Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

29 November, 2007

To whom it may concern

Do you know what makes me more churlish than normal on my morning commute? Having to witness you make out on the Metro. I haven't had enough caffeine (or alcohol, for that matter) to deal with the involuntary spectacle of you sticking your tongues down each other's throats or having to overhear your pillow talk. Please reserve your tonsil-licking for the Metro's usual after 9 PM amorous hours and allow the rest of us to wallow in our morning surliness.


26 November, 2007

This is too fucking weird

Earlier this evening, as I was doing the dishes, I was thinking to myself that it had been almost ten years since I won a pair of tickets to see Quiet Riot on one of their comeback tours and gee, wouldn't that be a funny story to tell? After doing some quick historicizing in my head, I realized that the Quiet Riot show occurred in the spring of 1998, so I planned on shelving the story until next May, if I even remembered at that time.

But as Dr. Jung would have it, there was a reason I was thinking about these minor metal deities this evening: they found the lead singer dead in Las Vegas today! And while I'm far from broken up about this, nor do I feel particularly comfortable with the fact that I'm using someone's tragic death as a springboard for a light-hearted story about a young man straying far from his element, I do think that the universe works in mysterious ways and that I was meant to relay this little vignette to you this evening. Either that or the gobs of acid I ate in the Nineties are having some consequences that I never could have foreseen.

At any rate...

In the spring of '98, when Seinfeld was about to go off the air, the local rock station KZEL was giving away prizes for being the nth caller with the correct answer to some piece of Seinfeld trivia. I'd always wanted to win something from a radio station and so when they asked a question to which I knew the answer (Tweety Bird Pez dispenser), I called in and lo and behold, I was the proud possessor of two tickets to go see Quiet Riot at the Mill Camp Saloon in Springfield.

To be clear, I was never much of a Quiet Riot fan in particular, or a metalhead in general (although I will cop to loving first-time-around Roth-era Van Halen and Guns & Roses), so I planned on going to the show and enjoying with a healthy does of irony. My friend Kooky - a New Jersey metalhead squatter turned hippie activist (at the time of this particular story) turned gender-bending anarchist - loved Quiet Riot and begged me for the other ticket. Since my then-girlfriend didn't want to go - nay, was absolutely horrified by the prospect of going - Kooky and I got righteously stoned and ventured into the wilds of Springfield for some heavy metal.

The Mill Camp had something of a reputation back when it was open - I seem to recall a number of well-publicized brawls (maybe one involving Akili Smith?), maybe a stabbing or two - it was a classic, shall we say, Springfield night spot. To its credit, it did have a gorgeous stained-glass window behind the stage. So we arrived, two stoned hippies amidst a sea of black metal tour shirts, too-tight denim, and mullets as far as the eye could see. Ordering the typical Eugene drink fare was not an option for the evening: no microbrews and no hipster friendly PBR or High Life. It was Budweiser like everyone else (plus a few trips to the car during the opening band to smoke more pot), or none at all.

Honestly, I was terrified for the first part of the evening and did my best to stay out of folks' way. Kooky, on the other hand, threw himself into enjoying the show in earnest, thus heightening my state of terror. What would the be-mulleted masses think of this goofy hippie banging his head to this washed-up hair-metal band? They loved him, and soon Kooky was surrounded by a menagerie of paunchy 40 year-old bikers with big, thick mustaches, all banging their heads in unison and high-fiving each other after each song.

At that point, I felt that things were going to be okay and started to enjoy myself, going so far as to make passable chit-chat while pissing out large amounts of cheap beer in the bathroom.

I couldn't tell you what most of the songs they played were. They may have even released a new album which they were supporting. For most of the first part of their set, I marveled at the full head of hair on the lead singer as I seemed to recall him balding back in their mid-80s heyday. It wasn't until the end of the set that I heard some familiar tunes - "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)," "Cum On Feel the Noize," and one other that I seemed to remember from childhood, but the name escapes me. By this point, I was filled with enough cheap booze and weed that I hollered out the choruses along with everyone else in the joint, and even managed a few high-fives and "that was so fucking awesome!"s to my fellow Quiet Rioters.

We ended the night by grabbing some more beer and heading back to my then-girlfriend's house to regale her and her roommate with tales about how fucking awesome the show had been. They were as drunk as we were, having done away with the better part of two bottles of wine, but had spent the evening listening to Ella Fitzgerald and discussing something far more civilized than Quiet Riot. Within fifteen minutes of our return, my ex publicly ruled out sex with me until I recanted my newfound love of hair metal.

