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

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Patriot Act

... deal with it, folks! Posted by Hello

God ... DAMN I love "Star Trek!"

Greg Trek by Carmen CerraPosted by Hello

I don't care who knows it. I love "Star Trek." It's an ethos. People go on about "Star Wars" and, oh sure, it's fun and all. But when it comes to a truly sophisticated science fiction world that expresses the hope we all have for the future of mankind, Roddenbery kicks Lucas' ass every time.
And don't give me that Joseph Campbell bullshit either. Anything, I mean anything can fit into the limits of Campbell's litery criticism. It's broad. That's the point. You can find heroes who leave home, face the unknown and return with boons for their fellow man anywhere! That Lucas was smart enough to use Campbell as a blueprint just proves what a hack he is. For my money, "American Graffiti" was a much better movie, as was "THX 1138."

Mongol Greg

by Carmen Cerra Posted by Hello

Monday, September 20, 2004

Illustration courtesy of Maj. Mark Schonberg, United States Army. He's one to talk. A CB native, Schonberg (son of Dick Schonberg, former plant manager at Iowa Western) is just about the biggest blowhard I know. In a good way. He once drove a moving van all the way from Manhattan, Kans. to Omaha, Neb. down to Houston, Texas to help me move. Then we drove all the way to CB and then he drove all the way back to Kansas. Now that's a buddy. At least, that would be a buddy if he didn't constantly bring it up. Believe me, I've paid him back 10-fold but you'd think he saved me from the Viet Cong the way he goes on about that trip. Posted by Hello

CB Night Panorama

I took this pic meself at Fairmount Park in the winter of 2002 let's say. It was cold and crisp, but there was no snow on the ground. Posted by Hello

The Writer by Jean Mason

My friend Jean Mason did this painting of me. I love it. It hangs in my mother's house right now because more people can see it there. What an eye this lady has. She managed to see me the way I'd like to see myself. Go to her site and buy her stuff.
Posted by Hello

High Idiocy

I had this publisher at my last job who was, and is, a complete fucking idiot. You know how hard it is to work for someone who is so God damn stupid he shouldnt even be the fry guy at Mickey D's? Your instincts tell you to beat them down like a spider monkey, chimp style.

But of course, he was the boss, so everybody walked around kissing his ass like he could wish them away to cornfield. He's one of those stupid people who either doesn't know how stupid he is or DOES know how stupid he is and insists with mannerisms that everyone ignore his stupidity. For example: There is plenty of coffee to be had in a newsroom. Reporters and editors run on caffeine. Our newspaper had been in the same building since the Depression.

One day, the bathroom sink comes up clogged. There were coffee grounds built up after generations of dumping coffee into the sink. Of course, where the fuck else are you supposed to clean out the pot and your cup? The fucking toilet?

So of course, we had to be bannded from cleaning our coffee cups in the sink even though the average cup of coffee these days contains exactly ZERO fucking coffee grounds.

Of course, this asshole was about the only grownup I've ever met in my life who didn't drink coffee. Carried a coffee cup around though. Drank pop out of it. Didn't want coffee, but didn't want to look like he wasn't drinking it either. What a tool.

On 9/11, I remember him barking orders out in the newsroom. "Get on the internet andfind out what the flight numbers of those planes are?" Why? If they don't have it on CNN, how the fuck am I supposed to find it by "getting on the internet."

Even the way he said "get on the internet" indicated he didn't "get on the internet" very often. He once told me to "get on the interenet" and find out when Nebraska became a state. I should have told him to stick it up his ass. Ever heard of Google motherfucker? Probably not.

This is, after all, the guy who fired me for sending a personal email to a member of the school board. I'm sure he didn't know she was on the board.

The Editor (v. 1.0) by Carmen Cerra

Talk about a great artist. My friend Carmen could draw versions of me that captured by fatness without being entirely offensice. That takes skill. Check him out at the Ames Tribune.

To me, this drawing, as well as v. 2.0, represented to me the great potential that we all knew was our at the Iowa State Daily. I have never shaken the faith that I and the people I worked with at that time were not only great at what we did, but had great futures ahead of us.

No matter what stupid fat fuck has the audacity to call me a piece of shit to face while I'm busy rocking the mic and selling papers, I know what I can do. I know what I'm SUPPOSED to do. I'm a journalist. That isn't up for interpretation by some stupid corporate fuck like Tom Schmitt, publisher of the Daily Nonpareil, has to say about it.

