THE ABSENT

THE ABSENT
THE ABSENT - out now!

CRIPPLED HEARTS

CRIPPLED HEARTS
Out Now - For sale on Amazon and other onlne book sellers

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FLESH EATING MOSAIC AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FLESH EATING MOSAIC AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju
Out Now

THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT NINNY AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju

THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT NINNY AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju
My first book of poetry available through Amazon and other online booksellers www.rajbooks.com

Friday, February 12, 2016

TWO RECORDS - NIGHT THOUGHTS BY SUEDE AND K 2.0 BY KULA SHAKER


Compared to the first reunion record BLOODSPORTS of a couple years ago, Suede's new release NIGHT THOUGHTS is a bit better. I liked that record too but the songs were a lot simpler, THOUGHTS is a much bigger record, swirling dense arrangements, longer slower songs dominate over the crunchy T-Rex type rockers. This sounds like a record made by middle aged men who haven't lost their love of music nor their love of their influences nor their ability to rock out. A strong record by the most glam influenced of the 90's Brit Pop bands in the wake of Bowie's passing is an occasion for happiness. They've long been a favorite band of mine. Brett Anderson's voice has not aged a day, he hits some amazing notes!


The first two Kula Shaker records from the 90's Britpop era K and PEASANTS PIGS AND ASTRONAUTS are an intoxicating miss of 60's psychedelia, trad rock type guitars, and most interestingly Indian musical touches both in the music with sitars, tablas etc. and in the lyrics which feature references to Hinduism. After that Kula broke up but reunited in the 2000's. The third and fourth records STRANGEFOLK and PILGRIM'S PROGRESS are much more scaled down pastoral and quiet and not much in the way of Indian affectations although still not bad as far as the tunes go. However, K 2.0 gets back to the bigger louder sound of the 90's and throws in a number of Indian touches to boot. This feels like a third album immediately following the 90's records. Really nice when a band gets back to their original sound and makes a good record.


RIDE THE TIGER: A SURVIVAL MANUAL FOR THE ARISTOCRATS OF THE SOUL BY JULIUS EVOLA


Reading RIDE THE TIGER: A SURVIVAL MANUAL FOR THE ARISTOCRATS OF THE SOUL by Julius Evola.  This is the second book I’ve read by the Italian writer Evola (REVOLT AGAINST THE MODERN WORLD was the other – Not as complex or laid out as fully as TIGER) whom I was originally turned onto by comparisons I’ve read between he and Oswald Spengler who is to me a prophet and perhaps my favorite historian and philosopher as his work has a foot in both camps.  Evola is more on the philosophical side.  Whereas Spengler’s work is broader talking about a non-linear approach to history and comparing the cycles of a civilization to the four seasons or the life cycles of a human being, Evola’s focus is a lot more narrow.  Like Spengler, he theorizes Western civilization is in its winter, its death throes (still true today, it’s not necessarily a quick process, Rome as an example).  However, he has his own peculiar way of describing this.  Evola refers to this period as  “Kali Yuga” which in old Hindu writing was considered the final of four stages of the world wherein vice and vicissitude and corruption rules the day and leads to the downfall of man.  Unlike Spengler who is years ahead of his time talking about military overexpansion and income inequality as well as a vulgar culture as indicators of culture’s downfall, Evola prioritizes the culture issue. 

What I dislike about that approach is it leads to a sense of triviality.  I do agree about the role of culture but not as a priority.  The other factors Spengler brings up are much more important.  Culture is a result as much as an indicator.  Also Evola is an occultist with a lot of silly beliefs.  He was highly critical of Alistair Crowley in their time but they share similar thought processes.  He seems to dislike atheists very much (He spends a lot of time critiquing Neitzsche’s “God Is dead” which he interprets as religion is dead).  He subscribes to the theory that you can’t have morality without faith in a higher power which is rubbish. He also disliked immigration (which is why many fascists and white supremacists unfortunately like his writing) and viewed it as a negative.  I have the opposite view on this as I think controlled immigration, nothing wrong with countries selecting who they want to let in, adds new blood to a society especially one that is made up of immigrants like the US and Australia.  He also misses the link Spengler made between increased immigration and imperialism/conquest – the latter increases the former especially from the nations one’s country has conquered.  He also has a strange hang-up with bisexuals whom he views as far worse than monosexuals because they are attracted to more than one sex.  He basically views them as dangerous culture destroyers.

