Of Muscovies & Musicians

I like the birds for many reasons. First, they don’t have petty egos. Individual members are never placed above the good of the species. There are clearly defined rules of engagement & cooperation with birds. The pecking order is always respected, and if a member gets out-of-line, they get clipped by an alpha. And when the fight is over, everything is back to normal, with no grudges. Muscovies, mallards, mockingbirds, cardinals, and even a red-headed woodpecker peacefully share this feeding area I’ve established. That’s what can be learned from this photo above.

But this poster (above) bothers me, and I’ll explain, since it’s complicated. I’m not the biggest Drivin N’ Cryin fan, but I’d like to see them, because I like a few of their songs & respect them. They fit in with the BoDeans, Connells, Soundgarden, etc, back in the day of “120 Minutes” on MTV, when “Honeysuckle Blue” broke them into college rock.

Drivin N’ Cryin played in Sanford, at West End Trading Co about 3 years ago. I saw the flier the night of the show, it was $18. I had at least a twenty, but decided against it, because I was tired and it was already late as the opening band was still onstage. As I said, I’m not a HUGE fan, but I also knew I missed an opportunity to see a name band and judge for myself.

So now they’re coming around again, so I gotta go, right? This venue is about a mile from where I live, so I’ll walk downtown, as usual. This is to be an outdoor show on Sunday at 1:00 PM, and the weather forecast is 80 degrees & sunny. Here’s the thing, the venue is trying to sell tickets for the event! In this era of coronavirus, where smart people want to be socially distanced, these owners think they can get people to pay $7-20 to pack-in close to the outdoor stage. I promise you that Drivin N’ Cryin will have stack amps & a monster PA system that will be heard distinctly for hundreds of yards in all directions. These are the kind of promoters who wanted to charge patrons for Woodstock.

And finally there’s the Saturday line-up. A veritable who’s who of Orlando-area musical gatekeepers, gathering & reforming old projects to make themselves look new again. It’s a tired act, I must say. I may stop by to see a few familiar faces, who like to pretend they never worked on Electrified!, and refuse to respect the album. To me, these are overinflated musical egos mixing with rotten politics. I don’t kiss that ass because I’m WAY too good for that, and besides, it’s toxic. It’s up to them to come around, and show some respect for a change, otherwise I mostly ignore them.

It’s not like the good old days when you could call up some friends and say, “Hey let’s go see a cool band!” There are no cool bands anymore. Corporate has killed the growth of new ones, while commodifying all the old ones by the mid-2000’s. Who are the great rock bands of the 21st century? Coldplay? Wilco? Please.

It takes will & perseverance, along with talent, to keep a good band together– and a little luck doesn’t hurt either. Every member has to be committed to the cause, whatever it is, whether it’s to be artistic or commercial, or some kind of hybrid.

It’s hard to write original music that grabs the kids, and hold everything together under the pressure of making money, when the only way a band/artist is allowed to perform is by being corporate. This means blandish, non-inflammatory originals, with traditional covers for all the genres. That’s the way it is everywhere.

Things have gotten far too complicated with rock music. Too much of it doesn’t really rock. Too many old folks unwilling to give it up, are sucking-up all the money, media & venues for themselves & their cronies. This is a venue system which encourages mediocrity, and seeks to exclude anything exceptional, which will reveal them as phonies. When people wonder why rock ain’t what it used be, THIS is why?

I’m beyond heckling (which I’m aces at) for all these Saturday acts. As soon as you see me yawning, it’s getting time for me to go. I can’t stay awake for weak stuff anymore. All this is taken by them as a great affront, when they are the ones boring everybody to tears. Like I said, it’s not easy going to these local shows anymore. They aren’t fun.  Everything lacks originality and/or energy.

As long as artists such as myself are blacklisted, this musical suckitude will continue. This is by design, with bitter politics keeping fans away from artists with revolutionary meaning & youthful energy.

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Amazon unionization campaign fails in Bessemer, AL

Of nearly 6,000 Amazon employees at the Bessemer, Alabama facility, only about 55% of the workers cast ballots, all by mail. A simple majority is needed to approve unionization under the RWDSU. So far the “no” votes lead 1,100, to 463 for pro-union. The unionization campaign, backed by significant elements of the state, is heading towards catastrophic failure.

It seems the Amazon workers don’t want the retail workers union bureaucrats representing them, and they certainly don’t want to have to pay union dues to these corrupt betrayers.

The campaign to bring the RWDSU in at Amazon is supported by Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders & Marco Rubio– all of whom are enemies of the working people. It’s an attempt to bring the workers under control of a corrupt union apparatus.

The SEP/WSWS has countered this campaign with a call to form rank-and-file workers committees, which the ruling class fears above all else. The SEP activities have been entirely blacked-out in the fake media. The apparent defeat of this unionization drive is largely due to WSWS organizing efforts, which is alarming to the elites.

For more background see: “The class issues behind the unionization drive at Amazon,” published by the World Socialist Web Site on March 26, 2021. They have published other articles on this too.

This is all part of a much wider struggle to organize workers of all industries, races & nationalities under the banner of revolutionary socialism. It’s called Trotskyism, and it lives in the Fourth International, whose daily political organ is the World Socialist Web Site. Become a reader, supporter & member. It’s the only place to get real labor news & analysis. This is the only way forward, as opposed to the never-ending barbarisms of capitalism.

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, mostly uncontrolled, it’s the workers who are facing the brunt of its consequences. Increasingly unsafe working conditions, with double the work at half the pay, is the “new normal” from corporate. More & more, it’s becoming about survival. The working people must realize that this is a war, and that the dividing line is economic class. Workers of the world must unite in order to win the Coronavirus War.

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The unreality of identity politics in sports

You don’t think we asked for more money? I mean, what are we screaming about? Nonstop! –– Megan Rapinoe

In case you haven’t noticed, women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe has been on the offensive in the media. She claims the USWNT deserves equal pay to the men, when it has already been proven in court that the women have been paid MORE than the men in the past decade. This lesbian athlete, now activist, has Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton & Joe Biden behind her, so she’s hard to stop at this time.

Draymond Green is correct in what he says, but politics are there in the media to distort the argument in favor of Megan Rapinoe’s reactionary agenda. All this is being driven by something much bigger than her.

It’s so easy to be bold when the field has been cleared for you. Megan Rapinoe always claims to be so educated, as compared to whomever she’s attacking. Yet she distorts facts, and won’t listen to reason, in any sense. For example, under capitalism (and Rapinoe is surely a capitalist), you are paid as an athlete according to what you can bring in economically. That was Draymond Greens’ central point during his Twitter storm, and Megan Rapinoe never honestly addresses it.

The NCAA basketball tournaments have just concluded for the men & women. Both were broadcast on TV networks & big cable channels. They were also available for free streaming on the internet. Basically, everyone who wanted to watch had access.

The 2021 NCAA men’s basketball championship game attracted 16.9 million viewers to CBS on Monday (April 5), as Baylor beat undefeated Gonzaga 86-70. It wasn’t even that close, as the refs really helped the Zags stay in it. That hurt the ratings as Gonzaga had an Off Night.

This was a 14% decline from the 2019 game. The 2020 tournament was canceled due to the pandemic, and the Virginia-Auburn (2019) championship game went into OT.

The two women’s Final Four games on Friday (April 2) averaged 2.2 million viewers for ESPN, and Sunday’s championship game between Stanford–Arizona brought in 4.05 million viewers. Both are up from 2019, with the semifinals improving by 22%, and the title game by 10.5%.

The men’s Final Four average audience for Saturday’s two games on CBS (11.81 million) was down 14% from 2019. The men’s Final Four suffered smaller drops than the most recent World Series, NBA & NHL finals, and college football’s national championship game.

But as we can see from the raw numbers, even under these media trends (women up, men down), women only draw ~ 20-25% of the viewers that men do. The truth is the interest isn’t as intense for the women sports, unless there’s a transcending superstar such as Mia Hamm, the Williams’ sisters, Maria Sharapova, or Danica Patrick.

Megan Rapinoe isn’t in that class. Being hyped “elite” anymore, ain’t what it used to be. There are egos & big money involved here, so people will be dishonest, but Megan Rapinoe’s appeal is very limited. She’s abrasive, and not beautiful. How do you market that to a mass audience?

In a rare moment of candor she notes, “We are getting obnoxious to ourselves, to be honest.” Think on that for a moment. This is a half-educated individual, with half-baked ideas, fed to her from half-hearted liberal supporters. Megan Rapinoe is a puppet on a string, and the worst kind, in that she doesn’t know it.

She represents a very limited strata of well-paid American athletes who believe they should get more, and are completely oblivious to everyone outside of their own interest group. Megan Rapinoe can tap into the reactionary #MeToo campaign as a woman, AND the LGBTQ…WXYZ campaign as a lesbian. Identity politics is still searching for its Holy Grail, a gay black women who is an athletic superstar. But as the song goes, two out three ain’t bad.

So all of you women teachers, don’t be fooled by this selfish poser. She’s a jock, which means she didn’t study in school, and speaks only for herself & the sponsors. All you women Amazon workers, don’t buy into this feminist crap which only seeks to divide men & women.

