2019… So Far, So Good… I Guess.

Almost done........................
Almost done…………………….

Time still flies when you aren’t having any fun. I am absolutely certain that time speeds up as you age. That is why old people wear clothes that are out of style. It was still in fashion just a minute ago, for them.

I was planning to include a vlog today, since vlogging is meant to be half of these posts. But, honestly, I don’t have anything worth videotaping right now. I also don’t have any new paintings to show.

2019 is speeding by, just like the past few years have. WTF is wrong with me? Besides the usual shit? Things actually are going pretty okay right now. I had a few rough months between December and February. That mess is finally settled, notwithstanding my growing piles of debt.

I have a list of folks waiting for Theee Urban SpaceCat cassette-zine. I have been digging through stacks of demo tapes and gigabytes of incomplete data trying to finish it. I have enough material already done for a complete issue or two… or three. But, I have spread it out over several zines. I didn’t like the way it was when I compiled it all together. So, I am filling each issue, finishing each song, one-at-a-time. A friend suggested that I do this to get myself focused, instead of hopping all over the place like I usually do. Get one thing done. Then, move on to the next thing. This approach seems to be pushing the process along, I suppose. Creating the equivalent of two double albums every few months is kinda hard when doing it all alone and you keep shooting yourself in the foot. Everything is absurdly late getting it out.

I asked around about getting my mixes mastered. But, I cannot afford to do it, not entire albums anyway. I might have one or two singles mastered for radio… maybe. The rest will just have to be a raw mix.

I am waiting for the government to process some of my tax shit, so I can finish setting up the business side of things. They’re still catching up from the Trumptard shutdown a few weeks ago. It has delayed everything. I’m never happy dealing with that sort of stuff. But, I anxiously want to get it done and out of the way.

Here is a Daniel Johnston song from my record collection for you. I get the same feeling myself sometimes. I am always starting my life over again… and again… and again… and again….

20th Anniversary + Birthday

Happy 20th Anniversary Birthday

I forgot to mention in the video that I received a hard copy of the comic book I contributed to, finally. It is called Heartman and was written & published by David Leibe-Hart, of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! He invited 48 artists, including myself, to illustrate his story.

David Leibe-Hart - Heartman Comic

Further information can be found here.

I’m making a long-term creative decision, a new policy:

  • Say nothing.
  • Get it done, first.
  • Talk about it, later

This was something that Thomas Edison learned, the hard way, after making promises about his new inventions that took longer than expected for him to bring to fruition. He eventually stopped doing that and just surprised people, after the fact.

Since I am often delayed by external forces (money, supplies, equipment, etc.), as well as personal issues, it makes me look bad. It looks to everyone else like all I that do is talk about what I’m “gonna do” and not actually get anything done. I can’t really blame anyone for having that perception. Since I don’t show everything that I do and I discard unfinished work. Stress exacerbates my mental health problems. That cuts into a lot of my productivity, too. Finding internal balance is a personal high priority, if I want to get out of my own way. Managing where I focus my attention, I have found, is much more important than when I schedule it. Although, having a schedule is important, too, or I wouldn’t get ANYTHING done.

Another new policy that I am implementing is:

  • No collaborations without a deadline.

I was told that this is one of my mistakes when working with others. It is too open-ended. People require deadlines to get them off of their ass, apparently. That might be true. Unless someone says something to me, I will probably work alone and take forever doing it. There is that problem with focusing, again. I am still open to collabs. Don’t get me wrong. But, I think establishing a time frame for projects would make them go along faster. I’m usually easy to schedule because I have more free time available than everybody else. We just need to work around the other commitments of interested participants.

I am figuring out how to go about collaborations, using my new policies.
I don’t want to pressure anyone too much.
Keep it fun.
But, still have a predictable process on a schedule.
So, okay, here is what I have got:

I will keep on doing what I do, alone.
I shouldn’t say any more about that.
The less the better.
When it is done, you will know.

If someone wants to work on a track with me I will set my thing aside and work on the collab, instead.
Somehow, I will turn it into something.
I will try to take no longer than a week to finish it, more or less, and return a copy of the finished mix.
You can do whatever you want with it.
The finished track will go into the next Island of Misfit Noise video or album project.
I haven’t figured out how I’m gonna do that, yet
I guess when we have enough completed material gathered, it will just go out.

What do you think?
Does it sound like a plan?

New Comic Book Available!

timanderic_cc_402_pt2-02

Hello, I received a message from David Liebe Hart, from the Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job! He finally raised enough funds to publish the comic book that I and others contributed to several months ago. The text is below, if you are interested.


Hello friends of David.  We are excited to announce the Kickstarter campaign for our comic book, Heartman, starring David as the superhero who, along with his sidekick Chip, must save the universe from his evil nemesis Dr. Pain.  Each of the beautiful 44 pages is illustrated by a different artist including DLH himself.  With about 5 days to go we’ve reached our goal to raise enough money to order 250 full-color, finely crafted copies for $1500.  You can order your David-signed copy now.  There are also some exclusive rewards for donating extra $.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/884844058/david-liebe-hart-of-tim-and-eric-in-heartman-comic

August’s west coast tour will go from San Diego CA to Bellingham WA, and will have David joined by a 3-piece space-rock band led by Mo Troper.  September-October’s tour, ranging from Las Vegas to Detroit to Boise, will feature me, Jonah, playing David’s backing music and video projection, along with support acts Chip The Black Boy and Whatever Your Heart Desires.  Details and tickets for all the shows will gradually be updated at http://ArtByLiebeHart.com/shows in the coming weeks, but at the bottom of this I’ll paste complete details for the August shows.
And your subscriber’s exclusive this month is an alternate version of the song “Martin Lawrence Show Dream” from the forthcoming David & Jad Fair album – http://hartandhartmann.com/martin%20lawrence%20show%20dream%20-%20draft2.mp3
❤ Jonah
for David Liebe Hart

LOS ANGELES CA 8/5
The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd, $10 advance, $12 door, 8pm (7pm doors), 21+
Support: Adult Karate, Martin Martins, R. Clown
 
SAN DIEGO CA 8/6
Queen Bee’s, 3925 Ohio St, $10 advance, $12 door, 9pm (8pm doors), all ages
Support: Legion X, The Gay Agenda
 
PALM SPRINGS CA 8/7
Ace Hotel, 701 E Palm Canyon Dr, FREE, 9pm, 21+
 
SANTA CRUZ CA 8/8
Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave, $8 advance, $10 door, 9pm (8pm doors), 21+
Support: TBA
 
SAN FRANCISCO CA 8/9
Knockout, 3223 Mission St, $10 advance, $12 door, 9pm (8pm doors), 21+
Support: Chaki, Tabor Mountain, Eric Cash
 
SACRAMENTO CA 8/10
Highwater, 1910 Q St, $10 advance, $12 door, 9pm (8pm doors), 21+
Support: Skrrt, Vandalaze, Awkward Cougar, Mike Calvin, Mars Parker
 
ARCATA CA 8/11
The Miniplex @ Richard’s Goat, 401 I St, $10 advance, $12 door, 9pm, 21+
Support: Dr. Foxmeat, TBA
 
