Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Thoughts

Road Rage

Alright, dumbass. The reason I came to a complete and full stop was so you wouldn't hit me. Yes, I'm grateful that you realized your error and stopped...but now go.

Do not look at me with big empty cow eyes, waiting for me to do something. You're halfway through your turn already. I'm waiting for YOU.

You see how my feet are on the ground? You see this arm waving you through? Put your foot on the gas pedal and JUST FUCKING GO!

Friday, November 20, 2009

America's Last Days

Every year, Dorchester publishing (publishers of the Hard Case Crime books) has a clearance sale, where enterprising young book nuts like myself can pick up brand-new paperbacks for a buck a piece.

Being as cheap as I am literary, I took advantage. I picked up some horror books from some authors I've enjoyed in the past (Graham Masterton, Edward Lee) as well as all of their thrillers. Yes, all of them.

Hey, for a buck a piece, you can't go wrong.

One of them is a Tea Party protesters wet dream. It's called America's Last Days, by conservative columnist Douglas MacKinnon.

The back cover reads:
Is the United States of America the nation our Founding Fathers intended it to be? Or has the government lost sight of our ideals? To some of the most powerful men and women in the country --including a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former Director of the FBI-- the answer is growing increasingly obvious, and so is the only possible solution: The time has come to revolt. Their daring plans will not only drive a government to its knees, they will change the course of history.
Jesus Christ.

I know they say "Don't judge a book by its cover" but this kind of separatist fantasy just doesn't appeal to me.

This reviewer on Amazon puts it succinctly:
If you are the kind of folk that would get off on the US being nuked so a quasi-Christian fascist state could be set up within our borders, then this book is for you.
Alas, this book is not for me.

From page 31:
Why did the Roman Empire crumble, sir? Complacency, ignorance, and lack of a moral compass. They lost it all because they took the things that really count for granted. They became fat, lazy, and sinful. They were overcome by lust, greed, and a gradual lowering of standards.
Um, I don't think that's how it went down...but someone's been reading their Gibbon!
The United States of today is exactly the same. We have lost our moral compass. Our country has become more classist, elitist, and separatist.
This in a book that celebrates a separatist plot!
Political correctness prevents us from targeting the enemy within our own borders who harbor the very al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us.
This, you might remember, is why we invaded Iraq. Why we're in Afghanistan. Because we're politically correct and ignoring the enemy within our own borders...
We can't protect our own borders with Mexico and Canada.
Protect our borders with Mexico and Canada from what? The barbarian hordes?
In a country that is over eight-five percent Christian, those very same Christians can no longer say "Merry Christmas," and can barely celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Sorry, bud, but the 15% of us who aren't Christian don't have that kind of power. Say "Merry Christmas" if you want. Just don't get mad if I don't say it. And you can "barely celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ?" Dude, I celebrate Christmas and I'm an atheist.
We're on the verge of a race war, our inner-cities are on the brink of collapse, our educational system is a joke, teachers are not held accountable, affirmative action has destroyed trust and self-esteem, the growing rich are walling themselves off from ninety-five percent of other Americans, our politicians are all corrupt, stupid, taking bribes, or shunned by the few honest ones.
You say that like it's a bad thing. What kind of right-winger are you anyway?
Our Armed Forces have been weakened by a succession of shortsighted presidents to the point where we now have less effectiveness and manpower than before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
Empirically untrue. We have a professional all-volunteer military that makes up in lethal effectiveness any shortcomings it may have in manpower.
We're still killing the unborn at record numbers, the nation is about to elect yet another liberal president.
Talk about a run-on sentence! Besides the CDC says this: "Overall, abortion ratios and abortion rates have declined over time until 2000. However, during 2000--2005, the abortion rate has remained unchanged." Declined, unchanged. Not exactly "record numbers" huh?
Liberal messages in television, the movies, and on CDs are polluting the minds of our young people. So much so, they have no respect for themselves, tradition, what's right, or their elders.
Old people always say this shit. They also say "Bingo" a lot.
Illegal immigrants by the hundreds of thousands protest in our streets for rights they have not earned, and then boycott honest businesses.
You might want to chomp down on that "rights they have not earned" bullshit, because after all, what did you do to "earn" your rights. You were born on US soil? (This sentence comes after MacKinnon cites the Declaration of Independence in his epigraph, specifically the part about being "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." Clearly, MacKinnon has the consistency of my stool after eating honey dew.)
And finally hurricanes that slam into our mainland inform foreign terrorists that our communications and response in a natural or manmade disaster are a joke. Shall I continue, sir?
No, that's alright. I think we're done here.


I'm quitting my blog.

