05 May 2011

end transmission UPDATED SONG - another update - new song

UPDATE 18 MAY 2011
new song
"She Said Goodbye/Flashback"
Artist: TSTVS

This will be my final post at theskyisatelevisionsignal.blogspot.com. To regain my anonymity (among other factors), I'm going to start a new blog elsewhere; however, for the regular and semi-regular visitors (and I know there are a few), contact me for more info, and if you don't know how to do that check my profile.

The following is something I've been working on over the past 24 hours. It's called "The Things You Never Forget."


******OK, so this is the final version of the song I recorded and posted here earlier. Added some vocal samples and put the final mix on tape.


The Things You Never Forget/A Goodbye Fading (Final Mix) by TSTVS

the greatest lie ever told?

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/8493391/Osama-bin-Laden-dead-Blackout-during-raid-on-bin-Laden-compound.html

Osama bin Laden dead: Blackout during raid on bin Laden compound

The head of the CIA admitted yesterday that there was no live video footage of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound as further doubts emerged about the US version of events.

Leon Panetta, director of the CIA, revealed there was a 25 minute blackout during which the live feed from cameras mounted on the helmets of the US special forces was cut off.

In an interview with PBS, Mr Panetta said: "Once those teams went into the compound I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes where we really didn't know just exactly what was going on. And there were some very tense moments as we were waiting for information.

"We had some observation of the approach there, but we did not have direct flow of information as to the actual conduct of the operation itself as they were going through the compound."

Mr Panetta also told the network that the US Navy Seals made the final decision to kill bin Laden rather than the president.

He said: "The authority here was to kill bin Laden. And obviously, under the rules of engagement, if he had in fact thrown up his hands, surrendered and didn't appear to be representing any kind of threat, then they were to capture him. But they had full authority to kill him.

"To be frank, I don't think he had a lot of time to say anything. It was a firefight going up that compound. And by the time they got to the third floor and found bin Laden, I think it - this was all split-second action on the part of the Seals."

(Blogger's note: There was no "firefight." Only ONE non-SEAL person at the compound was armed. Click for story.)

The President only knew the mission was successful after the Navy Seals commander heard the word “Geronimo” on the radio, a code word from commandos reporting that they had killed bin Laden.

The absence of footage of the raid has led to conflicting reports about what happened in the compound. According to Pakistani authorities one of bin Laden’s daughter’s, who was present during the raid, claimed that her father was captured alive before he was killed.

There was also growing doubt about the US claims that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies involved in the raid.

Lieutenant General Asad Durrani, former head of the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence service, said it was "inconceivable" that his government was unaware of the US raid on Osama bin Laden's compound.

He claimed his country was forced to deny any knowledge of the raid to avoid a domestic backlash. The ISI's official line has been that bin Laden's compound had "slipped off our radar" after it raided the building in 2003 while hunting for another senior al-Qaeda operative.The agency claims it was unaware that bin Laden was hiding there.

Lieutenant General Durrani, however, said that the denial was a "political" maneuver by the intelligence services to avoid claims that they were working too closely with the US.

He said: "It is more likely that they did know [about the raid]. It is not conceivable that it was done without the involvement of Pakistani security forces at some stage. They were involved and they were told they were in position.

"The army chief was in his office, the cordons had been thrown around that particular place. The Pakistani helicopters were also in the air so that indicates that it was involved.

"[There are] political implications back home. If you say that you are involved there is a large, vocal faction of Pakistani society that will get very upset because we are carrying out repeatedly these operations with the Americans."

