Thursday, March 22, 2007

my relationship with shiho as a one act play

Persons in the Play:

The Dr.-an old man with a white coat and that mirror thing on his head
Me- an innocent
Assorted Unknown Patients Up to No Good

Time: Everyday of My Life

Scene-A doctor’s office with white walls, located somewhere in my addled brain. A Dr. and a patient sit on two stools.

Me: Doctor, I am sick every morning and every night, and most of the day as well. My stomach hurts, I get confused easily. My palms sweat and I tend to forget to do things; wash my dishes, do the laundry. Other than that, I am in pretty good health. If you could just give me a shot, I’m sure this will all clear right up.

Dr: You are absolutely right. There is no reason you shouldn’t be treated. There is nothing else wrong with you, as far as I can see, and I just happen to have the medicine here in my coat. [Pulls normal looking needle from the pocket of his lab coat.]

Me: That’s wonderful. I am ready to go on with my life.

Dr. Great [Places needle back in the pocket of the coat.]. You seem like a lovely person. You really don’t deserve to be in such pain.[Crosses his arms and leans back on his stool, making no effort to reach towards his pocket.]

Me: [Smiling nervously and leaning forwards in expectation.] So….

Dr: [Grinning slightly and absently] So….

Me: Well, can I have the shot now, or do I need to do something first or….

Dr. The shot?

Me: The injection. The medicine. When can I have it?

Dr. [Looking confused] Oh. No. I can’t give you this medicine.

Me: [Incredulously] But you said you had the medicine. You said that I needed it. That it would help. That I deserve it.

Dr. All of this is true.

Me: Then why won’t you give it to me.

Dr. Hmmmm. I’ll have to think about that one.

Me: What is there to think about?

Dr. That’s difficult. I don’t know.

Me: Well which is it, is it difficult or don’t you know?
Dr.: That’s a good point.

Me: What?

Dr.: I tell you what. Why don’t you stop by Thursday morning and I’ll probably draw up a prescription or…..

Me: [Awash in relief] Thank you Doctor! First thing Thursday morning! I’ll be here, you can count on it.

Thursday Morning

[Me waits expectantly on a stool as the doctor enters and sits down.]

Dr.: Fancy meeting you here.

Me: [Meekly] But you asked me to come by.

Dr.: Did I?

Me: For the medicine…

Dr. :Wouldn’t that be nice.

Me: It would help me out.

Dr.: Yeah, I guess so. It’s a shame that I can’t give it to you.

Me: [Struggling for words.] What!?!

[Unknown Patient enters the room]

Unknown Patient: Hey Doc, can I get some of that potion?

Dr.: This one? [Pulling the needle from his coat]

Unknown Patient: I don’t know. Whatever.

Dr.: [Tossing the needle to the patient.] Sure. Don’t worry about it. Stick it in your arm. Put it in your pocket. Throw it against the wall. Spray it on the floor. It’s not a big deal.

Unknown Patient.:Whatever.

Me: [Mouth agape, struggling for a response.] But….

Dr.: Yes…

Me: I NEED that.

Dr.: Yes. I know. It’ s really too bad. This must be very hard for you. I wish there was something I could do.

Me: You could give me the shot!

Dr. Maybe. It’s a very difficult situation. I have to be very careful about these kinds of things.

Me: But….What!?!

Dr.: I tell you what. Come back here tomorrow morning and we’ll see what we can work out. Just me and you. We’ll have a long talk and I am sure we can fix things up.

Me:[Stunned but relieved.] Thank you so much doctor. I think that I might die if I am not cured soon. I’ll be here. First thing! [Me bounds moronically out the door like a puppy.]

Friday Morning

[Me approaches the door to the doctors office with a large, stupid smile and an unearned bounce in his step. On the door is a sign that reads “Closed Today.” Me pauses in front of the door and hears the faint voices of several Unknown Patients talking and laughing along with The Doctor. He considers knocking on the door, then kicking it down. He holds his stomach as if he is about to vomit and then, meekly, slinks away.]

Monday Morning

[Me is waiting by the door to The Doctor’s Office. It is early, before opening, and he looks like he might have been standing there, against the wall, all night. The Doctor approaches the door with his keys in his hand.]

Dr.: [Casually surprised.] What are you doing here?

Me: You told me to come by on Friday morning.

[The Doctor opens the door and they proceed into the room where me resumes his place on the stool, desperately, and The Doctor ambles about aimlessly.]

Dr.: Really? Did I?

Me: [On the verge of tears.] Yes. And I came by and the door had a sign that said closed…

Dr.: Really?

Me.: [Picking up steam.] Yes. And I went to the door and I thought I heard voices and I am pretty sure you were there and so were other people and they were talking and laughing and I could hear you and I just really need this medicine but I toughed it out all through the weekend and if you could just give me the shot I will forget all of this other stuff and just be grateful, please.

Dr.: You wanted the shot?

Me: Yes!

Dr.: I’m sorry, I threw all of that stuff out this weekend.

Me: [Breaking internally] You what?

Dr.: Well, you said you were dying, so I figured you didn’t need it anymore.

Me:[Broken] I said I would die WITHOUT it!

Dr.:[Conciliatory] Our timing just never seems to work out, does it.

[Me keels over in pain, clutching his stomach with both hands and sobbing]


some french BJJ stuff

i like the "taking the back from the half guard" move but it seems like a bigger guy could just hold your leg down with his. i'll have to mess around with it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

make your own soccer team

The challenge is: Make your own soccer team. This team will consist of current players. I am taking into account performance over the last few seasons averaged out. Feel free to whatever formation you like. I am using as basic 4-4-2 with a defensive mid and offensive mid. My team isn’t based on stats, but rather what team I think would be most bad-ass to watch if they stepped out on the pitch. I will make this disclaimer, living in Japan I don’t get to watch too much soccer outside of the World Cup. My choices will probably reflect that bias. I am actually making this list in order to be criticized. Please educate my ass.

GK) Petr Cech-- This is my most ambivalent choice. It’s kind of by default. Whenever I see him, he is really impressive. I know he has been injured lately. Kahn has fallen off. Friedel has fallen off a little. Buffon is playing in a lesser division.

CB) Fabio Cannavaro-- His World Cup was one of the most dominant sports performances I have ever seen.

CB) John Terry-- Also Injured. His clearances off the line are very impressive. His positioning is right-on.

LB) Phillip Lahm-- Right footed left-back. His runs up the flank and cuts to the middle are super-rad.

RB) Gianluca Zambrotta-- Wins by default. When in doubt about defense, choose an Italian.

DM) Michael Essien-- Hard Core. Sweet outside shot as well.

LM) Arjen Robben-- His hard charges straight up the left side look like a train flying off the tracks.

RM) Cristiano Ronaldo-- Freak. Freak.

OM) Park Ji-Sung-- I almost took the easy route and went with Ronaldinho, but Park is such a stamina warrior. He grabs soccer in a choke-hold.

CF) Thierry Henry-- He’s got that soccer build and smooth skills. A true center-forward.

ST) Zlatan Ibrahimović-- If she got anything? Yes, she got Zlatan!" –as to whether he got his girlfriend something for their engagement. The Dominque Wilkins of soccer.

Ok. The next team is going to be an all-time team. It can be current players or players who are no longer involved in the game. The thing here is that they can be included in the team for a consideration of their whole career or one game or one shot or tackle or moment that made them stand out. Just make sure to point out the reason for their inclusion. Again, use whatever formation you like. This time I am going with a 4-3-1-2, with the 1 being a withdrawn striker.

GK) Jorge Campos—What a nutter. A 5’9” goalie with bright neon uniforms, flying around between the posts, and occasionally meandering up the pitch with the ball. Bring up Jorge Campos when you were talking about soccer and everyone will inevitably chuckle and shake their head. A decent legacy.

CB) Sol Campbell—His fall-off has been depressing but, he was such a physical presence. I always looked forward to watching him overawe his opponents. In soccer you can be 6’2” and tower over most other players.

CB) Oguchi Onyewu—You know which game. September 2005. USA vs. Mexico in which Onyewu manhandled Jared Borgetti.

LB) Roberto Carlos—I could include him for his manic runs on the attack, or his huge throw-ins. I could have him in the team because he is 5’6” with legs like a linebacker’s. He could play for my side because he looks like an illustration from a Tolkien novel. In the end though, he is in the team for just one thing.

RB) Tonny Sanneh—If I had known nothing about soccer, and only watched the 2002 World Cup, I would have thought that Sanneh was one of the elite players in the world. It never worked out that way for Tony, but I was in the stadium in Suwon when the U.S. beat Portugal. Tony Sanneh absolutely dominated. His performance against Germany was one of the finest efforts I have witnessed in any sport. 2002 World Cup Tony Sanneh starts for my team any day.

