"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
1. CNN’s S.E. Cupp to Bill Nye: You science guys are bullying us.
Remember when we all used to agree that science and knowledge were good things? When scholarship was respected? When we looked to educated people to do research and inform us about what was actually going on with the world?
It wasn’t that long ago.
This week, after the White House released a report on just how devastating climate change has shown itself to be right here at home, with superstorms, flooding, droughts and tornadoes already pounding America (and the rest of the world) with increasing frequency—the very phenomena reputable scientists have been warning about for a long time—what did the deniers do?
They upped the ante.
Not only are they impervious to knowledge, reason or fact, they apparently feel attacked by knowledge, reason and fact. So, they counterattacked. On CNN, S.E. Cupp accused scientists of being bullies. Scientists who are just trying to inform people about facts and something that affects us all. WTF is wrong with these people?
It happened on CNN’s Crossfire. Heritage Foundation economist Nicholas Loris argued with science guy Bill Nye and activist Van Jones that the extreme weather trends are “uncertain.”
“I’m not a denier, I’m not a skeptic,” Loris said. “What I’m saying is, climate is changing — yes, manmade emission are in some part to that — but we haven’t seen these extreme weather event trends. The observed data doesn’t prove that.”
Poor Bill Nye was flabbergasted.
“So let’s just start with, we don’t agree on the facts,” Nye said. “This third report came out, saying it’s very serious, you say no. There’s the essence of the problem, S.E.”
That would be the S.E. Cupp from the Heritage Foundation, who then said this to Bill Nye: “Isn’t it a problem when science guys attempt to bully other people? Nick here had to say, ‘I’m not a denier.’ He had to get it out: ‘I’m not a denier.’ Because really, the science group has tried to shame anyone who dares question this, and the point I’m trying to make is, it’s not working with the public.”
Attack the scientists! The purveyors of knowledge! Kill the messengers!
Anyone else getting a Taliban-like feeling from this crew?
2. A sign that Fox News’ Benghazi obsession just might be getting out of hand.
OK, we’re not sure, but we think it just might be possible that Fox News is developing an unhealthy obsession with Benghazi. We’re just worried that maybe they should see someone for that particular problem. There are treatments. Cognitive behavioral therapy can loosen the grip such obsessions have. You can acquire tools to drive away these negative, repetitive thoughts swirling around in your brain. The thoughts that are preventing you from thinking about or doing anything about actual problems like, oh, we don’t know… maybe climate catastrophe!!!
Maybe we’re wrong though. Blowing the whole thing out of proportion. Here’s what got us worried. You tell us. Does this seem like a worrisome sign?
It was on Monday, just after the White House released the landmark report on climate change and its observable disastrous effects. It also announced that President Obama would be doing interviews with local weather announcers and meteorologists around the country to try to get the word out, and deliver the information from a source people generally know and trust, like Al Roker or (insert your local weatherperson here).
Here’s Fox News host Dana Perino on that:
“Tomorrow, President Obama is going to do interviews with meteorologists all across the country about a new climate change report … I hope they ask him about Benghazi!”
Hear that, Al Roker?
3. Charles Krauthammer continues the assault on science, calling it superstition.
Fox News managed to find another crazy, irresponsible idiot disguised as a sentient being to debunk facts and science: good old Charles Krauthammer. He said on Tuesday that the belief in global climate change is mere “superstition” akin to the “rain dance of Native Americans.”
Why would he say such a provably wrong thing? We have no idea. It could be wishful thinking. Sure, we wish this whole climate change catastrophe would go away, and that we could wake up from it like a bad dream. We wish all these meanie scientists conducting real research based on actual facts would just stop discovering that the news is so very, very bad, and bullying us about it.
Krauthammer took his point a little further, about science actually being superstition. Yah, and the other way around, too. Up is down, Charles. Black is white. No is yes. “It’s always a result of what is ultimately what we’re talking about here, human sin with pollution of carbon. It’s the oldest superstition around. It was in the Old Testament, it’s in the rain dance of Native Americans — if you sin, the skies will not cooperate.”
Still more crazy talk from Chuckie Kraut: “Ninety-nine percent of physicists were convinced that space and time are fixed, until Einstein working in a patent office wrote a paper in which he showed that they are not,” Krauthammer said. “I’m not impressed by numbers, I’m not impressed by consensus.”
What does impress you, Charles? On second thought, maybe don’t answer that.
4. Pat Robertson: Fighting climate change will destroy America.
Pat Robertson added his sober assessment to the news of the new study on climate change’s damaging impact on the U.S. by warning that efforts to combat climate change will “ destroy America.”
