The World According to Keitho

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Archive for March, 2016

I’ll believe it when I see it

Posted by keithosaunders on March 24, 2016

I’ve posted before about my ambivalence, nay, my antipathy towards these political videos that are currently running rampant in the wake of the Trump storm.   My politics are to the left of most people I know, (although in the Bay Area I’m a centrist) but these videos offend me.

How is it helpful to portray Trump supporters as moronic backwoods yokels?  Sure, they are a strong demographic for him, but I know he must have supporters who are intelligent and can articulate what they like about him and dislike about the Democrats.

In the case of this particular video it seems the filmmaker has gone out of his way to find the least intelligent people possible.  I don’t see how shaming the right is going to sway a voter who is on the fence.  It’s more likely it would have the opposite effect.

I saw another video in which a reporter interviewed college students asking them who won the civil war.  Of course the video showed 5 people in rapid succession answering ‘The South’ or ‘I don’t know’ but who’s to say the interviewer didn’t ask 90 people and edited in the morons?

I’m not buying this video-happy society we live in.  Yes, folks are generally less intelligent than they were 30 years ago — how could they not be with all the de-funding of education.  But they’re not that stupid!

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We get it, Keith Jarrett is great

Posted by keithosaunders on March 19, 2016

Keith Jarrett came on my Pandora this morning and as usual I loved his playing. The song ended – I think it was a Gerry Mulligan tune – and it must have been the last song of the concert because the audience went crazy, clapping whistling, who knows, maybe they even took off their clothes a la Woodstock.

That’s fine — the delicate genius earned his applause. For some reason, however, the producer, Manfred Eicher, left the entire minute and a half standing ovation on the recording. Hey Manfred, we already know he’s great, all you’re doing is making us hate him even more.

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Happy St Patty’s Day

Posted by keithosaunders on March 17, 2016

There is no more moronic of a holiday than St Patrick’s Day. It starts when you’re a little kid in grade school and your forced – coerced – into wearing green. What is that? Training for Hitler (Trump) youth? ‘Hey you little bastards, get your conformity on!’ When I was a kid you would get pinched if you forgot to wear green, because what’s a holiday without sadism, am I right? Pogrom, anyone?

 As an adult, St Patty’s day is an excuse to get your daytime drunk on. Ah, there’s nothing like puking before 12 noon. Good times. In New York, or wherever the hell else they hold parades, (Ireland, I guess) it’s another excuse for homophobia.  This is a holiday that serves no purpose.  Let’s eliminate it and replace it with Nat King Cole Day.

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Taking my act live

Posted by keithosaunders on March 13, 2016

After my previous post decrying the decay of western civilization through videos I decided to see for myself what it was like to produce to have a video experience of my own.  In the past week I had received a few notices on my Facebook feed about so and so being ‘live.’ I wondered what it was so finally I clicked one of the feeds and there was one of my ‘friends,’ – more like an acquaintance – live and in full pontificating mode.  He was all over the map but mostly he was bloviating about the coming election.

I found it kind of self centered and self-serving.  Until I tried it myself.  Then I thought it was fun.  I donned a beret and took ‘hater’ act live and beta test a five minute rant.

I started off be-scowled,  pontificating about people posting over-produced political videos with the sound track and fancy graphics.  I was segueing into the Academy Awards when I noticed at the bottom of the screen there was a display of who was viewing my feed.  Soon my friends began commenting and that’s when I lost it, breaking character in a fit of laughter.

I have to admit, as much as I hate to, that being live and having an audience was intoxicating.  It was visceral in a way that a written post is not.  The thing is, it’s too easy and the risk of crossing the line from detached, ironic humor into trite, self aggrandizement is too easy.  You’re trying to be funny in the moment and your friends are there — who knows what offensive bon mot may slip from your mouth in the moment. With the written word there’s a good chance you would take stock of what you are writing and edit out something potentially hurtful.

After 5 minutes I realized I was out of gas and said goodbye to my viewing public.  I’ll try to resist over-saturating myself on Facebook, but the lure of the audience is strong.  Pray for me.

pepe

 

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PC oranges

Posted by keithosaunders on March 9, 2016

 

Someone on my Facebook feed posted an article decrying downfall of society as a result of pre-packaged peeled oranges at Whole Food. I would counter that articles like this, which contain headlines that tell us how to think and feel, are what’s wrong with society.

I love how in the middle of the story the writer does a u-turn, talking about the backlash against Nathalie Gordon, the anti peeled-oranges activist: But some people are now pointing their anger at Gordon rather than at Whole foods, arguing that the pre-peeled oranges were helpful to the elderly and people with disabilities. From the looks of it, just as many people are ticked off about Whole Foods pulling the peeled oranges from store shelves as there were people who were ticked off about them being there in the first place.

BAM. A perfectly, but rarely executed, 180 degree PC turnaround!  I didn’t see that one coming.

oranges

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Better life through Facebook videos

Posted by keithosaunders on March 8, 2016

I’ll tell you what, I’m sick of everything being videoed and posted on Facebook.  Some middle aged guy rescues a duckling stuck in a chain link fence…WHILE HIS WIFE FILMS IT?! That’s not selflessness, that’s self aggrandizement.

