This episode is a bit of an odd duck. I was scanning a bunch of tunes I had saved up for future episodes of Tales From The Drop Box after enjoying a fine thanksgiving day with my family. After listening to several catchy tunes in a row, I just cobbled together this episode from that playlist. Tales From The Drop BoxEpisode 130 is a slightly mellow affair, but perhaps it was the big meal.
My takeaway after reading the full report is that climate change is real. But you already knew that. What you also know as a fact and the report confirms that unless very aggressive action is taken to reduce and eliminate carbon emissions that life is going to change for all of us. One of those changes is that on a global basis humans are going to suffer. Many will die from famine, disease and catastrophic weather events.
Another takeaway garnered from the response to the report by Trump is that we need to eliminate impediments to change. i.e. eliminate the noise created by climate change deniers that prevent action directed to reduce the impact of these events. We also need to stop fake presidents.
Tomorrows Tulips – “Certain Frantic Quality” (Harnessed To Flesh)
The Littlest Viking – “Deathdrop For Jesus” (Feelings & Stuff)
Color TV – “Pale & Vicious” (Color TV)
Workin’ Man Noise Unit – “Turn It Off” (It’s Not Nothin’)
Harlan T. Bobo – “Spiders” (A History Of Violence)
Gold Star – “This Is The Year” (Uppers & Downers)
Night Shop – “I Was Alone” (In The Break)
Hippo Campus – “Anxious” (Bambi)
Middle Class Rut – “Swimmin’ outta L.A.” (Strangler Days)
We Hate You Please Die – “Minimal Function” (Kids Are Lo-Fi)
Radio Birdman – “I-94” (The Essential Radio Birdman 1974-1978)
Escondido – “Bullet” (Warning Bells)
Je cherche le cerveau dans mon chemin et dans ma fête c’est la tête je fous plus rien mon dieu, mon dieu là c’est demain réalité la nier, ça m’f’rait du bien . . . I could say it right now but it’s not the time I see those friendly faces but they only make me anxious . . .
Here is what I hope is a pleasant surprise for your Friday – a bonus episode this week of Tales From The Drop Box. Episode 128 is a driving episode filled from beginning to end with high energy rock n’ roll mostly traversing the punk rock world. For once this should be a good surprise, eh?
NB: If you listen to this podcast with impressionable and sensitive young children around you, you should probably give this episode a pass if they can make out the words, eh? There are a ton of fucks liberally sprinkled throughout the show.
Enjoy your Friday!
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #128:
Time Shifters – “Dangerous Man” (Screaming Heroes)
Skating Polly – “Classless Act” (The Make It All Show)
Sick Of It All – “Wake The Sleeping Dragon” (Wake The Sleeping Dragon)
The Filaments – “Fuck The Alt-Right” (Look To the Skies)
Surfbort – “Pretty Little Fuckers” (Friendship Music)
The Casualties – “Feed Off Fear” (Written In Blood)
Flanders 72 – “What The Hell Is Going On?” (This Is A Punk Rock Club)
Candy – “Systematic Death” (Good To Feel)
Creep Scene – “Kill” (Regret)
The Heroes – “Separate Ways” (Beautiful Disaster)
Sick Thoughts – “Chainsaw” (Sick Thoughts)
Send Request – “Antisocial War” (Perspectives)
Adolescents – “Just Because” (Cropduster)
Big Black – “Kitty Empire” (Songs About Fucking)
Lost Sounds – “Satan Bought Me” (Memphis Is Dead)
Nazis! That shape our policy and take our liberty dominated and controlled. Live free! . . . I jump around with my wang in the wind it flops around, you admired it I am your neighbor now you can’t stop me now . . .
I am glad that the U.S. soldiers who fought and died in France in WWI were not like the President Donald “FPOS” Trump who couldn’t be bothered to travel in the rain to Aisne-Marne American cemetery in Belleau and participate in a wreath-laying ceremony. The cemetery is located on the site of a World War I battle, in which Americans and French forces battled German force in 1918, killing over 1,800 Americans troops.
