Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dead Weather -- "The Difference Between Us" (2010)

One day I'm happy and healthy
Next I ain't doing so well

I love 2 or 3 lines more than I should.  But let's face it: I ain't gonna need this house that much longer, and -- after my children -- my wildly successful little blog may be the most important thing I'll leave behind.  (I guess I can live with that.)

Jack White is the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to songs featured on 2 or 3 lines.  (If you don't know what "leader in the clubhouse" means, get on your Google machine and look it up -- I'm leaving on vay-cay at oh-dark-hundred hours tomorrow, and I don't have time to do everything for you!) 

So far, 2 or 3 lines has featured ten songs by the White Stripes, a song by the Raconteurs, a Jack White/Loretta Lynn duet, and songs from each of Jack White's two solo albums.

Dead Weather
But somehow we've overlooked Dead Weather, the latter-day supergroup that White put together in 2009, even though "The Difference Between Us" is as compelling a song as anything White has recorded.

If you aren't familiar with 2 or 3 lines a day, you're in for a treat, bitches!  2 or 3 lines a day was a daily blog I did in 2011 -- that's right, 365 posts in 365 days.  

Writing three posts a week for 2 or 3 lines plus a post every effing day for 2 or 3 lines a day purt near killed me, boys and girls.  So I pulled the plug on 2 or 3 lines a day on January 1, 2012.

The final 2 or 3 lines a day post featured some lines from Semisonic's "Closing Time":

Closing time
Every new beginning
Comes from some other beginning's end

Just think about that, dude.  To paraphrase John Lennon, "Closing Time" is . . . so . . . HEAVY!  In the words of Casey Kasem, "It's ponderous, man . . . f*cking ponderous!"  

"The Difference Between Us" was released on Dead Weather's second album, Sea of Cowards, in 2010.  It was co-written by Jack White and Alicia Mosshart, the lead vocalist of The Kills.  (White recruited Mosshart for Dead Weather after The Kills toured with White's other other band, the Raconteurs, in 2008.)

Here's "The Difference Between Us":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jack White -- "Entitlement" (2014)

I'm tired
Of being told
What to do

I second that emotion, Jack White.  All of you people need to MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!

I mind my own business -- I really do -- but very few of you conduct yourself in the  exemplary manner that I do.

It's bad enough that you don't want me to let me do what I want to do.  But it's even worse that you think you have the right to make me do what you want me to do:

Somebody took away my God-given right
I guess God must have gave it to you
Jack White is all over 2 or 3 lines.  So far, we've featured ten songs by the White Stripes, a song by the Raconteurs, a Jack White/Loretta Lynn duet, and a song from White's first solo album.  (Somehow we've overlooked Dead Weather, a latter-day supergroup that White formed in 2009.)

White released a solo album titled Lazaretto last month.  I was shocked to find it available on Freegal (which is a free music download service offered by many public libraries) and immediately downloaded it.

I haven't listened to it enough to have an opinion as to whether it's good or not.  After I downloaded Lazaretto, I remembered that I had White's previous album, Blunderbuss, which I had never listened to.  So I've been listening to Blunderbuss a lot recently.  

Lazaretto debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart and sold 138,000 copies in its first week of release.  About 40,000 of those copies were vinyl LPs, and that set a record for first-week sales.

Jack White

I was very pleased to receive a copy of the Lazaretto "Ultra LP" as a gift.  There are a few things about that LP that are quite unusual:

-- It has two vinyl-only hidden tracks hidden beneath the center labels.
-- It has a hidden track that plays at 78 RPM and one that plays at 45 RPM, making this a 3-speed record.
-- Side one of the LP plays from the inside out.
-- The "Just One Drink" track features something called "dual-groove technology": it plays either an electric or acoustic intro for depending on where needle is dropped.  (The grooves merge into one for the body of the song.)
-- There's a matte finish on side two, giving it the appearance of an unplayed 78 RPM record.
-- Both sides end with locked grooves.  (A locked groove is a continuous loop of music the length of one full rotation of the record.  Locked grooves can be silent but are usually used to repeat a second or two of music until you pick up the needle.)
-- The LP's vinyl is pressed in seldom-used flat-edged format.
-- The "dead wax" area on side one contains a hand-etched hologram by Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science, the first of its kind on a vinyl record.
In this video, Jack White and some bozo in a black shirt and yellow tie talk about the LP . . . and talk . . . and then talk some more.

That sh*t cray!

