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Friday, July 15, 2016

Sensory man.

Did you feel that? No? Okay, check. How about that? Really. Right, then. Check again. Now let's try the pointed stick. You don't want to do it? Well, aren't you the sensitive one.

Yes, we're back. I'm just interrogating Marvin (my personal robot assistant) to get some idea of the degree to which his primitive analog circuitry has the capability to emulate human emotions and mock the various senses we take for granted. So far, it's not going very well. His brass exterior seems impervious to brillo pads, water, even fire. Not sure about pointed sticks - that may be his Achilles' heal. (I guess I could wait until he's feigning sleep, then try it on his heel.)

Why am I wasting my time in such a manner? Well, while I'm waiting for Matt to get here and start recording the next episode of our podcast, THIS IS BIG GREEN, I am consuming myself with summer projects, some of which I've blogged about over the past few weeks. Annoying Marvin is one, though it's hardly just a summer project. Still, this is kind of a pointed annoyance, and not just because it involves pointed sticks. You see, as part of one of my OTHER summer projects, I just posted on our YouTube Channel another live performance video from Big Green's 1993 demo. This song, "Sensory Man", is another Matt number - his exploration of the robot experience via Lost In Space. We're talking Robot B-9 here, people. You know, that does not compute. Danger, Will Robinson. Etc.

Aren't you the seismic man?As I think I mentioned before, we don't have a lot of video footage of us playing live, and even less of us playing our own songs. This demo included a lot of covers - all stuff we liked playing. So it's kind of a freeze-dried sample of our set list from the 80s and 90s. We've got three takes of "Sensory Man", as well as a rehearsal sequence on that song, a couple of takes of "I Hate Your Face", and one of "Why Not Call It George?" - that's it for our songs. That is, unless someone out there has video of us playing at Middlebury College or SUNYIT, when we opened for Bloodline. Anybody? Thought not.

Leave us face it - Big Green's earthly performance faze was relatively brief. Most of our archival material is from a time before Big Green .... a time when, dare I say it, beasts of every size and description roamed the Earth. The scarier ones were club owners. But then you knew that. (If you own a club, you're probably a cave man. Am I right?)

Another one.

No shortage of news this week, again. What the hell - is there something in the water? We just can't get through the week without some kind of disaster, and this time it was at least three kinds.

First, another sickening attack in France. Horrendous loss of life, and from what seems obvious, almost completely avoidable. Forgive me, but is this what a state of emergency looks like in France? They know they are being targeted. When you have a mass attendance event like Bastille Day, and a huge crowd on an ocean-side boulevard, you need more than a few cops minding the traffic. Holland is extending the state of emergency, of course (you can see how well it works at keeping them safe) and will probably double down on their attacks in both Syria and Iraq. And the perpetrator? A Tunisian-born French citizen who thought it appropriate not only to kill people at random but to throw millions of French North Africans under the bus as well in the land of Le Pen. Nice freaking work.

Trump's pick. (He seems nice ... )Second, this dumb ass election. The corporate media is obsessing over vice presidential picks this week, for some strange reason (guys .... they are going to announce the names in just a few days - re the fuck lax). Clinton and Sanders did their event together, Bernie burning the house down as usual. It's not a hard argument to make that, whatever else we do politically, we all need to make certain the wrong person out of the two possible presidential winners never reaches the White House. If the only thing you gain is exponentially better Supreme Court appointments, that in itself is enough reason to mark the ballot for Clinton, at least in swing states. A more reactionary court can do enormous amounts of damage - this we have seen.

Third, the aftermath of a rash of police killings and the shooting of the officers in Dallas. This "national conversation" rotates in the same circle over and over again. For chrissake, Philando Castile, the man shot in Minnesota, had been pulled over by the police 50 times. He had been fined over and over again for minor issues, sometimes for driving with a suspended license (suspended because he owed money on said fines), so that he was in hock to the tune of $5,000. This is Ferguson Missouri all over again. And the closer you look, pretty much every town in the country looks like Ferguson. Yes, there is implicit bias in policing in America, and yes, it is an institutional problem that goes beyond individual biases. But that bias is reflective of the broader culture that police departments serve. We cannot hold police accountable without holding ourselves accountable as well. That's the bottom line.

Jesus ... now there's an attempted coup in Turkey. Not cool.

luv u,

jp