Friday, September 2, 2016

Funky town.

Did somebody borrow my amp yesterday? If so, I pity them. That thing is a piece of shit. Next time, borrow and amp from someone who knows something about shopping. I myself am a bit out of practice.

Yeah, we of Big Green are back in the broke period, scrounging around for a few extra dollars, sharing leftovers, and hiding from the mailman. Good thing they don't have bailiffs in this century, because those mothers would be at the door of the Cheney Hammer Mill right now, pounding away, court papers in their sweaty hands. What's the problem? Simple - we owe. We owe back taxes, we owe for the grocery bill, we owe for the electric bill, and we owe something to pretty much everybody in this funky ass town.

I know what you're going to say. (I suspect you knew I was going to say that. WHY DO WE EVEN BOTHER TALKING?) You were probably going to ask, why don't you guys just knuckle down and earn the money to support your lazy asses? Good question. There are as many answers to that as there are losers living in this hammer mill. You see, we follow the squatter's code: when the bailiffs are closing in on you, hunker down and pretend you're furniture. If you can imitate a side table long enough, you'll never have to pay your bills. News you can use, my friends.

Hey, at least you're not on fire.That said, we do have uses for our time. Matt is chasing birds around most of the week, though he does show up regularly to continue our glacial-pace production on the next collection of songs. Marvin (my personal robot assistant) has been taking an automaton sabbatical these last couple of weeks. (His battery pack has been removed and put on a deep charger. We may end up having to jump start him like a '95 Buick LeSabre.) Mitch Macaphee has taken off to check on his property in orbit around Proxima Centauri (Proxima b) - he's gotten very jumpy now that the astronomers have stumbled onto that little piece of celestial real estate. Not sure what he's been doing up there.

So ... just another week in funky town. I may have another "Wayback Wednesday" in me to close out the summer - wait and see.

Good reads.

Instead of making you read through my usual rantings and ravings, I wanted to share a few items I saw on the Web that I thought were particularly good, eye-opening, useful, etc. Let's see if you agree.

Thinking About the Election
Michael Albert and Stephen R. Shalom  
Z Magazine, September 2016

This is one of the best-written, most thoughtful arguments in favor of strategic voting in the 2016 elections from a distinctly radical-left perspective. As someone who considered his support for Bernie Sanders a rightward compromise, I think this piece provides some really valuable answers to the Bernie-or-Bust obsession, as understandable as that sentiment may be. No one can accuse Z Magazine of watery liberalism or crypto-Clintonism. This article demonstrates that they have looked seriously at the current political moment and understand the full potential costs of a Trump presidency. It made me proud to be a longtime Z subscriber.

Ratfucked Interview with David Dailey
Majority Report podcast, August 26, 2016

I am a fan of the Majority Report, particularly of their interview segments. This one is a must read for anyone frustrated with the state of legislative politics both on the state and the national levels. Dailey has done a deep dive into the Republican strategy to control redistricting after the 2010 census. Their calculated assault on the democratic process was wildly successful and will probably guarantee them House majorities for the rest of this decade and beyond. Using big data, sophisticated demographic mapping, and enough money to tip the balance in key state-level races in key states (i.e., states that would be redistricted after 2010), the GOP ran the table, catching the Democrats flat-footed. It's a sobering indictment of the Dems' lack of engagement and a real must-listen.

Remember the Iraq War? (Chilcot Report Episode)
Best of the Left Podcast - 2016/07/26

This episode of BOTL goes runs through much of what was contained in the British report on their government's rush into the Iraq war. I think the most valuable part of this is that it reminds us of how much was known before the invasion, and how much of what was argued by the left at that time turned out to be true. It's worth listening to if only to remind ourselves that we must not be swayed by criticism, we must not be turned back by accusations of un-Americanism ... we must fight on.

I'm also finally getting around to reading Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow, which is amazing.

luv u,