1-30-2005 Rock 'n' Roll ain't noise pollution (except at the Kirby)

It's time to go Emeril style and kick it up a notch. Don't you know that we have an upcoming election to cover. I'm looking for Allawi in a landslide with all 100 votes counted from the Green Zone voting booth.--Ethel Hozniak, our resident geopolitical charlatan

I stayed up all night long watching the Iraqi election coverage on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. I'm surprised the remote control stood up to the pounding I gave it. It's obvious that the massive security efforts were successful at keeping the threatened acts of terrorism under wraps to a large degree. But what was most impressive was the large number of Iraqis that dared to vote even though they were being threatened with death. I knew they would vote in droves, but they clearly demonstrated that as a bunch they are some brave sumbitches.

I'm not sure how many of us would stand in line for an hour to vote if we risked being blown to smithereens at any moment. And I really mean "us," not all of you. I'm not suggesting that I'm any braver than anyone else in these parts. But I sat here last night watching these common folks risking literally life and limb to drop a ballet into what looked like a Tupperware box, and it was truly a borderline goosebumps event for this numbskull. So much for the now discredited thinly-veiled racist drivel about Middle Easterners not being able to grasp freedom or democracy. Good for them.

And there was a stark difference in how the election news was covered last night. Both CNN and MSNBC were slugging it out to see which network could deliver the most bad news the fastest. It was nearly wall-to-wall bomb, shootings and explosions coverage sprinkled with stories of completely empty polling places. By direct contrast, FOX had Geraldo Rivera reporting on the steady streams of folks heading to the polls in a city with a 50-50 Sunni to Shiite population. Then they went "live" to some babe in another city who could not be understood while the jubilent Iraqis waiting in line to vote sang, danced and clapped over her report.

There are some kooks among us who would point to this as evidence that FOX was trying to put a good, pro-republican spin on the news, but after the sheer numbers of votes are finally tallied, it'll be obvious that no such spin was necessary on anyone's part. The Iraqi's were offered this unique chance to control their own destiny for the first time and they jumped all over it. And to those who would stupidly suggest that FOX is somehow right-leaning by pointing out the positives last night, I would have to ask what happened to the constant drumbeat of folks clamoring for some good news instead of dour news from the press for a change. That is, unless good news that doesn't help to tarnish Dubya goes completely unwanted by some. If the election results are deemed to be good news for Bush, just think about how good that news is for the Iraqis themselves. They still have a long, tough road ahead of them, but they sure as hell threw the lawless terrorists the collective middle finger. See that? They're more westernized than previously thought.

I can't wait to hear how the Ted Kennedys of the leftist world will try to spin this election away as being tainted beyond all relevancy. Low Sunni Turnout? So what? The Sunnis make up 20% of the population and they had no problem with Shiites being slaughtered in mass graves and Kurdish villages being gassed, while they themselves enjoyed the plush benefits offered to them by the ruling Baathists. The minority that for decades suppressed and murdered the majority turned sh*t-out-of-luck political minority? So what? Some say this could lead to civil war, but I put it to you: is that not what this insurgency has been all along? A Sunni-inspired last ditch effort to return to the good ole Baathist days? Funk 'em and funk Ted Kennedy, too.

There was a sizable tremor detected in the Middle East last night and this one might have caused the very first geopolitical sand tsunami. Only time will tell.

You wanna know what else? I'm freakin' beat.

Check out what a couple of Iraqi bloggers think of the election goings-on.

Democracy in Iraq

The people have won.

We would love to share what we did this morning with the whole world, we can't describe the feelings we've been through but we'll try to share as much as we can with you. We woke up this morning one hour before the alarm clock was supposed to ring. As a matter of fact, we barely slept at all last night out of excitement and anxiety.

Iraq the Model

Here's a cool link that includes thousands of photos of our troops and coalition forces in action. Explore and enjoy.

Military Photos.net

I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for.--former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean told Democrats gathered at a Manhattan hotel

Jesus, man!!! And this quack could very well become the next chairman of the democratic party. The party of tolerance? The all-inclusive party? The party that professes to find petty partisanship to be totally abhorent? Sorry, kiddies. Say whatever you will about any national politico, but Gov. Yeehaw! has to be put out of his political misery.

From the e-mail inbox:


About the Kirby Center. The stage at the Kirby, as stages go, is relatively small. Alot of shows cannot be done there, maybe not due to the size of the stage but the lack of room back stage. This includes not only the Bropadway type of show but other shows as well. This is why some less than appealing shows are brought in. But I also have to ask when was the last time you saw anything at the Kirby that wasn't a concert or even at the arena that wasn't sprots related. Lots of people say there is nothing to do around here, I say you have to seek it out and live theatre is a fantastic nightout.. When STOMP was in town it was a great show. If you like music ,especially percussion, I think you would have been amazed at what these artists could do with ordinary everyday items, brooms, garbage cans and even Zippo lighters. I think you would be suprised at the entertaining value these shows provide. And yes there are some stinkers out there, but try it before you deny it.
You actually would be suprised at the calibre of talent that this area offers also. Come to a show at Little Theatre, or The Music Box Playhouse.

Bill Ulichney*******

Dude, man! I do understand that the Kirby has some space constraints, but that should not translate into my having to plunk down some serious bucks to watch someone savage a 20-quart Durawear pot. And I'd much rather pay to see someone flick away at a Gibson SG than a Zippo lighter. Fancy schmancy, artsy-fartsy may work quite well for the folks sporting the imported mink furs, but the great majority of the acts that appear at the Kirby fly well below the radar screens of the hoi polloi sporting the GAP jackets. My major point was that the scheduled artists could be drawn from a much wider array of acts than what is currently being offered up. At times that place comes off as being the exclusive turf of the much more well-heeled folks and I simply think it could be a much bigger draw for our downtown. As for my post, there's absolutely no denying that I had a bit too much fun with it. Chill, kiddies. I was just funnin' on y'all. Well, some.

And I in no way meant to impugn anything along the lines of "live" theater as you are involved in. As far as I'm concerned, acting in front of a camera with the ability to re-do mistakes over and over again pales in comparison to folks acting on a stage in front of a big crowd. I imagine I'd be either overcome by stagefright once the curtain opened, or piss myself right before it opened. I can surely appreciate what goes on in that sort of venue, but, again, I'd rather take in the show of some aging guitar hero. I've seen some musicals in the past, and even a couple of plays, but I'm not interested in doing that sort of thing again. Culture, in most of it's current machinations, just ain't my cup of tea. But remember this, I'm a cretin to a large extent.

As far as supporting the Kirby or the arena goes, I do very little of either these days. I've been to three hockey games at the arena and that's it. And two of those events were graciously offered to me completely free of charge. As far as the Kirby is concerned, when they are gonna book something I and my fellow trailer park escapees wanna see? Chris Rock doesn't need much of a stage. Andrew Dice Clay was cancelled by the Board of Directors because he's vulgar beyond all belief. Imagine the upsetting element he'd draw to the joint. That'd get the ladies in red fainting dead away. I saw Rush at the Kirby. I saw KISS at the Kirby. And get this, KISS had flamethrowers spewing all over the place. Such sad times were those when passing rock 'n' roll ruffians could say PARTY ON! to the old high-falootin' women at will. And I saw Blue Oyster Cult at the Kirby. If they can make use of that limited back stage, I'm sure plenty of other near top flight acts could also.

I do not like going to any concert that requires binoculars to feel as if you're a part of the event, so unless the dead Beatles come to town, the arena is probably out. And I stopped attending anything at the former Station because the bouncers in that place literally had a license to kill anyone who happened to trip or accidentily smash a beer bottle. Ask the cops if I'm wrong in that assessment. I would much rather see a kick-ass rock outfit in a theater or club setting. Now there's an idea for downtown Wilkes-Barre. A rock club ala Tink's in Scranton. Does anybody remember that rock joint that used to stand where the new Labor & Industry building is being constructed? I think it was called Cook's. There's a truly unique niche for some brave entrepreneur. But I digress, don't I?

Trust me, I was not suggesting that there is nothing to do around here. I was merely suggesting that there could be a helluva lot more to do around here. But I honestly believe that the rock bands and the comics that appear at the Kirby have to pass the smell test as set in stone by the folks who donate the big bucks to it. They have to be "nice" bands. Wholesome bands. Kansas? "Dust in the wind?" How nice. Violins are so soothing. Styx? "Mr. Roboto?" "Lady?" They're so photogenic and lame. Book 'em. How 'bout the Dead Kennedys? "Holiday in Cambodia?" "Kill the Poor?" "Police Truck?" Unchecked vulgarity and ugliness? Acerbic social and political commentary set to crashing bar chords pumped through a stack of Marshalls? Not in this town! How about magicians? Nifty and wholesome. Boring and bogus, but why split mink hairs? As Dice once said, "I hate f**king magicians." I hear that.

The list of folks that have appeared at the Kirby reads much like the lists of folks that appeared on the Dean Martin, or Red Skelton boob tube shows way back in the days when Room 222 knocked the Brady Bunch off of it's lofty and comfy television ratings perch. If my grandmother was still alive, she'd be clamoring for a season ticket. And I'm supposed to get excited about that? I'm surprised Flip Wilson hasn't made an appearance down there. Why not Foster Brooks? Or the Smothers Brothers? Or Lulu? Or Lawrence Welk? Or Buddy Hackett? Or Phyllis Diller? Nancy Sinatra? Cut me some frickin' slack here. We're not all saving up to be pretend stuffed shirts with super 'spensive Franklin Mint cufflinks on. See what I'm saying here? If it's too f**king loud, you're too f**king old. And if it's too f**king vulgar, you're too f**king uppity.

Or as the unrefined folks at STIFF records used to say, "If it ain't loud, it ain't worth a f**k."

By the Kirby's standards, I'm an undesirable certainly not worthy of entertainment that plays down to my lowest of levels.

Check the prices on these tickets. Talk about freakin' inflation. I've got more, but I can't remember where I've got 'em stashed.

Not in this house!

Catch that date? September 25, 1980? That was the day that John Bonham died. Just in case anyone sitting on the board at the Kirby reads this, NO!, he was not the juggler from the Ed Sullivan show. Jeez!

That was also the night of the infamous riot at the armory. Ask the folks at WYOU what happened to their remote satellite truck. Hee hee! See? We don't want no riots at the Kirby? Might stain the carpeting.

And how in the hell did SYNCH get in there? Okay. I'll admit it. I used to hang out with local rock stars back in the days when I wasn't so completely dog ugly.

Oh, and CATS sucked. I wouldn't wish that sh*t on my freakin' one-eyed cat.

Sez me.

Too much funnin' again? Seems like it.

From the e-mail inbox:

*******A Pennsylvania State trooper pulled over a pickup on I-81. The trooper asked, "Got any ID?" The driver replied, "Bout whut?"*******