Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Edifice Wrecks

So far, I’ve received a few e-mails giving me “what for” because I spoke ill of the decisions that our government has made. These days, it seems that not agreeing with every word that spills from the mouths of politicians = not supporting our troops. Allow me to retort.

Politicians are liars. They really have to lie because our expectations are just silly. We expect them to have more integrity than the rest of us and then condemn them for being human. Dream on. No one gets that far without slashing a few tires. And quite honestly, I don't mind lies that make fools out of the assholes who insist on perfection in their leaders. The higher you build ‘em up, the more fun it is to knock ‘em down, I guess. Nothing gets you through the day like driving to work on higher moral ground.

Lately though, the lies are no longer the spit polish that people give to an image to get around the unreasonable and unrealistic biases of most Americans. Now, they’re being willfully ignorant of the consequences that others have to suffer because of their lies. Like most compulsive liars, they’re probably lying to themselves more than anyone else.

I’ve got some personal experience with both types of lies. I used to hate the spit polish kind as much as the big ones, but eventually I realized that I needed to be a little more forgiving of human foibles. People often don't want to deal with the bits of dust that the truth leaves on their clean sweaters. Also, sometimes people can get hurt by the truth when avoiding it won’t really hurt anyone other than you. Big Lies yank you down into a huge hole that you will (and believe me, you really will) eventually think is reality. There's company in those holes. That's the real irony. You find yourself surrounded by a mass of liars and eventually you (if you’re lucky enough) get to go all Plato and decide whether or not you want to stay in there with the other liars or just deal with life. Of course, the real bitch about telling the truth is that you really have to deal with the fact that most people would rather stay in that hole and that once you're honest, you realize which people around you will watch your back and which ones will stick a knife in it. So lies effectively push the good kinds of people away while drawing the worst kinds closer. It all comes together in a nice, self-destructive ball of black fucking misery.

The worst kinds of Big Lies are the lies that are told to inspire others. These are the kinds of lies that sell religion, politicians, and lovers. When someone that you deeply admire has lied to you about something that is important to you, you realize that everything that they ever said was probably bullshit. And once people find out that someone that they really care about has lied to them about something that once inspired them, it makes it more difficult for them to be inspired by anything at all ever again. Add that to your karmic list, dogma boy/girl. Lies are the flame retardant coating of the soul. Once your soul is embedded, you become an impervious, shut-off shell and a waste of oxygen. A parody of the thing you could have been and I'll bet that thing could have been pretty amazing. And probably still could be, if you'd stop fucking lying for a minute and consider that the superficial attention you receive for the lies that you tell is the smack that you shoot straight into your ego.

The two things I appreciate more now than I ever have are honesty and money. Sadly, one of those things seems to be almost impossible to have with the other. It sounds trite but I do not think that I should have to make shit up to sell myself to anyone. I value honesty at this point more than anything else. I'd rather have truth than a nicer car. This year (especially the past few months) has afforded me a vast opportunity in terms of appreciating the value of honor and honesty in dealing with other people.

Trust me kids, I have learned my lesson. It costs me jobs and boyfriends but I'll be fucked in the ass by a tribe of rabid monkeys with strap-on barbed wire cattle prods before I will ever sit by and allow people to behave that way around me again. Of course, this terrifies people like that enough to stay the fuck away from me, thank God. Or Buddha. Or whatever.

Being honest is tough because people really aren’t conditioned to deal with honesty. But it’s far and away better than slithering through life wearing Emperor’s new clothes or waking up one day and realizing you're the joke you played on yourself.

So, I suppose that unrealistic expectations kind of exacerbate small lies into bigger ones, which fuel the fire of another person’s eventual defeat and someone else’s smug triumph. It’s up to one of those people to just drop the rope and walk away before it gets that far. Which is hard, if you like the person, but damn, isn’t it better to have a few real moments in life than a bunch of bullshit ones? For me it is. Lies are the reason that nobody has heros anymore. That blows because sometimes, it's the people that we admire above all others that kick us in the ass and make us become our own heros. Find out one of the people you really admire is a full-on compulsive liar, it not only negates anything they ever said to you that made you admire then in the first place, but makes you a cynical bastard to boot. Liars are the farmers of cynicism in a world full of heaping silos.

I am beginning to think that most of America (if not the world) is happier living in ignorance and lies as long as it isn't inconvenient.

Hope I'm wrong. Bet I'm not.

As for the asswipe who says I don't support our troops: I don't support the fuckheads who tortured prisoners. In fact, I'm pissed at them for making the U.S. look even worse (if that was possible, which is debatable) than it did before. I feel great empathy for the people who will be coming back to the states with post tramatic stress disorder though. Ten years from now, those kids will be in their early thirties. They'll wake up every night in a cold sweat (if they choose to sleep at all, because the nightmares they'll have will be almost as bad as being there again), jump at every little noise they hear, and attack everyone around them because they can't think straight. Some will take drugs or drink to deal with it and die or go to prison because they can't imagine stopping and letting the ghosts of their pasts approach them without some kind of haze clogging their brains. If they don't completely self-destruct and manage somehow to get decent treatment, they'll be kicking around the crazy bucket for the rest of their lives, fighting off the impulse to just let go and jump out a goddamned window. The horrible memories that they would desperately love to forget might manifest as migranes, causing them to spend a few nights a year booting their dinners into the toilet and getting injected with pain killers. The government that is sending them over there will be cutting their benefits and people like you, yes you, asswipe, will be bitching about people who can't get their shit together and how our tax money shouldn't be going towards those who cannot help themselves. You're a fool. A big, fat, blind faith havin' fool. Peddle your assumptions in someone else's e-mail folder next time.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


Once in a while, out of curiosity and boredom, I google my name to see how many gals have adopted it this week. So far, there are three more to add to the pack. And they all seem tragically boring. C'mon girls, make me prouder or get off the boat.

Anyway, I found my name (and a link to my blog) in two of the most interesting places this time. The first one was a Kobe Bryant support site. I pictured all manner of beer totin', machismo havin', closet cases accidentally reading my Kobe diatribe, expecting an impassioned plea for Kobe and then saying to themselves, "Jeez, you mean it ain't right to fuck a woman if'n she passed out?" I bet there'd be about a moment of introspection (as lately, I've started to believe more strongly than ever that most Americans possess the emotional maturity of a larval snail) before they just scratch the beer belly, throw a guilty glance at the bed, and surf on to greener pastures that boast illegal web cams.

The second one was by far the most amusing fucking thing I have seen all week. It's called "Whore-mart". What the fuck? It brings to mind a flock of horny, sexually repressed men with large plastic shopping carts full of gigantic breasted women. And once in a while, a young asian man. I'm telling you, this made my day. And I owe it all to Wal-Mart! Ok, now I'm not sure which part is funnier: the fact that my blog is linked on a page with the afore mentioned web cams or the fact that they would include the word "syphilitic" on a porno site. Are there people who fetishize VD? I mean, is that a thing? If it is, it's a new one on me. I so hope that some fapping moron stumbles upon my site in the middle of a porno frenzy and gets so caught up in reading about the BBC or Günter Grass that the viagra wears off or the wife wakes up to find him with his limp dick in one hand and a dictionary in the other. Dare to dream...

It's full-tilt snow madness outside right now. The perfect time for insomnia because the neighbors (a mix of White Trash and Ghetto Fabulous) are tucked away with the kinfolks instead of shouting and calling the cops on one another. I made a huge pot of organic veggie soup (fuck you, I'm not a hippy) and sit happily watching the storm all night. Quiet chaos. It's what's for sinners. Who are tired of studying for the GRE. And pissed off at the world.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Painting Sisyphus

It was almost four years ago exactly that I began work on my epic project. I knew from the beginning it would be the coolest thing I would ever do.

But, the joke was on me.

Sometimes, when you stand back and assess something calmly, you realize it’s just not going to happen. You have to put down the paint brush, put the painting away, and call it a lifetime.

