"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Other uses for those ribbon stickers
You've seen the Asylum Street Spankers' take on the ribbons, here's another.

Friday, February 29, 2008

"My name is SUE, How do you do?"

 The other other videos I posted earlier are the reasons everyone loves Johnny Cash, and they are excellent reasons. But here's why I love him - because he played these songs:

Kris Kristofferson has told the story about how Johnny Cash was warned not to use the word "stoned" when he performed Kristofferson's song "Sunday Morning Coming Down"  and didn't take kindly to the suggestion.

A little music for our special friend His Lordship Conrad, Baron Black of Crossharbour

I love the smell of justice in the morning, it smell like...schadenfreude.

Our spiritual leader of the moment is the Man in Black
"Hi there, I'm Johnny Cash"

History always repeats itself, first as tragedy, 

then as farce

and then as tragedy again

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A nice round number

What a long strange trip it's been and continues to be.

1,000 flips and 40,000 clicks ago, I laid down this riff - and stayed there.

Knock me your lobes one more time and I will hip you to the story of the Woodshed.

Believe it or not, the first two blogs I ever read were Powerline and Glen Reynolds. I'd read some piece of crap in Time about political blogs in the wake of the 2000 U.S. presidential fiasco that mentioned those two and went to take a look. Naturally, I was appalled after reading just a few posts. Heh, indeed.  Much like Todd Snider when he first saw Jerry Jeff Walker, I thought to myself "Well shit, I could do that" - so I looked around for a better example of what blogs should be and I found my blogdaddy, Atrios.  To paraphrase Lord Buckly, some fellas are Kos cats, some are Josh Marshal men, some dig on Tbogg, but me I started out as an Atriot. 

This blog started as a group forum for me to writing messages back and forth with the members of my tribe back home, but very quickly became a one-man show. Hanging out in the comment threads at Ecshaton in the 2004 campaign ("Mars, Bitches!") lit a fire under me to start writing my own screeds here and eventually I started copying stuff from work onto the blog and discovered the Canadian blogosphere and things got more and more fun and interesting as I looked around and found more and blogs and more and more material. 

I moved on from Eschaton and started commenting a lot on a variety of blogs, especially the Galloping Beaver and Axis of Evel Knievel, back before Dave Noon joined Lawyers, Guns and Money. 

I blogged my little blog and things chugged along at a steady dozen hits a day. And then The Asylum Street Spankers can to town. Wammo and his lovely wife Tracy bunked with us on their last night in Japan and when he was checking his email that night, he found out that the video for "Stick Magnetic Ribbons on Your SUV" was finally finished and had just been put online. Naturally I put it on the blog and did a little blogwhoring and the next thing I knew someone had put it on the Democratic Underground  site where it went viral. About half of the 40,000 visits this blog has received have been for that video, and three quarters of them came over a period of a couple of months.

Eventually, and only Cthulu knows why, probably a combination of pity on his part and persistant commenting on mine,  Admiral Dave asked me to help fill in at the Galloping Beaver while he was off at sea and so I got to hang out virtually with Alison, whose blog I already admired, and West End Bob (formerly know as West End Bound) and Laura and Boris and Dana while Dave and Cheryl were off catching salmon or something.  And by the time Dave and Cheryl got back I had infested the place like a bad smell you can't get rid of, and rather than fumigate, they let me stay. I like to think I contribute some small measure of leavening silliness and indignant moral outrage to the place, but it is Dave's place.

The Woodshed is mine and has been since before it was a blog, before it was even The Woodshed, in fact. Back in the days before teh intertoobz, when the closest I'd come to cyberspace was reading the science fiction readers group on the in-house IBM company email bulletin board as a lowly co-op student at the Don Mills Lab, I worked for a series of small community newspapers starting in Ingersoll, Ont. and progressing through Caledonia, Port Dover, Listowel, Napanee and finally Picton. The first place I worked still had typewriters and I even went door to door delivering copies one week in the middle of winter. All for wages that would have qualified me for welfare. I started writing a weekly column in Caledonia and hit my  stride on it in the Port Dover Maple Leaf. By the time we got to Listowel, it had been named the Woodshed and it was both the highlight and major stress point of my week to sit down and try to come up with an idea. I think of those as the precursor to this blog, although there was no such thing as blogs at the time.

And wonder of wonders, I still have a hard copies of a bunch of them that I found again only just a few weeks ago amid the paper-strewn chaos that is my desk. And this week I will be posting some of them, as soon as I get the dead-tree copy typed into the laptop.

I will also be reviving "the Rules" and "Kanadian Korner" a couple of series that started out strong, but eventually faded off my mental radar as shiny objects entered my field of vision.

