Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Youth of America: Rock the Don't!

I am, according to my drivers license, twenty-three years old, so the upcoming general election will not be my first. I was unable to vote in the last one, but I had a good reason; I planned to vote Democratic, and I lived in New Jersey.

Well, I still live in New Jersey, and I am, indeed going to vote this year. More so because I no longer live two hours from my designated polling place, but because I am a little bit worried. As I am watching the coverage on the news and on the web, I am starting to see a strange and discomforting trend. I am seeing a lot of Dark Horses in the primary run, back out after they've splashed the pot. The list is staggering, when you think about the large amount of press and money raised by candidates who've just recently dropped out before Super Duper Pooper Tuesday.

So here's my plan: get as many people to not vote in the primary as I possibly can. I bet you're wondering why, right? Well this wouldn't be a blog if I didn't have an opinion.

The parties are using long standing, but wholly incorrect, perceptions to draw young voters to register for a party, thereby locking in a vote not only in the primary, but the general election as well. Dems are trying to say 'if you're a liberal, line up, sign up and re-enlist,' when in reality the Dems haven't been very liberal as of late, they've been fiscally liberal, but are tending to be more and more morally conservative to sway the fringe vote. The Big R hasn't been fiscally conservative for years (more than I have under my belt at least) and tend to be zealots when it comes to moral policy.

The reason why the phrase 'young republican' is an oxymoron is because of the fact that, in our parents time, republicans were straight laced rich white guys who sought to implement a trickle down economy with a rain gutter draining back into the pockets of the rich, and the Democrats sought to explode the size of the government exponentially.

Now-a-days, it doesn't matter what party you are from. The parties don't care about your platform, they only care about whether or not they think you can win an election.

So why should you avoid the primary? Because it lends credence to the general election, which is the one the candidates should be worried about. Let the party's core's pick the candidate. Let's keep people like me and you, who may not stand one hundred percent on top of one candidates platform, regardless of which side of the isle it's on. Say you support Hillary, and, oh shit, Barack wins the bid. You're voting for Barack, because you voted in the primary, bun in reality, after looking at the competition, you find that you more identify with John McCain. Then, holy living fuck, you're screwed.

Well, you're kind of screwed either way.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A mystical sea creature you never knew about.


For someone who is, for all intents and purposes, unemployed, a blog is a wonderful idea. It's a great way to spend emotional energy that gets pent up from lack of repetition. Well, that's not me anymore.

But, I am not going to quit. No no. I will do my best to maintain the already low standards I set way back when a day couldn't start before noon.

I am once again gainfully employed at a retail auto parts store. I get up before the sun rises and as I drive home on the hard and plaqued arteries of Southern New Jersey, I am again without natural light. This morning, I found myself in my car du jour, a Mazda Miata with no radio, fanning through the cover flow of my iPod. I stopped on a record that I'd discovered for myself a few years ago, and ranted and raved about until all those around me were sick of hearing the name, Swordfishtrombones. Of course, Tom Waits is not lost on the hipster generation. His ability to write a record that could slap pop in the face a full twenty years before pop was a dirty word speaks a volume about the man who wrote it.

The way I was thinking about it today, precoffee, felt just about right. Tom Waits writes music for Americans. Dylan wrote for the Liberals, Springsteen wrote for the Conservatives, and Tom Waits writes for the mechanics and the fishermen, and the middle class men who leave their blue collar jobs to go home and read a chapter or two from Chrome Yellow, watch Un chien Andalou and go to sleep.

The opening track Underground, which is featured in the movie Robots, is a terse percussive song that is shouted at you rather than sung, an effect that only Waits can pull off, and still sound like he loves you. The song isn't just written, it's crafted. It sets a mood and tells a story that would sound cliche and overworked in any other wrapper.

The pinacle song for me on this record is 16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought-Six. It very quickly conjures up images of a transient hobo with a gun, and sounds like it very well could have been performed on instruments found in a frieght car and performed by a group of rag-tag, down-on-their-luck ne're-do-wells who would think nothing of killing you in your sleep to steal your boots so they can boil them into soup.

The Neigborhood, track seven, is a loping eulogy for downtown America. It transports you to the places and things you knew as a child, and reminds you of how the America we once knew, with it's fond and care free memories, is gone and probably won't be coming back.

The ninth track of the record, Frank's Wild Years tell the story that we dread to empathize with, but openly sympathize with. Who hasn't thought of burning down the house you and your boring wife share to start a fresh life in Northern California? And Waits' musical style, a mix of industrial staccato blended with rhythm and blues and a taste of the avante garde, is a perfect match for his authentically American lyrics.

The title track is brings you into a dingy lounge where a washed out slodier suffering from post traumatic stress disorder drinks away his nightmare of a life. Lyrically, this song draws a vivd picture of a person who has had his fill of fitting in. And in Waits' credit, not a single stuffy literary music snob would properly know how to pronounce the word Brougham, let alone recognize one when it rolls past them.

