Category Archives: Powers

The Lie of the Conservative Batman

I’ve waited a week to post this until enough people have had a chance to see the latest Dark Knight movie, but it bears mentioning: MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Batman mythos runs so deep in our culture, that parallels are easy. Claims now run rampant that the latest brilliant installment of Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight trilogy is anti-Occupy, or pro-capitalist in sentiment. That it purports ‘only a billionaire’ can save us. Chris Nolan has dispelled as much, though it’s not unreasonable to suggest that the phenomenally successful series may be inexorably linked to current events, as no writer or director creates in a vacuum, and both life imitates art and art imitates life. All films reflect their times, and the Batman is no exception. The imagery itself has seeped into everyday usage, (much like the protagonist masks in V for Vendetta), the war-painted Joker has been used by protest movements to vilify seemingly every elite from Bernie Madoff to president Barack Obama. Even without the gadgetry, moral code, genius-level detective skills, martial arts, cape or cowl, many billionaires see themselves as crucial heroes, their “sacrifices” necessary for the good of the system. And yes, the probably psychopathic James Holmes seems unable or unwilling to separate reality from fiction, modeling himself after The Dark Knight‘s villainous Joker (portrayed inimitably by Heath Ledger).

But Christopher Nolan’s version of the Batman (dubbed the Nolanverse), had already established an old Gotham rife with political corruption, a recession predating our own by a few years (Batman Begins began in 2005), the excesses of the rich and inequity of their system, and the thievery of Wall Street.

The script for The Dark Knight Rises was written during 2010, with location scouting happening in December of that year. Filming ran from May to November 2011, overlapping the rise of the Occupy movement by mere months. Any similarity is purely coincidental, and furthermore seen through the lens of Fox news analysis and FBI entrapment, where Occupiers have already been condemned as criminals and terrorists. The predominant Beltway philosophy already has established the ‘infallible rich’ as a cornerstone of its power structure.

And the story of haves and have-nots is as old as time anyway, as the Dark Knight Rises draws heavily from A Tale of Two Cities and its historical Red Terror. It’s a false dichotomy (which many pundits love) that one cannot have both a healthy opposition to violent revolution and sympathetic support for a protest movement. It really reveals more about the claimants’ ideology than anything else. Charles Dickens, for one, cared deeply for the plight of the poor, but not for the brutal atrocities of the French Revolution.

We humans will ascribe our own meaning and see what we want in film and comic book escapism, no matter how earnest the telling. This trilogy simply rings true because it dissects the hard ideological differences regarding justice, evil, truth, responsibility, and just exactly who is the real psychopath, anyway. We can all too easily see the divides and overlapping philosophies of the Occupy movement, the police force, the rich elites, and the League of Shadows. And yes, both lone vigilantes and lone nuts.

But even if the movie were a direct allegory to our failed structure, it could hardly be seen as a conservative endorsement, as bloggers on both sides have contended. More likely, the chilling dystopian vision of a city torn into a No Man’s Land reads as a warning against radical demagoguery and institutional deception. And though some may not agree with the aims of the Occupy movement, it takes a willfully ignorant or forcefully disingenuous mindset to equate them with the insane philosophy of either a chaotically sadistic Joker or a frighteningly focused and cold-blooded Bane (portrayed by Tom Hardy).

Indeed, Occupy remains a leaderless movement, constantly worrying about being co-opted by self-interested parties. Bane adopts a populist message in order to peddle false hopes to the citizenry he hopes to torture, populating his army with liberated thieves and killers. Yes, and there are those whom society has forsaken. Bane’s armed revolt plays to the same paranoid fears of Fox News and the State Department, and the same rhetoric of a much less radical Anonymous; it is made up of janitors, shoe-shiners, orphans, ex-cons, sanitation and construction workers. The under-served.

Bruce Wayne’s (reprised by Christian Bale) sins are spelled out for us at the beginning of the Dark Knight Rises. Not only has he taken the fall for the crimes of Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and conspired to propagate a political lie, he has turned his back on society and the world. The streets have become relatively clean without him in the eight years since he donned the cowl, but the less obvious ills of a broken system still endure as Bruce neglects the city he loves, and literally atrophies in his elegantly rebuilt mansion.