I recanted half an hour later.

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Signs o' the times

Russian hipsters now dressing like American hipsters. Viva la globalization!


Punk Rock Monday

Viewed as nothing more than a tarted-up gimmick band when they made their debut in the 1970s, the Runaways paved the way for women to be every bit as sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll as the men. They’re also notable for launching the careers of Joan Jett and Lita Ford (although really, who followed Lita’s career?).

From their legendary Japanese tour with original lead singer Cherie Currie, a rockin’ cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll”

From 1977, “Wasted”

“School Days”


25 November, 2007

Sunday night bambino blogging

No word yet on l'il wobs' status on the much anticipated "naughty or nice" list. Given the high and rising cost of heating fuel, however, we're secretly hoping for "naughty."


23 November, 2007

Profiles in douchebaggery

I'm sure this is an encore appearance for DHo in the profiles, but his latest unhinged rant (which he, of course, is only relaying to us from a proxy as a courtesy) typifies the mindset of those who continue to mindlessly cheerlead the carnage in the Middle East. Here, Horowitz informs us that the only reason that blogger Andrew Sullivan has recanted his earlier enthusiasm for the misadventure in Iraq is because he's afraid that further support for the war will impede his ability to get laid.

And that's the whole narrative, isn't it? Anyone who opposes the war is giving in to their baser instincts - playing politics, being prone to an irrational bout of Bush Derangement Syndrome, wanting a piece of ass, anything but being concerned about the innocent lives being used as toy soldiers - while those who continue to march us into folly upon folly are pure of heart and firm in belief.

It's bullshit, but DHo has taken it to an entirely new level.

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It's getting better all the time (it can't get much worse)

It's all the rage these days to point to the admittedly better numbers of civilian deaths in Iraq and claim that "we're winning." Unfortunately, the description of conditions in Baghdad don't really inspire confidence:
Days after she returned from Syria, 23-year-old Melal al-Zubaidi and a friend went to the market on a pleasant night to eat ice cream. It was a short walk, yet unthinkable only a month ago for a woman in the capital. Still, her parents were nervous, and Zubaidi wore a head scarf and an ankle-length skirt to avoid angering Islamic extremists.

The Zubaidis, a Shiite Muslim family, have yet to pass another boundary. When they fled Iraq five months ago, a Sunni family took over their large house in Dora, a sprawling neighborhood in southern Baghdad. When the Zubaidis returned this month, they were too scared to ask the new occupants to leave. So they rented a small apartment in Mashtal, a mostly Shiite district.


Hashimi no longer sees bodies in the street when he opens his front door. Sunni extremists no longer man checkpoints to search his vehicle for alcohol or signs of collaboration with the government or the Americans. Roads are being paved, and municipal workers are sprucing up parks and traffic circles. His patch of Dora is now a fortress, surrounded by tall blast walls that separate entire blocks.

"It's totally secured," said Hashimi, who was an intelligence officer during the government of Saddam Hussein. But a few days ago, he drove across the main highway to another section of Dora. He felt a familiar fear. "You're lost there. You don't know who controls the area, Sunni or Shia, American soldiers or Iraqi security forces. It's still chaotic."

He never drives on side streets, afraid of the unknown. On a recent day, he wanted to visit a Shiite friend in Amil, a district controlled by the Mahdi Army, whom he had not seen in a year. But his friend advised him not to come. Hashimi felt relief. "I'm afraid to go to Shiite areas," he said.

Before Hashimi left Iraq, he used to pick up a friend every day from the mixed enclave of Bayaa and take him to the security firm where they both worked. But during his time in Syria, Shiite militias cleansed Bayaa of Sunnis. "It's impossible for me to go there now," he said.

So he spends most of his days in his once-mixed neighborhood, now a mostly Sunni area. A nearby tea shop is open until 10 p.m., but all other shops close by 7 p.m. Under Hussein, they used to be open past midnight. The walled-off streets have squeezed the pool of customers. Electricity, Hashimi said, is still scarce.


Hashimi is worried that the wall could easily crumble. He recently applied to join the Iraqi police. But he doesn't trust the Shiite-led government to integrate Sunnis into the political system, the police and army. And what if the American troops leave?

"Of course, if the political process is still the same, and the Americans withdraw from Dora, in a couple of days everything will collapse again."

