Friday, June 30, 2006

Alien Lore 75: They're here. They're hostile. And powerful people don't want you to know.

Click the poster to enlarge

In my booklet, Dark Skies is the greatest television show ever created, and it's tragic it did not survive its first season. The creators, Bryce Zabel and Brent V. Friedman, plotted a fantastic five year story arc that encompassed history from 65 million years B.C., to the present day. The show begins in 1947, during the Truman administration, when America was invaded by the hive, in the form of Greys. An alien (hive) invasion takes place right beneath our noses.

The story begins with JFK's assassination for planning to tell the nation the truth about UFOs if he was re-elected to a second term. From there, it gets stranger and kookier and more and more eerie. One of the hallmarks of the show was using bits of real life and real people as part of the story. You meet people like John Lennon, Timothy Leary, Dorothy Killgallen, Bobby Kennedy, Jack Ruby, Jim Morrison, William Paley, Hubert Humphrey, Truman, and many many more.

If you would like to see this series, you'll have to borrow my bootleg DVDs, or wait until Sony decides to release them. I don't like to buy bootlegs, and I will indeed buy the legit ones. . .if Sony comes to their senses (not likely considering their PS/3 strategy). You can find the boots, which are not bad--roughly VHS quality--on EBay.

Bryce Zabel has an interesting blog--For What It's Worth "dispatches from the culture war"--where he focuses on a lot of interesting pop culture sidebars. I like this guy a lot. He's smart, he wrote a nice piece about his dad on Father's Day, and he created a great TV show in a vast desert of drek.

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 barbecue mitts, mattresses, and bowling balls

From Deadline Hollywood comes this partial list of items Disney has licensed around its upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean 2 movie. Hmmmm::::::::::::::::::

