Monday, June 23, 2008

Jesus is coming...look busy

I haven't got the words. It was one of those mornings where everything goes wrong and then I read that the legendary George Carlin has died. He'll be remembered as the funniest stand up comic in history, in my not so humble opinion. A few have managed to bat in his league as far as wit and observation, however no one has even come close to hitting a Carlin grand slam. He was the iconoclast's iconoclast. The guy who made it okay to not only question everything, but to offer blunt and necessary answers when things start getting too stupid for complacency.

What is going on? Bo Diddley, Tim Russert and now George Carlin - we're losing the good guys at an alarming rate - which sucks harder than Chinese algebra whether the excuse is random or divine.

RIP Mr. Carlin. Hope you got some answers at last.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bomb...It's What's For Dinner

One might expect these kind of shenanigans from a more Southern or mid-western class of people, but once again, Connecticut proves it's just as back-assward as any other chicken terrorist breeding state in the nation. Bravo!

Conn. police find pipe bomb stuffed inside chicken
By Associated Press
3:35 PM EDT, June 10, 2008
SIMSBURY, Conn. - Authorities in Connecticut are wondering who stuffed a raw roasting chicken with a pipe bomb and left it on a roadside.

Simsbury police Capt. Matthew Catania says a motorist noticed the chicken Friday morning. He says the bomb was large enough to harm a person if it went off.

The road was closed while the Hartford Police Department's bomb squad came and blew up the chicken.

Nobody was injured. No arrests had been made Monday night.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Netural Friday....

What a week. Wow. Extreme highs and new and inconceivable lows. I keep asking myself if there will ever be a time when we can all, as Americans, collectively say that things are just fine. Sometimes we get signs. Obama’s presumptive win of the Democratic nominee for president was a glimmer of hope. Watching him and Michelle take the stage in Minnesota was an image for the history books, folks. They are one of those couples that for some strange and unexplainable reason you feel like you know. Maybe it’s a generational thing. Maybe they have perceived qualities that you see in yourself – or would like to. You sense a familiarity, a vibe that theirs is a team effort, and like most American marriages today, it’s a 50/50 proposition. Intellectual equals on the same page. And the fist bump was priceless! She looked stunning, by the way, and his speech was chock full of gems like this:
“Thousands of miles have been traveled. Millions of voices have been heard. And because of what you said — because you decided that change must come to Washington; because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest; because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another — a journey that will bring a new and better day to America.”
It gave me goose bumps. One could see that he was visibly moved knowing that millions are counting on him to right an awful lot of wrongs. It was a Camelot moment if ever there was one.
So at least the week got off to a positive start. The spouse and I had just returned from a trip to Virginia to visit relatives and hang around on the Mall in DC. I got to stand at the Lincoln Memorial, something I’ve wanted to do for many years, taking in all the freedom and democracy my little heart could stand – Dr. King, civil rights, the war protests, the milestones in 20th century American history that have used the memorial as the backdrop for visual messages that strike at the heart of what is good and right in this country. We also went to the Capitol, which also filled me with a deep sense of American pride. Although it was the week of eighth grade Hell, and it seemed as if every middle school graduating class in the country had converged on the Capitol in one obnoxious, girl shrieking, sweaty running boy sea of color-coded tee-shirts, cell phones and camera poses. There wasn’t a ticket to be had. My sojourn into the Rotunda will have to wait until January when Obama is inaugurated.
Meanwhile, Hartford CT had a week of unprecedented violence and bullshit. An elderly man was run over on Park Street by some speeding jackass in hot pursuit of another speeding jackass. Most disturbing was the fact that no one stopped to help this man – not even passing cars! The video footage shows several cars slowing down, taking a grizzly look, and moving on. Moving on! Leaving his body just lying there, in the street, vulnerable to being hit yet again. He is now paralyzed from the neck down. What a way to live out your golden years. Almost simultaneously, a famous former Hartford city official member and activist, 71-year-old Nicholas Carbone, was mugged at 9:00 in the morning by three men and kicked in the face so hard that he will require brain surgery. This done to a man who dedicated his life to making Hartford a decent place to live. Conveniently, there were no witnesses. The illustrious mayor, Eddie Perez, could only comment that crime in the city is actually down. I feel so much better now! Honestly, what the fuck is happening to people? Have we all gone completely crazy?
I guess you could say that locally it just wasn’t our week. Even Joe “Fuck You Democrats” Lieberman has supposedly started a grass roots organization called, “Citizens for McCain” which in fact isn’t even an organization at all - it’s nothing more than a way for the McCain campaign to get the names and emails of potential financial supporters. Way to go, Joe! Thank god you’re no longer a super-delegate.
Usually I like to end my weeks with a “Happy Friday,” but today it’s just Neutral Friday.

Monday, June 02, 2008

So Long Bo Diddley….

Bo Diddley died today at the age of 79. I've been a great admirer of his music since childhood. My mother, having grown up in the 1950s, always had a special place in her heart for her three idols – Elvis, Chuck Berry and of course, Bo Diddley - and she was sure to impart this love of music to her children.

His innovative sound and unmistakable riffs have cemented him into the pantheon of rock and roll, yet I’ve always thought of Bo Diddley as a blues man. His recordings with Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Howlin Wolf are a testament to just how good the blues can be. Songs like Who Do You Love?, I’m a Man, and my personal favorite, Roadrunner are not mere songs, but full blown masculine exclamations that reverberate in your gut and shake you to your soul, soaring far above any pop standards that may have been born out of the subdued and tamed elements wrangled out of these masterpieces.

I was fortunate to have seen Bo Diddley perform some years ago at the Mohegan Sun casino. It was a free show, and the old man and I waited in line for a very long time to get in – all the while wondering if Bo would be too old or out of it to really perform. But how could we doubt the sheer power of this man? The minute he took the stage we knew that he was in fine form and that everything was gonna be all right!

His guitar was this strange box of a thing that produced a sound unlike anything I had ever heard. It was as if he crafted this instrument with his own two hands and only he had the skill and knowledge to play it. And play he did – loud, strong and at times hilariously – and the crowd ate it whole. It’s always the old blues men who are able to consistently “bring it” when they perform for one simple reason: they don’t try to change their music to fit the times. The times invariably fit the music.
So thank you Bo Diddley, for sharing your tremendous talent with all of us. You are loved and missed.