The following is presented as a public service to any of you ladies who have set your cap for Jack White:

“I’ve always felt it’s ridiculous to say, of any of the females in my life: You’re my friend, you’re my wife, you’re my girlfriend, you’re my co-worker,” he said.  "This is your box, and you’re not allowed to stray outside of it," he said, before weighing in with his thoughts on monogamy: “I gave that up a long time ago. Those rules don’t apply anymore.”

It's other words, Jack White is tired of being told what to do when it comes to women!

Here's "Entitlement":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Brooke Waggoner -- "Ink Slinger" (2013)

I can't contain the words
I am on fire

Brooke Waggoner is a classically trained pianist who played with Jack White when he recorded his debut solo album (Blunderbuss) in 2011, and then went on tour with him in 2012.

Brooke gets credit for the fabulous piano part on "Weep Themselves to Sleep," the Blunderbuss track featured in the previous 2 or 3 lines post.

But Brooke is a recording artist in her own right, with an EP and three albums to her credit.

Brooke and I were both born on May 30, so we are astrotwins (sort of).

Brooke Waggoner
If you want to get all technical, astrotwins are born not only on the same month and day, but also in the same year.  For example, Andy Griffith and Marilyn Monroe were both born on June 1, 1926 -- so they are astro twins.

Brooke Waggoner and I were both born on May 30, but she was born in 1984 and I was born in 19-NOT-84.  So we aren't true astrotwins.

Which may be just as well because Brooke Waggoner's sh*t is almost as cray as Jack White's.  (No wonder he picked her to play on Blunderbuss.)

If you don't believe me, just read what she wrote on her website about recording one of her albums:

This record began as small simple melodies on my spinet piano; a piano that was once a golden honey color -- a glorified brown.

I NEEDED this piano to be black.  In a burst of rash action I bought 9 cans of black spray paint and coated the entire instrument in layers of murky froth.  Pianos are heavy and this one couldn’t be moved.  So my studio, speakers, microphones, books & records were draped with tarps while the vapors clung to the wood.
A black spinet piano
I couldn’t wait 'til it dried to sit down and play the freshly painted instrument.  Surrounded in a cloud of white cloth tarps -- soaring on fumes -- I sat down and wrote songs; songs that bewitched me and are now smeared on the whites of the ivories.  Sweat and paint went into each note.

A party was had.

It was January then and I have a vague recollection of layered coats, dry skin, cracked cuticles on the keys, and passing the Chapstick around.  Harps, organs, big gold brassy instruments, field recordings, French films, basses of all different shapes and sizes, a magical choir, new friends and old somehow found their way into this music.  I’m forever grateful it did.

That sh*t isn't just cray, it's EXTRA cray.  Jack White's sh*t is cray, but I think Brooke Waggoner's sh*t may be even more cray.  (Women are generally crayer than men.)

"Ink Slinger," which is from Brooke's 2013 album, Originator, is a song about the process of songwriting.

The singer in "Ink Slinger" first fixes a pot of tea, then prepares for work:

Lock the doors and bolt the windows
Crack the knuckles, pop the elbows  

Songwriting is thirsty work:

Second cup of tea until this
Finish, 1-2-3, it will diminish

But suddenly the dam bursts, and and the songwriter is slinging ink like crazy::

Honestly, oh me, oh my
I think my nerves are growing high
I can't contain the words; I am on fire

Here's Brooke Waggoner's "Ink Slinger":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jack White -- "Weep Themselves to Sleep" (2012)

And men who fight the world and love the girls 
That try to hold their hands behind them
They won't be left behind by time
Or any rules that try to bind them

I don't think Kanye West was talking about Jack White when he uttered these immortal lines in "N*ggas in Paris":

That sh*t cray!
That sh*t cray!
That sh*t cray!

Kanye followed up "That sh*t cray" with this line:

What she order?  Fish filet?

Rap Genius offers this annotation of that line:

My coworker at our Firestone tire store in Inglewood [CA] used to always complain about women ordering fish filets when he took them to McDonald's because they were more expensive: "She even ordered two of them things.  It's not Easter, b*tch!"

That's a fact, Jack -- it sure as hell ain't Easter!  It's the Fourth of July!  (Or it was when I wrote this post.)

By the way, the Filet-O-Fish is far from the most expensive sandwich at McDonald's. 

The Big Mac is $3.99.  A Quarter Pounder with Cheese (or a "Royale with Cheese" if you're French) is $3.79 -- same as a Filet-O-Fish.

Of course, a Double Cheeseburger is only $1.59.  That's what 2 or 3 lines orders, boys and girls.  (It's delicious!)

But we were talking about Jack White -- whose sh*t is truly cray!

Jack White
Here's some stuff I pulled at random from Jack White's Wikipedia page:

In 2005 on 60 Minutes, White told Mike Wallace that his life could have turned out differently. "I'd got accepted to a seminary in Wisconsin, and I was gonna become a priest, but at the last second I thought, 'I'll just go to public school.'  I had just gotten a new amplifier in my bedroom, and I didn't think I was allowed to take it with me."

It gets weirder:

At 15, White began a three-year upholstery apprenticeship with a family friend, Brian Muldoon. White credits Muldoon with exposing him to punk music and pushing him to play music with Muldoon as a band: "He played drums, well I guess I'll play guitar then."  The two recorded an album, Makers of High Grade Suites, as the Upholsterers. 

And weirder still:

White later started a one-man business of his own, Third Man Upholstery.  The slogan of his business was "Your Furniture's Not Dead" and the color scheme was yellow and black -- including a yellow van, a yellow-and-black uniform, and a yellow clipboard.  Although Third Man Upholstery never lacked business, White claims that it was unprofitable, because of his complacency about money and his business practices that were perceived as unprofessional, including making bills out in crayon and writing poetry inside the furniture.  Shortly thereafter, White landed his first professional gig, as the drummer for the Detroit band, Goober & the Peas.

White formed the White Stripes in 1997 with wife, Meg White.  For some time, they claimed to be brother and sister instead of husband and wife.  (Her real last name is White.  His isn't.)

Meg and Jack White
Jack and Meg White got divorced after releasing two albums as the White Stripes.  They then released four more White Stripes albums.  

White formed the Raconteurs in 2005.  That band released two albums.

He then formed Dead Weather in 2009.  That band also released two albums.

White released his first solo album, Blunderbuss, in 2012.  (Today's featured song is from that album.)  It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and was nominated for the "Best Rock Album" and "Album of the Year" Grammies.

When White toured in support of Blunderbuss, he played with both an all-male backing band (called the Buzzards), and an all-female backing band (called the Peacocks -- although calling them the Peahens would have made more sense).

I've chosen to feature "Weep Themselves to Sleep" from Blunderbuss in part because its dominant instrument is the piano -- a/k/a "The King of Instruments" -- rather than the guitar.  

The pianist featured on this recording is a classically trained pianist and composer named Brooke Waggoner.

Jack White and Brooke Waggoner
I'll have more to say about Brooke in the next 2 or 3 lines.  But all you need to know about her right now is that Brooke and her piano own this song!  (I kid you not!)

Here's "Weep Themselves to Sleep," featuring the fabulous piano of Brook Waggoner.

Click below to order the song from Amazon:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

LaRoux -- "Bulletproof" (2009)

There's certain things 
That should be left unsaid

Truer words were never spoken.  

But while I may agree with that sentiment in theory, it's simply not in my DNA to leave things unsaid.   

If you doubt the truth of that claim, just read the previous four 2 or 3 lines posts.  (And for God's sake, click on my effing ads when you do!)

There may appear to be no connection between our previous featured song -- "Stacy's Mom," by Fountains of Wayne -- and LaRoux's "Bulletproof."

But there is a connection, boys and girls.  Do you not see what that connection is?

You don't?  Really?  Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?  (That's Mark 8:18, by the way.)

"Stacy's Mom" and "Bulletproof" are sampled in consecutive tracks on the Super Mash Brothers' fabulous mashup album, Mile(y) High Club.  

Here's "Yo dawg, I heard you like music so I put songs in this song so you can listen to music while you listen to music," which samples "Stacy's Mom" (beginning at about 0:55).  [NEWS FLASH: My wildly successful little blog just hit 500,000 page views.  How appropriate is it that we reached that milestone with a smarmy and sophomoric song like "Stacy's Mom"?]

The instrumental track of "Bulletproof" is mashed up with Snoop Dogg's 2007 hit, "Sensual Seduction," at the beginning of the next track, "Blame It On The Adderall." 

La Roux was an English synth pop duo that consisted of singer/songwriter/keyboardist Elly Jackson and producer Ben Langmaid (who never appeared in the group's music videos, or appeared on stage when Jackson performed live).