Drinking water; energy drinks; flavored waters; fruit juices; fruit-flavored beverages; juice base concentrates; lemonade; punch; non-alcoholic beverages, namely, carbonated beverages; non-alcoholic beverages containing fruit juices; smoothies; sparkling water; sports drinks; syrups for making soft drinks; table water; vegetable juices; bagels; bases for making milkshakes; biscuits; bread; breakfast cereal; preparations made from cereal; bubble gum; cakes; cake mixes; candies; cake decorations made of candy; ketchup; cereal-based snack bars; chewing gum; chocolate; chocolate-based beverages; cocoa-based beverages; cones for ice cream; confectionery; cookies; corn-based snack foods; crackers; deli sandwiches; flavored, sweetened gelatin desserts; frozen confections; frozen meals consisting primarily of pasta or rice; frozen yogurt; honey; ice cream; ice milk; licorice; marshmallows; mayonnaise; muffins; mustard; noodles; oatmeal; pancakes; pancake mixes; pasta; pastries; pancake syrup; pies; pizza; popcorn; pretzels; puddings; rice; rolls; salad dressings; sauces; sherbets; spices; tea; tortillas; waffles; cheese; cheese and cracker combinations; cheese spread; candied fruit; chocolate milk; dairy products excluding ice cream, ice milk and frozen yogurt; dips; dried fruits; drinking yogurts; frozen meals consisting primarily of meat, fish, poultry or vegetables; fruit preserves; fruit-based snack food; jams; jellies; milk beverages with high milk content; meats; nuts; peanut butter; potato chips; potato-based snack foods; powdered milk; raisins; snack mix consisting primarily of processed fruits, processed nuts and/or raisins; soup; soup mixes; yogurt; action skill games; action figures and accessories therefore; board games; card games; children’s multiple activity toys; badminton sets; balloons; basketballs; bath toys; baseballs; beach balls; bean bags; bean bag dolls; board games; building blocks; bowling balls; bubble making wands and solution sets; chess sets; children’s play cosmetics; Christmas stockings; Christmas tree decorations; collectable toy figures; crib mobiles; crib toys; disc toss toys; dolls; doll clothing; doll accessories; doll playsets; electric action toys; equipment sold as a unit for playing card games; fishing tackle; golf balls; golf gloves; golf ball markers; hand held unit for playing electronic games; hockey pucks; inflatable toys; jigsaw puzzles; jump ropes; kites; magic tricks; marbles; manipulative games; mechanical toys; music box toys; musical toys; parlor games; party favors in the nature of small toys; party games; playing cards; plush toys; puppets; roller skates; rubber balls; skateboards; soccer balls; spinning tops; toys; stuffed toys; table tennis tables; target games; teddy bears; tennis balls; toy action figures; toy bucket and shovel sets; toy mobiles; toy vehicles; toy scooters; toy cars; toy model hobbycraft kits; toy figures; toy banks; toy trucks; toy watches; wind-up toys; yo-yos; athletic shoes; bandanas; baseball caps; beach cover-ups; beachwear; belts; bibs; bikinis; blazers; boots; bow ties; bras; caps; chaps; cloth bibs; coats; dresses; ear muffs; footwear; gloves; golf shirts; Halloween costumes; hats; head bands; head wear; hosiery; infantwear; jackets; jeans; jerseys; kerchiefs; leotards; leg warmers; mittens; neckties; night shirts; night gowns; pajamas; pants; panty hose; polo shirts; ponchos; rainwear; robes; sandals; scarves; shirts; shoes; skirts; shorts; slacks; slippers; sleepwear; socks; stockings; sweaters; sweat pants; sweat shirts; swimsuits; tank tops; tights; t-shirts; underwear; vests; wrist bands; afghans; barbecue mitts; bath linen; bath towels; bed blankets; bed canopies; bed linen; bed sheets; bed skirts; bed spreads; blanket throws; calico; children’s blankets; cloth coasters; cloth doilies; cloth flags; cloth pennants; comforters; crib bumpers; curtains; fabric flags; felt pennants; golf towels; hand towels; handkerchiefs; hooded towels; household linen; kitchen towels; oven mitts; pillow cases; pillow covers; pot holders; quilts; receiving blankets; silk blankets; table linen; textile napkins; textile place mats; textile tablecloths; throws; towels; washcloths; woollen blankets; beverageware; beverage glassware; bird houses; bowls; brooms; cake pans; cake molds; cake servers; candle holders not of precious metal; candle snuffers; canteens; ceramic figurines; coasters not of paper and not being table linen; cookie jars; cookie cutters; cork screws; cups; decorating bags for confectioners; decorative crystal prisms; decorative glass; decorative plates; dishes; figurines made of china, crystal, earthenware, glass, or porcelain; flower pots; hair brushes; hair combs; heat-insulated vessels; insulating sleeve holders for beverage containers; lunch boxes; mugs; napkin holders; napkin rings not of precious metals; paper cups; paper plates; pie pans; pie servers; plastic cups; plates; soap dishes; tea kettles; tea sets; thermal insulated containers for food or beverage; toothbrushes; trays; trivets; vacuum bottles; waste baskets; air mattresses for use when camping; bassinets; beds; benches; bookcases; cabinets; chairs; coat racks; computer furniture; computer keyboard trays; cots; couches; decorative glitter; decorative mobiles; desks; drinking straws; engraved and cut stone plaques; figurines and statuettes made of bone, plaster, plastic, wax, or wood; flagpoles; foot stools; furniture; gift package decorations made of plastic; hand fans; hand-held mirrors; jewelry boxes not of metal; key fobs not of metal; lawn furniture; love seats; magazine racks; mattresses; mirrors; non-Christmas ornaments made of bone, plaster, plastic, wax or wood; ottomans; party ornaments of plastic; pedestals; picture frames; pillows; plant stands made of wire and metal; decorative wall plaques; plastic flags; plastic name badges; plastic novelty license plates; plastic pennants; plastic cake decorations; sea shells; sleeping bags; tables; toy chests; umbrella stands; venetian blinds; wind chimes; all purpose sport bags; athletic bags; baby backpacks; backpacks; beach bags; book bags; calling card cases; change purses; coin purses; diaper bags; duffel bags; fanny packs; gym bags; handbags; knapsacks; key cases; leather key chains; lipstick holders; luggage; luggage tags; overnight bags; purses; satchels; shopping bags; tote bags; umbrellas; waist packs; wallets; address books; almanacs; appliqués in the form of decals; appointment books; art prints; arts and craft paint kits; autograph books; baby books; ball point pens; baseball cards; binders; bookends; bookmarks; books; bumper stickers; calendars; cartoon strips; Christmas cards; chalk; children’s activity books; coasters made of paper; coin albums; coloring books; color pencils; comic books; comic strips; coupon books; decals; decorative paper centerpieces; diaries; disposable diapers for babies; drawing rulers; envelopes; erasers; felt pens; flash cards; gift cards; gift wrapping paper; globes; greeting cards; guest books; magazines; maps; memo pads; modeling clay; newsletters; newspapers; note paper; notebooks; notebook paper; paintings; paper flags; paper party favors; paper party hats; paper cake decorations; paper party decorations; paper napkins; paper party bags; paperweights; paper gift wrap bows; paper pennants; paper place mats; paper table cloths; pen or pencil holders; pencils; pencil sharpeners; pen and pencil cases and boxes; pens; periodicals; photograph albums; photographs; photo-engravings; pictorial prints; picture books; portraits; postcards; posters; printed awards; printed certificates; printed invitations; printed menus; recipe books; rubber stamps; score cards; stamp albums; stationery; staplers; stickers; trading cards; ungraduated rulers; writing paper; writing implements; alarm clocks; belt buckles of precious metal (for clothing); bolo ties with precious metal tips; bracelets; busts of precious metal; candle snuffers of precious metal; candlesticks of precious metal; charms; clocks; earrings; jewelry; jewelry cases of precious metal; jewelry chains; key rings of precious metal; lapel pins; letter openers of precious metal; neck chains; necklaces; necktie fasteners; non-monetary coins; ornamental pins; pendants; rings; slides for bolo ties; stop watches; tie clips; tie fasteners; tie tacks; wall clocks; watch bands; watch cases; watch chains; watch straps; watches; wedding bands; wristwatches; audio cassette recorders; audio cassette players; audio cassettes; audio discs; audio speakers; binoculars; calculators; camcorders; cameras; CD-ROMs; CD-ROM drives (as part of the computer); CD-ROM writers (as part of the computer); cellular telephones; cellular telephone accessories; cellular telephone cases; face plates for cellular telephones; compact disc players; compact disc recorders; compact discs; computer game programs; computer game cartridges and discs; computers; computer hardware; computer keyboards; computer monitors; computer mouse; computer disc drives; computer software; cordless telephones; decorative magnets; digital cameras; DVDs; DVD players; DVD recorders; digital versatile discs; digital video discs; electronic personal organizers; eyeglass cases; eyeglasses; headphones; karaoke machines; microphones; MP3 players; modems (as part of a computer); mouse pads; motion picture films; pagers; personal stereos; personal digital assistants; printers; radios; sunglasses; telephones; television sets; video cameras; video cassette recorders; video cassette players; video game cartridges; video game discs; video cassettes; videophones; walkie-talkies; wrist and arm rests for use with computers; after-shave lotions; antiperspirants; aromatherapy oils; artificial eyelashes and fingernails; baby oil; baby wipes; bath gels; bath powder; beauty masks; blush; body creams, lotions, and powders; breath freshener; bubble bath; cologne; cosmetics; dentifrices; deodorants; dusting powder; essential oils for personal use; eye liner; eye shadows; eyebrow pencils; face powder; facial creams; facial lotion; facial masks; facial scrubs; fragrance emitting wicks for room fragrance; fragrances for personal use; hair gel; hair conditioners; hair shampoo; hair mousse; hair creams; hair spray; hand cream; hand lotions; hand soaps; lip balm; lipstick; lipstick holders; lip gloss; liquid soaps; makeup; mascara; mouthwash; nail care preparations; nail glitter; nail hardeners; nail polish; perfume; potpourri; room fragrances; shaving cream; skin soap; talcum powders; toilet water; skin creams; skin moisturizer; sun block; sun screen.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Penis-pumping Judge finally goes to trial

