01 August, 2010

Case Study in Racial Taboos in America

I wish I had written this myself, I can only quote it:
Dear anti-Mayer Mob. Please read the article:

http://www.playboy.com/articles/john-mayer-playboy-interview/index.html?page=2

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Since I know many of you won't bother reading all of what he actually said before condemning him, I've tried to make it easier for you by pasting an excerpt from his Mein Kampf, er I mean his interview.

Please explain to me the overt, blatant, horrible racism in (the very clumsy and un-clever) things he is trying to say.

Maybe I'm just an old clueless dude, but to me, it is very clear that he is trying to make a social commentary/point out of his ill-advised use of the "N-word".

What is his point? That it is silly for someone to tell him he has a "hood pass" (Ed. note - I am presuming that means he has full acceptance in the black community, I'm too old to have any idea really what "hood pass" means).

Why does he think the word "hood pass" is silly?

Because, if he had a true "hood pass" he could also refer to it as an "N-word pass".

Since, only black folks can (and do) use the "N-word" to refer to themselves or others, and since he as a white man, can never do that (as history and most recently so many of you Salon posters have made clear), the very concept of a "hood pass" for a white man is a contradiction in terms.

Is that so confusing? How did some of you get through your school? Is our children learning, indeed.

Please note - it is clear form this interview that Mayer is no Lord Byron, but I just don't get the racism accusations being leveled at him. Clueless perhaps, but proudly, overtly racist? If anything he sounds apologetic for the fact that he is not as color blind as he would like to be.

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MAYER: Someone asked me the other day, “What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?” And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, “I can’t really have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.’"

PLAYBOY: It is true; a lot of rappers love you. You recorded with Common and Kanye West, played live with Jay-Z.

MAYER: What is being black? It’s making the most of your life, not taking a single moment for granted. Taking something that’s seen as a struggle and making it work for you, or you’ll die inside. Not to say that my struggle is like the collective struggle of black America. But maybe my struggle is similar to one black dude’s.

PLAYBOY: Do black women throw themselves at you?

MAYER: I don’t think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.

PLAYBOY: Let’s put some names out there. Let’s get specific.

MAYER: I always thought Holly Robinson Peete was gorgeous. Every white dude loved Hilary from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And Kerry Washington. She’s superhot, and she’s also white-girl crazy. Kerry Washington would break your heart like a white girl. Just all of a sudden she’d be like, “Yeah, I sucked his dick. Whatever.” And you’d be like, “What? We weren’t talking about that.” That’s what “Heartbreak Warfare” is all about, when a girl uses jealousy as a tactic.
omg, what a racist!

09 July, 2010

This land is your land, this land is my land.

Tom Tancredo ironically calls the English language "the glue that holds together this country." Excuse me?

The glue that holds this country together is law, specifically, the United States Constitution. Look it up, teabaggers. Where in the Constitution does it say that English is the national language?

Glenn Beck also has some interesting ideas regarding illegal immigrants: take their DNA. Perhaps instead of re-reading the 2nd Amendment over and over, you should focus on the 4th Amendment.



Glenn Beck, Tom Tancredo, Lou Dobbs, Ann Coulter and even I are illegal settlers. That our laws permit this is irrelevant; if Native Americans came to Europe to usurp the lands on which the English, Dutch, French, Portugese, Spanish and Italians called home, not only would this have been (rightly) labelled an egregious wrong, but a great long and bloody war would surely have resulted.

They didn't cross the border, the border crossed them.

04 July, 2010

Still standing.

I'll chalk it up as a coincidence that I got laid off after taunting my nemesis to "get me fired".

What I did with my 5-figure severance is the subject of another post, possibly on another blog altogether. Some of it is NC-17.

I took a job promising working from home, and have since spent 4 of the last 5 weeks in an area north of Hollywood, working for another huge company (as a subcontractor), for a big pharmaceutical company who laid off most of their workers and is now regretting outsourcing their IT.

Folks.. you need to keep your IT in house. The outsourced contract people don't give a fuck about much more than meeting the goals set forth in the contract. In house IT people care, in part because they know if they fuck up bad enough then their checks will stop coming because there is no more company. Contractors just move on to the next victim.

The last company I worked for bought the cool company I thought I was getting hired at. The bought the cool company, drove it into the ground, and released their own product; this was, as predicted, a total fucking failure.

That sort of eclipses the "major, newsworthy outage" that I suffered through despite being one of a chorus of voices saying "don't do this, slow down". In large part the senior management created the circumstances under which the service utterly failed. Certainly, those in management would disagree. I will and can prove point by point that they are wrong, if I cared anymore. I don't, and I won't get specific because the matter is tied up in litigation.

I'm up at 5AM Sunday morning because that's the time I've been waking up.. and because I fell asleep on the couch listening to the Decemberists and was woken up by my roommate while "Star Witness" by Neko Case played. She didn't want me to turn it down or off. She wanted me to play her live album from "Austin City Limits".

"Wayfaring Stranger" sung by Neko Case is truly stunning. Check it out.

10 February, 2010

Riddle me this, Jack

Okay, here's the thing. On the one hand, you have all these chuckleheads trying to talk about Miranda rights and terrorism, talking smack about the FBI(*) and wanting these suspects whisked away and taken to Jack fucking Bauer for some heavy BDSM(**).

The on the other hand, you have "The First 48". Are you trying to tell me that a bunch of Law and Order rethuglicans don't know that every day city po-lice be getting confessions out of dumb-fuck suspects who ARE ALREADY MIRANDIZED. Something like 90% conviction rate or better. Republicans are so full of shit.

(*) The FBI had the intel on 9/11, the data on some of the suspects and could have potentially stopped it. The CIA has a 60+ year record of failure after failure. Yet, 'thuglicans want to take suspects into CIA custody? Hells no!

(**) BDSM. Is anyone shocked that the right wing is fascinated by this?

30 January, 2010

I need an easy friend

The best gift I am likely to have ever received in the history of forever was the recent re-released double-LP 20th anniversary edition of Nirvana "Bleach".

Like just about everyone I know, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the first Nirvana song I had ever heard back in 1991. The record store was sold out of copies of "Nevermind", so I settled for the other record by the band that was available at the time, "Bleach".

By the time I brought it home and listened to it on repeat ten times I discovered that my sneaky little sister had managed to get a copy of "Nevermind" on cassette. We listened to that until the tape wore out, but I grew to realize that "Bleach" was ultimately the better of the two albums.

By 1992 me and everyone I knew were in full blown Nirvana craze.

It wasn't until much later in my life that I began to realize the profound impact the album made on my life. It led, first and foremost, to buying more Nirvana albums. That led to an appreciation of song-craft, the Vaselines, Meat Puppets, Tad, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Smashing Pumpkins, the Pixies and the Jesus Lizard in high school. Later still, it laid the groundwork for transitioning out of being an Industrial/Goth scenester where Neil Young, Built To Spill and Elliott Smith supplanted Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails and Front Line Assembly.

"About A Girl" was the first song I ever learned to play, on a Epiphone strat with a tremelo that I traded some kid in high school a quarter ounce of weed for. Cherry red, with tuning locks. I lent the guitar to my friend Shannon Fortune, where it and the van that contained it were impounded by the Cleveland Heights Police. Having an arrest warrant against me, I never attempted to claim it. Who knows where it is now, I hope CHPD made more than the $40 investment I had made on it.

Recorded for just over $600, "Bleach" remains one of the most raw, honest and rockingest albums of all time.

Listening to it again today brings back a flood of memories.

We miss you, Kurdt.