Gotham’s sins are also many, where betrayal and lies are common political practice, where war heros are expendable during peacetime, where critical-thinking police are discounted as ‘hotheads’, and where even good men like Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) get their hands filthy. The Batman himself, as the Force-ghost of Ra’s Al-Ghul (Liam Neeson) reminds us, “for years fought the decadence of Gotham with his moral authority… and the most he could achieve was a lie.” The overreaching Dent Act, based on Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne’s falsehood, has robbed the imprisoned of any chance of parole. And though it was (hurriedly) agreed that if they world knew of Harvey Dent’s crimes, the guilty would be opened up to appeal, it is this very act of conspiracy that threatens to help blow apart the system, once finally discovered. The career politicians, police bosses, day traders and rich elite are anything but sympathetic figures.

Selena Kyle (Anne Hathaway) is the only decent representative of the 99%. She (as well as her politics and moral code) is adaptable, values anonymity, and doesn’t seem to care much for gun control. She embodies the ‘honor among thieves’ adage, she is generous, and sees herself as somewhat of a Robin Hood, at least more than the society types she robs from, who ‘take so much and leave so little for the rest.’ However, she is equally horrified, frightened and disgusted by the madness that ensues during Bane’s “revolution.”

John Daggett (Ben Mendelsohn), on the other hand, is your stereotypical corporate vulture, a literal blood diamond opportunist looking for his next hostile takeover, who doesn’t have time for “save-the-world vanity projects.” In fact, Daggett doesn’t care if the world is destroyed with his help, so long as he acquires more money, and the “power it buys.” It is the likes of Daggett and the other one-dimensional capitalists who worship the status quo when it suits them, and then collude with criminals on the side. Daggett only sees Bane as ‘pure evil’ once he realizes the imminent threat to himself and his riches. Once it’s no longer himself who’s in charge. It should be noted, for the record, that there are no real-life Occupy figures who could cow a crooked billionaire by placing a hand on their shoulder like an alpha dominant.

But of course these unsympathetic crooks are surely served up as contrast to our hero: the billionaire who would save us.

And though the Batman/Bruce Wayne may be heralded as the authoritarian’s dream; willing to employ mass surveillance, extreme rendition, and solely deciding what technology the people deserve and can be trusted with, he is no societal Superman. He is not a billionaire’s billionaire, for though he has more cars than cares to count, has never answered his own door, and “doesn’t even go broke like the rest of us,” he is also easily displaced within his own boardroom, decries the egotistical hypocrisy of charity balls, and has not been watching his own money carefully. Notably, he wants to fail. He relishes the opportunity to be destroyed as the Batman, if it means saving the lives of everyone; the rich, the workers and the poor alike.

Neither, however, has he been serving his own people and city of late, trading in his once rich playboy identity for a Howard Hughes shtick. Not only is his corporation floundering, his beloved charitable foundation is practically defunct. Orphaned boys age out of Gotham’s social programs, neglected by a city with no homes of jobs available. Here they become easy prey for vaguely Middle Eastern terrorists and organized criminals, where they die in the sewers and wash away once they are used up.

The progressive responsibility of socially conscious and civic-minded billionaires, (an extremely endangered breed both in Gotham and out real world) had to be summed up by an ecoterrorist acting the part of a lovely socialite (Marion Cotillard); “You have to invest to restore balance to the world.” Bruce has been lacking in his duties, and that evil that he and Commissioner Gordon buried isn’t dead, but rising up once again.

Bane’s movement is a false one, as he tells the people of Gotham that he is not a Conquerer but a Liberator, but in actuality he is neither. Bane is the Destroyer. Spinning a hopeful message in the wake of his havoc, telling the people to “take control” of Gotham, Bane uses his “truth” to get the citizenry to “tear down a corrupt city” and reclaim what is theirs from the rich oppressors who had peddled their myth of opportunism.

And it is not just any “ordinary citizen” who holds the detonator to their destruction, but equal parts rich girl and terrorist-anarchist. These masterminds did not just create a populist movement to fulfill their diabolical plot, but infiltrated powerful corporations with their subterfuge as well. For comparison, real-world anarchists, despite practicing just another political philosophy, are readily depicted by the media as murderous terrorists. Protestors, despite exercising their constitutional right to assemble, are either beaten or made into bridge bombers by the FBI. Even those who have read the anarchist or socialist literature pale in comparison to the bloodthirsty Bane army. But the fear has been writ large in the news: if a lone nut like the joker can inspire a depraved massacre in a theatre, what would an evil warlord and his army of mercenaries inspire?

