Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Soldier On

Thousand Dollar Car

I think it is uniquely American, what with our hostility to public transportation outside of the big cities, that we force the working poor to buy rotten old cars to shamble around in. My best thousand dollar car was a $500 canary yellow 1979 Pinto that I took all over the West in the summer of 1989. It was still running when I sold it in 1994.

On this Fourth of July let’s remember the tenuous grasp on Independence our less than reliable friends gave us long ago.

Friday Afternoon Open Thread

Life being a time-limited proposition, I know it’s unwise to wish away the minutes and hours. But goddamn, am I ever glad this interminable workweek is nearly over. Open thread!

Musical Interlude Open Thread

(h/t commentor Origuy)


The Calm Before the Storm of Next Week’s Summit

The President has made it to Singapore and is, apparently, enjoying the local time version of Executive Time by completely misunderstanding the broad or fine details of global trade and economics. As the President uses his thumbs to battle the Maple Menace from the North, here’s an ode to his martial prowess.

At this point there’s not much we can do but wait for the “greatest negotiator of all time” to meet with Kim Jong Un and hope he doesn’t agree to give him Japan, Guam, and Hawaii in exchange for a casino. So remember:

Open thread!

I Propose a Toast To My Self-Control

I try hard to just enjoy what I enjoy, but my suspicion of both novelty and nostalgia complicates things sometimes. (Yes, I am also suspicious of my suspicions.) So when I listen to albums from the ’90s I try, mostly unsuccessfully, to tamp down on the a-time-and-a-placeness feelings they evoke in me. I had a lot of anarchic, carefree fun in at a time when I might have been better served knuckling down to something serious. Or whatever. No ragrets!

One thing I can state objectively is that albums from that period, the CD era, are too bloody long. I don’t want to hear any band drone on for 50+ minutes. If you think you’ve produced enough good material to fill to brimming all 74 minutes of a compact disc, I assure you you’re wrong. By including the dross you had lying around in the back pages of your lyric book, you’ve downgraded an album that was potentially great to a merely good album. A good album to okay. An okay album to please-stop-already.

But there was a band smack dab in the CD era that did not fall into that trap: Morphine. Their releases all clock in at the sweet spot of 30-40 minutes*. This is the perfect length for an album. Morphine knows exactly how much Morphine I want to hear. Morphine’s first three are also soundtrack albums to my post-college life when I lived alone in what amounted to a garret, one of those lovely old houses they divide into 8 student slum apartments, and tried to figure out how to become a songwriter. Times of high romance! Which makes me a little suspicious of my judgement, as I said above.

I’ll bet you can think of a few albums that are too long. Or maybe too short or just right?

One LP that has been playing long enough is Republican control of Congress. Let’s make that needle dragging sound this November with the fund that’s split between all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.

Goal Thermometer

*except their last which was released after their singer and songwriter died, so gotta give them a pass.

Pop Culture Open Thread: Is This America?

I generally don’t post on rap music, because it’s outside my skill set, but ‘This Is America’ seems to have expanded the discourse well beyond the usual this-summer’s-top-single effect…

What say all y’all?

(This quick video seems to be a useful explanation of some of the symbolism in the original.)