Archive for the politics Category

“Smoke Bend” Dollar Bill Johnston (Sunday P.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in country music, I Heart My Love-Tribe, Music & Life & Sundays, politics, Republicans scare me, Spirituality & Religion, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Now it’s winter on the river, and a cold swift swollen tide meets a warm southern breeze from the gulf of memories.  

Every year, around the 9th of October, I fall into a funk. This blue mood is a complete mystery to me until the part of myself that’s been trying it’s best to keep the date from me will lag,  inevitably exhausted, and it will hit me. Oh! Right. That. The day that my father left this lousy place for good. The day that changed everything. The day that was so swollen with uncontainable sadness that even now, all these years later, it still will not be contained.    

      

I have another tough week in the spring. Another mysterious doom. “So?” Steffe’ll ask, pensively. “How are you? You always get down whenever y’know… me too. I miss him too.” And then it’ll hit me. Oh. Right. That. The week that our friend Paul had a heart attack in Florida, while shacked up with another poet on a houseboat.     

   

Souls have a secret calendar of agony.  

The Robot fades to black every year ’round labor day. The holiday serves as a hard-to-suppress reminder of the weekend his cousin/ little brother/best friend put a gun to his own temple. He was drunk and fighting with his girl friend, suddenly desolate, momentarily stupid. Maybe he meant to mash the trigger, maybe not. Those kind of over-wrought emotional moments can color the future with what is really just a temporary explosion of too too much. I keep a close eye on RB as the holiday nears. He wouldn’t do something so drastic but still, the date itself is a reminder of how hopelessness can swallow a grown folk whole.  

Like a snake eats an alligator.   

The gator goes down easier than you’d think.     

   

(Though I did see a story where a python tried to eat an alligator and the snake exploded… so that’s oddly comforting.)     

These last few days, I was hit by another mysterious gloom. It began with three days of insomnia — I was amped & aimless, annoyed with TV, avoiding the computer –followed by 15 hours of boulder-like sleep. It was a sleep-monster Saturday: ’round 4, Robo put me down like a toddler in need of nap; I reluctantly dozed off at the approach of 6; woke up at 3am to finish/post the gospel but mostly spent 2 hrs staring vacantly into space; then came Gospel!? We don’ need no stinkin’ gospel!; at 10am the Robot woke me with my favorite breakfast. I’m still annoyed and considering sending him back for reprogramming. It wasn’t until I finally got online that I ran smack dab into the Oh. Right. That.     

 Katrina.     

   

There, on the wordpress dash sat a letter from a reader/ friend, bummed about the anniversary of Katrina and wondering where-o-where was the Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel? Ah. Arggghrr. (That’s an argh that becomes a grr.) In a split second of watery blinking, I decided to forsake my previously planned song in favor of another song which we played constantly in the wake of that fateful & fatal storm. Before too, but so so often after. This song has meant the world to myself and the loverman (why, he was just a little robot, maybe 8 or 9, when he first started reading The Times Picayune; wishing he could get into the city, good old Big Easy, to see Black Sabbath at City Park.)     

We played that record ragged. That album was our refuge in the storm. That smoking Piggie was a good gentleman friend to us. The song is “Smoke Bend.”  The album is The Gourds 2002 release “Cow Fish Fowl or Pig.”      

   

Yes, I know we’ve just done The Gourds recently but we’re talking about Katrina today and for me, there is only one Katrina song.     

 “Smoke Bend” by the Gourds with Dollar Bill Johnston.      

Dollar Bill Johnston joins The Gourds on stage

Dollar Bill is the father is the father of Gourd, Max Johnston (also of Wilco and Uncle Tupelo.)  Interestingly, Max’s sister and Dollar Bill’s daughter is singer/song-writer Michelle Shocked, who I love.       

        

They’re sandbaggin’ the levees     

They’re shovelin’ night and day     

It’s the year of ’27     

Gonna wash us all away     

 This song was not written about Katrina. Which in my mind, for my purposes, makes it better. Rather it’s about the ever-present worry that the levees might break and if so, then what?    

 The levee gonna bust     

On your side or mine     

A little dynamite on your side     

Help the river make its mind     

It’s about the day that you hope never comes. It’s about the risks we all take in life whether it’s living in the basin of New Orleans or loving even when you know know how much losing is gonna hurt.    

