercury.
    A lot of Bennington’s interviews are linked here…a treasure of words. First, Brian May, guitarist for super group Queen.

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  23. Dexter said on May 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    …and hey, who has time to listen to all these interviews? But this one is pretty cool…David Lynch.

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  24. brian stouder said on May 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    My opinion of David Lynch and his movies is as high or higher than some people’s opinion of the Cohen brothers.

    Just sayin’

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  25. moe99 said on May 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I’ve signed up with the post-Rapture looting crowd. Be there or be square this Saturday!

    Speaking of islands, I thought this was an interesting map:


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  26. moe99 said on May 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm


    So all the rest of you looters at heart can join in for tomorrow’s festivities!

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  27. Suzanne said on May 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm

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  28. Suzanne said on May 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Brian, I was AT that Don Williams concert and until you mentioned it, had pretty much forgotten about it.
    Carolyn, I completely agree about Queen Bees and Wannabes. My daughter’s middle school years were some of the worst of our lives. I have said for years that we could end the Iraq or Afghanistan troubles in an hour if we shipped a couple of plane loads of hormonal middle school girls over there and turned them loose. Meanest people in the world, they are.

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  29. John G. Wallace said on May 20, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I’m with Nancy on Rock & Roll ain’t noise pollution. I happen to like “thunderstruck,” even if the lyrics are just a reference to oral sex while on tour. Capt. Dave, who writes the airline pilot blog I mentioned a few times here – “Flight Level 390” recently said that his mental soundtrack for an engine failure on takeoff is Thunderstruck, at least in the sim, when the engine always catches fire at VR and max fuel and weight.

    I now have freelancers working for my website and I’m trying out some people who show real promise but have worked in other fields. One guy works for a NASA subcontractor here but is now back in college taking English courses and lierature.

    He was shocked to learn that copy editors are a thing of the past, or at least a greatly reduced population. I told him that the ones who actually read a story when proofing it are nearly extinct. His assignment for the weekend – “Enola Homosexual.” Been busy at work – added daily beach reports – and enjoying the quiet bliss in the neighborhood with the house next door now vacant.

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  30. MichaelG said on May 20, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    John G. Send us your URL, please. I would like to see your site.

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  31. Deborah said on May 21, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Writing this from Charlote, NC. Much nicer weather than Chicago. Lots more will be raptured here, judging by all the churches and religious billboards I see everywhere. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for Rielle Hunter.

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  32. moe99 said on May 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm


    Guess all the promised tea partier attendees got raptured ahead of time.

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  33. prospero said on May 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Naturally, I like AC/DC (anybody that doesn’t get what a riot Dirty Deeds and Big Balls are, not to mention the paraphrase of the gladiator valediction, is missing a rock ‘n’ roll sensibility gene) and I think some of the guitar pyrotechnics from Brian May, like the solo in We Will Rock you and Champions are something to aspire to on the guitar. Furthermore, the amazingly tight choral vocal arrangements by Queen are fairly amazing, strictly from the point of view of musicality. They can be bombastic and AC/DC can be pretty misogynistic, but taking it too seriously is silly. There are more momentous things going on in the world, like the criminalization of the Bris in SF. But doesn’t this lead to conflict. Muslims also circumcise babies, and what with sandstorms and smegma and all, it’s easy to understand how the practice could get to be Mosaic law, much of which is purely utilitarian, which differs from Sharia, how?

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  34. Dexter said on May 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Alright, the following YouTube, made just yesterday, I understand,will leave you speechless with your mouth a-gap.
    It’s from Cannes.

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  35. prospero said on May 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    If Aldous Huxley had tried to make up the Soma music group, he would have come up with ABBA. They made exactly one interesting song. The Visitors. Who spiked their lemonade? Sounds like the StonesWe Love You.

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  36. Jolene said on May 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    An item from The Onion, with a kicker just for Nancy.

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  37. brian stouder said on May 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Jolene – that Onion bit was excellent!

