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Messages - xasop

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« on: December 08, 2021, 06:25:26 PM »
Britain wasn't a democracy 300 years ago. We didn't have a democracy until the reform act in 1832. Less than 3% of people could vote when Warpole was in power. We don't become a fully fledged democracy until 1918 when women get the vote.
No, that's not how this works. Our standards for democracy in the West have changed over the years, mostly for the better, but you don't get to pick an arbitrary point in time at which 40% of women were granted the right to vote and claim a sudden transition from not-democracy to democracy.

Quote from:
Lukashenko heads an authoritarian government and has often been referred to by media outlets as "Europe's last dictator".[1] Elections are not considered to be free and fair by international monitors, opponents of the regime are repressed, and the media is not free.[2][3]
^That is not a democracy. That is the exact thing a democracy is pretty good at preventing.
It isn't now, but it was when Lukashenko gained power. If it weren't possible for someone to become a tyrant under democracy, then he'd be long gone.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« on: December 08, 2021, 04:50:27 PM »
Imagine thinking Belarus is a functioning democracy.
It isn't now, but it was when Lukashenko gained power. If it weren't possible for someone to become a tyrant under democracy, then he'd be long gone.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« on: December 08, 2021, 04:43:38 PM »
Russia have had Putin for over 20 years. That just isn't possible with democracy and that is why it is the best system.
What the hell are you on about? There are plenty of democracies around the world with long-serving leaders. Lukashenko has been President of Belarus for nearly 30 years, Orbán has been Prime Minister of Hungary for over a decade and his popularity is showing no sign of waning, and in South Africa the same party has been in charge (albeit with changes of leadership) since 1994. Even in your own country, the longest-serving Prime Minister lasted 20 years.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« on: December 08, 2021, 08:08:54 AM »
If you agree with my point, or if you indeed intended to make it yourself, then at least it has now been articulated. Win-win.
I thought I did, but now you're saying that it's antithetical to what I agree with, so I suppose we may never know what you meant.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« on: December 08, 2021, 07:48:29 AM »
I think we can safely assume we all know what was meant by the word "test" and ignore xasop's transparent troll.

That said, if the test was well defined, the only way to pervert it would be to redefine it, which the remaining voters would hopefully have a say on. This isn't really more or less vulnerable to warping than current democratic systems.
Making the exact same point I just made is an interesting way of ignoring my point.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« on: December 07, 2021, 11:33:32 PM »
Reaching the legal voting age is not really what anyone is talking about when they say “test” in the context of having educated voters.
Saddam said «any kind of "test"». Checking someone's age is a kind of test.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« on: December 07, 2021, 11:04:33 PM »
Given that all democracies currently feature such a test, this is patent nonsense.
Do what?!
All democracies have an age requirement to vote. Now, that's not what you were talking about, but it does satisfy Saddam's description of a test that he believes would be corrupted. Its existence is proof that a restriction on who can and cannot vote can be implemented in a way that doesn't compromise democratic principles.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Democracy Is Overrated
« on: December 07, 2021, 10:02:47 PM »
There is no possible scenario in which any kind of "test" to see who should be allowed to vote and who shouldn't be wouldn't promptly be manipulated and abused by the people in charge of said tests to only allow their preferred voters in.
Given that all democracies currently feature such a test, this is patent nonsense.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: November 28, 2021, 06:07:17 AM »
Jason Momoa is Ronon Dex. He will never be any other character.

I've always believed that idea of an armed citizenry defending liberty from our federal government was an absolutely delusional redneck fantasy. I need the federal government to have resources and weaponry to defend us from powerful nation states all over the world. I want a government that can defend us from extremist terror groups with technology and intelligence.
You mean the extremist terror groups it created?

Arts & Entertainment / Re: xasop reviews Dutch Zappa concerts
« on: November 21, 2021, 02:11:20 AM »
Wednesday, 4 May, 1988
The Ahoy, Rotterdam
Geef mij wat vloerbedekking! Vloerbedekking!


Frank Zappa (guitar, synclavier, vocals)
Ike Willis (guitar, synth, vocals)
Mike Keneally (guitar, synth, vocals)
Robert Martin (keyboards, vocals)
Walt Fowler (trumpet, flugel horn, synth)
Bruce Fowler (trombone)
Paul Carman (alto, soprano and baritone sax)
Albert Wing (tenor sax)
Kurt McGettrick (baritone and bass sax, contrabass clarinet)
Ed Mann (percussion)
Scott Thunes (bass, Minimoog)
Chad Wackerman (drums)

Set lists

All tracks authored by Frank Zappa, except where noted.

