February 19, 2011

Hang On, Sloopy was a hit when I was in 7th grade. I was just becoming aware of the Vietnam War, but it wasn’t much on my mind; I had problems closer to home. Other songs I remember most from that year are Satisfaction, which played in heavy rotation in the little cafeteria where we waited to be picked up after the school bus dropped us off, and I Think We’re Alone Now, which suited my teenage desire for privacy and rejection of my parents and authority in general.

It’s interesting that, in the comments on this video at YouTube, some see it as promoting war or honoring vet, or condemn ruining a good song with unrelated pictures from a war — everyone seeing it in a different light, depending on their own world view and experience.

Fortunately, ignorant comments get offset by those from people who might have a better grasp on what they are talking about (and the world beyond themselves in general).

Grunt6869 says “I had ”[H]ang on Sloopy” written on my steel pot=helmet During my tour in Vietnam 68-69…” and fffreddie remembers that “[t]his song came out just the start of the Vietnam conflict. Our service men would play music to help forget the horror they were in. It still helps. Now´╗┐ some of the negative comments are from morons.”

I concur with fffreddie. If music was unrelated to current events, we would not have film soundtrack albums, or “hear” songs in our heads when we see old images, mementos or people. The video in my head for Hang On, Sloopy doesn’t have these images of a foreign war — it has school lunchrooms and buses, a pink bedroom and an AM radio — but this video might be a better reflection of the historical record.

Peace Arena sells out!

January 31, 2011

I’ve succumbed to placing a web ad on the site. Oh, well, so much for my integrity, right?

Ah, I hope not. But, yeah, I’ve become an affiliate of a domain registrar called Namecheap, which I’ve been using for about a year now. Based on that, I’m pretty sure they don’t suck, at least not relative to certain well known registrars I won’t name but whose initials are GoDaddy. So, what the heck, I thought I would tacitly recommend them and maybe make a few pennies should anyone follow that recommendation.

The problem with the ginormous suckitude of GoDaddy, from political to technical to (non)support, is that there are a number of other registrars you might use to avoid GoDaddy, only to find that they really are GoDaddy, in disguise. If this happens to you, believe me, you have lots of company, including me. I am still getting domains transferred off Wild West Domains after making this sad discovery last year.

Yes, GoDaddy is probably the cheapest registrar going, it is the Walmart of registrars, but c’mon, are you willing to sell your soul AND risk a future technical black hole for $1 – $2 a year per domain? (I know people who would not set foot in a big box store on principle who just don’t get why GoDaddy is evil). Domain registration is fricking cheap, regardless, so use a registrar that is not the shame of the business, okay?

Anyway, should you want to buy a domain, NameCheap’s prices are pretty damn cheap and there is usually a coupon code available if you use The Google like you should with every online purchase (or go to retailmenot.com which is my fave source for discounts). There is a special discount code just for transfers (there’s no point giving you a code here, since they change regularly). All their domains (at least all the ones I’ve purchased)) come with free privacy, should you want that. Personally I don’t think you should cloak ownership of a domain except for really good cause, but that’s me; doing so is perfectly legal.

Now, in the interest of honesty, Namecheap also sells hosting. But you should not get your hosting from them, you should get it from me unless you really want to get into the weeds of running a website. I do site admin so cheaply, considering the time and learning curve involved, you would be crazy to go that route. But I won’t stop you if you want to use the link at the top of the page for that either.

If there is great public outcry at this violation of my DFH oath of purity and poverty I may reconsider. ;-) Likewise, if I find that the company is not Rena-rated after all, I will pull the ad and post a retraction.

Oklahoma’s good old days

January 19, 2011

Oklahoma was once a hotbed of radical labor organizing. I say, let’s take our state BACK!

If the image doesn’t display, see 1/20/2011 event here: www.snipr.com/okcprogcal


I don’t know anything about this organizer or period, so I don’t mean to imply any endorsement of violence that may have been involved.

“This is America …” – a memorable observation, but it’s by Allen Ginsberg, as recounted by Mark Shields

January 18, 2011

Ah, the internet, so democratizing, yet so capable of the almost-instantaneous propagation of a non-fact, even with well meaning intentions.

