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529510 Posts in 17844 Topics by 3198 Members - Latest Member: BrianWilsonsTent July 31, 2015, 12:22:17 PM
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51  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: June 24, 2015, 05:56:59 AM
 I didn't say all Republicans are racists. What I said is that none of the major contenders for the GOP nomination were willing to acknowledge the Charleston incident was an act based on madness and race hatred, when the shooter himself said as much. Why not? You tell me.

For what it's worth--and I'm not sure what exactly it is worth--both Sen Rubio and Gov Walker have explicitly called it racist violence.

Saturday, Walker said "I want to make it abundantly clear that I think the act, the crime that was committed on Wednesday, is an act of racism."

Rubio said it was "an act motivated by racial hatred."

Dr. Carson (of whom I'm not a fan, politically, though he's certainly an impressive man) spoke very pointedly on this yesterday, making comments in reference to the candidates who have not been blunt in noting the racism involved in the killing. (My understanding is that Gov Perry, Sen Paul, Sen Santorum, and Gov Jindal have avoided saying "racism.")

Carson said "let's call this sickness what it is so we can get on with the healing. There are people who are claiming they can lead this country who dare not call this tragedy an act of racism, a hate crime, for fear of offending a particular segment of the electorate. Let's not delude ourselves here. If we teach [young people] it is ok to deny racism exists, even when it's staring them in the face, then we will perpetuate this sickness into the next generation and the next."
52  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: June 23, 2015, 04:30:40 PM
In that the GOP's calling card used to be ol' Ronald Christ's "11th commandment," (thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican) it's actually an interesting twist. The converse used to be the case.

I don't agree with your last clause. My relationship to the Democrats might be similar to yours to Republicans (from what I've perceived, anyway), but I don't think their ability to promote their candidates is the only reason why they're relevant. I think the reason they're relevant is that Republicans have come across as either country club members or hysterical "oppressed majority" white Christians. It isn't because Democrats haven't necessarily had quite the infighting of recent (really only post-Tea Party) Republicans that some segment of America believes Democrats are less of an obstacle to equality in terms of gender, race, sexual orientation, or equality of opportunity (financially speaking).

I'm not arguing a political-philosophy or policy position with those sentences, mind you. Just saying that it isn't as if the Republicans present an obvious, clear choice for what all citizens deem the path to personal or national success, somehow blocked only by their own (and Democrats' lack of) infighting.
53  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: June 23, 2015, 03:43:47 PM
... as opposed to ... Ronald Reagan.

Good thing you're clearly not a card-carrying Republican type, because they'd kick you out for such heresy. At least since the campaign before the '08 nomination, Reagan has been identified as being, more or less, Jesus.
54  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: June 22, 2015, 05:44:16 AM
 I didn't say all Republicans are racists. What I said is that none of the major contenders for the GOP nomination were willing to acknowledge the Charleston incident was an act based on madness and race hatred, when the shooter himself said as much. Why not? You tell me.

For what it's worth--and I'm not sure what exactly it is worth--both Sen Rubio and Gov Walker have explicitly called it racist violence.

Saturday, Walker said "I want to make it abundantly clear that I think the act, the crime that was committed on Wednesday, is an act of racism."

Rubio said it was "an act motivated by racial hatred."
55  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: June 21, 2015, 06:26:06 AM
 Interesting how the various GOP candidates refrain from labelling the Charleston shooting exactly what it was: a race based hate crime. The shooter himself said as much. Who are the 2016 Republican presidential candidates trying not to offend? Psychopathic racists?

Seriously?  LOL  I'm not pulling for any of "various GOP" candidate with my response -- but I just can't let stuff like this float out of the sewer without a proper smack-down.

First, stories like this are made for the blow-pops out there that already believe all Republicans are racists.  Would this story even make sense otherwise?  No.  Second, if it's labels you want, ask Obama what terrorism is.

The audacity and hypocrisy of Democrat "media" never ceases to amaze.  I swear, there's no shame.  Obama is the one who has trouble applying appropriate labels.  To him, Terrorism is the "T-word."  Islamic Extremism, does not exist.  He's either delusional or has an agenda.  Because the reality is, there's an army amassing, taking over cities.  And to him, there's nothing behind it -- or so he wants you to believe.

The reality is -- all candidates are repulsed by this shooting, and have said so.  And I'm sure, if these racist killings proved to be part of larger racist cult, that was taking over cities, and riding around with AK-47s in downtown Atlanta -- then nobody would be calling it work-place violence, like how Obama tries to sell us on.

