Friday, July 17, 2015

Taking stock.

Run that one again. Yeah, that's right. Hmmmmm .... I forgot about that part. Okay, rewind it and let's hear it from the top. Yep, yep. Heard that before.

Oh, hi. Joe of Big Green here. Just listening back to some old tracks. Every time we're in-between projects or waiting for something to happen, the amateur archivist begins to take hold within me and I start pulling out the old stuff. Some of it's on reel to reel, some on cassette, some on DAT, some just written on an old sheet of note paper. When you've been doing something for 30+ years, you have a lot of leave-behinds.

While I've been waiting for Matt to finish the latest episode of Ned Trek (now in the works), I thought it might be a good time to back up the masters for Cowboy Scat: Songs in the Key of Rick, our 2013 album about cousin Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, 2012 presidential candidate, and once again a member of the Republican electoral field. Our Roland 2480, which we used to record that album, is in somewhat shaky condition and has no internal means for backing up data. That means we have to port the sound files over, track by track, to my install of Cubase LE. I've done most of the songs; still a substantial way to go. Booooring work, frankly, but you gotta do it. Sort of.

Play it again? Yup.If this keeps up, I'm going to do a deep dive into some unreleased material from yesteryear. I was listening to a live tape of us from back in 1993. That's never been transcoded, so hell, time to get busy. Marvin (my personal robot assistant) can get started on that anytime. Or not. (He thinks transcoding involves switching his gender identity somehow. Not sure where he got THAT idea.)

There is one other thing keeping us pointlessly busy. It's the new site we launched for Ned Trek. The URL is and it features five selected episodes from the now 24-show run of this ludicrous mockery of classic Star Trek, occasionally set to music. Go there and binge, folks - it's free, as audio should be.

Off we go again. More archiving. This place is like the Library of Congress.

Great satan.

The draft agreement with Iran represents a step away from yet another war in the greater Middle East / Southwest Asia region, but it is being presented and discussed squarely within the same imperial context that has defined our relationship with the Islamic Republic for my entire adult life. It is a little hard to see how Obama can inch this country away from its delusions about Iran without departing from them himself, at least in a small way. He has always been an incrementalist when it comes to human progress. Often, as the drones fly, I feel like we're moving incrementally in entirely the wrong direction, but even where I agree that we should have this kind of agreement with Iran, it is with the realization that we are still reaching substantially beyond anything that should be considered our legitimate concern.

One reason Iran doesn't like us.Before anyone accuses me of it, I am not a fan of the clerical regime in Iran. The Iranian people have, however, been subjected to sustained attack by the United States since we expanded our empire during and after World War II. We have caused them immense suffering, through the overthrow of their democratically elected government in 1953, through the imposition of our close ally, the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, through our support of Saddam Hussein in his murderous war against Iran, through decades of draconian sanctions. There are many Americans - some friends, even - who will list for me the strikes against Americans attributed to Iran (all in the context of various military adventures on our part), but in all honesty, they pale in comparison to what we have done to them.

It's a stretch to say that Iran was interested in developing nuclear weapons, but frankly, it wouldn't come as any surprise. The regional nuclear arms race various American politicians - from Obama to the G.O.P. - have been warning us about is already underway. With an arsenal of hundreds of warheads in Israel and nuclear-capable assets deployed in the region by the U.S., who can blame anyone in Iran's position for wanting some kind of deterrent, particularly since we have demonstrated in very practical terms our willingness to invade non-nuclear states and our reluctance to attack those who maintain an atom-powered arsenal.

Let's get past this obsession with our own "great satan" and stop being afraid of this country we've been threatening for 35 years. If this agreement is the first step, I'm all for it.

luv u,