 Folks left that west bank town     

 Left it all behind     

 Start life on higher ground     

 Gonna get out just in time     

 I didn’t grow up in New Orleans, but I was worried by my own what-if’s.    

Even as a small child, my attachment to my father was so enormous that I was haunted by his mortality. This what-if stayed with me through-out my life. In college, laying in bed one night, I tried to picture the cruel day and could imagine no future for myself beyond it. I saw myself in my messy closet, tucked in the fetal position, refusing to come out. Ever. By the time it happened for real, that closet was long gone, and I was living in Austin, but I could still find the fetal position.     

It must’ve been crazy growing up in New Orleans in the shadow of what if?    

 After all, that’s was the place I wished to be.     

   

I’m a corn-fed midwestern girl (by way of A! I! Ohio!) so I’m not native to the south. But I wanted to be, oh I wanted it so badly, always, and I think that counts for something. It always made sense, jived with my version of self. I’ve kinda secretly way-down-deep-in-me thought of myself as the Delta Lady, the epitome of southern eccentricity. When I was very young, probably too young to long for such obscenity, I’d listen to Joe Cocker’s “Delta Lady” and think “That’s me! There I am! Standing wet and naked in the garden.”     

   

So it’s no surprise that this secret self-appointed Delta Lady found herself a mint julep of a southern gentleman.     

The Robot’s often spoke of the hurricane parties people have while weathering out the storm. They drink hurricanes, play cards and hope like hell. His stories were always punctuated with “Oh, you’d love it. You especially would love it!” ??? 

A hurricane party?     

   

It did sound like something I’d adore — the enforced play, the mandatory leisure; the tendency towards hedonism or at least too many hurricanes; the chaotic familiarity of community and iffy festivity of gatherings; kids running wild, adults divulging secrets; all that human energy, all that snap crackle pop, and over-top — the bristling electricity of sky & fear.      

But after Katrina, I dunno… it sounds too… scary.      

Robotboy grew up in Mississippi, just outside of New Orleans, so his family was hit. The eye of the hurricane passed directly over the family home. It was scary and it was scary even for us, waiting to find out if everyone was okay. They were. They lost a roof and few 100 year trees, a prized pecan, but our people were all very lucky. But then they weren’t depending on the levees…       

    

“Smoke Bend” is about the day that we hope will never come, and yet we know it will, and still that changes nothing.     

Now there’s mint juleps at Oak Alley     

  There’s poison in the air     

 There’s new dangers on the river     

 It’s so good to be from there      

    

We continue to love whatever it is we’re so afraid to lose. Once we’ve lost out, the love goes on. That’s another little something we can count on.     

{{MP3 17 – Part II – Smoke Bend}}   

Smoke bend 

CHORUS:

Now it’s winter on the river

And a cold swift swollen tide

Meets a warm southern breeze

From the gulf of memories

Missouri and clear Ohio

Give their currents to the tide

Now the river’s Louisiana’s

For the willow tree-lined ride

From cruel Angola down to Venice

Scatterin’ horseshoes everywhere

The river’s Louisiana’s

With no glory or bank to share

If the river had its way

The Atchafalaya’d be its home

Straighten out them horseshoes

Find another bank to roam

There’s cane fires up the bank

Of that horseshoe of Smoke Bend

The smoke was double thick

And the fog was rollin’ in

Tie your boat to a willow tree

Climb the bank so high

Above the blanket on the river

See every star in the sky

Smoke fog and family

Kept to that west bank town

Smoke and fog would burn and blow away

The folks they’d stay around

There was catfish with the Kingfish

And a culture spice gumbo

There’s coonass music playing

On a glowin’ radio

Klan and crackers on the side

At the Last Chance Cafe

Crawfish etouffee

Warm red river Beaujolais

CHORUS

They’re sandbaggin’ the levee

They’re shovelin’ night and day

It’s the year of ’27

Gonna wash us all away

The levee gonna bust

On your side or mine

A little dynamite on your side

Help the river make its mind

Folks left that west bank town

Left it all behind

Start life on higher ground

Gonna get out just in time

Now there’s mint juleps at Oak Alley

There’s poison in the air

There’s new dangers on the river

It’s so good to be from there

CHORUS

**************************************

Stay ahead of the snake, y’all, don’t get swallowed up cause really that’s silly, a gator in the belly of a snake, c’mon? Even a python! C’mon! And it’s not safe for the snake either. So just lift yer snout outta the swamp n’ hum a little cajun tune or maybe that one about the river, who did that one? The potatoes? The parsnips? The Gourds! With Dollar Bill Johnston!   

