Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A nice year in review piece

The Buffalo Beast has just released
their 50 Most Loathsome list, and I have few complaints.

A few of the highlights:

17. Hillary Clinton
Charges: Began in politics as a teenage Nixon supporter --
that's twisted. Moved on to corporate law, representing
Wal-Mart and bravely defending Coca-Cola from disabled
employees. Married out of ambition. Failed miserably
as the first lady of health care. Has spent whole of
senatorial career as a hawk and a panderer. Would have no
shot at becoming president if she didn't just happen to be
married to one already.

Exhibit A: Has deftly avoided the flip-flopper label --
by never, ever answering a question directly or
committing to a position in the first place.

Sentence: Victim of vast right wing conspiracy to shove
a brick up her ass.

9. You
Charges: You believe in freedom of speech, until
someone says something that offends you. You suddenly
give a damn about border integrity, because the
automated voice system at your pharmacy asked you to
press 9 for Spanish. You cling to every scrap of bullshit
you can find to support your ludicrous belief system,
and reject all empirical evidence to the contrary.
You know the difference between patriotism and nationalism --
it's nationalism when foreigners do it. You hate anyone
who seems smarter than you. You care more about zygotes
than actual people. You love to blame people for their
misfortunes, even if it means screwing yourself over.
You still think Republicans favor limited government.
Your knowledge of politics and government are
dwarfed by your concern for Britney Spears' children.
You think buying Chinese goods stimulates our economy.
You think you're going to get universal health care.
You tolerate the phrase "enhanced interrogation
techniques." You think the government is actually
trying to improve education. You think watching CNN
makes you smarter. You think two parties is enough.
You can't spell. You think $9 trillion in debt is
manageable. You believe in an afterlife for the sole
reason that you don't want to die. You think lowering
taxes raises revenue. You think the economy's doing well.
You're an idiot.

Exhibit A: You couldn't get enough Anna Nicole Smith coverage.

Sentence: A gradual decline into abject poverty as you
continue to vote against your own self-interest. Death by an
easily treated disorder that your health insurance doesn't cover.
You deserve it, chump.

I might make a last minute nomination:

The San Francisco Police Department. Have you assholes heard
of tranquilizer darts?

Friday, December 21, 2007

This Scab's for Hire

With the Writer's Guild strike continuing,
and Conesy, Colbert and Stewart deciding (or
having it decided) that the show must go on.
I've been kicking myself for not being in
Nuevo Jorc or Los Angeles.

Seems there are enough underemployed
writers/playwrights who could fill in the
gap of the Guild.

I am profoundly pro-Union, but from the onset,
I've been thinking about how this strike
would be very costly to the grips, the
make up artists, the light guys, etc. My
pro-Union stance is more based on working
people, and these are the workers of the
television world.

Now, it would be no tragedy to me if all
of television went up in flames, as long
as I can still get basketball games. I'd
probably get a lot more done if there wasn't
basketball, but that's not the point.

It is with us to stay, I think, and here
we are, giving away so much content online
in the first place. I have two blogs, a
soundclick, a few myspace pages for bands,
and on and on. So, here's my pitch to the
denizens of the tube:

I'll work for scale. If I get to mail it
in, half of scale. I know all the clich├ęs
and talking points, and have a good sense
of just when an ancillary character should
take a shot to the groin or suffer a profound
case of diarrhea on an important date. So,
whaddya' say, television? Let me write a
few scripts? Pick this scab and stop the
bleeding.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Unwelcome News

A few years ago, I became aware of a
troubadour from Old Sand Mountain, Alabama,
named Cast King. His debut album, released
at the tender age of 79, was a sensation.

The story was terrific, naturally. Here was
a fellow who had recorded some tracks multiple
decades ago, had a little bit of regional run,
and drifted into rural obscurity. Until Matt
Downer of Locust rediscovered
him to make what amounted to a debut.

The tunes on that album, Saw Mill Man were everything the fan of
old time music could hope for, though the picture inside
teased the listener with Cast playing fiddle -- there
was only guitar on the album.

It was a great moment for all who struggle to
create, against the odds of economy, demography
or geography. The talent was certainly there,
but what are the odds in this industry of a 79
year old man from a place hardly anyone knows about
making a critically acclaimed album? Mojo, The New
York Times, Playboy and may others sang his praises.

In the end, every feel good story has its undoing. Just
a few days ago, Cast was diagnosed with... well, follow
the link from the title of this post. It appears he isn't
long for this world.

If nothing else, he'll remain an inspiration. If a person
feels like quitting, think of his story. Please visit
Locust Music, download "Saved," and make a contribution
to his wife. Good reviews will not make a man rich.

***

On a related note, it seems that Jerry Ricks has been
quite ill. I haven't heard the latest, but it sounds
pretty tough. Mr. Ricks, among other things, had a few
albums on Rooster which were the best acoustic blues
recorded since the 1960's. That Many
Miles of Blues
is out of print is a goddamned
travesty. If you can't get a copy, e-mail me (through
my profile) and I'll send you at least a few cuts
from it. He deserves a lot more recognition than he's
received. I won't put Jerry in the "goners" column just
yet. I won't put Cast there either, though it doesn't look
good.

***

And, of course, there's this.

Jeez.