Monday, April 30, 2007

All My Right-Hand Men are Dicks

Maybe you heard, our esteemed Vice President recently spoke at the commencement our own Brigham Young University. I'm sure his speech was full of platitudes and was boring. In short, a boiler plate graduation speech. But it's kind of hard not to read this as a tacit endorsement of the current administration by the conservative-but-not-willing-to-endorse-a-particular-political-party Mormon majority of Utah.

Some BYU students who felt that Cheney completely lived up to his name, decided to hold an alternative commencement ceremony as a protest (there was also a standard protest with signs earlier). These students scored a minor coup by getting Consumer advocate and liberal pariah Ralph Nader as well a human rights advocate Jack Healy and hero to Utah liberals Pete Ashdown to speak at this alternative commencement.

Ashdown's speech felt like a church talk but was a nice commencement speech. Healy gave a passionate speech about moral imperatives.

Nader's speech was full of vitriol and anger (rightfully deserved) at our current administration and their policies. He took the concept of "alternative" to heart. Giving his thoughts and opinions on everything from having an option of voting none of the above on ballots to corporate greed.

I'd like to say that his speech was inspiring. Though-provoking, yes, but unfortunately these kind of things have a tendency to make me feel more cynical than uplifited. It seems impossible, what can anyone do? Systems are in place, stoic and immovable. People are more and more apathetic, content to watch Dancing with the Stars and not worry. Maybe its easier that way.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Rock and roll is full of silly cliches and contrivances. Chief among them is the encore. We all know what's coming, the band puts down their instruments, but we know they're coming back, to play those critical songs that were missing from the setlist. But you know what, it works so well. It's the most artificial drama imaginable, but when the singer starts off, just him and guitar, and the band walks by you and onto the stage to bring the song to its climax, you can't help but get excited. Ending with a cover of a punk standard is just an added bonus.

P.S.-I promise I'm going to write about something other than rock and roll concerts in the future.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


You couldn't see the band through the haze of people, but you knew they were there. You knew they were there because you could see the headstock of the bass peeking up over the crowd. Also they were fucking loud.
Between figuring out if I should just headband or try and dance (I did a little of both) I found myself distracted by these two people standing near me.
The were older, late 40's mid 50's, scholarly looking, maybe professors. I couldn't help wondering what had brought them to this particular show. Were they the parents of someone in one of the opening bands, did they live close by and wanted to pop in and see what all the fuss was about, or are they into the whole avant-rock scene. Mostly though, I just wondered if they were enjoying it.

Oh yeah, Lightning Bolt totally kicked ass!