DM) Edgar Davids—This was my hardest pick. I really enjoy Patrick Viera’s lumbering athleticism. However, Davids is one of those players who plays like the game is killing him. In the end, it probably came down to his glasses.

LM) Ryan Giggs—I feel strange about this choice, but really, what is more exciting then watching Giggs fly up the line with that posture and the ball at his feet?

RM) David Beckham—Okay. Go ahead. I might as well have picked Harry Connick Jr. as my favorite jazz artist. I really wanted to go with George Best here, and it is so easy to hate on Beckham. He is in the team for one reason; England vs. Greece, October, 2001. Best individual effort in a team sport I have ever witnessed. I am not sure how I ended up watching this game live, but it was ridiculous. His effort outweighed the well touted Jordan with a cold vs. Jazz standard by far. The soccer pitch is a large area and he was everywhere, doing everything on it. Hate on Becks but he is in the team for that game.

WS) Eric Cantona-- "I don't play against a particular team. I play against the idea of losing." “ I would love him to save me a place in his team - George Best that is, not God." "I might have said that, but on the whole I talk a lot of rubbish."

CF) Eusebio—His name flows among football enthusiasts like the rumor of a speakeasy. I heard about him for years before I had anything more than a vague idea about who he was. It was like hearing older punks talk about having seen Embrace, or Bad Brains. Eusebio is not in my team due to his greatness, although he surely was great, he is in for the way his greatness still lies around the outside of the game like the fear of something emerging out of the edge of a forest at night.

CF) Pele—There is no way I couldn’t put him here. There is nothing I can add about Pele. One thing that I found impressive watching old films of him is his ball placement. His shots aren’t usually screaming bullets, but they were invariably perfectly, creatively and beautifully placed. His shots were often preceded by what almost looks like a pre-shot. He would lay the ball in space just past the last defender in a manner that left it in a perfect position to be shot by him when he reconnected with it. Also, he did it with Xuxa. Well done Pele.



Saturday, March 17, 2007

almost forgot

ed's moving to tokyo today to work for yomiuri tv. in his honor:

i find it amazing that he has the time to live here and play for the english national team.

when i moved from one tanada apartment to the other tanada apartment, ed showed up to help, but we only moved my tv and my sky-perfect dish and watched this video. i declared that i was in love and would marry both of them. then i worried, what if they are only in high school? but they weren't. they were in junior high school. rad.

now i am sober

and i remember that sambo master are the true geniuses. if you have never heard these guys, please do. if you want a still wouldn't make sense. he yells "this thing that i am holding in my hand now is the way of the beast called warmth." you said it brother.

sometimes when i'm drunk

like now, i think that bennie-k are geniuses.......but they aren't

Friday, March 16, 2007

a long year

a year ago today my friend kumar was shot and killed in kenya. i don't have any inclination to use other people as my grief mop. that isn't why i am writing this. if you knew kumar, you know what a vacancy he left. if you didn't know kumar, you really missed out. he would be sad he didn't know you too, that he didn't get a chance to go surfing with you, or to play soccer, or to drink too much and sing bad karaoke, or to eat a giant meal and tell you about how great it was in detail. if you are a girl he would be especially sad that he didn't get to meet you.

i had a professor at kansai gaidai who told us at graduation about how he had come to japan as a soldier. he told us that we came to learn and that we had done it the right way. kumar had it the right way. he died because he refused to live his life being scared. he died because he loved the world and had to be a part of it. there is no shame in that. the fact that he is gone is a waste, but his life was anything but wasted.

so, whatever you are doing this week, take some time to do something for kumar. he would be really happy if you went for a surf, or played soccer, or tried to get laid. in any case, get out and do something.

here is the eulogy i gave at his memorial service:

