I produced a song by David Bowie called “Heroes.” They use it for every heroic event, although it’s a song about alcoholics. We did it on 24 tracks in Hansa Studios in Berlin. With all of the backing vocals and instruments on it, we only had one track left for the vocal.
...Hansa was a studio where you could record symphony orchestras; you can have about 150 pieces in this room, and here was David Bowie standing in this enormous auditorium. Every time he sang – he could sing very loud – his voice was echoing off the walls and the ceiling and everything. I said, “Could you give me half an hour? I want to set up two microphones.” So I set up a Neumann U-47 in front of him and then about 15 or 20 feet away I set up something like a 67, then way down the hall I set up another condenser microphone.
I only had the one track left, so I couldn’t record these microphones on separate tracks. What I did is put a gate on microphone two and another gate on microphone three, so when he sang like this [deep voice] those microphones wouldn’t open up, you wouldn’t hear the ambience in the room. When he sang like this [loud voice], the middle microphone would open up and when he went [screams] – that’s called Bowie histrionics – all three microphones would open up...
One of the few advantages of being the sole proprietor of a wholly independent, unbought and unbossed political/media/dating-tips blog every day for the last 12 years is that, almost by accident, I have built what amounts to my own little time machine.
As today's Professional Pundits all peer myopically through the same wretchedly warped Beltway glass and cast about for some comprehensive explanation for 11/09/16 that does not involve the words "race" and "moron", I am free to hop into my very own, homemade LibTardis and zoom back to whatever point in recent history that might interest me.
For example (cue the flashback/dissolve music) way back in 2008 (before the beginning of recorded history) many of today's Professional Pundits were having the same devil's own time trying to explain -- without using the words words "race" and "moron"-- why the campaign of Senator Barack Obama seemed to be stalling out during a political season when the conditions could not have been more favorable for a Democratic win.
From The Guardian in August of 2008:
US elections: Why has Obama stalled? No one mentions race...There is little doubt that race is going to play a starring role in this election after the convention season. 'It has not been too much of an issue so far. Or, at least not talked about. But that is not going to last,' said Bowler. It is already getting a lot of play on conservative talk shows and in books. Rush Limbaugh, the 'shock jock' who is hugely popular with white conservatives, has stepped up race-baiting on his broadcasts. He recently claimed Democrats chose Obama as a sort of 'affirmative action' programme. 'I think it really goes back to the fact that nobody had the guts to stand up and say no to a black guy,' he told his millions of listeners. Warming to his theme a few days later, he said: 'You can't criticise the little black man-child.'
Slightly more subtly has come a series of anti-Obama books. The most strident, and most popular, has been The Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, who helped mastermind the Swift Boat campaign that derailed Kerry in 2004. Corsi described Obama as having Islamic links and a Muslim past. He wants him to be seen as a scary 'Other', just like some black leaders have always been portrayed. Even the title of the book has that effect: said quickly 'Obama Nation' rapidly becomes 'abomination'. That is not likely to be an accident. ...
Here on this side of the pond, and few journalists had the never to go on the teevee machine (granted it was on PBS) and talk about this openly (my rush transcript from August, 2008):
Michele Norris appearing on the Charlie Rose Show over the past two nights:"One thing we've only touched on lightly here is the issue of race, and the polling has shown that many of these voters when they say "he's not patriotic enough", "we just don’t know who he is", "we don’t know what he really stands for", if you dig down a little deeper there are suggestions that some of these issues are proxies for this issue of race."Connie Schultz of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, also appearing on the Charlie Rose Show over the past two nights:“It hurts me to say, as the child of working class people, what these people were saying. When I get email from these people, there ain't a lot of nuance.”AndConnie Schultz: I think Michele makes a very important point about race ... I've been writing about this because I come from the working class, and I am very troubled by some of the things I'm hearing from the working class. About race. And I said, you gotta go home and have the tough conversations with family members.Rose: What do they say?Schultz: (They say) "I will not vote for..."Rose (because he is congenitally unable to stop interrupting people trying to finish their sentences): "...an African American?!?"Schultz: Right. If they say it well. If they say it kindly. I think it's code when they say "Well we really don't know if he's a Muslim" and "we don't know if he's patriotic". That’s all code for race. And for us to pretend that isn't happening is irresponsible for us in the media.
Because an overwhelming majority of today's Professional Pundits have come to a consensus decision to never, ever mention the radioactive clusterfuck that was the Bush Administration ever again (see "Forgettery, Strategic"), as they flail round trying to create an historical context for 11/09/16, they consistently fail to factor in all of the other giant, flaming turds that were sluicing down the River called America (That's right, New York Times, I can Friedman-butcher a metaphor with the best of them) back in aught-eight. But as your humble, Middle American blogged noted way back then in "The Negrological Constant":
Because 100 years from now, the Tale of Election 2008 will be the story of several million ignorant, white, working-class voters – both Democrats and Independents (the Republicans are a lost cause who will remain an unashamedly morally bankrupt open-sewer for at least another 30 years) and which way they turned.Period.Right now there is so much pressure on these voters -- so much torque to their sense of identity being wrenched onto by them by the economic and cultural disasters wrought by the liars and sociopaths they keep electing -- that they are almost in tears, moaning and clawing at their skulls, trying to figure out how to simultaneously:A) Keep from drowning in a rising tide of ruin and failure of their own making, andB) Stay faithful to the deep, ugly foundation stones of bigotry they dutifully learned at their father’s and grandfather’s knees and which, up until now, they have been spared the pain of facing by the use of pretty, perfumed code.They are becoming unhinged trying to reconcile this massive, existential dissonance at the core of their lives, except this time applying the Negrological Constant to magically explain away their fundamentally defective model of the Universe will not work.This time there they cannot escape the choice they have to make. And this time we on the Left will remind them -- loudly, rudely, and from every street corner, blog, and microphone -- exactly what those choices are: to adapt and change and live in a Progressive and tolerant nation, or stay just as they are and die in a Conservative and bigoted one.And right now it is 6-to-5 and pick ‘em which is stronger: the people, or the American Racism Virus that hag-rides them.
