If you're like me, and I know I am...

Saturday, June 26, 2004

my love has a short-circuited motherboard

I don't think i can do "love." Much in the same way that a microwave can't really do a Thanksgiving Day turkey. I am just not wired to accept such input.

I was raised out in the sticks where my best prospect for love was livestock. Not that I've ever done it with livestock, but I kinda sorta understand where that pressure comes from. Thank god for p0rn0graphy or I'd have really been in trouble. That's no way for a child to learn about love and sex and all that stuff?

I asked my mom, what's mastrubation? she told me to look it up in the dictionary! I looked up mastication by mistake, now every time I chew gum, I get an erection.

I tell you it was tough.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Read this for the Gipper ... the censored column

The passing of an American president is an historical event well-worth much of the coverage we have seen this last week. President Ronald Reagan meant a great deal to all Americans whether they accept that inevitable reality of history or not. Besides, how often do we get the chance to see a state funeral plastered all over the networks, cable news outlets and C-SPAN ... 24 hours a day no less?
I would say the passing of our nation’s 40th president certainly rates at least 85 percent of the attention it is getting. Although I would like to have been able to pick up my mail from the retail counter of the Post Office on Friday before it is “returned to sender.” Hold it for me would you fellas? I am easily distracted by life’s minutiae and even though it is mostly bills, junk mail, creditor threats and a few back issues of the German “art” magazine GroƟformatig Vierzigerinnen, I should still rummage through it.
Back on track, now.
This is not the time for partisanship or so I’ve heard from people who were clearly big, big fans of R-squared before he passed on. But I agree with them. The time for disrespectful displays toward a great man by politicians who simply cannot stand the fact that a national treasure has passed into the hereafter is not now. That time will come when President Clinton dies, I’m sure.
It is also not the time for tasteless jokes like this one left on the newsroom voicemail system: Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan are on a lifeboat full of people when it starts to sink. President Carter stands up and says, “Save the women and children! Save the women and children!” President Nixon says, “Screw the women and children!” Then President Reagan stands up and says, “Well, that won’t be necessary Richard, Congress and I pretty much took care of that already.”
Now, what kind of message does this send to the world? If this column didn’t run today, Saturday, the day after the officially-sanctioned day of mourning for the second or third greatest American president of the 20th century – maybe fourth – then I wouldn’t have even dared think that joke let alone repeat it in print. But we are grown-ups and in order to vilify, we must sometimes testify, mustn’t we?
Let me tell you a little something I know I’m pretty sure I believe about Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan never intentionally screwed over women, children or anybody while in office. I believe with all of my canned ham-sized heart that if Ronald Reagan screwed over anybody, it was largely unintentional and can probably be blamed on his early foray into Democratness. I know I believe that Ronald Reagan was a kind man, a good man who believed in the greatness of America with the kind of single-minded fervor usually held by people who were too young to serve in World War I and too old to serve in World War II in a combat capacity.
And just as the purveyor of that joke should be largely if not wholly ashamed of himself, so too should the people who remind us that by the end of Reagan’s two terms, 138 administration officials from the EPA, HUD, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Justice Department, and the Pentagon had been convicted, indicted or been made the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or other official criminal violations, according to journalist Haynes Johnson in his 1991 book “Sleepwalking Through History.”
And shame on Joe Conason of Salon.com for reminding us at this mournful time of otherwise low synaptic activity “that HUD Secretary Sam Pierce took the Fifth Amendment when called to testify about the looting of his agency – the first cabinet official to seek that constitutional protection since the Teapot Dome scandal.”
And why bring up that Attorney General Edwin Meese was burned in the Wedtech contracting scandal or that Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger bit it in Iran-contra (Conason).
A pox on he who reminds us about the time back in 1981 when Reagan fired 11,359 striking air traffic controllers, members of the same union, PATCO, that had supported Reagan for president over Jimmy Carter only nine months prior. He then banned them for life from being rehired by the FAA ... FOR LIFE! This action did one thing described two different ways: If you work, it undermined the rights of working men and women and if your business is business, it restored flexibility to hiring practices (Time, Newsweek).
Tasteless also at this time would be to remind anyone that the covert backing and CIA training of radical Islamist mujahideen guerrillas (including Osama bin Laden) against the Soviets in 1979 (a good thing on the face of it) led to the rise of the Taliban and Al Qaeda after Afghanistan was abandoned wholesale by a short-sighted United States as soon as the Soviets left.
When you paint with such big strokes, you’re bound to sell arms to Iran and give the money to the Contra in ... anybody? anybody? ... Nicaragua in direct opposition to Congress or as most Americans call it, breaking the law. BIG PICTURE, people. Big picture.
But just as ashamed should be the people who mythologize Ronald Reagan by insisting that his face be placed on half the dimes and the $10 bill replacing Founding Father, first Secretary of the Treasury, creator of the American economic system and second place duelist Alexander Hamilton. C’mon, man, the man who single-handedly destroyed the Soviet Union, which was nowhere near crumbling before 1980 doesn’t need anything so paltry as his face on currency. At least he doesn’t when ...
There has been serious talk from fanciful folk with imaginations like children that Ronald Reagan’s head should be squeezed on to Mount Rushmore, a feat that is not only physically and geologically impossible, but artistic vandalism.
No, now is not the time to bring reality into sharp focus. Leave that until Monday.
n Next Storytellers at Barley’s will be June 23. Poets and tellers of stories welcome for what I can guarantee is the most interesting night of the week in Council Bluffs. Free admission, reasonably-priced nachos, A/C and love!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Some feedback I got from a teacher