Thank you for being my friend I will never have another one like you and I’ll
miss you everyday.
Thank you for teaching me that you don't have to be bitter to be smart.
That you don't have to be isolated to have integrity.
Thank you for being exactly who you were meant to be every moment of everyday.
Thank you for your endless dedication to the perfect smoothie.
Thank you for single-handedly trying to make the knock-off sleeveless soccer
the height of fashion.
Thank you for playing the drum on national television at the world cup with the
Senegalese flag painted on your chest and a big doofy hat on, just like me and
Emily knew you would. I think you still have my tape of that.
Speaking of which; thank you for getting your kit off at every imaginable
Thanks for letting me sleep on your floor.
Thanks for talking me into drinking the night before the nobeoka marathon and
then letting me throw up at your house all the next day.
Thank you for me you and Kate in nobeoka.
Thank you for me you and Kate at the aya marathon, you broke out way past me and
gerd and as you doubled back past us at the halfway point, we cheered too, how
could we not(your kit was off again by the way)..I think you came in in 18
Thank you for me you and Kate at oura.
Thank you for me you and Kate. Except when you made her cry, you bastard.
Thanks for your ponderous yoga stretches that delayed our entry into the ocean
by something that must total in the hours at this point.
Thank you for kisaki and oura and shojuen and tanegashima.
Thank you for laughing along with me when I fucked up and cheering me on when
I did well.
Thank you for taking the time when you didn't have to. "If the goalies off
his line kick it." "you need to get your hips around more on those corners"
"if it's offshore at kisaki try shojuen" "if nothing's happening that's when
you bust out the beers and get it started!"
people who are really good at things are often terrible at giving advice to
those that aren't. You could do it without being patronizing. You would have
been a great coach.
Thank you for my surfboard and its ridiculous two whales swimming in a
yin-yang sticker which when I sarcastically said, “cool sticker mar-mar" you
responded earnestly “I know huh?"
thank you for; “dude there were three of them"
thank you for, “boom and bag it"
thank you for, “blow blow blow blow” both in the club and in the ocean
thank you for “alllrighhhht"
thank you for "totally"
thank for your laugh which sounded like something popping up from the bottom
of your lungs
thank you for laughing at my jokes, even when they were at your expense
thank you for all the soccer. I don't have to tell you how good you were.
You already know that.
Thank you for yelling, “ed ball!" and me passing it yelling “fuck you Kumar,
I’m not Ed!"
Thank you for the move that will forever be known to me as "the Kumar."
thank you for that night at CUBE when me and you split a tab of ecstasy (both
for the first time) and ended up letting these girls take us to that
underwater bar singing karaoke RUN-DMC and slapping each other 5's 'cause we
were such goddamned superstars-then telling the girls that all the ramen shops
were closed so we had to go back to ours and make pasta. The two of you
quickly disappeared and I got stuck with a boiling pot of water and the
friend. You got laid and passed out and I got to drive the girls home. par
for the course. We spent lunch the next day staring at each other and asking,
"Did that all really happen?" "What if we go back and that bar isn't there?"

Thank you for all the lunches; nobody loves food like your ass. How many
times have I listened to your elaborate descriptions of meals I cared nothing
about? And your sheer excitement and getting to eat...always releasing a
giant cry of “yaaahhh" or some such.

Thank you for introducing me to tomo, saho,kris, rolan, everyone in tanegashima
,and that girl in Tokyo who we went out for drinks with. You said later that you thought she was so cool you couldn’t ask her back to your place…well there’s a first time for everything.

Thank you for playing our first show with us. It seemed to be okay to do
stuff if it was with you, even if you were wearing a big Dashiki the whole time.
Thank you for liking my songs. "I was feeling' it"
Thank you for having your flaws too. You were the worst morning grump ever.
But if I could get you out the door or some coffee in you it was all okay. You
couldn't play the guitar for shit. Your taste in movies was questionable at
best. After you went on a date to xXx, I asked you how it was, "it was like
james bond with skateboards!"

You had four things that you would forsake your friends for; food, sleep, girls or waves. But it was okay because you would forgive the same transgressions.
Thank you for sitting next to me at the Lord of the Rings premiere and
every time there was any reference that could possibly be construed as relating
to weed you let rip with a "allllrighhht" "yehhhh dude"
thank you for smoking a brother out.
thank you for your childlike enthusiasm. The first time you got on Todd’s
skateboard you kept squealing, “it's just like surfing!"
Thank you for getting nervous about the silliest stuff. Like at kisaki,
"everyone is wearing spring suits and I have this full suit on...I just feel
so lame!"
Outside of that stuff thank you for being fearless.
Thank you for you and peter in the mirror for 30 minutes trying to get your
clothes right for the evening. It must have been a trick shirt. It had sleeves.
thank you for the beautiful double meaning in your families naming of your
website "ambassador for peace and love" I don't know if they are aware of how
seriously you took your "ambassador of love title." I suppose you weren't
keeping me up at night- and occasionally waking me up in the morning- with the
racket from your incessant humping downstairs. You were just engaged in some serious trade negotiations. I should have taken minutes.

