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  • Saturday, March 12, 2011


    Random 10 Songs: Petty Little Brother

    Lacking the brain cells to create a coherent narrative or assay an essay, I default to randomizing songs.
    1. Iggy Pop - Shades
    2. Rob Zombie - What Lurks on Channel X? [XXX Mix]
    3. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Rockin' Around (With You)
    4. White Denim - Mess Your Hair Up
    5. John Mayall - Bernard Jenkins
    6. The Infidels featuring Juliette Lewis - Bad Brother
    7. Earl Hooker - Hot 'n' Heavy
    8. Spinal Tap - Break Like the Wind
    9. White Stripes - Little Cream Soda
    10. Yo La Tengo - Little Honda
    Bonus track: Evil Stig - Drinking Song

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    Thursday, June 24, 2010


    Random 10 Songs: Zombie Clash

    Thus breathes a slight return of life from the recumbent, yet slightly somnambulant blog host. A dream of music, a muse of dreams speaks in whispers. Let me listen a while...
    1. White Zombie - Electric Head, Pt. 2 [Sexational After Dark Mix]
    2. Clash - What's My Name
    3. Bob Mould - Black Sheets of Rain
    4. The Cure - Out Of This World
    5. British Sea Power - Fear Of Drowning-2002
    6. John Mayall - Me And My Woman
    7. J. Geils Band - Hard Drivin' Man
    8. Live - Top
    9. Todd Snider - Play A Train Song
    10. Deftones - Can't Even Breathe
    Bonus track: Rory Gallagher - Garbage Man [Live]

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    Friday, October 16, 2009


    James Arthur Ray Upbeat and Full of Positive Affirmations about Killing and Hospitalizing People

    Ah, the ability to deny all responsibility for deaths and injury, despite the fact they happened under your direct orders and supervision.

    James Arthur Ray seems clear that people died of their own volition in his "sweat lodge" not, for example, because of being denied food or water for 36+ hours beforehand. has an initial story (2 dead after hours in Ariz. sweat lodge identified) but much more interesting are a pair of posts by a columnist named Cassandra Yorgey.

    Transcript of private call between James Ray and sweat lodge victims has plenty of disturbing quotes from Ray. Better yet is the quote in this section from Barb, a member of Ray's staff:
    This, I think, is the worst part of the entire conference call. Barb is one of James Ray’s staff members and she goes on to talk “of the two that had passed and they left their bodies during the ceremony and had so much fun they chose not to come back and that was their choice that they made.” This is going to be really hard for James Ray and his people to explain when the autopsy results are released, because people do not cook themselves to death. They just don’t. Barb implying they do is asserting James Ray’s innocence and falsely supporting that the survivors are alive because they chose to live. In actuality, James Ray had to be interrupted and the participants were physically removed from the sweat lodge because they were not capable of transporting themselves.

    Read the whole thing. Cassandra Yorgey has another piece which also deserves some attention: Inside accounts of James Ray sweat lodge tragedy and retreat.

    I'd like to see Ray and his positive vibes in prison.

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    Wednesday, October 14, 2009


    James Arthur Ray and Deaths by Fake "Sweat Lodge"

    So what happens when a Newage "guru" named James Arthur Ray kills two people and puts a bunch more in the hospital from a "sweat lodge" he led? So far, nothing.

    Oprah put Mr. Ray on her show several times so he must be important. He was profiled in the bestselling book The Secret.

    I highly recommend reading the posts over on Pàganachd Bhandia for some insight on the situation:

    Plastic Death Sweat - 2 Dead, 3 Critical, 16 More Hospitalized
    New Age Death Sweat II - NYT Editorial by Dr. Al Carroll
    New Age Death Sweat III - Response by Arvol Lookinghorse (Lakota)

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    Monday, April 20, 2009


    Celebrating The Progressive Magazine

    Over a month ago, I was going to write a piece in praise of The Progressive magazine. Their 100th anniversary issue had come out and I was duly impressed by the contents sampling their entire 100 year history.

    While I've been reading The Progressive off and on for my entire adult life, I really was not aware of the history of the magazine and its pretty consistent, ah, progressive editorial perspective.

    For example, in 1925 they took a stand against the attempts to eradicate Indian/Native American culture through the boarding school system.

    This got me to thinking about the role of truly left-of-center magazines in US culture. (I use the qualifier "truly" because I don't particularly count, say, The Nation or The Atlantic. Mags like those are examples of the very conventional establishment talking to itself and not significantly challenging the status quo.)

    I look at the newsstands packed with lifestyle mags, entertainment and celebrity pablum, and I wonder why people are so easily distracted from the central issues in their lives. We seem so helpless and hopeless, acted upon rather than actors.

    I try to remember that revolution is always an option.

    You should too.

    Thursday, April 02, 2009


    25 Radical Ways to Change Society

    On Politicoholic, I came across a post on 25 Ways to use your blog and social media to create change.

    I was struck by the weakly Liberal tone of many of the suggestions. Perhaps it's just the self-congratulatory attitude of self-importance permeating it that annoys me. The whole list reeks of "Look at me! I'm making a big change in the world! And I'm telling you all about it!"

    While educating people has value, it isn't the same as actually effecting change with sweat and physical action. Most blogs are the equivalent of parlor pontification.

    I started to wonder what a more radical version might look like, a version that put more emphasis on doing things in the world rather than just blogging about doing things. So here is my first attempt at such a list. It's repetitious in places but it's intended to mirror the original list linked above. I just re-wrote each numbered point as I came to it. It's not perfect but it's mine.

    1. Start simple: Steal from large corporations.

    2. Join an activist group, a group that performs direct action.

    3. Or if there isn't a group with politics or an activist philosophy you agree with, create your own. Form a small group of trusted people and collectively decide on goals and actions.

    4. Videoblog an interview with someone with radical political views. Ask them about strategies to transform society.

    5. Share a meal with a stranger, someone not like you.

    6. Has someone you love been affected by class warfare or capitalism's indifference to individual suffering?? Share your story and raise awareness.

    7. Demand change from government and corporations. Be specific.

    8. Petitions are rarely effective at changing institutions or governments. Do not delude yourself that they are useful.

    9. Vlog a political demonstration. If there is a strong police presence, show it.

    10. Twitter is a distraction. Don't mistake it for action.

    11. Write about your experiences and concrete methods for transforming society, not in the future but now, today.

    12. Instead of writing on how global human rights issues can be alleviated, volunteer at a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a free medical clinic. Find out how human rights are being violated in your neighborhood.

    13. Participate in a political demonstration or protest. Get arrested.

    14. Invite someone who is a political radical to mentor you.

    15. Discuss how direct action can change society more than blogging.

    16. Instead of correcting injustice through the proxies of non-profit and advocacy organizations, see if there is anything you can do in person. Be a participant, not a donor.

    17. Highlight grassroots organizations.

    18. Be involved in social justice/human rights efforts.

    19. Create an effective means to implement social justice.

    20. Discuss how school curricula stifles and suppresses citizen responsibility in students. Start independent student-led and student-run organizations. Empower students, don't patronize them.

    21. Find out who profits from wars. Develop an analysis of imperialism and how it relates to colonialism. Apply it to the United States foreign policy over the last century.

    22. Ask your readers to create a revolution, even a small one.

    23. Spend less time blogging and reading blogs. Spend more time acting, deliberately and radically.

    24. Participate.

    25. Blogging has limited influence, on you and others. Acting transforms you and society deeply. Never mistake theory for practice. Do it. Do it now.

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    Thursday, March 26, 2009


    Random 10 Songs: "T.V. Scars, Glass Balls" Edition

    Tonight is eclipsed by memory, moon visions drifting in from the edges. I am hollow and enervated, sustained by letters of little import. These songs provide the soundtrack to my memory palace. See them...
    1. Jesse Malin - Scars of Love
    2. Richard Thompson - Johnny's Far Away
    3. Small Faces - Donkey Rides, Penny A Glass
    4. Savoy Brown Blues Band - Cold Blooded Woman
    5. Shudder to Think - Take the Child
    6. Cramps - She's Got Balls
    7. Filter - Columind
    8. Nils Lofgren - Rock And Roll Crook
    9. Holy Bulls - T.V. Eye
    10. Placebo - Centrefolds

    Bonus track: Bob Dylan - Desolation Row

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