Tuesday, March 30, 2010

still brainstorming

My recent interest in corporate systems disruptions reminded me of the Wendy's chili incident that happened a few years ago. As I recall, a California woman claimed she bit into a chunk of an index finger while eating her chili at Wendy's. The immediate result was a massive internal investigation which eventually exonerated Wendy's. But think about the rate of return on this accusation. For a few days, it seemed that nobody would eat at Wendy's. I'd be willing to wager that chili sales were viciously impacted.

I found this interesting because I'm a huge fan of Wendy's chili. Even though they bumped it from the dollar menu, it's still a hell of a good deal. Add a couple packets of hot sauce, a few Mezzetta's brand golden pepperoncinis, optional cheese and maybe some bleach-enhanced crackers and you have a pretty decent meal. Low carb and relatively high protein (from a fast food perspective). My point - I eat their chili about once every two weeks, but during the dreaded "finger incident," I avoided Wendy's like the plague. Keep in mind, I only eat their chili and maybe once in a blue moon I'll get some fries or a side salad. So let's just say I felt personally impacted by the finger debacle.

After the incident was proven fallacious, I eventually returned to Wendy's (probably after a couple months or so). But here's my point. If this could greatly impact me, I'm sure the reverberations among the devoted fast food commoners were vastly more acute. So what's up with all this? If you could concoct a similar scenario, but with an uncertain and lengthy time frame, you could perpetrate enormous damage.

Walmart has dealt with past multiple bomb threats and concluded that it's best to just buy off the perpetrators. I think the threats were mostly in South America. I guess they determined it's better to concede rather than face the negative publicity and consumer fallout. I also remember when suicide bombers in Israel specifically targeted 2 Sbarro restaurants in different cities. I imagine that temporarily crippled those below average Italian eateries. Who the fuck is gonna put their life on the line for cheap Italian cuisine? Figaretti's never sounded so good. Even if their scallops are diminutive and horrifically overcooked. I also remember the accusation of a Steubenville Taco Bell employee taking a dump in the ground beef - now that's some harsh shit. I think that was in 1998-99.

But I'm searching for a scenario that is a little more creative and inventive. It's vital that you cast aspersions upon the ENTIRE retail identity. There's a lot of people that won't eat Domino's pizza because their corporate ownership is very far-right wing and heavily (and publicly) contributes to the pro-life agenda. Then again, I don't eat there simply because their pizza sucks. And when I say sucks, I really mean it. When a person thinks they're in the mood for pizza, who the fuck would automatically think... Mmmmm Domino's? Maybe if you lived in a town of 1,200 and it was the only pizza joint. Still, I'd rather get a frozen one from Piggly Wiggly or whatever.

Back to my underlying point. You need to develop a lightning rod scenario, obtain mass media exposure across the news spectrum and then offer some proof that it's more than an isolated incident. Throw in a catchy jingle or slogan for the American boob-tube junkie and you got it made. Let's say hypothetically that immediately following 9/11, you could have linked the 7/11 corporation or an independent convenience store chain to being Al Qaeda supporters. Maybe tie in the perception of Arab cashiers, predominant Arab franchise ownership and link it to corporate charitable donations to "terrorist" organizations. This could have worked during the aftermath of 9/11.

I'm thinking the best way to destroy a company would be to offer a blitzkrieg of credible links and outright false rumors regarding let's say, a perceived Italian restaurant chain to the never-ending Catholic church pedophile scandal. Could something like this work with an Olive Garden? A better choice would be a smaller chain or a business that has strong ties to the Vatican. Maybe some kind of company that makes high-end frozen lasagna or something. Any denials or attempts at damage control would be an exercise in futility as it would just bring more attention to the debacle. If you can deliver the jingle - "molester mozzarella" or "pedophile pizza" it goes a long way.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Webster's dictionary defines "sap" as someone who is prone to emotional distress. I define it as someone who trends toward being a crybaby/pain in the ass. In any event, I proudly present "sonofsap" - the fifth installment in an unrelenting sonofmix cd compilation series. Hopefully this disc will evoke the "sap" in all of us. As always, if you want a copy, just ask. But you must ask for it by name. It helps bolster my ego if you speak in a technically proficient manner when discussing the cds.
For example, you might want to say, "Saf, I was recently listening to the sonofsaved and sonoftsunami cds and much to my chagrin, you included a Dave Grohl cover of Prince's Darling Nikki on both. What's up with that?"
Truth be told, I screwed up, but fortunately the song rocks so it turned into a god-blessing.
And now I present you with sonofsap...

