Tuesday, November 21, 2006

World War Z

If you get the chance, read World War Z.

I have never cared for movies featuring zombies due to an overzealous, horror movie loving mother who dragged me to see pretty much any movie with scary stuff. Zombies were the worst because back in the seventies, those were pretty much the only ones that had a lot of blood and violence.

The point is, there is a metaphor behind the idea itself and I think that it is only lately, with seeing so many people behaving like zombies, that I can appreciate the subtext.

Great, great book.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Here is an interesting article about a truck ad that uses Rosa Parks, 911, Martin Luther King, and the Iraq War to stir the fires of patriotism from within our tiny, Grinchy, jaded hearts. What I enjoy about it is that it's taking advertising to an entirely new level with entirely new points of view. I know I'm a tiny voice in a cacophony of screaming salesmen. This is total proof. Check it out:

1. Big trucks are no longer symbols for men who can't stand having tiny penises. I'm pretty sure that's part of it, don't get me wrong, but the primary urge is (of late) far more insidious. It seems that not buying an enormous truck makes you un-American! Sweeeet. My search for anti-suburban, anti-stupid, nihilistic iconography ends at my front door!

2. Icons of passive resistance should be used side by side along pro-war propaganda because most Americans are so completely clueless that they only know that MLK and RP were good Americans. They only know that because someone made movies out of 'em. However, they only saw the covers of the movies at the Blockbuster before they passed them over for "Armageddon" and maybe "The Great Mouse Detective". But what is important is that these colors DO NOT run. Especially if they're magnetically merged with the bumper of a truck that could house a small band of rogue pygmies.

3. John Mellencamp sucks balls. I'm pretty sure no one will argue this point with me.

The thing I'm beginning to love (at a distance) about advertising is that it is so completely shameless. We are the ambulances and they are the chasers but they have pie-charts and data on their sides, knowing what we want to buy at exactly what time, and worse, what we're trying to forget when we buy it. I wonder if they're honest with themselves about what they're doing? Do they come right out and say that they're going to work these bitches for all they're worth or do they nod knowingly at one another and allow the heavy air to settle on their souls vowing to some day, dust them off and take them out to the park? Is being human something they forgot to finish like an art project? Do they care that Americans are eating their shit up like a dollop of ice-cream on a piece of apple pie?

God this is going to be a good show when people wise-up. I say that laughingly. If people tuned into reality and stopped being a bunch of relativistic fuckheads abusing the perspective privilege, they'd be so depressed at what pathetic jerk-offs they are that they would probably commit mass suicide. And that would be bad for the economy I suppose. Unless you sell Kool-Aid.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Scars Are the Art of Chaos

jewish people driving german cars
what the cock is that shit?
but maybe it's like take back the night
maybe it's like how bleeding hearts grow old and swing to the right...
maybe it's like patty hearst siding with her kidnappers
maybe it's like south african miner killing diamond wearing gangster rappers

Sarah Silverman (from Jesus is Magic)

I do not understand the public outcry against Günter Grass. The depth of my disgust when I read that people were demanding that he return his Pulitzer and revoke his citizenship for Gdansk (Danzig) was immeasurable. He'd admitted (years ago) to being a member of the Hitler Youth and he has written extensively about the stupidity in which he and his countrymen participated in World War II. Obviously, being drafted is a far cry from actively seeking a position with the Waffen SS. However, we're talking about a 15 year old kid living in the heyday of the Nazi propaganda machine. We're not talking about a guy like say, James Frey who got famous and then infamous in the span of a year through an elaborate hoax. Grass joined the army when he was little more than a child and was later forced to march through a concentration camp, which freaked him out badly enough to change into a person who fought to prevent the kind of behavior that leads to things like concentration camps.

If we do not accept that people can improve themselves, we must simply accept that genocide, wars, and racism are a part of human nature. This is, to me, absolute bullshit and just an excuse for being a bunch of lid flipping entitlement whores.

Nice going, assholes. Why don't you go ahead and shake the hand of the nearest Nazi for sticking with his guns.

