call me call me
That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
Of any world where promises were kept,
Or one could weep because another wept.
12/14--Hmm, what's this?
11/29--Yup, it sure would've been nice if somebody had TOLD me that the old stuff on this page was being shoved off into non-existence...I did have some of it backed up, but some of it is gone, gone, gone. Fuck this; I'm starting an actual, regular web-log. It'll be easier to update and it won't erase my shit for no reason. I've mainly been sticking with geocities for reasons of intertia, but it is time to move with the times! Plus, I can probably have comments and stuff.
11/23--One other thing: I'm thankful for this exquisite chick track that I somehow missed. What's not to love? It has Little Susy, plus Grandpa the Gentleman Pirate! Magic words that apparently automatically make you become a Muslim! And more outrageous slander against Islam than you can shake a stick at! The temptation to point out the corresponding biblical references to each of the bad things Mohammed did is overwhelming. I feel cheated that ol' Amir gets taken out of the picture as soon as it comes time for some dogma (and I thought they just moved in; why are they going to the airport? Leaving already?). I want to know if he's really sinister and evil, or whether his faith is so incredibly tenuous that he would be converted as soon as he learned the "truth" about it. Vexing.
11/23--Yes, like many of you, I will be spending Thanksgiving with my family, and I want to note with no irony that I am truly blessed to have the family that I do. I could not ask for more. So that's one thing I'm thankful for. Another is that I'm part of the small elite that not only does not live in grinding poverty, but is actually fairly well-off even with 'livable' as a baseline. You lose perspective when you spend almost all of your time around other people from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, but it's quite stunning, and not a little frightening, when you think about it. Building on that, I'm thankful that I personally am more or less completely shielded from the massive damage that bush has and will continue to inflict on this country. I know that sounds selfish, but it ain't like I voted for this. I get angry when I think about all the other people who also didn't but will suffer, I do get angry. But as for those of you who did--y'all can go fuck yerselves. And I'm thankful for John Kerry, dammit. I know there's a tendency to slag him off in retrospect, but monday morning quarterbacking (oh god, a football metaphor) is the easiest thing in the world. Maybe he should have triangulated less, but this was a matter of wresting power from the hands of the world's worst people. It was a matter of doing whatever it took; his campaign hit upon a strategy, played it to the hilt, stood tall amidst all the mud and shit flung at him, and came damn close to winning. Would something else have worked better? No way to tell now. But it was manifestly obvious that he was and is a man of integrity, and we're lucky to still have him in the Senate. Cheers, John. Anyway, try to have a good holiday.
11/21--Yeah, so maybe you saw it or maybe not, but Thomas Pynchon cameoed on the Simpsons for the second time. Good episode? No, not really; I suppose it was about as good as Simpsons episodes get lately, which isn't saying much. Better than that excrutiating Halloween episode at any rate. Pynchon's bit was definitely the high point. Shouldn't he be writing instead of slumming on past-their-prime sitcoms though? Hmph. Anyway, I was googling for information on his appearances, and found this exquisitely moronic quote from a guy interviewing Al Jean on IGN:
"I think getting J.K. Rowling is a bigger coup because she is better-known."
Uh huh. Now I'm having trouble imagining what that interview must have been like: you'd think it would've been kind of awkward, what with the interviewer constantly smashing into walls and going "duh." Obviously, IGN's all about the soft bigotry of low expectations in hiring its employees.
Also, at one point Jean claims that "a good episode from season fourteen will stand up to a good episode from season four." Yes, well, that's a purely hypothetical postulate, isn't it?
Oh yeah, speaking of Nick Cave, a really, really great song is "To Be By Your Side" from the soundtrack to Winged Migration--which isn't a bad film, either, though probably not for everyone. Anyway, download it from your favorite music-theft program today.