Thank you for our last day together at Shojuen. Driving to Nichinan, listening to the Pogues. We talked about graduate school and about how you wanted to get serious about peace studies and human rights but you might drop it all for marine biology. Just the two of us and a few guys at shojuen. I got tired and frustrated as usual and went back in, you kept catching everything. When you realized I was on the beach you would throw your arms up and start waving me back out. I guess that is were you will always be for me, “the king of stoke.” It was enough to get me back out .

Thank you for the following conversation:

“is that mail from the half Peruvian stripper”

“no, it’s her twin sister….oh, man. She wants to be friends”

“you know Kumar, you would win life if you could work something out there.”

“yeh, I guess that is something everyone wants to do before they get married.”

Right Kumar, a three-way with half Peruvian/half Japanese twin strippers is just something off the list before you get married. If you are Kumar.

Thanks for trying to talk Chad into splitting the price of a tank of gas for giving you a ride to the airport in my car.

Thank you for the smoked salmon. I’m sorry I didn’t eat it.

Thank you for the funniest Bob Marley impersonation I have ever heard. “True rasta man don’t cut off dem toe.”

Thank you for calling me out of nowhere with the most ridiculous dilemmas and never taking my advice.

Thank you for meeting up with me in Tokyo. We met in Harajuku and you made sure we found a vegetarian restaurant. We wandered around and checked out the bands. We had a drink with that girl and talked about tattoos.

Thank you for the trail mix.

Thank you for covering for me at work. In just two weeks you managed to score one juku teacher and convince all the kids to this day that my name is Kumar.

Thank you for getting drunk at Beat Crap and grabbing me in a big bear hug and saying, “I said, when I met you…’that Wes, he’s a great guy!” All I could think to say was, “really, when we met I thought you were from New Zealand.” What I meant to say was, “That really means a lot coming from you."

At a time when we are told that our heroes should be soldiers, thank you for showing that living for peace can be just as dangerous but far more worthwhile.

Thank you for that time in Tanegashima when we were waiting on a wave and you said, “You ever look at a wave and you can’t catch the wave but you think, ‘man I’m glad I got to look at such a beautiful wave.” John’s response was, “shut up Kumar, no one ever thinks that.” We got a lot of miles out of that one over the years. But now, thinking about all the times we had and all the times we won’t have, I can say that, yes Kumar, I know exactly what it is like to look at a wave and not be able to catch it but thinking, man I’m glad I got to look at such a beautiful wave.

Kumar, Thank you for being my friend, I will never have another one like you and I’ll miss you every day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Problem with the Problem with Nazi Analogies

Godwin’s law tells us that internet conversations inevitably migrate towards Nazi analogies and therefore lose their usefulness. This may very well be true, but it presents me with a slight problem.

As I stated in an earlier post, I am currently rereading Antony Beevor’s brilliant history of the Battle of Stalingrad. On page 67, Field Marshal Paulus receives a letter from Major Count Claus von Stauffenberg, who usually served on the general staff but had recently been serving on the Russian Front. He writes:

How refreshing it is to get away from this atmosphere to surroundings where men give of their best without a thought, and give their lives too, without a murmur of complaint, while the leaders and those who should set an example quarrel and quibble about their own prestige, or haven’t the courage to speak their minds on a question which affects the lives of thousands of their fellow men.

You can see our problem. This is obviously two Nazis having a conversation. It is also, obviously, very poignant. Beyond that, it is also, again obviously, relevant. One Nazi making an accurate observation to another Nazi that provides us with an insight that can be relevant to us today, is that something that we should pretend not to notice?

Hitler’s big problem is that he was a genocidal maniac who exterminated people by the millions. He had lots of other problems. One of them pertained to his abilities as a military commander. As implied by von Stauffenberg’s letter above, Hitler had intimidated people away from commenting on his mistakes. Further, as can be evidenced in Beevor’s superb book, he was content only with yes men who would provide him with information that related to the reality he desired to believe. People who brought him the truth were quickly upbraided and filtered out. This factor played a great role in the disaster at Stalingrad.

We, however, are not supposed to discuss this. You see, using names like Paulus and von Stauffenberg are too subtle. We can only say ‘Nazi’ and then think how wrong it is to think along those lines. What other military figures are we not allowed to discuss? Stalin? The name has a pretty big shadow over it, but people use it. Shaka Zulu? Kamehameha the Great? Sitting Bull? Vo Nguyen Giap?

