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Wednesday, October 31, 2007 
a slur deleted
via tdw, i see that rishawn biddle's controversial post has been deleted* and star editor dennis ryerson has issued an apology:

Recently comments on this blog were posted by a Star staff member, which included offensive, insensitive and wholly inappropriate words in reference to Indianapolis/Marion County City-County Council President Monroe Gray. Those comments have been removed. These comments absolutely did not meet the Standards of The Star. I apologize to Council President Gray, and to all communities who with good reason were highly offended by the remarks.

curiously, the other rishawn biddle post i discussed recently, the one explaining why the ed board didn't endorse greg ballard, has also been expunged, which suggests that biddle and all his posts have been permanently removed from expresso. at some point, i or someone else might want to browse back through the official expresso archives looking for his older material.

* of course, as i discovered long ago, nothing ever gets truly deleted from the indy star blogs. indeed, rishawn's posts are still there if you know the url to them. they have been removed from the blog front page, and links to them will no longer appear (except in other "deleted" posts). but the files are still there, and all those links in the blogs to the offensive post still work. i've mentioned this more than once on my blog only to be ignored, but perhaps now someone will take notice.

update: rishawn's older posts appear to be intact. just his october posts have been removed, presumably along with his ability to post new ones.

2nd update: more from ruth holladay:

I can't get Amos Brown WTLC 1310-am out here unless I'm in the car, but I am told Amos has been raking RiShawn and the Star over the coals the past two days for Biddle's language.

Someone in the know, with longtime ties to the editorial department, commented on RiShawn's name-calling: "How stupid can you get? ...

Then, as for how it even happened: "Dennis is supposed to be so much of a monitor of those (editorial) pages. How could he let this go through?"

Biddle reportedly has had problems in the past with submitting material that was inflammatory, and editorial page editor Tim Swarens had warned him that certain columns were "not publishable."

3rd update: rishawn biddle has been fired.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 
timeline of a slur
following up a bit on my previous post, here is a timeline:

  1. october 26: indy star editorialist rishawn biddle authors a post called "coons for power" (or some such variation). we know this was the original title because the filename of the post remains "coons_for_power.html". we do not know exactly what this post said, as it has since been replaced in the google cache with later versions.
  2. at some point, rishawn revises the post and retitles it "Didn't coonery end with slavery?" this presumed second draft of the post contains the typo "laxy" (instead of "lazy") and does not include a disclaimer noting that the post has been revised.
  3. rishawn fixes his typo and adds a disclaimer that the post has been revised. this is presumably the third draft of the post.
  4. rishawn thinks better of having the word "coon" in the title of his post, and retitles it "The Indianapolis Black Democrat minstrel show". instead of calling all indy black democrats coons, he decides to only refer to city-council president monroe gray as a coon, stating that gray's recent actions are "more Zip Coon than honorable statesman".
  5. october 29: apparently now proud of his post, rishawn sends out an email bragging that expresso is back online. ruth holladay responds enthusiastically, quoting rishawn's "zip coon" passage and approvingly stating that "Someone at the Star needs to be saying this stuff." when the post's racist language is pointed out to her, ruth responds that she doesn't really know what "zip coon" means and speculates that "this may well be edited out".
  6. gary welsh picks up on the story and remarks that "The post makes some very salient points on the state of Democratic black leadership in the city right now, but most would agree the Zip Coon analogy is way over the top."
  7. i read about the post on gary's blog, post about it, and begin scouring the google cache for the original version of rishawn's post. i'm unable to turn up the true original post, but i do manage to locate a couple previous drafts.
  8. october 30: rishawn deletes the bit about "zip coon" from his post, but he leaves in all the parts about minstrel shows and shuckin' and jivin'. so his post isn't really any less offensive; it just has one fewer slur. unfortunately, it is too late for him to take those words back, as the story is now all over the blogs, prompting a post at TDW.

