Why I am glad I don’t have cable TV

In the early nineties, Bruce Springsteen had a hit with the song “57 Channels and Nothing On”. It was the precursor to the same feeling we felt over the “500 channel universe” we experience today.

I have no cable by choice. I can afford to put it in, but apart from educational channels and the news station, I really have little to no interest in what passes for entertainment, and, frankly, no time to sit down and watch what appears to be mostly pointless programming spread out over hundreds of television stations. Here is a small list of programming explaining why I feel this way.

  • My 600-lb life (and related TV shows)
    • A century and a half ago, we locked up anyone who was a freak in a cage and charged admission for patrons to pass by, point, and either express shock, or laugh at them. I see this programming is kind of like that.
    • Ah, the life and escapades of the morbidly obese. I am doubtful that any show that depicts the private hell of individuals (whatever the problem is), when it is presented as “reality TV”, is helpful to the individual whose problem is being flaunted for TV ratings, nor is it helpful to anyone watching the show who shares the same problem, as that is not effectively the reason this show is being broadcast. Shows like this are effectively human suffering, served up as lighthearted entertainment.
  • Faux News
    • From pie charts that add up to more than 100 per cent, to unapologetic right-wing bias, the secret to Faux News high ratings is sensationalism and incendiary reporting.
    • And when it isn’t racist, it is merely cheerleading for Republicans and very nearly their every wrong move. It is a more socially-acceptable version of InfoWars (or is it In-Faux-Wars?).
  • The Bachelor/Bachelorette
  • Real Housewives
    • Real housewives? What does that mean? Purportedly married but dressed as if they are single and hot to trot, this is now a franchise of blondes, brunettes and redheads who more or less look and dress alike, and are nowadays from all parts of the United States, ready to make you feel like you don’t belong. Face it, you don’t look like them, you can’t afford to dress like them, you also probably can’t afford the houses they live in. They are not real in any sense that matters to most viewers.
    • The franchise consists of “Real Housewives of ” <fill in the name of an American city>. Every time I think I have a complete list of cities, I always find one more not in my list. The last one I found was “Atlanta”. Atlanta was notable because most of the ladies were black. I doubt that you are going to hear about racial inequality in a way that broadens or enhances the discussion. They dressed and appeared to live more lavishly than any woman of colour I know.
    • These are the stories of domesticated dramas. Whether it is about unmarried people on the make, or married women (who cares about married men?), don’t expect too many challenges to traditional stereotypes, or to the norms of sexual roles we have all come to accept. Wake me up if there are any surprises, since I don’t expect any. You might expect surprises that are there for shock value, such as the guy finding out that she was a he, or whatever.
  • Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo
    • Time to clear the room
  • 'American Pickers' Season 2 premiere on History Channel ...History Channel
    • There is not much actual history on this channel
  • Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire/Multi-Millionaire/etc.
    • And this is because, indeed, the only thing on a woman’s mind is marrying for money.
    • Notice how I am writing as if it is understood that the millionaire is a man, and that the ones chasing him are women; not the other way around.
    • There is some scientific basis supporting the fact that, in nearly all cultures, women tend to choose a man who is financially secure for their husband, and this is even independent of culture worldwide. In addition, the reverse is true far less often.
  • Dr. Pimple Popper
    • About the only doctor Americans can afford without the Affordable Healthcare programme.
    • Again, it’s the kind of programme which makes you question what you are doing with your spare time. And the depressing reality is that the 500 channel universe is filled with such vapidity and emptiness, that there is probably nothing else on.
  • Project Blue Book
    • This is one of the reasons that anyone who likes history has found to their disappointment that the History Channel no longer discusses anything about history. Project Blue Book is about UFOs.
  • Pawn Stars. You Could Learn A Thing Or Two.Pawn Stars
  • Rust Valley Restorers
  • The Antique Road Show
    • Pawn Stars and Rust Valley Restorers are both on the History Channel, and The Antique Road Show is on PBS. The Antique Road Show gives a better history education.
    • One line you will never hear on the Antique Road Show, regarding something like a curious object bought at a garage sale for $100: “Why does this say ‘Made in Taiwan?'”. Or, regarding an heirloom passed down for several generations: “I don’t know what it is. Well, at least it has sentimental value. Have a nice day.”
  • Lego City
    • It’s pretty bad when we mistrust the imaginations of children with toys so much that toy companies feel the need to sponsor cartoons which depict a universe made of toys from one manufacturer.
    • I suppose that nowadays the idea of children playing with toys from different manufacturers is now regarded as an anti-competitive practice.
  • The “W” Channel
    • used to be “women’s network”
    • of 58 titles listed in their annual lineup of shows and movies, 42 cover the themes of marriage and romance
    • Feminist? One show if you count “Ms. Matched” — still a marriage theme, because that’s all women think about, apparently, especially in this small-screen movie. I think only the “Ms.” in the title makes it appear feminist.
  • Much
    • Was “Much Music”, but is now minus most of its music videos.

