Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Give Me Liberty! Thursday 03-18-2010

Patrick Henry, voice of the American Revolution, said it first and said it best, "I know not what course others may take, but as for me- I say,give me liberty or give me death!" What had old Patrick so riled up? What had all Americans worked up back in 1765? The Stamp Act.

The Stamp Act was passed by England to tax the colonists, unfairly, they believed, and it was at the heart of the whole "Taxation without representation" thing. You can thank Benjamin Franklin for focusing us in on the problem. We had the moral high ground. So what happened? We Americans rose up and kicked some British ass.

On this date in 1766 the Stamp Act was repealed. England backed down after the Americans got testy. The Sons of Libertystaged the Boston Tea Party, where they threw barrels of highly taxed English tea into Boston Harbor. Disguised as Indians, the Americans worked themselves into a frenzy and attacked the British ships anchored in the harbor.

I love the founding fathers, and I love this period of American history. I wish that spirit were still alive today.

Remember, all this was only over a few pennies of taxes. What would the founding fathers have thought of today's politicians? Not too much, I would conjecture. They were men of little subterfuge and lots of common sense. They never envisioned life-time politicians who were supported by the public for decades on end. I think the thought would have repulsed them.

This great experiment of American democracy is ongoing, and we still don't know how it's going to come out. One thing is still the same after all these years, though- we Americans still hate high taxes.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Wednesday 03-17-2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! They say he drove the snakes out of Ireland. That's a metaphor. I think the snakes were the Romans, or maybe the Barbarians, either way- he drove unwanted entities out of Ireland to make it safe for heavy drinking. Which reminds me- if you're planning on a day of adult libations, make sure you have a designated driver. Ever since I quit drinking I never have a problem anymore. If a cop stops me, I have nothing to worry about (unless I'm speeding.)

Big News From Nate The Great!

My grandson took his first steps yesterday! This is huge! My daughter called yesterday with the breathless news. I've been smiling ever since. I'll keep you updated on Nate's development and I'll let you know when he's drafted #1 by either the San Francsico 49ers or the Giants!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Wearin' Of The Green! Tuesday 03-16-2010

Tomorrow is Saint Patrick's Day! I love Irish culture! And God knows I love Corned Beef and Cabbage! I only get to eat it once a year and that happens either tonight or tomorrow (depends on how busy I am) and I am ready!

We'll probably go out this year, like we did last year. For years I always made it at home, but after a few experiences with toughness, I gave up- preferring to have professionals do it.

Part of the proper serving of Corned Beef and Cabbage, is to carve it the right way. Remember, when cutting the corned beef, always cut against the grain. Make sure you cut cross-ways into the beef. It's very important! Never cut with the grain or your slices will be too tough and stringy. Corned beef can taste like a wad of rubber bands if you don't cut it properly.

Tomorrow we will have my favorite Irish group on the show- Cele De (pronounced Kay-Lee Day). They will make their annual traditional appearance in the studio for some live music. If you haven't heard these kids, you gotta check 'em out tomorrow on the show! They'll be doing some classic rock tunes in an Irish folky way. They also do original material. I guarantee that you'll love it.

My second novel Shade Of Pale is about the Irish myth of the Banshee. It's a straight-up horror novel. I sent it to the publisher (Tor/Forge Books) on Saint Patrick's Day, and it got published! Was the karmic connectionat work here? Who knows? All I can say is that the book was published and well reviewed. I hope to make it into a movie one of these days.

The only time I ever saw the Banshee in a movie was in an old Disney movie named Darby O'Gill and the Little People when I was a kid. It scared the crap out of me at the time. Later, when I was looking for a great book idea, and I was going over all the classic monsters out there- I thought- hey, why not the Banshee? I had to make up my own mythos- much like Bram Stoker did with the Vampire Dracula- he made up all that stuff about garlic and mirrors and crosses. So, I made the Banshee the avenging angelof womanhood. Read it and tell me what you think.

And don't forget to wear green.

The Madness Of King Michael Tuesday 03-16-2010

It's always fun to point fingers at crazy people, but somehow Michael Jackson is not in the same league with other "regular" crazy people. He's equal parts Howard Hughes, Anna Nicole Smith, Marie Antoinette, Caligula, Cleopatra, Richard Nixon,Scrooge McDuck, Imelda Marcos, and Elizabeth Taylor. This man is off the scale.

They say rich people are "eccentrics" and common-folk are "nuts" but what does that make the King of Pop? Bull-goose loony? I don't know. It seems to me that the number one occupational hazard of being a rock star in losing your mind. I stand by that statement. It obviously effects different people in different ways. I may have been a little nuts back in the 80's but I was far from the mind shattering madness of supertstardom. I could always walk into a 711 and buy a pack of gum.

We used to have this thing called "The Pack Of Gum Test" for rock stars. Could they walk into a 711 and buy a pack of gum? Some can't. Elton John? Prince? Lady Gaga? Could they do it? I don't think so. Do they even carry money on them? Here are a few rock stars who pass the "gum" test- Tina Turner (I was with her when she did it!), Bruce Springtseen, Huey Lewis, andSteve Miller. These are more or less normal people who just happen to be famous musicians. But Michael Jackson? He's on his own planet.

There's a word that says it all here: Hubris. Here's the definition: excessive pride, self confidence: arrogance. That doesn't even begin to explain it. If you're looking for a word, how about crazy?

Recently, workers going through his belongings have discovered some very disturbing pieces of artwork that were commissioned by Michael to display around his various homes. I'm just going to show them here with minimal comment. You can keep your own comments to yourself, but when you see how out of control the man's ego was, and how out of touch with reality, it makes you cringe...

What can one say about this? What's more disturbing, MJ's white body with rock hard abs and pecs or the naked cherubs flying around? I don't know. This is wrong on so many levels...

As Ponce De Leon searching for the fountain of youth? You figure it out.

Here's a particular favorite of mine, it's the hood of Michael Jackson's custom golf cart, the one he used to get aroundNeverland. He's depicted here as Peter Pan! Complete with Captain Hook's pirate ship!

What can you even say about this one? Is Michael being Knighted? By himself?

There's an air of insanity that runs through all of this. If I ever go this crazy, take me out back and shoot me with a tranquilizer dart and throw a net over me.

There's more, but I don't have the heart to run any more.