Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ultimate McCartney set list

This is a direct challenge to the best Beatle blogger I ever read, Meg over at the never disappointing We were looking at the set list for this tour so far, in advance of seeing him later this summer. Later, I started to wonder what my ideal Paul set list would look like. That's not weird; what's weird is that I then contructed it.

My guidelines: I went mostly with what I would want to hear, but I didn't put on a few of my favorite deep cuts that I thought would be unlikely (although I did put a couple on). I also gave myself a couple of peremptory challenges, which is why he wouldn't be performing Eleanor Rigby or The Long and Winding Road. They also had to be songs he was pretty close to an equal partner in, and where John really wouldn't be missed; Eight Days a Week, would (will) still be awesome, whereas you couldn't really put Hey Bulldog on there. It's a fine line, to be sure, but it's my line, so I know where it is. I also gave myself the right to excise any solo stuff I didn't want to hear, no matter how big a staple a song might be in actuality.

Also, I looked at the current set list and drew on my memory of the last time I saw him to try to pace this show the way he actually builds his. But I also tried to make it a little interesting in new; I'm sure he'd never actually put All Together Now in the second encore.

That said:

Baby You're a Rich Man
I Saw Her Standing There
Penny Lane
You Won't See Me
Hi Hi Hi
Junior's Farm
Sing the Changes
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Got to Get You Into My Life
Eight Days a Week
What You're Doing
Day Tripper
Fixing a Hole
She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
Dance Tonight
Getting Better
Paperback Writer
We Can Work It Out
Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Band on the Run
Maybe I'm Amazed
Live and Let Die
Rocky Raccoon
I'm Looking Through You
Lovely Rita
Let It Be
You Never Give Me Your Money
Hey Jude

Encore I
I've Just Seen a Face
Helter Skelter
Lady Madonna
Get Back

Encore II
Drive My Car
All Together Now
Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight/The End

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Um ... duh

This is great.
Going with that logic, according to our own Health and Human Services Secretary, it isn’t far-fetched to think that the President of the United States could say, we need to save health care expenses — the federal government will only pay for one baby to be born in the hospital per family, or two babies to be born per family. That could happen. We think it couldn’t?
So Bachmann now wants the federal government to pay for babies to be born? Going with that logic, she has zero logic.

If I'm reading this wrong, and what she's saying actually makes sense, please, nobody tell me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


"... Looking at the facts: Look at the debt that has been accumulated in the last two years. It's more debt under this president (Obama) than all those other president combined."
Yes. The $3.7 trillion added to the national debt since the President took office is more than the $10.6 trillion debt he inherited from 'all those other presidents combined.' Because Sarah Palin, inspired by the Republican party's groundbreaking work in falsity over the last 20 years, has made exciting new breakthroughs in math whereby the opposite of truth is now 'fact.'

And yet I swear to God, it's not even half about the stupid shit she says. It's much more about the annoying fucking bitchy way she says it. "Hellooooo! I'm riiiiiight! How stupid Democrats must be to think different!" It doesn't seem possible she's still like this as a biological adult. Isn't that what high school is for -- to pound those obnoxious mannerisms out of you before you enter the adult world, where people are killed for less?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A sobering take on Memorial Day

President Obama:
“It is my most solemn responsibility as President, to serve as Commander-in-Chief of one of the finest fighting forces the world has ever known.”
Sarah Palin:
“This is the greatest fighting force in the world, the U.S. military. It’s not just one of the greatest fighting forces. And I sure hope our president recognizes that. We’re not just one of many. We are the best.”
Ol' troy:
"For the love of Christ, will you just shut the hell up already?"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Start with a tour in the Army

From Salon:
Sarah Palin's trip to Israel -- which has been covered a bit more extensively by the press than her trip to India -- has been a fairly predictable exercise. She said hawkish things and told high-ranking members of the Likud party that they should "stop apologizing" and she'll dine with Benjamin Netanyahu and she has repeatedly announced that she's on Team Jewish People when it comes to the various disagreements in the region.

Dear Sarah

No thanks.

Yer pal
troy (and friends)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

And why the hell are we cheapening Kilimanjaro by comparing it to Olympus?

As a teen, I enjoyed .38 Special's song 'Teacher Teacher', and for years now have had it in my head that it was a really good song. Well, all these years later, I can safely say ... that I have downloaded 'Teacher Teacher.'

My nuanced view

I believe in free speech. And I believe this is stupid.

That is all.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Our girl!

Getting people killed! No, wait, that's a poor choice of words. Kind of as poor as if someone had created this graphic ...

.. and then tweeted this:
Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!" Pls see my Facebook page.

One of those targeted districts was the Arizona 8th, where Gabrielle Giffords had twice been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Giffords somehow managed to win without getting shot, although she didn't dismiss the possibility:
The way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district, when people do that, they have got to realize there are consequences to that.

Today, a 22-year-old Arizona man shot Giffords in the head, and killed six people, a list that included one of Giffords's aides, a federal judge, and a 9-year-old.

In Las Vegas, you could place a bet that Palin would not only fail to accept any responsibility for this, but would attack the media for even suggesting a connection, but that bet now has been taken off the board.

If there's any positive slant on this, it's that it hasn't yet happened to the president, despite all the rhetoric to that effect that has come from scumbags like Palin.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Her favorite album of 2010

"I made a mistake today" starts 'Weightless,' a 17-year-old song re-recorded more recently for 'Boduvt,' the album from Agents of Venus released earlier this year. The words are sung by Allen Towbin in a sort of ethereal way over a progressive sort of guitar arpeggio that hails from a happy-enough G major chord yet still sounds ominous. The overall effect is to suggest a very bad mistake indeed; even after several listens, even knowing where the lyrics are actually going, it is still difficult to hear Towbin sing that line without imagining the song unfolding like a musical version of Taxi Driver.

But that's not the direction in which 'Weightless' goes; that would be too easy for Phil Ristaino, my good friend and favorite lyricist of all time. Instead, the song continues thusly:
I made a mistake today
And gave my whole life away
To shoulder the burden of your trust
I don't care you think I'm wrong
I'd rather be left alone
Sifting the sand for light in dust

'Boduvt' is a big beast of a record, my favorite released this year, with a wide mix of pop and rock styles, expert playing by gifted musicians on inspired songwriting, and always the lyrics, which are never what the seem except for how they so often seem to be brilliant. Phil has begun posting them over at the site, when you can also hear most of the album. (Pro tip: A good introductory sampler would include Fall Off the Earth, Stereo, The Post Relevant Movement, and, of course, Weightless.) Phil was kind enough to write a few billion words for me about the making of the album and just what the hell he means on it.

* * *

Q: 'Weightless' is 17 years old. Was there any debate about re-recording it and putting it on the album, or was it universally popular?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point?

I struggle with my feelings about organized religion. A Reform Jew, I enjoyed my Temple experiences as a kid and teen. Then I stopped being observant (even for a Reform Jew) because I didn't like the menu choices for Passover. Which just goes to reinforce the degree to which my feelings about organized religion are not about organized religion but about me. Now I'm raising a son to be a Reform Jew, thanks to a very giving Catholic wife. And I don't feel like my Temple/Hebrew School/etc. experiences scarred me in any way, short of maybe making it impossible for my heart to ever side with my head and go full agnostic with a side of atheism. I can't point to anything I was ever taught at Temple that I really disagree with.

Like many of the people I despise (or whatever), my feelings about my own organized religion differ from my feelings about other organized religions. I know my fair share of friends and family who are deeply religious (well, the fair share for someone from the Northeast; probably a Bible Belter would have different ideas), and I worry sometimes that my concern for them is symptomatic of some kind of Squeaky Wheel syndrome. I have no issue with someone who takes great strength from their faith, especially in times of need. No, I have an issue with someone who won't shut up about God/Jesus. I don't think it's polite to subject others to constant outbursts about any passion to begin with, really; if someone doesn't respond enthusiastically to my "How 'bout those Patriots!" I'm not going to keep saying it. Worse, these people turn out to be human as the next guy, usually, and there's an especially rotten element, for me, to the person who talks about living up to Jesus's ideals but consistently has trouble walking the walk. These people, of course, deserve all the slack for their failings that I would hope to get for mine, but I find it hard to be that generous with someone who acts like they are asking themselves what Jesus would do at every turn and then sharing their answers with the rest of us.

