Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday's Random Ten (on the road edition)

in case anyone might have been concerned about the gloomy nature of my postings lately all i can say is that before i posted the second emmylou i had just found out that by the time my daughter arrives from tucson and medschool for the long weekend, i will be long gone, again.

it's another symptom of that backwards loaded life i was noticing. my kids are all growing into the self-assured, talented, and independant adults i wanted them to be and when i finally slow down the being gone part of my life, it's time for them to leave.

ah, well, just an old guitar slinger arguing with "is" again. one of the gigs i have lined up over the weekend is a small (4 piece) combo that will be playing in a luxury suite at the arena right before the game. i don't have it all that tough.

Goodnight Irene - - Leadbelly
Sailor's Grave on the Prarie - - Leo Kottke
Jordan Am a Hard Road - - Merle Travis
Muddy Water - - Bessie Smith
Someday Soon - - Ian Tyson
Come Together - - The Beatles
Foggy Dew - - Sinnead O'Connor (with The Chieftains)
Angel From Montgomery - - John Prine
Bang On The Drum All Day - - Todd Rundgren
Back on the Chain Gang - - Pretenders


Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning - - The Reverend Gary Davis

what's on ya'll's playlist today?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Because One Good Emmylou Deserves Another

and because tomorrow morning I have to have my monkey suit and my happy face on to go to Vegas and make filthy lucre over the NBA All-Star weekend.

the whole time, this is where my head's going to be. i was talking to the God of All Ropers today and was telling him that my life feels backwards loaded sometimes. everybody else's holidays, parties, and celebrations are my days at the office. when i have a good chunk of time off, i don't want to go anywhere. i want a chance to stay home more than anything in the world.

being an old rodeo scuff himself he said "You don't see me going nowhere much, do ya?"

"I reckon not." I said.

(out west, that counts as a long talk)

laconicly crossposted at 3B's

shhh. calm down. easy laddie.

because my head and my heart need a break. nothing better than emmylou when that happens. put emmylou with the chieftains and i feel almost human again.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Woody Wuz a Spartacus Too

Woody Guthrie hated injustice. He despised people getting picked on and exploited. Woody would have been disgusted by pasty pudgy little peckerwoods like Karl Rove saying that they though their kids were too fucking good to pick some tomatoes or make a bed. Karl also implies that the people who do those jobs for us don't deserve a living wage or any of his concern. Karl Rove is a prime example of some of the things that I see which are wrong in the world. All through junior high and high school my friends and I went out into the melon fields. Cantaloupe and watermelon by the acre. We weeded, we hoed, we picked, we loaded, we packed. We worked our asses off until the harvest went further north. That way we had money for clothes, shoes and books the next year. Once I even bought a car with some of the money. I spent a whole $100 on that car. It lasted a good long time too.

My kids haven't had to do that. Mostly it's because I am a lucky bastard who has been given a chance to make some pretty decent money. My kids have gone with me to the fields though. They know very well that there are many, many good people who are only hoping for a chance to have a back breaking job for a season or two.

Anyway back to Woody. He said this about this song.

Seen the pitcher last night, Grapes of Wrath, best cussed pitcher I ever seen.
The Grapes of Wrath, you know is about us pullin' out of Oklahoma and Arkansas, and down south, and a driftin' around over state of California, busted, disgusted, down and out, and a lookin' for work.

Shows you how come us to be that a way. Shows the dam bankers men that broke us and the dust that choked us, and comes right out in plain old English and says what to do about it.

It says you got to get together and have some meetins, and stick together, and raise old billy hell till you get youre job, and get your farm back, and your house and your chickens and your groceries and your clothes, and your money back.

Go to see Grapes of Wrath, pardner, go to see it and don't miss.

You was the star in that picture. Go and see your own self and hear your own words and your own song.

Woody Guthrie, in one of his People's World columns (1939-'40), reprinted in Woody Sez, New York, NY, 1975, p. 133.

