Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Jam

A couple posts back I made a reference to a song called Smithers-Jones, by The Jam. I had mistakenly credited the song to Paul Weller but it was Bruce Foxton. The lyrics are great on their own but the whole song with the sort of Flight of the Bumblebee cellos sawing away frantically... Good stuff.


Here we go again, it's Monday at last,
He's heading for the Waterloo line,
To catch the 8 a.m. fast, its usually dead on time,
Hope it isn't late, got to be there by nine.
Pin stripe suit, clean shirt and tie,
Stops off at the corner shop, to buy The Times
'Good Morning Smithers-Jones'
'How's the wife and home?'
'Did you get the car you've been looking for?'

Let me get inside you, let me take control of you,
We could have some good times,
All this worry will get you down,
I'll give you a new meaning to life - I don't think so.

Sitting on the train, you're nearly there
You're part of the production line,
You're the same as him, you're like tin-sardines,
Get out of the pack, before they peel you back.

Arrive at the office, spot on time,
The clock on the wall hasn't yet struck nine,
'Good Morning Smithers Jones'
'The boss wants to see you alone'
'I hope its the promotion you've been looking for'

Let me get inside you, let me take control of you,
We could have some good times,
All this worry will get you down,
I'll give you a new meaning to life - I don't think so.

'Come in Smithers old boy'
'Take a seat, take the weight off your feet'
'I've some news to tell you'
'There's no longer a position for you' -
'Sorry Smithers Jones'.

Put on the kettle and make some tea
It's all a part of feeling groovie
Put on your slippers turn on the TV
It's all a part of feeling groovie
It's time to relax, now you've worked your arse off
But the only one smilin' is the sun tanned boss
Work and work and work and work till you die
There's plenty more fish in the sea to fry

Here's a fashion trend that I'd happily see stay in Seattle. I won't disabuse them of the notion that they invented coffee if they hang onto it and continue to wear proper trousers when they visit NYC.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Words to Live By

I find this song by PAUL WELLER very uplifting. It's called Brand New Start, and it's been a good song to start the day by etc.

I'm gonna clear out my head
I'm gonna get myself straight
I know it's never too late
To make a brand new start

I'm gonna kick down the door
I'm gonna get myself in
I'm gonna fix up the yard
And not fall back again

I'm gonna CLEAN up my earth
And build a heaven ON the ground
Not something distant or unfound
But something real to me
But something real to me

All that I can I can be
All that I am I CAN see
All that is mine is in my hands
So to myself I call

There's somewhere else I should be
There's someone else I CAN see
There's something more I can find

I'm gonna clean up my earth
And build a heaven ON the ground
Not something distant on a cloud
But something real to me
But something real to me

I'm gonna clear out my head
I'm gonna get myself straight
I KNOW it's never too late
To make a brand new start

To be perfectly honest...

Not exactly. That really depends on what you mean by wasted time. I don't happen to think that blogging, reading, PMing, e-mailing friends and making personal calls is a waste of my time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Most Annoying Co-worker???

According to THIS ARTICLE/SURVEY the "loud talker" beats out "smelly lunch" for most annoying co-worker.

I would have voted for the OFFICE SPY OR SNITCH but that didn't even get mentioned. I do have experience with the loud talker though. A young lady I sat across from years ago spent a good part of her day regaling her friends with tales of her weekend conquests in the Hamptons. One might think such things could be titillating, and admittedly it was interesting to learn that her uber-macho boyfriend refused to "head south." I didn't think such timid creatures existed in modern times, having come (no pun intended) to extinction at some point in the 50s. Less interesting were tales of her "extraordinarily heavy flow," gyno exams, conversations about how her mother was ruining her life, and... the real winner... the case of the missing condom. So yes, the loud talker is annoying, but I still vote for the Snitch.

Mercury!!!! This might explain some things!

I've been awfully forgetful lately. The answer may lie HERE though! Now, the fellow above isn't exactly the literary character I'd have modeled myself after, but we don't always choose our roles in life.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Siren Fest 2007 Recap

A picture speaks 1000 words, so there are a few pictures. It was a great day.

A Bit of Dry Humor?

I remember my outrage the first time I heard one of my sacred rock songs in television commercial--though I don't remember now what song it was or what it was used to pimp. The reason I don't remember, I think, is because when push comes to shove, it didn't change my life, nor change the song, nor change my connection to the song.

