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Looks like it to me…………. 29 July 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

Niki de St Phalle

Niki de Saint Phalle’s work first came to prominence during the 1950s with her ‘Assemblages’ which were constructed from everyday objects with personal meaning to the artist.
Autel O.A.S, 1962-92 © 2007, Niki Charitable Art Foundation

Looks like it to me… faith based initiatives, that is… I don’t need any convincing that is a vampyre bat winging its way toward me…..

[… there was little information at Telegraph.co.uk Picture Galleries on this piece by NdSP, just what I cut and pasted above, will see what more I can find.]



1. penlan - 29 July 2008
2. penlan - 29 July 2008

hmmm…posted…comment in spam maybe?

3. marisacat - 29 July 2008

hmmm Adkisson, the Knoxville UU shooter, his EX wife had been a member of that church.

4. penlan - 29 July 2008

Probably his main reason for the shootings. Bitterness & hatred towards her. It’s possible that church facilitated her in leaving him. How long ago was the divorce, do you know?

5. penlan - 29 July 2008

Marisa…may I email you? It’s concerning a mutual friend. Think I may have 2 email addresses for you & if it’s ok I’m not sure which one to use.

6. marisacat - 29 July 2008

hmm just caught it on the early ABC news… but he was hot and bothered about gays too… and one of the early reports said the church had just posted on a public board something about welcoming gays.

He had a lot of issues, to put it mildly.

Apparenhtly he had received a letter that his Food Stamps would be reduced or removed, as well. If he wanted to shoot someone the UUs were nto the right people in that case.

What a mess.

7. penlan - 29 July 2008

Think different issues had been building up inside of him for years & apparently he was alone, no family, etc. & was very worried about the food stamps situation. Probably the gay posting pushed him over the edge as that was the latest affront to him.

Yes, an absolute mess.

8. penlan - 29 July 2008

New fighting between Pakistan & India.


9. JJB - 29 July 2008

I see that Novak’s brain tumor is now being offered as an explanation for his allegedly not having realized the pedestrian he hit was sprawled across his windshield. I refuse to come to cynical conclusions about this.

BTW, is it SOP for the police to give someone guilty of hit and run incidents a $50 citation, and allow them to go on their merry way (or not-so-merry as is the case with the perpetually PO’d Novakula)?

Speaking of not-so-merry, someone should really tell Juan Cole the surge is working, and there’s no reason to point out that hundreds of Iraqis are being killed and maimed in the chaotic violence still going on there.

10. JJB - 29 July 2008

Re the Tennessee church killer, I haven’t been following this story closely, but from what I’ve gleaned from reading references to it, it sounded like they were at first trying to paint him as “anti-Christian,” but as it turns out, he’s one of those sad, maladjusted people who decides the people responsible for the mess he’s made of his life are the sort of gentle souls who’d be the first to offer him help if he walked in the door without a gun and just poured out his heart. In a sane country, such a person would not be able to act upon his deluded impulses because he wouldn’t have easy access to weapons and ammo. Who knows, maybe not being able to lash out that way would eventually lead to his getting sick of being such a bitter, hateful person, and he’d get the help he needed. We’ll never know.

Oh, the guy who launched the suit that overturned the DC gun ban is still not satisfied. He’s starting another one according to the news crawl on NBC’s DC affiliate. I’ll admit I’m too disgusted to find a story about that to link to.

11. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

Breeeeeaaaaking . . . . Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens indicted on criminal charges . . . 7 counts, false statements . . . .

AP link:

12. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008


July 29 (Bloomberg) — Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was indicted by a U.S. grand jury in Washington on charges of hiding hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts he received.

Stevens, a Republican, was charged with seven counts of making false statements on his Senate financial disclosure forms from 1999 to 2006 about gifts and renovations on his house.

Stevens “knowingly and willfully engaged in a scheme to conceal” his receipt of “hundreds of thousands of dollars” of gifts from Veco Corp., an oil-field engineering firm, and its chief executive officer, the indictment said.