As I mentioned, this is all likely unfair, at least a little. How many deeply religious people do I know who do not talk about it constantly? (And clearly, I am thinking of organized religion here at an interpersonal level; religious extremism is a much more serious charge for which organized religion has to answer, but not the one that interests me today.)

I also think organized religion gets used as a mental crutch. In the U.S., at least, there are far too many people who are against certain rights of the disenfranchised because their priest/minster/pope/whatever said to be, or because the rest of their congregation is. How many of these people, outside of the influence of their particular organized religion (but rather applying their own interpretations of Jesus's teachings), might have been more human in this way? But they never had a chance.

When I have arguments with the voices inside my head on this subject, they tend to ask me what business it is of mine, my last point notwithstanding. If I want some Southerners to stop worrying about a bunch of gays and pregnant women they don't know, and what those gays and women want to do, probably I should stop worrying about a bunch of Southerners I don't know and what they think, although that's a particularly tough Mobius strip from which to find the exit. This issue excepted, though, the voices ask, what is it to me if some minds seemingly got warped by some reverend?

And that's when some doofus GOP Representative steps in to crystalize the issue. Thanks, doofus!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We've missed you. Have you missed me?

Backstory here: Apparently Sarah Palin's stupid reality show is about to start airing, and someone at Huffington Post was nice enough to watch it so we didn't have to. The incredibly stupid quote that follows is the incredibly stupid Palin on her seemingly stupid family's reaction to writer Joe McGinniss's moving in next door while working on a book about her: They put up a fence, prompting Palin to wane poetic. Now she's explaining that they otherwise would have had to stop doing whatever they were doing before, which, wouldn't you like to know, amiright? Anyway, Palin, big thinker that she is, is ready to lead again, with the help of her magic fence:
"I thought that was a good example, what we just did," she says. "Others can look at it and say oh this is what we need to do to secure our nation's border."

Because, you know, it's the same thing.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dear bigots

Thank you for voicing all of your stupid opinions on the 'Ground Zero Mosque' that is not a mosque, or at Ground Zero, or a hell a lot of your business. Those of us who actually work with or are friends with Muslims have really enjoyed being embarrassed by our more 'patriotic' fellow citizens. If you'd like to give Muslims, gays, and your other frequent targets a break, I will volunteer for a return to the good old days, and some tried and true Jew baiting.

Yer pal

Monday, August 9, 2010

Not a joke

The Polish have this very nice custom, as do some Spanish cultures and no doubt others, where you can tack letters on to a name to make it a diminutive to express affection; Aneta becomes Anetka, for example, the way my wife and her family tack on an -ito or -ita. I think this is something we should adopt here in the U.S. That way, I could call you Anetka to let you know that I'm fond of you, or call you Aneta to let you know I think you're an asshole.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A little love and understanding

Let me see if I've got this straight: George Steinbrenner's dead. He was an enormous asshole, I didn't know him, and now he's dead, just like just about everybody else who was ever born. He was a dink who wasn't as important as he thought he was except in a very small sphere, and even there he wasn't as important as he thought he was except that he wouldn't shut the hell up, the way a tooth you otherwise needn't pay much attention to could suddenly become important by sheer dint of how much it was annoying you. That about cover it?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Analyses of Frost's Mending Wall from users

I really like what seems to be the central question - the speaker's willingness to go deeper in asking why he does this every year. Why do fences make good neighbours? What are we walling in, and what are we walling out? The missed conversation is the point at which the speaker and his neighbour could truly become better friends, and the darkness he speaks of later could be lifted.

At the time of publishing Frost was living in England with his family, having moved there a year before (in 1913). At this point in history the world was gearing up for the first world war, and perhaps the two neighbours are Britain and Germany, who had an arms race from 1912 onwards. Frost could be questioning why there always has to be separation and competition in society, and whether it is or isn't necessary. The wall keeps breaking as the tension between the two nation heats up, and at some point someone is going to try and knock down the wall, possibly an allegory for invasion. "Good fences make good neighbours" could simply mean it is important to stay out of one another's way. Obviously that is what kicks off the war when a nation executes Ferdinand. It could quite easily be compared and contrasted with Frost's 'Neither Out Far Nor In Deep'.

We think the poem mending walls is about ponies and his desperation to have a pony.

I believe that this poem is much deeper than the surface. if you look at the time this poem was written World War one had just started and the cival war was only fourty years prior. I see this as Frost's way to look at segergation.

i think,this famous poem of frost has more deeper meaning. poem not only after the good fences make good neighbors it is also up to something.!

If Frost lived where i do with punk ass neighbor kids leaving their shit in my yard[toys, bikes, footballs etc] he would burn that poem

I personally believe that educated people read poems. Poems are art and if you cannot appreciate them then you need to shut the hell up. You guys are idiots... I love Robert Frost. If you want a life lesson read "The Road Not Taken".

I think that Robert Frost doesnt really like his neighbor at all. I think that he just uses the "spring-mending time" as a chance to mess with hie neighbor. For *-sake he wants his neighbor to think that Faires are the ones tearing down the wall. (I have no problem with Faires either. They are awesome!!) Whats up with this Liam dude anyways???

Did anyone ever think that perhaps there is no neighbor? there is just the wall. Maybe Frost was being more literal than one may believe at first. Maybe, the wall literally made a good neighbor too him. The supposed neighbor character says practically nothing throughout the whole poem except that "good fences make good neighbors" which could have easily been not the voice of the character but rather the narrator's opinion of the wall. I believe that another valid interpretation could be that Frost is speaking to the wall and not the neighbor and addressing it with confusion about it's existence and why it separates him from from the rest of the world. perhaps the wall is a metaphor for the barriers between mankind such as race or religion which nature, in the form of the swollen, frozen, earth is trying to eliminate so that mankind may be one.

kill robert frost.. kill his neighbors and destroy the wall.... jajajaja...
by zombies....
ive gonna eat your brains...

This poem talks of various barriers that man has created among themselves to separate from one another. The barriers may be race, caste, religion, colour, etc. Nature does not approve this artifictial separation. It wants man to be united not be separated. Man tries to get separated going against the wish of nature. 'The wall' symbolises these barriers while 'the something' symbolises nature.

this poem is about keeping a wall between you and your wife

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Here there are no cows

Our girl gets a new neighbor -- a journalist (if you want to take her at her word):
Welcome, Joe! It’ll be a great summer – come borrow a cup of sugar if ever you need some sweetener. And you know what they say about “fences make for good neighbors”? Well, we’ll get started on that tall fence tomorrow ...

Dear Copernicus

Please, for the love of God: Stay the hell out of the poetry. At the very least, ask an assistant who knows where a bookstore is to get you Cliffs Notes.

Yer pal

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Classing up the place

Sure, you should watch this. It's the funniest thing I've ever seen Colbert do, the Daily Show do, the funniest thing I've seen probably since Monty Python. It might not look like much, or as much, now, because it set the template for every Daily Show piece in the 10 years since it aired. So you should watch it, yeah. But mostly, I'm just linking to it so that I can watch it whenever I want.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Cooperation Nazi

I'll admit to being paralyzed the last couple of weeks; with the healthcare reform 'negotiations,' there really has been too much preposterousness for me to process, much less post. But back on the horse with everyone's favorite totally not-senile recent presidential candidate, John McCain, speaking today on repercussions:
"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," McCain said during an interview Monday on an Arizona radio affiliate. "They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."

Um, two questions: Was there cooperation before this? Because I think I missed it. And "for the rest of the year"? Seriously? Was there a meeting, at which this time frame was agreed upon? Did they put Mr. Happy Fun Guy in charge of making that decision? Who's got the fly-on-the-wall stuff here?

Monday, March 1, 2010

My absolute favorite euphemism ever

... comes from Tom Schaller at, and it needed a perfect storm to come into being:

Those qualifiers aside, in 10 of the top 12 Senate race states, Democrats are in a better registration situation today than they were going into the 2004 elections. The two exceptions—Arkansas and Kentucky--are not particularly surprising, given that they include many of those 22 percent of the counties nationally where Obama underperformed relative to John Kerry in 2004.

