Resisting Revolution

People naturally resist hard work & pain. It starts at birth and ends at death. Truth & love are dialectical opposites; they are what we most want, but also most fear.

Everyone thinks they’re right about everything. When (if) one discovers the error of this “thinking,” it becomes a humbling, but powerful growing experience.

Most Americans are sleep-walking through their days, on an ego trip over themselves. The idea of putting others outside their own ‘world’ before themselves never occurs to these zombies. They live lives of selfish desperation, hopped-up on themselves, full of disorders & ignorance. Whatever addiction is driving them is their sole reason for existence, as their own force of personality ceased to exist long ago. These are the consumerist, brain-dead constituencies for Bush/McCain/Trump & Clinton/Obama/Sanders.

Left-wing liberals of all stripes are a pesky irritant which always resist revolutionary action. Confined to historical impotence by their dearth of thought & lack of backbone, they can only follow along in rhythm with the right wing, as both are attached to the same imperialist carcass. Liberalism is most notorious for its uncanny ability to discern relevant facts in science, literature & art– exactly up to half the truth– then arrive at precisely the wrong conclusion as to its importance– every time.

The reasons for their .000 batting average is their omnipresent & overriding self-interest in capitalism, which provides just enough crumbs to sustain them. This petty-bourgeoisie layer has been carefully selected & cultivated, providing a significant ideological buffer for the ruling elite. Feminism, black racialism & gay politics are tough to get past, as they have armies of zealots in key media positions, with the full backing of the Democratic Party machinery & the deep-state intelligence apparatus. These frauds & charlatans are able to present themselves as credible and thoughtful leaders, far too often.

The right-wing censorship of free speech that affects everyone on the left (outside of the WSWS), actually protects liberalism. By censoring and cutting off all serious political discussion, the farce of liberalism can still promote itself as credible, without having to face its most-whithering opponents– Marxists. Their political strategy can be correctly described as gutless, but prudent.

Everyday people don’t want to believe that any of this is true, or that it even could be true. It’s so much easier, and a much more attractive option, to ignore all this and play the game like everyone else. The problem is, this game is ending. The corporate monopolies have conquered every domain, and most working people have nothing but a life of debt & drudgery ahead of them. Global warming is getting worse, and all the US president (whichever party) ever wants to do is start another war. That’s when people stop resisting, and start embracing revolution.

It is the job of revolutionary socialists to educate and politically arm as many working comrades & youth as possible. The more the working classes of the world have consciously worked out Marxist political theory, the more coordinately & decisively they will strike at the heart of capitalism when the time comes. It is the role of leadership is to share as much as possible with the best elements of the working class & youth [1].

Sharing is another notion that runs contrary to our “everyday thinking.” Helping someone else, without expecting a return, is foolish under capitalism. “This must be done away with,” is the corporate line. Such messed-up ethics are turning us into monsters, which consume & destroy for no good reason. Facing these truths about our “dark sides” is uncomfortable, and too many people have enabled themselves to avoid any such form of discomfort or social distress.

The ongoing obesity epidemic is but(t) one example of ignoring truth, allowing this disorder to continue manifesting itself. It’s now terribly uncool to “fat shame” anyone, when that’s precisely what overweight people need. Of course, it shouldn’t be a public humiliation, but there surely needs to be a sense of guilt in allowing one’s body to become so desecrated with excessive fat. That’s a healthy and natural instinct, which needs to be scientifically cultivated in order to gain control of deteriorating public health in “first-world” nations, the U.S. being foremost.

We live in an era of untruth. People have become so sensitized to their own delusions & disorders, that it’s often impossible to talk to them honestly & constructively. Establishing a healthy equilibrium in this is what people resist the most, but it also contains the revolutionary potential to set them free. Seeing all this is difficult enough, and actually following through is the road less traveled, which most people bypass. The truth is the high road sucks; as it’s long, torturous & full of sacrifices. Those who choose the “easy road” discover (too late) that it’s a dead-end for true happiness. The moral & truth is, the hard road always meets up with us down the path of life, so there’s no use in avoiding it. Embrace it instead.

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Why We Loathe Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch drives the #18 car in NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup series. His team is Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), one of the top title contenders year-after-year. Through their manufacturer Toyota, JGR consistently fields some of the fastest cars on the grid, including (below) Kyle Busch’s #18.

Kyle Busch won the (then) Sprint Cup title in 2015, and is one of the winningest drivers remaining on the circuit. And yet so many racing fans dislike this guy and here is why?

These screenshots are all from 8-6-17 at Watkins Glen, NY– which is a road course.  In the first shot below, we have an aerial view of #18 Kyle Busch and #2 Brad Keselowski spinning off the course.

 

There are only two road-course races per season in NASCAR Cup competition, and they are considered ‘wild card’ races, which means they get more heated than usual, as more drivers feel they can actually win this race.

Above is Kyle Busch screaming into his radio, blaming (and threatening) another driver after he himself caused the spin-out, by trying to pass where he shouldn’t have. Drivers can’t pass around the ‘bus stop’ at Watkins Glen, and everyone except Kyle Busch accepts this. But instead of being contrite, Kyle is mad.

Sidenote: The last time Kyle Busch tried to ‘kill’ a Penske driver after a race was here, a few months ago:

In this video (which is hilarious) Kyle Busch was again driving way too aggressively in the corners, pinning a competitor too far down until he spun out. Kyle Busch gets REALLY mad when the wreck he causes spins into him, and causes him to wreck instead!

Professionally, that looks really bad so immediately he flips into spin mode. Whenever he’s yelling at whomever on his radio, it’s all a bleep-show for ScanAll & NASCAR America. Kyle Busch is mad, get out of his way– he owns the road!!

Kyle Busch is actually the worst form of driver, and there are far too many of his imitators out on our public roadways. Joey Logano handled himself beautifully, and I honestly became a bit of a fan for #22 at his “None on me” comment. Also gotta love the ninja skills in action.

Back to Watkins Glen:  Here is the dialogue between Kyle Busch and his crew chief (Adam Stevens), after the caution flag (which he caused) came out:

And here is Kyle Busch’s response:

Then the #18 spotter (Tony Hirschman) tries to settle his driver down, but Kyle Busch isn’t listening. As you can see below, the #18 is already into the #10 car on the re-start, as this conversation is happening…

…and there she goes again!!

If this was a serious racing series, the #18 car would be black-flagged as the race continues under green. Not a chance in NASCAR. In the earlier incident between Busch & Keselowski, the yellow flag was immediately thrown, even though both cars were able to get safely back onto the track. This is because both drivers are NASCAR favorites, and they can’t be allowed to lose valuable track position. There is no such concern for Danica Patrick as far as NASCAR goes, so it stays green as the field zooms by:

Here’s #10 car driver Danica Patrick’s initial response on the radio:

Then a more measured one:

Video is definitive evidence in NASCAR. Here’s the Fox Sports video from which these screenshots were taken.

