When I was a wee lad of grammar school age, it was guaranteed that within the first week of the new school year, my classmates and I would be tasked with writing the dreaded “My Summer Vacation” essay. Apart from the occasional foray to the Happiest Place on Earth or being dispatched to my mother’s native Minnesota for some outsourced parenting, the long suburban summers of my youth in 1970s Sonoma County were precisely the same, year in and out. Which is why, when the composition books and the thick red eraserless pencils were distributed, notions of plagiarizing myself were hard to stifle.
If I had any sense back then, I would have just kept the previous year’s essay and written something in my mottled black and white book akin to “Like last summer about which I wrote [insert massive quote of last year’s “My Summer Vacation” essay], this summer was pretty much the same. The End.” Continue…
In his recent address on foreign policy, published in the New York Times on May 23, President Obama announced that fundamental changes were called for in the assumptions that have kept the United States at war for more than a decade, during which time 7,000 soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice and we have “spent well over a trillion dollars on war, helping to explode our deficits and constraining our ability to nation-build here at home.” The policy he follows in the current Syrian bloodbath, where more than 70,000 people have been killed, mostly by government forces, will test whether the president’s words are matched by his actions.
In his speech, Obama rejected an outlook dating from the Vietnam War, one which he more or less followed during his first administration. According to international affairs expert William Pfaaf, (The Irony of Manifest Destiny, 2010), this outlook featured an “inveterate American policy of direct intervention in the internal affairs of small non-Western countries, usually mistakenly believed to be victims of some global menace aimed at the U.S., countries incapable of looking after their own affairs or forging their own identities.” Continue…
Well, Father’s Day is right around the corner and since so many of you thanked me for my help when it came to Mother’s Day gift giving, I’m back with my helpful tips for finding that perfect something for Dad.
Since I’m not dad though, this list was a little harder for me to write up. So, for guidance, I turned to indisputable man and world renowned moron, Erick Erickson.
“When you look at biology — when you look at the natural world — the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complementary role.”
Which he later clarified on his blog with:
“In many, many animal species, the male and female of the species play complementary roles, with the male dominant in strength and protection and the female dominant in nurture. It’s the female who tames the male beast.”
Since Erickson must be a learned man with the science to back him up, I decided the best way to understand what dads want, especially what they’d want for Father’s Day, would be to discover the dominant and complementary animal that they most resemble.
The godfathers of metal have released their first album of new material in 35 years. Featuring the core unit (sans original drummer Bill Ward) fronted by the bat head biting legend, Ozzy Osbourne, the new album, entitled 13, is the nineteenth album for the band. Upon Ozzy’s original departure from the band in 1979, after eight albums, Sabbath soldiered on with a variety of lineups, the most successful of which were the albums fronted by former Rainbow singer and fellow metal pioneer Ronnie James Dio, who sang on four albums, although Ian Gillian, Glen Hughes, Ray Gillen and Tony Martin all took a turn at the mic. In honor of the return of the princes of darkness, we have compiled our Top 10 list of Sabbath songs from a variety of live recordings.
From their self titled debut album, Black Sabbath. A rendition here from Ozzfest 2005. Continue…
I have not read any of the books in George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. I have not read any of them because they are like cropped phone books, a thousand pages long, set in four point type. I figure it will take about a semester to read one of them, which is to say about three months, and of course I am not in college, but at the beginning of middle age, surrounded by the myriad of large and small responsibilities that mark such a time. These days it seems like I have about two free hours a week after I’m done being a father, running a magazine, doing freelance work, and of course training for the 2014 Mr. Universe competition. Of course, I am not really training to be Mr. Universe, I’m already naturally ripped – I’m not, but I wish I was every week after I watch Game of Thrones, or GOT as I call it. I wish I was a seething mass of muscle, trained in the use of a sword and clad in armor, having sworn an oath to bring justice to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. I vow to have King Geoffrey drawn and quartered, after I make him eat his own eyeballs, that little prick.
