Tuesday, April 30, 2002

This coup thing is currently ongoing and changing, I'll come back to it. I haven't posted much here but I've spent a lot of time posting on other sites and emailing other people. One of the sites I've posted is on Douglas Rushkoff's. It was featured on Bloggers "Blogs of Note" and I stopped by. Apparently Mr. Rushkoff is an acclaimed author, news correspondent and in my not so humble opinion full of shit.

I have a personal rule that I try to stick to; not to vocalize an opinion about something or someone until I have at least one first hand experience with that person or idea. I guess I'm violating that rule right now. I haven't read any of Rushkoff's books, but I've seen some of his posts to get a good feel for his very often leaky (not watertight) assessments. I feel like he just makes stuff up based on some fact and his opinion. Not all of his ideas are crap though, some ideas of his are interesting and though provoking. But I must say much of what I've seen is crap. All this leads into this - someone posted a comment on Rushkoff's most recent log. The following portion is by Stardustbaby [skywlkrj@aol.com] responding to a portion of one of Rushkoff's half-baked ideas;

"We live in a sorry state. We do not educate our children (I say this as an undergrad in NYC), we have ruined the NEA, and we sympathize with characters on TV but do no show any remorse for what we do to our neighbors immediate and global. People do not suffer within borders.... You get people interested by including them in the dialogue."

That one thought hit me like a ton of bricks. I say that because I watched the final moments of The Bachelor with my girlfriend last week. This was not my decision, I spent the majority of the evening making fun of the show in protest, but I'm just making excuses at this point. I could and should have walked away but alas I did not. The TV VS. Real People statement says it all. We dropped bombs that killed thousands of innocent people of Afghanistan, along with members of the Taliban and Al Qeada. The majority of corporate commercial media was afraid to show us what was really going on, save for maybe NPR and left wing news outlets like Pacifica, Democracy Now, Free Speech Radio News, F.A.I.R. etc. I had trouble listening to Fathers who lost Sons, Daughters who lost Mothers. It pained me to listen to one man after losing his son, not even speaking in vengeful tones but pleading to the US and the world saying "please stop the bombing, you are killing innocent people". I'm not saying we should haven't done what we did, but at least have the balls to say that we have no choice, acknowldege that others are suffering too, make good on the pledge to help rebuild their country, or anything for pete's sake! I'm not even going to make value judgements here about the bombing, just be honest with yourself with what the consequences are when you take these actions. Stand up and say it honestly if you are so vehemently in favor of the incursion.

And yet look at us! We're fascinated and enamored, emotionally engrossed, with the mindless drivel comprised of some privledged rich guy on a TV show looking for a ready made wife, choosing between what I think were a herd of aspiring actresses in LA attempting to add to their resume by getting on the boob tube. In defense of my girlfriend she said it was like watching a train wreck, and indeed it was. I've been known to slow down a bit in the sight of an accident. Shame on me. This however leads me into my next post, an attempt for comic relief and my most recent inspiration!

HOW TO GET MORE AMERICANS INTERESTED IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIR!

The solution is Reality TV! It'll get more Americans interested in foreign affairs, educate how our policies affect other people’s lives in other nations; REALITY TV!!! Stick leaders and political figures with galvanized impressions of the US and put them in a really nice house decorated by Prince, with cameras on them 24 hours a day, recording their every move! Sheer fucking genius!!!

I can see it now - Musharaf, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Ariel Sharon, Yassir Arafat, Prince Abdullah, and Ozzy Ozbourne (just to keep things interesting), all living under one roof. It'll be a ratings blockbuster and people will be educated about world politics too. Attention President BUSH - There will be so much more support for the invasion of Iraq when Saddam kicks Ozzy's dogs after the canine craps on Saddam's custom carpet, adorned with his likeness.

"The nerve of that asshole! The dog doesn't know any better? Let's kick his country's ass!" That's exactly what will shoot thru the minds of Americans everywhere. It'll be the water cooler talk of the nation. Instant online polls ala NBC/Court TV will show at least 79% of viewers will say we should invade, with only 18% saying hold off and the remaining 3% undecided. Even those pesky tree hugging liberals will buy into it! The Animal Cruelty Society and PETA will stage protests demanding that Saddam be punished! With the right editing and some crappy alternative band playing in the background to raise the tension of the dramatic moment, it's a no brainer! I'm calling MTV right now to pitch my idea to the suits.

