Thursday, November 24, 2005

Johnny Cash- Johnny Cash At San Quentin (Original LP Release) (1969)

My folks had mostly comedy records when I was a lil’ tyke, and tended to ignore music in general, save for the occasional oldies station blaring on the transistor in the kitchen. My Mom maintained something (sort of) resembling a family record collection. (Dad thought that buying records was “foolish”, like a lot of other things- long story, and not the time or place for telling it now.)

What few musical releases were on hand comprised of folks like Sammy Davis Jr. and Peggy Lee, and myriad collections of Christmas classics, with the occasional contemporary country offering such as Lynn Anderson’s “Rose Garden” and “Roger Miller’s Greatest Hits”.

And “Johnny Cash At San Quentin”. Some kids would be embarrassed to admit that they played the shit out of even just one of their parents’ records, but this was one that I nearly wore out, and lo and behold, the LP I grew up listening to is this season’s sound du jour, thanks to the recent release of the (entertaining, but mostly inaccurate and bullshit filled) motion picture “Walk The Line”.

As a naïve, impressionable kid, I loved every fuckin’ thing about this record: among other things, there's the stripped down chugga-chug of the band, driven by Carl Perkins’ smooth guitar runs (trademarked by Luther Perkins, who had died about seven months previous to this concert), Cash’s relentless shit talking, verbally clawing in on the prison authorities’ skin (sometimes good naturedly and mostly not), and a few barreling renditions of Cash classics like “I Walk The Line” and “Folsom Prison Blues” performed with a tempo that must have been laid down and never restored from Cash’s pep pill days. Even the relatively dorky numbers, like the gospel tunes and the duet with June Carter Cash on John Sebastian’s “Darling Companion”, are performed with such a level of sincerity and vivacity that even the most arrogant purveyors of cool will kick their own asses in self-loathing at the admission that they may have actually enjoyed what they heard.

The (British) Granada TV special that this album is forged from is a fine time capsule of interviews with San Quentin inmates and an interesting perspective of the era’s Death Row atmosphere. Unfortunately, the documentary does no justice to Cash’s performance as it chops the actual concert into terse particles and we only get mostly halfed-or-worse segments of practically all of the songs that made the final cut. A more accurate title for the TV special may have been “Life In San Quentin (with special guest Johnny Cash).”

Nah, if you want to feel the true atmosphere of the actual show that went down between those walls and guard towers, you will have to listen to this record from start to finish. And even though the first vinyl release is changed around (with the set list “corrected” and extended on the later CD re- issue,) it may be worth it to hit the nearest used record store and pick up the original article. Shit, the original LP was at Number One for 20 straight weeks, so in any big city it couldn’t be THAT hard to scare up a copy.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ah, Sacramento’s venerable Alhambra Blvd. Safeway. Here is a store allegedly smitten with tons of bad karma by the aficionados of the movie theater that was razed previous to the supermarket’s construction. And yet, rejoiced over by so many generations of twenty- and thirty-something Midtown recreational alcoholics, grateful for that special place to score one more 12 pack of Hamm’s at 1:50 AM. in order to continue the partyin’ into the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Playing catch-up to its newer sister store at 19th and S Streets, the Alhambra store recently underwent a makeover. One truly positive note: unlike the newer store there’s no tin horse sculpture or lame water silo that can’t actually hold water (yet.) That's why I, simply overwhelmed with curiosity, just HAD to go check the newly remodeled digs out. (OK, I lied: it was the 10.00 discount coupon that was about to expire which I received in the mail ad as part of the store's Grand "Reopening" hoo-ha whoop de doo campaign.)

Of course, like many businesses nowadays, Safeway is trying ways to endear the public into feeling special simply because they walked in for some Napa wine, cat food and Brie. At least that seems to be the target audience they’re attempting to attract with their, um, creative use of words for their section signs.

For instance, you’re not just among fruits and vegetables- you’re having a “fresh from the fields” experience! Whee! How wonderful is that? And all I wanted was some Macintosh apples and broccoli crowns! And to contemplate the amazing idea that they are going to be “fresh from the fields” to boot! Wow!

And that’s not just any ol’ gallon of milk that I'm taking home, honey! THAT is a “pure and wholesome” specimen of godly nectar which I'm going to pour on the morning cereal! I just tingled inside when I realized what I was partaking in!

Vegans are probably going to be rather unpleased with the declaration of the meat counter as “the main course.” Come to think of it, they probably won’t be thrilled with the dairy section’s “pure and wholesome” tag either. Especially when you consider that the Veggie Burgers and other vegetarian meat substitutes are tucked away in the frozen section. But now, like its younger sibling on S Street, there’s a pseudo- Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods Market- like section with a large variety of overpriced excuses to avoid the lower classes in other parts of the store. (Is this a possible future trend? Stores segregating their merchandise by a perceived ideological caste?)

Of course, my most rational reaction I could possibly have to this literary license of the grocery store wall would be something along the lines of “Why the fuck would anyone do this?” Perhaps there was a fancy overpriced demographic study done at some point suggesting (for all stores and not just due to Midtown’s large literati/cultural Nazi scene) that these flowery phrases on the walls would somehow reinforce a sense of fondness and loyalty, that is, a reliable and regular consumer base. My advice: if this actually happened, please demand a refund. Now. Here. You can use my cell phone. Call that marketing firm and get your money back. Pronto.

At least the courtesy booth still reads “Customer Service” and not some fruity euphemism like “dedicated to serve and please.” Sure, most folks won’t give a shit either way: they just hope that there’s enough registers open in order to get the Hell out of there as soon as their shopping’s done. However, I have a gut feeling that, like any other store, Safeway will be hearing from folks in its more vociferous customer base who don’t quite “get” the attempt to stand out and be charmingly different from the other markets. In a matter of time, if there’s any writing up there at all, we’ll see a return to the more generic “Meats Fish and Poultry” and “Dairy” back in place, and the Grocer’s Poetry Project will be a thing of the past.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Sure, of COURSE the White House is in complete denial (anticipating an upcoming BBC documentary). Supposedly, Dubya claimed to a guy who now happens to be the Palestinian information minister that the POTUS got divinely direct orders to fuck up Iraq and Afghanistan, AND create a Palestinian state! Hmmm... should I accept the White House press secretary's denial? I mean, this isn't a fella who'd come up with all kinds of rhetorical bullshit to sway people over to his side, now would- ... um, yuh. Actually, that sounds RIGHT on the money. Like the Blues Brothers, this brah thinks that he really IS on a fuckin' mission from God. God help us all.

Here's the really funny story about the BBC documentary and the denials from the White House

Friday, September 30, 2005

William Bennett inspired me to come up with a wild idea.