Final thoughts: What’s the point of running against overgrown babies like Kyle Busch, who have superior cars and the freedom to wreck others? Kyle Busch insists on using dirty tactics whenever it suits him, then denies & blames others, knowing there will never be any serious repercussions from NASCAR. In fact it’s just the opposite, Kyle Busch is constantly promoted as one of NASCAR’s biggest stars.

Honestly, he’s just another reason to tune out.

Bristol Update (race held 8-19-17): Fans understand how much it helps Xfinity & their truck series to have star drivers like Kyle Busch competing in their races, they just aren’t THAT impressed when he clearly has the fastest car in the Cup event on Saturday night. “Crazy fast” was how another Cup team identified the #18 car on ScanAll/Radioactive. So how could minor-league drivers have a ghost of a chance against that package? Great sweep for him, but we’re just not as impressed as NASCAR die-hards & Kyle Busch. Brad Keselowski was right, JGR has been sandbagging. We’re 2 races from the Chase, and it’s showing up for real now.

As far as who NASCAR should hitch their wagon to for the next 10 years or so, it’s age-25 Kyle Larson. Kyle Busch is age 32. NASCAR is getting younger, and Kyle Busch will start seeing more competition from “teammates” Erik Jones & Daniel Suarez, as JGR commits to youth in 2018. If Busch can’t help develop these youngsters into elite drivers (because he’s only concerned with his results), then he quickly becomes a liability to JGR. Slippage will start to show soon at his age, since NASCAR is now becoming more of a sport.

Those who “hate losing more than they love winning” are the biggest jerks, sucking the joy out of everything [1]. It’s what makes them the biggest losers in the end, and it’s why so many loathe Kyle Busch. Yes, he can drive, and he’s active at all levels which is good for NASCAR, I guess? We just don’t understand him taking bows after winning truck-series races, against up-and-coming drivers who know they can’t compete with his far superior equipment & driving experience. It’s shooting fish in a barrel, and sportsmen (& women) don’t respect that so much.

 

      1. Haters, Step Aside - Ric Size

 

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Over & Out (2017)

Tom Pearce recorded the last Ric Size studio album on Tuesday, May 16th– with everything you see in these photos:

It took ~ 3 hours total, with set-up & teardown. All photos, scans, layout & design by TomP & Ric Size. These are the tracks:

 

      1. Birth of Song - Ric Size

 

      2. Up Around The Clock - Ric Size

 

      3. You Are My Brother - Ric Size

 

      4. Ddsuess - Ric Size

 

      5. Who Are They ? - Ric Size

 

      6. Tased - Ric Size

 

      7. Many Miles - Ric Size

 

      8. Yes / No Wave - Ric Size

 

      9. Waves - Ric Size

 

      10. You Drinkin A Beer? - Ric Size

 

      11. Permanent Revolution - Ric Size

 

      12. Sun Wind Bird - Ric Size

 

TomP did all the sound set up, miking, engineering, etc; while I provided the guitar, songs & performance– in my spare bedroom.  It was a LOT nicer than the Hwy 19 & Main St. studio, to say the least. Those are actual cardinals chirping on “Many Miles.”  Work with what you’ve got.

Tom Pearce recorded, edited, produced & delivered Over & Out in under a week. Photo below is his home studio, running Studio One 3 Pro mastering plug-ins. Have I mentioned the importance of a producer who is an artist and can finish?

“Yes/No Wave” was self-recorded/produced on a Fostex 4-channel cassette recorder, in 2001.  It is the only multi-track recording on this album. Note the higher pitch in my voice.

Fan note: We are still working on Re-Magnified. That project has taken a new & exciting creative turn, and we look forward to getting definitive versions of those songs produced sometime soon!

When care is taken to observe the immutable principles of sound dynamics, a producer’s job becomes much easier.

Also note, this gets product (new songs) to market quicker. If this sounds like the way you would like to record, then contact Tom Pearce at Last Minute Productions in Tavares, FL for all your audio recording needs!

Any promotional tour for Over & Out will depend on the money.  Haven’t seen any so far, and if that maintains, then that’s it.  All I ever wanted to do was share my songs. I did it on my own terms, paid the price, became profoundly influential, and survived. As they say in showbiz, that’s a helluva run!!

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Kansas: Danica Violently Wrecked; Aric Almirola Hospitalized

Does NASCAR want this?

Absolutely! Otherwise it’s a boring race and the sponsors get itchy.

Just read the tags on the address links:

http://www.foxsports.com/nascar/story/danica-patrick-joey-logano-aric-almirola-violent-fiery-crash-kansas-speedway-nascar-051317

http://www.espn.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/19377982/danica-patrick-aric-almirola-joey-logano-fiery-crash-kansas-speedway

Makes you want to view it, huh?!

EVERYONE sent well wishes & concerns to Aric Almirola, who plowed into Joey Logano after his front-right ‘mechanical’ failure. Logano should have turned himself into the SAFER barrier, instead of right-rearing Danica Patrick into the wall at nearly full speed–  the most dangerous type of oval crash. It is a driver’s first responsibility when feeling the blowout, to not wreck (endanger) others; you deal with this wreck on your own as much as possible.

It is also up to other drivers to slow down when there is a fireball ahead. Almirola was going WAY too fast (completely out of control); he had time to veer from the wreck, but instead slammed into the pile. Since he’s so badly hurt (fractured T-5), no one mentions that.

The only driver who mentioned Danica Patrick in their ‘tweets of concern’ was 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson (above).

So the driver who made no mistake here (and was nearly killed) is ignored, and shouted down as “selfish” by the haters. My advice to Danica: skip the All-Star race (for which you have to run qualifiers!), and save yourself the headaches.

What Drivers Said after Kansas Cup race

Danica Patrick — Finished 36th: “We were having a really good race and having fun out there and had a lot of speed. I kinda felt like Wonder Woman for a little while. All I know is that I all of a sudden crashed. I definitely had a feeling it was the 22 and I am sure that the doctors in the medical center checking my neurological abilities are glad to know I was right that it was Joey. When he said he had a failure I can’t say it made me feel that much better in the moment. I am just frustrated for the lack of breaks I get. It seems like every time things are going better and something happens I get crashed or am in a crash. Especially a place like this, a brake rotor, when we are using 200-300 pounds of pressure seems odd. Unfortunately there were two of us that got collected and while I am okay, one of these times one of these really big accidents someone is not going to be okay. Aric (Almirola) is not okay and his car looked the best of everybody. You never know when it is going to be the wrong hit. I have a team that works hard and put another car on the track and I hope we are saving up for a really good run of good luck.”