As you can see I've done so renovating of the look of the place, and changes will continue for the next week or so. If you'd like to be on the blogroll, drop me a line at rev(dot)paperboy(at)gmail.com

Soon there will be swag and probably a lot more stuff at the emporium.

And there will be music -- once a few technical issues get sorted out, Radio Woodshed will take the internets airwaves with audio attitudes, platitudes and assorted dudes from a variety of latitudes to put a cut in your strut and glide in your stride...

until then, well,  I'll let Ms. Davis speak for me.

Post 999.9

Genties and ladlemen, we have a winner! Referred by the Gazetter, someone clicked through from Cranbrook, British Columbia at 9:33 a.m. local time for them on Feb. 28. If this sounds like you, and you know your own IP address,  drop me a note at rev(dot)paperboy(at)gmail.com  --- if you are willing to surrender a mailing address, there will be swag!
Stay tuned for the long awaited post 1,000.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Post 999

There will be no post 1,000 until the counter clicks over 40,000 visits. At which point the planets will align in harmonic convergence, peace will reign in the Mideast, cats and dogs will start living together, my boss will get goiters and I will remodel this joint. And there will be music and t-shirts and possibly a nice dry martini at the end of the day.
Until then......well, you know the line
Blog held hostage: Day 1
As the hits continue to trickle in, (just another 630 to go as of this writing) planning moves ahead for the renovation - any suggestions for additions to the blogroll will be welcomed, a s would any recommendations for podcasts. In the meantime, would someone please stuff Ralph Nader in the trunk of Ford Pinto and push it down a steep hill backwards? And while you're at it, you could point the thing at the campaign of Hillary Clinton. After all the (justified) complaints from her and Bill about the crap they had to put up with from the Drudge Report, it's a bit rich for her to have staff feeding ammo for the right wing wurlitzer to the same guy. And the lame spin attempts ("What? We probably didn't do it and even if we did why should Obama be embarrased by his African heritage?") are just embarrrasing. Hillary has shot herself in the foot with this one and with or without the Nader-filled Pinto-missile, her campaign is going to be a fiery wreck following the Texas and Ohio primaries next week.
Now, get those cops to move back and send in some pizzas, or else!
"Oh lawdy, do what he says, do what he says!"

Blog held hostage - Day 2

With the incipient arrival of Marshal Dave and the Galloping Beaver Posse (worst band name ever) the counter is down to 560 hits as of midnight (my midnight over here in the land of the Rising Sun, more like your noon or early morning over there Canuckistan and the Excited States) so while we fill water buckets, sandbag the windows and set the booby traps to buy time to finish planning the modest renovations and sort out the additions, let me give something to think about.

While I may be joking about this whole thing, some out there in wingnutland are seriously losing their shit. Like "Yankee Jim" a white supermacist blogger who strangled his wife before hanging himself recently. Or Sgt. Ronbo, another right-wing whackjob who self-destructed last week. This guy describes the whole thing as a tragedy, while omitting mention of Sgt. "I am not crazy, I am just like Hamlet" Ronbo's conviction for threatening to assassinate the Clintons, whom he claims were out get him and whom be holds responsible for his suicide.

Now, if I were a less charitable person I could say "good riddance to bad rubbish" and leave it at that, but to quote The Jefferson Airplane "No man is an island, he's a penninsula." Any death is sad, some are just a lot sadder than others. Even George Wallace changed his mind in the end, so you never know who's gonna find Jebus for real and realize what a shithead they've been.

My real concern here, boarded up inside this shack full of canned goods and ammunition, is that no one will answer for what has been done to these two and thousands like them who have been brainwashed by the Right Wing Noise Machine into homicidal maniacs. Forget the head of Jonah Goldberg -- he's a buffoon and almost amusing in a sick sort of way -- Bring me the head of Hal Turner, or least hand his ass over to the Secret Service. He's already successfully exhorted his mindless meat puppets to kill the family of a judge, but maybe goading the fruitcakes into trying to shoot Barack Obama doesn't count if you're an FBI spy. Should we just calling him Jack Ruby now or wait until one of his goon squad follows orders? And when that happens the blood won't just be on his hands --I'm looking at you Rush/Anne/Michele/KKKate!

Hey, did that shrub just move? Come and get me, coppers! You'll never take me alive!!!

Waitaminnit! You were going to at least try to take me alive, right? I mean those are the rules, right? aren't they?