Journalists have a responsibility, a sacred trust with the public, that is so much more important than "the bottom line" or the opinion of an asshole from Missouri, hired by some stupid fucks from Nebraska to run OUR hometown newspaper.

These men with big mouths and no guts make me want to puke. I can't wait for the revolution, man, I really can't.

Posted by Hello

Breaking Away

Carmen Cerra

This illustration accompanied my final column at the Iowa State Daily. God ... DAMN but that Carmen is a genius. One is tempted to overlook the incredible subtlety and intricacy in his work, but look closely. He's like Picasso this guy. With a few lines he manages to create an image that conveyed all of the emotions I was feeling at the time.

One day, Lord willing, we will work together again.

Posted by Hello

Screaming in a vacuum

This blog stuff doesn't have quite the effect of bi-weekly newspaper columns. Patience though. I have plans in motion that will, God willing, result in something ... truly wonderful. For me, at least, if not Council Bluffs and southwestern Iowa.

For right now though, everything I saw is likely read by me and maybe one or two other people who never comment. Perhaps I shall get a counter just to prove to myself how few people are looking in on this endeavor.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Julia Roberts can milk my mare any day!

You know that Julia Roberts has done some good work. I'm not talking about her movies. Those are pretty much shit. Not even gay men find much to appreciate about JR. No, I'm talking about her work on PBS.

I don't care who knows it, I think she's got SOME balls on her to traipse around the world in conditions I know I wouldn't dig in order to do documentaries for educational television that you just know she isn't getting paid dick for. And she does a pretty good job. God knows she's no Richard Attenborough, but she doesn't suck either.

And she isn't doing some stupid reality show premise about the starlet in the shit, these are good in depth looks at Mongolians and what not. I just saw that chick milk a horse. She didn't bitch about it either. I could love me a woman like that.

KUDOS Julia!

Plato was right ... now make me a sandwich

Man, I'm hungry. I could really go for a sandwich. Not some fast food burger or a sub, but just a good old made at home turkey, ham, beef concocted with swiss and horseradish sauce on rye. Maybe some romaine and tomato to kick that bad boy up a notch, you know? This, of course, would require me to leave the house and go to the store, maybe two. I don't spend $3 for a loaf of break. I have no shame about going to the thrift store to buy bread. But even the day old store is getting expensive as hell. Time was you could get bread there for 50 cents a loaf. Now, even they are up to a $1.50 for the basics.

Of course, once I get to the grocery store, I might as well buy groceries for the week and that always sucks. Especially on a Sunday when everybody and his dog is there taking their time.

This all goes to show that desire is the root of all suffering. In this case, my desire for a sandwich and the suffering of inconvenience. Sure, it isn't torture, but this is just an analogy so if you don't like it, fuck off.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

The Return of Puddin' Head

Writing is a release that, for me, comes out of the fingertips. It's that sense of lightening quick flow from the mind and out threw my fingers onto the keyboard and instantly appearing on the screen that makes the intangible real with no hesitation between conception and realization. Writing with pens on paper is an entirely different process. The words are trying to come out of me so fast that it's actually quite frustrating to use anything but modern technology. I wonder if Shakespeare, Poe or Twain would have done anything differently if they'd been able to crank it out at lightening speed. I know for a fact that Twain was paid by the word. He used to mark his manuscripts with little numbers that "scholars" couldn't figure out for decades. They thought for sure he was doing some sort of god damned remarkable numerological mindfuck on us all. Turns out he was just trying to keep track of the duckets. This of course makes sense to anyone who really gets Mark Twain.

Needless to say, the great man would never have had his money problems if he was spewing out Puddin' Head Wilson stories like Steven King on crystal meth.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Pop goes the weasel

Bold thoughts require bold fonts and I am feeling bold tonight. My plan to search for ladies via the Internet (a prospect I had heretofore eschewed as geeky) is going awesome. These ladies know I'm fat, they've seen my mug and they continue to email me. It's shaking up my libido like a bottle of pop. I think I might have get all Onanistic on myself. Really, it's a compliment, ladies.

