Mrs Morrison's Hotel

The 100% personal official blog for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, author, Celtic priestess, retired rock critic, wife of Jim

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I was, wait, sorry, that's "David Copperfield". Anyway, I was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Long Island, went to school in upstate NY and came straight back to Manhattan to live. Never lived anywhere else. Never wanted to. Got a job as a rock journalist, in the course of which I met and married a rock star (yeah, yeah, conflict of interest, who cares). Became a priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition, and (based on sheer longevity) one of the most senior Witches around. Began writing my Keltiad series. Wrote a memoir of my time with my beloved consort (Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison). See Favorite Books below for a big announcement...The Rennie Stride Mysteries. "There is no trick or cunning, no art or recipe, by which you can have in your writing that which you do not possess in yourself." ---Walt Whitman (Also @ and

Sunday, August 31, 2008

"My sister, my mother..."

Okay, now it's really getting traction, like a Sno-Cat in Alaska, as it were...

It could all be circumstantial, but: Is Sarah Palin's youngest "son", Trig, really her grandson, child of her 16-year-old daughter Bristol?

Or is it trout in the milk time?

Consider: Palin announced in February/March that she was 7 months preggers, astounding all who knew her, since she looked trim as a beanpole.

She gives a speech in Texas in April,during which she claims her water breaks. She goes on to give the speech, half an hour, THEN gets on a plane for an 12-hour flight to Alaska and a 45-minute drive to her hospital of choice (bypassing several hospitals on the way), and immediately delivers a "premature" child.

Bristol Palin was out of school for some months, allegedly suffering from mono. Hey, what a coincidence, the same months as the last four or five of her mom's "pregnancy"! (And she looked pretty darn maternal holding that kid at the photo op the other day, which I noticed before any of this stuff came out.)

Sooooo...whatcha think, punters? Either way it's horrific. Either Palin is the biggest liar in many years, and is ashamed of her slutty daughter whom she obviously didn't instruct in birth control (or successfully preach abstinence to, either), OR she jeopardized her own health and her baby's life by her actions in taking a long plane ride IN LABOR.

Once your water breaks, pretty much the only thing you want to do is get to a hospital. You do NOT want to be taking a plane ride of many thousands of miles just to get home. UNLESS...either you were never pregnant or you need to get to a hospital that's going to cover for you and your daughter.

And though you can certainly have a case of mono that goes on for a month or two (mine did, a very serious one, back in '65), these days you generally don't have one that goes on for five months, the length of time Bristol Palin was said to be out of school. And mono is a classic private school/Catholic school cover for pregnancy absence...

It just proves that McCain was so obscenely eager to steal a march on the Democrats, steal their thunder, by his announcement of Palin, that he didn't bother to have her properly vetted. Well, why would he, I mean, he met her ONCE, surely that's enough...

I want this to bite the Repugs in their collective ass so hard they can't sit down ever again. Or at least until they have to show up at the inauguration of President Obama.

Remember, this unspeakable excuse for a female said she'd force any daughter of hers to bear a rapist's child. Some compassionate mommy you got there, Bristol. (Or grandma, Trig...)

ETA: Here's another link...

And if you go to the Living Alaska blog for March 2008, you'll see some comment from the moment...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

President Bimbo

She's a John McCain groupie.

She supports creationism and oil drilling in protected areas, but thinks trying to work up renewable energy resources is a waste of time.

She's anti-choice, anti-polar bear, anti-environment, anti-gay marriage.

She tried to censor public library books.

She's young, utterly inexperienced, totally ignorant of foreign policy.

She likes guns (well, so do I, so I can't bust her on that...).

She's involved with bribery/payoff scandal stuff.

She tried to get the Alaska attorney general to come down on her brother-in-law because he was dissing her sister in a custody case.

Her husband works for Alaska oil interests, which she champions.

She governs the least densely populated state (48th overall) we've got with experience gained from running a town (Wasilla, AK, that she ran into $20 million of debt) that has fewer people than a couple of blocks in my East Village neighborhood.

She was nominated for VP by someone who'd met her ONCE.

She is being investigated on two fronts that could well lead to impeachment charges (or would if there were any justice).

Alaskans are appalled at her even being considered (except, of course, the igloo-brained idiots who elected her in the first place).

And she's a big old liar, baldly stating that she opposed the famous Alaska "bridge to nowhere." LIARLIARLIAR. She supported it. (So, stupid enough to think she can get away with lying and nobody will bother to check on something so easily verifiable.)

The newest wrinkle is that she's not the mother but the grandmother of the Down's syndrome child we hear so much about. (And I'm sorry if this offends some people, but I don't think deliberately deciding to bring a handicapped child into the world is a good idea. Besides, if she's so pro-choice under any circumstances, what was she doing having an amnio anyway? She was going through with the pregnancy no matter what. She says.)

This last questionable matter is based on the fact that she never looked pregnant during the duration of the alleged pregnancy, that she got onto a plane from Texas to Alaska immediately after her water supposedly broke (a HUGE risk), and that her 16-year-old daughter was mysteriously absent from school during the relevant period. It's not much to go on, admittedly, but it's a hell of a lot more substantial than some of the things Repugs have breezily and evilly thrown around: their preposterous claim that Obama is Muslim, for starters. (He certainly is NOT! He's the faithful 20-year disciple of a white-hating, America-trashing, foaming-at-the-mouth, racist Christian minister...and his wife was sitting right there next to him, and their kids too.)

Back to Palin. So she's all this and a bag of moose chips. And she could be our next-but-one President. When, oops I mean if, McPain goes down clutching his chest about six months into his first term, we will then be left with this insult to political womanhood, hell, this insult to PERSONhood, who will not have the remotest CLUE as to what to do next. Maybe she'll just go shoot a caribou. Or play hockey.

Do McCain and his stable of subhuman clowns really think that women who are angry about Hillary being shafted will vote for this reactionary slot-faced bint with Elsa Lanchester hair and dorky glasses just because she has double X chromosomes?

Do they truly think we're THAT STUPID? Or do they just figure, hey, she's got a va-jay-jay, she'll appeal to all those other people with the, you know, va-jay-jays? Yeah, they'll vote for her just because of biology! I thought that Repuglicans were against affirmative action programs...yet here we are. Amazing.

I really hope that people who've been posting here about how they're gonna vote McCain because they can't stand Obama or they're mad about Hill really take a long, hard rethink of their position. Because this is what we will end up with.

I personally think McCain just went bonkers. Right out there in front of God and everybody. Just flipped his twigs. And I regard the nomination of Sarah Palin (wish it could have been Michael, because then he could have changed the party name to the Dead Parrot Party...) as a pure gift to the Democrats. An undeserved gift, but a gift all the same.

If Barack Obama and Joe Biden don't grab this ball and run it to a touchdown in November they don't deserve to run a hospital giftshop, let alone the Free World (as we seem to be calling it again, in these opening days of Cold War Part Deux...).

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Wondrous Prospect

From Mark Morford, at whose feet I humbly worship:

Purging The Stupid
Finally, software that zaps the most obnoxious Web chatter. Is this the Second Coming?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Friday, August 29, 2008

Are you a terrible speller? Mentally primordial? Mean-as-a-snake Republican? Dick Cheney?

Are you fetishistically fond of posting puerile, unreadable, horribly punctuated, grammatically insane or otherwise indecipherable mental chyme all over the Web's now-ubiquitous comments boards, filling the public areas from here to Metafilter with OMG!! And !LOL!!! and ALL-CAPPED GIBBERISH that means absolutely nothing and is the conversational equivalent of dragging Ann Coulter across a chalkboard?

Well, the world has had just about enough of you.

Behold, as today's entry for the most brilliant-yet-unassuming innovation that just might change the planet: the YouTube Comment Snob, created by a humble Lutheran programmer named Chris Finke.

Like most genius ideas, The Snob is almost frighteningly simple: It is merely a tiny Firefox browser extension that works to filter out the most childish, overpunctuated, all-capped, horribly grammared, or otherwise useless comments that clog up the YouTube comments boards.

I know what you're thinking: Who the hell cares about YouTube comments boards? Hell, if you've ever taken even a cursory glace into that teenage e-wasteland, you know: he place is an intellectual pit, pure verbal slop, quite possibly the lowliest repository of moronic comments on the entire Interwebs, all seemingly designed for the sole purpose of making you feel very sad indeed about the state of grammar, mental acuity and the English language in America.

But this column is not about YouTube. This is about the Comment Snob filter itself Ð- or rather, the idea it inspires. Because let us imagine that we Ð- and by "we" of course I mean "some other brilliant software engineers out there who are clearly not me" -- develop the Snob's idea a bit more fully, make it into a free product, and give it away to a desperate and wary world.

