A terrific older essay by Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce on how fucking insane Republican Party has become (it appeared in the magazine’s May 2012 issue) has been resurrected on reddit/r/politics. I must have missed this one when it went around the first time, but it has not dated in the least since then (if anything it’s more true with each passing day). A gem, courtesy of one of the very best political writers in America today:
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Republican party, root and branch, from its deepest grass roots to its highest levels, has become completely demented. This does not mean that it is incapable of winning elections; on the contrary, the 2010 midterms, as well as the statewide elections around the country, ushered in a class of politicians so thoroughly dedicated to turning nonsense into public policy that future historians are going to marvel at our ability to survive what we wrought upon ourselves. It is now impossible to become an elected Republican politician in this country if, for example, you believe in the overwhelming scientific consensus that exists behind the concept of anthropogenic global warming. Just recently, birth control, an issue most people thought pretty well had been settled in the 1960s, became yet another litmus test for Republican candidates, as did the Keystone XL pipeline, to which every Republican presidential candidate pledged unyielding fealty despite the fact that several prairie Republicans and an army of conservative farmers and ranchers are scared to death of the thing.
In Washington, there is no leadership anymore, no “Republican establishment” to which anyone can appeal. The ferocious strength of faith-based know-nothingism in the party’s base has resulted in a stubborn refusal to adopt even those ideas — like an individual mandate for health care, or cap-and-trade as an energy policy — that began as Republican ideas.
In the states, we have seen a staggering overreach on the part of Republican governors in the Midwest regarding labor rights, wildly restrictive voter-ID laws aimed at solving a problem that doesn’t exist, immigration statutes that are leaving lettuce to rot in the fields because nobody’s left to pick it, and a welter of preposterous antiabortion statutes. And behind all of that, a party base that has constructed its own private history, its own private language, its own private logic, and its own wholly rounded private universe.
That’s how Sarah Palin can tell people that Barack Obama wants to bring us “back to days before the Civil War” because Obama once hugged Derrick Bell, a law professor at Harvard. That’s how an insurance-friendly health-care bill can be declared to be socialism when it’s not being called the first step toward fascism. That’s how Mitt Romney came to tie himself in a bowline trying to run for president, even though he was the only real candidate in a field of crackpot poseurs, and even though he was running the only real campaign as opposed to tent revivals, exercises in brand maintenance, and extended book tours. Too late did Romney realize that the path to the nomination led through an alternate reality.
This was a development long in the making, and one of which we may well never see the end. It began with the vicious, truthless campaigns run by the National Conservative Political Action Committee in the late 1970s. This initiated the creation of a conservative network that was outside the formal party structure. To this was added independently financed think tanks, Christian colleges and (later) Christian academies and organized home schooling, and conservative boot camps that produced young people, and young candidates, whose primary allegiance was to conservative ideology and not to the Republican party. Eventually, as was proven by the failed candidacies of Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle, which helped lose the Republicans a golden chance at controlling the Senate as well in 2010, these people cared less about whether the party succeeded than they did that their ideology was kept pure and their private universe invulnerable. In trying to control the uncontrollable and to appease the insatiable, forcibly locked in with itself, like the Beales in Grey Gardens, the party gradually lost its mind.
That last sentence is quite simply… prose perfection. Pierce deserves a Pulitzer prize based on that line alone*.
The Democratic party has an obligation to beat the Republican party so badly, over and over again, that rationality once again becomes a quality to be desired. It must be done by persuading the country of this simple fact. It cannot be done by reasoning with the Republicans, because the next two generations of them are too far gone.
The whole thing is most definitely worth your time. While you are there, you should bookmark the Esquire Politics blog, it’s an essential daily read for political junkies.
His post this morning about Harry Reid and why he’s letting it rip so hard on Mitt Romney is also a must read.
Let’s Stop Being Upset with Harry Reid Already (Esquire Politics)
(*If it were up to me, I’d award a Pulitzer to Charles P. Pierce, if for no other reason, his snarling use of an all-purpose, southern-fried epithet my grandmother used to employ with great disdain: “dipshit doodlebug.”)
