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30 June 2011

perils of live television: On msnbc's "Morning Joe," Mark Halperin calls Barack Obama "kind of a dick"

Click on image to enlarge.

The lower left guy called the upper left guy "kind of a dick." The upper left guy is the President of the United States.


 * * * * * * *

Agence-Vleeptron Presse wishes to note that although this story has gone viral around the world

and you can read about and see it from thousands of sources ...

Only A-VP included the image of a dick in its coverage.

A-VP -- We go that extra kilometer for the news-starved peoples of Earth.

P.S. It's a huge story at Huffington Post, but they're so prissy they call it "d*ck" in their headline. They use the word "dick" in the story.

* * * * * * *

Nearly all commercial television/cable/satellite news makes me feel soiled and dirty -- the choices of what they deem to be "news" (Did you know the Casey Anthony child death criminal trial is the Most Important Thing On Planet Earth?), and the brain-damaged way they present it. Most of these electronic "news" outlets are heavy on Talking Heads who have perky tits and a heart-shaped ass, and wouldn't know where the Alps were if they fell on their heads.

In the USA, there's one remarkable exception: msnbc's morning news program "Morning Joe."

("joe" is Yank slang for coffee, so it's a pun from the show's Joe Scarborough, a former Republican US congressman from Florida. The program is sponsored by Starbucks, the coffeeshop chain.)

Scarborough and his partner Mika Brzezinski (daughter of Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski; "dad" is a frequent guest), their guests, and their roundtable partners, maintain an astonishingly intelligent level of discussion about the truly important matters happening that day in the USA, on Earth, and in outer space.

It's the news, but it has the character of the brainiest discussion about authentically important matters you ever stumbled into. It's often screamingly funny, and it recognizes few if any Sacred Cows. When Michele Bachmann says something profoundly stupid, "Morning Joe" really socks it to her bluntly and candidly an small Anglo-Saxon words. They do not suffer fools graciously. (They may have invited her, but I doubt if Bachmann ever had the nerve to appear on the show and be publicly eviscerated by smart people.)

Nevertheless, both Scarborough and Ms. Brzezinski are ferocious advocates of civility and old-fashioned good manners in the public discourse. If some Tea Party jerk wants to scream that all Democrats are traitors, that Barack Obama was born in Antarctica to Jihadist penguins, that liberals hate America yadda yadda Fox News yadda yadda -- Mika and Joe will not permit any such foul or vulgar misbehavior on "Morning Joe." The program is tough, it's real, it's not embarrassed to wrestle the most controversial and even sordid and disgusting issues -- but they scrupulously do it with the politeness and decency of brainy gentlemen and ladies.

Until this morning, "Morning Joe" had a 100% record of Civility and Nice Manners.


The Guardian
(formerly The Manchester Guardian,
founded 1821; daily broadsheet UK)
Thursday 30 June 2011

MSNBC suspends journalist
over Barack Obama insult

US cable news channel takes action after Mark Halperin calls US president 'kind of a dick'

by Jason Deans

A political journalist who said president Barack Obama was being "kind of a dick" live on air has been suspended by US cable news channel MSNBC.

Mark Halperin, a political analyst and editor-at-large for Time magazine, made the remark on MSNBC's Morning Joe programme on Thursday during a discussion about an Obama press conference the previous day.

Halperin asked the show's presenters jokingly: "Are we on the seven-second delay today? ... I want to characterise how I thought the president behaved."

The presenters appeared to encourage him to speak his mind and after apparent confusion between the studio and the show's production team in the gallery about whether a delay button was being used, Halperin said: "I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday."

This prompted a shocked reaction from the Morning Joe co-presenter Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman: "Oh my God ... delay that! Delay that! What are you doing? I can't believe you -- I was joking!"

Halperin then expanded on his comment, saying he thought the president was "posturing" over a deal with the Republicans over spending cuts and tax rises.

Later in the show a sombre-looking Halperin apologised, after the show's presenters admitted they had goaded him into saying it but did not think he would go through with it and also apologised.

Shortly after the show Halperin was suspended by MSNBC. "Mark Halperin's comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable," the broadcaster said in a statement. "We apologise to the president, the White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air. Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst."

Halperin also issued a statement: "I completely agree with everything in MSNBC's statement about my remark. I believe that the step they are taking in response is totally appropriate.

