Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tag Team

Tag Team

Tag Team (2006)

Something new lifted fresh off the pixel mat...

From the now completely juried Wikipedia:

In professional wrestling, a tag team consists of two or more wrestlers who are working together as a team. They usually wrestle against a like number of opponents, however in the occasional "handicap match" there may be an unequal number of competitors (André the Giant was often pitted against two or more opponents). The term "tag team" has since become used in a metaphorical sense for a pair of partners who alternate in participation in an activity, and "tag-teaming" for the act of alternating with an ally, e.g. a couple tag-teaming in an argument with another person.

According to the rules of pro wrestling, only one competitor per team is allowed in the ring at a time, and the only way that a wrestler can change places with a partner is for the competitor in the ring to "tag" him or touch him on some part of his body. The referee must also see a tag for it to be legal. Given the nature of pro wrestling, the "rules" are seldom adhered to and exist as part of kayfabe, the suspension of disbelief required for pro wrestling to work as entertainment. This means that often both members of teams, especially heel teams, are in the ring simultaneously with only one member of an ostensibly rule-abiding face team.

A spot that occurs in practically every tag team match is the hot tag. One member of the face team would be in the ring taking a beating from one of his heel opponents. Occasionally, both wrestlers from the heel team would attack him, while his partner protests to the referee about this bending of the rules (and therefore, unintentionally "distracting" the referee on behalf of the heels). Eventually the weakened face wrestler does make the tag to his partner, who comes in as the fresh man and is able to take on both opponents quite easily.

Forget NASCAR Dads. What can fire up the Bush base more than pro wrestling...

We're here to kick the Village People's ass...

...although I suppose things could get a little too waaay down under.

[Photograph seen on Obsessed with Wrestling]


Going on vacation until sometime after July 4th. Blogging will be sporadic to slim, so I'm hot tagging you. Please enjoy the many fine sites and blogs to your right during downtime. And feel free to distract the ref while pummeling wingnuts, okay...

Friday, June 23, 2006



Fluxion (1999)

Umm, what the flux...?


Fluxion \Flux"ion\, n. [Cf. F. fluxion.]

1. The act of flowing. --Cotgrave.

2. The matter that flows. --Wiseman.

3. Fusion; the running of metals into a fluid state.

4. (Med.) An unnatural or excessive flow of blood or fluid toward any organ; a determination.

5. A constantly varying indication.

Less to be counted than the fluxions of sun dials. --De Quincey.

6. (Math.)

(a) The infinitely small increase or decrease of a variable or flowing quantity in a certain infinitely small and constant period of time; the rate of variation of a fluent; an incerement; a differential.

(b) pl. A method of analysis developed by Newton, and based on the conception of all magnitudes as generated by motion, and involving in their changes the notion of velocity or rate of change. Its results are the same as those of the differential and integral calculus, from which it differs little except in notation and logical method.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913).

I hope that clears things up. If not, this excerpt from the Grand UniVerse Discussion Group should clarify everything:

As it turns out, there is a condition, spaceless, sizeless and instantaneous, capable of generating space-time, energy and matter, capable of creating and containing the universe, described herein as a Fluxion Wholeness. Though it is the foundation of the Calculus, it has been described by Mathematicians and Theologians as well as a curiosity. Though it has been in plain view at least since the time of Newton and Leibniz and perhaps for many thousands of years prior, little realization of its true nature, of what it ultimately represents has been achieved.

Because the concept of "nothingness" has been so powerful in the minds of Humans and because Mathematicians are grounded in the art of math, Theologians and Philosophers in the art of subjectivity and Scientists in the art of objectivity, each dedicated to their own separate fields of endeavor, they have failed to collectively evoke the unified concept of this mathematical "curiosity" as representative of the actual foundation of universal existence. Hence, as we have only perceived the Fluxion as a curiosity, we have allowed the mistaken concept of "nothingness" to take precedent, while the actual mechanism of creation lies just below our threshold of recognition.

Recently, a few bright minds have come out and said that "nothingness" is not what we thought it was, that it had functions capable of generating the universe and thus it is not actually "nothing" -- and such a statement is a breakthrough because it allows for a functional pre-space-time condition to exist.

Better? Or...slightly below your threshold of recognition?

Yes, just another in yr. blogger's ongoing series of posts about nothingness.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Forbidden City

Forbidden City, Morning

Forbidden City, Morning (2004)

Forbidden City, Evening

Forbidden City, Evening (2004)

Two views of China's imperial conclave.