03 May 2011

a first

I can honestly say I've never seen this before: it's an ad for a Lockheed Martin air-to-ground missile.


pogo was right

As the events of September 11, 2001, age in the history books, it will become further defined as a historical turning point for the United States. Indeed, that day will be viewed as David delivering a crucial blow to an aging and vulnerable Goliath. During the past ten years, US leadership has, more than ever before, embraced NOT the founding principles of the United States, but the powerfully profitable principles of the military-industrial complex. It’s this nation’s mother’s milk. Indeed, we’ve forfeited the ability to provide meaningful health care for our citizens; a federal mandate will soon require health insurance coverage for all US citizens, which will only fatten the pot for the nation’s health insurers. We’ve let the decaying infrastructure crumble before our eyes, and instead of picking up the rubble and build anew, we’ve swept the dust under the artillery cabinet. We’ve been stripped of some of our most fundamental rights, all in the name of security, and packaged it with stars and stripes – we call it the Patriot Act. And why create jobs when we can convince our middle and lower class young people that the real opportunity exists in joining the armed forces? After all, old blood won’t win the three wars we’re engaged in – gotta get some new blood in there. And, as an added bonus, they'll give you 100% tuition reimbursement. But never mind the prospective needs of the new recruit, the stars and stripes and the glorious freedoms of America must be protected from the barabaric, brown-skinned religious zeolots of Mumhammed -- we can't let the "terrorists" win, right?

The political discourse in this country has become something off late night TV and all that’s missing is the laugh track; the series features the “Kelly Bundy” of the Right, Sarah Palin, and the Left is bolstered by the likable yet inept “Michael Scott,” portrayed by Barack Obama. But once the lights fade and the studio empties, the antagonism is dropped and a good time is had by all the cast members. And under all the laughter and scripted lines, fear crawls in the shadows – you don’t always see it, but it’s always there, waiting to pounce and seize the populous by the tail. Bin Laden might be dead, but the threat of “terrorism” is still there. And it will always be there. We can't let the terrorists win, right?

So who’s winning? The good guys? The bad guys? Who’s who, anyway?

When bin Laden was killed, he was killed behind the 17-foot-tall walls of his home. He, apparently, had been living there for the past six years and was so afraid of being seen, he rarely, if ever, ventured outside -- he was a prisoner in his own home. He hoped and believed that by spending millions of dollars on weapons and security he’d be safe. But in the end, all the money in the world couldn’t protect him from his own irresponsible and deadly actions.

We have met the enemy and he is us.


02 May 2011

america wins again!

Knocked one final exam down this morning and will complete the semester with one more on Wednesday. I've got to stay focused, but it's been very difficult since the news of Osama bin Laden's death. Actually, the news itself hasn't been distracting -- it's been the egregious and disgusting response by so many Americans to his death that's been distracting and, frankly, infuriating. David Sirota wrote a great piece today in response to the death-fueled patriotism.
For decades, we have held in contempt those who actively celebrate death. When we’ve seen video footage of foreigners cheering terrorist attacks against America, we have ignored their insistence that they are celebrating merely because we have occupied their nations and killed their people. Instead, we have been rightly disgusted -- not only because they are lauding the death of our innocents, but because, more fundamentally, they are celebrating death itself. That latter part had been anathema to a nation built on the presumption that life is an "unalienable right."
Since my early teens US politics has been a passionate interest of mine, and I'm not sure how or why I was attracted, but I was. But now, that passion has turned to disgust -- and not just for the American political process and the collusion that poisons both parties, but for the general direction and attitude of the country itself. Fact: we've spent over trillion dollars in military and military-related spending since 9/11 and have murdered literally hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghan civilians. We invaded Afghanistan to destroy al-Queada and bring bin Laden to justice. Well guess what, the WMD justification for invading Iraq was a total hoax, Afghanistan is Vietnam, Pt. II, and bin Laden had been living in Pakistan for at least the last six years. (And I won't even mention the illegal war launched against Libya.) US officials have stated that the "war on terror" doesn't end with bin Laden's death; in fact, it's quite the opposite -- we must remain "vigilant." So when will the "war on terror" end? It won't. This so-called war is a fear factory, and as long as Americans remain consumed by consumerism, fear production by Uncle Sam will reach new highs. Ironic, because North Korea, the bastion of fascism and proud member of the "axis of evil," administers the same tactic.

We don't live in a democracy.

We don't live in a representative republic.

We live in a military state that uses its worthless dollars to protect its crumbling self-interests.

