Archive for December, 2010

Yeah, it was a good year.

December 31, 2010

Not necessarily for the roses, either…

I was gonna try to be all eloquent, but for some strange reason the words are escaping me. (I would have written exactly what Sabra did.) So…

What more to say, than I got everything I ever wanted this year. God knows I went down enough dead-end roads to find it, but it was all worth it. I know I say that with the benefit of hindsight, but there you go. Here’s to more good things in 2011. 😉

More musings on music and small-town crime.

December 31, 2010

So I was thinking more about  the comments mentioned here, in which the character in the Aaron Lewis song was called paranoid for carrying a gun despite the fact that he lives in a small town. And I thought, “Oh yeah, he’s paranoid all right, because as everyone knows, nothing bad ever happens in small towns.”

And speaking of songs that talk about guns and killing explicitly, I’m sure they’d shit themselves listening to this song.

“I went down to the Mary Carter paint store. I said, ‘Gimme one o’ them Smith and Wesson Magnum .44s. ‘Cause there’s a man that the law let loose and justice was not done. This man, he killed my wife and my only little son.’…

“When the trial was over, he had the nerve to say, ‘That’s the way it goes.’ I said, ‘Well, hoss, you better buy you some corks, ’cause you’re gonna have to plug up a few holes. Guess he thought I was talkin’, just to pass away time. But he kinda looks different now, on his knees beggin’ for his life.”

Bloodthirsty vigilante justice, some might say. (I’ll admit I cheered for the guy with the gun, though, just like I cheered for Carl Lee Hailey in A Time To Kill.) Sure as hell isn’t nearly so benign as just singing about carrying a gun. But I’m sure they’d think the character was a badass too, just because Hank Jr. sang that song.

Shovel licensing and registration NOW!

December 31, 2010

You know, for teh childrenses!

Holding the weapon he’d already used to beat the man to the ground, the killer stood over his lifeless body and drove the front end of the large shovel at the man’s head again and again, a police report states.

When done, he threw the shovel into the bed of his truck and left.

Nice. (And yes, that was sarcasm.) It’ll be fun to see how long Gabriel Reyes Castillo’s rap sheet is and what he was in prison for.  If I had been dating a woman whose ex had recently been released from prison I don’t think I’d get any closer than shouting distance from him with a gun close at hand. But I guess that just makes me paranoid, eh?

I don’t know how significant this might be…

December 31, 2010

…but I thought it was interesting…

Sabra’s a fan of this station on Facebook (and now I am too!), and scrolling through her news feed a few minutes ago we saw this item:

I just want to say “Thank You” to all 33,000 + of you and growing. We HAVE to keep spreading the word about Texas Music. I hope in the new year you become active in helping me do that. -Ranch Guy

I said, “Wow, 33,000 fans?” (33,489, to be exact, as of 0100 Friday morning.) That sounded like a lot, so just for fun I thought I’d see how many Facebook fans the Big Two Dallas-Fort Worth country stations had. The numbers were quite eye-opening:

KPLX 99.5 the Wolf, which once upon a time was THE station to be listening to if you were a country music fan in North Texas (and as one who listened to it a LOT during the early part of last decade, I can tell you there was a reason for that): 16,483 fans.

96.3 KSCS, which has more or less been an also-ran for the last 12 years or so but once upon a time was a pretty good station too: 4,486 fans.

So,to recap: 95.9 the Ranch, which plays solely regional music and is a rimshot station covering the less-populous half of the D-FW metro area, has more Facebook fans than the area’s two 100,000-watt blowtorches that play mostly Nashville crap combined. (I should note the station simulcasts on 106.9 in Corsicana and 107.1 in Sulphur Springs, but neither of those signals makes it as far into the Metroplex as does 95.9. I’d be surprised if they even showed up in the ratings.) I know that doesn’t translate into ratings or ad revenue, but I still thought it was interesting, especially considering that said blowtorches both have presences on the Web just like 95.9 the Ranch does. And you know that sort of thing is increasingly important, especially with the ways news and entertainment media are evolving now. It’ll be interesting to see if something like that ever does get to be as valuable as the Arbitron ratings are now…

Bad math and boogeymen…

December 30, 2010

…in the letters to the editor in this morning’s Express-News:

Did you know that a whitetail trophy buck is worth more than 30,000 Mexicans? In Texas, it is more important for us to have the capacity to purchase as many high-powered weapons as we wish than to stop the flow of these weapons to ruthless killers in Mexico.

