Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My favorite George Harrison song... "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)," which, coincidentally, is not from his 1970 album All Things Must Pass. But I can relate to his lyrics in both visceral and objective ways. That guy was the real deal, and he died too young.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My favorite John Lennon song is...

"Cold Turkey." They're playing it on the Comcast music channel, so I now know the song's name. Man, it's an awesome song.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Which side are you on?

The Dark Side likes to call the enlightened the enemy, but who lives in the dark, and who in the light?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Why didn't you just say so?

Today on "Meet The Press" Condi Rice said the U.S. decided after the September 11th attacks not merely to pursue and destroy al Qaeda, but to take a "bolder approach."

Fine, but why didn't you just say so in the first place, Condi? Condi's words reflect this White House's latest spin on the reasons it hopes the "common people" will accept for war with Iraq and whoever else is next. But the majority of us know our exploits in the Middle East are for oil and multinational corporations' profits. The story of Haliburton, after all, is nothing new, but the revelation of Haliburton's actions, almost in real time, is a phenomenon rarely seen on a large scale. We are witnessing the failure of propaganda, and the savvy among us despair over an administration's inability to lead.

Most wars are predicated on fabrications that demonize enemies. The approach typically distracts the masses from recognizing the real roots of war, and powerful nations have built their power by skillfully fooling the world. The trick has always been to be a good liar. The history of war is rife with tales of financial opportunism that made the nations that waged these wars rich, but the history in textbooks has steadfastly turned a blind eye to war's most popular fuel.

The Bush Administration's ham-fisted ways have earned us the official badge of "rogue nation." This label is a testament to a White House's inability to convince beyond our borders. Politicians ought to bullet-proof their messaging before leading our nation into war. A warring nation like ours, if we want to prevail, needs its allies and citizenry drunk on believeable lies, not inferior, transparent mendacity.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Meme About Music...

Following is my contribution to the Favorite Songs Meme. Please excuse misspellings, typos, and any possible inaccurate names of songs. I don’t feel like checking my work or doing the research today.

Favorite Beatles song: I’ve been in a “Revolver” kind of mood for the past couple years. “She Said, She Said” and “Love You To” continually vie for top honors.

Favorite solo song by a former Beatle: McCartney: “Hell on Wheels”; Lennon: there’s a really cool one with a scratchy, stop-time guitar in it, but I’ve been searching iTunes and the Web for the past 15 minutes to no avail; Harrison: anything from “All Things Must Pass”; Starr: He wasn't even the best drummer in the Beatles, according to Lennon.

Favorite Rolling Stones song: "Gimme Shelter" is pretty damn good, but “Heartbreaker” is my favorite.

Favorite Bob Dylan song: "Tangled up in Blue"

Favorite Pixies song: Never listened to them

Favorite Prince song: "U Sexy Mutha F*cker”…I hope I spelled this one “correctly.”

Favorite Michael Jackson song: “Billy Jean,” and yes, the dude’s a head case.

Favorite Metallica song: I never liked these guys. Sorry.

Favorite Public Enemy song: "Fight the Power”

Favorite Depeche Mode song: Never listened to them enough to know any songs

Favorite Cure song: “Friday I’m in Love”…but I would have preferred to list something by The Cult, like their cover of “Born to be Wild.”

Favorite song that most of your friends haven't heard: Air is a band that plays in a retro-techno style, and the song is an instrumental, “La Femme D’Argent”

Favorite Beastie Boys song: “She’s Crafty”

Favorite Police song: “Next To You”

Favorite Sex Pistols song: "Anarchy in the UK”...the only reason I include this song is because the dude says, "Antichrist," which is pretty cool. I've never really listened to these guys.

Favorite song from a movie: no particular song, but I really like the Moog organ interpretations of Beethoven in “Clockwork Orange” and the compositions in “Heat,” the mid-1990s flick starring both Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro

Favorite Blondie song: "Heart of Glass"

Favorite Genesis song: I’m one of those Peter Gabriel dudes when it comes to Genesis. Phil Collins was and always will be a one-man cheese factory, save for his first solo album, which gave us such gems as “I Don’t Care No More.” As for my favorite Genesis tune, it has to be “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.”

