10 “all-time” “impact” “albums” Day 1: “Sing Sing Sing” 78rpm single

I was challenged by my Bill Humphrey to post 10 albums that really made an impact on me. I happily accept. I have been asked to only include the cover with no explanation (sorry Bill, you know that’ll never happen) and to nominate someone.

> I did a similar exercise to this last year (https://thedmouse.wordpress.com/category/entertainment/music/tops-all-time/) and had to really think about what I wanted to delve into as “impact on me” because there’s so many ways it can be interpreted. By impact in this case I think I’m going to explore the stuff that impacted me as a percussionist and thus helps shape my musical perceptions.

Day 1: “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Louis Prima, arranged by Jimmy Mundy, performed by Benny Goodman featuring Gene Krupa.

Gene was raw and bombastic yet performed with a finesse and innovative style that defined not only swing era drumming but continues to influence drummers today. From the first time I heard the tom intro on vinyl as a child I was sold. It was probably one of the first drum parts I tried to learn by ear, tried to transcribe, tried to craft my own versions of and still to this day is among the first things I mention to people when I talk about being a drummer – hence why it is where this journey will begin. After all: It was balls to include the drummer as a soloist at the time. It was balls to have that soloist begin the song. It was balls to allow that soloist to solo for so long that the recording takes up two sides of a 78rpm. And, it was so beautiful. One of the single greatest 8:39 of any era of music as well as being one of the all-time classic drum solos that cast the way one perceives drums in a new light. Well, it certainly did for me, anyway. And, yes, I am well aware that this is a single song and not an album — at the time albums didn’t really exist the way we perceive them today and an extended play single like this was a musical excursion in the way one might ingest a concept record today.

Today I nominate Jessica Rymarz who probably needs a distraction like this

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Posted in Entertainment, music, reviews, Tops All Time, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What I hope for the Skywalker arc

BTW is it weird if I hope the title is in reference to kylo ren

Not weird. That would be a great way to thwart expectations. After mulling the trailer over and doing some reading, I hope it’s about Kylo and not Rey. Because if it’s Rey, I’m now feeling SUPER curmudgeon-ly. Involving Palpatine

I thought about it like this … the premise of the franchise is redemption. Characters routinely fail themselves and those around them and then make a heroic comeback to undo the catastrophe they were a part of.

Anakin – probably the longest arc thus far, the prequils describe the fall of the original Skywalker that occurs in ep III and the redemption is his killing of the Emperor in ep VI.

Han Solo – Walks out on Luke and the Rebels only to come back and destroy the Death Star in IV. Walks out on Leah to come back and help destroy the Death Star in VII. I don’t know his origin story in the Solo movie but I get the impression it’s similar .

Kenobi – Fails as a Jedi to guide Anakin through his Padawan learnership and blames it on himself. His redemption is several parts including successfully hiding Leah, watching over Luke and successfully setting up his training, sacrificing himself in the fight with Vader which plants the seed of Vader’s good side, and learning how to become the first Force Ghost the movies introduce.

Lando – Betrays Solo only to help rescue him and successfully mans the bridge of the Falcon. Appears to walk away from the successful Rebellion only to come back and replace Solo yet again on the bridge of the Falcon.

Yoda – While we all want to believe it was infallible, Yoda was unable to “see” Palpatine to begin with or the fall of Anakin, redeemed himself by being able to help produce the rise of Luke an the destruction of the Emperor. The death of Yoda is cast as “age” but it’s also the weight of his mistakes being lifted in Luke coming of age.

Luke – He felt he failed as a Jedi to train a new order and appears to start the redemption in that he “comes out of hiding” and assists Rey in her training and helps defeat the First Order in the last movie.

And for Kylo – we know for a fact he IS a Skywalker because of his bloodline through Leah. We know for a fact he has a deep seeded connection to the Anakin-Vader development arc. We know he has Solo’s tendencies as well. We saw his “fall” in killing his own father. We know he has a “good side” in some of his inexplainable behaviors and it’s bee as poorly developed as Vader’s was until the last minute. We know that there’s a Sith Lord to be defeated and that the last few Sith have exclusively been killed by a Skywalker.

This last thought, of Kylo being the Skywalker in question, would be awesome because it ties so much of the existing story lines together, and provides an opportunity for the franchise to bring a bunch of redemption stories full circle especially if they find a way for Skywalker to change the mind of a Solo for one last time so to speak and a Vader type of character to defeat the ultimate evil.

I mean, after all, if you think about good guys kill the unkillable enemy followed by the bad guys win in an anticlimactic kind of WTF moment the franchise is due for that kind of swing, again.