i feel compelled to point out once again that rishawn isn't just some jackass blogger; he is an editorial writer for the largest newspaper in the state, and his bizarre race-baiting is taking place on that newspaper's web server.

courtesy AI, i learn that the indy star's expresso blog is back! linking to this post from friday, gary writes:

Biddle likened Monroe Gray's tenure as the Council's President to Zip Coon, a derogatory, racial slur on black men dating to the days of slavery. The post makes some very salient points on the state of Democratic black leadership in the city right now, but most would agree the Zip Coon analogy is way over the top.

needless to say, if one week before an election, gary welsh agrees with you but thinks you went "way over the top" then you went way, way over the top. like stratospheric. (and note that this version of rishawn's post was "revised"..."to better reflect the overall point." and it was revised at least twice, since the version in the google cache [archived here for your convenience] is worded differently and has the more-offensive title "Didn't coonery end with slavery?", but still bears the same disclaimer at the bottom. one can only imagine how awful it was originally.)

naturally, gary doesn't link to this unrelated post also by rishawn biddle, explaining why the star endorsed mayor bart peterson and other democrats. biddle's point is that while peterson has his flaws, his opponent greg ballard has no real platform and a childlike grasp of politics. literally the only thing ballard has going for him is that he's Not-Bart-Peterson. that might be enough for gary and the "bart lies" crowd, but for those of us who don't live on bizarro world, it's not enough. being Not-Bush wasn't enough for john kerry (though these days i suspect it would be), and being Not-Peterson will not be enough for greg ballard.

at any rate, what do we make of this? is expresso back for good? will rishawn biddle fans (if any such creature exists) once again have a regular place to ready his musings? will expresso regain its coveted link from the star's front page, which it lost back in august? perhaps it'll even get a link on, the star's brand-new website, which is basically intake with comments (and minus the blog squad, who have been evicted from their blogging home... in fact i'm surprised that link still works, as everything else that used to be at has apparently been erased)? inquiring minds want to know.

update: rishawn has revised his "coonery" post yet again, this time removing the zip coon reference. here is the passage as it used to appear:

Then there's the embarrassing spectacle that is Monroe Gray, whose tenure as city-county council president is being marked by a lack of decorum during council sessions, the videos of himself on YouTube and responses to allegations of corruption that wouldn't be acceptable to a child who claimed his dog ate the homework. His act, more Zip Coon than honorable statesman, epitomizes the lack of seriousness some Black politicians show in their work; it's just inexcusable.

the phrase "more Zip Coon than honorable statesman" has been excised from the post.

Monday, October 29, 2007 
mr yuk is green
talk about your inexpensive costume ideas... all i needed was some posterboard, a bit of elastic, and some green paper (in fact i've had this green adhesive-backed sticker-paper for years and am finally gettting use out of it, what with this and the handmade parts is parts cds). just print it out, cut it out, and mask it up! they're a bit flimsy, but are so inexpensive that i made twelve of the things, which should be cool for future group photos.

the show saturday night was pretty cool. bobby vomit started things off in style, with an "i didn't mean this to be a set but i guess it is" performance on the ones and twos. classic vomit.

i went next, choosing to get my set out of the way early, which is always nice if you don't care how many people are there to see you play (though the crowd wasn't too small, really). i played some old halloween material, some stuff from droplift 2, and some electro-type beats i've been working on for possible future projects. people seemed to dig it.

next up was cellular narcotic, who did an improv electro set using a whole slew of korg electronics: korg synths, korg drum machines, and more. his set didn't sound too bad, but we were really hoping that he would do some circuit-bent stuff like the stuff on his myspace, so the korgs were a little disappointing.

then came gerald stokes, who did some pretty abrasive breakcore-style stuff. it didn't sound too bad. however, gerald was quite visibly drunk and i had to wonder what his set might've sounded like if he were sober enough to stand up straight. sure enough, later in the evening he ended up puking on the basement floor and having to be taken home.

next up was common dominator. he did some solid breaky material, at times melodic and at other times just good hard breaks. very nice stuff. he also had some free cds, so i made sure to snag one.

at some point, baconhanger played. i'm not totally sure when that was, and i didn't get any photos of him because i was upstairs at the time, but we could still hear the music coming up through the floor and it sounded good.

around this time came murkbox. his set was criminally short, but there wasn't a dull moment.

after murkbox came sir vixx. sir vixx did a laptop set of high-quality breakcore, with a mic so he could scream vocals from time to time. sir vixx danced frantically along with his tunes and he also did something else interesting: he lip-synced to his samples. i'm not sure i'd ever seen anyone do that before, and definitely not to that extent. still, it worked for him, and he just oozed stage presence. in a night full of good performances, i'd have to pick sir vixx as the best of the evening, because he really put on a show.

next up, i guess, was humdrum, who rocked the house in classic electro style. i'm running out of things to say at this point, especially about people i've seen play dozens of times, but what else is there to say but "he played a bunch of cool electro"?

while humdrum played, tmi/tmo set up his large array of gear on the floor. then he performed. i'm not sure how to describe his set... it was dark. it was rather abstract. it was, i guess, industrial, but i don't remember it having a lot of beats per se. still, i remember it sounding pretty good and i look forward to hearing the recording. (as far as i know, everything after my set got recorded.)

finally came the set i'd been waiting all night for: muerto zoke. zoke has become almost a legendary figure among bad taste circles, with his disorienting, intense sound. like i wrote on his bad taste bio: el muerto zoke is more "stunt rock" than stunt rock himself is these days. this is what cognitive dissonance sounds like. and his set didn't disappoint; it was everything i hoped it would be.

by this point it was 3am and virago was passing out from sheer exhaustion, so we weren't able to stick around for the final performance of the night by dr. butcher m.d.. then again, i've seen him play probably more than any other artist around (other than maybe bobby vomit), so i didn't mind missing it. still, i'm sure he put on a great set of high-quality breakcore as usual, so if you're into that stuff you would do well to check out his myspace or better yet download his album for free from the bad taste ears page.

so that was it! i have photos of most of the performers here. like i said, i didn't get any pics of baconhanger or drbmd, and for obvious reasons i didn't get any of myself... but i do have more pics of my costume here.

Friday, October 26, 2007 
i've been too busy working to do any blogging. virago and i did find the time to go see stelarc talk at herron school of art, but i don't really have time to blog that either. so here's a photo.

tomorrow is the bad taste halloween show in muncie. afterward i should have at least some photos of my costume, if not of the show.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 
san diego is on fire
readers with crisp memory might recall my family roots in san diego: my mother grew up there. my parents met there. my girlfriend grew up there and her parents still live in the area.

so i just can't get myself worked up about the silliness of indiana politics while massive fires rage all over southern california. half a million people have been evacuated from their homes in an area i visited less than a decade ago. virago has been spending a lot of time investigating how closes the fires have come to her parents' house in escondido (answer: very close, but they hadn't evacuated as of a couple hours ago.) in light of that, who gives a shiz about governor daniels' property tax plan?

Saturday, October 20, 2007 
things i am not impressed by
color me totally unimpressed by the following:

i wish i had extra hands, so i could give these things four thumbs down.

Friday, October 19, 2007 
shortest campaign ever?
via blue indiana, i see that chris minor has already dropped out of the race for indiana's 2nd district. that's what, two... three weeks after he began his campaign?

minor, you may recall, got a lot of attention a couple weeks back when it was revealed that his paychecks come from controversial mercenary company blackwater usa. then he made things even worse by pulling a dickerson—in other words, he went before the local media and pointed out exactly where all the skeletons in his closet were hidden. (it turns out minor was effectively forced out of the kokomo police in '91, and then got arrested for DWI in 94.) i guess this was an attempt to defuse any future bad press by getting the story out himself. (it didn't work for eric dickerson, either.)

honestly, i was somewhat expecting minor to pull out, after i read last week that minor plans to begin another 6-month blackwater contract in iraq next month. that would place him in baghdad through april, which simply wouldn't give him a realistic amount of time to run in the primary. fortunately for him, minor figured this out in time to drop out of the race and let someone else lose to joe donnelly. unfortunately, if he'd figured it out just a couple weeks earlier, he could've saved himself the embarrassment of having his blackwater connection and his past mistakes all over the local paper.

Thursday, October 18, 2007 
the daily show: favorite indiana moments
the daily show has a brand new website, and it has videos from every episode, all the way back to jon stewart's first episode on january 10, 1999!

unfortunately, even that is not far enough back to see the mythic segment on bob kern, the felon who tricked his way onto the ballot against dan burton in '98. this segment is of particular interest because it allegedly also features kern's then-campaign manager and now-wingnut jocelyn tandy adande. unfortunately, because it aired during the kilborn era back in may of '98, this video will probably never turn up on any official daily show site. (so if some politically-savvy hoosier happens to have it on tape somewhere, get that shiz on youtube!)

for now, if you want a bob kern fix, you'll have to make do with this, which has a couple short clips of kern along with other wacky candidates that have been featured over the years. right at the end, there's a shot of kern in a parking lot (it appears to be clearwater crossing) walking next to a woman in a polka-dot dress who i suspect is jocelyn, but there's just not enough to tell.

still, there's tons of other videos on the site, so you're sure to find something of interest if you look. if you want to relive bobby knight getting fired, it's there. so is this segment about sewage in evansville. and these videos mocking mike pence for comparing baghdad to indiana in the summertime. or who can forget classic indiana moments like this or this?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 
look who's not talking about droplift II!
in early september, a lazy journalist at a "webmag" that will not be named noticed a blurb at the top of proclaiming that "Droplift II is in the works!"

thinking that would be a nice subject to do an article about—because "some people are doing the same thing they did a few years back" is such a compelling storyline—he sent an email to the contact email about setting up a possible interview.

his request was quickly passed on to the snuggles mailing list, the creators of droplift, and the ensuing thread inspired me to create droplift II.

so today, more than a month later, the journalist sent this message to the droplift contact person, who happens to be named craig (with a C):

hi Graig. after the "hype" of droplift II turned into a prank, i don't think there's a theme for an interview anymore. good luck with your projects!

so apparently there will be no droplift II writeup in his webmag. i guess he didn't appreciate my prank. c'est la vie. it does make for an interesting timeline, though. to wit:
  1. journalist decides to write puff piece about "droplift II", unaware that the album is not actually in production and will most likely never be released.
  2. journalist's inquiries (in part) inspire an artist to create and release a parody compilation called "droplift II".
  3. journalist promptly loses interest, not realizing the role he himself has played in the story.

to me, that sounds like a much more interesting "theme" than whatever nonsense he thought he was going to get, but then i would think that.

p.s. did i mention droplift II?

colbert for president
our political discourse these days is so perverse that when stephen colbert announced on his show last night that he is running for president, we see weird pieces like this show up on the website of the new york times:

How far Mr. Colbert is willing to go — and why exactly he is doing this, beyond stoking interest in his show and a new book, "I Am America (And So Can You)" — was not at all clear. He did not return messages left with various publicists this morning.

But assuming he is serious, what would Mr. Colbert have to do to get on the Democratic ballot in the South Carolina primary, which is expected to be held on Jan. 26?

i wouldn't be at all surprised if team colbert is honestly trying its best to get stephen's name on the ballot in south carolina. the joke becomes that much more powerful if south carolina voters can actually go into the ballot box in january and file a real vote for him. but... "assuming he is serious"?

update: forgot to mention possibly the most interesting detail in the story. the filing fee to get on the ballot for the democratic party in SC is $2,500. if you can't afford that, you can instead collect 3,000 signatures.

in contrast, the fee to get on the ballot for the republican party is $35,000. that really demonstrates the difference between the two parties.

