Salto quiet as a mouse, hm?
Well, there was all of the holidays and celebrations, and...
A friend (APS) and I have been driving to California for New Year's Eve, and we have become completely stuck in Nevada. The snow here in Reno is the heaviest in two decades, according to local newscasts. We're talking two-three feet. The interstate is clogged or closed.
This is a drag. We expected to spend NYE in SF. Now we're stuck at an EconoLodge in Reno trying to figure out how to have a good time tonite.
Complete travelog to follow in the next few days, with extensive and horrifying pictures included!
Thanks for visiting! I promise more in the next weeks. Check back daily.
HOLIDAY TRAVEL SALTO
Hello loyal Salto patrons! Salto's traveling from San Francisco to the wintry Midwest tomorrow, eager for a little chilly air and warm family joy.
Be good while I'm gone.
What's on your mind?
TODAY'S MEDIA PERSPECTIVE
Here's how a story moves from the blogworld to the mainstream media.
The TLF announces the nomination of former NYC police chief Bernard Kerik to the position of Secretary of Homeland Security. A day or two later, it's announced that Kerik is withdrawing from consideration because he has a "nanny problem"--not paying appropriate employment taxes for some nanny he had years ago. Which should sound familiar, 'cuz it scuttled Lani Guinier's nomination for Attorney General years ago.
But then it comes out that Kerik has about a billion skeletons in his closet: financial improprieties, ties with the mob, questions about his competence or overzealousness, ties to Saudi Arabia, affairs, allegations of creepy stalky behavior...it's just a big, ugly mess.
Given the last, Josh Marshall asks
, on December 13, if maybe there wasn't a nanny at all. And the Times picks up the question
Blogs be powerful.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, DICK
. And be a good gangsta.
...OK, here's my version.
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 1:35 PM
Subject: rush limbaugh complaint
i was listening to rush's program on monday morning, december 13th, 2004, and he used the vulgar sexual word "dick." i was driving my young son[*] back from an appointment and he promptly asked me what a "dick" was. this was highly unsettling for me.
from the transcript at rush's website, this is what he said:
LIMBAUGH: Miss Plastic Surgery. (chuckle) And – I’d – I’d – I – I don’t – I don’t know what the winner – I – and, oh, I didn’t print out both pages, so I don’t know what the – I don’t know what the winner gets. Probably a certificate to go to San Francisco to have an add-a-dick-to-me operation.
does the fcc have the power to regulate the airwaves? will you please make sure that rush limbaugh does not use this vulgar sexual word again?
*Note to Salto readers: the son referred to is entirely fictitious.
SALTO'S TOP TEN RECORDS OF THE YEAR
And maybe movies too!
PRE-HOLIDAY CRABBY OPEN THREAD
I'm crabby about the following:
Driving in San Francisco. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks.
Parking in San Francisco. Sucks. And finding a safe place to put my car for two weeks that won't cost a grand is driving me insane.
I'm crabby about my job. I'm gonna have to work hard while I'm at home. Very little holiday arr n' arr. [What does a pirate do when he's on vacation? Gets a little arrrrrr n' arrrrrrr!]
What are you crabby about?
Comes now word from LA-based correspondent APS, who tells me:
I picked up some hand tailored shirts at Goodwill the other day. They bear the initials WJC on the cuffs, are tailored exactly for the height of 6 2 1/2" and are from a Montana Ave tailor that several politicians are known to favor. It sounds crazy, but I'd put it
at about 50-50 that these are Bill's shirts.
P.S. No discernable stains
I have awfully mixed feelings about Clinton. He was a pretty good president and a genuinely bright man who was the victim of an unprecedented witchhunt on the right. No matter how pedesterian his extracurrics in the White House look now, through the lens of lies about national security and eleven thousand casualties and, most worryingly, the use of state power to smear and destroy critics, it's hard for me to avoid the conclusion that he gave the enemy at least some of the rope from which he was almost hung.
Not entirely his fault, considering the insane witchhunt of Grand Inquisitor Starr. But he handled it poorly. And the image
fits too snugly into the broad "godless Democrat" theme that is spanking us to pieces in the South.
Before he left, the GOP attack machine (and the lapdog "liberal media") turned Clinton (and therefore the Dems, and therefore the left) into a two-faced lawerly lecher. They turned bright Vietnam Vet Al Gore into a untrustworthy serial exaggerator. And they turned bright, serious, genuinely heroic John Kerry into a which-way-does-the-wind-blow pansy.
Unless we get as gangsta as they are, it doesn't matter who we nominate. Get it?
SHE WON AN ELECTION
Yeah. Another argument
for the Gangsta Left:
"It's like when the hijackers took over those four planes on Sept. 11 and took people to a place where they didn't want to go," she added. "I think a lot of people feel that liberals have taken our country somewhere we don't want to go. I think a lot more people realize this is our country and we're going to take it back."
