Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jon Swift Memorial Roundup 2011



Jon Swift, AKA Al Weisel, was a funny, generous guy. He nominated me for a Weblog Award, once upon a time, and believe me, him nominating me was more prestigious than the actual Weblog Award. We like to keep his spirit alive by remembering him.

Battochio at Vagabond Scholar is carrying on the tradition of Jon Swift/Al Weisel, The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves. As Lance Mannion put it:

Our late and much missed comrade in blogging, journalist and writer Al Weisel, revered and admired across the bandwidth as the “reasonable conservative” blogger Modest Jon Swift, was a champion of the lesser known and little known bloggers working tirelessly in the shadows...

One of his projects was a year-end Blogger Round Up. Al/Jon asked bloggers far and wide, famous and in- and not at all, to submit a link to their favorite post of the past twelve months and then he sorted, compiled, blurbed, hyperlinked and posted them on his popular blog. His round-ups presented readers with a huge banquet table of links to work many of has had missed the first time around and brought those bloggers traffic and, more important, new readers they wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.

It may not have been the most heroic endeavor, but it was kind and generous and a lot of us owe our continued presence in the blogging biz to Al.


Get on over to Vagabond Scholar and check it out!

It's Cold Out, Buddy. Get Down Off The Cross, We Need The Wood


Alan Grayson on Romney, Mormons and elections:

Nevertheless, I was disappointed to read last Thursday that a Mason-Dixon poll found that 26% of all American voters would be “uncomfortable” with a Mormon as President. Last month, a Public Religion Research Institute poll put that figure at more than 40%. In June, a Quinnipiac poll put the figure at 36%. And a Gallup Poll in June found that 22% of all voters would not support any Presidential candidate who is an active Mormon.

The Constitution could not possibly be clearer on this point. The penultimate sentence of the Constitution states: “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Note that this was in the original Constitution; the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights came later.......

Perhaps this is one of those times when people need to be reminded of what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” Bigotry is wrong, whether it’s directed against African-Americans, gays, Jews or Mormons.


There's a big difference between not voting for someone because of the color of their skin, or not voting for someone because she is a woman, and not voting for someone because of things the candidate chooses to believe in. The notion of suggesting that the Constitution stating: “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States” somehow applies to a person in a voting booth is bogus. The "No Religious Test" applies to The State preventing someone from being on the ballot because of their religious views.

The polls Grayson quotes don't appear to have much detail (he didn't provide any links, and I'm not bothering to go look for it), so it is impossible to say from reading his post what it is about Mormonism that people find objectionable. Perhaps it is the Church's views on abortion? If voters don't want to vote for people with particular religious beliefs, I wouldn't call that bigotry. What if Romney belonged to Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church, is it bigotry to say you are not going to vote for him based on his membership in that church?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gay Marriage loves Christmas so much it wants to marry it




"The gay and lesbian community of Minnesota has issued a letter of apology to recently resigned Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch for ruining the institution of marriage and causing her to stray from her husband and engage in an “inappropriate relationship.”


An Open Apology to Amy Koch on Behalf of All Gay and Lesbian Minnesotans

Dear Ms. Koch,

On behalf of all gays and lesbians living in Minnesota, I would like to wholeheartedly apologize for our community's successful efforts to threaten your traditional marriage. We are ashamed of ourselves for causing you to have what the media refers to as an "illicit affair" with your staffer, and we also extend our deepest apologies to him and to his wife. These recent events have made it quite clear that our gay and lesbian tactics have gone too far, affecting even the most respectful of our society.

We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry. And we are doubly remorseful in knowing that many will see this as a form of sexual harassment of a subordinate.

It is now clear to us that if we were not so self-focused and myopic, we would have been able to see that the time you wasted diligently writing legislation that would forever seal the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, could have been more usefully spent reshaping the legal definition of "adultery."

Forgive us. As you know, we are not church-going people, so we are unable to fully appreciate that "gay marriage" is incompatible with Christian values, despite the fact that those values carry a biblical tradition of adultery such as yours. We applaud you for keeping that tradition going.

And finally, shame on us for thinking that marriage is a private affair, and that our marriage would have little impact on anyone's family. We now see that marriage is more than that. It is an agreement with society. We should listen to the Minnesota Family Council when it tells us that marriage is about being public, which explains why marriages are public ceremonies. Never did we realize that it is exactly because of this societal agreement that the entire world is looking at you in shame and disappointment instead of minding its own business.