 So whaddaya say, alkies, got a hankerin’ for hurricanes? Well, why’ont you whip us up a pitcher!     

  

Thank’s to Mike — fellow Austinite, who grew up in Chalmette — for documenting his own (from afar & helpless) vigil during the storm and subsequent obsession with the recovery of his homeland. See his story and more of his storm photos (like above.) 

Immerse yourself in gourdy goodness at the band’s sweet sight, complete with wood round rekerd playa.   

If you’re in love with “Smoke Bend” (and you should be) the song can be downloaded for 99 cents. A great song for the price of a candy bar. The album “Cow Fish Fowl or Pig” available on amazon.  If you’re not ready for the I couldn’t nor wouldn’t begin to suggest where future aid should be sent so I open comments to suggestions.  

*************************************************   

Today’s edition of the Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel is dedicated to everyone who saw Nola through that storm as well as to those who continue to be with her now. To those who lost lives, loved ones, homes, schools, churches, haunts. To those still healing and still helping in the aftermath.     

My heart aches for all of you, for your families wherever they may live, and for every one who had their heart mangled by that hurricane (even if “only” in an an empathic human way)  

Today was hard for people, people’s hearts are still hurting. Even those not directly affected by Katrina, even those hearts are clenched like angry fists. In a strange sad way, Katrina became a shared trauma, a throbbing dated ache that yearly seizes up. Katrina blew through our TV screens and flooded our family rooms. Which is not to diminish the unfathomable experience of being in New Orleans both during and after that storm; nor the losses borne by other areas hit by Katrina.

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Louder Than A Bomb (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in I heart hip hop, I Heart Holidays, Music & Life & Sundays, politics, punk rock, Republicans scare me, Spirituality & Religion, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2010 by alphabetfiend

They claim we’re products from the bottom of hell cause the black is back and it’s bound to sell. Picture us coolin’ out on the Fourth of July and if you heard we were celebratin’, that’s a world wide lie. — Public Enemy

Thanks for tuning in to this special Fourth of July Edition of the Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel.

‘Cause the D is for dangerous
You can come and get some of this
I teach and speak
So when its spoke, it’s no joke
The voice of choice
The place shakes with bass
Called one for the treble
The rhythm is the rebel

So many Sundays, the punk rock gospel has been about appreciating the beauty in life and not being a hater; having gratitude and gusto; forming questions and searching for answers. All good, all valid, but this week is different. This week is about noticing the disfunction (whether in friendships, family or government) and demanding more than disfunction. Speak up, sound the truth, use your voice to fight for what’s right. Make up your own mind regardless of outside pressure. This week I urge you to doubt when doubt is warranted.

This week’s punk rock gospel selection is “Louder Than A Bomb” by masters of dissent, Public Enemy.

Last week , in “Tryin To Make It Real Compared To What,” Les McCaan and Eddie Harris sang:

The President, he’s got his war
Folks don’t know just what it’s for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it treason

Damn. The more things change the more they stay the same. Lyrics written in the 1960’s ring true like they were written yesterday, or back when Bush was in office, or back when Bush’s daddy was in office. I wanted to address the redundancy of politics (and the resulting tragedy) in last Sunday’s Punk Rock Gospel (Tryin’ To Make It Real…) but a political rant hardly fit the emotional tenor of that post.

Still it stuck with me like a burr on a dog’s ball sack.

Now, in the wee hours of July 4th, I’m thinking about patriotism.

Have one doubt, they call it treason.

Ask one question and “the terrorists win.”

I get weary of the old refrain “If you don’t like it, leave.” (I’m so weary of it that I’m actually thinking about leaving. Life as an ex-pat may be just the thing.) A patriot is someone who loves their country and squawks when they see it headin’ off the rails, who believes in the freedom our forefathers fought for, who knows that freedom is not some hyped-up propaganda to be used against us by speech writers.