MEDFORD OR 8/12
Johnny B’s, 120 E 6th St, $10 advance, $12 door, 8pm (7pm doors), 21+
Support: Iconoplasty, The Juniper Berries, Sound Of The Skeptic
 
EUGENE OR 8/14
Secret location TBA, $8 advance, $10 door, 
Support: Steak Richardson, Turtlenecked
 
SALEM OR 8/15
The Space, 1128 Edgewater St NW, $10 advance, $12 door, 6:30pm (6pm doors), all ages
Support: Chief Crow & The Flat Earthworms, Percy Lounge, Vortex Remover
 
PORTLAND OR 8/16
Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave, $10 advance, $12 door, 8pm, 21+
Support: Nasalrod, Dim Wit, Tig Bitty, Jay Shingle
 
OLYMPIA WA 8/17
Le Voyeur, 404 4th Ave E, $8 advance, $10 door, 7:55pm (7:30 doors), all ages
Support: The Deceptives, Sunstang, Skrill Meadow, Bananas Foster
 
SEATTLE WA 8/18
Highline Bar, 210 Broadway E, $12 advance, $14 door, 9pm, 21+
Support: Hangry Hayrabs, Porn Bloopers
 
BELLINGHAM WA 8/19
Bellingham Alternative Library, 519 E Maple St, $10 advance, $12 door, 8:30pm (7:30 doors), all ages
Support: TBA
 
SPOKANE WA 8/20
Big Dipper, 171 S Washington St, $8 advance, $10 door, 7:30pm (7pm doors), 18+
Support: Itchy Kitty, Bandit Train, The Midnight Goats

Making Movies, For the Hell of It

horror

I don’t remember how long I have been interested in filmmaking. I’ve always loved movies, of every kind. You can combine every other artform together into it, if you are creative. I never had ambitions to be an actor, though. I fell into that by accident.

As a young child living in Detroit, I fantasized about becoming a stuntman. This could be because of the then-popularity of daredevil Evel Knievel, action films like Hooper (1978), and TV shows like The Fall Guy My favorite stuntman was the legendary Dar Robinson. His untimely death after shooting Lethal Weapon (1987) permanently put an end to that idea, for me. Though, I had become far more interested in playing music by then.

The size of a film’s budget or the skill of the actors involved were never really a big deal to me, if the script was still good. A bad actor in a great movie will still get by. But, a great actor in a bad movie is totally screwed (That philosophy can be applied to so many other things). Nonetheless, I still watch a lot of cheesy bad movies, seeking out their redeeming qualities.

I don’t remember how I got into underground independent films. It may have been through watching funky old horror, science fiction, and grindhouse movies on local UHF stations as a kid (before cable TV came along). The VHS revolution in the 1980’s also opened up a whole new universe of adventurous filmmakers, no longer restricted by studio gatekeepers. My mom would bring home all sorts of insane stuff she found at mom & pop video stores. Her taste in low-budget weird movies probably rubbed off on me a lot. I grew an increasing appreciation for DIY directors / producers making their visions a reality against all odds.

The Island of Misfit Noise has evolved from a 1990’s rock band into a 21st Century multimedia project, based around making videos and movies instead of performing live. I guess, in that way,  it shares some similarities to The Banana SplitsThe Archies, or Green Jellö. Not having a permanent band makes it an ideal vehicle to try new things out and bring in different collaborators. There is also less pressure figuring out how to do everything onstage, in front of an audience.

I have no idea how to do film distribution or anything technical. It is all learn-as-I-go. I have no budget or crew. I use whatever stuff I can get for free. Does it look like cheap crap? Probably. Will anybody ever see it? Maybe. Maybe not. But, it will get done and be out there for those who are curious. It may take awhile to finish without access to those things, though.

My short video “I Dream of SpaceCat” was a good learning experience, not just in producing content. But, also in presentation to an audience. I hope to do more.

Okie-Dokie Lokie

everything will be ok

Hi folks,

I thought I would give you some GOOD news, for a change.

My van has been returned and drives better than it did before. My aunt loaned me enough money for the tire. I think they tightened something up to stop the wheel from wobbling. It helps. But, I got an estimate for repairs to the damaged tie rod and related issues that still need fixing. I do not think I can do this by myself. It looks like more than I can handle. The van still has trouble starting up. Someone said that the teeth on the starter may be worn out. I have a new one to replace it with. I couldn’t get the old one off. It is too tight and I’m not strong enough. But, it doesn’t have as much of a transmission problem as it did before. That could just be because they added enough fluid to it, finally.

My bank account balance is not in the red for the first time in months! I think I’m finally catching up, at least a little bit.

I’ve gotten a bunch of new pen pal letters, lately. I’m looking forward to replying to all of this mail. I’ve also been mentioned by some very prominent YouTubers, lately (Wow!). Maybe I’ll get more traffic on my site.

I have found and fixed my webcam problem. It was a system glitch. Not sure yet if I will include a vlog with today’s blog. Maybe I will post one after I finish this new painting I’m working on.

Today’s song from my collection is a Nirvana cover by Flipper. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

I’ve been kinda busy lately, helping my aunt and ex-gf move. I was also not feeling well for a week or so. Then, my van broke down. I’m behind on my projects, including providing this month’s MP3 for Patrons. I’m doing my best to catch up.

I received a small batch of comics, recently, that I contributed to. It’s called Five O’Clock Shadow. This is issue #25. I’m including them with orders and donations on my Bandcamp page, while they last.

I am recording a bunch of exclusive music for my supporters on Patreon, as well as contributions to The Residents, David Liebe Hart (“Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”), and some new collaborators who want to put a band or something together with me. Lots of stuff going on!

Issues of “Theee Urban SpaceCat” Cassette-Zine have been held back for an absurd amount of time, mostly for financial reasons. I’m always broke. Just to get them out there in some form, any form, I will be releasing the first couple of issues digitally (PDF & MP3). They may get printed physically at a later time. But, look on the bright side. At least you can download them instantly instead of waiting by your mailbox.

Another project that I’m working on is a series of paintings, each including a compact disc of unique material. I will show them for you on future videos. Plus, there is all of the other art that I’m making every day. So, perhaps good things are happening.

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Please Share, Like, and Subscribe!!!

Send me some mail (drawings, pictures, souvenirs, letters etc.):

Mike Nobody

c/o Theee Urban SpaceCat

P.O. Box 1201

Taylor, MI 48180

USA

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If you want to support the channel and my other work,

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\,,/(^_^)\,,/

Oh and if you’re a troll coming here to give me any shit…

ᶠᶸᶜᵏ♥ᵧₒᵤ

My Routine, Paintings, Records, and Halloween

 

I’d love to get any feedback from you.

When I get stuff in the mail, it also gives me fodder for making zines and things.

 

 

Blogging Painting Drawing Noise Music Schedule

 

SCHEDULE2

now o'clock

Hi.

Yo.

Hello.

Konnichiwa.

I know that I need to put myself out there more if I want to accomplish my goals. My natural inclination is avoid everybody, though.

Procrastination is another big problem of mine. I “rack disiprine.”

