28 March 2008

A three hour tour? A THREE HOUR TOUR?

Quiz for you: which candidate for president said this concerning Reverend Jeremiah Wright?

"I can only say that I am sure, knowing Senator Obama, that he does not share the extreme views that were expressed that I saw on television."

It was John McCain.  Imagine that, if you can.  Obama is his likely challenger in November, and while the rest of the GOP is foaming at the mouth over the smear potential of the Wright sermon videos, McCain pretty much has declared that it should not be an issue.  Do you think the rest of the Republicans will mirror McCain's opinion?  I sort of doubt it.

Here's another question: which candidate has said nothing about this except for "He would not be my pastor."

That would be Hillary Clintion of course, who believes that "as far as she knows" Barabk Obama is not a Muslim.  Maybe HRC has been so quiet about the Wright issue because she's talking to James Frey about how to elaborate real-life experiences.  I wonder if Frey has ever been to a war zone?

I voted for Obama in the primary and will in November if he is the nominee.  I will not vote for Clinton under any circumstances.  Ugh.  I can't believe I am saying this publicly-if Hillary Clinton somehow weasels her way into the nomination, I am voting for John McCain.  That will be the first time in my life that I have voted for a Republican presidential candidate.

Why?  Well, why not?  I've mentioned how disappointed I have been in the Clintons lately, but after this Bosnia thing I am actually scared of her being in control of anything.  I don't believe that Clinton thinks she lied about her visit to Bosnia.  I think she actually believes what she said to be the truth.  I also believe that she has a strong sense of entitlement, that she thinks that she deserves the presidency.

I know it takes a lot of ego to even consider running for president, but Hillary Clinton is a meglomaniac.  She is delusional.  There is no way she is fit to be president.  Jeez, what would I do if Guiliani or Romney were the GOP candidate?  I'd have to go into exile for the next year.

Be fully prepared for the onslaught once the race is set, for there is no doubt that there will be ads all over the place telling us that Obama is an anti-american muslim dog killer.  Amazing that a guy like that wants to be president.  His plan to kill us all must be devious.

I ranted about the GOP running on BOO! in 2004-"vote for us, or the terrorists will kill you."  They will run on BOO! again in 2008, but in terms of "Vote for us, or the big bad black men will get you."  By the time the conventions are over, that is the only way that the GOP will be able to win, especially in the deep south. 

And that is what this whole thing about Jeremiah Wright is about.  It's fear.  Fear of losing control.  Fear that the establishment will be "replaced" by something else.  And it's completely ridiculous.  Not to mention incredibly racist.

Here's a politically and racially motivated-free random 11:

1. "When I Want You"-Del Amitri.  These boys just fell off the planet in the mid-90s didn't they?  Their Waking Hours CD gets more play on my stereo than 95% of everything else I own.  You sent greetings from Liverpool, and I took the next train.  Liverpool?  Who named that city and why?

2. "Driver 8"-REM.  I see they have a new album coming out soon.  I can't think of anything interesting to say about this song, so I'll mention that I've been watching Natural Born Killers for the last hour or so, and that I've never seen it.  Bizarre.  I have no idea what Oliver Stone wants this film to be, but I'm guessing he wanted it to be a three hour acid trip.

3. "Wine Safari"-Rolfe Kent.  Rolfe?  Isn't he the dog that plays the piano on The Muppet Show?  This is from the Sideways soundtrack.  I sort of which I had been watching this movie for the last hour instead.  This movie made me a Paul Giamatti fan (though it is not his best work-see American Splendor if you haven't already).  I haven't seen any of the John Adams mini-series on HBO yet.  Kind of having a hard time picturing Giamatti as Adams.

4. "The Painted Desert"-10000 Maniacs.  This is almost two different songs now, since I have been to the Painted Desert recently (that's relative-the song came out in 1988, I was there in 2006).  It really is amazing how the color of the desert changes depending on the time if day.  The landscape in late afternoon, when the slowly falling sun makes most of the desert a bright red, is best.  Still doesn't make me want to camp in it like the people in the song though.

5. "Miss Halfway"-Anya Marina.  I heard this song performed life on NPR's "Whatta Ya Know?" but have since been told that it was popular on an episode of "Grey's Anatomy."  I feel stained by the association.

6. "Slit Skirts"-Pete Townshend.  He is incredibly underrated as a songwriter and solo performer.  His White City is my favorite album of all time.  Hard to believe I used to listen to this song on vinyl way back as a high school freshman, when the line "I was just 34 years old and I was still wandering in a haze" made him seem like such an old man.  Hmm, I might have been wandering in a haze at 34 myself.

