Why the Double Standard?

            "The N-Word":  Black people can use the word any time they want but if a white guy says it, there will be hell to pay.  "Cracker" on the other hand, anyone can say the word “cracker.” The Nabisco Company has made a fortune slapping that word on most all their products and nobody gives a damn. Imagine what would happen if that very same company were to come out with a product called “Chocolate Glazed Nigger Snaps!”  There would be hell to pay.  Why the double standard?
            There is a high profile racially tinged criminal trial going on right now-No not the Zimmerman Trial- The Bulger Trial.  I understand that he is a mobster and a murderer but that’s no good reason to bring race into the picture.  The media is all “Whitey Bulger” this and “Whitey Bulger” that, “Whitey Whitey Whitey!”  I get it, he’s a white guy but what does that fact have to do with anything?  Did we call the O.J. Simpson Trial the Blackie Simpson Trial? No we did not.* Why the double standard?
            Fags: I can light up a fag on the streets of London, England any time I like and nobody would give a damn or even bat an eye but just try to do the same thing in San Francisco or anywhere else in the U.S. and everyone will shout “Hate Crime! Hate Crime!” at you.  Again I ask, why the double standard?
            Snark off, full stop: Words can hurt but context matters.

            Political Correctness: I hate political correctness.  I hate people who hate political correctness.  Political correctness is just a word for politeness and treating people with respect although at times some people take sensitivity too far.  Ironically anti-political correctness can be worse.  All too often, anti-P.C. folks use the word as a bludgeon to silence people who are offended by assholes.  They will shout “You’re being P.C.” as if that automatically wins them the argument.  Fuck them both and thank you for your time wasted on reading my little rant.

* Well, some people may have called it that but certainly not in polite company.


Moon Rocks

Commander Chris Hadfield performs his version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" while sitting in a tin can far above the world.

Meanwhile back on Earth, Thomas Dolby Blinds First Astronaut Buzz Aldrin with science.


Young Master Page and the Yardbirds

Digging around YouTube's attic, behind a box of tchotchkes, I came across this video of some 14 year old kid named James Page playing some strange type of music called skiffle.  Whatever happened to him?

Here is a scene from the movie Blow Up where the Yardbirds featuring both Beck and Page are playing in a club.  The crowd just stands there emotionless while the band plays and Jeff Beck gets angry at his amp.  Very strange.

Noted Cameos: Sundry people known in 1966 are in the film; others became famous later. The most widely noted cameo was by The Yardbirds, who perform "Stroll On" in the last third. Antonioni first asked Eric Burdon to play that scene but he turned it down. As Keith Relf sings, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck play to either side, along with Chris Dreja. After his guitar amplifier fails, Beck bashes his guitar to bits, as The Who did at the time. Antonioni had wanted The Who in Blowup as he was fascinated by Pete Townshend's guitar-smashing routine.[5] Steve Howe of The In Crowd recalled, "We went on the set and started preparing for that guitar-smashing scene in the club. They even went as far as making up a bunch of Gibson 175 replicas ... and then we got dropped for The Yardbirds, who were a bigger name. That's why you see Jeff Beck smashing my guitar rather than his!"[6] Antonioni also considered using The Velvet Underground (signed at the time to a division of MGM Records) in the nightclub scene, but, according to guitarist Sterling Morrison, "the expense of bringing the whole entourage to England proved too much for him".



The smartest dogs in the world.

From englishrussia.com we get the following fun facts about Moscow's clever stray dogs who hop on and off the metro to get to prime begging locations.  The whole article is worth a read.  Here is a snippet.
"Russian scientists say that Moscow stray dogs became much smarter. The four legged oldest human’s friends demonstrate real smartness such as riding the Moscow metro every morning to get from their suburban places of living to the fat regions of Moscow center. Once they arrive to the downtown they demonstrate different new, previously unseen for the dog skills. Those skills can include “the hunt for shawarma” for example, the popular among Muscovites eastern cuisine dish. This hunt scene can be seen as this:
"Regular Moscow busy street with some small food kiosks. A middle-aged man buys himself a piece of hot fast food and walks aside chewing it without a rush. Then just in a second he jumps up frightened – some doggy has sneaked up on him and barked out loudly. His tasty snack falls out from his hands down to the ground and the dog gets it. Just ten minutes later, on the same place, the teen youngster loses his dinner in exactly the same manner. The modern Russian dogs are on their urban hunt."

