The digital age’s version of a crappy, all ages dive bar. Everyone is making up stories, embellishing stories & trying to seethe has the best story. Arguments are not weighted by truth or facts, merely by opinion & on how many other patrons happen to agree. A million people can be wrong.
Self-important assholes steeped in the disgusting swampy stew of their own narcissism try to talk over one another, getting louder & louder until it becomes a cacophony of loud, stupid voices. Look at me, look at me! Anything for the attention of total strangers. They will debase others, debase themselves, show each other pictures of cocks & tits in a vain search for validation.
Fights break out constantly over the most inconsequential points, folks turn rabid behind the safety of the screen, which acts as bouncer for this all ages loser’s club. You can barely understand a fucking word anyone says because they can’t even put together a proper sentence, let alone engage in civilized, intelligible conversation. There are regulars who sit there day & night until their asses can’t be distinguished from the material of the tacky stools they sit on.
Instead of bringing people together to relax, enjoy a beer with some friends & forging friendships with friends of friends who enjoy the same things it tears people apart with angry rants & atonal apologies, ripping apart real life relationships as people spit, hiss & snarl at each other, vying for attention from the mob.
Ostracism is back in force & if someone doesn’t follow the currently agreed upon values of society the pack descends on them & rips them to shreds without regard to truth or justice. Death threats, & personal information maliciously shared. The 21st century version of call Cathy for a good time scrawled in permanent marker on the bathroom stalls.
Its sickening to see how people act, how they could & would act given the chance. Mob justice with a five minute memory has people saying things they’d normally keep to themselves. Complex political issues are boiled down into single photos with propagandist slogans from all parts of the political spectrum.
If you do not conform to every single thing the mob wants they will beat you down, call you every name, discredit every word you say all in the name of free speech & equality, arguing about privilege while holding phones with internet access worth more than entire villages while the workers who mine, assemble, & dispose of the machines face unsafe conditions, late or unpaid wages & health problems can’t even afford the product they make. All so rich people can waste their time arguing over which one of them is the least privileged. You got a computer with internet access & electricity to power it? You’re fucking privileged.
The real poor & oppressed don’t get the chance to take part in these discussions. Their internet is censored. Criticize the government & they disappear. The money for internet, power, fucking cell phone plans has to go towards rent, paying debts, scoring dope, scrounging enough to feed their fucking family. It is a privilege to have the money & free time to argue about privilege. These opinion based discussions happen inside the bar, the truth decided by personal biases, the rest of the world is the homeless person begging for change outside. Click a like, sign a petition, join a group that aligns with your worldview & reject every other.
People take everything personally, just as drunks tend to do, they react angrily to perceived slights, just as drunks tend to do, they get loud & belligerent, trying to attract as much attention as possible, like peacocks doing whiskey shots & pontificating for their adoring “friends” who wait for the create to say something “wrong” & then start pecking & screeching & shitting on each other in an unbearable orgy of self-righteous narcissism. The floors are slick with blood, shit & spilled booze. The stench of stupidity is nauseating. I had to stagger outside & vomit up these words.
Social Media is a dive bar packed full of people drunk on themselves. For having social in the name you’d think it would promote some sort of unity but in reality being addicted to social media is an anti-social behaviour. Like alcoholics who don’t care who gets hurt when they drive home, people who are immersed in social media are selfish, even if they aren’t in reality. The self presented on Facebook is the ideal self, not the true self. Every interaction is between two or more idealized selves. The real self & online persona are different beings, but only one of them is real. Which are you?
To quote Tommy Lee Jones’ character in the 1997 film, Men in Black: “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.“
-Jack Blare, 2017
In the process of making America “great” again the new administration is ripping it apart. No longer is it respected internationally. Mexico has been alienated, Canada disillusioned, Puerto Rico ravaged by hurricanes and then insulted by their own “president”. Afghanistan has dragged on for almost two decades, parents and their children find themselves together on the battlefield, some too young to even recall 9/11. It is not considered to have a free press and has violated countless human rights. Racism is more open and prevalent since it has been in the ’60s and mass shootings are a common occurrence. Immigrants are being expelled with nowhere to go while the jobs they did stay vacant. Many top government positions sit unfilled while education standards are plummeting. Student debt is so high that most people will be paying it off for the rest of their lives. Women’s rights are being abolished and the clock is turning backwards on civil rights.
