Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gimme Shelter A Break

In 2012, a world famous director should be embarrassed to have the Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter in his trailer.  Not because that song sucks --it doesn't-- but because when a song gets used in 50 can't use it anymore.

Good News, Bad News

Two surprising things happened today, one good, another not so good.

First the bad....I realized that my schedule is changing on Tuesday.  Back to the night shift.  For who knows how long.  After I got off it in June.  After I've worked two different schedules since then.  This last one, the old Friday through Monday drag, last exactly three and a half weeks. 

My boss complains that it was because Josh got shot.  Bullshit.  The motherfucker was shot in July.  That is no cause to put me on a short shift in October, then move me back to nights.

I've had it with the bullshit schedule.  I'm in the same spot I was last year, pining for a new job but not doing anything about it until I get my bonus.

At this point, I'm one bad day away from being unemployed.

And now the good news....

Going through my mail, there was a parcel from my bank.  It looked like a check, but I suspected it was one of those "open a new account with this check" marketing ploys.  Or a "transfer your credit card balances with these vouchers" kind of thing.

But no.

It was an actual check, big as a paycheck.

There's no explanation, just the check and a voucher for PIF AUTO DISB.  I don't speak bankese, but from what I can tell its a disbursement from refinancing my mortgage.  I certainly wasn't expecting any disbursement, and part of me is worried about it.  Is this money mine?

Or will I get a bill from my insurance company or from Uncle Sam about unpaid taxes and insurance?

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Walking Dead

After chomping through a Walking Dead marathon this week, I started to consider why zombie stuff is so appealing to people.  It's almost become a subgenre in its own right, a multimedia nightmare.  There's zombie movies, zombie novels, zombie TV shows....

They all pay tribute, in a way, to George A. Romero, who still flogs the zombie theme to this day even though he's a gray old man, but they also kind of rip him off.  The Walking Dead is a walking rip-off, stealing from nearly all zombie stories, waking up in an abandoned hospital, the isolated farmhouse, the relentless murder and gore. 

It makes me think....what the fuck?  What is the appeal of this shit?  I'm not even sure why I like it --and I'm a horror geek from way back, but all criticisms aside, I can say I do like it.  For all it's faults, The Walking Dead works.

But why?  Part of it...a big part of it, I think, is the idea of murder without guilt.  Not to get all psychological on you, but I do think that deep within all of us is this murderous little spark.  We're civilized beings, of course, these impulses bred and conditioned out of us for the most part, but still...there is that spark.  You know what I'm talking about.  You've felt it too.

Guilt goes a long way to keeping this little seed of murder in check.  Not only internal guilt, but the punishment we would receive.  If it weren't for that, I think many of us would line up for a chance to blast away at a crowd with a shotgun.  I mean, not every day.  Not as a thing.  But just once...when it was really necessary.

Like when those zombies are coming.  You can kill them and not feel bad.  Shoot em right between the eyes.  Indeed, it's a good thing.  Those motherfuckers will eat you to the bone.  So just stand there in all your click, click, boom glory, shoot them till you run out of ammo.

And don't feel bad.  Feel good!  You're doing the world a favor.

It sounds horrible, indulging this impulse, but the good news is that you can do it.  And you don't have to become a Nazi or join a death squad or go to Syria or anything.  You can do it without harming a single person.  You can blow on that little murderous spark, watch it cherry up and then cool, safe in your hand and NOT starting a wildfire of death.

All you have to do is watch your favorite zombie show.


I ain't gonna lie.  I am totally digging this Adele song from the new James Bond movie.  I'm too stuck on my dick rock to really have given Adele a chance, but wow...

The things I like about this song:

-- The classic instrumentation.  It's basically orchestral.

--Adele's vocal range.  I've heard her described as a "soul" singer, and I haven't heard enough of her stuff to disagree, but what I hear is a little bit of Patsy Cline, that same mournful/hopeful quality, the ability to go from smaller low notes to bigger high ones.  Have to say, I'm pretty amazed.

--The way it rhymes "Skyfall" with "Crumbles."

Let this be a lesson, kids.  Dick rock is all good and great, but it doesn't hurt to expand your horizons.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Just Cuz You're Rich Don't Mean You're Good at Business

This post illustrates why I think David Frum has useful things to say to this country. He writes about a rich CEO who promised lay-offs if Obama is elected, the kind of stupid promise, like moving to Canada, no one would make if it were ever intended to be kept.  "Vote for Romney...or this kitty gets it."


Frum, though, doesn't just dismiss the guy, a time-share magnate named David Siegel, but asks why he's so angry.

One possible answer:  Siegel is just not very bright.

Frum explains:
 Think of it: In his letter Siegel celebrates his own work ethic and denounces those who work only 40 hours a week. "I eat, live, and breathe this company every minute of the day, every day of the week. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour." Siegel obviously believes this to be a commendable attitude. Apparently he believes that America would be a better place if more of us worked without rest, more of us worked through weekend. And maybe he's right. But I'll tell you one thing about such an America: It wouldn't have any time-share magnates.
An astute observation, which I hate to say is in short supply in most right-leaning commentary. Frum expands:
Think of David Siegel's market. It's not the 1%. I doubt you'll find a single time-share buyer anywhere from Dupont Circle to Chevy Chase. He is the Wal-Mart of the vacation industry, the Hyundai, the Applebees. His top concern ought to be seeing as much disposable income as possible flowing into the hands of the $65,000 a year family. An economic future that continues to shift wealth from the middle to the top is good news for the Four Seasons hotel chain, for builders of vacation homes in Aspen, for the fractional jet industry. But it's death to time-shares - and yet there is Siegel fulminating against his very own customers.
Yes, not very bright. But kind of a thing nowadays, innit?

Monday, October 08, 2012

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Teach the Controversy

This is all kinds of win.

To Me, DFW Is an Airport

I think I might have to attempt to read some David Foster Wallace, if only to understand the fan-boy interest.  I read all this praise for the man and think I'm missing something.  Can a million people be wrong?

I don't know.  I'll have to read something before I can pass judgement, but this kind of thing makes me roll my eyes:
In lieu of religion, Americans were more and more directing their worshipping impulse inward, toward the gratification of their own desires. Mindless sitcoms provided easy entertainment and also fulfilled the social need of what Wallace described as a mass of sadly, lonely individuals (hence, E Unibus Pluram) who couldn’t bear the psychic cost of actual human interaction (which, hey-o, is a bit offensive, but casual elitism is just a part of Wallace’s style).
I can't say I disagree with that idea, although I certainly don't swallow it whole, but I do think that, considering his suicide and constant depression, it might be the case that Wallace was describing his own experience and not the American zeitgeist.

Not being a fanboy, I find myself unable to gloss over the suicide angle.  He didn't OD or drown in his own vomit or wrap his car around a tree or go down in a fiery plane crash.

He hung himself after decades of severe depression.  And, I don't know, as a still-living human being, I don't want to be told by a dead suicide that when I watch a sitcom, it's because I can't bear the psychic cost of actual human interaction.

I have yet to stick my head in a noose, so I guess you could say I bear it quite well....