Originally rendered in Fractal Zplot and then graphically bludgeoned into thrashed pixels in Photoshop and Photo-Paint.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006



Coronation (2000)

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?

--T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

From The Nation -- "The Hidden State Steps Forward" by Jonathan Schell:

Bush's abuses of presidential power are the most extensive in American history. He has launched an aggressive war ("war of choice," in today's euphemism) on false grounds. He has presided over a system of torture and sought to legitimize it by specious definitions of the word. He has asserted a wholesale right to lock up American citizens and others indefinitely without any legal showing or the right to see a lawyer or anyone else. He has kidnapped people in foreign countries and sent them to other countries, where they were tortured. In rationalizing these and other acts, his officials have laid claim to the unlimited, uncheckable and unreviewable powers he has asserted in the wiretapping case. He has tried to drop a thick shroud of secrecy over these and other actions.

There is a name for a system of government that wages aggressive war, deceives its citizens, violates their rights, abuses power and breaks the law, rejects judicial and legislative checks on itself, claims power without limit, tortures prisoners and acts in secret. It is dictatorship.

The Administration of George W. Bush is not a dictatorship, but it does manifest the characteristics of one in embryonic form. Until recently, these were developing and growing in the twilight world of secrecy. Even within the executive branch itself, Bush seemed to govern outside the normally constituted channels of the Cabinet and to rely on what Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff has called a "cabal." Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill reported the same thing. Cabinet meetings were for show. Real decisions were made elsewhere, out of sight. Another White House official, John DiIulio, has commented that there was "a complete lack of a policy apparatus" in the White House. "What you've got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm." As in many Communist states, a highly centralized party, in this case the Republican Party, was beginning to forge a parallel apparatus at the heart of government, a semi-hidden state-within-a-state, by which the real decisions were made.

With Bush's defense of his wiretapping, the hidden state has stepped into the open. The deeper challenge Bush has thrown down, therefore, is whether the country wants to embrace the new form of government he is creating by executive fiat or to continue with the old constitutional form. He is now in effect saying, "Yes, I am above the law--I am the law, which is nothing more than what I and my hired lawyers say it is -- and if you don't like it, I dare you to do something about it."

Calling all Democrats. Do you dare? Do you dare disturb the reign of Mad King George? Do you?

Or is this what we can expect:

I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

--T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

Only John Murtha and a few others seem to have sufficient courage and patriotism to ask the "overwhelming questions."

As for the rest...

Politic, cautious, and meticulous...

And would it have been worth it, after all...

[Cartoon by Mike Keefe]

The Democrats. I do not think they will sing to me...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Maid's Day Off

Maid's Day Off

Maid's Day Off (2003)

No wonder this blog is such a dump lately...


Some comforting CDs I've been listening to while recovering from surgery. Some new, some not:

Rather Ripped by Sonic Youth
Uninvited, Like the Clouds by The Church
Show Your Bones by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Upsetter in Dub by Lee "Scratch" Perry
London Calling (25th Anniversay Edition) by The Clash
Too Much Too Young by The Specials
Mezcal Head by Swervedriver
Welcome to the Canteen by Traffic
Live at the Fillmore by Derek and the Dominos
Talk Normal (Anthology) by Laurie Anderson
Crooked Rain Crooked Rain (Deluxe Re-Issue) by Pavement
Made from Technetium by Man or Astroman?
Dust Bunnies by Bettie Serveert
Script of the Bridge by The Chameleons

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Saturday, June 17, 2006

You're Soaking in It

You're Soaking in It

You're Soaking in It (2000)

Ann Coulter. Sigh...

In a sane world, Coulter's utterances would be seen and discussed for what they are: ravings. But it's an apocalyptic sign of how far national discourse has fallen that the Coulters, Falwells, O'Reillys, Limbaughs, et. al. are taken seriously and given national forums instead of being pushed out of the proscenium and into the backstage lunatic fringe. Coulter turns up on both the Today and Tonight Show as if she shares the same level of credibility as Edward R. Murrow. Like the fish that slowly becomes oblivious of the water it swims in, our discourse environment of whacked-out-is-the-new-normal has become status quo. We are unaware -- like the salon patron contentedly soaking cuticles in dishwashing liquid only to be informed by playing-a-hairdresser-on-TV Madge the manicurist that, yes, you're soaking in it.