When she was young, Jackson was a fan of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Nick Drake.  Today, she lists David Bowie, Gerry Rafferty, Depeche Mode, Prince, Madonna and a Swedish electronic duo called The Knife as her influences.

Elly Jackson of La Roux
She is one weird-looking dude -- check out her hairstyle and eye makeup in the "Bulletproof" music video.    

"Bulletproof" is from La Roux's eponymous debut album, which won the Grammy for "Best Electronic/Dance Album" in 2011.  

Here's "Bulletproof":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon: 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fountains of Wayne -- "Stacy's Mom" (2003)

And I know that you think it's just a fantasy
But since your dad walked out
Your mom could use a guy like me

The novelist Saul Bellow wrote, "You can spend the entire second half of your life recovering from the mistakes of the first half."

That's not a strategy that works for me.  For one thing, I don't have half a life left.  And even if I did have half a life left, it wouldn't be enough time to correct all my mistakes.

To wit, the three recent two 2 or 3 lines posts -- which ran the gamut all the way from awful to awful to awful.

The third-most recent 2 or 3 lines was a tasteless throwaway post about M.I.L.F.s.  Any random 16-year-old high-school dropout could have written something more worthy.  

Let me correct that statement.  I should have said that any random 16-year-old high-school dropout who had just sucked down a six-pack could have written something more worthy.

The penultimate 2 or 3 lines was a tiresome screed on the Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby decision.  If its goal was to provide a first-rate example of polemics and pedantry, it was a huge success.  Otherwise, it kind of sucked.  (Unfortunately, my employee health insurance plan doesn't include morning-after pills for bad ideas.)

And the most recent 2 or 3 lines was an egregious example of what the kids call TMI -- "too much information" -- about my ongoing digestive challenges.  We shall never speak of it again.

But what's past is past.  In the words of Omar Khayyam,

The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
Moves on

I figure it that's good enough for the Moving Finger, it's good enough for 2 or 3 lines.  So I'm movie' on.

After all, I don't have time to wallow in the Slough of Despond -- that's no way for this pilgrim to progress.  I need to write a whole bunch of new posts before I leave on vacation.

So where do we go from here?  Quo vadis, 2 or 3 lines?

Right back to M.I.L.F.s is where we go!

I somehow missed "Stacy's Mom" when it was released by the Fountains of Wayne on their 2003 album, Welcome Interstate Managers.  The song was a big hit in the U.S., Canada, and the UK, and was nominated for the Grammy for "Best Vocal Pop Performance."

"Stacy's Mom" is your garden-variety M.I.L.F. fantasy.  The song isn't that bad -- it's almost innocent.  But the video is appalling.

"Stacy's Mom" video
The part of the singer is played by a kid who was 12 years old when the video was shot.  He is out of his friggin' mind if he thinks someone's mom could be the least bit interested in him.  

Especially when that someone's mom is portrayed by Rachel Hunter, who is a major hottie.  She was a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and a Playboy cover girl and Rod Stewart's wife for 16 years.

Rachel Hunter
And a 12-year-old thinks he's going to get his hands on her?  Really?  (WHEN DONKEYS FLY!)

I've been delusional more than once when it comes to a woman's interest in me, but you best believe that this kid is delusional squared when it comes to Stacy's mom -- or delusional cubed.

Check out Stacy's heart-shaped sunglasses:

I'm sure the fact that Stacy's sunglasses closely resemble the sunglasses that Sue Lyon wore in Lolita was no accident:

I don't know why in the world the kid doesn't focus on Stacy instead of her mom.  Stacy is played by a 14-year-old actress named Gianna Distenca, who is a major . . .

I should probably stop right there before it's too late.

"Subtle" is not a word I would use
to describe the "Stacy's Mom" video
Here's "Stacy's Mom" -- I'd suggest watching this video when you're all alone in the house.  Otherwise you might find yourself in the embarrassing situation that the 12-year-old kids finds himself in at the end of the video.

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kevin Buckman -- "The Diarrhea Song" (1989)

When you're sitting in your Chevy
And your shorts are feeling heavy

Let's begin with something that a woman I knew liked to say to her grandson:  "If I could buy you for what you are worth, and sell you for what you think you're worth, I could make a lot of money."  (Think about it.)

That woman was my grandmother, boys and girls.  

I am telling that story to you now not because it has any relevance to this post -- because it doesn't -- but because I'm at the age where I might forget it tomorrow.  Or I might die before I get around to sharing it.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, we can move on.    

