Things and Thoughts: Dean Browell

Trent' election comments (and rare band introductions)

Holy shit, what a rollercoaster... last night I was emotionally drained... tonight what little emotional color came back was drained again and then physically wiped thanks to NIN and my first front-rail NIN experience (out of 7 shows).

Photos on Facebook

On Flickr:

And hey I made!

Trent was chatty... at least at the prescribed time. He of course commented about the election: "No matter how good you think we are, it can't match yesterday." and now, "I'll have to find something else to write about... here's another soon to be out-of-date song..."

If you care, the setlist:


Letting You
March of the Pigs
Head Down
The Frail
The Wretched
Gave Up
Me, I'm Not
Ghosts 1
Ghosts 5
Ghosts 21
Ghosts Piggy
The Greater Good
Terrible Lie
Ghosts 31
The Hand That Feeds (no fucking GB/McCain background!)
Head Like a Hole
The Beginning of the End
In This Twilight

Us. The Morning After.
As the final statistics come rolling in, one thing is for certain: this election was more representative of the actual citizens of America than usual. No one can deny the engagement of so many, that hopefully only inspire more to become engaged.

But if you will allow me a moment to reflect, I wish to say as a father what a remarkable feeling it is that my daughter will likely only remember her first president as someone who looks like some of her best friends. That she will remember her parents engaging in a political process because they saw her future reflected in their determination. But above all, that she will simply have no concept as to the obstacles that were placed before so many previous to November 4th, 2008. She will learn about them. She will learn from them. But she will grow truly knowing that leaders are not determined by the base they were born on or the supposed divisions of their skin tone.

And if you will allow me to be cynical, I wish to say: Racists, this has got to be a difficult day for you. It's not going to get any better. I'm not sorry. I'm sure your preconceptions and hate will try to overcome but I hope you realize there is finally something larger and fuller than an underlying oppression.

No matter your candidate, be humble. But it is okay to feel proud inside that we have something to feel humble about. For many people, even if it is not you, are feeling hope without cost for the first time in a long time (and maybe ever).

The following was a concession speech earlier this year. It is just as appropriate now.

"We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told that we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Yes we can.

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballot; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world. Yes we can.

And so tomorrow, as we take this campaign South and West; as we learn that the struggles of the textile worker in Spartanburg are not so different than the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas; that the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America’s story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea – Yes. We. Can."


Full text here:

P.S.: Thoughts also on George Fotiades today, as we learned he passed yesterday. He was a frequent member of a merry band, (literally and figuratively) an especially talented guitarist and writer, and his energetic spirit was enlightening.

Oh yeah, you need to
Do it.

Do it in front of your children.

Do it with a friend.

Do it behind the curtain.

Do it on a desk.

Do it hard.

Do it soft.

Do it sweating.

Do it after hours of satisfying foreplay.

Do it after hours of unsatisfying foreplay.

Do it with a few other people.

Do it FFM.

Do it MFM.

Do it MMM or FFF.

Do it for the first time ever.

Do it for the first time in four years.


Wait in the line.


Vote for who you want but VOTE.

Then go get laid. You're good looking and you deserve it.


Mtv Pretends it plays videos, chapter 43
Dear Mtv,

This image would have been cutesy if you had actually not ruined the music video industry for yourself and for bands like Pearl Jam, who openly ttthhhpppttt'd you.

love, Dean


In other news, NanoWriMo.

I'm seriously gonna just write without a net. With an idea on hold right now and no desire to go any particular direction, I think I'm just gonna start writing. Maybe sorta live-write with chapters thrown up on Facebook or something. I dunno. But i think I'll do it. After the stringent idea-gotta-get-out of Script Frenzy this year with "Lane In The Fast Life" it's actually nice to not be in my normal need-based writing mode. I dunno. Are any of you NaNo'ing it?

Happy Halloween! Free mask!

Sooooo.... Barack Obama had a rally in Richmond today at the Richmond Coliseum where 13,000 seats were filled (allowed capacity; slight less than normal because of media space). More than 7,000 were not allowed in... Pretty impressive to draw more than 20,000 total to an indoor venue in the middle of a work week (Palin drew the same number outside on a bank holiday last week in this "red" state.)

It was an amazing experience. The diversity was so obvious and completely reflective of what I once cynically assumed was a staged group behind Barack in videos-- no, the entire crowd was like that. The actual day itself, for all it's waiting was very positive and full of new friends and mutual support. It began at 6:45am and didn't end until we all staggered out around 2:30.

If you think Barack Obama speaks well on TV, in person he's practically perfect. Less about charisma and charm and more just about poise, an intelligence that is nearly intimidating, and a practicality to his phrasing that is entrancing. More to the point, his off-speech moments are even better (somehow). He managed to make Warner and Kaine look aggrandizing (and for any ego those two have, they aren't exactly dripping with overconfidence). Of course seeing Wilder speak briefly reminds us how important the dramatic rise of Obama is from a minority perspective, and at the same time shows us how Obama completely transcends Wilder's issues by being (gasp!) inclusive.

Anyway, the actual crowd and rally experience with 13,000 people - most of whom I can safely say would be considered middle to lower class in terms of wealth - was as much of the event as Obama. This was a rally not dominated by polo shirts and $200 sweaters, but by a much more representative electorate of all stripes. When Obama asked the loaded question of, "Who here makes less than $250,000 a year?" it may seem obvious, but of course the entire place raised hands and didn't even bother looking around them to see if anyone voted differently (not so fast Wilder).

By the end I'd gotten a chance to shake his hand. Throughout the event, once I made it to the floor, I had a really nice view. For me personally it was a landmark moment for my family. Speaking to my mother, after the rally by phone, we confirmed that should Obama become president that I would then be the first person in my family (either side) to see a president in person like that. (Finally, I beat my Dad at SOMETHING.)

Lastly, I can honestly say that I personally was proud of Obama. I've never felt like that about a candidate. Hell, most of the time I'm mind-numbingly disappointed in the people themselves enough that I have to hold my nose and vote. But with Barack, it's different. The catcalls of socialism are so amusing. First off, they use it as a vague term, not at all separating the various kinds of socialism (communism, Scandinavian democratic socialism). And secondly they use it with no sense of irony as the federal gov't takes over a bank, restricts more freedoms than ever, continues a failed war on drugs and more. They point at the shiny object of interpreted words in a pick-up conversation, while practical implementation of socialist concepts actually happen under their noses. There's little discussion of what is actually right and would be helpful. I'm largely in agreement with many Libertarian ideals - but I also recognize that until we get this nation on a track, there will continue to be a chosen few are essentially born on 3rd base, while more and more aren't even born in the stadium. It is idealistic to want to pull the rug from everyone and say, "hey we're all free and equal!" It's even worse to wish upon those people a lack of assistance while Rome burns. Guess who has a second home when Rome's in ashes.

Okay, I'm ranting. Anyway. It was really something. I'm happy I was there. Photos and video...

More photos on Facebook here:

More videos on YouTube here:

Powell Endorses McCain, Thoughtfully

I just wanted to say how proud I am of Roanokers today. Sorry I couldn't be with you for Obama's visit (and he got his hair cut literally next door to the ND&P office)! But it was very cool how the area stepped up with the spotlight on them...


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