Like the Batman, authoritarians do seem to create their own enemies.

What follows once the structures fail lacks even more subtlety; in the face of such wanton violence, the government will abandon you. The good cops will attempt to salvage the status quo, and the bad cops will either desert or work against the people. Idiotically and blindly following orders, in fact, could get orphans and priests killed. Only the Batman can save us.

As even Selena realizes too late, this is not what the 99% ever wanted. Their system has swung wildly from an authoritarian, decadent state to the bloody turf of a mad warlord. It is the Dark Knight who is the hero we need, but unlike any known billionaire, he is now humiliated and humbled, fearful, responsible, accountable, and thus strengthened, empowered, respectful and focused. “Hardened by pain… not from privilege.”

It really should go without saying, by the way, that is not until Bruce Wayne loses all of his money, loses nearly everything, in fact, and is dropped into a pit to rebuild himself, that he is worthy of becoming a savior. And even those he still uses all those wonderful toys that only his privileged life could have afforded him, there can be no analogue for his virtuosity. Nobody has done as much as the fictitious Wayne family. And no playboy industrialists don a mask and fight crime.

As super-fan of the Batman, Kevin Smith, points out:

“In our world it’s not the case. The richer one gets, the less moral one seems to become. Not in all cases, but you hear about everything that just happened to our economy in the last few years… at the end of the day, Bruce Wayne/Batman [is] a moral example of a billionaire… Right then and there you should be able to divorce yourself from reality because no billionaire would waste their time helping others.”

This establishes the film’s central conceit as high fantasy. The Batman doesn’t have what we’d normally call superpowers, and we’ve seen it’s not simply the gadgets or money that keeps him going, but his rigid moral compass and drive to do good that makes him superhuman.

It isn’t just allegorical. It’s not just a cautionary tale. It’s a mad thought experiment. Fiction. Fantasy. Though some of us do have trouble separating that.

For there is no Ayn Randian perfect citizen or engine of the economy that somehow magically makes everything better. There is no Nietzschean Übermench. In the face of the very real threats of depraved elites, deadly terrorist groups and savage gunmen, there are no real superheroes.

Batman will not save us.

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Olde Times are Goode Times

At the request and behest of our esteemed guest, who arrives just too late and right on, we exemplify how the olden times are the besten times, with music from the turn of the Swingin’ Century, slowly evolving as have our petty mindsets. Some political rations and weird subsidies later, you arrive in the Strangeland.

So stick around for the BONUS segment where fellow Revengerist Dr. Tasty reacts to the show and current events, and lo, the Earth mightily trembles.

PLAYLIST
In The Hall Of The Mountain King – Will Bradley-Ray McKinley Band
For Old Times’ Sake – Annette Hanshaw
Ragtime Regiment Band (1913) – Heidelberg Quintet with Billy Murray
Frog Legs Rag (1906) – James Scott
Original Rags (Piano Roll) – Scott Joplin
Hobomoko – John Philip Sousa Band
Pozzo – Frisco Jass Band
Dixie Jass Band One Step – The Original Dixieland Jazz Band
Alexander’s Ragtime Band – Ethel Merman, Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Sophie Tucker
Lady Is A Tramp – Sophie Tucker
Changes – Bing Crosby
Paul Whiteman – The Charleston
Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now – The California Ramblers
Maple Leaf Rag – Bix Beiderbecke
Down South Camp Meeting – Fletcher Henderson
Night And Day – Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli
Making Whoopee – Eddie Cantor
Let’s Misbehave – Irene Bordoni
Anything Goes – Cole Porter
You Do Something to Me – Billy May & The Andrews Sisters
Canned Heat (1947) – Chet Atkins
Jolly Banker – Woody Guthrie
Old Blind Sow, She Stole the Middlins – John W. Summers
Death of J.B. Marcum – Asa Martin
I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive – Hank Williams, Sr.
I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town – Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five
Juke Box Boogie Woogie Chick – Snookum Russell
Jumpin At The Jubilee – Big Joe Turner
Finger poppin time – Hank Ballard & the Midnighters
The Stuf Is Here – Cleo Brown
Powerhouse – Spike Jones
Rhapsody In Blue – George Gershwin & Paul Whiteman
Frankie And Jonny – Gene Vincent
My Baby Don’t Love Me No More (1957) – Happy Wainwright & The VI-Counts
Red Hot – Billy Lee Riley
Rink-A-Din-Ki-Do – The Edsels
All Right, Baby – Janis Martin
I’m Getting Sentimental Over You – Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
Runaway – Del Shannon

