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609815 Posts in 24649 Topics by 3511 Members - Latest Member: FredGroman June 26, 2017, 08:34:41 PM
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51  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Politics: 2016 Lame Duck and 2017 New Administration on: April 12, 2017, 10:27:42 AM
I really believe reform trumps exit/dissolution.

I agree with though the point Thorgil brings up about austerity is spot on.
So do I.
52  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Politics: 2016 Lame Duck and 2017 New Administration on: April 12, 2017, 10:12:12 AM
You'd understand better the anti-EU sentiments if you had been born in Europe many years ago and seen the progressive economic and social deterioraton in your continent. The EU, with its inflexible "austerity" policy, literally reinvented European poverty after the 1960 Golden Age. What Greece has been subjected to is unforgivable. The British have been so lucky and clever in choosing to go away. They will fully realise this in a few years, when they will be like Norway but bigger.

And I don't like this name calling against different political opinions. It reeks of classic pro-system intolerance, where every dissenting voice is labeled as "stupid", "irresponsible" or the like.

That's fair. The idea does seem stupid to me, though, for the overarching reason (general peace) I mentioned. That said, the keys to that sentence are "the idea" (not people holding it, necessarily) and "to me" (nothing approaching an authority, and admittedly an observer from another continent). I really believe reform trumps exit/dissolution.
53  Smiley Smile Stuff / Welcome to the Smiley Smile board / Re: Welcome thread on: April 12, 2017, 05:29:20 AM
I like some multilingual posting, myself. It's a nice reminder how lucky we English-only speakers are that others humor us.

Thanks to the Brits for doing all the heavy lifting of spreading the language around the world in the first place. (Or did America do that with postwar cultural creep? I guess I don't even know. That's embarrassing. My penance is to be addressed only in Dutch for a week.  Cheesy )
54  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Unpopular Beach Boys opinions on: April 11, 2017, 11:04:08 AM
Not today, man...
55  Smiley Smile Stuff / Welcome to the Smiley Smile board / Re: Welcome thread on: April 11, 2017, 09:24:57 AM
I forgive you.
56  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: April 09, 2017, 04:41:38 PM
To me, the Cavs' biggest issue is having kowtowed too much to Lebron's desire for a roster full of trusted vets. They basically sliced off their pipeline of younger talent by spending as much as possible on their core and then supplementing the roster the past few years with the guys like JR Smith, Iman Shumpert--those guys at the young end--and Channing Frye, James Jones, Anderson Varejao, Chris Andersen, Richard Jefferson, Dahntay Jones, Mo Williams, Shawn Marion, Mike Miller, Kendrick Perkins...

I realize that superstars hunting titles want old heads. That makes sense, too. You don't want Lebron surrounded with Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett. But conversely, the GM has to maintain some balance to the roster to perpetuate success. San Antonio has been the much-lauded example of that, of course, by having at various times brought in Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili (yes, once young!), Danny Green, George Hill, Patty Mills, Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard, and even some of the current younger guys like Kyle Anderson, Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, etc., though we have to see how well they do over time.
57  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: April 09, 2017, 04:12:45 PM
Didn't CLE just lose to Atlanta the other day, too? Wow, I wonder what that's about. Clearly, playing the Big 3 40+ minutes apiece, it wasn't as if they weren't trying to win the game. Just bad matchups?
58  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: April 09, 2017, 02:44:03 PM
For the Knicks, I'd be hoping for a Jackson exit first and foremost! I'd hate to imagine them winning the lottery and getting, say, Markelle Fultz, only to cram him into the triangle. But I'm right there with you about cheering for my own team to lose. The Wolves went on a nice little streak of wins just after they were out of the playoffs. C'mon, coach, do KAT and Wig really need 37-40 mpg at this point of this season?

Re COY, you named the guys I'd consider. I think the best coaches--regardless of this year's rosters or anything--are Pop, Stevens, and Spoelstra. D'Antoni has done an amazing job this year, and Kerr is obviously doing really well, too. (I think Luke Walton is doing a heck of a job, too, actually. Ditto Jason Kidd.) I think I'd go with Spoelstra because that roster is garbage and since that awful start, he's had them doing great things. Pop and D'Antoni would be next up on my list for this season.

Re POY ... I'm torn. Frankly if Durant hadn't missed so many games I'd have him right in the competition as well. Westbrook, Harden, Leonard, James, Durant, probably in that order for me. But so many guys played so well this year. Great season.

59  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: April 09, 2017, 12:46:07 PM
That Celtics rebuilding project seems to be what really did him in. As long as he was surrounded by a) a winning team, and b) strong-willed, productive players like KG, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, his own strong personality was not an issue. But when he's surrounded by losing buffoons, he looks around and rightly says "f*** this, I'm the smartest guy in the room: we're doing it my way."

Unfortunately, true or not, that's not how a program functions.
60  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: April 09, 2017, 12:27:26 PM
I actually think his best option would be finding some shooter-loaded playoff team that wants him as a backup, assuming he's willing to accept that role. He is a terrible fit for bad teams because, whatever else he has been in recent years, he is a winner. Even his little social media tantrum earlier this year was in the interest of winning. But as I said earlier, he can't be a starter, realistically, on a decent team. He's just not as good as he used to be. (Not only was the NBA different in his heyday, but he was different, pre-injury: he was a freak athlete.)

