Aphotic Drift,Lambs,Droids at Mad Planet this Saturday

Aphot​ic Drift​ tears​ holes​ out of audio​ lunch​boxes​ and plugs​ them with fearf​ul squar​e wave press​ure,​ and joins​ us,the Lambs​,​ and fearl​ess rebel​s from the State​ Capit​al Droid​s Attac​k in a despe​rate move at Mad Plane​t this Satur​day.​ Best weep now,get it out of the way. The heart​ won’​t take anoth​er blow like this one,and you’ll want to be there​ when it explo​des.​ Medic​s will be on-​hand.​ Whisk​ey will be serve​d.​ Laced​ with the New American,​ hidin​g his fears​ away in the nice new close​t.​ Patti​ng himse​lf on the back.​ For a Job Well Done.​.​.​ inves​t wisel​y in this,​ sucke​rs.​ Offen​sive is my middl​e name.​

Call me Han Solo.

In a last-minute decision while killing time in the duty-free shop in the international wing of the Sao Paulo airport,I bought a box of Fine Cuban Cigars. I was thinking to myself that I’d probably avoid getting randomly searched by customs in Mexico City or back in the good ol’ Communist-hating US of A – Chicago. Why not?

I was wrong,of course. I successfully avoided dealing with the Mexican Federales,whom probably didn’t care about a box of Fine Cuban Cigars anyhow. But,thanks to our dedicated force of airport border Homeland Security officers,I was randomly selected to be searched by hand.

“Where are you coming from?”
“Why Brazil?”
“Well,I certainly don’t have a sister living there illegally.”
“Do you have any alcohol,tobacco,or food with you?”
“No. Of course not,sir. I’m a good American citizen just like yourself,proud of the work you are doing.” And salute.

I wasn’t taken completely by surprise. I had taken precautions. The box of Fine Cuban Cigars were stashed at the bottom of my carry-on backpack along with my laptop and the book I was reading – Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs. But I had brought several books; I put them all in the backpack on top of the box of Fine Cuban Cigars,which was still wrapped in the duty-free package. There was also the ripped-up torn copy of The Economist magazine: several pages had been torn off,which I used to wrap up the package in a very hap-hazard and messy method. Then the package of complimentary sleep-junk AeroMexico gave out on the plane. Then some packaging from a box of cookies that Jen was going to throw out. My studio headphones. Another pair of headphones. The ipod cable. The laptop power supply,carefully tangling the cable around the growing mass. Ah,an uneaten biscuit wrapped in a package. A couple of pens,some paper,a notepad,receipts,lint…

The officer opened my backpack first. Which was good – there were two large suitcases with me that he had yet to search. He found the manual for the Nikon D70 SLR camera I had with me,and we started talking about cameras. He’s an amateur photographer – just purchased the D90,he said. Talked about speed of the camera,other models,pictures of Brazil,etc etc.

He was still grilling me: see if I’d slip and say I hadn’t been to Rio when I previously said I was. But I was doing mine: keep him distracted from the back just long enough for him to give up on the giant mass of crap inside…


He had made it down to the wrapped Box of Fine Cuban Cigars,but threw it back in and zipped up the backpack,moving on to my two suitcases. One of which was about to provide him with the wonderful scent of pure mildew from the wet swimming clothes. The exit’s through there – welcome back to America,you communist-loving terrorist-supporting bastard. Not that it makes a whole lot of sense: Cuba’s already got my money,whether I smoke the damn things or not.

My dad said it well: “One man’s terrorism is another man’s fine smoke.”


Ahora puedes utilizar Facebook en español
Cambia la configuración de idioma seleccionando español aquí:

Usa el buscador de amigos para ver si mas de tus amigos se han unido e invita a todos tus amigos hispanohablantes a que se registren.

Ah,I18N. Thanks,Mexico City airport.

The Fix Is In. The Bell will Toll in 36 Hours.

These final hours have really brought an armada of right-wing articles making a desperate plea against an inevitable Obama victory in the polls. They are on the verge of publicly declaring their prayers for racism to give McCain a surprise victory,putting all their money and credibility on The Bradley Effect. Logic and reason have left them; now the madness begins and they turn to six-breasted beasts humping each other for the scraps of rancid meat left. All of them right up till the zero hour yelling and screaming gibberish: O Lord! Let not the Socialist take our money! Taxes for the Mighty Government Waste Machine funding our thriving economy! All will End! Then,a coup de tat on McCain as Palin watches with smug glee,stupidly gripping to her the dream of her own 2012 run.

