For a limited time only…

My producer friend F. Olding Munny writes:

“I recently finished a remix (for a European  music magazine) that was for a project that fell through. I was supposed to do a CD-length series of  remixes of T** J*** H****** E*********, using bootlegs only. Pickings were kind of slim, as most of the former boots have been reissued; I ended up with just 12 minutes of stuff I was happy with. It’s one piece in 3 sections. The title is ‘Some Dreams You Never Forget.’ I thought you might want to put it up until you have to take it down.”

Probably won’t be up long. Take advantage of this limited time offer.

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Almost as good as reading the memos on Wikileaks: 126 customers rip Amazon a new one.

In a perfect example of the corporate ethic at work, Amazon kicks Wikileaks off its servers because (wow!) this stuff is controversial. But now that it’s off their servers, Amazon UK is selling them in a Kindle edition. Read the comments. You best be quick about it, they’re so awesome I doubt Amazon will leave them up.

Leaked by Kev.

And while we’re on the subject: The Guardian lists Wikileaks’ 10 greatest stories; it’s impressive.

And a VERY perceptive cartoon:

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Gig (somewhat out of the ordinary) in NYC – Saturday, November 11

So, Jesse calls me up and says he’s doing a presentation about Monopoly before Parker Brothers – who knew? –  at this only-there-for-a-while gallery called Showpaper on 42nd St. near the UN. It’s kind of an arcade of indy DIY videogames put together by babycastles. Jesse asks if I’d like to DJ the closing party of the current exhibit, with themed sets.

To go along with the theme of originals and covers, I’ll be starting off with 30 minutes of versions of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan,” a lovely song with that fabulous beat, and after the various presentations, elucidations, contextualizations and such, I intend to come back with 90 percolating minutes of “Cold Sweat” (Mr. J. Brown, prop.), while the attendees get down to various funky old versions of Monopoly, built around an Atlantic City where Ventnor was Ventnor, Boardwalk was Boardwalk, and Donald Trump was gleam in his father’s eye.

It’s all about games, game design, and game theory. Come on down, and bring those loaded dice you’ve been saving for a special occasion.

And, somewhat off the subject, I think a fine double bill would feature Atlantic City with Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon, with the opener The King Of Marvin Gardens, with Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, and an appearance by Scatman Crothers as the head of the Mafia.

Atlantic City (better than the trailer):

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The King Of Marvin Gardens:

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Scatman Crothers, a man of many talents:

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WFMU’s end of the year one hour fundraiser and insane stunt

Contribute to send WFMU Station Manager Ken aloft over Jersey City in a lawnchair suspended by huge helium balloons:

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More info from Liz, the feet-firmly-on-the-ground station spokesperson:

“We’ll be taking pledges over the air for one hour on Dec 8th (11am-noon) to send Ken aloft with helium balloons. This will all happen in WFMU’s parking lot, and we’ll even host a live video feed of the whole debacle. The more pledges we get, the more balloons we fill up and attach to Ken. If we raise $180,000, Ken will lift off (don’t worry, he’ll be tethered)!”

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Your vestigial rights regarding TSA porno security

Conceptually excellent illustration; thanks to Kev for the tip.

As I’ve mentioned, the Transportation Security Administration’s new make-believe safety measures in some airports leave you with a nasty choice – a full body x-ray scan, or a humiliating, under-your-clothes T&A groping. You can’t opt out, unless you can pay an $11,000US fine and risk having your name put on one of the nebulous “don’t fly” lists.

More reports are showing up; this one courtesy of an excellent travel blog, Flying With Fish:

Some TSA screeners not so hot on their new role as pat-down pervs. Others, we surmise, are quite happy with the perks of an aggressive frisk.

Here’s encouraging news about our fine airport security forces:

TSA pat-down leaves bladder cancer survivor covered in urine.

Mainstream TV news outlet turns it’s lackluster reporting force loose on the story (This had so much strange embed code I was afraid to use it. If you follow the link you should be able to see it).

The always-vigilant Electronic Frontier Foundation delineates how to complain about having your junk probed by a stranger, and Firedoglake has a handy guide on how to comport yourself (opt out of the x-ray; demand a private grope, and have a witness observe your humiliation after taking names of all TSA personnel involved).

Osama Bin Laden and Joseph McCarthy’s drunken ghost are having a good laugh.

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Do you enjoy getting paid to look at pictures of nude strangers? Do you live for the opportunity to sexually molest people at will? There’s a good job waiting for you with the TSA.

I’ve been trying to moderate my anger at the world in general, but sometimes it just boils over. The latest:

Planning on flying anywhere? Get ready for a real shock; the Transportation Safety Administration just instituted new procedures (without review or public comment, natch). After you put your computer, shoes, jacket, wallet, etc. on the belt for the scanner, you may be selected for a special treat: being bombarded by x-rays that produce a 360 degree picture of your naked body, which is inspected in real time, in detail and at length, by some schmuck in a uniform, breathing heavily in a locked, windowless room. You don’t want to do that, you say? Well, the alternative is a “pat down,” which was described this way by the president of the Airline Pilots Association:

“One US Airways pilot, after being selected for an enhanced pat-down, experienced a frisking that has left him unable to function as a crewmember. The words this pilot used to describe the incident included “sexual molestation,” and in the aftermath of trying to recover, this pilot reported that he had literally vomited in his own driveway while contemplating going back to work and facing the possibility of a similar encounter with the TSA.”