11/18--Here is a new article in Salon about Nick Cave. I haven't had much interest in post-Murder Ballads Cave: I thought The Boatman's Call was okay, but not as fantastic as all that. I don't know; maybe I should give it a reassessment. But there isn't much I can say in favor of the one after that, No More Shall We Part. I liked the single As I Sat Sadly By Her Side at first, but its charm faded quickly. Some of the other songs were marginally okay, but the album as a whole was not impressive. So much so that I didn't even bother picking up the last one, Nocturama. Anyway, it got pretty universally bad reviews. Still! I suppose that if he's willing to tacitly admit that those two albums were none to great, I might give him another look. I mean, how can you not, with a title like Abattoir Blues? Also, naturally, I liked this bit:
"Cave seemed loath to talk politics, but not for lack of opinions. When I asked him what his thoughts were on the current U.S. administration, he answered bleakly, 'Ugly. Wrong. There's two thoughts about it.'"
11/16, part deux--Last? I meant 'second last.' Because you sometimes need transcendance when you're bogged down in scum. From that staggering account of the sermon on the mount which I don't pretend to understand at all:Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11/16--Barring extenuating circumstances, this is gonna be the last thing I say about politics in a while. (It's kinda long, so I stuck it on another page). This is just too emotionally exhausting.
11/08--That was pretty harsh, what I said a few days ago. A part of me thinks I shouldn't be like that; that I should have more, I dunno, Christian charity. Are they really that bad? And then another part of me thinks, dude! They voted for endless, meaingless war! They voted to legally enshrine a significant portion of the population as less than human! I think the best you can say of them is that they're basically Good Germans. Beyond redemption? Maybe not. But certainly beyond any non-catastrophic sort. Blah blah, nazi analogies=bad. Yes, well, I'm pretty sure that there are only two people who for some reason check this site regularly: and those two are Patrick O'Leary and the possibly-pseudonymous Sephiroth Katana. Yo, Patrick and SK. And they probably won't mind. So.
11/07--I do believe we got shafted. This may make me feel slightly better about my fellow citizens, but it makes me feel much worse in the sense that, if they get away with this (and, let's face it, they already have), there's no particular reason to believe that we'll ever have fair elections in this country again. God I hate these autocratic piles of human waste.
11/05--Fuck them all. No, really. Fuck them ALL. As in, all of them. People go, oh, we should try reaching out to bush voters. It's not really their fault; they were bamboozled by propaganda and the mean, manipulative neocons. Um, no. Nope. Sorry. Fuck them. You know that nice lady in Ohio who drives her kids to their soccer games and attends their violin recitals and organizes block parties and takes care of her old, frail mother whom she loves and she voted for bush? Fuck her, the bitch. Why'd she do it? Was it because she was too goddamn stupid to realize that the war against terror (twat) was fucked up beyond all repair by bush? Was it because she subconiciously brought into all the vague, meaningless platitudes about 'values' that the bush people spew as they merrily murder thousands of foreigners for no goddamn reason? Or was it just because the thought of fags getting married made her feel icky? Who fucking cares? She's either evil or exquisitely stupid. Or both. And she can go to hell with all the rest of them. Other people can be diplomatic if they want to. Not me. Fuck 'em all.
Saturn, look up! - though wherefore, poor old King?
I have no comfort for thee, no not one:
I cannot say, 'O wherefore sleepest thou?'
For heaven is parted from thee, and the earth
Knows thee not, thus afflicted, for a God;
And ocean too, with all its solemn noise,
Has from thy sceptre pass’d; and all the air
Is emptied of thine hoary majesty.
Thy thunder, conscious of the new command,
Rumbles reluctant o’er our fallen house;
And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands
Scorches and burns our once serene domain.
O aching time! O moments big as years!
All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth,
And press it so upon our weary griefs
That unbelief has not a space to breathe.
Saturn, sleep on: - O thoughtless, why did I
Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude?
Why should I ope thy melancholy eyes?
Saturn, sleep on! while at thy feet I weep.
11/03--Fine! Fine--if four more years of blood and shit is what you want, by all means take it. I hope you fucking choke to death on it.
Little people in little houses
Like maggots small blind and worthless
The massacred innocent blood stains us all
Who’s responsible? You fucking are!
Who’s responsible? You fucking are!
Who’s responsible? You fucking are!
Who’s responsible? You fucking are!
