Thursday, March 30, 2006
This may explain why I don't have many friends.
Make of these what you will ... I just felt like sharing.
From: Fez Monkey
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:29 AM
To: Duende; Eggs
Subject: V Showtimes
"V For Vendetta" is playing this Sat at the theater place in beautiful downtown CC -- I figure we can all agree that seeing it there is preferable to battling idiots and swine what have no manners nor common sense at the Bridge.
Sure … the reviews have been tepid at best, but Christ, who are we to let pointy-headed artsnobblers dictate what we watch? The path to revolution starts now. Throw the gauntlet of defiance, and let’s see this damned thing.
Showtimes are: 1, 1:45, 2:15, 4:05, 4:45
The cost is $7.50
To: Fez Monkey; Eggs
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 7:31 AM
Subject: RE: V Showtimes
I have heard rumblings that our chubby little Tex is celebrating another Herpes-filled year on this Earth. As I endeavor to make the wife as miserable as she makes me, I have to be available to brood and despoil any fete she may be invited to (of course I will not be invited, but when did that ever stop your humble narrator) this weekend. When I asked the Magic 8-ball if I will be going to the movies with you this weekend, it said “Answer hazy, ask again later”. I just wanted to keep you in-the-loop, as the Anglos say.
Is my work never done?
From: Fez Monkey
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 9:52 AM
To: Duende; Eggs
Subject: Re: V Showtimes
So, Miri made it through another year? I guess the deleterious effect of STDs are greatly exaggerated – although that oozing boil on the side of her face indicates she may only be drawing breath for another few months. Screw her. Whoring around carries a stiff cost nowadays, and a throbbing, pulsating, pus-filled scab on her cheek is getting off cheap. I hope she tackles you from behind and drips some of her discharge on you.
You're the eternal optimist, you pig. I'm counting you as good as dead for Saturday. Your flowery verse and stupid insistence on searching for a silver lining are nauseating. Strings have been pulled and wheels are in motion. Have fun with the hicks, you traitor. The most to hope for at this point is that you start drinking the moment you wake up, and reach a level of belligerence reminiscent of your wilder, younger days by the time the first of the barefoot hillbillys make their way to this shindig. You’d better be armed as well, honest, god fearing white people aren’t fond of you brown-faces, and it’s a good bet that you’ll be doing a fine jig at the end of a rope before the sun sets. But then it serves you right, for daring to despoil such an event with your colored-ness.
I would weep for you, but I don't find wasting tears on one who makes his own bed to be of any value.
Shalom, you oily bastard.
To: Fez Monkey; Eggs
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 10:36 AM
Subject: RE: V Showtimes
Remember: the Lord Jesus also arose from the dead to save us all – as I may do for you bums.
From: Fez Monkey
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 11:10 AM
To: Duende; Eggs
Subject: Re: V Showtimes
Isn’t it just like one of you heathens to take the name of our lord and savior in vain, soiling it with your inferiority.
People like you should be hogtied, suspended from a great height, and beaten with sticks like a piñata on general principles. Your continued mockery of the inherent superiority of the white man’s culture is astounding. But you’ll learn. I recommend you practice standing with your back against the wall, as come helter skelter that’s where you’ll be.
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 2:02 PM
To: Fez Monkey; Eggs
Subject: Re: V Showtimes
Hey – after I vomit on Saturday, will you be free? I figure I will need many beers to wash the taste of all those ignorant crackers out of my mouth. You know how annoying it can be spending too much time with white people. I will have much pent up rage, and will need someone to beat on, and you and our resident semite will do nicely. I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger, as it is the time of the people of the sun.
Be prepared for some serious hurt, gabacho.
Si se puede, youse mugs.
Monday, March 27, 2006
"Ummmm … two, I think."
God, how many times have I had to go through this dichotomy of choices? It seems as if I’ve been in that chair for close to four hours, even though the hands of the giant clock on the wall indicate that only about 15 minutes have passed.
The thing is, I don’t mind getting my eyes checked. It’s easily the absolute most painless health maintenance procedure any of us will ever have to endure. We get to sit in a very large padded chair, and a gigantic apparatus with lenses of miniscule increments is set in front of our eyes. All we have to do is look and answer “one” or “two” as knobs are rotated and dials twiddled.
"How about now? One or two?"
"They’re about the same."
But, for some reason, I find myself disliking the process more and more. I think it’s my new optometrist. I used to go see this young honey who was kind enough to wear short skirts. She had an enticing smile, a suggestive sense of humor, and was completely aware that a little innocent flirting made time move a little faster. This new guy is pushing toward morbid obesity, is balding, tends to wheeze, and has an odor vaguely reminiscent of turnips.
It’s like that all over, innit? You get used to something pleasant, something that has you looking forward to whatever event with which it’s (they’re) associated, only to find that things have changed and where there was once a woman you’d love to join for a private game of doctor, you now have a guy that looks like nothing more than about 300lbs of tapioca poured into some rumpled clothing.
