Friday, May 25, 2007

So Listen, Meet Me At - BAM!

I heard something awhile back - don’t recall what it was, nor where I heard it - about a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals who died. Didn’t think much of it. Don’t care much about the Cardinals one way or the other. Almost skipped over the article I’m about to discuss, too. The MSNBC headline for the AP article is this: "Dead Cardinal pitcher’s dad sues sports bar". Some guy gets drunk and drives his car at high speed into something that isn’t moving, it’s his own bloody fault. But in the good old U.S. of A., you can always find someone else to blame - after all, we’re still mired in the Bush monarchy, where personal responsibility is a thing of the past and everything is someone else’s problem. So instead of skipping the article, I decided to find out just who Josh Hancock’s father wanted to blame for his son’s death - other than his son, who was the only one to blame.

And just to be fair to anyone who might be on the more sensitive side out there - this might be the point at which to bail out of this particular blog post. The rest of this thing is going to be salty, because this is just one of the most ridiculous things I have ever had the misfortune to read (and I've read John Grisham novels and The Lost World). I should feel bad for someone like Josh Hancock, who paid a heavy price for making a bad decision - but I don't, because people like his father continue to suck up valuable oxygen.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! Here’s what happened: Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock went out drinking after a day game with the Chicago Cubs on April 28th. He had a few too many. He left the bar and drove off (according to a different article, this one from the AP, posted on Fox News) to meet a girl AT ANOTHER BAR. He did not make it - traveling at 68 miles per hour while talking on his cell phone, the rented SUV he was driving collided with the back of a tow truck on Interstate 64. His blood alcohol content was 0.157, almost twice the .08 Missouri limit.

I have no subjective feelings about Josh Hancock at all. He got drunk and operated a motor vehicle into a stationary object - while speeding and talking on his cell phone. Here’s the part I don’t like. His father, Dean Hancock, filed suit in St. Louis Circuit Court on Thursday, seeking damages from a number of defendants. Among them:

Mike Shannon
Patricia Shannon Van Matre
Eddie’s Towing
Jacob Edward Hargrove
Justin Tolar

Mike Shannon and Patricia Shannon Van Matre operate the bar where Josh Hancock got drunk that night. Eddie’s Towing is the company whose tow truck Josh Hancock plowed into. Jacob Edward Hargrove is the guy who was driving the tow truck that night. Justin Tolar is the guy whose car stalled on Interstate 64 and required the assistance of the Eddie’s Towing truck driven that night by Jacob Edward Hargrove.

That’s right - the dead pitcher’s father is suing the guy whose car stalled on the highway, claiming that this poor guy had something to do with Josh Hancock’s death. The MSNBC article says that the lawsuit “claimed Tolar was negligent in allowing his vehicle to reach the point where it stalled on the highway, and for failing to move it out of the way of oncoming traffic.”

I’m sorry...what? You’re going to sue the guy whose car broke down? I can maybe see suing the people who served the drinks that put Hancock over the limit. Maybe - except for the fact that maybe he holds his liquor really well. His blood alcohol content of .157 is the equivalent of roughly eight drinks. Hancock’s player card on ESPN’s web site lists his height as 6’3” and his weight at 220 pounds. So he was a big guy. Probably he could hold eight beers better than, say, Danica Patrick, who goes 5’2” and 100 pounds. Maybe he had some food while he was there, too. Maybe he got his drinks from more than one server or bartender. Maybe someone he was with bought some of the rounds and he bought the others. Maybe a whole litany of things - and maybe not a whole litany of things, too. Bottom line - Josh Hancock made the decision to drive his rented SUV while he was drunk. Unless someone working at the bar tied him to a chair and poured drinks down his throat, nobody who served him that night is to blame.

Daddy the gold-digger is going to have a hard enough time pinning responsibility on the proprietors of the bar...and yet he still wants to blame everyone else who happened to be in the vector of his son’s death - except for his own dumbass son. If you’re planning to go out and get wrecked (pun SO intended), call a fucking cab, would you please? Josh Hancock was not the greatest pitcher on the planet - his career record was 9 wins against 7 losses, with an ERA of 4.21 - but his 2007 salary, according to ESPN was $430,000. That’s enough for cab fare, I think.