11/01--Well, here we are. I don't have anything profound to say, although the ol' Electoral Vote predictor is looking better today than it has in a long time. Not that that's necessarily indicative of anything. But it can't hurt! Here's something that struck me: late last week, I saw two TV commercials for each campaign. The Kerry ones were both in the same format: JFK looking at the camera, and talking fairly soberly/seriously about things he'd do if elected. One was for foreign affairs, the other domestic. Message: here's what I'll do if you elect me. As for the Bush ones, one was the 'wolf' ad you may have heard about, featuring fast cuts of undergrowth with dark shapes moving in the background while the narrator intones ominously about national security, and in the end you see a reclining pack of wolves, a few of them getting up and walking towards the camera. Message: vote for me or be torn apart by wolves. And the other--perhaps the most crass commercial I've ever seen--was about a girl one of who's parents was killed on 911, and how she went into a shell after that, but then she met
Jesus Bush, and he told her "I know its hard" and other less-than-profound things, and ultimately, she was saved by his healing touch. "I know that all he wants is to protect me," she says in the end. Message: Vote for me, because I am the resurrection and the life. Now, based on these respective ads, which campaign sounds more confident and together, and which sounds more desperate?
10/16--So I'm reading about this Supreme Court case where they're deciding whether it should be okay to execute kids. Now, you know I'm against the death penalty in any case, but this is just moronic. More so than usual, that is. Let me ask you: are seventeen-year-olds legally allowed to drink alcohol? Smoke? Vote? Join the army? Appear in pornography? No? Gosh, why is that? "Well, it's because, we recognize that kids lack the emotional maturity that adults (theoretically) do and thus should not be given the freedom to do certain things, and arbitrary though it is, there has to be a line drawn somewhere between the categories. But now we want to argue that this hypothetical seventeen-year-old lacks the maturity to handle having a beer, yet he IS mature enough to be fully culpable for capital offenses. Uh huh. I hate you bloodthirsty fuckers.
10/14--Well, I thought it wasn't very decisive, but it seems to be being labeled as an easy Kerry victory, so who am I to complain? Several horrible things from fuckhead: when he was asked point-blank whether he thought Roe v Wade should be overturned, and this was his answer, in totus:
"What he's asking me is, will I have a litmus test for my judges? And the answer is, no, I will not have a litmus test. I will pick judges who will interpret the Constitution, but I'll have no litmus test."
That took maybe ten seconds, and that was all he used out of his alloted two minutes. He's too much of a cowardly fucking kobold to give an honest answer, so he just doesn't want to talk about it. And then there was the way that, whenever he was asked what he'd do about job loss, his answer was "education." Is he really oblivious to how much of a slap in the face it is to tell middle aged blue-collar workers who've been laid off after twenty years that they should just go back to school and learn to do something else? Really fucking appalling. Best part was the post debate callers to cspan, though. One really far-gone woman called Kerry "an abomination! An abomination!" Another characterized fuckhead's performance as--actual one hundred percent genuine quote--"the greatest moment in American history." I've gotta say, we must have one sorry-ass history.
10/13--Well, this is it...anyone who remains undecided after this debate ain't gonna decide until election day, barring some sort of totally unpredictable news item or other...c'mon, let's knock it out of the park this time!
The new Tom Waits album, Real Gone, is sheer glorious screaming dementia.
10/10--I've got to tell you, the more I see of Kerry, the more I like him. I never would have thought it, but I'm really, really enthusiastic about his presidency...I hoped that Clark or Dean would win the primaries, but now I can't imagine anyone else as our candidate. Here's an example of why I like him: in the last debate, he said this:
"I'm against the partial-birth abortion, but you've got to have an exception for the life of the mother and the health of the mother under the strictest test of bodily injury to the mother.
"Secondly, with respect to parental notification, I'm not going to require a 16-or 17-year-old kid who's been raped by her father and who's pregnant to have to notify her father. So you got to have a judicial intervention. And because they didn't have a judicial intervention where she could go somewhere and get help, I voted against it. It's never quite as simple as the president wants you to believe."
Exactly. That example was telling, and it demonstrated that Kerry understands that abortion is not just some abstract issue to be kicked around for political points, but something that has real, serious effects on women. In the post-debate cspan reactions, one caller, sounding aggrieved that Kerry would be tacky enough to even mention such a thing, said that she "didn't think that's what bush meant," or words to that effect. Well, I'm sorry, sister, but in fact, that's exactly what he meant. You don't want to think he meant that because you can't imagine that someone could be so utterly lacking in all human compassion. But if he hadn't meant it, he would have said so in his response. Instead, we got:
"Well, it's pretty simple when they say: Are you for a ban on partial birth abortion? Yes or no?
