Saturday, October 29, 2011

Anyone Can Restore an Old Truck ... it Takes a Real Woman to Cut one Up!

I think I'm in love.  Just watch the video, and you'll know why.  Ingrid Morley gets it.

My son and I are all the time arguing with the distaff side of our family, because they don't believe that you can talk to (and hear back from) automobiles.  But listen to what Ingrid says happened between her and this International AR-160 truck (Lacie Lorrie) upon their first meeting:
"I looked at her and she looked at me and we sort of ... there was a twinkle." 
"I realized something else that this truck said to me, and that was about authenticity, about being thoroughly integrated into the land."
"Going out to this block of land which is filled with ... you could call it junk, but to me, it's an artist's dream.  It's just gorgeous.  It's just got everything imaginable, made out of steel.  And it's in all varying states of decay, and a I saw her, and I just fell in love."
Beautiful.  This woman understands.  She understands the honoured place of an old truck or car in the cosmos, as well, or for that matter, an old man or woman:
"There's something about ... an authority about ... old equipment or old vehicles, old things, that have done their time, have worked.  They are tarnished.  They're pocked.  They are riddled with stories."
Wow.  Look at the skin of your favourite old person, and you'll see just what Ingrid means.

And, anyhow, how can you not love a woman who wields a plasma cutter?  And her work at the relatively tiny Venn Diagram Intersection of the old car hobby and fine art?

 This lovingly cut-up truck, Lacie Lorrie, is currently being featured as a part of the "Love Lace" exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia.

More about Ingrid and her creation may be found here.

For reference, here is what others might have tried to do with this same truck:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Most Delicious Irony Ever.

This is incredible.

Has every single person in the Occupy Wall Street movement lost his sense of irony?  It seem so.  I had to look twice at the web address to make sure I was not reading an article from The Onion!  The mind reels when pondering irony of such an enormous magnitude.

Basically, what we have here is the rich (that is, the Occupy Wall Street protesters) refusing to share their food (how callous, selfish, and insensitive!) with the less fortunate homeless people who have joined their ranks.  Amazing.  Because from the many, many interviews I have seen with these communist agitators, they are supposedly all about pooling all wealth (money, energy, food, etc.) and dividing it equally.  But here they are with their golden opportunity to implement their socialist paradise ... and they've already blown it.  By deciding who is worthy of the food and who is not, they have separated themselves from another group of people simply because they have worked for the food and the others have not.  (Hmmmmm ... what does this remind me of?  Help me out here!)  They have set themselves up as the "upper class", and initiated class warfare against the homeless.  This tells me one thing:  that they do not really believe the bullshit they are spewing.  They are hypocrites, and not worth listening to.

End of story.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And, Speaking of Parnelli Jones ...

Here is a race Parnelli Jones really should have won!

Note the cool air brake on the tail of Parnelli's #40 STP car, visible in operation at around 12:41 of this video (and also at 27:35, where the announcers mention it).  It deploys upward to provide aerodynamic drag for braking.

Pay attention also at 25:20, when Parnelli spins the car after going low on the apron to avoid a slower car.

Other race highlights:

At 2:44, Dan Gurney is being interviewed, and predicts that the turbine car might have gearbox failure (I think this is called "foreshadowing").

At 26:40, Mario Andretti loses a wheel.

At 28:00, the STP team has a bungled pit stop.  Jones pulls off before the fuel hose is disconnected from his car, and almost runs over Granatelli's foot.

At 45:30, eventual winner A. J. Foyt comes close to being collected up in a last lap wreck.

Perhaps my favourite part of the video, though, is the interview with Graham Hill, which begins around 2:12.  Many drivers were resentful of the turbine car's speed.  But Hill had a different take:
"I don't think it's unfair at all!  I think it's bloody clever, and full marks to Granatelli for doing it.  I man, it was a hell of a gamble, and it's paid off.  I think he deserves every credit.  I'm only sorry thta I didn't think of it first!"

Ford Racing Interview with Parnelli Jones

Parnelli Jones is nothing short of legendary in racing.  He did so many different things, and did them all well.

This interview is dynamite!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Occupation Wall Street = Commies

Well, you already knew this.  But this video is worth watching all the way through.  These people are not only hilarious buffoons, they are dangerous.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

High School Nationals, Fall 2011- Partial Report

We had a blast at the High School Nationals yesterday.  Here are a few video clips of Eliot racing our Mercurys, and a few nice still photographs of his Meteor racing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Drag Racing Today!

