Monday, October 03, 2005

Sniper killed journalist, recruiting & music

Good evening. As always we start with Democracy Now! which is a great show that you can watch on TV or listen to on the radio or watch or listen online or you can read transcripts of.

U.S. Confirms Sniper Killed Knight Ridder Journalist
A U.S. military report has confirmed that Knight Ridder journalist Yasser Salihee was killed by an American sniper in June but claimed the shooting was justified. Salihee was shot as he was driving in western Baghdad. He was then left lying dead in his car, splattered with blood. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists U.S. troops have killed at least 13 journalists in Iraq since the war began.

How many times does this stuff need to happen before we stop being so "Oh don't say journalists are targeted!"? Here's a better question: why isn't this on the front page of the paper of record? New York Times run this on the front page? I think after awhile silence becomes collaboration and I feel like the paper has reached that point. They aren't a brave press, they are willing to downplay stories. Elaine and I were talking about this story and we think this isn't something that the press should be ignoring.

Army Suffers Worst Recruiting Year Since 1979
The Army has suffered its worst year for recruiting since 1979. The Army had set an annual goal of 80,000 new recruits by September 30 but fell 7,000 recruits short. The Army National Guard and the Army Reserve also fell short of their annual goal. Meanwhile the Armed Forces is trying new ways to reach the nation's young. The Army National Guard is now offering to give away three free music downloads from Itunes to individuals who sign up online to be contacted by recruiters.

Who would want to join? You sign up, you get put in Iraq and told you're stay has been extended and you're stuck in a war of choice with nothing to do but stand around waiting to be killed because no one in leadership in this country has the guts to scream, "Bring our troops home!"

But the answer, the army thinks, is three free downloads! Woo-hoo!

You know you get a better deal from a case of Pepsis.

Three free downloads, everybody sell your soul and ass for that.

Announcement: No interview this Wednesday. I'd like to do one next week but Tony's having a thing on Wednesday where he's doing a debate and he's my bud and I want to be there for that to root for him. Tone's all nervous and stuff so I'll just keep quiet until Thursday and then I'll tell you about it.

I will blog at Wednesday and at the usual time you should have something up. But the interviews take a lot of time to type up so I'm taking this week off.

Leah e-mailed and she wanted to know what I was listening to and if I thought was music was important like Kat does? She also goes C.I. is always quoting music and I hardly ever do.

Yeah, I love music. Not enough to sing up with the military for 3 free downloads though. :D
But I love music. My favorite group is probably White Stripes. I really like Coldplay too. Other than that I like Joan Baez and I like the Mamas and the Papas. Dad's been playing his Jefferson Airplane lately and I'm liking some of their stuff but they are really new to me. I like "Gone" by Jack Johnson and I like the version of it he and the Black Eyed Peas do together too which Cedric turned me on to.

I'm not real good with song names or CD names so that might be why I don't talk about it more and all. But I have talked about music.

How important do I think it is? I think it's really important. I think a good song can cheer you up when you're down or make you explore what you are feeling. I think a really good song can motivate people and not just 1 person. Like maybe get you dancing or thinking.

I think Bright Eyes is amazing and Ani DiFranco is someone I got into because she had something to say more than "I met this boy and we fell in love" type stuff. Those songs are like for kids and all. I mean Justin Timberlake, that's like stuff junior high kids listen to. That's like a bunch of kids squealing, "He's so cute" and stuff.

I'm an adult and I'm looking for songs about something more than kissing or dating or fooling around. I don't have anything against sex and stuff and there can be some good sex songs but like these professional virgins sticking their ass out and shaking it to make some money are really kind of embarrassing. I don't just mean Britney Spears cause the guys do it to. If Justin Timerblake didn't shake his ass he wouldn't have an audience. People aren't there for the "music" cause the music is all this little boy crap.

I hear that crap and think, "Grow up!" We're at war and people are dying all over the world and they want to sing those dopey songs that are just supposed to be about them and make you want them. I hear that stuff and think, "How sick are we that even grown ups will pay for this crap?"

There's a dumb ass critic for The New Yorker that Kat's talked about who just couldn't stop gushing over Justin Timberlake as an artist and like whatever dude. Maybe he'll jerk you off or something, you know? I mean a grown up should be embarrassed to be gushing over that studio crap that's like processed cheese and stuff.

I like the Strokes. They're pretty cool. I used to like some U2 but I can't listen now because Bono's such an asshole. Now he and Bob Geldof want to whine because Bully Boy didn't do what he promised and it's like, "Hey, idiots, you shouldn't have believed him. You shouldn't have even spoken to him in the first place because he just used you."

When people like Orafice Hatch are showing up at U2 concerts, U2 isn't cool. The band's supposed to be tired of Bono and if I was in the band I would have pulled him aside a long time ago and told him that this whole french kiss Tony Blair and Bully Boy wasn't good for the band and it wasn't good for charity even. But Bono wants "power" and he's willing to bend over and take whatever he has to for power.

If you can't tell, I'm really disgusted by Bono.

Elaine told me about a really cool song by George Michael called "Shoot the Dog" and I watched that video online. It's pretty cool. George Michael is like a dance singer and he showed more guts than Mr. Rock Bono. Bono's just a sellout now and people on campus really down him. It used to be just him but now they even down U2.

They'll say things like while Bono is holding hands with Bully Boy, even the old guys from the Rolling Stones are standing up and all and saying what matters. But Bono can't do that because he's chicken shit and also because he wants power.