Never servin ’em well, ’cause I’m an un-Tom
It’s no secret at all
Cause I’m louder than a bomb

Today, as we celebrate the Fourth of July, on boats or in backyards, wearing flip-flops or setting off fire-crackers, flipping burgers or making vats of lemonade, let’s remember that part of loving this country is looking out for it. A patriot is someone who wants the very best for America, not just the same old same old status quo. Complacence and silence can be devastating. A human voice can be LOUDER THAN A BOMB. Don’t be afraid to light that fuse!

If speaking up makes you Public Enemy #1 then so be it. You’ll be in some fine company.

To hear “Louder Than A Bomb” as originally recorded on “It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” (without the distraction of live footage)play this sucker.

If you wanna see footage of Public Enemy performing “Louder Than A Bomb” live, here’s a pretty great version culled from many not so great versions (with bad sound, bad shots or both.)

Peace out, patriots. I have an American Flag cake to bake — whipped cream icing with blueberries as stars and strawberries as stripes. Yum. Let them eat cake! Thanks for tuning in this 4th of July. I hope Public Enemy has inspired.

Let your rhythm be the rebel!!!

Louder Than A Bomb

This style seems wild
Wait before you treat me like a stepchild
Let me tell you why they got me on file
‘Cause I give you what you lack
Come right and exact
Our status is the saddest
So I care where you at black
And at home I got a call from Tony Rome
The FBI was tappin’ my telephone
I never live alone
I never walk alone
My posses always ready and they’re waitin’ in my zone
Although I live the life that of a resident
But I be knowin’ the scheme that of the president
Tappin’ my phone whose crews abused
I stand accused of doing harm
‘Cause I’m louder than a bomb
C’mon C’mon louder etc…

I am the rock hard trooper
To the bone, the bone, the bone
Full grown – consider me – stone
Once again and
I say it for you to know
The troop is always ready, I yell `geronimo’
Your CIA, you see I ain’t kiddin’
Both King and X they got ridda’ both
A story untold, true, but unknown
Professor Griff knows…
“I ain’t no toast”
And not the braggin’ or boastin’ and plus
It ain’t no secret why they’re tappin’ my phone, although
I can’t keep it a secret
So I decided to kick it, yo
And yes it weighs a ton
I say it once again
I’m called the enemy – I’ll never be a friend
Of those with closed minds, don’t know I’m rapid
The way that I rap it
Is makin’ ’em tap it, yeah
Never servin ’em well, ’cause I’m an un-Tom
It’s no secret at all
Cause I’m louder than a bomb

Cold holdin’ the load
The burden breakin’ the mold
I ain’t lyin’ denyin’, ’cause they’re checkin’ my code
Am I buggin’ ’cause they’re buggin’ my phone – for information
No tellin’ who’s sellin’ out – power buildin’ the nation so…
Joinin’ the set, the point blank target
Every brothers inside – so least not, you forget, no
Takin’ the blame is not a waste, here taste
A bit of the song so you can never be wrong
Just a bit of advice, ’cause we be payin’ the price
‘Cause every brother mans life
Is like swingin’ the dice, right?
Here it is, once again this is
The brother to brother
The Terminator, the cutter

Goin’ on an’ on – leave alone the grown
Get it straight in ’88, an’ I’ll troop it to demonstrate
The posse always ready – 98 at 98
My posse come quick, because my posse got velocity
Tappin’ my phone, they never leave me alone
I’m even lethal when I’m unarmed
‘Cause I’m louder than a bomb

‘Cause the D is for dangerous
You can come and get some of this
I teach and speak
So when its spoke, it’s no joke
The voice of choice
The place shakes with bass
Called one for the treble
The rhythm is the rebel
Here’s a funky rhyme that they’re tappin’ on
Just thinkin’ I’m breakin’ the beats I’m rappin’ on
CIA FBI
All they tell us is lies
And when I say it they get alarmed
‘Cause I’m louder than a bomb

*Atomic Tree available as a print.

Tryin’ To Make It Real Compared To What?! (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in I Heart My Love-Tribe, Music & Life & Sundays, politics, punk rock, Rock & Roll, Spirituality & Religion, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Where’s that bee and where’s that honey? Where’s my God and where’s my money?

