Embedophenia

Tonight’s installment is from another band I never did have a whole lot of use for, but this one is…well, it’s simply monstrous.



That’s some mighty tasty harp playin’ right there. Whatever your opinion of J Geils might be, there’s no gainsaying Magic Dick. He’s a true master of the beast—an instrument the bassist/harpist from a band we toured with (whose identity I shan’t reveal here, for their own protection) always called a “nigger whistle.” I laughed so hard I think I cracked a rib or two the first time I heard Joey say that.

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Innarnuts: WON

By unanimous acclaim.

Take THAT!
That’s gonna leave a mark

Swiped from Aesop, who piles on bigly:

Could somebody get a big icepack for Dr. Fauci to put on the giant red handprint on the side of his face from that roundhouse bitchslap from a Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine? And maybe a crowbar, to get his glasses un-imbedded from his cheek, after he pries his own head out of his ass?

Nah, let the toxic gnome suffer, I say. I’m pretty sure Faulsi prefers his head right where it is anyway, and would resent any attempt to retrieve it.

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RIP Charlie Watts

A bit belated, I know, but still. One of the all-time great drummers just shook these mortal coils to join Heaven’s Own Band.

In a previous piece, I described Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham as the overall rock drummer par excellence. Extraordinarily dynamic, Bonham had a lot of gears. He could play louder and heavier than anyone, but could also finesse quiet passages, zig-zag between funk and reggae and swing, and, well, you get the picture.

Charlie was a different sort of drummer, at least while playing with the Rolling Stones. If Bonham was a six-gear, $100,000, 230 horsepower, hot-rodded Harley (with Batmobile-style mods like a smoke-blower, mini-machine guns, and oil-slick dispenser), Charlie was your English grandfather’s vintage Raleigh bicycle. It never broke. It was easy to maintain. You could cruise along on it all day long year after year, decade after decade. It had only one gear, but for a bicycle, it was the perfect gear. And it is with drummers and vehicles as it is for everything else: horses for courses. Which one’s best depends on what you need.

Simple, steady, rock-solid—that was Charlie Watts in a silver-sparkle Ludwig nutshell, and is exactly why I always loved his playing. No flash, no trash, just a backbeat you can feel deep in your soul, if you have any at all. The very best rock and roll drummers are like that, or so I believe. I never have been just a huge Stones fan, I can take ’em or leave ’em alone, but I DO love me some Keef, and some Charlie too.

No eight-bazillion flavors of crash cymbals; no racks-o-toms surrounding him; no gongs behind him, nor tympani he might hit one precisely (1) time over the course of a two-hour set; no synchronized kick-drum pedals by the dozen, when you only got two feets to play ’em with anyway. Just a simple trap kit, a no-nonsense, smack-it-silly snare-drum crack, and…well, just sheer nonchalant elegance, really.

I saw Buddy Rich a couple times years ago, and he was pretty much the same way, at least as far as his bare-bones kit went. The nonchalance and elegance…ehh, not so much; Rich’s facial expressions alone were absolutely maniacal, truly a sight to behold. Both times I saw him, he was sweat-drenched and purple-faced from early into the set, and he weren’t no spring chicken by then either. The energy level and overall vibe he exuded was powerful, not something easily caged or controlled. Joyful too, which I didn’t expect, having heard the stories and the infamous recordings confirming all the rumors of what a total bastard he was to work for, onstage and off. It was a little like watching a precocious teen on his first trip to the titty bar or something.

Anyhoo, back to Charlie.

First, you might never guess, listening to his recorded Rolling Stones drum performances, that Charlie was a precocious jazz drummer. With the Stones, he was a paragon of percussive minimalism. In fact, I’m not sure there’s a single drum fill on any Stones song a five year old couldn’t play.

But that’s no sleight. What matters is playing the right thing—not the complicated thing—and as it happened, Charlie always played the right thing. He played what he played because that’s what he should have played in the Rolling Stones song he was playing. That’s what good musicians do, after all.

Bingo. I’m reminded of something I saw in the Creem mag letters section soon after Van Halen had hit big with their debut album, wherein an EVH fanboy got himself all worked up and slobbery over Eddie’s otherworldly virtuousity, which nobody was trying to argue with anyway. He ended his long, effusive rant thusly: “Why play three notes when you can squeeze in ten?” Which flabby sentiment one of the editors blandly eviscerated with one of the pithiest yet most profound comebacks I ever did see, one that’s stuck with me ever since: Why play ten notes when you can say it in three?

I’m sure that statement went right over that kid’s head, but it’s a more important point than most non-musician types might realize. In all pop music, the Thing, the essential, crucial Thing, is to not overplay, to not burden a good tune with a lot of extraneous self-indulgence. Every talented professional will get his chance to show off his chops and shine a little, in every set he plays. But the REAL pros know that when you throw in everything but the kitchen sink in every damned song, you dull the impact of your sharpest material. First rule of showbiz, taught to me by my dad, my uncle, my early-childhood piano teacher, my church-choir director and high-school band director (same guy), and pretty much every musical mentor I’ve ever had: always, always, ALWAYS leave your audience wanting more. ALWAYS. Playing with discipline and restraint rather than letting it all hang out and flop around all over the place is one of the ways you do it.

This is the key to every Rolling Stones song. Charlies never breaks character. He starts the song, pumps along underneath, hits the fills where needed, but never plays a single gratuitous note. Then the song ends. Then he starts a new one. On it goes. As each song begins, everyone else hangs on, so to speak, to his chugging rhythm. It’s no wonder Keith once said “Charlie Watts is the Stones”.

Not to shortchange Charlie here, but there’s another great drummer who also lived his musical life by the less-is-more rule I gotta mention: Cheap Trick’s Bun E Carlos. Way underappreciated, in my view, but he’s another one who eschewed the flashy sturm und drang for just quietly doing an impeccable job of holding down the bottom end and keeping the proceedings rockin’ right along with neither fuss, muss, nor excess of any kind.

And this KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid, not their 1977 tour-mates) approach from the drummer of a band that, for years, opened every show with a fucking DRUM SOLO, mind you. I mean, NOBODY likes drum solos, ferchrissakes. Not even other drummers.



Ahh, but simplicity wasn’t always the Bun E Carlos Way. As with almost every aggressive but unschooled young hotshot whose only thought is to swing for the fences on every pitch, holding back was an acquired taste for Carlos too.

In 1973 or 1974, Carlos gained a major insight into his drumming. He told interviewer Robin Tolleson in 1986 that, like most young drummers, he was mostly interested in making his drumming stand out (“Where can I get the most licks in, and how cool can I sound”). While listening to a tape of a Cheap Trick concert, he realized he was rushing the beat and interfering in the performance of the other band members. Afterward, he began taping every Cheap Trick show to study his own drumming much more objectively, focusing on keeping time and supporting his bandmates. The band also played several gigs alongside Mahavishnu Orchestra about this time. Carlson says he learned a great deal about ambidextrous drumming from drummer Billy Cobham.

