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

Friday, May 27, 2005

You Say You Want a Revolution?

I think I'm really getting to love Jesus



You know, there is the Jesus of popular Christian culture,
there is the Jesus of history, there is the Jesus of kiddie
cartoon fantasy, but I think I'm starting to believe that
what really matters is the "Your Own Personal Jesus" kind
of Jesus. My Personal Jesus is telling me that what is
most important isn't whether or not he was the true son
of God [that's just some BS the organized religi-criminals
use to get our money], but that we listen to the good and
decent things he wanted us to do. Get closer to God people,
in the Hindu sense, in the Buddhist sense, in the Jesus
and Over-Soul sense. Do good works, fight waste so the
poor don't starve, strive for goodness and rightness
and all that good shit.


CLICK

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Aid for Palestinians? 'bout time

Dubya has pledged to give $50 million in housing aid
directly to the Palestinian people. Well, it's about freakin'
time. Far too often in the past, any aid we promised to
help make the lives of Palestinians a bit better ended up
in the pockets of the people making their lives worse.

Yeah, I mean the Israelis. Anybody who buys into the
notion that the Israelis are somehow being persecuted by
the Palestinians is an idiot. While it is true that their Arab
neighbors, the one's with nation states, didn't much care for
having a country full of foreigners slapped down in the
middle of Arab lands back in '47, it is also true the the
Palestinians who were displaced roughly are not the same
as Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.

Don't make the racist assumption that an Arab is and Arab is
and Arab. The Palestinians were forcefully removed from their
native land, how the hell would you fell about it? The Israelis
hold all the cards and could make peace if they wanted to, but they
don't. They get far too much money out of the United States to
exercise their bigotry and hatred against the only Arabs whose
asses they can kick on a daily basis.

The United States needs to stop taking sides with 'our friends' in
Israel. Their democracy is a joke, they aren't "the only country in
the region that is like the U.S." and we get nothing of benefit from
them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Sackless Dems need to fight back NOW

In spite of the world being against them, Democrats have
so far managed to keep social security from going private
[no surprise there since NOBODY FUCKING WANTED IT],
and to draw a tie on the nuclear option [something else nobody
wanted].

The Democrats have become a sackless bunch of pansy-ass wussy
boys. They need to fight back NOW. They are like Chris Makepeace
in My Bodyguard. They are they are wimps that everybody wants
to see kick the bully's ass just because they have been getting beat
up for so long. It's not why anyone should support the Dems, but that's
just how bad things have gotten in DC. No one wants to see the Dems
win because they are fighting for anything good, true and noble, it's
just nice to see a total wimpy loser stand up for himself and shout, "Hey,
leave me alone!"

Check out what my fine lady, Arianna Huffington, has to say on the
subject.

‘Star Wars,’ thank God it’s over

When I saw “Star Wars” in 1977 at the
Indian Hills Theater in Omaha, Neb. I
can honestly say it was one of the
single most awesome experiences of my
life. Now granted, a year or two prior
to that, I was saying the exact same
thing about “Battle for the Planet of
the Apes.” But why not?

Culturally, we tend to forget a great
many things. One of those things is the
fact that before “Star Wars” came along
to shock and titillate our collective
zeitgeist with its flashy special effects
and big explosions, “ The Planet of the
Apes” franchise did it all and without
the pyrotechnics. There was a cartoon,
a TV show, Halloween costumes, lunchboxes,
games, toys and, dare I say, a deep and
abiding love for humanity in that enterprise.
“Apes” was the biggest thing to happen to
science fiction since Isaac Asimov wrote
“I, Robot,” The Foundation Trilogy and
three other novels in one weekend.

Oh sure, the special effects in the
Apes movies were terrible by today’s
standards, but back then it was about
as good as things ever got. Every make-up
artist in Hollywood worked on the first
movie keeping chimpanzee, gorilla and
orangutan masks in good shape. But it
was the story that really kicked things
into high gear. You take the first one,
“The Planet of the Apes.” Story by Pierre
Boullé (“Bridge Over the River Kwai’) and
screenplay by Rod Serling (“The Twilight
Zone”).

Does anyone need to say anything more? A
man, disgusted with the human race, volunteers
to go off to another planet never to return
to Earth again (because of relativity, a
thousand years will pass while only a
couple of years pass aboard the ship).
“In all the universe there has to be
something better than man.”

Maybe there is, but he wakes up to find
himself on a planet where apes evolved
from men. It doesn’t make any sense
that men should be running around like
dumb animals unable to speak, think or
wear clothes while apes are doing all
the ruling, gabbing, shooting and
wearing of pants. Come to find out,
he’s not on another planet; he’s been
on Earth the whole time. “I’m home.
You blew it up!” he says. “Damn you
all to heeeeeeeeelll!”

Talk about your punch-out endings. Two
hours in the theater watching monkeys
talk then you get a face full of the
greatest Serling-esque twist ever written?
It doesn’t get better.

I for one am glad that “Star Wars” is over.
I caught “Revenge of the Sith” last weekend
and it was pretty good. At least, it was
pretty good while I sat there getting blasted
in the eyes and ears for two and a half hours
being awed by all the flipping and popping
and shooting one expects from George Lucas.
But there was a serious lack of inspiration
in this film. The effects took front and
center. The purpose of the prequel trilogy
was lost in the rush of the last 20 minutes
of the movie. The direction was non-existent,
the dialogue was boring and the acting was as
stale as a week-old bagel from the craft service
table.

It’s ironic really that many die-hard fans
feel this way because, for a variety of reasons,
“Star Wars” is the very film that taught us all
to expect more from our movies, not less. The
first film was a simple, classic story told well
in a unique setting with clever effects executed
masterfully. When we get to the end, we have a
languorous tale told haltingly over the course
of two and half hours with animated effects
provided by soulless computers. The sense of
fantastic reality is blown apart because it
strains the mental mechanism known as suspension
of disbelief. At any given moment, there are a
thousand elements on the screen competing for our
attention. No one comes out the winner.

I went in with low expectations and that saved
me from utter disappointment. Had I known it
wouldn’t give me any great satisfaction, I would
have still gone to see “Revenge of the Sith”
much in the same way I might go to a funeral
for a relative I had lost touch with years ago
just to feel a sense of closure. Just as at a
funeral, everyone feels inclined to say something
nice about the deceased, there are those who will
tell you this movie is good and a fitting way
to end nearly 30 years of extended childhood
bliss. But that is nothing more than wishful
thinking.

Perhaps now, science fiction can get back to
what it was once good at before laser blasts
and screaming starships took over center stage:
telling good stories about future possibilities.

For some good science fiction that uses story
to entertain rather than shiny effects, try
“Bladerunner,” “2001: A Space Odyssey,” any
old episode of “Star Trek,” “Doctor Who” or
“Blake’s 7,” “Phase Four,” “Westworld,”
“Metropolis,” “Gattaca,” “Forbidden Planet,”
“Wizards,” “Escape from New York,” “Mad Max,”
“Day of the Triffids,” “Night of the Comet,”
“Soylent Green,” “Omega Man,” “Buckaroo Banzai,”
and oh, so much more.

Friday, May 20, 2005

from Brave New World

I want God, I want poetry,
I want danger, I want freedom,
I want goodness, I want sin.

— Aldous Huxley

Get Your War On

Rockin' out since damn near day
one of Operation Enduring Freedom,
Get Your War On is still going strong.

Check it out!

from Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates

All depression has its roots in self-pity,
and all self-pity is rooted in people
taking themselves too seriously.

The key word here is roots, the roots of
depression. For most people, self-awareness
and self-pity blossom simultaneously in
early adolescence. It’s about that time
that we start viewing the world as something
other than a whoop-de-doo playground, we
start to experience personally how
threatening it can be, how cruel and unjust.

At the very moment when we become for the
first time both introspective and socially
conscientious, we receive the bad news that
the world, by and large, doesn’t give a rat’s
ass. So there’s a tendency to slip into rage
and self-pity, which, if indulged, can fester
into bouts of depression.

Now unless someone stronger and wiser can
josh us out of it ... can elevate us and show
us how petty and pompous and monumentally
useless it is to take ourselves so seriously,
then depression can become a habit, which,
in turn, can produce a neurological imprint.
Gradually, our brain chemistry becomes
conditioned to react to negative stimuli
in a particular, predictable way. One
thing’ll go wrong and it’ll automatically
switch on its blender and mix us that black
cocktail, the ol’ doomsday daiquiri, and
before we know it, we’re soused to the gills
from the inside out.