Stranger in a Strange Land 2012-06-16: Olde Times are Goode Times by The Stranger on Mixcloud

Romney blurted out more of his anti-American anti-government anti-populist anti-worker conservative rhetoric. We already know that he “likes being able to fire people,” wants to privatize formerly public fields so that unregulated industries can sap the life from the Public, and now he’s also aiming at “firemen, policemen, and teachers.”

I’ll just say it. Mitt Romney is soft on crime. He’s anti-education, and pro-fire.

Indiscriminate privatization, and the greedy politics of unfettered selfishness, will bankrupt and destroy this economy, this country, and the American people.

All the more reason to believe that the GOP is doing this on purpose.

Be it ideology or stratagem, the GOP has blocked pro-growth policy and backed job-killing austerity – all while blaming Obama.

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” -Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell

Republicans will do anything, including short-circuiting the economy, in order to hurt Obama politically.

Then again, it’s a hard accusation to prove: after all, one person’s economic sabotage is another person’s principled anti-government conservatism.

Republicans have opposed a lion’s share of stimulus measures that once they supported, such as a payroll tax break, unemployment insurance, bargaining against the interests of Americans (or holding their needed public services or national credit rating hostage) to keep tax cuts for the wealthy.

Republicans have made practically no effort to draft comprehensive job creation legislation. Instead, they continue to pursue austerity policies, which reams of historical data suggest harms economic recovery and does little to create jobs.

Meanwhile, a critical document from President Barack Obama’s free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises.

The new leak follows substantial controversy surrounding the secrecy of the talks, in which some members of Congress have complained they are not being given the same access to trade documents that corporate officials receive.

The newly leaked document is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration’s advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws.

But foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings.

China, of all places, has just released a report on the (lack of) human rights over the past year in the U.S.A. Are we living in an authoritarian society without knowing it? Via China Daily, and they would know!

Whatever the deep reasons for the (Occupy) movement are, the single fact that thousands of protesters were treated in a rude and violent way, with many of them being arrested – the act of willfully trampling on people’ s freedom of assembly, demonstration and speech – could provide a glimpse to the truth of the so-called US freedom and democracy.

While advocating press freedom, the United States in fact imposes fairly strict censoring and control over the press and “press freedom” is just a political tool used to beautify itself and attack other nations. The US Congress failed to pass laws on protecting rights of reporters’ news sources, according to media reports. While forcibly evacuating the Zuccotti Park, the original Occupy Wall Street encampment, the New York police blocked journalists from covering the police actions. They set cordon lines to prevent reporters from getting close to the park and closed airspace to make aerial photography impossible. In addition to using pepper spray against reporters, the police also arrested around 200 journalists, including reporters from NPR and the New York Times

Even the Russians now know our press (non)freedom is a joke:

“They just put handcuffs on me. I tried to tell him that I am a journalist. He pulled out my State Department accreditation and asked whether I have a New York police one. Unfortunately, that one expired,” explained journalist Kirill Belyaninov.

The reporter has been working in the US for the last three years.

“Whatever proof you have – they don’t really care. It’s just business, and your credentials can’t really protect you,” he said.

Sent through a whirlpool -like legal system, the seasoned journalist was treated as a protest participant under arrest. 24 hours behind bars, a quick trial, 600 dollars in fines were his punishment – for doing his job – covering the news of the day. And then there were the two days of community service and six months probation.

It’s just a matter of time before any non-corporate citizen journalist is automatically branded a terrorist. Though we now know that Americans Are as Likely to Be Killed by Their Own Furniture as by Terrorism!

Terrorist attacks killed 17 U.S. civilians last year and 15 the year before.

