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Saturday, November 25, 2023



#386  [archive]
NOV. 25, 2023

Visit to the Fukushima nuclear facilities
    Beautiful photos of a scary place, because nuclear power is a stupid, stupid idea. 

Is OpenAI melting down because it secretly created something really scary?
    If AI isn't "something really scary" this week, it will be soon. The only real question is whether we can survive climate change long enough to be slaughtered by AI. 

Hoboken, NJ: No traffic deaths since 2017
    Cars are killing machines that, if handled carefully, can also be used for transport. A mild urban redesign like this is a fine first step toward cities for people instead of for cars. 

After 60 years, the major media still won’t tell the truth about the JFK assassination
    I'm not a conspiracy guy, but c'mon — Warren Commission, my ass. 

Many in Middle East blame United States for devastation in Gaza
    Translation: Many in Middle East have functional eyes and brains.

“Gay furry hackers” breach Idaho National Laboratory
    I stand with the gay furry hackers. 

Google Chrome will limit ad blockers starting June 2024
    The internet without ad blockers is so awful, I'd go back to reading books — if not for my beloved Mozilla, the browser that's not tracking you, not against ad-blockers, and not a for-profit enterprise.

I thought I knew royal greed – but King Charles profiting from the assets of the dead is a disgusting new low 

Frequent flyers are rewarded for polluting. Let them pay the full price. 

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) says his high school friends would have claimed to be trans to spy on girls  

U.S. Rep. MarΓ­a Elvira Salazar (R-Florida) praises Argentina for having “only one culture, only one religion and only one race, completely homogeneous” 

Play Dr Ludwig and the Devil 

A Light in the Woods

How a shitty moviemaker screwed Netflix out of $55M 

Amusing, Interesting, Outrageous, or Profound
    AIOP is my Lemmy page, for anything that's (in my opinion) amusing, interesting, outrageous, or profound. It's mostly a rough draft of this page, but you're invited to stop by.

♫♬  MUSIC  ♫ 

Almost Cut My Hair — Crosby Stills & Nash 

Desiderata — Les Crane 

Here She Comes — Bonnie Tyler 

Pulling Rabbits Out of a Hat — Sparks 

Truckin' — The Grateful Dead 


Adolfo Enriquez
kept a tally of murders 

Sandy Farina
Strawberry Fields 

Ron Hodges
baseballer, New York Mets 

Polina Menshikh
actress, not invited by Ukraine

πŸ–• Charles Peters
moputhpiece of neoliberalism 

Steve Poole
Seattle weatherman 

Betty Rollin
journalist, author, First, You Cry 

Marc Thorpe
movie models, Star Wars 

Paul Watson
documentarian, The Fishing Party 

Annie Werner
holds death party 

Helmert Woudenber
actor, Amsterdamned 


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, Chuff, Dirty Blonde Mind, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, Lemmy.world, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Self-love Is My Superpower, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration.

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo emeritus, Jeff Meyer, 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.


  1. I am glad the cop survived the stabbing. I want him to live a long time knowing what he did.

    1. I hate cops, especially killer cops, but prisons shouldn't be constant torture and worry for your life. In addition to the man who shivved him, the warden and all the guards on duty should be under investigation — after *every* attack behind bars.

    2. Didn't The J-Man work in a prison? Maybe he can enlighten us, if he's happens to be reading.

    3. I worked in a county jail in Michigan for 10 years. Worst possible job. I wished I lived near a coal mine. All I can tell you is that the vast majority of police officers and corrections officers are the worst, most unpleasant people to be around. They believe in their heart of hearts all the propaganda about them being heroes. They believe the costume they wear makes them superior to *civilians.* They believe anyone who questions them has committed a crime against the universe and that they are entitled to physically abuse them in whatever fashion they see fit. They are racist and also despise the poor. They have a gun fetish. They extort sexual *favors.* The American *system*, the American operating order, is so irrevocably broken, for a sizable portion of the poor and colored peoples jail and/or prison time is an improvement in quality of life. As for the safety issues of prison and jail, the officers and commanders will not hesitate to lie and cover-up all instances of abuse, neglect, etc. The mentally ill particularly suffer hardship, as they get almost zero treatment. I can't think of a single good thing to say about police and corrections officers, I fully believe we could get along fine without police, they never solve any crimes, they only catch criminals who are bad drivers or have defective equipment on their cars.

