Column

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Easy Ed's Broadside

Exploring music without a map.

Since 2009, Ed has shared his thoughts on ND about music that touches him, and rambled hither and yon about what else is on his mind.

Does It Matter That Loretta Lynn Supports Donald Trump?

You answered the headline question with your first paragraph Ed, I agree with everything you said except for a celebrity endorsement being the lowest factor on the totem pole, which in my case would not even be on the totem pole. I no more look to musicians for political perspective than I do to politicians for musical ideas, though circus music would be a good soundtrack for this election.  

Amen to that Ed...the music is one thing, the personal politics another...I've never voted for anyone because someone famous stumped for them...while I wouldn't personally vote for Trump, there is a pervasive feeling out there that moneyed interest has purchased most candidates, and the Congress...people are fed up with establishment candidates on both sides but particularly the GOP (although Trump's coalition is made up some folks that are just haters too)...that to some degree explains both Trump's success and Bernie Sanders still having legs...Hillary is seen as establishment too...Wall Street likes her because they know what they'll get with her, she's the devil they know versus the one they don't know...some people like Trump just because they think he makes the establishment nervous...I'm not sure why Loretta likes him, but I agree with Pete Seeger...not talking to people you disagree with doesn't help.  A good friend of mine who I agree with on most things political recently posted on her Facebook that she was not only going to "block" friends who posted things she disagreed with politically, but she was going to "block friends who had friends" who posted things on her friends' pages that she didn't agree with...I have several close friends and family members who I don't agree with at all politically, so I guess she'll be blocking me...that's no way to go about understanding how we got here...I doubt Loretta is a racist or anti-feminist...somehow she's able to overlook that aspect of Trump, but you'd have to talk to her to know why that is...Gore Vidal once said, "It makes no difference who you vote for...the two parties are really one party representing 4% of the people"...I think a lot of people currently think that the 4% Vidal references is too high.  Somehow they think Trump is not part of the 4%...somehow they think he's one of them or us, whoever that group is...all I know is I apparently am not part of them or us...

Politics aside, and pardon my language, Trump is the loud boasting asshole you hope you don't get stuck sitting next to on an airplane.  He is a walking talking buffoon of a cartoon.  He's brought to you by the wonders of Reality TV (although this election cycle seems much more surreal than real). 

 

 

Your comments Jim bring up a big conundrum for me about Trump supporters. If they are so concerned  about big money polluting politics why on earth would they support one of the most corrupt, asinine, belligerent billionaires in the country? (Or in his case perhaps that should be ass-inine and belliger-rant.)

It's always nice to think that I could have a drink and hang out with people whose music I love. Sadly, that is not always the case. I try to leave politics out of music as much as I can just for that reason.

I'm a Loretta Lynn fan, but I've always been troubled by her politics--she can speak her mind, apparently, but the Dixie Chicks can't.  Whatever, Loretta.  Your wrongheaded views don't change the way I hear "Fist City"  or "The Pill."  But the Trump thing would definitely put me off going to one of your shows.

With the passing of Merle Haggard and this topic I can't help but merge the two and think about "Okie from Muskogee".   Politics and music can make for strange bedfellows unless, of course, you agree with the sentiment expressed.

In my original draft of this column I actually had two paragraphs on what Merle had said about Trump and in a nutshell he didn't support him. When he passed away yesterday I decided to delete his words because I felt it would be a distraction and it didn't really speak to the core of this conversation. 

I read in a Merle Haggard obituary today that in 2003 he told No Depression magazine, "I was dumb as a rock when I wrote 'Okie From Muskogee.' I sing with a differnt intention now." Too bad Loretta Lynn probably won't live long enough to come to the same realization about her Trump endorsement.

So, right after reading this article I came across a Facebook post from Joan Baez where she states her admiration for Bernie Sanders and gives her endorsement for him. I was appalled by the amount of people calling her names, saying her "music sucks", and  being downright mean and stupid with their responses. I find that interesting when compared to this essay and its comments section where people are able to separate the politics from the music.

Although celebrity endorsements have no bearing on my political views they do affect what I think about the celebrity. Especially when it comes to musical artists and songwriters in particular. A songwriter, like a poet, is speaking from mind to mind and soul to soul. When such a person can make judgements supporting such an obvious asshole as Donald Trump I can have no respect for anything else that person may think, say or write. That's why I'd never buy a record by Ted Nugent, Ray Stevens, Hank Williams Jr or Charlie Daniels. I'll now add Loretta Lynn to that list so I'm glad I hadn't already bought her new album which I was considering until now.

I couldn't agree more Dennis.  I'm willing to disagree with friends or celebrities. I'm Pro-Choice with Pro-Life friends. An agnostic with friends who attend church regularly. But Trump?  And his political precursor Sarah Palin? Seriously?

There you go, willing to disagree with friends...speaks to Easy Ed's Pete Seeger quote in the article...politics is a dirty business...the best people in that arena come out so soiled and compromised that it is hard to identify them after a while..."one has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer to be a politician, ready, and willing to see people slaughtered, sacrificed for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or a bad one"...Henry Miller.

Thanks Jim for quoting my guru Henry Miller. It was so refreshing to read some of his wisdom especially after reading the celebrity athlete references since I've never even heard of them. Do you know the source of that Henry Miller quote? I don't recall it but it could be from almost any of his writings. My favorite quote of his is, "On the meridean of time there is no injustice. There is only the poetry of motion creating the illusion of truth and drama." (from his classic novel "Tropic of Cancer") I try to remind myself of that in the midst of this absurd Presidential election.

It is from "Conversations with Henry Miller" 1994...good quotes and exposition from Henry...

That quote is a great one...Henry Miller will unlock your mind...hardest thing about him is you find yourself reading over and over again...he was such a great writer and yet on some levels such an unapologetic hedonist... I am happy with my life but I do at times wonder about living like he did...the artist who best embodies Miller is Eric Andersen...that guy has followed his muse where it leads regardless...

Have you heard Dan Bern's song, "Marilyn" in which he admits that Arthur Miller is one of his favorite playwrights but wonders if Marilyn Monroe's life would have been happier if she had married Henry Miller instead. Good question...

The four time bankrupt businessman is NOT running for President; he is running for attention.   His candidacy – for a job he doesn’t want and knows he has no chance of winning – is one big reality show extension of his brand.   He has no convictions and doesn’t believe anything that comes out of his own mouth.   Our problem is many people took him seriously from the start.   His opponent in the primary though is a true believer and with his brand of Sharia law, he is the one that is dangerous.   

As for Loretta, I can’t say that I’m shocked, SHOCKED that a person who was born in a small town in a part of the country that seceded from the Union, had little schooling, was married at 14, wrote songs about fighting the women who consorted with her cheating husband and stayed with the cheater till he died, would support someone who provides easy answers and wants to keep the “imegrant” out.   In fact, I suspect many of the sacred cows we worship on this site would be on the clown’s bandwagon too if they were around today, or maybe I missed that picture of Elvis with George McGovern.  

Our choices are always based on emotion that we try to rationalize logically, so I’m sure that endorsements have some effect, even if it’s subconscious.   I’ll admit that I was itching to pull the lever for Bill Bradley for President in 2000, not only because I read his book, find him a brilliant thoughtful person, and agree with a lot of his Politics, but I won't discount that I'm probably influenced by him being a former Knick who was a key part of two championships.   If Carmelo Anthony can lead them out of the hole they are in now, I’m not sure that my adulation wouldn't sweep him into the White House.    I draw the line with Patrick Ewing (“Sure NBA Players make a lot of money, but we spend a lot too”) but that may be because he lost in two finals.   Maybe I’d support his run for Congress, but certainly not the Presidency.   

Well written...I believe it was Louis CK who said Trump was a guy with a hole in his heart that he trys to fill up with money and power, and he'll never get enough...as you said, he's building his brand and tweaking a bunch of other rich guys who've sunk a lot of their money into buying influence in Washington..."It is the wrtechedness of being rich that you have to live with other rich people"...LP Smith

Cruz is dangerous...

Bill Bradley was a brilliant guy...

Patrick Ewing?  Is he running for office?  Those were the days..."Hicks vs Knicks"...Spike and Reggie...

