Saturday, August 17, 2013

See no evil, speak no evil, but remember the Maine!

Although the event had posters stapled to every telephone pole in east Flagstaff, Arizona, the Arizona Daily Sun failed to make notice of an event to protest the death of Trayvon Martin, the subsequent not guilty verdict of his killer, racial profiling by police, vigilante justice Saturday morning at a place called Bushmaster Park.
The poster featured black and white block print of a faceless person in a hoodie, giving the impression that entire part of town was haunted by some dark army of ghosty dwarves. You teens could be seen all over town looking grim dressed in their own favorite version of the Unabomber.
Instead, the top item on the front page for events in Flagstaff for August 17, 2013 was a "living history presentation" for the Arizona Rough Riders" bringing the "Spanish-American War era (1898 to life."
The Spanish-American War, in your history-brought-life books is well known as the fodder for the birthplace of the William Randolph Hearst yellow journalism campaign, as well as the somewhat fictional story of the ride of the Rough Riders at San Juan Hill, Puerto Rico, where Teddy Roosevelt is believed to have led the charge.
The war is also famous for the nearly forgotten war cry, "Remember the Maine," which was blown up in a harbor under controversial circumstances to lead American furies in the battle.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Time for new blood for National Public Radio?

I heard an announcement on National Public Radio that "Talk of the Nation," a regular for 21 years, is going to be replaced by a program airing out of Boston, and my thought had already been that this form of American BBC was in dire need of some new blood.

After listening to "Fresh Air" recently, I was wondering if all Washington D.C., where that radio show broadcasts from, was under the rule of some somnambulist's spell. First, there was an incredibly dry report on the economies of the sugar industry. Then, some lady, who sounded like a little old lady Kebler elf, started warbling out recipes that became almost inaudible as the interview wore on.

Finally, there was the Terry Gross conversation with Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, two musical staples of their demographic, speaking in traditional, polite, overly sensitive, beneath-the-mic low register. At this point, I was thinking: "Poppies! Poppies!" Like radio ready Dorothies slumbering into a national nap.

My guess was perhaps the barometric pressure was dropping around the studio and the sound engineer had entered a state of moo-cow complacency. Who knows? I kept leaning closer to the radio thinking the volume dial needed adjustment or I was finally going deaf. Maybe the Kebler elf lady had brought in a big pan of sweet spinach pie and the entire crew had lapsed into sugar shock.

I imagined a whole slice of aging boomers yammering on for tips on those yucky bits while more important things, from crazed dictators to other global meltdowns meshing into freeze-in, took the back burner. Who said the world would end with a whimper and not a bang? Indeed. Indeed. Don't get me started on the morning's Diane Rehm Show, with its 76-year-old host, tremble-lating on the so-called "challenges" of the Central Intelligence Agency, or on how we should all weep for how Russian financiers  were suffering from broken tax shelters in Cypress.

The whole media paradigm at NPR is due for many rounds of electro-shock therapy as its lack of relevance seems to be drifting, sleepy, off-the-chart, into outer space. Should NPR start interviewing chimpanzees to up the amps? Oh, prodigy of Jane Goodall, where are you? Oh, you New York-centric authors, please take some speed before the interview.

The armies of the unenlightened could no doubt use the change of pace.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Somewhere Over 
the Technophobe 
Need a News Story 
Now Rant Rainbow

"The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots."

