Friday, April 28, 2006

Ovid in the Third Reich

by Geoffrey Hill

I love my work and my children. God
Is distant, difficult. Things happen.
Too near the ancient troughs of blood
Innocence is no earthly weapon.

I have learned one thing: not to look down
So much upon the damned. They, in their sphere,
Harmonize strangely with the divine
Love. I, in mine, celebrate the love-choir.

Preempting the Predictable
(or, Nuance is a Bitch)

Just in case the Director of the CIA is one of many Republicans to be implicated in Whoregate (please please please), just in case Whoregate evolves into a big lurid sordid metaphor for Republican matrixes of power, sexism, hypocrisy and corruption (please please please), I want to consider what the inevitable first two words all Republican defenders will be rushing to utter.

Bill Clinton.

Can we all agree that there is a fundamental difference between accepting a freely offered bj by a powerless intern (which doesn’t make his acceptance right, btw) and accepting sex bought by powerful lobbyists for Congressmen in exchange for political favors? Political favors that affect - directly - the nation's defense? I thought we could.
(An aside: I’ve always thought that Republican pols’ primary personal grievance against Clinton was that he was offered blowjobs gratis while they weren’t; I hate to do this, but think of Denny Hastert in any phase of undress, and you can understand why they aren’t offered freebies and understand the shame and resentment pasty-piggy Repugs feel....)
The thrust of the GOP defense will be to turn all our “Clinton lied about a blowjob, Bush lied about war” against us - "You Liberals keep saying sex is no big deal; you’re hypocrites for crowing about a Republican sex scandal now." Well, I admit I’ll crow, happily, with cackling guffaws, you moral midgets, but see the above agreement. (Try not to think about Denny Hastert in any phase of undress - unless you’re a Republican - again.)

OK, to sum up: married man accepting free blowjobs from naive intern in exchange for no political favors bad. Congressmen accepting sex from high-priced prostitutes bought by lobbyists in exchange for lucrative deals with major defense contractors criminal. Easy, yes? That nuance: It's a bitch.

A graphic from today's Washington Post article on United's fast start. Though Nowak drives me nuts, all credit to him for taking his best athlete and designing a scheme that floats between a 3-5-2 and a 4-4-2. As long as DCU can keep Gros and Olsen and Carroll on the field, this will work. Once injuries and suspensions and Olsen's time in Germany w/USMNT break it up, we'll see.

The defense will be tested tomorrow v FCD, a team with not only the ugliest kits in professional soccer but whose star striker, Carlos DP Ruiz KILLS, absolutely KILLS DCU: last year, in regular season, FCD beat DCU at RFK 2-0, the second goal on a Ruiz bicycle kick that was voted Goal of the Year in MLS. But what really hurt was his scoring the tying goal in a Cup semi out in Germantown in the last 30 seconds of second half stoppage. United, shorthanded by injuries, down to 10 men because the dearly loved but relentlessly stupid Dema Kovalenko took a red, never threatened in overtime and looked pathetic in shootout, losing 4-1. Fuck Carlos DP Ruiz.

Oh, if you have Gol TV, flip to the channel as often as you can in the next couple of days. They broadcast this UEFA Cup semi between Steaua and Middlesbrough and will be rebroadcasting it often; one of the most remarkable games I've ever seen. The last 20 minutes were fabulous - if you watch this game and still don't get soccer, Oh well, you're not going to.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Day Before FRIDAY!
cause I'm playing outside tomorrow if I can.

Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros (click "Coma Girl")
(and don't fail to notice the Television song just below. Oh my.)

Robyn Hitchcock!!!

Mark Pickerel

Lambchop, not just once, but twice.

Black Keys cover my favorite Beatle song.

Jolie Holland

and go read:

Is it as feverishly imaginative as fiercely written as Midnight or Moor or Ground or Shame? No. Is it better than Fury? Goodness yes.

Secrets of Antiquity

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Max Boot, in today's Los Angeles Times, on the disgrace that were this year's Pulitzer Prizes:
I want journalists to cover the present struggle as a fight between good and evil. And when the good guys — that would be U.S. officials — say that certain revelations would help the bad guys, I want them to be given the benefit of the doubt.
Daddy's right! Daddy's right! Even when he beats me Daddy's right! Thank you for beating me Daddy! Daddy lies to me to protect me! Thank you for lying to me Daddy! AIIIEEEEE! Must defend Daddy!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Preoccupation is Frail Excuse

I've written about the listening slump I'm enduring. It persists. New albums have been released in the past month that under normal circumstances would've excited responses out of me. I've bought and listened to them, and that they all generated no more than a disinterested shrug is enough to tell me I'm not to trust my judgment now.

