Friday Fives – feed Maynard to PBS

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What is your must see network TV right now? 

I don’t have cable, so we don’t watch much broadcast tv of any kind.  We watch football, 60 minutes, and Modern Family.  Everything else is Netflix.  I guess my default would be PBS.  PBS has some strikingly great television.  Also, they have some terribly boring dreck.  I never miss Frontline if it is on, regardless of the topic.  Here is the really unsettling thing about watching stuff on PBS… no commercials.  Since we don’t have cable, we have no DVR.

When I get home from work, and let’s say I am watching Frontline.  I am also likely making dinner, cleaning up, playing guitar, doing laundry… whatever.  PBS gives you no bathroom breaks.  At first, I thought “this is great.  Pure programming without the capitalist interruptions”… but we have been trained to get those breaks every 12 minutes.

What is your must see streaming TV show right now

First thing I do every night when I power up Netflix is check Satchel Handler.  I think she is on a break.  I love her, because he is incredibly fearless.  She seems to possess little to none of the show business pleasantries you need.  Saw her on Jimmy Fallon the other night and she was talking about Russia.  She was explaining that Russia sucks and the people sucks and the whole region is a shithole.  Jimmy was mortified.  In the tradition of Jay Leno, Jimmy is careful not to take sides or antagonize anyone.  It’s a smart move.  Chelsea isn’t like that.  Plus, I find her stunning, and she is very often topless on her show, and I really appreciate that.

Also, I love her books, the older the better.   Barring Chelea, we look for a good stand up special or documentary.

Lastly, I love movies.  I keep a list on the kitchen fridge of movies.  When I see a commercial for a movie out right now that looks great, I write it up on the fridge.  Then, when it comes out on DVD streaming amazing I am ready to pounce.  Because they are SO expensive, we rarely go to the movies.  For wife and I to see a movie, after 2 tickets and a couple sodas we are out $50.  OR… I can wait 3 months and see it for $6 in hi def at home.  Plus, I have a nice tv and a really nice bose hifi… so movies at home are pretty great.

What is your must see cable/satellite TV show right now?

We already covered that, it’s Chelsea Handler. Are you even paying attention to me?

Do you have a must read author/writer right now?

Yes, Christopher Moore.  Hop over to my ‘what I am reading’ page for my wonderful rants about him.  Right now, this very minute, I am not reading him.  I am reading Maynard’s autobiography.  He of Tool greatness.

 What is you must listen to musician/song/album right now.

Tool, because I am reading and listening to Maynard’s book right now.  Yes, I am doing both, and it is kind of interesting.  Allow me to ‘splain.  No, there is too much.  Allow me to sum up’.  I got Maynard’s book from the libray.  That gives me 2 to 3 weeks to read it.  Sadly, I just don’t have the time to knock out a 300 page book that quick.  I am really interested in it, though.  So, I also got the audiobook through audible.  Through the audio book, I am listening to the second half of the book, about his time with Tool and Perfect Circle and moving to Jerome for the winery and all that.  In the hard copy book, I am going through his formative years.  I have never done this before, but it is built out of necessity.  Now that I drive 2 hours a day for work, audiobooks are 90% of my content.

Tool are amazing, and I am lucky enough to have seen them a few times.  However, I must give you the hipster update – I am not into their new stuff.  I fully get why they want to explore deeper things with 14 minute songs which are rich tapestries of the human emotional experience.  Fine.  That isn’t what I want, though.  I love the very early Tool,  like Opiate.  I love the era of Tool where Maynard actually ends a song with this lyric ‘ shoot you in your fucking head!’   This music is SO good, and so emotionally powerful.   Listen with headphones.  Not just because its better that way, but nsfw lyrics.

 

*** that artwork up top?  As you know, I head everything with a mandala.  Loosely speaking, it is a visual representation of the subconscious.  They are are generally of a circular nature.  This one up top is actual artwork from the band Tool.  Note the Fibonacci sequence embedded in there.  It’s powerful stuff.

Friday Fives – my mom was right, always!

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What do you usually have for breakfast?