Honestly, I like Rey, and I am infinitely sad that they will make her a Skywalker. If I had to guess the best we could assume to get her lineage to being a Skywalker — Shmi Skywalker’s bloodline is the core bloodline as a matriarch and somewhere back in that bloodline there’s a fork that produced Rey. Or, that Shmi Skywalker had more than one child, either born before, or after Anekin. Or, that the root of the so-called Skywalker bloodline wasn’t from a spontaneous mitichlorian impregnation but from someplace else in which case that alternative bloodline could have branches that Rey comes from. Or, less likely, that Anakin had relations with more than just Padme Amidala, or that Leah had some relations other than with Solo, or that Luke had some relations at all that we haven’t heard about thus far. Or, worst of all, that the cloning that produced Boba as well as the Clone Army from Jengo Fett was somehow used on some version of the Skywalker bloodline where a rouge version of it somehow produced Rey. None of these make me happy and the worst part is I can think of even worse — like somehow one of the Hutts managed to unleash her bloodline.

Posted in Entertainment, humor, Opinion, personal musings | Leave a comment

What’s in a name?

Over the years I’ve been given a lot of names.

My first name that my parents dreamed up and provided to me at birth.

A middle name that represented the family they also provided me with at birth.

A surname from my parents marriage representing society’s patriarchy that was expected to be conferred to me at birth, and of course, was.

A bastardization of said surname in an effort of my youth-bullies to try and disparage my heritage, my physical looks, my personality and whatever else they could append to it.

A Catholic Confirmation name that I chose from studying.

An adopted post-Confirmation name that represented my relationship with my mentor for whom I would not be who I am today without and has deep, meaningful roots within my family, and the historical representation of his name in the family.
A nickname that represents one of my favorite authors and a longstanding relationship with literature and how it was introduced within my family and friends, classmates and other contemporaries that first began to identify me though an alter-ego.

A bastardization of said nickname, of my surname, of any other version of my namesakes in an effort of my ongoing bullies to try and disparage my heritage, my physical looks, my personality and whatever else they could append to it.

A realization my own name was incomplete without incorporating additional familial roots to which I actively use despite still working on formal legalization. In the grander scheme, I’m still working on formal legalization to incorporate several family names history that’s increasingly important to me as per typical within the wider Iberian heritage.

The acceptance of my nickname and an effort of my contemporaries to celebrate my true self by creating all kinds of versions of the nickname and variants thereof. Furthermore, it led to a widespread acceptance of my surname and given name that sought to the same kind of celebration of my personality, physical traits and otherwise interesting relationships with the world around me.

A realization my own name was incomplete without incorporating the new paradigm that my life exists in with my partner and our ever changing dynamic in our progressive definition of who we are in an ever changing society.

And here we are, now three years later and I understand something my partner has only whispered in the past few years to our offspring. They’ve said, “When you were born you gave me new names no one else could.”

“I am a parent.”

I am still my first name. My middle name. My surname. My family’s names. My nicknames. The culmination of my patriarchal masculinity in which I’ve inherited or this created, I assume, in part, from that heritage.

Or, for my select version of it, for the bias that comes with it, “I am Dad.”

And, for that I’m happy to be dad to my partner’s contributions to our offspring’s name. And aware of the hyphenation effect. I’m aware of the effect of their namesakes and different versions of.

I’m also aware of their contribution to how people perceive them.

Oh, and I’m not oblivious, I know how skin color, perception of gender, bias on zip code, ideas about ethnicity and religion, responses to early prescribed standardized tests including IQ, NY-Regents and any number of corporate privatized rubrics might portray a kid or influence their opportunities and even if they were granted those ops, if even available, how they might be interpreted for better or worse.

Inherently, I’ve known that from day we went from talking about procreation to the initial stages of trying to the first pee stick positives, to the initial ultrasounds, and through telling the immediate family and getting past the point(s) of miscarriages, etc. that was a truly complex process. Parenthood might begin from the inspiration of having sexual intercourse but the process of becoming a father or moreso to being a “dad” is more than the biologics of it all.

If it were all about biologics every sperm provider would be held to the insanely high standards we hold every egg provider. And, potentially then some. But, since we are so extremely far away from talking about the equitable implications of the copying of one’s biological matter from a legal standpoint the conversation can end here, for now. I not only acknowledge my procreation responsibilities I embrace them.

For, I AM A “DAD.”

Yep. I know. Low barrier to entry.

Woohoo. I provided sperm. Good for me for being able to ejaculate on cue.

True. Although, let’s not diminish the idea that well timed ejaculation isn’t a given. There are entire industries dedicated to helping men get erections, helping men ensure they can cum, helping men ensure that cum is viable for procreation, helping me guide that cum into women, helping men understand women’s fertile time, helping men know the deed was done, helping men cope with not being able to get an erection, helping men understand why they are struggling to cum, helping men determine their cum is viable and when it’s not entire industries that help them fix their broken cum syndrome, helping men compensate for their inability to guide that cum into women. And, so on.