   

If you have Netflix Jim, watch the ESPN 30 for 30 on the Knicks/Pacers rivalry with Reggie Miller.    Good stuff...and even though the Knicks never won a championship, it was fun times.

The Reality show star may be a rich guy, but I think it's easier to have money when you don't pay your bills.    

   

I saw that the night it first aired, and have watched it (or parts of it) several times since.  My favorite quote is when John Starks is going to the free throw line and he still can't believe the game is tied (the one where Miller made a 3, pushed Greg Anthony down, retreats to the 3 line and sinks another one)...he says, referring to all that  "did he just do what I think he do?"...that is eloquent, and of course he went on to miss the free throws.  Great show...all the stuff with Spike...good times.

Yes, Mr. Trump takes advantage of all the loop holes, bankruptcy law, and says it is simply "smart business"...that's what guys like him do...that's how they stay rich...

 

I loved where Mrs. Starks confronted Ewing about smacking her son when Reggie Miller got him thrown out of the game and Patrick told her he'd do it again if Starks ever let Reggie get back into his head. 

As far as being rich, I think we could handle it Jim.  I agree with Teyve in Fiddler  on the Roof when told that money is God's curse - "May the Lord smite me with it and may I never recover"!    Till then, I guess I'll work for a living. 

Thanks for the theater reference "Rudyjeep...you are an NYC guy... I love NYC... I do lots of theater...directing 1776 this year...I am from Indiana, but you are speaking to me... I could do better than Trump with $$ too but I will be fine regardless..so will you and the ND crowd...

 

Bingo, Rudy.  Except Carmelo Anthony isn't leading the Knicks anywhere, and not just because Big Chief Triangle hasn't built a strong roster. He's not the guy, he's the guy The Guy needs to have.

 

 

I'm not as down as you on Melo, Jack.   He can be the guy if he has a couple other pieces.  After all, he's the only one who made Jim Boeheim look like a coach instead of the recruiter he really is.

The Knicks issue is the owner.  Among other things, he brought in one of the best managers of talent in NBA history and gave him 60 million to build a team, something he has never done before.   Managing talent isn't an easy job and I'll give Jackson credit for that, but I wouldn't call him a great coach because he had 4 of the top 50 players in NBA history on his teams.   He didn't go out and get or develop Jordan/Pippen or Kobe/Shaq.  

But I may be all wrong.   The reason that the failed Casino owner is resonating with people is because he is "not a politician" and is someone untainted by the "establishment".   I've always thought that experience matters.   According to the logic of the times, the Knicks didn’t go far enough by bringing in someone with no General Manager experience.   They should have brought in someone who has NO basketball experience at all.  Isn’t that what this political year is all about?  

Well put...perhaps Dolan will be Trump's running mate...then you can have two rich guys who are both jerks and know nothing about policy run the country...

Succinct analysis of both the political and athletic arena!

Steve Kerr is no dummy.  Carmelo and Dolan on the one hand,  Steph Curry and a playoff roster in CA on the other, not a hard choice. In Chicago we have our own conundrum, Derek Rose.  

Deep dissatisfaction on the left and right with each's party leadership and elected officials combined with a lousy set of choices from both parties equals the shit show we are enduring right now. Had both parties been cultivating and developing a deeper pool of candidates and fresh ideas, neither Trump or Sanders would've had a snowballs chance.  It has to be especially galling to arrogant, entitled, lecturing, yelling Hillary, with her "illustrious" career, that a 74 year old guy with deep convictions, a Johnny come lately to the Democratic Party, is giving her hard noogies at every turn during what she had to have felt was going to be a cakewalk to her coronation. Pretty sure Jeb! had the same attitude until he stepped back into the real world. Chris Christie's takedown of Rubio was priceless, efficient, dead on. Cruz is plain weird. What a fun bunch.

 

The thing about Hillary is that the very thing that makes her unsavory is what would probably make her the best prsident--at least of the sorry lot offered. Sanders is too nice and would be way over his head. As someone wrote into the Seattle Times, Bernie is exactly where he should be in the Senate where he can make his progressive voice heard but would be lost in the Presidency. He would be like Jimmy Carter--too nice for politicians to take seriously. Obama was that rare bird: a nice guy with enough intelligence and moxie to actually be a leader. If he hadn't been saddled with a fascist Congress no telling what he could have accomplished.

Man, do I disagree.  Hillary certainly knows the Washington dancecards; that's the problem.  She is completely bought and paid for.  As to Obama, the magnitude of disappointment in him is proportional to misguided hope on my part.   He, like Carter faced huge hostility from the "permanent government" and was equally unprepared to play hardball.  Sad to say the only Democrat in my adult/voting life worth a damn was LBJ and I despised him for the war.    Carter was so inept he served up Reagan on a platter.    

I know so many are disppointed in Obama but I still say no President could have done much with the Republican Congress that demonized him from the first day and thwarted everything he tried to do. Face it--our nation is so racist, and especially the Republican Congress who had the power, that he didn't have a chance and what he has managed to do was quite an accomplishment considering the obsticles. Yes, he could have been more aggressive but he kept trying to be reasonable and only this last year has he seemed to say to hell with it. I'll try to do it without fucking Congress. As far as LBJ goes, in retrospect, given his civil rights record, he was pretty admirable but just as Obama had the fascist Congress to deal with LBJ inherited that absurdly tragic war that we young, who the government was forcing to be cannon fodder and/or murderers, couldn't forgive anyone connected to the federal government of that era except for those few who actually condemned the war.

well, quite far from musiuc, but.  indeed LBJ's willingness to pursue the insane war was tragic.  (BTW, Ike, in his diary wrote in 1953, "if we allow a free election, Ho Chi Minh will win by 70 %")    

About Obama.  the way he did healthcare is exemplary.  First he sold us outto bigpharma, then he sold us outtobig insurance.  A literally 4 page bill would have been far easier to get massive public support; viz  page 1 anyone w/ a valid SS# is now covered by Medicare, page 2, all medical providers will accept medicare as full payment, page 3 any medical provider who refuses 2 will surrender his/her DEA prescription license (w/o which you can't be much of a DR), 4 all drugs sold within the US will be sold at the cheapest price the manufacturercharges anywhere else upon threat of voided patent within the US.  This truly would have meant, "you can keep your doctor" unless they are retiring.     Odds are with that plan he could have mobilised enough public support to ram it through and kept the House, but that would not have pleased very many of his contributors.    

 

Returning to music...was at a Bluegrass festival in Grass Valley years ago.  The Sunday afternoon closer was Ricky Skaggs, who gave a littkle comment from the stage against women'sright to control their own bodies.  Much as have enjoyed some of his music, we decided to leave.

You had the coach that I want now Jack but it won’t happen with Jackson running things.  

We put candidates through such a long, degrading process to be elected, is any surprise that many good people might not want to run through the gauntlet?  I've always thought that ultimatley, we get the Government that we deserve.  

People actually believe that something as trivial as Rubio drinking water while making a speech is is a mark against him and makes him less "Presidential".   If that is what disqualifies Rubio in your eyes, you’re not paying attention.        

Normally I would say no, but Trump is special.  It's hard for me not to lose at least a little respect for anyone (celebrity or acquaintance) who professes their support for him.  As far as music artists go, who they support is not going to stop me from enjoying their music, as long as I genuinely love it and the music itself doesn't reflect the views that I find noxious.  So I'll listen to classic Hank Jr., but pass on the new stuff.  Ted Nugent, whose '70s music I liked but didn't love and who I think is the worst of the right wing populist music artist lot, can fuck off.

those of us of a certain age can remember when the network broadcast of an awards show from the Ryman barely bleeped out a plug for George Wallace IINM by George Jones.   Later on the BeachBoys  supported one of the Bushes.   Too bad, but doesn't cancel the quality of their music.

http://www.newsobserver.com/entertainment/music-news-reviews/on-the-beat-blog/article70756557.html

Bruce Springsteen has canceled his concert scheduled for Sunday night at Greensboro, NC citing House Bill 2.

Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry – which is happening as I write – is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.-Bruce Springsteen

I applaud Springsteen for taking a stand against an evil bill passed (rammed through) by NC Republicans  (who want less government except in bedrooms and bathrooms)  that assumes LGBT  people want to use public restrooms to molest children. 