"Again, I want to offer a heartfelt and profound apology to the president, to my MSNBC colleagues, and to the viewers. My remark was unacceptable, and I deeply regret it."

- 30 -

27 June 2011

The Northfield (Massachusetts) Drive-In: more fun than people should be allowed to have with their pants on, and snack bar food that should have been outlawed in 1981

This Coming Weekend
Friday, Saturday & Sunday - July 1st, 2nd & 3rd
at the Northfield Drive-In

Now Playing

Rain or shine! Come join us for for an evening of clean, fun filled, family entertainment! Don't forget to visit the Snack Bar! You may click on the movie title to visit the movie website!

Cars 2

Shown first at 8:50

Friday, Saturday & Sunday - July 1st, 2nd & 3rd

Rated G Animation/Adventure

Star race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.

Larry the Cable Guy
Owen Wilson
Michael Caine
Emily Mortimer
Eddie Izzard
John Turturro

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Shown second

Friday, Saturday & Sunday - July 1st, 2nd & 3rd

Rated PG-13 Action/Adventure

Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.

Johnny Depp
Penélope Cruz
Geoffrey Rush
Ian McShane

Enjoy plenty of delicious treats at our snack bar!

For more information visit our website at:

We look forward to an evening of family fun and entertainment with you!
To unsubscribe or to modify your profile: CLICK HERE.

25 June 2011

NEW! IMPROVED! ADDED TEXT! labels of firecrackers manufactured in Macau

Click image once or twice to enlarge.

Hiya R********,
Without researching, my wet nose-cooled computer seems to recall that as soon as the Communists took possession of Wicked, Evil Portuguese Degenerate Depraved Macau, they exctincted the cheap firecracker industry. Game Over.
A violent blow to the Human Rights of Very Short Humans (chiefly but not entirely males) throughout the world. For a mere dollar, danger, very loud noise, and disturbing people, sleeping babies, dogs, cats and police officers of the entire neighborhood were yours for a half-hour.
A boy could make a difference in the world.
I found these last night, and promptly filched and blogged them. Notice that, as you reminded me, several have the Cautionary Notice that you stand an excellent chance of losing two fingers or an eye in a few seconds.
Clearly the firecracker factories spent more on remarkable advertising art than they did on the sulfur, charcoal and saltpeter. They knew what they were selling to the children and the disordered of the world, and they wrapped it proudly in this odd, romantic beauty.
I can see why they've become collectibles. I saw a few that brought tears of joy.
Have you ever been to the fireworks store -- the Wal-Mart of Firecrackers -- at South of the Border on I-95 on the Carolinas border? Do yourself a favor, drop by if you're passing through. Clean bathrooms, gas, a dozen good restaurants, motel ... oh, and if you remember, a trunkload of firecrackers, M80s, cherry bombs and torpedoes that your checking account will barely notice.

It is heartbreaking to think of childhood in the future stripped of cheap, abundant, accessible unlicensed unregulated portable gunpowder amusements. I hope some obscure sovereignty or colony or ambiguous government zone somewhere has taken up the slack. I'll bet -- like colonial Macau -- it will be a swell, memorable place to visit, probably great cheap restaurants.
The demand for this market will be strong until the end of time.
Massachusetts USA

21 June 2011

my old neighbor, Molly the Single-Mother Bear

Click to enlarge.

Actually I don't think this is Molly, because Molly was always too smart and crafty to be caught out in the open in broad daylight. I suspect this is Molly's daughter Tiffani, with her own first brood of springtime cubs. 

Like Molly, Tiffani's a single mom. Male bears just want to have their fun, and then desert their families, leaving mom to raise the cubs. Males are pigs.

Bears have recently invaded the dumpsters at Northampton's largest apartment complex, the dumpsters are near the kids' playground, so everybody's nervous about bears. The City Council is now considering passing new regulations about feeding bears. I'm sure the Council will ask the bears to testify and give their opinion of the new regulations.

* * *

The Daily Hampshire Gazette
Northampton, Massachusetts USA
Tuesday 21 June 2011 (Summer Solstice)

Respecting our black bears

by Robert Merkin

Until we moved last year, our backyard neighbor for many years in Northampton was Molly the Single-Mother Bear, and her yearly brood of cubs.

We suspect she was spooked into the secluded wetland center of our block one day, looked around, saw it had everything a mother bear with cubs needs, and set up permanent residence.