Coulter's political shtick is easy to see through. At every opportunity, use outrageous, inflammatory hyperbole to sell books and increase her fame and wealth. In a case of mass transference where the pot slinky black dress calls the kettle mourning clothes black, Coulter accuses the 9/11 widows of being guilty of her own modus operandi, since the Jersey Girls are "millionaires" who enjoy "reveling in their status as celebrities." Of course, it is Coulter herself who is "enjoying" the terrible deaths of the J. Girls's husbands -- all the way to the bank.

But Coulter's most hypocritical claim, spit out to Matt Lauer in an interview earlier this week, is that the Jersey Girls capitalize on the sentimentality of their husbands' deaths to insure a kind of infallible and irrefutable discourse. "How about sending in someone we are allowed to respond to?" whines Ann. Meanwhile, the right, in a case of wanting their yellowcake and eating it too, gives the public appearance of being divided over Coulter's venomous comments -- but it's a smoke-screen crock. Do a quick Google search on ANN COULTER JERSEY GIRLS and notice the stream of hits from wingnuttia defending Coulter. She does speak for them. Still, in an attempt to show that Republicans aren't wiping foam from the corners of their mouths, the handlers send forth the likes of Mary Matalin to defend Coulter's "larger point." So, in other words, Coulter can be rabid, but "godless" liberals (like the Jersey Girls "witches") deserve to be bitten.

Such bullshit. No one is stopping anyone from responding to the Jersey Girls. In fact, isn't that exactly what Coulter is doing again and again when she attacks and ridicules them? It would be nice, though, if wingnut responses used facts rather than relying on invective. If you seriously believe that George Bush has made the world safer for husbands like those of the Jersey Girls and sons like those of Cindy Sheehan, then bring it on. But let's see your concrete proof because current events don't look convincing. The Katrina debacle has yet to stabilize with news of FEMA's misspent $1.5 billion. The Washington Post reported earlier this week that the new Iraqi government wants to grant amnesty to terrorists who have killed American troops. New documents this week suggest the Pentagon lied about Cheney's role in awarding Hallibuton's no-bid contracts in Iraq. And with 27 dead (so far) in Iraq today, it seems unlikely that al-Zarqawi's (who represented less than 10% of the insurgency) assassination will slow the bloodshed. And let's not forget the Dubai ports fiasco. So, respond away.

But it's pointless, isn't it? What's really chafing the right wing's tinfoil these days is not the fact they can't "respond" to widows of 9/11 and mothers of Iraq. No, what they can't do is convincingly swiftboat them. Why? Because their grief is real. And so, since they can't argue, just as they can't govern, they resort to the Rovian playbook and fall back on the old Smear and Scare. It's all they have. The widows are witches who enjoy seeing their loved ones burned alive. The mothers speak out and are accused of "sinister piffle" for trying to "ventriloquize the dead," as Christopher Hitchins said of Cindy Sheehan.

Smear at will.

And once that fails, then Scare with Extreme Prejudice. The game plan for November is set to bludgeon the public with the tried and true fundie fodder of gay marriage and flag burning. And here's a sampling of what will not be discussed:

North Korea
Global Warming
Stem Cell Research
Health Care
Minimum Wage
The Patriot Act
NSA Spying
Body Armor for Troops
Cooked Intelligence
"Mission Accomplished"
2,500 Dead Being "Just a Number"
Torture and Prisoner Abuse
Guantanamo Suicides
Misspelling bin Laden
Gutting Privatizing Social Security
Gasoline Prices
Jack Abramoff
Tom Delay
Terri Schaivo
Bathroom Breaks
Bringing It On
Getting Wood
Hard Work
Turning the Corner
Last Throes

and so much more. No, it's safer to watch this drive of firing up the base with hot button non-starters. Yr. blogger believes BushCo doesn't want you to dwell on the incompetence and criminal activity laid out in the list above. After all, without red meat diversions, you might start to become aware of what you've been soaking in since 2000.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Red Room

Red Room

Red Room (1999)

At dawn
the waves crash in
red as storm clouds
hung over the Gulf like
a steam puff rising above
a cooling tower under which
control rods glow red
fired with the power
found in the sun's
center, the same sun
that turned on me
and burned my skin
red as the blood
swirling beneath layers
of cells, red as
Cupid's heart or real
roses not the mythic
ones found in poems,
red as a clown's nose
or my own face
when you start in
laughing at me,
red as a tip
of lipstick or cigars
lit and glimpsed at
night in passing cars,
red as a brake light
right in your face before
impact, red as the stripes
on Freddy's sweater or
the corsage on your prom
dress that someone other
than me pinned on, red
as the moon viewed
through 3-D glasses, red
as a broken catsup bottle
or your neon toenails, red
as my eyes in
every photograph
you take of me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Samurai Parade

Samurai Parade

Samurai Parade (2003)

I guess this event took place before Tom Cruise became the last one.

