Monday, December 26, 2016


Tower of Faces, by yer old pal Jerky, 2015
  • 2016, the Year That Killed Music, claims another artist before his time as George Michael dies of heart failure at his home, at the ridiculous age of 53 years old. Matters of public restroom etiquette aside, there's simply no denying Careless Whisper's status as slow jam for the ages. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the fact that prog rock superstar Greg Lake also recently passed away, killed by cancer at 69. The former King Crimson singer joins his ELP organist, Keith Emerson, as yet another victim of the Curse of 2016. Here's hoping ELP's last surviving member, drummer Carl Palmer, has somewhere safe and quiet to hide out in until the end of next week.
  • Conservatives have always hated, but with the right-wing War Against Truth having recently gone into overdrive, the bullshit debunking site is now Public Enemy Number One, and efforts at taking it down have begun in earnest. But with every serious study ever conducted proving that Snopes is among the least biased sources available, what are all those poor conservative propagandists to do? Well, for starters, how about getting the Daily Mail to run an article using the messy divorce of site's founders to try to cast a shadow over Snopes' debunking efforts? Then how about getting egg-sucking shit-for-brains fascist lapdog Matt Drudge to link to that story on his website, so every knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, minority-despising anti-SJW Trumpnik on God's Green Earth "knows" that "you can't trust Snopes"? Finally, how about getting a semi-reputable outlet like Forbes to do a follow-up report? This will let "respectable conservatives" know that, the next time anyone tries to counter their lies by bringing up Snopes, it is hereby okay to simply furrow your brow, squint sadly, and let out a rueful Mike Pence chuckle at how misguided they are!
  • Over at the Washington Post, Catherine Rampell asks: "Why did all those Economically Anxious™ Trump voters reject policies that would have helped relieve their economic anxiety? Maybe they believed any Big Government expansions would disproportionately go to the “wrong” kinds of people — that is, people unlike themselves." Yes, friends, the idea that Democrats need to drop “identity politics” and reach out to the (white) working class is bass-ackwards. Democrats did reach out to the (white) working class. But the white working class were the ones who were too busy playing identity politics to notice. And that's a fact.

1. In his Christmas Day editorial for the New York Times, Jeremy W. Peters takes a deep dive into an issue that comes up in numerous links in today's Executive Summary: the "Fake News" kerfuffle. He begins:
The C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the White House may all agree that Russia was behind the hacking that interfered with the election. But that was of no import to the website Breitbart News, which dismissed reports on the intelligence assessment as “left-wing fake news.” 
Rush Limbaugh has diagnosed a more fundamental problem. “The fake news is the everyday news” in the mainstream media, he said on his radio show recently. “They just make it up.” Some supporters of President-elect Donald J. Trump have also taken up the call. As reporters were walking out of a Trump rally this month in Orlando, Fla., a man heckled them with shouts of “Fake news!” 
Until now, that term had been widely understood to refer to fabricated news accounts that are meant to spread virally online. But conservative cable and radio personalities, top Republicans and even Mr. Trump himself, incredulous about suggestions that that fake stories may have helped swing the election, have appropriated the term and turned it against any news they see as hostile to their agenda. 
In defining “fake news” so broadly and seeking to dilute its meaning, they are capitalizing on the declining credibility of all purveyors of information, one product of the country’s increasing political polarization. And conservatives, seeing an opening to undermine the mainstream media, a longtime foe, are more than happy to dig the hole deeper.
The rest of his essay is very much worth reading, and you should also see today's "Quote of the Day" for more on this important topic.  

2. Most of you reading this are probably well aware that we either at the start--or already in the midst--of the sixth mass extinction event in the history of life on our planet. However, most of you reading this probably aren't aware of exactly how devastatingly swift this horrific process is going to be, once it goes into full swing, which could be any day now. This interactive (if somewhat unwieldy) presentation by CNN helps bring some of the issues involved into sharper focus, and has some intriguing features about diagnostic tools and potential solutions that I, personally, had never encountered before. Recommended. I urge you to share this with the young people in your life.

3. I mentioned above that we lost Greg Lake last week, and most of you reading this know that yer old pal Jerky is a massive progressive rock fanatic -- not least of which because of the majesty that is King Crimson -- so I thought I'd share something beautiful with you all, something that goes a way towards explaining my obsession with this particular genre of music. And so I hereby present Greg Lake's vocal tracks for "Epitaph", from King Crimson's debut album, the absolutely essential In The Court of the Crimson King...


"Over the years, we’ve effectively brainwashed the core of our audience to distrust anything that they disagree with. And now it’s gone too far. Because the gatekeepers have lost all credibility in the minds of consumers, I don’t see how you reverse it."

- Somewhat repentant conservative radio talk show host John Ziegler spills the beans on how the right-wing propaganda Wurlitzer works in this incredibly important article from The Nation, entitled "Fake News is Not the Real Media Threat We're Facing", by scholar David A. Bell. If you follow only one link from today's DDD ExecSum, then let it be this vitally important exploration of what may be the single most pressing danger looming over the American experiment at this fraught and perilous stage in history.

  • The worst natural catastrophe in living memory happens when an earthquake sparks a deadly tsunami leads to the loss of a quarter million lives. Read all about it, and more, in today's Paracultural Calendar, over at the Useless Eater Blog!
  • We've got a Kubrick News In Brief update ready for you film fans over at the Kubrick U blog, where we also wish Kirk Douglas a happy 100th birthday, and short documentary explaining what makes The Shining so damn creepy!

The Cult of Movement Conservatism is waging a war against reality. The battlefield is your mind, and the objective is your allegiance. The sophistication of their arsenal should not be underestimated. They have even managed to weaponize our skepticism, our cynicism, our doubts. More on this, coming soon to this space.


  1. Jesus fuck, 2016 REALLY has a hate-on for good music and comedy, doesn't it? It seems just fine with military marches and screams of dismay though.

    For those who like their omens: a good friend of mine informs me that the year that's (FINALLY) passing was the year of the Fire Monkey, but that the coming year is supposed to be the year of the Fire Rooster. Which can only be a vast improvement over flaming monkeys.

    But, on the OTHER hand, the Blood of Saint Januarius also failed to liquefy--and, supposedly, the last couple of times it did this, we wound up with a world war and a major earthquake.

    I find myself wondering if this is a sign of things to come in the next year, or if the universe is just responding to the reality-warping presence of President Evil.

    Unless it's all pure coincidence, or course.

  2. I'd appreciate a link on that blood failing to liquify story, for my Useless Eater blog.

  3. Here's the primary source, I think:

    Not too useful, unless you happen to read Italian--I don't, but I DID run it through Google Translate. But I found it via this: