July 2014

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What you want your 8 year old son to see.

What you want your 8 year old son to see.

A Philly story. But given the geography of Independence Day, a national story as well.

Here’s the background:

On Friday night, aka the 4th of July, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran and the Roots took to the stage in front of the Art Museum for a pre-fireworks concert. It was a fun show, but what the [expletive deleted] was with all the cursing?

With the exception of Jennifer Hudson, who proved to be a class act all the way, one by one, the acts hired to entertain the crowd of many thousands (a crowd that included plenty of children) couldn’t refrain from dropping the F-bomb. Oh, there have been some slips of profanity in years past, but this year seemed particularly problematic.

Concert broadcaster 6 ABC didn’t just bleep out the profanities as Roots frontman Black Thought dropped the curses left and right at the start of the show — they cut out the entire transmission, video and all, switching to a 6 ABC logo until it was safe to return.

But that was nothing compared to Nicki Minaj, whose buxom getup no doubt inspired some wishes for a wardrobe malfunction. Minaj managed to fit “bitch,” “shit,” and “motherfucker” into her set many times over.

When concert closer Ed Sheeran took the stage, I had guessed that our delicate ears would be safe. But no. The ginger-haired British pop guy treated the masses to his new tune “Don’t.” The hook (they used to call that a chorus, FYI) repeats the line “Don’t fuck with my love.”

Oh, and then there was comedian-host Marlon Wayans. I guess you can’t really expect a comedian to class things up, and Wayans certainly didn’t. In addition to all of the cursing, he also peppered his lines with “nigga” this and “nigga” that. And he just had to make a dick joke, because, hey, this is Philly. Happy fucking 4th of July, America!

Listen, I’m no prude when it comes to the English lexicon. Anyone who has an office within earshot of mine has heard plenty. I can curse with the best of them. But I don’t do it around my kids or around other people’s kids, and I expect others to act the same way, especially on a national holiday and in the place that started it all.

And here’s what the black mayor of Philadelphia had to say, as reported by Philly.com:


POSTED: Monday, July 7, 2014, 5:14 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia’s mayor is promising a review of the city’s July Fourth concert after several acts used expletives during their performances.

Mayor Michael Nutter tells KYW-AM that concert organizers are contractually obligated to make the free concert suitable for families. He says the city will work to make next year’s “Welcome America” concert more family-friendly.

Friday night’s televised concert featured Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran and other performers.

Nutter apologized to anybody in the audience who was offended but also pointed out they were free to go.

Free to go. Free to go? Free to go! I’m gone. Don’t go to Phillies games anymore because I’m tired of hearing the F-word hollered in my ear and the ears of kids who should be watching a baseball game.

Tired of a lot of things. This was supposed to be the post-racial administration. What I’m not allowed to say. This administration and all its succubi in politics and the media have done nothing but reaffirm the worst of the old stereotypes. Lazy, lying, freeloading, foul-mouthed (what other administration has had a foreign policy doctrine like this?), know-nothing do-nothings who are riding the ride as long as it lasts. Worse, we’re supposed to accept the premise that some are athletically and sexually superior while the rest of us are inferior precisely because we know something about culture, music, philosophy, religion, and history.

This administration has guaranteed that the presidency will never again fall into the hands of these particular heirs. As I predicted long long ago.

As I said, 2008 was 1865. But I’ve said a lot of things. I trust you all not to bring down the wrath of the world on me. Sure I do.

Yeah. That’s Rex Harrison. A Brit. I’ll explain. The traditional trailer is here. Man suspected of wanting to kill his wife. How unusual. Call Miss Marple. Only possible Aussie difference could be, well, we’ll get to that.

No, I’m not going to wait. I know better. I’ll produce the list now.

Rake He’s the Rex Harrison from down under everywhere. Not a conductor trying to kill his wife. A barrister trying to keep from killing himself by accident or misadventure. Come to think of it, also a conductor of sorts. Some US network tried to duplicate it, but you can’t make the orchestration of drugs, gambling, wanton promiscuity, and legal brilliance work if you don’t have some kind of ultimately suave center. Greg Kinnear wouldn’t know that center if it hit him in the face. Richard Roxbrough surfs on that center.

Miss Fisher’s Mysteries. Well, gee. She’s a rich, promiscuous, flapper detective. What else do you want? Okay. Her duds are lovely, her car is a Hispano Suiza, and there are, as far as I can recall, nude scenes. Clever. With good music.