Here's how the lawsuits should really go:
1. Eddie's Towing sues Josh Hancock's estate for the cost of replacing the tow truck that Hancock demolished.
2. The State of Missouri sues Dean Hancock for filing a frivolous lawsuit. And for being an asshole.
3. All of the named defendants in the Dean Hancock lawsuit sue Dean Hancock for defamation of character - except for the Shannon family, who should have the good sense to keep their mouths shut and hope that a judge will have the good sense to throw this repulsive suit out the door.

Now playing on iTunes:
“Middle Of The Road” by The Pretenders

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Super Bowl Bid

Here is yet another post that started out as a comment for someone else. In this case, I was going to mention as a comment to Justin’s post here that the new Lucas Oil Stadium’s seating capacity would be about 63,000 seats (this according to Stadiums Of The NFL, although I have heard numbers as high as 68,000 for basic seating - and it can be expanded to between 70,000 and 73,000 seats). Being able to expand out to at least 70,000 seats was an important design element, because it allows Indianapolis to bid to host the Super Bowl, which requires a minimum of 70,000 seats.

A minimum of 70,000 seats. Both the Indianapolis Star and ESPN report, in articles related to this story, that the new stadium in Arlington, Texas, will have upwards of 100,000 seats. Damn. All of the best hospitality service in the world won’t make up for 27,000-odd seats that we won’t have here in Indianapolis. (The ESPN article attributes to Jerry Jones information stating that the new home of the Cowboys could conceivably contain a capacity crowd of 120,000.)

Why not? The Colts have just lately been able to sell enough season tickets to basically fill the 57,000-seat Hoosier Dome for every home game - and that’s with this Colts team at the apex of its excellence. Not only would taxpayers here never have gone for a stadium as big as the one that’s going to house the Cowboys, but once this Colts team goes into decline and a rebuilding process starts, season ticket sales will dry up.

According to numbers from the 2000 census that I checked in the New York Times Almanac, the Indianapolis metroplex population is about 1.6 million. By contrast, the Dallas metroplex population is about 5.2 million. That’s a hell of a lot bigger fan base for season ticket sales. Oh, and the Dallas Cowboys, sometimes referred to as America’s Team, have won five - count ‘em, five - Super Bowls. Plus, the weather in Texas in early February is typically better than the early February weather in Indianapolis.

(And yes, Detroit’s Ford Field did just host the 2006 Super Bowl, though its capacity, according to its web site and the NFL Stadiums web site I linked to above, is only about 65,000. Maybe the 70,000 seat thing is new - or it could be that the owners actually had a chance to see a game in Ford Field, which opened in 2002, which was probably roughly when Detroit put in its bid for the 2006 game. The new home of the Colts won’t open until 2008.)

I was hoping that the owners would pick Indianapolis for the 2011 Super Bowl, but from a seating standpoint, it makes sense that they went with Dallas. Arizona lost out due to logistics issues, and some sort of squabble about a parking lot. Indianapolis lost, reportedly, by two votes, 17-15 (although I was under the impression that the three owners involved would not be voting, so how did we get up to thirty-two total votes?) Anyway, no hard feelings to Dallas, an NFL tradition-rich city if ever there was one. Once Lucas Oil Stadium opens, and people see how well we run it, Indianapolis can throw in another bid; and once we get one, I think the door will be wide open to several more in the future. Say what you will about this city, but we put on a damn fine sporting event. If Detroit can get a Super Bowl, so can Indianapolis.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fay Grim

It will be hard to give much of anything away in terms of plot, as the plot consists pretty much of everybody double-crossing everybody else; and it might also be helpful first to watch Henry Fool, although this new film manages to stand on its own two feet. Those feet are wobbly for most of the two hours, but the filmmakers somehow pull it off.

Parker Posey plays Fay Grim, a woman drawn into the adventures of her husband, Henry Fool, when a CIA agent comes around and tries to get her to go to Paris to retrieve some of her husband’s notebooks, the eight-volume collection of which supposedly contains his confessions. From New York to Paris to Istanbul and back to New York we go, then - oddly, however, the filmmakers never stop for very long to admire the scenery (although Parker Posey is awfully easy on the eyes). Along the way we discover that the notebooks might, in fact, contain all manner of written material, from confessions to nuclear weapons sites to satellite data - everything a good mess of a mystery movie needs for big success!