After third wave feminism there came a backlash from single young white men, who felt that their place in society was being usurped by people of colour and women who they felt owed them sex just for being nice. In anger and frustration many of them turned to the far right via the internet, to nazism and white supremacy. Trying to disguise hate speech with the first amendment they became the alt-right who helped move that moron into the Whitehouse and marched under swastika banners in broad daylight. The suicide rate is going up and will soon surpass tobacco, cancer and heart disease as the number one killer, especially for young men. Millions of people are addicted to drugs, a large majority of them prescribed from the system itself. Meanwhile fentanyl is becoming the scourge of the drug world, 100 times more potent than morphine, 100 times easier to smuggle than heroin and much cheaper.
Twitter journalism has replaced real journalism and opinion is more important than facts. The lies are flying so fast no one cares to even keep track. Stadiums are filled with people paying hundreds of dollars to see a hologram of a dead musician perform while ignoring the beggars outside on the streets. It has become illegal in some places to even feed the homeless. They would rather see them dead than in their neighbourhoods. Security is up at airports and borders, where rights are routinely and thoroughly violated. The president is trying to take healthcare away from the poor and the dying, food from the elderly and disabled, money from the taxpayers to fund his lavish lifestyle and nepotism. Elections are being toyed with by the Russians and Putin is now the world’s most powerful man.
All America has is a massive foreign debt and army budget and a large arsenal of deteriorating atomic bombs and nuclear missiles. North Korea threatens the U.S. with destruction and they threaten to wipeout North Korea. Yet almost all of the president’s internal policies have failed, he is by all accounts a terrible and offensive diplomat who goes through staff members almost as fast as he does money. His staff go on TV and advertise his family’s businesses, the conflicts of interest are too many to count. He encourages police brutality and uses them to enforce his will on the people rather than protect them while building more for-profit prisons to house the most inmates in the world, the new gulag. He says America First, an old American nazi party slogan, then outsources jobs to China, which becomes more powerful with each passing day. It is shining with gentrification in some places, while others barely have infrastructure. Its been battered by floods and hurricanes. All this in less than a year.
In Canada we watch and wait, 30 million to 300. Our massive neighbour to the south has almost as much, if not more influence on Canada than our own parliament sometimes, and thats a sad fact. They are our largest trading partner. Thus the Prime Minister must tread carefully. The president goes against almost every Canadian value: multiculturalism, politeness, equality, legal weed and a preference for peace, his election has emboldened the racists and Neo nazis up here, and while they were hugely outnumbered by counter protesters they tried to have their own little Charlottesville, which was confined to an underground parking lot. Still your media prevails over ours on TV, the radio, the internet. We’re our own country but America is the apartment downstairs and the guy that just moved in is fucking nuts. He makes fun of cripples, is scared of blood but likes wars, is always saying racist bullshit and beating his wife and family but the sherif is on his payroll and he walks around with a loaded shotgun, pointing it at anyone who pisses him off. He hasn’t pointed it up, but we’re worried he might, or end up burning the whole house down while we’re all still in it.
America is not what it was. The foundation is cracked and the structure is faulty. Every country has repairs to make but America is starting to fall apart and if it collapses well, I live in the apartment upstairs.
–Jack Blare, Monday October 9, 2017
Donald Trump hasn’t been able to string together a sentence since the beginning of his campaign. H.S. Thompson said Raegan’s Alzheimer’s probably started prior to his presidency and with Trump being the oldest person ever elected to the office its not a stretch to assume that he has at the very least, mid-stage dementia. He has the typical symptom known as “word salad” where the patient just strings together a bunch of words unrelated to the situation. He can’t answer direct questions and his remarks are usually out of context and grammatically incorrect.
Trump thought Karl Marx was Russian, that Frederick Douglas was still alive, had no idea what the nuclear triad was and still doesn’t seem to be aware that Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. His moods sway unpredictably and his position changes by the hour probably because he can’t remember what he said five minutes ago. In most people this would be sad, in his case its just disgusting. They handed the reigns of the world’s last “superpower” to a racist, sexist old bigot who is completely out of his mind, along with the “world’s best army,” supposedly, since the only real victory they’ve had since The Spanish American War without allied help was Guam. Korea was a failure and now it looks like the grandchildren of the idiots that started that war are going to be the ones who have to suffer through finishing it. Vietnam was a total loss and the Gulf and Iraq wars gave us Daesh while soon children will be dying alongside their parents in Afghanistan for an attack that happened before they were born.