Feminists don’t care about workers on the job. You’re supposed to shut up & work, and then cheer for all of them on the weekends. All you girls in school, does that colored-hair phony have anything to say concerning crushing student loan debt? How about COVID-19 in the classroom? Girls are very affected by this.

Megan Rapinoe pontificates, “You know, just generally, the issue that we have with voter suppression in this country, I think everybody and every business and everything should be at the disposal to make sure that we’re influencing those laws in the right way.”

My first questions are: Who are “we,” and in whose interests are the laws to be influenced? She’s certainly not talking about working people, who are the ones that create all the value with their labor. By “we” she means her elitist colleagues. There needs to be more diversity amongst the oppressors. That’s the bottom-line argument of identity politics.

Then there’s is the issue of voter suppression. Socialists are systematically kept off election ballots– by the Democratic Party. This is an inconvenient political fact, which the likes of Megan Rapinoe always ignore. But facts are stubborn things. Any left-wing alternative to the Democratic party is censored & attacked by the deep state apparatus.

It doesn’t matter too much who the President is, because the deep state runs the show. The proof of that is the current US president clearly has dementia, and the VP is a puppet. So who’s running the country?

On October 31, 2019, former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin (above) said to a live audience with reporters in the room, that he was grateful for the deep state’s role in prompting the Ukraine-gate impeachment of President Trump. “Well, you know, thank God for the deep state,” McLaughlin responded, provoking laughter and applause.

Until that day, those of us who had proclaimed its existence & massive influence were deemed “conspiracy theorists.” The deep state still isn’t completely acknowledged by the liberal media, as a cover-up for this nebulous institution, where all the political & economic levers-of-power are held.

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Pay to Play vaccinating

As far as getting serviced in Florida goes, it’s pay to play, it’s always been that way. That’s why Publix, Sam’s/Walmart, CVS, Winn Dixie, etc, have made deals for exclusive vaccine distribution in many areas. The hospitals have little-to-no public vaccinations available, which makes no sense.

This is all insurance & Medicare driven, for profit, in bed with the pharmaceuticals. Of course, there is a lucrative black market too. That’s often called a “pop-up site,” and they always seem to happen in wealthy zip codes. It’s a mystery where those millions of missing doses went.

The CDC website to find vaccines in your area is by zip code. My zip code says there are 29 sites available within 10 miles, but only 4 have vaccine in stock, and none ever have appointments available. This is mostly an exercise in data collection it appears.

The pharmacy & grocery chains don’t have full-time medical staff, so this choice of distribution model is curious from a logistics standpoint. Why aren’t mass vaccinations happening at every hospital? The answer in Florida appears to be that COVID-19 vaccines are being used to draw people into stores. That’s why these ill-suited businesses, which all contribute mightily to governor Ron DeSantis, are at the center of Florida’s disastrous vaccine rollout.

In Sanford, FL a few weeks back, there was an evening event at the downtown Civic Center, where teachers who were willing to teach in-person were vaccinated. This is how the vaccine is being distributed in the Coronavirus War, which disproportionally affects the working poor.

Whenever you see FREE*, check you wallet. Lots of FREE* vaccinations available, if you have insurance. All this make you wonder how the global pandemic will ever get solved? One thing that’s certain is this mess will not be resolved under capitalism. It will only get worse, until working people organize & rise up.

A global pandemic requires a globally coordinated response, but the opposite has happened. Mutating strains threaten to put humanity back at square one, precisely due to the class variegated nature of the response & rollout. The leaders of all nations are responsible and must be held accountable by the international working masses. Only a proletariat with an international socialist program of permanent revolution will conquer the coronavirus pandemic.

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Easter Sunday explained

Of all the American holidays celebrated, Easter is the most vague. What date does Easter fall on? Virtually no one can tell you that Easter falls on the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere. In other words, the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after March 20. That wraps moon gazing & cyclical calendar events into the ancient myth of Jesus Christ.

For those of us who aren’t Christians, we seldom pay attention to Easter Sunday and all its rituals, such as everything with eggs– which is a traditional Church symbol of rebirth. That got extended into the Easter Bunny, chocolate rabbits, etc, which are modern marketing creations to sell us more junk.

Easter roughly coincides with Passover, as Christianity imitates Judaism. Passover is where: if you have the Jewish sign at your doorstep, then the avenging Angel of Death ‘passes over’ your home and spares your first born child. For this reason, it’s important to be Jewish during the week of Passover.

What are Christians celebrating when they assemble for Easter Sunday mass? Zombie Jesus Day. It’s been hyped as “The Greatest Story Ever Told” for nearly two millennia. Yet no Roman (pagan) scholars or recorders-of-events ever mentioned ANY of the alleged miracles claimed to be performed by Jesus Christ in the holy Gospels. There are no Christian writings before those of the gospel of Paul.