From the bottom of our hearts, we ask that you please accept our apology.

Thank you.
John Medeiros
Minneapolis MN


Hat Tip The Agitator

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

When The Music's Over



turn out the light.

40 years or so after Jim Morrison was arrested for his "Miami Vice Performance", about 25 years or so after Frank Zappa was paid for his "Miami Vice Performance" , these fellas let it ALL hang out at the Zappanale 2009 festival with a Doors/Hendrix encore.



Rock on!



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Zappa Mosaic


An intriguing portrait of the late rock icon and provocateur Frank Zappa was the winner of one of the world's most prestigious mosaic awards, The Orsoni Prize 2011. The artist, Julian Modica of Marseilles France, will receive Euro 1,000 and all travel arrangements necessary for a one week Master in Mosaic Workshop at the Orsoni foundary in Venice.

Tip of the hat to Mr. Dithers.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Vaclav Havel, R.I.P.

"Frank Zappa was one of the gods of the Czech underground, I thought of him as a friend. Whenever I feel like escaping from the world of the Presidency, I think of him."

Václav Havel.

From Wiki:

In early 1990, Zappa visited Czechoslovakia at the request of President Václav Havel, and was asked to serve as consultant for the government on trade, cultural matters and tourism. Havel was a lifelong fan of Zappa who had great influence in the avant-garde and underground scene in Central Europe in the 1970s and 1980s (a Czech rock group that was imprisoned in 1976 took its name from Zappa's 1968 song "Plastic People"). Zappa enthusiastically agreed and began meeting with corporate officials interested in investing in Czechoslovakia. Within a few weeks, however, the U.S. administration put pressure on the Czech government to withdraw the appointment. Havel made Zappa an unofficial cultural attaché instead.Zappa also planned to develop an international consulting enterprise to facilitate trade between the former Eastern Bloc and Western businesses. On June 24, 1991, Zappa took part at the concert "Adieu Soviet Army", organised in Prague, as the farewell to the last soldiers of Soviet Red Army, leaving free Czechoslovakia (the Red Army had occupied Czechoslovakia since the Prague spring). This was probably Zappa's last rock appearance on the stage and it is recorded on the album Adieu C. A. (Soviet Army).



"Banned and jailed under Czech communism, the Plastic People of the Universe helped to bring the regime down in 1989. Inspired by Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground, and friends with Vaclav Havel, their incredible 40-year history is one in which music and politics are inseparable..."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Beefheart BummerNacht


Today marks the one year anniversary of the Death of Captain Beefheart. Captain Beefheart is dead, long live Captain Beefheart.

Last year for Zappadan, I made a comic book homage to the Zappa/Beefheart crust of the biscuit, and the Cap'n gave up the ghost in the middle of Willie the Pimp.

UPDATE: Captain Beefheart Goes to Heaven










To be continued...Meanwhile, I think it was in The Real Frank Zappa Book where Zappa described Captain Beefheart as "Howling Wolf on Thorazine".







Friday, December 16, 2011

The Zencomix Editorial Board's Meet the Candidates Debate Night

Moderated by Donald Trump
Michele Bachmann


Newt Gingrich


Mitt Romney


Rick Santorum


Rick Perry


Ron Paul

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Zappa on Tumblr



This mustache meme pic was copped from the delightful Daily Zappa, who got it from a Fanatic1 on Tumblr.

There's a Mother-Lode of Zappa stuff on Tumblr. Here's stuff tagged Frank Zappa
Here's stuff tagged Zappa.
Here's stuff tagged Mothers of Invention.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Central Scrotumizer

One of my favorite running gags in The Grill Rats was Larry Craig as the Central Scrotumizer. Joe Lieberman was crowned one year at the Zappadan Parade. If I had done a Central Scrotumizer gag this year, Herman Cain may have come out on top, or maybe Newt Gingrich might have come from behind. According to my sources, Newt likes to come. From behind.

Anyways here's one series that starts off in a secret Christian Men's Club in Georgetown....







Later on at The Restaurant....












Monday, December 12, 2011

Zappa and Cheese S. Christ



"My record isn't Swiss Cheese. I mean it's solid, it's a solid block of cheese." Rick Santorum (h/t to Tengrain)

Ladies and gentleman, Zappanistas and Zappaneers, I submit to you the liner notes to the Zappa album "You Are What You Is"



"THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PREPARED for publication in Newsweek magazine. After it was sent to them, they rejected it saying that it was too 'idiosyncratic.' Since we needed something to fill up this space, this article will now meet its destiny as decorative filler material.