"And he was given a chance to vote, and he voted no. And that's just the way it is. That's a vote. It came right up. It's clear for everybody to see. And as I said: You can run but you can't hide the reality."
In other words: this is a man who is willing to LET YOU DIE in order to seem more 'pro-life.' And who, incidentally, does not give a fuck about the hypothetical rape victim. The sheer enormity of this is staggering, but there you have it.
10/09--Oh baby...was it as good for you as it was for me? SPLAT. Granite, fuckhead was marginally less incoherent than last time, but Kerry slammed him a lot harder. A few minor faux pas, sure, but overall, I'd rate this a greater victory than last time. Funniest moment was when, blindsided by a question about who he'd appoint to the Supreme Court, all fuckhead could come up with was that he wouldn't appoint someone who supported slavery. What principle!
Onward and upward!
10/08--So, ready to deal some more damage tonight? Rar. You can't help but feel a little nervous, though, in large part BECAUSE it seems like there's no way in hell Kerry can score anything but a massive victory. So what's going to go wrong? What? This is really important. I certainly hope the Kerry team didn't relax after the easy win last time. LET'S FIGHTING!
10/05--About last night...well, in terms of not lying every three seconds, Edwards was the clear winner, but that's not important. I'd say that, in terms of the ever-dimwitted undecided viewer, it'll be seen as pretty much a draw. Unlike fuckhead, cheney isn't glaringly incompetent, whatever else you want to say about him. Both of them got in some telling, un-countered blows, and both frequently fell back on talking points when they couldn't think of anything else to say. Mind you, I've no doubt that gop strategists everywhere are pulling their hair our in frustration that they can't substitute him for fuckhead in the remaining presidential debates. Strangest aspect of the evening: Edwards prefaces a question about gay marriage with "I know the VP and his wife love their gay daughter, blah blah." And cheney thanked him for that; it was certainly the least acrimonious moment of a rather acrimonious night. So then on cspan afterwards they were taking reaction calls, and some repug caller was very angry about what Edwards had "said about Cheney's daughter." What specifically are you angry about? the moderator asked. "Saying she was gay," said Mr. Caller. So...three options: either he was unaware that Mary Cheney's sexual orientation is common knowledge and was pissed at Edwards for blowing her cover, he thought that the fact of her being a lesbian is so horrifically mentally painful to her father that bringing it up was cruel, or he thought that Edwards was using the word "gay" in the juvenile, high school insult way. Regardless...people like this shouldn't be fucking voting. Another guy agreed with him. Argh.
10/01--Well, that was certainly copacetic. Really, I may not be wholly disinterested (hmm...), but Kerry pretty clearly kicked the shit out of fuckhead. This was his opportunity to shatter his reputation for wonkishness, and he did that. He was clear and forceful, whereas fuckhead just hammered tiresomely on his usual inane talking points. Several times he was clearly tongue-tied. Mind you, the big big media whoredom won't help, but if the other debates go this well...well, I don't want to make optimistic predictions for fear of nemesis and whatnot. BUT. Also, The Daily Show had a great segment on the ineffable stupidity of swing voters. Oh baby that's what I like.
So, wanna see the notes I bashed out during the debate? Not terribly clever, and certainly not coherent, but I DO use the word "fuck," or variations thereon, a total of fifty times. Actually, you're not getting the real deal, since I expurgated the parts that would be most likely to get me investigated by Homeland Security. Sorry, but...anyway, here.