So now Beatles fans are upset about the use of ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE in a DIAPER COMMERCIAL. Are they wrong? Probably not. It does sting a bit to have something that means something to you used in a way that you believe cheapens it. Does it really make all that much difference? I don't think so. It's not the first time that Beatles fans have "suffered" such indignities in the advertising world.

It may even help. I feel, at least where it applies to my own life, that one's SACRED COWS should be laid bare and examined and often, tossed away. The ones that you hold onto for whatever reason can often become more precious (for better or for worse) when they are subjected to the scrutiny and criticism and abuse of outsiders. And when it comes right down to it--these icons we hold before us as the indelible emblems of our selves and our generation--they are just pop songs and usually our lives would be more or less the same if they had never existed. Sad but true.

And then again there is my personal relationship with the Beatles and Beatles fanatics--I admit guilt here--I chuckled a bit when I read this story. I think it would be really, really, really funny, if When I'm 64 was used in an advertising campaign for DEPENDS.

Ooooh! Ouch! Sorry... soooooo... crass commercialization. It's all around us. It's definitely a problem, a cultural illness even. Depravity for sure. But where do we start to fight back? With a pop song? I don't think so. I say just laugh at it. Laugh at yourself for getting mad about it. And put your money back in your pocket if you're that offended.

Friday, July 20, 2007

It's about time!!!

It really is about time they tried to figure out exactly what CRAWLED UP THIS MAN'S ASS!!!!


And before Rufus and Martha there was LOUDON and he wrote a cool song and these were the lyrics:

Hard Day On The Planet

The dollar went down and the President said
Whos in charge, now? I dont know, take your pick.
A new disease every day and the old ones are coming back
Things are looking kind of gray, like theyre going to black

Dont turn on the TV, dont show me the paper
(I) dont want to know he got kidnapped or why they all raped her
I want to go on vacation till the pressure lets up
But they keep hijacking airplanes and blowing them up


Its been a hard day on the planet
How much is it all worth?
Its getting harder to understand it
Things are tough all over on earth.

Its hot in December and cold in July
When it rains it pours out of a poisonous sky
In California the body counts keep getting higher
Its evil out there, man that state is always on fire.

Everyone has a system, but they cant seem to win
Even Bob Geldorf looks alarmingly thin
I got to get on that shuttle get me out of this place
But theres gonna be warfare up there in outer space


Ive got clothes on my back and shoes on my feet
A roof over my head and something to eat
My kids are all healthy and my folks are alive
You know, its amazing but sometimes I think Ill survive

Ive got all of my fingers and all of my toes
Im pretty well off I guess, I suppose
So how come I feel bad so much of the time?
A man aint an island John Donne wasnt lying


Its business as usual; some things never change
Its unfair, its tough, unkind and its strange
We dont seem to learn; we cant seem to stop
Maybe some explosions would close up the shop

You know, maybe that would be fine: we would be off the hook
We resolved all our problems, never mind what it took
And it all would be over, finito, the end
Until the survivers started up all over again


Siren Festival 2007

I'm looking forward to SIREN FEST 2007 this year if for no other reason than to hear David Johansen scream TRASH one more time before Coney Island as we know and love it is stolen away from us, torn down and turned into yet another NYC PLAYGROUND FOR THE RICH.

The Village Voice Siren Festival, now in it's 7th year, is one of the best free live music functions in the city. Criticize what you will, poor sound, too many hipsters, too hot, too commercial... whatever. It's free and there is no better place for a rock concert than Coney Island. The lineup is always stellar, the crowds, though large, are always cool... but it's really all about location, location, location.

And seriously, the New York Dolls at Coney Island??? Could there be a better combination??? I've seen them four times in the last two years and was never less than thrilled. Put aside your cynicism and stupid hipster cliches about dinosaur bands and nostalgia trips... if they don't blow your mind, it's not them. It's YOU. You're a dick.

A word of caution... nightclubbers, terminally cool people who always wear black, people who don't see the sun enough... white people. Wear sunblock and a hat. Cover up, and not in black. It's a long day in the sun.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Asbestos in dust, but not air"

I'm not a shrill alarmist. I also realize that it generally takes prolonged exposure to asbestos to cause health problems.

BUT, I find it more than a little offensive that city officials are telling us that THE AIR IS SAFE because the asbestos was only found in the dust that settled. And of course dust always remains settled.

The rep from the Office of Emergency Management told people last night that exposure was uncertain because they weren't sure there was asbestos.

