All about music & divas

I’m an underground musical artist on hiatus. No more songs to give and certainly no money or gigs. So when something like COVID-19 comes along, and it just isn’t going your way, you give it up before it consumes you to death. It’s called listening to that inner voice that’s telling you, “Listen to your mother.” So now I’m just a music fan again, which means I can catch up on what’s been going on for the last 25 years or so in popular music.

When you become an artist you commit yourself to the process and believe 100% in who you are and what you are doing. You must have this approach because no one else will believe in you. You rely on yourself because only you know what is in your head & heart. This is why I haven’t paid much attention to what’s been happening in the popular music realm these past two decades plus.

What I did musically (& with this blog) can be defined as underground. This is the realm of revolution. I always look at making a record as trying to set a standard that’s hard to beat. When you seriously listen to AC/DC’s Powerage (1978), or any of their other great records, you finish shaking your head & saying to yourself, “That’s hard to beat.”

That’s what inspired me over the years. I was always trying to make that song, EP, or LP/CD that was hard to beat. You have to know it’s going to be great before you record a note. Every great record you’ve ever heard in every genre had that. They all knew they were about to do something great, and then they did it. It’s a great feeling when it’s done. You know it’s going to be a classic because it’s hard to beat.

It’s harder than ever today to make a great record. It starts with great songs which have become scarce. A dirty truth of the music industry is that their popular music stars rely heavily on professional songwriters. These manufactured stars just don’t have much to say, and I get bored with that. I know I’m not the only one.

Songwriting is also a dividing line for those such as myself with punk ethics. Underground music in 100% organic, meaning it is not using professional songwriters, but instead creating its own material. Most of it isn’t very interesting, but there are genuine artists in every genre at all times, you just need to know how to find them. They’re all more interesting than Diane Warren & Max Martin.

For decades, you had to be a fan to know who the major artists were, especially in more esoteric genres such as electronic, dance, etc… Today, AllMusic & YouTube provide any eager listener with everything they need to decide who they really like. The basic rule for going into unfamiliar genres is to do early research and figure out who the major artists are– past & present. How long has the genre been around? Who started the genre, and who is the best artist today? Work your way forwards & backwards from there and you won’t get too lost. Lost means you don’t know and buy too much junk.

Let’s take country music as an example, as I’m not the biggest country music fan in the world. I lived in central Florida for over 25 years, and I’ve been around a lot of country music fans so I understand how they feel about it, but generally their contemporary stars don’t move me. I love Bob Wills, Bill Monroe, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Willie, Waylon & Jessi. But contemporary country largely doesn’t catch my ear. George Strait, Reba McEntire & Garth Brooks were the best & biggest country music artists through the early-1990’s, which is where I left it, so I’m looking for the best since then up to the present.

As you may have guessed, I’m more interested in songwriters & story tellers, especially in the country music genre. Contemporary country largely has the same problem that pop & rap absolutely have; there’s so few vital voices/performers who are their own songwriter anymore. The last time there was an “excess of originality” in songwriting was when indie grunge & hip-hop turned major label artists from John Mellencamp to Winger into has-beens overnight, when Nirvana hit with Nevermind in September 1991.

The mafia which runs the corrupt music industry machinery weathered this crisis and adapted by buying-up all the indie labels & college radio stations. U2, REM, Metallica, Soundgarden, etc, were then canonized into classic rock. 1980’s indie label bands such as the Minutemen, Husker Du, the Pixies, Fugazi, Sonic Youth, etc, never reached mainstream radio. They had too much VU & Andy Warhol in them. The mafia that owns & runs the music industry hates its artists because they can’t control them. They hate artists for devaluing all of their mediocrities & posers which they throw stupid money at to promote. If the kids only knew…

Artists take everything seriously which means they must develop a razor-sharp sense of humor with ironic sensibilities in order to get along. You can’t be serious & on-point forever, especially without money, as it will burn you out and/or kill you. You have to be able to let it go & adapt.

I celebrated Record Store day during the few weeks leading up to it, as well as the day itself. It was April 23 this year, the day after Earth Day. The truth is every day is Earth Day and I wrote that long before it became a meme.

Vinyl costs a lot for a good reason. Its expensive & dirty to produce. New CD’s now list for roughly half the cost of vinyl on new releases. It is my professional record collecting opinion that records have gotten too expensive in every sense, therefore I go for what I only absolutely need on vinyl, otherwise I go for CD. I’ve always been like that in building my music collection: whenever the market is zigging, I zag.

That’s how you find the best deals and stay on budget. Records now cost ~$25 apiece. If you want 1000 records in your new collection that’s $25,000 cost. The used record bins have all been scoured at this point, and there are very few bargains remaining, with too much to hunt through to get to them. That’s my feeling on record buying at this point.

I’m not so much about the format anymore as I am about having the music itself. CD’s & records let you play what you want, without an app tracking you & sending you messages. Put mp3’s on an external Ipod and connect it into an auxiliary input on your stereo. That’s how you have a rocking music collection that doesn’t need to be online.

Until my recent record store binging, I hadn’t considered 21st-century artists very seriously for the reasons stated above. When I began my artist journey it was Alanis Morrisette, Brittany Spears & American Idol coming online. That didn’t impress me much. But Shania Twain did, so I bought all her classic stuff that she made with her then-husband, the famous rock producer who did so many records I love. Shania Twain is perfect pop, with irresistible hooks & a beautiful voice. She translates best to CD in terms of top sound quality and typical album length which exceeds the LP format.

Compact discs are perfect masters which means they can be ripped onto a computer & pirated, which is what happens everywhere. CD’s have wav files of the songs with all the metadata. When Napster came along, kids who had ripped their CD’s shared them online as compressed audio files known as mp3’s. YouTube is mp4, an audio & video file. Compression means some loss of fidelity. The gain is smaller files which are easier to share. I review all this basic stuff because this is how you look for & buy music today. You research & listen online. After you figure out what you really like, go to the record/CD store and buy what you love.

Vinyl is the original format of rock & roll. It was 45’s when Elvis Presley hit in 1955. Black artists such as Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard & Bo Diddley became huge stars. Jim Crow racism had kept black artists down, but when rock & rock was unleashed it was irresistible to the kids. After Elvis hit, rock & roll became bigger than Jesus, and young Presley was vilified for it along with all the rest.

Scandals & tragedy took most of them down, except for Fats Domino. It wasn’t until Elvis first became a GI and then returned as a teen idol, hopelessly behind-the-times that he became mainstream with adults. He still produced hits, but when the Beatles arrived in 1964, Elvis & the rest went into the oldies bin. AM radio formats this “golden hits era” as oldies, as compared to the FM dial’s classic rock. It’s the difference between mono & stereo.

Rock in 1955 was 45’s in a jukebox format. Kids would meet wherever there was a jukebox and room to dance. 45’s are different than albums which are 33.3 RPM. 45’s are singles, so you’re always looking for that GREAT song that grabbed you from the first time you heard it. If the artist who made that song never made another one, then get that single on 45 or mp3. Most flip-sides of 45’s aren’t good songs, but occasionally there will be a gem.