Total hippie masturbation

A lot of people look at the stars and feel insignificant. I can see that. The universe is huge and by comparison, we are no more significant than ants (we sure do lord it over the insects, don't we?). But when I look up at the universe, I don't see myself as a separate entity living inside an enormous cage that happens to be the universe. You look at the Milky Way and it is billions of stars that look like dust blowing in the wind. I see myself as a part of it all. Sure I'm just dust, man, but I'm space dust, don't you get it? We're, made from the same elements as the stars. We come from the earth literally and we go back to it the same way and in a billion years when our sun goes nova, this earth and everything it ever was will become dust again to blow across the universe to begin anew in some far distant corner. It may have happened countless times before and countless times still. So in a very real way, we never stop existing. We coalesce and become animated for an infinitesimally short time and then we blow away. We should look up at the sky and feel honored that anything in this universe would consider us worth creating at all.

Now where are my Cheetohs?

How I learned about sex

Now, if you ask my mother, she will tell you that she sat me down one day and gave me “the talk.” If you pump her for details, she will not remember exactly what she said or recall any of the emotional details. To be honest, there was a moment when we sat down for “the talk,” but I remember it being so excruciatingly painful for her to discuss the subject with me that “the talk” was more like "the torture session" and ended rather abruptly. I know she never said the words “penis,” “vagina” or even “sex” for that matter. But I do remember my Robin action figure mounting my Catwoman and thinking that if Batman walked in right now, he would be pissed.My mother was always uptight about sex when I was a kid. I remember she caught me masturbating once when I was about 12. It was bound to happen sooner or later. I was going at it at least five times a day and that was when there were people in the house. Man, those were good times. What I wouldn’t give to be overwhelmed by my libido just once and without that senseless guilt I used to feel because no one told me it was cool, just lock the door. It used to feel as if the center of everything was in my crotch and there was nothing more important than getting it out into the world. Laugh if you will, but on the genetic level that is exactly what’s going on with every human being born. We are the chauffeurs of our DNA, my friends, and that is all. I think we tend to not see the beauty in the male sex drive because it seems so base and monkey-like. But is a woman giving birth any different? It’s all just animal instinct, blood, come, grunting and release when you get right down to it. For me, being forced to suffer massive erections at the slightest provocation and feeling that I must do anything to ejaculate was at once awkward and profound. It was embarrassing, buty it was nature’s way of pointing me in the direction the universe wanted me to go. Thank God for gym bags. I learned about sex mostly from pornography. My uncle was a truck driver and apparently he stole quite a bit of porn from a big load he was hauling cross country. This wasn’t “Playboy” or even “Hustler” porn. This was nasty, specialty store stuff with penetration and exotic set decoration, plotlines, dialog balloons and all the hot action a young lad could ask for if he had any idea this stuff was out there in the first place. My uncle disseminated all this skank to friends and relatives profanely one Christmas, the disgusting pervert. I think it seemed OK at the time because it was the 70s and everybody was a little more curious and open about sex than they had been. Hell, my sainted mother even went to see “Debbie Does Dallas” with some friends of hers whose husband is a minister to this day if you can believe that. Would I lie to you? So for years my dad had this big pile of what, in retrospect, was some pretty awesome porn. It was from this magical nasty stash – concealed ingeniously under his side of the bed – that I realized sex had less to do with making babies than with making women make the most agonizing expressions. I must have spent five hours a day looking at those magazines while committing the sin of Onan once every half hour.Today, I can't get revved up without a bottle full of deer phermones, an upright vaccum cleaner and a truck battery attached to my nipples. Time's funny like that, ain't it?

Freedom of what again?

I know it sounds like so much whining to people who accept that life is exactly as hard as you make it out to be or that "life IS stress" or that there is nothing more satisfing than working like a dog for 60 years, paying all bills on time and dying not owing anybody anything, but for me, I see life as a series of limited choices and limited freedom. Freedom isn't just the freedom to pay bills or eat hundreds of different kinds of cereal. Who needs the freedom to be ground under the heel of some asshole who thinks of them as a lowly, greasy cog in his little corporate profit machine. Fuck all that shit. Get in my way old man, and you’re goin’ down faster than a two dollar whore. Fuck societal mores and niceties. I’m here to see how high and how far I can go. I don't want to bow and scrape for any man. I don’t relish the notion of dying but it’s gonna happen. And when it does, I’d like to leave something more meaningful than my credit rating and excellent work record behind me.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Lord, I was born a ramblin' man

So I got me the internet yesterday. So far I've decided to do all the things I haven't been able to do for a while. Long story short, I'm lookin' for the hook up.

I Googled "women who like fat men. " Damn skippy! Found a site for chubby chasers with women in my area who not only don't mind a man with a little - or a lot-extra padding, but insist on it!

