Popsicle Stand

brandon adamson

Cool your jets with this 60s styled, summertime pop song

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Running The Gauntlet

Just last week l was reading this article.
lt talked about flying.
Said we’d all become just like cattle.
Trusting our lives to people we don’t even know.
Like pilots. Said we do it all the time.
Then we get our heads bashed in. . .
. . .like cattle, for being so trusting.

A couple months ago, I picked up a DVD of Clint Eastwood’s 1977 movie, “The Gauntlet,” which was shot mostly in Phoenix. I hadn’t seen it since it was on UPN one afternoon in the summer 1996, just a few weeks after I moved here. I remember at the time being excited and feeling a sense of pride that Phoenix was my home, and that the film was set in what was now essentially my hometown. Indeed upon re-watching it, I noticed various downtown Phoenix landmarks are visible in the background. Hanny’s can actually be seen in a skyview during one driving sequence.

“The Gauntlet” is a pretty solid film up until the last couple of minutes, with it’s hyperdramatic, highly implausible ending( I find it hard to believe that hundreds of cops would just stand there silently, idly watching while the police commissioner and a supposed fugitive argue and shoot each other at point blank range.

The remark about air travel made by the waitress in Las Vegas reminded me of the nature of my own reservations about flying. It’s the fact that while it’s statistically safer, you have absolutely zero control over the outcome of the situation. It’s like buying a reverse lottery ticket with the jackpot of a horrifying death. While you’re much more likely to die behind the wheel, to some extent you can trust your own instincts and defensive driving skills, to give yourself at least some small amount of leverage to tip the balance.

I’ve always felt a similar, slightly less ambivalence toward mass transit. Though you may be in a heavy traffic, or construction environment when driving a car, you have control over the ambiance of your immediate environment(volume of the radio, level of peace and quiet, whom or what is sitting next to you.) I’ve ridden the bus several thousand times in my life, and besides the fact that it doubles or triples the travel time to any destination, the worst part about it is always the plethora of irritating and ill-mannered people you have to share it with. I sit in silence trying to avoid unsolicited talking as well as block out all of the loud and obnoxious banter from oblivious people who don’t seem to give a rat’s ass about the riding experience of anyone else. Once on a bus ride from Los Angeles, two ghetto teenage girls sat behind me discussing their multiple miscarriages the entire length of the trip. “I told my man he needs to start wearin’ cause I don’t wanna be gettin’ pregnant again.” One time on a West Hollywood city bus, the driver pulled over while a muscular Russian guy fought a drunken homeless black guy that had been harassing the other passengers. People who always talk of the great train systems in Japan and Hong Kong, don’t seem to realize that when attempting to duplicate it here, we would not have the luxury of riding it with courteous and intelligent Asian people(not even taking into account the “groping” incidents women frequently endure in these countries’ rail cars.)

I had a good experience the one or two times I used the Los Angeles subway to get to the San Fernando Valley(it was fast, and there was almost nobody on it) though one might question the wisdom of building an underground railway system in an area that is built on a famous faultline and therefore highly susceptible to potentially massive earthquakes.

Personally I would rather that cities incorporate strategies to limit or reduce the overall amount of people, rather than working to attract and accommodate large increases in uneducated people, herding everyone into cattle cars and virtually eliminating individuals’ control over their own personal space and travel experience.

In theory, I’m not really opposed to the idea of public transportation. I enjoyed the monorail at Disneyland as much as the next kid, and would gladly set aside my idiosyncratic reservations and fears if I were able to ride something remotely 1960’s/70’s futuristic to work everyday. Riding the contemporary city bus or light rail feels more like Soylent Green than 2001 A Space Odyssey, though.

The Phoenix of 1977 as depicted in The Gauntlet has been thoroughly transformed, yet like the film, it still retains much of it’s charm.

As with most change, something’s gained and something’s lost.

ask the dust

Jonathan and I were looking into getting a booth at first fridays for Phoestival to sell our cds, paintings and such…but for the last few months there has been no street vending allowed apparently due to some problems with getting street closure on Roosevelt. I got this email below which (sort of) explains the current situation.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: First Fridays Vending
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2010 15:18:53 -0700
From: *****@rooseveltrow.org>
To: Roosevelt Neighborhood

UPDATE – FF STREET VENDING

There will still be no street vending nor street closure in October for First Friday.

