February 17, 2019

If you don’t think there’s any connection with: (1) Andrew McCabe singing like a canary to 60 Minutes, (2) the soon-to-be-released Mueller Investigation report now suspected to reveal (3) zero collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and (4) William Barr’s appointment as new Attorney General you haven’t been paying attention. The irrefutable evidence is that folks within the Obama administration and high-level members inside the Clinton campaign worked with the FBI, the Department of Justice, and foreign intelligence to coordinate a hit on the Trump campaign (the now-famous Fusion GPS “dossier”) to derail his campaign and ensure Hillary Clinton’s election.

When Clinton lost (something none of these folks even dreamed possible) they then had to scramble and concoct a phony “Russia collusion” angle in order to cover their (at a minimum) unethical and (most likely) illegal tracks. It’s really as simple as that.

…people in the FBI (aided and abetted by elements in the CIA and the Obama administration) decided that they didn’t like the person who had been elected President of the United States. Their anger and frustration boiled over when the President had the temerity to fire their man, James Comey. So they plotted to get rid of him.

The FBI didn’t like the President. so they plotted to remove him from office. That is the irreducible minimum, class, that you should take away from this whole sordid lesson. Top figures in the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not approve of the President. Therefore, they took steps to destroy him. Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, several times offered to wear a wire to entrap the President.

When Trump fired FBI director James Comey, these same folks took advantage of Attorney General Jeff Session’s incompetency and ill-advised decision to recuse himself from any Russia investigation to appoint Robert Mueller as a Special Counsel. These folks all knew there was, and never would be, any finding of Russia “collusion”, but the hope was that by dragging a bunch of low-level staffers (i.e. Carter Page, George Papadopoulos), or folks associated with the Trump campaign folks having shady business pasts (Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen) into an investigation they might either (a) get lucky uncovering sordid relationships with the Russians resulting from Trump’s pre-election business dealings, and (b) drag the investigation along long enough to influence the 2018 midterms (perhaps even the 2020 general election), all the while (c) covering their tracks on their attempt to destroy the Trump campaign.

Unfortunately for them, the conspiracy couldn’t be 100% papered over; damaging internal communications got released and the folks involved couldn’t keep their stories straight. This kind of thing couldn’t have happened two decades ago when the mainstream media had lock control over what the public read or saw, but in this age of technology, social media, and citizen journalism nothing is truly secret (or sacred) anymore. So certain folks (i.e., McCabe) got caught with their fingers in the cookie jar and had to lie in order to cover their tracks.

Now it’s all falling apart, and I guarantee the prospect to even lower-level folks involved in the conspiracy of being indicted and perhaps convicted is going to cause certain other little birdies to start singing. And that’s why Andrew McCabe’s interview with 60 Minutes is so important. It has taken awhile, but the whole house of cards is starting to waver, and when it falls, while folks like Hillary Clinton will never see indictment or jail, the reputations of the FBI, DOJ, and the mainstream media (who happily and foolishly out of their own hatred for Trump went along for the ride) will have been irrecovably tarnished, if not destroyed.

I hope to these “Deep State” clowns it was all worth it.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 02:51 | Comments (0)
February 16, 2019

This weekend will be spent inside working on taxes preparation. But that doesn’t mean I will remain silent.

Because I won’t.

As a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsay Buckingham, here’s hoping for a speedy and successful recovery. His music has meant so much to me over the years, so he’s obviously in my thoughts and prayers.

Gee, it’s hard to see all your musical heroes grow old.

I don’t think PGA Tour fave Matt Kuchar’s reputation is going to take much of a hit because of this, but on the surface it just seems all so unnecessary. I mean, you win a golf tournament, you know what the customary cut is for caddies, and you not only go cheap on him but you basically tell him, “a deal’s a deal”, no matter that you just bagged a 1.3 mil payout? I don’t think it was necessarily insensitive, but it sure seems to shine a light into the guy’s soul. It sure doesn’t paint “Kooooooooch!” in a very good light.

I’ve always thought the Rolling Stones make this list. But in my view the #1 most overrated musical artist of all time has to be Madonna. She was a fraud from day one, disguising her lack of singing ability with layers of synth, and employing her “edgy girl” persona into a brand simply by seeing how many people she could offend, since being offensive was a sure way to stay in the news. She was never even that attractive, let alone hot.

