Friday, May 31, 2002

Point Three - Is Anybody Ever Gonna Get It?



There is no way I'm going to finish this point in one post, but I'll start it here and now anyway.

I was initially going to title this "Are The Conservatives Ever Gonna Get It", but after some mulling it just seems wrong do indite all conservatives on this. Its prejudicial and biased. Not every conservative thinks the exact same way. It just seems that I haven't seen much argument on the right for doing what I proposed earlier, which is to be completely self sufficient in our oil consumption. The Nation Review, Andrew Sullivan, etc. all seem to be saying the same thing.

The essesnce of P3 is basically are people gonna get the fact that we fund terrorism thru oil? I know I'm not the first one to say this but my first thought after the anti drug commercials in the Super Bowl, linking drugs to terrorism was that the commercial should have been talking about Oil, not drugs. Oil does more to fund terrorism, and make this country a target for terror.

We cater to oil producing nations led by theocracies and dictatorships - they hate our country but the love our currency. If you really want to send a message to those Islamic extremist nations we need to stop sending them our money.

Despite what anyone says there are many alternatives that exist now, that aren't in the testing phase either. Some are in production right now, like ethanol made from corn. By the way, we subsidizie corn because we produce so much. Wouldn't it be better to use the marketplace? Instead of giving corn farmers money to produce an overgrown crop you could increase the demand for corn, killing two birds with one stone. No need for subsidies, better prices for corn for farmers (and agribusiness behemoths, admittedly) and greater sulf sufficiency for energy.

I am not saying that ethanol will solve all our energy problems BUT look at the energy market for cars, its ALL petroleum based, save for some very small niches right now for stuff like natural gas and ethanol.

For example - Many companies drill and refine crude, but they all use the same substance. Want real competition in the energy market? Start mandating that a certain percentage of cars run on fuels other than oil. E85, 85% Ethanol and 15% oil would be a good start (yes, it still has oil, but it's an improvement of our current situation!)

I tried to buy a Flexable Fule Vehicle (FFV) Ford Taurus that could run on E85 and Gas. Unfortunately they are too expensive and horribly fuel inefficient. Instead I drive a 1991 Honda Civic. It gets good fuel effiiciency but I still send about $1.50 to the Saudis every time I filler up.

More later...

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Is there hope for Rock and Roll? (or at least commercial rock)



I was up at some ungodly hour (before 5am!) this morning because of the unbearable heat that has retaken the city of Chicago. I'm not complaining, we actually got a real spring, and it was cool at moments for which I am thankful for. But now steamy summer weather will be the norm until about late September, and I have yet to put in the AC units in the window.

Unable to return to dreamland I popped the TV on to see if there was anything worth watching. MTV2, which can be mildly entertaining, shares it's broadcast signal with some other cable access/infomercial/international programming station on channel 28. It starts MTV@ 11pm? and ends it at 6am.

I started to ponder how bad "alternative rock" could get. This thought was mainly ignited from watching a video by some band called Default, whose absolutely awful sound is just like that of Creed's, and that's pretty bad, when you sound like a knockoff of a knockoff. Before I could finish my thought the video for The Hives "Hate To Say I Told You So" came on, totally screwing up my train of thought.

We've had the EP from the Hives at the station for a while now, it was the teaser for "Veni Vidi Vicious". I thought it was great and played "Main Offender", as well as "Hate To Say..".

My first thought was that "The lead singer has the same haircut as the frontman for The Strokes, doesn't he", which was quickly interceded by the thought "Is Alternative Rock Radio actually getting better?"

Now mind you "alternative rock radio" still sucks immensely, even if they are playing The Hives or The Strokes. A couple of bands will not change my impression of how bad it is. But even a dead horse will bounce if you launch it off a 20 story building, so it's possible that it is slightly better than it was 3 months ago, mainly because it was so god awful and had nowhere to go but up.

So is this possible, that there are three bands on commercial alternative rock radio getting airplay that are not only tolerable, not only decent, but actually good? I never went gaga over The Strokes the way most of the critics did, or your average hipster still looking for salvation on commercial radio. I will confess however that they are pretty good, and I've caught myself humming a couple of their tunes.

But just a few weeks ago The White Stripes "Fell in Love with a Girl" (the third band) started getting regular airplay on Q101 (lousy alternative rock station in Chicago, their frequency occupies the last spot on my preset in my car). Add that to the other two aforementioned bands, that's gotta be the creme de la crap of what alternative rock radio has to offer.

I feel this might be a fluke, but you never know. Not that I'd spend any more significant time listening to commercial radio, but maybe it is getting better, or they're hiring the right people to judge what is worth putting in the rotation list. Maybe cooler people at record labels are getting more cash to promote the right bands. Maybe someone fucked up and alternative rock will go back to sucking ass again real soon. It's nice to know someone is noticing how bad commercial radio is (NPR, Salon, ABC News and other major news sources have all recently done features on the new payola problem that at least contributes to making commercial radio suck so bad) I don't know if it will make a bit of difference but who knows, weirder things have happened.... all this musical mastabatory talk leads up to -

Record of the Week



Fantomas - The Director's Cut

I hate lists but if I had to make one for best albums of 2001, Fantomas’s The Director’s Cut would be in the Top 3, if not #1. Fantomas are basically a supergroup, members being Mike Patton (Mr Bungle, Faith No More), King Buzzo (The Melvins), Trevor Dunn (Mr Bungle) and Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer). The name apparently comes from a series of pre WWI French crime thriller novels, where the protagonist, Fantômas, commits really heinous crimes.