I like Neil Diamond. As an entertainer, he's a consummate professional. What I detest are the college fraternity boys who chest-bump at the bar shouting the refrain to Sweet Caroline. Nonetheless, "Love on the Rocks" is a good opener. This one's from a 2008 BBC broadcast.

Next up is the heartfelt "Fix You" from a 2005 show in Pilton, England. Yes, I like Coldgay. I like them exactly as much as I like Slayer. I am not joking. I could do without some of the theatrics, but these guys write simple, powerful music.

I snagged this version of "Linger" from a Songs Against War Festival in Munich, Germany (1994). Not exactly which war they were referring to, but I always enjoyed The Cranberries. I love her voice. All you Lillith Fairaholics had better take heed.

"Hold me closer Tony Danza" - Jess Wheaton
This version of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" is from a 1988 show near Chicago. I never thought much about this song until I heard it in that movie Almost Famous.

"Sister Christian" was the song that put Night Ranger on the map. They have some other decent pop/rock tunes that never received any recognition. This version is from a nationally broadcast radio show in 1984. If it's good enough for the coke scene in Boogie Nights, it's good enough for sonofsap.

This 8+ minute version of Gold Dust Woman by Stevie Nicks is truly bad ass. It's from 1994 concert in Hollywood, CA.

My Morning Jacket is probably the best non commercial band in the country. Here's a version of the song "War Begun" from the Festival Pier in Philadelphia (2008).

There's probably hundreds of versions of "Soulshine" by the Allman Brothers. I snagged this one from the ABB offshoot Government Mule. 2005 in Cologne, Germany.

Here's a poignant song by Joe Jackson. "Breaking Us In Two" from an intimate show in Birmingham, England 1995. Nice version as well. I like the way he reworks his studio material.

"Time." No, not Pink Floyd. Try Alan Parson Projects. Great tune. Crystal clear quality. I once played it on the Knotty Pines jukebox amidst a bunch of grunting, metal songs. Prestonian was not amused.

I included this version of Tina Turner's "Private Dancer" because I liked the fact that it's from Tokyo in 1985. The Japanese fans were always notorious for being well-behaved concert goers. When a concert is complete, they all shuffle out of the auditorium single file. I wonder if they still do that.

Here's an upbeat version of "Mrs. Robinson" from Paul Simon. Philly in 2006.

Let's close it out with a James Taylor song. I have no idea why. This version of "Fire and Rain" is from 2009 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. When he introduces the song, he tells the crowd "he loves them which is kind of odd because he doesn't know any of them." This type of brutal honesty is critical to comprehending the essence of sonofsap.

Finally, if you wait long enough, you'll hear a phone call from King Diamond. You might be thinking, "What the fuck, Saf?" Well, we started with a Neil Diamond so we will finish with a King Diamond. I'm still here grandma...

Friday, March 26, 2010


I often speak of the demise of our government and the ensuing instability. What form will it take? Trust me, the flash mobs are coming. All it takes is a little focus.


The model for mass protests is seriously outdated. Think about it. If I was disgruntled about massive government spending and the perceived shift from democracy to socialism, what would I do? Would I travel on a bus from Noblesville, Indiana to Washington D.C. to hold up a sign? In a down economy, would I take off a few days from work just to heckle some politicians? The old protest model is completely worthless. Politicians are well aware of this. They don't respond to the individual. Honestly, why would they even bother? It's just not an effective utilization of their time and resources. They only respond corporate lobbyists. Most people still don't get it.

Eventually someone will put a "Joe the Plumber" face on a bad corporation and let the media run with it. It's vital to have this model, otherwise the yokels will have no frame of reference. They need to be specifically told, "Look, here's what Walmart did to you! Now how will you retaliate?" I'm just using the Walmart example because it's omnipresent and already suffers from a very negative perception.

