On the Road, The Latest TV

On the road today with Shinyribs.  Posting will be slow.  Started watching the new season of House of Cards last night.  It left me wanting.  I felt like it was a little too melodramatic,  lacking a kind of overreaching theme to give it deeper meaning.  Granted it was one episode, so I will plow on.  Really enjoyed this week’s The Walking Dead.  The show was able to create an unbelievable amount of tension with just character development and story.  Zombies and violence were background for most of the show.  I think an episode like that shows the strength of the show.  I enjoy the episodes of the show that are more typical of its genre, but it is not confined to its genre and hasn’t been for a long time.  The show is strong because it studies human behavior in a society stripped of behavioral norms.  These could be people in war or any survival situation.  The guise of the zombies allows the writers to push the envelope towards things that might be too horrible to ponder if it took place in a real world situation. 

Bjork, Marina Abramovi, and MOMA

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I’ve mentioned before that Bjork is doing a career retrospective at MOMA.  Here is an article in Rolling Stone about that retrospective.  It also features some clips as well.  This is definitely a show I would check out if I lived even remotely close.

Speaking of Museum of Modern Art, one of my favorite documentaries of recent years was about a show there.  That film is Marina Abramovi The Artist is Present.  This movie is fascinating and definitely worth your time.  Here is the trailer:

One More Time by Jimmy Cliff

Jimmy Cliff is one of those artists that can lift the heart out of despair.  Sometime ago I posted the other performance from Jimmy Cliff’s appearance on Jools Holland.  Both performances are simply outstanding.  This song is from his front to back killer Rebirth.  This is a modern record that can stand with the all-time greats in this or any genre.  If you don’t have it, get it.

Injustice in Ferguson

Details From Ferguson

The details emerging from the Justice Department’s investigation into Ferguson are pretty ugly.  There is definitely racism is our criminal justice system and this is just the latest example.  If you don’t think there is, you are probably white, and you probably haven’t read enough.  Again, I think one of the best one stop shop reads you can have on this subject for modern times is Matt Taibbi’s The Divide:  American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.  But if you are somehow new to all of this just read the details in the above article, it won’t take very long.  A few samples:

  • Ferguson’s black drivers were more than twice as likely as their white counterparts to be stopped and searched, according to records over two years. Black drivers were also 26 percent less likely to be found in possession of contraband.
  • According to the police department’s internal records concerning force, 88 percent of those cases involved force against blacks. All 14 canine bite incidents involved blacks.
  • Blacks were 68 percent less likely than others to have their cases dismissed in municipal court. An arrest warrant was more likely to be issued for blacks.

No More Buffalo by James McMurtry

I’m still finding my way through James McMurtry’s excellent new album Complicated Game.  There is no doubt it features first rate writing and arranging.  However, the songs themselves are almost like short stories, which work on different levels.  If I’m going to write about it I want to make sure that I get it right.  In the meantime I found this live performance of an older McMurtry song that I like.  McMurtry is always well regarded as an excellent writer, but he is also one of the most unique guitar players that I’ve ever seen.  Usually when I watch people play guitar, even if I am not able to play what they can play, I usually have some general understanding of what they are doing.  I have no idea what McMurtry is up to.  He has a fluid rhythmic style that, whether he is playing electric or acoustic, always perfectly compliments his songs.

2 Years After Raising Taxes On the Rich, The Story of Minnesota

2 Years After Raising Taxes On the Rich, Here’s What Happened to Minnesota

Minnesota put progressive economic policies in place when Governor Mark Dayton was elected.  The above article tells the story of what has happened since.

The article is extra enjoyable for the compare and contrast set up with Republican Scott Walker.

Thanks to Mr. Russell for the article.  

Netanyahu Speaks to Congress

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Salon On Netanyahu Speech

Above is Salon’s take on Netanyahu’s speech to Congress today.  Although I tend to agree with them, my point today isn’t really to focus on this one write up.  At the end of the day it is one write up and you should be reading a bunch of them, mixing and matching, and trying to come to your own conclusion.  However, this is an event that you should be reading about.  A foreign head of state is trying to sway US policy.  This is highly unprecedented in the fact that this head of state actually spoke directly to our congress to try and change our policy.

I have long viewed Netanyahu as a thug and a bully whose intentions do not run in accord with the best intentions of our country.  Nor do I think that his intentions have long term Middle East peace at the heart of them.  I think he is someone that is about self-serving political and military power above all else.

But don’t take my word for it.  Read, read, and read some more.