Ahhh, the holidays are coming, a chance to reflect on what is good in the world. Things like our national commitment to human rights as exemplified by Porter Goss, the U.S CIA Director who this week called torture "debriefings" with "good results".
Meanwhile Germany requested Condoleeza stop by and discuss the use of bases in Germany to transport torture subjects... The U.S State Dept. calls it a chance to "highlight the enduring importance of transatlantic relations" , and " to continue the excellent cooperation we have had in a variety of different areas with Germany", added a spokesman. Astute political observers say otherwise, and that discussions may become complex, if not tense.
Heck , even Andy Rooney has stopped worrying about inane things and is exposing the military industrial complex. Dwight D. Eisenhower of course was on this story almost 50 years ago, but we'll give cranky ol' Andy credit for finally running out of trite topics and overturning that huge rock. The guys got nerve even if he is half senile, and half as relevant as he used to be...
Sadly, it took me two months to find out about Andy's outburst. He probably woulda generated headlines a decade or two ago, but thanx to a million other channels, the web, video games etc and the fact no one I know under 60 really watches 60 Minutes regularly anymore, it went practically unnoticed. So, in the interest of historical value here's a transcript form a recent segment from a show that at one time, set agendas & kinda mattered every week...
Andy Rooney Transcription from Oct 2 2005:Quicktime video & MP3 excerpt links provided by LisaReinsRadar.com
I'm not really clear about how much a billion dollars is. But the United States, our United States, is spending five billion, six hundred million dollars a month ($5,600,000,000.00) fighting this war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into. We still have 139,000 soldiers in Iraq today. Almost 2,000 Americans have died there. For what?
Now, we have the hurricanes to pay for. One way that our government pays for a lot of things is by borrowing from countries like China. Another way the government is planning on paying for the war and the hurricane damage is by cutting spending for things like medicare perscriptions, highway construction, farm payments, Amtrak, national public radio, loans to graduate students. Do these sound like things you'd like to cut back on to pay for Iraq?
I'll tell you where we ought to start saving, on our bloated military establishment. We're paying for weapons we'll never use. No other country spends the kind of money we spend on our military. Last year, Japan spent $42 billion dollars, Italy spent $28 billion dollars, Russia spent only $19 billion. The United States spent $455 billion. We have 8,000 tanks, for example. One Abrams tank costs 150 times as much as a Ford stationwagon. We have more than 10,000 nuclear weapons. Enough to destroy all of mankind. We're spending $200 million dollars a year on bullets alone. That's a lot of target practice.
We have 1,155,000 enlisted men and women, and 225,000 officers. One officer to tell every five enlisted soldiers what to do. We have 40,000 Colen and 870 generals.
We had a great commander in WWII, Dwight Eisenhower. He became President, and on leaving the White House in 1961 he said this:
"We must guard against the aquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disasterous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist."
Well, Ike was right. That's just what's happened.
anyhow, speaking of non news stories about general conspiracies that no one cares about:
This summer when I got the new Black Eyed Peas CD, I was driving around digging most of the tracks on the disc until I hit "My Humps". It's so bad, I almost ran off the road, and for some reason it's so weak, it sorta makes me feel old & prude and basically humorless...
These are easily some of the worst sexually stereotypical & materialist lyrics I've ever heard, and if it was an unknown act maybe desperate for attention ala say Kelis w/ Milkshake it might even be understandable. But they are already hugely successful and don't know the meaning of irony or innuendo. The track basically just fills the minds of their impressionable youth fan base with some base pitiful dreck. Indeed it makes me wonder about those rumors that the Peas are crack smokers...
Bypassing Madonna & Gwen Stefani's lame material diva fixations, here's the new gal on the block Fergie (who recently signed a solo deal.. I can't hardly wait). In this verse she details her numerous material gains extracted from her sexually frustrated male suitors...
"I drive these brothers crazy/I do it on the daily/They treat me really nicely/They buy me all these ice-ys/Dolce & Gabbana/Fendi and then Donna/Karan, they be sharin'/All their money got me wearin'/Fly gear but I ain't askin'/They say they love my ass 'n/Seven Jeans, True Religion's/I say no, but they keep givin'/So I keep on takin'/And no I ain't taken/We can keep on datin'/ I keep on demonstrating."
It feature's a crib from a cult group called "Sexual Harassment" from a 1982 club track "I Need A Freak" and gets beyond clever into a dumber than dumb, bling bling & body objectifying mood. If I had kids, this would certainly be the type of infantile song I'd be hesitant to have them cranking on their lil' boom boxes or nano-pods...
How about rapper Taboo who shuns spending money on his ho, by adding such insights as
Lets spend time not money/I mix your milk wit my cocoa puff/Milky, milky cocoa/Mix your milk with my cocoa puff, milky, milky right.
But what could ya expect from the group that brought us "Let's Get Retarded in Here"...later changed to "started" for commercial reasons at behest of the NBA for use as a pre-game theme.
The track is so embarrassingly trite, I couldn't even put it into rotation at RubyDolls, the exotique boutique in North Beach where I program the tunes...
Ironically, the tune is a big hit across the country, and of course on stage with the "gentlemen's club" dancing girls who frequent the stripper clothing store where we refused to play it...
In interest of good humor, fairness and hopes that it's been "improved", here are some remixes.
Black Eyed Peas - My Humps ( DJ Redz Remix )
I'm sure Lil' Jon will bring some legitimacy to the proceedings...
Black Eyed Peas - My Humps ( Lil Jon Remix )
as long as we're discussing bling bling, howz about the song that is all about fake bling bling teeth...
Nelly - Grillz
This years, possibly decades darlings of the whiter than white college rock hipster elite...move over Wilco, here's some rare Death Cab For Cutie tracks
Death Cab For Cutie - Crooked Teeth ( live MTVu )
Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into The Dark ( live on kexp )
He had a 40 year career from the early 50's recording blues for the Bihari Bros. to his death in 1996, here is a founding father of funk, who played with folks like Larry Williams & even Frank Zappa. Lately has been sampled by Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, and Redman. This track is from his now re-released 1980 album "Love Jones"
Johnny Guitar Watson - Love Jones
holiday bonus tracks :
Loretta Lynn - Silver Bells
Merle Haggard - If We Make It Through Christmas
Louis Prima - What Will Santa Claus Say When He Finds Everyone Swinging ?
South Park - Lonely Jew On Christmas
Capitol Steps - All I Want For Christmas ( Is A Tax Increase)