"TMI" is an expression that the kids use a lot.  It stands for "too much information" -- meaning (in the words of the invaluable Urban Dictionary) "way more than you want to know about someone."

You are about to get a MAJOR dose of TMI about me.  Unless, of course, you choose to navigate away to a different website as fast as your little fingers can type.  (I wouldn't blame you a bit for doing exactly that.)

For over two weeks, I've been suffering from an unpleasant digestive disorder.  (Its name begins with the letter "D-" and ends with the letter "-IARRHEA.")

I recently dropped in my friendly neighborhood gastroenterologist's office and spent a few delightful minutes discussing the particulars of my condition (e.g., "Is it muddy-colored, or is it black?") with a nurse practitioner.

There's no obvious explanation for my persistent illness.  I haven't changed my diet, and I'm not taking any new medications.

One possible cause of my condition is an infection of the intestines due to a virus, bacteria, or . . . a parasite.  (Gross me out a thousand times!)  Such infections are usually acquired from food or water that has been contaminated by fecal matter, or directly from a previously infected person -- neither of which is a scenario I care to dwell on at length.

To determine whether I have an infection of some sort or not, I need to provide a sample of . . . well, let's call it UGH, shall we?

When I left the doctor's office, I was given a small white plastic cup -- I estimate it would hold about eight ounces of liquid -- and no fewer than SIX small plastic vials.  Two of the containers had a pink top, and two had a gray top.  One had an orange top, and the final one had a white top.

I'm supposed to put UGH in all six of them?
The pink- and gray-topped vials were partially filled with a clear liquid.  The orange-topped vial was partially filled with a bright red liquid.  The white-topped vial contained no liquid.

Here's what the instruction sheet that came with the vials said (in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese -- in that order):


1.  UGH movement goes directly into the white cup.

2.  Using the spoon-like attachment on the lid of the vials, transfer enough UGH into vials to raise the liquid up to the red line.

The "spoon-like attachment," I presume
3.  The vial with the white top has no liquid.  You just need enough UGH to fill it to the red line.

4.  After completion you can discard the white cup.  [NOTE: You can bet you sweet life I will!]

5.  Place the vials into the biohazard bag with the lab slip and drop it off to [sic] the lab.

The following was printed on the bottom half of the instruction sheet:


Pink & gray top -- room temperature -- get to the lab within 5 days.

Orange top -- room temperature -- get to the lab within 72 hours.

White top -- refrigerate -- get to the lab within 24 hours. 

I think I'm just going to ride this thing out for another week -- lay off the dairy, start taking some probiotics, and stock up on the ol' Pepto-Bismol.  Maybe my problem will go away before I'm forced to use those "spoon-like attachments "to fill those SIX vials up to the red line with my UGH.

[Note:  My problem didn't go away, and I had to do unspeakable things with those "spoon-like attachments."]  

As the movie Parenthood (1989) begins, the nine-year-old Kevin Buckman (played by Jasen Fisher) is singing "The Diarrhea Song" in the back seat of the family station, much to the dismay of his parents (played by Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen) but much to the delight of his younger sister:

Click below to buy Parenthood from Amazon:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Everything Is Everything -- "Witchi Tai To" (1969)

Witchi tai to, gimma rah
Woe rah neeko, woe rah neeko
Hey nay, hey nay, no wah

Washington has been all a-buzz recently over the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, which holds that an employer with religious objections to the use of abortifacient drugs and devices is not required to pay for employee health insurance coverage for such drugs and devices.

The United States Supreme Court

Of course, the world will little note, nor long remember the Hobby Lobby chit-chat that is currently dominating newspaper editorial pages, cable TV talk shows, and a goodly percentage of the blogosphere here in Your Nation's Capital.  

But while the Hobby Lobby decision still struts and frets its hour upon the stage -- or, if you prefer Warhol to Shakespeare, enjoys its 15 minutes of fame -- 2 or 3 lines might as well jump on the bandwagon with my fellow idiots and contribute to the sound and fury signifying nothing.

Are you wondering what the Hobby Lobby decision has to do with today's featured song?  Keep reading and you'll find out.  (We wildly popular bloggers call that a "tease.")

Jim Pepper
Our story begins when a young Native American named Jim Pepper learned a peyote song from his grandfather.  Pepper, a jazz saxophonist and songwriter who was born in 1941 and died in 1992, based "Witchi Tai To" on that peyote song. 

