i will be your screech & crash
Starting things off this week with politics & the approaching election, the big news today will likely be about the explosives looted from Iraqi stockpiles after the U.S. invasion, as reported on the front page of Monday's New York Times. If you recall, Kerry spoke about this issue during the debates, but it takes the media a while to actually figure out that some things are worth reporting. Of course, political bloggers were all over this story, especially Josh Marshall from Talking Points Memo on Sunday. Atrios and Kos also chimed in about the hundreds of tons of explosive materials that were left unguarded after the fall of Baghdad, which have undoubtably been used by insurgents to kill americans & others. What did secretary-of-defense Donald Rumsfeld have to say about the Iraqi looting (at the time): "Freedom's untidy. And free people are free to commit mistakes, and to commit crimes" (also via Atrios). I truly marvel at the incompetence. Don't all of you?
In other election-related nonsense, Majority Report & Oveis both tipped me off last week to an interesting poll about how ill-informed many Bush supporters are compared to their Kerry counterparts, as reported by IPS news. The report, conducted by the University of Maryland-based non-partisan research group PIPA, explains how a large percentage of Bush supporters hold incorrect beliefs about the existence of Iraqi WMD, the false Iraq-Al Qaeda connection & the negative global public opinion regarding the U.S. invasion of Iraq, despite news reports to the contrary. They even have misguided perceptions about many of Bush's positions, believing that the President actually supports international treaties such as the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty or the Kyoto protocol on global warming when he clearly does not. So, are Bush supporters just willfully ignorant? Principal investigator Steven Kull attempts to psychoanalyze:
The roots of the Bush supporters' resistance to information very likely lie in the traumatic experience of 9/11 and equally in the near pitch-perfect leadership that President Bush showed in its immediate wake. This appears to have created a powerful bond between Bush and his supporters and an idealized image of the President that makes it difficult for his supporters to imagine that he could have made incorrect judgments before the war, that world public opinion could be critical of his policies or that the President could hold foreign policy positions that are at odds with his supporters.
Wake up America. Now, on to the music...
Did I particularly love David O. Russell's new "existential" comedy I ♥ Huckabees? Not really, though it was amusing. Have I hyped said film on this blog? Yes, and several times no less. I couldn't help myself - the film's trailer was just too fun, clever & well-constructed. It also had the benefit of being backed by this soothing pop number from the it-film composer of the moment, Jon Brion. This song appears on the film's soundtrack, which includes both oddball score tracks along with several original songs by Brion. Pitchfork reviewed it last week, for those who are interested.
A couple weeks ago, some of the guys from NYC "art-rock" darlings TV on the Radio appeared on Air America's Unfiltered & performed this accapella version of "Ambulance" (apologies for the lo-fi 64kbps sound, btw). This version is actually groovier IMO than the also very stripped-down version of this song that appears on this past spring's Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes LP, which just goes to show what a little beatboxing (along with some guitar-strumming) can do. Chuck D sounded like he dug it.
I spent way too much of this weekend watching my new dvd's of season one of the hilarious & addictive Arrested Development (which does very well on repeated viewings) and season one of the utterly absorbing The Wire (which is difficult to turn off). Both shows were shelved last nite to make way for game two of the Series, which is off to a nice start (as long as you're a Boston fan, anyway). The second season of AD will premiere on November 7, and The Wire's third season resumes next Sunday. Those looking to catch up on The Wire can tune into HBO all this week, as they will be replaying the first 5 episodes of the new season. "Tap in" & get hooked.
BTW: Pop77 is currently on hiatus. Come back soon, CP. I miss ya already.