Hewson Family Rockers

Bono, aka Paul Hewson, and his band U2 crashed the party with this kick-ass debut hit song that showed these four lads from Dublin had listened to Punk but were going to forge a new sound for the new decade, the 1980s, which of course U2 pretty much owned as a band. This video is a reminder of just how fucking great U2 was back in the day. And this song can’t touch New Year’s Day or anything from Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby, two of rock’s greatest albums. But it was an amazing debut.

Fast forward nearly 40 years and Bono’s son Eli Hewson and his band Inhaler have made a huge splash of their own. You can hear echoes of U2, Echo & The Bunnymen, and Duran Duran from the 80s, along with The Killers, Bloc Party, and The Kooks from a decade ago. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree in the Hewson family. Plus Eli’s beautiful face will moisten the panties of girls worldwide. Good stuff all around. Rock isn’t dead yet.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

U2 – I Will Follow (1980)

Inhaler – My Honest Face (2019)

Fear of Trump? Ah, No…

Cleopatra’s dumpy sister with the $1 million boob jobs, ass-plasty, and countless facelifts and labia reconstructions. It’s all creepy but she’s richer and more famous, ergo she MUST be the better person than little old Mat the loser.

The USA is a goofy, fucked-up country.

Exhibit A: There’s a massive gaggle of chicks who worship that awful Kardashian monstrosity, she of the 10,000 plastic surgeries for I don’t even know what the fuck for, and after all of them she’s still a gargantuan-assed poop sack who wears fifty layers of grotesque makeup, the most expensive clothes on this planet, and yet she remains a horrible-looking circus freak, more silicon than human tissue, moreover she’s creepily icky to boot—and of course half-witted and vapid. Having said that, she and her siblings are also gazillionaires with a huge legion of worshipers. Bravo for her family’s massive success and fame, sure, but WHAT THE FUCK?

Like I said, this country of ours is fucking nuts. I have no idea why that family is famous, nor do I spend any time pondering it, but it’s there and obvious even for those, like me, who try to avoid knowing anything about it all. All I can say is, what rampant fever damaged the brains of so many millions? Why don’t I get it? Am I the crazy one for not understanding this madness? She looks like a blowup doll of Elizabeth Taylor during her fat phase with some of the air taken out and the plastic shorn and shaped to make her look thinner. It’s fucking weird and hideous.

And here I am the anonymous loser lamenting it all with my reason intact and my senses keen, a canary in the coal mine, so to speak, asking a simple question: What the fuck, America, WHAT THE FUCK?

In the “Red State” parts of the country, where the creepy, redneck Jesus-freak morons are the majority, and where I don’t know why any rational human being would want to live, they have created a nutso-wacko culture where science is denied over leaps of idiotic faith in religions so stupid and irrational that even your average dog or cat or sewer rat would reject them as silly. I think all religions are stupid, but in the USA we’ve created some real doozies that defy even the lowest common denominator of stupid in a country where we’ve been illuminated by the brilliant light of the Age of Enlightenment for over 300 years, in fact we were the first nation-state to embrace its most fundamental tenets, you know, freedom and liberty for its citizenry, free speech, due process, freedom from religious domination, we elect our leaders instead of letting some king or duke or pope or dictator rule us, et al. And yet, despite this and later the brilliant leap forward in the 20th Century in science, education, and progressive thinking, tens of millions of Americans wallow in superstition, religious ignorance, and willful stupidity. Not only that, but they are mean, cruel, and intolerant fanatics who do cling to their guns and nutty religion appallingly. Lovely people other than that. Sure. My fellow Americans. E pluribus unum and all. Maybe not.

I sure sound like a snob, right? I would be the first person to openly state that, in the USA, our citizens can live and think and worship and fuck others (consenting adults only) however they see fit. Of course I do! I believe we all have the right to be whatever the fuck we want, and fuck anyone who says otherwise. But—and let me be clear about this—it doesn’t mean people are above criticism for being morons who leave a wake of destruction in their path, or that anyone is above castigation for their actions and behavior when it treads on my personal space or tries to force a religious belief into my life by law to which I don’t subscribe. So if I call people bad names and mock their stupidity and freaky value system, that too is my right as a citizen of the USA.

