Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Interesting thought process: If you have to grab something, get a 6' high stack of liquor. I also like today's entry in the ethics department: “It must be legal,” she said. “The police are here taking stuff, too.”

And then there's the worried lady who couldn't find her kids, but sure found beer in a hurry.

Just one of those human stories where laughing is a fitting response, and weeping is an even more fitting one.
This poor bastard has become the pinata of the day. … My guess is that by Monday Mr. Yost will be too busy standing in line outside the St. Paul unemployment office to engage in leisurely Internet debates. Which, frankly, is as it should be.
That’s right, a man charged with reviewing journalism thinks Yost should be fired for suggesting news coverage could be better. This type of reaction rather reinforces the media’s image as a philosophical and political monolith. “Step out of line and you’re fired,” is a sentiment to be avoided.
--Mary Katherine Ham, quoting Steve Lovelady (managing editor, Columbia Journalism Review) and commenting.

I'm a few days behind on discovering that editorial, but I thought it was quite good.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tried to post the following on Cindy Sheehan's corner of the Huffington Post.

All kinds of snide remarks are made here about Bush, but all of a sudden when someone disagrees with the Huffington/Sheehan agenda, they’re rightwingers, chickenhawks, and idiots. And that honors Casey exactly how?

The whole deal is politicized to the point that Casey’s part is swallowed up. The grief of Casey’s death can’t be heard as well and it’s harder to be impacted by the nobility of what he chose to do, for all the noise.

She/they won't post the comment. Apparently it is a trend. Strangely enough, the comments that comments didn't get posted are posted.

I'm not going to scream censorship or raise free speech issues. That's become quite a cliché for all sorts of non-censorship examples. It's their site; they can do what they like.

Friday, August 19, 2005

"Sort of" is the intellectual "um." Even more so, it's a way of subtly hedging bets. It's a way of saying, "If my point isn't true, it might be slightly true." In our day when every voice is just another angle, another way of looking at an issue, it's right at home.

Listen for it. Tune in to NPR for awhile if there isn't another avenue for you to hear academics speak. Some do it a lot. On the other hand, occasionally it is appropriate and...well sort of unavoidable.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

If Sue Foley had been alive and playing juke joints when Alan Lomax traveled South to record for the Smithsonian, her songs would've been pressed onto 78's and would be among the blues standards today.

I watched the tour dates on her website for about three years, waiting for a concert close enough to attend, and was not disappointed. She played at the Cowpie Blues Festival, an annual event held at John Crissman’s Shagbark farm, just outside of Grand Rapids.

For whatever value ranking has, she is one of the best three guitarists I have ever heard live (also Christopher Parkening and Rory Block), and I’ve had no lack of concert-going experience. The band overall was phenomenal as well, and the tightness the four maintained just downright astounded me at times. Although I may have had the best view of anyone besides the wildly gesticulating fan to my left (who seemed at times only inches from taking over Sue’s left-hand fret work), I had to close my eyes at times so I could just hear the pure music in my head like a bluesy dream that never wants to end.

Why why why in this damn over-commercialized musical context we find ourselves in can someone like her not be playing stadiums instead of farms?

I was fascinated back when I read the story of Delta blues man Son House, how a man so hugely influential could eventually travel north, stop playing, and never realize he had any impact beyond his initial audience. Or the similar case of Mississippi John Hurt, rediscovered in the folk revival around Greenwich Village. Those are happy stories.

I imagine we might be tempted to think that could never happen today. “Just look at American Idol,” I can hear someone say. Yes, just look at. But please, only briefly and with no real frequency. Unfortunately, it still does happen, and perhaps on a larger scale.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t patronizing pity, I don't mean to be cynical and I’m not bitter. Sue Foley is starting to amass a nice collection of awards, and has fans all over the world. Neither did I mind the rural setting of the Cowpie festival performance—it actually fit the music quite well I thought—but it just seems so backwards when I consider the number of records sold by and quality of music represented in most of the week-to-week Top-40 artists.

Afterward I bought an album and had Sue sign it. When I mentioned how long I’d waited to attend one of her concerts, she seemed almost apologetic, explaining that it’s hard to hit every area.

The photos below were taken at the concert by Mike Bodell, also a fan.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Grizzly documentary (or is it a grizzly-lover documentary?) by Werner Herzog.

Don't want to wait to see a good Herzog film? Then rent Fitzcarraldo.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

This morning I checked to see what Doug Kenline is up to. He is the man who created this blog. He does not believe in paying income taxes, and all of his efforts are dedicated to that cause. Last I read his blog, he was legally employed at a company and not paying taxes. He is among those who claim that if you research the history of the IRS, you will discover that they have no legal right to exist. I haven't spent any time chasing that theory.

Just prior to the beginning of this blog, I sent some questions to Doug Kenline on an issue not related to income taxes, and as part of his response, he created a blog for me and invited me to use it. I think he was hoping I would become an income tax freedom fighter like himself.

I decided that I was interested in occasionally posting online, and that Kenline saved me the time of creating a blog. So I immediately redesigned the template (which currently needs a couple of fixes) and changed the password. To my amusement, Kenline commented on the password change shortly afterward. Apparently, it was to be a tag-team "David Ziegler" blog.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Worst opening lines.

While the winning entry might be the worst literarily speaking, I was more amused by this one:
Because of her mysterious ways I was fascinated with Dorothy and I wondered if she would ever consider having a relationship with a lion, but I have to admit that most of my attention was directed at her little dog Toto because, after all, he was a source of meat protein and I had had enough of those damn flying monkeys.

Free Counter