Some things look so much better in my head than they do in reality and I obsessed over this painting like nothing I’d ever done before. But even I, the most tenacious woman alive, had to be rational and admit to myself that it was nothing other than a dismal, horrific failure. I talked myself through it, thinking that I’d eventually find a way to make all of those amazing little splotches (that were so much fun to create) connect in a way that ended in something meaningful and balanced. I’m a spirited, cheerful gal most of the time, so it’s not that hard to find the enthusiasm to keep going, even when things look completely hopeless. But when I took a really hard look, I saw a bunch of lines, tiny connections, and empty space that coalesced into squat. There was no meaning in it, or anything that I will be thankful that I saw ten years from now. Just a big lot of nothing special that I’d assured myself would come together in time. What a shit realization, eh? I can’t even say that the process was great because lately, each moment that I worked on it, I felt kind of empty by the time I was done, like each creative impulse I’d put into it was sucked into the canvas, never to be seen again. Every stroke of the brush reinforced the knowledge that not only was it going nowhere, it was looking uglier and uglier with each passing moment. There was no reward for the work and that in itself was a slap in the face and probably the reason I plugged away for so long. I just knew I'd get my props eventually. The final dregs of hope were scraped out from the uterus where the aborted fetus of “almost was” had jettisoned a few months ago. Now, those bloody bits of maybe are festering in a biohazard bag on the garbage pile of my psyche.

When you give up on something that you know had real potential to be legendary, it’s like a huge, black hole, sucking the life right out of you and straight into a cesspool. I think that the better something could have been, the worse it looks when it turns out to be nothing.

Sometimes, failure rests in a dark corner of your life, staring accusingly. It would never admit that it holds your fuck-ups against you and always will, so you force yourself to believe that it doesn’t. Who wants to admit that something really is beyond their ability? You can always roll over like a broken dog, dwell in the dark of blind faith, and wait for Godot. Well, fuck that. Nothing is worth ghosting my way through life especially a nebulous “almost was” like that poor, unfinished painting. Probably some other artist out there will grab the muse from the collective unconscious and channel it into something so nice I’ll want to puke my guts out. And I will eat the still- beating heart from that artists’ chest. Ha, just kidding. No really.

So, off to another year on the tail of the comet of irony that bears witness to what I thought would be my greatest work turning into my most spectacular failure.

I can’t see anything from here and I’m starting to like it. Nothing left to finish, nothing left to be left and praise baby Jesus, nothing to push uphill anymore.

Resolution: Complete. Now, only thing left is ice cream and Nico.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

I'm Your Density

Destiny is the heroin of the soul. A destiny jones makes you act a damned fool.

Take it from me, it's all bullshit. You live, you die, and whatever happens in between is circumstance. The sword in the stone is a useless piece of metal when all the King really needs is a steak knife.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Geneva, Shmeneva

The Geneva Convention. What is it?

Actually, it's not an it but a they. There are four "Geneva Conventions". The first convention is for sick or wounded soldiers, the second is for sailors, the third is for the treatment of POW's, and the fourth is for civilians during the time of war.

The conventions are over 100 years old, having begun in 1859 by Henri Dunant. Dunant witnessed atrocities in Italy during the Battle of Solférino and organized the local village folk (? I guess village folk? I always think of people outside the urban areas in Europe as "Village Folk") and helped get the dying soldiers medical treatment, at least, what passed for medical treatment at the hands of Village Folk in the 1800's. There was little Dunant could do that day to help much of anyone but later, he proposed the idea for what would later become the Red Cross. Dunant was a humanitarian but he wasn't stupid and knew that Red Cross medics would get shot or worse if there wasn't some type of mutually agreed upon protection for them. So the Swiss government hosted a conference and the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies and Field was created.

It has been changed over the years, most notably in 1929 when it was changed to cover the treatment of POW's and in 1949 (modified in 1977), when the entire thing was overhauled because after WWII, I'll bet people were like, "Wow, someone really set the bar higher, guys." In other words, mass genocide + photographic evidence mean one big bulging rug and a serious lack of excuses.

S'now, here we are in 2004. Iraq is a mess and there are few who can or will even bother to try to deny it. The insurgency is making things quite difficult. Too bad smallpox, a few blankets, and a fifth of Jack won't do the job anymore, eh? So the military guys (under orders, as if that's an excuse) found men (just random sons, fathers, and grandpas) at traffic stops or by just bursting into their homes in the middle of the night (!) and recruited them to "help" the soldiers discover who the rebels were. The Iraqi men did not wish to participate. C'mon, even if they don't agree with the rebels, they still have to live with them after the Americans leave. Who wants to be a narc? So they stuck some of them in Abu Gharib. I'm sure that they're probably sticking them somewhere else now. At any rate, they (the prison guards) took pictures of these guys naked and sometimes forced them to perform sexual acts on one another (they made someone's grandpa do this) and used the pictures to blackmail the men into cooperating. This is in a prison where people had cameras (again, stating the obvious). Now, if that prison was that bad and people were still allowed to not only take pictures, but share them, can you even begin to imagine (I am actually having trouble and I'm glad) what must be going on in Guantanamo Bay? That place is a fortress. Even after reading David Hicks' affidavit, I still suspect that it is much worse if the person isn't just a footsoldier, as Hicks was.

Killing people on one side of the world in the name of an ideal and then stepping all over the very same ideal whenever it's deemed necessary means that there really is no ideal, there are just a series of lame fucking excuses.

The Nazis. Genocidal maniacs, guys who march funny. And yet, even they have a better human rights record with regard to prisoner treatment than we do (officially). I wish that felt shocking.

*This post was pretty link intensive. Since the U.S. has lost its fucking mind and I started writing more about politics, I thought that it was necessary to include source material.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Trying not to be Crazy is like not looking in a mirror before a first date. There are impulses pressing on your skin like the needles of a cactus and ignoring them is hell because the suppression of such powerful urges makes you feel like you’re going to explode. Sometimes, I think that when Crazy people put their hands over their faces, it’s not because they are in despair, but because they are trying to cradle this rabid animal within that wants to spring out and destroy everything that the sane part has created while the Crazy part was asleep.

Crazy is an addiction. It alienates the people that love you and draws the destructive, parasitic types closer. It becomes your only friend and a false sense of self. You can’t see anything but Crazy. It’s the blanket over your eyes, hiding the terrified, sane child beneath it, cowering and afraid.

After you learn to control the Crazy, you look at your life, which makes it extremely difficult to care about controlling the Crazy in the first place. You look at your friends, your family, indeed your entire reality like a person who comes out of a basement after a storm to find their house intact but strewn with intimate belongings. Underwear on the lawn, photographs sprinkled on the floor, broken glass in the kitchen. You hardly know where to start cleaning up but you know for sure you don’t want to pick up the photographs and see the faces of the past, because they will remind you of every moment of erratic behavior and every time you slapped the faces of the people who tried to gently nudge you from beneath that psychotic, ratty little blanket.

I read a lot of things that other people write and they jokingly refer to themselves as schizophrenic or psychotic, as though insanity is a funhouse mood and they’re just along for the ride. But if you really are Crazy, the difference is that it is less like a funhouse and a lot more like a dilapidated slum in the middle of nowhere, with graffiti and beer bottles and peeling paint.

I look upon sanity as an achievement. It is a source of pride for me to walk down a hallway and not freak out because there are people on either side of me. I think that people who find their way out of the maze of psychosis deserve some kind of award. I want to tearfully thank the Academy and all the people who made it possible. I want to be smug with self-satisfaction before all of the people who encouraged my self-destruction and watch them avert their eyes because my newly (relative to the years and years that I was a basket case) sane eyes can see right through their holier than thou bullshit. For everyone else, I mostly want to swing my arms wide and say “Behold!” because they should have seen this place before I cleaned it up.

People that I meet who are still wading hip-deep in the sludge of Crazy ask me “what I did”. Did I take medication? Yes, I sure did. It only made things worse. Did I have therapy? Yes, but therapists are often glorified phone psychics. They lead you down paths that are completely irrelevant just to keep you on the telephone and keep the gravy train chugging away but never going anywhere. The fact is, while other people might have had a hand in exacerbating a pre-disposition for erratic thoughts and behaviors, you can’t give it back. It doesn’t go away. For the rest of your life, every now and then, dark figures will loom in your doorway. You spook easily. You’ll feel your mind slipping away sometimes and you have to lasso it back in. Quite simply, you have to work around it. You just have to look at Crazy as a series of orange cones in the path of your life and navigate carefully to avoid them. If you hit one once in a while, don’t kill yourself over it. Just try to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and hope that no one noticed. And if someone tries to push you down, remember that one of the few guilty pleasures in life is seeing the look of dismay on the faces of a people who know that they've screwed you over but not beaten you.

