Tea Anyone?

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In the past week, both Time and The New York Times have published very good in-depth articles about the Tea Party Movement. If you ever wanted a good background on the subject, read who they discuss what is fueling it, what various groups fall under its vast umbrella, what these groups believe in and how their natural decentralized inclinations may prevent them from truly being as powerful as they might scarily be. As the NYT says, “it is an amorphous, factionalized uprising with no clear leadership and no centralized structure.” One thing is for certain: they are mad as hell and just aren’t going to take “this” anymore!

If you aren’t familiar with the film “Network” (where the clip above is from), you should know that it came out in 1976 – a good long 33 years ago. The fact that this has happened before just sadly means that will all happen again. Its happening now and that is bad enough.
What can do we do about what is going on? Is anyone truly satisfied with what is happening in this country? I have my own thoughts, but that is for a different post.
Bill Maher is someone who didn’t hear the calling the way Tea Baggers, as he calls those in Tea Party Movement, did. Tea Baggers to him are protesters who are longing for the return of the 1950s in America, who are 99.99% white, are who are extremists and so on and so forth. To hear it out of his mouth, check out the video below from his recent HBO special ” …But I’m Not Wrong” – enjoy.


Vancouver Couldn't Get It Up

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Call it a case of either stage fright, possibly too much alcohol or just good old fashion erectile difficulty.
Last night, when the time came last night for the Olympic cauldron to be assembled and lit at the end of the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies, one of the large “Fortress of Solitude” styled “ice spiers” that was supposed to form part of the “base” of the cauldron was completely unable to rise to the occasion.
Olympic Fail!


Thoughts on Aging

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I want to be dead.”
“You want to be what?”
“I believe you heard me correctly, which is why you asked me to repeat myself. I’ll say the same thing the second time.”
“I’ll bite. What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I want to be dead.”
“Why would you ever say that?”
“A grown up is an adult, right?”
“Adults cannot see the magic in the world anymore – they are the walking dead.”
“Okay Peter Pan.”
“I’d rather be dead dead than a zombie. I’m just saying.”


The Music Industry Is Going To Be OK

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OK Go not only produces funtastically imaginative videos for their super poppy / catchy tunes but they produce erudite treatises on the issues facing the music industry today. Who knew?
On Jan 18, they posted an “Open Letter From OK Go, regarding non-embeddable YouTube videos” and after going over the background info, came down directly in the middle – appreciating both their company’s and fan’s motivations while charting a middle ground that truly satisfies no one, while never alienating anyone. If you care at all about music and if you, like me, bought records, then tapes, then CDs, and now digital media, you’ll want to hear what this band has to say about how the “transformation” continues.
As you might have guess from the post title, the official video for OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass” off of the new album “Of the Blue Colour of the Sky” cannot be embedded on my site. To watch it, you have to take the extra step of clicking on a link to YouTube. The horror, the horror…
The song itself is loud: its great, bombastic, full of marching band craziness. I dig it. It will go on a future running mix. I hope you click over and check it out.


An Industrial Age From Stratch, Again?

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Today, among pondering fine questions such as “Is it legal for me to park in this space at this time?” (not an easy question in the five boroughs), I found time to ponder the question “could we start industrial society from scratch today?” and of course the answer simply is “no.”
To provide a more detailed answer, Author Kurt Cobb explains that the main reason it would be so difficult is because

most of the natural resources associated with advanced societies have been drawn down to a point where it would be difficult to extract what’s left without an up-and-running industrial system.

In the past, all of the vital base resources any society needed were near the surface and more than plentiful. Now, these same resources are infinitesimally more scarce. The search to procure these vital resources needed by a perceptually advancing technological society now goes farther and deeper than ever before, again without replenishment. This far-reaching endeavor requires an enormous amount of technological prowess which can only be provided by an increasingly complex industrial society. Thus, we hit the starting point of this circle – the snake is swallowing its tail. What are we to do?
Read the rest of the article. It’s interesting and of course this doomsayer loves its undercurrent of pessimism. Can we change our economic and technological patterns? Unless you believe in determinalism, we do have the power to affect change and to revert to at a minimum a neutral position. Will we? That is a question I would rather not ponder (this evening at least).
Via Neu


Thoughts on Pop Culture

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In the NY Times magazine this weekend, Deborah Solomon (DS) interviewed Douglas Coupland (DC), a writer best known for coining the term “Generation X.” He had an interesting point of view regarding popular culture that I felt was apt to share:

DS: How would you define the current cultural moment?
DC: I’m starting to wonder if pop culture is in its dying days, because everyone is able to customize their own lives with the images they want to see and the worlds they want to read and the music they listen to. You don’t have the broader trends like you used to.
DS: Sure you do. What about Harry Potter and Taylor Swift and “Avatar,” to name a few random phenomena?
DC: They’re not great cultural megatrends, like disco, which involved absolutely everyone in t he culture. Now, everyone basically is their own microculture, their own nanoculture, their own generation.

Coupland’s thoughts really resonate with me. Back in the middle of last year when Michael Jackson passed away, one of the reasons that the outpouring of grief was so large was because it just might have been the last time that so many people could be unified towards a cultural event and everyone sort of felt this in their bones. His death was in a way the death rattle of the Super Culture that we’ve been used to for so long. I’m curious to see if this line of reasoning – that a Super Culture is dead – holds up over the next few years or if I look back on this entry and think, “Oh, how quaint.” I guess only time will tell…



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The Onion wrote a news article about the passing of JD Salinger in the style of “A Catcher in the Rye” which made me more than chuckle. I think that if you read it you will laugh and then some too. It begins, and I quote:

In this big dramatic production that didn’t do anyone any good (and was pretty embarrassing, really, if you think about it), thousands upon thousands of phonies across the country mourned the death of author J.D. Salinger, who was 91 years old for crying out loud

RIP to America’s Favorite Recluse. He owed no one anything. He already gave more than enough.