The Strip. They don’t pretend. They’re cops on Australia’s Gold Coast. Constantly hot and constantly on the case. More fun than most US cop shows put together.

The Castle. See the clip in the older post. Might remind you of the American Dream.

100 Bloody Acres. A typically Australian twist on the horror movie genre. Biggest surprise? Happy if unsettling ending.

Snow Town Murders. What’s it really like to grow up and become a serial murderer? No sheets of lightning. Just increments of pain. Well done if a bit slow.

Unfinished Sky. American romances involve small talk and sudden lurches between the sheets. This one’s different. I know it’s useless to be patient. But try.

Under Hill 60. See the video in the post before. I’m not over WWI yet either.

Lore. Also discussed previously. But you probably didn’t know it was Aussie.

MacLeod’s Daughters. Australia’s version of the old western series Bonanza. Only instead of a bunch of gun-toting guys, you’ve got a bunch of boob-thrusting gals. I know which I like better. Longest running series in Australia…

Dead Calm. The ultimately scary movie that made Nicole Kidman a star.

The Road Warrior. I don’t need to defend Mel Gibson. He’s the Road Warrior. He’s supposed to have a bad attitude. So do I.

None of which explains the greatest actress of our time, an Aussie named Cate Blanchette.

Or Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush, Chris Hemsworth, Toni Collette, Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts, Hugo Weaving, Simon Baker, Eric Bana, et cetera, et cetera.

Okay. I also loved the movie where the American killed the Englishman in Australia. But that’s only because I’m a racist chauvinist bastard.

I love’em. Honestly. I know they’re embroiled in an on-again off-again love affair with socialism, but that’s part of the Dead Man’s Burden they inherited from the U.K. I know they’ve got a broad streak of anti-Americanism, but I understand the historical context, which is maybe the only reason to read the ponderous works of James Michener.

See, at the outbreak of WWII, the Aussies enlisted en masse to fight for the King in Europe. When the Japanese Empire trashed the U.S. Pacific fleet and started gobbling up the entire South Pacific, there were hardly any troops left to defend Australia. Which is when the Americans showed up and started taking advantage of lonely Sheilahs. Who wouldn’t hold a grudge?

But of all the nations on earth, Australia is the most like us. They are irreverent, independent, vulgar if not coarse, and used to doing things their own way because of an isolational accident of geography, more extreme in their case than ours. They also have the same kind of specific original sin as a nation we do — a system of subjugation and apartheid against a specific native population that stands out like a sore thumb. Consider the Brits. They oppressed and subjugated everyone everywhere, but they are somehow more virtuous because you can’t call it racism. They persecuted and exploited everyone equally. Ditto the French, Dutch, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Russians. Their business was conquest and domination, imperialistic rule. Only Americans and Aussies are cardboard racists. (Excepting maybe Germans and South Africans. But they’ve got much better PR representation these days. Not to mention the Muslims. Because nobody anywhere does. These days.)

Still. Americans and Aussies are the two nations founded principally by expatriate castoffs from the prevailing order. We were religious and economic refugees, fleeing a tyrannical faith, famine, and inherited inevitable failure. The Aussies were convicts exiled to the bottom of the world.

Why I have a long list of Aussie movies and television series Americans really should seek out and like. Has it escaped your attention how many movie and TV stars are actually Aussie?

Well, I’ll save that and the long list for next time. My intro is already too long. You could prompt me to deliver sooner by looking into the question on your own. A couple of identifications and movie/TV nominations could energize my memory spectacularly. Because I’m sitting on some true gems here, ones guaranteed to strike a chord with even the most xenophobic…

The first not the second World War.

Unless you’ve got something against 1920s femme fatales packing golden guns in their stockings.

The full movie is available on both Youtube and Netflix. It’s a tightly focused window on what it is to be a Scot. Personally remote, paradoxically passionate, contradictory. The greatest fly-tying artisan of all time did not fish.

The movie is curiously captivating. They don’t want to show her to us until very briefly at the very end. It’s immaterial. What matters is her vision, dedication, and extraordinary precision and perseverance. That her protege describes her with simple brutality as “a man in a skirt” doesn’t matter.

After all, doesn’t that suffice to describe all Scots? Sometimes beauty is a beast.

Hope you still feel you have something to celebrate.

Yesterday I made a passing reference to Wendy O. It made me realize I’ve never mentioned her in ten years of blogging. But without her, I wouldn’t ever have conceived of the Queen of Punk City.

