The Jimmy Chunga Fallacy

Ahh, the grandness of being an on-air celebrity. They can say a lot of things! And apparently, they feel they can say it without impunity.

Not today, Chunga. Not today.

You see, Jimmy Chunga’s take on this whole Trayvon Martin case is that “There isn’t any evidence” pointing either way, so he feels that Mr. Zimmerman should be left alone–have the media spotlight taken off of him. After all, this is AMERICA! LAND OF THE FREE! Innocent until proven guilty, right?! Leave him be in peace! You have no evidence against him, so leave him alone.

Please. Are you serious? No one buys that schlock anymore.

Come on …

Thus was Chunga’s stand: there’s no evidence against Zimmerman, so he’s innocent. Ignore the fact that the girl with whom Trayvon was chatting over the phone said the he told her that he was being followed. Ignore the fact that the surveillance cameras show NO blood on Zimmerman ANYwhere after shooting Trayvon (Zimmerman claimed that he was punched in the noes and hit on the back of the head).

Chunga made it perfectly clear how uninformed he actually is about the case to his audience before he opened up the phone lines for the wildly popular, “What’s happening hot stuff?” segment. I had an opinion and wanted to weigh in. After a few attempts to get through that were met with busy signals, indeed–I got through.

I presented my argument. This country does *not* assume innocent until proven guilty: quite the opposite. If such were the case, there would be no need for bail, or bail bondsmen, or the like. The point of bail is to pay into a system that has already fingered you as a guilty party, but if you pay us X amount of dollars, we’ll assume you’re innocent. Really? THAT’S considered “innocent until proven guilty? What a facade. And what about those who don’t make bail, or aren’t offered bail? Where’s the innocent until proven guilty there? Again, I reference Josh Powell. No one assumes he’s innocent, despite the fact that there’s literally no hard evidence–only circumstantial.

I presented my argument. He cut me off and said that “No–it’s better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man sit in jail,” and so on and so forth. “This country was founded on the principle of innocence until proven guilty! We need to get back to that!” I countered with there is no such thing as innocent until proven guilty and I used a very first-hand experience to get to my point. Obviously, I didn’t give minute details, but in a broad sense, I explained that my wife and I were no longer allowed to do certain things for the state because of a case that was brought against me. That civil case never even got to go to trial because we were strong-armed into dropping our civil suit against the state … BY THE STATE. In other words, the state threatened to press criminal charges and drag us through a criminal trial, even though they knew good and well that they didn’t have enough evidence to every actually win … but they also knew that strong-arming me into dropping the civil suit by using the threat of criminal charges should be enough to get us to drop our case. And ya know what? It worked. Know why? Because I do not trust the justice system. I have family that works in law. I was strongly advised to take the deal and let this whole issue go because trials by jury can and do go wrong–very, very wrong. That is coming from within the legal system, people–not some radio DJ with a semi-popular morning show. “Drop the case. You do not want this to go to trial. Juries get it wrong. A lot. If they’re offering to drop any possible criminal charges by you dropping the civil suit, take it.”

So now we go back to the call-in show. Mr. Chunga went on to call my argument “dumb,” and then hung up on me. It gets better. He told his audience after he hung up on me that I was just “grand standing because [I’m] pissed off about my case,” leaving me no chance to refute or explain anything.

Here’s what I think:

1. Jimmy Chunga does not believe, nor does he practice, what he spouts. If he did, he would not have said that I was just “grandstanding.” Presenting an opposing idea based upon personal experience is not “grandstanding”–it’s stating fact. Cold, hard, undisputable fact. Not facts that *Chunga* had, but facts nonetheless. Yet this man, on air, decided within our 30-second call that my idea is “dumb” and that I was grandstanding because I was pissed off. Sounds an awful lot like judging without facts, to me. Jumping to conclusions that aren’t accurate, based on the fact that he has no facts … which is exactly what he’s preaching against.

2. EVERYone wants to point to Josh Powell as having murdered his wife, Susan, despite any hard, cold evidence to support the claim, yet EVERYONE assumes that he did it. The man even killed his own kids and himself to keep his in-laws from having custody of the two boys. But he wasn’t tried in an actual court of law, so he must be innocent, right?! Right …?

3. Chunga couldn’t be bothered to discuss or debate without using name-calling as part of his argument. “Your idea is dumb.” Wow. It doesn’t get any more childish or immature than that. Not to mention he presented no facts for showing how great this American court and justice system is. All he could do is sling mud. Here’s an idea, Chunga: run for office. That’s what the best politicians do, right? Call names and make personal attacks? Go for it! New Mayor of Salt Lake City!! JIMMY CHUNGA!!