What's utterly puzzling to me is why my dose of indifference seems to be affecting only my music gland. My other passions are all pumping prodigious amounts of enthusiasm (sparked in one particular case by a particular team taking 10 out of 12 possible points in the first four games, in another by the recent releases of this novel and this novel and the upcoming release of this novel and upcoming release of this book of poetry, and in a third by the distressingly fascinating and frightening reign of The Decider! and his relentless fucktardedness). It'd be easy to claim that hyperactivity in other spaces of interest are simply crowding out time for music, but it's precisely at times like this in the past that music has meant the most to me. It never suffered from competition.

I've gone back and listened to music that never failed, Roxy and Pere Ubu and XTC and Psychedelic Furs and Talking Heads and Television and The Replacements and Richard Thompson and Nick Drake and The Clash and The Ramones and King Crimson and early (early, mind you) Cure and Madder Rose and The Schramms and Captain Beefheart and Root Boy Slim and Beat Happening and New Order and Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo and Husker Du and Jane Siberry and Afghan Whigs and Ride and Kitchens of Distinction.... they're still good. Grayer and wrinklier, but....

I accept all responsibility for my slump and recognize I've a vested interest in liking now what I've always liked. I acknowledge that any concrete judgments I'd make now are anchored in the jello of foolishness, but.... at a certain point, listening to new releases, listening to KEXP and other places to new stuff, I have to wonder, in the universe of music I've always lived in, is anybody making anything new? Now that record companies have discovered the profitability of "alternative," flooding the market with instant soundalikes; now that groups that produce a breaththrough single hurry to sell that single to the highest bidding car company (who use it as background on 30 second commercials masquerading as cutting-edge music videos); now that the ubiquity of the internet has made the smug exclusivity so precious to a music's advocates virtually impossible, I'm bored with the music, offended by the business, embarrassed for my naivete and snobbery, worried about my future listens.

But it's a slump. Maybe it's a slump. United hosts FC Dallas this Saturday (FCD also taking 10 out of 12), I'm finishing this novel tonight, and The Worst President Ever is still in power. The Twilight Singers (speaking of Afghan Whigs) release their latest album on May 16. I'll work to not get my hopes up.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Who Loves This Country?

Now that Osama has, as regularly as clockwork whenever The Decider!s poll numbers tank dramatically, made himself public to rally American support for his best ally, it's time to stop and ask, If Liberals really hated America, why in Ba'al's name would we be calling for Dick Cheney's and Donald Rumsfeld's resignations?

Nothing would give the Democrat's a greater advantage heading into November than if Cheney and Rumsfeld remained in office. Nothing. By keeping Cheney and Rumsfeld in office, The Decider! gifts the Democrats each and every day. That The Decider! thinks the country is safer with these squash-for-brains is all the indictment against this administration that's necessary - it thinks the country, and its political ambitions, are best served by the continuing reign of Cheney and Rumsfeld. What could be a more damning example of The Decider!s moronocracy?

Firing Cheney, firing Rumsfeld, is in the national interest. It's against the Democrat's political interest. We're calling for them to be fired. We love our country over our electoral ambitions? Go figure.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


There are games every season that a team with serious aspirations for a deep run must win. DCU, in its first road game, played a team that in the past week lost its GM (the turdly Lalas), was starting a striker it had traded for less than 24 hours earlier, had a coach who thought he was going to be fired, has 17 players on its roster that weren't last year, and sucks.

A must win. And they did, impressively: understanding the situation, DCU played consistent, focused soccer. Esky scored twice, the second on a brilliant one-touch build-up through Carroll (who had a fabulous game - he doesn't, and I'm talking about me now, get enough credit), and Facundo Erpen hit a screamer from 35 yards that has to be goal of the week.

The buzz is about Esky's celebration after his first goal: instead of hugging his teammates, he ran towards the DCU bench, was tossed a can of Red Bull, opened it, took a swallow, spit it onto the field. Lame and dumb and fun: it'd have meant more if the team DCU was beating was any good.

Next week at home v FC Dallas, who beat DCU - badly - last year at RFK.