    And here’s an item from today’s newspaper that made me guffaw:


    Here is the (somewhat fractured) lead:

    Gov. Mitch Daniels said Friday he still hasn’t decided on running for president.
    But despite the looming decision, the governor seemed relaxed as he headed in workout clothes for his daily gym visit. But after his workout about 1:30 p.m., he was standing near a door that suddenly swung open and struck Daniels in the forehead.
    His security detail took him to Methodist Hospital, where he received 16 stitches. He was recovering at home Friday afternoon. “The governor said he unleashed a creative expletive when it happened. And before he got the stitches, he checked with the doctor to make sure he didn’t charge by the stitch,” Daniels spokeswoman Jane Jankowski said. “Hasn’t lost his sense of humor.”

    Y’know, where I work we had a friendly visit from IOSHA recently; one wonders how thoroughly that gym will be scrutinized, now that they have caused a time-loss injury to our diminutive governor.

    And indeed – I suppose Mitch’s security detail can now be referred to as a “crack security detail” – at least with reference to Mitch’s head.

    Aside from that, one wonders if this incident might actually affect Mitch’s decision on whether or not to run for the GOP nomination

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  38. Suzanne said on May 21, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Heck, I just want to know what the “creative expletive” was that the Gov spit out!

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  39. Kirk said on May 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Divorce, cussing. That guy sure knows how to piss off evangelical voters.

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  40. prospero said on May 21, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    How i’d say I’m an an asshole. There imo 2ay I could ever make up to you. I really think there is some way ro you swwm like like I always thought you were some friends. I halfw norhintgg whar you whar\t think.

    there is n way I don’t think t kidoo is nor bullshor.
    we ;ovw rhis kidd. t is spectzculr;y ahir/

    whr wvwr qw ay/
    Who we carw.. What we think.

    wedonotwhat ahat we think.

    we donotwhatwhat whztwesy thing. . There is no wzy whzt we szay. ying is an asshole. would be willing to consider I m sy more smrty thn nything you might thing. Thix ix riciculoux,m bdczuxe ˆzm xmeter thzn you rs. So fuck ou.. Kozz my azz/
    Doh’t be n xxhold.

    we lielike xhir/I’m am assh

    we lovw thire haow we say.

    shw is si perfwcr/ This is zbsurd/ She is bzsically perfwxr.She i whr we cr. Is somebodwy kissinf? t’s what whzr we s/

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  41. nancy said on May 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I don’t know about you, Prospero, but I’d like a T-shirt reading “Kozz my azz.”

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  42. Deborah said on May 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I’m still here and seems like everyone else is too. No rapture that I can tell.

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  43. brian stouder said on May 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    No rapture teeshirt opportunity: Kozz my azz.

    PS – nor bullshor

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  44. LAMary said on May 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    LA is still here. I had to work most of the day at a busy job fair and came home unwilling and unable to carry on a minimal conversation, so I watched Roadhouse, all the way through. So gay. And someone on ION channel has a sense of humor because it’s followed by Top Gun.
    As long as no one in the house bothers me I might just make something good for dinner. Just don’t make me talk.
    I want one of those T Shirts too.

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  45. coozledad said on May 21, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Speaking to you from a metal folding chair in the afterlife.
    Unfortunately it’s more or less the registration renewal line at the DMV with out of date strawberry wafers and Kroger ginger ale.
    Ooops. Almost forgot!


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  46. LAMary said on May 21, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    If I get to work on Monday and the annoying fundie in my office shows up, I consider the whole thing busted. If anyone was going to get sucked up by the sky, she was the one.

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  47. brian stouder said on May 21, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    So Mary – what did you make for dinner?

    I’m thinking Rapturous Rigatoni, or maybe end-of-days enchiladas, or possibly apocalypse artichoke pasta; or – in case your co-worker is gone on Monday – Left Behind leg of lamb (I was going to say Left Behind Lasagna, but it just didn’t have the same ring).

    And now, I am hungry

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  48. Dexter said on May 22, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Trying to balance yard chores with all the great TV…the Mt. Baldy ascent , Amgen Tour of California was great, and the Chicago Cubs were in Boston, first time since 1918 or something, the Reds were in Cleveland, always a must-watch for Ohio baseball fans, and I was hand-writing a letter to my grandson in US Army training in Missouri, plus I had to get a load of groceries at the store and fix dinner. So by the time I glanced at the time it was 7:59…and I was still HERE? Almost two hours of overtime, so I waited.
    So I got out my fave tee shirt of all time, one I bought at Miracle Mart in Fort Wayne in the fall of 1971.
    It has Mister Natural on the front, with the infamous Robert Crumb words, “Keep on Truckin’ “. And since nuthin’ happened? That’s just what I shall do.