Say Cheese …
It has been suggested that the Gross National Product is perhaps not the best indicator of how well we are doing as a society since it tells us nothing about the Quality of our Lives … but, is this worth dwelling upon as we grovel our way along in the general direction of the 21st Century? When future historians write about us, they base their conclusions on whatever material goods survive from Present-Day America, we will undoubtedly stand alone among nations and be known forevermore as 'THOSE WHO CHOSE CHEESE.'

As you will recall, folks, nobody ever had as much going for them in the beginning as we did. Let's face it … we were fantastic. Today, unfortunately, we are merely WEIRD. This is a shocking thing to say, since no Red-Blooded American likes to think of his or herself as being WEIRD, but when there are other options and a whole nation CHOOSES CHEESE, that is WEIRD.
Our mental health has been in a semi-wretched condition for quite some time now. One of the reasons for this distress, aside from CHOOSING CHEESE as a way of life, is the fact that we have (against some incredibly stiff competition) emerged victorious as the biggest bunch of liars on the face of the planet. No society has managed to invest more time and energy in the perpetuation of the fiction that it is moral, sane and wholesome than our current crop of Modern Americans.

This same delusion is the Mysterious Force behind our national desire to avoid behaving in any way that might be construed as INTELLIGENT. Modern Americans behave as if intelligence were some sort of hideous deformity. To cosmeticize it, many otherwise normal citizens attempt a peculiar type of self-inflicted homemade mental nose-job (designed to lower the recipient's socio-intellectual profile to the point where the ability to communicate on the most mongolian level provides the necessary certification to become ONE OF THE GUYS). Let's face it … nobody wants to hang out with somebody who is smarter than they are. This is no FUN.

Americans have always valued the idea of FUN. We have a National Craving for FUN. We don't get very much of it anymore, so we do two things: first, we rummage around for anything that might be FUN, then (since it really wasn't FUN stuff in the first place) we pretend to enjoy it (whatever it was). The net result: STRESSED CHEESE.
But where does all this CHEESE really come from? It wouldn't be fair to blame it all on TV, although some credit must be given to whoever it is at each of the networks that GIVES US WHAT WE WANT. (You don't ask – you don't get). Folks, we now have GOT IT … lots of it … and, in our Infinite American Wisdom, we have constructed elaborate systems to insure that future generations will have an even more abundant supply of that fragrant substance upon which we presently thrive.
If we can't blame it on the TV, then where does it come from? Obviously, we are weird if we have to ask such a question. Surely we must realize by now (except for the fact that we lie to ourselves so much that we get confused sometimes) that as Contemporary Americans we have an almost magical ability to turn anything we touch into a festering mound of self-destructing poot.

How can we do this with such incredible precision? Well, one good way is to form a Committee. Committees composed of all kinds of desperate American Types have been known to convert the combined unfulfilled emotional needs and repressed biological urges of their memberships into complex masses of cheese-like organisms at the rap of a gavel. Committee Cheese is usually sliced very thin, then bound into volumes for eventual dispersal in courts of law, legislative chambers, and public facilities where you are invited to eat all you want.

If that doesn't fill you up, there is the exciting Union Cheese … the most readily available cheese-type offered. The thing that's so exciting about Union Cheese, from a gourmet's point of view, is the classic simplicity of the mathematical formula from which it is derived. In fact, it is difficult to avoid a state of Total Ecstasy if one contemplates the proposition that no import quota yet devised has proven equal to the task of neutralizing the lethal emissions generated by the ripening process of this piquant native confection. Should we not be overtaken by some unspeakable emotion when we consider the fact that the smaller the amount of care taken in the preparation of each Union Cheese Artifact, the more triumphant the blast as the vapors stream forth from every nook and cranny of whatever it was that the stalwart craftsperson got paid $19.00 per hour to slap together?