I try REALLY hard to do better. But, I’m my own worst enemy. I self-sabotage everything.

I have put myself on a regular schedule, of sorts, to take care of everyday things, so I don’t have to think about it much. I make myself a daily to-do list. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d get anything done. But, it isn’t foolproof. I still get sidetracked with something else a lot. I tend to fixate on something, to the exclusion of everything else, and lose track of time.

intps

I was thinking about the creative process, the thinking process. If I document it, publicly, maybe this will help to keep me motivated, creative and honest. When I write to friends or collaborate with other people I seem to get more stuff done. It helps, I guess. I might be less likely to throw everything away before I’m finished.

I’m blogging for my Patreon-supporters (the Superduper Secret SpaceCat Blog) almost every week-ish . I share things to keep it interesting.

I had a busy week or two, making a bunch of horror movie themed paintings for a show at the Phoenix Cafe’ and putting together a short movie for the Planet 9 Film Festival. Now that it’s over I’m catching up on neglected housework and van repairs.
Moving on to the next thing or so;

  • Working on issues #1-3 of “Theee Urban SpaceCat” cassette-zine. It has been held up for a ridiculous length of time already. It was always my intent to publish new issues every three or four months. But, I never have any money to do so. I’m considering just posting MP3/PDF versions online until I can get enough cash together. I have a growing backlog of material to do something with or discard.
  • Building new custom instruments, ShitKit 2.0 and miscellaneous noise machines. Everything was taking up space and had to be moved. My grandmother needs her garage back.
  • “The Island of Misfit Noise” movie might make a little more progress. The recent experience of making and showing a short film has been educational.
  • Recording new music for collaboration albums: David Liebe Hart (“Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”) and The Residents!
  • Of course, I will continue to collaborate on other things as well. I may have found a new drummer!

I doubt if I will perform alone again for awhile. Had a bad experience a few weeks ago. Was offered another gig in two months. But, I’ll pass, just stick to recording for the time being.

Making Something Out of Nothing

Dali mustache_zpsw9li7xxj

I’ve been drawing & painting since I could walk. My parents even tried persuading me to turn professional and go into advertising as a career. PFFFFFFFTT! Fuck that. I cannot think of a more surefire way to suck out and destroy any enjoyment from creativity than having a boss tell you what to do, and when. Furthermore, selling your soul to marketing agencies adds insult to injury.

Usually, my artwork was given to friends or destroyed and discarded. I started selling my art locally in the 1990’s. But, not really understanding how the professional art world works, I only sold items in person at music venues or record stores (wherever I happened to be). I have been reluctant about taking it any further than that.

I don’t really have a lot of room to keep anything. I rented a storage unit for about a year, until I could no longer afford it. So, if no one wants what I make, it often goes into the garbage. Maybe the rats and seagulls at the landfill can use it for a nest.

I’m finally dipping my toe into the “real” art world. I was offered to showcase some paintings. So, I figured maybe I should sell some. I have an account online at ArtPal. There isn’t much there, yet. I’m only beginning, just now. But, I will continue to put pieces up there if it interests anybody. I thought about it for a little bit and decided to do commissions, too. If it doesn’t work out, I will stop.

I made a few updates to my Patreon account rewards, since I’m doing this. Patrons can get discounts on merchandise and original artwork. Details will be listed with items as they are posted.

We will see where this goes, then.

Death Cat @ Fireside Inn (07/22/2016)

One year ago.
Damn, time flies.

http://www.deathcat.us/

https://www.facebook.com/deathcatmusic/

https://www.facebook.com/firesideinn.divebar

Vlogging Update: May 2017

BIG EYES & MOUTH FIREPAINT.png

Hey y’all,

Sorry for the long absence.

My computer died.

I gave it to my aunt to work on.

She does IT work for the local school district.

Unable to fix it, she gave me another one that a school was getting rid of.

I tried to salvage what I could from the old one.

But, most of my programs and files were lost.

I’ve been searching for the missing software and restoring what I can.

My scanner/printer didn’t want to cooperate with the new computer.

I tried replacing it.

But, the replacements didn’t work either.

After a couple of days messing with it, I finally got it running.

My van has a million problems.

But, at least I got the front tire fixed that kept going flat.

I’ve replaced that tire THREE TIMES and it still kept going flat.

I thought maybe the rim was bent.

I had it looked at and they found a piece of metal lodged inside.

They patched it up.

Now, it shouldn’t be a problem anymore.

Only cost me $15 bucks (thank God)!

I tried to repay my grandmother $700 dollars I owe her.

She forgave some of it.

My ex forgave the $200 I owed her, too, since I’ve been helping her relocate and move her stuff.

Not sure how I’ll get my other debts paid.

But, I try not to get stressed out about it.

That really fucks up my creativity.

Boo Boo the Christmas Kitty

I have somebody living with me again.

Her name is Boo.

I named her after Boo Boo Kitty, the beloved stuffed animal on “Laverne & Shirley”… not Yogi Bear’s sidekick.

boobookittylaverne

A couple of years ago, about a week before Christmas, I stopped at a Kroger’s for some food and pop.

The weather was pretty bad.

It was really cold and the snow was kinda deep.

But, we were out of everything back at our apartment.

The first thing I saw upon entering is somebody holding a cardboard box with a meowing kitten inside.

The employees had found it by the dumpster behind the store.

There were no other cats in the area.

The clerks at Kroger’s were looking for somebody to give it a home, or else they were going to send it to the pound.

Animals aren’t kept there very long before they are put down.

My then-girlfriend and I already had four rescue cats.

But, I didn’t want the poor thing to be harmed.

So, I bought some cat food and took her home with me.

I put the box in the backseat and went home.

But, she managed to get the lid open halfway there.

Totally freaking out, because she never rode in a car before, she jumped onto my head and held on for dear life.

I was able to move her down to my chest, with her arms around my neck, and continued driving the car with her like that.

I put her back inside the box and walked in.

My girlfriend tried guessing what I had in the box.

But, it wasn’t long before Boo popped her head out, purring loudly.

We never had any extra money around to buy Christmas presents for each other.

But, I think Boo made up for it that year.

The other cats raised her, like a foster family.

The next year my girlfriend left, though.

It isn’t like we were fighting or anything.

We are still friends.

But, I think, between our disabilities and state of mind, we were bringing each other down.

She took three of the cats.

I was forced to give away one and euthanize the other, who was extremely sick.

It was very sad.

In the few years since we have lived apart, I have managed to get an affordable apartment of my own and somewhat stabilize my mental condition.

My ex was less fortunate.

She had many ups-and-downs after getting married, until finally their relationship seems to have acrimoniously ended.

She stayed with a friend for a few weeks, sleeping on the floor.

But, now, has a place of her own.

She couldn’t take all of the cats with her.

So, I got Boo back.

The building where I am only allows one pet per tenant, has costly pet fees, and the rules are kinda strict.

She had to get shots, a collar with a name tag, and a bunch of other stuff.

But, Boo is happy to be with me again.

I got her a cardboard scratching pad and a free cat tree from Craigslist someone was throwing away.

I made her litterbox from a plastic tray, construction grade trash bags, and a cardboard box that I found.

