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Friday, December 7, 2012

The Wretched Timesheeters of the Earth

I'm in the furniture trade  Got a new job today  But stick the cretin  On the number-three lathe

Went down the town To a HM club The sign had a cross Through a couple well-dressed They looked at my coat They looked at my hair An Easy Rider coot Grabbed the edge of my coat Said: 'You're too smart for here' I said: 'I'll see the manager'

He was the manager!
Eat y'self fitter!
Up the stairs mister!
Eat y'self fitter!

Analytics have got My type worked out Analytics on me The poison render I grope about And when I go out My mind splits My eyes doth hurt The musical chairs Have been swallowed up By a cuddly group Who land and rub off Hoping thatWhatever it is Will land and drop off

I met a hero of mine I shook his hand Got trapped in the door Felt a fool, I tell ya

Charmed to meet ya
Eat y'self fitter!
Up the stairs mister
Eat y'self fitter!

Became a recluse  And bought a computer Set it up in the home Elusive big one On the screen Saw the Holy Ghost, I swear On the screen

Where's the cursor?Where's the eraser?Where's the cursor?Where's the eraser?

What's a computer?
Eat y'self fitter!
What's a computer?
Eat y'self fitter!

The Kevin Ayers scene South of France Plush velvet 
Aback! Aback!Aback! Aback!
Levis Fridays Greek holidays Barratt heritance 

Mit-Dem! Don't wanna be a mit-dem! 

Pick the fleas mister
Eat y'self fitter!
Eat y'self fitter?
Eat y'self fitter!

Who tells you what To tape on your vid. chip How do you know the progs you miss Are worse than those you single out? And what'll you do when the rental's up? And your bottom rack is full of vids Of programs you will nay look at The way they act is, oh, sheer delight Cardboard copyright Make it right! Panic in Sudan! Panic in Wardour! Panic in Granadaland! Panic all over! 
By the wretched timesheeters Of my delight One starry night The powers that be will have to meet And have no choice but to...

Eat each other!
Eat y'self fitter
Eat each other?
Eat y'self fitter!

Portly and with good grace The secret straight-back ogre entered His brain aflame With all the dreams It had conjured It had conjured It had conjured It had conjured

Mit-dem! Don't wanna be amid dem!

The centimeter square
Eat y'self fitter!
Said it purged fear
Eat y'self fitter!

These lyrics are certainly sublime, but what's an HM club? Not that the rest of it is pellucid, but for some reason that's a sticking point for me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Presidential Politics

During the course of my life, it seems like people have made generalizations about the different parties' success at winning presidential elections--for a while it was said the G.O.P. had done better, during the period when Jimmy Carter's one term came amid 20 years of G.O.P. administrations (20 out of 24 years, with Carter's term making up the other four). However, if we take a longitudinal view of the matter, since World War Two up until 2017 when Obama's next term will end, the two parties are exactly even. In fact, the White House has switched hands every eight years in that period, with the two exceptions balancing each other out.

If we start with Truman (although Roosevelt won the election and served a few months before dying, I'll count the beginning of the post-Roosevelt era from the beginning of that term, which I trust is a benign enough decision as far as its implications go), there were 8 years D (Roosevelt/Truman), 8 years R (Eisenhower), 8 years D (Kennedy/Johnson), 8 years R (Nixon/Ford), 4 years D (Carter), 12 years R (Reagan then Bush), 8 years D, 8 years R, 8 years D (up until the end of Obama's coming term, in 2017).

So it looked like the Republicans had a little advantage if you were around when there were 8 years of Nixon/Ford, Carter, then 12 years of Reagan/Bush. But from a wider angle, it can be seen that there were two times when the party held the White House for only one term during our time period, one each for the Democrats and Republicans. If we draw a line between the Carter--Reagan period and the Bush--Clinton period, they basically cancel each other out, each being a one-termer followed by a two-termer from the other party. The fact that Bush followed another Republican doesn't have much significance if we do the math from Truman through Obama, which shows that there will have been 36 years of Republican administrations and 36 years of Democratic administrations in the period from 1945--2017.

Roosevelt was clearly a special case, since he was elected to four terms, and since he left office that has been made illegal. Before Roosevelt it was an entirely different era, before World War Two, and it seems reasonable to designate the period beginning with the first Truman administration as an "era," although I am not being too rigorous or placing too much importance on that. My thinking is basically  that, since presidential terms are four years and there can  be two for any president, any trend will take a long time to identify, and 72 years is probably a long enough time, whereas things were too different before that to lump in the data with current phenomena. So that's my specimen--1945--2017.

If we accept that as a reasonable sample, then the conclusion seems to be that the Republicans and Democrats basically trade off the White House every 8 years, with no party having much of an advantage, or really any long-term advantage. I am pretty skeptical about the claims currently being made that the G.O.P. is down for the count, if for no other reason than because Romney only lost by about three percentage points. Maybe the demographics are changing, as has been constantly pointed out recently, but there's no reason to think the Republicans can't figure it out, make some adjustment, maybe run a Latino woman, that sort of thing. Not that I think my observations here can help us predict the future very much, there are a lot of variables, but the numbers show that the two parties have split the White House down the middle for 72 years (or will have by 2017, anyway).

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I planned to write a series of posts on the Kinks, but job hunting, teaching, and finishing my dissertation have sapped my will to allocate enough time to blog. If anyone is reading, I will get back to this blog when I have more time. 

By the way, if Mitt Romney wins this election, it will seriously challenge the "beer" theory. Is there anyone alive who would be willing to have a beer with Mitt Romney if I paid you 100 dollars? I may have mentioned this before though.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

WIlliam Faulkner Resigns From the Post Office

As long as I live under the capitalistic system, I expect to have my life influenced by the demands of moneyed people. But I will be damned if I propose to be at the beck and call of every itinerant scoundrel who has two cents to invest in a postage stamp. 
This, sir, is my resignation.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

From Somewhere Else

I haven't been able to figure out what any of this means yet, but it's from a source I trust to usually be interesting and enlightening, and it's short enough to plunk it right on here for further consideration:

Five thresholds of the remote:
i. If it is to preserve its categorical integrity, the Law must suspend itself at whichever place there has been a transgression against it – or else decant itself into the lowly posture of taking offence.
ii. If Law must recoil from every possibility of transgression against it (as an ideal evades contamination by experience) it must constitute itself generally as a preparedness for flight. If it is to preserve itself as Law, it must retreat from, in anticipation of, every likely or unlikely occurrence of violation.
iii. Similarly, Crime, if it is to establish its own reasons within its own world, must not infringe upon the Law, and thereby provide opportunity for other, external reasons to be ascribed to it. 
iv. The secret of successful transgression is forbearance – that is, if the would-be transgressor does not wish to draw the Law into a place where it otherwise would have no business.
v. Community must shrink from the touch of its members – that is, if it is not to be reduced to the level of naming an agreement, or common cause. 

The Beer Test Again

From the New York Review of Books blog:

Part of it is a recognition that Romney has a specific problem, that like Al Gore or John Kerry before him, the former Massachusetts governor comes over as stiff and wooden and fails the beer test: he’s not somebody most voters would choose to have a drink with.
In an earlier post, an EARLIER POST I say (but it's not really a link because I don't know how), I suggested this was an iron-clad indicator of who would win an election. So Romney is doomed, or we'll have to rewrite the book on politics.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I Hate

anti-lock brakes. The way I learned to drive is, you pump the brakes when in slippery conditions rather than lock them. Anti-lock brakes render you helpless, taking your fate out of your hands, and they result in the brakes turning off when you hit big bumps or really want to lock them, which is dangerous. Why does anyone think they are a good idea??