Friday, August 28, 2009

Trent Franks or TRENT TANKS-No thanks

This Huff Post about Trent Franks is revelation regarding the low mentality and absolute stupidity wrapped up in ego and condescension that is typical of the GOP alleged leadership. A moron people elect these guys and you begin to wonder if the country deserves and Obama. A seemingly rational human being pitted against a hoard of intellectual suicide bombers who have one thing on their minds the defeat Obama and Democratic agenda. They care not a whit for their constituents and the country. what they care about is power that is unbridled and unproductive to all but those in the very wealthiest and most selfish. Collectively the FAR RIGHT are the country's form of hemorrhoid. A big pain in the ass.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Father

My dad died yesterday at age 87. He was adored by his family. I am the oldest, his namesake and the black-sheep. I am the only one of the seven siblings who does not live withing a few miles of the lake front home on Burden Lake New York.
I loved my dad and I know he loved me but we were very different people but that changes nothing he was my father and a great and good man.
Last night when I couldn't sleep I went out by the pool and I had a great flash of memory. The day my dad taught me how to swim at Nassau lake in front of the lakeside Burger Stand my Aunt Jenny owned. We were in the water and he held out his arms and I would flail the water towards him and he would take two steps back just enough so he could reach me if I got a mouthful of water. I remember his laughter and his dark wavy hair. I learned how to swim that day. That is how I taught my daughter and I took the same gleeful joy watching her splash and being just close enough to grab her. Lessons learned
The earliest childhood memory I have between ages two and three is falling down the back stairs of our house in Albany. I vividly remember tumbling over and over down the stairs to the basement landing. I have had this memory real or imagined all my life. As I reached the bottom of the stairs he being outside heard the tumult and me screaming crying ran to the bottom and picked me up and held saying over and over "my poor baby" or words to that effect as I cried and he soothed. I had a broken collar bone and remember the trip to the hospital and days in a bath tub with X crossed bandages but more than any other childhood or infantile memory I clearly remember him holding me, comforting me and loving me and knowing because of that I was all right.
Once he told me in private during our tumultuous years "I'm not worried about you you'll be alright. You can take care of yourself it was my youngest by 21 years brother he was most concerned for. He was right because he taught me how to swim.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I am a born in the year 1949 baby boomer from the East Coast, therefore so much of how I see and absorb political abstracts and reality is strained through my Irish Italian background, the Democratic party and of course the three Kennedy brothers who were, in effect, our Knights of the Round Table with all their epic deeds and disasters, all their personal and public trials. Their heroics and their hubris make them singular and giants among contemporaries who are no where near their equals. There is no question as a clan, a family they are intensely unique and yet representative of our flawed but forever trying to be better selves.
John, Robert, Ted all common names for uncommon men.
Perhaps with Ted Kennedy's passing the momentum to end this idiotic health care debate will get going and those opposed will be shammed into doing the correct thing in Ted Kennedy's memory.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Elvis Rest In Peace

I thinks its like this. people are like pendulums as good as you can be is as bad as you can be. I suppose this might explain Elvis and Nixon and all the corruption that sometimes evolves from those with the best and initially, purest of intentions.
What Elvis left to the world far outweighs any of his negatives. The people who are responsible for Elvis's down hill ride besides himself, are the same people, for example who never told him the pants were too short of that stupid sequined white suit and who told him to stop wearing black leather. They really never got it in the first place they were along for the vampire ride and Elvis went along with it because we all know "Its great to be King"-He got lost as we all do and that's why I like the rest of us still love him he did "Treat Me Nice" Sorry that's been bugging me forever.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul- American Genius

For any of us who play guitar this is a very sad day. Les Paul whose name is synonymous with the instrument passed away at 94. Paul was a giant in terms of an industry and an art form. It is safe to assume everything we hear,every note of recorded music is the way it is because of Les Paul for he was not only an extraordinary guitarist he was an inventor and innovator of the first order right up their with Edison and Ben Franklin. A purveyor of American ingenuity he blazed the trail of multi-track recordings. Les Paul invented the overdub as I understand, the concept of the first multi-track Ampex tape recorder sprung from the fertile brain of Les Paul. His recordings with his former wife Mary Ford of songs like "Dear One (Waiting for the Sunshine) and the phenomenal "How High the Moon" stand up today as brilliant playing coupled with technical wizardry.

