Archive for the ‘Arts & letters’ Category

He is risen

December 21, 2014

phi-zappa-krappaWell, maybe not quite yet.

Happy birthday, Frank. Let’s play him out with “Happy Together,” from the Fillmore in 1971, and his Last Imaginary Guitar Solo. That’s all from here for Zappadan 2014.

The Posole Variations

December 20, 2014
The Posole Variations. This one uses chicken thighs, red and yellow bell peppers, tomatillos and other good things. No hot rats were harmed in the making of this stew.

The Posole Variations. This one uses chicken thighs, red and yellow bell peppers, tomatillos and other good things. No hot rats were harmed in the making of this stew.

I make a lot of posole, and over the years have settled on one simple version and one slightly more elaborate (from The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook).

But the other day I was searching the Innertubes for a chicken version I made once and stumbled across an entirely new recipe that looked good.

So I gave it a whirl and whaddaya know? I have a third favorite.

Thus today’s Zappadan 2014 musical selection, “The Gumbo Variations,” from “Hot Rats.”

I don’t need your sweet devotion

December 19, 2014

The prez gave the press his dirty love and Charles P. Pierce practically swooned:

“Yeah, I wish he’d had more days like this since he was inaugurated. I have my own disappointments in the guy, and always have had them, from the first time I ever heard him speak. (And I wish he hadn’t had that Hallmark moment at the end about how we’re all great people here, because we’re pretty plainly not, since 53 percent of us think torture was OK.) But that’s his gig. It’s what got him elected in the first place. But this was Shakespeare the way it was meant to be done, and the next year is going to be a lot of great fun, I’m thinking. Lame duck, my bollocks.”

We’re ticking along nicely toward Solstice and Zero Day, which marks the end of Zappadan 2014.

A nation mourns

December 18, 2014

Superpatriot Stephen Colbert set aside his Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny today, writing finis to “The Colbert Report,” and it seems fitting that we play him out with FZ’s version of “God Bless America.”

We haven’t watched the finale yet. No cable, so we’re always a day late (and a dollar short, which explains why we don’t have cable). So, Nation — no spoilers, please. I’m hoping for a steel-cage death match pitting Colbert and Jon Stewart against Kim Jong-un and Darth Cheney.

Kim sheesh

December 17, 2014

Sony eats shit so you don’t have to watch it. Not on Christmas Day, anyway; it seems likely, however, that you will be able to watch “The Interview” via video on demand*, giving Sony Pictures Entertainment a chance to recoup some of its lost millions and Kim Jong-un the option of blowing up your teevee instead of your local cineplex.

Thus, today’s musical selection — “Now You See It – Now You Don’t,” from “Tinseltown Rebellion.”

I recommend that you enjoy it with a glass of fine rum and a Cuban cigar. If you watch “The Interview,” however, I suggest smoking a shitload of weed. It’s supposed to be what makes Seth Rogen smart.

* See comments. It appears that “The Interview” may follow the Sony Walkman TPS-L2 into the dustbin of history.

Play that harmonica, son

December 16, 2014

Well, what the hell else was I supposed to play from the FZ catalog after reading about methane on Mars, f’chrissakes?

Gonna be a dental floss tycoon

December 15, 2014

This is an interesting story, and also a disturbing one, in part because of the questions it fails to ask (or answer) and the assertions it makes without supporting evidence.

Writes Claire Cane Miller: “In addition to making some jobs obsolete, new technologies have also long complemented people’s skills and enabled them to be more productive. … More productive workers, in turn, earn more money and produce goods and services that improve lives.”

Since when? Who among us has not been compelled to become more productive, not simply because technology made it possible, but because management insisted that there be fewer of us to produce? How many of us got fat raises to go along with the new chores? I don’t know about you, but I’m still waiting for mine.

Google co-founder Larry Page proposes a four-day workweek, “so as technology displaces jobs, more people can find employment.” Larry obviously doesn’t get out much, because there are plenty of people working short weeks already, some of them at more than one job, and from what I read there are still fewer jobs than there are people who need them.

“We’re going to enter a world in which there’s more wealth and less need to work,” brays MIT economist Erik Brynjolfsson. Maybe at MIT, Erik old scout. But how about where you are, Dear Readers? Who’s going to get this additional wealth, and where’s that work we’re supposedly going to need less of? My mortgage lender would like some details regarding this New World Order, if you don’t mind. Or even if you do.

I mean, we can’t all move to Montana to be dental-floss tycoons. You priced zircon-encrusted tweezers lately? It’s day 12 of Zappadan 2014.

 

 

 

What’s the ugliest part of your body?

December 14, 2014

Watching a thing called Charli XCX stink up the stage on “Saturday Night Live” I was reminded of one of my favorite Thomas McGuane references, from “Nothing But Blue Skies,” in which another Frank (Copenhaver) muses, “I feel sorry for the young people of today with their stupid fucking tuneless horseshit; that may be a generational judgment but I seriously doubt it.”

Thus today’s Zappadan 2014 selection, from “We’re Only In It For the Money.”

Dog breath

December 13, 2014
Return of the Zomby Woof.

Return of the Zomby Woof.

Mister Boo continues to recover his mojo following eye surgery. The little sumbitch is getting bossy again. Thinks he’s Frank Zappa or sumpin’. But he never shuts up and plays his guitar. Plus he has dog breath.

It’s day 10 of Zappadan 2014.

 

Dumb all over

December 12, 2014

‘Cause, like, you know, we is*. Dumb and mean, with a little ugly on the side. That’s a wrap for day nine of Zappadan 2014.

* Some of us, anyway. Jesus, I have to quit watching “The Daily Show” if only to avoid seeing clips of all these Fox News fuckheads that otherwise would fly under my radar. What were they in their previous lives, junior-varsity cheerleaders who got expelled for drinking Romilar in the girls’ crapper and imprisoning the kid with the lazy eye and one big shoe in his locker? Nobody dumber or meaner than a second-tier “cool kid,” I swear to God.


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