John Oliver On Drones

This is an absolutely excellent on The United States drone program.  While most news is entertainment posing as news, this is news posing as entertainment.  You will see a far more in depth discussion on our drone program than you will see on almost any cable news channel.  It just happens to be delivered by someone that can pepper the information he is delivering with some great jokes.  Our use of drones is one of the moral and ethical dilemmas of our time.  The fact that we are not having a greater discussion on this is troubling.  I have admitted to supporting Obama in the past.  This is one issue that he is terrible on and should be held accountable for.

John Oliver’s Worst Stage Experience

The above video is comedian John Oliver talking about the worst time he bombed onstage.  It is truly hilarious.  It’s short and I don’t want to ruin anything by telling you what is in the clip.

As someone that makes his living on stage there is definitely an element that I can relate to in it.  There are good nights, bad nights, and nights in between.  So much is out of your control.  As a musician a terrible sound man can make your best efforts futile.  One time on my birthday I drunkenly fell off the stage.  These things happen.  The only difference between an amateur and a pro is that the pro gets back up and just keeps going.  Over time you learn not to be embarrassed or defeated.  We are all unfailingly imperfectly human.

If Richard Pryor Fronted a Metal Band

One of the albums I have been listening to is the new Body Count album, Manslaughter.   This is a ridiculously absurd album.  By lead singer Ice-T’s own admission this album is grindhouse.  It is meant to be over-the-top.   Songs about torture, black voodoo sex, and murder permeate the album.  However, this is absurdity with a purpose:  The record is meant to show how meaningless the modern recording industry is.  This album is a comedy record as well as a heavy metal record.  It is more laugh out loud funny than it is offensive, and that is by design.  Ice-T is just having fun. 

The riffs and songs in general don’t rise to the level of Body Count’s self titled debut.  However, anyone that liked that record will find enough to like here. 

“Guys have gone from ‘Fight the Power’ to ‘What does Kim Kardashian have on today?’  What the fuck is going on?”

Ice is telling dirty jokes and speaking truth to power, often at the same time.  On the song Pray for Death he imagines torturing a bully by splitting his nuts with a golf club. 

“America’s losing their cribs while you are bragging about the shit you did or shit you bought.  Most of it lies.  Yeah you know I know you know.”

It’s like if Slayer and Public Enemy made a record together.  In another era this album might be simply entertaining, but unfortunately it is one of the few records I have heard recently where it feels like something is on the line. 

Imagine if an angry Richard Pryor fronted an extreme metal band.  You’ll arrive somewhere close to where these proceedings go.  If that sounds at all interesting to you check it out.  If you have never heard Body Count start with their self titled debut.  If you like that album this is a worthy follow up.  

Tour Poetry Day 3: Kit Carson and the Death of Jim Halling

My friend Jim died yesterday
I found out in a Mexican restaurant
On the way to Taos
Between the chips and salsa
And the combo plate
Surprise!
In Taos one can find the grave
Of Kit Carson
One time a few members of Carson’s party
Were killed by Indians
To return the favor
He went on a murderous  revenge rampage
Killing every Indian in the area
Guess what? Wrong Indians
Surprise!
Hey Jim, the strange comedy of life
Keeps spinning
So glad you got to be a part of my comedy
For a little while
Truly, dearly
R.I.P Brother…

Toas, New Mexico 8/1/14

Danny DeVito’s Contract – It’s Always Sunny

Danny DeVito’s Contract – It’s Always Sunny in P…: http://youtu.be/cEFPZWK4ElE

I thought I would post the above link for those of you stuck in the doldrums of the office this afternoon.  The above clip is an extra from the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.   It is the funniest show on television right now, and Danny DeVito may be the funniest actor working in the medium.  I wanted to post one of my favorite scenes ever, when Danny DeVito does cocaine in Columbia,  but it was not available.  Whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul, the cast of It’s Always Sunny find new lows that keep me smiling.

The Quare Fellow

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I am reading Brendan Behan’s play The Quare Fellow.  It takes place in the Irish Prison Mountjoy.  This play is where one of my favorite songs of all time originated, The Auld Triangle.  In the following excerpt a young prisoner makes a disparaging remark about the Bible and the older prisoners comment upon it:

Other Fellow:  And talking so disrespectfully about the Bible.

Neighbour:  Belied and they needn’t; many’s the time the Bible was a consolation to a fellow all alone in the old cell.  The lovely thin paper with a bit of mattress coir in it, if you could get a match or a bit of tinder or any class of light, was as good a smoke as ever I tasted.  Am I right, Dunlavin?

Dunlavin:  Damn the lie, Neighbour.  The first twelve months I done, I smoked my way half-way through the book of Genesis and three inches of my mattress.  When the Free State came in we were afraid of our life they were going to change the mattresses for feather beds.  And you couldn’t smoke feathers, no, be God, if they were rolled in the Song of Solomon itself.  But sure, thanks to God, the Free State didn’t change anything more than the badge of the warders’ cap.