I got this e-mail from a teacher about my Saturday column entitled, "Shaker joints not so bad." Following is my response to her.

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Perhaps because at 34 I'm an "old fogey"... or

perhaps before reading your article on Saturday I spent part of the morning explaining to my seven year old daughter why some wacko would leave a "nasty picture" on the slide at the park on 8th street... or

perhaps it's because my 12 year old son happily delivers the NonPareil each day and then comes home to digest the great knowledge he has disseminated across the neighborhood...0r

perhaps it's because I haven't lived here all that long and so was mistaken about the generally accepted community standards of the people of Council Bluffs...or

perhaps it's just because I still believe in "all the news that's fit to print"...

Whatever the reason - I think you crossed the line with Saturday's column on, of all things, the proper etiquette for strip club visits. I have chosen to believe that you must have simply had writer's block and so dug into an old file labeled "Column ideas to bring repulsive pictures to the minds of my readers". Whatever could have possessed you to think that the subscribers of the Council Bluffs paper wanted to learn how many places across this great land that you have visited "jiggle joints"? The article might have been great advice for a fraternity newsletter or even as a side-bar in Playboy but not in our community newspaper.

Last week I received an advertisement from the Omaha World Herald encouraging me to use their Newspapers in Education program. I had thought about seeing if Council Bluffs had a similar program for my high school classroom, but if your column is what is getting by the NonPareil editors, I think I'll stick with Omaha.

Greg, I believe that you can do better! Please do!

Ruthie Oberg
Council Bluffs, IA

-----------------------------

you're right. you probably haven't been living here long enough.

Forcing my opinions on other people is my job. That's what I get paid for. That is not, however, what a teacher gets paid for. I find it offensive that you would suggest "sticking" with the Omaha paper which is widely known to never cover ANYTHING in this community unless it's murder, severe animal neglect, pedophilia, bizarre hickishness or strip club related. They also have some of the worst, most boring and NonPoignant columnists I've ever read. And all because you disagree with me. I am the only Council Bluffs born and raised columnist that any of these Council Bluffs kids has ever seen. I am routinely discussed in classrooms and have even been read from the pulpit and invited to speak at churches.

I can assure you that this community finds my subject matter plenty acceptible and if you'd like to see some comments from other teachers, school board members and students FROM council bluffs that i count as friends and fans, I'd be happy to pass them along.

You did give me a good column idea though.

thanks for reading,
greg jerrett

Saturday, June 05, 2004

I call this one, Council Bluffs Cathedral



Can you dig it?