What’s really sad is that I really like his show. I like the fact that he has a more conservative slant than do other stations, say, in the 96-97 wavelength. On principle, he and I see more eye to eye than we don’t. But this … calling someone’s idea’s dumb and assuming that someone is just grandstanding for the sake of piss-offed-ness without knowing a single thing about the person … while claiming that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and that we must not judge?! They hypocricy is just too great to ignore. Sorry, Chunga, but you lost a listener today. Not that you care.

CD Review: Paisley Rose – Milk and Honey

First off, all apologies to Jennifer and Anthony for the ridiculous delay for writing this. Jenn told me that it was available for download over on CDBaby a couple of weeks ago. It’s been playing non-stop since then. (With a few interludious [yes–“interludious”] distractions by Muse. Some addictions simply cannot be shaken. That bass line in “Hysteria” … I mean … COME ON!)

But here it is. To be fair, I didn’t want to just dive in and write my first response to the new music. I wanted to take it all in for as long as possible before putting finger pads to keyboard. In essence, I wanted to get it right.

Just like Jenn and Anthony have.

Now … to be fair, I came at this with a slant towards their previous songs, “Exist,” “Murder of Crows,” and “I Was a Child of God.” All of those songs were as organic as it gets. Deeply layered instrumentation, the vast majority of which is completely acoustic and … and ….. I mean … sick with emotion, pathos, and amazement. Rarely do you hear such harmonies. Mamas and the Papas, Alice in Chains … I mean, we’re talking *that* level of insane harmonies.

Now, having said all that, I immediately went to CDBaby’s, downloaded the new CD, fidgetdly waited for it to finish, popped it into iTunes and onto my phone. Grabbed my headphones, turned off the lights, and settled in.

First sound: Champagne cork popping, and bubbly being poured. I can only assume this is in recognition of them FINALLY being able to release their life’s ambition. Laughter, yet … there’s some distinct foreshadowing to the echo in the sound.

Then “Incognito kicks in … and I’m left flabbergasted. I wasn’t ready. I expected more along the lines of “Exist” and Crows. Instead, I get a thunderous drum, trumpet, and completely plugged in guitar?! What?!

A completely different direction. Talk about a curve ball. Which, using my least favorite sports metaphor, they hit out of the park, over the Green Monster, and whetted my appetite for the rest of the CD.

Far and away, one of my favorite tracks on the new CD is the next track, “Head in the Clouds.” I love this song for so many reasons. The dueling guitars. The subtle synth. The lyrics. The harmonics. The dynamics. This is the first time I’ve heard Jenn simply BELT IT. And holy sweet Halloween candy bag full of Skors … can she let it out. I’ve had my suspicions–that there’s a lot more force to her voice than she had previously let on. I was so much more than just right. It’s like when you’re watching some incredibly plot-twisty movie, and you kind of see hints of what’s coming, and then you get the big reveal, and it’s exactly what you thought, and you have that “YES! I NAILED IT!” That’s how that track hit me.

“Venus over Mars” is another guitar-driven track thatย  has to be heard to be believed. Words simply cannot describe it adequately. So … please–just get the CD.

But that’s not the end of the review. Oh … not hardly. ๐Ÿ™‚

See, after “VoM,” there is a complete shift. “Space Hibernation” is a completely piano/strings/drums piece that will completely mellow you out to the point where you very well may forget to actually breathe. It’s that relaxing.

“Visuva” is a great choral piece that reminds me of an old, abandoned Catholic church, in which all the benches are rotting, the stained glass windows missing half their panes, but through those broken panes shines beams of sunlight that highlight the choir standing at the front, where once stood the pulpit and communion table. I don’t know. It just has a really incredible vibe to it. If this were a video, that’s how I’d shoot it. Dramatic shots of the instruments being played, close-ups of the choir members, shots from the back of the church, showing the age and demise of the building, yet echoing through the once hallowed halls resounds these angelic voices. I love this piece.

For the rest of the album, they return to an acoustic sound, returning to their roots. “Rowboat” is an awesome a capella track that makes you want to get up and travel to just about ANYwhere. “Dancing in the Rain” … if I’m not missing my mark, this could almost be called, “Jenn’s Anthem.” ๐Ÿ™‚ “Island Song” sounds like a non-reggae track that has a really awesome island vibe to it.

This is their first CD. It already leaves me thirsting for more. Not because it lacks anything–quite the contrary, it is an amazing first full-length offering. No … it leaves me wanting more because I *know* there’s more kicking around in the back of their collective mind. They have more in them, and now that we’ve this incredible music to gnaw on and ponder, I’m already anxious for them to put out MORE music. Selfish of me, I know … but I’m a music junkie. I need more.