John Edwards talks the talk of this song. I 'spect to see me some walkin' before I go any farther in my support.

You can listen to the tune right here it's an old outlaw ballad called Tom Hardy. It's a long song. It takes about a week to memorize well enough to perform and almost seven minutes to sing if you don't drag the tempo. One of my daughters said it did a better job on hitting the important parts of the novel than Cliff Notes.

Tom Joad

Tom Joad got out of the old McAlester Pen;
There he got his parole.
After four long years on a man killing charge,
Tom Joad come a-walkin' down the road, poor boy,
Tom Joad come a-walkin' down the road.
Tom Joad, he met a truck driving man;
There he caught him a ride.
He said, "I just got loose from McAlester Pen
On a charge called homicide,
A charge called homicide."

That truck rolled away in a cloud of dust;
Tommy turned his face toward home.
He met Preacher Casey, and they had a little drink,
But they found that his family they was gone,
He found that his family they was gone.

He found his mother's old fashion shoe,
Found his daddy's hat.
And he found little Muley and Muley said,
"They've been tractored out by the cats,
They've been tractored out by the cats."

Tom Joad walked down to the neighbor's farm,
Found his family.
They took Preacher Casey and loaded in a car,
And his mother said, "We've got to get away."
His mother said, "We've got to get away."

Now, the twelve of the Joads made a mighty heavy load;
But Grandpa Joad did cry.
He picked up a handful of land in his hand,
Said: "I'm stayin' with the farm till I die.
Yes, I'm stayin' with the farm till I die."

They fed him short ribs and coffee and soothing syrup;
And Grandpa Joad did die.
They buried Grandpa Joad by the side of the road,
Grandma on the California side,
They buried Grandma on the California side.

They stood on a mountain and they looked to the west,
And it looked like the promised land.
That bright green valley with a river running through,
There was work for every single hand, they thought,
There was work for every single hand.

The Joads rolled away to the jungle camp,
There they cooked a stew.
And the hungry little kids of the jungle camp
Said: "We'd like to have some, too."
Said: "We'd like to have some, too."

Now a deputy sheriff fired loose at a man,
Shot a woman in the back.
Before he could take his aim again,
Preacher Casey dropped him in his track, poor boy,
Preacher Casey dropped him in his track.

They handcuffed Casey and they took him in jail;
And then he got away.
And he met Tom Joad on the old river bridge,
And these few words he did say, poor boy,
These few words he did say.

"I preached for the Lord a mighty long time,
Preached about the rich and the poor.
Us workin' folkses, all get together,
'Cause we ain't got a chance anymore.
We ain't got a chance anymore."

Now, the deputies come, and Tom and Casey run
To the bridge where the water run down.
But the vigilante thugs hit Casey with a club,
They laid Preacher Casey on the ground, poor Casey,
They laid Preacher Casey on the ground.

Tom Joad, he grabbed that deputy's club,
Hit him over the head.
Tom Joad took flight in the dark rainy night,
And a deputy and a preacher lying dead, two men,
A deputy and a preacher lying dead.

Tom run back where his mother was asleep;
He woke her up out of bed.
An' he kissed goodbye to the mother that he loved,
Said what Preacher Casey said, Tom Joad,
He said what Preacher Casey said.

"Ever'body might be just one big soul,
Well it looks that a-way to me.
Everywhere that you look, in the day or night,
That's where I'm a-gonna be, Ma,
That's where I'm a-gonna be.

Wherever little children are hungry and cry,
Wherever people ain't free.
Wherever men are fightin' for their rights,
That's where I'm a-gonna be, Ma.
That's where I'm a-gonna be."

Yeah, Woody was a Spartacus. I cannot speak for the other contributors to Big Brass Blog, it wouldn't be right or proper for me to do so. I do, with this post, invite them to stand with Spartacus, Shakes, Amanda, Woody, and me. I bet the Dark Wraith could enlighten us non-coding geniuses on how to lump up the byline on this one.

