February 7th, 2005

flavored with age

I got the music in me; please don't sue

So, I was thinking about starting an mp3 blog. But seeing as I'm trying to cut down on the amount of writing projects I'm doing, and since a blog of any kind requires a bit more maintenance than I'm willing to put into it at the moment, what I decided to do is just upload a song or two a week to a gMail account (as an attachment to an e-mail containing info about the song and a comment or two about what's interesting about it to me), and let people grab it off of there. It will also lessen the chance that I will become even more impoverished as a result of being made an example of by the RIAA's lawyers.

I'm gonna start doing this maybe mid-week; content will be whatever I'm listening to at the moment or whatever's running through my head. If you're interested, leave me a comment and I'll start compiling a list. Note to hardcore music heads: this isn't going to be, for the most part, the super-obscure stuff you find on the better mp3 blogs, so don't expect miracles. But there'll be a few tunes worth listening to that you may not have heard, and occasionally I'll put up a themed mix in its own folder. I'd love to just webcast this stuff, but I'm not smart enough to figure out how.
flavored with age


I'm featured, along with the Onion's Nathan Rabin, on MBToolbox today. (I've been featured there before, but anonymously, since I was complaining about people not paying me.)

MBToolbox, which is written by my good pal Claire Zulkey, is a blog hosted by Media Bistro, and it's quite a good read if you're any kind of freelancer or "media professional" as the irritating buzzphrase has it. Take a look, there's good stuff aplenty.
flavored with age


One of the fun things about how short the media cycle has gotten is that unlike in the past, when you had to wait as much as a year or two to chart the development of one of the government's Big Lies, you can now see them forming ahead of time. The technique of constant reinvention in the face of scrutiny has become so pervasive (because so effective), you can actually see them inflating the trial balloons while they're still on the ground.

The Bush administration, of course, are just the latest and greatest practitioners of the politics of perception which were pioneered by Nixon and which flourished under Reagan; I'm sure that the Jeb Bush or Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ralph Reed or whoever presidencies of the future will make Rove & Co. look amateurish. But for now, you just have to sort of sit back and marvel.

Something as important as the pretext for a major war was as malleable as mercury from the very beginning; even people like me who like to complain pointlessly about what bullshit the weapons of mass destruction thing was have to admit that it was never really taken that seriously even by the people who were trying to sell it to us. Once the New Coke of WMD proved to be a bust on the market, they didn't spend a second apologizing; instead, they were already filming commercials for the Diet Coke of spreading democracy in the middle east, the Cherry Coke of ridding the world of a brutal tyrant, and the Fanta of enforcing UN resolutions. Likewise, you can see the mythmaking of social security "reform" take place before your very eyes; the justifications show up like supermarket shelf tags, pre-tagged billboards, and other forms of guerilla marketing, with a "Social Security will be broke in five years" here, a "people are better off in control of their own money" there, and a "private accounts will provide a guaranteed higher rate of return than government trusts" everywhere. Just as with the war, the faith-based initiatives program, the upper-class tax cuts, and ever other major initiative of the administration, it's a completely self-serving, ideologically driven idea, one that they decided on long before taking office; all the defenses and arguments for it are just marketing campaigns, slogans being tossed around to see which one will stick. Once they find just the right one that strikes the proper chord with the majority of the voters, they'll junk all the other ones and pretend like this was the argument they were making all along.

Right now, you're seeing it happen with the deficit. Long ago, Reagan's people invented the fantasy that what was really responsible for the massive budget deficits of the 1980s wasn't their own massive and profligate spending, but rather the intransigence of a wastrel Congress. Reagan submitted lean budget after lean budget, goes this particular Big Lie, only to have them rejected and/or fattened by a pork-addicted House and Senate. The Bush administration is claiming the same thing; the big difference is that the Reagan spin was only invented after the fact, with post-Reagan apologists peddling the nonsense about his lean budgets a decade after they were submitted, whereas the Bush team is introducing the notion that they're trying to push through a fat-free budget before they've even done it. It's pre-emptive mythmaking, and it's proving to be (amusingly) a hell of a lot more ridiculous and (depressingly) a hell of a lot more effective than the retroactive spincrafting of the past.

Why pay attention? Why drive yourself crazy over cataloguing the lies the administration comes up with to justify their excesses before they even happen? Well, because it's sometimes the only defense mechanism you have. After all, they count on your ignorance and your lack of interest. They know that if you're not paying attention to this stuff when it happens, you're more likely to believe the Big Lie after the fact. Unfortunately, not enough people care, so even if you pay attention, you'll be forever stuck in the small minority of those who remember it differently than the official line, but it's something. It's an inch of pride, a centimeter of self-respect, a tiny little pebble disrupting the road to national forgetting.
flavored with age

You don't even LIKE feetball! I'M the Number One Superfan!


1. When He Hate Me did that amazing thing and won the X-Treme Awesome Award

2. When America defeated Philadelphia to win the prize

3. Where there was that one commercial for the thing, and it was funny

4. When Paul McCartney sang that song about drugs but it was okay because it's not like he reminded everyone that women have breasts or anything

5. When Tom Brady dedicated the game ball to his dad James, who was shot in the face by a mad assassin

6. When they interviewed Donovan McNabb after the game and he admitted that Rush Limbaugh was right, that he was no good and he only got to the Super Game because people want to see a black quarterback do well

7. When they showed that "Bye-Week Memories" highlight film with the awesome narration

8. When the trucks were on tee vee

9. When big cities on the east coast finally started to get the attention they deserve

10. When baseball season finally started