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  49. Deborah said on May 22, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Coozledad, it took me awhile to get your Houdini reference. Good one.

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  50. Linda said on May 22, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Well, Brian, I guess you are stuck w/Daniels as gov for the next whatever. I mean, you would be anyway, but he won’t be distracted by a presidential bid. The only sort of moderate the Republicans have with any money is Romney, and he will be pushed so hard to the right by Herman Cain, et al in the primaries that he will be spoiled goods by November 2012. And a president with only a lousy but ascending jobs/economic record will be re-elected, but this time a left of center Democrat. The ‘teens are indeed shaping up as the bizarro version of the 1980s.

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  51. basset said on May 22, 2011 at 9:55 am

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  52. Dexter said on May 22, 2011 at 10:02 am

    coozledad, tell the missus to rejoice; brian wilson is calling it a career, as the voices inside are getting too loud, and he can no longer deal with them . he is done with the road now.
    on the down side for her, pet sounds still sells, so she’ll have to buy earplugs when you drop the needle on the vinyl.

    i am a big fan of brian as well as the beatles, but by the time their game-changing albums were released, i didn’t see the need for change, so i cringed a bit. i still never have warmed up to Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, at all, so as far as turning-point albums go, I just gotta give the nod to Pet Sounds. Here’s the beachlife pop kings, emulating “A Hard Day’s Night” , Beatle haircuts and all.

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  53. Linda said on May 22, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Politico.com wanting 2 b hip:
    “Mitch slapped GOP looks for a new option.”

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  54. Suzanne said on May 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

    With Mitch’s announcement, I imagine some “creative expletives” being uttered by any number of the GOP faithful.

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  55. coozledad said on May 22, 2011 at 11:42 am

    In the funeral oration of Pericles, he talks about the character of a nation as expressed through its architecture. This looks like a prison compound/bus terminal with a motel reflecting pool.
    Half this country is unable to smell shit.

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  56. brian stouder said on May 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Cooz – wow. I mean, wow. The first comment encapsulates the whole angry/reactionary archetectural mileiu, to wit:

    Ironic, isn’t it, that Sarah Palin would buy a place that looks remarkably like Osama bin Laden’s compound.

    Just so.

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  57. beb said on May 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    basset at 51 couldn’t have said it better.

    Mitch dropping out leaves the Tea Party with — a black man as their leading candidate. Lester Maddox must be rolling in his grave.

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  58. prospero said on May 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Uh, Brian and Cooz, didn’t Sarah and the Teabaggers already held a rally at the Blue Mosque in San Diego?

    Dexter. Turning point albums? I’d say Never Mind the Bollocks or maybe Reckoning. Or nothing at all and it’s a continuum, with horseshit like Gaga thrown in the road, like possums on the half-shell (Armadildo roadkill on the interstate in Georgia, and ain’t that a global warming kicker?). Sometimes something good gets left behind, like Badfinger and Mmmbop. Anybody that doesn’t think that song is excellent is pretty much a moron. It’s as good as back in the day when Michael Jackson was good. Like ABC But better vocals. These boys could play, and they wrote a great song.

    Orange Crush because it’s so excellent. Best bass player not named Entwistle or Jack Bruce. Or Tal. Or maybe Kate. There are morons that think U2 IS good band. The guitar player has the tuning changed on every song, because he cn;t plaay if his life depended on it.

    Now can anybody say that Beatle Paul has written a good song since Jet and Junior’s Farm? Those are just as moronic as anything you could imagine. Whose a better band? U2 or REM? Which didn’t try to be the savior? And he’s dissing Randy Newman.

    ABC But better vocals.

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  59. LAMary said on May 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I made some linguine bolognese, arugula with balsamic vinegar, and dessert of grapefruit, oranges and blackberries with a little bit of honey.
    That house is Scottsdale is exactly why I have avoided most parts of Arizona since about 1982. Flagstaff may still be ok, but I think it’s getting trashed by Phoenix area commuters. It’s at least a 120 mile commute. The ugly house Bristol bought and the even uglier compound the mom bought perfectly fit their mentality.

