Sunday, June 26, 2016
First of all. Happy %$%# Birthday to Max's Mom. Without her, there's no Max and some would argue, no me.
Second of all, I dont think I can actually write my feelings on the child, gay, innocent people at a Christmas party, student, movie goer, and anybody else murder advocates in our Congress. I feel myself grinding my teeth already so I'll let it go with this. Those motherfuckers deserve a fiery after life which of course there is none so they deserve to be voted out, recalled, thrown off a boat, whatever to get rid of their soulless asses. Pfew! Breathe, Max's Dad, breathe.......E mail or write to every one of these worthless pieces of donkey shit. I have and You have no idea how difficult it was to not type the words "fuck" and "you".
Ok now, to something I actually love. Music.
To see two legends in a period of 72 hours at a hot and humid outdoor venue I have grown to love, The Pinewood Bowl in Lincoln, is beyond the dreams of a Midwestern kid who has the musical talent of a crazed chimp.
Bob Dylan and his band came to town on Wednesday evening in front of a gaggle of broken down old geezers like me. Now if you've never seen Bob Dylan and I cant imagine how anybody has missed the guy since his tour is named the Never Ending Tour, you may expect the old guy to sit on a stool and belt out Like a Rolling Stone, or Knockin on Heaven's Door, or Shelter From The Sky, or Tangled up in Blue, well actually he DID do that one, I think, but it aint happenin. Bob Dylan does whatever the fuck he wants and once you see it, you know whether you ever want to see him again. I've seen him 6 times now and nothing has been the same, ever. He's kind of into Sinatra now so expect 4 or 5 Sinatra covers, an Irving Berlin cover or two and whole lotta stuff you never ever heard before. And you like it, cuz he's Dylan, or you don't and you tell everyone how much he sucks cuz he didn't play The Times They Are A Changin.
Bob Dylan has been defying you for over 50 years now. It's who he is. You want this? He's bored with it. So he plays a song about a train off his latest album you won't give a chance to. I admit the first time I saw him, no the first time I saw him I loved it cuz he was into a boogie woogie style of music and had the Kings of Leon opening for him before they were Kings of anything and they were great. So was Bob. Ok, I admit the second time I saw him, no wait, I loved that too cuz he was into a country swing type of music and had Elvis Costello open for him. The third time I saw him, no wait....there was The Pretenders and that blues stuff. Then well ok the 5th time I saw him was with Max. And Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame opened for him and thought he was on some sort of Dylan type pedestal and refused to play any Dire Straits songs except that funeral dirge I actually like, Brothers in Arms. And the Dylan came out and boogie woogied again and played a couple of songs that nobody recognized until halfway through, anyway, my point is this. Expect a Greatest Hits tour, you are not getting it from perhaps the greatest musical genius of the rock n roll era. So if you don't want to hear a bunch of stuff you have no loyalty to from Bob, do not go. Let those of us who appreciate our belief that the man can do no wrong drink it up. And hell, he had a legend open for him this time too. Mavis Staples can bring it, y'all. She is freakin awesome. Old, white people giving witness to a gospel concert is proof positive of her power.
Now to last night where one Ringo Starr brought a band of "All Starrs" to the Pinewood Bowl. Unlike Dylan, who I admit listening to is a bit like work, Ringo just brings fun. Peace and Love.'
Ringo brought along the same band I saw last year in Omaha that included Greg Rolie of Santana, Steve Lukather of Toto, Todd Rundgren, Richard Page of Mister Mister, Warren Ham of Toto, and a drummer extraordinaire, Gregg Bissonette who showed what a real drummer can do. Wow, this dude, who once played with Spinal Tap for godsakes, was the best.
Now this, my friends, is a Greatest Hits Tour, and you will be smiling and swaying and woo hooing like crazy cuz dammit, this band has so much talent its almost overwhelming.