I wanted to add a little different perspective on the overall celebration of Bob Dylan’s music, his songwriting, and his 72nd birthday. In the aptly titled “The Picasso of Song” article, it was mostly his words that were celebrated, and rightfully so. No one in their right mind would argue otherwise. (And oh, by the way guys, no “Like a Rolling Stone” in his top six songs… OK).
I’d like to actually make a few comments about his performing, and the first time I actually saw Dylan, which was in 1986 at the Akron Rubber Bowl. Ah yes, what better name for a monument to Ohio manufacturing and the vulcanization process, and a not too subtle, unintentional, but immediately recognized, reference to both tires and condoms? Continue…
I know what you’re thinking. This chick can’t get out of the past when it comes to music. I am a nostalgic being by nature. I love music that makes me remember a certain time in my life, happy or sad. Curtis Mayfield is one of those artists that I forgot about until I heard him again as an adult…and it took me right back to being a kid, riding in my mom’s VW bug, her snapping her fingers and primping her perfect afro, us bobbing our heads to the sultry beat. What I didn’t know as a kid is that Curtis Mayfield was telling a story with his songs. He was one of the artists the stood up against social and political inequality, singing of a ghetto that was riddled with crime, drugs, and downtrodden black folks trying to make it in America.
Curtis Lee Mayfield (June 3, 1942 – December 26, 1999) was an American soul, Rn’B, and funk singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known for his anthemic music with The Impressions during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960′s and for composing the soundtrack to the blaxploitation film Superfly. Mayfield is highly regarded as a pioneer of funk and of politically conscious African-American music. He was also a multi-instrumentalist who played the guitar, bass, piano, saxophone, and drums. Mayfield is a winner of both the Grammy Legend Award (in 1994) and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (in 1995), and he was a double inductee into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted as a member of The Impressions into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and again in 1999 as a solo artist. He is also a two-time Grammy Hall of Fame inductee. Injured in a stage accident in 1990 that left him a quadriplegic, Mayfield still wrote, sang and recorded his last album laying on his back. Superfly indeed. Happy birthday to the great Curtis Mayfield – one bad mofo!
Your gadgets are going to kill you. Not today but someday soon and we’ll have only ourselves to blame. Because we gave them the Internet.
There has been much chatter about the “Internet of Things,” I thought I should read up on it, at least before their uprising so that I can at least have the satisfaction of saying “I told you so,” when tethered to the treadmill generator, keeping our robot overlords’ batteries charged.
It’s tragicomic to think that a blender might have better Internet access than 25 percent of the world, but there it is. Ferber goes on to explain that “…There will be a global system of interconnected computer networks, sensors, actuators, and devices all using the internet protocol holds so much potential to change our lives that it is often referred to as the internet’s next generation.” Continue…
Memorial Day this year coincided with two milestone dates of interest, the birth of famed French novelist Celine, and the 36th year anniversary of the Sex Pistols release of their magnum album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. The Sex Pistols were, of course, fronted by Johnny Rotten setting up this edition of ART vs. ART — heroes and villains.
Both Celine and Rotten have a number of things in common, not the least of which is their anger, outrage, and outright contempt for a world they felt was inundated with idiocy and hypocrisy, a world run by bloated politicians asking you to die for god and country in the name of freedom and the common good –a lot of good it would do you, blown to smithereens, or worked to death in some factory making boots. Rotten was an angry young man. Celine was an an angry old man, but both were certainly angry, and both men enjoyed playing the villain, selecting their Guy Fawkes’s masks, so to speak, changing their names to suit their personas, as they pursued their satiric vendettas against the system. They were brave is their overt disgust, and neither of them gave two shits about what you had to say about it. Continue…
“To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding Hell.” Marquis de Sade
Sunday marks the 173rd birthday of the Marquis de Sade, so we here at Shea Magazine are throwing him a party. But the Marquis won’t be blowing out the candles on a cake, rather he’ll be drenched with urine – just the way he likes it. And we won’t be singing happy birthday, either. The only music at this party will be the wailing laments of our catamites being whipped, while their nipples are clamped and scalded with hot irons; the only gift the Marquis shall receive, a brick of excrement that he shall wear on his head like a party hat. Continue…
As an armchair Jungian, one of my factory-default-settings is a heightened sensitivity to synchronicity – the perception that separate phenomena may share some shared significance but without “any discernible causal connection.” Think of it as pattern-recognition-plus or being bisociatively-curious.
