Archive for December, 2008

Musical Reflections of a 30 Year Old

Posted by Matt on Friday, December 19th, 2008

Recently, a young lady generously gifted me $30 itunes gift card in recognition of my 30th  birthday.  She suggested it may be a good idea to get 1 song from each year of my life.  I thought that was an excellent idea.  And considering that (like President Bush) I spent much of my 20s in an alcohol-induced haze, it may be a smart idea to get some of these reflections down on paper.

The only issue is that I do own a lot of music, so most of the songs + albums I like, I already own. But we move forward nonetheless, starting in 1978, and praying I wasn’t conceived in the aftermath of a ”key party.”

1978:  Glory (Television):  This song truly kicks ass and may have been released in anticipation of my triumphant birth. From what I remember,  I was born in December.  2 weeks later, serial killer John Wayne Gacy finally confessed to his lawyers that he raped and killed 33 boys/men after months of denial to authorities.   Apparently, he lost the urge to kill after he heard about the beautiful young boy with the lopsided head born 2 weeks earlier in Grandrapids, Michigan…Too soon?

1979:  The Ballad of Lucy Jordan (Marianne Faithful):  This was actually written by Shel Silverstein, whose amazing books filled me with both wonder and an occasional nightmare.  The synth-pep of this song masks a depressing downer.  Little known fact:  this was the song that played in the background when Margaret Thatcher was sworn in as Prime Minister that year. 

1980: Romeo & Juliet (Dire Straits): As a child of the ’90s with a burgeoning comfort with his own sexuality, I was first exposed to this song through the Indigo Girls.  It gave me a feeling of warmth, yet not nearly as warm as how Richard Pryor must’ve felt when he burned his face freebasing coke in June, 1980.  Later on, I came to enjoy the Dire Straits’ original just as much.  Great to get this back in the catalogue. Thanks Jana!

1981: Tainted Love (Soft Cell):  Have you ever heard of Soft Cell? Me neither.  But I doubt anyone had heard of John Hinkley before he shot Reagan in the chest in March, 1981.  Yet their legacies carry on….

1982: Here I Go Again (Whitesnake):  In 1982, the family moved from Michigan to Kansas City, Kansas.  I’m sure this song was big there.  Maybe not “George Brett” big, but probably “Dan Quisenberry” big.  Certainly, many midwesterners suffered from what “Quiz” once referred to as “sore armness” from too much air guitar. 

1983: Soldier’s Things (Tom Waits):  At the end of 1983, the family moved back to Chicago, but this time to the suburbs.  And I came with!  This song reminds me of that song “these are a few of my favorite things,” but less obnoxious and more depressing.  Fun fact: On September 5, 1983, Tom Brokaw became lead anchor of the NBC news. And he still won’t go away.


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The Good, the Bad, and the Blago

Posted by Matt on Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Most Illinoisans knew it was just just a matter of time.  However, even my cynical self was blind-sided by today’s developments.   I don’t know if the guy is just “ballsy,” or a total idiot.  Well, certainly the latter.  The release from Pat Fitzgerald’s Office, outlining the charges, can be found here.

The Good:

  • This guarantees a changing of the guard in 2010, and opens the door for actual deserving democrats.  Lisa Madigan is sure to face some skepticism, being the (adopted) daughter of longtime Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan. However, she has done an excellent job as Illinois Attorney General and this may be her opening.  Dan Hynes has also paid some dues, and some of the other usual suspects are sure to throw their names in the hat.  Despite Blago’s lack of popularity (in both parties), Illinois Republicans continue to be totally inept and will probably end up nominating some whack-job, such as xenophobic, dairy-heir (get it?) Jim Oberweis.
  • Pat Fitzgerald continues to be the lone-shining-star in an embarrassingly partisan and corrupt Bush Department of Justice.  The people of Illinois continue to benefit from his hard work (pretty much in spite of ourselves). Hopefully, Obama will leave him in the Northern District.

The Bad:

  • Validation for the Tribune Editorial Board.  I can just see those smug assholes  leaving the building arm-in-arm, on their way to some Champagne Room in the city.  I’m sure the sanctimony will begin tomorrow and John Kass will be the lead douche-bag.  John, do you think you can spare a break from the 2 years you’ve spent trying to bring down Obama for paying 15% below list price on his family’s home?  It’s such a hot story! ….To clarify, however, if these charges are true, this is truly despicable – and something beyond the typical
  • Fresh Wingnut talking points.  Like the Presidential Campaign, where McPalin’s campaign chose to avoid issues such as the “economy” or “health care” in lieu of Bill Ayers, Obama’s religion, etc., this is sure to spark the self-righteous outrage of the right.  Of course, the following facts will surely be forgotten:

             1. Blago was not on B.O’s transition team, and the connection  between  the 2 are weak. (see the last point below)  But let’s watch Kass & Co. work the angles.

 also, local reports indicated that Rahm Emanuel went to Fitzgerald told him what was happening and asked that the arrest be expedited…

The Hysterical:

  • Hopefully, audio from the wire-tapped conversations will be released. In particular, I’m looking forward to Blago’s conversations concerning the following:

Throughout the intercepted conversations, Blagojevich also allegedly spent significant time weighing the option of appointing himself to the open Senate seat and expressed a variety of reasons for doing so, including: frustration at being “stuck” as governor; a belief that he will be able to obtain greater resources if he is indicted as a sitting Senator as opposed to a sitting governor; a desire to remake his image in consideration of a possible run for President in 2016; avoiding impeachment by the Illinois legislature; making corporate contacts that would be of value to him after leaving public office; facilitating his wife’s employment as a lobbyist; and generating speaking fees should he decide to leave public office.

ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he is “struggling”  financially and does “not want to be Governor for the next two years.”  ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to “suck it up” for two years and do nothing and give this “motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator.  Fuck him.  For nothing?  Fuck him.”  ROD BLAGOJEVICH states that he will put “[Senate Candidate 4]” in the Senate “before I just give fucking [Senate Candidate 1] a fucking Senate seat and I don’t get anything.”

This guy is amazing. I mean, did he not think his phone could be tapped?  He has been under investigation his whole term.  His delusional stupidity surely answers the question from the opening paragraph. Continue, sir.

Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he knows that the President-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the open seat but “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them.”

Looks like you’re the one that is “fucked,” Governor.   Maybe Durbin can hook you up with a pardon, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.  In fact, I would concentrate on holding enough clout and maybe get protective custody with former-Governor Ryan.  

This really is news to everybody but the residents of this great state. But, it’s great news nonetheless. As someone who voted Green Party during the last gubernatorial election, I feel considerable validation.

 Illinois…working together for bi-partisan corruption.

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