Friday, October 31, 2008

The Mahatma: "Be the change you wish to see in the world"

Nice one from the Team for Change. After 400 goddamned years, it's about time we start resolving our unfinished business:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The REAL "Net-Roots"

All your roots musics are belong to us.This is what the oligarchs fear most of all: black and white working-class people realizing the power of their union and of their cultures.

We are coming for you. We are crashing the gates.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The great Dean Swift

Count on a smart Irishman when it's invective ye need:

All folks who pretend to religion and grace,
Allow there’s a HELL, but dispute of the place:
But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined
The place of the damned -I’ll tell you my mind.
Wherever the damned do chiefly abound,
Most certainly there is HELL to be found:
Damned poets, damned critics, damned blockheads, damned knaves,
Damned senators bribed, damned prostitute slaves;
Damned lawyers and judges, damned lords and damned squires;
Damned spies and informers, damned friends and damned liars;
Damned villains, corrupted in every station;
Damned time-serving priests all over the nation;
And into the bargain I’ll readily give you
Damned ignorant prelates, and counsellors privy.
Then let us no longer by parsons be flammed,
For we know by these marks the place of the damned:
And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome.
How happy for us that it is not at home!

h/t to Author Scoop

See also the great Gerrard Winstanley:

You noble Diggers all, stand up now, stand up now,
You noble Diggers all, stand up now,
The wast land to maintain, seeing Cavaliers by name
Your digging does maintain, and persons all defame
Stand up now, stand up now.

Your houses they pull down, stand up now, stand up now,
Your houses they pull down, stand up now.
Your houses they pull down to fright your men in town
But the gentry must come down, and the poor shall wear the crown.
Stand up now, Diggers all.

With spades and hoes and plowes, stand up now, stand up now
With spades and hoes and plowes stand up now,
Your freedom to uphold, seeing Cavaliers are bold
To kill you if they could, and rights from you to hold.
Stand up now, Diggers all.

Theire self-will is theire law, stand up now, stand up now,
Theire self-will is theire law, stand up now.
Since tyranny came in they count it now no sin
To make a gaol a gin, to starve poor men therein.
Stand up now, Diggers all.

The gentrye are all round, stand up now, stand up now,
The gentrye are all round, stand up now.
The gentrye are all round, on each side they are found,
Theire wisdom's so profound, to cheat us of our ground
Stand up now, stand up now.

The lawyers they conjoyne, stand up now, stand up now,
The lawyers they conjoyne, stand up now,
To arrest you they advise, such fury they devise,
The devill in them lies, and hath blinded both their eyes.
Stand up now, stand up now.

The clergy they come in, stand up now, stand up now,
The clergy they come in, stand up now.
The clergy they come in, and say it is a sin
That we should now begin, our freedom for to win.
Stand up now, Diggers all.

The tithes they yet will have, stand up now, stand up now,
The tithes they yet will have, stand up now.
The tithes they yet will have, and lawyers their fees crave,
And this they say is brave, to make the poor their slave.
Stand up now, Diggers all.

'Gainst lawyers and 'gainst Priests, stand up now, stand up now,
'Gainst lawyers and 'gainst Priests stand up now.
For tyrants they are both even flatt againnst their oath,
To grant us they are loath free meat and drink and cloth.
Stand up now, Diggers all.

The club is all their law, stand up now, stand up now,
The club is all their law, stand up now.
The club is all their law to keep men in awe,
But they no vision saw to maintain such a law.
Stand up now, Diggers all.

The Cavaleers are foes, stand up now, stand up now,
The Cavaleers are foes, stand up now;
The Cavaleers are foes, themselves they do disclose
By verses not in prose to please the singing boyes.
Stand up now, Diggers all.

To conquer them by love, come in now, come in now
To conquer them by love, come in now;
To conquer them by love, as itt does you behove,
For hee is King above, noe power is like to love,
Glory heere, Diggers all.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Greatest TV program ever...

...just got better.

That program was always the best thing television had ever done; see here.

Wire cast campaigns for Obama, via Spackerman.

RALEIGH— Tomorrow, members of the cast of the Peabody Award-winning drama series, The Wire will attend a Backyard Brunch for Barack in Raleigh. Seven of the show’s cast members will visit the Tarheel State in support of the change Barack Obama will bring across the country and in North Carolina.