Making yourself a part of the music instead of trying to dominate or overwhelm it—recognizing that YOU must be all about the music, rather than the music being all about YOU—is a critical step in every player’s career, and sometimes a quite difficult one as well. Given my own background in hard rock/classic rock, I struggled mightily with it myself, and never really managed to master the thing. In fact, that’s why I never was able to play traditional blues at all well, and eventually just pretty much gave up on ever getting it right consistently, aside from the occasional (VERY occasional) fluke solo.

When it comes to restraint, blues is a particularly demanding genre, maybe the toughest of any modern popular music styles. It’s often said that blues lives and breathes in the spaces between the notes, not in the notes themselves. With blues guitar, what you DON’T play is every bit as important as what you DO play, very often moreso. Of equal importance is playing those notes correctly, what BB King meant when he used to talk about making his trademark single-note solos “sting.” Shaping the notes you play is paramount, and attack is all.

All of that is a little different for drummers than it is for guitarists, of course. Nonetheless, the basic principle of Less Is More still applies. Both Bun E Carlos and Charlie Watts spent long and notable careers providing an excellent education for all of us in how it was fucking done.

Update! Almost forgot another thing I always dug about Carlos: when onstage with Cheap Trick, he actually had a drum tech whose primary responsibility was this: whenever Bun E’s ever-present cigarette was near the end, said roadie would light up another, run out, and replace the expired butt with the fresh one, thus averting the unacceptable calamity of Carlos having to play without a gasper dangling from his lips. Too funny, that.

The lion donkey lays down with the lamb pit bull

Remember the other day when I told y’all that pit bulls were the absolute best dogs on Earth? I was NOT just winding my watch, y’know.


Two soul-enriching pittie vids in the same week calls for the rerun of a few pics of the last dog I will ever own: my beloved Cookie Monster, late and more lamented than you could possibly imagine.

One of the late Cookie with my late wife, who originally picked her out to bring home. Over my objections, fool that I was.

One just as proof that pitties really ARE sweet dogs capable of getting along with just about anybody.

Finally, my absolute all-time favorite of old Kookie-Kook. So somber, so dignified, so noble she makes Walter Cronkite look like a goddamned drunken fratboy.

Vidya via Ace. For all you animal-fanciers out there, if you aren’t a subscriber to The Dodo’s YT critter-vid channel, you’re really missing out on something good.

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Behold, the Useful Idiot

In all his dimbulb glory.

This meme has been floating around here and there the last several days, and all the versions I’ve seen have the Dread “N” Word bowdlerized. Such excessive delicacy has always mystified and annoyed the hell out of me. As y’all HAVE to know by now, delicacy and flinching away from the proper spelling-out of certain terms via asterisk—f**k, n***er, s**t, and so on, to include C**k for Cuck, which isn’t even a cuss word at all, strictly speaking—to me represents a failure of nerve, if not just outright dishonesty and cowardice. Really, now: can there be an adult so innocent that he doesn’t know what lurks underneath those supposedly kinder, gentler asterisks? So ignorant that he’s incapable of deciphering the code? So fragile that the mere sight of a bit of some undressed Anglo-Saxonisms might do him actual, quantifiable injury?

None of that silliness, not for me. I decided long ago that such-like daintiness would be verboten at CF, and I mean to stick to that. It ain’t exactly polite, I admit, but then neither am I. I’m a nice enough fella, mind; certainly, my vocabulary is broad enough to enable me to function competently in a wide variety of social milieus. But in the end, as a trucker, a biker, a Harley mechanic, a rock and roller, and a New York bartender, I’ve lived a roughneck’s life, and I talk that way, and ain’t gonna apologize for it. So I figured I’d just make my own uncensored version, and let the chips fall accordingly. Anyone who gets his boxers in a bunch over it is cordially invited to go soak his head.

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Let ’em breathe!

So brave. So very, very brave.

Female students go topless to protest gender inequality, public indecency laws
More than 100 students participated in a “Free the Nipple” protest at University of California, San Diego this week.
Female protesters were encouraged to shed their shirts and bras to protest gender inequality and body shaming.

In an effort to fight against perceived gender inequality and body shaming, male and female students at the University of California, San Diego gathered together Wednesday afternoon—completely topless.

More than 1,000 people RSVP’d to the event via a public Facebook page for the “Free the Nipple” event. The event description touted the sit-in as a “peaceful, laid-back, and safe environment.”

“Bring your curiosity, forget your shirts, and most importantly bring your love, compassion, and support for the cause,” the event description read. “Shirts, bra, tops – optional. Show up in whatever you feel comfortable with because it should be your choice!”

Organizers of the sit-in provided snacks, body paint, and masks for any woman who wanted to conceal her identity.

Organizers also forbade students from engaging with hecklers or “opposing groups,” according to the flier.

Opposing groups? Who the hell would oppose a tig ol’ bitty-fest like this, ferchrissake?

Although I must confess, I am of two minds about this particular story. On the one hand, I have no problem whatsoever with hot babes letting ’em breathe. On the other, I have concerns about the kind of sebaceous Leftwit manatees that usually overrun this kind of event and flap their no-fun bags at unwary onlookers like myself hoping to catch some more desirable sorts turning ’em loose in public. Hey, if I wanted to see tits that droop like fried eggs hung from a nail, as Joan Rivers once hilariously put it, I woulda brought my damned hammer along. Seems to me that this next doesn’t bode all that well:

Anni Ma, a UCSD alumna and organizer of the event, said in a video—which contains some nudity—that some think that women shouldn’t go topless because it could be dangerous for females or give men an opportunity to take advantage of women.

“And I’m, like, those are all, like, very valid reasons and that’s why women try to protect themselves, you know, because there are really dangerous people out in the world—it’s not cool—but then I’m like, that shouldn’t be illegal though,” Ma said. “This should be my choice to do what I want to do.”

Ma said in the video that “a group of sorority girls” judged her for going topless in public in the cold.

“Dude, this country makes me like so confused,” Ma said. “Our society is all, like, hopped up on, like, sex on TV, sex on billboards, sex, sex, sex, sex, and then in our private life, oh, don’t do that, that’s disgusting.”

Oof. Dude, like, I’m all like, y’know, wow, are you gonna show us any, like, titties or what? Cuz, like, I ain’t, like, y’know, got all day here, right?

Christ on a crutch.

Oh, and yes, I tried to watch the vid, because of course I did. Unfortunately, the blasted thing took too long to load, and being a raggedy and increasingly irritable old man nowadays I find I don’t care about video boobage—regardless of what kind of whiny nuisance sports it—nearly as much as I once may have. So I moved on, although I did leave the tab open. Who knows, maybe I’ll have something nice to wake up to in the morning.

Alas, despite an encouraging trend, it seems that all might not be sweetness and light in Ta-Ta Land.