Favorite Led Zeppelin song: I don’t listen to them as much as I used to, but that’s only because I listened to them so damn much all the way through my twenties. Don’t even start with me when it comes to Jimmy Page. As far as I’m concerned, he’s better than Hendrix. I know what you're thinking. He's sloppy. So what? I don't care. Shut up. My favorite Zeppelin song is a three-way tie between the nearly 30-minute-long, live version of “Dazed and Confused” from “The Song Remains the Same” live recording, “The Rover,” and “Achilles Last Stand.” “Ten Years Gone” is a delightful as well.

Favorite INXS song: “What You Need,” but I was never really into them. I liked that song they released during their late-‘90s comeback but forget its name.

Favorite Weird Al song: “Who’s Fat?” because it’s particularly clever, even for Al.

Favorite Pink Floyd song: “Dark Side of the Moon” still towers before us all as one of the ‘70s’ crowning achievements. I can never get enough of “Breathe,” especially the way “Speak to Me” runs into it. This has got to be one of the best-ever album openers.

Favorite cover song: I generally dislike covers, but Seal’s cover of The Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle” is a notable exception. The original ain't too bad, either, but I see The Steve Miller Band didn't make the cut on this list. Criminal.

Favorite dance song: “Night Fever”

Favorite U2 song: “Mysterious Ways”

Favorite disco song: "More than a Woman"

Favorite The Who song: “The Real Me”

Favorite Elton John song: I despise Elton John. I hate every single last one of his songs except for “Funeral for a Friend,” which, inexplicably, kicks ass.

Favorite Clash song: “Rock the Casbah”

Favorite David Bowie song: “Panic In Detroit”...and someone, please tell me. Are Bowie's lyrics in this song chronicling the U.S. auto industry's capitulation to Toyota et al.? Inquiring minds want to know.

Favorite Nirvana song: “Pennyroyal Tea”

Favorite Snoop Dogg song: “Gin and Juice”…Snoop was best with Dre.

Favorite Ice Cube song: "It Was A Good Day"...I agree with the 'Mudge on this one.

Favorite Johnny Cash song: his cover Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage”…another rare exception to the general rule that I dislike covers. Who would've thought, listening to the original more than 10 years earlier, that it was such a logical Cash song, too?

Favorite R.E.M. song: I despise R.E.M. with a passion. Yes, I enjoy despising them. I don't like any songs by them. None whatsoever. Do you hear me?

Favorite Elvis song: “Suspicious Minds”…yes, my favorite Elvis tune is one from his ‘70s comeback. Perhaps I am sick? Has my obsession with the '70s crossed the line? Maybe. And I'm lovin' it.

Favorite cheesy-ass country song: I don’t like country songs, and I especially dislike cheesy-ass country songs. This includes even Led Zeppelin’s “Hot Dog,” which still managed to upset me when, as a young lad, I first heard it. Being a huge Zeppelin fan, I found my hatred worrisome. What did it say about my allegiance to Zeppelin? But, even during my formative years, my hatred of cheesy-ass country songs won out over my rabid love for Zeppelin. It just goes to show. Between love, hate and whatever else, the greatest of these is hate.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Mind expansion

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, have learned something. Their observation: that a "cannabis-like chemical," injected, promotes the growth of new brain cells.

Read the article, and you might conclude that the guy who wrote it was high; the grammar there "ain't too good." But the news remains. While British Columbia, two full provinces west of Saskatchewan, is the Canadian region best known for contributions to this particular field of "research," these guys in Saskatoon probably know their stuff. To conduct their study, they may have even made a run to BC for "supplies."

Brent's Polemics does not encourage the use of anything unsanctioned, but the substance of which we speak does seem to enhance abstract reasoning abilities. Mind expanding activities may not be so bad for you after all.

Monday, October 10, 2005

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
--Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

The message is more important now than ever. We live in "interesting" times indeed.

No man's land

Folks, I posted twice (read 'em here and here) about the looming $200 billion cost milestone of the Iraq War, but nobody in D.C. listened to me. How do I know? Nothing ran in the news despite how the milestone beautifully coincided with the Sunday morning intelligentsia's television programming.

Why should I be surprised? Nobody important reads this blog, anyway.

And that's the point. Nobody important in the Democratic Party has any useful ideas to save this country, let alone the planet. They're all enablers, and our President's war has now officially entered no man's land.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Are you sure it's wise to fix a war that's already gone $200 billion?

