Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Episode 104: Rave Review: The Hucksters

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It turns out there are entertainments out there—books and movies mostly, but other entertainments as well—that cast a critical eye on advertising. It also turns out that these entertainments are seldom if ever seen or heard of today anywhere that relies on advertising dollars to keep the lights on. For that reason, you Dear Listeners have probably never heard of The Hucksters, either the 1946 novel or the 1947 movie adaptation of that novel. The movie version is the subject of this Episode 104: Rave Review: The Hucksters.

In this episode, I play copious excerpts from that movie, and quote once more Victor Pickard's 2013 book America's Battle for Media Democracy (NB: Link to a PDF preview of the book), the book that clued me in on the existence of this movie.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Episode 103: The Boob's Halo & Halo's Boob

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Ever wonder where the term "soap opera" comes from? After all, there are a variety of products sponsoring today's daytime serial dramas, not just soaps. It turns out that that wasn't always the case. In the past, only one sponsor dominated individual programs, as I'll demonstrate in Episode 103: The Boob's Halo & Halo's Boob.

In this episode, I read from: a footnote in Thomas Picketty's Capital in the Twentieth Century; from my computer's quickie dictionary; and from Victor Pickard's book, America's Battle for Media Democracy (NB: Link to a PDF preview of the book. Also, I neglected to mention Mr. Pickard's book in the show's concluding credits. I regret the omission.) I exerted quite a bit from a toothpaste company comedy hour featuring Spike Jones and the City Slickers Orchestra that aired February 11, 1950.

I also play: Lee Rosevere's "Last Call"; and Podington Bear's "Ideas" and "Crafty". I open with KMFDM backing Bruce Livesey's observations about the power of business interests; and I close with Spike Jones.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Episode 102: The Mundane and The Sublime

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Dualistic language is a problem for me, especially in this overly-polarized media where opinions are not held lightly but with as much force as can be mustered into the opinion blusterscape. By actively seeking less Good-Versus-Evil language, less dichotomous and divisive terms of description, we take the first step into embracing gradualism and nuance into whatever topic might be under discussion. Hence, Episode 102: The Mundane and The Sublime.

In this almost wankish look at descriptors: I read from my computer's quickie dictionary; and I paraphrase what I found to be a fascinating set of cognate word origin from Kevin Stroud's History of English Podcast. I also play the first "great" from longest-time listener L33t Minion into my theme stinger. Thank you, L33t.

Musically, I wove Podington Bear's "Fantasy" and Lee Rosevere's "As I Was Saying" into the show. KMFDM backs Henry Giroux's observation on the importance of civic literacy in the opening, and I close the show to Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Episode 101: So Good, So Far, Maybe, I Guess

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While I'm wading through written material that will provide future grist for the yakking mill, what else to discuss? How about a brief recap of material already covered, along with asking how I'm doing? Hence, Episode 101: So Good, So Far, Maybe, I Guess.

In this episode, I read from: a New York Times article concerning Nix-ian psychographics; and from quotes and a "reference" found in Tim Wu's most recent book, The Attention Merchants: The Epic Struggle To Get Inside Our Heads. Doesn't the title say it all? I also play: Alexander Nix, giving a speech I'm willing to bet he now very seriously regrets ever making; and a now-banned online video ranter. (If anybody has any idea who this is, please, drop me a line in the comments.)

Oh, and another goof: I forgot to mention D. L. Myers doing my Powell Movement stinger in the show and its notes. I regret the oversight.

For musical bumpers, I play three song intros from Lee Rosevere. In order, they are: "Things We Mean To Say;" then "Curiousity;" and finally "Content." KMFDM's "Attack/Reload" backed the original Dmitri Orlov intro; and I'm closing once again with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."

As usual, I'm releasing this episode under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Episode 100: Mai FrootiToons Daybew

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Ah, the celebratory nature of stuff that divides cleanly by ten! Time to reminisce, to look back, and to do new stuff as well, such as to make Episode 100: Mai FrootiToons Daybew.