Y’know, I just realized that, if we just aborted every single Republican family’s baby, the environment would improve, jobs would stop leaving the country, schools would have more resources to provide a quality education, everyone could afford medical care whenever they needed it, and we wouldn’t be getting shot at in the middle of some other nation that we had no business invading in the first place. And that would just be the tip of the iceberg. Oh, and thanks to the improved quality of life, the crime rate would probably go down as well.

But of, course, snicker snicker snuckle, that would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do. But I just thought I’d throw it out there nonetheless. Uh, yuh, that’s all I’m doing. Just showing you how ridiculous it would be. Yeahrite.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Phil Ochs- There But For Fortune (1989)

Some time ago, in a land not far from where Dubya was schtupping college co-eds and pretending to be serving in the Army National Special Air Reserve something-or-other, there were a class of troubadours with a goal to influence the national psyche through an acoustic guitar and a loud and angry voice. These tunemongering rabble rousers eventually earned the label from various sources of illiterati of the time as Freedom Singers. Such luminaries of the modern folk genre as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger brought in and after the Depression era this musical movement, seen as noble by some and dubious by others, into mainstream America’s ears and concert halls. It helped line the wallets of Bobby Dylan and Joan Baez. And it produced a frontlining Hellraiser with probably the most impressive street cred of the 1960's protest folkies, one Phil Ochs.

There But For Fortune is a choice assortment of selections from Ochs' early work on the Elektra label. When I first spied the track listing for this in the record store, it appeared as only half done as far as collections go. I presumed that any purported Ochs anthology would include later classics such as "Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends" and "Chords Of Fame". But those were done in his later stint with A&M. Elektra after all, released this. Besides, the slice of time captured on this anthology shines the brightest light possible on Phil Ochs as the textbook example of the American Protest Singer.

Ochs may strike many novice listeners as just another public radio darling of the gourmet beer sipping Trader Joe's crowd. For one thing, occasionally he broke into that smooth yet stilted "I am self-righteous and you know I am right" tone of voice. Sort of like a politically charged Jonathan Richman with a snootier tone mixed in there somewhere. But once you tell your conditioned dismissal defenses to just shut the fuck up for a minute, Ochs' incredible ability to push the message and tell the story through the music registers loud and clear.

Even though songs like "Draft Dodger Rag" and "Here's To The State Of Mississippi" are now coated in the dust of history, they give an unwavering editorial on the State Of The Nation, circa 1965. And there are so many tunes pulled for this collection alone that will withstand the test of time. "What's That I Hear", "One More Parade" and "Is There Anybody Here" are filled with a compelling mix of cynicism and discontent. And yet by their relative negative tone they are crafted to instill hope in the targeted listener. Word for word I would dare to opine that they equal or even surpass the meaning and significance of much of the collected works of the artist formerly known as Zimmerman.

Maybe something that kept Ochs from the level of superfolkie status enjoyed by many of his peers of the era was the fact that his general appearance and demeanor seemed a bit too goshdarn cleancut. Sure, he could drink Dean Martin under the table, but alcohol has always been accepted by the status quo of Establishment America. But really, there was not a shred of latent hippie-dippiness in the guy. He was someone you could just as easily picture in the booth of a truckstop as strumming tunes on a bench in People's Park. Too "male" to some, not rock n'rolled out enough to others.

I only wish that he'd decided to live past '76. Who knows what kind of response we'd get from, "So Phil... heard these Sex Pistols yet? Whaddya think? Wild shit eh?" We need an equal to Ochs today, now more than ever. But if one did step up, for starters, he or she would never get a major label deal. So, the next Ochs would have to have enough shit together to put out self-produced and self-marketed releases. But then, some self-righteous hacks would just shoot it down. They'd ignore the lyrical content altogether and whine and wring their hands over the lack of instrumental ability and use lazy, unjust labels like "sloppy" and "boring". Hmmm, in the closest comparison, I think that there’s a young lady from Buffalo carrying that cross nowadays, but the name escapes me…

Saturday, September 03, 2005

In a nutshell, here’s the basic breakdown of the overall descriptive representation of the victims of Hurricane Katrina,
as described by Establishment Television News:

WHITE PEOPLE: escapees, survivors, casualties, adapting, finding food for survival, triumphant and resilient victims.

BLACK PEOPLE: refugees, killers, rapists, thugs, looting, stealing food for survival, pathetic and helpless victims.

Yes, I do think that is a fucked up thing. No, you’re not being overly judgmental, that WAS how the shit was being
played out.

When Kanye West broke away from the teleprompter during NBC’s “A Concert for Hurricane Relief,” and started to tell the nation what he REALLY thought about the situation down in the Gulf Coast, he was just saying what too many of us were thinking of at home. "I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food." Yup. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Here’s the (mostly) black people of the New Orleans Superdome slowly starving and thirsting to death, wondering what the HELL happened to the evacuation that was promised, among dead bodies and the stench of backed up toilets, and then let’s cut to Mississippi, where the (just about all) white folks are mugging their somehow freshly scrubbed faces for the camera as they push their fully loaded carts out of fuckin’ Lowe’s Hardware declaring, “yeah, wanna tell my kinfolks in (insert name of quaint lil’ mostly Caucasian town here) that we all right, everybody’s ooookay.” Cut to New Orleans cops grabbing their fellow ethnic minority citizens by the collar, making them dump their pile of freshly acquired goods, and then tossing them into the toxic lake of floodwaters in the street. Then let’s segue to yet another town and talk to some clean cut ol’ WASP gent warmly cooing over “Big Bertha”, or whatever he called the shotgun in his hand, and telling anecdotes suggesting to the effect that “she” makes him feel safe from “certain o’them kinds of people.”

Then we have fuckin’ Dubya (who took two whopping days off his vacation time just to get his ass in gear and get down to the disaster site) eventually showing up and bellying up for the prime photo op. Oh, look at our POTUS warmly embracing not one, but TWO African-American ladies! Hear him as he gently gives them fatherly kissies on the forehead. Then he hops over to New Orleans and takes a quick looksee at the “progress” on the levee repairs, then makes some feel-good rhetorical observations from the portable Presidential press podium at the airport before getting the Hell out of there.

In the coming months, we’ll be hearing and seeing the spotlight on the “heroes” who stepped up to the challenge of rescuing and aiding all of these poor people, many of whom lost everything, and realistically, Mother Nature tends not to discriminate with anyone in her path. But I put forth the sentiment that the REAL heroes are the thousands who lawfully and peacefully showed up at the locations where they were instructed to go, only to be left on the shelf for days at a time, and yet somehow staying alive until Uncle Sam finally got his shit together and shifted the aid machine into gear.

To add a fitting final note to my rant, I leave you with this brief snippet from a story by Mary Foster of the Associated Press re: the final evacuation from the Superdome:

"At one point Friday, the evacuation was interrupted briefly when school buses pulled up so some 700 guests and employees from the (nearby Hyatt Regency) hotel could move to the head of the evacuation line — much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in the Superdome since last Sunday."