"Have you noticed any new problems with your vision?"
"Only that it’s getting a bit difficult to focus when going from close to far."
They say change is positive, and in most instances I can see how that would be true. But then again, they just love being right, pompous bastards. But change isn’t always a good thing. I mean, who in their right mind would willingly swap a playful, seductive young woman for a guy who likely breaks a sweat using a remote to change channels?
The worst part is, this isn’t the first time I’ve been on the wrong end of this kind of switch. My old dentist was the type of woman from which shower-fantasies are made. I was going to the dentist for a cleaning so frequently, my insurance company probably thought I was some sort of dental-psychotic. She left last year, to be replaced by a jug-eared dork with an asymmetrical moustache. As if I can trust someone like that to put his hands in my mouth.
"Okay, all we need to do now is the ole glaucoma test, and we’ll pretty much be done."
At least this visit would be over soon. I tried to recall in my mind’s eye what my old optometrist looked like, but could only get these vague, ghostly pictures. I tried closing my eyes to remove unnecessary stimuli, allowing my memory to concentrate, but was reminded that this was an eye exam and it would help if I kept mine open. Even in periphery I could see the puffy cheeks and greasy hair of this new guy, killing any chance of evoking the delectable legs that used to cross and uncross intentionally during the exam.
"Okay, we’re all finished. You can pick up your new prescription at the front desk."
"Thanks, everything okay?"
"Just a slight change to the left Rx."
"Oh, but I do recommend you get bifocals – your close vision needs some help."
"Don’t worry. It’s normal for people around your age."
Man, I hate change.
Friday, March 24, 2006
So, Snot Rag comes over the other day. He’s been a friend for a while, and has this mucous condition, if you must know. The MonkeyWife isn’t really fond of him, on account of the bubbling snorts and the high-gloss sheen on his sleeve from countless wipings kinda grosses her out. So, she suddenly had some errands to run.
Me? I brought down a bottle of tequila. Not Three G’s … Snot Rag isn’t nearly worth that. Just some of the cheaper stuff I keep around for the unexpected drop-ins. Don’t give me that look, you do the same thing.
So, Snot Rag accepts a glass of the clear nectar, sees my laptop open, and goes over. He’s not the most tactful sonofabitch, but he’s a mate and all, so I tolerate him. My browser is set on my blog, because I constantly re-read my posts. I have to, because mine are so much more interesting than yours. It’s okay, you can admit it … I have.
Anyway, Snot Rag turns to me and says, “You do this stuff?”
”Yep,” I say, taking a sip of the lovely white liquor.
”Maybe a month or so.”
”Oh. Is there anything good on here?”
And he starts to read my post about how I’m not a genius.
“This is stupid,” he says
“Yep,” I answer.
"You know, you're really not that funny," he says.
"I know," I answer, taking a small sip of my drink.
He keeps reading.
“Are all blogs as dumb as yours?” he asks.
“Well, I’m sure mine is dumber than most, but yeah, I think so,” I reply.
At that point, he starts to do some surfing, reading a few things here and there, flitting from page to page by clicking at the helpful “next blog” button on the upper right corner of the screen, all the while aspirating a surprising amount of nasal discharge. As he scans, his face begins to take the appearance of someone who has just eaten a very large helping of spoiled seafood.
“So, what’s the point of blogging?” he asks, with genuine curiosity.
“Whaddaya mean?” I answer after another slug of tequila. “It’s just a way for me to pop off. You know, ‘Flinging Poop’ and all.”
“But,” he stammers, unable to process it but still snorting like a steam train trying to overcome it’s stationary inertia. “But, some of it is so … stupid. I mean, this woman here, all she does is post recipes using cheese.”
“Yah,” I opine.
"This girl is babbling about her last date and the clothes she chose."
"Yah," I mention.
"This moron can't spell."
"Yah," I emapthize.
“And this guy, all he does is put up pictures of his kids, with stupid song lyrics. Song Lyrics!”
“Yah,” I offer.
“And this guy is just ranting incoherently about conspiracies and shadow governments.”
“Yah,” I add.
“Have you actually read some of these things!” he said, gesticulating like someone in the early stages of a seizure. “They’re written by half-wits who take themselves way too seriously!”
“Yah,” I nod.
“And anyone with a PC and Internet connection can just throw up a page and start spouting off, no matter how ignorant or illiterate they are?”
”Yah,” I say. “Democracy in action.”
“So, is that really it? Is blogging just a way for any moron to throw up anything they want, whether it makes any sense or needs to be said?”
“Yah,” I concede.
“And people take it seriously?”
"Very,” I say.
Snot Rag sat there for a moment, looking like a neanderthal trying to comprehend an internal combustion engine. "Let me see if I understand this," he finally said, taking a deep breath, and sucking up what sounds like a pint of particularly viscous mucous. "The whole point is to let any idiot publish any garbage?"