Today’s Democratic Party is a clown show. It truly is the inmates running the asylum. These people would be considered just a bunch of no-talent clowns if they hadn’t won back the House and weren’t backed by a mainstream media that will never touch them, no matter how outrageous their behavior is.

…but what can one expect from a party whose motto could be, “We’ll keep your baby comfortable while you and your doctor decide whether or not to just let it die.”

Yep, the Democrats have had themselves quite a couple of months. And this doesn’t even mention the fiasco happening in Virginia. Fact is, the Dems are a clusterf**k from top to bottom.

If socialist babe Alexandria Cortez-Ocasio is really going to do a 15-city “Green New Deal Tour” she better not be traveling by the same mode of transportation her plan ultimately wants to get rid of. If she does (which, of course, she will) she’s a hypocrite of the highest order.

…but I’m guessing folks are kind of starting to figure that out already.

…speaking of AOC, the 25,000 folks who would have gotten well-paying jobs and help fill all those local and state coffers with tax revenue thank you (not!) for being the job-killing socialist bi**h she’s turning out to be:

The main quality of the progressive agenda being pushed by Ocasio-Cortez is knee-jerk nihilism — the unthinking destruction of the status quo for destruction’s own sake. Even the win over Amazon is more evidence of progressivism’s nihilism than its sustainability. Ocasio-Cortez may be dancing on the grave of 25,000 jobs in Queens, but even her fellow Democrats in New York understand what actually happened. She didn’t save New Yorkers tax money — she likely cost them millions in tax revenue.

I’m actually starting to think there will be plans afoot for the Democrats to cleanse their party of AOC and her rabid, frothing anti-Semite pals Ilham Omar and Rashida Tlaib next election go-round.

…if you think “San Fran Nan” Pelosi is going to allow them to become the new face of the Democratic Party you don’t know Speaker Pelosi. Even she has to know these loons are going to make President Trump’s bid for re-election that much easier.

…because once you’ve lost a leftist like Cher, you know you’ve gone too far.

A final word on Ocasio-Cortez: now here’s a movement I could get behind.

Did I say she’s cute?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 11:02 | Comments (0)
February 14, 2019

…do I know how to call ’em or what? Look at what I wrote last Saturday about Joe Biden – oh, y’all don’t remember? My boldings:

…As I mentioned in [a prior] post, the mainstream media has already decided on Kamala “Mattress” Harris as their fave, and they’re going to try and destroy anyone they think is going to get close to her. If they treat any of her challengers with kid gloves (like Elizabeth “Fauxcahantus” Warren, whose candidacy is imploding before our very eyes) it’s because they know they don’t have a chance. Just wait, Joe Biden – you don’t know what’s about to hit you.

…and looky here at what’s out there now. I swear, sometimes I think I’m a Nostradamus or a Jeremiah.

As I also mentioned in the Saturday post, “San Fran Nan” not only has her hands full with the radical left’s absurdly stupid embrace of socialism (thinking its popularity amongst their chardonnay-swilling east and west coast elitists is also shared by the rest of the country) – talk about a gift to President Trump and the GOP in 2020!, but she’s also got rabid, frothing anti-Semites to have to deal with as well.

I’ll tell you, this country is getting a cold, hard look at what today’s Democratic Party is, and it’s not pretty. Mark my words: a huge backlash is coming, from both outside and even within and outside Democratic circles. They’re going to realize these people are batshit-crazy.

…I’m just putting this little laundry list of Democratic Party issues they’re pushing ahead of 2020. Lemme see: climate change, abolish ICE, no southern border wall, unfettered immigration, unlimited third-trimester and post-birth abortion, anti-Semites in congress, and now – wait for it – support for African American reparations. Of course. In for a penny, in for a pound, right? Let me ask you progressives out there; what is the friggin’ color of the atmosphere on the planet y’all live on???

…now, compare that with the solid economic platform the President will be running on. Hey, I’m aware a whole lot can change between now and 2020, but I look at the crowd of Democratic challengers being assembled and hear the ghosts of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis whispering in my ear.

