Monday, September 29, 2008

Let it go

I’ve had terribly mixed feelings on this whole bailout thing. Personally, I want to keep living my life and making money and enjoying the fruits of being an American. Of blissfully not caring. Of cheap gas and talk about lipstick and pigs and “defeating terror by shopping.” Of anything besides doing my part for the long term health of the Republic.

I wanna live in the same dreamworld my parents got to live in where those who made dire warnings about pretty much anything important (economy, environment, terror networks growing, etc.) were routinely told to shut up while we focused on things like whether religion should be taught as “science.” That and borrowing more money.

I don’t want to live through a depression. I don’t want to be the old guy telling stories about “back in my day” or end up living in a dust bowl five years from now. I don’t wanna walk anywhere or subsist on canned stuff. So part of me thinks whatever we can do to hold it off for like, say the next 50-60 years, the better. So let's put up money we don't have to bail out institutions who haven't been paying attention or whatever. I don't care. Like the Jets picking up Brett Favre, let's try one more time before we have to get serious and rebuild.

However, from a historical and a responsible perspective, I’d just assume see it all go down in flames. I’m glad that bill failed. I think we need it. And perhaps the second time around we won’t forget how we keep coming back to this place. Let’s all take one for the team, for Team America. That way, at least for a generation or so we won’t repeat the mistakes of the last decade where we let an idiot who we somehow thought looked or acted like us and that we’d “like to have a beer with” lead us. It didn’t work out. And now we’re gonna pay for it. For a while. On the plus side, we do have pastors politicizing their pulpits so that’s kind of awesome! Thanks, dickhead.

I have zero interest in bailing out any institution that made the mistake of literally not verifying incomes for those they’d aim to give 30-year mortages. How is that my fault now? I have no interest in buying your “bad debt.” Nor do I understand how this is a good deal for anyone—even them.

This is akin to putting a car payment on a credit card. Oh yeah, and carrying the balance. For a while. Forgot to add that.

Borrowing money from foreign lenders to buy bad loans that really have little chance of ever being paid back. Awesome! Where do I sign up?

None of us would do this with our own money so why are we letting the government do it? And how in god’s name did people not see this coming? Bush, Paulson, Snow, O’Neill? Someone had to wonder why every time I went on the interwebs there were all these crappy little flashing ads telling me I could get a half-million dollar loan for something like $1000 a month. Someone had to have noticed that. It was kind of hard to miss.

And lastly, let me point out the same administration that's telling us "act now or we're doomed" is the same one that told us Iraq was mere days from blowing us all to oblivion only to find out they hadn’t yet made the move from Beta to VHS tapes let alone come close to possessing WMD’s. Whoops.

And now these same people want total control over $700 billion dollars, a number they themselves admit is based on little else besides being “a confidence-inducing number?” You gotta be fucking kidding me. How dumb do you think we are?

Dumb enough to elect Shit for Brains twice. That’s how.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Willie Run

I know a few of you know about this but if not take a second over the next day or so to check out my Atlanta buds Nik and Brian as they drive cross country (NY-LA) solely on Willie's BioFuel.

Willie Run '08

Oh yeah, they're doing it non-stop. They got a webcam and everything. They left last night and they're having a victory party at Barney's Beanery out here in Santa Monica tomorrow when they get here.

Run, Willie, Run! And Nik and Brian, of course.

They made it into LA this morning a shade after nine. Just in time for rush hour. KCAL 9 met them at the Santa Monica pier though so that's cool.


Any reputation Barcelona may have as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world is wholly deserved. A more lovely and good-vibed city I've not been to. Weather almost as good as LA's, killer Roman streets that are more like hallways and fantastic for just getting lost in, stellar food that's never eaten in a hurry (perfect for when you've got six days there), amazing little bars and clubs to drink and dance yourself silly if you're so inclined, and architecture the likes of which you can't see anywhere else because I'd argue few other cities have reinvented themselves so thoroughly after a millenium or so of existence and done it so aggressively over the past 40 or so years. A well-earned vacation in a fanstastic place. What else is there?

Here are a few of the better pics:

Whitney and I at Parc Guell

This was the view from our terrace

And another

And this guy had an amazing head of hair. So I took a picture of him.

And this one was just kind of surprising as I don't suppose I'd ever seen Cape Cod, MA from the air. Kind of cool, right? (click on it, you'll see)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Where to start

Apologies for not posting more since my return from Spain but I gotta say it was a very odd situation to have witnessed the Democratic convention just before leaving and thinking it's all gonna be alright only to then return home from Spain to my own country where I'm greeted by the requisite homeland security lockdown and signs warning "no cell phones or cameras" lining the walls of this creepy two-way mirror room as we waited for our bags at JFK before then dealing with a bunch of surly customs agents all uppity about why I'd left my country. Welcome home, right? Home of the free. Or something like that.

