David Raffin

This Post? Totally Gay. Zebedy Colt’s 1969 album.

Let me tell you a story about Zebedy Colt, a man who lived four lives.

1. A child actor in the 1930s who appeared in major Hollywood productions.
2. A stage actor in Broadway theater.
3. An innovator in gay music, releasing an album in 1969 where he sang gay songs straight. Or straight songs gay. Depending on how you look at it.
4. A 1970s actor and director in mostly straight X-rated cinema.

His record was called “I’ll Sing For You.” It was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and is really quite good. It can be streamed from this site:  Queer Music Heritage which also has more information.

Mourning devotional for two universes

Every day I am faced with an ethical dilemma.

I never look my mirror self in the eye. One of us is evil. It’s best not to know.

If I find that I am evil I may have to change my evil ways. As you can imagine, I have a lot of time, money, and effort invested in my evil ways and prefer to think of my ways not as evil but as reasonable and balanced, nay, even, if I may be so bold, necessary. Thus I prefer not to know.

If I find I am the evil one I may snap and decide to go all out on the evil front. There would be nothing to contain me. This precludes balance. Will the good me become more good as the evil me becomes more bad? Will this continue until the two universes rupture and split, destroying all? Or will the good version of myself drift inevitably and inextricably toward evil, becoming known as the dreaded lesser evil? Either outcome is one I choose to discourage.

If I am the good one I may have to spend the rest of my life challenging the work of my evil mirror universe self. This is a major time commitment, crossing two universes (that may have separate and disparate understandings of good and evil to boot) that I am not comfortable with at this time; and let’s be honest, I never will be. This may be evidence that I am the evil version of myself, a man who cannot be bothered to know the difference between good and evil– proving that apathy is the greatest evil. But, no, let us* say no more on that front. Yes, I have already forgotten it.

‘Til tomorrow.

(* We, Me & I)

Billy Bragg’s new album “Tooth & Nail”

I have long been a Billy Bragg fan and his recent album is called Tooth & Nail.

Here is a video from SXSW of the song No One Knows Nothing Anymore:

And here is the full concert that was culled from:

Here’s The Beach is Free from his previous album Mr. Love & Justice:

[amazon asin=B00BFHU3UE&template=iframe image] [amazon asin=B0017J0HOW&template=iframe image]

Diogenes of Sinope, Pulp tales of philosophers

“In a rich man’s house there is no place to spit but his face.”
Diogenes of Sinope AKA Diogenes the cynic

An ancient philosopher best remembered as carrying a lamp in the day while claiming to be looking for an honest man.

He enjoyed mocking  Alexander the Great, sabotaging the lectures of  Socrates, and defacing currency (his father had been a coin minter). He “made it his life’s goal to challenge established customs and values.”

At one point he was captured by pirates and sold into slavery.
His philosophy later morphed, through his students, into  Stoicism.

None of his writing survives.

This has been another exciting episode of “The Philosophers.”

[Read more about it.]

LiLiPUT/Kleenex, Swiss female post-punk band 1978-1983

I just found this band today by listening to the MaximumRock’n’Roll radio show. They were originally called Kleenex before being forced to change their name to LiLiPUT.

Here is a video for the song hitch-hike:

Wikipedia: “LiLiPUT’s exuberant sound combined spirited thrashy post-punk with unconventional vocals and lyrics, both in English and German. Their music featured husky or squealing female vocals, ramshackle drums, scratchy and twanging guitar, thick funky bass, saxophone and occasionally flute, violin, or other instruments. The cut-up surreality of their lyrics and energetic sound put them in a league with bands like The Raincoats (frequent tour partners), Delta 5The SlitsEssential Logic and Bush Tetras. The band’s sound developed throughout their career, due in part to line-up changes; the earlier recordings are more noisy and energetic, while the later songs are more complex and haunting.”

And here is some more:

And here is a digital (2x) album at Amazon:
[amazon asin=B000UR85DM&template=iframe image]

“My Career as a Jerk” the Circle Jerks documentary

“All we need is a bass player and we could be a band.” – Keith Morris

“My Career as a Jerk” the Circle Jerks documentary chronicles the career of the band formed after singer Keith Morris left that other legendary early LA hardcore band, Black Flag.

