A Call To Democrats


It's a beautiful day here in San Francisco, and this got me thinking about Bill Maher's fantastic closing monologue the other night. Here it is:

And finally, New Rule: Democrats have to claim their rightful place as the party of environmental protection. Now...for way too long, Republicans have been getting away with rolling their eyes when anyone mentions the planet. You know, as if it's "Smurf Forest" we're talking about instead of the one and only place we can survive!

Now, tomorrow is Earth Day, when President Bush gets his picture taken in front of a tree and Dick Cheney shoots whatever flies out of it. And, as despicable as this administration's record on the environment is, it never was their issue. But Al Gore made a living in the Senate talking about the environment. He makes a living talking about it now. It's just when he was running for president that he shut up. And that's why Democrats keep losing. They don't stand up for what they believe in, yes, like "girly-men", from making the counter-argument.

"How can we explain climate change in a 30-second campaign ad?" Oh, I don't know. How about this: "The Republicans want your children to die." There, I did it with 28 seconds left. Is that scaring us? Well, somebody ought to.

How come the Republicans can pick seemingly bogus, random issues like activist judges and boys kissing, and Mexicans pouring over our borders, and get everyone all worked up about it, and the Democrats can't figure out how to demagogue Armageddon?

Hey...you know what else is pouring over our borders? Greenland. You know, Republicans do a lot of things badly, like plan wars and balance budgets and...dance. But they sure understand that the winner in an election is the one who scares the most crap out of the voters. "Gay marriage!" "Terror alerts!" "The war on Christmas!" How long before Janet Jackson's tit strikes again?! And it's a lot bigger now.

But the environment is real. You can smell it. In parts of Houston, you can grab hunks of it with your hands and use it to lube your car! And if there is a single face you might want to use to personify this evil, he was in the news this week: the retiring and handsomely-compensated chairman of Exxon Mobil, Lee "Fat Bastard" Raymond. [photos shown of Lee Raymond and character "Fat Bastard" from Austin Powers film]

If Lee looks like he's been eating the earth, he has. Even worse, his company has been paying for fake science to confuse people into thinking global warming was still too iffy to act on. You know, if the Democrats can't make this prick into their Willy Horton, they are so pathetic, they might as well go ahead and nominate for president that nice blonde lady who married Bill Clinton. You'll thank me in a year.

Ladies and gentlemen, I literally fear for my kids' future, and I don't even have kids. Glacier National Park in Montana, you know, named for its glaciers, had 150 glaciers when they opened. It's got 26 left today. If we don't take care of places like Montana, we're going to faced with an even bigger problem: gay married men with absolutely no place to go fishing.

Thank You Friends

This past week in New York was one of the most fulfilling weeks I've spent in years. I saw so many people that mean the world to me and it was truly a remarkable week. I know I'm the master of hyperbole on so many levels, but spending time with so many great folks this past week was truly, I'm gonna say it, heartwarming. I split the week three ways between New Jersey, Manhattan and Brooklyn. I saw friends spanning many different periods of my life; Some I've known for 25 years, some I've known since college and others crept into my life post-college. On many nights last week friends from each of these periods all came together to have a good time. We ate, we drank, we talked music, we watched the pinstripes in the Bronx, we debated, we laughed our damn asses off.

I'm now back in San Francisco and for the first time since moving out here, I can truly say that I miss my former life in New York. These people and the city itself left such an impression on me and it finally hit me this past week.

DB, Clark, Doc, Shaw, Waldman, Martha, Grabel, Bobby, Negri, Lip, Kurt, Mom, Andy, Lindz, Kita, TB, Flush, Digs and all the rest: I thank you all for an amazing and memorable week.

Atlantic & Bond


That's where I'm typing from right now: beautiful Brooklyn, New York. The weather right now is absolutely crisp and sweet. I spent the entire week in Manhattan and boy am I glad to be back to my former home.

Some thoughts on New York: 1. Running through Central Park yesterday was downright incredible. The people. The scenery. The spirit. 2. I've had the opportunity to catch up with just about everyone I've wanted to see. Tonight I will hit my favorite restaurant in New York, Bar Tabac, and enjoy a nice steak, some fantastic wine and great conversation with a group of friends. 3. The congestion from Times Square up to Central Park is unreal. I worked in that part of town for nearly seven years and it was never like it is today. The frustration from getting from one block to the next had me on the brink of an anxiety attack. 4. Boy do I love record label folks in New York. They know music. They give you music. They are what's good about music. 5. Brooklyn Lager - my favorite beer once again available for me to guzzle. 6. The breeze streaming through the window right now is worthy of a poem or a short story or I don't know, something related to art or some shit. 7. Brooklyn's still got my heart. I love San Francisco but boy do I really miss this wonderful town. It's 230 in the afternoon and I just realized that my favorite bar on earth, The Brooklyn Inn, is but two blocks away. Ok, it's a bit early for that.

