Slacker Friday

Slacker Friday

They call this "Journalism?"


They call this "Journalism?"


I’ve got a new Think Again column called "The Truth about Conservative ‘Journalism’" here. It’s about the antics of Mr. O’Keefe et al.

I did not use this piece to get into the crazy interview that Breitbart gave Peter Ames Carlin reminded me, in the letters column to Romenesko of just how silly it was. But this quote: "They want to control the narrative," Breitbart says. "I’m saying, ‘No more!’ The new media has freed it up. I’m sorry, mainstream media. It’s over.Your ability to control the narrative is over." Well, it’s just so funny. I mean what does he think is going to replace it? Him? Crazy people dressed as pimps and hookers and telephone repairmen?

Also this one: "MSNBC and The Washington Post, you know, go nuts trying to grant terrorists at a time of war all of the rights under the world, while James O’Keefe gets arrested … and they’re already framing him." Really? In what universe? It strikes me that the Post, at least, is falling all over itself to embrace O’Keefe and Breitbart’s nutcase view of the world, at least until they were forced to accept its logical conclusion. Read the whole amazing thing if you want a laugh. It just goes on and on…

And that’s all we have today, now here’s Sal on Bowie.


Sal on David Bowie:

I’ve made no secret of my love for Bowie’s most recent output."Earthling," "Hours," "Heathen" and "Reality" released in 1997, 1999, 2002, and 2003 respectively, offer songs that stand up to anything Bowie has put out in his long career. I’m convinced most people have never even listened to these records, yet still manage to dismiss them as unworthy. On this live set, which is essentially the audio portion of the DVD of the same name, wonderfully remastered for CD, Bowie and his band run through songs from these records, as well as some chestnuts and rarities, over two nights in Dublin. With setlists running from 30 to 35 songs, the shows on this tour were some of the longest of Bowie’scareer.

While the aforementioned records might have suffered just a bit from over-production, the songs performed live, rocked nicely. Bowie’s band, which features longtime members Earl Slick on guitar and Mike Garson on keyboards, as well as one of the best drummers out there, Sterling Campbell, really wraps itself around some of the more familiar material like "Fame" and "Heroes," breathing new life into what you’ve heard so many times before, and seems to really have some fun on some of the songs that are not played so often, like the Iggy/Bowie-penned classic "Sister Midnight" (a highlight here) and "Fantastic Voyage" from 1978’s "Lodger."

Here’s my one complaint—you knew I had to have one—this set features 33 songs culled from the two nights in Dublin, 30 of which appeared onthe DVD I mentioned earlier. The three "bonus" tracks are tacked on at the end of Disc Two. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have sequenced the min their original running order of the set? Am I being an asshole? On top of that, two more additional tracks, which would then represent every song played on those two nights in Dublin, are iTunes exclusives.This is extremely frustrating for the people who still shell out money for CDs. At a time when CD sales are down 688 percent, this seems like amissed opportunity for the loyal Bowie fans. I mean, who else is buying this set? (Maybe I am being an asshole, but that’s what I would have done.)

Fall Dog Bombs The Moon
Breaking Glass
China Girl

5:15-The Angels Have Gone


Charles Pierce

Newton, MA.

Hey Doc: "William Blake and the eternals/and the Sisters of Mercy/lookin’ for the Veedon Fleece." Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Party Girl" (Gravy) — I see Darren Sharper going 50 yards the other way with an interception, and every step he takes is a tribute to how much I love New Orleans.

Short Takes:

Part The First:
As though there weren’t enough reasons to hope that the Big Honking Football Game Sunday geauxs the right way, there’s now Scott Fujita. One of the basic problems with being a civil libertarian always has been that we never have enough linebackers.

Part The Second:
Something like 40 percent of the self-identified union households that voted in the Massachusetts special senatorial election voted for Scott Brown, who this week changed his mind and demanded to be sworn in as quickly as possible so as to help derail a pro-labor nominee to the NLRB. Barnum was an optimist. There are apparently several thousand born every minute.

Part The Third:
Personally, I think Democratic politics would have been infinitely better had Rahm Emanuel gone into representing D-list TV-movie actors, but this has to be one of the most senseless controversies since the last time someone put Gennifer Flowers on television. People, you are responding to Sarah Palin here, and she is a marginal political figure at best. That this thing lasted longer than 15 minutes in the news cycle is an embarrassment.