Ringo starts with his solo stuff, including a very sax oriented It Dont Come Easy and then its time for the band members to shine.
Greg Rolie is so good singing the Santana stuff it makes you wish it did start pouring rain and you can imagine it's Woodstock and 1969 again. This guy hasn't changed a bit. He hits the notes, the band jams, oh my it was wonderful to listen to.
Steve Lukather plays the Toto hits he's probably sick of and Warren Ham hits the high notes in Africa, Hold The Line and Rosanna. Again, Lukather is such a great guitar player and affable dude onstage that it just makes those tunes you thought you were sick of come back to life. Damn, that guy can play and Ham can play that sax so well it just adds to the fun.
Todd Rundgren and Richard Page sing their hits and even though I'm not that much of fan of either, hey they won me over. Who doesn't want to bang on the drum all day?
It all ends with Ringo center stage as it should singing With A Little Help From My Friends and then you leave. Of course you do because you have now seen it all.
I love this show. It's like 5 concerts in one.
So there ya have it.
Dylan is a bit of a chore. Great band. Great opening act. Its Bob Dylan doing what he wants and not giving a rip what you want. You either appreciate it or you don't. He did talk to the crowd just once and said what I believe was "tunkou the ban take a brut now see ya licker" and then he left the stage for like 20 minutes. A lot of the crowd took a break too. Right to their cars. Oh well.
Ringo is just plain fun. I am usually against this fun thing. It's just my inner Bob Dylan. But to see this old Beatle seem to be having fun makes me happy. Happy that two of them are still here and kicking ass.
Both nights made me stress free for hours. Trust me, thats good.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
Let put this whole thing in perspective shall we? I mean there's plenty of blame to go around, right? Nobody is all bad or all good.ok? Oh yeah EXCEPT HERE!!!! Brock Turner is an entitled little prick who thinks raping some passed out girl in an alley behind a dumpster is his fucking right. He's a swimmer, a Stanford man, a fraternity stud, and all else is beneath him. Open your legs drunken wench for Brock is about to enter.
The victim , an "Emily Doe", which I suspect is not her real name, wrote a long letter to the court explaining in powerful words what she suffered through that night in 2015 when Swimmer Boy decided he had the right to do whatever the fuck he wanted in an alley behind a dumpster to a vulnerable woman. The part of the letter that gets to me is twofold. One, the questions asked of this victim by attorneys for the entitled rapist. What the fuck does the color of a cardigan, where she urinated,what she did years before, in fact fucking anything have to do with any of this? I am not ignorant enough to believe this doesnt happen to every single rape victim who goes to trial, it just STILL after all this time, after all this alleged progress, infuriates me to no end. I know young boys, I was one. The sex starved nature of young men encouraged by bullshit commercials, bragging by their lying friends, and easy access to porn is a powerful tool to make guys like this Swimmer Boy feel that raping somebody out back behind a dumpster is somehow justified. She aint real. She aint a real person like me. She'll get over it. I mean come on what? Whats the big deal here? Fuck off Brock.
Brock Turner stood in front of a court chomping on gum like the cocky prick he is. I'm rich, I'm an athlete, I'm a frat boy, she oughta be glad I had anything to do with her. Meanwhile his asshole father, just as entitled as his chip off the old block rapist son, wrote one f the most tone deaf letters to the court I may have ever read. The letter, a plea for mercy, I guess, begged the judge, another Stanford man, to not let "20 minutes of action" define poor lil Brock's 20 years of life. First of all, stop bragging about Brock's prowess you 50 something year old child. Second of all, fuck you Mister Turner. I understand this little creep you call son came from your loins and his faults, no his deviance , comes straight from you but really, stop trying to help your sex offender son. All your money and influence and the fact the judge is another Stanford man will have no influence on any of, heyyyyyyyyy wait. What the fuck?
