Archive for April, 2005

Is it too Soon?

Saturday, April 30th, 2005

Well, congratulations to Tony Blair on his impending victory for a third term as prime minister of Great Britian. He achieved this re-election through a platform promising better school lunches (I guess re-playing how he won his first election as ASB president for some damned Prep school), throwing red-meat to Labour Partisans by hinting that he might retire before his third term ends, and playing a game of “Ha ha. You have nowhere to go” with the unpopular War in Iraq.

The Liberal Democrats’ attack-ad showing Tony Blair standing proudly with George W Bush was blunted with an ad showing Bill Clinton praising Tony Blair. Thus, the sick and demented track of American political duopoly is tossed in. (Watch as in the next post I praise Bill Clinton and knock George W Bush back down. I’m a little inconsistent on where and how I apply this crash cynicism, and gray zones float aplenty.)

But here it is: Here:

When Mr Blair warned Miss Haigh that if she voted Liberal Democrat it could let the Conservatives back into power, she replied: “I know, that’s the scary thing.”

The current character of that whole weird scene is Zell Miller — who, after aiding Bill Clinton’s election, re-election, and George W Bush’s re-election, looks like he’s trying to turn himself into an odd gate-keeper of a Skull-and-Bones-esque Political Controller… recently hinting support toward Hillary Clinton (if she tir-angulates a bit), cooling on any Republicans who might run in 2008, and praising Virginia governor — who looks to be running for president — Mark Warner.

The head hurts. Is it too early to consider the 2008 list of candidates?

I’ve been meaning to stick a “Russ Feingold for President” item on the side-bar, probably taken straight from the ad purchased and featured at politics1.com. My sense is that it doesn’t matter: we’re getting Hillary whether we like it or not. Wesley Clark will be the token competitor last person standing.

Or if 2008 is too far across the corner, there’s 2006. As always, it becomes a stupid spectator sport. Your Senators and Representatives are all safe. Democrats salivate at Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, and wonder about Montana. Republicans place their bets on Minnesota, Florida, and Michigan.

In the not too distant future…

and on it goes

Friday, April 29th, 2005

There was something of a running joke on the Rick Emerson Show, but its message was pretty well established in truth. One Friday, Rick Emerson noted that the staff of the show had just been scheduled for a meeting after the show, at which point a whispered conversation ensured of “Uh Oh” variety. Next episode, Monday, Tim Riley started the hour reading the news, and then ended with “Now stay tuned for… Lifestyles Radio 910.” Cue an informercial on the healing powers of Oregano (disguised as a real radio program). A minute or so in, Rick chimes in with “Okay. Stop it.” And “That’s pretty much how it’s going to be whenever the company fires me. No warning. You just tune in, and hear something completely different.” Tim Riley then chimes in with his experience: “Go to work one day, tune on the radio, and you find that in the middle of the night they’ve switched over to Radio Disney!”

For that little bit, Emerson said that he tried to dredge up something from Marconi, the morning drive idiot who was canned from KNRK after making fun of the decapitated hostages in Afghanistan. He’s evidentally resurfaced down the dial, but the horror of his addition to “Max 910″‘s line-up would have been darkly sensical. Which is to say, he’s easily pigeon-holed into the “Talk Radio for Guys” concept that the corporate masters at Entercom had formatted for the radio station, alongside Don and Mike and Tom Leykis (and for that matter, though I like the program, Phil Hendrie.). At the same time, reading last month’s Atlantic Monthly article about talk radio including a man who was fired on one Clear Channel station and moved to another Clear Channel station (in a bigger market), the idea of shuffling Marconi from one Entercom station to another holds a sort of sick appeal.

I saw the addition of the first verse from Tre Parker’s “Man Song” as theme-song (lyrics not easily available online) as a mocking of the situation. But, he lost his footing at first, moved to the 9:00 time-slot.

As for Clyde Lewis… I remember my weird sense of panic when the stations switched over a year ago. If it’s difficult to explain Rick Emerson’s niche onto a very specific market segmentation, it’s harder to see from the vantage point of corporate suits back East what the heck to do with the Voice of the Toxic Avenger spouting out conspiracies (well simulcasted on the Internet, and “low power fm stations nation-wide”), never mind that anything else you might program won’t likely bring in any ratings.

“The difference between my show and all those other shows is that they have crystal strokers on who claim that the Aliens are going to save us. Well I say that the Aliens are Here and they’ve come to EAT US!”