Molly was the perfect neighbor. Our American black bear (Ursus americanus) instinctively avoids human contact, and Molly and her cubs were invisible ghosts most of the time. Only locals who enjoy a sunrise walk ever saw Molly and the kids making the rounds of unguarded neighborhood dumpsters, trash cans and bird feeders. By the time the city awoke, Molly had led her cubs back to the hidden wild heart of our block for the rest of the day.

But two or three times a year, usually at sunset, Molly and her family would give us the most spectacular thrill of an in-person parade or nature show. One night for a half-hour she let a half-dozen hushed, astonished neighbors, adults and their bug-eyed kids, watch her train her three cubs in the art of fence-climbing and bird-feeder raiding. Neither neighbors nor bears scared or spooked each other. For this city boy, it was spiritually richer than church. One cub had trouble climbing back over the chain-link fence and wailed piteously, and Molly replied with a mother's annoyed growl. The cub got the message and clambered back over the fence.

I soon learned not to worry about our safety or our cats' safety. During our years with Molly I worried far more about Molly's safety and the safety of her cubs. The scenario I dreaded most was that kids roaming through the wetland wilderness -- their right and rite of childhood -- would molest a cub, Molly would react ferociously, and the police would have no choice but to kill her and orphan her cubs. Police detest this chore.

So I would urge all parents to "bear-proof" their kids by teaching them always to walk (not run) silently away from any bear they encounter, and never to bother, scare or threaten a bear.

A few years ago in a Western national park, a troop of "city boy" scouts encountered a bear cub, and their adult leader urged them to throw rocks at it. They killed it. For the rest of the day the park rangers' radios echoed with anger, disbelief, and sobbing.

I call my old neighbor Molly (and her dopey adolescent son Todd), but Commonwealth bear experts scrupulously do not give names to the bears they affix with tracking collars. So many bears who have wandered into our neighborhoods come to a tragic end that giving them names would make these deaths even harder to endure. Our dedicated bear experts protect their emotions by referring to the bears only by their radio collar codes. But their feelings for these bears grow as deep as our feelings for family members.

There's plenty of room for all Massachusetts bears in our still-extensive deep woods. They don't seek our neighborhoods because they've run out of wilderness. They seek our dumpsters, trash cans, and most of all our bird feeders. Our sloppy and thoughtless habits with discarded food and birdseed guarantee bears a free buffet all year long. In our neighborhoods, they don't even hibernate, because hunger triggers hibernation, and neighborhood bears are never that hungry.

Regardless of what our legislators, lawyers, judges and developers may say, we do not own these creatures. We do not have the right to displace, molest or kill them, or to disrupt the remarkably successful living patterns they took millions of years to evolve.

If they annoy us now and then with strewn trash or a wrecked bird feeder, this is trivial compared to the numbers of bears we kill, molest and harass. They wouldn't be in close proximity to people if we hadn't invited them with our all-year-long free buffet.

Whether we know it or not, we are the bears' stewards, charged always with the responsibility of safeguarding and protecting them. They were here first; we came long after, with a mindset that regarded them as dangerous, delicious, and useful for fur and grease. In recent years, spectacular black-market prices for their organs, believed to have magical medicinal powers, put them at even greater risk from rapacious slaughterers who do not deserve the honorable title of lawful hunters. 

The very best way we can discharge our responsibilities as stewards -- and as parents -- is to teach our children respect and common-sense rules for their neighbor bears. This would promise future generations of adults who take their wildlife stewardship responsibilities seriously. 

Our other chore is to give far more thought to the way we get rid of edible garbage, and, if we must enjoy our birdfeeders, to spend a little more time, money and effort to erect the most bear-proof feeders we can. Very few people understand the harm and danger they invite with inferior birdfeeders placed in easy reach of bears.

There's new bears around our new home, but I miss Molly, dopey Todd, and all his sisters and brothers. They were the best and most amazing neighbors this city boy ever had. Please keep them safe and healthy.

- 30 -

Robert Merkin is a novelist ("Zombie Jamboree," "The South Florida Book of the Dead") who lived in Northampton for thirty years. He and wife Cynthia now live in the woods in a nearby hilltown.

12 June 2011

the fraud, scam and victimization of college women athletes / how men's sports programs cheat and lie to sleaze around Title IX

Click photo to enlarge.