When someone presents their self as the military leader of a country, they deserve to be judged by those standards. One of the most influential and well documented figures in that coterie was Hitler. We can look at his record and analyze what was wrong. Now, it is obvious that the comparison being made in this piece is to Iraq. Does that mean to imply that President Bush would like to gas Jews? No, of course not. Does it insinuate that he might grow a mustache? Never. Is it possible he might do meth until he goes impotent? Possible, but irrelevant. Is it feasible that he would be so blinded by his own vision that he would discount the facts and surround himself with people who would do the same making the soldiers who served under him suffer needlessly? You make the call.

I have a unifying theory about life here in Japan; when you treat people like children, they will act like children. That is just as true in the realm of American debate. We have internalized equivocation. We have traded accuracy for mediocrity because sometimes precision is scary. Is it immature to say ‘Bush is a Nazi’? Yes, of course it is. It is also stupid. But, it is more juvenile to write off history as context because we are afraid that someone will take our argument and simplify it. I read von Stauffenberg’s letter as an indictment of a hierarchy in thrall to their own self-importance. It was written by a Nazi, to a Nazi about Nazis and it is relevant to our discourse today. That is my problem with the problem with Nazi analogies.

100-500 greatest song lyrics

As I have stated on this blog, I am somewhat of an obsessive list maker. Not in an OCD kind of way, but in a brain exercise kind of way. At least that is what I tell myself. One list I have strangely fixated on is the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Song compilation, which was put together in November of 2004. I was pleasantly surprised at some of their selections (Big Star, Toots and the Maytals.) And horrified by others (Eminem twice and the Pixies once?).

I began to break the songs down in my head by element. Who had the better singer? Who had the best rhythm section? What were the best lyrics?

Lyrics are the element I have decided to tackle as my first major blog list. Lyrics and the song as a whole may seem somewhat difficult to separate, however when you spend time thinking about it, things get subtle real quick.

For example, “Back in Black” could not be a better song. It is truly great. Now, think about the lyrics….Exactly. And if you are thinking, “I’m not sure what they are. Maybe if I looked them up they would be great.” Sadly….no. One of my favorite all time performers is Sam Cooke. I cannot even convey to you how much I love Sam Cooke. If I listened to “Twistin’ the Night Away” everyday, I wouldn’t get tired of it. I can read the lyrics once and never feel the need to again.

With this list I want to put together the 100-500 (depending on my willpower and your participation) songs whose lyrics pull you in and really make you interested in what the singer is on about. Songs that make you dig into them and investigate or lyrics that you find yourself going over in your head like a zen koan. My mom would probably respond, “What’s wrong with songs that are just fun?” Nothing, except in a Neil Postman ‘the problem with Sesame Street’ kind of way. But songs that fade into the background are not the point of this inventory. Songs that make your brain itch are.

There are some parameters, for clarities sake, that apply to the songs included here.

1)No hip-hop. I love hip-hop too much. What I value in hip-hop lyrics seems so different to me than what I do in more singing oriented music, so I will make a hip-hop list later. Plus the first 50 songs would all be whatever came out of MF Doom’s mouth anyway. Of course, these lines are blurry. Where they are (The Roots, Mos Def) I will ere on the side of caution. I still can’t decide about the Fugees however.

2)No folk/bluegrass/traditional. I also love folk/bluegrass music but, there are so many different versions of songs with related lyrics that they would deserve a better contextual telling than I can provide for this list. That will make me cut out Woodie Guthrie, which sucks, but keep Billy Bragg. Maybe it is not all logical.

3)English Only. I would love to include Japanese songs, but then people would love to include Spanish and Finnish and then everyone would understand only a third of the list.

4)I think that is all for now.

So what I need is for people to bring up songs I might not know, or remind me of songs that I have forgotten. There are also many songs that I remember but I can’t find the lyrics to. I need help with that as well. Where you kind provide links to lyrics or MP3s, please do. Feel free to provide short commentary as well. If songs that you are kind enough to dig up don’t make it onto the list, it is only because I am a angry bitch and I believe my taste in music is greater than everyone’s. Prove me wrong.

(Things I need help with! I can't find any 1.6 Band, Car Vs. Driver, Action Patrol or Radon lyrics, although I remember them being great. If you know any sources for them, let me know.)

