Friday, October 31, 2008
From SFist. I haven't had a good costume idea since I won first prize in the costume competition in Cub Scouts. Since then, my few attempts at costumery have been a little too conceptual. Most people didn't get it. The few who did said something like, "Oh, uh, yeah, heh-heh." I definitely didn't bother this year.
Posted by Your driver at 11:25 PM
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
You could start with this fabulous Ukulele murder mystery. I can confidently state that it is the Citizen Kane of Ukulele serial killer films.
If you must clean house, and I must clean house, here's another groovy little tune; a brilliant reggae treatment of the War classic.
Posted by Your driver at 3:31 PM
The little rooster in my yard is quite pleased with himself. He has trained me to throw him sunflower seeds when he flaps his wings and crows at me.
Man, I have been hearing some ugly stuff on the internets. Racists are, by definition, cowards and they are really, really scared of a Black president. They've been acting ugly, ugly, ugly. Some guy got shot for wearing an Obama T shirt. Obama's own campaign bus got harassed by a racist cop. I'm sure there'll be more before it's over.
The good news is that life goes on. Consider this post to be the official start of major Madame Pamita rumors. The lovely and mysterious Madame Pamita has been good enough to share some recent recordings with me. Be prepared for something new from "The act that's sweeping the nation", the latest sensation, Madame Pamita.
In the meantime, the dishes need doing, the laundry needs folding, the floor needs sweeping. Here's a groovy little tune for boppin' around the house:
Madame Pamita contemplates the future.
Posted by Your driver at 2:09 PM
Friday, October 17, 2008
Truthfully, I'll be glad when this election is over and I can think about something besides politics. It will be cool to have a president with superpowers though. Here we see Obama facing down the evil criminal mastermind Lex Luthor. Careful Obama, Mr. Mxyzptlk may be lurking in the background.
Posted by Your driver at 6:07 PM
As far as I'm concerned, Princess Sparkle Pony is one of the superstars of the internet. God bless her sparkly combable mane and tail.
"What I keep getting from these rallies is We are the stupid and we're better than you. God, it's all so galling. "She's reg'lar folk." WhatEVER. I mean, I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and I'm not proud to be ignorant because I'm not ignorant. I worked really hard, studied hard, had shit jobs for over a decade... and that makes me... what? An East Coast Liberal Elitist? I'm middle class, just like they are. Sarah Palin says these are the "real Americans." All the rest of us are, what, holograms? Not Americans? Get an education and talk in complete sentences with words longer than two syllables and you're un-American? Move to the city and you're un-American? Fuck these morons! Fuck them with their lipstick and their pit bulls and their idiotic slogans scrawled with elementary school tempera paint on Walmart poster board. Fuck Joe the fake plumber. And a hearty fuck you to Sarah motherfucking Palin, fake middle class Jezebel whore coopted by Bill Kristol and his cynical "she's our new project" evil neocon think tank.
I'm so glad these people are losing."
In keeping with today's sobriety theme: I was offered any number of opportunities to shut down, stop thinking and stay a dangerous cowardly thoughtless asshole. By the grace of God (I have no other explanation) I couldn't settle for that. Man, am I grateful.
Posted by Your driver at 1:01 PM
Rather than post some of Levi Stubb's music, I thought I'd post this appreciation of his work from Billy Bragg. "When the world falls apart some things stay in place."
I'm sure any number of other websites will be posting Four Tops songs. Listen to them. They are as close to timeless as pop music can ever be.
Coincidentally, when I was locked up in the psych ward, the staff was trying to inject some life into a ward full of deeply depressed people. They played us music, oldies but goodies and encouraged us to move. I was so depressed I didn't care. I would fall asleep in the middle of a sentence because I just wanted to go away. They put on something Motown. I wish I could tell you it was the Four Tops, but I don't remember. I remember this much. I got up and I danced.
Posted by Your driver at 12:29 PM
I'm pretty sure I was siting in a chair, but I might as well have been the man on the bed.
So, 16 years ago last night I had my last drink. I didn't even wake up with a hangover 16 years ago today. I was too depressed to get drunk. In fact, I poured out half of my last drink while thinking, "Oh what's the use?" and went to bed.
I sure am grateful for alcohol. I'm certain it kept me glued together for many years. When alcohol stopped working I sure did come unglued.
