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Archive for October, 2008

halloween mix

I do this every year. Almost forgot this year.

TSOL – Code Blue
Misfits – Halloween
Ministry – Every Day is Halloween
Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party
The Cramps – I Was a Teenage Werewolf
The Who – Boris the Spider
Echo and the Bunnymen – Killing Moon
Deadbolt – Voodoo Trucker
Queens of the Stone Age – Burn the Witch
Type O Negative – Black #1
Slayer – Dead Skin Mask
Nick Cave – Red Right Hand
Wednesday 13 – I Walked with a Zombie
North American Halloween Prevention Initiative – Do They Know It’s Halloween
Ramones – Pet Sematary

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new essay and thanks

New essay: the high cost of living

Thanks to everyone who responded to today’s post and last night’s essay. I’m trying to get back to some who emailed me, but I am way, way behind on my email. So please, just know that I appreciate so much your encouragement and kind words and offers to make out.

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new essay and thanks

New essay: the high cost of living

Thanks to everyone who responded to today’s post and last night’s essay. I’m trying to get back to some who emailed me, but I am way, way behind on my email. So please, just know that I appreciate so much your encouragement and kind words and offers to make out.

Read Full Post »

the politics of friendship*

When I turned 18 and was looking forward to voting in my first presidential election, my father gave me a bit of advice: “Don’t ever tell anyone who you are voting for.” I smiled politely, the way teenagers do when they think their parents have no idea what they’re talking about. Of course, I didn’t take his advice. I told anyone who would listen that I was voting not for Reagan or Carter, but for John Anderson. And then I learned a valuable lesson: My father was right.

This place used to be a Republican stronghold. Our county was part of a very strong, powerful Republican machine that loomed over us like a monster. You wanted a job, you had to register as Republican. Wanted a favor? Register Republican. So telling people you were voting for John Anderson was like wearing my teenage rebel idiocy on my sleeve. No adult took me seriously. Instead, they took me aside and lectured me on the virtues of voting party line.

That was my first experience in dealing with people judging you over your politics. I was branded a liberal, a hippie, a free thinker who was going to be the ruin of this country. But I was 18, I wanted to be those things. I wanted to be an outsider. And I really didn’t care what most adults thought of me.

It wasn’t until many years later that I found out people will not just chastise you for your political beliefs, but they would literally cut you off from their lives. I saw it happen in 2004. People who had been friends for years were parting ways over the election. I was dumbfounded. Here were people who forged friendships even though they had different ideals – their views on religion, abortion, taxes, guns were completely different, they had maintained a friendship through all that, and suddenly, a vote for a president tore them apart.

I lost a good friend in 2004. I lost touch with some interesting acquaintances, too. We had shared interests that kept us together; , we had kids the same age, we watched the same tv shows, we loved the same foods and listened to the same bands. Superficial things, but enough to form a friendship over. But it all fell apart. I could understand why people would question the way I was voting. I could understand their trying to talk me out of it, even. What I couldn’t understand was the way they used our friendship as a threat: Either I vote their way, or it was over.

It was over.

And so it goes. I’m seeing it now. I’m feeling it now. The look of disdain when I say, against my father’s advice, who I am voting for. The eye roll, the disbelief, the “how could you?” lecture. I feel people slowly backing away from me after, of course, telling me all the reasons that I was insulting them by voting against their candidate.

This isn’t about you. My vote against your candidate is not a vote against you. See, I still like you. I still want to have lunch with you and talk music with you and have you over for coffee. We still have a lot in common. But you are insisting that my vote is somehow an affront to you personally and I’m trying to remember when I took your feelings into consideration when making my choice. Oh, I didn’t. I can not possibly take into consideration the feelings and views of all my friends when I go into the voting booth. It’s insane to ask anyone to do that. And really, are you considering my views when you vote? Of course not. So why should I consider yours? Can’t we just make our choices and move on, go see a movie or watch a hockey game together when it’s all over?

In 2004, I lost a few friends and a lot of acquaintances over my vote. About a year later, when I publicly stated that I regretted that vote, a lot more people dropped out of my life. And here we are in 2008 and I’m getting emails from people who question my intelligence and my sanity, people who once again “threaten” me with the loss of friendship if I vote the way I’ve hinted that I am. I once again am not taking my father’s advice and keeping my vote to myself.