This was one “Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel” that almost didn’t happen.  After the busiest of weeks and hours of off-line frustration in the Mississippi country-side, I said screw it all to hell and collapsed into bed with weary bones. Maybe it’ll be a Monday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel, I thought as I drifted into a deep air-conditioned slumber. Two hours later, at 4am, I awoke with a jolt to the spectres of Eddie Harris and Les McCaan. This is our Sunday, they insisted, so I reached with drowsy digits for my discarded laptop and whaddaya know?!  We suddenly (miraculously?) made contact. Now, fueled by caffeine & cigarettes, and a crazy lovely love for this song, I’m gonna knock this sucker out.

This week will be less wordy that usual, partly due to my fried-egg sunny-side up brain, but mostly because this song sings for itself.

How to introduce “Tryin’ To Make It Real Compared To What” ???

What can possibly be said about one of the greatest songs of all time?

All I can do is tell you what it means to me and urge you to form your own fibrous connection. And you will. You will. It’s that damn good.

When I was 15, my Dad and I took a long dusk-to-dark ride through the New Mexico mountains. Our headlights guided us around treacherous curves which my father — an expert driver and Motor City son — took smoothly, sweetly, safely. The moon was fat and the stars glittered like sugared candies. It was the kind of memory that sticks to your ribs; the kind of living that gives life texture, taste and deliciousness. It was the kind of  time that carves into your soul and (RE)MAKES you into a new configuration (concoction?) of your self. It was there, in that cushy comfy night, that I first heard “Tryin’ To Make It Real Compared To What.” It was also the second, third, fourth and fiftieth time. We played it over and over and over while reveling in the troubled beauty of the world.

Ten years later, my Dad was dead.

There would be no more moonlight rock-out rides; no more trading barbs over breakfast until he broke into a grin over my writerly wit; no more mounting our motorcycles at dawn and VVROOM-VVROOMing into the rising sun. 

There was no one to call when I needed to remember who it was that did that amazing fucking song. 

After all, that crazy beautiful fucker had turned me onto so many songs over the years and I figgered he’d always be around to help me keep ’em straight.

What was the song we used to play on the pontoon as we floated lazily down the Maumee River? Right. Take 5. Dave Brubeck. I remember now.

Who was it we were listening to that 3am by the fire? Ah! Buddy Holly. Duh.  

Who was it that did that kick-ass cool song that we couldn’t get enough of that night in your Lincoln, with the fat moon and her spilled candy?

Huh? Who? Hello? Dad? Where the hell you’d go? Hello?…hello…hey…hello? Daddy?

Damn that silence sucks.

Fortunately, there’s now such a thing as google. I typed in “tryin to make it real compared to what,” and was led to youtube, where Eddie Harris & Les McCaan broke my heart all over again. Then fixed it. Then broke it. It was awesome. I hit replay at least a dozen times. Oh. Such goodness. Such beauty. Such power.

My body flooded with rock & roll relief.

The song returned to me, like a gift, an act of cyber kindness, and now in the spirit of punk rock gospel, I am passing it on to you. I hope it breaks your heart and blows your mind. I hope it carves into you and sticks to your ribs. I hope it stays with you forever.

Is that too much to ask? No, I really don’t think so. Listen to it, see for yourself. Then go buy the record, download it onto your ipod, add the song to a playlist — spend some quality time with it. Let it add taste and texture to your memories… all the while striving to make it real while asking “Real?… Compared to what?”

Like a Buddhist koan, there’s really no answer but the question props your mind open.

TRYING TO MAKE IT REAL COMPARED TO WHAT

I love the lie and lie the love
A-Hangin’ on, with push and shove
Possession is the motivation
that is hangin’ up the God-damn nation
Looks like we always end up in a rut (everybody now!)
Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what? C’mon baby!

Slaughterhouse is killin’ hogs
Twisted children killin’ frogs
Poor dumb rednecks rollin’ logs
Tired old lady kissin’ dogs
I hate the human love of that stinking mutt (I can’t use it!)
Try to make it real — compared to what? C’mon baby now!

The President, he’s got his war
Folks don’t know just what it’s for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it treason
We’re chicken-feathers, all without one nut. God damn it!
Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what? (Sock it to me)

Church on Sunday, sleep and nod
Tryin’ to duck the wrath of God
Preacher’s fillin’ us with fright
They all tryin’ to teach us what they think is right
They really got to be some kind of nut (I can’t use it!)
Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what?