Saint Paul founded several Christian communities in Asia Minor & Europe from the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD. It is indisputable through scholarly research that one-quarter of the New Testament books are authentic writings of Paul, with possibly as many as half of its 27 books being written by him.

Easter Sunday, and in fact all of Christianity, is a worship of Paul the Apostle, who is worshiping a mythical Jesus Christ. For the record, Paul’s writing style is beautiful, and stuff like Corinthians 1 & 2 helped give early Christianity a big boost.

Are you that different sort of person who constantly gazes into the night sky, noticing the gibbous moon waxing towards fullness in early spring while saying to yourself, “What a silly & confusing way to mark an event.”

Easter was invented back when ancient societies were still using lunar calendars, and mankind had little-to-no science. Religion provided an origin explanation/myth, which we know today to be false. The real question is, “How & why does this ancient ritualistic nonsense still survive?”

Easter is an example of soft power. It doesn’t coerce you, it just is. It’s there every year, like daylight savings time, an event we must adapt to for no rationally explainable reason. The Church is the origin soft power. With its historical decline in influence, this soft power is usurped by the bourgeois state under capitalism.

For example, why the hell is a Polynesian island in the South Pacific with a thousand ancient monumental stone statues (called moai), named Easter Island? It’s because it was “discovered” by a Dutch adventurer, Jacob Roggeveen, on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1722. The Rapa Nui are the indigenous Polynesian people of Easter Island, and they weren’t Christians, but they were wiped out in part by Christian slave traders. The remote Easter Island has belonged to Chile since 1966, and the US has owned Chile for much longer.

The Fabergé egg was an Easter symbol of Russian tsarism. An expensive indulgence in delicate art, meant only for the rich. As many as 69 Fabergé eggs were created, with 57 known to survive today. High maintenance & self indulgent to the extreme, the bejeweled eggs were produced by Peter Carl Fabergé from 1885 to 1917. The most famous are his “Imperial” eggs, 46 of which are known to survive, made for the Russian Tsars Alexander III & Nicholas II as Easter gifts for family.

This Fabergé egg tradition ended with the Russian Revolution, as Nicholas II & his ignorant & cruel family were shot dead as murderous criminals on March 15, 1918, just before Easter, by the newly formed Red Army under the command of Leon Trotsky.

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NCAA basketball tournament notes

The NCAA basketball tournaments, men’s & women’s, were cancelled in 2020, due to the COVID lockdowns. The back-to-school campaign has many interested aspects, and college sports is certainly one of them. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament has existed since 1939, and predates organized professional basketball & the NBA, which was established post-WW2.

This is arguably the most prestigious NCAA event for many reasons. Virtually every Division I university has a basketball program, as compared to football, which is much more expensive. According to Google, there are 350 schools that are full members of 32 Division I basketball conferences, as compared to 130 varsity football teams.

Furthermore, basketball is now more competitive than ever, especially in the mid-level conferences. The 64 (68) team format allows all the best teams in, with a fair chance to win it all. It’s the toughest tournament to win, and almost impossible to repeat anymore. It’s been like that since John Wooden left UCLA.

Teams want to at least make the NCAA tournament, and if they don’t, coaching vacancies appear. For example, on the eve of the 2021 NCAA tournament, Marquette announced they had fired their head coach Steve Wojciechowski.

A week later they have announced Shaka Smart as their new head coach. There was a $7M buyout from Texas that had to be handled, and it was, since they got bounced by a #14 seed. The top open jobs are now considered to be Indiana, Texas & Oklahoma. In total, there were 37 D1 basketball head coach vacancies when 2020-21 seasons ended. A few more will appear after the tournament ends.

New Marquette basketball head coach Shaka Smart faces some alumni concern. This video above shows Texas up 14 points at home in the second half, when civil war broke out, and West Virginia ended up winning by 2. I know Marquette just hired its first black head coach, and it’s all good feelings after firing Wojo (which was necessary), but this is concerning. A lot of other head coaches are about to become available, particularly Loyola Ramblers’ Porter Moser, but Marquette already took themselves out of that running with this quick hire.

There are a lot of factors that go into such a decision, especially for a school like Marquette which has a long history of losing its head coaches to other schools who are willing to pay higher salaries & invest more into their basketball programs. Marquette has lost Rick Majerus, Kevin O’Neill, Tom Crean & Buzz Williams because of this. All this goes into a hiring process, as it’s as much about hiring someone you think will stay, as it is about getting a good coach.