I'm a great admirer of artfully constructed sentences, and this guy is my new hero. He takes the state of the economy in 2004, the state of the economy in 2008, George W. Bush's performance in his second term as president, John Kerry's appeal as a presidential candidate, and Barack Obama's appeal as a candidate running against John McCain and Sarah Palin, and somehow comes out of it with the new Some of my best friends are black. "I'm not racist; I just happen to live in a county where Obama underperformed relative to John Kerry in 2004!" That's exactly how I would say it. You know. If I were racist.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

About a Train

When I lived in the next town over, I took a train that got in to the lower level of Grand Central. We would all trudge upstairs to get to the grand concourse or whatever it's called -- the main part of the terminal. You were an ant in a line, next to other lines of ants, with some man or woman's ass in your face as he climbed the stairs in front of you, and all that implies. It felt kind of 1984, although I haven't read that novel in a couple of years, so maybe I've got the message wrong.

Now I live in the town next to the next town over, and there's a different train that gets in to the main level. You get out of the train and go on your way. You don't feel like Winston. (Or O'Brien, depending on your job.) Just those 60 seconds you save not going up those stairs anymore, along with that sense of conformity and confinement, turn out to make a world of difference -- perceptually, anyway. And I guess that's what I'm wondering. Am I a blind chump, thinking that my day is materially different for forgoing that one minute that used to start it? Or is a large part of life genuinely these little differences?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

That's not really 'Little Kobe' ...


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Here kitty

Come on, you guys, I need a little support here. Please tell me it's OK to laugh out loud for as long as I did after seeing this science fair project:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

But enough about you

When I've had time to think it over, and maybe calm down a little, I usually am willing to do whatever is best for my wife, even at my expense. But in the moment, especially when I have not calmed down, I tend to pick me; I am unlikely to sacrifice any for someone with whom I am angry, as I lose any perspective outside the angry moment, blind to history and to the future.

Relatively inexperienced and therefore somewhat retarded, relationshipwise, I have only just come to understand what this means. It means that if we are to be honest here, I love myself more than anyone else, but that I know I should love the people close to me more than I love myself. That I will make the right choice, given time, means I even want to love them more. I have little hope of ever evolving toward perfection in that area, but at least now I know what I am.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I like puppies

Give Fox News credit; they are excellent at framing the debate, no matter how loudly they have to shout to do it. Here's a piece recapping an exchange with Fox Lite's Campbell Brown, who asks the stupidest questions I've regularly heard. I mean, say what you want about Bill O'Reilly, but you can tell that guy thinks through his questions in advance, to make them as insidious as possible. Campbell Brown just bulls into the intellectual china shop. In this instance, she continued criticizing the White House's 'attack' on Fox News, asking senior advisor Valerie Jarrett "Do you also think that MSNBC is biased?"

Perfect. Just the complete and utter lack of nuance that is Campbell Brown in a microcosm. Because there's no degree of things like bias. Putting aside for a moment the comparative biases of the two network's actual news presentations, as opposed to the nighttime talk anchors, I just love the question. Isn't MSNBC also biased? Awesome. Join us next week, when Campbell Brown takes an in-depth look at murder:

"OK, so you're for murdering everybody indiscriminately. And you, sir, you're against? So you admit you have a bias?"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Say YES to Rush & the Rams!

I want Rush Limbaugh to become a prominent investor of the St. Louis Rams football franchise – an owner, if you will. I want this to happen as much as I wanted Barack Obama to become president. Maybe I want this a little bit more.

This absolutely needs to happen. For America.

Limbaugh, a Missouri native, most certainly has the cash. The politically ultra-conservative radio showman is a hugely successful businessman. He’s a passionate football fan. He even has previous administrative experience working for a pro sports franchise. And he is a household name, and this helps a team draw attention and ticket sales.

The team needs help. It currently owns the league’s longest active losing streak (14). And ever since Rams wideout Ricky Proehl, proclaimed “The dynasty starts tonight!” to an NFL Films cameraman shortly before the kickoff of Super Bowl 36, St. Louis has a sorry 33-63 record with 2 playoff appearances, 1 playoff-game victory, and no championships. No dynasties, either.

Part of me believes this is simply too good to be true, that Limbaugh’s ownership bid is going to end before it begins. Opponents of the great man's politics are currently going batshit over this, and it’s clear the NFL doesn’t have any stomach for this type of publicity. And you know the shit is hitting the fan when the sports columnists start writing about politics and racism. This thing got ugly fast.

Sadly, all that might come out this is another hot, heaping serving of undeserved attention for El Rushbo, and more "proof" that a left-wing political/media conspiracy is out to crush him and his “dream” of owning a football team. Because, after all, the liberals are all trying to snuff out the American way of “capitalism, liberty, and rugged individualism” (Rush's words, not mine).

Why can’t there be room for El Rushbo in the owners' box? Shawn C. Carter, aka Jay-Z, has made millions of dollars churning out controversial rap hits (with lyrics like: “You know I thug 'em, fuck 'em, love 'em, leave 'em / Cause I don't fuckin' need 'em / Take 'em out the hood / Keep 'em looking good / But I don't fuckin' feed em / First time they fuss I'm breezin' / Talking 'bout what's the reasons / I'm a pimp in every sense of the word, bitch …) …

… and he’s co-owner of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets. Also, liberal political commentator Keith Olbermann is the pre-game co-host of NBC’s “Football Night in America.”

Let Rush own the Rams. Please. I’m begging.

Because just as Limbaugh proudly said he hopes President Obama “fails,” I want Rush to step out of his fabricated radio universe and once again fail at a real-world endeavor. I quote a paragraph from Charlie Pierce’s book, “Idiot America":

“The track record indicates that when the world he’s created comes into contact with reality, Rush fares rather less well. His TV show was a debacle. A guest shot hosting Pat Sajak’s late-night show ended with him nearly booed into the Pacific and sweating like a whore at high mass. And he had a brief stint as an NFL analyst on ESPN that foundered when he divined a liberal conspiracy to promote the career of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. … [Limbaugh] has since largely eschewed events not of his own devising.”

I want Limbaugh to be true to himself as an NFL owner. And I’d hope – no, demand -- that he:
-- Lash out at the league’s socialistic salary-cap system;
-- Treat us to a tirade about TV revenue sharing and how it’s a travesty how the worst team receives as much money as much as the best;
-- Fight to abolish the “Rooney Rule,” which smacks of a blatant affirmative-action agenda;
-- Convince fellow team owners to abolish the welfare state that is the NFL draft, which allows a team that did badly one year to get first crack at the best new players coming in;
-- Ridicule the minimum-salary guarantees that were established by the union;
-- Enlighten us, as an OxyContin abuser, how the NFL could maintain its strict drug-abuse policies.

Then let's see once again how this warped f*ckhead fits in.

At best, he’d be true to his radio character and horrify the NFL and the entire country, and his brief reign as an owner would end in disgrace. … You thought, the ancient “quarterback option” offense was back in vogue? Here comes the all-white roster, cornerbacks and all! ... Dallas vs. St. Louis: America's Team vs. White America's Team. ... African-American stars refusing to play for the Rams. Talented coaches and GMs staying away from the organization in droves. Picketers outside the stadium on game day! ... Yes, let Rush the radio character own a real team. Limbaugh would make Geroge Preston Marshall look like Branch Rickey!

(And honestly, how fun would it be to root for Limbaugh’s Rams to lose – no, get absolutely CRUSHED – every autumn weekend? I’m giddy at the thought.)

Or Rush the Empy Suit would exclude himself from the day-to-day workings of a pro sports franchise, prove himself to be the cowardly blowhard he really is by simply enjoying the view from the owners’ box, shutting his big stupid mouth, and having nothing to say about the "socialism" of the NFL ... and ultimately keeping with my favorite American ideal: the separation of politics and sports.

Either way, we win.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another open memo

To: Ross Douthat, NYT
From: troy, Head of Development
RE: Your column, or whatever


Read your piece today where you join the chorus saying that the president should give back his Nobel Peace Prize, because you don't think he's earned it.