"Next we take the airports!"


Concerned human shouts: "Hey Dawg! You're going the wrong way!"
Metro Dawg thinks "How the hell would he know where I'm going? Dumb human must be drunk."


MC CRAZY BREAD "9-9-9 is a Joke"

My homage to Public Enemy's classic song "9-1-1 is a Joke" updated for the Herman Cain era.

9-9-9- is a Joke

Hit me
Going going gone
Now I proposed 999 a long time ago
Don't you see how now they're reactin'
They only come and they come when I poll well
I'll get the right sound bite to sell well
I don't care 'cause I stay paid anyway
I'll teach ya like an ace that can't be betrayed
I know I stumble with no use people
If your life is on the line, don't care if you're dead today
I'ma late coming man with the late coming plan to getcha
It's a body bag in disguise y'all betcha
I call it body snatchers quick they come to fetch ya?
With a bankruptcy suit just to dissect ya
We are the kings 'cause we swing low taxation
Lose your arms, your legs to us it's the enterprise system
I can prove it to you just watch the juxtaposition
It all adds up to a funky situation
So get up get, get get down
999 is a joke in yo town
Get up, get, get, get down
Late 999 wears the late crown

999 is a joke

Everyone knows the math don’t never come correct
You can ask my man right here with the pocket protect
He’s a witness to the job never adding up
He would’ve been in full in 999 and some
It's a joke ’cause we always jokin’
I’m the token to your life when it’s croakin’
You’ll need to be in a pawn shop on a
999 is a joke but we want ‘em
If I have my way the poverty will come quicker
The bankers huddle up and call a flea flicker
The reason that I say that ’cause they
Flick you off like fleas
They be laughin’ at ya while you’re crawlin’ on your knees
And to the strength so go the length
Thinkin’ you are first when you really are tenth
I hope you don’t wake up and smell the real flavor
Cause 999 is a fake life saver
So get up, get, get get down
999 is a joke in yo town
Get up, get, get, get down
Late 999 wears the late crown
Ow, ow 999 is a joke

From that bastion of liberal media, Forbes, comes this:
Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Straight Out of SimCity?


Rarely does the world of politics cross over into my little video game corner here, much less something as significant as the presidential race, but I woke up today with a note in my inbox that claimed candidate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan might have had gaming inspiration.
As it turns out, in Maxis’s SimCity 4, the default tax rates actually all start at 9% for commercial taxes, 9% for industrial and 9% for residential. It’s not exactly corporate, income and sales, but it’s close enough to be noticeable.
The Huffington Post made the connection, and contacted Maxis for comment. Senior producer Kip Katsarelis seemed bemused.

“We encourage politicians to continue to look to innovative games like SimCity for inspiration for social and economic change,” said Katsarelis. “While we at Maxis and Electronic Arts do not endorse any political candidates or their platforms, it’s interesting to see GOP candidate Herman Cain propose a simplified tax system like one we designed for the video game SimCity 4.”
Cain cites his own economic advisors for coming up with the plan, not the video game, but one has to wonder, if it’s right for SimCity, is it right for America? My thriving virtual metropolis would at least seem to think so.
But in reality, Cain’s plan would be in effect raising taxes on the poor, many of whom currently pay no income tax, raising taxes on the middle class, due to the loss of tax credits and the increased sales tax, and lowering taxes for the rich. Democrats obviously hate it, but even many Republicans oppose the increases it would trigger, and Cain’s rivals for the nomination have jumped on him by saying that his plan might be simple, but it wouldn’t work in practice.
The Cain camp remains resolute however responding to the SimCity comparisons by saying “everyone likes 9-9-9.” While that might be true for some, unfortunately there aren’t any cheat codes to make the math work in real life.


Democrat In The U. S. House

U.S. House . . .
Voted down in a D.C. town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up

Democrat in the U.S. House, I'm just a Democrat in the U.S House.
I'm just a Democrat in the U.S. House, Democrat in the U.S. House.

Got in a little debt ceiling jam
They put a pea shooter in my hand
Sent me off to a congress land
To go fight the tea bag man

Democrat in the
Come back home to the Dem infirmary
And Nancy said son if it was up to me
Went down to see the President man
He said son, don't you understand

I had friends who were congressmen
Fighting off the Tea Party con men
The cons are now here, and my friends are gone

Down in the shadow of the damn congress
Listening to gasbags of the beltway press
I'm ten years burning down this road
Nowhere to run aint got nowhere to go

Democrat in the U.S. House, I'm just a Democrat in the U.S. House.
Democrat in the U.S. House, I'm just a losing vote in the U.S. House.
Democrat in the U.S. House, I have a vote in the U.S. House
Just another battered spouse in the U.S. House.