This was Danica Patrick post-race last week, after getting caught up in the ‘Big One’ at Talladega (again):

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr (above) looks pretty happy with his girlfriend standing beside him– like she should.  That begs the question: what does Ricky have to say about his girlfriend getting violently wrecked more than any other driver in NASCAR?

      1. Haters, Step Aside - Ric Size

 

Last notes to NASCAR faithful: since Kansas is a boring oval, make it a road-coarse race.

Why do so many NASCAR die-hards hate Danica? The reason the haters go off (as best I can tell) is because they are ugly, and she would never look at them in real life. It’s a vitriolic cry for attention, which they rationalize with selective nonsense. Shout them down!

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Cheating in Sports

      1. Old Friends - Ric Size

 

ESPN/NASCAR 5-1-17: Joey Logano starts from the back and ends up front [1]

My posted comment: “I like Joey Logano, but I do have a question. What was the ‘unauthorized transmission adjustment’ that sent him to the back of the field to start? He went from last to race winner, so it definitely worked. Just seems unfair, at least until the fans know more.”
Like · Reply · May 1, 2017 11:21am

ESPN/NASCAR 5-4-17: Joey Logano’s win at Richmond won’t count toward playoffs [2]

NASCAR announces Logano’s car was ‘illegally modified’ and that his Richmond win is “encumbered,” meaning he doesn’t get the points or free pass in the Chase. Amazing that no one else in the media initially asked the question, huh?

Cheating is endemic and part of the fabric of NASCAR. Certain teams are allowed to cheat more, depending on their favor with Brian France. For the serious Chase competitors it’s about pushing this envelope, and keeping good political relations with Steve O’Donnell & France. Power owners like Roger Penske, Joe Gibbs & Rick Hendricks get decisive edges for their teams.

Some drivers are more strictly censured than others. There are some whose best interest is NOT to cheat. For instance, Danica Patrick never gets busted for illegal modifications, failing laser inspections, loose lug nuts, etc. It’s not in her interest to cheat, because of how she markets herself to her fanbase of women & kids– as beautiful & fair-minded. That’s how she attracts major sponsorship, and notice that Aspen Dental is now the “official dentist of NASCAR.”  [3]

She consistently runs ~25th, and can never win a race because she isn’t trying (cheating), but with Dale Jr. retiring, Danica will easily become their most valuable commodity. That is the paradox of NASCAR, and it’s the reason she’s so loved & hated [4].

The landscape of women’s tennis has undergone a seismic shift recently. Serena Williams announced her pregnancy (congratulations!), and very likely is leaving professional tennis as quietly as possible. I don’t see a comeback at her age, with all she’s already accomplished. Motherhood will likely motivate her more.

The other bombshell is Maria Sharapova returning, in top form it appears. She’s definitely among the early favorites at Roland Garros, with plenty of motivation & support. Her May 16th official announcement for the French Open is being promoted, so what does that tell you the decision to let her play will be?

Any Sharapova vs. the WTA scandal-mongering in the media is flak designed to distract people from the political & controversial nature of her suspension from the start. Player gossip covers these hidden interests. Maria Sharapova is double-edged, as the tour needs her star power, but she is personally disliked by most players. Rafa Nadal (below) welcomed Marin Cilic back by saying, “Only thing that I can say is I am happy to see Marin back on tour. He’s a good guy and a great player.”

But Nadal didn’t advocate for Sharapova’s return as a wild card under similar circumstances. Sober tennis fans see what’s important here. Cilic is accepted by the players, while Sharapova (an even greater player in the women’s game) is not, due to her unpopular status in the locker room.

Maria Sharapova has won the career grand slam and the French open– twice. Of course she deserves a wild card, and her current situation is why they have such a thing. This entire affair has been a political vendetta, with Sharapova’s Russian nationality being at the heart of it [5].

Serena & Venus Williams were/are allowed to compete with therapeutic-use exemptions (Serena TUE below) for schedule II narcotics & banned steroids, without even a hint of media scrutiny or sanction from the US-backed ITF or WADA. This hypocrisy is staggering, and the response from most of the players is disappointing in it’s selfishness.

Racialist (definition): 1) One who insists that all differences in society are based on race, instead of class. 2) A form a racism.

Genie Bouchard (above) also spoke against Sharapova even being allowed to return [6]. Bouchard’s current situation is beyond bizarre & messed-up, as she is suing the USTA, while her game has fallen apart [7].  Background: in October 2015, Genie Bouchard slipped in the locker room at he US Open In NY, when she couldn’t find a light switch after a late-evening match.  She claims a “serious head injury” with lingering concussion issues [8].

The USTA has destroyed evidence (locker room video) and is at least partially at fault; but this ultimately falls on Bouchard herself.  She would win more support from everyone by becoming an advocate for better locker room conditions for all the athletes.  When you speak selfishly about others, they won’t stand with you when you need them.

As we can see, there is much cheating going on everywhere in sports; men & women, white, black, and any other skin pigment.  It’s inherent ugliness is why it’s hidden, until someone eventually reveals it to the rest of us. It’s motive is to selfishly put oneself ahead of others. Cheating diminishes our souls because it values trophies over character, and that understanding is its best deterrent.

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Celebrity: To Be or Not To Be

Everyone wants to be famous, right? Then you are well-known and everyone listens to what you have to say, so you can make a difference! That’s what most people believe. Celebrity reality (an oxymoron) is much different.

People naively believe that if you work hard and are amazing at what you do, then you will (somehow?) become a celebrity. Wrong!  You become a ‘star’ when the ruling class selects you to be one of their representatives. That’s where the big money comes from to pay these superstar contracts. Celebrities are spokespersons for capitalism, whether they are movie stars, rock stars or famous athletes– they are all sponsored by finance capital. These are the circuses which decadent capitalists enjoy, but primarily serve as a distraction (fake economy) for the underprivileged working masses.

The deal you make when you become a celebrity is that you NEVER speak badly about the sponsors, ie. capitalism. Since they are paying for your enhanced status, they expect full cooperation across the board. This definitely reaches into celebrities’ private lives, as they are simply no longer allowed to mingle with non-celebrities, unless there is complete control of the setting. This celebrity insecurity is a lonely disease. That fact that nearly every Hollywood/celebrity marriage ends in divorce substantiates this thesis. This leads to the ever-constant celebrity fascination with sex, probably because they aren’t getting any, or if they are it is of poor quality.

The fact that the vicarious public knows every detail of these figures & figurines demonstrates that they are allowed no privacy themselves; as famous lives are endlessly analyzed, dissected and discussed everywhere in the corporate news & social media. Any slip of the tongue on a bad day can be ruin.  This is the tightrope the glamorous & famous must gracefully walk every day.  If that sounds like an impossible amount of work, that’s because it is. Eventually every celebrity is wrecked or quietly taken down, and this entire fake economy lurches forward with new ‘stars.’ The bankers & corporate heads that control everything remain the same, and stay hidden.