But, afforded the opportunity to share that shared experience of intentional procreation I am more than happy it’s happened the way it has (even despite some initial misgivings early on).

Posted in Opinion, parenting | Leave a comment

Never Forget. Unless you already have.

Every year I reflect on my September 11th experience. Not that I don’t think about it the other 364 days of the year. But, on the 17th anniversary it’s at the forefront of my mind again. 16 years of reflection and the process doesn’t get any easier.

I don’t need to be reminded to forget. I live with the emotional scars from witnessing it firsthand. And, I was fortunate in my experiences that day and the many following compared to many. Honestly, I do a shitty job, most of the time, at trying to act normal and deal with what should otherwise be the daily stuff of life around me.

Today wasn’t easy. And although there were some greatly trying kids being kids moments, another car (or two) related issue(s), the TV dying, and the rest of the not-so-routine-but-that-is-life things that occurred … today was, is, and always will be a tough day.

The tri-state area is constantly changing and it’s pretty often I run across people who weren’t in the area during the terrorist attacks. They recall the TV images and newspaper headlines and their own whereabouts when they found out much as I remember my parents talking about where they were when JFK was shot or how I retell my own story from the day the Challenger exploded mid-flight. I try to be respectful of their recollections as everyone was attacked that day, not just NYC.

Although deep down I know that the anxiety they felt was a completely different. The fear was different. The depression was different. Proximity both physically to the events and emotionally to those even more directly affected than I was insist upon making it different. The TV cameras only caught fleeting glimpses of what it was like to witness it first hand and you cannot unsee those things that only you saw with your own eyes. You cannot unsmell the smells. You cannot untouch the aftermath. It’s the reality of how the mind and body internalize the full range of senses. And, then I remind myself PTSD isn’t a competition. It’s the sad reality we all as Americans who were alive in that moment could feel.

What’s even crazier, though, is I increasingly come across people who were too young, if even born, to remember it. They know only of the TV footage. And, unlike those people who lived it through the raw documentation of the day, what they know of the footage is the sanitized, made-for-TV movie version of it that’s been distributed since the Bush-era propaganda took root.

For better or worse, much of the nation is remembering 9/11 via a collective memory. One that we, as a nation, have created for ourselves out of a hodgepodge of sources. One that is reflective as much of those who weren’t there as it was of ones who were. One that is a reflection of a world dominated by post-script analysis and talking heads opining as it is of first hand stories. One that is reflective of partisan subjugation of Americanism as much as it is of those who put aside their collective differences inside of the most diverse area of the US to do more for each other in our time of need.

I’ve said it before, it sucks that the one time of year that New York City is part of America is when this anniversary comes up. Otherwise, it and the surrounding tri-state, as well as DC and to a lesser degree PA, are derided as cesspools (sorry, that would be the simpler “sewers” or “swamps”) of liberals (sorry, “libtards”). Worse, even on the anniversary, despite this national attempt at forced unity, the region(s) aren’t without their negative critiques from so-called “real America” as even the current partisan President broke with the national unity tradition to slitter into that approach.

This is, of course, despite the region’s contribution to the greater good of what America was, is and will become. And, how much of the great stories of unity and American identity originate from the NYC, NJ/CT/HVNY, DC/DMV, PA regions. Much like the memories of WWII, from the Auschwitz to Pearl Harbor, from Normandy to Hiroshima, have become part of American folklore and legend they’ve also become part conspiracy theory and denial three quarters of a century later, now we’re seeing less than a quarter century into our collective experience the unfortunate diluting the lessons of 9/11 coupled with the furthering of lie filled theories and asinine conspiracy laden opinions.

The undermining of what 9/11 was I guess is the most disheartening part of reliving it every year for me. It talk about it less and less in my daily life not because time itself has passed for me or I’ve become any more comfortable with it that it not longer impacts me in the same way, but, in part, because of all the noise that has taken up residence around the history of it overall. I long ago got tired of and then got over the idea that someone watching it on TV thought that was the same as being here and experiencing planes impact and towers fall and people evacuate and the interruptions to daily life that lasted days, weeks, months and even years after. I long ago got tired of and then got over the idea that people had a hard time relating to my first hand experiences and personal memories of the day, and weeks, and months, and years that followed.

I’ll be honest though, I haven’t gotten over the jackassary of people who call themselves Americans undermining what it means to be American by deriding NY while wanting to honor it.