FYI, Tex Winter, the innovator of the Chicago Bulls triangle offense with Micheal Jordan, Scottie Pippen, etc, was the Marquette Hilltoppers head coach for two seasons, from 1951-53. Marquette basketball has a rich coaching history, so we’ll see. As an alumnus with a rooting interest, I’ll give Shaka Smart a fair chance, but I have my doubts, and I’m not the only one. As the leader, you can’t ever lose control of your ranks.

Then there are the women, who are now televised on ABC & ESPN. They are playing in San Antonio, while the men compete in Indianapolis on CBS & TBS. That’s equal coverage for the women, so it comes down to ratings & ticket demand when comparing their economic value to men.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected tournament logistics greatly. Holding the entire tournament in one city with enough gyms makes sense. Once again, I don’t miss the fans in the stands. I think the officiating is MUCH better without fans to yell, boo & harass the refs into giving their team the call.

All this mask wearing, and then pulling it down to yell, etc, is optics. I watch because I’m starved for entertainment, like everyone else, but I’m not fooled. These events are fundamentally irresponsible during this pandemic. More & more they resemble the last days of bread & circuses during the Roman Empire.

The women’s play has much improved since the NCAA established Title IX in 1972, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in any activity receiving federal funds, such as athletic scholarships to universities. The women’s Sweet 16 teams are all solid in fundamentals & team play, where in the past it was only a few programs, namely Tennessee & Connecticut.

Note that I don’t think the women are anywhere near as exciting as the men in hoops, but I recognize that they know how to play. I spend much of my time evaluating the girls for their hotness. For instance, when it’s Baylor vs. Michigan, I rate the Wolverines as clean-cut, but homelier, with only one or two pretty girls.

The Baylor women are nappy & cuter, but I’m not a fan of their fake eyelashes. Spend more time on your game, girlfriend. Call me old school on that. All this makes me wonder what the girls have been looking at all these years, as we boys take these games so seriously?

I’m on record that I don’t like mascot names, and there’s a double hypocrisy with the Baylor women referring to themselves as the “Lady Bears.” I’m going to let YOU figure that one out.

As far as the Baylor Bears go, this guy’s nickname is “Off Night” because when he guards you, you have an off night. That’s an impressive nickname if you can live up to it, and Davion Mitchell does. He’ll be in the NBA someday, if he stays healthy.

Look at the improvement in his college stats from year-to-year. What the stats don’t show are his elite defensive skills & leadership. Davion Mitchell is a serious baller, with upside, MUCH better than his 1st-team All-American teammate Jared Butler.

In the era of the 3-point shot in the NCAA tournament (1987-present), I’ve never seen a college defender handle the high screen & roll better. Off Night slips below (or above) the screener and closes back to the dribbler in the blink of an eye, before the ball handler can set to shoot. There is no lane to drive on Off Night, who plays defense like a hybrid of Darrell Armstrong & Scottie Pippen.

Furthermore, if the opposition tries some high-low action on the other side, Off Night rotates over and plays the high zone on that side. Baylor attacks with their defense, switching from man-to-man to zone defense on the fly, so effectively, because of Off Night. He always boxes out the closest big when in position. Off Night checked one guy to disrupt their rebounding momentum, then boxed the big, more than once in their win against Villanova. That kind of player is a coach’s dream.

These highlights from that Sweet 16 game against Villanova, mostly show his offensive game, which still needs some polish, particularly shooting 3’s. But with his work ethic & basketball IQ, I expect Off Night to be a top NBA guard in the near future. He’s only a Junior, so he may stay another year, but he’s definitely top-10 talent now, and possibly the best player in this tournament.

Tue 30 Mar 2021 11:19 AM EDT

Averaging close to 17 PPG while shooting 43% from the field, Moses Moody had only 11 points on 2-10 shooting, including 0-4 in 3’s. Moody had 3 TO’s, double his season average. Arkansas lost to Baylor, 81-72, in the Elite 8. You can say he had an Off Night.

After getting called for 3 cheezy fouls in the 1st half, Off Night played the entire 2nd half without picking up another foul. Baylor was only allowed to press at about one-third to one-half their normal intensity, in order to keep Off Night on the floor. Poor officiating kept Arkansas in this game, and CBS approved. Unbelievable maturity, understanding & leadership by Davion Mitchell. Suddenly, it’s unanimous that Off Night is the best college player.

On the women’s side, Baylor’s Lady Bears were edged 69-67 by the Lady Huskies of Connecticut last night, aided by a bad no-call at the end, featured above. DiJonai Carrington was clearly fouled by two defenders, but no whistle. LeBron James tweeted a viral comment, “Cmon man!!! That was a FOUL!!” For background, Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey has faced backlash, after calling for COVID-19 testing to be scrapped ahead of the Final Four. So you tell me why there was no foul call?

