Dedicated to the legislators in Arizona

Albi was a racist dragon. But Albi learned not to be racist anymore by befriending a little boy (that he had burnt the day before because, after all, Albi was racist) after they were both chased out of their town for being different.

Maybe that’s what Arizona needs – to be thrown out of the US.

In the eighties through the early nineties they made a ruckus for being holdouts on celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Public Enemy notably produced a gubercidal fantasy song and the NFL (about as conservative a major business as it gets) moved its 27th Super Bowl from Tempe to the Rose Bowl in response to the state’s opposition to the Civil Right icon’s memory.

And now the state’s legislators have brought up another couple of dark kettles. First is this state bill to effectively criminalize being brown without carrying proper ID (whatever the heck that may mean. Is a driver’s license good enough?) and authorize unwarranted searches. Stephen Colbert – bless his heart – had an excellent word about that the other day and it is worth a view (or a few).

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word – No Problemo
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

And then Senator John McCain (partially known for his flip-flop on MLK day. That is, after he vigorously opposed it throughout the eighties and then found that position to be political suicide) appears on the “O’Reilly Factor” last week to make Bill O seem reasonable and rational. That’s some work for a previously respected senator/presidential front-runner. He not only sided with Arizona’s state’s rights (which, for better or worse, I tend to associate with the Civil Rights backlash and the Southern Strategy) over ineffective immigration laws (which need comprehensive reform, sure enough. The current policies are damaging to immigrants, their families, our economy and all involved) but then added this bizarre but telling comment that immigrants are blatantly responsible for causing crashes on the highways.

McCain, however, is trying to out-Maverick his Tea Party rival. Tells you how crazy the state’s politics is getting in that they’re basically tied at the moment. But even more crazy is the fact that the Birthers are taking over. The racist movement that questions the birth place and citizenship of a dark-skinned president (despite all the evidence to the contrary) is now asking Arizona (as it tried to gain momentum in frighteningly xenophobic states like Florida and Oklahoma) to require a birth certificate from all presidential runners in order to be on a ballot within the state. And this bill has passed the state House already. (Again, who defines whether or not a form fills the requirement of a birth certificate? Birthers constantly vex the state of Hawaii with requests to see Obama’s REAL bc, besides the fact that it’s ALL OVER THE INTERNET.)

The ironic thing, of course, is that Arizona’s favorite son McCain won’t even be able to run for president again. Cuz, you know, he was born in Panama.

I wish the great state of Arizona’s legislators (and the nutjobs who keep voting these racist a$hats in) would learn a lesson from Albi, and just stop being so racist.*

Of course the video and the song – unlike the legislation proposed – are a joke. Racism in this country, much like sexism the world-over, is an inherent trait of our legacy in the US, and we are all slaves to the system. Nobody wants the slightest association with the word ‘racism’ because they feel it only and solely means that a person is going out and threatening and killing people based on their skin color. They don’t realize that racism is truly a system that is so ingrained within us that a member of the powerful majority cannot just turn it on or off – not without severe work, listening and understanding. Therefore, those who do support the racist system (say, birthers and those who argue against the rights of so-called ‘illegals’) are offended by the slightest suggestion that they support a racist system. They may not personally be bad people, but they play a part in propagating a – literally – deadly way of life.

However, there is much to be clarified on this issue and I would like to start a series on it soon

Constitutionally Guaranteed Gun Rack for Your Bedside

A loaded rifle at the side of your bed, for when you groggily get up in the middle of the night for some water or ’cause your baby is screaming her head off and you just want to shoot something without even thinking of it.

Also, a great phallic reference. But let’s not go there…
Vid can be viewed here.

I found it on Wikipedia!

Ever since this whole series of interconnected tubes got together to call themselves the interwebs, I was a bit skeptical that the center may not hold. And now, here’s my proof:

Factual Error Found on the Internet“. srce: The Onion News.

If this trend continues, tomorrow may see this headline:
Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

Click here if video doesn’t play (due, no doubt, to collapse of internets)

Music of the Year + 3 that Got Away

I bought maybe three or four records this year. Two of them from this year. I did get a few freebies and all, but most were ep’s or downloads that I only listened to a few times before I lost the copies (which is easy to do in a year when you lose two computers and gain another two…). And although I enjoyed GirlTalk, I’m not drawn into it.

1) Al Green Lay It Down
The Good Rev’s return to Stax-sounding soul could be seen as a gimmick, like when modern divas “collaborated” with old dead men or when old classics made “duets” records with present day B-grade stars. But, for the time being, it just feels so right, it’s got to be good:
(FWIW, these vids suck – sorry. In this case, the recent concert vids featuring Al suck even more, so I decided not to give my readers a case of motion-sickness and opt for max audio q)

2) She & Him Volume One
After awhile, I think I grew weary of the neo-hipster country (“More slide guitar!” can never replace “More cowbell!”), but there are some wonderful songs on this disc that made me smile. I’m a definite sucker for that wall-of-sound pure pop that made a brief appearance in Arcade Fire’s Funeral but then overcame some bighaired girl’s record. Here, there is just the right amount and plenty of variety (at least the first several songs, including the Roy Orbison-esque “I Was Made for You”):

Honorable mentions:
I don’t have these records… ladies. Or, yet. But I will soon; and when I do, it’s over…

Sam Phillips Don’t Do Anything
I love her leathery voice. And her penchant for writing poetic yet acidic verse on top of sparse but Beatles-esque pop melodies is unmatched. So, why haven’t I bought anything new from her since that Martinis and Bikinis cassette in the mid-90’s? Because this album wasn’t released until this year, that’s why. And here, her skills seem to be in top form.