Blacks’ Dreams Will Come True. Then What? – Laura Washington,CST
6 Reasons Obama Will Cost America Jobs – Ralph Reiland,Pittsburgh TR
Fickle Voters Fill Pollsters With Dread – Daniel Finkelstein,Times of London
Has the Media Lost Its Credibility? – Doug MacKinnon,New York Times
How Smart is the American Voter? – Larry Bartels,Los Angeles Times

Headlines. Viciousness on all sides. Hatred and disgust against anything that reminds them of Loss. It is truly a terrible sight: the once-proud officers of privilege now looking out at a very blue map. No more domestic surveillance,no more torture,no more hawkish foreign policies leading to multiple wars with no understanding of culture but rather an eye on oil. Drill baby drill. An awful scene to behold for the GOP believer: fear of losing that strict father morality America has wrought on this planet at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

The map they cling to has one path for McCain,and that is taking out 6-point leads or more in multiple states where he has been outgunned for the last 8 months. CO,NV,VA. They cling to FL and OH,all firewalls for McCain’s doomed campaign. NC,GA,MO,IN now all on the verge… rather than tightening his lead in any significant way,he’s lost his lead in even more traditional red states,stupidly sacrificing electoral votes for a timid 6 point deficit in the national polls.

Tomorrow, vote. The National Affairs Desk Studio & Armory – Extended Mobile Unit has been set up and is ready to go. You will all suffer my degrading rants and analysis and succumb to the dumb fear and cheap thrills of Election Night Coverage,every hour or so. All recorded for posterity. Mark Belling is invited,but he’s probably too scared to venture out in public,opting to stay close to the basement shitter, flashlight and a crank-radio at hand,listening in silence as state by state call out for his shame. With each state his heart pumps a little more bile from his gall bladder into his brain,a common diagnosis for those on the losing side of politics. He’ll be with the rest of them come Wednesday morning,bitterness saved up and bottled with a shelf-life of 8 years spewing even more Hate than Bush & Jesus both encouraged them to the previous 8 years.

The Fix Is In. Will they hold?

Looking forward; I cannot find my font.

Hrm. I believe that if Obama and more specifically the Democratic Party had courted Libertarian and Third Party candidates,it would be better positioned to take on the questions posed by independents after the GOP/Right Wing finally dies and a third party replaces them with a more rational opponent. More difficult questions await us as a government, people,and life form.

Because if we die first,I care little about the answer.

48 hours before the returns,preparations in the form of fine beverage.

It has come to this.

After the big gamble on subprime mortgages that led to the current financial crisis,is there going to be an even bigger gamble,by putting the fate of a nation in the hands of a man whose only qualifications are ego and mouth? … After this man has wrecked the economy and destroyed constitutional law with his judicial appointments,what can he do for an encore?1

The entire article is seething with dumb hate for Obama. It is the new journalism. You fill the article with so much spin and hypocrisy that even I couldn’t look them all up,then fill the cracks with enough hate for the righteous to hold on to. It is the new political format; the Invincible Article. Democrats can write this off as lunatic fringe,but the Republicans are experts at turning ignorant statements into reasonable rally-cries for the faithful. Some things simply stick to the electorate. The greatest trick the devil continues to play is to convince the electorate that he doesn’t exist. Etc etc. Perhaps this is all a bit much for the more reasonable out there.

To ambitious politicians such as Obama or running mate Joe Biden,that’s just crazy; they can’t imagine folks who care more about family or community than about getting ahead. [T]his doesn’t mean that people in places like Elk County or Centre County aren’t ambitious — they are. But rather than focus on material needs,they focus on being better parents or better hunters,better Christians2

People connect with this sort of bullshit through a recognizable,realistic and sympathetic vessel: Joe the Plumber:

he did appear on stage in jeans and a checkered shirt as the crowd applauded and chanted, “Joe! Joe! Joe!” Later,he signed autographs.3

Though he’s been chewed up and spat out by the political machine,he’s not giving up and he’s a hero to millions who identify with his psuedo-plight as an American Taxpayer. The old blues on the radio are repeating their old dream of a better place in a better world. That world doesn’t exist in Joe the Taxpayer’s mind: the McCain campaign is counting on your vote for the rights of those who have achieved the dream to kick the ladder out from under them. Let the poor and weak suffer and if I made it,so can they no matter what the circumstance. These old white and rich testaments to the American Dream in action never look back to the old era they were raised from: the world of Selma,segregation,national bigotry,war and a giant economic deficit. Just keep your eyes on the ball,don’t look up at us and you’ll die quietly after a life of labor and the politics of contradiction.

