Saturday, October 8, 2016

Song of the Day: "Bang Bang Bang"

Newish Green Day with very taxing internet access. Ugh.

Song: "Bang Bang Bang"
Artist: Green Day

Friday, October 7, 2016

Flag Bashing

A US flag blows in the wind in Atlantic Beach, Florida, on October 7, 2016, as hurricane Matthew approaches the area.(Photo credit JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
I love me some flag burning. I do.

I've never personally burned a flag, but I think in the right circumstance, I might.

I genuinely believe that burning the American flag is the greatest possible celebration of the right to free speech, symbolic speech. The Supremes agreed with me in 1990 (Texas v. Johnson).

"Paradoxically, the willingness to scale back First Amendment permissiveness comes when the divisions in American society seem to be at a 25-year low. In the 1960s the battle between flag wavers and flag burners represented a traumatic schism over the Vietnam War and national morality in general. Even in those incendiary times, there was never a serious effort to pass a constitutional amendment."--Walter Isaacson, TIME

Consider that and how we all came together after 9/11 and ceded Constitutional rights (mostly around the Fourth and Fifth Amendments) to feel slightly more secure1.

Glenn Greenwald was the voice of reason (and of reasonable outrage) at the time:

"It is that deeply irrational, fear-driven view of the world that has been used to convince Americans to acquiesce to the administration's excesses and abuses of power. And it is not difficult to understand why it works.
After all, if it really were the case that terrorism constituted the sort of imminent, civilization-ending threat the administration has spent the last four years drumming into everyone's head, then it might be extremely difficult to gin up much outrage over an eavesdropping program -- warrants or not -- or over a few American citizens being rounded up and put in military prisons without any charges."--Glenn Greenwald, How Would A Patriot Act?
The Fourth and Fifth Amendments, as you know, are the ones that make English the official language of NASCAR and ban wearing white after Labor Day2.

I love me some flag burning because I love me some American flag. "If you love it so much why don't you marry it have one?" I can hear you murmuring.

For the same reason I never think about getting married: because I like to pretend I have too much respect for it. Flags aren't just all fun and games. They need to be fed and walked (or is that puppies). That picture pisses me off because, while it's not illegal to leave a flag out in severe weather, it is considered desecration.
"The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed."--"Should You Fly Your Flag in the Rain" The Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier
You also shouldn't fly the flag after sunset unless the flag is illuminated.

Or piss on the flag at your grandfather's funeral, apparently.

Of course those so called rules also say the flag shouldn't be used for advertising purposes. Clearly we are as observant of these rules as we are of any other code. Frankly if America really wants to defeat Islam we should all embrace it. We'll undermine any of its positive attributes and turn it into a hollow monstrosity of its former self (unless someone beat us to that)... you know, the same way we demand the Ten Commandments in our public courthouses even though 5 commandments are perfectly legal3.

OMG this rant has gone on too long.

I'm going to bed.

1 Statistically speaking we were equally secure on September 10th, 11th and 12th of that year

2 The Fourth should prevent unlawful search and seizure, like "Stop and Frisk"; the Fifth should ensure due process (including requiring a grand jury for Federal felony charges to go to trial) and protect against self-incrimination and double jeopardy. And it lets the man take your shit via eminent domain (thanks Obama).

3 Actually 7 commandments are legal, depending on which 10 things you consider to be the commandments. Bet you're not even sure which answer is right (or is some other number the right answer... maybe 14?) Getting people to covet is a $500 billion+ industry here in America. And the Sabbath ends with the coin toss.

Hurricane Mattmers, Some Aftermathy Stuff

The Daytona Speedway flooded
(or did it?! [it did])
If a tree falls in Ormond Beach and it
doesn't hit my mom's stuff, does anybody care?
My dad lost his boat (see above, missing!)
My  parents live about 30 miles apart--both within 5 miles of the ocean--on either side of Daytona Beach. If you don't already know this about me, well, I'm a bit disappointed.

Hurricane Matthew heading directly for my parents
In  the days leading up to Hurricane Matthew's (renamed Mattmer in honor of my nephew Matthew who will forever be Mattmers) run up the Florida coast, I talked to people in Florida and South Carolina who were evacuating. It never occurred to me that my parents (would/could/should) also evacuate.

Exhibit P
My parents each had different reasons which totally made sense to me (it's why I lovingly call them Exhibit A and Exhibit B, since I figure at some point I will need to explain my behavior to a jury and there's a good chance they'll be part of that).

"Join teeming throngs of Floridians in traffic and at a Valdosta Travelodge" or "Avoid Donald Trump yard signs that become deadly projectiles in 120+ mph winds and I don't have to leave my yard"
That's easy; those towels are awful.

I should add that the reasons make sense to me now but probably wouldn't have 10 years ago or if I had small children living with me.

The power is out at both of their houses. So they won't know how many times I've tried to reach them (like a billion).

Since I can sleep through lots of shit I probably would only have been fine there, possibly annoyed if I didn't have something to power my CPAP. So they're lucky I'm not there with them, because it would suck to have no power in the chaotic weather and your house guest is catching up on his naps.