According to the report, the number of U.S. citizens who died in terrorist attacks increased by two between 2010 and 2011; overall, a comparable number of Americans are crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year. This is not to diminish the real–albeit shrinking–threat of terrorism, or to minimize the loss and suffering of the 13,000 killed and over 45,000 injured around the world. For Americans, however, it should emphasize that an irrational fear of terrorism is both unwarranted and a poor basis for public policy decisions.

~The Stranger
thestranger@earthling.net

Also, enjoy this BONUS nugget of the Stranger in a Strange Land, guest starring the one-and-hopefully-only Dr. Tasty! The founding members of the Revengerists (Consortium of Stuff) are together again to discuss the minutiae of time distortion, powers, current events, robot apocalypse, world-ending cataclysms, crime-fighting, affinity groups like the Cacophony Society and other subversive underground organizations, and the 10 weirdest urban ecosystems on Earth.

Stranger in a Strange Land 2012-06-16: Revengerize with Dr. Tasty! by The Stranger on Mixcloud

Strange Days Have Found Us

Well, we’ve really done it. Ze Black Waffle and I have returned triumphant from waging the Robot War for the Future against SpaceWeb and its mechanical forces of cold calculation. We are safe from the existential threat of malevolent, artificially-intelligent automata… for now.

Unfortunately, in preventing a horrific potential future from coming to pass, we may have accidentally set into motion an equally-dystopian (if somewhat less lazer-burning) future of corporate takeover and constitutional debauchment! We sincerely apologize if the butterflies we crushed in our reckless traversing of spacetime resulted in the awful offshoot reality of japanese earthquakes, #NDAA, #SOPA, and #DNF (Duke Nukem Forever). Sorry about all that.

I am impassively dedicated to covering the disturbing developments as they formalize and gel into our present, with Mutiny News, twitter, and The Stranger in a Strange Land. We welcome your insights, shared posts, rantings, musings, and dark prophecies, as each unfolding event of doom is rewritten newly before us.

Archived Stranger in a Strange Land shows from the Imperial era are being lovingly polished, annotated, timestamped and uploaded, both on the Mixcloud and on the Stranger‘s own blog of Absurdist Noir. Sadly, the same timequake that causes the fabric of reality to tremble EVEN NOW is also responsible for the loss of several of those archived shows. We soldier on, all of us, into the dark unknown.

For the the most multifarious (that’s multifaceted + nefarious) tunes and freshly-lacquered commentary, check out the Stranger in a Strange Land, Sat. 2am-4am (that’s Friday night going into Saturday mornings). For interviews involving eclectic esoterica, write to thestranger@earthling.net. For general Mutiny Radio coverage, send your aggregated articles, accomplishments, muckraking investigations, and fluffy public interest pieces to thestranger@earthling.net. For that money I owe you, see me next Friday.

Brother from another Mother (Earth)

I met a doppelgänger of mine from a parallel dimension today on my lunch break. He didn’t explain how he managed to end up in our worldline (it never came up, I only get an hour!) but it did become evident fairly quickly that I was the evil one for several reasons, not the least of which being that he DIDN’T have a beard.

We spoke the same language, though his accent was indescribably different, and we had trouble communicating on some odd, conceptual level. He was far more convivial.

He told me that in his dimension, the rich routinely philanthropize, so much so that there are no destitute or super-rich classes, safe synthetic meats ensure delicious bacon without any animals being tortured, money we would spend on guns and bombs are going towards cancer and free energy research, politicians argue over the most logical and efficient ways to serve the weak and sick, and Adolf Hitler was only a slightly renowned drag entertainer.

He was shocked to discover that our media glorifies violence, but is also frustratingly both perversely obsessed and shamefully repressed when it comes to sex. He seemed to think the internet was a good sign for us, something they have had since the nineteen-twenties. They have had jazz music since the seventeenth century.

All of the water fountains shoot cream soda, as they have found the cures for both diabetes and obesity, or as they archaically remember them, “diabesity.”

There is free health care, but they are not a socialist dictatorship. In their free market economy, the affluent volunteered to pay the higher taxes that they can afford, and every corporation profit-shares with their employees.

When I asked about the Third World he replied that yes, both of our planets were the third from the sun, but being the homeworld, Earth was simply more populated than the solar system’s colonies. I couldn’t bring myself to clarify the question.