All the tunes on the album are covers of movie music, and the whole thing is amazing start to finish. It blows me away to hear metal drum demigod Dave Lombardo play Henry Mancini's "Experiment in Terror" with a gentle touch and feel of a jazz master. The album can be hysterically funny, strangely experimental, utterly gorgeous and down right creepy, sometimes all at the same time. It can be way creepier than anything any black metal band from Northern Europe can ever hope to be. One of the last tracks is amazing, Slayer fans will be satiated to listen to Fantomas blitz thru a cover of "The Omen (Ave Satan)". You must hear this album.

Point three coming tomorrow, stay tuned.....

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

I have to apologize - I've been outta town (in NYC area visiting family), the ISP @ work is down, among other obstacles too trivial and idiotic to mention. I tried to post from home but it didn't work on netscape.

So I'm way behind on my blogging. I wasn't even done with point number two.

Well what I was trying to say is all the current conditions in repressive Middle Eastern Arab States, the ones that many conservatives are bitching and moaning about (see referenced article below), were just as they were then under ReaganBushCo as they are now. After all the bitch slapping we got from our oil/drug dealers during the 70's, ReaganBushCo re-established our national addiction to foreign Oil. Arab states called America the devil then as they do now, they fommented Anti American sentiment in religious settings then as they do now, they called for the destruction of Israeli then just as they do now. And WE SAY NOTHING, we just continue to send them our money!!!!! You can't reason with religious fervor, but you can cut their cashola supply! These very mosques are indirectly funded by the gallons you as an American regularly put into your car (hey I do it too, but I at least drive a fuel efficient vehicle). Saddam funds his weapons of mass desruction with oil profits from your gas guzzler! Iran, Kuwait, they all hate us and they all get a shitload of our money. Great way to strike back at your advesary.

So this has been going on for 20+ years and the best thing your average conservative can do is blame Clinton! We were at least talking about heading in the right direction UNTIL ReaganBushCO. If you want to blame Clinton it should be that he didn't do anything to get us out of the prone position we were put in thanks to ReaganBushCo. It's like ReaganBushCo. pulled down Uncle Sam's pants and spread his cheeks wide, and Clinton didn't say anything about it because we were too busy having a good time. 9/11 was an unavoidable and inevitable mess that was coming, we were going to get a dick in our ass sooner or later. Clinton's short term successful M.O. was to not rock the big boat, not make the call for serious sacrifice. "It's the Economy Stupid! Don't tell the Big Three that they need to stop making gas guzzling SUV's." This is what happens when you compromise core Democratic values.

Check this one out in US News referenced by a practically giddy Andrew Sullivan. Yeah, that's right, that's what we should do Andrew, send our troops and nationalize the oil fields in Mecca, drawing the hate, enmity and ammunition of the entire Muslim World. Fucking Brilliant!

Let's not reconsider other options like STOP SUPPORTING THEM FINANCIALLY! That would be too easy!
Don't stop sending billions of dollars to this tiny represive country, or all the others that do the exact same thing.
Don't consider other fuel sources like ethanol and liquid hydrogen.
Don't make the motion to move towards conservation.
No, let's send American Men and Women to shed their own blood and Muslim blood to punish the country that has been given first priority on sucking the huge teet that is the American Marketplace.

More later.....

Friday, May 24, 2002

Point Number 2 (continued from previous post)


As I was saying previously the whole "what did the Pres know pre 9/11" blame game is a little over the top, whether your a Dem ("It's Bush's fault!) or Repub ("It's Clinton's fault!). But answer me this; How does Reagan and Bush Sr get a free pass when this is a mess of their creation?

Case and Point - between the OPEC Oil embargo because of our support of Israel and 1980 we got bitched slapped multiple times by our resident oil/drug dealers in the Middle East. Three separate Presidents, including Two Republicans, Nixon and Ford, and Carter, said we need to be self sufficient in our energy consumption. Point is we couldn't trust then (and can't trust now) outside forces to provide us with unlimited affordable oil. This is why we took measures after the embargo of the 70's to get off oil, so we weren't subservient to people who don't approve of our politics, whatever they may be.

What Happened? Reagan and Bush, that's what. As soon as Reagan got into office he cut all energy programs spearheaded by Carter, took the solar panels off the roof of the White House and we as a nation resumed our petroleum drug habit, crawling back to Our International Dealers, specifically the theocratic repressive regimes in the Middle East. We went from trying to reduce our energy consumption and become self sufficient to pissing it away on roving tanks. We also sold away our ability to make sound foreign policy decisions when we resumed our oil habit. The main reason this probably happened is an Oil man like Bush Sr. was now VP, and then Pres. I have no research in front of me, but I' bet my right nut that the Oil Industry made huge contributions to both of Reagan's Presidential Campaigns and Bush's first successful, second failed Presidential bids. The Bush family and associates have close business relationships with these regimes ad their associates.

An awful lot of conservative websites (I'll start citing examples later) seem zealous in their bashing of these repressive government. And they deserve to be trashed - theocracies like Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, and many of the other Middle East Nations fomment hatred of American ideals and all we're associated with. They have school textbooks talking about how Jews make matzoh with the blood of Christian and Muslim children, thay talk about our brazen sexuality and indulgence in drugs and so on and so forth.