Where’s that bee and where’s that honey?
Where’s my God and where’s my money?
Unreal values, crass distortion
Unwed mothers need abortion
Kind of brings to mind ol’ young King Tut (He did it now)
Tried to make it real — compared to what?!

(Music break)

Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what?

SNL Throws Blind Punches

Posted in politics with tags , , , , , on December 15, 2008 by alphabetfiend

Before Saturday Night Live was even over I was already writing about it. I love Hugh Laurie as Dr. House plus it was Poehler’s last show so I was ready to laugh. And there were a few good laughs but the icky skit that poked fun at New York Governor David Paterson’s blindness was not one of them. Maybe he’s a little cracky, maybe not, I have no idea either way but he’s definitely blind and so were the jokes — jokes which were definitely about his blindness. The skit portrayed Paterson as bumbling and inept; he was bumping into things, unable to sit in a rolling chair, holding graphs upside down. “Lookie me! I can’t see!” and NOT “Lookie me! I’m cracky!”

new-york-governor-david-paterson

It bothered me into the wee hours of Sunday morning and it’s still bothering me.  And it looks like I’m not the only one who recoiled. Blind Advocates, disabled citizens and David Paterson himself were dismayed and grossed-out. 

Think about it… when have you ever seen a blind person acting like a bee just stung their eyeball? Roaming around, knocking into things? Reading graphs upside down? Acting like a complete moron? It’s not the reality of the disability. To imply that Paterson’s not fit for public office because he’s blind is to imply that blind people can’t do anything really — well, not anything that involves walking or talking or thinking.

Also, I hardly think that blindness in any way compares to “giant gums with tiny teeth”….. ???? Makes me wan’t to have my own “REALLY?” skit like Amy Poehler and Seth Meyer do on SNL’s Weekend Update. Really? Really? Really?

David Paterson should be applauded for being a strong mo-fo who overcame his disability and became the governor of New York. How cracky can he be? I know plain ol’ potheads who can barely make it to the curb store for more papers never mind the seat of the Governor’s office.

I know, I know. It’s comedy. But that argument doesn’t hold much water considering that it was the cheapest of shots and not even remotely funny.

I didn’t laugh. I cringed and then I ached and then I cried.

Why? Why tears?

Cause we’re better than this, is why. We’re past that kind of ignorance and it was a bummer to see it showing its very unattractive face…an uninvited guess in a dated get-up. YUCK. Yea, yuck…that about sums it up.

Black Man In the White House! Finally.

Posted in politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2008 by alphabetfiend

I’m bouncing around the room!

I’m tearing up every five minutes.

It feels so damn good to see those barriers blown to bits.

barack-obama-bw

This is how change happens.

This is the world doing the right thing. It’s a human rights issue and it’s huge and beautiful and glorious and about damn time.

Mccain’s Mean Streak

Posted in politics with tags , , , , on November 3, 2008 by alphabetfiend

I’ve been working on this post about McCain’s notorious temper for weeks, slogging through all the information on the subject. The problem being that there are so many stories but yet the issue has been under-reported. I guess reporters don’t know how to sit down at their desks and type up a story that involves a war hero calling his drug-addled wife a cunt. Even though there were supposedly reporters who witnessed the story first hand. I think this speaks to a larger older issue in our country. When it comes to domestic abuse, we’ve been taught to “stay out of it.” It’s as if a husband knocking his wife into a wall falls under some sort of marital privacy clause. The same is true for child abuse. We’ve been culturally conditioned to look the other way, to let families work out their issues within the family. But this man is running for president. If he’s temper-prone and anger-led that is likely to become our problem.

With so many of us goingto cast our vote tomorrow I have decided to publish this as-is. Though still a clunky draft, there is info in here that is worth seeing especially if you are still wavering.

John McCain called his wife Cindy a “cunt” in front of aides and reporters during a 1992 campaign stop. This event was witnessed by 3 reporters and two aides of John McCain, Doug Cole and Wes Gullett. The oft-whispered story is recounted in Cliff Schecter’s book The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn’t:

Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain’s intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain’s hair and said, “You’re getting a little thin up there.” McCain’s face reddened, and he responded, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.” McCain’s excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.

Marty Parrish, a baptist minister, was shook by the story of McCain’s unkindness towards his wife:

 “A guy who would call his wife a trollop and a c–t just because she had ruffled his hair in front of five guys is not only a jerk, but a dangerous hothead if he ever gets his finger on the button.”