In this episode, I play Tim Wu talking right here in Seattle about his newest book, The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads. That talk was backed by Podington Bear doing "Jettisoned." I also play Raphae doing "Opening," close the main body of the show with someone singing "Poop in a Bucket," a song my sister sent me from a video advertising, no kidding, a product you use to, well, collect your own feces for garden fertilizer use. (I'll keep looking for the link; I've misplaced it.) I opened with KMFDM's "Attak/Reload" backing Bernie Sanders, and am now closing the show with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."

I also play snippets of the John McKenna song "20 Observations About Poo." I thought of playing the whole hilarious song, but I forgot it ran 9 minutes. By the way, John is a friend of a friend. He did this album of freaking hilarious tunes a few years ago; I played another of his songs on Episode 8, in case you're curious to hear more. If you want more than that, just leave your feedback here, and I'll contact him and get permission to play another.

I'm releasing this and all my shows under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Episode 99: The Headwaters of Bullshit River

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When commercialism dominates our reference materials, what else can we expect other than the inability to discover facts, especially those hostile or critical of commercialism? I explore that theme (in a somewhat snarky way) in this Episode 99: The Headwaters of Bullshit River.

In this episode, I read: a few times from my computer's quickie dictionary; and from Upton Sinclair's 1934 book I, Candidate for Governor, and How I Got Licked. I also referenced the findings of a blogger.

Musically, I slipped Podington Bear's tune "Climbing the Mountain" behind my recollections of Orwellian readings past; and let Full Load of King's "Envelope Infrared Part I" back my closing remarks. KMFDM backed Bernie Sanders in the opening; and Rolf and Julie shred it in "Over the Rainbow" in the close.

I'm releasing this and all of my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Episode 98: So Many Layers of Fail

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Sadly, in my last episode, I had to gloss over many details involving Mark Zuckerberg's company that I would have loved to launch and rhetorically blast out of the sky. Consider this Episode 98: So Many Layers of Fail a follow-through on the last, giving a far-from-final blast of rhetoric toward Mark and his minions the Effin' Bees.


Just a taste of what's to come.


In this episode, I play: the voice of Sara Wachter-Boettcher, from an interview she gave to Chuck Mertz over at This is Hell. I quoted extensively from her book Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech. I also read from: George Monbiot's book Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis; a Guardian article titled "Facebook’s war on free will: How technology is making our minds redundant"; from Nir Eyal's book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products; and a ProPublica article entitled "Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach 'Jew Haters'".

Musically, I opened once again with KMFDM's "Attack", this time backing Brian Kaller's observation about glowing rectangles and the fascination they bear; Lee Rosevere doing "We're Almost There"; and, woven into the end and playing now in the close, Visciera doing "Ceasing".

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Episode 97: Pull!

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Back in my youth, my friends and I would occasionally gather to share ideas for projects. More often than not, though, we would pretend to first load shotguns before we asked someone to share by saying "Pull!" Into the conversation the idea would go; again, more often than not, it would be tracked by the listeners, who would follow with their imaginary shotguns and, when the time was right, pretend to fire. I thought I would give Mark Zuckerberg, head of the Effin' Bees, a taste of that experience in this Episode 97: Pull!

In this episode, I played audio from: Mark Zuckerberg's post election damage control video; and Alexander Nix very specifically describing why Mark's "solutions" simply won't work. I also read from Cathy O'Neill's Weapons of Math Destruction.

Musically, I played: Podington Bear doing "Operatives;" and Jahzzar doing "First Contact." I opened with Brian Kaller's observation of the screen-bound chasing their viral anger McNuggetts, that from Kaller's C-Realm interview with KMO (Episode 434: Ferguson Rorshach), backed by KMFDM; and I'm closing with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Episode 96: Cranky Jack Hammers

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People are entitled to their opinions. They are not, though, entitled to spouting their opinions unchallenged when those opinions perhaps deliberately ignore crucial bits of history that, if better known, might greatly undermine the importance of those opinions. To issue just such a challenge is my aim in this Episode 96: Cranky Jack Hammers.


From this wonderful site.


In this episode, I excerpt Clive Desmond's selective history of commercial radio titled "A 700 Foot Mountain of Whipped Cream" (aired in edited form on 99% Invisible). I also play: Podington Bear doing "Bad Cut;" and Jahzzar doing "Reflections. To close out Black History Month, I produced a brand-new KMFDM opening that backed Martin Luther King, Jr. As usual, I close the show with Mistle Thrush.


My source for the MLK audio.


I read from: Henry Giroux's book, The Violence of Organized Forgetting; Tim Wu's The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires (the source of the Herbert Hoover quote); J.C. McQuiston's article in the August, 1922 issue of Radio News (something I also discovered thanks to Wu's book); testimony from the 1935 Federal Communications Commission hearings on radio policy; and a sentence from a letter written in 1934 to the magazine The New Republic. [I goofed when I finished up the episode by forgetting to list in the credits the quoted sources. Oops. I regret the error, but hadn't the time to correct it.]


Zappa's album cover mentioned in the episode.


I'm releasing this and all of my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 share-alike, attribution, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Episode 95: Let Me Educate You

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I confess: I sometimes screw up. We all do, after all. The point worth remembering is not the fact that we D'oh! on occasion, but what we do afterwards. And, given our almost universal screw-upped-ability, it's probably best to not assume we are god's gift to the unlearned every time we drop "knowledge" on the masses' asses, and, moreover, to occasionally subject our own insights to review. Those two lessons are the subject of today's Episode 95: Let Me Educate You.

In this episode, I read from: my computer's quickie dictionary; and a few chapter titles from Michael Shermer's Why People Belive Weird Things. I played audio from: Sam Harris' Waking Up podcast (Episode 31, "Evolving Minds"); and from "The Hate Debate" from Jad Abumrad's More Perfect podcast.

Tunage includes: KMFDM's "Attack" (backing Mark Blyth); Lee Rosevere's "Multivac;" and two from Jahzzar, first "Lullaby," and then "Dip." I close once again to Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Episode 94: A Zillion Ringy Dingies

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Though it has long been a presence in most of our homes, the telephone has of late morphed into an infernal device that has driven many to simply do away with land lines altogether, not out of a desire to simplify, but out of a need to have peace and quiet reign when they are home, uninterrupted by unwanted telemarketing intrusions. Hence, Episode 94: A Zillion Ringy Dingies.

In this episode, I read from a Washington Post article, "How robo-callers outwitted the government and completely wrecked the Do Not Call list" from January 11, 2018. You also heard Lily Tomlin doing her Earnestine the Operator bit from the early '70s.

Musically, I included three from Podington Bear: first, "That's Alright," then "Aim is True," and finally "Encounter." I also threw in portions of Anvil. You first hear their Stones cover of "Paint it Black," and close out the show with "Mothra." KMFDM, as usual, opens, this time with wisdom from Mark Blyth.

I'm releasing this and all my shows under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Episode 93: Can Something Else Happen?

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

What a long stretch I've taken with Lewis Powell, Jr. and his Confidential Memorandum to his neighbor, the Memo that allowed the very wealthy to shake the country, resulting in the tectonic aftermath we see today. Not that the movement or the shaking has stopped…. So, now that we know what happened, here I ask, in this Episode 93: Can Something Else Happen?

In this episode, I read two pieces of listener feedback, one from thefuturefarm, the other from a listener whose name F#c&Book is keeping secret. I also read from: Nancy MacLean's book Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America; Jane Mayers' book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right; and an October 8, 2015, Bloomberg article entitled "This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America." I also play the voice of George Monbiot from his October 28, 2017, interview with Chuck Mertz on This Is Hell, and of D. L. Myers intoning the stinger for the Powell Movement.

