Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Tea Party Debacle

I always found it funny that the Tea Party is so named because none of those people would ever drink tea; it's European and elitist. By chance, I'm sipping on a Twisted Tea right now. How apropos.

But on to my post.

The Republican Party is in a bad way right now. I just read Think Progress's article on the Mike Castle v. Christine O'Donnell primary. And it's bad mojo. Republicans supporting Castle are knocking down O'Donnell as "dishonest." But if she wins, what do they do? Well, flip-flop, of course, but I don't think the right gets it (or maybe they do) that they've created a monster of a schism in both the party and their supporters.

The "Tea Party" is not really a "party" so to speak. Or maybe they are. They've already established a congressional caucus. That's even worse news.

In a year where lots of people don't like our president in a realm of dissent from "He didn't do enough" (left) to "Socialist!" to "Death panels" to "Um, he's black and well, we call him a socialist cause we can't say nigger and get away with it", the Republicans are fostering what should be a clear win of several seats in November. But they botched it up. The right created the Tea Party.

And I don't even think folks at the head of the Tea Party understand their followers. Some are Republicans who see the Tea as an extension of themselves. Some are hard-right goons drinking the Beckbaughity tea who think everything is wrong with every part of our government. And I'm guessing many are just confused. What was supposed to be a revitalization and back to basics movement is fracturing the right in many sordid ways.

Republicans are calling this year "The year of the woman" but - like technology and humor - don't quite pick up on the nuances of language when it comes to civil rights or equality. I got an email the other day from the righties about "The Right Woman to Be in Congress." So ...are all the rest wrong? And if this is the year of the woman, then why are the most prominent women on the right - Angle, Bachmann, Palin - either ignorant or completely batshit crazy?

They are confusing the base and doing nothing to sort it out. That is, if they know who their base is. Sure, there are plenty of Americans who will vote Repub no matter what, but not all. But when you're pushing a Ministry of NO on an administration with no real answers except "Wrong!" then the few thinkers on the right start wondering what the actual platform is. And Republicans specifically announced they would not reveal that until September because it might be an issue in elections. Um, shouldn't it?

The Republicans have no game. Even worse, they're going through some fierce infighting, like a giant, bastard cousin of what happened when Palin hijacked the McCain campaign.

I, for one, am pleased.

And with no end in sight, I'm pushing a Palin-Bachmann ticket for 2012. We'll have Obama vying for term 2, and if Clinton seals the Mideast deal, her too. I'll still vote for Kooch if he runs again. But that's a solid Democratic front. And any American would take that over stupid insanity.

Then again, I guess I'm relying on the American people to choose wisely.

The Music Done Me In

I cry a little more than I used to. But one of the things that I've noticed over the past few years is that music makes all the difference; in every show you might watch, the plot may be stirring, the story may touch a base in your soul, and the connection you make to it may be monumental. But when you get to the end of the tale, the end of the network-sanctioned narrative, there's something that can touch you in the denouement. And that's music.

I noticed it first a few years ago in the final montage minutes of ER. "The story's not that great so why am I weepy?" Again in that episode of West Wing with Mark Harmon as the Secret Service agent. Again in any episode of Cold Case. "I don't care about these people really, so why am I battening down the hatches so I don't drop into throes of sobbing during the last 3 minutes of resolution?"

It was the music.

The music massages the little bits you've collected during the show or movie, puts them all together, works as the glue of emotion, the background of magic that makes that story progress or wrap up or really do something more than just tell a tale.

So: Thank you to every single editor and producer who has added some great bit of music to the movie or the show. You made it happen. And I wept. Thank you.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Boobs on Mars

Okay, so it's just the areola.

(seriously though, awesome new Mars images here)

Musical, Personality Watershed

So aside from that other watershed moment that I decided to bury prematurely in the archives, here's a little something from my past.

One day in 9th grade I was wandering through Camelot Music (FYE now), a few bucks burning a hole in my pocket with my friend Annette, 3 years my senior. I'd been listening to different kind of music, was just starting to get into my own groove, and I was presented with a choice. I only had enough money for one CD, and I was agonizing between two:

I hemmed and hawed and backed and forthed for almost 20 minutes before making my decision, heavily influenced by Annette's patience level: Nine Inch Nails it would be.

And it changed my life.

