But we *deserve* to make 3,000 times what you do!

Utilitarianism doesn’t insist upon equality. Communists waste an awful lot of energy trying to make sure other people aren’t having a good time.

But when you have CEOs and other ultra-rich people selling lies by the tablet-ful to keep from paying any sort of reasonable taxes while middle-class families lose homes and poor families still dream of adequate schools, hospitals and police forces … well, it’s fair to say the old “greatest happiness for the greatest number of people” goal isn’t being met.

Kudos to The Washington Post for bringing the issue into focus. Maybe someone could even ask about it in the next GOP debate.

Besides, as Robert Reich explains, this inequality is wrecking the economy for everyone.

Monday Morning Music: XTC, “Wrapped in Grey”

XTC’s Andy Partridge can be a cynical songwriter at times, and he usually comes across that way in interviews. The band’s history also is rather rocky. And yet he’s capable of writing wonderful songs taking joy in life and urging others to do the same.

His songs on Nonsuch, their classic 1992 album, finds him equal parts surly and hopeful. The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead is a biting commentary on how we treat those who try to lift humanity up from under the thumbs of the powerful. Omnibus is downright playful. Then She Appeared is a sweet love song.

Then there’s Wrapped in Grey, addressed to anyone who’s feeling crushed by lifeless, loveless routine. It’s a perfect marriage of lyrics and music, with the verses depicting a cold, grey world and the soaring choruses (“Awaken, you dreamers ….”) pulling us out into a more colorful world with “parrots and lemurs,” “balloons and streamers” and anything else Partridge conjures.

The song has inspired a few people to create their own videos on YouTube. This one is a little too literal but gets the point across:

There’s no official video, and that proved to be the final breakdown between XTC and their record label. Partridge goes into detail on that scenario, the lyrics, the recording of the song and some moderately tasteless comments on Kate Bush in this interview.

This was the last of three classic XTC albums — Skylarking, Oranges and Lemons and Nonsuch. They didn’t record again for seven years, and by that time, the trio was fragmenting. They put out two more albums, neither one quite up to the standard of these glory days. Partridge fell out with guitarist/keyboardist/string arranger Dave Gregory first, then with bassist/second songwriter Colin Moulding. They’re apparently starting to communicate a bit more now, but they’re in various states of well-deserved retirement. And hopefully they can all take some pride in songs like this.

Have bloggers surpassed traditional journalists?

It’s a stupid question on many counts. Some “bloggers” in this post are actually professional advocates. Others are semi-pros who aren’t about to quit their day jobs but are getting money to drive traffic.

But however you define them, these non-traditional pundits and newsgatherers are often proving themselves far more nimble than the corporate folks.

Case in point: The story of Rep. Anthony Wiener and a mysterious semi-lewd photo on Twitter, as explained here by another non-traditional outlet, The Daily Show:


For those who don’t have time to watch the clip or unfairly label Stewart as a “liberal” unworthy of attention from right-thinking folks, the nutshell is this: Bloggers of various inclinations are digging up actual facts about the incident while CNN seems powerless to do so.

Sure, the blogosphere also is capable of digging up sheer dreck, giving a safe haven to birthers and other conspiracy theorists who enjoy inventing their own “facts.” But in best-case scenarios, they’re also capable of legitimate crowdsourcing.

That’s also the case with FIFA and CONCACAF shenanigans. Check the roundup on my other blog, SportsMyriad, and you’ll see that the indie media have certainly taken the story and run. Bill Archer has been a one-man FIFA/CONCACAF watchdog for years, while Tom Dunmore has contributed a must-read FIFA history that explains why so much of FIFA hates England and how the organization has simply swapped one bad habit for another.

In most respects, the “bloggers” (whether they operate a reverse-chronological site or not) are welcome voices, adding vital information. That’s great.

But we don’t want the big organizations to go away. When you have a lack of media oversight, you have … well, FIFA and CONCACAF, where the only people taken to task through official channels in the past week are those who have dared to ask questions.