This is a great mash-up because it works on several levels:
It’s seamlessly edited. The two songs meld and build on each other. It has an organic dynamic.
A mash-up can editorialize and this one does so with style and intelligence. In juxtaposing very different musicians from distinctly different cultures, but who draw from similar wells of inspiration (politics and social commentary), it celebrates the unifying power of music and it specifically reminds us of the vital link between punk and reggae. It makes a statement beyond the statements the songs already make or re-enforces the statements made… or both. In this case, the songs share a deeply cynical view of any kind of quick spiritual fix, religious or otherwise.
It takes two really good songs and combines them to create another really good song.
It fucking rocks and it brings a smile to my face.
“Get Up Hitch A Ride” - Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” vs Green Day’s “Hitchin’ A Ride” mixed by G3RSt.
Via Audioporn Central.
British film maker and writer Horace Ove’s Reggae was the first documentary to capture the early days of reggae’s UK invasion and its growing popularity outside of Jamaica. In this mix of performances filmed at Wembley Arena in 1970 combined with footage shot in the West Indies and interviews and commentaries providing social and political context, we are introduced to reggae as an art form that transcends music and becomes an articulation of a complex culture and a powerful medium for change.
The Heptones - Message From A Black Man
The Pyramids - (Pop Hi!) The Revenge Of Clint Eastwood
Noel And The Fireballs - Can’t Turn You Loose
The Pioneers - Easy Come Easy Go
Laurel Aitken - Deliverance will come
Black Faith - Everyday people
The Beatles - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da/Get Back
John Holt - I Want A Love I Can Feel
Dave Barker (Tommy and The Upsetters) - Lockjaw
Count Prince Miller - Mule Train
Millie Small and The Pyramids - Enoch Power
Mr Symarip - Skinheads Moonstomp
The Maytals - Monkey Man
Desmond Dekker - Israelites
Bob & Marcia - Young, Gifted & Black
Reggae has not been released on VHS or DVD. Finding it on Youtube made my day. These are the groups and artists that revived my passion for pop music before punk came along.
Photo: Horace Ove.
Today is Andy Warhol’s birthday and here’s a little something I think Andy would have appreciated - a video game in which the player takes on the role of Valerie Solanas.
“I Shot Andy Warhol” (a mod of Nintendo’s “Hogan’s Alley” made by Cory Arcangel) is a perfect example of a Warholian appropriation of pop culture. But instead of just watching, we get to participate in the process of the modern world eating itself. We have the choice of missing our target and keeping Warhol alive for eternity in our gaming consoles.
This is actually a lot better than you’re expecting it to be. It’s really kind of good.
Via Disko Akademin
Ronald Reagan, that evil fuck President who willfully destroyed working class communities to give tax breaks to the rich. Reagan was happy to do it so long as it was African-Americans that bore the brunt.
Reaganomics left half the Black population on welfare. Reagan had no conscience about it. He had a money lust which hit hardest on those who were weakest and least able to fend for themselves.
Stopping poverty wasn’t on Reagan’s tick list. Rather it was cut corners and take, take, take from the poor - which stooped as low as having the tomato base on pizzas reclassified as fruit to ensure he could slash the cost of school dinners. He even tried to do the same with tomato ketchup but failed.
Reagan’s policy was simple - if you were poor: fuck you. If you were sick: fuck you. If you were dying of cancer: fuck you and get a goddamn job.
For young African-Americans in the 1980s, it seemed the hard-earned achievements of the sixties’ Civil Rights movement had been too easily betrayed and forgotten. And when crack cocaine hit the inner cities, it seemed any hope of a future was gone.
Against this background arose a culture of music that was to redefine Black America. Hip-Hop and Rap reflected the poverty, despair and violence of life in the ghettoes. It also railed angrily against the indifference and cynical exploitation by successive Presidents, whose only interest was to help themselves and help the rich.