And just how true to the historical record was that film? Well, what does your inner Thetan tell you?

From Jonathan Dresner at the History News Network:

From the opening voiceover and title to the final scene, The Last Samurai is an historical disaster. I expected it to be bad, based on early reviews. This isn't surprising, of course: popular representations of historical circumstances are often badly done. But this is distinctively and truly awful. There was real drama and adventure in late nineteenth century Japan that could have been even more powerful, but instead we get a pastiche of Dances With Wolves, Karate Kid, Kagemusha and Shogun.

...and real samurai don't take Prozac...

Go figure. He's all action.

[Doll seen at ToyMangler]


  • Most samurai lived in large urban areas, though low-ranking Satsuma samurai were some of the few who lived in the country and also farmed. Even then, nobody lived in the mountains if they could avoid it.

  • The method of "no mind" is not "The Force" -- simply a matter of clearing one's mind of distractions and then the right thing will happen. It is a Daoist concept, originally, which became part of the martial arts tradition in China , then in Japan and elsewhere. It is a function of training constantly (certainly over more than four months) so that one can react instinctively, automatically, to a rapidly developing situation. Effortlessness comes after lots of hard work. The Karate Kid got that part right, actually.

  • The notion that the samurai have been "protectors of the nation" for nine hundred or a thousand years (and Katsumoto uses both figures) is absurd: the samurai began as rent collectors and estate protectors for the Kyoto nobility, and evolved into an aristocracy in their own right. Only against the Mongols (1274, 1281) can they be considered protectors of Japan ; it's highly unlikely that Katsumoto's clan was in one place that entire time; very few samurai clans survived the century-long civil war (15-16c) and most of those were relocated in the late 1500s. The Shimazu family which ruled Satsuma did originate in the 11th or 12th century, but Saigo Takamori wasn't a Shimazu. Like most samurai, his family attained warrior status in the 1500s and were unremarkable low-ranking retainers until Saigo.

  • Taka, attempting to refuse Algren's help with housework, says that "Japanese men don't do that." But many Japanese men did a great deal around the house, just not samurai. The Japanese very rarely referred to themselves as a collective, particularly on cultural matters, as early as 1876-77.

  • When they eat, they are consistently shown eating fluffy white rice, but only the wealthiest Japanese ate that regularly, and certainly rural samurai would have been more likely to eat rice gruel and other grains like barley and millet and buckwheat, either as gruel or as noodles, that grow better in upland conditions. And the movie glosses over Algren's introduction to chopsticks, which is not an insignificant event in acculturation.

  • By 1877, very few Japanese would have been particularly frightened of samurai, even samurai as backwards as Katsumoto's band, nor would they have bowed en masse. Urban Japanese had gotten over treating common samurai like daimyo lords a long time before.

  • Even allowing for Algren's remarkable immersion in Japanese language and culture, the likelihood is pretty small that he'd have run across the Japanese term for "President" in a rural samurai village, but that doesn't stop him from understanding the term when it comes up in a crisis.

  • Algren's first experience with armor on the day of the climactic battle is pretty implausible. Even allowing for superior physical conditioning and excellent training and the fact that Japanese armor is light and flexible relative to its Western analogues, there's almost no way he wears it as comfortably as he is shown.

  • The samurai warrior-cherry blossom (sakura) motif is so clichéd that I was surprised that it came up at all, and nearly laughed out loud when it came back just in time for Katsumoto's death. Judging by color, the blossoms were plum, not cherry.

Does it matter? Perhaps not. Perhaps it's too much to expect that our entertainments have a factual basis. But now I have to deal with the aftermath, with students who will think that all samurai (all five hundred of them, instead of nearly two million) were pure warriors who lived in the mountains, instead of as underemployed urbanite bureaucrats. I have to explain how rare seppuku (ritual suicide, also known as hara-kiri) was, how tenuous the samurai sense of loyalty, how the Japanese did not "Americanize," and I have to hope that my careful deconstruction can make some dent in the technicolor, surroundsound, adrenaline-enhanced images in their minds. The Meiji transformation of Japan is one of the most dramatic social and economic periods in modern history, and it ties directly to some of the most important turning points and processes of the twentieth century and present. But instead, The Last Samurai is another barrier to understanding, a step backwards in our collective education.

