Year of the Scavenger, Side 2

Why do people want Big Brother? It’s a complex question but the simple answer is: Freedom is hard. It’s a question that has to be answered every hour of every day. Many of us would rather have someone else decide.

I get it. And if that’s your choice, you have a right to it, I guess. The problem comes when a certain group tries to give freedom away for the rest of us. (Of course we can’t even agree, anymore, on what freedom is exactly; that’s a whole other conversation for another time.) Lately the fascist-adjacent rhetoric emanating from the campaign of the Convicted Felon Who Shall Not Be Named — and being embraced by what seems like a flabbergasting percentage of the populace — has been giving me the heebie-jeebies.

America: Please don’t. I’m begging here.

But why am I telling you this? Every reader of this blog is a smart, sensible, good-looking person. Here’s some Bowie for you.

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Johnny the Cat, 2005–2024

His most recent boudoir photo. A handsome boy to the end.

There will now be a brief mourning break following the departure of my cat Johnny, who at 19 was roughly the same age as this blog, for the Western lands. This is sad, not tragic — he had a good long run and enjoyed his time. But he will be missed. I’ll be back with more of my nonsense in a day or two.

Year of the Scavenger, Side 1

Today, I am informed, is the 50th anniversary of the release of Diamond Dogs. A great album — or more accurately, an album with some great stuff on it.

I always thought some dubious choices were made in terms of track listing and sequencing, so a few years ago I made my own version. I sent it to a couple people but I don’t think they paid attention, not that there’s any reason they should have.

This seems like the right moment to dig it out. You’ll notice that it starts and ends (almost) the same as the original album, because those were absolutely 100% the right choices. In between things are added, subtracted, and rearranged. (Don’t hold your breath waiting for “Rebel Rebel” — the single version was OK, but it never belonged on the album. I will die on this hill.)

Here’s Side 1. We’ll get to Side 2 in a little bit.

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Question for the Beloved Readers

One of my ongoing projects is to clean up the older parts of this blog (fixing broken links, etc.). That’s how I came across this, written 18 years ago:

So here’s what I want, what I really really want: a computer program that will let you feed in the name of a song and the name of an artist, process for a few seconds, then spit out a believable cover version. For instance, I would like to hear Tom Waits doing “Joy to the World” (the Three Dog Night song, not the Christmas carol — can’t you just hear him croaking out “Jeremiah was a bullfrog”?), or Frank Sinatra singing the Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning.” I would pay real money to hear the Sisters of Mercy covering “You’re So Vain” or the Pixies’ version of “I’m So Tired.” In fact, I would probably have the Pixies do the whole White Album, just to hear what it sounded like.

(Here’s a link to the original post. Some of you reading this shared ideas back then.)

With the advent of AI, this is now most likely possible. And yet I hesitate to go there, sensing the presence of an infinite rabbit hole from which I might never emerge.

Your thoughts?

Cathartic Video of the Day

OK, so, yes, I have a weakness for these Downfall memes. This particular one is not only brilliantly done but therapeutic — Adolf gives vent to every feeling of frustration I’ve been experiencing over recent weeks and months and years.

Now doesn’t that feel better?