March 30, 2004

Bono Speaking Foremostly... Or Something

@U2 honcho Matt McGee points out, in lieu of Yer Man's inclusion on the World's Foremost Speakers tour:

I don't know. It all sounds pretty uncool to me. Didn't he used to be a singer in a rock and roll band?
Yeah, I think he did. Oh, and the album is supposed to be out in November.


In other U2 news, Q magazine basically rips off Bill Flanagan's classic tome "U2 At The End Of The World" in their latest article about the glory that was U2's Zoo TV tour. No quotes are directly lifted, but the content is close enough for our Dubious Ventures experts to have agreed that Flanagan has a substantial cause of action against Q, and if he doesn't take it, he's... well... a big pussy who works for VH1.

Wait a sec....

Yanks Choke On Opening Day!

King Kaufman stays up until 4am so we don't have to, and is rewarded with Tampa Bay Tokyo stompage!


March 22, 2004

The Mermen Rock Yet Again

So both Mermen shows up in Nevada City were fantastic as expected. Cooper's is a great place to see live bands, and it's another step to familiarizing myself with the Nevada City/Grass Valley area. After the second show Bryn and I even made it back home all by ourselves in total darkness.

The band fired on all cylinders the first night. The set was volatile and the playing superb, but overall did not (fortunately for the sake of my ears) blow us away as much as the 2 shows we saw in Santa Barbara in past years, or should I say the "Shows That Convinced Me The Mermen Are THE LOUDEST BAND I'VE EVER HEARD". One time at Soho in SB, Jim Thomas' guitar rig even shorted the whole bar's electricity three times.

Anyway, this weekend's shows were still great if not stellar. By the second night (that of the bassist's & drummer's birthday) they seemed a little drained and a bit strained, at times visibly griping to each other about what to play next (though always humbly grateful to and appreciative of the audience). However, the performance as a whole was still excellent. Got to hear lots of favorites like "Walking The Peach" and "Prevail Somehow", and felt really cool when we could pick out the older surf covers like "Apache" masquerading as Mermen arrangements. It's lots of fun to watch Jen play the bass- she swaggers it with authoritah. Bryn stepped out to the ATM down the street and said the only thing he could hear outside was her rumbling Fender J. Gotta get me one of them big rumbly Ampegs. Martyn Jones has some big-ass toms and plays them that way, and Jim was impressive as always with his arsenal of oceanic soundscapes.

Mom and Bill even came with us to the first night, and you haven't lived if you haven't gotten drunk with your mom. She even danced a bit.

7-9 hour drive back to SB tomorrow. Poo. Way worth it, though.

March 20, 2004

Sally's Survey, y'all

What time is it: Hang time, all the time.

What time do you get up: I don't get up; I GIT ON UP.

Name: Keir

Name as it appears on birth certificate: Jean-Keir DuBois, Unimpeachable Genius.

Nickname: Gnarly Doobage.

Number of candles on your last birthday cake: Two candles. One was a "2", and one was a "7". Yep, you guessed it, I'm 72.

Pets: I keep my younger brother in a kennel cab out on the balcony. Once in a while I let him out to, you know, eat and pee and sing for the band and stuff.

Natural Hair color: Ah yes. Well, let's just say this falls under the "Once Upon A Time" category.

Body Piercing: Um, no.

Eye color: Fuscia. Matches my clothing on certain days, yo.

How much do you love your job on a Scale of 1 to 10: I'll echo Bryn here: "10 -- I'm unemployed!"

Birth Place: Orange, CA. As soon as I slithered out my parents said "sweet Jesus, what have we done?!?", and decided to raise me in Dana Point for my own good and their own misunderstandings. Ah, the OC. If it weren't so mind-numbingly conservative, it'd be almost pretty.

Current Residence: Isla Vista, CA. It's not, as some would have you believe, the 'hood of Santa Barbara. Neither is the Milpas area, but the few cholos who live there like to think it is. Posers.

Favorite food: Burritos. Hey, speaking of...

If you could have lunch with ANY one person, who would it be: Your Mom. Ok, ok, won't start that again,

Who would you least like to be stuck in an elevator with: Anyone who doesn't have bad BO or debilitating halitosis. Anyone who voted (or who says they voted) for George W. Bush. Anyone who is a religious fundamentalist (from any religion). Anyone who doesn't find me mind-alteringly attractive. I could go on, but there's only so many peeps in the world.