Once depression has become electrochemically
integrated, it can be extremely difficult to
philosophically or psychologically override
it; by then, it’s playing by; physical rules,
a whole different ball game.

[We] might be every bit as important a the
President or the pope or the biggest prime-
time icon in Hollywood, but that none of us
is much more than a pimple on the ass-end of
creation, so let's not get carried away with
ourselves. It's preventive medicine ... self-
esteem is for sissies. Accept that you’re
a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of
humor about it. That way lies grace — and
maybe even glory.

— Tom Robbins

Shitty Nonpareil books reviewed by me

Check out my reviews of these Nonpareil Publishing "books."

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Red-headed soul-sucking vampire bitches


SSVB Kate
Look at the crazy
in those cold,
dead eyes.


If I haven't told you the story of how your dear narrator
used to have the most bizarre habit of getting himself mixed
up with the most demonic, self-centered, needy bitches in the
universe, then let me begin by saying this is not a simple
one-off tale like so many others I might tell. Oh no, children.
You see, in order for me to properly explain to you why and
how it is that I, an otherwise good-hearted and prayerful
individual who wants only good and decent things to prevail
in this universe, has routinely been sucked in by walking,
talking (ceaselessly, I might add) black hole daddy issues
like the one seen above, I would have to start way, way
back in the beginnings of my own neuroses.

But fuck that!

You will hear only what I want you to hear and
even then only when I want you to hear it. My problems with
women stem from the fact that so few women have ever been
nice to me. I have two grandmothers, neither of which is
worth a shit.

[yeah, I know it should 'neither of whom is worth a shit,' but whom's tellin' the story here, me or my 8th grade English teacher, and what's she ever written?]

Ever heard anyone speak of their own grandmother
that way? Of course not. Why? Because in 999 out of 1,000 cases,
grandmothers are good and decent people who care for and love
their grandchildren with an irrational fervor that makes maternal
instinct look like cold-hearted abuse.

Kids fucking LOVE their grandmothers and, mostly, grannies
deserve it. Even those poor bastards with one nasty ass bitch
of a grandmother can usually count on grandma number two
to do her job. I, on the other hand, was like the rarest of
dromedaries, the two-humped camel. I was saddled twice
with bitches.

My mother's mother, Francis Browning Carrier Coffelt, had six
kids. By most accounts, her son, Richard, committed suicide after
calling Francis in dire need of a moment, just a brief piece of her time.
She couldn't be bothered to speak to him. She had "chores to do."
She let him die. So far as I and everyone else is concerned, she might
as well have pulled the trigger herself. What kind of twisted maternal
instinct does it take to hang up on your own son who, cursed with inherited
depression, could only be reaching out to you because you are the
last possible hope he has of NOT killing himself. Click.

[tears must be shed for dear uncle Dick ... I never met you, my man, but I know you too well]

She used to give my mother a subscription to Reader's Digest
every year for Christmas. Who the fuck reads that shit? My grandma
did, and she took full advantage of their special Christmas subscription offers
every year.

My father's mother, Helena Wiltfong Jerrett Babe Miller had 13
kids. The first died in childbirth and the others envied it at
least once a week for the rest of their lives. The last time I
saw my father's mother in 1996 she was in the company of her
oldest and fattest daughter, Carol, whom I hadn't seen since I
was 4. It went something like this:

Carol: You need to lose some weight, Buster, and fast.
[first words out of her mouth, by the way, not hello just blah blah blah]

Me: Yeah, well, must run in the family.
[what the fuck else was I supposed to say?]

Helena: Yeah well it must be from your mother's side of the family.
[first words spoken to me since 1981]

Ta DA! This coming from a woman who has produced more junkie
whores from her cooch than Rome has Popes. She slags off my
mother like my parents just got divorced and it's my fault.

[That's what she and most of dad's relatives did when my parents got divorced too, by the way, they treated my sister and I like perpetrators. No sympathy, just daggers. Fuck you all.]

To top it off, what does this slag do? She corners my dad and
tells him I was rude and disprectful to her. How she managed
to convey this without mentiong any of the offense she gave
is beyond me. I would have been happy to ignore her or leave
it at 'Hello.' I was, after all, trying to watch the final episode of
Star Trek and didn't need her bullshit.

I remember being sick at her house once when I was a kid.
It had to have been a bacterial infection of some kind. I'd shit
myself silly and puke my guts out violently every time I drank
water. [??] She gave me bits of toast in warm milk. Try it some
time. That's how I feel about Helena.

Not having anywhere to turn for maternal comfort or guidance
hereself, my mother has thus been free to do as she fucking
pleases as well since no mothers who give a toss are out there
telling her how to do her job the way she is telling my sister
how to do hers. A great many bits of neglect have found their
way into my psychological make-up, people. I spend a portion
of each day just trying to wrangle these ticks so I can function.
I'm not like you. I'm like the Capt. Hook of emotional problems
and like most people with emotional problems, it all goes back
to the fact that my mommy and daddy didn't love me enough.
But it isn't their fault, their mommies and daddies didn't love
them enough either.

Boo hoo hoo, right? Somebody in this world has to be fucked
up enough to do some creative thinking for the so-called
normal people in this world whose minds are like big bowls
of vanilla ice cream filled with love and happy memories of
church and getting everything they wanted for Christmas and
new clothes to go to school in that let the teachers know they
weren't a piece of shit.

[Of course, by vanilla, I don't mean the good kind of vanilla ice cream either, I mean that New York vanilla shit they sell at Hy Vee stores in the gallon plastic containers with the wire handles on it. The only thing that ice cream is good for is melting and collecting eggs in the buckets. I'm the guy who has routinely come along and said things like "hey, how about throwing in some chocolate chips or maybe crumbling up some cookies on that nasty shit. This is a metaphor of course, but it stands to reason that so long as there are good, decent unweathered people out there with no ideas, they will always come-a-lookin' for a guy like my with a rich and rugged interior life that they can exploit. Assholes!]

So here is how we set the stage for routine abuse by leeches
in my life, the worst variety are the soul-sucking vampire
bitches. SSVBs are usually women with daddy issues of some
kind. Maybe their daddy doesn't or didn't love them, maybe
their boyfriend is cheating on them or maybe they just don't
have a boyfriend and they need a surrogate who won't soil
their sheets. They need attention BAD and often dye their
hair various shades of red to make sure no one can
ignore them. I've encountered no less than 5 in my life
since 1994.


Being a fat guy, they believe me to be the perfect candidate
for having my soul sucked. Because even if a need-freak and
I DO get into some serious talkie-talkie they will be able to
resist any kind of bouncie-bouncie. Well hell, that's great for
them isn't it? Great that I am so easy to resist. I must be their
lucky day when I walk in, a MAN ... who LISTENS! How novel.
I'm like a big girl or something.

My life's goal has always been to be a good listener, you know,
especially one no woman feels obligated to screw for the trouble.
The one thing I love more than anything else in this unkind and
unjust world is being treated like a ball-less listening post [eunach]
whose human needs are unworthy of notice or service [freak].
I'd be happy to fulfill your gaping emotional needs without trying
to fill anything else you got tucked away even if it means spending
time in the Blue Ball ward of my local Spankatorium.

[If I sound callous, misogynistic or vulgar, I don't mean to. It's just hard to talk nice when you've been emotionally abused for years. Forgive me, I am not worthy of your polite society.]

Say what you want to about men only wanting one thing, I
admire their purity. What the hell else SHOULD men want?
Men don't need women to listen to their problems over and
over and over again. Men don't need women to lie/tell them
that the guy or girl who doesn't like them is a bad person who
doesn't realize what he or she is missing out on. We don't give
a fuck. Most men know these things inherently. If this one
doesn't dig me, I can find one who does OR I can go put EVERYTHING
in perspective and pay a stripper to treat me like I'm the fuckin'
king of the world for two songs and it's JUST AS GOOD.

Your love is cheap, ladies, because it is conditional.
Get it?

My problem was [and only recently ceased to be ... for now]
that having been ignored by women most of my life, I wasn't
conditioned like most of my brethren to ignore them whenever
they said anything other than 'dinner is ready!' Having found a
man [me ]who actually listens when they talk, the SSVBs I've
known have decided it was time to see just how much care and
compassion they could drag from a guy they had no intention
of fucking. It's their equivalent of seeing how many chicks they
can nail.