Stinkfoot [ending on Make A Jazz Noise Here]
Dickie's Such An Asshole (q: Midnight Sun (Lionel Hampton, Sonny Burke, Johnny Mercer), The Battle Hymn Of The Republic (William Steffe, Julia Ward Howe), Billy The Mountain)
When The Lie's So Big (q: Dickie's Such An Asshole, Bolero (Maurice Ravel), The Battle Hymn Of The Republic (William Steffe, Julia Ward Howe), Happy Days Are Here Again (Milton Ager, Jack Yellen))
Planet Of The Baritone Women (q: Teddy Bears' Picnic (John W. Bratton, Jimmy Kennedy), Dance Of The Cuckoos (T. Marvin Hatley, Harry Steinberg))
Any Kind Of Pain
Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk†
Mr Green Genes
Florentine Pogen (q: Louie Louie (Richard Berry))
Inca Roads (q: Approximate, Stayin' Alive (Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb))

Eat That Question
Black Napkins
Dupree's Paradise
Marqueson's Chicken
City Of Tiny Lights
Pound For A Brown
The Torture Never Stops Medley*

Keep It Greasey
Cruising For Burgers (q: Handsome Cabin Boy (trad.)) [parts on Make A Jazz Noise Here]

Sofa (q: Billy The Mountain)
Crew Slut

† Jesus Thinks You're A Jerk contains quotations from
  • Light Cavalry Overture (Franz von Suppé),
  • The Battle Hymn Of The Republic (William Steffe, Julia Ward Howe),
  • The Twilight Zone: Main Title Theme (Marius Constant),
  • Entry Of The Gladiators (Julius Fučík),
  • The Old Rugged Cross (Rev. George Bennard),
  • Dixie (Daniel Decatur Emmett),
  • Louie Louie (Richard Berry), and
  • Rock Of Ages (Augustus M. Toplady, Thomas Hastings).

* The Torture Never Stops Medley consists of
  • The Torture Never Stops part 1,
  • Theme From "Bonanza" (Ray Evans, Jay Livingston),
  • Lonesome Cowboy Burt, and
  • The Torture Never Stops part 2;
and contains quotations from
  • Hall Of The Mountain King (Edvard Grieg),
  • Chattanooga Choo Choo (Harry Warren, Mack Gordon),
  • I Love Lucy (Eliot Daniel, Harold Adamson),
  • My Three Sons Theme (Frank DeVol),
  • Mission: Impossible Theme (Lalo Schifrin),
  • This Is The Theme To Garry's Show (Joey Carbone),
  • The Addams Family (Vic Mizzy),
  • Wipe Out (Bob Berryhill, Pat Connolly, Jim Fuller, Ron Wilson),
  • O Superman (Laurie Anderson), and
  • Sharkey's Day (Laurie Anderson).


If yesterday's show was a Flo, this one is an Eddie, and he is not kidding. As with most pairs of shows played in the same city in 1988, these set lists are clearly crafted to entertain the same audience on both nights — there is not a single piece repeated. As with yesterday, this show contains some fine examples of what the '88 band was capable of, although most of them are in the second half of the show. Settle in and prepare yourself.

From the powerful opening chords of Stinkfoot, you can tell it's going to be a great one. "Yes, we will be playing Black Napkins, you can put the sign down now" says Frank. He proceeds to read out the set list for the evening, having "made some changes" since last night. Annoyingly, Frank's set list includes Whipping Post, which appears to either have been dropped or not made it onto this tape. A pity, as it was one of this band's strongest tunes.

Stinkfoot manages, against all odds, to be even groovier than usual, with Frank playing around with rhythms as he repeats the "python boot" line a few times. This incredible band, of course, doesn't miss a beat. For some reason, Frank decides to get quiet and contemplative with his first guitar solo tonight, which — once again beating the odds — works magnificently on this usually-a-much-harder-rocker of a vamp.

The band intros at the end of Stinkfoot are the ones we all know and love from Make A Jazz Noise Here, including the "special case" of Frank getting Ed to rehearse the lick from Dickie's Such An Asshole in response to a fan's complaint. What you don't hear on the album is that this is the beginning of tonight's secret word — "rehearsal".