In 2011.

Mick Foley Rulez

Memo To The Liberal Media

Just because Michael Moore made a documentary this year, doesn't mean he should be automatically nominated for an Oscar.

A Sad Story

The gist:
Daniel Webb, 33, died after being taken from his home on County Farm Road Wednesday. Webb had been in a medical chair for nine months, covered in sores and human waste.

Authorities say Webb died from cardiac arrest.

Webb hadn’t left his house, or even walked for almost nine months. His wife Ada Webb says he hurt his knee and could no longer walk. He sat in a Lazy-boy for the rest of his life.
Now don't laugh because that is more cruel than funny. It was a medical chair, probably not even made by La-Z-Boy. (But inserting "Lazy-boy" in the article sure has it's connotations, huh?!)

But let's be real: Lazy only gets you so far.

Once you are no longer mobile, unable to make it to the bathroom much less into the kitchen, you need help.

You need a doting mother, a spouse, a good friend, someone to take care of you, to feed you, to put a roof over your head, to clean up your bedpan, to provide entertainment.

No man, left to his own devices, is going to eat himself to 900 pounds. It's impossible.

Here's this man's wife (the main culprit in his death, if you ask me) blaming shame and the lack of health insurance for his condition:
Webb, 33, didn't ask for help for all those months, because he was ashamed and didn't have health insurance, said his wife, Ada. He slept and used the bathroom in his chair and she cleaned it every day.
Left to his own devices, he would have starved to death in a puddle of his own piss and shit months ago.

But she cleaned his mess every day, brought him food (probably not salad and fresh fruit), paid his bills, and provided him shelter. Out of love, she enabled him into an early grave.

So when she says:
"I did all I could for him. He loved me with a passion," his wife said.
Of that, I have no doubt.

And that's why he's dead now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So Much For That Idea

From this morning's Sentinel:
Completing the FasTracks project by the original deadline of 2017 depends on more funding from the federal government and the approval of a new sales tax increase by voters next fall, Regional Transportation District officials told metro-area mayors this week.

In order to complete the 119 miles of new rail that was originally proposed as part of the 2004 FasTracks ballot initiative in the next eight years, RTD will need to find approximately $2.1 billion of new funding. That money could come from federal grants and from a new sales tax increase that would require voter approvals.
In other words, fuggetaboutit.

Voters are stupid. They'd rather close libraries than pay for them, and you think they're going to pay for a world class transit system? Yeah right.

Why America is Doomed

In a discussion with a co-worker yesterday, I had the exasperating experience of uttering this sentence:
"I can't believe I have to defend the existence of libraries."
This is the level of societal degeneracy that I have to deal with...

Questions that I thought were settled a long time ago (ie, libraries=good!) are now matters of great debate. It's quite sad actually.

The Publishing Racket

When I was a younger man, all I wanted to do was write a best-selling book and make lots of money. If Lynn Veil's experiences are any indication, it's a good thing I got over those delusions, eh?
So how much money have I made from my Times bestseller? Depending on the type of sale, I gross 6-8 percent of the cover price of $7.99. After paying taxes, commission to my agent and covering my expenses, my net profit on the book currently stands at $24,517.36, which is actually pretty good since on average I generally net about 30-40 percent of my advance. Unless something triggers an unexpected spike in my sales, I don't expect to see any additional profit from this book coming in for at least another year or two.
I'm still going to write my book.

I'm just going to do it for the love, not the money.


This is what passes for Christianity these days?

Jesus does not approve. I asked him. He told me (in Aramaic*) that this kind of shit turns his stomach.

* Yeah, sorry, English-only enthusiasts, your Lord and Savior did not even speak your language. And if he returned today, you'd probably think he was a terrorist or an illegal immigrant or something.

Some brown guy in dirty clothes speaking a funny language? You kidding? Jesus would get deported!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


You might have noticed I started putting tags on some of my posts, usually assigning blame (or not) in an ironic tongue-in-cheek way. That's

Put This In Your Pipe and Smoke It

Finally! Someone who wants to pay taxes.

Hint: It's not the Tea Party people.

(Updated: Among the list of my short term goals --paying off my truck, surviving the winter, getting my drivers license back-- I'm adding "getting a medical marijuana card." Do I need one? Probably not. But goddamnit, I want one.)

Let the War on Christmas Begin

Go solstice?

All I'm Going to Say About Sarah Palin

I never thought Sarah Palin would make a good Vice President, or even President, but hearing her bitch about being on the cover of Newsweek makes me think she's not even cut out to be a celebrity.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rodrigo Y Gabriela

One band, or group, or musical sensation I've been digging on lately is Rodrigo Y Gabriela, a classical guitar duo from Mexico with heavy metal roots. I'd like to stress that last part.

