Dan Slott plays ‘Captain White Privilege’ after Zendaya-MJ casting reported

The announcement on Aug. 18 that Zendaya will play Mary Jane in next summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming spread like wildfire across the internet. It wasn’t long before the usual suspects were attacking anyone who questioned the decision with charges of racism. Dan Slott, the man who once said that Peter Parker’s love for Mary Jane is “anti-Marvel,” joined in the fray to play “Captain White Privilege” (yes, he went there) in his twitter feed.

Since Marvel’s scribe for The Amazing Spider-Man has a habit of sliming long-time Marvel fans with attacks on their integrity, it seemed as if it were time to make a YouTube video on issue. Since Mr. Slott never is a magnet for controversy, I fully expect future installments to follow in the months and years ahead.

Check out the video and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Scott Weiland exits life’s stage too soon, but leaves musical blessings behind

STP concert 2009

In 1992 there was a kid with a chip on his shoulder from Illinois who listened to “Core” by the Stone Temple Pilots for the first time. The attitude and the energy and the raw power exuded from singer Scott Weiland blew the teenager away. There was something truly special about Mr. Weiland, a gift from God wielded with grace and authority that began a life-long love of his work. That kid was me, which is why the news of his death on Friday cast an heavy pall over my mind; it could only be removed by sharing the sincere sorrow.

The Los Angeles Times reported:

Scott Weiland, the charismatic rock vocalist who first gained fame with 1990s rock band Stone Temple Pilots, has died, according to his wife.

The Grammy-winning singer, 48, who struggled with addiction, earned post-Pilots success with the platinum-selling supergroup Velvet Revolver. His cause of death was not immediately available.

His wife, Jamie Weiland, a photographer, confirmed his death to The Times in a brief conversation.

“I can’t deal with this right now,” she said, sobbing. “It’s true.”

Scott Weiland rose to stardom in the 90s, but he wasn’t “of” the 90s. At his best he rivaled David Bowie in terms of his ability to seamlessly experiment with musical styles. He was in a rock band, but he fit in right along Sinatra during the holidays with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” He could do punk, but he often soared with ballads — and no matter what genre he was swimming in from song to song, you always felt as though he was trying to give you a glimpse into the depths of his soul.

Scott Weiland

Life is a lot of things, but part of it involves the slow realization (put beautifully by The Flaming Lips) that everyone you know will one day die. That actually isn’t as pessimistic as it seems — especially if you believe in God — but it can be painful when someone who has touched your life in profound ways passes over to the other side.

I never met Scott Weiland. I never broke bread with him or had a chance to help him wrestle his demons into submission — but he still affected my life in ways most people cannot fathom.

Doug STP concert

If nothing else, this post is a thank you that perhaps Scott can read from the “Great Beyond.”

Thank you for blessing me with your music. Thank you for the memories you helped me create with my sister in our youth and my friends as an adult. And thank you for helping everyone else out there whose problems were temporarily kept at bay by your talent.

We achieve greatness when we grab hold of the potential God has granted within us and manifest it in the physical world. We see the beauty of all souls when we witness those rare individuals who can give us a high-definition musical photograph of their own.

Scott Weiland exited this earth way too soon, but his life’s work left indelible marks in the minds of millions.

Instead of being selfish and cursing God for allowing Scott to leave us early, we should take comfort — the singer’s questions, “What does God look like? And angels’ wings?” have been answered.

Bono channels G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis to affirm his faith in Christ

Bono on JesusIt’s not often that a giant rock star gives an interview where he unflinchingly affirms his belief in Christ. That is exactly what U2’s Bono did during a March 2014 interview that is making the rounds again just in time for Easter. However, what is perhaps most interesting is how Bono appears to be well-versed in the writings of G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis.

Here is what Bono said in his interview with RTE One’s Gay Byrne, which comes across at times like an FBI interrogation or a courtroom cross examination:

Bono: I think it’s a defining question for Christian. Who was Christ? I don’t think you’re let off easily by saying a great thinker or great philosopher because, actually, he went around saying he was the Messiah. That’s why he was crucified. He was crucified because he said he was the Son of God. So, he either, in my view, was the Son of God — or he was nuts. Forget rock-and-roll messianic complexes. This is, like, I mean Charlie Manson-type delirium. And I find it hard to accept that all the millions and millions of lives, half the Earth, for 2,000 years have been touched, have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nutter. I don’t believe it.

