Friday, May 25, 2018

Record plant.

Is that where the part comes in? Doesn't seem right, but ... okay. Just can't trust my ears. Not after Cowboy Scat, our last million seller. (We've got a million in our cellar.)

Hello, Big Greeniacs. We're hip-deep in mixing, as you might have guessed. This batch of songs, composed and recorded for the next episode of Ned Trek, is proving to be both challenging and time-consuming. What the hell, we've been working on these songs since January, and now it's ... what ... May? Really? I should get out more. Anyway ... we've been at it a long time. This better be good.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again - we have recorded enough songs since the release of Cowboy Scat: Songs in the Key of Rick to make three new albums, with some left over for party favors. After we've finished these six or seven songs, I'm sure we'll be nudging 70 recordings over five years. We don't have much trouble coming up with new material. Monetizing it? That's another issue.

Got a little job for you.Let's face it ... we're crappy capitalists. (Or crapitalists, if you will.) Matt has no interest in money or notoriety. As for me, well, I couldn't sell songs to my mother ... and I did ask nicely. In a world that measures quality in terms of the price the product commands, we strain to reach the lowest rung. Our production quality is commensurate with the resources available to us. (i.e., we're not recording at Big Blue North, even though it's right up the freaking street.) We are evolving in that respect, but like Issa's snail, slowly ... slowly.

Hell, we can't even afford proper production assistants. When Big Green needs craft services, we're reduced to asking Marvin (my personal robot assistant) to carry in a pitcher of tap water and some paper cups. When we try to market or even give away our discs, we either toss them into the street in front of the mill or hang them on the branches of the mansized tuber. (That's why the neighbors have taken to calling him "the record plant.")

Okay, well, I have some mixing to do. We're having biscuits tonight. After that, I'll do more mixing ... of cement for the front walkway. There's something I'm leaving out, but I'm sure it will come to me.

In his image.

Apparently, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has a book out, and this past Tuesday night, while talking with Rachel Maddow about the book and the Russia probe, he opined that Russian government interference was very likely enough to tip the 2016 election to Trump. Now, it's possible that he's drawing on some still-secret information, but based on what we know, I doubt it had that profound an effect. It was one element among many that took Hillary Clinton down, not least of which was the candidate herself. So it certainly contributed to the Trump victory, whether or not that was their intention.

Project or amusement? Maybe both.I have to think that, within the confines of their fondest fevered dreams, Putin and his allies may think the United States would be easier to deal with if our form of government was more like theirs - namely, a relatively bald-faced oligopoly. Trump brings us a hell of a lot closer to that anti-ideal than we have been in decades. He is acting in a dictatorial fashion, treating the Justice Department like it was his own personal legal team. He is denigrating the FBI in a way that would make a sixties radical (or throw-back, like me) blush. He is cutting deals with foreign governments and the centers of private wealth that give them their marching orders, all to enhance the Trump brand and fill its coffers. There's nothing in this that Putin would find disagreeable.

Of course, Putin is a government official and has been one his entire adult life. He may identify his own interests with those of the nation, but he does think about the Russian national interest if only out of concern for his political well-being. He may want to make Russia stronger in the particular way in which he understands strength, but it is a desire that is somewhat distinct from his devotion to his own personal self-interest. That's where Trump diverges from the Putin model. Trump has no governmental experience, no history of dedication to anything larger than himself. In his mind, there IS nothing larger than himself. That's why he is so transparently trashing our government institutions, our constitutional norms, our collective fill-in-the-blank ... it is simply not his concern at all.

Did Putin want Trump to be president? Who knows. I'm guessing he didn't want Hillary to be president. The more salient question: is Putin happy with the results of the 2016 election? Maybe on a personal level, but as a national leader, I have to think he waivers between joy and panic. Trump is a four-foot drunk with a ten-foot gun and there's no predicting where he's going to point that thing next. So, Vlad .... be careful what you wish for.

luv u,