Thursday, November 20, 2008

Say Goodnight, George

The Bush II Administration is finally approaching its end, and although I know it to be true, I still can't fully accept it as fact. Much like a hostage kept in a dark cellar for years hesitates to believe they’ve been rescued, I am wary that I will awake from this dream and find that our idiot boy-king is still in charge. Yet despite my difficulty in accepting it, the end of this eight-year nightmare has lifted a weight from my chest that’s been there ever since that deceitful waterhead was first sworn in on a cold, stormy January day in 2001. It wasn't mere coincidence that his Presidency was marked by ugly skies and harsh weather - God certainly knew what was coming, and was trying to warn us with a grim preview of the eight years to come.

From his earliest days, Bush’s treacherous intentions were obvious. He stuffed his cabinet and every available governmental post with reactionary figures that would have been better suited to the interior hallways of the Third Reich. His Presidency reeked with the fetid odor of revenge and retribution, and there was precious little room for people to hide from the jack-boots looking to crack the skulls of those who opposed the machine.

Of everything else he possesses, Bush’s biggest strength is his ability to charm. His mask of the affable (if not too bright) regular guy and the earnest conciliator was a ruse to lull opponents into a false sense of security. It’s far too easy to dismiss him as an incompetent boob, too stupid to comprehend the obvious destruction he and his cadre of cannibalistic zombies brought over the planet. The truth is, Bush may be dumb, but he isn’t stupid. He has an animal cunning about him that makes him as dangerous as a cornered wolverine, and he has the cold, unsympathetic heart of an executioner allowing him to cause unparalleled suffering and devastation without even the slightest twinge of conscience.

Despite the fawning accolades of his followers, Bush’s true legacy reads like an indictment of a soulless sociopath. He convinced himself that he was doing God’s will and persistently refused to acknowledge that perhaps this faith was truly making him blind. When planes hijacked by fanatical murderers slammed into the two towers of the World Trade Center it only served as sharp relief to his inertia sitting in a kindergarten classroom, holding a copy of My Pet Goat. The surreal blossoms of orange flame and black smoke growing from the slate towers contrasted with a dull-grey expression of panic-induced catatonia on an uncomprehending face. This was his defining moment, but instead of serving as a true leader inspiring us all toward greater sacrifice and the creation of a better world, he used it as fodder for lies, fear, and hate, and as a cudgel with which to beat any squeak of dissent into submission. Bush used the tragedy of four planeloads of innocent people being vaporized by savages into justification to launch a savage, unnecessary, and unjust war and as cause to treat both the constitution and basic human rights as toilet paper in the name of fighting “terror.”

Bush is a shining example of all the worst aspects of the American personality: selfish, greedy, uncaring, brutal, savage, and dumb. His line of sight is fixed on his own triumph in a battle against a shadow enemy in a war he created. This laser-focus never lets him see any alternate view, nor does it allow him to see any suffering in the people he was meant to serve. Even Marie Antoinette would have blushed at the callous and heartless way he reacted to the poor and downtrodden as Katrina drowned an entire city and Bush channeled Nero, playing guitar at a fundraiser. He vigorously avoided any responsibility for inaction or lack of empathy to the people left devastated by this tragedy, and though he proclaimed himself a true Christian, he offered no comfort or aid to the ailing. His contempt for regular people is limitless, yet his ability to manipulate them for his own advantage by tapping into his reservoir of lies and fear managed to keep the population dependent upon him, like a perverse mass Stockholm Syndrome.

Being all hat and no cattle, Bush is far less a man than his image suggests. He could look the nation straight in the eye and lie about Iraqi complicity in 9/11, and wield the threat of howling, dark-skinned boogeymen lurking in the shadows like a Hawai’ian war club. He could also stand there like a lobotomized man, with that slack-jawed grin, and tell us how he would not tolerate any sort of dishonorable actions in his administration, while his Vice President engaged in acts of raw depravity and duplicity.

This fa├žade of the village idiot hides the ugly truth that our President is a cheap thug, not above stealing pennies from a blind beggar, or molesting infants. The degree of mendacity and the complete lack of even the tiniest amount of morality or decency in the man is stunning. The same George W Bush who proclaimed himself a “decider” and a “war president” dedicated to protecting the United States oversaw a program of propaganda and disinformation, legalized torture, and gutted fundamental 1st and 4th amendment rights in a manner which would even shame the Cosa Nostra.