Musically, I play three pieces from Podington Bear: first, "Small Bummer;" then "Moda;" and finally, "Camp." I open with KMFDM backing Henry Giroux, and close with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0, attribution, share-alike and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Episode 92: Forget The Bathtub

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

There are lots of reporters and speculators mulling over the surprise result of our last presidential election, aren't there? As I've said before, though, this should have been what to expect, if in the last election, then in the next. As money exerts its muscle in its attempt to get its way, the people's choices will matter less and less. What was it that Grover Nordquist said about how small he wants government to get?

Along with the noise about what could have caused this outcome, though, precious few in the commercial media are focusing on signal and the well-connected, well-funded players like Cambridge Analytica. That's what this Episode 92: Forget The Bathtub, tries to do.

In this episode, I read from: a Buzzfeed article; a bit from Max Barry's novel Lexicon; a New Scientist article; the abstract to Michal Kosinski's research on that topic; a Telegraph article; a Motherboard article you really must check out; a definition from my computer's dictionary; and a New York Times article. I quoted: Paul Ford, from an On The Media interview; and Alexander Nix from his Concordia Summit speech. D. L. Myers read from the Powell Memo itself.

Music-wise, I played: two from et, first "A Song of Sadness," then "Joy & Emptiness"; and Podington Bear's "Intermezzo". I opened with KMFDM backing Henry Giroux, and am celebrating the recent season with the Vince Guaraldi Trio doing "Skating."

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 share-alike, attribution, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Episode 91: Refining Mining Into Tragic Magic

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

I am constantly amazed at how people bend themselves into cognitive dissonance pretzels rather than admit that there are psychological pressures at work on all of us, so much so that maybe we should make ourselves aware of the pressures that prove most effective on ourselves. You know, to see when we are being snookered.

That's roughly the thrust of this Episode 91: Refining Mining Into Tragic Magic. This is an introduction to the concept that the technology used to determine ad targets and what best moves them may have gone too far, especially when used in political concerns.

In this episode, I read from: Nir Eyal's Hooked; a New York Times Magazine article entitled "How Companies Learn Your Secrets"; a Paste Magazine article, "Hillary Clinton's Super PAC, Taking a Page from Vladimir Putin, Spends $1 Million on Online Trolls"; and a New York Times article called "Fake Russian Facebook Accounts Bought $100,000 in Political Ads".

I play a bit of audio from: the movie Top Secret; President Ronald Reagan, correcting David Brinkley's pronunciation during his last interview as president; Mark Zuckerberg, trying to reassure everyone that he wasn't evil; and an On The Media episode titled "Trust Issues." D. L. Myers, of course, voices the memo itself.

I play two from Jahzzar, first "Twin", and then "Downtown Serenade". KMFDM backs a new intro from Henry Giroux. I close with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Episode 90: Triple Threat

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement. Sort of.)

Not all of what Lewis Powell suggested has turned into canon by those that follow his memo. Powell was a learned man of his times that eschewed, I suspect, the majority of what the boob tube offers. Therefore, he grossly underestimated what a vast amount of cash could do toward buying the medium that he strongly suggested should be merely watched and criticized. Then again, who could have predicted what that same money, injected directly into the election process, could have done to morph the news medium Powell warned should be watched so closely?

This morphing is the topic of Episode 90: Triple Threat, the rise of the money-media-election complex.

In this episode, I read from Greg Mitchell's book Campaign of the Century, documenting Upton Sinclair's 1934 run for Governor of California; and from Robert McChesney and John Nichols' book Dollarocracy. Audio-wise, I play Senator Al Franken waiting for a potential campaign donor to answer, singing as he does a little ditty he shared with Terri Gross on a Fresh Air interview; and from Counterspin, Jeanine Jackson telling the woeful story of Les Moonves' shocking honesty about what actually motivates national network news. D. L. Myers, of course, read from the memo itself.

I tune up things a bit with Podington Bear's appropriately named song "Dole It Out." I open with KMFDM's "Attak", today backing Henry Giroux, and close with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."

As with all my episodes, I'm releasing this under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Ad Nauseam

Hey, Dear Listerners,

I felt you need some explanation as to the delay putting out Episode 90. Bottom line, I'm not feeling well. I mean I'm not feeling well enough to walk to the bathroom (most of the time) without serious doses of mind-warping medication to get me there without prolonging the bathroom experience into one best not described.

