I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Hey everybody

Thanks for checking in. Apologies for the lack of new reviews. I have many things in the works, some punching and more horror business and what not. But I really feel like my next review should be something very positive and constructive. I’m getting there.

In times like this I turn to Stevie, so in case you need an uplift too I have a song to share with you. This is a religious song, and I’m not a religious person. I mean, I’m a scoundrel, sometimes I’ll try praying when shit gets scary (lately) or when someone I care about dies (too often), figuring if Someone’s not out there to listen at least I’m putting my thoughts together or sending out good vibes or something.

But I kind of feel like listening to music is my version of spirituality. Going to a P-Funk show is the closest I get to those ladies fanning themselves and speaking in tongues in the revival tent. There are pieces of music I love so much they can take me to a higher mind state and make me feel better about life. I can go to church on a piece of music.  I got a weird habit of putting on headphones at 2:30 am and listening to some song intently and getting real emotional, even teary-eyed just thinking about the way the notes move my soul. Recent examples include “Purple Rain” and “Maggot Brain.”

But one time not long ago I put on this song and I just thought about how if you were someone like Stevie, you had sounds like this coming instinctively out of you, of course you would be a religious person. It must feel like some godly voice is speaking through you.

Whatever it is, his voice and attitude and rhythms always soothe me, so try this one out if you need it.

You know what? That’s beautiful and all, but that might’ve not been a strong enough choice, we might need some more funk for this funk. I think we are gonna need to have Stevie at prime 1970s funk levels. And we’re gonna need his band set up just on a street somewhere. In fact, we’re gonna specifically need them to be performing on Sesame Street.

Unfortunately there are no Muppets in this clip, but it still looks like the greatest block party ever. Check out the kid at 4:11 rockin out like he’s on the Peanuts Christmas special.

https://youtu.be/_ul7X5js1vE

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Thursday, November 10th, 2016 at 10:48 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

41 Responses to “Hey everybody”

  1. Music is a good thing to retreat to in such times. I’ll be at an Electric Six concert next week. I already had to miss out on The Chemical Brothers and John Carpenter for financial reasons, so I’m glad at least their tickets were cheap enough for a long time unemployee like me and hey, seeing your favourite band live for the first time since 2009 isn’t too bad either.

    Something tells me they might play this song from their 2nd album, which was written as a reaction to George W’s America. It’s not up there with all the other great songs about shitty times and politics in music history, but it’s one of the most fun. And yeah, listen to ROCK ‘N’ ROLL EVACUATION over and over today really cheered me up a bit.

    01. Electric Six - Rock And Roll Evacuation (Señor Smoke)

    Electric Six - Rock And Roll Evacuation

  2. Holy damn, that version of Superstition is a gift from God. Wow!

    I do Heaven Help Us All when I need something like this. I use music very much like you do, and this is one of my prayers.

    Also this incredible video by Supaman:

    Supaman - Why

    Supaman and world champion dancer Acosia Red Elk team up on this visually stimulating video for the song called "Why" which is featured on Supaman's forth co...

    Not to clog up the comments with a bunch of my own videos. I wouldn’t, but this is soul-saving stuff.

    Thanks for everything, Vern.

  3. I’ve been listening to Slayer’s GOD HATES US ALL a lot the past couple days so I totally get where you’re coming from.

  4. I’m old enough to have lived through my country picking the “evil of two lessers” a few times, and it never turns out as bad as we imagine (so far, anyway). I’m ready to protest when he fucks up, but at the moment, as difficult as it is to say it, he’s my president, and I wish him success. (But I also sent off a check to the ACLU last night – I’m no pollyanna!)
    Everybody should do what they need to do to feel better (as long as we’re not talking violence or other stupid shit).

  5. Thank you for the post Vern.

    Musically I’m more on Majestyk’s plane right now. Here is some of my catharsis

    FISTER - LIFE IS SHORT LIFE IS SHIT AND SOON IT WILL BE OVER

    From our split 12" with Primitive Man 11/28/2014 A389 Recordings / order the vinyl at http://fisterdoom.limitedrun.com / digital available at http://fisterdo...

  6. I’ve mostly been listening to Jerry Goldsmith’s THE OMEN lately. Also Jerry Goldsmith’s AIR FORCE ONE. If you alternate tracks, it starts to sound like the nightly news!

    The truth, however, is that I’ve actually been listening to Bob Dylan, Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell, Woody Guthrie, Mose Allison, Randy Newman, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Jimi. Also Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys and the Gershwins. Also Lin-Manuel Miranda and The Roots and Run The Jewels. American music is one of the greatest things about our culture–and so much of it is progressive, influential, soulful…! Our music tells our true political history, and tells it with deep feeling and creative innovation.