Her name was Alice Hate.

Her name was Alice Hate.

Alice is the sleeping beauty of the South Street punk mythology. A bow to Arthurian legend, as the best book I’ve ever read on the subject speculates. Guinevere, a Pictish warrior queen, dies long before the climax of Arthur’s reign but must be preserved. The wall of thorns surrounding her is a linguistic reference to where she was interred, a castle in Scotland whose name means thorn. It was the French, centuries later, who made up the scandal of her affair with Lancelot, whom they made French but was probably a Scot named Angus. Zut alors!

So I’m acknowledging my personal debt here. The bare breasted kickass queen of Punk City was absolutely inspired by a real life rock star named Wendy O. Williams.

But that’s only part of what I need to do today. I realize she is missing almost completely from the history of pop divas we have been taught and believe. Consider this a teaching moment.

Wendy O is dead, as she would have to be. As the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, herself a secret sybarite, wrote, “The candle burns at both ends, it cannot last the night. But ah my foes and oh my friends, it gives a lovely light.”

She’s not here now to lobby as Deborah Harry does that she’s the template for female pop stars. So I am here to speak for her.

Without Wendy O, there would be no Madonna, no Joan Jett, no Courtney Love, no Lady Gaga, no Mylie Cyrus. And in all likelihood you’d never have seen Janet Jackson’s tit at the Super Bowl or up Beyonce’s dress all the way to there.

Patti Smith survived her youth. She began as a groupie and plugged her way to record deals. Wendy O was just a Roman candle who burst on the scene and did things no woman had ever done on stage. In that respect she’s as important as Jimi Hendrix was to the evolution of the electric guitar. In both cases, there’s simply before… And after.

Why some of us old guys just shake our heads at the antics of youngsters who think they can shock us. You can’t. You’re just so ignorant you don’t know that when Gaga wears meat, we remember Wendy wearing nearly nothing. When Mylie twerks, we remember Wendy jacking off a phantom strap-on. You’ve got nothing left to shock us with. Why we yawn.

She died in 1998. She was not a nice girl. You can read about her here.

I’m not positioning her as some saint. But it’s become a habit with you young’uns to forget where you came from and who you owe for your manufactured poses. Mostly you’re not even aware of the important areas where you know nothing and care less. But if you’re a growly take-no-prisoners singer or a half naked caterwauling bitch on stage, then you should light a candle at both ends in honor of Wendy O.

Breitbart reports:

Monday at the White House while hosting a reception to observe LGBT Pride Month, President Barack Obama call his White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses “the crust master” because the president said, “I don’t know what he does—whether he puts crack in them.” But the president continued he had to adopt a no weekday pie rule.

Laughing and applauding, the first lady Michelle Obama added, “There’s no crack in our pies.”

Hmmm. I’m inclined to believe there is crack in Obama’s pie. It would explain a lot. But I’m also inclined to believe there isn’t any crack in Michelle’s. She smiles so seldom. Maybe she needs a more vegan chef.

She might like this one. Even if it's not baked in the White House.

Possible she’d prefer this. Even if
it’s not baked in a WH oven.

The chef’s name is Sara. Worth a try? Who knows? “We” might like it. Especially during LGBT Pride Month.

She's a killer. He didn't know.

She’s a killer. He didn’t know.

Whatever you do, make sure you find the video of Megyn Kelly’s cross-examination of Bill Ayers. She took him apart. It goes on and on. And on. His little old man earrings were quivering. Like all sociopaths, he took the stand believing his great intellect was proof against the inferior who would be questioning him. She took him apart. This is only an excerpt and there is more, but enjoy this till I post the rest.

And, uh, don’t forget what he looked like when he wasn’t a precious old professor trying to impress co-eds a third his age.

An arrogant lout is an arrogant lout. No exceptions. And age does not improve the vintage.

An arrogant lout is an arrogant lout. No exceptions. And age does not improve the vintage. If you start with piss and vinegar, you’ll never produce wine. Just piss.

A doubt I expressed ten years ago, well before Ayers became famous again.

