Thursday, May 25, 2006

How Can Rock So Right Be So Wrong?

The New York Times ran an article on the National Review’s list of the Top 50 Conservative Rock songs. At Number 1 is the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Personally, I don’t give a fuck about the politics behind this classic song (although it reignites the debate between the artist’s intended message vs. the message interpreted by the audience), but the article was an eye opener. According to the National Review conservatives embrace the sad identity of “disillusioned revolutionaries” ready to conform to society. What a bunch of quitters. “Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss.” New or old, the boss is still an asshole. I always thought conservatives were assholes, but I didn’t know they were proud of that distinction.

Domestic spying and wiretapping are conservative values, right? The list includes "Sweet Home Alabama," which defends the Watergate break-ins, so why aren’t “Private Eyes” and “Every Breath You Take” on this list? If conservatives hate a "nanny state" so much, why are they monitoring American citizens like babies?

Seriously, I feel bad for a group that claims Sammy Hagar for their own.

*The New York Times articles are only free for a couple more days, and the original list at the National Review will cost you, but you can still read one entry for free (for a short time).


SEPTA Run by Vampires

"There's no debate, it's called gravy not blood, I mean pasta sauce." Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula shills for SEPTA and drives the Night Owl bus.

I've long suspected that SEPTA was run by a bunch of belligerant, know nothing know-it-alls bleeding this city dry, but who knew they hired actual vampires. Their "Genuine Philly" ad campaign can be neatly broken down into three categories: food, fightin' words, and ignorance.

Goodwill Rescinded
Not sure if this is a case of SEPTA biting the hand that feeds or whether I gave them enough rope to hang themselves. Either way, all bets are off and SEPTA can fuck off.

After praising SEPTA for their handling of the 15th Street shutdown a couple weeks ago, I was confronted with the ugly face (literally) of SEPTA on Friday. As SEPTA employees were mopping the floor at the 8th Street station I walked through the wet area. One mopper said, "It's wet, are you stupid?" The whole damned station was wet, and I remarked, "It's wet everywhere, jackass." This drew a chorus of heckling from his fellow employees, "It's wet everywhere. It's raining, it's raining." Never try to match wits with a SEPTA mopper.

Mopping the floor of a SEPTA station isn't exactly buffing the marble floor at Versailles, and in my defense I probably subconsciously walked on the freshly mopped area because it was just slightly less urine soaked than the rest of the station.

Mystery solved
A while back I reported on a trash play pen at 34th and Market that had been there for over a year. On Tuesday, there was a SEPTA truck parked next to this eyesore and by the afternoon it had been cleared away. It only took them a year to clean up their mess, but SEPTA got there...eventually.


Monday, May 22, 2006

No Iron Maidens from Philly?

Philadelphia ladies of metal, Bloody Knee Jerk still loves you, even if Ozzfest doesn't.

I can't decide if it's good or bad that the Search for Miss Ozzfest contest is skipping Philadelphia (or Camden) on August 4. It's a given that this contest is sexist and probably involves catcalls from meatheads; however, there are many attractive ladies of metal in Philadelphia deserving of attention. I suppose they could drive to Scranton, if they really want to be objectified.

For Ozzy, there will only be one true Iron Maiden.


Monday, May 15, 2006

No Amnesty for Superman!

President Bush's speech tonight on immigration neglected to mention a red-and-blue-tighted illegal immigrant who has been operating in the United States for decades.

Superman may have saved this country countless times since 1938, but that doesn't mean he should be granted immediate citizenship. That is amnesty, and it is "unfair to those who are here lawfully." It doesn't matter that he escaped from a planet that was about to explode, Superman became an illegal alien the moment his spaceship crash landed in Smallville, Kansas, U.S.A.

According to Bush's plan, Superman "will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law." Why should this alien who has been saving this country singlehandedly for almost 80 years become a citizen before an illegal alien who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 26 years? When Bush talks about "jobs Americans are not doing," he means joining the military, cleaning toilets, and saving the Earth from Terrance Stamp.

Under Bush's proposed temporary worker program, Superman will be allowed to save our country from meteorites legally for "a limited period of time" and then go back to his Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole. With the new temporary work program in place, employers will have no excuse for hiring illegal immigrants, and finally Bush will be in a position to prosecute Perry White, editor of that liberal rag The Daily Planet for hiring a "Clark Kent."

Until his work permit comes through, Superman will be held in the brand new detention center Bush plans to build on the moon to hold illegal space aliens. Sure there's no air on the moon, but according to our president if illegal aliens "walk across miles of desert in the summer heat," they'll certainly volunteer to go work on a lifeless rock. Let's hope the temporary work permits run out before the air supply.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Shortest Time to Extinction Ever!

