Archives for February 2016

Trump/West 2016

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It’s becoming clear that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016. Against all conventional wisdom, common sense, good breeding, and natural law, Trump has emerged unscathed from numerous supposed faux-pas, in which his plainly hateful comments would shake his 40-odd percent of right-leaning voters out of the foolish reverie that had them contemplating a reality TV star, known for his numerous petty grudges with other low-level celebrities, as worthy of possessing the nuclear codes.

But now Trump has won three of four primaries, and is leading significantly in all polls heading into Super Tuesday. It says a lot about the field of candidates the GOP put forward this season that we are now down to five and Donald Trump is, terrifyingly enough, the best of them.

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“President Trump” is a chilling thing to imagine, but not as chilling as “President Cruz” or “President Rubio.” As I have written before, Cruz looks and sounds like a child molester — though I am in no way alleging that he actually is one — and appears to be to the right of Martin Sheen’s character in THE DEAD ZONE.

Rubio’s whole case for being president, as I have also written before, is that unlike any of the other candidates, a woman might actually sleep with him if he were the last man on Earth. People didn’t want another Bush in the White House, but Rubio reminds me a lot more of W. than Jeb! did — he is blankly almost-handsome, he does okay with the right script, and a vote for him is a vote for all the old-GOP neocon advisors that will surround him out of nowhere the moment he takes office.

Given the alternatives, I have to say that, of the current Republican field, Trump would make the least awful president, and it’s clear that voters agree.

Trump could very well wrap up the nomination on Tuesday, and if he does speculation will begin to turn to who he will choose as his running mate.

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The 2016 Grammys: A National Disgrace

It was an appalling scene at the Grammy Awards Monday night, when multiplatinum singer/songwriter Lady Gaga desecrated the sacred memory of David Bowie by dressing up like him and performing a medley of his best known songs.

The performance was a disgrace, an insult to the legacy of one of the most prolific and eclectic musicians of the last several generations, and may actually have caused several cases of hysterical deafness, according to the tweets I saw about it later that night.

I’m outraged that someone as talentless as Lady Gaga (from what I’ve heard — I’m not very familiar with her myself, though that “Poker Face” is awfully catchy) would dare to compare herself to an artist of Bowie’s stature. I’m not sure which songs she decided to butcher, I haven’t watched the Grammys since around 1985 — but I won’t be able to listen to them again without wincing at the memory of how bad everyone said this performance was for at least a couple of days.

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And her costumes! Though what I saw from the few 2-second .gifs that came through my Twitter feed didn’t look so bad at first glance, all of Twitter assures me that her clothes were hideous, her makeup an embarrassment, and her bright red wig a direct assault on good taste.

Even Bowie’s son, the Artist Formerly Known as Zowie Bowie, hated the performance:

You kind of have to read between the lines to interpret the dictionary definition of “gaga” as an attack, and ignore the possibility that it was acknowledgement of the tribute or even praise, but if everyone says this tweet means he hated it, he hated it, and I will hate it too — if I ever get around to watching it, which seems very unlikely.

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Steven Adler is Dead

1401x788-GettyImages-86138225You may have heard that Guns N’ Roses is reuniting. Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan are all on record promising to play a handful of shows, starting on my birthday in Las Vegas, then headlining Coachella, then Mexico City, ramping up to a 46-month tour of South America and points beyond.

Anyone who knows enough about Guns N’ Roses to care about this news also knows that there are a couple of names missing from the reunion call sheet: Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler.

Izzy is easy to explain but hard to understand. If Slash’s and Duff’s autobiographies are to be believed, Izzy left the band voluntarily because a) he had turned into a junkie and wanted to clean up and b) he was sick of Axl’s bullshit. Everybody knows Axl developed a punctuality problem as the band got bigger, but he also started spending money — the band’s money — like the worst kind of star-tripping asshole: huge opulent themed backstage parties that he didn’t even attend, private jets, adding horn players and backup singers and a fucking white grand piano to the live show, and worst of all incurring countless curfew fines because a show that starts two hours late ends two hours late.

Or as Izzy put it shortly after he bailed: “I had a bus, and they had a plane, and I beat them to the gigs.

Between that basic personality conflict with the giant machine that GNR became and will certainly be again, it’s understandable that Izzy wants to keep his distance. Rumor has it that he will appear on a few of the shows, or a few of the songs at every show, or a few of the songs at a few of the shows. He has supposedly written new material with them, and the played with Axl Rose Presents Axl Rose’s Guns N’ Roses Featuring Axl Rose for a few shows in 2014. He does not appear to have any hard feelings, he just doesn’t like all the to-do, and you have to kind of respect him for that. It will be a bummer if Izzy is not a part of the reunion, but if he isn’t it’s because he doesn’t want to be, not because they’re shutting him out.

Steven Adler is another story.

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Ted Cruz Still Can’t Win

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After roughly 622 months of primary campaigning, including 12,035 stump speeches and 1,271 debates, our distinguished field of presidential hopefuls finally faced the voters of Iowa this week, and the results sadly did little to sharpen the picture of who will be taking the oath of office next January.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders split the vote — actually a caucus, whatever that means — almost literally 50/50, with Clinton taking 49.8% and Sanders 49.6%. (Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley had the remaining 0.6% for about half an hour before a seventh grader took it from him, along with his lunch money.)

There was a bit of a surprise on the Republican end of things: billionaire and sentient lump of spray-tanned cotton candy Donald Trump, who has led the field since the moment he descended his gold-plated escalator and became the first presidential hopeful to announce his candidacy while talking out of his ass, came in second place.

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