EDIT: Just read Jenn’s Facebook page. Apparently, “Head in the Clouds” is her favorite track too. That makes me smile from ear to ear.

New Music Alert: Rush’s Clockwork Angels Due May 22!!

To say that I’ve been looking forward to this CD for years is really kind of pointless. Anyone who is familiar with Rush has had their hopes up for this release since about June 2010. The “teasers,” as it were–“Caravan” and “BU2B” (short-hand for “Brought Up To Believe) were released, and the world felt right. It felt whole. It felt lighter.

Then the wait began. Little did we know that it would be almost 2 years until the new CD would come out.

But we have an official release date! May 22, Clockwork Angels will be released world-wide. That means at midnight, I will be on iTunes, waiting for the CD to “hit.” That also means that I will be going on Amazon later today as soon as they have a pre-order page for Clockwork Angels!!!

I have been following them since I first heard Presto back in 1989. Not gonna lie … it wasn’t my favorite CD at the time. I was in to Metallica, Van Halen, and other bands over them. I wish I could go back in time and tell that kid to appreciate them for what they were then and are now–talent beyond comparability. I even remember Rick Burton lauding the praises of Hold Your Fire and talking of how Neils completely electronic drum set was “revolutionary.” I remember where I was sitting on the bus, where Rick was sitting, and even what he was wearing (which isn’t hard … he *always* wore a gray hoodie over whatever other t-shirt he may or may not have been wearing).

Rush got me through my college years. Rush has been a part of my marriage. Up until 2010, I was severely afraid that I’d never get to attend a Rush concert with my wife. She came on board the Rush train with Vapor Trails, quickly latching on to “Earthshine” as her favorite track.

I think of the sheer joy their music brings me. I think of the incredible quality of their music. The camaradarie the 3 of them share as band mates for almost 40 years. I think of the chance I have to share their music with my kids … and it leaves me breathless, misty-eyed.

I can wait 2+ more months. I may not like waiting, but I have 18 other studio CDs, 9 official concert CDs, and countless bootlegs to keep me company.



iPad 3 Eve: What I Hope To Hear and See

First off, let me caveat this by saying that I do not own and iPad of any generation. Yet. I plan on fixing that over the summer. However, for the interim, I’m perfectly content with my iPhone.

Tomorrow, Tim Cook et al will take the stage in Cupertino and announce the next generation of iPad, supposedly called iPad 3, or possibly iPad HD. Or, as I’m hoping, iPadS. The strong rumor is that an iPad Mini is coming down the pike–a 7-8″ tablet that would have all the functionality of a typical iPad, just in a smaller form factor. I would much prefer the smaller version for any number of reasons, but the over-riding factor is sheer size management.

My iPhone already has a 3.5 screen. I like it. It works for my needs, and it does the job just fine for the apps I use. However, a 7″ screen on an iPad would give me 4 times more real estate. Using Garageband would be *so* much easier. The real kicker would be a 128GB model. I think that would probably push me over the edge to getting one.

As far as the new regular sized model goes, I really have no expectations. I mean … at this point, NOT having a retina display is almost laughable, and from all the regular Apple pundit websites (e.g. TUAW, Cult of Mac, 9 to 5 Mac, et al), there’s no reason to assume that it won’t. However, all that means is that every iPad app out there is going to have to upgrade to look semi-decent on the new iPad.

On This Date in Literary History

Last year, I wrote about Dr. Seuss’ birthday. The admiration I have for him has not abated over the course of last 365 days; if anything, it’s increased.

Today, my 2nd grade daughter is having “pajama day” at school. Her class earned the right to have a book party for reading the most out of anyone else in the school, and they are being rewarded with some pretty cool stuff (by 2nd grade standards, anyway). She was allowed to bring her favorite books to school. Being that it’s Dr. Seuss day, she opted to bring “Horton Hatches an Egg” and “Oh the Places You’ll Go.” I couldn’t be more proud of her. What a great way to celebrate Mr. Geisel’s accomplishments.

Maybe tonight, we’ll watch “The Cat in the Hat” with Mike Meyers. Actually, I kind of doubt we will. That movie was horrible. “The Grinch” is pretty good though … unfortunately, I like to keep my movies in their proper season. For that very reason, my wife and I only watch “Groundhog Day” once a year.

Happy birthday, Mr. Theodore Geisel. Your writings are as engaging and amazing as they were 10, 20, 50 years ago!



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