Officiating is still the biggest problem in hoops. Bad referees can take a superior team out of its game faster than anything else. They can also decide it at game time. I wonder if those Baylor/UConn refs had East Coast bias, or just bias against fake eyelashes? I also wonder how the Oregon State women’s team refers to their mascot name?

Tue 30 Mar 2021 03:20 PM EDT

Davion Mitchell Scouting Report: Off Night leads the Baylor defense by manning-up on the opposition’s best perimeter player to start. If the whistles are fair, he will smother that player within a few minutes. It’s called owning your man on defense, and Off Night is the NCAA standard. Then his quickness, strength & skills go to work on the other end. His conditioning is professional grade, and punishing at both ends. Davion Mitchell has an NBA body already.

On defense, Off Night will switch the Bears to zone as needed, depending on what the opposition is trying to run. For instance, if it’s a three-man weave up top, Off Night will take the head of a 1-2-2 zone. That will stop that. If there’s some action being set-up on either wing, he’ll dive into that (2-3) zone & wreak havoc. He’s always communicating with his teammates, putting them in the right spots, so everything is covered. Then he can turn up the heat with ball pressure.

Most coaches tell their point guards, “Bring the ball up, and then get us into our offense, do this & this…” Off Night negates all that from even starting. He picks up full court, three-quarter court, half court, or minimally before the ball handler gets into shooting range. You must be in a power dribble by then, otherwise he will steal the ball. Players try their best quick moves, but Off Night is quicker. Sometimes too quick for the refs. If you’re a scorer who gives up the ball, he’ll make it difficult for you to get it back.

It gets very demoralizing to know that somebody is this good, and you’re not even close. I’ve only seen 3 games in Off Night’s career, starting with the Wisconsin game in the Round of 32, but it’s easy to see how his nickname has come about. Davion Mitchell has been owning guys for years, and it’s such a traumatic experience, that opposition players typically don’t want to talk about it. As a footnote on semantics, if you match up against Off Night during the day, his name changes to Off Game. Same result.

Here’s a hypothetical opposing high school head coach after a big loss. “Well our star guards who score 30 PPG & 25 PPG were held to single digits each. I don’t think anyone could have imagined that, and one guy can’t cover both of them. That’s impossible. Credit the opposing coach for coming up with a great game plan. Our guys never looked comfortable out there, and our best players each had an off night.” Yada, yada, yada…

Assuming you’ve never seen a player play, or have access to any scouting reports, stats, etc: How can you tell if you are watching a great player, or just someone who is having a great game? You can tell by knowing what goes into making a great player. Great players are aware of things that other players don’t even consider. They share the credit, and are the most selfless leaders, through example. A great player will make his teammates better, and does everything to help his team stay connected. This is how to win, because you can’t do it alone.

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YouTube channel reorganized & updated

The entire Ric Size song catalog is now on YouTube. Magnified (2012), Electrified! (2015), Hwy 19 & Main St (2015), Fully Covered (2016), Over & Out (2017), Coronavirus Concerts (2020), and Extended Play 2019-21 [still unfinished] now have at least thumbnail image videos for every song.

For those who don’t subscribe to a steaming service, this is where online fans can listen for free.

There’s also an “Official Videos & Interviews” playlist, along with a “Films” section for Electrified!, the movie attempt released in September 2015.

Most musical artists have turned off YouTube comments at this point, as it’s a lot of spam & other unwanted distractions. That’s what’s been done here, so speak with your like (or dislike) button, and by sharing.

Electrified! is far & away the best rock album in the last 25 years or so. It’s at least as good as Nirvana’s Nevermind (1991). Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation (1988) is tough to beat, and there are about twenty records that can match that in rock history. Bob Dylan, the Beatles & Rolling Stones made a few of them, so did the Velvet Underground & Captain Beefheart. Wire’s Pink Flag (1977), Cheap Trick Live at Budokan (1978), The Pretenders (1980), Husker Du & the Minutemen classic double LP’s in 1984, Sinéad O’Connor’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990), PJ Harvey’s 4-Track demos: Rid of Me (1993, )and Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville (1993) are tough to beat.

That’s the list Electrified! is on. And just to show my appreciation, if that list had to be shortened to the 20 best songwriters of the rock era, then Iggy Stooge/Pop, Neil Young, CCR, Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, Pete Townsend, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Graham Parker, Elvis Costello, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, AC/DC, Tom Petty, Van Halen, David Byrne, Devo, Blondie, U2, REM, Pixies, Fugazi, etc, join that list. Tough to beat.