I have spoken with the president, and we are in agreement. He has promised to give back the award -- just as soon as you give up your column. If you can't figure out why, please see me.

Yer pal

Friday, October 9, 2009

Open Memo

... to Michael Steele and everyone else who'll be 'weighing in' today on President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize:


In a vacuum, it would be fair to ask what the president did to earn this honor. But we are not operating in a vacuum. Your criticism, bound to last at least throughout the weekend, comes on the heels of celebration that Chicago did not land the recently awarded Olympic Games. The U.S. lost out on hosting the Olympics, and you dinks celebrated -- because it meant the president 'lost.' I swear to God, I saw for a second this morning that CNN was following up 'coverage' of the Nobel with a piece on the president's previous vow to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and with sound down, I honestly wondered whether CNN was warning the right about the president's intentions or citing the fact that DADT has not yet been repealed as a failure on the part of the president, and criticizing him for it. That is how crazy CNN and the other loud voices on the right have become; it seemed totally reasonable to me that CNN might be resorting to "Oh yeah? Well maybe he won the stupid Nobel Peace Prize, but he hasn't repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell, has he?"

So the president's supporters could be forgiven for ignoring Steele and the rest of the freakshow, but again, in a vacuum, I think it's a fair question. So let me decipher this development for the banshees: The guy YOU got elected, the one whose decisions, torture authorization, warrantless wiretaps, and economic legacy you still support ... he was SO bad that the Norwegian Nobel committee gave the guy who succeeded him the prize just for not being the other guy. So, you know, maybe shut up for a minute, let the man try to fix the economy, health care, and everything else he inherited.

I saw a poll yesterday saying Republican congressmen had an approval rating of 29 percent. I mean, just stop already. It's insulting how stupid you must think we are that you assume we don't see right through you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some Thoughts on The Beatles in Stereo

I ordered the stereo set before I wised up and ordered the mono set, which hasn't arrived yet. The following is partly about the stereo discs, partly about controlling expectations, and might prove helpful to anyone considering buying the stereo set, were they ever to come across this site.

The stereo mixes tend to be clearer than the 1987 editions, with better separation of instruments. It's possible to pick out more details. But I wouldn't say every 2009 remaster sounds mind-blowingly better than its 1987 counterpart. With the second disc of the White Album, much of Let It Be and Abbey Road, and the last few tracks on Past Masters II left to listen to, I'm finding that there are four categories:

1. The remaster sounds almost the same, but not as good. On the stereo set, this usually has a lot to do with the bass being less present, at least up through Rubber Soul, and even parts of Revolver and Sgt. Pepper.

2. The remaster sounds different, and not as good. Sometimes separation of instruments is bad. Sometimes the instruments teamed to create a sort of undifferentiated instrument track, so that you're hearing the bass and guitars and sometimes piano as one entity. Hearing all the instruments separated can be jarring; maybe in the future I'll get used to this as the standard, but for now, I'm not preferring it to the '87 issue. I'm finding this to be the case with some of the songs I like the most. I liked the unisound I got in '87 a lot, so change seems bad. Hey Bulldog is a great example of this, and so is the end of Dear Prudence.

3. The remaster sounds different, in an interesting way. Too early to tell if I prefer it to 1987, but the instruments I'm hearing anew make for new information, and it's exciting. I didn't know that John yawned in I'm Only Sleeping, and I didn't know that's what John's guitar was doing in I Saw Her Standing There; on the 1987 disc, it sounded like it only had one string. This tends to happen more with songs I like but don't love; I noticed it on several tracks on the White Album. My favorite example so far has been Hey Jude; it seems basically the same as the 1987 master, maybe a little warmer, but at the end, Paul's scatting is more audible, and the track fades completely out just a little later, so you hear more of it, which corrected my impression of his last scat on the 1987 version, the "I said a-na, na na na na," which I would have scored one way before but now see he's singing differently. Also in this category are the stereo mixes of albums formerly in mono, most notably For Sale, which I find interesting, but am not as enthusiastic about as I would be if the bass were more prominent.

4. The remaster sounds very different, and much better. Some of the old masters just seemed mixed poorly, or mastered poorly, or produced poorly. The two chief examples were I'm Looking Through You, where the keyboard was too trebly and harsh, and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, where the keyboard also seemed a little abrasive. In the latter remaster, the guitar(s) in the right channel are now louder, and the mix is perfect*; with the former, it just sounds like they maybe took some of the brightness off the keys, or the channel. Also a lot of Paul's Rickenbacker bass work in the second half of the output is now more audible, including the high end, which salvages even tracks that otherwise might not be preferable to the '87 masters. And toss in songs where voice or classical instruments are prominent -- Eleanor Rigby, Yesterday, and most notably Blackbird, which I previously thought featured a subpar vocal performance. It's transformed on the new stereo set, I feel. On first listen, there aren't too many songs like this that are just in every way better now; Piggies comes to mind as another one.

So ultimately, I agree with the reviewers with early access who posted in the weeks before the stereo set's release: If I weren't a hardcore fan, I wouldn't replace all the discography right now. I might pick out a few favorites, especially Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, and, I assume Abbey Road, and leave the rest until my kid lost or scratched my 1987 discs. But if you're crazy-go-nuts for the Beatles, there are enough improvements and enough interesting differences to make the purchase worthwhile. A person with much more time than I have might have a lot of fun mixing and matching between the 1987 and 2009 releases for a discography that combines the best of both.

* I keep saying 'mix,' so I want to go on record here that I know the difference between mixing and mastering.

Late update: Obviously, it was stupid to post this before I'd listened to everything. So let me add here that Cry Baby Cry remastered is a landslide winner, and that it's great to hear the detail on Come Together; if you didn't believe John was saying "Shoot me," you will now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beatle album touchstones

Facility with snappy heds? Yup, still got it. Anyway, I was musing on the different albums, and how some fans like some albums more than other fans do, and I wondered if there wasn't a song on each record that made the difference between 'I dig this disc' and 'BEST ALBUM EVER WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!!??!' I mean a specific song, kind of the same song for everybody (in theory), you love it, you love the LP, and if you don't love it, you only like the LP. Hopefully it will become clearer as we go along. I've also got a working hypothesis that there's a second touchstone that makes the difference between 'I dig it' and 'No, really, you can borrow it. Return it whenever.' Let's find out! Warning: I don't think I start making my point until A Hard Day's Night, so bear with me until then.

You gotta love:
There's A Place. If you love this song, I mean really love it, you are a fanatic who would applaud a bag of 2-year-old Julian's poop. It's funny, many people who really love this record point to it as the best chance we have to hear what a Beatle concert would have sounded like, but this isn't the rockingest record.
No, really, you gotta love: Boys. If you can't enjoy the energy on this track, you're really just into the Beatles for the psychedelic stuff.

You gotta love:
Don't Bother Me. If you're willing to buy what George is selling here, this becomes a pretty deep album.
No, really, you gotta love: It Won't Be Long. No album with John singing full-tilt like this can be all bad.

You gotta love:
I Should Have Known Better. If you're not the biggest fan of this song, A Hard Day's Night only has a couple of highlights. A lot of strong middling material, sure, but if you're making a mixtape, you're probably only putting the title track, Can't Buy Me Love, maybe If I Fell on it. But if you love I Should Have Known Better, then you probably love all of side A.
No, really, you gotta love: You Can't Do That. A standout on side B, and a nice close to the album with I'll Be Back.

You gotta love:
Baby's in Black. Because if you're all about this song, it's because of the harmony, and that means you're going to love Eight Days a Week, I Don't Want to Spoil the Party, No Reply, Every Little Thing ...
No, really, you gotta love: No Reply. The missing link between She Loves You and A Day in the Life.

You gotta love:
You're Gonna Lose that Girl. If you can get into this, you can probably get into The Night Before, and suddenly side A is looking really deep, flipping over for Ticket to Ride, and now you're one of the "Help! is really underrated!" people.
No, really, you gotta love: I've Just Seen a Face. If it weren't for the sweet melody and harmony, a lot of people would skip from Ticket to Ride all the way to Yesterday ... and a lot of them probably wouldn't even do that. Though there's only a 10 percent chance of that.