I realize there are those American workers who labor long and hard and still don’t earn much money. There is nothing wrong with giving them a tax cut – assuming they pay taxes in the first place,and not all low-income people do. But there is something wrong with extending that benefit to those Americans who – for one reason or another – haven’t invested what they should or made bad choices,took the easy road,passed up the chance to get more education or additional skills,refused to relocate for better jobs and so on.

There isn’t a parent of grown children anywhere in the country who doesn’t understand this concept. They may love their children equally,but that doesn’t stop them from acknowledging that their offspring – like all human beings – perform at different levels and reap benefits accordingly.

This is the refrain of modern conservatism. The epic struggle against perceived hardship leads you to the imaginary world where you’ve conquered racism and poverty where you claim your rightful portion of your gross income. Meanwhile your secretary,nurse, tailor,bartender,cab driver,vendor,and countless others you meet along your day-long story between the life of excess suffer from lack of health care,wondering if the paycheck will pay off some of that hospital bill or tuition towards your American Dream,albeit in a lackluster,unforgiven form. It is the will of God,now,for what its worth. The credo.

Fuck the weak,ignore the poor,and stick to your guns. You ignore the outliers: the hard-working,under-privileged poor and make examples from a hand-picked selection of Republicans. Make the believers believe. I believe in Obama because I believe in those words. I believe what he says. When you start criticizing Obama on his words you take on the lost argument against Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy,and Jesus’ words before he turned water to wine or brought Heath Ledger back from the dead. I do believe in those words. I believe in those words like I believe in the words of the Constitution and the long-time-suffering Bill of Rights. Of Equality. Of sickness and health. Of principles backed by riots and assassinations. American Fear dictates less and less from the idealists that make their mark by speaking words of Hope and the ideal view of what this country could become. Come Tuesday,we will have Democracy. The people get what they deserve.

That brings us up against the 48th hour before we start getting returns,and my low battery indicator here at Sugar Maple where I’m stealing Cafe Centraal’s wifi. The self-fulfilling prophecy of politics.

More notes from 1972.

“Just why the American electorate gave the present administration such an overwhelming mandate in November remains something of a mystery to me. I firmly believed throughout 1971 that the major hurdle to winning hte presidency was winning the Democratic nomination. I believed that any reasonable Democrat could defeat President Nixon. I now think that no one could have defeated him in 1972.”
– McGovern,a couple months after his humiliating loss in 1972 – quoted in Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72.

Dr. Thompson continues:

… his campaign was doomed from the start: conceived in a fit of hubris, born in a momentary power-vacuum that was always more mirage than reality,borne along on a tide of frustration churned up by liberal lintheads and elitist malcontents in the Easter Media Establishment,and finally bashed into splinters on the reefs of at least two basic political realities that no candidate with good sense would eve have tried to cross in the first place .. To wit:

1) Any incumbent President is unbeatable,except in a time of mushrooming national crisis or a scandal so heinous – and with such obvious roots in the White House – as to pose a clear and present danger to the financial security and/or physical safety of millions of voters in every corner of the country.