We have been working very closely with the Mayor’s Office, PPD and local private property owners in Roosevelt Row through a new permitting structure that will allow us to organize Arts Market hubs (like a Farmer’s Market, but without the emphasis on fresh produce) on vacant lots in Roosevelt Row so we will have a sustainable, near future long term solution to the need for secured space for community events and activities including performance, arts installations, arts and crafts vending, local food/business/nonprofit tabling for occasions such as First Friday and hopefully many others, as well! We are meeting with potential sponsors to help us meet county dust proofing criteria, which is very costly but promising advances are being made at this time, and then we’ll move forward with the permitting and be up and running.

First of all, why did the city stop closing Roosevelt for First Fridays in the first place? It was great! It’s only one night a month for crying out loud, and who in their right mind would want to drive down that street when all those hordes of people are milling about.
So now the people at Roosevelt Row are trying to find vacant lots that can be used, but they will have to spend a bunch of money to meet “county dustproofing criteria,” an environmental regulation. I can think of almost nothing that would be less environmentally hazardous than people setting up folding tables and selling handmade arts and crafts, but whatever. I guess there could be a lot of dust and dirt kicked up from crowds of people walking around on a vacant lot, seriously though. It seems to me the easiest thing to do would be to go back to closing Roosevelt St. during First Fridays as it is just one street, and this would be better for everyone. Streets are closed off for endless, pointless, waste-of-money road construction projects all the time, and yet they can’t close Roosevelt for one night a month…just for a few blocks, when 10,000-20,000 people are roaming around?

1991/1661

I traded in my ’63 reissue Danelectro guitar for a ’91 Squier Telecaster at Musician’s Discount in Mesa. The Danelectro reissue stuff sounds all right. I mean the tone is decent, but it’s just made out of such cheapjack material,(made in china of course.) Anyhow I took the Telecaster to MusicBrokers and the guy there did a really good job setting it up for me. I highly recommend them. One music store I don’t recommend going to is Bizarre Guitar on 7th ave and Melrose. They have a sign on every guitar that says “do not touch” and basically follow you around the store and stare you down as if you’re going to break or steal something. It’s like that feeling you get walking onto a shady used car lot where the people are complete assholes. I can understand stores not wanting people to grab and manhandle expensive vintage guitars or Les Pauls….but they had a “do not touch” sign on EVERY guitar….like we’re talking Squier Strats here and stuff. After reading their reviews online, it seems most people have had a similar negative experience there.

At MusicBrokers you can grab any guitar you want off the shelf and check it out. The employees don’t even pay much attention to you, until you need their help. My kind of place!


Musician’s Discount: Highly Recommended
MusicBrokers: Highly Recommended
Bizarre Guitar and Drums: Not recommended

Why do I suddenly feel like I’m hosting one of those late eighties/early nineties HBO Consumer Reports specials? this being one of the more memorable ones….

mister blue

This weekend blows. Today it must redeem itself. My “date” for the prom sort of flaked out on me friday, so now I’m hanging out with martha dumptruck. Ended up at Philthy Phils dancing with an asian(hispasian?) chick who was going buck wild. I was in sort of a shitty mood so I smoked a cig even. Yeah, that’s right, a cig! These last couple weeks have been planet gay….but anyways. Last night I hung out with Jonathan who just returned from a one month break of going out…which sounds like a great idea, but I could never do it(unless i have a gf or something and this is two to three years ago.) He has a goatee now, which was the source of much humor for those around us.

Friday night drunk josh came up to me and Bill, and we gave him the cold shoulder as usual, and he was questioning why, and I told him it was because he had boner rage, and then he stormed off, and Bill mentioned that was the fastest he’d ever seen anybody get rid of him. That dude has been around forever, and is something of a homosexual legend in this town.

I’ve been trying to get into recording music in my new place, but i only end up listening to records and drinking. I need inspiration. I need romance and flowers and wind. Or maybe i just need to go to the mall more.

I have more and more suicide daydreams lately. I write up mock suicide notes in my head. What would I say? I always have these weird goals that keep me going, like “Yeah as soon as i get this done or fulfill this dream or successfully bang this girl, it’s cool if i die.”

Hah. That song “Aquarius” just came on as I’m typing this. An astrological sign perhaps. Anyone for magical thinking.