Bells and whistles--BLATANT LIE--The city and Con Edison know which steam mains in NYC are still covered in asbestos. They knew immediately that there was contamination. The degree of danger is ONLY in how long it remains airborn, the amount of particles, and the length of exposure. The presence of the material was never in question.

So now there is the dust to contend with, not just the dust that settled outside but that which ended up in vents and air conditioning in the surrounding buildings. That dust is now airborn in those buildings.. DUH...

Some days it pays not to look at the news. Next post will be something cheerful.



Weird sometimes to think that the place you live is COMING APART AT THE SEAMS. Damn shame to be right there at a spot where it bursts too.

So, big steam pipe explosion--I still remember a similar blast near Gramercy Park back in the 80s. The entire neighborhood was covered in asbestos. Lots of people evacuated for the clean-up and never came back. The neighborhood was never the same.

They're still checking the air around yesterday's blast. It seems unlikely that there wasn't asbestos, among other toxins. We're told that the amount of water and steam would have seriously reduced the threat, but that's rather dodgy also. Can anybody say CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN. I'm not playing the shrill alarmist here, but after the lies post 9-11, who is going to believe anything?

But despite it all, it's back to work today. It is what it is. There are still many worse places to conduct one's day to day stuff.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Does Size Matter?

If size matters, why are the small ones so popular?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

To Suck or Not To Suck


It's long been a mystery to me how some perfectly decent and some fantastic albums end up on critical SHITLISTS. (Don't Google "Shitlist" by the way or you could end up with SHIT LIKE THIS THAT IS REALLY STUPID) Half the time I can't even tell why writers like something so it's often really difficult to figure why some stuff gets the critical KISS OF DEATH. Sometimes you just want to call the paper and say, HEY ROBERT CHRISTGAU, what's up with you dude? I mean, you like OBSCURE BALKAN CHORAL MUSIC but you have the nerve to pan anything else??? WTF???

So the article above (click the first group of words in a different color, ya dolt!) is kind of interesting--a discourse on reconsidering music that has been written off by critics and fans as either bad, or a particular artist's weakest performance. I have to agree with the author's top pick. The blog entries below are great. I love Sandinista. Welcome to the Pleasuredome by Frankie Goes To Hollywood ROCKED! I've got shelf after shelf of albums that would be considered of questionable quality and taste by a lot of critics... for example, the first album by BUCKCHERRY. It's so trashy it borders on ludicrous. It's also great rock and roll.

I do continue to read a lot of reviews, more out of fascination than anything else. I'm no longer familiar with most of the writers so there's nobody I can count on to steer me right, or wrong... Sometimes the first album I try to hear a cut from though will be the one that received the worst reviews. I'm sure everybody has one pet album though that most people hate.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I was sitting in the Fortress of Solitude just now, watching Nightmare Before Christmas on the tube, when the police motorcade came up the Prospect Expressway, the accompanying helicopter so low I could see the landing gear from the front window. They were coming from Kings County Hospital where Police Officer Russel Timoshenko died this evening. He was shot last week during a routine traffic stop in Brooklyn. He was 23 years old.

There are moments when you have to just put things aside--in this case my rather strained "relationship" with police and government etc. My personal politics... push comes to shove... he was just 23. He's just a kid and there's no way you can look at this that it makes sense. It's just not fair.

And when you're an older bastard like me, you can't help but think about where you were when you were 23, and what you thought about the world right or wrong, and what you thought you'd be doing with your life. Doesn't even matter how close to the truth you were at 23. You're allowed to be totally off when you're that age. You can be forgiven any possible "wrong-mindedness." You're all ideals and ideas at that age and most of the time if you screw up you do so out of ignorance and it's rarely intentional. You're still kind of innocent and dumb, even if you're thrown into this weird adult world where things can happen. You can find yourself in over your head and it's usually okay if you don't get shot and killed by another kid...

Bastille Day redux

Hmmmmm.... I wonder if the NYPD shares my sense of humor.

Mon Dieu!!!

And today we celebrate BASTILLE DAY, unless of course you are a backwards REDNECK and still suffer under the delusion that FRANCE BASHING is the pinnacle of political humor.

Bastille Day will always be cool in my book because it represents a landmark moment in history and the rise of the masses against OPPRESSIVE, CORRUPT GOVERNMENTS. It also gives us a moment to pause and recognize yet another major contributor to the cultural mosaic that makes up New York and the United States. They were with us from the beginning and without FRENCH ASSISTANCE there may be no United States today.