For the self-proclaimed supporter of our veterans the failure to participate in the wreath laying ceremony was truly a disgrace and dishonored those who served valiantly and gave their lives for the cause – to defeat nationalism and tyranny. November 11, 1918, Armistice day, marked the day World War I ended in a ceasefire at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. This year marks the 100th anniversary of that agreement between the Allies and Germany. While other world leaders participated in the rain, the President stayed at the hotel.
While many news outlets, worldwide, have observed the shameful behavior of the President, his loathsome inaction should not come as a surprise to anyone. As we all are fully aware by now – Trump does not care about the optics or about others, including those veterans he sent to defend our southern board from the invaders from the south. Oh wait…that is an unaarmed group of persons seeking asylum. No person of any intelligence could honestly believe that there is not anyone better than Trump to lead this country. Our democracy will survive the reign of this nationalist @$#%%!!!. (You can insert your own adjective.)
I was inspired by the words of French President Emmanuel Macron, who pointed out that Trump is an asshat without saying his name “Trump Faces Backlash After Canceling WWI Ceremony Due To Rain.” Macron elegantly pointed out the obvious, that patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. We need to fight, like our veterans did for us, the scourge of nationalism.
As we remember our veterans on this Veterans Day and thank them for their service, we should also remember what they fought for – to preserve our freedom, democracy and end tyranny. We must fight evil wherever it exists.
For those who voted last week, I thank you. For those who served, I cannot thank you enough.
Have a blessed veterans day.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #127:
L7 – “Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago” (Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago Digital Single)
The Lone Bellow – “Water Under The Bridge” (The Restless EP)
Gin Blossoms – “Fortunate Street” (Mixed Reality)
Vacation Manor – “Move On” (Everything I Can’t Say Out Loud)
Leoniden – “Colorless” (Again)
The Insinceres – “Molly” (Sad Mess)
Mother Feather – “Man, I Wish You Were Here” (Constellation Baby)
Direct Hit! – “Welcome To Heaven” (Crown Of Nothing)
Drug Church – “Strong References” (Cheer)
Turin Brakes – “Tomorrow” (Invisible Storm)
999 – “Emergency” (999)
She Drew The Gun – “Since You Were Not Mine” (Skeleton Key)
Raiders strike but where panic in the air running scared oh I’m so scared it gets you everywhere . . . S.O.S. from a golden throne mogul’s in deep shit, he’s all alone it’s not good, a riot in fact the whole friggin’ country club is under attack
Tomorrow is election day – Go Out And Vote. Democracy only works if we all participate. You can listen to this episode, Tales From The Drop Box Episode 126, while you head to your polling station. If you live in California, you can locate your polling place fairly easily:
Here is your reward for voting – an aggressively positive episode! Enjoy!
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #126:
Now, Now – “SGL” (Saved)
Antarctigo Vespucci – “Kimmy” (Love In The Time Of E-mail)
The Aints! – “Red Aces” (The Church of Simultaneous Existence)
The Boss Hoss – “In Your Face” (Black Is Beautiful)
Arlington – “Hollow Moon” (A Walk Through Jackson County)
Atreyu – “In Our Wake” (In Your Wake)
Abandoned By Bears – “So Far Gone” (Headstorm)
Turnspit – “Midsentence” (Desire Paths)
A Gazillion Angry Mexicans – “Driving Fast With Your Friends” (Stonerpopdoompunk)
Hardcore Superstar – “AD/HD” (You Can’t Kill My Rock ‘n Roll)
Sister Disaster – “Kill” (Away)
Nerve Quakes – “Running” (Running b/w Rewind 7’’)
Revenge of the Psychotronic Man – “I Wanna Be A Spaceman” (That Was Just Noise (2004-2018))
The 4 Skins – A.C.A.B.” (The Albums)
dragSTER– “One Bad Cop” (Anti-Everything)
Hanging around with my mates one night we got in a little fight geezer comes with a knife in his fist I got cut along with the rest said … pick it up, baby, if I’m moving too slow I got the seat back windows up just say it, I’m yours now every word is heavy
Yet another diversionary tactic. Tales From The Drop Box Episode 125 is my humble attempt to divert your attention from reality – at least for an hour. With pipe bombs being sent around the country by yet another mental defective who finally lost the plot to the evil perpetrated by the a-hole in Pittsburgh, it would be easy to give up hope for a better world. However, we must not lose sight of the future and the unmistakable conclusion that we as a species can overcome evil. We must believe that good still exits in the world and not give in to the temptation that the horrific events occurring with seemingly increasing frequency are somehow “normal.” As we reflect on these tragedies, we must act against evil. The prescription is relatively easy. Perform good acts. Take time to be kind. Be helpful. Resist anger. Recognize good in others. Don’t blame. Be honest. All of these actions are within the capacity of us all.