What made me think of this was a book that I read called “Running with Scissors”. It’s by a guy named Augusten Burroughs and it’s a memoir about his life. I listened to an interview with him on Fresh Air and what struck me is that he was so happy to have had a normal relationship with a normal-but-somewhat-eccentric guy for a very long time. He was so happy because this guy was kind of a grounding presence, which is what every recovering psycho needs. Prince Charming for Crazy people doesn’t come to the rescue as much as he places a reassuring hand on your shoulder once in a while in a gesture of good faith and trusts that your Crazy will never be as important to you (like it once was) as he is.

I know that all insane people can’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Brain chemistry can be a bitch. But for the ones who were coaxed under the blanket by child molesters or abusive parents: you really can find your way out. After the clouds dissipate and you’ve mostly cleaned up the messes that you made, you start to realize that swimming upstream once in a while is so much better than lamenting missed opportunities. You may not ever be “normal”, but one of the few advantages of insanity is that you were never normal and it probably led you down paths that people don’t "normally" take.

When I was Crazy all of the time, I sought a pill that would make me “normal”. But normal doesn’t really exist for me. If I had to work my way out of Crazy and have to spend the rest of my life having conjugal visits with it in order to have the perspective that I have, then it was worth it. Search my cavities all you want bitches, so that I can make a mental note of how your fingers lurked in my ass a second too long and write about it later.

I can't see it as a bad thing altogether. So what if parts of me never developed. I still have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy. There was a story about freighters on NPR this morning and I laughed loudly and longly every time they said the word "Seamen".

Coveting the mundane is a hobby that Crazy people engage in, but what most people call normal, I call unenlightened. I have fun sculpting Crazy now that I am far enough away from it to use it as a scalpel and that’s really why I want people to know that they can do the same thing. The world needs more reality surgeons.

Pimpin' The Party Line

I wonder when journalism will, if ever, recover some of its integrity or how many people actually realize how pathetic it is?

I listen to public radio, unless it’s pledge week, then I listen to Stern. Listening to Howard Stern is like…eating fast food. You feel kind of sick and greasy after you eat it but for some weird reason, once in a while you want to feel sick and greasy. I talked to someone today who finds Stern embarrassing. I agree, but then, I find most mainstream entertainment embarrassing. But sometimes, it’s somewhat enlightening to listen to the absolute opposite of NPR and I can't stand commericals so T.V. is out of the question.

I rarely speak to people that could be considered part of the mainstream. Now that sounds elitist, but it isn't because I think that my cultural perspective is loftier than anyone else's. I just have a difficult time communicating with people who believe everything that they hear on CNN, Fox, etc. I’m truly amazed at how easy it is to get a person to obey just by feeding them bullshit, which is exactly what network and print journalism has become. Obedience to the rules fascinates me because most of the time, if I think the rule is stupid, I refuse to go along with it unless someone gives me a good reason why I should. The funny thing is that when you argue the rules with rule mongers, it inevitably ends with "Because I said so, that's why!" Oh, yeah that'll make me submit, you stupid fuck.

I’ve said before that Jon Stewart was a tremendous breath of fresh air during the pre-election months. You can look at his videos on the net, by the way. Anyway, he sat down with Crossfire’s Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala and he literally begged them to hold open and honest debate on their show instead of doing what they normally do, which is engage in a lot of bell ringing and dancing bear political rhetoric instead of debating much of anything. Actually my theory is that they liked to get each other worked up so they can bump uglies later in the CNN mail room. There’s a lot of sexual tension there. But back to the much less interesting point, what did they do when Mr. Stewart came on their show? First, they ridiculed him for not asking Bob Kerry more serious questions on his comedy show and they sat there like the twits that they are and let a comedian annihilate them and did absolutely nothing to refute the claims that Stewart made about their shilling and hackery. They just interrupted him a lot and shouted and basically looked like spineless twerps. I had to go and research their history after that, to see why my sweet little Jon Stewart would do such at thing. I read some transcripts and this is what I came up with:

Crossfire is basically Springer with suits and extensive vocabularies, but not too extensive, we want the public to feel slightly inferior but at the same time, we don’t want to alienate them. They are like the supermodels of politics, polished enough to scare people a little but homogenous enough to appeal to like, everyone who is vapid enough to be taken in by their bullshit. Robert fucking Novak appears regularly on their show. And people watch it anyway!

So now I wonder how out of hand we’re going to get before things change. There is a fascinating theory that I have been reading about that has to do with a side effect of Groupthink. It is called "Group Polarization". Basically what that means is that individually, people tend to be fairly rational. However, get them in groups and things change. I’m sure that most people know that part already. The creepy part comes next. If the group party line tends toward the conservative (either politically or otherwise, the rule applies no matter what the collective goal or outlook), then the people in the group will be more conservative within the group than they would be individually. The same goes for people taking risks. They’re more likely to risk everything when they’re part of a group of risk takers. Once they’ve established themselves within a group, they check out how everyone else feels. In order to be liked, people take a position that is similar to everyone else’s, but a little more extreme. That way, the individual supports the group’s values but also presents himself or herself in a as a person in the vanguard; a true individualist.

On one hand, lots of people are being manipulated into believing a bullshit ethic and the ones who don’t believe it are going along with it, but in order to convince the group that they’re really loyal, they’re one-upping one another, vying for a nice place in the general structure of things. Then the other side reacts to the first side, and you have your similar types of folk, one-upping to claw their way into their own illusory niche of the pie. And the biggest joke upon which all of this is based is that the original “ideals” that were espoused and tossed around were basically the Nerf footballs of the body politic.

Sometimes, the absurdity is almost enough sugar to take the bitter taste out of my mouth.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

nosce te ipsum, yo'

Andy and Larry have been sued for plagiarism, along with producer Joel Silver. James Cameron also got nods for the Terminator Trilogy. ...the FUCK? The men have been sued by a woman named Sophia Stewart. If she wins, Stewart is going to receive a settlement, supposedly (and who knows how much of this is hyperbole) one of the biggest settlements in Hollywood history for the Matrix and Terminator trilogies. Well!

I read the story from whence it supposedly came. Hopefully when you read it you’ll have some insight that I missed. The Terminator thing throws me a bit because the great Harlan Ellison already sued Cameron and won; his name appears on credits now. That is like, a geek legend. So I’m confused.

I think that one of the most relevant issues in this suit and in Stewart's documented opinion is that people would rather see such a story emerge from the mind of a White Man than a Black Woman. I think a lot of people would snort and deny this right away, but I think she's absolutely right. I know people who think that aliens built the do you think that if the pyramids were built in Greece that anyone would question their origin? Even the origin of the amazingly accurate Mayan calendar is not attributed to anything other than a superior grasp of mathematics and astronomy. That's some freaky shit and very telling. The most open minded people (the freaks who believe in aliens coming to Earth, something I really think is bullshit) still can't get over Black people with the intelligence to design and engineer something so grand. Then again, lots of Black people gloss over the thousands of slaves who died making those fuckers. We sure are bias happy little bipeds, eh? The point is, there is bias based on race and gender and anyone who says differently is full of crap. So Stewart has a good point, at least on that front.

I suppose a film that is the epitome of post-modern science fiction (thus far) will get its share of people saying that it was their idea. Entire passages of Jean Baudrillard's "Simulacra and Simulation" appear in the dialogue and the book itself is even featured in the film (right after "Follow the White Rabbit"...the chapter "On Nihilism" is actually one of the more lucid in the book but then, it's hard to complicate Nihilism). I am not linking to a bookstore because I cannot in good conscience recommend it unless you are a full-on post modern junkie. If you go against my super-cool advice and read it, take some aspirin first. This one makes James Joyce look like "See Spot Run" and that's saying something right there. I threw it at the wall one time because it was so fucking irritatingly post-modern.

