Archive for May, 2011

He could have just stopped…

May 26, 2011

…at the end of the first paragraph here:

When it comes to Sugarland, to paraphrase Waylon Jennings, Hank for sure didn’t do it this way.

How ironic that as I read that, George Jones’ “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” was playing on the iTunes. (“It damn sure won’t be Sugarland!”) I suppose Kristian Bush thinks he sounds like some sort of musical visionary as he mentions the Clash and Johnny Cash, but to my ear he just sounds like a pretentious poseur. I’ll admit I am not that familiar with the Clash, but from what I’ve read about them they were the Pacific Ocean to Sugarland’s kiddie pool. And one can say the same of the Man in Black.

Johnny Cash? Really, Kristian? Bitch, please. Neither you nor Jennifer Nettles are fit to lick that man’s boots.

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Wednesday music musings.

May 25, 2011

How ironic that Brad Paisley would try to paint country music as such a courageous, take-no-prisoners genre when modern “country” “artists” have put out some of the most banal, play-it-safe, paint-by-numbers crap ever recorded — i.e., all those “I’m so country and it’s so awesome” songs. I don’t think he could have come across as more oblivious to said irony if he’d made an honest attempt at it, especially considering all the songs he mentioned:

“He Stopped Loving Her Today” (1980)

“Hello Darlin'” (1980)

“God Bless The USA” (1985) (Wow, THIS is country music? Count me out, yo.)

“Amarillo By Morning” (1983)

“Stand By Your Man” (1967)

“Mama Tried” (1968)

“Take Me Home (Country Roads)” (1971)

“I Walk the Line” (1956)

“A Country Boy Can Survive” (1982)

You’re probably wondering, what was the purpose of that? Well, if you’ll recall, Paisley himself said this not that long ago:

“You read it on message boards, you see what people say or if I’m looking at a guitar website: ‘Old country music! Whatever happened to old country music?’ Well, it became old country music. And I love it. I love everything about it. I love the day and time of Johnny Cash and Buck Owens on the radio. I love it. But they aren’t with us. We have what we have now, and I’m very proud of these people.”

C.M. Wilcox at Country California characterized this quote as Paisley balancing tradition with relevance. At the time I noted that it was as if Paisley was saying that traditional country wasn’t all that relevant anymore. I still think that, and it makes me wonder: If Brad Paisley thinks new country is so great, then why didn’t he mention any newer songs? Just like each decade before it, the ’90s and 2000s had their share of good and bad songs. I’m going to cheat here and crib from my wife’s list:

“Her Man,” Gary Allan

“You Were Mine,” the Dixie Chicks

“Drive (For Daddy Gene),” Alan Jackson

“I’m Tryin’,” Trace Adkins

(The Alan Jackson song was one of my picks.)

I suppose that might be pedantic, but the whole song just really rubs me the wrong way. It just sounds like he’s trying to have his cake and eat it too. Furthermore, it’s not as if no other genre talks about taboo subjects. To go back to one of my oft-cited examples, look at all the things heavy metal bands sing about: drug abuse, war, insanity with the urge to kill, and the list goes on.

On another note, so to speak, I was listening to Houston’s classic rock station, 93.7 the Arrow, earlier today. Just for grins I thought I’d take a look at their playlist; you might remember me ruminating on KZEP’s playlist and how it was different than any other classic rock station I’d ever heard. To say the least, I was quite surprised at the Arrow’s playlist. There were maybe two or three Rush songs, no Queensryche, no Triumph, and no Iron Maiden. A lot of the songs on their playlist I do love, but as I’ve observed before, there are more than a few of those songs that long ago wore out their welcome.

Maybe it’s just my tastes that have changed, I don’t know. God knows I have some fond memories of cranking the Arrow down at Crystal Beach in the first half of the last decade. I was just dumbfounded that the two stations’ playlists were so different. Would classic rock fans’ tastes in Houston BE that much different?

More blog coming.

May 25, 2011

I have a blog post in draft. But life calls. Stay tuned. 🙂

Just a note to Bono….

May 24, 2011

Hey Bono, your band is overrated as it is. Do you really want to antagonize folks more by going on stage and telling filthy lies to thousands of people?

I will note, though, that even if Bono walked on stage sporting a Springfield M1A and draped in bandoleers full of 7.62x51mm, U2 would still be the most overrated rock band ever.

(h/t Kahr40 and a bunch of other folks)

Bumps in the night, and what they mean.

May 24, 2011

So, Sabra and I were sitting in our room the other night, when Sabra heard what sounded like the gate outside shutting. Didn’t think anything of it, but when I gimped out to the truck the next morning to take the munchkins to school, I opened the door and things didn’t seem quite right. The sunglasses compartment above the center rearview mirror was open, as was the glovebox, and a casual glance at my dashboard revealed this:

…yeah. That noise we heard might very well have been the crackhead shutting the door after he jacked my stereo to finance his next fix. Now, remember what I was saying the other day about coming into contact with criminals?