Link to Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a3alQ969wUB0&refer=home

13. NYCO - 29 July 2008

Wow, so Ted Stevens finally gets nailed. This is one occasion where I could find myself going over to Big Orange to rub shoulders and celebrate in a spirit of unity and bruddahood.

14. marisacat - 29 July 2008

Wonder if he will wear his “Hulk” tie to court.

15. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

12 – Ha! I know what you mean. . . did some poking around fishing news sites and VECO docs relating to Stevens and son once upon a time myself.

Go for it! Crow!

16. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

Hulk tie????

17. marisacat - 29 July 2008

Ted Stevens has a favorite Hulk (as in the old TV series) tie. he wears it a lot…. It says “Hulk” quite prominently and has scenes from the series.

Quite the item…. 😉


18. marisacat - 29 July 2008

Southern Cal quake. 6.8… felt in San Diego and Vegas…

19. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

17 – Aha! Thanks.

Maybe he could trade it in for a Pinocchio tie?

20. marisacat - 29 July 2008

hmm well I cannot read numbers on the TV screen, the quake was listed as FIVE point 8 and now downgraded to 5.4.

I really did sit up a bit for 6.8. LOL News crews all over Greater LA are hunting for “damage”.

Oh there must be some, somewhere, down there…

21. wilfred - 29 July 2008

Everyone I’ve talked to in LA is doing fine. They said it lasted a full 30 seconds (really long for a quake) but no damage in the center of town anyway, don’t know about the Chino Hills epicenter.

So happy to hear about Sen Stevens, hope he spends loads of time in the pokey, couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

22. diane - 29 July 2008


…. all I can say is damn, you’ve outdone yourself with that picture….impeccable timing you have my dear….



Noticed that a version of Mississippi Goddamn is on YouTube, very unfortunately, that’s not the version she’s famed for, with the significant dialogue (….The name of this tune, is Mississippi Goddamn,……and I mean every word of it……. this is a show tune…but the show hasn’t been written for it yet….), and performed during the heat of the Civil Rights Era. The version to hear, to my mind, was performed on March 12th 1964, included on the Phillips album, Nina Simone in Concert, and it’s included on a wonderful, 2 disc CD titled: nina simone anthology

Wrapping a bit of context around that performance, it was:

six months after the four little girls: Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, and Cynthia Wesley were slaughtered in the church bombing in Birmingham

almost four months after President Kennedy’s assassination

three months after Lyndon Baines Johnson, in one of his finer moments in life: warned his Senate mentor [and good friend], Richard Russell of Georgia,..”if you get in my way” on the civil rights bill, “I’m going to run you down.”

fourteen days before a soon to be assassinated Martin Luther King, and a sooner to be assassinated, MalcomX, stood together in a rare moment in a Capital corridor during the filibuster of the civil rights bill.

and four months later Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner were ruthlessly murdered….

(italicized quoted from Pillar of Fire, by Taylor Branch).


sorry about that Miles Davis link (on the last thread), should have been: Miles Davis – Concierto De Aranjuez (Adagio)

23. diane - 29 July 2008

oh shit, the bold-faced word “yet” should have been italicized:

(….The name of this tune, is Mississippi Goddamn,……and I mean every word of it……. this is a show tune…but the show hasn’t been written for it yet….)

I guess wordpress doesn’t like doubled up html coding in comments

24. diane - 29 July 2008


Needless to say, that sick bastard, Director Hoover, had much of that activity illegally recorded….and not only refused to prevent certain deaths, he indirectly aided and abetted via an FBI informant planted in the Klan, at a minimum, one death, that of Viola Liuzzo, shot in the face by the klan members while driving, just a few days after participating in the march from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965. (hat tip Taylor Branch’s: At Canaan’s Edge)

Shame on you Obama for your FISA involvement, and shame on the rest of you ill people (you know who you are), in the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches of the United States government for running everyone to an abyss….

25. NYCO - 29 July 2008

Hope everything’s well in Calif re the quake.

In NY when we get a 5.1 or 5.2 (usually the epicenter is in the Adirondacks), everybody goes “Whee! That was fun! Let’s do it again!” But they only happen once every 20 years or so.