Byrne: So therefore it follows that you believe he was divine?

Bono: Yes.

Byrne: And therefore it follows that you believe that he rose physically from the dead?

Bono: Yes. I have no problem with miracles. I’m living around them. I am one.

Byrne: So when you pray, then you pray to Jesus?

Bono: Yes.

Byrne: The risen Jesus?

Bono: Yes.

Byrne: And you believe he made promises that will come true.

Bono: Yes. I do.

Friendly note to Bono: Your observation is actually more awe-inspiring than you originally thought because billions — not just millions — have been touched by the words of Christ. Regardless, here is what G.K. Chesterton said when “The Everlasting Man” was published in 1925:

“If Christ was simply a human character, he really was a highly complex and contradictory human character. For he combined exactly the two things that lie at the two extremes of human variation. He was exactly what the man with a delusion never is; he was wise; he was a good judge. What he said was always unexpected; but it was always unexpectedly magnanimous and often unexpectedly moderate.

Take a thing like the point of the parable of the tares and the wheat. It has the quality that united sanity and subtlety. It has not the simplicity of a madman. It has not even the simplicity of a fanatic. It might be uttered by a philosopher a hundred years old, at the end of a century of Utopias. Nothing could be less like this quality of seeing beyond and all round obvious things, than the condition of an egomaniac with the one sensitive spot in his brain. I really do not see how these two characters could be convincingly combined, except in the astonishing way in which the creed combines them.” — G.K. Chesterton.

Here is what C.S. Lewis said when “Mere Christianity” was published in 1952:

“Yet (and this is the strange, significant thing) even His enemies, when they read the Gospels, do not usually get the impression of silliness and conceit. Still less do unprejudiced readers. Christ says that He is “humble and meek” and we believe Him; not noticing that, if He were merely a man, humility and meekness are the very last characteristics we could attribute to some of His sayings.

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level of a man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” — C.S. Lewis.

Chesterton and Lewis beautifully articulate the case before us: either Christ was who he said he was, or he was insane. But, as they both keenly observe, even his biggest detractors generally regard him as a profound thinker and a beacon of light whose example we should all follow.

Think of how many great men and women there were throughout all history, whose names are forgotten within weeks, months, or at most a few decades after they’ve passed away. Then consider Jesus, who for over 2,000 years has captivated the world and changed billions of lives — even those who don’t believe his claims. Like G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, a modern Irish rock star named Bono, and billions of other individuals throughout the course of history, I firmly believe he was exactly who he claimed to be.

Andrew W.K. channels G.K. Chesterton in reply to ‘Son of A Right-Winger’

Almost four years ago I wrote a piece titled ‘The Andrew W.K. Conservative: Scaring elitists everywhere’. While I don’t know his voting history, I said then and still maintain that he is “rugged, witty, down and dirty, but dangerously intelligent.” I do not necessarily use ‘dangerous’ as a pejorative, either. Blessed with top-shelf raw material in the smarts department, Andrew appears to use it to build others up instead of tear others down.

In a recent “Ask Andrew W.K.” for the Village Voice, the artist was sent a letter by “Son of a Right-Winger.” His response is classic.

First, the letter:

Hi Andrew,

I’m writing because I just can’t deal with my father anymore. He’s a 65-year-old super right-wing conservative who has basically turned into a total asshole intent on ruining our relationship and our planet with his politics. I’m more or less a liberal democrat with very progressive values and I know that people like my dad are going to destroy us all. I don’t have any good times with him anymore. All we do is argue. When I try to spend time with him without talking politics or discussing any current events, there’s still an underlying tension that makes it really uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I love him no matter what, but how do I explain to him that his politics are turning him into a monster, destroying the environment, and pushing away the people who care about him?

Thanks for your help,
Son of A Right-Winger

Now, the response:

Dear Son of A Right-Winger,

Go back and read the opening sentences of your letter. Read them again. Then read the rest of your letter. Then read it again. Try to find a single instance where you referred to your dad as a human being, a person, or a man. There isn’t one. You’ve reduced your father — the person who created you — to a set of beliefs and political views and how it relates to you. And you don’t consider your dad a person of his own standing — he’s just “your dad.” You’ve also reduced yourself to a set of opposing views, and reduced your relationship with him to a fight between the two. The humanity has been reduced to nothingness and all that’s left in its place is an argument that can never really be won. And even if one side did win, it probably wouldn’t satisfy the deeper desire to be in a state of inflamed passionate conflict. …

When we lump people into groups, quickly label them, and assume we know everything about them and their life based on a perceived world view, how they look, where they come from, etc., we are not behaving as full human beings. When we truly believe that some people are monsters, that they fundamentally are less human than we are, and that they deserve to have less than we do, we ourselves become the monsters. […] This is the power of politics at its most sinister.

Some people might say that Andrew is putting forth a kind of moral relativism that says “there is no point to having a debate.” I do not believe that is the case. I think that he’s tapping in to a mentality that used to go “hate the sin, but love the sinner.” We all have our own ideas on what constitutes “right” and what constitutes “wrong.” We tell people they “ought” to do this, but “ought not” to do that. However, we used to be able to have spirited discussions without letting politics poison our souls — and by extension our relationships with family and loved ones.

Regular readers know that this very blog has undergone a shift in tone and the type of content I tend to favor in recent years. That is because, like Andrew, I believe that it is very easy to allow “politics at its most sinister” to take root and grow like weeds resistant to the best pesticides.

Here is what I said in June, 2013:

The world’s elite would rather have you playing XBox and looking at pictures of animals on the Internet than looking into “God” or “Source” or “Enlightenment,” because when you do that everything melts away (perhaps literally, but that’s a discussion for another time). The sickest thing may be that the elite even enlisted many of your friends and family to do their dirty work for them. Is it possible to convince a prisoner to lust over his own chains? Yes.

Someone who looks within and then turns that eye back on the material world can see the charade. You have been trained to play with the anger and hate and resentment that resides on some level in all of us like a kitten with string.

There are many ways to break free from the mind-forged manacles we’ve willingly fastened in place. Without much effort, you can find many inspirational figures online who are willing to discuss this journey. I happen to believe that real change only comes from looking inward, so here now is my challenge to you:

For one year — every day — actively look for ways to give of yourself. If there’s a man on the street corner asking for change, give it to him. If you think he’s scamming people, give him some money or food anyway. If you have an opportunity to give someone a genuine compliment, do it. Call up (or text if you must) an old friend and remind them of something nice they once did for you years ago; tell them you still think about it and are thankful for what they did. Make someone feel good. Be the light in your office environment or at school or in your immediate family. There are any number of ways you can give of yourself or perform a kind gesture. The key is to make a conscious decision every day to take advantage of — or create — such opportunities.

It is possible to create a world that is more in tune with God’s plan for all of us, but all too often individuals become devils trying to make it happen.

I do not know if Andrew W.K. is a religious man, but what he is essentially getting at (whether he realizes or not), is what Christianity has always done: to balance, as G.K. Chesterton once said, “furious opposites.”

G.K. Chesterton wrote in “The Paradoxes of Christianity”:

“Thus, the double charges of the secularists, though throwing nothing but darkness and confusion on themselves, throw a real light on faith. It is true that the historic Church has at once emphasized celibacy and emphasized the family; has at once (if one may put it so) been fiercely for having children and fiercely for not having children. It has kept them side by side like two strong colors, red and white, like the red and white upon the shield of St. George. It has always had a healthy hatred of pink. It hates that combination of two colors which is the feeble expedient of the philosophers. It hates that evolution of black into white which is tantamount to dirty grey. In fact, the whole theory of the Church on virginity might be symbolized in the statement that white is a color: not merely the absence of a color. All that I am urging here can be expressed by saying that Christianity sought in most of these cases to keep two colors coexistent but pure.”