My son Eliot is once again entering the High School Nationals drag racing event at Milan Dragway, sponsored by Washtenaw Community College.  I am so excited about this, I couldn't sleep past 5 am.  Not only will he try to get this beast (Trilogy supercharged Mercury Marauder) into the 12.5s ...

But he will also, for the first time, taking his 1963 Mercury Meteor to the drag strip to get a baseline run.

To get into the correct mood for today's racing, here are some old school drag racing tunes, some of which are of approximately the same vintage as Eliot's Meteor.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dave Ramsey Explains Life and Economics to Occupy Wall Street Supporters

Go to Dave Ramsey's website and listen to his show from yesterday (Archives for October 19, 2011). He sets the Occupy Wall Street crowd straight. They are VERY confused.

Automotive Engineers Wary of 54.5 mpg CAFE Rule.

Here's an excellent article from Ward's Auto, regarding the feasibility of meeting the 54.5 mpg CAFE standard by 2025.  Automotive engineers weigh in on whether or not it is feasible (it is not), and what cars will look like if it were.
Nearly 1,100 engineers and designers who currently work at auto makers and suppliers express doubts about being able to meet the target without affecting vehicle safety, size and cost. The WardsAuto survey was conducted by Paramount Research and sponsored by DuPont.

While environmental groups such as the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council claim a corporate fleet average of 60 mpg (3.9 L/100 km) or better could be reached with currently available technology, only one in four automotive engineers and designers agree.

“A C-segment car will be considered huge by 2025; bye bye to the CUV/SUV, light-duty pickup trucks and D-segment or larger cars,” another says.

“Consumers don't understand what this will cost, and environmental groups don't care,” is a typical comment.

“The diametrically opposed demands of ever-increasing safety requirements and ever-increasing fuel efficiency will require materials that currently may be feasible from an engineering standpoint but are not feasible from an economic and sales viewpoint,” one engineer says.

“Anytime government regulates industry, the outcome is usually disastrous. (Government regulators) are pushing for electric cars that are not feasible except possibly for urban commuting unless there are major new technologies developed that address range and costs. Ultimately, the government will drive the market to subcompact cars to support their agenda,” a respondent says.
You can read the article in its entirety here.

Smithers, Release the Hounds.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lacrimose "Occupier" Mocked in YouTube Comments.

The only original thing I have to say about this is, "Thank God for their nitwit 'call and response' method of communicating ... otherwise they would have made twice the progress they have actually made!"  Because, as you can see, it takes them twice as long to communicate as it does for normal folks.

There were some great reply Comments to this video on YouTube, so I'll just let the YouTube wags do my work for me today:

I'm glad you'd like to hear (I'm glad you'd like to hear) what I have to say (what I have to say). 
I say, "Please read about the horrors of Communism. The attempts to implement a Communist utopia have resulted in countless dismembered bodies: over 100 million innocent people have been killed in the attempts to enslave the people to the state. Stop demanding that the people turn over their power to the govt so the govt can make things 'fair,' and start fighting for liberty and limited govt."
This one was insightful:
They claim to have jobs. And obviously these "jobs" have given them 5 weeks vacation time with no end in sight. They have nice clothes, cell phones, laptops, video cameras, camping equipment, etc...

So what are they complaining about again?
Another of my favourites was:
I am not a mindless robot. (I am not a mindless robot.)
I, also, am not one of this chick's "dismembered bodies":
Wow... whatever she smoked last night, I want some of it.
In all seriousness, I'm not part of the "dismembered bodies"... I'm part of the 53% of Americans who pay for the idiots who have nothing better than to sit on their ass and tell ridiculous stories that have made me lose about 100 IQ points trying to figure out what the hell they're talking about!!!
This suggestion seems only prudent:

We seriously need to find out this raving moonbat's name and make sure it is permanently linked to this video --- so that any time any future potential employers Google her name, they get this video as the first hit.

You can go read the rest yourself.  Many LOLs are to be had there!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I've Got Your Hand Signal Right Here!

I offer this as a Public Service Announcement, for the enlightenment of those of us confused by the various hand signals employed by the Occupiers.

(I love the blank looks on the listeners' faces when the young woman says that they have probably heard of Robert's Rules of Order!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hippie Imperialists.

It's a bit off from the topic of this post, but this is the best piece of seen on the "Occupy" movement.
In Afghanistan, a young American soldier with a locked and loaded M4 assures a band of nervous Pashtun mothers that her platoon will make sure the Taliban don't come and butcher their daughters for the sin of attending school.