As for the replacement: (1) That must be some work-environment the two remaining deejays at the oldies station are working under… they just watched an entire sister station get canned with no fanfare; they just watched one station completely disappear; they just watched most of their co-workers at their station get canned. (2) I’ve turned into “Charlie FM” for 15 or 30 minute chunks, feeling like I’m witness to a train-wreck of sorts and gripped by said train-wreck. Basically you have 30 years of Top 40 radio boiled down to a long random playlist. I don’t even know if this is true variety. While I guess you’re not likely going to hear a song repeated within jaunces in and out of the radio station, it’s hard to particularly care. I did hear a song for the second time in listening: Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice, Baby”. I assume if you listen to it more often than I that the replays of other songs might drown out that absuridty, but I for one can’t help slanting my head.

UPDATE: If you think my use of the phrase “train wreck” was inappropriate, consider that I’m not the only one using it. Instead of the 300 to 400 songs available on a typical station, CharlieFM will mix and match from more than 1,000 songs for what programmers call “train wrecks.”

Oh Sam I AM

Friday, April 29th, 2005

I Do not like the new Pope.

Item: Church Doctrine has changed. Harry Potter no longer “help children to see the difference between good and evil.”, as per the words of Pope John Paul II, with JK Rowling lived her life like a Christian, and that her way of writing reflected that”, but instead…

Pope Benedict XVI sayseth that Harry Potter is “undermining the soul of Christianity”. And, to the author of Harry Potter: Good Or Bad: “It is good that you explain the facts of Harry Potter, because this is a subtle seduction, which has deeply unnoticed and direct effects in undermining the soul of Christianity before it can really grow properly.”

Item: In November of 1997, then Cardinal Ratzinger blasted heavy metal music as “diabolical and satanic messages”. (Had anyone listened to heavy metal since the late 1980s?) … the worst offenders: worst
offenders” as Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and AC/DC. (AC/DC: “Anti-Christ, Death to Christ.”) Just as alarming, the “subliminal” and subtle Satanic influence found in the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Queen, Led Zeppelin and the Eagles.

Reminding me of the song from the Eagles, “Take it Easy”:

Well, I’m a standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
Channeling the Dark Lord Satan to Destroy the Soul of Christianity.

Item: Neil Bush, the president’s controversial younger brother, six years ago joined the cardinal who this week became Pope Benedict XVI as a founding board member of a little known Swiss ecumenical foundation.

The charter members of the board were all well-known international religious figures, except for Bush and his close friend and business partner, Jamal Daniel, whose family has extensive holdings in the United States and Switzerland, public records show.

The Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue was founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1999 to promote ecumenical understanding and publish original religious texts, said a foundation official.

Besides then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, founding board members included Rene-Samuel Sirat, the former chief rabbi of France; Jordan’s Prince Hassan, a Muslim dedicated to religious dialogue; the late Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, another prominent Muslim; Olivier Fatio, director of the Institute of the History of the Reformation; and foundation president Metropolitan Damaskinos, a Greek Orthodox leader…

The foundation, based at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Geneva, is listed by Dun & Bradstreet business credit reports as a management trust for purposes other than education, religion, charity or research.

Item: Pope Benedict Ratzingler as Cardinal was the man who sent to the US Catholic bishops the letter declaring that open supporters of abortion rights should be denied the Catholic sacrament for being guilty of a “grave sin”, and on to “the case of a Catholic politician consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” as one who should explicitly be denied communion by a priest… ie: Good Catholics should vote for Bush and not Kerry.

Item: Pope Ratzingler was a member of the Nazi Youth.

And so on and so on.

A Weary Nation Demands an Answer

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

Who was kicked out of the whig party in 1844 because he voted numbers 17 18 19?

Thus asked someone who typed it into a search engine and wound up at Struat.com somewhere.

The obvious answer appears to be John Tyler, but that was 1842 (though, to be sure, this affects the 1844 election). The man who replaced William Henry “30 Days” Harrison for president, but wasn’t “Whig” enough for the party, for compromising with the Democrats against the will of the Whigs on tariff measures. But that doesn’t explain who the heck voted numbers 17, 18, and 19 (that would have to be a House member or Senate member, because presidents don’t vote for stuff) or what the heck 17, 18, or 19 are.

I don’t know.

More Radio Gaga

Monday, April 25th, 2005

I turned in and out of this new-fangled thing called “Charlie FM” over this weekend, attempting to figure out what the hell the corporate masters over at Entercom replaced Rick Emerson, Tim Riley, Clyde Lewis (and nationally Phil Hendrie) with.

I did jot down the songs I heard, but I don’t have this log with me. I guess it’s full of surprises. No, I never imagined that I would hear Vanilla Ice on the radio ever again. Alongside Jethro Tull’s ode to animalistic sex. Alongside some vaguely memorable late 80s top 40 pop meledy.

