I feel ranty, oh so ranty.

October 25, 2014

I saw this piece shared on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, and let’s just say it probably raised my blood pressure a bit.

We wait, for our son to be born, so that he can die.

Well now, that sounds familiar. I can’t quite put my finger on just why, but I’m sure it’ll come to me.

As I’ve said elsewhere, I just can’t see killing your kid as a valid option for a situation like this, especially in this day and age in which they offer palliative care for prematurely-born children, even those with fatal diagnoses. Charles Vestal can spin the situation any way he likes, but what it all boils down to is that he is angry he couldn’t kill his unborn son. Call his motivation noble if you like (ignoring all the while the aforementioned palliative care for preemies and the treatments for incompetent cervix), but the possibility that the kid is going to die is no reason to abort. Call me Judgey McJudgerson if you like, but I can’t help but see such a thing as a complete cop-out. Spare him the agony? Spare me the self-righteous outrage. As if the baby wouldn’t feel pain as he is being sucked out of the womb?

But I guess you could say that even that is a moot point, because with the miracles of modern medicine, little William probably had more of a chance to live than a lot of babies did. More than Psalm-Angel did, I know that much. I’m not bitter. At least I try not to be. But I certainly don’t empathize. Heartless?

Not nearly as heartless as actively making the decision to kill your baby because of the probability of him being disabled or not surviving.

Monday music musings, 20.10.14

October 20, 2014

Kix Brooks, peddling a revisionist history of sorts:

We’ve got Luke [Bryan] and Jason [Aldean] and Zac [Brown Band] selling stadiums! Hell, Ronnie and I never did that. Now we have four or five artists legitimately that can sell stadiums damn near anywhere.

Sigh. Why is this revisionist history, you ask? Because it’s quite clear what he’s getting at, and he’s wrong. Back when Brooks and Dunn were actually a thing, in fact one of the hottest acts in country music, country music had at least two acts who could pack stadiums — Garth Brooks and George Strait. In fact, Strait was selling out stadiums, or pretty close to it, 20 years into his career — about the same length of time Brooks and Dunn were at it before they called it quits. Think about that, in the context of what Brooks is saying here and what Strait has said (or, rather, not said) about modern country music.

Of course, all of this is assuming that “numbers of acts selling out stadiums” is a valid indicator of the artistic health of any given genre. Which it isn’t.

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Apologies to David Cantwell,  but “I Hope You Dance” is still the most overrated thing Lee Ann Womack has ever recorded. I remember seeing a recent Texas Monthly Lee Ann Womack feature that summed it up quite nicely:

“If all you know about Lee Ann Womack is the schmaltzy megahit ‘I Hope You Dance,’ then you probably don’t understand her at all.”

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Somebody ought to ask Cortez Bryant if he knows how the U2 album Songs of Innocence was received as it was put on every iTunes account and if that’s something he really wants to emulate. Or, on second thought, maybe not. The faster these interlopers with no respect for the genre go down in flames, the better.

(h/t Country California)

“This sounds like hipster mischief to me.”

October 17, 2014

Such was one reaction at Saving Country Music to alt-country pioneer Ryan Adams’ admission that he “(does) not like fucking country music” and “only (liked) country music as an irony.” Sounds about right to me. Trigger’s own reaction:

I feel like I’ve been stabbed in the back.

If I were a bigger Ryan Adams fan, I’d feel that way too. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen an artist so gratuitously insult the genre of music and the fans of that genre that brought him fame and fortune, but it’s incredibly distasteful all the same. I can separate the artist from the art a lot of the time, but it’s not so easy when the artist insults his own art — especially as he says out of the other side of his mouth that it has a “certain amount of honesty.”

So, in other words, what we have here is Ryan Adams making a certain kind of music, acknowledging its honesty, and then saying that he hates that kind of music and that he only liked it ironically. One can only presume that he’s trying to be his true self as he admits his true feelings, but in the process he shows himself to be a total fraud.

Oh, the irony!

Good deal at ammoman.com…

October 13, 2014

Hey folks, heads up: Eric over at ammoman.com has a pretty good deal going on right now. Every so often they find dented up ammunition boxes that don’t have any damaged ammunition and they sell ‘em at discounted prices. Right now he has a limited number of .30-caliber ammunition boxes full of 9mm that he’s selling for $72 each. Works out to about $0.16 a round. They’ve separated the ammo with a magnet, so you can get either all brass cases or all steel cases depending on what you order, and it might be a mix of FMJs and JHPs. Check it out if you’re interested.

Once again, Second Amendment advocates are proven right…

October 12, 2014

…and once again, Leonard Pitts is outraged:

It seems our constitutional rights are being nibbled out from under us, compromise by compromise, expediency by expediency, while we watch with dull complacence. In our unthinking mania for laws to “get tough on crime,” we actually made it tougher on ourselves, altering the balance of power between people and police to the point where a cop can now take your legally earned money off your sovereign person and there’s little you can do about it.

Oh, Leonard Pitts, you naïve soul. You actually thought the ass-raping of the Bill of Rights would begin and end with the Second Amendment? Or that we could say that corporations didn’t have First Amendment rights without setting a precedent to take those rights away from other groups?

Yes, I am well aware that the Supreme Court ruled that corporations do have First Amendment rights. The point here is that once you can justify infringing on one right, you can pretty much justify infringing on them all. That is exactly what progressives have done in regards to both the First and Second Amendments and what “conservatives” have done in regards to the Fourth and Fifth Amendments (in relation to the War On Some Drugs).

So in that light, it really would be oh-so-nice if Pitts could spare us the self-righteous outrage. After all, he has shown that at least one right is worth infringing upon for preservation of public safety. I don’t see why he should think the others are worth any more.

Does Flint Taylor have any clue…

October 6, 2014

…of exactly who he’s dealing with, here?

 Jon Burge, Torturer of Over 100 Black Men, is Out of Prison After Less Than Four Years

Now, granted, this is an absolute travesty. We all should be absolutely outraged that Burge’s isn’t rotten under the jail for his misdeeds. But even as In These Times serves as the platform for Taylor’s justified outrage, the progs who run it will still advocate that only the police and the military have guns, or that governments (you know, like the one that sanctioned and effectively covered up Burge’s reign of terror) should have the power to decide who does and does not get to own or carry a gun.

Quite the disconnect, eh?

That’s about right.

October 5, 2014

From this morning’s Houston Chronicle:

Two men were fatally shot by a customer after they attempted to rob a north Harris County bar early Saturday — the latest in a fury of shootings in Houston this week.

Jenny O’Donnell, owner of EJ’s Place, said four armed men came to her bar in the 16400 block of Kuykendall at Colwell, around 2:30 a.m.

O’Donnell, who was not there at the time of the incident, said a head bartender and waitress were closing up for the night when two men walked into the bar and demanded everyone get down on the floor. Two other men “lingered at the bar door,” she said.

That’s when a customer at the bar pulled his own gun and started shooting at the men, she said. The attempted robbers fired at least three rounds inside the bar, said O’Donnell.

“That man was a hero,” said O’Donnell. “We could have had some bodies.”

Yes, he was. And he damned well ought to be recognized as such. But Texas law doesn’t allow carry of guns in bars. In fact, doing so is a felony. So if this guy is “caught” and successfully prosecuted, he’s going to lose his right to keep and bear arms forever. And when you get right down to it, he did something that was wrong only because it was decreed as such by the government. Where is the justice in this?

Dude, don’t even play that card. It’s a bunch of crap and you know it.

October 2, 2014

…or, Cry me a fucking river:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said on Tuesday that new forms of encryption capable of locking law enforcement officials out of popular electronic devices imperil investigations of kidnappers and sexual predators, putting children at increased risk.

This may well be true. And yeah, it sucks. But you know what? Maybe if the government hadn’t made it a habit of spying on us all and treating everyone as potential criminals, the market for more secure devices and operating systems wouldn’t be so hot. What else did they expect to happen when they basically threw the presumption of innocence out the window and started shitting all over the Fourth and Fifth Amendments?

You know what this is, right? This is the Free Market at work, in conjunction with the Law of Unintended Consequences. When you start treating all law-abiding citizens like potential criminals, sooner or later — in this case, with the aid of Big Tech wanting to take advantage of the market — they’re going to rebel. It looks like many people still believe in the old principle “better a hundred guilty men go free than one innocent man be punished.” I can understand the argument that law enforcement should be able to access the contents of a device that belongs to a potential criminal with the application of due process. But with the way that law enforcement has made a mockery of such, I completely understand the demand for this. The government has proved itself to be utterly unworthy of the trust placed in it by the citizens time and time again. And their chickens are coming home to roost.

