This is Crusader AXE of the Lost Causes's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Crusader AXE of the Lost Causes's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Crusader AXE of the Lost Causes
On the edge of the desert, just outside of Barstow...
Soldier, scholar, guitarist and business executive--only the first by choice.
Interests: History, government, military affairs, sports, popular culture, music and literature.
Recent Activity
Would you want to have your children's future depend on the equivalent of a '58 Citroen? Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2016 at cheese it, the cops!
One of Guy's best known songs is "Desperadoes Waiting for a Train" which I've played three times. For my father, my mother and now for Guy Clark. I hate that goddamned song, and I don't like to cry. But if three people in my life have influenced me profoundly, they have and the tears are memories and greeting cards... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2016 at cheese it, the cops!
Back in the dark ages, when I was an instructor for the Army's Intelligence School, I was leading a platoon of Basic Officer Course students in a desert exercise or something. For some reason, the students in the first rank asked me what I thought about Prince. Since I spent a lot of my Army career channeling Dylan's "If my real thoughts could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine," I said that Prince represented the triumph of the international homosexual conspiracy. Which was pretty stupid in some ways. You don't have to like his music to recognize that a lot of it was sheer genius. I think things like Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, and Let's Go Crazy were exceptional rock and roll numbers with stunning guitar work and great lyrics that very few people got. His studio and his talent development efforts were amazing, and Paisley Park's house band was challenged musically to meet his standards. Crispin's right. The movies were a disaster. So was the whole Artist formerly known as "what the hell is that thing supposed to be" was pretty much a waste of time. I think deep down, he wanted to write music, play music, play in small clubs, make an occasional video and be left alone. Crispin, at our age flu like symptoms can mean pneumonia. I suspect that his hospital visit was potentially a hospital stay and he didn't want to do that, and signed a release. It would be something that a new AARP member rock God would do...maybe he didn't like the idea of Rolling Stone or TMZ getting a shot of him in a purple hospital gown...
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2016 on prince at cheese it, the cops!
Since tenure is obviously no longer considered tenure at private universities, you might want to consider forming an actual union for professors to negotiate salaries, benefits and working conditions. Just a thought, as an old HR exec who preferred working with unions as opposed to depending only on a non-negotiated handbook or two and common sense. However, the courts have repeatedly found that the use of a handbook is in fact a contract, particularly if there's a signed acknowledgement of receipt. There is also a question as to whether or not it's legal to fire someone for activities that occur outside the place of business. So, hang in there, buddy and keep fighting. --Mike
Being authentic and honest has it's dangers and downsides -- ask Crispin -- but if you work at it, you might be surprised a bit. Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2016 at cheese it, the cops!
Lawyers will enjoy based on ADAAA (ADA As Amended) and the whole question of the threat. The only threat a rational person can assume is that you intend to listen to Miranda Lambert when you contemplate intellectual property laws. The dangerously insane label has some nice ramifications for them as well.
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2016 on gone at cheese it, the cops!
I saw this about 11AM when my phone beeped, and it made me sad. Wasn't unexpected; he's been very sick off and on and had to cancel a bunch of shows recently, but still sad. Despite The Fighting Side of Me and Okie from Muskogee, with the possible exception of Utah Phillips, damn few as far red country songwriters for decades. Haggard never forgot what he saw growing up and the inherent unfairness of the economic system. Things like Momma Tried, Momma's Hungry Eyes, Tulare Dust, Workingman Blues, If We Make it Through December and on and on made him a modern blue collar poet; he played the Bakersfield sound when he got out of prison because Tulare is suburban Bakersfield, and the Strangers were as good as Buck Owens band. He shed the nudie suits, decided he was going to become a fiddle player, did an Elvis tribute album, and a Jimmy Rogers album. He wrote amazing drinking songs, prison songs, love songs and so on...but, he captured something special whenever he wrote about being hungry and working too hard and the impact on friends, family, neighbors and self. There are others -- Steve Earle comes to mind, with his line about, "It amazes me how much commie stuff you can get into a bluegrass song; Kris Kristofferson as well; and so on. But with a singing voice like a refined Hank Williams, dark charisma like Lord Byron running moonshine, a subtle talent for words and mastery of emotional connection, Mr. Haggard is someone I'm sorry to see go.
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2016 on american master at cheese it, the cops!
I find this whole debacle disturbing for a number of reasons, but Crispin's situation is actually kind of graceful, in so far as a geezer like him can be graceful. The free speech part of this is hilarious -- as his choices show, and there are so many more, Crispin's use of Miranda Lambert's song was really ironic. Eaglesmith was being ironic when he wrote it. The world is out of our control, and now we gotta do something...the violation has occurred, and nobody wants to do anything about it. So, Dickinson is opposed to folk art, contemporary and classic country western music, rap music and I suspect still pondering what to do about teaching things like Dumas or Dostoevsky...I consider a lot of the nonsense about political correctness run a muck pure nonsense. But, this is a case where it's political correctness run a muck. Crispin is writing on a blog, as an individual, and makes some pretty substantive comments about probable plagiarism. He's speaking in his variation of the Norman Mailer "white negro" voice, but that is intended ironically as is the use of the Lambert video, which is kind of a classic. Here are some more, and by the way, I am not terribly excited by rap music in general but that's because I am a fan of Bob Dylan. One of many things Crispin and I disagree on...
