Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Justice Equation














It is really quite simple. Where E is 'Evil murderer', and J= Justice', you simply take E and solve for J; the answer is you get a bunch of random guys in ski masks and snap a 70 year old dude's neck with a rope.
Oh, the wonderfully ghoulish death penalty. Why is the United States the only Western nation that clings to this barbarity? The whole world looks down on us, except of course our partners in love of Bronze Age punishment, Iran.
What a complete sham this all was. It was like a surprise party thrown on short notice. Couple of balloons. A crappy 12 inch Subway party sub. All the junk in the living room taken upstairs for the night. A bowl of snack-size Reese's peanut butter cups. John Mayer's new CD on the stereo. Pathetic, embarrassing, meager.
Don't get me wrong-Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator. But executing him days after his trial ends on about two hours notice, rounding up some local thugs in masks and filming the whole thing on a camera phone like a 17 year old girl on Myspace is absolutely absurd and an affront to humanity as well as a dent in any sort of hope of "democracy" or stabilization in that region.
What a blunder this was. How it will stir up more hate and death. Barbarisms stack up upon barbarisms. What a poorly-orchestrated sham. What a mess we are in over there. All this suffering and death because of faux-intellectuals like Kristol, Krauthammer and Wolfowitz. All this suffering and death because of incompetence and arrogance.
Josh Marshall:

"This whole endeavor, from the very start, has been about taking tawdry, cheap acts and dressing them up in a papier-mache grandeur--phony victory celebrations, ersatz democratization, reconstruction headed up by toadies, con artists and grifters. And this is no different. Hanging Saddam is easy. It's a job, for once, that these folks can actually see through to completion. So this execution, ironically and pathetically, becomes a stand-in for the failures, incompetence and general betrayal of country on every other front that President Bush has brought us."


For once, I agree with George Galloway (taken from a Yahoo! News story):

'Mocking US President George W. Bush who hailed Hussein's execution as "an important milestone," Galloway said: "It's a milestone already on the road through the gates of hell"'.


I read in one of the many, lame and needless "Iraqis Celebrate Saddam's Death" stories polluting the news and it had an interview with some 30 year old guy who danced and went outside to shoot his gun off in the air after hearing about the execution.

Congratulations, Iraqis. We're going to take you from the 11th century to the 12th century even if it kills us all.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Looking Inward











It was very exciting this morning when I looked at Huffington Post and saw the advertised link to BuzzFeed on Tim and Eric's upcoming new show; It was then quite strange to see myself listed as the second "best link" for my little post on the show. Stranger than that was seeing my friend since 2nd grade Peter's blog as the 6th "best link".
While the notion that perhaps a curious Chris Matthews checking Huffington Post will, for boredom's sake, click the link and find my little online abode stimulates me, in the end, it left me cold.
I then must ask, why the hell does anyone read this blog at all? I surely don't: the music writing is vague and full of adverbial cliches, the humor is juvenile and hipper-than-thou ironic, the choice of youtube clips is strange and off-putting, etc.
Either way, as the new year approaches I must say I'm thankful that I have a place where I can write about classical music, my odd hatred of all forms of post-modernism*, the Pre-Cambrian Explosion and Tahitian Treat, and someone will read it. Whatever else I can say about my problems in reality, my internet life is good. And isn't that the most important thing?

*Be on the look out for a new series on this blog, (fake) "Profiles in American Academia."

Monday, December 25, 2006

MERRY CHRISTMAS!




(The reason for the season: RIP Big Baby Jesus, aka ODB/Osirus/Dirt Mcgirt etc)











little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"

-ee cummings

(That poem is sorta gay, really. But Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays anywayz!)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Matt "Sloth" Drudge






































"Rocky.....Road????!"

Monday, December 18, 2006

I am ashamed of my city














New billboard from this group up in MY downtown.

Now I'm off to Settergren's hardware for a ladder, a rope and an axe.
Take Note of the MC









My bestest friend, Chaz Kangas, is Maxim/Blender music journalist Adam Bernard's 'Artist of the Week'. Ch-ch check it here. While you are at it, go to Chaz's Myspace and buy his complete works, including his newest masterpiece "Lapland" (I did the music for four of the tracks), and our collaboration "Notes From the Underground". Chaz most recently opened and hosted the final hip-hop show at CBGBs and from what I heard, killed it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!


