(second block, fourth letter of the prisoners' quadratic tap code...)

...am here to tap through the walls.

Wed Jan, 21 2009

The Creeps

"After closing time
At the Guernsey Fair
I detect the El Supremo
From the room at the top of the stairs
Now I've been around the world
And I have been in the Washington Zoo
And in all my travels
As the facts unravel
I've found this to be true

While the poor people sleepin'
With the shade on the light
While the poor people sleepin'
All the stars come out at night

Show biz kids making movies
Of themselves you know they
Don't give a fuck about anybody else"
(Steely Dan -- "Show Biz Kids", 1973)

Warren Meyer and John Venlet both hit on the "weird mass self-hypnosis" of the times. Then comes Balko with the link to that video of self-presumptuous boneheads showing their asses right out in public. What it really needs is Harpo Marx throwing spaghetti all over the joint, and W.C. Fields pledging to give them all a hot-foot if they don't knock it off and mind their own goddamned business.

In any case, they could all be as ridiculous as they want to be in their own lives, which are no doubt ridiculous. It's ghastly for them to be importuning the plebes the way that they are in that maudlin affair, but it's downright sick; that "serve the President" bit.

Americans don't "serve". They produce, and they overthrew the impulse to bended knee over two centuries ago. These jell-o blobs enjoy getting together and preening themselves with mutually-resonant buzz-tones (where language once stood) in order to see themselves reflected in their preferred reified shards: this is pathological self-infatuation laid at the feet of regime.

They might sometimes actually hope that you're like them, and will lay open your throat, too, but that's not really why they do it. You're just the mirror.


Various guitars I see floating by, mostly Gibson and mostly eBay.

Early Norlin ES-335 -- 1970, in Walnut ("ES-335TDW"). This is a period-piece look and feel, and arguably the sound as well but that's to cut things very finely. A "classic" 335 would be the original of 1958 in the Sunburst or Natural finish, or the Cherry Red of 1959; the Walnut of 1970 (second year of that finish offering) is not really a "classic" 335. In the history of the Gibson aesthetic, this is analogous to, say, vertically-striped polyester bell-bottoms or Bahama Blue shag carpeting. None of this is to say that they're not cool guitars, and this is a nice one. Excellent photographs.

Chrome hardware, featuring the trapeze tailpiece (like my L-47 and I've always liked it) and ABR-1 bridge with period-typical nylon saddles. Bound rosewood fretboard, with small block markers, and then the crown inlay at the machine head. These would be the T-top Humbuckers. Vintage Nazis would moan that the upper bouts are pointy (the body templates were wearing-out in the factory) and the fourteen-degree machine head with the volute signals a sometimes not-fun era of the line, but these things really do rock or moan or whatever you want a 335-type semi-hollow to do. ...which, of course, is because it really is a 335.

In the months since I've let AxeBites languish all to bleedin' hell, Gibson's Robot Guitar technology has sifted out to other models than the original Les Paul application. I don't know how it's going: I still haven't even seen one of these self-tuners. I don't see piles of them burning on the sides of the highway, nor reverent hangings in display cases over bars, so who knows? This 2008 Robot SG is ready to rock in the Metallic Red. Nickel hardware; it's the stoptail wired for data to send to the tuners, with dual Humbuckers. It's a bound rosewood fretboard, but I really like the single-bound machine head with the crown inlay. That's a real cool old-school look, right there, to set off that crazy-ass color. {nod}