brutal

Doing a bunch of traveling. Sorry for the light posting. Seven hours of sleep in two days, but we are covering some serious ground.

Got some furniture for the house, though.

The difference between you and me…

Is that you’re still a band…

McLusky have broken up. From their website:

The three piece rock band known as mclusky have disbanded, as of friday january 7th, 2005.
The reason for this parting is private, though probably not as entertaining as you’d imagine.
Personally, I would like to thank all the people, places and times that occured on or near us.
I’m grateful for the love and to a lesser degree, the hate.
There’ll be more music soon, from all of us.

blogian tiger trap

Sometimes when I check through my logs to see how people find this blog, I get kinda tickled. People come looking for more right wing blogosphere noise and they get ME.

Hi.

Howya’ doin’?

For example, today? Search terms “vandenheuvel commie” (Katrina vanden Heuvel is editor of The Nation, for those of you that don’t know.)

result? You get my weblog in the search results with the headline “Another Lefto-Commie Spouts off Against the pResident.” That lefto-commie? Lt. Col. Kwiatkowski USAFR (ret.) in Military Week.

heh. Sucka.

Next?

Search terms: “Liberal Whiners.’

The result- “Liberal Whiners and the Death of Struggle

which essentially says “Look, liberals. Suck it up. Buy guns. Fuck these fascists.”

Nice of you to drop by, folks. On your way out, don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.

You use me, I use you

fascinating.

Kanye West recently announced that he plans to charge for appearing on magazine covers in the future.

According to NY Daily News, Kanye said that artists help boost magazine sales by appearing on their covers and that they should get a cut of the publications’ revenues.

“These magazines make money from ads and subscriptions. But I know that part of what drives subscriptions and ads is who these magazines put on the cover,” West offered during a recent brunch in Beverly Hills. “So if you’re putting me on the cover and people are buying your magazine because of me, why shouldn’t I get paid to be on that cover? You are going to have to pay me to do magazine covers now!”

Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Daily News’ Lowdown section revealed that editors from the country’s top magazines are confident that Kanye won’t be able to command a fee to appear on magazine covers.

“Our West Coast editor, Chris Huvane, was at that brunch, and he sent me an e-mail that Kanye West is insane. When I read it, I did a spit-take,” Jim Nelson of GQ magazine told the News. “Kanye clearly does not understand the sacred economics of magazines. We’re notoriously cheap.” Ebony magazine’s Lynn Norment added, “I love Kanye, but we don’t pay for covers. Never have and never will. He has a lot of learning to do.”

This is from the Village Voice’s Music section.

I dunno, Kayne has a point. I mean, the kind of exploitation of artists that has typified the music trade (calling it an industry legitimizes aspects of it that should be more likened to the slave trade… hence the nomenclature “music trade“) has mandated certain compromises. I don’t even want to get into the byzantine accounting practices that fleece artists of their rights and their much-deserved cash- let’s stick to the use of the artists’ likeness and intellectual property to sell MTV and a thousand shite magazines without ANY compensation to the artist.

This is the sort of anti-exploitation move that bands like Gang of Four and Fugazi were on about, but they never had the kind of commercial firepower that rap artists have. It’s about economies of scale. I think that the press reps that they interviewed doth protest too much. If Missy Elliot and 50 Cent and Eminem and Dead Tupac all said “No more covers unless you pony up,” then I think it’s the skin trade people that have “a lot of learning to do.”

the profound chasm of a revolver barrel

I haven’t said anything about Hunter S. Thompson’s death because it’s left me a bit speechless. Sure, in recent years the guy has been a shambling wreck with brief outbursts of lucidity. He might have embarrassed us a little when he staggered out into public and howled like a bull elephant at the lights in his eyes. Funny thing about TV cameras: They don’t blink. However, there were dozens of nineteenth century literary giants that had absinthe and laudanum habits that would have knocked Dr. Thompson to his knees. The cameras just weren’t invented yet to show us Oscar Wilde or Rimbaud coughing into a toilet or pissing themselves. I don’t think you have to be a boiled shirt protestant penitent like our beloved president to qualify as a cultural icon. In fact… oh, never mind.