A vote for Obama is not a vote against you. It doesn’t mean I think less of you. It just means that I’ve weighed my options and I took into account my own life, my own situation, my family, concerns and he turned out to be the best candidate for me.

Anyone – on any side of this election fence – who takes a vote so personally that they would dismiss a friendship over it is really not worth the time and patience I give to friendships, anyhow. But it still saddens me to see them go. It saddens me that the political discourse in this country has become so volatile, so divisive that people are afraid to say who they are voting for. It saddens me that there are an awful lot of stories like mine out there, too many people who have felt a loss over politics. It happens with friends, at work, within families and it saddens me to know that there are way too many people out there who believe that anyone who doesn’t think exactly like they do are idiots. There are no shades of gray with these people. There is no room for differences. There is just this line they draw and if you cross over it, you must be a complete idiot with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Because if I had any other redeeming qualities you cared about, I would still be your friend. Right?

It frustrates me to no end that I am writing the same things I wrote during the last election, that nothing has changed since 2004. Really, nothing has changed since that day in 1980 when I told my uncle I was voting for John Anderson and he looked like he wanted to put a bullet in my head.

We can talk about politics, and question each other’s choices in a mature, sane way and we can go back and forth on our pet issues. There are some friends I have that are intelligent enough to be able to separate politics from everything else, and concentrate on our shared interests. Hell, I live in a house with four voters, and I’m the only one voting Obama. Yet we still manage to co-exist pleasantly, without threats of abandonment. Go figure.

Yes, I am voting for Obama. And if this for some reason makes you walk away from whatever kind of friendship we have developed, be it a close, personal relationship or one based on IM chats and forums, then so be it. Just know that I am not judging you on your vote. But I am judging you on your single mindedness.

*i really wanted to name this the politics of dancing, but it made no sense regardless how an arbitrary reference to an obscure 80’s pop tune would make my day.

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New essay.

I don’t want to spend the next ten, twenty years going to a job that I don’t love. I’m not one of those people who can push some papers around on their desk and just count the days until they can start collection a pension. That’s not life. That’s not living. After all my years of hibernating, after all I’ve been through, after all the depression and fears and anxiety and hiding behind closed doors, I want to live, fully. I want to be all the things I had in mind for myself. I don’t want to get to the end of the road and be angry at myself for never taking that chance, for never trying.

Here.

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That list got me thinking. First, yea, those are some crappy songs. And it was torturous in a waterboard kind of way to expect any of you to go through that list and pick out favorites. It’s like asking people to choose their favorite Ernest* movie.

The other thing I got to thinking about (at 3am, in order to stop me from thinking about things like money, work, money how I forgot to turn on the dishwasher…and money) was, what is the best music of the 80’s? Let’s face it, I love that decade, in a pop culture sort of way. Musically, it was all over the place. Or maybe I was all over the place. I had my punk and my new wave, my hair metal and hard rock, my stupid pop songs that still get caught in my head to this day and which I told no one at the time that I really liked. I’m looking at you, Huey Lewis.

Which led me to thinking: Everybody has a different view of 80’s music. It would be really interesting to see what would happen if we asked everyone in the world to vote on their favorite song of that decade. The one singular song that would define the years between 1980 and 1989, that is not sung by Rick Astley or Bonnie Tyler.

While this previously linked list could certainly be a jumping off point for some of you, there are a lot of other songs to take into consideration, from a myriad of genres. But first, let’s figure out how I’m going to do this.

Now, the results are going to be kind of skewed as I can probably count the readers of this blog on one hand. Maybe a foot, too. But that’s about it. So, while a small sampling, it will still be a concise sampling, as my readers, small in number as they are, tend to be among the most intelligent people on the face of the earth. AMIRITE?

I figured what we would do is this. You tell me your favorite songs of the 80’s. I was going to try to do it year by year, a year on each day, but I probably don’t have the patience or attention span for that. So you can just list them all here. If you want, you can put one for each year, or ten, or just a few years.

Then, I’ll take all the songs and years and whatnot and see what’s mentioned most (I’m obviously very scientific about my polling data) and make a final list which I will use to make one of those nifty little poll things and then we can all vote, and when the voting is over, the world will finally know what the best song of the 80s is, according to the few, but proud, readers of A Big Victory.

Some research for you:
The list I started with.
A list which includes some songs I never heard of but has Yaz, which is good.
Best new wave songs (which most of my choices would come from)
Rock songs of the 80’s
Essential 80’s Punk (Ok, so I’m probably the only one who would include 7 Seconds in my choices)
And for the “I’m more indie than thou” crowd, there’s always Pitchfork.

