Friday, November 17, 2006


Bush should stay out of his mind; it's a bad neighborhood. Two articles I wrote on this administration, "BUSH'S LAST WILL AND TESTICLE" and "DEATH IS SEXIER THAN SEX (to Ann Coulter), will be reprinted here soon -- or you can find them in various news journals in the sidebar. The books HOW TO TALK TO ANN COULTER, IF YOU MUST ; BLOGGING WITH THE DEVIL and FALLING UP are in the pipeline, not necessarily in that order.

There are those who find themselves exiled
On whom the fortunes never smile
And upon whose lives the heartache has been piled - Jackson Browne "The Only Child"

Ran into several of my favorite people last night: the songwriter whose music changed my life, Jackson Browne — whose music is so beautiful it makes me weep, it actually hurts; Norman Lear (activist and creator of "All in the Family"), Brad Friedman of and Greg Palast, author of the New York Times bestseller, “Armed Madhouse” (Penguin 2006), about the Bush administration. When Palast, an investigator of corporate fraud and racketeering, turned his skills to journalism, he was quickly recognized as, “The most important investigative reporter of our time” [Tribune Magazine] in Britain, where his first reports appeared on BBC television and in the Guardian newspapers. Palast is also the author of "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy", and is launching an even more crucial investigation into how the right wing steals elections by eliminating Blacks from the voter rolls, and sending them to Iraq. You will not believe how corrupt and anti-American these maniacs are, and the criminal tactics they use in voter registration. Please contribute to the Palast Investigative Fund, which employs a team of investigators all over the world, uncovering the neocons' dense maze of crimes and lies.

Also met Ed Rampell, the prolific journalist, critic and author of many books. His most recent is "Progressive Hollywood." With an introduction by Greg Palast, "Progressive Hollywood" features Rampell's interviews and interactions with Hollywood luminaries such as producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Robert Greenwald; actors Jack Nicholson, Rob Reiner, Mike Farrell, Ed Asner, Martin Sheen, David Clennon, Gore Vidal and Dennis Hopper; directors Michael Moore, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone and Lionel Chetwynd; blacklisted screenwriters Bernie Gordon (who initiated the 1999 protests against Elia Kazan's lifetime achievement Oscar), Bobby Lees (who injected dialectical materialism into Abbott and Costello comedies) and Norma Barzman (author of 2003's The Red and the Blacklist).

Jackson Browne looks so much like my brother, who died a few years ago, it's uncanny. Browne is also a great soul and activist for peace, the downtrodden, the environment and all good Democratic causes. His first album has a song called "Song For Adam", which is about a friend's suicide. After my brother died, I must have played this song 500 times. To this day, I believe Jackson Browne is the best songwriter alive. I love his album LATE FOR THE SKY. His mainstream hits are great, but I really love the songs that never got enough airplay, his hauntingly bittersweet melodies and lyrics mixed with violin, piano and acoustic guitar. Some of my favorites: "The Only Child"; "For A Dancer"; "Fountain of Sorrow", "Before the Deluge", "From SilverLake", "Looking Into You"; "These Days"; "Take It Easy"; "For Everyman" ... and of course "The Pretender"

Jackson Browne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. He is highly respected for both his musical gifts and his integrity. He spends most of his time helping important social causes he believes in. As Bruce Springsteen put it during his speech at the Hall of Fame inductions: "Listen to the chord changes of 'Rock Me On the Water' and 'Before the Deluge,' it's gospel through and through. Now I always thought that... our job here on earth, the way we regain our divinity, our sacredness, and our general good-standing is by reconstructing love and creating love out of the broken pieces that we've been given. That's all we have of human promise. That's the way we prove ourselves in the eyes of God and facilitate our own redemption. Now, to me Jackson Browne's work was always the sound of that reconstruction." Thank you, Jackson, for a creating the soundtrack to our lives.

Lyrics to "Song for Adam"

Though Adam was a friend of mine, I did not know him well
He was alone into his distance
He was deep into his well
I could guess what he was laughing at, but I couldn't really tell
Now the story's told that Adam jumped, but I've been thinking that he fell

Together we went traveling, as we received the call
His destination India, and I had none at all
Well, I still remember laughing with our backs against the wall
So free of fear, we never thought that one of us might fall

I sit before my only candle, but it's so little light to find my way
Now this story unfolds before my candle
Which is shorter every hour as it reaches for the day
But I feel just like a candle in the way
I guess I'll get there, but I wouldn't say for sure

When we parted we were laughing still, as our goodbyes were said
And I never heard from him again as each our lives we led
Except for once in someone else's letter that I read
Until I heard the sudden word that a friend of mine was dead....

Listen to the lyrics of "The Only Child" --

Take good care of your brother
Let the disappointment pass,
Let the laughter fill your glass
Let your illusions last until they shatter...

Take good care of your mother
And remember to be kind
When the pain of another will serve to remind...
That there those who find themselves exiled
on whom the fortunes never smile
And upon whose lives the heartache has been piled...
They're just looking for another only child

And when you've found another soul
Who sees into your own
Take good care of each other
When you're thinking you're alone
Be aware of each other....
Take good care of each other

Check out his website and listen to some of his hits from various concerts:

I also love Loreena McKennitt "Book of Secrets" #8. It's a haunting Celtic ballad. We played it at our wedding in Malibu, filtered through the oak trees. Sometimes I feel that if you're part Welsh or Irish, as we are, you have Celtic music in your blood. That's why I love the LORD OF THE RINGS soundtrack so much.