The no-bra movement is taking over 2021 fashion — and it’s leaving many women behind
All I wanted was a cute sundress to help celebrate the end of a miserable pandemic winter. As someone who’s been trying to reduce my clothing consumption and move away from fast fashion as much as possible, it had been a while since I’d purchased a staple summer dress that made me feel flirty and feminine. But I was in the mood to treat myself, so I opened the Aritzia website and started to scroll.

To my dismay, the experience wasn’t nearly as pleasant as I had expected. After just a few minutes of looking through the website and seeing dress after dress with an open back, spaghetti straps or excessively low-cut style, I found myself repeatedly wondering, “How the hell am I supposed to wear a bra under that?”

And then it hit me. I thought back to conversations I’d seen on Twitter, articles I’d read from major outlets and styles I’d seen on the streets of Toronto, and I quickly realized my shopping struggles weren’t just a fluke: they were the result of a rising braless movement born out of the pandemic.

Sure enough, a quick search of the term “braless movement” reveals a host of recent articles from major publications like The New York Times and Vogue, and more declaring that “2020 could be the end of the line for the bra.”

One can only hope.

While I’m all for those who feel empowered by this change, as a busty woman who feels most comfortable wearing a bra (usually a wireless one, let’s be honest), I couldn’t help but feel excluded and frankly, inadequate to see countless outlets declare that bras should be banished and to watch bralessness trickle into 2021 fashion trends.

Going braless has rarely felt like an option for me. I went through puberty at a young age and developed breasts before most of my friends, and I have always felt most comfortable when the girls are supported rather than left on their own to succumb to the effects of gravity. Letting them hang free would attract attention not to mention the back pain that would come from carrying around their weight without help. 

Now, I wouldn’t want anyone to think that my full-throated endorsement of the braless trend is in any way meant as a dismissal of the back-pain issue. As a dedicated, lifelong proponent of seeing as much exposed and/or free-swinging breastal real estate as is humanly possible—BUT, at the same time, as a man whose beloved late wife was an honest double-D her own astonishingly fine self—I must acknowledge that this is a very real, umm, sore spot for a lot of women.

Nonetheless, I remain staunchly all for the mass unleashing of dem puppies, just as fast as it can be made to happen. Sorry, ladies, I just can’t help it. I might be old, but I ain’t THAT old. The depressing irony here is, of course, that it’s the gals sporting the full shirtfulls that your average eagle-eyed cis-het boobie enthusiast most hopes will forego the over the shoulder boulder holders. Life just ain’t fair, dammit.

Yes, there are pitchers attached to the above article, although most of them are of underendowed chiquitas, regrettably. Not that I care all that much either way, mind; as my old buddy Pfouts always said, all they really gotta be is tits and I’ll stand up and cheer lustily for ’em.

When I reached the close of that last piece, I was gratified to find a link to another one, which naturally I clicked on over to with a quickness.

On Wednesday, the 56-year-old supermodel shared a video of herself standing under a beautiful waterfall while wearing a string blue bikini that showed off her toned abs. The camera then pans up to show the towering cliff and returns to Porizkova who is all smiles as the water runs through her hair. In her caption, she explained the story behind how she came across the waterfall.

Fans flooded the comments in awe of both the stunning model and waterfall.

“This is so beautiful. Glad you found your way out of the jungle! This country is so awesome. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of it,” a fan wrote.

“Forever young,” someone said.

“You look incredible!!” another person added.

Know what? That she does. That, she damned sure does. But you don’t have to take my word for it.


What, you thought I WASN’T gonna embed the vidya? Not a chance, friend.

After that one, there was a link to yet another titty-related story about Gillian Anderson’s recent vow that she would “never wear a bra again,” which would have made me happy as some clams ten-fifteen years back when she still looked amazing. Now…not so much, to be up-front about it. Gillian says, “I’m sorry, but I don’t care if my breasts reach my belly button.” Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen of her lately they may very well have already, which I’m pretty danged sorry about myself.

War flick picks

Aesop joyously rips into The Art Of Manliness’ list of Top Ten War movies, then ponies up one of his own as a corrective. I’m in complete agreement with him, save for his evaluation of Saving Private Ryan:

Good, but it still doesn’t make the cut, despite the Normandy beach landing scene being among the best scenes ever filmed in motion picture history. Loses out because the rest of the movie, while ranging from good to great, is pure fairytale.

Fairytale? Okay, so stipulated. Athough the War Movie admittedly requires a certain gritty verisimilitude in order to really work, moreso than just about any other filmic genre, I’m not particularly bothered by SPR‘s fairytale tendencies myself. Dialogue; character development; direction— to include staging, lighting, and cinematography especially, which are Spielberg’s most finely-honed skills—are superlative. The casting, too, is spot-on. If the admittedly essential thread of realism unravels to some extent…well, hey, it’s only a movie, right?

That duly-picked nit aside, Aesop’s choices for Top Tenner status I can endorse most heartily. I mean, The Great Escape? Patton? Blackhawk Down? Das Boot? Braveheart? Can’t argue with it, folks. The priceless closing rant:

We could have picked another twenty not mentioned, and so could you, before having to descend to some of the execrable picks of AoM, and anyone that would pick The Thin Red Line for anything but “Screenwriter Most Deserving A Firing Squad” should be fed to wild hogs while on fire, and then have the pigs nuked from orbit. Just to be sure. Some TV shows are shot in front of a live audience. Some movie directors should be as well.

Nota bene that nothing made in the last twenty years even makes the cut.

And I’ve lost track of how many defeatist, anti-hero, anti-American, anti-everything-that’s-honorable incomprehensible piles of shit pretending to be “epic” films just make me want to infiltrate a sound stage and choke the living shit out of some asshole twentysomething never-served wannabe film producers and directors, and pin their still-beating hearts to a wall with a rusty bayonet.

Amen to that as well. I’ll close this out with my own personal endorsement of Kelly’s Heroes, a star-studded slice of cinematic strangeness so far from combat-flick traditionalism it can’t be seen from there. Like other movies from the late 60s/early 70s counter-culture era, it struts its period influences so prominently they can grate at times. But it’s also a lot of fun—a genuine oddity whose defiance of war-flick norms manages to be more lighthearted and innocuous than heavy-handed and obnoxious, actually enhancing the film instead of ruining it.

I’m Rick James, bitch!

Still some of the most howlingly funny stuff I ever saw in my life.



That, of course, is from an early installment of Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories, one of the standout feature skits from Dave Chappelle’s short-lived (2003-06) TV show. The Rick James sketch was always my personal favorite, but the Prince one before it was a scream too…and apparently, as Murphy always swore and Prince and James both later confirmed, it really did happen.

Secrets about Charlie Murphy’s true Hollywood story and pancakes with Prince — among the best Dave Chappelle sketches ever
The funniest sketch on “Chappelle’s Show” didn’t come from Dave Chappelle — it was a gift from Charlie Murphy.

Murphy, who died Wednesday at 57, spent years as part of an entourage around his famed younger brother, Eddie, amassing weird tales from Hollywood. And while most of his stories seemed too crazy to believe, the greatest one of all was the time Charlie learned how Prince not only had a great jump shot, but could cook amazing pancakes as well.

