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  • Muse and Whirled Retort Archives 2004

    The Muse and Whirled Retort October 2004 Special 6th anniversay edition.

    The Muse and Whirled Retort October 2004 Special 6th anniversay edition.
    First a few announcments:

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    T H E   M U S E   A N D   W H I R L E D   R E T O R T

    Special 6th  Anniversary Edition!

    Oct 1, 2004

    Volume 6 Issue 1

    Washington, DC

    By Chris Chandler and Anne Feeney

    Hey everybody!  It's that time of the month again.  This month's newsletter is being brought to you by the word "Public."  Public has a lot of time on his hands these days. He's not doing a lot of the things he used to do. He used to be welcome almost anywhere, but now Public can't even go out in Public.  Like his old buddy Liberal, he's become a dirty word.  And Private, which used to be a dirty word, is more public than Public ever was.

    I wanted to catch the game at a sports bar in Louisville last Sunday.  Turned out Public Transportation was unavailable. That poor guy's had to fight to survive almost everywhere he's ever been. And before we can get used to him being around he's put on a private rail and run out of town.

    I got a ride to a place called The Public Ale House.   There was a sign on the door that said "No Public Restroom - for customers only." Recognizing the irony, I took a leak in the back alley - allowing my private moment to be a little more public.   Now Public Restroom, that guy used to be everywhere!  I'll be the first to admit that Public Restroom was always a bit of a slob, but when I really wanted to see him I didn't pay too much attention to his personal hygiene (though I often paid a little extra attention to mine after I left.)

    As the game went into overtime I suddenly remembered that I was actually on the road and had a gig that night in Dayton... where was Anne?  I had left my cell phone in her car, so I started looking for that most elusive gal... Public Phone.   She used to get around.  Now Public Phone, aka Southern Belle was a real floozy - Customers didn't treat her very well - pounding on her just to get a couple quarters and even sticking foreign objects in her.  She eventually quit working and a lot places just tossed her out.

    So being in the middle of this "Music to Beat Bush By" tour with Dan Bern click here- it all began to make sense to me.  If ever there was a reason to vote for John Kerry it is that in the one term of the Bush Administration we have seen the end to any thing public.  Public phones, Public lands, Public squares, Public schools, Public Health - going going gone!  In the next four years will be Public Libraries, Public Radio, Public discourse and Public Elections...and adios to the last pristine Public Land in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.

    I even had to remove the links within this newsletter because there are so many corporate spam ads bouncing around that you can't even have a public newsletter anymore.

    So, anyway I am watching the game... it's in one of those bars that has more TVs than George Bush has exit strategies.  (incidentally I would rather have a guy who changes his mind often than a guy who sticks to one lie and keeps telling it so often people believe him, but I digress) There are all of these men hanging out with note pads and pencils, scribbling and talking on cell phones as they flip back and forth between games.  Turns out they were not hard-core gamblers - no, they were taking part in this fad that is sweeping a large segment of the population: fantasy football - which is like Pokemon for grown men.

    Ya see, in this game, you select - or draft - players and then develop their "power rating"  depending on how that individual does in a given game.  Much like Pokemon or even Dungeons and Dragons.  I tried to draft Pichaku and Magikarp but the guys at the bar were not terribly amused.

    So, I start thinking this is the problem here.  Ya see, fantasy football is all about the individual. But football itself is a team sport.  Attention on the individual is exactly what is wrong with us and exactly what has stripped us from the public institutions that made this country great.  We are, after all, pack animals.  All of this talk of the individual is exactly what we as the public should rise up against.

    It's like we are living in a Lewis Carroll novel or something.  Things that should be public have gone private and versa vice...   Private Beaches?    That should be Private Beee-uhtch, that gal won't let anyone near her!  Our Public Squares - the gathering places of yore have become Strip Malls - which are PRIVATE property - so you can get arrested for wearing a T-Shirt that's says "Give Peace a Chance" - even  if you bought it at the private mall.  Our private parts have become part of a very public debate.  Our private lives are being made public through everything from reality shows that invade our house (and either redecorate it, or clean it, or film us walking around in our underwear) to public demonstrations in front of private abortion clinics.

    Speaking of public demonstrations... here in Washington DC they are quickly filling up so much of the public Mall with war memorials that ya can't have an anti war demonstration.  I am waiting for the 40 story marble gas pump they plan to erect for this war.  Draining our public resources to fund a war whose only success so far is furthering the private interests of Halliburton.

    To avoid forcing a draft, much of the war in Iraq is being soldiered by "Private contractors" which is modern slang for mercenary - or Private Army.

    All the while, there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction, there was no link to Al Qaeda.  This is the Bush administration's Private War being waged on a very public lie.  But the Public outcry?  A million people on the streets in public protest will not be seen or heard by the actual public because they are cordoned off in some private "free speech Zone."  Since when did free speech need a "zone"?   ESPN needs a zone.

    But what should be private - say building a baseball stadium here in Washington, DC for the migrating Montreal Expos - is being paid for with public funds.  I wish they would call it "Taxpayer Stadium."  

    But it won't be, because the right to name the public stadium will be private.

    They used to have a team here in DC - they were called the Washington Senators.  Then they realized that the people (or Public if you will) of Washington, DC   have no senatorial representation.  Our license plates say "No Taxation without Representation." (really)  Maybe they should call the new baseball  team the Washington  Disenfranchised or how 'bout the Washington Lobbyists or the Washington Imperialists or if George could have his way, the Washington Monarchs.

    I wish the teams were named for the corporations that own them.  They could be the Home Depot Falcons.  They could have corporate logos on their uniforms.  Actually I wish politicians had to wear all the logos of their corporate contributors - they'd have to plaster little logos all over them selves, like NASCAR drivers.  

    Instead of that phony flight suit, George Bush should wear a little gas station attendant's outfit.  He should start every speech with, "Can I check under the hood for ya?"

    I say put the Public back in Public Funding and the Private back in Private Parts.


    Look for shows from Chris and Anne, as-well-as Chris with fabulous new music partner Jo Smith click herein New England, the Mid Atlantic, the West Coast (LA to Seattle,) Georgia, Montreal, Pittsburgh, and the Midwest. Look for Anne's solo gigs at her website click hereand push the "Tour Dates" button.