I can only afford dollar store cat food and litter.

But, she doesn’t mind.

She follows me around like a shadow and always wants attention.

She often sleeps on my chest or stomach while I’m in bed and curls up on my lap.

She has become my new meditation partner, reminding me to get started and joins me.

Sometimes, when she gets bored though, I can tell that she misses my ex and the other cats.

But, a little catnip and quality time cheers her up.

Boo 20170331_162202

Groundhog Day

monitor

I was gonna record a vlog to go with this (including a new song!). But, I didn’t get around to it. I’ll try to get it out this weekend, maybe. I have been digging through my old practice tapes and recording new demos for a couple of months now. I am not happy with a lot of it. But, you always have to dig through a lot of shit to find anything useful. Since I haven’t put out anything in a long time, I have been contributing to other people’s projects. I was asked by Uncle Ghoulie to provide some artwork and sounds to Truth Porn MilitiaNo Budget Radio Podcast. So, that is cool. I will be getting that out soon. There have also been some zines and other things requesting my input. So, I haven’t been completely unproductive, I guess.

I’m really beginning to wonder if maybe I should just give away my notes & artwork to let someone else make my movies. At least then they would get produced SOMEHOW. Tim Burton had almost nothing to do with making Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, yet his name is still in the title. He just gave his old sketchbook to another director and said, “Here. Knock yourself out.” Good idea? Bad idea? I don’t know. But, it looks like if I’m gonna produce it, it will likely be a few years until it it is done. Even if I cut costs to the absolute bone and it looks like dogshit, I don’t think I can get it done.

I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that I can get Theee Urban SpaceCat finally going this month. I should have enough raw material for a few issues already. I’ve been continually painting, drawing, recording, writing, etc. It really comes down to paying for putting it out there. I’ll deal with other expenses later, if it becomes necessary.

After over a year of keeping my stuff in storage, lacking enough funds, I recently had to let go of my storage unit. I have downsized a lot of it. So, at least I can fit everything in my grandmother’s garage (between the Christmas decorations and patio furniture). She gave me a nice bookshelf that was no longer wanted. So, I finally have somewhere to keep what is left of my vinyl LPs. I was very disappointed to realize how much of my collection that I’ve sold off.

She also gave me a free pizza promotional card that she got in the mail from Domino’s Pizza. I later brought the pizza back to her house. She, my nephew Michael, and I enjoyed a large deluxe. Mmmmmm.

I gotta finish cleaning up here, soon. There is an apartment inspection coming Monday. The landlord is making sure that no bed bugs have returned. Thankfully, the place has been pest-free for a year now. As a matter of fact, it was during the bug extermination last winter that I began renting my storage unit. So, it lasted one whole year.

I just got a small loan to cover my rent problem (last month’s check bounced!). I needed to pay two month’s rent and late/returned check fees IMMEDIATELY or I would get evicted. I’m not sure how much more financial Jiu-Jitsu I can pull off before it finally catches up with me. The van has a lot of mechanical problems needing fixing. I still cannot afford to put insurance on it. I’m risking jail time for driving without it (a misdemeanor in Michigan!). I’m in debt to my eyeballs to doctors & hospitals, credit cards, collection agencies, etc.

I set up a Patreon account. Maybe, I can find a little help from some folks, to fix my money situation. It is a long shot, I guess. But, what have I got to lose? I will post music, videos, and other stuff for patrons that won’t get released anywhere else. I’ll be adding more bonuses for supporters (t-shirts, stickers, magnets, flamethrowers, meat cannons, etc.) when I have them available. Any assistance is appreciated! Thanks.

Become A Patron!

I Have A Dream!

trump-ferengi-copy

Happy MLK Day!

“Grand Nagus Trump” gets sworn-in on Friday.

Strangely ironic that we begin this week celebrating a black American icon of civil rights and ending it with the inauguration of a white supremacist administration.

trump-kkk-crusader

Barack Obama has been a better president than his predecessor, Dubya Shrub, in some ways. 28 of Obama’s Achievements In Office

But, in others, he has been far worse. Not only did he NOT stop the excesses of the Bush/Cheney administration. He put them on steroids! He has largely gotten away with it because he is charming, looks good, and speaks well. It could be argued that 8 years of Republican obstructionism prevented him from doing any better. But, his own actions and inactions speak for themselves.

I’m not entirely pessimistic, though.

With the sweeping election of Republicans across America and the incoming presidency of Donald Trump, there is finally an ugly face to put onto these policies. A unified campaign of progressives and moderates may be able to have a massive push-back in the 2018 mid-term elections. This should not be very difficult. Trump is already the most unpopular president in American history (and he hasn’t even been sworn-in yet). Republicans are already making ambitious plans that will be so vehemently despised by the country that they’d better hope that angry violent mobs don’t begin showing up on their doorstep with pitchforks and torches.

Donald Trump made many contradictory promises along his campaign. It is impossible for him to keep them all. But, progressives like Bernie Sanders are holding him to his word on policies that we agree with. If we can keep enough pressure on his administration, maybe we can minimize the damage he does and actually win a few victories, too. Maybe we can turn this impending disaster into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

That, at least, gives me something to forward to for the next few years.

Is There a Mike Nobody Style? Maybe.

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When I am jamming with other people, they motivate me and kinda help focus what I am doing.

So, I am always bouncing ideas back-and-forth with them, trying to see where their talents and interests are.

If half of the group is into a specific style of music, that gives me a vague reference to work from.

I know what will work and what won’t.
My improvisational skills are kinda crappy, I admit, though.

Ironically, I need people to get out of my way and let me work alone when I am writing original music.

Cutting & pasting jam sessions into songs kinda works.

If I have no one to work with at all, I am kind of at a loss.

The music can go in all sorts of different directions.

So, finding my own “sound” can be difficult sometimes.

I am trying to shape what I do into a cohesive sound of my own, without tying my hands too much.

I would like to maintain the freedom to play whatever that I want.

Near as I can figure it, I guess that I kinda sound a little like Beck with a weird bass setup and tapes, maybe.

My working process, and limited resources, probably have more to do with any style that I may have than anything else.

I don’t have a drummer.

So, for percussion I must rely on drum machines, keyboard sounds, and whatever found objects that I can bang on.

I do not have other band members.

So, I rely on recordings of myself on guitars, noises, and assorted samples, to fill out the sound.

Compositionally, I like the cut & paste approach of artists like Magma, Cardiacs, Omoide Hatoba, Boredoms, Melvins, Ruins, Mr. Bungle, Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, John Zorn, Carl Stalling, etc. and “mixtape style” of the Butthole Surfers, Ween, Faith No More, David Bowie, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, etc.

I like a mixture of Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi in recordings = Mid-Fi!

But, I prefer a specific squashed compression sound found on early Primus, Ween, and Butthole Surfers records.

I was able to ask guitarist / producer Paul Leary once about how he achieved that sound for the Butthole Surfers.

He said it was due to cheap tape recorders, and only having one microphone.

So, I think they recorded directly from their preamps a lot.

I know that Primus did.

That works great for me, since I only have shitty cheap microphones anyway.

Vocally, I have a kinda nasally high-pitched voice that I never liked.

