Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

didn't anybody tell you, this river's full of lost sharks

Another one for the "I really should have my camera with me all the time" files...Monday evening rush hour, 16th & Valencia, guy is standing in the middle of Valencia holding a McCain/Palin sign. That is mavericky, my friends.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

help save the youth of america

What popped into my head while watching the last debate between Obama and McCain.

Americans are hurting and angry and angry and hurting and hurting and angry.

I wonder how Joe the Plumber feels about being in a tug-of-war betwen Obama and McCain?

McCain scares me when he salivates over using a hatchet and a scalpel.

Didn't McCain vote for most of the Bush budgets that were pork and ear-mark laden?

McCain knows how to save all these billions of $$..which is funny given how much money Charles Keating cost the u.s. taxpayers in large measure thanks to McCain.

Again with the overhead projector!

Americans are hurting and angry at being reminded how hurting and agry they are.

Actually, McCain backslid on the torture thing, so stop giving him credit for it.

Schieffer is letting McCain get the last word much too often so far.

Schieffer is challenging them to get into a vebal pissing match on stage?

Does McCain really want us to believe that he wouldn't have gone negative if Obama had done the town halls? Nice that Obama finally (sort of) called him on that b.s.

Enough with the crocodile tears and the calls for repudiation. Get to something meaningful.

Here we go, ACORN. Forget that they are above board. Forget also, McCain, that YOU went to an ACORN meeting. Obama did a good job countering the ACORN issue.

Again, McCain gets the last word!

Nice question about the respective Veep nominees. McCain backed off of the "bridge to nowhere" lie but kept up the gas pipeline lie. And why is he talking about autism when Palin's baby has Downs Synrome? Nice answer by Obama..."she's a capable politician who's excited the base of the Republican party". Says it all in answer to a question about her qualification to be President.

Uh oh, he called the black guy "eloquent".

Nice eye roll by McCain when Obama talked about human rights and labor protections. Says all you need to know about GOP ideology.

And AGAIN McCain gets the last word. Did someone tally this?

And Joe the Plumber gets another shout-out, this time on health care. Again, this needs to be tallied.

McCain still hasn't learned how to smile without looking creepy.

"Senator Government"...funny from a guy who's been in Congress for two+ decades.

How could Obama have voted against Justice Bryer, who was nominated in 1994?

Niiiiice use of the Ledbetter Supreme Court decision and subsequent attempt at legislation.

Why no mention of Joe the Plumber in the Roe v. Wade segment?

"Health of the mother" is just a malleable trope for abortion extremists? Ok.

And AGAIN McCain gets the last word.

Is this the first question about education in any of the three Presidential debates?

Yes! Obama talks about student loan debt.

Sarah Palin's kid is not autisitic? Or at least the baby isn't. Is one of the other kids autistic?

At least Obama got the last word on closing statements.

Nineteen days to go (as of Thursday morning).. The election can't come quick enough.

my mind's gone loose inside the shell

This is the nexus of middle class America, negative political advertising, and an economy that's in the crapper.
The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. "Well, I don't know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I'm sick of paying for health insurance at work and that's why I'm supporting Barack."
This quote encapsulates how McCain and Palin's associative language trick linking Obama to Ayers has worked in the minds of some voters. It works in much the same way that it worked for Bush in getting people to think that Saddam Hussein was suporting al Queda (link goes to pdf) and might have had something to do with 9/11. All they (McCain/Palin) have been doing is saying that Obama associated with a known terrorist on a non-profit board, and people hear half the words and make the leap to "Obama=terrorist".

And these weren't hard-core conservatives in the focus group. They were "Reagan Dems and Independents. Call them blue-collar plus. Slightly more Target than Walmart."

This is a frighteningly fascinating look into how people process information, and that the skilled rhetoriticians who craft campaign messages know this and (in this case as with Saddam::al Queda) use the power of association to get low-attention voters, outright dimwits or people just looking for a good rationalization to make the link, all while keeping a plausible deniability of being able to say "Hey, we never said Obama is a terrorist". Perhaps the only saving grace is that the economy is bad enough that it even trumps the horribly misguided perception that Obama is some kind of Manchurian Candidate.

It's at once fascinating, disgusting and frightening.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

you made me realise

Random thoughts and observations from an evening featuring excellent Thai food and My Bloody Valentine.

* First, the menu at Basil Thai is good from top to bottom. How do I know? Well, our group of 10 ended up eating most of the menu. Lesson #1 - when leaving the ordering for the table to the one person at the table who is a professional chef, don't be surprised when you have more dishes than people. Given that we had one vegan, a few vegetarians and a non-meat eater who would eat fish or chicken, and well...we needed lots of dishes. I'm pretty sure we had just about everything on the appetizer menu. I know that the spring rolls, curry puffs and potstickers are quite good. Among main courses, a tip of the hat to the wok-fried scallops, the crispy catfish (with quite a spicy kick), the eggplant curry....damn, all of it was good.

* My Bloody Valentine are yet another band who I didn't see when they were first around. Given they've had a layoff of more than a decade, I'm sure nobody going to the show knew what to expect. Well, they might have if they read some of the reviews. In any event, what we got was a sensory overload of noise and lights. The band were sharp and powerful (especially the rhythm section) but they were loud. Real loud.

* What's sad is that MBV's records feature pretty melodies and layered sonic textures, yet when they play live at bludgeoningly loud levels, they obliterate the interesting subtleties in their music. The only plus to that is you don't just hear the music, you feel it. The bass rattles your midsection, the guitars seems to wash all over you. Combined with the sensory overload of the lights, you can almost leave your body...almost like the waves of noise and light might carry you above the crowd and let you float there. For the first time in a while at a show I zoned out and forgot about everything else...the people I was there with, the crowd of strangers around me, and was just...there. As a friend said in an email, "I felt I was on drugs without taking any - how cool is that!"

* The 20+ minute wall of feedback and noise at the end of "You Made Me Realise" sounded at its apex like a jet plane landing. It also went on about 10 minutes too long.

* The Councourse at the Design Center is a truly awful sonic experience. Really (see the yelp reviews). No band worth a damn should ever allow itself to be booked there again.

* Too funny...their old label head thinks that MBVs loudness is a one-trick pony, a crutch.

* Other things I remember...red, sparkly telecaster, stacks and stacks of Marshall amps, feedback, backlighting, fans in big silvery boots, long lines to go for the bathroom, for people who were going for a smoke, the ticket-takers handing out earplugs.