"Yah," I reply. "But, just like anything else, each blog is only as good or valid as the person posting at that time. Some stuff is pretty thought provoking, some is damned funny, some is insightful, and some ... well, a lot ... is just stupid. Some don't take it too seriously, and see it as a way to have fun, others get their jollies by being a prick, while others are pretty adamant and almost belligerent about a perceived sanctity of their words. Just like life."
Snot Rag leans back for a moment, then exhales. “Wow,” he concludes, draining the last of his drink, and wagging the empty glass at me for a refill. “Some people have way too much time on their hands.”
Indeed we do.Ook ook
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Nobody Expects It
But, it seems that while The Jesus suffers from white-boy basketball affliction, his dad is a bit of a fan. After all, how else can you explain Duke getting faced in prime time by a pack of barely literate Cajuns from
It was sublime. The clean-cut, all-American darlings of the media, lead by JJ Reddick (one of this year’s “great white hopes” for the future of basketball) couldn’t seem to handle the pressure and intensity of a bunch of bumpkins. This was not what people who voted for Nixon were happy to see. Duke is their team, and they are the people who really run the country. Yalies may get elected, but Dukies pull the strings. Seeing their beloved team get tossed aside like a used condom doesn’t sit well. Duke was the overall number one seed – teams like that don’t get upset in the Sweet 16. Especially not by some state school.
Yet there it was, happening before the nations eyes. Dick Vitale was openly weeping, telling anyone who would listen that this was an atrocity. Duke’s coach, that sniveling rat-faced geek, was in a mad panic. As the seconds ticked off the clock, you could see him slowly imploding, face becoming more pinched.
Man or Rat?
You could almost see his incisors lengthen, and whiskers spring from his cheeks. His eyes no longer able to focus, he appeared to be frantically looking for some cheese, no longer interacting with his team. The game was lost, and he had given up.
It was clear that God was tired of Duke and their fans. The hubris that swaggered on the court wearing the white with blue trim was given a harsh slap in the face. Evidently wrath has changed a bit since the old testament. Back then, God would have rained sulfur or engaged in a bit of genocide to show His displeasure. Now he just makes petulant, privileged rich kids cry.
I may need to search for my rosary, and head back to church.
I went to college at the University of California in the mid–80’s. At that time Berkeley was a haven for oddballs, weirdos, and freaks. People who would be considered eccentric by San Francisco standards. And anyone who spent any time at all in San Francisco in the 80’s knows just how extreme that statement is.
Occasionally some of these characters that animated my day-to-day travels around campus and the Southside return in my memory, like a flashback from drinking too much mescal. People like Stoney, the Polkadot Man, the Smartest Man In The World, Rearrrr, Rick Starrr, and others too bizarre to even qualify for names. The memories come in flashes, and are often gone with just as much haste as they appeared.
However, there was one man who transcended all of these characters. His name was Joseph Charles, known as the Waving Guy. He wasn’t one of the campus looneys, or some homeless vagrant with an overblown id, or some manic political activist. He was a retired old man, living in South Berkeley, who would stand on the corner outside his home and greet passersby and motorists every morning.
He was as much a fixture of the Berkeley tapestry as the Campanile, the heroin addicts in Barrington Hall, football losses, or the spaced-out homeless in People’s Park.
Every morning, rain or shine, he would be out on his corner, trademark yellow-gloved hands waving frenetically, shouting to drivers “You have a good day!” His smile seemed immutable, as were his cheer and sincere hopes that everyone he greeted enjoyed their day.
At first, I simply catalogued him as just another weirdo, tossed on the street as one of the many casualties of the Reagan administration's slashing of public funds to help and house the mentally ill. But there was this complete lack of pretension or insanity about him. Mr. Charles loved life, and he wanted to share that feeling with everyone he could – and what better way to try and bring a small amount of cheer than by smiling and waving during the morning commute, when people are angrily battling traffic?
I lived in the Lake Merritt area of Oakland for a year and a half while attending Cal, and my trip to school would bring me past Mr. Charles every day. He became a fixture, as constant as the North Star, standing on his corner, hands a yellow blur, wishing people a good day. The odd times I missed him, whether through taking a different route, going past after the ritual was over, or if he was ill, there seemed to be a hole in the day … like missing that third cup of coffee or not being able to read the paper before class. And, after a day without Mr. Charles, the next sighting would always seem just a bit more fulfilling.
I graduated in 1987 and left Berkeley for good. However, on every return trip, I would make it a point to drive by Mr. Charles’ corner to get my greeting. It was as much a ritual as heading to Kip's for a pitcher and a bowl of fries, or heading to Henry’s for some Golden Bears after the Big Game. A visit to my alma mater would never be complete without seeing him, and getting my greeting.
Berkeley as a whole began to change in the 90’s, losing much of it’s personality and charm to giant mega-corporations and franchise stores. Telegraph Avenue, once a defiant bastion of independent book, music, food, and coffee shops started to be home to places like the Gap, and Borders, and Starbucks. Neon and chrome replaced peeling paint and scribbled signs.