I can only assume they didn't see Spotlight?

I applaud Springstein onthis one.  

Me too...he lost some bucks and he isn't running for anything...

Hal ...this is Indiana last year...except the guys who had to back off RFRA are now passing more onerous legislation this election year to play to their base ... I believe this will be the end of them but you never know...

Well said, Ed. I don't let an artist's politics dictate whether or not I purchase their music or attend their shows. The only exception would be if they used the stage to pontificate their views. I'm attending their show for the music, not their political views. If they want to expound on those in an interview with a publication or media outlet, fine with me...go for it. But at a live performance, political views should be left resting comfortably on the tour bus.

It's a tough one.  Because finding out information about artists affects our opinion of them as people.  And if they're an artist whose person is a big piece of their art (rather than simply being an entertainer) it's bound to have an impact.  Overall - Neil Young's flirtation with Reagan aside - I'd never had an act I liked cross my imaginary line until around this time last year when Sunny Sweeney posted a picture of herself with Sarah Palin.

The FB and twitter comments were divided and to be honest I didn't read a lot of them.  But it was still a bit of a surprise and I think I probably listen to her music differently knowing that.  But does it matter?  In the end not much to me because Palin`s influence on the world and especially my bit of it is minimal - like Sunny having her photo taken with her mad aunt.

My reaction to Loretta was much the same.  I don't expect Trump to have much effect on me so stuff it.  US politics looks barking from this side of the Atlantic anyway.  So I'll keep on listening to both these acts but the song will be heard with different ears.

US politics looks barking mad from this side of the Pacific as well, but the prime minister of Australia recently adopted (more or less) a campaign slogan fron Veep so, you know, glass houses.

I love you, Loretta, but I can't stand Trump, so I penned this song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9Ti5ioETBg

 

TRUMP'S AMERICA

In a Trump t-shirt and a bright red hat

He stopped me outside of the laundromat

And said, "Howdy, brother, would you like to join our fight?"

 

He said, "We need to take this country back

From those godless gays and the brown and the black,

Can you help Mr. Trump as he tries to make things right?

 

"He's gonna build our nation a great big wall

And get Mexico to pay for it all

'Cause he's a businessman who knows how to get things done

 

"He’ll keep out the drugs and Mexican rapists

ISIS thugs and no-‘count papists

And make America safe for everyone”

 

And then that man in the red hat looked me straight in the eye and said, “Are you with us, brother? Will you help Mr. Trump make America great again?"

Well, I could barely contain myself, but I paused, took a deep breath, gathered my thoughts . . . and then I asked him a couple of questions . . .

 

Before you make America great again

Can you take a moment and remind me when

That greatness stretched from sea to shining sea?

 

‘Cause I know all about the Jim Crow years,

The Stonewall raid, and the Trail of Tears

And the strange fruit hanging from a poplar tree

 

Was our country really at its best

When internment camps filled the Great Northwest

Or when old man Daley busted heads back in ’68?

 

This nation's always worked well for some

But it’ll never be great for everyone

If it’s run by a man who encourages fear and hate

 

Well, that threw him for a loop

But truth be told, I was just getting started . . .

 

I said your man’s a bully and a carnival barker

Peddlin' fear of folks whose skin’s a bit darker

Than that crazy shade of orange that he likes to wear

 

Sellin’ Trump University class online

Along with steak, water, and vanity wine

And Lord don't even get me started on that yellow hair

 

And I won’t even bother tryin' to hide my scorn

About his crazy claim that there’s a Kenyan-born

Man in the office the he’s now tryin’ to win

 

So if two Corinthians ever walk in a bar

And ask how our nation has fallen so far

Tell ‘em President Trump was the guy who did us in

 

Before you make America great again

Can you take a moment and remind me when

That greatness stretched from sea to shining sea?

 

‘Cause I know all about Hoover’s FBI

COINTELPRO and the need to spy

On folks who fought and died just to be free

 

Was our country really at its best 

When you paid a poll tax and had to pass a test

If you were black and wanted to vote in a Southern state?

 

This nation’s always worked well for some

But it’ll never be great for everyone

If it’s run by a man who encourages fear and hate

 

So go vote for someone else before it's too late

Ed, your column about Loretta Lynn seems to strike a note with a lot of the readers and to me begs the question, "Are liberals more predjuiced than conservatives, or are we all just  people and people are apt to distrust those whose opinions and appearances differ from their own?"  I read a lot of comments and some are slanderous and even border on hate speach if it were not directed at white person.  

Loretta is an older person from the south.  As kids you do not get to choose your family or where you are born.  Comments from people you grow up with are ingrained into your psyche from birth.  I can certainly see how some of Trump's comments could ring true to Loretta as a child of the south in the early 20th century.  Is she going to sway the vote with her endorsement?  I think not.  All of us have choices about how we choose to spend our entertainment budgets and some may choose to not support her artistical efforts due to her political beliefs, I certainly make those choices, as I expect most do.  I saw Loretta last year on the lawn in Nashville.  You forget how many songs the lady has until she sits down and starts singing from her library.  Excellent show and one that I would recommend to anyone who appreciates music of her genre.

 

 

Rick and all, I, too, have attended a Loretta Lynn concert explicitly because she is a giant of the genre.  Yes, she was raised in a "different time and place".  So in many respects was I; the reason I like what we now call Americana is that I grew up hearing country music in suburban DC which was definitely the segregated South.   I have widened my view of how humans should behave in my nearly 72 years on this planet.   Neither Trump nor the dinosaurs in the NC legislature make the cut.    

@all: I do appreciate all the comments that have been left here. There have also also been over 100 comments left on No Depression's Facebook page. It's been an interesting mix of views on the topic, but there has also been a knee jerk from many that by me simply asking the question I was condemning Lynn. I was pretty transparent in my personal thoughts about Trump, and I thought I was clear about my belief in free will, free speech and dialogue between those with opposing views. So again,my answer is that of course it doesn't matter if the artist supports Trump...but with a personal asterisk. I won't be buying a ticket to her show and if I want to hear her new album it'll be on a free steaming site so as to offer up the minimum of compensation for her. But that's me...others who don't agree can do whatever they want. This was a column to challenge our political thought process with regards to the theme of this site; music and those that make it. Try not to make more of it. Or as we've often said here when comments were often lively...play nice. 

Van Morrison's embrace of Scientology didn't stop him being my all-time favourite singer. 

Mixing music and politics: I saw Jon Dee Graham last night and he mentioned Ted Cruz's Texas dildo ban (unfortunately the point of reference was NC's HB2 bathroom bill). Everyone laughed and Jon said, "I'm not kidding. Look it up." I did and no he wasn't kidding. You just can't make this shit up. The legal brief (Cruz's) compared the use of sex toys to "hiring a willing prostitute or engaging in consensual bigamy" and  "There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship." 

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/04/ted-cruz-dildo-ban-sex-devices-texas

This explains who Kevin Gordon was writing about toward the end of Cajun With A K.

"A midnight pink silicone rocket, landed on the August afternoon asphalt, still humming"

True...

What will we do...dildoes banned, and a blackout of porn in North Carolina (how will the guys that voted for that bill access their porn on their government phone now?).  Alas this is all true...

Does "consensual bigamy" mean the dildo wanted to get married? 

Excellent question...begs the point, does the dildo have any rights under our Constitution?   Is any of this covered by federal statute...?

Can the dildo in fact sue Ted Cruz?  Can we appoint a guardian for the dildo, or designate power of attorney to someone who has the dildo's best interest at heart?  These are all pertinent questions...good thing we are all adults here...

One joke, two different punchlines.

 

Ted Cruz version: A man goes to his doctor for his annual medical examination. The doctor says, “I’m afraid you’re going to have to stop masturbating”. The man exclaims, “Stop masturbating? WHY?” Doctor says, "There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one's genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship." 

 

Ian McLagan version: A man goes to his doctor for his annual medical examination. The doctor says, “I’m afraid you’re going to have to stop masturbating”. The man exclaims, “Stop masturbating? WHY?” Doctor says, “Well, I’m trying to conduct a medical examination!”

