The Quotable Week

Sep 25, 2012 by


The Quotable Week

Notable quotes I have read, overheard or witnessed myself……


“For the Avetts, The Carpenter is another reach for a Big Theme, much as 2009’s I and Love and You was about you and us and love. Also like its predecessor, The Carpenter is produced by Rick Rubin and heavy on slick, sunset-serenading country-rock ballads that position the Avetts as this generation’s Eagles, or at least its Poco.” – Steve Hyden from his Grantland piece titled, They Wanna Be Bob Dylan

The Avett Brothers is one of the few bands I can honestly say I began following from the onset. (Or damn well close to it) I recall walking to downtown Winston-Salem not too long ago to catch the brothers and bassist Bob Crawford perform on Trade Street in front of less than one hundred people.  However, the highly charged crowd danced, sang along and hollered in delight; making the intimate setting feel larger that it was.  Watching the Avett’s that night I witnessed an energetic passion that felt genuine.  The hour or so set was filled with well crafted tunes and rich with poignant lyrics.  I became a fan that evening.

I don’t want to sound like a hardcore Modest Mouse fan, but the last two releases from the Avetts seem geared for a mass audience acceptance, which in turn came off as somewhat of a disappointment for me.  The production of the last two releases was too clean and missing the imperfections I always found endearing.  Rick Rubin dressed them up in designer suits and made sure their hair was neatly combed.  That strategy disposed the looseness found throughout their past albums.

A Grammy performance with Dylan, increased radio play and write ups in major music publications paved the way for gains in record sales.  Are the Avett’s compromising their sound to reach these heights?

In the quote from Steve Hyden he compared the Avett’s to this generation’s Eagles.  His intent was to be negative, and it worked.  I never cared for the Eagles and now one of my favorite bands of the last ten years has been dubbed their successor, or something to that extent.  I stopped reading because I was a little bummed, mostly because I think he might be on to something.

The last two albums are not without their moments.  The Avett’s strong songwriting and suave harmonies are still prevalent.  The issue at hand is that The Carpenter and, to a lesser extent, the previous I and Love and You, have long stretches of dullness.   I recall when this band would release a full length album or EP you would be hard pressed to locate a clunker.  The pacing of The Carpenter never teeters; it remains a steady stream of numbers that come off deadening to the listener.   Now I am skipping tracks throughout the last two albums; I don’t particularly enjoy this trend.

When the Avett’s left Ramseur Records for major label American Recordings, the move conjured up emotions similar to a parent dropping their child off to college to begin their freshman year.  The parent feels a sense of sadness knowing changes to adulthood are imminent.  These changes aren’t particularly negative, pride is also in the mix.  It’s more about letting go and knowing their child will come back a changed person.  For many parents approaching this eventual moment, they long for time to stand still.  I once wished for the clock to hold steady for the Avett’s after the releases of Emotionalism and the Second Gleam.  Those thoughts fade and you move on with your life.




 “No wonder Charlie Manson killed all those people.” – My wife, after being startled at the strange sounds coming from our kitchen.




I had the White Album playing during dinner.  Distracted by the kids’ bath time and shuffling them to bed, I forgot to shut off the kitchen radio.  Caroline had to prep a bottle for a late night feeding for our infant son.  Revolution 9 was playing when she entered the dark kitchen.

“Text his Mom.” – My four old daughter, after I explained I do not have access to Paul McCartney’s phone number.  She insisted I call him to see if he would entertain the idea of a play date with her.


“What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.” –Jon Stewart, to Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala on Crossfire

Since the major news networks such as MSNBC, FOX and CNN mostly check the principles of journalism1 at the door, it’s up to the Onion, Stewart, Colbert and other political satire outlets across the globe to highlight the lunacy and lies – all for the sake of comedy.

It’s really no surprise to anyone that most of our media is dumb downed propaganda laced with bullshit.   What honesty is there left to consume these days?  We are all on our own to search it out.

Please spare me your overly sensitive jargon that the Daily Show and like programs are just more of the liberal media bias ruining this country.  When hasn’t there been a slant in journalism?  I say worry about the finite things you can control and take a pass on the whiney lectures.  There will always be a palate for satire on topical events from the left.  Face it, liberals possess the comedic chops that conservatives lack, this has always been the case.  I guess conservatives can still look to Dennis Miller (who stopped being funny when he got political).  Plus Fox News is some of the best unintentional comedy out there today.

