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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mint 2 Carlins - Crisis Solved!

So in yesterday's post we solved the debt ceiling crisis by minting two one trillion dollar platinum coins, emblazoned with the image of that great stand-up guy George Carlin (maybe it should be a medium distance shot with George smiling and giving us the finger?!?! ).

What a brilliant fucking idea!

I propose Obama gets a big piggy bank which he displays prominently on his White House desk, and he deposits those two coins in it, and starts writing checks to all the little grandmas waiting for their social security, and all the other poor working stiffs, and needy souls who still count on somebody sometime doing the right fucking thing!

I love this idea for lots of reasons! 1. End of crisis! 2. Maybe then all those assholes in Washington will just SHUT UP! 3. It shows us all the shared hallucination we call MONEY!

I mean it all really is a shared delusion that all that grubby paper and credit really exists. We all play the game, people stake their lives on it, but really it is just a game. We (the government) can always print up more money! It has value only if we think and pretend it has value. Wake up people! Let's play! Let's make up new rules that work for all of us!

Maybe if we all saw the money game as a game, as a farce, we could re-make our lives around things of real value... like those invisible things - love, spirit, joy, the simple crazy pleasures of life! New motto: Fuck the Money!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Monkey Out Your Butt!

Okay we have entered the land of absurdity. And that's fine with me. Life has always seemed a little absurd, and you just know all those serious people doing serious stuff is just a serious charade.

Unfortunately in the land of absurdity, people still die, and bad shit happens everyday. And that's absurd too.

So anyway, I like this Trillion Dollar Coin Idea! It's kind of like pulling a monkey out of your butt. Which would definitely be absurd, but amazing too. Might even get you on TV!

And just who would be on the Trillion Dollar Coin?! George Carlin of course!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Panic in the Air

Panic in the streets. Panic in the air. Maybe it will be a slow burn panic. It has already engulfed some fine people, the early birders, but maybe it will slowly permeate anyone who actually pays attention.

And maybe the panic will play out as comedy, not tragedy. Or maybe it will be a rollicking comedy with deep tragic consequences. Funny but not so funny.

It is sort of gratifying to see some of "our leaders" expose themselves as the craven idiots they are, but it doesn't bode well for the well-being of the nation. What happens when we realize we are completely on our own?

Panic in the streets is not good for thinking, planning, dreaming...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Coffee Talk!

sunnyjimmy: I already drank a pot of coffee this morning.
Barista: All by yourself?
sunnyjimmy: Yes.
Barista: If I drink that much coffee I get jittery and paranoid.
sunnyjimmy: Paranoia! That's my aquarium!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Let's just sniff each other's butts and fix things!"

I do think Krugman is right!

Again!

We have a political dog-fight where one dog is all about compromise and "getting along," ("Let's just sniff each other's butts and fix things!") while the other dog is biting and scratching and howling like a banshee.

And the press, and a vast percentage of the pundits on the sidelines decide that both dogs are to blame. This is silly and wrong and insane too. And they are contributing to the destruction of the Country!

And then on a personal note, I realize that I have a lot more invested (emotionally and intellectually) in MY OBAMA, than he does in me... This is not a good dynamic! My health and well-being aren't even on his radar screen or on his political agenda.

I mean, he keeps quoting Ronald (expletive deleted) Reagan. I mean, I used to think it was a clever rhetorical ploy, but now I'm beginning to think Reagan is actually Obama's role model. YIKES!

So I root for this guy, I wave my Flag of Hope, I get emotionally wrapped up in him "winning the day," when the actual solution, the plan that he's proposing is a load of shite too!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sensible Middle Mirage!

I'm a political junkie. I'd like to kick the habit. It's an annoying, frustrating, boring and a pretty much useless addiction. I blame Richard Nixon and Hunter S. Thompson. They fired my imagination long ago and the embers have faded over the years but have never died...

So I actually tuned in the radio to Obama's broken ceiling speech last night. And listened incredulously to Boehner's speech too. There is so much hot air devoted to such a ridiculous, arbitrary and absurd topic.

