at www.RARWRITER.com      

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Volume 1-2016






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ABOUT RAR: For those of you new to this site, "RAR" is Rick Alan Rice, the publisher of the RARWRITER Publishing Group websites. Use this link to visit the RAR music page, which features original music compositions and other.

Use this link to visit Rick Alan Rice's publications page, which features excerpts from novels and other.


(Click here)

Currently on RARadio:

"On to the Next One" by Jacqueline Van Bierk

"I See You Tiger" by Via Tania

"Lost the Plot" by Amoureux"

Bright Eyes, Black Soul" by The Lovers Key

"Cool Thing" by Sassparilla

"These Halls I Dwell" by Michael Butler

"St. Francis"by Tom Russell & Gretchen Peters, performance by Gretchen Peters and Barry Walsh; 

"Who Do You Love?"by Elizabeth Kay; 

"Rebirth"by Caterpillars; 

"Monica's Frock" by Signel-Z; 

"Natural Disasters" by Corey Landis; 

"1,000 Leather Tassels" by The Blank Tapes; 

"We Are All Stone" and "Those Machines" by Outer Minds; 

"Another Dream" by MMOSS; "Susannah" by Woolen Kits; 

Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and other dead celebrities / news by A SECRET PARTY;

"I Miss the Day" by My Secret Island,  

"Carriers of Light" by Brendan James;

"The Last Time" by Model Stranger;

"Last Call" by Jay;

"Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; 

"Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" fromActress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; 

"Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; 

Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; 

Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio;

Apteka "Striking Violet"; 

Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along";

Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"Music Hot Spots"




























Rick Alan Rice (RAR) Literature Page


CCJ Publisher Rick Alan Rice dissects the building of America in a trilogy of novels collectively calledATWOOD. Book One explores the development of the American West through the lens of public policy, land planning, municipal development, and governance as it played out in one of the new counties of Kansas in the latter half of the 19th Century. The novel focuses on the religious and cultural traditions that imbued the American Midwest with a special character that continues to have a profound effect on American politics to this day. Book One creates an understanding about America's cultural foundations that is further explored in books two and three that further trace the historical-cultural-spiritual development of one isolated county on the Great Plains that stands as an icon in the development of a certain brand of American character. That's the serious stuff viewed from high altitude. The story itself gets down and dirty with the supernatural, which in ATWOOD - A Toiler's Weird Odyssey of Deliveranceis the outfall of misfires in human interactions, from the monumental to the sublime. The book features the epic poem "The Toiler" as well as artwork by New Mexico artist Richard Padilla.

Elmore Leonard Meets Larry McMurtry

Western Crime Novel











I am offering another novel through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service. Cooksin is the story of a criminal syndicate that sets its sights on a ranching/farming community in Weld County, Colorado, 1950. The perpetrators of the criminal enterprise steal farm equipment, slaughter cattle, and rob the personal property of individuals whose assets have been inventoried in advance and distributed through a vast system of illegal commerce.

It is a ripping good yarn, filled with suspense and intrigue. This was designed intentionally to pay homage to the type of creative works being produced in 1950, when the story is set. Richard Padilla has done his usually brilliant work in capturing the look and feel of a certain type of crime fiction being produced in that era. The whole thing has the feel of those black & white films you see on Turner Movie Classics, and the writing will remind you a little of Elmore Leonard, whose earliest works were westerns. Use this link.



If you have not explored the books available from Amazon.com's Kindle Publishing division you would do yourself a favor to do so. You will find classic literature there, as well as tons of privately published books of every kind. A lot of it is awful, like a lot of traditionally published books are awful, but some are truly classics. You can get the entire collection of Shakespeare's works for two bucks.

You do not need to buy a Kindle to take advantage of this low-cost library. Use this link to go to an Amazon.com page from which you can download for free a Kindle App for your computer, tablet, or phone.

Amazon is the largest, but far from the only digital publisher. You can find similar treasure troves atNOOK Press (the Barnes & Noble site), Lulu, and others.



Haters and False Inferences


I recently watched a brief Cyndi Lauper promotional video in which she discussed self-respect, self-confidence, and the deleterious effects of allowing either of those two self-love strategies to be negatively influenced by “haters”.

