Happy 75th Birthday JC

Posted in Somebody's birthday on March 9th, 2017 by bill

Not that JC — I’m talking about John Cale. Not the one from Oklahoma, the one from Wales. Author of many great songs, “Cocaine” and “After Midnight” not among them. I’ll let him explain further:

 

Guest Post of Fake News… or Is It?

Posted in Bread and circuses on March 5th, 2017 by Mark Cassel

Fuckface Von Clownstick has signed a new Executive Order to replace the quotation under the Statue of Liberty with one more up to date. It will be inscribed thusly: “Give me your well-off folks able to support themselves. Don’t send any Bad Hombres or any Muslim Terrorists claiming to be Refugees. And make sure they are Extremely Vetted and speak English as goodly as President Trump.”

A few words from HST, part 2

Posted in Bread and circuses, R.I.P., HST, Read it in books on March 3rd, 2017 by bill

America has been breeding mass anomie since the end of World War II. It is not a political thing, but the sense of new realities, of urgency, anger and sometimes desperation in a society where even the highest authorities seem to be grasping at straws.

The above was written in reference to the Hell’s Angels, circa 1966, but just imagine how much worse things have gotten 50 years down the line. Well, I guess you don’t really have to…all you have to do is look around.

A few words from HST, part 1

Posted in Bread and circuses, R.I.P., HST, Read it in books on February 25th, 2017 by bill

My call for a visitation from the ghost of Hunter S. Thompson has so far gone unheeded, so I have decided to embark on a rereading of the complete HST oeuvre, starting with Hell’s Angels. When appropriate, I will share a few choice bits.

Parts of HA seem oddly relevant in the current landscape, particularly the portrayal of people whose politics are consistently at odds with their own self-interest. (“The Angels will be among the first to be locked up or croaked if the politicians they think they agree with ever come to power.”)  The following could easily refer to a certain subset of Von Clownstick voters, could it not?

Their lack of education has not only rendered them completely useless in a highly technical economy, but it has also given them the leisure to cultivate a powerful resentment…and to translate it into a destructive cult.

Sacred Songs, Part 6: Dear Believer

Posted in Audio transmissions on February 10th, 2017 by bill

Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 9.06.21 AM
This one took some weird twists and turns along the way. Did I really want to kiss U2’s ass by putting them next to Lennon like that? Ah, to hell with it, it all sounds good to me.

Playlist: Read more »

Invocation

Posted in Bread and circuses on February 3rd, 2017 by bill

In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile — and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely. We owe that to ourselves and our crippled self-image as something better than a nation of panicked sheep…but we owe it especially to our children, who will have to live with our loss and all its long term consequences. I don’t want my son asking me, in 1984, why his friends are calling me a “Good German.”
– HST, 1971

Frequently over the last few months I’ve found myself wondering what Hunter S. Thompson would have had to say about the improbable and terrifying rise of President Fuckface Von Clownstick. We know in general terms, of course: Hunter would have hated him. But how, exactly, would that hatred have expressed itself? Would it have reached the same level as HST’s legendary antipathy to Richard Nixon?

We could really, really use a little of the old gonzo magic right now. I hereby call upon the spirit of Hunter Thompson to visit me in my dreams and tell me his thoughts. If he obliges, I’ll let you know.

Kurt Vonnegut quote of the day

Posted in Read it in books on February 2nd, 2017 by bill

A sensible prayer people could offer up from time to time, it seems to me, might go something like this: “Dear Lord – never put me in the charge of a frightened human being.”

–Jailbird, 1979

We Are the Dead

Posted in Audio transmissions on January 20th, 2017 by bill

English singer, musician and actor David Bowie, 1974. (Photo by Terry O'Neill/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

I didn’t really intend to be posting this on Inauguration Day; I meant to have it done earlier. But I had to wait until January 1 to make sure no one else was going to die, and then it took a while to get things together. But now it seems entirely appropriate to say one last goodbye to the departed of 2016 as we say goodbye to a pre-President Von Clownstick world and inaugurate four years of…um…interesting times.

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro,” said Dr. Thompson. I guess it’s time.

  • Dearly Beloved  Prince
  • We Are the Dead  David Bowie
  • Going Home  Leonard Cohen
  • Stranger in a Strange Land  Leon Russell
  • Abe Vigoda with Hal Linden  Me or Your Computer?
  • Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings  People Don’t Get What They Deserve
  • Abe Vigoda  I’m Dead
  • Sign O the Times  Prince
  • The Space Program  A Tribe Called Quest
  • This Is All About Me  Garry Shandling
  • Revolution Part 2  Butthole Surfers
  • When I Met You  David Bowie
  • The Show Must Go On  Alan Rickman with Tim Allen
  • Trying to Live My Life Without You  Otis Clay
  • Rainbow Stew  Merle Haggard
  • I Need Music  George Martin
  • A Day in the Life  The Beatles
  • The Album Is a Disaster  Leonard Cohen
  • Memories  Leonard Cohen
  • The Last Show  David Bowie
  • Rock & Roll Suicide  David Bowie
  • Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi  Carrie Fisher

Star Wars Meets the Uncanny Valley

Posted in Moving pictures on January 16th, 2017 by bill

leias

I finally broke down and saw the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, last week. I wasn’t avoiding it, necessarily…but I wasn’t in any hurry to see it, either…I have mixed feelings about something that plays around so close to the edges of the original movie, the one they now call Episode 4. But then again if Attack of the Clones couldn’t ruin Star Wars for me, probably nothing could.

I found it, um, mostly harmless. I had been warned that there would be a lot of CGI Peter Cushing, and this was only moderately creepy. If anyone is going to keep making movies after they’re dead, it should be Cushing and Christopher Lee, who were in about a thousand films between them during their lifetimes.

The big surprise came at the end, when a familiar white-robed, brown-haired figure appeared facing away from the camera. I didn’t think they’d actually show her face, but then there it was: a digital recreation of young Carrie Fisher, looking more or less as she did back in 1977.

Read more »

A few words from Kurt Vonnegut

Posted in A few words from Lao Tzu (or someone like him) on January 13th, 2017 by bill

I happened to pick up Kurt Vonnegut’s Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons today and read the following:

He is the first President to hate the American people and all they stand for. He believes so vibrantly in his own purity, although he has committed crimes which are hideous, that I am bound to conclude that someone told him when he was very young that all serious crime was sexual, that no one could be a criminal who did not commit adultery or masturbate.

He is a useful man in that he has shown us that our Constitution is a defective document, which makes a childlike assumption that we would never elect a President who dislikes us so. So we must amend the Constitution in order that we can more easily eject such a person from office and even put him in jail.

KV was, of course, referring to Richard Nixon. Our current situation is different in that some of President-Elect Von Clownstick’s known crimes are indeed sexual in nature, which does not appear to prevent him from believing in his own moral and intellectual superiority. Read more »