Brock Turner, an alleged human person who placed an unconscious woman in an alley behind a dumpster, pulled down her pants, spread her legs and raped her until being caught red handed by a couple of heroes on bicycles, got 6 months, or 4 months in county for this. Not only did he not just celebrate his fortune, he decided to write his own letter to the court blaiming the demon rum for his actions, whining how he wished he had ever become a swimmer so the mean old press would stop writing about the fact he is a rapist sex offender. He cried about all the peer pressure put on him to nail chicks, how he made bad decisions, and how poor Brock never meant to "hurt" anybody. Yeah why couldn't that broad have been grateful? The rapist wrote how much HE had lost. His Olympic opportunity, his jobs, his Stanford degree all out the window. Poor me, my life is not going to be as cushy as I thought. Jesus Christ, this narcissistic rapist sounds a lot like a certain reality show host running for President. Its all about HIM, folks. Makes me want to puke.
I have a prejudice against fraternities I admit. The members seemed back in the 1970's when I had to deal with them complete jack offs, mostly from smaller towns and structured private schools eager to be told what to do. That's why us GDI's basked in our independence. We didnt need files of tests, cherries stuck up our asses, excessive drinking, hazing assholes batterig us with boards , and most of all rape. I know it happens. I saw it happen. I helped stop one once. And though I know I helped stop it for maybe a minute or two, until it resumed, it made me sick. Whenever I see frat boy President in his suit and tie, reading some prepared speech at some sort of charity event where other frat boys paint a poor person's house, or gather food for the homeless, I know that the night before, those same goofs were drunk, chasing tail and acting like complete barbarians. I also know not one gives a flying fuck about the poor, in fact, hate the poor, thinks they are lazy, and losers. And 75% of them will vote Trump. So my prejudice is out there. I admit it.
Back to Brock Turner, sex offender and rapist. Back to Stanford University, rape defenders and enablers. There's a rape, a reported rape anyway, on that campus every two weeks. Until Swim Boy got caught behind a dumpster violating a woman strong enough to defend herself, nobody at Stanford gave a shit. The father of Brock Turner still doesnt give a shit. The Stanford grad judge, Aaron Persky, obviously doesn't give a shit. And most of all, other than his lost opportunities because he is a convicted rapist, Brock Turner doesnt give a shit. This victim is an inconvenience to all of them. She doesnt fucking matter. And that is 2016 America folks. A society of privileged pricks who think they can do whatever they want, whether it be economically, socially, or ya know, rapingly. I am sure Swimmer Boy has many female fans, as sad as that may be. We are sick. Beaten down, crying out to blame somebody for our misery. Immigrants, women, liberals, women, Muslims, women, minorities, women. Get some help, America, Shit, even the two heroes on bikes who stopped Brock Turner and held him for the police were not Americans, They were Swedes. Get better, America. Please.
Lastly, regarding the "20 minutes of action" statement by Turner's father. Had it been Judge Max's Dad sitting up there the perfect response should have been "Ok Dad, for every minute of action, your boy gets 1 year, bye bye fuckhead." To which Brock could have just said Gee thanks Dad, which he should have said in the first place. Thanks, Dad, for being such a shitty father.
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Damn, they keep dying. Though The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, has in effect been dead for a long time, when they actually go away I can't help but think about what they meant to me when I was young. I loved boxing as a kid. The history, the great fights, and Muhammad Ali.
I was pretty young when Cassius Marcellus Clay first burst upon the scene in 1964 by beating Sonny Liston (when the hell is a movie about that guy going to be made?) in what was considered to be a shocking upset but in reality was nothing of the kind. Then he got all goofy (my Dad said that) and became Muhammad X and eventually Muhammad Ali and hung around with Malcolm X and then Malcolm got killed and Ali was under guard before the second Liston fight.. Oh it was a mess, that I only remember because I have read about it.
