Friday, December 7, 2012

The Grace and Paul Pottscast, Conversation 5: December 6, 2012

A studio recording with Grace on the evening of Friday, December 6, 2012.

I haven't been able to record in a while as my voice has been short due to a sore throat, but it's mostly better, so here we are. This is a long one! Well over two hours. I guess we were making up for lost time.

Topics: We're back; A Storm of Swords (the TV show, season one); getting bogged down in book three of A Song of Ice and Fire; it's not going anywhere: Daenarys Targaryen may never actually conquer Westeros; Paul continues to beat the subject to its death in a positively Martinesque fashion; the Anti-Choice Hate Fest concept; my 2K: the effect of tax increases on the middle class; taxes as broken windows; your money must be destroyed; hoarded money and the failure to invest; waiting for a fire sale on assets and labor; oh yes, it can indeed all get worse; partisan numbskulls and personal attacks; straw-man arguments about taking all the billionaires' money; marginal tax rates and our total tax burden; this isn't the crisis you're looking for; actual solutions to fund our priorities; progressive responses to recession and depression as a series of compromises and capitulations; estates and dynasties; the majority is not conservative; watching Republican heads explode; a brief, shining Tea Party moment; finding common ground; widening the range of rational discourse; getting our talking points on; epistemic closure, ritual purification, and MSDNC (lean corporate!); the conservative circular firing squad; the Republican assault on unions in Michigan; punishing workers who work for their equitable share; "right to work" and freedom of association; union "thugs" and "goons"; there wasn't even a mosh pit; the Brooks Brothers riot and paid operatives; cutting off our noses to spite our faces; "make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible"; owning your job; employees as slaves; 70,000 rolls of toilet paper; Macs to be made in the United States; getting back to the future of manufacturing; the brave new world of low wages; old Bob Dole is sad; Rick Santorum's new gig; Boehner's purge; the creme de la creme DeMint; Stephen Colbert is ready; Mitch McConnell filibusters himself; the 300th drone strike in Pakistan; it got better.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Grace and Paul Pottscast, Conversation 4: November 10, 2012


A studio recording with Grace on the evening of Saturday, November 10, 2012.

Topics: new headphones; the Birch Run outlet mall and its surreal land use; lost in darkened parking lots the size of football fields; there's a point to this story somewhere; The Death of King Arthur, the Immortal Legend by Sir Thomas Malory and Peter Ackroyd; the cost of an outlet mall; Land of the Lost: sophisticated science fiction for the most discerning children in pajamas; post-nasal drip and the virtues of bourbon for sinus infections; toilet paper by the 48-pack; this conversation is really boring; our great local music store; our real topic for today -- whether to support or boycott local businesses because or despite the fact that they express their political and cultural opinions; pastries and purple flags; Robomney in effigy; rainbow stickers; abortion arguments; the Borders boycott; taking things personally; the Corporate Malfeasance chant; walking the picket line; I can't have that sign in my window; expressing who you really are; Paul can't stay focused for some reason (could it be the BOURBON, by chance?); boycotting chain stores in general; the Ace Hardware and IGA model; Chik-fil-a revisited; let's fire some peasants; nothing actually changed on election day; fire the guy driving the Volvo; the fiscal cliff; raising taxes; the election aftermath; winding down; eat the hell out of those pastries; living with people is uncomfortable; celebratory drone strikes; watching the election results in the company of our fellow citizens; the local drinking establishments; Mr. Rove demands a recount; what we expected; voter suppression; examining the results; gerrymandering; mild relief; underwhelming schadenfreude; a white-hot ball of rage.

Closing song: Leaving Ann Arbor by Common Lisp (Paul R. Potts) (warning: NSFW language).

MP3 File

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Grace and Paul Pottscast, Conversation 3: October 28, 2012

This episode is assembled from a chat in front of our fireplace on October 28th, and a walk through the neighborhood on October 25th.

Topics: the Michigan ballot; optical scan ballots; third parties; reviewing our Saginaw ballot; partisan and non-partisan; the proposals; the Michigan emergency manager law; the tragedy of Benton Harbor; how proposals are worded in confusing ways; the constitutional amendment to allow collective bargaining; how the emergency manager law started out as a Democratic law; the new renewable energy amendment proposal; proposals written as amendments; it works in Iowa; collective bargaining for  home-care workers; SEIU and the back-story; a proposal to place limits on taxes; legislators voting themselves raises; the weirdly specific bridge-to-Canada proposal; doing the regular state business by constitutional amendment as symptom of a broken political process; millages; segue into our outdoor walk; the state of our garden; land taxes as a mechanism for reversing urban decline; voter suppression; shucking and jiving; racist language; home-schooling; education; being an auto-didact; eulogy for Wendell Taylor Sr.; returning from the recording of our walk; racist political language redux; our endless toxic election season; phony centrism; conspiracy theories and the search for truth about the Benghazi attack; the theory that we were arming the Syrian resistance; Romney would do the same thing but louder and whiter; the cowardly left; both sides aren't psychotic, but both sides are delusional hypocrites; calling Obama a "house nigger"; a whole rich stew of meaning; Uncle Tom's White House; JFK got uppity; the man of the house; poking the hornet's nest; holding your President to his promises.