McLagan's version is much funnier, and begs fewer legal questions as well...just medical questions...

If the dildo was modified to hold bullets and a firing pin added, old Ted would not only be insisting that every American had a right to have one but that they should be carried openly. The adult industry is usually pretty quick to adapt so there may be something wending its way through the patent office as I tap the phone.

The "dildo open carry" law...makes you safer in pubic places!

Carry it openly, and get a holster courtesy of the good folks at Doc Johnson!

Isn't it dangerous enough that they're now making a gun that looks like a cellphone?  Sheeeesh!!

Yes...that is the sort of thing that the Secret Service used to invent in James Bond movies, but people on the street didn't have them...now that I think about it, the dildo gun will probably be featured heavily in the next Bond film...

I wonder if Ted enjoys Steely Dan?

Well done!  Lovely double entendre!!  Ted likely has a kink or two in his arsenal...guys like him always do...

On a serious note, I doubt Ted has read Burroughs...

I doubt Ted can read.

Well, somehow Ted managed to graduate cum laude from Princeton and was a star debater there.  I detest him, but to quote Marco Rubio, he knows exactly what he's doing.

Jack, are you suggesting he masturbaTED?

Ted's college roommate is having fun with his old buddy.

 

Kinda like a reformed smoker...

 

And with that the circle is once again complete.

Our work is done here.  

Only to be done again someday...it is inevitable...

All I need is the pic of Hal (or was that a Mr. Leitch?) with the green guitar...

I love that guy...he's merciless with TC, and he's got good reason...forced to live with him for a year in college...he's genuinely funny on top of that...

No, that he was a master debater.  (This was supposed to appear several spaces higher.  Oh well.)

Still glad you got it in...you do have to read the series of posts but if you do it's funny, and takes us back to the dildo that started this in the first place...

Easy Ed is not a dildo!  

Well I meant Cruz, but I guess Ed did start it, and the article is about Trump and Loretta Lynn, but that shows you how far off we can get...sorry Ed, you are not a dildo...

Just when I think that Trump is the worst joke to ever enter national politics you, Hal, post something  like this proving his challenger, Cruz, is a nut case every bit as possessed by lunacy as the Donald. I keep asking myself  how did our country get so creepy than remember such things as slavery and Indian genocide and realize our country has always been creepy, or at least half creepy. When many were denouncing slavery others were supporting it from their pulpit, thumping their Bibles and its references to slavery. As many condemned our treatment of Indians others justified their greed for their land by dismissing them as savages and even compared the killing of Indian children to killing a nit in newpaper editorials. 

As funny as I found these postings (and a satyrist would be hard-pressed to come up with anything as idiotic as their actual beliefs) another side of me is shanking in the knees at the possibility these dangerous clowns might possibly get elected. Some have suggested that condemning the supporters of these bad jokes is close-minded. Well, my mind will forever be closed to Holocaust deniers so I don't think that's such a bad thing at times.

(This comment should be way up in this thread right after Hal's posting of Cuz's anti- dildo rhetoric.)

 

 

It doesn't surprise me one bit that Loretta Lynn and Ted Nugent support Trump; he shares the same "values" and viewpoints as both them and their typical audience.  As for Ray Stevens, I wonder which was/is a hypocrite; the Stevens who wrote "Everything Is Beautiful" and "Mr. Businessman" or the one who wrote "Grizzly Mama" and "It's An Obamanation."  Or maybe he's just a cynical hack who writes whatever he thinks will sell at the moment.  Hey, it's a living...

(Though someone...wish I could remember now who...once said that when you're 10 years old you think Ray Stevens is a comic genius, but by the time you're 15 you realize he's just another stupid cracker...)

Ted Nugent = Nut Job.

Sarah Palin = Major Nut Job.

Kirstie Alley = Half a Nut Job.

Tom Brady = Questionable Balls.

Loretta Lynn = Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then.  (No pun intended).

Does her endorsement matter to me? No.

Is it a surprise? No.

Do I still like her music? Yes.

I learned a long time ago to keep an artist's work seperate from his/her politics, if I like the work and the artist.

So, Hap, does this mean you would also like a writer, say, who was a Nazi sympathizer? I loved French medical doctor and writer Ferdinand Celine's (1894-1961) novels that he wrote in the early 30s and Norwegian Knurt Hamsun's  (1859-1952) work like "Hunger" (1898) but when I later learned they were both Nazi sympathizers suddenly their writings diminished in my view even though they were written before Hitler raised his ugly head and nothing in those works would make me think they could admire such a monster. So I can still admire those novels but not so much the men who wrote them. Celine especially was a provocative cynic much admired by the Beats and Alan Ginsberg (who was Jewish of course) visted Celine in Paris in the 50s so his admiration for his writing obviously surpassed his hatred of his politics.  Still, I can overlook such opinions that far back in history easier than I can those affecting my life right now. As Bill Maher has said, Cruz would probably be the worst President in our history but Trump would probably be our last President period.

Way back in the day, when I was a History/Lit major, there were 2 major schools of literary criticism, aptly named (you can't slip enaything past lit people...) New Criticism amd Old Criticism.

New Criticism  dominated American literary criticism in the middle decades of the 20th century. It emphasized close reading, particularly of poetry, to discover how a work of literature functioned as a self-contained, self-referential aesthetic object. What was read was what was analyzed. The work stood on its own merit without any prior knowledge of the author, time of writing, psychology, etc.

Old criticism attempted to ascertain the text's  original meaning in its original historical context and its literal sense. A  secondary goal sought to establish a reconstruction of the historical situation of the author along with the history and culture of the times. It was important to know why an allusion was used, not just be familiar with the allusion itself.

So, to answer your question, Yes, I could read a writer who was racist, anti-semitic, etc. IF his writing were otherwise excellent from a literay standard. It can be argued, for example,that negative stereotypes of Jews were employed by prominent twentieth-century writers such as Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene, all of whom I've read, re-read and enjoyed.

As The Man said, "Always consider the source."

Right Dennis, time and distance take the sting out of an admired writer's bad political choices. A classic case is WB Yeats, whose politics veered towards Mussolini admiration (he wore a neofascist Irish blue shirt for a time) although he veered back away from fascism when the news of what Hitler was doing belatedly reached his aging mind.  Still, both Pablo Neruda and my favorite living left wing poet, former San Francisco laureate Jack Hirschman, have praised and defended Yeats despite his silly political posturings. On the other hand, Ezra Pound not only postured buy committed treason against the US. I really can't read his stuff for that reason.  Perhaps I am being inconsistent, but that is how I feel. Frankly, I suspect that dear Loretta has gone a bit dotty, or worse is pandering to her fan base. But take her music apart from that and it is still lovely. Now if she starts warbling odes to Trump that is another matter and I would reconsider. As for Bob Dylan, how can we judge such a mercurial talent by political standards?  I think for him it is the music, the songs, the weird old America.  But no please Bob do not endorse anybody! Nuff said.

Yes Bill, I have similar problems with the writers Louis-Ferdinand Celine (1894-1961) and Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) both of whom were admired by my favorite writer Henry Miller and I read their books with enthusiam until I discovered that they were both Nazi sympathizers. Even though there were no clues to these political leanings in the books I read they were forever tarnished once I learned this. Celine was also admired by the Beats and Allan Ginsburg could overlook his political views enough to visit him in Paris before he died. Even my guru, Henry Miller, in a couple of posthumously published very early novels has some disturbing anti-semitic passages but he grew out of that and ended up with many Jewish friends and lovers.

Well stated, Ed. Loretta Lynn is a national (and world) treasure and an artist who continues to thrive and inspire with her music well into her 9th decade. She has earned love, respect and admiration. Trump is a national (and world) embarrassment. He has earned nothing, stolen much, and had that tired old hack GE Smith as his "musical headliner" at his RNC coronation ceremony last week! Hillary Clinton had Paul

Simon, Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keyes! Trump is tone deaf.  He knows nothing about music, and more than likely does not even know who Loretta Lynn is. She does not need him, but if it comforts her to offer her opinions, likely based on what she imagines her audience is feeling, she is entitled to do so as a free American woman.  Not many of us would go to a beloved and venerable singer for our political ideas, would we? I wouldn't ask Bob Dylan to help me make political decisions!  We will all keep on loving her and looking forward to her new music! And wouldn't that chat over a cuppa coffee be grand? I hope it does happen between you and Loretta!