Fay is at first reluctant to participate in all of this nonsense, but then she is told first that her husband is dead, and second that he is alive - this by two different people. At some point along the way, she appears to get into the groove, so to speak, and almost seems to enjoy her work the more she warms up to it (think Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies, but omit the campy humor, which the filmmakers here try for, but fail to achieve). It’s also possible that she has always had a proclivity to espionage - this may be one of the things you get from watching Henry Fool that would help to make Fay Grim a more satisfying movie.

The trouble? (And didn’t you just know there was going to be trouble?) The characters have no real depth (unless they were better fleshed out in Henry Fool and writer-director Hal Hartley is working under the assumption that most of the people who see Fay Grim will be people who both saw and enjoyed Henry Fool) - and since everyone is double-crossing everyone else, no one seems genuine.

Hal Hartley and company are clearly shooting for a kind of tasty spy movie that has an incomprehensible plot and a healthy dose of campy fun. They don’t really succeed with the camp, although Jeff Goldblum as the CIA agent is midly funny, once or twice (especially when he drops F-bombs, which just sound odd coming out of his mouth). There is also a scene involving a cell phone set to vibrate which Fay, wearing a coat with no pockets, chooses to stow down the front of her panties. Naturally, during a somewhat awkward social scene, she gets an urgent call - and keeps getting that call over and over again, since she can’t reach down to extricate the phone, and the person calling absolutely has to get in touch with her at once. It’s kind of a cheap laugh, but Parker Posey does a good job with it.

Now that I’m sitting here and thinking about it, it strikes me that this might be a movie that works a little bit better the second time around. The only problem is that there are so many other movies out there, and so few hours in the day. What was it about this movie that would really make me want to sit down and give another two hours to it?

To flesh out that idea, I’ll mention briefly my favorite movie of all time, The Usual Suspects (an excellent film which some, who know who they are, have not seen). These two films are similar in many respects - mysteries with intricate plots and lots of characters that bring everything together at the end for a big payoff. From script to acting to direction, though, The Ususal Suspects does everything better than Fay Grim - the characters have more depth, the acting is far better, and none of it feels faked. For a movie that wants to make you think about what’s going on, Fay Grim is far too kinetic. And at the end of the two hours, what we have is a movie that isn’t nearly as good as it wants to be.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Something Happened On The Way To Heaven


Admittance into the vast kingdom of heaven (a concept as yet unproved and taken, for the purposes of this story, by this reporter on faith) was delayed for hours today, while the administrators of paradise scrambled to find records relating to one Jerry Falwell, who earlier today passed out of the earthly realm and ascended, at least at first, toward the pearly gates and his supposedly preordained place at the right hand of that magic carpenter.

A massive bookkeeping error was uncovered when it was learned that all of the material related to Falwell had been awaiting express elevator shipment to hell upon his death. When this reporter inquired as to why the records had even been stored temporarily in the upper realm, he was referred to a spokesangel for the carpenter, who said that the carpenter had grown weary of rerouting the daily calls - all spoken in a quite loud tone of voice - from Falwell, who insisted on being heard, more often and more loudly than even the most ardent of his own followers.

Instead of taking time to reroute the calls through the Kansas switchboard and straight down to the Styx network, the carpenter simply took the calls (his capacity for patience, at least, seems to have been accurately described in his dad’s earthly bestseller) and then rerouted them later, at his leisure, into his Pensieve. As the Pensieves filled, he stacked them neatly into cupboards, apparently hoping that the inanity of the missives would vanquish some of the Boggarts that have been bothering him of late.

As word from earth began to reach heaven that Falwell was on his last legs, the carpenter enlisted the help of twelve of his lackeys to remove the Pensieves from the cupboards and stack them in the express freight elevator to hell, where they would be met by the body of Falwell and transported to his actual preordained resting place, Fiery Roasting Spit #666, nestled right between Hitler and Ken Lay, across the aisle from the one reserved for Osama bin Laden, which should have been occupied long ago, except that no one earth can seem to locate him.

The desk clerk, one St. Peter, had the unenviable task of informing Mr. Falwell upon his arrival at the Pearly Gates and the hearing of his petition for entry (which was so loud that most of the other officials in the administrative section of the front room ran for cover, leaving the unfortunate Mr. St. Peter to deal with Falwell alone), that he was, in fact, going to hell.

Falwell then got very red in the face, and thundered around the place, booming at the top of his voice, and very nearly raising Cain, so to speak. Finally, the carpenter had to be called, and Falwell began to quiet down. The carpenter put his arm around Jerry, and walked him back toward the light - this one a bright red beam, leading down at quite the steep angle - and said, “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry...what am I going to do with you?” And Jerry replied, “Accept me into your kingdom, Lord. I have waited for all of my life for this moment. I lie prostrate at your feet.”