    (Also, people: listen to Anais Mitchell’s album HADESTOWN. It is far too perfect for this moment.)

  7. I also dug this one out of the vault because I always find it soothing but then I imagined Obama singing it to America on the day he hands over the keys to Trump and I got bummed out all over again. The lyrics after the guitar solo are particularly on point.

    I'm Just Your Good Thing

    Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group International I'm Just Your Good Thing · George Thorogood & The Destroyers Move It On Over ℗ 1978 Rounder Record...

  8. Poor Vern, you’re still inconsolably crying chubby man tears after drinking all that Kool aid.

    Dwell on the fact that the extreme Liberal fear mongering that you bought into without question is what won Trump the election. The extreme bias and arrogance of Liberal media pissed off too many voters. You can try to control voters through fear of a candidate but it can also blow up in your face when you get ridiculous with it.

  9. She won the popular vote, KMatchstick.

  10. KMatch, to come at me like that on this thread is just being a dick. That’s not the kind of place I run around here. If that’s what you need to enjoy yourself you’re gonna have to go elsewhere. thanks for your consideration.

  11. And please note that I deliberately didn’t mention a particular political affiliation. Your side has plenty of reason to be stressed as well and I assume is also capable of enjoying music.

  12. Leonard Cohen? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. How much more darkest timeline shit am I expected to take.

  13. Leonard Cohen, god, I can’t take it. I don’t feel sad for him, he lived a long and full life and seemed fully aware and at peace with meeting his end. I’m sad for the world without him; if there was ever a time we needed his wisdom and pitch-black sense of humor, it’s right now. He wrote a song, “Anthem” that fits these times and it was performed beautifully by Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, right here:

    Perla Batalla & Julie Christensen - Anthem

    Perla Batalla / Julie Christensen sing L. Cohen's "Anthem" at the Sydney Opera House

    This song is a total heartbreaker AND it contains a seriously badass lyric (at 2:18 in the clip) that makes it particularly suitable for posting in this venue: “I can’t run no more with that lawless crowd, while the killers in high places say their prayers out loud. But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up a thundercloud — and they’re going to hear from me…” Cohen goes full Statham!! R. I. P.

  14. Whenever I hear that line I picture Leonard Cohen in his dapper suit and fedora, racking the shotgun and heading for the door… with the same small, wry smile he had on his face when I saw him in concert. Give ’em hell Leonard!! “They’re going to hear from me”, indeed.

  15. Vern, you might want to consider listening to this.

    Hold On To The Vision - Kevin Chalfant (High Quality)

    Original Soundtrack of Never Surrender (Karate Tiger) Singer : Kevin Chalfant

  16. It seems like it was just yesterday that it was 2012 and Obama won his second term doesn’t it? Hard to believe how much the world has changed in what feels like a short amount of time.

    The thing America has taught me is don’t get complacent, you may feel like you have a handle on where the culture is going but things can turn on a dime.

  17. The basic sentiment behind Eminem’s Mosh is working pretty well for me right now. Would love to see him treat this as an opportunity to say some political stuff and stop making pop songs and masturbatory, excessively complex rappity rap crap with no substance. So, I’m a pushing-40 white rap fan. Let me have this :)

  18. Griff, “don’t be complacent” is 100% the correct reaction, and I truly hope I can continue to feel it with you.

    Haven’t figured out my personal battle plan yet, but I’m trying to, it and I hope everybody else is doing the same.

  19. Stevie was brilliant in London,preaching love and all round good vibes,and providing something far deeper than just a concert!

    Something I feel is missing in a lot of the mainstream.

  20. i’ve never been more inspired to get more politically involved in my entire life

    i voted for bernie in the primaries. dude is getting old, but he hasn’t ruled out another run

    strangely the oldest person we ever elected is donald trump, 70. hillary would have been our second oldest after reagan at 69

    just make sure he’s got a good vice president

    elizabeth warren

    (or she should be the nominee in her own right)

    then make a list of all the damage to the environment, civil rights, women’s rights, race relations, international affairs, etc. we have to fix in 2020

    in the interest of fairness, trump made a trillion dollar infrastructure proposal, which i love (michigan, pennsylvania, wisconsin are going to get a lot of new bridges!)

    but conservatives are already attacking him for it

    my hope now is that since trump has exploded the GOP as much as the Democrats. i hope he sticks to his fire and continues to trample the paleoconservatives, which is how he got him the primary win from the GOP

    if he semi-retires from firebrand status and let’s them drive the agenda, boy are we screwed

    the next 4 years could be really tough

    or tough with some pleasant surprises like infrastructure

    i’m also looking forward, only now, to trump’s complete lack of integrity, and him revealing some “secret” midtown manhattan limosine liberal values. i don’t think he’s going to completely morph but on some issues i see it happening

    all potential international changes only of scare me now though

  21. I suspect Trump is going to have far less fun being president than being a candidate, though we’ll see, and I’m not sure what’s worst. His cabinet choices to me refelct BR’s worst fear: That he’s a know-nothing who’s putting conservative hacks in critical positions and he’ll play free cell and tweet from the oval office while they burn their respective areas of policy influence into the ground. Those are just early tea leaves.