    4. I can't envision life without cops or jails. Too many assholes out there. But jeez, there has to be a way to bring some standards to cop and jail work, so not every cop and jailer is a savage bastard.

      It seems impossible, though. The hierarchy of cops and jailers is structured so the biggest and best bastards get promoted, to oversee the lesser bastards under them.

  2. Capitalism works, but the American style — no limits, no real regulation — works only for the rich, and it ought to be dismantled with a blowtorch.

  3. Here's what pisses me off:

    Two or more systems can happily co-exist at once. we can have universal basic income, free college education, free health care, free food and shelter, and the rich can still get rich and fuck little chilluns on their private islands, or whatever it is that floats their boats. People can still go after more scratch if they're not happy with, say, 12 grand per annum. Me? I'd be happy with that if it meant all of the above amenities, and not having to work a fucking day job so I could pursue my own interest without having to worry about one emergency room visit bankrupting me for life.

    People FREAK THE FUCK OUT when you suggest trying UBI or whatever, as if it means you can ONLY make that much money, but then people that FREAK THE FUCK OUT like that are, you know... m o r o n s

  4. I'm a lifelong pro-union guy as was Grandpa Jack before me, who proudly wore his brick mason union button to work every day he worked. You don't get me I'm part of the union.

    Just to be clear, in the early part of the 20th century unions did organize, but big business fought back and hired private armies like the Pinks to beat the shit out of picketers. The copper bosses shot Joe Hill in Utah and miners were murdered from Pennsylvania to West Virginia. The violence only subsided with the great depression because the majority of people were out of work in their trades. And, of course, unions couldn't strike during WWII. But after the war it was union time. The unions thrived in the post-war period, and for the remainder of the Industrial Economy. In 1998, I bought a brand of washer/dryer that was the last brand made in the United States. Now much of our industrial, unionized work has been offshored and unions are once again in trouble and under attack. But unions are still relevant as Starbucks shows. They are a mechanism which enables the middle class in America to earn a fair wage and provide medical care for their families.

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night.


    1. Were unions forbidden to strike during WW2? I guess that's to be expected, but I'm unwilling to instantly say that's a righteous rule. Seems wrong to me, whether we're in a war or not. If a business is *essential*, paying and treating the workers right needs to be *essential* too.

      My last three jobs, all very brief, were union jobs. That's my biggest regret in quitting them. I'd still like to be a union man before I die.

      I hope it was Utah Phillips singing your dream. My favorite version of the song.

    2. The AFL and CIO took a "no strike pledge" during the war. There were still wildcat strikes, but of relatively short duration. So, sure, unaffiliated unions staged short strikes during the war, and it wasn't illegal to strike. Generally these strikes were over working conditions rather than wages.

      The most famous strike was by the American Federation of Musicians in 1942, at the instigation of union president James C. Petrillo. But even that strike didn't include the recording of V-Discs or appearances on radio -- just commercial recording sessions. And any wildcat strikes in war industries were ended quickly.

      I generalized which is always dangerous.

      Utah Phillips does a fine job. My favorite version, oddly, is by Bruce Springsteen.



    3. Ah, so striking wasn't illegal, merely gauche. You probably weren't there, but I wonder what musical bee was up the AFM's bonnet in 1942?

      I don't say it often for it's sacrilege, but I am not particularly a fan of Mr Springsteen. If you'd asked me five minutes ago, I'da said I'm distinctly fond of only two Springsteen songs, but if Joe Hill counts as a Springsteen, reckon the count is three now.