As a celebrity, what you get to say for yourself hardly matters. Big capital owns the important parts of your brain which determine ethics & character. The rest is basic functions, fluff & bragging backed by lots of money.  Working people aren’t stupid, they’re just overworked– so they are a little slower in seeing all this. Many have already ‘cut the cord’ and that trend will accelerate as working people can no longer afford these spectacles, which are increasingly being recognized as fake.

The cult of celebrity is a major hurdle for the working class to clear on its way to a successful socialist revolution. The role of modern finance capital in creating a privileged ‘buffer layer’ to insulate the ruling 1% from the working masses has been an effective innovation. This ~10%  buffer includes celebrities, who mesmerize many working people.

      1. RIDICULOUS - Ric Size

 

This is because workers are trained to believe their own lives don’t matter, because it’s only money & fame that count. This is not only wrong, it is exactly the opposite of the truth– a Big Lie technique. It is the workers who are real, as they are the ones who produce the material value for society. Celebrities are part of this vast fake economy which is crumbling all around us– daily. In spite of this reality, these charlatans must continue to dance to the music, no matter how banal & vapid it is.

It is correct to say that artists should be rewarded no more than any other worker, under socialism. Under capitalism things are unequal, and therefore artists hold the highest rank of importance in bourgeois society. Without Pablo Picasso, Orson Welles, Mile Davis, Stanley Kubrick, Andy Warhol, John Lennon, etc., there is no culture and no beacon for truth. True artists are of precious value, because they can be taken away in one act of violence by a ruling class that will stop at nothing to preserve its privilege and avoid being exposed.

Marxism uses the dialectical method to analyze society historically & materially. Dialectics means that everything is always moving & changing, so it is critical to understand the process in order to project the future. At one point most celebrities had noble aspirations. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux is attributed with the proverb, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” Even this noble saint had progressive thoughts, but when it lacks Marxist discipline & critical dialectical thinking, it inevitably becomes an idealist morass, which always funnels back to god & bourgeois capitalism in the dead-end form of the Democratic party in the US.

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Hard Lessons from the Other Side

When I published “Undiagnosed Hip Injuries & Stubborn Fat Loss” on 9-8-16, I was in the middle of my program. It was theoretical at the time, although I was sure I was correct. Now that I have achieved my goal of total rehabilitation & nearly all the stubborn fat loss, I can declare everything I outlined in that piece, and “Hip & Back Rehabilitation Protocol” to be valid. I will now add my concluding thoughts. Photo below by TomP on 3-2-17.

Actual full rehabilitation takes nearly a year. I have mentioned the importance of rehabbing at climate already, meaning no heat or A/C use. What I didn’t know is the body needs to go through the full cycle of seasons to completely re-adapt. Bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons & skin behave very differently in summer versus winter, no matter where you live. That means be patient, and adapt your workout regime accordingly. This is about the long haul.

A second discovery is that I had a lot more fat than I thought, which means you probably do too. Many times I thought I was near the end, when more seemed to appear on my belly. I originally estimated ~12 pounds of stubborn fat as typical, now that I’m at the end I can say it’s more like 15-18 pounds of fat loss, and only ~3 pounds of muscle gain. There’s just a lot more fat than you realize, and as it comes off you begin to understand that every pizza, beer, burger, soda, candy bar or other junk food item that you ever consumed, will be accounted for. If you don’t, then it just stays there until you die, perhaps even contributing to the cause-of-death. Your choice.

How much fat do you actually need to lose? The easy test is to put yourself in the plank position, completely extended out. Then look towards your feet and notice everything that’s hanging off. That’s how much fat you need to lose.

The belly is where fat is first stored, and last shed. Every time you think you’re about to lose that gut, more fat flows in from other areas of your body. The fat will melt away around the rest of your body, while a pooch gut remains. This is the REALLY stubborn fat, which requires a series of disciplined fasts to break down. The belly fat contains the major ‘fat plugs’ which are protecting the deepest injuries, and to repeat; this fat will not disappear until the corresponding muscle tears are healed & re-strengthened. This means the injury victim has to work out their deepest injuries while fasting, in order to lose their stubborn fat. There’s no other way.

At most only 2-3 pounds can be permanently cut per fast, as energy depletion finally sets in to the point where there are no more gains to be had,  you then have to eat. Note that this will also wipe you out for a day-or-two afterwards, depending on the length & severity of the fast. This means that having the actual time to go through all this, is another major factor considering the realities of our modern world.

My advice is to prepare yourself for these fasts, as they will get to the point where you are delusional & lightheaded. You will actually feel the fat being consumed, in an on-and-off stream of ‘tummy rumbling’ sounds from every part of your body. Burping becomes more frequent (even though you haven’t eaten), as the development and ripping of abdominal & back muscles squeezes the innards. Air is pushed out of the entire digestive tract. Some flatulence will also occur. This is disgusting stuff which overweight people need to get out. The actual fat is metabolized through your lungs.

Fat is full of toxins. As it is being rapidly burned off, these toxins will be released into your system– for you to enjoy one last time. There were points during a particularly cruel fast, where I was dry-heaving due to this, as their release during fat burn-off caused violent reactions in my body. I was very glad I didn’t have any food in my stomach, and I’m even happier those nasty chemicals now are all gone.

Another point to fasting is hydration. As you fast saliva flow becomes a problem, because the body sends signals it wants carbohydrates. This reflexively starts salivation. A spit cup become necessary at a certain point, as you don’t want this goopy fluid in your stomach, especially if you are about to go into the heaves. Spit frequently, and hydrate with sips of water as needed.

Here are a few final workout notes:

1) Always maintain a ‘Flex-T’ shoulder posture. This was discussed in “Pitching Motion Analysis,” but it applies to everyone. The Flex-T position protects the shoulder capsule, safely linking the arms to the torso.

2) Whenever upright, use a phasic knee-bent stance, with the knees always tracking the feet. Keep your core tight.

3) Switch eyes. This is an advanced concept I came up with, that directly relates to ambidexterity. The eyes are controlled by a group of muscles that run from the back and shoulder, up around the head. The eyes themselves are muscles too. This means they can (and should) be strengthened like any other muscle. There are major benefits to this including: A) These muscles are extremities, meaning head-to-toe really means eyes-to-toe. Switching eyes will improve strength & coordination from the head to every extremity. B) Switching eyes improves vision & depth perception. Everyone has a dominant eye. To determine eye dominance, point your finger at a distant object. Close one eye. Open it. Close the other eye. Evaluate when the finger moves, the eye you closed is dominant. The idea is to reduce dependence on the dominant eye, which is best-achieved by strengthening the non-dominant eye. C) Switching eyes improves mental focus. Use this tool for everything [!], and you’ll quickly understand these benefits. Simply close one eye and explore its full singular range-of-vision, then switch to the other.  Doing this constantly will also help with your breathing.