09/30--So, looking forward to tonight's painfully artificial debate? I am, but then, I would. Still, except insofar as viewers will get to see the candidates in a marginally less scripted setting than usual, it's difficult to see how it's really gonna affect (effect? That's one thing in the English language that I've NEVER been able to sort out) things: let's face it, you would have to be incredibly dimwitted to not already know who you're voting for. That's not to say that there aren't fuckloads of dimwits out there, but what are the chances that they're going to be swayed by anything as gauche as actual ISSUES? I mean, obviously, Kerry's going to win, if by "win" you mean "be materially correct a much, much greater percentage of the time than fuckhead, but what's that matter? If it effects (argh) the opinion of the epsilon-minus swing voters at all, it won't be because they suddenly have an epiphany and think, hey, maybe attacking foreign countries for no good reason and working to destroy the middle class weren't such good ideas after all! No, it'll be because, in some unconscious way, they like the tone of voice in which Kerry says words like "terror" and "jobs," and maybe if we're lucky, a vague positive impression that they can't even begin to describe will seep into their tiny, atrophied brains, and maybe, just maybe, the impression will be strong enough that they'll come out for us, assuming they're willing to take a few minutes out of their busy schedule of making "duh" noises, walking into walls, and injecting random substances into themselves. (can you tell that my opinion of Americans' intelligence, never sky-high, has bottomed out lately?).
Where was I going with this...? Probably nowhere. Hey, if you think my opinions are insulting, prove me wrong, people: elect John Kerry in a landslide, and maybe I'll reevaluate them, and possibly eat my hat into the bargain. But I ain't holding my breath.
09/16--And now, a sentence that has probably never been written before: The lazy, no-good campers were eaten by the hard-working, industrious bears.
09/11--And a happy Patriot Day to all. You know...I don't know what's going to happen come November. I think that in this case, the Electoral College actual favors us, since even if fuckhead is ahead in pure numbers, the fact remains that this comes largely from his states being really, REALLY strongly his; in most of them, he has a good fifteen-twenty point lead. We have significantly fewer states like that for us: in most of those solidly in the Kerry camp, he's only ~ten points ahead. What the hell; I'd take a purely electoral victory. Live by the sword of damocles...MAIS EN TOUT CAS, I can't help but be fucking sickened by this craptastic country. What the fuck does it SAY about us that a good HALF of us support President Autumn of the Patriarch? They're all over! You see them walking down the street every day! Seems to me the only two choices are "they're evil sociopaths" or "they've spent most of their lives huffing paint thinner." There ain't no flattering explanation. Even if the angels are able to pull one out this time, that doesn't change the essentially rotten soul of our nation. "Old men with ugly souls/who wore their bodies out with nasty sins," Siegfried Sassoon wrote. That describes our government to a 'T,' and I can't help but thing that the rest of us aren't far away from it.
09/04--And now, in a (relatively speaking) lighter vein...a new Halloween Chick tract! I dunno...I can't help thinking that if the faithful weren't turned away from Samhain by the one where Satan-in-a-pumpkin-mask massacres the teenagers on Halloween, or the one where "Timmy" dies in a haunted house and goes to hell, or the one where the evil druids give the kids poisoned candy...well, I'm just not convinced that this one's gonna push them over the edge. Still, this one DOES have some positive aspects: for one, it features recurring character "L'il Susy," the insufferable eight-year-old who always stands up against her satanic teachers and whatnot (she was in the gay dentists tract, if you'll remember). I find it unspeakably bizarre that she dresses up as Santa Claus in lieu of something Halloween-oriented. Shouldn't the chick people view Santa as a lie meant to distract children from Christ? Dunno. I also like how Susy's friend is named "Buffy." Ha ha!
09/03--Maybe I'm losing it; I dunno...all I know is, when pres fuckhead mentioned his support for the anti-marriage amendment, I, in an eruption of rage entirely devoid of humor or irony, screamed "FUCK YOU!" at the television. I mean, what did I expect, right? But still. What a horrible, evil person. They had McCain on the Daily Show, and it's times like this that you regret Stewart's policy of niceness even towards people who don't deserve it. I'm sorry, but you simply CANNOT bemoan incivility in politics and at the same time endorse pres fuckhead. Your sanctimonous pleas for decency just come across as so much hypocritical bullshit. Jeez.
09/02--Those of you who were looking forward to my hardhitting convention commentary will be disappointed today: I turned it on, saw a few guys talking about how the bush economy KICKS ASS, found it not only disingenuous (as always) but incredibly boring. So yeah, I missed cheney. And zell being a scary mofo. Quelle tragedie. I was surprised that the Daily Show didn't even mention the twins' fiasco. Hey, if they're working on the campaign, they're fair game, okay?