The list of brilliant science fiction films is long and glorious. Most of 'em were great to watch, but they lead you on like a smooth talking boyfriend/girlfriend with vague what-ifs, maybes, and almosts and never do anything more than stimulate your senses and make you forget that they lacked any real depth, which was fine, until you met “The One”. The recent addition of the amazing "Matrix" trilogy did for the genre what string theory did for physics. Science fiction was no longer simply a tall tale genre. It had really cool metaphor and thought experiments (so often alluded to but never explored in sci-fi films) and added so many new dimensions that we sci-fi fans always knew were possible, but had never seen. For me, it was like a Greek tragedy, where the prophecy cannot be avoided. The only thing that the antagonist had was his own mind, but unlike a Greek tragedy, he actually used it to solve the problem before him. Previous attempts were 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner but they were not terribly appealing to the mass public. They required thought and depth. But the Wachowski's brilliantly assembled a mass of ideas that struck chords in the masses and made them (well, more of them than usual) wish to explore the mysteries of a ton of different "isms" that the general action film loving public would never give much of a fuck about. Plus...I have to be honest, I thought Keanu was a dork before "The Matrix" but a sexy bitch (who would look so much sexier with me sitting on his lap) after I saw it.

I'm taking this one a little personally. The thing that pissed me off so much about it is that if it turns out to be true, all they had to do was share credit with Stewart. I think that many of the ideas (Gnosticism, Buddhism) that were explored in the films are going to be connected with a batch of liars. This opens a much more serious can of worms. Spiritual posturing is the cheapest high on the market and it would blow to find out that the ideals that were used as a base for the "fighting the good fight" ethic in this film were as relevant to the boys who made it as a Papal edict is to, well, me.

Either way, the lawsuit is going to trial and the no-doubt scary Grisham-esque Orwellian law team assembled to counter Stewart's claims has thus far, failed to either pay her off or get the case thrown out. Sounds suspicious...

So when I read this story about the Wachowski brothers, I hoped (and still hope) that it isn't true because I would really, really hate to see someone else miss out on something potentially wonderful because they were as disgusted as I was at the same type of people. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one, kids.

****LONG OVERDUE EDIT: The lawsuit was bullshit.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Jesus is Your Sugar Daddy

This is long y’all, but it’s cool so if you’re just skimming, find some other blog. Take your time with this one, it actually means something. And Christmas brevity is for pussies.

It is time for my own Christmas tradition. Actually this is my only real tradition.

The female biological entity that spewed me forth into this world was an atheist, which means I was fortunate enough to have never been trapped beneath that lauded, insipid delusion that December 25th was anything more than a marketing scheme, jingling its bell smack in the middle of the fiscal year of our Lord.

My Merry Tradition is reading a special chapter from a book called “The Tin Drum” (Die Blechtrommel). It is narrated by Oskar Matzerath, a 30 year old man in a mental institution, who threw himself down the cellar stairs at the age of three because he saw how foolish adults were and decided he would never grow up. He also decided that he would not speak to them (because they didn’t deserve it) and communicated only through a tin drum, hence the title. In the book, his childhood takes place during the rise and fall of the Third Reich.

The author’s name is Günter Grass. An important note: I do not have heroes. Having a hero means that there is someone above me in the scope of things. That kind of thinking leads to self delusion so screw that. Grass is one of two people who come dangerously close. As a member of the Hitler Youth, Grass was indoctrinated and subsequently drafted to fight for Germany in WWII. After he was wounded at the age of 16, Grass was confronted with the truth about the Reich. Oops. He decided not to do the very thing that had gotten the whole damned country into trouble in the first place (rationalize being total shitheads) and confront and conquer his own demons. And thankfully for me, write about them.

I have infinite admiration for a person who knows that they have done wrong and is not only strong enough to admit it, but strong enough to deal with whatever repercussions that admitting it might entail. Fortunately, and at great personal expense, I have learned how much character that it takes to do something so amazingly brave. When I say infinite admiration, I suppose that is what I would put on the “hero” shelf in my head.

So the chapter “Faith, Hope, Love” is truly the most profound thing I have ever read and I have read a whole fucking lot my friends (good and bad, mind you; you’ll find “Flowers in the Attic on my shelf beside “Ulysses”. I don’t do the literary posturing thing). It is so good that when I read it, my heart actually wants to die because I know that it will end. It’s like the greatest sex your eyes ever had.

So here is the scene: Markus, the man who makes Oskar’s beloved drums, has killed himself, having realized that the Nazis would soon dispatch his Jewish ass straight to the ovens, giving them one final finger and ruining their good time. Oskar finds the toyshop in ruins and the body of the toy maker, Markus, sitting at his desk. The following is an excerpt. If this doesn’t make you weep, I’m afraid you’re not human and must report to me immediately for extermination. Haha, just a bit of genocidal humor to get you in the mood…

Pg. 203-206, The Tin Drum

There was once a drummer, his name was Oskar. When they took away his toy merchant and ransacked the shop, he suspected that hard times were in the offing for gnomelike drummers like himself. And so, in leaving that store, he picked out of the ruins a whole drum and two that were not so badly injured, hung them round his neck, and so left Arsenal Passage for the Kohlenmarkt to look for his father, who was probably looking for him. Outside, it was a November morning. Beside the Stradt-Theater, near the streetcar shop, some pious ladies and strikingly ugly young girls were handing out religious tracts, collecting money in collection boxes, and holding up, between two poles, a banner with an inscription quoted from the thirteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. “Faith…hope…love,” Oskar read and played with the three words as a juggler plays with bottles: faith healer, Old Faithful, faithless hope, hope chest, Cape of Good Hope, hopeless love, Love’s Labour’s Lost, six love. An entire credulous nation believed, there’s faith for you, in Santa Claus. But Santa Claus was really the gasman. I believe—such is my faith—that it smells of walnuts and almonds. But it smelled of gas. Soon, so they said, ‘twill be the first Sunday of Advent. And the first, second, third, and forth Sundays of Advent were turned on like gas cocks, to produce a credible smell of walnuts and almonds, so that all those who liked to crack nuts could take comfort and believe:

He’s coming. He’s coming. Who is coming? The Christ child, the Saviour? Or is it the heavenly gasman with the gas meter under his arm, that always goes ticktock? And he said: I am the Saviour of this world, without me you can’t cook. And he was not too demanding, he offered special rates, turned on the freshly polished gas cocks, and let the Holy Ghost pour forth, so the dove, or squab, might be cooked. And handed the walnuts and almonds which were promptly cracked and they too poured forth spirit and gas. Thus it was not hard, amid the dense blue air, for credulous souls to look upon all those gasmen outside department stores as Santa Clauses and Christ children in all sizes and at all prices. They believed in the only-saving gas company which symbolizes destiny with its rising and falling gas meters and staged an Advent at bargain prices. Many, to be sure, believed in the Christmas this Advent seemed to announce, but the sole survivors of these strenuous holidays were those for whom no almonds or walnuts were left—although everyone had supposed there would be plenty for all.