The rest of the album is rhythmic and very approachable to even the most casual listener and nuanced enough to be enjoyable even now about twenty-five years after it's release.

And not for nothing, and not that I trust Spin as a reputable source for music information, but they did name it the second best record of all time, in 1989.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The next Kennedy to run for president.

I'm no politician, but I am really glad that I started this blog during an election race. It provides a constant stream of blog-able topics. In trolling the net as of late, I've come across a few things I'd like to discuss about politics.

Number one on that list is Ted. He's like the antithesis of Ron Paul. I see him as a kind of dark horse meant to take votes away from Bill the Cat. It's kind of hard to tell what his platform consists of, but I know it's probably made of the ends of stud lumber left over in the garage and clad in 5/4 ply, because this guy needs one hell of a platform to hold all the bullshit he's been surrounding himself with. I don't know where some people get off in lampooning the democratic process, that, as of yet, has rarely let us down, but I am glad that there's a guy like me to expose him. I think he might be missing out on some the essentials for candidacy. He also obviously spent too much time contemplating Mr. I's chemistry lessons to put serious thought into Mrs. Benson's English class. Also, it seems as if his record has been meticulously wiped clean. Nothing is known about his record, prior office, business relations, or agenda.

Some have even postulated that Ted isn't even his real name. So what am I saying? Well, I am calling out Ted for a battle of the wits and the whits. I challenge Ted to a duel in the patented Blog-O-Sphere Death-matic Arena of Doom. [surprisingly Death-matic is not recognized by spell check]

So, for the foreseeable future, or until Rambo comes out, I will be on a tirade to have Ted's name banned from any and all ballots and any supporters of his shuffled from the mortal coil.

Ted for President

And what kind of presidential candidate doesn't have a real fucking website? God damn, 9.99 a year from Yahoo and you can get your own .com. Fucking amateur.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

South of the Rump House

About six months ago, I heard Les Claypool had written a book. At the time, I was excited, because I'd always been a bastion of Claypool's songwriting, because I'd always loved the story telling aspect.

I pulled up to Barnes and Noble, knowing full well that a new book was not at all in my budget, so I decided to do what I usually do: ask the clerk for obscure books by obscure authors that make me sound cool. An in a strike of obscurity, I remember that Les had written this book, called South of the Pumphouse. I asked the clerk if they had it in stock and he gave me that, Les Claypool, totally awesome dude, kind of look. He pointed out the book to me, and after I grabbed one copy, he grabbed the other, confirming his douchebaggery.

The back of the book was a little bit disconcerting. It's quoted as stating it's not only like The Old Man and the Sea but also stated that Claypool invokes Hunter S. Thompson. Anyone can write like Hunter S. Thompson, but very rare is it that someone writes as well as him. I personally wouldn't mind if no one ever wrote like Thompson, Thompson included

The book itself was not bad by any stretch. Not much of a novel, more of a novella, it stands up well against the average short story but falls short of my standards for a novella. The story moved along very quickly, and the plot built into a pretty obvious conclusion. The hick-speak was very distracting, but kind of natural. When writing in colloquialisms I usually have a hard time picking it up but the drawl was easy for a Midwestern transplant like me to pick up. The characters were believable for someone who has known people on amphetamines, but if you've never met someone on meth, you'd probably find it hard to believe.

As an author, I think Claypool ought to just stick with songs. Long story short, the man can't go longer than four minutes with out a bass solo and Tim Alexander.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Libertarians

I didn't want to write a political blog, but I guess, taking into account the election year, everyone is going to have to address it eventually. Now, not to go too deep into it, I mainly support a libertarian perspective on federal politics. I think our federal government needs to be streamlined and economized. Well, today I actually looked into the candidates running on the libertarian platform today and I almost shit myself. The 'front runner', as far as donations is concerned is a man named Wayne Allyn Root. He's so far amassed a small fortune of a campaign fund, topping out around $14,000.00. I know. And his platform is something along the lines of creating 50 independent countries with a small office building being used as the federal government. I mean, I understand that our government is bloated, but I think it's reasonable to say that a large organization serving an entire population is more efficient than fifty small organizations running fifty separate fractions of a population.

And the next guy in line for the LP nod is a guy, Michael Jingozian, who for the most part comes out and asks you not to vote for him. Think I am being crazy?
Admittedly, Jingozian is a candidate for President. However, if you do not agree with his specific platform or ideas, we strongly recommend, no...we urge you, to support and vote for the other candidates who commit to these values.
Okay, it's great to support the democratic process, but still, I mean, the internet is not a place for blatant honesty, it's a place for slander and self-esteem building.


The Libertarian Party Website



So who am I voting for? That's confidential, and I don't have to tell you, but I can tell you this much for sure, it's probably not going to be a woman or an African American.