Necessary To Remember

I cannot believe that exactly 11 months to the day after this post we will be attending another memorial.

But I certainly believe age brings wisdom, however sad. Something my Dad said to me when I was, like, 15, was that one of the more difficult parts of getting old (he was 77) was how more and more often you had to attend memorials. And that it was even more disturbing when the number of them began to drop off.

I had no emotional understanding of that back then. But now I am glad he said it to me.

My Altamount Snippet

I see there’s a new book about classic rock’s darkest day, Just a Shot Away. With what seems like a much-needed remedial main thread. (And I must say that the event is the one thing I utterly hate about the Grateful Dead.)

My most vivid encounter with Altamount horrors came when I mentioned the Gimme Shelter documentary to a music photographer (forgive me for not remembering his name) and he said he was at the show, taking photos. But it was such a drug-soaked and violently deranged scene — more like a riot than a concert — that after half an hour he put away the camera and volunteered to work in a First Aid tent.

It was the look on his face as he recounted this that froze me. This was someone who had witnessed an atrocity.

Yeah, the UnScience Never Fails (And Hardly Changes)

This reminds me why I stopped doing pieces debunking pseudo-science in that the journalism exposes aren’t going to change anybody’s mind. The believers take such comfort and identity from their convictions that they are immune to persuasion. But I do think a vehement “What the fuck color is your car?!?” is a good tactic to shake up the faithful.

R.I.P.: Glenn Branca

The Racket Rocker has left the building.

I had to admit I didn’t play him as often as I expected to — not least because almost anybody else in the room would go batshit within 30 seconds when I did. I treasure my vintage Theoretical Girls 45. I heartily endorse Lesson No. 1 for newcomers and for established fans, I must note that I played this record as often as any:

Poetry falling up and downstairs.

What Most Grinds Me About A.I. and Even Automation in General

Excellent piece, well worth perusing. But the assertion (which the article does not endorse) that has been popping up since I was a kid and has proven false every time is that “machines doing more of our work will mean more leisure time for everybody.” No, it just means people with less power will be out on their ear and have lot of “leisure time” with no income.

Big Green Grunge No More

I’ve mentioned how much we enjoy cooking on our Big Green Egg and what we put on it. (Trust me — do a search.) But out of sheer laziness and mindlessness, I’d bought into the sometimes-floated-around notion that Eggs more or less manage themselves so long as you scrape the small amounts of ash out of the bottom. Yeah, sure.

Esp. this past winter I noticed the Egg was taking much longer than usual to get up to full cooking temp, would not go higher than 350 degrees (which was enough for almost everything, anyway). So I resolved that when it got warm this year I would take out all the leftover wood-chunks in the bottom and see what was up.

What was up was that The Blob had gone and died in the bottom of our Egg — if The Blob was made of a gunky mix of grease and ash. Incredibly hard to remove. Then I ran across several sites that had the same (not easy but effective) routine for thorough cleaning. It does take two days but I’m here to say it works well and I’m a-gonna do it annually. My only concern is that the first time we use it after this, stuff might taste weird.