The French hold a special place in my heart because despite that they've fallen off track in the area of CIVIL RIGHTS, they have always been at the forefront of the SOCIALIST MOVEMENT and of course the LABOR MOVEMENT. I appreciate their willingness on many levels to stand apart from the pack.

They are also to be commended for:
ENNUI without which generations of HIPSTERS who may or may not be wearing berets might have to be CHEERFUL. Heaven forbid!!!

And though I can't find any evidence online to verify this, I've been told for years that the French invented ORAL SEX and if that is true, then it should be Bastille Day 365 days a year!

Vive le France!!!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Caligulani for President?

After 8 long years of watching Rudy Giuliani shit on the Constitution and thumb his snotty nose at civil rights and all decency, I have a hard time getting my brain around the idea of him running for president. I can't even comprehend that people would consider him, outside of just a really really tacky joke.

I defer to David Rees, creator of Get Your War On, for this one. He can still make me laugh when things have ceased to be funny.

People tend to have short memories, and that's a blessing for politicians. For many Americans, his last moment in the public spotlight was the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. No disrespect to those who found comfort in his image of strength and resolve in those days, but it would have been nearly impossible for anybody to look bad when everybody was so desperate for any semblance of leadership and reassurance.

That's not anywhere close to the real story of Rudy Giuliani though. THIS BOOK is just the tip of the iceberg. THIS LETTER from New York City Firefighters is another part of it. You just don't have to dig too deeply to find the truth about this grinning, malevolent clown. Any and every argument in his favor can be easily disproved, from his record on crime-fighting to his stances on civil rights and Constitutional law. He is a living nightmare.

Even his moment of glory after 911 is fraught with lies, deceit, cheap politicking, payoffs and duplicity. He is a vainglorious, power-drunk, attention whore with no regard for law, decency, or humanity.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Still Dead After All These Years

In entertainment news, experts have ascertained that Doors lead singer Jim Morrison is still dead, though new questions have arisen regarding how he got that way. Fat, naked and overdosed in a Parisian bathtub, or fat, naked and overdosed in a Parisian toilet stall. Glamorous either way...

Jim Morrison
Lenny Bruce

The list marches on... proof that drugs and porcelain are a deadly combination.

Literacy and Underwear

If it's true that the advent of underwear boosted literacy then it stands to reason that the trend towards smaller knickers is directly connected to the decline of the literacy rate in industrial nations. Doesn't it? Not that I'm calling for the revival of Granny Pants but if it's good for the children!!!

But check out the happy gentlemen in the print above. Looks from their wardrobe that they've been happily perusing their Victoria's Secret catalogs. Liberated sorts these early pioneers of typesetting were...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Best Rock Albums of All Time

I've got a link to Piero Scaruffi's music review and list site off to the right of the screen. The reason he made the roll call, instead of any number of music review sites, is that he's more interesting than they are, as evidenced by his list of BEST ROCK ALBUMS OF ALL TIME.

There are a couple ways to look at it and one is that Piero fancies himself one of these terminally hip sorts... except he doesn't. The best way to look at it is that he simply prefers stuff that's a little out there.

I can't always agree with him--and he's into a lot of ambient stuff that borders very close to easy listening--but some of his lists are just great and they deserve attention.

Pope On A Rope

Could Pope Benedict be ANY MORE OBNOXIOUS?????

He must think he's in competition with THIS DAMN, DIRTY APE.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Smells Like Teen Shite

Just sort of felt like saying that...

Okay, here we have the 50 all-time teenage classics. It's a cool little list for the most part, not a ranking so much as a list... well, like the title of the article says... no the 50 best or anything. Still, there are a few I might have added, but the one that comes to mind first is Teenage Depression, by Eddie & The Hot Rods. Night Moves, by Bob Seger would fit the list. Bruce Springsteen could do his own list of 50. Who else? Teenage Riot by Sonic Youth... hmmm...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Those Crazy Kids of Kats

This movie made me understand the sanctity of fertility and I woke up today with a reproductive urge that... Yeah.

No really--it was really good. Violent. Not what I expected but I don't know what I expected. I don't feel like writing about it though. You can get a plot description from IMDB.

I liked it. Clive Owen was cool. Michael Caine was great.

It did remind me how much I like babies. Can't imagine a world without babies.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Buk Convention

Despite what rumors persist on the internet about my dealings with Youporn, I do enjoy proper films every now and again... and in that light...