When vinyl (33’s & 45’s) was deleted by 1990, the singles format disappeared, as CD’s don’t work as singles or as EP’s. This was a creative problem for nearly a decade until mp3 sharing came about, because there are many, many more artists who can make a great song or two, versus those who can make a great album. Those who can make multiple great albums are the major artists.

The advantage of CD’s (over records) is their ability to hold up to 80 minutes of length. A vinyl record sounds best if the album can be split into two 22+ minute sides. Anything at or over 23 minutes/side degrades the sound quality significantly, meaning you must either make it a double album or else go to CD.

My advice for young artists is to make great CD’s. The CD revolution was not only a quantum leap in audio fidelity, but also creativity. If you’ve got 75 minutes of great music you can put it online & onto CD. Then people like me will want to hear it. Once you impress enough people and become a huge success, then you can sell that album as a double LP on vinyl.

Making records involves the use of toxic petrochemicals which degrade our Earth’s ecosystem. Therefore my rules on vinyl are these. Reissue only great & very good records. No more Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Supertramp, Yes, ELO, etc, re-issues. These such albums sat unclaimed in used bins I looked through for years, so why is the industry still pumping out fresh copies of this mediocre, industry-produced fodder? It’s the great rock records of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, Mott the Hoople, along with the groove of P-funk & David Bowie that represent the best of 1970’s rock. Punk, reggae, funk & disco are what people covet most from the 1970’s.

Releases from 1990 onward are universally considered CD’s. Genres like pop, rap, country & rock are all recorded digitally with in-studio multi-tracking. Songs are constructed over hours, days, weeks & months on computers with the musicians, engineers & producers. This allows the sound geeks to get the best (loudest) sounds.

This has led to the “loudness wars” an industry term extensively discussed by serious sound professionals in online forums. Basically everyone in pop, rock & rap wants the loudest records, so we’ve reached the point where there is so much compression on all the tracks (guitars, bass, vocals, drum kit, etc) that the music lacks heart & soul. It’s sounds too slick & digitized because it is.

No popular artist in any of these genres does live-performance studio recordings on their albums. It’s kinda been that way since the Beatles did Sgt. Pepper’s in 1967. You can always make it cleaner & louder if you multi-track, because it allows sound separations and treatments (reverb, compression, etc) of each individual track.

So which format (record/CD/mp3) is best? Here’s my rule, if it has great songs and performances it will sound great on any format. Pre-1990, everything was released as a vinyl record. Pre-Beatles was 45’s, except for Bob Dylan who was always an album artist. Note that these are guides and that when you are record shopping you have to adapt to what is actually there. Don’t go insisting on a certain format when it’s unavailable or too pricey everywhere. The best deals today are on used CD’s. Major artists past & present in every genre populate the “used CD’s” bins, so find them.

Good stuff can be hard to find, and when it’s a good deal you should jump on it. If it moves you and has great songs from start to finish it will sound great in ANY format. The exception is cassette tapes, which degrade over time no matter what you do. Cassette tapes always have hiss, and are susceptible to getting eaten by vehicle tape decks & boom boxes.

It was always considered smarter to buy vinyl, and then record it onto a blank 45/90 cassette tape, than to buy pre-recorded cassettes. That way you got two albums per tape and if it got eaten or lost, just record another. Turntables were considered a nuisance by most as the 1980’s progressed, as CD players changed the music market.

VCR’s had revolutionized television watching habits and opened up new avenues in home recording. MTV hit in 1981 and popular music was never the same. From MTV on, you had to look good in front of the camera, otherwise you had no chance with the kids. Before MTV, oldies bands & performers could hide & hang-on as “rockers”. MTV immediately assigned REO Speedwagon, CSN, Rod Stewart, Bob Seger, etc, to “classic rock” & “adult contemporary” status.

Of all of the classic rockers, it was Tom Petty who best survived the 80’s into the 1990’s when grunge & hip-hop exploded. By then Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Michael Jackson, etc, no longer had the kids attention, and were then considered legacy artists along with Billy Joel, Elton John, Eric Clapton, etc.

Grunge proved that kids liked bands influenced by the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart & the Stooges better than those championed by the classic rock dogmatists. The music industry canonized classic rock in the 1970’s under the institution of Rolling Stone magazine in which a few ex-musician hangers-on anointed themselves as the preeminent critics on rock, country & pop music.

Since the grunge wave of the early 1990’s, Rolling Stone has lost much of its credibility as the unassailable critics of music & pop culture. The more one learns of this institution, the more it can be seen for what it is: a tool of the music industry which employs its legion of hack writers, fake journalists & unserious critics to prop up the latest project the music industry deems important. These industry creations will always get a positive review in Rolling Stone; and depending on their industry clout, they may also get anything from a quick (positive) write-up, to a cover with full interview. That’s mainstream popular music in all genres. It’s totally a business, and that’s why it sucks so hard.

Divas are the explosive phenomenon in popular music in the last 25 years. The last divas I loved were Gloria Estefan & Madonna back in the day. Before them, Deborah Harry (Blondie) & Pat Benatar were my original favorites. MTV & the internet made divas more possible. The original modern diva in pop culture was Marilyn Monroe. In rock music it was Nico with the Velvet Underground & Warhol. Nico was the original bad girl, and a fascinating study in the ephemeral character of divas. They all want to be considered as artists.

The previously mentioned Shania Twain was first American pop music diva of the 21st century. Just to define the term, divas have to be beautiful, stylized & talented. Divas are coveted by all straight men, so they set the standard for women. Country music never really had a diva before Shania Twain. The original female country star was Patsy Cline. For a long time Dolly Parton was the closest thing to a country music diva in a genre dominated by wholesome-image female artists.

Country music since the 1970’s (at least) can be classified into two distinct styles: Nashville sound & outlaw. It must be understood that all country records are recorded in Nashville, TN, but there is a difference in style. Outlaw is rootsier and appeals to purists, while Nashville sound is slicker and more pop oriented. Contemporary country has been profoundly changed by pop, rock & rap. I listen to country songs that have a singer with a twangy voice, but if it’s a fast song, it’s rock music. Maybe they throw-in a harmonica & steel pedal guitar track to countrify it, but it’s basically rock. All the country ballads are basically pop & rap production.

In contemporary country music, the biggest pop diva has been Carrie Underwood since she won Season 3 of American Idol. Her first CD Some Hearts (2005) had the entire music industry behind it, so it was going to be a success no matter what, kinda like Titanic (1997). My listening of her first few albums is that they are highly polished, with some good singles, but also with too much well-constructed filler. Carrie Underwood has an amazing voice, but I never much cared for Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, etc, and that’s her style. It’s too much syrupy pop for my taste, which leans towards rock. My best chance of finding something I like in country music was in the outlaw style that takes Waylon & Willie as its roots.

