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

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Sunday songs and cinema

As always join us on Radio Woodshed for some groovin' on your Sunday afternoon followed by our weekly movie. If you are among those clever enough to find us in Second Life, you can join us on the Red Zeppelin for both!

This week the Glorious People's Cinema Project wraps up the Dustin Hoffmann retrospective with "Midnight Cowboy"

the original:

and the cover

the return of The Rules

Friday, October 02, 2009

so that's how they reproduce

I always thought it involved pods and mitosis, but maybe not.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

weekend uke blogging- extra long jamming edition

Once upon a time I worked as a coop student at IBM in Don Mills, but since apartments were very expensive in Toronto, I lived on the couch of some friends of mine. One was a serious musician studying double bass at the University of Toronto and lugging his huge stand up bass back and forth on the subway. Another was studying geography at Ryerson, was an awesome bluegrass guitar picker and did 200 pushup every night, no matter how may beers he'd had. The third was not ending classes by this point but was spending his time chain-smoking, teaching himself the banjo, drinking vast amounts of neo-citran and reading and then burning Stephen King novels as a way of training himself to become a writer. I paid rent by buying dinner once a week. Much to the considerable annoyance of the people downstairs, we painted slogans on the wall in the hallway, often used the floor for an ashtray, had a temporarily homeless sound engineer friend sleeping under the kitchen table a couple of nights a week, and listened to a lot of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Charlie Mingus and especially Neil Young. We also played a lot of bluesgrass together, drank a lot of beer (and neo-citran until the corner store wouldn't sell it to us anymore) together and wailed a lot of loud Neil Young jams together.

Ah, those were the days.

First, the original:

And then, the cover - dig the awesome uke solos and as a bonus the singer looks and sounds like a skinnier me

extra non-uke bonus jamming from the jammies (Grace Potter and Joe Satriani - hoo-ah!)

A different kind of private lesson

When I worked for NOVA, it was pretty clear that the way the company made money was by lending students the money to buy lesson packages from the school at usurious rates of interest. There were always rumors that the company president, when he and his brother parted company over their first language-teaching firm, had gone to the Yakuza for the money to start up what became NOVA. I'm guessing that might have been more than just a rumor and that maybe the teachers and students weren't the only ones who got stung.

2 gangsters held over holding of ex-Nova boss

Two members of the Yamaguchi-gumi crime syndicate were arrested on the spot Monday on suspicion of confining the former president of the failed language school chain Nova Corp. inside a Tokyo hotel, police said.

According to senior police officials, the two men confined Nozomu Sahashi, 58, who has been sentenced to 3-1/2 years' imprisonment for professional embezzlement, inside a room of a hotel in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, from about 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday.

On the same day at about 3 p.m., investigators rescued Sahashi and arrested the two men. Sahashi, who is currently appealing the ruling, did not suffer any injury.

(Sep. 30, 2009)
If the mobsters had only had the presence of mind to sell tickets to former teachers for their little chat with Mr. Sahashi, they could have gotten back all their money in one fell swoop by selling out Toyko Dome at 500 yen a seat. (I'm sure there are still a few veterans who remember being paid, in cash, the first and only bonus NOVA ever paid its teachers - a nice, shiny 500 yen coin to mark the new millenium - I think I bought a beer and pack of cigarettes with mine)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

None dare call it treason

Six or seven years ago, a commentator merely suggesting that the sun did not, in fact, shine out of George W. Bush's ass was usually good for a solid week of panel discussions on CNN and FOX about "Does the media have a responsibility to support the president in time of war?" and "Why do liberals hate America?" and "Is it treasonous to oppose the invasion of Iraq or does it just make baby Jesus cry?"

Fast forward to today and an open call for a military coup doesn't even merit a mention in the press.
America, you've come a long way baby!
Update Oct 1: NewsMax, which is sponsored in part by the Republican National Committee, has pulled the offending column in the face of blogospheric outrage that has started to seep toward the MSM. But Media Matters kept a copy on file for future reference.

Serious progressive political commentary...and tits

I've never much liked Arrianna Huffington. I didn't like her when she was a movement conservative screecher back in the Clinton years and I've never really trusted her conversion to progressive liberalism. I still don't get exactly what the heck she is supposed to be famous for, other than being a beard for a rich homosexual would be politician. Her site has been influential to a degree I suppose, but it tends to rely a bit too heavily on celebrity rants and gossip about the pretty people. I'm sure she has her defenders, and I like boobies as much, if not more, than the next guy, but I'll take my political activism straight up thanks, without the generous side order of cheesecake. No more blog roll for you, Arrianna!

From the "It's About Damn Time" dept.

While Barack Obama keeps saying he want to "look forward" and not get mired in the past and his Justice Department plods along in its investigations of torture-related crimes by the previous administration, it is nice to know somebody is doing something, though doubtless this will be used by the right as another example of the need for tort reform to end "frivolous" lawsuits.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday songs and cinema

It's that time of the week once again - time to wind down from the weekend with a couple of hours of fine friends, tip-top tunes and a gripping thriller!

Tune into Radio Woodshed from 8 pm on the East Coast, 5 pm on the West Coast for two hours of pop, rock, folk, jazz, bluegrass, psychedelia and who knows what else. If you are in Second Life, join us for dancing at the Red Zeppelin.
Also, you may want to cancel that dentist appointment you have later this week, since the Glorious People's Cinema Project will be continuing its Dustin Hoffmann retrospective with "Marathon Man" At 10 pm East Coast/ 7 pm West Coast. Join us in the Opiate of the Masses Theatre at SL Marxist-Lennonist Party HQ or follow along on You Tube.