I don't think I'm coming from the same place as either of you.

First, as Bean Bag said, I do agree that all candidates--indeed, all reasonably normal human beings--are repulsed by the Charleston shooting, as they are of all similar violence. Maybe candidates across the political spectrum aren't using the same terminology, which is not surprising: the parties (and even factions of the parties sometimes) use their own vocabularies all the time to reinforce or reflect their worldviews. But really, does the cause of the violence require the emphasis? I might actually come down closer to the standard Republican position on that, an aversion to differentiating the crime based on the cause (as opposed to the action, the effect). The very term "hate crime" is almost silly: if I'm shot by a white-hating non-white, is that worse for me than being shot by a me-hating white guy? Not really. Killed is killed, and every murder is a hate crime. There aren't a lot of "love murders" out there.

(Don't take this as me taking it easy on racism. Racism is obviously a position of ignorance and fear. That's sad. Racists are pathetic.)

But I do take issue on the omnipresent Obama slamming on this issue, too. Not that I think he's perfect--far from it--but I don't think it's quite accurate. The president has consistently condemned the terrorism of the assorted jihadists out there for being just that. What a lot of right-wing media took issue with was his accurate, but maybe tone-deaf, statement a few months back about how Christianity had its own periods of intolerance and violence. That wasn't intended to justify ISIS or Al Qaeda or any other current Islamic terrorism, it was just putting it into context. I actually took it as a unifying statement; many took it as a divisive one. But to me, the idea (again, even if inelegantly communicated) was intended to remember there were and are good and bad aspects of every larger subgroup, and that we ought not hate or condemn all Muslims just because there are factions of them using their versions of that religion for violence and oppression. But never has he said or implied there are not factions of Muslims committing that violence and oppression.

Really it doesn't have to always come down to one-upmanship though. We could discuss things without always reverting to "oh yeah, well your team said/did..."

56  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian / Al / Blondie Summer 2015 Tour Thread on: June 19, 2015, 04:49:02 PM
Eh. It's  good review.

It's a positive review. But I wouldn't say it is very good.
57  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Brian / Al / Blondie Summer 2015 Tour Thread on: June 19, 2015, 04:07:45 PM
I try not to bitch about reviews, knowing that the writer's job isn't to be a Wilson geek, but to cover an event. But this time, well...I will.

"a thirty-two song set, drawing extensively from Wilsonís career as a Beach Boy and his solo work (how much the former is really an extension of the latter is a debate for another time)." Wait, is the question how much of the Beach Boys career is an extension of the solo career? What does this mean? Am I too drunk to understand a valid point or question, here? (It's possible. I'm drunk. Shocker.)

The album is called Pier Pressure?

And then the numerous call-outs of Wilson's (ahem) unorthodox stage persona... Yes, it's clear he's not David Lee Roth, Mick Jagger, Bono, Freddie Mercury. That he's a nervous performer is very well documented. Does it require multiple references in every review, decades and decades into his performing life?

58  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: How involved was Brian with these songs, or was it mostly Mike Love? on: June 19, 2015, 01:54:46 PM
Seriously though, kook...is "Surf's Up" not a worthy song because it was a nearly 5 year old song by the time it was released in 1971? Personally I think it's a beautiful work of art. But since it wasn't released minutes after it was composed, it's garbage to you right?

Likewise, the entire Smile Sessions box is just rubbish... and "(WIBNT)LA" - pah, I fart in its general direction.

In fact, recorded music sucks - if it's not live, I don't wanna know.
Even live sucks...it's gotta come direct from the brain man....

No way, by the time it's been thought, it's nothing but a tired, old rehash. It's pre-thought, half-fired synapses searching memories for various inspirations and half-formed ideas to combine and reorganize that are real music.
59  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: June 18, 2015, 04:22:53 PM
I'd like a refreshing change, but Trump is only half of that. We don't need (any more) celebrity politicians. I say that as a guy who lived through a Jesse "The Body" governorship, far too many years of talk-show ranting Bachmann in the House, and remain in a Franken senatorship. I don't have much faith this will happen, but we don't need reality TV show hosts throwing firebomb remarks around.
60  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: June 18, 2015, 10:07:52 AM

TRBB: even if there is more voter fraud than I believe there to be, I don't think that compares with the utter trash that is the 2-party dominance, as owned by corporate wealth. And I assume (apologies if wrongly) you mean the kind of alleged fraud that the likes of M Bachmann and similar types have imagined as pro-Democrat. If that's the case, it isn't working sufficiently to be a current "threat" anyway, considering the Republicans kept and won the House and Senate, respectively. Whereas the entrenched system of two parties picking talking heads to fundraise and spout the talking points written by their sponsors, and to protect their and their parties' political interests at all costs regardless of the citizens' interests or opinions...that's the more serious problem.