But we do hear voices of regret and even shame. Oddly, there seems an almost complete schism between the perspectives of the two sexes of Weathermen. The women, including the once fiery spokesperson Bernadine Dohrn, seem sorry that the Weather Underground failed to make any real difference. Yet they remain politically active, principally in feminist and environmental causes, and they seem to yearn for a return of the heady days of revolution. Naomi Jaffe and Laura Whitehorn both said on camera that they would do it all again. The men were a different story, with the possible exception of Bill Ayers, who is married to Bernadine Dohrn and and didn’t speak with the same depth of emotion as the others. David Gilbert is serving a life sentence in prison for a post-Weatherman crime he committed with an organization called the Black Liberation Army. He pointed out that he has not complained about his sentence and implied that he has gotten what he deserved. More interesting still are the perspectives of Brian Flanagan and Mark Rudd. Both appear to look at the defining events of their lives with a kind of shocked puzzlement. They use terms like “crazed,” “kind of crazy,” and “overwhelmed by the war” as they grope for explanations of their actions. Flanagan makes open comparisons between their state of mind and that of the 9/11 terrorists. “When you believe you have right on your side, you can do terrible things,” he says. Mark Rudd is candid about his own anguish. “I feel shame and guilt,” he confesses. “We were full of hatred. I clung to my hatred.”

Before I close I should probably mention that I once attended an SDS meeting when I was a freshman at Harvard. I was curious. I’d seen their mimeographs blowing across the Yard. They couldn’t be that monotonously dimwitted, could they?

There were about thirty people in a class space designed to hold 200. They were wearing army greatcoats and fuzzy beards. They were every bit as dimwitted as their mimeographs. Only problem was, all the esteemed undergraduate institutions at the college shared their political views. They were the ones who won the war SDS thought it was fighting.

I realized that right away. But I’ve always had an inconvenient knack for insight. I look at Ayers and all I can think is I don’t have earrings and I can still look at myself in the mirror. Except for the getting older part. Which is okay. I’ve never killed anyone. Not even inadvertently. Though I’ve been fighting a war they’d recognize for all of my life.

There’s a sense in which I’ve been walking out on that first SDS meeting for 45 years. Going on 46. Idiots never get smarter. They just get older. And they get their deaf ears pierced.

UPDATE. Here’s Part 2 of the interview.

Do not pass Go. Just wait for your government check.

Do not pass Go. Just wait for your government check. Or
go directly to jail. And wait for your government check.

So the other day this guy positions himself as a prophet of the collapse to come. I’m okay with that. He’s right.

Martin Armstrong Warns Civil Unrest Is Rising Everywhere: “This Won’t End Pretty”

The greatest problem we have is misinformation. People simply do not comprehend why and how the economic policies of the post-war era are imploding. This whole agenda of socialism has sold a Utopian idea that the State is there for the people yet it is run by lawyers following their own self-interest. The pensions created for those in government drive the cost of government up exponentially with time. The political forces blame the rich and this merely creates a class warfare with no resolution for the future. Even confiscating all the wealth of the so-called rich will not sustain the system. Consequently, we just have to crash and burn and start all over again.

The Guardian reported that some 50,000 people marched in London to protest against austerity. They cried: “Who is really responsible for the mess this country is in? Is it the Polish fruit pickers or the Nigerian nurses? Or is it the bankers who plunged it into economic disaster – or the tax avoiders? It is selective anger.”

The exploitation by the bankers has been really a disaster. They have been their own worst enemy and in the end, they have become the symbol that inspires class warfare if not revolution. They are not the representatives of those who produce jobs. They are merely those who wanted to trade with other people’s money for free. When they win, it is their’s, but any losses are passed to the taxpayers. Bankers should be bankers – not hedge fund managers who keep 100% of the profits using other people’s savings…

The solutions from politics will always be the same – grab more power. We are in a downward spiral of liberty and how far we go down this path to the future will be determined by the people and if they at least wise up and see this is not class warfare, it is the people against government. This is why I say career politicians are dangerous for they can be bought way too easily as Clinton was to open the flood gates for the bankers.

This is not going to end pretty. The question is when does society wake up? Just how high will this price be that we have to pay? They will blame the rich and the idiots will cheer – get them. What will happen when there is no more wealth to hunt? We end up with a communist state by default – no wealth, just career politicians who blame everyone but themselves.