There was a little violence, my girlfriend hit me and I hit her back. There's a couple of days there that I don't really remember. The next clear moment comes when I found myself locked in the bedroom, sitting on the bed reading a book. I looked next to me and noticed that I had a rifle, a shotgun and a couple of hundred rounds of ammunition laid out on the bed. I'd been thinking about killing myself for weeks. I guess I was worried that I'd miss.
Somehow, my girlfriend talked me into taking a ride over to the county psych ward. The next thing I knew, I was locked up. 51-50ed as we say in California. It was not a pleasant place to be. There were bars on the windows and a couple of stout psych techs at the door. My roommate was real quiet, but he sure did fart a lot.
My first thought was, "I've gotta start talking some shit and get myself out of here."
And then I heard a voice, it might have been my voice, but it wasn't something I'd ever heard myself say before: "You've been lying your whole life. You lied your way in here and nothing but the truth is going to get you out."
A couple of days later I was introduced to the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I was "twelfth stepped" by one of the psych techs. He was a two tour Viet Nam vet and nine years sober. I've never been able to find him and thank him, so I have to show my gratitude by helping other drunks. He loaned me a copy of the AA Big Book and arranged an interview with one of the nurses, who happened to be in Alanon.
I was full of three things, bullshit, doubt and fear. I had a feeling they weren't going to get me very far in life. Even though it flew in the face of everything I thought I knew about self sufficiency, I let my new friends talk me into going to an AA meeting.
LIfe started to get interesting for a change.
Posted by Your driver at 10:05 AM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I'll admit that I have been reading some books on aging, retirement, dropping dead in an untimely fashion etc. I'll have to say that Dr. Andrew Weil's book on the subject is pretty useful; especially if you want to know about all of those early symptoms of decline type stuff: losing your balance, forgetting shit, having heart attacks, forgetting why you used to worry about sex all of the time, that kind of stuff.
For my money, the best book on the subject is Richard Meltzer's "Autumn Rhythm- Musings on time, tide,aging, dying and such biz." Click on the link to read a substantial portion of the book.
Meltzer left behind an academic career to become, arguably, the first professional rock critic. Unlike so many who followed in his footsteps, he is not an asshole or an idiot. In addition to his rock writing he has been a lyricist for Blue Oyster Cult and an inspiration and Grandpa figure to the Dictators. He started one of the first LA punk bands, Vom, and, in so doing, inspired The Angry Samoans. His only peers are Nick Tosches and Lester Bangs. Just like me, half his peers are dead.
Posted by Your driver at 7:54 PM
I've been whining about it in private, but I should send out some thanks in public. Today is my birthday. Double nickels on the dime. I am 55. That seems old to me. I am prepared to age, to change and even to die someday, but I'm not prepared to be 55. I've only had 55 years to prepare for this, give me some more time.
There are two alarming facts connected with my 55th birthday. First, if I manage to make it all of the way to the American statistical average, I've only got 19 more years. I can remember when 19 years seemed like an awfully long time, but that was an awfully long time ago. Second, if I'm 55, then punk rock really is music for old people. You can't do this to me! These young whippersnappers coming up today don't know the first thing about being young rebels. They've got it all wrong. Besides, I still own the franchise on being a young rebel. Actually let me check the papers on that, I might have let them expire.
Really, I need to take the time to thank some lovely people. I especially need to thank my friend Dear Kitty. Kitty has got to be one of the most prolific bloggers on Earth. I've known her since the days of my long defunct blog, The Weblog of Wonders. Kitty recently gave me "Brillante Award". I don't know what it means, but I've got to take it as a compliment. Kitty is so thoroughly anonymous in her postings that I'm not really sure she's a woman. I do know she's a poet a naturalist and a friend of justice. I also know that her band once opened for Crass, back in the long ago and the far away. Pretty cool.
I also need to thank my friend Jack from Lake County, the pipe bomb capital of California. Jack is one of the few people I know in real life who also reads this blog regularly. He never comments, but he calls me up at odd hours and refers to things that he's read here. Always a pleasure to hear from you Jack.
Also, I can't thank Ib from SiblingShot on the Bleachers enough. Ib is always friendly, always offers encouragement and is always appreciative of every little effort on my part. I am very pleased that Ib wrote me a poem for my birthday. What a great guy.
Finally I need to thank John McCain for reminding me of my old friend, Neil Sealy. Neil was a pal, a drinking buddy and a co-conspirator back in Indiana. Of my closest friends from those days, Neil is the only one left alive. What does Neil have to do with John McCain? Well, Neil has gone on to be the Arkansas organizer for Acorn, a "terrorist" organization that does things like register poor people to vote and get them organized into unions. Good work brother, keep up the "terrorism".
