Listen to the music: Are we wide awake

24 02 2016

So I can’t listen to Supertramp because it takes me back to high school and I don’t wanna go back, but sometimes I get pulled back and it’s. . . okay?

I am not the first to contradict myself.

Anyway, Charlie Pierce linked to Nena so yes I clicked on it and yes, I enjoyed it. And even felt a bit wistful (as opposed to dread-ful) while listen-/watching.

Then I looked for ‘Soviet Snow‘ (couldn’t remember that it was Shona Laing) and I watched and listened to that as well.  (The vid is bit crowded; better just to listen.)

Then I wondered: why don’t I mind going back with this and not that?

And then I figured: because this is not that.

Supertramp was a part of my coming-to-music, and while I did listen to it through college, it’s very much anchored in that transition to adolescence, to making my way into high school.

The other music—post-punk? New Wave?—hooked me later in high school and carried me out.

That’s a little too neat, but I think that’s what happened. If Supertramp was about going deep—into the music, into myself—the new stuff was about getting out. MTV hit Sheb Falls at some point in the early 1980s, and for the first time I was exposed to music which wasn’t either album-oriented rock (which was my thing) or Top 40 (which was not). There was the Eurythmics and The Police and the B-52’s and the Violent Femmes, the Call and the Fall and the Clash and the Jam and none of it sounded like home and all of it sounded like somewhere else.

And, oh, by mid-high school I was ready for somewhere else.

So here I am, decades older, and even if I have landed in my ultimate Somewhere Else, I am still restless, still wondering what else is out there.


Circus Maximus MMXVI: What’s goin’ on?

17 02 2016

I don’t understand. Many things, I don’t understand.

For example, I don’t understand why I’m so lukewarm about Bernie Sanders and somewhat defensive about Hillary Clinton.

I mean, I’m glad he’s in the race, I’m glad he’s yelling about the banksters, and I’m glad that he’s pushing Clinton to the left.

But I also think she’d be a better president than him. I think all some of the shit that turns people off about her—namely, her practicality and willingness to deal—are precisely what would make her a relatively effective executive.

Bernie’s reliance on a ‘political revolution’ to get shit done is. . . not going to happen.

But then I think, Kissinger—Kissinger!

And then I think, well, absurdist, y’all about the realism.

So, whatever. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to vote in the NY primary: I think you have to register for a party approximately 17 years before the primary in order to be eligible.

I should look into that.

And this, this I do not understand:

I mean, I get it, it’s a riff on Reagan’s ‘morning in America’  ad—

—but it. . . doesn’t work. At all.

I don’t know, maybe I’m missing the appeal because I’m not a  Republican primary voter, but, man, I don’t know why it would make someone want to vote for Rubio as opposed to, say, miss Ronald Reagan.

Also, I don’t understand why none of the other Republican candidates have figured out how to take Trump down. I don’t know why they’re afraid of him.

Yeah, he gets mean, but so what? You turn that against him, keep going after him and after him until he loses his fucking mind.

Well, okay, yeah. I should say: until he flounces off a huff, maybe overturning a table or smashing a chair on his way out.

Finally, do whole- (unlike me, half-) hearted Bernie supporters understand that if he wins the nomination he’s going to need everything that horrid Democratic establishment can cram into his campaign, and then some, if he has even a shot of getting elected?

I still think Clinton will be the nominee, but if it’s Sanders, then he’s going to need all of the help, all of the corrupting, connected, money-infested help, that he can get?

Because nobody, nobody enters–and exits–the colosseum without getting dirty.

Baby, baby, please let me hold him

8 02 2016

Y’all know I’m pro-choice, right?

Like, I haven’t mentioned that I could fairly be called a pro-choice militant approximately 738.4135 times before, have I?

So, you know, when it comes to what may be a new variant of the Zika virus and its effects on the developing embryo and fetus, I have no issue whatsoever with an affected woman deciding to end a pregnancy.

I also—militant that I am—have no issue with a woman deciding to continue a pregnancy and to raise a child with microcephaly.

Microcephaly can have devastating effects on the person, but not always: Ana Carolina Caceres was born with microcephaly, was pronounced profoundly damaged by her doctor, and now works as a journalist. Not everyone will be as healthy as Caceras, of course, but she notes that with family support, medication, and five surgeries, she now leads a good life.

Caceras is insulted by the notion that a diagnosis of microcephaly should automatically lead abortion, but allows that, in the end, that choice should be left to the parents.

The most important thing is access to treatment: counselling for parents and older sufferers, and physiotherapy and neurological treatment for those born with microcephaly.

And for all of the talk of the necessity of women avoiding pregnancy (which, shees), what of those who for whatever reason (choice or lack thereof) do give birth to children with microcephaly?

So in addition to discussing better access to contraception and abortion for women in affected regions (which, frankly, should have been available long before the effects of the virus hit), let’s also talk about the support that these women, these children, these families will need in order to maximize those children’s chances for their own good lives.

I get and ought to get no say in what happens to the embryo or fetus in another woman’s body, but once that fetus is born, in whatever shape she’s born, we owe it to her to treat her as a human being.

What happened to her may or may not be a tragedy, but she, herself, is not.

She’s one of us.


h/t for Caceres piece: JonH at Lawyers, Guns & Money

Wake up little Susie

3 02 2016

Jesus fuck:

subway sleeping

Subways are not for sleeping, says the man who has a driver.

[Y]ou make yourself a very easy victim and much more susceptible to a crime, says the man with bodyguards.

Why would you put yourself at that risk? says the man who thinks that telling tired people not to sleep is a way to reduce crime.

Hey, you want to protect me? How about paying attention to the jerk-off who’s trying to rob me?*

*Note: I have never been robbed on the train.

All right, all right, I get it: people who are sleeping are sometimes crime victims. And, as the story details, nudging people who are sound asleep in an empty car to wake up and tuck their iPhones back into their pockets is. . . not a bad idea, actually.

But jeez, Bratton, do you have to be such a dick about it?