Do you prefer gold or silver: Silver. Gold is for cowards.

Do you prefer radio or television: That's a difficult question. Both are so packed to the gills with blatant stupidity that it's almost a moot point, but then TV does have the Daily Show, so I'll say TV.

Been to Africa: No. Sean's got that covered for me. I'll go to Africa when people start treating it better, instead of as the unwanted stepchild of all the continents.

Been toilet papering: No. TP is expensive, dammit.

Love someone so much it made you cry: Duh.

Have you been in a car accident: Thanks be to Elvis I have not.

Do you prefer Croutons or bacon bits: ............ Wait a sec. I've seen this devious question before. I take the 5th.

Favorite day of the week: Used to be Friday Flip-Up Day, but once a social stigma was attached to that I decided to go with the refeshingly surreal Thursday Opposite Day. As a matter of fact, I've heard that this is the Preznit's favorite day as well, cause then everyone is obligated to believe he's not an ignorant jackass. So maybe that's not my favorite day. I'll go with Wednesday Wedding day, or, as we say in 2004, Wednesday All-American Same-Sex Civil Union Vegas Quickie Day. Anything to get that tax break, kiddies.

Favorite word or phrase: "Chickenshit". We're up to our eyeballs in that these days, aren't we?

Favorite Restaurant: Anything that doesn't serve up that low-carb stuff. What a load of feces.

What do you have for breakfast: Fox News pundits. I mop the floor with those immoral cowards.

Favorite flower: Flour.

Favorite sport to play: Yuppie-punting. Yep, still love to kick the shit outta them yuppies.

Favorite drink: Newcastle Brown Ale. Okay, so it's only 4%. I'm a pussy. Right, Hilarie?

Favorite Ice Cream: Ice cream fucks up my digestion these days, so I'm taking the 5th here as well. You don't want to know anything else about that.

Favorite fast food restaurant: Wahoo's. Oh how I miss my Wahoo's. In fact, that's my primary reason for wanting to leave Santa Barbara. That and no one here wants to give me a job.

What color is your bedroom carpet: "Random Stain Brown". No really, it is.

How many times did you fail your drivers test: Never. Came this close though, for rolling through a stop sign.

Besides this one, from whom did get your last e-mail: My U2-geeky buddies from @U2.

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card: what, you mean if I had a credit card?

What do you do most often when you are bored: Think of something to do, you twit.

Most annoying thing people ask/tell me: ask: "Have you found your place in the Heavenly Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ?" To which I say, "well, God already knows the answer to that, dumbass, so why the hell should I tell you?"

tell: "Go fuck yourself". Mm-hm. That one chaps my hide every time.

Bedtime: 2am. Mostly.

Who will respond to this email the quickest: No one. My email-funny has gone down the tubes in recent years.

Who is the person you sent this to that is least likely to respond: Bryn. He knows all this already. I've given up sending these to Emily because she has to live with my dumb shit every day.

Favorite TV show: Funny Fake News with Jon Stewart and his Many Hilarious Homies.

Other than your mate, who was the last person you went out to dinner with: Yeah, Bryn's right, that's an Animal Planet question that I don't need to dignify.

Porsche or BMW: Neither. I am not, per se, a Car Guy. I know jack about fixing them too.

What is the last music you listened to: an epic instrumental band from Tejas called Explosions in the Sky. Oh yes, how they rock.

Time you finished this e-mail: Yeah, what Bryn said: "Why put this in the middle of the damn thing? I don't know yet -- I've got more crap to answer!"

Who was your first love: Your M... never mind.

What was your first language: English. I know smatterings of Geek (in many of its dialects, Jive (but only what MTV taught me, of course), Bureaucrat, and Political Junkie. I pretend to know Rock but anyone who knows me has realized that I only know enough of that one to get by.

Where would you live if any place in the world: It would have to have a Mediterranean or mild climate. I'm a meteorological wimp.

Overall, do you prefer beach, city or country: Like, beach, man. Even though I like, never learned to surf and haven't like had a tan since like the 4th grade. Like.

Fizzy or still water, as a drink: Still. Don't be hosin' my nose, yose.

How many keys on your key ring: 535. One for every office in the U.S. Congress. I'm on everyone's speed-dial, dude.