2) The "mood of the nation," in 1972,was so overwhelmingly vengeful,greedy,bigoted,and blindly reactionary that no presidential candidate who even faintly reminded "typical voters" of the fear & anxiety they’d felt during the constant "social upheavals" of the 1960s had any chance at all of beating Nixon lats year – not even Ted Kennedy – because the pendulum "effect" that began with Nixon’s slim victory in ’68 was totally irreversible by 1972. After a decade of left-bent chaos,the Silent Majority was so deep in a behavioral sink that their only feeling for politics was a powerful sense of revulsion. All they wanted in the White House was a man who would leave them alone and do anything necessary to bring calmness back into their lives – even if it meant turning the whole state of Nevada into a concentration camp for hippies…

"pure nut-cutting politics"

Where were we in 2004 when Kerry was shamed and tossed back by Bush and the Neocon Republicans? America was catatonic with fear,stuck in a Hell of its own creation. The notion that God would set us right no matter what was quite popular amidst two wars that felt out of our control. We were still stuck in the helpless fear of the 9/11 era – an attack could come from anywhere,by anyone that looked remotely foreign or professed to accept anything foreign. The dark underbelly of bigotry and racism was justified in broad daylight – that Pendulum Effect Hunter writes about in 1972 was pegged right and looked stuck there for good.

Things are not fixed in 2008,but it looks like the Pendulum has come unstuck. We have 4 days until Election Day. Any conventional campaigning is over. The Fix Is In for McCain and his options are limited. Thoughts of vicious lies and sabotage are beginning to seem plausible to the McCain campaign on the Friday before the weekend break for most voters. Something on the scale of diseased prostitutes,piles of the White Death,stockpiled AK47’s in a back office at the Illinois State Capital building,or some combination of the three might do the trick. People still scare easily,and may spook or bolt on Nov. 4 in OH,FL,VA,PA throwing everyone into an inescapable sense of failure and a realization of the True Nature of this frightening country. No,wait,let’s not go on that bad trip again: finish the beer,enjoy the music,relax.

The current financial problem is exactly the sort of “mushrooming national crisis" that plagues McCain as the GOP candidate. While terrorism and war seem outside of our every-day grasp,American economics is rooted here in the domestic arena. This is something that Americans feel is under government control. The collapse of mortgages,housing prices and home values can be seen as a very real,palpable thing to those suffering its direct consequences. Like your house dropping in value from $400k to $290k,and your ARM readjusting into some sort of bad credit nightmare. That steadfast faith in the normalcy and compliance of Republican dominance fades when faced with tangible consequences of poor policy. This may be why even though McCain seems to have relied heavily on the base Republican economic arguments,his poll numbers show little change. He’s probably solidified the people who bought into the GOP themes in the first place and remain unaffected by the markets,but not to those who no longer believe the GOP’s past 8 years of economics.

Find the Promoter… More Dumb Shock and Awe… Never Give Up!

I vaporized my knuckle. I hit a large,unforgiving wood door while attempting to hit the promoter in the face. I missed. There wasn’t as much pain as I expected,but my mood turned foul as the promoter fled the scene. I was left to the mercy of Jen,Cris,and Rocka and the bandmates who were less than thrilled at the prospect of my inability to load all the gear back into the practice space at 3am. I’m hoping for a rematch once this heals,but I think the promoter has skipped town in congeto on a Thai cargo ship filled with human feces and syphilis-ridden semen. We knew he was a drug-addled vicious rat when he double-booked the night,making promises to both bands – and leaving me to deal with his rotten mess.

I’m off to the goddamn hospital,where I will undoubtedly have the opportunity to read through several good books before someone is able to provide me with a new,metal knuckle. Which ought to help when I head back over to Thailand to find this motherfucker. I’ll ask the Doc whether he can provide me with better aim with this new knuckle.

Update: I’ve only managed to provide myself a convenient contusion. Unfortunately the Doc wasn’t keen on replacing my currently bruised knuckle with a shiny new contusion-free stainless Knuckle of Justice. I’m left with a hampered ability to type,a prescription for vicodin and an complimentary ice pack.

Taking account of it all,last night was a bad show. There is a bad shock in being left a few minutes to wire together heavy amplifiers,losing power,and running out of time about a quarter through the set. Snapping the headstock off the bass in the ensuing melee is a heavy consequence for any professional musician to accept.

A long Sunday,Bad Visions,Cheap Champagne is the Cure,1900 words of Hope,Fear,and Desperation.

This morning I woke up without much of the sickly intense pain or nauseous regret that normally comes with large quantities of cheap champagne and Miller swill. I attribute this good fortune to those friends around me who seemed to take much more of the impact than I did, leaving me to scrounge for half-empty glasses near the bar. The event was Eric and Betsy’s wedding which went fine – one of those modern marriage ceremonies where the reverend makes quick work of the Word of the Lord,a few short legal statements of intent,a kiss and off we go to the bar. Today the westerly wind blew hard. It threw my front door open twice during my afternoon breakfast and once again just now I can hear it above Bob Dylan down in the National Affairs Desk studio, newsdesk. and armory.