~ Bronstein at Large

By Douglas McDaniel 

It's very hard to tell if anything of significance went on with the link and headline indicator above, other than the reporting on a fishing expedition, a precautionary experience, to see if anybody had been critic-E-wounded. 
Mostly, it sounds like a bunch of techno-media snobs in San Francisco, where being transparent and "hip," which was once based on the term "Hippie," I suppose, but as Marshall McLuhan believed also contained, a certain "cool"," as in "cold," maybe world-weary response to the world "at large." But a "Hippie" was an aware person, originally, to the broader society and culture at large, before, have to add, the drugs and alcohol wounded them.
Anyway, one Facebook poster stated, "It's very distasteful" when they are "caught in a lie." I can't tell who is being caught in the real lie here. I have to confess my own prejudices, as a guy who likes Obama, and has a lot of gadgetry, but, on this today morning, wishes his life weren't run by them. So I'm taking a dim view of these reporters then, for being such fucking idiots.
But, I wasn't there, so ...
Especially if you are hyper-sensitized to hypocrisy, I can easily see where I might be able to cull some material for a rant, or, perhaps even, a new political party. Which will later riot. Believe me, I get it.
But to enclose the entire administration in some kind of bullying, such in the use of the word "punishes," is a little bit of cheap shot. 
The gangster "punishes," where a slow learning sub-level technocrat fails to be able to plug everyone in with what they might have to plug into, which I'm sure, is supremely Promethean, in terms of have all the right apps, flaps his or her fine wings like a mighty peacock at the local park lake.
I read this headline's first four words "Obama Administration punishes reporter" and I'm instantly beamed to a Libyan death camp. See the difference and mistake? It's a kind of technological fascism.
Personally, I feel better when, say, someone pulls up a Ford truck and fails to park it, perfectly, at high speeds. To some people, it's an art form. If I see rust on the truck, I can almost believe I can trust them, instantly. Now I feel better to know the administration is somewhat behind the zeitgeist on this day, having failed to spend the extra dough on the flavor of the E-week.
If somebody comes up to me with some weird small device and a tiny implant leading to their ear, and they are pacing madly, or worse, watching me (watching them), I start to get nervous.
Yeah, the snobbery is intense with people who have the latest gadgets, these days. They are getting a little scary.
I noticed it at the Biltmore, the priciest mall in Phoenix, where they have an Apple store, and in Iowa City, technology hub of Iowa, in the coffee shops.
People with these gizmos think they run the world, and they terrorize their friends with their profound wisdom and hook-up ability ... 
I used to get the same reaction, feel the same way, when test-driving, say, a Porsche for the Robb Report ... it's a human condition, best exercised by realizing these people need some kind of reality check, like a sorta long series of ho hum responses ... such as when famous people come into the restaurant and need, as a sort of counter-intuitive antidote, a couple of hours to be able to come in, order, eat and enjoy the meal.
Instead, they get a paparazi flashing in their faces, asking them about why they fart.
 "Reporters fart on Obama press administrators over lack of latest gadgetry, then riot from the sensory overload of their own superiority": Now that's a great story that I would read. Maybe a long headline for uses, but ...
The digital divide is a two-way street, we all know this by now, right: But is it also a snub at French Restaurant by the mean servant who loathes his oppressor? The guy who, trying to feed them information, or, even, have the right kind of credit card, who annoys them to a rant?

Friday, February 11, 2011

De fine dishonor:
on Facebook

Trying to self-publish oneself is pretty much like trying to overcome the Tower, in a "nut sell" nutshell universe for the fleet of the damned. We are ahead by a century, the Tragically Hip once sang, and the disappointment is getting us down. But take heart, my friend. The nature of facey spacey is ever changing. A thing of nature, it is.
At first, it was high school sweethearts and stuff coming out of the closet ... and then a bunch of stupid apps to save the rain forest with numerous kinds of chirps basically saying hello. Then came the original prosumers, the purists, who had some kind of bullshit idea of this intranet as some kind of personal Zion, where self-promotion wasn't, hmmmm, PC ...
But the tendency here is toward those who speak from the tips of their fingers ... or those who simply lust ... mostly a combination of all things creative ...
And so I've been collecting my little list here ... a small town, if you will, of perhaps 15,000 to 20,000 people, if you count all of the other social media I use ... with the idea in mind that I was both seeking out the bleeding hearts and artists, but also acting like a bar bouncer letting the hot chicks in because, hey, that also brings the boys into the club, too.
Does anybody really believe that someone with more than 200-300 friends on Facebook is going to flag you like some cheap referee because you tried to link up with them with a random friend request? I mean, that's a good sized crowd at a night club, right?
What is most annoying to me, right now, are those who rail against Zeus, the overseer of FB, because they are wasting their time ... pissing in the wind, basically, of natural change ... those people need a license to go on the internet to begin with ... we arrive here naked as Adam and Lilith and Eve ... might as well go with who we are, develop our artistic avatars as unique voices, and let the idiots fall off the vine and rot in their private little corners if they don't get it ...
If I don't piss at least ten people off a day, anyway, what kind of an artist am I, anyway?
Due to the 5,000 friend ceiling, I finally learned that getting there, the road itself, is where the treasure is ... once you hit that point, you need to cull back people to keep growing, evolving your readership. Now I'm starting to look at all of these people who don't participate, or worse, those who are simply trying to piggyback on my paradigm ... just as I did to others on my own road, not realizing so much ... since I am a mad self-promoter ... any writer who isn't never understood anyone from Lord Byron to Norman Mailer to Hunter S. Thompson to Edward Abbey ... or even Stephen Colbert ... O shit, what was I saying? ... And Ronald Reagan? ...
Right ... anyway: To shut down the inner voice seems to be the secret mission of the media-maddened machine mind of mankind ...  not that there's anything wrong with being maddened by the machine mind of Man, mind you ... makes about as much sense as anything else .... 