    In contrast to Crush, I think Obama’s speech and remarks with Trump were hella classy. However, I think liberals need to bring concrete proposals and facts that appeal to all Ame.ricans (vs. pwesents and pandering for individual tribes alone), and they need to be ruthlessly obstructionist when it comes to harmful Trump or Republican policies. They need to offer alternatives, mercilessly hector and obstruct Trump where policy and integrity demand it, and organize.

    I do think there are valid points in the whole critique of identity politics. Even Obama, in his conversation w/ Bill Maher, made critical remarks about identity politics. We need to acknowledge that the issues and needs uniquely facing blacks, LBTQ, immigrants, Muslims, etc. are unique and matter. But progressives have in many ways divided and conquered themselves at the same time they’ve alienating working class whites. When even well-documented liberals like Matt Damon or Lena Dunham (and those are just white people I know of) get twitter-lynched (I’m already preparing my apology for using the word lynch in this context — that’s meta) because they offended some person, it’s a problem. I mean, I think it is fine to pushback on those folks when they say insensitive things, but what I mean is that the broader identity politics climate makes progressive seem like (and perhaps they are) a loose coalition of ultimately ingroup-self-interested tribes whose primary lens is their specific identity group’s oppression as opposed to the broader issues of economic justice, freedom of religion, the planet, etc. When white moderates and liberals are demonized and stereotyped (justifiably or not) or the message is sent that their primary concern should be the needs of ethnic minority groups, I think it alienates those people.

    I’m not taking issue w/ the substance of identity groups’ concerns, I’m just talking about basic messaging and coalition building. As a white guy, it’s hard for me to unify with people when it seems obligatory to lay all the blame for everything (not just Trump’s election) at the feet of white people or white men in general, and that aspect of Trump supporters’ emotionalist reaction is one I can actually identify with. Progressives need an inclusive overarching vision that incorporates but also transcends and isn’t reduced to identity politics. There is a broader politics of diversity, decency, collective and individual fallibility. When, as a white man, the message is that I’m no better than Trump or Mark Furhman or that I am personally and directly guilty of institutional racism (vs. being caught up in it just like everybody else), it is alienating on a sub-rational and very powerful level, but also even on a rational level.

    This only describes a very vocal minority of progressives. Obviously, Hillary got broad support from liberals. But to build a broader coalition, I think liberals need to embrace a broader, less identity politics, but no less vigorous and radical, vision of freedom, economic justice, diversity, and dialogue. This is just me speaking from my experience.

  22. As per usual, my post above is fairly top of the dome, unfiltered in terms of content and copy editing.

    What I mean to say is: A robust liberal coalition needs to find ways to include and indeed galvanize not just those we identify as minorities (them, too, of course!), but also coastal white liberals, and also working class, poor, and swing voters of all stripes. And it needs a way to mercilessly marginalize, obstruct, critique, and identify alternatives to supply side economics, climate change denial, and all forms of xenophobia and white paranoia. It needs to appeal to our minds and our emotions and our better natures. We need to form alliances. I know we also need all kinds of concrete things to happen to enable this, but the issue is how to organize people: to show them a cause, show them how they can be involved, and show them results.

  23. I come here because the signal-to-noise is just about as good as it gets. Jesse, thank you; Supaman just saved my week.

  24. Like, here is what I am talking about. I haven’t even read the article. It’s probably got legitimate points about white late night hosts not appreciating the particularly adverse impact of these outcomes on different minority groups. But these kind of smug, repetitive, lazy, ubrban millenial, scold-your-own, white guilt, high-fiving, who-can-be-the-most-outraged-and-politically-correct-contest hack journalism pieces are just a total bummer, and I think they accomplish very little. You will not see me calling these people “social justice warriors” or whatever, and, again, I think there’s a legitimate point here. But the tone and intentions and pragmatic messaging impact of this kind of stuff is just the worst. Here’s a sure recipe for progressive success: just keep heaping snarky smug white guilt onto people so I can feel like a piece of shit about all kinds of things I have very little direct control over. It’s just a poisonous way to pursue and live out core values that I fundamentally share.

