Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Twitter/X and other social media is awash with comments about the recent presidential debate between Trump and Biden. It’s pretty much meme heaven. But my favourite response to it was comedian Lee Camp’s Presidential Debate Catastrophe video. ‘It was the corpse versus the clown,’ said Camp. ‘And not even the corporate mainstream media, who’s job is to defend the sham democracy that we pretend to have…could run cover for the disaster that America was forced to witness tonight.’ Camp’s truth bombs are so funny and cutting, and when he gets on a roll, free associating and spitting out hilarious invective, he’s a sight to behold. But, funny as all this is, as Camp himself admitted, ‘No matter what happens…not a lot will fundamentally change with the American empire.’ Sad, but true.

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Today I read an article from Allkpop posted by KatL903 that was titled Netizens react to Twice Nayeon’s stage outfits for ABCD. Clearly, in light of recent current affairs, this is not the most important issue, but as a Once it caught my eye (and provided some much-needed light relief). The outfits were all invariably described as ‘daring’ and they initiated a flurry of comments, mostly positive, from the mysterious ‘netizens’. I mean, it all makes sense – what’s not to love? Most common response seemed to be ‘she ate in all of those’. Ate (as in ‘did very well’) is a very popular word in Kpop at the moment. It’s even featuring in the song titles. Well, some people didn’t think Nayeon ate. One netizen called Bapsahil labelled our girl whore, hag, skanky and cheap and disgusting. Phew! Thankfully, the fans heaped scorn on this person, and I downvoted every one of her posts, as all right-thinking people should. I mean, what’s their deal? Is this conservative backlash from the touching her fanny part in the music video? Anyway, I go for nerdgirl Nayeon in the glasses.

Another Allkpop headline that was complete clickbait for me was North Korea publicly executes a man in his 20s for listening to Kpop. Woah, harsh! The article, by Sophie-Ha, offered very little evidence of the reality of this, and the headline image was a drawing of a man facing a firing squad. But some commentators fell for it, expressing concern for the poor man and revulsion at ‘the dictatorship’. Others correctly, I think, labelled the article as fake news. I liked the comments that Kim Jong Un is a Red Velvet fan. Funny, and a little insane.

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I finally got around to listening to one of the albums I bought at the Box Hill Record Fair all those months ago. It was The Outlaws’ Greatest Hits. The Outlaws were a good southern rock band from the seventies and some of the eighties. Very much influenced by the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with similar dual guitar players and strong vocals. Actually, their vocals were one of their really strong points. They had the usual gritty southern charm, but they added strong harmonies and real good singing. It was good ol’ boy music. I’d had some of the albums long ago but threw them out in the Great Record Cull of 1990 or thereabouts. Of course, I wish I’d kept ‘em now. But I have this cd, and it’s enough. There are some damn fine songs here, including There Goes Another Love Song and Stick Around For Rock N Roll. Tunes that stick in your head in a good way, capped with some blistering guitar-slinging passages from the boys. None more epic than the nine minute plus track Green Grass and High Tides, a song they often stretched out to twenty minutes in concert (usually dedicating it to Lynyrd Skynyrd after the plane crash). There are a couple of live songs, that to my ears are badly recorded. But I really like the song Holiday. Very melodic and breezy. It reminds me of the Doobie Brothers at their best. Now, if I could just get back those albums…

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I suppose one of the reasons I picked up the Outlaws album was because I’m getting into that TV series, 1883. It’s all cowboys and trail bosses and horses and homesteaders. Tonight’s fourth episode, The Crossing, was extraordinary. The German immigrants have to face the hazardous crossing of a river, but first they have to leave behind most of their valuable possessions in order to make the crossing. Isabel May’s character, Elsa, comes to the conclusion about herself, ‘I’m a cowboy’, and then proceeds to kiss the young cowboy she’s been tasked to join looking after the herd. Later, they come across a piano abandoned in a field by the immigrants, and Elsa proceeds to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on it. As the music plays, we see what transpires with the crossing of the river. Immigrants drown, Elsa’s mom almost drowns, dragged down by one of the Germans desperately grabbing at her, and a price is paid. When Elsa finishes the piece, she weeps. Her young paramour, who witnesses the performance, simply says, ‘Don’t yer know any happy ones?’

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