Mr. Charles’ health began to decline in the 90’s, and his morning greetings came seated in a patio chair. The juxtaposition of his starting to slow down and Berkeley losing it's unique vibe seems to be more than a coincidence to me. It's as if the city began to change because Mr. Charles wasn't able to keep it the same. He died in 2002, at the ripe old age of 91.
Today is Mr. Charles' birthday. You all have a good day.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I mentioned this to a friend of mine, and, between sips of his beer, he casually wondered that since I am basically an arrogant and annoying swine, does that therefore make me a genius.
The question, I must admit, took be a bit by surprise, and after hitting him in the back of the head with an empty, I thought it deserved a bit of exploration.
Could the Monkey be a genius?
Yeah, I hear you laughing. And I admit, it is kind of funny. But still, it does bear investigation.
After tossing my buddy a small towel to help staunch the flow of blood from his new wound, we ambled over to the computer to try and answer the question by taking one of the many online IQ tests currently available.
Now, a quick disclaimer is in order. I don’t put a huge amount of stock in these tests. Aside from being only somewhat accurate in their assessment of education, they do tend to be both culturally and socio-economically biased. After all, there is nothing in any of them that measures intuitive intelligence, or practical knowledge, or the ability to apply theory to reality.
Okay, enough of that. You want the meat. It’s coming, Pilot, it’s coming. Just hang tight.
The test itself was little more than standardized boilerplate. You know, the typical SAT nonsense such as deciding whether ebullient compares closer to orgiastic or sullen if dyspeptic compares to lacrimose, or the ever present wondering about patterns and which would fit next.
I sat down and answered each question, rewarding myself after each one with some beer, as if I were some chicken getting a pellet for pecking at the correct button after a little buzzer sounded. There were 50 questions in all, so I had my friend wobble over to the fridge twice to ensure I had sufficient reward. All work and no play can make the Monkey quite irritable.
Mmmm ... Pellet!
By the time the test was near the end, however, I was getting a little distracted. Suffering from a subdural hematoma, my friend was beginning to babble incoherently about sunshine and wombats, making it difficult for me to concentrate. It was obvious I would need to use a series of finger jabs and pivot kicks to make sure he didn’t pass out before his brain swelling subsided, and I didn't have a lot of time. This was my friend, after all, and as much fun as it would be to see him in a coma, I felt sorry for the bastard.
Fortunately, I ran through the last few questions, about how many houses 30 people could paint in a month and whether kangaroos belonged in a circle jerk with a collection of ruminants.
The result (admit it, that’s what you were all waiting for) is that the Monkey has an IQ of 137. According to the site, that puts me in the “superior intelligence” cohort, but not a genius.
So, now you have concrete proof that those tests are worthless. In real life I am not a genius, nor even of “superior” intelligence. Hell, I'm lucky that I remember how to tie my shoes. My arrogance and annoying prickness is not because of any elevated smarts: I am an arrogant and annoying prick because I am an arrogant and annoying prick. Any similarity to uber-nerds, hyper-geeks, eggheads, poindexters, and other assorted brainiacs is purely coincidental.
Friday, March 17, 2006
What, you ask? Happy to tell you. It’s this: athletes, entertainers, politicians, and other public figures who openly, loudly, obnoxiously, and aggressively attribute every minor increment of their success to The Jesus. And you’ve all heard them. No matter what the question or context of the conversation, at some point these smug pricks have to toss in: “I’d also like to thank my lord and savior, Jesus Christ for this blessing.”
A Sanctimonious Asshole
Sure, this isn’t a new observation, and you’ve heard other, more erudite geeks pop off about it before. In fact, you’re likely so bored by the whole thing you’ve probably already clicked the back button on the browser so you aren’t reading this. I’m all alone here, typing to nothing. I can say anything. Like “turd” or “donkey fart.” It’s kind of liberating to shout in the dark.
Anyway, I’m thinking about this because I’m watching the final few moments of the first round NCAA tournament game between Memphis and Oral Roberts University, and right now, with a minute and some change left, the Fightin’ Fundies are on the wrong end of a vengeful god of the Old Testament style 94 -78 ass-whipping, being beaten like a read-headed stepchild refusing to wash away their sins by agreeing to love the Jesus.
This gives me an amount of glee that makes me wonder how I would have reacted if I were in the stands watching a lion rip some poor xian geek to shreds in Roman times.
A Buffet Of Christians
Would I cheer, turn away in disgust, or chip in by being one of the volunteers poking the true believer with a long, sharp stick? Interesting question, the true answer of which likely would provide deep insight into my psyche.
Anyway, it leads me to wonder: if Jesus can save but can’t hit an open jump shot, what good is he?
Jesus Teasing Fat White Kids
Where the hell is a philosopher when I need one? You know, there ought to be traveling philosophers, on call to come and resolve issues like this which arise at the most inopportune times. I mean, they’ve got traveling notaries and auto mechanics, and they don’t solve things nearly as mentally aggravating as the whole Irish-ish/Money-ish thing.
Great, now I have a headache. Where the hell was I going with this? Maybe I should just press the eject button before this gets really stupid, or is it too late already? No, I must push on … I’ve made a commitment to post something, and goddamnit I will. Another beer, yeah, that’ll do it … lube up the synapses so they start firing with greater abandon, making more connections and drawing references from wider and wider sources.
So, where was I? The Irish, right. Ya gotta love those bastards. Any culture that gives us Joyce, Guinness, and U2 can’t be bad. Plus, the Irish cuss a lot. World class. Yeah, ya gotta love the Irish. The best part of the Irish is their genetic propensity for mendacity. These boys can lie. Of course, they try and sugarcoat the whole thing by calling it blarney, but you can’t piss on my shoes and make me believe it’s rain. The Irish as a race are natural liars. Worse even than Sicilians or those Finnish swine.
Need proof? Take St. Patrick’s day. Little more than a green-vomit soaked bacchanaliaof drunken brawls, sexual assault, and bravado celebrating some guy ridding Ireland of snakes. A real local hero, that one. Ireland’s most favored son. Erin go brah, and too-ra-loo-ra-loora. Kiss Me, I’m Irish indeed. Not on that mouth, Seamus. The wee fact that these shamrock wearing vermin don’t mention is that Paddy never did drive a single snake off the Emerald Isle. Not one. Nada, zip, zilch. Oh, and that thing about being a saint? Yeah, well, they meant to tell you about that. See, he isn’t one. Seems as if Old Paddy was never canonized by Holy Mother Church, so this saint thing: just another damned Irish lie.
And here I was, buying into it all. The green beer. The tasty red-headed Colleens. They had me hook, line and sinker. I believed every bit of it. At least, I did. As you can see, I’m wiser now. Those pug-nosed little scumbags can’t fool me any longer. Want to know what opened my eyes to the treachery and deceit that flows through the veins of every Irishman that ever breathed air? Of course you do.
Corned Beef and Cabbage.
Yah, that. Those potato-eating gremlins want me to believe that boiled meat tastes good. Think about that. Boiled meat! Not roasted then put into a stew, nor grilled before being gently pulled and smothered in a sauce. A hunk of fatty beef tossed in a pot of water to get boiled. As if the thought wasn’t unappealing enough, looking at it is even worse. All the color washed out so the meal looks like a faded Polaroid snapshot circa 1956. Just the thought is making me cringe.
But props to the Irish. Scumbag liars that they are, you still gotta love those geeks. Besides, any race that invented Guinness gets a free pass for life.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
As you know, we the people of the great state of California aren't very fond of President Bush. In fact, most of us think our idiot boy-king is a complete embarrassment, and deserves to be trussed up, stipped naked, shaved clean, and sent on an ice floe into the Arctic Sea.
And, apparently, you do too. At least, it sure does seem like it some times, the way you talk about him.
Well, now's your chance to put your money where your mouths are. You have a stark choice: walk the walk by supporting Sen. Feingold's censure of Bush, or cower in fear like the school nerd at the approach of a gang of jocks looking to do some locker-stuffing.
Prove that the two of you actually posess a spine! I mean, that good speechifying of yours - you know, talking loudly and bravely about how bad Pres. Bush is, and how he must be stopped, etc etc etc - is something someone with conviction, courage, and integrity would do. But, talking is easy (look at me), it's the doing that takes balls.
You know, I had a friend in college once (trust me, this is on topic), who loved to go into great detail about every date on which he'd go. As soon as he got back to the dorm we would gather in his room with a frosty twelve pack of beer, and listen as he would tell us about that night's conquest. He'd describe the cut of her dress, the degree of laciness of her panties, whether she wore hose or not, how soft her skin was, if she was shaved, how she would move as they kissed, if she would go down on him, whether she would moan softly or scream out, how talented she was with her parts ... you get the idea.
Anyway, it was after one particularly lurid description, involving soy sauce and finger puppets, that we found out he had been lying all the time. This master lover was a masturbater. He was still a virgin. The most he had done is french kiss and cop a feel - not even real tit, but bra! One of my other friends summed him up in five words: He Talks A Great Fuck.
Well, unless you support the Feingold censure, that's what you two will be doing, talking a great Fuck. Unfortunately, that just doesn't cut it anymore. As Nixon reportedly told Ike when he was waffling about having him as the running mate in '56, "It's time for you to shit or get off the pot." By supporting Sen Feingold and his move to officially censure the president over the illegal (and immoral) wiretapping of Americans, you will be taking a giant steamer all over those who would sacrifice our civil rights to fearmongers and despots. If not, then you may as well just get back on your knees with your lips puckered, waiting for Prince George to drop trou and present his ass for a good kissing.
Make us proud. Take that shit.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
One thing you should know about the Monkey – and something that might go a long way toward explaining why I am the way I am, and why you have that vague feeling of indigestion when you read my stuff. Well, those three of you who actually do read my poop. The thing yiz have got to realize about the Monkey is that I am a hardcore, dyed in the wool, no holds barred, ole-ole-ole-ole, Forza Azzurri, get out of my face, wake at 3 AM and fire up the BBQ, gooooooooooool, soccer fan.
