How to create terrorists

Cranky Old Man #83

Canada's Prince Andrew High School is looking for a new name that "upholds our values as a safe and inclusive" space.

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Chicago Public Media will acquire the Chicago Sun-Times 

This is good news. The Sun-Times used to be a good paper, but has recently been owned by rat bastards.

Chicago Public Media operates WBEZ, a non-profit news and educational radio station that's better than the Sun-Times has been, recently. They're also the home of This American Life, Serial and Wait, and Wait…Don’t Tell Me.  

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Just some more kids, killed by more US drone strikes. 

Their brothers and nephews will probably become terrorists. That's what I'd do.

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A dam in Syria was on a ‘no-strike’ list. The U.S. bombed it anyway. 

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Here's an amusing snapshot of then-Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) swirling the drain in a series of re-election emails which could never raise enough funds — maybe because ordinary people don't write "pay to the order of BORING" checks. 

You want to win elections, Dems? Believe in something that people believe in. Democrats who believe in something often win elections. 

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Starbucks is AOK with having diseased employees. 

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Before my first pimple or pubic hair, I owned a rock'n'roll album — on vinyl, of course — that included a quiet instrumental song I liked. Lost the record in the 1970s or '80s, and always remembered the tune, but I didn't remember the title, or even the band. After some smart guys invented the internet, more than once I spent hours searching for instrumental songs by rock bands, looking for that one song in particular. The searches led to some great music, but never to the song I'd remembered. 

It was a mystery unsolved until yesterday, when a pal sent a link to some music by Erik Satie. I about screamed when I recognized the melody at 14:47. The link told me it's the first of 3 Gymnopédies, and with that clue a single search revealed that the band was Blood Sweat & Tears, and their version was Variations on a Theme by Erik Satie (1st and 2nd Movements).

Satie seems like an interesting chap. Britannica says, "From 1898 he lived alone in Arcueil, a Paris suburb, cultivating an eccentric mode of life and permitting no one to enter his apartment." He was never particularly popular or respected in his time, and he basically invented ambient music.

To my pal I said thanks, and most of the above. He told me Satie was his favorite composer, and that he'd also discovered Satie via Blood Sweat & Tears. What goes around comes around…

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Are movies too long? 

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All the growth in the music business now comes from old songs — how did we get here, and is there a way back? 

Who wants a "way back"? Sure, I'm an old codger, but I know the difference between good music and great music. A lot of the old music is great, and a lot of the new music isn't even good. It's reassuring that people who love music know the difference.

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The silent filibuster was the beginning of the end for the Senate 

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A report from occupied territory
by James Baldwin, 1966

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Understanding the vulnerabilities of the electrical grid in Texas. 

A long read and it starts slow, but the article is quite informative if you stick with it.

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San Francisco's Castro movie palace becomes a music venue 

While the Castro Theater will still screen select films and host festivals, the shift away from repertory programming is sure to be disappointing for film-goers and festival organizers.

I'm too far away to ever buy a ticket again, but I'm skeptical about turning this marvelous space over to strangers — a company that's very much in the concert business, not the movie business. They'll keep some of the bigger film festivals, for a while at least, but the forever retrospective double features are over. Lots, lots more money to be made hosting rock'n'roll and selling cocktails. 

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One-word newscast:

Meat Loaf 

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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


 Sing along with Doug:

Tip 'o the hat:
All Hat No Cattle • Linden Arden
BoingBoingCaptain Hampockets
Follow Me Here • John the Basket
LiarTownUSAMessy Nessy Chick
National ZeroRan Prieur
Vintage EverydayVoenix Rising

Extra special thanks:
Becky Jo • Name Withheld • Dave S.
and always, Stephanie


Cranky Old Man 

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  1. >the band was Blood Sweat & Tears, and their version was Variations on a Theme by Erik Satie (1st and 2nd Movements).

    Huh. I 100% recognize that tune, but have no idea from where. Never been a fan of that band, so it must have been incidental music in movies / TV.


    >San Francisco's Castro movie palace becomes a music venue

    Ahhh, shit.


    >Dead: • Meat Loaf

    Oh, man. That sucks. I am not joking when I say that Paradise By The Dashboard Light is *maybe* my favorite song. It's so fucking cynical. First Jim Steinman, less than a year ago, now Meat. I simultaneously love and hate the Steinman / Meat Loaf collaboration. I love the music and lyrics, but I hate that I feel manipulated by the songs. They are crafted to make me feel like crying, almost.

    Also, and only tangentially related, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is an actual Great Musical, and the soundtrack is unironically one of my favorite albums.