The trick is to evoke widespread outrage among the populace. How could you do that? I'm thinking one of those Amber alerts would be a good starting point. Here's the basic premise. Is it feasible to enrage the mainstream citizenry to the point where they pillage and plunder across the board? Can you assess blame upon a corporate identity for somehow sanctioning or facilitating the actions of a sadistic pedophile? And then let the scenario unfold in real time via the media news cycle.

I'm going to brainstorm on the specs of this hypothetical scenario. By the way, make sure you short the stock in advance. Not only would you benefit from the massive systemic disruptions (looting at retail outlets in multiple locations), you'd also be a winner because of the disdain and contempt from unwilling consumers. Would I really shop at a store being picketed or where I felt my safety could be compromised by an unruly mob?

All you need to do is FOCUS the rage. That's why an Amber alert would function exceedingly well. And it works across the board (Fox, MSNBC and CNN). There would be significant outrage all over the political spectrum. The trick is to portray the horrific actions of an individual or small group of people (perhaps a board of directors) as directly responsible for something so vile and reprehensible, that it would unite all the soccer moms and Nascar dads throughout the country. And it's vital that the viewing public truly believe that the Walmart corporate structure not only sanctioned the actions, but helped facilitate them.

Here's the humorous (and depressing) angle. The company could employ a million child slave laborers in Malaysia. They could screw their employees out of health care and overtime compensation. They could commit all sorts of flagrant acts, but there's no visceral reaction. The viewing public requires a single and ongoing inflammatory incident to get the ball rolling. The infrastructure is already there. I'm very receptive to this. Thoughts?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Four sonofsaf mix cds are available upon request. All the selections are taken from live concerts or demo tapes. I usually try to wrap things around a theme. And here they are...

Another sonofmix cd. This one is on the aggressive side.

Let's open with a no-brainer. Any live version of Foo Fighter's Monkey Wrench will do. But this one is really good quality. It's a shame the Foo Fighers don't have any decent quality bootlegs out there in musicland.

Next up is this kick-ass version of Turnin' on the Screw from Queens of the Stone Age. Snagged it off a 2008 show from Melbourne, Australia. The first time I heard this I thought to myself - these guys are really enjoying themselves. Sure enough, a few songs later, the singer (Josh Homme) says, "Hey we're really having a good time up here. I'm not just saying that."

I'm not a huge Nine Inch Nails fan but "Terrible Lie" seemed to be a good fit. This one's form Universal City, CA - Gibson Ampitheatre, 2005.

Lately, I'm on a big Marilyn Manson kick. Not the satanic-unisexual-gothic-freakshow shit. Just the raw power of the music even though it's a bit synthetic sometimes. This cover of Five to One is worth a listen.

Queensryche is hard to define. Not really alternative. Not really hard rock. Just fun to listen to. I like the pre-Operation Mindcrime material. This was ripped from the Westwood One Radio network in 2001. Can you believe "Screaming in Digital" was written about 25 years ago? How old would that make Englebert Humperdink?

Nobody except Jepsonian knows who The Crumbusckers are. In the late 1980's, this garage band from Brooklyn put out one my all-time favorite tapes - Beast on my Back. Every song's a killer. This one's called Initial Shock. This band was way ahead of it's time. Kind of the punk rock equivalent of the tv show Miami Vice.

A demo version of Lithium by Nirvana. You can really hear the angst in Cobain's voice. Nearly as potent as the anguished oink of Pigman.

Had to follow it up with Nirvana's show opener - "Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam." Taken from Nirvana's hometown of Seattle in 1991 This was an outdoor MTV concert. Only Nirvana would open with a cover song.

Had to throw in a few Cure tunes (The Kiss & Torture) from the late 1980's. However, these are from Hamburg, Germany (2002). Love the Cure. Hate the Goth.