He failed to check out the passing perfectly plump posterior of an attractive female, which made me consider my double was a little light-in-the-loafers, but he assured me that in his utopian reality, nearly everyone is bisexual at least at some point in their lives, that they simply don’t view the opposite sex as objects, and that additionally all elected officials are cannabis-smoking voluntary-eunuchs.

There are no suicide bombings or underaged, oversexed Disney pop divas.

Jimi Hendrix is alive and well.

Christianity exists there, but is more of a self-reflective non-judgmental philosophical set of ideals meant to help and love each other, than the self-righteous violent rhetoric meant to control and degrade each other that it is on our plane.

People say thank you, acknowledge each other, and don’t complain when they agree to help one another move.

People are allowed to experiment with altered brain states up to and including death, without governmental criminalisation.

The Cold War ended nearly the moment it began, with heartfelt letters of apology and a good, stiff drink or two.

Pie is the same.

Fascinated by each other’s cultures and technologies, we set a lunch date for tomorrow. I intend to ask him about world peace, the brotherhood of man, and the exact manner of his dimensional travel. Then I am going to kill him, shave my beard and take his place

To you, my otherworldly friend:

The Stranger’s Superheroic Four-Hour Show

A double-wide feature for you listeners this week, as I unsuspectingly find myself filling time, while putting the finishing touches on the Superheroic Stranger in a Strange Land! Four hours of music, experimentation, and news!

For Psionic Dehiscence I pull out some lightly seasoned tapes, the Frank Zappa Crossfire debate, Michael Hedges, the great William F. Buckley/Noam Chomsky debate, and the Firesign Theatre.

Lionel Hampton – Glad Hamp – Jazzmaster
Clatworthy Saunders – In Your Own Sweet Way – All That Jazz
Cannonball Adderley – Moanin’
Louis Armstrong – Let’s Do it (Let’s Fall in Love)
The Firesign Theatre – The Ralph Spoilsport Mantrum – How Can You Be In Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere at all
Ella Fitzgerald & Duke Ellington – It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Don’t Have That Swing
Michael Hedges – Because its There

On The Stranger in a Strange Land we battle back the forces of evil, do the Batusi, ponder powered musician battles, super-politics, and every agency from the cia to the x-men.

SRC – In the Hall of the Mountain King
The Bagdhdaddies – Wonder Woman – Katchyazafta
Al Hirt – Green Hornet – Kill Bill Soundtrack
David McCallum – Batman Theme – Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 13: TV Town
Jan & Dean – The Joker is Wild – Meet Batman
Paul McCartney & Wings – Magneto and Titanium Man – Venus and Mars
Mel Tormè – Sunshine Superman – Ultra-Lounge: On the Rocks
Sun Ra – The Bat Cave – Batman (Original Motion Picture Score)
Sun Ra – The Penguin Chase – Batman
Sun Ra – Penguin’s Umbrella – Batman
The Apostles – Super Strut – Acid Jazz Story
They Might Be Giants – John Lee Supertaster – No!
Moe. – Captain America – Warts & All
Spin Doctors – Jimmy Olsen’s Blues – Pocket Full of Kryptonite
Weezer – In The Garage – Weezer
Sun Ra – Batman and Robin Swing – Batman and Robin
Sun Ra – The Riddler’s Retreat – Batman and Robin
Goldfinger – Superman – Hang-Ups
The Aquabats – Powdered Milk Man! – The Fury of the Aquabats!
Fastball – Human Torch – Make Your Mama Proud
Serge Gainsbourg – Comic Strip – Love and the Beat
Jelly Roll Morton – Wolverine Blues – Doctor Jazz
Black Sabbath – Iron Man – Reunion
Entombed – Wolverine Blues
Apollo 440 – Spider-Man Theme
Roam The Hello Clouds – Geoff As the Hulk – Near Mises
Deacon the Villian – X-Men
Dangerdoom – The Mask feat. Ghostface Killah – Mouse and the Mask
7L & Esoteric – Incredible Hulk Rap – Egoclapper
Lee Hazlewood – Batman – Batman and Robin
Gil Scot Heron – Ain’t No Such Thing as Superman
Wesley Willis – I Wupped Batman’s Ass

Stranger in a Strange Land 2010-04-03: Timefill/Superheroic! (Psionic) by The Stranger on Mixcloud

~The Stranger
thestranger@earthling.net

“It’s just words.”

