The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

When "Because We Can" Becomes "Oh Fudge, We did".

I consider myself somewhat of a libertarian, but believe in at least some governmental regulation of business. You might think this is a contradiction, but it not to me. I believe in personal freedom (and responsibility), but corporations aren't persons. When something goes wrong there is not a person responsible, it's management pointing the finger at the stockholders or labor if things go wrong and everybody pointing the finger at management. This is the symptom of the free market, things take on a life of their own things get done "because they can" and never have the person make the decision when they should.

Now, I realize businesses exist to make money, but the point is "because we can" is gonna be bad for business. Look at some of the major problems facing the country:

1. The mortgage crisis- Banks and lenders gave away shitty financing "because they could" exploit the fact that people want big houses. Now they have a bunch of foreclosed homes that they can't sell and money that they can't recoup.

2. Oil prices- Hopefully the oil companies are socking away all the windfall profits. Big oil has fought it at every corner, yet have done more for alternative energy with $4 a gallon gas. They can protest "supply and demand" all they want but everybody knows what the phrase "record profits" mean, regardless of how you spin it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bernie and Issac

What a screwed up weekend! Russia is kicking the shit out of Georgia and doesn't seem to want to stop. John Edwards is the latest reminder that hypocrisy and questionable behavior knows no political party.

Wow, Bernie Mac. As sad as his death is, I feel disingenuous calling myself a fan; more accurately I was an admirer of his. He did a great job in movies both good and bad, but he was first and foremost a stand-up comedian. He was a rare performer whose obvious love for his audience was unmatched; approaching every show like a prize fight and knocking them out every time (except at a recent Obama rally).

The image that I think of when I think of him was from the Kings Of Comedy movie. He stood behind the scrim as he was being introduced by Steve Harvey with a stone faced solemnness. As the intro built up, he started moving his hips back in forth; stoking up the crowd, who could only see his shadow. And when he is finally set loose he gives them everything he's got. Having a good show is honestly better than sex, and that segment is the best representation of that I've ever seen (and I wish I had a clip of it.

I've got a feeling that's the image he would want us to remember, too.

Issac Hayes, that's another story. Most people might remember him for his acting, maybe even only as "Chef" on South Park, and that would be enough for one life. I remember him from Rockford Files and as "The Duke Of New York" in Escape from New York; not to mention I'm Gonna Get You Sucka (a nod to his title role in Truck Turner)

But then there's his music career, with his Oscar winning "Theme from Shaft" being only one example. Issac (with David Porter) wrote some of the best soul songs ever:"Soul Man", "I Thank You", and "Wrap It Up"

Legend has that while Porter was on the john in the middle of a fruitful writing session, Issac called for him to check out this riff he had just come up with and Porter said, "Hold on, I'm coming!", which turned into one of their hugest hits.

Issac Hayes was a bad mother........fucker (I decided against shutting my mouth).

Monday, August 04, 2008

How Not To Run A Political Campaign

If you look back on news reports surrounding previous elections, undeniable patterns. For me, I noticed it when I watched a Simpsons episode about the Dole/Clinton election of '96 during the Kerry/Bush election of 4 years ago. The culture war, the "flip-flops" were all there. Every year they trot out how people you don't know are evil and looking to destroy your way of life, when they've done more than their share of damage to the status quo. It's a surprisingly effective strategy; even though a lot of the legislation they are responsible for directly hurts their way of life and/or benefits the kind of "elitists" they are suppose to hate, Republicans can always count on a decent share of the blue-collar vote. Would Bill Clinton have been re-elected if he had left the country in the shape it was in after Reagan's or Bush II's first terms?

Which brings me to John McCain. I like him, but I don't want him to be president. And the way his campaign is being run it seem like it seems like he doesn't want to be either.

1. Don't talk shit about your opponent's unused passport and then complain about it when he calls you on it.
What a freakin'backfire! We got to see how massively popular Obama is in Europe and at ease he is on a world stage. Then, McCain's campaign calls it a "premature political victory lap." Obama tried to down play this by bringing Republican senator Chuck Hagel and heeding the Pentagon's advice not to visit a military base's hospital, then McCain hammers him for that. He's hoping that the emotion of his objection will out-last the facts of the matter. Senator Hagel himself has accused McCain of "going over the line".

2. Don't throw glass "flip-flops".
You think after 8 years of an administration that has only flip-floped on the matter of their own legal responsibility, you think that the term would have lost some of it's potency. McCain better hope so, he's had quite a few himself, the most noticeable and recent one was chiding Obama for not supporting off-shore drilling, when he didn't support it himself until recently. McCain sees his run for the presidency of an extension of his patriotism, while Barack Obama is more fueled by his ambition, when in his own autobiography he admitted that ambition made him run for president. And who can forget his flip-flop on torture, where he famously has first hand knowledge about how in-effective it is.
Let us allow our politicians the right to change their opinions based on the facts and admit when they are wrong, so that we can put this to bed.

Politics is the only game where the players never admit that they're playing it.

3. Don't play the race card unless everyone knows what game's being played.

McCain's accusation of Obama playing the "race card" becomes itself a winning hand in the game of "He Who Doth Protest Too Much", becoming hair-trigger defensive. He said the right (not McCain himself) want to play on the fact that he "doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills". This is denying that there weren't people on the right who saw The New Yorker's recent controversial cover of Barack and Michelle Obama not as satire, but as a rare instance of the magazine showing the truth. This reminds me of people who called Obama racist after his comment about "bitter" people clinging to guns and religion when times are bad; besides the fact that it wasn't that far off, this phenomena is hardly exclusive to white people. You may see racism if you're looking for it, but don't be surprised if not everyone agrees with you.

4. Then there's those commercials.
I won't go into the "Obama is the cause of high gas prices" one, but I will mention the "Britney, Paris and Barack" one:

Hmmmm, so being popular is bad? It seems to have helped Ronald Reagan and George W Bush-as I mentioned earlier. You know who else being popular and well-liked helps? Everybody, so thanks for reminding us how popular your opponent is.

There there's this web-only one. It is the worst political commercial I have ever seen, not because of mud-slinging, but just because it is very close to being a pro-Obama ad:

Take the last sentence,"Is he ready to lead?", switch the first two words and change the question mark to a period and you have an Obama ad. Not a good ad, mind you, who wants to vote against "The One"?
I leave you with a live video of my new favorite song, "Cunts Are Still Running The World." This is NSFW but his introduction is priceless.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Thoughts, I Think Part 2

I read somewhere recently where more cars are coming with gauges the fuel efficiency. I foresee a new passive aggressive style of car racing, where people compete for MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY!

I can imagine that Horatio Sanz is praying that Bill Richardson gets to be Obama's running mate so he can get his job at Saturday Night Live back playing him.

Then there's Timothy Bottoms, an actor coming off of eight years of sure employment. Here's why:

That's My Bush! Did you know he played the surfing soldier in Apocalypse Now?

I just heard about a guy getting beheaded on a Greyhound bus by his seatmate, which makes me want to take a bus. I know how human nature works and even though the guy is in custody and how unlikely it is that something like this might happen again, I imagine that a lot of people aren't going to be taking the bus and they'll probably be SO HAPPY to see me.
But I probably won't be taking a nap.