26. wilfred - 29 July 2008

Tonight they’re hyping Kaine from VA as Obamarama’s VP choice as evidently he told WaPo that he’s high on the list.

Ick, they are saying on Hardball that the ‘short list’ is Kaine, Byah, Biden and Sibelius. Not very inspiring.

27. marisacat - 29 July 2008

kaine was always a good fit for ob. Catholic, white male southern. Conservative.

I’d laugh myself silly of fhe picks Biden… someone who really did say soemthing offensive and racist about Ob. Conservative.

Bayh would so fit as well. Does not even live in IND. What a hoot! Very conservative.

He won’t pick Sibelius. She is a TOKEN.

What a joke it all is.

28. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

Glad everybody’s ok out there.

FYI – NYT has an article about Obama’s years at the U. of Chicago law school. As a Professor, Obama Enthralled Students and Puzzled Faculty.

Perhaps a few nuggets of interest there, for those following campaign narratives closely.

29. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008
30. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008

Gravel: Take Bush to The Hague

“An Impeachment just means you would only take away his (Bush’s) presidency. Well, he is almost done (with) his presidency. What really needs to happen is that these people have to be held accountable for the crimes they have committed,” the 78-year-old Libertarian said referring to the US president and Vice President Dick Cheney.

“If you impeach the president and vice president, Nancy Pelosi is going to become president; that is not going to happen,” Gravel added.

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008

Army Recruiter Used Scare Tactics

As CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston first reported, Irving Gonzalez signed a non-binding contract that left him free to change his mind about joining the Army up to the moment he reported for basic training – which is exactly what he did.

“I’d rather just stay here,” he said. “Go to college.”

But listen to what his recruiter, Sgt. Glenn Marquette, told him would happen.

“As soon as you get pulled over for a speeding ticket, they’re gonna see you’re a deserter. They’re gonna apprehend you, take you to jail. So guess what, all that lovey-dovey ‘I wanna go to college’ and all that? Guess what? You just threw it out the window ’cause you just screwed your life,” Marquette said on tape.

“Then guess what, you’re AWOL. Absent without leave,” Marquette said.

Not only is none of that true, but it also violates regulations that prohibit the threatening of potential recruits.

Seventeen-year-old Eric Martinez says he was told the same thing when he changed his mind.

“You can go to jail, put out a warrant for you and spend your time in jail instead of in the Army,” he said they told him.

Marquette has been suspended from recruiting pending an investigation and both young men have been told they are free to get on with their lives. But this is not the first time this particular recruiting station has been caught using unethical tactics.

32. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008

Funny comment over @ Balloon Juice, about the right being outraged over some event Obama had in Germany:

I heard he fed the entire crowd with five bratwursts and two Heinekens.


33. marisacat - 29 July 2008

LOL from the NYT article IB linked to… I am so looking forward to him as pretzeldent:

While students appreciated Mr. Obama’s professorial reserve, colleagues sometimes wanted him to take a stand. When two fellow faculty members asked him to support a controversial antigang measure, allowing Chicago police to disperse and eventually arrest loiterers who had no clear reason to gather, Mr. Obama discussed the issue with unusual thoughtfulness, they say, but gave little sign of who should prevail — the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposed the measure, or the community groups that supported it out of concern about crime.

“He just observed it with a kind of interest,” said Daniel Kahan, now a professor at Yale.

Nor could his views be gleaned from law review articles or other scholarship; Mr. Obama has never published any. He was too busy, but also, Mr. Epstein believes, he was unwilling to put his name to anything that could haunt him politically, as Ms. Guinier’s writings had hurt her.

“He figured out, you lay low,” Mr. Epstein said.

34. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008
35. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008
36. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008

Update on the NYC cop who attacked the cyclist:

The officer seen in the video, rookie Patrick Pogan – a third-generation cop and the son of a retired New York City detective who worked on the Joint Terrorism Task Force – wrote in his police report that Long was observed “forcing multiple vehicles to stop abruptly or change their direction to avoid a collision.” Radhuber, the witness, tells the Times that “there was no traffic behind us – there was no traffic to weave in and out of. The police officer looked to see who he was going to pick off.”