She's a state representative from Missouri. Her name is Cynthia Davis. And she. Is. Hot:
Her office phone number is (573) 751-9768.
Her home phone number is (636) 978-3800.
The gruff guy that answers at home may be her husband
, "Bernie." He may not be entirely responsible for the fact that his wife is a fucking idiot. Keep that in mind.
Her email addresses are:
(Ain't that last one cute?)
Keep tellin' yourself: they're not the enemy, they're the "opposition." But it sounds kind of hollow sometimes.
I suggest you contact her. I see no need to be particularly polite.
"SANTA'S TAKING HIS PANTS OFF!"
Santas run amok.
The Pentagon lies
That there's even a question about this shows how deluded the Times
THE POLITICS OF NUTELLA
NASCAR GUY MOVIE
No, I don't get it either
But we shall still mock.
Listen, I'll agree that most sports are total bullshit. I've got a little soft spot in my heart for basketball (my dad took me to games) and the Green Bay Packers (I'm from Wisconsin, it's mandatory), but that's it, and you won't see me defending sports in any way whatsoever. It's a guilty pleasure that's more about spending two minutes with the sports page once in a blue moon than actually watching television or visiting the stadium.* But there's bullshit and bullshit
. A movie about a dead NASCAR guy? Let's be frank: tens of millions of red-state retards will be glued to their sets.
Just look at him
. How inspiring. Nice 'stache, pornstar. He'd fit right in the Castro.
...That's a bit uncouth and inelegant, even for me. But we've got an honesty-only policy at Salto that I intend to uphold by any means necessary
*Soccer is excluded. Soccer rules.
FRIDAY OPEN THREAD
This one is mandatory
Please comment if you read these words
Tell us what you are doing right now -- and what you want Santa to bring you this year.
9,000 LIVE LADYBUGS
For twenty bucks.
THE DECLINE OF COMMERCIAL RADIO
I haven't listened to commercial radio since I was in junior high school in Wisconsin in the late eighties. And back then, the reason to listen was to see if someone you knew managed to get a dedication on the air for someone else you knew, preferably *you*.
But Salto is interested in all forms of media aggregation and manipulation, and Salto really loves radio generally, though now it's more about bowing worshipfully in the direction of Ira Glass four times a day (he is Mecca) and trying to proselytize those who haven't heard This American Life
But this guy
has some observations on the state of commercial radio today that are pretty interesting. Take a look.
SALTO NO EMO BOY
Just so you know
The banker is emblematic of an alarming moment in gender relations here in New York: the rampant spread of the emo man (or perhaps more appropriately, emo boy). Originally referring to a floppy-limbed, "sincere" indie-rock movement, emo gathered speed during the Clinton feel-your-pain era. Now it has landed squarely in the laps of disgusted Manhattan women like Ms. Hackemann.
It can't possibly help that "emo" music is universally a pile of horseshit.
But here on the ground in Gotham, a different story is emerging, as women flee emos in droves.
A sound strategy.
Women who have dated emo boys report being turned off by unsolicited, uncomfortable disclosures.
When the banker called Ms. Hackemann after their ill-fated third date, he said, "You know, I’m a communicator, and I bring things up."
"It was too much relationship talk too early about nothing," she told The Observer. "It had a feel of him being a little controlling in a way: From now on, if I’m a little bit late, he’ll be really hurt. It puts this huge pressure on you. And you want to feel relaxed when you’re on a date. That was the worst feeling of it. It made him look so weak and unattractive in my eyes, and maybe a little bit messed up."
Victoria, a spangly-topped bartender at the Village Idiot, rolled her eyes as she recalled her last date with an emo boy: "Before we even went out he said to me, ‘I’m really great in relationships, but I have a small penis.’"
But I had always suspected.
I don't think I caught this essay from Garrison Keillor
when it was published. But take a look:
The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous.
On that note, I believe that I will soon be expanding on my idea of the Gangsta Left, which still sounds promising, even after the wine has left my system. So check back!
CUZ IT'S ONE-EIGHT-SEVEN WITH MY DICK IN YO MOUTH, BIATCH
They just don't give a shit. They win an election by three or four points, lose some of the biggest (and most prosperous) states by large margins, and they're still pushin' their conservative religious neo-fascist bullshit.
No compromise, no surrender. Never from the right.
It's entirely possible that I've been playing way too much Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas lately, but it's pretty clear to me that the left needs to get a little more gangsta.
Because the right already is. And with every talk of concessions and appeasement, they dick in our mouth more and more.
MY FAVORITE 'OFFICE' CHARACTER
I would like to declare now, for the record, that my favorite character from the utterly fantastic BBC comedy 'The Office
Keith works in accounts. In keeping with his occupation he is extraordinarily deficient in social skills and his answerphone message is a monotone joy to behold. He also suffers from eczema and short term memory problems.