And, I haven’t gotten over the jackassary of people who call themselves Americans and yet actively politically support and vote for partisan hacks who have sought to undermine 911 victims and their families, sought to undermine support for survivors and first responders, sought to undermine the region’s need for improvements in infrastructure, in prevention, in first response, and more. The votes against more Federal money and resources, more autonomy (at the city, state and regional level) to do undertake these tasks when Federal resources aren’t immediately available, and otherwise votes against the underlying American identity of the tri-state area as a punishment by the Republican led 114-115th United States Congress and Republican President.

And, I haven’t gotten over the jackassary of people who call themselves Americans and yet only subscribed to being American if you “stand for the flag” despite the fact that the act of protest is inherently American and that the idea of honoring the Constitution means recognizing inequality and confronting it. The people that insist their definition of being American is the only possible one having usurped the idea of America for their own authoritarian led police state ideal.

And, I haven’t gotten over the jackassary of people who call themselves Americans and yet only care about Vets, or those in active service, or pretty much anyone involved with any aspect of the military or first responders when it’s convenient to selective outrage and yet don’t do enough to support the needs of military and first responder personnel outside of waving flags and singing anthems as a counter-protest to legit protests. These people gave their lives for all of us in honor of the Constitution, quit playing lip service to the service they provide including the one they did for NYC, DC and PA and the nation in the aftermath that is all too quickly overlooked for a quick quazipolitical “stand now” type statements just like it wasn’t defined to those that actually lived through the chaos of 911 by the flag itself despite all those that flew. We lit candles in solidarity too and it felt just as American. Some of us stood in the dark, looked into the distance, looked into our hearts, looked at one another, and it was American. We gathered around nothing more than a piece of asphalt that had neither stars nor stripes and knew we were American. We sang songs that were’t the “Star Spangled Banner” in solidarity including other national hymns, secular folk songs, popular music and more and knew we were American. We wept together without having to stand, or salute, or recite anything to know we were American. We held hands together at all kinds of memorials, makeshift and dedicated, and knew we were American. We ate food together, from the breaking of “bread” as subs, hoagies, heroes, wedges, sammies, dagwoods, clubs, tacos, gyros, kas, dürüm, Yufka and many others I’m sure I didn’t get the opportunity to experience. Assholes that define American based on the flag and the anthem (and a need to show respect to the hot dog as a do a proxy for a the masculinity of a cock, no joke it’s a subset of the current Alt-Right American definition) a huge disservice to what it meant for all of us who defined our Americanism in the moment.

And, I haven’t gotten over the jackassary of people who call themselves Americans and yet restrict their empathy to those who are like them. Look like them. Act like them. Think like them. No, the nation is NOT defined by conservatives. No, the nation is NOT defined by whites. No, the nation is NOT defined by protestant christians. No, the nation is NOT defined by men. No, the nation is NOT defined by the white collar upper middle class employee. No, the nation is NOT defined by flyover state values. No, the nation is NOT defined by those without a “criminal record.” No, the nation is NOT defined by Koch-type corporate funding.

But what I haven’t come to terms with and cannot stand is the utter shitbaggery of people who call themselves Americans out of convenience. They’re more than happy to selectively promote beliefs and values an lifestyles under some Americaness guise. They love half the religious clause of the First Amendment granting them the ability to worship as they chose, without any respect for the second part that means their worship cannot infringe on my worship or lack thereof. They are too stupid, and short sighted to realize, they are laying the groundwork for any religion or belief system when it gains enough national prominence to ply it’s beliefs politially and religiously at the expense of everyone else. They are too arrogant to understand interpretation is subjective and American religious identity has changed considerably over the last 200 years and will change again.

But what I haven’t come to terms with and cannot stand is the utter shitbaggery of people who call themselves Americans out of convenience. They love the modern interpretation of the self defense clause of the second amendment while ignoring the historically understood first clause of a well regulated militia. They want everyone to have a weapon while forgetting that weapons during “regulated” periods managed to both kill political leaders out of political hate and destroy huge swaths of the population of of “your different” hate in ways conventional murder could never do, and continue to enable those who are not of either sound mind or sound body to murder fellow Americans in cold blood in volumes that no other industrialized, civilized or otherwise modern nation has.

But what I haven’t come to terms with and cannot stand is the utter shitbaggery of people who call themselves Americans out of convenience. They want to apply the idea of “due justice” when it’s convenient while ignoring that murder by cop regardless of color is a violation and use their privileged position of not being as likely to be killed to defend shitty policing while not be willing to realize they could still die as a Forth Amendment violation and have no recourse, despite their whiteness, or maleness, or middle classness, or christianess. At some point some aspect of them will inherently become a less than majority experience and their inability to show empathy or use intellect will cost them dearly when their approach allows, ney, necessitates the pendulum swings against them.

