Friday, July 21, 2017

 

Thought of the Day



When I was young, liberals would often offer some iteration of the quote misattributed to Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." This was typically in defense of artwork that was offensive to Christians or bourgeoisie types -- a soiled painting of Mary, a bad heavy metal album, whatnot.

You don't hear much of that today. You're more likely to hear "I disapprove of what you say, so shut up." Idealism isn't found in the notions of enlightenment but in identity and indignation. And if you don't believe this demand to mollycoddle every notion on the left that portends danger of freedom of expression, you haven't been paying attention.

David Harsanyi


Mr. Harsanyi and I shot sporting clays several years ago at the ATF party. Good guy.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

 

Sad News

It is no secret that I admire Sen. McCain for his service and POW suffering (I suspect he did nothing to add to the fire on the Forrestal which almost sunk the ship). It's also no secret that I think he's a bad Senator and I really hate the sort of Republican he has become over the years (RINO isn't pejorative enough to describe what McCain has become).

Recently he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in his brain. People all over the internet, including President Obama, are praising his fighting spirit and saying such things as cancer doesn't know what it's up against.

The truth is any brain cancer with 'glio' in its name is very bad news indeed.


UPDATE: I noticed I added and H to RINO. More fool I.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

 

Thought of the Day

Doubling the present CO2 concentration only results in ∆T < 0.24 K. At the present rate of CO2 concentration increase of 1.2% per year, it will take almost two hundred years to reach ten times the present concentration yielding ∆T < 0.80 K.

Dr. F. K. Reinhart, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Helpful chart below.



In other words, CO2 is not very powerful a greenhouse gas, and saturation has already taken place, and in two hundred years of increasing CO2, the temperature rise from man made CO2 won't even be a full degree C.

Can we stop running for the hills shouting "We're doomed!" now?

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Sunday, July 09, 2017

 

Some Album Covers I Like



This isn't necessarily a list of great albums, although some are great.













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Binge Report



Finally accomplished what third graders have been doing for a decade or more, I accessed a series on Amazon TV and binge watched a season. I now feel a sense of unwarranted pride in joining the 21st Century at least regarding popular entertainment. I know I watched Stranger Things straight through last week but my daughter teed that up for me.





The series was The Kettering Incident from Australia. Apparently there is a season 2 available but the chances it will be good are very slim I fear. It was moody, weird, perhaps too grand in scale and very beautiful (filmed on Tasmania). The actors were all pretty damn good especially the lead woman. But ultimately, it was stupid.

I'm going to Black Mirror next. I'm told it's a Brit Twilight Zone.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

 

Laconic Women



I remember Zero Mostel, playing the slave Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum movie by Richard Lester, got two great things for all his efforts. He got his freedom and the love of a great looking woman from the Island of Silent Women--the 'joke' of that, such as it was, being that a silent women was so much more preferable to one who talked all the time.

I used to think that we patriarchy supporters had gotten over the idea that women talking was a bad thing, but some recent science fiction works have got me wondering if nothing much has changed. I'm thinking of the cute little Hispanic girl mutant in the pretty darn good Logan and the mostly mute Eleven in the recent series Stranger Things. I'm also willing to bet that Charlize Theron, the lead in Atomic Blonde, will have fewer lines than Clint Eastwood had in A Fistful of Dollars but perhaps more than Mel Gibson had in The Road Warrior.

So maybe we guys do all have a thing for laconic women.
Little worried that the silent ideal has passed from mature woman to particularly waif like child.

On a private note, I have finally discovered that Netflicks (congrats on making the transition from mailer of DVDs) and the other streaming video providers are a much better way to watch television. Also, it seems TV shows have improved a whole lot recently. I picked 7 series I had passed on but were highly recommended and all are available for binge watching. I binged Stranger Things on the 4th and enjoyed almost all of it.
Can't wait to binge watch Arrested Development and Black Mirror and Kettering Incident.

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Monday, July 03, 2017

 

Concert Reviews

I've been to several rock concerts lately, but I'll only talk about two, both famous art rock bands with roots in the late '60s and golden ages in the '70s and '80s: King Crimson and Roger Waters (standing in for Pink Floyd).

Terrific concerts.Terrific bands. Let's look back.

I was hippie enough to swallow the pseudo-myths of King Crimson with the late Greg Lake singing. I liked Court of the Crimson King a lot, 21st Century Schizoid Man less but then took a strong liking to Ladies of the Road off the Island album. Love or hate the music (and you should love it) the lyrics by Pete Sinfield were always strong.

After a break, King Crimson, then with the essential personage leading, Robert Fripp, returned with the excellent Larks Tongue in Aspic, parts 1 through 3 (eventually). But the second golden age for me was King Crimson with Fripp, Burford, Levin and Belew. They continued the art rock instrumentals, the strongest of which I think is Discipline, but added softer, lyric leading songs like Elephant Talk, Matte Kudasai, Heartbeat, Two Hands, Three of a Perfect Pair. Recently, that is, since 1995, I kinda lost interest in the band. No new haunting melodies and pretty much the same harsh, sometimes dissonant guitar instrumentals. But the new band, the one I saw in person last month is a rebirth. They have a Lake clone (voicewise) in Jakko Jakszyk (stage name) and three drummers. Before you dismiss that as excess, think again, the visuals of three drummers sometimes perfectly in sync, then syncopated, then echoing in turns is mesmerizing. They did all the good tunes (except Belew's work and Ladies of the Road). Enough about them. Go see' em!

I was, at the first, not in any way a fan of Pink Floyd. I barely knew they existed; and I still dismiss the stuff with poor, dead Syd Barrett as hippie rubbish. There is a place in my heart, however, for the now pretty much un-listenable Ummagumma, because that is the bridge from mediocrity to excellence. Let me be more precise. The golden age for Pink Floyd starts with Meddle and ends with the Wall, during the eight years 1971 to 1979. There were some duds during this period, like the album I call 'Glad You're No Longer Here' and the Animals snoozathon. But after the Wall, the good stuff is pretty hard to find.

Waters made a huge mistake by suing to be Pink Floyd. It was he against 3 and although he has the best voice, or at least the longest lasting good voice and wrote a lot of the good song lyrics, it was more true to say there was no Pink Floyd after he left than to say he was it.

But he is the keeper of the flame now. Go on Youtube and see the versions of Comfortably Numb there without Waters. They sound like shit. I hate Waters' politics. He says he's not an anti-Semite (I don't believe him) but that he just hates the apartheid he fantasizes exists there. He's perfectly fine, however, with the Nazi concept of Judenrein being practiced in the Gaza and on the West Bank; but for me that is a solid poker tell that someone is not liberal in any sense of the word. But I have to give him his due--the guy can create and play music, mainly the tunes that properly made Pink Floyd famous. There was a 10 minute period of lefty propaganda during the latter half of the concert, but it passed soon enough. Otherwise, it was like hearing Pink Floyd in its prime, which, I imagine, was pretty good indeed.

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