Yeah, I quoted almost the whole thing. What is fair use? I expect he wants the alarm to get out. So I’m doing him a favor. Also, I’m going to follow him up with my own copyrighted material from 1991. Fair? I think so. This is from the Book of Adam, which gets to a remarkably similar point very quickly:

1 In fact, thanks to advertising, the Americans will make still another breakthrough discovery about Capitalism,
2 gWhich is that you don’t really have to create new value to create wealth,
3 For yourself, anyway,
4 Because Capitalism works just as well for people who create the appearance of value,
5 hEven if there isn’t any.
6 When this discovery has been proven in the marketplace,
7 By about five or ten thousand manufacturing corporations,
8 It will lead to the invention of many new industries that won’t make anything of value at all,
9 But will sell services instead,
10 iAnd tell everybody how great their services are,
11 Until everybody believes it,
12 Just like a religion.

1 And so it will come to pass that the American Capitalists will invent industries that nobody ever heard of before,
2 Called management consulting,
3 And public relations,
4 And life insurance,
5 Not to mention advertising,
6 Which won’t make anything at all,
7 But they’ll be very well paid for not making anything at all,
8 Just like banks.

1 And since they’ve come up, it’s important for you to know that banks will be an incredibly important part of Capitalist societies like America,
2 jBecause every Capitalist Nation will always need a whole bunch of boring avaricious people in blue suits to watch everybody’s money,
3 kBecause the most important principle in every Capitalist Nation is the principle that nobody can be trusted,
4 Ever,
5 Except for banks, of course,
6 aWhich are extremely trustworthy,
7 bOr why would they have so many boring drones in blue suits to watch over your money all the time?
8 Besides, if banks weren’t trustworthy, why would people give them money and let them lend it to other people,
9 Without even asking the people who gave them all their money in the first place?
10 Not to mention the fact that if bankers weren’t trustworthy, they’d probably get involved in a lot of risky financial speculation that could cause a huge depression someday,
11 Which wouldn’t do Capitalism any good at all.

1 That’s why it will be such a good thing that banks will always lend money to the people who deserve it,
2 And will always use impeccable business judgment,
3 cBecause who could possibly know more about business than a know-it-all in a blue suit who thinks you earn money by lending other people’s money to still other people who will do all the work and take all the risks,
4 While he sits in a giant office upstairs at the bank thinking up ways to get more money?

1 Eventually, there will be so many great bankers that they will build a city all for themselves,
2 Called New York,
3 Which nobody will be allowed into who actually makes things,
4 Except skyscrapers, that is,
5 Because the banks and life insurance companies and brokerage houses who deal strictly in money will all need their own skyscrapers,
6 dWith their names on them in giant letters,
7 Just so everyone will know that they really do make things,
8 Even though they really don’t,
9 eWhich has a lot to do with the appearance of value,
10 And everything in the world to do with American Capitalism,
11 Which will have its headquarters in New York,
12 On Wall Street.

1 In fact, Wall Street will become the world capital of Capitalism,
2 fAnd will become so fantastically successful that the people who work there will eventually forget practically everything you ever said,
3 Because they will know better than you,
4 About everything.

1 For example, they will forget about all your quaint old definitions,
2 gBecause Capitalism isn’t about creating wealth by creating value that didn’t exist before;
3 Instead, it’s about getting rich by getting hold of more money than other people,
4 Which is why value doesn’t matter,
5 aSince what really matters is being the swiftest,
6 bAnd the fittest,
7 cAnd getting up earlier than the other guy,
8 So that you can take his money while he’s still asleep,
9 dAnd use it to buy stocks on a margin,
10 In the kinds of companies that can’t help but succeed,
11 eWhich you can always identify because their stock prices keep going up,
12 Which is why everybody else is buying their stock on margin too,
13 And so it’s a good idea to buy yours earlier than the other guy,
14 So that you’ll make higher profits,
15 fAnd more money.

1 Actually (said the pen),
2 I have some not very good news for you,
3 Because when I told you the bad news about your ideas before,
4 I overlooked some,
5 Which I have been suddenly reminded of,
6 gBecause Capitalism will also lead to something really awful that people will blame on you,
7 Something called the hGreat Depression,
8 iWhich will start on Wall Street,
9 With a tremendous noise,
10 jWhich will sound like a single gigantic crash,
11 Even though it will actually consist of thousands and thousands of little crashes…

Until it all falls down. You can read the rest of the Obama story here. All the same plot points apply — class warfare, more government power, and the pretense that politicians give a rat’s ass what happens to the people they are gaining more and more control over, as well as unrest and tea parties and such. Beautiful, isn’t it? No such thing as a people not dumb enough to make exactly the same mistake three generations later.

If you still care. At this point all I care about is the opportunity to say, “I told you so.” A quarter century ago.

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