Chad Coleman who plays Dennis “Cutty” Wise, Deidre Lovejoy who plays Rhonda Pearlman, Jamie Hector who plays Marlo Stanfield, Clarke Peters who plays Detective Lester Freamon, Sonja Sohn who plays Detective Shakima “Kima” Greggs, Seth Gilliam who plays Sergeant Ellis Carver, and Gbenga Akinnagbe who plays Chris Partlow will all appear at the backyard brunch on Sunday.

On Monday, Chad Coleman, Deidre Lovejoy, and Jamie Hector will visit UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University to encourage students to vote early. Early voting in North Carolina started October 16 and November 1 is the last day voters may take advantage of early voting.

It just got better. Thank you for telling the truth, David Simon.

Hulk smashed!!!

Congratulations, Senator Begich.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

And the beat-down continues

All your artists are belong to us.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"And, my friends, Sennater Obama has never even been south of the Border"

That was the substance of Grandpa McCain's latest flailing accusation today. How's that working, Amigos de Obama?

All your racists are belong to you

Just like the Civil Rights Era: the oligarchs whipped-up the fascist base to do the dirty work, and keep their own patrician hands clean, and then claimed "no one could ever had predicted" that the fascist base would revert to their most blatant racist instincts:
From the very beginning, there were consistencies and inconsistencies in Ashley Todd's narrative about the alleged attack she suffered. The inconsistencies were within the story itself (the reverse "B" most obviously). The consistencies were with a long, long history of lies about blacks that are inescapably linked with racism in all its forms, from slavery, through segregation, through the "colorblind" racism of the present day. Both leaped out at me as the story exploded. Among the consistencies were the 4,742 identified lynchings from 1882 to 1964.
No, Clarence Thomas, what you "suffered" when Anita Hill had the courage to call you on your imbecilic sexual harassment was not a "lynching". Nor was this:

I won't link to it, but...Ashley? Clarence? You want to know the actual history you both exploited?

It's right here:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gotta love Flash video

Embeddable Flash file with link which automatically customizes when emailed to friends who might not vote:


Years ago--at least 8 now--Dharmonia and I were living in Bloomington, Indiana, finishing up various protracted degrees. Amongst our great friends and lasting influences there were this community of Tibetan monks, who taught us, fed us, and provided us a spiritual home. We loved and love those guys and we are deeply, deeply indebted to them.

Had fun with them, too: they were/are great sports fans, loved the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana basketball (they thought it was riotously funny when we moved to Texas, shortly to be followed by this jackass). One night, Dharmonia's friend Sonja, just after she had gotten her first cell phone, had taken a bunch of the Buddha-boys to a Pacers game. About mid-way through that game, they all thought it would be a great idea to ring Dharmonia from that horrible blockhouse the Conseco fieldhouse, and yell "Waazzzzzuppppppp!!!!!!" a la the original Budweiser commercial:

I thought of the Buddha-boys when I saw this. Because they would have seen its truth:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Community organizers ARE working-class folks

This is something that the entitled, lying, "we're REAL Americans", oligarchic fucks like Sarah "I'm just a hockey mom but I need $150K of new clothes" Palin and John "My friends, I've never had to pay for my own health care" McCain will never understand, even long after they've gone down in flames to defeat:

Class war, baby. Class fucking war.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oh, holy shit

Tears rolling down my face:

106 years old and still gets out to vote.

The African-American centenarian remembers a time not long ago when she was barred from voting because of her race. Now she hopes to see the day that Obama is elected as the nation's first black president.

"I ain't got time to die," Cooper said with a smile.

I got shivers down my spine on this one. As Jon Stewart said, "I want a President who is embarrassingly superior to me:

Family Guy nails the McCain-Palin "Real Americans"

NB: Let it be clear that I do not believe that the people screaming "Kill him!" at Palin's Nuremberg Rallies are the core constituency of the Republican Party. But I do believe that, over the last 8 years--and really since '94, with the Gingrich "Revolution"--much more rational people in the Republican party have allowed their GOP to be taken over by the most rabid kind of cross-burning gay-bashing lunatics. And the last 8 years have seen that lunatic fringe take over all branches of government. We have to destroy that party because the people controlling it are such complete and utter psychos--or are willing to sell out to said psychos in a last-ditch Hitler-in-the-bunker attempt to hold power.