But should his attitude come around, he could be a backup somewhere like Houston, where they could surround him with Eric Gordon, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and Ryan Anderson or something, and with all that spacing he could still be an offensive threat in terms of getting to the hoop, even without a jumpshot.

It's really up to him. Otherwise, he's f***ed. The only teams that would let him start are terrible ... and even they might not. Think about it. Brooklyn has Lin under contract. He's burned his Sacramento bridge. LAL has young guards. Philly needs a guard but will want a shooter to complement Simmons. NOP has Holiday, at least for now. NYK? Ugh, I guess they have no PGs on the roster, but if they're insisting on triangle he's a terrible fit. Phoenix has PGs. He really is running out of options.
61  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: NBA 2017 Topic on: April 09, 2017, 12:04:26 PM
Hard not to look good compared to MCW and Jerian Grant and Cam Payne. Not to mention the guy is going to be released this summer and is doing a little tryout for the other teams.

That said he's going to have a really rough future because he still just can't shoot. In the modern NBA, if you can't shoot and you're a guard, you're far from a star, and probably not even a starter. Theoretically he could be surrounded with shooters and be at least productive--and if he applies himself again the way he once did, he's a very good defender and rebounder (and absolutely a genius passer). But when you're running pick and rolls, as every NBA team does almost constantly, it's tough if you're not a threat to shoot.
62  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Politics: 2016 Lame Duck and 2017 New Administration on: April 09, 2017, 12:02:08 PM
Indeed. Let's note that the countries who bought into those structures have not warred with each other since. Before that, they'd been at war nonstop since writing began.

Exactly, which is why the anti-EU fervor in particular strikes me as so, so stupid. That's not to say that the existing EU is a perfect entity, any more than any particular country's government is perfect. But the benefits of the EU should be obvious to anyone with the slightest education in history. (Hmmm, France and Germany aren't at war right now.) There are tweaks--even overhauls!--to be made to every institution on the planet. But baby/bathwater/etc.
63  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Politics: 2016 Lame Duck and 2017 New Administration on: April 09, 2017, 11:36:02 AM
[Responding to the "Completely true..." post.]

Agreed, because of the loudly shrieked "globalism robs us of our sovereignty!" nonsense (as if multinational institutions weren't agreed upon by the member nations, and thus every bit as consistent with sovereignty as any other level of governance). No, no, let's go back to our little fiefdoms, do everything on a bilateral basis, and end up with a maze of absurd loyalties and feuds leading to more wars, all in the name of glorious nationalism. That'll be great.
64  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Politics: 2016 Lame Duck and 2017 New Administration on: April 09, 2017, 11:21:55 AM
A good thought, but unfortunately not the way of the world up to now.
65  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Why All The Hate Concerning Album/Song Production? on: April 09, 2017, 07:35:52 AM
I don't want to say something off topic and risk crucifixion. (Though tis the season for resurrection, so maybe I shouldn't worry: I'd be back in three days.) So my response is instead to deflect and instead to repeat an earlier sentiment: good production is that which results in the finished recording sounding the way the artist wants it to sound. Listeners' problems are listeners' problems.
66  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Politics: 2016 Lame Duck and 2017 New Administration on: April 09, 2017, 06:44:58 AM
King Abdullah of Jordan in an interview in today's Washington Post -- https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/king-abdullah-compromise-with-russia-on-crimea-to-get-its-help-in-syria/2017/04/06/b985b894-1a61-11e7-bcc2-7d1a0973e7b2_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-e%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.ce50a1d00451 -- suggests the way to work with Russia on Syria is to concede Crimea (which may be a moot point by now anyway). Well, what he actually says is "If you come to an understanding on Crimea, I think you will see much more flexibility on Syria, and I think Ukraine then becomes the least problematic." But I think it's safe to say what he means is give up on Crimea, make your stand on Syria, and then Ukraine, meh, work out something or other.

I realize your "more carrot" comment was regarding nationalism, but I think the realpolitik sense of the carrot is what King Abdullah is saying. And while I think that may well be the reality of how to get it done, unfortunately then you're bargaining over other people without them being at the bargaining table. (Not unlike how the Middle East was carved up a century ago and leading to some of the troubles we're seeing now in the first place.)
67  Smiley Smile Stuff / Welcome to the Smiley Smile board / Re: Welcome thread on: April 09, 2017, 06:31:42 AM
And then it was gone.
68  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Why All The Hate Concerning Album/Song Production? on: April 09, 2017, 06:18:16 AM
GF, I agree entirely with that post.

And Rick5150:
I guess I will have to drink more
That's my strategy.
69  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Bands/Singers That The Beach Boys Influenced :) on: April 08, 2017, 03:11:32 PM
Alas, smart a guy as he is--and he is! I've enjoyed his interviews.--Mr. Pop doesn't know his constitution. (It's in the Declaration of Independence.)
70  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: 2017 New Music. on: April 08, 2017, 10:27:08 AM
I'd like to shout from the rooftops that Cotton Mather has a new album (not to mention had one last year that somehow I failed to know about)! This band had the great mid-90s album KonTiki as well as some other cool stuff, but only three full albums and an EP from the 90s through '02 or so, when they called it quits.