Keith weighs 22 stone (or something), DJs, and is fond of Scotch eggs (what are Scotch eggs
?). He's also is the most ultra-deadpan of them all. Deadpan delivery! Salto appreciates deadpan delivery.
And he's apparently been elected
President of the York University Student Union! Or something.
If you haven't seen 'The Office,' you're hopelessly out of the loop. Remedy.
'TIS THE SEASON, BITCHES
There is still time for you to buy lil' Salto a present from his Amazon wishlist
Or to give Salto some money via Paypal [at right]. Even a dollar!
Salto loves you!
...I suppose this casual begging should be accompanied by the announcement of the Salto Red-State Road Trip at the end of December. Photos! Audio! See the way that the other half lives!
...and the other thing is that the car model
? Stayed for only one night
. And came with her boyfriend
. And didn't even work at the car show. And I was massively hung over and was able to manage only a grunt
when I staggered from my room at noon
. No hijinx. *sigh*
THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED WHILE SALTO WAS IN FETAL POSITION
'Member that football guy who died in Iraq? It was hagiography city for Our Pat Tillman. Salto had this
to say about it at the time.
Turns out that the Army lied, lied, lied, lied, lied
about how Tillman died. Can't have football fans and NASCAR dads thinking that the war in Iraq was a colossal fuckup, can we? No. Instead, we'll just lie about the circumstances surrounding the death of a minor celebrity.
They're morally bankrupt fuckin' warmongers.
The kids don't know who Luna
is, or was, let alone Galaxie 500
or Damon & Naomi
. People who still admire the DIY spirit and poppy goodness of the bands who were on Sarah Records
are a greying group of nuts at a fourth remove from even the mid-90s completists. That ugly Joy Division mania has spawned a billion awful sound-alike bands in every city in the nation, none of them good, even the most popular. And the superior records of New Order? Dismissed.
And there is some movement towards a mid-90s revival. Pavement's records are getting nostalgic re-releases and ecstatic praise
(justifiably). Unrest is getting back together
for a Teenbeat 50th Anniversary gig or somesuch. And there's the Pixies. We'll always have the Pixies, a phrase that seems more true now than ever, and you can probably see them five times in the next month at your local arena.
None of this, however, makes me feel any younger. Oh, the grim melancholy of the aging indie kid. I feel it, let me tell you.
But there are a couple of things to be excited about in the restrained and weary way that befits our age:
, Catch the Breeze
Some creaky geezer
at Pitchfork gives this retrospective a 9.5, for what it's worth. But what's important about Slowdive was just how wonderfully woozy they were, even within the shoegazer set. Fine, fine music to put on at 10:30 on a Sunday night. Download "Souvlaki Space Station"
, Your Blues
I love this Destroyer record, flaws and all. It is meticulous operatic pop and I'm convinced that Daniel Bejar, at times, is channeling Pulp's Jarvis Cocker. It's eerie.
I'm also partial to "Destroyer." It's fragile, carefully constructed music--with a black-metal-sounding appellation. Tension!
, The Slow Wonder
Another superb pop record from another New Pornographer. Do they have a factory somewhere?
Other things I'm looking forward to hearing (but haven't yet):
The Owls, Our Hopes and Dreams [Magic Marker 2004]
Frausdots, Couture, Couture, Couture [Sub Pop 2004]
v/a, Rough Trade Shops: Indiepop Vol. 1 [Rough Trade 2004]
Jaga Jazzist, Magazine [Smalltown Supersound 2004]
FIGHTIN' ERIC ALTERMAN
PROTESTS IN CANADA
is in Canada to show them who's boss. At least 15,000 protestors
But I'll give you a dollar if there's any press coverage in the United States. Strike that -- we have Big Pharma
, who just lies:
The President of the United States, George W. Bush, is in Canada, went to Ottawa today "in an attempt to mend fences." It's his first-ever state visit to Canada and of course the leftists up there were all excited, my friends, about protests. There are going to be massive protests there greeting the president, going to cause him all kinds of problems! However, it never happened. "Hopes for early mass protests in the streets of Ottawa on the eve of today's visit by President Bush fizzled out as journalists outnumbered demonstrators." Well, how can they say the journalists are not the protesters? They're of the same mind.
Irony is lost on morons.
Somebody should have put down this loathsome little worm long ago.
My bed's a-callin' me.
But you're obligated to read Josh Marshall on this
LIGHT ON THE SALTO / OPEN THREAD
Trying (desperately) to finish a project over here at Salto HQ, so not much going on here.
Use this as an open thread. Comments below. Share with the world. Focus on media stuff you're into lately -- books, movies, music.