It is the nature of man that he is a social animal. It is part of our success. The opposite side of that coin is that man is a rather lonely animal when deprived the comforts of community. I take no shame in the fact that I am lonely.

Well, that's not entirely true. All around me people are marrying and having kids, dating, screwing, holding hands and engaging in some of the most basic human as well as mammalian behavior and yet I seem nearly incapable of making that happen for myself.

So let me rephrase. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I am lonely.

I like a great deal of solitude, but in my solitude there is a yawning chasm of sadness that occasionally longs to be filled. Of course, when I find out that the only thing I have to fill that chasm is the incessant nagging of a woman with issues, I might once again relish my solitude.

Who knows? Maybe I'm just horny.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Greggy's back. Back again. Greggy's back. Tell a friend.

Believe it or not, I JUST got internet service at home today. Up until now, I've avoided having the devil internet in my home because I knew, fucking knew, that if I were online at home I'd be ONLINE at home ALL THE TIME. Sure, it's just the first day, but I've been on since the dude who hooked me up left at 1. It's almost 6 p.m. I'm listening to Air Ameirca radio. I was watching Angry Kid on AtomFilms. I reactivated my eBay account after five years away. I signed up for AOL IM, a personals site and about 10 technology upgrades for by browser and media.

God ... DAMN broadband rocks!

I should be able to look for jobs, write and work on my web site without even putting on pants.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Why I don't write for the Council Bluffs Daily NonPaper any more and why it doesn't matter

E-mail me at gjerrett@yahoo.com for questions and details...

There I was on the morning of Aug. 12 minding my own
business writing an obit - a task for which I was not
hired but did anyway - at my desk at the Daily
Nonpareil when Jon Leu called me on the intercom to
come to his office. It had to be bad news because Jon
didn't talik to me at all if he could help it and only
called me by intercom when something bad was about to
happen to me.

Long story short, they fire me for sending "a personal
e-mail" to a contact of mine. I had been having a
three way e-mail conversation with her and another
contact about conflict of interest as well as how
stupid some people were for either allowing or
encouraging one of my editors to run for school board.

This is a clear cut conflict of interst, one of the
biggest in our business. One cannot be a reporter,
editor or writer employed by a newspaper and run for
public office.

My contacts agreed and we batted e-mails back and
forth forth for some time while I worked on other
stories. To me, it's no harder or time consuming than
chatting witha coworker while typing away on a story
and is, in fact, a good use of time in my opinion.

But I am not a popular man with the management of the
Daily NonPaper. The publisher, Tom Schmitt, hates the
fact that he has never once been right about me. He,
like so many others in my life. Had wanted very much
to dismiss me as a lowest common denominator kind of
writer. Someone who plays to people's lowest
expectations and twisted human emotions. But the truth
was that I was good. I actually made people feel good
about themselves, I made them think and feel and they
wanted more of me.

For three years they wanted more and never got tired
of me as I'm sure he believed they soon would. I am
from Council Bluffs. I know the town that reared me. I
know the people. I know what they want to hear and
what they NEED to hear. But I am honest and I never
manipulate my audience. I don't pander to them. I
don't cajole them or tell them simply what they want
to hear so they will like me. That way leads to ruin.
Evdntually, your audience will figure out that you are
full of shit and they will tune out leaving you on
your pedastal alone and confused.

Honesty is the hardest thing to come by and the last
thing the corporate overlords want. They cannot
conceive of honstey as a virtue only a detriment to
their profit margin. So when some fucking guy like me
comes along and proves that not only can one be honest
but popular and long-lasting to boot, it annoys them.

I honestly think I could have been golden for a good
long time at the NP i it hadn't been for Tom Schmitt.
Everyone else who mattered semed to like me well

So what was Scmitt's problem? The very same fucking
week I was fired I won the Nonpareil's Reader's Choice
Award for favorite writer for the second year in a
row. He got second and that was probably because he
got his family to sit around filling out forms. So
long as I was there, he would never get out from
uinder my shadow. Me, a god damn flunky who refused to
act like a piece of shit.

Well buddy, for $21,000 a year, you don't GET my
fucking soul. You get my ass in a chair and that's it.
The rest is mine.

I'm not done with them by a damn sight.

Keep checking in for more and please send my address
to your friends since this is now where I write and do
forgive any spelling errors or typos you come across.
I write from the hip.