I get that this is an organization that wants to promote kindness to animals…but I don’t care.  If I see a duckling, cygnet, or a baby hippo stuck in a chain link  fence I’ll do my best to set it free.  (well, maybe not the hippo) I’ll tell you one thing I’m not going to do. I’m not going to have my wife film it so that I can brag about what a superior human I am.

In the end what is this video going to accomplish?  You’re either the kind of person who’ll save an animal or you’re not.  No Facebook video is going to serve as a behavior modification tool.  I’d sooner watch a video of this guy having sex with his wife.  Now that’s a cause I can get behind!

 

Posted in life, media, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Who put these #%& snakes in the #%$ piano?

Posted by keithosaunders on March 6, 2016

Folks it’s the end of the weekend and I’m all Trumped out so I’m giving that topic a rest for the time being.

As a freelance musician my office changes from night to night.  More importantly my work station, that is to say my piano, also changes.  Every once in a while I get a beautiful instrument; for instance, a seven foot Steinway with great action and a beautiful tone.  This makes my job so much easier — it’s like driving a Lexus versus a Yugo.  (Full disclosure, I’ve never driven either)

Most of the time I’m stuck with a dog, or at best a dowager. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.  A lousy piano takes preference over me having to schlep my keyboard, even though my keyboard remains in tune in perpetuity. At this point my back’s comfort takes preference over my ear’s.

I pride myself as being the kind of pianist who can make any instrument, no matter how bad, sound good.  I almost never complain about the piano because what’s the point?  If I don’t like it I should shut up and bring my keyboard.

But…

There are times when I’m playing a solo, the music is groovin,’ I’m working through dense lines, building up energy – I’m in a good mood, almost a state of euphoria – when BAM I hit a high G that sounds like a cat in heat.

It’s like I’m the lead in a movie starring opposite Marilyn Monroe when all of a sudden her character gets killed off and replaced with another love-interest…played by Irene Ryan, the actress who played Granny in the Beverly Hillbillys.

It’s times like those that I feel like Samuel L. Jackson:  “I’M SICK AND TIRED OF THESE MOTHERFUCKIN’ OUT OF TUNE NOTES ON THIS MOTHERFUCKIN’ PIANO.”

 

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Get on your knees, Mitt!

Posted by keithosaunders on March 4, 2016

You can’t deny — this Trump stuff is gold.  I just woke and wondered if I dreamed that in one news cycle Trump insinuated that Mitt Romney would have blown him for an endorsement – AND – bragged about his penis size on national TV at a debate.  You can’t make this stuff up!

Trump is actually causing the Republican party leadership as much angst as Democratic voters.  You have people like Peggy Noonan talking about the breakup of the Republican Party.  That’s extreme, but even to broach something like that is remarkable.

If Trump were to win the presidency the worst damage he could do would be via Supreme Court Justice appointments.  Don’t get me wrong, this is, in and of itself, pretty bad, but it’s no worse than if Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio were making the appointments.  The Congress would not allow him to build a wall on the Mexican border, or deport Muslims.  They would be just as divisive under him as they are under Obama.

Now if only the Democrats would realize that Bernie Sanders has a much better chance of defeating Trump than Hillary Clinton.  Imagine a Sanders-Trump contest.  All the center-right Republicans would threaten to move out of the country.  Soar-ry, Canada!

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Troubling Times

Posted by keithosaunders on March 2, 2016

The Trump stuff is starting to get a little scary. He’s like a cartoon character — a buffoon – and it’s hard to take his platform seriously.  After all, other than promising to build a wall, or make Mexico build a wall, he really hasn’t said anything. If you go by his history he’s even a little more liberal than his hapless opponents.

No, what’s worrying me are his followers.  Trump’s jingoistic, xenophobic banter has brought to the surface a virulent racism in this country, so much so that I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve progressed at all since the 1950s.

Coded racism has long been a staple of Republican (and even Democratic) candidates.  One need look no further than patron saint, Ronald Reagan launching his 1980 campaign at the Neshoba County fair, a few miles away from Philadelphia, Mississippi, a town associated with the 1964 murder of civil rights workers.  There, he used the term, states rights, a kind of code for tacitly approved racism.

But with the ascendance of Trump there is no longer a need for code words.  He can vilify Muslims and Mexicans, thus empowering rednecks across the land to speak their minds.  And I’m not just referring to the South.  There were plenty of racists in the New York metropolitan area six years ago when I lived there.  Drive ten miles in any direction from Manhattan and you’ll see what i mean.  Long Island and New Jersey are cesspools.

Even here in the Bay Area, one of the most liberal places on the planet, you can find racism.  A singer with whom I worked with just last night friended me on Facebook.  No sooner did I accept her request than I saw that her page was littered with racist posts.  One showed a pair of four or five year old African American boys teasing and hitting a white girl, with the implication that violence starts at a young age.  She also compared these children to Palestinians.

By itself the post is merely ignorance.  In light of the violence and bile we have seen at Trump rallies, however, it’s unsettling.  What level of racism would be unleashed should this man somehow gain the White House?

 

 

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