"Serving on the jury in an indecent-exposure trial unfolding in this conservative Oklahoma town has been a giggle-inducing experience. "

"Former Judge Donald D. Thompson, a veteran of 23 years on the bench, is on trial on charges he used a penis pump on himself in the courtroom while sitting in judgment of others. "

Click here to link to the entire lurid Associated Press story.

Thompson's former court reporter, Lisa Foster, in a bizarre chunk of testimony said that she heard the pump during the emotional testimony of a murdered toddler's grandfather.

This strange story hit the wires a couple of years ago, and the judge is now finally on trial. Judge Thompson just didn't seem to understand that this is why we give them Judge's chambers.

Flag burning amendment up in smoke

On Tuesday, the Senate failed by one vote to approve a constitutional amendment prohibiting flag burning. The House, of course, passed the measure, like they did in 2000. The last time these knuckleheads tried to pass the law, they lost by four votes in The Senate. Obviously the Republicans are looking for another hot-button issue to motivate their "base" to vote in this fall's elections.

Would you like to burn a virtual flag? Go here.

The ritualized burning of the American flag is considered the appropriate way to dispose of a damaged or soiled flag. According to The Flag Burning Page, "the American Legion and Boy Scouts burn thousands of flags every year in respectful retirement ceremonies". A picture of a (permitted) flag burning cermony appears below.

And yet, and yet. . .flag burning is a conundrum. You can burn a flag respectfully; you cannot burn a flag at a protest. To enforce this law, you will somehow need to suss out the motive of the burner. Is it OK to burn a flag if you're wearing a VFW jacket but not if you're wearing a Dead Kennedy's t-shirt? Are there loopholes in the law? Will people quit burning flags and begin urinating on them?

I think of myself as a patriot, and yet, I find flag burning amusing, mainly because it is always funny when a symbolic act triggers such vitriolic responses in folks. And, after all, why should The Vets have all the fun?


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lyrics to Yes We Can Can by Alan Toussaint:

The lyrics to Yes We Can Can by Alan Toussaint:

Now is the time for all good men
To get together with one another
Iron out our problems
And iron out our quarrels
And try to live as brothers
And try to find a piece within
Without stepping on one another
And do respect the women of the world
Just remember you all have mothers
Make this land a better land
Than the world in which we live
And help each man be a better man
With the kindness that you give
I know we can make it
I know darn well we can work it out
Oh yes we can, I know we can can
Yes we can can, why can't we
If we wanna get yes we can can
I know we can make it a world
I know we can make it if we try
Oh yes we can, I know we can can
Yes we can can, great, got your money
Yes we can, I know we can can

Take care of the children
The children of the world
They're our strongest hope for the future
The little bitty boys and girls

Make this land a better land
Than the world in which we live
And help each man be a better man
With the kindness that you give
I know we can make it (I know that we can)
I know darn well we can work it out
Oh yes we can, I know we can can
Yes we can can, why can't we
If we wanna get yes we can can
I know we can make it a world
I know we can make it if we try
Oh yes we can, I know we can can
Yes we can can, great, got your money
Yes we can, I know we can can


Photograph: LBJ agonizing over the Vietnam War

. . . .Click photograph to enlarge. . . .

One of the focuses of this blog over the last two years has been, along with aliens, alien lore, and UFOs (not so popular with the readership, these Grey/Alien articles), The Presidency, art, politics, poems, parody, Americana, history, and, over time, a lot about LBJ. In this classic photograph, President Lyndon B. Johnson listens to a tape sent by Captain Charles Robb from Vietnam in July 1968. Charles was his son-in-law who was serving in the Vietnam War.

We don't see the bellicose statesman, but an agonized father-in-law who happened to be the wartime commander in chief. LBJ slumps over in a chair in the Cabinet Room as a reel-to-reel tape recorder plays a recording by Captain Robb. "When I left for Vietnam," he explained, "the president gave me a small battery-operated tape recorder ... so that I could send Lynda occasional recordings. I think [those tapes] gave him some of the texture of the war at company levels."
Some other recent LBJ photos from All This Is That:

LBJ and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King meet up
LBJ howls like a dog
Another good LBJ photo
And another. . .
One of the heroes and villains paintings
LBJ In A Characteristic Pose
Running Mates: Senators Lyndon Johnson And JFK
The Johnson Treatment, Part 6: The Hump and Senator Russell get the treatment
The Johnson Treatment, Part 5: Senator Richard Russell (Dem., Georgia) Undergoes The Treatment
The Johnson Treatment, Part 4: President Johnson Gives The Treatment To Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint Seattle Set List

As a follow up to the concert, and my post yesterday, here is the full set list from last night's tremendous show at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville. The setlist has them performing two long encores. I swore they came back three times... /jack

01. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?
02. Monkey To Man
03. On Your Way Down
04. A Certain Girl
05. Clown Strike
06. Tears, Tears And More Tears
07. Tears Before Bedtime
08. Working In A Coal Mine
09. Broken Promise Land
10. Freedom For The Stallion
11. The River In Reverse (song)
12. Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?
13. Nearer To You
14. Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
15. Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)
16. Bedlam
17. Watching The Detectives
18. Pump It Up
19. I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down
20. High Fidelity
Encore 1
21. Allen Toussaint does Longhair
22. Ascension Day
23. Wonder Woman
24. International Echo
25. Alison / Tracks Of My Tears
26. Clubland
Encore 2
27. The Greatest Love
28. That's How You Got Killed Before
29. Yes We Can Can
30. Shoo-Ra
31. Fortune Teller
32. The Sharpest Thorn


Montage: President George W. Bush's Bald Fetish

click montage to enlarge

Monday, June 26, 2006

Elvis Costello and the Presidential action figure

. . .click cartoon to enlarge. . .