It's a sad truism: With the exception of the most heavily moderated sites, much of the new wave of user-generated e-media has become a giant conversational dumpster. Overwhelming the handfuls of truly thoughtful people who want to strike up a tolerable conversation about a given issue or article is a nearly unstoppable flood of moronism, grandstanding, baiting, flaming, horrible syntax, intellectual cowardice, mental masturbation, "hella" and DooooD!!! and pwn3d!!!11 omg!!!LOL!! Despite years of defending the Web as an egalitarian free-for-all wonderland, I now tend to agree with "West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin, who said, "Nothing has done more to make us dumber or meaner than the anonymity of the Internet."

Even here at SFGate, where our article comments are lightly moderated (translation: overworked, understaffed editors zap inappropriate, racist, sexist, hate-speech comments as best they can -- which, given the sad budgetary state of major media these days, isn't as much as we'd like), even for us, comment abuse is a bit of a problem. And we get some damn smart people in there.

Ah, but now imagine a customizable filter set on your end. Something that lets you adjust how many times you see "ROTFLMAO!!!!" or OMG LOLCATS!?!?" or entire posts written in those SCREAMING CAPS, or even those right-wing nutjobs who gleefully try to bait you and talk up "yoo commie liberal faggits are ded go McAinn!!!!." All gone.

It gets better. Such a filter could even let you know if something you're about to post is unreadable or violently imbecilic, and give you a chance to make it passably coherent before encouraging you to buy a dictionary or zapping your homophobic spittle-filled butt back to Free Republic. Glorious.

It could be self-adjusting: Set the filter too strict and you might miss out on some decent-enough comments; too loose and you just get annoyed and leave. Ah, but find that verbal sweet spot where fabulous swear words and occasional leaps of rabid exclamation mix with complex, articulate thought, and voila: conversational nirvana.

"So unless I spell and punctuate and use grammar correctly, I get punished," says one timorous commenter in response to The Snob's existence. Well, yes. Then again, it also means the exact opposite: Write more clearly, spell check, use your brain and a single exclamation point instead of 12, and you get the "reward" of participating in a conversation among reasonably intelligent adults. Call it an incentive.

"OMG, this software is so elitist!" whines another. And OMG sweetie, you're so right Ð if, by "elitist," you mean "coherent." Or "intelligible." Or "articulate enough to make you not want to smash yourself in the face with a hammer every goddamn day." Sweet Jesus with a dangling modifier, when did it become desirable to lower intellectual standards to pond level and allow all manner of grunt and spit and screaming verbal troglodytes into the conversation? Oh right. Bush 43.

Lest you think such a product too draconian, Big Brotherish, intellectually dangerous, consider: The religious right has been doing this for millennia, blocking and filtering the dirty, terrifying world in every way possible, from vaginas to curse words, nipples to bodily fluids to porn to the very word "gay." And of course, they have failed spectacularly. Now it is merely the smart people's turn to filter out the unintelligible and the incoherent and the useless -- and, with any luck, those very people described above. And I think we have a far better chance of success. Why? Well, because it's already here.

Behold: The StupidFilter Project. Oh my yes.

StupidFilter is designed to do everything the Snob does, only better, faster, cleaner -- and maybe, just maybe, for the entire Web itself.

Its creators are apparently quite serious. StupidFilter is open-source, usable on any blog or wiki or media site anywhere. There's an official site. There's source code under GNU General Public License. There appears to even be some venture capital funding. Best of all: It's already in beta. Isn't that beautiful?

Could it work? Could anti-imbecile software radically improve the very quality and nature of conversation on the once-glorious Net for all time everywhere? OMFG, let us pray.

How glorious! How righteous! Being able to punish stupidity: Priceless.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Biden Our Time

Well, it's official. And though I can't say I'm thrilled---it's not exciting enough for that---I am very pleased.

I've always liked Biden, in spite of his distressing propensity to stick foot in mouth (the "Oops, Did I Say That Out Loud? Syndrome): he's smart, he's savvy, he's got loads of all the kinds of experience Obie doesn't have (ODISTOL???). Plus, even after all these years he never works on the anniversary of the 1972 death of his wife and daughter in a horrific accident with a tractor-trailer---a sensibility I can totally empathize with, as I do something just like it myself.

