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In Serbia a lot of people hate me because they want to westernise, not understanding that the western world is bipolar, with very good things and very bad things. Since they don’t have experience of the west, they even believe that western shit is pie.–Emir Kusturica

Despite my predilection for hiding in my room events overran me recently, out into the Richmond and in front of what used to be the jock-lite Last Day Saloon and has now become the yuppie-lite Rockit Room. True there was a birthday to celebrate and true two people had invited me but I was a little shocked at how readily I had consented to being taken away from my room. Maybe the mood was just there, perhaps the moon was in a special phase– I dunno. It may have been because two Serbian/Rom style bands were playing. Years ago I dwelled in a dank little hovel called Leather Tongue which was so similar to the dank little hovels I hid away in on purpose

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that I kept going. It didn’t pay well and it didn’t help any minor mental issues I might have had but it did introduce me to plenty of movies I would never have chosen to hunt down and rent on my own. After renting it out to hip Mission scum a thousand times I checked out “Black Cat White Cat” by Emir Kusturica which drilled into my mind and deposited some of the most flamboyant images ever captured on film as well as some of the most scintillating music ever, er, captured on film. If Fellini had been into carnies more than circus freaks and was thrilled by saturated colors (and been Serbian) it would have been his movie. I travelled back in time a couple of years and caught his earlier festival success, “Underground“. Last year at a different job I was hawking shit on eBay when I pulled the soundtrack to “Underground” from a bin of CDs. My hands were shaking and I played it on the office stereo. Then I played it again and again until I was quite certain that everyone was going to kill me so I had my boss price it out. Not in the store’s computer– Argentinian release so it’s $1.99… Awesome! To this day I think this is the only CD that I have danced to with another person. Waiting for my ride to The Rockit Room I played a couple choice cuts and bobbed around while finishing my roommate’s beer. The first band of the evening took their identity-crisis cues from Hector Babenco’s depression-era drama “Ironweed“, glorifying the hobo/drifter lifestyle by not bathing and playing guitar, a washboard and a bass made from a washtub, broom handle and a single tightly wound length of twine. The kids, friends of the birthday girl, ate this up and had skipped their showers special for the event. I tried not to be bothered by this and watched them play but wondering what to expect from the next two groups in the bill.

Brass Menazeri

Zoyres was a quartet: full kit, tuba, clarinet/sax and trombone. Fascinating shit, ultimately danceable and exactly what I was hoping for. It’s weird how the tuba took over where the bass would be and the trombone player kicked ass playing with a brash style reminiscent (tho probably because I can only name two others: my dad and Labamba from the Conan O’Brien show) of Don Drummond. The Brass Menazeri was even more bombastic with nine members, three tuba type instruments, accordian, clarinet, saxaphones and trumpets along with two drummers (a hand bass and a couple rack snares) and vocals. Both are local and I would recommend you check out either if your local is the Bay Area. So the evening went quite well even tho the drinks were horribly over-priced, most of the attendees living as caricatures running around like sugar-addled, snot-nosed brats and my getting home past my bedtime. I should just stop here… But it makes you think, don’t it? So far as I could tell everyone in these bands were American born and bred but both bands played distinctly Eastern European (with some Klezmer mixed in) gypsy music with no obvious Americanization taking place. It’s as authentic as The Dropkick Murphys but somehow entirely less offensive. Hell, the opening band, The Inkwell Rhythm Makers, co-opted not only their music but their dress and shtick from impression of a time long gone. Does America, appropriate outside culture so readily and so completely that there’s no bothering with integrating it with our own? Or do we just not really have any cultural identity not relating to commerce so we borrow heavily from places that have more than a couple centuries under their belts? Ysabella Dolfin wrote in her blog:

Watching local access Asian TV In Japanese. A cooking show. I have no idea what any of the ingredients are… but I recognize ground beef and some type of musrhoom. I am getting the feeling they are cooking “American” food. But they are serving it over rice with sliced fresh spinach. The theme song is some kind of Japanese rap music.

