Snakes, In My Heart-Blood Warmed–Part V

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Part V of Gracie Harding’s five part Snakes In My Heart-Blood Warmed is now available at www.newhudsonexit.orgSnakes  Parts I through IV are journeys through the complex romances of Benito Mussolini.  Ida Dalser (Part I) , Clara Petacci (Part III (not available)), Rachele Guidi (Part IV)  and Eva Braun (Part II) all have a story to tell with Il Duce.   

Eugenio Pacelli is the focus of Part V.  Pacelli had a complex relationship with history. Mussolini and the Italian and German Fascists were a big part of  it.  He will make your heart blood churn and warm. 

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Update 2016–Still The Dumbest Country On The Planet

 

dodge3Collectively America’s Worst Vehicles

In December 2014 we wrote here that Americans were the dumbest people on the planet earth.  This was long before Donald Trump ambled upon the presidential scene.   Our observation was based upon the huge number of Americans who purchased Chrysler products even though the vehicles made by Chrysler has been repeatedly rated since 2008 as the most unreliable products ever build .

This week, Consumer Reports published their Annual Automotive Reliability Report.  Not much changed between this year and last.  Toyota and Lexus (which is actually a Toyota) were again the most reliable cars made.  Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat made the worst cars – again we repeat, that is for eight years in a row.  That is quite an achievement.

dodge1A Lexus Is A Toyota; A Chrysler Is A Dodge.  But A Fiat Is A Fiat.

2016 has been a bad year for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.  In addition to getting the worst cars made award,  they ended up recalling over 11 million cars and trucks.  The recalls were  for everything from self igniting vanity mirrors to engines that seized up on the freeway to head restraints that failed to restrain heads (how hard is to make a head restraint anyhow??).  11 million.  Let that number sink in. 

dodge4Anton Yelchin – R.I.P.

It didn’t help that in June, Anton Yelchin was killed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee ran over him while he was standing behind it in his driveway.  The Jeep had been recalled, of course, for a defective electronic gear shifter.   The gear shift recall was one of 14 recalls Chrysler issued against Yelchin’s Grand Cherokee.  You can’t blame him for dawdling to get the shifter fixed.  He probably was more worried about the exploding speedometer or buggy airbag software that cause the airbags to randomly inflate deploy.

What you can question though, is why the man bought a Jeep.  Even the most basic research would have revealed  it as one of the most unreliable cars on the road and unsafe to drive.

This year, Jeep sales rose 12% compared to 2015.  2015 was Jeep’s best year ever – 1.2 million of the fuckers were bought.

dodge2FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne –”In Italia These Woulda Be Great Numbers!”

So there you go.  11 million recalls.  Year after year of being rated the worst cars ever made and Americans – millions of Americans – buying the crap.  Year after year – Chryslers and Dodges and Fiats.

Americans are dumb.  Dirt stupid.  And I don’t even bring up Donald Trump.

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Snakes, In My Heart-Blood Warmed

Snakes, In My Heart-Blood Warmed

          

Coda

 Spanky socked some goofy guy

while Petey bites his toes

Vittor rocks and screams with glee

as Benny wipes his nose

 

Alfalfa does his cross eyed thing

as a fly marched down his nose

Roach says the act’s embarrassing

Vittor never finds it old

 

 

Hal lights stogies for them both

klieg lights turn blue smoke green

as he kisses baby Jean

his stinky sausage leaking cream

Vittor’s fingers pull and grope

her little girlish cantaloupes.

 

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Vittorio Mussolini, son of Italy’s dictator who is here to study motion picture production technique, is shown being greeted by “Our Gang” when he visited Hal Roach Studios. Left to right: “Alfalfa” Switzer; Hal Roach, Jr., “Porky” Lee; “Spanky” McFarland; Vittorio Mussolini; Baby Patsy May (on Vittorio’s knee) and Darla Hood with Pete the pup.

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The Real Secret Plan To Defeat ISIS

Actually it is not a secret.  Bill Maher has been telling anyone who would listen the best way to get rid of ISIS – let the Arabs do it.

isis0Endless Miles Of Sand.  A Few Goats.

Pretty simple eh? Think about it – ISIS’s goal is to establish a Caliphate in the sand and rocks of Syria and Iraq.  The folks who should be worried about that are Bashar al Assad and Haider Abadi.  And if these guy got really worried, they might start talking to some of their neighbors about getting a little help before the Caliphate reaches their borders.  ISIS has 10s of thousands of troops; Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc., have close to a million.  If Arabs think ISIS is such a stinking problem, they have the means to solve it themselves.

isis2What?  Me Worry?

But why should they if they have the West to be their surrogate?  US politicians can make jokes about how lousy the typical Iraqi foot soldier is but they are the ones laying low while the western allies and the rebel forces they back take the fight to ISIS. 

isis1Got The Abeed Again (Snort, Snort)!

It’s not like the West should be learning something new here.  We have been fighting Saudi Arabia’s enemies for them since the 1950s.  Once Hussein was toppled, nobody saw any Iraqis coming out of the woodwork to stop the sectarian fighting the led to ISIS’s formation.  America has been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan for 15 years while the Afghan government watched from the sidelines then stole as much money as they could carry before we finally left.   The average American is too dumb and ill-read to have figured this out.  But the military did – its one thing to defeat the enemy in battle but quite another to have a government that uses that defeat to establish a stable state.  Today, the United States military want troops on the ground in Middle East about as much as Bill Maher does.