Ding Dong, Ronnie Reagan's Dead

I am finding it hard to give a shit about Ronald Reagan being dead. That man may be the conservative God of presidents but to me he will was just another whackjob conservative who sent this country down the toilet and everyone running around singing his praises acts like he did the exact opposite. He shit on the working man in this country, had NOTHING to do with the fall of the USSR going down except engaging them in a huge game of economic chicken. My childhood was spent in paranoia waiting for him to push the effen button and if one more person suggests that he recieves one more god damn unreasonable honor like renaming another airport or some shit after that dead fuck, I'm gonna lose it.

Fuck you Ronnie, you will get yours in hell!

Friday, June 04, 2004

1984 BLOG

I have been re-reading 1984. It's my third time through this book as well as Brave New World. While 1984 is supposed to be a critical fictional discourse on why communism sucks, I've always thought it had plenty to say about the ills of government in general as well.

Consider how everyone likes to talk about privacy issues in terms of Big Brother even in the USA, but when it comes to doublespeak, newspeak and accusations of thoughtcrime, which I find plentiful, no one seems to leap on those. Orwell actually produced a book that was broader in scope, I think, than even he intended. We refer to the machinations of government quite often as Orwellian. Not communist, Orwellian.

The world he created is extremely fascistic. Whether a government/economic system is communist or capitalist, it can still oppress its people. What is wagging the dog, the cold war, the war on terrorism if not a modern replica of the three-way system of continuous warfare seen in 1984?

For my money, there is every bit as much warning in those pages against the military industrial complex as there is against commies.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

greatest generation needs to chill the fuck out

I was recently insulted by one of my "veteran friends" for a column I wrote called "Searching for WWII." In it, I basically said that ever since the end of WWII, we have been trying to relive the experience not unlike a junkie looking for that one pure high he got the first time he scored. I rather liked it, as did The Old Town Review and WWII vet friend of mine.

What this other guy seemed to be so pissed about was that according to his perspective, I basically took a huge shit on the 140,000 men who died in Korea by not making it sound as good and pure as WWII. What a bunch of bullshit.

That was kind of the whole point, wasn't it? I mean, we won WWII. I've seen MASH, we basically called Korea a tie after MacArthur fucked it up and got the Chinese involved. If we hadn't gone ramming up to China, ALL OF KOREA would be free today and not just the south.

This note I got, basically helped me to prove my original point, which was that everything we do has to be compared to WWII.

Now Bush Jr. is trying to compare the war on terror with WWII not a full week after that last column.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Tired of Sucking Veteran Ass

My entire life seems to have been dedicated to the kind of primitive ancestor worship once decried as savage by civilized man, but perpetuated today by him when it is called Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July and now even Flag Day.

I'm tired holding my manhood and American citizenship cheap in comparison to the hordes of aging veterans in this country who keep reminding us every god damn time we turn around that we owe everything to them because they fought in WWII, Korea, Nam, Iraq or Grenada for God's sake.

GIVE IT A REST would you? I'm sorry I didn't fight in Nam, but I was three, OK? And while I didn't fight in Korea, it sure feels like it since I've experienced the monotony and pain of that conflict by watching ever episode of M*A*S*H about 20 times. Grenada was a joke and Iraq is ... hell, I don't even know what to make of that one yet, except I think global terrorism has been used an excuse to fleece us and them in order to fill the pockets of Halliburton and its stockholders with no remorse for the dean and dying on all sides.

I guess I could have gone to Iraq the first time, but guess what? I disagreed with that little conflict. Personally, I thought if Kuwaiti boys wanted to be free, they should fight for it their damn selves. Call me crazy, but I still do.

I remember when war memorials used to be tasteful. Now it seems they don't exist unless they are huge interactive stone displays that block the view of the reflecting pool from the Washington Monument. Excuse me, but I thought the whole purpose of the reflecting pool was to reflect the Washington Monument as you looked at it from the Lincoln Memorial?

And of course, failing to show the "proper" respect makes you guilty of thoughtcrime.

i've written dozens of stories about veterans and every single one was just the proper god damn story because I know these guys had it hard and I respect that fact more than anyone knows. But it is only when I express my dissent over the current war tht I get accused of not respecting veterans, which pisses me off. Just once I'd love to tell one of these guys, hey, you didn't fight for my right to say whatever the fuck I want to say just so I couldn't say it and I respect your sacrifice too much to not disagree with you SO FUCK OFF!