Monthly Archives: September 2010

LIONEL AUDIO: Moloch! You Do And You Clean It Up.

Allen Ginsberg said, “Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.” Boy, was that an understatement. My wife and I saw the movie Howl today, and while Ginsberg’s homoerotic poetry may not be everyone’s cup of tea, he was still a pivotal fixture in our culture — if for no other reason than his bravery. His work would ruffle feathers even today; imagine during the puritan 50’s. I mean paeans to buggery doesn’t play well in Des Moines. There’s much discussed herein. A ventilation suite of sorts. My problem is that I expect too much from people. Not a lot, mind you, just too much. I expect people to apply basic critical thinking. I expect them to only opine about things and subject they know something about. I believe in a meritocracy where excellence is rewarded and not the perception of such. I know, I’m a schmuck.

LIONEL AUDIO: We Think We Know Stuff.

And they laugh at Christine O’Donnell. And Sarah Palin. Two ditzy dimwit dames who dare to question evolution, climate change, global warming, name it. Haven’t they received the memos?

Now, while I have no serious doubts about the rudiments of Darwinian mechanics but nonetheless question certain anthropogenic causation models laying the groundwork for cap and trade, carbon taxing and the like, I certainly don’t consider myself an expert on these subjects. Nor are most people. What many if not most of us do is repeat the rudiments of a core anecdotal knowledge base, the abecedarian basics of what we are told that others claim. Multi-layered hearsay upon hearsay. We are the repositories of lore, myth and urban legend. We don’t know Shi’ite.

LIONEL AUDIO: I Saw Him Before He Died.

Such was the inadvertent yet very true statement of a friend of mine. Some other great observations. From my mother: “Food tastes better after you’ve eaten it.” Another friend noted that he didn’t prefer cremation after death because it was too final. Herein a most comprehensive mélange.

I love this piece from New York Times contributor Charles Fish entitled “Antaeus and the Tea Party.” Fish notes, “Liberal pundits and the politicians whose agendas they favor continue to misunderstand the Tea Party movement and, what is worse, fail to realize how much the disdainful tone of their criticism fuels it.” The nonstop snarkfest on anything DEMS-NBC or Bill Maher validates those committed acolytes to a cause that may be a tad wanting as to platform but chock-full of certitude. N.B. I left out The Daily Show and Colbert. Their primary goal and direction is entertainment with a political theme. Maher and the cool kids from DEMS-NBC in their own twisted minds are Delphic.

A critter watching the tube. (ca. 1993)

LIONEL AUDIO: Don’t Blame Colbert. Blame Yourself.

Imagine Borat appearing before Congress joking about AIDS. Or Julia Sweeney as Pat testifying as to transgender issues. Or Maude Frickert speaking on global warming. (How’s that for dating yourself, but Jonathan Winters is a genius.) Who’d laugh? Certainly not the crowd who would find Colbert’s embarrassing, inappropriate, out-of-line, disrespectful, mocking, classless appearance before Congress funny. First those issues would be most certainly those they can relate to and identify with. Immigration is, well, shall we say a tad too cerebral for the crowd that would find colonoscopy and Brazilian waxing funny. But it’s not just Colbert. It’s the state of comedy today, hijacked by kids and semi-literates who find fart jokes and boogers funny. And no one loves well-placed flatus follows more than I. (Can you say Blazing Saddles?) You can see it on SNL this past week. And on a season opener, no less. The Daily Show, perhaps the best written political show, can’t get through an episode without F-bombs aplenty.

But this guy’s not to blame. We’re to blame. So many don’t read, think, care or investigate anything. We just want to be amused. Like a parent jiggling keys to distract a crying infant. And dig the dude smelling his pencil.

But first, a proem of labyrinthine beauty. Intricate, complex, fluid ricocheted thoughts.

LIONEL AUDIO: Miscellany Intented To Addict

Nothing sums up the argument for anthropogenic causation models for global warming and climate change like this: a polar bear crying for his mommy on a melting berg. I’m reminded of this imagery while I’ve been forced to endure the constipated traffic patterns of the city while the U.N. meets this week. The U.N. is the epicenter and locus of control of climate legislation. It’s the ideological ground zero of global warming. And what I emphasize herein is that the center of my suspicions as to anthropogenic causation models involves those who will benefit financially. See, if these models are incorrect, no one can carbon tax folks when humankind is not responsible for resultant CO2 causation indices as to global warming in climate change. So there you have it.

And since Virginia strapped down Teresa Lewis last night and legally killed her for having illegally killed another, I discuss the interesting point that Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes, viz. you give us grief over threatening to stone to death an Iranian woman for adultery, yet you kill an American woman for murder that others committed, the triggermen getting life. You know, he makes a hell of a point. I explain.

LIONEL AUDIO: It’s Time To Kill The Death Penalty

But maybe not for the reasons you might think. First, the facts.

Teresa Lewis, 41, is scheduled to die by injection today for providing sex and money to two men to kill her husband and stepson in October 2002 so she could collect on a quarter-million dollar insurance policy. She’ll be the first woman put to death in the Good Ol’ USA in half a decade and the first in Virginia in almost a century. Congratulations, Teresa. You made the record books. Lewis pleaded guilty to plotting the shotgun murders. But while a judge sentenced the triggermen Matthew Shallenberger and Rodney Fuller to life, he sentenced Lewis to death saying she was clearly the “head of the serpent.” Her lawyers claimed that she was borderline mentally retarded (apparently unaware of the politically incorrect phraseology of such) and in no wise could have served as the mastermind. They further allege she was used and duped by her confederates. Alas.