More political articles on the Silent Majority

I believe the third time anyone writes an article on the same creepy topic, it is time either to cease and desist, or to make this into an ongoing series, embracing the concept whole.

Twice before, I have written with a straight face about how the dead participate in all parts of the electoral process, being both the voters, and those being voted on. And I have written more than once, that dead people have often win elections against their living opponents. While all this sounds both creepy and hilarious, these stories are utterly true. And before you think this is a liberal or conservative conspiracy, I also reiterate, that the dead benefit both sides of American politics. Since there are more dead people than living, we call them the real Silent Majority in this blog. We ought to root for them, since many of these are hard-working dead people who have never committed crimes, and don’t bother anyone.

After paying $1.50 for this issue of The Sun yesterday, I find that the cover story is an opinion piece.

Just yesterday in The Toronto Sun, the front page — yes, the front page, in the biggest screaming headlines you have ever seen in your life, decried the Liberal practice of leaving dead people on the voter rolls. So, now the silent majority have invaded the Canadian Liberal party, according to The Sun. While I understand that the Sun takes every opportunity to attack the Liberals, and have never met a politician to the right of Atilla the Hun they didn’t like, I have to say, the dead are not a voting block. I am certain that the list contains conservatives and liberals in fairly equal numbers. Regardless, no one can control the voting preferences of the Silent Majority, since you can’t speak to them, and they can’t speak to you. Even if you could speak to them, the Silent Majority will just vote as they damn well please. Or, do anything else they damn well please. You may have your perceptions and illusions about the Silent Majority, but we can both agree that you can’t tell them who to vote for. They just won’t listen, and you can’t change that.

You can call me a leading authority on the voting behavior of the Silent Majority. I have been observing them for quite a while now. And a good many years from now, I too will some day go to the Majority. To be honest, it’s pretty boring watching them, because I never see them move. I guess that’s part of their mystique.

Google Autocomplete Follies

Humans are a curious species. We like to ask the questions about why things exist/happen/not happen, and so on.

When I built my search engine questions, I began with the word “WHY”, then gradually built on that, one word at a time. Now, I pass on the list of questions to you.

If the list of Google autocomplete suggestions which is to follow is taken to be the true distillation of human thought, we seem to be very preoccupied with aches and pains, bodily functions, and weather events, and not a whole lot outside of that.

WHY

⦁ him
⦁ is the sky blue
⦁ don’t we
⦁ him cast (sic)
⦁ do whales beach
⦁ am i so tired
⦁ are you running
⦁ do cats purr
⦁ am I always tired
⦁ do we yawn

WHY DOES

⦁ my cat lick me
⦁ my dog lick me
⦁ it hurt when i pee
⦁ salt melt ice
⦁ ice float
⦁ my stomach hurt
⦁ my head hurt
⦁ my jaw hurt

WHY DOES IT

⦁ snow
⦁ snow in Canada
⦁ rain
⦁ always rain on me
⦁ hurt to swallow
⦁ hurt to poop
⦁ hurt to have sex
⦁ hurt to breathe
⦁ hurt when I cough

WHY DOES IT SEEM

⦁ like everyone is rich
⦁ impossible to lose weight
⦁ impossible to get a girlfriend
⦁ hard to breathe
⦁ hard to swallow

WHY DOES IT NEVER

⦁ work out with guys
⦁ snow in London/Manchester/Swansea/England/Florida
⦁ snow on Christmas
⦁ snow
⦁ rain in California
⦁ get dark in Alaska

WHY DOES IT ALWAYS SEEM

⦁ to be (Phil Collins lyric)
⦁ to rain at night
⦁ to rain on the weekend
⦁ to rain on Good Friday
⦁ to be my fault

So you want to be a witchcraft-practising wrestler?