That’s it.  Now get to work, and see you on the other side!!

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NASCAR Wrecks Daytona 500

The carnage, madness, metal & humanity are all back, and NASCAR decided to tinker with its race format– starting with it’s Super Bowl. Bad idea. I’m writing this piece as the race concludes. I don’t care who wins, and neither to most racing fans at this point.  When the race is still going, and many of the superstar drivers are personally feeding their social media, that ain’t good.

Facebook posted February 19 at 11:56am

NASCAR 2017 Monster Energy Cup Predictions:
1) The new staged-race format will not last into April, stupid idea.
2) The new rules on not being able to go into the garage and then back out on the track, etc… are great rules changes that will stick and lead to more safety improvements.
3) Danica Patrick will find another primary sponsor to compliment Aspen Dental/replace Nature’s Bakery, and she’ll get wrecked…

Kyle Busch #18 didn’t win the Daytona 500, after crashing out due to a Goodyear tire blowout. (Always mention the sponsors).  But he did win the first ‘stage’ and play-off point– so congratulations, I suppose? I wonder if he’ll take pride in it?

Nature’s Bakery bailed as Danica’s Patrick’s primary sponsor for the #10 car a few weeks before Daytona, and is now trying to stiff her team (SHR) in court for $32M owed. Turns out, NB’s food isn’t so healthy, and neither are their business practices. The most popular driver in NASCAR had to hustle for a new primary, and proved she is still fast on her feet, by getting Aspen Dental to extend their commitment to “double digit” races.

There are 36 races in the season, and Tax Act sponsors three for her. That leaves her with a sponsorship gap, which will need to be filled during the season. Her car looked faster at Daytona today, until she was caught up in the huge stage-3 wreck pictured above. I had wondered if actually paying the bills would put more speed in her car, and I think it might. Imagine that?

My final fan comments on NASCAR’s 3-stage race format is that I only care who wins the third stage, and same goes for everyone else. Too many re-starts leads to too many multi-car crashes, like the one that obliterated stage 3.  A race is supposed to have a rhythm to it, and this gimmick destroys it. NASCAR has mangled their Super Bowl.

#################################

Top Post-Race Driver Comments [1]:

Kyle Busch (38th): “I don’t know if it was a left rear that went down or the right that went down but man, tore up three JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars in one hit and also Jr. (Dale Earnhardt Jr.). So I feel bad, horrible, for those guys, but man, nothing that we did wrong. You know obviously Goodyear tires just aren’t very good at holding air. It’s very frustrating when we have that down here every single year we’ve been here. Last year we had it as well too. … Thankfully we have I guess a segment point you know out of this day. That’s a positive. But man, you’re trying to win the Daytona 500 here you know. It’s just so disappointing.”

Joey Logano (6th): “I just couldn’t get anyone to go for it at the end. Everyone was so conservative and I don’t understand why. We kept trying to go to the bottom and make a run down there and no one would go with us. We had three cars that kind of wanted to do it, but it’s a matter of getting the right run and getting the right cars behind us and we didn’t have enough of them and couldn’t get up to the lead pack. I don’t know why everyone was so conservative today. … It was crazy to say the least. Right after the last segment it was like everyone turned up the wick a little bit and at the end it was like it burned out.”

Kevin Harvick (22nd): “We just got some cars up there that didn’t need to be up there and wound up doing more than their car could do. … We had, I felt, the fastest car in the field and right in contention for both segments and then it’s all tore up and it came to an end. What do you do? … I think that’s the fastest car I’ve ever had here, so it’s kind of disappointing.”

Jimmie Johnson (34th): “That could have been avoided and it wasn’t called for. From the minute, I got off of Turn 2 on the entire back straightaway, I kept getting hit and the rear tires are off the ground. I know there is a lot of energy behind me in the pack, but I didn’t have a chance. I fought it the whole straightaway and finally got turned going into (Turn) 3. It’s very unfortunate. I hate it for Lowe’s. I hate it for Chevrolet. We’ll go to Atlanta next week and see what we can do there.”

Danica Patrick (33rd): “I don’t really know. I just know we were all three-wide and it looks like the 6 (Trevor Bayne) and 48 (Jimmie Johnson) had something happen. There was nowhere to go. They just kept coming and hitting me. … It was the funnest 500 I’ve ever had. Well, probably not 500, more like 300 or 250. It is a real shame. I feel like we could have been a contender at the end, for sure we could have been an influencer.”

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Final Day-After Commentary:

I actually believe I have understated how much NASCAR has de-valued their product & alienated their fanbase.  A MLB rules-change equivalent would be: instead of playing a nine-inning game for the win, they ‘improve’ it by making three-games-in-one: innings 1-3, 4-6, then the big finale 7-9.  Each segment would award ‘win shares’ and ‘play-off points.’  It would be SO interesting and surely embraced by fans everywhere.  Just watch this idea catch on, like ‘new’ Coke in the mid-1980’s.

Final NASCAR Notes 2-28-17:
NASCAR must fix this list to stop the hemorrhaging, and take advantage of the sport’s current growth potential. 1) Dump the segmented format, and go back to racin’. 2) Reduce the grid size to 30 maximum. There are simply too many drivers who aren’t good enough to be out there, trying to compete with top professionals. These minor-leaguers clog up the track, and create the majority of wrecks because they are in-over-their-heads, and at ~200 MPH– that’s some serious bleep. On a short-track such as Bristol, it’s impossible to have a decent race, because there’s just no room with only one good groove on the track and 40 cars jammed within 1/2 mile of each other at full speed. It reminisces your favorite interstate traffic jam at rush hour. 3) More road course races. This tests a broader range of driving skills and gives different teams competitive advantages, which is good for any sport. 4) Severe punishment for intentional wreckers. This means penalties that start with driver/team suspensions, up to banishment from the sport. Driver safety must be the priory, so NASCAR never has another Dale Earnhardt tragedy.

NASCAR is a private enterprise owned by the “Big Bill” France family. They take all revenue from NASCAR ticket sales, merchandising, concessions, television and other media. The drivers are paid purses & prize money from NASCAR, which doesn’t come close to paying the bills on a race car & its team. When it comes to the problems of NASCAR, the common denominator is always ownership. Until the fans & drivers unite against this monopoly of stupid self-interest, this sport will continue to wreck itself.