Thomas Edison: Boxing Cats, Boxing Babes, and Dancing "Gays"

Welcome to another edition of Silent Movie Sunday.  I was digging through the YouTube attic this afternoon and I came across something interesting.  It goes all the way back to 1894 and the first kinetograph films, an early movie camera invented by Thomas Edison and William Dickson in 1892.   What would you choose to be among the first things ever filmed?  Edison and his crew decided on this: 
"A series of vaudeville performers became some of the first subjects to appear before the Kinetograph at the Black Maria. These included such well-known acts as the strongman Eugene Sandow, the Spanish dancer Carmencita, and Annabelle Whitford performing her famous Butterfly Dance. Acts from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show were filmed, including Annie Oakley and a troop of Native American dancers who performed in the show. Many of the films were expected to appeal to male audiences, and some even featured scantily-clad women. Other masculine activities, such as boxing and cockfights, were also filmed. Dickson and Heise filmed over 75 motion pictures during 1894."
I have chosen these three shorts mainly because I find them weird and interesting.  All were filmed at the world's first movie studio, Edison's Black Maria.

With the obsolescence of the phonograph and the incandescent light bulb, perhaps Edison's most long-lived contribution to society may be his invention of the cute cat video.  Can't you just picture him with Dickson and his assistant William Heis smoking cigars and drinking bourbon after a hard day's work in the lab, when Edison pipes up and says "Gentlemen, we have just invented the  kinetiscope .  What shall we do with it?  Dickson may have answered "How about we film cute cats boxing?" .  .  .

The Edison Company : Boxing Cats

and Heis may have offered, "I want to see two dames boxing."  Shut Up!  It could have happened that way.

The Edison Company :  Boxing Women

Did you know that the first motion picture recorded with sound was the following short clip of two men slow dancing to the sound of a violin?  The guy playing the music is Dickson himself.  

To learn more about the Edison Company, click here.   That is all for now, happy 4th of July.


O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done

 I have been intending to do a post on the late great Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, ever since I started this blog (last week) but I was unsure where to start.  I have decided to start at the end and the beginning of his musical career because why not.  Also, because I think "Trout Mask Replica" and his art (he was an accomplished painter in his later years) both deserve a post of their own. 
"Ice Cream for Crow"  is a great song and a better video despite its complete commercial failure.  I know, so what else is new?  I end this post with the "Magic Band's" cover of Bo Diddley's "Diddy Wah Diddy".   IMHO, it's the best version of that song ever recorded. Of course, also a commercial failure.  

Capt. Beefheart:  Love him; hate him; or more likely, never heard of him.  His influence on music far outweighs his meager musical fame.  To give just one example, if Tom Waits' sandpaper voice effects you like fingernails on a chalkboard, you know who to thank. "Once you've heard Beefheart," said Waits, "it's hard to wash him out of your clothes. It stains, like coffee or blood."  
Update:  A couple of his paintings are on the sidebar to your right.     
Ice Cream For Crow
It's so hot
looks like you have three beaks crow
the moon's so full
white hat on a pumpkin
you know there's something
the moon was a stone's throw
stop the show
I need to say hello
to the crow
light the fire piano
the moon showed up
and it started to show
tonight there'd be ice cream
ice cream for crow
ice cream for crow
sun cream by day
ice cream for crow
ice cream by night
ice cream by day
the sun ain't stable
ice cream for crow
crow pants the scarecrow
crow dance ah ho ho
crow dance ah panther
scare crow you answer
you can hee and haw
laugh and scratch
ha ha ha
ha ha ha
boss and toss
don't shake my hand
give me your claw
two tears in a haystack
scarecrow get back
tonight there's gonna be
a feather treatment
beneath the symbol
we'll all assemble
oh how we'll fly
oh how we'll tremble
cut the cake
we'll all get well
turn up the speakers
hop flop squawk
it's a keeper
ice cream for show
ice cream for crow
now now that's it
now you can go

Here is the Magic Band's version of Bo Diddley's "Diddy Wah Diddy" released in 1966.