Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why I love the Republican Right

I am not going to lie to you. I, quite frankly, love the Republican Right. Its true.
Oh yes. Every time I see Sean Hannity, with his square jaw, his manly bravado, and his masculine display of strength and pride when he shouts down those weak, weak liberals...I just faint (and not only me-go ask Alan Colmes. He'll back me up on this one). And what about big Rush Limbaugh? Oh, don't even get me started. "I hope Obama fails", his glorious, jesus-blessed voice proclaimed over the radio only a few months ago. To this I say yes: thank the blessed lord Jesus that someone has the nerve to stand up for the ordinary man, for the little guy, for the man on the street, and tell it like it is. Yes, tell that socialist/communist/nazi liberal of a president where to go. To him and his universal healthcare, Rush sends a big "fuck you". Thats right, Rush. Stick it to the man.

The Republican right hates universal healthcare. Of course, and so they should. I mean, seriously, haven't the left learned the lessons of Reagan? Big government is EVIL. Big government wants to rule your life. And didn't you hear Sarah Palin? Big government wants to KILL YOUR CHILDREN. Thats right. Just ask Sarah Palin. She'll tell you. Good old Sarah.

But seriously, what is it with these liberals? Why do they want to provide healthcare to those that can't afford it? Because, obviously, people who can't afford healthcare are lazy. Everyone knows this. There are 46 million Americans without health insurance right now, say the left. Well, maybe those 46 million Americans shouldn't be so goddamn lazy! Maybe, instead of sitting around smoking pot and playing nintendo all day, they should go out and get jobs like the rest of us! Wait, most of them do have jobs? Well...maybe they should get real jobs! Real jobs, like Sean Hannity. mmm...Sean Hannity.

Besides, everyone knows the basic principle that free market competiton lowers prices. You know-the more companies, the more they have to appeal to buyers, so the more they lower prices to appeal to customers. It makes perfect sense-but those liberals don't know this, somehow. I mean, look at Ronald "movie hero" Reagan; "government is the problem", he famously said, and so he showed. None of that socialist bullshit for Ron; by cutting government services during his (glorious, glorious) presidency, by the end of the 1980s, everyone (even the common man) was sorting cocaine by the truckload! See? Success! Ok, so maybe by the time he finished the country was 2.7 trillion dollars in debt...but thats ok, because the next president, with all his conservative wisdom, bailed us out! Umm...ok, maybe George H.W Bush DIDN'T solve the problem, actually. But thats fine, because the next president certainly did! He even gained us the biggest surplus in American history! So who was this glorious , glorious free-market conservative? Oh...Bill Clinton.
Moving along...

Well, yes. As we all know, Clinton was a traitor and a liar; lying about having sex with an oval office intern? Straight to hell! Seriously, thank god the Republican Right has its priorities straight. How can America tolerate having a president who cheats on his wife, for christ' sake? IMPEACHMENT, they cried. And not only that, Clinton LIED to the American public about going to war! Thats right, he told everyone about those "WMD's" that Saddam was about to destroy the world with, remember? Total bullshit! Thank god the Republican Right tried to impeach THAT GUY. Oh wait, hang on. So that was George W Bush...but that was different. Oh yes, thats right; that was in the name of FREEDOM. So that doesn't count. But sex in the oval office? Unfit for presidency. For sure.

So yes, this is why I love the republican right. Maybe they have double standards. Maybe they lie all the time. Maybe they just make shit up. But you know what? This is what LIBERALS do! Thats right. Goddamn liberals. America haters. THEY'RE the ones who would make you believe this. Can't trust them. Just ask Sean Hannity.

mmm....Sean Hannity...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Knocked out loaded: the private life of Bob Dylan

"A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma"-although these words were used to describe Russia in 1939, they could just as well be used to describe the private life of Bob Dylan. Ever evasive, Dylan has been notoriously unwilling to divulge anything about his private life; reporters are apparently warned not to question him about it in interviews, and those that are brave enough are uniformly met by his famous "1000 yard stare". The private life of Bob Dylan is just that: completely, totally and utterly private.