I like his scars and I like that he bares them to a world that obviously hates itself enough to disenfranchise him simply for admitting that he is human. He leads by example and I have to stand back and applaud that. Of course, not everyone agrees with me.

Charlotte Knobloch has decided that Grass' admission negates his work or that he's just working our tits to try to sell more books. The first scenario is pretty fucking stupid. Anyone who reads Grass knows how he feels about the war and it's not going to change a fucking thing just because he busted a few more balls. The second scenario actually makes sense at first until you realize that if being a Nazi was a selling point, we'd have fewer crosses and a lot more swastikas.

Most importantly (I'm going to catch all kinds of hell for this) Jewish Halocaust outrage is becoming a boring cliché. Stop whipping the horse, bitches. I can't sit through movies about it and barely got through "Night" because the idea that people do this kind of shit to each other tears me the fuck apart inside; the very fucking idea of hearing people complain about the mass genocide of their own while simultaneously bombing the shit out of civilians in Lebanon makes me want to puke all over them. Of all the people in all the world who could be setting an example, all I see is a constant barrage of "...the world owes me something". Somehow, concentration camp pain (unless it's Japanese "internment camp" pain or "trail of tears" pain; then it's pretty easily forgotten) is somehow more sacred than that of others. Unlike Günter Grass and say, Viktor Frankl, you've failed to set any kind of example of experiential based empathy for other human beings.

Oh that's right, genocide is ok when you're doing it.

P.S. bite my ass

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Onward Christian Wehrmacht

For the socially conservative, watching the marriage amendment fail must be like listening to your favorite song die of cancer. On top of that, in a funny, feeble attempt at pandering, President Bush encouraged immigrants to learn English and history because it (somehow) allows us to remain “one nation under God”. It makes one wonder where he’d stand if people from South America and Asia spoke in tongues, eh? It is becoming obvious that Bush is screwing the proverbial pooch, sans duct tape (because no one believes in that anymore either), and glad-handing his way out the door.

Now, we must turn our accusing eyes toward the guy that is beginning to carve a really good, lasting niche: Michael P. Farris. Of the many socially conservative people I’ve heard over these past few years (because I really wanted to hear what their problem was, exactly), this guy is by far the creepiest. People get pissed off about Ann Coulter or Bill O’Reilly, when really, they’re just the loud shirts that distract you from finding Waldo. Farris is not the short-bus blitzkrieg that will be the (temporary) downfall of the Christian Right. This guy is intelligent, serene, and is calmly urging his Christian soldiers forward. And it’s working. This is the thing: when I was listening to him speak, he began to make sense. Then the Tin-Man woke me, the Lion, and the Scarecrow up and I couldn’t believe how good this guy really is. The problem here is that he’s so calm and reasonable that it is difficult to counter him properly until you’re far enough away figure out what the fuck that thing was. He's a believer. No, really.

Here is his interview with Terry Gross. I urge you to listen because he broke her balls six ways to Sunday. Pun infinitely intended.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Ten Thousand Babies Award Goes To...

If someone at the RIAA had this kind of foresight and genius, they wouldn't be the hated institution that they are today, I may have bought a CD that wasn't from an independent label in the past few years, and a lot of people who don't own computers might actually have the money to buy 'em.

Soderbergh's ideas may never be implemented simply because the film industry could likely do exactly what the RIAA did and refuse to believe the fact that their days of easy money are simply over. Either way, I deeply admire people who are lucid enough to suggest new strategy when they see that the end is nigh.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I Love Him, Even if He's Serious

My love/hate relationship (one sided, of course) with Vincent Gallo continues. I never know if he is serious. I like this in a person.

*edited a large, glaring typo

Sunday, March 26, 2006

And My Brother Makes Me Laugh

From Mike's website; he a funny monkey.

The Sky is (Not) Falling
Saturday, March 11, 2006

Government: "Oh my God! They're attacking our country!"

Public: "Oh my God!"

Government: "We must identify and root out all terror!"

Public: "Yes! Save us!"

Government: "We shall set laws to make it easier to search your records and determine if you are a terrorist!"