Back to the Northwest, for this Jane's Addiction stuff. I wish the sound was a little cleaner but I dig the emotion. Perry Ferrel? Sure he's a weirdo freak. But the guy is a BAD ASS weirdo freak. "Summertime Rolls" and "Ocean Size" - This was from a show in Enumclaw, Washington (1991). I'd like to tell people that I'm from Enumclaw. Sounds more interesting than my standard Canonsburg refrain.

Wanted to pick things back up with a Chili Peppers tune. "Me and My Friends" is an unusual choice considering I'm becoming more of a loner these days. Taken from one of those all-day rock festivals in Roskilde, Denmark (2002).

More screams of Dave Grohl. I was going to close out "sonoftsunami" with this cover of Prince's "Darling Nikki" because it's difficult to top. But then I discovered this King Diamond soundboard version of "Welcome Home" from Curitiba, Brazil. Case closed.

sonofsaved (by the bell)

Let us take a moment and reflect on the 1980's. Despite the ongoing Cold War with the Soviets and the accompanying threat of nuclear annihilation, we somehow managed to survive. It must have been the music of that era which pulled us through. It is with that indomitable spirit... I bring you Sonofsaved (By The Bell). And yes, I'm fully aware that Saved By The Bell reached prominence in the early 90's, but I think that sitcom would have fared better in the mid 80's. Lisa Turtle, Screech Powers, Miss Bliss - these are the children of the 80's.

I snagged the "Pop Muzik" opener from U2's Popmart tour. This one's from 1998 in Santiago, Chile. I think this tour was underrated. When I was a kid, Pop Muzik was one of my all-time favorite songs at the skating rink. I have absolutely no idea who the real writers are. I don't think anyone does and I vehemently refuse to Google it. I'd prefer to remain ignorant.

A strong version of The Cars "Hello Again" from Memphis, TN (1987). I've always been a big Cars fan but you gotta take them in modest increments.

This version of "Day By Day" by The Hooters goes out to Danno. It's from a July 4, 1990 Independence Day show in Philadelphia. It makes me want to celebrate FREEDOM - like when Mel Gibson gets tortured to death at the end of Braveheart.

Another show from 1990. Huey Lewis and The News open with "Jacob's Ladder" at some venue in Portland, Oregon. Yes, I know - you saw their show at the Wheeling Civic Center in 1988. Forgive the hyperbole, but that was the greatest concert ever. Little known fact - Huey Lewis actually got his start playing synagogues all over the east coast. They were originally known as Huey Lewis and The Jews.

I included Big Country's version of "Big Country" just because I think every band should name a song after themselves. Someone else did that but I can't remember who it was. This version is from Glasgow, Scotland (1984).

Billy Idol - killer version of "Flesh For Fantasy" from 1987, Cow Palace in San Fransisco. He really went downhill fast when he put out that Rock the Cradle bullshit/ass-crapola. I guess the country wasn't ready to fully embrace mainstream pedophilia.

I couldn't stand Simple Minds and the overplayed Don't You Forget About Me Breakfast Club soundtrack, but I always liked "Alive and Kicking." This one's from Saturday Night Live in 1985.

OK, here's where it gets a little gay. I'm eventually rolling out a live mix cd of various homosexual performers called "Sonofsodomy." A tribute to Freddie Mercury, Elton John, the entity of Lillith Fair, etc. George Michael's "Everything She Wants" would have been better suited for that cd, but I just got sooo excited when I heard this version. LOL.

Here's a Duran Duran choice which symbolizes the entire decade - "The Reflex" taken from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Double D rocks the River Plate in 2005. I wish American concertgoers were as rowdy as the South Americans. We have no passion these days - it's all about American Idol. Sucked.

A smokin' version of "Darling Nikki" taken from Hotlanta in 1985. I've never been to The Omni, but I'd be willing to lie and say that I have. Others would not find that so compelling.

This song was probably ripped of a VHS tape. The quality is a tiny bit murky, but if you ever doubted the awesome power of Cyndi Lauper (I've doubted it plenty of times)... The song is called "Money Changes Everything" from the Boston Garden (1984). The Celtics always sickened me, but not as much as The Lakers.

Here's a version of "Our Lips Are Sealed" by the Go-Go's. It's from Emerald City, a small club in Cherry Hill, NJ. Summer of 1981. Saf has the beat, as do many others.

Very few decent quality Michael Jackson bootlegs are in existence. This gives me slight hope in a higher power. The most famous show is from Yokohama, Japan in 1987. The time has come to celebrate and acknowledge the historic contributions of dead pedophiles. Let this version of "Billie Jean" provide that spark.

Here's a great closer from a dedicated musician. Al Yankovic brings the house down with "Another One Rides The Bus." It's from a small venue in Buffalo, NY (1984). I will mourn the death of Weird Al. Did I mourn the loss of Michael Jackson? No.

sonofsweatin' (to the oldies)

You are the recipient of "Sonofsweatin' (to the oldies)." Enjoy. And now for a detailed explanation...

I love the Steelers intro music for the Alan Parsons concert (Cincinnati, Ohio - Riverbend Music Amp 1995). And it merges perfectly into "Eye in the Sky" so I had to keep it moving along. Kind of like Officer Barbrady on South Park - "nothing to see here, just keep moving" (as he sprays Cartman with mace).

Robert Plant's "In The Mood" keeps the same mellow vibe. It drones on for just over 10 minutes so if you want to skip it, I won't be entirely offended.

Supertramp is one of the most underrated bands of the 1970's. Everybody loves the song "Dreamer." I even once saw an elderly woman humming it in Krogers while she was reaching for an overpriced jar of prune juice. This version is from London, England back in 1977.

I needed a Who song but I wanted something different then the standards so I went with "You Better You Bet." Mostly for sentimental value, I snagged this from a 1989 benefit show at Radio City Music Hall (New York City, of course).

I'm surprised that Tom Petty never kept "Jammin Me" in his concert rotation these days. It's a great overlooked song from when I think he pretty much peaked musically (mid 1990's). This one's from San Fransisco, CA circa 1993.

REO Speedwagon tunes can get a little stale. I wouldn't recommend most of their overplayed anthems, but I do like "Don't Let Him Go." This one's from the early 1980's, either 1980 Lansing, MI or 1983 somewhere else. If you're overly concerned with the origins of this song, you may have more issues than I do for currently writing all this nonsense. I wonder if anyone reads this shit.

I downloaded a demo of my favorite Zeppelin tape - Physical Graffiti. Most of the stuff sounds really distant but this version of "In The Light" is kind of cool. I'm guessing it was from around 1979-80. I think that was the year for Physical Graffiti. I listened to that tape over and over again when I worked the parking lots back in the early 1990's. I recommend reading the book Midnight Express while listening to it. It's about this kid who winds up in a Turkish prison for smuggling hash. They made it into a movie, but it's pretty weak. Read the book.

I found this killer acapella version of Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him." It's from 1983 Rockaplast (sounds like one of those European festivals). Different version of a great tune.

I had to include a Pearl Jam cover so I went with their take on the Rolling Stones "Waitin' On A Friend." It's from one of my all-time favorite shows in the Burgh - the summer of 2006.

Then, I needed a real Stones song. I originally had Undercover of the Night - it's a song I like but when I listened to it, it just didn't seem too inspired. I liked the quality of this late 90's show form Atlantic City so I went with the standard Tumbling Dice instead.

And then I had to put another Pearl Jam cover on this thing. This is a show closer at the MGM Grand in Vegas (2006). Sick.

I closed out this sonofsweatin' with Knockin' on Heaven's Door. Probably my favorite Dead show encore ( I like Brokedown too and even adapted it into a devastating foosball finishing move - it's called "Slowboy" aka Brokedown Palace). I always preferred the ballad encores - the goal being to send everyone home on a peaceful note. However, we'd usually choose to keep the party going. Always enjoyed the "dead party scene." You wake up and start partying. Then you hit the parking lot and the party continues. Continue rocking during the show. Then, it's back to the lot where you feel compelled to carry on. Just when you think it's all over - Fuck that - back to the campground or hotel room where you keep going strong. Wake up and do it all over.


Welcome to the newest sonofsaf release - sonofpyschotic. The name is a bit misleading. I was searching for songs that are loaded with energy but kind of demented. As always, if you find a particular track compelling, just ask me for a copy of the entire concert. Studio music gets tiresome. If you have no soul or passion, you would probably disagree with this assessment.