The biggest star in country music for the past 15+ years has been Miranda Lambert. Like Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert also came from reality TV, and released her debut album Kerosene in 2005. Reading both these album credits today provides definitive clues in advance as to who would be the enduring artist in country music.

Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts has only one song that she wrote, “I Ain’t in Checotah Anymore,” while Miranda Lambert wrote (or co-wrote) every song on Kerosene except one. Both their follow-ups are they same way, and so on…

Miranda Lambert does use professional songwriters, but I get a sense that she really gets to pick the songs she likes. She also collaborates with these songwriters much more, in order to get them right for the album. Carrie Underwood had the material handed to her, and if Max Martin insisted that his song be on her CD, it got done. Carrie Underwood does the best she can, but too much of her material isn’t very inspired.

The songs that Miranda Lambert writes have more depth, heart & soul. These are songs of a restless artist who has the songwriter gift. I have nothing but respect & admiration for that because I know how hard it is. Carrie Underwood is more of a true diva, where Miranda Lambert is more of a Woodie Guthrie folk singer. They’re both country singers and both divas. Miranda Lambert is the true artist.

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The “Boycott Spotify” campaign

It was just over a year ago that Neil Young sold 50% of his worldwide copyright & income interests in his 1,180 song catalog to some UK capitalist whale. Now Neil Young has started this ‘boycott Spotify’ campaign over some reactionary podcast that promotes COVID misinformation, when it’s mass media misinformation EVERYWHERE.

I respect Neil Young the musician as I have many of his records & CD’s, but it just feels like all the wrong people are making money for all the wrong causes and nothing ever gets better under this existing set-up. I respect Neil Young’s & other artists’ right to use their political clout, so I hope they respect my right to say it’s self serving and a political dead end.

Spotify basically doesn’t pay the artists, especially indies. The reason our music is still on their platform is because it’s “new radio,” meaning free distribution through the internet. The music goes online through a major label (or the likes of CD Baby), which places it on every streaming site: iTunes, Spotify, etc, and you don’t get to pick & choose. The problem for indies (besides not getting paid) is that all their algorithms work against us, so relatively few listeners can find us. It’s like that with all the corporate platforms.

The original streaming service was Napster (1999-2002), which was destroyed by the RIAA, when its well-heeled shills (Metallica & Dr. Dre) did their dirty work for them. Their claim was artists needed to get paid. Napster offered to work out an artist payment model, but they wouldn’t listen or negotiate, only the destruction of Napster would suffice.

This opened the way for Apple iTunes & venture capitalism (Spotify, Pandora, etc) to monopolize the mp3 market. This is why 99+% of all mp3 downloads are “illegal” today. We need a revolution, not reformism, because these elitist bloodsuckers will never willingly give up control.

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Get Back (2021)

I just watched Get Back (2021) and it’s amazing! Get Back is directed & produced by Peter Jackson, who takes the vast film footage & audio material originally captured for Let It Be (1970) a documentary of the album by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, whose 16mm cinematography is stunning. Get Back seamlessly transports you back in time, while the digital editing & titles give it a clean modern look. Pushing eight hours in length, it never gets dull. It was all filmed & recorded in January 1969, and then finally put together just recently, but everything about this Beatles documentary is timeless.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg was a pioneer in music film production, who makes his face seen & voice heard in Get Back. For instance, there’s a debate among the band over 35mm vs 16mm for filming. Paul insists it should be 35mm, or else it won’t look right. Michael Lindsay-Hogg then interjects that 16mm will be fine, and that’s it. Watching in early 2022, it looks like Get Back was shot a few months ago, and put together quickly. Of course it was all shot 53 years ago, and took 4 years to produce. There are no flaws in the moving images, and the camera framing is exquisite, giving Get Back an authentic appeal.

This is mostly a testament to how well the original film crew & Michael Lindsay-Hogg did their jobs. This made the digital transfer much easier, and the result is one of the great rock documentaries ever, maybe THE best. And to think, it sat “in the can,” wasted & unused for decades. In many ways it compares to the Netflix release of Orson Welles’ famous unfinished film, The Other Side of the Wind in 2018.

Get Back is Disney property, which maintains strict monopoly distribution of its content. I’ve got friends who have pirated it, because that what happens when you try to “own” something that really should be public domain. Everyone has the right to see this film, as the Beatles are part of the fabric of our popular culture. I know it’s being called a TV series by Disney, but really it’s a 3-part movie that runs 468 minutes total. That’s too long of a film for most people, so it’s marketed as a TV-series.

This definitive Beatles documentary of their early break-up phase has an unending cast of interesting characters; Mal Evans, Peter Sellers [!] & (of course) Billy Preston are a few of my favorites. There’s plenty to choose from as each of the Fab Four comes to life under constant camera & microphone recording, which (in retrospect) was their recording of Let It Be, released in May 1970; after Abbey Road (September 1969), and after their break-up was officially announced by Paul in April. Paul is the one who tries the hardest to prevent their inevitable break-up, because he profits the most from working with John. Everyone loves Ringo, so it’s George that’s made the target of Paul’s frustrations.

The real war in Get Back is between Paul & John for band leadership. John had always been the leader of the Beatles, but increasingly Paul feels he is more than qualified to lead. The disagreements are creative, as well as financial. Linda Eastman makes her first appearance on the scene during filming, and becomes another of the cast of characters fans will come to know better in time. There’s a scene featuring Paul working out a song on piano, with Linda & Yoko talking in the background so we can’t hear them. As far as popular music & human interest goes, it hard to get much more fascinating than that.

Paul always had a tough time with Yoko, which meant a conflict with John. This is early tabloid era, where you just needed to refer to them by their first names. Nothing ever again approached 1960’s Beatlemania, not even K-pop. The Beatles separate oldies & doo wop from classic rock. The Beatles flipped the switch, and music went from AM to FM; from mono to stereo. John sings “Revolution” in different ways, single vs. album. The Beatles changed cover art & lyric writing. The Beatles led the counter-culture & anti-war movements. In a word, they forever changed everything in popular culture.

As a diehard Velvet Underground fan, I take the Beatles as the pop standard no one can match. The Velvets did their underground Factory multi-media show with Andy Warhol & Nico in 1966. The Beatles were attempting to put on some kind of TV show in Get Back, but mostly it’s bad ideas, and then the drama of George leaving the band for a few days over Paul’s harassment. Artistically, the Velvets were far ahead of the Beatles in many important ways, but they were both broken-up (around the same time) by the same industry forces.

George was always the weakest link in the Beatles, and not coincidentally he’s the one who was most taken-in by Allen Klein in his post-Beatles career. George has a weakness for mysticism and is most-influenced by John, whom he idolizes for his songwriting & emulates in his singing style. George also is in awe of Paul for his prolific songwriting, musicianship & sweet singing voice; and thus covets his respect & approval.