TV on the Radio Dear Science
I loved the last album so much that I named it my favorite record of the year (actually, it was top 6. But looking back, it may be top 2 or so). And that’s when I was able to buy music and a lot of wonderful stuff came out. This one seems to add hip-hop as well as hip-hop optimism. It’s like their angry, muted Stax horns are being shared by PM Dawn. And I ain’t complainin’:

Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago
This is the type of quiet, introspective music that I could probably only listen to after some intense TVotR, but nevertheless, I’m getting old and this is just sounding more and more palatable to my ears. But then again, I can stand some falsettos occasionally. It’s been rated high enough by enough trusted ears where I’m giving it some more listens and may take the plunge soon enough.

Weekend Links We Like to Link to – Bah hamburglar

1) Because me Spanish is no so good (and yours may need a little workout too):

Click here if vid isn’t working.

and, yes, it’s very similar to the wonderful First and Second Semester Spanish Spanish Love Songs. Which is why it’s so wonderful.

2) Thanks to astute (Micah’s World) reader Reg, I now know that my high school students did not have the most interesting names in the world – but they just might if backers of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez get their way. There was a bill being sent through the National Assembly earlier this month, according to the Times, that would make a list of registered children’s names and pare that list down to one hundred. So, no more Tutankamen del Sol, Kleiderman Jesús, Yureimi Klaymar, Yusneidi Alicia, Yusmary Shuain, Kleiderson Klarth and Yusmery Sailing.

So long, Hengelberth, Maolenin, Kerbert Krishnamerk, Githanjaly, Yornaichel, Nixon and Yurbiladyberth.

Was that kid’s name Mao Lenin? And another was named Nixon? What’s next, a Ronald Reagan, maybe a few Hitlers? ohh, nevermind…

3) OK, this is transcendent wonderment. The octogenarian rock & roll choir Young@Heart performing “Purple Haze.” The performers seem to take these songs to be both tongue-in-cheek and fun, but yet it’s all so touching and real. Really real. Every. Last. Word. Of it.
Again, click here if vid doesn’t play.

fwiw, in honor of the couple who came by for dinner last night, I wanted to play one of the two musical geniuses that came out of Seattle. And out of those two, Hendrix beats Cobain in my book most nights. But I just saw this clip the other day and thought it to be a wonderful confluence of art and life. So, there you go.

Ready for our close-up, baby!

First ever YouTube video. I may or may not take it down soon. In fact, you may never, ever hear from me again, depending on how my wife feels after finding out I uploaded this little ditty. (And yes, I always have hated the song in the background.) Anyway, I think all the hot chicks in this video are smookin’!

Weekend Links We Like to Link to: The All Videos Edition

Author and Native Sherman Alexie on Stephen Colbert. One of the best non-enlightening interviews (well, maybe indirectly enlightening. I wonder how few Americans are aware of the smallpox-soaked blankets distributed during the Trail of Tears) I’ve seen/read in a long time:

View here if not working.

And, in the interest of non-partisanship and equal time to the other side, The Daily Show. Here they are with a brilliant, although quite late, send-up of the really insipid attacks that certain Republicans and rabid anti-Obamaites have made against community organizers:

click here if not working.

Jared Diamond of the intriguing Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse books (about the rises of certain civilizations over others, and the fall of others) on sustainability here (sorry, can’t figure out how to embed player). For smaller version, and more context, go here. Note: I haven’t read Collapse so I’m not sure myself how he would define the collapse of civilization (as he does early on in referencing Bosnia and Rwanda), but my guess is that it may have something to do with genocide. The fall of the civilization, however, according to him, is not nearly the same as the extinction of its people – yet he refers to one people group that did die out and five points that lead to such extinction. So, I’m also curious how he feels Colombia is near this fall.
It’s just something that I’m thinking about doing an article on…

And finally, elections are two days away. Everybody knows who I’m gonna vote for. As for you, you can vote however you like.

Make no doubt about it, these middle school kids know their stuff better than most adults (especially those who aren’t voting). This cat has the lyrics.

Weekend Links We Like to Link to – Happy News (?)

Sorry it took so long to post. Been trying to get some jobs out there and trying not to post on political stuff.

Good to know that not all rich people are stingy. Warren Buffet (whom I heard really recently overtook Bill Gates as the richest person in the world) is not only the first or second richest person, but also the biggest donor among billionaires (in terms of amount donated vs actual wealth) . Gates is second on this list. How much is Buffet worth? Fifty-two billion dollars. How much has he given recently? Between 2001-2006 he donated over $46 billion. Of course, once you hit over 20 billion smackaroonies, you really gotta ask, “Besides become my own superhero – or trying to take one down – what else could I do with this excess moola?”

I had some thoughts about this topic – Christian teenagers going off to college and (at least temporarily) storing their religion away (and not losing it as popularly believed) – and I recognized that my thoughts on it wouldn’t fit into this format. So, I’ll continue reading this article (and see what else I can find on it) and post my thoughts up on ChicagoDads.
h/t to MarkO

Okay, here’s the happy news:

Can it get any more giddy than that?
h/t to MarkO

And Now the Moment You’ve Been Waiting for Since Spring…

Yes. The 2nd Semester Spanish Spanish Love Song.

1st Semester Spanish Spanish Love Song can be found here. (Can you believe how long I spent looking for this on my own website? Heck, if you’re reading this, you’re probably used to time-wasting…)

How to Talk Like a Pirate on International Talk Like a Pirate Day


Avast ye sea-dogs. I be a plunderin’. But none of that other stuff that pirates be doin’ so much.

Now I ask ye, how did thee sun go down on dis here solemn day without me seein’ this here youtube witchery before? Methinks that it should be International Talk Like a Pirate Weekend and that thar maybe it shall.

Hoist one up fer me.