A Christian understands the importance of balancing “furious opposites,” and as such he should be able to find a way to live in peace and harmony with a father who is a “right winger” or a “left winger,” a Democrat or a Republican. It can and should be done. While my own blueprint for achieving that end comes from the Catholic Church, in this instance I readily acknowledge that we can all learn something from Andrew W.K.’s response to this Village Voice reader. I will not, however, be petitioning my local church to play its own rendition of “Party Hard” during mass.

Kudos to Andrew W.K. for imparting good advice to a young man who needed it. I look forward to reading future installments of “Ask Andrew W.K.”

Editor’s note for regular readers: As many of you know, I have been working on a book in addition to juggling personal and professional responsibilities. If you are a fan of “G.K. Chesterton” or the idea of balancing “furious opposites,” then I think you may enjoy my project when it is complete. I will continue to keep you updated on its progress. It is coming along quite well. Some of the research needed in order to create credible characters has slowed the process down, but I believe the investment in time will pay off.



STP’s ‘Out of Time’ featuring Chester Bennington: Imagine a tank driven by lions

Chester Bennington STP

What does it feel like to cheat on someone you love? If you’re a fan of Scott Weiland, it’s probably a lot like listening to Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington take the lead for the Stone Temple Pilots. When I first heard the new single ‘Out of Time’ I felt a little dirty; STP has and always will be Scott Weiland’s band to me — but Bennington is so darn good that I’ve crossed over to the dark side. I would plunk down serious change to see them live. In the end I hope Weiland returns, at which time so will I. Ewoks will sing and it will be awkward.

For years, Scott Weiland has struggled with drug problems, and it’s affected the band. I’m not sure who is to blame (I’m sure there’s plenty to go around) but STP haven’t felt inspired in years. ‘Out of Time’ sounds like a tank rolling through the desert that’s being driven by growling lions. As a friend of mine said, “They sound hungry.” Indeed.

Here’s one of the reasons. Rolling Stone Reports:

In a statement, Bennington expressed his admiration for the band, which is in part how this collaboration came about. “I’ve loved STP since I was 13 years old and they’ve had a huge influence on me,” explained Bennington. “When the opportunity came up to do something creative with them, I jumped at the chance. The guys in Linkin Park have been incredibly supportive of me undertaking this project while I’ve continued to work on new music with LP.”

A friend of mine said that Bennington, these days, “does a better Weiland than Weiland.” I also found a similar comment in the Rolling Stone message boards. It’s a sentiment I agree with and, on some level, the lyrics to ‘Out of Time’ seem to be created as a wake up call for the singer:

Longing is the animal inside you when you bleed
Suffering is critical in finding what you need
Deliverance is evidence there’s more than what you say
Pain is there the moment that you wake up from your dreams

Oh, I know you can’t hide
Oh, when you look inside yourself
You’ve got to cross that line
Yeah, you’re running out of time

Loneliness is beautiful, it leads you home again
Happiness is overrated, joy is infinite
Liberate the hate you feel before it’s permanent
Smile when it hurts, it works like mother’s medicine

Oh, I know you can’t hide
Oh, when you look inside yourself
you’ve got to cross that line
Yeah, you’re running out of time

You’ve got to learn your lesson to see what you’ve been missing
You’ve got to cross that line

Yeah, you’ve got to look inside
Yeah, it’s time that you decide
Yeah, you’ve got to cross that line
Yeah, you’re running out of time

Beautiful! When we look inward and attempt to honestly examine what’s there we can not lie. That is why so many people spend so much time trying to keep themselves busy. They will do anything they can to keep themselves from having to perform the tough task that is introspection.

Video games. Shopping. Drinking. Eating. Exercise. Sex. Drugs. Work. All of these things and many more are used in excess to prevent individuals from sitting in the silence of solitude to figure out who they really are and where they want to go. And all of us — not just Scott Weiland — are “running out of time.”

“Happiness” in terms of that which the material word brings about is fleeting. It does not last. And when it runs out, most people look to fill it up with the same sugary goods over and over again. An honest self-evaluation is always painful, but it is “critical in finding what you need,” as Bennington’s lyrics point out.

I hope that when Scott Weiland is done trashing his apartment that he acknowledges what a masterstroke this was on the part of the DeLeo brothers and says, “Touché.” My fear is that instead of responding positively, he will once again choose the dangerous path, as he’s done since the 1990’s.