A Lot of Nice Things Turn Bad Out There

12/5/09

Evil global organizations, the most reviled power-hungry madmen outside the world of fiction, and music you claim to hate but secretly mouth the words to and do your little dance. All of those nefarious leaders and musicians who got away with it. The sad thing is that only some of these supervillains were one-hit wonders.

Its the show you love-to-hate!*

Call-in with the news, music, people, and dirty jokes you love-to-hate: 510-747-8228

PLAYLIST
Animal Stampede – Hall of the Mountain King
B-52’s – Rock Lobster
Power Rangers Orchestra – Go Go Power Rangers
Fastball – The Way
Barenaked Ladies – The Old Apartment
Semisonic – Closing Time
Philip Glass – Prophecies (Koyaanisqati)
Hall & Oates – She’s Gone
Lenny Kravitz – It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over
Peaches and Herb – Reunited
Minnie Riperton – Lovin’ You
Astor Piazzolla & the Kronos Quartet – Anxiety
Paper Lace – The Night Chicago Died
Pilot – Oh Oh Its Magic
Cat Stevens – Wild World
Kenny Rogers – Lady
Crash Test Dummies – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
Yellow – Oh Yeah
Vicki Sue Robinson – Turn The Beat Around
Eiffel 65 – Blue (Da Ba Dee)
Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me With Science
Hot Butter – Popcorn
Van Halen – Jump
Salt N Pepa – Push It
Cameo – Word Up!
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – Mystic Cave Zone
Anita Ward – Ring My Bell
Air Supply – Even The Nights Are Better
Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – Spanish Flea
Pat Boone – Moody River

Behold the power of cheese.

Stranger in a Strange Land 2009-12-05: Nice Things Turn Bad Out There by The Stranger on Mixcloud

How could I possibly do this, you do-gooder listeners may ask? Because at least I wouldn’t subject you to Christmas music.

~The Stranger (making good my escape)
thestranger@earthling.net

*’love-to-hate’ ratio, according to google = 8.19

BRESHViC’s STAGEs of CRUNKeD

An intoxicating thought experiment or sobering self-reflection? Either way, the culmination of many years of incredibly stringent, incredibly onerous, and incredibly fun research. Though, as a high-brow high-society social drinker and a low-functioning low-class drunk, each situation dictates varying percentiles. I can stop any time I want. But for science…

1% is not very crunked at all, but has nonetheless started to consider the stages of crunked.

2% just wants to socialize, have a good time, and relax.

3% requires music. This is not an indication of crunkness, since that is always the case, so much as a slight increase in urgent tenacity.

4% knows how to control himself and thinks about each thing he’s going to say before saying it. Has plans this night to not get too fucked up, and will responsibly follow them.

5% doesn’t know which bag belongs to him.

6% has gotten amazingly MORE charming and witty and persuasive, if one can imagine, the most artful storyteller and cunning linguist.

7% feels pretty good, wants to meet new people and do new things.

8% looks down his nose at alcohol snobbery, and will try anything once.

9% has got to break the seal, gets shit for doing it so early, but knows there is no correlation between urination and crunkness.

10% is convinced the bartender is into him.

11% is tired of your drama, and will tell you so.

12% has suddenly and inexplicably gained encyclopedic access to every inane pop-culture reference ever.

13% needs you to be his wingman.

14% know how many drinks he has consumed, what they were, the last time he felt this way, and where that puts him in the universe. It is enjoyable to think about.

15% will talk sports now.

16% doesn’t mind the butterscotch Schnapp’s, despite disliking both flavors independently.

17% has somehow gotten better at darts and pool.

18% has to be in charge of the jukebox.

19% will mix you a new drink you have never heard of.

20% requires philosophy.

21% wishes ALL his friends could be here; then wishes all his friends lived in an island village with their own language and system of government and awesome things to do and giant turrets to protect them from the outside world.

23% has trouble with numbers.

24% must check the mirror again to make sure there isn’t shit on his face.

25% could use a cigarette, despite not being a smoker.