I would like to state that there are extremely talented journalists out there fighting the good fight to bring about the hard truths of our world.  They report with integrity and are relentless in the pursuit of honesty – all doing this at times in unfavorable environments.  It’s really a shame that Americans are too bothered to read or listen to their offerings.


 “And if you think it’s so easy to quote him {Henry Timrod} and it can help your work, do it yourself and see how far you can get. Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff. It’s an old thing – it’s part of the tradition.” –Bob Dylan in the September issue of Rolling Stone.

“As long as people don’t tell me what to do, there will be no problem.” – Neil Young in a recent New York Times interview by David Carr.

Two musical icons, ages 71 and 66 respectively, clearly stating what they want and what they think.  Compromise they sway from; puppets they are not.  It’s refreshing to say the least.


I could listen to Walter and Jessie go at it all day!  Here is a fun little exchange between the two from season one of Breaking Bad.

Walter: “Did you learn nothing from my chemistry class?”

Jessie: “No. You flunked me, remember? You prick! Now let me tell you something else. This ain’t chemistry – this is art. Cooking is art. And the shit I cook is the bomb, so don’t be telling me.”

Walter: “The shit you cook is shit. I saw your set-up. Ridiculous. You and I will not make garbage. We will produce a chemically pure and stable product that performs as advertised.  No adulterants. No baby formula. No chili powder.”

Jessie: “No, no, chili P is my signature!”

Walter: “Not anymore.”

Am I different than then the meth addicts portrayed on the show?  Let me explain before I get a call from my mother.  Outside of the obvious characteristics we differ on, such as an orderly and clean house, healthy set of teeth and a lack of facial sores.   The program Breaking Bad is my crystal and I abuse it like only a meth addict could. 

It might not be the healthiest of measures to watch Breaking Bad seasons 1 through 4 in less than a month.  The program’s darkness tends to creep into your psyche and lingers till you view the next episode.  I highly recommend not taking my approach if you plan to begin watching this excellent show.  You know, respect the drug.

By the way, the final three episodes of season four are some of the most entertaining television I have ever watched.    The underrated, and ridiculously talented, Bryan Cranston portrays the complexity of his character, Walter White, amazingly well.  This YouTube video is a perfect example of his work. It was this scene though that stood out for me and hooked me more even though I was already hooked.  The video is three minutes of a wide array of emotions – Beginning with fear, paranoia and anxiety and concluding with a nice touch of frenzied manic behavior.  Enjoy!





“I have friends who are gay,”2 he said. “The person who decorates my house is gay. The person who cuts my hair is gay. I have various friends who are gay. Honestly they haven’t felt as offended about this. There’s just a different understanding in the Latin community of this word.” – Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar has been suspended three games without pay for displaying a gay slur on his eye-black during a recent game.

No one will ever convince me that baseball players are intelligent.

 “I wanted everybody to love me.” –  Dwight Howard explains the Orlando Magic contract fiasco to Ric Bucher during an interview for ESPN.

Nor that Dwight Howard is not a 15 year old boy.


“These crazy fuckers are following us.” – Alan Wright upon learning the organization Space Colony Earth3 followed Old67 on Twitter this week.


1. Here is a list of the 9 Principles of Journalism outlined from a research project administered by PEJ, the Committee of Concerned Journalists:

1. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth
2. Its first loyalty is to citizens
3. Its essence is a discipline of verification
4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover
5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power
6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise
7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant
8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional
9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience

I can understand the worrisome nature of the squad aptly named the Committee of Concerned Journalists.  (Especially regarding their concern about that first principle and all….)
2. Based on the logic explained by Yunel Escoabar at his apology-ridden press conference, I boast credentials allowing me to throw out a few occasional homophobic slurs myself.  Last week alone, I had dinner with gay friends and family members.  Two J. Crew employees, their sexuality never in questioned, fitted me for a suit – which by the way will be worn to a lesbian wedding ceremony.  Lastly, I watched the show the New Normal with my wife, and listened to a song by Queen with my daughter.  Someone hand me eye-black, stat!

3. Check out their website!

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  1. Yourn

    Season 1 Episode 1 of Breaking Bad is absolutely one of the best opening shows ever to come across the tube.
    ~reporting from Starship Ark

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