“I swear it’s true,” Murphy told me years later. “I swear every word of it is true.”

In the sketch, part of an ongoing series called “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” Eddie, Charlie and their friends meet Prince (played by Chappelle) and his band, The Revolution, at a party.

In November 2003, Marcus Bishop-Wright, a stand-up comic, landed a part in the sketch playing Miki Free, a member of Prince’s band. He arrived on the set the day it started filming. He didn’t know much about Murphy and they had never met.

“There was definitely an air of comedy royalty about him (Murphy),” said Bishop-Wright. “He seemed like this other version of Eddie, the street-cred version.”

The sheer absurdity of Charlie’s story made it tough to film without people on the set laughing,” he recalled. “It was really hard keep a straight face. Dave (Chappelle) was cracking up the whole time we were shooting, he would say, ‘Stop! I can’t believe this s–t really happened.'”

But there was Murphy the whole time insisting everything was true.

“I could even believe the part about them (The Revolution) arriving on the basketball court in those outfits,” Bishop-Wright said. “But the part about the pancakes? I kept thinking, ‘This is where it all becomes part of a comedy.'”

The sketch was filmed over a two-day period along with another “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories” about the time he met Rick James.

Years later, Prince and other members of the band confirmed Murphy’s entire tale was true.

“The sketch didn’t even have to be written,” Bishop-Wright said. “The only stuff that was added were Dave’s little flourishes while being Prince.”

More from the real-life Micki Free:

Charlie Murphy wasn’t lying. Everything that happened in that [”True Hollywood Stories” sketch] was for real. We went back to Prince’s house after the club. It was 1985, and there was a bunch of girls with Eddie [Murphy], myself, Charlie—rest in peace—and some other guys. And out of nowhere Prince says, “Do you guys want to play basketball?” Me and Charlie and Eddie are looking at each other like, what the hell? And Prince goes, “Me, Micki, and Gilbert against you, Eddie, and Uncle Ray.”

We played three-on-three. I don’t remember if we changed our clothes, but I know for certain that Prince did not change his. He didn’t gear up to play. If anything changed beyond the blouses, it was his heels. Prince changed into some tennis shoes. All I remember is when Prince made that first shot, it was all-net. I’m looking at him make shot after shot, like, “What the hell?” Then at the end they really did make us pancakes—blueberry pancakes. And they were good! Hanging out with Prince was magical.

Oh, I bet it was at that.

I didn’t know Charlie Murphy was gone, I must confess; he died of leukemia in 2017, poor guy, at a too-young age. He’ll live on via his unforgettable contributions to Chappelle’s Show, among other performances, and forever may he rest. While we’re at it, here’s another Chappelle’s Show classic: The World Series Of Dice.



“Dis why black people don’t have nuthin’! Dis just what dey wan’ us to do! Yo’ mutha ain’t shit!” Too, too funny.

Getting schooled

What the hell, why not?

Parents at the posh Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School are outraged they were never told of a fourth “R” being added to the curriculum: raunch.

In addition to the usual reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic, the school this month launched lessons on porn — without informing families or allowing them to opt out, parents fumed.

When juniors at the $47,000-a-year Manhattan school showed up for a health and sexuality workshop, most thought it was “just going to be about condoms or birth control,” a student told The Post.

Instead, it was something called “Pornography Literacy: An intersectional focus on mainstream porn,” taught by Justine Ang Fonte, who’s the director of Health & Wellness at another elite prep school, Dalton.

Fonte’s presentation, some of which was seen by The Post, included a list of the most searched pornographic terms of 2019, including “creampie,” “anal,” “gangbang,” “stepmom” and more.

It may seem odd, but I don’t have much of a problem with any of that. Why? Because so far, although there’s definitely some kink to be found, I see no mention of the words “transgender,” “cis-het,” “genderqueer,” or other such Wokistry on the list. While certainly not what anyone would call plain-vanilla, it’s still straight-up heterosexual. Makes for a refreshing change of pace, and not at all what I would expect.

One part of the porn presentation involved something called the “marketability of Only Fans,” the hot new app used mostly for sex work. One slide included a photo of a pretty young woman who appeared to be promoting OnlyFans-type work.

I identify as non-binary,” she is quoted as saying, “but because that hasn’t hit the general consciousness of the adult industry, I say ‘girl,’ because that’s what people who want to buy my content will be looking for.”

Dammit. Oh well, so much for that, I guess.

On a more serious note, it would be easy to miss what I consider to be the crucial issue here. See if you can spot it.

The female Columbia Prep student said most of the kids, aged 16 and 17, watched the lesson on Zoom from home — which is what alerted some parents to it — but some were at the school and made to assemble in the gym together to watch it on their laptops.

“We were all so shocked and mortified,” the girl told The Post. “We were all like, ‘Why are they doing this? Why do they think it’s OK?’

The girl spoke to The Post with her mother. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“No one wants to be cancelled or lose their livelihood and that can be done in an instant,” the mother said. “Most parents feel the same way I do about not going public but at the same time we’re incredibly frustrated by what’s going on. None of the parents knew this was planned. We were completely left in the dark. It makes us wonder what else the school is up to.”

So this is where we are in 2021 “America,” folks: parents don’t dare utter a peep of complaint concerning the ethical propriety of having some freaky-deaky lesbo “teacher” indoctrinate their kids into the world of hardcore porn for fear of being “cancelled.”

Think on that for a minute or two. Incredibly, it does get even more appalling from there, but I’ll let y’all click on over for that.

News you can use

Saying a not at all fond farewell to Government Gas Cans.

From a seller on eBay, I purchased a gas can retrofit/repair kit. These are VERBOTTEN here in Kommiecticut, and are unavailable from retailers like Cheaper Than Dirt. They make you input your zip code to see if they will ship to you, or others will rebrand them as “water spout kits.” For $25 and free shipping, I got five of these kits in a package. I have two complete kits left.

I turned a difficult to use messy gas jug into an easy pour version that has yet to spill a drop.

I’ve done something along similar lines myself, for the low, low price of neither jack nor shit. All’s you gotta do is gut the goobermint “expert”-mandated spout completely, which basically leaves you with a simple, unclogged tube to pour Satan’s Own Go-Juice through as God intended. Failing that, scout around some for one of the older versions that actually work well for the job they’re meant to do.

After that, you just drill, slice, or punch a vent hole into the top of the once-useless container, and VIOLA! You’re back to having a gas can that won’t inspire thoughts of mayhem, murde, and revolution every time you try to use the thing. Problem solved, which one must assume these days is an imprisonable hate crime that will likely land you with a five-to-ten stretch in a different kind of jug altogether.

Thanks to WRSA for hipping me to our latest bookmarks ‘n’ Blogrolle add. And welcome aboard, Glypto.

Nothing succeeds like excess

Tonight’s musical selection is a real chestnut: Foreplay/Long Time, one of a long succession of chartbusters from Boston’s 1976 self-titled debut release, a for-reals monster hit of an album as well.