So much so that he confronted John McCain during a townhall meeting:

“And since the mainstream media has decided to give McCain a free pass, I decided to stand up and, if they gave me an open mike, ask the question that the press refuses to touched. Our country is in a serious crisis after nearly eight years of Bush, and America appears to be oblivious to the danger this guy (McCain) poses to our country.

“There’s people here who don’t respect that kind of language, so I’ll move on to the next questioner in the back.”

This from the man whose called political foes a variety of names:

  1. “shitheads,”
  2. “assholes” 
  3. “a fucking jerk.”

Yet when he dismisses Parrish’s question for having inappropriate language, he is applauded by the “town hall.” It reminds me of going to the movies with my Grandpa. Gramps yanked us out of the theatre saying, “I don’t wanna hear no god-damned motherfuckin language like that, goddammit, on a nice fuckin Sunday afternoon with my goddamned little bastard grandkidsafter a nice sermon at church by that motherfucker cocksucker faggot of a pastor, he’s a butt-fucker, mark my words, and then you little heathens drag me to a movie with that kinda nasty nasty disgusting language. On a Sunday! Litte fuckers.” I tried to point out that the movie had only one f-you as compared to his foul tirade and I was a teenage bitch slut. That guy looks like he just stepped off a banana boat, yer fuckin him, I just know.  Awww. I get a little tear in my eye just remembering. (Despite his flaws, I still love my Grampa… but I wouldn’t vote for him for president! No matter how fun it might be to throw lavish parties at the White House.)

Kieth Dismore (Huffington Post) talked to Marty Parrish after he was escorted from McCain’s town hall meeting by Des Moines police and members of the Secret Service. He stood by his decision to question McCain’s “mental health.”

 We have a man whose temper can get the best of him. What I am worried about is his temper. Our country is in a serious crisis. This election is the most significant one since 1860. It appears America is asleep — so I stood up and asked the question.

I applaud Marty Parrish for having the courage to stand up and say “Hey! The Emperor is butt-ass naked!” We’ve all been discussing this issue of McCain’s mean-streak in hushed whispered tones as though it were town gossip and we’re naughty just for jabberin’. We see the emperor’s flaccid member and saggy butt cheeks and we shy away, embarrassed. But he’s the one who should be embarrassed. We’ve also given the man a free pass for all that he went through as a POW. If he’s nutty b/c of his military experience, I’m sorry and I feel for him but I don’t feel beholden to give him the keys to The White House. Many men lost limbs in Iraq but we didn’t give them Olympic medals. We gave the Olympic medals to the athletes who excelled at their respective sports.  McCain’s angry tirades and mean-spirited snarks go way back, long before he was a POW.

John McCain was nick-named “McNasty” by his fellow students in HIGHSCHOOL. While there was a category for “Most likely to become President” in their yearbook, McCain wasn’t even considered. He did place in the category of “Thinks He’s Hardest.”

“As a young man, I would respond aggressively and sometimes irresponsibly to anyone whom I perceived to have questioned my sense of honor and self-respect. Those responses often got me in a fair amount of trouble earlier in life.”

The Arizona senator acknowledged that some habits die hard — even if it’s been 50 years.

“In all candor, as an adult I’ve been known to forget occasionally the discretion expected of a person of my years and station when I believe I’ve been accorded a lack of respect I did not deserve,” McCain said.

(Nico Pitney as published in Huffington Post)

Ken Layne said on The Wonkette: “Even before he was a brain-damaged old psychopath, McCain was a mean, angry creep.”

In the Daily Beast, Michael Kinsley shares a worrisome story  about John McCain, as emailed to him by friend and colleague, Jeff Dearth (former publisher of the New Republic.) Apparently,  when Dearth and McCain attended a 2005 magazine industry conference at a casino hotel in Puerto Rico, Dearth was witness to McCain’s famous temper. Kinsley says of Dearth:

 “We went to junior high and high school together in Michigan. He would not make this up. Jeff Dearth is not an extreme partisan or an activist for either candidate. He supports Obama, in part because he is truly alarmed at the thought of the arrogant hothead he saw becoming president.” 