I like samurai movies, and recently watched two very good ones: Kazuo Karoki's Ronin Gai and Yoji Yamada's The Twilight Samurai. But no amount of couch jumping in ritual armor will have Cruise making the cut as a samurai.

But I do think he is a shoo-in for another role in quasi-Japanese cinema. Remember the brief "love scene" Gogo has in Kill Bill? Where she asks a Japanese businessman if he wants to "penetrate her" before squeezing his balls like kiwi fruit and penetrating him with her sword? Well, I like to think of Cruise as born to play that guy...

...and then, suddenly, the historical record seems more elegantly balanced.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dreams of Minor Surgery

Dreams of Minor Surgery

Dreams of Minor Surgery (2000)

Recovering from same. Blogging will probably be image-heavy and minimalistic until the body begins to heal and the brain starts to clear.

On the bright side, this will give me a chance to post some different images -- like those I have no idea how to explain or annotate.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ghost Sortie

Ghost Sortie

Ghost Sortie (2001)

So we got al-Zarqawi. Good. By all accounts, he was a despicable, murderous thug. If his death helps spare lives and quickens the end of this disgraceful, idiotic war, I'll be grateful.

But I find all the tsk-tsking and told-you-soing from the right to be absurdly premature. Capturing Saddam -- and killing his sons, and nabbing "Chemical Ali," and frying big indistinguishable #2 fish almost monthly -- has done nothing to stem the violence and civil unrest.

Zarqawi's death does not suddenly validate BushCo policies. A military objective was achieved -- that's all. The circumstances, ideologies, machinations, and deceptions that committed American armed forces to Iraq have not changed one iota. The bumbling Bush does not suddenly become Sun Tzu overnight.

This was a ghost sortie, but the long term haunting is far from over. How many Zarqawi Mini-Me's has our neoconnish misadventure in Iraq created? Already, just this morning, CNN was warning the American public, in sonorous James Earl Jones tones, about the menace from al-Zawahiri -- al-Zarqawi's second-in-command. It seems we cannot go 24 hours without putting a face on this year's (replacement) model poster boy. Meet the new boss.

Speaking of faces, how about this one?

al-Zarqawi Death Mask

Lewis Hine, this ain't...

The public display aspect of Zarqawi's death photo plays right into Bush's recently apologized for "bring it on" rhetoric and cowboy swagger. Didn't we once prop up dead outlaws in coffins in front of saloons -- usually with a misspelled HORSE THEIF sign scrawled and pinned to their bullet-riddled chests? Watch Clint Eastwood's The Unforgiven for a good example.

Yes, we want to show Iraqis that Zarqawi's gone, but there's a museum/freakshow quality found the photo above. Note the tasteful if hasty framing and matting -- and the patrons gathered around to study the piece -- as if it had surreal Arbus qualities.

As someone who prints and frames art, I see an interesting metaphor in the "display" of Zarqawi's death shot. I bet the framers did not use acid free paper and archival inks -- nor was the photo framed to museum-quality standards.

So, the photo will gradually degrade and vanish-- just as the "victory" of Zarqawi's assassination will fade from the public mind. However, the atrocities and bloodshed of Bush's mad made-up "long war" will go on and on.

And what of the pictures we won't see? Those we aren't allowed to see? The pictures revealing neat rows of flag-draped coffins bearing our lost loved ones home.

Those coffins won't be propped up to make a point. Apparently, there's no catapulted propaganda plus side or boogeyman photo-op value to be seen within the frames of those transport planes.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The River Between Us

The River Between Us

The River Between Us (2001)

into an ocean you
said looked
like skin --

with a surface
unbroken by
the wake

of my current
sinking slowly
in sheets.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Drift Nets

Drift Nets

Drift Nets (2000)

Blog with a View, at heart, is a digital art photoblog. Each Wednesday, I present an image without calling for a constitutional amendment grounded in prejudice and designed to openly discriminate against other human beings.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Faulty Airlock

Faulty Airlock

Faulty Airlock (1999)

From Tenser, Said the Tensor:

Sometimes being a long-time science fiction fan has unexpected side-effects. For example, I was just now scanning the current headlines and I came across the following:


If you haven't been soaking in SF for a few decades, you probably understand immediately what the headline-writer means: experts are suggesting that women should wait some amount of time between pregnancies—perfectly reasonable advice. But due to lexical interference from SF vocabulary, I misunderstood it to mean: experts are suggesting that women shove newborn babies out of an airlock. Don't worry, though, after a brief whiskey-tango-foxtrot moment, I deduced they weren't recommending infacticide by explosive decompression. Whew!