Allen Klein is introduced to John & Yoko on the evening of January 26, 1969, and it’s referenced, but not filmed in Get Back. It helps if you know your Beatle-ology here, as Allen Klein is one the most notorious & prolific conmen in music business history. Allen Klein made a career for himself by ripping-off artists such as Sam Cooke, and then the Rolling Stones with his ABKCO Records, but his ultimate ambition was to manage the Beatles. Eventually he would, over Paul & Linda’s strenuous objections. It was definitely one of those times in Beatles’ history where Paul was right. Allowing Allen Klein to manage Apple Records for just a few years, led to bad personnel decisions, millions in lost royalties & endless lawsuits.

In Get Back, Paul has ideas for his new songs, that George can’t get to. It’s a truth of the Beatles that John is their best guitar player. George offers little when it comes to being a “lead guitarist,” and that’s why in his early solo career he worked with Eric Clapton so much. By 1969, George is a rhythm guitarist & aspiring songwriter, who is of little use to Paul. This is why Billy Preston is the key to making the Get Back sessions work, as the “Fifth Beatle.” As Paul acknowledges, “Billy Preston solves a lot of problems,” meaning his musicianship helps Paul realize his songs more fully, which eases George back into the band and relieves the pressure, which was immense.

Most Harrisongs aren’t Lennon-McCartney quality, but any attempt at songwriting is always welcome in any serious band. John encourages it, while Paul mostly dismisses George’s new ideas. The hardest thing to do is produce good new material. The Beatles did this for a dozen albums, all classics, due to an amazing songwriting team in Lennon-McCartney, which gave them a freshness & unique sound that always put them at the cutting edge, from mop-top sensations, to rock pioneers of studio recording.

A lot of people like to slag Paul, but I’ll take him in my band any day. Bass players are hard to find, and prolific songwriters are even rarer. That’s why John latched onto him when they were the Quarrymen. To have talent means you recognize it in others. The hard truth was that most of George’s new songs weren’t that good, but he had colleagues (outside the band) who were telling him they were, so egos start flying.

One can argue that it was George Harrison who broke up the Beatles, as he wanted to do a solo album of songs that Paul wouldn’t do, and John wasn’t crazy about. Or you could just Let It Be. For those who don’t know, writing songs is serious business, and the true artists who can do it don’t hand out free passes just because you’re a bandmate with ambition. You have to deliver, repeatedly, at a high level. These lessons in collaborative creativity & artistic standards remain relevant today.

The confusion that permeates their first rehearsal location, as well as the Apple Records studio are brought into focus when George Martin finally arrives, and promises the band in his assured & professional style that he will get all the sound issues straightened-out by the next day. The band finally breathes a sigh of relief as they leave. This is how it was.

The Beatles never really had a manager who could handle everything, because nothing like the Beatles had ever happened before. Brian Epstein had their best interests at heart and guided them to stardom, but he wasn’t tough, and he died in August 1967. Apple Records was established in January 1968, with no leadership, which meant the Beatles financial issues wouldn’t start to get resolved until the mid 1970’s.

But they always had a great producer in George Martin, and that’s more important, because if you don’t make great records then no one cares. Great records start with great songs, which means the producer has to recognize it, and then record an inspired performance. Then it can be produced. Get Back proves once again that no matter how gifted you are creatively & musically, you need a producer with a clear head.

The legends of decadence & excess at Apple Records are confirmed in Get Back, with all kinds of stoned employees, gay groupies & other hangers-on, etc, occupying the studio. Who are these fucking people? Answer: It was the 1960’s. Many appear well-meaning, but too many are wasted and none can handle the Mafiosos constantly in the background, rubbing their hands over how much money they were going to make. It should be noted in retrospect that it’s this lack of attention to security that ultimately got John killed.

Perhaps the best part of Get Back is when the Apple employees handle the bobbies, as the Beatles are playing their final concert unannounced on the rooftop of Apple Records in London. “It’s making quite a bit of racket… We’ve had over 30 complaints already,” claims the UK cop immortalized in the footage. Apple Records receptionist Debbie, and Beatles road manager, Mal are priceless here. So much love went into this music created by John, Paul, George, Ringo & Billy with their ever-producer, George Martin, and yet it’s the businessmen who are raking. That’s how it is when you’re an artist, and it’s all in the film.

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Is it safe?

This blog does not tolerate violence, harassment, or hate speech; yet it can’t be called a safe space for certain readers. That’s because there is too much content that is upsetting to snowflakes, and it doesn’t contain the requisite trigger warnings. There is nothing more hysterical & shrill than a snowflake who has been set-off, due to lack of trigger warnings.

This blog discusses many forms of art including music. But for me to identify with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, etc, is considered unacceptable cultural appropriation by the snowflakes– particularly the black racialists. This will lead to media attacks, censorship, de-platforming & blacklisting. Liberal racialists insist on separation, much like the racist Alabama Governor George Wallace (pic below) meant when he insisted on “separate but equal” institutions in the 1960’s. Black racialism is the flipside of the white racist coin.

Critical Race Theory, is a re-working of the post-modernist school of Critical Theory, which insists that everything is subjective. This means there is no historical truth, no such thing as facts, and that idealist narratives can replace rational thought in all things. Lazy liberals gravitate towards this ideology because they never really learned anything, as this post-modernist construct elevates them, while hiding their ignorance. In short, liberal ideology has become right-wing reaction, peddled as progressive thought.

      1. Primary Colors - Ric Size

 

In America, this nonsense is funded by the Democratic Party & corporate elitists, who seek to divide & dumb-down the working masses & youth with dead-end identity politics. These aren’t genuine grassroots movements, but instead are well-funded astroturf campaigns.

For example, intersectionality is considered inherently progressive, because women are always to be believed, and black people are always the victims of racism. This means that Jay-Z & Beyonce, despite their fabulous wealth & celebrity power, are oppressed by the white colonialist patriarchy that is in our DNA.

If you disagree with the above statements, then you are a class reductionist, which automatically means you are racist, misogynist and/or homophobic. This is the state of the American media today. This is why movies, television & music suck so hard. It’s also why there is no discussion outside of these “safe space” boundaries in academia, pop culture, or politics.

So in answering the title, “Is it safe?” one reminisces Dustin Hoffman about to be tortured in The Marathon Man (1976), with Laurence Olivier playing the Nazi by asking a question that can’t be answered–“Is it safe?”

A healthy response is to shout down this woke mob, and all their witch-hunting, book-burning fake politics. To those philistines who want to cancel Shakespeare, etc, we contemptuously ask, “What have you done?” Seriously, what the fuck have you done?

      2. Haters-Step-Aside.mp3

 

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Screenshots from Facebook Prison

This is my Facebook homepage:

Here’s my Page Overview, which says I have 1,485 followers, and that in the last 28 days I’ve had 28 reaches on all my posts– combined. That’s called being in Facebook prison.