[Bad men driven by instinct like to see how many women they can fuck]
[Bad women driven by insticnt like to see how many minds they can fuck]


Take this psychotic freak up top. No father to speak of.
No boyfriend at the time I met her working in my college newspaper,
but she really really really liked our sports editor who couldn't stand
her. Before him she really really really liked another writer. So five
times a night for about 9 months, I'd get called and asked, "Do you think
he likes me? How do you know? Give me a percentage[???]. What's that mean?
Daddy?"

I didn't learn until late in life that if you want people to respect you,
you have to not give a fuck if they respect you or not. It's a bit tricky
if you think about it too much. How can you NOT think about something
that you actually want? Every other man I know just does it. Of course,
I was pretty much raised by women who ignored the shit out of me and
then chided me for not spending any time with them watching TV and in
soul-murdering silence. So it goes.

Weakness is what it comes down to and weakness is never anyone's fault, but
it is entirely the burden of the weak. Nature abhors weakness and does
everything it can to force the weak to become strong or to die and let
the strong have the big piece of pizza.

SSVBs are the crucible God has chosen to test me and by 34, I think
I finally managed to do through conscious effort what other men can
do as naturally as a they stand to piss.

Long story short, see the eyes on this broad? See how they're dead looking
like a doll's eyes, like a shark's eyes? That's the crazy leaking out. A slag
like this will come over to your house to apologize for standing you up
for the umpteenth time then fuck her boyfriend outside your dorm room in
her car THEN make sure her boyfriend brags about it to you the next day.
Why? Because after months of listening to her bitch and moan and whine while
giving nothing whatsoever in return, this little drama queen decides to see
just how raw and vile she can be to the one person who put up with her shit
when no other man or woman would.

She once lied to me about having lost her virginity at 15 to a guy who raped
her just to see how I'd react. I've had three real friends, friends I cared about
confide in me about having been raped; how do YOU think I reacted? How do
you think I'll react the next time?

She could and would cry on cue and then point out that she was crying just
in case you didn't notice it.

She was once rushed to the hospital because she thought she lost a tampon ...
up there. Of course, she hadn't.

She was once rushed to the emergency room because she said she woke up deaf in
one ear. It was wax.

She claimed to be pregnant for three months once just so every day people
would ask if she got her period yet.

She drooled on me once while reading over my shoulder, probably to engender
sympathy because that's just not normal. It's also a side effect of anti-
psychotic medication, but the chances of her being on that are pretty slim.
I'd guess she is just untreated.

She would fake anxiety attacks weekly at the slightest provocation,
usually having to do with fears that her boyfriend was cheating on
her with the girl he was in love with when she tried to bang him
the first time. He had no recollection of the event because he
was passed out drunk. A man would have been arrested for sexual
assault.

Here's how it started: They were on a conference trip to Omaha. This
crazy bitch tried to get on this dude while his paramour was asleep in the next
room, the adjoining room. It was a recipe for all sorts of drama that did
indeed last for a year. I mean, how much better can it get than to hook
up with an alcoholic. Every time the guy got drunk, if you didn't tell her
she was better than this, she'd ask if she wasn't. I'd get called at 3 am
from a fitful sleep to go help her pick him up from some place he didn't even
need picking up from. Who hasn't passed out on their friends couch in college?
It's not like he'd been arrested.

People like this should be strangled in their cribs. Too bad we can't identify
them earlier; we'd save the world a lot of trouble.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Never eat anything bigger than your own head


For the graduating class of 2005,
a few words of advice:

Don’t use the word “ironic” when
all you mean is “weird” or “coincidental.”
It’s not ironic that you ran into
your friends at the mall.

Only when the literal meaning is
the opposite of the intended meaning
or when a series of dramatic events
results in circumstances incongruous
with the expected outcome is something
“ironic.”

And dance. Dance like you haven’t got
a brain in your head ... unless people
are watching, then act like you just
tripped.

Never support a Constitutional amendment
to make something illegal that isn’t a
problem in the first place.

“Facetious” is not the same as “funny.”
“Facetious” is ill-timed humor. You
aren’t being facetious when you tell
a bad joke at a party, you are being
facetious when you tell a joke at a
funeral and no one laughs. A joke that
goes over well is never ill-timed.

Enjoy your body, but don’t ever let
anyone else enjoy it. There is no
such thing as “a good touch,”
especially at a fraternity party

Don’t move to a big city just to be cool.
That doesn’t work. Cool people are cool
no matter where they live. Move to a big
city for economic opportunity, better
entertainment, a great view, 24-hour clubs,
diversity, great restaurants, people who
"get it" and to see celebrities.


Don’t wait to be discovered. Instead,
make a huge ass of yourself until
you are totally dismissed or accepted
as bold.

Vanilla Coke. It’s Coke and vanilla.
Don’t get excited. Besides, have you
tried Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper? It
rocks!

If you THINK you might like skydiving,
you probably won’t. If you KNOW you
would like skydiving, you definitely
won’t.

Why buy used when new smells so much
better?

Fashion is for pop culture victims.
Never do anything just because everyone
else is doing it. If you can afford to
shop at Hot Topic for punk outfits,
you’re not really punk.

Don’t think too much about being popular.
Popular people don’t.

A simple box fan quiets the voices in your
head ... for a little while any way.

When writing your manifesto, a shack in
the woods is as good a place as any to start.
It offers privacy and mystique.

Never believe that serious issues can only
be addressed seriously. Comedy is the
greatest weapon we have against tyranny.
Guns help, too.

Don’t hate people because they are different
from you. Hate people because they are just
like you and reflect your inadequacies.

If a train leaves Lincoln heading east at
60 m.p.h. at the same time a car leaves
Des Moines heading west at 75 m.p.h. does
anyone really care?

Margarine no, butter yes.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can
do today unless you are absolutely sure
you can get away with it.

Nobody knows the trouble you’ve seen if
you don’t tell them about it every chance
you get.

“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn” is the
single greatest science fiction movie
ever made right behind “Bladerunner,”
“2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Soylent Green”
and “Westworld.”

Travel as much as you can. See the world
in all its glory. You never know how long
it or you will be here.

Cats are not smarter than dogs just because
they use a litter box. That’s ridiculous.

The less a person has to say, the louder
they are likely to say it. Listen more than
you speak. Don’t assume loud is right. That’s
just fascism.

You don’t need all that sugar. Have a piece
of fruit.

And dance. Dance like your tip depends on it.

Spanking ... ain’t nothing wrong with that!

“Made in America” means something again with
no small thanks to the Japanese. Makes you think.

Nine times out of 10, if you are the same but
everyone else is different, you just crossed
over into The Twilight Zone.

Why run when you can walk? Why read when you can
see the movie? Why cook when you can eat out?
Why stand when you can sit? Why try when giving
up is so easy?

Don’t be linear. Come on, we’re operating in a
post modern pastiche here. Let's get with the
program, already.

The greatest minds in history had the messiest
desks ... and the best looking girlfriends.

Tacos can be soft or fried, but that crispy
shell thing you get in a box is an abomination.

Sometimes doing the right thing takes great effort.
Sometimes doing the right thing takes no effort
at all. Knowing when to act and when not to act
is the key.

Everything is better in moderation except for cheese.

Credit cards are the devil’s plastic.

Listen to college radio every chance you get.

There is no such thing as a stupid question,
just questions asked by stupid people.

You cannot succeed if you do not try, but on the
other hand you can’t fail either.

No one likes a whiner unless she is an extremely
attractive woman, then no one seems to mind that
much.

Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Being folksy is a good way to make people trust
you.

Being rich is a good way to make sure people do
what you want whether they trust you or not.

Never say “I love you” unless you really mean
it or if someone says it to you first. You can
always take it back later and accuse them of
pressuring you.

And dance. Dance like a monkey with its tail on
fire.

This just in: Council Bluffs kids 'tear shit up' at APS World Year of Physics-2005

COLLEGE PARK, Maryland — The American Physical
Society is pleased to announce that a science
class at the St. Albert Catholic Schools in Council
Bluffs, Iowa has won the grand prize in the
Society's PhysicsQuest contest.

PhysicsQuest is a World Year of Physics 2005
educational outreach project that celebrates
the centennial of Albert Einstein's 'miraculous
year' of discoveries in 1905.

