I Have To Cast Your Way Aside/Suck Out My Good Parts | August 2016 Mix

 

 

On Google Play Music:

I Have To Cast Your Way Aside/Suck Out My Good Parts | August 2016 Mix
30 songs • 1:47:18

In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, I was at the height of my mixtape-making skills. I had to transition into making mix CDs when the technology became widely available. The move from tape to CD seemed like it would be a boon for mixtape-creation. But I found myself ensuring that the files on the mix CDs I created were encoded as music files rather than files requiring a mp3 reader. I did this for two reasons:

  1. Most people didn’t have an audio system that included a player capable of reading mp3 files (especially in their vehicles, which is where I listened to most of my music at the time when not at work; now I listen to it almost exclusively while working), and
  2. Maintaining a cohesive strand of feelings, moods, thoughts, phrases, melodies and romantic tension – and just finding enough good music – for more than 15 songs starts to become unwieldly.

The problem has only grown more problematic with the development of streaming services and playlists. Not only can people more easily find new music (they always could, they just weren’t willing to look, and that hasn’t changed) but they expect endless amounts of it. Creating a ten song playlist is a pre-exercise exercise for most people. They do it every day.

I don’t know how well I’ve made the transition to playlist-making.

I created mixes for various people (often for those of romantic interest but also “just friends”). I started to joke that my ex-girlfriends loved my music taste far more they liked me – they continued to ask for updates long after any semblance of a relationship was left.

But I can’t seem to stop myself from making them. So here’s one for this month. Just like I have no intention of claiming that this site and inadequate.net are anything more than my personal sites and journals, I won’t promise this is going to become a regular thing. Appreciate it while you can. Some folks are able to concentrate on a single subject or practice or motivation on which they focus their sites. That’s never worked for me. Just throwing thoughts up here has always been my modus operandi, and, I suppose, will continue to be.

Something I jotted down about the first song (which wasn’t going to be the opening song until I stumbled upon it and knew it had to go first):

  • The opening riffs on “Baby When I Close My Eye” just make it seem so urgent, as if we should take notice at the beginning of a film of intrigue and danger. The video is also (partly) fun.

And then I continued:

  • You’ll notice that “Fill in the Blank” sounds like an opener.
  • “Never Going Back Again” has Caveman opening up a vista onto a valley of optimism two-thirds of the way through the film.
  • Does Modern Baseball not only have the name but also the sound of an early 2000s emo/post-punk band?
  • Mates of State with some Death Cab for Cutie to help you get oriented.
  • CeeLo Green to throw you again.
  • The Fast Romantics’ “Animal” could have been in Top Gun.
  • “Seventeen” is the make-out-fight-sex scene. But also, as I listen to it now, an exhortation to all of us to get out there, it’s Friday night every night. That girl, that boy, that person, that experience, conversation, whatever it is you’re seeking is out there — it’s not going anywhere but you do have to go find it.  
  • The Format as a history lesson.
  • “Feel Right” by Esme Patterson reminds me of the opening song in the American version of Shameless.
  • “To Know You” could have been in Donnie Darko.
  • “Up Up Up” to give you a summer anthem, if you still need one. I debate whether to put this song as the final song — what I like to think of as the extro. I love how silence sounds against the end of this song.
  • And closing out (bookending, if you dismiss the late-coming opener) this month’s selection — one of my faves of the month, and, thus, a double-play. If we’re honest, it would all end far better with “Up Up Up.” But it does what I need.

Many will hate this but some will find it nice and others just interesting, but bonus song: Weaves – Help! (Beatles Cover).