    ""We already have all the pieces of the puzzle," Lindell said. "When you talk about evidence, we have enough evidence to put everybody in prison for life –300 some million people." - Mike Lindell, Professional Lunatic

    1. I need to add Rocky Horror to my watchlist. Haven't seen it for years, but I also hold it high as a seriously good musical.

      Re the Castro, not even any mention of David Hegarty, organist at the Castro since forever. Last I heard, the Castro was in the process of upgrading the theater's organ. Seems to me both the organ and Mr Hegarty are moot when they start booking metal and punk.

  2. What did Prince Andrew ever do to deserve having a school named after him? I mean even giving him the benefit of not much doubt about his sex proclavities just being royal is enough they name a high school after you?


    I don't really know anything about McAuliff I am far from Virginia but I agree about the boring. What it comes down to me is, everything in the world is going to shit and he was governor for four years of everything going to shit and in that time I never heard him make a peep about preventing things from going farther to shit, and I think that makes him part of the problem.

    1. >What did Prince Andrew ever do to deserve having a school named after him?

      I dunno, lots of kids?

    2. I Googled it; they named the high school after Price Andrew for his achievements in being born. He squirted out of the Queen Mother while the school was under construction, so they named it after a newborn baby.

      I like and will steal your sermonette about being on board with everything going to shit.

  3. OK Meat Loaf. The "If I die, I die" stuff doesn't sound so macho when you actually die. You gave flight attendants shit for the last year for doing their jobs. Not as bad as anti-vaxing, but a little right of self-centered.

    Good song, though.


    1. Ah, hell, did Meat Loaf say or do something stupid to a flight attendant? Missed that story, and a very cursory Google came up blank.

      I just liked the guy's music. He brought on the drama, made rock'n'roll that was almost operatic.

    2. Found it a little later. It's a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette interview from last summer, where COVID comes up at the end.

      PPG: Thank you so much for your time, and all the best to you.

      MEAT LOAF: All the best to you, and you have fun, and if you want to come to the con, come by and say hello. I’m happy to give you a hug. I hug people in the middle of COVID.

      PPG: You do? You're not afraid?

      MEAT LOAF: Oh, I’m scared to death! You kidding me? But I'm sorry, I understood stopping life for a little while, but they cannot continue to stop life because of politics. And right now they're stopping because of politics. And on CNN last night, it finally came out that the masks we’re all wearing are useless. But I've known that for six months. They don't do anything. They don't stop you from getting COVID. They're just a nuisance and make your nose itch and make it so you can't breathe.

      The only good masks are N95. But we got one, and it was so badly made, the straps were so short, they would go on a child. So we had to go on the airplane with the paper masks and then on the way back, we got a Nazi: “Get your mask on now!” They’re power-mad now.

      PPG: Oh, God. We're being controlled by everybody.

      MEAT LOAF: Yeah, I know. But not me. If I die, I die, but I'm not going to be controlled.

      T'aint nothing much. I've said worse.

    3. Doug, I don't confuse flight attendants with ER nurses, but I also don't confuse them with the police. They're trying to enforce in imperfect policy that they didn't create. If you want to take on airline management or the FAA have at it, but bullying the lowest level of the organization that enforces the policies is just that: bullying. Technically, bullying by an entitled rocker who sang one good song then coasted for 45 years. I'm sorry for his family, but I'll spend my time mourning people who treat people well whatever their station in life.


    4. By the way, according to several reliable news services, the harassment was repeated multiple times on multiple flights. Everybody is tired of the pandemic. "Celebrities" face the same viruses the rest of us do. He's an asshole, which is OK with me, and he chooses to pick on people who are powerless to change policy, which isn't.

    5. Still haven't seen the coverage of this, but I'm always happy to think less of someone rich and famous, so please send some links and we can chuckle about what an asshole Meat Loaf was.

      He had lots more than one good song, though.

    6. I guess you're right. He released several albums. Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II, and Bat Out of Hell III. There were a few other albums along the way, but most or many of them were lit by the faint glow of a dashboard light. Doesn't matter. He did sell a lot of albums and I wouldn't argue about his commercial success. I think he's been a butt, like a few old rockers, during the pandemic. I'd prefer if he'd just hang out with Kid Rock and stay away from the public and public transportation. I'm not so fond of people who throw their weight around.

      You fairly asked for links. I've been up for a day and a half, but after I sleep I'll find the NPR and other sources I stumbled across.

      Sweet dreams are made of this.


    7. Ah, you needn't bother. It doesn't matter, does it? To some extent it was Roman Polanski, but Joss Whedon was the real dealbreaker for me. Whedon can burn in hell, but I am never gonna not love Firefly.

      I won't stop liking any art because an asshole made it. The art and the human get sorted into separate bins, and I don't care much about the humans, individually or as a species.

      This means I am tapping my foot to Michael Jackson tunes again, despite all the boys he diddled.


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