And he doesn't bring the baggage (at least not as much baggage) that Hillary would bring (especially the 6'1 piece of baggage albatrossity hanging around her neck).

I don't get these alleged Democrats (read "Repuglican trolls") who are now bellowing how they will vote McCain. How the hell do they figure McCain will be better:? He's still a lying, flipflopping, elitist pigdog WHO CALLED HIS WIFE A CUNT IN PUBLIC and who can't remember how many houses he owns. He has lied consistently and spectacularly about his voting record and his support for Chimpy-in-Chief. His term would be a mere extension of the Chimp's policies, and probably worse, since he wants to keep us in Iraq for the next 100 years and get us into Iran as well.

I hope Biden goes after him with all the fury of, well, a Fury. Obama has been notoriously soft on attack. I want to see McCain nailed to the wall.

But I fear, deep down in my shivering soul, that once more the Democrats will manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Pray it isn't so.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Eyewitless News

I love local news. Here in the hometown, I watch the morning, noon, 5 and 6 pm, and 11 pm installments. And when I'm away I watch whatever I can catch.

But lately I've been getting more and more annoyed, however, at how ignorant the local newscasters seem to be about how to pronounce local names. (And I'm going to name THEIR names, so here it comes...)

Admittedly, in the Tri-State (as they like to call NY, NJ and CT) we have a lot of problematic monikers: Native American placenames of various denominations, Dutch proper names, etc.

Copiague, Hauppauge, Sewanhaka, Van Wyck, Joralemon, Hasbrouck, Aquebogue, whole bunch more. Even Houston. (We say, correctly, HOW-ston. No "Yew" about it.)

I fail to see how imported newsreaders (WABC is the worst offender, but the other stations are far from guilt-free) can't manage to learn how to wrap their lips around words like this. Not. That. Hard. If little children who are born here can learn them, so can grown-up newscasters who are being handsomely paid to say these names when required.

It's your freakin' JOB, people! So just do it right, will you!

When I was on my "Strange Days" book tour in England, I did a few BBC appearances, and as I walked down the hallowed corridors to the various studios, I noticed that the walls were lined with memos detailing correct pronunciations of all manner of names both foreign and domestic. Now THAT's the way!

There's no excuse: these highly paid newspretties can certainly spare 45 seconds to check out pronunciations before they go live with the story. After all, they're supposed to be JOURNALISTS, right? Right???

So how hard can it be, really, to learn to say COE-payg or Jore-OLL-uh-mon?

And "Van Wyck" is Van WIKE, people, not Van WICK. Do we say "Van DICK" when we speak of the famed painter Van Dyck? No, we do not. We say Van DIKE.

(Actually, I'm told by Dutch friends that, correctly, it's sort of a cross between the long and short I-sounds, like Van Woyk or something. But WIKE works well enough.)

Another newscaster affectation that REALLY gets up my nose is something of very recent vintage: Latina (usually) reporters giving their names a pretentious and extremely silly-sounding Spanish twist.

So instead of "Thalia Patillo" (with the y-sound, which is fine, for the ll), we have to suffer through "Thaah-LEEE-ah Paaah-TEEEEYO". Just think of Inigo Montoya saying it and you'll get the idea. I generally hit the mute button as soon as I see her onscreen, because it's like nails on a chalkboard to hear it.

Another offender is Carolina Leid, or should I say "Cah-dddo-LEEEENA LEEEED."

Oh, knock it off, chicas, will you! We all know you're Latina and proud. Just pronounce it in normal English, please. We don't hear Italian and German or Swedish newscasters pronouncing their names as they would in the motherlands, do we? No, we do not. Just because you're Latina doesn't give you permission to inflict this on our ears. And it doesn't give you any more street cred, either...and you just sound ridiculous when the anchor you toss back to says your name in the normal English way.

But the single worst offender on local NYC newscasts is Channel 7 (local ABC) 5pm co-anchor Sade Baderinwa. You'd think with a name like that, which she pronounces Shah-DAY Bed-er-in-WAH, that she'd be extra careful. Alas, not so. She mangles more names and words than George W. Bush.

It's enough to make me watch the news with the closed captioning on. Except have you ever noticed how hieroglyphic some of those captions are, even (surprisingly) the filmed shows, where you'd expect the captions to be correct?

But that's a whole other rant. Excuse me while I go check the mirror to see if I've turned into Andy Rooney yet...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Oh, Woad Is Me!