You gotta love:
In My Life. I want to say Run for Your Life, which is a personal favorite, and also shows how the Rubber Soul sound sounds when the writing isn't top-notch, but for sheer numbers, I think they key is In My Life. People who love this song not only really love it but also are predisposed to dig Girl and Michelle (which the stereo remasters were very kind to, by the way), and now you've got a seriously deep LP.
No, really, you gotta love: You Won't See Me. Because if you like that, you like I'm Looking Through You, and of course you like Drive My Car and Norwegian Wood and Nowhere Man anyway, and probably The Word, so now you've got half of the album down. But everyone likes those songs. Is this conceit starting to make sense?

You gotta love:
Good Day Sunshine. I mean, I'm assuming there's no one who doesn't love Revolver, so the divisions are between those who would die for it, those who think it's the best music ever made, those who merely really love it. If you like Good Day Sunshine, you like For No One, and of course you like Eleanor Rigby, and that means you pretty much like everything on the disc.
No, really, you gotta love: And Your Bird Can Sing. Again, there are so many like songs on the record, like Taxman and Doctor Robert -- some worse, some possibly better -- that if you open up this vein, there's plenty of good stuff therein. I mean, I'm just assuming She Said She Said is a given.

You gotta love:
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! Kind of the There's a Place of the middle period. If you love this, then whatever the Beatles are selling, you're buying. And when I say that, I don't mean it's not a good song. I mean that this song is not universally loved, yet it epitomizes their spirit and philosophy, in a way, so if you love this, then the group itself is right in your wheelhouse.
No, really, you gotta love: Getting Better. Tough to keep it going after the first three songs that open the record, but Getting Better gets it done.

You gotta love:
Blue Jay Way. Maybe the most underrated song in the canon? As with the others, if you like this song a lot, the album gets a lot deeper, even if you hate half of Paul's contributions.
No, really, you gotta love: Baby You're a Rich Man. Sort of the latter-half version of a Beatle 'work' song, the songs John and Paul would sit eye-to-eye and write in an hour because they needed three more for the album they would finish recording that week. It's not inspired, but it's the two big kahunas throwing a hook each at the wall, and you know that can't be bad.

You gotta love:
Blackbird. As before, if you count this among your favorites, it joins the roster of standouts from this release: Dear Prudence, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Happiness Is a Warm Gun, Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey, Helter Skelter, Revolution 1, Back in the U.S.S.R., Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da ... suddenly it's a seriously deep track listing, no?
No, really, you gotta love: Sexy Sadie. Clearly all John's idea, which makes it a poster child for the White Album, but you still hear everyone else's contributions.

You gotta love:
All Together Now. Because if you do, you love at least five of the six originals, and what record has a better hit ratio than that?
No, really, you gotta love: It's All Too Much. Seems like everybody does these days anyway.

You gotta love:
Sun King. This can be an acquired taste, especially if you first listen to the Beatles as a kid, but once you drink the Sun King Kool-Aid, the whole second side is transcendent, and suddenly you're looking down your nose at a side with Come Together, Something, Oh! Darling ...
No, really, you gotta love: You Never Give Me Your Money. If you're not listening to this twice a day, you're missing the whole point of the record.

You gotta love:
Dig a Pony. As with other records, this song has enough sisters -- I Me Mine, I've Got a Feeling -- that you're really opening up Let It Be's world if you're down with it.
No, really, you gotta love: Two of Us. Without this, you probably only like Let It Be and Get Back. Maybe Across the Universe.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Still not winning them over, but maybe starting to at least play the same game

This post was going to be just a comment on a previous post. Worth rereading, for the context. Someone wrote in yesterday to respond to that post, and she commented as follows:
Hi Troy, I'm JaneLovesJesus. It's kinda' weird that I even stumbled upon your post ... it being months old and all and I'm sure we've both moved on to other things.
But, what the hey? Since I did stumble on it, I thought I'd respond.
One thing: Did you really think I was equating Palin to God? I mean, if I say "I like ice cream" and "I like freedom" I'm not equating ice cream with freedom, right? I may 'have faith' in Sarah Palin, in general. But please be assured that it is not that kind of 'Faith' -heh.

I also don't think she (or me, Lord knows) -- or any Christian -- has some sort of infallibility cloak around them so that every thing we do is necessarily 'God's will' or something. We -- perhaps not unlike you, read, think, research, go to Harvard sometimes (but not me!)ask questions, discuss, try, fail, and try again in the course of trying to seek truth and make wise decisions.

I can admit when I'm wrong. I used to be a liberal Democrat -- and I was a Christian back then as well. Let that bounce around in your head for a while. I do hope that you -- and all people -- find faith in Christ, because I believe it is true. I don't think Christians, even the right wing species, are the strawmen you seem to make us out to be.
Take Care, Jane

So I wrote the following response, which I tried post as another comment to the original post, but apparently I can get a little wordy, and Blogger didn't think the Comments were the right forum, so I repackage it here as a new post, which hopefully will draw JaneLovesJesus's attention better than the original intended comment ever could have. But enough, already. Here is what I wrote in response:

Hi JaneLovesJesus. I want to respond to a couple of your points, but more than anything, I want to thank you for taking the time to elaborate/clarify, and for the classy manner in which you did so.

I obviously take your word for it on equating your faith in Palin with your faith in God. My response here is only in answer to your question, did I really think you were equating God and Palin. And, I mean, obviously, the answer is yes, so the response is more to explain why. To wit: You talked about your faith in Him and in her in the same sentence. And you said you were 'at peace' over her decision to resign, which is a phrase I hear far more often describing one of God's decisions, as it were: death. As in, in case I am not being clear at all, someone being 'at peace' with their coming death. And lastly, you said you did not need to know Palin's plans. Again, this is a word often used in the context of God by people with Faith: knowing God's plan, or His plan for me. Again, totally willing to accept your clarification at face value, but hopefully you can see where it seemed to me like you viewed them in the same light. I never thought you equated God and Palin, but in the context of the original post on which you were commenting -- "why they hate her, and Him, and why she, and He, will be back" -- I assume you can see why I interpreted your comment the way I did.

But I do want to say this: Even if I got it wrong about your Faith and faith being the same, I think what I extrapolated is true of many others. I think if it would be possible to take yourself out of my post, you might see where my conclusions would maybe describe some other people we know.

But I think all that speaks to the part of my post I worded most poorly: I generalized. Again. Which isn't as bad as it seems, I don't think. I mean, the mindset I described apparently was not yours, which robs my words of much of any power of truth, but as I said, I think they do apply to a number of people. And it is those people I feel I understand better now that I read your words all those weeks ago, even if, ironically, you were not one of them. And so this was a good thing that came out of this, if I'm right; if I now better understand a number of people with whom I radically, fundamentally disagree, I don't see how that can be a bad thing. No meaningful discourse can ever take place between two people who fail to understand each other, I don't think, and I much prefer it to just thinking they're dumb. If I did that, the shortcoming would of course be mine, but again, I think it's at least a little understandable. Until I had that revelation, I assumed that people who had access to the same facts I did and yet came to the opposite conclusion (i.e., McCain/Palin over Obama/Biden) were incapable of using logic -- their brains, would be another way of looking it. Now I believe that some of those people employ logic in other scenarios, but don't believe logic is the most important quality to apply in major decisions in politics and life. I believe that they believe that the most important thing in the world is faith in God, and they make it a point to keep their own faith in him, and certainly God is infallible. My faith is not the same as the faith these people have, but I believe I understand it; I believe there is a kernel that is common to their faith and to mine. When life is at its most challenging, I am known to tell those I care about that the bad things in our lives happen for a reason. I believe that the people I was writing about two months ago believe this too, and maybe have a more complete worldview thought out, and for them, this translates to people like Palin being something like God's instruments on Earth. Palin believes the things they believe, and she is prominent in the political party they support, and so she cannot fail, because that would be a misstep by God. There must be some way to explain away what seems to us haters like a failure, to frame it as a good thing.

