Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama Quote of the Century

Sometimes I question how great Obama is. Then he says stuff like this:

"In some cases, Republicans have good ideas. And, you know, I've always been more than happy to steal good ideas from whatever the source."

Also Sarah Palin spoke to a group of solar energy workers and tried to sell them her "drill baby drill" shtick. Best Election Evar.

Gonna Be a Good Day

Spam of the day: "Try the cosmic power of Viagra Professional!"

Also, my bass is finally in Seattle. Fuck yeah!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I got $689. It's very hard for me to not just buy a lute right now. Very hard.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Felony fraud charges: Truck or series of tubes?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Sample of How the World Sees Us (I mean US)


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sarah Palin thinks "Real America" is in small towns.

Notably, the majority of America's population is, and has been for some time, in suburbs.

Just saying.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Memories: My Dying Bride

It's and unescapable fact: Metal is ridiculous. Flaming swords, ten minutes keytar solos, King Diamond, multiple murder; metal is crazy music for crazy people, and usually tries far too hard to look intense to not look silly.

That said, even a ridiculous and over-the-top band like My Dying Bride can be brilliant, without it being an accident. I listened to these guys a lot when I was 17 through 19 or so, especially after I bought their concert DVD For Darkest Eyes (which very sadly stopped working a couple years ago, but now we have YouTube!). At the time I was way into doom metal, especially of the dark, pseudo-gothy variety MDB perfected. These guys, early Paradise Lost, Morgion, and their ilk were all kicking my ass at the time. MDB in particular put out two of the best doom metal records ever, Turn Loose the Swans and The Angel and the Dark River. But eventually, I got bored or distracted or something and haven't listened to them in a good while (I have three songs by them on iTunes; one of them I ever listen to). They're still putting out albums, I'm not sure how good those are.

Then I thought about them earlier. And then I went on the YouTubes. And wow.

The video above was always a favorite of mine. Unfortunately, this is not the full 12-minute version of "The Cry of Mankind", but it gives a good idea of the great use of the main riff, which never stops throughout the song. Just six notes, completely brilliant. That's exactly what doom metal should be about: heavy, beautiful repetition. That said, the sad pasty Jesus singer was probably a step too far.

This other video ("Black Voyage") is from the DVD I owned, and is another song from The Angel and the Dark River. This is them notching up the heavy, and also giving some idea of what you are missing in the abridged version of "The Cry of Mankind" in the middle.

Executive Decision

From now on, music in 7/4 is to be referred to as being in "Independence time". Alternately, it could be called "America's Time Signature."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Missed Step

So the debate last night. Joe the Plumber and all that.

As usual, there was one line of attack that I really feel was missing that seemed pretty obvious to me. This one in particular I feel could have been a really amazing jab at McCain:

When the talk turned to the campaigns themselves, and negative ads, McCain's main zinger was that Obama spent more on negative ads than anyone ever. This is technically true, but only because Obama has spent more on everything than anyone ever; only about a third of his ads were negative. Obama could have said this, but THEN he come back to a point he had briefly made, that campaigns will always get tough. That by seeming to expect basically no negative campaigning (apparently), John McCain was being naive! OOOH!

Or maybe it just would have made him look like an asshole, I don't know, people are weird about stuff like that. The point is, Joe the Plumber.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

False Equivalence

I just watched this clip of the Rachel Maddow show. It made me realize that there is a particular tack the Republicans have not been going with in trying to draw equivalence between the Obama campaign's attacks on McCain and the McCain campaign being race baiting sleaze bags. Specifically: they have not taken the (slightly more valid) line that Obama is being ageist. Certainly all the times that the Obama campaign has called McCain "confused" has to count for something in this regard, as that is a pretty loaded word.

I'm not saying it's as bad as what McCain is doing - I do not presume false equivalencies like that. McCain, Palin, and all their cronies are being thoroughly vile, and know just what they're doing when they mention a brown person's name in the same sentence as "terrorist," especially when that brown person has a funny/scary name and says words they've never heard like "arugala."

But, it is certainly a more valid attack than comparing McCain insinuating treason to Obama insinuating (with much better evidence, no less) some amount of political corruption, to say nothing of comparing it to Rachel Maddow being sarcastic on her TV show.