    4. I'm not too terribly far from you re: Springsteen. The only Bruce album that was in my collection had Born To Run on it. But we live in a country that doesn't know much about its own history, and Bruce didn't get any extra money for playing Joe Hill. Clearly he wanted his audience to get curious and check out the song. He played it correctly, including having everyone stand during the last verse. Unions aren't very popular right now, and he probably made more enemies than friends by playing it. So I give him credit for honoring Joe Hill and America's labor union movement. And he plays four hour concerts, which isn't my cup of tea but I assume people feel like they get their money's worth.

      He's never coasted and, even though he doesn't write much new material, he introduces covers of good music into his concerts. Years ago he danced with his mother and with his sister while his band played Dancing in the Dark, and I'm a family guy, so I thought that was nice. I could probably think of more nice things to say about Bruce, but I don't sit and listen to him for hours; I like the horns, but his music broadly doesn't hit my sweet spot.


    5. Jeez, I get focused on Bruce and drop the ball on unions. The issue was RECORDED MUSIC. By the 1930s, so many small halls and cafes and taverns had juke boxes to dance to that they were given a collective name: Juke Joints. The problem is that when a juke joint could offer dancing just by turning up the volume, that meant that they didn't have to hire a band from Mr. Petrillo's union. And the musicians got paid a session fee but didn't get paid for radio or juke joint play. So two of the musicians' unions struck to get paid a small fee every time the recorded music was played in a public setting. The union had a case, and they won the strike for the most part. Not everyone on the recorded material got paid, but "key personnel" became compensated through ASCAP, BMI, and a couple of acting unions in the case of radio programming.

      That was the bee up Mr Patrillo's bonnet.


    6. Born to Run, Born in the USA, Death to My Home Town, Joe Hill. I guess Dancing in the Dark is nice, but I thought he danced with Courtney Cox. I haven't heard anything awful about him, my only gripe is that everyone says he's God but there's only one true god and that's Ca Stevens. Plus most of BS's songs sound like most of BS's songs.

      Whoops, pause for a moment as I order pizza delivered and masutrbate to this news just in: Henry Kissinger is dead. Only way that could be better news is if he was available as a topping for the pizza.

      So Petrillo sorta invented royalties! Good on him.

    7. Nebraska is the album you want. Top ten of the 1980s.


      I walked up the steps and stood on the porch
      a woman I didn’t recognize came and spoke to me through a chained door
      I told her my story, and who I’d come for
      She said “I’m sorry, son, but no one by that name lives here anymore”

    8. Writing royalties existed (they were abused, but existed) long, long ago. I don't know anything about performance royalties, but there aren't many, special exceptions (Trump rallies) excluded. This is a conversation about recording royalties, juke boxes, and OTA/OTW plays. Later on comes rapping in which I see no point.


    9. "Atlantic City" is on Nebraska -- one of my favorite Bruce songs. Other good stuff there as well. Claude is probably right, although the first three albums are awfully good.


    10. Bruce Springerstein invented rock and roll. Before there was Bruce there was barely even humming. Every song he's made and every fart he's passed have been landmarks in musical history, and despite all his success he remains a working man's millionaire. Dude if you don't worship The Boss how can I take any of your opinions seriously.

    11. Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Fats Domino. They sang 20 years before Bruce farted on vinyl.


    12. Here's Muddy Waters about half way through his Chicago career visiting the Newport Jazz Festival, but this ain't no jazz. Muddy just showin' how he helped invent rock & roll. And he damn well got his mojo workin'.



    13. Hell, Muddy was 30 when he came to Chicago. He was already master of the country blues, and he and Little Walter and Otis Spann helped invent urban blues and early Rock 'n' Roll. Bruce was 3 years old at the time.


    14. I tried the Nebraska songs recommended above, and two others at random off that album. Poor diction, monotonous sound, uninteresting music, insistently unpleasant. Some good poetry, though.

    15. I do believe royalties should be paid to the performers and others involved when recorded music or movies are played. Rotalties be good.