Something has embuggered my inner ear to the point where up is down, right is left, and trying to ignore these signals that conflict so obviously with my eyeballs only results in what lubbers must call sea sickness (though I, a 15-year professional mariner, still doubt such silly notions exist in the physical world).

(Then again, I just realized each half of the word "nausea" can refer to the oceans; "nau-tical" for the first part. Hmmmm.)

Anyhoo, the almost finished episode sits, as producers of such stuff say, In The Can just waiting for me to muster enough internally consistent equilibrium to finish and post it. And I'm sure once the third specialist squeezes me in for a look-see I might even get a diagnosis of what even happened, something I've yet to get at all since this began almost a month ago.

The worst part about all of this?! Look at this post's title. I spent months wracking my brains for a decent, clever, catchy title for the Attack Ads! Podcast, and there is was all along. Duh.

Well, that's about all the screen time I can muster, even with multi-minute breaks avoiding the screen itself (which appears to be extremely nausea inducing). I'll get back to fighting the good fight once I can, I promise. Thanks very much for your patience.

-Jim
You Ad A-{blech!}-er.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Episode 89: Gamers Gonna Game

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Podcasting is not an up-to-date pursuit. Some listeners arrive when the sound files are freshly minted; others years later. For that reason, it's best not to confuse later listeners with DailyExcitement!™ from the past now long forgotten. And since the closing topic for The Powell Movement is now quite a bit in the DailyExcitement!™ infotainment engorgement trough, I thought I would back up a bit, and discuss here in Episode 89: Gamers Gonna Game, a topic crucial to understanding the process by which the Powell Movementeers have gained such prominence.

I quoted nothing, really, only just kinda sorta noted facts presented in the entertaining Mary Pilon book, The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game (Bloomsbury, 2015).

I also cut the closing segment very short. The body of the episode was recorded about a week and a half before the release date of Tuesday, October 17, 2017, simply to give me more time to visit with the out-of-town guests I mention in the show. Half-way through that visit, though, I fell ill with an as-of-yet undiagnosed embuggerance that left me bedridden for days on end, unable even, in one memorable case, to make it to the specialist that maybe had a chance of knowing enough for a diagnosis. (Pro-tip: when you're stuck in a waiting room, vomit loudly. You'll get whisked to more private places in no time!) I am feeling "better", meaning I can leave my bed; but I stumble about rather than walk, and type slowly so as not to anger the Annoyed Festerance making the opposite of eating all too common.

I did play: KMFDM backing Noam Chomsky mentioning the memo (thanks again, Kevin!); D. L. Myers intoning the series title; and Mistle Thrush at the close.

Just like the rest, this episode is being released under a Creative Commons 4.0, attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Now, if you'll excuse me, time once again for bed.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Episode 88: One of the Most Dangerous Pleasures

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It may be that I've been doing this Powell Movement research too long. No matter what I read, what I hear, I can't help but place it in a Powell Memo frame, isolating those parts of whatever I'm hearing or reading at the moment that fail to pass the basic memo awareness tests. That's my chief gripe in this Episode 88: One of the Most Dangerous Pleasures. I take issue with an author who seems——perhaps deliberately, perhaps not——to ignore the Powell Movementeers in his reading of recent history.

In this episode, I quote: Barry Lynn's article printed in the Washington Post concerning his own firing; another Washington Post article on the topic; Daniel Drezner's book The Ideas Industry; and Jane Mayer's book Dark Money. I play the D. L. Myers stinger for the Powell Movement series, and a quote from President Ronald Reagan.

Music-wise, I play a Jahzzar tune, "sketch sos". I open with KMFDM this time backing Noam Chomsky mentioning the Powell Memo by name. (By the way, finders credit goes to listener Kevin for pointing me toward that Chomsky audio. Thanks again, Kevin!) I once again close the show with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Episode 87: ALL Commercial News is Fake!

