Friday, February 24, 2017

Introducing Rose Cousins

Today I had the privileged of getting a ride by the father of Rose Cousins. While driving he played her newest CD "Natural Conclusion". The track I find the strongest is "Chains".

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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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