Take this nugget going around Facebook yesterday and today like wildfire:

“This is America, where a white Catholic male Republican judge was murdered on his way to greet a Democratic Jewish woman member of Congress, who was his friend. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year old Mexican-American gay college student, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon, all eulogized by our African American President.” ~Mark Shields, PBS

Except this is not a quote by Mark Shields, at least not exactly. He did say those words, but they were proceeded by a few others that are getting left out of the meme.

There was one observation that was made this week I just have to pass on to you by a friend of mine, Allen Ginsberg, who is an historian up in Maine. And he said, this week, we saw a white, Catholic, Republican federal judge murdered on his way to greet a Democratic woman, member of Congress, who was his friend and was Jewish. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year-old Mexican-American college student, who saved her, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon.

I found this out by going to the PBS web site and finding the transcript of the program where the words were uttered. Something all of us need to do more often, before making that too-easy click on “Share This.” (And, as I so often have to tell my email correspondents, just because an email forwarded from a trusted friend says that the content was checked at Snopes.com, it would behoove you to make sure before hitting ‘Forward’ yourself.)

A couple of months ago, a local school got tarred by an inaccurate or exaggerated accusation of GLBT discrimination because we (myself included) all jumped on the bandwagon of decrying the discrimination before we found out whether it was indeed true. It was a national scandal — those bigots in Oklahoma were at it again! It was on Daily Kos and countless other lefty blogs, sent out by Alternet, etc. etc. The Advocate deserves a lot of the blame for that, since it did some very poor (or you might say negligible) reporting on the matter, and silly readers thought they could trust a GLBT news magazine. I hope we all learned otherwise.

You know Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify” and that’s good advice. But we live in the fast food and quick copy age now, so let’s shorten that to “verify.”

In either version the quote recounted by Shields is wonderful, and I’m glad it’s getting shared widely, because this example of diversity, achievement and common cause is America. But I would prefer it get spread accurately. It’s too late, I fear, for this one to get corrected, but, while we are all committing ourselves, quite rightly, to more civil language, let’s also try to be more accurate.

Question for the Oklahoman re ‘What About Islam?’

December 29, 2010

This is an ad that was on page 5A of today’s paper. I wonder how much The Oklahoman charged and profited to print this piece of garbage. Yeah, I wonder that, but that’s not my question to them.

My real question is, if some similar nutcase bigot who happened to have an ad to run that was equally anti-Christian or anti-Semitic, would OPUBCO print it like they did this? Would they print it for the same price they got for this one (a full page ad is far from cheap, but maybe this “religious” group got the non-profit rate, and likely they did not pay any tax fee for the privilege of stoking hatred that will lead this state to spend a lot of money in a fruitless effort to stem the tide of diversity in this country)? Or would they add an editorial comment to the bottom like they do on letters to the editor with which they disagree? Okay, that’s three questions, and I’m barely revved up.

Note: I cobbled this image together from screen shots, so any visual irregularities are most likely mine. Click to get a larger image (you may then need to click yet again to get the full size version — it’s large and may take a while to download into your browser page.).

Happy Christmas, you crazy country!

December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas to all my Christian friends and readers (all two of you!). This video cracks me up. It starts with Bettie Page pinup shots followed by vintage home videos of moms and kids in front of the Christmas tree, all with Brenda Lee belting out “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” What could possibly be more American?

Nothing, that’s what!

How I’ll get Sarah Palin and my pro-life brother to give a big donation for abortion rights

December 23, 2010

Just found out my rabidly conservative brother is sending me a signed copy of Sarah Palin’s book for Christmas. He’s also sending a copy to my other brother’s wife, who is conservative, but not very political and sweet in real life; I guess he’s doing his part to help with the lagging sales.

In the past, he’s sent me a book by Bill O’Reilly, which I tossed out with the wrapping paper and boxes. I didn’t want to even give the book to Goodwill at the risk of poisoning a potential reader with Billo’s lies and bullshit.

But I have a better plan for this year’s book gift from my Fox-News-victim sibling: The Google tells me that signed copies are going for over $100. But wait … being as I’m a godless pinko commie who will stop at nothing to destroy America, I also see that a copy of SP’s book signed by Tina Fey went at auction for over $2500. So, yep, now my quest is to get Tina to co-sign my book and then auction it and give the money to an abortion rights group here in Oklahoma.

Thanks and Merry Christmas, bro! Keep ‘em coming. Also.