The first song is a recording of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" from The Wall (DEMOS). The entire demo is a killer find. All the songs are bare bones with a raw feel. It gives you a different perspective of The Wall.

I always liked the song Astronomy Domine by Floyd but there's a metal band from the late 1980' called Voivod that does a pretty decent cover. I'm normally suspect of trying to cover a classic (unless you're on American Idol of course - you wouldn't want to throw a curve ball to all those soccer moms and male beauticians).

We're From America is the new hit from Marilyn Manson. I thought it fit well. Remember, this is America - the land where Jesus was born and they cum on your face.

"Session" by Linkin Park is a cool, scratched up instrumental. They used it in a closing scene of The Sopranos at The Bing.

I put "The Kiss" from The Cure on my previous release sonoftsunami, but I like this version even more. It's from Carhaix, France - 2002.

Beck had a ton of great material from his early days. The vast majority of it is long forgotten. Here's the song "Novocaine" from a show in Cologne, Germany (1999).

Radiohead has a lot of synthesized/psychotic sounding material so I threw in 2 songs from their 2009 concert in Santiago, Chile. I doubt it would soothe the recent earthquake victims, but I like these two songs (Everything in its Right Place and Idioteque). Great versions.

Here's an unusual mix of the Queens of the Stone Age song "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire." You might hear this song on tv - they use it for some kind of X-Box/Nintendo video war game commercial.

I needed to calm things down a bit so I threw in a version of Tom Sawyer from London (1992). Great intro.

And then we'll pick things up with The Breeders "Cannonball" - everyone likes this song. It's from a small club in Chicago (1994).

And everyone also likes "Take Me Out" by the emo-Germans Franz Ferdinand. This version is from a private party in 2009.

And another song everyone likes - REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know it (and I Feel Fine). If you're ever out at a bar and the song comes on, watch closely. Every moron in the place will temporarily suspend their conversation, tilt their head upward and yell "LEONARD BERNSTEIN" along with Michael Stipe. A man named Soulman once made this telling observation.

Here's Dave Grohl with the remaining members of Led Zeppelin in 2008 at London's Hyde Park. It's a bit distorted and pretty sloppy, but if you don't like it you should follow some generational advice from a decade ago - SUCK IT!

And finally I needed to bring it all together so I returned to where the cd began with Pink Floyd. This one is an anthemic version of Comfortably Numb. Twice as long as the earlier one and (in my opinion) far superior. 1989 in Venice Italy.

Remember, there's only one surefire way to obtain the newest sonofwhatever cd. If you run into me, lavish me with praise for the last cd and you'll receive the new one.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

leverage from a high profile kidnapping

Let's say I'm presently opposed to the U.S./NATO escalation of the war in southern Afghanistan. They're currently in the process of ousting Taliban remnants from the town of Marjah in the Helmand Province. I suppose once this phase of the operation is complete they'll set their sights on the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. Hopefully then, Obama will enter into some kind of negotiations with the Afghani government and finally call for a troop withdrawal. I'm slightly optimistic that major combat operations will cease and we'll retain our bases there even though we're widely despised. People fail to realize that Afghanistan is an incredibly xenophobic country. If the citizens of Iraq hate us; trust me, the Afghanis truly loathe us.

I suppose we could have a debate on the merits of clearing out towns in southern Afghanistan as it relates to protecting our collective freedom in the United States. Personally, I barely see any correlation. But then again, I'm hardly an expert on the topic. I do know that our present commander in the region is Stanley McChrystal. That probably puts me in the 2% of the U.S. population who pay any attention to the war. I'm wondering what percentage of the U.S. population could give a rudimentary explanation for the surge in Afghanistan. Bush would sometimes say, "You're either with us or against us." Kudos - great motto. Hey, at least he didn't have to scribble it on his hand. And I've never seen Obama offer up anything concrete. The best I've heard so far goes like this...