I recall this term “haters” being introduced to our household by my kids who, born in 1995 and 1997, grew up with the concept. The Urban Dictionary traces the origin of the term to 2000, when the Hip-Hop group 3LW used the phrase “haters gonna hate” in their song titled “Playas Gon’ Play”. ICE-T kicked off the concept in his 1999 song “Don’t Hate Tha Player” but 3LW seems to be responsible for creating the noun form “haters”. The term was added to the Urban Dictionary in 2003 with this definition:

Hater (n.): A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. Instead of giving acknowledgment in courtesy, a hater often pursues his/her point by exposing a flaw in the target subject. Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesn’t really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock somelse [sic] down a notch.

One could argue that the Urban Dictionary, which has sought to codify the informal language of “the street”, has been complicit – or even directly responsible – for legitimizing the mangled English of an uneducated underclass ill-equipped to manage the complexities of competing in a world that obviously conspires against their potential for upward economic mobility.

This further promoted the general acceptance of something known as “Ebonics”, which was a name given to a form of English used by working class Black people. A deeper dive into the derivation of that concept would reveal that it was really poor White southerners who created the form, which was then adopted by uneducated southern Blacks who were simply imitating that southern strain of White culture. They were trying to improve themselves based on some really sketchy role models who were on the next higher rung of the economic ladder, often uncharitably described as “poor White trash”. It was all on the way to the establishment of another term, “Wiggers”, in part popularized by Oprah Winfrey, which was a concatenation of “white niggers”, which was a nasty reversal on the notion of downwardly mobile poor Whites relating to Black culture, or those on the next lower rung of the economic ladder. On a cultural level, it was a little like a snake swallowing its own tail until finally the progenitors of the problem were imitating the inheritors of the problem that they created.

To cite a real world example, I spent a brief amount of time in the Cable TV industry, where I worked with a White southerner who would routinely advise customers, who had questions about cable services, to “axe your installer”, which always struck me as a horrifying grammatical construct. The idea was to “ask” your installer, not to murder him Lizzie Borden-style. (You can imagine how difficult that would have made the simple act of recruiting workers to install cable services.) Mercifully, if somewhat distressingly, everybody understands what he was actually suggesting. Poor elocution did not lead to bloodshed, though the butchering of language does come with real downsides for the well-being of our larger cultural standards.

WORD GAMES: Ebonics became a hot-button issue for White social critics, like right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh, who used it as proof-positive that American culture was going to rot. (Mind you, persons such as myself might suggest that the existence of Rush Limbaugh was proof positive of the same.) It was a thinly veiled attack on Black culture, toward which Limbaugh is/was clearly a “hater”.

Mainstream journalism saw these developments early on, with news magazines like Time and Newsweek running cover stories in the 1990s on “the dumbing down of America”. It was a “canary in a coal mine” observation that referenced the stagnation of the U.S. economy, in freefall since 1970, and the surrender of the struggling class to the realization that the values and potentials of America’s promise simply held no promise for them. Rather than further resigning to self-hatred, there was a grassroots impulse to recreate a social-cultural paradigm that fit the reality of their lives. This is at the heart of Rap and Hip-Hop music, spawning a form of patois that found a personification in the form of the rapper Snoop Dogg (Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr., also known as Snoop Doggy Dogg and, more recently, as Snoop Lion). He coined a language form that exchanged or augmented standard English words with various forms of the phonetic sound of “izzle”, to wit:

“Plim-plizzle, my nizzle, don' foget bouts tha six-fo, chuch, dawg up in da hood, chilly my grilly. fo sho.”

Snoop was/is sort of funny, and his patois is closely related to the older patois of British Cockney that developed a similar word-substitution street language, which used rhyming slang to create a reference scheme that revealed whether or not speakers really belonged to the groups with which they were associating. The members of The Beatles were steeped in this working class language game, examples of which can be found in this excerpt from Wikipedia:

One example is replacing the word "stairs" with the rhyming phrase "apples and pears". Following the pattern of omission, "and pears" is dropped, thus the spoken phrase "I'm going up the apples" means "I'm going up the stairs".

In similar fashion, "telephone" is replaced by "dog" (= 'dog-and-bone'); "wife" by "trouble" (= 'trouble-and-strife'); "eyes" by "mincers" (= 'mince pies'); "wig" by "syrup" (= 'syrup of figs') and "feet" by "plates" (= 'plates of meat'). Thus a construction of the following type could conceivably arise: "It nearly knocked me off me plates—he was wearing a syrup! So I ran up the apples, got straight on the dog to me trouble and said I couldn't believe me mincers."

