Link Wray R.I.P.

Link Wray died a few days ago, but I just came across this excellent interview from 1993, where Link meets Mark E. Smith and they get along like a house on fire. Too bad there was never a Fall-Wray jam session!

MES: “The trouble with the rock business is that it’s too easy to make music. That’s why they use the machines. If you want to hear something that’s perfect you should go away and listen to classical music, but that’s not what rock’n’roll’s about, is it!”
LW: “No it ain’t. It’s about feeling and hurting and pain. That is rock’n’roll, and that’s soul music. Soul music is pain – you can hear the slaves, the beatin’ and the hurtin’. Who cares if we’re playing the right notes or not! Who gives a shit if it’s in tune!”

Sweet Murtha of God!

Not only did Rep. Murtha call for the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq–which essentially throws down a very big gauntlet to the ChimpyTwits and ruins what little steam Bush had in his Veterans’ Day speech–but he threw in this jab at Dr. Evil:

I like guys who’ve never been there to criticize us who’ve been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there, and send people to war, and then don’t like to hear suggestions about what need(s) to be done. I resent the fact on Veterans Day he criticized Democrats for criticizing them. This is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion! The American public knows it.

Crooks and Liars has the video, because you need to hear it. I have to admit, up till today, I didn’t know who Rep. Murtha was.

bobrauschenbergamerica – Theater Review

From the News-Press:
Play asks if collage can save the republic
By Ted Mills
If we are, as a recent issue of Wired proclaimed, the era of the remix, with a treasure chest of late 20th-century culture to plunder, then we should look back at pre-postmodernist, post-abstract expressionist, pre-pop collagist Robert Rauschenberg as one of the earliest remixers. His found-object works prompted walkouts and consternation, though his use of Americana was more affectionate than sarcastic.
Charles L. Mee’s post-9/11 attempt to reclaim a forward-thinking view of America looks to Mr. Rauschenberg’s collage for suggestions and asks if there’s anything that we can reclaim to heal this republic, diseased and ailing from war and debt. Or is mom and apple pie a museum piece?

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Fallujah – The Hidden Massacre

Let’s start our Monday with a cheerful little documentary on how the US is using white phosphorous to bomb civilians, one of the reasons it was able to take Fallujah. WP is evil, melt-your-skin-to-the-bone stuff, a little like napalm. So of course the story is off the American news radar. Italian news station RAI have just produced this expose, and put up this English language version for us to see and take in. Full size is 44mb, WMV file. It’s gruesome stuff, so don’t watch during lunch.

Brilliant Satire of Right Wing Lunatic Thought

Wait, this *isn’t* satire? Oh dear.
Check out the plot blurb.

‘It is 2021, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. America is under oppression by ultra-liberal extremists who have surrendered governing authority to the United Nations. Hate speech legislation called the “Coulter Laws” have forced vocal conservatives underground. A group of bio-mechanically enhanced conservatives led by Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, and a young man born on September 11, 2001, set out to thwart Ambassador Usama bin Laden’s plans to nuke New York City.’

Kinda sad that two of your three bio-mech superheroes are based on convicted criminals. My guess as to why these guys were chosen instead of say a less-criminal conservative hero from the past is that the creator is hoping for some prime publicity knob-gobblin’ on their talk shows.

Ethnic Cleansing, GOP style

Mike Davis on how the GOP would rather the poor and black never return to New Orleans, thank you.

Gentrifying Disaster
In a recent email to Louisiana officials, FEMA curtly turned down the state’s request for funding to notify displaced residents that they could cast absentee ballots in the city’s crucial February mayoral election. FEMA also declined to share data with local authorities about the current addresses of evacuees.
In the eyes of many local activists, FEMA’s refusal to support the voting rights of evacuees is consistent with a larger pattern of federal inaction and delay that seems transparently designed to discourage the return of Black residents to the city. As one Associated Press dispatch presciently warned, “Hurricane Katrina [may] prove to be the biggest, most brutal urban-renewal project Black America has ever seen.”

Thanks to Jon for sending me this.