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Friday, June 26, 2015

Slow month.

Y'okay. I know. I'm still working on it, okay? What the hell are you, my mother? I AM WORKING ON IT. Leave me aLONE!

Sorry, man. Catching me at kind of a sensitive time, let's say. I was just being grilled on where the June podcast (and its half-album of new material) is. Worst part of that whole thing is that, the person grilling me is not a person at all. It's Marvin (my personal robot assistant) ... sort of. I say "sort of" because the shaming tirade he just subjected me to was programmed into him by someone else. Who, exactly? Well ... apparently one of the few people who listen to our podcast, THIS IS BIG GREEN. So that narrows the possibilities a bit. Someone who has it in for me, big time.

Okay ... obviously I owe someone an explanation, even if I don't know who it is. So here are my top reasons for not having our podcast episode ready at this late date:
  1. Solar Obstruction - At this time of year, the sun is between us and our podcast. What does that mean? I don't know exactly. The Space Family Robinson used it as an excuse once for not going back to Earth (and ending the show), so I am commandeering it. (Now you're supposed to say, "But you can maneuver AROUND the sun!")
  2. Hey ... Great rationale! Can I borrow that?Paper Clip shortage - As you probably know from reading the major newspapers, there is a nationwide shortage of paper clips. This is due to extreme weather caused by climate change - the entire Nevada paper clip crop was lost. Can't finish a podcast without paper clips. (Oh, you DON'T read the newspapers? Well ... that explains your ignorance around this vital topic.)
  3. Work is Hard - Personally, I don't think this one needs a lot of explanation, do you? Last I looked, work is still really, really hard. That's why occasionally you get paid for doing it. When work decides to stop being so hard, I'll start delivering the freaking podcast on time.
  4. Neighbor's Sousaphone - Kid next door just started playing the sousaphone. I'll let you know when she gets good at it. (My signal will be uploading the podcast.)
Even with all of these distractions and obstructions, I will endeavor to post the son of a bitch sometime real soon. So call off your robots, people. I hear you!

It's the waving, not the flag.

The stars and bars are coming down all across the old south. High time, in my humble opinion. This does, however, represent a kind of gallows conversion on the part of many of the region's politicians who capitalized on this symbol of their racist past throughout their noxious careers. Now they're climbing over each other in a scramble to be out front on the flag issue. The political calculus has shifted with respect to the battle flag of the confederacy, and political leaders see the loss of this symbol as an opportunity to gain some easy points. No policy changes - just remove the flag and we're all good, right?

Lose the flag; keep the dogwhistleIt's vintage American political theater, kind of like the ubiquitous flag pin. (Pin on, hero! Pin off, traitor!) We are so obsessed with symbolism that we invariably miss the fundamentals. Reverend Barber was talking about this over the last few days, countering a lot of the happy talk about everyone coming together and pulling down that offending flag. Seriously, when I watched Nikki Haley making her dramatic announcement, all I could think of was the thousands of working families in South Carolina - many of whom are African-Americans - who could benefit from Medicaid expansion under the ACA, if only she and her party would allow it. Sure - symbols mean something to those who have suffered under them. That's reason enough to pull the stars and bars down. But let's not stop there.

King V. Burwell - The ACA ("Obamacare"), not to mention a large sector of our economy, is still alive, thanks to the Supreme Court. Further evidence that John Roberts, while a full-blown corporatist and a tremendous dick, does not like to throw the card table over or set the house on fire. Killing the subsidies for coverage would have punished working class to middle class folks. Meanwhile, all of those people in Republican led states just above the poverty line (but too poor to go to the exchanges) have to go without. So good news for some of us. But again ... more work to do.

luv u,

jp