Yes, we're almost at the $200 billion mark. My, how money flies. Check out the ticker in the left-hand margin.

When a car reaches 200,000 miles, its owner faces a decision. The writing is on the wall. The mechanic talks turkey to her. He points out what needs fixing before her car will pass inspection. The prospects, even with repairs, are not good. Her car, after all, has lasted longer than anyone expected, and its days are now numbered.

The news is a blow to her. She's been emotionally attached to her car for a while. She's proud to have driven it so far. She remembers the time she drove it across the country to visit friends in California. People used to compliment her on it. She clings to high hopes for her car despite reality's cold logic, but a momentous odometer reading brings with it an undeniable truth. The dream is over. She and her car must part ways.

Earlier this week I waxed imaginative. I forecasted, tongue firmly in cheek, that Democrats had a "media campaign for the ages" in store to publicize the looming $200 billion cost for the Iraq War and resurrect their party from the abyss. I daydreamed that Democrats, the mechanics who should be giving this war an inspection, would seize the day to talk turkey to a President emotionally attached to a war that used to draw him compliments but now faces grim prospects.

Understand: My post was an exercise in sarcasm. Nobody with half a brain these days actually believes Democrats -- in practice, Republicans Lite -- are planning any kind of meaningful offensive against this war. In fact, any day now, the neoconjobs can expect $50 billion more for their wet dreams of imperialism.

I know the linked article suggests opposition, even within Republican Party ranks, to the extra bread, but we all know how that story goes these days: in Bush's favor.

And the question remains: How many more billions of dollars will this war go before it breaks down for good on the side of a lonely desert road?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Far right, meet the far left

I've long argued that the far right and far left have loads more in common than what the professional sophists who lead our national "debate" want anyone to realize. Along the polarities of the political and religious spectra reside basic tenets that jive with each other. Disagreements have always been in deciding which methodologies to employ to achieve the ends, or utopia, which some might call heaven on earth.

A real-life example of this commonality is coming to fore, and finally. An article that recently ran in The Grist looks at a watershed development: The leader of a major evangelical organization 30 million members strong has begun to advocate "creation care," an idea that anyone who reads the Bible even casually understands is a no-brainer.

Say what you will about the religious far right, and I'll agree with you 90 percent of the time. But powerful leaders of the religious far right are suddenly discovering Biblical arguments that favor responsibile environmental stewardship. Let's just count our blessings -- no pun intended -- and let them run with this one. The issue that has always harbored the most potential for methodological agreement has been environmental policy, and it's heartening to see the beginnings of what could be something big.

The wheel, she turns

Six years
Comin' on fast

Not sure
How long youth lasts

Father Time
Says I’m runnin’ out of it

I’m lookin' 'round a bit

That great big circle in the sky
She keeps on turnin’

I’m 34, momma
And I haven’t even started livin’

Don't let them call you sissies

I'm about to play devil's advocate and attract a bunch of new enemies.

The History Channel is airing another one of those "Last Days of WWII" installments this morning, and I'm starting to wonder how such a tough people ended up so soft.

In just one battle with Japan, the U.S. sustained 5,000 casualties. We're talking about one battle. Juxtapose this with our excursion in Iraq. Into our third year of the Iraq War, we have sustained around 2,000 deaths.

Cindy Sheehan, I'm sorry. I'm sorry you lost your son to George W. Bush's war. You are a grieving mother, and I wish I could do something to take the emotional pain away. I can't.

But listen up, anti-war crowd: We are never going to win this argument by electing Cindy Sheehan our spokesperson. By saying, "Oh my God, it's terrible! More than 2,000 Americans have died in Iraq!" we only make our political enemies laugh at us.

And, frankly, the approach is embarrassing. We come off just like the sissies they like to call us.

Go ahead. Skewer me for not volunteering, myself, to go fight. Your criticism, however accurate and perhaps deserved, would still be a diversion designed to avoid argument with my point.

Oppose this war in Iraq. I am your ally. But we will never convince enough of Red State America to join our side if we continue to cry about the 2,000 American troops who have died since we entered Iraq in 2003. It's a number that has yet to equal even half of the casualties Pacific Theater troops sustained in just one battle of WWII.