Gee! What do you suppose was the ethnic profile of most of THOSE folks, eh?

Click HERE to kick down some cashola to the Red Cross

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Y’know, Dubya… after 9/11, if you had, after all, poured every single available military resource into Afghanistan near the Pakistani border in one big glorious egg hunt for Bin Laden and Co., you probably could have had a shred of credibility and confidence in your leadership by now. Perhaps you could have convinced some of the present naysayers that you were at least TRYING to do the right thing. But, of course that would stray from the reality of your true allegiance to certain dubious interests.

You (with the careful guidance of your military industrial puppet masters) just HAD to bamboozle the most gullible of our desperately vengeful sunshine patriot population into thinking: somehow, turning Iraq into a playground of blood-drenched mischief and chaos is going to make us feel safer day to day.

And along comes Cindy Sheehan. Here’s a mother of a soldier killed in your silly pointless war trying to get a straight answer from you as to not only why we are still there, but also why we went into Iraq with guns blazing in the FIRST place. Admittedly, she may be a bit confused from your previous statements just like many others. After all, first it was WMDs, then it was some connection with Al-Qaeda, and now it’s some bullshit about capturing Saddam and bringing him to justice so that the Iraqi people can enjoy McDonalds and SBC DSL service just like us good ‘merrkans do right in the U.S. of A.! Of course, as time goes by, you are proving that you are not man enough to address her questions (even in front of a camera on prime time TV as a statement to all of the American people) and that doesn’t surprise me one bit. No, in typical Dubya fashion, you’ll just let someone else do the real work. In this case, that entails letting your ignorant right-wing megaphone flunkies run round like dogs to deride Cindy Sheehan by whatever sleazy put downs and otherwise juvenile and unwarranted comments are necessary to keep Halliburton’s profit margin healthy in the Iraqi desert.

And now these idiots are namedropping Jane Fonda into the mix! Like, nobody saw that coming. There doesn’t seem to be any concern from the cheerleader hawks that what Jane Fonda did has no fuckin’ comparison whatsoever to Cindy Sheehan’s campaign. If Jane Fonda had camped outside of San Clemente, stating to reporters, “I want President Nixon to explain to me why our boys are dying over in Vietnam and how long they’ll be staying there…” how much ammunition would the dove-bashers have nowadays in terms of a galvanizing scapegoat?

It’s ultimately sickening to see these pawns for Move America Backward, erm I mean Forward, all parroting the same tired sentiment about how Cindy Sheehan is going to endanger the morale of our troops. It’s ironic that I, as a staunch opponent of Dubya’s illegal holy war in Iraq, have more faith in our men and women in the armed forces than the zombies who tow the party line in the name of a cult mentality mistaken for “patriotism”. I just can’t picture these soldiers being disheartened because someone is engaging in their right to freely speak in dissent. After all, isn’t that what Dubya and Rummy and all those other assholes are telling them is the REASON that they are stationed there?

Want to preserve integrity and well-being? Instead of pulling your hair out over Cindy, try campaigning for stuff like body armor and secure vehicles and such that will keep young people with a future from returning back to us in flag-draped coffins. Then you’ll actually be showing your support for the troops and still look right-wing PC without embarrassing your fellow Dittoheads at the water cooler.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

You know, I’m not really that familiar with that Eliot Spitzer guy or his political positions. But with enough of the proper evidence to encourage me, I’d be tempted to start a grassroots presidential campaign for the Spitzer ’08 ticket.

After all, anyone who could make a major recording conglomerate roll over and pee themselves in admitting that they paid off radio stations in merchandise and trips and such in order to get their shitty music on the air has already earned my vote. Spitzer did exactly that, in performing his duties as the State of New York’s Attorney General. Not to mention the fact that, to add insult to injury, Sony BMG has to kick down a 10 million dollar fine for good measure. This well-earned legal spanking provides glorious proof of what countless others and myself have known all along, and in this example, the letters in Sony “BMG” obviously stand for “Bribe Me Good.”

Hopefully, we’ll get to see the other majors get smacked soon enough, since Sony is just copping to tactics that are more or less undertaken by the rest of the monstrosity known as the recording industry. Will this take a big permanent bite out of Payola, smiting it for the salvation of generations of listeners to come? Nah, I doubt it. But it’s still fun to watch ‘em squirm.

I’ve got a lovely proposition for the offending parties: now, Eliot (can I call you Eliot?), listen carefully. When the shit starts really hitting the fan, and the labels start getting cold feet like so many Young Republicans after re-introduction of the draft, and wanting to back away from scrutiny, here’s a suggestion re: what to do with the revenue from fines. Instead of paying out for "music appreciation programs" (where they could just give away their CDs and write it off at retail,) make them donate the cold hard cash to a relief effort in Africa being staged right now by the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations.

Hell, the money generated by just two fines (assuming it equals or surpasses Sony’s total, which from two corporations would add to over 20 million dollars) would fund emergency rations heading out to the most vulnerable 1.2 million starving people in Niger right now. Plus it would shed some much-needed light upon a dire situation that the major news outlets, in their all encompassing wisdom and journalistic integrity, have more or less chosen to ignore. After all, it’s MUCH more important to keep a live camera trained on a pond in Aruba being drained for the possible remains of a missing Bama blonde than to inform the world that there’s people disintegrating by the millions in some Third World country. I guess that they feel that the viewing public prefers to see images of Black people as well fed, oversexed minstrels and athletes and not in various later stages of malnutrition. That may not be the kind the reality TV that sells Pepsi and Chryslers. Because obviously, if people give money to charity, that’s at least a bit less change blown on consumer goods, and golly, we wouldn’t want THAT to happen, would we?

But I digress. It sure is lovely to see a karmic payback to the major labels for the shit they’ve pulled. One of the emails presented by Spitzer has a station manager who allegedly (snicker snicker) took stuff from Sony BMG as saying, “I’m a whore this week. What can I say?”

Not much more, I’m sure. And it couldn’t have been said better. Really. And truly.

Here's a fun story from Hong Kong on the Sony BMG settlement.

Here is a link to the United Nations World Food Programme website.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


(Note: Here's some writing from what I titled the "Cheesy Promo Insert" mailed out with media copies of my 2001 CD, Never. Instead of the typical "(insert artist here) is a gifted and talented prodigy whose music is reminiscent of (insert famous people here)", there's some notes on what makes me "tick" as a musician. At least one writer needed his diaper changed after reading it, and tried to "git back at me real good" with a pathetic attempt to undermine my statements. Most folks seemed to appreciate what I was saying, so here's the original rant for posterity's sake.)

Here's my basic philosophy. Music is played for enjoyment, not profit. I enjoy what I write and record. Elitists and haters can suck my ass.

