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

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

There is a light and it never goes out

Back in the days of yore (a yore being anywhere from
an epoch and two thirds at the high end down to a
Canadian Thanksgiving, half a Boxing Day and two
Kwanzaas), homes were equipped with shrines. In these
shrines, the household Gods lived conveniently so that
we could worship them as we came in from the fields or
went out to the fields or just stayed in one day and
looked at the fields through a knothole.
Shrines could hold any number of household gods, minor
deities, heroes, saints, wood sprites or dog-headed,
multi-tentacled, blue-specked Lovecraftian spacesquids
for that matter. Who was important, but even more so
was that attention was paid to that which was truly
important. Life’s hard. It helps to have someone who
can influence events on your side.
Today, most homes still have shrines, but they have
names like Sony and Magnavox and Phillips. They have
wide-screens, plasma screens and flat screens. They’re
cable-ready, remote-controlled and in hi-fi surround.
Mine is a 13-inch Zenith from the 20th century, a
personal failing. Inside these shrines live sit-com
stars and soap opera actors, daytime talk show hosts
and cable news presenters. We turn them on when we
walk in the front door and shut them off just as we
are leaving. But we know they will still be there when
we get back.
Blow back the mists of time with the box fan of too
much time on your hands and you find a lot of things
you thought were different never really changed at
Ecstasy is one of those words we tend to use when we
want to say something felt good, but want to sound
more into it than that, i.e. “I was ecstatic when I
found out Hy-Vee had rotisserie chicken on special.”
But as good a word as ecstasy is, its meaning goes far
beyond such base pleasures of the chicken flesh; juicy
and crispy though it is.
The Greeks invented ecstasy … the word, any way. It
was some time after gyros and right before wrestling,
which historians think had something to do with gyros,
too. Ekstasis was a rapturous delight beyond reason or
self control marked by overwhelming emotions of a
mystic or prophetic nature. You don’t see that much
these days because we medicate for it.
Ecstasy is a side product of intense devotion, if by
intense one means wiggy. If we had a snapshot of the
unmedicated religious ecstatic from yore (between 15
and 5,000 years ago), we would notice a great many
points in common between the mystic and anyone who
watched the final episode of “Friends” in a bar full
of shrieking, weeping fans. This is no coincidence.
Words change in their commonly accepted meanings.
Literal usage changes a little bit over time, but our
love for hyperbole and metaphorical speech is bigger
than a really big bull elephant on steroids wearing a
zoot suit standing on top of another slightly smaller
elephant who is still pretty big in his own right.
If shoe sales put you in a state of ecstasy, you are
probably speaking figuratively and you know it. But if
you said seeing Tom Jones in concert did the same
thing, you might be speaking more literally than you
realize … especially if you threw anything on stage
that you wouldn’t tell your mother about.
No one’s judging these things and this isn’t a test.
But just out of curiosity, when was the last time you
laughed or cried in ecstasy? Was it as church? Were
you at home reading the latest John Grisham potboiler?
Was Rachel saying she got off the plane? Maybe you
were in a delivery room somewhere, your first kid
taking its sweet time, “Lightning Crashes” in your
Life is ecstasy if you can handle it.

Moussaoui's fate is just not worth caring about

I don't know, any more it seems like 'what's the point?' This Moussaoui guy is like the 2 Live Crew of criminals. He just doesn't seem like he's worth getting worked up for either way. He sucks and kind of deserves whatever he gets not because I'm in favor of the death penalty or even because this once I'd like to seem this guy die but then I'd go back to being opposed to the death penalty. You see that sometimes and this isn't one of those times.

Tis probably just low blood sugar talking, but with this guy, I just don't care in the same way I just don't care about these Asian beetles that look like Ladybugs but apparently aren't. I don't like them, but they don't really bother me. They are a pain in the ass sometimes and if they disappear it's OK, but I'm not wasting any time or money on RAID just for them.

I don't care if he's foreign one way or he other, I don't his guilt or innocence matters, I'm not blood-thirsty or hoping that he lives.

I AM all in favor of due process for the detainees in GITMO, I am opposed to the war in Iraq on general principles, it wasn't handled well, but we're stuck, I know that abuses have taken place in America and at Abu Ghraib that make me sick, I don't want to see Muslim women abused and restricted against their will (cause some say they dig the whole thing so live and let live), I'm pretty much a leftie and an independent one at that. No pre-fab, knee jerk passions for me, but let's be honest, I will agree with the vast majority of left wing platforms because that is really how I feel and if I didn't feel that way I'd be a right winger.