The greatest comedic and perhaps artistic minds of our time, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, creators of the transcendental Tom Goes to the Mayor, have created another show that will premiere on Adult Swim in February. It's called, "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" and looks like it will be a phantasmagoria of insanity. Along with producer and writer Bob Odenkirk, the show will see guest spots from David Cross, Fred Willard, John C. Reilly etc.
Bask in the joy of this clip from the show, a commercial for the newest toy sweeping the nation, "B'owl"!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hibernation Interlude


I have a present for you all!: One of the greatest episodes of one of the greatest shows of all-time, "Mystery Science Theater 3000". MST3K, for those who don't know, is one of the smartest, most hilarious and consistently brilliant shows in television history, and I consider the final three Sci-Fi Channel seasons to be the greatest of them all.*
Here is the unedited romp through the sublimely awful cinematic delight known as "Werewolf" (starring Martin Sheen's brother Joe Estevez!).
Please watch and enjoy. You will be immediately converted to the genius of the only show on television that could reference the Crimean War, the Female Condom and Milton Babbitt in the same episode.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Temporary Winter Blog Hibernation








Defend yourself against the evil days
Lenaion brings, all of them days which pierce
The hides of oxen; guard against the frosts
That kill, when Boreas blows on the earth.
He blows through Thrace, where horses graze; he blows
On the broad sea and whips it up: the earth
And forest mutter; in the mountain pass
He falls on high-leafed oaks and thick-branched pines
And brings them to the fruitful earth; while all
The boundless forests cry. The animals
Shudder, with tails between their legs; they find
No help in furry hides, the cold goes through
Even the shaggy-breasted. Boreas
Goes through an ox's hide, through the fine coat
The goat wears, but his windy force cannot
Pierce through the thick-piled fleece of sheep; he makes
The old man bend, round shouldered as a wheel.
He does not pierce the soft-skinned girl who stays
Indoors at home with mother, innocent
Of golden Aphrodite's works. She bathes
Her tender skin, anoints herself with oil,
And going to an inner room at home,
She takes a nap upon a winter day,
When, in his fireless house and dismal place
The Boneless One [octopus] is gnawing on his foot.
For him, the sun no longer lights the way
To better feeding grounds: the sun has gone
To make his circuit with the dark-skined men;
He shines upon the Greeks a shorter time.
The horned and hornless creatures of the wood
In pain, with chattering teeth, flee through the brush,
One care in all their minds, to find a cave
Or thickly covered shelter. Like the man,
Three-legged with his staff, with shattered spine,
Whose head looks to the ground, like him they go
Wandering, looking for shelter from the snow.

-Hesiod, "Works and Days" (trans. Dorothea Wender, pgs. 75-76)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Upping the Hill

My back hurts. My muscles ache. I forget a lot. I go to the bathroom too much. I have trouble sleeping.

In short, I'm getting older. I turn 21 today. Another stop on my one-way ticket ride to death.
Am I being too negative? Yes, yes of course. Tomorrow is just another day and a little better as there will be some cake. No, there will be no "Power Hour" of Mexican men blowing whistles while pouring Tequila down my throat. I've promised myself to live a life sans booze, the sauce, spirits, liquor, or (as Patton Oswalt calls it) "pain go bye-bye juice", etc. Thus, I have never touched it. Nor will I be smoking. I haven't done that either. Or done anything illegal.

Still. Only 21. I probably got a good 50 years left. You ready world? Because...
(CUE Bacmann Turner Overdrive's "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet").

No. Death? Cake?
Truth













"[But] as any composer (well, any honest composer) will tell you, to be difficult is the easiest thing in the world, and to be impossible takes no more than insouciance."
-Richard Taruskin

I've always instinctively felt this and it the more I think about it, the more it seems true. I'm no hater of "difficult" music; I have a real love (if that term can be used) for much of Birtwistle, Carter, Wuorinen, Boulez et al.
It's no more than a superficial paradox that, for me at least, the music of Fauré (who's great Piano Quartets I'm hearing tonight at Ted Mann Concert Hall) is more "complex" in most meaningful senses than the music of Ferneyhough. Just as that is nothing more than a superficial paradox, the complexity of a Ferneyhough is nearly all surface. I actually saw some of his infamous scores, with each flute note complete with more instructions than one of those NASA unmanned probes , before I heard them. When I read some of the admittedly articulate man's writings and interviews and heard his music, it was quite a let down to discover all that hubbub is standard post-war University philosophical wanking (Benjamin, Deleuze, Saussure, Brecht etc.) with your typical bars of 5/24 fluttertonguing 11ths.