Friday, December 14, 2007

In Real Life there's Beer

I've been back to emailing semi-public figures, like newspaper columnists and radio program directors. Its part of my get-back-to-work-changing-the-world-self-improvement-plan. If I can get the dumbshit at the local rock station to play something deeper in Queens of the Stone Age's catalog then their four attempts and making a pop song that idiots can understand and will buy while still maintaining the QOTSA brand quality, perhaps I can show today's young-uns and the corporate spew that manipulates them that better things exist under the surface of our shiny dumb world.

I wrote this nasty screed to a local baseball writer about one of his stupid polemics:


If you could take a drug that would triple your salary and wasn't tested for and many of your co-workers were taking and getting all the promotions you wouldn't? What if you lost your job because you didn't take the juice? You'd rather lose your job because you are pure as the driven snow, we all know that. Add to this scenario the fact your management winked and looked the other way while this was going on. Yeah, its the selfish players, nothing more.

Why not a paragraph or two on the owners? Scared Moores will send your column back to you wrapped around a dead fish? George Mitchell's a chump. He's on the boards of the Red Sox and the Disney Company, who own ESPN who shushed Joe Morgan back in the 90's when he wanted to comment on what he saw happening on the field that reeked of steroid use. The report is bait and switch. The players are idiots, but the owners are the bigger problem.

Do your homework. And see the big picture. Its about the 6 Billion brought in this year, and the drugged up bums they use to sell their bs product to the fans. It bugs me that you still haven't learned the biggest perfidy comes from the biggest money.

As you can see, I am just a big freaking help. I am trying. It helps to know that I am paying attention to reality even in my present delirious state. We are all so valuable. God loves us all!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The perils of normalcy

I had a hell of a time getting out of bed this morning. The fog of sleep was clinging to me big time and forcing myself to get in the shower took superhuman strength. Well, maybe not super human but extra effort. Washing the funk off it occurred to me that I am freaking middle aged in a way that made the occurring more than usually palpable. Like it hit me and I felt it. Plus my damn foot hurts all the time from plantar fascias. Constant pain is a real pain, let me tell you.

What hit me is that I've been doing this freaking job of mine since I was like 30 and now I am on the north side of my forties and what the hell is this all about? I've blathered on and on about how home owning and car owning and marriage etc sometimes leave me feeling like I don't have anything to do but whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing, but its looking really a lot like I am going to have to do this gig into my 50s which while normal and all, sounds suspiciously like something I shouldn't oughta be doing. Maybe its the pain in my foot but I don't want to feel like this for the rest of my life. I don't want to feel like I have to do a series of daily behaviors that while not totally sucking, are still not the behaviors I'd like to be doing. I feel somewhat frozen. I hear words in my head like, "well if you want to go on bike ride, go!" and week after week that damn bike just sits there looking at me and mocking me with phrases like, "if you go for a ride you'll have to put air in the tires and you're ass will hurt for days afterwards." Fucking objects are making fun of me. My house does it, my cars do it, even my fish tanks. What kind of strange hell is this?

Well, surely, its one of my own making. But just because I built this jail doesn't mean I know how to escape from it. Drinking beer is like giving the keys to the trustee and making him think he could just let himself out, but he realizes that they'll just catch him so at the end of the day he hands them back to the jailer. Occasionally I will go to a rock show that brings me to the edge of the precipice of change and moral enlightenment, but its just not enough. Music used to be the pivot upon which I could leverage my soul toward something grander than fitting into the surrounding society. It still is but my lovely wife has trouble sharing my musical tastes. Anyhow I'm going to have to end this entry now because the dogs of normalcy are howling on the other line. They must be fed. For how much longer, that it a question I'd like to get movement on.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"Back to Work" or "I'm OK, You're OK"

I figure sometimes I should just start writing and see wtf happens. That's the ticket sometimes, just assume that you have to get things done and do them. Mentally the challenges I've been getting from the inward view are regressing and I'm feeling like getting back to being pissed off at our dumb world. And I really love our dumb world. I mean that.

When my beautiful wife and I have one of our struggles, its always interesting to see how it resolves after it has. Our patterns are predictable to everyone but us I suppose. Basically we find something that we both feel pretty passionate about and that we want to stick our feet into the ground for, and then we wrestle. Wrassle. Tug and pull and basically try to find a way to drag the other person to their senses. Drama ensues. Mock exits, feet stomping and the ever so popular words that wound are all a part of our stock and trade. Maybe we're bored. You'd be half right if you said so.

The culmination of these semi-yearly (on average I'd say that's about right) power struggles is the "go too far and then write a letter apologizing for it" end piece. Some of my best shit comes outta writing these far too personal to show you here missives. Basically I say with humor that I am an idiot while gently reminding my winning lass that she has a couple of Claymores strapped to her emotional bodice. Is that supposed to be bodices? Whatever. I can't help but jab at those suckers from time to time for as I have explained in earlier posts, I like explosions. I like the pure heat and then the crap flying through the air and then, after all the hilarity, a deconstruction of the damage. Call it emotional CSI. "See here Grissom, this is the place where the dagger of family self-immolation went right into the left testicle of the victim. Damn that musta stung a little." I'se a bit damaged, and I like the feel of the gnarled skin where the shrapnel went in and laid me open for a bit. New skin, who doesn't like it?

Well, not to be over confident, although that too must be part of the pattern, all is better now. The kids wisely keep the doors closed while we have it out, and we try to keep our voices low. They feel lucky their parents have stuck it out for 27 years or whatnot. We do too.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Smoke gets in yer eyes . . .

Hell decided to visit our sunny clime, picking the weekly anniversary of a previous visit as bake the city day. The national news folks visited so you know that it was serious, and worse still the President made a stop and stomped around in the ashes. I sensed some glee. I won't be flippant about the suffering because it was real and frankly if you have never been through a firestorm I wouldn't recommend it. Tragedy is centering though. We couldn't find our navels for an entire week.

One repeating trope was "to evacuate or not to evacuate, that is the question." Evacuate won big, with over a half million folks following orders and getting out of the way of the fire or out of the way of the firemen or just getting. For my buddy who nearly lost his house, the touted "reverse 911" phone system failed. A neighbor knocked on the door and they got out, and he got out just barely. His Honda was showered in embers and when he left he didn't really think that his house would survive the same treatment. Its good to have insomniacs in your neighborhood. Something to consider.

