Archive for the ‘Agitprop’ Category

Bike shops are essential

March 25, 2020

Albuquerque’s Two Wheel Drive is shut down, but a FaceButt post says they’re “investigating the potential of allowing repair pickups and more. Per shut-down protocol, no promises at this point. …”
—Photo lifted from the TWD website

Auto shops are essential, but bike shops are not?

We beg to differ.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s order designating some New Mexico businesses as essential and others, eh, not so much, could use a little gentle tweaking. Thanks to Khal S. and the League of American Bicyclists, we can suggest that bike shops be given the all-clear to operate, even if only in some greatly reduced fashion.

Says Ken McLeod, LAB policy director:

“The League of American Bicyclists has received several requests for advocacy support to make sure that bicycle repair shops are designated as essential businesses in New Mexico and other states. … The League of American Bicyclists believes that bicycle repair employees are within the essential workforce described by federal guidance released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. That guidance says that the essential workforce includes ‘Employees who repair and maintain vehicles … that encompass movement of cargo and passengers.’ We think that the correct interpretation is that bicycle repair employees fall within that description. Clarifying that by explicitly including bicycle repair shops as essential businesses would be helpful so that they can continue serving the needs of people who depend upon bicycles for transportation or find bicycles preferable as a low-cost transportation option in this time of crisis.”

LAB has created a campaign page for people to direct messages to the governor on this issue. Ken, Khal and I urge you to circulate the link as you see fit.


March 14, 2020

The best part of waking up, etc.

I spent the early morning self-quarantining with a medicinal cup of French Roast-Black Lightning from Aroma Coffee of Santa Fe.

No, no, I don’t have the coronavirus. Not yet; not that I know of, anyway. Just the usual attitude. Gotta beat that shit into submission before greeting the day.

I’m not what you’d call a power user of the iPhone, but today I used mine to check the news while propped up on the pillows, enjoying my coffee. Oof, bad idea. The rest of the world seems at least as dumb as I am, which is not reassuring.

For example, I thought people might stop shooting each other for a while. You know, let nature take its course. Nope. What’s next, drive-bys on the drive-up testing sites?

“Yo, I got a test for you, bitch! How fast can you run?” Pow pow pow, etc.

We’re in the soup

March 11, 2020

This soup didn’t come out of a packet.

We were not Jewish. But whenever one of us was sick, Mom would break out the chicken soup.

Well, kinda, sorta.

It was the sort of soup a harried Midwestern Presbyterian considered suitable for ailing children, a saucepan of rehydrated Lipton chicken noodle, with a side of Premium saltines. And if I played my cards right, I could work Mom for the fake soup and a couple of comic books. Winning!

Well, here we are again. The Plague is upon us, we’re shivering under the comforter, and someone is bringing us a plastic bowl of industrial soup with some dried-up old white crackers.

Say, who is that wearing Mom’s apron? It’s … it’s … oh, my God, it’s. …

Yes, it’s another thrilling episode of Radio Free Dogpatch!

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: It’s another low-and-slow-fi episode this week. I used an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic, and skipped the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder in favor of recording directly to the MacBook Pro using Rogue Amoeba’s nifty little app Piezo. Editing was as usual, in GarageBand. You’ll recognize Babe and the gang from The Firesign Theatre (“How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All”) and the doctor from “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.” The background music is by Your Humble Narrator, assembled from bits and pieces in the iOS version of GarageBand on a 9.7-inch iPad Pro.


March 9, 2020

It is not dying. But it is sucking.

Hey, what can I tell you? The old Beatles album seemed appropriate for today’s indoor-cycling soundtrack.

“Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.”

Downstream appears to be where we’re headed, a’ight. In the SS Wall Street, a cruise ship full of coronavirus and cheap oil, captained by a drug-addled golf cheat with a crew of button-down barnacles, lampreys and other hangers-on.

Tomorrow may never know, but today isn’t exactly up to speed, either.

Requiescat in Pace

March 4, 2020

When I went to bed early on Super Tuesday it seemed Texas was trending socialist.

This was obviously a hallucination. I was critically low on endorphins after 11 days without exercise, thanks to a broken right ankle. And I was slightly crazed on antihistamines, the junipers, mulberries, cottonwoods, willows, and elms all having sprung to hideous life seemingly overnight.

Even while thus impaired, I knew a Texas Democrat could pass for Republican practically anywhere else, and the thought of that crowd going for Comrade Eeyore in the primary seemed the product of a disordered mind. You know. Like Ronald the Donald winning the last presidential election.

And sure enough, it was. Daffy Uncle Joe bounced back while I tossed and turned, slobbering all over my pillow and freezing my nuts off in the guest bedroom, because somebody around here has to get a good night’s sleep before going to work in the morning, and that somebody is not me.

Sure, Texas has embraced a wide swath of eccentrics. Kinky Friedman. Ted Cruz and his beard. Molly Ivins. Louie Gohmert. Actually, Ted Cruz’s beard deserves a mention all its own.

Ted Cruz’s beard.

But Comrade Eeyore is a cranky old socialist from Brooklyn. The thought of him prevailing in Texas over Joe Stalin, much less Joe Biden, put me in mind of the 1980s Pace Picante Sauce commercial featuring a bunch of cowboys playing cards and talking salsa.

“Why, this stuff’s made in New York City!”

“New York City?”

Of course, Pace Foods Ltd. would be snatched up a few years later by the Campbell Soup Co., with headquarters in Camden, New Jersey. Not New York, but close enough to take the bloom off that San Antonio rose.