People will come to sympathize with Sharon, who really just has a Napolean complex. Arafat's uncompromising attitude stem from erectile dysfunctions. Osama is masochistic because he can't get over neglect of his parents, and that his Mom was only his Dad's 13th favorite wife. Musharaf likes to cross dress and go out to bars in the Barrio trying to pick up men. We'd learn all this from the weekly confessional. Why spend millions on good PR Prince Abdullah when all you have to do is live in the house? You could be saving that money and spend it on more important things, like say more personnel and biohazard cleaning products to mop up the blood when you chop peoples hands off for stealing!

Back to Rushkoff, he reminds me quite a bit of Aynn Rand. I know I'm all over the place but I could not help but think of the scene in The Fountainhead, where the lawyer for the main protagonist architect character (it's been a while, I can't remember the names or even crucial details right now) starts going into a tirade about his client to the jury. The lawyer, which is really Aynn Rand talking, just starts making shit up about how the first man who discovered fire probably was lynched by his fellow cavemen because they resented his genius, the first person who created the wheel probably received the same treatment. His client, the lawyer established, was one of those geniuses being lynched! What a bunch of bullshit. Some geniuses with controversial ideas have gotten some rough treatment, but not all of them have been treated that way. Were you at the great unveiling ceremony for the first caveman that discovered fire or the wheel? Aynn Rand just made a bunch of bullshit up to justify her beliefs that she held. Her beliefs are regarded as very anti socialist, sometimes even fascist. Many Republicans and Libertarians love her books.

I've spent a lot of time on Rushkoff's site and posted some rather rancorous stuff, I think, so far. Both Aynn Rand and Rushkoff seem earnest and intelligent but also completely ignorant of any reasonable challenges to their theories. Maybe I'm being too rough on him. No more Rushkoff bashing till I read one of his books..... but I ain't paying for it, I'm going to the library!

One more thing; for her astute observation and permission to use her quote, I thank Stardustbaby for her generiosity. She deserves a link, so click here for her blog. Tell her Palmer sent you.....

Friday, April 26, 2002

Anatomy of a Coup

I have tale - a tale of greed and power, good and evil, a president and his cronies, self serving egomaniacs and racism. And it isn't even our US Pres! Sadly there is no sex involved, but if you must have some, just go turn on Telemundo or Univision while reading this - there is bound to be at least one piece of ass wearing something skimpy with her boobs hanging out.

Back to my story... You know I thought coups only happened in third world nations. Apparently they also happen in Student Government as well. I'd be laughing about the whole thing if it weren't effecting me directly.

(this entry in progress)

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

I wanna give a shout out to a blogger - Suburban Limbo . He probably does not need any additional press, as he has been featured in Blogs of Note on Blogger, but the increased traffic should not exceed an extra three people.....

Why should you read Suburban Limbo?

-Rich interviewed Winger - among other bands - while doing their laundry of all things! He used to write for Guitar World, scroll down to see his nostoglic moment.

-He's got a good sense of wit

-He's a bleeding heart liberal (at least I think)

-In 10-15 years YOU might turn out to be just like him . He used to be in a band ( Played with Chicago Sun Times Jim DeRogatis, scroll down on his site) wrote for a cool mag (mentioned before) and is a overall nice guy. Now he's married, has children and like the title says, he lives in the burbs... un a certain "Wang shaped" state (I'm sorry).

Go there to see what you might be like in 15 years.... All two of you that somehow wind up here from Knife Of Simpson.

Monday, April 22, 2002

Hey! Do you like Web radio? Well, if you don't do something about it, it won't exist much longer. Thanks to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and Copyright Arbitration Panel (CARP) it may go effectively out of business.

Anti Digital Millenium Copyright Act website


"The DMCA was passed by congress in 1998. The DMCA provides a means for record labels and recording artists to collect a copyright fee for the use of recorded material when used on the internet. These fees are in addition to the fees that are paid to ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. The DMCA is being used to silence researchers, computer scientists and critics. Corporations are using it against the public. Public/College radio stations can no longer afford to webcast."

In a nutshell CARP will make it cost prohibitive for internet radio to exist. CARP fees will be based on per song PER LISTENER!!!! That doesn't even include the BMI and ASCAP fees that these station are paying already. The record labels are using the argument that these royalties are going to go to the artists. I have my doubts, but that's not the issue. The cost, according to a NYT article, will be 0.0014 cent per song per listener. At 100 listeners on average, with an estimated 12 songs an hour, over the course of a year the annual fees will be over $14,000. This is in consideration of the fact that THESE STATIONS HAVE NO REVENUE!!!!!!! These are hobbyists, or tight budgeted college stations! While I'm not at liberty to say what WZRD's budget is, let's just say is a huge chunk and we don't web broadcast anymore. Did I mention these fees will be RETROACTIVE dating back to 1998!