No wonder President Trump is looking more and more like the adult in the room!

Speaking of batshit-crazy, what’s going on with Virginia’s governor? “Indentured servants”? Are you kidding me? And then you have his lieutenant governor. Ditto. I mean, this is is just embarrassing. Can you imagine the outcry from the mainstream media and the Democrats if it were a Republican gov attempted this? Not only would he be laughed off the face of the planet, but the airwaves would be filled with demands for resignation candidate.

I’ll tell you this. I don’t wanna hear ONE. MORE. WORD. about any Republican candidate with so much a the slightest of a shady past. The Democrats have ceded the high ground on anyone and anything that runs for public office ever again. Their Virginia governor, lieutenant governor, and AG have all got questionable acts in their past, but no one wants to start the dominoes falling over because it would lead to a – gasp! – Republican – taking charge. This is nothing more than power and party politics. The Democrats are hoisting themselves on their own petard, and it’s a beautiful thing to see.

Wait a minute, I was under the impression from environmentalists that polar bears were disappearing from the face of the earth. Maybe they just decided they found a better place to congregate.

…actually, since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says we’ve only got twelve years left due to climate change, why bother worrying about anything anymore? What we need to do is figure out how to get the polars a bigger and better food supply, like lionfish, perhaps?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:45 | Comments (0)
February 11, 2019

It’s been a chilly and gray January and February here in the Valley of the Sun, and I was looking for some music to play while working that would fill the background with the sounds of sunnier and warmer climes. Sure, I already had my incredible and legendary “Tropical Breezes” collection, but I wanted something a little looser and fancy free, and stumbled upon the idea of creating a subset of “Breezes” that would be something you’d hear if you were on a beach in sunny south Florida or the Caribbean and kickin’ back with a boat drink or a cooler of Red Stripes. Hence my new music collection, “Caribbean Beach Party”!

It was just like making a tropical drink – a few parts this, a few parts that, with a little of the unknown in between. I started with the basic essentials: all the Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, and steel drum music that was already part of “Tropical Breezes”. So far, so good (in fact, it was the mellow side of JB and steel drum music that formed the basis of the old Dish Network Tropical Breezes channel that gave me the idea of the music collection to begin with. So here is what I started with in terms of artists:

Jimmy Buffett
Kenny Chesney
Alfred St. John Trinidad & Tobago Steelband
Bob Lyons (steel drum artist)
Bob Marley & the Wailers
Doug Walker (steel drum artist)
Greg McDonald (steel drum artist)
Jamaican Steel Band
Jason Roseman (steel drum artist)
Kent Arnsberger (steel drum artist)
Larry Hall (steel drum artist)
Raggae Beat
Robert Symons (steel drum artist)
Steel Tropics
Steelasophical
Tropics Steel Drum Band

Which, BTW, would be sufficient in and of its own to warm the bones of the most rugged seafaring Gloucester fisherman running out a winter nor’easter on the Grand Banks. But I knew that after a time – given the fact these artists and their songs were already familiar – it would get a little stale. Enter the music of Danny Morgan and Eric Stone.

I was introduced to the music of both these musicians not from hearing them live, but, interestingly enough, through the Wayne Stinnett‘s Jesse McDermitt series of Caribbean action adventure books. It would be harsh (not to mention, insulting) to call them Jimmy Buffett wannabees; as artists they appear to be known pretty much to the South Florida crowd with their own vibe and muse that makes their sound more regional than national. This is no criticism in any way – in both cases they’re good at what they do, and they make music perfect for poolside, barside, and boat cruising anywhere you want to put it. It’s hard to characterize their music, but I call it “island time”, with Stone’s music having a bit more of a nautical flavor.

Here a couple of samples by Danny and Eric to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

So after adding The contents of Morgan’s Captiva Moon, Beach Life, and It’s Always Summer, and Stone’s Boatsongs #1, #2, and #3, I found a couple of other steel bands that warranted inclusion: the Pirates of the Caribbean Steel Band (great name, huh?) and the Island Caribbean Steel Drum Band. Sufficiently steel, but just a little different enough from the others to warrant their inclusion and enhance the collection.