oh…and rock on!
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #125:
Seasaw – “God (Zilla)” (Big Dogs)
Basement – “Slip Away” (Beside Myself)
Cloud Nothings – “In Shame” (Last Building Burning)
Strange Ranger – “New Hair” (How It Al l Went By EP)
GØGGS – “Killing Time” (Pre Strike Sweep)
Baked Beans – “Easy” (Babble)
The Frights – “Over It” (Hypochondriac)
Negative Scanner – “History Lesson” (Nose Picker)
The Cruel Intentions – “Check Your Head” (No Sign Of Relief)
The Parkinsons – “Metal Cranes” (The Shape Of Nothing To Come)
Templeton Pek – “Nowhere To Hide” (Watching The World Come Undone)
Jump, Little Children – “Hand on My Heartache” (Sparrow)
Curtail – “Sleight of Hand” (All Your Luck)
Joe Strummer – “London Is Burning” (Joe Strummer 001)
Amy Stroup – “Lost Ones” (Helen of Memphis)
The sirens’ risin’ there’s a distant blues dance on a crowded street the temperature’s a-risin’ soon you’re gonna be runnin’ down . . . I don’t need to say what I said before you never listened to me anyway, my voice is sore or I’m not sick at all, I’m just sick of you
I’ll bet you are glad that the introductory notes to this episode of Tales From The Drop Box Episode 124 are going to be thankfully short after last episode’s lengthy discussion of the California ballot propositions. I have a full week of work ahead, so you get the benefit – very little to read but a ton of good stuff to listen to in this show. I was digging around and found a couple of tracks that for some reason or another didn’t make it into the podcast because they were awkward. For example, the track by The Weeks “Button” is a live cut with a drum solo at the end. I love the song, but couldn’t figure out how to fit it smoothly into the show. I still haven’t, but I’m comfortable just dropping it in the middle of the show and living with it. The show is filled with these misaligned misfits but I have enjoyed every song in this episode a number of times before offering it up for your listening pleasure. Hopefully you like a little awkwardness in your music!
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #124:
The Regrettes – “Come Through” (Attention Seeker)
Family Of The Year – “Two Kids” (Goodbye Sunshine, Hello Nighttime)
Beachtape – “Fix It Up” (Fix It Up b/w Figure It Out 7’’)
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – “Muckraker” (12 Bar Bruise)
The Weeks – “Buttons” (Inside The Pines)
Starcrawler – “I Love L.A.” (Starcrawler)
Tancred – “Hot Star” (Nightstand)
Drinking Boys and Girls Choir – “I’m A Fucking McDonalds” (Keep Drinking)
Assuming We Survive – “Make It out Alive” (Chapters EP)
Thrice – “Hold Up A Light” (Palms)
Gino and the Goons – “Wring Side Of A Cigarette” (She Was Crushed EP)
Last Dinosaurs – “Eleven” (Yumeno Garden)
The Town Heroes – “More” (Everything (will be fine when we get to where we think we’re going)
Cloves – “Bringing The House Down” (One Big Nothing)
You’ve got a lot of nerve when you’re trying to call me out but we both know very well you’re the one with the big mouth . . . lost some buttons to my overcoat pull your knife away from my throat she said, ‘smoke your cigarette, I hope you choke’ kissed my lips and quickly ran away
Tales From The Drop Box Episode 122 is a legitimate exercise of free expression and protected by a Constitution. That Constitution was revealed this past week to be merely a piece of paper and not the touchstone of a democratic society. One observation that is obvious from the events surrounding the Kavanaugh appointment to the supreme court: our government is in free fall.