The so-called "Republican medley", occupying most of the first half of the first set, consists of mostly new compositions for this tour that don't hold a candle to his older tunes, and which — for some reason — he always liked to play as a single group rather than distributing them throughout the show for contrast. Dickie's Such An Asshole — a recycled ditty about Nixon from 1973 — is actually among the better of these, and tonight we get "a rehearsal out of the evening news" and a pleasantly bluesy guitar solo. Ike pretends to fuck up his post-solo rap so he can "have one more rehearsal right now", which gets a cheer out of the crowd and a chuckle from this reviewer.

The "rehearsal" moments continue throughout tonight's Republican medley, from all three of Ike, Frank and Bobby, making it somewhat more bearable than usual. Frank even promotes tomorrow's soundcheck in Dortmund, as the audience seems to be enjoying this demented performance. On the other hand, tonight's Any Kind Of Pain guitar solo is somewhat underwhelming. I suppose you can't win 'em all.

The second half of the first set, though, is one of the best sequences of classic tunes this band had in its repertoire. The segue into Mr Green Genes is music to my ears, and I don't just mean that literally. These arrangements of these songs are well represented on The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life, although here we get a few more "rehearsal" mutations to liven things up, not that it's needed anymore. Frank's solos, as is the sad norm for this tour in these songs, are tasty but nothing spectacular, but the horn solo (from Albert, I think?) in Inca Roads raises the bar a bit. However, these songs have enough oomph to carry themselves well even without great solos. And, finally, "that's Bruce" heralds tonight's intermission.

"Okay, everybody go 'woo' one time" says Frank after coming back out on stage. The much-requested Eat That Question/Black Napkins follows this tidbit of banter, much as heard on Make A Jazz Noise Here. Both Bruce (I think — I'm terrible at identifying horns by ear) and Frank find their groove in Black Napkins, promising greater improvisation for the second set than the first.

Sharleena benefits from the extra horns in the '88 lineup brings with it, sounding dootier than ever before. Unfortunately, though, the verses are still reggae. The guitar solo is over the "Winos Do Not March" vamp from Guitar, and while I slightly prefer the '81/'82 Sharleenas, this vamp almost always elicits guitar magnificence from Frank, and tonight is no exception. I would call this the first truly great solo of the evening, building up gradually into a fury as every good Sharleena should.

Dupree's Paradise is disappointingly short for tonight, with brief but satisfying solos from Walt (I think) and one of the saxophonists (Paul?), before segueing slightly jarringly into Marqueson's Chicken. This Marqueson has also been dooted up for '88, and the old shuffle vamp has been replaced with *checks notes* oh no. No, please no. Oh God no, anything but more reggae. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO—

Mercifully, after a while the band turns the reggae back into a shuffle, and the conclusion of Frank's solo isn't too bad at that point. I'm feeling better now. Moving on, Frank hits us with a faceful of blues right off the bat on his City Of Tiny Lights solo and doesn't let up, making this great solo number 2 for tonight for my money. Oh, and did I mention Chad is fucking tight tonight? This is the kind of energy that makes the '88 band something special.

The best thing about City Of Tiny Lights, though, is that it almost always comes as a pair with Pound For A Brown. And — holy shit — I can't identify which saxophonist is making these noises, but this is by far the best horn solo of the evening. It consists of a series of alternating doots and squeaks that fly by so fast I'm concerned he might develop RSI, with some simply insane accompaniment from Chad. The second Pound solo is from Bruce, who gives us a much more subdued, but no less enjoyable effort.

The usual mid-Pound synclavier and percussion interlude runs for a bit longer than normal, and after a few minutes, dumps us right into a short but sweet drum solo from Chad, which in turn segues into a Bobby keyboard solo. I enjoy this improv session quite a lot more than last night's Big Swifty, with stellar performances from everybody involved. The whole thing rounds off, just as spectacularly as it began, with another sax solo over one of Frank's guitar loops.