After several years of receiving the contemptuous stiffarm from just about every major label in the biz, the band finally signed with Epic, in a story full of the kind of remarkable turns of Fate, happenstance, and fortuitous timing which have become as old and familiar as Classic Rock itself.

Epic wanted the band to record in Los Angeles with a record producer, but Scholz was unwilling and wanted to record the album in his basement studio, so he hired Boylan to run interference with the label. In an elaborate ruse, Scholz tricked the label into thinking the band was recording on the West Coast, when in reality, the bulk was being tracked solely by Scholz at his Massachusetts home. The album’s contents are a complete recreation of the band’s demo tape, and contain songs written and composed many years prior. The album’s style, often referred to as the “Boston sound”, was developed through Scholz’s love of classical music, melodic hooks and guitar-heavy rock groups such as the Kinks and the Yardbirds, as well as a number of analogue electronic effects developed by Scholz in his home studio. Scholz would later found Scholz Research & Development, Inc. to market many of his inventions that he used in developing the sound on the album.

The album was released by Epic in August 1976 and sold extremely well, breaking sales records, becoming the best-selling debut LP in the US at the time, and winning the RIAA Century Award as best selling debut album. The album’s singles, most notably “More Than a Feeling” and “Long Time”, were both AM and FM hits, and nearly the entire album receives constant rotation on classic rock radio. The album has been referred to as a landmark in 1970s rock and has been included on many lists of essential albums. It has sold 17 million copies in the United States alone and 25 million worldwide.

In the late 1960s, Tom Scholz began attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he first began writing music. After graduating with a master’s degree, he began working for the Polaroid Corporation in the product development division. By night, he played keyboards for bands in the Boston bar and club scene, where he collaborated with keyboardist/drummer Jim Masdea. The two—who shared a concept of the perfect rock band, one “with crystal-clear vocals and bone-crunching guitars”—viewed themselves as only part-time musicians. Despite this, the duo built a small studio near Watertown, Massachusetts to record ideas. Scholz recorded for hours on end, often re-recording, erasing and discarding tapes in an effort to create “a perfect song”. Both musicians later joined Mother’s Milk, a band featuring guitarist Barry Goudreau, that vied for recognition in the Boston music scene. Scholz quickly went from keyboardist to lead songwriter, and the band went through dozens of lead vocalists before Brad Delp auditioned. Delp, a former factory worker at a Danvers electric coil company, spent much of his weekends in cover bands. Delp drove to Revere Beach, where the three-piece were performing at a club named Jojo’s. Delp was impressed that the band had recorded a demo tape and were still recording, and earned his position in the band after auditioning the Joe Walsh song “Rocky Mountain Way”. Mother’s Milk became an early version of Boston, with Goudreau on lead guitar.

By 1973, the band had a six-song demo tape ready for mailing, and Scholz and his wife Cindy sent copies to every record company they could find. The songs on the demo were “More Than a Feeling”, “Peace of Mind”, “Rock & Roll Band”, “Something About You”, “Hitch a Ride” (under a different title) and “Don’t Be Afraid” (which would be eventually released on Don’t Look Back). The group received rejection slips from several labels—RCA, Capitol, Atlantic and Elektra among the most notable—and Epic Records rejected the tape flatly with a “very insulting letter” signed by company head Lennie Petze that opined the band “offered nothing new”. The tape that received the most attention contained embryonic renditions of future songs that would appear on Boston’s debut album. Financial reality encroached the dream for Delp, who departed shortly thereafter because “there just wasn’t any money coming in”. By 1975, Tom Scholz was finished with the club scene, concentrating exclusively on the demo tapes he recorded at home in his basement. Scholz was renting the house and spent much of his funds on recording equipment; at one point, he spent the money he had saved for a down payment on a future home on a Scully 8-track. He called Delp to provide vocals, remarking, “If you can’t really afford to join the band or if you don’t want to join the band, maybe you’d just want to come down to the studio and sing on some of these tapes for me.” Scholz had given the Mother’s Milk demo to a Polaroid co-worker whose cousin worked at ABC Records (who had signed one of Scholz’s favorite bands, the James Gang). The employee forgot to mail the tape out and it sat in his desk for months until Columbia began contacting Scholz, after which he sent the tape to ABC.

Charles McKenzie, a New England representative for ABC Records, first overheard the tape in a co-worker’s office. He called Paul Ahern, an independent record promoter in California, with whom he held a gentleman’s agreement that if either heard anything interesting, they would inform the other. Ahern had connections with Petze at Epic and informed him—even though Petze had passed on the original Mother’s Milk demos. Epic contacted Scholz and offered a contract that first required the group to perform in a showcase for CBS representatives, as the label felt curious that the “band” was in reality a “mad genius at work in a basement”. Masdea had started to lose interest in the project by this time, and Scholz called Goudreau and two other performers who had recorded on the early demos, bass player Fran Sheehan and drummer Dave Currier, to complete the lineup. In November 1975, the group performed for the executives in a Boston warehouse that doubled as Aerosmith’s practice facility. Mother’s Milk was signed by CBS Records one month later in a contract that required 10 albums over six years. Currier quit before he knew the band passed the audition, and Scholz recruited drummer Sib Hashian in his place. Epic had signed an agreement with NABET, the union representing electrical and broadcast engineers, which specified that any recording done outside of a Columbia-owned studio but within a 250-mile radius of one of those studios required that a paid union engineer be present. As such, the label wanted the band to travel to Los Angeles and re-record their songs with a different producer. Scholz was unhappy with being unable to be in charge, and John Boylan, a friend of a friend of Ahern, came on board the project. Boylan’s duty was to “run interference for the label and keep them happy”, and he made a crucial suggestion: that the band change their name to Boston.

And thus was their future secured, and rock and roll history made.

Now, as y’all already know, I was a confirmed punk-rock devotee right from the inception of the sub-genre. So, seeing as how Boston’s music was pretty much the living embodiment of the overly slick, tamed-down, theatrical “corporate rock” that the punk movement’s founders so angrily objected to, one might think it safe to assume that my visceral response to Boston’s stuff would consist of little more than a sneer, a snarl, and a disgusted snort.

Au contraire, mon frere. When the Boston album hit the airwaves, my inner Classic Rock afficionado—although already forcibly leashed and subdued by the heat and unrestrained frenzy of the Ramones, the Damned, and the Pistols—still definitely dug it anyhow. Now granted, Boston’s output was overproduced, all the jagged edges meticulously smoothed away by a recording-studio process that might as well have been designed for the purpose of watering down the wild, rebellious angst innate to rock and roll from Sun-era Elvis on, all aggro and ferocity removed so as to appeal to more timid ears. Boston wasn’t quite what anyone would call “soft rock,” no. Then again, they weren’t quite D-Purp or Black Sabbath, either.