The coolest thing since the liger.
50% polar bear + 50% grizzly bear = 100% awesome.
Also 100% dead because someone shot it.
It went from mythical creature to endangered species to extinction in the span of an afternoon.

Looks like 2 Live Crew were on to something in 1989.

Mama Bear and Papa Bear went for a walk through the forest
Mama Bear asked Papa Bear could he eat her porridge
Papa Bear said 'shit bitch, you must think I'm sick
Just get down here, on your knees
And suck this badass dick'


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Why Inquirer, Why?

Another "liberal rag" bites the dust.

Today's Philadelphia Inquirer ran a picture of a Ku Klux Klan member on page A6. That's it, just a picture and a caption. There's no story accompanying the picture (taken at an anti-immigration rally), so why is it being printed?

I know the Philadelphia Inquirer is cutting staff and enlarging its font size to fill the blank space, but now they are resorting to running wire service photos of the Klan from the Birmingham News?? WTF? The Klan's ignorance and racism are protected under the First Amendment, but why are they being publicized?

What is the story here? The Klan is still active in Alabama? Well no shit. Why is the Philadelphia Inquirer advertising this fact? Protecting free speech, even for racist assholes, is safer than outlawing these beliefs and letting them fester like a cancer. There is no need to advertise for these groups.

Earlier in the week reported on the Spanish version of the "Star Spangled Banner":

Outrage over what's being called "The Illegal Alien Anthem" is already building in the blogosphere and among conservative commentators.
Leave it to the Right-Wingers to insist on a unilingual country. Is there any form of tolerance, understanding, compassion, or integration that they won't shit on?

A lesson in synonyms and alliteration: Right Wing = Republican = Racist.

Addendum: 10:15 pm, May 7, 2006
After a conversation with a friend and some reflection, maybe the Inquirer was trying to make the subtle point that everyone protesting immigration is racist and the Klan is the face of that protest. Perhaps. I don't do subtlety well, and I probably wouldn't know subtlety if it hit me over the head.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rage Against the Mundane

Perhaps it's telling that it took NPR and a Neil Young album for me to finally finish this stupid entry about the dearth of protest music in an era ripe for protest. This isn’t exactly Under the Rock, which is consistently well written and backed up by research. No, this is more akin to Smash Your Head On the (Punk) Rock: messy and haphazard with only a single source on the reference, excuse me, works cited page.

The Goats reunion show at the Khyber in January reminded me how sorely the music scene needs a dissenting voice in the current political climate.

Where have you gone Zack De La Rocha?
A nation turns its angry eyes to you.

This could be Rage Against the Machine's finest moment. So where the fuck are they? It's like Superman II all over again; 3 super villains are running the country (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld), trampling civil liberties, and there's no one to champion the people.*

Zack disappeared after 1999's Battle of Los Angeles, but the seeds of his reclusion were planted in 1995 when the Smashing Pumpkins released their anthem to defeatism, "Bullet with Butterfly Wings." The kids were angry, the colleges were a hotbed for a slacker revolution, and then, like a wet blanket, Billy Corgan screams, "Despite all my rage, I'm still just a rat in a cage!"

With one catchy chorus he took the wind out of countless angst-ridden sails and thousands of kids walked the plank into conformity, and corporate America breathed a sigh of relief. Being angry and doing something didn't mean shit, so it was off to haircuts, dead-end 9-to-5 jobs, and Starbucks-style homogenization.**

After unknowingly being used as a corporate schill, Corgan's band fell apart, his solo album sucked, and he bought an ad (on the day he released his shitty solo album) admitting he sucked and wishing he could take it all back. Too bad, pumpkin, the damage has been done.

Who's taken up the fight? System of a Down? Pretenders to the throne. Ministry? They're still fighting the good fight, but their influence has always been limited (they never packed arenas the way RATM did), and their recent efforts have been sub-par.

Damn it's great to have the Goats back.

Donde es la rock?***
Maybe it's better that Zack burned out instead of turning into Audioslave.

The current breed of hybrid supergroups have left everything good about Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine, Guns-N-Roses, and even Stone Temple Pilots behind when they formed. Absolute crap from Velvet Revolver, Audioslave, and the re-formed Guns-N-Roses (3 songs from the forthcoming Chinese Democracy were leaked earlier this year, and they suck).

*I originally had DeLay in there when I started this entry.
**OK, I'm oversimplifying the situation. Most of the frat guys and meatheads listening to Rage Against the Machine were destined for conformity anyway.
***I use "ser" (the permanent form of "to be") because I don't think the lack of rock is a temporary situation. These bands eat ass. In the halls of supergroups, they're not Cream.