I'm not out for revenge or forgiveness for 9/11. I wont be satisied if he dies nor will I be satified if he lives in pain nor will I be happy if he goes free to get married and have kids and work at my local WalMart store. I am not particularly amused by the debate. But that's always the case.

I think maybe it's that I know there is no point in arguing this. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen and the only thing that will make America a little less nasty right now, is if we on the left just ignore this one case and let anyone of any faith or creed, including fellow lefties, have this guys head or let him go as they see fit.

It's like Cujo. Cujo was nasty and scary and whether he deserved to die or not, it was gonna happen because that is just what history has shown us happens to rabid dogs. And I don't even mean that to sound judgmental. If you don't kill him, someone else will because you know he kind of wants it at the same time. The only reason not to kill him is so no one gets all martyrish about him. But I dont even think they will, he's kind of a fuck up and if they do, I don't care about that either. That just makes us look better because our martyrs are usually killed doing SOMETHING, not getting killed after they failed.

Give me a retarded minor who doesn't know what's going on to defend JUST ONCE in my life. Even Ted Bundy was easier to root for than Moussaoui and that pretty boy made me physically ill.

I know that nothing I say for or against this will make a difference. It feels like fate to me. Logic has nothing to do with it. Caring can't even make you feel morally superior in this case and that feeling is the basis for all logic that cmes from it. If you dindt feel good about your logic, you wouldnt believe that your logic was in fact logical. It's a catch-22.

I could get worked up for Leonard Peltier, over the Congo, the Middle East, Putin being a dick, Israeli expansionism, Palestinian violence, the war on drugs, reinstating the death penalty in Iowa, the new speed limit, fast food, corrupt politicians ... it's all inevitable and pointless to some extent, but still worth getting involved in.

Moussaoui just needs to be erased somehow. Maybe a lobotomy (for him or us)would satisfy everyone.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Selling is an addiciton

The reason why former addicts (alkies, tweakers and
cokeheads for sure) are so annoying is because most of
them are hopped up on adrenaline. They can't get their
ya-yas out on a drug, so their drug becomes life.
"Being hardcore" ... on life, they think is their
game, but in reality, they are getting off on going
balls out all they time. Because most humans are
superior assholes, they think anyone who isn't going
balls out is lazy and not living up to their
potential. They also seem to feel that they need to
make up for lost time. They wasted a lot of time doing
drugs even though tweakers probably do more stupid
shit in 24 hours than most people do in a week ... and
it's all stupid shit or boring shit.

This is why there are so many current and former
addicts who are car salesmen. Being a salesman gives
an addict a chance to pay for his habit and a former
addict the chance to get all wired trying to sell
somebody something at the highest price possible. It's
not immoral or unethical and doesnt make them feel bad
to lie about asking their manager or saying that
undercoating comes already done at the factory and we
can't do anything about that because that's just the
way business is done and anyone who feels remorse is
lazy. Consequently, there is a high turnover rate
among salesmen because burnout is inevitable when you
are kiding yourself.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Never Trust a Junkie

I hate junkies. I don't mean the ones currently hooked
on smack. So long as they don't try to sell my stuff,
I take a live and let live attitude. these are people
with genuine problems after all and they should be
pitied. No, the kind of junkies I hate are the ones
who are fully recovered from their habits, so they
like to tell you repeatedly. They think themselves
superior for quitting something that was killing them
and apparently believe no one has had a problem as bad
as theirs was which makes them, quietly and otherwise,
superior to everyone they meet.

Junkies, and I use the term loosely to refer to anyone
who has been addicted to anything from H to X and then
gone through a 12 step program. These people are
nothing more than other cult members whose higher
power 9be it a doorknob) showed them the way out of
darkness and, if you let them talk your ear off, they
can help you too. I don't trust their horse shit line
of self help religiosity.

Problem is, most people aren't fucked up the way
junkies are. Oh sure, we all have our little
peccadilloes, but most of our peccadilloes aren't life
threatening street drugs or clearly marked consumer
products marked "may kill you" which is worse than
will kill you because it leaves wiggle room.