Red or white wine: Neither. I ain't no wino,

What did you do on your last birthday: Got #*&#(^@! older.

Who could you trust to hold your winning Lottery ticket for you: No one. I was born paranoid.

The FCC are Whores and Chickenshits

So they now declare Bono's Golden Globe award F-bomb indecent, but they're not gonna fine him. Way to stand on both sides of the fence, guys. What's funny is that this isn't even the most offensive part. The song that U2 won for, "The Hands That Built America", is one of their absolute worst, phoned-in performances ever, and the fact that such bilge was rewarded is mightily offensive to this U2 fan.

Besides, this wasn't even the first time Bono said something like this. 10 years ago when accepting a Grammy for Zooropa, he promised U2 would "continue to abuse our position and fuck up the mainstream". Puritannical idiots everywhere went ballistic, but were soon drowned out by the multitudes of folks angry that Sinatra was cut off during a rambling, but revealing, lifetime achievement acceptance speech. Interesting that this hasn't been brought up in the recent brouhaha. Or has it?

Anyway, this new album better be damn good, and same with the tour (and that one's gotta be a mite cheaper, boyos).

March 03, 2004

Super (Thanks For Asking!) Tuesday

Well, the third major engagement of Campaign 2004 took place today, and those of us weak-kneed liberals unaccustomed to such military-speak were completely overwhelmed with envious fury when Big John Kerry emerged as the ultimate victor on the biggest day of the Democratic Primary. Oh sure, many non-Kerry supporters had accepted as early as Iowa or New Hampshire that their chosen candidate wouldn't make it, and most of the rest of us will be coming around...eventually. For now, though, I think lots of people will need a few hours, or even days, to hang back in the weeds and lick their wounds—none more so than the once-rabid supporters of Vermont Governor Howard Dean.

Yes, the Doctor ended his campaign back on February 18, amid rumors that he'd be endorsing John Edwards. Dean's supporters split into several maniacal factions upon their hero's exit from the primary stage, but most seemed to accept Dean's fate and would be supporting Edwards or Kerry against Bush in November. Aside from the suddenly ubiquitous and completely servile sentiment of "Dated Dean, Married Kerry!" one comment in particular was telling—a Deaniac from Wisconsin said something like "Kerry would get my vote, sure, but not my time," i.e. this guy had driven umpteen thousand miles for the Dean campaign and wasn't willing to do it for Kerry. For my part, I never counted myself among the hard-core Dean crowd—my support was admittedly soft and mostly centered on his pre-Iowa Gore-ing by the press, but it would have been nice to have a few more outbursts of Pure Screamadelica from the Doctor before he bowed out. I mean, he did win Vermont decisively. Why not, Howard? How about one last holler for old times' sake?

Bah. As for Johnny Sunshine, he put up a good fight against Kerry in WI but his wave had already crested in that state, and after coming close only in one other primary—Georgia, by 3.5%—Edwards closed his campaign early on Super Tuesday, peppering his concession speech with lots of praise for John Kerry. My brother was livid at this—the California polls hadn't even closed before Edwards threw in the towel.

"That Crisco-headed bastard!" fumed Bryn. "I was still registered as a Green, so I had to write in his name on the goddamn ballot—probably at the same time he was verbally fellating John Kerry!"

I laughed at the time, but soon realized that Kerry would be in for some tough weeks courtesy of the Illiberal Media, and El Lurcho may not have the long-term stamina to survive such an onslaught. It would have been hard on Edwards, too—he surely would have crashed into negative numbers during the long wasteland between now and the August Democratic Convention in Boston. Edwards would have ended up at some low-rent exorcism of bad karma, like the one held in the Harry Caray Restaurant in Chicago a few weeks ago, where the infamous "Bartman Ball" from the Cubs' ill-fated 2003 playoff appearance would be ceremoniously destroyed for all to see. Supposedly, baseball pariah Steve Bartman was invited to see the object of his awful fate removed from this universe forever, but he didn't show.