But after faith in Santa Claus had turned out to be faith in the gasman, an attempt was made, in disregard of the order set forth in Corinthians, to do it with love: I love you, they said, oh I love you. Do you, too, love yourself: Do you love me, say do you really love me: I love myself too. And from sheer love they called each other radishes, they loved radishes, they bit into each other, out of sheer love one radish bit off another’s radish. And they told one another stories about wonderful heavenly love, and earthly love too, between radishes, and just before biting, they whispered to one another, whispered with all the sharp freshness of hunger: Radish, say, do you love me: I love myself too.
But after they had bitten off each other’s radishes out of love, and faith in the gasman had been proclaimed the state religion, there remained, after faith and anticipated love, only the third white elephant of the Epistle to the Corinthians: hope. And even while they still had radishes, walnuts, and almonds to nibble on, they began to hope that soon it would be over, so they might begin afresh or continue, hoping after or even during the finale that the end would soon be over. The end of what? They still did not know. They only hoped that it would soon be over, over tomorrow, but not today; for what were they to do if the end came so suddenly: And then when the end came, they quickly turned it into a hopeful beginning; for in our country the end is always the beginning and there is hope in every, even the most final, end. And so too is it written: As long as man hopes, he will go on turning out hopeful finales.
For my part, I don’t know. I don’t know for example, who it is nowadays that hides under the beards of the Santa Clauses, or what Santa Claus has in his sack; I don’t know how gas cocks are throttled and shut off; for Advent, the time of longing for a Redeemer, is flowing again, or flowing still, I do not know. Another thing I don’t know is whether I can believe that, as I hope, they are polishing the gas cocks lovingly, so as to make them crow, what morning, what evening. I don’t know, nor know I whether the time of day matters; for love knows no time of day, and hope is without end, and faith knows no limits, only knowing and not knowing are subject to times and limits and usually end before their time with beards, knapsacks, almonds, so that once again I must say: I know not, oh I know not, for example, what they fill sausage casing with, whose guts are fit to be filled, nor do I know with what, though the prices for every filling, fine or coarse, are legibly displayed, still, I know not what is included in the price, I know not in what dictionaries they find the names for fillings. I know not wherewith they fill the dictionaries or sausage casings, I know not whose meat, I know not whose language: words communicate, butchers won’t tell, I cut off slices, you open books, I read what tastes good to me, but what tastes good to you? Slices of sausage and quotations from sausage casings and books—and never will we learn who had to be reduced to silence before sausage casings could be filled, before books could speak, stuffed full of print, I know not, but I surmise: It is the same butchers who fill dictionaries and sausage casings with language and sausage, there is no Paul, the man’s name was Saul and a Saul he was, and it was Saul who told the people of Corinth something about some priceless sausage that he called faith, hope, and love, which he advertised as easily digestible and which to this very day, still Saul though forever changing in form, he palms off on mankind.

As for me, they took away my toy merchant, wishing with him to banish all toys from the world.
There was once a toy merchant, his name was Markus and he sold tin drums, lacquered red and white.
There was once a musician, his name was Meyn and he had four cats, one of which was called Bismarck.
There was once a drummer, his name was Oskar, and he needed the toy merchant.
There was once a musician, his name was Meyn, and he did his four cats in with a fire poker.
There was once a watchmaker, his name was Laubschad, and he was a member of the SPCA.
There was once a drummer, his name was Oskar, and they took away his toy merchant.
There was once a toy merchant, his name was Markus, and he took all the toys in the world away with him out of this world.
There was once a musician, his name was Meyn, and if he isn’t dead he is still alive, once again playing the trumpet too beautifully for words.

From “The Tin Drum”

This book served a great purpose in my life. It said, so profoundly, that if you fuck up, you keep your eyes open to it, deal with it, deal with whomever might have been affected by it, and then walk on. You don't have to wear that mantle for the rest of your life anymore than you get to rest on your laurels when you do something amazing. Self actualization is the only true redemption and the only path to true love is walking it with those who have seen you that naked and still hold your hand.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Pissfully Blissed

All right. We've had almost a week to get a grip on the last election and its impact on those of us who did not wish to see Dubya sleeping in the White House for another four years.

I have spoken to all of the people in my life whose opinions matter to me. I dearly love them all...but there are some things that bug me.

I have gotten three e-mails containing a list that Michael Moore wrote that gives folks reasons to be happy about the election. Y'all, if you need him to tell you what to do, it's no fucking wonder that we live in a country where we can't even have private telephone calls anymore. If you behave like a fucking child, expect to be treated as one. While I have enjoyed all of Moore's films, (especially Roger & Me), he's a blowhard, in the tradition of a Rush Limbaugh or a Bill O'Reilly. He just bats for "our" team. Information is spilling from every corner of our reality now. Blind faith is a choice.

Most of my friends drive SUVs or vans or trucks. I know one other person besides me who drives a plain ol' car. This reminds me of people who say, "I'm not racist, I have lots of Black friends!" If you truly do not want to have people die for your resources, stop consuming so fucking much of them you fucking hypocrites. Sometimes I wonder how many liberal people who whine and complain about us being at war actually step back and look at how their lifestyles perpetuate the need for war. Your 1, 2, or 3 person household does NOT need a big ass fucking vehicle. You need a car that big if you live on a goddamned ranch in the middle of fucking Nevada. This country is as out of hand with the fucking big ass cars as it is with religion and is just as ignorant about the negative impact that they have. If you try to rationalize it by saying that you just have too much stuff to haul around, try having less stuff dumbass.

One of the "get happy" things on the list was that George Bush can't win another term. Get with it, people. This was not a win for George Bush. This was a win for the Right. There is a frightening number of people who believe that George Bush was sent by God. Yes, they believe that he has Divine Right, similar to a King. Wait, no that's exactly like a King. There is a really great speech by a man named John Winthrop. I have a love/hate relationship with this guy. I love that he is a survivor and didn't let anyone stand in his way. I hate it that he was pretty much a cult leader and his cult was the Puritans, who were fucking scary. But they were committed and they survived one hellish fucking day after the another largely because of that commitment. Anyway, his speech, "A Modell of Christian Charity" (sic) is one of the greatest ever written. It is also creepy as fuck. The irony is that it motivated the shit out of the Puritans, made them truly believe that they too were on a mission from God and made them the most successful colony of the New World. From the beginning, our country has used religion and xenophobia to expand and conquer. Thus far, these two tools have proved successful. You want things to change? Be smart, come to grips with what you're dealing with, and start moving some dirt beneath your feet. Taking some social action six weeks before an election simply won't do. You've got quite a job ahead of you so do me a favor and read about what the Puritans had to deal with and prepare your ass for some sleepless nights.

The Right won this time because they scared people. People are afraid of terrorists, first off, but then tickle their noses with the possibility of moral degradation (which of course, is the primary rationale for being the xenophobic pricks that we are) and you've got them sneezing votes into your big, white hanky. It's that simple. It's not like the Right won't have a similar candidate touting the same bullshit that Dubya did with just as much good ol' boy appeal that he has. My instinct tells me that Cheney will not run next time, but that they will find a candidate who is just as rigid as Cheney and just as easily likeable as Dubya.

I know what makes me happy about this election without having to rely on Moore's grandstanding ass to tell me. It's that I saw people who haven't voted for years high tail it to the voting booth. I actually had to wait to vote! Outside the library, there were people holding signs, people being active, people actually taking the time out of their lives to make something good happen. Whether they were touting Kerry or Bush, I was deeply moved that they stood in the pouring rain and chilly wind just to make sure that others knew their choices and what they would mean in the long run. There were people informing others of their rights and giving out pamphlets full of information about whom to contact if their rights were violated. People had a mission! It was so cool. I wish so much that more people had this level of commitment in their lives every day.

Also, I consider that while me and most of my friends (I have conservative friends too...very opinionated and lately, I like them more than a lot of my liberal friends because at least they're honest with themselves about being greedy consumers and resource rapists) are pretty marginalized right now, the other side of the political equation would be as marginalized if Kerry had won. There would still be a huge imbalance in national satisfaction and that just isn't fair. I want, more than anything else, for things to be fair for everyone. The statement that pisses me off more than anything else is when people wave their hands and say that life isn't fair. It is a stupid cop-out used by people who do not have the character to compromise. I refuse to give up that easily. C'est la vie never did dick for me or anyone else. Let your anger and discontent motivate you. The only reason why life is not fair is because we have decided that making things fair is out of our hands when it fucking isn't. Your decisions on how to treat people are yours alone. Treat others with dignity and respect and I'll bet that life becomes a lot more fair than if you use or abuse them.

We have four years to change that. We have four years in which to educate people who fear homosexuals, who think that they are less deserving of happiness and civil rights, and who think that somehow, being gay is immoral or is a deviation in behavior and not just a difference in brain structure(which of course, it is). Four years is a damned long time. A lot can happen if people are willing to chill out a little, try to understand and empathize with these fearful folks. Since we are the minority, the ball is in our court to fight. Kick some ass and make logic work in your favor guys. And please, in the name of all that is holy (or unholy, if that's the cut of your gib) try to be honest with yourselves.

***I got an e-mail last night from someone who was angry that I criticized Mooreites without posting alternatives to his list.

Dude. Did you even read what I wrote past that sentence? My point was that you do not need either me or him or anyone to tell you what to do. Go and take some action on your own and if you do not know how, figure it out! Give yourself some credit, your DNA survived this long on this planet and that means that somewhere within you lies an amazing ability to adapt and change your environment. I can Google the word "vote" and get an assortment of websites that cover important topics that range from how to join a political organization to how I can find tentacle porn. If I can, you can. So shush and get to work.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Holy Water Enema

So George W. Bush won the election because of his high morals and let's face it, White Christian values. Eleven states voted against gay marriage. The Repubs have both the Senate and the House...

...and a dog will be the next mayor in a small town in Kentucky.

Just putting things into perspective.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

BBC Once, BBC Twice!

Will ya
Make me tea?
Make love to me?
Put on the telley?
To the BBC!
(Ming Tea)

Last night's debate was only ok because it is getting boring watching Kerry bury Dubya time and time again. Well, boring except for the part when Bush (who usually only looks stupid because he can barely speak) denied having said that he didn't think about OBL when of course, he did say that. On camera. Sadly, I felt kind of sorry for him right then, like when you're watching The Price is Right and some guy spins the Big Wheel and they're like, one little tile off from $1,000.00. You're like, "Aww, dude, you were so close!" In this case, he was so close to getting through a debate without looking like a total ass hat. I totally heard the sweat off Cheney's big, baldish head splash onto his desk when the palm hit his forehead. I named it "The Resounding Face-Palm of Doom".

American debates have become boring because everyone is trying to please everyone else. You have to go to the most polite place on earth for a good debate. If you want to have some real fun, you've got to listen to the BBC. Tony Blair got bus' upside the head with a condom full of purple flour in the House of Commons! You sure won't see that happen in the U.S. of A. Folks barely got close enough to W's limo to lob eggs at it during his inauguration, let alone flour him with an exploding Trojan! At the House of Commons, you can hear old, angry white guys grumbling when the debate is going on (so much more fun than us, who are trying to be polite or those sycophants who run around playing kissy assy with politicians. I think they call them "lobbyists", heh) and it's really fun listening to the Brits get feisty because they're really kind of known for being super-nice.

In Cincinnati, we're lucky enough to have the BBC overnight and (joy!) the station I most often listen to is also available over the internet (as is the BBC.) Watch out though, if you listen to this station in the afternoon, the dj has a love affair with Afro Celt Sound System and while at first, they are an intriguing sound, you eventually figure out that Africans + Irishmen = pygmies and pygmies are evil. Don't encourage them. Best just to listen at night, in the morning, and late afternoon (when my girlfriend Teri takes over).

You just haven't lived until you hear how unaffected and oddly chipper English people are when they're talking about blowing stuff up. Or chucking condoms at their Prime Minister!

BBC Peace!

Saturday, October 09, 2004

O, John Kerry You're So Lovely...

Our times have seen the Looney Toon of all elections.

First, we have our two main characters, Sen. John Kerry and President George Bush who chase one another around like Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. I'll leave it up to you to decide which shoes go where but my money is on Kerry (Bugs) and Bush (Elmer Fudd). To fill out the cast, we have Cheney (Marvin the Martian), Edwards [Huckleberry Hound (technically not a Looney Toon but deemed acceptable by the judges)], The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote can be the conservative and liberal press alternately dropping anvils on the heads of anyone who makes the mistake of breathing. I am stuck on Foghorn Leghorn. Too bad Strom Thurmond isn't around to make fun of anymore because wouldn't that be too perfect?!

The pre-election frenzy is full of extremity like a Superbowl commercial. Sales pitches that promise to deliver the most unlikely of products, sexy chicks, stupid white men (I count Clarence Thomas among them), and fortunately, if you turn the channel, people who are making a lot of sense, but maybe that's because everyone else seems to have lost their fucking minds.

I've compiled a list of stuff that I'll remember for years to come and people that I loathe, people I admire, and sometimes, both.

The Stories and People I have Loved Thus Far:

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to Kerry: "Sure You Saved a Guy's Life in 'Nam But Only Took Like, a Minute!" (with a side note about Robert "I'm a wiener" Novak)

Kerry's hard livin' in Nam has been taken to task by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and that silly book ''Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry''. The lube has dried on the ass of ex-POW and now Senator John McCain, and so it was time to get feisty over yet another Vietnam veteran and (oddly...sarcasm: drip drip) another Bush rival, Sen. John Kerry. What do these guys do when they're not attacking their fellow veterans? Hang out with Lt. Dan?

I think the ink for this book was probably squeezed from the severed heads of a truck load of dead puppies, some bear cubs, and maybe a baby seal. It's just that level of incredulous, pompous, what the fuck are you doing, assholism. First, it was hugely promoted by Robert Novak(who thinks it is a-ok to reveal the names of his sources, even if they are active CIA agents. In other words, he is a fucktard). Secondly Novak's son published this book but Novak said that this particular connection to the book was not relevant! Soooo, ok, lemme get this straight: It is totally relevant to disclose the name of a CIA agent (ruining her career and perhaps jeopardizing her life and the lives of her family) but not relevant to disclose what seems to be a big, fat conflict of interest. In other words, if you were still taking Novak seriously, wake up and put him in the spot in your brain reserved for all of the pig fuckers who have made money from terrorist attacks and the witch hunts (like those guy selling pieces of the world trade center, people who sell t-shirts at ground zero, and Halliburton). In short, a book promoted by a crap peddler like Robert Novak has problems starting right there but this book has "Read Me and Go Straight to Heck" (even without Novak) written all over it. Between the lines that say that Kerry is a creep, of course.

Ann Coulter: You Mouthy Bitch, Come Sit on Mama's Lap

I don't understand why I like Ann Coulter so much. She's awful. She's just terrible. Wait, yes I do understand why I like her. She's so certain that she's right and she's just so opinionated and mouthy, and she talks smack like, from the moment she wakes up to the time she goes to bed! The woman is unstoppable. She also has sexy pictures on her own website right next to the scathing articles she writes because she's a woman, baby. She's like Bill O'Reilly but I think that Bill really wants people to like him and I betcha by golly wow that Ann doesn't care what you think. That's my kinda gal. Also, she helped advertise for the World Wildlife Fund, one of the many places I've worked but one of the few where I didn't get fired.

Seymour Hersh: The Guy I Wish Was my Grandpa

Seymour is awesome and reminds me a lot of my former professor and good friend Ron Hoffman. He is elegantly passionate about all the right things (yeah, ok, all the things I really like) and he really seems to have integrity, which is so lacking in the world today. The thing that I like about him so much is that he shares the same incredulity that I have when I hear about human rights violations. After everything both of us have seen, we're still horrified that people are so cruel. This leads me to believe (though I admit, I could be mistaken) that he feels just as sad as I do when I see people doing terrible things to one another or to themselves. He also offers a perspective of the Iraq war that doesn't seem quite as hideously evil as some of the conspiracy stories that I've heard (that we're only over there to score some fat cash for our already morbidly obese corporations). Don't know that I buy it but it's compelling and the man is brilliant and not pandering or patronizing. I bet he drinks tea and has a "comfy chair" somewhere in his house. Teri Gross, one of the ladies of whom I speak with great fondness,interviewed him on my most beloved of NPR programs, "Fresh Air". Listen to him, he's spiffy.

Jon Stewart: Why Must You Rock so Hard Jon? Why?

It is difficult to say anything good about Jon Stewart that has not already been said a blue-million times over. What sold me on Stewart was an editorial (click on the link and scroll down) he did on the Supreme Court decision to stop executing mentally disabled Americans. Or Retarded People, as he calls them. I am not a fan of the death penalty for anyone. It's just dumb to kill off the people who are (as I've said before) by-products of our system. In all of my years of trying speak to people about my own feelings on the death penalty, it rarely ends with any type of lucid connection with another person, particularly if they're offering an opposing point of view. I think that's why I'm impressed with this one. No anger or hostility, just a wonderful way of making it look as ridiculous as I see it. Here is an excerpt:

Well, it's finally happened. The Supreme Court ruled we can no longer execute the retarded.
The death penalty was the only thing that we had to keep the retarded walking the straight and narrow people! Now, the fox has been let into the henhouse! The keys to the Golden City have been tied to a shoelace and placed around the neck of the wolf! With a note, pinned to his sweater, telling the Little Yellow Bus to take him to the sheep buffet in amnestyville!
By this time tomorrow, I fear, they will be upon us. Smiling. Hugging. Murder on their minds. And all we have to defend ourselves against this pillaging hoard is is our vastly superior intellect, an array of powerful weaponry, and superbly trained law enforcement officials. Lock your doors, people.
Nice. Thanks for making me laugh when everyone else is trying to scare the crap out of me.