I envision a future where musicians, visual artists, and anyone creative can participate in a world free of monopolistically imposed limitations, overly pasteurized cultural standards, and financially inspired works. I would love to be able to know that somebody can go out in the vicinity of their town here in America and find entertainment and information being distributed and presented in an honest and genuine manner, with people more obsessed with the heart, guts and soul of the stuff shared than the dumb-ass bottom line of the profit margin. I would like to see people help each other when it's really real and not because their egos need a good jerk-off or they expect something in return. Likewise, I'd like to see less folks sitting around consuming and THINKING about creating something they can share with the world, rather than what they can get for the least amount of exchange.

Fuck using the famed description for television- it's the music industry that has become the true vast wasteland. Consider the terminology itself- "music industry", "entertainment industry"; what if someone started using the term "art industry"? It would be quickly reduced to describe the likes of Velvet Elvises, Big Eyed Cats In Alleyways, and Dogs Playing Poker. Why isn't the same cynicism used to dismiss the hacks and quick-buck scammers who stink up today's airwaves and record store racks? One could argue that people buy the shit, so obviously they prefer and enjoy the shit. But really- prefer it in comparison to what? Enjoy it, or convince themselves that they enjoy it because some media Gestapo figure told them to?

Don't like my music? Fine. Create something that speaks out of YOU. I can respect that. But don't put me beneath some disposable boy group, trend-mongering hanger-on, or theory-drunk soul-killing "real" musician. You're only bullshitting and being unfair to YOURSELF.

Monday, June 20, 2005

----- Original Message -----
From: Martin the Jackzi (
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 8:25 AM
Subject: Michael Jackson

Hi there,

I just came across your website and your blog about Michael Jackson.

Michael is a very good friend of mine (at least as a pretend friend) and I just wanted to say a few words to you. I can understand that you did not like the verdict, but what I do not understand is why you should launch into a personal attack on someone just because you do not like his love for the children. It says in your previous blog "Okay, it’s (embarrassingly) true confession time: as a kid just a few years younger than Jacko, I was actually inspired to get into writing and playing music thanks to seeing the Jackson 5 on the tube when I was six or seven years old". What happened to that? What I find really disgusting is the way you used the "molestations" and Michael's current plans to resume his career in your "blog". You have no idea what he went through and also what really happened. Moreover, his personal struggle has nothing to do with his talent and music and should not have come into this at all. But I guess if it wasn't for that, you wouldn't have much to write about.

I believe that Michael has a great future in front of him. It is your future that looks pretty pointless to me.


From: Michael Psycho
To: Martin the Jackzi
Subject: Re: Jacko’s Lotto Win in Court
Date: Friday, June 17 08:18:28 -0700

Thanks for your input.
If you are concerned with how his " his personal struggle has nothing to do with his talent and music and should not have come into this at all" then you should have seen how his brother went on and on with Larry King about a “conspiracy” against Jacko and his career, which, in this observer’s humble opinion, Jacko himself seems to have sabotaged quite nicely. I mean, do you actually think that “Invincible” has any listening quality even in the slightest? Pee-yew!

I don't care if Jacko makes another album. I just wanted a more objective and accurate verdict.

I responded with the same weapon that Jacko’s family and supporters are using: words. So if you were miffed by the fact that I posted my opinion of the verdict, well, there are two sides to every opinion.

Oh and thanks for your opinion, but my future is none of your business.
Michael Psycho

From: Martin the Jackzi (
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2005 1:32 PM
Subject: Michael Jackson

I was judging you just by what you wrote, same as you did with Michael. I mentioned you (sic) future only after reading " Maybe with a little luck, he’ll be caught with his drawers down and hand in the pants of a pre-teen in a nice country located, um, somewhere in Asia or South America. Then we’ll see if his high retainer legal goons, level of fame and checkbook can REALLY do the job. Nothing short of an extended involuntary stay inside of a Thai prison would be sweeter karmic justice for Jacko.". I thought that was a pretty crap thing to say to someone in Michael's condition and none of your business either.

That's all...


From: Michael Psycho
To: Martin the Jackzi
Subject: Re: You Are Smoking Crack, Aren’t You?
Date: Sat, 18 June 2005 09:18:28 -0700

So because Michael's your, um, friend his family and supporters have a monopoly on crap things to say, eh? Interesting theory.

Thanks again.
Michael Psycho

Sent: Sunday June 19 5:09 AM Subject: Re: Michael Jackson

No, they do not have a monopoly on crap things to say, obviously. I didn’t even say they were right to be abusive in their opinion of the accuser’s family. All I wanted to say was that it was not fair to use his fondness for children in your blog.
Thanks again.

I know you didn't say it, so I will ask you.
Do you think they ARE right to be abusive in interviews?
Michael Psycho

(At this point “Martin” doesn't respond. At this point I receive an email from, who else but:)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Jackson"
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2005 12:08 PM
Subject: website

mr. psycho-
i heard u had my name up on your web-site, but i am “resting”. pity, i would have enjoyed reading what u had to say. michael jackson

From: Michael Psycho
Date: Tuesday, June 21 9:20 PM
To: Jacko the Freak
Subject: re:website

Nah Jacko. You definitely would not have enjoyed it. But in retrospect, perhaps it's much more effective to ignore you than insult you.

Michael Psycho

From: "Michael Jackson"
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 12:08 PM
Subject: website

michael-yeah, okay, mr. psycho. that's why he said that you went to the trouble to write about how perverted i am on your web-site, but you were busy "ignoring"me all that time. feel free to look the word up(i-g-n-o-r-e). i doubt you're capable of the wit it would require to properly insult me, since true wit requires comprehension skills, which I obviously lack. i actually wanted to read what you had to say about me, but since you were "ignoring" me, i guess i'll just go back to being a performer, and you can go back to whatever it is you do while waiting (forever) to get a shot with those"majors".
michael jackson

From: Michael Psycho
Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2005 9:20 PM
To: Jacko the Freak

Jacko, you ignorant slut,You call that stale crock of shit song and dance act “performing”?
You really are a waste of everyone’s time.

Michael Psycho

From: "Thomas Mesereau" (
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2005 9:01 AM
Subject: Cease and Desist


my-client-and-one-of-his-alleged-fans.(beep, chirp) You-are-probably-
innocent-and-… please-wait-system-backup-system-back-up-
can-not-compute-…(beep, whirr, chirp, bing) thank-you-,
will-continue-now. In-closing-, may-I-say-that-justice-is-done-the-
man's-innocent-he always-was. If-you-keep-this-blog-posted-you-

Thomas Mesereau, Jr.

From: Michael Psycho
To: Thomas Mesereau
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 3:49 PM
Subject: Fer Chrissakes, Tom, Lighten Up

My God, you even email like a fuckin’ robot.

Mr. Mesereau… if you please, look up the legal boundaries in regards to satire of public figures. Go ahead and waste your time filing all of the documents in the universe’s realm. I think that, at least in America, the decision of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (1988) set the standard in this particular subject.

And what’s more, yes, of course these are fake emails! DUH! FYI, I actually modified some “troll mail” I received from these two idiots (at least I THINK that there were 2 authors) about 5 years ago.

If anything’s truly outrageous about this, it’s the fact that I didn’t really need to change the basic body of any of these trolls’ messages… just had to pretty much substitute a name here or there.

And, yes, of course I’ll admit that your email is COMPLETELY made up. So lighten up. A little parody can be a great character builder (and it seems that most of the folks on the defense side of this case could use some more of that.) So, just bask in the glory of the fact that you got an accused child molestor off the hook based mostly on his fame and building a climate of hate for the victim’s family, and to slightly modify one of your client’s more famous songs, leave me the FUCK alone.

Michael Psycho

Monday, June 13, 2005

The verdict changes nothing.

Jacko is a perverted pedophile who got a double break, first by buying off one kid and then lucking out with a jury on another. We have learned the hard way over the years that in order for the system to “work”, sometimes you have to acquit people who aren’t necessarily innocent. But this wasn’t a case where an accused child molester was found not guilty. This was an extraordinary moment where the mother of the accused's victim lost a popularity contest, awarding her son’s alleged molester a “get out of jail free” card.

Okay, let’s pretend that Mom truly is a lying sack of shit who tries to swindle celebrities. Presuming that a grifter’s child can not tell the truth about getting molested shows about as much intelligence as proclaiming that a prostitute could not be raped. In an interview after the verdict at least one or two jurors whined something to the effect about how there was no “smoking gun” to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Jacko was guilty of ANY of the charges. If these rocket scientists had been sitting as jurors on certain other cases, there would be a Hell of a lot of now-convicted Catholic priests out walking the streets today.

Yeah, it can be argued convincingly that the prosecutors fucked up this case from the get go. But this is still the beginning of the end for Michael Jackson. He certainly has nothing to celebrate here. It’s not like the court of public opinion will suddenly take him in with open arms. This motherfucker had better prepare to be walking on eggshells for the rest of his life. Because the next time he gets in hot water (and with a typical serial pedophile like Jacko this will happen, guaranteed) the channels of law enforcement will be working extra carefully to ensure that you don’t get to saunter off in the clear. Maybe with a little luck, he’ll be caught with his drawers down and hand in the pants of a pre-teen in a nice country located, um, somewhere in Asia or South America. Then we’ll see if his high retainer legal goons, level of fame and checkbook can REALLY do the job. Nothing short of an extended involuntary stay inside of a Thai prison would be sweeter karmic justice for Jacko.

(Just for nostalgia's sake, here's a blog I wrote in 2003, just after the "Living With Michael Jackson" special was aired, and just before the legal shit hit the fan for Jacko. Click here to read it)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


(Transcript of opening dialogue from a CD found in the gutter of a Midtown street corner. Original recording in italics; my commentary in normal type.)

This is Jim Robinson, KWOD program director.

Hello, Jim, this is Michael Psycho, your worst demographic nightmare.

On this CD you’ll hear a vast variety of what you’ll hear on ” KWOD version 2.0”. When we got together to brainstorm KWOD 2.0, we decided to toss out some of the tired “radio stuff”.

You mean, “tired radio stuff” like when radio stations get desperate for ratings and claim to be “throwing away the book” on typical commercial formats?

Starved for attention DJs that don’t have a clue, too many commercials, lame contests, and playing the same 10 songs over and over with mind numbing repetition.

Which is what will KWOD will quickly revert back to after this “noble experiment” fails.

We think Sacramento’s ready for an honest radio station that respects the music, cares what the listeners think, has a little fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. So we’re gonna hire a staff of knowledgeable jocks who know their music, and give them some freedom on the air.

Hey, uh, don’t we already have that here in Sac? Oh, yeah, it IS about 20 miles away in Davis and in many parts of the city it gets jammed out by other commercial signals that shouldn’t BE in the 90.3 frequency space, but, the fact is, all that philosophy is already, like, THERE, man.

If there’s such a thing as a playlist, it’ll be constantly changing and expanding, a living breathing entity if you will.

Okay, Jim, now you’re starting to creep me out. I want my musical choices to keep me interested, maybe match my emotions on occasion, at least entertain me somewhat. But this “living breathing” playlist shit is downright freaky, brah.

We’re also going to have a dramatic reduction of commercials, and generally, a lot less crap. Oh, we’re not saying no crap, just a lot less crap.

Oh, I get it. That’s like when the Bush administration started saying, “Look, we don’t think Saddam has WMDs, but he coulda started makin’ ‘em if we didn’t go in and git him.” It’s going to be the same old tired standard of playing “less commercials per hour”, but just cramming them together in longer segments.

Enjoy the variety sampler, and tell everybody you know about KWOD 2.0 at 106.5 FM, streaming at

Great! Thanks Jim! Okay, show me what’s in store for what RAD stuff my ears will be treated to!

(What follows Mr. Robinson’s intro is a barrage of 6 to 8 second samples from various “alternative” Top 40 corporate acts such as REM, Nirvana, Jet, and even Bob Marley stuck in the middle somewhere, but it’s “Jammin”, which, like the rest of the barrage of clips in the next 2 minutes, is an over played single which does not even closely represent the artists’ more interesting work. The next two dozen or so tracks appear to be brief segments intended as station ID promos for “KWOD 2.0” basically parroting what was said earlier- “KWOD 106.5- Radio Without Rules”, “fewer commercials, less repetition”, “We play what we want to”, ad nauseum. Each introductory promo is followed by anywhere between one and five minutes of short bursts of the same tired aforementioned music by the same overplayed artists)

You gotta admit it’s a nice try. Hey, someone at the KWOD “brainstorming session” suddenly proclaimed: Let’s just COMBINE ALL of our playlists from at LEAST the last 15 years or so, throw up some trendy “oldies” from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, and kick in a couple of Marley tracks (to keep the stoners happy), and we won’t piss off the record companies and promoters, because they’re going to make their airplay fees and royalties anyway! After which, the rest of the “brainstormers”, who couldn’t come up with shit to say anyway, all started yelling, “YES! That’s IT! EUREKA! Let’s start Power Pointing a strategic initiative for the Entercom executives, like, right NOW, man!”

It’s the same old game. Make the ad money and garner the required ratings by fooling the kids. Good luck with your “experiment” KWOD. Really. I’ll be right here not listening.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Carl Karcher must be shitting his pants with glee right now.

After a whole load of commercials for the Carl’s Jr. burger joint chain which tried its best to sink to the lowest common denominator of intelligence and humor, each sorry ass radio and TV spot replete with misogyny, fake machismo, juvenile ogling or a combination of any or all of the three, Carl Karcher Enterprises has finally aired a spot that has given his hideous little swill pit of a “restaurant” chain some notoriety. And we all know what they say about bad publicity beating none at all.