Monsters From the Id

So the “Stuff White People Like,” Ikea throwpillow crowd is all up in arms over the long overdue immigration bill. They are appalled at the prospect that *gasp* the police can ask for your drivers license or ID when they pull you over. Wait don’t they already do that now? Next time I get stopped by a cop who asks to see my license, registration, and proof of insurance I’m going to go to the ACLU and ask why my rights are being violated. The new immigration law will lead to racial profiling, they say. Hellooo Mcfly, anybody home? There are zillions of people of Hispanic ancestry in Phoenix, and the police are not going to be messing with anyone who speaks fluent English and has an ID card just because they look brown. Sure, cops can be assholes…but most of them are already awash in “sensitivity training” and generally would prefer not to bother with anything that’s going to create annoying paperwork for them unless it’s for a valid reason. I mentioned a couple weeks ago, that we found a Mexican dude passed out in the bushes in our backyard. The guy spoke almost no English, had no identification, and was carrying in his possession nothing but a weed pipe and a pair of women’s underwear. And I’m pretty sure the cops let that guy go and even gave him a ride home. In the cases of some of the officers who were murdered by illegal aliens, the suspects had previously been arrested dozens of times. They should have been deported long before but were allowed to remain because federal authorities never bothered to do anything. Thus a state law was passed, which simply mirrors the already existing federal law.

Who doesn’t have an ID card anyway? How backward do you have to be to be a naturalized citizen of a country and not carry any ID whatsoever?….which leads us to the unintended victims of the Immigration bill:

That’s right, prehistoric cavemen living in the mountains of the Arizona desert, and misc backwoodsmen lurking about in the deep forests of Flagstaff.

The notion that if you’re opposed to illegal immigration and favor a pro-low immigration policy similar to(by today’s standards) the almost complete moratorium on immigration we had from 1924-1965(which ushered in the golden age of America 1945-1965) …the idea that that’s somehow racist is nothing but a red herring and the product of a generation which lacks critical thinking skills and can’t appreciate historical context of anything that happened prior to 1980. People who oppose illegal immigration are not racist and not anti-immigrant. We merely support a pro-low immigration policy. Mass immigration from specific countries leads to a sort of neo-segregation as it deprives people of the need to adapt to their new country, and so they form cities within cities. They often live in completely self segregated Spanish speaking neighborhoods and have their own separate newspapers and television stations. Even the fact that so many people self identify themselves as Hispanic or Mexican is in itself a form of racialism and proof that attempts to integrate them into our society have largely been a failure.

The reason why the racism charge is also B.S. is that it fails to take into account the fact that many Hispanics are opposed to illegal immigration and support the new law. When an initiative passed a few years ago making English the official language of the state, it’s worth noting (but rarely mentioned) that 50% of Hispanics voted for it! They don’t want to self identify with a specific race. I’m of mostly Scandinavian and German ancestry, but feel no allegiance toward those nations and do not partake in any ancient grievance mongering related to their historical conflicts. The mere mention of my ancestry is generally limited to the context of complaining about how my skin can’t handle being exposed to sunlight for more than a few minutes.

And what happened to localism? Why are liberals allying themselves with transnational big businesses like Walmart and Mcdonalds? Lately it seems the left are giving Mitt Romney a run for his money in terms of how much big business cock they can suck. Ah the times they are a changin’ again. Just because some CEOs are getting rich by selling out their culture and countrymen’s standard of living, doesn’t mean that it’s better for the community as a whole. Funny how you never see the people who profit off these folks living among them in the slummy environments that they’ve created. Sure, it all looks great now when you just cash your check from a gated community, but slowly(or perhaps rapidly) the demographics are changing and the children of these folks are coming of age and voting themselves into power. It’s not because conservatives oppose illegal immigration that Hispanics vote against them(okay so maybe it pushed it from like 70% to 80%). It’s because impoverished Hispanics simply vote overwhelmingly socialist and liberal as is evident in almost all of South America. Sure, so they are conservative a on a few religious issues like abortion. Great, so we’ll have a socialist espanol speaking suprawelfare state, but with abortion finally illegal, and a resurgence in usage of the term “Christmas Tree” (as opposed to the secular Holiday Tree”). No thanks, that’s a shitty tradeoff. Liberals and gays should also not dismiss the fact that illegal immigration is often counter-productive toward many of their political goals. Poor immigrants are generally religious, culturally conservative, traditionalist chauvinists who vote against gay rights and women’s rights.