I’m telling ya, folks, you can’t go wrong with this collection! Just six payments of $29.95… just kidding. I’m guessing all or most of this stuff is available on iTunes and Amazon Music, and I guarantee it won’t be a waste of your time. Sitting by the pool or blaring it on your boat, it will be purrrrrrfect for the summer months that – believe it or not – are just around the corner.

Now pass me one of those Red Stripes, will ya?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:46 | Comments (0)
February 9, 2019

This weekend is going to be a working one, unfortunately, but I’m actually going to try and hit a small bucket of balls to see if the hand feels any different than it did a few weeks ago. In the meantime…

just another reason to read my post from yesterday.

It’s one thing for some leftist Washington think-tank to produce a completely batshit crazy, out-of-their-friggin’-minds proposal for something as amorphous as climate change. But the fact that media darling and cute-as-a-button socialist like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez actually believes this kind of bullshit begs credulity. No wonder House Speaker “San Fran Nan” Pelosi has, without any shred of doubt or hesitation, put the kibosh on it. Tells you exactly what her opinion of the radical socialist loon faction in her party is.

You want to know the truth? In some ways I feel bad for Speaker Pelosi. She’s an old-timey, beyond corrupt pol of the highest order, but she’s no dummy – unlike the cast of freshman (can I say that?) congresswomen who are as dumb as a rock.

…that being said, Friday’s supposed “grilling” of Assistant AG Matt Whittaker by the Democrats shows them to be nothing but a bunch of angry, petty, and obnoxious morons. How these people even got elected is beyond me. They wouldn’t know how to fart and chew gum at the same time.

Count me as one wanting to put the brakes on the political lynching of Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax. I know why the Democrats are doing it – this way they can claim the high road when politically lynching the next Republican who finds himself in the same situation – but to me this is no different than what the Dems tried to do to Justice Kavanaugh and equally as wrong. Mr. Fairfax deserves the right and dignity of due process as any man, and as far as I’m concerned he’s innocent until proven guilty. This whole tearing down of political figures simply on the word of someone, or as a result of someone’s nose getting out of joint out of political correctness, has to stop. Were I any of the Democratic leaders of Virginia involved in the current controversy I’d tell everyone to f**k off.

Didn’t I tell you this kind of thing and this kind of thing was going to happen? As I mentioned in this post, the mainstream media has already decided on Kamala “Mattress” Harris as their fave, and they’re going to try and destroy anyone they think is going to get close to her. If they treat any of her challengers with kid gloves (like Elizabeth “Fauxcahantus” Warren, whose candidacy is imploding before our very eyes) it’s because they know they don’t have a chance. Just wait, Joe Biden – you don’t know what’s about to hit you.

The only reason why Rick Santorum is even being quoted these days is because the mainstream media will pick up any comment any Republican might say that is critical of President Trump in any way. In Santorum’s case, I lost all respect for him after he repeatedly invoked his special-needs daughter in just about every question asked of him during his failed presidential run. Sebastian Gorka is right – the guy’s a phony.

Mark my words: if you don’t think this is going to be a major campaign issue come 2020, you’re dreaming. The Democrats are going to be painted as the supporters of infanticide that they are. And it’s about time: the technology is already there, and it shows third-trimester abortions are a disgusting, immoral, and disgraceful practice. But yep, it’s all about “women’s rights”, right?

…unless, of course, the baby is female.

It’s pretty obvious that in Meghan McCain’s case the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. She’s just like her old man – a vile, vindictive, and petty human being whose 15 minutes of fame were up a long time ago. Hey Meghan, if you can find a rock big enough to cover you, go crawl under it.

But enough of politics.

That was an incredibly spooky Dead Files episode the other night, involving the Santa Fe prison where the 1980 riot took place. It was one of their best. I’m thinking about asking Amy and Steve to do an episode on my missing golf game.

Here’s hoping this is true and Great White Shank fave Paula “The Pink Panther” Creamer can find her way back to playing good golf and the LPGA winner’s circle. A pretty girl with an equally-pretty golf swing.