Public: "Please, do so freely! I love what you do for me!"

Government: "We will meticulously search your carry-on baggage and make you endure careful shoe examinations --especially if you're decidedly ethnic!"

"Search everything immediately for I am so very frightened for my life!"

Government: "We will invade a country full of people whose culture you don't understand, thus making it easier for you to accept as a direct threat to America despite having absolutely nothing to do with the attack!"

"I'm sure they weren't innocent...Freedom isn't Free!"

"Look! There goes a bronze-skinned American citizen lingering his gaze at a building behind you...we must lock him up for months on end without charging him!"

Public: "Of course! No true American would grow a beard like that!"

"Ah! Anthrax!"


Government: "Oh no! Bird flu!"

Public: "Eeeeek!"

"We have another credible threat of terrorists attacking your local supermarket!"

"Raise the threat level, RAISE THE THREAT LEVEL!"

Public: "Look! The Arabs are trying to control our ports, creating a huge threat to our security!"


"The Arabs! Look! The UAE are going to control our ports!"

Government: "I'm not following what you're saying."

"They used to bed with Al Qaeda and the Taliban!"

Government: "That's the most irrational, racist thing I've ever heard."

Public: "But we must fight the terrorists! YOU taught us that!"

Government: "You're twisting my words. This deal WILL proceed as planned."

"What?!? Are you crazy? Not just no, but HELL NO!"

Government: "I assure you everything will be fine."

"Don't you remember 9/11? Don't you remember when the towers fell?"

"What does that have to with the port deal?"

Public: "You buffoon! Are you daft? We're AT WAR! If you're not with us, you're against us!"

Government: "Look, I don't mean to offend you but..."

Public: "Did I mention I'm a registered voter and you're a lame duck?"

Government: "Okay, okay, we'll call off the deal."

Public: "Hurray! All is well in the land! We're saved!"

"Wait! We just received a threat of an attack on college basketball tournaments..."

Public: "Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Help me!!!!"


Light the Corners of My Mind

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

Walt Whitman

I've been studying memory a lot lately because to me, one of the things that makes life the most interesting is to remember it in the most objective way possible. There are tricks to doing this correctly. It's hard and takes time and I devote at least one day out of the month to getting it right. I like to know what is motivating me to do the things that I do and I know for sure that the past, while not a place that I like to revist too terribly often, can tell me a lot about who I was and who I am now. There are things that I've done that no one will ever know about that were some of the best moments in my life: total shining examples of humanity. Then again, some of the shit I've done makes me cringe. I realized at some point (actually at an airport in Atlanta) that there really never is an excuse for being as selfish as I was, so I decided that my choices were to do better or die sucking. Now, I never stop wanting to do better, I never stop wanting people to do their best, and I rarely stop expecting that to happen.

I’ve seen some serious hypocrisy in my life. The kind of hypocrisy that made me fear that the person(s) guilty of it would reach some kind of hypocritical mass and explode in a fury of self-congratulatory confetti. I mean, hell, I've yet to be attacked by anyone who didn't throw out my past for target practice and have never, ever been attacked by anyone who wasn't guilty of the same shit that I did. It is because I saw this and the types of people who were very much into it that I forced myself to be as honest as possible without either embellishment or self-deprecation. I was like, "Oh fuck is that what happens when you become too firmly cemented in your own bullshit??!!" Maybe not the finest excuse for an epiphany but it worked. It scared the bejesus out of me and taught me the important lesson of being responsible without feeling guilty. Well, that and Günter Grass.

Our memories unfortunately, tend to reflect an egocentric bias. We want to remember ourselves in the best possible light. We also tend to want to think that our self-serving deeds or failures were simply a reaction to something in our environment. If we're not patting ourselves on the back we're making everything out to be worse than it was so that we can take comfort in self-pity. The truth is that no matter what the provocation, being unkind (even to oneself) is simply wrong. There is no excuse, no provocation that can justify cruelty or smirking indifference to the suffering of another. There is no real excuse for being glad if someone else fails and the only reason we do it is so that we can nod our self-satisfied heads with the knowledge that we were right all along. Good for us. The prize? We lose some perspective because the moment we stop admitting our own failures or excusing our failures for any reason whatsoever, we take the first steps in becoming willfully ignorant. That, to me, is the absolute worst possible fate I can imagine.