When the Jerry Bruckheimer "King Arthur" came out in 2004, I vowed never to pay to see it. Because, you see, I know just a bit about Arthur, and all the historical and legendary variations. (And by "just a bit" I really mean "I'm an entry in 'The Arthurian Encyclopedia'...)

And I knew it would be a crappy piece of crapulous crappiness.

And so I never did watch it.

Until tonight, when, bored out of my mind and the only broadcast alternative being "Legally Blonde II", I allowed myself to watch it on network TV. (Well, I didn't PAY to see it, did I..)

And so I say: What. A. Piece. Of. Poo.

The historical inaccuracies are beyond counting...

The WOADS??? What's wrong with calling them Picts?

Arthur as an actual Roman (Arthur Castus?? "The Pure"?? How heavy-handed can we get, David Franzoni?)? Well, half-Italian, half-Briton, apparently.

The Round Table was a bunch of SARMATIANS??? Not bloody likely; Rome did not post such people to the ends of empire. (Well, they sort of did, but the few Sarmatians that had been sent to Britain were gone from there by about 200 CE. And in any case, Rome didn't like to post conquered "ethnics" to the far-flung corners of other conquered ethnic lands: afraid the auxiliaries would sympathize, and go native and desert or rebel against the Eagles. And NEVER were they without a firm solid-Roman legionary hand over them, just in case.)

"RUS" as a battle cry? Gang of Russians?? A Sarmatian named Lancelot??? And Galahad and Bors???

Roman pols claiming it's heresy to disobey them because they're God's deputies and the Pope said so? Isn't that kind of like, blasphemy?

Saxons invading from the NORTH?

A Christian boy destined to be pope called ALECTO (name of my favorite Fury)? (My favorite Harpy is Celaeno, if you're wondering: "She Whose Wings Darken The Sky Before A Storm". Though they're all cool.)

The Pope running things as a military commander and dictating Rome's foreign policy? Nuh-uh. Besides, by then Rome was ruled from Constantinople, I b'lieve.

Pelagius? He died before the historical Arthur was born. They could never have been friends.

The Roman pull-out from Britain happened 50 years before the movie says it did. And the Saxons didn't invade until many years into the reign of "Arthur", whoever he might have been. Hengist and Horsa, people!

Bogus battle tactics. In those days, you were infantry OR cavalry, not both. And you don't hurl your axe in battle, 'cause you might never get it back and what will you do after you've flung it and people who hung on to theirs come after you? You're toast, baby.

BADON HILL??? Came at the end of Arthur's reign, not the beginning.

And didn't we see that ring of fire offense in "Braveheart"? Yes, I believe we did. Though the flight of the flaming arrows was cool.

Mail? I don't think so! At least there wasn't that much of it, though the Celts had invented it centuries before (go Celts!) and the Romans improved on it (though they mostly wore plate armor or leather cuirasses and stuff). Mail was rare and expensive, and not until the Saxons did it get really popular. And I doubt the Saxons or anyone else back in that day wore dramatic long sweeping cloaks into battle: they'd impede the sword swing and wrap around your legs and just get you all tangled up in trouble.

And that's just the FACTUAL stuff. Some of the factual stuff.

The violence it does to the legend (The Sword in the Grave? Oh please! As if an expensive thing like that would have lasted stuck out there in the open more than ten minutes!) is even worse. And the Pagan/Christian thing? I won't even get into it, because my head will explode and there's no one around to clean it up.

They couldn't even get the geography of the place right!

Giant stone fortresses? Never existed in 5th-century Britain.

Stonehenge at TINTAGEL?? No. Tintagel on sea. Stonehenge inland in the middle of a big old plain.

Wall in North. No Romans north of Wall, with big fancy villas or not.

No Saxons coming from north of Wall. They came from the east and south, like the Vikings 300 years later.

No glaciers or big giant frozen lakes in Britain, except during the Ice Age 10,000 years previously.

Man! What a piece of wretchedness. David Franzoni, a scriptwriter I have liked, was asleep at the wheel for this one. He just didn't do his homework. Or maybe the dog ate it and he threw together this farrago of meretricious trash so he could hand it in on time to Bruckheimer. Or maybe he got it right and Bruckheimer messed around with it. I don't know. But it is truly, truly awful.