I’ve been in the stands to watch Pele, George Best, Franz Beckenbauer, and Johan Cruyff play in the old NASL. I’ve been to international friendlies at the LA Coliseum, Mexican league matches, and LA Galaxy games at both the Rose Bowl, and at the
I watched every minute of every World Cup tournament since
But I still have a mission in life.
I've never had the chance to experience watching a soccer match in
I, along with my friends Duende and Eggs, wanted to watch the game. It promised to be entertaining, as both sides desperately needed a win to keep any hopes of advancing past the initial stage alive. In their first matches
Unfortunately, the match was not to be broadcast over network or cable TV, as it was only available via pay-per-view at a ridiculous cost of $20.00 per game. One thing about being a soccer fan in the
The game was set to start at 11:45 on a Saturday morning. We arrived at at 9:30 only to find the place already packed with representatives from all over the
We made our way to the bar through the crowd and shouted our orders over the din. It was at this point that a really fat, red-faced Englishman sat down next to me. He was wearing an
When the game started the entire pub became energized. There was barely room to turn around, and the atmosphere was electric. A non-stop stream of chants, songs and jingoistic comments came from the crowd for the entire first half, although neither team scored and the play was sloppy. An acrobatic save by the German keeper of an Owen header from a cross by Phil Neville injected new vigor into the songs by the crowd, but when the half-time whistle came and the score was still level, things entered that weird space of unfulfilled expectation.
With the start of the second half, the crowd seemed to have grown not only in size, but in aggression as well. It was getting ugly. The curses rained upon the Germans became much more personal and offensive, and included a surprising number of references to World War II. The crowd was angry, and the air was thick with a frightening weirdness. I looked at the bartender, and he had a strange expression on his face. He'd seen this before, and was frightened. He had the look of someone who had previously experienced a sudden explosion of vicious destruction, and recognized the potential here. In anticipation the staff had begun quietly collecting bottles and replacing mugs and pint glasses with plastic cups near the end of the first half, so if things did go bad, the crowd would have fewer potentially harmful weapons within immediate grasp.
There was only one thing that would diffuse the increasing tension, and it came when England wünderkind David Beckham took a beautiful free-kick, placing the ball right at the feet of captain Alan Shearer, who deftly put in the back of the German net.
One - nil to
Half eaten breakfasts of eggs and bangers, congealing kippers, molested burgers, greasy chips, and a lot of beer was immediately airborne, and people were high-fiving and hugging each other in a genuine display of raw emotion and love. Jocko grabbed me and squeezed as if he thought I was an Obie doll, saying over and over again, “Brilliant. Bloody brilliant." The bartender was so relieved that he offered a round on the house, which meant another one for me.
The remainder of the game consisted of the Germans trying to come up with an equalizer, but it was
The referee finally blew the whistle signaling the end of the game, which was greeted with another explosion from the crowd. This one was less physical than before, but the emotion was more intense. The men were drained. A combination of poor ventilation, large quantities of alcohol, and having their nerves on a razor's edge for near 90 minutes had taken its toll. These same hard, savage men who looked ready to spill blood only minutes before were now crying unabashedly. In a far corner several men gathered together to attempt a celebratory dance, although their lack of rhythm and elevated blood-alcohol content made their effort look more like five spastics trying to kill a roach. Even Jocko let the moment get the better of him. In a surprising display of agility and coordination he pulled himself onto a table (which protested loudly under his weight), and tried to lead the crowd into a spirited version of God Save the Queen. Evidently, when happy and drunk, the British feel compelled to sing.
As I watched the perverse deluge of pride flowing around me, the totality of the day finally hit home. I was spent. I looked over at Duende, and I could tell he was also drained. We nodded at each other, and he left to go to the phone. Eggs and I continued to sit dumbstruck in our seats, watching the bacchanalia around us. We were drenched in a combination of beer and sweat - much of both Jocko's. As Duende made his way back through the self-congratulatory crowd music began to play in the pub. At first I couldn't make it out, but then I recognized it, and I started to laugh. It was Vera Lynn singing the World War II spirit-lifting anthem White Cliffs of Dover. The really funny thing was that gradually, all of the lads in the pub began to sing along. That parallelism was just too weird.
It was time for the three of us decided to leave. It felt voyeuristic being there -- this was their moment, not ours. Besides, the combination of liquour and heat was starting to make me hallucinate. We said our goodbyes to Jocko and Gilly, who were now joined by more of their mates. They insisted that we stay and celebrate with the lads, but when Jocko turned his head and nonchalantly vomited, I knew it was time. We left the pub, went outside into the too-bright daylight and waited for our ride to take us home.
Monday, March 06, 2006
I beg to differ.