True character probably exists in all people, and its strength within us is based on how much we are willing to accept who we are. This is the only way to fully realize who we can be. There are no real martyrs, no heroes, and certainly no saints. There are only those who sleep and those who refuse to eat the lotus. The prize? The sometimes painful but always interesting truth and I like the truth more than I like being right.

Also, if you're going to contradict yourself, change your behavior to reflect your beliefs. Otherwise, you're silly. You're just silly.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hard for a Pimp

"You should have seen how some of them were dressed," Bridges said. "Sometimes troopers would wrap them up in one of those yellow blankets used to cover dead bodies."

Magistrate Roy Bridges, describing the appearance of the child prostitutes he had recently arrested.

What a creepy, yet appropriate image. Story is here.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Civil rights activist Anne Braden died in Louisville last Monday at the age of 81. I was fortunate enough to have taken a class taught by Mrs. Braden my sophomore year at NKU. At first, it seemed like the coolest thing ever to take a class taught by a friend and contemporary of Martin Luther King. Later, I thought it was much cooler to have taken a class taught by a person who actually worked to help people get a fair break instead of lamenting and waiting for someone else to do it.

If you didn't know her, take my word for it, she was one hella cool chick. No wait, don't take my word for anything! Read all about her!

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Right Way

And so it begins.

We ladies should take a moment and consider that if abortion becomes illegal across the United States, women who engage in any activity that could endanger a developing organism (human, of course) could be considered attempted murderers. This means that under the right circumstances (pun intended), women could be imprisoned for driving, walking up stairs, taking aspirin, or eating unhealthy foods.

Yes, that's an extreme point of view, probably just as extreme as pharmacists denying women their birth control prescriptions or their emergency contraception. We live in extreme times.

More than "I can't believe this is happening", I've been thinking, "I wonder what will happen next?" Interestingly, I've found that more and more often, as long as it's a convenient anal rape, most people bleat maybe a vague semblance of protest before they simply lay down and spread their trotters. Give me my gas and my valu-menu or give me death. As long as I'm not ensconced in someone's abdomen.

**Update: Hee, wow, The Great 62-2 Ports Deal Rebellion. Bush must be wearing one of those cone thingies around his neck to keep him from gnawing his wounds over this one...

***And then I was all like...Comedy. Fucking. Gold.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Six Degrees of Saturation

Once again, I am pissed.

I just found a new Schizophelia on eBay. At first, when I saw that others were copying my name, I was flattered. I'm tired of it now. I want to kick each and every one of them in the cooter. Except maybe that one who pierces her nethers and eats babies, I kind of like her. But on eBay?? That's not me, guys. First off, I'd never invent a pseudonym like this and then use it to buy used sundries and haberdashery. I certainly wouldn't use it to send hugs and kisses to anyone in a public forum. Girls, if you're going to be lovey dovey about life, can't you call yourself something less...awesome?

This is frustrating. And it's hard to be nice about it. But try I must. But before that, I must confess that after years of trying to extricate myself from people who seek to co-opt my identity at any price, I would love it grandly if others could go out and you know, experience life instead of making it up or better yet, stealing a piece of mine.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Junky Trouble

JT LeRoy is not a male junky ho, nor is James Frey a recovering ex-con whose teen drama led to a stint in the hoosegow and a miraculous recovery from addiction. What? You mean they lied to us about their junky pasts?? I’m so…not surprised. But why exactly does a person write a “memoir” that proves to be a total falsehood instead of just writing a work of fiction and calling it like it is? Smart people write books, call ‘em fiction and coyly hint that there might be some truth to them, thus creating a mystique and therefore, a following of curious lifestyle onlookers. Stupid people on the other hand, write books, call ‘em autobiographies and forget that along the way, their stupid, lying asses have left behind a trail of people who can’t stand them and would be more than happy to call them out if they happen to be foolish enough to publish their lies and call them truth. Or better yet, have left behind a paper trail (or lack of one, in Frey's case) which disproves all their tear-stained stories and just pisses people off.