On the flip side, I like the way he writes.  He’s pretty clear and doesn’t’ weigh down the arguments he is making with too many digressions or grandiose language.  Like Spengler, there is sort of a pre-beat poetry to his language, short sentences and direct.   Bad, unclear, florid writing has ruined many a philosopher for me.  I do agree than men are under fire in Western culture in a lot of ways (not patriarchy but what maleness is and how it presents itself) and that’s not a good thing.  I also agree that garbage culture produces garbage art although Spengler makes this argument better in DECLINE OF THE WEST because he ties it to a lot of other causes in the proper order.

I also agree with the idea that the breakdown of the family in a society that does not replace it with something to fill the void like service to the state is a society where people will lose all connection with life, each other etc.  It truly is the end of the civilization.  Evola did not foresee smartphones and the internet but it could easily fit into what he is saying.  One ceases to “belong” to the world as he describes it.

I personally agree with both Spengler and Evola that we are in the process of witnessing the death throes of Western Civilization and within the next 100 years the West will topple - materialism, imperialism, immorality, dumbing down/ lack of intellect, overreliance on technology will all be contributing factors.  The title of the book references Evola’s solution for this problem which is to ride out the chaos like holding onto a tiger’s back while it is running so it can’t turn around and maul you.  At the end, this turns into a self-help book although Evola takes him time getting there.  He also doesn’t give much advice how to do this despite the book’s title other than to embrace spirituality and remain distant from the material world.  The latter I agree with very much.




             

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

VOTE CLUMP!


Let’s review where Hillary Clinton stands after this weeks’ campaign activity including a one on one debate with Bernie Sanders.

She is AGAINST single payer health care, “Medicare for all”.

She is AGAINST a no cost college tuition plan.



She is AGAINST restating Glass-Steagall which limited the way commercial banks could gamble with their depositors’ money. Its repeal in 1999 ultimately led to the 2008 recession.

She is FOR the death penalty.

She is FOR a continued ramping up of hostile rhetoric towards Russia.

She is FOR bombing both Assad and ISIS, an idiotic plan and a smokescreen for true imperialist intent.

She is FOR continued saber rattling towards Iran despite a deal in place which is currently working for all sides.

She is FOR continued US slavish devotion to Israel.

I think this is the real Hillary and I’ve got an idea how she can make this work for her and be president.

With Republicans quickly dropping out of the race, there is a lot more room on the Republican debate stage. Maybe not on social issues (although Hillary supported the Defense of Marriage act and the Freedom of Religion act among other odious legislation) but on everything else Hillary would be more comfortable there.

Hillary should run as a Republican. I can see it now running with her good friend The Donald – Hillary/Trump or Trump/Hillary 2016. I’ve even got a slogan prepared for them “When the truth and past political positions don’t matter. Vote Clump!” (ClintonTrump)





ANATOMY OF A SMEAR, A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BERNIE BROS SLANDER


"The Bernie Bros" is a phony narrative created by the Clinton propaganda machine....When I've run into people in forums and the like who fit this description, simple back and forth for a couple of minutes have revealed them to be either a.) Paid Hillbot shills or b.) Republican trolls (most likely a).

But the truth is i'ts deja vu all over again....The fictional Bernie Bros narrative of 2016 has its roots in the fictional Obama Boys narrative of 2008 (as does a lot of the Clinton dirty tricks currently being waged against Bernie Sanders, Gloria Steinem made ridiculous sexist comments about Obama too). The origin of the Bernie Bros defamation is the Blue Nation Review website owned and operated by David Brock. Brock started his career as a right wing character assassin writing a book attacking Anita Hill after she accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment then he had some kind of epiphany (perhaps involving something green with a lot of zeroes) and became a neo liberal character assassin attacking the victims of Bill Clinton sexual assault. He is the kind of amoral sleazy scum the Clintons associate with and nurture, the kind who would sell his own sister to the highest bidder, but the Clintons were born in the gutter, they live there.