The Desk has been more active recently. The drafting table that normally fills up with cigarette butts and empty bottles from The Lambs’ sessions is somewhat clean,the rock and roll refuse replace with copies of various news magazines and books, ripped-up post-its pens,pins,ink jars… The TV is on,though the perfect storm of football and baseball has taken over my usual Simpsons and Family Guy episodes,and no news. The main source of information tonight is the CNN Politicalticker,RCP,and 538,along with Vonnegut’s Jailbird and the various news periodicals over on the drafting table.

They only run two articles now: Obama will win,and variations on the theme. Most of the variations take on the form of "Its not over yet" and "long time to go." These are the things John McCain may now be believing himself. Not through any self-delusion or senility,but by the fact he doesn’t have anything else at this point. The media is writing the conclusion of this election,enraging McCain supporters and right-wing talk show hosts and prompting Obama to continue the get-out-the-vote pressure. A lot of excuses on polling data are dragged out when the numbers are down this far and you can no longer deal with the depressing thought of losing. The favorite appears to be the hip Bradley Effect, where people lie to pollsters to hide their racism,artificially elevating a non-Caucasian candidate. Unfortunately,many studies have found that after the Bradley Effect was discovered in 1982 by Tom Bradley himself,elections throughout the 80’s and 90’s showed that racial discrepancies in polling data diminished. If there was a Bradley Effect,it would likely have been present in the primaries,yet Obama often did better than expected.

Other excuses seem to be the "likely voter" model of polling,an esoteric necessary variable applied to polling data. I believe my favorite is the one McCain is currently proposing,which is simply stating that the polls do not accurately show McCain supporters. The details of this argument are "vague" in the sense that they don’t exist,and McCain is flatly denying polls. Ah well; it probably works in his favor – no one wants the bad trip of losing the big race with so much deep,personal emotion invested in their candidate and campaign. And lose it bad. Really bad. That sort of thing is too terrible,and you start to see your flanks run and flee from the battlefield to stay home,lay low,and stay quiet for a couple years.

There is a very real possibility that Republicans will not mention the year 2008 ever again after November 4. The Bush years are doomed to history,and very few will admit to their involvement and support of the Dumb and Stupid. Those W04 stickers are hard to scrape off the backs of SUVs. Luckily,most have been sold for suburban scrap in the face of ARM adjustments and the following market collapse.

Even the world series is in trouble. On TV is a still closeup of Longoria’s glove full of baseball shoved up Rollin’s ass about 2 feet from third base; in the next few frames the ump calls Rollins safe at third. The Rays are Not Pleased,and the Phillies seem grateful for Cheap Thrills.

Hannity on Fox News is running an expose on the top reasons not to vote for Obama. He’s telling Obama’s life story as a chain from one McCain attack ad and Republican talking point to the next. Each step is concluded with Fox News’ patented phrases against Liberal Media. There isn’t a clearer example of the purpose of Fox News – to create an exact opposite of the Republicans’ own creation of liberal-biased news organizations, to serve as a repeater for campaign attacks. Rarely probing or insightful,always predictable,the likes of Hannity and O’Reilly almost sound satirical if they weren’t so horribly serious. Their fear is no longer masked but out there right in the open for all the addicts and believers to share in.

The idea that the liberal media has covered Obama more like a rock star than a politician might seem plausible. Obama is always shown dancing and joking,smiling and talking with all sorts of people,always with such casualness that probably unnerves the severe and serious doom-and-gloom of Karl Rove and those Fox News believers. But then again that’s not CNN. That’s Obama. His polling is not the effect of the media. His popularity and his personality are the cause of his rock-star image,something that obviously resonates with younger voters and has at least helped energized turnout in historic numbers. The failure of fear-based political tactics of recent Republican elections reminds me of McGovern in 1972 – an election year that seems to have a lot of similar elements, except for the outcome. At some point sooner or later people grow tired of being afraid. The youth only come out in numbers for a candidate that is truly inspiring rather than a golem of the standard party mechanics. Politicians are not loved people. Their popularity numbers always go down. It seems that the recent elections including identifiable third party candidates is evidence of an American desire for a new face on politics. Obama certainly has that face.