3-7-17: Atlanta Motor Speedway Wrap-up: The Monster Cup series points leader after two races is Kevin Harvick, who finished 22nd at Daytona and 9th at Atlanta. This points debacle is because of the new staged-race format. Racing fans are not intrigued by those battles for 8th, 9th & 10th at the end of stages 1 & 2, which now (too much) determine cup points. Adding false drama to a sport doesn’t make it better. Racing is about one winner, and then rewarding those who finished 2nd-on-down appropriately. The point is, you wait until the race is over to do it. So, where does the handing out a trophy for winning stage 1 (during the race!), rank in the all-time most-embarrassing NASCAR moments?

Final Danica Update: NASCAR is about being competitive on the 1.5-mile tracks, so Atlanta is the first true test of the season. Danica Patrick would have gotten lapped at the end of stage 1, if the race leader hadn’t been teammate Kevin Harvick, who eased off the gas and still cruised to the stage win. If a car doesn’t have the horsepower to stay on the lead lap on a 1.5 mile track, then it has no chance in ~30 of the 36 races. The only places a slower car can hang with the leaders are the super speedways (Daytona & Talladega– restrictor plate), and the two road-course races (Sonoma & Watkins Glen). This only means competing for a top-10, forget about winning.

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has four teams. Kurt Busch’s #41 won the Daytona 500. Kevin Harvick’s #4 should have won in Atlanta. Clint Boyer’s #14 (replacing retired Tony Stewart) started 6th at Daytona (but was wrecked), and finished 11th at Atlanta. Three of the 4 SHR cars have speed to win. The fourth doesn’t even have the horsepower to stay on the lead lap. This is (again) the problem for the driver of the #10 car, who possesses one of the best overall skill-sets in NASCAR.

Over & Out

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Skin

Our skin speaks as to who we are. Much discussion occurs over skin pigmentation and what it’s supposed to mean, while very few understand what skin actually is. Scientifically speaking, skin is an organ– like the heart, liver and kidneys. Skin is the main part of the integumentary system, which regulates our temperature, while resisting heat, cold & moisture, so other organs & their systems can function.

skin anatomy

Skin is also our first impression, and anyone interested in beauty understands the value of its care. It doesn’t matter whether the ancestry is European, Asian, African, Native American or Aborigine; without proper skin management, the sun and other elements will damage and wear it out, making it’s owner look older. They key for beautiful & youthful skin is to retain the body’s essential oils, while removing as much dirt, grime & other toxins as possible.

The face is most vulnerable, as the skin there is more oily and most-exposed to harmful UV-rays. Sunblock before outdoor sports and a broad-rimmed hat for strolls are essential. Women’s soccer star Mia Hamm (pictured below) has now revealed she has significant retinal damage from years of intense outdoor-light exposure. Sunglasses are now an essential eye-health tool.

Mia Hamm 1999 World Cup

Our skin is actually more than just us, it contains a microbiome of mites, bacteria, viruses, and other organic matter as it’s outer-most layer. The germaphobic response to this science (like everything else) was to create hysteria about it, then attack it. This has led to a rash of diseases, which are the result of the skin being dried out and stripped of its natural, protective microbiome layer. Many of these psoriasis, eczema, itchy/allergic skin conditions occur because of too much air conditioning & showering; especially in climates like Florida where the outdoor heat is extreme, and people haven’t properly adjusted themselves.

Climatizing yourself was discussed briefly in an earlier piece [1]. It is critical for good health, wherever you are, to climatize yourself to the outdoor temperature. Obviously, stay indoors when temperatures get too extreme, which is below 0 and above 100 degrees Fahrenheit; but with that said there is no way for skin (or any other bodily organ) to function properly, if it’s a shock for the body to step outside. This is now a common mistake, as many Americans are addicted to this lifestyle, and it’s a huge part of the current obesity epidemic.

By constantly and artificially moderating the indoor living temperature, an individual has no true sense of the outdoor environment. If you see someone dressed too warmly in public, you can bet they are addicted to heat-A/C. They typically are in poor health and have a weight/mobility problem, which is often self-inflicted through neglect.  As excessive fat is retained, the oils & odors emanating from the skin become unpleasant, to put it nicely. To be real, it’s a sick joke on ignorant people, by greedy elitists. Note that this is now a problem affecting ALL generations of modern affluence, while much of the world is still starving.

Bad Soap

Antibiotic resistance is another issue that starts to come into play with the excessive use of anti-microbial soaps. Pretty soon this unnatural selection leads to super-bugs we can’t control. Medicine and genetic engineering have their limits, and humans aren’t even close to understanding what & where they are. Any introduction of new products whether it’s GMO’s or new drugs & consumer goods, need to be weighed scientifically in all spheres; and that remains impossible under capitalism.

Being OCD about touching one’s face, picking at scabs, chewing fingernails, etc… is poor personal hygiene practice.  Piercing & tattooing are by medical definition self-mutilation; obviously this is a personal choice that can be justified as self-expression, but note that it often comes across as a clichéd cry for attention. Know that line beforehand.

Exhibitionism

While we’re on skin, we must discuss hair which is simply an extension of our skin. Covering it from sun damage, and minimizing washings to prevent essential oils from being stripped away are the same themes.  Becoming your own barber/stylist will also help your hair look better all the time.  Scissor, clippers and a mirror with adequate light are all that is needed.

Tea Tree Shampoo

Skin and hair-care products should be plant-based. Petroleum-based products are toxic, so use organic for your skin & hair. Personally– I prefer cocoa butter for skin, and tea tree for shampoo. I shampoo once/week on average. Mostly I just rinse my hair in the shower, and use cocoa butter as conditioner.

On non-shower days (days I’m not working, nor very physically active), I use a soapy wash-cloth & sink. This allows me to hit the necessary spots: faces & hair, armpits, etc… with minimal time, energy, and water use. I live in Florida, where it’s summer from mid-January to mid-November– with global warming now.  I spend much of this time indoors at home without a shirt on for clean cooling, as wearing too much clothing leads to excessive sweating & grime build-up. I use a towel between my skin and any furniture, and rarely use the A/C when home alone.

Cocoa Butter

Any situation in which you are overheated and need rapid core cooling, COLD showers are a great skin management tool. Heat stroke is defined as the shut-down of the skin organ system. Perspiration, which is the body’s cooling mechanism, has ceased and the core temperature is beginning to rise. This can lead to coma and brain damage, if not reversed in time.

A more routine skin management tool is the dry rub, which means working the grime & excess skin off with a soft towel. This can and should be done throughout the day, as skin & hair begin to feel itchy and uncomfortable.

Speaking of uncomfortable, avoid the weave. I don’t know who precisely came up with this awful idea, but it needs to end. It’s 1) completely unnatural, 2) doesn’t work outdoors or when wet, 3) can’t be touched–  just decoration, 4) costs a fortune to maintain, 5) leads to further scalp erosion and hairline loss due to the tension, and 6) MEN PREFER REAL HAIR.