I had another encounter—or rather, a notable non-encounter—with the transitive verb to space recently. After the big surprise in the recent season finale of Battlestar Galactica, I was poking around the 'net reading various recaps and discussions, and I noticed that some BSG fans seem to be using the verb to airlock (see here, here, and here for examples) where I would use the verb to space. This seems like a needless redundancy in the lexicon. Can't we all agree what to call it when you shove someone out an airlock? Sooner or later somebody's going to actually do it, and it would be a shame to have to spend time afterwards arguing about the proper term.

Where's Jonathan Swift when you need him?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Vengeance of Spring

Vengeance of Spring

Vengeance of Spring (2006)

Thawed buds
like unfeeling snipers

fire. Warm air
ignites pollen as bees

freak and tulips
snake toward an amped

sun. Clever seeds,
corpses you cannot kill,

split open, stretch
before belly crawling

thumping nerve ends
and probing like sentries

your allergic
barricades and Sharper

Image purifiers.
A sneeze will mean

blown cover as
a scope sharp focuses.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Who'd Be the Wiser?

Who'd Be the Wiser?

Who'd Be the Wiser? (2000)

There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again.
--President George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

Imagine my surprise to learn the musicologists at the National Review, after an exhausting critical study, have come up with a list of the "The 50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs." Even more surprising was that Heritage Foundation Heart-throbs like Sammy Hager and The Nuge were inexplicably left off the roster. I had some quibbles with a few of the selections -- like "My City Was Gone" by the Pretenders settling in at #13. Even admitting that drug addict and radio wingnut Rush Limbaugh ripped off the bass line for his show's theme, I always thought that song was about the loss of pastoral beauty to urban blight. I lived in Ohio for several years, and Akron is more tire alley than English garden. But article author John J. Miller describes the song as propagating "a Jane Jacobs sensibility against central planning and a conservative’s dissatisfaction with rapid change." Who knew?

But I'm most amused to learn the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" topped the shuffle in Fox News listener's iPods. I wonder what Pete Townsend would say about this development. Let's dial into his diary and find out:

"Won't Get Fooled Again" has been listed in the UK Independent Newspaper as the number one song with -- as I understand it -- the political message most often misunderstood -- in this case the message is said to be 'conservative', a word that may mean different things in the UK and USA.

Of course the song has no party-allied political message at all. It is not precisely a song that decries revolution -- it suggests that we will indeed fight in the streets -- but that revolution, like all action can have results we cannot predict. Don't expect to see what you expect to see. Expect nothing and you might gain everything.

The song was meant to let politicians and revolutionaries alike know that what lay in the centre of my life was not for sale, and could not be co-opted into any obvious cause.

But why trust the author? Surely one can always appeal to a "higher father" -- like a conservative political reporter who writes books with subtitles like "How Multiculturalism Has Undermined America's Assimilation Ethic." Uh-oh. He sounds like one of them deconstructing French critics.

So maybe a line-by-line explication is in order. Let's undertake a deep image study of the Who's masterpiece to see why conservatives gyrate their artificial hips to it with sugarplum visions of Hannity and Coulter filling their wallets heads.

"Won't Get Fooled Again"


We'll be fighting in the streets

A clear reference to street fighting after the Florida election results in 2000:

We'd rather hang than be dimpled...

[Photo by Declan McCullagh]

With our children at our feet

An allusion to the hoopla preceding the hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts:

Justice isn't blind -- it's color-coordinated.

[Photo seen on BartCop]

And the morals that they worship will be gone

This passage baffles scholars since Rovian Republicans never had morals in the first place. However, the line could be a reference to this ancient idol:

I'm feeling a little wired...

[Image seen at Hans Kellner Dot Com]

And the men who spurred us on


Cap, I said I wanted UNsweetened tea!!

[Photo seen at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library]

Sit in judgment of all wrong

I'm thinking:

I'm against racism, although as a fiscal policy...