That said, in spite of all the studio jiggery-pokery and my own all-in embrace of the punk rock revolution, despite Boston reputation as one of the exemplars of 70s recording-studio excess and sterility, I loved ’em then, and I love ’em still. Listen carefully to the passage in the video above that begins at 6:01 and runs to 6:21—the close of the guitar solo, which builds into a somewhat elaborate resolution to the dominant, with Brad Delp’s signature yelp providing overwatch throughout. Then the turnaround, taking us back into the final verse and the end of the song.

Might as well just embed that specific section too so’s nobody misses anything, what the hey.



Wretched 70s corporate-rock excess or no, that’s some Really Big Noise there. And if it doesn’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up, you’re almost certainly dead. Or have a tin ear, maybe. It’s as powerful a climax to a rock song as any I know of, and moreso than a lot of ’em. It might well be a fair cop to say that my fondness for Boston makes for an unflattering constrast with my equally-strong love for the stripped-down, spare, no-nonsense credo of punk. Don’t care. I repeat: loved it then, love it still. And you should too.

Good reads

Pete gives us a steer to this book recommendation from DTG:

If you haven’t read James Tarr’s, “Dog Soldiers,” you would do yourself a solid in doing so. Very entertaining and instructive, especially for anyone who doesn’t have a really good idea what ‘Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain’ (MOUT) is about.

Anyway, get this and read it. You’ll be glad you did.

As it happens, I read Dog Soldiers myself not long ago as one of my Kindle Unlimited lending-library choices, and he’s right, it’s a good ‘un. In fact, after devouring DS, I then proceeded to work my way through Tarr’s entire ouvre, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Which brings me to a recommendation of my own: DJ Molles’ Lee Harden series, a five-parter set in Molles’ The Remaining Universe, which I’ll be wading into once I find out how things wind up for good ol’ Lee Harden. I’ve read a crap-ton of what they call PAW (Post Apocalypse World) fiction, and Molles is a real standout in a genre that can be somewhat of a mixed bag as far as the writing itself goes. There’s some really well-written stuff therein, and then again there’s some pretty unreadable dreck to be found also. Molles’ characters are more complex, human, and relatable than a lot of what you run across in lesser PAW fiction, where one-dimensional, ho-hum cliches and/or comic-book superhero-level juvenilia are all too common. Molles’ story arcs are clever, his dialogue fluid and credible, the combat sequences gripping, with the right balance of weapons-system geekery, tactical/strategic/political analysis, character-relationship development, and dramatic tension maintained throughout.

One aspect of PAW fiction that both baffles and exasperates me is the preponderance of sloppy editing. Even books that I otherwise loved, by skilled and well-known authors and respectable publishers, have nonetheless been marred by spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation issues to one degree or another. Of course, poor editing is one of those things that, to repurpose a Biblical phrase, ye will have with ye always, and is by no means exclusively or even predominantly a PAW thang. No matter where you run across it, though, if it’s bad enough it can suck your head right out of the story, which is but a very short hop to just dumping the book altogether for something more competently crafted. It really makes you scratch your head in mystification at how the hell some of these editors ever managed to con their way into the job, and why they bother soldiering on in the field when clearly they could be in politics, where the opportunities for much more remunerative forms of graft are so plentiful.

Alas, the scourge of bad editing rears its ugly head in both Dog Soldiers and the Harden books alike, albeit to a much lesser extent in DS if I remember right. It’s bearable in both, thankfully, amounting to nothing worse than a minor distraction, although there was a certain adjustment period with the first Harden book that I had to make it past before I could really sink my teeth into the thing and enjoy myself. This is all strictly a matter of opinion, so naturally your mileage may vary. However it all works out for ya, I heartily endorse DTG’s recommendation, with great big bells on.

Gun Club Galz

My good friend and fellow musical reprobate Jeremy sends one from the Golden Age:

GunClubGalz.jpg

Whether you’re talking about the guns, the girls, the clothes, or the hairstyles, they just don’t make ’em like that anymore. And that’s too bad, in my opinion. We’ve lost a lot along the road to Progtard Utopia, most of which we’d have been better off holding on to.

Beer milkshake!

In the comments to last night’s Marcia Ball post, kennycan says:

Actually, now that I looked it up, it turns out the first video Mike posted is actually a Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) written song.

I didn’t know that myself, but it seems likely enough. Point is, that put me in mind of a truly wonderful movie from 1982: Cannery Row, one of my personal all-timers. The movie tanked commercially and got at best a lukewarm critical reception—a combination offering the most condemnatory statement imaginable regarding the abysmal depths to which American taste and discernment in cinematic entertainment have plummeted.

The movie was a sort of cinematic mashup of two John Steinbeck tomes, Cannery Row and its sequel Sweet Thursday, with a stellar cast that included Nick Nolte, Debra Winger, Frank McRae, and M Emmett Walsh, among others. John Huston lent his dulcet, honey-voiced tones as narrator, and the soundtrack was muchly enlivened by the presence of…you guessed it…Dr John the Night Tripper.



Amusing coinkydink: the above music is a frenetic slice of boogie-woogie heaven titled Mac’s Boogie, composed and performed by…you guessed it…Mac Rebennack, a/k/a Dr John. In the film’s big party scene, Rebennack’s masterful piano work is cinematically portrayed by M Emmett Walsh’s character, whose name just happens to be…you guessed it…”Mac.” For reasons I won’t pretend to comprehend, nobody ever released a Cannery Row soundtrack album, despite the movie being liberally strewn with rich buttery musical goodness throughout. Mac’s Boogie is available elsewhere, thankfully.

Interesting trivia item:

Raquel Welch was originally cast as Suzy. She was fired after five days of filming. She allegedly took too long to get ready each day. Welch then sued the MGM studio for wrongful termination and in the mid-1980s won getting a multi-million dollar settlement. Turner Entertainment had to do the pay-out as by that time they were the owners of MGM.

Do please understand that I love me some Raquel, really I do. But I cannot for the life of me imagine her in the role of Suzy DeSoto. Winger was note-perfect for it, inhabiting the character as naturally her own skin. Whatever her appeal—admittedly, she has it in buckets—Raquel would have been just sinfully wrong.

Ah well, enough of all that. If you like smash-bang shoot-em-ups; interminible car chases and/or fight scenes; a surfeit of explosions; gangsta-rap glorification; blood ‘n’ gore galore; fart jokes and other juvenilia; zombies, monsters, and/or comic-book superheroes; or great big titties bouncing around in the open air, then I’m afraid Cannery Row is probably not going to be your cup of tea. If, on the other hand, you lean more towards a fine story well-told; lovely cinematography; an excellent score; a light, breezy overall tone with some truly funny bits; and a knockout punch of a plot twist at the end that, trust me, you will NOT see coming—well, you can’t do much better than this overlooked, underrated gem of a movie.

If you see this movie and don’t care for it, don’t tell me. I wouldn’t want such a disgraceful revelation compelling me to adjust my estimation of anybody here; I’d prefer to just remain in the dark about your appalling lack of character, thanksveddymuch. Heck, Nolte’s facial expression in the scene referred to in my post title is worth the price of admission all by itself.

