Friday Rants and Rock and Roll

Just a couple of things before I get to the good stuff–and by that I mean pictures of beer or whatever. It’s Friday again already! Of course, I haven’t taken a drink all week, except for Monday night at the Beagle, which I still haven’t written about (or last Thursday, for that matter). Well, I just haven’t had the time. We did most of the vocals, and some MaM-jo, but the heavy insider details will have to wait.

Now, I don’t give a shit about debates and certainly have not been watching or paying any attention to them this early. But I heard that Bill Richardson said something about homosexuality being a choice in the “gay debate” last night, and I would just like to say, so long, Bill, it’s been nice, New Mexico needs you back. Is he really that stupid? It doesn’t sound like any other candidate really stood out, or said anything that stupid, but come on, what is everyone so afraid of? The Republicans are supposed to be the homophobes (and sure enough they all apparently refused to participate in this debate) but why is it so hard for Clinton or Obama to just come out and say it? Say that the world won’t end if gays get married and gays have equal rights under the law and gays act gay. Unless they don’t believe it. (By the way, Richardson apparently backtracked; too late, dude.)

Another thing related to this: “I’m not a scientist, but . . .” How many time have we heard this kind of shit? That’s what Richardson said last night. “I’m not a lawyer . . .” “I’m not a nuclear physicist . . .” Bush says stupid shit like this all the time, in order to avoid answering questions. “I’m not a president, but . . . oh, wait, I am?” Why don’t they just say “I don’t know shit, I’m basically a conduit to whatever it is you want to hear, and so I will avoid answering anything of substance.”

I fucking hate politicians.

Back to more important things, like rock and roll. The Pearl Jam Debacle got a lot of attention, and I was amused at the reactions–typical, but no less stupid–in various places. The common theme was that 1) Pearl Jam did this for publicity because they are a “has-been” band; 2) they gave up their right to speak freely when they got onto an AT & T-sponsored stage at Lolla; and 3) that they should just shut up and sing anyway.

Number one: What everyone seems to not understand is that this band walked away from the spotlight on purpose, that they refused to play the game, stopped making videos and releasing singles and doing anything to promote their albums, besides tour and tour and tour. They did this because they could. They have been selling out shows forever and very likely do not ever need to work again; the sales of Ten alone will probably keep the money coming in long after they’re all dead. Point is, they never went away, they just refused to beg anyone to listen to them. And they just played to the biggest crowd that Lollapalooza has ever seen. Whether you like the music or not, they have remained principled (this is without even getting into the whole Ticketmaster thing), kept prices low, and been a consistent voice of the political left in rock and roll. They don’t need any more publicity.

Shit, this is getting long. Number two! AT & T has every right to do what they want to a webcast of the show that they are playing, but the point is that they did it at all; they cut out political comments, not swear words. Whether it’s legal or not, what does this say? Why are they protecting George Bush? Who’s deciding what to cut out here? All good Americans should be upset about corporate entities making decisions like this.

Number 3: Shut up and sing! Is this even real? Are all artists supposed to make songs that have absolutely no content besides fluff and love and puppy dogs? If I have opinions am I supposed to suppress them the moment I get out on stage? I mean, who does that? Did Bob Dylan shut up and sing? This is one of the most ridiculous things to come out of the Bush Era, this meme that artists are there to perform for the paying audience and not offend their sensibilities. I mean, how does anyone take this shit seriously?

This is the America that the right-wing wants! Again, good luck with that.

Alright, enough of that. I’m listening to Sirius’ Left of Center station this morning and so far so good: Radiohead, Beirut, Sonic Youth, Sebadoh, TV on the Radio, Elliott Smith . . .

Looks like Amy Winehouse started drinking after Lollapalooza and didn’t stop! Not very flattering pictures on that link.

Speaking of drinks, it’s time for a nice picture of a beer or something. Another weekend is upon us.

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