That said, heeeerrrrreeeee's Stewie!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I got your icy mofo right here, you out-of-control old man

At least a year ago, my brother-in-music the General, in discussion of Barack versus Hillary, said something that really struck me. I was ranting about how I didn't much like Hillary (still liked her better than Bill, of course) because of her inside-the-Beltway ties, perspectives, and, especially, scumbag campaign managers. I expressed that I preferred Obama's background, and the chance, after 400 years, of voting a black man into the highest office in the land. But, like a lot of the DFH's who have been appalled and nauseated by the high crimes and misdemeanors of the war criminals and sociopaths of the Bush II administration, I doubted whether Barack could be tough enough to take on the entrenched powers. I wanted him to: I wanted a candidate who would rip the hearts out of those criminals and feast on their bones. But I didn't know if he could do it--I couldn't see him being as ferocious as I thought the circumstances demanded.

My buddy said, "Look, he's a black man running for President of the United States. He can't be as fierce--he can't even use the same vocabulary or tone--as a white candidate." And I sort of got that: I got that a black man who used the ferocity I wanted would, in the context of a nation whose guilt and paranoia over what was done to Africans on this continent is still utterly present, be too easily damned, dismissed, or attacked as "just another angry N*****." And I want that: I want fuckin' Malcolm X assaulting the towers of privilege which those old white fuckers have erected.

But you can't govern if you can't get elected. And the General's view was that, in order to get elected, Barack had to be about six times cooler than a white candidate in exactly the same position.

And you know what? I believe the General--a Missouri native who knows how white folks think about black folks--was absolutely dead-on right. And I also believe that Barack, and his people, know that, and have known that, and run their entire campaign--easily the most flawless presidential campaign I can remember in my lifetime--with that in mind.

And the result has been that, one after another, the rich white folks who've gone up against him, whose grasp of the lives of ordinary Americans is inarguably weaker than that of a single-parented black community organizer, have torn themselves to bits--have crashed up against that icy-cool impassivity, that unflappable focus, clarity, and calm, and shown themselves to be the paranoid, entitled, privileged, out-of-touch oligarchs that they are.

You know what was the difference between the two in that "three strikes and you're out," "final nail in the coffin of the Republican party," debate? It was the difference between an old, angry, elitist, privileged, white man who's never had to guard what he says (witness his comment to his wife "at least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you c***!")--and a smart, young, tough, up-from-the-working-class black man, who's always had to.

And the black man's going to win. Because he deserves to--because he's smart enough, tough enough, quick enough, and cool enough. This is who I want sitting down opposite Putin, or Sarkozy, or any of those other strutting peacocks of which W was only the most obviously egocentric, incompetent, under-equipped, and destructive.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Headlines we love to see

African-American enthusiasm could tip scales
Ollie James is 84 years old and a doubter no more.
We gonna get there, Dr King. We gonna, I swear.

Cleese throws down on Palin: "She's like a nice-looking parrot"

Hello, Polly! Helloooo!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Melville's smackdown on the Shrub

He was a great, great writer, a past-master of the jobsite test, and he knew bullshit artists when he saw them:
"A man thinks that by mouthing hard words he understands hard things."
Couldn't have said it better myself.


BJ at Newshogger nails the McCain campaigns calls for another "do-over":
"But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we’ve got them just where we want them.”

Thanks for the encouragement General Custer.

Ooo, SNAP!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Palin's core constituency

Aged racist loonies:
Angered by a delay in the receipt of his voter registration card, a Louisiana man today threatened to shoot election officials, claiming that he urgently needed to cast a ballot to "keep the nigger out of office," according to police. Wade Williams, 75, was arrested this morning on a felony terrorizing charge after allegedly calling the Registrar of Voters and warning that he would come to the state office and empty his shotgun unless he got his registration card.
I know a lot of nicey-nice Southern women who know damned well that their privilege depends upon exploitation of others, but who cloak it in the guise of friendly politeness. It's still privilege, it's still exploitative, and Palin is still a demagogue.

Their natural habitat

Next door kids' yard: fraternity boys, owner kid's dad is a mayor in a metroplex SE of here and actually thought he could run for Tom DeLay's old seat, but his campaign (never very promising) was eight-six'd when it became apparent that they'd Photoshopped his head onto a thinner body. Not bad kids, though they made our lives miserable for the first year until I started documenting the behavior and then sent Dad a registered letter describing the evidence. Haven't had a problem since.

