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Psychotropic Ink

"The bleeding hearts and artists make their stand"

Psychotropic Ink

anarchy

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." ~ Denis Diderot

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January 4th, 2007

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  Class Warrior

"The optimism that infused so much of [my generation's] writing was based on our belief that after the Magna Carta, and then the Declaration of Independence, and then the Bill of Rights, and then the Emancipation Proclamation, and then Article XIX of the Constitution, which in 1920 entitled women to vote, some scheme for economic justice could also be devised.  That was the next logical step."  -- Kurt Vonnegut

Spokesmen from virtually every walk of life -- people as diverse as Newt Gingrich, Ralph Nader, Osama bin Laden, and Pat Robertson -- can point to our modern culture and state, with absolute certainty, it seems, that there is something fundamentally immoral and rotten about it.  The differences, of course, are "merely" what they deem to be immoral about it and what should be done about it.

A common theme, however, is that something has changed since America's Golden Age in the 1950s.  In 1996, Republican Presidential candidate Bob Dole went so far as to offer himself up as the nation's "Bridge to the Past."  What this usually means is that Christian worship would be "reintroduced" into public schools.

But even leaving aside for a moment that the 1950s Golden Age is largely a fiction, and even ignoring for the moment the manner in which racial minorities were treated at that time, let's assume that it WAS a Golden Age.  Let's assume it was, for the average family in America, at least a better time than now.  

What's changed?  What have we lost?

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anarchy


Dear Troll Residing Under the Psychotropic Ink Bridge:

I'd always dreamed of having my very own troll.  I had heard good things, as you might imagine.  In fact, I once had a discussion with a goat in which he told me things about trolls that you wouldn't believe.  In addition, my great grandmother -- shortly before she passed away ten years ago at the age of 136 -- began to LOOK like a troll (you know, one of the flesh-colored ones with the red hair that sticks straight up?).  I miss her so.  

So I was pretty damn excited when I began to see the telltale signs around -- just little things, as one would expect, troll-droppings and the like -- that this place had trolls.  I mean, c'mon, how many blogs getting 2-3 hits per month do you know that have their very own troll?  There's so little to eat around here that you'd think they wouldn't bother...

My only problem, in this case, is that this particular troll is a blatant racist apparently involved with hate-speech-ridden tshirts over at www.cafepress.com/therightmind.  Oh, let me add -- IN MY OPINION.  He's illiterate, too, incidentally.  In addition, he must spend a LOT of time online -- trolling -- because he found my site and the entry referring to him within an hour of when I typed it up last month.  Which is really, you know, impressive.

Alas, although his understanding of copyright law proved to be poor, even for a swarthy mythological beast, I took down the post in question because hate speech and illiteracy are never funny.  Ever.  The thing is, he didn't leave.  He's still around, taking pot shots in posts that have NO other comments.  Some of these comments have in turn been erased.  By me.  Because, you know, I can't handle semi-literate flaming without running to Mom.

So I had temporarily disabled anonymous comments, but after giving it some thought, I've enabled them again.  Mostly because I discovered that one of my anonymous music hecklers last month was actually my sister-in-law.  She made a comment about country music back over at the entry where I committed copyright infringement against Carrie Underwood.  I'm not one to discourage hecklers, and would even like to think I could handle one better than Michael Richards.  

I know, I know, the rule is that you don't engage these trolls.  They have enough to worry about -- the drooling, the self-loathing, the inability to create a funny tshirt design.  But this page has been dead for months, and I've got a "Delete" button.

So, to the troll residing under the Psychotropic Ink bridge -- it's okay.  There are places that can help you.  And while, yes, you are borderline retarded (I mean that in the clinical sense, not as an insult), you should know that you're not alone.

Happy New Year.

Love, 
Psychotropic Ink

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   Prime Time Extravaganza

I know we're only four days into the new year, but even at this early juncture, Psychotropic Ink has scored a coup of sorts.  You see, NBC Television has chosen THIS forum in which to announce THE NEXT GREAT TELEVISION SENSATION.

From the kind of minds that brought you BIG PRIMETIME GAME SHOWS like "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?", "Deal or No Deal", "Identity", "1 vs. 100", and "Show Me the Money" now comes

"HOW MANY FINGERS AM I HOLDING UP?"

Like all of those other great prime time game shows only just now listed, "How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up?" is a BIG GAME requiring BIG SKILL on a BIG STAGE with a BIG LIGHT SHOW and BIG SOUNDS.  Beloved American thespian Billy Crystal is dwarfed on our mammoth sound stage as he dramatically hides his hand behind his back and asks the contestant(s), "OK, Bobby from Long Island... and let me just say, Bobby, that you look marvelous... [audience laughter and applause]  OK, Bobby, for all the cash in that metal suitcase over there, I need for you to tell me.... How many fingers am I holding up?"  [cue dramatic music as camera first pans to the suitcase, then to Crystal's furrowed brow, then to pensive-looking contestant]

Who needs scriptwriters or original series when you can raise that much tension with just an over-the-hill comedian, the remnants of Pink Floyd's old road show, and a couple million dollars of the network's petty cash?