Again, I am not saying this is true of you. And I thank you for your words on that other site and on mine, which I feel have helped me become a fairer if not better person. But at the very least, I hope you will leave here knowing that really, none of 'us' hate Sarah Palin because God loves her. Most of us who hate her actually hate her because she rose to a prominent position in one of the two major political parties in this country and then snarkily belittled an opponent who as near as I can tell is smart, hard-working, talented, and progressive. He seems to me to want to put the country in a better position, he seems to know what that better position is, and to boot, he seems to believe a lot of the same things I do, to which I'm sure you can relate. After the previous two Democrat candidates for president (and certainly after his predecessor as president), he seems like a rare animal -- and Sarah Palin belittled him and spread lies about him and influenced what at times seems like half the nation to hate him, made his job exponentially harder after he was overwhelmingly (for a presidential election) elected, and now he can't address friggin' schoolkids without a large swath of the right thinking he wants to turn them into socialists. And she does it smugly and snarkily while stepping in crap every time I read about her. It's like the guy who sunk AIG coming into my office and criticizing one of my financial decisions. I'm not clear where she thinks she earned the right to speak on the topic and be taken seriously. The only place God comes into it is that a lot of us think she's using her faith in Him to manipulate these people I've been writing about. If she truly loved Jesus, we believe, it would show.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ay, Papi

I wanted to write about David Ortiz's Great Steroid Adventure, but didn't before now for time constraint-related reasons that no one need give a crap about. But Papi said most of what I wanted to say, as excerpted in this Joy of Sox post:
These past few weeks have been terrible for me. People want to [mess] up your reputation ... People always want you to be a good guy, but at the end of the day nobody gives an [expletive] about you.

You know why? Because when this [expletive] came out, this news [the leaking of the positive drug test], no one –– I'm talking about no one in general –– stood up and said, "Let's wait to see what David Ortiz has to say. He's a guy who has been tested 18 times, and why would you believe any of this [expletive]" or "He's a guy who has been playing the game clean and let's wait to hear what he has to say." No. It was, "I'm not surprised he got caught. He did this, or he did that." David Ortiz has never been involved in any kind of trouble. So why do I have to be the bad guy? Why can't anyone stand up for David Ortiz? ...

All these [media members] I've been dealing with through the years, guys who have come to me and tell me, "You've made the difference in this clubhouse because you might be the only superstar here who makes our life easy. When we want to talk to you we can talk to you. You're a nice guy and you do nice things." All that [expletive] went in the garbage when this [expletive] came out. That hurt, bro. ...

It's something that before you come out with things like that, you should sit down and think about, hey, what if somebody did this to my kids or to a friend of mine or to myself or someone else that I know? It's not going to be a good feeling. People talking [bad] about me, I've heard it before. Even I come out and say it, [it's] "He better come out and say that he did it. He better come out." Come on, people. Why don't you say this guy, you know, he is different around here as a player. So let's wait to see what he has to say.

Like I always say, I come in one day, I'll go out another. When I get to be gone, I won't give a flying [expletive] about nobody, period. Nobody going to give a flying [expletive] about me. But I see where all the media and player situation here come from. That said, I thought it was different. It ain't, though. ...

I know that I've been tested 18 times. Nobody talk about that. Have you heard anybody talking about that? Nobody talk about that. But the bottom line is all people care about is selling bad news. Bad news is what makes the money, but sometimes you've got to sit down and think about things before you make that as a truth.

I came out and said what I said. If you want to judge me, it's on you. If you believe me, it's on you, too. It's confusing [stuff], but that's how it is.

I've seen nothing but attacks on Ortiz since the test result was announced. There seemed to be two stances: He did it, and I don't know if he did it but you can't be blamed for thinking he did. The attacks seem to be based on his not admitting guilt or providing more details or knowing every ingredient of every supplement he took at a time when whatever got him to test positive seems likely to have been legal in baseball, or at least not outlawed, if that somehow isn't the same thing.

I think it's fair to say there's no chance Papi will ever see this post, which is a shame. I wish he could know that one person out there trusts him. I admire how he's handled the whole thing, and I only disagree with one thing he said. He seems to feel that because he is unique as a player and as a Red Sox, he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

I think everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt. I mean, I'm not stupid or a liar; there's no denying that I trust Papi because I'm a Sox fan. But I'm not talking about trust, I'm talking about the benefit of the doubt.

I think fans and writers are so pissed off at having been fooled for all those years, they've swung back the other way. Why? Isn't that even more stupid? Barry Bonds was on something, Mark McGwire was on something, Alex Rodriguez was on something ... so Ortiz was too? He needs to just admit it so we can move on? Why? Because they're all baseball players? Now, anytime a player is reported to have tested positive, it's a done deal? No way a report is erroneous, a test is wrong, a player took something that wasn't expressly banned but had an ingredient that landed him on the list? That's fucking nuts. Let's sign all these people up to rejuvenate the newspaper industry, because that's exactly the evenhanded kind of treatment with which I'm looking to infuse my worldview. All Arabs are terrorists, all Ethiopians run fast, and me and the rest of the Tribe will be with you as soon as we finish counting our money. Are these people totally insane? Just because they don't want to give someone the benefit of the doubt, only to be proven wrong again, and feel foolish ... so the answer is to decide anyone suspected is guilty? Out of their frickin' minds. And we haven't even gotten to the complexity of PEDs and PED detection, especially the scientific aspects of it. Yet here are all these writers and radio hosts and radio callers and bloggers weighing in like they have the first clue, like Lady Sarah of the Death Panels.

I don't have the first clue either. It's why I don't leap to conclusions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why we hate her

I sign HJR28 Oppose Restricting Oil/Gas Devlp;we urge President to promote US resource devlp.Pretty simple, Mr.President & Congress:choose safe clean American energy&jobs or force our reliance on foreign countries;what more to ponder,oh wise Washington?Where's DC's common sense?

This is why. Not because she's Republican. Not because we "feel threatened by her." Not because she's smart and talented, obviously, and not -- my favorite -- because she's beautiful. She's not. I find her incredibly unattractive. If she were at all physically attractive, it'd be awfully hard for me to see it through the cloud of ick.

No, we hate her because of this. It's not "I believe this would be best," or even "this would be best." It's "Pretty simple, Mr. President and Congress," and "what more to ponder, oh wise Washington? Where's DC's common sense?"

Where to begin? Not with the fact that it's "O wise Washington," instead of "oh." What about the "pretty simple" -- because, you know, most political issues are supersimple. It's why everyone agrees on everything in this country. No, I guess you begin with the fact that the 'politics of personal destruction' that she said made her resign couldn't be much better typified than braying sarcastically about someone else's intelligence in the course of disagreeing with them over policy. So let's begin there, but please, let's make sure to leave enough time to discuss the idea that this woman is calling ANYONE's intelligence into question. There are bugs smarter than her.

I've learned a lot from following her twitter stream. I've learned a lot about how Alaska is the greatest, and is in a strategic position on the globe, and how it epitomizes everything great about the U.S. And I've learned that every single issue can be broken down to right or wrong based on whether it's good for Alaska. She doesn't even hide it, half the time; she says the president or the U.S. Congress or someone should do whatever it is she wants because it is good for Alaska. I've learned that the ethics complaints (except maybe the one she initiated against herself? No, she seems to be against that one too) are an abuse of the system, which, let's face it, who's a better judge of that? And I've learned that this country is more divided than it has been since the Civil War. If we should laud those who would speak civilly to the other side and try to reunite it as much as possible, we should at least note when someone prominent does the opposite. There have been citizens convicted of treason whose actions caused the U.S. less harm than have Sarah Palin's.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I love this woman

That's right, baby; now that you're quitting, you can REALLY let your freak flag fly!
Great day w/bear management wildlife biologists; much to see in wild territory incl amazing creatures w/mama bears' gutteral raw instinct to protect & provide for her young;She sees danger?She brazenly rises up on strong hind legs, growls Don't Touch My Cubs & the species survives & mama bear doesn't look 2 anyone else 2 hand her anything; biologists say she works harder than males, is provider/protector for the future Yes it was another outstanding day in AK seeing things the rest of America should see;applicable life lessons we're blessed to see firsthand

Remember; smart AND talented. I love the idea of the 'nuts all nodding their heads as if they know exactly what she means.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

That's not right. It isn't even wrong.

