Sunday, December 28, 2008

Couldn't have said it better

So I will just re-post what IvyTodd posted on Daily Kos.

Springsteen + Wal-Mart= Oh No!
by IvyTodd

Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 08:50:46 PM PST

Bruce Springsteen released his Born to Run album six weeks after I was born, but there is hardly a musical artist I love, respect and seen more in concert. Its a coin flip between him and my hometown boys, Pearl Jam for my favorite artist. I even talked my wife into having Thunder Road as our first dance song at our wedding reception.

IvyTodd's diary :: ::

Part of what makes Springsteen what he is, besides being perhaps the greatest songwriter of his generation (performer too? though I know I missed his prime by far), is he has never fallen far from his blue collar roots. Its evidenced in his songs (most of the Born to Run and Born In The USA albums...you know the lyrics "And boy these jobs ain't comin back") as he writes often about the working man. The acoustic Ghost of Tom Joad album is filled with songs about the working class. Joad was inspired by the book "Journey to Nowhere, the Saga of the New Underclass." What song other than "Youngstown" better symbolizes than what's happening in the Rust Belt:

Seven hundred tons of metal a day
Now sir you tell me the world's changed
Once I made you rich enough
Rich enough to forget my name

Lately Springsteen hasn't been at all shy about pushing his political agenda after he publicly stumped for John Kerry in 2004 and often for Barack Obama this year. Springsteen discussed the importance of "truth, transparency and integrity in government, the right of every American to have a job, a living wage, to be educated in a decent school, and a life filled with the dignity of work, the promise and the sanctity of home...But today those freedoms have been damaged and curtailed by eight years of a thoughtless, reckless and morally-adrift administration."

So imagine my shock, my horror, my dismay, my utter disbelief when I read that Springsteen's new greatest hits CD would be available only at...Wal-Mart?

It had to be a typo. But no there it is on backstreets.com and other blogs.

I won't dare link to the Wal-Mart page, but trust me its there. You can pre-order it now.

Why Bruce why? A career singing about and standing up for the working man, and now you give Wal-Mart a monopoly? Please tell me it isn't so. Everybody with any heart and any gray matter between their ears knows that Wal-Mart is all that is unholy. Wal-Mart is the reason so many people have lost their family wage jobs. Wal-Mart is the reason so many Youngstowns are spread across America.

My hope was that some record executive cut a deal and Springsteen found out about this when we did. That like the backwardness that the record business is, the artist has no say in his own music. I hope, I hope.

But maybe the first stanza of Badlands says it best...

Lights out tonight trouble in the heartland
Got a head-on collision smashin' in my guts man
I'm caught in a crossfire that I don't understand
But there's one thing I know for sure girl I don't give a damn
For the same old played out scenes baby I don't give a damn
For just the in-betweens honey I want the heart I want the soul
I want control right now you better listen to me baby
Talk about a dream, try to make it real
You wake up in the night with a fear so real
You spend your life waiting for a moment that just don't come
Well don't waste your time waiting

Friday, December 26, 2008

Augmented reality, indeed

Using a combination of google sketchup, which is free, and an augmented reality plugin (free trial version), and your webcam, you can placc 3d models in the real world. You can even move them around. check out this video.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Fear, a popular 4-letter word

Fear is a weird topic for Christmas, but it's been on my mind a lot. In the past two weeks, I made two decisions based on fear, conscious of what I was doing, and taking the easy road anyway. This is not typical for me - I usually just feel the fear and go ahead and do the thing anyway.

So I'm wondering, what is it about fear that makes us live our life in safe little cages? Why do we bypass opportunities, or flat out not do the right thing b/c it may lead to something bad? I've had more failures in my life than most, which I attribute to trying more things than most, a statistical thing; my chance-taking has rarely had horrible repercussions, just mostly annoying or almost horrible ones, like the time I went parasailing on an almost deserted beach in Zihuatenejo and was almost choked on the line while airborne.

I went parasailing again, a few times, in fact. But lately, if I have a horrible or almost horrible experience after taking a risk, I tend not to try anything again for awhile. Obviously, this tosses good experiences out with the bad.

One of my long-time friends is taking a huge chance to improve her life - she is risking way more than I ever have, and she is being brave about it and remains philosophical even when pretty down in the dumps. Compared to what she is facing, I feel ashamed about my fear-based decisions this month. And I went to see Yes man the other day, which is just a light-hearted Jim Carey flick, but its message is sound - you have to be open to things to have things happen, bad or good. It's easy to shut down, to say no, to say, uh oh, and to stay in your routine and your safety zone. But will that make us look back with satisfaction on our lives? I think not.

So I am going to set one of the decisions right, and consider the other one before it is too late.

Merry Christmas to the brave and the not-so brave. Remember to have compassion for those that operate from fear; their old age may be filled with regrets.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Love the Questions

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart
And try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms
and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue.

Do not seek the answers, which cannot be given you
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps you will then graduallly, without noticing it,
live along some distant day into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Tragedy up North

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yikes



Crazy weather in Seattle!

Monday, December 15, 2008

At Twit's End


Cara Scissoria makes fabulous cards - holiday and otherwise. Check out the site by clicking on the title link.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Big 3 Bailout



Don't forget to read the fine print!

Monday, December 01, 2008

(RED)Wire

An extension of Bono's program, RED, (RED)Wire is an online music magazine delivered weekly to your email, which automatically places songs into your iTunes. At $5 a month, half your fee goes to buy medicine keeping people living with HIV in Africa alive.

You get two free issues for signing up. Every week you get:

EXCLUSIVE — An exclusive song from a major artist.

SHOWCASE — A song by an artist we want everyone to hear.

EXTRA — A fun or inspiring piece that's not music – a short video of someone telling a story, a slideshow of great photography, someone reading something they love.

IMPACT — Frequent updates from Africa – a window into the culture of the people receiving the medicine.

All the music is in unprotected digital files. Play them on your iPod, burn them to a CD and enjoy.

Click the link above to join.