Regardless, I tip my hat to STP. ‘Out of Time’ is hands-down evidence that there’s still plenty of juice left in its engine. I’m looking forward to further collaborations between STP and Chester Bennington.

Bowie’s ‘Where are we now?’ was worth the wait

David Bowie Where are we now

Fans of David Bowie haven’t heard much from the man in years. That changed as of January 8, 2013.

Music idol David Bowie broke years of silence and speculation today to release his first new single in a decade – with an album to follow.

The star, who shot to fame in the late ’60s with “Space Oddity”, surprised fans by suddenly releasing a new recording, “Where Are We Now?”, on his 66th birthday. …

A follow-up album called The Next Day is set to be released in March.

Whereas fans of Guns and Roses heard Chinese Democracy and thought, “This is decent, but definitely not worth a decade of hype,” Bowie’s single has something incredibly special to it. This listener, who does not claim to be a music aficionado, hears a sad stripped-down piece with poignant lyrics. There’s a sense of longing and emotion that only a true artist can capture. ‘Where are we now?’ is a song that many young people won’t get — until they’re 66.

Where are we now? Where are we now?
The moment you know … you know … you know.
As long as there’s sun. As long as there’s sun.
As long as there’s rain. As long as there’s rain.
As long as there’s me. As long as there’s you.

Anyone who has ever been sick — truly sick — can appreciate this song. Anyone who gets a tear in their eye when they think about what it would be like to lose that husband or wife they’ve built their life around, can appreciate this song. Anyone who gets a lump in their throat when they think about how special every moment of every day is, can appreciate this song. At a minimum, Bowie earns respect for baring his soul to the audience; one would be hard pressed to listen to ‘Where are we now?’ and argue that the artist is holding back.

We all must come to grips with our own mortality. We will die, and if we’re lucky we’ll have loved ones by our side when we say that last goodbye. But even those who live a tremendous life will have regrets. We know that all that matters are the essentials to make life worth living, but there will always be a part of us that wishes for just a little more time to make it right where it went wrong … to visit an old friend … or to reminisce for just a moment longer.

‘Where are we now?’ is a winner because it seems to capture a universal truth: At some point in time, despite the will of the mind and the soul, the body will betray us. It will get old, break down and prevent us from doing the things we love to do and the things we put off because we always thought “there’s always tomorrow.” Well, there isn’t always tomorrow, and realizing that is bittersweet.

‘The Next Day’ will hopefully be packed with tracks that are just as honest and heartfelt as its single, which will make the album a winner … if just for one day.

Democrats target Jack White with ‘Blunderbuss Act’

The solo success of musician Jack White has Democrats crying foul. In order to even the playing field and stop him from exacerbating income inequality, liberals in the U.S. Senate are crafting the ‘Blunderbus Act.’

Jack White blasted onto the music scene in 2003 with The White Stripes’ instant classic, Elephant. It’s now 2012, and it looks like the donkey is about to introduce him to the political scene. After the success of Jack White’s first solo album, Blunderbuss, Senate Democrats are not happy. Blunderlust sold an amazing 138,000 copies its first week in release, propelling White to the top of the charts for the first time in his career. It may be his last.

Senator Harry Reid, D-NV., put out a press release on Sunday, just hours after White’s crackling Saturday Night Live performance:

Jack White’s album sales, as well as his jaw-dropping performance of ‘Sixteen Saltines’ while on Saturday Night Live, may be celebrated in some corners, but their cheers are misguided. While conservatives see his immense talent, highlighted even more with the result of his solo debut Blunderbuss, as some sort of sonic victory for United States and the world, the Democrat Party does not. As long as men like Jack White exist, there will always be inequalities. They must be stopped.

We do not know why Jack White rocks so much harder than the rest of us, but we know that we do not like it. He is without a doubt in the top 1 percent of guitar players in the world, but that does not mean we can or should allow him to become one of the ‘1 percent.’ Senate Democrats are working to pass the ‘Blunderbuss Act’ within days to level the playing field for all Americans. More details are available at BlunderbussAct.gov.