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2016 on No title at cheese it, the cops!
I think that "avoiding death by auto-erotic asphyxiation" is one of the the most laudable goals you can achieve, Crispin. Yeah... can see the piece in the Carlisle Bi-Weekly Global Daily now: Doctor Crispin Sartwell, Philosopher, Rock Critic and Swindler, who left a career at Dickinson College to busk and deal 3 card monte outside a casino in Passaic, New Jersey, died today, not OF AUTO EROTIC ASPHYXIATION, CHOKING on A CHICKEN bone. Flowers instead of Donations. RIP."
Toggle Commented Feb 24, 2016 on the art of rock criticism at cheese it, the cops!
Trump is intriguing. He might actually be a great populist leader, a la Teddy Roosevelt. Or, not. But if he keeps using that line of thinking to beat Bush and the Republican establishment and the hordes respond, the Republican party is in for a long road...
Toggle Commented Feb 15, 2016 on tick and sired at cheese it, the cops!
Since I've been away, I had forgotten how treacherous Typepad can be. I had a comment here that was pure brilliance, crystalline and capable of convincing Ayn Rand to give everything she owned to the poor and go off to wash the feet of lepers. Bastard software ate it. What really concerns me at this point is Crispin's conclusion -- too many students are like this, and if all of them get like this, then he's going to take his nerf gun, top hat, interlocking rings, cards and copy of Walden somewhere else that doesn't involve late adolescents and young adults in middle class America. Crispy is a friend of mine, based fully on our electronic relationship. But what he is for his college and for the Dickinson-Army War College Community, and for the Philosophical Community is a treasure. I'm pretty sure he'd be willing to move to Helsinki, open a coffee ship (real, cannabis or both) near a Finnish intellectual quarter and talk about Kant, Schopenhauer and Thoreau while doing card and coin tricks. They'd benefit, he'd be happy and the world might be a better place in 2020 Helsinki. But if the Crispin Sartwells and other professors who want their students to do more than parrot back nonsense they absorb from bullshit lectures -- and I've give a few of those, as has anyone who ever taught -- the University will be left with toads, wannabes, and political weasels plotting their path forward. I know -- my Alma Mater went through some identity crisis problems shortly after I graduated and the whole culture just changed...and a number of great professors in philosophy, history, literature and other areas decided to leave. There are lots of PhDs running around looking for work. They're easy to replace. But challenging mentors and catalysts are not... One of my old profs lives on his yacht in Stockholm. He hangs out at the university, lectures from his left-anarchist mode of thought at a couple of venues, and is involved with the anti-Nazi efforts there and some other things. He's doing fine, and I'm sure could help Crispin find a place to sell coffee, do card tricks and have lectures on weekends from disgruntled philosophers and political scientists. That would be wonderful... But Dickinson would be a lot less great. I know Holy Cross is for losing Trowbridge Ford and a lot of other professors who ran from the homogenization efforts saying, "Screw this. I can get daywork."
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2016 on t-shirt wars at cheese it, the cops!
I remember college -- it largely involved trying to get laid, beer, playing the guitar poorly, playing bridge well, occasionally going to class and checking my mail in the campus center in the hopes that Mom had sent me a check. And, in the lobby, every cause and campus organization had tables set up with people learning valuable direct sales and networking skills by getting you to sign petitions to Stop the War, End Poverty, Eradicate Racism and Divest from South Africa. We dutifully signed them or not. I think we had more fun.
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2016 on t-shirt wars at cheese it, the cops!
Well, I don't like pickled sturgeon either, but my approach is to ignore it. Pretend it doesn't exist in my universe. Smile politely when offered it someplace -- I go to some odd places -- as if offered something by an Alien Space Hostess. Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2015 at cheese it, the cops!
Well, interesting perspective. Crispin is a native Washingtonian, so he's Southern by Birth...I've lived in the south, and I have had some issues (I've been called an "outside Yankee agitator trying to change us" which was funny because I was in the Army and the conversation dealt with military issues, but what the hell, I wear that as a badge of honor.) I've had plenty of contact with Southerners, and generally find them at least as human, humane, pleasant and bloody fucking awful as people in Maine, Washington or California. There are pockets of Scots-Irish all over the country, and a strong southern sense. The south in a lot of ways is our dark side; and in some ways, our bright side...we're a confusing country. The cultural influences of the south are pretty amazing, and that's neither problem nor virtue, just fact.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2014 on The River and the Thread at cheese it, the cops!
