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And So We End...

tithingSome of us on this planet are old enough to remember when TV offered only three channels, four if you were lucky. Even stranger, by contemporary standards, is the fact that every night about midnight they would all go off the air and for the next six hours or so all you would receive on your 13" B&W set was a test pattern decorated with strange circular icons and the bust of an enigmatic indian chief. It was accompanied by a whiny tone whose only function must have been to drill into our slumbering cerebral cortexes "WAKE UP AND TURN THIS SHIT OFF!"

But before they signed off the air it seemed like every station played the Star-Spangled Banner, accompanied by a militaristic tableau of soaring jet fighters. I suppose this method of shutting-down was another absurd result of the anti-communist paranoia that swept the nation in the 50s, one that also resulted in god being slapped on all our money. It was probably another subtle-as-a-brick message from Conservatives saying "Eat it, Ruskies! America has the coolest national anthem in the whole god-danged world!"

But... what if the playing of the national anthem was itself part of a communist plot, an ironic signal to all fellow travelers that said "At last the bourgeois pigs are asleep in their feather beds. Now is the time to broadcast rock-n-roll to the kiddies and begin delivering marijuana and copies of Mad Magazine to all the hep-cats."

Wouldn't that have been something.

The best sign-off I ever heard as a kid was on my local AM radio station. It was The Beatles "Goodnight". All I ever knew of them up to that point was yellow submarines and some guy named Jude, so when I heard Ringo's tender adumbration to "sleep tight", I happily obeyed. But only after the song was over and the station was as dark as the night.

Note: I had wanted to share a youtube video of "Goodnight" but Sony is evidently pitching a fit about copyright and therefore won't allow it to be embedded on external web sites, so I chose an equally rapturous alternative, The King's Singers "Lullabye". Enjoy.


end rant

Mike's Video Vault: Good night, everybody.


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Researcher: Speaker Boehner, I've invented the perfect Republican Congressman. The No-Bot. It doesn't eat, doesn't sleep, runs on unleaded gasoline and all it says is no. Care to try it out?
You bet!
Do you support the president?
Robot: No.
Do you like gun control?
Nobot: No.
Are you in favor of Planned Parenthood?
Will you raise taxes on the rich?
Should voting be easier for poor people?
Will you accept bribes from lobbyists?
Will you do anything the Koch brothers ask?
Needs work.

Overturn Citizens United