I am beginning to really feel sorry for my Obama. He is appealing to the sensible middle of the nation, but the sensible middle is just a chimera, a mirage. So pity for Obama. Which is not a good thing. He has been reduced to begging the American public to start acting like grown ups and to demand that their representatives start acting like grown ups too. Sort of a pathetic, Don Quixote-like stance.

And Boehner is at war. He is at war with Obama, flinging lies and ridiculous lines of attack. His stance is shameless and ridiculous. And he has leverage. What a revolting development...

The mind reels. What next? Can this possibly end well? Will the Republic live? How will Obama rise up above the muck? Stay tuned. But only if you have the same sad addiction...


Monday, July 25, 2011

Death Trip

Yeah, the death trip. It's strange how some really amazing, talented people take it and ride it to an early destruction. Death is kind of baked into our cake. It's a key ingredient to the whole thing.

I too have had my years of "seeking oblivion." Sometimes oblivion seems like the only answer. But it isn't, it's not an answer at all. Just a smothering of the questions. A life-killer.

I am partial to art and artists and creatives of all kinds who incorporate darkness into their vision. Our existence is framed by light and darkness. In fact, all of my favorite artists are grappling with death and how it shapes our lives.

Love and Death are the key themes of a well-lived life... but some of us ride that Train of Death with total abandon, thinking we are somehow indestructible, or maybe just not caring one way or another. Some of us grab for the most convenient cheap-thrill, poisons, and then it turns out the poison over-rules everything else.

And inevitably Death comes... sometimes maybe a little too soon...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Working Stiffs!

If you haven't seen it, it's worth watching Obama's press conference last night... better to see it for yourself, not filtered through the MSM...

I think he's finally really pissed off with the Republicans and not worried about showing it.

GOOD!

Paul Krugman detects a backbone! My favorite part is towards the end, when Obama says someone has to stand up for the "working stiffs!"

Yes, indeed!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Our Simple Chimp-ness

Friday morning... I surf the news, check out the doings of the world... I conclude we are just a crazy species, and there are now so many of us, we are making each other crazier and crazier. Something about close quarters and our monkey heritage, and all of our advanced and engaging but pretty much useless toys with which we amuse ourselves. We are just simple chimps at heart with these big brains, and we think the bigness of our brains is an advantage, but it's actually like a double-edged sword - it's both an advantage and a disadvantage...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Dome of Heat!

We are battling a Dome of Heat here in the Midwest. I mean, hell it's summer, it's hot all over, but here in the heartland we are engulfed in a blast furnace of heat, and it seems toastier, way toastier than usual.

I don't know what's going on. It's just the freaking weather after all. But I have a vague recollection that Al Gore and those cute little penguins have something to do with it. They have lots of explaining to do!

Events conspired for me to be out in the mid-day sun yesterday, right in the middle of the heat blasting pinnacle of the day. It seems Mad Dogs, Englishmen and Sunny Jimmy are just mad enough to tangle with the Dome!

I survived it intact, but the Heat Dome is relentless. Today will be another scorcher! Be cool!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kick of the Crazy!

Of course in a classic jujitsu move, instead of railing against the lunacy of the era we live in, we could revel in it.

And ride the wave.

Maybe the way to beat the lunacy is to be a greater lunatic! Sensible is sensible, it has it's place, but nothing like the kick of the crazy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Disappointing Species!

The problem with putting people on pedestals is that they don't belong there. Either they end up falling off, or you ending up pushing them off.

The list of people I "admire" continues to dwindle. It's getting to be a very small list.

Homo Sapiens - "(Humans (known taxonomically as Homo sapiens, Latin for "wise man" or "knowing man")" never fail to disappoint.

Overall a pretty disappointing species. Check out the wikipedia entry and you realize we are the species that really thinks highly of itself. This despite all the evidence that points to our stupidity, arrogance, selfishness, self-delusion, small-mindedness, etc.