Ya know, the funny thing is all these aforementioned countries economy are based on one thing Our money! or more specifically Our oil consumption! We send approxiamately 10 cent for every gallon of gas we purchase to Saudia Arabia. That's a shitload of dimes a day. And for all the bullshit that BushCO send Saddam's way, the country that is second in oil sales to the US is IRAQ!!!!!!

Take a wild guess where that money goes? Into the hands of a lot of people overseas, but some of those people include Islamic Extremist who see the USA as Satan. They sure hate our country, but the LOVE OUR CURRENCY! They think everything we do is evil, but they have no problem taking our money.

(There's more coming... it's too long, can't do it all on lunch hour!)

Thursday, May 23, 2002

McCarthyism is alive and well



Caught some of Politically Incorrect last night, one of my favorite (but soon to be dead) TV shows. That schmuck and liar Bill O’Reily, The Nuge, Elaine Boosler and Rev Al Sharpton were on the panel.

That evening's first discussion topic was "Is criticism of the President unpatriotic?"

I have three points to make, but since my blogs are getting to be too damn long, I'll do one a day, how bout that?

The first of three points to mull;
1) Why is it that when a conservative criticizes a liberal it goes unquestioned, even defended as crucial to what democracy is. But when its the other way around, especially when Democrats criticize the President, the stereotypical conservative knee jerk reaction is to begin waving the American flag and start chanting "What a bunch of Commie Pinko Liberal bastards! You are all traitors!"

Despite my default democratic leanings and my great displeasure in having Bush Jr. as President, I don't think it's fair to use this whole Phoenix memo as proof that Bush knew before hand. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, and this little memo hardly proves any of the theories put forth by the people who have watched one too many episodes of the X-Files. I also think using this as political ammunition in the coming election, be it Presidential or otherwise, is less than honorable, even if politics isn't all that honorable to begin with. Even if you do blame Bush, then it is only fair that you really have to attribute at least some of that blame to Clinton as well. This could have easily happened under Clinton's watch, and odds are Al Qaida started planning 9/11 while Clinton was in office. If there is a mess it's in the CIA and FBI, and things have been the way they are in those respective departments of government for a long time now, even before Bush and Clinton.

But why is it that when any liberal American, 99.9% of whom love and deeply care for this country and its citizens, for all of it, good and bad, have to reprove their patriotism every time they say something the conservatives don't like, moreso in the current political climate? Why is it that Liberals have to constantly answer this charge every time we question the President. Its like conservatives have a monopoly on Patriotism? Sometime I think Senator McCarthy never really died. After 9/11 some conservatives idealouges just had to point the finger. Some conservatives had to go so far at the end of the liberal spectrum that they had to drag out Noam Chomsky, (a guy that your average suburban soccer mom liberal has never even heard of) as a way to somehow indite the entire left wing of America. This is despite the fact that just about everybody in this country, liberal and conservative, was in favor of retaliation.

If you take a look at this days old post on Get Donkey in regards to the criticism of our President, you'll notice the political posturing by Democrats wasn't really very harsh at all, at least according to the sources cited by the getdonkey. What's aggravating is if you get accused of being unpatriotic you need to jump threw hoops like a dog in a circus, reproving your belief in the ideals of this country. It's like the confessional for liberals, where instead of Hail Marys you need to say the pledge of allegiance and sing the national anthem umpteenth times and preface everything you say with "I love this country but..." when you want to criticize American policy. When this happens the disclaimers become a distraction, and the actual issue at hand never gets addressed.

Why the hell should Liberals have to kowtow to this bullshit? When the hell are mildy critical questions asked gonna be answered?

So on PI instead of discussing what the President knew, the liberal end of the panel and Bill Maher had to defend the idea of questioning of the president, and give a goddamn lecture on the definition of democracy and how dissent is part of democracy, and nothing could be more patriotic that participating in democracy, and on, and on, and on. They never got to discussing the actual issue at hand. Maybe that was the point of the discussion. It's still aggravating.

For those who don't know Senator Taft (Ohio-R), THE quintessential GOP conservative Republican of the 40's / WWII era criticized Roosevelt and questioned the US going to war only 12 days after Pearl Harbor . This bullshit has got to stop. I could go on about the double standards forever but it would just get silly. I wish YACCS was still taking new clients, but they aren't so please do me this favor, email me why you think this situation is the way it is. I'd like to know what you think. I'll post the most interesting comments on the site ASAP.

Points two and three tomorrow - it's gonna get ugly....

I just added a counter so I know how many people have seen the site. While I'd say half of the current count is me checking the counter, the other half is other people, eyes that aren't in my head! Anyway it would be really great if you'd email my pityful ass to let me know you've seen it, have a comment etc.

Email me, make my day!

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Rye Coalition - On Top

Once upon a time Girls Against Boys made an album called House of GVSB...And it was good. Very good. There was something special about them. They were, as Savage Cochryde puts it, "the Best Cock Rock Band Masquerading as Indie Rock" (BCRBMIR) They rocked hard, making songs built from simple ass kicking riffs that satisfied the AC/DC loving adolecent in me. And yet they had enough weird stuff mixed in to keep the pretentious indie rocker in me from being embarresed by indulging in the guilty pleasures of my youth. The vocals were sleazy and sexy, their was lots of feedback, and they had the ultimate indie rock mark of validation: They once had a member of Fugazi among their ranks. That's pretty hard to beat.