09/01--O mon dieu...okay, whose brilliant idea was it to have the Bush twins speak at the convention? I suppose they felt that it was obligatory, especially after Kerry's daughter's spoke: if they hadn't, people could say, "What, his own daughters don't care enough to support him?" but I say to you now: there is NO WAY IN HELL that any potential damage thus inflicted could possibly have been worse than the effect of actually hearing them speak. Really, it was so bad that I honestly believe they wrote their remarks themselves. Like what vapid twenty-year-olds would imagine that fifty-year-old white republicans would imagine that slightly, non-threateningly rebellious twenty-year-olds girls would sound like. Too painful for words. I mean, if you can judge a candidate based on his progeny...Vanessa and Alexandra Kerry: serious, thoughtful people. Jenna and Other:...well, let's just move on, shall we? The rest of the night...well, I tuned out for some of it, which was just dull. Bill Frist was as noxious as you'd imagine. They had one woman giving an impassioned anti-breast-cancer peroration, which seemed kind of strange. Maybe they should've come out strongly against kicking fuzzy puppies and kitties. And, of course, Schwartzenegger, who certainly didn't defy expectiions. "One of my movies was called True Lies." The Democrats should have called their convention that." Oh! Zing! He also talked about how kickass Nixon was (did no one vet this speech?) and characterized those of us insufficently enthusiastic about the Bush recession as "economic girly-men." Is this really going to help them? Or am I underestimating the public's dimwittedness again?
UPDATE: Nope, seems the twins' debacle was written by Karen Hughes. Which, I suppose, is to the twins' credit, but really embarassing for the campaign itself.
08/31--Well, out of one of my periodic masochistic impulses, I watched the beginning of the Night Rally on cspan yesterday. Predictable triumph of the will-type stuff, but, although I knew it would be all about exploiting tragedy for political gain, I was nonetheless a bit taken aback by the intensity of the monomaniacal focus on 911 (or Iraq, same thing, who could possibly tell the difference?). Vanishingly faint hope that McCain would stray off the reservation, but of course he simply cemented his position as loathsome toady instead. "I don't doubt their [Democrats'] sincerity; they must not doubt ours." Actually, John, no: just because you're a willing whore doesn't mean we're required to play along. It's worth noting that his biggest applause line BY FAR was when he took a swipe at Michael Moore (who was in attendance, and seemed highly amused by the attention): insane cheering (the insult) and booing (Moore) segueing into one of those utterly chilling 'four more years' chants. Pathetic and stupid. All they're doing is giving him credibility and admitting that his work has been damaging to them. If they weren't complete fuckwits, their response would be to pretend he doesn't exist. And I also love the contrast: "Here's a well-loved war hero!" "yaaay." "Michael Moore SuX0rz!" "YAAAAARARAAAAAGHAAAYEAYYEAYEAFOURMOREYEARSFOURMOREYEARS!!!!!" We certainly know where THEIR values lie, if we didn't already. And how about those horrifying harpies they had playing interviewers? I'm thinking specifically of the one who, after Daryl Whorely or whatever he's called finished performing, shrieked "Wow, Daryl Whorely was just fantastic! I think he had us all out of our seats!" Gah...that voice! Then she introduced someone who seemed (his name never appeared on the screen) to be named 'Ray Moosedoody.'
A predictably nauseating experience, all in all. I don't know if I have the stamina to watch any more. But I certainly look forward to seeing the Daily Show's take on it. Some sanity at last...
08/27--And now, for your delectation, some Fallout-esque scenery, in good ol' Williamsport. Though 'good' might be overstating it. I tell you, the paper's never been particularly journalistically credible, but in light of the coming elections, the editorial page has become pure, non-stop right-wing propaganda. Blargh. Pain in the ass though it is, I'm going to have to look into emigrating in a worst-case scenario. Because frankly, I don't want to be a fellow citizen of a country in which over half the citizens are evil/stupid enough to want to continue (or, in the case of non-voters, have no apparent problem with continuing) this horrorshow.