Could Charles Bukowski be more interesting as a person than as a writer? I mean, in a 'slow down to gawk at the bloody car wreck' way... I don't speak for everybody else but I find his writing rather unremarkable, and to be fair maybe that's what makes it (and him) good, that everything is so unremarkable. I suspect though that his popularity has more to do with voyeurism than admiration for his prose and poetry. I also suspect that his acclaim is more connected to movies about him than reading his work. Call me a cynic. Call me an asshole. You could be correct on both counts, but that doesn't make me wrong either.

So... movies. Many moons ago there was the absolutely horrible BARFLY with Mickey Rourke--key letters in there BARF. No redemption there... everything about Barfly was wretched.

It did seem a shame though to leave the story with that and hence FACTOTUM, an absolutely great movie about nothing at all remarkable. There is nothing really going on--it's much like a Bukowski novel--drinking, sex, horse racing, griping, drinking,crabs, vomiting, sex--you can put it down and walk away and come back at any point and not miss anything. The term "moving picture" is applicable, or even better, "moving portrait." Matt Dillon does a really incredible impression throughout, with few lapses (he's just a little too handsome for the role). It's the acting that makes the unremarkable story so remarkable. Lili Taylor and Marisa Tomei are both really good--I always really liked both of them anyway and they're no letdown with this. Good script, good screenplay... all very believably real.

I still can't reconcile my relationship with Bukowski, or rather the phenomenon of Bukowski. The movie is good though.

A Guide To Recognizing A Pretty Good Movie

So I've seen a couple of oddballs films recently, right? The trailers for this one looked like it could be interesting but after my run of luck I was suspicious of anything on DVD. No worries this time around though because while this one isn't GREAT, it's really good. It's set up in a series of mostly flashbacks--neighborhood boy remembering the cast of characters that shaped his life, friends, family etc. It's all kind of gritty, somewhat sad and sweet. You just have to accept the fact that it wasn't all Brady Bunch for lots of people.

The extra features on the DVD are pretty cool, funny outtakes, and one run-through with the writer-director giving a running commentary scene by scene.

Yeah, after weird southern gothic and a torturous midget insane asylum movie, this one worked for me.

On tonight's view queue: Factotum, and Children of Men. Expecting good things of both of them.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lloyd Cole: 2CV

Was walking down Squibb Hill in Brooklyn today and had just mentioned the Lloyd Cole song 2CV, named after the Citroen 2CV. This is a pretty rare car in the United States and I've seen about a half dozen of them in my whole life, one of which I owned. But there it was down near the bottom of the hill and it was just one of those stupid little coincidences that make a day cool. Anyway... lyrics:


She drove her mother’s car, ’twas a 2cv
I was most impressed by her casual dress
I was most impressed
Inside her rented room colored deepest blue
I suppose we found some kind of happiness
To fill the emptiness
We were simply wasting precious time
Hiding from the cruelest summer sky
She took her mother’s car to get away from me
Heaven knows that i, I can sympathize
Oh I can sympathize
For we were never close if the truth were told
All we ever shared was a taste in clothes
Oh we were never close
We were simply losing everything
Underneath the cruelest london sun
We were simply wasting precious time
We were simply wasting precious time
We were simply wasting precious time

Old Switcheroo

Went to see THESE GUYS last night in downtown Brooklyn. Now, I wish there were tunes available to listen on the MySpace page because it would be easier to just listen to what makes them so cool than read my awkward review.

In their words: "klezmer, musette, cumbia and ancient jass"

I guess the change-up is what the Old Switcheroo is about. It all works, and they do it really well, and they're a lot of fun.

Recommended highly, if you get the chance.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Black Snake Wha???

THIS MOVIE is so bad for so many different reasons that I'd prefer to forget it exists. It is so bad it's offensive, and it's suckfulness only begins with Samuel L. Jackson looking like Martin Lawrence doing his Otis the Security Guard character. Jackson has been accused of accepting every single role that comes his way and BSM is proof.

I can't even begin to describe what a vomit pool of ludicrous stereotypes and cliches this movie is. Bad screenplay, bad script, bad acting... No redeeming qualities. Not even Christina Ricci naked...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day--Thinking Aloud

I went to bed and woke up pondering the word "independence." I can't get my head around how independence from England made such a difference in the long run. How would life be different for us now? Bear with me, this is not about the difference between being American or English.

It's complex--clearly the face of European colonialism in North America was somewhat different than it was Africa and South Asia. I was discussing this yesterday with a young woman from Bangalore. Certainly Indian independence means a bit more than it does for us, and not just because it came in 1947.

