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Friday, May 15, 2015

String theory.

That thing is way out of tune ... I mean WAY out of tune, dude. Use my phone. No, not my SMART phone ... that Bell Princess phone over in the corner, next to the mansized tuber. The dial tone is a low F#. Just transpose, for chrissake. DIVAS!

Yes, you're listening in on another Big Green rehearsal. It's like you're a fly on the wall. In the Cheney Hammer Mill, that makes you inconspicuous .... not because you're so small, but because there are so many flies on the wall, you meld in with the multitude. Anyhow, we're running through a few numbers, putting down tracks, laying in a groove, etc. etc. Sometimes it's hard to keep all of these various stringed instruments in tune with one another, especially when the city cuts off your electricity, your internet connection, your phone service, your water, and your air. (That last cut-off only happens on Type-M planets.)

No, we haven't had our electricity cut off this week (yet), but life is still bloody complicated. Four-string bass guitars are hard enough to tune; try a six-string acoustic! Don't even talk about pianos and organs. (No, really ... don't even talk about them. An off-color word can make them slip out of tune.) Fortunately for me, my keyboards are of the electronic variety, so tuning is as simple as turning a little knob or clicking an item in a graphic user interface. Or pushing on a bender and securing it with tape. (Non-standard method.)

Still flat as a pancake.Matt and I are putting the finishing touches on the next batch of Ned Trek songs. When I say "finishing touches", I mean "adding essential musical elements without which the songs would be virtually unlistenable." Details, details. In any case, we have six (or is it seven?) numbers under construction, some of which border on the blasphemous, others tinkering with long-held practices of civilized peoples, still others merely dabbling in the art of giving grave offense. A controversial collection? Depends on your point of view.

Important side note: No animals or humans were harmed in the making of this music. Though Marvin (my personal robot assistant) has suffered slightly from mechanical wrist overuse syndrome (or MWOS), as he is our defacto percussionist.

Dancing around the flame.

The start of the Iraq war is back in the news again, and the guy who's reviving the conversation is named Bush. No, not THAT Bush ... the chunky one who used to run Florida (voted craziest state in the Union three years in a row - lookout, Texas!). Jeb Bush stumbled over a couple of questions about whether or not he would have done the same thing his imbecile brother did back in 2003. At first he seemed to suggest that he would have done the same thing, then later backtracked a bit, saying that, knowing what "we" know now, he would have done something different. A little later, he was invoking the name of our dead and injured troops to cover his ass, as his brother so often did

His brother's keeper.Okay, so first of all, "we" knew what we know now then. Brother Bush is just clinging to the mythology spun by his and his brother's advisers. You remember the story - we had all this seemingly reliable intelligence on weapons of mass destruction, supplied by the CIA, that turned out to be unreliable. All their fault. Of course, at the time it was painfully obvious that the WMD story was bogus, as was the story about any link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Yellowcake uranium story? Debunked at the time. Aluminum tubes? Again, thoroughly refuted at the time. Al Qaeda in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2002? Crap, reported at the time. I could go on.

It's actually worse than that. Based on what seemed obvious at the time (and what we almost certainly know to be true), the Bush administration was fishing for the best available rationale to invade Iraq, something they had decided upon long before then entered the White House. They scrounged around for scraps of evidence, pushing the British and the Germans for details, torturing detainees for desperate incriminating confessions, and so on. You don't water-board people dozens and dozens of times unless you're trying to get something specific out of them, true or not. In the end, they got what they needed - some bullshit that momentarily added to their case.

The result? Hundreds of thousands dead, including more than 4,500 Americans, and a disaster that keeps metastasizing into new and more virulent convulsions of violence. That's the eternal flame Jeb is dancing around.

luv u,

jp