Attack this President from the Cindy Sheehan flank, and we do nothing but solidify Red State America's view of us as a bunch of hippy sissies. I'm no sissy, and neither are you. Let's not play into their hands.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Cruisin' for chicks

Hate the game, not the player.

Tom Cruise, at age 43, just recently banged Katie Holmes. How do we know this? According to reports, she's pregnant with his child.

Holmes, 26 years old, is a woman I'd also like to bang. And you know, I'm thinking that riding a Harley with a gorgeous twenty-something woman on the back, holding on to me for dear life, is a damn good idea. Check out the photo.

In fact, I'd probably have her pregnant within six months' time, too -- just like Cruise had Holmes. That's right. Cruise had Holmes, and men everywhere are jealous. We deal. At least most of us do.

Dude, my war just went $200 billion

I love milestones. We have one coming up. Do you know what it is?

That's right: the Iraq War's $200 billion milestone. It's just around the corner.

No, really. Take a look.

Yeah...that's it...just a little bit to the, scroll down a smidge.

There you go! See? The ticker says we're just a tad shy of $200 billion.

Let's imagine that the trusty, fight-with-teeth-and-nails Democrats we elected to Congress are planning a killer media blitzkrieg as we speak. Our guys' PR guys in Washington, their designated talking heads already warming up in the bullpen, must be all over this one and about to wage a cable news campaign for the ages. Liberals in our nation's capital are surely chomping at the bit, just waiting for the Iraq War Cost Ticker to turn over all those zeroes.

Boy, we sure do have wild imaginations, don't we?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Kind of scary

Someone quoted in the following article says, "It's kind of scary."

Bush's Booze Crisis

I'd say.

Monday, October 03, 2005

She breathes like the rest

Like the favorite pillow
Many years old

I squeeze her

Like the fuzzy little ball
The furry little animal

I caress

Like the human being
In another’s presence

I let loose
From the shackles of cool

I’m hot

On fire with myself
Being myself
Expressing the authentic
Embracing my soul

Someone lets me

She is small
She is big
She breathes like the rest

I watch her rest

They remember

Behold my ideas
Hold my soul
Keep me close
I want your touch

Say yes

Makes my ears grin, happy
And my mind smile

With mirth

The Earth
Frolics for her residents
Content and rampant
Scurrying over her mounds and crevices

She menaces
She terraces
They venture forth to the brink
They blink

And they remember

Closeness is the touch
Happiness is the soul
And the idea is from the mind of God

The lies of thoughts never shared

Thinking on the inside
Never sharing

The ponderings without merit
Threaten to inherit
My groundless disappointments



Never asking
Never basking
In the feeling I crave

She just never gave

And so I bathe
In the lies of thoughts never shared

The end is near

People say this as if the end isn't here already. It is, in fact, upon us, and has been for a while. What we're seeing and hearing in the media is nothing more than the end game. Yes, it's a game to them. Never mind the implications.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

On the sidewalks adjacent to America

My girlfriend and I visited a local branch of one of the two big and meaty mega-chain bookstores yesterday, and it wasn’t Borders. Exiting her car, we traversed the parking lot and reached the bookstore building. We noticed scores of books in carts on the sidewalk adjacent to the main doorway. We browsed.

Nobody had bought these books for regular prices inside, so these books in carts outside the store yesterday were on sale. Some of the books were stupid, the kind of trash you’d expect to see alongside the grocery store checkout line. But most of the books were downright thought-provoking. Many contributed original thought to old ideas.

I realized why nobody wanted them. They were too deep, too intelligent for Joe Full-Size SUV, his wife, and two point five children. So these books were discounted and outside, and, in these ways, reminded me of homeless people, who have trouble selling themselves in a society that forces us to pimp ourselves to earn our way.

These books in carts on the sidewalk adjacent to the big and meaty mega-chain bookstore’s doorway were the books nobody wants. They had no place to go but outside, where the homeless reside every day in carts on the sidewalks adjacent to America.

Desire’s ration

A pressurized cylinder
Of lust waits

With baited breath for breasts
To envelop the sensitive extremities
And quell the sensitive soul’s insecurities

Warm and moist
The opening waits
And baits

A libido’s contemplation
And masturbation
Widen a confusion
Of frustration and bliss

They coexist

Conversation halts fornication
As if to feed desire its ration
That leaves it hungry for more where none has been