Al Qaeda was originally given sanctuary by the Taliban. If the Taliban can reemerge as a dominant force in the Afghan government, they'll welcome back Al Qaeda and they'll use this region as a safe haven to plan and facilitate attacks against the United States homeland. I think about half of U.S. voters could make this argument. There's a degree of reason and it's a simple concept to grasp. Of course, you could make a better argument that an Al Qaeda group in Yemen or Pakistan could function just as easily (probably more effectively with better access to technology). Americans have a particularly naive, insular view of this. After having repeatedly been exposed to the Jihadist camps and their sophisticated training methods (the infamous monkey bars and some kind of white-robed game of leap frog), we know there are evil-doers who wish to do us harm. After all, they hate us because they hate our freedom. Perhaps the biggest crock of shit ever sold to an ever-increasingly gullible population. Once again, I digress.

So what's my point? My point is that the majority of American voters DO NOT CARE about the war in Afghanistan unless they have a loved one who's presently serving. Some are concerned about its impact on the U.S. deficit. But most U.S. voters feel that even if they vehemently oppose the war, they just can't do anything to stop it. And more troubling, a greater number of Americans neither have the attention span nor the desire to be informed. Typical.

So what can you do? Write a blog about it? Most blogs have an average readership of 2. And one of them is the person who writes the damn thing. So that probably won't yield favorable results. How about holding up a sign at a major intersection? It's the old "read my sign because I'm a dread locked hippie and haven't bathed in 3 days approach." People could honk their horns as you bask in the glow. Hopefully, the mental satisfaction derived could have a slight cleansing effect. Good job - you made quite an impact near Value City in South Wheeling on a Tuesday afternoon.

But what could you really do? It probably depends on just how far you're willing to take it. How much do you believe in the cause? And what constitutes an effective way of making your point. Here's what I would suggest. I would kidnap the granddaughter of an owner of a successful NFL team. Amber alerts would certainly be issued as such a story would tug at the heartstrings of mainstream America. Then I would anonymously send a list of POLITICAL demands to the team's headquarters. This would constitute an unusual precedent. Using a high profile kidnapping as a means of political extortion. You could threaten severe bodily harm unless your demands our met. I would start with issuing threats if team practice sessions were held and I'd increase my bargaining position with automatic forfeit of upcoming games. Eventually, I'd move my demands into the political arena. I'd commence with political demands that I know are already under consideration by the current administration. Keeping the demands realistic is critical as it would ensure credibility.

This would wreak havoc all over the place. An attack on a sports franchise, its fans and all the related gambling interests as well as tons of local jobs and revenue while the fate of a young girl is held in abeyance. All of a sudden, large amounts of the population have been impacted. And its more than that because you've stolen the news cycle. Kind of like a Chandra Levy/Gary Condit, but way more powerful because the ransom is an innocent young girl.

Considering the prevalence of kidnapping as a means of financial extortion, is it not reasonable to assume that at some point it could grow more sophisticated? We live in a world of 4th generation warfare. Asymmetric tactics and the mere threat of system disruptions are commonplace abroad. It's only a matter of time before some group with an agenda (you can call them terrorists, if you wish) decide to exploit the ongoing news cycle.

The vast majority of Americans have 2 things in common - they have virtually no attention span and don't give a fuck about what happens outside the continental United States. Well, the limited attention span dilemma has been removed. And all of a sudden, the war in Afghanistan has a tangible effect. Peoples routines have been disrupted. This is a valid way to exact change through unrelated means. Who was the philosopher that said, "There's only one rule in war - There are no rules."

Of course the scenario I devised is totally revolting. Is it unfathomable though? I don't think so. Kidnapping is big business across the border in Mexico. I think it's just a matter of time before some person or group commits a single kidnapping of an unlikely child in an attempt to reign in what they perceive to be greater, more institutional atrocities. If you can keep it in the news cycle, you'll have made your case. The abduction of a small child w/ the prospect for imminent harm and the ensuing demands would keep the story alive and relevant. If you're able to dominate the news cycle with no visibly clear end game, you have achieved a tangible victory. And here's the most important contention - your agenda has successfully displaced both the combined offensives in Marjah and Kandahar. How's that for 4th generation warfare transaction costs?