I’m going to list mine, or some of mine, as my list would go on forever if I let it. Really, I don’t care how many you list, as long as later on I can find some kind of commonality in order to make a final poll. Or, we can just say fuck it and kind of stroll down memory lane instead, to a time when I thought torn stockings and Doc Martens were a fashion statement. We won’t talk about the last part of the 80’s, which I finished off married, pregnant and wondering where my youth went.

This is going to be harder than I thought.

Most of my favorite 80’s music comes from this list: WLIR Screamers of the Week. LIR was an awesome Long Island radio station back in the day that, for a while, concentrated mostly on new wave.

I’m just going to randomly throw out some of my favorites here. This is a really short list. Like I said, I could go on forever.

Translator – Everywhere That I’m Not

The Smiths – This Charming Man

Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

Iron Maiden – Aces High
Motorhead – We Are the Road Crew
Minor Threat – Salad Days
Prince – Purple Rain
Motley Crue – Live Wire

Black Flag – Rise Above

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That list got me thinking. First, yea, those are some crappy songs. And it was torturous in a waterboard kind of way to expect any of you to go through that list and pick out favorites. It’s like asking people to choose their favorite Ernest* movie.

The other thing I got to thinking about (at 3am, in order to stop me from thinking about things like money, work, money how I forgot to turn on the dishwasher…and money) was, what is the best music of the 80’s? Let’s face it, I love that decade, in a pop culture sort of way. Musically, it was all over the place. Or maybe I was all over the place. I had my punk and my new wave, my hair metal and hard rock, my stupid pop songs that still get caught in my head to this day and which I told no one at the time that I really liked. I’m looking at you, Huey Lewis.

Which led me to thinking: Everybody has a different view of 80’s music. It would be really interesting to see what would happen if we asked everyone in the world to vote on their favorite song of that decade. The one singular song that would define the years between 1980 and 1989, that is not sung by Rick Astley or Bonnie Tyler.

While this previously linked list could certainly be a jumping off point for some of you, there are a lot of other songs to take into consideration, from a myriad of genres. But first, let’s figure out how I’m going to do this.

Now, the results are going to be kind of skewed as I can probably count the readers of this blog on one hand. Maybe a foot, too. But that’s about it. So, while a small sampling, it will still be a concise sampling, as my readers, small in number as they are, tend to be among the most intelligent people on the face of the earth. AMIRITE?

I figured what we would do is this. You tell me your favorite songs of the 80’s. I was going to try to do it year by year, a year on each day, but I probably don’t have the patience or attention span for that. So you can just list them all here. If you want, you can put one for each year, or ten, or just a few years.

Then, I’ll take all the songs and years and whatnot and see what’s mentioned most (I’m obviously very scientific about my polling data) and make a final list which I will use to make one of those nifty little poll things and then we can all vote, and when the voting is over, the world will finally know what the best song of the 80s is, according to the few, but proud, readers of A Big Victory.

Some research for you:
The list I started with.
A list which includes some songs I never heard of but has Yaz, which is good.
Best new wave songs (which most of my choices would come from)
Rock songs of the 80’s
Essential 80’s Punk (Ok, so I’m probably the only one who would include 7 Seconds in my choices)
And for the “I’m more indie than thou” crowd, there’s always Pitchfork.

I’m going to list mine, or some of mine, as my list would go on forever if I let it. Really, I don’t care how many you list, as long as later on I can find some kind of commonality in order to make a final poll. Or, we can just say fuck it and kind of stroll down memory lane instead, to a time when I thought torn stockings and Doc Martens were a fashion statement. We won’t talk about the last part of the 80’s, which I finished off married, pregnant and wondering where my youth went.

This is going to be harder than I thought.

Most of my favorite 80’s music comes from this list: WLIR Screamers of the Week. LIR was an awesome Long Island radio station back in the day that, for a while, concentrated mostly on new wave.

I’m just going to randomly throw out some of my favorites here. This is a really short list. Like I said, I could go on forever.

Translator – Everywhere That I’m Not

The Smiths – This Charming Man

Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

Iron Maiden – Aces High
Motorhead – We Are the Road Crew
Minor Threat – Salad Days
Prince – Purple Rain
Motley Crue – Live Wire

Black Flag – Rise Above

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