 

 

 

 

GE Smith.  Years back I wound up at weeknight show by a band called The Flying Other Brothers.  They had called the club the day before hoping for an opening, by coincidence a late cancellation by another band left the opening they sought. The pay was supposed to be like $100. The club figured they were a traveling group operating out of a van and just hoping to play, but couldn't offer them much as they were unknown and the show was on no notice. The band didn't care, said $100 works. Pleasant enough, not memorable, not for its music. The male singer wore tie dye and round glasses, longish hair.  His wife, I think, was in the band. They had GE Smith on guitar, and Pete Sears from Jefferson Airplane on keys. They loaded in a lot of fancy mixing and stage gear and when the club went to pay them they said no worries, the crowd was sparse, keep it. So there was lingering curiosity given the fancy equipment and higher profile band members about who they were. About a month later, I was on the beach reading the business section of the NY Times and saw a picture of a guy named Roger MacNamee with Bono and three other guys. The name MacNamee rang a bell and after a few minutes I remembered the band, that was the singers name, and sure enough the guy in the picture was the guy in the band.  Multimillionaire fund manager from the Bay Area. He and the guys in the picture were starting a third world development fund called Elevation (I think it was the fund name). So that explained GE Smith and Pete Sears, the fancy gear and declining the $100.  GE Smith was not the over the top ham he was on TV, he stood unobtrusively at the side of the stage and played tastefully, no physical or guitar histrionics.  This has nothing to do with Ed's article I know, but it was interesting when I put two and two together. 

I have long respected G.E. Smith as a guitar player and in fact was just listening the other day to a terrific live Buddy Guy release recorded with the Saturday Night Band plus pianist Johnnie Johnson. So to learn that G.E. Smith allowed himself to play for the Neo-Fascist Party Convention...(Oh that's right, they are still officially called the Republican Party)  was disturbing indeed and I have now lost all my respect for him. As for Loretta Lynn, I can't forgive her for endorsing Trump. Sure, she has the right to do so but that doesn't mean I have to respect her, listen to her music or have anything to do with her. Musicians don't influence my politics but their politics influence my judgement of them as I said earlier on this post.

Really interesting story Jack...I like GE's guitar playing...he played with Hall and Oates for several years too (without histronics), so did T-Bone Wolk and Shaun Pelton, all of whom later played in the SNL band too...I made a decision a long time ago I wasn't going to judge art by the artist's non artistic decision making...I still don't get all the faux outrage over the Dixie Chicks years back...do you like the songs or not?...that's what matters.  MacNamee is likely a crap guy, but I don't know what motivated GE Smith or Pete Sears to play with him, I have no idea what their situation is...likely a fat paycheck, maybe they needed the money...I know lots of musicians...they come in all types...some are very uninformed poltitically, some I know are obseessed with it...the thought that they'd all be of a left or liberal thought process because they are musicians is just not reality...some of my musician friends are very conservative...likely they'd be considered libertarians...they have guns, they want the government to stay out of their lives period...they might not vote for Trump, but they won't vote for Hillary...I don't talk politics with them...I still enjoy hearing them play...

The great actor Micheal Caine has appeared in some of the worst films ever...people say, why would he do that?  He said, "I make second rate movies to pay for my first rate livestyle.  I like limousines, expensive wine, and dinners.  and I have absolutely no desire to be poor...again"  In reference to a movie he made called "Jaws the Revenge" he said, "I've never seen it, but by all accounts, it's terrible.  On the other hand, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific!"   Jeff Tweedy talked about his dad once, who was a tradesman, and said that his dad would have been appalled if he found out his son turned down 6 figures from some company wanting to use his song in a commercial, so he thinks about that when someone comes asking,...artists are people too, and people just have different ways of looking at things...

the art is perhaps pure, but people aren't...you'd just be disappointed most of the time if you knew the back story...that's just life, it's not just art...

That's a pretty funny story, Jim, about Michael Caine, an excellent actor who has made some terrible films, but at least he's honest about it. (My wife can't stand him for what I consider superficial reasons but that's another story.) I used to be a little more forgiving when it came to politics following a live-and-let-live-to-each-his-own philosophy but ever since 911 it's been hard for me to forgive Republicans. And now Trump has incited my hatred to a degree that I feel anyone who supports him and votes for him is basically a traitor to our country so I choose to not listen to such people even if they make good music.

Dennis, I certainly understand where you are coming from and I respect that you are willing to make it personal and permanent...I think I try not to find out too much about artists, though most of the ones I've met have been pretty cool people...like lately I've been blown away by Michael McDermott...that Willow Springs record is amazingly good, those songs are stuck in my head, there's not a clunker in the bunch, I drove 7 hours back and forth to Illinois yesterday to see my daughter and I played that and nothing else...and I've bought a few others by him, and they are all great...so I'm not going to try to find out too much about him...I already may know too much...

I thought Caine's mercenary response was funny, and honest as well...

 

I remember thinking I did not want Cruzealot to win the nomination realizing of course that meant Donald T. Rump would!  I still don't know which "candidate" I find scarier. My one consolation with Trump  is he is not a Conservative and does not really give a shit about all the stuff the religious right "cares" about (for example-less government unless you mean bedrooms and bathrooms).  And don't forget that VP candidate Mike Penis wanted to force women to carry a fetus to term even if it had NO chance of surviving (and no I'm not talking about Down's Syndrome) or if the mother's life is at risk (preclampsia or an ectopic pregnancy). Right to life my ass!!!  

Was Hillary my first choice? Nope. But if anyone (except Putin) thinks Trump is good for America  I would question their ability to look at this election with any kind of rational thought.

Remember Florida in 2004? Not voting is a vote for Trump.

 

Take your pick, the lecturing Hag, or the huckster Prick.  A Hobbesian choice. I question anyone having any enthusiasm whatsoever for either of these two king size assholes.  There is no satisfaction in voting for or against these two people.  She lacks integrity and judgement (Libya, NAFTA, TPP, the server she used to avoid FOIA exposure, and on and on), Trump lacks, well, probably everything. As for her server, the NSA has hundreds, perhaps thousands of tech folks hacking other governments, as does Russia, China, others. Are we to believe her server wasn't accessed? Comey punted that issue, but that issue isn't going away and may well flare up again before the election or after, and it will consume her like her husbands many foibles consumed him. And we are going to have to watch it for how long?  Some comedian long ago posed odd choices, one was would you rather be boiled in oil, or have red ants put in your nose, mouth and ears.  That's what this election feels like. 

 

I would reduce it to the Supreme Court nominations that will come up over the next few years.  I don't want Trump making those choices with a limtus test against HB2 bathroom bills, same-sex marriage, Roe vs Wade, etc.   Who knows, maybe D.T. Rump would tell Cruz, Rubio and Ryan "Fuck you you gullible morons. I'm not religious or a Republican" and appoint reasonable judges but I'm not willing to take that chance!  

For me Freedom of Religion also includes Freedom from Religion.  The Religious Right scares the shit out of me. And why does EVERY  elephant or donkey feel the need to pander and end every speech with "God Bless America?"

I think he really is not a Republican, nor is he religious...this running for President has simply been an exercise for him...it's about his ego and money and press and business...supposedly he tried to lure Kasich as VP before he picked Pence, and the lure was that Kasich would have unprecedented influence for a VP...would handle lots of the domestic and foreign affairs and policy on the Donald's behalf, while he continued to run his business empire...Mr. Pence (though Hal once again has committed a fatal misspelling in his last name in the prior comment, strange how your misspells end up with me laughing out loud) has been governor here for 4 years...he is exactly what you see...he is fond of saying he's a Christian, a family man, and a politician, in that order...he means that...if you assume that Trump has told him he will have a much greater influence in policy than the average VP etc., then depending on whether or not you like laws like HB2 in NC, or RFRA in Indiana (which Pence was forced to back up on by the moderate business GOP in Indiana), and the abortion bill Hal mentioned...that's who he is...so if you think having a guy like him that close to being President is bad, then you know what you are going to do.  I must admit I do find Hillary a pitiful alternative...the reason that both parties have suffered such insurrection from within is because it is so obvious that everyone in power in both parties is bought and paid for and committed to certain interests already, and they don't represent the majority of the people who identify with that party anymore, so the power people in both parties deserve exactly what they are getting, and there's no point in being outraged about the Green party insurrection, they sowed the seeds for that and they deserve to have to deal with it...we've had the exact same President for the entire time the Bushes, Clintons, and Obama have been in office, they just pretend they are different...big business and the central banks run everything...the Koch brothers are on record as saying Hillary is their choice for President because they know what they are getting with her...what a wonderful endorsement that is...