7. "Ticket to Ride"-The Beatles.  Just added a bunch of Beatles tunes to the 'pod.  I'm reading the biography of them that came out in 2005 (I think) which is so long and detailed but fascinating, and has me on a kick with their music recently.  Looking at their songs and albums, it amazes me that they were only around for eight years.  I found out last Sunday that my son (who has passed the three month mark) is a fan of the boys from Liverpool (Liverpool.  Liverpool?), as a medley of their work soothed him down from a rough patch and even put him to sleep with a smile on his face.  My favorite Beatles song?  Think I have to go with "Hey Jude."

8. "Fortune Teller"-Robert Plant and Allison Krause.  If their Raising Sand album does not win a billion Grammys next year, there should be an investigation.  And this is one of the only so-so tracks on the CD.

9. "Minutes to Memories"-John Mellancamp.  Still ain't too happy with him for selling out to Chevy after he ranted for years about people who did, but can't bring myself to jettison his stuff from my catalog.  This song makes me think of Champaign, Illinois.

10. "Dry Country"-The B52s.  I was a senior in college when this came out, and I remember a friend of mine had one of those fake flowers that moved to rhythm, and this song made it move like no other.  Maybe I have been watching this movie too long.  At least now I know why Tom Sizemore turned out the way he did.

11. "Even Better than the Real Thing"-U2.  Almost had a full one without U2.  Take me higher.  So is this movie a commentary on the media?  I'm starting to think it is.  Why is Robert Downey's character Australian?  Is he a symbolic Rupert Murdoch?  Did Tommy Lee Jones come straight from his "Batman Returns" scenes to the set of this movie?  He looks exactly the same.  Nice 'stache.  Hey that's Robert Jordan at the end!  He's a news dude from Chicago.  Why is he on there?  Did he get paid?  OK, it's definitely a media thing.  I get that now.  I'm guessing Stone absolutely loved how this flick gets the conservatives into a froth.

16 March 2008

Stuck in March with the February blues, again.

This is the March of my discontent.  My somewhat-reliable case of the February blues (which I thought I managed to avoid this year) decided to show up a month late this year.  I've always had this problem; for as long as I can remember by the time mid-February comes I am crawling out of my skin for the season to change.  Just when I think I can't take it anymore, it disappears. 

So I know that sometime soon, hopefully within the next week or so, this feeling of mental paralysis will go away and we will all get along with the year.  Thank God for my wife and son; I'd be feeling about a billion times worse if they weren't here.  Desmond will be three months next Friday.  He was baptized last Sunday and wore the same outfit that I did when I was christened a-way back in 1967.  Kristen has been documenting a lot of his life on a separate blog so that our out-of-town family can see what he is up to (I don't want to link it here, but if anybody would like to check it out, leave me a comment and I will e-mail it to you).  It's good to be able to click on a link and see multiple pictures of my son; it's a guaranteed mood booster.

So I get bothered by things much more easily during times like these.  My thesis is driving me nuts.  No, I'm driving myself nuts about it.  I am so close to finishing and that seems to make it that much harder to complete.  I write for a bit, I get stuck on trying to express something (it is so much easier to write in my head) and then the frustration distracts me to the point that I walk away for a bit.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

I also want Hillary Clinton to go away.  I'm stifling myself here, because I could easily go on and on and on about how I am completely repulsed by her.  It's not gender-related; I'm sick of Bill Clinton too (and anyone who knew me in the 90s would be stunned by that admission).  They will say anything to get elected (Her answer on 60 Minutes about whether Obama is a Muslim: "He's not, as far as I know."  As far as you know?).  They are living in a dream world-has there ever been a second-place candidate who talked openly about how the person who is currently bashing their political brains in would make a great VP running mate?  But what bothers me most about them is their outrage over the Michigan and Florida primaries not counting.  Everyone involved in the campaign agreed that these states would not seat their delegates, because they broke party rules.  Clinton was quoted long ago as saying that she agreed that this was fair.  Well, she won both primaries and now THE DELEGATES MUST COUNT, DAMMIT!

OK, enough. They are making me ill, and I am sick of the politics of  entitlement.  I never thought I would say this, but here goes:  go away, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton.  Far, far away. 

Usually crabbiness means a need for a random eleven: Apple, take me away...

1. "All the Way to Reno"-REM.  Another by-product of the late-winter blahs is an intense desire to road trip.  All this song makes me think about right now is Vegas.  I'd love to be there next week for the first four days of the NCAA basketball tournament.  I've driven through Reno but that's it.  I have no idea what this song means, and the fact that Michael Stipe sings "You know who you are" 100 times doesn't help decipher it.

