February rambling #2: The Man Who Mistook Jesus For An A.T.M.

A Beach Boy asks, “Why am I the villain?”

colbyjones

Sharp Little Pencil: The Man Who Mistook Jesus For An A.T.M..

What Happens Now That We Know Gravitational Waves Are Real? Compare with Introduction to the flat earth, how it works, and why we believe it.

The Latter Days of a Better Nation. For instance, Florida Legal: Man Shoots Young Girl Neighbor In Her House From Homemade Gun Range.

Looking Back BY Jeffrey Toobin, re: Antonin Scalia.

John Oliver: on voting and on abortion. Plus an interview.

The Apple/FBI question is harder than it looks.

simonpeter

How Writers Ruin Their Amazon Links (Yes, You Probably Do It Too), which is keeping unnecessary stuff in the URL; I mentioned this here.

What I Mean When I Say ‘I Have Anxiety’.

‪What makes a good life‬.

The Dark Underside of the Show-Dog World .

What Is Face Blindness?

Dustbury would stand up straight if he could. I SO relate.

Arthur’s dad would be 100.

The Uncanny Adventures of (I Hate) Dr. Wertham.

Now I Know: The Trees of Hate and The Science Behind the Slogan (Morton’s salt) and The History of Being on Hold and A Stinky Suit.

Muppet commercials from 1965.

Four Rare JEOPARDY! Scenarios. Plus Canadians Left With Questions After Being Barred From ‘Jeopardy!’

The obligatory Donald Trump section

I think he’ll be the Republican nominee.

How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable.

Inside the Republican Party’s Desperate Mission to Stop Donald Trump.

For Donald Trump, internet bullying is a highly effective campaign tactic.

America’s Agitator: Donald Trump Is the World’s Most Dangerous Man.

Why We Secretly Love Donald Trump (and Why We Should Fight It).

What it would take to build Trump’s border wall.

An Open Letter to My Friends Who Support Donald Trump.

Why I am Endorsing* Trump. Note the asterisk.

Nearly 20 percent of Trump’s supporters disapprove of Lincoln freeing the slaves.

Canadian island welcomes Americans who wish to move if Trump wins. Actually, they welcome people from all political stripes.

New liquid Trump and I know, right?

The other folks running

What that Cruz-Rubio ‘He doesn’t speak Spanish’ thing was about.

Neurologist explains why it’s hard to look at Ted Cruz’s creepy ‘unsettling’ face.

Why do so many people from Europe want Bernie Sanders to be the President of the United States?

Music

Bohemian Rhapsody – the Maniacal 4 Trombone Quartet.

10 Artists Who Hated Their Biggest Hit.

K-Chuck Radio: The Sugarhill Pulse.

Song stylist Nancy Wilson.

The Ballad of Mike Love. A Beach Boy asks, “Why am I the villain?”

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

Arthur’s Internet Wading for February 21.

U2, Bob Crewe, Fab Four, plus more

Bob Crewe died at the age of 83. You may not know the name – I’ll admit I did – but you surely know the songs.

u2If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know I can have some strong opinions. But with the U2/Apple thing, I feel ambivalent. On one level, I’m oddly entertained by people freaking out over Apple’s forced iTunes download of U2’s new album, and wonder if it’s just a first world problem. I particularly loved how it ruined someone’s “carefully curated collection.” I’m impressed how well the secret was kept, with the release date of the next U2 album still unclear to the media as of last month.

Then there’s the Why U2? contingent epitomized by this quote: “It’s true that Apple’s wine-drinking, plane-flying user base probably overlaps with U2’s cool-dad core audience more than most bands.” Ah, U2’s not cool enough; here’s the album should have given away instead, and maybe they’re right. Fortunately, I’ve read plenty of suggestions about how to delete it.

The result of this apparent misstep is that the album, Songs of Innocence, is crap. 24 hours after release, it was deemed the worst U2 album ever, as though one could decide something like that so quickly. I still haven’t hear the thing, so I have no opinion.

