Talk to the Invisible Hand

A simple song about our lost faith in the invisible hand of the markets. Talk to the invisible hand!

(mouseover the title, player appears)
Talk to the Invisible Hand

Invisible hand, invisible hand, a magic trick that I don’t understand
Watching its fist contract and expand with every jaw it breaks open
I might be a cynic but I think you’ll agree, I can’t put my trust in a thing I can’t see
Invisible hand, i bow down to thee cause I don’t want mine to get broken

When the invisible hand of the marketplace plants a punch right on your face
All the fools who once embraced it will let it pull them right under
When the invisible eyes of oversight fall asleep in broad daylight
Just drop the shades and kill the lights and leave them soundly in slumber
So keep your head afloat, and talk to the invisible hand ’til it slits your throat

Invisible hand, invisible hand, tickling away at supply and demand
Sprinkling imbalance across the land and thumbing its nose at resistance
Scratching the backs of the dry cleaner set, until they start begging to buy off the debt
If that’s self-correction, let’s come correct, I can’t stretch all that distance

When the invisible hand of the marketplace plants a punch right on your face
All the fools who once embraced it will let it pull them right under
When the invisible eyes of oversight fall asleep in broad daylight
Just drop the shades and kill the lights and leave them soundly in slumber
So keep your head afloat, and talk to the invisible hand ’til it slits your throat

When the invisible hand of the market share flips it’s finger in the air
And turns around and pinkie swears that it never knew what was coming
Invisible targets are easy to miss when they scurry off with a slap on the wrist
So how many more ’til we tire of this
And resolve to burn them with something more than a gift and a reprimand
It’s time that we had a talk with the invisible hand

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Blogging from an airplane

Well, it’s finally here. You can have WiFi on an airplane. Dave and Jon drove back after our show in SF Friday night but I stayed to hang out with my former bandmates from The Actual and now am on a plane. Virgin America now has WiFi. That’s sort of great, and sort of awful, as I began to really enjoy time on planes, since it’s the only time I’m absolutely forced to not deal with anything work related. Well so long to that.

<img src=”http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v302/theactual/Photo31.jpg”&gt;

Song #57: In the Backs of American Cars

I’ve heard reasonable arguments from smart people on either side of the “should we bail out the autos” debate, and I unfortunately suffer from the affliction of being heavily influenced by the last person to leave the room, so my jury’s out.

That said, the way the autos are treating their crisis, compared to the high finance folks of two months ago, is a stunning display of a difference of opinion on what tone to take when asking for billions of dollars. When it turned out that most of our money wasn’t really money, banking collectively had its tail between its legs, as it should have. Their irresponsibility had caught up with them, they knew it, and at least to a degree they admitted it. The honesty of a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar isn’t the best kind of honesty, but it’s better than what we’re getting from the auto companies, who are blaming most of this on the credit crunch and their labor contracts, despite years of getting consistently outsold by Honda and Toyota’s line of better and more fuel-efficient small cars. It’s just not the proper ‘tude for someone asking for this much money.

Furthermore, I can’t imagine what popular support for this bailout would look like if we removed the myth of the American car from the equation — a myth that frankly anyone my age and under is only familiar with via Brett Michaels from Poison singing about getting dirty talk at the drive-in in the old man’s Ford. (If you want to know how ridiculous the fetishization of the American car sounds to anyone who never lived it, check out “’92 Subaru” by Fountains of Wayne and observe how silly it the myth sounds with Japanese cars. And that is NOT a reason to support the bailout, BTW.)

Anyways, we wanted to make a song describing our thoughts and unease on the auto bailout’s inseparability from our inflated notion of American glory associated with our automotive industry in the very style of the 70’s power-pop songs that helped create the notion itself. Enjoy “In the Backs of American Cars”.

