The Last Word

Issue #498

April 2016

Cincinnati trumps Trump

If you can’t comprehend why we don’t go around worshiping random rich guys, ask an adult.
Donald Trump never was all that exciting, and I got sick of hearing about his escapades 25 years ago. I
can’t recall any stories in which he broke or spilled something in public—unless you count the debate where he
wet his pants as a spill—so it’s hard to see what makes him so entertaining. I think the average person like me is
more interesting because we can’t afford to hire someone to cover up our mistakes. Donald Trump is certainly
incompetent enough that he’d hammer the wrong end of a nail into the wall and try hanging his big screen TV
from it without a hook, but he’s rich and privileged enough to hire an ordinary person with enough sense not to.
I’m more interested in the average household out there that can’t afford to have someone else clean up
after them when they accidentally drop raw hot dogs on the floor in their living room and the kids end up
squashing them with their feet. Think of the crash you heard from the neighbors’ apartment when their laptop fell
off their desk and shattered into a million pieces—and imagine the looks on their faces! Isn’t that a lot more
fascinating than Donald Trump? Ordinary folks are more interesting in part because the rich have the luxury of
being allowed to hide their errors or live far away enough from everybody else that nobody notices.
But I guess some people just go spoony every time a rich celebrity is mentioned. “You gotta respect a
man with business sense, hawr hawr hawr!” Either that, or Trump’s presidential candidacy really is just for the
Who are we kidding? It’s for the 1%. Not just any 1%. The bigoted 1%! One website calls them spoiled

“frat guys” who act like they’re being persecuted when they’re not.
The people of Chicago managed to shut down a Trump rally in March, but it looks like Cincinnati has
also run out of patience with having a bunch of rich right-wingers stampede into town and leave a big mess for
someone else to clean up. (Remember when the Tea Party left all that garbage on Fountain Square?) The Donald
was scheduled to hold a rally at the convention center in downtown Cincinnati a few days after the Chicago
incident. I went to a sign-making meeting a couple
days before that scheduled event, and we planned to
shut it down too.
But the poor rich Donald got scared!
Once the brainless real estate developer
figured out we were gonna protest him, his plans
were scuttled instantly. He made plans instead to
speak in West Chester—20 miles out of town in
presumably friendly territory. He had to speak at a
reception hall that was built for small family
weddings and bubble gum blowing contests—not a
huge convention center.
I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to make
it out there—but I did my part. There was a limited
number of tickets available for the event, but they
were free, and we could reserve them online. So I
reserved a bunch of tickets under a phony name. By
wasting tickets like this, the hall would be riddled
with empty seats.
A bunch of peeps made it out there to protest
anyway—in the rain, no less. Best all, there were still
more protesters than Trump supporters. Still, it’s
surprising the event didn’t erupt in violence, since
Trump’s followers are known to start fights—with the
Donald’s encouragement. This is not new,
incidentally. Back in 2000, some Nazi at the George
W. Bush rally in Devou Park almost got his nose
bone knocked clean through his skull because he
assaulted a young woman. The Republican base has
been starting violent altercations at political events
since at least as far back as 1988, when they were
responsible for violence at rallies for drug kingpin
George H.W. Bush.
The rise of GOP violence and gaslighting
over the past 30 years is a clarion call for their
followers to be shunned early and often.

Far Right blames Sanders for Trump tantrum
Recently, a Donald Trump rally went awry in Louisville—because Trump rallies always do—and Trump
cultists assaulted several people who had shown up to protest against the right-wing real estate mogul. Now
Trump is being sued for inciting the racially charged attacks.
But once again, the Evil Empire takes exception to reality. They blame the whole incident on...Bernie
Sanders. And they made sure Facebook users know it. One of them had this to say on Facepoo...
“The protesters were ‘paid’ to crash the Trump rally. People need to be going after the
actual instigator Bernie Sanders. It’s already been in the news that these ‘idiots’ had
professionally made Sanders posters and received monies. Shame on them!”
Suing Bernie Sanders because the Trump campaign can’t control its own spoiled children? You’re
hilarious, you know that?

Vinyl shellacs styrene
Not all records are vinyl. Some are made out of poop. Just joking!
But seriously now. A significant percentage of “vinyl” singles released in the United States from the
1960s to 1990s aren’t vinyl at all. They’re polystyrene.
That’s good news for the forces of loom and doom—bad news for you.
According to the Interbastes, many of the leading record labels pressed singles on styrene because styrene
stampers were cheaper—though this cost savings wasn’t passed on to the music-buying public. This cheaper
method is not as durable. Albums were almost always on real vinyl, but many record companies thought 45 RPM
singles were merely toys—not something anyone would actually want to keep for very long. They thought that by
the time anyone noticed the sound quality of their singles was being diminished, the records would already be
broken by being trampled at parties or have chip dip and beer slopped all over them by a bunch of teenagers
making up stories about their sexual conquests.
Indeedity-doodledy, an outright majority of 45’s of that era are probably styrene. Even some oldie
reissues are styrene, which makes even less sense, because if a song was popular long enough to have an oldie
reissue, it’s probably not something people would want to throw away.
And trust me, I’ve noticed, because I have a lot of old records. You can tell a record is styrene because of
the scratchy sound that starts to pervade after a few plays. Play the record more than 5 times with the wrong kind
of stylus, and it’s done. It’s much more noticeable with headphones. The noise is worse on loud parts of the record
and near the center (closer to the end of the song).
One other way you can tell is that the labels on styrene records were usually glued on, while the labels on
vinyl discs were usually molded onto the record. This is because styrene records reportedly crack more easily and
can’t withstand having the label molded on. Another way you can tell: Most styrene records are actually slightly
transparent and very dark red—sometimes almost purple—when you hold them up to light...

But don’t get any records too close to a light bulb—whether vinyl or styrene—because it will melt a hole
in them. (I bet you tried it!)
I refer to the decline in sound quality as the Columbia curse. That’s because the Columbia record label
almost always used styrene for singles. Other labels did it too, but I know that when a record has that telltale label
with the orange fading to yellow, the music is probably buried in noise. It was common with A&M discs too.
Ironically, Herb Alpert—who ran A&M—once gave a radio interview in which he said record companies should
start shipping their music to radio stations on cartridges so the stations wouldn’t mishandle the records, even
though A&M already mishandled them by pressing them on styrene. Granted, stations did mishandle records,
which I know because I worked in radio. But some stations would copy styrene records to cartridge immediately
and write on the record sleeve, “Cue it once, you moron.”

I don’t think I’ve ever had an album with
this curse. It’s just singles. I noticed it in 1993 or
1994 with the Panasonic monstrosity I had. It was
suspicious how a record became unusually noisy
after playing it on my Panasonic. I must have had
someone pick up this stereo at the appliance store
for me, because there’s no way I would have
gotten a piece of junk like this if I was at the store
myself. I’m sure I paid for it myself though—
because I always do. I probably had someone pick
it up for me because I was at work or school. I had
some very important specifications for what I
needed in a stereo, and my heart sank the moment
I lugged it into my basement apartment and read
the box for it. Still, I lived with it, because a
family member kept insisting it was such a great
stereo. I figured it was just my imagination that it
was wearing out my records, and that the records
must have been already like that and I just never
noticed before.
I took this Panasonic back to the store
before long, either because I couldn’t even pick up
the Cincinnati stations on the radio or the cassette
deck was defective—or both. I don’t think this
was the same unit that I kept taking back to the
store repeatedly to have the tape deck fixed until
they finally replaced the entire item. I think that
was a separate component I purchased to replace the Panasonic.
Only recently, I did some research on how—or why—a turntable would fry records. This blew the toilet
seat off the styrene secret—and confirmed my suspicion that my old Panasonic was responsible. It so happens that
styrene records don’t wear out as quickly if you have the right stylus—which most turntables have. My
Panasonic, unfortunately, wasn’t most turntables. That was the deliberate doing of some executive at Panasonic—
who intentionally set out to damage people’s records. I know this, because this stereo had a 45 RPM setting,
which was inviting people to play singles, many of which were styrene. Since the turntable had a 45 RPM speed,
it should have had a stylus that was built for 45 RPM records. Otherwise, it shouldn’t have enticed people to play
45’s. A stylus suitable for styrene doesn’t do any gratuitous ruin to vinyl—so there’s absolutely no excuse
whatsoever why this turntable didn’t have one.
On the other hand, styrene is less prone to becoming warped than vinyl is. Plus, these days, almost all
new singles are on real vinyl—since so few are being produced or sold that record companies don’t save any
money using styrene.
Oh, even the noisy styrenes I have are being converted to MP3.

I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes
Name something in the 1990s associated with fascism.
See, that was easy.
Now name a popular music group in the 1990s associated with fascism.
That was harder, wasn’t it?
Worry no more! A writer at thinks he’s found one: the Swedish singing group Ace Of Base,
which he calls “a Nazi band”...
Yes, this is the same group that gave us hits like “The Sign” and “Don’t Turn Around.” Admit it, you
know ‘em all! That’s not to mention their first hit “All That She Wants”, which I’ve always thought to be lyrically
It’s not even a secret anymore that one of Ace Of Base’s founding members was previously in a band that
was openly neo-Nazi and sang racist lyrics. So why wouldn’t he go on to start a band that appeared more
mainstream as a vehicle for his views? Think about that for a minute. The Cracked article says almost everything