26% suddenly doesn’t mind the gossip, and would like to hear more.

27% is making sure to visit and talk to everyone.

28% always has time to flirt.

29% finds it preferable, nay, requisite, to rest his forehead against the cool wall and close his eyes for a moment while at the urinal.

30% doesn’t need a wingman.

31% would like a new place to drink.

32% doesn’t mind telling you how pretty you are.

33% would tell you his secret identity.

34% is convinced that looking into his eyes would make you fall in love with him, and takes precautions accordingly.

35% has decided that ‘snakebite’ is a good idea.

36% must splash water in his face.

37% has taken to yelling.

38% is annoyed at what is on the jukebox, uncharacteristically frowns.

39% is thinking about the inexorable march of time, the deep dark origin of the universe, the quantum secrets of matter, and the electric pulse of being and self.

40% is vaguely wondering what stage this is…

41% thinks nachos are a good idea.

42% is prepared to not only micturate in public, but proudly declare such fact as ‘marking territory’

43% will talk to anyone… ANYONE.

44% wants to help the other people who are getting sick or passed out too early.

45% is sexually attracted to you, but not more than to self, and could look at he mirror forever.

46% wins every argument with loudness.

47% remembers the good times.

48% clearly doesn’t need to wear these glasses anymore.

49% wonders if this is what he’ll do at his ten-year high school reunion.

50% notes who is more drunk, unruly, and with poorer judgement than himself, purely for comparison, and certainly not for comedic value or ego inflation.

51% realizes he hasn’t done this in a long time, with equal parts regret, delight, bedevilment and relish.

52% is shit-talking you.

53% can’t remember if it’s ‘beer before liquor’ or ‘liquor before beer.’

54% could live this way forever.

55% doesn’t mind the mint schnapp’s despite outright loathing mint

56% would eat a sealed bag of potato chips out of a dumpster.

57% laughs at every inside joke, even the ones he’s not a part of.

58% can (and shall) recite a whole movie or tv series with your help.

59% enjoys every single thing on the jukebox.

60% feels pretty good, wants to do new people and meet new things.

61% doesn’t care whether you’re impressed with him or not, aren’t you impressed by that?

62% is getting claustrophobic and needs fresh air.

63% has rediscovered his cellphone and the numbers of people he hasn’t seen in ages, or the people who said they were coming out drinking tonight but didn’t.

64% doesn’t want to make any more decisions… ever.

65% is about to tell off that one jerk.

66% misses all the dead homies.

67% is perplexed and confounded by simple things like mirrors.

68% would pee on a church with his buddies and laugh triumphantly.

69% doesn’t mind being licked.

70% would eat an unsealed bag of potato chips out of a dumpster.

71% wants you to save that empty jug as a “trophy of this conquest”.

72% has superpowers.

73% may just have to start dancing and singing.

74% debates both the quality and veracity of this beard and haircut.

75% has given you a new nickname.

76% doesn’t understand you, but just nods and listens, allows you to finish, and then tells you he didn’t understand you.

77% is, at this point, so fucking sick of this shit.

78% can’t remember every drink of the night, but tries in vain anyway.

79% is pretty sure he can get home okay.

80% needs to slow down for a minute, just until the ground stops moving.

81% frowns trying to remember that thing that he was so close to remembering from earlier that must have been so important to still remember that it desperately needs remembering.

82% isn’t very likable right now.

83% needs to pee again, convinced it is the only thing that can help.

84% cannot pronounce real words, so just yells out syllables like “WOO,” “FOOM,” “PO-DAM,” and laughs hysterically.

85% hopes the whole neighborhood heard that, the fuckers.

86% has no more interest in flirting.

87% would sleep in the potato-chip-bag dumpster.

88% has lost motor control in his legs and mouth.

89% doesn’t remember any of this.

90% thinks some things, but then thinks better of them.

91% is scared of mirrors, and whatever dwells within.

92% finds video games and television to both be BAD ideas.

93% for some reason, thinks the sink is the best place to do this…

94% is angry and disappointed.

95% needs a shower.

96% tries cleaning the sink.

97% just needs quiet and darkness, not unlike a filthy cockroach.

98% though passed out, is congratulated by party-goers for “knowing how to party.”

99% can definitively be described as crunked.

100% is dead.