For we are a freewheeling
impetuous army of draft dodgers,
poetic marchers, dreamers and archers,
who tempt the coin with one hand,
beg with the other;  a speeding seed,
a galactic weed, full of lies
and sacred music ...

Monday, February 07, 2011

  1. Here are today's stats from yesterday's Tweeter Bowl, sponsored by Big Sexy Beer
  2. Compiled and Completely Lacking in Any Editing as Also Written in Completely the Wrong Disorder by Our Static ... hmmm ... Tician ... Douglas McDaniel ... Who Was Never Near the Game Only Watching it From His Anxious Easy Chair Somewhere in Mythville, America Dot Calm ...                                                                                                                                              
  3. Many elevens in the synchronicity tonight: With the mathematics in the score, I think I'll just wait for the most terrible beauty to be born
  4. @KeithOlbermann Blessed be thy jokester
  5. @KeithOlbermann They sure did bash liberals quietly in the disinfomercials
  6. Ziggyhood robbed from the rich, stole from the goods
  7. O, is the game still on?
  8. @Mythville @TheBradBlog @Editilla @DavidCornDC Teflon Ron ... Iran-Contra, arms for Iraq ... he who suffered mortal blow, flown to Miami ...
  9. @TheBradBlog @Editilla @DavidCornDC Yep, gotta do something about that deification of Reagan B.S., good call
  10. O glass beer bottles from hell ... I thought we were supposed to be investing in aluminum ... who changed the play!
  11. @DCdebbie No fair
  12. @thecreativepenn @namenick I endorse that message
  13. @youarefiredboss World covered in snow is my reason
  14. If there was a Cardinals defense on the field, I wouldn't be Googling up a pixilated singing Don Meredith hologram right now
  15. Yes Wisconsin, there is a Satan ... I mean, Santa!
  16. Refs are starting to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame
  17. Who is Mike P.?, the Fox legal expert?
  18. @ZimblerMiller Language is a virus ... sayeth Laurie Anderson
  19. I've had affordable housing in Telluride with less space than this pizza box
  20. The Wicked Witch of the Midwest just asked why it was always her side that gets mushed?
  21. Told pizza guy that if he melted down the nickels he got for an extra tip, he made two cents more, then asked if he had a offshore account.
  22. @DavidCornDC That's what they are supposed to do during the week, maybe etch it on the bumper, as well
  23. How many people in Detroit can really afford a Chrysler, anyway?
  24. Simon X ... to meet the Wizard of Oz ... in celebrity death match!
  25. Meanwhile, Glenn Beck is checking for history lessons online at the University of Phoenix
  26. I just ordered a pizza from Paul Revere Raider Committee for Public Safety's Delivery Network
  27. Boy, Beethoven is hip ... Romantic era, as in revolutionary era chic ... Paine and Blake and Dr. Joseph Warren are turning in their graves
  28. @daveweigel @MCHammer I did the Disney version of "Scarecrow" for my alternative halftime show ...
  29. @daveweigel @MCHammer Missed U2. But hey, it was an amazing show
  30. I'm Gumby Dammit, and I approved this message
  31. Pittsburgh is really too cool of a city to have a victory riot, anyway ... I mean, they act like they've already been there, right?
  32. Good News: Folks, we got a game now!
  33. New from Troy: Big disparity in a time of disposession
  34. Glee this!
  35. Finally, I learn something I wished I didn't need to forget ASAP!
  36. Make note ... send resume to
  37. I guess Glenn Beck's days really are numbered
  38. Hmmm, has elephants and demo donkies dancing
  39. Wow, was fascist line dancing in the early 1990s prophetic or what?
  40. @Jason Orwell was right
  41. @officialhelene It flew the building for warmer climbs when they did the America as a Big Bag of Microchips before the game even started ...
  42. @JessicaLHansen Are you in a corner somewhere?
  43. Okay, get that guy in the game!