The second & third best rock albums of the past decade are Magnified (2012) and Over & Out (2017), in whatever order you prefer. And our EP’s are even better. This is the level Tom Pearce & I work on. It’s the reason this site & music are so blacklisted.

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‘Cancel culture’ explained

Google definition: Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to have been “cancelled”.

Cancelled by whom? For what purpose? These fundamental questions are never answered by the MSM.

Nazis are the most extreme historical example of cancel culture. They burned books, murdered artists, and terrorized the population.

So did Joseph Stalin in the USSR.

Today, attacks on art take the modern forms of identity politics, in the #MeToo & racialist BLM campaigns of the Democrats, along with the fascist filth promoted by Donald Trump and his supporters.

Fascism produces no culture worth saving. I printed that in bold so people don’t forget it. Culture exposes fascism and its crimes, which is why the “cancel culture” campaigns have taken such virulent forms. On the far right, it finds its expression in Nazi haters, many of who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, claiming they have a right to such “free speech,” and if they are prosecuted for their violence, then their Constitutional rights are being “cancelled.”

The truth is that no one has the right to incite and participate in a violent insurrection that kills people, Yet Nazis insist they do have this right. This illustrates how impossible it is to reason with Nazis. They blame Antifa, etc, for January 6, because they are lying, gutless, ignorant scum. No one likes them, and they have few friends outside of their elitist sponsors in the Republican Party. So they seek to cancel everything cultural, though any means.

The Democrats approach cancel culture with witch hunts, media slander & censorship. This apparatus was set-up by Bush-Cheney after 9/11, and greatly expanded under Barack Obama-Joe Biden. When Trump won Election 2016, bitter Democrats led by Hillary Clinton launched all their identity politicking versions of cancel culture. They get plenty of cooperation from big tech..

The question now needs to be asked: What have the #MeToo, BLM & LGBT campaigns produced that is of lasting cultural value? Recall that these are the historical falsifiers who penned & promoted the racialist & discredited ‘1619 Project’ by Nikole Hannah-Jones, while #MeToo sunk itself at the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation trial, with vague, shifting & unverifiable claims of sexual assault by women who (according to official news) must always be believed. These #MeToo (#MeFirst) bitches should watch some classic film noir, for a lesson on lying women, if the think we’re that stupid.

The anti-Russia campaign, which has been going on since the damaging WikiLeaks DNC release in June 2016, is primarily aimed at dividing workers on nationalist lines. USA good, Russia bad, is forever the mantra. The message from the ruling elites is that no useful culture can be found in that part of the world. Same deal with China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, etc.

For example, Damascus is the capital of Syria, the oldest remaining city in human civilization. Yet according to MSM, there’s nothing for you & me to learn from that. These are the same hysterical fake intellectuals who claim there needs to be more black/women/gay voices in leadership, for diversity! In actuality, it’s all meant to enrich a thin layer of petty bourgeois “liberals.”

Cancel culture is a fascist fraud. It’s a deep state hate campaign, directed at silencing artists, dissidents & socialists. At this point, anyone who says one thing that is considered ‘wrong’ is cancelled, unless they’re protected like Joe Biden, who can get away with sexual harassment because he’s powerful.

Cancel culture is the same hypocrisy the predominates everything else, two sets of rules: one for the rich, and another for the rest of us. We become the victims of cancel culture, until we resolutely & consciously resist it.

These fascists have no right to the moral high ground on this, or anything else. FemiNazis who accuse without proof, attack through the media, and hide from rebuttal are lying scum. These bitches need a serious beatdown, and I’d love to do it all myself, but it’s much better when everyone else pitches in too. Fascism can’t be defeated without serious organization, because they are well-funded & protected at the highest levels.

Fascists have no ideology except for domination through violence, so exposing & splitting them is the best political strategy. The Republican Party has already been shattered by the events of January 6, 2021. These disparate elements of Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, III Percenters, and other fascist scum are being reorganized by US Intelligence (FBI, etc), to be utilized the way Raz Simone/CHAZ were used in Seattle last summer by the Democrats.

To be clear, these are agent provocateurs for the government, and shock troops to be used as strikebreaking goons when the time comes. Their sole purpose is to create violence and sow confusion among the working people & youth. Nothing good comes from these fascists, so exposing & cancelling them is the revolutionary order of the day.

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Shaq is Shattered

Good God, almighty!! The tables are everywhere! People are shattered!! — AEW Dynamite

I’m not a pro wresting fan, but this was Nacho Libre-esque! Shaq invited this mess when he took a swipe at Cody Rhodes’ eyes. Obviously Rhodes has fighting experience, because he immediately retaliated with a finger jab to Shaq’s left eye. It was a “playful” poke, which only temporarily blinded Shaq, but I got the sense Cody Rhodes could have taken his eye out if he had wanted to. You have to train military style for such a lethal/crippling response to be that reflexive & accurate. Then Rhodes showed off his wrestling moves with a horizontal flying body tackle that slammed the mighty Shaq to the ground. OUCH!!