The thing is, you do know what you are getting with Hillary...4 or 8 more years of the exact same thing we've had for the last 25 +...and you can say that we would probably survive that, as bleak as it is...we'll still be involved in the Middle East, fanning the flames of subversives everywhere, and the middle class will continue to disappear...no one knows what you get with Trump (and you do know exactly what you are getting with Pence)...you want to put his finger on the button, then vote for him...I agree with Hal...freedom of religion means freedom from religion too...the old Jefferson quote is apt here..."it matters not if my neighbor worships 20 gods or no God...it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg"...that is my biggest concern...the forcing of a supposedly moral agenda on a free thinking people...the founders didn't believe in that at all...the country was founded in Natural Law, not in any one religion...we can possibly survive anything else, but not that...we become every other country married to an ideology when that happens...

Well, for once Jim I completely disagree with you about Obama and equating him with all the previous Presidents. He is the first Predsident in my voting life that I've actually been proud of instead of being embarrassed by. Do I agree with everything he does? Of course not but so what. Compared to all who have come before him he is a breath of fresh air. I'm also a little sick of the Hillary bashing even though I don't like her much either. But to say the Democrats and Republicans are no different is complete bullshit since 911. The Democrats at least have progressives among them and Hillary has been forced to address and fight for their concerns. Sure, she's made mistakes but the last time I looked she is a human being and we are prone to mistakes. (In fact the way we treat this planet and each other makes me feel we are little more than vermin.) Her worst mistake was to vote for invading Iraq but she was hardly the only one in those crazy times of revenge-seeking politicians and yet you'd think she ordered the invasion herself given the criticism. To me it's rather simple: vote Democrat if you want people with a semblance of sanity running the coutry or vote Republican if you want the clinically insane in charge. (By-the-way, I'm sure Hal's "typo" was on purpose.)

All of Hal's typos are on purpose...

 

That was a rather succinct response Jim to yet another rant by yours truly. Politics make me ill and  this discussion is about to give me a heart attack so I've decided to shut up. But your comments (and Hal's) are always quite interesting.  Somewhere on this posting you mentioned how much you love Michael McDermott's "Willow Springs" so you're almost afraid to learn anything about his beliefs. I agree, it's a great album. Do you have his 2012 release "Hit Me Back"? It is quite good too.

I'm with you Dennis, and I appreciate your response...it's funny...you are actually less jaded and cynical about the political mess than I am...you always give me pause for consideration...

I have "Michael McDermott" (that's the one Stephen King said was so great back in 1996), "Willow Springs", "Ashes", "Words and Music" and there is another one in transit that is called "Last Chance Lounge" I think...I am going to get them all (except the ones out of print, which "Michael McDermott" is, but it's available for a penny plus $3.99 shipping on Amazon), but I am so caught up in the first two that there isn't much point in getting the other ones yet..."Willow Springs" hit me like no other record I've heard in a long time...every song I'd hit the repeat button...even the song to his daughter, "Willie Rain" which is a bit too precious lyrically is still such a great song, the slide player on that is just super tasteful (presume it's Will Kimbrough who's credited as playing but don't know) and the vocal is just right...

Really great artist..."Willow Springs" hits that sweet spot between rock and roll and Americana perfectly...I'll be getting "Hit Me Back" and "Hey La Hey" from his website...

No heart attacks Dennis...don't let it do that to you...have a good weekend my friend...

Thanks Jim, I feared I may have pissed you off.

It's another embarrassing confession but after I receieved my two Michael McDermott CDs something about his name kept niggling at me that I may have actually heard of this supposedly new-to-me artist before. The next time I went back to my apartment where most of my Cds are I checked and sure enough--I already had his 1993 release "Gethsemane" which I probably hadn't listened to in more than a decade. It was produced by Don Dixon which is why I probably bought it as I was a big fan of Dixon's work as both a performer and producer including the albums he produced for his wife, Marti Jones, in that time-period. I see on McDermott's website it's now only available as a download. It's pretty good but not near as good as his more recent work. People used to marvel that I could remember all of the thousands of albums/Cds I owned. It's becoming clear to me that's no longer the case. Old age sucks!

Well Jack, you certainly hate Hillary more than I do. I feel much of her troubles are just Republicans doing what they do best--beat a dead horse of accusations into the ground. But even if she is as terrible as you claim and admitting the Democrats have plenty of problems too they are nothing like the travesty of a party that the Republicans have become and now headed by an asshole that even makes Nixon, Reagan and Bush II look better.

I agree Hal. I'm not a big Hillary fan either but given the cliche about the lesser of two evils there's no contest. There's a socialist on the City Council here in Seattle, Kshama Sawant, who I actaully voted for but when I read that she urged Sanders supporters at the convention to vote for the Green Party candidate Jill Stein instead of Hillary I was livid. This is no game about registering your protest by voting for someone who doesn't have a chance of winning. Not voting for Hillary is a vote for Trump. (On the other hand I encourage all disgruntled Republicans to vote for Gary Johnson in protest since any vote not for Trump is a vote for Hillary.) In a perfect world the Green Party would be a major party but this world is far from perfect and Hillary is the only person that stands in the way of us becoming a truly fascist nation. Before 911 there really wan't much difference in the parties so I can understand why people voted for Nader as a sort of protest about not having truly progressive candidates but look where that got us. Bush won the election, was in office during 911 and he and his cabal of evil reacted in a way that has fucked up the world to the mess we are now in and the Repukelicans have the gall to act like this mess is the Democrats' fault.  There is no way of knowing how different things would now be if Gore had been President during 911--it would probably still be pretty bad but I doubt we would have invaded Iraq and stirred up that hornet's nest.

 

Could anyone make a video this funny (or true, or disturbing) about Hillary?

No...they couldn't...

 

Separated at birth, equally beloved.

In the words of the great songwriter Tonio K.....

Maybe we "can laugh at the fact that there ain't nothing funny."

 

 

This discussion thread wasn't exactly what I anticipated when I posted it a few months ago. The topic was more celebrity endorsements and less he said she said. And with that said, it's interesting to see where each of you who have chosen to share are landing. Some of the humorous posts fall flat with me, because the election or lack there of does not strike my funny bone. Trump to me is the most serous threat to not only our country, but the entire world since WW2. And while Clinton has her own flaws, hers are merely dents to his total wreck. I was a Bernie supporter and now I'm with her. Because there is no other viable option. May our individual higher powers bless us. 

Gallows humor, Ed.  Both are train wrecks.  

Amen Easy Ed, you said it well and succinctly. As bad as some find Hillary there really is no comparison and equating them as equally repugnant is simply dishonest or myopic.

Yes, there is quite a comparison, Dennis, and its neither dishonest or myopic to equate them. She voted for the Iraq war, and despite having seen Bush's disasterous folly of no plan for the aftermath, she duplicated his mistake in vigorously advocating to remove Khaddafi from Libya with no plan for the aftermath. And she was for NAFTA and TPP, until they became political albatrosses. And while I don't think she was necessarily personally responsible for the lack of security in Benghazi, by multiple accounts she lied to the families of those killed in that attack about its cause (while simultaneously telling Chelsea what really happened). And the server issue is a conscious, deliberate effort to avoid FOIA laws. And seriously, are we to believe her home server was not accessed but hackers? And what did they learn, and what leverage did they gain? And the Clinton Annuity, er, Foundation?  No Dennis, despite her vaunted smarts, her judgement and integrity are much worse than poor.  And some of these issues are going to haunt her and us after she's in office. And we are going to have to listen to it.  Trump may be a vile man, but she is his match in many ways. 