  44. At least the Black Eyed Peas give hope to everyone, like myself, who can't actually sing
  45. I miss U2 right now
  46. Alternative halftime show -- SCARECROW of ROMNEY MARSH
  47. Alternative halftime show -- SCARECROW of ROMNEY MARSH via @youtube
  48. Check this video out -- SCARECROW of ROMNEY MARSH via @youtube
  49. Fox is a purveyor of more media violence ... but let's quote Lou Reed: "No age is reason is upon us, this is the age of video violence."
  50. Wow Howie Is America's Mixed Up Metaphor Artiste!
  51. How will these vehicles field ice ace conditions in North America: hilarious
  52. Gumby Damit seems to be injured on the field
  53. And the little people, standing outside the castle walls: Is that white smoke, or black smoke, leaking through the rooftop?
  54. The medium is the message
  55. OK, slapstick violence against liberals on Fox
  56. Wow, four games suspended for Big Ben ... and they said justice is just a human conceit
  57. Ty Cobb, the earliest of its investors, and one of the most psycho ballplayers ever, used to carry around wads of Coke stock in his suitcase
  58. Coca Cola used to have cocaine in it
  59. @harveyshepard I was thinking New Mexico could have an NFL team called the Aliens
  60. David Bowie sells luxury vehicles so sweetly, still ... ch, ch, ch ... no choo choo to choose in Mythville ...
  61. Sometimes words have two meanings, indeed, such as Big Troy Aikman on this: "And Roethelissburger gets out of trouble!"
  62. Check out "Big Sexy Beer" by Bards of Mythville -  
  63. That was a terrible pass by Big Ben
  64. Good news ... Less chance for a victory riot in Pittsburgh is good for America
  65. And there's George "Crimes Against Humanity" Bush II supporting the troops while sitting in the luxury box with John Madden: priceless
  66. Mordor to come
  67. This is your mind on Ruppert Murdoch
  68. The Medium Gets the Message, Dos: African-American Girl Clocks blondie babe with a can of Pepsi and the black couple runs away ... gee whiz!
  69. Let's drown the planet with Big Sexy Beer and then dress the corpse in a Big Bag of Chips ... yes, the medium gets the message ... Go Bards!
  70. Nobody needs to drive that fast anywhere but a NASCAR track in America
  71. Explains a lot
  72. Vince Lombardi! A beast of the 1960s era, if you asking me ... winning was the only thing ... Really?
  73. Neon!
  74. @MightyCasey Now, it, weep, defines creepy
  75. Okay, it's a game, not a first printing of the Magna Carta
  76. Don't drive while your friends are using their hand-held devices
  77. @nansen Not as bad as I was hoping for, though
  78. And then, the "don't fuck with us" flyover
  79. Kinda pitchy there
  80. Very throaty
  81. Goz, Cars, Trucks, Cannon, Drums ... I feel like I've been drafted by the Ford Motor Co.
  82. Hey, New York Times writers on tweeting away too ... imagine that
  83. @benkunz They are trying to get into Walmart with long lines right now
  84. For Walter Payton, winning wasn't the only thing
  85. Walter Payton was a cool guy
  86. @benkunz Vampire culture sucks
  87. All new House ... one of the worse, full of passionate intensity
  88. More apocalyptic movie shit!
  89. Selling trucks now ... is that the voice of Dennis Leary, selling out?
  90. Priceless
  91. Ah, the whore of Babylon of the week will sing the anthem
  92. O, the humanity!
  93. Fear and yes, loathing ...
  94. American Gladiators of Ruuuuuuoooooaaaaam!
  95. The Wicked Witch is laughing her head off right now!
  96. Big Ben ... with police escort
  97. Sayeth Hunter S. Thompson ...
  98. Meantime ... see why vampire culture sucks at
  99. No further layoffs in Mythville unplanned, until the fire marshal hits the ceiling diong again!
  100. Bout time in Cairo, lunchwise
  101. Celebrating Super Bowl freezend by being a personal Nocarmercial ...
  102. Today's E-Book: "23 Roads to Mythville," by Douglas McDaniel ...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