I respect your right to worship how or who you want, but not for a moment do I have to respect your religion or faith. Fuck no. And I will not. Nor am I required to give you a free pass if you’re a loudmouth fucking idiot expressing your nonsense publicly. I will use logic, reason, and facts to bury your stupid expressions and arguments, and gladly. Moreover I am not required to be nice or polite about it. I relish the idea of offending idiots. I feel the USA is overrun with them any more.

Trump is nothing more than the gigantic, puss-filled ass boil that was created in this poisonous, illiterate, and bafflingly stupid era. Fear him? Hell no, he’s the biggest source of comedy in the modern history of the world. Fat, stupid, and vaingloriously pompous, Trump is what you get when 40% of the USA’s citizens have lost their fucking minds and helped elect a twit as their “champion.” Look at his ridiculous political rallies, filled with tubby and half-witted white morons who couldn’t name five elements on the Periodic Chart, and whose grasp of history is that Caesar is an inferior salad dressing to ranch and Napoleon was that weird and squirrelly kid in that stupid movie. Dude, you know people have lost their minds when they adore Trump as their savior and champion, this flabby spoiled child who is an even bigger dumbass and fuckwit than his worshipers. But only by a little. He’s used his inherited wealth and fame to convince his fellow travelers of stupidity and nitwittedness that he’s a great man. And people bought it because they are, in fact, stupid nitwits. Madness. Sheer madness! I am not mean for saying this, I am just 100% honest. The emperor has no clothes and his followers have lost their minds.

As long as science is ignored and even the simplest facts that a pinhead could understand clearly are seen as “fake news,” and millions of dingbats with childish and irrational value systems elect such a creep like Trump, the only fear is that we’ve become a nation of the saddest, stupidest, and most pathetically self-immolating dunderheads in the supposedly “enlightened” West—although Brexit Britain is not far behind! People seem to want to destroy their democracy along with themselves because, why, exactly? They hate Liberals? Mexicans? Homos and dykes? Fair wages and social safety nets? Do they really hate all the social change from the last 150 years that uplifted hundreds of millions of Americans and created the prosperous, fair, and benevolent society we enjoyed in the 20th Century, not perfect but better than now in so many ways? Apparently so, and they cannot dismantle it fast enough even if they themselves sink even lower than they’ve already sunk since the dismantling began under Reagan some 37 years ago.

Sure, idiots, destroy democracy and allow dictators and fat, stupid bullies like Trump to rule over you. Or chinless, hyper-creepy douchebags like Mitch McConnell, who makes Cardinal Richelieu look like a saint, and who cannot wait to fellate the ultra-rich and dismantle democracy in their favor like the servile dog he is. Or the even creepier Pastor Fred Triplechins who wish to turn us into a zombie Christian theocratic cult. That will fix things in Fartsicle, Alabama, yessiree, Joe Bob and Myrtle Nitwit. Oy vey. I don’t fear the dictators and feudal lords who will rise from this madness, I fear the madness where people would even consider this as an alternative. It’s democratic iconoclasm for idiots. Make America Great Again by destroying America and handing all power to the rich. Brilliant.

Yeah, Joe Bob, once you’ve watched the republic dismantled, that old Colt .45 on your waistband will protect you for about 5 seconds when the alternative assumes power of which you have no purchase or choice. When Pastor Warlord Fred Triplechin decrees that maybe all Christian weirdo cults are not, in fact, equal, especially your cult compared to his, so yours has to go and he’s a got a well-armed army of fanatics to heed to his will and nothing to check his power, which may mean not only does your cult have to go, but you and Myrtle and that queer who lives down the road will be burned as heretics. Or El Creepo Corporation decides your little chicken farm belongs to them and just takes it, no due process, and have Myrtle close the barn door as you head to tent city with all the other refugees. And don’t drink the water, Joe Bob, it’s all poisoned because no one will give a fuck if water is potable in Fartsicle County any more.

Read some history, Joe Bob, where human societies before our Constitution were often run by the powerful and rich while everyone else kneeled obsequiously and obediently before their Lords and Ladies and Bishops, ate dogshit, and had no rights. I know you don’t think that’s why you voted for a shitstain like Trump or your Republican representatives who cannot wait to give power away to the filthy rich. I am sure you just hate blacks and Mexicans and white liberal hipsters and people who don’t bow to Jesus. Heck, I am not fond of a lot of people in this country myself, but I don’t want to damn them all to hell, I fight for them and their rights even if they won’t fight for themselves and blindly hand whatever purchase they have left in this democracy, maybe out of spite or just plain ignorance, to the rich and powerful. But it’s true, buddy, that you’re destroying yourself voting for Trump and those vile Republican assholes. I wouldn’t leave Mitch McConnell alone with my dogs or houseplants, let alone vote for him.

