Diagnosis: TAD

Posted in Whatever Else on October 21st, 2016 by bill

This week I diagnosed myself with a condition that I’m calling TAD, or Trump Addiction Disorder. The symptoms are that anytime you access any form of media, the first, second, and third things you want to know about are what kind of crazy shit Donald Trump has done now. Or the moment you get into any conversation that’s even vaguely political, you want to steer it toward Trump in order to wallow in his nuttiness.

Getting the Republican nomination for president has given him a platform from which to push back the frontiers of assholishness, to scale previously unthought-of heights of douchebaggery, and he has not fumbled the opportunity. With every day that passes he achieves new personal bests, and thus new world records. He is the Katie Ledecky of angry orange gasbags, the Muhammad Ali of political asininity.

I’m a little worried about the withdrawal, which seems certain to begin November 8. (There may be some tapering off as he fulminates about having the election stolen from him, but the media will lose interest in that after awhile. You would think.) I’m also worried that when I walk into the voting booth there will be a little voice in my head telling me to vote for him so the circus can continue.
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The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch: Week 6

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on October 11th, 2016 by bill

All who are still aboard, let’s proceed to the end of God Bless You Mr. Rosewater:

“…be fruitful and multiply.”

X-Post: Lennon Turns 26

Posted in Something about the Beatles on October 9th, 2016 by bill

This post also appears today on The Beatles Plus 50.

On this day in 1966 John Lennon — DOB October 9, 1940 — celebrated his 26th birthday in Spain with his wife Cynthia, Ringo Starr, and Ringo’s wife Maureen. He’d been through a lot in barely a quarter-century; at an age when most people were just starting their careers, he was in a band that was more popular than Jesus.

Looking over Lennon’s bio just now, it struck me that his life was organized pretty neatly into decades. He was 20 when the Quarrymen became The Beatles in 1960; 30 when they broke up at the end of the 60s; and 40 when he died at the dawn of the 80s.

A cynic might say that Mark Chapman mercifully spared Lennon his “Dancing in the Street” moment, but you have to wonder what he would have done with the years he lost. He would have been 50 just as the 90s started, a beloved godfather to the Nirvana generation, and 60 at the turn of the millennium. He’d be turning 76 today if he’d made it this far. I picture him as a grumpy but lovable old man, still wearing those glasses, yelling at Beatles fans to get off his lawn.
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The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch: Week 5

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on October 4th, 2016 by bill

OK, we have a quorum at least, so let’s keep moving.

For those who may have fallen behind, let’s set a modest page count for this week: let’s meet at the end of Chapter 10 of Mr. Rosewater:

“And look who’s winning. And look who’s won.”

The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch: Week 4

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on September 26th, 2016 by bill

Up next, it’s God Bless You Mr. Rosewater.

Let’s meet up Monday October 3 at the end of Chapter 6, where “Frustration made Norman Mushari sneeze.”

The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch: Week 3

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on September 19th, 2016 by bill

Fallingwater, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

This week is a sprint to the end of Cat’s Cradle, in which I’m sure that everyone will live happily ever after.

What’s Blowing My Mind, 2016 Edition (Part 6)

Posted in Dancing about architecture on September 14th, 2016 by bill

Stranger to Stranger

I suspect that I’ve pretty consistently underrated Paul Simon for the last 40 years or so. Probably because that whole Simon and Garfunkel–type style — extreme softness and prettiness — was never really my gig. I recognize the beauty of it, especially now that I’m no longer a testosterone-addled young man, but it’s not generally what I choose to listen to. And some of Paul’s early solo work has that same feel, though there are other songs I quite enjoy — something like “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” is pretty hard to dislike.

So when his profile began to fade a bit, I wasn’t super-motivated to keep abreast of what he was doing. Occasionally, though, I’d hear something of his that made me prick up my ears — a few years back he did an album with Brian Eno, which was a surprise. (In fact, it was called Surprise.)

This year, with it being easier than ever to check out music online, I decided to give Paul’s new album a good listen. And lo and behold, it is wonderful. Stranger to Stranger exceeded my expectations by several orders of magnitude.
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The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch: Week 2

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on September 11th, 2016 by bill

Today is 9/11. Tomorrow is 9/12. By 9/19, I hope to be at the end of Chapter 88 of Cat’s Cradle, which comes on page 131 of the American Library edition. I hope to see you there, where “…he was no good at facing the public, and neither am I.”

The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch: Week 1

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch on September 4th, 2016 by bill

And we’re off.

Let’s meet up next Monday at the end of Chapter 43 of Cat’s Cradle, where we’ll learn that “he hadn’t murdered his son after all.”

Here’s some music to march by:

X-Post: The “Fab Four” Were Titaniced and Replaced with Despicable Spies

Posted in Something about the Beatles on September 1st, 2016 by bill

This post also appears on my other blog, The Beatles Plus 50.

Now it can be told. According to a website I just found,

On August 31, 1966, the “Fab Four” were titaniced and replaced with despicable spies who were thoroughly familiar with the SOE Training Manual, first issued in December 1941, at the British run “school for killers” called Camp X in Canada!!

Aside from “car accidents,” the favorite way for the British Empire to get rid of their enemies . . . or people who have outlived their usefulness . . . is by burial at sea. Burial at sea leaves no physical evidence that the person ever existed. The mighty Russian Orthodox Romanov dynasty ended in a watery grave . . . and Lord Kitchener’s military career ended in a watery grave in 1915.

Likewise, the Beatles’ “musical” careers were cut short when they were buried at sea. The bodies of the “Fab Four” were dumped into San Francisco Bay, and their places were taken by 4 doubles or doppelgängers!!

And they couldn’t say it on the Internet if if wasn’t true, right?

In all honesty you have to check out this site to see what is either one of the most baroque, wackadoo conspiracy theories I’ve ever seen or a magnificently detailed and deadpan hoax perpetrated by someone with way too much time on their hands. Among the things you’ll learn:
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