You are a follower of witchcraft, and you want to become a wrestler for WWF or something (what decent witch wouldn’t want that?), then you need to have a moniker. An alias that captures all that you are. Here, from the website “Behind the Name“, are some name suggestions to help out witches and warlocks who want to also buy veterinary tramadol join the wrestling profession (a mixture of names construed to be masculine and feminine):

  • Batfire Catgoo
  • Spiderpop Ice Threat
  • Money Kick Macho Professor
  • Atomic Grip Dreadspaz
  • Stone Cold Sheik Toadstare
  • Rhino Kick Beetleweed
  • Beetletooth Vixen
  • Boiltongue Demonhex
  • Danger Dragon
  • Roid Muscles Iron Queen
  • Star Hit Swamphex
  • Wartcast Ice Masher
  • Dragon Roid Princess

Crappy Album Covers #279 — Disco Lotion

1977 was the height of the disco invasion. And I say “invasion” rather than “revolution”, because at least revolutions are welcome in some homes.

Rod McKuen’s Disco parody “Slide Easy In … Disco” has been described as a “gay porn version of Grease”. The hit single “Amor” never made it in North America, but it was quite prominent in many European countries.

These days, if anyone looked like this at a border crossing, they would be subject to a cavity search on the spot.

That being said, many blogs remember Instant Funk’s brand of Philadelphia Soul quite fondly, in spite of their having changed record labels from TSOP to New York’s Salsoul Records prior to the release of this 1979 LP. Disco and its sub-genres had been on life support after its mega-overexposure by the Bee Gees by that time, and even the best albums of the genre were being abandoned by all but the most hard-core fans by that time.

The TSOP label was home to artists such as Lou Rawls, The Three Degrees, McFadden and Whitehead, and The O’Jays. I like these artists, and have never really associated them in my mind with Disco, except in the loosest sense of the term. They sound closer to R&B, and were grouped together with Instant Funk as part of the “Philly Soul” sound.

Crappy Album Covers #278 — Ellis Dee

This is a 1966 reocrding produced by Alan Livingston and Lawrence Schiller. Dick Clark is uncredited for the narration, and Dr. Sidney Cohen gives some medical background on various aspects of LSD.

I wish they would have taken the record sleeve designer’s stash of LSD and flushed it down the toilet.

This is the infamous Timothy Leary (1920-1996), with his recording, also from 1966, called “LSD”. This popularizer of the hippie can you buy viagra otc catch phrase “Tune in, turn on, drop out” and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley in 1950 was a Harvard lecturer but was fired amidst allegations of involvement with various psychoactive drugs.

The lecture on this record came after police raids on his Milbrook esteate, looking for drugs. Hence, it is said this recording has a bitter tone to it, compared to his other recordings.

Crappy Album Covers #277 — Pink

After your first bottle, you say “Here come the Elephants”, after about 4 or 5, you say “Here comes the twister” (see below), and the room begins to spin. The album looks at least old enough to have Johnny Bond participate in The Iraq War Drinking Game (the first one), but in reality he was never alive for it, having died of a heart attack in 1978.

Cyrus Bond (1915-1978) had a string of top-10 hits in the 1940s up until the late 50s. In 1999, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

I had agony researching this group. I ran into a freaking domain-parked website offering info on “Po Boy”, “The Boy” and “The Po”. It is painfully obvious that someone didn’t attend their RESL classes (that’s Redneck English as a Second Language).

Then there was this site. Our boyz don’t look like post-punk/hip-hop dudz, yo’. But if they were those Po’ Boys, they would have a killer logo.

I am new to Po’ Boysology, but according to my observations, any band buy tramadol overnight calling themselves The Po’ Boys seems to consist of

  1. 5 or 6 guys;
  2. members who only want to be addressed by their first names.
  3. The punkers call themselves:
    • James, Micheal, Mark
    • Dave, Robert, Dom
  4. The guys in the pink suits call themselves:
    • Jimmy Sonny, Snuffy,
    • Terry, and Jim

Just what we need  … two guys in the band whose names are Jimmy and Jim. Look, guys, they don’t have to be your real names. I’m sure one of you wasn’t christened Snuffy!?! Could one of you have picked a different name?