I always knew Rocco Mediate to be Goodboys material.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 10:42 | Comments (0)
February 8, 2019

This is not so funny. If this is the kind of thing you want to see in your city or town or neighborhood, go ahead and vote Democrats into your political structure. These homeless camps are a cancer spreading across this country. And the only reason why is because this kind of behavior is tolerated. I see the same beggars every week just off the 202 Red Mountain Freeway. By and large, they’re young enough to work and know better, and it doesn’t take a genius to see how one or two beggars all of a sudden become a tent community, and all of a sudden you have what’s going on in Seattle, San Francisco, and SoCal. They’re nothing but leeches, sucking off the community that tolerates their presence out of guilt. Believe me, there is nothing to feel guilty about: when I donate my money it goes to organizations that help the truly needy, not the bloodsuckers who are nothing but lazy bloodsuckers.

…don’t get me wrong here, and please don’t accuse me of being cold-hearted. There is no doubt there are folks out there in desperate straits and have mental-health issues. But even here in supposedly “red” Arizona there are associations, organizations, and publicly-funded outreach to help families and individuals truly in need. What I’m talking about is the industry that’s gone up around panhandling. Let me ask you a question (it’s rhetorical because I already know the answer): how many beggars out there do you see who are in their 20s and 30s, fully capable of holding down a job? The answer is the majority of them.

…I’ve seen it first-hand: there was a young couple working both sides of my local Fry’s parking lot. His sign said, “Out of work. Family To Support. God Bless You.” Her sign said, “Need Help. Three Children To Support.” Husband Left.” Tracey’s car needed gas one morning, so I headed to the Fry’s before I satarted work, and what do I see? Said couple being dropped off by someone driving a very nice car.

A big part of the cities’ woes is the professionalization of panhandling. The old type of panhandler—a mentally impaired or disabled homeless person trying to scrape together a few bucks for a meal—is giving way to the full-time spanger who supports himself through a combination of begging, working at odd jobs, and other sources, like government assistance from disability payments. Some full-time panhandlers are kids—“road warriors” who have largely dropped out of society and drift from town to town, often “couch surfing” at friends’ homes, or “street loiterers” who daily make their way downtown from the suburbs where they live. Some, like New Yorker Steve Baker, have turned begging into a full-time job. “If you’re inside a bank, you’re a doorman,” he says from his perch inside a bank lobby. “You’re not gonna rob from nobody or steal from nobody—you come in here and make a job for yourself.”

It’s a cheap way to make money, not just because they work off of people’s guilt, but because they can make a living doing it (italics mine):

People’s generosity encourages the begging. About four out of ten Denver residents gave to panhandlers, city officials determined several years ago, anteing up an estimated $4.6 million a year. Anecdotal surveys by journalists and police, and even testimony by panhandlers themselves, suggest that begging can yield anywhere from $20 to $100 a day—though police in Coos Bay, Oregon, found that local panhandlers were taking in as much as $300 a day in a Wal-Mart parking lot. “A panhandler could make thirty to forty thousand dollars a year, tax-free money,” Baker says. In Memphis, a local FOX News reporter, Jason Carter, donned old clothes and hit the streets earlier this year, earning about $10 an hour. “Just the quasi-appearance of being homeless filled my cup,” Carter observed. That all the money is beyond the tax man’s clutches adds to the allure of professional panhandling.

To be honest, I’m kind of a mixed mind about this. The libertarian side of me says it’s their choice if they want to sit out in 110-degree weather and wait for the generosity of others to make their time worthwhile. OTOH, I can’t help but wonder what this kind of thing does to society as a whole. We’ve come a long way from earlier generations like my folks who grew up during the Great Depression who saw living “on the dole” to be insulting and whose parents (my grandparents) took every odd job available to feed and take care of their families. Of course liberals will say something like, “We’re the richest country in the world! No one should have to go hungry! There’s plenty of money to go around!” But any society that encourages laziness and devalues hard work will soon find itself with too many people to support and not enough people to support them. As Margaret Thatcher once famously said, “”The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

So the next time some young person standing by the side of a road with a sign, and – increasingly – a dog, because, of course, people love dogs, y’know – do them, your country, and your culture a favor. Put the guilt aside and just say no.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:52 | Comments (0)
February 6, 2019

To me the State of the Union speech has become a bore to watch now that it is politicized in much the same way everything else is nowadays. I mean, you can’t watch (if you wanted to, that is) the Oscars, the Grammys, or the Super Bowl without having politics and political correctness shoved down your throat, so I’ve come to avoid it. It seems to me more like a horse race of political one-uppance between all the particulars in publicizing who they’re inviting: I’ll raise my illegal immigrant over your cancer survivor or what not. Everyone is inviting someone in order to make a political statement, which in turn raises the political stakes of the event itself into the stratosphere.