According to Officer Pogan, Long rode his bike straight into him, knocking them both down and causing a “laceration” on his arm. This account would seem to contradict the incendiary video, shot by a tourist. Long was arrested for attempted assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, and, apparently Officer Pogan wrote in his report that Long told him: “You are pawns in the game. I’m going to have your job.”

Bill DiPaola, a director of Time’s Up, told the Times he arrived just after Long went down. “He got up and was dazed. They put their knees on top of his head and were smashing him into a phone booth.” Long, who was not wearing a helmet, was bruised but not hospitalized, and spent 26 hours in jail. After the video surfaced yesterday, Pogan was stripped of his gun and badge pending an investigation. But his father defended him to the Daily News, saying, “You gotta do what you gotta do to make an arrest.”

37. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008

War Without End, Amen: Into the Afghan Abyss with Obama

I have disagreed vehemently with Patrick Buchanan on almost every issue over the years, but he is right on the money when he says that Barack Obama’s Afghanistan strategy is an eerie replication of Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam strategy, and will almost certainly have the same result: years and years of death and ruin, ending in defeat.

the close …

But the stances, dances and petty squabbles of the chattering classes (yes, I’m a chatterer too) are unimportant. What matters is that the United States government is about to launch a substantial escalation of an already unjust and unproductive war, pursuing a strategy — embraced by both presidential candidates and the leading lights of their respective parties (and the overwhelming majority of the media establishment as well) — which will inflict death and suffering on tens of thousands of innocent human beings (at a minimum), while further spreading the brutalization, corruption and destabilization that are inherent in war. It is entirely possible that the multi-sided conflict in Afghanistan — warlords, tribes, state armies, narco-gangs, foreign interventionists, covert operators, religious zealots, all in various, ever-shifting, ever-breaking alliances — could go on for decades, especially if the flames are continually fed with blood and treasure from the American war machine.

Whether Obama’s highly-hyped regime of change comes to the White House or we end up with a third Bush term under the doddering figurehead of McCain, this is the future being offered by America’s leaders: endless war, endless suffering, a darker, more dangerous world.

38. NYCO - 29 July 2008

35. Perrin’s comment-

I’ve known self-described Christian purists who had nothing but disdain for the Unitarians, which I always found odd, given that Unitarians actually practice what they believe Jesus preached, even though they don’t think that Jesus was the Son of God. I suppose that for some Christians, this alone is a deal breaker.

Er, yeah, actually that’s widely considered to be the primary point of mainstream Christian belief, that the dude was the son of the Big Guy (along with his rising from the dead). Not just a preacher, not just a good example: but the actual Divine Spawn.

I’m up for thoughtful and/or irreverent criticism of religion as much as the next person, but in order to have an intelligent discussion about a religion, or even pungent irreverence, one needs to clearly understand the basic tenets of a religion – at least, the basic tenets for most of its sects (it’s not a basic tenet of Unitarianism). Perrin’s comments are just weird, in that respect.

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008

Barack Obama the Antichrist?

Would the antichrist feed a crowd of people with five bratwursts and two Heinekens?

40. marisacat - 29 July 2008

well ‘bingo’ as teh cabbies say when they lock on to a fare:

By the way, speaking of dope and dopes, I hear that Barry O. plans to send more troops to Afghanistan. I seem to recall some very interesting shit happening the last time we sent a lot of our boys into a heroin den.

— “Smack”

And, of course, we are the dealer.

whois… who has a lot of good posts… http://whoisioz.blogspot.com/

Man, I was down at the grocery store and there was Barack Obama transforming pineapples into gold and gold into lead and lead into $25.99/lb. Copper River Salmon, and when I said, “Hey Barack, Copper River Salmon isn’t even in season, you asshole!” he disappeared–poof!–and left nothing but a panama hat and a pair of old Greek shoes.