Say. Her. Name

God bless this man.

As usual, street artist SABO has managed to trigger the Left with his latest venture.

The artist, who was on Capitol Hill at the time of the rally and the riot, is well known for tweaking the noses of Leftist politicians, Hollywood, and Trump himself.

This time, however, SABO’s using the Left’s own rhetorical tropes to call attention to the case of Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force Veteran who was shot and killed by Capitol Police for breaching the Capitol entrance.

He’s created a free downloadable poster of Babbitt in hopes that the life of the Trump supporter will not be forgotten.

SABO told PJ Media that the Left continually tells us that people aren’t dangerous if they’re not armed, so why was Babbitt shot?

“This woman was unarmed, many of the protesters were escorted into the building,” SABO said. “Why was she killed? We spent the summer watching BLM and ANTIFA Burn, Loot and Murder from coast to coast while law enforcement stood down and did nothing. Why her? Unlike Breanna Taylor, Ashli was never found to have a dead body in the truck of her car. Her boyfriend wasn’t a drug dealer. Unlike George Floyd she wasn’t high on drugs, resisting arrest when she was killed by police. I want this image to be used to honor her in the same way the Left has honored their own who have died.”

Already downloaded my own copies, one of which I’ll be downsizing for deployment in the CF sidebar. According to Taft, some poor sap posted Sabo’s piece on Instaphlegm, with unsurprising results:

Some of the replies to the post were chilling and sad. One said, “went to DC and came out D-ceased.” Another said with a laugh emoji “DEADKAREN?” Still another claimed that Babbitt was “burning in hell.” A woman who goes by the handle of “mandatory carry” said, “Don’t be absurd- They can’t say her name, she’s a actual victim.” Another responded that she was “a victim of her own stupidity.”

Others said “terrible loss of life. But…she shouldn’t have gone in that building.”

Be assured that no one will be cancelled for saying horrible things about Ashli Babbitt.

We can disagree on politics, but is there really any disagreement over someone’s tragic death?

Victoria, Victoria, Victoria. Can you possibly be so naive as that? Of COURSE there is “disagreement” over it. In fact, the death of anyone who blasphemously resists or rejects Progtalitarian religious dogma is no tragedy whatsoever to the Satanic Left, no matter what the circumstances are. Evidence aplenty that the callous goblins of the Left regard enemy fatalities as cause not for mourning but for orgiastic celebration is right there in your own damned article, and plenty more of it has been rubbed in the faces of decent people for years and years now.

Real Americans better get wise to exactly what these vile, vicious subhumans really are, before it’s too fucking late to stop them.

Death never sleeps

The Reaper stalks Cadaver Joe.

While Joe Biden has been handling a light schedule of morning campaign stops and basement naps, his campaign bus has been driving throughout the southern US.

In Houston, one Trump supporter decided to troll the Biden team by driving a hilariously decked-out hearse behind the bus with MAGA-approved branding.

The majestic vehicle has some generic Trump 2020 decals, but it’s the other messages on this baby that takes it to that next level of trollery. Here are a few of them:

  • “Collecting Democrat votes one dead stiff at a time.”
  • “Dig ’em Deeper, Bury ’em Cheaper Funeral Parlor”
  • “Clinton Foundation Suicide Limo Service – 1-800-HANG-URSELF”
  • “Official Democrat Cemetery Vote Collector”

At every campaign stop Gropey’s Griftermobile makes, the hearse stops close by and sets up a display featuring an open casket—which ones imagines is beginning to look downright inviting to Cadaver Joe at this stage of his self-inflicted ordeal—along with a big sign admonishing, “Don’t forget 10% percent for the Big Guy.” According to the article, the Griftermobile has even resorted to blowing through redlights in a desperate attempt to ditch their tail, apparently with no joy so far.

Yes, there are pictures and video included, and they’re hilarious. But they’re embedded in Tweets, which I’m trying to stay away from posting as much as I possibly can from here on out, just on principle. Anyways.

The driver of the hearse indicated that local law enforcement had shown support for the hilarious display.

“Been getting thumbs up from all the cops around here,” said the man. “At least we know we got their support. Even though they can’t say nothing, they still support us.”

At the time of publishing, the Biden bus had reportedly pulled away from their campaign stop after no supporters showed up. The hearse team seemed to be in hot pursuit. We look forward to updating you on any further hilarious developments.

No wonder poor Gropey seems kinda jumpy and out of sorts of late. Or more so than usual, let’s say.

Good reads

Since I first read Bill’s fantastic Lightning Falls, I’ve gotten into PAW (Post-Apocalypse World, for the uninitiated) fiction in a big way, thanks to the indispensable Kindle Unlimited virtual lending library. There’s some great, entertaining stuff to be found in the genre, although some books on the topic read like little more than overlong shopping and honey-do lists for survivalists and preppers. Useful for some in a purely practical sense, maybe, but not exactly what I’m looking for in a work of fiction.

NC Reed’s Fire From The Sky series—now up to volume nine or ten, I believe, every one of which I’ve read—is particularly gripping stuff, as is everything else he’s written…all of which I’ve also read and loved.

Reed is an extremely skillful writer, especially so when it comes to creating believable, very human characters and exploring the relationships between them. He’s a Tennessee boy, as are the characters in the Sanders saga, and his dialogue is as real as hot cornbread in a cast-iron skillet. Southern dialect is actually a surprisingly difficult thing to pull off convincingly; many otherwise fine authors have tried and failed embarrassingly at it. Reed’s only real problem is by no means an unusual one these days, one that isn’t really his fault either: the editing is a little, ummm, off here and there. It’s by no means horrible or frequent enough to set your molars a-grinding in fury over it, mind, but it can be a mite distracting occasionally. That minor quibble aside, though, I can’t recommend Reed’s stuff highly enough.

Matt Bracken’s Enemies Foreign And Domestic trilogy, which I’ve mentioned enthusiastically here before, certainly deserves another mention. If you aren’t familiar with his excellent work, well, you need to fix that. Fran Porretto’s brilliant Spooner Federation Saga books are worthy of mention too, although they don’t fit so neatly into the PAW pirgeonhole as the others.

The past few days I’ve found myself totally engrossed in what’s looking like a real masterpiece of the PAW genre: Dogsoldiers, by a fella yclept James Tarr. Tarr, it turns out, also co-authored Carnivore, a good Gulf War memoir by Bradley IFV commander Dillard Johnson. I was sent a copy of Carnivore for review purposes when it first came out, although I can’t recall now if I ever did get around to posting a review here or not.

Dogsoldiers is some damned tasty stuff, a truly outstanding book. The tale is set in near-future Detroit, centering on a pivotal battle in the decade-long civil war waged by a slowly-weakening US federal tyranny against the ragtag, mostly disorganized, and chronically underequipped resistance of freedom fighters referred to in the title. Tarr’s writing is top-notch; the story isn’t marred by any of the uneven or downright sloppy editing that frequently blunts the impact of ebooks for some reason.