Blog held hostage day 3
Well, this is taking a lot less time that I expected. The various posses from The Galloping Beaver, Canadian Cynic, Unrepentant Old Hippie, the Vanity Press and JimDandy Goodness have driven the hit counter skyward lot less time than I anticipated, so fast that I can't keep up. I love you all and if it weren't for the fact that I don't have a uterus or anything, I'd want to bear your children!! But as a comic, in all seriousness, I better get cracking on the renovation and the big retrospective post.
While the hot oil wrestling match between Stephen "the hammer" Harper and Stockwell "Doris" Day promised by PSA isn't available at the moment, for now enjoy this hidden camera look at a group of Blogging Tories in Alberta holding forth in a political round table. I think the first guy you see is Dick Evans, and that could be Ezra Levant next to him.

Blog Held Hostage - Day Four

Free at last, thank gawd almighty, I'm free at last!

Okay, we, or rather I, surrender. I'm a bit awed by the response from all my favorite Canuck bloggers - I mean, I figured the gang at the Beaver could be counted on to help me out, but the rest - JJ, CC, PSAChet , David, RossKPoons - who sent all their click monkeys my way-- well you have a special place in the woodshed from now on. And when we do finally have the big real-life meet up that will happen just as soon as I win the lottery, the drinks are on me.  In the meantime, virtual Bushmills&coffee and/or Grog all around.  And that goes for all of you who showed some love in the comments here and elsewhere, like Mike, LuLu, Red Tory, Frank Frink --even people who formerly were fairly pissed off at me, like Holly Stick and Skdadl.
I'm not sure how much of this to put down to people actually liking this blog and how much to Dave's natural authority born of the long habit of command, but I'll take the clicks. And before you scoff at that last bit, you should have look at the spike in the numbers that came when he started the first posse. As I've said at other times of Pete Seeger, I'm just glad he's on our side.

It's a free concert from now on! Just watch out for the brown acid.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Well, someone likes it

I'd like to thank the members of the Academy, my parents, my director, the guys twiddling the dials in the soundbooth, my personal stylist and the rest of my entourage for making this possible and, of course, a big shout out to Jebus, without who this all would have probably been a lot easier.
I'd also like to thank George W. Bush and Stephen Harper and a certain newspaper (you know who you are) for making this necessary.
Now, the rules say that I'm supposed to pass on the honor to ten other blogs on my blogroll. Since my blogroll is shortish and many, such as Jon Swift and Canadian Cynic, have already been awarded the Big E, I'll keep the list to five of my must-reads:
Jesus' General (who is also the nicest guy in Second Life, despite his disturbing tendancy towards wearing assless chaps to parties)

How it is and how it should be

A few posts ago, commenter RossK aka the Gazeteer asked how good journalists stop the swiftboating of candidates.
It isn't just a matter of the work of a single journalist, in fact what passes for journalistic ethics can sometime perpetuate inaccurate information in the name of providing balance, reporting such stories as groups lying about John Kerry's war record or making spurious accusations about Obama's property dealings as a sort of "he said/she said" story in which no conclusion is drawn as the truth of the allegations or the credibility of the source.
This sort of reporting is, not to put too fine a point on it, horseshit. Only a buffoon or a Nazi propagandist would report a story dealing with say, Holocaust denial, by saying "Well, David Irving says the Holocaust never happened, but almost every other historian in the world says it did, so who knows what really happened?" and yet this is the way the original swiftboat accusations were reported. Even after the claims of the paid political group were thoroughly debunked they kept being repeated in the media. Proper reporting examines the souces and what they say instead of just parroting the content of the press release.

Thus, we present these examples:

The way it is done

Alcatraz O'Houlihan (perky young female CNN anchor of indeterminate ethnicity): Disturbing accusations are surfacing about Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama today. Wulf Blitzkrieg has more. Wulf?
Wulf Blitzkrieg (steely-eyed, jut-jawed CNN reporter) Alcatraz, I'm here in Chicago speaking with Jon Galt, whose community group will soon be airing some public service announcements on television across the country that make some disturbing accusations about Barrack Obama. Jon, I understand that your Chicago-based group of concerned citizens claims that Obama once sold crack to children, is that right
"Jon Galt" (a well-groom, middle-aged white man in a nice brown suit) That's absolutely right Wulf. As you know "Barry" Hussien Obama brags in his book a that he smoked pot as a teenager. But if you thought that was disturbing, I'm here to tell you that he used to sell crack to schoolkids while disguised as a nun.
Wulf: That is indeed a disturbing accusation, that Obama sold crack to schoolkids while dressed as nun. Did you witness this yourself?
"Galt":Not exactly Wulf, but a member of our group - Chicagoans Organized Can Knowingly Sink Unethical Candidates with Knowledge Everytime, Regardless - heard it from a friend who knows the guy who cuts Obama's dogs' hair, so obviously the fact that Hussien Obama sold crack to schoolkids while dress as a nun is indisputable. And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his criminiality.
Wulf: Well, that looks like pretty solid evidence to me, Mr. Galt, thank the good Lord for public watchdog groups like yours. There you have it Alcatraz, this group of citizens want people to know that Obama sold crack to schoolkids while dressed as a nun. It's pretty disturbing stuff.
Alcatraz: It certainly is Wulf. Has Obama's campaign responded to the news that he used to sell crack to schoolkids while dressed as a nun?
Wulf: Well, they said it was beneath comment, so obviously they are running scared about this relevation that Hussien Obama sold crack to schoolkids while dressed as a nun. In a related story, Bill O'Donahue of the Catholic Defensiveness League told CNN that if some pervert like Obama were to dress up as a nun to do something as evil as selling crack to schoolkid, it would be pretty bad and should disqualify them from being president.
Alcatraz: Well Wulf I'm sure we can count on you to keep us posted on these and other disturbing allegations about Obama's blasphemous cross-dressing and drug dealing. And now, back to our top story -- Seamus Sanchez, what is the latest in the Paris Hilton crisis? Does it look like her Chihuahua will survive?