— “Black Diamond Bay”

41. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008


So in recent weeks, to prove his piety, McCain has taken to dragging himself out of bed on Sunday mornings to attend services at North Phoenix Baptist, not-so-subtly announcing his devotions to his traveling press. (“Yeah, they started telling us he was going to church about a month ago,” one McCain-beat reporter chuckled to me on the Straight Talk Express. “Like, Oh, by the way, he’s going to church again. At this address, if you want to check. . . .”) Originally baptized an Episcopalian, McCain claims that he’s been attending this Southern Baptist church for some 15 years, despite the fact that his 2007 congressional biography lists his faith as Episcopalian. But in a touching display of his apparent unwillingness to do absolutely anything to get elected, McCain still hasn’t been baptized in his new church — he’s not born-again, in other words. Dude is holding out for some reason. Like he’s afraid to lie to God. A politician, afraid to lie!

The marriage of fundamentalist Christianity and the conservative movement has been a powerful force in world affairs. It has been the best smoke screen the archpriests of supply-side economics could possibly have had, giving Wall Street a populist in with the very people victimized the most by their union-busting, deregulatory policies. It turned out, for decades, that Bible-thumping Americans didn’t mind having their jobs shipped to China, so long as someone was worrying about the air supply to Terri Schiavo’s brain lump. As political cons go, this was the ultimate gift that kept on giving.

It all had to end sometime, though, and that sometime might be now. Nervous, white, sexually inhibited Protestants with fourth-grade educations are becoming a smaller and smaller share of the country’s population, and the Christian right is increasingly frustrated with the Republican Party’s failure to transform America into a fundamentalist caliphate. (Forget about abortion: After eight years of Republican rule, Christians can’t even put up the Ten Commandments in Alabama without someone bitching about it.) But the last straw just might come down to one Republican politician’s personal idiosyncrasies. All the party needed was one more pious, Scripture-quoting, hair-spray-soaked whore to hold this thing together for another four years, and instead they got John McCain. And John McCain may break up three decades of GOP Jesus-flogging simply because he is too afraid to get his forehead wet. Wouldn’t that be something?

42. marisacat - 29 July 2008

Matthew Dowd, formerly of the Bush Leagues, commented that issues for the American people REALLY are put to the side. he said McCain wants to talk about Iraq or Terror and Obama wants to talk about how historical the race is, or give speeches on Faith and or National Service.

And if Dowd is suspect for having been with Bush, before that he was a Democratic strategist and flew the coop post Dukakis. Got a whiff of teh Democratic love affair with technocrats (still on-going) and took a powder.

43. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008

42 – it really is the most contentless campaign I’ve ever seen, which is saying a lot. It’s really mostly about making sure that the war goes on and that no one pays any price for the crimes of the past 8 – 28 years.

44. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

Rereading this thread at slightly greater leisure than earlier today, I was immediately gobsmacked by penlan’s first comment, in juxtaposition with the Saint Phalle art above.

(The sculpture works pretty well for the Ted Stevens news, too.)

Regarding the Knoxville shooter, I figure the back story on that (attempted) suicider – like the back story of a recent notable other – will only emerge over time.

Anyway, while refreshing my memory (and then some) about Saint Phalle, I googlebumped straight into The Tarot Garden, which includes a detailed biochron timeline. Several convent school expulsions in her youth, I see.

What a wild life!

45. marisacat - 29 July 2008


sorry I just saw you comment at #5! My apologies! I woke up this am withno voice and was a bit off track all day.

You are welcome to email me:


Since I missed your comment all day will try to email at the addy listed on your comments

Sorry again!

46. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

Several convent school expulsions in her youth

Correction – only one, in 1941.

Her next unscheduled departure was from (the independent NYC girls’ school) Brearley, in 1944, after painting the fig leaves on the school statues bright red.

That got her sent to a different convent school.

47. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

MitM at 34 and 41 – LOL.

This cracked me up in the Crooked Timber comments, too:

Michael Bérubé 07.29.08 at 4:34 pm

Anyone want to calculate the % of ensuing commenters to this post who will assume the comic is strictly about whether or not girls are good at math?

I’m sorry, I can’t be bothered with these low-level calculations right now. I’m busy mentally rotating three-dimensional shapes while urinating standing up.

48. marisacat - 29 July 2008

You just never know what comes out of a convent school… LOL.

Charo was in a spanish convent school, iirc.