Teacher Julie Mooney will travel with her
winning students to Princeton, N.J., to participate
in a treasure hunt on the grounds the Institute
for Advanced Study, where a set of prizes is to
be revealed 50 years after Einstein's death in
1955.

The World Year of Physics 2005 marks the 100-
year anniversary of three of Einstein's biggest
discoveries, including the Theory of Special
Relativity (and the resulting famous equation
E=mc^2), and is also the 75th anniversary of
the founding of the Institute for Advanced
Study.

"We are shocked, so excited, so thrilled,"
said Mooney. "I am in awe of Einstein. It
is unbelievable that that my students will
get to walk on the grounds where he did his
work."

Her students were likewise startled and joyful
upon learning they had won the grand prize trip.
"I'm really excited. It doesn't seem real," said
15-year Danielle Cain.

Seconding this feeling was 15-year old Amanda
Burkey. "When I started the experiment, I didn't
think we would win," she said. "So when I found
out I was just in complete shock."

Mooney and class were among the 1,362 teachers and
their combined total of over 69,000 students from
all 50 states who signed up for the PhysicsQuest
project. They were subsequently chosen for the
grand prize through a random drawing of the classes
that successfully completed the contest.

The PhysicsQuest project is a set of four experiments
designed to illustrate basic physics principles
including pendulum motion, shapes of bubbles, laser
light diffraction, and magnetism. It is organized
as a treasure hunt to find the exact spot -- using
a map of the Institute for Advanced Study's 800 acre
grounds -- and time the prizes are to be revealed.

Mooney has taught math and science for 14 years
starting out in Denver, Colorado and then in Iowa,
and she hopes to incorporate the background material
into her curriculum next year.

"You would not believe how much we are looking forward
the trip," Mooney said. "I've never been out East and
I don't think many of my students have been, either."

-30-

Monday, May 16, 2005

Vicente Fox: World Leader and Huge Bigot


Vicente Fox
President of Mexico
black player hater

Mexican President Vicente Fox said Friday, "There's no doubt that Mexican men and women ... full of dignity, willpower and a capacity for work ... are doing the work that not even blacks want to do in the United States."

This, of course, pissed off a lot of black folks in the United States because they don't like it when people assume THEY are the ones who should be doing all the work that white people don't want to do. It even made a few white folks turn red but mostly those were the ones all in favor of letting mexicans stream in to do their gardens and roofs at bargain rates.

Personally, I love it when the blatantly racist president of a country that is no rose garden of human equality says something so effed up then refuses to apologize or spin what he said even though it is clearly in his best interest to do so. The comment is apparently "no beeg deal" in Mexico because apparently, Mexicans don't like black people much. Hmmm, I did not know that.

Frankly, Fox should just come out and say, "Look, all I meant to say is that blacks and Mexicans both got it rough in the U.S. but Mexicans are much more willing to be exploited by the white devils because we don't even know what the rules are. Black people know ALL the rules and how to get by wihout working for more than a few weeks so ... it's kind of a compliment when you think about it ... you black bastards. OOPS, I deed eet again! Ay dios mio! Lociento mucho!"

According to the AP, "Fox's spokesman, Ruben Aguilar, said the remark has been misinterpreted as a racial slur. He said the president was speaking in defense of Mexican migrants as they come under attack by the new U.S. immigration measures that include a wall along the U.S.-California border."

Well no sh!t Sherlock, but I don't think anyone MISinterpreted anything, I think they got it pretty accurate. In defense of Mexicans and Fox, though, I think they are very much aware of racial distinctions, notice them and will talk about them, but I don't think they necessarily mean anything by them. For example, everyone in Mexico is mixed to some extent. Fox is clearly more Spanish than Indian, but he's got some in him. Many Mexicans are clearly much more Indian than Spanish, but they still have the language and Spanish names to tie things together. In any given family, some Mexicans will look more white than others and they don't ignore those things. But I've never noticed Mexicans to be very hateful about them. At least not the good Mexicans straight from Mexico. The ones who've been here awhile are just as nasty as the rest of us.

My mom lost her construction job. She was making $13 an hour as a laborer. She was very good at it too. There are any number of Mexicans doing her job now, but she didn't lose her job to Mexicans. No, she lost her job to a boss who was so greedy and crooked that he realized he could not only "pay" Mexicans less to do the same job, but he could work them like slaves and then screw them out of their "pay" and THEN find some more Mexicans to fall for the same old tricks. E.G. 8 Mexicans come to you with the same SS#, do you A) tell them up front before you start working them that you can't process their paperwork or B) Let them put in a few days or a couple of weeks THEN tell them you can't pay 8 different guys who all have the same SS#?

The answer is C) just "happen to notice" outloud that everyone is using the same SS# after three weeks of work, turn your back for a few minutes and BAM! problem solved and you don't even have to feel guilty or worry about reprisals.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Days of beef and thunder; the night of the iguana

Like most good and decent Americans, my best memories involve beef in some fashion. It may sound like hyperbole, but it is quite true.
In 1988, I was a wee slip of a lad celebrating my second Veishea as a student at Iowa State. This was back when ISU students still went to Veishea. It was also the infamous year of the so-called “first” Veishea riot. There had been a previous “riot” during the ‘50s — which probably started as a protest over the House Un-American Activities Committee not going far enough to root out splitters and blackball them — but that one was typically not referenced alongside the ’88 riot because of the relatively lax moral climate of the Reagan-Bush years.
The drinking age had been changed from 19 to 21 just the year before, so I spent my day at the Battle of the Bands, eating gyros and hot dogs while sipping on lemonade. The dogs were 100 percent beef and the gyros were 80 percent beef and 20 percent lamb, but I think we all know it was the beef part that tasted better. As far as I could tell, the lemonade wasn’t more than 1 percent beef if that. It’s always amazed me how just a little mustard on a beef frank is enough to make both me and Patty Duke lose control. You just don’t get that effect with a turkey dog.
A great many innocent bystanders found themselves trapped on Welch Avenue that night at 2 a.m. The funny thing about street festivals and riots is that there isn’t a great deal of notice regarding the transition. Both look like a bunch of people standing around on the street having a good time and without advocating the whole riot scene, the latter does tend to look just like a more successful version of the former until the police, fire department, state troopers, CNN and Johnny Orr show up. At that point, it’s too late to leave unless you like mace on your beef frank.
Well, I did manage to slip quietly away eventually without damaging or flipping anything. I went home like any other upstanding citizen around 3 a.m. and I can tell you this much: I have never been so grateful for the advent of the 24-hour supermarket in my life. My roommate, Pete, and I had a mad craving for steak that night. It was almost savage in its intensity. The thing I’ve noticed about beef is that the more of it you eat, the more of it you want to consume. Or maybe it was the hint of lawlessness in the air that night that hung alongside the scent of sweet beef juices wafting about the carnie concessions. Or maybe it was the flames that rose from the center of Welch Avenue that night put us in the mood for fire-grilled beef; who knows? The point is, we found ourselves figuratively ransacking the meat counter of the old Ames Sav-U-More (now defunct).
Pete had a special method for cooking steaks that to this day cannot be topped or repeated with any degree of safety. It was one of those recipes culled from the stupidity of youth. Pete always cooked steak in the oven on the top rack underneath the heating element set on broil. Many people do this, but the difference in Pete’s method was that he never put anything under the steak to catch the drippings. You see, Pete (at all of 20) believed it was the smoke created by the drippings that made his steak taste so good. Open a few windows, turn the fan on high and when the smoke alarm went off, you knew those charcoal steaks were done. Served with a side of crème fresh with horseradish, bleu cheese sauce or even a generous dollop of Heinz 57 and those Riot Steaks were a meal fit for a head of state.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Questions in a World of Blue (there is no 26)

1. WHAT IS YOUR FULL NAME? - Gregory Allen Jerrett

2. WHAT COLOR PANTS ARE YOU WEARING? - olive drab

3. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? - the sound
of a small rotary desk fan, it keeps the voices at bay or Talking Heads

4. WHAT'S THE LAST THING YOU ATE? - a cheeseburger at
BK

5. DO YOU WISH ON STARS? - No

6. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU
BE? - Burnt Sienna

7. HOW IS THE WEATHER RIGHT NOW? - drizzling

8. WHO IS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED ON THE
PHONE WITH? - Sal Mohammed, running for Gov of Iowa

9. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT YOU THIS? -
Less and less with each passing forward. Otherwise yes :)

10. HOW OLD ARE YOU TODAY? - 36

11. FAVORITE DRINK? - Diet Mountain Dew

12. HAIR COLOR? - black like my women and my soul

13. COLOR EYES? - green/hazel

14. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? - No

15. SIBLINGS? - One sister

16. FAVORITE MONTH? - November

17. FAVORITE FOOD? - gyro

18. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? - Hitchhikers Guide to the
Galaxy

19. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR? - Thanksgiving

20. WHAT DO YOU DO TO VENT ANGER? - hate wank or cut
myself

21. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD? - My
plush Pluto

22. SUMMER OR WINTER? - Winter

23. HUGS OR KISSES ? - hugs

24. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? - chocolate

25. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? - DC, ST, CC, PC,
NHG

27. WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? - BG, JCD, MS,
KR, MM, PC, GW

28. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS? - House in CB

29. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? - a half hour
ago

30. WHAT IS UNDER YOUR BED? - a towel of mysterious filth
(see 20), a CPAP machine, shoes, dust, a few empty 2 liters

31. WHO IS THE FRIEND YOU HAVE HAD THE LONGEST? -
Mark Schonberg

32. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? - Watched "Action", ate
Triscuits with fontina, cucumber slices, grapes.

33. FAVORITE SMELLS? - The way the ground smells just after it
starts raining lightly, a daVinci's smoked turkey alfredo when it's
delivered hot, the pacific ocean and punani, I think, I can't rememeber

34. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? - My nephew, Air on the G String
(Bach, not a stripper reference)

35. WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? - death, panic attacks, irish,
ultimate failure

36. PLAIN, BUTTERED OR SALTED POPCORN? - plain

37. FAVORITE CAR? - 1972 mustang, red, black interior

38. FAVORITE FLOWER? - Peace lily

39. NUMBER OF KEYS ON YOUR KEY RING? - 11, 9 metal, 1
electronic, 1 church key

40. CAN YOU JUGGLE? - For about 3 seconds

41. FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK? Saturday

42. WHAT DID YOU DO ON YOUR LAST BIRTHDAY? -
dinner at my sisters

43. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? - Mercy Hosp. Council Bluffs
Iowa, 8:59 p.m. 8/15/68

44. HOW MANY STATES HAVE YOU LIVED IN? 2

Democracy yes; aristocracy no

American culture is fascinated with monarchy
and aristocracy. We claim that we are not; at
least those of us with enough history under
our belts to know that America is supposed to
be free of those blights make that claim. But
the evidence around us suggests otherwise.

For example, Americans love their celebrities.
We prize, lionize and canonize men and women
for their ability to bounce big orange balls, drive
Monte Carlos around an ovoid really fast and act,
barely in many cases. In fact, I would say that
celebrity itself is more important than having
something to hang that celebrity on in the first
place. Take Paris Hilton … please. Here is a barely
visible slip of a girl whose most enduring contribution
to the American zeitgeist and broader culture is her
inability to keep her tiny pants and even smaller
skirts pulled above her gluteal divide. Her amateur
film career, though even less remarkable, will no
doubt live on for some time as well. But the thing
about Paris Hilton is that she isn’t really famous
for any greater reason other than being famous.
Her modeling career isn’t anything to gawk at so
much as is her bad behavior. Her intellect is shockingly
stunted, as well. Her little friend, Nicole Ritchie, is
an even greater example of the type. She is apparently
famous only for being friends with Hilton.

As much as we claim to love democracy in America,
we tend to offer up the same benefits to our presidents
as we would otherwise do to kings and queens were we
Europeans. According to my history books, all politicians
are deserving of the exact same constant scorn, ridicule
and watchful public eye-balling. It isn’t personal; it’s
just how real democracy is supposed to work. Watch
the British Prime Minister take questions from
Parliament and you will see how roughly a head
of state should be treated by the legislative branch.

Sports stars are the most baffling of all American
aristos. They play well, get paid great, receive
adulation and admiration in abundance, and many
still can’t behave themselves off the courts, courses
and fields. Those who want to can get away with
crimes far more often than the average man or even
politician. We worship these people and yet we rarely
if ever force them to behave as the role models they
so clearly are by default. They can be outlaws who
get away with anything. Pretty Boy Floyd should have
had it so easy.

With that said, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t fall
apart when meeting celebrities and that includes me.
Hypocrisy is built into the system at all levels and I
won’t claim to be any better, just more aware. The
first celebrity I ever met was Adam West. That was
back in the early ‘70s when “Batman” was in heavy
syndication every day after school. I was thrown onto
the stage with the man in the middle of an auto show
in Omaha. Considering the weight of the moment and
the fullness of my nervous bladder, I’m quite lucky to
have retained my urine.

I got to sit in the same room with Martin Sheen for about
an hour and a half in 2000. He was schilling for “The West
Wing” at a journalism convention at the Marriott Marquis
in Times Square. He talked at length about how he
perceived the role and chatted with the audience like a
beloved uncle. He seemed a bit spacey, was very funny
and gracious. Less than 24 hours later, I saw comedian
Patrice O’Neil perform in the same room. It was cool,
but not as heady.

Dennis Miller was one of my best interviews and most
awestruck moments. I didn’t receive a press release
asking me if I’d like to interview the man I considered
my hero for many years. I went looking for it. I talked
to all the right people and set that bad boy up. I’ve still
got the tape somewhere. And yes, he is just as nasty and
condescending as he is on TV. Maybe worse.

New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh walked into
my college newsroom at the Iowa State Daily just like a
normal human being would. The guy who broke the story
about the My Lai massacre is pretty controversial, but
no self-respecting professional journalist can deny it was
a fine piece of reporting, dangerous to do and powerful
in its consequences. He was pretty jet-lagged and more
than a bit put off that no one in the room seemed to know
who he was. What can I say, there are so many hours in
the day to learn how to be a journalist let alone who we as
journalists should be ecstatic to meet IF we ever get that
chance.

I could go on with a list that includes Patty Maloney, Tori
Amos, Paul Begala, Helen Thomas, Arianna Huffington, Roger
Ebert and Dave Attell, but I don’t want to appear to be bragging.
That would undermine my point, which is that celebrities,
while fascinating in their fame, are just people. While we
as individuals might go all aflutter in their presence, we
should never allow ourselves to be swayed rationally by
their whims. We shouldn’t vote football coaches, actors
and super models into political office just ‘cause we know
their names and what they look like. We should not be any
more inclined to give credence to a Rob Reiner, George
Clooney or Arnold Scwarzennegger because they made us
laugh at their antics in a film or on TV. Our legal system
should not give third and fourth chances to anyone who would
be deemed a career criminal or a hopeless addict if it weren’t
for the fact that millions see them doing their jobs.

Celebrities are not necessarily good or bad on their own,
but the culture we as worshipful plebeians create around
them is decidedly bad.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Granpa in Missouri

I have needed to do this for some time.

My great grandfather was Lester LaMiller of Lebanon, Mo.
For short, and to cut down on confusion, my sister and cousins
and I used to refer to him as Granpa inMissouri. To his face,
I always called him Great Grandfather much to the amusement
of my mother and any other adults who found the full use of
the term strangely formal. I felt it only appropriate that someone
who had earned the term "Great" be addressed as such.

Lester LaMiller, Granpa in Missouri, Great Grandfather
was 98 years old when he died in a state-run nursing home.
His only worldly possession that I am aware of was a .22 caliber pen
gun he kept in his shirt pocket until his final day. It was a relic from
another time just like him. It wasn't so much of a toy or a novelty,
but a necessity. My mother has a picture of him in the nursing home
that clearly shows the pen in its place. No one ever knew he had it.

My Great Grandfather was a squatter for most of his life. I am
not sure what he did in his younger days for a living, but I know
he was a twin. I know he had a wife and two daughters who were
also twins. I know that one day, they were in a car accident
and all three of the people who made up his world died and left him
so alone that it never seemed to matter to him what his life became so long
as he was buried next to his wife. We would go and visit him once a year
and park our camper on the territory he had managed to secure for
himself right on the highway outside of Lebanon. How he managed
to live there for any length of time amazes me now, but seemed only
appropriate back then. He was never a particularly unhappy person.
He could chase my sister and my cousin around his shanty wielding his
false teeth and screaming like a madman He came from a stock of people
who survived some of the worst deprivations known to Americans during
the Great Depression. Being alive and having enough food to eat under a
roof that didn't leak too bad was all right with him. What did it matter if
his shack smelled of urine and his clothes were never clean? Once, my mother
took his shoes off to wash his feet and found maggots between his toes.
It broke her heart to see him living like that and she would have done
anything to bring him back with us to Iowa, but he couldn't leave his
wife. So long as he was in Missouri, he believed that he would one day
be reunited with her. Heaven for him was knowing that he wasn't
leaving her alone.

Granpa in Missouri lived in a shotgun shack until he was 97, but he
apparently had nearly 20 grand hidden in that shack. He could very
easily have found some kind of accommodation that would have kept him
safe and comfortable without breaking his bank. But nothing doing.
I think what my mother couldn't quite understand was how he could
choose to live like that. She understood his desire to not leave Missouri
on account of his wife and children. We visited their graves every year
by a beautiful white church in the hills surrounded by trees. It was cool
and inviting. I wouldn't mind being buried there myself if I weren't so
inclined toward cremation. What my mother couldn't understand was
how any man would live in his own filth, mired in his own scent, surrounded
by the detritus of a lifetime. To him, it must have been a package deal. I
think there must have been some guilt for living for so long after they
died. He wasn't inclined to take his life, but he was able to spend
his life in poverty, alone, waiting for the end. It seemed to satisfy some
kind of secret condition he set. He would live. He wouldn't remarry or even
seek a better life. And when the end came, he could be buried next to
his wife and children. All debts paid.

Of course, this is largely speculation on my part. I was pretty observant
for a 10 year old, but I was still a 10 year old. I don't recall any testimony
or bits of conversation to that effect.

The greatest disservice I ever did to my Great Grandfather was when he
died and I was given the option not to go to his funeral. I took it. I think
my mother would have preferred that my sister and I stay home, which
is why she offered the option. It might also have been because she knew how badly
I reacted to death, fuerals and hospitals. I wish I had gone now regardless of how
hard it might have been. I would like to be able to think back now and remember
with some satisfaction how complete a man's life can be, not just when he lives well,
but when he gets the only thing he ever really wanted out of life, to be with his wife
in death. I would have liked to see him buried in that country graveyard with the
shade trees by the little white church that was just as beautiful if the sun shined or
cloudy skies drizzled on us like quiet tears.

Real news only comes from England apparently

runaway bride, michael jackson? Yeah, they were in the
news this weekend, but not this. Thanks English press
for being the real deal

http://www.rawstory.com/aexternal/conyers_iraq_letter_502


Blair hit by new leak of secret war plan

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-523-1592904-523,00.html


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Friday, May 06, 2005

Why is the world so full of fuckers?

I am not what you'd call a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen.
I respect the man, have a few of his albums, think "Nebraska"
and "The Ghost of Tom Joad" should be in everyone's collection
and wouldn't mind seeing him in concert if it didn't cost too much,
wasn't too far away and wouldn't be overly crowded.

I've always been more of a Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits man
when it comes to the more sophisticated side of my music collection.

Like I said, I respect The Boss enough to know that he deserves some
respect, more in fact, than he is getting from Starbucks these days.
Apparently, some Starbucks coffee houses sell CDs as well as coffee.
Jesus, how much can THOSE CDs cost? The ones that do sell CDs will
not be selling The Boss's latest release because there are some
"objectionable" lyrics about blowjobs and anal sex in a song set in a
brothel where presumably those kinds of issues might come up.

Apparently, Starbucks also wanted to cash in on some Springsteen
popularity by getting him to do some cross promotional work like
he was a Batman movie or something. Long story short, Bruce said,
'No thanks' and Starbucks said, 'Get the hell out of our coffee chains.'

Now, I could see if The Boss wrote a song saying that Starbucks was
a bunch of pricks who charged way the hell too much for a cup of coffee
that the corporation might not want to stock something like that. I think
it is entirely appropriate to swing their big fat corporate egos that far at least.
But in this case, they are clearly fans of the man, asked him, he said no and
that should have been the end of it. Now they want to punish the guy?

It isn't even a very effective form of punishment since most people
don't buy their CD from Starbucks anyway. They download them off the internet.

How you got here and what you thought you would find

This is the most recent analysis of the numbers, people. To the
left we have the number of times a term was searched, the
search engine and then the keyword analysis on the far right.
Studies of these numbers indicate that 1) only about three or four
of these terms have anything to do with this blog and 2) there
are some sick freaks out there, I tell you what.


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2 8.00% Yahoo! search.yahoo.com masturbation blog
1 4.00% Google www.google.be junkies in alleys
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1 4.00% Google www.google.com malt liquor hamburger recipes
1 4.00% Google www.google.com tickety poop
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1 4.00% Yahoo! search.yahoo.com freak amputee
1 4.00% Google www.google.com giada delaurentiis grandmother
1 4.00% Google www.google.co.uk spqr tattoo
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1 4.00% Yahoo! search.yahoo.com wav, america fuck yeah!
1 4.00% Yahoo! search.yahoo.com images by tyrone green
1 4.00% Google www.google.com greg jerrett

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy uneven, but fun


“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the
unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm
of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow
sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly
98 million miles is an utterly insignificant
little blue-green planet whose ape-descended
life forms are so amazingly primitive that
they still think digital watches are a pretty
neat idea.”

So begins the “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the
Galaxy” and many a junior high schooler and
comic book store guy has quoted, guffawed and
shared these clever words featured in print,
radio and TV for the better part of 30 years.
It was a series destined for the big screen
20 years ago, why it took until 2005 to get
there is a mystery.

Here’s what the “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the
Galaxy” has to say about film adaptations.
Movies based on books, radio programs and
television shows are predetermined to deviate
significantly from their source material. It is
widely believed that it would be impossible to
accurately reproduce a great work of literary
comedy with any exactitude, so why not just scrap
the original and do a movie “based on” it with
some gratuitous violence and sight gags thrown
in to boot.

It’s a rationalization mostly. Most studios
operate on the lowest common denominator principle
of filmmaking, which states that no matter how
successful or great a book might be, it is either
too simple or too complex for the silver screen
and must be touched up. This allows them to throw
a gun, some explosions, a bit of romance, a few
moral lessons and a lot of action into an otherwise
great work of pop philosophy.
Well, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is in
theaters now and in spite of some very obvious
messing about with Douglas Adams brilliant original
script, it manages to capture the essence of the
book and TV version quite well. Now, in the world
I inhabit, which is filled with sci fi geeks, gamers
and bookworms, HHGTTG is a classic trilogy (of six
or seven books) that everyone knows and read several
times.
In the real world, a great many normal people have
probably never heard of Douglas Adams, his books or
his genius. That doesn’t mean they aren’t well read,
it just means they probably aren’t anglophiles, PBS
snobs or geeks. This book fits right in with the D&D
crowd, Monty Python and Dr. Who.

HHGTTG is the story of a very English Earthman named
Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman “The Office,” “Love
Actually,” “Shaun of the Dead”) who is suddenly taken
out of his very comfortable world by the destruction
of said world. Dent finds himself out in a big galaxy
where everything is much weirder than it is on Earth,
but much funnier as well.

Arthur Dent is immediately picked up by the President
of the Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox, who has just kidnapped
himself as is being violently pursued for his own
protection by the Vogons, an unpleasant race of
creatures and the Galaxy’s petty bureaucrats.

Zaphod is traveling with Trillian, a girl Arthur
once met a party and failed miserably to get on
with. Zaphod picked her up deftly with a classic
line, “Is this guy boring you? Why don’t you come
with me, I’m from a different planet?” Zaphod
flies the spaceship Heart of Gold, powered by an
improbability drive, which he stole while kidnapping
himself. Now he’s looking for the legendary planet
Magrathea where the ultimate question to life, the
universe and everything can be found. The answer
is 42, but it doesn’t mean anything because no one
knows the question.
Now, the thing about the books and TV shows that
made this film possible, is that the plot was
pretty simple and nothing was sacred or taken
seriously for long if it was. All is folly; life
is wonderful if we don’t get too morbid, so let’s
have a bit of fun. That’s what HHGTTG is really
all about.

Mostly, these characters just got into a great
many situations where the talking about things
was the most entertaining aspect. Why build a
robot with a brain the size of a planet if all
you have him do is fetch people and things? Are
digital watches really all that fascinating?
When you think about it, aren’t dolphins really
the smartest creatures on Earth?

The film takes a different route than Adams would
have taken if he hadn’t died, much to everyone’s
dismay including his own, in 2001. This script
had the one thing Douglas Adams didn’t need: help
from another screenwriter. In this case, that
screenwriter is Karey Kirkpatrick, auteur of
such gem classics as “The Little Vampire,” “Honey,
We Shrunk Ourselves” and “Chicken Run.” Granted,
these are all fine films brilliantly written and
executed, but Kirkpatrick’s additions to HHGTTG
add nothing and distract greatly from Adam’s
dialogue. One need not be a linguist to notice
the palpable difference between Adams’ rich
dialogue and Kirkpatrick’s flatter than flat blurbs.

Luckily, 60 percent of HHGTTG is not only the original
Adams script, it is brilliantly performed with
loving attention by some of today’s finest British
comedic actors (Stephen Fry, Helen Mirren,
Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Steve Pemberton)
as well as a good number of American actors
who really seem to get it (John Malkovich,
Mos Def, Sam Rockwell and Jason Schwartzman).

Just as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy depended
on its massive cult following for its success,
HHGTTG is going to be a make or break proposition
based on the countless fans of the original who
will either be delighted by the adaptation or
appalled by every little change. To most of them,
this film will be about a B+.

For the average Joe, HHGTTG is a mild and chaotic
romp of uneven scenes based on some kind of inside
joke they weren’t privy to in the first place. They
will find the comedy weird and alien, kind of cute
in places with a satisfying Hollywood ending.

Jacko and the media, there are no surprises left

There are a lot of things I don’t quite
get in this world. Why would anyone put
pineapple on a pizza? Why does MTV never
show videos any more? Why put up an endless
string of road construction cones along 30
when there isn’t a road crew in sight? If
Jesus was a carpenter, how much did he charge
for a bookshelf? Is true love possible? Cats.
But if there is one thing that tops my list
of brain teasers it’s why anyone has a hard
time coming to terms with King of Pop Michael
Jackson’s weirdness. In years past, I’ve made
mention of Michael Jackson. Some mentions have
been harsher than others, but mostly they were
all designed to get some laughs while shedding
a little light. Even considering the nature of
his alleged crimes, one cannot allow oneself
to get too overwrought by them. Everyone should
have seen what was coming from far, far away.

Here’s the rub for me though. I like to check
the headline each day on My Yahoo! It’s got AP,
Reuters, national, world, politics, technology
and entertainment news. I find entertainment
stories to be the most refreshingly stupid
stories I’ve ever read. The headlines don’t
fail to draw my attention with their shocking
revelations about people in the one area of
American culture where every form of perversion
and human debasement has occurred at least on
film if not at Roman Polanski’s house. Why
pretend shock? It’s all for us. So let’s
check it out.

My favorite E! Entertainment headline from
this week was the delightfully understated
faux shocked sentiment in “Michael Jackson
a ‘Sociopath?’” Apparently, there is some
debate in his current trial over whether
or not the woman he paid to bear his children
called him a sociopath, whether he might be
one, whether that term means anything since
she isn’t an expert and has since called him
a genius and wonderful father or if we should
all just acknowledge that sociopaths are a
dime a dozen these days, as I will show in a bit.

Now, I remember about 10 years ago when Michael
was trying to buy the Elephant Man’s bones. He
wanted to “take care of him.” It was about 5
percent sweet and 150 percent creepy. It was
around the same time he was pictured sleeping
in an oxygen tent with his monkey or something
to stay young forever. Early signs, that’s all
it was.

Monkey business aside, the bones thing freaked
me out. The guy had been hanging out with little
kids for some time and everyone thought it was
cute. But I was pretty sure at that point that
Michael Jackson might be a good deal weirder
than any of us had previously considered or
discussed in the media. Oh sure, in England
they started calling him Wacko Jacko as soon
as it was possible, but their tabloid press
is full of savages who find no level of public
discourse too base or vulgar for public
consumption.

I had friends, no doubt “Thriller” fans, who
thought I was far off the mark suggesting
that Michael Jackson might, just possibly,
be a bad, bad man. It’s all about the signs
and portents after all. Today, if the charges
prove correct, few would disagree that his
actions warrant such acrimony.

But at what point in the last 10 years could
anyone have doubted that the man was a
sociopath? Sure, it sounds like a harsh judgment,
but in a world where we can see deadly sins on
TV and even pay good legal tender for a few of
them, sociopaths are not exactly hard to come
by, are they? The term “sociopath” sounds bad,
but if you take a look at what one really is,
it could be the person sitting next to you.
Don’t look now. Wait until their back is turned.
Culling knowledge from my years of watching
“Law & Order,” a couple of community college
abnormal psyche classes and a quick trip to
MedicineNet, I can tell you that a sociopath
is someone with antisocial personality disorder.

That’s a mild way to say they disregard the
rights of others and are unwilling to conform
to the norms of society. That’s most teenagers
and outlaw bikers right there.

There is usually a history of antisocial behavior
starting before 15 that just keeps on going into
the adult years. Sociopaths do bad things more
often than we normal people but they can’t be
dissuaded by consequences. They usually are
irresponsible academic failures with poor
job performance records who do crimes, take
chances and act on impulse. Not too bizarre
yet let alone King of Popish.

Here’s where we see Jacko though. In addition
to being unable to stand boredom, a sociopath
usually feels victimized; their personality
will bring them into conflict with society
because of a pattern of amoral and unethical
behavior.

They might be contemptuous of those who try
to understand them. They won’t perceive that
anything is wrong with them. They are
authoritarian (or their entourage is). They
might be secretive, paranoid, extremely narcissistic
and grandiose. They are unable to feel remorse or
guilt. They are looking for approval and admiration
while controlling those they abuse. They justify
their crimes, are emotionally needy, incapable of
real human attachments and may actually say they’d
like to rule the world.

Maintaining a conventional appearance is on the
list too, but I think we are pretty aware that
Jacko totally lost control of his normal appearance
after the first few surgeries.

But hey, we can’t all be perfect sociopaths.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Operation Secret Eck-STRAC-shun


Todd Fox, the only picture
I could find.

[For an update on this ongoing saga, read this post.]

The whole situation was fucked up so bad from the very
beginning that any amount of money I "owed" later on
was really irrelevant to how messed up things had gotten
and why I felt it easier to fuck off the way I did.


Here's the story from the beginning:

I hadn't talked to Todd Fox for several years. He
thought he was cool... finally... after years of
sucking on my dry teats pretending that hanging out
with me made him cool. I never understood why he
thought I was cool back in junior high and high school.

I understand why some guys I know do,
but they aren't interested in being MTV rock stars.
That 'mo wanted to be cool like that.

So of course he eventually began to resent me in later
years for HIS having thought I was cool. It's kind of
a trend I've noticed. It's like finding out that Mel
Gibson is nuts or that Dennis Miller is so greedy
that he threw over being a hardcore fighting liberal
to be a Neocon chickenhawk pussy. It makes you hate
them and part of that is because you used to love them
and feel betrayed. Even though they never did anything
to me, owe me nothing, I feel betrayed. That is Todd
Fox in a nutshell.

He even borrowed about 20 bucks from me and my Mighty
Lemondrops tape just so he could "dump me" like a
bitch the summer after I graduated ISU. I had no money
that summer and he never managed to see me a second time
or pay me back in spite of the fact that he had a job and I didn't.
It would be just like him to do something like that so he could feel
superior and up one.

Fast forward a few years and he is calling me from
Hunstville, Alabama. His mommy got him a job at Boeing
probably by blowing some guy she knew that worked there
named Charlie. This might have been partly why his parents divorced
later. In any case, Todd was a very lonely boy because all
the dorks he hung out with in college didn't think he
was cool enough to stay in touch with later. So he actually
fucking called me up out of the blue one cold winter night to
apologize for not having been a very good friend.

I would have said, hey that's great I accept your
apology, it takes a big man to know when he's wrong,
now please piss off and never contact me again. But
the fucker caught me off guard so I just said OK and
let him feel unjustifiably relieved and back in my
good graces.