     In networked society, where a national pundit's demise on a network feels like an assassination attempt, a coup, or some other kind of lavish conspiracy, the departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC is trending on the web like a percolating master plan to which the players, and they only, have the decoder ring.
     For example, is Keith Olbermann going into exile on Twitter? It would seem so. His activities over the weekend on include a few posts, but the promises to make sense of it all are being withheld, one might presume, so he can unpack his furniture and personal goods first on his very own private media island. Then, he'll marmelate on it a bit. Share tidbits. Milk it for what it's worth. That's smart. It's media savvy.
Then, once the buzz over the president's speech dies down a little, he might be doing this new form of pirate radio with more teasing on the edges about the drama by, say, this weekend?
     That's the e-world we live in. His viewership nation may seem a bit fringe to you ... but it still ranges to the tens of thousands, if not millions. About as large as, say, Arizona or Iowa, in terms of the number of its viewerzens, even without the cable network plug in.
     While President Barack Obama's State of the Nation address tonight may eventually carry the news cycle by midnight tonight, Olbermann and the media corpse (oops, I mean corps) are percolating about the drama mine, sleeplessly. In fact, far more interest is going into Olbermann's demise at MSNBC than what the president might have to say, even as the planetary insomnia turned and turned. The fired commentator's name, not Obama's pending memo to the world, was the trending search word on early this a.m.
As a top search engine topic, Olbermann was at No. 1, and searches on obesity and sleep disorders closely followed, along with the sending of flowers, depression for a very dark January and so on ... Obama ranked a rather cold seventh or eighth behind those. Perhaps if Obama made national addresses five times a week on cable, the president might have a similar rating. But that would feel a bit like Iraq under Saddam, current Iran or Maoist China, and nobody wants that ... Except for perhaps, Glenn Beck. For himself, that is.
     Around midnight, the Christian Science Monitor mused on it all ... Read Here.
     Maybe if everybody already didn't know what they were going to say about the president's speech tonight before it has even been delivered, there might not be so much otherbuzzergeist on such distractions. But the word on e-street on Keith O., as a kind of opening act, well, that's what makes the national media horse race racier, doesn't it ...
Douglas McDaniel
Mythville On Demand

Sunday, January 23, 2011

And now for a few notes on trying to find a Fellini film in dumbed-down Mythoamericapotamia