As a musician I know how difficult it is to make a living playing music first hand. I’m still in debt over the CD I helped pay for over four years ago. But the notion put forward by the RIAA ( see Steve Marks letter to Salon) is laughable, that any significant portion of CARP fees will go to artists. The RIAA has never it it’s entire life ever had any interest in helping small labels and artists receive the royalties they speak of. The sole goal of the RIAA is and always has been the financial gain of their respective members. The fact stated by Mr. Marks, that many web casters pay large sums for hardware, etc. to broadcast is absolutely right. However the majority of these people are doing this as a hobby that they love. This act will affect, more often than not, the little guys. They can’t or won’t be able to afford the additional cost of the fees incurred by the DMCA/CARP arbitration. Most have a hard enough time getting the money they spend for bandwidth, hardware, etc. These people just want to provide an alternative source for music other than the tight and rigid format that is corporately owned commercial radio. In fact half the time these tiny little stations BUY THEIR OWN BLOODY RECORDS!!! Commercial radio stations don’t have to do that, they get them for free from major labels, and even have a deal worked out where the labels pay the radio stations, a.k.a. corporate radio owned "legal" payola scam promotion companies known as "indies". Mr. Marks, lawyer for the RIAA, phrased his letter to Salon that they are dealing solely with the Clear Channel and Infinity Broadcasting conglomerates of the world. Most webcasters are in fact small stations have no revenue whatsoever. Most of them also play a large variety of music, like unsigned and independent label artists (could be why RIAA wants web radio dead?) The radio stations that do make income get the majority of it off banner ads attached to their website to offset infrastructure costs. I have yet to hear of a internet station sell commercial air time (I’m sure they are out there, but very few).

Save Internet Radio! Go here to find out what to do.

SAVE OUR STREAMS! Another good source of what to do.

All you gotta do is find out who your Rep and Senator is, copy the form letter by clicking here and then click Take Action, and send it to your respective Representative and Senator. Click here to find out who your Rep is and where to reach him/her.

I can't gaurantee that this will make the difference, but if you don't do anything web radio is gonna be all but dead! More later, back to work.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

The optimod is working again! Tune into WZRD Chicago, 88.3 fm. It helps to stick your crappy little boom box in a window somewhere to get decent reception, assuming you are on the North Side yo!

Actually I am fudging this a bit - our optimod has been swapped with an older, and therefore weaker, but functioning model. When we get our own optimod fixed and returned, our reception should be even better than it is now!

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Do you think your average Republican even believes in global warming? Or that it has anything to do with the wasteful SUV our great nation feels it needs to drive? Generally speaking I'm not refering to the average GOP Rep. in some North Shore suburbs or some other affluent area like that. I mean really, do you think Pres. Bush thinks that greenhouse emmissions and the global warming trend is something dreamed up by a bunch of tree hugging hippies, or that it is most probably because of our infinite appetite for carbon emmiting fossil fuels? Apparently Shrub wants to fire Dr. Watson because he's not telling the administration what they want to hear (/www.salon.com/tech/feature/2002/04/05/global_warming/). Don't like what someone is telling you, then fire them and get somebody else that will.

This is part of a larger trend though, and I've been seeing it more and more in so many different areas of life; from the Middle East conflict, Social Security, domestic policy and our foreign policy. People see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, believe what they want to believe and block almost everything else out. I'll come back to this later, it's just a nugget to chew on for now.

I remember reading in some newspaper some time back, the newspaper interviewed someone in the Christian Coalition who had said something to the effect that "once all the tress are cut down that Jesus will come back and renew everything!" Do you think that's what our President believes? I'd really like to know. I mean I'd go along with it, but only if you can get Jesus to make a special cameo appearance before the second coming. He'd have to show up on the White House Lawn to show his support for Shrub in the signing ceremony of the "Fuck the Environment - Complete and Total Consumption of all Natural Resources for our God Blessed Economy" Act of 2003. That Christian Coalition quote is almost as good as the one I heard made about aliens a few years back. Some churchgoer had asked their pastor or priest about Jesus and his relationship with aliens, and his response was "Well, if there is intelligent life not of this planet, then we have to assume, based on the New Testament, that Jesus died for their sins too......" Did you hear that America! Jesus died for the sins of ALIENS TOO! I digress.