So, "winning" is the dysfunctional political status quo with the population segregated into fortified enclaves, afraid to venture beyond their walled-off neighborhoods, even to meet family members.

This is the "peace" of a military occupation, premised on a terrified and demoralized population and armed factions biding their time for another opportunity. You'll have to excuse me if I'm not ready to dance a little jig for our pyrrhic "victory."

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20 November, 2007

And for further cogitation

At the sub-atomic level, we're more space than we are matter.


A conundrum

Two fundamental axioms that have animated my life to date:

Suffering is a function of pain and resistance - This is fundamentally a Buddhist concept (although I walk no Eight-Fold Path) and is something I seem to have intuited at a psychological level from an early age. Shit happens. Pain is a fact of life, and you can deal with it either by accepting that fact or choosing to wish that you weren't in pain. I've always been a "water off the duck's back" type when it comes to this. Acknowledge that you hurt, learn from it, and move on. There's no use dwelling.

The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free - A thought expressed by folksinger Utah Phillips (and for shits and giggles, we could further attribute them to the "Theses on Feuerbach"), this pretty much sums up my views on social change. There are social constraints which shape our behavior, but these constraints are products of human construction, and by resisting these constraints, we can transcend them, hopefully for the better.

So, my question to you, dear reader: are these two tenets irreconcilable? My take is no, and I'll attribute this to some random guy who came to my eighth grade career day (don't ever say those little exercises were useless!). I have no idea what line of work he was in, but he told our class, "There are two types of problems in life [ah, dichotomies!]: those you can change, and those you can't. For the former, since you can change them, figure out what to do and have at. For the latter, why are you worrying?"

While you ponder your answer, have another look at a kayaker getting beat down in a hydraulic to the tunes of Radiohead.


19 November, 2007

Because I shouldn't have to suffer alone

There was absolutely no reason for me to see what I'm about to share with you. It was an absent-minded click-through - by the time I realized what I was reading, it was too late to turn away. Much like rolling upon the mangled remains of a car, only to realize the bloodied victims still sit within, my eyes were transfixed on the horror... the horror. And I'm going out of my head suffering in silence.

Imagine Christopher Hitchens...

Now imagine Christopher Hitchens having his balls waxed.

The image is already seared into your consciousness. May as well read the gory details.

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Punk Rock Monday

I’ve often thought that the perfect prop for a Reverend Horton Heat show would be a giant pool filled with Jack Daniels in which could be performed Southern Baptist-style full body immersion baptisms. I’d be born-again at every freakin’ show! Enjoy the good reverend’s shred-tastic guitar!

“It’s Martini Time!”

“Galaxie 500”

“Folsom Prison Blues”


18 November, 2007

Doorstop of the damned

I was moving our books from the basement up into our attic today and stumbled upon my copy of Istvan Meszaros' Beyond Capital, a weighty volume of social theory which I had to read parts of for a graduate seminar some years ago. To quote one reviewer of this book, "This is an important book, heavy in size and tone. It belongs in every serious library." ms. wobs and I do like to keep a serious library, and I'm glad that my ownership of this tome confirms the gravity of our literary collection.

You will note, however, that the review doesn't say you have to actually read the book. I'm sure you're expecting me to give you some sort of synopsis as to what lies between the covers, but I honestly have no idea. It was the one book in my social theory seminar that I couldn't bring myself to read. It's the Finnegan's Wake of theory texts. It has, however, enriched my life by a) certifying the seriousness of my library and b) contributing the phrase, "Dude, that's so beyond capital" to my repertoire of witty intellectual banter.


Sunday night bambino blogging


15 November, 2007

Home run kings don't go to jail

That's why we're going to know that Barry Bonds is a complete and utter fraud.

Oh yeah, and while I'm at the hating, fuck A-Rod.

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Best reason ever to make sure your beloved visits the optometrist

If, that is, your beloved is in to guys.


14 November, 2007

wobblie in the belly of the beast

Lucky me, I got to spend the day attending a conference at the American Enterprise Institute, a building which is in the running for the title of "real estate with the most bad ideas generated per square foot." You'll be pleased/horrified to know that the AEI crowd is every bit a nutty as they seem to be on the editorial pages. I'm not going to go into the details of the conference here (check out the work blog tomorrow - sufficed to say, the snark will be back), but here's a few fun non-substantive details of my day to tide you over:
  • There is a delightful framed photograph of Charles Krauthammer on the way to the loo.
  • I had the pleasure of watching MoDo's research assistant fight off sleep for a good chunk of the morning.
  • There was apparently a cocktail reception at the home of one of the wingnuttier participants where, based on their presentations, I imagine some of the panelists will be smoking some good, good hash

Admittedly, I was worried that entering the hallowed home of neoconservatism my thinking might have been subtly altered, But Overall My Brain Is Running All Normal.