When Les Paul's right elbow was shattered in a car accident they were getting ready to fuse the bones, he instructed the doctors to bring his guitar and he had them fuse it at an angle so he could continue playing. His pictures from the early 50's on show him holding the guitar with his arm nearly at a perfect right angle.
Perhaps the most incredible thing about Paul is that he was gigging at least once a week in Manhattan all through his nineties. I don't know the details of his last months but he was working at his usual gig as recently as six months ago because I saw it advertise. He basically played and performed until the very end sharp and brilliant even with arthritis I saw a TV show where he was gallivanting across the neck of his Les Paul guitar more nimble than many one fifth his age and brilliantly inventive his playing always had a sense of flash and humor. He led a life than must be admired and wondered over beloved and iconized by any and all of us who ever plucked the strings of the instrument long enough to learn anything about it. One cannot think of the electric guitar with out thinking of two men Leo Fender (who's one hundredth anniversary of his birthday was last week) and of course the mighty marvelous Les Paul.
I own a 1967 Les Paul Gold Top it is perhaps, aside from my wife, the thing I treasure most in life. For me it is a magical thing.For me it is Excalibur and when I take it from its case I always feel a tingle of excitement even though I have owned it for over 34 years. When ever I play a gig it never fails somebody will walk up to me and ask"It that the real thing?" The Les Paul was more than the real thing it is the thing. I always smile and nod yes. They shake their envious heads and walk away usually backwards as one would walk from an idol in a temple. Which is what my LP is when it is on its stand on a stage somewhere. The guitar elevates my playing. I take solace in the fact that every time I open the case I will be reminded of his greatness by the familiar signature below the Gibson logo and in my small way play just a little better because I have my Les Paul in my hand but my guitar will always be his- A Les Paul- and any guitarist knows it doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Madame Justice and Spector's Crazy

What a wonderful moment in American his to see the new justice and the president standing side by side and to hear both of their inspiring words. Its in these precious moments we know we are a great and good country. Then they have the moron who confronted Spector yesterday on MSNBC and you realize the we are also infested with idiots. I swear even the host Dylan -whatever his name is- seemed embarrassed by it. The fool claims Obama broke his oath of office and the constitution by appointing Czars(!)-He absolutely made no sense what so ever. Perhaps he has an illness or something that prevents him from speaking in complete sentences because he truly seemed either so nervous he could not talk or, and I say this with all due respect (*as Bill O would say), he is slightly retarded. He was babbling and I honestly do not think he was all there. It was a weird television moment because if he is representative of that opposition to health care reform they are in trouble. He needs medical attention or meds immediately and I say this with complete seriousness. He was rather pathetic frankly. The contrast between the two events could not have been more stark . The guy was right out of "Deliverance". It was not his fault if he is slow it's the people who put him up to the appearence and if I were a Republican I would keep him far away from a TV studio.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Arlen Spector and the Penn Crazies

I just watched Arlen Spector ( of whom I am no fan) defending himself and the Health Care plan(s)
in a Town Hall meeting and it was enlightening not for them but for me. While people say they can't understand the plan(s) I couldn't understand half the questions. For example a relatively young women reading from a paper asked the senator how he was going to protect the Constitution and get back to its true meaning. I would like to ask her when was the last time she read that document. All these "citizens" who claim they want their country back I ask them:back from what?
I keep looking at these people many of whom are overweight, badly dressed and ill spoken and abysmally ignorant of most up the facts. All seem incredibly paranoid and sure that they are so important individually once the government has their medical records that they, the Black helicopters are going to make a point of rounding them up. Maybe its me I'm willing to concede that I am not a person who has ever wanted a normal existence and I thrive on living outside the what people consider the "real world" I am a musician and artist so I don't really cotton to normalcy as America sees it but that does not make me any less hard working and tax paying as a "citizen" . For me all that mom and apple pie stuff is for the birds but like everybody else I do need access to health care, as does my beloved wife and we each had life threatening illnesses in the last year and know all to well about insurance and medical expenses, and the stupidity of these so called everyday people is shocking.

Monday, August 10, 2009

America America

Yesterday I heard about friends who were short selling their home because their businesses had basically slowed to a crawl. Bad enough but then watching CNN I was inundated by stories of once happily middle class people living in cars and out of work and unable to care for their kids. During the commercial break Larry King advertises his next show talkin about Jermaine Jackson "sharing his grief about Michael". Enough already with the MJ stuff! It is a tragedy but I sure brother Jermaine is not going to be homeless soon or will miss a meal or lacks health insurance.
The problems facing the American people and their abysmal knowledge of the facts and reality need a lot more discussion and education and it is the medias responsibility to help.
the conversation has been distracted from the issues. Those overweight demonstrators collecting Medical and Medicaid complaining about government programs and waiting for the Post Office to deliver their unemployment checks and Social Security checks need to understand the gravity of the situation before they are diagnosed with a life threatening illness that promises to ruin their lives and everything they once worked for.
Listening to some of the politicians particularly those from the south is terribly disheartening when we think that we are supposed to elect the best and brightest. If this is the best they have they are in big trouble. Bill Maher said the other night that just because we have a smart president does not mean we are a smart people. Everyday fifteen minutes of news proves that. All one has to do is check out the likes of Bill O, Sean H, bug-eyed Glen Beck or the hags like Coulter and Malkin to understand that needs an infusion of IQ points to the general populace.
It is stunning that the country is so schizoid in terms of education howling about its importance and yet maintaining a stance of anti-intellectualism and hostility towards the Humanities and academia.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sick of the Bull S#%*$ and Newt

