Tea Time With Jesse

Six of One, Half Dozen the Other

Archive for February, 2013

Music Fridays – What’s a Union?

Posted by middlerage on February 22, 2013

And good evening folks! Ho ho ho! Rex Alpha here with ALPHA’S BEST BETS! Everything you need to know for this weekend’s entertainment. Of course, this Sunday, Rex will be tuning into the Grammy Awards along with most of YOU – to see WHO WILL take HOME the Grammy for BEST SONG of 2031. Later in our broadcast, the lovely Tamara Gamma will give us the countdown preview for this year’s crop of hit singles, but FIRST we’re going to talk with a Professor SprinkleSpratz of  Columbia University. Dr. SprinkleSpratz you’re going to be doing something verrrry interesting at this year’s awards, ho ho ho, but before we get to that, FIRST tell us a little bit about yourself, Doc – You belong to something very unusual…

Well, yes, Rex, in fact I am a professor of Music at Columbia, but more importantly I am president of Musicians Local 001.

I see, and tell us what exactly you mean by “Musicians Local 001”?

Well, Rex, it’s a union, as a matter of fact.

[Rex makes a show of mock horror and bugs his eyes at camera one] A UNION! Well, I dare say folks we haven’t heard of unions in…what, oh, a decade?

Well, yes Rex. As a matter of fact, all unions were outlawed in the Great Profit Failure and CEO Revolt of 2019. However, due to the Treaty to Support Our Relations With France, (enacted several years prior), Jazz musicians and Jerry Lewis impersonators were grandfathered in.

I see. So you’re in a union of fellow Jazz musicians – so that means no pop musicians? no rock musicians? Are you a large organization?

Well, no Rex, there’s just about seven or eight of us. Our oldest member was once a member of Polkacide – who came close but never quite – being nominated for a Grammy. And you’re quite right, no rock or pop musicians allowed by law. However, we do have one rocker, the founding member of Dahveed and the Voodoo Switches, but Dahveed actually joined us when a photographers union merged with our organization.

I see, and how many people were in the Photographers union?

Well, only one, actually. So it made sense for him to throw in with us.

I see. So now on to the interesting part you’ll play in Sunday night’s awards ceremony.  As we all know, the Jazz and Classical categories at the Grammys were phased out in 2027. What,… well,.. please… in your own words, professor…

Yes, well, actually, Rex, we will be outside the LA Pavilion, on Sunday night, protesting.

Protesting! [Rex turns to the camera with mock horror and bugs his eyes out] Protesting what?

Well, Rex, as you well know, fully half the nominated Grammy candidates this year are AI simulacrums.  Like yourself. And we believe that, well, the AI pop stars are taking jobs, and well, frankly, the awards should be recognizing outstanding HUMAN contributions. Even though we have no ball in this game, per se, we want to protest and stick up for the budding pop stars of tomorrow. Those who may not have a chance in this industry as it is taken over by simulations.

Did you hear that, Tamara? I do believe the gentleman doesn’t like us, ho ho ho. So tell me, professor, are you actually going to get out there – Tina I had to look this up! ho ho ho – with sign boards and march a figure eight?

Well, maybe not a figure eight, but yes, Rex, that is our plan, we may even bring along a few instruments just to keep our chops up. But yes, it is going to be a good old fashioned protest. I’m quite excited. And we hope AMERICA WAKES UP! Something HAS to be done! First we saw it when Google replaced the publishing industry with AI editors, then they started to actually write the books. Next it was TV hosts, not to mention the robot cameras that are filling your studio, here. [Rex makes a face at the camera] Now our music industry, which is in my heart and soul, is being taken over by formulaic, AI crafted pablum. We can’t stand by and let robots take over our lives, our very souls. We say enough is ENOUGH!

EeeeeeNOUGH is ENOUGH! Fascinating, I dare say! There you have it folks – a real live union and a real live protest! Tell us what YOU think! Sign in to our opinion page through your teleset and give us your opinion of Professor SprinkleSpratz and his protest of non-Human pop stars. Thank you professor and best of luck. Now on to Tamara Gamma and TAMARA’S TOP TEN! Take it AWAYYYY TINA, HO HO HO…

Posted in observations, Politicks, Thinking 'bout music, Where are the Robots?, wtf | Leave a Comment »

No Purchase Necessary

Posted by middlerage on February 22, 2013

…Listening to the radio. There’s a contest. As mandated, there is no purchase necessary. Under my Coke cap is a contest entry, and by law they mention no purchase is necessary. Even the membership drives at the public radio station – when they give away a free trip to Italy – have to mention that no contribution is necessary to enter.

Now, I’m glad that some legislature, some time (I don’t know the history of this), thought to protect me from the evils of corporate contests, but in the grand scheme of things…

As I think about predatory lending, and tragic foreclosure stories; boiler plate fine print that forces arbitration; never ending cell phone contracts (or satellite TV contracts); energy manipulation; and un-prosecuted Wall Street titans I wonder why we are so lovingly protected from bad contests???

The new executive branch entity (is it a cabinet?) for consumer protection still doesn’t have a director.

Frankly, I don’t care if I have to make a purchase to enter a contest. Seems small potatoes. Am I wrong, dear readers? Tell me if I am, or at least tell me if you know more of the history. It’s not that I mind being protected from bad contests, it’s just the contrast between how well I am protected and how well corporations toe the line in this instance, and how poorly I am in other instances.

You don’t even have to complain about corporations not offering “no purchase necessary.” They just do it. (And who would you complain to?) Yet mortgage companies regularly foreclose on soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and that is against the law (The Law!).

And don’t get me started on the credit card rate reduction company who keeps calling me despite the fact I am on the Do Not Call list.

Maybe I need to be more clear, and say, “I don’t want to do away with contest predictions, but why can’t we do over here what we are doing over there?!”

Posted in observations | 2 Comments »

My Readers Make Me Proud

Posted by middlerage on February 10, 2013

Not only do my readers take the time to read my shit, but they contribute!

Old friend, Mark C., contributes an entry for Phrases I Like. Mark C. is 10 times, nay 100 times, the WWII history buff that I am, and here’s his recent comment:

I’m reading a book, “Halsey’s typhoon” and in the opening chapter detailing some of Halsey’s military experience Halsey recalls that his experience in the Great War left him, “as proud as a dog with two tails.”

(Okay, Great War is WWI not II, but anyhoo… ) I like it. Going on the list.

Secondly, Anonynurse sent me this cryptically dark, and darkly cryptic message:

…thought [this] might be an interesting topic for your blog.


Why no, I’ve never heard of it, and an interesting read it makes. Just how does one go about hiring assassins or purchasing drugs on the World Wide Web? This article gives an intro. Perhaps Anonynurse has something she wants to get off her chest?

Kinda reminds me of the net right before I got into it. I’m really a child of the World Wide Web, but before that was bulletin boards and the Well. I’m sure many of my readers are proto-net savvy, but the only one I really discussed it with was Dahveed. It’s an experience I feel I missed out on. The Well especially sounded (sounds?) pretty cool.

And before that was the Whole Earth Catalog. Which really confused me until a VH1 (of all things) docutainment bit explained it.

Contributions from readers and the Phrases They like:

  • Proud as a dog withh two tails (from Mark C.)
  • Harder’n a woodpecker’s lips (from Mark L.)
  • Real nice and Kentucky (from Mark L. and means something fits well, well made)
  • Like herding cats (from switbo)
  • Spat the Binky (Dummy) (from Annie)
  • Hottern’ two rats fucking in a wool sock (from the muddledrambler)
  • Gird your loins (from Mark C.)
  • Put your best foot forward (from Mark C, who actually dislikes this phrase, haha)
  • Grinnin’ like a fox eatin’ shit from a wire brush (from Mark L.)
  • This is a fine kettle of fish (from anonynurse)
  • Chile so hot it burns twice (from Fatman)

40 years from now my kids will be telling their kids about crazy stuff like Wikipedia. And Facebook.

Posted in Phrases I like | 1 Comment »

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