Being on the property we’re renting as it was, I would have been well within the law to draw down on that son of a bitch with a gun. But what if it’d happened in, say, the outer reaches of the Walmart parking lot at 2300 hours? What if I’d come into contact with the crackhead then? Apparently the folks making the laws think I should’ve just turned & ran, you know, “given them what they wanted.”

Even if one could escape unharmed in that scenario, is it right to be forced to do that? Is it just? Is it moral? Is it really that beneficial to society, let alone vital to maintaining the social order as some folks claim? Sorry, but I don’t think so. If you have a claim on anything, but you can’t back up that claim with whatever force you personally can summon right then, you really don’t have that claim, do you? And that goes for everything from the newspaper money in your pocket to your very life. So who are the ones really advocating for anarchy and might-makes-right? It sure as hell isn’t folks like us.

(Seriously, with my gimp arm & leg, do you really think I could take on that crackhead with my bare hands?)

Oh noes, it’s teh release of teh felonz!

May 23, 2011

Oh boy, does this ever raise some fun & exciting questions…

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday endorsed a court order requiring California to cut its prison population by tens of thousands of inmates to improve health care for those who remain behind bars….

Justice Antonin Scalia said in dissent that the court order is “perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our nation’s history.”

Scalia, reading his dissent aloud Monday, said it would require the release of “the staggering number of 46,000 convicted felons.”

Oh noes, 46,000 convicted felons!

Hey, wait a minute. How many of those to be released have proved themselves to be a danger to society? If they’re not dangerous, then why are they still in jail? And if violent felons do get out, does this mean Californians carrying guns without permits to defend themselves from said violent felons get looked upon more leniently by the courts if they get busted? Yeah,I didn’t think so either.

Quoted for truth.

May 23, 2011

Oh man, this comment to this story was packed with so much win that it’s in grave danger of collapsing in on itself into a black hole of awesomeness:

“If he (John Joe Gray) had been accused of running pot, and not assaulted anyone, they’d have sent in SWAT teams 11 years ago.”

ZING!

“And when you ask ’em, ‘How much should we give?’…”

May 23, 2011

“…Lord, they only answer, ‘More, more, more‘…”

Nearly three years have come — and gone – since the United States agreed in 2008 to provide equipment and training worth $1.5 billion to Mexico in an effort to help combat raging drug violence.

Yet, despite pledges by two White House administrations to fix the bureaucratic problems besetting the so-called Merida Initiative, barely 59 percent of the promised U.S. spending has been completed, according to the State Department’s latest accounting.

That is pretty funny in a way, though. Bureaucratic problems? But hey, a new bureaucracy to run the health care system will fix everything!

I do wonder, though, about the helicopters and such. What are the Mexicans going to do when the cartels get the means to, say, shoot them down? How many military men on the American side of this with actual military experience are involved here? It strikes me that the whole Merida Initiative is another example of

A. throwing good money after bad; and

B. “Do it again, only HARDER!”

Seriously, do they not think something like regular people with rifles might help to at least stem the violence?

And this is bad…because?

May 22, 2011

San Francisco State professor John Logan, in this morning’s Houston Chronicle:

 If conservatives succeed in cowing the Obama administration on this issue, we may indeed be witnessing the last days of the labor movement in the United States.

That is the next to last sentence of Logan’s screed — but in the preceding 660 words, never once does he explain why the demise of the labor movement in America is a bad thing. He acknowledges that Boeing is going to benefit from lower costs by building a plant in a nonunion state, but then he goes right on to bitching about how small Big Labor’s presence is in South Carolina and the fact that Boeing is already moving jobs overseas. Logan chalks it up to a “complex global supply chain,” and considering that much of Boeing’s business is in China that might explain a lot of it — but somehow I don’t think that’s the end of it. If the union as an institution is that benign, then how exactly does one explain the state of the American auto industry, specifically GM and Chrysler pre-bailout? And if the union as an institution is so vital to the well-being of the American worker,  then why have right-to-work laws in the first place? Sorry, but I think Boeing has a right to build plants wherever it wishes — and isn’t x-hundred jobs paying nonunion wages better than ZERO jobs at union wages? Apparently not in the twisted minds of the union apparatchiks.

Another argument for Constitutional carry…

May 21, 2011

…right here:

A 10-year-old boy fatally shot himself Friday with a pistol he found at a north Houston car repair shop while waiting for his mother, police said.

The mother was a regular customer at Innovations Automotive, 9921 Irvington Blvd., near Tidwell, and brought her Ford Focus there for repair work on Friday afternoon.

The owner of the small shop kept a pistol in the office after robbers recently struck the business, relatives said.

Why would this be an argument for Constitutional carry? Well, that shop owner couldn’t keep that gun on his person because of the laws. As far as I can tell, the only place you can carry a gun openly is in your home. And even if the shop owner wanted to carry his gun concealed, he’d have had to go through the process of paying the fees and taking time out of his day to get a license to exercise what was his natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right.

But considering the old prohibition on carrying was originally intended as a tool to control black people in Texas, we really should get rid of it on general principle anyway. You might even call it the…progressive thing to do.