At least here my naps aren't all up in their respective grills. They've had separate grills for 30 years now.

Musical Bucket List

Dolly was but the first (although knowing how I tackle projects with a dogged... ooooh shiny!!!...).

Where was I?

Here's a list in no particular order. Things to note:

  • "living legends" is awful since I can't see them if they're not living and legends, you know what, I've already changed the title of this post to Musical Bucket List from Living Legends Checklist... a smarter man wouldn't reference that at all
  • I don't really have a strong affection for traditional classic rock bands, and, while I'm sure a KISS concert would be fun for a variety of reasons, I just can't see myself keeping a straight face for 2 hours and 37 minutes
  • this list is largely artists that I've never seen live, not necessarily my most favorite; as I write this there will be one exception, so it's possible I'll add a few more
  • some other disclaimers like your mileage may vary and bitch you don't know my life

Artist (and any possible issues or caveats that seemed important to share [hi Cher!])

  • The Who (a large part of the appeal of Oldchella)
  • Van Morrison (discovering Astral Weeks on a flight home to Portland late one night 10 or 12 years ago was magical; not filled with hits but an all-time classic for a reason)
  • Aretha Franklin (I think this could be tricky; both she and Barbra Streisand used to limit their live performances due to stage fright [or that's how I remember it]--Streisand seems to be over that now)
  • Barbra Streisand (see above; this is the artist I knew would be on the list that I feel least enthusiastic about)
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Elton John (from what I've read he's lost a part of his vocal range and rewritten some music to account for that [it might be too late])
  • Chaka Khan (she is often a punchline for my jokes, but damn the girl can sing)
  • Pat Benatar (I was unhappy to find out she played recently in Salem but not super unhappy since it was an outdoor show and it was raining)
  • Fleetwood Mac (or maybe Stevie Nicks and a Fleetwood Mac tribute band, or maybe a Fleetwood Mac tribute band [which is to say Stevie live may not be the best])
  • Willie Nelson
  • Country singer Randy Travis
  • Eurythmics/Annie Lennox (I continue to kick myself for misunderstanding the schedule of the opening for EXP when I lived in Seattle--I missed their reunion show and saw Alanis, Beck and Rufus... Matchbox 20 was the headlining act... fuck; this is the act I have seen that I knew would be on the list)
  • Dwight Yoakam (this is the act I have seen before that I didn't expect to make the list--I talked to someone wearing a DY concert jacket the other day and she said she just saw him play in somewhere nearby/smallish/possibly casino-related; I saw him in the late-ish 80s, with Buck Owens, at the Fox... later I spent a night in Bakersfield... what a dump)
  • Sheryl Crow (she grew to become one of my favorite artists of the 90s and surely a state or county fair is in her future [I'm sure she does QUITE well])
  • Rolling Stones (with a new album due this year, it's possible)
  • Bruce Springsteen (don't ask)
  • Grace Jones (highly unlikely [I've tried 3 times in Ft Lauderdale... me and the Copa, we're like Charlie Brown and that football])
  • Chicago and/or Earth, Wind and Fire (they're kinda the same band if  you don't think about it)
  • Grace Slick and/or Marianne Faithful (I'm tossing this in whimsically at the end--they both have distinctive voices I'd love to hear live but I doubt I'll be burdened with actually going)
  • Barry Gibb (he's the last highlander?!)
  • Florence + the Machine (Florence Welch : Millennials as Annie Lennox : Generation X)

Song of the Day: "Guns of Umpqua"

Athens, GA's Drive-By Truckers are nearing the end of their second decade in the music biz and their 11 albums haven't really crossed my radar. I'm digging into American Band inspired by my love for former member Jason Isbell's Something More Than Free.

It made sense to me when I started typing that sentence.

Song: "Guns of Umpqua"
Artist: Drive-By Truckers

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Song of the Day: "Too Late"

Van Morrison's 34th studio album, Keep Me Singing, infuses his vocal warmth into some pensive new songs (or new pensive songs).

He's now on the list of living legends I'd like to see (before they die, which, naturally, removes them from the living legends list).

Song: "Too Late"
Artist: Van Morrison

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Song of the Day: "Don't Touch My Hair"

I'm never quite sure what to make of Solange, but I do know that she is not taking the easy route to stardom, and she does make interesting choices musically.

Song: "Don't Touch My Hair"
Artist: Solange

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Song of the Day: "False Alarm"

The Weeknd returned to SNL and closed the show with this pretty rocking number.

Song: "False Alarm"
Artist: The Weeknd

Monday, October 3, 2016

Song of the Day: "Surfin'"

It's always something with Kid Cudi.

But then that's literally true for everyone.

Song: "Surfin'"
Artist: Kid Cudi/Pharrell

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Song of the Day: "Good Grief"

This could easily be an extension of "Pompeii" and I don't care. It's rhythmic and sweet.

Unrelated, if there's a word for this year, maybe "grief" is right. Or maybe just decay. "Everything that's made is made to decay"... I always loved that lyric. Whatever happened to that guy?

Song: "Good Grief"
Artist: Bastille