More reading on this topic

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/2/8/1481627/-WOW-Before-the-sexist-Bernie-Bro-Clinton-supporters-created-the-sexist-Obama-boy-No-seriously

Monday, February 8, 2016

BOB MOULD: AN APPRECIATION


One of the best if not the best concert(s) I have ever seen was Husker Du at the University of Oregon in early 1985. They were the loudest band I have ever experienced but I was also amazed by how easy it was to discern their strong 1960’s type melodies through the volume.

Husker Du is my favorite American band of the 1980’s and my second favorite American band of all time. After the Huskers broke up, both Bob Mould and Grant Hart put out solo records. However Hart’s output over the years while excellent in places has not been very prolific. Mould, on the other hand, now has quite a good sized discography of mostly superb quality with a new record PATCH THE SKY coming out next month.

Mould on his own - Songwriting shows a strong Richard Thompson influence but without the British folkie atmosphere. He also delves into Neil Young territory in the hard and soft alternating sounds. His two favorite topics are the painful end of relationships and general doom and gloom in the world at large. His voice is best described as an alternately mournful and raging bellow.

Mould’s first solo album WORKBOOK was a fairly quite record, almost chamber pop a lot of the time recorded with Mould on guitar and keyboards plus a rhythm section and a cellist(?!). Powerful songwriting here – Poison Years, Sinner and Their Remembrances, Lonely Afternoon, Heartbreak a Stranger. A few loud guitar moments especially on the closer Whichever Way the Wind Blows.

His second album BLACK SHEETS OF RAIN was the polar opposite. A loud power trio record with all kinds of feedback laden guitar. The slow songs are dirgy and heavy, the fast songs are noise pop like the Huskers or a Mould influence The Buzzcocks. Not a bad song here.

Next Mould formed the band Sugar which made two records and an ep. The first record COPPER BLUE is a masterpiece. It feels more alive than his first two solo albums and every song is brilliant and amazingly poppy (all written and sung by Mould). Also his guitar work is superb. I did not care too much for the second Sugar album wherein he seemed to be out of inspiration.

Mould then broke up Sugar and made two solo records of varying quality. BOB MOULD was largely Mould by himself in the studio. It feels a bit stuffy and the songs are competent but overall unremarkable. THE LAST DOG AND PONY SHOW was a little better with more guitar and more diverse songwriting.


After that, Mould took a few years off and got interested in electronic club music. The result was MODULATE, just a brilliant record wherein Mould turns up the alienation and replaces the guitars for the most part with electronics and tape loops and alters his voice with a vocoder. Very unexpected and one of my favorite albums of the 2000’s.

BODY OF SONG brought back the guitars and melded them with leftover electronic tunes from MODULATE. Nice record in places, I like it.

DISTRICT LINE and LIFE AND TIMES are semi-acoustic song collections. Consistent and played with feeling, LINE is slightly better on a song per song basis but LIFE contains one of Mould’s best kiss-off songs I’m Sorry Baby But You Can’t Stand In My Light Anymore.

Next came SILVER AGE which brings back the guitars with a vengeance. I think his songwriting is a bit fiercer and less whiny here. Steam of Hercules is one of his heaviest unrelenting songs of all time.

His last record BEAUTY AND RUIN was even better. Fast powerful and clean. Every song catchy and sharp. His best record since MODULATE and one of the best records of this decade.

Looking forward to PATCH THE SKY.





BILL CLINTON'S LONG HISTORY OF RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, SEXUAL HARASSMENT, AND INDECENT EXPOSURE ALLEGATIONS


Re: Bill Clinton's hysterical tirade against Bernie Sanders today, Is Bill Clinton trying to deliberately ensure supporters of Sanders will never ever support Shitlary under any circumstance? Slick Willie's comments - full of lies and bitterness, the worst being that Sanders is "sexist" The gall of that renders one speechless. Bill Clinton is a serial rapist and abuser of women!