No argument there. I may be an advocate of extreme capitalism; that does not mean I am pro-corporation. The military-corporate-industrial complex is something to be mistrusted. As far as the voter fraud thing goes, I'm sure it's a negligible amount. But there are many people who vote for a living. These people depend on the welfare teet. And I don't just mean the poor. Big corporations would be up sh*t creek without government.

Thanks for that clarification. I generally agree.
61  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: June 18, 2015, 08:20:09 AM
Uh oh, the sky is falling again, BeanBag: because we agree again, for the most part. Grin I take exception to the nanny state thing (if you meant that "you" as literally me), but mostly, I agree. This is actually why you've seen me in previous posts talk so much about the tone of rhetoric: because I think most of it is heat, not light, and it is if not creating, certainly aggravating and exploiting, honest differences. In a successful state, we can have our differences without worrying all that much about them, frankly. You might be interested in a book I recommended in the "what are you reading" thread. You'd find a lot to disagree with--and so did I--but it did have some good insights that I think align with our current agreement, too.

TRBB: even if there is more voter fraud than I believe there to be, I don't think that compares with the utter trash that is the 2-party dominance, as owned by corporate wealth. And I assume (apologies if wrongly) you mean the kind of alleged fraud that the likes of M Bachmann and similar types have imagined as pro-Democrat. If that's the case, it isn't working sufficiently to be a current "threat" anyway, considering the Republicans kept and won the House and Senate, respectively. Whereas the entrenched system of two parties picking talking heads to fundraise and spout the talking points written by their sponsors, and to protect their and their parties' political interests at all costs regardless of the citizens' interests or opinions...that's the more serious problem.
62  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: June 18, 2015, 05:50:17 AM
No president isn't the same as no government. And the statement about "you and I" deciding what we really need would presumably end up being government of some form: any societal organizing force beyond, say, a family structure is, at some level, government.

As for Baltimore, what's your point? Things are terrible there, but my point that someone (police) should be entrusted with protection and maintaining order isn't lessened by Baltimore. There are corrupt cops, there are great cops. (I like to think my dad was a great one: 30 years on the force.) They're all human, and sometimes some do awful things, even systematically so, which is why we (citizens) always need to watch the officials in every capacity. No unchecked power. Conversely, there are crooked citizens, there are innocent citizens, and all of them are also inherently biased or flawed in their own ways. I don't like police brutality or killing, I don't like citizens rioting or killing, I don't like police stepping back, and I don't like citizens blaming everything on police. It's caught in a downward spiral-cycle of blame, mistrust, anger, fear.

But none of that eliminates the need for a professional, ethical police force to protect citizens and arrest criminals as necessary.
63  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Campaign 2016 on: June 17, 2015, 10:23:52 AM
Ok, the world is back to normal now: we disagree again!

(Btw liberals know conservatives have sex: all the abstinence-only education and corresponding teen pregnancy rates prove red-state kids still f***. Not to mention the delightful inevitable scandals when conservatives end up fucking gay hookers while using meth. You're missed, Ted Haggard!)

But the reason I disagree here is simply that society requires order. No government = no laws and no police. I think society as a baseline should try to guarantee citizens equal treatment/rights (not outcomes, mind you), with a charitable mindset atop that for the poor. Without government, without constitution, without law, the poor and weak are (even more) at the mercy of the rich and strong. I'd babble more but I'm at work.
64  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sorry, liberals, Scandinavian countries aren't utopias on: June 14, 2015, 08:38:10 PM
Oversimplification is for morons.
65  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Sorry, liberals, Scandinavian countries aren't utopias on: June 14, 2015, 02:08:25 PM
Anyone claiming a Scandinavian country--or anywhere else, for that matter--is a utopia is either misinformed and repeating the kind of "well I heard..." tidbits that they've held to reinforce their conception of how things ought to be (most likely, as anyone who reads the Sandbox and the articles linked from it ought to recognize) or is trying to sell you something. They're clearly not utopias, nor are they the opposite. They're generally successful small nations, relatively speaking, that have had to look in the mirror in recent decades, just like everyone else.
66  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: The What Are You Reading? Thread on: June 13, 2015, 10:09:11 AM
"The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State," by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge (both of The Economist).