…and I despise the camera work, focusing on who’s clapping and standing to applaud and who’s not, who’s making sour faces and sitting on their hands, etc. etc. It’s all such childish bullshit. But I guess that’s what our so-called “elected leaders” in Washington have reduced the occasion to – after all, it’s not the media’s fault when they show elected grown-ups acting like children. One would think that our elected leaders would, if they can’t respect the president as a person, at least respect the office and the decorum of the event. But I guess that’s too much to ask anymore.

Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but why can’t the State of the Union speech be more akin to a CEO’s report made to a company’s investors and stockholders? I personally don’t need a whole lot of detail: this is where we’re doing well, this is where we need to improve, here are the problems coming down the track that we’re going to have to face – that would be more than enough. And, I might add, appropriate for the occasion. Which is why, to some extent, what I’ve seen and read about President Trump’s speech last night – for all its obvious successes – a bit disappointing.

For example, how a president can give a SOTU speech without referencing in detail our national debt and the urgency of working out our so-called entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security is beyond me. That being said, I thought (at least from the clips I saw) the president did a good enough job championing the successes his administration has had with the economy and employment amongst women and minorities. And I especially liked it when he chastised the Democrats for their utter hypocrisy when it comes to children and the unborn (supporting more maternal leave while openly supporting third-trimester abortions) and protecting our border (condemning putting “children in cages” but openly supporting the human trafficking of minors whose suffering seems immune to open-borders supporters). I also thought it was important that Trump championed capitalism and condemned socialism in all its forms – boy, you could see the likes of Bernie Sanders and socialist babe Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez sucking lemons when he said that!

Speaking of my favorite cute socialist, I wish she’d just shut up and try to do her job for a while and stop thinking everything and anything is all about her. While I disagree with her views, I do like her spunk, but she’s beginning to wear out her welcome, with even me!

A couple of final thoughts:

1) As far as the Democrats go – especially those of the female persuasion, this post tells it all. I thought them all wearing white was kind of stupid – especially with all the recent coverage involving Virginia governor Ralph Northam being pictured wearing either blackface or a Ku Klux Klan outfit – take your pick. Certainly someone was bound to make the connection and photoshop something on Twitter about it. Which someone did.

2) So let me get this straight: after the last week, and confirmed during last night’s SOTU by their reaction to the president’s speech, here are the basic planks for the Democrats heading into 2020:

— no walls along our southern border
— unrestricted illegal immigration
— support for unrestricted abortion, up to and including infanticide
— socialism over capitalism

Good luck with that!

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 20:54 | Comments (0)
February 5, 2019

It’s a solid #4 on my list of all-time greatest albums of all time. Do yourselves a favor: take 90 minutes out of your time, pour yourself the cocktail of your choice, and just listen. No, it’s not “Rumours” – it was never guitarist Lindsay Buckingham’s intention to play the music industry’s game of churning out one chip off the old block after another in order to sell gazillions of albums while losing your soul. Buckingham – much like Brian Wilson did with the Beach Boys’ Love You album – had been influenced by the emerging punk, anti-corporate rock movement of that time, and had been wanting to push the band to explore something a little different. As I wrote about the album at that time:

And I guess that’s why I, and so many other fans of the group, regard Tusk so fondly and for what it is. It’s eclectic, that’s for certain, with Buckingham’s contributions sounding little more than home studio demos. But the album also has a certain groove or feeling running through it that is unique within the band’s canon. To me it’s a late-night kind of listening experience, one filled with the longing for love, the remembrance of love lost, and the hopelessly-intense experience of being in a relationship with a lover that’s rarely optimistic and/or positive. From the Christine McVie tracks that bookend the album, “Over and Over” and “Never Forget”, respectively, you pretty much get Tusk‘s intentions: love is a roll of the dice, filled with longing, pain, brooding, fear, anger, paranoia, and uncertainty. Rather than crackling with the kind of tension displayed on Rumours, Tusk displays a more introspective moodiness – one of the reasons I like it so much.