Finally, Everyone Who Really Thinks John Kerry is a "Great Guy":

I am obviously, obviously biased. I don't like George Bush. But truth told, I don't like Kerry either. He has just done less to piss me off. Also, I think that there will be less dead people if Kerry is da prez.

Don't be fooled though. If anyone thinks that Kerry is some big hero and is any less the greedy magnate from a greedy magnate family than George Bush is, do your research. Kerry's maternal grandfather is James Grant Forbes, y'all. I'll link it for you but please read about the Opium wars. I fear that very little money in America at this point is bloodless. Kerry merely represents a different cog in the gigantic machine that is devouring the world. While I would love to be romantic and idealistic about Kerry (or anyone at this point), I cannot. I can though, concede that it would be nice to have the world not hating us again. Except the French who will always act snobby but truly, they make xenophobia look really cute and sophisticated.
More importantly, America is not about freedom anymore. We are about hoarding resources, oppressing other people, and happily living in willful ignorance. I know people who call themselves liberals, Buddhists, hippies, and various other counter-culture folk who talk a good game but can't pull a moment of selflessness out of their asses if they saw a kitten on fire. No matter who you are in America, you are a consumer and most likely, consuming more per day that people in third world countries consume in a week or even a month. Our leaders reflect that value and will do what they can to both defend and perpetuate it.

Our presidents, while playing for different teams, are playing the same game in the same league. Don't cozen yourself into being idealistic and later disappointed. I encourage people to vote but more than that, to vote without ignorance.

I am not as angry as I used to be, mostly because I neither have time to be angry and because I kind of try to look at life from a perspective that is less now.
What truly extracted me from feeling angry toward the world as a whole (oddly enough) was a politician named Robert McNamara, the 8th Secretary of Defense for the Kennedy/Johnson Administration. Listening to his memoirs, I realized that what is happening now has happened many times over. Especially during and after World War II. People walked around with surgical masks on their faces because they feared a flu epidemic (this really happened, sound familiar?), we (our country) bombed the crap out of Japanese civilians and that was before set them up the bomb. Then the Cold War happened and millions spent all of their time in fear of the very bomb that was used to off millions of innocent people in a country that we later rebuilt and eventually became the backbone of the world's economy.

Hmm....bombs, nation building, fear, surgical masks...that smells like..why is smells just like NOW!

Don't let yourselves get too distracted by fear or anger. Make informed decisions, not decisions based on fear or revenge or willful ignorance. And don't for a minute just take my advice. Go seek out this information for yourself.

Yes I Know It, I Can't Hellllp It!

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Ding Dong

Now, if you haven't seen this yet, you're in for a big, glistening treat.

Ok, first, this is the most fun you can have with cheesy pseudo-French accent and a tube of Astro-Glide.  And that's saying a lot!

Now that everyone has seen this video (everyone I tell you!) maybe someone can e-mail or comment and explain a couple of things to me:

First, is that a drag queen that's sitting to the left of the couch where the two chicks are like, necking or whatever?  I can't tell.  The person appears to have that weird bobbing smiley action happening similar to what one sees in a person suffering from a degenerative nerve disorder.  I suspect it may be Gunther himself in drag.  But then I come to my senses and think that Gunther must be far too manly for such folly.

Secondly, d'you think Gunther's lips are like that naturally?  I'm curious.  I'm rather fascinated by them and think that he must have found some ancient artifact deep in de night in some Finnish cave or something and an uber Viking lip spirit possessed them. They're so radiant and they seem to be the primary focal point of the person photographing the video.  I figure the photographer is drawn in by their mystical powers just as I have been.


Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Victims, Again

Deja fucking vu

I didn't think about Kobe Bryant's rights when I said that people shouldn't call the chick that he (allegedly) raped a "victim" (see archives 07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003). I was thinking more about her human rights. This does bring up an important (and often ignored) point though. He is innocent of rape until proven guilty. He did cheat on his wife for sure though. This much, he admitted. Does that make him a rapist? Nah.

What makes someone a rapist? I made a list. I like lists. I make lists all of the time. So being the selfless gal that I am, I made a list for you to remember when you hear about a rape, are raped, or maybe even sit on a jury of someone accused of rape:

1. Say you are "doing it". You are in the middle of hot, hot sex and suddenly, the woman feels weird or sobers up. Whatever. She says, "Stop. Now," and you don't stop. Congratulations, asshole. You're a fucking rapist.

2. Say a chick has been coming on to you all night long. She's been all over you like White on George Bush. You get her home. Oops. She just sobered up. Or passed out. Either way, you don't have permission. But...she's been coming on to you! She owes you something, right? Wrong, dumbass. She says no or if she's in no condition to say anything at all and you go on ahead and get your sex on, you’re a fucking rapist.

3. Say you just fucked a crack whore. The crack whore said no, but who gives a fuck. She's a crack whore, right? Wrong, fucker. You're worse because you're a fucking rapist.

4. No matter what the circumstances, unless you're playing a sex game or something and everyone is absolutely certain what's up, if a woman says no, it's rape if you still fuck her. Even if she's just gang banged 29 guys right in front of you. Even if she just did the goddamned donkey show. She says no, you do it anyway; you’re a worthless piece of shit rapist.

I mention substance abuse often because if you don't already know this stuff, a woman would have to be drunk or a crack whore to have sex with your dumb ass.

Also, if you're female, say no if you mean no. Don't say, "I don't feel like it." Say NO. There cannot be room for ambiguity until we live in a world where your vagina is as sacred as his penis. And so far, we don't live in that world.

All that said, yes, Kobe Bryant is way innocent until proven guilty. I hope he is innocent because that is one less woman that got raped last year.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Last Dance

Saturday April 7, 2001

Timothy Thomas knew he'd been spotted by two off-duty police officers working outside The Warehouse nightclub on Vine Street in Cincinnati. Thomas took off. The officers called in backups. Twelve officers joined in, like you do with a crime lord like Thomas, a 19 year old kid with some unpaid traffic tickets. Police said Thomas jumped fences and darted behind buildings, finally turning down an alley off Republic Street. Officer Steven Roach was in pursuit from the other direction. He saw Thomas walk from behind a building and said that Thomas was reaching for something in his waistband. Officer Roach fired, hitting Thomas in the chest. No weapon was found on or near Thomas' body. Timothy Thomas was the 15th Black man to be killed by Cincinnati police since 1995.

That night, I got off work early from my job as a bartender at Warehouse. I had a stray cat in the backseat of my car (the late Lady Goodman), and since this was before I hopped on the proverbial wagon, two hits of X in my pocket and some acid in my purse. A guy backed into me while trying to squeeze his big ass truck into a tiny spot just a few feet away from the club and cops were everywhere. I had no idea what was happening at that point except hey, pretty lights. I was lucid enough to know that Truck Man was obviously drunk and that if they found my drugs, I was fucked with a capital dick. However, a cop trotted over and told me and the other guy to "Get out of here now..." If there was no damage. He's letting the drunk guy go? Something was amiss but I had to look out for myself and (to me, at the time) more importantly, an innocent cat and most importantly, enough drugs on me to kill us both. Fine with me, Copper. Bye-bye and thank you very much for the huckleberry pie.

The next day, it was all over the news. The shooting, the cop (who had spotted Thomas in the first place), to whom I had served pizza and soda every Saturday night for the previous six months, and the club. Right then, as drug addled as I was, I knew that it was all over for Warehouse. Predictably and as a result of so many other human rights violations on the parts of the Cincinnati P.D. (some of whom are friends and many of whom were disgusted by the Thomas murder), Over-The-Rhine erupted after a (reportedly) peaceful protest was set upon by yet more of the police. There were riots, lootings, and what really is a potentially lovely area was pretty much destroyed. At the time, I didn't know what was more tragic: One man was dead but thousands of lives would be altered because the cops were out of control and the powerless residents of the area had nothing but rage to use as a weapon against them. Ironically, Warehouse was dead center of all the rioting, the reason why Thomas had been spotted by police in the first place, and had remained untouched. Untouched but not unaffected.