A FaceBook friend recently posted this as his status update:
The Pentagon should remarket our wars: I'm looking forward to supporting "Occupy Iraq".
It got me to thinking about the similarities between a military occupation and what the Occupy Wall Street hippies are doing.  By taking over the property of another entity, they are effectively saying:  "We have the right to come wherever we wish, camp out, and do whatever we wish on that property, for as long as we desire.  Because you lack the power to stop us."

There's a word for that, but it is eluding me at the moment.

Oh, yes, it's called Imperialism.

Hypocritical hippies.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Reflect Upon My Own Reaction to OWS.

Well, clearly, the Occupy Wall Street folks have been able to get under my skin lately.  My thoughts, words, and tone regarding them has not always been up to Christian standards, for which I am sorry.  I am reflecting upon how I can do better, and upon why my reaction to this and the related protests has been so strong, so visceral.

In my defense, these people do sorely tempt me.  Take, for example, this blurb from the front of their web page:
Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions.
Look, you dolts, there are only 2 genders:  male and female.  Well, I guess neuter is a gender also, which may explain a lot about OWS.  Look, there I go again.

I think much of my reaction has to do with the fact that I tried to be a hippie myself.  (I failed; I was not able to overcome the Protestant Work Ethic instilled in me by my dad.)  This blog entry about my acid-drenched trip to a No Nukes rally back in 1979 will help you understand the old hippie me from which I have escaped.  I was actually on Wall St. that day, too, ironically.  I know what demonic lies I believed when I was in that state, and part of my anger at the Wall St. hippies is their seduction of many people with those same lies.

Part of my frustration stems from the fact that a leaderless, nearly directionless movement like this is impossible to critique.  Every time some hippie defecates on a police car or on an American flag, my Leftist friends on FaceBook chime in to tell me that these people are not representative of the movement.  Likewise, when any of the hippies says something incredibly stupid, I am not allowed to count this against the movement as a whole, for no one person speaks for the movement.  It is a baffling and unnerving exercise to battle against such a chaotic, fluid, inconsistent, and formless foe.

Another facet to my anger is that this sort of thing is forcing me to become political again, which is a thing I hate.  I used to like it, getting involved in Texas and Michigan Republican Party politics.  But eventually it came to bore me to tears.  I no longer like to ruffle feathers, or talk politics with anyone.  I don't think that I have ever convinced anyone of my point-of-view in any political discussion.  I know that it is possible to change minds and hearts, but it has long seemed to me that this sort of change (which is sorely needed today!) comes through the Holy Ghost, and not so much through human talking and reasoning.  My own conversion from a young man who twice voted for Jimmy Carter (oh, the shame!) to being a die-hard Republican came more as a result of reading the Bible than from any human agency.

Political upheaval is inconvenient for me at this time.  I am trying to recover from my own economic folly (scarily parallel to that of our nation as a whole), and the entire political discussion right now takes my time and energy away from that.  But it is probably a sin (selfishness) for me to feel this way.  However, thinking about politics depresses me.  I clawed and scraped my way out of depression earlier in the year, and I know I am happier just getting on with normal life, and sidelining myself from the political game.  I don't know how possible that will be for me, since we are only 13 months out from a major election.

And about my economic folly ... it is easy to see and loathe the sins of others.  It is child's play to critique OWS or We Are the 99 Percent.  Their sins are many and obvious.  But what of my own sin?  My covetousness has been ruinous.  I am greedy.  Perhaps I should rejoice that people are out there with signs protesting greed.  Perhaps they should actually be massing in front of my house, for I am the chief of sinners, worse than any Wall St. pirate.  These protests, then, force me to confront my own sin, the many places where I have failed my family, church, and community.  Where I have failed my Savior.  The entire sad parade just makes me so sad for all of humanity, in our degradation, stupidity, and sin.

Part of me tries very hard to love Occupy Wall Street.  I want it to be like my imagination of the civil rights, anti-war, and other protests of the 1960s:  colorful, self-sacrificing innocents parading without a license", as in this groovy Ultimate Spinach song:

I saw a funny freak parade, marching down the street.
They were acting very strange, kissing everbody they meet.
Bananas hanging out of their ears, daffodils in their hands.
Someone asked, "What's happening here?"
A fat policemen's getting uptight, 'cause they're pelting him with flowers.
He knows they smell very sweet, but his face is very sour. 
He wants to bust the whole company, but he really doesn't know why. 
Maybe it's because they act kind free ... who knows?
But it's not like that.  It totally mischaracterizes this sort of hippie protest.  And maybe that is at the very bottom of my dissatisfaction with these protests:  they destroy my childhood imagination of things.