So I’m worried about Trump? He’s so far down on the list of my grievances against the utter irrational lunacy and abject stupidity in which my country is mired, hell, way down that list, that he doesn’t even make my top 100 of that list. Rejection of science, religious fanaticism, environmental destruction, white supremacy ideology, denigration and subjugation of women, rampant cruelty and intolerance, insanely fascist political correctness by my so-called “allies” on the left, and, of course, the worship at the altar of fat-assed, vapid, and reconstructed-vaginaed shit sacks like the hideous Kardashians; my friends, the list is endless and horrifying in its entirety. The canary in the coal mine watching our culture and society emit all this poisonous filth is choking to death.

The Roman Empire fell because its people became lazy, stupid, apathetic, and incapable of recognizing Rome’s cultural slide into wanton and self-destructive peril. They became easy pickings for the half-witted but determined barbarians who overran the great empire like cutting through melting butter. And then there was a thousand years of darkness, chaos, and misery if one wasn’t an earl, baron, or bishop. All because a great people failed to see how fucked up and effete they had become.

So please with this fear of Trump bullshit. He can be President and do great harm, sure, but we’re really as a country just harming ourselves so badly that he’s only adding a small rash on a much bigger, crippling disease that began long before he was elected; he’s not the problem at all. Nor are spineless weasel politicians like Mitch McConnell who gladly hand all power and wealth to the already powerful and wealthy. Or the Pastor Fred Triplechins who wish to turn America into a creepy Christian theocracy. No, they are not the problem. We are the problem for allowing these lunatics to take everything away from us that matters. We, the citizens. E pluribus unum. From many, one. One gigantic shit pile, sure, and every day we add more and more to the shit pile while deluding ourselves it’s all okie-dokie, that we’re okie dokie. It’s not, you fucking idiots, okie dokie right now.

 

Cool Ladies of the 80s

As an ardent feminist raised by my widowed mother and six older sisters, I learned almost from birth the vast superiority of women over men in nearly every human quality that matters most, such as compassion, empathy, altruism, wisdom, and, most importantly, love. My mother, Tess Bernat Scheck, was simply the smartest, wisest, and most capable human being I’ve ever known, moreover her capacity to love was the single greatest gift she bestowed on her nine children. I was her last baby and she spoiled me rotten. Plus my sisters doted on me, and in fact still do well into my 57th year of life. I think one of the reasons I have eschewed monogamy is because I cannot love just one woman, which sounds like a sleazy cop-out, but I swear it’s true. I not only prefer the company of women, I pretty much loathe most men around me.

In the 1980s women began to take over Rock & Roll thanks to brilliant pioneers like Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Joni Mitchell, Suzi Quatro, Stevie Nicks, Heart’s Wilson sisters Ann & Nancy, Pat Benatar, and of course the amazing Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. I could name many more.

In the 1980s women stepped out front to lead so many great bands, or stood alone as solo artists of great power, depth, and feeling. In my opinion some of the best music of that era was female dominated, and here are a few examples to back my rather bold argument.

Missing Persons – Mental Hopscotch (1982)

 

Pretenders – Back on the Chain Gang (1982)

 

Eurythmics – Who’s That Girl? (1983)

 

The Motels – Only the Lonely (1982)

 

Quarterflash – Take Me to Heart (1983)

 

Kim Wilde – Kids in America (1982)

 

Madonna – Physical Attraction (1983)

 

 Bananarama – Cruel Summer (1984)

 

Janet Jackson – Control (1986)

 

Throwing Muses – Call Me (1986)

 

Book of Love – Modigliani (Lost in Your Eyes) (1986)

 

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1987)

 

Sonic Youth – The Sprawl (1987)

 

Sinead O’Connor – Mandinka (1987)

 

 

I’m 56 and I Like It

My life has followed my own unique path that began when I was 19 when I dropped out of college to enlist in the Army, the first step to living “my way” instead of what was expected of my generation. I threw the rulebook out the window and thumbed my nose at convention. Since then I’ve never wavered in my dedication to following my own path and fulfilling my own vision of how life should unfold. At 56 I feel as young as ever and I strive every day, mightily, to keep educated and wise, fit, healthy, and strong. I am not ready to get old.