It's Sports Time on Vleeptron!
All the Sports from Vleeptron!
We've got the latest Qx'ii scores!
All the games from the Dwingeloo League!
Dogfighting, fish-shooting,
cockfighting too!
Bare-knuckle boxing from 1902!
A fifth of our Sports
all take place in the Zoo!
Get your Sports on Vleeptron!
Get your Sports on Vleeptron!

* * * * *

The New York Times
(USA daily broadsheet)
Monday 25 April 2011

College Teams,
Relying on Deception,
Undermine Gender Equity

by Katie Thomas

Ever since Congress passed the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX, universities have opened their gyms and athletic fields to millions of women who previously did not have chances to play. But as women have surged into a majority on campus in recent years, many institutions have resorted to subterfuge to make it look as if they are offering more spots to women.

This is the first article in a series examining how colleges have approached compliance with Title IX since 1972 and the obstacles to enforcing the law.

At the University of South Florida, more than half of the 71 women on the cross-country roster failed to run a race in 2009. Asked about it, a few laughed and said they did not know they were on the team.

At Marshall University, the women’s tennis coach recently invited three freshmen onto the team even though he knew they were not good enough to practice against his scholarship athletes, let alone compete. They could come to practice whenever they liked, he told them, and would not have to travel with the team.

At Cornell, only when the 34 fencers on the women’s team take off their protective masks at practice does it become clear that 15 of them are men. Texas A&M and Duke are among the elite women’s basketball teams that also take advantage of a federal loophole that allows them to report male practice players as female participants.

Title IX, passed in 1972 at the height of the women’s rights movement, banned sex discrimination in any federally financed education program. It threw into sharp relief the unequal treatment of male and female athletes on college campuses.

Over the next 40 years, the law spawned a cultural transformation: the number of women competing in college sports has soared by more than 500 percent -- to 186,000 a year from fewer than 30,000 in 1972.

But as women have grown to 57 percent of American colleges’ enrollment, athletic programs have increasingly struggled to field a proportional number of female athletes. And instead of pouring money into new women’s teams or trimming the rosters of prized football teams, many colleges are turning to a sleight of hand known as roster management. 

According to a review of public records from more than 20 colleges and universities by The New York Times, and an analysis of federal participation statistics from all 345 institutions in N.C.A.A. [National Collegiate Athletic Association] Division I — the highest level of college sports — many are padding women’s team rosters with underqualified, even unwitting, athletes. They are counting male practice players as women. And they are trimming the rosters of men’s teams.

“Those of us in the business know that universities have been end-running Title IX for a long time, and they do it until they get caught,” said Donna E. Shalala, the president of the University of Miami.

Each year, institutions must report their male and female participation numbers to the Department of Education. And even though the numbers would not be used in a formal investigation, many colleges manipulate them to avoid bringing about one. The embarrassment that comes with a public inquiry or a lawsuit can motivate them to do what it takes to stay under the radar.

Shrinking budgets also spur universities to use these tactics, said Jake Crouthamel, a former Syracuse athletic director. “It’s easier to add more people on a roster than it is to start a new sport,” he said.

Yet football, the pride of many universities and a draw for alumni, rarely faces cuts. The average Division I football team went from 95 players 30 years ago to 111 players in 2009-10.

“Football is the elephant in the whole thing,” Mr. Crouthamel said. “That’s the monster.”

Advocates for men’s teams say roster management hurts their cause as well, because colleges tend to eliminate men’s sports rather than increase women’s sports to reach parity. Officials have also cut the size of men’s teams, compromising their competitiveness.

“I think roster management is almost a cuss word,” said Tommy Bell, the athletic director at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. He wants to restore a men’s track team, he said, but to do so, he must trim men’s spots elsewhere. “I hate doing it,” he said.

According to the most current federal numbers, women make up 53 percent of the student body at Division I institutions yet only 46 percent of all athletes. And that discrepancy does not take into account all the tactics used to boost the numbers artificially.

Roster management came under scrutiny last year when a federal judge ruled that Quinnipiac University in Connecticut had violated Title IX by engaging in several questionable practices, including requiring that women cross-country runners join the indoor and outdoor track teams so they could be counted three times. The judge found earlier that Quinnipiac had been padding women’s rosters by counting players, then cutting them a few weeks later. Quinnipiac athletic officials declined to comment, but in its appeal, the university said the judge’s conclusion that women were required to be on all three teams was not supported by evidence.