MP3 File

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Grace and Paul Pottscast, Conversation 2: October 20, 2012

Topics: our 11th wedding anniversary; remembering wombat Chelsea Clinton; the damp gets into our old bones; the joys of fireplaces; food stamps as corporate giveaway, revisited; entitlement programs as wealth transfers to corporations, not to people; everyone has skin in the game; you can't tax that dollar again; Fort Knox; money is loaned into existence; money as life-blood; stagnant pools of money; the Founders on aristocracy; these aren't the job creators you're looking for; stimulus-funded construction projects; Solyndra; the jobs bill; why stimulus can't get people out of poverty; what an asset stimulus might look like; adding one employee to a thousand businesses, as opposed to a thousand employees to one business; diversifying and specializing; apprenticeships and internships; skills that pay; NAFTA as the root of our immigration problem; exporting poverty and wealth transfer; invisible workers; what you have that Australia doesn't already have; you can't eat the asset; Strong Towns book giveaway (send us your mailing address for a free copy).

Closing music: Paul improvises on the mighty Yamaha DX-7, accompanied by his iPod.

MP3 File

Podcast Feed

More information about how money is loaned into existence; The New New Deal book; The New York Review of Books article (you must be a subscriber to read the whole thing); the jobs bill (full text PDF): American Jobs Act - The White HouseWhite House summary; GOP.gov summary; DailyKOS summaryForbes summary.

We reference some subjects that I have covered in previous General Purpose Podcasts: Philip Blond; a previous rant recorded after the S&P Debt Downgrade; a panel discussion on Reagan's Eighth Term; the Building the Ark program.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Introducing the Grace and Paul Pottscast

A New Feed

I am setting up an additional feed to contain a series of long-form, uncensored, unedited conversations with my wife Rebekah Grace Potts, recorded in my home studio.

I'm splitting this off because it doesn't feel like it should be a part of the more free-form General Purpose Podcast feed. I chose the "general purpose" name because I really wanted to be free to include a wide variety of sound files including monologues, dialogues, conversations, ambient recordings, bits and pieces of music, and sound collages that express things I'm not able to put into words or music.

That back-catalog of content includes some conversations with Grace, but the mix of content mostly reflects my interests and personality. The intent with this new feed is to highlight specifically new conversations with Grace, featuring her interests, areas where our interests overlap, and perhaps guests, either recorded live in the studio or via Skype.

New Podcast Feed (note: use this link for iTunes or other pod-catcher software; this is not the link to the MP3 file).

Conversation 1: October 6, 2012

Part one: It's true, Paul raps; man-cave studio upgrades; Bloodthirsty Vegetarians; the 2012 presidential election; Jill Stein; Joe Shriner; playing electoral Stratego; the lesser of two weevils; life under Romney; Obamacare; the terrors of for-profit health care; death panels, triage, and end-of-life care.

Break 1: Paul plays the guitar part for Jonathan Coulton's song "I Crush Everything."

Part two: end-of-life decision making, continued; they will abuse your corpse for money; the single-preyer system; food stamps as corporate giveaway; seeds for victory; food deserts; the poor as bogeyman; the southern strategy; you have to pay your darkies now; using race to manipulate politics; the house nigger can't get uppity; Obama's debate performance; disqualified for black rage; fried chicken in Camp Delta; Clinton, the first black president; my parents were married at one time; gratitude; everything sucks; Grace makes jokes.

Break 2: Paul plays the guitar part for Jonathan Coulton's song "Nemeses."

Part three: PBS as a conservative community value; Sesame Street as radical culture; Elmo in loco parentis; Ren and Stimpy is not for your four-year-old; if you have ads, then you have to please your advertisers; giving your kids up to the Red Chinese; Big Bird's drumsticks pack a lot of meat; sorry kids, your parents should have made more money; when the Mormon church became mainstream; Christians get a say in what makes a Christian; Mitt Romney is proud of his faith; the creeds; I am not a nuclear physicist, despite my degree in English; baptizing our dead slaves; Rosa sat so Martin could walk so Obama could run; never forgetting and never remembering; desegregation and fixing racism; separate but equal at least means equal; the Maafa; dismembering families for fun and profit; there will be a test; bye!

MP3 File

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

GPP 099 - A Conversation with Rich Wielgosz

Rich is an audio engineer living in New York state. We rambled about music, mastering, pear cider, curling, being somewhere "on the spectrum," Rich's old podcast, and other topics.

Fair warning - this is a long chat. Even edited down a bit, it still rambles for about an hour and 40 minutes. If you have a strong opinion as to whether I should break up this sort of long conversation into parts, or leave them as-is, I'd be happy to hear it; I don't have a good sense for that. To me, when I listen to podcasts, it doesn't matter that much; I generally listen as background to some other work, and I can always pause it and pick it up later, and iTunes remembers where I left off.

The audio from Rich's side is not great. I used some processing to smooth it out a bit but, but he was talking into (I think) his laptop's built-in microphone. If we have conversations in the future, which seems likely, he'll make a much better recording of his side. Also, I'm not quite sure why it sounds like I was shouting the whole time. I think it has something to do with a change to Skype, where it will no longer play the local audio (from my microphone) through my headphones while I'm on a call. I don't know why that changed but it is really annoying and Skype technical support was no help at all.

MP3 File

Update: fixed the spelling of his name (head, meet desk).