But what I haven’t come to terms with and cannot stand is the utter shitbaggery of people who call themselves Americans out of convenience. And yet act inherently against the foundations of American but can stand up, once a year, to “never forget” the sacrifices so may of of made. We didn’t chose to be ground zero. And, yet, we are. We are survivors. Of the attack. Of the clean up. Of the WMD retribution. Of the partisan lies. We didn’t chose to be victims of inherently Anti-Ameican sentiment by our fellow Americans. And, yet we are, and we not only have survived, in some cases, we have thrived form it to fight for America.

We fight for an America we know has scars. We suffered those scars and can empathize with those who are scarred too.

We fight for an America we know has flaws. We realize the flaws, our own and in others, and want to overcome them together.

We fight for an America we know has potential. We showed ourselves and the world what we could do and are encouraged by the outcome to keep trying more.

We are Americans. We – NYC, NJ/CT/HVNY, DC/DMV, PA – are an embodiment of American. In our diversity. In our tenaciousness. In our compassion. In our boldness. In our empathy. Stop “never forgetting” us and the aspect of America we embodied but once a year and embrace the spirit that drove us to overcome the attacks when most other places would have melted down and be inspired to take our comprehensive idea of community to a new level of American-ness. We weren’t perfect but we were a whole helluva lot better than the shitbaggery of people who continue to try and define American-ness as a division rather than an inclusion.

Posted in Opinion, personal musings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

12 years ago

Apparently, 12 years ago this month I officially registered this account with WordPress.

If 2006 seems pretty late in the grander scheme of my compiling my thoughts on line to have set up a WordPress account, well, you’re correct.

If you have not read the “about me” or some of the old posts that touch on this take the time to browse.

It’s important to remember as an aside, Gen-Xers were officially the first internet and mobile generation. But, I will concede, we only had those opportunities because boomers allowed us access. A bunch of Boomers decided in the 80s to give Xers all kinds of foundation technology like Atari, Commodore, and Intellivision, among other lesser names as entertainment systems. They provided us with Apple and IBM machines in elementary schools and introduced us to Logo and Basic programming languages. They showed us what the first broadly distributed mobile phones and pagers looked like through their jobs. They brought home from work the first desktop computers and made us focus on using programs that supposedly had educational purposes.

As a tangent, my first memories were working with Apple IIe’s in a NJ elementary school and using Intellivision’s many plug in gadgets to help the system bridge Atari’s pure video gaming and Commodore’s early entry into personal computing thanks to my uncle who worked in telco at the time and I’d still like to think saw the importance to our exposure even if initially my parents didn’t. Don’t worry, when my mom caught on she found all the not-fun cartridges to force education into it. I still have Word Hunt nightmares.

My first attempt at creating a home for my work was probably on the original VAX system at my alma mater in the mid-90s. Through the campus VAX systems I began an email list that cataloged the goings on of the campus freeform AM radio station WSAM. To archive those emails I moved them to a text site originating on the campus servers. Parallel, I’d had my aol.com personal email address for a few years and through that they were just beginning to make web hosting available at the time and using my very crude, rudimentary skills I remember trying to hack together an archive of the emails as well.

Right around this same time GeoCities really began to gain traction and I set up an account to try and take the text based emails I was sending beyond just being archived into representing something of a music ‘zine. Trust me when I say what I produced originally was bad. And, had no visitors. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but even attempting to hack together a music zine based on college programming and personal musing was probably ahead of its time.

GeoCities was an unstable, unprofessional minefield of Gen-X rebellion. Everything it should have been. Enter hometown.aol.com – the result of baby boomers trying to market to themselves and still not necessarily trusting of Gen Xers as we matured.

In hindsight, I’m not going to complain. AOL provided something much better suited for what I wanted to accomplish next online – creating a site that would anchor the early part of my career. I put my first official resume along with copies of the station and student news paper archive on it among other things. To tell you how early an idea this was, I had to carry reformatted paper copies of the website in a binder to interviews because some of the people I was talking to had no idea what a personal website was. Of all the WTF stories I have from my early career interviews this is the one that I look back on and think to myself how much I didn’t realize how my reaction to people dictated my career path. I was super fortunate to end up at a technology forward company for its time and if they know it or not, I was for them a technology forward employee at a time when the term didn’t even exist.

Hometown.aol.com for me existed next to the company website archives, which also sat next to Live Journal and MySpace and so on into the early 2000s. My original approach was to bare the safe parts of my soul along side of the more marketable parts of my intellect. So, most of what I posted were personal opinions about music and the music business along with select personal anecdotes. I knew all too well then how things could be misconstrued so I tried to maintain the same online persona as I did among my industry comrades and continuing education students.

27 May 2003 the original framework for WordPress was founded as a fork off the old b2/cafelog setup. It wasn’t until mid-2004 the version of what most of us know now would become WordPress actually became formalized. And not long after my first test accounts went up for work and fun.