I don’t.  I don’t like breakfast.  I don’t like the food, and (most importantly (I REALLY REALLY don’t like the time of day.  At ALL).  Since I have to participate in society, and am almost required to wake up every single day… a breakfast is minimal.  Maybe an egg or two, maybe some protein powder, maybe a protein bar.  Odds are, it is just some beef jerky while I am driving.  Beef jerky is perfect food.  To paraphrase Ben Franklin, it is proof god loves us and wants us to be happy’.  All protein, with almost no fat or sugar or carbs.

If you are driving, EVER, jerky is perfect for road trips.  It doesn’t need to be hot or cold.  It doesn’t need silverware, and you don’t have to take your eyes off the wheel to eat it.

What’s your ‘thing’ that you always have to explain to new people?

I guess that I was a long haired deadhead who got to follow the Dead and Jerry around while he was still alive.  I was at the legendary 90 and 91 shows that are so well regarded they have released 2 box sets of those tours.  I still am all those things, I just don’t look the part anymore.  Now I am a corporate stooge, just like you.  It’s what Jerry would have wanted.

What are some unethical and possibly illegal life hacks?

How to lie to people.  If you know psychology, you know how to real people who are lying to you.  They fidget and won’t look you in the eye.  So, to lie effectively, don’t fidget and look them directly in the eye.  Bonus body language?  Tip your head to the left a bit.

not that I ever lied to you, though.

What is the most annoying thing your neighbor does?

Texts me to remind me my dogs are driving him crazy.  I feel terrible, he is 100% correct.  Thanks a lot, hounds!  Bonus?  He just moved, and I honestly feel our dogs were probably a big part of it.  I feel terrible, he is a very good man and was always kind to us until the dogs kinda severed our relationship.

What was the dumbest rule your parents had growing up?

My parents were saints, and my mother is a god to me.  Don’t you dare question a thing she ever did.  Seriously!  So, I will tell you a great rule she had… no motorcycles.  She said ‘if you want to live in my house, no motorcycles!’.  I agree, and have the same rule with my dogs.

 

Talking Stick Resorts hates it’s community!!! I think… maybe… prolly

 

So, I am researching upcoming concerts.  Don’t worry about who, it’s not your business (and it’s a little embarrassing).  I come across ‘Talking Stick Resort’ in Phx, AZ.  I was puzzled, knowing this was a tour hitting the largest venues in the largest cities.  Generally speaking, that is only venues with names like ‘pepsi center’.  They are 18,000 seat venues that your city’s basketball and hockey teams play in.  ‘Talking Stick Resort’ sounded like a small 2,300 person theater in the back of a native  American casino.

Because I know more than anyone you know about concerts and venues and ticketing and how it all works (in a short answer:  quite poorly for fans) I did some digging.

I found out that Talking Stick Resort is formerly America West Arena.  Quite literally, as I suspected, where the basketball and hockey teams play.  At least I know the Suns still play there, don’t know about the hockey team.  I haven’t lived there in 25 years, and hockey didn’t exist then.  So, I am boycotting the very notion!

Here is my concern, and why I write.  Note, this is not well researched, and I am working off of memory.  I am wrong, please do add in comments, and I will gladly update and acknowledge.

Here is the thing, we (the US Fed Treasury) does not tax Native American Casinos.  I assume Talking Stick Resort made the millions it would cost to buy naming rights from an ‘indian’ casino.

So.. ‘we‘ don’t tax the casinos because the assumption is they will take all this money and spend it in their community.  It is meant as an apology for the last couple of hundred years.  Since many (and every one I have been do) native American communities are a shit show with little to no water or electricity… this seems like a fair deal.

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It would seem that Talking Stick Resort took some of these millions and bought naming rights.  Until their communities have clean running water and electricity… maybe naming rights shouldn’t be the biggest priority with extra cash.  Yes, this is me the white devil telling them how to spend their money… ummm. our money?

If that is the case, then that is fucked up.  You know how people don’t want to give panhandlers money, under the assumption they will just use it to buy drugs?  Now, I don’t want to give money to that specific native community because they will just use it to buy naming rights.

Lastly, there is the surreal fucked up bonus of us white folk spending our money buying stadiums for these billionaires, instead of helping our own communities.  That is not lost on me here… I am just sad to see that roll over to other communities that can less afford such a silly luxury.  I mean… let me process this.  We give the native communities access to do whatever they want with their money… and they end up ALSO subsidizing our asshole billionaire sports teams owners?

I wish I could be like Chief Joseph, and ‘fight no more, forever’.  However, as long as this shit goes down… I will be your eyes and ears.  Unless you don’t want me to be.  Then, I will just be my own vigilant protector.

 

** in the interest of fairness and clarity, I emailed the casino through their webpage asking these very questions.  If they respond, I 100% promise to acknowledge and post their response.  This isn’t meant to be a ‘gotcha’ piece.  That benefits no one.  I just want some answers.

*** in the interest of interest – what the hell is a talking stick?  Well, it is just exactly what it sounds like

What is a Talking Stick?
The Talking Stick is a tool used in many Native American Traditions when a council is called. It allows all council members to present their Sacred Point of View. TheTalking Stick is passed from person to person as they speak and only the person holding the stick is allowed to talk during that time period.
**** like many of my most successful pieces, this began as a conversation with Jaime, the Arizona Monkey Boy

 

Friday Fives – there’s a song for that

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If you could choose a song to die to what would it be?

Angel, from Jimi Hendrix.  Not that over-produced dreck on ‘First Rays… ‘, either.  The acoustic bootleg one.  It is transcendent.  Lemme see if I can find it online.  It is not widely or easily available.  In fact, I don’t even have a copy.  FOUND IT.

Within the past 24hrs, what song has been stuck in your head?

Wasted Years, Iron Maiden ***

Hey you, how tough are you?

I don’t care for that question.  How about this, I am tough enough to talk shit about you on the internet, but not tough enough to actually put my name on any of it.  Hence ‘Lono’, you fucking cowards!   Tee hee hee.

What is the song that describes your point in life right now?

All right now

What song always gives you goosebumps when you listen to it?

That song above, Angel.  Also, the original acoustic demo of ‘Song that Jane Likes’, from Dave Matthews.  The studio cut of that is one his debut, Remember Two Things.  However, that version is also dreck.  Find the solo acoustic ones.

 

 

 

*** I think maybe that we should just rename Iron Maiden as ‘The Steve Harris Band’.  He is the founder, songwriter, brains, and bass player of the band.  Really, Iron Maiden is Steve Harris, and then some other guys, I guess.  It’s rare that a single person be the entire band, even more rare for a non singing bass player.  Motley Crue is the same way, in fact.  Motley is Nikki Sixx.  That is it.  He owns it all, he started it all, he managed it all, and he wrote all the songs.

thoughts on the 2016 election

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First – I get why people voted for Trump.  However, I don’t think anyone was voting for Trump.  He was the ‘none of the above’ choice.  To vote for him was to rebuke all the choices.  I get that.  I agree with that.  I didn’t vote for either of them, and I did vote.  The electorate seemed to be saying “fuck ALL these guys.  No politician has ever done shit for America or the working class.  They are only chasing big donors, and they are accountable to no one!”  I get that, and I agree.  It was exactly the message we needed to send to Washington DC.  I am even fine with the idea of an outsider so far outside that he has never even held public office.  I think that was great.   BUT… here are two reasons why it was ineffective.

But here is where we blew it big time, like we do EVERY time.  The election was a scathing indictment of the status quo… and rightfully so.  Here is the problem with that – the president is largely a figurehead.  The real work is being done in Congress and the Senate.  Those bodies are the ones running the country.  But voting for Trump, America said ‘drain the swamp.  Kick those deadbeat politicians to the curb.  They stopped working for Americans decades ago. Congress… we love to hate them.  Here is a study that shows 91% of Americans disapprove of Congress.  I think the number should be higher, and probably is.  SO… this is an easy fix, America.  Politics suck, Congress sucks,  kick them ALL out of office.  Problem solved!