After being signed to a major I thought they would be alternative rocks last chance at salvation. Instead they released Freakonica, an album that sounded like disco with guitars. I was most dissappointed.

I haven't heard the new GVSB, but quite frankly the crown for BCRBMIR should be taken away and given to these guys. Rye Coalition rock like AC/DC with a healthy dose of Fugazi and a little bit of other classic rock too. The Steve Albini production does everything right to this recording and then some. The songs have hysterical sleazy lyrics and funny ass titles like "Stop Eating while I'm Smoking" and "Stairway To The Free Bird on the Way to The Smokey Water".

Front man Ralph G Cusegilo's almost Guy Pichoto-like scream totally masks these outright cock rock glory anthem lyrics;"On Fire/I think I'm burning for you/On Fire/Watch the flames get higher" (off of the tune One Daugter Hotter Than One Thousand Suns). Spinal Tap is jealous and preparing a class action lawsuit as we speak! Their angularity throws off the cock rock swagger just enough to make them sound just indie enough. The crushing riff at the end of "Stop Eating...." continues to kick my ass every time I hear it.

These guys are from Jersey so if your out East keep an eye peeled, dry clean your leather pants, and warm up you neck muscles before you go out. If you don't, you may have to call out for work the next day from a sore neck. All that headbanging you will feel compelled to do will not feel good the next morn.

Don't believe me? Ask anyone like these guys or maybe these guys or maybe over here too. Or just hear them yourself at this site.

If you haven't heard me say it eight hundred times over, I work at a college radio station. I take one class so I can do a show and stay hip like the kids. Not to mention have access to a killer music section, not have to buy CD's anymore (I still do, but only the really good stuff I must own). It also allows me unlimited access to a computer with a T3, so if I were to theoretically download porn, I could do it faster than a speeding bullet. Not that I've done it before or anything - it's just that I could... if I wanted to.

After two years of DJing I feel it is my duty to let those who don't know about all the great music out there, especially if you can't get a college radio station or don't have the ability to listen to thousands of records etc....

Periodically the music press decided to collective jump someone's jock and give press disproportional to that respective act's record sales. They generally rave "So and So is amazing, they're reinvigorating/ reinventing music, they are so great, you gotta hear blah blah blah". Guilty parties of the past include the White Stripes, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Reverend Horton Heat, Tortoise, Pavement, Sleater Kinney, Sigur Ros, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the Spins & Rolling Stones of the world do this. Whether it's coordinated or not, these bands deserve some of this attention that is normally wasted on the likes of the stuff that curently chokes up the commercial airwaves. I like all those aforementioned bands, at least to one degree or another. BUT this tsunami of glowing press reserved for the indie flavor of the month sometimes crowds out other excellent acts that also deserve to be noticed. Maybe they don't have IT, whatever IT is. So I'm going to do my best to let you know what you might be missing by posting a record a week. So here it goes.....

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

More Trivial Bullshit


The Cheyn-ster says another terrorist attack is inevitable, Rumsfeld's saying that terrorists will inevitably get nukes, and I am trying to figure out how George Lucas will plug the plot hole that (I think) I've just discovered in Episode III.

I have yet to see the Attack of the Clones, but a random thought just jumped into my head at work today - How is it that Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader does not know that Princess Leia was his daughter? Remember, Darth only finds out after Luke's mind betrays him when Darth reads his thoughts, during the final battle in the Emperor's throne room in Return of the Jedi. Just do your best to follow me here. It seems pretty silly to worry about it now, and it may be tied up in the third movie, but there may be a huge plot hole here.

In Return of the Jedi on the moon of Endor, Luke asks Leia what she remembers of her mother (obviously Luke's Mom as well). So how is it that Leia was in Darth's clutches twice (Once in Star Wars, once in Empire with Han at Cloud City) and it didn't occur to Darth that this Princesses Mommy is the child of someone he used to knock boots with? I know that Luke and Leia didn't know they were related, but Leia knows who her mother is, so couldn't Darth do the math?

[inside Darth's head] "Let's see, I was shagging Amadila roughly 30 some odd years ago, this girl looks 29 years and 3 months old, her mom is my former live in girlfriend.....I know I have a son...."

Don't Princesses have a famous mother generally? Did Princess Amadila go into hiding or remove herself from public life after giving birth? Being royalty is not earned of course, you need to have a Queen Mommy, last time I checked anyway. Wouldn't it be a well known fact that the kid is his, or at least well known that her mom was Princess Amadila? How else would her royal title be earned?

One way it could be hidden is Princess Leia is told her Dad is someone else. This would help, but it wouldn't answer how Darth would know about Luke but not Princess Leia.... Was he told that Princess Amadila had only one child? Vader knows he's got a son with this woman, and Luke and Leia are roughly the same age. Was the public deprived of the knowledge that Princess Amadila had a child, were they told at a later date so they could sort of fudged her age, throwing off Darth? It's just all so confusing.

The end result in Episode III would have to be as follows - Anakin / Darth Vader knows that Princess Amadila is pregnant or has a son, that it's his, but he knows nothing of the daughter. Well, at least Princess Amadila has a daughter but Darth Vader is led to believe that it isn't his, for whatever reason (that comment about the fudging of her age, the dates etc.). Princess Leia also has to be led to believing that she isn't the daughter of Anakin. Hell, maybe she doesn't even know who her real mom is, ya know? Maybe she's adopted by another Princess! I'm just brainstorming here.