Russlynn H. Ali, the assistant education secretary who heads the Office for Civil Rights, which is charged with enforcing Title IX, said the Quinnipiac case was “a check on what some were doing, either knowingly or unwittingly.”

Nancy Hogshead-Makar, an Olympic swimmer and the senior director of advocacy at the Women’s Sports Foundation, said: “The fraud is disheartening. Intercollegiate athletics are rare educational opportunities, subsidized with our tax dollars, which deliver superior lifelong returns on investment. When an athletic department engineers itself to produce only the appearance of fairness, they flout the law and cheat women.”

When One Equals Three

The roots of South Florida’s enormous women’s cross-country team can be traced to 1997, when the university added football.

Universities must demonstrate compliance with Title IX in at least one of three ways: by showing that the number of female athletes is in proportion to overall female enrollment, by demonstrating a history of expanding opportunities for women, or by proving that they are meeting the athletic interests and abilities of their female students.

After South Florida added more than 100 football players, it was out of balance under the first test. Lamar Daniel, a gender-equity consultant, told the university in 2002 that it failed the other two as well. He recommended adding a women’s swimming team and warned that trying to comply with the proportionality option would be difficult because South Florida’s female participation numbers were too low.

But university officials tried anyway. A primary strategy was to expand the women’s running teams. Female runners can be a bonanza because a single athlete can be counted up to three times, as a member of the cross-country and the indoor and outdoor track teams.

In 2002, 21 South Florida women competed in cross-country. By 2008, the number had grown to 75 -- more than quadruple the size of an average Division I cross-country team.

When told of the team’s size, Mr. Daniel, a former investigator for the Office for Civil Rights, said: “Good gracious. That would certainly justify further examination.”

In 2009-10, South Florida reported 71 women on its cross-country team, but race results show only 28 competed in at least one race.

At a recent track meet at South Florida, three female long jumpers who are listed on the cross-country roster said they were not members of that team.

“They have us on cross-country if we want to, like for extra conditioning, but we have fall training, so I don’t,” Tralanda Todd, one of the jumpers, said.

Ms. Ali, the assistant education secretary, said that it was fair to count athletes multiple times, but that “if they didn’t know they were on the team, in all likelihood we would determine that not to be a meaningful participation opportunity.”

Sarah Till, who graduated from South Florida in 2009, was a more extreme case. She said that she quit and returned her track scholarship in her sophomore year, but her name was listed on the rosters of all three squads through her junior year.

“They wanted to keep me on the roster because the more girls they have on the roster, the more positions they have to give for the guys’ teams,” she said, adding that a former assistant coach had told her she would receive running shoes and priority class registration as a reward for staying on the rosters.

After being contacted by The Times, South Florida officials said they would end the practice of listing athletes who do not participate on team rosters. But Bill McGillis, the executive associate athletic director, defended providing “opportunities to women in cross-country in large numbers.”

South Florida is not the only university to open its rosters to women, no matter their skill level. Florida State and Marshall encourage their women’s coaches to accept many walk-ons — generally athletes who were not recruited — while often prohibiting or limiting the same practice on men’s teams.

At Marshall, John Mercer, the women’s tennis coach, added three freshman walk-ons to satisfy the athletic department’s 10-player team minimum. “They’re being nice and trying to help us fill the spots, to help our rosters,” he said. While practices are optional this year, a Marshall official said more will be expected of the walk-ons next year once their class schedules are arranged to accommodate regular practices.

The Office for Civil Rights does not require athletes to compete to be counted. Still, some have questioned why elite Division I programs are opening rosters to underqualified athletes.

Kristen Galles, a lawyer who represents athletes in Title IX lawsuits, said colleges that were committed to gender equity “are going to add new women’s teams, not tell your softball coach to have 30 softball players.”

Men as Women

Division I programs routinely count male players who practice with women’s teams as female participants. According to the Department of Education, they are doing nothing wrong.

David A. Bergeron, the deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Postsecondary Education, said men should be counted on women’s teams if they receive coaching and practice with women.

Texas A&M, which just won the women’s Division I basketball championship, reported 32 players in the 2009-10 academic year, although 14 were men. Cornell included 19 men among the women’s fencing, volleyball and basketball teams in the 2009-10 numbers reported to Bergeron’s office. Yet Cornell counted the five female coxswains for the men’s rowing team as female athletes.

Cornell and Texas A&M officials said they were simply following the rules, odd as they are. “We count who we’re supposed to count,” J. Andrew Noel Jr., Cornell’s athletic director, said.