I’m censored because I’m too good. Mark Zuckerberg hates Ric Size. He’s been taught that by Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill & Hillary Clinton, Mark Warner, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, etc. Those are the people who run the Democratic Party. For these elitists, 99.9% control isn’t enough.

That’s why I keep getting these notices, shown above.

Since less than 0.1% of my audience is being reached due to Facebook censorship, I don’t get too upset when they threaten to delete me for violating their “Community Standards.”

Above: Ric Size Facebook demographics on gender & leading urban markets

Censorship of this social media page began immediately when it was established in 2012. There was a qualitative increase in online repression in the summer of 2016, as this blog became more widely read. The DNC email Wikileaks were severely damaging, and demanded a strict censorship response from the political establishment. When Donald Trump won the Electoral College in November 2016, the World Socialist Web Site, Julian Assange, and myself were their top targets.

The #MeToo & BLM campaigns have also targeted this site for blacklisting, de-ranking, de-platforming, etc. This has occurred on all platforms, including Google, YouTube, Amazon & Disqus.

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The Brain Eaters (1958) riff script

00:22 Riverdale began to be consumed into a suburb of Chicago
00:32 I said, “No U Turn!”
00:40 The Riverdale Philharmonic could use some more practice
00:52 The Brain Eaters: The true story of how Hollywood dumbed-down America
01:03 Alan Frost; AKA Alan Jay Factor; AKA J Factor
01:10 These credits are Roger Corman-esque
01:18 Spock! You’re name is misspelled.
01:43 Bombastic music by Tom Jonsonville brats, Jonsonville brats, Jonsonville brats…
02:09 […home in the country] … so you can understand why were were driving so fast.
02:22 … when J Factor suddenly had a blowout on his ride
02:35 Power lines in the background foreshadowing stupidity
03:00 “Let playing-dead-for-the-camera dogs, lie,” I always say.
03:30 It’s an over-sized party hat; a giant pastry bag for cake decorating; an early scale-model of the Matterhorn at Disneyland; industrial aluminum sheeting, circa 1958.

03:43 AKA, porno flicks
04:16 That base diameter isn’t even close to being equal to it’s height, but that’s 1950’s sci-fi for you.
04:35 [total resistance to pressure] The cone will not be pressured
04:43 It’s believed that the cone was used to suffocate its victims under a massive flow of sugary icing.
04:49 “If anyone is hiding the boy Vito Andolini, turn him over to me and there will be no trouble…”
05:05 […nature of the cone remain unknown] … aside that it’s a 3-dimensional figure with length, width & height, and a flat, circular base.

05:22 Breaking information on the nature of the cone. The cone is a ship. We have good intel on that.
05:29 … but I will have my hands bound by the person holding all the coats.
05:45 Bad touching
06:03 Speaking of cleaning out closets, this bigshot should check his before he comes out
06:10 [Garrett!] He looks & talks like Rudy Guiliani
06:19 [the lid will be off in 24 hours] I’m going down to Ground Zero to blow the lid off of WTC 7
06:35 Washington’s air transportation for its most distinguished political representatives is a Cessna turboprop
06:45 [requested no publicity] … and there wasn’t any.
07:00 Glenn Cameron– illegitimate son of Glenn Close & James Cameron
07:08 I thought Rudy Guiliani was the mayor
07:17 [abundant supply of bunglers]… which explains NY fire fighters without operable radios. Any comment, Mayor Guiliani, or are we done here?
07:25 Mr. Guiliani!! Mr. Guiliani!!! What about the Twin Towers collapsing at free-fall speed?
07:31 What about nanothermate in the ash? Why weren’t you at the established command post…? Mr. Guiliani, Mr. Guiliani…
07:40 The station wagon: government ground transportation that doubles as a hearse, for easy clean-up of government waste
07:48 He’s doing Tai Chi, hold ball
07:52 short form

08:02 “Restricted ravine area…” That means weed farming territory, so watch out for guerrillas!
08:12 [curiosity seekers] … so they came by the thousands
08:20 … unhampered by public accountability & oversight
08:34 But does he know the nature of the cone?
08:45 They’re making a test right now, it’s called #2
08:50 “Sonic reverberation,” huh? So they’re farting into the cone and recording it, as part of test #2.
09:05 Someone blow an air horn, right now.
09:38 Trump Casino has you’re action, Mr. Guiliani. We’ve got roulette, craps, keno, slots, baccarat, blackjack & Texas Hold Em!!
09:42 I wonder what Ed Nelson stuffs into his pipe to convince himself he looks smart?

10:02 Inconceivable!
10:07 … spirographs & polaroid
10:20 “Alter the surface?” Nonsense, the markings will buff right out. What are you smoking, Ed?
10:24 [nothing’s indestructible] … except capitalism.
10:36 [not a mar] “Not a mar,” huh? Next time try putting a tool on it, pretty boy.
10:41 … hallucinogenics, angel dust, meth….
10:48 We were thinking about going inside, but let’s stand around & talk some more.
11:02 We’re clueless, without a map
11:11 Look out for ricochets!
11:20 That’s pretty much how we’ve been testing it. Lost a few doctors on the ricochets.
11:28 “Cyclic,” like a woman

11:39 … and you women in your fallopian tubes
11:47 [inside of that ship] Now pull WTC 7!
11:58 … so you can injure yourself
12:19 The final scene of a really cheezy B-movie
12:27 Watch out for ricochets!
12:38 Florsheim shoes
12:50 I think this would have been better as a silent movie, set during the Civil War
13:15 [too long] Sonny is ready to go the the mattresses…
13:18 … while Mikey is off to kill Virgil Sollozzo & Captain McCluskey.
13:31 [Listen!] It’s the Brain Eaters!! Shoot first & ask questions later!!!

14:00 N scale or HO?
14:03 It’s for hobbyists
14:15 [Hold the Line] Love isn’t always on time
14:22 … and there’s gonna be trouble/ Hey now/ Hey now/ the mayor’s back
14:29 The mayor of Riverdale has been afflicted with Parkinson’s & muscular dystrophy
14:48 We need a horizontal on the camera, please.
15:25 Filmed in diagonal-vision
15:33 I’m getting dizzy with this vertigo photography
15:44 Yeah, because the toy train tunnel is so mystifying. Level the tripod, you idiots!
15:56 [I’m sorry dad] … but it appears the Brain Eaters have gotten the best of you
16:05 This camera work is making us all sick
16:14 Don’t make me call Roy Cohn
16:21 [… under martial law] That’s how democracy works here in America
16:30 The shot is slanted screen right
16:42 The mayor looks like George Will
17:00 Give it to him! Give it to him!!

18:20 Ed Nelson’s hair is holding up well
18:23 I found out that smoking tobacco causes cancer. But nevermind that, how do I look? Do you like my hair?
18:34 I don’t need rest, and I don’t need your nagging. I need to get laid. Got that, honey?
18:57 [would’ve died anyway] … only 40 years later.
19:03 [2 piercing instruments] … one that lifts & separates, and one that cuts.
19:21 … by secreting acids out of their asses into the CNS. That’s not only hard to believe, it’s hard to say.
19:40 Brain Eaters are like having a monkey on your back
19:48 [victim isn’t human anymore] He turns into a Republican
19:56 In fact, let’s keep this whole movie confidential. The American public doesn’t need to know about this.
20:04 Quick, light a match.