The McCain-Palin signs are sprouting in our neighborhood, at what strikes me as an odd (very tardy) time. Typically and in past years, this entire state, county, and city have been a Republican shoo-in. But this year, as a result I believe of a very real fear & loathing growing in the Republican base, the local Club-for-Growth assholes (developers, realtors, and other Good Old Boys) are realizing there's a seismic shift coming, and that they might actually have to work to keep the county red. They'll probably succeed--but it's a bunch of resource-money that can't be spent elsewhere. And, to my opinion much more important, the visibility for the first time of a Democratic/progressive presence in this town--Obama rallies on the courthouse square, Obama T-shirts and bumper stickers on campus, a plethora of Obama ads on the tube--is changing the underlying power dynamics.

For eight years Dharmonia and I have avoided political bumper stickers on our car: not because we were intimidated or shy about sharing our political opinions, but rather because even a "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" bumper sticker could get your tires slashed. The Republican "moral majority"--really, a sense of inevitable entitlement and arrogant Good Citizen hubris--was so great that punks thought they could so operate with impunity. That is clearly shifting in this cycle, and Dems/progressives are clearly feeling empowered, even in this Reddest county of the Reddest state.

I'm quite sure that the frat boys next door didn't go out and either locate or even place this sign--there's a local Repub organizer just down the block and I'm quite sure he/she/it knocked on doors volunteering to place the signs (curious but not surprising that they didn't knock on our door). The frat boys are way too lazy, passive, and entitled to take such effort.

But I love that the sign is posted in the middle of the unkempt yard that they're too lazy, passive, and entitled to take care of--because down in Sugar Land there were always Brown People who came and took care of it for them--and I love that the guy who planted the sign put it right next to a fire hydrant. Right where the neighborhood dogs would piss on it.

Metaphor for the GOP this cycle: deep in the weeds and realizing they're about to get pissed on.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oh, you stupid senile narcissistic son-of-a-bitch

Irish-Catholic organization says McCain’s Irish joke was ‘an insult to a whole nationality.
During a town hall in Scranton, PA on Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) declared that “there’s only one ethnic joke that can be told in American politics and that’s Irish jokes.” McCain then preceded to tell a joke about drunk Irish twins.
This is the same guy who repeatedly told the "joke" ascribing Chelsea Clinton's "ugliness" to the fact that "her father was Janet Reno."

Who's the "ugly" one again, Senator?
He's not a "maverick." He's a senile, out-of-touch, angry old man and he's got no business speaking for--or to--Americans.

I've got news for you, Senator. You try on that joke the Irish-American contexts in which I hang out and they'll rip you a new one. And I'll help.

The difference between street-fighters and flyboys

Community organizers understand street-fights:
"If the American people don't get the information that is relevant about these candidates and instead in the last four weeks all they are hearing about are smears and Swift Boat tactics that can have an impact on the election. We have seen it before, and this election is too important to be sitting on the sidelines. If Senator McCain wants to focus on the issues then that is what we focus on. But if Senator McCain wants to have a character debate that is one that we're willing to have."
The money-quote?
"One of the things we've done during this campaign: we don't throw the first punch.

But we'll throw the last."
It's the old job-site test. There's a reason that lobbyists and Rich Bastards support McCain, and that poor folks, brown folks, women, and rock 'n' rollers support Obama. As Hunter Thompson said, in the great Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972:
Humphrey tried to go into Miami with a little bit of bargaining power left, but McGovern's merciless young street-fighters chopped him down with all the rest.
Take a number, John. You're about to get your long-past-due ticket punched, too.

This is how you win when it's life and death

In the glory years (recently departed) of the New England Patriots, before Brady had been injured and before the ridiculous "Video-gate" accusations against Bill Belichek, for doing what every coach in the NFL did (e.g, tape the opposing team's signals), the two were sometimes asked why, when they were beating the living shit out of some opponent by 20 or more points, they would not let up, but instead would "run up" the score by 30 or 40. As if guys with the mental and physical toughness to make it to the NFL would "have their feelings hurt" by being beaten 30 or 40 instead 0f 20. It was a ridiculous accusation, which says more about the degree to which victim politics has saturated our culture, taking over even stadia full of football fans.

Some thing applies to the coming Republican obliteration. They're going to get creamed at every and in virtually every race they're formerly accustomed to thinking as locked: statehouse, state governments, House, Senate, and Oval Office. I'm predicting 14-17 seats in the House, a minimum of 5 (and more likely 7 or so) in the Senate, and I'm predicting Obama by at least 6% of the popular vote and a huge majority of electoral votes.