I’m not sure the group bought into it totally. Still, Tusk sold millions of albums and remains (at least in my view) the finest work the group has ever done. In addition to the above I would add that it’s edgy, bitchy, passionate, moody, eccentric, and uniquely odd for its time. The musicianship is incredibly tight and (particularly Buckingham’s guitar work) intricate throughout. More than anything else, whether overtly or quietly, it’s intense beyond intense – something meant to be listened to with your significant other, perhaps late at night over a glass of wine or two. The way its passion, intensity, and intimacy pours out from the speakers is an experience you have to set time aside in order to appreciate.

There are some great songs on Tusk from all the band’s songwriting members. From Lindsay Buckingham, “Tusk”, “What Makes You Think You’re The One”, “Walk A Thin Line”, “I Know I’m Not Wrong” (this alternate version would have fit even better), “That’s All For Everyone”, “That’s Enough For Me” (love the fuzz on both guitar and bass), and “Save Me A Place”. From Christine McVie, “Think About Me” (one of the best tracks they ever cut, IMO – just listen to Buckingham’s grungy guitar work throughout), the album’s moody opener “Over and Over”, “Brown Eyes” (a mysterious piece featuring old Mac alumni Peter Green on the song’s tag), “Honey Hi” (one of the few songs on the album featuring layered harmonies), and the album’s closer, “Never Forget” with its easy groove and sparkling Lindsay/Stevie (can she sing lower?) harmonies on the song’s tag.

…but it would be Stevie Nicks who would grace Tusk with a series of songs she (at least IMO) would never top for the rest of her career: the dreamy “Sara”, the edgy “Angel” (“like a ghost through the fog” is a great lyric) with its grunge bass line and guitar backing, the pleading “Beautiful Child” (“Your eyes say yes, but you don’t say yes”), and, in my view the only song that rivals both “Silver Springs” and “Seven Wonders” in Nicks’s contributions to the Fleetwood Mac canon, “Storms”.

If there is one song that defines Tusk, it is “Storms”. Quietly intense, Buckingham’s layered guitar work and McVie’s organ weaves in and out like some ghostly visitor, dropping in and out to emphasize (or not emphasize) the sense of deep longing, loss, and introspection that permeates the song from start to finish. The song’s final verse drips with a sense of despair, sadness, and resignation:

So I try to say goodbye my friend
I’d like to leave you with something warm
But never have I been a blue calm sea
I have always been a storm
Always been a storm
Ooh, always been a storm
I have always been a storm

We were frail
She said, “Every night he will break your heart”
I should have known from the first I’d be the broken hearted
I loved you from the start
Save us
And not all the prayers in the world could save us

There’s no way a song like “Storms” could have existed on either Rumours or its more commercially-sounding successor, Mirage. Rather, it’s as if Tusk and this track were meant to define one another: moody, passionate, almost desperate in its longing to strip away the rock n’ roll façade and just wrap its legs around you in an intimate embrace. All the play-acting and transparency is stripped away; the protagonist is saying to her (or his) partner, “listen to me!“. Which is exactly the kind of statement Buckingham was looking to make.

Sure, there are a few duds on Tusk: how could any double-album not? Nicks’s “Sisters Of The Moon”, while featuring a solid band performance and a searing Buckingham solo, sounds contrived to the brink of (given Nicks’ witchy persona) parody, and a couple of Buckingham’s contributions (“The Ledge”, “Not That Funny”) are really nothing more than glorified demos. Still, this is a band that delivers rock-solid performances throughout. Given the sparse arrangements, the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie have plenty of space to fill, and they never sounded better, and Buckingham’s guitar work shines from start to finish. Buckingham’s production work here is almost the anti-Phil Spector: aside from “That’s All…” and “Brown Eyes” there’s very little studio funkiness; the band could be playing in your living room. One commenter called it Lindsay Buckingham’s “Pet Sounds”; I think that’s about right.