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  60. prospero said on May 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Flag is for poseurs, and for John Tesh, Mary. The Arizona Biltmore is pretty amazing. Although it’s an ecological abomination, which Frank Loyd Wright never intended. The desert is supposed to be the desert. And as much as I like boating on Lake Powell, I still say blow the Glen Canyon dam. Hayduke lives. California has stolen water long enough. And LA should return to being the desert. These aholes sure as shit can’t run TV. Cancel Terriers? Freaking morons. Most intelligent TV since Jim Rockford, you maroons.

    And LAMary, none of that was directed at you. But holy shit, how does some network dickhead delete Terriers? And perpetuate some shit like Dancing with the Stars, when the only participant remotely a star was Hines Ward, a sure as shit hall of famer, and a better football player by miles than for instance that weenie Lynn Swann. I mean, how are these stars, and how are those fools on the Donald Trump Show Celebrities? And poll tests, like Newt says? I say there are scads of redneck morons that ought to be banned once and for all from voting for anybody. Clearly, Newt is one. Redneck nation.

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  61. Jeff Borden said on May 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    So. . .with mild-mannered Mitch deciding against a presidential run, who’s left? I continue to think Mitt Romney will be the Walter Mondale of the GOP, a candidate who is not enthusiastically backed but has the money and the political chits to call in.

    There’s a great story in New York magazine about how much of the current GOP mess falls on Roger Ailes and his courting of right-wing political figures. He apparently wants Chris Christie to run, but that’s a no go.

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  62. Dexter said on May 22, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Think you can predict which side of this international issue a new friend is on? Doubtful. I am writing of Palestinian / Israeli struggles.
    Just a couple days ago Obama was speaking of “return to pre-1967 borders.”
    The next day, Obama gets lectured by Netanyahu on internatinal television feeds.
    And today, Obama addresses AIPAC (Israeli lobby) and says he meant “return to pre 1967 borders WITH SWAPS!”
    He then clearly defined what he “meant”.
    And what this means is that Obama continues to wither when he tries to say something progressive that might just give a little hope to the Palestinians .
    Netanyahu’s stern rebuke on TV, right in Obama’s face, and the immediate mea culpa by Obama today at the AIPAC get-together, is the low point of his administration in my book. The Israeli lobby owns Obama. I am not even going to argue, because I know this part of the world stirs people up. Usually when I write a small criticism of the way Israel behaves I get called “anti-Semitic” , by people who believe that to be against any Israeli military aggression is to be against all Jews, somehow. Well, “chillax” and don’t be so jumpy. A lot of Jews hate to see suffering, too, from what I read.

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  63. beb said on May 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    The only solution for the Israeli-Palestinian issue is nuclear holocaust. Burn Jerusalem to the ground and maybe 20 or 30 meter beyond. There’s just no pleasuring some people!

    Apparently Obama did say “swaps” the first time around, which essentially what every other US president has said. Someone (I;m looking at you, Fox News, decided to edit reality to make Obama look bad. The problem these days is that Israel is no longer willing to swap land for peace. They seem to be determined to find a “final solution” to their Palestinian problem.

    I don’t have a horse in this race. I’m just saying that after 50 years peace is as fae away as ever. Kind of like black-white relations in America.

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  64. prospero said on May 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Dexter, the swaps were always part of the deal, and they wouldldn’t be required had not Israel pulled the spectacularly illegal bullshit of the settlements. What in the world is an American President supposed to do. The Israelis have ignored, well broken, international law. They actually don’t give a shit. They’ve imposed aphartheid on Palestinians. They have spyed on America while we sent them cash. They have teamed with the DeKlerks to build a nuclear arsenal at Dimona. Why should anybody trust this government? They are assholes and about as full of shit as anybody could imagine. Are we joking? And nutcases want to attack Iran? Israel is not an ally of the USA. That country fucks this one over consistently. They need to shut the hell up and stand up for themselves. What a crock. And finding the Israeli government ant its apharteid behaviour heinous, that isn’t anti-semitism. Well, they are all Semites. But the government of Israel is an international thug. Their thugism produces more. Anybody says that isn’t so just contributes to the problem. Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is, without a doubt, apartheid. They can spout bullshit about Jimma Carter, but that is exactly what they are doing. It is obvious.

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  65. prospero said on May 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Beb, that’s interesting. Only Israel has the wherewithal. I do find it objectionable that Israel claims it can act outside of international law because of what Nazi Germany did to Jews, and basically do the same thing to other people. What inexcusable horseshit.