Wise Man, Knowing Man?!? You must be (expletive deleted) kidding!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Three Easy Steps to the Great Crumble...

I guess the world teaches us that we should always be suspect of simple explanations. We are complex characters swimming in a complex web of complexity...

But I like Kevin Drum's simple formula for our present circumstances in America's Crumbling Paradise...

"I know this is too simplistic to be taken seriously, but here's my version of what happened over the past few decades:

  1. The economy grew just fine, but rich people got most of the money.
  2. They couldn't spend it all, and investment opportunities were limited, so they ended up loaning it out to the middle class in increasingly baroque ways.
  3. That worked fine until it didn't."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wealthy Love the Wealthy

Maybe America's woes come down to one simple thing: the political, social and corporate classes who have the biggest megaphone and get the most attention are made up of wealthy people. And the wealthy only think the wealthy are worthy of respect.

The wealthy only take seriously the concerns of the wealthy. Everyone else is basically on the sidelines looking for help, or imagining that one day they too will be wealthy. So even lots of folks on the sidelines are obsessed with the concerns of the wealthy.

Maybe the poor and disenfranchised Schlubs think that if they think like the wealthy ones, they too will magically become wealthy too?!

Krugman has been hammering this home in his own way....

"it’s more a matter of the wealthy gravitating toward views of economic policy that make immediate sense in terms of their own interests, and politicians believing that only these views count as Serious because they’re the views of wealthy people."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Land of Lunacy

Great drama? A bunch of dudes in suits sitting around a table arguing about a budget? Talking about raising "the debt ceiling" a totally abstract, fictional construction?

Might as well be arguing about how many angels dance on the head of a pin.

Every time one of Obama's opponents opens their imbecile mouths, I suddenly thank my lucky stars that we elected a decent, and intelligent human being to the Presidency. Unfortunately, he is President of the Land of Lunacy. And all of his opponents are Pin-heads, Greed-heads, and Assholes!

I wonder if they are gonna continue to wreck the country? I mean totally wreck it? I wonder... And how does the last sensible man in the land keep himself from being slimed by the process?

Stay tuned...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Overly Dramatic Language!

It's been an eventful week for me. And I have gotten a bad case of speaking overly dramatic sentences...

First I had a violent allergic reaction. Or as I usually think of it, "I've been slimed!"

You can be slimed by beasts and by humans. The human-type sliming is usually worse.

And then I suffered blunt trauma to my frontal cortex. Or as I usually think of it, "I bumped my freaking head!"

Yes, I saw stars and got a little wobbly, and I have a lump on my head. But you know what?! I can remember my name and all my fingers and toes are in fine working order.

So I soldier on like a blessed beast of the field!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Benevolence vs. Malevolence

Sometimes I do think there is a raging class war going on in America. And it is only the millionaires amongst us who fight it out.

Which means the poor and middle class have to rely on the benevolent millionaires* to battle with the malevolent millionaires to protect their interests.

So it's a proxy battle. And sometimes it's all just shadow boxing. Because really, the millionaires have much more in common with each other than with the rest of us.

All those dollars really do add up to a striking difference. And in order to make life livable for the poor and working classes, the leisure class has to step up to the plate and sacrifice some of their gold.

It comes down to benevolence vs malevolence.

* And just why would a millionaire choose to be benevolent? Could be self-interest, if self-interest is defined broadly - it's better to live in a society that treats all it's citizens well, with dignity and justice for all - less crime, less social turmoil... plus maybe it feels good to do good?!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mixing Session #... Who Knows?! - The Not the Worst Thing Session

Yeah, I've sort of lost count. Still mixing songs at the big time studio. We do one session a week. It's kind of like the Slow Boat to China Method. We will get there...eventually.

Anyway, yesterday, this exchange came in the middle of mixing, it will stay with me for awhile...

Studio Engineer: We can bring up the background vocals.

Sunny Jimmy: Okay!