Princess Amadila can't tell Leia that she is the daughter of Anakin or the mother that raised Princess Leia is not her real mother, but she's still a Princess. This is still confusing. The only thing that throws this off is the scene in Return of the Jedi, where Luke asks Leia what she remembers of Mom. I don't think it's presumptuous to say that Lucas was insinuating in that scene that Luke wanted to know about the Mom he never knew, his mom, her mom, they're real Mom. It could be a red herring on Lucas's part (doubtful) a goof that was overlooked (more likely) or something else entirely.

I've never seen this posted anywhere, so if you've seen it somewhere else, let me know. And if you haven't seen it elsewhere, somebody better start chirping about it on the Star Wars Web boards for goodness sake! Literally millions of disgruntled computer programmers all over the world will have upset stomachs, aggravated by this terrible plot hole, and it will agonize geeks for generations to come. I used to be one of those geeks - actually I still am, I just agonize over totally different things now.

Next week I'll show you how a 4th level mage can take on two Beholders at once WITHOUT the fireball spell all by him/herself with the newest rules in the latest edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons!

While on the Star Wars trip I saw this very scary article about Star Wars and contemporary politics linked by Slate. It seems silly to agonize over a fictional movie and it's political implications in relation to the real world. There is so much unseen and unknown, at least in regards to the movies, the fictitious Empire and The Rebellion, etc. All I know there are some genuine fascists working in some Right Wing news publications out there. How you can justify depriving people of their rights to govern themselves is ridiculous.

The author makes parallels between the UN and The Intergalactic Senate. Granted the UN does work pitifully slow, but democracy is not very fast. The whole unanimous vote thing in the UN does make things difficult, but democracy is never easy. It's just that it's a better alternative than being deemed an enemy of the state by those in power who have no accountability to the public. Those people could arbitrarily decide that the best way to deal with your personal beliefs is to separate your head from your body. Another thing - our rep at the UN is not voted on, they are appointed by the President, which does not seem the case in the Star Wars universe. If anything the WTO resembles the Empire after the Senate is disbanded in the Star Wars universe. Again it's just speculation, you can't really compare a fictituous organization in a movie and compare it to a real one.

However the author of the article calls Pinochet a "relatively benign dictator". I was listening to NPR just two weeks ago, listening to a man talk about the trauma he suffered from torture, how his pregnant wife killed by Pinochet militants. Is that what conservatives are calling benign now? Being physically and mentally tortured for organizing a union is benign? The article goes on about how "At least you could do business with him" attitude, comparing Darth Vader and Pinochet. It's good to remember what some conservatives priorities are; making money, international trade and establishing capital for the Trade Federation (or the WTO) being more important that basic human rights, like freedom of expression, ability to earn at least a meager living etc. The columnist is probably just trying to piss people off, which is why I'm not going into a tirade, but you still gotta call people on their shit.

Sometime I feel like John Goodman's character in The Big Lebowski, in that scene in the bowling alley where he pulls out a gun and starts screaming "Has the whole world gone fucking mad? Am I the only one sane around here?"

Sometimes I wish that I was just like Walter, that I'm the one whose fucking nuts. It's just that it would make me feel better, to know or find out that what I think I'm seeing is completely wrong, and the whole world is not going to hell in a handbasket.

Oh, and one more thing, Have a nice day!

Monday, May 20, 2002

Since all my posts are getting to be too long, I am going to make a concerted effort to put a couple of smaller posts on the site. Shorter blogs, more often, I hope. Just don't hold your breath.

A friend from out of town visited this past weekend, so in an effort to see what was going on about town I checked the net and came across something that, while trivial in light of the current scary climate we live in, was nonetheless sad.

The Lounge Ax was a legendary club in Chicago. Then the effects of gentrification, or rather the assholes that gentrification brings with it brought it to an end; some yuppie resident moved into the new condos in the same neighborhood and started to complain about the noise, this despite the fact that the club had been there for years before this schmuck had moved in. It's Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park for heaven sakes, party central for native Chicago!!! Your paying extra for all that nightlife, that's why your condo is so expensive dumbass!

So The Longe Ax spent money to better insulate the place but it seems like this guy had a vendetta, because he'd complain to the cops even when the club had no band playing. They ran into some trouble, but the bar was so well regarded, supported and loved that they put out a Lounge Ax Legal Defense Fund CD to raise $ for legal fees. Really well known indie rock bands like Archers of Loaf, Guided By Voices and Chicago's own Shellac and Jesus Lizard contributed. Long story short there was a lot of hoopla and legal troubles with the City and then some investment banker bought the building and told the owners of the Lounge Ax "Six weeks and you're out".

Well, after being vacant guess what took it's place? The Grammercy, a fancy bar for all the post collegiate Frat boys and Sorority Girls, just what Lincoln Park really needs, as if the white hats didn't have enough places to get drunk, brag about how much they're making, and drool while ogling women with cheap fake tans. It's a sad sight.

You can read the story of the Lounge Ax's final night here as well as a little bit of background.

Also I came across this blog, it's quite entertaining. Enjoy...

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Do me a favor; please tell me what Steve Forbes Jr's most significant accomplishment is, save being the first to hit the jackpot when he was shot out of his daddy's flesh cannon during his conception?