After a couple of pages of bizarre stuff having nothing to do with this band except the name, I gave up. But there is indeed a genre out there.

There is a brass band called “The Po’ Boys” which does a killer cover of Led Zep’s 1971 hit Black Dog:

And as for the Twister, here are the Talking Heads, same as they ever were…

Crappy Album Covers #276 — My Babe Magnet II

The Calvary Boys were a traditional Southern gospel group that formed around 1970. They hail from the Piney Woods region of Texas, often called “East Texas” or “Deep East Texas”. “Gettin’ Ready to Leave” might bave been their first album, although it is not mentioned on their website, as far as I could tell.

They call themselves a quartet. That might be because the other 3 folks in the picture are the mechanics. In Deep East Texas, you repair your own damn touring vehicle!

Chicks dig motorcycles. Dr. Dave had a novelty hit with “Vanna, Pick Me A Letter“, sung to the  tune “The Letter” (a #1 hit in 1967 by a group from Memphis Tennessee, calling themselves The Box Tops). “Vanna” was a staple on the Dr. Demento show, having been played on 38 episodes between 1986 and 2008.

Dr. Dave (David Kolin) channels his best Cheech Marin imitation (at least that’s what it sounds like), making it a matter of debate in the song that phone is spelled F-O-N-E, and trying to convince Vanna to come to his place to play The Home Edition.

What you are looking at is the cover of their 12″EP released in 1986.

Crappy Album Covers #275 — What’s that in your pipe?

Pipes, as shown here, can be fun for both boys and girls. You can slide down the mouthpiece; stand on top of a flame coming out of the pipe and not get burnt. Just as you can smoke a pipe and not get lung cancer, or walk between the raindrops in a storm and not get wet.

Los Melodicos is the brainchild of Renato Capriles, way back in 1958, and made its debut as one of Venezuela’s foremost Latin-oriented orchestras, and have made over 100 albums.

The anthropologists knew about ‘shrooms all along. They had the jump on the hippie tramadol 200 mg buy online generation, who tried to use it under the ruse of “artistic inspiration”.

Yeah, mushroom ceremony, my arse. They were passing aruond the pipe because they couldn’t get enough of that buzz.

The Mazatec (meaning “Lords of the Deer”, which is often something you see when you are stoned) were an “Indian” (aboriginal) tribe in the south of Mexico in the state of Oaxaca to the south. Their recorded history was made up of either defensive war against the Aztecs or defensive war against the Spanish Conquistadores.

Crappy Album Covers #274 — Psychedelia

Psychedelic art is supposedly the kind of art induced by drugs such as LSD. The thinking being, that the kind of mental state induced by psychedelic drugs are a kind of artistic inspiration.

Psychedelia had long died out as a fad in 1977 when Dragon released their third album, Sunshine. I have a painting below which is popular in psych textbooks. It was a painting of a cat owned by Louis Wain back in the early 20th century in the later stages of the onset of schizophrenia. He needed no drugs to turn his ordinary still life into works of psychedelia.

I wish these guys chose a better color scheme. But these are Austin Texas denizens who call themselves The 13th Floor Elevators, late 60s cult favourites. They have been covered by bands like REM, Jesus and Mary Chain, ZZ Top, and Primal Scream.

13th Floor Elevators had, among their more normal instruments, the use of a jug — an electric one, no less.

Here is a Lous Wain’s cat, after having late onset schizophrenia:

And here are the 13th Floor Elevators with one of their bigger hits “You Gonna Miss Me”

Crappy Album Covers #273 — The SJ Blind Dating Service

Jerry Hitt is a do-it-yourselfer (album cover wise) from way back, and it is difficult to pick out the year of this recording.
Joyce Drake’s stunt double, Joyce Landorf meets Jerry Hitt and they now are cozy together thanks to the SJ Blind Dating service.

Crappy Album Covers #270 — The Overuse of Cadillacs

After some looking about, I can’t for the life of me remember where I got the record cover from. While the name of the jpeg has the word “coverbrowser” in it, I tried “Coverbrowser.com” and several search strings, to no avail.

