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culture

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Punk’d

Despite the anarchistic gesture of a post-Viscious Sex Pistols getting spit off stage and Iggy Pop single-handedly defying both age and reason performing in the raw with the Stooges, the so-called “reunion” of these and other rock legends doesn’t escape the scrutiny of spacerocker Julian Cope.

Here’s a few re-union rules I’ve drawn up and want adhered to or I’m gonna McCarthy-izes your Siamese asses, and book you suckers for failure to rock:

1. No substitutes unless the original is dead.
2. No substitutes just because the replacement played the same scene.
3. No re-unions at all unless your kids’ school fees depend on it.
4. Must feature at least one original unless yooz the Blues Magoos.

Personally, Iggy performing under any incarnation (except maybe the the lip sync look-a-like variety) is a gig worth checking out. And seeing him referenced nowadays as “Mr. Pop” in certain newsworthy articles is way too funny indeed. I wonder if that’s I sign of age, respect, or good ol’ fashioned fear.


politics

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Victory 2004: Win or Lose

The Nation‘s peace and disarmament correspondent, Jonathan Schell, offers an interesting perspective on the prospect of voting for truth and peace in the upcoming presidential election (upcoming, as in 15 months away; upcoming, as in it couldn’t happen sooner). Democrats, as well as ordinary change-seeking voters, might consider moot the thought of weighing a potentially losing candidate with strong ideals (ie Kucinich or Dean) against a more plausible middle of the road wash-up (Lieberman).

Perish the thought of Nixon vs. McGovern comparisons.

As it happens, McGovern, not merely a historical figure but a living person, and a thoughtful and articulate one at that, has jumped into the discussion. Calling the warnings against McGovernism “political baloney,” he comments that although in 1972 he won only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, “no war could have continued long after that election.” He is suggesting that although the movement against the Vietnam War, of which his campaign was a powerful expression, never put a President in office, it nevertheless forced an end to the war. His point is that political influence can be exerted in more than one way: “Give me a presidential candidate who speaks the truth as he sees it, and I’ll show you a candidate whose campaign, win or lose, will be good for the nation.”


journal

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Assorted & Sundry…

Assorted & Sundry House Projects From HellIf it seems like there’s nothing but tumbleweed breezing by in the dust of this old weblog, it’s more than likely only because Liz and I have both been sucked into the void of home improvement. We’re high on the heels of getting some things done lately, and quite honestly, it’s tuckerin’ us both out. But as the whim catches us, we’re snapping pictures of our adventures and learning (not to mention spending) much more in the last couple of weeks than we ever thought possible.

The following gallery contains sundry photos of our explorations into the wonderful world of home ownership.


culture, music

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Pablo Picasso vs. David Bowie

David Bowie: RealityThe new David Bowie album, Reality, is now available for preorder. His promotional website is also sporting a new Flash jukebox with selected excerpts from the album.

Glitter kids, if you’re still out there, take note.

Personally, my favorite Bowie songs these days are his remakes. The last album, Heathen, had two amazing gems on it—a remake of the darkly whimsical “Cactus” originally by the Pixies and a latter day rearrangement of his very own “Conversation Piece” which was originally recorded in the early seventies and now sounds remarkably even more sincere with his complimentary aging baritone.

And it looks like this album continues that tradition which actually started on Pin-Ups (that is giving due credit to some lesser known, yet influential, artists in song covers). The track “Pablo Picasso” was a favorite of mine from an older John Cale bootleg. Originally written and recorded by Jonathan Richman, the song ponders the well known sexual exploits of the famous artist. As usual, Bowie’s version looks to be all his own.

Well some people try to pick up girls
And get called assholes
This never happened to Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole

Well the girls would turn the color
Of an avacado when he would drive
Down their street in his El Dorado
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
Not like you

Well he was only 5 foot 3
But girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole
Not in New York

Oh well, be not schmuck, be not abnoxious
Be not bellbottom bummer or asshole
Remember the story of Pablo Picasso
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare
Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole


film

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American Splendor

American SplendorBefore you go getting all bent out of shape over yet another comic book movie adaptation hitting the summer theaters this year, consider that American Splendor is something of a different beast, as it always has been in comics. This story is not a heroic adventure. Instead, it chronicles the banal existence of an ordinary real-life file clerk named Harvey Pekar, played in the movie by Paul Giamatti, (aka “Pig Vomit” in Howard Stern’s Private Parts). It should be interesting to see how this potentially comedic placement plays out on screen, although I’d watch it simply from the vantage of comic book history.

An excerpt from Harvey’s Blog explains his foray into comics and his chance meeting with the ever-eccentric Robert Crumb.

At the age of about six, I was heavily into reading and collecting comics. The exploits of super heroes, Superman, Captain Marvel, thrilled me. I was particularly into oddball super heroes like the Green Lama, who had powers you didn’t run into everyday. As time went on though, my attitude toward comics changes [sic]. I remember getting tired of the clich» ridden, formulaic stories I ran into so often in action and adventure comics. I started to appreciate more the Captain Marvel comics, which were more humorous. In general though, the unsophisticated level of writing in comics bothered me more and more, and I eventually got tired of just about every one, except “Mad”, whose fresh satire was aimed at bright high school students.

In 1962 Robert Crumb moved from Philadelphia to Cleveland into an apartment right around the corner from me. He was about nineteen at the time and I was twenty-three. We were initially drawn together due to our mutual interest in jazz, but soon began to dig the new, alternative stories he was working on. After reading them, it gradually dawned on me that comics were not an intrinsically limited art form. Indeed, comics had no limitations.


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