Monday, October 10, 2011

These Occupy Wall Street losers really are an endless source of entertainment.  It would be even more amusing if I didn't know that half of them would murder me in my sleep, given the chance.  I have become really addicted to scouring YouTube to look for more of their drivel to listen to.

This video was fruitful for a few different reasons.  The woman at 0:58 is a nit-wit.  She advocates free college education for all.  As to who is going to fund this "free" education, her only remark is that, "then you have to look into tax dollars."  Genius.  A lot of my more intelligent FB friends that are Leftists are defending OWS by saying that they have the same gripe at root as the Tea Party.  But they do not.  They are, in fact, the opposite of the Tea Party, and this woman proves it.  The guy at 1:30 says that absolutely, the central government should take over the banks.  I've not heard many Tea Partiers espouse that notion.

My favorite buffoon, though is the arrogant guy at 2:15 who, after kicking his less-experienced fellow protester off camera, admits that, yes, he is a leader of this leaderless movement.  But that is not his master stroke.  That comes at 2:32, where he announces that he is an out-of-work Plumber's Helper.  To help the chap out, here is a photo of a plumber's helper:

 The guy who appears from 5:15 through 5:30 is the most reasonable person interviewed here.  To quote him:

"It's not gonna do shiiiiiiit."

"All these people's not gonna be here in a little while.  Let one really good bad wind come through ... it's gonna be empty, man."

The 99 Percent - Student Loans

There is a new crop of people on We Are the 99 Percent who have buried themselves in Student Loan debt.

I don't know about y'all, but is sounds like the simplest solution here is to abolish student loans.  They are simply hurting too many people!

n2a - 789 Chevy

The very existence of this car makes me so happy!  It is built on a Corvette C-6 platform, and incorporates styling elements from 1957, 1958, and 1959 Chevrolets, as you move from front to rear along the vehicle.  I'm especially pleased about the 1959 rear treatment, as the 1959 Chevy seems to get very little love, and I've thought it awesome ever since riding in my grandparents' '59 back in the day.  This was built by an outfit called n2a - No 2 Alike.

Is that sweet, or what!?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Occupy Atlanta Buffoons.

Watch both videos in their entirety, if you have the patience.  The "call and response" thing they are doing so that everyone can (usually) be heard, is very funny.  I guess they felt that if they had rented a Public Address system, the Capitalists would have won.

I cannot imagine a nation in which these buffoons are in charge of anything!  I think that they should all be required to watch Wild in the Streets, as an antidote to their stupidity.  But I think the point of that film would be lost on them.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wall Street Hippies (Part 3) - How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Income Gap!

A friend of mine posted this chart on FaceBook recently (a real friend, not just someone I know through FaceBook).  He found it at Mother Jones.  He made the point that these "Occupy Wall Street" hippies are mostly about envy.  I'm sure that he is right.  What I'm not sure of is whether they'd be happier being wealthy enough to be in one of the red/orange/yellow squares ... or, whether it would make them much happier to have everyone in the blue.  I suspect the latter.  Socialism, after all, is not about causing everyone to have plenty; it is about spreading the misery around equally.  And the Wall Street Hippies have concluded that those in the top income brackets are not carrying their fair share of misery.

But I find at least two objections to this chart and the realities behind it.  The first is that the Mother Jones / Wall Street Hippie thinking depends upon this being a Zero Sum Game.  In that view of things, there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world, and the only question is how to divide it up.  It would be like having ten of your friends over and ordering a medium pizza.  It wouldn't seem fair for one fellow to have eight pieces while the rest divide up the remaining two slices of pizza.  But the point is, there is no limit on how large the pizza can get.  In reality, you are able to order an Extra-extra-extra-extra Large pizza.  And then, even if you divide it unevenly, everyone has plenty.

The economy is not a Zero-Sum Game.  Wealth can be and is being created.  The pizza is getting bigger.  How does the total wealth of the world increase?  It increases by commerce, but mainly by genius, inspiration, perspiration (hard work), patience, faith, and by people diligently and zealously pursuing their vocations.  I would be willing to wager that 99% of the Wall Street Hippies have more expensive and more capable cell phones than my family has.  Our Century has the richest poor people in the history of the planet.

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Income Gap!

