Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The First of the Gang To Die

It was nearly midnight when we arrived in Pittsburgh. The Quiet Storm cafe was packed with our fans, making it all the easier to cart our equipment through the deserted club. I deposited my corpse on a sofa at immediate stage-left, and commenced a form of nausea-suppression therapy I like to call not listening to my drummer's opinions on Israel. Our friends, The Bullet Parade, played a stomach-turning rendition of "Shoplifters of the World, Unite and Take Over"--which is to say really first-rate. Carrie attended to my Gore-Tex hood with massage therapy, while Joanne procured peppermint tea to settle my stomach. I felt like a regular Mao Tse-tung; I worried constantly about the shameful spectacle unfolding before our Pittsburgh audience.

Monday, December 29, 2003

The True Meaning of Christmas

Jesus never had anti-bacterial soap--and unless you work in doctor's office, you shouldn't either.

Friday, December 19, 2003

A Warm Missive to Fox News

I was saddened to hear Fox News analyst Liz Trotta associate Moveon.Org with the "World Socialist Movement." I don't know how she arrived at this conclusion, but it's generally regarded as inaccurate, to put it nicely.

Many people enjoy The O'Reilly Factor, and enjoy the guests he features. Let's not discredit Fox's professionalism by making bold, inaccurate claims; or at least without correcting these errors once they are discovered to be wrong. I would like Ms. Trotta to correct herself, for the sake of journalistic integrity and accuracy, which I am certain she holds in high regard.

Thank you for your consideration,

JR Boyd


Through Fox Watch, many of you have helped monitor every single program that has aired on the cable station Fox News Channel for the past month. Those of you participating have filed hundreds and hundreds of reports about distortion, inaccuracies, and bias -- breaches of the basic standards of journalism.

Wednesday night, a Fox Watch monitor caught an outright lie during one of Fox News' flagship programs, The O'Reilly Factor. In a discussion of progressive websites, host Bill O'Reilly called TomPaine.com "the most rank propaganda in the world."

Fox News analyst Liz Trotta responded:

"Well, how many people do you think -- who look at MoveOn.org, know it's affiliated with the World Socialist Movement..."

This outrageous and false charge could only have been intended to discredit the work of MoveOn.org and its members. It is akin to the tactics of the McCarthy era.

Call on Fox News to dismiss Liz Trotta for such an utter lack of journalistic scruples:

Fox News Channel
(212) 301-3000

--Noah T. Winer
December 19, 2003

Monday, December 15, 2003

My Mid-East Crisis

In retrospect, I could have done without the crossfire discussion of the West Bank. I am riding with George and our drummer, Dan, in the last remaining vehicle of the Overlord fleet; Jon, Carrie, and gear have been gathered up by a Pittsburgh-based salvage team also known as Jon's sister in a minivan. We will attempt to make this show. My spirits are high: hot tea and Tylenol have done the trick. I repose in the passenger seat. Somehow, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict comes up. Dan has taken Islam to task in the back seat, and George is not agreeing. I am not either, but I enjoy hearing the perspective, because I think it reflects a popular attitude towards Muslim culture which warrants close attention. George speaks wonderfully to the disparity of power between the two sides, and against the idea that Islam as a religion is uniquely intolerant of other perspectives. The argument escalates, however, and 45 minutes later I no longer have an opinion; but my stomach is ready to make a concluding remark all over the streets of Pittsburgh.
The Capture of George W. Bush

The Democratic candidates just have to take off these kid gloves. I'd begin by asking some hard questions about Republican administrations' past relationship with Saddam. Put that photo of Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand in 1983 in the commercials; ask hard questions about former Reaganites now serving in the Bush administration who supported Saddam to the hilt while he was gassing Iranian troops and Kurds; find out who authorized the US sale of chemical and biological precursors to Saddam; and be so rude as to bring up the horrible betrayal committed by Bush senior when he stood aside and let Saddam massacre all those Shiites in 1991, after they rose up in response to a Bush call for the popular overthrow of Saddam. The US military could have shot down those helicopter gunships that massacred Shiites in Najaf and Basra. Bush senior clearly told them to let Saddam enjoy his killing fields. And imagine, the Bush administration officials are actually getting photo ops at the mass graves their predecessors allowed to be filled with bodies!

What happened Sunday was that the Republicans captured a former ally, with whom they had later fallen out.

--Juan Cole

Sunday, December 14, 2003

The Quiet Storm Cafe, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Overlord suffered some casualties last night. I became sick yesterday morning and proceeded to be sicker in the course of the seven or so hours it takes to travel from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. Not to be outdone, our bassist, Jon Robb, jettisoned the passenger-side wheel of his car into the icy night along I-76. We spent the evening buying 50-cent hot chocolate out of a machine and reading copies of The Independent Trucker at a small service center outside of the city. Vitamin B may help counteract depression, studies show. Jon Robb observed that most American dialects vary in vowel sounds. Central Pennsylvanians, to whom we are indebted for keeping the price of hot chocolate reasonable, do not sound Southern because of this. There was a woman traveling in our party, Carrie, who is engaged to Jon Robb. She procured Tylenol from the bearded Pennsylvanian and told me to knock it off with the hot chocolate and drink hot tea instead. I felt about hundred times better by the time we were moving again.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

A December Schedule of Live Concerts

Overlord plays Pittsburgh tomorrow, and the Khyber in Philadelphia next Friday, the 19th of the month. George meets tonight with two prospective "reverse strippers" who will systematically put their clothes on during the show. George has asked that I show up to lend credibility to the scheme; right now it's all I can do to locate my second pair of trousers. I will also contrive to bring a female of my own, as if to say "we too know what it is like to be a woman."

Also, new song (cover) called "Kelly" in more audio, by George.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Band Names

  • Social Security (my solo project, in the tradition of other hip bureaucracies such as Interpol and The Postal Service, except it will be defunct before I write anything worthwhile)

  • The Trans-fats

  • Operation Iraqi Fiefdom
  • Monday, December 01, 2003


    The correlation between pharmaceuticals as a hugely profitable industry and the relatively new fashion of diagnosing depression and anxiety as a biological 'problem'--instead of a response--just seems a little too convenient. It's really the medical profession that should be blowing the whistle on the fact that people are unhappy in overwhelming numbers; the sheer scope of it should suggest some external, societal cause. But that would put doctors in the position of advocating social change. It's much easier to accept the pseudo-science of the pharmaceuticals, whose everlasting message is that life's problems are biological--not political, social, or economic--in form, and that the solution to our problems lie in a better, more sophisticated drug.