This is our place to rant-n-rave about all things re: the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, free speech and other forms of expression bordering on dissent, sedition and worse...
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The Cult of Ray
I was perusing my dear old dad's bookshelf and came across a book by Ray Bradbury titled, 'Zen and the Art of Writing'. There were a pair of good quotes from the book.
"Life is short, misery sure, mortality certain." - pg. 9. "Who are your friends? Do they believe in you? Or do they stunt your growth with ridicule and disbelief? If the latter, you haven't friends. Go find some." - pg. 47.
I also love the album by Frank Black, which includes one of my favorite songs: Men in Black.
Chupa-cabra Chups? Nah, these lollipops were first seen by me at a 'rave' several years back... DJ Tron was spinning early 'house' music in an old warehouse near Springfield MA. The 'kandy kids' were handing these out to suck on while you were X'd out in the chill-out area.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and has been a thorn in the side of wily Republicans for many years now. When he asked former VP Dick "I'll shoot ya in the F-ing face by accident" Cheney about Halliburton, the Veep told Leahy in June of 2004 ON THE FLOOR OF THE U.S. SENATE, "Fuck yourself!" He's a class act... er... a crass act.
The 'maverick' Senator recently proposed we set-up a 3rd World style "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" to investigate Bush-era crimes, including possible War Crimes! These commissions have helped several countries that suffered through years of abuse at the hands of their governments. South Africa looked into the horrors of the apartheid 'regime' that were inflicted on their own people, mostly poor blacks.
Just when you thought it was safe to be a Liberal again! Former 'Guerilla' street artist and phenomenologistShepard Fairey of 'Andre the Giant has a Posse' fame was arrested in Boston on his way to the ultra-hip Institute of Contemporary Art. Apparently his wildly successful 'hack' of an old AP photo of Barack Obama got them thinking we should enforce our 'rights' against him. Great... The NY Times got it right and cited the photographer Tom Gralish's contention that the AP does't 'own' the rights and he was 'proud' to be the source of the iconic image!
A few years back I was in Kentucky at a bed and breakfast near Bowling Green and out back was a 'family plot' of sorts. Two distinct burial grounds seperate but equal. Slaves on one side and their master's on the other. The contrast was saddening, I cried openly and thought about those times. I also remembered in elementary school around President's Day when we learned about Lincoln, the Civil War and slavery. I looked at my black classmates and wondered how we could have done that to them, to their ancestors, so recently, just a couple generations ago... I realized that in death they were finally equal.
In the first week of December I tried to find the address of a former co-worker so I could mail them a Christmas card. Turns out my superior online investigative skills (cyber-stalking) had me finding them somewhere in California in a new job, but what of the home address? Sending a card to their place of employment wasn't what I had in mind, but would suffice as a Plan B. I kept clicking on links and found they had made a $1,000 contribution to the McCain for President Campaign! Huh? What? NO CARD FOR YOU! I remembered this person as a Liberal, at least outwardly, an enlightened and educated person who I admired whiel slaving away from 9-5. Oh well...
I was out to dinner with some friends at a local BBQ joint and ran into some interesting people from the Upper East Side of Manhattan. After eating we sat at the bar and we chatted them up a bit. Afterwards I had a flash and realized they needed their own gear for their NYC identity... but someone beat me to it! Team UES
Last year I attended an event at the NY School of Interior Design. During the break in the program I took a walk around the neighborhood and saw a lovely woman coming towards me pushing a pram. As she approached I was expecting to see two cherubic baby faces, but instead was surprised to see two panting lap-dogs!
Recently a 'pagan' mosaic was discovered underneath a Catholic church in Italy. Why am I not at all surprised the Christians would do something like this? From the MSNBC story... "Another extraordinary scene shows a naked man wearing an ivy crown and holding a lotus flower in his right hand. In his left hand, the mysterious character holds a lituus. This is a crooked cane which in ancient Rome was used by the augurs as a cult instrument. The cane was regarded as a symbol of a priestly group." God bless us, everyone!
I was a little hungover from having watched the Superbowl last night and a certain 9 year old kid I know was at the computer desperately trying to find the Doritos advertisement that he saw on TV last night. You know, the one with the guy who bites into the Dorito snack chip and a lady's clothes fly off to reveal her foundation garments and silky unmentionables! I wiped the sand from my eyes and instructed him to search "Superbowl Commercials 2009" and at the top of the results was a link to Tom Shales Washington Post 'style' column. So... The kid clicks on good old Tom and takes a quick look at his article on the advertisements. The kid looks Tom's article over and askes me, "Who's this guy?", and I answer, "Oh, he's an interesting person with some opinions on our mass-media culture, maybe when you are older he'll make some sense!" I remember being in a college mass media communications course and having to do complex 'content analysis' of what was being broadcast for a sample period of time... how many times did the idiots mix up "less" and "fewer" was not in the matrix, incidences of sexism were. When Mrs. Potato Head loses her mouth and can't give Mr. Potato Head grief for his driving (in a commercial fo Bridgestone tires), the kid laughed and I winced. I grew up in the mid-1970s reading my mother's Ms. magazine about the same time I was also reading the National Lampoon. My sensibilities remain somewhere in between these two. In the CBS Sunday Morning TV show, Hugh Hefner's daughter lamented the days when they were lumped into the 'porn' that feminists were fighting against despite the fact Playboy magazine was in favor of women's rights, especially abortion. All these things and plenty more went through my mind in that hungover moment at the computer... What was surprising was when, after the Doritos ad was over, he took the computer cursor and ran it back and forth along the slider so that it was 'video scratching' as a DJ would work a vinyl platter of a phonograph record, a blur of images, her clothes coming off and going back on in a flash, the bus hitting and then un-hitting the eager snack muncher over and over again... The medium IS still the message.