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

We've heard all about this phenomenon, but really, what constitutes that so-called "fake news?" That's the question I raise in this Episode 87: ALL Commercial News Is Fake!, suggesting that the answer can be found simply enough: wherever you find the most likely sources of the money that funds the news, you find as well the most likely source of fakery.

In this Episode I quote: my computer's quickie dictionary; yet again Robert McChesney and John Nichols' book, Death and Life of American Journalism; and a Bloomberg article about Steve Bannon from October 8, 2015, titled "This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America." I referenced a This American Life episode which you can find here.

I play absolutely nobody (other than myself) saying the words "fake news." You're welcome.

I did wind up playing: Pietnaska's "Keymonica", and Jahzzar's "Little Chance." I open with D. L. Myers reading from The Memo Itself and KMFDM backing Henry Giroux, and I'm close, once again, with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0, attribution, share-alike and non-commercial license.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Episode 86: Wedgies of Mass Distraction

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

There are complexities, techniques, and nuances learned when you split wood for, oh, 40 years. It's not as simple as smashing an ax on some wood and have it cleave cleanly into smaller pieces. All too often, you've got to not only bring out the wedges, but know how to use them effectively.And, it turns out, splitting wood has quite a few traits in common with splitting electorates, with issues used as wedges.

That's the topic of this Episode 86: Wedgies of Mass Distraction. (And yes, that's "wedgies," as in the resulting uncomfortable underwear bunching that comes from someone pulling the undies up another's butt. You expect lofty analogies from someone that coined the term The Powell Movement?)

In this episode, I read from: my computer's dictionary; Kevin Kruse's book One Nation Under God; Dan Baum's Gun Guys; and Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson's Winner Take All Politics.

I play Jill Lepore observations, taken from her interview in the August 3rd, 2017 episode of On The Media, an episode titled "Smashmortion"; First Lady Betty Ford from 1975 giving her opinion on abortion's legalization (the audio taken from the same OTM episode); D. L. Myers reading from the Memo Itself; and Henry Giroux at the opening, backed by KMFDM. The Necronomikon Quartett played "Future 03" in the middle, and I closed the show with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today".

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

(Oh, and one final note: No, I did not take the cookie analogy used in this episode from Season 3, Episode 7, of "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." I know, I know, both of us mentioned the comparison between raisins and chocolate chips, and both associated that mention with Seattle. When I saw that episode, this episode of Attack Ads! was already recorded and mostly edited, so much so that including that bit of Kimmy Schmidt would have been a real pain. It's just a happy coincidence, nothing more.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Episode 85: The Unfairwaves

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

It's bad enough that most radio is so chock filled with commercial interruptions that folks, like myself, find it unlistenable. Thanks to a late-80s rule change, however, one has to watch out for more than just paid crap between the featured show sneaking its influence into one's brain case via the hearing holes. That's the theme of today's Episode 85: The Unfairwaves.

In this episode, I read from: Mitchell Stephens' book Beyond News: The Future of Journalism; a Wikipedia article on the Fairness Doctrine; Eric Altermann's book What Liberal Media?: The Truth About Bias and the News; Robert McChesney and John Nichols' book Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America; McKay Coppins' book The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House; Politico articles "Who is Dave Brat?", "How Big Money failed Cantor", "Right-wing radio's win", and "The tea party radio network"; the Atlantic Magazine's article "Six Theories for Eric Cantor's Loss"; and the DailyKos article "Who is John Ga-er-David Brat".

Musically, I play three from Jahzarr; "Cavern," "Dip," and (quite appropriately) "Gloom." I open with KMFDM's "Attak" backing Henry Giroux, and close once again with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Episode 84: Critical Mass Holes

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

Sometimes the conventional wisdom consists of nothing more than reasonable assumptions overlaid atop evidence that, without those assumptions, appears incongruous. Worse, because of those overlaid assumptions, we avoid looking more closely at those incongruities, at otherwise implied but obscured-by-assumption machinations lurking in the evidence.