      I'd be more likely to make sure Springsteen got his 1.3¢ per spin if he wasn't already richer than any twenty people I know, and if paying Bruce his 1.3¢ didn't involve paying three dollars to the conglomerate that owns him.

    16. I approve of Muddy Waters, and have no arguments if he wishes to call it rock'n'roll. He'd still be alive today, I believe, if all the hundreds of coffee shops called Muddy Waters paid for use of his name.

    17. I don't worship The Boss, and I question anyone who'd be comfortable being called "The Boss."

    18. to be fair to Bruce, he has always made it known that he did not the nickname, The Boss. Shocked to see no one is standing up for his one great rock album, 1978's Darkness on the Edge of Town.

    19. Everything up to and including Tunnel of Love is great. My favorite three, in order:

      Born to Run
      Darkness on the Edge of Town

    20. Responding to a comment four comments ago, Muddy didn't call it rock'n'roll. He called it Chicago blues. But there were close family ties. At a minimum, Muddy's music was rock'n'roll's uncle. He's just singing in that video, but he played a mean amplified acoustic guitar. Muddy hit Chicago the same year the solid body electric guitar was "invented" by Fender, then Gibson. But I don't recall that Muddy ever changed to a solid body despite lots of feedback (guitar joke).


    21. I don't much know between blues and soul and rock. It's all rock'n'roll to me except when it's not. Surprising myself, I got and laughed at the geetar joke.

    22. you need to listen to Bruce Springsteen’s live albums not just his studio stuff because his crowd work has three modes it’s either “Clarence you should walk me on a leash” or “one time I fell down the stairs and I still think about it….do you still think about it?” or “this songs for my dad who only loved me sort of which was worse than not at all. he’s not in the crowd tonight. or maybe he is. if you see him please god tell me.” and before anyone can react to any of that he’s hootin and hollerin and Clarence Clemens is doing things with a saxophone that are now illegal in more than 15 US states.

    23. Clarence intrigues me more than Bruce. What's Clarence doing on nights he's not holding Bruce's leash?

    24. They probably didn't call him The Big Man for nothing. I doubt Bruce has a similar relationship with Jake.


    25. I know who Clarence is, only because you patiently explained it a while back. Don't know who Jake is. Does Clarence record any solo stuff, non-Bruce?

    26. https://youtu.be/PLTK3SkI5YU?si=pnvos31qHbQrxm-Y

      The funniest most vicious fucker who ever wrote a lyric. The Boss gets a name check.

      Teacher, let me tell you a little story
      Just this morning
      My wife and I
      Went to this hotel in the hills
      That's right
      The Bel-Air Hotel
      Where a very good friend of ours
      Happens to be staying
      And the name of this young man
      Is Mr Bruce Springsteen
      That's right, yeah
      We talked about this kind of
      Woodblock or something..
      New guitar we like
      And you know what he said to me
      I'll tell you what he said to me
      He said, "Rand, I'm tired
      How would you like to be the Boss for awhile?"
      Well, yeah
      Blow, Big Man, blow

    27. That's terrific early Randy, knowing satire of his knowing privilege and funny as fuck.

  5. This oligarch party ain’t stopping until everything that can burn does. At this point hope is irrational, a side effect of rational despair. No one tells the wealth class anything. They tell us, and we obey like good lil capital generating livestock.

    Knockout graphics this time, especially PATRIOTISM KILLS and the fuck you to Xmas.

    1. Time is running out and so's my bank account. I need a job. And yet I refuse to be livestock.

      Hey, thanks for the kind word on the graphics. I try.

    2. Just take their money and refuse to moo. Sometimes it works.


    3. I'll do anything legal for $15 an hour, but will not moo.

    4. Bro, you might already be covered. It's possible that mooing is illegal in the upscale parts of Lesser Seattle. Just to pull the whole thing together, Bruce was born to run but you weren't born to moo.