Elvis Costello lampooned The President at the concert last night, mainly for his Hurricane Katrina response. . .the reason this band got together in the first place. In fact, on center stage, was a five inch Bush action figure that Elvis called "life-sized."

This reminded me of David Rees's great cartoon on the Administratin and Katrina.

Rock show of the year (so far):::::::Elvis Costello & The Impostors with Allen Toussaint

Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint rocked the winery last night in Woodinville, Wash. You can read the story elsewhere--like --but the collaboration was brought about by Hurricane Katrina.

Allen Toussaint, the New Orleans legend, has written tunes like "Working in the Coalmine", "Brickyard Blues", "Get Out My Life Woman" and "Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky". He's been covered and recorded by hundreds of people, including Devo, Jerry Garcia, Otis Redding, The Meters, and others, including dozens of samples snagged in various hip-hop songs.

The show included members of Toussaint's horn and rhythm section, along with Elvis's Impostors. The band opened with a thundering version of Nick Lowe's What's So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding? It included Toussaint tunes (my favorites Workin' In The Coal Mine, and his tune for the Pointer Sisters, Yes, We Can Can), collaborations from the just released Toussaint-Costello album, The River in Reverse, and lots of Costello chestnuts. Toussaint arranged nine songs from the Costello catalog, and they played many of them as well. The new arrangements of Clown Strike, Pump It Up, Clubland, Watching The Detectives, High Fidelity, and I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down were thoughtful, new, and they were sparkling and wonderful.

There were some crooners, but this was mainly a rock fest. Right before the show, I was trying to explain to my cousin Sean (whom I bumped into, along with his wife, Lori Mason Curran, a clerk I know at Tower Records, a sister- and brother-in- law, co-workers, Keelin's yoga instructor, and a Posies show buddy I've met at various venues) the difference between an Elvis crooning show and an Elvis electric show, and how I tended to avoid the croonfests. I knew this show would kick out the jams.

See them when they come to your town:

O'Shaughnessy Theater
SAINT PAUL, Minnesota

6/29/2006 - 8:30 PM
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin

Promowest Pavilion

Cape Cod Melody
HYANNIS, Massachusetts

7/10/2006 - 7/11/2006
Beacon Theater
NEW YORK, New York
(212) 496-7070

Fleet Center
BOSTON, Massachusetts
(617) 624-1050

Blossom Music Center

Chastain Park
ATLANTA, Georgia

House of Blues
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana

This was probably my favorite Elvis Costello show ever. I go into some of the others here:

and here:

My one beef with a lot of rock concerts I attend these days: 1) everyone is practically clean and sober (somewhat mitigated in this instance by many bottles of very good Ste. Michelle wines. Some blanket encampments seem to have purchased actual cases), and 2) everyone is seated. Since I came up in the rock festival world, and attended numerous Grateful Dead and CBGB shows, it just doesn't seem right to sit down! You need to be able to move to enjoy a show. I don't remember ever being seated at a Posies show, or any of the great Seattle Center shows I've seen over the years, and especially at a Dead show.

Fortunately, with Elvis's well-known half hour+ encores, we got the chance to stand up and shake our bones! Finally the audience got up, or, at least moved! And it was good. In that half hour encore (they returned three times), the band performed a cover of Fortune Teller, that you may know from The Rolling Stones' or The Who's covers. Wow! As it turns out, the tune was written by Naomi Neville (mom, sister? of the Nevilles, and The Meters) along with none other than Allen Toussaint)...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Poem (and drawing): Scarred for life

click drawing to enlarge

It could be watching
Your family being slowly diced up

By a madman with a machete
Or the time your brother let you down

A trauma from a car wreck
Or when you were wrongfully accused

Finding out your wife is sleeping
With your best friend

Or when your parents let you
Cry yourself to sleep 30 years ago

It could be your motorcycle accident
Or the time you saw your Uncle naked

Under a bad moon
It could leave you scarred for life.