Bush doesn’t deserve to be admired, or respected. He deserves to be staked down and repeatedly kicked in the nuts. When he finally meets his maker, his body should be wrapped in a biohazard container, incinerated, and the ashes buried under 300 feet of concrete, for fear that the essence of malevolance and corruption residing in him might contaminate someone else. He is the stuff of nightmares; a zombie-boogeyman hybrid spreading fear, death and despair wherever he goes. He is a cold, heartless, rotten-to-the-core mongrel that betrayed our trust and cheapened both the office of President and the country. And even though it will probably take months of constant fumigation to remove the stench and slime he'll leave behind, George W Bush, that greedy, pathetic, semi-literate, malicious old bastard, is finally going to leave office, and I still can't believe it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Why I no longer blog

Click to embiggen

And I bet you were expecting something profound.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Insight derived from random associations using mp3 players

So, there I am. I just finished feeding (and cleaning up after) the dogs, and am about to settle in to watch Stripes on DVD, when I get a wild hair to check me some email. I do that now and again. Check email, I mean – not play with wild hairs (not that there’s anything wrong with that. Actually, it can be a lot of fun, depending on how wild that hair is. One time, when I was in college, this guy we called Barnfart on account of the vague odor of livestock which hung about him like a heavy pea coat, got this stupid idea to Vaseline the doorknobs throughout the dorm. The problem was, none of us had any Vaseline (we used saliva for our needs back then), so we had to improvise. Barnfart, who had already imbibed more than a few bowls of some puro indo, reasoned that there must be grease to lube the workings of the washing machines in the laundry rooms, so he went into one and began to dismantle a machine. Of course, as he was halfway through his destruction, the RA walks in to do a load. She sees Barnfart wedged behind the machine, giggling like a schoolgirl and assumes (rightly) that he’s totally wasted. By now, Barnfart has completely forgotten why he’s taking a washing machine apart, and when he hears the RA calling him, he tries to get out only to discover that he’s now trapped and can’t move. The RA, who is a bit of a hysteric, begins to panic, and in an act of desperation spurred by Barnfart's cries of panic and fear, pulls the fire alarm, figuring this would be the best way to summon help. Of course, this sets off a dorm-wide alarm, and students pour out of their rooms (many half-dressed), running for the fire exits. The sound of the alarm further panics Barnfart, who is now thrashing wildly behind the washing machine, causing damage to both him and it. The RA is pleading with him to remain calm, and that help is on the way, but Barnfart, now in the grips of the paranoia which normally accompanies a good high, thinks she’s narced him out, and that he’s looking at a long prison sentence, so he begins to cry. The RA, thinking he is seriously injured finally acts in desperation, and goes to get a broom to use as a lever. She positions it behind and underneath the washing machine, and, using Barnfart’s prone body as the fulcrum, starts to try and move the washing machine. As she works the broom, Barnfart wails in pain with each depression into his side. Of course, the RA doesn’t realize that the machine is bolted to the wall (to prevent idiot students from screwing around with it), but fortunately, the bracket holding it in place is weak, and after a few more tries (and a few more wails of anguish from Barnfart), she manages to tear the machine loose from the wall, and actually topples it over. At the same time the machine crashes to the floor, the broom handle breaks, and one of the shards grazes Barnfart, scratching him and drawing blood. By this time the Fire Dept arrives and finds Barnfart in a state of near psychotic breakdown, with a bloody scratch on his side, and the RA, sitting next to him, stroking his head and cooing soothing things into his ear. Around them is a broken broom, a few bits of washing machine guts, a machine lying on it’s side, and a wall with a huge gash from where the mounting bracket was bolted. After all was said and done, Barnfart was given a bandage, the RA was severely reprimanded for her performance in the whole matter (and not unexpectedly she wasn’t re-hired for the next quarter), and both Barnfart and the RA were billed for the cost of a new washing machine and the repairs to the wall.). So, I open my email and there is something from someone named Tim. I don’t know any Tim, so my first impulse is to just trash it. But it says Tagged as the subject line. Tagged? What kind of punk would do that? Tag a Monkey? Balls, I tell you. Huge swinging ones. So, I open it, knowing it was a dare. And what do I find? A threat. This swine tells me I have to do this thing where I use my mp3 player to try and bring some random association between song titles and answers to deep, probing philosophical questions.

Well, I’m all about the grand mysteries of life, and how seemingly unrelated and completely random events could often be combined in such a way as to bring clarity and purpose to my existence. It’s how I go about every day. I keep a random number generator in my desk drawer, and use it to determine my actions. It’s complex, but it works for me. Actually, there was a guy I knew when I was a kid whose mom was like that, only it was later found she was mentally ill.