Paris Hilton, whose claim to fame sprang from such things as spending her family’s money and sucking her boyfriend’s dick on bootleg videos, is in the latest Carl’s Jr. ad washing a Bentley in a skimpy swatch of cloth and taking a few bites out of one of those horrendous shit sandwiches that Karl and Co. are trying to sell to, according to one of their formulated recent press responses, “our target market, 18-34-year-old males, who are the biggest consumers of fast-food burgers.” And in an earlier statement, Paris herself admits that, while she does not actually really indulge in burgers, that her mutt Tinkerbell absolutely loves them! So see fellas? The bitch wants to sell you dog food! Get hypnotized by that tits n’ass and pick up a surefire diarrhea and indigestion enhancer at yer local Carl’s Jr. right now!

And don’t expect too much public outcry on this one, at least from the usual Christian fundamentalist “family values” assholes who bitched about Janet Jackson. Herr Karcher has a long history of donating money to homophobic ballot initiative causes and the right wing, fetus grieving, affirmative action hating goofball politicians who love that sort of stuff.

Which makes you figure it all out: at last, after all that money being spent, Carl Karcher can point at this latest sorry marketing stunt and proclaim, “See? I ain’t no fag!”

Monday, May 23, 2005

Nuclear Assault- Handle With Care (1989)

I never considered myself to be much of a diehard metal fan. Still, I have a deep dislike of pigeonholing and labeling any form of art. Besides, to dismiss an entire genre of music just cheats oneself. But oh Hell, I'm guilty of labeling for the sake of description from time to time anyway.

I don't care what Nuclear Assault gets tagged with in time- hardcore crossover, thrash metal, speed metal, conscious latter day crossover hardcore thrash speed death metal, whatever. These boys kicked the shit out of 97/100ths of "the competition" in their heyday. The stuff they came up with goes into such seamless streams of melodic yet hard-as-Hell headbanger flow that upon first listening, the "real musicians" of the world may pooh-pooh their material as easy- yeah, until they actually try to fuckin' play it. Right, that is.

It's called heart, ye hacks of the music theory. Either you have a grasp of it or you don't. Doesn't matter how well you play a diminished seventh or how well you cross in and out of a 7/4 beat. Nuclear Assault had that quality necessary for a good, nay, great band, metal or otherwise, in that they knew exactly how they wanted to perform and write songs, and succeeded in bringing that vision to reality.

1989's Handle With Care is the album that thrust Nuclear Assault into the mainstream spotlight. Sort of. MTV's Headbanger's Ball and 120 Minutes programs featured heavily the band's video for "Critical Mass", which was aided by a special appearance by a freshly tabloid-exploited, Playboy-spreaded and breast-augmented Jessica Hahn. Jessica and her two fake friends weren't especially necessary as the real scene stealers were the lyrics to the song, which were smartly ticker-tape captioned at the bottom of the screen: "The Biosphere, the place we live/It seems like we don't give a damn/Other species flushed down the tubes/We need another place to rape/The way we live we will destroy/Every other living thing/'Til none are left except our race/And then we will destroy ourselves". HUH? Isn't this what we would get off the lyric sheet to a Crass or MDC album?

It doesn't stop there, by the way. "Inherited Hell" continues to expound upon the subject of eco-neglect. "When Freedom Dies" is like a time capsule of relevance: "We become the enemy/When freedom dies for security". They were addressing the Soviet/American nuclear contention of the time, but upon a second look nowadays, could just as easily be addressing today's issues of personal liberties in the wake of September 11th's events.

I can safely declare as well that this entire recording is free of gratuitous Satanic references and token bashing of divine beliefs. And we're not talking about that wussy Jeezo metal trend from around the same era either. Nuclear Assault represented unpretentious regular guy and gal headbangers and heshers. If there's ever anything close to a reunion tour I'll see youse in the pit.

Friday, April 29, 2005

New-clur plants. As many as we can build. That’s what Dubya has presented as one of his imaginative and bright ideas in resolving the nation’s energy needs and soaring fuel costs.

Apparently, his aversion to paying attention to the various forms of news media goes back to the days of Chernobyl, or even Three Mile Island. But hey, like he says, we can solve our obstacles with modd-in teck-nol-oh-gee and I think that what he really means by that is: we can build them plants bigger, stronger, faster than ever before! Golly! How inspiring!

Of course, it would be easier to swallow that sugarcoated Bullshit Pill if it weren’t for stuff like recent findings that our country’s own Nuclear Regulatory Commission which has discovered that Hemyc, brand name for a material used to insulate electrical cables in reactors, is unsafe and prone to being a potential fire hazard. And who makes this shit? Well, what a coincidence! It just happens to be a company based in Houston, Texas!

So hey! The HELL with all that safety issue crap, right? Let’s just start getting those nuke plants up and going ASAP! And, whaddya know, I have taken the time and trouble to find a PRIME location for the first one we put up! It’s in a central locale where, hey, the bigger we make it, the more new-clur power we can spread across the whole US of A! And we might even get to sell some to them Mexicans under NAFTA and make a few bucks, too! Ever trying to be as helpful as possible, I have provided a link below to the map area of where I think this plant would receive perfect and almost unanimous support!

Click here to view map of my proposed nuclear plant site

Click here for an article on the Hemyc problem

Monday, April 18, 2005

NOSTALGIA TIME! Installment 1

(Note: Considering that there's been a lot of talk lately about the FCC cracking down on "indecency" and "obscenity", especially after Janet Jackson's Boobiegate incident and all that, I've decided that, rather than repeating myself, I'd post this rant from a long-extinct site I had up several years ago. So here it is, where somehow, comments made in 1997 have newfound relevance in 2005. Go figure.- MP)

Ruminations and Accusations

CHAPTER 1.This Censorship Shit is Really Fucked Up!

WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS, it becomes annoying when fuckheads who somehow get elected to public office start trying to tell people like me that mere words, usually being vulgar references to sexual acts, excrement, and male and female genitalia used in many creative alternate ways, are obscene and threatening to the well-being of our children, but that, say, for example, Freddie Krueger or Michael Myers disemboweling and dismembering people on movie screens or the Starr Report or ignoring the dangers of the use of methyl bromide in heavily populated areas does not, one can only conclude that these aforementioned lawmakers have their heads firmly and permanently lodged in their sphincters.

I'll cut to the chase. The reason so many of these parents nowadays are pushing for "decency" measures in all walks of media life isn't because there's this sudden proliferation of nasty material everywhere. That level of "adult" information and entertainment and whatnot is about the same level of obscenity as 10, even 20 years ago, actually. The real reason that these parents are campaigning so hard for censorship and control is that...