Perhaps you don’t fancy being groped by a sweaty bureaucrat; tough luck, pal. You can’t opt to go through the regular non-invasive magnetometer or get “wanded” because you’ve been “selected” for special treatment. And you can’t leave the airport, because the TSA will arrest you and you’re then liable for a $10,000 penalty.

The details:

USAPA President’s letter describing this crap.

A first person report on how devastating this is to the casual traveler; in this case, a woman traveling with an infant.

How the TSA plans to prosecute any proles who dare balk at their orders (with Colbert Report video. which is so lighthearted it’s kind of stupid).

A first person report by the guy who really put up a stink about this, and now faces prosecution.

And some videos. Keep in mind that in (almost) no instances were any actual reporters actually sent to actual airports to actually film what was actually happening; that costs too much actual money. Any and all airport footage of passive travelers quietly submitting to porno x-ray blasts or weenie-groping was almost certainly provided by the TSA; I’d bet that those compliant people are low-level TSA employees. The executives watched it all from behind lead shields, probably.

And to carry on in a different direction: watching these dim-witted presenters giving nonsensical “he said/she said” recitations under the guise of news makes me thankful we ditched our TV.

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No matter what Janet Napolitano says about the scans being deleted immediately, remember that it’s not the first time that lie’s been used. You don’t really imagine that the government would let go of the opportunity to add hundreds of thousands of naked body scans, matched with drivers license, passport, and travel info in their files, do you? If you go for that, I have e-mail for you from a Nigerian bodyguard.


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There’s a petition from Firedoglake. Worth signing; I’m sure the airlines are anticipating a huge dropoff in flyers faced with this choice, so they’re likely getting at the TSA, as well.

More of the same crap. This station apparently sent out reporters for real.

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In case you thought that anyone in the TSA is actually competent at “security screening,” remember that they’re waiting for the terrorists to tell them where the explosives are. This will bring back memories to many people of the daily revelations that eventually came thick and fast during the Bush administration. Heckuva job, Brownie.

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I’m not against security. I fly a lot, and I see airport security all over the US and Europe. The reliance on bored, underpaid people running machinery that requires no thought processes is simply the cheapest way to deal with the security problem; it’s been called “security theater”

Doing better at security means spending more on intelligent people who are paying attention to the people in the lines, and who’ve been trained in terrorist profiling. But that takes time, and money, and lots of highly trained people. Easier just to prod the cattle through the x-ray machine, and shovel civil liberties into the trash.

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And before I leave the subject of witty songs and witty singers…

I’d like to spend just a moment on Mae Barnes. Not a songwriter, she was a tap dancer until an auto accident fractured her pelvis and she turned to singing. Lucky us.

Somewhere in the yet-to-be-unpacked realms of my studio I have a CD of material Ms. Barnes cut for a label whose name I don’t remember; but the most memorable wonderfulness of her performances was captured by Atlantic. They first issued the material as “Fun with Mae Barnes,” an early LP, backed by the Garland Wilson combination. This was reissued (where I first heard any of this) on a box set,  “The Erteguns Cabaret Music.”

I could go on about her jazziness, her sophistication, her earthiness, and her incredible humor, but I’ll just attach an MP3 at the end of the post and let you dig it for yourself. The song, “I Ain’t Got Nobody,” is one of many by Spencer Williams. Some AV material follows, but make sure you dig the MP3. If that gets you all excited, write me and I’ll hook you up with some more.

While I was cruising around looking for moom pitchas of Ms. Barnes, I stumbled across this gleaming shard by the Mound City Blue Blowers. They don’t need no stinking trumpet, they don’t need no stinking drums.

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01 mae barnes i ain’t got nobody

Featuring Mae Barnes, Bobby Short, Mabel Mercer, and other fine artists to delight the discriminating sophisticate (that would be you).

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Didn’t this fit together neatly? (with audio, yet)

So I was sitting at the dining room table the other day, reading Malcom Gladwell’s essay on plagiarism. That brought to mind Jonathan Lethem’s essay “The Ecstasy Of Influence.” A day or two later, I remembered the immensely clever, hilarious song satirizing plagiarism in the world of mathematical research; written and sung by Tom Lehrer, it’s titled after the famous (non-plagiarizing) Russian mathematician Lobachevsky.

The essays are excellent, and the song is a pisser. If you don’t know Lehrer’s work, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Tom Lehrer sings “Lobachevsky”

If you’re the copyright holder and this doesn’t up, just let me know and I’ll take it down (plagiaristically speaking).

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