I recall it was a jazz band, possibly one that was popular in the night clubs. I know nothing else. All evidence of the origin of this photo has disappeared into the Internet memory hole.

Guy Drake had a minor spoken-word hit with “Welfare Cadillac”, a song which poked fun of welfare recipients. Johnny Cash was asked to perform for Richard Nixon, and Welfare Cadillac was one of the songs Cash was requested to play. He refused, citing “short notice” rather than political reasons.

Drake’s tune was one of a small group of “right-wing” hits; another from the same period being “Hokie From Muskokie”, a tribute to Nixon’s Silent Majority who didn’t protest the war, didn’t use recreational drugs, and didn’t listen to rock-and-roll.

Crappy Album Covers #269 — For the Kiddies

Colby was a TV series that began in the late ’80s, that send a Christian message to children. You can find Colby records and CDs for sale at on-line Christian bookstores everywhere.

The title “God Uses Kids!” smacks of this other CAC posting.

If I was a child and I wanted to be introduced to jazz, I would let Cannonball Adderley introduce me to it. In the 50s and 60s, he, Miles Davis, and others were considered the best in their field. Adderley played on Miles Davis’s “Kind of Blue” LP, released in the late 50s, the album which was to Jazz what Sergeant Pepper was to Rock and Roll.

Crappy Album Covers #268 — Sensitive People

By some coincidence, both of these album releases are from Cuba, and from the year 1968.

Eduardo Davidosn (1929-1994) is a cuban-born musician who released a 1968 album called “Le Chien (The Dog)”, perhaps in an early effort to make himself the darling of animal rights groups.
A muted version of The Many Facets of Roger… here, we see the two sides of La Lupe’s armchair.

Guadalupe Victoria Yoli Raymond (1939-1992) had a brief but rewarding career in the late 60s and early 70s, being the first Cuban singer to sell out in Madison Square Garden, but was in an increasing state of poverty later in life.

Crappy Album Covers #267 — Ride with me

You have to feel sorry for the model. She must feel pretty tired holding those pineapples, and I wish I could help by holding them for her, … her pineapples that is.

No information exists on the album “Go with me to Hawaii” (Fahre mit mir nach Hawaii), except that it is likely from Germany, and the album title appears to come from the song “Riding in the Dreamboat of Love” (Steig In Das Traumboot Der Liebe), but maybe not.

I would like to have known when this trend started. I obviously missed this boat, for sure.

WFMU has lavished more bandwidth than I will ever spend on this 1982 album, complete with presenting all of the mp3s. WFMU reminds us, it’s not just the marketer on the album cover, it’s what’s inside that counts. And we hear a guy in a fake French accent tell you what moves to make with your body over seductive classical music.

Crappy Album Covers #266 — My Hero!

This is a 1976 LP of a two-part episode of Dr. Who, called “Doctor Who and the Pescatons”.

Look! A fish with muscular arms and clawed hands! Are you scared? I’m scared. God, am I scared!

What else is in the picture? Castle with clock tower on the shoreline; fishy monster guy jumps out of the water with a swipe of its clawed hand, whilst Dr. Who (played by Tom Baker) and Sarah Jane Smith (played by Elisabeth Sladen) are running away … well, they don’t exactly look like they’re running … and the fishy monster thing is between them and dry land … and they don’t even look all that wet, … and the expression on their faces is less that of fear and terror and more like indigestion and boredom. I get it! The indigestion is from the fish sticks they ate earlier. The fishy monster thing is actually the mother of whatever fish went in those fish sticks! Now the pieces come together. It takes time, sometimes…

The next CAC contribution comes from a native of Antigua and Barbuda, whose name is Paul Richards. His stage name is King Obstinate, and the music is calypso. I now feel relieved, since he looks like he was going to give us one of them high-spirited Bible readings.

You have to be pretty obstinate to belong to a Commonwealth nation while wearing a French fleur-de-lys on your costume. From 1632 until its independence in 1981, it was a British colony, with a one-year interruption in 1666 when it became French. Was it really that big a deal in history?

King Obstinate:

Crappy Album Covers #265 — Marketeers of Unknown Elpees

On my blog, I think it has become obvious that when I say “marketeers”, it seems to always relate to depictions of nude or semi-nude women.