Anyway, this is also grand justification to use the Zune I bought not two weeks ago. Yes, I said Zune. Screw all of you iPod clones. Here’s a bit of a splash of cold water on your ultra-hip attitudes: You can’t be a fiercely individualistic rebel if you have the same toy as millions and millions of other zombies, despite what those Apple commercials want you to think. You’re just another brick in the wall, son. Deal with it.

But I digress. Without any further ado, here are the "rules":

1. Set the mp3 player on Shuffle or Random.
2. Use the titles of the songs that play to answer the questions below.
3. Laugh at how silly some of the answers seem, scratch your head and look stupefied at how completely nonsensical some of the answers seem, and cower in fear and begin to believe in astrological coincidence and the elders of Cthulu at how accurate and prescient some of the answers seem.
4. Find other suckers and ask them to play as well.

My Pal’s Name Is Foot-Foot – The Shaggs

The Eton Rifles – The Jam

Wouldn’t It Be Nice? – Beach Boys

El Ayudante – Mariachi Vargas

King’s Lead Hat – Brian Eno

Run Run Away - Slade

Up on the Sun – Meat Puppets

Isrealites – Desmond Dekker

(Stuck in a Pagoda with) Tricia Toyota – The Dickies

10. WHAT IS 2+2?
Joe’s Garage – Frank Zappa

Limelight - Rush

My Name Is Michael Caine - Madness

Bhindi Bagee – Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros

Market Square Heroes - Marillion

Crawling To The USA – Elvis Costello

Ruby Soho - Rancid

Yellow Coat – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Supernova – Liz Phair

Common People – William Shatner

Once Bitten Twice Shy – Ian Hunter

Zero Hour – The Plimsouls

White Girl - X

Okay, so there it is. My contribution to this communal jerk off. I’m a bit surprised that more Elvis Costello didn’t show up on the list, as I have a considerable amount of his stuff, and very relieved that nothing overtly embarrassing popped up either. Yes, I have Saturday Night by the Bay City Rollers on my machine. Like you don’t have anything un-cool on yours. I do wish Rubber Band Man or Lowrider made it, though. Those songs are cool. But I am glad Slade made it. Gotta love the Noddy.

I’d go ahead and pick other geeks to play, but anyone I’d choose has already been hit by someone else. I don’t have many blogfriends. Come to think of it, I don’t have many real friends, either. Good thing I don’t mind spending my hours alone, in a dark corner of a cold, damp room. Friend! Friend!

Ook ook

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Rock Star

Last night, at around 1AM (PST) there was yet another in what is basically a series of endless earthquakes in the LA area. It was small, short, and one of those that natives and long-time SoCal residents view as more fun than frightening.

It measured 4.5, which means it felt as if someone had bumped into your bed, or your neighbor had his subwoofer turned way up and was listening to some serious bass.

LA Rocks!

However, this is LA, and everything here has to have some over-the-top PR and hype.
Seriously. I mean, minor rainfall is breathlessly reported on the news with headlines like “Stormwatch” and other apocalyptic monikers. So, when the gods of the underworld start rumbling and tossing the surface dwellers around, the local media breaks out with some good old fashioned Wagnerian Gotterdammerung stuff. The TV news is filled with images of frightened people describing their terror (“it was so sudden!”) or steps they took to ensure their safety (“we all jumped out of bed and stood under doorways”) and there is the inevitable yokel declaring they are “leaving LA tomorrow.”

Good riddance.

Anyway, sure as night follows day and Bush will blatantly and openly lie next time he speaks, after the sensationalist coverage the news team will turn to their more sober “analyst” to put the quake into perspective. Which means the appearance of my most current crush, Dr. Kate Hutton, seismologist over at Cal Tech.

Kiss me, Kate.

I love love love love me some Dr. Kate. That unapologetic dyke with the premature grey hair and pointy-headed intellectual glasses warms me right up. She is known here as the Earthquake Lady because for close to 20 years, she has been the one to step in front of the cameras and throngs of terrified idiot reporters to tell them that we just had an earthquake.

What I really dig about Dr. Kate is her open and complete revulsion at having to deal with the simpering press. She despises them their stupidity, simplicity, and plasticity. She answers their repetitive and juvenile questions honestly, completely, and concisely, but with a sneer and barely concealed contempt. And with good reason. See, Dr. Kate is an educated, intelligent woman. The press are a pack of telegenic mannequins who would collectively make Ted Baxter look like a Nobel Laureate.

Good night, and good news.

During these conferences the press shouts questions in a state of hysteria, asking the same thing every single time: “Was this the Big One?”