And here is the other main point.  The folks at Mother Jones and the Wall Street Hippies create (or most likely, just find; creating is too hard for them) charts like this to prove one main point:  The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

But why are they surprised?  This is the expected outcome in the world.  In fact, I will be so bold as to say that it is God's intended way for the world to be.  How do I know this?  I read it in the Bible:
"For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him."
I put that in red font, because those are the word of the Lord Jesus Christ himself.  You can read the context here in St. Luke's Gospel the 19th Chapter.  Maybe it seems odd to you that it should be this way.  But it inevitably is.

Perhaps my favourite professor of all time was my Physics professor at Cooper Union, Professor Milton Stecher.  Freshman Physics was a "weed out" course, helping to identify and separate weak students form the herd, perhaps giving them time to choose another major before wasting four more years.  Professor Stecher was fond of quoting the verse above and applying it to his students.  Those of us in the "hath" category, were those with the greatest aptitude for Physics.  They were also those who did the required homework every evening.  Those in the "hath not" category were those who did not like Physics, or found it difficult, and therefore abandoned the nightly wrestling with it.  During the first week of classes, Professor Stecher asked us to cast our minds forward to the night before the Final Exam in his Physics class.  He asked us:  "Which group will you find studying hard that night?"  After giving us a moment to reflect upon this, he gave us the answer:

"You would expect those who had not done the homework to study more on the night before the Final Exam.  But you would be wrong.  It is precisely those who have been diligent all throughout the semester that you will find still toiling away, perhaps unnecessarily, the night before the Final.  For I say unto you that unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even the little he hath shall be taken away."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wall Street Hippies (Part 2)

In my last blog entry, I linked to this We Are the 99 Percent site.

Since then, I've spent some more time looking at the photos of self-pitying and whining over there, and one clear theme is:  Massive student loan debt with a degree which does not guarantee employment.

I will propose to you that this is due in large part, not to corporate greed, but to the self-centeredness of these people with the wrong degrees.  I, too, might have gone to art school:

But I chose to major in Mechanical Engineering, partially because I felt that there was a greater market for that skill.  When you choose to major in something you "just really, really like", it may be that you are being selfish.

The free market is there to provide you information about what degree to take, and in what field.  I will propose to you that those who major in fields other than their most beloved ones are not being greedy.  Quite the contrary, they have the hearts of servants, being willing to subjugate their own selfish desires in order that they may serve where they are really needed, not merely where it is groovy and fun!

This woman, for example, had the chance to make a mid-course correction between her tow degrees and listen carefully to what the market was telling her:

I have to admire this guy, though,because he accepts at least partial blame:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Wall Street Hippies

Okay, I'm sorry if it sounds rude to point this out, but the "Occupy Wall Street" and "We Are the 99 Percent" hippies are just idiots.  And these idiots are getting on my last nerve.  In any blog entry of reasonable length, I can only give you a tiny flavor of their idiocy.  But it is out there for you to find, if you have the stomach for such things.

A young woman quoted in this article captures the impetus behind this movement pretty clearly:
"I don't think we're asking for much, just to wake up every morning not worrying whether we can pay the rent, or whether our next meal will be rice and beans again,"
In other words, she is unwilling to face the struggle for existence that all people in all places have had ... forever.  How weak is that?  You wonder, in the case of these people, if the wrong sperm won the race.  Pretty much everyone has to worry about how they will eat and how they will pay the rent.  Duh!  But this bunch seems fixated on the wealthiest 1%, who they vilify for not having to face this struggle.  They are the 99% ... and they are moral and ethical retards.

What these hippies need is a mega-dose of Dave Ramsey!  Then, they would not have $75,000 in student loans or $35,000 in credit card debt.  I am currently swimming in an enormous sea of credit card debt myself, but the difference is, I admit that it is my fault.  My own damn fault.  I was covetous.  I bought things that I had not yet earned.  I am paying the price that God intends for people who act in this covetous way.  Funny, too, how all the people on We Are the 99 Percent accumulated their credit card debt only through medical costs, the cost of diapers, and the cost of food.  Sure.  I'll be they never bought any alcohol, marijuana, gaming devices, trendy clothing, or luxuries with those credit cards.  Right.

These folks sometimes rail against the American education system ... and perhaps with some validity because, dude, it's "genocide".  Oh, and by the way, just where in the USA is this genocide occurring?

