Meandering through MySpace tonight, I landed on the Beachwood Sparks page and rediscovered a song I thought was named "Sweet Julie Ann" (for obvious reasons). Actually, it's "Black Diamond," a great fucking tune from the band's early days that I hadn't heard in years. Listen here, download and thank me later. ("We'd Love to See You" is also well worth a listen.)
I first saw Beachwood Sparks -- along with Stanley Roper -- on one of the second stages at the "This Ain't No Picnic" festival back in 2000. There wasn't much we didn't like that day (X marked the spot), but Beachwood survived the temporary euphoria and no doubt will remain in my rotation 20 years on.
What’s gone wrong with the GOP? Let me start by quoting a friend who is both gay and conservative (yes, I know several such): “I’m for low taxes, strong defense and limited government. Why doesn’t the Republican party want me?”
There’s a two-part answer to that question and neither half is good news. The first is that today’s GOP doesn’t really want gays — and it yearns to supervise everybody else’s bedroom and reproductive behavior as well as (implicitly, at least) their relationship to God. The second is that Republicans are no longer really in favor of limited government. Besides having their own version of a nanny state, they want to spend and spend, start program after program, ladle out the pork, make deals with influence peddlers, and spin the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street. Yes, they still pretend to favor low taxes but that’s an illusion; they pay for limitless government via huge deficits that will mean high taxes for my granddaughter.
--Chester Finn, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution (a conservative think tank) and an assistant secretary of education under Reagan
"To our transgender brothers and sisters, we will not allow a federal nondiscrimination or hate crimes bill to move forward that does not include you. You are us and we will not walk down the path to equality without you at our side."
--Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, speaking at a tranny conference in Kansas City. Basically, he's proposing political suicide. (NOTE: I do not support hate crimes legislation for any minority -- murder is murder, hate is hate, but that's another discussion.)
It's not an all or nothing world, and Foreman -- typical of the shortsighted queer establishment -- has betrayed 95 percent of his constituency, as gay journalist Chris Crain points out:
It's one thing to promise that "gender identity or expression" will be added to the categories to be protected in legislation to ban bias in the workplace, housing, public accommodations and the like, as well as to a federal hate crime bill. It's quite another to promise to fight our own gay rights bills if there's insufficient support for trans protections in Congress.
That's every bit the betrayal it would have been for Martin Luther King, Jr., himself — he who said an injustice toward one is injustice toward all — to promise civil rights legislation based on race wouldn't go forward until sexual orientation could be added; or for feminist leaders to promise no protection based on gender in federal civil rights laws until sexual orientation could be included.
THE K-K-Kramer scandal murdered Michael Richards' career - but it's doing wonders for sales of the latest "Seinfeld" DVD.
Season 7 of the popular sitcom is outselling the Season 6 set (released on the same day last year) by more than 75 percent, and more than 90 percent over season 5 at some online DVD retailers, according to TMZ.com.
From 1995 to 2003, inmates in federal prison for drug offenses have accounted for 49 percent of total prison population growth.
One in every 32 American adults were behind bars, on probation or on parole at the end of 2005, according to the Justice Department. Of those, 2.2 million were in prison or jail, an increase of 2.7 percent from the previous year. So this is how the drug war works -- more people behind bars, and more drugs on the street.
Observing a neighbor's particularly heinous Christmas display brought to mind Kathie Lee Epstein, which put me in a foul mood. Then I YouTubed and found this clip of the great Jan Hooks (who shares my place of birth) channeling Epstein, er, Gifford, and felt much better.
A preview of some proposed DVD extras from "Borat":
OPENING “VILLAGE” SECTION: How about a high-speed montage of the actual difficult, brutal lives of the villagers in Romania—the hours of debilitating toil, their oppression at the hands of their corrupt government, premature loss of teeth, death of infants, etc., etc.—culminating in a panning shot of the village on the morning of the day when they first realize they’ve been had, and that, as far as posterity goes, they will always be remembered, if remembered at all, as savages, rapists, prostitutes, etc., and they stumble out of their little sheds or whatever, looking traumatized?
ALT: The scene where the one-armed old man, many months later, weeps in his room at the memory of being tricked into wearing a sex toy on his arm. Priceless!
SOUTHERN DINING SOCIETY SECTION: Do we have footage of the woman Borat identified as unattractive being consoled in her darkened living room later that night by her husband? Particularly good if, all her life, she’s fought the feeling that she was not attractive, and only recently has come to feel pretty, owing to the steady love of her husband, who does, in fact, find her pretty, in part because of her kindness to him and others in their community—and now all those wounds have been reopened! Also, although she is crying, she tries to cry quietly, so as not to alarm the kids. Super!
I loved "Borat," but it's hard to argue with George Saunders' incisive slapdown.
I've already referenced Sly Stallone today, but where else are you gonna find mention of his brother, Frank? Not sure why I'm proud of that.
(And for those who've wondered about John Travolta's sexuality, Frank's video has all the answers.)
Show a lot of things happening at once, Remind everyone of what’s going on And with every shot you show a little improvement To show it all would take too long That’s called a montage Oh we want montage ...
In response to a Nov. 7 referendum, Kansas lawmakers passed emergency legislation outlawing evolution, the highly controversial process responsible for the development and diversity of species and the continued survival of all life.
"From now on, the streets, forests, plains, and rivers of Kansas will be safe from the godless practice of evolution, and species will be able to procreate without deviating from God's intended design," said Bob Bethell, a member of the state House of Representatives. "This is about protecting the integrity of all creation."
The new law prohibits all living beings within state borders from any willful adaptation to changing environmental conditions. In addition, it strictly limits any activity that may result in enhanced health or survival beyond the current average lifespan of their particular species. ...
"No species is exempt," said Marcus Holloway, a state police spokesman. "Whether you're a human being or a fruit fly—if we detect one homologous chromosome trying to cross over during the process of meiosis, you will be punished to the full extent of the law."