The Native American Church, which has a quarter of a million adherents in North America,  utilizes peyote -- a psychoactive cactus -- sacramentally to induce spiritual experiences.  The singing of peyote songs is part of the peyote ritual.  (The Native American Church was formally incorporated in Oklahoma in 1918, but the use of peyote by the indigenous peoples of North America dates back to pre-Columbian times. )

Peyote ceremony
In 1984, two members of the Native American Church who were counselors at a private drug rehabilitation clinic in Oregon were fired from their jobs because they had ingested peyote while participating in religious services.  At that time, the possession of peyote for any reason was illegal under Oregon law.  

When the two men filed a claim for unemployment benefits, that claim was denied because employees who are fired for work-related misconduct are not eligible to receive such benefits.

The men appealed the denial, and their case meandered through the state and federal court systems for years.  Finally, in 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment's protection of the "free exercise" of religion does not allow a person to disobey generally applicable laws -- such as a law prohibiting the possession of a psychoactive drug like peyote -- even when they are motivated by their religious beliefs.

Peyote cactus
Here's an excerpt from the Court's decision:

It is a permissible reading of the [Constitution] . . . to say that if prohibiting the exercise of religion is not the object of the [law] but merely the incidental effect of a generally applicable and otherwise valid provision, the First Amendment has not been offended. . . . To make an individual's obligation to obey such a law contingent upon the law's coincidence with his religious beliefs, except where the State's interest is "compelling" -- permitting him, by virtue of his beliefs, "to become a law unto himself," contradicts both constitutional tradition and common sense."  To adopt a true "compelling interest" requirement for laws that affect religious practice would lead towards anarchy.

In response to that decision -- which was authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative who had joined the court in 1986 -- Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (or "RFRA") in 1993.  That law provided that the government "shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability." 

The RFRA allowed laws that restricted the exercise of religion only if two conditions were met.  First, the burden must be necessary for the furtherance of a compelling government interest.  Second, the rule must be the least restrictive way in which to further the government interest.

The recent Hobby Lobby opinion applied the RFRA and held that the provision of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") that guarantees employees no-cost access to contraceptives (including abortifacient drugs and devices) may be a compelling government interest, but that requiring employers who have religious objections to certain forms of contraceptives to pay for them is not the least restrictive means of achieving that interest.  (For example, the government could pay for abortifacients in such cases itself rather than requiring the employer to do so.)

The hue and cry that has resulted from this decision is astonishing.  People seem to have lost their minds over the decision.

Many have gone beyond criticizing the decision on its merits, alleging that all five members of the Court majority are conservative Catholic males who are engaging in a war on women, the goal of which is to deny women control over their own bodies.  

Click here to read one example of the nonsense that has spewed forth from the mouths (or keyboards) of critics of the decision.  

I'm not here to fan the Hobby Lobby conflagration -- or pour even more gasoline on to the flames.  (I admit I do like to stir the pot a little from time to time.)  I'm simply here to point out an interesting irony.

Justice Antonin Scalia
Let's go back to that 1990 case about the peyote users.  If you remember, the Supreme Court (led by Justice Scalia, a conservative Catholic) ruled that the First Amendment did not allow people who had a religious objection to a certain law to ignore or disobey that law.  In Scalia's words, doing so would "make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself."

Applying that 1990 precedent, the Court would have ruled that Hobby Lobby's religious beliefs were not superior to the law of the land (i.e., Obamacare), and that the company had to give its employees health insurance that covered all types of contraceptives (including abortifacients).

But in 1993, Congress decided to upset that particular apple cart by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which overturned Scalia's decision and compelled the Court to rule the way it did in Hobby Lobby.  

Here's where we get waist deep in the Big Irony.  Guess who controlled both houses of Congress in 1993?  The Democrats did -- and by sizable majorities.  (The 103rd Congress had 57 Democratic Senators and 258 Democratic House members, compared to 43 Republican Senators and 176 Republican House members.)

Which means that all the liberals who are foaming at the mouth about the Hobby Lobby outcome are foaming at the mouth about a decision that was dictated by a law that passed Congress with more Democratic votes than Republican votes and was then signed into law by Bill Clinton.

President Clinton signs the Religious
Freedom Restoration Act in 1993
So the next time you come across a screed about how the Hobby Lobby decision denies women reproductive freedom at the behest of religious fanatics, remember that Justice Scalia -- the senior conservative Catholic male on the Court -- opined in 1990 that freedom of religion did not mean that people who had religious objections to a law didn't have to obey it.

