Friday, April 24, 2009

Not related

It seems there's another Luke Baggins out there. This is definitely not me as I'm only a moderate fan of the office. What's extra weird about this is that the blog this comment was posted on seems to be Seattle based.

It would be really fucked up if there were two of us posting comments at The Stranger. From time to time, I search for my comments there, and I've yet to find one that isn't by me. I do, on the other hand, find some that I wish I didn't have sole blame for. On the other hand, I do sometimes get it right. It's comments like Mr. Poe's here that make commenting on the slog look fun and easy. And it is both. What's less easy is going back and looking at what you've written and seeing how it stacks up to the others. Poe always get's really short sweet comments that are on target like a JDAM. Mine are more like a shotgun blast held by an alzheimer's victim with very shaky hands. I wander around the topic. But I'm keeping a link to my slog comments on the side in case you all run out of things to read.

I'm glad I google alerted myself to this other Luke Baggins issue.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Asshole From El Paso

Many years ago, I was at my dad's place looking at a book on the history of country music and there was this crazy fucker in some kind of mink coat with rhinestones all over, heart shaped, plastic-jewel studded sunglasses under his crazy-ass paisley fedora. And I was like "Who the fuck is that?". And my dad said: "That's Kinky Friedman, of Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys. And it's a good thing this book was made in the UK, because no American book on the history of country music would have included him." I've learned a lot of valuable things out at my dad's place.

Later, I learned that he was running for governor of Texas and his slogan was "The Asshole From El Paso. I see today's political scene as very much like a Jerry Springer episode, but I don't think it needs to be that way, or should be that way, so I'm not in favor of bullshit campaigns in general. On the other hand, here in Seattle, Dan Savage has announced a bid for the Mayor's office and I'm glad he did it. It reminds people where politics currently are. So maybe Kinky had the right idea in his campaign.

I asked my dad to play me some Texas Jewboys tracks and didn't hear anything memorable. If Kinky ever succeeded musically, it wasn't in the couple of tracks I heard. I also came back into the city with several paperbacks of Kinky Friedman Novels. For what's probably more than a year now, all they did was sit on my shelf getting dusty with the other books. But, just recently, after a long stretch of reading nothing but Bernard Cornwell, I did some re-reading of Carl Hiaasen. Specifically, I re-read Skinny Dip for the third fucking time. And it was funnier than ever. In fact, I think it may be even funnier than Strip Tease which kept me up late several nights laughing my fucking ass off. If you haven't read Strip Tease yet, you're in for a serious treat. I can't even emphasize that enough. But we're talking about Kinky.

I decided to finally pick up Armadillos and Old Lace and see if the asshole from El Paso did better in prose than in music, and so far, it looks promising. To start with, look at the blurbs and who they're coming from:

"Spreads more joy than Ross Perot's Ears"
-Molly Ivins

"Kinky Friedman is one of Texas's great natural resources"
-former governor Ann W. Richards

"Kinky, Mozart, Shakespeare--with what could I equal them"
-Joseph Heller

There's more like that. If those blurbs are actual quotes from the people whose names are printed beneath them, I'm impressed. So I'm convinced to read further.

Here's a sample from the first few pages that convinced me to read the rest:
I could use a little quiet, I reflected. I'd become somewhat ambivalent about performing country music gigs lately and I'd come to realize that anybody who uses the word "ambivalent" probably shouldn't have been a country singer in the first place

I think I'll be reading the rest. I'll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, Carl Hiaasen is a proven winner. I'm no fan of his environmentalism at all, but he is a virtuoso of satire. His books are better the 3rd time than they are the first. And I laughed out loud the first time. I've been meaning to write in detail about why this guy rocks for a long time, and I can't go into the details just yet, but that's been on my to-do list forever. Maybe someday I'll write that essay. For now, if you're book shopping, I'll tell you that his funniest are: Strip Tease, Skin Tight, Skinny Dip and Lucky You.

Music History Update

Some months ago, I witnessed some serious music history, and of course, I blogged it here. For those too lazy or busy to click links, I saw The Sonics, the founding fathers of punk rock at the Paramount. It was one of those nights when I feel sorry for anyone unable to appreciate the Northwest. Those nights are damn near every night though. This night ... well, I'm not going to do any better describing it now than I did then.

The point now is to update all of you. As an Internet opinion maker, I have an obligation to keep all of you informed of what matters and what doesn't. In that earlier post, I linked to this myspace page saying it had all of the most essential Sonics tracks on it. It turns out, there's another essential one that you shouldn't miss. It's called "Shot Down" and I believe it was on their 2nd album "Boom". It is a perfect example of why those guys rule and why I will still go out to see them play when they're way too old to be doing this shit. You can hear it on this other myspace sonics page. Check it out. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

News from my ass

I'm sure most of you have seen this story. I immediately set up a google alert for any new developments when I heard that the makers of the Pull-My-Finger iPhone app were suing the makers of iFart for trademark infringement. Didn't you? In case you've been in a coma, or out filling sandbags for your end of the world compound in the hills without a web-connected computer nearby or something, They're claiming that iFart's use of the phrase "Pull my finger" in promotional materials violates their trademark.

This story, which I'm linking again gives a pretty good re-cap of the case so far. It includes this under-fucking-statement of the fucking century: "Denver-based trademark attorney John Posthumus of Greenberg Traurig said the case has interesting facets that could make for lively arguments if the issue went to trial. "

The thought of that case going to trial had me feeling like I hadn't felt since I was 5 years old and in the 2 week home stretch before Christmas. I knew it probably wasn't going to trial, because that would be too good and a Lawyer friend confirmed that for me so I could start getting over it.

The bullet points are these:
  • Yes, "Pull My Finger" is a federally registered trademark

  • Being the top selling fart application in the iPhone app store is worth like $50,000 a week

  • Sadly, no, this isn't going to trial.

It would be unfair not to link to the iFart and Pull my finger sites. I wouldn't want to deny them the great big wave of web traffic they'll surely get from my link.

Also, check out Kathy Lee investigating another iFart related story.