The man is so absolutely clueless that he shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car or go out on his own. If he wasn’t rich he’d probably be in a senior’s home on the floor for neurodegenerative patients no longer able to function by themselves. Instead the Secret Service has been reduced to the status of geriatric caregivers for a feeble old man who just babbles about whatever comes to mind (“Words? I’ve got the best words.”) He’ll be 74 by the election and 78 if he lives to see the end of a second term. Hell half of the Republican Party is probably already wearing diapers, why do people vote for the generation that fucked the world economy and kept us on the brink of nuclear war for fifty years while drafting people to die in proxy wars they held no stake in? Kim hit the nail on the head when he called Trump a dotard. Someone his age still living in North Korea is almost miraculous. He’s more likely to stroke out like Stalin than live to see the next decade and his son Eric “American Psycho” Trump will probably be waiting with a pillow to finish him off just to get his inheritance a day earlier. The only tears to be shed will be by hired mourners while the rest of the family dissects his estate joyously before the body is even cold. His ascent to power will be remembered for marking the end of the mere 25 years of American hegemony since the Cold War ended. The office of US president has turned from one to be respected to one that is demeaning to even be associated with. Nixon’s corpse is laughing in its grave, knowing that the running joke of his failed presidency will be replaced by 5 decades of mocking Trump if we don’t all die in a nuclear war because he’s been playing with the nuclear suitcase.
Whether you love him or hate him he isn’t going to be alive all that much longer and the presidency prematurely ages people. He’s already aged beyond any other president when he took office. No president has received as much deserved criticism as the failure of a decent human being he is and no president has been so easily wounded and manipulated by that glaring flaw. He will be on his death bed and still obsessing over the pitiful size of his inauguration crowd and his record low approval rating, without ever having realized that his life has been wasted on a series of failures, culminating in his media sideshow of a presidency. He’ll die the way he lived, miserable, insecure and lonely but still too stupid to know why.
–Jack Blare, Oct 1, 2017
Arguing with Trump’s supporters is like teaching a cow to read. They are stupid people that believe what they want to hear no matter what the truth is. Cognitive dissonance. They reject all evidence that doesn’t support their opinion. They will misdirect and misrepresent you because they cannot refute you. They want things to change without time, effort and work. Trump’s rhetoric, if it even warrants the term, is based on getting everything done right now. “There will be a wall. Mexico is paying. Fire and Fury.” His fanbase loves the action talk but he never takes action because he can’t. He needs a new headline every couple days to distract the masses from his latest political fuckup.
His government is an authoritarian kleptocracy rife with nepotism and continually unstable. Neo-nazis may support it but this is no fourth reich, its a crumbling mess being held together by law but he can’t pay for his secret service, his Winter White House. He’s more like the last Tsar of Russia than Adolf Hitler. He can be forced to make concessions. He is not respected. Only his family’s jobs in the White House are safe. He’s paranoid and politics has made it worse. Its a volatile situation, something is going to spark and then the whole mess will burn, hopefully not taking us with it. We must be unrelenting. We must apply constant pressure from all sides to dismantle this beast. At this point the lines are drawn. You can either love him or hate him but you can’t do both. His supporters have made up their minds. The time for friendly discourse or persuasion has passed. They only understand action. They only see in black and white, and it will be their undoing. The time for reconciliation is over.
The democrats can’t be counted on to fight this battle. When workers are oppressed they organize into a union. Your country treats most of you like employees and tax revenue. Strike like employees. Withhold their revenue. Turn away the tax collectors. If he can’t pay his own secret service, hit him wear it hurts, in the bag of money he has between his legs instead of genitalia. Agitate in the best way you can. Politicians can’t save this sinking ship of what was a short-lived superpower only the people can.
–Jack Blare, September 5, 2017
For anyone stupid enough to still trust police. They are brutal, uneducated, ignorant and violent. She has more schooling than those cops do. They scrape the bottom of the barrel and get bullies or people who want to feel powerful. They need an internal affairs unit more brutal than they are.