 

All I can say is I disagree and you Hillary demonizers are becoming as annoying as Trump supporters and I'm getting to the point of just wanting to die rather than have to deal with this bullshit any longer. The world is mad and there is no escape. Even music seems to be irrelevant escapism.

Dennis, I think they both deserve to be demonized equally. All I can say is that come November, neither Trump nor Clinton will get my vote. I may be dishonest and myopic in your eyes, but my head will rest well on my pillow at night.

I'm glad you can rest well. I haven't rested ever since Trump moved from a pathetic joke to a pathetic reality and if I helped him get elected (by not voting for the only viable alternative) I'd probably go hang myself.

The world has always been mad and cruel, but also beautiful...and there is an escape but you no longer get to participate...music could never be irrelevant...it is one of the things that keeps the madness, such as it is, tolerable...

As for wanting to die, hopefully you don't mean that...Woody Allen once said, "It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens"...that's my take on it at the present, no matter how loud the noise is, I'll get there when I get there, I'm not in a hurry...Mencken's definition of democracy was "the worship of jackals by jackasses"...the jackals and jackasses part is just more obvious right now than it has been recently, but it has always been so...no one is clean or remotely close to it...I agree with you on who the lesser of the two evils is...but Jack's post is proof that intelligent people can disagree violently about a subject...he didn't say who he was voting for, but he did say he sees bad things about both candidates...so do I.

I will refrain from demonizing either candidate any further...it is likely Trump will end up demonizing himself before this is over...we've survived a lot of stuff before...I believe we will survive Mr. Trump's candidacy one way or another but I am reminded that Oscar Wilde said that "the basis of optimism is sheer terror"...so don't quote me on that...

 

 

Thanks Jim for evoking three of the most quotable witty intellects out there--Allen, Mencken & Wilde, that brought some much-need humor to my psyche. And I certainly realize this world has always been a hellhole flirting with nirvana, the one main difference is that there are now so god-damned many of us it exasperates everything. And we've certainly weathered some shitty times in our sorry history. Some survived Hitler--but millions didn't. I really think I'd rather be dead than to have to witness a Trump Presidency. It was bad enough living through 8 years of Bush II and his Evil Cabal which drove me to drink. I didn't think American politics could get any worse than that but I was obviously wrong. As the conservative intellectual George Will said (who has left the Republican party over the Trump fiasco): "Just when you think American politics has hit rock bottom Mr. Trump rises, or stoops, to the challenge of saying there is no rock bottom."

I'm glad you enjoyed the levity amongst the chaos...I'm afraid Mr. Will is right about at least one thing..."there is no rock bottom"...drinking helps in the short term, but if you do it long enough and hard enough, eventually you'll feel like crap and have to quit..."I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me"...Churchill...gotta find the right balance...

I know this dialogue won't change anyone's mind.  

I am sick and stranded on a desert island with two other castaways. Those are the only two choices.  Okay three if I pick "fuck it just let me die." Would I rather have the Dr. who committed Medicare fraud or the ignorant medical student who never studied, never went to class and never received his degree?

And on that note I'm off to read "The Disappointment Artist" by Jonathan Lethem while listening to his excellent collaboration with Walter Salas-Humara "You Are All My People"

Thanks Hal for the musical diversion since I need some irrelevant escapism real bad right now. I had no idea writer Jonathan Lethem and musician Walter Salas-Humara collaborated on some music--sounds intriguing indeed. I've only read, and fairly recently, Lethem's debut 1994 novel, "Gun With Occasional Music" which was sort of a cross between Dashiel Hammet & Philip K. Dick. I didn't love the novel but it had it's moments like this quote I got from it: "Don't try to figure me out...It doesn't work--I've tried it myself." I've enjoyed Salas-Humara's music released as the Silos but especially enjoyed his collaboration with Alexander Escovedo and Michael Hall released in 1993 as The Setters. I'm very curious what I'm Not Jim (the name of the Jonathan/Walter collaboration I gather) sounds like on "You Are All My People."

Yes Dennis the album artist is "I'm Not Jim".  Worth a listen. There are a couple of spoken word tracks that I actually listen to-a mesmerising overlayed, disorienting  track that starts with the standard cliched joke intro "A man walks into a bar...." repeated over and over with slight variations (and does end with a punchline) and the music is very good. It does not feel/sound like some calculated forced collaboration.  I believe I read it was written (if not recorded) in a couple days by Walter and Jonathan.  

Walter's 3rd? solo album Curve and Shake (2014) is an excellent disc and offers redos of  "Hoping For A Comeback" and "Uncomplicated" from You Are All My People.

Regarding Lethem's works of fiction and non-fiction, I think I've read most of his books and enjoy his writing and skillful turn of a phrase.  I think he used "used Playboy" in an essay. A brilliant graphic description.  Not  "used newspaper!" Not "used novel!" Used Playboy.

 

On the other hand, "I am Jim"...

Good stuff from Walter...like it...

 

 

This could go on from here to Election Day!  Does anyone really think by now that they're going to change the other side's opinion?  Think I'll just sit back and watch the sniping.

On a related note, has anyone heard the new Drive By Truckers single, "What It Means?" It was posted on their FB page and I read through the comments - some fans are decommiting themselves as such. I enjoy Loretta and DBT way too much to cast them aside for a quote or 4 minute song on their political views. But I can still respect someone who can't get past that.

That's how I come at it too Paul...and I am good with people who are that way, or those who can't be...

I loved David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" record back in the day...I can remember people, good friends telling me they wouldn't listen to him because he was whatever it is that he was...bi, gay, etc...I could never figure that out...I either like it or I don't...what people do in their bedroom, or what political opinions they hold is nothing I can do anything about...but that's just me...

Agreed, Jim. I once had someone tell me they didn't like The Old 97's because their lyrics were too sophomoric. I countered that I love them for the very same reason(although I didn't fully agree to their use of the term). I enjoy thoughtful, meaningful lyrics as much as the next person, but there are also times where I just want to listen to music for the fun of it - driving down the road, tapping the wheel with the windows rolled down. When it comes to music, I enjoy it way too much to let the ugliness of politics pollute it.

Considering how upset discussing politics makes me I promised myself to add no more political comments to this post but after reading an article by Michael Arnovitz called "Thinking About Hillary--A Plea For Reason," I just can't stop myself.  All of you Hillary haters, especially those who lean left, I urge you to seek out this article on the Internet. It is quite lengthy as he analyzes this current perception of Hillary as corrupt and untrustworthy all the way back to Whitewater and concludes it's nothing more than sexism and hatred towards women seeking power. 

He includes a graph of opinion polls showing that her popularity dives every time she seeks power like running for the Senate but once she succeeds--her popularity rises. He also states the curious fact that the right and far left both hate Hillary but for opposite reasons--the right claiming she's too radical, the left claiming she's a closet Republican.

Perhaps the most glaring example of sexism is this obssession over her emails. He claims the missing emails were not even considered classified at the time and so all this anguish is over what may have been labeled classified after the fact. Compare this to how people have reacted to General Petraeus who has admitted sending highly classified papers to his mistress and lying to the FBI and everyone else about it. Yet, he has been forgiven by the right who say, "mistakes happen..." and Republicans have even said he'd be offered a highly classified job when they are back in power.

Arnovitz also reports that Politifact has gone over all her years in public service and concluded she is actually one of the most honest politicians out there, perhaps not the most honest but almost. He also quotes an "Atlantic" article as saying, "No other American politicians--even ones as corrupt as Richard Nixon, or as hated by partisans and George W. Bush--have fostered the creation of a multi-million-dollar cottage industry devoted to attacking them."

He also punches holes in the claim that her huge speaking fees before Wall Street somehow puts her in their pocket by explaining that of all her hundreds of paid speeches she's only made 8 before Wall Street. He also shows evidence that her fees aren't unusual and actually lower than what some get and not much more than what some very dubious celebrities receive.

He concludes that she is probably the most qualified candidate that has ever run for office.  He admits she isn't perfect but who is? And as President she's bound to make decisions he doesn't agree with but that inevitable. To me it is an eye-opening rebuttal of all the Hillary bashing that has been going on for years and I think it shows that Hillary haters from the left are no more than hypocrites.

