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Last week, I had the perfect storm of random happenings.  I was outside having coffee with Stacey by the Pentagon City Mall.  I got a twitter from Rebecca – some mumbling about a guy with a machete getting off the same bus as her. Quite surprised (and amused), I shared the message with Stacey.  Just as I do that, who walks up to us but Rebecca herself!  You have to keep in mind – Im not sure Ive ever run into her outside of Artomatic before in my life. The timing here is too weird. So weird, in fact, that the only thing I can think of to say to her is:


Turns out, some guy in a suit got off the local bus near where we were…manicured and everything….but with a machete on his back.  Hrm.  I cant say I havent felt the same way myself before, but most of us dont DO that :)

Anyway, Rebecca wanders off to knit (in Starbucks I think?? or some secret hole to Neverwhere) and Stace and I finish up. 

Heading into the metro, the next Yellow line to DC is 8 minutes away, but a blue line will be right there. I figure Ill catch that and jump across above ground from Farragut West to Farragut North and catch the red line home.

And…that brings us to the point of this post. 

Once I get up the stairs, Im surprised to hear….love shack….by the B-52’s. I check my ipod. No, no it’s not coming from there.  I look around and realize there is an actual live band  in Farragut Square doing love shack.  Not that that’s my favorite song mind you – by any means – but the fact that the typically dreary shuffle of end-of-workday commutes that normally happens here has been completely supplanted by random live 80’s music in the middle of the square. How freaking cool.

Apparently they were playing for the last day of OnTap’s “Sounds in the Square”.  I wish I had seen the others. I need to read my OnTap notices more carefully!

Luckily, I actually brought my video camera with me to work that day (???? I never do that ????). I grabbed it from my bag and immediately started filming.

As the song went on, I realized that these guys were pretty good (By pretty good I mean dont mean I’d fly to Hong Kong to see them, but they were FAR and away better than what you normally find laying around there in the afternoon)  AND had a great sense of humour.  All the guys were wearing moon pants, the guitarist had a Karate Kid bandana on, the basist had big white sunglasses with slits in them, the female singer was Madonna’d out, and the male singer had Rick-Springfield sunglasses. 

I ended up filming six songs in High Definition and I think they all came out really well – especially as it was spur of the moment and I couldnt move around much.  I’ve included two of my favorites in this post – Walk Like an Egyptian (top) and Jessie’s Girl (bottom). I particularly like the footage of Walk Like an Egyptian…the singer walked out and was dancing with a couple of kids egyptian-style. It was adorable.

Anyway, the band’s name was “The Reflex”.  They’re based in DC and if you want a bit of entertaining eighties in your life, check them out!




It’s still sinking in.  Could the Supreme Court really have come out in clear support of the constitution?  Did the majority really reaffirm that yes, we live in a country where the locus of control resides with the people – every individual – and not with the government?  Will we begin to see again finally a creeping awareness culturally that the we -are- the government?

In informatl conversation, the problem of the Second Amendment is often cast in three contextual lights – each of which, I think, misses the real point.  The first sets the debate in terms of whether we can safely allow guns in our society. The second says “guns are inherently bad and evil and its a different world than it used to be and the police should protect us”.  The third debates the value of guns in protecting us from the government.

All three of those arguments all center around…guns.  Why?  The value, role, and entire point of the Bill of Right has only ever been to support and cement the relationship of American citizens to their government. 

The Bill of Rights, if it was just a list of “things people should be able to do”, would have been much, much longer. That is, if it had been created at all. 

The fact of the matter is that the Bill of Rights is the document that GUARANTEES that the government shall derive its power soley from the individual and not vice versa.  What is it that the rights of free speech, speedy and public trials, the right to not be arbitrarily searched, etc. are protecting us from? Not each other. Not foreign states. No, they’re written as hedges against the enroachment of government-derived power taken from the individual.  They protect us from those in the government and without who would opt for the easy route – the one people in many less free, successful states follow willingly.  The Bill of Rights exists because for a free nation to exist and to thrive, the people MUST retain the locus of control. 

This goes beyond “free elections” and democracy.  Freedom is only a word if people expect their government to take care of them. If they expect the group – the police, the legislature, the executive branch – to solve their every problem and to make decisions for them. 

The reason our constitution is so amazing is that the framers understood that only from the flexibility and insight of free people is real strength derived.  The government should only ever be framework through which disputes are resolved and a mechanism for people to, where necassary, take civic advantage of economies of scale.  This is where centralized economies and other socialist constructs FAIL every time. It’s an information theory problem.  There is too much information needed to make good decisions for a central, top heavy government to process that it just cant.  Similarly, everyone always acts in their own self interest so giving everyone the power to act in their own self interest is much more likely to yield solid, beneficial results than allowing a select few to force  many to act in the interests of the few.  There HAS to be math behind this somewhere.


At any rate, back to the point:  The Second Amendment is one of the lynchpin components of the Bill of Rights, our government, and the foundational principles that make it all work.  The Second Amendment says, in effect, that for a free state to exist, the -population- shall retain the RIGHT to USE FORCE in its own SELF-INTEREST and that right shall NOT be adbicated to the empty machinery of government which will unfailingly abuse it.  The power of the Second Amendment – which was reassirmed today – is in that specific line it draws. 


There are more threats to “the security of a free state” than foreign countries and abdicating our individual power to the empty, crushing machine of government is at the top of the list.


(Edit: This is an aside from the regularly unscheduled programming here and only represents my not-nearly-educated-enough opinion on the subject…)





…Straight from the Madison Square Garden show.  This video is, in my opinion, far better than the one I got of Underneath the Stars.  The sound is great, the shots are great, and Robert is really animated – at some point he even almost laughs.

I need some practice with the video editing suite I use, so I took the liberty of adding a couple of effects here and there. I hope you enjoy the final product :)

Have I mentioned how much I love the old music without keyboards???

Again, if you want a better quality version, open the You Tube link and click “watch in high quality” below the video.

First of all, I wanted to share the HD video of the opening Cure song at Madison Square Garden – Underneath the Stars.

If you want the high quality version, click this link and then the “Watch in High Quality” link below that:

Otherwise, here yah go:

(You can also find “A Night Like This” from the same show in this post: )

Secondly: We got back in yesterday afternoon from our two day stay in New York for back to back Cure shows (at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall).  As previously mentioned, the first was an amazing, high powered show which was one of the best I’ve seen. Radio City Music Hall was equally well-played, but while the venue had an air of intimacy lacking at the Garden, our seats weren’t nearly as good and I didn’t feel quite as “connected” to the show as before (despite Robert walking all up and down the side stairs of the venue). I didnt get any pictures – just video – but spiggy has a ton.

They can be found here:

I’ll do a mini-review later (probably…I obviously dont always follow through on the “later”‘s here), but I wanted to thank all of the Chain of Flowers people we hung out with at Heartland and later…Laurie, Randy, Beckenbach, Danny, Karen, Veronica, others whos names Im blanking on for the moment :)  One of the things I enjoy about travelling to see the Cure is all the people we get to meet, and this group was particularly fun.  Hope to see you all around :)

I haven’t blogged in a couple of weeks and didn’t think this is what I’d be writing about first, but so-be-it! :)

I filmed and edited this video of Artomatic’sArt in Fashion” show last Saturday. It was a lot of fun – a good cap to the party-in-the-rain capital pride parade (which isn’t my thing, but Paivi and I went because that sort of event is always done with good humour and fun). 

The voice Ive mixed in to the song (obnoxiously at first – dont worry, after the first minute or so it quiets down) is of Andrea Collins shouting “Don’t you think the hotter the better??” (It was funny to me at the time)




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