For those who live in east Jesus and have an acre or two to defend, best to stay or maybe best to have a crazy gun-toting NRA neighbor with an apocalypse fetish who has a surplus fire hose and a gas generator for his 3hp water pump. People who had such a neighbor or death wish managed to save a lot of homes. The authorities can't be everywhere and frankly, thank god for that. The violence of the passive aggressive conformists is waxing pathetic. If you can't judge reality for yourself, who are you going to trust? But hell being as unpredictable as it is and was, to heck with your homes. Run for it. Such a response to this type of global warming doesn't provoke much controversy.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The cure for solipsism

Woke up in the morning to this lovely scenario. I've been full of my own bile lately and wallowing in a morass of self-doubt and mindfucks. Tuesday night I felt a strange terror come over me and I struggled to maintain a semblance of sanity throughout the evening. (It turned out that my vertigo had returned without my knowledge or approval). At 7 Wednesday morning my family informed me that we had a problem. And the greatest relief for the hypochodriac is actual pain. So to the little fuckers who did this: I hope when they catch you I get a chance to pee on your parade. God has a pretty fucked up sense of humor, but I get the joke. Thanks for the pain, boss.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I declared early in the year that 2007 would be a year of change. Prime example in "be careful what you ask for, you might just hit a tree in a dumptruck." As I just got back from a 4 day trip with my daughter I am feeling a mite runover. It was as it should be, insightful, fun, stressful, interesting, and exhausting in both body and mind. After 17 plus years she is a formidable person and I love her. I feel like I could have done a couple of things better but all in all, she's got some tools.

What with Ma dying this year, Sis finally getting that house she pined for, Bro still not talking to me, and Dad working at getting his life back to something besides caretaking, its not hard to miss how fucked up my head has become. I made some serious bets about 20 odd years ago and most all have paid off. But I've been faking it so long that the bicycle has begun to wobble and its looking like I might have to jam my foot in the spokes just to get off. And that, as they say, will hurt me.

I would like to get out of the fixing to die rag and back to something hopefull and seemingly new. This would be nice. I would like to be nicer and more hugable, along with less profane and prickly. And yeah, I would like to be taken more seriously, but I haven't figured out by who in the fuck I would like that serious regard to come from. Ooops, more profanity. Finding the right folks to hear my roar would seem to be the crux of the problem, if in fact there is a problem. I think the person I need to convince of my seriousness might appear in a nearby mirror.

Once my wife told me that given how I managed to talk myself into intellectual cul-de-sacs, I would never be satisfied. Thinking about that, I tried to fake satisfaction, or at least reach a level of distraction that approximated the satin sheen of satisfaction and included some quality air-conditioning. Done. Problem solved. Except that I don't take that kind of accomplishment seriously enough. This is an interesting development, at least knowing that I knocked over the tree that fell in the forest because I have read some reports about this tree. Plus I got the bill from the tree-trimmers.

One teacher who spent a lot of time telling me how great I was and then eventually told me that not only there was no god but I was not quite up to man's standards as well used to tell a parable about a man who knew how to build the magic fire. Then he taught his kids about how to do it, but as time went on, each generation had more trouble and whatnot reproducing the conditions necessary for this level of accomplishment. In the end, he said something like the great grandchild of the original didn't know how to collect the wood, build the fire, start the spark, but he knew the story. And that was enough.

Bullshit. The prof had is daughter murdered by some motherfucking psychopath and all the kings horses etc won't make that whole. The first baby died for me and the mrs. and while I don't pine away about that I wonder deeply indeed whether or not there are scars inside my belly that keep me from fully digesting my food. Still, I like to eat. And maybe my food would taste better if I didn't dilute it quite some much with strong solvents. Its surely worth thinking about. Seriously.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Friends and Time

I had one of those moments with a friend of mine the other day that left my ego in a uproar. Being not only of the "blame America first" but "blame myself first" crowd, I got an earful about my loutish behavior three nights previous. Essentially he said he didn't appreciate my drunkenness (fair I guess although no one but he complained) and that he expected to have a conversation with me and that was his only recompense given that he didn't dig the band we were seeing that much. Not his cup of tea. I apologized and basically said it was OK, even useful for him to give me a mini-lecture on the value of our friendship. Bye-bye.

After getting over the initial adrenaline shock of being told I was bad, I began to do the math. Granted, he had to chauffeur me back to his abode without me being awake, a daunting task no doubt. Probably took 90 minutes. Say 2 hrs. Of course there was the fact that I wasn't really into hearing about his issues with my usual carefulness on the way up. He had to go to his therapist, a late addition to our itinerary that pushed back our arrival time to the venue to about 20 minutes before they started. He did try to call me the day before with this knowledge but the week before when I asked him if he'd like to go, there was no awareness of this previously scheduled meeting. No big. And yet since others were involved and we had originally planned to met them for some ya ya's before showtime this was not ideal. And things need to be ideal, you no doubt believe.

I asked him what the point of therapy was given that he seems pretty OK to me. Successful business, although you wouldn't know it from his equivocating, some friends, a warm place to shit etc. But no long term relationship and I know this is a biggy. Therapy will be continued, he intoned, as long as the LTR eluded him. And then he dropped me off in the lobby of his health club so he could take a shower.

LTR's are dandy, I love mine. I'm sure that my boy will get his just as soon as he remembers that loving someone by definition requires putting their needs in front of your own, at least some of the time. Now I'm not saying I needed to get drunk but wtf, it was a damn rock concert and the sonics of the place needed a bit of beer so the volume wouldn't cause pain. Ah, no excuses. But its kinda ironic that the very thing we both need is a little bit of consideration for the other. I get this. I hate to say it but I'm not sure if he ever will.

No reason to dog pile, and I hope that he's smart enough to think about why he got pissed off at me and put it into some sort of context. Let's see, I change my whole day for him and he thinks he's doing me a favor by going in the first place. I ditch work early, I initiate the whole scenario, and bring him a composter and a car stereo to boot. Were is the love? I looked in a beer glass for something predictable I guess.

Years and years of this type of behavior, not the drinking, the making time so that we have a relationship in the first place, going to his shop, his building, and never so much a one trip to my house, these things don't matter until that moment when they do. The larger question for me, besides AA, is that I do this shit all the time. I connect, reconnect, reconnoiter, write, pester, remind and maybe this shit is getting old. Most folks who get married, have kids, get a mortgage etc do a real fine job of getting rid of their old friends. I am shitty at getting rid of old friends. If I ever went to war with you ya got a couch to sleep on, literally or metaphorically. How the fuck can it be any different?

I married better than most. I have actually spent some amount of time being introspective, and I know shit from shinola, give or take a couple of things. Some times when I am arguing with somebody about history the only way I can get their attention is to point out that I, unlike them, did my homework. I did my relationship homework and my buddy never did. I've got time and he doesn't now, because he's busy catching up on how to love. I really hopes he meets his deadline.

