Who do you want to make your stuff?

and are you willing to pay the difference in price?

This is footage shot inside the Zildjian plant. They make thousands of cymbals a week. Amazing technology for making perfect cymbals:

and this is Robert Spizzichino, artisan cymbal maker from Italy:

I like Spizz’s cymbals a lot, but they’re not durable enough to be Music Hates You cymbals…

Maybe if i played more of this kind of stuff:

photos from the tour are up

I finally have photos posted on the web of the Low Lows tour.

You can see them here.

Do the slideshow- then you get full captions and larger pictures.

Pictures I wish I had gotten but didn’t:
the “all-squid, all the time” meal in Cartagena. (surprisingly FANTASTIC.)
the Sacred Family Cathedral in Barcelona
Keith’s Van
the French Police driving away
one of the spanish hams from whence come all the sandwiches
any pictures at all of Camden Market

I dunno… a thousand others.

All of these photos were shot using one of these Casio Cameras, and boy do I want one now.  They’re not THAT expensive.  I will wait until after Xmas and see if I can pick one up cheap….

This week’s white trash piñata

I am developing a theory about a certain kind of news story.

I think that the 24 hour news stations cultivate a kind of news coverage of crimes and/or incidents that serve no other purpose than to give a certain segment of the audience something to feel superior about.

Case in point, this week: this whole “Was it the pit bull or the ferret?” thing. Last week it was some woman who carried her purse dog into the store instead of her toddler. Before that, it was something else.

Why is this national news? I think because it gives a certain kind of person (and a lot of these people I have noticed, are right wingers) the ability to stand in the breakroom at work and cluck their tongues and say “Now, those sorts of people shouldn’t be allowed to breed….” or the like.

I got to see this written in a grand scale in Bill O’Reilly’s coverage of the Katrina aftermath. The first line of this kind of thinking reads, “Those people are so much worse than *I* am…” and proceeds from there.

Sure, some of these people have serious problems. Some of them are just poor and victims of circumstance. (As if that’s not a serious problem…) But I think the sole reason we hear about them on a 24 hour global news cast is because it drives a certain demographic to watch Nancy Grace every day.

“Sure, I may be fat, lazy and feel sorry for myself, but at least I’m not THAT tragic SOB.”

Roll that around in your head a bit…

Interesting supposition

Josh made an interesting catch today

How quickly things change

“Republicans do understand it is political suicide to keep this red-state, blue-state thing going any longer,” said Barry Wynn, former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party and a recruit to Giuliani’s banner. “We need someone competitive in all 50 states.”

I wonder how many blogs are going to have to change their names…


Amber sent me a link so some more Masculinist chest-beating over at someone named Jace’s weblog.

It’s the “Retrosexual Code”!  Oh, my! Instructions on how to “Act Like a Man!”

I responded in his comments, but let me reiterate here for good measure:

Odd that for all of the chestbeating, guns and killing people (or hunting) are mentioned three times each, along with personal appearance (clothes, grooming accessories, etc) mentioned a couple of times each…

In the meantime, there are zero mentions of 1. Going to work and holding a job, 2. raising one’s own children, 3. paying down all of your debts until there are none.

The two jobs of a man:  protection and providence.  Do it and shut up about it.

Methinks you ladies protest too much.  All of this shit is windowdressing to men who actually act like men.  This sounds like a bunch of office drones beating their chests and posturing.

Get over it.  You’re half the man your grandfather was, and a third the man his father was.  Publishing a list of Manly Man characteristics on your website is about three percent more effective at establishing masculine bonafides than wearing a “No Fear” t-shirt.

Color me unimpressed.

Keep the X in Xmas

There’s a thread over at The Velvet Rope about the toxic effects of Christmas music, and what the worst Christmas song of all time might be.

I have no strong opinion of what the worst might be.  I tend to hate all of it.  I am not a big fan of the Holiday, honestly.  My brother was trying to make some sense of his Seasonal Malaise over at FDL, last night.  God love him, I haven’t forgiven the holiday for being a heaping pile of materialistic shit.  Part of this stems from the fact that we rushed home from my tenth Christmas on our Fair Planet so that my folks could finalize their divorce papers on December 26th.

I can’t imagine what lawyerly soul thought that was an excellent date to euthanize a marriage.  Seriously.  Couldn’t wait until January 3rd?  WTF?

In the meantime, my XMas music solution is to go over to the iPod playlist called “All Melvins, All the time.”

For the record

There’s a guy from Macromedia who thinks it’s silly for me to worry about the Remote Monitoring capability built into Flash. He says he’s tried to comment here several times and it’s failed. I find this a further indictment of the fallibility of software. [update]I found his comments clogged in my spam filter and released them.

For the record, I did not say “Flash spies on you” and to say that I did strays dangerously close to straw man territory. I said that it was unnecessary for Macromedia to put remote monitoring software into a movie player. And I stand by that statement.

Why not just release a version with that technology taken out of the code? What’s it doing there in the first place?

The misrepresentation of my position and the fact that the original questions remain unaddressed aren’t putting me at ease about this.

Drool, really.

Stupid fucking dipshit. Really. I mean…. hello? Someone got paid to write this…

I THINK ALL intelligent, patriotic and informed people can agree: It would be great if the U.S. could find an Iraqi Augusto Pinochet. In fact, an Iraqi Pinochet would be even better than an Iraqi Castro.

Both propositions strike me as so self-evident as to require no explanation. But as I have discovered in recent days, many otherwise rational people can’t think straight when the names Fidel Castro and Augusto Pinochet come up.

Who could be that stupid? Oh, I think you know… you do. Close your eyes and guess.

Bingo. Jonah Goldberg.

Of course. That sort of stupidity has a special odor, sort of like the way one knows skunk spray when one smells it. This kind of stupid is the smell of a rotten tooth that’s metastasized into the brain.

OK, someone help little Jonah back into his chair so we can administer the medicine.

As TBogg so aptly points out, Iraq HAD a Pinochet. His name is Saddam Hussein. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. The current SecDef took cash from Contra cocaine sales and bought weapons for him in the ’80s.

Gates also was implicated in a secret operation to funnel military assistance to Iraq in the 1980s, as the Reagan administration played off the two countries battling each other in the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq War.

Middle Eastern witnesses alleged that Gates worked on the secret Iraqi initiative, which included Saddam Hussein’s procurement of cluster bombs and chemicals used to produce chemical weapons for the war against Iran.

Gates denied those Iran-Iraq accusations in 1991 and the Senate Intelligence Committee – then headed by Gates’s personal friend, Sen. David Boren, D-Oklahoma – failed to fully check out the claims before recommending Gates for confirmation.

Small fucking world, huh?

For your reading pleasure

SteveAudio was kind enough to send a link this way talking about my recent jaunt in Europe with the Low Lows. Since hacking one’s way backwards through WordPress means that all entries display in reverse chronological order, I have compiled all of my blog entries from that trip into one page, which you can read here. It reads from top to bottom, so it’ll make more sense to read it that way.