    White Privilege Abounds in Late-Night Television's Response to Trump's Victory

    Let us lament that there are so few people of color in late-night television. Let us lament that the hosts we do have don't recognize their own privilege.

  25. I kind of know what you mean, Skani. We have similar problems over here and I think the right wing backlash can be attributed to similar “white guilt” tactics.

  26. Also, this is a pretty funny spoof commercial on white priviledged liberals.

    Triggered!™

    How long before YOU get Triggered? Subscribe to Chaps Eye: http://goo.gl/L5h0Uo Follow us on Facebook: https://goo.gl/4jGgmX Support us on Patreon: https://g...

  27. That’s not bad, Shoot :)

  28. I don’t really get this whole “identity politics” term that I suddenly am seeing bandied about everywhere. Is it a euphemism for “giving a shit about minorities”? Are we throwing up our hands and saying the All Lives Matter assholes were right?

    Sorry for the kneejerk post but, I’m not sure I get this line of discourse.

  29. I’m not saying that, renfield. What I’m saying is that progressivism needs moderate and working class white people. It needs educated white people. It needs less-educated people. Statistically. And what I’m saying is that a lot of the millenial generation progressive discourse (Paste, Slate, Daily Beast) strikes me as living in a navel-gazing, smug, self-righteous, petty, and intellectually lazy bubble where there is just this cottage industry of being perpetually outraged or tsk-tsk-y or white guilty at everything and everybody including and especially other self-professed liberals who are clearly horrified at Donald Trump (like Colbert). Articles like the one above, which are legion. How does that kind of love-in circle jerk stew of white guilt and liberal self-righteousness serve the goal of creating a broader vision of progressivism where blue collar and/or rural and/or less-educated white people who don’t routinely use the words “white privilege” or “heteronormative” feel like there’s a place for them? A guy like Obama (lay off me, Crush) knew how to create that broader vision and inspire people. 100% classy, very vocal about issues facing different groups, and very inclusive. This is a person I can get behind.

    The “white privilege” guilt card is so played. Like, I remember first learning about white privilege and heterosexual privilege as concepts literally fucking 20 years ago. I get it. I know, just more whitesplaining. If you want to bring me over to your cause, try not making it your whole life’s mission to remind me how privileged I am all the time and how every ethnic or gender or sexual minority clearly has it worse than me in every way regardless of our differences in social class or my personal story. Don’t talk down to me and don’t lay the blame for the world’s problems at my feet. Tell me what I can do and why I should do it in a way that inspires and challenges me and gives me hope and tells me I have a place and can be a part of something.

    Also, I’m not saying anything about Black Lives Matter in the above, so please don’t start inferring my broader intentions or package of beliefs from my statements above, which is the whole problem with the contemporary discourse in the first place. As I said above, even Obama uses the term “identity politics” with some scorn. I support any non-violent activist movement that draws to light real, meaningful injustice and proposes constructive solutions, including Black Lives Matter.

    There’s just only so many self-shaming and/or self-congratulatory “white privilege” analyses of every absurd little thing I can tolerate, especially when they’re coming from other white people.

    The above is about 40% half-baked feeling and 60% organized thought that I think has at least a grain of truth to it.

  30. Thanks for the response Skani. I certainly do not believe that you think anything negative about #BLM was really just trying to portray my own confusion.

  31. Crushinator Jones

    November 11th, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    @Skani

    “A guy like Obama (lay off me, Crush) knew how to create that broader vision and inspire people. 100% classy, very vocal about issues facing different groups, and very inclusive. ”

    I’ve deliberately stayed out of here to make this a Crush Free Zone (nobody needs me hounding them across multiple threads unasked) but you’re absolutely right. I’ve never made any bones about this – Obama talks the talk and is extremely great at it.

    That’s all I’ll say about it. Resume your discussion, toodles!

  32. Cool. My thoughts are still evolving here, clearly. :)

  33. I almost feel bad for all you sad sacks who didn’t get your way and now are faced with 4 years of Trump. But I am REALLY, REALLY glad a criminal like Hillary lost, from the White Water scandal all the way up to Benghazi no politician has had so many skeletons in their closet. There was far too much smoke for there not to be fire.

    Now that Hillary’s political career is over and she has no favours to call in she needs to be held to account and stand trial, if only for all the shady business deals and fraud perpetrated by the Clinton foundation.