Connecting the dots in this manner might be an earmark of genius or paranoia, depending which side of the meds one wakes up on. I’m neither a genius or paranoid, nor, for the record, a paranoid genius, but no matter how disparate or faint the stars, I can usually make out (or make up) a constellation.
I’m presently trying to wrestle some meaning out of the following folly, which has absorbed several precious hours this weekend:
Years ago, Trane DeVore snapped a photo of me with my hands through a large film reel as if I was locked in stocks like a 17th century ne’er-do-well. After some Jurassic-era Photoshopping (this was the early 90s), the result became the de facto logo for SCAM Magazine and other of my early enterprises. When packing for a recent move, I unearthed an original print of the image and, for safe-keeping, stowed it in a handy copy of Dylan Thomas’s Adventures in the Skin Trade until I could file it in my Smithsonian Box. Continue…
Just returning from my annual two weeks in New Orleans for Jazz Fest. Every year brings new wonder about this sexy, spooky, mysterious town. There is a history here that you feel the moment you enter New Orleans. A list of just five things is difficult, especially since every year is so different from the last and I’ve racked up…well let’s just say I stopped counting once I had ten Jazzfests under my belt.
2ND LINE PARADES
You can be anywhere in New Orleans, at any time, and get caught up in a 2nd line parade. Believe it or not, this was my first year really participating, typically I can’t stand parades, I find them so boring. However, there is something about the invitation to march with a bunch of strangers, often not even knowing why you’re marching, you just want to be in on the celebration. This is so culturally unique to New Orleans and during Jazz Fest you can happen on a 2nd line making your way to the Fais Do Do stage. Continue…
Bob Dylan turns 72 today. The Picasso of songwriters, Dylan is number 1 on the list, the greatest song writer of them all, living or dead, a highly prolific virtuoso who has evolved and deepened with age, a rare artist who has remained relevant with the passage of time.
Using all of humanity as his canvass, Dylan’s songs are highly detailed literary narratives interweaving rhyming poetry and dialogue, miniaturized novels alive with characters. Dylan has explored numerous genres in his career from folk and blues to rock n’ roll to swing and even jazz in service to his lyrical muse. Seeming never to have taken his considerable artistic gifts for granted, Bob Dylan has been working non-stop for more than fifty years, releasing nearly sixty studio and live albums, with more certainly on the way, while remaining perpetually on the road in what has been called the Never Ending Tour.
To reduce Dylan to a top 6 list from his hundreds of compositions is of course absolutely impossible. Still we have tried, making a list of 50 items that were placed in a hat and selected at random, as we celebrate the life of this true American genius. Cheers!
Miserable Steven Patrick Morrissey turns 53 today. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Morriseey is a true original, a singular voice over the last thirty years, a celibate rock star, blessed with a croon to make the girls swoon, singing about heartache and death. As the lead singer of the Smiths as well as numerous solo albums, Morrissey’s voice is unmistakeable, a kind of lamenting nasal chant. As lyricists go, he’s one of the best there’s ever been across the board, writing sad, funny, human stories tinged with longing, desire, and ennui. Through it all Moirrissey has remained just beyond arm’s reach, never truly accessible to his legions of fans across the globe reaching towards him on stage, and this holding back has fueled his mysterious artistry. Morrissey doesn’t care if we love him. The fact that we do anyway is a testament to his extraordinary and charismatic power. Cheers to you, Mr. Morrissey!
Our staff list of the best of Morrissey – songs and lyrics. Continue…