20:21 The Sheriff will be tunneling the cone next
20:34 “Whoa!! Missed that turn in the dark, and skidded out of control…” What dimbulb cast this cop who can’t drive?
20:40 Brain Eating speed bump ahead, approach with caution
20:52 You can tell this is Hollywood action, a real cop would use his gun and blast the Brain Eaten zombie.
21:02 It’s the Tai Chi master observing his student
21:18 This part of Tom Jonson’s score is called, “March of the Brain Eaters”
21:25 Tai Chi sifu demonstrates ‘Snake Creeps Down’ to his pupil
21:36 The Brain Eaters are cooking Jonsonville brats, Jonsonville brats, Jonsonville brats…
21:50 … and back to ‘hold ball’
22:12 What a shame, Riverdale now has Brain Eaters for law enforcement.

22:30 She prepared instant coffee on a bunson burner. Science!
22:42 He’s filleting a lobster
22:45 Hey lady assistant, turn off the bunson burner when not in use, the valve is in front of you.
22:57 Oh, for about 10 seconds
23:03 How long does that take, smart guy?
23:16 [hands like ice] … and so is the rest of you.
23:25 I’m so high from all the fumes in here that I didn’t realize my pipe had gone out. Slide that bunson burner over here, sweetie.
23:35 [back to work] So doctor, what should we do about that Brain Eater crawling behind that beaker?

23:48 A toy mouse has been attached to Ed Nelson’s elbow!!
23:52 It hurts & stuff!
24:12 What’s that burning smell behind us?
24:46 … and once again the weed farmer militias were out in force
25:00 [and there wasn’t a guard on duty] Pop is all alone. Call Sonny & Tom Hagan
25:36 [are you thinking the same thing I am?] Yep, DUI
25:55 I think Dr. Wyler was in D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1916)
26:15 This B-movie is a waste of time
26:28 [useless piece of junk] … so we’re gonna blow it up and build a Freedom Tower in its place.
26:42 [we don’t want a nationwide panic on our hands] … or a “war on terror”

26:51 [scientific hunch] … and the rest is propaganda
26:58 You mean they’re like hedge fund investors?
27:03 Because people are more gullible.
27:21 [trial & error] Mostly error
27:27 That shows they understand bourgeois politics
27:33 Like a infantry Private
27:42 Yes they have. There are dead bodies all over Riverdale.
27:53 [draw up a map] … and mark every massage parlor in red.
27:58 [phone ringing] Rudy Guiliani calling Donald Trump, “Don’t fly on September 11th!”
28:20 The hunchback of Riverdale being tormented, “The bells, the bells…!”
28:45 This could an Andy Warhol silent, set to the music of Tom Jonsonville brats…

28:59 Rudy Guiliani’s thinking to himself, “Who ordered this lousy communication equipment?”
29:13 [Just routine] Routine Radio Free Europe stuff
29:18 This ‘not-so-good map’ shows every location needed to shoot this B-movie in six days
29:31 That would make it easier for the Brain Eaters to pick us off
29:38 We can put you ladies under the police protection of the possessed Sheriff
29:54 … to disagree.
30:04 Can’t do science without weapons
30:24 Then we’ll have to do something
30:38 Bored? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.
30:40 It’s day, it’s night; it keeps switching in the cutaways
31:05 Parrots survived the KT extinction event because they’re prolific fliers. Someone tell Senator Guiliani to put a sock in it.

31:44 [woman screams] More Tom Jonsonville brats!!
32:02 Is Dr. Ed not hearing that hissing foley? Is he deaf, or just dumb?
32:10 … a discharged fuel receptacle of a Brain Eater?
32:30 .. or some really bad sound editing
32:33 … and out of this movie!
32:54 It’s day again. Continuity!
33:04 Alice has a piercing scream, doesn’t she?
33:10 Now we’re trapped inside, it’s NOT alright!
33:22 It’s Brain Eaters hissing!!
33:35 Glenn/J Factor just peed his pants.
33:51 J Factor needed two cutaways to clear that window. Remarkable
33:58 … and he isn’t a very good shot; the Brain Eaten zombie was point blank.
34:05 … and he didn’t double tap. Glenn Close Cameron is an idiot who deserves to get eaten by the monsters.
34:20 Was that an action/getaway sequence?
34:28 I guess we’ll just sit around and do nothing, again
34:44 [DONT TOUCH THEM] That hanging whatever-it-is, is rotated 90 degrees on the wall. No, more like 87 degrees.
34:56 I’m guessing he missed his bet
35:10 … by rigging nanothermate cutter charges to all the support beams, which could be detonated in sequence, unleashing Brain Eater parasites.
35:37 I need you in the worst way
35:49 Dear Bill & Hillary…
35:56 I’m sorry, sir, but the Clinton’s are vacationing with the McDougal’s in Whitewater, and can’t be reached until Monday.
36:21 [It’s already there] … and I’m Already Gone
36:36 Tai Chi death stare
36:45 Maybe I’m nothing but a shadow on the wall / Maybe love’s a tomb where you dance at night…

37:40 The Velvet Underground would have done a better soundtrack, I think.
38:00 They’re re-enacting Romeo & Juliet, where he’s leaving a Brain Eater on her fire escape
38:22 window opening feedback
38:26 Eeeeww!! Brain Eaters are giant hair clogs, parasites which are transferred to other humans in a fishbowl by their zombies. Got that?
38:45 I realize they’ve gotten a few dogs already, but I say a good cat would be all over these Brain Eaters as they slink & hiss across a floor, pulled by a wire.
39:00 I’d like to see a Siamese kitten pounce and devour a Brain Eater, then barf it up as a hairball, thus mutating it.
39:14 Beware!! Brain Eaters attack those who sleep alone.
39:24 Hey guys, do something while the music is swelling!
39:34 (Guys thinking) We’ll… I guess we stood around too long, and now it’s too late, huh?
39:47 The Princess Buttercup!
40:09 Starting with his face, the Sheriff just melts into the background
40:20 Brain Eaters breaking up into groups
40:38 [“We’ll find a way”] !!? Neither of these schlubs could find their way to second base, so how are they going to rescue the girl from a giant cake icing dispenser that shoots out Brain Eaters?
40:44 You can let go of his arm, Glenn. Was J Factor trying to tell Dr. Ed something important?