Ace Of Base did was full of Nazi-inspired symbolism—from the name of the group to their music videos. The gist
of the piece is that Ace Of Baste was trying to subconsciously sell fascism to the public—and that it worked,
because they sold millions of albums in America alone.
Why did “All That She Wants” raise a red flag? The first time I heard that song on the radio, the words
seemed to reflect an already debunked canard that filled talk radio. It sounds like the song is about a woman who
keeps becoming pregnant just so she doesn’t have to work and can mooch off the system—sort of like that
phantom “welfare queen” that Tea Party followers kept blabbering about. Strange how the 1% all claimed to know
somebody like that, when I don’t think I ever met anyone who did anything like that. Despite all the mind control
poison that was shoved down my throat at the point of a bayonet, I knew in 1993 that this canard wasn’t true, and
I didn’t act like it was. Every day, I witnessed the 1% using their clout to evade punishment for their repeated
violent crimes, but I never once saw the 99% getting pregnant just to leech off society. The supposed epidemic of
welfare abuse was an out-and-out hoax. So talk radio was full of shit—as usual.
Apparently, music radio was too. It’s fascinating that a debut single like “All That She Wants” would
jump out of the box and be picked up by radio so quickly. Usually, when a song got added by that many stations
that quickly, it was a song by an artist who was already popular. Somebody put a lot of resources into promoting
that song. Why? Was it a special effort to spread the song’s message to FM radio after a similar class warfare
agenda had already taken over AM? Incidentally, Ace Of Base was on Festival Records—Rupert Murdoch’s
record label.
After a while, I just figured the song wasn’t really a right-wing fable about someone leeching off the
system, because if it was, somebody would have surely had the guts to say something about it. Or maybe not—
since we were living in a time and place that needed “Carwatch!”, for pity’s sakes.
Let that sink in: “Carwatch!”
Talk about living in danger!
The Dixie Chicks were blacklisted for disagreeing with Bush, but Ace Of Base was played regularly for
years and years? Maybe baseball should have an Ace Of Base Demolition Night.
“All That She Wants”, incidentally, provoked much amusement when I was in college. We used to make
fun of this song and sing, “All that she wants is a Speak & Spell.” We changed the song so it was about a person’s
arrested development. It’s like when Double’s “The Captain Of Her Heart” was a hit, we changed the lyrics to:
“She couldn’t wait another minute for Captain Kangaroo.”
Ace Of Base. Were they innocent fun, or part of a well-funded right-wing conspiracy to sell the world on
fascism and discredited talk radio memes?

When Glenn Beck had egg on his face (a poopyism)
Remember when Glenn Beck was caught with egg on his face? Wait, that’s every day!
But seriously. This is another story from the ridiculous old
days of radio—like the story of a guy who had a Missouri-shaped
birthmark on his dick.
Back in 1989, Glenn Beck was a “personality” on KRBEFM in Houston. One day, he came up with an idea for a promotion
in which listeners would mail an egg to the station in an envelope
with no protective padding. The first listener to send in an egg
without it being broken in the mail would win a prize.
The Postal Service made Beck halt his contest because the
eggs were breaking in the post office’s sorting machines and
gumming them up like a big ol’ grogan. Each sorting machine that
was destroyed cost $900,000. Other mail got ruined by egg yolk
seeping through the envelopes. The Postal Service also cited laws
about sending perishable foodstuffs through the mails.
Glenn Beck wasted food.
Also, notice how the guy in the Columbia Hyundai
commersh looks like Glenn Beck. (And notice that the guy in the Elk & Elk ads resembles Moe Howard.)

There really is no hope
YouTube really ain’t what it used to be.
I regularly search on YouTube for important things like political debates and old Civil War Chess Set
commercials that aired during Headbangers Ball. But these days, it seems like most items on YouTube are just an

8-year-old saying, “Hey guys!” Plus all the whispering videos lately.
But now I know we’ve hit rock bottom. I tried looking for humorous clips of people loudly passing gas in
their cubicle at work, and instead I was confronted with a video bearing this as its description...
“Please sign the petition for the Sha Na Na show to be released on DVD.”
They could have had a petition about, say, overturning Citizens United or restoring Glass-Steagal—but
instead they put out a petition to have someone release DVD’s of a TV show I hadn’t thought about in years.
A petition to who??? It’s not like the government has any control over whether to r elease Sha Na Na
I don’t have anything against Sha Na Na in particular. In fact, they positively influenced me like a lot of
things have. I remember when the group appeared in a radio commercial in my youth. Inspired by this, whenever
my parents asked me a stupid question, I would preface the answer with “yip-yip-yip-yip-yip-yip” in a doo-wop
manner. It was the “because it bips” or “if poo” or “Big Bird special” of the era.
But I sincerely question whether anyone in government has Sha Na Na as a big priority. I don’t see
Congress falling over itself to pass the Sha Na Na Act of 2016.
When people are more concerned about getting a TV show out on DVD than in making sure corporations
can’t keep buying legislators, it sure doesn’t bode well for strong voter turnout.
Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.