The Wrecking Crew, documentary

There’s an interesting documentary called The Wrecking Crew that I just watched. It features the many session musicians who played on many hit songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s. Revealing and fascinating, these studio “session players” brought their many and powerful talents to songs we’ve all heard and love. Producers relied on them to crank out the hits, bringing a depth to songs that might otherwise have languished. Their input helped many acts reach the top of the charts, all the while, these people were mostly left uncredited. Sadly, that’s how the business worked back then. Nonetheless, their talent lives on as these songs are still popular in various venues from the movies to nostalgia events.

If you’re looking for something to watch, I highly recommend The Wrecking Crew. You’ll meet the people behind the sound and appreciate what they did.

Published in: on June 26, 2015 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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No books?

Well, there were some books, but quite a few less, as in less than half. I’m talking about a visit to my local, big-box bookstore. Less than six months ago I was in there, perusing the shelves, looking for something to read and there was an entire floor of shelves stacked edge to edge with reading material. Now? Let’s just say there are games and toys and other bric a brace and precious fewer tomes to tickle the fancy. Disappointed? Yes, I am. The bookstore has always been an adventure, a sort of treasure hunt. Sure, it’s possible to comb through the world wide web but it’s tons more fun to touch the pages, maybe bump into someone who has read something good, or even be told what to avoid. I know, I know, ¬†all the reviews are online. Sterile they are because you can’t look into someone’s eyes and ask questions.

At any rate, the days of the bookstore in the big-box form are numbered. There will be the specialty shops out there, operated by book lovers. And I’ll go looking for them because books are still relevant in whatever form they take. The people involved with them offer some interesting insight, too. Happy reading!

Published in: on January 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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All those dollars…

and what to do with them? Imagine your China, sitting on a trillion or more US dollars. What would you do with them? Ponder no longer because the Chinese have made their move with a few of them. They’ve decided to take 1.8 billion of those greenbacks and buy Volvo automobile operations from Ford Motor Company. It sounds like a great deal considering that Ford paid $6.5 billion for Volvo way back in 1999, you know, before the US government socialized Ford’s competitors, GM and Chrysler. At any rate, things are looking up for the circulation of the US dollar.

It seems the Chinese have finally woken up to the hangover of having lent a bit too much cash to their drunken sailor pal, the United States Federal Government. Therefore, the move is on to get rid of those dollars so as not to be stuck holding the bag when their deadbeat finally balks and decides either 1) not to pay, or 2) to devalue the currency. Better buy what you can, while you can, or else you’ll be holding paper that has a more valuable use in the lavatory.

In the scheme of things, $1.8 billion sounds like chump change compared to the trillions floating around out there. But there’s more to this game than a single field with a few guys tramping the grass. The Chinese are buying hard assets everywhere from Cartegna to Canberra, Mongolia to Madagascar. They’re quite pleased to hand pieces of paper printed at the US Treasury for these assets because the paper will soon be declining in value and China has a billion people to feed, clothe, shelter, and tote around every day. What would you rather own: a) a promise from Barack Obama’s non-tax paying treasury secretary; b) a promise from the very recently but temporarily removed chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee; or c) a coal mine in Colombia that produces hundreds of thousands of tons of raw energy for your economy. Quick now! What’s it going to be?

The conversion will continue and accelerate. This is sad news for those saps taking the paper. Soon they’ll figure out they sold cheap as they try to return those bucks to Uncle Sam at an ever decreasing value to buy things like Hollywood Movies, which are hard to eat, ride in, or re-sell. Man are they going to be angry. They might also be perturbed that the ugly Americans on their soil were one thing, but the Chinese are something else entirely. Are the Chinese managers going to embrace all the new fangled global environmental regs? How about the unionization of the employees? How about the safety standards? Take a look at China’s factories, mines, and cities and you’ll see people don’t wear masks to celebrate Halloween every day of the year. Nor do they have sky-high cancer rates because of too many cigarettes, although that is a problem, too.

Yet, the biggest menace of all will come in the future as the Chinese leap frog ahead in technological innovation. They’re buying the Volvo assets that include factories and systems developed over 90 years. They’re getting it all for a song and getting it right now. They can build upon this huge step up and launch toward the future not only in automobiles but in the many other technologies that they’re buying. In the mean time, America and Europe fester in a limbo of socialistic delusion that if only we work less, we’ll have more. We’ll have more allright, more imports from China, more idiotic policies from a US Administration and Congress dominated by ingrates and fools, and more free time to learn Mandarin and Cantonese, which will come in handy in a couple of years when those nouveau riche tourists from behind the Great Wall arrive by the 747-load. Sorry, that won’t be a Boeing-built 747, it will be a Geely-built model 1.

Published in: on March 28, 2010 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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One more straw…

Today I read Peggy Noonan’s regular piece in The Wall Street Journal. Normally I appreciate Ms. Noonan’s insightful and carefully crafted missives. Today was one more straw on the back of a camel’s back that’s about to break. You see, Ms. Noonan, like so many others, refers to the people in the current administration as “so bright” and also mentions that these dolts are led by someone who is also “bright.” Ahem. I beg to differ.

In the first place, the current US Administration has produced nothing successful in terms of domestic or foreign policy. They have recycled a mantra born of Marx, raised by Euro-socialists, and finally polished to high gloss by Hollywood, USA. Please, “spreading the wealth” policies aren’t ones created by “bright” people. They’re created by bitter, angry, envious, and dim people, ones typically bent on telling the rest of the country that the rules are to be obeyed except by themselves. Consider the results: consistent failure by any measure. Does the Euro-socialist have less debt and higher living standards? No. They’re invoice has come due and they’re scrambling with how to pay. Has the Middle East been mollified to even a minor degree. Sorry, no. Have the Iranians given up the quest for the A-bomb? Uh, not hardly. Has the economy snapped back? Not yet. Has China agreed to free-float their currency? Nope. Have the Russian laid off their former satellites? Nyet. Chavez taken a powder? No.

As for leadership by Ms. Noonan’s supposedly “bright” person, consider that he drops a list of demands before the prime minister of Israel and walks out for a meal. Is this the action of a “bright” man? No, this is the method of an angry, arrogant, envious, and pitifully dim man. He results to brute thuggery. Why? Isn’t this the one who is supposed to be so eloquent, so persuasive, so congenial? No, he is not. If he were “bright” as too many claim, he would not have had to bribe Congress and various constituencies to pound through his health care plan. He would have made appeals that gained support without the purchase price of billions. He would have been able to have a meaningful and productive dialog with another head of state. No, the Oval Office is not occupied by a particularly bright person. All evidence points to the exact opposite.

What the evidence also shows is that the “press” and many members of Congress and too many people in the public no longer have an accurate method of measuring the quality of those in high office. What passes for “bright” today is woefully below the mark. If you wear a snazzy suit, walk with a swagger, and wag your finger in moments of barely controlled hostility, well, you’re a bright fellow capable of leading a nation. Never mind that you’re a retread worn down to the cords the moment you stepped into the light. You look good through the soft-focus lens. Peggy Noonan said so. And that makes it true.

Published in: on March 27, 2010 at 10:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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