I am unclear as to how having a digital chastity, uh, panty, would illustrate the cover of an album entitled “Sophisticated Funk”. But actually, isn’t this in line with how women work anyway? That you have to push the right buttons to gain access? Yes, this is the eternal problem men have to deal with in picking up chicks, I believe.

Champaign, Illinois native Jack McDuff (born Eugene McDuffy) (1926-2001) was a jazz musician who released at least 53 albums between 1960 and 2001.

Modellers of thong panties have a long history on album covers, and are only becoming relatively widespread with rap and hip-hop these days. But as you can see, this indeed does go back some decades.

But I think decades ago, it was only done either by heavy metal bands or by record companies with nothing racy in their music, so in a brazen attempt to attract public attention, they make a racy record cover. The reason you passed this up in your adolescence is that the cover told you booooooor-ing!, even though there was a hard-working marketer on the cover.

Crappy Album Covers #264 — Album covers depicting filthy sex

Little to no information links Johnny Houston with this LP. Allmusic.com has two listings on him; but no mention of this actual recording, “Makin Bacon” (no apostrophe).
I also have no idea about this one. I think I would have noticed a microphone that big before I started to engage in “the act”.

And also, it doesn’t look like much of a matress. I guess they needed just enough of a mattress to make a “Bedspring Symphony”. Now the last piece of the puzzle: is “Erotica” the band name or the title? But then you have to work “Mash Me, Baby” into it, so … uhhh … And wouldn’t it work better if the woman said “Mash me, baby”? Just askin’.

I think I can explain the portrait: guy and his wife go at it, but since the kids are in the living room (or so they believe), they do the act on the bed of their 10 year-old daughter (which explains why the bed is so small), only to find out that their 12 year-old son has hooked up a microphone underneath the bed and ran the wire to his room, where he has his headphones on and the reel-to-reel running, sitting in wide-eyed fascination as his first exposure to classical music is in the form of a symphony of the delicate bedsprings of a child’s bed creaking underneath two adult bodies.

Crappy Album Covers #263 — Answered and Un-answered questions

Timmie Rogers (? – 2007) had more class than Thaddaeus Monk. He wore a suit in his comedy performances, and also composed music for the likes of Nat King Cole and Sarah Vaughan. He had written for television’s Sanford and Son.The dream that was a comedy routine for black comedians in the 60s and 70s is now a reality. I would imagine that the irony would be lost on today’s generation.

Now for an un-answered question: “Should lesbians be allowed to play pro football?”, a 1973 LP comedy by New Yorker Joseph Roszawikz (1914-1982).

He was a talented comedian whose career extended to Vaudeville, whose resume includes movies include Love Bug, Hong Kong Phooey, and the series Love American Style.

WFMU’s Ralph Nesteroff seems to know more about the darker side of Ross than the general population. Discussed there are his 10-plus marriages, his abrasive demeanour, and his misogynistic treatment of the opposite sex. To hear his brand of comedy, he appears to come about his jokes honestly. He also has the ability to laugh at himself.

Here is a sample.

While the title is stated at the start of the routine, he never expands on it to my knowledge.

Crappy Album Covers #262 — My Babe Magnet

How to pick up chicks: Lesson 1: Tell her about your “wheels”, your “dream machine”, your “love bug”. The ladies often are attracted to a guy with a nice car, since it is a symbol of financial stability and a well-maintained car is a sign that you are conscientious, mature, and tend to take care of your belongings.This is the cover of the 1977 single, “A Real Mother For Ya” by Johnny “Guitar” Watson (1935-1996).  It’s a great funk album. E-Music calls it hip-hop (must have been a youngster that called it that). The title track can be heard below. Excellent tune. Click on the album cover to get the album from emusic.com.

He won a grammy in 1996, just before his death, and has left behind a musical style that had influenced the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He died while performing a concert in Japan in May 1996, collapsing in the middle of a guitar solo.

“A Real Mother For Ya”:
[media id=16 width=320 height=24]

Surfer dudes The Lively Ones even have their own website. Jim Masoner, Tim Fitzpatrick, and Joel Willenbring still play the odd gig together in the SoCal area. The Lively Ones have been a 5-piece band since 1963, with two of the band members changing over the years. The link above tells all.