Kind of a bit like Neil Young, Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips), Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Curt & Chris Kirkwood (Meat Puppets), Marc Bolan (T. Rex), etc.

Although, I try to give it a little bit of a Tom Waits-like growl on the lower end.

I guess that I compensate for my voice with cheap microphones and whatever vocal effects that are available, trying to bury it.

Visually, of course, everything is very cheap by necessity.

I like papier-mâché and cardboard props and sets.

Puppets and miniatures can be very useful, too.

Green screen, data-bending, and other cheap effects.

My mixed-media paintings and artwork kinda have a cheapniz aesthetic, too, I suppose.

I use stuff from thrift stores, hardware stores, dollar stores, and found materials a lot.

I tend to visualize the exterior world, the “real” world, in black & white colors.

A cold, decaying, dying, world.

The interior world, the world of the mind and imagination, by contrast, is warmer and more colorful.

It is vast and endless.

Duluth-lynching-postcard

bodies-of-deceased-concentration-camp-everett

Detroit_riot_-_arial

I will probably post more about my gear setup & playing techniques later.

Spring Has Sprung

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I was watching some YouTube videos lately.

I got very annoyed.

Other bands are doing stuff that I wanna do.

But, they keep beating me to it.

I hate when that shit happens.

Maybe it is just that everything has already been done to death and we keep repeating and reinterpreting what came before us.

I dunno.

I know that, financially, I am gonna be screwed for the foreseeable future.

I am robbing Peter to pay Paul for as long as I have to.

I seriously doubt that I will break even before summer begins.

I keep putting off working on and publishing the zine until I can get ahead a little.

But, that doesn’t look like it is going to happen very soon.

I may do a cheaper version, than what I had in mind, until it begins to pay for itself.

Just a thought.

I will probably raid my boxes of old tapes that I have in storage and dig around for some incomplete material to finish.

I have a lot of it, going back nearly forty years.

Since I have been tinkering with the analogue multi-track machine, maybe I will include some fresher stuff with it, too.

I dunno.

A guitarist whom I have not played with in years contacted me and is eager to jam again.

So, maybe he can give me a morale boost and help me get my shit done.

Maybe.

I am always willing to jam with other people if they are interested.

I need to find somewhere that I can paint and make loud noises too.

Maybe somebody can help me with that.

Bombs Away!

Valentine’s Day

Timmy Vulgar

Timmy Vulgar ca-f-humaneye

Life is funny sometimes. It lands some odd coincidences in my lap a lot, it seems.

I had never listened to The Clone Defects, although they have been around the Detroit scene for a number of years. I did not know that guitarist / vocalist Timmy Vulgar was also in a bunch of other local groups. He has been around the block as much as I have (and then some). I also did not know that he & I had met before, when he was in his first band The Epileptix. I still have their debut 7″ EP that I purchased from him. We talked about the band Chrome and guitarist Helios Creed a little bit. That is all that I remember from our encounter.

Anyway, I got an invitation on Facebook to see his most recent band Timmy’s Organism play at the UFO Factory next month. I did a little research, and dang! This is my kinda guy. Mostly, he plays a kind of psychedelic punk and employs the style of low budget freakishness that I am known for. If he ever needs a bassist, or wants to collaborate, I think I am up for it… if he is.

Timmy Vulgar tim

Tatsuya Yoshida, John Cage, and Boxes of Tapes

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I do not know where all of my old tapes are. Here are a few. Despite my reputation as a pack rat, I do discard and lose a lot of important things. There is still a lot here to dig through, some dating back to the 1970’s. There are more recent ones laying around from making memos to myself, quick jams, meeting up to jam with various musicians, etc.

I learned to read music in elementary school. I forgot how, though, after years of just jamming with bands who couldn’t read. Also, transcribed music never felt like an accurate representation of “music”, to me. I always visualized music in waves, shapes, and colors, like a rainbow oscilloscope!

John Cage wrote music kind of like that. I preferred how he wrote down music. It just made more sense to me than traditional transcribed music.

john cage 56john cage bild

Tatsuya Yoshida seems to have been influenced by Cage a lot. He even wrote a tribute song, composed in John Cage’s style. Of course Tatsuya Yoshida’s biggest influence would seem to be Christian Vander and Magma. His group, Ruins, borrows Magma‘s compositional style almost completely, adapting it to fit a drum & bass duo.

Tatsuya Yoshida
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tatsuya Yoshida (吉田達也 Yoshida Tatsuya?) (born in Kitakami, Iwate is a Japanese musician; drummer and composer who is the only consistent member of the renowned progressive rock duo Ruins, as well as Koenji Hyakkei. He is also a member of the progressive rock trios Korekyojinn and Daimonji. Outside of his own groups, Yoshida is renowned for his tenure as drummer in the indie progressive group YBO2, a band also featuring guitarist KK Null, whom he also joins in the current line up of Zeni Geva and he has played drums in a late edition of Samla Mammas Manna. He has been cited as “[the] indisputable master drummer of the Japanese underground”.
Along with his participation in bands, he has also released several solo recordings.

I like the “cut & paste” style of composing. It offers a lot of freedom. I mean, it is nice when a complete song just hits you all at once. But, that seldom happens when playing in a group. I would be lucky if I found a really good drummer that I found a good groove with. Maybe composing alone will help me write more easily. I have plenty of raw material that I can draw from.

Mike Damn Nobody Returns!

Lightning Bolt Mindflayer Mindflayer-Earthunder-1

I think that, until I get some songs completed, I will accept new offers for gigs… performing improvised noise as Mike Damn Nobody again.

If I can get a new ShitKit started on, I will use it for percussion while I add other noises.

Max Grean (Uncle Ghoulie) said that he would help me to acquire an old gas tank from someone in Clarkston.

If I can get that, it will help me a lot.

I may do something akin to Black Pus (drums + vocals + noise), but perhaps more chaotic.

No Budget

Russ Meyer

I like cheepnis.

Maybe it is growing up on a steady diet of bad movies and shitty TV shows.

We would go to the drive-in back when they had double features, triple features, all nighters, etc.

When home video tapes and cable TV became a thing, my mom got us to watch some the worst movies ever made.

So bad, they’re good… and went back around to being bad again.

Some of the films used on Mystery Science Theater 3000 are Shakespeare, by comparison.

I used to stay up late and try to watch midnight movies on TV, before cable came along.

Then, there was The Ghoul and Sir Graves Ghastly for cool weekend shows.

Ed Wood, Roger Corman, Herschell Gordon Lewis, John Waters, Lloyd Kaufman, Richard Kern, Nick Zedd, Russ Meyer, it’s all good.

I Fixed My Mood Ring

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Don’t look at my ugly face.

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I Fixed My Mood Ring!

20150930_004533
20150930_003524 I found an extra set of strings and replaced the old ones, FINALLY! They were deader than dead. They were Beetlejuice Night of The Living Dead. I cleaned-up the crud around the pickups while I was at it, too.

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Not everything was sold by my grandmother. I still had this one PA and the cabinets from the other one. I didn’t have anywhere to store the cabs. So, I donated them to my grandmother’s church.