And we know what happened next.
Barack Obama won. and the unbearable, existential dissonance at the core of their lives slowly eased as Democrats hauled the economy back from the brink of the abyss, and President Obama saved the American auto mobile industry and millions of middle-class jobs over the objections of the Sarah Palin Party.
Barack Obama won because the McCain campaign was willing to fight that election within the confines of the first "gate" -- the economy -- and never push past it to the second gate -- "racism".
But while Barack Obama was busy prying their ignorant asses out of their own bear-trap, innovators on the Right were busy making a shit-ton of money and political clout by selling these same people on the idea that for No!Money!Down! they could belly up to a magical Bush Off Machine which would burn off their unsightly "Bush/Cheney 04" tats and replace them with something more fashionably racist and less Taking-Personal-Responsibility-ish.
And just like *that*, the whole Bush Administration simply disappeared in a cloud of teabags and "Blood of Tyrant" chants as mobs of newly-minted "Independents" roared into the streets. Mobs that were fully funded by Koch Industry front groups and breathlessly covered wall-to-wall by Fox News. Mobs which we told had somehow just precipitated out of thin air, fully-formed and vitally interested in "Taking their country back!" over a handful of issues about which they had never given a single tiny shit before the black guy took the oath of office.
And the threshold of acceptable public racism was lowered. And Breitbart News begins to take its place among the first-tier of Wingnut propaganda outlets.
So, because 42 million Americans who had voted in 2008 decided to sit out 2010, the Republican Party was able to vote in a passel of lunatics and frauds who set to work immediately obstructing and sabotaging everything President Obama tried to do. And they might have taken back the White House from the scary black guy had the GOP not nominated a plutocrat robot who had made his fortune sacking middle-class Americans and had boldly opposed saving the America automobile industry from liquidation because Capitalism! But like McCain, Mitt R. Money mostly stayed within range of the first "gate". So while it was much closer this time, Barack Obama retained the presidency.
However, the Republicans had also learned that they could score Good Boy Points with the Pig People by smashing government to pieces and them standing on the rubble and braying about the horrors of government dysfunction! And so, in 2014, nearly 49 million Americans who had voted in 2012 decide to sit that one out.
More lunatics. More destroyers. The profile of Breitbart News continues to rise, and the threshold of acceptable public racism continues to fall until, at last, someone comes along who dared to breeze right through that first "gate" -- economic anxiety -- and kick open the second -- "racism".
Trump Was Bold Enough to Be a Public Racist. It Worked.
And today he stepped into the Oval Office to meet the outgoing president....The quick retort to people (like me) who argue that nativist racism played a decisive role in the election generally point to counties that voted for Obama in 2008 (and, occasionally, in 2012, too) but flipped to Trump in 2016. This, they say, is proof that the vague sense of having been "written off" in those places was a more powerful motivator there than race. But I tend to agree with Jamelle Bouie, who wrote that a big part of the reason these places went for Obama was that neither John McCain nor Mitt Romney were racially inflammatory enough. That, in this painful area, they didn't "tell it like it is." Trump did. Via Slate:There's an easy rejoinder here: How can this be about race when Trump won some Obama voters? There's an equally easy answer: John McCain indulged racial fears, and Mitt Romney played on racial resentment, but they refused to go further. To borrow from George Wallace, they refused to cry "nigger." This is important. By rejecting the politics of explicit racism and white backlash, they moved the political battleground to nominally colorblind concerns. Race was still a part of these clashes—it's unavoidable—but neither liberals nor conservatives would litigate the idea of a pluralistic, multiracial democracy. Looking back, I thought this meant we had a consensus. It appears, instead, that we had a detente. And Trump shattered it.Those people who felt "forgotten" and "left behind"? Where do they stand on right-to-work laws? Where do they stand on voter suppression laws, which go out of their way to prevent a solid voting bloc of white and black working-class voters? Where do they really stand on trade, with Bernie Sanders or with the Wal-Mart to which they go every weekend?...
The deepest irony here is that, by 2016, the changes the Kenyan Usurper put in place despite unified Republican opposition had eased the unbearable economic torque to their sense of identity just enough that they felt they could finally get back to the important business of openly hating the shit out of Liberals and everything they believe we stand for.
Ergo, Trump: A giant, primal "Fuuuuck You!" from a mob of economically scalded bigots and imbeciles bellowed at a political party that dared to put a black man in a position of political dominance over them for eight, bitter years, and then dared to try to replace him with a mouthy, know-it-all bitch-in-pants they had already spent 20 years learning to hate with an unquenchable, unhinged fury.