Bad Weave

Don’t be ‘relaxing’ it either, all those harsh chemicals kill those delicate hair follicles- making you bald, girlfriend.  Go with the ‘fro; and if you can’t braid it– fade it.

Anti-perspirant/deodorant is a necessary evil in modern Western culture, as you just can’t afford to stink in public or around friends. Anti-perspirants prevent sweating; deodorants neutralize odor-causing bacteria. More-effective deodorants, means stronger chemicals. Antiperspirants are based on ingredients such as aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrate. These aluminum salts (which have been established as a neurotoxins), form a temporary blockage in the sweat ducts– stopping the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface.  Apply judiciously, knowing it’s a low-level toxicity, is my only advice.

Obviously there are huge & powerful interests (cosmetics, fashion/modeling, etc…) which don’t want people to live & think the way I’ve described. Enacting what I have outlined above on a mass scale would end those industries as we know them, and it would be a giant step forward for humanity. The amount of toxic waste these industries produce is not doing our planet or species any good. One of the biggest issues we as homo sapiens are facing is the inability to look at our own skin, and the skins of others, honestly.

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Women Who Rock

I’m not strict when it comes to genres. You can rock any form, including classical music.  There are plenty of women playing & conducting Mozart, the greatest rock-star ever.  These are the women I (mostly) respect in the various popular music forms which have evolved from the 1920’s (birth of audio recording), up through the year 2000 or so. This review hits the highlights, and is by no means exhaustive.

Bessie Smith (1894 – 1937) was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s & 1930s, and a major influence on jazz singers:

bessie_smith-empress_of_the_blues

The Carter Family were traditional folk music, the first vocal group to become country music stars. They originally recorded from 1927 to 1956, and still exert a profound impact on bluegrass, country, gospel, pop & rock:

carter-family

Mahalia Jackson (1911 – 1972) was the ‘Queen of Gospel.’  She explained, “I sing God’s music because it makes me feel free. It gives me hope. With the blues, when you finish, you still have the blues.”

mahalia-jackson

Ella Fitzgerald (1917 – 1996) is still the ‘First Lady of Song’ & the ‘Queen of Jazz.’  No one sings the Gershwins’ or Cole Porter’s songbooks better:

ella-fitzgerald

Billie Holiday (1915 – 1959) had a profound influence on jazz music, as no one sang with more feeling:

Patsy Cline (1932 – 1963) was country music’s biggest star. Her hits began in 1957, and continued until her tragic death. She was killed in a multiple-fatality crash of the private plane of her manager, under murky circumstances:

patsy-cline_walking-after-midnight

Shirley Scott (1934 – 2002) was a hard bop & soul-jazz organist.  Known as ‘Queen of the Organ.’

shirley-scott

Early-’60s New York girl groups totally rock:

chiffons-1963

So do mid-’60s New York girl groups:

shangri-las

As did the Phil Spector girl groups:

spector-the-ronettes

Joan Baez was the original female folk-rock artist:

joan-baez-bob-dylan

The folk genre eventually became ‘singer/songwriter’ with artists like Joni Mitchell:

joni-mitchell

Nina Simone (1933 – 2003) was a true artist. She was a first-rate singer, songwriter, pianist & arranger who was able to work with (and earn the respect of) elite jazz artists such as Miles Davis. Simone was a civil rights activist when it mattered, and could work in virtually any musical style from R&B to classical:

nina-simone

Motown was the hit machine record label of the mid-late 1960’s, and the Supremes were label owner Berry Gordy’s top act:

supremes3

Martha Reeves and the Vandellas recorded some of the most gritty & danceable R&B of the Motown hit-making era:

marthav_motown

Tammi Terrell (1945-1970) & Marvin Gaye (1939-1984) is my selection for top duet couple. Terrell was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1967, and had eight surgeries before succumbing to her illness at age 24:

tammi-terrell-marvin-gaye

Maureen Tucker was the drummer for the Velvet Underground.  Nico was the original bad girl, who became an artist no one understood.  This is where they fit in chronologically, but really they’re ~20 years ahead of their time:

andy-maureen-lou

nico7

Shocking Blue was a late 1960’s Dutch psychedelic rock band, which has famously been covered by Bananarama & Nirvana:

shocking-blue

Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane were okay, I guess:

Janis Joplin (1943 – 1970) was a raw & uninhibited blues singer. Excess led to her accidental drug overdose, after only four albums including the posthumous Pearl (1970):

janis

In 1968, singer/songwriter/dancer Gal Costa became a part of the Tropicalismo movement, which was a Brazilian artistic movement whose anti-authoritarian & revolutionary expressions made them a target of censorship & repression by the military junta that ruled Brazil from 1964-1985:

gal-costa

Cuban singer Celia Cruz (1925 – 2003) was the ‘Queen of Salsa’, the most popular Latin artist of the 20th century:

celia-cruz

Googoosh is an Iranian singer/actress of Azerbaijani origin, and the most iconic pop diva in the Middle East. She is famously known for remaining in Tehran following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, and not performing again until 2000 due to the ban on female singers:

googoosh_iranian-diva

Country music traditionally paired its upcoming female stars with moldy oldie males, in order to give them the boost they often needed.  Dolly Parton was no exception:

porter-dolly

Aretha Franklin is the Queen of R&B/Gospel, with the perfect blend of attitude and vocal power:

lady-soul

Tina Turner’s version of CCR’s “Proud Mary” is possibly the most-covered karaoke song in pop-cultural history:

tina-turner

As for Hollywood, Bob Fosse’s Cabaret (1972) is the likely greatest musical ever filmed, and Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles was a performance of a lifetime:

cabaret-1972

Same with the unstoppable & incomparable Barbra Streisand in Peter Bogdanovich’s What’s Up, Doc? (1972):

babs

Bette Midler was a Broadway performer who made her film debut in 1979 with The Rose, a hard-hitting fictionalized account of the life & death of Janis Joplin– one of the most stunning debut performances in Hollywood history:

bette-midler-1979

It’s a mystery why so many people hate on Yoko Ono, she was good enough for John Lennon (1940-1980), who always considered her an artist:

john-lennon-yoko-ono-1971

Jessi Colter was one of the few female country artists to emerge from the mid-1970s “outlaw” movement, which also featured Waylon Jennings whom she married:

jessi-waylon

The Swedish act ABBA helped bring disco to America, for better or worse:

abba_gold-records

Disco (1974-80) began as a street vibe, with DJ’s as artists & genre leaders. Disco was influenced by soul, funk, glam, reggae/dub & punk. It spawned new-wave, rap & electronica:

disco-box_4cds

Disco was a genre dominated by women, and Donna Summer & Gloria Gaynor became its greatest artists:

queen-of-disco

Disco was an explosion of minority street culture, gay pride, and feminism.  Acts like Sister Sledge, Chic & a host of one-hit wonders including: Shirley (& Company), Vicki Sue Robinson, Rose Royce, Lipps Inc, Anita Ward, (and too many others to list here) made some of the most enduring dance music ever created.