Friday, October 12, 2007 
gore wins!
al gore has won the nobel peace prize! i think josh marshall has pretty much the definitive take on this:

There are several layers of irony and poetic justice wrapped into this honor. The first is that the greatest step for world peace would simply have been for Gore not to have had the presidency stolen from him in November 2000. By every just measure, Gore won the presidency in 2000 only to have George W. Bush steal it from him with the critical assistance of the US Supreme Court. It's worth taking a few moments today to consider where the country and world would be without that original sin of this corrupt presidency.

And yet this is a fitting bookend, with Gore receiving this accolade while the sitting president grows daily an object of greater disapproval, disapprobation and collective shame. And let's not discount another benefit: watching the rump of the American right detail the liberal bias of the Nobel Committee and at this point I guess the entire world. Fox News vs. the world.

And not to forget what this award is about even more than Gore. If half of what we think we know about global warming is true, people will look back fifty years from now on the claims that "War on Terror" was the defining challenge of this century and see it as a very sick, sad joke -- which rather sums up the Bush presidency.

how much did you pay for in rainbows?
i paid £7, plus their £0.45 fee, so £7.45. i figure that's around what i'd pay for it if i had to get it at the local record store.

if you don't know what i'm talking about: radiohead has released their newest album, in rainbows, as a digital download (to be followed up with a deluxe box version). this is in itself big news, as critics collectively dubbed radiohead "the greatest band in the world" a few years back. but the really revolutionary part is that radiohead is letting you choose how much you pay for the album. don't have much money? go ahead and enter £1.00. or try plugging in £0.00 if you can bring yourself to do such a thing without feeling guilty.

this is basically an enormous middle finger to the recording industry. the band has no label, and yet will probably make more money from this release than it ever could have under any label contract. (plus they plan to do a normal cd release by january and will surely make more then.)

i kind of wanted to get the deluxe boxed set, but for £40 i just don't have the money to justify it right now. in fact, i had been waiting to even download it until i got my next long-awaited paycheck. (the check was from an august invoice, but apparently a "glitch" resulted in it not being sent out until the end of september, when it was promptly lost in the mail.) but then i remembered that i still had a balance on my paypal account, so i transferred that money over to checking, thus feeling justified to spend £7 for a digital download. (perhaps listening to amnesiac earlier today was too much and put me over the edge.)

the files are normal 160kbit mp3s, unencumbered by DRM. the download was quite zippy. and the music is pretty good, too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 
top 40 crushes smooth jazz
commenter spectre draws our attention to the latest update in the radionow saga:

Two days after Emmis Communications Corp. announced it was pulling the plug on WNOU-FM (93.1) because of poor ad revenue, the company said it is selling the station to competitor Radio One.

Radio One will broadcast RadioNow programming in Indianapolis on WYJZ-FM (100.9), which is currently a jazz station.

RadioNow was one of Indianapolis' few Top 40 radio stations. It has been off the air since Monday, when Emmis announced plans to move the news-talk programming of WIBC-AM (1070) to 93.1 FM in January 2008. In the interim, Emmis is broadcasting 93 days of Christmas music.

"The decision to take RadioNow off the air was a difficult one," said Tom Severino, vice president and Indianapolis market manager for Emmis. "It has been a vibrant, successful format, which is why we're so pleased with this agreement with Radio One. It benefits both companies, and it especially benefits the loyal listeners of RadioNow. We consider this the best-possible ending to this story."

Radio Now will own the intellectual property of the RadioNow brand, including the trademark, the WNOU call sign. No purchase price was disclosed.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007 
radio yesterday: go ahead and touch that dial
so i saw this on tdw yesterday, but didn't want to just go around copying her content. (that's a joke, kids.)

