The View From My Window

I was going to post this photo at CP two days ago when I took it, but the site was hosed. What you see is the side of the Waldorf Astoria — Chinese president Hu Jintao got out of his limo, shook a bunch of carefully-vetted Chinese hands, and then bounded across Park Avenue to shake some more hands. Everyone had a little Chinese flag.


funny, i actually bumped into hu’s delegation myself on sunday


…But Blogenfreude saw Hu first?

(wait for it….)

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: oh i didnt actually see the man himself just some high muckety mucks and a whole shitload of secret service

and yes, i didnt just come here to talk about hu, im working on a comment to address all the recent questions as we speak

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: Uh, let’s see, what’s on second? Sadly I don’t know the routine past that point…although I did have to translate it into Latin back in high school! BTW, are you boybotting the live @ links already? Is the bold too bold for you?

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: I don’t know’s on second. Huang is at home.

@flippin eck:

No, I edited my deathless prose and couldn’t figure out how to make the link live.

@flippin eck: If the bold’s too bold, I can swtich back to plain blue. I don’t wanna do red, but once I have a moment to think about it I might try running links in Arial or something — that Georgia bold is a bit, um, striking.


Go with a sans seriph, bold (only not Ariel, it is boring), or kill the bold, use a seriph font and go italic, trust me….

@nojo: I like Arial! I use it all the time for work. I like the bold, and the blue, too… I’m just easy to please I guess.
I’m way too sober for this, anyway, not just sober but 3:30pm at work kinda sober, speaking of aren’t you a left coaster as well, Nojo? Why are comments posting 3 hours into the future?

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: I know Arial is boring, but sometimes you want functionality over flavor.

Although in this case — if you happened to refresh the page during the sixty seconds it was live — Arial bold was awful.

So, back to plain blue for the moment. I feel your pain, but I don’t want to do red — not because it’s done, um, elsewhere, but because overall I’m aiming for a “cool” look. (No, not cool as in hip, cool as in not hot.) To my taste, a gray-blue template better sets off the posts and the writing.

Although maybe brick red, not candy-apple red…

In any event, it’s on the list. Have to prioritize chores right now.

@drinkyclown: Everything should be posting Eastern time, even though I’m in Sandy Eggo — figured it would be less confusing that way.

Unless everything’s posting relative to your time. Where are you, what time is it, and what time does it say?

OK so about the much discussed issues over at Cynics. Firstly, I really regret that this is the way this conversation is beginning. Greg and I both have been discussing things for a while and we really hoped to make any changes carefully after getting more input from the writers and commenters. I have been handling the communications

It’s true that we want to limit the number of daily posts (apart from breaking news and links). This is because we want to make sure that the posts stay more on topic . Also, as a boutique site, we can’t compete with the Huffpo’s and Kos’ of the world when it comes to covering EVERY aspect of the campaign. We can however, beat the big boys when it comes to providing more in-depth humorous editorial and news coverage that doesn’t tow the mainstream lib party line.

I know we have a tightknit community at Cynics and the commenters are our most devoted readers. I also know that you guys appreciate having fresh content. At the same time, the vast majority of our readers never comment and some of them are also very loyal. These changes are all about balancing the needs of those two groups and doing our best to grow the site.

We also will be instituting an editing system for the site. I assure you that this has nothing to do with censorship. Part of what makes Cynics unique and better than other sites is our sick sense of humor. We will not be editing that out. Editing will allow us to make sure that everyone is one the same page with exactly what we mean by more in depth coverage. It will also allow us to schedule things centrally to make sure that posts get deployed as efficiently as possible. Posting limits and editing do not apply to breaking news. We do not want to impede rapid response to the biggest stories and we want commenters to have a fresh place to comment on those (although we will probably still only succeed with this about as often as we have in the past).

We’re not interested in growing the site to make any kind of money. Cynics will never be mainstream and we’re never going to make any real money off the site. We care about growth now because this last month before the election is a time of huge interest in politics and we want to make sure that we have a good chunk of interested readers once everyone isn’t doing the type of googling that will lead them to us.
I’m very glad that Nojo has made a site where people can post other stuff if they feel too restricted by that. I may even take him up on his offer of posting here if I want to write about something that doesn’t fit on Cynics. At the same time, I really appreciate our readers and team of writers and hope everyone gives sticking around a try. I know this all sounds ominous and very different, but I think you’ll see that we’re not interested in abandoning the spirit of the site.

I’ll be here for a bit and also on Cynics and my gmail. Please hit me up with any questions, comments, or rotten pieces fruit that you may have.