gloria-gaynor

These and other cultural institutions birthed in the 1970’s, were controlled by corporate machinery through record labels & radio monopolization.  This revolution in popular culture was quickly over-saturated and shamelessly exploited until its impact finally subsided.  By 1980, disco was history and newly-arrived MTV was channelling kids into new wave (Eurythmics, pictured below) and pop metal:

eurythmics

For some, punk is what really rocks and Patti Smith was the original poet:

patti-smith_-horses-1975

One of the greatest forgotten punk singers is Poly Styrene (Marion Elliot) of X-Ray Spex, accompanied by saxophonist Lora Logic (Susan Whitby):

xray-spex

The Raincoats were formed in 1977 by UK art students Gina Birch and Ane de Silva, inspired by the “anyone can do it” spirit of punk:

raincoats

Blondie was Debbie Harry (singer/songwriter), with good help from (guitarist/songwriter/lover) Chris Stein– when he behaved himself. Blondie began as NYC punk, and quickly became the biggest crossover artists of their era. “Heart of Glass” is punk/disco crossover; “Rapture” is THE original rap crossover; and “The Tide is High” is rock/reggae crossover:

blondie

Anyone who ever tried to start a band knows that good bass players are hard to find.  Punk/alternative has a long tradition of women on bass, starting with Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads):

tina-weymouth-talking-heads

Exene Cervenka was a lead singer for X, the legendary Los Angeles-based punk band:

exene-cervenka-in-x

The Slits (formed in 1976) in the words of band leader Ari Up:
“We felt naturally feminist without saying so. At the time you were expected to comb your hair perfectly neat and be glamorous, like the magazines tell you to be. You couldn’t be naturally sexy. I felt we were very sexy by nature. If we wanted to be sexy we were, but not to please men. We just did our own thing. In this way, we threatened society. The witch hunt was on. I was stabbed in the street, just for looking the way I did, by a guy who looked like John Travolta.”

slits_cut-1979

Post-punk feminism exploded with Pat Benatar, Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders), B-52’s, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joan Jett, the Go-Go’s, Cyndi Lauper, etc…

pretenders-1980

b-52s

pat_benatar

the-go-gos

The biggest MTV star, and icon of the 1980’s (and into the 1990’s) would be Madonna, who today is the indisputable ‘Queen of Pop’:

madonna

Cuban emigrant Gloria Estefan became the 1980’s biggest Latin crossover artist, sparking a global interest in Spanish dance rhythms & beats:

gloria-estefan

Country singer/songwriter Reba McEntire became the genre’s biggest female star, and eventually crossed over into Hollywood television:

reba-mcentire

Pop music always rules the charts & drives the industry. Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey became the next generation of divas that followed in the wake of Madonna:

janet-jackson

mariah

Female bassists in alternative rock included Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth, pictured below), Kim Deal (Pixies), and D’arcy Wretzky (Smashing Pumpkins):

kim-gordon_sonic-youth

The Carpenters had a pop sound all their own in the 1970’s, up until Karen’s death due to anorexia in 1983, and (believe it or not) she is still cited by alternative artists as an influence:

karencarpenter

Iceland’s Bjork debuted in 1988 with the Sugarcubes, and has since become a pioneer in electronica:

sugarcubes-1988

More conventional female singer-songwriters of this era included Suzanne Vega, 10,000 Maniacs, and the Indigo Girls.  Among this genre is Tracy Chapman, a shy but gifted storyteller who never fit into the industry mold– talkin’ about a revolution:

tracy-chapman-1988

With hip-hop exploding in the late 1980’s, Queen Latifah became the first female rapper to gain notoriety, and since has become a global icon:

queen-latifah-1989

Sinead O’Connor became a superstar when she released I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1989), which is a gorgeous album of beauty, love & pain:

sinead-oconnor

Perhaps the most enduring female artist of the alternative/underground era is PJ Harvey, a bona-fide, multi-dimensional punk diva:

polly-jean

Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville (1993) is one of the most stunning & sublime debut albums [a double!] ever released:

exile-in-guyville-1993

Belly’s Star (1993) had already been reviewed on this site: [1]

belly-1993

Babes in Toyland from Minneapolis were the hardest-rocking feminine trio ever, a total ‘no compromise– no brakes’ act:

babes-in-toyland

Bikini Kill was the quintessential riot grrrl band, led by songwriter/vocalist Kathleen Hannah, and anchored by guitarist Billy Karen:

Where Women Are Today in Music:

The point of this exercise is to illustrate that women have always had a powerful voice in popular music.  Feminists who scream that a woman’s perspective is still being suppressed, simply don’t acknowledge any of this musical history and therefore render themselves foolish in this discussion.

With that said, there are serious challenges facing women with a musical message today.  Since the liquidation of grunge in the mid-1990’s, it’s been a constant corporate & political assault on musical freedom, leading to the homogenization & commodification of popular music:

lauren-hill-1998

sheryl-crow

What began as Sheryl Crow and Lauren Hill (both above), became Brittany Spears– as banality became institutionalized:

brittany-spears

Soon after came American Idol & Hanna Montana, as the role for women in music became increasingly being channelled into cookie-cutter pop divas:

american-idol

beyonce4

taylor-swift

lady-gaga-2015

The industry model of making an album, followed by marketing & promoting it for 2-3 years is now dead in the age of the Internet & social media.  Kids today move to new artists and fresher musical trends in the time it takes a superstar act to make their next record.  A good example of this is Adele, who conquered the world with 21, but has stiffed with her recent follow-up 25.  By the time 29 (?) comes out, her fans will have grown up and moved on:

adele25

What Adele (and others like her) need to do is re-evaluate their performing schedule, and make time to get back to writing songs, but the industry they work for won’t allow them that luxury. Why this isn’t possible, no one ever explains, because everyone is so focused on making money. The best new artists (male & female) will come from outside of this milieu, and smash this ossified bureaucracy with independent music & a new delivery model.

amy_winehouse

And music fans can’t wait.

HONORABLE MENTION
Sarah Vaughan
Linda Ronstadt
Carole King
Fleetwood Mac
Dionne Warwick
Loretta Lynn
Tammy Wynette
Emmylou Harris
Bonnie Raitt
The Roches
Heart
Gillian Gilbert (New Order)
kd Lang
The Vaselines
The Primitives,
Cowboy Junkies
Hole
Kate Bush
Alanis Morrisette
Sarah McLachlan
ETC…

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