And Obama's hellfire-and-damnation GOTV organizers and Internet geniuses are not letting up. And you know why? Because the two stolen elections of 2000 and 2004 have cost trillions in unnecessary debt, the destruction of America's moral standing in the world, and, oh yeah, maybe 100,000 civilian deaths. Not to mention the likely-irreversible destruction of the natural environment.

We need a huge crushing victory in the battleground states--a victory so big that Diebold and the Kathleen Harris's of the world can't steal it as they did twice before.

And you know what? We're going to get that victory. Check it out:
Swing State Registration Boom: Florida Dems Outpace GOP; Ohio Gains Almost 500,000 New Voters
Democrats in Florida have some reason for optimism today as the state party announced that, at the close of voter registration season on Monday, it had gained nearly 250,000 more voters this year than the Republican Party...Most striking is the net gain numbers, which factor in newly registered voters, party switchers and removes people who are no longer voters in Florida. Since January, the Florida Democratic Party has had a net gain of 415,580 voters, while the Republican Party of Florida has only gained 169,841. This shows that the gap between Democrats and Republicans in Florida has grown by 245,739 voters this year alone...In Florida, 82 percent of those new black voters registered as Democrats, with 15 percent identifying as independents, and only three percent marking themselves down as Republicans.

Meanwhile in Ohio, a spokesman from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's office told the Huffington Post that the state gained nearly 500,000 new voters over the course of the last nine months -- shooting from 7,676,986 voters on December 31 of last year to 8,172,229 as of last night. Ohio doesn't keep track of party or demographic information, but both state parties will surely be crunching the data ahead of "get out the vote" operations in the coming weeks.

We need a landslide victory so big they can't steal it. We can't afford anything other.

Running scared...

...the unexamined-by-the-thought-process Republican frat kids ("I'm a Republican because Mom & Dad are Republicans, and they're Republicans because Gramma and Grand-dad were Republicans, and they were Republicans because...") in my neighborhood, that is. After last night's debacle between Grumpy Grampa Simpson and that "icy mofo" who's going to be our next President (moderated by Tom "Greatest Generation because I was almost part of it" Brokaw), this morning the frat-boys' unkempt and bottle-riddled front lawns are sprouting McCain-Palin signs. They're getting scared--their presumption, engrained for the entire duration of their barely-cognizant "adult" intellectual lives, that Republicans always won because they were the Good People, not like those Bad Brown People, Terrorists, and Dirty F*cking Hippies, is tottering on its foundations. And they are becoming dimly aware that their Grand Old Party of Good People is actually going to lose. And all they got in response is lawn signs (just like all Mom 'n' Dad had to "support the troops" was a magnetic flag decal).

And they're going to lose. If for no other reason than that Grampa Simpson comes across, so clearly, as a mean little man. The nerve of the guy, to rail against "entitlements"! He's run his entire life, ever since dumping his first wife for a pill-addicted heiress, as if entitled. And now he thinks he's entitled to the Presidency. And he can't believe that this slim, young, "untested," articulate, smart, charismatic, eloquent Brown Person is going to defeat him. In the first debate, Grampa wouldn't even look at Obama. In the second, he'd look at him, but the raging contempt he feels came out clear as a bell when he called his fellow Senator "That One."

He sounded like nothing so much as a crotchety senior uncle who can't keep track of the grand-kids names anymore. And every time he dissed Obama, his CNN trend lines plunged.

Best line from the DFH bloggers in the wake of last night? From the Manchester Guardian's (one of the world's great leftist news organizations) Melissa McEwan:
McCain needed to win; he did not. He got owned. Say goodnight, Johnny. It's "President That One" to you.
Say goodnight, Frat-boys. Your world is about to get a lot more confusing and your sense of entitlement is about to topple. And it's about time.

Post #1: invective and spleen

This is post #1 to "Radical Musicology."

I've created this as a space in parallel with several other blogs. Those others are ones I know my own students read, but I also know that many of my students see political and social-justice issues differently than do I.

I'm intending to post the most radical political material here, no longer over there, so that those students who are made uncomfortable by invective and spleen can focus on the topics in the original blog. I want my people to feel happy and comfortable about visiting for the pedagogy & scholarship topics, even if they prefer to avoid the more inflammatory stuff.

What follows will be the most recent invective from over there, now moved over here.