And the carpenter leapt backward in revulsion and cried, “Jerry! Get up, you frog! Sully not my presence with your clumsy prostrations!” And behold, for the voice of the carpenter was greater and boomed more than even the voice of Falwell, powered by all of that hot, empty air. “ Lord,” Jerry said, tears welling in his eyes, at a loss for words for the first time in his - well, for the first time ever, anyway. “There is no one here for you to save with your brand of poisonous hate speech, Jerry.” And then he pointed at the red light. “Go to hell.”

And it would have been a sad sight, had it not been so funny - to watch Jerry Falwell, that subhuman gasbag, moping away from the white and looking up with teary, haunted eyes at the approach of the dark and dreary red (which seemed to be radiating a not inconsiderable amount of heat). The carpenter watched him go, and then turned back to St. Peter and snapped his fingers. “Double time, soldier!” He hooked a thumb over his shoulder at the departing Falwell. “His followers are marked now. That should cut down on the processing time, and the paperwork." St. Peter waited until the carpenter had turned his back, then rolled his eyes and bent to his desk, eyeing the line of souls awaiting admission or rejection. “The hell with marking them,” he muttered. “This would go a lot faster if you would just me do some miracles now and then.” And then he grabbed a blank form and looked up. “Next!” The first soul asked after Jerry, and St. Peter saw the mark on this new soul’s forehead. “No salvation for you!” he cried, and pointed toward the red.

(Disclaimer: I made all of that up, except the part about Jerry Falwell being an asshole who is going to burn in hell. That part is true.’s sort of true. He was an asshole. Now he’s dead. Also, if Jo Rowling ever wanders in here and takes umbrage at my use of certain words that she came up with, I'll gladly remove them.)

Now playing on iTunes:
"Living In Sin" by Bon Jovi

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bad Drivers - 49D502

I have thus far restrained myself from writing about the bad drivers out there on the streets and interstate systems of Indianapolis - barely have I done this, as these low-frequency quasi-human troglodytes are everywhere. But there is a line, and today one of our bad drivers is going to be treated to having his/her/its license plate number and vehicle description posted in the Blog-O-Rama, along with a description of what they did.

A person operating a "blue-ish green-ish" Toyota Avalon - described by a witness to the incident who just happens to be in my employ - on the third floor of the parking garage (Parisian wing) at the Fashion Mall on Saturday evening, May 12th, at around 6:00pm, backed said vehicle into the back end of my vehicle and then drove away.

I don't imagine I'll do anything about it, as the damage appears to be very minor (although I am not a collison specialist and cannot say for sure) and it would be way too much of a headache to try to track this human down and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. But since I care deeply about all of you lovely people who step into the Blog-O-Rama from time to time to read my nonsense, be warned! If you see said Avalon, license plate 49D502, beware!

Not the Avalon driver, of course. I hope that one of two things happens to that person. One - I read about him/her/it in the News Of The Weird section of NUVO one week. Two - He/She/It gets eaten slowly by a wild animal (and here I'm thinking alligator, lion, etc. - something zoological).

Friday, May 11, 2007

Spider-Man 3

Tobey Maguire’s got to get a new expression. He simply cannot be allowed to continue wading through movies looking like he just got done having sex for the first time. Remember what Ah-nold looked like in Twins? I used to like Tobey Maguire. Honest injun. Liked him in Pleasantville and The Cider House Rules and especially in Wonder Boys. I even liked him in the first two Spider-Man pictures. And then, in Spider-Man 3, he decided that he was going to get his groove on and dance ‘til he can’t, dance ‘til he can’t, dance ‘til he can’t dance no more. He busted a move, yo. And yes, I believe he jiggy wit' it. He also combed his hair down over his forehead, and if he had grabbed a guitar I would have been positive that he was going to try out for the White Stripes.