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'd rather be another nationality. It's that none of it means all that much to me. I love my country and realize I'm a product of its history, all the weird cultural collisions and fusions... all that melting pot stuff they talk about in school. The flag waving and talk of what we stand for as a nation and all that... lets face it. It's a load of rubbish. Now of course someone could come back and tell me how lucky I am that I wasn't born in __________ (insert war torn nation here). That can't really be argued, but it's not the whole truth, is it?

Independence is a weird word though. It's right up at the top of the Orwellian List of creepy words. I'm not at all comfortable with it, and that's sad because I'm going to hear it a lot today. What exactly am independent of as an individual or an American or whatever? I can't answer that at all, yet as soon as I turn on the television today someone will be demanding that I appreciate the sacrifices made to make me... independent. Well, thanks... I guess.

So... happy whatever, folks. Not enough coffee it seems, to straighten all this out in my head. I'm off to muse on Rudyard Kipling and Coatze and such. My brain hurts.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dollars and Sense


This shit would be funny...

if there was any humor left after 6 years of Bush. Didn't we just take the weapons away from THESE GUYS??? And now...

Okay, I shouldn't be surprised any more. Nothing about this administration should surprise me.

And okay, Scooter Libby isn't the worst criminal in the Bush administration, and I fully expected HIM TO BE LET OFF THE HOOK, but it still stings.

Many Democrats are now accusing the Republicans of believing they are above the law. I think it goes farther than that. Not only do they believe they are above the law, but their utter disregard for the Constitution, and their willingness to stuff any thoughts of decency back in our faces, the way the owner of a wayward pup might rub his dog's nose in shit, shows an utter contempt for us.

It's clear now. The Bush administration hates our freedom. They hate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights so much that they are mocking us.

Not that anybody is fighting back too hard. We've been cowed into submission... fear of... ????

So I live in New York, right? Hillary Clinton said Bush is afraid Libby will spill the beans if he goes to jail. I think she's talking shit. Ms. "I helped drop cluster bombs on Lebanese children" is posturing. What would SHE do if Libby did talk? Seriously... where has she been up to now? She voted for this war. She's done precious little on the floor of the Senate to stop it. Ugh... Okay, I'm losing my brain here. My first line of defense against treachery is a bullshit artist.

And the Bush administration has now leapt upon us and all regard for decency and the Constitution much the way a dog will mount another dog to exhibit dominance.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Alcoholism In The U.S.

So according to THIS STUDY, more than 30 percent of Americans report problems with alcohol abuse.

"Alcohol abuse was defined as drinking-related failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home; social or legal problems; and drinking in hazardous situations. Alcoholism was characterized by compulsive drinking; preoccupation with drinking; and tolerance to alcohol or withdrawal symptoms."

Okay, this is going to sound flippant, but whatever. Americans are also cursed with working longer hours daily with less paid vacation time. Our health coverage is damn near the worst among industrialized nations. We have the highest level of debt per capita etc etc etc.

Let's not even get into the moral and ethical dilemmas created by our WAR ON TERROR and our seeming inability to even make morally based decisions on these issues.

We don't have time to take proper restful holidays because we've saddled ourselves with credit card debt. We settle for creating refuges at home because it's just a little bit cheaper than putting on a JELLABA, taking off for GOA and getting blissed like the Europeans do. What's left that we can afford but huge quantities of alcohol???

You'd drink too if you sucked like we do.

Mining the 80s--Lloyd Cole & the Commotions: Rattlesnakes

So I've been mining the 80s, an era I consider to be profoundly and sadly underrated musically. This was one of my favorites then and remains a very special album to me. Lyrics to the title track:

Jodie wears a hat although it hasnt rained for six days
She says a girl needs a gun these days
Hey on account of all the rattlesnakes
She looks like eve marie saint in on the waterfront
She reads simone de beauvoir in her american circumstance
Shes less than sure if her heart has come to stay in san jose
And her neverborn child still haunts her
As she speeds down the freeway
As she tries her luck with the traffic police
Out of boredom more than spite
She never finds no trouble, she tries too hard
Shes obvious despite herself
She looks like eve marie saint in on the waterfront
She says all she needs is therapy yeah
All you need is, love is all you need
Jodie never sleeps cause there are always needles in the hay
She says that a girl needs a gun these days
Hey on account of all the rattlesnakes
She looks like eve marie saint in on the waterfront
As she reads simone de beauvoir in her american circumstance
Her heart, hearts like crazy paving
Upside down and back to front
She says ooh, its so hard to love
When love was your great disappointment