[Image seen at]

They decide and the shotgun sings the song


How is it for close action, boys?

[Photo seen at The Chief Source]


I'll tip my hat to the new constitution

Critics are confused by this passage. Bush essentially ignored and openly shredded the Constitution during his tenure. This could be an obscure reference to His Royal Highness' fondness for "signing statements":

I'm the Decider.  I've decided to cross my fingers...

[Photo seen on the Daily University Star]

Take a bow for the new revolution

Perhaps Pete was thinking of this still of Bush pretending to look for WMDs hidden like Easter eggs around the Oval Office:

Uuuuhhh, that pretzel's comin' back up...

[Photo seen on BBC News]

Smile and grin at the change all around

Too easy:

I have blow in my nose, uh, I mean have to blow my nose...

[Photo seen on G4 Forums]

Pick up my guitar and play

Oh!! Me!! Me!! I know, professor!!!:

Ooooh, my yellowcake rose of Texas...

[Photo seen on]

Just like yesterday

A postmodernist signifier to pop culture in the form of 70's radio fodder:

The day the presidency died?

Image seen on BlueChipReview]

Then I'll get on my knees and pray

Wait. Something's coming through from the other side:

Hey, God.  You're breakin' up...

[Photo seen on Low Culture]

We don't get fooled again

The overall controlling metaphor of how conservatives feel about everyone else:

Is our citizens fooled?

[Photo seen on my own blog]


The change, it had to come

Literary history suggests this is a motif of transformation:

Abby Normal?

[Image seen on The Heretik]

We knew it all along

Could this be a historical citation to a far-sighted sage?:

The public's against it. The military's overextended. There's no place else to go.

[Cartoon by Steve Benson]

We were liberated from the fold, that's all

Perhaps a veiled reference to the conservative power base:

Baaaabara's boy...

[Image seen on YELLOWCAKEWALK]

And the world looks just the same

A line commenting on the cyclic nature of history:

Are you sure you don't want to ask for directions?

[Cartoon by Daryl Cagle. Seen at Scum on the Top]

And history ain't changed

Perhaps a subplot for a Faulknerian family tragedy:

Wouldn't be prudent to tell the truth...

[Cartoon by Tom Tomorrow. Seen on Bad Attitudes.]

'Cause the banners, they all flown in the last war

Opinions vary, but "banners" could be a metaphor meaning the ethical standards held high by leaders during the previous war:

I am not a...decider...

[Image seen on virtualmatter]



I'll move myself and my family aside

A genealogical mention:

Cretin family / Oi Oi Oi Oi...

[Image seen on The Biggest Secret Forum]

If we happen to be left half alive

An innocence to experience saga:

I wanna be the decider...

[Photo seen on Listmaker]

I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky

"Papers" obviously refers to old copies of The Wall Street Journal. The "smile" comes from psychedelic dreams of capital gains tax cuts.

Although my boss won't be paying any taxes...

[Image seen on Americans for Shared Sacrifice]

For I know that the hypnotized never lie

Another classic made into a Movie-of-the-Week:

You will ignore...ignore...

[Image seen on Internet Weekly Report]

Do ya?

A sophisticated pun on "Dub-ya"?:

A better breed of bumper sticker...

[Image from "M -- The Moron" by way of Betty Bowers]

There's nothing in the street

A conscious imitation with classical underpinnings:

I want the world and I want it now...

[Photo seen on Reality Hiphop]

Looks any different to me

A deliberate nod to the Old Masters:

Where's Billy Graham when you need him?

[Photo by Declan McCullagh]

And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye

Another allusion to a seminal work:

We've always been at war with Iraq...

[Image seen at]

And the party on the left

A character study:

Our core values of freedom and opportunity are ascendant around the globe.

[Image seen on Politics in the Zeros]

Is now the party on the right

Another character study:

Time to feed...

["What Do Zell Miller and Goya Have in Common." Seen on MTAA-RR]

And the beards have all grown longer overnight

Perhaps a Robert Bly "Iron John" kind of thing:

If you have a renegade band of rightwing extremists who get hold of power, the whole thing goes to the right.

[Photo seen on MetaFilter]




C'mon. Admit it. You were waiting for this line:

Theirs is a party of self-absorption and selfishness.

[Photo seen on]

Meet the new boss

The climax of the piece.

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.

Same as the old boss

A non-surprise ending.

Talk about your last throes...

[Image seen on]