Conservative libertarians should take note that the intention of having a “free-er” market may suicidally result in just the opposite. It’s worth mentioning that southern California was once a bastion of Goldwater conservatism. Now Los Angeles is heavily democratic, and Orange County barely leans moderate republican save a few pockets of resistance. Much of this can be traced to the changes in demographics in the region as opposed to the “changing of minds.” Thus ironically. libertarianism without borders actually leads to statism.

Here is a photo of Maryvale developer “John F Long” with Ronald Reagan in 1958, selling new homes to World War II veterans.

Now Maryvale is a third world scumtown. Gee, those World War II vets must have really made a mess of the place…or could there possibly have been another culprit in Maryvale’s demise? Hmmm…

There’s something else, too. Many of these southwestern states: California, Arizona and Nevada have severe water shortages on the horizon, and yet we’re being told we need to take in hundreds of thousands of new people every year. What sort of effect is this going to have on the price of utilities let alone the actual physical problems associated with these shortages? Is this cost factored into the equation of how much money we are supposedly saving with cheap labor? And what about the environment? Just how much sense does it make to import millions of impoverished people from rag-tag third world countries into a vast metropolis in the middle of the desert? Continued population growth in these places will lead to more land development, more urban sprawl, more crummy condos and ghetto apartments, more Walmarts and Food Citys, or to paraphrase Peter Cook as the devil in the film “Bedazzled” (1967 version)

“All right, you great git, you’ve asked for it. I’ll cover the world in Tastee-Freez and Wimpy Burgers. I’ll fill it with concrete runways, motorways, aircraft, television, automobiles, advertising, plastic flowers, frozen food and supersonic bangs. I’ll make it so noisy and disgusting that even you’ll be ashamed of yourself! No wonder you’ve so few friends; you’re unbelievable!”

When a civilization becomes highly advanced it begins to take polite society for granted, forgetting about the inevitably irrepressible monsters from the id, which still exist in all of us. And the Id of course, is the part of the psychic apparatus which impoverished people, including immigrants from third world countries, most often live by.

“The Romans conquered the barbarians—and the barbarians conquered Rome. Colonization of the mother countries by subject peoples is the last chapter in the history of empires—and the next chapter in the history of the West—that is now coming to a close. -Pat Buchanan,Paris Burning

Related Reading:
New York Times Blows Chance at Major Scoop by Austin Bramwell

No single gum double freshens your mouth like….

Last night was First Friday, which started out promising. When I first got out of my car and was walking to the event, two really pretty girls who had just moved here asked me for directions basically on where to go and what to see. They were dental students and sisters which for some reason reminded me of those “Double Mint” chewing gum commercials from the 80’s because they would have been cute enough to star in them.

They were All American girls from Texas, and since they were studying to be dentists, I mentioned that they must have had good brushing habits…and also felt a little self conscious on whether they would therefore be obsessed with teeth and inspecting mine… making a mental note of any flaws or evidence of neglect.

Anyway, I told them to follow me. We walked together, chatting it up until we got to Roosevelt…but I didn’t want to overstay my welcome so I introduced myself and then was on my way. They said they hoped we’d bump into each other again in the evening which would have been a minor miracle but didn’t end up happening so the best I can hope for is that they have the curiosity to lurk me up online and friend me.

Almost immediately after that as I was walking around looking to distribute promotional materials…I managed to find 5 bucks on the ground. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty damn good about the evening so far….well that was the high point unfortunately. I met up with Jonathan, and we walked around but didn’t really accomplish any of the things we wanted to do. At the main stage, in between bands, there was a dance group that was doing a routine
vaguley reminiscent of the “In Living Color” style numbers that I remember seeing cheerleaders and drill teams perform during endless high school assemblies of the 90’s. We both decided it was time to get out of there…and we were off to spend another wastefully traumatizing evening at Casey Moore’s where nothing too interesting happened.

I was planning on attending that “Wow” party that was going on at Martini Ranch, because many of my friends were involved, and I wanted to support them. However, it was 25 bucks…and the last time I went to Martini Ranch it was nothing but Scottsdale bros and girls gone wild, with a few cougars prowling about. I kind of wish I would have wen though because I could have potentially met some new interesting people. So as it was, what I should have done is just went home immediately after finding those 5 crumpled up dollar bills on the ground, kicked back and daydreamed about time machines.