A tar like piece of heroine or a bag of weed has no
assurances that it is good for you. Considering the
moral character of people who try to make as much
money selling drugs as possible (by cutting them with
everything from oregano and formaldehyde to baby
powder and detergent) everyone should know better
before hand.

i don't like to judge, except when i do, and I do like
to judge when people can't he;help but tell me about
their bullshit. if you were addicted to booze and H
for ten years and got clean and now believe that Jesus
is the guy you need to thank, then God Bless You
pally, I mean it. But if you think I need to know
about Jesus because you think he saved you, then
please fuck off.

Because while you were out smoking and spiking and
having an admittedly good but sinful time, I was wide
fucking awake the whole time (except for the
occasional nap and beer and J in college) and I didn't
miss a single campus crusade preacher telling me what
a sinner I was because, apparently, I was fornicating
and sinning between watching movies in the library
basement media room. OK, some of those flicks were
R-rated, but still, a couple weren't.

I know Jesus as well as any addict, maybe better. And
between the Recovered and the Never Sinned types, i
don't know who's worse. Each group's got me pegged as
being worse than they are simply because I am not high
and mightying it around the earth trying to convert
the wicked.

I insist that I am in my own way, but consider this.
If you've never sinned, you don't know what you're
talking about and if you have sinned a whole bunch
more than me, you probably need to recalibrate your
judgment. Because my God is a loving God, too, and I
like to think he gives me credit for helping old
ladies open the door while some of these people were
busy rolling around in alleys with hookers (junkies),
handling snakes (thumpers) or rolling their eyes in
ecstatic rigor lost in the illusory state created by
their own personal delusion (both).


Friday, April 15, 2005

Tax relief means never having to DO your taxes

Just in case no one has mentioned it to you yet, your
taxes are due today.
Many a quaint and best forgotten piece of folksy
wisdom has been written about taxes. And why not?
Death, too, for that matter, especially by the French
who are into that kinky, existentialist subjects.
Taxes are one of those essential societal burdens that
we all complain about loudly from the first day of
work until God tell us to shut our holes a thousand
years from now because we’re making heaven even more
boring with out nattering.
We don’t like paying taxes because the government does
take one hell of a bite. We need as much cash on hand
as we can carry for impulse purchases like
cheeseburgers and the Weekly World News.
As if the bite weren’t bad enough, the process is
ludicrous and arcane like Kafka would have thought up
if only he’d been a little more paranoid and had a
better imagination.
If you’re like me, and I know I am, having someone
else do your taxes is an act of faith that usually
pays off. That is the least you should get for $50.
Fifty bucks to have some semi-retired hausfrau fill
out your 1040EZ in 15 minutes while you watch? That’s
awesome. You’d do it yourself if you weren’t gutless.
I know I would … if I weren’t like me, but I am. So
what are you, or I, gonna do?
What you’re gonna do is go see a tax pro anyway. This
is a lot like using a foot and a half of toilet paper
to pick up after your dog. It’s a psychological trick
to make you feel like you aren’t really touching poop.
Convoluted, incomprehensible poop.
This is not to suggest in any way that tax
professionals are like poop, just the IRS.
Tax pros are like the clean, white, perforated sheets
that keep you out of the joint. Convoluted,
incomprehensible joint.
Didn’t the IRS say they were going to make things
easier a few years ago with less paperwork and
promises of more polite and easy going agents who beat
you gently with their stun sticks before confiscating
your fishing boat? Whatever happened to that?
To avoid all this, I filed online this year. It wasn’t
too bad. I didn’t have to leave my house or put on
pants, at least. It also had the added benefit of
creating another item for me to rage against at tax
Using the IRS Web site to guide me, I found one of
many free services. The free service I chose only cost
me $30. The bonus was that the whole process took
roughly an hour and 30 years of my time.
I had heard many a good thing about filing online and
really none of it was true except that it was online
and my taxes have, hopefully, been filed. I don’t know
for sure.
The IRS site points you to free online services that
each want to derail you to their premium service. They
do this through a unique conflict of interest by
offering you the service then making it pretty good
but a little too hard to get through on your own
without great fear of failure. Every step asks if
you’d like to change your mind and get a pro to help
you for only $50 more. More than what? Who knows? One
would have to be rocking out on fistfuls of Valium to
walk through these electronic shadowed valleys of
death exhibiting no fear. But somehow I managed to not
give in even though I can’t afford Valium. Who can
what with taxes as high as they are, right? I kid.
The farther you go, the greater your fear, the fewer
warnings you get that you need something that you
don’t have on hand like last year’s return (duh,
right, I should know better), Adobe Photoshop, a
computer, no pop-up blockers, a Geek Squad rep, a case
of malt liquor and the aforementioned Valium.
You spend your hour clicking boxes, changing your
shorts and hoping beyond hope. Then, just when you
think you see the light at the end of the federal tax
return tunnel, the state tax return train smacks you
in the forehead without so much as a warning light or
one of those red-striped gates. The “95 percent” sign
shifts back to “80 percent” and sits there and sits
there and sits there for the next … however long it
will take.
Unlike the federal “percent done” bar, it doesn’t move
to show progress and to let you know that you might be
free to cry into your malt liquor in the next few
minutes. It’s a mocking reminder that no matter what
you do, no matter how hard you try, you will
eventually die. And when you do, it will probably be
in the middle of doing your own taxes.
And then someone will tax what’s left of your estate.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Manifesto Destiny-Oh