 

Well Dennis...I will certainly agree to read the article...whether it will have the same effect on me as it did you I can't promise, but I will read it...

One thing I can promise you...if Michael McDermott has any record that isn't excellent, I have yet to find it..."Ashes" and "Noise from Words" are both excellent, and "Last Chance Lounge" just arrived..."Willow Springs" is still the best one so far, and I guess I'd say "Michael McDermott" is next but I can't believe how good this guy is...I forgot to tell you too...The Westies record is killer as well...I have to get the other one of those..."Noise from Words" is mostly McDermott playing all the intsruments and singing the parts too...I like him better with the band of people he's playing with now than when he's playing with drum machines and keyboard bass...His wife (Heather Horton), Lex Price, Will Kimbrough, etc...very great playing on those records.

Haven't been this excited about an artist in a very long time...CAN YOU TELL!!!

I will be curious Jim after reading the article what you make of it. I'm sure it will make little difference to those who are committed in their hatred but for someone like me who was never a big fan of either Clinton but feels the bashing she gets is way beyond reason it was a convincing argument.

As for McDermott, I'm glad you are finding his so rewarding. But you still haven't got "Hit Me Back"? I think it's pretty close to the excellence of "Willow Springs." I was curous about the Westies so I'm glad to hear an affirmative on that too. I've been ordering online a lot more lately but I find it very discouraging. My Steve Lawson CD never arrived and although he claimed he sent it he was nice enough to send another one. Now I'm waiting for another CD "Heartaches By the Number" by The Bo-Keys, which supposedly shipped on 7/20 but I still haven't received. I know you do most of your buying Online. Do you have this problem?

It is beyond comprehension how Hillary hatred equates (whatever her faults) with believing a better alternative is allowing (whether actively or passively) Trump to put his flaccid little "finger" on the big button.

And this one is for you Dennis....

 

"Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump. And three times [Trump] asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked at one point if we had them why can't we use them," Scarborough said on his "Morning Joe" program.

 

Thanks Hal; always love hearing Mr. Krikorian. Let's hope Mr. Chump implodes before he blows up the world.

He's the "comico atomico"...he wants a handsome little bomb for himself...

Hey Hal, it just dawned on me that Tonio-K must be writing some great songs commenting on this absurd political circus. Since you've interviewed him you presumably have some way of connecting with him. If so you should ask him about that and encourage him to get back in a studio and record something. I'd love to see a Tonio-K "Dump Trump" album released kind of like Dan Bern did when he released his "Bush Must Be Defeated" album back in 2004. Of course we all know how successful that was but still...

I don't want to comment again about the Reality Show Con Artist.   It demeans us all to consider he could lead this country.  

 

Also, the best way to combat a raging narcissist is NOT giving him more publicity especially since his “candidacy” is a fraud to begin with.   It never should have been dignified in the first place but it shows the media is as desperate for attention as the 4 time bankrupt businessman.  

As far as Loretta, Jarrod Carmichael had a great bit on why talent should be preeminent over other considerations when it comes to art.  

 

I would agree with you that the media shouldn't give Trump so much attention except for one thing: he is his own worst enemy. By reporting his outrageous statements and behavior his chances of winning diminish...at least I surely hope so.

I don't think so Dennis.   The problem is outrageousness is what the media wants.  It gets reported and since most people are woefully uninformed, publicity is all they know.   He got bumps from the outrageous statements he has made previously and now he seems to have peaked at 40%.   It’s scary that 40% of Americans are being fooled by this fraud but, as he said, he could shoot someone and he’d still have support.  

He's a bad businessman, but he's a master showman.   He's not a bigot, insane or stupid but he can play all three for effect.   He wouldn't be a developer in NYC if he didn't know how to live, work and interact with other people.   I'm not offended by anything he says because he doesn't believe it either.   I'm offended that it is actually being taken seriously by the media and the 40%.   We are all getting played and no one is calling BS.     

There is no publicity outside of pedophilia that can’t be turned into money.   Good or bad, it doesn’t matter.   If OJ got out today, there would be people lining up to have him sign his autograph.   If you saw the documentary about him recently, his memorabilia prices skyrocketed after he was acquitted.   There’s also the Reality show family who became famous because a member created and distributed a sex tape.  George Zimmerman killed someone and was able to cash in, recently getting $250,000 for a gun.     

ISIS cuts off heads to get attention.   Then, when that became "common", they had to up the gruesomeness so they burned people alive.   I fear the Reality Show Con Artist is only setting the template for what’s to come in future elections.     

You have just spoken the truth about Trump...he's a complete fake, and amused that he's fooling a significant portion of the masses and tweaking his fellow elites...that's all it is...

And I believe you did just call it BS RudyJeep...but there are a lot of people who completely believe it...

Thanks Rudyjeep for making me even more depressed than I already was because you are probably right. If there are enough racist, misogynistic, celebrity-worshipping  buffoons in this country for him to get this far there's no telling what might come next. I just keep hoping I wake up from this nightmare.

I have one suggestion Dennis and Jim, but it's not too comforting either.   I think Senator Sanders was wrong.   We need MORE Super-delegates, not less.   The founding fathers weren't sure we could handle Democracy and saw the Reality Show Con Artist coming.   That’s why they didn’t want straight elections.    

I hate to add more depressing comments, but here are the last few powerful lines from a recent George Packer article in the New Yorker about his supporters.   I couldn't sleep after I read it.  

“donald j trump a guardian angel from heaven,” reads a poster I retrieved from the floor of the Rothschild rally. “his spirit and hard work as president will make the people and america great again!!!”

Although, to me, Trump seems the very opposite of a guardian angel, I thank him for this: I’ve never before imagined America as fragile, as an experiment that could, within my very lifetime, fail.

But I imagine it that way now.

My wife always says when she hears Brown Eyed Girl she knows all is right with the world.   I think I’ll put together a really upbeat playlist for this weekend.  No Mary Gauthier for sure.   Any suggestions guys?   And yes, I will include "Wear Your Love Like Heaven".         

How about John Martyn's "I Don't Want To Know About Evil" ?

Here's a cheery little ditty by the Sisters of Mercy

 

Apolitical Blues by Little Feat...live version has "Don't Bogart that Joint"... I haven't listened to anything but Michael McDermott for 10 days and most of his stuff is pretty bleak, but "Let a Little Light In" has some hope...most anything by Commander Cody..."Semi -truck" (took 3 Bennies now my semi truck won't start).

 I don't know John Martyn's catalog well but it's going to make the list.  

I often play Little Feat sets and "Time Loves a Hero" will have to be on it as it always puts me in an escapist mood (Better San Juan than this Blue Collar Hell”)

The Sisters have always been a guilty little pleasure of mine but they are my lawn mowing soundtrack as my wife can’t stand “This Corrosion” or “Vision Thing”.     

I think this weekend will be dominated by 80’s “New Wave”.   Marshall Crenshaw, the DB’s, early REM, Let’s Active, XTC….I’ll throw in some Big Star, Beach Boys and early Beatles too.   Maybe even a couple obscure British bands I remember fondly – the Polecats and Roman Holliday.   Their “Cookin on the Roof” album pre-dated Brian Setzers attempts at a Swing Revival by a decade and reminds me of some good times.   I’m happy this week is in the rear view mirror so I’m going to keep it light and breezy. 

As for Roots music, I'll have to include Corb Lund as he always put a smile on face.  Life is better with some cows around! 

Thanks for all the suggestions.  Keep them coming.          

Try swapping out Vision Thing with Dr. Jeep off the same Sisters record. 

 

Another cheerful ditty, right Jack?!?  
 

Maybe if Up With People covered it.

What about Cool Rockin' Loretta by Joe Ely. Upbeat and topical, mentions Loretta.

 

Marshall Crenshaw...absolutely!  1000 dollar car by the Bottle Rockets...Sorry...they play gigs together...Southern Culture on the Skids....Try "Banana Puddin'" or Camel Walk" or "Soul City"

Everybody's talking about the party of Abraham Lincoln this political season.

Me? I'm thinking about listening to Abe Lincoln (and nope, I'm not talkin' four score and all that perish from the earth stuff).

 

That's great...love them...

Party of Lincoln...not sure how Abe would feel about that these days...