Archive for November, 2017

when demanded to the source

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Chuck Klosterman has an interesting opinion in this book about traveling to find popular musical death sites, as he travels the highways for blues legend Robert Johnson and his observation on listening to something that his rock critic predecessor, Lester Bangs as he momentarily became sick of rock in the wake of Altamont , considered revelatory — back to the source of all the rock he listens to — …

“I love blues based rock, but I f^ing hate the blues.”

Hm.  Kind of know and understand the sentiment.  It rhymes with this opinion, in reviewing a book about Prog Rock.

Do you like prog rock, the extravagantly conceptual and wildly technical post-psychedelic subgenre that ruled the world for about 30 seconds in the early 1970s before being torn to pieces by the starving street dogs of punk rock? Do you like the proggers, with their terrible pampered proficiency, their priestly robes, and their air—once they get behind their instruments—of an inverted, almost abscessed Englishness? I don’t. At least, I think I don’t. I like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which is a kind of wonderful satirical compression of prog rock, a fast-forward operetta with goofy existentialist trappings and a heavy-metal blowout in the middle; I like the bit of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells that became the theme music for The Exorcist. And there are contemporary bands I adore that have been grazed by prog: the moody, alchemical Tool, the obtuse and crushing Meshuggah. But for naked prog, the thing itself, I seem to lack the mettle.

It’s okay to like what indisputably sits on the shoulders of something, but not much take any liking for the inspiration… the fountainhead.

I suppose the last word on Prog rock is this episode of Chris Elliott’s Eagleheart.  I imagine “the blues” gets a little too racially loaded for anything so glib.

election 2017

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

Hey!  Tuesday’s election day in America!
And a chance to read the tea leaves.
Or… not.

Two gubernatorial races.  New Jersey, where eight years ago Chris Christie was heralded as up and coming, having taken out a corruptible Democratic incumbent.  He quickly established himself as one of the most popular governors in the nation.  This status was later downgraded to one of the least popular governors.  The Democratic candidate is expected to win in a walk, the deciding marker being that there are photographs out there of the Republican standing in the same room as Christie.  All very good for the Democratic Party, as the senior senator faces corruption charges and may want to vacate the seat… or get dragged away kicking and screaming… with the governor choosing his replacement.

So the big race is in Virginia.   Where the governors are limited to one term.  Granted, despite its historical purpose or use of allotting power to one source and diffusing any power accrument for potential rivals — Harry Byrd had the run of slottings through a chunk of the last century, and someone would have to clue me on what reactionary segregationist preceded him.  8 years ago, Bob McDonnell won and was instantly heralded as the future of the Republican Party by those desperately wanting to shake away the likes of Sarah Palin.  He was later indicted with corruption, a charge he shook away when the Supreme Court ruled defined terms of corruption downward, a Supreme Court ruling which served his Democratic successor well.  In this race, the Democrat may be or may be not ahead — holding as he does the counter-cyclical tendency of Virginia repudiating the last national election — with the Republican trying to assert some definition of something or other and the face of a new Republican Party.

Someone can explain to me what the three candidate is a Utah special election are doing.  It seems we have a third party who’s sitting in between the extremes of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party… Utah mind you, so we’re dealing with the great left wing radicalism of a Jim Mattheson… founded by the son of the man who lost a Republican primary (caucus) affair to some rightward figure.   So
Months ago a friend — and active citizen — contacted me to ask my opinion about a new nonpartisan party. My only response then was that a nonpartisan party is a contradiction in terms.
We seem to have one of these fringe parties popping up in every state.

And In New York City, Democrats are running against Trump and Republicans are running against Colin Kaepernick.  Even if it’s just for dog catcher.

go the way of the —

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

“The electoral history of the last seven or eight years is pretty abysmal. America’s oldest political party may go the way of the Federalists. It needs to reconnect with grass-roots supporters.”

This is interesting.  Not necessarily the sentiment, which is expressed one way or the other about the two parties at various times since … 1856? … but in that it’s usually expressed with …

“Go the way of the Whigs”.   At 98200 google hits versus 8820 google results for “go the way of the Federalists”.

What prompted this Bernie -ster (incidentally, a backer of a politician who is not a member of the Democratic Party, so why would he care?) to skip the Whig Party and go way back to the original political party to fade into oblivion?  As a general course, the reason the Whig Party gets cited — and it would make sense in context here — is that the party’s demise came by its inability to grapple with the moral issue of the day (slavery), which exposed the party as a constellation of self interested office seekers.

The Federalists’ nail in the coffin happened when they sought New England secession during the War of 1812.  A little bit the opposite — one fractures due to attempted centrism, the other due to extremism.  Or is he suggesting that something will brew with California and a lot of those states?