08/23--So I finally got a replacement for my creaky, six-year-old computer, and I've gotta say, I'm quite greatful to finally be bidding adieu (or possible adiable) to Microsoft operating systems. I thought and thought, but I just couldn't come up with a downside to switching...sure, there are fewer games available, but let's face it, the only things I really want to play via computer nowadays are old console games, and the available Macintosh emulators are more than adequate for my needs. Sure, I had some fun with games like Fallout1/2 and Might and Magic6/7, but really...these days, my tastes are a little simper. And it IS nice to have a system that I can reasonably assume isn't going to suddenly break down for no clear reason. I can't count the number of times the old PC did that, whereas my parents and both my brothers have had internet-enabled Macs for years which have never had any problems, in spite of an utter lack of antivirus software (I picked up the Mac version of norton antivirus just in case, but I wouldn't be very worried in any case). So...yeah! Vive la Mac!
08/17--Geez...I'm not proud of this or anything, but for the first time ever, I purchased a cell phone...and one with the capacity to take pictures, no less. How embarrassing. However, this DOES give me the opportunity to easily include photos on this website. So, for starters, here is a grainy snap of my koosh collection. How many kooshes is that? That's a total of one hundred forty-one, with no duplicates, acquired over the course of, oh, thirteen-fourteen years. Unfortunately, there's apparently some sort of weird koosh disease that's afflicted some of the older ones, where the tentacles become stiff and brittle. Maybe it has something to do with the way I store them, but I dunno. Only two or three, but still...most vexing.
08/15--It's beginners' bane, of course, but I think that if you study French long enough, you've gotta learn to love the subjunctive mood. It's just so...elegant. Nuanced. Just plain fun to use. The problem with the English subjunctive, of course, is that it has no special, irregular verb forms that are unique to it and it only; naturally, people are going to just forget about it. Still, we use it every day, whether we know it or not: To wit: FUCK YOU.
08/13--So, have you been checking out electoral-vote.com every day? Yaughta. It's super-useful, and generally encouraging. You have to take the numbers with a certain amount of salt, since he gives the votes to the candidate who comes out on top in the latest poll even if it's within the margin of error, but nonetheless, the fact that Kerry's been consistently on top for the last few months has to say SOMETHING, right? RIGHT? I'm quite gratified to see that dear ol' PA apparently isn't so swingy as we'd been lead to believe. Go us! But what I REALLY want is for us to elect Joe Hoeffel. Did you know there's been a grand total of ONE Democratic senator from PA in my LIFETIME? And Wofford wasn't even elected; he was appointed upon the death of Heinz. Then when he ran for election, he was promptly beaten by senator fucking man-on-dog. C'mon, guys, why does this have to be so hard? We've elected a Democratic governor. We went for Clinton, Clinton, and Gore. So what's the damn PROBLEM? Don't the same people who vote for Presidents and governors vote for senators? Let's get our act together and kick out Arlen, shall we?
08/11--Sitting in this computer lab, I found an unlabeled CD-R (it had actually been lying on the desk for a few days). Curious, I finally stuck it in my discman to see what would come out. It turned out to be somebody's mix CD. I didn't know most of the tracks, but was able to identify them all via google. So, let's review this disc song-by-song, shall we?
01.'Unchained Melody'--Given that there are eight hundred-one matches for this at allmusic.com, I have no idea who it's by. It's okay if you like that sort of thing. I don't, particularly, but hey. Not offensive.
02.Sting, 'Fields of Gold'--remember the old Sting Onion editorial, "You know, I used to be kind of cool?" Right. Dreadful gloopy dreck.
03.Sam Cooke(?), 'What a Wonderful World'--Yeah, okay. Pretty much like track #1. I am beginning to sense that the compiler of this disc and myself are not quite on the same wavelength, musically.
04.Arthur Conley, 'Sweet Soul Music.' Zzzzz...
05.Linkin Park, 'Feeble Attempt at Teenage Angst, Plus Rapping'--Okay, a change of pace. Albeit not a good one. Is this really what The Kids are listening to these days to be rebellious? I weep for our future.
06.Bob Marley, 'No Woman No Cry'--Yeah, okay. Never been a HUGE reggae fan. I know it probably makes me a bad person, or at least terminally uncool, but this doesn't do much for me. It's not *bad,* it's just...okay then.