No really, email me please, at palmerhaas@yahoo.com!

I saw him this past sunday (I'm a little behind in my blogging) giving his spiel as to why Elliot Spitzer NYS Attorney General is just a political opportunist looking to parlay his media exposure into good PR for a potential run at office in the future. I have one thing to say - SO FUCKING WHAT!

I've become a real political junkie in the last two years or so, watching the Sunday morning shows on a regular basis (Forbes was in ABC). I believe it was Hunter S. Thompson who said that "Politics can be better than sex." I'm not about to pass up nookie with the girlfriend so I can debate with some diamtetrically opposed idealouge, but I do day dream a lot more about ways to spread good will in the Middle East as opposed to spreading Miss January's -wait a minute, my girlfriend might see this! ( It's just a metaphor honey, I swear!!!!!)

Bottom line is Mr. Forbe's best defense for Mr. Blogget's folly was (I'm paraphrasing here) "Yes, the investment firms were cheerleaders but we all partook in the overly optimistic rallying on Wall Street" Does the word cheerleading now mean when you tell you bosses and associates a stock is a dog, and yet encourage your clients to buy? Thus putting more money in your own pocket from fees, and trying to inflate the hopes of the companies your investment firm has lent money to? Is cheerleading a synonym now for LYING!!!!! Should we change one of the Ten Commandments to "Thou shalt not CHEERLEAD?!?!?!?"

A bunch of investors, from the very rich to your average middle class Joe (that the GOP desperately needs in order to maintain their current white house status), trusted a well paid someone to give them intelligent and unbiased advice where to put their money. This someone (Henry Blogget) knew that one of the stocks he was recommending (specifically Infospace) was terrible, and yet encouraged those clients to invest in the same stocks his investment firm was dealing with (loans, etc.) Those clients lost their tailfeathers. Naturally they are very angry. Even some legislators are recognizing the conflicts of interest in the current environment on Wall Street (not enough to do something about just yet).

So Mr. Steve "My Daddy was rich so therefore I'm qualified to run for President" Forbes Jr. wants to convince Sam Donaldson and America that this serious conflict of interest is no reason for us to get overly excited, for ambitious legislators to try to boost their career by introducing legislation to prevent Americans from losing their retirment fund, their kid's college fund. Would it be so terrible If Elliot Spitzer, political opportunist or not, used this fiasco to further his own career if he nailed a liar and forced better legislation for the SCC? Don't punish the liar, let's just call out the Attorney General for trying to punish the perpetrator. Let us all cry a collective tear for Corporate America and the super rich now, shall we? God forbid there should be laws preventing this from happening again. It might impede on the marketplace! Lying good, government oversight of marketplace bad.....

Everything I'm about to rant about is grossly generalized and presumptious, maybe even a little unfair but I'm saying it anyway - Why is it the part that talks so much about the Moral Decline in this country is so eager to defend lying when it comes to commerce, the market or corporate abuses?

Why is it the GOP loves to talk about responsibility when it's so eager to shuck it off for their contributors? Credit card companies who send me 50 card offers a year won't have to take responsibility for giving cards to bad customers (there's a bill on the table in the Senate to change the bankruptcy laws and the requirements for paying your credit card debt) You the consumer are completely responsible. The CC Companies? They got lobbyists, so they don't count.

Grandmothers get evicted from Public housing should their granddaughter be arrested with drugs. Students now lose federal aid for college if they have record of drug offense. And yet according to Mother Jones we award huge Government contracts to companies that regularly violate federal work safety laws. For them there are no consequences or responsibility. Grandmothers are made responsible for others actions. Big companies who break work safety laws? They don't count, cause they have lobbyists.

You know I could live with the fact if the GOP just fessed up the fact that their whole personal responsibility thing only hold to those who can't contribute to GOP political campaigns. Just tell the truth, that's all I ask!

Whie I lean heavily to the left, I think the biggest problem that plagues our political system is lying and hypocrisy. That goes from Democrats and Republicans. I think their should be a law that no politician, whether elected or just a candidate, or even a CEO, can hold a press conference unless they are doped up with Sodium Pentathol. The President should be required to give the State of the Nation hooked up to a lie detector. We should take the seats normally reserved to our elected officials and give them away to DC toursists, like the Price is Right. Phil Donahue should be running thru the aisles letting random audience members ask questions. What would probably happen is the frat boys in the back would ask stuff like "Dude, did you ever use you seat in office to get some action with two foriegn chicks?" or "How many lines of coke did you do at the annual Phi Kappa Delta Homecoming Party of 1971 at Yale? Legend has it you were swingin from the chandeliers man!"

I'll make sure to write my local legislator about that one..... Oh wait, he/she won't take my call, I can't afford a lobbyist!

