Teabaggers in Augusta

Everyone knows about all the incoherent, vaguely libertarian teabagging parties that went on across the country April 15. My state was no different. According to friends (I suggested to one that she ought to start panhandling just to make things interesting), one was held down in Portland with a number of signs insisting no one tread on any of the protesters. I suspect they enjoyed the ease of walking on their publicly funded roads amidst all the publicly funded statures as their children went by on the buses heading to the publicly funded schools. Another was held in Augusta. My favorite part was this quote from one of the speakers:

Pete Harring of Maine Refounders, one of two Maine Tea Party groups, said the movement has more than 1,000 members in Maine. He noted that this year’s event was much larger than a similar gathering held a year ago.

“If we were all a bunch of liberals, we could have filled the whole park, ’cause none of them have any jobs,” he said.

What makes this hilarious is local knowledge. A huge number of people attending the rally weren’t educated, job-holding conservatives. They were the scummy leaches of Augusta, Maine who get $674 a month in Social Security “disability”; their ‘income’ goes largely to alcohol and drugs, and the only reason they attended the tax day get-together was that it had “party” in the title and they thought it would be a good excuse to imbibe their various intoxicants. Honestly. There’s no real parking near where the event was held – and that was fine. None of these people have cars, and they are actually commonly seen strolling the streets of Augusta (of course, mostly around the 1st of the month when the government sends them their checks).

And the thing is, the fact that these people have no idea what the rally is about doesn’t separate them very much from everyone else. The major problem the teabaggers have had is articulating what makes them angry. They’ve heard a lot of rhetoric from FOX Noise, but they don’t have much grasp on what’s actually going on and how government actually affects them.

I like that this video identifies these are Republican protesters. As much as the teabaggers want to deny it, they’re just the more radical wing of the Republican party (which is a feat in its own right).

Thanks, Major Meltdown

Comrade Major Meltdown* – the male poster who yearns like crazy to be accepted by women – is still chirping away all across the Internet, garnering me a modest number of hits (yippee). It’s almost like the silliness of Andreas Moritz sans the desire to swindle people. So thanks for that mild bump, you incoherent wannabe.

What’s more interesting, though, is the original post from that site (which has nothing to do with me).

Dude Rock—it’s hard to define by a sound, but you know it when you see it. It crosses genres. But if you define it from the center, you have a good idea of what’s going on—their shows will mostly be male, and female intelligence will not be taken seriously in that space. What few women there will mostly be girlfriends. The space will be a safe one for overt sexism.

That’s likely true. I can probably only define “dude rock” as something vaguely heavy metal, but the primary example given by the poster, Amanda Marcotte, is Ween, and I have no idea who that is – and that’s the major issue overlooked in the post.

Yes, there’s a lot of testosterone-driven music out there. It probably isn’t fair to say every fan likes it for what partly fuels it (the world is never so black and white, now is it?), but like-minded people do tend to find like-minded music, so it works as a general rule. But that isn’t what’s important. What’s important is that most music just isn’t worth it. Ween? Who knows. Most music sucks. It’s that simple.

I brought the albums, and Sleater-Kinney, who I also discovered through my same friend, to my dude friends. They were unimpressed. They couldn’t say why. They weren’t stupid enough at that point, or even self-aware enough, to say that they didn’t like it because it was made by women. They just happened to not like it, even though they liked ALL THIS OTHER MUSIC THAT WAS LIKE IT. I don’t know, it just doesn’t do it for me. It’s boring. It’s whiny. It’s screechy. Oh, it’s repetitive. Or is it derivative?

Whatever it is, it sucks.

(That is a quote from within the main post.)

See, the thing is, it does suck. But it doesn’t suck because it’s by women. It sucks because odds are it’s going to suck, no matter who made it. For instance, I like Hole and The Cranberries to a fair degree, but there aren’t a ton more female musicians I enjoy (as singers). And sure, I can probably name 5-1 the male-led bands I like over the female ones, but that’s because I can probably name 10 bands or musicians I like. In total. This is more an issue of music sucking than of sexism sometimes.

That said, I do tend to favor males over females anyway in my musical tastes. The reason has to do with the clearness of female voices. I prefer that bit of gravel, that gruff. That’s why I like Kurt Cobain. In fact, I view him as my personal standard for what a musician should be. That doesn’t mean I can’t like clearness in a voice (Freddy Mercury, anyone?), but I tend towards the other end of the spectrum.

But the music of Cobain deserves attention here (and really, everywhere). He constantly railed against that macho-image. He hated the bigots from his small, logging home town. He even wished he could be gay for the sake of pissing them off. It would be difficult to make a case that he has any connection to “dude rock”.

Of course, this post has some nuance, is pro-(non-caricature)-feminist, and is only derisive of the state of music in general (and, I suppose, a type of vocal style), so it’s likely to draw the ire of someone who refuses to understand a word of it.

*Please add “fuck” and its derivatives at seemingly random intervals to view this post in Comrade Major Meltdown mode.

Post-script: Here are two Cobain videos. The first is him smacking some body guard in the head with his guitar for being a dink. I guarantee he wouldn’t have done that to someone who was 5’7″, 125 lbs, and not wearing a muscle shirt. The second is him kissing Krist Novoselic at the end of an SNL episode.

Thought of the day

Andreas Moritz insists on raising my ire over and over. Christopher Maloney, on the other hand, has remained pretty quiet. And who gets post after post after post about him on here?

Congratulations to Maloney for being smarter than Moritz. It isn’t much of an accomplishment, but I suppose it’s something. (And, hey, unlike Moritz, I bet Maloney knows what DNA is.)

Dilbert

Thank you for this, Dilbert.

Congratulations to Simon Singh

Simon Singh no longer has to worry about that pesky, quacking lawsuit against him.

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has admitted defeat in its defamation battle with science writer Simon Singh.

The BCA yesterday served notice of discontinuance of its action against Dr Singh.

But wait! There’s more! (And it’s even better.)

Solicitor Robert Dougans, of law firm Bryan Cave, which represented Dr Singh, said: “To have won this case for Simon is the proudest moment of my career, but if we had the libel laws we ought to have I would never have met Simon at all.

“Until we have a proper public interest defence scientists and writers are going to have to carry on making the unenviable choice of either shying away from hard-hitting debate, or paying through the nose for the privilege of defending it.

He said the only issue which remained to be settled was the amount of his costs Dr Singh would be able to recover from the BCA, and how much he would have to pay himself.

It is believed that Dr Singh’s costs amount to some £200,000.

National Day of Prayer struck down

The National Day of Prayer is a purely religious statute endorsed by the government. It is unconstitutional – and obviously so.

“[I]ts sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function,” a Wisconsin judge wrote in the ruling, referring to the 1952 law that created the National Day of Prayer.

“In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience,” wrote the judge, Barbara B. Crabb.

This is an obviously reasonable ruling. Unlike Christmas, there is no secular function or secular need for such a day. Of course, not everyone is so clear-headed.

Conservative religious groups called on the White House to appeal the decision.

“The National Day of Prayer provides an opportunity for all Americans to pray voluntarily according to their own faith and does not promote any particular religion or form of religious observance,” said Joel Oster, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund.

This makes no sense. It’s the same nonsensical crap religidiots are always peddling. “It’s freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion!” All these Joel Osters of the world are doing is demonstrating their poor grasp on prepositions and how they pertain to the First Amendment.

The promotion of any religion is a violation of the First Amendment, even if that promotion includes all religions – the constitution does not somehow exclude atheists, agnostics, and other non-believers (or even those whose religions exclude prayer).

This really shouldn’t be that hard to grasp.

Catholic Church punishes homeless

The Catholic Church doesn’t seem able to do anything good these days. Between promoting the spread of disease by telling people condoms are immoral to covering up child rape scandals (or is it “petty gossip? I forget), the Church appears to be actively trying to harm the world. Not that this is anything knew, but the media has obviously been hopping on the band wagon a lot more recently. I hope it continues, such as is the case in this deplorable tale of evil.

[Maine Gov.] Baldacci decided to hold the spaghetti feed after learning last month that the Catholic Church had withdrawn funding for Preble Street’s Homeless Voices for Justice program because of Preble Street’s support for same-sex marriage.

Homeless Voices for Justice lost $17,400 for this year and will lose $33,000 that it expected for its next fiscal year. All of Wednesday’s donations will go to the statewide advocacy group, which works on issues that affect the homeless.

Baldacci is a Catholic himself, but he isn’t so blinded by religious dogma that he can’t recognize the difference between right and wrong. He has helped to correct an ugly act and bring attention to an evil, petty organization that cares more about its bigoted agenda than helping out human beings.

But maybe the best part of this is that he isn’t up for re-election. While I would like to see him continue as governor (he is constitutionally prohibited from doing so), it’s so nice to see him acting based upon what he thinks is right, not simply what is politically convenient. In fact, he began his tenure as governor by claiming to be against same-sex marriage – which was a lie to help get him elected – but once he faced no consequences for the truth, he approved a bill for equal treatment in Maine (which was struck down by bigots helped illegally by non-taxed political donations from the Catholic Church). This doesn’t make him a great man necessarily, but the waning months of a person’s time in office are often the best because they reflect what that person actually thinks and wants.