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  66. prospero said on May 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Israel also sits on a purloined nuke arsenal, and whackjob Americans want to wage war on Iran because they might build nukes. Which country has a right to feel it’s in danger? People are nucking futs.

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  67. prospero said on May 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    And when Israel blows up Iran, and they will start WWIII, that will be alright, because Nazis killed Jews.

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  68. MichaelG said on May 22, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Sounds great, Mary. You can come to my house any time and I won’t talk to you.

    Prospero, first time anybody has ever agreed with me that Lynn Swann was a weenie. Also I pretty much agree with you about the right wing religious thugs that run Israel.

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  69. prospero said on May 22, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Conflating Jewish people and the Israeli State is seriously stupid. Netanyahu was found guilty of fraud, well his kid took the rap, and he doesn’t give a shit about anything but the amazing graft available to agybody running the Israeli government. He’s a crook, no matter how you look at it. US aid doesn’t really amount to dick, but why in hell does the US give aid cash to the most corrupt government that isn’t Pakistan? What a joke.

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  70. MaryRC said on May 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    I so agree with Prospero that the desert should be the desert. Nature never intended a lawn in AZ to be that green.

    I’ve heard that Palin bought the AZ home because (1) she wants a easier-to-get-to base in the lower 48 for a presidential campaign and (2) she wants Joe Miller as her VP (since the presidential and VP nominees can’t come from the same state). I find the idea of (2) dubious to say the least — didn’t the Palins and Miller have a falling-out? Who would want him around their neck anyway? But (1) seems not unlikely.

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  71. prospero said on May 22, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Michael G. Lynn Swann is to Hynes Ward what an Oscar Meyer is to a hard salami. Did Lynn Swann ever block anybody? And he became a black republic politician. As Randy Newman would say, too bad,Mr. Sheep Jesus, What a jerk.
    How does somebody sell out like that? Beause he is an absolute weenie excuse for a football player.

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  72. moe99 said on May 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm


    I posted this yesterday without much explanation but it’s worth going back to in light of the Obama and pre-67 borders of Israel. It’s a current map of what passes for Palestine these days. It looks like an archipelago except that the sea is all Israel.

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  73. prospero said on May 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Lynn Swann should have played for the Cowboys. Anybody that doesn’t understand Hynes is the best Steeler receiver does not know dick about football. And Mary, the desert is pretty much awesome. I’ve only been one place more gorgeous in my life. That would be the Canyon. And you can’t look at it, you must hike it.

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  74. coozledad said on May 22, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    The ’67 borders solution was suggested by our military higher ups, who’ve been paid to research contingencies, and arrive without much effort at the Richard Nixon foreign policy checklist.
    Obama isn’t floating any radical ideas. He’s attempting to use his political cache to avert a bloodbath.
    The Republicans have seized this as another “fire up the yokels” opportunity to criticize what is essentially their own policy stance for forty or so years. They no longer give the slightest fuck about bloodshed. Bush, and our television presenters, taught them blood is cheap, and fun.
    I had to talk to a Republican idiot about this very subject this weekend. A no concept of history motherfucker. Talk radio boy.
    If there were some way to ship the motherfuckers to a Bibleland free-for-all somewhere where there were no innocents, and it were up to me, I’d press whatever goddamn button it took to get the dumbasses killing each other right away.
    Tiresome sons of bitches.

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  75. Jolene said on May 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Dexter, I didn’t hear Obama’s speech today as a mea culpa. I heard him saying, “Listen, you dopes. Here’s what I tried to say.” According to the Post, Netanyahu’s aides are playing down the division. Apparently, he’s gotten a fair amount of flak for lecturing Obama in the Oval Office.

    This morning, they interrupted regular programming on CNN to show the AIPAC speech. Afterward Palestinian and Israeli representatives were supposed to appear to respond, but only the Palestinian rep showed up, which I took to be a sign that they knew it was time to be cautious and not get in any more public arguments.

    I’m taking my cues, in part, from Jeff Goldberg, who blogs at The Atlantic, and also writes longer articles for them and others. He’s ardently pro-Israeli, but also acutely aware that, given the demographic and political realities facing Israel, the intransigence of the Israeli right is bad for the country.