In a bit of irony, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the West of launching a “heavy propaganda” campaign against the case of an Iranian woman who had been sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery but failing to react with outrage over Lewis’s in Virginia. Silly Mahmoud, that’s different. We’re the U.S. And you’re not.

I’m staunchly opposed to the death penalty, as I spell out most cogently (I believe), because in so many cases we’ve been dead wrong in convicting the wrong person. And remember, you can’t appeal an execution.

The danger of political labels lies here. Is this a conservative or liberal opinion? I let others figure that one out as I find the issues interesting and not the parsing of terminology and appellations.

LIONEL AUDIO: Everybody’s Stupid At Me, Witchcraft & The Constitution

Give me a C. A bouncy C. (Irving Cohen, anyone?)

It’s witchcraft.

Thank you Coleman & Leigh. Herein you’ll find my discussion of the sorcerer’s apprentice, the fascinating Christine O’Donnell. I thank Zeus for her because (a) she infuriates the snarky, snotty, snooty lefty panjandrums and (b) equally infuriates the bloated, hoary, right-wing big shots like Karl Rove. So what if she’s against masturbation (or my favorite term “self-abuse’), dabbled in witchcraft and believe that human brains were transplanted into mice. Big whoop.

Those fingers in my hair.
That sly
Come hither stare
That strips my conscience bare

And now, a moment for incongruity. From O’Donnell to Holmes, my favorite justice whose writings were nonpareil in terms of clarity, lucidity and sheer brilliance. I provide to you a primer on SCOTUS basics and doublespeak, e.g. strict construction, originalism and the like. In a number of examples provided herein (as the post tags indicate), I describe to you how the Court is activist by nature, has indeed legislated from the bench and prays that you’ll never understand how it works.

LIONEL AUDIO: History, Bran, Women’s Shoes & DUI

What I love more than almost anything is starting an audio piece and seeing where it takes me. Just look at the post tags and find a commonality in sequencing. Good luck. It’s how I think. It’s not scattered or desultory; it’s not veering (the most hated term I know anent critique). One thought inspires another. Some thoughts are interstitial nexuses. Some are logical connective tissue. Think Ella Fitzgerald and scat. Joe Pass and the riff or solo. Or don’t, it’s a free country.

But the most important part of this version is the idea that history ain’t history. It’s a story, a meme, a piece of mythology and lore that’s crafted and amended by so many custodians of the story. But it has nothing to do with the truth. That’s relative. As is incest. But who cares about bugs?

LIONEL AUDIO: Object Permanence & Lionel Spiriruality (Plus Street Fairs)

I begin with a walk down memory lane and my love of fairs and carnivals. I hit inter alia New York street fairs, Hell’s Kitchen, early fairs in my life, the Florida State Fair in Tampa, downtown Tampa of the 60’s. Being served food by ex-convicts and mental institution escapees. I provide an ode, a paean to my beloved street festivals and fairs. The smell of charcoal and dirty reused grease. The chance of encountering hepatitis on a stick. How tasty.

And that naturally leads to a discussion of death and dying and our funereal fixation, the macabre and ghoulish dance of the funeral. There’s in fact a reason for the subject matter, but you must listen.

This developmental psychologist (supra) might have inadvertently explained our whackiness anent death. Jean Piaget gave us the theory of object permanence, understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be perceived via senses. First we’re taught as children via peekaboo that someone’s still there even though he’s hiding. We learn it so well that when some die we swear they’re still there despite the fact that we can’t see them. Despite the fact that they’re dead. The concept of death, the complete and total cessation of human existence, is more than many can take. So we make stuff up.

No greater indicia of our imagination and collective insanity exist than our inability to handle the ultimate grand finale. The cosmic sayonara. When we awaken from the dream of life.


LionelMedia. I’m tired of telling people what this is, so why not tell people what this is. Clever in spades I am. For the culturally nescient, LionelMedia is a multi-media content delivery system for a de minimis monthly fee. It will eventually be a multi-channeled one-stop shopping site for all things that interest me. It will feature written word, articles, blogs, vlogs, video, audio, music, performances of all types: the first annual Klezmerpalooza, hip-hop numismatics, fun with shadow puppets, name it. Wait until you hear the mime section, tentatively labeled “mime meme.” Can you see the vision? (Pun intended.) And ultimately it will showcase my farm team: up-an-coming broadcast stars of the future whom I’ll hone and train to blow the talk broadcast world open. Because, friends, as it is right now, it could use some life and originality.

Futuristic and avant-garde, you betcha. Within this audio contribution, I explain the inspiration and genesis of LionelMedia and my association with my long-time friend, the pythonic and vatic Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers Magazine, the industry trade journal. All that I ask (or as they say in Brooklyn, “All’s”) is that you spread the word and then sign up for my podcasts. Ask yourself, “How can I help Lionel?” Well, I’ve the answer.

Gather, children, before me. I’m about to speak.