Was this the Big One.

And our intrepid Dr. Kate will look at the reporter with an expression somewhere between pity and disgust, and, as if trying to explain quantum physics to a hillbilly, will calmly say that this, in fact, was not the Big One. She will then explain how the Richter scale works (it’s a logarithmic scale, where every increase in a point equals a tenfold increase in strength), how quakes are measured, basic tectonic theory, and so on. She will use simple words, sort of like someone trying to explain global climate change or Mideast politics to a rabid conservative, and gently calm the reporters who by now are ready to spread Fear and Panic throughout the populace.

Her press conferences serve as sharp relief to those of our Idiot Boy-King: Dr. Kate uses technical and complex words as a matter of everyday discourse. They flow effortlessly and when she speaks, she just assumes you can follow. When Prince George uses complex words they stick awkwardly in his mouth, like he’s trying to eat the rind of a pineapple, and when he says them it’s with a tone of smug undeserved pride commonly associated with a four-year old trying to show off to a mathematician that he can subtract four from seven.

Her mere appearance on the tube will serve as a balm for the terror-stricken rubes, because if Dr. Kate says something, we know it’s true and things are Good. Afterwards, the news anchor (now dripping with relief) will incorrectly summarize what Dr. Kate just told us. That this minor little shake was not the Big One; that quakes of various size happen all along the many faults throughout California every day; and that it was not the high-sign for the Four Horsemen or The Beast to come and feast on our eternal souls.

And Dr. Kate can go back to Cal Tech and do her research and teach. Until the next minor tembler, when once again she will have to come before the cameras and tell the press everything is okay while secretly wishing they would all fall into a very deep and very dark hole, never to be seen again.

I’m with you, Dr. Kate. You rock!

Ook ook

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Even better than the real thing

There’s a saying that holds true – particularly here in Ellay – which goes Perception is Reality.

There are countless variations on this, depending on context. One of them is the Sizzle is more important than the Steak, which is used by soulless Marketing geeks to describe the importance of branding. Branding, of course, means the creation of perception about something that trumps reality. Like Nikes improving your sports performance, BMWs making you a better driver, or Chanel clothing making you sexier. It's why you see so many label whores walking around.

And it’s the axis around which the capitalist world revolves, Skippy. If you don’t like it you can shove off to Cuba to be with the other godless Pinko scumsuckers.

Anyway, given this culture of Branding, it’s not really surprising that a recent study shows kids presented with the exact same foods believe that the ones served in McDonald’s packaging tasted better.


Yup. The same exact food. Even if kids were served raw carrots or plain milk, they believed the ones decked with McDude’s logos were tastier. I'm lovin' it because they tell me I do.


Astonished? Then you haven’t been paying attention to life for the past few decades. Particularly not American politics. Nixon was a master at it, though he wasn’t subtle (his Pink Lady smear campaign was a ham-handed bit of slander). LBJ also had an instinctive understanding of it. (Most elegantly expressed in an anecdote from an early, local campaign. Johnson, facing stiff competition, ordered his minions to spread a rumor that his opponent fucks pigs. His staffer replied that no one would believe it, but Johnson, understanding the power of perception, replied, “Yeah, but make him deny it.”) Kennedy, Clinton, Reagan - they all knew it too.

Perception. Packaging. Illusion. Style over substance. Hype. Whatever you want to call it, Americans have pretty much perfected the art of putting lipstick on a pig, or pissing on your shoes while claiming it’s sweet summer rain. I mean, how else can one explain the mad rush and overwhelming public support for our Idiot Boy-King’s invasion of Iraq? It was all sleight-of-hand Marketing manipulation. George Orwell got nothing on Karl Rove. Oceania is at war with Eurasia, and the GOP MiniTruth put out the right branding about Iraq & Saddam. And even though it was plainly evident that everything our government was saying was all bullshit and lies and manipulation, the perception of Iraq's connections to Al Qaeda & 9-11 was more convincing and the rubes continue to believe it to this day. Reality didn't come close to being as real as fantasy. It still isn't. Oceania has always been at war with East Asia, after all.

And so anyone who dares point out the Emperor’s shriveled and vestigial doodle is visible or 2 + 2 = 4 will be considered either a traitor or deluded. Invading Iraq was a legitimate and necessary move in our battle against Al Qaeda. War is Peace. Arbeit will Macht Frei. And those damned carrots do taste better when served in a Mickey-D’s bowl.

God Bless the United States of America

If you can’t see that, well, then the terrorists have already won.

Ook ook