As you can see I'm not really ready to forgive him yet. My brother must feel something akin to this about me as he no longer talks to me. My offense was I asked him why the heck didn't he call me back when I was in town one day years and years ago and he musta felt kinda like I felt Sunday morning. Shit happens, and I said I didn't have time for his shit. So I'm off the team. I sure as hell don't plan on doing this to my friend, 40 years knowing somebody would be a terrible thing to waste but we did have a falling out once before over his "born-again" phase and my intolerance of his ignorance/arrogrance. Ah well, something to think about anyway. I'll end by quoting the band playing the soundtrack for this misunderstanding:

sadly I remain in need
all you do is talk
help yourself don't think
help yourself don't speak
help yourself don't say a thing at all
your lucky words don't bleed

Friday, August 24, 2007

What I want

The last few weeks have been filled with navel gazing solipsism, so excuse my tone if it seems too pedantically morose. My trip to Kona became my great idea became my nightmare and is becoming some other phantasmagoria of doubt and possibility. WTF. I have known for some time that I have lost sight of the person I was and now it seems really likely that I don't have a frigging clue where to look for what I was. I guess this could be a good thing: redesigning an obsolete prototype that barely ever took flight might be a good thing. So I'll speak in parables and hope that it helps me to figure out what to do next 'cause if I don't figure something out soon my world very likely will just rearrange itself and my perspective. At the point of a shotgun.

If you have a dream and your partner doesn't share in it, what do you do about that? Since most of my dreams either involve felonies or explosives, I can't blame anyone for not wanting to go down that path with me. But one thing that can be said for me, I've been consistent. Oh, maybe the only thing that I have been consistent with is inconsistency, but let's not split hairs. I have always wanted, I think I remember this, that I wanted not to want what everyone else wanted. I wanted to try to be part of the solution and not simply be a tool for the occupation. We are living in a very fucked up world and as I remember from my high school days, "to be considered normal in an insane world makes you insane." Behaviour-wise I seem normal. I don't feel dirty. But there have been some negative reports filtering in. The corporation is having some issues with my "unusual management style." Honesty and directness are fine, as long as you don't have a brain in your head. My bad.

So as I enter the end of the reproductive gulag, and the offspring make their choices as to what kind of prison they are tending toward choosing, I get to ask the question: what the fuck is next? My job is boring and banal, even thought its unique and low stress. I cannot fathom doing it for another day let alone another 10 years, but that would be the smart thing to do. I really wonder if I will live that long if I continue to punch this desultory clock. If it wasn't for my second job, which does allow me to display my actual personality and provides me with a fair amount of strokes, I would go freaking nuts. More freaking nuts.

As there is only one person who reads this blog, I apologize for this long-winded drama show of woe is me. Its actually kinda funny. I am reminded of a comment my one reader made: the answer to the question of whether the glass is half full or half empty is that its half full of urine. Something like that. I had another friend bitch me out because I wasn't being positive enough. But he just had babies and doesn't have a clue what he is in for. He will have long forgotten me by the time his divorce papers become final. Either that, or he will teach kids how to dream in black and white. (Hey, maybe not, maybe he'll just keep going to Mexico to remember how to dream, I haven't been in a while, that might be an easy fix . . .)

Maybe the whole problem boils down to me almost always having to initiate in the bedroom, but that would be a problem that I am supposed to weather with a stiff-upper lip, amongst other things. I love my wife, I love my kids, I kinda like my house (and often hate it) I like at least some of my friends, and I am not completely broke. Life is good, no? No? What I want is for someone to share my dreams with, and someone who wants what I want. I am completely insane for saying this here but she didn't pick up the phone.

Somewhere I lost the ability to say what I really want to people. I got the weird look from too many strangers and "good friends," got told not to be too negative, got asked why I wasn't negative enough about what I was supposed to be negative about, got told to count my blessings when I really wanted to burn them. My mom, god rest her soul, when I got like this used to tell me to "count my blessings" and I actually would. Through gritted teeth and a rage that still haunts me, I would try to enumerate all the "good luck" I had. Have. Had. Fuck if I know anymore. Isn't that a pretty sunset? Took the picture myself!

Friday, August 10, 2007

"Excuse me while I set myself on fire"

I quote Katha Pollitt from The Nation magazine entitling this missive. Her piece is about a particular Harvard prof who argued for going to war and now has published a half-assed self-serving mea culpa about getting it wrong. Like Pollitt, I was not against the war from the beginning simply for "ideological" reasons (like we are a dirty fucked up selfish nation full of racial bias and whining fear-mongering who like to kill people to mollify our night tremors) but was against the war because as a historian I pay attention to evidence. And there wasn't any evidence good enough to go to war on. The WMD strawman fallacy or whatever you want to call it was crap and if you had a decent ear you could tell that this shithead couldn't sing a clear note. I suggest, modestly, that assholes like Michael Ignatieff should be force to ride in a Humvee though the streets of Baghdad, naked and straped to the hood until that time they have the joy of being hit by an IED. If they survive, then they can have their dignity and gravitas back.

I picked up a Time magazine while waiting for my kids orthrodontist and read the editor's note about why they went back to New Orleans to see what's going on there two years down the road. And that fucker, Stenger or something like that, said that he was surprised to find that his previous position of having "Katrina fatigue" was replaced after actually visiting the area with a new appreciation of what is wrong with America. Strap him to a building in the Ninth Ward, light it on fire and give 100 of his closest friends the opportunity to save him by pissing on the conflagration. If he lives, make him edit a local New Orleans obituary column for a year and then tar and feather him. That might make it about even. Fuck mainstream media. And fuck the experts of the meaning of 911 who what completely failed to make a difference in the way this nation does business.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

200,000 Reasons

I stayed up and watched Nightline last night and was stunned to see U.S. soldiers actually interviewed and allowed to speak their minds about their deployment. What they said should have been the lead story on the nightly news and it should be every night until the reality of the evil we have perpetuated on the people of Iraq becomes a lived reality for J.Q. Citizen. I predict that the war in Iraq will only end when Al Queda (sic) manages to get off another round and people realize that the great distraction in Iraq made that possible. We have killed, by official estimates, around 200,000 people in Iraq by "accident" or "because that's what happens in war." Every person we kill now, given that the Iraqis want us out, is a new point of hate directed at every American. It doesn't matter what our intentions are, it doesn't matter how hard we try to only kill the "bad guys;" we are completely fucked because we cannot get people to love us with violence. Rules and logic are not applicable when you use high explosives and lead as a policy device.