40:54 B-movie 2-shot: Good Hair & Wannabe
41:02 [… mystery greeted us] How to disguise a sound stage as a canyon location?
41:17 Brain Eaten for five years, the Professor is remarkable well-preserved
41:22 Try mouth-to-mouth, doc!
41:30 Twist his spine some more, doc. Do any of his patients survive?
41:42 Because it felt UNCOMFORTABLE in there. The Brain Eater was unloved & unappreciated.
41:48 No, it isn’t. Your heart is much more serious than a bad car engine.
41:55 He’ll tell dirty little secrets
42:08 Who cares?
42:13 [every minute counts] To the Batmobile!
42:22 What if it’s Funkier than a Mosquito’s Tweeter?

42:54 But vehicles can’t drive through the woods, that’s what roadblocks are for. Any lightbulbs going on, doc?
43:02 … a little TOO cooperating
43:25 [… What do they want of us?] What is the nature of the cone?
43:56 [What is the secret of the cone?] Its tapering cylindrical qualities.
44:00 “Carbon…iferous,” from this we deduce that these hair clogs known as Brain Eaters come from the Paleozoic Era.
44:23 Wooly Mammoth dragonflies
44:30 The Earth is largely carboniferous
44:42 Dr. Kettering (Ed Nelson) just lost another one. His patient base dies off quicker than Jack Kevorkian’s.
44:54 … carboniferous?

45:05 The Brain Eaters have tunneled up through the Earth like Hogan’s Heroes.
45:09 Kenneth Starr
45:17 [I’ll keep trying sir] Clear the lines for Sen. Walter K. Powers, head of the flying saucer investigation committee, who has this to say, “We will rebuild at Ground Zero, no matter the cost.”
45:26 [Operator] … well, could you help me place this call?
45:44 [Hello Operator] Oh could you help me place this call?
45:52 The operator is hopped-up on Brain Eaters
47:58 [Hello, operator] … well, let’s forget about this call
46:03 If you would like to make a call, please hang up and try again… if you would like to make a call…
46:12 … so we can’t give the firefighters the signal to clear the Twin Towers before it implodes
46:18 It has just been reported that WTC 7 has collapsed…. Wait, it’s still standing… Apparently it’s about to collapse, and we’ve been told to ‘stand by,’ as collapse is imminent…

46:35 You can really see what an improvement The Dukes of Hazzard was over 1950’s sci-fi
46:42 Bruno VeSota never considered placing a microphone and directing this scene, but instead went for loose improv, a voice-over, and then a heaping helping of Jonsonville brats.
47:07 Why are Dr. Ed & J Factor rushing off after beating up the telegraphers?
47:16 [director points] Good Morning Vietnam!
47:26 Don’t come here, its a mess with Brain Eaters.
47:42 Brain Eater inflating his humpback– pupa stage apparently
47:52 Cool, I heard Nina Simone was performing…
37:59 [who thought so little of his own abilities] .. and for good reason
48:04 [Hi] High? Of course.
48:14 [detect any movement around the hatch] We’ve strung tripwire up & down, and camouflaged punji sticks at the base of the scaffolding
48:25 … but look out for Brain Eaters, doc
48:40 He’s like Sgt. Hulka in Stripes (1981) on the rope climb. “Anyone wanna come up and try to knock me down?!”
48:51 Dr. Ed’s thinking, “This piece of junk only dials-in AM.”

49:11 [Duck!] What the heck is Dr. Ed doing?
49:20 The main characters don’t even know what’s happening.
49:28 If Dr. Ed keeps shooting people dead, the medical board will eventually have to revoke his license to practice
49:46 Another victim eats lead from Dr. Ed
49:57 [What did you kill them for?] Don’t question my actions, I’m a doctor.
50:04 Not after Dr. Ed operates…
50:11 Look out for ricochets!
50:25 Dr. Dead & J Factor, inside the cone
50:34 [Where’s Kettering & young Cameron?] Shooting the tube

50:43 Ahhh, a light at the end of the B-movie.
50:53 The voice of Leonard Nimoy, whose name is misspelled in the credits
51:14 Science Officer & First Officer of the USS Enterprise
51:29 … except Shatner’s ham-fisted re-writes & grandstanding
51:44 [We are in complete harmony] … like the Mama’s & Papa’s
51:47 [We are inseparable] … like Sid & Nancy
52:03 [like seeds, in the wind] Dust in the wind / All we are is dust in the wind / (All we are is dust in the wind) / Dust in the wind…
52:09 […from the corruptions of the Earth] …like the Delta variant.
52:24 We shall enforce Cher & Paula Abdul upon them.
52:38 You’re on our short list for ‘guest villain’ on Batman
52:44 … but we’ve gone through a few drummers & upgraded our bass player
53:03 They aren’t “flesh & blood” anymore, they’re possessed by Paleozoic arthropods which eerily resemble hair clogs in a drain.
53:09 Hey doc! Watch out for ricochets!!
53:15 [Let’s get out of here!] Leonard Nimoy definitely went for the ‘star part’ in this stinker. That’s where you get paid up front, show up at the end & exit quickly, and everyone remembers you best.
53:24 Keep shootin’ doc! Is anyone recording the bullets pinging around inside the cone of unknown nature?
53:30 That scaffold doesn’t meet OHSA specs. I’m starting to think this is a REALLY low-budget flick.

53:48 Crickets chirping, idiots filming
54:02 [What are they waiting for?] Rudy Guiliani is ready to blow-up the whole thing. The parallels to 9/11 are inescapable!
54:08 [We need the time] The time is 7:52 PM
54:19 I might. Why?
54:31 “Salvage that power truck,” my ass. Keys were still in it, so J Factor just backed the front tires onto the road again.
54:41 [over difficult terrains] I use it to operate on patients
54:58 It’s the electricity from the high-voltage power lines overhead, Rudy
55:15 … and then scream in pain as you’re electrocuted.
55:28 We’ll light up this valley in flames. It’ll be like California in the 2000’s & beyond.
55:38 Enron used a similar technique to deliver power to its customers

55:59 They obeyed the maniacal Dr. Kettering completely & absolutely.
56:05 … which I would hold onto until death to complete the circuit.
56:15 [strung an inch or two from the cone] I’m sensing deep sexual frustration from the narrator
56:25 [What’s your plan?] We’re gonna pull the Twin Towers & WTC 7, while a CIA drone hits the Pentagon with a cruise missile; then blame it all on the Arabs.
56:40 [… the kind that kills] Dr. Ed is on a killing spree. You can hear it in his voice & see it in his eyes.
56:50 [I’m against it] Suicide is unacceptable, we prefer slaughtering our own
57:05 … who will hold the gun the cable is connected to, and get electrocuted?
57:11 [Kettering!] FERC is going to be on your ass if you try to go through with this crazy stunt, doc.
57:39 Comin’ down the mountain / One of many children…
57:47 It’s Romeo & Joliet theater
57:58 Whilst thee now go & be done, or shall thou pad thy part?
58:04 [Go ahead] … make my day