On Google Play Music:

I Have To Cast Your Way Aside/Suck Out My Good Parts | August 2016 Mix
30 songs • 1:47:18

Personal Political Pronouns

As one who fashions and fancies himself as an essayist, I do tend to pluck random essay collections from the digital shelves. Most recently, after finishing A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey, I picked up Barbara Tuchman’s Practicing History: Selected Essays. I read most of it in Barbara Tuchman in Practicing History: Selected Essaysone day but the sections can be a little repetitive (as one would expect given its subjects include her thoughts on history as art, writers versus historians and other related matters over hundreds of pages). So I now read it when not wrapping up Corey Robin’s The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, which, as is pretty spelled out in the title, follows the core reactionary strand running through the conservative movement (as he posits, it is, indeed, movement) since the French Revolution. Continue reading

Brief Thoughts on A Brief History of Neoliberalism

I’d been thinking about neoliberalism recently in relation to our foreign policy dealings with countries that resist taking the poison bullied onto them. What happens when we confront a state resisting the neoliberal transformation? I thought of Iran, and its leaders stated belief in an Islamic economy; one not set according to Western rules.

And our foreign policy toward them? Not kind.

That’s as far as my thinking on the subject had gone (and has gone) when Dr. Catherine Rainwater, one of my former professors at St. Ed’s, mentioned neoliberalism brief historyDavid Harvey’s A Brief History of Neoliberalism, which I’d downloaded onto my Kindle and started a few times a couple of months ago, on Facebook. It isn’t a new book. I started it again and tore through it last week.

It’s not necessarily the shortest of brief histories but it is a nonetheless quick primer that will serve as a great introduction to neoliberal theory and practice. I can’t emphasize how important it is that you understand that word and what it means – neoliberalism is the basic prison in which we live (and in which some, a very few, thrive).

Not to be hyperbolic, but neoliberalism is the reason we live our lives the way we do.

It’s the reason you can work more than forty hours a week, make seventy thousand dollars a year and still not be able to afford your rent or mortgage; your student loan debt; your employer- or market- or exchange-provided health insurance premiums and, thus, your health care; your car payment and insurance premium (also, the need or desire for a car); your child care; college savings – and that’s not even getting to retirement savings.

Neoliberalism is not a party to vote against. It is the fundamental ideology of our time – defining how we live our lives and what we believe is possible. Our conceptions of freedom and democracy and justice and the weight we give to each. To the vast majority of us, it is standard operating procedure.

Most insidiously, it is our belief that there is no alternative. That the system we operate under – with its attendant capitalism, republicanism, corruption, inequality, injustice, competition in all areas of life and et cetera – has never been, is not now and never will be different. Moreover, it can’t be different.

Donald Trump is as much a threat to as he is an embodiment of neoliberalism. I could quite extensively quote from A Brief History . . . for a clear-eyed and prescient description of the cultural, political and economic – not to mention demographic – actors and forces that embrace, empower and, more critically, allow and create leaders like Donald Trump to rise.

Some of those who are, to my mind, the worst of politicians. It is unconscionable that reasonable conservative individuals would continue to support Donald Trump no matter how illogical. But it isn’t illogical if you believe it to be politically advantageous to continue supporting him is.

Closing borders, starting wars, disrupting free trade and other Trump proposals are not neoliberal – they are the neoconservative (authoritarian) veneer atop neoliberalism; for the wealthy and powerful will still benefit.

I always find it unfortunate when authors of books like the above begin to comment on the politics of their age (in this case, 2007). So often does it become outdated and uninterested but it also negates, in some minds, the main argument. Worse, the statements are often a little preposterous, especially when viewed in hindsight.

Harvey does fall victim to this a bit toward the end, but it does not change his overall argument or its force at all. His brief discussion of post-Katrina New Orléans is accurate (see: The Neoliberal Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, Late Capitalism, and the Remaking of New Orleans). Only now are teachers beginning to unionize again and schools returning to public control.

Like I said, it’s very important you understand neoliberalism.

If you can’t read, get someone to read A Brief History of Neoliberalism to you. I will give you a digital copy.

 

[Most of the above is stuff I scribbled in my notebook Saturday morning. It likely wanders and fails to make sense or seem to have a point. That’s fine.]

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