WIBC, probably indy's oldest radio station, is hopping from AM to FM in january. that's good news if you love rush limbaugh but can't bring yourself to flip to the AM dial in order to listen to him, but it's bad news if you listen to rush and live out in BFE where you're out of range of the FM signal (since FM doesn't carry nearly as far as AM). and it's bad news if you're a fan of top 40 radio, since the frequency WIBC is moving to is 93.1.

yes, in order to make room for WIBC, they're doing away with radionow 93.1, which was the city's only real top 40 station. devoted radionow listeners can still hear the station online or using future bricks called "HD radio receivers", but the on-air personalities like nigel have all been fired (so who will write all those redneck parody songs now?). in other words; they haven't killed radionow; they've merely gutted it and are letting it bleed to death.

WIBC doesn't flip tuners until january. but radionow is already gone. in its place: christmas music! that's right, in this time when other radio stations are looking for halloween material to play, emmis is skipping all the way to xmas. i tuned in yesterday and the first song i heard was "do they know it's christmas?" as dave barry would say, i'm not making this up.

i've never been a big fan of radionow, but i did have it programmed on my car radio for something to switch to when WHHH plays too many songs featuring t-pain (switch off the damn vocoder, t-pain!), so i will miss it a little bit. they had a friday dj mix featuring dj orion that was kinda cool, though not as cool as WHHH's mikki fikki mix. they were also one of only 15 stations in the country to air radio with a twist, which as far as i know is the only lgbt-themed syndicated radio show in the country. but apparently owner emmis communications thinks they can make more money off rush limbaugh and other talkers than from top 40 radio, so i'll just have to adjust my listening habits accordingly.

Monday, October 08, 2007 
a glossary of code
you've probably heard of godwin's law, which states that "[a]s an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

some people misinterpret this to mean that as soon as you use the H-word or the F-word (fascism), you've lost the argument. but that's not really what it means. indeed, some things truly are comparable to hitler or fascism. the problem is that these comparisons are thrown around so often, and used incorrectly so frequently, that when you use these terms, people stop listening. as such, it has become virtually impossible to have a serious online discussion about subjects such as fascism, because people will ignore you, regardless of the merit of your argument.

along those lines, here are some more phrases to avoid. whenever i see any of these phrases, i immediately assume that the person using them is a wingnut with no idea what they're talking about. of course, it is possible to use these phrases correctly (for example, "greg ballard doesn't seem to have any support outside the 'bart lies' crowd), but for the most part, they should be avoided by anyone who wants to be taken seriously. some of these are specific to local politics, while others are no doubt used regionally or nationally.

BART LIES!—much like the "lies" of michael moore, the "lies" of mayor bart peterson are not actually lies at all; they are policy disagreements.

detroit—this is racist code for "scary black folks". thus the claim "indy is turning into another detroit" means "indy is being taken over by scary black folks".

cleveland—code for "black folks"; see detroit.

gary (gary, indiana)—code for "black folks"; see detroit.

pea shake—the moment anyone starts complaining about pea shake houses, my eyes roll into the back of my head.

"sweet pea"—racist nickname for city-county council president monroe grey; see pea shake.

the carson machine (or "the machine")—racist code for the delusional belief that the city is ruled with an iron fist by a cabal of black democrats, at the center of which is representative julia carson. the irony of "the carson machine" is that these people simultaneously believe that carson is a weak, dying old woman incapable of representing us in congress and also that she is so powerful that she runs the entire city like a dictator.

ghetto mafia—see the carson machine.

"fair tax"—the so-called "fair tax" proposal to eliminate property taxes and replace them with income & sales taxes is not only orwellian in its unfairness, it is impractical and implausible, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either confused or lying (to themselves, to you, or both).

the party of lincoln—yes, lincoln was a republican. then, 100 years later, the republican party adopted the southern strategy.

socialist—there are extremely few actual socialists in the united states. europe is a different story.

anyway, that's just a few. there are dozens more, but i gotta run.

update: tdw reposts my glossary, which has so far elicited 46 comments.