Someone several years ahead of me at the Convent on Broadway in SF ended up as the long time old lady to the number 2 under Sonny Barger of the Hell’s Angels.

DiFi was about 25 years ahead of me at the convent (honestly, in the 70s she was somewhat liberal, really!). You just can never tell.

LOL Viva Niki!

49. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

NYCO at 25 – I lived in Fleetwood, a warrenlike commuter-nity just north of the Bronx, at one point, and one night took the very last Metro North train home, after some convivial event or another. Imagine my surprise to find hundreds of neighbors out in the streets, talking to each other in pajamas, when I got there.

Rattling along on the train, I missed the earthquake. But the afterparty was pleasantly surreal.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all earthquakes were so safe – just friendly reminders from the planet at large. . . .

50. marisacat - 29 July 2008

A friend of mine was about 3 cars ahead of the big break on the Bay Bridge, in ’89. FELT NOTHING… and proceeded to a business appt some distance from the bridge only to see the TV pictures.

Most hotels here opened their bars… except for Marriot (Mormonism forever!)

51. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008

A short essay on the making of things in the knowledge economy

Today, we are well down the road to losing most of the hand skills necessary to function in the world we have built. Or paid others to build on our behalf. Children aren’t taught to drive a nail, or change a toilet, or even to change the oil in their car (which I did all of once, and stripped the bolt). We’re not taught how to make things, how to cook food from fresh ingredients, how to sew. Which is, to a degree, fine. Some people shouldn’t drive cars, either.

Two problems, though: First, we — as a culture — devalue those people who do know how to fix and make things. (Unless and until we need them; and then they are talked down to, and about, and we don’t understand what they’re doing, why it works and fails, nor even how to communicate clearly and honestly with them.) In passing, this has made it easier to undercut the union movement. And we have whole-heartedly embraced the exportation of those jobs abroad, ensuring — much like the capital flow T. Boone Pickens laments on television each night — that the skills necessary to build and operate and staff a modern manufacturing enterprise are no longer native to our shores.

We’re forgetting how to make things. On purpose. (Unless it’s a hobby, or a quaint anachronism; or unless we’re trying to get off the grid, still very much a minority position.)

What’s been offered instead is an information economy, a service economy, a world — ah, the pristine vision — built around intellect.

An illusion, that.

My stepmother clipped a column from the July 7-14 Newsweek, written by a man named Sal Nunziato, who until recently owned a CD store in Brooklyn with which I am otherwise unfamiliar. He writes eloquently about knowing his customers, knowing their tastes and temperaments well enough to suggest music they might like, to order things specially for them, to nurture their community. And like many CD stores, he is out of business, his specific knowledge of that community — and of the music in the marketplace — lost to that corner of Brooklyn, lost forever.

Replaced, perhaps, by Rhapsody and Amazon, both anxious to use mathematical equations and the science of the computer to do the job of a smart and intuitive human. Of a man with taste.

Having labored as a music critic for 21 years, I feel Mr. Nunziato’s pain.

Friends of ours own a bicycle shop. We live in a small town. They are the local experts in bicycles and canoes and climbing equipment. People come to their store and talk and talk and talk. And then they go online and distill that knowledge into a purchase that does nothing to support the local business.

Do we really value knowledge?

Surely the present administration did not value nuanced views of Iraq, does not value the science behind global warming, and a dozen other things we might profitably carp about another time. Indeed, Mr. Bush behaves like a mediocre student who is unable to make sense of competing and complex theories about a system he is studying, and so decides simply to go with the answer he wants to hear, seeing instead of the anarchy of the intellectual process the arrogance of a salesman.

Because it’s all about the sale, isn’t it, in America?

Here’s the question, then: Who’s going to fix it when it’s broken? Who’s going to build the new one?