God bless America!



21 April 2011


"As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome."

Noam Chomsky (2011) from "Is the World Too Big to Fail?"


08 April 2011

comfortably trapped?

Been thinking maybe it's time to move on...


26 December 2010

straight from my tape deck to your internet

Here it is: the first song I've produced in at least three years, maybe longer. It's called "Home?" and it's by yours truly, The Sky Is A Television Signal. (The brief glitch heard at the opening is soundcloud's doing, not mine; it is not heard in the mp3, which you can download below.)

Home? by TSTVS
Home? by TSTVS

23 December 2010

stay tuned

Off to work now, but once home I hope to put the finishing touches on the first new piece of music of produced in four, hell, maybe five years. I've been working on it over the last twenty-four hours -- and it's a banger.


21 December 2010

light and time

So now that the first semester is in the books, I’ll briefly rehash some of the family-related drama that occurred over the past few months.

In mid-September I received the following letter from my incarcerated sister. Shortly after she wrote it, she was transferred to Madison Women’s Prison in southeast Indiana, just miles from the Kentucky border.


I never responded to her letter. I never visited her. My decision not to write her was not a refusal to do so, but a time issue. I was bogged down in school studies, and if I were to writer her, I wanted the letter to be a dedicated and emotional effort, not a quickly scribbled note of clichés and well wishes. In reflection, I feel incredibly bad about not responding, and I feel even worse as I post the above images. Posting them is the first time I’ve viewed her words since I received them in September.

Several weeks later, just three days prior to Thanksgiving, I received a phone call from mother – a phone call of which I wasn’t prepared. “Your sister is back in town, and I wanted to let you know that she’ll be here for Thanksgiving, and if you don’t feel like coming, I’ll understand, but I’d really like to have you here, son.” My response was shock: I hadn’t anticipated seeing her so soon; I’d been led to believe that she wouldn’t be released until sometime early 2011. Prior to the phone call, I was looking forward to a Thanksgiving afternoon without the drama and heartache that usually accompanied sister’s visits. Mother could hear the apprehensiveness in my voice. Her words began to quiver and shake. She started crying. “I’d really like you and ___ to be here because… I don’t know how much time I have.” I can’t express how those last eight words struck me. I thought mother’s health had finally stabilized, but maybe not.

____ and I made it for Thanksgiving and it was, refreshingly, uneventful. Sister and I didn’t talk much, but we exchanged hugs and shared a view laughs. The woman I saw actually resembled the sister I recall from so long ago. She could engage in conversation. Her memory was sharp. It was miraculous. Mother, on the other hand, looked unwell. She told me she’s in constant, severe pain, and although recent liver function tests have “normalized,” she’s still sick. I sometimes wonder how much time she has left, especially when she routinely hints at death’s closeness. I don’t know. Perhaps she’s struggling to come to terms with her mortality. I don’t know. I wish more was known. For example, does she have cirrhosis? No liver biopsy has ever been performed, yet apparently one doctor told her she did have it when no diagnosis can be made without it. I know better care can be sought, and I’ve encouraged her to seek it, but, in my opinion, the reason she hasn’t explored options in Indianapolis is because the care she’s received in hometown has been “good enough.” I don’t know. My theory is that she may have heart failure because the symptoms that aren’t consistent with liver disease are suggestive of HF. I’ve recommended she follow it up, but she’s so frustrated with everything that it’s not a high priority. It’s frustrating for her and me. And sad. Things were (once again) anxious last week when some abnormal spots were discovered during a routine mammogram. Thankfully the biopsy was negative.

About one week prior to the mammogram scare, my mother was broken again when she discovered that sister has hepatitis C, and there’s a good chance her four-year-old son has it too. Hep C eventually leads to severe liver impairment and increases one’s odds of getting liver cancer. It’s impossible to know when and how sister became infected, but we do know prior to her prison sentence she was using needles, which is a major risk factor for hep C because it is a blood-borne pathogen. Of course, mother must take proper precautions to avoid any potential exposure because a diagnosis would represent a swift death due to her already impaired liver (there is no vaccine for hep C). If her son does indeed have it, I don't even want to think of the health challenges he'll face.