Last Wednesday night, May 26, 2004

After years of having put up a valiant, inevitable struggle against cultural evolution and social entropy, Warehouse finally scored its last touchdown. Though it had moved from its location on the most notorious street in the city, it proved too late to unsully its weathered combat boots. It was time for the old gal to roll up her carpet and call it a decade (and some change).

I saw a few people that I used to call friends and truly understood the word pity. Pity is another word for mourning except that you're mourning something that is still somewhat alive. For the most part, my friends were supported by their wealthy parents and for the most part, did doodly squat with their lives yet for some reason, still have the idea that doing nothing at all means something if enough people know your name. And they are NOT drunk.

I do not regret going there or working there though. First off, (and this is fucking sad), it was the only club in town that played music that made me want to dance. It was the only club in the city where you could dance along side (and sometimes with) gigantic, ex-football players who had become beautiful drag queens and not have to worry that some arse with a jock-itch to scratch was going to swim out of the darkness and start causing trouble. It turned social rejects and weak minded fools into Kings and Queens of the Underworld and though many of those Underworld Queens and Kings grew into parodies of themselves, they were great fun to be around in their time. Other clubs caught up later but for its time, Warehouse was the poo.

Secondly, it was where I had a nervous breakdown that cured me of my drug habit and eventually became the springboard for me ditching the aforementioned friends with absolutely no regrets. It is ironic that sometimes, clear thinking also clears up any doubt of why you started needing to tune out reality in the first place. Luckily for me, I had only burned the most twisted and broken bridges and had a Fairy Godfather (probably the last person in the world anyone would suspect has a heart made of solid gold puppies) holding my hand most of the way across the new one.

I was really happy when I left on Wednesday because unlike my old friends, I didn't settle for spending my life trying to recapture or hold on to an illusory sense of power that I'd sifted from the dubious attention of bar toads. Life rarely affords us positive, healthy closure. When it happens, it fulfills a human need for a linear chronology. We get the book ends. We get straight lines. We get to put a thumbtack on the map. It's like a freshly vacuumed floor or a shiny new dollar bill.

The only real goodbyes in life are the goodbyes that come with this kind of closure because they're cathartic without emotional upheaval. They're more like hellos to the future.

Thanks Tomm, Mike Dangers, Kevin, Dave, Kim, Dusty, and J-Bear for making my memories more memorable.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Show 'em The Door

Joy. I experience the greatest hope for humanity when a small fish decides to take on a bully. The best part of it is when the small fish uses its own tools and ingenuity instead of stooping to building its own Mecha-King Ghidorah. Good luck, Vermont.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Mash the Bataytas

I'm tired of saying goodbye to artists that I love. Maybe it's a good thing that lots of the artists I love were dead long before I was born.

Once in a great while, someone turns me on to a great artist that didn't yet kick the proverbial bucket. Hubert Selby, Jr. was among those great ones. I was nauseated for at least a month after reading "Last Exit to Brooklyn" and "Requiem for a Dream" made me shun all types of chemicals for at least two weeks. When someone can kick me in the ass so hard that I won't even touch coffee, he has power that extends far beyond the human realm.

The kind of mind that can transfer that level of human suffering to the page should have been crowned King of the Human Psyche. He doesn't go far into what it feels like to cry but inches slowly through the reasons that people cry. Actually it would be more accurate to say it inches slowly through the reasons that the soul screams in anguish and what happens when those screams are left to bounce around like a ping-pong ball in the darkest caves of life.

I have not found many people who are sensitive enough to read HSJ's books and understand the pain of the characters and still have the fortitude to find out what happens to them. It is pure, emotional torture but if you are capable of feeling empathy, his writing milks it out of you in gallons. Though some may not see HSJ as a Humanistic writer, I cannot help but see his work as a warning. He gives us archetypal poster children who have wasted their potential in their struggle to avoid truth. Sometimes, the most important things to embrace are the things that are the most terrifying and that embrace can free you in ways that unlock long forgotten doors in your soul. If I got one thing out of HSJ's work, it was that life doesn't have to be that way. Don't fucking waste your potential. It's the worst kind of karma you can cultivate.

Teri Gross (My would-be wife) did a great interview with HSJ not long after Requiem for a Dream was made into an incredible film by another would-be member of my harem, Darren Aronofsky. If you haven't seen it yet, please do so immediately.

Memorial two snaps up to HSJ. Thanks for the emotional hell ride.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Wal-Mart: Economic Syphiltic Whore of the World

Anyone who knows me knows that I despise Wal-Mart. I wish I could have written something as wonderfully succinct as this but hey, someone did and that's what's important.

Wal-Mart is Georgia's largest private employer. Guess what? Georgia's PeachCare for Kids (a health care program for uninsured children) covers fourteen times (fourteen fuckin' times) more children of Wal-Mart employees than employees of any other company in the state.

The way I understand it, the people of Georgia, while saving money at Wal-Mart and padding the already soft pockets of the Walton family, are paying the same amount or more for their products that they would have paid a small business owner because they will be paying for the health care of these children with their tax dollars. This is a lovely little cycle, because the person paying the shitload of taxes resents the poor person who can't afford to insure their kid instead of resenting the asshole screwing both of them over. But think about it. The people at Wal-Mart are figuring out ways to exploit legal loopholes to make sure that other people do not get a fair break in life. And that's just Americans. We're not even going to talk about the copious amounts of jizz that Wal-Mart sprays on people in China and India.

Wal-Mart says that it can offer lower prices basically because of lower overhead. If they stopped with the slave labor, the underpaying of female employees, and actually offered their employees medical, dental, and health insurance, they would have to raise their prices. This would probably place them on the same competitive plane as any other retailer. If that happened, Wal-Mart would cease to be the economic monster that it is and a handful of people would not be disgustingly, obscenely rich. No, that would mean that lots of people had a better shot at being more comfortable. And what kind of crappy world would that be?!

It is easy to assume that ordinary people can't do anything to change how large corporations are ruling the world. But ordinary people are the ones who support those corporations. All a person has to do is go somewhere else or at the very least, do without a two-dollar bucket of pickles. It really is that simple. Wal-Mart is not the only corporate giant that is sucking the spinal fluid out of our economy, but it is (arguably) the biggest wolf sleeping in Grandmother's bed. It sells America's own bullshit back to itself. On one hand, I find that extremely ironic and amusing. On the other hand, speaking as an adult female who still suffers from the effects of severe malnutrition and inadequate health care as a child, my empathy for other children emphatically overwhelms any part of me that can remain detatched from such a wool-pulling.

This isn't even digging that deeply. You can find any number of crappy reasons why you shouldn't go back for seconds at the Wal-Mart Shit Buffet. And bring a shovel from aisle 10.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

We'll Have a Gay Old Time!

My cat has gotten really fat. I did extra yoga tonight to compensate while he crouched in a corner, glaring at me. He thinks I'm trying to make him feel bad for being such a lump of Play-Doh with fur. But I'm trying to lead by example! I don't think he's getting my drift though because he slouched off and walked beneath me when I was in Down Dog and stuffed his whiskers with Friskies.

I thought all they had in Massachusetts were bed and breakfasts and really cute guys in sweaters. With cute dogs. And scones. Wow, they actually did something profoundly moving in the middle of an all out conservative banquet.

Finally gay marriage is legal. I think this is good. BUT there are some who don’t think that equal rights are such a great idea. Since these equal rights seem to be happening despite vehement opposition to them, I figure there’s only one way to stop all this nonsense: make divorce illegal.

This is the best idea since someone said to put “repeat” on the back of the shampoo bottle.

This idea works for me on two levels. First, I can finally have Teri Gross as my wife and she can never get away. Muahahaha!!! Watch out, Teri. I'ma have you. Oh yes, you will be mine.


Secondly, people will shut the fuck up and stop acting like damned fools and I can go to even more weddings and eat free cake and drink a lot.

Gay marriage. Yay!

Friday, January 23, 2004

On the Third Day, God Created Birds

In April 1663, the Inquisition interrogated Galileo. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest for supporting Copernican theory.

I think Galileo got the last word.