These guys are metal heads. Their influences are bands like Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Overkill, Pantera, the real thrash metal stuff that I really love. They strip the concept down to just an acoustic guitar, losing the thumping bass player, the hair-swinging drummer, even the front man...and then adding some flamenco.

It's awesome.

Meta Quote of the Day

"The best thing we can say about the labor market right now is that it may be getting worse more slowly."

- Ben Bernanke

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Am Not Beowulf

You might have noticed (or not) that I changed my blurb over there. ----->

It used to be a line from a Clutch song about truckers called The House that Peterbilt:
Never ever sweated for the fortune and fame game
Nevertheless I'm flying down the left lane
It didn't really mean anything, I just liked how it sounded.

Last month, I hit "reply all" on an e-mail my right-wing aunt in Texas sent me, and included a link to my blog. Someone clicked over, saw that and sent me an e-mail that said:
Keep flying down the left lane James and maybe you will be hit with a right lane truck.
Now I'm sure that sounded clever when he wrote it, but it just confused me. I mean, yeah, I know "left" and "right" are political terms, but that's not the metaphor the song is talking about.

The left lane is the fast lane, not the liberal lane.

So I thought about changing it. After I watched Beowulf again, the movie I thought I wouldn't like but indeed liked a lot, the decision was made. (Listen to it in all it's Ray Winstone glory.)

Of course, I left off the "I am Beowulf" part because, well, I'm not Beowulf. But I am rippa, teara...

(Okay, no I'm not any of that either...)

Surrendering Ourselves Out of Fear

I'm sorry, but retarded.
We are respectful of the legal process, but believe that giving confessed terrorists a worldwide platform to publicize their ideology sends the wrong message to potential terrorists, inviting them in essence, to resort to violence and cruelty in order to gain publicity.
This is from Daniel Pearl's parents, whose son was murdered by KSM on the internet. The same internet which happens to be a better "worldwide platform to publicize [terrorist] ideology" than a fucking courtroom.

Explain to me again how trying this guy in a closed session is going to choke off terrorist ideology. Isn't the best way to do that would be to expose that ideology for what it is, murderous claptrap from feeble minds?

Listen to Glenn Greenwald:
[T]he Right's reaction to yesterday's announcement -- we're too afraid to allow trials and due process in our country -- is the textbook definition of "surrendering to terrorists."
He goes on:
People in capitals all over the world have hosted trials of high-level terrorist suspects using their normal justice system. They didn't allow fear to drive them to build island-prisons or create special commissions to depart from their rules of justice. Spain held an open trial in Madrid for the individuals accused of that country's 2004 train bombings. The British put those accused of perpetrating the London subway bombings on trial right in their normal courthouse in London. Indonesia gave public trials using standard court procedures to the individuals who bombed a nightclub in Bali. India used a Mumbai courtroom to try the sole surviving terrorist who participated in the 2008 massacre of hundreds of residents. In Argentina, the Israelis captured Adolf Eichmann, one of the most notorious Nazi war criminals, and brought him to Jerusalem to stand trial for his crimes.
As he demonstrates here, trying terrorists in open court is the norm.

Why should we make KSM the exception? Because we're afraid? Two words:


What Are These Iguanas Doing on My Coffee Table?

I had a dream last night that 50 Cent tried to mug me. I wrapped my arm around his neck and said, "I know who you are, Curtis." Then I talked him out of it.

(50 Cent's real name is Curtis Jackson.)

Then later, I dreamt that Eva Mendes was killed after going into a building that looked like three large toilet seats stacked on top of each other. The building exploded in slow motion as Nicolas Cage stood on the street, one arm raised to shield his hair piece from the blast.

Weird? Absolutely, but then again before I went to sleep, I watched the trailer for Werner Herzog's new movie, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, starring Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, and Xzibit. The weirdest aspect of it is that I turned Xzibit into 50 Cent.

I know, I know. "What, you think all black people look alike?" No, I just think Xzibit looks very 50ish in this movie.

Xzibit A:

Anyway, I kind of want to see this movie. It looks like a perfect role for Cage's particular brand of weirdness, and it's off-beat, dark humor is just my style.

Plus it's Werner Herzog, and I love Werner Herzog.

Taking it to the Hole

Another look at Ty Lawson's awesome dunk from the Lakers game. Damn. The guy is 5' 11" and he's got dunks like that? Amazing.(Notice how in the color commentary, Scott Hastings was talking about "unselfish play." Yeah, I noticed that too.)