In the wake of Bill Cosby and the war on women and with Hillary Clinton running for president I am wondering if America can finally have a discussion about the many allegations (almost as many maybe more than Cosby) of sexual assault leveled against Bill Clinton. Here's a short list

Juanita Broaddrick (AR)- rape
Eileen Wellstone (Oxford) - rape
Elizabeth Ward Gracen - rape - quid pro quo, post incident intimidation
Regina Hopper Blakely - "forced himself on her, biting, bruising her"
Kathleen Willey (WH) - sexual assault, intimidations, threats
Sandra Allen James (DC) - sexual assault
22 Year Old 1972 (Yale) - sexual assault
Kathy Bradshaw (AK) - sexual assault
Cristy Zercher - unwelcomed sexual advance, intimidations
Paula Jones (AR) - unwelcomed sexual advance, exposure,
bordering on sexual assault
Carolyn Moffet -unwelcomed sexual advance, exposure, bordering on sexual
assault
1974 student at University of Arkansas - unwelcomed physical contact
1978-1980 - seven complaints per Arkansas state troopers
Monica Lewinsky - quid pro quo, post incident character assault
Gennifer Flowers - quid pro quo, post incident character assault
Dolly Kyle Browning - post incident character assault
Sally Perdue - post incident threats
Betty Dalton - rebuffed his advances, married to one of his supporters
Denise Reeder - apologetic note scanned.

Clinton supporters have always tried to explained these accusations either as right wing plots or consensual relationships. They have smeared the victims and pressured them to be quiet sometimes using criminal tactics, thuggery etc. I actually think a lot more women will come forward if this is ever seriously discussed.

How does this effect Hillary Clinton? A number of witnesses have said that Hillary was deeply involved in the strategy of smearing Clinton victims as well as the smearing of Monica Lewinsky not a victim of sexual assault but a relationship a CEO in this day and age would have been fired for . Lewinsky was portrayed by the Cintonites as an unstable stalker until proof forced Bill finally to admit the truth. The Clintons are "two for one" as they are fond of saying.

The worst might be yet to come. Flight manifests show Bill Clinton visited the private island of billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein at least ten times. Several women have made accusations that they were kept there as sex slaves. Plenty of reasons Hillary Clinton should never be president - This is one.


WHY I HAVE NEVER BEEN A FAN OF GLORIA STEINEM


The asinine, ridiculous, offensive, and flat out stupid comments by Gloria Steinem that young women only like Bernie Sanders to be close to or impress young men reminds of why I have NEVER been a fan of Gloria Steinem in any way.

For one, Gloria Steinem represents an upper middle class wealthy Manhattanite’s view of feminism – Less concerned about pocket book issues, equal pay for equal work, the glass ceiling and more concerned with esoteric gender issues and private sexual matters (although she is anti-pornography and I would say anti-first amendment). Who and how many times you sleep with someone is not a movement for social justice. This playing down of economic concerns in favor of the decadence of NY and Hollywood liberals is a large factor I believe in why women deserted the Democratic Party to vote for Nixon and in the 1980’s even more so Reagan and George Bush the first.

But even worse is Gloria Steinem’s past as a CIA agent….You think I jest? Steinem herself has acknowledged that from the late 1950’s after finishing college to the early mid 60’s she worked for the Independent Research Service a CIA front group. Her job was to attend youth group convention/meetings in Europe (as well as get other young people to attend) and do three things 1.) Convince or recruit young people away from Marxism/socialism/anti-imperialism 2.) Spread disinformation 3.) Rat out those American students who attended.

That’s right, Gloria Steinem was an informer for the US government.

When she stopped working for the CIA is a matter of contention. A number of her fellow feminist leaders publicly criticized Steinem from moving away from blue collar working people issues which affect everyone to boutique wedge concerns and many of them have publicly accused of her(including Carol Hanisch, Kathie Sarachild, and the Red Stockings Group) of deliberately sabotaging the feminist movement in America as a CIA operation the way the FBI used paid moles to try to hurt the civil rights movement.

Steinem’s personal life is very interesting. A lot of her relationships with men have been with right wingers. She dated Henry Kissinger for awhile and had a long relationship with a man named J Stanley Pottinger who was an Assistant Attorney General in the Nixon Administration and is credited with stopping further investigation into both MLK’s assassination and the Washington assassination of ex- Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letier by the Pinochet government (A hit sanctioned by the CIA). He was also implicated in the IranContra scandal in the 80's. All of that is very curious.

Watching the ex-CIA operative Steinem at a Hillary Clinton rally side by side with Madeline Albright, foot soldier for the Israeli stranglehold on American politics and architect for the Iraq sanctions of the 90’s that led to the malnutrition and deaths of thousands of Iraqi children just makes me laugh at American liberalism which for years has either treated great men like Ralph Nader with condescension or outright attacked them while playing up pill popping degenerate Neo Con supply siders like JFK.