Yup, ever since the beast Ronald 666 ascended to the throne back in '80, we've been bombarded with these right-wing diatribes about how we need to bring "traditional family values" back into governmental policy and American lifestyle in general, and things like unmarried people humpy-dumpin' each other and gays getting married and some 12-year old girl who got raped by her brother choosing to have an abortion are unacceptable abominations which must be stopped immediately at all costs.

But on the ass-end of this deal, the same fools who propagate this mentality want to have their cake and eat it too. Why? Because they also want to retain their over mortgaged homes and bloated expensive late model vehicles and over-usury-dependent lifestyles, that in all practical terms, they KNEW that they had a snowball's chance in Hell of affording in any realistic view. And HOW do they perceive to pull this off? By throwing their kids into fuckin' day care centers until they're old enough to become "latchkey kids", whilst both parental units work their asses off 24-7 to prove to the world that they can be good parents and provide all the necessary GOODS and SERVICES for their family. And on top of that, be able to drag the whole family to service every Sunday!

However, in order to maintain this lifestyle, they have to cut back on certain traditional mainstays- such as time with their kids! Oh, sure, once in a while there's a ballgame or a school play to attend or a trip to the zoo or the miniature golf course, but that takes a back seat to the fact that you need to prove to the world that you're not one of these leeching welfare ingrates sucking off the tax dollars, never mind that the multi-national that you worked for got enough tax breaks to pay NOTHING on the millions they profited for the past few years or so! NO, you've got an image as a good wholesome family head to uphold, and gosh darn it, the world may not owe you a living, but it certainly owes you free babysitting! Now, where, I repeat, where the fuck does this mixed up confused logic come from?

My bottom line is this... I did not encourage you to join genitalia with the opposite sex, combine DNA info, and reproduce. That was YOUR choice. I chose NOT to do so. I am NOT your male nanny, and my behavior on MY personal web pages is, quite frankly, NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BEESWAX.

I know as well as the next folk that there are some very sick motherfuckers in this world out to get kids for their own perverted use. I despise the actions of these pedophilic miscreants as much as any card carrying Christian Coalition groupie. But blocking information en masse, ignoring the real methods and means, not only will do nothing to protect kids, it will simply ignore the objectives they're attempting to address. The best way to protect your children is the same on the Internet or on TV as on the streets: INFORMATION. Information on what is right for viewing and who is right to associate with. Give them information on what to do if a stranger tries to communicate with you, whether in the chat room or on the street. Hey, even good old fashioned GUILT. If the parents aren't there, the kid's been taught about right and wrong well enough so that Mom and Dad's eyes are drillin' through their heads if they know that they could be using poor judgment!

And besides, do you really think pornography causes teen sex and pregnancy anyway? What REALLY causes it is horny teenage kids of opposite genders getting together and being STUPID and UNTHINKING! I mean, to quote the average '90s teen, "Well, DUH!"

In closing, I would like to say, in regards to criticism that my Website material is inappropriate for your younger children, let me give you a quote which my dear old Dad said when I was just a teenager my own self: "Well, if you don't like it here, then get the fuck out of my house!"

Monday, April 11, 2005

What? The major recording companies are being investigated for possible shady dealings with radio stations in getting their shitty music played?

Well, DUH.

Like, gee, you never could have seen THAT one coming.

Big Fat Clue: turn on any corporate-owned radio station in any American market today, and you will hear songs by artists on the air because some slimy schmuck indirectly greased all the right palms of the station management.

Ooooh, no, some folks will say, that’s illegal. Record companies can’t pay off stations in cash, goods or anything of that sort.

Wrong, me pilgrims. That’s exactly in the area where recording labels have all of these convenient stooges doing all of that shitwork. They’re known collectively under the dubious moniker of “independent promoters.” A more appropriate term would be “kickback facilitators.” Basically, the promoters get paid fairly big bucks by the labels to promote their chosen limited crop of no-substance losers, and the promo people in turn pay the stations an annual “retainer” to be their, um, sagely advice on what records to put on the respective stations’ playlists. This has become the standard for just about every type of format. Rock, R&B, Rap, Country, you name it. Even oldies stations aren’t free of this shit. For many of those, some dork is probably their “certified golden oldies” promoter (read; providing a list of songs that, e.g., Time-Life is presently regurgitating on infomercials for overpriced CD collections.)

Yes, that type of business in which the music biz participates in every day is basically fucked up. Yes, it does stagnate the variety of music offered by commercial stations. No, it probably won’t change or even slightly improve anytime soon. Although it is nice to see an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office being carried out, I’m not going to hold my breath.

Here's the latest story about the alleged (not so) New Payola

Monday, April 04, 2005

The pope’s still on a slope as I’m writing this, so it may seem a wee bit premature to some folks, but somebody’s gotta say it.

Now’s the prime time to elect an African pope.

What the Hell, in serious consideration, perhaps having a figurehead of that level from Africa would finally draw some serious international attention, media and otherwise, to the AIDS menace still decimating the continent.

But who the fuck am I kidding. They’re just going to elect another Italian, and shit’s going to be the same as it ever was from the time before John Paul II was elected. This should thrill Dubya and his cronies to no end, since the papacy will slide on back over to the right again; not that it was all that liberal beforehand.

I can understand the charismatic quality that made Karol Wojtyla, the man, so admired by millions. Having survived Nazi occupation and its accompanying atrocities; standing up to the commies in Poland; and that seemingly superhuman resilience that survived getting run over, and later shot, then later disease. But as Pope John Paul II, I saw nothing in the guy but a capitalist stooge who kept the Catholic party line of homophobia, misogyny and sexual intolerance intact. So fuck him.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Thank God that they finally pulled the fuckin’ tube.

In this whole mess involving Terri Schiavo’s “rights” or “choices”, whose side am I on?

Actually, neither one.

For starters, it’s really none of my business what happens to her. And more, both parties to this debate strike me as a bunch of assholes. On one end, you have her parents, who will whore out to any Tom, Dick and Falwell just for the chance to prolong seeing their child in a perpetual vegetative state. Then you have the husband, who swears up and down that his wife would not have wanted to be put on feeding support, already with a fiancée and a child already birthed by the future wife waiting in the wings for wedding bells to ring as soon as the death certificate is signed. So then you wonder why Michael Schiavo doesn’t just say, “fuck it”, annuls the marriage and leaves Terri to the parents? It makes you wonder if the allegations of his waiting for a big ch-ching upon his present wife’s demise are true.

But otherwise, if I were Terri Schaivo, I’d want to be cut off the foodline simply because it would be a welcome escape from the shitheads surrounding me at present.

And should it be a surprise to anyone that Bush takes the side of the parents? After all, as long as she is still alive, he’s confident in knowing that someone out there exists who is actually more brain dead than he.