    As I write, CNN is reporting more terrible tornadoes–this time in Missouri.

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  76. brian stouder said on May 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    1. Regarding Israel/Palestine, who could disagree with the truism that jaw-jaw beats war-war, every time? If talks can be spurred, this is a good thing, right? Unless there’s a Democrat in the White House, and you’re a wingnut, apparently.

    2. Regarding the prospective Palin compound, take a look at the slide show for a mansion in Nance’s old 46807 zip code in good ol’ Fort Wayne, Indiana


    A million-and-a-half dollars, and exposure to “real Americans” from pretty much every walk of life within a two mile radius. Plus, the mansion looks like a mansion, and not like a revamped Motel 6 in Abbottabad.

    3. Thanks to this book review, “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother” by Janny Scott has now been added to my father’s day wish list


    an excerpt:

    Yet the key to understanding the disciplined and often impassive 44th president is his mother, as Janny Scott, a reporter for the New York Times, decisively demonstrates in her new biography, “A Singular Woman.” The solicitousness that can anger liberals, the deliberativeness that can infuriate conservatives, the unusual combination of belief in both empirical research and human goodness, the wicked cutting humor – all of it comes from a woman who defied conventions.


    Dunham’s [Barack’s mom] choices and character were not without family precedent. Education was both goal and structure for her Kansan forbears, who were farmers, teachers and ministers; both of Ann’s paternal grandparents graduated from college, and her mother’s siblings all managed to get graduate degrees. Her mother, though, the oldest, saw her own plans for college cut down by the Depression and looming war. Madelyn Payne escaped the boredom of sturdily simple Augusta, Kan., by slipping away from her prom at 17 and marrying the dashing Stanley Dunham, much to the dismay of her parents. Their marriage was stormy and long-lasting. Madelyn worked her way up to first female vice president of Bank of Hawaii, out-earning her husband. When her only child announced she intended to marry the charismatic Kenyan, Madelyn surely would have remembered “her youthful romantic rebellion, her secret marriage and her parents’ reaction.” Resilience mattered. When Stanley decided the family would move, for the eighth time, and settle in Hawaii, Madelyn remarked to one of Ann’s friends, “We Dunhams usually bob to the surface.” Ann coped by becoming a curious outsider, and she taught her son to do the same. She grew to relish moving through different worlds that way. She was always “dislocating the center,” as a friend put it. Her son came to yearn for stability, a sense of self and place.

    The book sounds wonderful, and indeed – the women are always the most interesting part of history, if only because they’re so often overlooked.

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  77. coozledad said on May 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Brian: My wife was reading something to me, an anecdote from Barack’s childhood in Indonesia. The racial climate there is hostile toward blacks. His mother’s neighbors wanted to know if they should intervene because they witnessed the neighborhood kids chucking rocks at him, while he stubbornly persisted in trying to play with them. She told them he was used to it.
    It sounds simultaneously like a.The beginnings of a hagiography, and b. a more or less accurate distillation of his character.

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  78. prospero said on May 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Netanyahu is a criminal. Why would anybody take anything this jackass says seriously. And the next time he says anything about Israel’s right to exist, ask him about Palestine’s. It’s a robust crock of shit, and it doesn’t belong in any reasonable conversation. Netanyahu and his governing thugs put Hamas in half the drivers’ seat, on purpose, to damage Fatah. Smart fucking idea, right? Yeah, because now they can insist that there’s an intsigent enemy that denies the righrt to existence of Israel. Assholes and master manipulators. Blaming shit on Hamas when Hamas is a creature of Netanyahu government is bogus as shit.

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  79. Dexter said on May 23, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Jolene, you are right, but why would Obama invoke “go back to 1967…” in his text? He was establishing a flash point and he knew it. Hardly anybody knew what the hell “mutually agreed swaps..” were. Now we all know, that’s for sure.
    I have watched at least two of Obama’s addresses to AIPAC, and if you are hoping that Obama will try to do something to assist the Palestinians, forget it. The USA is locked into pouring its treasury into Zionist ideals.

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  80. Dexter said on May 23, 2011 at 2:10 am


    What hath God wrought?

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  81. Dorothy said on May 23, 2011 at 10:14 am

    For the record, it’s HINES, not Hynes. His partner in DWTS is Kym – maybe you’re confusing the placement of the letter Y, Prospero.

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