In the Backs of American Cars

In the backs of American cars, under the seatbelts and under the stars
The Michigan steel grows a grey hair, and catches a break on its bus fare
In the backs of most of our minds, some things are worth saving, or leaving behind
On American roads that they took here, on the fetishization of last year

The old rusty gears were rotting for years but they only bring it in when it breaks
It’ll move right along, driving straight on, ignoring the squeals and the sputters and shakes
When the mouth of the mitten opens up for a hand and it draws it’s penultimate breath
In the backs of American cars lurching forward to death

I’ve never been at the drive-in in the old man’s Ford, or flown in a Phantom with suicide doors
But the radio says that it’s lovely, I can’t foot the bill on the memory
So if old dying dogs won’t learn new tricks, it might that’s pointless to fix
From an era no longer golden, tarnished by interests to which it’s beholden
The rims keep on rolling

The old rusty gears were rotting for years but they only bring it in when it breaks
It’ll move right along, driving straight on, ignoring the squeals and the sputters and shakes
When the mouth of the mitten opens up for a hand and it draws it’s penultimate breath
In the backs of American cars lurching forward to death

In the backs of American cars, they’re asking if we’ve got any left
In the backs of American cars, slowly lurching forward to death

New song – The Cavalry In Cuffs

What can I say about our victory the other night that hasn’t yet been said? Very little, except to rehammer the point that with unity and reconciliation must come justice, and we don’t think that investigating and prosecuting the crimes of the current administration is a novel or fringe idea at all. Enjoy “The Cavalry In Cuffs”.

(Put the mouse over, a player appears)
The Cavalry in Cuffs

A flick of a fingernail clawed away and broke the seal
Split the loop from hoop to hoop on the jumprope anthem of bad ideas
It’s incomplete ’cause repudiation’s fine and good
It comes up wanting if it don’t pack the punishment that we know it should

Sweet retribution won’t you come and wipe away
All the derelictions of the last two thousand yesterdays
Sweet absolution, I’m afraid that won’t come up
No, not ’til the cavalry gets carried off in cuffs
An indictment, it will never be enough

Is it a lot to ask to just say thank you and move right on
Turn one eye blind to countless crimes and let those bygones be bygones
And let them rejoice and rejoin the company of magistrates
They’re angling for faces on coins, they should be printing license plates

Sweet retribution won’t you come and wipe away
All the derelictions of the last two thousand yesterdays
Sweet absolution, I’m afraid that won’t come up
No, not ’til the cavalry gets carried off in cuffs
An indictment, it will never be enough

Max Cleland Vengeance Fund

Crossposted at Huffington Post

In 2002, Saxby Chambliss won his Georgia Senate seat against incumbent Democrat Max Cleland, a triple-amputee Vietnam Vet. He deployed tactics that would make Lee Atwater wince — a barrage of ads against him pairing him with images of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, and questioning his commitment to a safe America. In one of the last accurate statements John McCain would make for many years, he called this ad “worse than disgraceful”:

Thanks to Georgia law that requires 50% of the vote for the win, Chambliss’s race against Democratic challenger is going to a runoff (Chambliss is at 49.9). There are a lot of reasons to help Jim Martin: his call for lower taxes on the middle class, his support of bringing troops home from Iraq, support for health care for every American, and an expansion of Veterans benefits to National Guard and Reserve soldiers whose current benefits are dwarfed by the huge burden they are currently bearing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yes, those are all perfectly good reasons, but I’m appealing to your worse angels today. Please help Jim Martin defeat Saxby Chambliss in the name of sweet, sweet retribution for the scare campaign that painted a Max Cleland as unconcerned with the safety of our country.

He’s going to need help to win. Please chip in — for Max.

Now the real work begins

Well, we did it. We kicked the Republicans out of the white house. I’m more proud than ever to be a Democrat.

Here in California, my state sadly shamefully voted to write discrimination into its constitution and cease to recognize gay marriage. It’s a sad footnote to a happy day.

Anyways, now the real work begins on undoing the damage we’ve done to our country and to the world for the past 8 years. Cheers to chipping in.