12 November, 2007

A reason to go to Virginia

For shits and giggles, the fam and I headed south of the Potomac yesterday to buzz around Arlington for a spell. Not for any particular reason - well ms. wobs had heard some stuff about the art scene in Alexandria, but I'm kind of a dumbass when it comes to directions, so I herded us on to the Orange line and later rationalized that both cities start with an "A" and are in Northern Virginia, how different can they be?

But that's neither here nor there. When we did get off the train, we were hungry, and we soon stumbled upon a restaurant/bar with a line out the door that was full of hungover looking twenty-somethings who refused to take off their sunglasses - quintessential signs of a good breakfast spot. And on the menu, biscuits and gravy.

Oh biscuits and gravy, how do I love thee? With bourbon and jazz, you are one of the greatest things to come out of the South!

When I moved the Pacific Northwest after 21 years in Dixie, I never dreamed I was leaving behind good biscuits and gravy. I didn't know that it was possible to fuck it up. But I never found a decent plate anywhere during my time there. The gravy ranged from a thin gruel to a stomach churning flour paste with sausage added as an afterthought, not the creamy delicacy that graced my plate on Sunday morn. And for some reason, folks in the Northwest couldn't get the fucking biscuit right. It should be a golden brown vision, just to the point of crispy, but not overly crunchy (or as was more often the case, chewy), with a fluffy interior upon which the gravy floats. The biscuits I had to get used to were either glorified pieces of cake or, more heretically, a fucking english muffin. At the end, if I ever had a yen for some biscuits and gravy, I went down to the Morning Glory and contented myself with their vegan version - at least there I knew I wasn't setting myself up for disappointment.

But now I'm back down South - or at least close enough to hop a train and get there quickly - and while I miss all the better things the Northwest has - better beer, better buds, better coffee, better air, better topography, better rivers, etc. etc. - I do not miss your biscuits and gravy!


Mmmmm, that's some tasty kool-aid

Well, it appears I've been thoroughly socialized into the intellectual and political norms of the organization for which I work. I just finished reading Richard Kahlenberg's Tough Liberal, a biography of Al Shanker, and I found myself nodding in agreement with his stands 95% of the time. On issues of public education, school standards, identity politics, and the future of unionism I would read of Shanker's contribution and think to myself, "Yeah, that sounds about right." Where I diverged was on issues of foreign policy. While I certainly believe that we (as Americans) have a responsibility to promote democratic institutions (like a free labor movement) abroad, I'm profoundly uncomfortable with Shanker's explicit linking of the promotion of democracy with militarism. I'm not naïve enough to believe that democracy doesn't require arms to defend it at times, but I can never bring myself to believe that it can be imposed, nor do I believe that those who most vocally trumpet the need to bring democracy via military force are, in fact, interested in it at all. The rhetorical linkage between "democratic values," economic free-market globalization, and military intervention isn't a topic that the book broaches

On the little matter of the book itself, Tough Liberal is a pretty straight-forward conventional biography. Admittedly, I like my biographies to be a little more analytic and critical, but as a tool for understanding teacher's unions (and one in particular) as they currently exist, Kahlenberg's book is an important contribution. I'll go on record as recommending it, if only to make you proud to be following in the footsteps of a truly gifted union leader and thinker.

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Bust out the corn liquor, it's Punk Rock Monday

Good things come from Austin, TX, and I first saw these particular good things open up for the Butthole Surfers in the early 90s. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a bluegrass band when I arrived, but damn did they rip shit up – they totally won the crowd over. Having a punk-as-fuck name like the Bad Livers never hurts. The Livers are a band I recommend to everyone – never have I seen a group of musicians so willing to take chances and incorporate so many different sounds. From bluegrass to punk to jazz to klezmer to techno to norteño to straight ahead rock, the Bad Livers were fearless innovators making some kickass music.