  6. A thousand good ideas could make America great (not 'again'; it's never been 'great'). UBI, free college tuition, universal health care, basics of food and shelter for anyone who needs it, and while we're building utopia I'd toss in free child care and high-speed internet for all. All of that wouldn't take half the so-called 'defense' budget, and suddenly America would be right up there among the best places in the world to live your life.

    And I believe none of it's possible, so long as Republicans can be elected by whipping up hatred against blacks and women and immigrants. So long as that's the easiest way to get elected in much of the country, change is utterly off the table. No solutions to any problems can be allowed by the Republicans.

  7. I was going to do a little pastiche of Born to Moo, so I just read the lyrics to Born to Run. Hell, I know the damn lyrics, but reading them on the screen, like Prufrock on a dusty page, brought them to life. That is a motherfuckin' well-written song. Yeah, everybody knows that and we've heard it too damn many times, but there's poetry behind the overwrought guitar and the hollered vocal. There's art.

    So no moo today -- likely never -- and you'll never know it's missing.
    My god: wasn't that a time?


    1. A trippy song I'd forgotten completely. I'm listening to the loooong version...

    2. Yeah, the Chambers Brothers heard that black dudes couldn't get down with psychedelia, so they put on a show at the Fillmore that included this song. They upped the ante to psychedelia with soul. Turns out there's a soulful way to play the cowbell. Whoda thought?


    3. just goes to show one man's gold is another man's trash. i have always hated Time Has Come Today. Especially when cover bands stretch out the ridiculous TIME....click, click, click...TIME...click click click...TIME...

      OK we get the point, now MOVE ON! It's like that never ending Freebird with the piano runs that never end. The first 3 minutes of Freebird are fine, maybe even the first 5 minutes but at 10 minutes, it's just an insult to everyone in the audience. WORK for your money, do not coast! The Police had an extended piece they did with Message in a Bottle which took the song from 3 minutes to 15....just....NO.

    4. I've liked 'Freebird" each of the four or five times I've heard it.

      Haven't heard "Time Has Come Today" enough times for it to get on my nerves, but it would, I'm sure.

      I *hate* the short radio-play "Autobahn". When I want that song, I want the whole 40-some minutes...

    5. Well, it's not my favorite song or anything. I just ran across it on YouTube and it made me smile. It had been a couple decades since I heard it. And I like the idea of actual brothers in a "brothers" act. I should also note that you can't hold the originators of a song accountable for cover versions. Or at least you shouldn't.

      In the mid-70s, I went with a carload of friends up to Western Washington State College to see/hear Keith Jarrett solo in a round theater. This was NOT during his jazz period. I don't know whether he played one long song with rests or five different songs that all sounded the same, but just before the -- thankfully -- last song? somebody yelled "Play Freebird." It was the only sensible part of the concert.


    6. Everyone says LOL whether it's true or not and usually it's not true but I laughed at the "Play Freebird!" story.

      Piano jazz? Man, this is terrible to say but much as I like piano jazz and I do like it, yeah, it all begins sounding the same. There is or was a radio show with piano jazz, wife and I listened sometimes but never all the way through, and we always wondered whether any particular episode was new or a rerun, because how could anyone tell?

    7. Marian McPartland. She told good stories as well.


    8. Piano jazz. Sorry about the preceding commercial, but the music is worth waiting for.



    9. I don't think it was Marian McPartland's show. A dude was the host. Might've been a local show in Wisconsin...

      Mr Brubeck & ensemble made fine music, but I know nothing of any preceding commercial. With the Invidious add-on, any YouTube like is translated to Invidious without ads, and without YouTube's notoriously slow loading while it absorbs everything about you and your life. :)

    10. Wow, I was a fairly committed NPR listener in my younger years, and I doubt there was a local piano jazz show, so we had only Ms McPartland. I always enjoyed Mr Brubeck. Of course, when you have Paul Desmond, Eugene Wright and Joe Morello playing with you, you have a pretty good start at sounding fine.


    11. Please stand for our National Anthem



    12. Haven't heard that in far too long.


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