That's what I do in this Episode 84: Critical Mass Holes. The assumed culprit hobbling the newspaper industry over the last 40 years has long been capitalism and the short-term profit incentive. I suggest otherwise. After all, short-term profits have long been an incentive; why have they only attacked newspaper productivity only recently?

For evidence, today I quoted three books: Robert McChesney and John Nichols' The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again (First Nation Books, 2010) Robert McChesney's Digital Disconnect (The New Press, 2013);" and Mitchell Stephen's Beyond News: The Future of Journalism (Columbia University Press, 2014).

Audio-wise, I sampled the voices of: David Simon, giving testimony before the Senate; Orson Welles in his role of the Citizen Charles Foster Kane, newspaper mogul; and Tony Randall playing Felix Unger from the television show "The Odd Couple." Since this is a Powell Movement episode, I also play the Memo Reading voice of D. L. Myers.

I kept the musical interludes to a minimum for this show, mostly because of the heat wave turning the Attack Ads studio into a toaster oven; but I had to open the show with the usual KMFDM samples from "Attak," today backed by Henry Giroux; and I'm close the show once again with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 share-alike, attribution, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bonus Episode: The Wedge Strategy

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There are, I believe, a few select documents that, if known, reveal possible reasons behind actions that might otherwise go unappreciated or even unnoticed. I shared the first in my first podcast Bonus Episode. It is time to share the second. In this Bonus Episode: The Wedge Strategy, I read from the The Wedge Strategy, produced by the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science & Culture.

In this episode, I read both from the Wedge Strategy document (PDF) and from the Wikipedia entry concerning it.

I also offer an apology early on to a listener, as of yet unidentified. I probably deleted a message that listener tried to give me. This accident—again, for which I am truly sorry—got me to pondering whether or not an online forum for listeners to connect should be created.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Episode 83: To The Perpentious!

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Perpentious: (adj.) Considerate of the details
necessary to the success of an event or completion of a task.


Our English language is a mish-mashed mush of a stew with ingredients from so many different sources that it becomes a discipline in itself to guess from where that word or this might hail. I thought it necessary to reconstruct one such word, temporarily misplaced, and further thought it would be a neat idea to offer it and my search to you. Hence, the sentiment of my toast to you, Dear Listeners, and the title of Episode 83: To The Perpentious!

In this episode, I read from my Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary, and from my computer dictionary. I also read from a few searched web sites, and played an incorrect definition from some quiz thing that popped up in that search. Oh, and if anyone out there would like to plunk down some credit digits just to take a gander at the old newspapers and either confirm or deny whether the optical character scanner did its job properly, as I suspect it did not, that would be great! Be sure to grab a screen shot of whatever you find! I did!


The Problem with Column Conflation


I play three tunes from Podington Bear, first "Ideas," then "Gathering," and finally "Many Hands." I open the show with KMFDM backing Dmitri Orlov, and close with Julie and Rolf and the campfire gang doing a ukelele version of "Over The Rainbow."

I'm releasing this and all my shows under a Creative Commons 4.0, share-alike, attribution, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Episode 82: Rave Review: Lexicon

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Recordings can be persuasive, sometimes in ways that give us goosebumps. Persuasive, sure…. But what if what we hear or see can work on our brains far more effectively than we know?

In this Episode 82: Rave Review: Lexicon, I share a bit of speculation in that direction from Max Barry's excellent book, Lexicon. This sub-category of episode, the Rave Review, was something, as I explain in the episode, that I was going to revisit regularly when I couldn't think of anything else to do. Which, weirdly, almost never happened. From now on, I promise, I'm going to share reviews of more entertaining media which all hold advertising as a key element driving the plot.

I read a bit of detail from a Smithsonian article about recovering antique sound recording; and from Barry's book. From the Smithsonian piece, I play a bit of recovered audio.

Musically, I play Wurlitztraction's "Talk Riddles, Listen In Dreams," and Podington Bear's "Firefly." Bernie Sanders and KMFDM open the show, and I close with Mistle Thrush.