For whatever reason I didn’t produce the blog you know now until 2006. There are older, more established, more prolific, more visited blogs from that era. But not many. There are even fewer examples like mine that exist for no other reason than as a personal diary. A recollection of who I’ve been online since I began online.

If you look back there are entries dating to 1998-1999 as I was able to reproduce them. So much stuff was basically in only two places, a local floppy drive and on whatever the hosting service was. And, as disks failed and drives went out of fad, and early cloud services changed their hosting on whims, a lot of stuff was lost, potentially forever. Things I have hard copies of if I ever get the time I’ll reproduce them to be posted as an archive but who knows when that might happen.

In the mean time, the last 12 years of undulating writing and posting has provided a pretty deep look at what my world looks like extending well beyond the music and business the blog was originally founded on to the inner workings of my soul if and when I felt like baring them. It’s gone through insights into where I hike, what I cook and eat, what I interpret of my daily life as a commuter, as a father, as a human. It talks about my interest in history, philanthropy and music as well as random things I collect like spam poetry and really bad wordplay and sarcasm.

So, hooray for me! It’s been twelve years! or twenty years! depending on your count maybe even more. Nonetheless it’s some anniversary, for some reason, so get reading!

Posted in business commentary, Opinion, personal musings, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Individualism versus Tribalism

I was forwarded “Do Americans Know How Weird and Extreme Their Collapse is Getting? Even the Dark Ages Would Laugh at Where We’re Going” by umair haque.

It’s a interesting thesis on the perceived downward spiral of the United States, particularly as it is portrayed the standpoint of dealing with Republican President Trump and fans. It’s a little campy and the research is very cursory and presented oversimplified, but it serves it’s purpose in trying to put this unique approach to society into a historical context. He’s right – there hasn’t been a major group quite like Trump Republicans, ever. And, he’s probably right that facism doesn’t describe them quite accurately. And, he’s probably right that theocratcs doesn’t describe them quite right. And, he’s probably right that not purely authoritarian either.

There’s an underlying concept here though that really stands out for me even though it’s not explicit spoken about throughout the article. It is especially noteworthy though since I’ve pointed out some of these examples as being socially problematic previously. This passage struck a chord an I believe needs further investigation:

” The idea that we should arm teachers, instead of protect kids from school shootings — militant capitalism. The idea that people should have to crowdfund insulin — techno-Darwinism. The idea that people should never be able to retire — neofeudalism. The idea that freedom is just the weak being exploited by the strong — neo-authoritarianism. Those are four more weird, ruinous, baffling ideologies — and just like theofascism, we’d have to go a long, long way back in human history to make sense of them. All these ideas are so strange, self-destructive, and fatally absurd, that they’re off the charts of history”

The author misses a big chance here to point out something very obvious — modern US society is split between those who believe in strict individualism versus that of tribalism, of every person for themselves versus that of a shared destiny. I think the former of those versus are how one creates a groudwork for perceiving everything as us versus them. And the former is also the one of Trump and his “fans” fully embrace, the one of where the Republican party has been moving toward for quite some time anyhow, the one that molds a lot of opinions even when people don’t realize that’s what they are necessarily using to defend their beliefs.

If individuals are solely responsible to and for themselves than any other individual could be perceived as a threat. Small groups of individuals temporarily bond with one another, not for the greater good of society per se, but the greater individual opportunity. It’s why hate groups and other closed ideologies aren’t tribalist – they often turn on themselves after a certain point because ultimately my individual need and belief forces me to see you as a threat. I’ll accepted you because we have some commonality for now and it was to my advantage, but when I’m done with you, I’ll find a difference between us and exploit it.

Individualism is how you end up with the individual need to own a gun to protect yourself because you don’t believe society would protect you. Despite the facts proving society is capable of offering broad protection by working together, individualists cling to the belief that it’s up to the individual to protect themselves. This splits into 1) Those incapable of self-protection are responsible for their own demise. 2) And a paranoid sense that any advocacy for mutual protection is really an attempt at weakening the individual so that they can be overtaken.

Individualism is how you end up having to beg for money to pay for healthcare because you don’t believe society is capable of taking care of you. And, no, crowdfunding is not an example of tribalism in this case. Only those individuals with the resources are able to successfully crowdfund for their health. Everyone is still on their own and it’s their responsibility to create a successful crowdfunding campaign. There’s an underlying premise that those that fail to maintain their health deserve their illness while those that are healthy are better individuals. While it’s proven that maintaining greater health and wellbeing is more efficient when the burden is shared it goes against the mindset of the individualist. They want to chose who they are willing to share what are perceived as finite resources. That’s why they support crowdfunding, if someone is undeserving of the individual’s help they don’t get it, if they are deserving they do. It’s up to the individual to dole out assistance as the individual sees if, because undeserving people shouldn’t be given handouts.

