Saturday, February 18, 2017

This Express Train Will Now Be Making All Local Stops


By Der Kosmonaut
  As a native of New York City the center of my social, political and creative philosophy revolves around the subway system. In particular the IRT 7th Avenue Line and the IND 8th Avenue Line. Like all New Yorkers I want to always be on the express train. No one wants to be on the local. To a lesser extent, all New Yorkers want to ride the express elevator in high rise buildings. Express connotes fast speed. Local connotes slow speed. Every New Yorker gets a psychological uplift riding on the express train watching with contempt all the losers standing on the local platform of the stations being bypassed. Conversely those standing on the local look forlorn as they helplessly watch the express trains on the local platform race by on the center tracks. Until the late 90s the IRT Express trains reached peak speed of 45 MPH/72 KM H, while the IND Express reached peak speed of 60 MPH/100 KM H.
  Riding on the Express train gives New Yorkers the sense that they're moving ahead in life. They were ahead of the pack. Riding the Local gives New Yorkers the sense that they're being left behind. They're losers. Riding the Express gave the sensation of success. Riding the Local caused the opposite sentiment. As what happens regularly, the Express trains are diverted on to the Local track making all stops. Exclamations of anger and disgust are verbally heard. Litanies of profanity are uttered. How dare the Transit Authority retard our advance in life! Sometimes the anger is premature as the train may be diverted to the Local but still make run Express. This gives the Express passengers more sadistic satisfaction. This is because the humiliation of those waiting for the Local is deeper. Those on the Local platform believe that their train is coming at last, only to be disabused of the notion when the motorman blows the horn as a warning to tell those standing on the platform to stand back. The loud horn sounds mocking. The faces of those standing on the Local platform sink releasing that they've been double crossed yet again. Those passengers standing and staring out the front window of the train grin sadistically at the suckers getting the shaft.

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Thursday, February 09, 2017

On Facts, Fake News and Truth


By Der Kosmonaut
Isn't it weird
Looks too obscure to me
Wasting away
And that was their policy

I'm ready to leave
I push the fact in front of me
Facts lost
Facts are never what they seem to be
Nothing there! 
No information left of any kind

There was a line
There was a formula
Sharp as a knife
Facts cut a hole in us

The island of doubt
It's like the taste of medicine
Working by hindsight
Got the message from the oxygen
Making a list
Find the cost of opportunity
Doing it right
Facts are useful in emergencies

Facts are simple and facts are straight
Facts are lazy and facts are late
Facts all come with points of view
Facts don't do what I want them to
Facts just twist the truth around
Facts are living turned inside out
Facts are getting the best of them
Facts are nothing on the face of things
Facts don't stain the furniture
Facts go out and slam the door
Facts are written all over your face
Facts continue to change their shape

  Readers would think that these were the statements of the Trump White House, especially the Press Secretary Sean Spicer or Communications Director Kellyanne Conway. Or perhaps readers would think that the above lines were written by yours truly as a mocking and scathing poem about the new administration and its rather irrational and illogical twisting of facts. While both would be good guesses, they are false. The lines above are excepts from the 1980 Talking Heads song Crosseyed and Painless written by David Byrne. No doubt Byrne is aghast how his song has manifested both absurdly and dangerously 37 years after he penned it.
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Sunday, February 05, 2017

Battle of the Planets

Forget Star Wars. Forget Star Trek. Battle of the Planets, originally Gatchaman, is my favorite Sci-Fi and animated story of all time. Battle of the Planets was the first Japanese Anime to reach North America. Debuted in 1978, Battle of the Planets set the template for many animated series that followed after. Gobots, Transformers, Voltron, G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers were all second and third rate copies of Battle of the Planets.This series changed the nature of animation. While animation has certainly come a long way since 1972, most animation today traces its roots to Battle of the Planets.
By the 1970s American animation had become stale by.Hanna-Barbara had become trite and bland. Filmation Studio under the reactionary producer Lou Scheimer had one dimensional characters were one dimensional. While some series were funny, namely the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes, the story lines were simple. Battle of the Planets was not only serious but dealt with vital political and social topics. Though initially successful and popular, Battle of the Planets was taken off the air in most North American markets after just one year on air. I suspect that it revealed too much about the nature of capitalism and power and was thus censored.
In the mid 1980s, American cable broadcaster Ted Turner revitalized the series as G Force. However, in that remake the characters' names were changed, new actors were used and the outstanding soundtrack was removed. The remake is generally considered to be a flop and very few people that know Battle of the Planets can stomach Ted Turner's debasement. I could write a book on Battle of the Planets. Indeed volumes of books could and should be written on Battle of  the Planets. I encourage viewers to pay close attention to the music. You might recognize it as it's been copied and borrowed in popular culture from the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining to  the rock duo They Might Be Giants.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mushroom Clouds On The Horizon





Public Image Ltd. "Round"

Well of course
We've always had it in us
For a million years
Sleeping halitosis
Deaf ears provide
Perfect pure protection

Round and around
Around, around, round, round
Mushrooms on the horizon
Mushrooms on the horizon

You seem to say to say
Nothing can be something
Ignorance now 
Dominates the season
Cruel fool
Idiot and spastic
Dutch courage
Talking like an ashtray

Round and around
Around, around, round, round
Mushrooms on the horizon
Mushrooms on the horizon

How many of you have seen a factory
As the boss held high
And the children die
Don't lecture here
Don't spit on my life

Round and around
Around, around, round, round
Mushrooms on the horizon
Mushrooms on the horizon

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

An Exchange With Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

By Der Kosmonaut
  On 27 November 2016 I posted an open letter to Dr. Paul Craig Roberts. I never received a reply from Dr. Roberts. In the ensuing period I have continued to read his articles. As with the first letter I sent criticisms and comments directly to Dr. Roberts via the contact form on his home page. On 23 January Dr. Roberts posted an essay: "Are Americans Racists"? He posed the question but never answered it. Dr. Roberts belongs in the camp that the U.S. Civil War was not about slavery. He actually denies that it was a civil war because: "A civil war is when two sides fight for control of the government. The Confederacy was not fighting for control of the government in Washington. The South was fighting to secede from the union in order to avoid economic exploitation." This is patently false. For example, the Yugoslav civil war of the 1990s wasn't about control over the government in Belgrade but was a conflict instigated by Germany to break up the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia through the secession of Slovenia and Croatia from the federation. Dr. Roberts insults the hundreds of thousands that were killed in one of the worst civil wars in European history. But that's neither here nor there.
In the essay in question Dr. Roberts writes something quite extraordinary: "The North inflicted blacks on southerners in ways that harmed prospects for relations between the races and gave rise to the KKK as a resistance movement."
Such an outrageous statement had to be challenged and commented on. What follows is my critique to Dr. Roberts, his pathetic response and my final rebuttal...

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Seasick, Yet Still Docked

Morrissey always hits the emotional notes.




I am a poor, freezingly cold soul
So far from where I intended to go
Scavenging through life's very constant lulls
So far from where I'm determined to go

Wish I knew the way to reach the one I love
There is no way...
Wish I had the charm to attract the one I love
But you see, I've got no charm

Tonight I've consumed much more than I can hold
Oh, this is very clear to you
And you can tell I have never really loved
You can tell, by the way, I sleep all day

And all of my life no-one gave me anything
No-one has ever given me anything
My love is as sharp as a needle in your eye
You must be such a fool to pass me by

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Sunday, January 01, 2017

Happy New Year Amerikkka!