I’ve neither married nor fathered children and don’t feel my lack of either has affected me negatively. I live well below my means by design, hell, I don’t even own a car and my income can afford me whatever I want should I desire one. But I don’t. I am happy riding my bicycle and walking everywhere. I live downtown in a huge city, with everything I need close to me, so I keep things simple and easy.

As I grow older I feel I’ve lost a great deal of the radical liberal idealism of my younger years, but I’m still a strong advocate of a European-styled social democracy, which, in these strange times in America, seems a distant dream as Middle America becomes more and more radicalized to right-wing, white supremacist madness and ultra-religious intolerance.

I have never believed in god nor do I think the white race holds any great advantage over any other, which probably puts me at odds with a large majority of white people in my country these days. I’ve quite often found far too many people to be irrational and petty—call me an intellectual elitist if that helps—but it certainly doesn’t make me wrong. Those who reject science due to religious or political beliefs that are contrary to scientific fact irritate the fuck out of me. And in the USA, far too many citizens reject science due to their nutty and irrational belief system.

Having said all this, I spend little time worrying about the state of global, national, and local politics or American culture. Nor do I think we live in times that are better or worse than any other era in my lifetime. The good old days were often bad, and the current times are often good but also bad. What I seek is a balance in my personal life but also with the world around me. It’s a difficult process to feel balanced in a world that is in constant turmoil, but at a personal level I can control my own life despite what’s going on around me, which is actually the best I can do. I can control my health and fitness and how I interact with my fellow citizens and the rest of humanity. That’s about it.

Old age brings wisdom but no more certainty than when I was younger. I still have grave doubts about everything around me. I remain skeptical of human intentions and the ambitions of others who wish to tread on my personal space. I remain an eternally optimistic person with a joy for living, my strongest quality and most cherished basis for all else about me. I still read voraciously and have a great curiosity to learn more today than what I knew yesterday. I work hard at keeping healthy and feeling younger than my years, indeed, I am 56 going on much younger.

Life is good.

INCEL Knights™ of the World, Unite!

The Involuntary Celibate Knight™

All rise to hail a new generation of brave warriors, the lords of abject stupidity and pathetic hate and malice, the Involuntary Celibate (INCEL) Knights™!

Whether strapping on a suicide vest and blowing himself up in a crowd of innocents, or brandishing a military-grade assault rifle while mowing down lovely and vital folks in churches, synagogues, mosques, schools, or public squares, the key attribute of this cowardly, homicidal ass clown is his sad and furiously frustrating inability to put his penis into the vaginas of the women for whom he lusts after.

Oh, the humiliating agony of being categorically rejected by the fairer sex due to the fact all of these raging psychopathic assholes have zero skills at wooing the women they desire, moreover most are as ugly and physically misshapen as an anal wart. I am sure even bestiality is denied to INCEL Knights as cats and dogs and ferrets reject them with the same gusto as women. No, my dear, crazy, virgin INCEL Knight, even a copious dabbing of peanut butter on your cock won’t entice Mr. Whiskers or Rover to lick it. Getting rejected by women is humiliating enough; getting rejected by your cat must invoke a rage-filled insanity in your pathetic, low-IQ brains of an unimaginable magnitude. The horror!

Whether your name is John, Mohammed, Mortimer, Adolf or whatever, and regardless of your race, religion, national origin, or even your political ideology, what sets you apart, INCEL Knight, is the fact you’re a vicious, anti-social creep who can’t get laid. This leads, apparently, to a madness that somehow compels you, with your ineptly puerile and misguided minds, to lash out at humanity with malevolently murderous violence. Jacking off to Internet porn cannot even for a moment suppress the rage inside you. No shrink can guide you to the light. No pill alleviates the self-hatred. Moreover, apparently, hiring a hooker is beneath your lordly, lofty, and ridiculously holy self-image; in your sick fucking mind, women reject you because they are evil and not that you’re a toxic little vermin of a man, which you are.

Your urge to kill innocents randomly is what sets you apart from the peaceful gaggle of dorks who can’t get laid either. They just attend Marvel superhero movies and comic book conventions, or play online computer games, or engage in goofy cosplay, to ease all those endlessly sleepless, sexless nights. Only a select few psychopaths like you decide to take out your rage on others.