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Instead, we get the Democracy we deserve.  Congress gets reelected over 90% every fucking time.  NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE until they get kicked out.  Kick out every incumbent.  I put my money where my mouth is.  I voted for a Republican congressman a few weeks ago.  I fucking hate Republicans.  I simply wasn’t going to support the incumbent.  If we just kicked out 20%, it would send shockwaves.  You elected a guy who has never held public office to the highest elected office in the land.  You did it because everything, and everyone, is more of the same.  I agree.  Shit, why not Trump?  Could he really be a worse president that GW Bush?  It would be tough.

You have to kick everyone out of Congress.  You bitch about them, and some of you even send them letters and such.  It means nothing, and here is why – I will use the dog training analogy I am so found of.  Imagine you are training a dog to stay off the counter.  Imagine this was your technique – every time the dog gets on the counter, I whisper ‘bad dog’ and then give him bacon.  Would that ever work?  It would not.  Your words mean nothing if you are feeding him bacon.  This is reelecting congress.  You tell them they are all deadbeats and good for nothing.  You talk shit about them, and send them letters, and tell every pollster how frustrated you are.  And then you re-elect them.  Why would they change their behavior if they know that no matter what horrible or uselessness they do… you will re-elect them.

How is it in this election we sent the greatest fuck you in the history of American politics… but the real people running the country got re-elected at a rate of 97%

 

Friday Fives – Mike Wallace for President

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What is your favorite word?

I think we have discussed this before, but it is schadenfreude.  It is a German word that supposedly had no English equivalent.  It means to take joy in others pain.  It is NOT that I like that idea.  I just love the word, and that Germans (of course) invented the word.

If fictional characters were allowed to run for US presidency, who would you vote for and why?

I want someone who is both fearless, and has total integrity.  Trump, for example, may be fearless… but I think he has zero integrity.  Remember the brilliant Groucho Marx quote about refusing entry to the to famed Friar’s club – “I would not join any organization that would have me as a member!”.  God, I love that line.

My point being, anyone who wants it should be disqualified.  The kind of ego and hubris you need to think you can run the world likely makes you a narcissistic prick.  I want to assign it to someone.  Get it?  I don’t want anyone to do it who thinks they can do it.  You can’t.  NO ONE CAN.  I imagine this job is about delegation.  Ok… focus.  Cartoon character.  Who is a cartoon character who is fearless and full of integrity.  Lemme think… what are the cartoons I love?  Simpsons, and South Park.

UPDATE – I just re-read the question.  It doesn’t have to be a cartoon character.  Isn’t it odd my mind went right there?  How about this?  Not fictional, but dead… so kinda its.  Mike Wallace from 60 Minutes.

What is the most disturbing book that you’ve ever read?

A Severed Head, Iris Murdoch.  It was terrible.  Maybe the worst book ever written.  I am qualified to say that, I have a literature degree.  Here is how desperate the book was – remember how the show Weeds routinely jumped the shark after the first couple years?  Like, every year they just took everything and threw it out the window.  Then, got drunk, and created a wheel of random plot points.  Oh, I kept watching… but the show just wandered aimlessly for years.  That is how that book went.

You can have sex with one fictional character. Who is it?

Nancy from Weeds.  Smart, driven, kind, crazy, and crazy sexy.  Don’t click this link if you are at work, or the one above.

What is your favorite place to read a book?

Bathroom, toilet.  It’s the only time I really read.  Every night before bed.  Helps me clear my head.

Bobby Seale – still alive

‘Still Alive’ is a fairly nascent series I have been doing for years.  Too often, we only stop to realize and appreciate amazing people after they died.  I have tried this here, here, and here.  Let’s not wait that long, shall we?

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That picture above isn’t Bobby, it is Huey.  He is important.  Huey and Bobby are the closest our culture has to Nelson Mandela.  We aren’t going to talk about Huey, though.  Huey really did the heavy lifting.  However, he is tough to lionize since we know he killed a lot of people… personally.  So if this is a story about of Bobby… why the picture of Huey?  Because it is a great fucking picture.