52. Madman in the Marketplace - 29 July 2008

and another essay, on a slightly related them, over at No Depression:

In my last entry here, in a call-and-response with Carl Wilson at Zoilus, I conjectured a bit about the evolution of, or more accurately the dissapearance of, old-school signifcance in rock-n-pop music. Following Carl’s lead, I was using Elvis Costello as my example, and in the end, I concluded that, per Carl, it was unfair to expect EC ever to match his late 70s output. I didn’t mean that it was unfair to expect the same quality of work, but that it would be nigh on to impossible for him to connect that work to a larger cultural context as he once had. Indeed, I’d argue that no one today can do that because, in a world where everyone has his or her own idiosyncratic favorites and can effectively avoid everyone else’s favorites if they wish (and will wind up doing so perhaps even they don’t wish it), significance no longer seems on our menus.

snippity snip

In 1979, I bought Led Zeppelin’s In through the Out Door, which was the top selling album in the country that fall, but I’d also purchased Costello’s Armed Forces, which Joel Whitburn informs me, to my astonishment, had actually climbed to #10 on the Billboard album chart earlier that same year. So, for whatever reason, I was fortunate to belong to a peer group that felt no need to choose between the two–an attitude reinforced by a radio station (KY102 in Kansas City, Missouri) that had both “Accidents Will Happen” and “Fool in the Rain” in heavy rotation.

But, as Steve attests, there certainly were lots of people who did feel that imperative. Costello arrived at a moment in which the mainstream was at last being challenged by punk and new wave, the musics that would soon lead us to college radio and, much later, alternative rock–all pieces of what I think Robert Chrstgau meant by his term “semi-popular.” So, no, EC never was a voice of a generation; he was never that big. Costello, like his contemporaries in this not-really-a-movement, couldn’t touch the Led Zeppelins and Fleetwoods Macs in sales. But–as they amounted to just about the only other option going–they did have an impact, did force people like Steve and so many others to make choices and take sides–and to view all of this as a kind of war. And those choices had consequences.

It’s very different today. There are so many options and semipopular cultures to pop in and out of from, and as the mainstream has been so effectively reduced to just one more larger than most niche…well, cultivating and guarding your own small little taste zone is just what every one does. SIgnficance–that state where we might all care about others musical choices–can’t exist if we don’t really care about other’s choices. What act today would earn you the threat of a beat down simply because you professed your admiration for it? And how far down into what subgenre would we have to dig in order to find it?

I don’t think it’s just music … it’s everything. Art, clothing, movies … I never thought I’d see the day when something like Dark Knight would be treated like a serious piece of “culture” (whatever that means anymore). I think maybe architecture can still move people to shouting matches, (get some Gehry fans together in a room w/ people who just hate him), but maybe that’s only because buildings are so damned permanent and big. Mostly, though, culture is just a bunch of unrelated nesting dolls, each new interest creating a new doll, with new smaller ones inside, and everybody free to just focus on the doll they like.

53. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

about 3 cars ahead of the big break on the Bay Bridge, in ‘89. FELT NOTHING…


Funnily enough, I have a distinct memory of watching the same TV pictures that night . . . sitting at a particular small table with a former San Franciscan friend in a bar in NYC.

Me, I got my convent school education second-hand, from my anecdotally descriptive mother. Probably saved me an expulsion or two.

I did have to defend my self-stitched attire (and bralessness) once to a blustery, Irish-American public school principal. While serving as prez (how did that happen?) of the student council. Does that count for anything, with the Vatican-canned?

54. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

I’ve decided to support the Crusty Sock/Sonny Barger ticket for pretzeldent.

If only I had time to volunteer. . . .

55. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

It’s a sign – the Veep candidate was last seen riding a


Polaris Victory!

Over and out. . . .


56. marisacat - 29 July 2008

hmm Karel on KGO says both cell and land lines went down in S Cal (he was down there this am). hmm. He says text messaging went thru, tho.

57. Intermittent Bystander - 29 July 2008

Life really is a laff riot, some times. Turned off PC monitor, went to turn off muted TV . . . see Hayley Mills, and unmute . . . and it’s The Trouble with Angels on AMC.

(Part of a Rosalind Russellfest tonight.)

56 – I saw a headline early this evening warning people not to overload SoCal phone lines. Weirdly, given a rare and unrelated confluence, it actually affected my pre-quake plans to call a cousin.

‘Night all.

58. NYCee - 29 July 2008


Re: The New York Times piece on Obama – Much outrage over the hints of negative in it at L’Orange. Calls for letter writing! It wasnt recc’d, of course – accentuate the positive, at all costs.