However, once every so often tales slip through the net, stories that capture Dylan at his most unguarded and natural. And they always seem to paint him as...well, completely normal, actually.

1971 was a particularly reclusive year for Dylan, although not, in terms of exposure, totally a private one. This can be put down to deranged "Dylanologist" A.J Weberman, famous as the man who rummaged around Dylan's rubbish outside his New York apartment, subsequently coming up with many strange theories; among other things, Weberman somehow became convinced that Dylan had become a serious heroin junkie (many years later, he came to exactly the same conclusion with Jakob Dylan as well). In January 1971, Dylan and Weberman had a series of phone exchanges relating to the publishing of an article by Weberman about Dylan; Weberman recorded the conversations, and they were released that year on a Folkways L.P called "The Ballad of A.J Weberman". Now part of Dylan folklore, the hilarious dialogue between the two occasionally clears to reveal some insights about Bob Dylan, the family man.

Among the many gems is the classic about Bob Dylan, home carpenter:

Dylan: (On putting off a meeting with Weberman) "I'm working man, I'm building some shit you know, and I really gotta get it built. Just, ah, some tables and some shelves and some stuff and I gotta get it done man, I put it way off"

Or this one about Bob Dylan, protector of children and, just maybe, abused husband:

"Leave my kids out of it...I don't want to say it, my wife will fuckin' hit me, man"

And, although not strictly relevant, it would be a crime to leave out this hilarious exchange about music critic Greil Marcus:

Weberman: "Those music critics, they're all full of shit man..."

Dylan: "Greil Marcus is or isn't, did you say?"

Weberman: "He's full of shit"

Dylan: "Yeah, I think so too"

The original L.P was pulled soon after it was released, unsurprisingly, due to legal threats from Dylan. However, the tapes still managed to float around, no doubt to the frustration and consternation for poor Bob.

In the more recent past, the stories about Bob Dylan and his private life have been slipping out more steadily, lending creedence to the contemporary view of Bob Dylan: eccentric. In 2007, a report surfaced about Dylan travelling to his grandson's kindergarten (Jakob-heroin addict's-son) to play music to his pre-school class. Apparently the children did not appreciate having a musical legend in their midst: "The kids have been coming home and telling their parents about the wierd man who keeps coming to class to sing scary songs on his guitar", said a source quoted in the New York Post. "Hes been visiting the school just for fun, but the kids don't appreciate they are in the prescence of a musical legend. They just think of him as the wierd guitar guy". The story telling ended in short order when, after hearing about the "wierd man" from their kids, parents began turning up and discovering, to their amazement, that this stranger was actually Bob Dylan. Poor Bob.

And of course, this leads to the latest, and quite possibly funniest, story of the bunch: Bob Dylan gets arrested. Well, not quite, but almost.

It all happened on July 23rd, whilst in New Jersey for a tour date with John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson. Apparently before the show, Dylan decided to take a walk by himself around the streets of N.J in the pouring rain; after all, Dylan did once say "some people feel the rain, others just get wet".

An alarm was raised by frightened homeowners who came across poor Bob staring in through their window-their house was for sale, and Dylan later noted that he was thinking about buying it. However, the owners called the police, reporting that an "eccentric looking old man" was on their property; after some residents followed him for several blocks, the police pulled over to question him. Agreeing to take him to to his hotel (although still refusing to believe that it was actually Bob Dylan), they "humoured" him, although they noted that he was very polite and pleasant about the ordeal. Despite their doubts ("that's not Bob Dylan", a police sergeant was quoted as saying), it turned out that, in fact, it WAS Bob Dylan. Red faces abounded and, in the event, noone knows whether he was taken back to the house by the police like he had asked. Presumably not, it would be fair to say.

Poor Bob Dylan. Although stiving to be anonymous, his fame often precedes him, with often hilarious results. Who knows what his next 'uncovering' will be; all I know is that I'm looking forward to it. Thats for sure.