It is election year and you would think the country’s long range middle east strategy would be discussed by both candidates.   Not a word.

isis4I Swear His Nose Was Bigger Than A Stromboli.

Clinton and Trump have talked about ISIS though.  Clinton would continue Obama’s current strategy – lots of bombs, support for the ‘good’ rebels-of-the-day, and stealth Special Forces pitching in to kill bad guys when things got real messy.

isis3It’s A Secret.  By The Way, They All Have Little Wieners Don’t You Know.

Initially Trump said his approach would be to ask ‘my’ generals for a grand plan and then implement it.   One of his people quietly told him that was actually what Obama was doing, hence Hillary kind of covered it already.  Trump, never one to let a little foot in the mouth cause a fluster, immediately pivoted and said he had a ‘great’ plan to defeat ISIS but it was a ‘secret’.  If he explained what it was, then ISIS could undo it.

That makes perfect sense.   But it is unlikely that Trump’s secret plan is to let the Arabs figure out what to do with ISIS.  Trump’s plan probably involves a lot of harrumphing, bombing, and just doing more of what we’re doing – only louder.

That’s the sad thing.  We already know that whether or not the West defeats ISIS, there is no strategy as to what happens next in the Middle East.  The only ones who can come up with that are the people who live there.   So let them.

The whole thing is frustrating.  Most American’s don’t even know where Syria is located, let alone have any empathy about ISIS carving it up.  But most Americans identify bad Arabs with terrorists and killing terrorists is what we do in this country.   A savvy political leader would start educating Americans that whoever controls a lot of sand and rocks thousand of miles away from us, means zilch.  It might be important to the people who live there.  If it is, let them figure out their future without our help.  

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Sometimes I Shit And Stink And Sometimes I Just Stink

cb1jpgIn Australia, Everything Is Upside Down.

Unless you lived under a rock throughout 2015, you could not have missed her.  Avant Gardener was played every 30 minutes on Altnation; your local Indie radio station went gaga over Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit – it was the CD of the month for a score of NPR stations across the country; MTV couldn’t get enough of the spunky Australian; and Fred Armesin hosted her on SNL.  Courtney Barnett the Melbournia singing phenom.

Avant Gardener was a song that when you first heard it,  it sat you up and smacked you in the head:  where did that fucking voice come from? and lyrics,  better than Lou Reed’s by a mile.   Courtney Barnett, who is she?  Barnett had you hooked from the first lumbering ‘another day, another wonder’ to the almost painful “I’m not good a breathing in.’  It hurt me just to breath for a while.

cb9Even The Clowns Were About To Die.

And they kept playing it.  Over and over and over.  Her voice turned from haunting husky to  nasal whiney.  The clever lilting lyrics started sounding like cornball rants.  When Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit came out in late Spring, we discovered twelve new songs….that all sounded like Avant Gardener.  Only more repetitive, more somnolent, more dreadfully noisy – the air waves became foul, filled with Barnett’s waxing and weezing hour upon hour.  The radio stations couldn’t stop themselves.  It was like drinking your eighth Fosters on a Friday night binge – slowly the foreboding taste of vomit starts creeping up from your belly into your mouth and nose; your head gets rubbery wants to explode, you cut loud stinky farts and don’t give a fuck.

cb9a cb9b cb9c cb9d How Could You Have Ever Thought This Shit Was Ever Any Good.

In the Fall, the Courtney Barnett juggernaut lost momentum. The radio guys still paid lip service to the genius girl but air time started getting tight.   Marathonartist’s response was to start an anonymous campaign to make  Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party into a kind of underground where’s-the-meaning-to-life.   Posters of the song’s title in slashing penciled letters started showing up in subways, plastered to abandoned buildings, and glued over billboards advertising Coca Cola along freeways.  Spontaneous art inspired by the bug-eyed Australian diva.   And a half a million dollar publicity budget.

So for another month, we got earfuls of “I wanna go out but I wanna stay home”  on the radio.  But nobody’s heart seemed to be in it.  The lyrics easily could have been “another day, another wonder” too. Who would know?  They were all the same now and so unlistenable that you just shut down the noise until your fingers reached the radio’s channel changer buttons.

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Snakes – Parts I and II

ida dalser i benito albino 2

Parts I and II of Gracie Harding’s four part Snakes In My Heart-Blood Warmed is now available at www.newhudsonexit.orgSnakes is a journey through the complex romances of Benito Mussolini.  Mussolini first love and wife was a woman named Ida Dalser.  Their marriage did not last long (and he eventually had her murdered when he was Italy’s dictator) but it was a passionate, rambunctious affair.  The marriage produced one son (who was murdered as well).  We get a feel for the young lovers in Part I of Snakes

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Eva Braun was Hitler’s girl but she was a hot tamale to his cold sausage.   She and Mussolini were much closer in temperaments.  Neither chose to explore their mutual attraction and Harding uses their emotional frustration as a backdrop in Part II.

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