Big Brass Blog

I Am Spartacus

you fuck with Shakes and you fuck with me.


Nobody Wins

That's what Melissa McEwan said in the post announcing that she too, has resigned from the Edward's campaign.

There have been death threats. Threats against her life, and the lives of her family.

This behavior from crazed, yet craven Christiopathic bastards has driven good people from the marketplace of ideas. It has shown that a measured, decent response is not good enough to suit these people. They weren't satisfied by attacking things that might have been said, maybe even said in a better way, they took it straight to the young women involved and their families in a violent and personal way.

Young women were told that they should be raped, they should be beheaded, their corpses mutilated. They were told that their families should be forced to witness these outrages before the families themselves were then outraged.

It makes me want to puke. If this is the god they worship. If this is how a believer in their Jesus makes themself precious in the eyes of their lord. I'm glad to be an atheist.

The media is well up into this. I saw that racist fuck face Donohue spewing his charges of bigotry on MSNBC's Tucker (rhymes with Motherfucker) Carlson without an opposing view, with nothing but smirking joy from that bow-tied piece of shit.

The fact that a bigoted, sex-obsessed, hate monger like Bill Donohue could be on the national media lecturing people on morality is crazy making.

That only once, in the last week, only once was there somebody who pointed out his bigotry and history of viciousness.

Now Melissa has been threatened to the point where she must withdraw from working for a candidate that she truly believes in.

She tried to hang on. Bless her heart, she didn't want to let us down.

Melissa didn't let anyone down. I am proud to say that I call her a friend. A kindred spirit.

I encourage you to call Bill Donohue at 212-371-3191 and tell him that he must immediately and in no uncertain terms call off the attacks and threats. He won't because he is nothing but a bloated bag of hateful wind.

I am reading Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali right now. It is an eloquent, clear eyed memior by a young woman who grew up in the shadows of tribalism, female genital mutilation (which she describes in matter of fact plain language), a journey through devotion and belief in Islam (in her teens she proudly wore the hijab), into a life of reason.

It is a searing and brilliant look at the world we will all inhabit if we allow the like of Donohue to influence our debate.

Melissa, if you want to hide behind a cactus fence, you are welcome here


Monday, February 12, 2007

Lincoln's Birthday

from the 1864 election written by Jesse Hutchinson (no relation to Asa)

the tune is Old Rosin The Beau

Hurrah for the choice of the nation!
Our chieftain so brave and so true;
We'll go for the great reformation --
For Lincoln and Liberty, too!
We'll go for the son of Kentucky
The hero of Hoosierdom through;
The pride of the Suckers so lucky
For Lincoln and Liberty, too.

Then up with our banner so glorious,
The star-spangled red, white, and blue,
We'll fight till our cause is victorious,
For Lincoln and Liberty, too.
We'll go for the son of Kentucky
The hero of Hoosierdom through;
The pride of the Suckers so lucky
For Lincoln and Liberty, too.

They'll find what by felling and mauling,
Our railmaker statesman can do;
For the people are everywhere calling
For Lincoln and Liberty, too.
We'll go for the son of Kentucky
The hero of Hoosierdom through;
The pride of the Suckers so lucky
For Lincoln and Liberty, too.

I Got Your Mistake Right Here Mrs. Clinton

Hillary Clinton is trapped by her own position on the war in Iraq right now. She's trying to parse and shift the blame for her votes to allow war powers to the President. I ain't buying it.

She was a junior Senator, but a Senator. When the President came asking for his authorization to go to war, she let it happen. She didn't insist on debate, she didn't question the intelligence that was brought forward, she didn't ask where the money was coming from, she didn't do a goddamned thing but go the fuck along with it. Why? I think she was trying to preserve or form an image suitable for the run for President that she's making right now. What she doesn't get is that she blew it right there. She was a Senator. Absent 60 votes for cloture the Senate could have tied the resolution up and not allowed the war to begin. They were told there was an immediate threat and they took the word of a proven liar at face value rather than ask for definitive proofs. They bought that whole "if you could have seen the evidence that I've seen" they didn't want to be accused of being "soft on terrorism" they were concerned more with their own politcal viablity in future elections than they were with whether or not there was really a reason to go to war. They sat there and let it happen.