Okay, well, it might sound preposterous, but John Edwards would have bit the media bullet that bad, folks, and we'll never know now, will we? Or will we? The Dem convention may itself become a weirdly purgative phenomenon, for all I know—but then I've watched the 2003 Cubs, the Howard Dean campaign, and even my own band (at a dud UCSB Campbell Hall gig) get sucked into the vortex of oblivion, so maybe I'm just projecting. Stranger things have happened, of course; I myself finally donated to a political campaign for the first time—25 bucks for Kerry to try to narrow that 100-million-dollar chasm between himself and Bush/Cheney, so—-

Holy Crap, literally. This foul Super Tuesday screed was just interrupted by the appearance at my door of two card-carrying members of the God Squad, apparently out to save the degenerate souls of Isla Vista. A nice older WASPy lady with Barbie-pink lipstick and a younger vaguely Asian woman sidekick thought I might like to consider some of the things about the life of Jesus and our Creator at this Easter-y time of year. They were so nice that it was easy to say "No, thanks" to their simplified, "I can't deal with 16th century English" version of Biblical bullets, Q&A, and talking points. After I closed the door I had a laugh and remembered that my grandma used to (back in the 50s/60s) simply say, "No thank you, we're Buddhists" and that was that. At least these ladies today took "No thanks" for an answer and went on their merry way. Mazel tov!

Ahem. Anyway, the anti-Bushie money was my first-ever donation to a campaign. Never donated to Dean, or Nader or Gore or Clinton. Never been this afraid before of wacko fundies knocking down my door in the name of the LORD instead of nice old ladies stopping by for some sensible chitchat...and I will NOT have my cheery rock & roll indulgence interrupted, folks. I was listening to the breezy recent Sea & Cake album, which I finally picked up after about a year or so. Before that, it was "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place" by Explosions In The Sky from Tejas and...and...

...and where was I? Has this ugly missive degenerated into just another idiot typing? No, I remember now. Super Tuesday, of course. Anyway, what we might end up dealing with in November could be one or more of several disturbing scenarios: multiple repeats of Florida 2000 in Missouri or Ohio or both (they're so evenly split it's scary), with a few other swing states thrown in for good measure. However, what we might see this time around, election-wise, is a multiple repeat of Florida '00 in Missouri or Ohio or both (they are so evenly divided it's scary), with a few other swing states tossed in for good measure. Bush/Cheny is dropping their nuclear ad-bomb on basic cable tomorrow, and it's gonna be sprawled over 17 states that are in play (AZ, AR, FL, IA, ME, MI, MN, MO, NM, NH, NV, OH, OR, PA, WA, WV, and WI). Given that only about 7% of the actual voting electoriate is soft enough to swing either way, that's a lot of money on not too many voters, but hey, there was only a 537-vote discrepancy in Florida before those Angry Hired Yuppies started rioting for Bush and closed the thing down. Kerry needs to conduct a big fight on a national scale, stay in the news all year, and for God's sake try and shave off some of that bloviating senatorial language from his stump speech. He should show no mercy, for he will assuredly receive none from rabidly partisian Republicans.

Besides the convention in Boston later this summer, Kerry's got another chance to keep in the spotlight: his choice for second-banana/attack dog, or as Mr. Gore used to call it, the "vice-presidency." John Edwards was full to bursting yesterday with positive Kerry-isms, and many have read that as angling tor the bottom of the ticket, but I'm not so sure. Edwards brings no assurances that he can deliver specific states (unlike his primary performance as a generally well-liked candidate by some Republicans & Independents). He's still pretty drenched behind the ears, having only been a senator for 5 years, and I can imagine Kerry not believing that the young dude has what it takes to be President Now, which, though a big deal, is all the VP is really supposed to be. Big John doesn't need to pick someone to fight for him, cause he'll be doing much of the trench warfare himself, and anyway, Edwards' charismatic charm will make Kerry look like an uglier Al Gore. So if Edwards ain't it how come the early exit last night? Well, if he hadn't quit, he'd surely be getting the calls today to do so. Maybe Edwards has basically proven his case to the party that he can run a national campaign, since he did so much better than projected, and will be able to run with full party support in 2008 if Kerry stumbles like a jackass this year- Edwards might not be president now, but he seems to be saying he Could Be in the future.