Bandleader Robert Harrison is now in the midst of a 64-song project that will be released and performed by both Cotton Mather and his other band, Future Clouds & Radar. From what I can tell, so far it's the two aforementioned albums and a 3-song single, so hopefully there is a lot more coming soon. Happy happy happy happy.
71  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / Re: The New Wilburys on: April 08, 2017, 09:48:18 AM
I think my group might look something like this:

Darian Sahanaja - the glue guy who can pull things together, contribute vocally and on keyboard / pitched percussion instruments, write songs, arrange, produce, etc.
Mark "E" Everett (Eels) - probably on drums here, if the band was going to be self-contained, but can play whatever, write songs, and contribute some vocals.
Joanna Newsom - keyboards and vocals, great lyricist and songwriter in general, nice change-of-pace vocally
Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) - guitar / bass, great songwriter, folky side would mesh well with E while he also brings a little swampy swagger
Robert Harrison (Cotton Mather, Future Clouds & Radar) - guitar / bass, great Lennonesque voice and good songwriter, brings some pop glory that would mesh well with Sahanaja, another side of Everett

The band represents a pretty broad spectrum of pop music from folk to a kind of highbrow composition to straight-ahead, classic power pop, to chamber pop, with a (very) little jazz / soul in there, too. Everyone can contribute vocally, ranging from clear pristine voices to scratchy rugged ones. And they all can write cool stuff. So that's my band.

Not quite the supergroup the first one was in terms of fame, but hey, it's my supergroup.
72  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: 'Buddy' Wilbury on: April 08, 2017, 09:40:32 AM
Thanks. I didn't mean my question to be combative, by the way, in case anyone read it that way. Just a real question, as I didn't know.

It wouldn't / doesn't surprise me, however, in that in my experience families tend to mostly share senses of humor. In my family's case, all of my brothers and I more or less think the same sorts of things are funny, and when we get together will riff along those lines. Our parents, while never quite fully on board or up to speed, more or less find the same ideas or approaches funny. Other families seem to me to be mostly the same: even though this or that member might be more the extroverted clown versus the introverted, quietly sarcastic one, the basic senses of humor seem mostly shared.

So, with Brian being funny, I would think to some extent Carl and Dennis would be similarly funny.
73  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / The Sandbox / Re: Politics: 2016 Lame Duck and 2017 New Administration on: April 08, 2017, 08:52:20 AM
In short, then, would it be fair to summarize your preference as containment of the problem, with humanitarian aid provided, and more or less hoping for the best (without directly influencing with respect to) the eventual political outcome?

The biggest obstacle I see is keeping other countries from interfering, considering we already know that Russia and Iran are helping Assad and Saudi Arabia (at least) is helping some rebel factions.

I agree overwhelmingly with your "nationalism is evil" sentence. Beyond that, I think it's just stupid. Literally idiotic, in that it is the illogical championing of a nation based on the accident of your birth location. It's no different than fanatically cheering your local sports team just because they happen to be local. There seems to be a little more room for it if one chooses his own nation, but most of us don't do that in any real sense. (Choosing not to leave an America in which I was born and lived my formative years, in which the vast majority of my family and friends live, and to which I am culturally acclimated, is hardly the same as choosing to be American, for example.) When it has ethnic overtones, it's also moronic in that sense, as if people grew out of that local dirt (as opposed to having just been some prior wave of migrants/immigrants who wandered in, or conquered, or whatever).
74  Smiley Smile Stuff / General On Topic Discussions / Re: Love You Re-Appreciation Thread #4: All Things 'Mona' on: April 08, 2017, 07:40:54 AM
I think "Mona" is fabulous, almost perfect in a way. Yes, it's repetitive, but it is repetitive according to a well established, four-chord pattern that was used since rock 'n' roll / doo-wop began. (It's not as if it were a one-chord song.) The track is great, energetic and rollicking propulsively into its circular chord pattern (so it never quite gets anywhere despite rolling--almost tumbling--forward). The right hand of the piano on the "and" of each beat is fabulous. It also has some of my favorite lyrics on the entire album.
75  Non Smiley Smile Stuff / General Music Discussion / The New Wilburys on: April 08, 2017, 06:03:45 AM
Some of the speculation in the Brian-as-Wilbury thread in the on-topic forum inspired me to start yet another of those threads the what-if haters will hate. But as the modern American poet T. Swift said, "a hater's gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate / and a player's gonna play, play, play, play, play, play / I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake / shake it off. Shake it off. Whoo hoo hoo."

The original band comprised five stars whose initial fame (and in most cases, biggest successes) were about 10 to 30 years prior to the Wilburys. While some had collaborated, none had ever been in a group together before. They didn't necessarily have to fill out the instrumental performances themselves. Using the same criteria as a framework, what five musicians do you think would make for a fun new take on the Wilburys concept? We're looking at people whose introduction to the popular consciousness began no earlier than 1987 and no later than about 2007.
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