Well… for the curious: The Tim Riley News Hour Memorial Website. The Rick Emerson Show Memorial Website. The Ground Zero Memorial Website. And, Aaron, Geek in the City.

Mesh those all as thou must.

The Charlie aesthetic is spreading. As it turns out, it’s not Entercom as I suggested over here that operates “Jack”, but it is Infinity. Why these corporation don’t just merge and be done with it, I do not know.

I’ve sort of wandered across the AM and FM dials, fixating on the two Entercom stations that have been affected by the dropping of “Max 910″ (a terrible station in the sense that the marketing to “Talk Radio for Guys” was heavy-handed and obnoxious):

94.7 is a good station. How did it become a good station, when it used to be an awful station? They started spotlighting local bands a bit (and I imagine that this should be a feature of all “alt rock” format stations), they have radio personalities (djs) that are human and relatable, and focus their energies on the music, they don’t just focus on what the recording industry is pushing for play…

Why is 97.1 Charlie FM (the station that ultimately replaced Rick Emerson and Clyde Lewis… and Phil Hendrie and Imus… and, if you must, Tom Leykis) a godawful station? It is literally a randomized computer play list, a medley of playlists off of soft rock, classic rock (with the hardest stuff thrown out), and various Top 40 stations circa 1980s-early 1990s.

Question: If I wanted to call in to request a song, where would I call in? How about if I want tickets to the latest great new band’s show, or some old band’s reunion show? (Incidentally, I had not heard a single commercial. I did hear inane jibberish of “Our record collection is taller than Mt. Hood” — said by somebody back East. Fill in the blanks for whatever other locales they stick “Charlie” into — “Our record collection is wider than the Grand Canyon”, for example.)

The same thing thing goes for KSSN-910. I hear a rumour that they used to have deejays at those call-letters.

Rick Emerson and Clyde Lewis were replaced by computer autotracks. And Entercom appears to be banking serious money on the “innovative” concept of “Charlie” (Portland being honored as one of the first markets for “Charlie”):

http://www.kisnfm.com/

Dear Loyal KISN Listener,
We wanted to let you know about a transition that’s going to take place today with KISN Radio. We’re moving KISN back to its original home dial position on the AM band to the 910 frequency. In its place at 97.1 FM will be a brand new radio station debuting in Portland called 97-1 Charlie FM. We actually think Charlie may very well become one of your favorite stations right along with KISN. Charlie will play thousands of songs (not hundreds like most stations) that were top 40 hits in their day from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

At the same time, KISN is a very special station with a lot of heritage in our market, and we didn’t want to lose that. We feel like we have the best of both worlds…the ability to launch an exciting new station with nothing like it in Portland, while keeping a great Oldies station on the air that we know you love. We’ll also begin streaming KISN on the internet very soon, so you’ll be able to listen anywhere when you’re on the web as well.

All good and well. But where would one go to learn about the Great Consiracy or hear stupid dialouges on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (or soliquays to Kennewick, Washington?)?

Bernie Sanders

Sunday, April 24th, 2005

“There is one Socialist in the House of Representatives. But he’s more or less a liberal Democrat. Why doesn’t he run as a Liberal Democrat?”

“How much credibility does that bring if he runs and wins as a Socialist?”

I mention this because Jim Jeffords, the ex-moderate Republican turned Democratic-caucusing Independent, has announced his retirement. Bernie Sanders, the Socialist Party Democratic-caucusing Representative of the state, is the front runner for this newly open seat — and probably the only Republican who could possibly defeat him is current Republican governor Jim Douglas.

Which means in 2006, more than likely, the Republican Party is going to have a new “Most Hated Senator” to take the place of Liberal Ted Kennedy or constantly-triangulating Hillary Clinton.

As per Bernie Sanders, he hasn’t been a true Socialist since his days of Mayor of Burlington. Or so I once saw a scribbling from either a Sanders supporter or a Sanders detractor. (And I don’t believe he has any weight from an official national party, thus… he’s always labelled in the media as “Independant”.)

Are You Getting Ready for Justice Sunday?

Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

HIS TRUTH IS MARCHING ON!!

Country music legend John Conlee has been added to the FRC Action’s ‘Justice Sunday – Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith,’ a live nationwide simulcast event that will be held at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, KY on Sunday, April 24 at 7 PM ET.

Conlee joins a line-up of prominent figures for the event, including FRC Action President Tony Perkins; Dr. James Dobson, Founder and Chairman of Focus on the Family Action; Dr. Al Mohler, head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries.

Fun for all involved. Watch Senator Bill Frist on TBN and educate yourself on how liberals are destroying people of faith.