Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I take my opinions with salt and lime

Damn. Here is one angry dude:

Mr Minority unloads on your ass

At first, I thought his site was a joke. Perhaps it was a piece of satire. But it appears to be genuine. He honestly fits the clich├ęd WASP male engineer persona better known as "the man". And he's tired of being quiet about it. (I have never known any man within this portion of the population to keep their peace)

He's just telling it how he sees it, and I respect any man with the balls to blaze forth with a full frontal assault made of honesty, but it comes off as rather harsh. Anyone who tends toward polarization by always identifying the "them" which is below "us", will turn me away. Not necessarily because I believe they are wrong. To me, whether their opinions are right or wrong is of little consequence. At the end of the day, none of what this fellow says is beyond his own collection of thought. You simply agree or you don't. No harm, no foul.

But the way in which opinions are expressed says a great deal about the source which is offering them. An opinion that is crafted by righteous bias and a borderline-violent (underscored, yet undefended) contempt for one side of an argument will undoubtedly show marks of polarization, dogma, and paranoia. These are not the marks of sound judgment.

In this case, whether the ends are eventually justified will have nothing to do with means. An opinion forged in bitterness will always be seen as bitter before it is judged in any other way.

Check him out though. Beyond the belittlement of "them" are some interesting insights. The photos of him caressing his weaponry have a really nice rural chic element to them.

Monday, September 20, 2004

ACL with the bands and the burn

What a weekend. The Austin City Limits music festival was both exhilarating and exhausting. Sunburnt, dirty feet, murky beer-brain, lungs and tongue taste of burned butt (thank you Parliaments and void for discipline). Ah yes, the festival mind, with a complete lack of intelligent decision making tendencies.

A couple of opinions, take them as you wish.

Jack Johnson: The surfer vibe is always appreciated here. Tiki things and ukuleles are a big thumbs up. G-Love worked really well with him too. Jack's voice is beyond comforting. It is warming, relaxing, and anxiety messaging. Like audible morphine. He should sing to burn victims or some shit.

Ben Harper: overrated. He appears to be a good musician, and has something to say, but if Marley ever comes back from the dead - Ben better be ready to give back 90% of his set. The other ten belongs to Fogerty (CCR) and Kravitz. I actually dug the new gospel pieces though. Left before he finished. Too much Marley-ness and not enough dope being smoked. I thought you were gonna burn one down?

Wilco: fantastic group. Cornucopia of instrumentation and a lead singer with frown-dimples. There were like, sixteen of them up there, and all the teenagers in front of us were rockin' it like teenagers tend to. I was tempted to take them all out for tattoos and Budweiser after the show. But then I remembered that I don't like hanging around the recently post-pubescent, and decided against offering the invitation.

The Pixies: I like them, I really do (not my favorite band, but I have much respect for all that they have done for live, acoustic music). But I wish they weren't so damned old. Their music is the music of youth, not the music of soccer mom and the poster boy for better middle-aged healthcare. They played a few songs, and then shuffled off stage as if they had stayed up past their bedtime. Where is my mind? Somewhere back in the early 80's is my guess.

Modest Mouse: I like two of their songs, and was really looking forward to their performance. They played one of them (Float on - yes, I know, it is already overplayed, but I don't listen to radio much). Something was seriously wrong with the acoustics on that stage. Sounded like they were singing to us from under water. Their show caused me to have weird nightmares about having to refill the air in my tires repeatedly (one blew up while I was filling it - a real fear of mine). Strange.

Cat Power: BEAUTIFUL voice. A very, very, talented artist. Very humble as well. She played on the same stage as Modest Mouse, shit acoustics and all, yet still sounded as wonderful as the birth of your first child.

Back to the mines.