  34. Skani, mine are evolving as well. Here are the latest mutations

    I reflect upon Vern’s noted essay RIGHTEOUS FURY (you use all caps for essay titles right?) and the discussion that ensued. This was, primarily, a productive and fascinating conversation between reasonably progressive, like-minded people that nonetheless found plenty to disagree over.

    I have all sorts of shit to say about this.
    Vern’s sight is such a fucking anomaly. I don’t know what sort of drastic measures, if any, he’s had to take with *the banhammer* in this thread and the other. But even in this insanely divisive and contentious moment in our collective character, the two threads he has running on the election have gone relatively smoothly. Time and time again Vern posts on issues that would swamp 99% of other web communities with people spewing toxicity at one another, but we’re doing pretty good.

    Given the precarious future of information’s basic credibility and accountability in our society, I find this to be very significant and inspiring. We need to start designing our virtual communities better and not in a way that encourages them to be the primordial soup from which extremist and retroactive ideologies tend to generate.

    Even though I am naming Vern’s sight and comments as a paragon of the excellence for which we strive, you see elements of that shit creep into Vern’s most contentious threads. Troll culture is not something unique to Trumpism and we need to recognize that the same sort of shocking, inhuman language, though uniquely horrifying on the lips of our actual POTUS, permeates to some extent all of the myriad subcultures we find represented on internet. It’s a problem of the info age that we haven’t made much progress in figuring out, that I know of.

    In retrospect, now that we have a collective awakening that some Real Shit is at hand, it sure seems like a luxury that we could sit around and chastise one another over just how feminist Fury Road was or wasn’t, right? Those were the days! I imagine liberals who were annoyed with Sarkeesian’s perceived self-righteousness (justified or not) feel like they should have been worrying about more important shit. Or maybe they blame her even more now for alienating various people. Either way, at the time, I really enjoyed that discussion.

    I’ve read several instances where Vern criticized the phenomenon in which liberals completely reject films, or statements, or works of art or whatever that are generally progressive and liberal, but not *perfectly* progressive and liberal. It’s the same line of reasoning, right? But, in some sense, the goal is to get to a point where we DO have the luxury to sit around and fine tune and get it to 100% (probably will hover around 77% because it will be a genuine philosopher/scholar society and not a 1984 though-police-state).

  35. Victus – the investigations you mention were transparently started and dragged out to hurt her chances at becoming president. Now that they got their witch I think they will move on to other pursuits.

  36. If you start seeing every attack on rich white guys as an attack on you, then you’re falling into those same ‘identity politics’ trap, albeit from the other end. Wouldn’t it just be simpler to divide everyone as either an trying-to-be-an-asshole, or trying-NOT-to-be-an-asshole. Wouldn’t that make life a lot simpler?

  37. I would agree with that, Jam.

    I believe *everyone* who is in the economic 90-99% can unify around a common theme that the system is broken and corrupt. We are in this together. Steps to move toward a more egalitarian society will benefit everyone and will probably go a long way toward mitigating the rage and hopelessness that feeds bigotry and extremism. This does not mean we need to flatten out differences in experience, culture, or civil rights abuses across all different people groups, but we do need to find ways to unify around a common sense agenda for economic justice (progressive taxation, basic income), civil rights, also democratic/electoral freedom (voting rights, campaign finance, how districts are drawn). This is a big tent framework (with the emphasis on the bread and butter economics that even white rural folks can relate to). Otherwise, we are divided and will only be further so, as hopelessness and desperation lead us to retreat into factions. I think we need lower and middle class political warfare.

    A lot of these left-wing, nit-picky, navel-gazing, pop culture jerk-off/high-fiving pieces do little to advance that and often serve to drive wedges between us. I am not at all applying that to real, sober analysis and investigative journalism of injustices, which is absolutely what a credible, vigilant media is supposed to give us.

  38. Also, I would encourage people to start subscribing to newspapers in addition to other needy charities at this time. You might inadvertently fund some of irritating those navel-gazing pop-culture jerk off pieces (alas), but trust that some of it will go towards the good ground-root investigative journalism that is more essential now than ever before. One of Trump’s promises that WON’T scale back on was to loosen up libel laws and make it easier for him and his ilk to bury their ugly little secrets. In an age where more and more people are just retreating into the echo chambers of twitter and facebook and where actual ‘facts’ are getting attacked for being partisan, we need a robust and independent media like never before.

  39. Good point.

  40. In the interest of spreading joy and positivity, I’d love to see you break your no-comedy-review policy Vern and open up THE BLUES BROTHERS. Which we all know is so much more than a comedy. C’mon Vern, shake a tail-feather. We NEED this!

  41. Shit guys, he’s already going after the New York Times and he hasn’t even stepped into office yet. Might be time to consider subscribing.

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