The way it should be done

Greg Palast (Champion investigative reporter and new anchor of CNN after the company is bought by Al Gore and George Soros and set up as an independent non-profit foundation run by its staff-elected editorial board): Well, thanks for that story on the latest fundementalist church sex scandal, Anderson. Now, finally, before we go to sports, we have a sort of an odd story from Rev. Paperboy about a group of political activists making accusations about Presidental candidate Barack Obama.
Rev.Paperboy (Svelte, steely-eyed bon vivant, rancouteur and champion of truth, justice and good jazz): Well Greg, I'm here with a man who goes by the name "Jon Galt" who claims to have some disturbing information about Barak Obama. What is it your group is claiming Mr. "Galt"?
"Jon Galt" (a well-groomed, middle-aged white man in a nice brown suit): Well, sir, our group has it on good authority that Hussien Obama sold crack to schoolkids while dressed as a nun.
Rev. (beginning smile broadly) Oh, really? That's a pretty serious allegation Mr. "Galt". Can you back it up?
"Galt":Absolutely! A member of our group - Chicagoans Organized Can Knowingly Sink Unethical Candidates with Knowledge Everytime, Regardless - heard it from a friend who knows the guy who cuts Obama's dogs' hair, so obviously the fact that Hussien Obama sold crack to schoolkids while dress as a nun is...
Rev.: Total bullshit.
"Galt": I beg your pardon?
Rev.: C'mon, Mr. "Galt", this is obviously a trumped up charge put together by a bunch of partisan political character assassins organized by the Republican party, isn't it?
"Galt": But he sold crack! to schoolkids! I don't even know any republicans! He dressed up like a nun!
Rev.: Gimme a break, this isn't even your real hair. (yanks toupee off of "Galt's head) Your name isn't Jon Galt, you're Jeff Gannon aka Jim Guckert, the prostitute and right-wing shill that infiltrated the White House press corps a few years ago aren't you?
Gannon: Well, yes, that's true. But I'm outraged by this left-wing bias in the mainstream media! We are a group of concerned citizens with no ties to any political party that...
Rev.: Zip it, Rent Boy. Your "Chicagoans Organized Can Knowingly Sink Unethical Candidates with Knowledge Everytime, Regardless" is a tax-exempt 527 group set up by another group funded by the Republican party. Its memebership rolls consist entirely of the interns at the Heritage Institute and the board of directors includes Karl Rove and James Baker's personal assistants and Grover Nordquist's 102-year-old mother.
Gannon: That's outrageous! We are not! You can't prove that, we burned all the rec...
Rev.: (produces sheaf of singed papers) Nice try, Jimmy-Jeff. This is your membership roll, minutes of your board of directors' meetings and collection of cheque stubs from Ann Coulter, Rupert Murdoch, Richard Mellon Scaife and a group called "Republican Activists To Fight Undesirable Candidates with Knavery" -- we got them from your janitor. You really should have been nicer to Juan, before asking him to destroy evidence.
Gannon: But, but, but...aw crap! Okay, its a fair cop.
Rev.: And there you have it, Greg: Yet another inept attempt by the Republicans to smear the Democratic candidate. Back to you.
Palast: Jesus jumping Christ on a pogo stick Rev., how dumb do these prick think the American people are? It makes me sick some days. Now, on a brighter note, in our top story the World Court in the Hague has confirmed that they will waive their prohibition on the death sentence for the war crimes trial of Donald Rumsfeld...