Monday, May 13, 2002

"AOL is very respected for that relentless give-away CD campaign. Think of it this way, if each of those things cost $1 to make and send out and every 50 generates one customer, AOL probably generates a profit on that customer within 3-6 months. $50 to attract a new customer is cheap, especially when the payout is both a subscription and the advertising value of their eyeballs. They don't have to add any infastructure in for that new customer, they just use what's already there.....I think the reason they've lost $54 billion has more to do with acquisition costs, the decline in advertising post Sept 11, write-off of various assets (a new SEC rule says stock has to be revalued if it's price drops). Many things." - Rich of Subruban Limbo

When I started my tirade it was more speculation, although I was thoroughly convinced that AOL Time Warner had in fact lost nearly a billion in sending out millions of free CD's. If I get four CDs in the course of seven months and all of America is as well, and there are hundreds of free givewaways at Kinkos, it just seemed logical. However all one has to do is check out the article on CNN (the one I linked) to see that I have no idea what I'm talking about or I'm making stuff up. It's funny, because I wanted to broach that subject, but I wanted to do some research before I posted. To keep it simple there sheer amount of total bullshit is so overwhelming you could drown.

Bottom line - make sure you take everything with a grain of salt. The great thing about the net is you can say whatever you want. The worst thing about the net is you can say whatever you want. If the Flat Earth Society can exist and have a website to try to persuade you to their point of view, then people can believe ANYTHING!

Here's a great example - despite every scientific organization on the planet saying that the environment in going to hell in a handbasket, there are groups like the Greening Society . Well that's a nice name isn't it? The must like trees and plants and such, right? At they say that things are not what they seem, that the environment is getting better because of SUV's! It's those liberal tree hugging hippie doomsayers that never bathe and smell like patchoullie, they're the problem!!!
Or our wacky European Neighbors always screaming about something to bitch and moan about when they're just jealous of our economy!
Or those nutbars at The Sierra Club!
Or those Pesky Nerdy Scienists!
Or those annoying whale lovers at Greenpeace!

Forget all those people. The one person you SHOULD be paying attention to is this ONE GUY FROM from Denmark! Listen to him, he knows everything! All those people that have debunked his analysis on extinction or global warming are full of shit! Never mind he has no professional experience in regards to environmental science... Just ask Andrew Sullivan, noted environmentalist! He'll tell you Bjorn knows everything!

My point is anyone can get on the internet and say whatever they want, and that BS can be restated as fact, with little or no consequences save some hate-email from some rankled web surfers. People see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, believe what they want to believe.

One thing item of note - Guess who bankrolls the Greening Society? You don't think that Energy Companies with BILLION$ at stake would be biased in their view of the environment?

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

The Real Reason AOL Lost $54 Billion

$54,000,000,000.00? That wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that I get a CD for 1000 free hours of AOL internet access in the mail every three weeks now, would it? I got one last night and started thinking, "Didn't I just get one in April? And March? And January?"

I will say this - those CD cases make great holders for the mix CD's I've been making at the radio station! I've taken to using the CD's they sell in bulk sans case and putting them in the harvested AOL plastic cases. There's a plastic sleeve that you can use to slide in a printout of song titles of the tracks on the CD. Thanks AOL Time Warner! About a month ago I got a metal tin with a CD, instead of the plastic case with sleeve. At first I was dissappointed but then started thinking - make a cover for the CD, print it out on contact paper at Kinkos, making it a sticker to put over the AOL graphic in front! Pretty snazzy now, huh? I'm the Martha Stewart of college radio and junk mail! Coincidentallty Kinkos has all those free AOL CD's they hand out, so I may have to grab about ten of them next time I'm there. They might not have those nice cases though, I can't remember. Now that I think about it the CD's might be packaged on a cardboard backer with shrinkwrapped plastic.

The owner of a coffee shop that was also a DJ would use the crappy CD's we'd reject as coasters in the shop. Not indie bands mind you, only when we'd get 15 copies of Cher's new single, that kinda stuff. If you saved all those AOL CD's I bet you could make houses for the homeless or something like that. Not homes of course, but maybe they could be crushed and used as insulation or some other building material; they use old tires for insulation in "green" constructed houses sometimes. What a bloody waste. All those CDs amounting to $54 Billion (well, at least part of, at least a billion I bet). That loss means they made no profit, meaning you the taxpayer will have to cover for AOL's brilliant marketing strategy. Better go to Kinkos and grab some insulation, uh I mean CDs to get at least something for the extra tax burden.

Hypocrite of the week: Pat Robertson



Before 9/11 I had slightly moderated my view of Jerry Fallwell. Save your bile, I am not saying I liked him or agreed with him. I just didn't hate him anymore. Two things happened that changed my mind; he met with Gay leaders (I'm pretty sure, I could be wrong) and I saw him on Politically Incorrect. His demeanor made me think "Yeah sure he's Self Righteous Born Again Christian, but he's not totally hopeless." His PI appearance made me think twice about him. He just seemed like he truly believes what he says and does his best to live his life that way. That's more than I can say for a lot of preachy religious leaders. I've seen too many of those people act like "Since I go to Church/Synagouge/Mosque and Pray when I'm supposed to and keep all the other special laws I am exempt from all that other humanity stuff like treating people with respect". Call it moral relativism, it's just my personal philosphy. If you walk it like you talk and take the whole package (everything in religious doctrine, not just the technicalities and such) I can at least respect you on some level.

Well, I guess I can't be surprised by what he said after Sept. 11th, but I was dissappointed. The thing that bothered me was Falwell became the primary target when he had what I saw as a more guilty associate. Falwell apologized, even if he his a dope and a boob.

The tie in is here -Pat Robertson, Falwell's partner in crime- It just seemed like Pat got off easier in the major press and liberal political groups, he garnered less public humiliation. I've always seen that guy to be an evil bastard hypocrite. Jesus glorified poverty and yet this guy revels in his wealth. I'm telling you he's evil!