About that arrogant hothead: 

McCain’s game is craps. So is Jeff Dearth’s. Jeff was at the table when McCain showed up and happily made room for him. Apparently there is some kind of rule or tradition in craps that everyone’s hands are supposed to be above the table when the dice are about to be thrown. McCain—“very likely distracted by one of the many people who approached him that evening,” Jeff says charitably—apparently was violating this rule. A small middle-aged woman at the table, apparently a “regular,” reached out and pulled McCain’s arm away. I’ll let Jeff take over the story: “McCain immediately turned to the woman and said between clenched teeth: ‘DON’T TOUCH ME.’ The woman started to explain…McCain interrupted her: ‘DON’T TOUCH ME,’ he repeated viciously. The woman again tried to explain. ‘DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO?’ McCain continued, his voice rising and his hands now raised in the ‘bring it on’ position. He was red-faced. By this time all the action at the table had stopped. I was completely shocked. McCain had totally lost it, and in the space of about ten seconds. ‘Sir, you must be courteous to the other players at the table,’ the pit boss said to McCain. “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? ASK ANYBODY AROUND HERE WHO I AM.”

This being Puerto Rico, the pit boss might not have known McCain. But the senator continued in full fury—“DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”—and crisis was avoided only when Jeff offered to change places and stand between McCain and the woman who had touched his arm.

Kinsley sums up his concern thusly:

What is bothersome about this story, if it’s true, is only partly the explosive anger. More, it’s the arrogance. At the craps table, who cares who he is? And there’s the recklessness of such a performance in a casino full of journalists (unless McCain absolutely couldn’t control himself, which is even scarier).

Scarier indeed. Not only does McCain have this “volcanic” temper we keep hearing about but he doesn’t much care who knows it. There’s that arrogance again. It’s as if McCain thinks that his military service/sacrifice ought to forgive any misbehavior. But McCain’s not the only one making excuses. 

  1. “is a fighter and has always been a fighter ” (McCain spokesman Dan Schnur, in 1999) Scott Thomsen
  2. “I’m not looking for someone who serves tea in white gloves. That’s not attractive in a president.” (State Superintendent Lisa Graham Keegan) Thomse

Knocking women into walls is not “positively passionate” or attractive in a president. Someone who can remain clear-headed and objective in times of crisis — that’s what we need.

Nick Juliano wrote (Raw Story)

So one can only imagine what would happen if McCain were to try to squeeze that temper into the tight confines of diplomacy.

 “Do I insult anybody or fly off the handle or anything like that? No, I don’t,” insisted McCain. There are many who beg to disagree.

I saw this is the comments section somewhere and I was glad to see it — finally someone else saying what I’ve been thinking. These behaviors are familiar to some of us and fit into a pattern that we recognize from our own families.

These disturbingreports about McCain’s temper makes me wonder if he has any domestic abuse in his history. Comingfrom an abusive family with terrible tempers I am extremely sensitive to people who behave this way and can not be around that level of anger without getting my stomach tied in knots. I guarantee that there is more to this story. It seems like many of the stories about his temper involve women. I’m surprised that nobody from his personal past has come forward. I love how calm and intelligent Obama is.

McCain said, ” If I lose my capacity for anger, then I shouldn’t be president of the United States.” Good. Then we are all in agreement.

McCain & Palin Hawk the GOP on QVC (SNL Nov 1)

Posted in politics, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2008 by alphabetfiend

McCain wasn’t half bad on SNL (unlike Palin who was completely useless.) It’s just so close to election day and I’m so ready for it to be over. I’m so ready for a little Chocolate-Change in the White House. I’m ready for Tina Fey to be Tina Fey. And for Sarah Palin to hurry up and go away.

Fey deserves the fanfare from her wicked Palin imitation.

Fey deserves the fanfare from her wicked Palin imitation.

I did wonder though what must’ve been going through McCain’s mind when — in the skit — Sarah Palin, played by Fey, snuck off to sell herself in secret. How wierd for him to see that truth and just have to laugh through it. For some laughs of your own, see the QVC skit for yourself.

VOTE FOR OBAMA!!!!

Oh and if Tina Fey asks you for favors, sexual or otherwise, PONY UP. It’s the least we could do for that smart sexy bitch. If she wants to put a saddle on your back and ride you around the room, get on all fours and bray like a buckin’ bronco.

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