The Chinese government is cracking down on the people of Tibet. In protest 22 people have died because of self-immolation. To the Westerner this seems a bit extreme, but those old enough to remember the Vietnam War Buddhist monks were setting themselves on fire in protest against the Catholic regime. At the time some people thought it was humorous. We as Americans don’t have the depth of commitment to go to the town square, douse ourselves with gasoline and light ourselves on fire in protest over our government’s policies. We’d rather bitch about it in bars and across the dinner table. China for its part is distributing nation flags and portraits of Mao to be displayed in homes. Nothing like a picture of the Chairman watching over the people he oppressed for all those years. As for the monks and nuns, China has introduced “monastic management” to more directly control religion. Monks and nuns are forced to denounce the Dali Lama. It reminds me of the Inquisition. All you had to do was admit you were a heretic, take your torture and thank Mother Church for helping you see the light. It’s on page 35 of the dictator’s handbook: Don’t forget to crush religion. Those pesky clergy will always point out that the crops didn’t feed all the people and that monument you’re building to yourself is costing the taxpayers money that could be spent on frivolous things, like health care or education.

They’ve solved the mystery of the booms in Clintonville Wisc. The experts say they were hit with a cluster of mini earthquakes. At least it wasn’t God sending down a warning.

Today’s look back on an oldie: Genius; by Warren Zevon. I first saw him on SNL playing Werewolves of London. He was charting with that song. I bought his CDs and listened. Of all Genius stood out. It was a tribute by an artist to himself. A grearest hits compilation without calling it that. He was elevated a bit more by a piece on 60 Minutes and a cancer diagnosis. His last album The Wind was a best seller. Back to Genius, gratest hits yes, genius, no. He was a gifted songwriter who teamed with Jorge Calderon and others to put out songs that were recorded by Linda Ronstadht and others. The album was compiled by Will Self in 2002. Let’s look at the cuts, or wounds in Zevon’s case.

Poor Poor Pitiful Me: A diary of pick-ups and failed affairs.

French Inhaler: Women get picked up, chewed on and then spit out.

Camelita: A whimsical look at addictive heroin use.

Hasten Down The Wind: A love song, but not.

Werewolves Of London: Write something, anything.

Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner: A them song for all the good ole boys who want to fight but think they couldn’t live under the contraints of the military.

Excitable Boy: You all think that strange kid who lives down the street is really a serial killer waiting for the next urge to kill pop up.

Lawyers, Guns and Money: A theme song for the late great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Play It All Night Long: If Lynerd Skynerd heard this they’d have to write another song. It seems Neil Young wasn’t the only one who thought the south was strange.

Looking For The Next Best Thing: He wrote lyrics that others could only dream about.

Boom Boom Mancini: The opposite of above. Shut up, we know Boom Boom Mancini is fighting Booby Chicon.

Detox Mansion: Withdrawal anthem. If you knew it was bad for you from the beginning. why did you start?

Reconsider Me: Love it. One of the top songs to dedicate to the ex who tossed you out.

Spendid Isolation: You can’t have it both ways. You’ve got to come out into the sunlight and meet your fans. They pay for the splendid isolationm.

Thing To Do In Denver When You’re Dead: Get buried.

Searching For A Heart: One of the best lines about love:”They say love conquers all. You can’t start it like a car. You can’t stop it with a gun.”

Mr. Bad Example: A song about me. If anyone writes about me after I’ve died, use the book as a guide to how not to live your life.

Mutineer: I’ll make it as difficult for all those who I see as bad. You’re just along for the ride. Hang on.

I Was In The House When The House Burned Down: I have no idea.

Genius: I’ve got it all figured out. Right down to the baqd juju you put on me.

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