Japanese Ad

Now that’s a proper culutral mish-mash– anything the Japanese have done since 1945 has basically been one form of cocktail or another. Pop music, art, fashion, day to day living, advertising, food… it seems that every aspect of Japan has been touched by America and has incorporated, in the most fucked up way possible, the source material by taking what they think they understand and dumping tradition on top. Hell, the Japanese advertising industry has essentially become the hallmark of the Japanese approach to international relations. Why are we so fascinating to them? Cowboys? The independence of owning your own car? Where the hell is our culture out in the world that’s not a McDonald’s? PS- my efforts to make these pictures integrate into this post have failed but I’m sick of the second one disappearing so I’m gonne give up. Deal with it.

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Last Summer, UK’s Channel Four ran a documentary about Tony Blair’s failed attempts at rock stardom whilst at University. The band were named Ugly Rumours and tallied an impressive six gigs before implosion. Unfortunately, that streak of destruction never left our smiling leader, and decades later he waged an illegal war in Iraq. Stop the War Coalition organised the march of close to two million people in London just before the invasion of Iraq. You may recall a post on the charismatic and egotistical George Galloway. As head of the Respect Party, he is a key player in the Stop the War buy

generic viagra online Coalition. George Galloway makes a cameo appearance as the arresting officer at the end of the video. Stop the War

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a band under the same moniker, Ugly Rumours, and fronted it with a Tony Blair lookalike. (The physical similarities are pretty poor). The single, released in January only as a download version is now tipped to viagra online overnight shipping top the UK charts this Sunday. View the punchy, low budget version of Edwin Starr’s classic song War. This proves to me one thing – Despite the ongoing denial in mainstream media about the heinous crimes and lies of Blair, Bush and their governments, the opposition viagra super active 100mg still has humour, invention and truth on their side. They also have a voice … and some great lip sinking to boot! Blair’s Dream of rock stardom has arrived, and I am sure Tony appreciates the the cooing street-level pedestrians, ala cialisdosage-storeonline.com Beatles.

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Thanks to Tim for this great clip. It’s 18 min. but well worth it. Techno music all sounds

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Well, Rummy is gone. But what’s really interesting is who broke the news. Comedy Central. “Yep, it’s true. Defense Secretary

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Donald Rumseld is packing it in. This won’t come as a shock to those of you who keep in touch with the muckraking journal which broke the story late last evening, the Wall Street Jour— er, the New York T— er, the National Enq— huh? Oh, right, the Comedy Central blog. Nice work, media! You got scooped by the folks who write web promos for Mind of Mencia! Related: A Mind of Mencia web exclusive!!

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A small white dog appeared today. He was hunched into the corner of my viagra para mujeres casero doorframe, on the small landing through a set of clunking green metal doors just below the slightly larger landing where my bike was stolen yesterday. My accusations of a conspiracy at the center of which were elevator service staff were denounced as scurrilous by Chinese acquaintances that staunchly maintained that this was impossible. My investigative powers in this instance are markedly limited, and I suspect the perpetrator will never be found. This cute dog is an equally tangled mystery. I have to admit my first impulse on spotting him was to quickly secure the beast in my apartment and keep him for my own. He must have known this thought had flickered briefly through my mind as I returned home passing for the second time the scene of the crime. Was he some form of compensation? I had been imagining going around making sadface at the security guards. I planned to clunk my feet loudly and give puffing sighs, chafing against a backpack that would have been lightly in my bicycle’s basket. I had thought to reflexively pantomime the motions of maneuvering the bicycle’s stately silver frame into the cramped confines of the viagra label elevator. Then shake my head at how silly I was to have forgotten, turn my palms upward, and share a wistful little laugh with the uniformed lousy lift worker who probably tipped the thieves off. Not knowing which of the staff members was the responsible party, I was reduced to giving inscrutable and discomfiting looks to each in turn, attempting to gauge from their reactions the probability of complicity. I think this kind of behavior is a bad habit of mine. I didn’t learn anything. This was the latest in a series of personal detective failures. Here is a music video about immigration: I don’t know what’s going on with this Web site. It http://realviagraforsale-rxonline.com/ is worth a read for a few reasons, but more interesting are the pictures. It does call itself “Tasteless” so I can’t really get down on them for anything. I continue to be fascinated by the Elian Gonzalez-style political football. He appeared just before Christmas, the near-miracle child of Juan and Elizabet, born into a parallel universe Hell on earth communist Cuba. The reporting on the incident felt very murky, with the circumstances being far more entangled than similarly dramatic soap opera plot lines.It is an interesting reminder of a time when the conservative base considered Janet Reno and the Clinton administration as heavy-handed rights abusers. Talk radio couldn’t shut up about “Big Government” and the loss of personal freedom. The present situation is impossible not to think about, so I won’t belabor the point.The remembrance of conservatives attacking Clinton as being too tough on immigration is also chuckle worthy, but Elian’s improbably wealthy Florida family and swiftly supplied expensive toys probably made it all seem less “beaner” to the suddenly compassionate, spirit of the law-leaning right wing. But it was always unclear exactly what Elian Gonzalez wanted. Clinton is certainly