The street slaughter of 60 or more people in border towns within earshot of a Texas university doesn’t elicit a peep out of talk-radio chicken hawks. But if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms mentions it is interested in knowing who is purchasing these weapons in multiples, the right-wing zealots start waving the snake flag.

Racism is often deadly. It is hard to imagine anyone objecting to someone keeping track of weapon sales if 30,000 Canadians — not Mexicans — were slaughtered this year.

Wow, so much FAIL in this letter that it practically fisks itself, but what the hell…

Whitetail buck worth more than 30,000 Mexicans? But I thought people didn’t hunt with semi-automatic rifles. Should we conclude that Saul Adame wants to impose tighter regulations on your run-of-the-mill hunting rifles too? That’s pretty much the only conclusion I can draw considering the general bent of the rant here…”talk radio chickenhawks,” “right-wing zealots,” etc., but I don’t think it’s that far off the mark…

…at any rate, it’s certainly a lot closer to the mark than ranting about “talk radio chickenhawks.” Saul Adame probably doesn’t have a clue as to what he’s talking about here either. I listen to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck just about every day and I haven’t heard them talking about the ATF’s power grab here that much at all. Of course this is keeping in line with the typical lefty’s rants about the eeeeevil NRA whenever any gun-related issue comes up, but it’s still quite unbecoming of any sane, rational person.

And how about that racism boogeyman at the end? It’s as if they see racism peeking at them from behind every corner. It deserves to be asked why they don’t have the problems in Canada that they do in Mexico with the drug cartels. Somehow I don’t think it has anything to do with the color of their skin. But I’m just an evil racist white person that way, I guess.

Way to go, Express-News editorial page editor. You caught a GOOD one to run this morning.

More random day-off music musings.

December 29, 2010

Well, not so random, as they were all inspired by what I’ve been reading and hearing on the radio today, but anyway…

I am constantly amazed at some people’s blind hatred for anything that gets played on modern-day country radio. Sure, there’s a shit-ton of crappy music out there, but I don’t understand why people would automatically dismiss someone like Jamey Johnson or Gary Allan just because they went to Nashville. I can’t help but think if Jamey Johnson were on some minor label and was just a regional phenomenon those folks would be singing his praises. Same goes for Gary Allan. I distinctly remember someone bitching about how he ruined, RUINED Todd Snider’s “Alright Guy.” Well, you know what? I’ve heard the Todd Snider original and it’s pretty damn good, but I am not going to lie. I think Gary Allan’s version is better — one of the few instances in which a Nashville singer took a favorite from the country music underground, for lack of a better term, and made it better.  I thought Gary Allan’s raspy voice suited that song just perfectly, and I don’t see how his being on a Nashville record label makes that such a bad thing to say.

On a slightly different note, so to speak, as I was pondering that and listening to the Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man” (ahhh, Dickey Betts), I thought of Dale Watson’s “Nashville Rash”:

Ain’t it funny how things can really change

Rock and roll back in the 70’s are country hits today

This is true, but it should be noted that there wasn’t really that much distance between the Southern rock of the day and what Willie and Waylon were doing. Recall, again, that Willie and Waylon both did covers of popular Southern rock hits of the ’70s, to wit, “Midnight Rider” and “Can’t You See.” Waylon also did a cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “For Lovin’ Me.” I’d like to think that sort of thing wasn’t what Dale Watson was talking about, but who knows? I know there were those who got all wound up back then at what Waylon and Willie were doing, though, and no doubt a number of them still are.

Speaking of getting wound up, you should see some of the vitriol being slung at Aaron Lewis in the comments here. To wit:

“If you’re packing every time you leave the house, that sounds pretty ghetto.”

“.357 is from urban WI, and they are a country band. I don’t know that they go around claiming they grew up next to some moonshine still in the hills of Tenn. Of course they don’t go around in a video mentioning the pop. of the WI suburb they are from either and the need to carry a gun for no reason.”

“I should note that Aaron’s paranoid need to pack heat when he heads for the supermarket is probably more attributable to his being so heavy of a pot smoker…”

Interesting, to say the least. It’s like reading Japete on crystal meth. And then there was the Triggerman’s criticism of the song itself:

It perpetuates every single negative stereotype about gun owners and patriots that is possible. It paints them as ignorant, self-centered assholes that feed their pit bulls gun power and beat their girlfriends with rubber hoses.

