Saturday, August 02, 2003

But I'm sure he meant well

Paul Craig Roberts has an item about Mao's atrocities against his own citizens here.

But Mao was a Communist, and thus beloved of the left. And if you want the left to get all huffy, all you have to do is question a) their motives, or b) their patriotism. Why so touchy?

I just want them to question why people would question these things, and if there's any possibility that such questions are based on something besides reactionary politics.

English usage

We don't "pay" for tax cuts. We "pay" for government programs.

Thank you.

Gay rock

A million cable channels and I'm on Music Choice? The "Power Rock" station just got through playing something by Queen, and now it's "Nobody's Hero" by Rush. They're begging for a post.

Not being a student of gay culture, I only occasionally pick up on gay performers or themes in music. I don't look for either for sure, and it really makes no difference as long as everyone can leave everyone else alone (which means keep your cotton-pickin' hands off the institution of marriage, but that's another post). So there's no telling what has escaped my notice.

When a band names itself Queen, well, you have to wonder why. And in fact their lead singer Freddy Mercury died of AIDS some years back. Dying of AIDS doesn't mean you're gay, but there wasn't much doubt about Freddie. Whether any of the rest of them were gay I don't know, and I did follow them to an extent. Guitarist Brian May in particular - did interesting things with guitars and was into astronomy.

If Rod Stewart was gay, it sure was a waste of fine women when he married Alana Hamilton and Rachel Hunter. I only mention him because of his song "The Killing of Georgie", which got a little airplay when I was in college.

We can't forget the Kinks and "Lola".

I usually avoided synthy dance music, which was most of what I recall hearing from George Michael. How romantic, sneaking off somewhere in a park to have sex with someone you love.

Oh yeah, Judas Priest. I wasn't exactly shocked to hear that lead singer Rob Halford was gay, but I'm suspecting many others were. He couldn't be - he sang heavy metal! Ha, they're playing a Priest song now.

Look what I found on the Halford link - a book:
Rock on the Wild Side : Gay Male Images in Popular Music of the Rock Era by Wayne Studer
What #1 hit by Elvis Presley contained a blatant suggestion of male-male sex--way back in 1957? Which Beatles songs allude to homosexuality? Can you name two Top 20 hits about drag queens? What smash from 1974 has been called "the greatest gay love song ever written?" Which popular rock songs are tainted by homophobia? Which country songs refer to gay people? And who are some of the openly gay performers who've succeeded in the world of rock music?

The answers to these and countless other fascinating questions can be found in Rock on the Wild Side, an entertaining and informative look at more than 200 songs of the "Rock Era" that describe gay men or express various attitude about gayness. Your record, tape or CD collection may never sound quite the same again. Illustrated with more than two dozen photos of such stars/groups as Boy George, David Bowie, Elton John, Kinks, Kitchens of Distinction, Johnny Mathis, Queen, Lou Reed, Tom Robinson, Romanovsky & Phillips, Rupaul, Village People, Tom Wilson Weinberg, Flirtations, Pet Shop Boys...
I haven't heard of all of them, but the rest aren't surprises.

We can't forget the women of course. Everybody has heard of Melissa Etheridge. Somehow I'd like to dislike KD LANG, but she sure can sing. I don't know about the Indigo Girls.

Lookie here - people trying to ban t. A. T. u. in the UK and in NZ. I'm guessing that what busts them isn't whether they are lesbians or not, but the fact that making out onstage in their underwear seems to be pretty much their whole act. IE they're promoting something besides their music.

The list of successful gay musicians could go on forever. From this it's pretty clear that gays can succeed anywhere in the music business. I for one couldn't give a fat rat's patootie about the musician's private life if they don't make it an issue themselves.

Know thyself

"California is the most progressive state in the union," said Flynt, 61. "I don't think anyone here will have a problem with a smut peddler as governor."
Go Larry go! Maybe if enough lowlives like him can get elected, we can convince a lot of otherwise sane people that governments are not the place to look for responsible solutions to social problems.

Via C-Log, which should be a regular stop.

Right on

Via Richard Bennett and Luke Ford:
Unless you think hard about political questions in our culture, you are liberal by default. You have to think your way out of liberalism. - Heather McDonald
I will quibble this far - who says you have to think hard?

So what's my excuse?

Blogspot is no longer the Scourge of Charles Austin, our Sine Qua Non Pundit - he's shacking up with Andrea Harris and Tim Blair here. He's even considering putting in a blogroll!

Monday, July 28, 2003

And they call it the Guardian?

It's just the place for a guide to profanity, the Insultmonger, and fish porn

Club one for me, would ya?

Acidman knows how to deal with environmentalists.

And if he's on your Christmas list, get him this.


Hey, what kind of name is "Little Miss Attila", anyway?

It needs gender correction, but I just can't see touching the original masterpiece, so imagine it's a she. With that I present Charlie Daniels:
"Well, you may not know it, but this man's a spy
He's an undercover agent for the FBI
And he's been sent down here to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan."

He was still bent over, holdin' on to his knee
But everyone else was lookin' and listenin' to me
And I layed it on thicker and heavier as I went
I said; "Would you beleive this man has gone as far
As tearin' Wallace stickers off the bumpers of cars
And he voted for George McGovern for president."

"He's a friend of them long-haired, hippie type, pinko fags
I betcha he's even got a Commie flag
Tacked up on the wall, inside of his garage
He's a snake in the grass, I tell ya guys
He may look dumb, but that's just a disguise
He's a mastermind in the ways of espionage."

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Inland shipbuilding

Some of you heathens haven't heard of Evansville, IN. It is kind of isolated - a small outpost of civilization between Indianapolis, St. Louis, Louisville, Memphis and Nashville right where US 41 crosses the Ohio River.

That corner of Indiana has more history than you might have suspected. Abraham Lincoln spent some time in the area in his childhood. The much-hooted initiative to decree the value of pi originated just to the west in Posey County. That naive old socialist Robert Owen tried and failed to set up his utopia nearby in New Harmony, IN. Some Japanese automaker (Toyota?) has a huge plant just a few miles north of town on US 41 - I think it's in Princeton. The first capital of IN, Corydon, is a ways to the east upriver. It is the home of the University of Southern Indiana and the University of Evansville, the latter of which lost their entire Purple Aces basketball team to a plane crash in 1977. Evansville area jocks include Andy Benes, Don Mattingly, Calbert Cheaney, Edd Roush, Gil Hodges, Scott Studwell, Bob Griese and Jerry Sloan.

Alright, I know some of this stuff because I did some consulting work down there a few years ago, and I'd learned that there was more to this stereotypical Middle American area than I had expected to find. But they still have surprises - now another proud son of the area, Dave Worley, notes that Evansville once had a shipyard that build LSTs.

French computer games

I don't read Lileks for the news, but he has some about French computer games. He even contributes a few of his own, such as
Medal of Honor: WW2. This was a massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on the Resistance. At its peak it had 400,000 members who logged on and did nothing. Then someone named “Yank44” signed on, and the system crashed when all 400,000 members attempted to remove the picture of Marshal Petain from the wall of their cottage.
I want this guy on my side...

The Bill Thomas apology

Some interesting backstory here from Rich Galen. It's the July 25th edition.