So What's The Point?!?!

Smatter with all of us?

This may as well be a podcast (see TikiTV and FrenchMaid TV!) for the infrequency at which I update it lately.

Politics As Usual
But, and I hate to say this again publicly, what's the point of rambling on about politics. I've come to believe--or at least for now--that, as Sting once said (oh no, quoting Sting, that's another sign the end of the world is upon us): There is no political solution. (Or was that Madonna's "Material World"?)

The Democrats, as usual, are in disarray. They want us to get out of Iraq (well, at least politically), and they're even saying it out loud now. But Karl Rove has been "set free" to browbeat them with this ages-old playbook, using phrases such as "soft on terrorism," "soft on national security." And voters will gobble it up. Now that mid-term elections are near, we again hear about how gays should not marry, and all the other distractions that cause conservatives and fundamentalists to completely ignore that over 2500 American soldiers are dead either for no reason or for very different reasons than we were told; that our treasury has been gutted; that we're no safer than we were before 2001, and, in fact, we have a lot less privacy and personal freedom; that the executive branch has stolen unprecedented power; pretty much this country has gone to hell; and the actual atmosphere is deteriorating at a rate even unanticipated by us "liberal environmentalists." As I see it, this empire has passed its pinnacle and the descent is now inevitable. Doesn't really matter who you vote for next time around. Try to have a good conscience to elect and support people who favor change. But don't expect it to happen. Let's just make Ann Coulter queen of the U.S.--think of how much money that would save. Money wasted on free elections, campaigns and commercials, money for lobbyists, money for inaugural parties and parades. That would help balance the budget. And probably the chill she brings to the world will help combat global warming.

For maybe the first time in my life, and certainly the first time in this blog, I am going to refer you to a conservative. This fellow, Mike Green, lives here in Ashland, and writes a column for the local newspaper, "The Daily Tidings." I found his column very interesting, and you might want to check it out. His book sounds pretty fascinating too, but, frankly, I have not explored it nor him deeply. So I hope I am not leading you down the wrong path. Leave some breadcrumbs along the way so you can find your route home to godless liberalism.

Cable Nothing Network
I kind of made it a point not to watch CNN after Aaron Brown left. Oddly enough, though, I saw Aaron Brown speak locally a couple of months ago and I was incredibly disappointed. He was humorous. But anything but genuine. In person he seemed to be just another pretty-boy anchorperson. Deep tan (he had just come back from vacation), artificially bleached teeth, he had just gotten eye surgery and dispensed with the glasses... But it was not his appearance but the tone of his talk that unsettled me. It is not the networks, nor the fact that many of them are owned by huge corporations taking sponsorship money from companies they don't want to upset that he viewed as bad for journalism. It is the viewer. He seemed very much beholden to the organizations that employed him...that was my impression (and that of some others in the audience), and so it is fine for him to retreat into the halls of academia, where is he headed (for now). But I don't blame him for taking a break from the pressures of being front and center. Maybe he just needs a longer vacation. Academia is that.

But this brings me back to CNN. I have written before about Anderson Cooper's grandstanding "Keeping Them Honest" (he says that like Edward G. Robinson) approach--as if Geraldo Rivera had been borne of Gloria Vanderbilt. I've happened to turn on CNN the last couple of days to see Larry King interview Anderson Cooper about Cooper's book; Cooper interview Larry King about King's book, and King interviewing Cooper about interviewing Angelina is basically one self-promotional masturbatory circus over there at CNN any more. And now Anderson Cooper's show has become a total forum for him to promote his own book--showing clips "over the years" of himself in the trenches, in Africa, in the inner city, in New Orleans, etc. It is the most disgusting self-congratulatory, self-aggrandizing crap, that passes for journalism, that I have ever seen. A couple of nights ago (this is a true story), I accidentally turned on Entertainment Tonight instead of CNN. That night, ET had a featurette on Cooper interviewing Jolie, then something about the Dixie wasn't until about ten minutes into the show, when they began to talk about Nicole Kidman's upcoming marriage, that I realized I was watching Entertainment Tonight instead of CNN.

And now that Cooper has reached new levels of self-absorption, he has been retained to do some pieces for 60 Minutes! I'm just waiting for the special effects people at CNN to put together a digital interview of Cooper interviewing himself (keep your hands on the microphone--the real microphone, Anderson).

SMATTER with Me?
So speaking of self-absorption, grandstanding, egocentricity, etc., I would like to direct you to a new page on my Web site!

About 30 (as in THIRTY) years ago, I was in a band for about ten minutes. But fortunately, in those ten minutes, someone had a tape recorder and someone else (I do think it was my first ex-wife) had a camera! So now the whole world can relive those ten meaningless minutes forever!

Seriously, I make light of a very nice experience in my life. In my junior year of college, I was one of four members of the band Smatter. We played original music and actually were together for, oh, six months or so! But good enough (or maybe Will Swan and Chris Finney were busy that day) to play the big end-of-semester picnic in spring of 1977 (Okay, so we opened for a semi-professional band that once opened for Boston. Still, good for us, considering we only had about three previous gigs.)

But to this day, the band members are friends (one remains my best friend), and we hold that experience very high in our hearts. I was lucky to find some negatives of photos taken at that final live concert--a while back I converted the taped music into digital MP3s--and now there is an online tribute to Smatter. You can access it from a link at the top of my music page, or directly from here. There is even a new song on that page--one recorded with another ex-Smatterite two months ago--and maybe more to come, as I am sitting on some new recordings that I need to finish. I don't take the page as seriously as it may seem. It was a fun time, and fun to remember. I hope you enjoy it too.

Well, as Dan Rather would say:
"What, you're firing me, assholes???? I gave you the best years of my life!!!!"

Oh, I mean... "COURAGE."

Posted: Wed - June 21, 2006 at 04:03 PM