I also love all these tweets where she selects a quote and acts like it means she's right:
"Criticism is something easily avoided by saying nothing, doing nothing, being nothing."Aristotle Don't fear it;it means u make a difference

Hey, Governor: Aristotle just called. He said that he didn't mean that criticism is never founded. Especially criticism of you. And that you're dense.

Translator! Can we get a translator over here?

Woodward ... Bernstein ... Palin:
Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges. So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be:

Yes! You sure showed us! We would rather talk about your personality than policy, but you taught us the error of our ways -- by framing the column in terms of "what is foremost on [your] mind."
Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America's economy.

Oooh! A little rubbing it in! If only we hadn't elected an intellectual lightweight, but rather someone who'd shown that they could understand issues! Someone like ... oh, I don't know ...
The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.

The Americans hit hardest will be those already struggling to make ends meet. As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will "necessarily skyrocket." So much for not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

Electricity bills skyrocketing equals raising taxes? If that's how the ardent liberals will understand supply-side economics, count us out.
We can safely drill for U.S. oil offshore and in a tiny, 2,000-acre corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if ever given the go-ahead by Washington bureaucrats.

Bureaucrats don't make laws. People do.
The writer, a Republican, is governor of Alaska.

When? Also, you don't have to tell us when the writer is a Republican. The disagreeing with everything Democrats want to do, along with blaming on Democrats the sins of previous Republican administrations, almost always gives it away.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Why we'll never win (them over)

As a prefacetory aside, I'm aware that Sarah Palin's defenders -- especially those who don't actually know her -- think there's something wrong with those of us who can't drop the whole Palin thing and 'leave her alone.' They're missing out on a key truth here: The Palin thing has allowed her supporters to talk freely in a manner that we Palin attackers can understand in a way we never could understand before. Their points are no longer abstract, but rather start with specifics and then allow us to extrapolate in the abstract. In this way, the Palin thing, as it plays out, reveals important new information about this country and one of its biggest rifts. Anyway:

Andrew Sullivan's people lead us over to this ... uh, thing. It seems, on its face, to be breaking new grounds in crazy:
Sarah Palin loves God. God loves Sarah Palin.
And that is why they hate her...and Him.
And why she -- and He -- will be back.

Also, we look down on them because they didn't go to Harvard, and they look down on us because we don't know what God wants, while they, of course do ... blah blah blah. OK, I guess it's chiefly the beginning where new ground is broken. We hate God because He loves Sarah Palin. And we hate her because she loves Him. Or because He loves her. I'm not gonna lie, I didn't read this thing too closely. You mostly want to maintain a distance in instances like this.

No, the part where I really got enlightened was in the comments. I went there expecting to be entertained, but first I was set straight. Turns out I was only half right when I wrote that Palin supporters say the preposterous things they say because they don't want to admit they're wrong. There's way more to it, and 11:36 on Saturday night, someone wrote in under the moniker JaneLovesJesus to explain it to me:
it's weird, but maybe because of her faith in God, and MY faith in God, and my faith in HER, I feel at peace and energized over her decision to resign. Even though it would have never been something I would have expected. I don't have to know Sarah Palin's plans. I know she is not going to back down from the greater fight for America and for freedom.

Honestly; you could spend days thinking about what JaneLovesJesus wrote. The parts where she equates Palin with God are awesome in the most literal sense of the word. They deserve your consideration.

But I can't get over her main message in her first sentence. It's not that JaneLovesJesus and like thinkers have some issue with admitting when they're wrong. It's the conflation of that with faith that's the problem. Such people do not choose McCain and Palin over President Obama and Vice President Biden after thinking the issues through and making a decision. Their candidates stand for what they (their supporters) believe in. Like God. The decision is made for them. It is turned over to God (or, more commonly, I imagine, Jesus). Evidence that McCain/Palin was the wrong decision, of which many of us can't help but observe there is no shortage, would be evidence that God got it wrong. That's why JaneLovesJesus is 'at peace' (you're feeling my massive self-restraint here, right? Please say you are) with Sarah Palin's decision. It's because God is making sure everything Sarah Palin does is the right thing (or, possibly, because Sarah Palin believes in God so much, she can't help but do the right thing every time). I'm not 100 percent clear on why we can't trust God with the actual election outcome as well, and with controlling what the current administration does, but I imagine it has to do with the president being immoral, as the post's author noted.

But Palin's God-fearing. And so is JaneLovesJesus. If you criticize Sarah Palin in any way, you are challenging God's decision-making or his power -- or JaneLovesJesus's faith in Him. It is times like these that I wish this site had a bigger readership, to increase the chances that I could entreat a logician to diagram all of this. But I can tell you this much: When the right appeals to the fundamentalists on the basis of morals, not policy, they're locked up. Republicans can botch the economy, foreign policy, or whatever you want. As long as they're against abortion and gays, they'll have the fundamentalists sewn up, and if you try to free those Christianists up through logic, they're going to view it as an affront to their faith in Jesus. And that's why we'll never win. Move to Amsterdam if you don't like it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Make it stop

Two-parter! That's right, a thought so deep and worth sharing, 140 characters couldn't quite cover it:
Anxious for Fairbanks radio visit tomorrow re: 2nd Amendment! We have rockin' surprise guest. Candidly, I love radio vs some newspapers bc......"Most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal; if they're not, by my definition, they can hardly be good newspapermen" W. Cronkite

No, that's not true. You love radio vs 'some' newspapers because you're fucking stupid. Probably too stupid to read. Probably two and a half years of having people read you every document to which you had to affix your signature (via stamp, or possibly 'X') wore out your precious little ears, and that's really why you're resigning. Maybe.

I'm sorry. I hate to be that ugly. I'm just so tired of it. Like she even has the first fucking clue what Cronkite meant. Like she doesn't prefer radio because talk radio is where you can seek out people who agree with you and listen to them rant for three hours without having to exercise your mind the way a good newspaper (or good radio) can make you. More to the point, I guess, she 'loves' radio because she can talk only to preapproved hosts who are known to be sympathetic, and speak about the topics she wants to speak about, unedited and un-fact-checked. No need to get nervous, like when you're facing off against a journalistic behemoth like Katie Couric, or hard-nosed, objective reporters like Charles Gibson. Not that they're in newspapers. But you get my drift. Ah, I gotta go lie down ...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'LL give you some 'personal destruction' ...

On Time magazine's Web site, for Christ's sake:
You're going to see Obama increase those taxes on small businesses — whether he admits it today or not, he's going to. One thing reporters aren't asking the Administration is — it's such a simple question and people around here in the real world, outside of Washington, D.C., want reporters to ask — President Obama, how are you going to pay for this $1 [trillion] or $2 [trillion] or $3 trillion health-care plan? How are you going to pay off the stimulus package, those borrowed dollars? How are you going to pay for so many things that you are proposing and you are implementing? Americans deserve to know what the plan is to fund these things, health care included.

1. It's President Obama. I believe "Mr. Obama" is also permissible. Give him the respect you don't deserve, the respect he earned merely by keeping you the hell out of the White House. The thought of you in the White House still gives me chills, to the point that I don't even think they should let Alaskans go on the tour.
2. YOU? YOU are going to talk about what reporters aren't asking somebody? In the course of the same "interview," no less, where you are asked whether quitting your job will "catapult" you or, alternatively, is more of a self-sacrifice? Like it's got to be one of the two? YOU are going to tell us what Americans deserve to know, about answering "such simple questions"? You, who refused to even say what you read? The only time you've ever told the truth to the public was by accident.
3. I almost forgot the best part: Sarah Palin, implying she has the intelligence to know what Barack Obama will do -- and that he's lying about it. The arrogance. I can't even ...
4. I really think you should stick to Twitter. I keep going back and forth on this. I want to hear more, I don't want to hear more, I can't look away, I can't bear to look ... maybe if it were only on Twitter, the rantings of the psycho on the street, instead of in the guise of an interview, which suggests discourse. She has at least that much of a point: The same 'reporters' who are interviewing her would be doing a service to this country by trying to pin down the president on how 'he' plans to pay for the health care plan. Then they wouldn't be giving this freak a forum, and my country would be a better place.

