About rflarson

The less you know, the better.

Are Hipsters Still Contemplating Jazz?

Greasers, Hippies, Punks, Goths, Emos, Metalheads, Skaters, and now, Hipsters.

All of the aforementioned are different, but it is what makes those groups different that ironically make them principally the same: they’re all contemporary subcultures that want to be anything but contemporary. They all hope to be unusual. Hipsters, for as unique as they claim (or wish) to be, are no different.

Hipsters could be characterized as just about anything, except new. The original hipsters were a product of the Jazz Age. Actually, they were the Beats, and they were cool even before the “Birth of the Cool“. But contrary to the ones currently strutting around campus in their skinnier-than-skinny jeans, the original hipsters were proud of the name bestowed upon them.

Continue reading


CCR or Why Being Terrific and Unique Are Not Necessarily Copacetic

When I hear the opening licks of “Proud Mary”, I can guarantee that I’m not thinking about Saabs, microbrews or guys named Milo or August.

I’m thinking about America, people. It’s all about having a game of catch with Dad, about applauding veterans as they march past me in the 4th of July Parade, about having a steak hot off the grill…I’d go on and on, but I’m sure I’ve made my point.  Yes, my favorite American rock n’ roll group is staunchly American—duh—but I can go one step further.

Creedence also evokes a sense of community, a warm feeling that I’m on everybody’s side. It makes perfect sense, after all, because…well, who doesn’t like (if not love) CCR? I can say that with confidence, but not total confidence. Let me discuss.

Creedence can be called a lot of things. Calling them anything less than legendary is a crime. Having produced three platinum albums in the same year (Bayou Country, Green River and Willy and the Poor Boys) the adjective I’d use to best describe CCR is reliable. But how about unique or even original? Certainly, that’s debatable, but even if they weren’t out of the ordinary, why should that steer anyone away from listening to “Lodi”? Isn’t being great good enough anymore?

Continue reading

WPA for Today!

As Bill Maher said a little while back, “Our shit is dingy.”

He was referring to the dilapidated state of America’s infrastructure, and who could disagree with him? According to infrastructurereportcard.org , the U.S. received a D in its last infrastructure assessment. And the more you look, the worse the situation gets.

Yea, we're in great shape.

Digging a little deeper, the Pew Research Center discovered that more than ¼ of our nation’s bridges are in dire need of repair or carrying more traffic than they were designed to support.

And if you live by a dam, you might want to consider buying a sturdy, inflatable raft. Again, according to Pew, “The number of dams that could fail has grown 134% since 1999 to 3,346, and more than 1,300 of those are “high-hazard,” meaning their collapse would threaten lives…More than a third of dam failures or near failures since 1874 have happened in the last decade.

That mentioned, I have a suggestion : why don’t we bring back the Works Progress Administration (WPA)? Don’t know what the WPA was? Fear not, I’ll tell you all about it…okay, I’ll give you links and quote from credible sources, but I played a hand in your education, too!

Continue reading

May 2, 2011: A Justifiable Act of Violence

I found out about two unforgettable things today. (1) Osama Bin Laden is dead, and (2) Rush Limbaugh actually said something positive about Obama. Yesterday, I would have told you both things had the slimmest of chances of occurring. So much for intuition.

After hearing the news this morning, I’ve been glued to the internet, like most flag-waving Americans, trying to make sense of such an epic day. What does it mean? What should it mean? What will it mean?

(In case you missed it, here’s Obama’s address.)

I’m not sure, and I don’t even know if I’ll ever fully grasp the answers to those questions or fully comprehend how far the ripple of such an event will impact the future. I am certain, however, that I thought about the same thing most Americans did after they saw the bold lettering on today’s front page:  my generation’s Pearl Harbor, our very own Kennedy Assassination.

Pardon the crude and even morbid comparison, but it’s how we must encapsulate it, in blunt brutality and horror. It was as if all of us, the pure concept of America, had been violently raped in spirit. Our sense of peace and security had been shredded by a vicious, quick act, our notion of invulnerability was made very vulnerable, and in just the span of one morning, the world around us became a very terrifying, untrustworthy place. On that day, we didn’t want justice. That’s too soft of a word. We wanted blood by the righteous gallon, and we were frothing at the mouth for it.