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: Where this all converges is in the way that the word “haters” has come to work as a shield against any kind of criticism of any aspect of social expression, and the way that has dove-tailed with another somewhat recent development in our culture, which is the idea of “political correctness”. This also developed on a parallel track with Ebonics and in 2016 it has been a principal driver of Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the top of the Republican Party. Trump’s supporters are viscerally appalled by the notion of political correctness, which rather like a doctrine eschews any kind of criticism of social behavior based on the judgment it brings upon the subject being questioned. Trump’s people believe we should all be able to “call a spade a spade”, as it were; to reinstate the lost values of a pre-Civil Rights era wherein all manner of controls were in place to maintain a certain social order however venal and corrupt that social order may have been. One can see where people on either side of the issue could feel that their views of political correctness are somehow to the betterment of society. Otherwise put, it’s a really complicated issue. One can appreciate that continuing to use language that has been put in place to oppress certain classes of people has had a deleterious effect on society. On the other hand, should people not be allowed to question behavior that they perceive as having a deleterious effect on society?

SHUT UP: As a weapon of political correctness, classing all criticisms as somehow being the work of “haters” is designed to shut down discourse, which is of course anathema to the effective functioning of a democratic society that relies on free speech and freedom of expression as principal foundational concepts. It is also a false general notion in the same way that calling someone a “racist” is often a false charge that is also designed to shut down exchange of viewpoints.

While there are people who honestly believe that their race is superior to others, that is not necessarily what is going on with people who criticize behaviors observed in another group. Sometimes people are just social critics with opinions that have nothing to do with the ethnicity of the person or persons that they are criticizing. These verbal weapons seem to make the argument that if you are criticizing some aspect of a group or person of an ethnic makeup different than your own, then you are a “racist”. If you are criticizing a person of your own ethnic makeup, then you are probably just a “hater”. Those may well be false inferences entirely different from what is being implied by the critic. Sometimes people just offend one’s values. In a freedom of speech society, one must be able to voice such an opinion. Why? Because we are all architects of the world that we live in, and in the echo chamber of pop culture it is probably important to challenge behaviors that diminish the quality of our shared experience with life.

CRITICISM: Some may wonder whatever happened to sophisticated determinations regarding the perceived value of things. I, personally, am deeply offended by the fact that Dave Grohl is one of the wealthiest musicians on the planet, a fact that bothers me for two reasons: one being that I think he is void of musical talent, and has profited from the execrable taste of a generation of unsophisticated music fans who have been successfully exploited for big money; and secondly, and more importantly to me, is that he cannot utter a single sentence without somehow working the word “fuck” in there two or three times. I find that stupid and incredibly poor role modeling. Grohl is a white dude, like myself, so I can’t be rejected in my criticism of him based on any charge of racism, which means that I must just be a hater. It is true that I hate the celebrity and musicianship of Dave Grohl, but is it not possible that I just have musical tastes and a sense of social/cultural responsibility that makes it impossible for me to find anything about Dave Grohl that I could support?

STUPID WORLD: People seek education so that they may become sufficiently sophisticated to tell wheat from chaff. It would be pretty difficult to look at the sophistication in our cultural lives, comparing where we have been in our society to where we are now, and not feel that we are on a steep trajectory downward. A great deal of this has to do with the way we have gone from being a literate people, who produced smart, sophisticated art forms (see the art works, literature, architecture, movies and music of the 1920s through the 1950s), to the TV generations of the 1960s and up to the present. As the world experienced a post-World War II economic boom, that put expendable income in the pockets of really young people, the hucksters of commerce turned their sights on exploiting that gold mine and our popular culture became geared to young, unsophisticated consumers. For the sake of profit, we veered toward dumb, and now 50 years into this stupid new world we are feeling the effects of that disastrous decision. The movie industry, for instance, is more or less destroyed, depending almost entirely on remakes of previous films, and on tent pole summer block busters, based mostly on comic books, that are drawing smaller and smaller audiences. Likewise, the music industry is largely defunct, with only the Dave Grohls of the world turning music into money. Our modern architecture is really nothing more than boxes with colored glass. Our automobiles are void of compelling design qualities. And when was the last time anybody got excited about a modern artist?

We are developing entirely new ways to defend generations of shallow thinkers, of the unlearned. We accept, as valid forms of expression, products that would have been thought of as crap in the old world. We have invented dumbed down expressions and a range of false defenses designed to protect our new reign of idiot kings and cheap idols, or so it feels to me and many other of my generation and older.
Of course, we may just be haters.



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Copyright © November, 2018 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)