If you think Hobby Lobby is a bad decision, blame the Democrats who controlled both houses of Congress and the White House in 1993, when the Religious Freedom Restoration Act -- which reversed Justice Scalia's ruling in the Oregon peyote case and dictated the result in the Hobby Lobby case -- became law.

One final note.  After the Hobby Lobby decision was announced, Hillary Clinton had this to say:

It’s very troubling that a salesclerk at Hobby Lobby who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.

The fact of the matter is that Hobby Lobby does not object to paying for health insurance that provides birth-control pills, diaphragms, spermicide, condoms, contraceptive patches, and a number of other contraceptive drugs and devices for its employees.  So that salesclerk Mrs. Clinton is so worried about can get many different forms of contraception through the Hobby Lobby employee health plan.

The "morning-after" pill
What Hobby Lobby does object to is being required to pay for IUDs and "morning-after" pills -- which don't prevent pregnancy, but prevents a fertilized egg from surviving.  The company believes the use of such post-fertilization contraceptives is the moral equivalent of having an abortion.  So under the RFRA, it doesn't have to pay for health insurance that covers such drugs and devices to its employees.

You may disagree with the company and believe that there's nothing morally objectionable about post-fertilization contraceptives.  But don't blame the Supreme Court for deferring to Hobby Lobby's religious beliefs when the RFRA gave them no real choice.  

If you don't like the outcome in the Hobby Lobby case, put the responsibility where it belongs:  on the 103rd Congress.

The version of "Witchi Tai To" we are featuring today was released by Everything Is Everything.  Jim Pepper, the Native American musician who wrote the song, was a member of that short-lived band whose eponymous 1969 debut album was its only album.

The song was covered by an odd assortment of recording artists, including Brewer & Shipley, Harpers Bizarre, and Diana Ross and the Supremes (whose recording was never released).  

It was also covered by Jim Pepper himself on his 1984 solo album, Comin' and Goin':

One source says that Brewer & Shipley first heard the Everything Is Everything version of the song on a Little Rock, Arkansas radio station.  I can guarantee you that this station was KAAY (1090), a 50,000-watt AM station that I listened to regularly when I lived in Joplin, Missouri.

"Beaker Street" poster
KAAY was a top 40 station until 11:00 pm, when it broadcast a groundbreaking three-hour underground program called "Beaker Street."  (Expect more about "Beaker Street" in an upcoming 2 or 3 lines.)

By the way, my spelling of the quoted lyrics is purely phonetic.  One website says that Pepper's grandfather never told him what the words to the peyote song meant, and that no one has been able to translate them.

Here's "Witchi Tai To" by Everything is Everything:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dog Eat Dog -- "M.I.L.F." (2006)

Can't believe that body had a baby
Daydreams are drivin' me crazy!

(And then there are the night dreams . . . whoa, Nelly!)

I think most people know what "M.I.L.F." stands for.  But if you don't, just listen to the chorus of this song.

Of course, if you don't know what M.I.L.F. stands for, you might be happier remaining ignorant.  As the poet said,

Where ignorance is bliss
'Tis folly to be wise

That's a good question
According to New York magazine, we are living in a veritable Golden Age for M.I.L.F.s:

It’s the age of the MILF . . . an acronym at once repulsive and appealing.  The MILF is Stacy’s Mom.  She’s the lady in the "Strippercize" class.  She dresses like a Jersey mob wife, her eye tilted into a perpetual wink.  Is she our future?

The evidence surrounds us, from the 25,000-plus MILF-branded mugs and tees on CafĂ© Press to a rash of hot-mama books (The Hot Mom’s Handbook, Confessions of a Naughty Mommy, The MILF Anthology), television shows ("Desperate Housewives," "The Real Housewives of Orange County," the forthcoming contest “Hottest Mom in America,” and a pilot in development called "MILF & Cookies"), and, of course, a concomitant porn genre . . . .

There's even a musical comedy about M.I.L.F.s:

Not to mention M.I.L.F.-themed baby clothing.  (Really?)

And then there's this one:

(Some people just shouldn't be allowed to be parents.)

There's no point in pretending that this post is anything other than what it is -- a shameless frat-boy-level stunt that's designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator.  (When it comes to men, the lowest common denominator is pretty damn low.)