Individualism is how you get hatred for Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and other safety net programs. Again, it goes back to the idea that individuals are solely responsible for themselves. If you really did work hard you would have saved money for when you were jobless or ready to retire and you would be using your own money to support yourself. Tribalists believe there is an inherent social good to everyone helping everyone else out in a time of need so they are willing to pool resources and take out what’s necessary. Individualists are paranoid that they might not get their fare share. Individualists believe that others who the individual perceives as didn’t do as much might get more than their fair share. The individualist believes if you become unemployed it’s your fault and therefor your personal responsibility to rectify the situation. The tribalist understands that lots of things are outside of the individual’s control and makes an effort to share resources in order to overcome those obstacles as a community. Individualists, though, as the cliche on capitalism says, believe they are just temporarily not-rich. And, so they are willing to forgo the idea of collective efforts now so that when they supposedly inevitably become rich they can enjoy those spoils unabated. Tribalists know individualists are stupidly working against their own best interest but cannot change individualists minds because individualists are inherently afraid to share, even if it helps them out to be on the receiving end.

Individualism is how you end up with viewpoints where everything is privatized – because the idea is that public works programs benefit people how don’t deserve it but if you are deserving you can afford or can obtain or otherwise can do for yourself everything. You don’t need public schools because you can home school or find a private institution to teach you. If you’re incapable of obtaining entrance to a private institution that’s your own fault and if you lack the basic knowledge to home school that’s your problem to solve too. You don’t need laws providing for clean air, clean water, clean soil, etc. If you cannot keep the water near you clean yourself then you should have to deal with the filth or find an alternative that does provide clean water. It’s not a collective effort by society to maintain clean water, it’s up to entepeneurial individuals to exploit the existence of dirty water in order to determine who is a deserving individual of clean water versus who is not. And, while a bunch of individuals might temporarily work together to create a clean water solution, it’s highly unlikely that their acting tribally, for as soon as one individual decides they are more deserving they will cut the other’s out, rationalizing they’ve done the most important aspect of the work and are therefor deserving of the reward. Since the rest aren’t tribal, rather than throwing the individual out of the collective and continuing to work together they will all decide to split the water and go their own way, each rationalizing the other was the problem.

Even in some so-called collectives like some Churches what you actually find isn’t actually a tribal community but a group of individuals who are all personally responsible for their own saving. So, while they all sit together and pray for being saved as a common goal, the path to being saved is an individual one. I will be saved because I prayed harder, longer, an was more pious and righteous as I did and when good things happen it’s because of my effort in my relationship with “our” god. If you fail at any point it’s because you didn’t pray hard enough, or long enough, or weren’t as pious and rightenous as you could be and it’s up to you, and you alone, to overcome that burden. Individuals judge other individuals and treat them even within the collective based on perception. Not all churches are like this, there are definitely tribal ones where the church community not only works together to help one another out but they are embracing of everyone else outside of the church that might need help as well. It’s everyone’s responsibility to pool resources in order to reach spiritual enlightenment, and everyone gets the reward of being enlightened together. But that’s not how many of the big churches function even if that’s what they try and sell to their parishes…

Individualism is why people insist upon phrases like pull yourself up by your own boot straps. While tribalism realizes not everyone can but everyone deserves an opportunity to still be up. Individualism, which is how the Republican party has been trying to position itself since at least the Goldwater era, is exactly how you have Trump fans that laud Trump’s own supposed successes with individualism while exacting their own version of it. It’s why they old up racist, sexist, xenophobic slogans because the have nots, the thems, the others deserve to be told they don’t belong while they themselves as individuals they are just fine.

Afterall according to these particular individuals — it’s an immigrant’s responsibility to enter the country “legally” even if the reality is they tried and both the laws themselves and the current administrations interpretation of applying the law is inherently convoluted — that a person’ of color’s responsibility to not have an interaction with the police even if the reality is the police were responding to a false alarm, providing convoluted instructions that don’t always follow their own protocols or the law, and hide behind a excuse of ‘fearing for their lives’ that is obviously in many cases steeped in personal bias and bigotry — it’s a woman’s responsibility not to become pregnant so that they don’t have to worry about abortions or breast feeding or being treated illegally by their employer even though men supply the semen and have the stereotype sex drive as well as dick hardening pharmaceuticals that help make pregnancy possible in the first place.

So, while I get what the author was trying to do analyzing this new era of Trump inspired social engineering, they’re too focused on disproving some of the typical language used to describe Trump (facist, theocrat, etc.) that I think they miss an opportunity to dig into that which they glossed over getting to that quoted paragraph.