You made your Mistake Senator Clinton when you didn't insist on hearings. You Made your Mistake Senator Clinton when you abrogated the oversight duty of the Congress as the war lurched and sputtered on.

You made your Mistake Senator Clinton, and our children died, were shot and blown to bits, and are dying right now. You made your Mistake. Whether you admit it in those words or not.

You failed us in your duty. Our children are dying, and you can't even organize a meaningless non-fucking binding resolution.

Do the job you have now before you ask me to support your promotion.



blackdog over at Big Brass Blog is pointing out that there is a three part documentary about the war for control of the media beginning tomorrow night on PBS. I usually watch Frontline when it doesn't interfere with must see basketball. I'm going to give this one a looksee.

Random Flickr Blogging (1610)

Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan managed to piss off Popes Going. This. Far. Back.

(giggle, snort)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

It's Not Found on YouTube

Because the world only knows Mason Williams on account of "Classical Gas." He was also one of the main writers for the Smother's Brothers Comedy Hour. He writes poetry, short stories, along with some pretty damned good songs. Here's one of my favorites. It's done in a "Talkin' Blues" style. It really doesn't matter what key you use, because, you're talking. The guitar figures are used to keep the meter and rythym of your delivery going. As a matter of fact, it will be an exercise in memory for me to type this without a guitar in my hands. All from memory, if I blow something, sorry Mason. I will have, at this stage, practiced the mistakes so much that it is now how I do it.

J. Edgar Swoop

by Mason Williams

Now, as everyone know, the eagle's supposed
To be the symbol of freedom.
They're very well respected, goverment protected
It's against the law to eat'em.

On dollars and collars and medals for scholars
And flags that wag in the wind,
On cigars you puff and American stuff
The eagle is proudly pinned.

With such a position in American tradition
The eagle's a responsible bird,
And moral delinquencies and idiosyncracies
Are seldom, if ever incurred.

But there once was an eagle who was not very regal
By the name of J. Edgar Swoop
And it was quite often heard "That bird's absurd,
And he ought to be kept in a koop."

An example I'd say might be his toupee
Which he thought made him look debonaire
And if he went to pike, he'd always hitchhike
Never did travel by air.

J. hung around the streets downtown
He said "These mountains are dull.
All's that you meets are occaisional sheeps
Or a couple of high-flying gulls."

But the worst thing of all was that he had the gall
To wear some baggy old knickers
They was pink and blue plaid and they fit him so bad
They caused twitters, guffaws, and snickers.

Word got around in the government town
About J. Edgar and his antics.
A meeting was held and some senators yelled
"Unamerican!" and the usual pedantics.

An F.B.I. director (that's a Federal Bird Inspector)
Was called in to handle the deal.
He said "It seems to me that this eagle's too free,
I suspect he's gone over the hill."

There's only one choice said the people's voice
America's depending on us
We got to find this bird and give him the word
E Pluribus Unum or bust.

So the F.B.I. they set out to try
To make J. claw the line.
He just wouldn't listen so they throwed him prison
To pay for his traitorous crimes.

When things quieted down in the government town
They decided to make and appendage.
Because the symbol of our country was in the penitentiary
We need a new government image.

The measure was born and committees were formed
To find the new Yankee Doodle.
The symbol that best reflected the west
Was none but the Miniature Poodle.

Some argued the facts with what a poodle lacks
"And besides," they said "They's French."
But said the committee "So's the Statue of Liberty."
And it went up before the bench.

The law was passed and it was at last
Entered on the government logs.
J. Edgar didn't care he said "Them Poodles is queer.
And America's gone to the dogs."

Thanks Mason.