There's a bunch of other bloggers I should be thanking more often: Mike Whybark, RJ from Nightlight, David from Bus Driving, Stacy from Hagar's Daughters, Frank from Ex Con Alcoholic's Struggle, not to mention BFP, Mick Farren and of course, Mr. Beer N. Hockey from Dope City Free Press. I'm sure I've forgotten some other people. Put it down to senile dementia.
That's just the folks I want to thank on the internet. Stay tuned tomorrow for a giant gratitude fest. I'll be so choked up I might forget my little blog persona and forget to say "fuck".
In the meantime, let's have some more Merle Travis.
I've never quite gotten it down to "no regrets".
Posted by Your driver at 2:30 PM
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Indiana Amalgamated Transit Union member discuss the Obama campaign.
I know it doesn't make any difference, but I'm gonna put it in writing. I intend to vote for Barack Obama. I have refused to vote many times in the past. I entertain no illusions. Obama and McCain represent two slightly different wings of the ruling class. Any crumbs they may toss us are designed to shut us up. I also know that politics is basically all about killing people and stealing their shit.
Having said that, I've gotta say that John McCain is a real life monster. Scary, with dripping fangs. Obama is just a creepy political animal. If I still knew any ultra-leftists, I would encourage them to jeer at me. Yes, I'm voting for the lesser of two evils because the lesser evil is much less evil.
Second. I'm voting for Obama specifically because he's Black. His upbringing is about as Black as mine, but when he tries to hail a cab, or when a cop sees him driving, he's Black. Truthfully, I would vote for Colin Powell, just because he's Black. I'm old enough to remember the remnants of legal segregation. I grew up being told that a person of color could never ever hope to be president. I've watched the living standard of Black people being driven lower and lower for my entire adult life. The sectors of the economy that employed the Black middle class have been under attack for the last 35 years. Since the Reagan administration, I've watched outright white supremacist politics come out in the open in ways I never would have dreamed possible. Enough of this horseshit. We need a person of color in the White House. Not in the cabinet, but calling the fuckin' shots. I only wish Cynthia McKinney was his Vice Presidential candidate.
Third, I'm voting for Obama because he's worked with Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers. Call it innocence by association. At least he's met and collaborated with some decent people. Maybe something rubbed off.
Finally, I'm voting for Obama because I'm a public sector union member. Yep, I'm a member of a special interest group. At least Obama's willing to talk to my special interest group. I should hope so, we've given him enough money and people. He owes us a few sit downs once he's in the White House.
Well, there you have it. I promise I will continue to vent my spleen. I am not going to be nice to the guy. He doesn't need me to be nice to him. He can take care of himself. The whole business of money and power continues to disgust me. Unfortunately, I'm in it deep enough to have a little blood on my pants cuffs, and I probably shouldn't lie about that.
Here's some music from back when times were worse, but the struggle was better.
Posted by Your driver at 9:24 PM
That's what I'm talkin' about. Just in case you think I'm getting all moist for Obama. Oh and by the way, fuck Joe the Plumber.
Hat tip to Freedom Rider.
"To me, Obama's friendship with Ayers and Dohrn means that once he rubbed shoulders with amateur bombers, but now pines for the Real Fucking Deal. As president, Obama will have access to weapons that ancient radicals could only imagine while tripping. Better, he's free to use them, hell, expected to use them, and I have complete confidence that Obama will do just that. Instead of mailing cryptic messages to the media, he'll announce his murderous intentions on international television and all over the Web. So Obama palled around with people who blew up parts of empty buildings. If you desire to be the imperial manager, you gotta start somewhere...
John McCain. He's killed before, and he'll kill again."
Posted by Your driver at 7:36 PM
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Fort Slocum, New York. James J. Braddock, former heavyweight champion of the world, and his manager, Joseph Gould, have joined the Atlantic Coast Transportation Corps Officers Training School, which opened recently. They have received commissions of first lieutenants. Lieutenant Braddock and Lieutenant Gould are doing rifle calisthenics under instruction from Sergeant John A. Bender, who was accidentally shot by Gould during the photo op.
Just finished watching the frankly stupid movie, "Cinderella Man".
Posted by Your driver at 11:49 PM
"You can't have the glue unless you buy the model too."
Here's a song by Ace of Cups. They were a legendary all girl group from San Francisco. My friend Quinton used to know them. They were sort of affiliated with Blue Cheer. They were definitely a hippie band, but "Glue" is a bit of proto punkish social commentary. You can listen to more samples at the link above and you can even buy their CD. Not bad for a band that never released a record when they were around.