Index of Jack Brummet poems on All This Is That

The Red Flag
Don't look backThe Tenth Planet (Or An Incredible Facsimile?)
The Armies Of The NightAnger management is a slippery slope
Dream Of The Grey
Torches & Pitchforks
the vault
The Moon's In Tune
The Way We Were Scarred for life The Red Flag
Don't look back
The Tenth Planet (Or An Incredible Facsimile?)
The Armies Of The Night
Anger management is a slippery slope
Dream Of The Grey
Torches & Pitchforks
the vault
The Moon's In Tune
The Way We Were
Scarred for life
Changes 13/Fellowship
Changes twelve/standing still
Changes Ten/treading
Changes Eleven/Peace
Another politician resigns in disrace
Changes Nine/The taming power of the small
The Candidate
Making Room
Changes Eight/Holding Together
Changes Seven/The Army
Changes Six/Conflict
Changes Five/The waiting
Changes Four/The Young Shoot
Changes Three/Trouble Ahead
Changes Two/The Receptive
Changes One/Action
The revolt in heaven
Found Poem: The Richmond Hill Oracle
Poem (and painting): The Robot Wars
I don't believe
I'm here
Ten ways of looking at lies
The Broken Chord
With our heads in the sand during the transit and eclipse
the sun plays its red song
Poem: The Developers
A raindrop's life
The mystery of the first amendment to the Ten Commandments
The Bay Of Delusion
Mad Song
Reasons To Keep On
Conspiracy Theory
The Moon Race
Mr. Flue's Grave In Hillcrest Cemetary, Kent, Wash.
The World Seems Especially Calming And Verisimilitudinous Today
Kent, Washington
[It's the Lee Harvey Oswald smile]
Zombie Breakdown
The Variations
You Rehearse Dying
Sonnet For Hari
Defensive Daydreaming
The Dream
The Prostethic Head & The Absence Of Blood
Tetuan - "No Paranoia, My Friend"
The Grey Visitors & Painting: The Grey Ambassador
The Bad Movie
The Bucket
The Man In The Mirror
Optimism Perspective
A Flight Of Swallows
Audioblog - The Prevaricator
Weather Report
Your Wooden Leg
The Revelations
Sermon At The First Church Of The Mojo Apocalypse
Dosvidaniya, Ivan Ivanovitch
The Late Excavation (Text And Audio)
Jack Kerouac, Meet John Barleycorn
The Gideon Bible In My Nightstand
At The Acropolis
When Aliens Land, Or, The Return Of The King
The sous-chef is a sociopath]
James Wright
[Life Is Not A Hardy Novel]
Coyote Comes Home Like A Salmon
Shorts For Jerry Melin ca. about 1988
The Golden Rule
The Countdown
When Aliens Land, Or, The Return Of The King
Notes On Flying
Not Past Tense Yet
the glass is not half-full
It's Getting Crowded Here
Li Po In Disgrace
The Clock
A Love Song
Bad Timing
The Killer
The Absence of Footprints
Growing Up
Gone Fishing
The M.D.s A Poem -
The Marriage
Driving Home To Seattle, We Watch Deer Drinking from the Skookumchuck River

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Our allies at war on the soccer fields

I don't really think of myself as all that jingoistic, but it does get old after a while, hearing our allies, the British, French, and Germans talk about what a bunch of fat, rude, ignorant rednecks Americans are. At no time does it ever seem more ridiculous that when the Limeys, Frogs, and Krauts are fighting each other (up to and including killing each other) over a soccer match, as they are right now, during the world cup. . .

Friday, June 23, 2006

Laura Bush's imaginary friend

click to enlarge...

Apocalypse Now?

". . .mega-church pastors recently met in Inglewood to polish strategies for using global communications and aircraft to transport missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission: to make every person on Earth aware of Jesus' message. Doing so, they believe, will bring about the end, perhaps within two decades. . ."

Click here to read the Los Angeles Times story. . .

Poem: Changes 13/Fellowship

Fellowship--a mingling
Of individuals or things is chaos

The danger of factions
Is they're not for anything

They're just against
Other factions

Weapons are cached in a thicket
He climbs the high hill in front of it

And for three years
Does not rise up

He climbs the wall
But cannot attack

The difficulties are too great
And bring him to his senses

Men bound in the fellowship of war
Weep and lament

But afterwards
Over steins and tankards

They laugh at the perished
They've created

The perished come back
To haunt them

The spooks they made

And attach themselves
Like a conjoined twin

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Dean Ericksen's Metro Melodrama

My brother-in-law and friend, Dean Ericksen, sent me this vignette. Wow.

I know these facts:

So this guy comes up to the bus stop on Leary and 15th. He’s a gulf war vet. He is carrying a guitar. He asks me if the tree above is an apple tree. I look at the tiny fruit and confirm, yes, it is. I ask him about his guitar. He said that he’s re-learning to play after 16 years. We talk for a while. He said he’s a songwriter. He shuffles through his large backpack and pulls out a CD player and headphones. The CD player is actively playing (it wasn’t turned off). He slaps the phones on my head. It’s a slow, R&B jam. Smooth, but lo-fi. It’s him alright. He’s singing, “I need a girl, to whet my appetite...” Whet it for what? Anyway I swayed and smiled approvingly, and then a woman comes up and pushes a bunch of Jehovah’s Witness literature into his hand. He thinks she’s cute, and pretends to show interest in the magazines as he sizes her up. She twirls her hair with a finger and acts coy. The bus rolls up, and both of them look at each other like “will this be our last chance to find love?” They part; the moment is bruised.

This happens all over the world all of the time. It’s time for God to drop the love bomb.



Digital painting: President Lyndon Johnson

click to enlarge...

Photograph: LBJ and MLK meet up

Click to enlarge

I love this photograph. It well illustrates the multi-layered, tenuous, fruitful and often strained relationship those two men had. Neither of them looks particularly happy to be there...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Cruising the Renton loop with a keg of nails

This must have happened in about 1969. On weekends, you drove to Renton, Wash., and cruised the loop. It was a scene straight from American Graffiti with beer, Vietnam, protests, drugs, and birth control and the "SEXUAL REVOLUTION" thrown into the mix--not that we were often able to avail ourselves of the opportunities birth control might afford.

As we often did on weekends, when we didn't go into Seattle to eat at the Outrageous Burrito Company or wander around Seattle Center, we went to Renton to cruise the loop, a/k/a drag the gut, along with hundreds of other kids in cars. You drove around and around a two mile loop, and pulled in various parking lots to meet various people, preferably girls.

This particular weekend our vehicle was an aqua 1968 Dodge 3/4 ton pickup, piloted by Les Teichert. The truck had OTTO'S ROOFING emblazoned on the side. Three of us sat in the cab, and three more sat in the bed of the pickup, amidst the roofing felt, blocks of tar, and tools. The Beatles' White Album or Chicago Transit Authority or Led Zeppelin played on the 8 track stereo. . .probably with another tune in the background (if the azimuth of the head became mis-adjusted, there was a faint audio bleed of adjacent tracks into the currently playing track).