Still hungry? Union Cheese might be the most readily available, but no type of cheese in America today has achieved the popular acceptance of Accountant Cheese. If it is true that YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, then surely our national willingness to eat this stuff tells us more about ourselves than we probably wish to know. Obviously we have found The Cheese To Believe In. Why not? It is manufactured by people who count money, endorsed as nutritionally sound by Civic Leaders, and delivered by The Media door to door. The Quality Of Our Lives (if we think of this matter in terms of 'How much of what we individually consider to be Beautiful are we able to experience every day?') seems an irrelevant matter, now that all decisions regarding the creation and distribution of Works of Art must first pass under the limbo bar (a/k/a 'The Bottom Line'), along with things like Taste and The Public Interest, all tied like a tin can to the wagging tale of the sacred Prime Rate Poodle. The aforementioned festering poot is coming your way at a theatre or drive-in near you. It wakes you up every morning as it droozles out of your digital clock radio. An ARTS COUNCIL somewhere is getting a special batch ready with little tuxedos on it so you can think it's precious.
Yes Virginia … there is a FREE LUNCH. We are eating it now. Can I get you a napkin?"
— FZ, April 1, 1981

Friday, December 09, 2011

Zappadan Jeopardy! Answer:Because Dickie's such an Asshole





Question:Why did Dick Santorum dine alone?

Prelude to The Afternoon Of A Sexually Aroused Gas Mask

Play these two videos at the same time. Maybe some enterprising soul wants to dub the Mothers onto the actual video of The Pepper Spraying Cop.



Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Toad of The Short Hair Forest...




Warts and All Zappadan

Although Zappadan is a celebration of many aspects of Zappa's life, like every other human, sometimes Frank was full of shit.

He was notoriously "anti-drug". I remember a Saturday Night Live appearance when he declared "I don't do drugs, man", and all the kiddies laughed because he looked like a long haired hippy, and he's a musician, and my god, did you hear those lyrics, he must be on drugs!



The truth is, Zappa was a drug addict, and his drug of choice was Tobacco. I think it was in The Real Frank Zappa Book (it's been 15 years or so since I read it, so correct me if I'm wrong) where he tried rationalizing his addiction to nicotine, calling it "like a food, it's part of my metabolism." Spoken like a true junky! Take away his fix in the middle of a tour and see how well he performs during all the withdrawal symptoms.




At Ketchup Is A Vegetable, Brady posted about Zappa and Unions.

This little clip is a gentle reminder that, although Zappadan is celebrated by a cadre of “liberal” bloggers, Frank Zappa’s politics were not always so cut and dried. Zappa considered himself a businessman before anything else and believed (rightly so, I reckon) that he would not be able to do what he did unless he could make money at it. True things, all. As this clip reminds us, though, Zappa also thought of himself as management, and he was not fond of (nor, I think did he actually understand) unions.


"Well, the fact of the matter is, I am The Dictator", says Zappa, before backpeddling on his own characterization, calling himself The Referee between The Band and The Audience. What a load of bullshit! Referees are neutral parties, and Zappa is obviously a participant with a vested interest.

Zappa says in the video that the people who find his attitude and work ethic toward the band (firing under performers) baffling are people with a "Union Mentality" of "Too many people do too little work for too much money and go on strike to get more days off." What a load of bullshit!

In The Real Frank Zappa Book (I gave my copy away 15 years ago to a hippy named Troll, so I can't look it up), Zappa devoted a few chapters to "Orchestral Stupidities", where he attempted to hire orchestras to play and record some of his compositions. Maybe it was the london orchestra, maybe it was in New York, but the musicians were unionized, and so Union contract rules were in effect, and that evidently rubbed Zappa the wrong way. I imagine he wanted to keep rehearsing something until they go it the way he wanted, until they got it "right", but you know, if the union says we're taking a 10 minute break every hour and a half hour break every 3 hours, and an hour for lunch, etc. that probably pissed off Frank to no end.

I can only imagine what other Union Atrocities Frank had to put up with. Did he hire Teamster Truckers to haul a semi full of band equipment, and they were booked one night in Denver and the next night in Minneapolis, and the truckers had the gall to stop driving after 10 hours and go to sleep for 8 hours, and they were late getting to the gig because they were following DOT regulations and Union Rules, not like the old days when some palooka named Larry rode the bus straight through from Memphis to Salt Lake without stopping?