I appeal to every fucked-up shitheel like you, INCEL Knight, to consider something before you lock-and-load your AR-15 or strap on your suicide vest: JUST KILL YOURSELF if you get the urge to harm others because your dick can’t get sucked or fucked. Kill yourself with extreme prejudice, you pathetic can’t-get-laid fucknuts of a human being. Not a single soul deserves the fate you decide for them when you act out your self-hating malice with such wanton and mindless violence. Only you do. So off yourself, you creepy piece of shit. Leave the rest of humanity alone.

That’s all I have to say on this subject.

Ten Great Post-Punk Songs (Revised, April 2019)

After the demise of Britain’s Punk explosion in 1976-77, bands who were influenced by Punk, or had started out as Punk bands, began making music that was more intelligent, experimental, and musically sophisticated than Punk. They successfully incorporated traditional rock music structures with a wide variety of underground sounds that were emerging in the British music scene of that era, creating music that was atmospheric, darker than “classic” rock, and highly introspective and introverted, but without sounding too experimental or obscure. Most Post-Punk bands experimented with sounds and lyrical structures but never lost their pop sense, so their music is extremely listenable, but at the same time there’s a veritable feast of amazingly new and cool elements to their music that set them apart from the rock & roll that came before them.

It was an exciting era for rock music, and while most of the best Post-Punk bands did not enjoy wide appeal or huge commercial success, their music was massively influential for what would be later known as “Alternative” rock.

Update 4-26-2019: Some record companies block embedding YouTube videos of their product, so fuck them, no free promotion here, as if obscure bands didn’t need more promotion, especially free promotion. Idiots. So a couple of links I had here were changed, goodbye The Cure and Echo & The Bunnymen, hello Bauhuas and Pink Turns Blue, two bands who certainly deserve recognition as Post-Punk legends while the other two are still controlled by retarded record companies who have no idea how these here “Internets” work some 25 years into its creation.

1. The Chameleons – Up the Down Escalator (1983)
A really hot Army girl stationed with me in ’84, who had just returned from a tour in Germany, used to play the album Script of the Bridge while we fucked. It was majestic music, anthemic and bold, what U2 tried make be but didn’t have the brains and verve that these lads from Manchester clearly presented across the entire record. I borrowed her album and burned it to a cassette that I played the fuck out of for many years afterwards. When I hear this I still think of her lying naked on my barracks room floor, a shit ton of lit candles surrounding her like an ancient religious fertility rite, and Script of the Bridge blaring out my speakers. A good fucking memory of a great girl. The song Second Skin is also brilliant, but I can only chose one on this list from each band.


2. The Sound – Skeletons (1983)
The best band of the 1980s that no one has ever heard. Fuck me as to why this happened. Front man Adrian Borland was the Jim Morrison of his generation, a brilliant songwriter and post-modern poet, and his sparse but hugely danceable arrangements became mainstays at “Goth” clubs all over Europe. You wanted a dark, creepy mood along with great dance chops? Play The Sound. This song in particular is about as fucking great as any song from that dark, exciting, beautiful era. Only The Mission and Sisters of Mercy came close to this dark wave greatness, and they both fell short although they sold a shitload more records than this brilliant band. Like Ian Curtis of Joy Division, Borland took his own life at far too young an age.


3. Joy Division – Shadowplay (1979)
Dark, sparse, moody, cool, utterly brilliant. Punk was working-class stupidness at times, especially American Hardcore, but what emerged after Punk died in the UK in 1978 was amazing. I loved The Clash, who got better when they transitioned from Punk to more diverse rock sounds on London Calling and beyond, but I think, in retrospect, Joy Division was the greatest band to emerge from the ashes of Punk, even if we only have two albums by the band to measure its greatness. Ian Curtis was Rimbaud to Joe Strummer’s Lord Byron, when you think about it. Joe was a hopeless romantic with many socio-political axes to grind, and we loved him because he gave a fuck so passionately, with anger and rebellion in his heart like any romantic. Ian, on the other hand, was a massively depressed nihilist who veered too close to the dark side and fell victim to his own worst tendencies, and his music reflected this abjectly morose excursion into madness and gloomy introspection. Plus, holy fuck, Peter Hook was an amazing bassist who could carry a song by his sheer athleticism on the instrument. When Ian died the remaining members created a whole new band, New Order, with a completely different sound, and that band too was great, but just not this great.


4. Comsat Angels – Independence Day (1981)
Another amazing but sadly obscure band from an exciting era in musical experimentalism and “dare to be different” Post-Punk cool. Joy Division opened the door for all these young bands to express their darker thoughts and feelings, and while only The Cure and Bauhaus are well remembered today, there were other fine bands from that period who made great music. This is one of them. Like all great Post-Punk bands, the C-S Angels delved into the darker regions of consciousness, with pounding beats and a minimalist sound that was equally beautiful and sad, and of course one could dance to the band’s songs with great gusto.


5. Killing Joke – Wardance (1980)
These motherfuckers were crazy, I mean batshit crazy, but in a good way. Nihilists, sure, and doomsday believers of the nuttiest sort, but they put down on record all these insane thoughts and ideas with some powerful and crushing music, foot-stomping hard rock without the silly macho posing of the Heavy Metal boys in Metallica or Iron Maiden, who explored the same dark themes, the only difference being that Killing Joke was essentially a Punk band and not Metal. But they rocked like one. Wardance is, to me, a scary, superbly powerful, driving anthem of unequaled greatness. Doomsday never had a better theme song. Fed Astaire cheerfully dancing on the casualties of nuclear Armageddon? Best cover art ever, if you ask me. Fuck yeah, this is rock & roll at its darkest, creepiest, nihilistic best. Put on your Doc Martens and stomp dance as we blow ourselves to smithereens, motherfuckers.


6. PiL – Public Image (1979)
John Lydon left the Pistols and had a little Punk left in him with this kick-ass song and its Jah Wobble killer bass line and Keith Levene’s simple yet powerful guitar licks. Meanwhile Mr. Rotten gets to purge all his angst and anger with his usual sneeringly accusatory excellence, deriding his old band and all his detractors with a barrage of fuck you, spittle-spewing eloquence as only Johnny can muster. This is, simply put, a great fucking Punk tune. Johnny was a villainous cunt, sure, but we loved joining the bad guys when their message was right. He would cease being this cool in the years to follow, but from ’76-’80 Rotten was a goddamn sage. No one today is rebelling with such beautiful bile and cogently precise articulation. Anarchy indeed.


7. Bauhaus – The Man with X-Ray Eyes (1981)
Stylish Brit boys who combined Punk sensibilities with their fascination with Creature Feature horror films. Goth was born here, for better or worse. Peter Murphy was Ziggy Stardust meets Dracula, and it was kind of cool in the brief moments Bauhaus made great music, though I think they underperformed mostly, and yet their influence was immense.


8. Pink Turns Blue – Your Master is Calling (1986)
“Dark Wave” bands like The Mission and Sisters of Mercy churned out tunes like this in droves, but this obscure German band may have created the best of the lot here, obviously influenced by Joy Division and The Mission, and yet, damn, it’s just a great song. I heard it in a club in Germany in 1988 and sprinted to the DJ to find out who it was, and to my surprise it was a German band, not an English one.


9. Sad Lovers & Giants – Imagination (1981)
Another sadly obscure band that made vital and cool music, only to be buried beneath the deluge of more pop-influenced New Wave and Synth Pop that engulfed England in the early 80s. Sure, Gary Numan, Spandau Ballet, Japan and the like were fun and cool, but so was this. Oh well. Just enjoy.


10. The Damned – Life Goes On (1983)
These old original Punks reformed and kept making good music, and despite Captain Sensible’s strange run as a UK pop star in the early 80s, with his old Punk band he still had a few great tunes left in him, such as here, a song with a bass line and chord progression that’s been copied not once, but TWICE, first in Killing Joke’s song Eighties, and then Nirvana’s epic Come as You Are. The Captain was in form here, no doubt about it, writing a truly sad and brilliant song about how to live life after losing a loved one. Hard to imagine this was the same band that made New Rose, a nihilistically joyful Punk anthem if ever there was one, and yet, here they are, still fucking great, going all “Goth” in their later years. All hail the real Punks of old. This is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest songs from the 1980s, obscure, yes, but so sublime and touching, so goddamn good I wish everyone gave it one listen to find out why I champion it with such gusto. Of course I have weird and shitty taste in this strange mélange of borrowed and stolen styles, but that’s me, Mr. Pastiche, lover of goofy, often obscure shit that apparently only appealed to me.