Todd Kennett, a Cornell men’s rowing coach, said he exploited the loophole. “The women on my team count as women, which allows me to put more men on my roster,” he said, adding that the women were talented coxswains.

Ms. Ali said that universities investigated by her office would never get away with counting men as women, but acknowledged that a formal inquiry is rare.

“I would hope, as someone who cares about these issues, that that data is accurate and that institutions would not try and game it,” she said.

Numbers Up, Bodies Down

Double- and triple-counting women has allowed four dozen Division I universities to mask the fact that they have fewer female athletes. At those institutions, overall participation rates appeared to show that women were gaining ground. But when the duplications were not counted, records show the percentage of women who played for those universities fell.

Oklahoma State reported 35 more female participants in the 2009-10 academic year than in 2003-4, although the number of women actually competing decreased by 12. The number of male athletes increased by 22 during that period. Amy Weeks, an associate athletic director, attributed the decrease in female athletes to natural fluctuation. When universities are found to be noncompliant, the solution does not always satisfy the complainants.

The University of California, Irvine, is among at least five California universities that sponsor women’s indoor track teams despite a mild climate and a dearth of indoor facilities. Those universities do not offer men’s indoor track.

Last year, an investigation by the Office for Civil Rights concluded that Irvine was not complying with Title IX because its indoor track team was essentially a ruse. It competed in just one meet per year and several women on the roster “vigorously stated” that they were not on the team.

Jessie Rogers, 20, filed the complaint after her Irvine swimming team was cut in 2009. “All I wanted was to get that women’s swimming team back,” she said.

That did not happen. Irvine reached an agreement with the Office for Civil Rights to expand its indoor track schedule and to increase its roster.

Irvine officials would say only that they were committed to providing equal opportunities. Ms. Ali said that her office encouraged more meaningful changes but all it could do was force institutions to follow the letter of the law.

Karen Crouse, Griffin Palmer and Marjorie Connelly contributed reporting.

A version of this article appeared in print on April 26, 2011, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: College Teams, Relying on Deception, Undermine Gender Equity.

- 30 -

10 June 2011

CORRECTED EXPANDED POST about Google's Les Paul guitar and Lawrence Welk / Les, I forgive you for divorcing Mary Ford!

 Click, it gets bigger, 
but you got to go HERE to play music on it.

Quick! Go to the Main Page of Google and see -- and PLAY! -- their homage to Les Paul's 96th Birthday!

(I'm not clever enough to filch it.)

The galaxy-wide popularity of Google's Les Paul Electric Guitar has inspired them to keep running it forever (according to one headline -- well, you know, the definition of "forever" on the Internet is a slightly different one from the one we learned in math class and Sunday School)

And when you've finished playing your best riff, there's a little button that will record and save it for you (I think).

And now I would like to say a word about Les Paul.

Les (geboren Lester William Polfuss)
is an odd sort of Deity. He invented the Electric Guitar. 

I suspect there are more people today who would microwave Girl Scouts if Les Paul commanded them to than the Thugee Cult of the Death Goddess Khali ever numbered at the height of its popularity.

When I was a real little kid, he and his guitar-playing and singing wife Mary Ford used to have a 15-minute-long TV show (black and white) in which they would play Les' amazing invention, the Electric Guitar, while Mary would play AND sing AND harmonize with herself (because Les also invented multi-track overdubbing).

But the music they played!!!!! (This color is supposed to resemble shit.)

Les & Mary played Holiday Inn Lounge Music so square that it made Lawrence Welk seem like Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. 

The signature theme of the show was "Bye Bye Blues," a pretty uninspired standard from 1930 which Les & Mary turned into a Top 10 AM radio hit in 1952.

The USA was VERY SQUARE in 1952. Eisenhower was president (and Les & Mary performed for him at the White House), Negroes were kept in a condition of about 87% slavery (luckily for Earth, they were permitted to compose and perform music), and all wives would greet their husbands ar the door with a dry martini when Dad came home from work. Mom had stayed home all day attending to Junior and Sis, cooking dinner, doing the laundry ...

There were zero homosexuals or lesbians in the USA. (Except maybe 11 or 12 in Greenwich Village.)

Marihuana, the Satan Weed from Hell which loosened the judgment center of young white Protestant virgins, had not been invented yet. It was at an early stage of research and experimentation by a tiny number of Negro jazz musicians and white Beatniks who wore berets, played bongo drums, and recited non-rhyming poetry in Greenwich Village.