You know, Crispin, I have to ask how many people would have heard about Blind Lemon Jefferson et al if Dylan hadn't made noises about him? How much attention to Muddy Waters or Howlin'Wolf or Sonny Boy Williamson if some white guy from suburban London hadn't somehow gotten a copy of an old Muddy album and told the guy from the bar calling about a gig that the name of his band was "The Rollin' Stones?" If the meaning of your communication is the effect on the receiver, well, if nobody ever hears it, is there any meaning? Isn't it possible, and just a thought, that I happen to like Dylan and you don't? The rest of the exegesis is subjective bickering. As for the commercial, one could argue that Dylan is explaining Adam Smith's concept of relative competitive advantage, the old wine versus pins thing...staking out cars for us and yielding watches, cell phones and beer to other producers. Or as Steve Still said it by way in this case by the Isley Brothers...
I get a kick out of Gates concern that Obama wasn't passionate enough about Iraq, Iran and didn't like Karzai and had limited faith in the military leadership in CENTCOM and on the Ground. In some ways, Obama is kind of the son of GHWB that the old man wanted to have. Except for the whole Democrat thing. But, yeah, surrounded by tone-deaf, self-centered megalomaniacs and psychopaths with no obvious ability to learn from experience, I might be somewhat distant and dispassionate too. If I were not able to maintain that, I'd have to fire a whole bunch of motherfuckers, possibly including myself for having the hubris to think I could fix the mess in the first place.
Dylan is a changeling, a bit of everything. Some stuff is great, some stuff is awful and some stuff kind of transcendent. He suffers, especially the early stuff, from being cliche...I would no more sit down and try to play "blowin in the wind" for shits and grins than I'd try 'louie, louie" -- but, I could see someone asking me to play either one and after a grimace or to, playing them. Nobody would ever ask me to play Visions of Johanna...but I'll try that every now and then. And, so it goes...
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2014 on a little more dylan at cheese it, the cops!
Reflections on the nature of valor... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2013 at cheese it, the cops!
Lot of his stuff is damn near Steve Earle country as well. And, Midnight in Montgomery is one of the more haunting things I've listened to. The Drifting Cowboy style pedal steel at the end which I think comes from Be careful of the Stones You Throw is amazing.
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2013 on wild and blue at cheese it, the cops!
I would probably charge them for air. It is interesting that behind closed doors, the Senate Republicans appear ready to roast some Texas Canadian Cuban long pig in celebration of Halloween. Since they have the real nuts 37 to 3, should be an easy gig. As for the Congress, they outnumber the Tea Party by 5 to 1. But, hell, in both cases would require guts...and ability to do something without talking points. "We used a orange-habanero marinade on Cruz, and he was a little fatty despite smoking him for 15 hours. McConnell did a lousy job trimming the meat, but old John McCain laughed and sang old stuff like Barbra Ann while rotating the damn spit while Kelly rubbed on the sauce."
While I'm not excited about the NSA domestic surveillance operation as a priority or "essential" function, I think trying to see a bright side into a basic failure of the legislature to legislate is really reaching for the Fox News approach -- they're all guilty bastards so they're all equally guilty. No. Nor are sins equal. NSA sucks but the program was put in place on Bush's watch. The excesses are often as not done by enthusiastic staffers trying to make a name for themselves. A helluva lot of government excess is based on the Henry II corollary to Murphy's Law -- Don't ask who will rid me of this troublesome priest unless you actually want to get rid of the damned priest. But, that's inspiring me to think a bit and write more. Thanks.
The Iraq clusterrodeogoatfuck had nothing to do with the Powell Doctrine. If he'd remembered it and implemented it effectively,we might be someplace else. Instead, well, he has admitted repeatedly and with a great deal of sorrow and humility that it was the worst mistake of his life. I think you've got a good insight though. Smart people can be overwhelmed by group think and basic stupidity. I watched a bit of Zero Dark Thirty last night and there's a great line where Gandolfini as Leon Panetta looks at John Barrowman as CIA Director of Ops and says "What do you think of her?" Barrowman says, "I think she's fucking smart." Gandolfini frowns and says, "We're all fucking smart."
We do have the "they're all guilty bastards" problem in Syria. That said, Assad is a Saddam class dickhead only with friends...just not friends with money. As for the Iran-Iraq war, that was pretty well reported back during the damned conflict; people may not have paid as much attention because both sides were pretty repulsive. Countering human wave attacks with Sarin should probably earn both sides leadership an all expense paid vacation to the Hague for war crimes and genocide. An Iranian friend has a boyfriend who was one of the Iranian Holy Warriors, meaning he was old enough to carry a gun, and as soon as someone got shot, he could pick it up. Guy is a bit of a basket case...PTSD is intensified by stupidity.
What's better? Famine, pestilence, war and death...for a start.
Could be, and remember his playing was pretty much driven by how screwed up he was at the time; if he was feeling too straight, was too uptight to play; too fucked up which by the time this was made if was him would have been all the time, he was pretty inanimately sloppy; if he was just right, was amazing. More on organ and piano tho...not a lot of Dead Harp playing...unless I missed that.