Details of the act are still sketchy, with some Washington insiders claiming that a panel will be formed to look at musicians on a case-by-case basis. Those deemed to possess the kind of talent that could lead to a larger “rock and income gap” will be forced to play with sub par instruments and sound equipment. House Democrats are proposing their own version of the bill, which will include a package of taxes targeting quick-fingered musicians for success they deem “unreasonable.” A surtax would be imposed for solo albums.

Republicans now find themselves in an interesting position. For years they have been held in contempt by an industry that leans heavily left. They’re hoping their opposition to the ‘Blunderbuss Act’ will change perceptions.

“Rock has always sort of stood up for defiance,” said Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. “Yet, somewhere along the line it stopped standing up to authority. It bowed down to the tens of thousands of federal regulations that not only dictate how a musician lives, but how a musician rocks. Remember when the Obama administration had the feds raid Gibson guitars not so long ago? I do. Republicans in both chambers plan to stand firm in opposition to the ‘Blunderbuss Act.’ God bless Jack White, and may Blunderbuss be the first of many successes to come.

Jack White said he will address the issue with fans at the appropriate time, but did not disclose when that might happen.

Butch Walker: Out of Focus. An American Treasure Gets a Documentary.

Butch Walker is one of the most amazing American musicians alive. Period. And pretty soon there will be a documentary released on him titled Butch Walker: Out of Focus, which looks amazing. Thank God one of my Army buddies introduced him to me well over a decade ago. Billed as “a film about never giving up,” and “discovering what really matters,” it’s the kind of movie that’s already speaking to the conservative in me. Better yet, the trailer is set to a song off his new album, Synthesizers:

“For once in your life, won’t you do what feels right, instead of waiting on the next big compromise.”

Not long ago, when I was at a professional crossroads, this song came out. It seemed to perfectly put into words exactly how I was feeling. I had a great job—a job a lot of people would die for—but I felt as though I wasn’t on track to accomplish a lot of long term goals. I could stay where I was in a secure place that might present me with the opportunities I was looking for, or I could take a leap of faith in a direction that was high-risk, high-reward territory. I did what “felt right,” and now I know that I made the right choice, because no matter what happens I’ll never have to wonder “what if?”. On your death bed it’s probably good to have a short number of those, and I’m thankful to Walker for subtracting quite a few from my “What If List.”

If you’re not familiar with Butch Walker, I highly suggest looking his work and the work he’s done for other musicians. His depth and breadth is amazing. He’s smart, creative and a true individual. As he states in the trailer: “I’ve been a self-supported, self-sustaining touring act for 10 years, 15 years.”

Butch Walker has a way with words that I truly admire. He can turn a phrase like nobody’s business, he notices little details that capture the essence of a character or a moment, he’s witty and funny, and I just can’t say enough good things about him from a creative point of view.

As a writer, I’m always looking for someone else who loves their creative craft the way I do—whether it’s an author, a musician, an actor or a director. I don’t know what Butch Walker’s politics are and, quite frankly, in this case I don’t really care. As an American musician, he’s a national treasure and an inspiration to creators everywhere. I can’t wait to catch Butch Walker: Out of Focus.

Devo Calls Palin Stupid. Swiffer Wet Jet Commericals Not Paying the Bills.

You know that Devo has milked "Whip It" for all it's worth when they start Palin bashing. It's been a good couple of decades, but the search for relevance always begins by taking pot shots at a prominent conservative.

What do you do when you’re a has-been band that needs to wear weird headgear for people to recognize you? If you’re Devo you sell out by doing Swiffer Wet Jet commercials. And when that’s done you insult Sarah Palin. Devo has long talked about the theory of “de-evolution”, and in a recent interview they state that Sarah Palin’s popularity is proof of that theory.

One wonders what “evolved” humans like Devo believe. Perhaps in their world it’s okay when the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget, and the U.S. Department of Treasury report soaring deficits. Our national debt isn’t going to be the end of us—it’s just “evolving.” Likewise, universal truths and rights aren’t enshrined in the Constitution; it too “evolves,” (preferably to a New Wave soundtrack).