In the song "Stick Together" Zappa trots out the old Unions=Mafia stereotype

This is a song about the union, friends
How they fucked you over and the way they bends
The rules to suit a special few
And you gets pooched every time they do

You know we gotta stick together
You know we gotta stick together
You know we gotta stick together
You know we gotta stick together

Once upon a time the idea was good
If only they'd a done what they said they would
It ain't no better, they's makin' it worse
The labor movement's got the Mafia curse

You know we gotta stick together
You know we gotta stick together
You know we gotta stick together
You know we gotta stick together

Don't be no fool, don't be no dope
Common sense is your only hope
When the union tells you it's time to strike
Tell the motherfucker to take a hike

You know we gotta stick together
You know we gotta stick together
You know we gotta stick together
You know we gotta stick together


Unions, like any other organization, are going to have their share of corrupt bastards, but "The Union" doesn't tell "The People" when to strike, "The People" are "The Union", and they vote on whether or not they will strike. Maybe if they have a Benevolent Referee Dictator for a boss, the workers don't feel a need for a union, but if your boss is a prick like Rupert Murdoch, perhaps you want to "Stick Together".

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Zappraxas, Bold As Love



Mark Hoback is kicking back and enjoying Zappadan from the balcony seats.

Not long after I linked to their Jimi Hendrix birthday post, Urantian Sojourn jumps into the Zappadan mosh pit. (Hat Tip to Blue Gal)

Ornery Bastard is enjoying some fine headphone worthy percussive elements.



Contingencies has gone phishin'.

Brady takes a look at Zappa, the Conservative Business Man

Rehctaw investigates the origins of Suzy Creamcheese

The Iranian Redneck testifies to another Zappadan Miracle.



Under The Lobsterscope's Reasons to love Zappadan

Tengrain has the Zappa Lost Interview Tapes, classic stuff!

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Jokes write themselves during Zappadan


This morning on KGAN, the meteorologist finished up his weather report by mentioning something about the possibility of "White Snow" falling later in the week. The usually painful Small Town News Anchor Segue Small Talk that follows the weather report was immediately dominated by "You sure it's going to be White Snow, Justin, and not Yellow Snow?" and such for a good minute. The Sports Guy got in on the act as well when it was his turn to report on the Hawkeyes getting the nod to play a bowl game in Arizona, something like "I'm sure there's no Yellow Snow in Arizona".

Don't be so sure, chump. I've been there, and I've seen it!


Under the Lobsterscope served up a theatrical production of Lumpy Gravy back in 1968!

Urantian Sojourn is celebrating the birthday of Jimi Hendrix. Not exactly Zappadan, but if you poke around over there, you'll see some great stuff from past years.

Mock, Paper, Scissors has Free Speech Zappa.

Fearguth is Occupying Zappadan in style.

Rehctaw's got When The Lies So Big

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Weasel Dust



I've been doing a bit of research on the Black Weasel, and I suspect it was from the ferret part of the weasel family, perhaps an escaped pet ferret gone feral.

What are folks up to for Zappadan this year?

Brady Bonk is investigating The Yellow Shark.

Blckdgrd doesn't really celebrate, but, as always, is generous with the linkage.

The Professional Left Podcast offers up some Zappa.

Blue Gal has the definitive Pepper Spraying Cop Photoshop and more Zappadan art.

The Brain Police is serving Roast Poodle on a Chrome Dinette Set with the Good China.

Graves doesn't get the whole Zappa Brew Ha Ha. That explains why he's posting Pat Boone's White Christmas.

The Iranian Redneck gets the whole Zappa Brew Ha ha.

Zappadan Cometh, Didja Get Any Onya?



UPDATES:

Cleveland Jeff discusses the LSO recordings of Zappa's work.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Black Napkins Friday



Is the Friday before Zappadan known as Black Napkins Friday? If it wasn't before, It is now! No shoppers were pepper sprayed or trampled last year on Black Napkins Friday, let's hope those rabid Zappanistas behave themselves again this year.

So, earlier today, just after dawn, I'm cruising down Black Diamond Rd by Old Man's Creek, thinking about Black Napkins Friday, and way up ahead of me I spot what looks like a Black Squirrel on the side of the road. I see them periodically on my bike rides around town, usually around the creek areas. They're not as common as the grey squirrel, but they're around.

The closer I got, the more I started thinking, "That's a big fucking squirrel." Finally I got close enough to get a really good look at it, and it was no squirrel, it was some type of Black Weasel! I didn't have my weasel repellant handy, so I crossed the street and got the fuck out of there as quickly as possible.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

McLovin'



There's still time for Herman Cain to revive is sagging campaign. He just needs to divorce his wife, marry his mistress, divorce his wife again, marry his mistress again, and then join the Catholic Church.



It helps if your wife is a Fembot.