A Man with a Flashlight


You can take the boy out of California…
April 19, 2007, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Music

My old buddy Spencer, the quietly witty musician who kept his head on straight when we were lost in a forest. At night, in the Philippines. In the operating zone of the New People’s Army. Has posted this song on Youtube.
It’s Coleridge’s famous poem set to California pop. And also a tribute to his dog. Don’t try to understand, just watch.



Here come the mommies and the daddies
April 18, 2007, 1:08 am
Filed under: Music

This is when I feel like such an idiot voting for democrats. PC is back! E.J. Dionne Jr. leads the torch-and-pitchfork parade:

Finally, I have no use for the degrading aspects of a rap culture that has popularized slurs against African Americans and women

Great! Why don’t you just, not use them?

“I’m not being self-righteous,” Dionne writes about his take on Don Imus. Well, he is about rap. If someone shuffles through my CD collection while clucking his tongue, what is that? Is there a more textbook example of self-righteousness?

I guess because Don Imus is an unhappy, vindictive man, I should make a resolution to buy only radio-friendly, Up With People rap. Well, E.J. Dionne, Jr., and all you other tongue-cluckers, listen up: I will take this message much more seriously when, and if, I ever hear it from someone who likes rap.

Yes, there are rappers I like who say bitch, ho, nigger, yata yata. And there are rappers I like who don’t. I don’t really know if they are using the language that they hear around them, or just acting up to sell records. But I damn sure don’t want you deciding where that line is. As far as I can tell you’re not even aware that line exists. I bought the CD because it said “The Pharcyde,” not “The Pharcyde, writing within lyrical guidelines handed down to us by E.J. Dionne.” When I want to know what you think rap should sound like, I’ll buy your CD.

Derrick Jackson wants rappers to be fired if they use bad words. I hope this happens. Then I hope the rappers go on to make more money at different companies. Oops, we live in a free market democracy, damn!

What gives these people their misguided bravery is that they are coming from both political wings: all the Democrats who have harbored a grudge since PC got beat down, and all the Republicans who have always thought rap was trash, and now have somewhere to channel their sense of superiority. Oh, and let’s not forget straight-up bigots who must be thrilled to learn that racism comes from black rappers, not white racists.

Anybody who wants to know if I listen to the Pharcyde, Immortal Technique, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, or any other “unclean” acts: I paraphrase Mark Wahlberg’s character in The Departed:

Maybe I do, and maybe I don’t, and maybe go f— yourself.

Don’t be too quick to dismiss his wisdom – he was about the only character who ended the movie without a cap in his ass.