NB: This would be a good time to just skip to the bottom if you do not share the same political views as me or are just burnt out of a tumultuous political news environment …. Be assured that the podcast entitled Tales From The Drop Box is only about the music! We can respectfully disagree with one another as to how our government should operate but I think we can all agree that music should always matter!
Now for those of you who have not heeded the warning above and are still somewhat interested or perhaps curious in my humble opinion…
Our nation will survive this latest fall – a fall that began with the election of Trump – a vile creature that is pathological in his avoidance of the truth. I can also reassure you that at some point in the future the chaos will subside and order will be restored. However, as things stand right now, I think that we are in store for more difficult times ahead for our republican form of government.
Where does the blame lie? I think it squarely lies with us – you and me – and our inability to elect representatives “of and for” the people. This undemocratic situation would likely be easier medicine to swallow if it was the intent of the framers was to give control of the government to the citizens of the United States but, as we should all realize, the framers did not intend for the citizens to control the happenings in Washington. The framers of the Constitution envisioned a system of representative government that was, by design, created to prevent the voice of a large number of the people who elect those representatives from being heard. We are now free falling as a society because “we the people” have chosen, for more than 200 years, to ignore the obvious flaws in our system and fix the damned thing. Trump and Kavanaugh are the consequences of our collective failure.
The problem with our government is not the political party system. Although, after the sham Kavanaugh investigation controlled by the Republican party, you would tend to think that those morally bankrupt sycophants of Trump aka the Trump Party, are to blame for the state of the disunion – but they are not. The Republican party operates as the framers originally intended – to divest authority of government from the people and keep the wisdom in the hands of the “elite” few. Instead of draining the swamp, the swamp is thriving under Trump. I should probably note for you that I am not alone in this thinking. Someone actually took the time to gather empirical date to study the influence of the people on our elected representatives. Their conclusion confirms what we already know from observation that: “when the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” The authors then conclude that their findings  about democracy in America …
constitute troubling news for advocates of “populistic” democracy, who want governments to respond primarily or exclusively to the policy preferences of their citizens. In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it. (See Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.)
The inescapable conclusion is that the fault with our present system of government lies with us and that the issues we are currently experiencing are not only systemic but also inherent in our form of government. If it is possible to somehow assign blame for the Kavanaugh debacle, then any aspersions for the result (i.e. the confirmation of a person so politically partisan that he delegitimizes the court as a check on the power of the other branches of government), should be cast upon an electoral system that is fundamentally flawed. I have pointed out some of those flaws in the past, but here is a brief list of the big ones that would suggest that our democratic republic is a sham (again, for the record, the U.S. is not a democracy):
The person who receives the most votes from the people does not win the election for President (i.e. one person, one vote).
The electoral college. Why the fuck would we vote for electors at this point in our history? 538 people vote for president – you do not. In 21 states, no matter who you voted for president, your elector can choose whomever they want to be president.
A president who lost the popular vote by 2,864,974 nominated Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to serve lifetime appointments on the nation’s highest Court;
The Senate treats residents of small states as more worthy of representation than residents of larger states i.e. it treats a person from California as 1/67th of a person from Wyoming.
None of the above makes sense to anyone who can think rationally. I know, you are going to double check me, but even a Canadian immigrant can figure out that there is something truly fucked up with a system where the people “vote” for a President and that vote is merely illusion. Why are we still doing this?