Studio Engineer: Which means your voice will be louder in the mix... which... isn't... the... worst... thing...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Murdoch's Vast Criminal Enterprise!

Wow, it seems that Rupert Murdoch is quite the diversified owner. Not only does he run a vast media empire, but he also runs a vast criminal enterprise! Turns out they are the same thing!

Sweet!

And if finally he is reaping what he has sowed, and the chickens are finally coming home to roost, well, that's almost Shakespearean (Richard III?)! And there is something gratifying in seeing the mighty, the arrogant, the privileged, "the above the law ones" exposed and (hopefully!) brought low.

Some of these people amongst us are just absolutely shameless. Here's hoping their day of reckoning comes down like a ton of bricks!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Competing Rooting Interests

On the one hand, I'm rooting for Obama to get all those knuckle-heads in a room and work out some kind of sensible deal that helps move the country forward in a constructive way. Like maybe we could usher in a new era of enlightenment and happiness?!

Maybe?!

On the other hand, I'm rooting for all these Bozos to get in a room and tear each other to pieces. They all look like pin-headed, greedy assholes, and maybe their stupidity should be unleashed and let them just crash the whole damn thing. Maybe it really can't be fixed, maybe it needs to be totally crashed, and then we pick up the pieces and start over?!

So, I'm torn...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

As the Country Cratered

I do think as the months roll out, and as Obama tries to get re-elected, this big, looming unanswered question will hang over him and the country...

Why didn't Obama go after and try to clean up the Wall Street mess?

Was it ideology? Was it money? Did he really think that the Wall Street moguls who wrecked the economy and raped the American Dream should just get fatter and wealthier as the rest of the country cratered?

Friday, July 08, 2011

Status and Levelers

Our whole social world is an elaborate status game. Everything we do, everything we buy, the way we display ourselves to others, are all status signifiers.

This status game is an elaborate way to try to differentiate ourselves, to prove that we are unique and unlike anyone else; it's a game that helps us pretend that we are desirable and we will live forever. We are desperately intent on showing others that we are unique, and unlike anyone else. And in some ways we are unique and unlike anyone else.

But in some essential ways we are also alike, the same, no different. We are all just human beings who will live and die. And there are those experiences which make this very clear. Death is one of them. It's probably the ultimate leveler. Illness is another. Families too, our DNA heritage, and our relationships with mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers can also be "leveling."

Standing in line, riding a bus, going to court, or visiting any government office is a good leveler too. Being in an elevator for an extended time can be a leveler.

In some ways, we have all been created equal. But then again, we spend much of our lives pretending this is not so.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Figuring

I always thought I was going to "figure it out." I've got boxes and shelves full of books. I have spent much of my little life-time reading, looking to crack the code.

I've thought, and ruminated and meditated. I've filled my head and cleared my mind. I've worried and fretted, and then again, I've forgotten, denied and just rocked out.

There have been good times and bad times. I've got a few scars. I've accumulated lots of big and little disappointments. Like everyone else, I've lost people close to me. And like everyone else I've witnessed acts of madness, cruelty, kindness and beauty.

I have sometimes told myself it was all leading to something. Maybe there would be some accounting, or some kind of summing up, or there would be a lightening-bolt of clarity.

I'm not done trying to figure things. But it now seems a lot less essential. If there is a code, it's not really important for me to crack. Not sure if it's even crack-able.

I mean, I'm still totally fascinated and curious about what makes the world the world and what makes a human a human. But I'm a lot more comfortable with the idea that it is not all suddenly gonna "make sense." I'm not going to figure anything out. I mean I will figure out some things for myself, but there are big things that are not going to be "figured" by me.

I will live a life. And learn some things and forget some things. And that's really about it. And that's good and true and OK.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Madness!

Working on a performance piece for the Abbie Hoffman Died for Your Sins fest in August. We've performed something like 15 consecutive years. It is always an inspiring kick.