Tusk may not be everyone’s tea, but it stands out as a unique musical statement for a band that, following Rumours could have played it straight but chose not to.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:49 | Comments (0)
February 4, 2019

Actually missed the first half of the game because I was finishing up a three-weekend odyssey of cleaning the kitchen and all cabinets from top to bottom. Been in this house fifteen years and I can’t remember the last time all the cabinets got emptied and scrubbed. Ugh. They needed it. But after that….

I mean, what can you say about Tom Brady, right? But it was the Patriots defense that made this whole victory happen. And to think, as far back as November all the Boston scribes were writing about how poor the Patriots looked. And you know what, they were right! In the NFL – as Bill Belichick knows all to well – it’s not how you play in November that counts, but how you play in January. The Patriots peaked at exactly the right time.

Of course, what we are seeing is something that will never happen again. I mean, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick getting their sixth Super Bowl in nine – count ’em, nine – tries. Are you kidding me? I sure hope all the folks back in my home town understand just how incredible and precious this is, because once it’s truly over it will never happen again.

…not to mention the fact that Boston is now 2-0 in post-season play against Los Angeles teams in the same year. I don’t think that has ever been done before, right?

In other news…

Courtesy of Instapundit, have to admit this is pretty funny:

…talk about dead man walking.

If this is true (which I doubt it is, coming from a Hot Air “Never Trumper” linking to the “Fake News” Washington Post, screw you, Mitch, and all your other spineless, limp-wristed GOPe weenies. All you’re doing is making President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign message for him.

..which ought to be a reminder to all you Trump-haters out there that he is, and will continue to be, your president for quite some time. Because that means more winning. And isn’t winning better than losing?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:23 | Comments (0)
February 2, 2019

It’s Supah Bowl weekend. I wonder how many folks like me will simply watch the football, turning it off during commercials and at halftime. Regardless of what the NFL and the mainstream media thinks, it’s just a friggin’ football game, it’s not about Colin Kaepernick and social justice.

…in my view it’s only helmeted lives that matter; everyone else can go pound sand as far as I’m concerned. BTW, Colin, how’s that NFL career going for ya? You know what I think? The word L-O-S-E-R comes to mind.

Great Twitter post on today’s Democratic Party. And it’s Republicans who are at fault? Beam me up, Scotty, because there’s no intelligent life down here.

…which, BTW, just capped off a bad, no good, just lousy week for the liberal left, not to mention the Dems’ obsession with Russian collusion. And I got news for you Trump haters: it ain’t gonna get any better from here on out.

And it wasn’t a very good week for the mainstream media, either. But then again, what week is these days?

But it’s Donald Trump who’s the doofus, right?

…and no, I will never get tired of winning.

Damn, she’s, like, cute, but, like, y’know, she sure is, like, dumb as a sack of rocks, y’know?

So let me get this straight: we’re just weeks into the Democrats taking over the House of Representatives and the storylines include: 1) frolicking in Puerto Rico during the government shutdown, 2) seeking to kill babies right up until the time of birth, 3) wanting to tax folks at 70% or even higher, 4) comparing Israel to the South during segregation, and 5) a bunch of far-left senators entering the 20/20 presidential race with checkered pasts (here, here, and here). Got it.

Ummm…yes you are. The sword cuts both ways, asshole.

Why not just admit it, Democrats: between your support for human trafficking across an unprotected southern border, your support for Planned Parenthood, your support of infanticide by pushing for unrestricted abortion, your support for unrestricted illegal immigration, your embrace of socialism and all its misery, your coddling of the LGBTQ+ lobby’s warped views on gender identification, and the misery, death, and destruction your inner-city mayors cause minority families and children, you’re now the party of Death and Destruction – most especially when it comes to children and young adults. To even think you believe in compassion, diversity, tolerance, and acceptance is a hideous joke. You are perverted, vile, and evil at the core.

…but the days of being able to hide behind your radical agenda and your perverted view of “social justice” by an ass-kissing mainstream media are coming to an end. Because now that you’re in power and a loon like Nancy Pelosi has allowed even greater loons on your far-left to hog the media spotlight, the country can now see just how far you and your party have been steered outside the political mainstream. You all deserve it.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:07 | Comments (0)

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