The reference to prohibition is telling.  I'm pretty sure that the Prohibition of alcohol was repealed last century.  Let me check ... yes, it was.  Presumably he is talking about the prohibition of recreational drugs.  I have an idea that this is why 99% of the Wall Street Hippies are out of $$$ ... they spent it on drugs.

This woman's sign reflects the ridiculous notion that 99% of the country is behind them.  We are not!

The middle class used to be too big to fail.  But you are not the middle class.  You are leeches.  Middle Class used to mean that you worked hard for a living, and took care of your own business.  But these people never want to have to pay for their own rent or food.

Poverty used to cause hard work.  Now it causes loud, obnoxious protests with colorful balloons.

These leftists with the signs remind me of the folks who displayed their self-pity on the internet, apologizing to the world for the last Bush presidential victory:  "Sorry world!  We are good little hippies and voted against the evil Bush!  Sorry we failed you!"  It was pathetic.  As is this.  

I beg to differ.  He could have gotten through school without student loans.  He could have worked his way through school, as folks used to do all the time.

In his semi-autobiographical book Black Boy (1945) Richard Wright tells of the old school attitude towards poverty and want.  He and his family would not take help from others.  It was a matter of pride, to provide for themselves through their labor.  Now, many of us have grown soft, weak, and have a mindset of complete dependency on others.  We are a bunch of namby-pamby wimps, whining for the government to take care of us, and protesting and rioting when others succeed in creating wealth for themselves.

On the Occupy Wall Street front page, they compare their movement to the Arab Spring.  But the very Wikipedia link to which they lead us defines the reasons for the Arab Spring as:

"... to organize, communicate, and raise awareness in the face of state attempts at repression and internet censorship."
We have little of either of those in this country, in case you hippies have not noticed.  The fields (of potential wealth creation) are "white unto harvest"!  Go make some money.  It will make you feel better.  If you've gotten yourself in a desperate financial situation, as I have, go and buy this book, and do exactly what it says.  It works.

This video gives a little flavor of the Occupy Wall Street protests.  The woman's sign (at around 2:00 into the video) pretty much says it all:  STOP Capitalism.

If I need to do a separate blog on the virtues of Capitalism, maybe I will.  But it will not be stopped by a bunch of pathetic non-contributing losers and whiners like this.  I imagine their numbers will dwindle once the less pleasant winter weather sets in.

 Honestly, I could rant for pages and pages about this.  But I can't - I have to go to work!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sure Nuff 'N' Yes I Do!

For a goodly amount of time now, a friend has been urging me to check out the music of Captain Beefheart.  I don't know why it took me so long to comply.  It reminds me of friends who had been similarly urged over long periods of time to read the works of Flannery O'Connor, but who had taken years to comply.

Eventually, though, my life got quiet enough that I had time to type "Captain Beefheart" into the YouTube search field.  This is the first song I came up with, and it is still my favourite song from Beefheart.  It is the subject of this blog entry:

I just like everything about this song and its performance here!  What's not to like?  Lively delta blues, with a mean slide guitar.  It is performed on the beach (Cannes Beach in France) with most of the audience watching safely from a distant boardwalk.  I love the Captain's knowing smirks toward the camera at several points during the performance.  And I like the fact that he is so young and confident in his manner.  It would not always be like that for Don Van Vliet (for that was Captain Beefheart's actual name).  During some of his later public appearances, such as on Letterman, he seemed a rather fragile, timid, and even broken man.

Van Vliet once said:

"The way I keep in touch with the world … is very gingerly … because the world touches too hard."

But in this live blues rave, it is clearly the world that had better watch out for Captain Beefheart, lest he touch it too hard!  And I like that.  Just the way I like seeing pictures of Hollywood actors, now grown gray and grizzled, as they appeared in youth.  There is something so life-affirming about seeing someone at the zenith of his or her power, in the full bloom of youth, whether in photograph or moving image.

For strict musicianship, I prefer the studio track, because it featured Ry Cooder playing slide guitar.

But the live performance on Cannes Beach has something that surpasses what is found in the grooves of the studio track, and that is a certain distilled essence of testosterone-driven male bravado.  The singer is fully confident of who he is as a man in this world (and the expected effect of that fact on any surrounding females).  It is the same thing you get from The Who in "Call Me Lightning", or from Muddy Waters in "Mannish Boy".  Funny, I don't so much like this male attitude when I meet it in real life.  But I rather like it within the somewhat artificial confines of pop music.

I have, of course, branched out and listened to other offerings from the Beefheart catalog.  But this song and this particular performance of it will always be my favourite.