a man politically minded enough for one to suppose he was eager to spin and manipulate the story in the service of general US-Cuba policy as well as his own immigration and border policy platforms–the controversy surrounding the infamous closet photo aside. The Cuban government had equal reason to put forward its version of the facts. The result was two families and two governments trying to get their way, and so journalistic standards fell as writers tried to build story lines into what was essentially a stalemate until the whole matter was instantaneously resolved with dozens of machine guns. The cartoon bluntly illustrates the furor and harsh rhetoric that sprung up around this and makes me hearken back to the days of my youth when Americans considered this kind of storm in a teacup a major international incident. It is interesting to note viagra daily that the Bush and Clinton administration stances on Cuba are quite similar. Of course the language is different. Bush sticks to his open-fly, lazy-shotgun diplomacy, calling out the country by name and giving it a list of things it has to do to avoid getting shit on. Clinton chooses tact:

Fifty years ago, a farsighted America led in creating the institutions that secured victory in the Cold War and built a growing world economy. As a result, today more people than ever embrace our ideals and share our interests. Already, we have dismantled many of the blocs and barriers that divided our parents’ world. For the first time, more people live under democracy than dictatorship, including every nation in our own hemisphere, but one — and its day, too, will come.

Speaking about Latin America policy as a whole, he says:

Now we must act to expand our exports, especially to Asia and Latin America — two of the fastest growing regions on Earth — or be left behind as these emerging economies forge new ties with other nations. That is why we need the authority now to conclude new

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trade agreements that open markets to our goods and services even as we preserve our values.

While every US President’s Latin American economic policy–and NAFTA in particular–has certainly caused a bunch of Hell, it may be partly because the more liberal portion of the policy hasn’t been followed through on:

We should all be proud that America led the effort to rescue our neighbor, Mexico, from its economic crises. And we should all be proud that last month Mexico repaid the United States — three full years ahead of schedule — with half a billion dollar profit to us.

Gosh, last I heard about Mexico, Obrador was planning to run a shadow government from the streets and the courts were heading into a long deliberation about which districts to recount. Is Mexico still there? I sure hope so. Oh wait, this is the last I heard about Mexico: Teacher hacked to death in besieged Mexican city.

Clinton mentions increasing exports to Latin America, noting that the continent’s growing international reach necessitated a new economic strategy. As it stands, things have deteriorated pretty badly with Venezuela, which is kind of a blow-it considering that they have a lot of oil. With China throwing a money party and Russia selling weaponry down there, it seems like we’re well and properly alienated from some countries and missing out on a bonanza with others. The article reports:

Chinese President Hu Jintao said China would invest $100 billion over the next decade in Brazil and Argentina on a variety of infrastructure projects. Chinese trade with Latin America generally is growing: From 1994 to 2004, trade between China and Latin America quintupled to $40 billion a year. U.S.-China trade is at more than $400 billion.

China’s growing commercial presence in South America has raised alarms in the U.S. Congress, which last fall held hearings to determine whether U.S. interests were at risk. The consensus of those who testified was that they were not.

For all the hatred directed at Janet Reno and the recent revival of criticism of Clinton, they caught Timothy McVeigh. It took both a broom and a bell pepper to get the cute dog out of my apartment.

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