I don’t even know where to begin. There’s no real story to talk about - only partially-organized bits of Spider-Man lore from all over the character's history: the black costume lands on earth, Flint Marko becomes Sandman, Eddie Brock becomes Venom, they both decide they want to kill Spider-Man, Harry Osborn continues wanting to kill Spider-Man (then nearly gets killed by Spider-Man, loses his memory, gets it back, does a good impression of Bruce Wayne, to the point of being told an important plot point by his butler,, Bernard, decides Pete is okay, and helps save the day at the end by swooping down out of nowhere in the Milennium Falcon and blasting Vader’s Tie Fighter - oh, no that was in Star Wars - no, Harry saves Pete by pumpkin-bombing Sandzilla), Peter Parker spends so much time being Spider-Man that he alienates Mary Jane, and Eddie Brock dates a character who died long before he ever appeared in the comics.

So it goes.

In addition to the “homages” noted above in the parentheses about Harry Osborn, there is the effect of Sandman morphing back into Flint Marko - which was much better fifteen years ago when it happened to Robert Patrick - and the consternation Peter Parker feels when the black costume sharpens his latent feelings of aggression and anger. I could almost hear the costume whispering, “Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!”

That’s not to say that any of these things adds up to anything good. No amount of arithmetic or creative accounting could make this confused conglomeration of poo look or sound anything like a good movie. The guys who cooked the books at Enron couldn’t have saved this disaster.

Now, as regards the concept of “suspending disbelief,” let’s talk about jewelry for just a second. I’m already watching a movie about a guy who got bit by a radioactive spider and developed spider-powers and has to battle a guy who got turned into a man made of sand and another guy who turns into a psycho when he dons a symbiotic black alien costume. I suppose I can suspend my disbelief just a bit more and grant you that Spidey’s spider-sense might have let him track the Golden Snitch - er, Aunt May’s engagement ring, during that first fight scene; but must I really be asked to believe that Sandman never lost his grip on that damn locket?

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

And that’s pretty much all you can say about this movie.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Ethics Of Reciprocity

Some time ago, I mentioned in a quick take that I was going to write a letter to my representative in the Indiana legislature in which I would state my opposition, in suport of Indy PFLAG, to SJR-7, the insidious piece of proposed legislation that would seek to further isolate gays, lesbians, and transgendered Hoosiers by denying them domestic partner rights, in addition to making it constitutionally illegal for them to marry.

A day or two ago, I got a form letter in the mail, from Buell, thanking me for contacting him about my yadda yadda yadda. Paragraph two notes that the resolution passed overwhelmingly in 2005. Paragraph three says that it failed to pass in the most recent session, but that it could still be placed on the ballot for 2008 if it passed the next session. The paragraph ends with this sentence, quoted in its entirety: “Although I understand your opposition to this proposal, I believe that this issue should be decided by the people of Indiana, rather than giving activist judges a chance to legislate from the bench.”

Don’t you just love it when a conservative Republican passes the buck? Of course the people of Hillbillyana would vote to amend the state constitution in such a way that would make gay marriage illegal. On a short list of the many, many things wrong with this state, the state of mind of its uneducated electorate would be very near the top. It’s no wonder that smart, upwardly-mobile, creative, thoughtful people want to leave here and live elsewhere. Sometimes on other continents! And that’s not just liberal propaganda - I have recently learned that two such people with whom I am acquainted are making plans to leave North America for better opportunities on a different continent. Not because of this issue, I don’t think, but the picture this kind of thing paints about America is destroying the American dream for a lot of people.

I’m tired of hearing that shit about activist judges legislating from the bench, too. Judges interpret laws; they don’t write laws. If legislators write bad laws that break laws already on the books, it is the job of judges to step in and say, “Hey, knock it off, yutz!” It’s high time we stopped discriminating against gay people based on the antiquated “teachings” of an archaic and arbitrary tome that is day by day losing its relevance of specificity.

There are a lot of verses in the Bible. I haven’t counted how many there are exactly, but there are a lot. Only one, however, is relevant. It is Matthew 7:12, which says (in the New International Version), “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” It goes by the more common name of The Golden Rule, and it’s common sense. If you have to delude yourself into reading divine inspiration behind it, fine with me. Just don’t ask me to buy it. And how about that summing up of the laws and prophets? It's not quite the same as saying that that one theory reduces everything else in the Bible to a "set of guidelines," but I woudn't mind hearing Captain Jack Sparrow give a sermon one day. What fun!

I don’t know the Bible chapter and verse, so I had to go to Google to find the location of that chapter and verse - and I found something interesting along the way. There was a link listed as “Versions of the Golden Rule in 21 world religions,” and it led to, which listed passages from quite a lot of religious texts - under the heading of "also known as the Ethics of Reciprocity" - that all say basically the same thing as the Christian Bible on this subject. (Check out that link here.)

