In just a matter of hours, I will be off to the airport & on to Texas, traveling down south with the fam to attend my cousin Becky's wedding this weekend. But first, a few random notes & links on the state of this blog etc...
In case you hadn't noticed, I finally updated my local showlist & made it a wee bit interactive with the help of Eventful, which allows comments, pix, links etc on each show page & more. If you like, feel free to join "The Big Ticket" group to keep tabs on upcoming (or past) Mpls shows a bit more directly. I also updated the blogroll some, particularly the MP3 blog section - which seems to always be expanding. There are so many music bloggers out there doing such great work right now, it's easy to see how I've had trouble staying on top of the latest hotness, let alone find the time to provide quality content myself.
In anticipation of eventually (perhaps) dumping my .Mac account (which I've been pondering ever since they started cracking down on bandwidth a few months ago), I've changed the primary contact e-mail for this blog (listed in the sidebar) to firstname.lastname@example.org, which should match up nicely with the URL I'm planning to shift to onceI eventually make the jump to Blogger Beta. FWIW, the .mac address is still active & should be for a while.
I snapped the above pix a few recent local shows (more @ my Flickr via clicky).
Annnnnnnywaaaaaaaay, the bewildering (and extensive) response to the post I hurriedly wrote two weeks ago today is pretty amusing to me. Notice that I never joined in on the whole dust up, in fact I didn't even realize it was going on until I finally glanced back at the blog on the afternoon following its initial posting (I spent that particular Wednesday nite helping my pal Mouk catch up on the new season of The Wire). I was sorta hoping to wait until the comment count got into triple digits before posting my proper response to the dust-up, but since the flow of ornery responses seems to have pretty much flat-lined, it's about damn time I started posting something new, don't ya think?
First off, I wish I could claim that the sexy gentleman in the featured photo was me, but alas there's little chance I could successfully fill out a tank top so well, nor could I throw together such a fetching ensemble so quickly. No, I simply found the picture, by NYC-based photographerMichael Simon, after browsing around Flickr a little, looking for interesting pix from the '04 RNC with which to pair with my annoyance at the Republicans' choice of my hometown for their '08 party convention.
No, I'm not the craaazed political activist/anarchist some in the comments might have taken me for. I'm just a music & pop culture blogger who hasn't given his site nearly enough attention in recent months (hence the random political posts popping up lately while I slowly work on my next mix, amongst other things). I dunno how local writer, Star Tribune contributor & apparent rightwinger James Lileks even stumbled across my little under-performing abode here, but his actual mention of my rant/post was actually mildly amusing:
If all goes well I will be able to have a king-hell concentration of media folk for the ultimate Jasperwood party, and I’d mention that to my wife now but she’d already start planning. Some others are planning as well - which bandana should I wear to hide my identity from the killer-klown thuglican waterboarders? (Link contains naughty languaged, as well as a picture that sums up the auto-damning genre in one neat image. Cinch that face-flag tightly, lad! The RNC face-mapping programs might be on to you! Replace those definate articles with authentic street patois for extra cred! Note: that shirt is not a wife-beater. It's a partner-persuader.)
While Lileks is not of my political persuasion & is clearly delighted that the Party of Torture will be coming to town in two years, nothing in his brief, drive-by mention of me went beyond good-natured ribbing. Even the pile-on post by Australia-based & (apparently) more prominent conservative blogger Tim Blair - whose questioning of my mental stability may have some merit to them, though I think he was simply refering to the previously mentioned picture of not-me since I don't actually know the guy) was no big whoop.
However, as alicublog was nice enough to point out at the time, the readers of these guys who proceeded to follow their links over & go buck wild with ornery comments are another story altogether. Some of the early highlights (or lowlights, as it were):
Bedrock Guy @ 9/28/2006 12:51:36 PM: Hi. I've never been to the Twin Cities. Heck, I may come to the '08 convention now just to upset whiners and scum like the guy who writes this blog. What a punk.
Anyway, some random left-leaning people came to my defense (I guess) and the two groups of commenters (of whom I know probably none) got into a partisan bickering contest that I actually still haven't read all the way through. Doing so seems like kind of a waste of time frankly, given the uncivil tone of the "conversation" and the inevitable eye-rolling on my part IRT the whole dispute. The lengthy (for this blog) effort by conservatives finding this site via Lileks and/or Blair to hammer away at me (again, mostly because of the photo of not-me) eerily reminds me of some of the characteristics of the authoritarian follower, as detailed in John Dean's essential book Conservatives Without Conscience (see him discuss is with Olbermann over at YouTube), but mostly I have just laughed off the whole ordeal.
BTW: I suppose I do sorta apologize for the "asshat" comment from the original post, which was made out of annoyance & frustration more than anything. Pointless name-calling is just that, and there were plenty of other, more reality-based things I could have labeled the GOP as instead (bigoted, hypocritical, dishonest, homophobic, corrupt, pro-torture, etc).
My original post was also linked by Fern, a California-based "Jewish Republican" who makes too much out of my comments IMO:
At first I thought his post was kind of funny, but now I'm convinced that it is evidence of something very seriously wrong with the current state of affairs in America. Gone are the days when your political adversaries are "just wrong." Now, four letter acronyms for the legal definition of rape are used in conjunction with the name of your political foes. You refer to the conventions of "the other side" as mutual masturbation parties. You can't even stand to have your political opponents in the city in which you live. And beyond all that, you proudly display your hatred with absolutely no conviction behind your words because you aren't even willing to get arrested opposing such obviously evil, evil people.
So let's unpack this a little. Yes, I think there is "something very seriously wrong with the current state of affairs in America," though I doubt Fern & I would have trouble agreeing on what that "something" actually entails. I'm not sure what "four letter accronym" she was referring to, so I can't address that. The "mutual masturbation" crack may have been a wee bit out of line, but hey, I was pissed off & I legitimately think the Republican platform is full of bullsh** designed to get people to vote against their best interests. And while I don't have a problem begin in the same city as those on the other side of the political divide, having my hometown used as the GOP's election year megaphone (media oversaturation, motorcade-related inconveniences, severely enhanced swing state PR etc) just isn't my cup of tea, thanks. And yes, I'll probably be protesting, but no, I'd still rather not get arrested for doing so peacefully & in an orderly manner. Oh yeah, and I didn't refer to or label anybody as "evil" either - that's what President Bush does best (and see how well that has worked out).
MP3Pelle Carlberg - "Riverbank" But I digress. The Borf graffiti image at the top of this post was originally my second choice to accompany my initial RNC rant, but I doubt it would have gotten the visceral reaction that the one I chose received. For any so-called conservatives who are still ticked off by either image, or simply by the fallout of the still developing Foleygate scandal, give this lovely tune from Swede Pelle Carlberg's latest, Everything. Now! (MP3 via Labrador, originally posted @ 3hive back in early February), a listen & try to chill out. Or perhaps a word or two from Ray can calm you down.
For those who prefer their commentaries shrill & honest, check out Keith's latest special comment from last Thursday's Countdown: