News & Links: Thursday, August 10, 2023

#354  [archive]

Red Cross ends decades of discrimination against gay and bisexual men 

Comcast lost 12% of its cable TV customers in the last year alone
    I haven't had cable in years, but I've had cable, so it's lovely seeing these companies begin withering away.

 Catholic Church is still kiddie-diddling and covering it up
    The Roman Catholic Church is It's exactly what QAnon imagines a pizzeria might be — a front, for a world-wide ring of pedophiles. Only with the Catholic Church, it's true.

Twitter held in contempt, fined $350K over Trump data delay

Australia's national broadcaster steps away from Twitter
    Makes sense to walk away from a wingnut site, and that's what Twitter under Musk has become.

Owner of Michigan meat processor is fined for illegally employing minor who lost hand in grinder
    For destroying a kid's hand, the fine is $1,143.

Lawsuit: Google's cookies, analytics, and tools track your browsing even in incognito mode 

Activists drill holes in tires of more than 60 SUVs at Jaguar dealership 

Climate activists outraged over Biden claim he "practically" declared US emergency

DeSantis again fires elected Democratic official, replaces her with right-wing crony

Republican Congressperson agrees with comment calling for execution of Democrats 

Republican mega-donor sentenced to 21 years for sex trafficking minors 

Republican state rep's wife urges Christians to steal books from Little Free Libraries and replace them with Bibles

All cops continue being bastards 


 The mystery of archive.today
It's the site I usually use to get past paywalls, and nobody knows who's running it.

The next front in the Republicans' war on women: no-fault divorce 

Stan Lee was a thief and kind of a prick. 

The dirty secret of "secret family recipes" 

♫♬  AUDIO  ♫

Cannon — John Gregory 

Fishies — The Cat Empire 

I, Robot — Alan Parsons Project 

Miss Marple — Ron Goodwin 

Wide, Wide River — The Fugs 








Let's play 'whatabout'. 

I am God. 

What cops say; what cops do 


Jean Fagan Yellin 

SunRay Kelley 

David LaFlamme 

Robbie Robertson 

Sixto Rodriguez 

Jess Search 

Roger Sprung


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited. 

Tip 'o the hat to the AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Depsidase, Kottke,org, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, MetaFilter, Miss Miriam's Mirror, RanPrieur.com, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration.

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.

Cranky Old Fart
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  1. There was never even a medical reason for the anti-gay donations rules. Fear-based, not science.

    The one-handed kid will sue and get millions I hope.

    1. He shouldn't have to sue. Let's have universal negligence, with quick and fat payouts for anyone injured through illegal action, like the kid was.

      I may be too sleepy to type write now.

  2. In memory of Robbie Robertson, here is Playing For Change performing "The Weight". I'm sure I've posted this before and I'm equally sure I'll post it again. I can't think of a more dramatic depiction of how songwriting differs from poetry. Sail away Robbie, but never leave us.



    1. Every song sends me on a Google adventure, and today I'm startled to learn that it's not about *that* Nazareth, and that Aretha Franklin's cover charted higher than The Band's original.

    2. I don't get around much anymore, but I used to know a lot of people and see them frequently. I've literally never known anybody who gave a shit about charts. Aretha could belt out wonderful songs, but she couldn't sing The Weight like The Band. Given that the album The Weight appeared on, Music From Big Pink, defined country rock and helped start the genre on its way, I suppose we should figure in the charting on the album as well, because that was the best known song on the album. This is why charts are pretty meaningless. There's no way to cross-match singles with albums, and hardly anybody bought singles after 1968 (until the computing revolution).

      Aretha was brilliant and set new standards for female singers, but fuck her cover. She can't sing three part harmony alone.


    3. I'm chuckling at "hardly anybody bought singles after 1968." Not doubting you're right, but I *only* bought singles, at least until I was all grown up.

      Horribly uncouth and uncivilized, I only wanted to hear the song I'd heard on the radio, and maybe I'd give the flipside a listen, but never albums. Albums were much more expensive, and all they offered was a bunch of songs I didn't care about.

      Yeah, I know it's awful. I was 11. "I got better."

  3. Nothing wrong with being 11 and missing out on some fine music. Your older siblings should have told you. That's why they're there. Buy a Beatles single for "She Loves You" and miss out on all that fine Lennon/McCartney music? The Stones. The Who.

    Actually, in the early 60s, you were pretty close to right. With notable exceptions, albums were led by hits with crappy filler. But by '65 or '66 the above groups and Dylan and even the Beach Boys were releasing albums that were symphonies. By '67 it was The Doors and everybody else. But you know that now.


    1. I was such an unsophisticated lad, and even when I started buying albums I usually went for "greatest hits" collections. Didn't want any music I hadn't already heard.

  4. In 1984, Leonard Cohen completed recording and mixing Various Positions, his seventh album and one that made significant use of the newly released Casio keyboard. The album was produced and mixed by John Lissauer and featured the wonderful voice of Jennifer Warnes on many tracks. Songs on the album included several that stayed in Leonard's show repertoire for decades including If It Be Your Will, Dance Me to the End of Love, and Hallelujah.

    Walter Yetnikoff, the cretin who was running Columbia Records at the time, refused to release the album in the United States because he didn't hear a single when he played the album. So the album was released everywhere else in the world and did well in Japan and throughout Europe. It was the number one album in Norway for a couple of months. But nobody heard it in the United States until a small label, Passport Records, leased it for almost no money from Columbia and released the album in the United States through the Passport label.

    The record was a bit of an experiment with the Casio keyboard sound, but Jennifer Warnes voice only made Leonard's voice better and Dance Me to the End of Love and If It Be Your Will were showcases in Leonard's tours for the rest of his life. But how the hell did Yetnikoff miss Hallelujah? He didn't. It wouldn't have sold as a single. Columbia Records thought they were still in the singles business when they'd been in the album business for nearly 20 years.

    If Yetnikoff, raking in seven figures in salary and stock options thinks If It Be Your Will and Dance Me to the End of Love and
    Hallelujah are lousy songs because they can't be played at 45 RPM, how is an 11-year-old kid supposed to know?

    The answer, of course, is that the 11-year-old kid naturally didn't know where musicians hide their most intriguing songs. The rich CEO is supposed to, but didn't anyway.

    In 1990, when Columbia re-released their entire catalog on CDs, the bought Various Positions back (at a terrific profit for Passport) and quietly released it on CD as if it had always been in their catalog.

    Without question the best music I've heard over the last 65 years has been music I discovered for the first time on albums of people whose music I enjoyed. I know you know that now. I just wanted to let you know that you were in high priced company.


    1. You ought to be writing for The New Yorker, but I'm glad you're here instead.

  5. Since you rightly published the obit of David LaFlamme of It's A Beautiful Day, whose debut album contained the song White Bird, which included David's lovely violin solo, you might want to put White Bird on your play list. It's too long for a single (unless your name is Bob Dylan) but it got a ton of FM play. And the world isn't brimming with rock violin players: David was one of the few, and his rock singing voice was as nice as his rock violin playing.


    1. I have the whole album, posted a month or two ago, but it's a beautiful day for a replay. :)

    2. Thankee, sir. . . jtb


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