Saturday, October 11, 2008

Right--You're Bloggy Well Right!

Amazing thing, this economic meltdown is, ain’t it?  For the first time in my life, I actually now give a shit about the Dow Jones Industrial Average on a daily basis, and after following it throughout the day at work all week, I have to ask—how/why is it we (as a nation) put our economic well-being in the hands of a bunch of Wall St. bloodsuckers?  After all, isn’t the stock market basically a form of legalized high-stakes gambling?  I have no doubt Mr. Spock would find this whole thing “most illogical.”  I hope the experts are right in that this period of volatility will probably subside after the election—if we make it that far before Great Depression, Part Deux, that is…

McCain/Palin supporters had their collective panties in a wad this week over Palin’s extreme (and un-retouched) close-up cover photo on this week’s Newsleak, er uh, Newsweek all because it showed off all her flaws.  “This cover is a clear slap in the face at Sarah Palin,” a Republican political commentator told Fox News.  “Why?  Because it’s unretouched.  It highlights every imperfection that every human being has.  We’re talking unwanted facial hair, pores, wrinkles.”

As usual, the Republicans only care about what shows, rather than the actual issues, thus their desperate attempt to divert voters’ attention—no wonder McCain is rapidly losing ground in this race.  Their crass gambit of trying to link Obama with terrorists smacks of desperation too.  As for close-up photos, I don’t see where Newsweek or Time tried to airbrush that big mole next to Obama’s nose on previous covers either, so gosh darn it, maybe next time Ms. Winky-Dink might wanna whip out her Lady Schick and rid herself of those unwanted facial hairs before her photo shoot!  As for wrinkles, this woman is 44 years old—she should have friggin' wrinkles!  Hell, I'm 44 and I have wrinkles...

By the way, I think Sarah Palin looks kinda French, don't you?

Just finished reading the very interesting autobiography of Styx bassist Chuck Panozzo entitled The Grand IllusionLove, Lies and My Life with Styx.  Chuck was ironically my least favorite member of Styx during their heyday, although he’s a decent bass player—I’d put him in the category of "serviceable" with the likes of Van Halen-ex Michael Anthony and U2’s Adam Clayton.  However, I’ve learned a new respect for CP after reading his dual-purpose chronicle which not only tells the history and internal strife of the band (including his late twin brother John‘s downward spiral with alcoholism), but Chuck’s struggles with his sexuality and battle with HIV/AIDS that ultimately led to his coming out as being gay in 2001.  My reaction to the latter revelation was “kinda figured”, not unlike when I heard the same about the late Freddie Mercury.  Ironically, on the day of my first Styx concert in 1981, my old man said to me, "Styx?!?  Isn't that one of those queer groups?"  Uhhh, not exactly, Dad...

As for the band, it seems that the internal squabbles more or less started about the time of the album Cornerstone when Dennis DeYoung insisted on including his treacle-ly ballad “Babe”, which subsequently became a #1 hit (naturally, it would), further fueling DeYoung’s already burgeoning ego.  I’ve tried to give DDY the benefit of the doubt over the years, as I think he’s a great songwriter—in spite of authoring the inane line, “You are here/So am I (ya think?), the weather‘s quite divine” from “Light Up”.  He’s an outstanding keyboardist to boot, but it appears Dennis is the main culprit as breaker-upper of the original group in 1984.  His grandiose Broadway-style musical leanings that led to the dreaded 1983 Kilroy debacle chafed everyone else’s hineys and even after a couple of semi-successful reunions in the ‘90s, guitarists Tommy Shaw and James Young got fed up with DeYoung and moved on without him, replacing him with kinda-sorta sound-alike keyboardist Lawrence Gowan.  I used to think it was a situation where both sides were wrong and that it was all a lot of petty B.S., but now I see Tommy’s and JY’s point:  Sorry, Dennis, but Styx is a Rock band, not a Cabaret act, so get over it, Mr. Robert Orin Charles Kilroy!  Excellent book…

I heard this week that NBC is developing a new version of “The Partridge Family”.  They’re treading on sacred ground here, but apparently this time instead of the kids recruiting Mom to form a musical group in the garage, Mom will be the protagonist trying to make a quick buck or two off her offspring à la Miley Cyrus, et al.  Three cheers for originality, huh?

“Hotel California”—THE EAGLES (1977)  “Her mind is Tiffany-twisted—she got the Mercedes-Benz…”  Thirty-one years after its release, I just realized yesterday that Don Henley wasn’t singing “Her mind is definitely twisted…”

My trusty 13-year-old Briggs & Stratton lawn mower is sadly showing its age, as the right front wheel literally fell off of it this morning as I mowed the back 40.  The body frame of the mower developed a crack between the bolt holes after years of wear and tear, and the wheel literally tore part of the frame off with it.  Undaunted, I finished the job on three wheels anyway!  Hate to have to replace this rascal, because the mighty B&S motor still runs like a Deere.  Hard to believe I only paid a c-note for this mower brand new in 1996—easily the best $100 I ever spent.

A contributing factor in my mower’s demise could well be the large burial mounds created by this little bastard squirrel that I’ve had to navigate over during the last week.  He’s been stashing his nuts away for winter, and I’m going to string this little douche-bag up by his nuts, if I ever catch him, as he’s made my yard look like downtown Beirut.  Don’t be fooled by their cutesy appearance, folks—squirrels are just rats with fuzzy tails...

Yours truly may well be the only person in the history of Netflix to have both the (original) Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Mary Poppins in his DVD queue at the same time!  I watched the latter last night for probably the first time since I was like, five.  I remembered the music from MP moreso than the film itself, and sad to say, it comes across mighty hokey some 40-odd years later.  Dick Van Dyke had no business trying to pull off a Cockney accent, either.  As for TCM, it’s even dumber than it was the first time I watched it 20 years ago.

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