Friday, March 23, 2012

Free Pussy Riot

That headline will probably bring us all kinds of unwanted Google traffic, but it is imperative that we support these brave young women.


International solidarity! (Hat tip to Jigsaw Underground.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What they don't say when they scold us about the work ethic

Some insights on how prosperity really happens (or doesn't):
...I visited a group of Haitian mango farmers a few years ago. Each farmer had no more than one or two mango trees, even though their land lay along a river that could irrigate their fields and support hundreds of trees. So why didn’t they install irrigation pipes? Were they ignorant, indifferent? In fact, they were quite savvy and lived in a region teeming with well-intended foreign-aid programs. But these farmers also knew that nobody in their village had clear title to the land they farmed. If they suddenly grew a few hundred mango trees, it was likely that a well-connected member of the elite would show up and claim their land and its spoils. What was the point?

No More Mister Nice Blog points out the obvious: we could be heading in the same direction here, especially if we keep asking the wrong questions.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Animal Panic

The Granite Countertops in stripped down rehearsal mode a while back. Time to plug in and play some more!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Back to the shadows again

The world just got a little less funny today. R.I.P. Peter Bergman.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Where's the bombshell?" - 2012's next big internet meme

Law student hugs law professor! It's a conspiracy! And the mainstream media is hiding it from us!

Wow, these buffoons really got nothin'.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What you gonna do for an encore?

Got some more videos from the 2006 X-tal house party:

"Stating The Obvious Again" was a direct response to the GOP convention/hatefest of 1992 and the then-recent loss of a few close friends to the AIDS virus. A pushback song for all of us on the receiving end of the "family values" jackboot. Shouldn't be, but it's still timely. Betting, and hoping, that 20 years on we will again be able to say:

"The inquisition has just been cancelled for lack of interest.
Too many people would rather fix the holes in their own roofs
Than fight a Holy War."

(UPDATE) Complete lyrics, by request:

My friends are scattered all across the continents
They're searching for the satisfaction they deserve
Some of my friends have died in pain you can't imagine
Now they're gone for good
I've heard you tell the nation, it's all their own fault.

Don't tread on my loved ones
Don't you even try
Don't toy with our anger
We've got the right to live
Don't threaten good people
Don't trivialize their lives
Don't spit on our values
We've got the right to love.

Pursuing happiness and thrills, we've taken risks
We don't need scum like you to tell us
How to suffer for it.
You sit in offices and churches making speeches
While in the streets, men with clubs and knives
Are out enforcing your philosophy of life.

The Inquisition has just been cancelled for lack of interest
Too many people would rather fix the holes in their own roofs
Than fight a holy war.
Ah, the ghouls will lick their wounds and slink away
You know they'll be back.

Toss out what you've been told
And you have to improvise
You have to rely on your desire, your heart, your conscience
I salute anyone who can make it through the night
If others don't approve of what they see
They can kindly step away from the window.

(I salute anyone who can make it through the night
Someday I will again.)

Plus, "Encore"!

This ball is square

The ongoing collapse of the right wing is more than I ever could have predicted. One thing these people always had going for them is message discipline, not to mention the deep pockets to back it up. Now the masks are falling off along with the wheels. If we had a strong, unified progressive movement in the US, we might be able to do something with this momentum. Maybe when President Warren is inaugurated in 2017 we can truly move away from the cliff.

The amusing part is seeing the "sensible centrists" bemoan this COMPLETELY NEW extremism in the Republican party that we have never, ever seen before. Oh how, oh how could we have come to this unprecedented point? HA! 'Twas always thus. Check your history. They've just lost the ability to wrap it in the economic and militaristic "grownups in charge" window dressing they used to know how to use.

I hope these guys stay on this hobby horse the rest of the year. The worst thing would be if they rediscovered their Machiavellian shrewdness and remembered how to win in November. I remain confident right now that, without their BFF Osama Bin Laden releasing scary videos every few months, the public is no longer enthralled with this bunch and their transparent authoritarianism in "freedom" drag.

Keep on crowing boys. Your overconfidence is going to bring you down.

UPDATE: Oh, but he's SORRY! Isn't that enough?

(Also, ain't nobody who can deconstruct the fools as deftly as the mighty Cerberus.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

You and I have seen what time does, haven't we?

Also, in the world of life and death, a decent, if sometimes cloying, pop performer sadly popped his clogs this week. Davy Jones was, of course, more a TV star than a musician, but somehow at the end of the Monkees' original run, he managed to write this excellent song (that also features Neil Young sitting in on lead guitar). Remember him like this.

The Full Disclosure Principle, Revisited

We just discovered the "spotlight" feature on Soundcloud. We'll be alternating favorite albums or songs periodically so you can see new things when you visit Ear Candle's Soundcloud page. Currently we are putting The Full Disclosure Principle (which in all but name is really the Granite Countertops' debut) up front. Check out the cover of Leonard Cohen's "Democracy".

Terminal apoplexy

"Spending your final hours on earth yelling at people with your thumbs. Wow, that was a life well lived."

UPDATE: The man is gone, but what he stood for lives on. But what about ACORN? They must have had something to do with this!

UPDATE UPDATE: The Rude One speculates on an appropriate afterlife scenario.