My first take on a script was conjured in an early morning, caffeine-fueled session. 15 pages of Jack Kerouac-like stream of consciousness madness. At first I was convinced we should go with it as is, no editing. But then a read-through confirmed that this was not a good idea.

So it was back to the drawing board. Heavy editing and a new take. It's all starting to shape up. Just in the nick of time too! Now we have to memorize lines and somehow bring the text to life.

Always a challenge.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Belated Goodbye Dear Friend

It seems everyday there's a lesson. It's really the same lesson, over and over. And it's one that we learn to tune out.

But then sometimes, you can't tune it out. It hits you smack in the kisser. I had one of those this weekend.

And the lesson is: we live on the knife's edge. We live in a very delicate balance. And we can easily tumble off into the great unknown at any time.

I lost a good friend, a great soul, and he disappeared without really much of a trace. And there was no chance to say goodbye. He drifted into my life, and then drifted out. Like a cloud, a shadow.

I will remember his smile and dry sense of humor. I will remember our good times together and our battles in the trenches. We had some strange Don Quixote-like connection, locked in battle with looming windmills. Fighting for hopeless cases and lost causes.

And then at a key moment he slipped away and I found out well after the fact. No resolution. Just a quiet exit. And then silence.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Head Music!

And another thing on my recent Radiohead obsession - (Maybe I'm the last to know?), it all depends on how you listen to their work.

The big eye-opener (or in this case)
head-opener for me has been: HEADPHONES!

I don't mean those sorry little pathetic iPod ear buds. That's a perfectly lousy way to hear music. Makes everything small, cheap and tinny.

I mean those big whomping studio-quality headphones. Get a set of those babies, put them on then try Kid A, or Amensiac, or Hail to the Thief, or for sure In Rainbows. The big, layered, complex sound of Radiohead will totally engulf you.

It is a sublime, supremely enthralling experience...

No kidding!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Radiohead the Best of Something!

My latest musical obsession: Radiohead's "In Rainbows." Finally got to it. I mean, I know I'm late to the party, but my obsessions work on their own time-clock.

I always forget how great this band is, and how baffling too. I mean, they work in a totally different sonic territory than any other band out there.

They are a hard to figure band. I mean, how they make their songs, and how inventive they are, and how their music seems un-graspable. Their songs do not remind me of anyone else's songs. I can't name one of their songs, can't hum a melody, can't sing a chorus. Their album seems like one long sonic landscape. It's not music that I would or could make.

Thom Yorke is a really great vocalist in a non-great way. He's unlike anyone else I can think of. This band is the best of something. Not sure what. Maybe they are just amazing, great, creative, musicians, artists, making something no one else even envisions doing. I mean, they really push the sonic envelope. And they mix all kinds of crazy-ass sounds and somehow pull it off seamlessly. Amazing, thrilling stuff.

Breath-taking. Head-scratching too. And did I mention they make me smile?

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Kitchen Is Not Carnegie Hall!

The bank foreclosed on the building and kicked out all the tenants last year. So we had to move out of our cool performance space. Haven't found a new space yet. Looking for a sweet deal, or really a very generous and Enlightened Patron. One can wish, right?

So the last year our band has been meeting in our kitchen for rehearsals. This is not as crazy or stupid as it sounds. We can actually fit our band in the space, and the acoustics are pretty sweet. We have a p.a. set up for vocals, a bass amp, a guitar amp, and our drummer brings his hand drum.

We actually had some guests last night to hear our session. It was all quite nice. Not exactly Carnegie Hall but, hell, it works. And there's a refrigerator for cold drinks and our toaster is handy just in case anyone wants toast.

Friday, July 01, 2011

"Lights Out!"

Storms blew in last night and knocked out our power for a few hours. Literally in the dark. Suddenly off the grid, unconnected to the outside world.

It was sort of strange, and freeing too. Sat in the dark and watched the clouds rolling in, the lightening strikes, with heavy thunder rocking the windows.

Mother Nature calling "lights out!" Sometimes she gets to pull rank.

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