Eric Rudolph, the not-prolific-
enough-for-a-clever-nickname bomber, pleads guilty
and gets to spend the rest of his life in a jail run by
the federal government he hates ... if he's lucky. Chances
are, he will be transferred to a privately run
facility where the corporate mentality of lower costs
and higher profits through less rigorous prehire psych
screenings will guarantee that this rugged nut
will be "helping the guards do drug search drills" at
3 a.m. every morning until he's dead.
There is nothing like having a German Shepherd
nipping at your nards to make you rethink your whole
position on who does and does not deserve to get
blowed up real good.

The thing I really hate about this redneck fuck is
that while his politics are abhorrent to me and pretty
much represent the opposite of everything I've ever
rambled on about drunk or sober, I am forced to admire
the fact that he is at least a fucking individual.

Oh sure, he probably shops at Wal-Mart for it's low,
low everyday prices and anti-abortion corporate policy
like the rest of us do whether we like it or not, but
he's at least he's Catholic while he's doing it.

At least when he took a firm position on a subject. He
didn't waffle like an International Space Station solar
panel two minutes after some frat boy got worried that
ad revenues might be lost if he took a stand.

This fuckstick may be out there with all the other
NASCAR dads mulleting around the deep dark woods of
Skankton in their pick-ups talkin' 'bout how the
gubbamint is in it with them homos and the commie jew
media is making us whack off to videos of Britney
Spears while Rush Limbaugh fills in the blanks,
but when it came time for his dickhead revolution,
he was all business.

Yes, it's a shitty business and he's an evil little
douchebag for thinking that a killing spree is the way
to get things done in America especially with ALL THE EVIDENCE
TO THE CONTRARY, but he's doing something and not just
bitching about it.

It would be the easiest thing in the
world to prove that his theories are cracked, I mean,
c'mon, no one who doesn't want to hurt other people is going
to load an explosive device with nails and screws
especially if he knows the concussion alone could be enough
to kill someone accidentally. So we know he's a LIAR from
the get go.

Having Rudolph's stupidity deconstructed on CNN by the
same people who planned your college's Greek Week is
like listening to Kid Rock lecture R. Lee Ermey on the
points of The Patriot Act he finds weak.

It's laughable. You've got the amoral sitting in
judgment of a criminially self-righteous zealots

Reading about Rudolph's smirking, less-than-apologetic
elocution is like reading an Amazon.com book review of
"Mein Kampf."

"There were parts of the book where Hitler seemed to
go too far in his criticism of the Jews, like it was
funny or something to not like them. If he isn't
careful, some people might think he doesn't like them
at all, and then he might not get to write another


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Nothing's Shocking

I lost every shred of incredulity I had left on 9/11
and in retrospect, that wasn't even that big of a
surprise. That spammers would use the Pope to lure
people in order to TRY and sell them something is
fucking like "I can't believe _I_ didn't think of it

Getting offers for dick enlargement was almost a
surprise. It's the times, man, nothing is shocking and
no line is too far out to cross especially for money.
We live in shitty times, that's all there is to it.

I would have been surprised if spammers hadn't used
the popes death to lure people. Wait. No I wouldn't
because nothing shocks me. I'm surprised that they
didnt know he was dead before he actually died so they
could exploit his death for spam. Actually, that they
didn't KILL him just to use him for spam is KIND OF a
shock ... but not really.