Letter to the President is a fascinating over-view of the rise of Hip-Hop and Rap, and their importance in bringing a community together against a common enemy. Narrated by Snoop Dogg, and with contributions form Quincy Jones, KRS-One, David Banner, 50 Cent, Chuck D, Ghostface Killah, Nelson George, Sonia Sanchez, and Dick Gregory.
Yes, you read that correctly: A fucking idiot in a pink shirt who closely resembles a young Rip Taylor decided to protest marriage equality and the General Mills corporation’s support of gay rights by attempting to burn some Cheerios… before it all goes horribly wrong.
As one commentor wrote:
“He had to buy those Cheerios first, before torching them… I wonder if it occurred to him that in doing that he was supporting the company he was protesting against.”
I don’t really think much of anything ever occurs to goofy cereal arsonist Colonel Manboobs here…
The Spotnicks are an instrumental rock group from Sweden. Formed in 1961, they were well-known for their “space suit” costumes and their Ventures-esque electric guitar sound. The Spotnicks have released 42 albums and sold over 18 million records. They still tour.
I guess if your gimmick works, then stick with it!
Below, The Spotnicks do their hit “Rocket Man,” based on a traditional Russian folk song, in 1962:
More of the space-rock sound of The Spotnicks after the jump…
TOHJIRO is the founder of the Japanese AV (“adult video”) studio Dogma, which specializes in producing “extreme” fetish videos including bondage and various unorthodox S&M themes. He is the porn auteur behind such fucked up mayhem as “10 Year Special Lessons In Secret Technique Men’s Bible Vol. 2,” “Female Meat Toilet,” “Vomit Enema Ecstasy X” and the whimsically titled, “Underarm Hair Drug.”
TOHJIRO has been called the “greatest porn director in the world.” He has also been described as a “sick, impotent freak.”
His latest film, “Maple Flowers Bloom 7: RARE FETISH” takes the current worldwide crazy for bacon on everything to its logical conclusion. Well logical if you happen to be a celebrated Japanese pervert, I suppose.
Here’s a direct translation of the description as it appeared on YouTube (they took it down after a few days last year). I’m guessing this gets pretty close to the original meaning(!):
Work is that every problem in the sensational topics covered in entrails of Sanae Aso SEX of the resurrection for the first time in 17 years to get maple flowers that bloom seven abnormal Queen. Cooperation of flowers Mon familiar with Fechizumu internal organs to stage a space suspicious the image of the original force, the interior of the uterus, chair restraint, responsibility dissecting table winding meat body tied malformation bandage, such as hanging lesbian aquarium giblets, upside down bondage intestine, play spooky engaged to be. Flower maple played a perfect girl delusion dream strange possessed desire regression womb, even in continuous blame grotesque, reached ecstasy, sometimes fall into a trance sometimes, out only exposes the sexual perversion with hidden, wrapped in a strange beauty and Eros.
The sensual beauty of organ modeling captured by the camera is really striking. Offal is just her costume color. Ekusutori -ーsystem! Unbelievable! Surprise and excitement. Serious uneasiness. Birth of a masterpiece of heresy was larger than the previous scale-up. To witness the genius of director TOHJIRO, can not help but groan involuntarily. After 17 years Turned Upside down by the sickest was Adult Video in history, Genius-Hentai director is finally back with His MOST Tohjiro Infamous, incredible, anyone’s Beyond Imagination Project: Rare Fetish. Proudly presented by Dogma, a Festival of viscera, Bowels, raw Meat and Extreme SM & Fetish play, featuring the beautiful Fuuka Nanasaki, at Her Best erotic performance. Buy its digital version via Dogma’s Official Website! (no Animal was Harmed in the Making of this video, since all the meat and viscera came from professional meat shop).
BEFORE YOU PRESS PLAY, I should probably warn you that you cannot unsee what awaits you in this video. Nothing X-rated here, and no nudity either, but please make sure that you really want to see this before you hit play. That is all.
Thank you to a friend who probably doesn’t want his name associated with this stuff!