May 22, 2013, 09:28AM

Almost Summer and My Brain's Cooked

Griping is good for the soul.

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The arrival of summer in Baltimore has become more and more unpleasant since I’ve lived here the past 10 years. The mugginess, or “soup,” as locals say, is so oppressive that it almost negates the giddiness and celebratory atmosphere of summer break and makes you pine for winter. Walk anywhere for 20 minutes and you’re soaked; the temperature hovers between 90 and 100 at its worst, and you feel like your brain is cooking. On top of that, we’ll have a new brood of cicadas to play with, throw at each other, and plant in peoples’ hair just about any minute now. It just makes you feel irritable and aggressive. To make myself feel better here are a few gripes, completely unrelated, that’ve been whirring inside my head all day.

Putting aside any affinity or blind support I have for good Baltimore bands, the way Roomrunner is covered and written about pretty much everywhere is incredibly lazy. Denny Bowen’s post-Double Dagger band is a lot like Bob Mould’s Sugar (a stated influence): underground veteran culls members from several others and makes hearty, meat and potatoes kind of rock, without any hang-ups about proving they’re more experimental or cool than anything you’ve ever heard before. It’s an approach that needs good songwriting behind it. Whether or not Bowen can write a good song seems beside the point to every journalist that writes about them, because all they can do is plays the Nirvana card, or complain about how everyone plays the Nirvana card. Now I realize I’m perpetuating the problem, but this short hand is lazy and self-defeating—why even write enthusiastically about a band if your angle is that they’re pale imitators?

Moving on. The other day, this gem popped up on my newsfeed, paraphrased: “Y’know, I really would like to hang out with some transgendered individuals someday, I just don’t know any and have never met one.” So the implication is, transgendered people don’t exist, and their problems are not really worth discussing. It’s really no different than braying out, “Black history month? Where’s White history month? Where’s the White BET?” Like, fuck you, dude. Maybe humble yourself to the idea that no two people have the same brain and experience life the same way as you. Really not any different from saying being gay is a choice.

Along the same lines, I’ll leave you with this fuck. Sen. James Inhofe, who voted against government aid for Hurricane Sandy and support for FEMA, insisted that giving money to Oklahomans affected by this week’s tornado was “completely different.” Yes, let’s examine the differences. Maybe if Far Rockaway and the French Quarter were full of God-fearing whites it wouldn’t be so different. I’ve OD’d on political idiocy until the next election cycle, but let’s make it a point to disseminate Inhofe’s comments widely so that he may be exposed as the racist idiot he is. My brain may be cooking but I’m sure many of you would agree, once you stop banging your head on your desk.

—Follow Nicky Smith on Twitter: @MUGGER1992

  • Here a few of my gripes: 1. Why haven't I heard a single reputable reporter (seems oxymoronic these days) even entertain the idea that Rosen may be guilty of something? 2. In today's hyper-partisan atmosphere, why don't people realize that Lerner would be foolish NOT to take the fifth? 3. Why won't Russ weigh in on these "scandals" I'd love to hear his take!

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  • Texan, I think the IRS brouhaha is real, and Obama's not handling it well. The media, in the tank for him during the election, are pissed he doesn't schmooze them enough, and, now that he's having some trouble, are eager to exploit it. Clinton or Reagan would've defused these bumps.

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  • I'm not sure one can legitimately state that Clinton or Reagan would handle this better. After all, Iran/Contra and Lewinsky are still household names. Furthermore, one could argue that the scandals facing the Clinton administration helped in passing some second term agenda since the Repubs were wasting all their juice on scandals and not defeating legislation. Just look how the 1998 elections bucked the 6th year trend and went the Democrats way and led to the downfall of Newt. I'm certainly not suggesting any of this was planned by the Obama team, but, with the Repubs overreach on the IRS scandal combined with the media's whining and fact-free coverage of the AP/Rosen scandals, a similar dynamic may be taking shape for 2014. P.S. What was illegal about the targeting of tea party groups? None were denied tax free status and therefore can't claim any real financial loss. Sure it was grossly unethical. But really, is the IRS held in such high regard that this shit is either surprising or has serious legs?

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