Friday, April 29, 2016

The Friday Link for 4/29/16 - Part 2!!!

I still miss Prince so much.  Here's the "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" performance.  Not only do does he makes Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty almost disappear on the stage, I get the impression he is only toying with the audience, that at any point he could have done something far more impressive.

I'll be mourning for awhile...

The Friday Link for 4/29/16

With the latest Star Wars releasing their DVD, I'm so glad the Auralnauts are back at it, this time with Kylo Ren outtakes!

I think the one guy they are referencing is from Game of Thrones, but I'm not sure.   Kylo Ren is a character who is surprisingly easy to poke fun at.  It took them 20 years to finally realize the comedic gold of Darth Vader; Ren was about three months.  Enjoy a laugh or two on a Friday night!

It won't post, so, please click on the link and laugh.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Surviving the Apprentice's Weakest Link

When you look back at the beginning of the GOP race for the White House, the initial field of 16 candidates might not have been stellar, but they initially had some potential.  I'm in NO WAY saying I would've EVER voted for any of those knuckleheads, but compared to the two remaining frontrunners, there were far more palatable options, so what happened?

Two of them (Santorum and Huckabee) were clearly only in the race to make their name more vibrant for the lucrative tea party speaking circuit they thrive on.  One (Paul) was a libertarian zealot who forgot what being a libertarian is.  Two (Perry and Carson) were just idiots, too stupid to realize their hubris wasn't voting appeal.  Pataki, Graham and Kasich still think, foolishly, a moderate has a chance at the nomination, and three of them (Fiorina, Jindal, Christie) were primarily in it for the Veep discussion, something none of them will get any consideration for.

That leaves the two candidates still in it, Trump and Cruz, and the three "better" candidates who are long gone, Bush, Walker and Rubio.  I think all three of them would've lost the general election, but I guarantee they would've had a better showing in November than Trump will, maybe even putting a little scare into the Democrats.  So what happened?

Trump happened.  His strategy has worked because it's one he's very familiar with; a winning competitive reality show success model where double crossing, conniving and personal insults are, at times, more important than leadership and allure.  Trump is basically Richard Hatch from the first Survivor.

Survivor started the reality show competition craze.  Initially, I was a fan, but I haven't been a regular viewer since the topless/peanut butter contest in season 6.  For me, that's when the show made a turn, going down a Real World Las Vegas path.  When I recently saw an episode recap of the current Survivor season, I had an epiphany. "That's why the 2016 GOP race seemed so familiar!" I'm so used to political campaigns which resemble campaigns of the past, but the reality show competition aspect is a new element Trump's worked in like a seasoned pro, and it's been the deciding factor for the Republicans.

On Survivor: Borneo, the show's first season, Hatch's initial sell job was to be portrayed as the "goofy contestant," a person no one took seriously, so no one thought of eliminating him.  Sound familiar?  It's exactly how Trump looked at the beginning of the Republican fiasco.  Hatch didn't get his first elimination vote until the 7th voting ceremony, and didn't get his first real scare until the 9th.  Early in the GOP race, Trump was largely ignored, not getting attacked until the field was already weaning away.

From the beginning, Hatch was masterfully manipulating the game behind the scenes, getting rid of contestants who could've been real problems if they made it later into the game.  Trump did the same thing.  He burned through money early, something his opponents labeled as wasteful.  In reality, he was already eliminating his first major threat to the nomination, Walker.  Walker's campaign showed its inexperience by spending like there was no tomorrow.  Trump already was bankrolled, so he knew he could take Walker out by exploiting his spendthrift ways. Much like Survivor: Borneo contestants Stacy and Gretchen, it was long Scotty.

When the two tribes merged, Hatch used a group of allies in Susan, Rudy, Sean and Kelly, to unwittingly help him eliminate the biggest remaining threats, Greg, Jenna and Gervase (and, ironically, Sean himself)  Those 'survivors' looked and acted like winners of a reality competition, so by manipulating the inferiority complexes of his allies, Hatch sent his biggest threats packing.  Trump did the same exact thing.  By exploiting the other candidates fear of the Bush name, and maximizing the self induced campaign stumbles, partially brought upon by Trump's pressure, Trump was able to knock out his biggest threat, Jeb.

Hatch's next step was the hardest, but he played it beautifully.  Susan, Rudy and Kelly all KNEW Hatch would double cross them, but they also knew their best chance at winning was to try to get to the final with him.  Hatch knew he needed to get to the final with the least likable contestant.  Susan was very unpopular, but Hatch didn't want to risk possibly getting eliminated in the final elimination round, or have the voters confuse Susan's aggressive jerkishness as plucky determination.  He took out Colleen, followed by Sean and Susan, leaving Kelly with a no win choice to take Richard to the final, instead of Rudy.

That's exactly what happened to Rubio.  Cruz, Carson and Kasich all knew Trump was playing them, but they all knew if it came down to them verses Rubio, they'd lose.  They begrudgingly went with Trump, helping to eliminate the last major hurdle in the field that could take the nomination.

It's a little like the Weakest Link, where the smart guy votes to keep the dumbest person around (Cruz) so when they get to the final round, he's a shoe it.  The problem for Trump is he's so unpopular with his own party (and he's not exactly a brain trust himself), he might not claim victory, but he also knows any GOP attempt to deny him the nomination at this point would spell doom for the party in 2016 and beyond.

In hindsight, if you factor in the years of experience Trump has had with his show, The Apprentice, and his personal wealth, he's always had an unfair advantage in the Republican race.  What everyone else didn't know is that he already had found all the immunity idols, as he kept screaming at the other candidates, "you're fired!"

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Friday Link for 4/22/16

Of course it was going to be Prince for you this Friday.

Here's his appearance on the first Muppet Show relaunch from back in the 90's.  This appearance is very good, with a Hee Haw take off and an impromptu song session which is better than most of the music made today.  I also like the payoff at the end of the skit.

The other clip is from his surprise appearance on New Girl.  It's quick, but it's good.

Have a great weekend everyone, and play some Prince.

Draping the World in Purple

I'm still in shock about the loss of Prince, as are many of his fans.  Last night, I stopped by briefly at the big dance party in Minneapolis.  It was wonderful to see so many people celebrating his life.

Here are some of the salutes he received from around the world:

My favorite international one so far is from Scotland and Edinburgh Castle.





Australia, Sydney and Melbourne

Canada; Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver


And in the USA, Baltimore

Boston and Massachusetts



Cleveland (love the skyscraper)





Las Vegas

Los Angeles



New Orleans

New York City

Niagara Falls (I think the really purple one is edited)



Portland, OR

San Diego

San Francisco



Washington DC

Then it's onto Minnesota.  First, Paisley Park, and what I swear is not a edited photo.  This rainbow was on the backside of a thunderstorm which came through that afternoon.

A foggy Duluth

The Minnesota State Fairgrounds

St. Paul

At the Mumford and Sons concert at the Xcel Energy Center

First Avenue in Minneapolis


Listen to his music and enjoy him!  Thats what Prince really was all about; the music.  I will enjoy it, sadly.  Here are two final images for you.  First, from the Minneapolis Skyway, his words:

And finally, my favorite picture of him, taken over by Orchestra Hall.  The mural is still there.  It is so appropriate...

Thank you Prince.