PRISM, NSA and the illusion of privacy

eavesdropping-danger-290x290The NSA “PRISM” outcry that is threatening to take over the Internet is pretty funny, considering the NSA exists for the sole purpose of listening to everything, and that is exactly what it has done for the past 60 years.

I guess no one cared in the past because it was only their telephone calls, telegrams, telexes and radio broadcasts being scanned. Now that it’s important shit like your Tweets, well, that’s not okay!


Hooray! It’s the mailman!

mailman1I’ve been considering running a month-long promotion to give away electronic versions of my books. I figure the typical person who would dig what I’m doing here might also be a book collector, so giving away the Kindle or iPad versions could spur some sales of the real things. You know, the ink on paper ones.

Offering the freebies is easy enough, but how to do it? I’m posting here, but since the blog has only recently been reanimated, readership is still pretty low. I could post on Google+, my favorite online doohickey (and I will), but what if I want to know more about the people who take me up on the offer (and be able to offer them stuff again, later)?


Hello Dave. I am HAL 9000, I will be your band tonight.

Queen

There was a purist school of thought in rock and roll in the 70s that said, no synthesizers! In fact, I think Queen even printed that on the back of their albums: No synthesizers!

But the fact is, musicians love new technology and are always looking for ways to change the sound their instruments make. There isn’t much difference between holding the rubber end of a toilet plunger over the end of your trumpet and sticking a whammy bar on your Stratocaster.


You are here

toybeatlesCarol and I saw a young girl the other day, gazing lovingly at some celebrity who had his arm around her, and it got us talking about how odd all of that is.

We’ve both hobnobbed with our share of celebrities, and while it is ridiculous and they are just people, it can still sometimes throw you off.


Meet the new blog, same as the old blog

Here we are, in a new – something.

For years I had a blog, then I got tired of writing in it and shut it down. Now look at me, I’m back. Most of the posts from the old blog are back too, like it or not.


Jackie is a punk rocker

I was reading an article this morning about the author who was tasked by Jackie and Robert Kennedy to write about John Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. It’s an interesting article, but the thing that got me was something that was unrelated to the book.

If you look at the famous photo of Lyndon Johnson being sworn in as president on board Air Force One, you can see little spots of JFK’s blood on Jackie’s pink Chanel suit. White house advisors wanted her to change into a clean white dress before the swearing in, but she said, “No. Let them see what they’ve done.”


Blow them the full watts tonight

It occurred to me this morning how to solve all the problems in the Middle East.

People are angry over there, as you know. They blow themselves up, hack body parts off each other, drive jet airliners into buildings and generally shuffle around in an angry, aimless cloud of perpetual dust and confusion. They are surly, mean and fearless, and you don’t want to cross them on a good day, let alone when they haven’t had whatever narcotic they favor in a few days. It’s a brutal scene, and I think I know why.


Much to the relief of adolescent boys everywhere…

Michael Jackson has dropped dead.

I did learn something from Jackson – no, not how to moonwalk – but rather this very important lesson: if you call yourself something, everyone will eventually quote it as fact. In Jackson’s case, it was the laughable and grandiose “King of Pop” title. One day his management started telling journalists to refer to him that way, and they did. Now in news stories of his death you read things like, “Known as the King of Pop…”


I got better things on the other side of town

Sony Music, Warner, EMI, Columbia Pictures, et al continue their assault on the Pirate Bay in particular and file sharing in general with a short-sightedness that is awe inspiring. They are obviously confused and frightened, clinging to their 20th century model of thievery and exploitation while the world shifts beneath their feet. I know they can’t see the changes because they are too busy looking to the sky for the falling pennies, but you would think that they could feel it.


Complacency is not an option

makebuydie

“Yeah, I know we’re supposed to be…I know the human race is supposed to get down on its knees in front of all this new technology and kiss the microchip’s circuits. It don’t impress me all that much.

When there ain’t nothing but “You make! You buy! You die!” That’s the motto of America! You get born to buy it!


Who colt the game?

I love the music of Bob Marley and The Wailers. A lot of people do. But the reggae music of the mid to late 1970s actually changed my life, as it knocked me off the musical axis I was spinning on and shot me into an entirely new direction (and 2000 miles across the country). But yes, it would seem that everyone loves Bob Marley. Soul rebel, natural mystic.

Lately I have been listening to The Wailers music from a period that I had previously neglected, the late 1960s/early 1970s – pre-Island Records. There are literally hundreds of tracks recorded during this period, and many songs that became well known later in The Wailers career were first recorded during this time.


Speak now or forever hold your peace

I got sick at the beginning of the year and a nasty infection decided to set up a permanent home in my chest. It is improving somewhat now, but only after two rounds of Azithromycin.

I don’t usually take antibiotics, and I sure as hell don’t go to the doctor for a cold, but this has been something else entirely. I think it comes from outer space. So I was open to taking whatever any doctor wanted to shove in front of me


Life is just a bowl of chickpeas

A new Fresh & Easy market recently opened a few blocks from the house. That is unexciting news unless you’re old and weird, as I appear to be. So it was great news to me, especially since the other nearby markets are in crowded areas at least a mile away, and feature everyday high (and seemingly higher by the week) prices.

goodlife236x162But as fun and interesting as it is to talk about grocery shopping, it isn’t really why I’m here today. I am here to show you my naan label.


Well, I’ll be damned

Did the fresh new President Obama just include “nonbelievers” in his list of religious beliefs that made up America? I was listening to his inaugural address in the car, and I’m not sure I heard that right. That has to be a first.

Let’s ask Google.


I took a ride with the pretty music

StoogesI wasn’t going to write anything about the death of Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton, because it seems like a million articles have popped up on line since his death, written by the millions of people who loved him and loved the Stooges. Maybe the internet made the Stooges famous, because 30 years ago you couldn’t give a Stooges record away (they made their first record 40 years ago, in 1969).

But I digress. I have been thinking a lot about Asheton in the past couple of weeks because I’ve been listening to the ridiculous, excessive, riveting and at times downright spine-tingling seven disc box set of The Complete 1970 Funhouse Sessions.