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for October 27, 2004

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Sugar Headache
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

We have one more weekend left before Mischief Night, Halloween, a terrible sugar hangover and our national election. It's a more significant moment in our cultural, political and artistic lives than we've seen since war was declared on the National Endowment for the Arts and vegetables in the eighties. Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love will not urge you to take an Excedrin and vote for a particular candidate. Rather, she hopes that if you've decided whom to vote for that you actually vote.
This is a funny business to discuss on a website devoted to all matters musical, humorous and pop-cultural, one supposes. If nothing else, Altrok has consistently urged its readers to see the little man behind the curtain, especially when pressure has been applied to overlook his machinations: Oz the Great and Powerful is just a carny from Kansas, the FCC is out of control and for sale, and for Heaven's sake, Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul will settle for catnip and fishy treats. Were the reader to survey the - stop laughing! - historical Altrok, he would find one consistent theme: "Find the fun, and if you can't find it, make your own; whatever, but don't wreck someone else's." Yeah? Yeah. Yeah? Yeah. And we mean that in the most charmingly retro "Mony Mony" way possible.
To place our current situation in the simplest imaginable terms, a lot of blue suede shoes evince tread marks. People are angry. Friends are turning on friends, and family members have painted dividing lines across the couch. Let's stop in our tracks for just one moment. Take a deep breath. Now, exhale.
Let's have a look at one Voice of Reason. A report issued by the public policy group at the no-opinion-holding University of Maryland suggests that to some extent emotion has now clouded our judgment, and the electorate has quit thinking about what we're hearing. That's alarming, but the academic language obscures an alarming point: are we actually voting for what we really want? One blogger ponders and says no. Jazz Shaw asks us to think about what we'd like to avoid pondering, and Your Delight - no neighbor in the political spectrum - agrees: this is the kind of scary monster we can each stake through the heart without fear. Sharpen something. Prepare to slay.
Also, please remember that nothing on earth is too dangerous to talk about, and when someone disagrees, we should take note. Conversations don't kill, but apathy does.
Please think, please vote, and let's please take some paint remover to that couch.

©2004 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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Sunday, February 23, 2020
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ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...

A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
The Boxer Rebellion - Semi-Automatic
The Cribs - Cheat On Me
Datarock - True Stories
Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
HEALTH - Die Slow
Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls - Catching More Than We Miss
Julian Plenti - Games For Days
Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
Miike Snow - Black & Blue

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