We drove around a few times, stopped at Herfy's for burgers and got back on The Loop. In the pickup bed we discovered, among the tools and tarpaper, a 100 pound keg of 1 1/2 inch roofing nails.

Three of us began merrily flinging double-handfuls over the tailgate as we tooled along the loop. We even brazenly began to huck out pounds of nails in front of the cars right behind us.

As we approached the point we first began deploying the nails, someone thought we should tell Les. "You gotta get off the loop. . .we've been tossing the nails."

"The roofing nails! What am I going to say--someone stole them!?'

Why not? Indeed. By the time we decided to warn Les about trouble ahead, we had tossed the entire 100 pounds of nails out in a continuous circle, all along the loop. It was time to get out of Renton.

Monday, June 19, 2006

North Korea dares U.S. to supply them Shock & Awe

North Korea is on the precipice of test-firing a long-range missile capable of reaching the United States. The White House warned that a test firing would trigger "an appropriate response, " like Shock And Awe II.

North Korea vowed to bolster its "military deterrent" in a bellicose stream of invective carried by its state news agency.

A test launch of a Taepodong-2 missile-- or whatever new missile they've come up with lately--would inflame a region already in a snit over the North's nuclear weapons program. Our sometime good friends, Japan, in particular, are extremely nervous.

"There are signs" of an imminent missile launch, Jung Tae-ho, a spokesman at the South Korean president's office, told The Associated Press. He said they were "closely watching the situation."

North Korea conducted a test launch in August 1998, but then imposed a moratorium on testing long-range missiles in 1999. White House spokesman Tony Snow said Sunday the United States expect them keep the freeze on. "We do not want to have a missile test out of North Korea," Snow told Fox News Sunday. "The North Koreans themselves decided in 1999 that they would place a moratorium on this kind of testing, and we expect them to maintain the moratorium."

"If they go ahead with a test, then we will have to respond properly and appropriately at the time," Snow told CNN's "Late Edition." When asked to explain exactly what that meant, Snow replied, "No."

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

click photo to enlarge...

Jack and John Brummet Sr. at Cougar Flat on the Bumping River, near Natches. We were "fishing." It's been forty-two years, one month and two days since I last saw him.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Thirty-four years ago today, The Watergate burglars were arrested. . .

Click the collage to zoom in.

Thirty-four years ago today, The Watergate burglars were arrested. . .triggering the events that lead to the indictments, prosecutions, and backstabbing that toppled President Richard M. Nixon a couple of years later and led to his resignation.

In the early morning of June 17, 1972, five men--Bernard Barker, Virgilio González, Eugenio Martínez, James W. McCord, Jr., and Frank Sturgis were arrested breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate, an office-hotel-apartment complex in Washington, D.C. They'd come with burglary tools, cameras, and pen-size tear gas guns.

Eventually, a lot of people did time for this little burglary. . .from the burglars up to and including White House Staffers.

What a litany of names! Woodward and Bernstein, Jeb Magruder, Butterfield, Jaworski, Rose Mary Woods, Herb Kalmbach, John Mitchell, Erlichman, Haldeman, Dean, McCord, Liddy, Colson, H.L. Hunt, Al Haig, Jaworski, Agnew, Father John McLaughlin, Congressman (soon to be President) Gerald Ford, Judge "Maximum John" Sirica, and The Watergate committee-- Senators Sam Ervin, Joseph Montoya, Herman Talmadge, Edward Gurney, Lowell Weicker, Howard Baker, and Daniel Inouye. The Committee's evidence led to the indictment of forty administration officials and the conviction of several of Nixon's aides for obstruction of justice and other crimes. The committee's findings prompted the articles of impeachment against the President in the House of Representatives, which led to Nixon's resignation.

On September 8, 1974, Nixon's successor, President Gerald Ford, pardoned former President Richard M. Nixon from any future criminal charges.

Friday, June 16, 2006

VP Dick Cheney owns extensive snuff film collection, rumored to use them as a fluffer

A mid-level West Wing staffer told All This Is That yesterday that an extensive collection of "snuff films" has been discovered in Vice-President Dick Cheney's home office in the former Naval Observatory. "Holy s***t," our source said, "if it gets out I told you this. . .well, who knows?"

"Despite all this Valerie Plame nonsense, " our source said, "Cheney is in thick with the spooks. Like this [gestures]. I'm not sure I won't just disappear if you print this. But what am I going to do? The guy could be President tomorrow. I always knew he gave me the creeps. That's probably no secret to anyone who ever met the guy. But this. . .this. . .this is too much."

The source told us that a cache of snuff films and videos was discovered recently by staffers "auditing" the Vice President's papers and emails for possible evidence in the Scooter Libby investigation.

"One of the guys who saw the snuff film stash said it was extensive," he told us. "In fact, " he said, "it might even be definitive."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hurray for Bill Gates!

Microsoft announced after the financial markets closed today that Chairman Bill Gates will transition out of a day-to-day role (as chief technologist) to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Following a two year transition, Bill will remain as the Chairman of the Board, although reading between the lines, it seems like he'll be pulling back sooner than that. . .at least unofficially.

Obviously in my "industry," that is software, he has been a monolithic influence. For all the potshots people have taken at him, he helped create much of the software that runs businesses from multinational giants to mom and pop shops, as well as most home computers. He did this while being a prominent target for all the whiners in the Apple, Unix, and Oracle camps, and while being the human pincushion for hundreds of lawsuits, as well as the central figure in any number of conspiracy delusions. . .

Somewhere in the middle of all this, he set up a fantastic foundation that is actually helping change the world. And now he wants to get more involved with that foundation's excellent work. Good for him. Good for the world.

Photograph: LBJ howls like a dog

click image to enlarge

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Found photos!

I love this website. It's one of those sites I like to go back and check every week or so. . . You never know what you'll find.


Prosecutor Fitzgerald Gives Rove A Pass

Karl Rove and friends

The special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has weaseled on charges against Karl Rove in the C.I.A. leak case after months of behind-the-scenes wrangling between the prosecutor and Mr. Rove's lawyer.

Prosecutor Fitzgerald

It has not been announced if any money
exchanged hands. Click here to read the story in the New York Times.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Another good LBJ photograph - circa 1960

Click the photograph to enlarge

Left to right - Lady Bird Johnson [mostly offscreen], Neva Eugene Smith, Leola May Smith Ballard, Lyndon Baines Johnson. . .I believe the Smiths are LBJ's cousins.

Diogenes The Cynic Philosopher - My hero

When they asked Plato what sort of man Diogenes (404-323 B.C) was, he said "A Socrates gone mad." Diogenes was Gonzo. . .about 2300 years ahead of the curve.

He ignored the weather by living in a barrel (like the northwest native Americans ignored the weather by wearing bear grease and loincloths). It was just enough shelter. For eating he owned a single wooden bowl. He would later destroy the bowl when he saw a peasant boy drink using his hands. When asked how to avoid the temptations of the flesh, Diogenes began masturbating. When he was chastised for this, he answered "If only I could soothe my belly by rubbing it."

He often quibbled with Plato over philosophy. Plato defined a human as a biped and featherless animal. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it to the lecture-hall with the words, ‘Here is Plato’s human being.’ The definition of human was soon altered to include ‘having broad nails’” (Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6, Chapter 40). Diogenes regularly attacked Plato’s metaphysics and, in a way, transcended theoretical ethics.

He was called insane for reacting against convention, but Diogenes pointed out that it is convention itself that lacks reason: “Most people are so nearly mad that a finger makes all the difference. For if you go along with your middle finger stretched out, someone will think you mad, but, if it’s the little finger, he will not think so” (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6, Chapter 35).

Diogenes once said that "for the conduct of life we need reason or a halter.”

He avoided the pleasures of the flesh and the delusion of most human conduct. He used to stroll through the Agora (the marketplace...and the root of the word agoraphobia) with a torch during the daytime. "I am just looking for an honest man".

On a voyage, he was captured by pirates and sold as a slave to a Corinthian named Xeniades. As tutor to the two sons of Xeniades, he lived in Corinth for the rest of his life, devoted to preaching self-control. At the Isthmian Games he lectured to large audiences who turned to him from Antisthenes. At one of these festivals he met Alexander the Great. Alexander, who was thrilled to meet the famous philosopher, asked if there was anything he might do for him. Diogenes replied, “Stand out of my sunlight.” Was Big Al pissed? No: "If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes."

One great (apocryphal?) Diogenes and Alexander story has the philosopher sorting through a pile of human bones. "I am searching for the bones of your father but cannot distinguish them from those of a slave."

Diogenes may have lived until ninety. Possible causes of death passed include death by holding his breath, an illness brought on by eating raw octopus, or death by dog bite.

On his death, the Corinthians erected a pillar on which rested a marble dog. So, there is some credence to the dog bite theory...but most scholars think he probably died of old age.

What did he believe? Up front, this fantastic cat believed that virtue was the avoidance of physical pleasure; pain and hunger were helpful in the pursuit of goodness; and all the artificiality of society was incompatible with goodness.

Later, the Stoics would later say he was a perfect man. In his words, "Man has complicated every simple gift of the gods." He has been the subject of a lot of painting, sculpture, and poetry. Ed Sanders the American poet (and founder of The Fugs) has praised him often in his poems and fiction .

Diogenes is the first person known to have actually believed "I am a citizen of the whole world (cosmos)," rather than of any city or state (polis). He invented cosmopolitanism.

Monday, June 12, 2006

My 47 Favorite Movies

A list of my favorite movies. I know I forgot some. None of these were directed by women (a fact I feel a little guilty about). Three are by Robert Altman; three by Quentin Tarantino (not Pulp Fiction); three by Coppola; four by Kubrick; and two each by Welles, Charles Chaplain, Scorsese, and Beatty. There are five or six non-American films. So, beat up on me if you want...

Reds - Warren Beatty
Nashville - Robert Altman
Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie - Luis Bunuel
Rashômon - Akira Kurosawa
The Last Picture Show - Peter Bogdanovich
Citizen Kane - Orson Welles

The Killing - Stanley Kubrick
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Milos Forman
The Maltese Falcon - John Huston
The Great Dictator - Charles Chaplain
The Godfather - Francis Ford Coppola
Rear Window - Alfred Hitchcock
The Godfather, Part Two - Francis Ford Coppola
Raging Bull - Martin Scorsese
The Fellowship of the Ring - Peter Jackson
The Two Towers - Peter Jackson
The Return of the King - Peter Jackson

Day For Night - Francois Truffaut
À nous la liberté - René Clair
A Clockwork Orange - Stanley Kubrick
The Shining - Stanley Kubrick
Raiders of the Lost Ark - Steven Spielberg
Dog Day Afternoon - Sidney Lumet

O Brother Where Art Thou - Cohn Brothers
Sweet Smell of Success - Alexander Mackendrick
Viridiana - Luis Buñuel
Bulworth - Warren Beatty
A Night At The Opera - Sam Wood

Clerks - Kevin Smith

This Is Spinal Tap - Rob Reiner
Woodstock - Michael Wadleigh
McCabe And Mrs. Miller - Robert Altman
The Day the Earth Stood Still - Robert Wise
Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb - Stanley Kubrick
Apocalypse Now - Francis Ford Coppola
A Hard Day's Night - Richard Lester
King Kong (the first one!) - Merian C. Cooper Ernest B. Schoedsack

Psycho - Alfred Hitchcock
City Lights - Charles Chaplain
Duck Soup - Leo McCarey
Reservoir Dogs - Quentin Tarrantino
A Touch of Evil - Orson Welles
Patton - Franklin J. Schaffner
Kill Bill - Quentin Tarantino
Kill Bill 2 - Quentin Tarantino
Goodfellas - Martin Scorsese
M*A*S*H - Robert Altman


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Another good photograph of LBJ

click to enlarge. . .

Marshall Nirenberg at The White House with Robert Q. Marston, Perola Nirenberg, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Wilber Cohen

Friday, June 09, 2006

Vince Welnick dead at 51. . .or 55. . .no one seems to be sure

Vince Welnick, the Grateful Dead's last keyboard player and a veteran of other bands, including the Tubes and Missing Man Formation, has died, the Grateful Dead's longtime publicist said Saturday.

You can find the Mercury News story here.

A lot of us--e.g., Deadheads--never quite accepted Vince after the death of Brent Mydland...another guy who never felt like he fit in. We wanted Bruce Hornsby in that slot. Alas, after a year or so playing side by side with Vince (Bruce on the grand piano and accordian, Vince on everything else) and seeing Jerry's backslidin', Bruce opted out. I think he clicked all right with the band, but never quite did with the fans. The post-Jerry Dead did not seem to embrace him either, although I've been reading all sorts of nice things about him and his music from the Dead members...since he died.

He obviously struggled with that lack of acceptance, and depression. And he appears to have taken his own life.
I probably saw Vince with the Grateful dead eight times. The time I remember best is the last time I saw him. A lot of people say that run, and the show on 5/26/95 in Seattle was a 90's high point. It was for me. A transcendant show, really, and with Jerry finally totally embracing midi in a way he never had before, good singing, not too many flubbed lyrics or Jerry pulling back from the mike when he forgot the words. . .they were great and even Vince went off on some insanely great vocal tangents. I remember standing there with my friend Dave that fantastic warm afternoon in Memorial stadium. Tingling. Waiting for the show. The beast was unleashed. And Dave and I were inexorably in her arms. And it was good. Fire on the mountain was a complete and total mind-f*er. It was insane, it was great. They sang and played like kings! Neighbors did love neighbors at a show, and we all took care of each other a little bit. We would never again really be together as a community after that day. I would never see Jerry or Vince again. Jerry died a month after that show

The traditional Dead prayer for the missing: "May the four winds blow you safely home."

(from "the absence of footprints," (c) 2004, All This Is That).

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Uncle Romey

His calloused, nicotine-stained fingers engulfed my hand. He worked at my fingers, trying to get them into the right position. I didn't know this game. I knew other hand games like pattycake, the church and the steeple, and milking betsy.

"Naw, not like that," he said, "like this. Pull this finger down and use your tumb to hold this one down. Then you do this. Try it."

I tried, and I got it. Almost. "You perd near got it Jackie."

"Can I go?," I asked my uncle.

"Hold your horses. Remember just do it to surprise your parents some night. Show 'em that and say 'here's to you."

Romey quietly chuckled. And that night around the dinner table with the extended family, I turned to my grandma, said "here's to you," and gave her the finger.

It's one of my first memories, which means I had to be around four or five. I can also remember Eisenhower a little bit, and going to the circus, where a clown put his head in a grinder, and came out headless. I remember a flood creeping across the Kent Valley floor, edging toward our house, and stopping a block away. I remember my father telling me the drunk cop on tire-chalking duty was named Wyatt Earp. But every memory of Romey stands out because he was bigger, cruder, louder, and more obnoxious than anyone else in my life.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Part 3: My Rods - And even more cars I have owned over the years

Continuing the story of the Packard and the Pontiac, 1954 Ford Wagon and the Bug, my car saga continues.

Following the demise, and eventual resurrection of the Bug, I stumbled on a pickup for $200. It was a 1942 Dodge, with fresh paint, a clattering engine, and a four on the floor with a compound low gear. Unlike the others in this series, this is a photo of the actual vehicle.

This truck didn't last long either. . .a few months at best. I do remember owning it in the summer and driving it to the Valley Drive In several times, where we would stretch out in the bed of the truck and watch Russ Meyers movies, and movies like The Wife Swappers, Joe, Wild In The Streets, Where's Poppa, and Putney Swope. When the pickup gave up the ghost, I stumbled onto a guy who wanted a pickup truck. . .he was willing to take the Dodge in trade for his 1950 Panel truck, if I threw in another $100. And I became the proud owner of a panel truck.

The panel truck lasted a few months and I abandoned it in the low-income apartment complex where I lived with Roger Padvorac (my share of the rent was $13, one third of the $39 a month). Eventually a tow truck operator was going to take it away, but needed a title. I surrendered the title for the usual junker payment of $15.

A friend--Paul Kushner--took pity on me and gave me a pink 1959 Rambler he had parked in his yard for a year. I remember driving it back and forth to visit my college pals in Bellingham. It had a strange pushbutton gear system a/k/a "typewriter tranny." I loved the color of the car, and the fact that it was a gift made it even sweeter. It lasted a few months, and when it finally konked out, Paul came and towed it back to his place.

In September, 1973, after two years working as a barely-paid volunteer, I was moving away to college and could not afford a car. I owned no cars at all, for the next ten years, relying on buses, mooching rides, walking, hitchhiking, and from 1977 to 1982, the NYC subway system. ---o0o---