Friday, February 25, 2005

I’m sick and tired of these assholes in the Establishment Media going off on this tangent of “Well, uh, the Democrats are on an aggressive campaign to oppose the President’s plan to reform Social Security, but aren’t offering any alternatives.”

Well, I’ve voted Democrat for my entire life (and admittedly, voting with fingers pinching nose on more than one occasion,) and I have an alternative:

Wanna hear it?


Here’s my alternative to Dubya’s plan to “save” Social Security:

Don’t fuck with it.

There. How’s that? Now you have an alternative.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The funds are going to run out in 2042 (according to Dubya’s bean counters’ forecast, and we all know how accurate and honest THIS administration can be.) I’ll be 80 years old by then. And like, the whole country is going to sit idly by and say, “Gee. You mean all this money that I’ve had deducted from my paycheck is gone, and I’ll never see any of it in any shape or form? Oh, huh, aight, I’m cool with that.” Yeahrite. Things are fucked up enough as it is today; can you even imagine what the social climate will be like by 2042? Want to see an armed revolt the likes of which the world has never seen before? Get up in front of the American public and tell them THAT.

And how the fuck is private investment of our Social Security payments an attractive alternative? Uh, yuh, if you’re a Wall Street investor you’re chompin’ at the bit right now. But any fool knows that the stock market works in cycles, and if this investment scheme were implemented, say, within five to ten years, most of these Gen Xers would be shit out of luck after one or two downturns and I’d bet the farm that they would have LESS then if they simply were deducted from their pay as it stands right now.

Or better yet, how’s this for an option? When we pay Uncle Sam every year in Federal income taxes, we can choose whether, oh, at least ten percent or so of our tax payments go to our choice of: defense (where a monster chunk of it goes anyway,) or to augment the Social Security fund! Let’s see how many true patriots we have around us THEN.

Friday, January 28, 2005

So… what’s up with this Midtown Monthly shit?

That’s the name of this little paper I get in the mail here in the 95816 once every month or so. As far as I can tell, it’s the work of approximately 3 people with one person writing most of the content. Most of the pages are filled with display ads from quaint lil’ yuppie businesses ‘round town (and it appears that most of them are actually located outside of the Midtown area.) The actual reading content is mostly advertorial crap with a two page fluff piece on time management thrown in the paper’s center, written by the same person who writes almost all of the other stuff, natch, and which goes in 140 different directions, yet in the end, says nothing.

What really made me want to spit my soda when I picked this rag up: a cover story licking the shit clean out of Paul Petrovich’s ass. Petrovich, he of the dreaded Sacramento Art Nazi Movement, he who has the gall to white over an original and attractive mural on one side of the street, and on the other, post a hideous equine hunk of scrapheap shit right smack in front of the Safeway, and then pay the equivalent of about 25 Safeway employees’ wages to plop up a water tower that is completely hollow and has no fuckin’ practical purpose whatsoever. Hey, don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to take a short hop to pick up milk or Fritos or whatever, but this guy really needs to stay out of the art world. As far as his senses of aesthetics and urban culture are concerned, he has his head totally up his ass.

But hey, perhaps I should either pity the folks at Midtown Monthly, or even strangely marvel at their incredible level of being out of touch with the real pulse of the Midtown that they claim to be a part of. Perhaps they saw a certain unfillable niche: after all, the Bee tends to cover the hard news and the News & Review goes after the “wacky” stuff, so hey, the upper middle income carpetbaggers who bought Victorian fixer uppers for WAY too much money need SOMEthing to read, don’t they? And you have to hand it to them: they just spit this shit out to everybody in certain zip codes who has a mailbox. There’s no mailing label, and therefore, no mailing list, and THEREfore, nobody can cancel their delivery because hey, we don’t have an address to remove! Admittedly, that’s some pretty clever tactics.

Yeah, fuck it. Maybe I took these folks too seriously. Maybe we need people like Petrovich around to remind us once in a while that the old saying is true: when money talks, bullshit does walk. The best way to deal with this shit is: next month, when their rag involuntarily pollutes my mailbox, to: 1.) Take it straight to the recycling barrel, and 2.) There is no number 2. As for anyone in Midtown reading this: Who’d care to join me?

Monday, January 10, 2005

So we finally got out to see Kevin Spacey’s latest flick, “Beyond The Sea.”

At last glance, gave it a 41% rating, leaning over into the rotten side. The reviews have been pretty mixed, with two examples being: the local hired gun for the Sacramento Bee, Joe Baltake opining: “You have to hand it to Spacey. He gets by on sheer willfulness. He believes so much in his cockeyed dream that we come to believe in it, too." And then you have John Anderson of Newsday trying (too) hard on the diss tip: "It's a car wreck, a sideshow. You simply have to watch, there are so many things going so terribly, terribly wrong."

For most of you writers, giving both good and bad reviews, I just have one question:

What fuckin’ movie were YOU folks watching?

There’s no “cockeyed dream” going on here and it certainly isn’t a “car wreck”. Spacey succeeds in telling the story of a guy whose entertainment career (and life) was, to say the least, pretty convoluted and more complex in its progression than most of his peers (and considering Bobby Darin’s various fields of accomplishment, that’s not a very big peer group.) It was a great movie to see on a large screen as opposed to the tube at home, in that almost everything is shot Doris Day lush and vivid. And everybody from Spacey on out to the kid playing lil’ Bratty Bobby puts in fine performances, portraying characters that are believable yet have that level of Hollywood flair that reminds you that you’re watching a movie, not a debate between two goobs on “Survivor” over how to cook the rat stew.

This experience gives me a reminder about how insignificant film and music “reviews” generally are. Short of, say, Lester Bangs (who actually got people to discuss music, because of his genuine love for music, as opposed to certain hacks nowadays trying to play the sonic dictator out of their lack of self esteem,) most reviewers never had shit to say anyway in terms of actually assessing art. Nope, it’s a sense of “See this, see that. Listen to this, listen to that.” And in order to avoid being accused of trying to be the cultural fuehrer of the rest of us poor innocent unwashed peons, they dress their opinions in gaudy, tacky vocabulary that reads like only the most unforgivable rhetoric since the last time that Ronald Reagan stood behind a podium.

So in the end, remember this. If you want to buy a CD, or see a movie, or go to a museum exhibit or whatever, just make your mind up and fuckin’ do it. Most arts “critics” are just frustrated, mean spirited people with an overrated assessment of their own minds. If they did not determine that they were worthy harbingers of truth and justice and beauty through their golden pen, then someone who got paid and/or their Mommy told them that they had a “talent” for telling other people how and what to think. (Who knows, maybe Moms got paid too.) So don’t see “Beyond the Sea” because I thought it was pretty good. See it because you chose to do so. And if you don’t, then I hope that you’re in a world where you can make your own choices, because the ability to truly use one’s own critical thinking and choose is more valuable than all the diamonds that you could possibly hoard.