Monday, February 22, 2016

I've Never Seen Anything Like It: Trump's Blitz of Bush

Donald Trump surveyed the Republican field back in June. He correctly surmised that the only candidate who provided a real threat was Jeb Bush. Trump's strategy was to hit Bush early and hit him hard before the juggernaut that elected his father and brother could even get started. The strategy consisted of:

  1. making Jeb look weak and ineffectual.  At one point in a debate he seemed to be almost shaking with fear. Even in this day of beta-males, that's not good if you're running for leader of the free world.
  2. making a case to Republican voters that the Bush I and II years were not good years after all, including the super-daring casting of the second Iraq war as a destabilizing venture that was based on lies ("Anybody can make a mistake. But that was a beauty," Trump said in his inimitable New York way.)
  3. harping on the amount of Other People's Money Jeb was spending, amounting to $2,592 per vote vs. Trump's $87 per vote (of his own money). 
  4. making Bush appear to be a creature of lobbyists ("Listen to the lobbyists," Trump would exclaim upon being booed in a debate). 

The strategy worked monumentally. Bush barely ever crossed out of single-digits in polls or in results.  Jeb pulled out Saturday, after just the third of 50 state primaries.


I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime of watching politics.

Unless another generation of Bush politicians comes along some day, it brings a sad ending to the Bush family political legacy that started with Senator Prescott Bush in 1950.



Saturday, February 6, 2016

David Bowie: Out of Ohio

It's ironic that the late David Bowie is being celebrated as a consummate cutting-edge cosmopolitan or even the Ultimate Brit. But his style is directly attributable to a guy from Ohio: the little-known Scott Walker.

So what changed Bowie's singing style in 1965 from this:



To the more familiar Bowie we know?  It was this 1965 hit:


 
...pretty much.  Scott Walker. From southern Ohio.

The same guy who was on Eddie Fisher's TV show:



"He's been my idol since I was a kid," Bowie once said of Walker. David executive produced 30 Century Man, the 2006 documentary about Scott.

Here are several links discussing the huge impact of Scott Walker on Bowie's career (as often admitted by Bowie himself):

http://www.vulture.com/2016/01/bizarro-david-bowie-returns-on-blackstar.html
http://oneweekoneband.tumblr.com/post/7272065250/one-of-the-most-important-bowie-influences-that
https://bowiesongs.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/the-dreamers/

Here's even one in French: http://www.lemonde.fr/musiques/article/2016/01/08/david-bowie-toujours-sous-la-bonne-etoile-de-scott-walker_4843793_1654986.html

Walker's influence on Bowie was at the very beginning but also, as Walker himself changed (Changesonescott?), at the very end, with Blackstar:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-david-bowies-haunting-blackstar-theme-from-last-panthers-20151006

David is dead, but we still have Scott Walker with us to remember him by!  In 2015 Scott Walker composed the score for the film The Childhood of a Leader.  Scott Walker was very much a leader, influencing David Bowie who influenced scores of musicians on his own.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Umpteenth bad experience with Walmart.com

 I went to the store to try to pick this up a small electronics item I had purchased online. But nothing was as the email saying that my order was ready was as it said it would be.  There was no attendant on duty at theWalmart.com counter. Nor was there a button to alert a sales associate, as the email said . I had to go track one down from another department. The sales associate said their scanner did not work. Therefore I would have to present a government ID. I presented a stack of 40 credit cards, library cards and other IDs but he would not take any of them. (I had walked to the store and did not have a government ID on me).  The email I received said nothing about having to have a government ID on my person. It was just supposed to be "scan and out". The sales associate called a manager to get approval to use one of my other IDs. But the manager did not answer the phone call. We waited about 10 minutes, and he called again. At that point, I left because I had to pick up my son. I will never use Walmart.com again. Other things about the web interface, the lack of availability of items, tells me that this is not a good system. I have to admit that Amazon has you beat ( even though I do not like Amazon for other reasons, I will have to use them).  Walmart is, at bottom, a brick-and-mortar store and obviously not prioritizing Walmart.com sales.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013




Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I was Hall and Oates' Biggest Fan for a Decade.. then their biggest detractor for another


Never have I seen a case like theirs : have so much cool, great songs and great ideas in one decade, and then the next decade (the 80s), completely sell out, become a self-parody, and generally suck the life out of their own act.

I found out about them when the local progressive rock station spun the entire "War Babies" on a Sunday night in '74.  Never again did a track of War Babies grace the radio.  But I was entranced. 

"Sara Smile":  I would go to the Library to look at Billboard and to just "will" Sara Smile up the charts starting from #98.  I became a stalker of KSLQ, my local Top 40, by ringing their phone off the hook for a request that the song be added to rotation.  When they cost me all night sitting up listening when they said they were going to play it just to get me off the phone (I was 17 and didn’t know any better) I think I threatened to bomb the radio station!   

In the mid-late 70s, I would travel around the Midwest to see them (double billing with Shawn Phillips or my other hero, Eric Carmen, a lot of times). 

But by 1980, I couldn’t turn the radio off fast enough when one of those bubblegum "hits" came on.

Nonetheless, I am interested in what they're doing now, just in case they go back and get a flashback of some brilliance they had in the 1970s.  But I would never see them live because I couldn’t endure "Kiss on My List", etc.  But I wonder how much $$ many of us 70s die-hards, who started with them when they were on Atlantic, would pay now for a weekend at Daryl's house, if they had stayed a 70s cult duo?


~Emmett