Thursday, October 04, 2007 
vote mercenary
yesterday, several blogs picked up on this story from the south bend tribune that a man named chris minor has announced that he's running against joe donnelly for indiana's 2nd district in congress. (let's get the obligatory joke about him being a "minor" challenge out of the way now.)

the tribune describes minor as "a retired U.S. Army captain" and "an intelligence analyst for the State Department" who "retired from the military with an 80 percent disability for noncombat related injuries". his past as a disabled veteran might help him get right-wing votes, which he'll surely need, since i don't imagine him being a popular candidate with fringe views like this:

Minor said he would like to replace Pelosi with Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., "the pride and joy of the conservative movement."

today's indy star carries an AP article about minor's candidacy, and it includes one surprising fact that the tribune's james wensits apparently overlooked. minor actually works for blackwater USA.

Minor said he is an independent contractor hired through Blackwater to work for the State Department.

Blackwater has been the focus of recent allegations involving actions by its employees hired to protect diplomatic personnel in Iraq. In one case, Blackwater guards were involved in a Sept. 16 shootout that left 11 Iraqis dead. The FBI is investigating, and Democrats in Congress want to update a law that has kept Blackwater and other private security contractors in Iraq immune to criminal prosecution.

yes, that blackwater, the one that is under investigation for its drunken recklessness and shoot-first-ask-questions-later attitude.

the fact that a congressional candidate works for a scandal-prone mercenary firm—though minor disagrees with the term "mercenary"—even if, or i should say especially if he claims to work for the state department, seems like a pretty important detail to me. so how did that detail come to be left out of the south bend tribune article? did wensits simply not ask who cuts minor's paychecks, taking his claim of working for the state dept at face value? did wensits know about the blackwater connection and yet leave it out of the article for some reason? or did an editor remove that fact before the article was released to the public? we'll probably never know, and it doesn't really matter now that the real facts are out there.

still, it was awful convenient for minor that the name of his extremely controversial employer was left out of the first article that announced his candidacy, the one all the blogs linked to. though, i'm not sure that even working for blackwater would be a strike against him with the kind of voter who considers mike pence to be "the pride and joy of the conservative movement."

Monday, October 01, 2007 
i'm not entirely sure how i feel about this:

Rockcycle uses a proprietary process to transform iconic album covers and the vinyl discs inside into non-audio products such as purses, notebooks and magnets. Stains and other wear and tear are preserved inside a clear laminate.

"There is a lot of great album art that's going to waste due to the digital age, and we're recycling that art and keeping it out in circulation," said Nancy Wagner, Jeff's spouse.

part of me thinks this is pretty cool, and wants to head down to castleton to see what they have in stock, maybe buy some stuff.

but as a collector and fan of the vinyl format, another part of me can't help but feel this is a waste of good records.

don't get me wrong; there are millions of junk records out there that would benefit from being transformed into a purse or a bowl. go into any thrift store and check out their vinyl: half of it will be old christian records, crappy compilations put out by shell oil, and other junk that nobody would ever want to listen to again. however, if you watch the video, it's clear that these are not the records that are being recycled. no, rockcycle only destroys the good records, the ones that someone might actually want to buy and listen to.

in other words, you might not find a lot of merchandise there made out of sing along with mitch records, but apparently you will find the beatles, because a beatles purse is shown in the video. good-quality beatles records are still a bit hard to come by, as the beatles are still quite popular. but it's virtually impossible to go through a used record section without stumbling across some sing along with mitch or herb alpert's whipped cream mixes. (if you manage to do so, someone has probably gotten tired of looking at them all and thrown them in the dumpster.) so it should be obvious which records need to be recycled, and yet those are precisely the ones least likely to be recycled at rockcycle.

i guess i need to reserve final judgment until i've had a chance to go there and check the place out. for one thing, i have no idea what the prices are like; i'll be a lot more forgiving if prices are reasonable.

on the other hand, it also looks like they have stuff made out of old cassette tapes, and i have no problem with that.

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