So you know what this is, right? This is yet another problem made worse by Big Government. Free people get treated by criminals by said Big Government as it shits all over the Supreme Law of the Land, free people don’t like it, and Big Tech sees green and starts making products to protect said people’s rights under said Supreme Law. So more guilty people are going to get off. Thanks, Big Government! They couldn’t have done it without you!

(Actually, you could probably say that Big Government treats Free People worse than criminals, because with what Big Government does to Free People vis-a-vis their Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, if criminals were handled the same way, good lawyers could probably get them off if the government bungled things bad enough. See: exclusionary rule.)

Vaya con Dios, mama. Te amo por vida.

September 26, 2014

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Psalm-Angel Guadalupe was born Wednesday evening, September 24, 2014, at 6:10 pm. She lived about an hour and a half before she went home to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She got to spend time with Mama and me, as well as her sisters and brother. She knew nothing but love her whole life. It was the absolute best we could have hoped for. I’ll be a grown-up and admit I was scared to watch them clean her up and dress her, but even with all the abnormalities she was still the most beautiful and perfect baby that I have ever seen. It was at that moment that I learned down to the fibers of my being what love truly is.

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for being there for us.

“…if country means ‘whatever,’ it really means nothing at all.”

September 22, 2014

…or, Heyyy, time for more ragging on Jason Aldean!

From Buzzfeed:

For some listeners, “Burnin’ It Down” is more “pop” than “country.” Aldean has heard the criticism, and he is unfazed. “If somebody can put a definition on what country music is, please tell me,” he said.

“I’m pretty knowledgeable in country music, and I’ve never once seen where it says, ‘Country music doesn’t have a drum loop,’” he said.

Definition of country music? Steel guitar, fiddle, three-quarter time. Add some electric guitar in there every so often. You might be able to get away with more avant-garde stuff like putting your vocals through a vocoder a la George Strait and “Stars on the Water” if you know what you’re doing. Granted, that’s only a start, and country music is more than just that, but some instruments work better than others. And some things just don’t work at all. The things you find in “Burnin’ it Down” are perfect examples of what doesn’t work. It seems that Aldean thinks that “country music” pretty much has no definition, that it’s whatever people who record music in Nashville says it is. I saw something at Saving Country Music yesterday about Country Roads, a new European-produced documentary on country music, featuring this quote from Justin Townes Earle as he was narrating it:

This is one of our few untouched things in Nashville—RCA Studio ‘B’…But then you just look around at all the crap that has been built around it. This is like the belly of the beast right here. This is where all the bad ideas are thought up. This is where all the bad country songs come from. This is where they’re all recorded. In all these buildings, this is where all the ‘geniuses’ that are thinking all the crap up and what they’re gonna do … It’s amazing to me that the people that work here now can hold their heads up, that they can walk these streets and think that if Hank Williams wasn’t here right now he wouldn’t whip their fucking ass.

Aldean was also stung by his failure to get an Entertainer of the Year nomination:

Obviously it’s disappointing. We’re still out there selling out shows. With maybe the exception of Luke [Bryan], I don’t think there is anybody else out there that is doing the kind of touring numbers that we’re doing.

Now, on the surface, that gripe might be legitimate. After all, he’s “entertaining” a lot of people, right? Well, when you look at the actual criteria for the award, the snub makes a lot more sense:

“This award is for the act displaying the greatest competence in all aspects of the entertainment field. Voter should give consideration not only to recorded performance, but also to the in-person performance, staging, public acceptance, attitude, leadership, and overall contribution to the Country Music image.”

I see at least three strikes against Aldean here:

A. Attitude: his semi-literate Twitter attack on Zac Brown and his general cavalier attitude on the anything-goes direction;

B. Leadership: With apologies to Trigger, “Is ‘Burnin’ It Down’ the ‘leadership’ from the man these people think should be the Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year? Because I’d rather shit a knife than listen to this.”

C. Overall Contribution to the Country Music Image: Well, I think A and B, combined with the perception that “Burnin’ It Down” is a window into his affair, pretty much knocks that one out.

And it’s just so…disappointing. For all I rag on Aldean, he’s actually a pretty decent singer. I was expecting to be quite disappointed, for example, with his duet with George Strait on “Fool Hearted Memory” on the cd of Strait’s last live show from Dallas, but I gotta give the dude credit — he nailed his part. I don’t know if he’d ever be on that level, but he could be at least not bad if he’d record better songs.


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