The bulk of the criticism, though, has to do with lack of choice in the matter, that was fascistically foisted upon millions of users. Maybe that’s true, I dunno. Read the Rolling Stone article about the event.
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Bob Crewe died at the age of 83. You may not know the name – I’ll admit I did – but you surely know the songs. There are nice pieces by Rolling Stone and Dustbury.
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Without much effort, I keep finding Beatles-related stuff, some e-mailed to me, for some obscure reason.
*1964 – the menace of Beatlism
*their 1st US TV Appearance?
*Someone Uploaded the Entire ‘Beatles’ Cartoon Series to YouTube – it’s not “long-forgotten” by me
*Kids React to the Beatles.
*Apple scruff Lizzie Bravo: the girl who sang with the Beatles
*It Don’t Come Easy by George Harrison
*Paul McCartney ‘Early Days’ behind-the-scenes blues jamming.
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Jay Z Steps Up To The Plate To Argue That Tiny Music Samples Are Unprotected By Copyright As TechDirt said, Good for him.
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Early Simpsons: a hymn by I. Ron Butterfly.
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Arthur points to the drinking song that we sing when we present the US national anthem. No, it isn’t that easy to sing either. I’ve been REALLY liberal when people do the Star-Spangled Banner (Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Jose Feliciano are all fine with me, but Rosanne was not). I hear it as a swing version myself.

Oh, here’s version (of SSB, not the drinking song) by niece #1, Rebecca Jade, if I’m doing that FB embed thing correctly:

It’s all about the music: Ride, Zombies, Thunder…

One of my daughter’s “new” favorite songs is almost a half century old. She heard it on a Glee album, so I had to play it for her by the original artist.

Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, died a couple days ago at the too-young age of 61, after battling pancreatic cancer. According to the timeline on her website, she wasn’t even able to attempt to go into space until 1977 “when NASA conducts a national search for new astronauts and, for the first time, allows women to apply.” The next year, she was “selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate — one of six women among 35 trainees chosen,” the same year she received a “Ph.D. degree in physics from Stanford University.” On June 18, 1983, she “becomes the first American woman to fly in space, when she “serves as mission specialist… aboard space shuttle Challenger.” She had a second mission aboard Challenger in 1984, and was scheduled for a third flight when the Challenger exploded in 1986, after which she was “appointed to the Presidential Commission investigating the Challenger disaster.”

Arthur gives his POV, specifically about her posthumous coming out.

The song that’s stuck in my brain is the great Wilson Pickett’s live version of Mustang Sally. As the chorus goes, “Ride, Sally, Ride.” A true American hero.
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While I had read about this sentiment since the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, I actually heard someone in a physician’s office Tuesday morning, complaining to one of her colleagues, that neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney have said Word One about gun control. By contrast:
“Colin Ferguson snuck a handgun and 160 rounds of ammunition onto a commuter train in New York and shot more than two dozen people, killing six of them. His rampage dominated the news and stirred a national outpouring of shock and grief not unlike what we’re now seeing.

“It also prompted an immediate call from a Democratic president for a legislative response. Declaring that the epidemic of gun violence in America had ‘gotten so serious we should consider a lot of things that we haven’t done in the past,’ Bill Clinton made an explicit call for gun control on the day after the December 1993 massacre…

“Clinton’s subsequent push netted results, with the Democratic-controlled Congress passing an assault weapons ban in 1994. And just before the Long Island shootings, he’d signed the Brady Law, which mandated a five-day waiting period for the purchase of a handgun.” Unfortunately, the assault ban ran out in 2004, and the idea of bringing it back does not seem to be in the political wind.

The song that popped into my head is Lawyers, Guns, and Money by Warren Zevon; here’s the less-radio friendly version.
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From yesterday’s Los Angeles Times: “Sherman Hemsley, best known for playing George Jefferson on… “All in the Family” and its spinoff “The Jeffersons,” has died. Hemsley was 74…”The Jeffersons,” which ran on CBS from 1975 to 1985, was the first series about an upscale African American couple in prime time… Hemsley earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his role as the irascible business owner.”

Wasn’t always a fan of the show, but always LOVED the Jeffersons theme, which told the narrative of the series in an entertaining way.

We had a very busy weekend. So I was quite tired Monday night, and went to bed at the amazingly early hour (for me) of 10 p.m. Then at about 11 p.m., the Wife and I heard incredible thunder, and saw lightning so bright, it lit up the room, even with the shades down and my back to the window; it went on for 15 or 20 minutes, yet the Daughter slept right through it. Lightning Strikes by Lou Christie popped into my head, though if I could have found a version by the Albany band Blotto beyond this snippet, I would have gone that route.