As if I needed hard evidense, just see this one - Pat Robertson owns a racehorse, a story from the Tampa Trib. Even though Pat says gambling is a sin, owning a racehorse isn't. Since he's not the one betting on the horse he sees no conflict. What Would Jesus Do? Apparenlty bet $10 on Holy Blowhole to Win.

Credit to This is Hell link farm RIGHT NOW, definitely one of my favorite places for news . You gotta click the right now button, I think it's hyperlinked so I can't link directly.

Monday, May 06, 2002

The Coup (subject previously mentioned)



You know I broached the whole coup thing but never went into detail. I'm trying not to be self indulgent but I started it so I might as well finish it.

Our Student Government had a coup... Bloodless, the closest thing we have to a military is the state police that roam the hallways here. Long story short our current president lost the election to a new political party (yeah, we have parties, can you believe that shit?) The current president did it to himself in the fact that he pissed off an extraordinary amount of people in his dicatorship style of running SGA. Well he lost the election and wasn't too happy about it. Get this - he called a meeting three hours before the election was to be ratified, but only told the senators that he had helped get elected. He never told his opponents. Our SGA Pres. found a couple of bogus violations in the election process. He had appointed the election committee, the group that was supposed to be the impartial judgement body, and asked them to vote on it. Big surprise, they found the opposition (the guys that had won) guilty. He disqualified them, and since he came in second he declared himself the winner. It was like something straight outta the Nixon administration with Iran and Chile, or Reagan with the Marcoses in the Phillipines.

Is this how it happens in third world countries? You appoint the "impartial" judges, you call early meetings with only your cronies present to vote on issues, you skirt laws.... I never gave a shit about SGA while I was working on my bachelors, but now this asshole has a direct affect on the budget of the radio station it concerns me. When you stage a coup in a country people usually protest, stand up, but less than a quarter of the students give a shit. That's why the whole thing is so comical, this guy pulled a coup and nobody in the school cares!!!!!

It concerns me even more because we at the radio station are about to impeach the bastard. Some were a bit nervous about this procedure but when he lost the election some station members got ballsy. Then the coup happened. I kept saying to members when I found out about the coup "Tell me I am on my bed high on acid! This is a hallucination, right?" He had numerous violations at the radio station, but he had used the administration of the school to skirt our club rules and played the race card as well (he's African-Haitian) He used the race card in the election process too, this despite the fact that of the four major positions for SGA one was one by an African American and another a Hispanic. The other two are white, but for fuck's sake they're immigrants, they have accents!!!!

It's weird for me because my whole life I've considered myself a very liberal person, and generally empathize with minorities. I've never been accused of being a racist. It's odd because the station plays Public Enemy, King Sunny Ade, Fishbone, Bad Brains etc. We love everything, and we're a huge proponent of diversity and music from all over the world. The station plays Free Speech Radio News and Democracy Now, very liberal and diverse news sources.

I rarely use the word evil but this guy is truly evil. Apparently he's thinking of running for Alderman. That was one of the violations at the station, he used our airwaves to further his stature in the community by promoting his political beliefs and himself, and slandering a potential opponent. It's just so hard to believe.

Last time I heard the Student Supreme Court had deffered to the Adminstration. The chief justice is a DJ at the station and felt that he would compromise himself by ruling. I just pray that the School Adm. hands down a fair ruling. Anything less than negating the overturning of the election will be an insult. I've been told that if he tries to cut our budget the school will intervene. Looks like we are going to proceed with the impeachment.

I don't know what to do right now. I'm not that worried, but I am concerned. I don't pray because I don't believe in it - not as a tool to affect the outside world anyway. Prayer is for yourself, not God ... I'll touch on this later, I'd rather not spout my philosphical beliefs on God in this post. I don't know exactly what to do except voice my opinion to the school Adm. If you have a brilliant idea, email me, I'm listening!

Friday, May 03, 2002

I guess I'm going to have a couple of new visitors courtesy of Suburban Limbo. This site is relatively new and I have little knowledge of HTML to make a swanky page just yet, but I'm working on it. Do your best to ignore the egregious spelling errors that have now been archived forever on the net. The current page is fine, but the link to the older story in the archive in regards to the DMCA / CARP post has got some major errors. I corrected them, but this is what happens when you start a page April 30th, post and published at 11:30PM, and continue to work on it till 1AM the next morning. I don't know what Rich teaches, but it's probably english and he probably had to keep from gagging to see such poor grammar. Let's just hope he took his high blood pressure pills that day.

Rich of SL called me by my real first name, Jared, but I've been using the psuedonym Palmer Haas to satiate my paranoid side (it's in an earlier post) Once you get on someone's hit list they dump an extraordinary amount of hate email. This would me a major setback since I have more far important emails to get to. The last thing I need is some agitated idealouge cutting into my valuable time alloted for downloading swedish porn! Ask anyone maintianing a politically one sided site.

I don't want to be a link farmer either, but I have a new favorite site, Roll Call, a government monitoring mag. Check out the story about Republican Pages getting a smack on the hand for smoking reefer (it's the fourth story down). They wont receive any real punishment - justice is only for liberals and the poor. However the Pages have been offered internships by High Times! Everything really does work out in the end! A credit to Illyich Lennon of Knife Of Simpson (chicago's favorite cock rock band) for this goldmine of info. The devil really is in the details.