We’re magnetically drawn back to that day because yesterday marks the end of what started on 9/11…well, sort of. It’s over in the sense that “justice has been served,” as Obama said, to Osama Bin Laden. Emotionally, we can lean back a little further in our chairs because our 10-year-old thirst for basic revenge has been quenched, but our guard, our defense, can’t take the same luxury. In terms of the great fight, we’ll never be finished. There will always be a second-in-command, and after them, another successor to a successor to a successor.

The other thing all of us are thinking about is who should claim this victory. Whom do we point at? Who’s to become an icon? Some say Obama, others say Bush. Perhaps it’s both, because after all, there’s enough cheer to go around.

But one thing is certain, the people we’ve called our heroes throughout this whole saga—specifically, those who aren’t around to gather any esteem—deserve it the most. This isn’t a day to be red or blue, this is a day to be red, white and blue. Yes, I know, that’s undeniably as corny as it gets, but it couldn’t be any truer.  So wave any flag you’ve got, for Obama, for Bush, for the 9/11 victims, for the heroic firefighters, for everybody, for yourself, for whomever, or maybe just because.

This feeling we have won’t last forever, just like it faded out in the months preceding 9/11, so grasp it in while you can. Not only is it a day to be patriotic, but it is the only day (hopefully) that you’ll feel sheer ecstasy over someone’s cruel end. That’s a strange sentiment—not felt, I imagine, since exactly 66 years ago—but then again it’s a justifiable act of violence and it’s rare.

Someday, we’ll look back on days like today, or days like yesterday…and we’ll just look back.

Me, Superman and the GOP

You know that stereotypical kid with a small blanket tied around his neck? The one where he’s trying to jump higher and higher on his bed? Yup, that was me. I’m a Superman fan.

Saying that publicly—whether it’s to a good friend or, even worse, to the World Wide Web—is awfully difficult. It’s embarrassing for a whole host of reasons, the biggest of which is that it’s just about as geeky as you can get (barring 8 or 10-sided die, of course). I probably shouldn’t write something  like this, and I suppose I could just close my eyes and rest my index finger on the backspace button until I’ve got a blank page again, but I’m not going to.  I feel like I at least owe the Man of Steel that much.

Continue reading

10 Best Signs from Chicago’s Rally to Restore Sanity

Here’s my list of the 10 best signs from Chicago’s Rally to Restore Sanity. Like my picks? Despise them? Comment and let me know!

Also, special thanks to Nicholas Moroni for letting me post his pics!


#1. Jews Against Frivolous Hitler Comparisons Sign

provided by Nicholas Moroni

This sign was clever, and it definitely made a point that should have been made MONTHS ago.  Great job!


#2. Michael Palin for President!

If this sign doesn’t make sense to you, please go and watch Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Shhhh, it’s going to be okay.

#3. I Want YOU to stop being AFRAID Sign

”]This sign pretty much nailed it on the head…that, and it had the most words.

#4. Freedom Sign

Come on, people!  Polluck takes time!  Plus, look at that sign!  It’s HA-YUGE!!

#5. ….


Somehow, this was damn alright.

#6.  Don’t Tread on Me Sign

Yet another clever sign.

#7. Hillbillies and Hippies United

Love the syne!

#8. Fear is the Mind Killer Sign

Good job, and great point!

#9. Umpire Sign

[provided by Nicholas Moroni]

The way it should be.

#10.Agree to Disagree Sign

I put this sign on the bottom, not because it was poorly done (not true at all), but because it’s true…which makes me frown.  That’s all we’ve done for last two years…agree to disagree.

Enough Already with the Politically Biased Media

It's funny because it's true...which makes me cry.

Americans love a good bias.

I say that because there’s been all this ranting about a liberally biased media.  Naturally, I heard that on Fox News, because when I want to be afraid of the boogeyman again (which is apparently Barack HUSSEIN Obama), that’s where I head.

But after hearing so much about the liberal bias in media, I couldn’t help to investigate the matter for myself.  It sounded like a lot of fun…which is dreadful proof that I need to get out more.

Continue reading