I'm not saying I wouldn't have eventually bought that album if I'd picked Violent Femmes, but I see that single choice as an enormous formative decision in my young life. Pretty Hate Machine led to musical offshoots making me aware of Ministry, Love and Rockets (& Bauhaus), Sisters of Mercy, Skinny Puppy, etc., and - honestly - allowed me to wallow in the angst of my soul just like every high school kid should.

I've gone much more indie and singer/songwriter, but still love that music and go through moods where nothing else will do but to scream my heart out. Heck, I think I'm going to the Legendary Pink Dots show in Columbus next month.

So thanks Annette. That one time, that one day, you nudged me in what I see now as the only right direction. And I'm who I am today because of it.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Say Hi to the Wonderful N00bs!

Looks like I keep picking them up.


So everyone say hello to:
Kay at Kay's Thinking Cap
Badger at Vienna for Dummies
Ashley at Beyond Passing Time
The Domestic Minx
Nikkolas at Skeptical Eye
Zaki's Corner
Geof at Enter the Man-Cave
...and Josh, who doesn't have a blog, but likes to read others'.

Cheers to all!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Beckatopia: The Stupid on Saturday

I was tuned in to Glenn Beck's masturbatory mess on Saturday morning, once I was able to discern that it was only being fully covered by C-SPAN.

(NOTE: If you'd like to watch it in its 3-hour entirety for free, hit C-SPAN. Glenn is using his radio program to shuck his paid, premium service just to hear the damn thing. So much for being about the people.)

The first fifteen minutes began with Glenn talking about Manifest Destiny, Divine Providence, and carting out:
  • A man, pastor, apparently direct descendant of the pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock
  • A man and woman, apparently direct descendants of the Native Americans who greeted those pilgrims on our eastern shores.
  • A Jew.
So the pastor was clad in modern garb, you know: like a suit. And the Native Americans were dressed like Disney's "Pocahontas." And the Rabbi? Suit and all, but why was he there?

So the Christian got the mic first and started wailing into it about the "One True God" of Jesus Christ.

I had to change the channel. Why this fable of the Thanksgiving story? How'd they get these Native Americans to do the Indian Uncle Tom costume getup for a rally where most of the assholes in the audience think Mexicans are foreigners? Why the Jewish guy? Why the screaming of the Christian to immediately ostracize any form of unification, including Glenn's Mormonism? Where was the representation of the Chinese, Vikings, and Philippine visitors to the USA who were here before Columbus and the pilgrims?

But you know I had to go back; I like punishment like that.

So I went back to hear Glenn pontificate and worship himself, Sarah Palin blabber incoherently, and listen to the token African Americans appear as Glenn himself hijacked MLK Jr.'s Dream Day while saying he wasn't hijacking it while playing film and quoting MLK Jr. and forgetting repeatedly to use the "Jr." to discuss him.

And you know he talks to God. You may have heard the jokes, but Glenn admittedly, specifically, speaks to God. I'm guessing it's the Mormon God passing himself off as the Christian God, but hey, that's just me. He talked about Moses and the Burning Bush, saying this event was everyone's burning bush moment, to get back to God.

And Glenn reinvented uselessness on Saturday by talking about the original Purple Heart medals, how they stood for merit, and then inventing his own medals for those pictures of the Founding Fathers that God had him paint: Faith, Hope, and Charity. And Hope went to a Dominican Republic baseball player Albert Pujols because immigrants are OK when they can play ball and even start charities.

Wait a second, what would happen if an Iranian moved here and started a charity? Holy shit!

Eventually, Mrs. Shambles cut me off about noon because it was getting too tiresome. Too horrid. Too terrifying.


Reports from the rally range the attendees from 80,000 to 600,000. That was the serious report from CNN on Monday.

Glenn Beck, on Monday, in an apparent bid to knock down claims that he's a fear-mongering media whore, said that Saturday's true message was to "Get behind the 'Shield of God'" because it's time to say bye-bye to the world as we know it; the end is a-comin'. He again fake cried.

Right wing nutters all over in the last 2 days have used a very brief mention of Beck's rally with no conformable numbers to declare how "amazed" they are, that they've never seen organization of conservatives like this, etc., etc., etc.

The sad truth, conservatives, is that this was not you. It was the Tea Party. And you and them are not the same, except in perhaps a shared hatred towards minorities and immigrants. But that's another post.

SO - while you do a great spin on Mormon O'Beckerson's Scattershot Akimbo Vague Religion Rally, you have already lost. See you in November.