Two more days and nights in Brooklyn, New York before heading back to the Bay Area. Tonight is a great dinner followed by drinks and some good jukebox tunes, tomorrow is Yankees/Orioles followed by another dinner on the Upper East Side. Sunday morning I will hail a cab to JFK and bid farewell....that is, until next time.

Heading Home

Tomorrow morning I head back to NJ/NY for the first time in almost six months. Over the course of the past 16 or so months, I've made a lot of great friends out here in the Bay Area, but I can't recall ever being away from my family and lifelong friends for this long. Most of the week will be spent at meetings and keeping up the pace with the job during the day; however, I've done everything possible to find time to meet up with just about everyone I miss for at least a little while (and those that I haven't connected with yet, please keep your phones on).

I'll spend a few nights in the house in which I was raised out in Northern New Jersey. I'll catch up with my mom, sister and stepfather. It's been way too long. Then I'll head into Manhattan for meetings all week, but each night, I hope to see the friends I grew up with, those I went to college with, many that became some of my closest friends while living in New York, others I worked with and a few of my homes away from home (The Brooklyn Inn and Yankee Stadium, to name a few).

It's a bit of a weird feeling heading back to the East Coast this time around. Why? Because I can actually say that San Francisco now feels like home. And by "home", I mean my new home. New York will always remain my true home. It's where I developed some of the greatest, most lasting relationships of my life. It's where I witnessed many of my good friends get married. It's where I witnessed the Yankees win the 1996 World Series from left field. It's where I saw hundreds and hundreds of bands at their peaks. It's where I've had many of the greatest times of my life. From New Jersey to Brooklyn and into Manhattan, the East Coast will always remain my true home. And tomorrow I get to walk back into that life for a week.

W and Religion

All of us on the left simply throw blame at George W. and his psychotic and fundamental freaks on the right. Is that justified? You bet your ass. What Bush is doing to this country and the world is simply unforgiveable. The president's always talking about God and his Creator and how he is guided by his faith. I haven't read the bible in many years, but I don't recall reading anything about helping the rich while screwing the poor, the thirst for war, abandoning your citizens when they're in need, intolerance of others, and so on. I don't know what book W. is reading from, but it sure isn't the Bible. His actions 100% oppose the teachings and ethics of what is preached in the bible.

I am so sick of this president using and manipulating religion. It is absolutely disgusting and deplorable. I went to a Jesuit university and NOTHING that the president's doing on a daily basis was taught during my three years there. We were taught understanding, equality, selflessness, altruism, modesty and acceptance, among many other things. George W. preaches none of these. None. I'm tired of feeling that we can't speak up against this asshole, simply because he's hijacked the Christian right. Ya know what folks, the brainwashed dolts who believe that Bush is a spiritual and ethical person, are in the same camp as the morons who follow Islamic extremists. George W. Bush IS an extremist. A MAJOR extremist.

And if/when the 43rd president does one day face his "Creator", he will be judged on all that he's done while on Earth. And people, I can't imagine that's going to be a pretty report card.

Springsteen: We Shall Overcome

If you get a moment, check out the new Springsteen video at www.amazon.com. Just when I thought an album of Pete Seegers covers meant that Bruce might be uninspired, once again Mr. Springsteen proves me wrong. These may be covers, but my lord are they fused with heart and soul. This tune "John Henry" makes it nearly impossible for me to not cut rug.

This tune reminds me of the Smithsonian's "Anthology of American Folk Music" that came out a few years ago. I'll never forget hearing Chuck D. of Public Enemy raving about this collection. That's right, Chuck D. raving about The Carter Family, Dock Boggs and other early folk guitar-pickers. I recall Chuck saying that there wouldn't be rap music without these folks. It all comes together people.

In a time when we desperately need musicians, writers, filmmakers and other artists to speak out, Springsteen breathing life back into Pete Seeger's work is sweetness to these ears.

Strolling To Amoeba

Man do I love Sundays in San Francisco. Today my buddy from the South Bay headed up to the city to hang for a few hours. We started off by grabbing some tasty lunch in the Haight and then, of course, made our way over to Amoeba Records. As we walked in, as always happens when I'm at Amoeba with someone, we separated and sought out some goods. I picked up the new Loose Fur, Alejandro Escovedo's "Gravity", The Constantines' "Tournament of Hearts" and the Townes Van Zandt documentary. She got a few cds and a vhs (so classic, still buying VHS).

We then went to a classic bar down the street and had a few pints. As I was driving her back to her car she turned and said, "I really had a great time today". Damn if that what it ain't all about. Hanging out with a friend I hadn't seen in some time, having a nice lunch, buying some music, having a few beers and catching up.

I will now sit down and watch the Townes DVD. Life is good.