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Three projector screens were also left behind. That is okay. I may still use them if I can get some projectors. The big industrial monochrome projector and stand got sold. But, it was only in green color. I would prefer to get full-color replacements. Also, the industrial projector was very big and heavy, requiring a steel stand to be put into position. I need something lighter and more portable.

Super Action Kung-Fu Power Rock & Roll!

beatles toon

In the 1990’s, there were a number of bands who styled themselves as cartoonish action heroes, complete with a theatrical image and fictional backstory (GWAR, Supernova, The Aquabats, The Cocktails, The Amino Acids, Man or Astroman?).

I am not sure if this is the legacy of KISS or The Monkees.

The nice thing about these groups is that they are fun, for starters, and make additional income for the artist through merchandising. I wrote about merchandising before. Yes, there is a dark side to avoid. But, there is also potential to have a lot of fun with it. Comic book culture thrives on it. Go to any comic-con and check out the mountains of stuff available for almost any property. I cannot help that the inner geek in me likes collecting things. I blame Star Trek and record collecting for getting me started on that.

Mog Stunt Team were one of these groups, and were also close friends of mine.

I liked their music and whole schtick. But, I always felt like they put most of their energy into an image and not their music. I believed that I could write better songs, for sure. Bassist / vocalist Kenny Mugwump must have sensed this on some level, because he often asked for my opinion about stuff and wanted my input. I regret that I never asked to join their group. But, I was a bit intimidated. These were old pros with management, years of experience in a number of bands, touring, getting signed to labels, etc. I was just this weird kid who hung around a lot and helped when they needed a favor.

I kinda forgot about these sort of groups for awhile, then realized that The Aquabats were still kicking, and had their own TV show for two seasons! Christ, how did I miss THAT? I did a little research and discovered that the lead Aquabat, Christian Jacobs, was a former 1980’s child actor. He tried making a go of The Aquabats band for a couple of years in the 1990’s, unsuccessfully. In 1998 they made a failed Aquabats TV pilot with Bobcat Goldthwait. In 1999, he tried pitching Yo Gabba Gabba! to the networks instead. After belatedly appearing on the internet for a few years, it was a big success. Afterward, he was asked what his next project would be. So, he simply dusted off his VHS recording of The Aquabats! Super Show! and tried that again 15 years after it was originally made. Ta-Dah!

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to make The Island of Misfit Noise sort of like these groups. The IOMN movie certainly shares some of the same influences. I don’t want to wear costumes onstage or anything like that. But, I think that I could create different characters that we could make toys out of and stuff like that. Sorta like The Archies or Josie and The Pussycats. That could be fun.

This abomination actually had a TV show!

As a kid growing up in the 1970’s-1980’s, I knew even then that most of the cartoons on TV were just half-hour commercials for toys. It was a little annoying, sometimes. I mean, c’mon, they made a TV show about a talking Rubik’s Cube! Really?! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were one of these shows. Literally, the show was only made so they could make toys. But, damn if it wasn’t still a good show! I think the fact that they had already developed it as a successful comic book for a few years gave them the chance to flesh out the characters more.

Anyway, I still look forward to writing songs with anyone who wants to add them into this. Not sure what will come of it. But, we will see.

Jobless Zine Tapes

FUN

I applied for another job again, Value World (aka Value Village).

Not sure if it will do any good.

They were the only place that required applicants to apply in person, instead of online like everywhere else.

I later walked to the store for pop & bread and actually did some housecleaning today, too.

Wow!

I’m on a roll.

♛ ★★★★★★★★★☆★☆★☆★☆☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★★★★★★★★★ ♛

I am feeling kinda brave and pulled the Roland workstation out… seeing if I could operate it at all.

I may dig through some boxes of old tapes and see if there is anything that I wanna work on again.

I may lift some material directly from them for the zine.

Maybe.

I am thinking that I will just keep accumulating material as I go along.

Then, when I have enough cash to publish I will put a new issue out, hopefully every three to four months.

It would be easier if I had some extra income for this.

But, I am working with what I have for now.

Thee Urban SpaceCat CassetteZine may be printed by a company that did Death Cat comics, Ka-Blam is their name I think.

It seems like they work in all sorts of volumes with good quality.

The tapes may be recorded, mixed, mastered, and dubbed totally DIY, though.

I am undecided if I want to get them made at a duplicating plant or just dub them myself.

I guess it depends what the demand is for them.

If I get too many orders I will have to go with the duplicating plant.

I am making a distinction between the CassetteZine and the RecycleTapes, though.

The CassetteZine will use fresh normal bias cassettes, probably Sony.

They seem to be the most readily available.

RecycleTapes are hard copy recordings of Mike Damn Nobody’s noise albums, dubbed on reused tapes and re-labelled by me.

I may have to create new artwork for the older titles.

I cannot find the originals.

I was thinking of when I want to take my recordings into a legitimate studio.

Money is a factor, of course.

But, when I am ready, I am thinking that I may only release vinyl singles and EPs like that for awhile.

If they do well, I can compile them onto CDs later.

The Weirdos are an LA punk band from way-y-y back.

They released only vinyl singles for twenty years before they put out their first full-length album.

“Weird Al” Yankovic says that he will no longer release full length albums.

He is only doing singles now.

It seems like that is the direction that the music industry will be going, eventually.

I haven’t been in a record store for years.

So, it is a little tough for me to gauge.

♛ ★★★★★★★★★☆★☆★☆★☆☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★☆★★★★★★★★★ ♛

I am probably gonna upgrade my my video capture software and get a chromakey program added to it.

I need to get a green screen or some fluorescent green paint.

I have a few leftover projector screens that I could paint if I had something for fabric, that wouldn’t crack and peel off.

Stripping It Down

"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau
“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau

I am stripping my rig down a bit.

Still a work in progress.

I am trying to fit everything onto the pedalboard.

There may still be a few things sticking out.

Ideally, I should be able to set up my gear in about ten minutes, give or take a few.

Fewer parts, fewer complications.

Gotta think like a NASCAR pit mechanic, in & out.

“The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.”

– Scotty (Star Trek III: The Search For Spock)

My equipment has evolved a lot over time.

At one point, I had a built-up a huge Frankenrig from two old PAs, some preamps, and pieces of my current Mini-rig.

I got inspiration for my setup from a bunch of different bass & guitar players; Bootsy Collins, Chris Squire, Cliff Burton, Greg Ginn.

Some players have elaborate switching systems, with tons of pedals and rackmount effects.

Some players have truckloads of gear, insane shit.

Sonic Youth had a different guitar for EACH SONG.

I am trying to pare it down to whatever my live sound will be.

What do I REALLY need?

Other effects and sounds that I use I will probably just record samples of.

This changes the dynamics of composing quite a lot.

It is gonna sound way different than if I had everything plugged into the bass.

You can sort of hear how this is shaping my sound, so far.

But, this is for demonstration purposes ONLY (sorry that I got fat):

This is an unfinished song that The Riverviews were working on a couple of months ago.

I might re-purpose it into an Island of Misfit Noise song, if Mike Hayes doesn’t mind.