I guess we were listening to two different songs, because when I listened to that song I never once got that impression. Good grief, it’s not like he talked about going out and shooting people and “showing his woman who’s boss if she got all uppity and shit, IYKWIMAITYD.” Sorry, but that just strikes me as getting a bit carried away with the criticism of the song, unless you already subscribe to the urban left’s stereotype of gun owners and rural residents. There are those who accuse Lewis of pandering — and while that’s a legitimate gripe, as I say in the comments there, if someone like, say, Dale Watson sang about carrying a gun would they call him paranoid? Or would they say, “Oh, yeah, he’s rough, tough and don’t take shit offa nobody. Fuck yeah!” Or how about, say, Charlie Daniels?

“Well I’m the kinda man wouldn’t-a harm a mouse, but if I catch somebody breakin’ in my house I got a 12-gauge shotgun waitin’ on the other side…”

Paranoid redneck son of a bitch? Or realistic individualist?

(I never got a straight answer to that question, by the way, just another slam at gun owners who carry. From an alleged gun owner, natch.)

If it’s the latter, then why is Aaron Lewis’ character the former? Food for thought…

Godwin’s Law be damned. I have to say this.

December 29, 2010

I’d just as soon not name names here, and the name I’d like to name is NOT that of Bob Owens…but saying that Chris Christie isn’t all that pro-gun strikes me to be an understatement well on its way to being as ridiculous as saying that “Adolf Hitler wasn’t all that pro-Jew” or “Saddam Hussein wasn’t all that pro-Kurd.”

Why is Danny Davis not being called out as the flaming racist he is?

December 29, 2010

Hey, how about another fun game of word substitution?

CHICAGO (AP) — Congressman Danny Davis has a message for former President Bill Clinton: Don’t take sides in the Chicago mayor’s race — or else.

Davis, a longtime friend of Clinton, warned the ex-president on Tuesday (in a press release — ed.) that he could jeopardize his “long and fruitful relationship” with the white community if he campaigns for former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel instead of one of the two leading white candidates running — Davis or former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun….

“The African-American community has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the Clintons, however it appears as though some of that relationship maybe fractured and perhaps even broken should former President Clinton come to town and participate overtly in efforts to thwart the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago’s White community,” the statement said.

If that’s how that story’s lede read, you’d probably think Congressman Danny Davis was a flaming racist, right? Well, why should you have a different opinion because he’s black? Look, I realize we have some way to go vis-a-vis race relations in this country, but if we’re going to get to where we need to be we need to start applying the very same standards for all races, not one standard for whites and one for everyone else. For the life of me I cannot understand why blacks and Latinos can get away with rhetoric and behavior that would get white people accused of having white sheets and hoods in their closets.

And considering a poll cited in the story showed Emanuel running neck-and-neck with Davis among black voters, I don’t understand why Davis presumes to speak for the black community as if they all think the same way. If I were a black voter living in Chicago I’d be seriously pissed off. Of course if I were a black voter I wouldn’t be living in Chicago, period…

Quote of the day…

December 28, 2010

…from David Codrea:

Scott Whitlock of Newsbusters has some interesting observations on Brady Campaign spokesman/professional victim Colin Goddard’s appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America yesterday:

ABC Pushes Gun Control Documentary, Absurdly Touts Work of the Brady Campaign as ‘Not Anti-Gun’

Here’s what host Robin Roberts said to Goddard:

There are groups that say I have the right to bear arms, I don’t need this. How do we coexist? Because you’re not anti-gun.

Oh, no, Goddard assures her. He’s been hunting. He’s been to the range.

Hell, if shooting is the criteria, gun rights advocates could have no bigger supporter than Lon Horiuchi.

A-yep. “We’re not anti-car. We just think they’re too easy to get and we don’t think you should be able to drive them on public roads. Or private roads, for that matter.”

These are serious contenders for 2012?

December 28, 2010

Why? Mike Huckabee, with his support for cap-and-trade? Mitt Romney, with his support for gun control and government-run health care? Sure he’ll try to weasel his way out of it by saying it was just one state as opposed to “a federal one-size-fits-all solution” — but if he’s going to take that tack, why didn’t he make that plan optional for each county? Wow. I realize Fred Thompson had his flaws, most notably his support for McCain-Feingold, but he’s still far, far ahead of at least Romney and Huckabee. And of course there’s Sarah Palin, who from what I can tell doesn’t have any negatives like that, polarizing figure though she may be. It’ll be fun to see what happens, but at this point I am not so optimistic.