2. "Slow Turning"-John Hiatt.  One of the greatest driving songs of all time.  Quite possibly has the greatest lyric in all of mankind: "And I'm yellin' at the kids in the back 'cuz they're banging like Charlie Watts."  It has a banjo.  Life is short and here's the damn thing about it: you're gonna die, gonna die for sure.

3. "Shiver"-Coldplay.  Two questions about this: why isn't this considered one of the best rock songs of the last twenty-five years?  The guitars alone clinch it.  And what happened to Coldplay?  A band that is capable of something like this should be exiled for ever recording a song like "Fix You."  I discovered this song in the summer/fall of 2003, after moving out of my house into an apartment (something I vowed never to do when I started paying a mortgage) and having just met the woman who I would marry.  It was a different, different time.  I was road-tripping a lot then too.  In fact, I was listening to this song in central New York when i got pulled over by a state trooper for going 85 on the Interstate, and if he had come upon me about ten seconds sooner, I would have been going 105.  Just decided to open it up and see how fast I could go.  Timing saved me about $250 there, I think.

4. "January Rain"-David Gray.  This is an instrumental from the movie Serendipity, which was one of the dumbest movies I have ever seen.  If I recall correctly, this movie has one of most ridiculous scenarios that an audience has ever been asked to believe: John Cusack is in New York at his bachelor party (he's getting married the next morning) but he's pining for a girl he met earlier who is in California blah blah blah so he and Jeremy Piven get on a flight that leaves NY at 11 PM, fly to LA, and are able to rent a car, somehow find where this girl lives and get back to the airport in time to catch a flight back to NY that gets him there in more than enough time for his noon wedding.  OK.  I know there's a three hour time difference but there's no way that flight out lands before 1 AM Pacific time.  You rent a car at LAX, you look up and find your way to a house somewhere in the metropolitan area, you get back to the airport.  It has to be at least 3 if not 4AM, which means that it is 6 or 7 in New York.  You're going to get on a plane then, land at LaGuardia and have time to get dressed for a noon wedding?  Right.  Of course, had the movie been any good, I probably would have bought this scenario.  Alas, it sucked, and shall henceforth be referred to as Serenstupidity.  Thank you.  And I don't really blame you if you stopped reading this particular entry a long, long time ago.  I'm really not worth much as a writer when I am crabby.

5. "Revolution Earth"-B52s.  One of those songs that I heard during a time when I wondered if I would ever get married.  Ah, mid-20s angst.  Have you ever wanted to take out your brain and use a brillo pad to erase certain memories?  Yeah, me too.

6. "Ring of Fire."-Johnny Cash.  Not much to say about the brilliance of this.  Did I really once watch an episode of "ER" where Carrie woke up to a version of this song being sung by Grace Jones?

7. "39"-Queen.  Hoo boy.  Did not need to hear this song in this mood.  This song completely reminds me of my father, who hated just about everything I listened to when I was a kid, but absolutely loved this song.  He used to walk into my room every once in a while and say "Put '39 on" and then he would sit and listen to it without saying a word, and then say "thanks" when it was over, as he walked out of the room.  I've played this song for Desmond a few times.

8. "So Cruel"-U2. Have to have the mandatory U2 song.

9. "In Bloom"-Nirvana.  At least it wasn't "Lithium."  There was something disturbing about seeing my nephew rock out to this song when he was fourteen.  He's turned 22 since I last posted here.  He was a great kid, and now he's a great adult.

10. "Screw"-The Cure.  Ah. mid-1980s angst!  Anything by The Cure reminds me of road-tripping to Champaign to visit friends who were going to school there while I was home looking for brillo pads.  I think I went there seventeen times in what would have been my freshmen year.  I used to have major regret at how I screwed up my opportunity to go to school there, but I have long since graduated from the everything-happens-for-a-reason school.  This will either make you laugh or reinforce the fact that I am an idiot: the first time I went to U of I to visit with friends, I was in a dorm room with about ten other people.  There was a courtyard and when I looked past that into the window of a room across it, I clearly saw a poster on the wall.  It was Albert Einstein, but this was only pointed out to me after I remarked several times that I thought it was strange that a college student would have a poster of Larry Tate (for those of you under 40, he was Darren's boss on "Bewitched") on his wall.  Yes, I had been drinking, but surely someone else could have made this mistake, yes?  By the way, if you are feeling blue, don't read the accompanying bio for David White (the actor who was Larry Tate) after that picture; it's incredibly depressing.  The dude had a tough personal life.

11. "Tusk"-Fleetwood Mac.  The only highlight of this song comes at the 2:26 mark, when for some reason Mick Fleetwood (It has to be him, but I don't really know) bellows in the background "Real Savage Like!" in his best Tim Gunn voice.