I recommend this to anyone interested in politics--not the day-to-day bullshit, but political philosophy.--regardless of your particular persuasion. It's a bit more classically liberal than I tend to be (not surprising, being by people associated with The Economist), but it's well thought out and informative, as well as persuasive at times. What I'd call its thesis statement may be this:

"[R]eformers need to embark on a grander project. The key to reviving the democratic spirit lies in reviving the spirit of limited government. The great problem of the West is not just that it has overloaded the state with obligations it cannot meet; it has overburdened democracy with expectations that cannot be fulfilled. This book has repeatedly demonstrated the truth of Plato's two great criticisms of democracy: that voters would put short-term satisfaction above long-term prudence and that politicians would try to bribe their way to power--as they have done by promising entitlements that future generations will have to pay for. A narrower state, especially one that constrained itself by various self-denying ordinances, would be a more sustainable one."

Don't let that fool you into thinking this is a libertarian tome, either. That's not the case. But it is full of interesting history, direct criticisms and praise for governments and parties around the world throughout modern history, and common sense ideas.

Best of all, it is presented coolly and rationally. That is important to me, as I tend to believe someone's intelligence seems to be inversely proportional to how many exclamation points or all-caps words s/he uses. The louder, the dumber.

Up next: "Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe," by Anne Applebaum. Then back into biblical criticism with mythicist Robert M. Price.
67  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Greatest Album Closers on: June 13, 2015, 09:29:36 AM

In fact, your schmoopy comment might be perfect--especially when one considers that being in the "schmoopy trading" relationship is bliss whether it nauseates everyone else or not. It's an "i'm in love and don't give a f***" kind of thing.

I associate it more with a need to remind everyone around that "we're in love, look at us!". I like to think love is a bond much deeper than that and, as long as both persons feel it, there's no need for constant manifestation of it. But maybe it's got to do with the type of persons who behave that way that I've come in contact with.

That is definitely a fair interpretation. To me, how one views that (and a lot of things) changes depending on one's own circumstances. Of course love is (or at least hopefully love is) deeper than that. But at the same time, one who is in love--especially the ecstatic early phases of it--may well rise (or sink) into the schmoopy behavior quite innocently. Others fake it for attention. And it's almost always annoying to anyone on the outside either way. Maybe this is an odd correlation, but I am reminded of Robert Wright's book The Evolution of God, where he says Old Testament portrayals of how Israel/Judah interacted with outsiders can almost always relate to their economic well-being at the time those assorted books were written. When all is well, trade is thriving and the nation next door is an important partner. Consequently, the various prohibitions on interactions are lessened or lifted and there's a "live and let live" idea. When times are worse, those bastards should be slain immediately. One's mindset can similarly affect the sentiment or style of art, as well. At least that's what I think. Catch me on the wrong day and I'll hate "Oh Yoko" too.
68  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Greatest Album Closers on: June 13, 2015, 08:37:54 AM
"Oh Yoko!" John Lennon, Imagine

Ugh, one of my least favourite Lennon songs. It's sort of like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry and his girlfriend call each other silly nicknames - "You're a schmoopy!"



Oh well, such is life. I've got similar feelings (well, not the schmoopy part, but a negative reaction) about quite a few of the tunes I've seen listed as well. I think it's great. Not insightful, but bouncy and joyful. In fact, your schmoopy comment might be perfect--especially when one considers that being in the "schmoopy trading" relationship is bliss whether it nauseates everyone else or not. It's an "i'm in love and don't give a f***" kind of thing.
69  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Greatest Album Closers on: June 13, 2015, 08:00:15 AM
A few that really work for me. OK, more than a few. I make no apologies. One of the below may be tongue in cheek. Some of you might think more than one is tongue in cheek.