New rule no. 1

The twit:
Kotz trip gave Labor Commish & me opp to speak to young AKns re resource develop. jobs we want AKns to have 1st shot bc work ethic is there

Dear Sarah: If there should come a time, perhaps many years in the future, when it becomes OK for you to speak on the topic of work ethic, we will let you know. Yer pal, troy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We should get us one of those

Palin tells ABC news how much better things would be (for her) if she were V.P. All those ethics complaints she was forced to try to answer, eventually 'driving' her from the governor's office?
I think on a national level, your department of law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we've been charged with and automatically throw them out.

Yeah, but she's smart and talented, right? I mean, that's what I keep reading on the internet.

This is up there with her interesting, um, interpretation of the First Amendment, chronicled elsewhere in this space. Yes. What we need around here is a 'department of law.' It would look at things we got charged with and automatically throw them out.

I think we have to consider that it's at least possible Palin thinks she's living in, and was running for the vice presidency of, some other country. It would explain at least some of it. But I salute her for her first real contribution to this country. I plan to refer to the Department of Law all the time now. Remember on Seinfeld when Elaine was offended that the restaurant hired only waitresses with large breasts, and informed the owner that she was sure the "department of, you know ... whatever" would be very interested? Who knew Elaine was qualified to run for V.P.?

There's almost no chance I won't be weighing in on this more as it continues to sink in. All those defenders saying she's smart, and all those other defenders who said it didn't matter how smart she was, just because she wasn't 'elitist.' Maybe the group she was trying to reach was 4-year-olds? Because I'm trying to think who else I know besides my kid who doesn't know better. A 'department of law' at the White House that can dismiss charges. Anyone finds the interview where she said we could have won in Iraq by bringing in our crack brigade of magical fairies mounted on unicorns, lemme know.

Just awesome

From deadspin. I'm too dumb to make it display right, so just click through to get the whole image:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'll shut up if she will

From yesterday's statement:
The response in the main stream [sic] media has been most predictable, ironic, and as always, detached from the lives of ordinary Americans who are sick of the “politics of personal destruction”.

... which you instigated when you started accusing people of 'pallin' around with terrorists.' How might things have been different had you tried out classy, and kept your criticism of now-thank-God-President Obama to legitimate issues?
I shared with you yesterday my heartfelt and candid reasons for this change ...

Yeah, you know, I read the whole statement, but I must have missed the candid reasons.
I’ve never thought I needed a title before one’s name to forge progress in America.

This profile in grammar courage is just for Megan.

She claims to want to know why she's held to a different standard, and she's just dumb enough that the claim might be legitimate. Then again, she also claims to be some kind of Christian, but her bible apparently doesn't include this quote attributed to Jesus: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Had she conducted herself with any kind of dignity, she might be seeing some come back her way now. Instead, she launched personal attacks, tried to belittle her opponent (I'm giving her credit probably due her speechwriters here), and really launched the "politics of personal destruction" into a whole new level. A level where, by my observation, abortion-performing doctors and ... well, guys who work security at museums commemorating the Holocaust die. If she doesn't think she helped to incite those murders, she's dumb or deluded.

It's been fun to see her fight back against her 'critics'; less so 'liberal critics' now, because liberals (and we moderates) aren't attacking her, we're just laughing at her. The attacks are coming from the right-wingers who were taken in last year but are determined they won't get fooled again. You know, our girl's parents get reached for statement from time to time, but no one seems to ask them what I'd like to ask them. One of the most important lessons my parents taught me was that it's usually not everyone else who's wrong; if everyone else disagrees, it's usually you who are wrong. Why didn't her parents teach her that?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Crazy to the end

It would be fun to speculate why Sarah Palin announced her resignation as governor of Alaska today. I refrain not out of compassion, but because if I've learned anything, it's to not try to get inside that woman's head. I might never escape. And anyway, this isn't the place to go for substantive discussion of politics. This is the place where we pick apart her words and mock them.

Even that could take all day, so I'll let alone the Alaska history lesson and the complexities behind her preposterous treatment of the ethics charges and say:
Over the past nine months I've been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations - such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters' questions.

What? She's been accused of answering reporters' questions? Bizarro says "Me very confused."
... it may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: "Sit down and shut up", but that's the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out.

Unlike, you know, quitting.
And so as I thought about this announcement that I wouldn't run for re-election and what it means for Alaska, I thought about how much fun some governors have as lame ducks ... travel around the state, to the Lower 48 (maybe) ...

What, like to Indiana for pro-life rallies? Or to Washington, D.C., for pro-life events? Or to New York for ...
Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me - sports ... basketball. I use it because you're naïve if you don't see the national full-court press picking away right now: A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket ... and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can WIN. And I'm doing that - keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities - smaller government, energy independence, national security, freedom! And I know when it's time to pass the ball - for victory.

Yes; victory. I think that's what we all associate Sarah Palin with. Especially after her quitting. And, you know, dragging the Republican ticket down even farther last fall.
It hurts to make this choice but I am doing what's best for Alaska.

Pretty sure that's the first true thing she's said since she came to the public's attention.
Now, despite this, I don't want any Alaskan dissuaded from entering politics after seeing this REAL "climate change" that began in August ...

I actually know what this means; she's-- nah, I got nothing.
In the words of General MacArthur said, "We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction."

For our part, we promise not to follow.

Can I do her epitaph? I mean, she's dead, right? There's no way even she could think she can run for anything after not finishing out her first term as governor. OK, good. Sarah Palin epitomized what went wrong with the Republican party in so many ways. She was the end-product; even if you lacked the patience or knowledge to say where it went wrong, you could point at her and say "Well, I can't put my finger on it, but certainly we can agree that this isn't what we were aiming for." And she stayed true to that to the end. Her resignation speech was a textbook example of how the GOP has reduced itself to talking points. The talking points don't have to be true; they merely have to be words that supporters can repeat to soothe themselves. I mean, they're not convincing, but they're not for us, whether 'we' are liberals or moderates or even non-partisan. (That 'even' was for you, Sarah!) No, the talking points are purely for the talkers. They can repeat the points to the rest of us and go home convinced we were merely not open-minded enough to hear them.

It seems obvious to me, but enough minds I respect (like Andrew Sullivan's) continue to ask, almost daily, what these Republicans and right-wing media freaks can be thinking when they say the description-defying things they say. They seek an explanation but they premise the whole thing on honest discourse. Which confuses me.

So no, no compassion here, even if any of the Trig accusations were real. Both while and after losing the election, Sarah Palin tried to make it as difficult as possible for the opposition to govern the country. She actually made honest discourse more scarce than Bush did. She might be as hard for the Republican party to recover from as he was.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bachmann-hysteria overdrive

I mean, I can't swear she's consciously and actively engaged in a contest with Palin, but we can all be forgiven reaching the conclusion.
This on the climate change bill the House passed Saturday:
But what is worse than this is the fact that now because of this underlying bill, the federal government will virtually have control over every aspect of lives for the American people.

Does that include grammar? Because if the government can clean up the way Bachmann speaks, I might be willing to sacrifice my Twinkies or light spanking or whatever it is Bachmann thinks they want to take away from me.

I've also reached a new hypothesis about the representative for the lucky state of Minnesota: Is it possible she just is lazy? If she overreacts like this to passage of a climate change bill, it seems reasonable to assume she would oppose, if more temperately, just about any bill. She clearly thinks the role of the federal government is not to make law or, you know, govern. And yet she's a U.S. representative! Why did she become one? What is it she thinks she should be doing with her time, short of campaigning for re-election? If they come for me in the night, you'll know I was on to something with this.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Me, I smiled on Nov. 4

The twit:
Smile AK! Signed Adult Dental bill (HB 26) over weekend. Now more AKns can get checkups & prevent costly dental problems before they begin.

I don't know. That sounds dangerously like socialism.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The world is full of energy

The twit:
EIA estimates US energy consumption will INCREASE by 44% in next 20 yrs. We MUST utilize our local energy sources.

Oh, totally. Either that, or, you know, maybe rein in our energy consumption a little.