Posted by Your driver at 7:40 PM
Elements of the Imperial Fleet visited San Francisco last week. Everyone at work rushed out to see the Imperial fighters flying in close formation over the city. The general consensus was that this is probably the last Fleet Week in SF because the Navy won't have money for jet fuel next year. Did you ever notice how there always seems to be money enough for the military?
I'm fighting the flu. My brain is not working too good.
Posted by Your driver at 7:14 PM
Rich Trumka of the AFL-CIO addresses racism directly. I understand why Obama has chosen to sidestep the issue, but I'm glad Trumka spoke to it. I'm not in love with Obama. I'm very excited about what his campaign means to a lot of people. I'm picturing great things coming from ordinary people if he is elected. Could we please start the left wing backlash right now?
Meanwhile up in Canada, they're electing a new president or something. I'll bet the New York Times has an article somewhere. I doubt the Santa Rosa Pressed Rat does. God, I'm so well informed.
Posted by Your driver at 6:33 PM
I hate to have to point out the obvious but all of the Obama/terrorist, Obama/socialist stuff is nothing but old racism. In their glory days, the Klan never claimed to hate Blacks/Jews/Catholics because they were Blacks/Jews/Catholics. They claimed to hate them because they were enemies of "America". America being whatever they wanted it to mean at the moment.
And then there's the Sarah Palin "feminism" crap. Besides protecting "America" racists have always been about protecting and "empowering" the flower of the white race: white women. White women weren't just expected to remain passive while they were being protected either. They were expected to take a stand and speak out in defense of their relatively privileged position, a position which they had earned through "virtue".
"Virtue" like "America" means anything the racist wants it to mean, but it usually referred to domestic virtues and sexual purity. Sarah Palin's feminist message is that regular decent and virtuous women are being threatened (by ravening, oversexed hordes) and "American" white men need to rush their defense.
You know, I've lost the ability to frame a decent argument. I've read easily five or six books on the history of racism in America. That puts me five or six books ahead of 99% of my countrymen. I'm not claiming to be an expert, but to anyone who has taken a little time to learn, this stuff is so painfully obvious. I kind of wish that certain elements of the American Right would just admit that they are really White Supremacists and they are following the classic program of the Ku Klux Klan.
Then again, they probably don't know that themselves.
Oh, and if you're white trash, like me, don't go thinking the masters love you. They just find you useful
Posted by Your driver at 9:57 AM
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Bill Ayers in his youth. He never bombed a light bulb factory.
If you can remember the '70's, you didn't have enough to drink. Personally, I remember Bill Ayers and Michael Klonsky both. In fact, when I was a teenager, Klonsky spat at me, because I was a "Trotskyite". No hard feelings. Water under the bridge etc. Klonsky looked sharp in his white suit when he got the nod from Chairman Mao. Imagine that, at one time he owned the American Maoism franchise.
I never met Ayers, but I used to run into various members of the Weather Underground as a teenager. They were always talking up organizing the kids for bold action. I thought it was bullshit.
Not that I wasn't looking for trouble at the time, but I've grown out of that now. Yessir. I'm a sort of a nice old gent really. I hadn't thought about Ayers and Klonsky in years. It's been a pleasure following their new found fame. Of course, they've grown up to be nice old gents too. We were all full of good intentions.
So, if you were wondering who these terrorists are, here's a link to Ayer's blog, and Klonsky's blog. I'm also including a very funny piece from Ayer's blog below. These guys are dangerous men. Take it from John McCain, a man who spent time in prison for his part in a terrorist bombing campaign, or if you will, a crime against humanity.
I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.
I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.
I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.
This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.
Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to email@example.com so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.
Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson"
Posted by Your driver at 8:55 PM
Sunday, October 5, 2008
My ex has a habit of sending me adorable pictures of fuzzy kittens that have been forwarded, like, 5,000 times. There are reasons why she's my ex. Today she sent me the cartoon above. I know she was planning on walking away from her mortgage. I wonder how that's going. Don't worry about a thing though, soon we'll have a MOM just a heartbeat away from the presidency.
Our local national guard unit isn't getting sent to Iraq again. They're getting sent to Afghanistan this time. I forget whether this is their third or fourth deployment. And just think, George Bush joined the guard to avoid Viet Nam.
I'm still kind of nuts.
Posted by Your driver at 10:16 PM