Not because I don’t think Sen. Clinton would be a good president, or a viable candidate. But for two reasons: first, I'm convinced Hill will peak too soon, allowing another challenger to gain momentum in the primaries; and second, because the GOP is now the exclusive playground of the far right, they'll never allow anyone even approaching moderation, such as John McCain, to gain power. The only way for that to ever come about is if the extreme-reactionary led GOP suffers a humiliating defeat in both the upcoming ’06 off-year election, and the ’08 election. Until and unless that happens, extreme fanatic Christian hatred, and bizarre neo-conservative lunacy will rule the GOP landscape. People like Ralph Reed, James Dobson, Karl Rove, and Ken Mehlman are far too avaricious and greedy to even consider moderating the vision for their party. If anything, their pendulum is still moving right, and only a sudden jolt can cause it to return to the center.
Good lord, what am I doing? After the coup of 2000 I promised myself I wouldn’t get drawn into political handicapping again. The way the Republicans strong-armed and openly cheated then was such that it would make the Cosa Nostra blush to even consider. The blatant openness of the fix was so brutal and complete that it made professional wrestling look sanitized, and made even someone as jaded as me turn to gambling on college sports for salvation. 2000 was Poppy’s revenge, written in bold, bloody letters over the corpse of Clinton-Gore: the sort of grisly warning to would be challengers last seen when the Ottoman Empire ravaged Christian villages in the Balkans, displaying the rotting and defiled corpses outside city walls as a reminder of Who Was In Charge.
Ho ho! Who Is In Charge, indeed! Make no mistake, Republicans may be evil, duplicitous, soulless swine, but they aren’t stupid. After Ronnie’s pummeling of Mondale in '84, the GOP started to get soft, only managing to get up the hateful Willie Horton ad in '88 as any sort of homage to the days when Nixon won campaigns through outright libel and slander, painting any opponent he faced with a pink brush, while simultaneously singing the aria of the innocent victim. Nixon was the best, there's no doubt about that. And it must've killed him to see how far his party had degenerated through sloth by the end of the 80’s.
The low point for the GOP came in 1992, when an inbred Cajun assassin by the name of James Carville turned the tables on them and took some sex-addicted hillbilly from the Ozarks to the White House by stomping Bush I like a fat cockroach, using the same tactics Republicans had honed to the sharpness of a razor. Carville was a ruthless and bloodthirsty predator, and was so efficient at leaving the gutted remains of opponents discarded on the side of the road to be ravaged by packs of scavangers, he even earned Nixon's respect. Clinton’s unceremonious procession over the bones of Poppy taught the GOP a hard lesson: gaining power is hard, but keeping it is harder.
It's a lesson the Democrats have yet to fully learn.
Which brings me back to 2008. The Clintons have earned a special place of pure, white-hot hate in the hearts of evil, vengeful, psychotic, hateful conservatives throughout the land. And if Hillary does manage to get the nomination, the machine set up by Rove & Co which brought such disgusting slime as showing decorated hero and Senator from Georgia, Max Cleland, palling around with Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, will launch an assault against her that will make the Swift Boat thing look like a love letter. No matter how much a veteran of political battles she may be, she hasn’t had to face the full force of the national Republican machine. These are the sort of people who fight with the tenacity and morals of a rabid wolverine, and for whom the ends justify any means necessary.
Politics is the roughest game around, Bubba, and the Presidency is the biggest prize. Not only are there never any gloves, there aren’t any rules or mercy. The firebombing of Dresden pales in comparison to the sort of malice and destruction involved in a general campaign. There’s a reason the candidates who emerge from the primaries are almost entirely distasteful, dishonest, and disgusting – those are the only ones that can survive. Nice guys get eaten. The system is gamed so that the ones that move on do so not by being a better person than their opponent, but by being worse. It’s the only way to win. The strategy of allowing your opponent to say you eat live puppies for breakfast because you have a picture of him eating them with a side helping of babies is the only way to the top.
In an election year, no one can hear you scream.
Friday, March 03, 2006
My old man, the Monkeydad, is the sort of guy who likes gadgets. Really likes them. Pops chubb over them.
Which is fine, because, let’s face it, gadgets are cool.
The problem is, he can never understand how to work them. Oh, I guess that isn’t all that surprising, what with him being an older generation simian and all. But there are some things that you would expect could translate even to those who still recall outhouses, oil-lamps, and having to manually pump water from a well.
So, while I wouldn’t expect Monkeydad to have an instinctive comprehension of, say, the latest handheld, multimedia, wireless entertainment system, I was at least hoping he could get his head around a very basic cell phone. And when I say basic, I mean no camera, no games, no ringtones, no IM, no MP3 player. Just a keypad, a green “go” key and a red “stop” key. You know, a home phone that is smaller and fits in your pocket.
I may as well have wished for a synthetic go-go dancer sexbot to be beamed into my shower every morning for a little pre-breakfast workout.
See, I got the absolute simplest phone I could find for Monkeydad’s birthday last month. It wasn’t even a flip-phone. Before giving it to him I activated it, set up his account, his voice mail, and even entered relevant phone numbers. I tested the phone to see that it could both call out and receive calls (it could), and that the voice mail worked (it did).