Getting old is a fucking drag. Thompson, like Hemingway, took option B.

The man’s body wasn’t quite cold before pantywaists like Lileks and Brookhiser (in the NY Post) were dry humping his memory, claiming he was a hack and untalented, and blahblahblah. One of the unfortunate side effects of the rise of the internet and blogging- a chorus of anklebiters can be relied upon to boil out of the woodwork whenever someone of any accomplishment dies.

Look. The man Lived. That’s a capital L. I would wager that he never wrote a kind word about Target Stores™ and he never cowered in fear at the thought of those bad, evil, scary MOOSLIMS. I don’t think Dr. Hunter S. Thompson cowered in fear at much of anything, actually.

Yes, he was a mess. Yes, he was an incredibly irresponsible correspondent for many years, but let me offer you this-
Hunter S. Thompson was a man of profound risk- I knew that when he wrote that he was driving around Las Vegas in a rented Cadillac at 115 mph with a head full of Chivas Regal and bezedrine with a loaded Smith and Wesson .44 revolver on the seat, he had actually done it. I don’t know that I would ever do that, but I am glad that SOMEONE made that drive, so we could all know a little something about what it felt like. You can rest assured that when he wrote that he had slumped over in the White House press pool tripping (and sipping mescal from a film canister) that he had actually done it. We never caught Dr. Thompson waxing philosophical about the Simpsons, there were no thoughtful paeans to Department of Homeland Security for Keeping Us All Safe From the Brown Menace. There were stories. GREAT stories of inhuman levels of daring, cunning, mischief, fearlessness, a deep seated hatred of hypocrites and liars, connivers and seekers of power. Dr. Thompson MOCKED Richard Nixon. Nixon deserved no less and no more. Thompson hated the great evil that was the Viet Nam war. Not only was it a thresher that separated thousands of young Americans (and millions of Viet Namese) from their flesh, their souls and their youth, it was a crashing bummer, man, and that was reason enough to condemn Robert McNamara to hell.

Dr. Thompson was his own man and he was our conscience, our untrammeled id and our wildest heart. He lived with the hammer back and he wrote well about it.

that is all.

Odd Goings On

Let me first admit that I am in danger of getting my lefty-card revoked. Why? Because I haven’t paid enough attention to the whole Social Security debate. At all. I mean, clearly the Bushistas have it in for any remaining remnant of the new deal, and their “Don’t these people have inheritances?” sort of Let Them Eat Cake approach to doing the job that government is supposed to do is just one more log on an already blazing fire.

However.

Two things have come to my attention in the last 24 hours.

1. From Agent Little Bird, we get this cryptic, tersely worded article from the Baltimore Sun:

Federal agents seized items from Social Security Administration headquarters in Woodlawn yesterday, apparently as part of an investigation of alleged fraud.

About noon yesterday, about a half-dozen people – some of them with lettering on their clothing identifying them as federal agents – were seen taking what appeared to be numerous boxes from the lower east building at the Social Security Administration offices and loading them into an unmarked blue van.

An agent at the scene would not comment.

Barry Maddox, a spokesman for the FBI’s Baltimore office, confirmed that the FBI had been at the Social Security complex.

He said he would not disclose any details, saying that the matter is an “ongoing investigation.”

Maddox referred questions to Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman at the U.S. attorney’s office. Murphy said she could not comment.

and

2. Josh Marshall reports that there are ads at Craigslist asking for focus group participants to study marketing materials for privatization advocacy:

Earlier this evening we brought you the news that Craig’s List had a listing, purportedly on behalf of the Social Security Administration’s Office of Communications, asking for partipants for a series of focus groups on selling privatization.

As a slew of readers have now informed us, the ad has just been pulled.

I don’t pretend to know what’s going on with either one of these. I am left to wonder if someone at SSA might have blows the whistle on the crew that is trying to push grandma in front of a train and the FBI has come a-callin’.