Oh, and the really bad Italian accents for the Roman characters? Hilarious. They all sounded as if they should be reciting the daily specials at my favorite pasta palace.

And of COURSE all the leaving knights loyally ride back to the side of the lonely Arthur on the hill awaiting the oncoming Saxon hordes. And of COURSE they go eight against several hundred if not thousands, and of COURSE they are triumphant. How very Kurosawa. Or Peckinpah. Yeesh.

Killing off Lancelot before having to deal with THAT little bit of legend was very smart, though. He's only a 12th-century French import anyway.

I guess we should count ourselves lucky that Rohan didn't ride to the rescue in the ruin and red day ere the sun was just a bunch of faintly blue, possibly radioactive people in tattoos and skimpy leather outfits coming out of the woods. And...leather bikinis in WINTER??? I know my people went into battle naked, but this is just silly.

And Clive Owen's little Braveheartesque speech? Oh, gag me with a caber! Viggo did it LOTS better.

Once I got over expecting anything good or real, of course, I just sat back and enjoyed the cheesiness. Not to mention the scenery and costumes (kind of hard to do, actually; the lighting director must have been freakishly sensitive to light, the thing is shot so darkly---I mean, it's called the DARK Ages, but they weren't literally...), and had many good laughs at the whole thing.

Especially the end. So, the souls of the knights dead in battle went into a bunch of very groovy-looking HORSES. I laughed so hard at that one I almost tipped over the laptop...especially at the lingering, almost porno slo-mo closeup on this gorgeous galloping black stallion, who you just KNOW was meant to be gorgeous Ioan Gruffudd/Lancelot...

Now, people have played around with Arthur's story for hundreds and hundreds of years. Even I have tinkered with it... BUT you can't tinker and then still say your version is truthful and accurate and based on the most recent and up-to-date research.

Which is what Bruckheimer and Franzoni and even Keira Knightley, poor deluded lass, claimed for this mishmosh. I'd like to see their justification for postulating one Lucius Artorius Castus (an apparently quite historical Roman cavalry officer, but of the SECOND century as opposed to the fifth, and by no means a Romano-British halfbreed) as Arthur based on "newly discovered evidence."

Yeah, in your Hollywooden dreams, guys...the utter gall just staggers me. They want to have it both ways: to have all the Arthurian mojo and cred, and also to pimp it out and glam it up and get their mucky fingerprints all over it. Jerks.

More cheese than a roomful of cheddar. Dear God, what a waste. The definitive Dark-Ages Arthur remains to be put on film. I suggest somebody (NOT Franzoni!) go buy the rights to Rosemary Sutcliffe's "Sword at Sunset"...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Bear That Walks Like A Man

Rudyard Kipling was right about Russia. They're nothing but furtive, secretive, outrageous bullies. What the HELL do they think they're doing invading Georgia (which I wish they would use a different name for in English, since it's so confusing...)?

People are watching the Olympics, so all of a sudden the Russkies think it's a good time to go marching into Czechoslovakia...oops, Georgia. I thought all this sort of thing ended when their pitiful Commie empire broke up and the Wall came down. When will they get it into their thick, borscht-for-brains peasant heads that they can't just decide they want some of their neighbors' land and march in to get it whenever they feel like it?

The breathtaking audacity of whoever it was baldly stating that "the world had better forget about Georgian integrity"??? What is WRONG with these people?

Okay, we're neither blameless or spotless in this area ourselves, but as far as I know we've never tried to annex a piece of Canada or Mexico, not recently anyway. I don't see tanks rolling into Alberta...

Yeesh. Between the Russians and the Chinese, I am utterly fed up with the Reds (and they're still Reds in Russia, don't let them try to tell you differently...)...why can't we have a new Peter the Great (despot, but benevolent despot) or Lao Tze running things?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Holding Out For A (Guitar) Hero

I guess it must be because it's summer and all the children are out of school, but I have seen more teenybopper bands on TV over the last week or so than I've seen zucchini at the Union Square Greenmarket.

I except from this the teen queens such as Miley Cyrus and others of her pubescent ilk. They're not even worth discussing, just dismissing out of hand. No, I'm talking about boy bands. Well, "bands" by courtesy, at least.

The Jonas Brothers, whoever they might be, infested the airwaves from early last week onward. It seemed that every time I switched channels on a morning show, there they were. And today something calling itself Metro Station, I believe, was making a spectacle of itself on "Good Morning America", complete with screaming little girls.