58:22 If it takes me the rest of my life, I’ll save one patient!
58:35 {Dr. Ed shot] Woo hoo!
58:40 Shakespearian tragedy from Bruno VeSota & Gordon Urquhart; Dr. Ed lost his final patient
58:54: [Fire the gun] But Mayor Rudy, the firefighters can’t hear the order to evacuate because their Saber III radios don’t work, due to the sweetheart contract you negotiated with Motorola.
59:07 Glenn Close Cameron fires the gun…
59:09 …and he is instantly electrocuted.
59:22 Hmmm…. Fried Dr. Kettering… Smells like chicken.
59:32 Even the cast can’t watch the end
59:37 [electrical wires flashing] Nice job dickweeds, everywhere from Milwaukee to Indianapolis is blacked-out.
59:45 We have to make sure nothing could have lived through that
59:51 [… every last one of them] You mean there are no survivors at Ground Zero, Mayor Guiliani?
1:00:02 I think we DO know Walter K. Powers; AKA: Rudy Guiliani, J Edgar Hoover, James Cagney, Don Vito Corleone…
1:00:10 You can tell they had to finish shooting that evening. The scaffolding was due back at Classic Tents & Events in the morning, and it would have put them over budget if they were late.
1:00:25 [Oh Glenn] Don’t ever pimp yourself as J Factor again
1:00:32 There’s babe factor, and then there’s Alan Jay Factor
1:00:40 Jonsonville brats, Jonsonville brats, Jonsonville brats…

THE END
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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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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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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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Intelligent movie viewing

Movies and how they are consumed has changed at lightning speed. The coronavirus pandemic has shut down theaters, which were dying anyways, and online streaming is now the predominant direct-to-consumer delivery method. It’s now YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. The Hollywood & NYC studio systems are foundering on the rocks, with expensive overhead & production costs that can no longer be justified, because they don’t pay the bills anymore. Independent films, particularly documentaries, now have the market edge in many ways, as indies can make their movies quicker & cheaper, and are often more compelling in content.

For the longest time, Hollywood stars & the production studios that backed them, ruled the American film industry. That’s certainly been true since talkies came into existence around 1928, and the biggest indie movie stars, Buster Keaton & Charlie Chaplin, were destroyed by the industry. This paved the way for Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, etc, to become huge movie stars, and make lots of money for MGM, Paramount, Columbia, 20th Century Fox, Warner & Universal. Disney came along a few years later, and that’s been it for the American major studios. Until the internet changed everything.

Movies are primarily the creations of scriptwriters & directors. It’s a fact, you need both to have a chance at making a good movie. Most movies, in any era, aren’t good. That’s because it’s hard to make good movies, and even bad movies are something of an achievement, as it’s hard to make any kind of movie. Just sit through the credits of any modern movie, which usually run at least 5 minutes now, and you’ll get an idea of all the work involved in a production.

Knowing what a good movie is (in any era) is important because, 1) it makes watching good movies more enjoyable, and 2) it saves you time from watching too many bad movies. Therefore it is important to be able to distinguish between the good, the mediocre & the bad. We’ve all seen bad movies, so it’s really a question of how we react to them.

Those who tolerate bad movies are difficult to relate to, from the perspective of someone who knows movies. There are still a lot a good movies that I haven’t seen, and the best way for me to find them is to avoid getting derailed by watching too many bad movies. My attitude at this point is that I don’t have time for bad movies (or anything else bad), and I think that’s a healthy mantra at any age.

Since the directors are primarily responsible for a film’s quality, find the best directors from every era & genre. The best pre-WWII talkie directors included Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, John Huston, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, etc. Post-war, look to Japan, Europe, India & Latin America, which more-than-competes with Hollywood’s output. Never fear subtitles, as some of the best movies ever made are subtitled in English.

For actresses, look for the women who have dynamic range & command attention, those are the best. The best leading women must be able to seduce any man, at any time, for any reason. Or, they smoke them out as gay. Joan Crawford, Faye Dunaway & Robin Wright are my all-time top silver-screen divas across the eras. They can play the good girls, or the villains, with equal ease. And they own men. That sizzles every time, and that’s why we watch. Others I always enjoy include Hedy Lamarr, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Raquel Welch, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Sigourney Weaver, etc.

Best actors is a different standard for me, because I’m not sexually attracted to men, so looks don’t matter so much. Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Sean Connery, Peter Sellers, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis (also directed), Eddie Murphy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rick Moranis, Steve Martin, Charles Grodin, Damon Wayans, Kevin Spacey, Johnny Depp, etc. As you can see, I’m looking more for talented dramatic actors, humor, with a dab of action hero.

I believe at this point there are so many talented actors & actresses, that works of art in film could be routinely achieved. The problem today is with screen writing & director vision, along with studio interests. Art is being cancelled by the MeToo, BLM & neo-Nazi campaigns, which are being directed on both sides of the aisle. That’s why independent film making is now exploding, as people are tired of fake movies (Hollywood & NYC), just like they are sick of fake news on Fox, NBC & the New York Times.

New Hollywood was roughly 1965-75 and defined by filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Peter Bogdonavich, Francis Ford Coppola, etc. They were deeply influenced by film artists Orson Welles, Jean Luc Goddard, Luis Bunuel, etc.

Steven Spielberg ‘s Jaws (1975) ushered in the blockbuster era, and George Lucas’ Star Wars (1977) consolidated it as the industry model. The mega-smash hit movie is now what every major studio is trying to produce– every summer & Christmas season. James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) pushed the film industry into the realm of CGI, and that’s what all of Disney’s Star Wars movies are today. Pixar evolved from all this.

Hollywood productions are increasingly unwatchable, with superhero & sci-fi propaganda films dominating the blockbuster realm. Virtue signaling SJW messaging is now endemic, and apparently required, in all Hollywood productions. Identity politics has much to answer for, historically, including degrading the film industry.

I Googled “Best Hollywood Directors Today” and these are the names that came up: Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg, Richard Linklater, Alfonso Cuarón, Martin Scorsese, Denis Villeneuve, David Fincher. To be honest, most of these names don’t excite me anymore, if they ever did. There are some good films made by these directors, but too much garbage & outright propaganda. And these are the so-called best.

As an artist & film fan, I know we deserve better. But this will only happen when the audience realizes en masse that a better reality is possible. Viewers must be more critical of what they are watching, and this is only possible by taking a film study approach. The history of movies is a massive field. It’s global, and always has been. For example, much of the best silent-era film making was Germany’s Wiemar cinema (1918-1932). All this has influenced what you see today, and to know this history makes subjective critical judgments of movies much more meaningful & correct.

You need to cover all the genres (short of pornography), to be a legitimate movie buff. Andy Warhol’s films & Midnight Cowboy (1969) are fair starting lines to debate modern pornography. For me, horror is one of my least favorite genres, yet I know & acknowledge the classics such as The Shining (1980), Psycho (1960), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), etc. I would categorize Silence of the Lambs (1991) as a horror movie, because it tries to scare you, and does. This just proves genres are mutable & fluid, as film history evolves. Notice there is no black film history, white film history, women’s film history, or gay film history for intelligent movie viewers, just film history.

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