The guitar looping segues somewhat awkwardly, yet strangely satisfyingly, into The Torture Never Stops. This is the monster Torture medley, as heard (from a different show) on The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life. The culmination of 13 years of continuous tweaking since this song debuted in 1975 has resulted in a nearly 20-minute song that combines the Chattanooga Choo Choo quote, Frank's Sprechgesang, and many other oddities and references, including an entire performance of Lonesome Cowboy Burt deposited in the middle. Tonight, as usual for this song when there is a secret word, we have more "rehearsal" references in the middle of the Bob Dylan parody section, leading to a Lonesome Cowboy Burt entirely about going to a rehearsal. This simply must be heard to be properly enjoyed.

After Lonesome Cowboy Burt, of course, comes the Torture Never Stops guitar solo, which is very quiet and laid-back though highly enjoyable, though it stops short of greatness. In the final verse, we get one of the better secret word mutations of the evening, in the form of "could it have been some of the catering some of them tasted?" Frank then very tastefully invents the word "creasted" as a rhyme, a satisfying conclusion to the intentional mistakes throughout this very bizarre concert.

Disappointingly, Keep It Greasey contains no secret words tonight, and is otherwise a very unremarkable song. But it does segue into Cruising For Burgers, rearing its beautiful head for the first time since 1977. Frank's guitar solo here may be the best of the evening. It's not quite as frenetic as Sharleena or as heavy as City, but it is much better constructed from start to finish than either of those. Note that although parts of this performance are on Make A Jazz Noise Here, the guitar solo is different (the solo on the album is from Lund the previous week).

Sofa is the treat it always is, and leads us into Crew Slut, which gives Frank one last opportunity for a six-string serenade before leaving Rotterdam for the last time. And while the guitar solo is pretty good, the real treat here is more outbursts of "vloerbedekking!" in between verses from Frank. Even though Whipping Post would have been a better way to say farewell, the conceptual continuity with the 1971 show makes this a nice second-best.

That's all, folks! It's been an interesting journey listening to all of these snapshots in time. The two 1988 shows are definitely the high point, as I expected, but there are a number of other gems tucked away from year to year. I might do another of these threads at some point, but for now that's a wrap, and thanks for reading. Doeg!

Not guilcup!

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Eugenics
« on: November 18, 2021, 07:50:45 PM »
Lust is a huge motivator for murder. I didn't know you were pro-murder. If we are breeding out all these other negative aspects of humanity why not go all the way?
I haven't expressed my position on this issue one way or another. I merely pointed out that breeding out lust implies preventing people who want to breed from doing so, while forcing people who don't want to breed to breed anyway. If that is what you are advocating for, then fine, but it's best to be upfront about that.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Eugenics
« on: November 18, 2021, 07:39:47 PM »
Would probably have to breed out lust too.  ::)
Yes, let's just breed out the desire to breed. That sounds very compatible with Darwinism.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 FIFA World Cup
« on: November 17, 2021, 05:25:29 PM »
Also who's idea was it to host a WC qualifier in northern canada in late November!? Celebrations with snowballs and diving into snowbanks is a new one for me
Still not as terrible of an idea as hosting the World Cup itself in the middle of a desert.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 FIFA World Cup
« on: November 16, 2021, 09:37:31 PM »
Netherlands 2 – 0 Norway

Héél knap, jongens. We'll see you in Qatar.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 FIFA World Cup
« on: November 16, 2021, 09:28:21 PM »
The Netherlands just scored. Norway needs to score 2 goals in the next 10 minutes if they want a shot at Qatar.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 FIFA World Cup
« on: November 16, 2021, 09:22:36 PM »
Turkey is now up 2–1 against Montenegro, although provided the Netherlands simply holds the score against Norway at 0–0, they still have a good enough goal difference to qualify. The next 15 minutes will decide who goes to Qatar and who stays home.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 FIFA World Cup
« on: November 16, 2021, 09:14:21 PM »
Yes. I notice from Home and Away and Neighbours that you also use the word “but” at the end of a sentence when you should use “though”. Weirdos.
Please don't insult me by calling me Australian. I've lived there long enough to be aware of the dialect, but I don't use such boorish localisms.

There is one word in Australian English, though, that should be more widely adopted. That word is "rort". It would be particularly helpful in the UK's current political situation.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: 2022 FIFA World Cup
« on: November 16, 2021, 09:02:51 PM »
If you want to get somewhere you plan a route
(pronounced “root”)
In Australia, "root" is a slang term for sexual intercourse. Planning a root is very different from planning a route.

You're welcome, former colonial overlords.

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