I remember when mother called to inform me of sister’s infection. Struggling to come to terms with everything, she cried, “Time keeps getting shorter.” I’ll remember those words for the rest of my life because it was the first, frank, vocal acknowledgement of her own mortality.

I have come to acknowledge that for me, childhood was cruel in its deception. When I think about how as a child I perceived my family and life in general, I get lost. I know who the child was – who I was – but my mother, father and sister, their reflections have become distorted. Age thirteen is the water mark: parents divorced. I’m aware that I’ve mentioned their separation numerous times throughout this blog, and I’m also aware that some may perceive my recollection of that event as a crutch, or an excuse to employ in protecting myself, or excusing myself from whatever. And maybe that interpretation is at least somewhat true, but it’s undeniable that their divorce was the first crack in the glass façade of my reality – a reality that no one could protect me from, a reality of which no one could cushion the blow.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. The decision to return to school and my recent nursing-program accomplishments (final grades for the semester: A’s and B’s) have been immensely positive and motivating for me. It’s strange: in some ways I feel as though my progression, my evolution is separating me from mother, father, and sister. Different planes of existence all pulling in opposite directions. I’m pushing forward. I’m attempting to build something. Something that, at this point, I cannot even fully comprehend.

Regardless of the light and darkness that occupies much of my life today, one thing is certain: I never thought things would be like this.


15 December 2010

all smiles

It's official: first semester of nursing school is over and I passed (with plenty of points to spare)!


11 December 2010


First: Listen to this video. It's "Theme for Great Cities" by Simple Minds.

OK, now open your ears to the following song. This one is Radiohead (full disclosure: I'm a Radiohead fanboy) and it's called "Where I End and You Begin" (full disclosure: this is a top 7, maybe top 5 fav of mine). As you listen, anything strike you when compared to "Theme for Great Cities"?

So, intentional? Unintentional? Whatever the case, that Simple Minds song is pretty dope.


(More 2010 muscial favs coming up! Just gotta survive Finals week next week and it'll be 3 1/2 weeks of holiday va-cay. One final grade already in: I landed a final 94% for my clinical course, which consisted of two, five-hour days every week for the past ten weeks at a local long-term care facility. Feeling pretty good about that, but next week is sure to be a nail biter: Pharm final Monday at 10AM [feeling pretty confident about that one] and the dreaded Med-Surg final Wednesday [not so confident -- the final regular exam of the semester this week crushed me with a failing 72%]; anything less than a mediocre performance will be a cause for concern, but I'm playing the optimist, so we'll see. Plus, much drama -- mostly of the family variety -- has occurred during the past several weeks. I'll share some of it here when I can find the time. Considering all the extracurricular shit that's accumulated on my shoulders during this semester, I'm shocked I remain afloat.)

22 November 2010

2010 music, part two


OK, I just discovered this one, so I haven’t had much time to reflect on it, but I’m already mesmerized. The album is Sports and it’s by a San Fran band named Weekend. The first listen struck me as few albums do, which is why it’s already become a fav of 2010. It’s hard not to fall in love with an album that opens with the devastating “Coma Summer” (never mind the title -- this is a dark, winter day’s soundtrack). I love the wallowing guitar that phases in, out and over Shaun Durkan’s lyrics. It’s hypnotizing stuff. “Monday Morning” glumly shimmers like an undiscovered gem from Joy Division. And "Veil" will break your heart. Its lyrics are cloaked in reverb; a rattling bass forces circulation; and at the 3:45 mark the guitar bursts through. Just as "Veil" begins to burn, its ashes fade in a wash of hazy sound.

As I age, this time of season becomes more bitter, sweeter. Ghosts from the past seem to weave in and out of the cloud swollen sky. The sun is gone by 5. A glaze of ice catches my face in the cold breeze. It’s harsh, yet strangely comforting. Sports offers an accompanying dose of solace.