From 1991, a Motorhead/Johnny Cash medley, “Jail Bait/Ring of Fire”

From some of the last shows they played in 1999, “Turpentine Willie”

Danny Barnes is still making music up in Seattle now, and here he is playing some Livers’ tunes with the Danny Barnes Collective in 2006, “Fist Magnet/Losin’”

11 November, 2007

Thank you

Apropos of nothing except maybe feeling a little sentimental and, um... checking my technorati links, I just wanted to say thank you to all the people who stop by here to check on my latest spleen venting, bambino posting, punk rocking, or plain babbling. Blogging is a kind of narcissistic venture - I mean really, why would I expect that anyone who didn't know me would have any interest in what I have to say? But there's a great deal of satisfaction - and humility - in knowing that through the vast howl of electrons, people stumble upon this little outpost on the edge of the blogosphere and like what is there. So I just wanted to take a little time to recognize some friends who've made my rambling on about this and that worthwhile.
  • Jon Swift - My first brush with internet infamy came from a much too literal reading of Monsieur Swift's parody. He's that good. But Jon has been exceedingly kind in linking to some of my writing and I recently discovered that he nominated in the "Best of the Rest" category for the 2007 Weblog Awards. Which is humbling, to say the least.
  • Skippy - A lot of what I learned about internet snark came from reading skippy and his merry band of malcontents. Skippy recently recommended his readers stop in and say hi, which is high praise indeed from a blog that's been featured on both CNN and Jon Stewart.
  • The (soon-to-be not-so) Anonymous Lobbyist - Not only a first-rate cynic but an engaging personal blogger taboot, I'm always appreciative when she brings her chops to come play in the comments. And now she's on her way to the big-time... sniff, the grow up so fast, don't they?

Even nearer-and-dearer to my heart are the regulars 'round these parts, friends who I've known off-line but who are excellent bloggers in their own right. First and foremost, two folks who I literally would not be where I am today if it weren't for them (of course, physically, I am in DC, so you get the blame as well!).
  • Dave - Other than my wife, I've spent more time with Dave than anybody else over the last five years, times ranging from nail-biting anxiety in caucuses to belly-aching hilarity, with those times skewing mostly towards the latter. Reading his blog allows me to keep those good times alive and reminds me of what best friends are all about.
  • Ash - I practically begged ash to get me involved with the GTFF when I first got to grad school. She hooked me up with AGEL. She helped plan the Worst. GTFF Event. Ever. with me (and, as I recall, got really pissed at me on that day) that led to my meeting ms. wobs. In two words, "me likey."

I have a special place in my heart for anthropologists, especially pattyjoe, who's been a brother-in-arms, a link back to my intellectual past, and my source for new music, and jen, who shared an office and lent an ear through one of the weirder years of my life teaching in women's studies. I'd be totally remiss in not mentioning courtney, who when I first met her was totally adverse to the whole union thing but then became one of the most talented union leaders I've had the pleasure of knowing.

To the lads from the GEO - dr (and his crew) write some of most consistently funny shit on the internet (and right now he's in the running for comment of the year with this little bon mot). Meanwhile, Mike always reminds me on the one hand why I loved sociology so much, and on the other, why I'm glad I didn't follow that path.

If you're not already reading these folks blogs, you should. They're all good peeps and are writing fantastic things.

A special thank you goes to ms. wobs, who not only tolerates the late nights I spend on the blog, but loves me all the me for it. She gets to comment off-line, if you know what I mean.

And finally, to all the lurkers I know who regularly check-in, I know you're there, and I totally appreciate you coming by, but would it kill you to leave a comment every now and again? I mean, c'mon!

Thanks to everyone for reading. medulla noodle has become an avocation which has truly taken on a life of it's own and I'm really fortunate and happy that so many people have become a part of it. Who knew that getting kind of drunk and typing out whatever came into my head could be so fulfilling? Besides James Joyce?

Okay - with that little bit of red-wine sentimentalism out of the way, I promise to be back with more snark soon. Thanks again.


Sunday night bambino blogging

L'il wobs, if you haven't already figured it out, is an extraordinary ham. Here he is at dinner tonight, where he insisted on eating macaroni and cheese. Frozen macaroni and cheese. He apparently enjoyed it. Now if someone will please clue me in as to when children reach some modicum of sanity, I'd be much obliged.