Ali understood box office. And emulating Gorgeous George and the wrestlers of the 1950's made Ali a box office draw. He understood that being a heel to white people and a hero to black people would fill seats. Oh how they filled. Ali would rhyme and scream and insult his opponents with nicknames. Liston was "The Bear", Floyd Patterson was "The Rabbit", George Chuvalo was the "Washerwoman" and Joe Frazier was the "Gorilla". Ok yeah, he went too far at times but that was the nature of the man. He didn't mean any of it. You could tell. Because no other boxer, other than Joe Frazier, actually hated the man.
Ali was stripped of his title in 1967 because the United States Government decided drafting him into the Army was a good idea and Ali said nope, I aint going. No Viet Cong ever called me a n*****. I aint got nuthin against no Viet Cong. Why should I go 10,000 miles to drop bombs on brown people. These were radical quotes at the time. Well, radical if you were a white conservative who actually did have something against them Viet Cong though what that would be I have no idea (see Trump,Donald), Ali was convicted of draft evasion and sentenced to five years in prison and lost his living. 3 years of his peak form were lost to an illegal immoral war that Ali quite frankly told the United States Government to shove up their ass. Too bad more people didn't have that courage in 1967 and about 35,000 Americans and untold hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people would still be alive.
He came back in 1970 and for the next 8 years or so, a golden age of boxing occurred that will never happen again. Ali,Frazier.Foreman,Norton,Shavers, Lyle, Rocky Balboa. All of that happend because of Muhammad Ali. And now he's gone.
I am not going to go all yeah I was hip and loved Ali since I was 6 years old on anybody because that's not true. I didn't appreciate Ali when I was real young. I rooted for Joe Frazier in 1971 for chrissakes. I rooted for George Foreman in 1974. I loved those guys a punchers. They were the home run hitters and Ali was the .350 hitter who led off the game. Didn't get the social implications of Ali because I was a white middle class kid. I didn't dislike Ali, I just didn't get it. That is until 1975, and the Thrilla in Manila. They showed that fight in a movie theater in Lincoln,Nebraska on closed circuit TV. Hey kids, that meant you had to go there and pay money to watch a fight on a movie screen. Barbaric I know. The place was packed. Packed with every black student at the University of Nebraska and me. And they loved Ali. The cheered and screamed and hollered at Frazier like he was some sort of Uncle Ruckus. Wow, this guy means a lot to them. I remember "debating" a elevator full of black kids the night Ali had beat George Foreman. They dismissed my rooting interest in Foreman as a bad bet. I didn't disagree. How could this guy we know is cool be for Foreman? Well, yeah I made bad bet.
Ali meant everything to these fellow students. And after that night in 1975 in the greatest fight I have ever seen, he did to me. The white small town Nebraska kids I knew still rooted for Shavers and Norton and Lyle and Wepner and anybody else who lost to Ali because Ali was a draft dodger. Well fellas, theres a recruiting office right down there you can visit. And then came the inevitable. Ali got old. And Larry Holmes knocked him out. Then some guy named Trevor Berbik beat him. What the fuck is a Trevor Berbik?
Ali went on to become a sort of ambassador to the world. Even as he suffered the effects of Parkinson's Disease and deteriorated into a shell he was loved. The sight of this motor mouth being silent made me sad. Oh I'm sure the assholes of the world thought it all ironic and shit that this happened to him and were glad to see it because you'd never see a hero of theirs like Donald J Trump or Dick Cheney ever avoid "serving" their country.
So it's goodbye to The Greatest. He wasn't perfect by any means. But his image was. Float Like A Butterfly my man. And Sting Like Bee.
One last thing on Ali. My Dad, a very liberal Democrat, refused to call him anything other than "Cassius Clay". Now knowing my Dad, he may have just done that to get under my skin, but one day he referred to Ali as "Clay". So I said, "Dad, nobody calls him Clay anymore, except you and the American Legion". My Dad, a WW II veteran, thought guys in funny hats telling war stories was the most pathetic thing on earth. Dad never called him "Clay" again.