A very talented young cellist at my church belongs to some cello consortium. They will be playing, I learned from one of my fellow parishioners, the song Kashmir. I got the distinct impression that most of them had no idea what tune that was. It’s a song by Led Zeppelin, originally on the Physical Graffiti album, and sounds like THIS.

Speaking of Zeppelin, here’s a cover of the song The Ocean (track #8) by Kurt Hoffman’s Band of Weeds, which I own on a 4-song EP from Hello Records, which I happened upon in my collection.
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Also from yesterday’s LA Times: “Apple reported disappointing third-quarter results today that caused its stock price to plunge in after-hours trading. The technology giant said profit rose 21% to $8.8 billion on revenue of $35 billion, up 22% year over year. The results were less than what analysts had expected. Shares plummeted in after-hours trading, falling $34, or nearly 6%, to $566.78.” A 21% profit means falling stock prices.

The song: Oscillations by Silver Apples, from 1968, which I own on vinyl.
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One of my daughter’s “new” favorite songs is almost a half-century old. She heard it on a Glee album, so I had to play it for her by the original artist. It is She’s Not There, the first single by the British group The Zombies, which went to #12 in the UK and #2 on the US Billboard charts and in Canada. “Rolling Stone magazine ranked “She’s Not There” No. 297 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” I love it because the harmony vocals in the chorus keep changing the song from the major to the minor mode. It was famously covered by Vanilla Fudge, which doesn’t sound like the Glee version at all.

After the Zombies broke up, Rod Argent formed a group called Argent, which had a big hit in 1972 with Hold Your Head Up, which I’m TRYING to do, because I’m still a bit fatigued.

The Jobs reaction

While I don’t feel the emotional pull of Jobs’ passing that I have had with other public figures, I think there was an awful lot of unnecessary snark targeted at Apple employees and fans who wept as though their father had died. For some, especially the former group, he probably WAS like a father figure.

I was fascinated, at some oddly arm’s-length manner, about the death of Steve Jobs. Genius, no doubt; visionary, for certain. And, though I never purchased an Apple product – no MacIntosh, no iPod, no iPad, I recognize the impact Apple’s design had on PCs, and just about everything else. I have also seen all but two of the Pixar films.

I came across this article, “arguing against a Jobs hagiography.” I LOVE the word hagiography; it’s almost never used in the literal sense – biography of a saint – but rather to inbue characteristics on the dead that are overblown or inaccurate, usually with an admonition not to do so.

Interesting that the post-Jobs world was apparent even before the announcement of his death. When the new iPhone 4S was released last week, speculation was high “whether Apple CEO Tim Cook can keep Apple going like Steve Jobs did remains an open question. Industry analysts who closely study the company’s every move are somewhat mixed. Apple’s iPhone event on Tuesday, said some, revealed a lackluster show from Cook. Jobs was legendary for splashy product launches shrouded in secrecy and rehearsed to perfection.”

And of course, Cook can’t. It’s like being the new coach of a very successful sports team; he’ll always be compared with his predecessor, and invariably won’t do quite as well. I feel for Tim Cook; he has the great misfortune of not being Steve Jobs.

While I don’t feel the emotional pull of Jobs’ passing that I have had with other public figures, I think there was an awful lot of unnecessary snark targeted at Apple employees and fans who wept as though their father had died. For some, especially the former group, he probably WAS like a father figure. As for me, I’m always depressed when people younger than I pass away.

Here are some items that caught my interest:
Steve Jobs’ Playboy interview (1985)
Steve Jobs’ government legacy: Citizen-centric computing; Jobs’ ability to craft tools for intensely personal computing helped
spark direct citizen-to-government computing.
Steve Jobs and His Magical Business Decisions, even as his failures are noted.
The Life of Steve Jobs
A TV commercial never shown in this form
My favorite Steve Jobs parody
Tributes from:
About.com
Spatula Forum
Shooting Parrots
Arthur at AmeriNZ, whose podcast I listen to on iTunes
MAD magazine
PARADE magazine (quotes)
The Onion: The Last American Who Knew What The F@#$ He Was Doing Dies
Jon Stewart, whose commented that, since he died too young, we hadn’t “used up” his creativity yet; at some level, I understood that.