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09 November, 2007

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

Hey, did you know that being poor in the United States is totally awesome? It's true, according to economist Walter F. Williams, who somehow garnered a job at George Mason University spouting gibberish like this:
Poverty is not static for people willing to work. A University of Michigan study shows only 5 percent of those in the bottom fifth of the income distribution in 1975 remained there in 1991. What happened to them? They moved up to the top three-fifths of the income distribution — middle class or higher. Moreover, 3 in 10 of the lowest income earners in 1975 moved all the way into the top fifth of income earners by 1991. Those who were poor in 1975 had an inflation-adjusted average income gain of $27,745 by 1991. Those workers who were in the top fifth of income earners in 1975 were better off in 1991 by an average of only $4,354. The bottom line is: The richer are getting richer and the poor are getting richer.

To summarize:
  • 95% of the bottom fifth of income earners in 1975 made into the top 60% of the income distribution by 1991.
  • 30% of the "lowest income earners" (which he never defines, but I'll assume he means those in the bottom quintile) in 1975 made it into the top 20% of the income distribution by 1991
  • The average income of the bottom quintile grew seven times as much as the top quintile from 1975 to 1991

Cute. Williams is actually right, as far as income goes, but relying on that measure omits aggregate measures of wealth. Income only measures what people bring home in a paycheck (does it also include income from rents?), but measures of wealth factor in the value of property, stock holdings, and - most importantly - debt, as well as income. Using those measures, the growth in wealth of the top quintile has far outpaced everyone else (and we won't even talk about the top 5 or 10%). In 2000 (see p. 8), the net worth of the top quintile of households increased by some $24,000 since 1998, while the net worth of the bottom quintile increased by $1300 (to $7300). The middle three quintiles showed much more modest gains as well. The median net worth of the top quintile is nearly 27 times that of the bottom quintile. I don't have comparable income measures from the 1998-2000 period, but the 1991 figures that Williams refers to (tables 5, 6, & 7 - good lord, how many people are spouting this shit?) show the median income of the top quintile to be less than twice that of the bottom quintile.

Where I'm from, having a net household worth of $7300 is not good. Sure, it's more assets than a huge chunk of the developing world has, but it's hardly the good times that Williams makes it out to be. Williams is an asshat (as I would expect a GMU economist to be) and is trading in on the statistical and economic ignorance of Americans in order to push the line that any sort of income redistribution program is completely unnecessary because, hey, the poor are getting richer faster than the rich! Which is bullshit. But what do I know - 97% of poor people have a color TV. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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08 November, 2007

What's not to love?

I love Steve Carell. I love his acting and writing. I love the fact that he's refusing to cross the Writer's Guild's picket lines. And I especially love his excuse:
Additionally, I've been told that Steve Carell informed NBC he is unable to report to work because he is suffering from “enlarged balls.” Not just enlarged, I'd say, but brass ones. The source on this one adds, "We wish him a happy, slow recovery."

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05 November, 2007

(A late) Punk Rock Monday

You didn't have to be ugly (a la Joey, Deedee, Tommy and Johnny) to come out of the downtown punk scene in the late 70s and early 80s. In fact, you could be a downright hot punk rocker. So in honor of punk rock women and in remembrance of a time when MTV actually played music... ah, who the hell am I kidding. I'm showing you the Go-Gos because I want to see Jane Wiedlin rock the guitar. Because she's hot.

Bonus PRM fun fact: ms. wobs used to have an apartment in the East Village and lived in the unit above the Go-Gos original drummer. When we were staying there for a month in 2004, shortly after l'il wobs was born, said drummer listened to the same bad techno song, over and over and over...

"We Got the Beat" from 1981

"Our Lips Are Sealed" from 1990

And from 2001, a cover of "I Wanna Be Sedated"


04 November, 2007

Having my cake and eating it too

I spent my weekend in Ottawa at a swanky hotel right across the canal from Parliament, attending a conference on defending academic integrity. It was awesome. Now, I have been around academic superstars before, and I've been around committed unionists, but rarely have they been one and the same people. At this conference, I was rubbing elbows with some of the biggest names in international public interest scholarship from a variety of fields (including the author of some of the seminal papers for my medical sociology studies), all of whom were (for the most part) hard-core faculty unionists. My job is pretty sweet, but this weekend, it was labor nerd/straight-up nerd heaven.

Of course, outside of the hobnobbing, who was I hanging out with? You guessed it, grad students.

That said, I'm tired tonight, what with the staying up late drinking with interesting people and all, so I'm going to put off the PRM until tomorrow evening.