     Walking through the Family Video stores in southeastern Iowa, we notice a curious lack of something. There seems to be a narrowing down of the port of access to certain kinds of films. And if you look at what's going on in media outlets across the land, you'll notice the same things: If media were a stock market then, vampire films and movies are Bull market, so-called Liberal media, increasingly ... da Bears!
     We could blame Comcast or G.E. for the firing of Keith Olbermann. We could blame Michael Moore for pissing off too many people. We could blame Fox News, the Bushes, the Cheneys. But mostly, we should blame ourselves for failing to seek out more electrifying entertainments than that which is more easy to digest, more easy to be blown up. For vampire movies that,  quite frankly, suck ...
      This isn't just a gripe about Iowa trip. It's happening all over Mythomericapotamia ... where a film about Cedar Rpaids is actually made in Michigan, and Orwell is right, always right ... and so on ...
     In Phoenix, Arizona, outside the Hollywood Video Store recently in another annonomall in the Valley of the Shunned, a young brunette girl with a slightly goth look but intelligent eyes behind Sarah Palin specks was weeping. Stumbling up to her, I noticed she was leaning on the wall, smoking violently. "It's so sad," she said. "They are closing on Friday."
     In the time since then I have done some small part to keep the remaining feeds of knowledge in general alive in northeast Phoenix. The local library is now closed. (Sheriff Joe needed the county funding, no doubt, to chase away all of the illegals trying to obtain citizenship paperwork in the place: It was a library with two twin tower meanies as library ladies, certainly a reflection of the kind of civic face you might meet in many corners of Arizona). But I fed the Red Box. And I fed the corporate video store. They both nourished me then, lacking the library. But the walls are closing in. Indeed, the entire social contract of consumer culture is collapsing before our eyes along Cave Creek Road.
     In the week or so since the local strip mall has lost the Hollywood Video, the local postal outlet has closed. In addition, the bucket for cigarettes is missing in front of Albertsons. The parking lot is now more vacant, and thus, the homeless who sleep there in their vehicles overnight ... more obvious.
      I first heard about the closing of the store when, while doing everything I could do to stay on top of the new angst by renting Michael Moore's new DVD, "Capitalism: A Love Story," I rushed down to Hollywood Video at the strip mall near my home in north Phoenix, only to find a new bulldozer-of-a-gal working at the counter. She was on the phone, apparently unimpressed there were customers standing in line. This seemed strange, considering even the most common standards for customer service in America. But she was at work, apparently, performing another completely over the counter action: She was preparing the gateway to closing the video store down.
     In addition to this, agony of agonies, the store at Cave Creek and Union Hills, a key unit in the marvel of suburban convenience for many years now, in terms of being the so-called local picture show, had decided to choose the week after Oscar week to stop ordering new films. So Michael Moore's new film, "Capitalism: a Love Story," was not on the shelves. Nor were many of the movies that had just been celebrated as international shake-yer-moneymakers. Certainly, a lost opportunity for Hollywood Video.
     Nevertheless, the woman at the counter was no longer engaged in the act of building a business, yes, even community that day. The place was going out of commission in a month or so. Like that famous old title, "The Last Picture Show," the Hollywood Video store was about to become a vacated retail space in brown-beige land. Despite having entered the social contract of actually being one of the key cogs for a fairly cohesive strip mall landscape, Hollywood is now, literally, both in the local and grander sense, just another piece of post-corporate retail wreckage.
     It wouldn't have been so bad if the local community library hadn't closed down due to budget restraints for Maricopa County.
     The mere act of tactile browsing of actual media bits seems to be drying in the sun. The ports for information are narrowing. The corporations are pulling out, and especially on the media side, drying out. The fascist architecture, as Bruce Cockburn might put it, is turning to ruins. And just as Moore's film might describe (I later rented the DVD at a Red Box, which offered absolutely no opinion on the film as I paid for it, something I'm really starting to miss), Phoenix is becoming, literally, another Flint, Mich.
     All over the Valley, where such corporations as Blockbuster and Hollywood Video had convinced everyone that pasting their little stores all over the compromised plain would be good for everyone, their windows are going blank. They entered into the social contract, so to speak, to entertain everyone that way. But now that Banks That Bought America and the Bush boys have sucked the middle class dry, as Moore pretty much illustrates in his shockingly sad satire and documentary, the corporate nation-state is dissolving as well as each jauntily painted little plastic consumer hut goes dark.
     More bad news for anyone on the wrong side of the digital divide, I suppose, but one wonders what's to become of the suburbs as such media hubs as Borders Books and Music and Barnes & Noble continue to crash and burn, leaving empty big box shells across the land ... like a bunch of dead locust husks waiting for a new idea to take.
Without funding. Yes, you can be president of the United Tastes, as long as it doesn't take money. At any rate, believe Moore's "Love Story." His timing of events, how George Bush ended his regime by allowing the banking industry to raid the treasury in a moment of panic before the election of 2008, rings true. As far as the end of the love story with "Hollywood," feels more like a break up to me.
     Instead, to the ring of this vampire's tune ... I bidded my time. Watched for signs. Once, there were bees at the local bank money box, and yellow tape around the device lodged into the wall, since nature had invaded. That's because you see, of all the things I found unique to Hollywod in the past year, it's special interest section was the more fascinatingly rented. That's because in the mid-to-late period of the Bush administration, an uncanny kind of mockumentary filmmaking, and flat out penetrating team documentary investigative journalism, all flourished.
     So I waited as the prices dropped, continuing to inquire. Finally, on the last day, I bought shelves of this post-911 fodder so that, at least in my corner of the world, no one, if inquisitive enough and still having electricity freely available to them for DVD play devices, will ever forget this age of video violence, when the tail wagged the dog, the cows went oink, the pigs went moo and some very bright mice committed their minute to minute roars to film.