Oh, heck...I’ve left the point back there in the dust somewhere. Crap. Let’s see...form letter from Buell making it clear he wants this resolution...activist judge argument is dumb...common sense to treat others the way you would want them to treat you...oh! There it is.

SJR-7 has nothing to do with treating people equally and treating others the way you would want to be treated yourself. It has, instead, everything to do with one group of people - heterosexuals - trying to dominate the culture and suppress everyone who isn’t like them because they incorrectly interpret a largely irrelevant and archaic religious document and believe it is the divine word of some god they made up out of the ether. The proponents of this resolution hide behind an incorrect interpretation of Christianity - in much the same way that the people who flew planes into the World Trade Center hid behind an incorrect interpretation of Islam. Quick - what's the difference between Jerry Falwell and Osama bin Laden?

About a hundred pounds.

How far away is a time when the thinking starts to shift substantively in a more progressive direction? I think it’s a least a generation away. I probably won’t live long enough to see it. I wonder what little Jackson Scott Peddie is going to think about this kind of thing when he’s twenty-five; he’ll be born with Larry Buell as his representative in the state legislature, but hopefully he’ll turn out better than that.

Current song playing on iTunes:
"Interstate Long Song" by Stone Temple Pilots

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Brought To You By The Letter...

I know that the best days of my favorite band are behind them - that there will probably never be another great Rush album. For the record, I am of the opinion that the last great Rush album was Presto, from way back in 1989, although all of the albums since have been fine. They just haven't been great. Actually, I thought Counterparts was pretty great, too, but if you're really going to be honest, it doesn't hold a candle to Presto. And if you need some evidence, take Presto for a spin and pay particular attention to "Superconductor," one of the most musically complex songs you will ever hear in popular rock and roll. Rush has always been known for packing a lot of changes into their songs, but "Superconductor" is like a festival of key changes. "Available Light" really showcases Geddy Lee's vocal range, and "The Pass" is one of their most lyrically intense songs.

The new record is called Snakes & Arrows, and it's a good one, though not nearly as good as its predecessor, 2002's Vapor Trails. This new one starts out slowly - the first few songs have heavy lead guitar chord progressions and almost get you thinking that this will be another album in wihch Alex is hidden behind the formidable rhythm section - but if you survive the sometimes poor mixing (there are some sloppy changes in both "Far Cry" and "Armor And Sword" where the mix drops quite noticeably in tone quality) and make it to the first of three instrumental songs, "The Main Monkey Business," your patience will be rewarded.

The song after that first instrumenal is called "The Way The Wind Blows," and it is the first one that makes you sit up and pay attention to the lyrics (although the mix is crappy here, too, suppressing Geddy's vocals), and it starts out with some nice guitar licks that might make you think of a particular Pink Floyd song (I'll leave it open here to see if anyone else hears the same Floyd tune that I did - let me know). There’s a classic Lifeson guitar solo in the middle, too, and the lyrics are good - a song that tries to make sense of the way of the world, with the speaker resigning himself to going with the flow, even though it looks like the flow is going to sweep us all away.

And it only gets better from there. "Hope" is an Alex Lifeson solo that has a Southern kind of sound, and though it is very short, it is also very striking. "Faithless" is an acoustic-driven number in the vein of "Resist," from Test For Echo, and it might very well wind up taking that song's place in the tour set list. On the R30 tour, Geddy and Alex played "Resist" and "Heart Full Of Soul," from the cover EP Feedback, by themselves while Neil took a break after his drum solo. Hopefully I will get to find that out this summer - Rush plays Deer Creek on Sunday, August 26th, but I suspect Amy will want to stay home with little Jackson, so I'm not sure who I would go with.

“Malginant Narcissism” is an instrumental, too, one that echoes some of the musical things they did in “YYZ,” from Moving Pictures, way back in 1981 - including a couple of little bass licks that show Geddy getting melodic again, something that he used to do regularly but doesn’t much anymore in the songs. (Going back for a second listen, there are some melodic bass parts in the first track, “Far Cry,” which I did not pick up on the first time.)

Overall, the record is pretty good, although age is taking its toll on these three fine musicians. Age, however, has not taken its toll on their sense of humor. Continuing with a tradition that started around the time of Power Windows, their best album, they close the liner notes on this new album with the following:

Brought to you by the letter "sssss"