I commented to someone who also noted his ZERO publishing in his ten years at U of Chicago.

Thin… Like a Holy Wafer?

There was also a diary on Obama Veepstakes.

I’ll just call my comment the ever-popular Ugh! (Re Biden as veep. Or just Biden as Biden. Anyway you slice him.)

59. marisacat - 29 July 2008

I see the NYTarticle refers to Cass Sunstein as “liberal”. Retire the goddam word, it means less than ever!

60. NYCee - 30 July 2008

Thanks diane 🙂

… for the kind words on my oral pain. (This has been with me since Thurs. It all started a week after 2 crowns were put in.) I am way beyond Ambesol. Salt water okay. Vicodin hits the spot, only I didnt use it yesterday, and got a lighter dose today, which I used sparingly. My antibiotic was upped to a stronger one, otoh.

Saw the root canal doc for the first time today. He said I was too swollen for the root canal, which was supposed to make me better, according to my reg dentist, who told me to get it done today. This rc guy sent me off with adjusted scrips, a “come back in 7 days of following instructions to the letter,” and a $75 consult fee (that was with my ‘good’ insurance plan – if I had had the rc, only $50 co-pay, but because I didnt have it and took 5 minutes of his time, it’s $75, and then the $50 next time.)

Still got that old timey cartoon look, on one side of my face, that is. Hey, check out Little Lulu! (who I now look like). I shall let her comment for me.

61. NYCee - 30 July 2008

Yes, I saw the Sunstein reference. Well, yes, the L word has been totally cratered.

62. marisacat - 30 July 2008

I had one root canal about 25 years ago. never never never again. Ever. I swam thru part 1 with no trouble. Part 2, I assumed would go as easily. The worst pain of my entire life hit about 6 – 8 hours after the work was done. Unbelievable. As soon as I recovered from the surgery, and after days on Vicodin, i had the tooth stump removed.

63. NYCee - 30 July 2008

And this race is chock full of nothing.

McCain is so damned pitiful, I am sure his advisors told him to stop taunting Obama to meet up with him for a showdown at those freewheeling town hall debates. Havent heard a peep about those lately, and, if he were up to it, it would certainly behoove him to keep hammering Obama’s refusal to participate.

It’s not totally his fault. Any smidge of good he had in his “maverick” days got boxed in and pushed out by the demands of the nutty strands of the GOP coalition (Club for Growth, Club for Christ, etc.) He had nowhere to go but down.

Still, it’s appalling to watch him.

64. NYCee - 30 July 2008

Oh god, horrid. Well, I am supposed to be off for sunny shores a few days after. Maybe it’ll be Vicodin and sunblock!

I had an rc years ago and was surprised at how I felt nothing afterwards. I hope the experience repeats.

This new stuff seems to be working. The Little Lulu effect is diminishing. My hair is straight as a sheet, so the look doesnt work for me.


65. NYCee - 30 July 2008

Do Over Alert, Re #58

Oh dang. I just clicked my link and see I inserted an impeachment action link. I was sharing that on a different diary. Not that it’s a bad link to put here, but does not make any sense where it is.

This is the comment I meant to put in #58 re Obama at U of Chicago Thin… Like a Holy Wafer?

It references the NewYorker piece, about his thin time in the state senate, which came to mind when I read in the NYT that he never published anything in 10 yrs at the university.

66. marisacat - 30 July 2008

His thin resume. I think both parties are just shards. Propped up fictions.

He did nto publish at UC nor at Harvard at the LR.

Seems it hardly matters. The corps and the MIC and the lobbyists and the known and unknown intel services run us. War forever amen.

67. marisacat - 30 July 2008

new thread………………..


……………… 8) ………………..

I am just catching up to TNH with a long segment on Ted Stevens… and you really have to laugh, they don’t have him on bribery charges. But on: 7 charges of “failure to disclose” across 9 years. The charge of failure to disclose carries a 5 year imprisonment. he will probably get 2 – 3 years, if found guilty, all told for the length and depth.

Gotta love it.

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