On a completely different level yet analogous plane I took my son's Frisbee group to their first Goaltimate tourney. And the ugly head of a twenty-six year old coach appeared with just the same indifference that his brethren's indifference to understanding why they should protest this illegal/immoral war. Our team was seeded 4th out of 5 teams and the 5th team was made up of Junior High students. We, lost to the eventual winners first, then to the kids coached by the gen-X tool. Game three was a battle with a group of high schoolers who were directly linked to the junior high team by family and location. So, as often happens with rookies, they got to a point where neither team could score and our team was down 1-0 in the series and tied 2-2 in the second game which was running "late." Tool boy starts pestering me while I am watching the game about capping it because his team needs to play the winner of our game (maybe not given the vagaries of point differential and bullshit). I am incensed by this. But I acquiesced. So we basically forfeit and let the other team go play pussboy's team. Now we start playing the junior high school kids and they are very good. They win the first game 5-4 and our team is exhausted. But I tell them that they can win if they decide they want to because I know they are bigger and stronger and eventually they will wear out the other team. I tell them this while they are winning the second game 2-1 I think, and they hear me. I can't tell you how proud of them I was as they fought back on pure heart to force a third game.

Pussfuckhead comes back during this second game, which we eventually won 5-4 on a diving catch in the endzone, and says (and I knew he was coming back because I have had to deal with his lawyer ass before) "are we going to cap this game" to which I say "no" and "I don't like you." I wanted to be a violent man right then, but alas I am not. Lucky for me the other captain was in complete agreement. Referring to our boys he says, "This is their playoff game." Exactly. Shithead's team had of course beaten the older siblings of the team we were playing before but got killed in the finals. There had been no talk of caps in the captain's meeting and for jesus fucking christ's sake its about all the damn kids, not just the elitist fucking kids. This yo-ho had the temerity to say (during the first time cap episodie) that the reason we had to follow "the schedule" was because it wouldn't be right to cut into "parent time" should the event run long. To all the helicopter parents, Reaganite hellspawn and general over-competitive fuckheads: may your children volunteer for an illegal war. Because its you fuckers that have made this great country into the cowardly shitbrain-lead nation it is today. Cowardly not because the boys killing and dying over there are cowardly, but because of all the rest of the folks who can't stay up late enough to understand that we lost the war in Iraq when we illegally invaded it. And following schedules, timelines, and whatever else is so god damn not the issue that I can only imagine disaster being the reality this stupid generation of coddled idiots needs to see the folly of their ways.

The tournament finished early BTW. This war is going way fucking overtime. I hope it doesn't cut into too much "parent time."

Friday, July 06, 2007

Missing Children

Yesterday I played some Goaltimate with my son and his friends and a nearby park. This park is frequented by a lot of folks walking their dogs and sits adjacent to an elementary school that my kids once attended. It was 4PM when we went out there and we played for two hours, taking frequent breaks for water as we had only one sub per team and it was hot as hotcakes out there. Humid too. Anyway, the remarkable thing about our presence there in my mind was that we were the only damn people there pretty much. A couple of dog walkers and a couple of teenagers went by but that was it. The playground stayed mostly empty. There were no kids less than 12 anywhere. What gives? I mean its fucking summer and I know there are some little kids in the area. And some medium sized ones too.

Sure, its probably just that mommy and daddy both work and they send their kids to daycare or grandma's. Or it might be that per capita we have not as many of these types of children around. But I really think that here in the land of constant beautiful daytime the kids spend most of their times huddled around electronic campfires of one type or another. Couple that with the rampant ubiquitous paranoia that seems to have gripped the age and voila, no kids are alone with their dreams anymore. The boogy man doesn't just come out at night anymore, he drives a panel van during the day and tries luring helpless suburbian offspring into lurid dens of genital perversion. Or worse, they might end up on a milk carton.

I fucking ran wild as a kid. I was riding my bike to school at 7 or 8, a latch key kid by the same. I communicated with my folks by landline. I never ever had any perve try to fuck with me. No broken bones. No arrests until 18. No felony convictions to this day. It just seems that these "helicopter parents" as they call them are such a bunch of pussies that we end up living in these suburbian enclaves of bad imagination, trying to "protect" our charges from monsters of our own furious and hallucinatory design. Bad shit happening is always top level news, and if any predator or rapist nails a white girl its a fucking national story. Meanwhile the places of darker hue get drive-by talleys and back page reports that are code for "gangs" which means "what the fuck do you expect to get in the ghetto anyway, those people are animals." Anyone born after say 1978 as far as I can tell has about a one in four chance of knowing a damn thing. The Reagan revolution guarenteed that these cloven hooved progeny have lived in a bubble of such a red hue that they can't see certain colors because those rods and cones have been burned out by the overdose of bad imagery that is the legacy of our media age.

The Goaltimate kids play without adult supervision most of the time. They screw around, play hard talk shit, suggest impossible anatomical mixings and question their friends masturbatory habits. They don't do drugs, or drink. They get ridiculously high grades. And they are not as integral a part of the overarching average of coersion and control that those kids stuck at home or stuck at practice often are. Freedom might happen for a few of them. Few of the safe kids have much of a chance at freedom at all.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Rocky the squirrel

A friend sent me a link to this contraption that some squirrel hater had constructed. Got to admit, its probably better than what my Border Collie does. I found one she had killed in the backyard, her first. The poor fellow was on his back, blood covering his nose, as if he'd been shot. My wife walked right by the crime scene and I called her back to see "Freckles'" kill. Right then Freckles walked by and proceeded to begin to pick up the prize, no doubt to suck the eyeballs out as they are quite delicious. I told her to drop it and she gave me the same look she gave me when I told her to leave the possum she had captured alone. "You have got to be fucking kidding me?!" she pretty clearly declared with those fierce BC eyes of hers. I can only imagine what the squirrel must of thought as he cruised into his doomed fate. He may never have seen a Border Collie before. They are cat-like dogs and Freckles has made it her life's work to kill any four-legged mammal that comes into the backyard. She even used to chase their ghosts in the trees. Anyway, here's the link. Don't send it to PETA.,-food%21-i.ll-just-_-wahhhhhh%21%21/squirrel-catapult-is-awful-yet-we-cant-look-away-270290.php?autoplay=true

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Queens for Summer

Catch a free listen of the new Queens of the Stone Age cd. It doesn't sound like anything else out there right now. This is a good thing. I don't pump bands as a matter of course because most bands that are popular now are not worth it. They are just trying to fit into some Gen Y fantasy that I can only imagine smashing with big heavy objects. QOTSA seems to not actually give a fuck what anyone thinks. That is a big step in the right direction.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The lens of deceit

The United States lost the Vietnam War not because we didn't kill enough or weren't committed enough or got cheated somehow. We lost because we saw the war the the lens of the Cold War and we were convinced that the conflict was more about a global ideological struggle rather than the nationalist inspirations of the Vietnamese people. When Robert McNamara sat down with the foreign minister of Vietnam, a fellow named Thach, in 1995 he asked why the Vietnamese had fought so doggedly losing 3 to 4 million people to expell the Americans. To our way of thinking it seems so stupid and McNamara said as much to Thach. Thach replied:

"Mr. McNamara, You must never have read a history book. If you'd had, you'd know we weren't pawns of the Chinese or the Russians. McNamara, didn't you know that? Don't you understand that we have been fighting the Chinese for 1000 years? We were fighting for our independence. And we would fight to the last man. And we were determined to do so. And no amount of bombing, no amount of U.S. pressure would ever have stopped us."