Once again in Chicago we have gone directly from Winter to Summer, with record highs in the 80's in April. It was snowing two weeks ago. Two weeks...... It'll probably get cool again, but we dont even have winter in Chicago anymore. I didn't grow up here, but many have told me how bitter previous winters have been, and quite honestly the last 5+ winters have been relatively easy. Well, at least when the polar ice caps melt and cover 90% of the exposed land there is, we can look back and say "Our economy was great 1999! I owned a huge gas guzzling car so eveyone on the block knew I could afford it (or had the credit anyway)! It was worth it!" This is assuming you can afford a boat to live on when the caps melt submerging every city except maybe Denver.....

Actually if you think about it this might be part of the strategy for the GOP. Most cities and urban areas tend to lean Democratic, the majority of of the more liberal cities are on the coasts (NYC, San Fran, Boston, Seattle, etc.) Automation will replace the need for cheap labor. Those poor bastards would just be living off the fat of the land, sucking up social services, so let 'em drown! Hey, it's just a theory.....

Friday, April 12, 2002

PARANOIA IS TIME CONSUMING


I'm not a paranoid person but I decided in this age of identity theft and hackers that it might not be a bad idea to take steps to be a little more private. It's just that I thought I was really gonna stir the pot, be political and cause some controversy. So far my posts are tepid and music related, but that should change in good time.

So anyway, in the interest of privacy, I created a pseudonym (in continuation of the KOS thing, check out my favorite local cock rockers at www.knifeofsimpson.com ) got an email account with the same name to prevent someone tracing my email back or something like that, etc. Let's just say that being paranoid and lazy are not compatable. I've alread goofed by emailing thru my regular email to a couple of people etc. This is not to say that I fear any of those who I've written, just that I'm finding this kinda thing to be a real hassle. And now I have something like 4-5 bloody email accounts, which I must check periodically just in case someone wants to write me. All because I was striken by paranoia for a short while.

FYI - I will post music reviews here but only the really good stuff that I get excited about. I helped start a new project thru WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM. We've decided to start reviewing albums on line for all to see. The website is as follows;
wzrd883chicago.blogspot.com
The reviews will be a bit haphazard. The site has three purposes (1) to get WZRD members to be aware of what other DJ's know about what is lurking in our backcatalog, some 26000+ albums currently (2) to let the public out there know what's up in the music that we have been getting etc. (3) to give indie bands some press they can quote, or to see what we thought of their album. There won't be any order, just whenever someone feels like it they can review an older album or review something we got in the mail recently. If you see CD, LP or a number, just know that's for the DJ's and the catalog at the station. The reviews will be somewhat brief, somewhat descriptive, not too judgemental unless we're generally positive, and (hopefully) not pretentious ala Spin/Rolling Stone. I've never been the same since I saw a review of a Danzig album in Spin. The reviewer took a swipe at the Misfits, said Green Day was better, and oh yeah, HARDLY EVEN MENTIONED WHAT THE NEW DANZIG ALBUM SOUNDED LIKE! I hope that fucker is writing obituaries in some free weekly newspaper in backwoods of Arkansas or something.

I gotta admit this blogger thing is amazing. We've been talking about this for over a year with no movement. 10 minutes on Blogger and I got it up already. College dj's are lazy....

Thursday, April 11, 2002

The third sign of the apocolypse has manifested itself - Ozzy's been invited to the White House....

http://www.salon.com/ent/tv/diary/2002/04/11/osbournes/index1.html

I just gotta say King Buzzo of the Melvins deserves to be knighted, or cannonized by the Catholic Church, or something equally as prestigeous. Hostile Ambient Takeover is amazing! It comes out this coming Tuesday. Very heavy and yet still experimental and just outright weird at times. The Melvins have to be one of the most prolific and consistently great bands this side of Guided By Voices. They put out more albums in two years than Boston has put out in their entire career! It seems like hardly anyone is paying attention to them cause they're old, and yet they just keep on making ass kicking metallic rock thats still challenging for themselves and their listeners. Why other metal bands can take a lesson from these guys is beyond me. The cursed Melvins labor in college radio geek obscurity putting out the best albums of their career in the past few years while bands like Disturbed and such crap out turds that shouldn't even float and yet sell millions. How do the hell do they do it, 18 years after they started the band? Listening to H.A.T. reminds me I also have to buy The Maggot . Only the Melvins would be insane/brilliant enough to kidnap Leif Garret from drug rehab to sing on a recording of Smells Like Teen Spirit (I guess it wasn't kidnapping, they gave him like $100 for it). David Yow and Hank Williams the III, those drunked bastards, both played on (The Maggot) too. Kudos to Mike Patton on yet another brilliant move in picking these guys up for his label Ipecac Records.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

FYI - couple of great articles in most recent GQ about (the one with Katie Holmes half naked on the cover);

1)The State of the Music Industry - can't remember the exact name of the article, but it had to do with the fallout of the great promise that the web had initially for the music community. It's actually pretty insightful, and it also reiterates what a boob Courtney Love is (as if we needed reminding).