But by then Texas was preoccupied with developing products for export that were even even feebler than bottled picante sauce. I refer you to George W. Bush and Rick Perry.

And Ted Cruz’s beard.

Speaking of the coronavirus, which we were not, is anybody else revisiting apocalyptic tales like “The Andromeda Strain” or Stephen King’s “The Stand?”

A random quote from the latter popped into my head this morning. While collecting chickens to feed her visitors, Mother Abagail notes, “The only thing dumber than a broody hen was a New York Democrat.”

Maybe so. But I don’t know why she’d want to restrict the dumb to New York.

Daffy Uncle Joe and his backers are dancing a jig over his performance last night, and yeah, it truly was the sort of comeback-kid narrative that has veteran political reporters writing hack bullshit like “comeback kid.”

But let’s keep in mind that the states where Unc’ prevailed were largely ones where the Hilldebeast got stomped like ants at a picnic in 2016, when it wasn’t just Democrats and broody hens voting: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.

And if the Anybody But Bernie Caucus proves victorious, and Daffy Uncle Joe becomes the nominee, well, sure, we’ll be spared the easy shots about socialism, Fidel, and honeymooning in the Soviet Union.

But we’ll also have the United States Senate working as an arm of the Republican campaign, trying to beat ol’ Joe to death with his own son.

I get it. Charlie Pierce says “a large part of the Democratic primary electorate is hungering for a president that it can ignore for four or five days a week.”

But how do you sell that empty suit with aviator shades to the customers who weren’t buying in 2016? Or 2004, or 2000?  The ones who wondered why a woman couldn’t get a fair shake, or were surprised to learn that “socialism” is one of Carlin’s Seven Words, or bought all the tripe about how Hillary was the Devil and Gore was a geek and Kerry was a Viet Cong spy?

Kinky Friedman already tried “Why the Hell Not?” and “How Hard Could It Be?” And “Bemused, Not Batshit” isn’t much of a bumper sticker.

• Editor’s note: I was going to do this as a podcast, but my brain seems stuck in first gear and there’s smoke coming out of my ears. So, um, no.

• Editor’s note revisited: OK, so I did it anyway. This one’s lo-fi even by my casual standards — I used an ATR2100-USB mic, and skipped the Zoom H5 Handy Recorder in favor of recording directly to the MacBook Pro using Rogue Amoeba’s nifty little app Piezo. Editing was as usual, in GarageBand. I sucked it up despite illness and injury because I’m fixated on doing a podcast a week for no particular reason.

Why vote for the lesser evil?

March 2, 2020

He’s not just a Good Old One. He’s a Great Old One.

We’re getting down to nut-cuttin’ time, folks. I say go big or go home.

Asked whether her candidate would be suspending his campaign and endorsing Daffy Uncle Joe, spokescreature Shub-Niggurath replied, “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn! No further questions.”

Random acts of radio

February 18, 2020

The mighty Zenith K725.

Back in the Day® it seemed some oversensitive jagoff was always shrieking at us to “Turn that noise down!” Or even off.

How little things have changed.

Impeachy the Clown and Porky Pompeo have it in for NPR because a couple of its reporters had the temerity to, like, y’know, report, an’ shit.

And they’ve started cranking up that tired old double-chin music about defunding NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, because these fatboys can only punch down.

Naturally, this triggered me, because I’m as oversensitive as the next jagoff. Throw in the confluence of Presidents Day and Random Acts of Kindness Day, and boom: Before anyone could tell me to shut my yap I was opening wide to deliver another painful sound bite with the yellowing fangs of Radio Free Dogpatch.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with a Audio-Technica AT2035 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder, then edited in Apple’s GarageBand on the 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro. Post-production voodoo by Auphonic. The background music was cobbled together by Your Humble Narrator using Apple’s GarageBand and the iMovie effects bin. KRCC operations manager Mike Procell appears through the miracle of Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack.

Don’t take it for granite, Joe

February 11, 2020

Frosty the Snow Toad awaits news from New Hampshire.

O, ’tis a frosty auld morning out there, cold enough to freeze the stones off a three-peckered snow toad.

I haven’t checked the forecast for New Hampshire, where ’tis rumored that the Granite State may lay a nice stone over the grave of Daffy Uncle Joe’s presidential ambitions, the third time being less than a charm, it seems.

I’ll always have a soft spot for Joe, if only for the way he hee-hawed Lyin’ Paul Ryan and his zombie-eyed, granny-starvin’ bullshit right off the debate stage in the 2012 pestilential campaign.

But he’s not the man for the job this time. He has the affect of a fella who feels obliged by circumstances and the voices in his head to apply for a job that he really doesn’t want.

If Daffy Uncle Joe were the nominee, I’d vote for him, of course. I’d vote for Frosty the Snow Toad if he were running against Puffy the MAGA Dragon.

But I’d feel like a fella obliged by circumstances and the voices in his head to do a job that he really doesn’t want to do.

Meanwhile, back in Iowa. …

February 7, 2020

The DNC strives to make chicken salad from … well … you know.

Reg: I now propose that all seven of these ex-brothers be now entered in the minutes as probationary martyrs to the cause.

Loretta: I second that, Reg.

Reg: Thank you, Loretta. On the nod. Siblings! Let us not be downhearted! One total catastrophe like this is just the beginning!

• Editor’s note: My sense of humor briefly deserted me yesterday. But I think I should get off with crucifixion (first offense).

Kentucky Fried Chickenshit

February 5, 2020

Col. Turtle filled the bucket for the Fat Man.