Stripping down the mini-rig.
Trying to find a compromise between my “live sound” and “studio sound”.
The strings are long overdue to be changed.
But, I haven’t got enough money for replacements.

Hello!

“All the various styles are organically connected to one another. I’m an additive person—the entire storehouse of my knowledge informs everything I do. People are so obsessed with the surface that they can’t see the connections, but they are there.” ~ John Zorn

“Cute, cool, and creepy”, is how I have been described by some folks.

Usually, I am classified by my contemporaries as an outsider artist-musician.

Davin Brainard (time Stereo) and Warren DeFever (His Name Is Alive) observed that I do not intentionally TRY to be perceived as weird, that I just naturally AM….. making comparisons to Wesley Willis and Daniel Johnston. I guess that I will just go along with those descriptions.

Outsider Artist / Musician;

  • Music, Art, and Zines
  • Videos, Movies, and Multi-Media
  • Voice, Tapes, and Noise
  • Bass, Baritone, and other Guitars
  • Keyboards, Computers, and Custom Instruments
  • Plunderphonics, Electronics and Junk Percussion

I enjoy creating what I refer to as “Prog-Punk Noise-Rock”, a strange pastiche of styles tied together. I have collaborated with plenty of other artists over the years with wide degrees of proficiency in many genres.

I have been obsessively into art and music my whole life; drawing, painting, playing with tape recorders and making noise. I built my first guitar from a badly beaten-up body & neck that I found in someone’s trash. A friend’s dad gave me the electrical guts from an unknown 1950’s guitar. Additional parts were improvised from pieces of found junk and purchased from a music store.

When I was a twelve year old kid, back in the 1980’s, I was just a runt of the Detroit hardcore punk / heavy metal scene . Lacking enough money to buy any good equipment, I purchased a cheap microphone at a pawn shop, built a homemade mic stand, and passed myself off as a vocalist. I sang in whatever groups that I could find, gaining experience and learning whatever that I could. Mostly, it was shitty cover bands, playing in basements, getting yelled at by uninvited drunks that we suck. Eventually, I improved my bass & guitar skills, playing in many short-lived groups that went nowhere.

I was a writer / photographer for The Jam Rag, a widely-read local music paper, while still a teenager and made friends with other artists along the way. During the 1990’s I was a cameraman, roadie, and occasional collaborator with Princess Dragon-Mom, Mog Stunt Team, His Name Is Alive, etc.. I also performed in a few experimental noise groups; Bionics, Edible Audio, Fresh Farm Raised Catfish, etc.

The Island of Misfit Noise began in the summer of 1998 with only Mystic MarshaKat and myself. She played keyboards & guitar (classically trained) and I played bass & guitar (mostly self-taught). Both of us were former members of N2-Submission, the backing band for our then-roommate The Impaler “Detroit’s Vampire Poet.” Our duo’s name changed a couple of times, before settling on the IOMN.  Other musicians came and went during a period of 15 years, with she & I being the only constant members of the group. She also left in early 2013. MarshaKat and I remain friends. She may continue to assist in some capacity, just not as a full-time band member.

I resurrected the IOMN as a recording project in late 2014, with collaborators from Michigan to Australia. We exchanged material back-and-forth until some music was completed. The style that we made is very freeform. A few collaborators from the IOMN have joined me in other projects. Some of them have experience in film & television and are producing low-budget movies with me.

MickeyBugsBand_1

♛ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Prog ☆ Punk 🐱 Noise ☆ Rock ☆ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ♛

Some of my current projects;

  • Island of Misfit Noise is an ongoing multimedia project, begun in 1998 as a musical group, with a constantly rotating membership. It has since expanded into no-budget film-making, music videos, and a series of comics. I will continue to add material to this as I go along, with additional collaborators. Live performances are very unlikely.
  • Theee Urban SpaceCat (Cassette-Zine) is a publication of my artwork, ramblings, stories, correspondences, miscellaneous found objects, music, commentary, and anything else packaged with a cassette tape of my recordings (compact disc optional)… whatever they may be. It is an outlet for all of my artistic endeavors, combined into one package, modeled after decades of correspondence with my friends.
  • Mike Damn Nobody is my experimental noise project; incorporating tape loops, circuit-bending, custom instruments, and anything else available. Live events have a more chaotic theatrical presentation than my other projects. Recordings are available on RecycleTapes (cassettes handmade from re-purposed materials) and digital download formats.
  • Mike Nobody is just me, by myself, performing somewhere with my crazy setup as a one-man-band. I’ll make that work, somehow, for now.
  • MykNobody is an alternate spelling sometimes used when I’m painting.

This post was a little long, containing influences, gear, personal info, etc.. It has been relocated to About / FAQ / PressDetails.

Subscribe to this blog and I will show & tell you more about the past, present, and future. If you want to check out upcoming events or new stuff available, and get some freebies, add yourself onto the mailing list in the sidebar. There are also fundraising links there for anybody who wants to support my creative efforts. More rewards are available for my Patrons.

Thanks!

Mike Nobody =^.^=

European Atheist Knows The U.S. Constitution Better Than Two American Christians

Remember the Kirk Cameron/Ray Comfort video promoting their new “revised” version of On the Origin of Species (with a 50-page introduction written by Comfort that he thinks “debunks” evolution)?

Comfort and Cameron are planning to give away free copies of the book at colleges across the country on November 19th in an effort, I presume, to set a Guinness World Record for miseducating the most people in one day.

But who needs to respond to the 50-page introduction to the book when ZOMGitsCriss has an excellent response to the trailer video you saw above?

Isn’t it amazing that a foreigner knows the U.S. Constitution better than two Creationists who live in America?
Also, Cameron & Comfort apparently don’t care about the 9th Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness, because they BOLDLY BALD-FACED LIE when they can’t win an argument.


Digg!

Katrina’s Lessons Are as Important as 9/11’s

Katrina’s Lessons Are as Important as 9/11’s

By Casey Gane-McCalla

Assistant Editor for BlackPlanet.com’s NewsOne

Last Friday was the 8th anniversary of 9/11. The previous week was the 4th anniversary of Katrina. While the media covered a lot of the 9/11 memorials, concerts and memories, it seemed as if the legacy of Katrina got very little attention. Both events have had a great impact on our country, but it seems as if politicians and pundits only learned something from 9/11.
I’d like to think that the lessons of 9/11 would be: Be extremely cautious about domestic terrorists, don’t train militant religious fanatics to fight your enemies, because they might come back to bite us and treat all threats against our country seriously.

While people in the media talk about the lessons of 9/11 very often, it is rare to hear pundits and politicians talk about the lessons of Hurricane Katrina. While 9/11 left 2,998 people dead or missing, Hurricane Katrina left 2,536 people dead or missing and displaced over one million people.

But 9/11 changed several ways the government operates in terms of foreign and domestic polices, while Katrina changed very little. After 9/11, we invaded two countries, started the patriot act and changed airline travel as we know it.

Katrina has caused no significant changes in US policy. What the world saw after Katrina, was a natural disaster inflamed by poverty, segregation and racism. While the government may not have been able to stop the hurricane, the U.S. could have definitely prevented the racism and poverty that made Hurricane Katrina way worse than it should have been.