This was back in 92 when e-mail was just coming on so we
e-mailed a lot and even played an RPG that
was of my design. You'd dig it. It was just a bunch of
totally made up bullshit. We were time cops (just like
that fucking cartoon only years ahead). I conceived
it as being something like the Restaurant at the End
of the Universe though. Lots of people on a big space
station in orbit over a huge black hole looking time
vortex where time travelers from all over the
multiverse could get together and converse, but when
someone tried fucking with history, we would go back in
time to set things right.

A couple years after that, I was pretty much done with
grad school. It sucked, I wasn't getting anywhere, my
prof was a bitch who didn't want to work with me so
Todd said I should go down to Houston with him when he
got transferred because it was "a boomtown" and I could
"easily get a job down there." His real motive was he was lonely,
no one thought he was cool and he needed a friend or at least an audience.

It's like this: If a poser tree thinks it's cool in the
forest and no one is around to oo and aw at it, can it still be
delusional?

So I moved down there. I had about 300 bucks, no car and we didn't
even live near a busline. We had to have an apartment by the lake
though so poserboy could feel cool. Whoohoo.
There weren't even sidewalks in front of the apartment.

Houston is a shithole considering it is the fourth largest city in the U.S.,
it has no mass transit outside the central district.
You can commute to downtown for over a 100 bucks a
month. If you don't have a car in Texas, you are screwed.

I found a job driving a cab which paid pretty good and solved a lot of my problems, but
that didn't last because these hayseeds were a vicious
and brutal lot who "let me go" one night because
they brought back an alcoholic they fired two weeks
earlier. They replaced him with a woman and they didn't
want to get rid of her because she lived in the
trailer park the cab co. owners ran so if she couldn't
pay the rent it would have been half their fault.

It was at this exact same time that Todd told me when
our 6 month lease was up, he was moving in with his
girlfriend. I was fucked of course and pretty pissed
off. It cost me about 1500 total to rent moving vans to
and from Houston not to mention paying the rent and
bills that Todd had originally said I wouldn't have to
worry about paying until I got a job because he was
making so much money at Boeing (14 an hour plus 65
per diem and perks out the ass) that it wouldn't be any
different than when he was living in his own two bedroom
apt. in Huntsville, Alab. by himself.

He was so relieved that I didn't get pissed off at him
for bailing on me and our plan to start a comic
book/game store (the main carrot for moving down there)
that he pretty much felt content to go about his business
guilt free.

Meanwhile ...

I kept a cool facade, but I was shitting myself. I had saved
up a lot of money driving the cab 12 hours a day 6 days a
week, but that money was going pretty quick. I had
about 600 left after paying rent and utilities. With 6 weeks on
our lease, I had no intention of sticking it out just so I could
be homeless in Houston while Todd got to go off happy as
Larry after fucking me.

My honor system doesn't include paying dicks
for being dicks. I consider that asshole tax, man.

I had a couple weeks before the next rent was due and
wanted to leave before that. Enter Mark Schonberg.
Just by pure luck, his wife, Kum Ju, was in Korea, he
had all the time in the world down in Kansas and a love for
adventure. Most people would balk, but not Schonberg.
This was his literal definition of friendship. Any number of times,
Schonberg would tell me and anyone who'd listen that a real friend
is someone who'd drive down to Mexico to bail you out of jail.
This was basically the same thing or at least as close as he is
likely to get until I actually go to Mexico one day and get arrested.

He still had his doubts. I told him I would pay him back
for renting the van if he would get it in Kansas or Omaha
and drive down to Houston. I found out later, he honestly
didn't think I was going to be able to pay him right there and then.
It wasn't clear if he thought I was planning on dicking him
or if he just thought I was kidding myself, but I most certainly
did intend to pay him with the last of my cash. I appreciated his
willingness to help me out in spite of his doubts, but I was a
little offended. Only because I would have told him I didn't have
any money and asked for help like a proper beggar should.
I am not that big of a scumbag, after all.

So Mark is slated to show up on a Friday in February. Todd usually
came home after work just long enough to pack some
rubbers and then spend the weekend on his bitchy
but hot girlfriend, Pam, the red-headed Alabama skanksnake.
The other roommate, Catfucker Jim, was an
alkie and went to the bar and got absolutely tore up
every Friday. I figgered, if Schonberg showed up by
noon, which was his plan. We could pack up the van and
fuck off before anyone noticed.

What happened was, he overestimated his endurance a
bit and showed up around 4:30. He made good time, but
that was a real bad time to show up. So we went out,
got a burger, hit the bookstore, saw a few sites and
went home when we saw that Todd and Catfucker's cars
were gone. Everything was packed in boxes, we had a
dolly, it took 20 minutes. It was beautiful. The best move ever.
Then we got faced at Croc's right across the street.
$1 shots of tequila. How good is that? Mark confessed
to me that he liked hentai that night.

We hit the rack about midnight, got woke up at 2:30 by old
Catfucker tripping over a lamp. Woke up at 5, grabbed
our pillows and blankets and hit the open road without so
much as a HEY WHERE'RE YOU GOING? To which the answer
would have been, "out to breakfast. See ya later!"

Now, the "Operation Secret Extraction" bit comes in to
play the day before we took off. We were going to keep
this secret because we didn't want a hassle when we
tried to move shit out. That's a bad scene. I knew
we'd have plenty of time on Friday to move without
hindrance so all we had to do was time things so that
even if Mark was seen arriving, everyone thought it was just
for a visit. Then all we would need was a half hour
window and no one would be able to say shit.

So even knowing that he just needs to just keep his mouth shut,
Schonberg calls me up on Thursday to tell me he is on his way and
rather than just say on the answering machine, oh,
nothing, or "Hey Greg it's Mark. Everything is cool with
me, just thought I'd call to say 'see you soon, buddy.'"
He decides that he need to be cryptic. To him, that meant
saying "Greg, this is Mark. Operation Secret Extraction is under way."

Now talk about FUCKING OBVIOUS. Anyone with an IQ
over 68 could figure it out and both of my roommates, though dicks,
were ROCKET SCIENTISTS. Todd certainly would have figured it out
had he heard it. Catfucker heard it and asked me what
it meant. I told him Mark was in the army and liked to
talk like that because he is one of those gungho gamer
closet fags who gets turned on by that sort of shit.
What else COULD I say if I had any hope of fooling
him? As it is, I can't believe ANYTHING worked.

I think CF figgered it out and couldn't wait for the fallout.
He is one of those guys who really fucks his friends
over with evil intention. He hit on Todd's girlfriend
once right before she picked Todd over him and rather than get
over it or just fuck off, he tried to play Roman
intrigue. He even suggested to me after Todd told me
he was moving out, "Boy if it were me, I'd have to get back
at him in some really fucked up way."

Really Catfucker? Like by fucking his cats or
something? Like anyone needs to be reminded that
revenge is an option.

So he probably thought all of this intrigue was of his
making instead of being just about the only thing I
could possibly do with no money, no prospects, no car,
no sidewalks, no jobs and no busses.

Todd called me up the following Monday and tried to
guilt me. As a good person, I felt bad because we were
clearly not going to be friends after something like
this so I let him have his say, but he brought it on
himself.

He used to have a kill phrase he liked to use when
gaming or arguing. It was "you're just mad because
you're losing." It was the funniest thing in the world
to him to say that to someone just to piss them off
a little bit more than they already were. He said
that to me once when we were playing Space Hulk, a board game
with a rulebook it took an hour to read. I know, because he
insisted on reading the entire rulebook to me right
before playing my first game. Oh, that was helful.
He was a sadistic little fuck that way. It all stemmed from his
"I can't believe I used to think you were cool" mental disorder.

I strongly considered using it on him when he called me
up the Monday after my move. I didn't. For me, it was the
end of a long, sick and twisted friendship with a guy who
used to do the most wicked things he could do just to score
points on some stupid "purity test" that made the rounds one
year. He once had group sex and gave a girl a pearl necklace
in his parents' living room while they were asleep upstairs just
to score points on that test. I don't doubt he would have screwed
a goat, too, that was on the list as well. He is no doubt a Republican
today. He confessed to me once, I think I really am a racist.
No shit? I wasn't surprised.

He changed his name when he got married to a
woman named Dark . He is now legally named Todd
Dark-Fox. Can you believe that shit? What a fuck.

Mark said of him, "Well he always did want to be a player
character."

That is true and funny if you ever played D&D.

__________________________________________________