Part The Fourth:
John Edwards is pretty far beyond rehabilitation as a public figure at this point, I suppose. (Although why he is, and both Newt Gingrich, who dumped two chronically ill wives because of his own Comely Aide Problem, and John McCain, who dumped his severely injured wife to marry well out in Arizona, are still considered perfectly respectable National Voices, is beyond me.) Nevertheless, the ongoing Andrew Young victory lap is something that ought to make everyone involved in it spit up their livers. Young and his social-climbing wife — who has the downcast-eyes-moral-revulsion pose down to a performance art piece at this point — spent a year on the gravy train as paid beards for an adulterer,and now they’re back on it as the Devoted And Betrayed. What a crock, and what an awful pair of harpies these two are.

Part The Penultimate:
It is now clear that the entire Republican pushback on financial reform legislation is going to be based on a pack of lies. We now know this well ahead of time. If it works, and I think it will, it will be referred to thereafter as "effective," as though that also made it true. Recall, always, the Third Great premise: Fact is that which enough people believe, and Truth is measured by how fervently they believe it.

Part The Ultimate:
I feel like being naive here, so let memake a proposal to people like Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson, and to the various Blue Dogs in the House. Look, gang. You guys are going to lose next fall, and some of you are going to lose hugely. You can campaign as hard as you like, but I don’t believe it’s ultimately going to do you much good. So here’s the deal — get out of the way. Vote with the party on health-care, on financial reform, on cap-and-trade, on all of it. (And, Blanche? It might even be good politics for you anyway) Become more Democratic than LBJ. If you’re going to lose anyway, have some fun while you’re still in there. Jack the rich guys. Tease the wingnuts unmercifully. Say anything you want, and vote the right way. If you’re going to lose anyway, you’re…liberated. You’re free as birds, the lot of you, for the next nine months. Unless, of course, you’re already lining up those sweet K Street jobs so as to have a soft landing in the Dreaded Private Sector. In which case, well, you’re pretty much what I thought y’all were all along.

The Mail

Name: Stephen Carver
Hometown: Los Angeles

Dr. A,

I read your column regarding "Game Change" and I must say that afterward, I was interested in NOT reading the book for the following reason: the title.

Call me naive about politics or call me stupid, but what amazes, astounds and disgusts me about Washington these days is that EVERYONE thinks it is "a game." With health care, these are American lives they’re discussing, yet politicians care more about scoring political points, and journalists care more about who gets the story first, rather than who gets it right first. It’s just tit for tat and no one wins anything.

With energy and global warming, we’re talking about the future of human life on the planet, yet politicians on both sides care more about their corporate Big Oil contributions than whether their great grandchildren will all have to live in Colorado and Wyoming because Florida, Louisiana and Maryland are under water.

The world has gone on for so long like this and yet people haven’t even begun working out the sustainability issues currently facing us. I’m not one to think the world is coming to an end at all (I actually believe we’re pretty smart for the apes we are), but I am concerned about our short sightedness as a species. It is, perhaps, our evolutionary Achilles heel, and our politicians, who were once much wiser than the rest of us (think Founding Fathers), have simply turned into corporate shills.

I don’t know what the solution is, but isn’t the first step in any rehabilitation program to recognize the problem and acknowledge it? Isn’t that what Obama is trying to do lately?

Name: Makaainana Hawaiianstyle

Let’s think about Corporations and politics.

Its axiomatic in a Democracy that one man equals one vote.

I propose legislation that says a Corporation must poll its employees and stockholders on a topic/person/cause that the corporation wants to contribute money to.

Then the corporation must contribute to organizations involved in that topic/ person/ cause in proportion to the poll results.

No one surrenders their political voice or right to an opinion just because they invest in a corporation or union nor do they do so if they are employed by the corporation.

If the legal reasoning is that corporations are groups of individuals that should not lose their political advocacy rights just because they are a part of the organization/corporation then this law is simply ensuring that the individual keeps his political voice.

Name: Glenn Lambert
Hometown: Lost Angle Eez

At a Hudson Books at JFK last Saturday, I saw a copy of Pierce’s "Idiot America" displayed in the "Self- Improvement" section. Apparently some people think it’s a curable condition.

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