Hurricane Katrina was an embarrassment to the United States. Despite its great wealth, the U.S. could not take care of its own. After Katrina, George Bush’s approval rating was 45%, half of the 90% it reached after September 11th.

Hubert Humphrey once said, “A nation is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. Congress should not ignore the plight of our nation’s poorest and sickest beneficiaries any longer.”

The judgment on George Bush from his reaction to Katrina both domestically and internationally is part of his legacy forever. Still, it seems as if the lessons of Katrina have been lost on the Republican party.

The Republicans obviously have not learned anything from Hurricane Katrina, as they continue to disregard poor, disenfranchised people, which is reflected in their opposition to health care.

Diseases, like hurricanes, affect everybody. Yet, as in Katrina, the rich seem to be protected against them, while the poor and minority populations are vulnerable and often left with no help to protect themselves against them.

If the next Katrina comes as a virus (like Swine Flu), once again the rest of the world will see how America treats its poorest and sickest beneficiaries. That is why we need health care for every citizen. If America has learned anything from the lessons of Katrina, it is that America must protect all of its citizens, regardless of economic or racial backgrounds.

Katrina was a reminder of the poor people who are rarely on TV and not seen or heard. These people are Americans, not third world refugees. They are entitled to the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness given to us in the Declaration of Independence. Just like the government is responsible for trying to help its citizens from disaster, it should be responsible for taking care of its citizens from diseases and health risks.

Protecting our citizens and keeping our country safe is no just about bombing countries that we think our threats. Not all threats come from Islamic extremists. Hunger, poverty, crime, natural disasters and diseases also threaten the safety of our country and citizens. If we can spend billions of dollars to invade other countries to keep our country safer, we should sacrifice to make the country safer for all of our citizens from natural disasters and diseases.

It is time to heed the lessons of Katrina. We are one country and all of our citizens are important, rich and poor, black and white. When a government gives an every man for himself attitude towards disease and natural disasters, it reflects badly on our country. It is the duty of our country to protect its citizens not only against terrorist attacks, but also against natural disasters and diseases as well. That’s why we need to make sure every one of our citizens has the right to health care.


Digg!

Lions and Tigers and… Nazis?

Lions and Tigers and… Nazis?
Filed by: Sara Whitman
September 13, 2009 11:30 AM
The first few times I heard the right wing call Obama a “Nazi,” I ignored it. Thought it was random. After all these years, I should know not a single thing comes from the right that hasn’t been vetted, considered and framed.

Nazi? I’m not sure I even understand how they got there or who they are trying to rally. I mean, the skinheads aren’t going to go run and side with Obama as the supreme Nazi. I just saw a photo of Nancy Pelosi branded as a Nazi- pretty sure they aren’t going to go rally behind her, either.

The Nazis were not communist- rather anti- communist. They called themselves socialists, but in truth, they were fascists. State controlled, dictatorship that allowed no critique of any kind of the government.

I didn’t see anyone going to jail for screaming “lie!” the other night. Or marching in the streets, or writing articles, or telling seniors they will be subjected to death panels.

Again, the Nazi image rears it’s ugly head. Why? I’m not sure who they are trying to rally. Extreme right folks tend to think the holocaust didn’t happen. Or that having an extreme nationalism, eugenics and separation of races isn’t a bad idea. They kinda like that stuff.

Is this an attempt for the right wing to reestablish itself with the soccer moms of America? People who do think the Nazi’s were evil but also can’t stand someone standing up and believing social justice is a good thing? That the embracing of the far far right has left them powerless and they are coming back to the mushy middle, dredging up fears, and selling their snake oil policies to them?

Long live the health care companies! As if that will help under and uninsured. But fight against the Nazis? Well, that’s noble, isn’t it?

Several people have said to me lately, we have to keep a keen eye out for what is going on. All this progress will certainly be followed by a backlash.

And the right does nothing without a careful plan.

Lions and Tigers and Nazis… time to ask the question why.


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Ian Masters: The Zombie Presidency

from The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com by Ian Masters
THE ZOMBIE PRESIDENCY
by Ian Masters

A majority of Americans breathed a sigh of relief when the Bush/Cheney regime ended, but has it? Like the zombie banks, the era of government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich lives on, with massive transfers of wealth from the poor to the rich continuing, as beleaguered poor and middle class taxpayers bail out the banks we are told are too big to fail.

Unfortunately for those of us too small to succeed, the American dream has to be deferred as our children and grandchildren get saddled with the debt we are piling up in the hope that Main Street will be stimulated once the gamblers and bookies on Wall Street come clean and get paid off with more of our money. Unwitting taxpayers are angry they rewarded bonuses to the insiders who created a rigged casino and manufactured their own chips to bet the house then bring it down. But they have focused their outrage on only one thousandth of just one shakedown, AIG, while the real scandal is the “cash for trash” transfer of what’s left of the treasury to Wall Street’s big banks who will end stronger as Main Street gets boarded up.

This Robin Hood in reverse phenomenon is not new. It began when Ronald Reagan declared he was taking the handcuffs off the millionaires and putting them on the welfare queens. Since then wages have remained stagnant as working Americans have maintained their standard of living on credit from banks who get cheap money from the Fed they then loan back at usurious rates.

Meanwhile productivity has soared, with the benefits going to capital, not labor. Under George W. Bush the transfer of public money to private hands accelerated as lobbyists and revolving door Congressmen, cashing in on public service for private gain, captured Washington to the extent that most politicians today represent special interests, not people. 
 

When Reagan cut taxes for the rich while rewarding the Military Industrial Complex with billions from the remaining overburdened poor and middle class taxpayers, the resulting deficits his budget director David Stockman warned him about ballooned. Reagan’s deficit also became an extra burden on those unfairly taxed, since the servicing of the resulting debt, which was largely owned by the rich, had to be paid by the poor. 
 


About the only voice of outrage back then in the Congress came from Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who railed against this double jeopardy. Mercifully, Moynihan did not live to see what George W. Bush managed to pull off after Clinton paid down the debt and left a surplus for Bush.

With a self-proclaimed mandate from his “War on Terror”, Bush opened up the treasury to the usual suspects and then some. In a spree of corporate socialism he invited crony contractors to embed themselves at the government trough, in effect taking money from the Post Office to subsidize Fed Ex and UPS. However these “Beltway Bandits” who hung up their shingles did not have to deliver services, as long as they offered private jets to their political patrons. Meanwhile the rest of us have become POW’s in the class war Bush successfully waged against America’s poor and middle class.

So here we are, America the screwed, and we only have ourselves to blame since you get the government you deserve. Now the question is, does the populist rage out there get focused on political action with millions phoning, emailing and marching on Washington, or do we sullenly pay up and hope the stimulus works? The last time this happened, it was not solved by the top-down largesse of FDR, but rather from the bottom-up outrage of the American people that was felt in Washington, forcing politicians to act with a New Deal. We’ve had a bad deal for the last thirty years, now it’s time for a fair deal.
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Ian Masters is the host of “Background Briefing” and “Live From The Left Coast” Sundays 11 AM to 1PM on KPFK 90.7 FM radio and at ianmasters.org


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