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MPHnoise: Metropolitan People’s Hell, the Be Nice to New Jersey week episode

The first week of July is (unofficially) Be Nice to New Jersey week. And, thus the return of MPH noise radio ‘s #MetropolitianPeoplesHell broadcast on KAOS Radio Austin as a celebration of all things Jersey metal, punk & hardcore, PLAYING NOW

Few places on the planet are as diverse as Dirty Jerz so it only stands to reason the music scene would be a cacophony of sound too. Some of it is melodic and memorable. Some of it is caustic and chaotic. All of it embraces the dichonomy of being the Garden State and the Concrete Jungle simultaneously, reflecting the life and times of those who created it.

As a Dirty Jerz kid I have some pretty strong opinions on the glory of the Garden State and what it and it’s music scene personally mean to me. I’ve done this theme since 2014 and showcased the region’s sonic dominance as long as I’ve been a DJ. The most difficult part of the programming is really trying to narrow down the offering to a 2-hour show because there is so much heavy music to chose from. And, while it’s rarely thought of in the same way as NYHC or Florida Death or the Bay Area thrash,or Seattle grunge or any of the other regional scenes, NJ’s impact is invasive to a number of genres including punk, tech & mathcore, metalcore, hardcore, glam and much more.

Throughout this year’s edition will continue our yearly meandering from the hudson river into the meadowlands salt marshes and old mc1a-e landfill sites to the redtide of port newark-elizabeth and tarmac of EWR past the linden cogeneration plant and the arthur kill refinery region into the raritan river tidal basin and the cheesequake blackwater to the McGuire-Dix region and into the pine barrens past smelladelphia suburbs and down to the delaware bay…

And, we’ll do so with brand new devilish mosh monsters Apocrophex, Strychnia, Franchise and Toothgrinder. Next, feel the footsteps of the Big Red Eye moshing next to you with some deathly dances by Dim Mak, Dripping, Dystrophy, Framework, Fit For an Autopsy, Cognative, Replicant, Sentinels. Then, the cunning and crazy of the Wemategunis
will wipe up the dance floor with you through Discordance Axis, the Dillinger Escape Pan, Burnt by the Sun, East of the Wall, the Number 12 Looks Like You, Folly. Finally, you’ll feel the massive teeth of the Matawan Man-eater mulling your moshed body with the likes of Orchid, God Forbid, Rorschach, Fortheloveof, Scary Stories, Deadguy, the Bouncing Souls and more!.

While we’re moshing our way across the state we’ll learn about some of the far fetched facts that make NJ the greatest state in the union and how to support maintaining NJ’s return to its garden state roots through organizations like http://www.njenvironment.org.

If you’ve missed past episodes of #MetropolitianPeoplesHell you can pick up the stream on http://www.mixcloud.com/mphnoise or for a limited time only you can get the downloadable show at mphnoiseradio.podomatic.com or kaosradioaustin.org/recent-shows I hope you will tune in to https://tunein.com/radio/MPH-NoiseDoormouse-p957654/ Sunday night.

Dim Mak “Between Two Fires” Enter the Dragon (red bank)

Apocrophex Sovereign Symbol ÆTernalis (2018)
Dripping “Beyond the Grave” Bring the Suffering
Dystrophy “Demise” Wretched Host
Framework “Beyond Earth’s Shadow” A World Distorted

Strychnia “Hellfire Ramparts” Into The Catacombs (2018)
Fit For an Autopsy “Tremors” Hellbound
Cognative ” In the Forms of a Drone” the Horrid Swarm
Replicant “Shroud” Negative Life
Sentinels “Extinct by Instinct” World Divide (cue :13)
Discordance Axis “Jigsaw” the Inalienable Dreams (hard stop)

Toothgrinder “Phantom Amour” PA (2017)
the Dillinger Escape Pan ” Baby’s First Coffin” Miss Machine
Burnt by the Sun “Battleship” Perfect is the Enemy of Good
East of the Wall “Linear Failure” the Apologist
the Number 12 Looks Like You “Category” NuclearSadNuclear (watch long fade, hit next track around 4:15 fade by 4;40)
Folly “Serenity Now ” Insanity Later (watch long intro, 28 sec)

Franchise “Contact” Ghost Light (2018)
Orchid “Loft Party” Gatefold (watch track bleeds)
God Forbid “Inside” Out of Misery (cue :01)
Rorschach “Recurring Nightmare 105” Autopsy
Fortheloveof “Immerse” Feasting on the Will of Humanity
Scary Stories “Rope” Rope
Deadguy “Angry Dwarf” Screaming (end 3:22)

the Bouncing Souls “PRMC” the Bad, Worse & Out of Print

Posted in Entertainment, mixtape, music, radio show, Uncategorized | Leave a comment