If an officer breaks the law they should be subjected to punitive punishments or simply fired. If we make it compulsory for all police to take a seven year course to become a cop there will be less of this because they will think twice before violating their own regulations because they’ll be tossing away almost a decade of schooling and a ton of money if they fuck up.
There’s no protection, even in hospitals. America has become a police state, end it now before it grows. Give INDEPENDENT investigators sweeping powers to fire officers for any misconduct. Fire the rest and make them learn law. Keep on veterans with 7 years experience but if they make a mistake fire them. These men and women are not here to save the day. They are used by politicians to repress by means of violence and terror. Now they are dragging nurses out of hospitals (more educated I might add) What do her patients do now? Are we at risk of having blood samples taken by force while we’re unconscious?
They are on a power trip and it needs to be stopped. Only then will people respect the badge and uniform as honourable. Right now they are stained with blood. There are good cops but as an organization they are corrupt. According to a source of mine who works closely with police. “About one in four are decent people.” Being dragged from your place of work, handcuffed, searched, roughed up and then thrown in a cop car without any explicitly stated charges is a traumatic experience. If nurses aren’t even safe in hospitals then no one is, anywhere. As it is their job to uphold the law they have a duty to be examples to the community. Double prison time for police brutality and shove them in with the general prison population. This goes for Canada and the U.S.
-Jack Blare, Sept 1 2017
I rarely do reviews on music, I don’t think I’m qualified to critique musicians that are in many cases much better than myself, but when I heard Unspun, the new album by New York based duo Bliss Blood (Moonlighters, Pain Teens) and Al Street, I felt a duty to share my impression of this ethereal album.
Unspun begins with the hypnotic, acoustic and almost psychedelic, Entropy. The language play and dreamy rhythm guitar in the song recalls some of Syd Barrett’s solo work, but with virtuoso Spanish guitar work by Al Street quietly complementing the song, adding a bit of edge, flare and flavour. Above at all of course is the clear voice of Bliss Blood. Alternating between different singing styles, such as in nuyaim, where the vocals recall an almost Middle Eastern sound, to an old time style give me lots of sugar, which could be right out of the 1920’s. No One Gets It All is a catchy, emotional, modern song driven by Bliss Blood’s ukulele and honeyed voice, which has taken on a mournful, regretful mood, supported by intense bursts of flamenco guitar from Street and haunting lyrics from Blood.
Unlike too many performers these days, Bliss doesn’t try and over-sing, but restrains her powerful singing voice, complimenting, but not overwhelming the songs. Mixing her trademark old time Jazz/Blues/Hawaiian sound with some more sad, atmospheric and personal lyrics than her work with The Moonlighters.
Despite the fact that many of the songs have a dream-like, mellow psychedelic folk sound, the album never becomes boring; each song is exactly as long as it should be. In snowmelt, Bliss’s voice washed over me like sonic honey and morphine.
I can’t pick a favourite track on this album, but the title track of Unspun is a strong contender, with its driving rhythm and intense and emotional solos by Street playing back and forth with Bliss’s singing. My friend and drummer said that vixen reminded him of an Elliott Smith song with a female singer, and I can’t say I disagree. This is the only song on the album that employs electric guitar, and it is employed to the best effect, coming out of nowhere like a bluesy, rockabilly dust storm. In Pitfall, Bliss sounds like a seductive and untouchable 1930’s Jazz singer.
Unspun is a beautiful, emotional, and intense album that fuses together old Jazz, the Blues, Hawaiian music, acoustic music and intense lyrics all woven together by Bliss Blood’s dreamy, seductive, opium smoke vocals and Al Street’s perfectly timed and executed Spanish guitar parts. Its far too easy to miss great independent performers these days, and if you want my opinion Bliss Blood and Al Street are two that you don’t want to overlook.
This is by no means Bliss Blood’s first album, and you can check out her Bandcamp profile for more albums by her and Al Street, the Moonlighters, and Pain Teens. We’ll be taking a look at some of those other albums in the near future so stay posted. Until then, do yourself and independent music a favour and get yourself a copy of Unspun.
Download Unspun Here: https://blissblood.bandcamp.com/album/bliss-blood-al-street-unspun
Bliss Blood’s Bandcamp profile: https://blissblood.bandcamp.com