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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Epic face palm: The RNC hits a new low

First, some definitions: A "face palm" is when you're slapping your face in exasperation over something being stupid. "Epic" roughly means "amazingly huge". Hence, "epic face palm" means that someone did something so amazingly stupid that it almost defies belief.

I know it's unlike me to post anything while the issue is still a hot topic, typically allowing cooler heads to prevail and the controversy to die down, but on occasion, there is something that screams for a response. I never thought I'd see top members of the RNC manage to surpass Palin's ineptitude and McCain's insensitivity to the plight of working Americans, or once again reach the low hit by the people crying "Terrorist" and "Kill Him" at a McCain/Palin rally, but they did. Whether or not you like President-elect Obama, whether or not you voted for him, you have to be appalled at the former chairman of Mike Huckabee's campaign releasing a CD with the song "Obama the Magic Negro" on it. Just when I thought the GOP's implosion could go no further, just when I thought they could not possibly damage themselves any more than they have, this happens. And what's worse is the guy, Chip Saltsman, not only did not apologize, he actually DEFENDED it by saying it was one of several "lighthearted political parodies that had aired on the Rush Limbaugh show". Holy fucking SHIT! I'm torn between shock and disgust, shock that, after their stunning defeats across the board in November, the RNC could have learned nothing, and disgust with the content and the man's defense of his, to be generous, bafflingly stupid choice. From my perspective, since this story broke this weekend, the RNC has roughly 48 hours to take drastic action or endanger its future even more than the last eight years have done. I just don't understand how someone could be that incredibly dumb. What was he possibly thinking?!

I have nothing else to add, so on that note, enjoy the song.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Holidays... bah!

I have always prided myself on being true to myself, on being honest when I chose to express my feelings. With that in mind, I recalled something I said years ago: If I'm ever desperate enough to consider searching for a date on the internet, I will convert to Catholicism and become a priest. Thing is, though, I'm finally almost that desperate, and I have no interest in converting to Catholicism or becoming a priest. It's those ads that seem to be perfectly done to make you feel the loneliness seep in. Well, either that, or I'm susceptible due to the "joy" of the holiday season and exhaustion. Still, I'm not susceptible enough to actually register on one of those websites, yet, though the day may be coming.

On a different note, I have been fascinated by the emergence of the Internet as a platform and staging ground for real-life activism. I must include a content warning for some of this video, from about 0:25 to 0:27 in particular. What I found particularly remarkable about this video is the creator using the strength of the organization he or she opposes against them. This is, to me, reminiscent of one of the core principles of judo. To those whose aims and means are good, the Internet is your friend and will help you achieve great things, provided you use a bit of intelligence and common sense. For those whose aims and/or means are for ill, or even simply marked with inexcusable incompetence, however, the Internet is your judgment seat. Lies and wrongdoing simply do not survive here, not in the long term, not when truth is available in such abundance.

Enjoy the music. Do these guys remind anyone else of Radiohead?

Monday, December 08, 2008

A deepening of sorrow: The Browns and Goldmans

One crow, sorrow. Two crows, joy. Three crows for a girl. Four crows for a boy. Five crows for silver. Six crows for gold. Seven crows for a secret that's never been told.
~The Crow: City of Angels, "Ashe Corven"

Draw your own conclusions from the above quote. I find it works in this situation on a number of levels. I counted only one crow as the sentence was delivered to Orenthal James Simpson, for all I saw was sorrow, one so deep I can scarcely fathom it. The Goldmans and Browns have hated Mr. Simpson ever since their loved ones were so brutally murdered in June of 1994, and frankly, I can't blame them. For over fourteen years, they sought justice, and indeed, vengeance on the man responsible for the murder of their loved ones, and if anything, I commend them on their restraint. With Mr. Simpson likely to spend most of the remainder of his life in prison, they have finally found the justice and vengeance they have sought for so long. One would think this is a time to rejoice, to be content with what the justice system has finally done. Though I have never met the Goldmans or the Browns, though my knowledge of them is no better than anyone else who reads the newspaper or watches the news, I can go by how I think I would react. It is for that reason my sympathy for them has increased with this recent conviction. By virtue of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, Mr. Simpson can never again be tried in criminal court for the murder of their loved ones. In essence, though every shred of evidence points to one individual, including the shoe prints of Mr. Simpson's size of butt-ugly Bruno Magli shoes, their cases will forever be technically listed as "unsolved", and he will never spend a day in prison as punishment for that crime. I doubt that 14 and one half years have alleviated that kind of pain, and I would not be surprised if that pain were everlasting. But the crux of a deepening of my sympathy for the Goldmans and Browns is this: They have hated Mr. Simpson for so long, and he has finally gotten some of what he deserves. Their calling to be the voice of those they held so dear is done. For fourteen and a half years, they pleaded for justice, cried out for those who no longer had a voice, and suffered pains beyond those of the damned. What do they do next? It is this question that really makes my heart ache for them. What now?

With all that in mind, I close with the quote I opened this post with:

One crow, sorrow. Two crows, joy. Three crows for a girl. Four crows for a boy. Five crows for silver. Six crows for gold. Seven crows for a secret that's never been told.
~The Crow: City of Angels, "Ashe Corven"

May mercy and comfort be granted unto the Goldmans and Browns and all those who knew and cared for the victims, and the victims of all crimes everywhere.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My first album review: Made Out of Babies "The Ruiner"

I recently listened to this album all the way through, and I'm still reeling from it. Julie Christmas' vocals go from creepily quiet to primal growling with alarming frequency and speed. As a whole, the album is a tour de force that makes just about everything else sound like Creed or Trapt. Although it is only 9 songs, we're talking about 42 minutes of thundering drums, guitars that will set your teeth on edge, and the greatest metal vocalist of our time. I hate picking a favorite song, but I have to go with "Stranger". At over 7 minutes, you won't hear this on the radio any time soon, but it perfectly encapsulates the strengths of this mighty band. No, Julie Christmas is not affiliated with Flyleaf, and while the superficial resemblance is there, Lacey Mosley does not even belong in the same conversation as Made Out of Babies' demented vocals. While Flyleaf is emo and annoyingly evangelical at points, Made Out of Babies is just pure, unapologetic, unrelenting metal with a laser-like focus on the music, wherever that may take them. And unlike Mosley of Flyleaf, there is nothing cute or remotely redeeming about Christmas' music. Her disturbing vocals belie a woman who, by all accounts, is very well-adjusted. If you're not the slightest bit freaked out, you're not listening. In the end, this was the album I didn't know I've wanted for years, the opus I once yearned for but had lost hope of finding. I have to give this a rating I almost don't believe in: 5 out of 5 stars. I say I almost don't believe in a 5-star rating or the "perfect 10", but this is as close to perfect as I've seen since "The Downward Spiral" by Nine Inch Nails.

Since I couldn't find "Stranger" on YouTube, this will have to do. Enjoy.

Grimace by MOoB