In fact, the reason I brought all this up in the first damned place is because the book struck me as plenty good enough to post some excerpts from it here. Our first passage has one of the Good Guy characters—Early, a grizzled, hardcore veteran originally from JawJa—enlightening a shavetail Dogsoldier volunteer, Jason, on some of the harsher realities of life during CW 2.0:

“Early?”

“Yeah?”

“Why don’t we take prisoners? Why were Weasel and George killing their wounded?”

Early looked and saw the teenager was seriously bothered. “Well, there’s two answers to that. First one is…where would we take them? It’s not like we’ve got a base. Or vehicles to transport them. We wander around, causing trouble, living in empty houses and borrowed basements, and then when the cold rolls in either do more of the same or we hol’ up with friends or relatives or in our own houses, far away from the trouble.”

“We could let them live, let the Army treat their injuries.”

Early nodded. “And that’s the other part of it. At the start of the war we let them be, tried to do the civilized thing. Let the Tabs recover their wounded. Not now. Not after ten years. Because they just keep coming back, like the tide. At this point we’ve all realized we’re in a war of attrition—that means neither side is going to surrender, the war only ends when one side has been ground down so much they’ve got no one left who can fight. They’ve had their chance. Any Tabs still fighting are either too mean or too stupid to know they’re on the side of evil.”

“And after the war? In any other war, you capture POWs, at the end of the war you send ‘em home. Which is somewhere else, a whole ‘nother country. Over there somewhere.” He waved his hand vaguely. “After World War II the Germans were sent back to Germany, where they could be Germans, and be nowhere near us. That’s not what this war is. The Tabs live here; win or lose, they’re not going anywhere. Even if they’re not fightin’, and we’re all peaceable and neighborly, they’ll still believe the same things that caused the war in the first place—socialism, communism, vegan grocery bags, twenty-seven genders, guns are evil, America has never been great, never hit back, government should be in charge of everything, all of it. That’s not peace or victory, that’s just a temporary ceasefire. Their beliefs aren’t just evil, they’re a poison, a cancer, a rot. Winning doesn’t just mean the war stops, we want to have a healthy country after all this.”

“It ain’t pretty, son. It ain’t even nice. Maybe it’s our own brand of evil. You don’ like it? Good. That means you’ve got a soul. But it’s the only way we not just win the war, but win the peace afterward.”

Naaah, THAT doesn’t sound like it has any contemporary relevance at all, does it? Pure escapist fiction, no practical reality to be found there, nossir. But this next excerpt cuts even closer to the bone that that, if you can believe it. It’s gonna be a long ‘un, so I’ll tuck it down below the fold and out of the way.

Continue reading “Good reads”

Motley Krewe

To quote Dennis Hopper: gonna go down to the Mardi Gras, gonna get me a Mardi Gras queen, yeah!

Before Danielle Wheeler founded the Krewe of Karens in 2019, she had never gone topical. She’d always been in the “cinched corset and glitter” camp of Carnival costumers. Though Wheeler admired clever people who dreamed up outfits that meshed with current events or social fads, such ideas didn’t pop into her head.

Until she had an epiphany.

“Karen” is a pop culture code name for a certain type of self-assured, SUV-driving, sunglass-wearing, suburban White woman who is often aggrieved about life’s inconveniences and imperfections.

“A woman is deemed a Karen for her repeated attempts to demand to see the manager of an establishment,” Wheeler said, “more often than not issuing a complaint that we might refer to as a ‘first-world problem.’”

A Karen, Wheeler realized, was the perfect antithesis to the anything goes, laissez-faire attitude of Carnival. The question was, would anyone understand the character?

“The concept of the Karen was still a relatively new term,” Wheeler said. “I hoped that enough friends knew exactly what I was talking about when I presented them with the idea of dressing as a Karen to help make the Krewe of Karens become a reality.”

Wheeler’s friends understood perfectly, and the costume was simple to produce. A reverse-bob wig, sweater, sunglasses, a Starbucks coffee cup and a Karen name tag was about all that was necessary to produce the look. There was a touch of performance as well. Instead of smiling, the Karens posed imperiously for photographs, and they developed a call and response chant: “What do we want? Managers! When do we want them? Now!”

No one appreciated the gag better than the bartenders and other service industry employees that the Karens encountered on their first march through the Marigny and French Quarter on Lundi Gras 2019. A few onlookers were confused by the Karen persona. A woman whose name was actually Karen felt she’d found her flock (though Wheeler said it was uncertain if she fully grasped the satire).

Ms Wheeler seems to have a good grasp on the Karen phenomena in all its irritating wretchedness, but I believe the author of the article may not be quite as, umm, astute:

A few months after Mardi Gras 2020, a White woman walking her dog in New York’s Central Park quarreled with a Black man who was birdwatching. She subsequently called the police, claiming she was in danger. The woman was widely described as a Karen.

At about the same time, women who refused to wear coronavirus-suppressing masks were often referred to as Karens.

Well, actually, no. Karens were the ones who were mask-shaming, berating, and even physically asssaulting Mask Of Submission resisters, in truth. But no matter. Hats off to Ms Wheeler and her compatriots for coming up with a brilliant new wrinkle for the Mardi Gras festivities.

Although I must admit that cinched corsets and glitter are still just fine with me, too.

Restored Kipling

Well, I have no idea what the hell that was about, but over the weekend my brand-new Kipling sub-page seems to have got et somehow. Naturally, since I built the thing in the WP-native, server-based code editor instead of my usual third-party blogging software, I had no backup for it. So I just reconstructed it more or less from scratch, with a few modifications here and there.

And oddly enough, I now note that there are actually a good few recent posts that have gone missing, including the original Kipling notification. This all happened after I updated WordPress and a couple of plugins Friday, which must be the cause, although I can’t imagine why such a thing would happen, and it never has before. I’ll see about restoring them all, although I’ll bet anything the associated comments are gone for good. Very bizarre—and after last year’s mysterious and crippling Rooskie hack, damned alarming, too.

Update! Okay, last Thursday night’s posts restored, comments for said posts lost forever, just as I feared. Now I’m worried that this is an indication of some unwelcome malefactor skulking about inside my site CP, rather than merely some odd WP glitch. And I ain’t digging that thought at all.

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Notable Quotes

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." — Daniel Webster

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” – Frank Zappa

“The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted than to hang a robber, or kill a flea.” - John Adams

"It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." - GK Chesterton

"I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free." - Donald Surber

"The only way to live free is to live unobserved." - Etienne de la Boiete

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." — Dwight D. Eisenhower

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

"There is no better way to stamp your power on people than through the dead hand of bureaucracy. You cannot reason with paperwork." - David Black, from Turn Left For Gibraltar

"The limits of tyranny are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." - Frederick Douglass

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." - Joseph Goebbels

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” - Ronald Reagan

"Ain't no misunderstanding this war. They want to rule us and aim to do it. We aim not to allow it. All there is to it." - NC Reed, from Parno's Peril

"I just want a government that fits in the box it originally came in." - Bill Whittle

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