During his “700 Club” program Monday night, Robertson said actions to curb human-influenced climate change are part of an anti-American “socialist agenda,” saying it all goes back to “the playbook of Obama’s mentor.”
He did not appear to notice that he resembled an insane man as he said it.
Fighting climate change “is high on the agenda of the radicals who want to destroy America, it isn’t high on the agenda of those who really care about what goes on in life,” he said.
Patty, just one question. What the hell are you talking about?
5. Fox News is just wondering if female breadwinners are a recipe for disaster. Just wondering.
It takes a ton of work, a huge budget and an army of numbskulls to try to set the social clock back roughly to the Victorian era. Or maybe just the 1950s. Either way. Lots of work. But the Fox Newsians are on it.
Some women are making good money. More than their husbands, apparently. Is that good? Fox News is just wondering. It’s emasculating. They’re just saying. Just reporting the news, that’s all.
This was the topic of a discussion Brian Kilmeade and Elisabeth Hasselbeck had with author financial writer/professional advice giver Farnoosh Torabi, who managed to be pretty calm in the face of questions like Kilmeade’s: “Is it worth it to have the man be the second highest paid person in the house?”
Because sometimes husbands cheat under those circumstances. And sometimes marriages break up when the man makes less. And we all know that none of those things happen when the man makes more.
And what if he’s the third highest earning person in the house? Like, what if one of the kids’ careers takes off. What then? Would he divorce his kids?
Well, we don’t know, but something is going to have to be done, because the statistic they are citing is that in 24 percent of households, women are out-earning men. While normally Fox likes it when people earn money, especially rich people, they like it a little less when women do it, and emasculate their men.
6. AZ Christian pastor: Women in yoga pants partially responsible for rape.
Last month, Dean Saxton, a University of Arizona student who preaches under the name Brother Dean Samuel, protested outside a documentary about 1998 Miss World Pageant winner and rape survivor Linor Abargil.
It was her fault, he explained this week in an interview with Vice. She had put out some provocative pictures of herself. Therefore, she was asking for it. “I believe that if she was at home, and if she had kept to her Orthodox Jewishness, that rape would really probably would not have happened.”
Nice. This douchebag also likes to wear T-shirts that say “You whore.”
During his protest, he held a sign that said “You Deserve Rape.” He yelled at women to “give up your immodest clothing” and that “yoga pants are a sin.”
Do not even get him started on downward-facing dog.
7. Tony Perkins warns that condom use leads to tyranny, because, of course it does.
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins responded to the news this week that the Department of Education will investigate 55 colleges and universities for “ mishandling sexual assault claims” by coming to the very reasonable conclusion that contraception distribution “leads to tyranny.”
Huh? Sorry, Tony. Care to connect those dots for us?
Well, the problem, Perkins said on his “ Washington Watch” program, is “the sexualization that is taking place in our culture in general but on college campuses.”
Right, because 18- to 22-year-olds never used to think about sex. Furthest thing from their minds.
“Contraception is made available as if it were candy which sends a message, well it’s there, it must be there for a reason, and then we’re surprised when — this is not justification, it’s wrong, we are all responsible for our actions — but we’re surprised when people act on these outside factors that they are surrounded by,” Perkins sputtered.
Then, the non sequitur he apparently thought followed his already wobbly sequence of kind-of thoughts: “It leads to tyranny,” he said.
Dot connection fail.
8. Gordon Klingenschmitt speculates that forbidden fruit in Genesis might have been marijuana.
Hoo boy! Crazy Gordon Klingenschmitt was at it again the other day on his “Pray in Jesus Name” program. Seems Klingenschmitt, a.k.a. “Dr. Chaps” felt called to respond to those “pot hippies” who cite Genesis 1:29, the line about God having given you “every herb bearing seed,” as biblical justification for legalizing weed.
Oh, those dastardly hippies. Reading the bible? That is just low!
Klingenschmitt has cooked up a theory in his busy little brain that maybe the “forbidden fruit” was no apple; it was marijuana (maybe disguised as an apple? or smoked in an apple?).
No, actually, he’s done a little research. The bible does not use the word “apple,” he pointed out. It uses the word “forbidden weed.”
C’mon, people, weed?!! Remind you of anything?
“How do you know that the serpent didn’t give pot to Eve and say ‘go ahead, and the day that you eat this, you’re not going to die,’” Klingenschmitt said. “But you are going to die.”
Oh man, what a buzz kill.
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)
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