I think if you're in a rock band, you need to be in a rock band. You can speak out and all, that's cool. But when you start hanging out with a man like Bully Boy who is hated by the world, you're just saying to the world: screw you and screw your little lives it's more important for me to hang with the powerful.

When Kat and C.I. talked about Bono this summer at The Third Estate Sunday Review the Third Estate Sunday Review got some people whining, "Bono means well." He's holding hands with a man responsible for torture you know. That says it all. But some of those same people wrote back after Live 8 to say, "Okay, he is a jerk." Bono's destroyed the group and that's why people don't play that new CD or buy it now.

My oldest brother told me this weekend that U2 almost destroyed their careers with a CD called Pop and now they're just not listened to anymore because Bono wants to kiss war criminals so he bets they really hate Bono. I thought musicians were supposed to be for the people?

So those are some of my musical thoughts.

I'll close with something C.I. wrote last week because I really think we need to expect that the artists who want our money are people who have something to say and I think Sheryl Crow is so disgusting acting like a stupid idiot on TV and playing what Ma calls the backlash game. She said it's disgusting to watch a woman who was supposed to be so indpendent play "little house wife" to Lance Armstrong.

"Quick note"
Well who knew? Angry e-mails about never-having-been-here-before-but-I-won't-be-back- after-that-slam-on-Sheryl-Crow-this-morning. Lots of "Do you know you mispelled her name!"Do I care?
No, I don't care how she spells her name. She's made herself useless. The new album sucks. A friend gave me a copy (advance copy, not bootleg) last week. I took it to DC and passed it off to Kat saying, "This isn't for a review, this is just so you can enjoy how bad she is."
She's really bad. She's doing the power chord jangle she's been so fond of since her second album, the voice still cracks in all the wrong places, and she still can't write a lyric. "Rolling thunder," when it pops up, should make everyone laugh. Her lyrics are on the nose, the first thing that might tumble out of the mouth. There's no thought, there's no attempt to find a metaphor that hasn't been used over and over. Correction, she probably wrote "trouble coming," stopped for ten seconds to twirl her hair and then squealed, "Rolling thunder!"
I'm not saying the crap won't move units. It will. That's part of the problem. Both because there's already enough crap out there and because she'll be selling it on her love life.
"Oh, Sheryl's so happy with that Lance Armstrong!"She's disappointed a lot of people (her peers, not her fans) with her crap since spring of 2003. I've heard it for two years now. They think she's a coward and sell out, someone who got slammed for having peace on a guitar strap and then went running to dullsville to make sure no one said a mean word against her.
(The great "love affair" has been compared to when Hepburn was dubbed "box office poison" and stayed in the headlines by being seen with Howard Hughes. But let's note that Hepburn emerged with Philadelphia Story. Crow doesn't have art in her. And every song on the album sounds like music you heard . . . twenty to thirty years ago.)
So she plays it safe and, like with her Kid Rock duet, heads over to the dirt road to make sure people know she's "real." She bores interviewers with tales of "washing dishes" and tries so damn hard to act like she's the most generic and boring person.
She's succeeded at it so well that it's who she is now.
That a few mean remarks over a guitar strap would send her running into the hills of mediocrity is appalling. That a woman who made a tiny, small anti-war statement two years ago now thinks she can push her dull love life off on America and feel good about herself is disgraceful.
"Where Has All The Love Gone" (the ", Man" is implied) is her idea of a big statement.The guitar strap was more of a statement.
She's useless and she's made herself that.
As one friend of her's said when hearing the album months ago, "She's made a CD Jenna Bush can enjoy." Well good for her. Maybe Lance will pass it on over to Bully Boy during a bike ride?She knows the war is wrong. Now on her first release (don't count the "greatest hits") since 2002, she has nothing to say (nothing even to say badly). It doesn't cut it.
If she'd churned out her usual generic album but had a song on there that reflected something other than "I love my Lance!" I wouldn't have said anything. But if she wants to play with the Bully Boy, she has to take the knocks everyone else gets. She's playing it safe in every way and I don't feel the need to act like she's Bonnie Raitt when she not only isn't, but she's also not even trying to be. Take it to car show or a McDonald's convention. (Yes, that is where she's headed in the next few years.)Before I went to D.C., I played Wildflower for a number of friends ("Wildflower" not "Wildflowers" because it has a tenth of the talent and feeling that Judy Collins' Wildflowers has) and there was a feeling on the part of some that maybe she was playing it so safe because of her age? There's a double standard for women and Sheryl's going up against it. It's no surprise and she knew it was there. Whatever she'd done on this album would be the last hurrah and she knew it. So why not go out in a blaze of glory instead of trying to sound like really bad Bobbie Gentry? (Because the real point of the album is to prepare the country fans -- which is where she's going to try to move since she's a "woman of a certain age.")
I have no sympathy for her. But for her visiting fans, be sure to check The View tomorrow! She's going to be on! She'll tell you all about Lance! She's been working on her blush so watch for that. (She really just has the look away and smile sheepishly down at present, but she's working on a blush too.)
At a time when people are standing up, Cower Crow and her giggles about cooking and cleaning for "Lance!" isn't just useless, it's pathetic. When the relationship's over (the consensus is two more years) maybe the war will be over, maybe it won't? But she can look back at 2005, she who can't shut up about Dylan's "Masters of War," and know that when she could have said something important, she giggled about Lance. It doesn't cut it.

I agree with C.I., it doesn't cut it. Sheryl Crow is as bad as Bono. Nina said to put in that we love the new Carly Simon CD "because it's so romantic."