This troubles, alarms and desperately annoys me. I was never a screaming teenybopper myself, but I have seen the Beatle footage, of course, and I know very well what it looked/sounded like.

But those were the BEATLES being screamed over. Artists. Musicians. People who knew more than one chord and could actually write lyrics that made sense and moved the hearer. Even their early stuff. They made music that changed music forever.

But these scrawny little boys? They pose and strut and jump up and down and scream and make faces and fling their hair around and play their one chord and think that makes them rockers. Not so, talentless striplings! It just makes you posers. And very lightweight ones at that. None of them could get off a decent riff to save their lives.

These lads aren't fit to carry Jimi's spare guitar strings, and it makes me nuts that this is what a whole generation of young folk is growing up thinking is rock.

Well, 'tisn't. Rock is music with substance as well as style, and this auditory excrescence has neither, really. It's just a bunch of kids who were lucky to get out of their parents' garage and manage to convince some A&R guy to sign them. I'm sure they sell tons of records. But what are they selling?

Oh, plus the fact that they're not men. They're adolescent boys, looking barely old enough to shave, with adolescent bodies and adolescent voices. If not pre-pubescent: one wonders if their testicles have even dropped yet. The Beatles were men. The Stones were men. Jimi and Jim, dear God were they ever, were men. Even the Monkees were men, for pete's sake.

And the girls loved it. Maybe girls these days just want something unthreatening in the rockstar line, some Muppet-like creature who can't play or sing or even come across with a decently dangerous stage presence, to fantasize about. Very sad, if true.

Rock in my day and for quite a while thereafter was TOTALLY dangerous: intelligent and sexy and exciting. When you listened to it, or went to a concert, you felt you'd BEEN somewhere, HEARD something worth hearing. This boyband crapola is instantly forgettable: even cotton candy sticks around longer. I can't remember a single word or note either of these bands played, and I did listen, hoping to hear something real.

Just wasn't there. And I feel so sorry for the consumers...I can't even say fans...of this inconsequential nothingness. Souls can't live on cotton candy. But apparently this musical generation neither knows nor cares about soul.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lyin' Cheatin' Hound Dogs

Okay, that's it. Just when I think male politician behavior couldn't POSSIBLY get any worse (yes, I know, silly Patricia), along comes John Edwards and confesses to an extramarital affair and to lying about it wholesale.

Not only that, but he confesses to being a self-absorbed narcissist, and that's why he both cheated and lied, and oh yeah, he only cheated on his wife when she was in remission from her now-incurable cancer.

How noble. So...does that mean since she's no longer in remission he can't ever cheat on her again, but has to wait for her to actually DIE before he can screw around some more?

There is so much that is so appalling about this story that I just don't know where to start.

I really liked John Edwards for his policies, and was sad he didn't do better in the primaries. Now I'm thinking we all dodged a bullet. The cheating itself, I tend to feel that's pretty much between him and his wife.

Politicians cheat all the time. JFK cheated. Eliot Spitzer cheated. Jim McGreevey cheated. John McCain cheated (on his first wife, whom he then dumped, and he called his second wife a cunt in public). The media covered up for Jack, though, and the McCain info was pretty public all along (though why is no one saying HIS career is over because of it, the way they are for Edwards?).

It's the lying that gets me. Edwards lied to his wife. He lied to his supporters and campaign workers. He lied to the American public. And now he gets out there on TV and seems to be actually PREENING himself on his belated honesty about himself and his cheap little affair.

Makes. Me. Sick. Of course, it's hardly BushCheney lying about weapons of mass destruction to get us into war, and lying about how it's going now that we're bogged down in it up to our chinny-chin-chins. But it's lying all the same.

And the ARROGANCE. Talking on one side of his mouth about family values and how he loves his wife, and using the other side of his mouth to, well, you get the unsavory picture. And then thinking no one would ever find out about it. Oh, you poor deluded jackass. And poor deluded us, to have drunk the Edwards Kool-Aid.

Whether his wife drank it too...well, who can say. But she's standin' by her man, all right, the poor cow. Hopefully to make him feel even worse than he does, or should. It's hard to tell if he does or not: that interview was breathtaking in its sheer audacity. He seems to think he should be given big props for being so humble and chastened about being unfaithful, yet I can't help but think he's not feeling chastened at all except for being found out.