As Alexander Hamilton and James Madison made clear in the Federalist Papers, the essence of our republic would consist “IN THE TOTAL EXCLUSION OF THE PEOPLE, IN THEIR COLLECTIVE CAPACITY, from any share” in the government. Instead, popular views would be translated into public policy through the election of representatives “whose wisdom may,” in Madison’s words, “best discern the true interest of their country.” Over the years, the spin we are taught in our classrooms is that the “people” can influence the outcome of elections. However, as noted in prior rants from my window to the world, not everyone votes, not every citizen can vote, and given the gerrymandering, electoral college, and gerrymandering (again), the odds are slim that the intent of Hamilton and Madison is going to change. A good place to start the process of change would be with the way we appoint supreme court justices. Baby steps…
I started off today thinking I was going to write something about the Supreme Court and how the confirmation of Kavanaugh confirms the illegitimacy of the Court. I am still angry at the subterfuge of the Republican Party in orchestrating the clown show that took place. What is more troublesome is that the blame lies on both sides of the aisle. I am no longer confident that the U.S. Supreme Court is worthy of the respect of its citizens and that is deeply troubling. So, rather than write about the “confirmation” of the supreme court’s illegitimacy (note: capital letters are reserved for a legitimate body), what follows below is the source of that illegitimacy for you to consider as you ponder the outcome of the failed process from last week.
I am not the first one to note that the Supreme Court has lost the mantle of legitimacy as a check on the other branches of government. For example, see this interesting law review article from 2013: The Supreme Court’s New Source of Legitimacy which argues that legitimacy derives from either expertise or popularity and in the introduction makes this observation: “the idea that judges decide salient cases based on their political preferences has become part of the common perception and has eroded the Court’s image as an expert in the public mind.” Well, if the other source of legitimacy, as the author suggests, is popularity, I venture to say that the confirmation of Kavanaugh has sealed the court’s fate – doomed to be viewed by the public as an illegitimate body. This is troubling on many levels. Without a legitimate high court i.e. a body that is non-partisan, conscious of bias, and acting as a legitimate check on the power of the President, the U.S. Constitution is rendered meaningless as a corrupt court twists the constitution into what it desires for the master it serves and as a consequence the rule of law is no longer the dominant driver of our society. A country without respect for the rule of law is no longer a country. It is tyranny. The preamble to the Constitution recites the rationale for the form of government proposed by the framers of the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice . . .”
Establishing justice i.e. the rule of law, is a first principle established by the founders in order to form that more perfect union. It took the Supreme Court more than 25 years to find its place as the check on the power of the other branches of government i.e. as something more than a lackey to the President. As almost every high school student should know, this role of the Supreme Court was first established in Marbury v. Madison 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803). Kavanaugh’s confirmation – an intemperate partisan – who is, as alleged by his own Yale classmates, also a liar, is the consequence of that flawed electoral system. That flawed system has also created our immediate situation – a situation where a single appointment to the supreme court effectively and perhaps permanently eviscerates the power of the court to prevent the tyranny of the presidency. The supreme court was the last remaining restraint on presidential power because the Senate no longer functions as a co-equal and Congress is irrelevant. No matter what kind of justice Kavanaugh ends up being while on the bench, it is simply not possible to turn lead into gold. Oops, that may be possible. Perhaps shit into shinola.
The Supreme Court should not be partisan. Tales from the Drop Box is partisan. . . . and will always be partisan in favor of free will, the rule of law, individual freedoms and diversity. Know the difference. Believe.
Here is what you’ll find in Episode #122:
Gouge Away – “Hey Mercy” (Burnt Sugar)
Bad Sounds – “Avalanche” (Get Better)
Northern Faces – “Firecracker” (Fingers Crossed)
Death Valley Girls – “Wear Black” (Darkness Rains)
Tommy and the Commies – “Straight Jacket” (Here Come ….)
Viagra Boys – “Slow Learner” (Street Worms)
Save Face – “Plans” (Merci)
She Drew The Gun – “Something For The Pain” (Revolution Of Mind)
Engine Summer – “Basement” (Trophy Kids)
Gen Pop – “It’s A Trap” (Start Again)
The Goon Sax – “Love Lost” (We’re Not Talking)
Night Birds – “My Dad Is The BTK” (Roll Credits)
Buzzcocks – “Love Is Lies” (Love Bites)
The Beths – “You Wouldn’t Like Me” (Future Me Hates Me)
Love is lies, love is eyes love is everything that’s nice love is not as cold as ice but that’s what that means to me . . . you were making plans, I was sleeping in. Bet you didn’t think I’d notice the bruises on your skin. Yeah, you were making plans. You were making plans, you were sleeping out.