I just hope that if someone’s blowing the whistle, they know that the agency tasked with protecting them from evil is going to throw them to the wolves.

MSN Search=Useless

If you found your way to my site via MSN Search, and you’re wondering why you got dumped on the front page when your search criteria was “Karl Rove pink underwear MiG-25″ and all you see is this entry, it’s because MSN Search has no ability to parse blog archives.

Stop scratching your head and looking funny. Go use a real search engine and see if you don’t get some results you can use.

Now if he could just make it fit on a t-shirt….

Tbogg ‘splains it all for you, friends.

It’s long and it’s detailed, but it sure explains the vitriol of the spittle-flecked defenses of Gannon/Guckert from Buttrocket and the fine folks at Powerline.

In a nutshell:

Rove–>”Lucy Ramirez”–>Burkett–>CBS–>”Buckhead”–>Powerline–>”Gannon”–>Rove

Notice all the pseudonyms. Notice all the lawyers with GOP ties. There’s no such thing as a coincidence.

Like my man TBogg sez: “Connect the dots any way you want.”

A special message for the fixer

Where’s the best place to get a crate 302 and what’s a good price to pay for one?

I have found (but not yet purchased) an 85 F-150 that needs a motor. If we can keep the peanut gallery quiet long enough to have this discussion (*coughcough* Gordon… *coughcough*), I am trying to figure out if the best path to go is to have the local wizard (a guy known to mechanics all over town simply as “Winterville Bill”) rebuild it or to have a crate motor dropped in it.

If I can find a 302 Windsor…. hoo doggie….

AND should I swap the fuel injection for a four banger or leave the old injector system where it sits? It’s about as simple as a fuel injector gets- MAP sensor, injector, throttle body madness….and, sure the injector is more efficient that the carb, but the carb would be so simple and there’s NO COMPUTER (or O2 sensor) on a carb. Your thoughts?

Weapons Artist in High Demand

“I think that I have done all of my best work in recent years,” says Martin “Marty” Witherspoon, an artist working in the unique medium of seized armaments arrangement installations.

Witherspoon spoke to Yelladog via satellite phone from the Iraqi city of Basra as he was putting the finishing touches on his most recent installation.

arty.jpg

“Afghanistan and Iraq have provided me with the opportunity to work in a range of small arms that I have never had at my disposal before,” he added, “and in such huge quantities. I love, just LOVE these stacks of RPGs. They’re so linear and uncompromising.”

arty2.jpg

A civilian contractor, Witherspoon has traveled extensively in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent years. His services are constantly in demand in a media-driven war. Witherspoon feels that the Iraq war is a huge breakthrough that has availed him opportunities he has not had since his earliest work in Southeast Asia in the early 1970s. “Oh, god, let’s please not discuss that- I was just out of art school then. I didn’t know anything. Mostly I had a bunch of crap for materials, anyway.”

Witherspoon’s long career has not been without controversy. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he included large amounts of drugs along with his normal assortment of weapons. “I’m not proud of that period in my life,” he says, “but I think it’s indicative of the times. America was obsessed with drugs. Not so much these days. Today, it’s all about the AKs, babe.”

drugsguns.gif
(work from Witherspoon’s 80’s drug portraits.)

Witherspoon is particularly proud of the six-pack of sand-covered MiG-25 Foxbat fighter-bombers he arranged recently, west of Baghdad. “Fuck Christo! I had MiGs, bitch! Top that!” he shouts, before quickly re-composing himself. “Sorry,” he coughed apologetically, “sometimes I get really excited about my work.”

buried_mig.jpg

The artist was profoundly disappointed that Iraq did not contain the promised nuclear, chemical and biological weapons that he had hoped to work with-“What the fuck am I supposed to do with a ‘weapons related program activity’? How do you stack a half dozen of those?”

Witherspoon is, however, optimistic about the future: “I can’t wait to get to Iran and Syria. That’s gonna be some good stuff.”