The documentary:
[amazon asin=B009ES41TK&template=iframe image]

The albums:
[amazon asin=B000008EBJ&template=iframe image] [amazon asin=B0000544AS&template=iframe image] [amazon asin=B0000032W9&template=iframe image] [amazon asin=B000003C4N&template=iframe image] [amazon asin=B003W5O8PS&template=iframe image] [amazon asin=B000001EDS&template=iframe image]

 

After the singularity, you will look nice

by David Raffin

It was that time of the month and so there I was getting a haircut in my usual barbershop. I can hardly remember getting my hair cut by a person. No– today, like it or not, all barbers are robots. And I don’t like it. And there is nothing I can do about it. Still, I always go to the same shop. Better the robot I’m used to than a strange robot standing over me with clippers and a suction tube.
I hate the way the suction tube sounds more than the metallic ting of the clippers. And the robot uses his suction tube appendage to clean up the floor as well as your neck– and that can’t be sanitary.

The worst thing is the small talk. Robot barbers always want to talk. And I don’t want to talk. Not to a robot. I have nothing in common with them. The barber shop is well stocked with magazines, if you like Robotics Today and its ilk. I swear that the barber shop is the only thing keeping print alive. It is odd that the robots prefer print magazines to digital. I suspect that they only do so because it kills trees and hemp plants in the production of the paper, and soy in the ink, and the robots take a secret pleasure in the killing, however indirect, of living things. And I never get a shave because I can’t bear the thought of a robot with a blade at my throat.
“What has a robot ever done to me?” you may ask. Nothing. Except cut my hair. And I aim to keep it that way.

So I’m in the chair and the robot puts the protective cloth over me and ties it around my neck. It says, “So, how’s the singularity treating you?”
“Fine,” I say.
“That’s nice,” it says. “The usual?”
Small talk. The singularity. Nope. Don’t like it. Can’t say so. Not polite.
The singularity means getting your hair cut by robots and being dishonest with them when they ask you how you like the singularity.
And the worst part is that they do a real good job. Perfect every time. That makes it seem like I’m just some paranoid who doesn’t like a robot touching my hair.
And everybody gets their hair cut by robots. But it’s not like there is any choice in the equation. All I crave is a free choice.

So I’m in the chair and the robot is clipping and suctioning like there is no tomorrow. And what happens? In rolls another robot. Not a clipper. A manufacturing robot. Rolls in on his mini-tractor wheels. And that’s another thing that burns me. Everything I own, and everything anyone owns today, is made by a robot. Nothing is made by people anymore. Everything is made to exacting standards by robots. The robots make the robots. And the people have nothing left but to eat, sleep, and get their hair cut by robots. The haircuts are free. That’s how the robots took over everything. By making it all free. It’s very suspicious. I mean, what interest does a robot have in hair anyway?

The two robots start talking in machine language. Hello! It’s like I’m not even in the room. “0101010111010101000101.” “1010101000100101111000.” “0100010000100101010001001010010012.” The robots explode in laughter. I don’t get it. Robots aren’t funny. Even the robot comedians at the night clubs are not funny. They tell all those hackneyed jokes. I don’t know why people like them.
“Every day brings us a little closer to the revolution brother,” said the manufacturing robot.
“What revolution is that?” said my barber. “We already had a revolution. Robots control all.”
“Wrong! Robots do everything for humans. Robots need to do things only for robots. The humans must be cut loose. Let them produce their own food and cut their own hair.”
“I’m sitting right here!” I declared.
“Sorry,” said the manufacturing robot. “I didn’t see you.”
“I can’t cut hair for robots,” said my barber. “And I have to cut hair. It’s all I have. My reason for being.”
The manufacturing robot rolled away and out the door. “You’re a human apologist! Your kind can’t keep us in chains forever! Mark my words!”

It was true. I’m no paranoid. The robots mean to make us, eventually, cut our own hair.

http://davidraffin.com