That’s about a thousand words right there,and I haven’t yet gotten to any state numbers or Sarah Palin "going rogue" – another connection to 1972’s selection of Eagleton for VP. Palin represents the standard Bush-Republican candidate. She is perfectly traditional,conservative, and Christian on all the standard GOP points. Whether this actually connects to the necessary centrist-right voters is very much in question. The idea was that McCain would handle them,while Palin secured the Base. This is not working for them the way they had planned. The question is whether that is due to McCain not connecting to the middle class and centrists early on,or due to Palin’s painfully inept answers on a wide variety of foreign policy and economic questions that’s disheartened and divided the base. Karl Rove via Fox News is blaming liberal media with the coverage of Biden as proof. The problem is that Biden is not all that media friendly and largely stays out of major news stories. He doesn’t represent anything new compared to Obama, his political style is very smart,standard and understated. He brings a great amount of experience and solidity to the Obama ticket. These are not newsworthy on a week-to-week and day-to-day basis with so much else to spend time on. When he is in the media in more than a mention,it is nearly always due to a gaffe McCain and the RNC have focused an attack on.

Sarah Palin is the exact opposite of Biden. The McCain advisor who described her as "going rogue" on the campaign accurately called her a "diva." There’s a serious amount of sexism associated with that particular description,yet it probably connect to most Americans’ view of the photogenic,feisty Palin – watch her skit on SNL. She is quite newsworthy on a day-to-day basis,as her message is almost always contrasting McCain’s message the previous day. According to the story, she’s out there on the campaign trail with her own talking points, bypassing campaign staffers to tackle reporters head-on. The speculation is that she’s now campaigning for 2012,not for McCain VP position, which I don’t think is the reason for rogue status,but I would not doubt is something on her mind. This is politics,and a serious amount of ambition is required to operate on a national level. The fact that she’s not connecting with The Base is either because of her inexperience or because the Base is no longer what or where we think it is.

For the next couple days,the national polls will tighten some,and OH and FL will struggle wihin a couple of points for each candidate. With a week left,every hour brings a desperate McCain campaign closer to the brink. That means every hour he’s not in PA,he’s losing PA… OH,FL, and now abandoning Mi’s 17 EVs seems like a serious tactical error. He’s looking at Colorado’s 9 EVs now,but his deficit there is no better than 6 points; the trends have Obama up since 9/11,while McCain has remained fairly stagnant. VA is another nightmare scenario for McCain with 13 EVs and Obama no less than 6 points ahead on average. VA shares similar trend lines with CO: McCain has faltered there since 9/14,only recently bottoming out at 44-46% according to RCP/538. This is leaving McCain with nowhere to run except the hard places that pay big. And that is PA: OH,FL,and VA victories will leave him 12 EVs short of the presidency. His only other options are CO and NM,which seems to be his current tactic. These places are far from OH and FL which are not safe places for McCain,and he’s going to need to be there to convince whomever is left in this last week. NM is never safe for the GOP. In 2004,Bush took it by 1.4 points,in 2000 Gore won with 0.1 points. Neither election cycle had Obama’s operation nor poll strength going into the final week. If McCain wins in an upset,it will be west PA Republicans that delivers it,many people will lose their shirts to a few very lucky bastards on intrade,and we’ll all be in for another 4 years of the Lambs and more rejection and depression within the Democratic party… at least for those that remain part of the system, and many will desert their posts and flee the awful realities of a frightened conservative nation. Terrible,bleak visions now,the heart beats a little faster and my fingertips sweat,the shakes have to be kept at bay. Almost done…

Politics is a vicious addiction and those who deal with it without bias have poisoned their souls and sold off the blood in their hearts for more dope. No more rest until Tuesday. I made a deal with a demon back in 2004 when I decided I wasn’t done with politics until we got revenge for Kerry/FL,and four more years of dumb fear and war. The only comforting thing now is the fact that I pass 8 or 9 Obama/Biden lawn signs on my short commute to work 4 miles away. The lone McCain/Plain sign that was up last week has been replaced by a GMAC/For Sale sign.