Once I was certain that it did everything it should, I sat down with him to go over the operation.
Not before having about three shots of tequila, of course. When dealing with Monkeydad it always helps to self-medicate.
So, we began.
Fez Monkey: Okay, so, let's just go over how the phone works, and …
Monkeydad: I know how to use a phone.
FM: Yeah, I know that, but there are some …
MD: What? You think I'm stupid?
FM: What? No! It’s not that at all, it’s just that there are …
MD: How can you think I don’t know how to use a phone?
FM: I know you know how to use a phone, I just …
MD: I’m not senile you know. I did call you just yesterday.
FM: Yes, but …
MD: Who do you think dialed? A magical fairy?
FM: No, but …
MD (sarcastically): Oh, what is this magical device you have that lets me hear voices!
FM: Okay, look, I didn’t mean …
MD (sarcastically): How can a senile old man like me understand such magic?
FM: Look, can you stop with the magic, already?
MD (sarcastically): You bring great magic, Oh wizard!
So I leave. Three more shots of tequila are about right to numb the growing frustration. I know going back won’t achieve anything, but I'm stupid, and I feel have to give it a try.
FM: Look, are you sure you don’t need me to …
MD: After you teach me to use the phone, can you show me how to go potty?
When I get home I see a message on my answering machine. I press “play” and hear Monkeydads’s voice:
”(silence) …What? … (long silence) … hello? … (long silence) … what the hell? How does this stupid thing work? … (silence) … Who’s there? … (speaking to someone in the room with him) I don’t know how this thing works, I pick it up and there is some noise and then nothing on the other end. How do I know who is calling me? What the fu …”Message ends.
I opened the cabinet above the refrigerator and pulled out a bottle of tequila.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Now, having video of a president getting advance information on a potential tragedy should be a good thing: it shows that he is on top of the situation, and is very much concerned about the safety and security of the country.
Ho ho. But not when that video proves the president lied like a whipped hubby facing charges of solicitation when, five days after landfall, he tells the country he had no idea that the levees he was warned about would actually fail!
To be fair, however, it may be that Prince George didn’t lie after all. Watching him during the briefing shows that he had the same dumb look of total lack of comprehension as a retard being shown higher calculus, so maybe he just didn’t understand what “high probability of failure” meant.
Still, it points to a really disturbing pattern of behavior in our idiot-boy king. No, not the ease and well-practiced manner of lying with which this swine is capable (not that that isn’t disturbing), but the complete failure of leadership he continually displays.
I mean, while people were drowning like rats with plague, Prince George was out playing guitar, swapping gags with some of his good-ole boy cronies at a party, and collecting bags of cash. Of course, it wasn’t like he had any way of knowing what was happening, like the news running 24 hour constant coverage of the storm or anything.
Then, when it became obvious that it would be nice of the president to take a break from his play to at least acknowledge that America’s #1 party town was being flushed into the Gulf of Mexico like a giant turd, he goes and flies over the area. You know, to look at it and stuff. His comment: “It’s totally devastated.” Such subtle and insightful commentary is rare. It’s only after the entire bayou looked more like Calcutta in the 1900’s than a modern, first-world city that this greedy waterhead goes on TV, says that by golly we had a pretty bad storm, but that he didn’t know it could get that bad.
The transparency of the whole CYA element of this was disgusting, but what is worse is the fact that we’ve seen this sort of thing before. My Pet Goat, anyone? The astounding lack of leadership on 9/11 was baffling. Hours and hours of nothing from the top … not even a brief statement acknowledging the horror, and then, nearly 10 hours afterwards, some piffling gibberish and incoherent rambling before a pathetic plea for divine intervention. That isn’t leadership … that's catatonia.
Any other president would have been dragged out of the White House by his ankles, stripped naked, tied to a fence, and been assaulted with cattle prods for something like this – and it would have been less than he deserved. For fiddling while Rome burned, Nero has become a historical goat, yet at least he acknowledged the destruction. Bush was out reliving his kegmeister days.
And yet, Bushwipes and other assorted mentally handicapped individuals and true believers point to this administration's “leadership” (and I use the scare-quotes here with as much sardonic sarcasm as possible) as its strong point. These people aren't leaders - they're a collection of bumbling, cartoonish super-villains taken directly from the old Adam West Batman series.
Then again, maybe I am wrong. Maybe the flag-suckers and Bushwipes are right, if by leadership they really mean spinning lies to start a war, bankrupting the nation, condoning torture, operating "black sites," eroding our civil rights, and subverting the constitutional right to due process, then yeah … the gang of cheap thugs in power are strong leaders. Of course, it could just be that, in a moment of unexpected and unfamiliar stark honesty they mean that, compared to everything else this administration has done, leadership is their strong suit. I guess I can agree with that, too.
So, is it just me, or does anyone else miss the hoo-haa about blowjobs?