07.U2, 'In a Little While'--See, I have this theory about U2: their massive popularity is not really due to them being transcendant musical geniuses, but rather to them having tapped into a sort of inoffensive, high-minded mediocrity that's easy for people to like--and feel good about liking--without putting much effort into it. This quite banal song does nothing to challenge my theory.
08.Lenny Kravitz, 'Again' (live)--OH GOD NO ARGH.
09.Garbage, 'I Would Die For You'--Okay, as unexciting as this sounds in theory, the delivery makes it work for me; it goes over-the-top to the point where it sounds like a junkie desperate for a fix. Coo'.
10.Sundays, 'When I'm Thinking About You'--Who what huh? Whatever the case, this is a wholly mediocre song.
11.Garbage, 'I Think I'm Paranoid'--Gotta admit, this rocks pretty well too. I have to buy one of their albums.
12.U2, 'One'--it's not that I dislike everything U2's ever done. I liked 'Bullet the Blue Sky (and...that's the only track on The Joshua Tree that I DID like). That 'Elevation' single you heard on the radio all the time a little while back was okay. But...this song kinda bites. Sorry.
This concludes our musical odyssey. I hope it's been as informative for you as it hasn't for me. Feel free to dupicate this CD in the comfort of your own home. Thank you.
08/10--The last--and, until today, only--time I paid for internet content was a few years ago when I belonged to salon.com for a month. But I let it lapse, and, in spite of David Talbot's seemingly unlimited willingness to debase himself in order to get me back into the fold, I never really saw a good reason to take him up on it, especially given that everything's free ANYWAY, after ignoring a short ad. But today I decided that premium Onion would probably be a good use of money. Unlimited access to every article/feature for the last eight years, with older stuff being put online all the time, is nothing to sneeze at. Also: "How are we supposed to understand things like the atom or the nature of gravity if we don't even know what colliding monkeys sound like?" That was worth thirty dollars.
08/08--From the ministry of prophetic rock lyrics:
There's a country where no one knows
what's going on in the rest of the world
There's a country where minds are closed
with just a few asking questions
Like what do their leaders say
in sessions behind closed doors
and if this is the perfect way
why do we need these goddamn lies
This doesn't go down too well
"We give you everything and you throw it back
Don't like it here you can go to hell
You're either with or against us . . ."
There's a country that's great and wide
It's got the biggest of everything
Try to attack it and you can't hide
Don't say that you haven't been warned
You can't hide in a gunman's mask
or kill innocent folks and run
But if you're good at it they might ask--
come on over to the other side
There's a country that's tired of war
There's a country that's scared inside
But the bank is open and you can draw
for guns to fight in their backyard
I could go on but what's the use
You can't fight them with songs
But think of this as just
another tiny blow against the Empire
Another blow against the Evil Empire
Just another blow against the Evil Empire
(Joe Jackson, 1989)
08/07--An exclamation that's regrettably fallen out of fashion of late is "odsbodkins!", as these sorry-ass google results clearly indicate. Somehow, other quasi-blasphemous euphemisms--gadzooks, blimey, crikey, zounds, jeepers--still have a fair amount of currency, but odsbodkins is, regrettably, just about extinct. I mean, shout it out loud! Just FEEL the way it rolls off the tongue! Odsbodkins! And believe you me, in an argument, it'll stop anyone dead. Regard these two contrasting examples. First:
Edmund: I say, that Bush fellow--jolly good president! Why, I do believe I may even contribute a bit of lucre--one must help one's friends, after all.
Edgar: Agh! No! Terrible fucking idea! What are you thinking of! Bush is a goddamn war criminal!
Edmund: Now that IS a bit shrill there isn't it, old chap? Here's my check--two thousand dollars, ready to be delivered tout de suit!
Edmund: I say, that Bush fellow--jolly good president! Why, I do believe I may even contribute a bit of lucre--one must help one's friends, after all.
Edgar: ODSBODKINS, man! You must surely jest!
Edmund: ...on second thought, perhaps not.
Now if we can only get Kerry to use it during the debates...
(I'm sorry, I realize this post had no purpose. I'm a bit chemically altered right now, so to speak. I'll do better next time.)
08/05--"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we," Bush said. "They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." (here)
Ya don't think maybe 'misspoke' i