In the last week I have read a couple of op-ed pieces by Henry Kissinger, Peter Rodman and William Sharcross. They point out what a disaster pulling out of Iraq will be and they lament that they real history of the Vietnam War and the American pullout has either not been written or has been missed. I honestly wish them suffer in hell for their words. Kissinger no doubt will be consigned to that imaginary place. But what galls me to no end is the willingness of our leaders to denigrate the idea of democracy and freedom. These bastards do not believe in democracy. They are fixers, like McNamara, smarter then you and I about the realpolitik world that matters. Fuck them. They hate all commoners. They give elitism a bad name.

The lens of deceit that motivates those who argue for our extended presence in Iraq was minted in the lying regime of the Bushies. Stupid is as stupid does and here again we have been sold a story about what Iraq means in the larger global war on terror. Iraq is not about terrorism. Terrorism is about war and terrorism is certainly taking place in Iraq but the terrorists in Iraq are not the one's we need worry about. Why would we allow our enemies to define the time and place of our battles? Why would we encourage the weak minded to become fundamentalist bombs? The lens that we see Iraq through will be proven in a generation to be as clouded as the Cold War lens that we saw Vietnam through. The problem is not in how the question is being defined as much as who is doing the defining. The proles do have enemies. They are here at home and it is these homegrown devils that we have the most to fear from. They are working, whether they want to or not, to deliver us a terrorism war here in America. They don't believe in freedom and they don't believe in anything but power. They will bring us nothing but pain.

Monday, June 04, 2007


A long fine weekend turned to shit in my mind in seconds. Whatever the fucking disease I have that prevents me from accruing bonus points for the positive things in my life in such a way as to ameliorate those exiquisite moments of mental breakdown when faced with a few perfect seconds of frustration, I need a damn diagnosis. On the plus side I have better dreams when I am basking in my own urines of angst. A fine yellow haze of malcontent envelops and I feel strangely liberated to not give a shit-whisker about the daily grind. Which may in fact be the name of the disease I am harboring.

My blessed wife can ascertain an iota of grumpiness in the timbre of my voice and I in turn can and do sift through the inflections of her comments like a Right whale pulling the krill of her judgements forth with my big stupid tongue. Something like that. This last weekend I dreamed I was decapitated and tortured which was not nearly as bad as it sounds and I dreamed Hunter S. Thompson was telling me something important around the time the pain generated by an nights worth of bladder juice was jabbing me to my feet to face yet another damn Monday. Fuck mo. I'd like to just get away or get into something that feels like it has nothing to do with me. I guess what I'm trying to say is that everything is totally fucking perfect right now. Like I am a perfectly perserved artifact of myself in the museum of my life. Better use those white gloves when handling the artifact . . .

Today's highlight had to be when I got a breakfast burrito from my usual spot and with my last bite I came down hard on a molar-sized piece of pee gravel that found itself in wrapped happily in that meatless sublime cholesteral delivery device. If the burritos start going bad in San Diego what is next? Closing the zoo? Padres position players who can hit? My daughter breaking up with her boyfriend? God only knows. Or would, if he existed.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

We want your kids to be fricking robots

I read an article today in the New York Times magazine by Ann Hulbert that reminded me just how stupid we have become as a nation when the words "standards" and "education" are mentioned in close proximity to each other. My daughter just got back her SAT test scores and while I am proud of her for achieving the 97th percentile overall on her scores, the lack of serious talk between her and I over what counts for something in this world depresses me. Part of it is her decision to (for good reasons and bad reasons) to become involved with her boyfriend's family who are members of a mega-church. This means that my irreverance is not very welcomedby her because it causes her to feel like she must pick and choose. Which of course is the meaning of Christianity in the first place. Pick a side. Now arm yourself and get ready to kill.

The other reasons why we don't have the kind of debating society I had with my folks (mostly my dad) when I was growing up is that there is no value placed on debate by my lovely wife given the fact that her folks were not formally educated. This is no knock on them but debate is not something they really get. They take everything absolutely personal and they needed to given that they had to fight for everything they got in this world. They are winners, and they are honorable people. Just don't try to debate anything you really care about with them our you might end up missing some vital part of your psychological anatomy. Or you might get a knuckle sandwich.

As for that last reason, the fucking public school system has decided to make "No child left behind" into "we want your kids to be fucking robots." Behave, test, behave, study, behave, conform, drug test, conform, lick the boots of death, etc etc etc. So my good decent brilliant daughter has busted her caboose to make grades and learn her stuff and she will be rewarded, as will I, with bills the size of a Ferrari so she can learn something in the University that very well might make her take SSRI's or a heavy dose of Jesus to try to make sense of the fact that conforming to an insane society makes one insane. Rebellion is the normal coin of the realm in the free world. We are training our kids to be robots in the corporate world of profit and greed. To hell with all of us who think this will make us happy. And fuck those who sell it knowing it for the poison it is.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Death of a Bigot

I'm remiss in not writing about the death of someone I use to imagine dancing happily on after they were placed in the ground. There's a lot to dislike about Jerry, and there's not a lot new to add to the cacophony of derision and false respect thrown in the direction of the dead pompous windbag. I had an interesting evening with a friend of mine in the week before Falwell died, and it had to do with he and his wife's late conversion and "mission" to Africa to help talk black folks out of fucking and getting HIV. I pointed out that I was only mildly ashamed that my daughter goes to church, which got some eyebrows raised. I pointed out that the part of Christianity I couldn't abide was the bigoted part, which while heavily denied by "true" Christians is as American as segregation. As the conversation went and as the evening developed a little confrontation had to occur whereby my friend had to call me to carpet about my apparent hypocrisy (as I had cut down my own brother he felt comfortable to do as well, which I pointed out was something of a no-no in the backhanded compliment department). I said something like "I just love when people tell me that they can't believe those are my kids" which is sotto voce for "how can somebody like you who is irreverent and profane" raise such decent humans. Exactly because is of course my take on things. But this could not stand. And the reason is the same as the reason why people gravitated to that shitman Falwell. Because Americans will compete over anything and their eternal souls are no fucking different. "My soul is cleaner than your's sinner" ought to be burned with acid onto the tailbumper of every motherfucker who puts his little Christian fish or Jesus slogan on the back of their fucking car. I shit in your general direction seems to be something Americans and everyone else too scared to be without a get out of jail free card must have. Whatever gets you through the night is actually fine by me. But if you lord it up over me then join Falwell in hell. If only I believed in that place.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Feminization of American Culture

I had an interesting back and forth with a student in class last night. Men and women have been sold such a sorry bill of goods about how they are the same or how they are different in history that discussing what has changed in the relationships between the sexes has become mostly a collection of agitprop phrases, repeated at various volumes with fervency and obedience. I have spent most of my time in historical study trying to avoid picking the easy fruit of feminism where the rotten pears of men are bad women are victims lay on the low branches of self-righteousness and certainty. Whenever you start talking about the advantages of a more feminized world you open yourself to the oft-repeated “men and women are the same” phrases of happy thinking. We are not the same, and thank goodness for that.