Spinner magazine’s Mike Doherty must really like Devo, because the tried-and-true method for any liberal past their prime is to screech about the conservative target de rigueur. Searching for relevance? Today’s target is Sarah Palin. Asked about Palin’s bus tour, Devo’s Gerald Casale replied:

Say no more. We rest our case. We’ve often said this, but if somebody in 1980 with a crystal ball had showed you the world in 2011, you would have thought it was a cheap, B-movie sci-fi dystopia that would in fact never happen, and dismissed it. Now it’s here, in all of its horror. You talk about stupid, you can’t beat Sarah Palin!

Sarah Palin travels around the United States, speaking extemporaneously on a number of public policy issues. She does so, knowing that the media is recording every word—waiting for her to slip up—so that they can push the perception of her as a dolt through yet another news cycle. Devo? They have “Whip It” on constant rotation for friendly audiences looking to relive the 80’s, if only for a few hours. And why wouldn’t they? The 80’s were a great time. Ronald Reagan was busy getting the economy back on track, winning the Cold War, and rebuilding the military so it could be prepared for the wars of the 21st century. Critics called him stupid too—and then the Berlin Wall came down.

According to Devo, human evolution peaked, “right after the A-bomb, a last hurrah.” That’s interesting, considering some of the gems that took place in the decades that followed. I’d ask Devo if they thought the Great Society and the “War on Poverty” were the marks of enlightened men, or if they just contributed to burning down the house?

Everyone knows who Sarah Palin is. Devo? They’re lucky if someone confuses them with The Talking Heads, which is why they’re relegated to taking pot shots at her in online Canadian magazines.

Good luck on that new album, guys. If you want some exposure maybe you should consider opening up for Sarah Palin.

Step Up 3D Fail: Ahmadinejad Laughs at updated Kevin Bacon Hip Snaps.

Kevin Bacon uses dance as a weapon against his arch nemesis: Middle America. If you're asking if he gave Cold War era Soviets killer hip snaps...the answer is no.

Every generation has its silly dance movies, whether it’s Flashdance, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Save the Last Dance, etc.  However, what’s even more depressing than seeing Kevin Bacon use dance as a weapon against those oppressive redneck hicks in Middle America (or Kevin Bacon in cinematic child molester case studies Roger Ebert can’t stop thinking about)…is the liberalism that usually undergirds most of them.  Why was it Kevin could give angry hip thrusts and fist pumps to Middle America, but not to Soviet expansionism in South America or Eastern Europe? I think you know the answer…

The trailer for Step Up is a perfect example of the kind of intellectual liberal pixy stix the entertainment industry feeds us on a daily basis. It’s all sugary good idealism with little to no nutritional value:

“Dance can change things. One move can bring people together. One move can make you believe like you’re something more. One move can set a whole generation free!”

Somehow, I don’t have much confidence that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is going to watch the gyrations of American FLO Rida fans put on and say, “Dude, this whole nuke obsession and Holocaust denial? I was totally wrong. Instead of calling for the death of all Jews, gays, Americans, Western Civilization, infidels, and most of the women on earth…from now on I’ll just bowl them over with killer dance move lock and pops!”

Sadly, though, we’ve grown into a nation of self-esteem junkies who need

The new "Step Up" features FLO Rida's insane beats while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens to destroy Israel---in 3D!

to be told we’re special from the cradle to the grave.  The same people who think they’re “something more” because of a single dance move were the same kids who got first place ribbons in elementary school field day events despite placing dead last in the 50 yard dash (because we’re all winners).  They’re also the same kids who thought Barack Obama was going to be able to woo the world’s worst dictators into civilized behavior with sweet nothings and “Atta boys!” in their ears. Newsflash: it doesn’t work.  When you try and to do the impossible you end up like Derek Zoolander in the famous “Walk Off” scene (i.e., self-imposed wedgies).

If your middle school kid asks you to see Step Up 3D…drive to your nearest theater to check out The Expendables this summer, where the only twisting and turning guys do will be when they’re breaking off a knife in some dictator or his thug-lackey’s gut.

Dancing with Irrational Holocaust denying thug regimes is a good way to give you a national wedgie that bleeds American.