When you throw bad ju-ju out there, over & over, it will eventually find its way back. Then Instant Karma gets you, and payback is a bitch. The screenshot above is Jade Cargill, Shaq’s partner, seconds after he got slammed out cold. She later “won” the match. That’s entertainment, you gotta admit!

Shaq is hurt bad, maybe worse than Tiger Woods, but jacked-up for sure. I’ve been checking, and as of this publication there is still no word. He won’t be wrestling again, as Shaq has been shattered, his spine & hips are in tatters. He did this to himself, by talking trash & disrespecting his opponent and pro wresting in general. Yes, it’s (supposed to be) scripted– part wrestling stunts, part acting, etc.

But if some dumbfuck who wants all the headlines for himself gets off script, then anything [!!] goes. Shaq’s fingernails are claws, as you can clearly see at the end of the video, when he’s out cold on the concrete, after being declared part of the winning team. If you swipe at a man’s eyes with all that, one too many times, this is what happens. When they’re setting-up fall barricades behind you (2 folding tables), a Darwinian light bulb should go on.

She said “I’m fine, I’m okay” cover up your trembling hands
There’s indecision when you know you ain’t got nothing left
Well the good times never stay
And the cheap thrills always seem to fade away (when will we fall)
When will we fall (when will we fall down)

Jump back, got to get out of here
Been too, too long this time babe
Jump back, got to get out of here
When will, when will we fall down?

Toad the Wet Sprocket  “Fall Down”

Finally, when you get eye-gouged, go to your corner. Don’t take the charge. Not enough ring experience for such a tough wrestling circuit. Shaquille O’Neal will be remembered in two sports. In hoops he was the ultimate force of his era out of LSU, but too often a disappointment to his professional teams, coaches & fans. He picked fights with Kobe Bryant, because he was jealous of his pure talent & charisma. He threw Penny Hardaway under the bus in Orlando, even as they were 1996 Olympic “teammates.” That’s why most Orlando Magic fans prefer Dwight Howard.

No one is arguing Shaq doesn’t deserve to be a NBA HoF-er, he is. But he is not the best ever (or second best) at center, as he always claims in his bullying manner. Wilt Chamberlain would have owned him, much like Akeem did, only more. Jabbar was better overall. So was Tim Duncan. Russell knew how to win. They all rate better, and that’s the basketball respect Shaq has earned. Top-10 all-time is really good.

Shaq always wants more than he deserves, and more than he’s earned, constantly grumbling about being disrespected, etc. So here’s some professional respect for Shaq. The other sport Shaquille O’Neal will be remembered for is professional wrestling. It was a short career, and Shaq was the ultimate shooting star. WOW!! It was the most glorious ‘unscripted’ moment ever in pro wrestling, although in retrospect, if you look closely after reading all this, you could see it all coming. It wasn’t Earth shattering, but it was Shaq shattering.

Mon 08 Mar 2021 12:25 PM EST

Epilogue: I noticed Shaq was bent forward at he sat & spoke during TNT’s NBA All-Star game broadcast last evening. Definitely not as bad as Tiger Woods’ injuries, but I imagine it still hurts, as he took damage. Apparently he’s not disabled, but he did receive a serious concussion, beyond the brutal back injury, so who knows? Shaq got all-time posterized in pro wrestling, and that’s the best of what happened.

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“Bitter to Better”

      1. Bitter To Better - Ric Size

 

Photo, production & art design by Tom Pearce.

Recorded March 1, 2021 in Sanford, FL. Tom Pearce is now using Behringer software to record & monitor on a Mac flatscreen, to match with his Behringer wireless pre-amp, which is the heart of everything. Two microphones, one on vocals & one on acoustic guitar, and a line-in guitar through a DI-box to the pre-amp. Three-track recording, clean as a pin.

I woke up late this morning and did my usual cucumber juicing in the kitchen. Two raw cukes, and if I have an apple core or fresh ginger, I’ll add that for some sweetness & zing. But I didn’t have any (as usual), so I slugged my veggies down & commented to myself, “It’s bitter, but it makes you better… ‘Bitter to Better’…. That’s a song title!” So I grabbed a paper & pen and wrote the song. You need a title.

What helps with riffs is knowing many, many covers, across the genres. Keep cycling through them, so when you have a title, you can invent the riff you need– by distilling from favorite covers. That’s how this song was done.

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