What went well in class was I managed to fairly describe gender as a continuum of masculinity and femininity that does not adhere directly with our genitals. And over the centuries we have witnessed a shift in the amount of femininity that has entered our culture, politics, and society. The historian Ann Douglass calls it “The Feminization of American Culture.” I won’t go and try to defend American Culture as a progressive phenomenon of ultimate transcendence. We very well may find ourselves at the bottom of a dark pit of despair if we continue doing dumb as we so clearly have been doing for decades now. But if something does wake us up and leave us with a future with having and a society worth lauding, I’m going to bet that it has something to do with the fact that year over year women and their subjectivity strengthens the Republic. But no way in heck am I voting for Hilary.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Support our Troops . . .

So the President's veto was supported by idiot congressmen and women who are afraid that their masculinty is being questioned or some other weak-brained self-lascerating bullshit. America is not simply the sum of her fighting forces. Whatever guilt folks feel for the reception that soldiers returning from Vietnam received, it helps this country not one wit to hold fast to stupidity by leaving the military in Iraq. If you want to support the troops stop tying your damn reality to war as the central means of defending American freedom. If the only way we can live this type of over materialistic lifestyle is to war on others and kill hundreds of thousands of people who we think might try destroy our abilty to drive dually pick-up trucks to our office jobs, then fuck it. All the kings horses and all the kings laser-guided munitions can't put Iraq back together again. We lost. We voted for a guy who managed to steal at least one election and we went along and he got us into a evil war. And we lost. We are losers this time. What is good for America is to learn how to learn from losing instead of blaming others for our faults. God bless somebody else because all those stupid prayers we are giving are not helping. Support our country, not just our troops.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The lying bastards

George Tennant is a shitwit. And listening to his self-serving "we never had a debate about whether it was a good idea to invade Iraq" is so piss off provoking I can only hope he chokes on the millions he got for his whorish book deal. There are so many lying bastards who have worked for the Bush regime that it would be hard to pick one who had an ounce of integrity among the whole cabal.

While I hope that the pain of global warming might actually get Americans to focus on a problem that has solutions, I can't help but doubt if Americans have acquired some new unnamed condition that confers shitwit neuronal structures to their flabby under-exercised brains. We are a country of isolated twits, twittering over the latest media fascination with death and destruction. Virginia is a popcorn fart compared to Baghdad but the media almost drowned in its own drool over "the tragedy" that some isolated worm food delivered to their cherished illusions. Gun control will not solve what lurks underneath. To fix the pairing of depression and vengeance will require the media to actual stop pedaling the old guanos of righteousness and purity as enfotainment and develop a narrative on honesty as the best marketing policy. Looking at the departing market shares the mainstream media gets, this is no longer some sort of happy idealistic thought. The survival of decent newspapers will require that the start getting things right more often. And they sure as hell got Iraq wrong.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Queens Of The Stone Age Creating Era Vulgaris II

June is going to be a good month.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Second Rate

I have been living in San Diego for the largest part of the last 28 years. During that time, we have gone from two newspapers to one newspaper to two and back to one. We have a weekly, The Reader, which is tremendously uneven but often very good in a muckraking sort of way, and another weekly, City Beat, which is newer and cheesier and often funny if also light-weight. The two I remember from day one were the Union and the Tribune which became the Union-Tribune and after a failed attempt by the Los Angeles Times to do a San Diego version (San Diegans are not going to love anything with “Los Angeles” on the cover) we have only the UT as a consistent daily read. There are other papers like the black-owned “Voice and Viewpoint” but they are only after a niche market and willingly seem to write themselves into a cultural cul-de-sac. The UT is our paper of record and by many many standards it is not a good paper. But it is what it is.

Last year the UT won a Pulitzer for taking down Randy “Duke” Cunningham. Duke was always a piece of crap but it wasn’t until he started nakedly lining his own Republican pockets that the UT found the fortitude to take him down. Good for them. They didn’t spend a lot of time being introspective about the fact that they had never to my knowledge tried to unseat the S.O.B. from Congress and in fact had always sung his praises. It’s a military town and he was a fighter ace. No questions asked please. His takedown and the UT’s prize are symbolic of the greater demographic changes taking place in San Diego. According to Lionel Van Deerling, resident democrat and columnist for the UT, the city is now blue and the suburbs are red. We are a county that has always gone to Bush in a state that goes the other way. But that dog is getting tired and the highly educated populace is trending bluish especially in the over-priced housing in the city limits. I guess you could say that things are looking up.

But our media lags. We have always had a second rate media. Local TV news is polished and pathetic. The UT is still owned by the corpulent Copley family, old Republican money that refuses to spend enough of it on their paper. Look at the size of the UT versus the LA Times and it becomes obvious that we are just not in the same league in terms of resources and talent. Eventually the UT will have to join the wider world and sell outside the market as the Times appears to do or it may fade away. Look at the advertisement section and watch it shrink day by day. San Diego would like to be known as one of the great cities of America and the world. We have the scientists to do it: Scripts Research Institute is already at the cutting edge of the global warming problem. But our leaders are too comfortable and foolish. So will we too be if we don’t demand more from our local media.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I had one of the better talks I have ever had last night. Learning for me requires that I say what is in my heart out loud. I guess that is what is called an “auditory learning style.” It might explain why music has been such a key ingredient in my life. I used to prepare for the most intense history seminar classes by listening to whatever band was giving me the juice at the moment. I would hurl my thoughts into the sound and from this some sort of neo-verbal essence a central and usually quite powerful synthesis of my ideas and emotions would coalesce. I was a demon in those classes. I could tear anything apart that wasn’t tightly and rigorously built. But I digress.

The other night I was talking with my sister. She and I discussed the implications of owning the same internal architecture of personal vexation that seems to animate all three of us siblings. Somewhere in our upbringing we assembled a toolbox of odd shaped assumptions about our place in the world. I am not knocking the specialized implements that we own and ironically enough can’t quite seem to master. Around us are people, good people, who have benefited from our machinations. I won’t go touting our successes or spinning our failures. We’ve done OK except that we have accepted too many backhanded compliments from the mouths of others. “I can’t believe they are your kids” says the judge of my character. The fools that my sis and I are when we hear such things we put down our tools and let the elements add their rust.