How anyone could invent the Electric Guitar, play it So Wonderfully -- and dedicate himself to a musical repertoire which would have been too square for Kate Smith to sing -- has lifelong mystified me. And yet long before his death, the likes of Eric Clapton, Jimi, and every Rock Guitar God bowed down before Les and kissed his feet.

Les and Mary divorced in 1952, it was apparently a real nasty divorce.

If you really can play a riff on the Google Les Paul and save it somehow, send it to me! (Try not to play "Bye Bye Blues," no Pizza for playing that.)

* * *

Send It To Me

by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards 
(performed by The Rolling Stones)

oh I think I had enough of your religion
it's tough, it's a state of mind
I don't need it

sending a letter
to my mother
I need some loving
send it to me

I lost my lover
unfaithful lover
I need some money

send it to me

I need consoling
your boy's feeling lonely
describe her for me
send it to me

send it to me
send it to me
send it to me

this is no doctor
no second cousin
that needs some lovin

send it to me

if she can't travel
I can take the mule train

I can take the aeroplane
send it to me

yeah and I'm begging you
begging you down on my knees
baby please please

You you got to send it send it send it
send it to me
send her to me

send her to me
send her to me
send her to me

yeah I'm sending in a letter
to my sister
in Australia
sister Marie

I'm lookin for a woman
she don't got to be beautiful
she has to be lovin
lovin I need

ain't got no lover
no sense of cover
I need some loving

send it to me

send it to me
send it to me
send it to me

she won't have to watch her step
she won't have to relocate
I guarantee 

her personal

she don't have to be five foot ten
or a blonde or brunette
she don't have to be no social hostess

send her

she might work in a factory
right next door to me
in my fantasy
send her to me

send her to me
send her to me
send her to me

she could be Rumanian
could be Bubarian
could be Albanian
she could be Hungarian
she might be Ukrainian
could be Australian
could be the Alien

send her to me

send her to me
send her to me
send her to me

09 June 2011

They put me in jail for my deviant ways / two years seven months and sixteen days

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(because you REALLY want to watch this video)watch in FULL SCREEN
Maybe it's just my computer and wifi, but be patient if you get stop-start-stop-start crap. The song and video are much too good to give up in frustration.

I Feel So Good

by Richard Thompson

from the album "Rumour and Sigh" (1991)
Promotional animated video by Capitol/EMI Records
animation team in Taiwan who also animate "The Simpsons"

I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight
I feel so good I'm going to take someone apart tonight
They put me in jail for my deviant ways
Two years seven months and sixteen days
Now I'm back on the street in a purple haze

And I feel so good, and I feel so good
Well I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight

I feel so good I'm going to make somebody's day tonight
I feel so good I'm going to make somebody pay tonight
I'm old enough to sin but I'm too young to vote
Society's been dragging on the tail of my coat
Now I've got a suitcase full of fifty pound notes
And a half-naked woman with her tongue down my throat

And I feel so good, and I feel so good

Oh I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight

They made me pay for the things I've done
Now it's my turn to have all the fun
Well I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight

And I feel so good, I feel so good
Well I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight
Oh Oh Oh
I feel so good I'm going to break somebody's heart tonight
Hm break somebody's heart
Break somebody's heart
Hm break somebody's heart
Oh break somebody's heart

Let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time / You can waste your time on the other rides / This is the nearest to being alive / Oh let me take my chances on the Wall of Death

 Click image to enlarge.

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The Wall of Death

by Richard Thompson

Harmony: Christine Collister
Guitar (in shades and hat): Clive Gregson

Let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time

Let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time
You can waste your time on the other rides
This is the nearest to being alive
Oh let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death

You can go with the crazy people in the Crooked House
You can fly away on the Rocket or spin in the Mouse
The Tunnel Of Love might amuse you
Noah's Ark might confuse you
But let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death

On the Wall Of Death all the world is far from me
On the Wall Of Death it's the nearest to being free

Well you're going nowhere when you ride on the carousel
And maybe you're strong but what's the good of ringing a bell?
The switchback will make you crazy. 

Beware of the bearded lady
Oh let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death

Let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time
Oh let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time
You can waste your time on the other rides
This is the nearest to being alive
Oh let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death
Let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death
Oh let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death