(And since I’ve been putting words in his mouth all day, I’m going to let Hunter have the floor for awhile.)

@nojo: Thanks Nojo, I trust you’ll pop in if you have anything you want to weigh in on or ask me while I’m here.

@ all- That first graph should have ended with:

* I have been handling the communications on this since Greg is busy with the back end tech work.

@hunter: Nah, I’ll probably hang back for the duration. I want this to be your conversation.

@nojo: No worries, just a crappy joke. Blame my sobriety. Everything is posting Eastern time, but I’m in Seattle where it is allllmost quitting time, and my sense of time has been profoundly broken this week, anyway, I spent all Tuesday thinking it was last Thursday.

@nojo: cool, well i’ll be checking back here periodically prior to my nightly ritual of passing out in front of the computer at 4am if anyone else wants to talk

@hunter: Actually, passing thought — once we get CP working again, I’ll post something here so folks know it’s live.

(And by “we,” I mean that I’ve told Greg I’ll lend a hand to get the engine running again once the Evil Hamsters fix the database.)

Hmmm… this is all much too polite…


There. Now imagine that with trenchcoats and fedoras.

Doo doo doo
lookin’ out my back door

@hunter @nojo:

That is the sorriest excuse for a flame war I have seen in my entire life.

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: Yeah, I know. Never ask me to lead a Five-Minute Hate.


Nonono, Cronos Pro is the shit. You on a Mac?

@nojo: CP is currently semi-live although we lost a couple posts that im currently trying to work on digging up on various web archives. I think we can currently post new stuff, but I’m not going to because I’m worried we’ll lose more content. Should be more info on all the tech happenings over there once Greg returns this evening, but he has made some nice progress.


@Tommmcatt Yet Again: Sorry I’m not flaming enough for you. Hate to disappoint. Hope the above comment was a good start. And of course I’m on a mac, I’m a millenial blogger living in Brooklyn. I have no choice in the matter. I also hate viruses, defragging, and shitty video/audio editing programs. Not familiar with Cronos Pro though.

@redmanlaw: Glad you didnt think Bad Moon Rising wa sth emost appropriate CCR selection for the evening.


Dude, so serious! Just kidding about the flame war…and also, I’ll keep reading if you keep writing. I’m a little anxious about commenting over there…what if I demand you satisfy my Asian fetish on a post about Sarah Palin and you delete my comment because it is off topic? My ego is too fragile for that. But you are a mench and I promise to give it a try.

If you want Cronos, it is within my power to provide…let me know and I’ll send it to your CP address….

@hunter: Well, lookee that! Just tell me when you’re ready for the big banner post.



Oh, yeah. That should do it.

@nojo: So if we take the site’s rollover red and use it for comment links…

I get the cool blue now, ‘salright. Still liked it kinda bolder. Part of it is I have a shitty monitor from where I do most of my readin and commentin (work) and a nice one at home.

Hunter, we’ll definitely read your stuff but maybe go lighter on the editorial control of comments? Maybe dish out penalty cards for off-topic comments, or some kind of Digg-type button where you can give stars or diamonds or whatever for the relative weight of the comment to the topic.

I’m afraid that the first comment that gets dumped by the Overlords will lead to most of your viewers saying “meh, who needs it?” This is a post 9/25 world, we are All Cynics, seize the moment.

Remember, there never would have been a Flying Chain Saw in 1933 Berlin or 1952 Moscow.

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: First off, glad to know we’ll still be seeing you around. If you think it sucks please let me know. Also please do send me any cool fonts. The tipline or gmail is the best, forwarding has been a little wonky on my cynics address and I need to tinker with that as well.

Secondly, where did everyone get the idea that I want to censor comments? When I say we don’t want off topic stuff, I mean in terms of posts. For example, even though I think these two clips are some of the funniest web vids I’ve ever seen, posts like these:


won’t be on Cynics anymore. I HOPE the comments remain the crazy free for all we’ve come to know and love, the threads just might be a bit longer.

Thirdly, I hope you know I was kidding about damning Nojo and the hamster. I love that freakin’ hamster.

@nabisco: Once again, there never has been editorial control over the comments at Cynics and there never will be as long as I am part of the site. I think the banning/disemvoweling over @ Gawker and their ilk is ridiculous.

To be fair, I guess we’d remove stuff if it was way over the top abusive language, but I’ve never run across any comment like that on Cynics . (we’re talking hate speech and threats here)

I want to hear from people, almost especially if they disagree or think new things (like the podcast we did) suck. Feedback helps and debate in the comments or above makes for a great political blog.

Thanks, Hunter, for the explanation. I understand what you’re wanting to do with CP, and I’ll keep my Project Runway & food porn digressions. pour le Stinque.

To give a better idea of what I mean:

I’ve always thought driving unique visitors is the most important thing. I do hope you guys stick around and keep commenting, but the point of this is optimizing the content to increase views whereas now I think it’s geared towards increasing comments. Even if we don’t end up with new visitors we also have to work on keeping our lurkers happy though I will always love you guys most of all.

@Mistress Cynica: Thanks and please feel free to digress in the comments, this is only about streamlining what goes above the timestamp.

One thing we were actually discussing (and perhaps this could be a joint CP-Stinque effort) was starting up messageboards, which are even more fun to comment on than single column post response threads. Even if we did start messageboards, there would be absolutely no restriction on comments @ CP.

Are we all clear on the not censoring or limiting comments thing now?

I just want to be 10000% sure.

@nojo: Oh yeah! Well… well… the Blazers suck without Rasheed Wallace! So there!

Of course once we get things in working order again you’re welcome to do a post pointing to here, but when I said banner I meant an ad on the side to make sure everybody knows where everyone is. We should do both. I think this site is going to be a perfect complement for what we’re doing by filling some of the void that we are admittedly creating.

@hunter: I once censored by own comment. Does that count?

@homofascist: YOU SON OF A BITCH

also, did you get my email?

@hunter: I did, and I don’t do bareback on a first date. I need to be taken to dinner at least three times and bought one gift. I have standards.

@Mistress Cynica: “Stinque – c’est chic/ stinque out!” Digression or transgression?

@ noh-jo: The music column should be called “Stinque Floyd.”


Now that’s a flame war I can believe in!

I think we just assumed that you guys were going to censor comments where we heard there would be changes…this community had its’ infancy in the Gawkerverse, remember, where a screenname, cool avatar, and carefully constructed persona could vanish instantaneously if you managed bruise the wrong ego.

I just hope things get normal soon, I miss the old site.

BTW, I think the movable feast of commenting on posts is much livelier and more fun than posting on a bulletin board. There is an immediacy to it, and also a kind of performance aspect that I’ve become addicted to. Bulletin boards…not so much, somehow. Just my two cents.

@hunter: Agreed on the standing ad — but I probably won’t be able to get to it until next week. The “risen from the dead” post is easier to manage in a pinch.



Or the Ducks, for that matter.

It’s really hard to insult the Northwest. Self-effacing black humor is our birthright.

@redmanlaw: Stinque Floyd? Damn dude, that’s two you’ve beat me on.

And: When would you like to start?

@hunter: I’m personally not a fan of message boards, but if there’s an outcry here (tommcatt’s vote has been logged), I don’t see a problem with it. The Mob Rules at Stinque…

Except with link colors, of course. And font selection. Then I go all Sam Jackson on yer ass.

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: Yeah the whole point of this is to kind of be nothing like Gawker and maybe just a little bit more webzine-y.

@nojo: If everyone feels like you and Tommcatt, making a message board is extra work that I’m happy not to do.

@nojo: Oh! I almost forgot to attempt to insult your homeland.



@hunter: Our northern border? Washington state?

It’s the southern border that Oregonians worry about. All those damn Californians move north and screw the housing market.

Hmmm… Let’s see if I can help…


No, no, that won’t work. I somewhat agree with it. I give up.

@drinkyclown: Please refer to my comment from 8:20

@nojo: But see, while youre worrying about Cali all the grungers and latte drinkers are planning an invasion. Before you know it Oregon will be filled with flannel shirt wearing hipsters and yuppie coffee drinkers! Oh… wait…

I give up too I’m dizzy.

Since it seems most people are in the new nabe, did any of the other writers get my email?

I don’t have good contact info on my new comp and greg is gone so I had ot send it to tips.

Forgive my out-of-nowhere-ness, but I think CP is to The Daily Show what “Q” is to The Colbert Report. Or, maybe that should be The Simpsons to Spongebob. I dunno. I’m new here. Gimme a break.

I read most blogs, good ones, anyway, for the comments, not the posts. What exactly is it, Hunter, that makes you think people come to CP for the relatively rare blog posts, as opposed to the many very interesting, witty, and very well informed comments? I completely understand you don’t want to be in the business of hosting a private message board for 30 enthusiasts. But I will be honest, I cannot imagine anyone visiting CP as a non-participant is there for the blog posts alone. If they did, they’d only have to drop by once a week for a minute or two.

This is just my perspective, but I come to see what FCS is saying in comments, and to see what JNOV is ranting about, and to see what some of the incredibly well-informed and wise commenters have brought to the discussion. Yes, we do fall into lengthy, clique-y, inside joke social digressions, but I have also, not occasionally, but always, seen informed, intelligent, wise, and most importantly, scabrously witty comments that take the originial blog post into new worlds.

I’m going to get all egotistical and flat out say that the group of 30 or so major commenters on CP are remarkable, this is not a group of young noodleheads spouting cockamamie and sophomoric Kos-like libtard crap. We’re not young, we’re all grown-ups, with an amazingly varied set of professional expertise, absolutely amazing academic credentials, and all have good writing skills. There’s amazing intelligence, wisdom, wit, and perspective in this little clique that took over CP.

And yes, I think we have contributed as much valuable, entertaining, informed, and hilarious comment to CP as you Mommies and daddies have in your benign neglect the last half a year.

As nice as you are in saying it, you seem to be saying “thanks, but no thanks, I don’t want CP to be dominated by you faithful followers and commenters.”

Ouch. Fucking ouch. You want to shunt us off to a message board so you can entertain the lurkers that you think are there to read you?

Correct me if I am wrong. I have an ego, I can misread things, get a wrong impression, I am easily corrected. What is it, exactly, that you are saying?

@HugKennyLoggins: Or we’re both more like Benny Hill than we care to admit.

Whats wrong with Benny fucking Hill? I hate serious. Benny Hill knew what life was about, boobs. Fucking boobs.

I didn’t even mention teh gay above. I love all teh gays on CP passionately. I love everything teh gays have to say. I would never have learned what “docking” was without teh gays on CP, and I thank you all most sincerely. I have found myself on CP, I am a transgendered lesbian faghag. There is nothing I love more than performing cunnilingus and hanging around trading catty remarks with homos. I am on the verge of starting to watch Project Runway just to be able to take part in those discussions.

@Promnight: Hell is Yakety Sax on an infernal loop for all eternity.

@nojo: Well, yes, that is one thing wrong with Benny Hill, but I would edit your comment to say hell is yakety Sax on a loop with no boobs, add boobs, and its not hell at all, it all depends on context.

Hell is a serious political discussion that doesn’t digress into exotic sex practices, food porn, gun porn, and RML’s native american spiritualism and nightly headbanging links.

@Promnight: Homofascist (gotta get used to the alias again…) has an open invitation to liveblog Project Runway, and I’ll likely be exercising my god-given right to ignore it.

@Promnight: OK I think everyone here is a little on edge because we’ve said we’re making changes and those changes might not be optimal for commenting. It’s really not that dramatic of a change and if we’d been able to just start implementing things behind the scenes I doubt folks would have been as put off.

So why do we want these changes? Check the stats. CP gets 500 visitors a day, assuming conservatively that you cut that in half due to people using home and work computers it’s still @ least 250 visits a day, which we all can agree can’t just be coming from the core commenters. We hear from these people too and I think these changes will address some comments I often get, especially from people who see the site for the first time.

There may be slightly less posts. I’m not even sure it would work out that way. Writers will be limited to one post a day and we’re going to try to have link lists every day. Unless all the writers decide to walk, that really shouldn’t make too drastic of a difference in the overall # of posts. The reason for this is to minimize supershort posts and posts showing up without proper html formatting, categorization, photos, and tagging. I think we will get our best stuff if people arent rushing to get p fresh threads for people to comment on.

We’re also going to cut down on off topic posts and some of the in joke stuff. I don’t think it’ll make much difference to commenters if we cut out completely non-political stuff and cut down on the nicknames and cynics-only references. The same political humor will be there, we’re just making it more accessible to people who haven’t been reading the site for 8-9 months.

That’s basically going to be it. I’d ask anyone who’s appreciated anything we’ve ever written to give it a shot. If you don’t like it. Tell us it sucks and never come back.

Oh hai — it looks like CP has a pulse again. It’s faint, but we might have two homes on the Internets now. Which makes me happy. Two places where super-smart elitists can shoot off their mouths and make people smile.

(I would respectfully submit, however, that everyone crushing CP right now might make the hamsters die again. Perhaps nojo can give us the definitive word. But: Change Is Coming.)

ADD: This is particularly good for me, because it looks like both the Cubs and the White Sox are going to tank. Southsiders are blowing it again in Minneapolis as we speak.

@chicago bureau: “we might have two homes on the Internets now. Which makes me happy. Two places where super-smart elitists can shoot off their mouths and make people smile.”

^ that’s exactly what i’m hoping for

Cynics should be fully alive and well tomorrow. Greg still hasn’t returned since he fixed the ability to post. Obviously there’s some weirdness but I think it’s manageable and I’ve managed to recover almost post we lost so far.

Hunter, a format that allowed people to review all the recent posts more easily would also help those who drop in to look; consider that the issue isn’ t too many posts by your bloggers, but rather, a difficult to navigate environment.

Brand W has almost devolved into Kos, with millions of inane comments on a dozen or more posts a day, and none of this appears to have interfered with its number of visits, it seems more popular than in the old days, though dumber.

Its the clique-iness, isn’t it? Do you get complaints about that?: I can easily imagine CP is a daunting environment to jump into, as far as commenting. Especially for the stupid, what are they to do with our discussions of Wittgenstein and Foucault?

ok its getting late, ive been writing all day, and i fear my replies are starting to get all rambling and loopy

im probably done here tonight but ill check for any new questions or whatnot tomorrow

prom- my last reply might have been really inarticulate, please let me know if i made any sense i fear to go back and look

Its OK hunter, I just like arguing, its my hobby, I don’t really care or anything. I’ll never abandon CP, as long as there’s lots of gays there.

Prom- didnt see your last post when i did mine

im going to step away from the laptop for a bit and have a snack

right now im too wiped out to give you a proper response

if i dont get a little rejuvenated, i promise to come back and answer it tomorrow

i really appreciate you participating in this conversation with me

@flippin eck: Brilliant!

@Tommmcatt Yet Again: Glee!

@drinkyclown: Get unsober!

@hunter: Like the podcast, I couldn’t get past the first minute or two.

(Still reading…)

@nabisco: All of my comments are off-topic. Can you say, “Chilling effect”? And not just on little ole me but on the writers as well. I’m down with the way we sway here/used to sway there. I thank Nojo for helping me find my voice [insert all the appropriate 60s/70s nomenclature that means allowing me to be myself in all my bipolar glory].


@hunter: I want to hear from people, almost especially if they disagree or think new things (like the podcast we did) suck. Feedback helps and debate in the comments or above makes for a great political blog.

That’s not what you said to me. I told you it sucked, and you told me the thread was not the appropriate place to say so. That I was killing you buzz or bringing negativity or some old shit like that.

@Mistress Cynica: Am I the only person that liked Suede? I’ve been watching online, and I’m a few eps behind, but I did like him.

@hunter: No, we’re not. But it’s a moot point now. I don’t think Nojo is going to be wielding a hammer.

@HugKennyLoggins: I’d like to give you a naked squishy bewbie hug, if that’s okay.

@Promnight: our discussions of Wittgenstein and Foucault

We have been herded into the Panopticon…don’t got a reference to Wittgenstein, that dude was too harsh for my buzz.

@hunter: Cutting down on the nicknames alone is the death knell.

@Pedonator: Having gone to a rural public high school, and with two degrees from a state university where I majored in beer drinking and flyfishing, my philosophical benchmarks are Tool and Metallica.

@JNOV: Right now I’m picturing FCS hunkered in a shelter, madly scratching obscene but sharply observed diatribes with stylus on wax tabla, waiting for the Geiger counter to sound the all-clear before emerging from the chrysalis with something to induce heart-vomiting.

@Promnight: Wittgenstein and Foucault? I have no problem admitting that I have not a fucking clue who they are. Philosophers maybe? I could always Wiki it, but I just don’t care. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to post (e.g. ME), and everyone was welcomed. You don’t even have to be a wonk (e.g. ME). So all this elitist business is bullshit, a faulty perception.

What you do have to do, though, is get the courage to hit the “submit comment” button. I have never seen anyone excluded, ridiculed or shut down. I’ve seen quite the opposite. Newcomers are welcomed, and when people go missing (RagingMonk, where are you?), we ask about them.

We have built a community, but it’s not an exclusive one by any means.

Prommy — that wasn’t really directed at you — your comment just got me thinking.

@Pedonator: He is my special darling, and I think he’s using his own blood for ink.

@redmanlaw: I devoured Nietzsche at a rural public high school (though certainly NOT on the reading list), but I was also busy burning brain cells and damned if I could tell you much about the specifics of Beyond Good and Evil, much less The Case Against Wagner.

@JNOV: Yes, Monk, where are you? (Though you make me feel less guilty about taking long “lost weekends”…or “weeks”.)

@Pedonator: Yeah, you fall off the face of the Earth from time to time and are missed.

@JNOV: Did you ever get to see STP this summer?

@nojo: I don’t know anything about these damn message boards youu kids are talking about, and I sure as hell don’t want to have to learn anything new. I barely function as it is.

@redmanlaw: Sure didn’t. There was a downpour and we had lawn seats, and I was like, “Man, I’m too old for this muddy concert shit.” I heard Scott’s voice isn’t what it used to be, so I try to feel better about my decision not to go kind of like not looking into an open casket: I’d rather remember how he sounded when I saw him in 2001(?).

I would pay good money to see the new Alice in Chains, though. I heard the new guy sounds and doesn’t deviate.

My dream is to finally see AC/DC.

@Mistress Cynica: A “message board” is the balkanization of an audience. Everybody can start their own topic, and then everybody else can choose to ignore them.

They’re usually split into categories, so you can completely ignore the Project Runway discussion section if you’d like. These days they also have private-messaging systems, ranking systems, ignore-that-asshole buttons, and “signatures” with garish graphics that get repeated over and over and over again. Especially the animated ones.

I prefer throwing everyone into a room and locking the door behind me.

@Mistress Cynica: Hear here, sistah. Don’t make me twitter or facebook or myspace or any of that elitist stuff. Girls just wanna have fun.

And don’t get me started about the cellular telephone things all these newfangled humans seem so attached to. Life is too short.

(But srsly, the message board format just makes things more complicated, and I really need some simplicity in my life right now.)

An observation: for someone who complained that real life was getting in the was of even occasionally posting on their free blog, Hunter has spent an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to get the chickens back in the roost.

@JNOV: Yes JNOV, you’re right. You were merely providing constructive criticism. I tried to shut you down. I censor comments. Cynics will die without nicknames.

That is what happened and I am obviously a crazy blog tyrant.

@hunter: Don’t you have a paying gig that requires your attention?

@JNOV: God! The nerve of me for continuing to be involved in my blog. Or wait, was the problem that I’m not involved enough?

You’re not interested in anything but pointless bickering. I don’t do e-feuds. Good night.

@Pedonator: Is it too late to change the name of this blog to “You kids get the hell off my lawn!”?
and like you and JNOV, I miss Monk. whatever happened to him? did he say he was going on retreat or taking a vow of silence or something?

@hunter: I don’t do e-feuds.

Could’ve fooled me. If you change your mind, you know where to find me.

@JNOV: AC/DC died in ’79 for me with Bon Scott (hear that Cheap Boy?), although I do like Back in Black a lot.
I saw that Scott has a new solo record out.

I know what you mean about muddy concerts. The boy and I fled the Mayhem fest after suffering early stages of hypothermia coz we were soaked from the afternoon cloudburst, causing us to miss Slipknot and Disturbed.

I love AIC also. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell who writes the songs is the real heart of the band. I play AIC Unplugged here at dinner parties, cuz it sounds like pretty guitar music to everyone else, but I’m entertaining, drankin wine and jammin to “Down in the Hole” How’s that line go from “Heaven Beside You”? (Jerry singing) “So there’s problems in your life/that’s fucked up/but they’re not mine”

By the time they found Layne’s body the rats had eaten it.

@redmanlaw: You are my soul mate, even if you are one of those AC/DC fans. Back in Black runs on continual loop when I’m commenting. And when I’m doing my budget. I keep telling myself that any manic-depressive worth the label doesn’t do budgets. But without a budget, I buy MacBooks I can’t afford, and we get left eating lunch meat for a month.

AIC Unplugged makes me want to cry. I also like Jar of Flies a lot, but that’s an awfully short CD. If my kid is blasting Dirt, I know we need to talk, get his meds adjusted or both.

I’m still a little salty with you for not giving Mustaine his due – Foreclosure of a Dream, anyone? But I’m really liking Incubus so much that I’m thinking about picking up my geetar again and learning some of their stuff. (The budget is also so I can ditch the acoustic and buy an American Strat. And an iPhone so I can comment from work.)

And if you like chill out music, listen to Derek Trucks. Joyful Noise is truly amazing. I might pick up a slide to go with my Strat even though I should probs get an SG for my soulful times.

List your ten favorite concerts.

ADD: Rats, hunh? That’s probs how he’d want to go.

@Mistress Cynica: Vow of silence is my guess. Sometimes when I really don’t feel I have anything to say, I just lurk. And other times, I feel that somehow my time with the Cynics has ironically pushed me to participate more in my real life.

Oh, and to turn off the computer and try to find solace in the analog world. (Which actually means escaping into an endless and highly rewarding series of pulp science fiction novels.)

@hunter: Oh! I totally know, no worries dude. I was just flame..warring? I said I was no good at it.

@Pedonator: You guys found me when I went AWOL. I was in a serious depression, and just having SFL email me saying that people missed me helped a lot. Truly.

@JNOV: Ten fave concerts? Hmmm . . .

Tool ABQ 2007
Tool/Isis PHX 2006
Metallica ABQ 1997
Who DEN 1981
U2 DEN 1981
U2 Vegas 2005
Charlie Haden/Don Cherry ABQ 1987
Tool/Meshuggah ABQ 2002
Hundred Year Flood (Santa Fe band) 2006
Los Lobos – five times since 1986 (interview also)

So that’s ten? No Santana; SRV; Johnathan Richman (him plus a snare drummer in a downtown ABQ bar); STP (twice?); Ozzfest with Black Sabbath, Priest, Slayer, Dimmu Borgir; that chick at a Greektown Detroit bar; REM; Celia Cruz; Tito Puente . . .

@ Ped – You know, when I go out and do stuff, I think about how I’ll describe it to the Cynics. I also wish some of you were out there with me. Maybe some day. In the meantime (lifts wine glass).


In no particular order, although Prince was the best show:

Prince – Love Sexy Tour
Marvin Gaye
George Clinton (JNOVJr’s first concert where he got a contact high – not good)
The Cult
Derek Trucks
Sting – Soul Cages (stop laughing!)
The Who 1983ish
Stevie Wonder
Genesis 1984ish

ADD: OMG! I forgot Tania Maria.

@redmanlaw: Hey, we have slightly different tastes, but I’d totally love to see Tool and/or Metallica with you.

My Top Ten (maybe?–I’m crotchety and don’t have patience anymore for standing in crowded rooms, but I still harbor adolescent desires to go to Coachella or some such open-aired venue):

My Bloody Valentine x2 (1991 and 1992?)
Splattering of the Tribes — Various Artists (1993 or 4?)
X (1981?)
Husker Du (1987, 1988)
Violent Femmes (1983)
The Smiths (1984)
Laurie Anderson (1982)
Dallas Opera — Flying Dutchman — Wagner (1984)
Dream Syndicate (1982)
Gilbert Castellano (1998)

@Pedonator: Where you at Ped? Metallica is on the road this year. The two shows I’d like to see: Denver, Election night and Sandy Eggo in December. My son and I are on the floor for ABQ next month. New U2 CD early 2009, and it’s a rocker with Eno and Lanois, I’ve read.

My youngest brother, a Nebraska football fan, had a cat named Husker Du, btw.

The best musical night of my life was in 2002. I was in the Tenderloin at some dive with some EE geek I met on and there was a cellist, a violinist and a female vocalist. The bartender had been giving me free drinks because that’s what they do when you tip them $20 from the get-go, and there was some sort of laser slide show on a screen behind the musicians. I was pretty fucked up and loving up my internet date when they launched into the best version of Kasmir I have ever heard. It was one of those moments when you realize that there is no other place on Earth you’d rather be at that exact moment in time. I experienced what anthropologists call “The Holy.” That’s when you know with absolute certainty that there is something larger than you, but you belong in it, and your life has purpose and meaning. You feel completely at peace and know that everything is as it should be, or at least that everything is going to be okay.

Everyone gets this feeling at least once in their lives. It can happen in a religious setting or in your living room or on the side of a mountain. I’d felt it once before in the Sierra Nevada mountains just chilling on a rock. But that night, in that dirty hipster bar, I felt one with the world. And later became one with the EE geek, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

I just got an email from Ticketmaster — Yes is coming to a nearby town. Nabisco, wanna go to Reading?

@JNOV: It’s cool how the little gigs can be filled with earth shattering talent and material.

I forgot: Phillip Glass Ensamble (twice).

@redmanlaw: If you get to Sandy Eggo give me a call, you and RML Jr. have a place to stay. With any luck, we’ll be back from the Southern Latitudes by December.

And I’ll totally go to see Metallica with y’all. Hope it isn’t in the ancient concrete monstrosity that is the Sports Arena, where no sports are played anymore, and music goes to futilly reverberate against one of modernism’s abject failures. Just don’t call me a wuss (to my face) if I bring earplugs.

@redmanlaw: Ah yes, I should have listed Phillip Glass a couple of times too. Amazing keyboard wizardry, they were like hyper robots, only…human! (Srsly, I like the Glass).

@JNOV: So will you be Going for the One? Don’t get a ticket on time, it’ll be a Long Distance Runaround. Get some cheap seats and you’ll be among the Odor of Baloney Farts.

And Mustaine is a father of thrash, btw, and still seriously angry. I seen him once, during the tour for the misguided “Risk” cd.

Furthermore, Cynics love you and we live by the credo that we don’t leave anyone behind.

@ped – human sequencers. Remember my story about meeting him? If you don’t, I axed him what kind of music he would have written in the 18th century. H smiled, laughed, and said he didn’t know.

And likewise about couchsurfing if you want to see the Santa Fe Opera.


I make it to Sandy Eggo and ABQ from time to time. May I visit y’all, too?

@redmanlaw: I was hoping for a roundabout way to tell you that I love you, too. I’ve seen all good people on this board, and while perpetual change is the bane of our existence, yours is no disgrace when you learn to embrace it.

@JNOV:Darling, you are always welcome.

@redmanlaw: I DO want to see SF Opera, just don’t know when the planets will harmonically align. Funny, I met a friend of friend last weekend who has sung at SF Opera, she and her wife were a font of world-weary artistic wisdom. I’m fascinated at how those opera singers live a few months here, a few months there, I was drilling them about all the details and they were gracious enough to enlighten me.

@JNOV: (laughing ultrasonically)

@ ped – aren’t opera people and singers in general interesting? I’d like to hear our boy Lyndon give his take on all that.

Ok – more cheap wine and the U2 PopMart tour DVD is in the machine.

went to Cp just now and it was like picking my way through the rubble in the streets.

Auf to bed in a minute. . .

@jnov, ped – I forgot those gigs where the Minutemen would play a house cum rock clubin town, and ABQ band Korfu’s appearance at friend’s backyard party when we all sang Sufferagette City on a plywood stage as the last song before the noise permit ran out

@redmanlaw: Manhattan Transfer with Jon Hendricks doing Freddy Freeloader on the raddio.

@nabisco: I hope Hunter heeds your concerns. My reaction to his longish comment in this thread on his vision for CP was alarm. I prize CP for the freedom we all enjoy there. He seems to see it as anarchy. I want a forest to wander in, for free, not a topiary garden (with tea room and gift shop) that charges admission and has a dress code.

@lynnlightfoot: Hunter makes a legitimate case, although I disagree with it fundamentally. He wants to play to the Silent Majority; I want to play to the loud crowd. He wants the bloggers to be the stars; I think the stars are the commenters.

I’ll say it again: for me, it’s all about the conversation and the community. The folks “above the datestamp” (first time I’ve heard that…) just suggest topics, which can be and are freely ignored.

And as JNOV notes, despite appearances, it’s not like a Circle Jerque (beat you to that one, RML) here. Anyone’s welcome to play, but you gotta bring yer game.

@nojo: I liked MT back in the day. Thx for the memories.

@lynnlightfoot: A Cynic community can form anywhere. We’re like that/

/fixed stuck dvd with mind over matter so as not to interrupt commenting. Damn wine bottle will not float over here, however.

Donde esta la mota, goddammit?

@Mistress Cynica: Also @ several subsequent comments re message boards. Please, no, no, a thousand times no to message boards.

@lynnlightfoot: No message boards here, although I wanted to leave the question open in case anyone felt a hankering need for one.

One thing I do need to work up sooner or later: the Commenter Spy list. WordPress doesn’t have a plug-in for “follow this commenter”, so I’ll have to dive in and program something myself.

But no stars. I still haven’t figured out why Gawker did that…

Hi all – just catching up here – gosh, a lot happened yesterday….McCain FUBARed the bail-out, Treasury Secretary Paulson got on his knees in front of my Nancy P., and Barney Frank and Barbara Boxer both brought their A-games on the “most hilarious comments ever” camp.

Barney Frank:
“McCain is Andy Kaufman in his Mighty Mouse costume – ‘Here I Come to Save the Day,'” Frank said as he left a Thursday morning caucus meeting with House Democrats, saying the Republican presidential candidate’s decision to enter the mix “is not helpful.” “He hasn’t been involved,” Frank said. “He doesn’t know anything about it.”

Barbara Boxer:

Oh and re: the changes in blogs. No message boards, PLEASE! I just want to have a place where I can vent with my friends about politics, Nina Garcia’s bad botox, the meaning of life, sex, music, and food. So just tell me where I need to go and I’ll be there.

Hunter, Greg, whoever runs the shithouse at CP:

Please take my fucking name off of the masthead and delete any bio data related to FCS on the site. Please kill all posts and comments by me as well. I will not be party to some half-assed attempt to transform that brilliant improvisational venue into another snarky half-informed blog.

I won’t argue about how you examined the visitor metrics and how the data was cut because it is clear you just don’t understand the gold you have in hand. You are the kind of guys who would show up at an Ornette Coleman concert and snark at notes that are out of cadence.

@SanFranLefty: Mighty Mouse, he he. I may well watch the andy kaufman movie, with Jim Carey, tonight.

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