Listening to the "heads" this morning was interesting and seeing Newt absolutely stymied by Howard Dean and even called out by George for his BS was a understated laugh riot. I am really tired of people talking about how smart Newt is. The pain fact is the bloated bag of fecal material and flatulence is a screech voiced charlatan who might as well read a "for sale" sign on his forehead. One look at this guy and you realize he is everything bad about politics not to mention healthy living what is he 50 -75 pounds surly teetering on morbidly obese. A monumental failure as a majority leader, whose own tattered and tawdry personal life undid him as he was railing against Bill Clinton, a total hypocrite. he never fails to come down on the wrong side of every issue. One thing you can guarantee is he will come down on the side that benefits him the most.
Gingrich did nothing when he had power except try and destroy Clinton and in turn destroyed himself. Anyone who would trust this recently converted Roman Catholic deserves it. That is what is truly scary as one wonders if America gets what it deserves, we hope with Obama we have lifted ourselves above these slimy hypocrites with our current president but as one looks at the idiots demonstarting against their own best interest if we , as Americans don't deserve the likes of a slimy lizard-Newt

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Willy DeVille

I read this morning Willy DeVille died at 58- DeVille was an unappreciated Artist whose sensibilities were akin to my own and others of my ilk. Those of us who in our pre and post adolescent longing for true love and truth stashed the transistor radio underneath our pillow and wet dreamed of the lead singer in the Shangrilas. Mink DeVille had more in common with the Brill revivalism of Springsteen and others rather than the CBGB screamers posers and "artistes". No disrespect to the necessary revolutionaries who along with the romantics tore down the pretentious pomposity of corporate rock that Lee Abrams hustled into FM radio with the dreaded
AOR format. Here the word "format" becomes an obscenity because it is in the formatting, this genre specificity, that artists and musicians who are eclectic and substantial get lost, overlooked and underrated. Willy DeVille's abject romanticism and appreciation for all musics was a boon to all those who paid attention. Eclecticism, which many critics confuse with confusion, overreaching and pretension is a important factor in an artists duty to substantiate his work and grow. Where would pop music be without these writers and artists who will try any style that interests them. We have to ask how is it that it is truly discouraged in most forms of art and music that cross collateralize with commercial pop culture. Adieu Willy the mariachis, castanets, violins and Cadillacs await you in a better place.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Michelle Malkin- Not ready for Prime Time

Watching Michelle Malkin today on Sunday with George was a revelation. Malkin was clearly not ready to deal with people who would not let her get away with her claptrap scatterbrained, tinged with self hatred, illogical meanderings. The Mary Queen of Scots to Ann Coulter's Elizabeth (notice you never see them together) was clearly nervous at the round table and Atlanta's Cynthia Tucker seemed embarrassed she was at the same table with the likes of Malkin. It is true that Malkin's presence diminished the TV gravitas of "This Week". Trouble was it was not even good TV the rest of the panel shot her down at times appearing not to even acknowledge her perspective. I would term it intellectual fly swatting. One particularly egregious moment came when Malkin impled that the unemployment extensions currently keeping literally millions barely afloat were disincentives and encouraging people not to find jobs. She basically called everyone on unemployment lazy loafers who don't want to work- Hey you out there of the 10-20% truly out of work how does that strike ya. Clearly they were auditioning Malkin to see if she could hold her own
with people who actually know what they are talking about- I would of loved to see her with George Will-to observe how he would hard he would swallow and if he could tolerate her ignorance because she is "Conservative". As for the audition?.....NEXT!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Evolution and Progress

I was thinking that political systems evolve as everything else does and over the centuries philosophies and ideologies have back and fort dialog as the interact and inbreed. The Protestant movement of Martin Luther and the rest wrestled with the Roman Curate while they in turn beat up on the various sects that Catholicism begat. It is oxymoronic yet accurate to call this gigantic struggle a microcosm of the universe of intellectual struggle. I say this because we exist in a universe that is constantly editing itself. To not be aware of Progressiveness in the political structure which, by the nature of its name defines its intentions, is simply to ignore the inevitable whether it takes centuries or epochs minutes or years you cannot stop progress. What progress means is the next question.