This is exciting stuff, folks.  And we hope you will tune in for the three-hour premiere next month that will pre-empt whatever program you normally watch on whatever night it premieres.  In fact, we KNOW you'll tune in that night to find out HOW MANY FINGERS AM I HOLDING UP?

We now return you to your normally scheduled Psychotropic Ink....

December 29th, 2006

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   Hanging Hussein

This has been an incredibly fruitful but tragic week for me. You see, I’ve always considered myself an exact cross between Gerald Ford, James Brown, and Saddam Hussein.

Absurd, you say? What the hell would a cross between Gerald Ford, James Brown, and Saddam Hussein even be like, you ask?

Well, me. Go ahead, think about it. Uncanny, isn’t it?

Read more...Collapse )

December 18th, 2006

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   What I Listened To

And now, for the second part of our two-part series on the Year in Music, I humbly present my favorite recordings of the year.  There appears, at first blush, to be an excess of acts I really know little about on this list, but over the past 12 months I've taken the novel approach with my music of JUST LISTENING and seeing what I feel like continuing to listen to.  No expectations, no preconceived notions, and no attempt to be high brow or hip.  I mean, I've tried all that, and it just led to the Great Minimalism Debacle of 1995. 

So here goes...

December 17th, 2006

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    What People Listened To

In anticipation of my own upcoming Top Ten recordings of 2006, I cruised across the internets to find what the masses have been purchasing over these past 12 months. This couldn't possibly have been foreseeable as a stressful event. I spend at least half my free time listening to, reading about, and discovering new and exciting music. The Big Ten of 2006 couldn't possibly be foreign to me, right?

Imagine my surprise, then, when I couldn't recognize about half of Billboard's list. I mean, these artists could have attacked me in a lighted alley and spent the better part of an hour kicking me, and I only would have been able to identify half of them in a police line-up later. In fact, I suspect that were that unikely event to happen, I would likely just report, "Johnny Cash assaulted me! He had some other people with him, too."

So without further ado, read on as I demonstrate how entirely clueless I am when it comes to pop culture…

01. Carrie Underwood, Some Hearts. I have no idea who this is. I mean, seriously, not a clue. My girlfriend suggests that this person might have done a Milky Way commercial, but man, that’s just not where I get my music news. Not a clue.

02. The High School Musical Soundtrack. Is this from a movie, maybe? I’ve never heard of the movie, I’ve never heard of the recording. Had you shown me this Top Ten list and stated that one of these recordings is made up, I would undoubtedly have chosen this one.

03. Nickelback, All the Right Reasons. Ugly lead singer, on MTV a lot, did a song for the first Spiderman movie a few years back? I can’t actually name a song, but if they were among the people assaulting me in that alley, I’d identify them sooner or later.

04. Rascal Flats, Me and My Gang. I have a vague feeling that this is a country recording of some sort. Truth be told, I might have even heard something off of it, since I suspect they were playing on an award show I flipped by on the television. But again, I couldn’t identify them or any of their songs in a police lineup.

05. Mary J. Blige, The Breakthrough. I know who Mary J. Blige is. She’s that woman who became famous because she was married to one of Janet Jackson’s producers. I don’t believe I’ve heard anything by her within the past year, unless this recording includes her remake of U2’s “One,” which I DID have the displeasure of being subjected to once.

06. Eminem, Curtain Call: The Hits. The title suggests the boy might be done with recording. I know who he is, of course – he’s that guy who pissed off all the gay people with his junior high sense of humor a few years back.

07. James Blunt, Back to Bedlam. Nope.

08. Kenny Chesney, The Road and the Radio. Hey, he was married/is married to the actress who was previously married or came close to being married to Jack White. You know, the Bridget’s Diary chick. Yep. No, I don’t know any of his songs, but… I’ve heard the name.

09. Johnny Cash, The Legend of Johnny Cash. My brother informs me that this is a box set, which explains a lot. You see, even if it’s merely a three-CD box set, that would mean Johnny would have only sold 1/3 as many copies as those around him to end up in the Top Ten. Because no one buys 1/3 of a box set, and Billboard figures their sales in a counter-intuitive way…

10. Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway. I am aware she exists.

Okay, there’s what your fellow Americans have been listening to this year. Coming soon: the list of what I have been listening to this year. Hint: None of them have appeared in a Milky Way commercial…

December 4th, 2006

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  The Unkindest Cut

According to Bob Woodward, who was offered unprecedented access to the inner workings of White House war planning for years, President Bush doesn't always have a lot of sway around his big house.  Woodward describes meetings where everyone is talking except Bush, where Bush has to say provocative things just to be heard, and where his suggestions are ignored or quickly dismissed.

Now, on his way out the door, departing Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld has made sure that the world knows that even he wasn't entirely on the bus when it came to the war in Iraq.

And now the cheese stands alone.  Bush, and Bush alone, will go down in history as the guy who screwed things up in the Persian Gulf.

For a change, I almost feel sorry for the guy.  Really...
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