As the words spun out of my maw and they turned from experimentations to analysis, my sister’s eyes filled with tears and she could not speak. Writing for me works if I can hear my voice and so talking is writing when it is done at its zenith of rhythm and lexicon. I found myself saying things that I had forgotten I knew. I asked why she couldn’t answer me, what had I said that so wounded? “You hit the nail on the head.” I was speaking of dreams and it occurred to me that I no longer can identify those moments when the sounds are from my own creative spirit. Still, I can hear those wishes echo when my words are right and somebody will listen to me for a generous spell. And as more words and tears spilled out of the two of us I heard myself giving chase to the fleeting vibrations and knowing that their direction was clear. I can no longer afford the compromise of an experience where my music is played only in the hearts and lives of those who love me yet hear not with my ears. I want to be in the front row as the songs are played. Gently I go forward to hear what I must.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

What's Next?

I have not been able to focus well on any one thought for weeks now. My mom’s passing aside; I think that what ails me ails a lot of folks at the moment. Mostly we have been listening to so much spin and so much dissembling and so many blatant untruths that reality seems like a fond memory and hope something you shouldn’t drink too much of. What matters and what counts are distant cousins. Productivity reigns over imagination and ethics. A great cloud of unwanted gas surrounds us and there is no away to go to anymore. Happy thinking has become a cult. When good things happen we sigh and quietly whisper a dark prayer to ourselves of bad expectations. Days are beautiful but they are weightless. The body counts climb methodically. We hope the impossible might happen in foreign lands even as we realize we are riding a rudderless ship in a hurricane of destruction. It seems useless to talk.

And there is that other realization that eventually and hopefully soon something is going to change. 2007 sure feels like a year of change to me. And my friends are doing new things and they seem driven as I do to become something better if for no other reason than the opposite doesn’t seem like as much fun as it used to. I count my blessings and I am stunned at the amount and quality of my good fortune. We are poised on the precipice of something momentous and I think we may in fact be ready. At least as ready as we will ever be. As Ludacris says, I just feel like slapping someone today. Our time to slap is coming up.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The stuff we don't know

My mom died last Wednesday. That morning I had a dream and she and I were sitting in the kitchen in the home I grew up in. In my memories the times I felt closest to this woman who had brought me into the world came at the kitchen table. These were the few times when I got a chance to know Lorna rather than be with mom and at least a couple of these moments happened at the kitchen table. To be clear, in the dream mom showed up, not Lorna. But the compelling memory from the dream will always be that she was mom again, and not the woman who had a stroke nearly five years ago and ceased to be much of what she was. Why I had this dream, on this morning, just before she died is a mystery. Yet it was perfectly logical that it happened, and a beautiful gift. Thanks for saying goodbye mom. I love you.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Obama why not . . .

I often tell people I argue with "to do their homework" when I know that their facts are specious. Well, after reading Barak Obama's comments to the AIPAC policy forum in Chicago March 2nd, I'd say that he's clueless about the larger Israel/Palestine issue. That would be charitable. Clueless suggests that he is daft about the amount of hell dealt by Israel to its neighbors. Clueless suggests that he could be clued in. But I fear that he is just more the same given that the speech was written for him by a fellow who worked for Clinton and Feinstein. So unless you want to believe this is just posturing because he thinks he needs to make these obeisant gestures to the Israel-can-do-no-wrong-crowd if he want to get elected you have to say that he's already bought and paid for by a group that is holding America hostage to our own ignorance about the Middle East. Call this reason # 1 why not.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tipping Point

The lead actor for the hit television show CSI Las Vegas is a fellow named William Petersen. This irony cracks me up for a lot of reasons, although my last name being Peterson doesn’t begin to tell the half of it. Over a decade ago I wrote an article about the crime lab here in San Diego that was published by the local weekly newspaper The Reader. A few weeks back they republished something else I had written for them back in 1995. I wouldn’t have even known that they did this if a check for 100 bucks hadn’t appeared out of the blue (the check was blue . . . ha ha) as I don’t read The Reader that much anymore. It’s hard to read something that you probably should be writing for.

My boss’s boss is having us read Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” to prepare for a meeting we are going to next week. He’s an interesting fellow. I once knew a professor who said that whenever he was correcting a paper with arguments in it he detested or thought were bullshit, he would write in the margin “that’s interesting.” I don’t think Gladwell’s book is crap, but I sure as hell am not exactly surprised by anything he says. It’s an interesting reminder I guess.

Being five years ahead of the curve is not something that is worth much. It’s interesting. I wrote a blog entry for my company and Israel Mizrahi thought it was the shit. He’s mentioned in Gladwell’s book and when my boss’s boss saw this he was pleased I think. My boss pretty much shit all over my enthusiasm and I swore to myself I wouldn’t ever give a fuck about work again. The corporate world is filled with half-bright interesting fuckwits who are certain about something and love to look at themselves in the mirror. Certainty, ego, knowing other like minded people, enthusiasm, appearing to do things that matter, manipulation, aggrandizement, obsession, lack of introspection, etc etc; these things are the coins of the realm. For now.

To be fair . . . I’m not really interested in fairness. I’ve never really been interested in being loved by all and lauded for my beauty. I was raised by a physicist, not a salesman. Reality is not something to be spun. And money is nice to have and I’m glad for my unusual corporate job that pays squat. Squat is enough actually, especially if it comes with medical benefits. But not caring about my job is really starting to get to me. I’ve started caring again and I want to make the folks I work with see that they can play the corporate game and still save their souls. In fact, they are already working for the man so they would do well to remember that it is a game and frankly nothing they do is really that important so they might as well do it well. I am maybe ahead of the curve again. And if I get run over one more time . . . .

Monday, February 12, 2007

Obama, Why Not?

I watched the 60 minute piece on Barack Obama and after doing so, I figure what the hell, I’ll bite. Listening to Hilary Clinton talk is enough to make a man doubt the meaning of life, so hearing someone act halfway fucking normal on national TV is like a gift of oxygen in a land of methane and piss. I’m sure that some folks will suggest that he’s got some sort of fatal flaw and that he’s too ambitious and whatever. But until someone shows me a person like him who is as basically human and who answers questions with something like the truth attached to them rather that something that sounds like it came out of a polling focus group I’m for this son-of-a-bitch. Damn, his wife even made a sardonic joke about the two of them fighting and her being pissed off that he smokes. Listening to the radio the other day I heard a story whereby he apologized to a brother because he had inadvertently hurt the brother’s chance to get laid. Vote Hilary in and we’ll all have trouble getting laid.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

American Tragedy

We watched "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" the other night. I watched my wife cringe at the foul language that began the movie but even she was eventually sucked into its maelstrom of wickedly funny set pieces and man-centered moralizing. The funniest parts were outside the main thrust (of course that's a pun) of the plot; a discussion of some rule of getting laid etiquette on the loading dock behind a electronics store punctuated by the repeated and wanton destruction of four-foot fluorescent bulbs; a game of "I know you're gay because" illustrated by the on-screen video gaming battle whereby one player's avatar rips the head off the other player's avatar and with pixelated blood squirting throws it back at the decapitated body which then explodes. Good stuff. Laughing should not be sneezed at regardless of the size of your furrowed brow.