Here's the thing: most people who live the lives that LeRoy and Frey made up aren’t necessarily going to be heard. They’re either dead or in prison. Addiction…is Plato’s cave for poor people.

The truth is just too damned honest. It’s dirty and full of flies and grit and smog. The “happy ending” doesn’t just fade in after a montage, but evolves after years and years and years of sewing and knitting back together a life that was so damaged so early that the person just wanted to throw it back.

Lives rarely just stop sucking unless someone works long and hard to make them stop sucking, which means that some small part of you must remain unbroken enough to have the will to even begin such a monumental effort. That in itself is rare for anyone, let alone those who were born into poverty and abuse. If your atrophied sense of self preservation can keep you afloat long enough, (i.e., if you aren’t totally useless after years of being someone else’s punching bag/fuck toy), you must then build a raft amid freezing, rushing water using broken twigs that happen to float past you here and there. Then you must climb on, but beware of all of the people who want to pull you back down off of your half-assed, hoopty raft that is busy engaging in its own brutal struggle just to support your heavy, heavy psyche. You’ll recognize the hands of the people who are pulling at your limbs because they were probably your best friends at some point. Trust me when I say they’ll drag you down with smiles on their faces and promises of loyalty and puppies made of candy. If by some crazy twist of fate you’re able to get away from the grasping claws of your former associates, you’ll have to (for the rest of your life) walk on a river bank that is covered in slippery mud, forcing yourself not to look back and instead, looking from side to side and ahead all at the same time to make sure you don’t fall down while you’re trying to move forward. If you fuck up once, just once, you will have to start this process over and you will have lost faith in your ability to do it again and to keep doing it once you've gone through the larval stage, leaving you once again, fucked. You'll need to possess a strong will, a great deal of self-awareness (a realistic assessment of how much you rock and how much you suck), and an ability to survive completely and utterly alone on top of the will to stop slipping into the much-easier haze of drug abuse or in my case, insanity. Now, you’ve got that done, yes? Ok, now go write a book and get it published with the grand connections and amazing education you’ve obtained while being a junky. K?

I’m not usually one to place a shocking story into a diatribe because it smacks of grandstanding…but I think this one applies and it always bugs me when I hear people talk about their horrid childhoods which lead to their horrid acts as adults, knowing for a fact that they’re making up stories (if you ever hear the words “recovered memories”, run for cover my friends) because they are just too damned lazy and far too dubious of character to earn any real accolades.

My childhood friend Tracey was found face down in the desert last year with a cardboard box only partially covering her body. The last time I saw her, she was dressed up like a Fairy for Halloween. And this is what I see laying there in the Mojave. An 11 year old with broken cardboard wings and dirty pink chiffon, track marks covering her mottled arms and her stripper’s thong wrapped around her neck where the murderer (who is still at large; no one cares about junky prostitutes) left it. I picture him dragging her out there and pulling that piece of cardboard only halfway over her body, scratching his ass and walking away, muttering, "Aw, fuck it." She never had anything better than a half-assed piece of corrugated cardboard life anyway. Why bother allowing her an ounce of dignity now?

This is how most of the people from my neighborhood ended their lives or ended the lives of others. This is the movie I saw again and again growing up at the Plato Matinee for poor kids. These are the lives that junkys lead and this is not an uncommon event. You won’t see it on Oprah. You’ll see “recovered memories”, James Frey, and many other examples of people who are so boring that they lie or co-opt the experiences of others, but you won’t see anyone from my neighborhood.

And I fucking wish I was lying.

For a much more empathetic view of literary hustling, I suggest Stephen Beachy's article in New York Magazine. He has a different perspective than the one above and it is a lovely read.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Not My Real Name

After receiving an email that linked to information about the new law against annoying people over the internet while using a pseudonym, I thought it only fitting to mention that you can't go back to Constantinople, now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople, why did Constantinople get the works? That's nobody's business but the Turks'.

Got that?