2)Attn. Gen. Ashcroft - GQ mentions how the whole right wing idealoge that the tow the line liberal establishment has portrayed him as, while somewhat accurate, being played up or hammed up to make Ashcroft the punching bag to keep Dubya clean. I can't say my opninion has drastically changed about him, but it was insightful and eye opening - the article gets supporting evidence from none other than Liberal Extraordinaire Democrat Senator Feingold that the Patriot Act was more the Bush Administration's idea. Apparently Ashcroft reached out to Sen Feingold to discuss modifiying the Patriot Act to keep it from completely trampling on the Bill Rights, but Bush/Chenney called it off. Ashcroft took the blame for being the anti-civil liberties guy, making Shrub look like the "moderate" and making the AG look like the bad guy (even if Bush signed it). Its the old good cop, bad cop routine. No one should be surprised at this, but it does open your eyes to the political strategy the current administration is using in order to achieve it's goals.

By the way I haven't had the time to figure things out in order to post links and my email account, so I'm putting it in a post for now. You can email me at -

palmerhaas@yahoo.com

Unless you know me well I'd love to know someone is looking at this blog, by accident or otherwise. You may be the first (besides myself of course). No need to write anything complicated, just say I was there....

On the web, no one can here you scream......

already a new name for the page - I like this one much better! A couple of tidbits -

New Melvins album rocks - Hostile Ambient Takeover is great, although I've only heard it twice. Did I mention as a DJ you get to review tons of free music? More detailed review later...

According to my girlfriend H&R Block is giving a discount to NRA members and/or giving donations to the NRA when you file your taxes with them. This means that I'll be going to Jackson Hewwitt this year.....

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

DJ's Needed!


I guess the only people that are gonna see this, in the begining anyway, are those who've been bitchin @ KOS. My posts are getting a little too lengthy so I got my own blog to bitch on. I used to think this thing was a bit self indulgent or exhibitionist... I guess that makes me an exhibitionist too? Blogs can be used for good and evil, so I'll try to be constructive... for now.

WZRD 88.3FM Chicago NEEDS DJ'S! Quite badly I might add. Only requirement to be a dj - be a student @ Northeastern Illinois University. You only need one class to maintain stuudent status, and NEIU is cheap - a three credit course is $368 (or at least that was my bill last semester). I know that's not chump change for a struggling musician or starving artist, but the learning experience is worth it. You can always figure out a way to parlay the radio gig into something that may be beneficial to your musical career too.

If you're thinking our reception sucks right now, you would be right! Normally we have almost as much range as WLUW but since our optimod is "sick" (important radio thingamajig) our signal is very weak. It will be fixed real soon (or so they tell me) so our output will once again be able to reach over 2 million listeners. Only about a couple hundred are listening at any one time though, maybe thousand on a good day. It's college radio - what do you expect? I can get the signal in my car in Wheeling on some days, and it's quite easy to get good reception almost anywhere on the Northside of Chicago and the really close suburbs (Evanston, Niles, Skokie, etc.) as long as you put the antennea of your shitty little boom box to a window nearby (thats what I do in Logan Square, comes in quite nicely).

Last time I checked every shift was open Mon - Fri from about 2am to 12pm, and I think Mondays are open from 2am till 6pm (or even 8pm, I'm doing double duty right now). Last I heard 12-4pm on Sat was open. I think we have some primetime / late night available, you just have to check with the programming director. I know most people work 9-5 jobs, so these shifts may be difficult, but someone (Toilet?) said they worked as a waiter. This might be perfect for you, as well as anyone else who doesn't work typical hours. 26,000 albums and you can play whatever you want! Registration @ NEIU will be over soon, new semester starts sometime in May, so you may want to get on that if your interested. Email palmerhaas@yahoo.com if you are curious...... By the way if you see this and don't understand what free form radio or want to be a commercial radio disk jockey in training this is probably not for you.

Even if you don't want a shift I'm always interested in suckering people to show up to my shift (6-8pm on Monday, 12-3:30 every other Sunday). Your opportunity for shameless self promotion! Who wouldn't want that?

testing!