How Fucking Weird is America?

Game of Thrones is one of the most violent television shows ever aired, with insanely macabre and hyper-violent depictions of murder, torture, rape, and mutilation. The blood and guts and body parts fly around on this show in such great amounts that its audience has become desensitized to all this horrific and inhuman carnage.

But many in America have expressed extreme outrage when the 22-year-old English actress Maisie Williams, who plays the character Arya Stark, got a little naked in a love scene in the latest episode. Williams was originally cast when she was 11 but has literally grown up on the show. She’s no child and freely allowed herself to be filmed in the buff. Apparently the outraged fans considered this to be borderline pedophilia, as her character should be around 17 years old or so in the show’s timeline. It’s called acting, folks. Maisie is an adult in real life.

You’re fine with heads and extremities getting chopped off with almost flippant abandon, but a young woman’s titts being exposed is too much to bear.

What a fucking weird country we are, truly. Violence is okie dokie, yet a little flash of nudity is a cause for hysterical overreaction. Get it?

Bloody hell.

On the Mueller Report and Trump

A brilliant anti-Trump effigy on display during the 2019 Las Fallas Festival in Valencia, Spain, March 16, 2019. The artist was a little to generous on the genital size, but oh well. Photo ©2019 Matthew C. Scheck

Was there a criminal conspiracy? Probably, but more like a clown car being driven by someone too drunk to drive.

Was there collusion—a term that actually has little  or no specific legal context—between the Trump campaign and Russia? Sure, but apparently there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove it in a way that could bring treason charges against Trump and this idiotic minions.

My take on all this is simply that we have an insane, overgrown child as our POTUS, a raging idiot of a narcissist who proves the danger of inherited wealth, that even a complete moron like this man, backed by the money he inherited from his daddy, can rise to spectacular heights without being particularly successful at anything but self-promotion, of course facilitated by the pile of wealth daddy left in his trust fund.

Trump is a gigantic shit stain on our democracy. That is a given. The millions of morons who voted for this festering ass boil of a human being are as reprehensible as the man they champion.

Stupidity is obviously in abundance in the good old USA. Nothing shocking there, right?

But that’s America, folks. As rich, powerful and amazing as our great nation has been, we’re also peopled with tens of millions of idiotic, half-literate dingbats who seem to wander around destructively and stupidly, destroying not only the self-interest of those they hate, but their own too. It’s a self-immolating madness that I suspect every successful civilization suffers from in the history of humankind. We just cannot behave with too much reason and common sense, we humans. We’re the agents of our own destruction. No one can destroy us but ourselves.

Some day in the future we’ll look back on this era and maybe have a laugh. Despite the fact we’ve got this bloated, bloviating, bigoted psychopathic turd of a man as our POTUS, America is just fine, thank you very much. Tens of millions of Americans show up for work every day, tend to their families, and work hard to make their communities amazing places to live. We’ll survive just fine.

Take a deep breath and vote this idiot out of office in 2020. That, my friends, is what makes democracy so great. We the people can right a horrible wrong, even if some 46% of us have lost their fucking minds.

RIP Ranking Roger

Anyone who knew me from 1982-85 knows how much I loved the English 2-Tone Ska band The (English) Beat. I played their records relentlessly and found so much joy from their wildly danceable and peppy tunes. Roger was just a couple months older than I am when he passed yesterday, and losing one of my favorite music stars from my youth is of course hard to take, but especially for this eternally-positive frontman for one of my all-time favorite bands. The Beat brought me so much pure fun in my youth. Sad to see you pass, dear Roger, you were such an icon of style and unpretentious cool in the early 80s. I bought my first porkpie hat and wraparound Ray-bans after seeing Roger on MTV. Ranking Full Stop indeed, mate. Rest in peace.

Life Update, March 2019

Valencia, Spain
There’s not much to report these days except that I’m happily enjoying my time in Valencia, where I spend my days riding bicycles, reading from a large list of books I have wanted to read for ages, practicing my conversational Spanish, eating great food, and socializing with my new friends here. I’ve been off Facebook for a year now and I can say with great certainty that I shall not return to it. I have to return home soon, but my time here in Spain has greatly improved my physical and mental well being, something I needed desperately after a hectic fall and winter work schedule back in the USA. I wish everyone  the best and you can reach me through email if you know it.