Oh yeah, and despite my thinking no one would possibly take this Sarah Palin seriously I come home to find out people fucking love her! "She's like us" they say. I'm less concerned about her experience as I am about her seeming lack of insight and thinking. She seems to be fantastic at rattling off talking points and the party line but after eight years of a simpleton who also "doesn't blink" and loves war, it scares the ever-loving shit out of me for someone to nonchalantly talk about going to war with Russia (nuclear power, btw) while not knowing the doctrine that essentially set the world on its course toward "war is cool if you think someone's looking at you funny" while maintaining a Cheney-like sense of secrecy and smokescreens. Seriously? Is this what we want? AS if McsaywhateverIneedtosaytogetelected wasn't bad enough.

It's honestly hard for me to write about anything else. But no one wants to read that. It's hard enough for me to talk or even think about anything else. This is so goddamn important that to think there are people out there who think the best thing for this country are these two fuckwads is horrifying. Absolutely fucking horrifying.

I love this country and the things it stands for more than you know. And to see it hijacked yet again by these ideologues who have no interest in understanding the world we live but rather to be, well, hell-bent on bending it to our will is really just sad. And now we're writing away most of my generation's future on picking up the tab on $700 billion dollars in shit investments? God help us is all I'll say.

That being said, I'm gonna try to get on with it. To talk about something else. Or at least try to.

And so away we go.

Caught some good shows this past week. Saw Vampire Weekend on Thursday and was reminded that I'm either getting older or they pull a large college-age demo. Prolly both but a pretty good show.

Saturday night was the big Beck, Spoon and MGMT show at Hollywood Bowl. MGMT was kinda so-so considering they only had 30 minutes and the sun was just setting. Didn't understand the need for recorded drums on the show-closing "Kids" since they'd had a drummer the whole rest of the time. But good nonetheless.

Spoon played their usual genius including some killer versions of "Black like me" and "Don't make me a target." Still one of my favorite bands.

Then Beck came out and opened with a slinky "Loser" before blazing through about 13 songs with his band. They then brought out the LA Philharmonic which was being directed by his father, which was kinda cool. Unfortunately the mood took a turn for the downer as he primarily played tunes from "Sea change" but did have a few moments of brilliance with songs like "I think I'm in love." After he dispatched the orchestra again, he closed it out with "Where it's at" and "E-Pro." Pretty solid night at the Bowl.

But then came last night and My Morning Jacket at the Greek. Damn! No opening band, a solid three hours of old-fashioned rock and roll and one hell of a good night. Somehow I'd never seen them but good god almighty, they brrrrrring it. If they come near your town, I highly recommend you make it.

Oh, and the new Kings of Leon album that comes out tomorrow is incredible. Get your paws on that.

Spain pics to come.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I highly recommend it

Just back from a little R&R in Barcelona. And still a little jet-lagged. Pictures, stuff to come.


Monday, September 01, 2008

Heckuva job, Palin

This from an article focus group of AARP members regarding the Palin pick:

"Then there was this, from a woman named Teresa, who went to the Democratic Convention as a Hillary delegate and is leaning toward voting for McCain--obviously the target audience for the Palin pick: "His age didn't really bother me until he picked Palin. What if he dies in office and leaves us with her as President? Also she leans toward the rigid right, and I always thought he was a moderate...You know, I change my mind almost every day, but right now I"m wondering where the John McCain I really liked in 2000 went, what happened to the moderate? This John McCain has the look of someone who is being manipulated--probably by Karl Rove."

Ask yourself this, is McCain playing to merely win the presidency or to do what he—as a "maverick", of course—knows is absolutely best for this country? He'd never have chosen a man with that experience! He just likes the cougars maybe?

I would argue that this guy would do just about anything Karl says at this point to win, humiliation be damned. He's already surrendered pretty much every shred of moderation the McCain of 2000 had, why not go all the way and let uncle Karl show you the way?

Also ask yourself this, who in god's name did the vetting of this woman? Pregnant daughter (abstinence education for ya!), DWI husband, potential corruption charges?

You can't tell me this was his choice before Obama made his choice. Clearly reactionary, clearly not thought through, clearly in the mold of a certain someone who many call the worst president ever.

Something tells me all the candy's not out of this Palin Pinata yet.