But even in this childish set-up piece of artistic frivolity there had to be a moment whereby the protagonist and the object of his ultimate de-virginizing have to have a potentially apocalyptic row that threatens to turn the fairy tale sour. Meaning, in American films, is almost always the same. The difference between drama and comedy is mostly about the scale and seriousness of the loss or potential loss to the protagonists. Americans believe in the struggle of good vs evil as the point of existence. Survival with dignity (and we are in many ways the most undignified people on the face of the earth) is not enough.

When Hunter S. Thompson killed himself I was seriously bummed out yet I knew that in his story this was a likely outcome given what he had said about the subject and his well-documented impulsiveness. His suicide note went like this:

"Football Season Is Over"
"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won't hurt"

When I think about it now these are the words of an American. He must live within his own self-defined rules of engagement and failing that, what is the point of existence? Of course the answer is myriad. Existence may feel like its yours and you control it but we are all riders on a silver stage driven by a mad jehu and guarded by an anal-retentive shotgun messenger. In the mountains there are those moments when it looks like the whole apparatus is going over the side. But jumping out hardly seems to be a solution. Buy the ticket-take the ride. The destination is always the same and pretending that it isn't just seems to fuck up the scenery. Maybe that's what HST was saying at the end. Things were just looking like shit to him.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Almost Burned Out

Reading the NYT Week in Review from Sunday there was a quote from a young Shiite in Sadr City. “This just has to burn itself out.” In those areas where the fire has gone through and ethnically cleansed the locality of offending religious heretics, it’s gone back to men sitting in teahouses sipping tea amongst streets dotted with fruit stands. Nearby can be found the desolate neighborhoods where the waves of hatred have washed away the vast majority of human targets. In Iraq, according to our Vice President, there has “been a lot of success.” Not only is our VP a glass half-full kind of guy, he’s drinking something that would sell well at an all night rave. He’s raving, and he’s holds the rest of us in complete contempt.

When I think just how separated our leaders are from our people, our people are from other peoples, our personal knowledge is from our history, I can’t help but think it all seems pretty hopeless. Delusion is a necessary ingredient for sanity. Mythical thinking is the bedrock of our nation. Consumerism is the balm for tragedy. And tragedy is necessary for Americans to justify their exalted position as God’s chosen people. For those American who have suffered a real national tragedy, say maybe a collapsed levee or suicidal Boeing, your gift to us does not go unnoticed. You personally, sure, fuck if we care that much about you regardless of our tears, but the talisman your suffering and loss gives the rest of us as we blunder on down the cow path of banality is invaluable. We couldn’t stay blind without it.

I find that my demeanor oscillates between being a Pollyanna and an imp of the apocalypse. Some have warned me that I’m just not that important of an entity to worry about the larger states of our national mental health. Better I should take a trip to Mexico, or enjoy the beauty of my children that to contemplate such dark fjords of our imperiled coastline. I fear my Job-like wife has begun some of the processes of disconnecting from my desultory navel gazing. Either that or neo-menopause hormone fluctuations are spacing her out. Win-win I guess.

In a week I begin teaching my 16 week version of American History. I’ve been reading a book by David Hackett Fisher about the iconography and changing definitions of liberty and freedom in American history. His is a Whiggish history, one that basically and positively traces the changing and broadening definitions of what these terms have come to mean to Americans. In the last 26 years, which both encompass my political reckoning and my marriage; I would say that I have been subjected to a powerful example of the American way of liberty. What my personal life has given my political life has diminished. The irrelevance of my citizenship and my intellectual cosmology has not negated the meaning I attach to my existence, but it sure hasn’t been a boon to my worldly engagement. I can tell funny stories though. And I can make my friends wince. My students are privy to a life of raw hilarity and self-immolation. My classes are full. All I have to do is keep the fire in my belly, and keep it out of my head.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bad start, bad ending

The San Diego Chargers started their year of by having one of their linebackers shot by and off-duty cop. They ended it by losing in the first round of the playoffs, again, to the New England Patriots. The lost because they played dumb. After the game, some dumb Patriot players mocked the Chargers by doing Shawn Merriman's "Lights Out" dance on the Chargers symbol in the center of the field. LaDainian Tomlinson suggested that the responsibility for this rude behavior was their coach's. This is an interesting comment given that it is so obvious by now that Marty Schottenheimer is a loser because he is not real smart about certain psychological aspects of playoff football or even close games for that matter (5-13 in the playoffs, 7-16 in games decided by 4 points or less) and perhaps it is time to hold him culpable for this rottenness. That the majority of San Diegans want him to stay is pretty strong evidence that we are a town that supports losers. Like we have supported Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Roger "felony" Hedgecock, and George W. Bush. Fuck.

Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Is this all there is?

I watched a replay of the Frontline episode entitled “The Dark Side,” so named by the comment delivered in the days after 911 by our VP, who suggested that the war would require doing things “that the American people won’t know about.” If you are inclined you can watch it as well on the internet, and join into a discussion about its merits. Those comments may piss you off as much as our vice-president Dick “Son-of-a-Bitch” Cheney. The truth of the matter is that Iraq was and is a clusterfuck of the highest order and our engineering of our foreign policy toward invasion was based on a willful campaign of deceit that goes to the highest levels of our government. The only thing going for the present regime is that this is not a new thing. We have always played the American public for suckers. Father knows motherfucking best.

When George Tenet received the presidential “Medal of Freedom” along with that shitbrain Paul Bremer and Tommy “I guess I support Bush’s reelection” Franks all you need to remember is the press conference where Robert McNamara resigned and LBJ’s shiteating grin to know that these sob’s know when to fall on their swords. The most telling quote in the whole show was where president Bush said to Tenet something to the effect of “is this all there is?” when presented with the National Intelligence Estimate that Colin Powell presented to the UN that bought Bush (along with the artfully inserted 16 words about yellowcake which were totally bogus and not Tenet’s doing but Cheney’s) the political space to order the illegal invasion of Iraq. Even Bush knew it was all bullshit, and his crappy National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice didn’t do her job to make Tenet do his. Of course, she has no backbone anyway. Rumsfield and Cheney have been running this country, along with Rove and Bush can’t be bothered to do the right thing because he never really gave a shit about the rest of us anyway. But he knew what the right thing was. Remember this is all you need to know about our dear President.