And then to learn that the raddled-looking slattern "Rielle Hunter", aka Lisa Druck, was the model for a Jay McInerney character because of her spectacular sluttery...well now, that's just perfect. Can't these guys ever pick decent-looking women of substance to have affairs with? No, because no such woman would ever countenance something so tawdry.

The fact that she refuses a paternity test for her child (whose father is now alleged to be an Edwards aide), and is said to have received a bunch of money from the Edwards campaign chest to take the brat and leave North Carolina, is just adding to the sleaze factor.

Plus the fact that it's all been covered up for two years, though rumors abounded: so the media is at fault there too, big surprise.

We never hear about powerful WOMEN politicians or judges having affairs, do we? No, we don't. At least, if we have, I've forgotten. But certainly nothing on the scale of this. Women are both too busy and too smart, and are in no need of using little sex adventures to make them feel big and important. Though if they did, I'd like to think they'd go for a better class of partner in infidelity...

What a sorry, sordid little matter.

And then of course there's the Russia-Georgia thing. I'll get into that maybe tomorrow, I'm too tired now. Besides, by then it could be nukes...

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Usually I'm a big old sap for the Olympics. (Especially when MDF Janice Scott's husband Rick Gentile was running them for CBS Sports back in the day: Lillehammer, Seoul, Nagano, Albertville, couple more.) I get all teary at the torch and the flag and the hymn and the oath and the flame lighting (the archer at Barcelona is my all-time favorite Olympic moment), and when I'm not all teary I'm mocking the ridiculous team outfits and host nation dance numbers and all that guff.

Not this time. I was thoroughly creeped out by the goosestepping militarism that the totalitarian robotic Chinese clones brought to the arena. Even those adorable kiddies in all those gorgeous costumes couldn't do it for me. Not when racketing through my forebrain were things like Tibet, and those indelible images of weeping Chinese senior citizens watching their homes bulldozed in front of them to make room for Olympic dorms (and who are now living on the streets), and all those migrant workers forced to leave town with no jobs and no way to support themselves just so the sensibilities of rich foreign tourists wouldn't be offended by the sight of them. Did I mention Tibet?

I do not like China. In fact, I hate it. It is a regressive, repressive, ruthless, humorless society that doesn't do things like normal people and insanely overreacts to outside criticism and treats its citizens like crap. Probably many individual Chinese are good and warm and intelligent people. In which case I wonder, why the hell don't they just rise up and overthrow their rigid masters? It's not as if they haven't done that sort of thing before, and I'm not talking about the Red Guard, either. They have the numbers, no question. So are they passive sheep, or what? If one Wall can come tumbling down, why not another?

Anyway, I'm not going to be watching the Big O coverage. Basically, I watched the opening festivities (not a patch on Seoul's wondrous and wonderful Go dance, btw) just to have my opinions confirmed. And they have been. And if it sounds racist, I don't really care.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

For David, 5 August 2006

This is a song Turk wrote for a friend he lost...I thought it could serve for my dear and longtime friend David Walley as well, on the two-year anniversary of his death...

Referred Pain

Paper cuts sting like fire
Mortal stabs you never see
It’s the shallow wounds that pain the worst
That’s how
you hurt me

Some may come and some abide
Others come and go away
Pain referred is pain denied
Let me heal just one more day

We weren’t meant to be forever
We were just a passing thing
Just because it was a deal
doesn’t mean it wasn’t real
But we never, no, we never made it sing

I won’t make the same mistakes twice
I’ll make new ones
Better than the last, I’ll choose them well
They’ll be true ones

And now you’re gone
Like a shadow on the sun
a detour on a trip
Unscheduled port of call on the last ship
Your days were hijacked in the middle of your run
But when all is said and done

Just because I’d left you long ago
doesn’t mean I don’t still miss you
Just because we let each other go
doesn’t mean I can’t still kiss you

I won’t make someone else’s mistakes
I’ll make my own
Not like any others ever made
They’re still unknown

Wherever you may be
You’re still my friend
Whatever I might see
That doesn’t end

Sometimes though you aren’t even here
I can feel you right beside me
Sometimes when I don’t know where I am
I know you’re the one to guide me

Remembering how it really was for us
I will always know
Remembering how you were the one to say
You’d be the first to go

(c) 2008, Patricia Morrison

Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy Lammas To All!

A contented and blessed Lughnasadh to everyone, and all hail Lugh Lamfhada!