"Her Majesty," the Beatles, Abbey Road
"Two-Headed Boy, pt II," Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
"Purple Rain," Prince, Purple Rain
"Night is the Day Turned Inside Out," Beulah, The Coast is Never Clear
"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home
"The Repudiated Immortals," Of Montreal, The Sunlandic Twins
"A Day in the Life." the Beatles, Sgt Pepper
"Reservations," Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
"Lullabye," Ben Folds Five, ...Reinhold Messner
"Flightless Bird, American Mouth," Iron & Wine, The Shepherd's Dog
"Wool," Earl Sweatshirt (feat. Vince Staples), I Don't Like sh*t, I Don't Go Outside
"Ghost Dance 1492," Beachwood Sparks, Make the Cowboy Robots Cry
"Judy and the Dream of Horses," Belle & Sebastian, If You're Feeling Sinister
"Messed Around," Squeeze, East Side Story
"Pale Green Things," The Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree
"Get It Wrong, Get It Right," Feist, Metals
"Race For the Prize," The Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin
"King Kong," Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, Uncle Meat
"Rocket Queen," Guns n Roses, Appetite for Destruction
"Perfect Friend," Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Be a Man
"Smile," Janelle Monae, Metropolis: the Chase Suite
"Necessary," KRS-One, By All Means Necessary
"Big Sky," Lou Reed, Ecstasy
"Government Center," The Modern Lovers, The Modern Lovers
"Someday, Someone," Jeremy Messersmith, Heart Murmurs
"Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)," Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland
"Oh Yoko!" John Lennon, Imagine
"I'm Gonna Crawl," Led Zeppelin, In Through the Out Door
"Ezekiel 7 and the Permanent Efficacy of Grace," the Mountain Goats, The Life of the World to Come
"Finale: The Magic Store," the Muppets, The Muppet Movie
70  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: Neutral Milk Hotel on: June 13, 2015, 06:57:33 AM
Great you got to see them, Bubbly. I was introduced to them a little too late to see them the first time around (around 2000) and, considering the much-publicized if not altogether real seclusion of Jeff M. (sound familiar to Beach Boys fans?), figured I'd never get a chance. The reunion stuff has been great for old fans, middle fans, young fans. I saw him solo in a theater around 2012 or 2013, then saw them together in Feb. 2014 at famed First Ave and have a recording of that show. It was great both times, with some audience members having crossed well into religious devotion and ecstasy.

Sadly with only two real albums and one short EP, plus a few odds and ends from the box, there's a pretty limited catalog from which to choose in those live shows, as it doesn't seem they are doing anything new. (The unreleased stuff they have done is, from what I can tell, all from the same era as the released stuff.) But then again, if I'd released a near-perfect album, I might just call it a day, too...

71  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Love and Mercy - News and Reviews - First clip is out. on: June 10, 2015, 04:47:16 PM
Not quite news or a review, and possibly already mentioned elsewhere (sorry), but Paul Dano (and for you west coast basketball fans, Baron Davis) was on the June 9 episode of NPR's "Bullseye with Jesse Thorn" (which I'd never even heard of ... my local public radio apparently doesn't carry this show). You can find it on iTunes. Dano starts about halfway through. There is some good stuff, including what it was like to learn and play and sing the music. Listening to Cusack and Dano do interviews about this, and hear their obvious, real enthusiasm for the roles, has been a lot of fun for me. I keep being reminded of Sean Lennon's Imagination-era quote about how if you care to get into it, Brian's music is so rewarding. Both talk about being casual fans who ended up geeking out over the sessions, etc. It's cool.
72  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Love and Mercy - News and Reviews - First clip is out. on: June 07, 2015, 01:59:35 PM
Really enjoyed it, actually probably more than I thought I would. Very, very well done. It's great to be able to say not just that there's a movie about my favorite pop musician, but there's a really good movie about him.
73  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Love and Mercy - News and Reviews - First clip is out. on: June 07, 2015, 11:06:55 AM
Demographic shifting as more people arriving. Still skewing older but not so much. And now, off goes the phone!
74  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Love and Mercy - News and Reviews - First clip is out. on: June 07, 2015, 10:53:25 AM
Also, I'm (at 38) the youngest person in this theater by at least 15 years. Then again, it is a Sunday matinee.
75  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Love and Mercy - News and Reviews - First clip is out. on: June 07, 2015, 10:49:53 AM
Sitting in the theater now. It's playing at maybe 7-10 places locally, probably a bit more than similarly sized metro areas elsewhere because it's Pohlad's hometown and has gotten that add'l angle/press. I'm early enough to have gotten a sweet seat and am just now for the first time getting excited. All the early press, the festival accounts, the recent press and interviews, it's finally (my) time. Should be fun.
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