Saturday, February 04, 2006

an interweb roundup with it's own soundtrack

Lots of bloggers, myself included, occasionally wish to shed light on items of interest elsewhere in the online world or otherwise get into a writer's rut of some sort. Rather than just follow the formula of linking to interesting stuff, I thought I'd spice things up a bit by providing a soundtrack to go along with it. Neat, huh?

I'm gonna start things off by linking to a column on LRC by Christopher Westley titled "Living Without Television". In it, Westley chronicles his family's decision to withdrawl from teevee land, along with some criticism of the culture encompassing all of us that is largely generated by the boob tube. Here's an excerpt from the essay concerning the latter subject:
This is a particular area in which television’s costs are great. Becoming informed takes some work. This traditionally involved reading books, newspapers, and magazines to develop opinions about what you believed (or didn’t). Unfortunately, some of the most uninformed people I meet each day receive their news solely from television, which reduces complex social problems into emotional, highly manipulative one- or two-minute segments.

And these people vote.

The Framers of the Constitution created a decentralized republic, and explicitly not a democracy, because they knew that the latter tended toward centralization and tyranny. Even Jefferson believed that the small role actual voting would play in the new country would only be tolerable with an educated electorate. Not only would he hate television, he’d despair over a culture that promotes democracy and television as goods that must be universally available. What does it mean for freedom when so many voters are only informed to the extent possible through CNN and Fox News?

This column has also been noted by Karen De Coster, who refers to the slime projector as being a "Tool of the State's Totalitarian Democracy". I recommend reading her post as well since she provides her own commentary as well as outside commentary on television from Wil Grigg.

Is teevee a "tool" of the political class? Is there a reason why I referred to it as being a "slime projector"? Yup, and Frank Zappa would certainly agree with such sentiments. Zappa once put his criticism of television into musical form with what is one of my favorite rock songs of all time: "I'm the Slime", complete with backup vocals by Tina Turner and the Ikettes (they're not credited because Ike is a toolbag).

MP3: Frank Zappa - I'm the Slime (from Overnite Sensation)

Kevin Carson is at it again discussing the subject of workplace hell within Corporate America, this time dissecting the repugnant philosophies within books being pushed on a growing number of workers by their useless and pathetic managers. "Choose Your Attitude" is the name of the post and the target philosophies are "Fish philosophy" and the "Who Moved My Cheese?" philosophy, both focused on making people love Big Brother's rat race by encouraging them to deny their sense of self and dignity. Kevin makes a number of thoughtful and humorous remarks on it all, including the following:
Look: I work because I need the money to pay my bills, period. The 1500 or so cubic centimeters in my skull belongs to me. "It's not enough to do your work, Winston. You have to love Big Brother."

I expect any day now to turn on the six o'clock news and see a disgruntled worker on top of his office building with an AK-47, and a sign that says "I'm choosing my attitude right now, motherfucker!" The fact that a popular video game is called Blow Away Your Boss (just upload a digital photo of his face) tells us all we need to know about the state of morale in Corporate America.

For those of you who see some sort of appeal to that video game Kevin mentioned, you might appreciate the lyrics of the following song by hip-hop group The Coup:

MP3: The Coup - 5 Million Ways to Kill a CEO (from Party Music)

Finally, this Hit and Run post by Jesse Walker brought my attention to an Iowa bill meant to restrict the use of certain sexual devices. As Jesse puts it:
In other words, the legislators want to keep the kids safe from dildos -- aside, that is, from the dildos currently serving in the Iowa General Assembly.

As a liberty advocate, I of course object to such puritanistic zealotry. The living dildos that Jesse refers to that are serving in the Iowa General Assembly and all the others working for other state governments and the federal government are far more dangerous and offensive than, say, a large purple dildo.

Why did I bring this subject up? Why a purple dildo? Well, I honestly was just looking for an excuse to share the following song, one that I've been enjoying quite a bit lately. It's from an Indiana based group that I don't think is together anymore called The Japonize Elephants. The music is a crazy and appealing blend of bluegrass, jazz, folk, exotic ethnic music, and some classical. The following song is a good example of all that and is good from start to finish, especially the purple dildo portion of the song.

MP3: The Japonize Elephants - Dirty Old Lady (from La Fete du Cloune-Pirate)


Blogger Isis said...

Love the format of this post!

11:06 AM  
Blogger freeman said...

Thanks Furious!

Considering how much of my musical tastes involve instrumental music, I doubt that I'll be able to come up with as many of these types of posts as I'd like to.

If anyone reading this knows of any news stories involving Rudy Guiliani, let me know. I have a doosy of a song about him that I'm anxiously awaiting to share.

9:20 PM  

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