Of course, McCain himself has taken to simply making shit up.

(thanks to Sadly, No!!)

As a side note, when do you think the words "Barack" and "Obama" will be added to standard spell check dictionaries?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Colombo Day! Get back to work!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

In Honor of the Moderator

John McCain's campaign died today. He looked 93.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

How to Moderate Debates

The question of who should moderate the presidential debates has been raised lately in light of how things went with Gwen Ifill. The notion that she might be biased in favor of the Obama campaign given her upcoming book on the subject was not without merit, and certainly it is because of that potential bias that she was so easily bullied into being overly submissive to Sarah Palin. Of course, while this did not make for the best debate, her restraint is certainly more admirable than the behavior of, say, George Stephanopolous during the Democratic primary debate.

But who would be a better moderator? Mostly, political pundits are chosen, but, as you have not doubt noticed, they are rarely without bias (the upcoming debate with Tom Brokaw as a moderator is likely to skew very much towards McCain). The standards of political journalism in this country, especially on tv, do not favor neutrality, as it is seldom entertaining. So we need someone who is not a journalist.

There are two ways to go here. Ideally they could both be used for a total of three debates.

The first is to go with someone who can truly and skillfully give us neutral moderation.* For this I suggest a high school debate coach. Certainly he or she would not put up with deviations from the questions asked, or fallacies ad folksium.

The second is to go with two different people, with two extremes of bias. BUT rather than pick two people who have a stake in each candidate respectively, pick two people who may lean more towards each of the candidates, but have specific stake in neither of them succeeding. For this the best option is to use third party candidates, or other political extremists from each end of the spectrum, ideally who actively do not support either party. For the former, Bob Barr and Ralph Nader. For the latter, Ron Paul and Jello Biafra.

To make things more interesting, perhaps the debates could be placed in front of audiences specifically hostile to the moderator's bias. A liberal debate in front of southern conservatives, a conservative debate in front of San Francisco liberals, a logical high school-style debate in a church.

*Possibly the dullest combination of words ever

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Debate Notes

Palin is just talking about whatever she wants to talk about. You have to ANSWER QUESTIONS. Also, what the fuck is this about McCain not saying different things to different people? That's all he does!

Sound byte: "How long have I been at this, like five weeks?" -Sarah Palin

John McCain has an "all of the above approach" to climate change. Sarah Palin has one on reading magazines.

Alternative energy. This is where it's at right here. Go Joe!

Sarah Palin: Faux pas machine.

Joe Biden is (almost ) a rainbow hero. Sarah Palin digs out her lesbian pals. And he really threw her off trying to make her say there'd be no practical difference between gay and straight couples.


The "I respect you for that" thing is a good jab, but he's punching back even harder.

Can't stand "which is better/which is worse" questions. Fuck you dichotomy!

Great foreign policy answer by Biden. He rips.


The Castro Twins, they look the same! Good gowd.

Christ, here we go with the "hate America" refrain.

Hitting the Spain thing! Woo!

Aw, we both love Israel!

We can't change if we criticize the Bush administration!

"Would you ever use nuclear weapons?" "NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE THEM!"

Hey, she asked to change the topic this time!

Wow, that was an epic sigh by Joe Biden (who referred to himself in the third person, by the way)

Sarah, it's so obvious that you're a Washington outsider.

He knows what evil is!

They're a team of mavericks! Like from Dallas?

So what the fuck is this with saying you can't change if you criticize Bush? SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK! Change is not arbitrary you stupid SAOIRJSDOF ;

She's watched Schoolhouse Rock now. Good to know.

Biden attacks the Man Sized Safe. Go Joe!

Diverse support for McCain: Lieberman, Giuliani, Romney. Three northeastern neocons?

Boom! Hit that maverick nonsense!

And of course the media is so unfair to her. God, this was basically just what I wanted it to be.

To be fair, Joe, in retrospect 2000 was actually way more important. Look what it's accomplished. Otherwise, amazing job.

I have to be honest

If on just one occasion in my life, a monkey stole a banana from me, it would be amazing. If it were a daily issue, I would want a monkey actor to help me resolve the situation.