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  • Friday, December 29, 2006


    Friday Random 10 Songs: Goo Goo Muck Edition

    A barely present post of songs. I'm just not grabbed by any news stories.
    1. Africa Bamba by Santana
    2. Five Years by David Bowie
    3. Train in Vain by The Clash
    4. Hard to Beat by Iggy and the Stooges
    5. Celluloid Heroes by The Kinks
    6. My Favorite Kiss by Frank Black
    7. Suffer by The Waterboys
    8. Sertao Blues by Slovo
    9. In My Mind by Dave Mason
    10. Baggage by L7
    Bonus track: Goo Goo Muck by The Cramps


    Saturday, December 23, 2006


    Over 1,000 posts

    I'm stunned to learn I've just passed my 1,000th post to this blog. Boggling at that notion.


    Got Holy Book?

    The bruhaha over whether a new Congressperson swears on a Christian Bible or a Koran seems remarkably stupid. Swearing in is about taking an oath, an oath to truthfulness, honesty, and whatever else. The Bible is not a stand-in for the beliefs of the country at large, it is representative of what the oathtaker believes is a significant and binding power. This is why, in courts, people are allowed to swear by whatever they consider holy/binding. An atheist could swear on their honor if that was appropriate. The book or document isn't the important thing; the swearing itself is the important aspect.

    Does anyone still teach civics anymore? The USA is a pluralistic society; get used to it. People have different value systems and the Christian Bible is just a book to some people.

    Friday, December 22, 2006


    Random 10 Songs Friday: Gris-Gris Edition

    I'm still easing back into blogging with easy posts like this random 10 songs entry. Serious analysis will have to wait for my brain to get back in shape. Well, as serious as I get anyway.
    1. All Those People Know, Bob Mould
    2. Health and Knowledge and Wealth and Power, Shriekback
    3. Beneath the Southern Cross, Patti Smith
    4. Nobody's Fault But Mine, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant
    5. Visionary, Hüsker Dü
    6. My Girl, The Temptations
    7. Elephant Ride, Squeeze
    8. Sweet Jane, Velvet Underground
    9. The Highway Song, Free
    10. Fanfare/Don't Dream It, Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack
    Bonus track: I Ain't Superstitious, Jeff Beck Group


    Thursday, December 21, 2006


    Don't Try to Lay No Bookie Woogie on the King of Rock & Roll

    Thereby mangling a perfectly good song title from Long John Baldry. The end of the year always brings lists. Here's one of mine.

    Not all of the following books came out in 2006, nor is this a "best of 2006" list. These are just books I've found worth perusing in the waning month of the year.

    Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess Worshippers and other Pagans in America by Margot Adler (Revised and updated edition, 2006) Penguin Group, New York, NY, ISBN 9780143038191. Arguably the most comprehensive overview of Neopagan "new religions" and their various strains. Originally published in 1979, it remains both a classic and, with revisions, a remarkably current document. If you listen to National Public Radio (NPR) with any regularity, you've probably heard Adler reporting since that's her "day job". (Guess my age: When I became interested in this stuff, it was usually described as "occultism".)

    Lawless World: The Whistle-Blowing Account of How Bush and Blair Are Taking the Law into Their Own Hands by Philippe Sands (Updated paperback edition, 2006) Penguin Group, New York, NY, ISBN 9780143037828. Despite its rather breathless subtitle, it's still a serious look at exactly how the Bush and Blair administrations have repeatedly ignored or broken international agreements and laws on an unprecedented scale.

    The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror by Christian Parenti (2004) Basic Books, New York, NY, ISBN: 9780465054855. A couple of years old but it hasn't aged much. From data mining to thousands of closed-circuit cameras in Manhattan, this has lots of interesting points to make. And, of course, it predates the discovery of the government sifting through millions of Americans phone records.

    Now I'm tired. I need to slowly build my blogging muscles back up.

    Wednesday, December 20, 2006


    Blogging from the Shadows

    Why obsess about blogging when I can obsess about other things? I've been working on a certain large scale repository of user-edited knowledge which shall remain nameless. Like any good obsessive blogger, I immediately fell into the trap of editing said site much of my waking hours.

    This was not good.

    Now I'm wondering if I need to attend Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) meetings or some equivalent organization to wean myself from being in a co-dependent relationship with my inner editor. And the twitchy drive to use my knowledge and skill on the site is making me feel like an addict.

    So excuse me if this entry is brief; my shaking hands need to hold a cup of calming herb tea or something similar. I hope to recover and replenish this blog with renewed vigor.

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