Other conventional-bloviator Veepy Wisdom seems to cling to the idea of a strong, "battle-tested" congresscritter or governor from some critical swing state. Dick Gephardt (Missouri) and Bob Graham (Florida), both once candidates themselves, would represent this idea pretty well, even though both of them are already hopeless losers who won't even be running for their own re-election at this point. Bill Richardson (New Mexico) has a lengthy resume as well, and people always cite (like people will in this latently-racist country) that he could, as a Latino, bring in a sizeable Hispanic vote. There's also Mary Landrieu (Lousiana), who ran her 2002 campaign directly against the President, since he'd stumped for her opponent, and won in a squeaker. The further down the list we go—and there are many more where these jokers came from—the weaker and more useless the choice, so maybe we should just knock it on the head right now and go into some semi-hibernation before the convention, mmmkay?

Oh wait, almost forgot—here in Santa Barbara, the 3rd district supervisorial race was decisively won by Republican Brooks Firestone. Guess all those lame-ass negative ads paid off. Oh well- I might not even live here anymore by September so whatever. State & federal seats (Barbara Boxer & Lois Capps) are still only in their primary stages, and since the two women are unopposed by any other Democrat we won't hear much from them til later this year. Anyway, the Super Tuesday numbers are below. Kerry stomped mercilessly over everyone everywhere except, as Deaniacs will surely be reminding us forever, Vermont:

California: Kerry 67%, Edwards 18%.
Georgia: Kerry 46%, Edwards 42%
Maryland: Kerry 60%, Edwards 25%
Ohio: Kerry 52%, Edwards 34%
Rhode Island: Kerry 71%, Edwards 19%
Minnesota: Kerry 51%, Edwards 27%
New York: Kerry 61%, Edwards 20%
Connecticut: Kerry 58%, Edwards 24%
Massachusetts: Kerry 72%, Edwards 18%
and....Vermont: Dean 58%, Kerry 34%

That's all folks. See you in August.

March 02, 2004

Don't Answer That, You Idiot!

Calpundit notes that Kerry was asked "Is God On America's Side?" by that chickenshit hack Elisabeth Bumiller during the New York debate. Matt Welch has crafted his own little set of follow-ups. I, too, have a special relationship with the Q&A format. Hence:

* What if the whole universe was like a single speck on the fingernail of some dude sitting in a Starbucks or something?
Like, wow! Oh god man, what if?!? You think that, like, the dude might have been my buddy Owen when he was like, working there or something?

* Does God love Guam and Puerto Rico just a little less? The District of Columbia? American Samoa?
No, the big guy clearly does not love DC. Even the knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers know that. Murder capital of the country, and it has to deal with Marion Berry's snortage? American Samoa is loved, however. Not to the degree it should have been, but hey, there's only so much divine love to go around, which leaves Guam out. Sorry guys. Oh, and Puerto Rico too. If God truly loved Puerto Rico then He wouldn't have inflicted its 600+ year history of shame and degradation upon it.

* What if all this was a dream, and you woke up & you were the president of Mexico?
Then I'd be assassinated by forces in favor of someone prettier, like say Gael Garcia Bernal. Not in the capital, mind you; they'd wait til I was in some torn up border town like Juarez or Tijuana so they could blame it on the yahoo anti-immigrant trigger-happy gringos.

* Do non-human animals believe in oral sex?
Sure, monkeys do. Lest thou forget the 11th Commandment: "Everything shall be more fun with monkeys!"

* If I tackled your wife and stole her socks, what would be the very first thing you'd do?
I'd let her chase you around the world to get her damn socks back. Hey man, she'd probably kick your ass a lot worse than I would.

* Who wins the arm-wrestling contest: Jesus or John Travolta?
Jesus would win, no contest. Not cause he's the Son of God or anything like that, but cause Travolta is just a dumb bastard who's squandered not one, but two comebacks. Jesus got his chance for a comeback and man, according to some folks, Bro Came Back.

* Do you agree that the music from The Lord of the Rings was in fact the very worst thing about the whole 43-hour trilogy, especially that ear-scraping treacly nonsense with the ethnic flute (to say nothing of the Annie Lennox "song"), and that they should not have won those Academy Awards?
Why are you insulting the Democratic process? Don't you believe in the Rule Of Law? Hell, it worked in Florida, didn't it? Why can't you sniveling pricks just grow up and move on? Clearly, God is on the side of the Kiwis. Run. Run and hide, you queasy American scum.

* Who killed Tupac?
Bryn says Fear Of A Black Hat, but I say they were outta town at the time.

* Quick, and no looking at your notes -- Who is the president of Turkshittystan?
George W. Bush, of course.

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