(Problem-- I have reached what I will call "the REM dilemma." I think they are great. I htink their lyrics must be. But who knows? Should I include them by going on what I guess that they are saying?)

The list will begin with tentative rankings that will grow and change as the list grows and changes. Maybe we will get to 500. Surprise me.

Tentative 20 songs. Will change greatly.

1)Bob Dylan-Don’t Think Twice it’s Alright

2)Billy Bragg- A New England

3)Jawbreaker-Chesterfield King

4)Daniel Johnston-Silly Love

5)Belle and Sebastian-Seeing Other People

6)Ted Leo-Me & Mia

7)Minutemen- History Lesson Pt. II

8) Big Star-Thirteen


10)Built to Spill-Car

11)Nation of Ulysses-(all of the songs together)

12)The Pogues-If I Should Fall From Grace with God

13)Piebald-If Marcus Garvey Dies, Then Marcus Garvey Lives

14)Air Miami-I Hate Milk

15)Paul Simon-Graceland

16)Macy Gray-I Try

17)Rolling Stones-Dead Flowers

18)Tracy Chapman- Fast Car

19)Leonard Cohen- Hallelujah

20)Edythe Wayne and Ron Dunbar-Band of Gold

21) The Clash- (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais

22) Operation Ivy-Unity

23)Bob Marley-No Woman No Cry

24) The 1.6 Band- Pushing Shit Back Into my Ass

25) Shawn Colvin- I Don't Know Why

26) The Cure- Boys Don't Cry

27) The Smiths- How Soon is Now?

28) Lungfish- Samuel

29)Fugazi-Bad Mouth

30)Born Against-El Mozote

31)Elvis Costello-Radio Radio


33)The Mr. T Experience-Love American Style

34)Chisel-Your Star is Killing Me

35)Smart Went Crazy-A Good Day

36)Fugazi-Do You Like Me

37)Belle and Sebastian-Stars of Track and Field

38)The Ramones-My Brain is Hanging Upside Down(Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)

39)Johnny Cash-Folsom Prison Blues

40)Modest Mouse-The Ocean Breathes Salty

41)The Postal Service-The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

42)Braid-A Dozen Roses

43)Talking Heads-Once in a Lifetime

44)Born Against-Mary and Child

45)Dead Kennedys-Holiday in Cambodia

46)Paul Simon-Mrs. Robinson

47)Billy Bragg-Greetings to the New Brunette(Shirley)

48)Bob Marley-Redemption Songs

49)Jawbreaker-Do You Still Hate Me?

50)The Isley Brothers-Fight the Power

51)Ben Folds Five-Philosophy

52)Palace Brothers-I am a Cinematographer

53)Born Against-I am an Idiot

54)Cap'n Jazz-Little League

55)HuggyBear-Pansy Twist

56)Sally Timms and Jon Langford-Horses




60)Parliment-Chocolate City

Tuesday, March 13, 2007




i have been re-reading antony beevor's insanely good history of the battle of stalingrad. I had forgotten about the scene in one of the first chapters where a russian pilot spots a twelve kilometer column of german tanks approaching moscow. stalin, incredulous, orders a second plane to verify the report. when the second plane reports the same information, stalin still refuses to believe it. he orders up a third flight. when the third pilot reports that yes, in fact, a twelve kilometer column of tanks is bearing down on moscow, stalin upbraids the pilots' commanding officer for being a panic monger. maybe there is no metaphor in that.

I Feel Like Homer

simpson when he decided to make his own website and just paste a bunch of dancing stuff from other people's sites. i am snaking things now from youtube. as i said though, this blog is partly designed to get this stuff out of my head so i don't have to think about it. to that end....
here is an excellent lecture, with a great q/a by richard dawkins in lynchburg, VA.

on a different video note: this is the best pass i have ever seen. don't underestimate ronaldo's effort. i usually play defense, but i once played forward for about fifteen minutes. i couldn't believe how hard it is to effectively trap a ball coming into you from the midfield. trapping is such an underated skill. if you can find a better pass please send it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

spent the day with noam

today i found myself renewing my relationship with mr. chomsky via youtube. prevents brain rot. while i must admit that i am predisposed to agree with chomsky, i thought dershowitz did a pretty rotten job. i am nowhere close to as well versed on the facts as either of these two, but chomsky's overall presentation and style and delivery clearly push dershowitz's buttons.

attempting to silence the voices in my head.