Bobby Seale is still alive.  You don’t know that name, but you need to.  Bobby is a founding member of the Black Pathers.  They were a militant black right’s group from San Francisco. ‘Isn’t that a black supremacy group?  Where they terrorists?  No, you racist.  They began as a free range legal activist group.  See, in the late 60s (like everywhere, and every time in America) black folk were getting pulled over and harassed.  For being black.  Huey would follow the cops around, and when they pulled someone over, Huey would get out, too.  When the cops began harassing or beating these black motorists… Huey stood there with a shotgun in one hand a law book in the other.

Let’s just for a minute and realize how great that image is.

He would shout to these motorists ‘you don’t have to answer that’. And stuff like that.  As word got around, their numbers grew.  Pretty much if you were a black person in San Francisco, you were a fan of the Panthers.  The work they did was human rights, very simply.  When there was no stop light in a dangerous traffic neighborhood, the Panthers engaged city council and asked for a stoplight.  They were, of course, ignored.  So, the Panthers took control of the intersection and have volunteers man it to make it a 4 way stop.

From my white, privileged, background… I see 2 main schools of thought in 60s black rights struggle.  the MLK non-violent ‘love your enemy, and forgive him’ tact… and the Malcolm X ‘by any means necessary’ fight back tact.  The Panthers were decidedly of the latter… and I agree.  They mindfully chose the name Black Panthers because ‘a panther will not attack unless it is cornered, and then it will viciously defend itself’.  How great is that?

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There are too many stories like that to tell.  I want you to know, most importantly, that these men (Bobby Seale, Huey Newton… and to a less degree Eldridge Cleaver) are heroes.  Yes, Nixon called them public enemy #1.  He also killed them all, and the ones he couldn’t kill he framed for jail.  Example – Geronimo Pratt.  He was convicted for murder, and spent 27 fucking years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.  How do we know?  Well, the assholes who convicted him as eyewitnesses to the murder… turned out to be undercover cops.  Yeah, it took 27 years for that to come out and for him to be released.  Now do you get why black people are so angry?

There is SO much more I want to tell you, but there isn’t the time.  Plus, I am a privileged white guy… so I feel it isn’t even my business to tell their story.  I will, though, from the mountain tops.

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Here is some reading.  First off, Bobby is miraculously still alive.  There are 2 great books on the Panthers, written by the men themselves

Bobby Seale – Seize the Time

Eldridge Cleaver – Soul on Ice

What about Huey?  It is, really, his organization.  He also has a book.  Problem is, Huey isn’t half the writer that Bobby or Eldridge are.  Ever heard the term ‘power to the people’?  Even see the ‘black power’ fist?  The Panther’s invented that! ***

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See, we have this black lives matter movement.  That’s nice, and I agree.  However, it doesn’t seem organized or purposeful.  The gist is ‘hey cops, stop shooting black people!’.  Well, that is implied.  If it isn’t, then a catchy slogan isn’t going to keep you from shooting black people.  What the Panther’s did is the ORIGINAL ‘black lives matter’ movement.  They had a plan, and a communication strategy, and their plan didn’t depend on the white man helping them… or forgiving them.  The Panthers, wisely, realized that white society wasn’t going to do anything to help them.  So, they set out to help themselves.

I want to celebrate Bobby for a few reasons.  He is still alive.  His story of the Chicago 8 is incredible and terrifying.  He didn’t kill as many people as Huey.  In fact, I don’t know that Bobby killed anyone.

ok, that is all for now.  This wasn’t meant to be even a tiny bit comprehensive.  It is meant for you to say ‘wow, what a story.  I can’t wait to learn more!’  There is a cool frontline documentary on them I just bought last week, but I haven’t seen it yet.  Ordering that it was reminded me to tell you this story.

Power to the People.  ALL Power to the People!

 

 

 

  • I use the term ‘black’ instead of ‘American American’ simply because the latter takes WAY too long to type out. Plus, back then, they were referred to ‘colored’.