But how about walking a mile in my Louboutins before you criticize me?  I'm writing this less than a week before I head out for vacation, and time is of the essence.  I have to make several more deposits in the First National Bank of 2 or 3 lines before I dial up some Bachman-Turner Overdrive on my iPod and roll on down the highway.  

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I produce three posts a week, come hell or high water -- no more, no less (except in February, of course).  If sticking to that schedule requires me to water down the quality of the product, please pass me the damn H2O.

Ever wonder why D.I.L.F. isn't more popular?
However, I do have enough time to put a little lipstick on this pig by offering up a brief scholarly disquisition on the history of the term M.I.L.F.  (Raise your wrist watches high, boys and girls!)

It appears that the term M.I.L.F. was first used in Internet newsgroups about 20 years ago.  Click here to read one early newsgroup post that uses M.I.L.F.  

That post appeared on the alt.mag.playboy newsgroup in early 1995.  It refers to a pictorial in the February 1995 issue of Playboy titled "Fabulous at 40."  

That was the magazine's 40th anniversary issue, and the editors of Playboy decided to mark the occasion with a pictorial featuring women who were at least 40 years old.

Victoria Jacobs
The woman who appeared on the cover of the magazine that month was Victoria Jacobs.  She was 44 at the time, and a grandmother to boot.

Would you like to know a little more about the toothsome Ms. Jacobs?  I thought you would.  Here's an excerpt from a Los Angeles Times profile of her:

Jacobs separated from her husband 5 1/2 years ago after a 19-year marriage and her boyfriend, Michael, is much younger than she is, she says.
Suddenly, she says, she has a new batch of friends. "My phone does not stop ringing," she says after a short conversation on her cellular.
Jacobs is a health nut.  Before moving to North Hollywood in 1980, she managed a health club . . . and now plans to make a workout tape.  "Younger girls come up to me and say they want to look like me when they're older," she says.
Standing a petite 5-feet-2, she weighs in at 100 pounds. She doesn't eat red meat and most of her diet is fat-free.  "I like to run and work out. Lately, I've been using free weights and I just started kick boxing."

Playboy's February issue is on display on a center table in her living room. She loves plants. The grounds of her house are decorated with lemon, orange and kumquat trees.  "That's me," she says, while listening to an oldies station, as hits from the '50s and '60s blare.  She is a Frank Sinatra fan.
Her home has a seraphic motif -- with angels, crosses and dried flowers decorating most of the walls.  "I love angels and crosses. When I'm at home, I feel like I'm in heaven," says Jacobs, a devout Catholic.  One of her dreams is to travel Europe and visit the Vatican.
And what about people who think it's improper for anyone to appear in Playboy? "As long as it brings me happiness I don't really care," she says. "I just hope it leaves an effect on people my age knowing you can do anything you want to do and you shouldn't have to lie about it."
(Right on, Victoria!  You're an inspiration to 44-year-old grandmothers everywhere!  Except for the part about dating a much younger man.  That's just wrong!)

The term M.I.L.F. became popular after it was used in the 1999 film, American Pie, to refer to the "Stifler's mom" character (portrayed by Jennifer Coolidge).

Finch makes his move on Stifler's mom
Of course, Stifler's mom was not the first great movie M.I.L.F.:

Anne Bancroft in The Graduate
The New York magazine article quoted above closes with this thought-provoking query:

How exactly did a once-taboo erotic fetish become a widespread, culturally sanctioned ideal, a perverse mix of branding and empowerment?  

Thought-provoking, schmought-schmovoking!  I don't have time to get all tangled up in some psychological-sociological-anthropological discussion of the whys and wherefores of the M.I.L.F.  Smokey and the Bandit and me have got a lot of posts to write and a short time to write them, so I need to just put that hammer down and give it hell!

One final note: the Brits refer to a M.I.L.F. as a "yummy mummy."

"M.I.L.F." is from Dog Eat Dog's 2006 album, Walk With Me.  Dog Eat Dog was formed in 1990 in  suburban New Jersey, and was one of the first bands to combine metal with rap.  (Think Anthrax and Linkin Park.)

"M.I.L.F." reminds me a little of Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher."  (Same idea, now that I think about it.)

The very end of the song is a shout-out to the Danzig song, "Mother."  (Dog Eat Dog and Danzig run with the same crowd.  Both bands contributed guitarists to Murphy's Law, whose song "Beer" was featured in the previous 2 or 3 lines.)

Here's "M.I.L.F.":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon: