Saturday, December 31, 2005

Must Be At Least This Tall...

Children. Kids. Munchkins. Rug Rats. Little Ones. Chips off the old blocks.

Whatever you want to call them, children seem to be in the news lately. Not really that kids themselves in the news I'm talking about, but the recent stories that have been done about people, specifically married couples, not having kids. There is a statistic out there that says the number of couples not breeding is at an all time high. CNN even got in on the action and did a segment about it. And then, of course, they had a post-segment argument between two people on each side of the issue. One was a woman who wrote a book called Baby Not on Board: A Celebration of Life Without Kids. The other was, as you might imagine, a nutjob from a "pro-family" right wing religious organization. He was probably from Focus On The Family, I don't remember for sure, but it was one of those blowhard groups. Now, first of all, I don't know why every news story has to become a debate between the right and left. I mean, if there is a story that people are eating less mushrooms than in the past we don't roll out Jerry Falwell and Ralph Nader to argue about it. So this right-wing guy is on CNN saying that people who don't have kids are being immature and avoiding adulthood and responsibility, etc. This prompts me to call him a dumbass to the TV screen. My wife then points out that screaming "dumbass" at a guy on TV accusing people like me of being immature is kind of proving his point. Then I got pissy with her and stomped to the bedroom and slammed the door.

I realized she was right, but I was trying to argue the wrong point with the TV anyway. I really shouldn't care if some Christian fanatic thinks I'm mature or not. In fact, I probably am somewhat immature, but I'm completely OK with that. Either way, do I really care if I'm that guy's definition of mature anyway? From what I gathered in his rantings at that poor woman who had to endure his idiocy, his definition of "mature" is having children, going to bed early, waking up early, going to some crappy office job I hate to support the children, voting Republican, and going to church every Sunday (or even more often). I don't like to do any of those things. If that makes me immature then so be it. I figure I'm about as mature as I need to be. I know how to set an alarm clock, I can dress myself, brush my own teeth, wash myself, count money and make change, operate a car, and wipe my own ass. I even know how to vote all by myself. What the hell more do I need?

These wacko conservative types say lots of stupid things about this too. The head of the Southern Baptist Convention says he's worried that this will cause an underpopulation problem. How does someone that clueless rise to be the head of anything other than Retards Incorporated? Others are trying to tell us that child rearing is what marriage is all about. Hey, if that's what your marriage is about, more power to you. But that's a million miles from the reason I married my wife. I dig my wife because she's fun, smart as hell, and actually likes hanging out with me. Not because she looked like she'd be a good incubator.

What boggles my mind though, is why people (especially people who don't even know me) care at all if we have kids. It really seems to bother these conservative types that there are adults in the world who like to sleep late on the weekends or go clubbing on a weeknight or never have to deal with parent/teacher conferences. I think they're just jealous and want everyone else to be as miserable as them. I think these people also think that when you have children you are automatically going to start thinking like them. They would change their attitude about me having children if they knew me at all. If I were to breed, I would be teaching my kid the opposite of everything they believe in. I would be teaching my children that there was no such person as Jesus, capitalism is destroying the world, Republicans are evil, patriotism and religion are why we have wars, and that a woman doesn't have to be a housewife. I would think that I'm exactly the type of person they would rather not have kids. I'm not going to become a God-fearing Republican just because I have a kid. That would require a lobotomy.

And geez, between my two siblings and their spouses my parents will have a total of six grandchildren by next May. I think my family has sufficiently added to the population without my wife and I joining in. You think that would be enough for them. But no, they still like to bring it up with me. Even though they know I don't want to. I'm always being told I would make a good father. Really? What the hell makes these people think this? The fact that I like to stay up until 3:00 in the morning or that my favorite place to be is a good bar? It seems to me that people think that once you've made it past your mid-twenties that you suddenly would be a good parent. Another thing they like to do is tell me that I'll change my mind about this. These are the same people who told me that I would become more politically conservative as I got older. I'm still waiting to see when that's going to happen. I would concede the fact that it's possible that I could change my mind. Like how I used to hate broccoli as a kid and now I love it. So sure it's possible. But I also used to hate mushrooms as a kid and I still do. So that's also possible.

But you know what? Going to see bands with my wife, taking trips to Africa and Europe, and sleeping until noon on Saturdays sounds a hell of a lot better than dirty diapers, carpools, little league, and saving money for college.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Holiday Greetings

It's that time of the year again. And it can't be over soon enough. Seriously, Christmas is my most hated part of the year. I know, I know, it's hard to believe that I could hate anything, right? I just can't stand this damn holiday. I can hear you already, "Such a scrooge you are Deni." But no no, you got that wrong. I have no employees to make work on Christmas, and even if I did, I'm all about days off from work. So I suppose the silver lining in the holiday is not working, I do love long weekends. But I really can't think of much else to like about this silly pagan ritual hijacked by the Christians. So as my holiday blog, here are some random reasons why I just want to lock myself in a room this time of the year:

First, there is the actual holiday itself. As a person who rejected all religion a long time ago, why is it that people still expect that I should celebrate this day? If I had actually picked a non-Christian religion for myself, say Judaism or Islam, no one would be buying me Christmas presents or expecting any from me. But since I don't believe in any of the world's cults, I'm still considered a Christmas celebrator by default. It's like how when I was absent on section-picking day in gym class and I got put in basketball because I'm tall, even if I hate basketball. "Well, he's white and American and doesn't wear a funny hat or long beard, so he celebrates Christmas."

Shopping. Holy shit, I hate shopping any time of the year. But in December it is just insane. Every place is crowded as hell, even record stores that I like to go into and browse are too insane for me to deal with during Christmas shopping season. Granted, this year my wife and I made our lives a lot easier by doing a huge chunk of our present buying on line. The internet is certainly going to make future Christmases a lot less stressful by keeping me out of the malls and out of the wrapping business.

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree. Fuck! Who could possibly like this song? I don't understand how people like Christmas music at all, but this song is an especially painful piece of shit. Why is it that perfectly sane people with reasonably good taste lose their minds at Christmas time? Case in point: I was down in New York visiting two of my favorite people a weekend before the holiday. Now these are people that have generally great taste in music. You will find Neko Case, Bjork, They Might Be Giants, Southern Culture On The Skids, and tons of other good indie-rock and cool tunes in their CD collection. When I walked into their place, what were they listening to? Digital cable's Music Choice Christmas music channel!?!?!?! I mean, why would anyone do that on purpose? I thought I accidentally walked into Old Navy or Safeway. This is the stuff that makes me get the hell out of stores faster than usual and they've chosen it as their cleaning-up music. People lose their minds and think shitty things are good just because of some silly holiday. I will never understand it.

Bill O'Reilly, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and like-minded others love Christmas. So there has to be something wrong with it.

Green bean casserole.

I can fight with my family any time of the year. Do we really need a whole day set aside for it?

Christians raise their children to believe that lying is a sin, yet spend the first 7 or so years of the child's life telling them there's a Santa Claus. Talk about sending mixed messages.

The pressure is just too much for me to deal with. I can, on any random day, pick up some flowers on the way home from work for my wife and she is just so happy. And I know she will be. Doing something because I thought about doing something nice for her. A random act of love that I know will be completely appreciated. For the holiday there is just so much stress. Will she like it? Did I spend enough? Will she leave me if I don't beat last year's gift? Of course, my wife always loves everything I get her, so its not her fault I think that way. It Christmas' fault. And my mother's.

The Christmas In Washington TV special.

And something is wrong with any holiday that only Linus seems to get the true meaning of.

Season's Greetings everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Dirty Mitt

It's a great day for Massachusetts and America everyone. The governor of the Commonwealth has announced he won't be running for a second term next year. Even if you're not from Massachusetts, you may have heard of our Republican head of state, Mitt Romney, because chances are he has been spending more time in your state than ours. Especially if you live in New Hampshire or Iowa. Here in the Bay State we're not even sure what he looks like anymore. See, he isn't going to try for a second term because he's planning on running for president. Now of course that's not why he says he's not running for Governor again. No, he claims that he accomplished everything he set out to do in his first term so there is no need for him to run again. Hope he didn't hurt his arm patting himself on the back. In case you were wondering, these are some of the things on his agenda during his term:

Enact a death penalty in Massachusetts.
Limit stem cell research.
Restrict gay marriage.
Lower income taxes.
Force the Mass Turnpike Authority (in charge of Mass Pike and Big Dig - anything with tolls) to combine with the highway department (in charge of all other highways/freeways) and get rid of the position of Turnpike Chairman.

Want to guess how many of these things he's accomplished? Zero. Zilch. Nada. Absolutely nothin'! Say it again! I said none, hunh! (Imagine the song War there, not really sure of the best way to spell the grunting sound)

Now of course I'm pretty darn happy that most of these things failed. Except for the Turnpike/highway proposal. I thought that was a good idea, would have saved a lot of money combining the two departments and eliminating the political patronage job of Turnpike Authority Chairman would have been great. Of course, that's why they couldn't make it happen, Massachusetts without political patronage jobs just wouldn't be Massachusetts.

Be prepared America, for his biggest boast about his time as governor. He will tell you over and over again about how when he took office there was a $3 billion budget gap and that he closed it without raising taxes. What he won't tell you is that the $3 billion figure was the projected shortfall the state was expecting and the actual amount turned out to be about half that. He also won't tell you that he raised the price of a driver's license in the state to $90, up from $75. My math, which could be wrong since I mostly suck at math, tells me that is a whopping 20% increase in the license fee, which was already the highest in the country. Yes that's right, you folks who live in states where a driver's license cost between $10 and $20 (almost all the rest of them), when I moved to this god-forsaken town I had to fork over 90 bucks for a license. That was not a typo. He also won't mention that how a lot of the money that closed the budget gap came from closing loopholes in corporate tax law. Not that I disagree with that one at all, but if a Democrat did that, and raised a fee that virtually everyone in the state has to pay every four years, it would be called raising taxes. Just remember that when he's visiting your town (and he will be visiting your town, that you can be sure of) sometime over the next year or three.

We in Massachusetts now unleash him on you, America.

Don't get me wrong, I come here not to bury Mitt but to praise him. I'm encouraging all of you to register as Republicans (wait, come back and hear me out) for the 2008 primaries and vote for Mitt. Why, you ask? Here's the deal. Mitt is tacking way to the right on everything - abortion, gay marriage, Iraq, death penalty - to establish himself as the religious right candidate, even though he ran as a moderate to be governor. He's thinking he'll just go for the conservative base while McCain and Giuliani duke it out for the sane, yet still Republican, people's votes. This would be perfect. See, the right wing wack jobs will love what he's saying when he's bashing gays a screaming along with them about the "liberal war on Christmas" (by the way, why the hell didn't anyone tell me we declared war on Christmas? I didn't buy my green and red camouflage fatigues), but there will be one little problem. Mitt's a Mormon. And as much as they'll love his fucked up agenda, they won't be able to bring themselves to vote for someone from a "false" religion. The nut-job Evangelical Christians don't believe that the nut-job Mormon Christians are "true" Christians. So he's the perfect choice for the Republican nomination. The right will want to vote for him really really bad but just won't be able to get over their religious bigotry to do it. They will either stay home on election day or vote for a third party Patrick Buchanan or Alan Keyes candidacy. I know it's hard to believe they would vote for a black guy over a white guy, but come on, this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we're talking about here. They don't want a bigamist running the country! A lot of them probably think that the Mormons practice sacrifice rituals and snake handling. It won't even matter who the Democratic nominee is, with Mitt as the GOP choice, he or she (and by "she", of course, I mean Hillary) will be a shoe-in. He'll sweep up in Utah, sure, but that's about it. You think this guy has a chance in Alabama? They might think Donny and Marie are cute kids and everything, but they're not ready for a Mormon in the White House. It's like how they have black "friends" (the janitor they say hi to at work) but don't exactly invite them over for dinner or let them date their daughters.

I know it will be hard for some of you to ask for a GOP ballot on primary day, but it's time for some of you Democrats to take one for the team. With Mitt (and yes, that's really his name, I know you're wondering, his middle name) as the nominee this Republican dictatorship can finally end.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ahhhh, Democracy

There are reports out of Iraq that a tanker truck full of forged ballots was seized after crossing the border from Iran, putting the legitimacy of tomorrow's Iraqi election in doubt. Seems someone in Iraq is trying to steal the election.

So Bush really has brought his brand of democracy to the Iraqi people.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Open Letter To Pastor Rick Warren

Pastor Rick Warren
Saddleback Church
1 Saddleback Parkway
Lake Forest, CA 92630

Dear Mr. Warren:

I'm writing you today regarding your recent efforts concerning the AIDS crisis in America and around the world. You have certainly done a good job of getting publicity for your efforts. I saw you and your wife Kay on CNN explaining why you were jumping in to the AIDS cause, and something she said struck me. At one point during the interview she mentioned that for too long the evangelical community has been "absent from the debate" about HIV/AIDS. I believe you need to speak with your wife about her revisionist history. If you remember back to the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic, one thing that evangelicals were not was "absent" from the debate. Silence on the issue is what Ronald Reagan gave us. What the evangelical community gave us was so very much worse. Not only did many evangelical leaders state their happiness that gays were dying, but most claimed that it was God's punishment for being a homosexual. A few choice comments:

AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh's charioteers . . . AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals. (Jerry Falwell)

[Homosexuals] want to come into churches and disrupt church services and throw blood all around and try to give people AIDS and spit in the face of ministers. (Pat Robertson)

There are many more like that, as I'm sure you know, but you see my point. The fact is, rather than being "absent" from the debate about AIDS, evangelical leaders have been very vocal over the years spreading their vile bigotry toward the homosexual community. Your wife's claim about absence from the issue is either ignorance of history, or worse, a conscious downplaying of past actions from the evangelicals in this country.

I point this out not to shame you or others in the evangelical community. You have your opinions and are entitled to them. No, I'm writing to you to ask you to please stop. If you wish to do some good for the AIDS community just give established organizations your money. It is too late for you to take on a leadership role in this issue. You made your decision years ago to ignore the pain and suffering of these victims of disease. There are wonderful organizations who have been fighting this fight from day one, they are the ones you should be supporting. What good do you possibly think you can do anyway? Will you teach scientifically proven safe sex to help stop the spread of HIV? Will there be condom distribution at Saddleback sponsored events? I would guess that abstinence education is the only kind you'll consider. Which works about as well as "just say no" did for drugs. What about needle exchange programs? They have shown to help stop the spread of the virus, but will you offer your church as a place for addicts to get clean needles? What about your teachings on homosexuality? I noticed that your conference had a program entitled "How to love homosexuals as Jesus would." I would hazard a guess that this program did not call for the support of the rights of homosexuals to marry and raise children. Like most evangelicals I'm sure you are teaching that homosexuality is a sin, but that we should,"love the sinner and hate the sin." And it is this reason, more than any other, that I request that you get out of the HIV/AIDS game. It is this kind of teaching that causes so much harm. It is exactly this bigotry that caused the epidemic to be ignored in the beginning, because it was only "fags", lesser people than us that were dying. Until you are ready to stop teaching that homosexuality is a sin and/or a disease, you are just teaching hate and intolerance. Smiling and wearing a colorful shirt while you call gay people sinners doesn't make you any better than Fred Phelps holding up signs with the message "God Hates Fags" at Matthew Shepard's funeral.

You want a cause to get involved in? Why don't you preach to the world the evils of the blood diamond industry that your fellow evangelical Pat Robertson makes millions on? Leave the AIDS work to the activists and health care workers who have been there from the beginning and can dispense real solutions (and condoms) in non-judgmental settings.

I know your natural reaction to this letter will be to write me off as an angry gay or something, so let me make sure we are clear. I am a happily married straight man. While I have spent much of my time around gay people in my adult life, I have never felt the inclination to turn gay, nor have any of my gay friends tried to recruit me. Despite what you evangelicals think, they don't actually try to do that. One friend has had a particularly profound impact on my life as a teacher and mentor. He has been there for me in ways my family never was. I can always count on him for advice or a shoulder to cry on. And guidance. And understanding. He has always encouraged me to be myself and have faith in myself. A college professor who gives most of his time to his students and always has a project underway, yet he somehow has found a way over the years to raise thousands of dollars for AIDS charities and work as a tireless volunteer for projects like The AIDS Memorial Quilt. When you call gay people sinners or claim that what they are is an abomination, I take it personally. That's my family you're attacking.

So please, go away. I realize that, 25 years in to the epidemic, enough straight, white people have died for this to become a safe cause for you to champion now. But people infected with HIV should not be pawns in the push to publicize your church or to sell more of your books. Even worse, you are using sick people to push your homophobic agenda. I don't need a bible to tell me that's just wrong.


Out Of Tune
Boston, MA

Thursday, December 01, 2005

So I'm Thinkin' About....

Bush got called for jury duty in Texas. Is being a retard an acceptable reason to be excused?

So the Christian Right is having a hissy fit over stores or towns calling their xmas trees "holiday trees" instead. Jerry Falwell and his ilk are claiming "religious censorship" and "prejudice" and that Christians in America are being disenfranchised. Yea, those Christians are soooooooo fucking oppressed in this country. They are also bitching about stores having signs up that say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" and are calling for a boycott of those businesses. Dear Jerry: Please get the fuck over yourself. You think Target is losing sleep over you, or the few morons who listen to your stupid shit, not shopping in their store? They are probably happy that this Christmas they won't have people asking them if they sell Kinkade paintings. In my own effort to get boycotted, this year I'm going to put up a tree and call it a Satan Worship Gay Anal Sex Abortion Tree. Does that mean you'll tell your kind to stay the fuck away from me now? Please?

Speaking of Evangelical ass holes, seems that after only about 25 years into epidemic, enough white, straight people have died of AIDS for them to start caring now. Remember these are the same people that said AIDS was punishment from god for being gay or having sex out of wedlock. Too late you wingnuts. Stay the hell out of AIDS activism and sex education and leave it to the people who have cared all along and didn't judge the victims. Telling people not to be gay or not have sex before marriage hasn't really helped anyway. In fact, if it hadn't been for you miserable fucks and your hate towards AIDS victims, the problem never would've gotten this bad from the beginning. The guy hosting the big evangelical AIDS conference is that dork who wrote The Purpose Driven Life. Well, I think your purpose should be to go fuck yourself you homophobic prick.

Front page, above the fold, of the Boston Globe today: Red Sox are suing their former player for ownership of the ball that was the last out of the World Series last year. More shit I can't believe people care about.

News out of South Africa: The Constitutional Court ruled that keeping homosexuals from marrying is unconstitutional, paving the way for gay marriage in South Africa. Unanimous decision. South Africa's post-apartheid constitution drafted in 1994 was the first in the world to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Thank you again Nelson Mandela. They should give you another Nobel Peace Prize just for that constitution.

It boggles my mind that it's not obvious to every other guy that author Sarah Vowell is so much more attractive, in every way, than the Britney Spears and Jessica Simpsons of the world.

Early prediction for next year's World Series: Cleveland over the Mets in six games.

My favorite thing in the world right now: Blinking Lights And Other Revelations, the newest album by Eels. A stunningly beautiful record.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Triple Venti Loser

I honestly didn't think it could happen. After seeing the movie Supersize Me, I thought to myself, after seeing the scenes with the guy who eats several Big Macs every day, "I will never see or hear about a bigger loser than that as long as I live."

I was so very wrong. I opened up my newspaper today and there was an article about this guy who is trying to visit every Starbucks in the entire world. No, really. I'm not making this up. Fucking Starbucks. This guy's dream in life is to visit every Starbucks on the planet. When asked why, he said it had to do with his "collector’s instinct" and he mentions that he collects comic books, coins, and cards. So basically this guy would have already competed for the title of biggest loser in the universe without the Starbucks thing. He has been to over 5000 since 1998 I guess. Of course he has a website. And a stupid name he calls himself, Winter. He claims that is his name and only name, despite the fact that the Boston Globe found and printed what his real name is, Rafael Antonio Lozano. Go ahead and look around his little site and see just how big of a loser this guy is. In his travel log entry from a few days ago he talks about going to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and then waiting outside a Starbucks in Maryland until it opens. What a party animal. I should mention that he's 33 years old. And he's a software developer, which I imagine goes without saying. Worst thing to come out of the 90s is dipshits with loads of disposable income but completely void of imagination or any real interests. He has spent thousands of dollars to go to Starbucks all over the globe. I mean, try to wrap your brain around that. Starbucks is not a destination when you travel, it's a place you pop into on your travels because of their liberal public restroom policy (be sure to bring a little pack of Kleenexes though, you can never be sure if they'll have any TP since they let anyone and everyone use their toilet). Shit, the guy has pictures on his web site of the stores he’s visited. This could be mildly less loser-like if he had any great memories or experiences on his travels, but he doesn’t even have that. He confesses that he doesn’t really remember individual stores because he’s rushing around trying to get to all of them, and also because they are Starbucks and THEY ARE ALL THE FUCKING SAME! It’s not like he’s visiting different buildings by a great architect or something. This isn’t really any different than trying to visit all the Wal-Marts or McDonalds in the world. They are supposed to be the same because people will always recognize them wherever they are. Whenever I’m in Manhattan and I have to piss I start looking around for the green and white circle. So I suppose there is comfort in that.

I guess there are some things that one might want to see every one of in the country or world. My mother-in-law has a thing about going to every Disney and that also makes sense. First, it’s fucking Disney and there are rides and shit (and everybody knows Space Mountain kicks ass). Second, there are like five of them. And, except for Orlando and Anaheim, they are in pretty cool places. Make a goal to see all the Disney Worlds and you end up in places like France or Tokyo or Hong Kong. And there is only one in each town, so you can do lots of other cool things not just keep running to the next Disney across the street or on the next block. And there’s probably no danger of them opening 10 or more new ones a week in shitty places like Paducah, Kentucky where you really never want to go for any reason. My wife’s mother is in no danger of her life becoming about going to Disney World.

I do think I’ve figured out what this is really about for our dear Winter. See, there is a guy from Nebraska that has decided to make a documentary about him going to all these Starbucks. And think about that by the way. The guy who finds this interesting enough to make a film about it is from Nebraska. I’ve racked my brains trying to think of something cool from Nebraska and all I could come up with is Johnny Carson and that guy that is the Bright Eyes. But anyway, the film site has a couple of trailers and when I got my first glimpse of Winter my gaydar went to Def-Con 5. It was so obvious he’s a big old queer. But then there are scenes of him going to a strip club and getting a lap dance from a girl, or him pointing out a hot chick in, where else, a Starbucks. And it became so obvious. This is how his suppressed homosexuality is manifesting itself. I’ve seen repressed gays do some destructive shit before (like marry women) but this is the worst I’ve ever seen. Talk about self inflicted punishment. If you don’t believe me check it out for yourself. There are other clues too. In travel log he actually writes about someone else being the first customer in a new store and he uses the phrase “grrr…” to express how he feels. In the section of his site where he lists his “interest” he has put down “hot chicks”. But that actually comes later on the list than “Tradewinds Tea”. Tell me I’m not right. And what straight guy, outside of Bono, gives himself a one word name? The one name thing is so Morrissey.

So come on Winter, get yourself out of that closet and stop this destructive, internalized homophobic behavior. Think all the money you’ve wasted that could be spent on better things, like gay cruises and Streisand concerts. Just stop the madness and face who you are my sister. Stop running from the truth and toward the Frappacinos. Happiness is within you, not at the bottom of a triple half-caf vanilla latte.

I suppose I should thank you. Your craziness just makes the rest of us seem a little more normal. The next time my honey is starting to think I’m just a little too dorky when I’m dragging her to my 20th Wilco show of the year, hogging bandwidth on the computer to download a Robyn Hitchcock show from 2000 at the Largo that includes his famous Kung-Fu Fighting/Sound and Vision/When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman medley, or going giddy over the special year-end double issue of Trains magazine with pictures of Portland’s MAX light rail system (including map!) I can just point to you and say “it could be worse Honey. It could be worse.” So thanks, crazy closeted-gay coffee guy!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Fill The Cup Yourself Senator

So baseball has gotten tough. They went and got themselves a new steroid policy that will suspend player for 50 games on first positive test, 100 games for a second, and a lifetime, Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose type ban for a third positive steroid test. I know I've written about this before, but I have just a couple of things to say about this.

So why the sudden all the tough drug policy from MLB? Especially one that includes testing for amphetamines, which have been said to be used by well over half of the players in baseball since about the 1950s. Did they finally decide to be a better example to children and get cheating out of baseball? Well no, not exactly. You see, Congress threatened to pass a law that would force all major sports to do random drug testing for steroids and a bunch of other performance-enhancing drugs. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jim Bunning (R-KY, 224-184, 3.26 ERA over 17 seasons. Elected to Hall Of Fame 1996) had crafted a bill they were about to introduce to the Senate. So baseball got off their asses and did something. Now you may be thinking, "Who cares? A bunch of millionaire athletes have to pee in a cup a few times a season, this doesn't affect me in any way". But beware people, they have caused a precedent here that is very dangerous and very much in line with the way of thinking among these conservative-activist, corporate-shill judges that sit on the Supreme Court (Scalia, Thomas, Roberts) or will sit on the Court (Alito). Now, this time the person who's arm Congress twisted was the brainless and ball-less Bud Selig, so it looks like they won't pass a law to force Major League Baseball and the other sports to do this since Bud groveled like a little girl and did what they told him to do. Let me remind everyone that these sports leagues are private businesses just like GM or Microsoft or every other corporation out there. So what this law was doing was telling an entire private industry that they have to drug test their employees. And remember we are talking about people who throw/hit/catch/kick a ball or puck for a living, not people who fly planes, drive busses or control our nuclear arsenal.

If they had passed the law, there's a good chance that one of the leagues or players' unions would have challenged the law and it would have ended up in front of the Supreme Court. Then what would have happened? Well, we don't for sure. The Supreme Court in the past has allowed businesses the right to drug test their employees, a decision I personally find ludicrous, and has led to things like that asshole owner of Weyco I saw on 60 Minutes a couple of weeks ago who drug tests his employees for nicotine and fires them for testing positive for smoking cigarettes on their own time and away from the office. But this would be a whole different ballgame (nyuk nyuk). This would not be the government telling companies they can drug test, it would be them telling companies they have to drug test. A sane person would think that this is ridiculous and there's no way the law would be upheld. I'd like to think so, but with certain members of this Court this is a completely Constitutional idea. Remember that people like Scalia, Thomas and Alito don't believe there is such a thing as a right to privacy. It is their main argument when saying that Roe v Wade was "improperly decided". In the recent ruling that overturned Texas' (and every other state's) sodomy law, Scalia and Thomas were both in the minority (thank god) in claiming that the law was Constitutional. (This is the case of the two men who were arrested in their own bedroom while having sex. And as it is impossible to make love as a gay man without committing sodomy, they were violating Texas law.) Scalia went so far as to say, in his dissenting opinion, that not only does the government have the right, but they also have a legitimate interest in outlawing anal and oral sex between two consenting adults. Especially homosexual ones. And new Chief Justice Roberts said in his confirmation hearing that he believes there is a right to privacy in the Constitution, but that could be an outright lie just to appease the Democrats on the committee. We won't know the truth about that until his first case involving privacy issues comes up. Once they decide it's OK to do this, other privacy issues are in danger as well.

Even on a practical level, does anyone really want them to be able to do this? If Congress can force drug testing on one business, they won't have to stop there. And do you really want them to make it so your boss just can come up to you at the office and give you a cup to go piss in? I mean, you show up on time, you do your work, you get outstanding reviews from your boss, never call in sick, never made an ass of yourself at the office Christmas party but you still need to be drug tested? You weren't using that pride and dignity anyway, so they'll just take that right off your hands!

And imagine the effect on other industries if they have to fire employees for failed drug tests. There won't be enough philosophy professors left to fill all college positions. Try this little test: Go in to your local indie video store (no drug testing) and start up a conversation with the clerks about who the better director is, Jim Jarmusch or Lars von Trier, or ask them if they have the latest Hal Hartley movie. Then go do the same at Blockbuster (drug testing), and see if they even recognize what language you're speaking. Ask yourself then if video stores would be better off without potheads working there. I think not. And Jesus, what the hell are we going to do with no bike messengers?

You can bet there'll be one job protected from this type of screening: Congressman

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Blame Him

So I'm sure everyone has heard about the kid in Pennsylvania who shot his girlfriend's parents and then ran off with her to Indiana. A big tragedy, right? Of course. 18 year old boy runs off with 14 year old girl after killing her parents and the cops still aren't exactly sure if the girl had something to do with the murder. So what the hell happened? How could these seemingly normal kids get caught up in something like this? Now, the parents of the world will be looking for someone to blame, because kids don't just do stuff like this. After Columbine they blamed Marilyn Manson. Two kids kill themselves with shotguns and there was a Judas Priest album on the record player, so it was their fault. Hidden messages in the music you know.

So who should be blamed for this? A tragic situation like this has to be the fault of someone besides the kids themselves. You have to look for the signs. Too many posters about one thing on the wall, always bringing the subject up in conversations, and letting it run your whole life are just some of the things to look for. Using these simple methods I have come up with the culprit. I know who's fault it is.

It's fucking Jesus' fault.

It is so absolutely true. Police have discovered these kids' websites/blogs on myspace and some other personal pages hosting site. Boy let me tell you, these kids need help. They are just obsessed with this Jesus guy. On her personal profile on her page the girl, Kara Beth Borden, list her personal interest as "JESUS!!", "church", "my youth group", and "hugging". And she signs off on most of her posts with "God Bless". Hugging?!? Fucking sick. She's only fourteen years old. See what he's teaching our children? And a girl that spells his name with all caps and not one, but two exclamation points has got some serious idolization issues that can be really unhealthy. Ask any of those groupies from the sixties and seventies. And really, aren't Jesus, church and youth group just listing the same thing three times? This girl was just screaming for help.

And the boy who did the shooting? He is said to be a big fan of a Christian rock band called Pillar. My grandparents were wrong, it's not the devil bands that are destroying youth, it's the Jesus bands. I'll bet he was listening to some of that evil shit right before he pulled out his gun. The members of Pillar will have to be pulled in for questioning as possible accomplices. And while they're at it they should see if there are any hidden backwards messages on their albums.

And rumor has it that both of these home-schooled kids were in possession of material said to be written by, or containing the messages of, Jesus. Something called a "bible". This demon work doesn't even try to hide a lot of its message, just lays it out for the world to see. Sex, slavery, bigamy, prostitution, and stoning. This thing is just full of filth. Hell, it's even where the word sodomy comes from. This is in the hands of maybe millions of our children. And if you read it backwards and it tells you to kill Jews and homosexuals.

We've got to get this guy off the streets and his book out of the libraries and bookstores. There's no way of knowing how far this could go. One of the members of his cult is already on TV every week granting "wishes" to unsuspecting families. It all seemed harmless when this Charles Manson looking, long-haired, smelly hippy just had a dozen or so followers and all they did was roam the desert smoking peyote looking for the next drum circle. But now he's got our kids under his spell. How many more have to die before we wake up America?

Oh yeah, this is all Jesus' fault. We need to take that fucker down.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


They say marriage is hard work. I never really quite understood this. What exactly is hard about it? Before I got married last year I figured there were about three things I had to remember: Say "I love you" fairly often, don't smack her around, and don't fuck other women. None of these really seem like hard work to me. In fact, smacking her around and sleeping with other women seem to me they would actually be harder work than just not doing those things. And if telling your wife you love her is hard work, well, maybe you didn't marry the right person. I don't know, maybe my wife is not as high maintenance as other women. I don't make shit for money, and I spend too much of that money on CDs or concert tickets. I constantly complain about living in Boston. I talk to/scream at the news on TV. But she still comes home every night. No divorce papers yet. So I have never seen this whole marriage thing as work.

That is, until recently. You see, I had to buy a new toaster.

My wife loves toast. Just loves it. She has toast every day. If we were on the Newlywed Game and they asked me what her favorite food was, I would probably say toast. So it was a serious thing when our toaster went on the fritz the other day. So I told her I would buy a new one since I'm working near a local mall. So on my lunch break I went to the Sears to buy a toaster. Now when I was single and my toaster broke I would just go to Target or KMart and find the cheapest toaster I could and try to find one for less than $10 if at all possible. And that would be after about six months of using the oven when I wanted toasted bread. But I'm not single anymore. I'm toasting for two now. And I had only one instruction from the better half - no white toasters, which of course seem to be the most common color these days and all the cheap ones seem to be white.

I'm standing there at the toaster section looking at all my choices and having the hardest time picking one out. I'm drawn to the four-slice models. My family never had that kind growing up and I always wanted one. Just imagine being able to toast four things at a time! But not only do we not have room in our shoebox apartment for that, it could also send the wrong message to my wife about my thoughts on reproduction. So I'll stick with the regular two-slicers. So I'm looking at them and trying to decide metal or black. There are more choices among the metal variety, so I decide I'll stick with that. But then there's the choice between two kinds of metal, shiny or dull/brushed-look. I'm trying like crazy to figure out which one will "go" with our kitchen, and I can't even believe I'm having that thought. When the hell did I start caring that my kitchen matched? And I think the answer is when I decided that my goal for this shopping trip was to get the perfect toaster for my beautiful wife so she'll be happy. This is not a completely unselfish act of course. The thing I probably hate more than shopping is returning. So I'm trying to avoid that as much as I can and it all hinges on this decision. If she doesn't like what I choose I'll be back here tomorrow and nobody wants that. Not that she would get pissed about it or anything. That's more like growing up with my mother, who would fly off the handle over a bad a small appliance purchase without hesitation. No, my wife would say it's fine even if she didn't like my choice, but I would be able to tell if she hated it and would take it back.

So I narrow it down to a cheap looking $25 no brand name kind, or a $65 Cuisinart. Yeah, 65 bucks. For a toaster. And the Cuisinart has all these extra buttons on it that I can't figure out what they actually do. I mean, it's a toaster. What the hell else is it supposed to do? So at this point I've been standing in front of toasters for about a half an hour and should just grab one and go. But do I do that? No, I decide I should go over to the Filene's and see what choices they have. And they are basically the same except the Cuisinart they have is slightly different and called a "classic" style. But I can't tell exactly what the difference is so I go back over to the Sears to look at the one there again. Seems to be a difference in the shape of the knob more than anything. Of course this becomes an internal argument over which of the two knobs my wife would prefer. After about twenty more minutes of thinking about it and going back and forth between stores one more time I go with the dull metal kind at the Filene's that cost a total of $63 (on sale, reg. price $83). The metal seems like it will match our sugar and flour canisters so that clinched the choice. Seriously, I actually made a conscious decision to match an appliance.

So I go home with a toaster that cost about four times what I thought I would ever spend on a toaster. Of course when she saw the receipt she said that I didn't need to spend that much on a toaster and could have gotten any cheap thing. But I know she likes it. I could tell she was pretty darn impressed with the matching I accomplished. So it was well worth it.

Boy, marriage is hard work.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Halloween In Dresden

So the lovely wife and I had a great Halloween here in Boston. We attended the final show on The Dresden Dolls current tour, before they finish work on their new album. And what a night it was. Started off by walking through our neighborhood and looking at the costumes and decorations on the rich people's houses on the ritzy side of Beacon Hill. Got to see Theresa Heinz Kerry passing out candy. Well, she was out talking to people, the maid may have been doing the actual candy passing. It seemed like this year every other high school/college girl (and a couple of guys) went as slutty French maids. Maybe it's that way every year and this time I just noticed, I don't know.

So anyway, we make our way over to the Fenway neighborhood for the show. For those of you not from Boston, yes this is where Fenway park is. A line of clubs are on the opposite side of Lansdowne Street from the famed "Green Monster" wall in Fenway's left field. It appears that these were crappy warehouse spaces years ago that were turned into clubs when it became a more expensive/trendy neighborhood. They still look like a row of crappy warehouses.

We got to the show about an hour after the first opener started which was probably a good thing. When we walked in there was a woman kind of yodeling or falsetto screaming through some sort of circle with material stretched over it just finishing her set. So I was OK with missing most of that. If you've ever seen The Dresden Dolls something like this wouldn't be surprising. See, they call themselves "Brechtian Punk Cabaret", and they try to do a whole theatrical type experience at their shows, ala 1930s Berlin cabaret. But on acid. They perform their shows with their faces painted white and Amanda, keyboards and vocals, wears black and white striped stockings with garters and the drummer Brian usually wears black trousers without a shirt and a black derby. At their shows they also recruit "performers" to entertain pre-show and between sets. Now this is a good idea in theory that doesn't always work out in practice so well. A lot of them tend to be performance artists in the worst sense of the label. It can come across as bad, under-rehearsed mime work. Guys in white face who peel imaginary bananas or give invisible flowers to girls. Yawn. On this particular night we had, at the most interesting end of the spectrum, a girl with pale face and dark lipstick doing the glass ball balance thing on her hands, much like David Bowie in Labyrinth. Not real interesting after a while, but she was committed to it and had great concentration and skill. At the stupid end of the spectrum you had a girl with a Rosie O'Donnell body with very little clothing on doing a little bit of pseudo belly dancing or hip shaking with some other S&M wannabes. On the real annoying end there were those couple of guys and girls doing the freeze posing in pretentious, overly dramatic positions. A lot like those guys you'll see in the tourist areas of every major city who stand there like statues until someone puts money in their bucket and then they'll dance around for ten seconds. You know, those guys you really want to walk up to and push over. And imagine if they were really really bad at it and never practiced. And wore bad drag. Then after a real opening act, DeVotchka (who were way too cool to go into with any justice, that's a review for another time), we had to stand through a performance of Amanda's alma mater Lexington High School drama club. It was a bunch of girls doing weird writhing movements and amateurish images of consumption and purging and devouring, etc. I leaned over to my wife and said I thought it was one of those things that we would find out was supposed to represent a vagina or something like that.

But then the show finally started. And wow. Fucking wow. I can't think of another band that could get away with doing a cover of Science Fiction/Double Feature from Rocky Horror Picture Show. And that was how they opened the show. And we were hit with beautiful renditions of their songs from the first album, like Girl Anachronism, Coin-Operated Boy, and Bad Habit (which has my favorite line "sappy songs about sex and cheating, bland accounts of two lover meeting, make me want to give mankind a beating) along with new songs from their upcoming album. At one point an acrobat performer showed up on stage and did a Cirque du Soleil style curtain hanging/flipping/repelling show. Absolutely stunning to watch, especially since it was done to better music than the normal new-agey boring stuff done at Cirque.

The highlights of the evening though, was the five cover songs they did. They completely solidified my belief that this is one of the greatest new bands on the scene today. The artists they chose to cover are as varied as the Dolls influences themselves. First there was the previously mentioned opening number from Rocky Horror. Later on they did a kick-ass rendition of I Love Rock And Roll with Amanda on the drums and singing and Brian wailing on the guitar. The most rocking part of the night, people even started doing that 80s fist throwing to the beat thing that was so popular with the Headbangers Ball crowd back in the day. Later on in the show Brian left the stage to Amanda alone and she played a song by herself. She prefaced it by saying something along the lines of she doesn't really know what's cool and that a lot of people think this guy is cool and others don't but that this is what she's been listening to recently. She then did a spectacular rendition of Bright Eyes' Lua. To me it was the most beautiful moment of the show.

For the encore we got another huge surprise. They came back out dressed kind of weird and we weren't able to figure it out right away, with Brian in drag with a long black wig and Amanda wearing trousers and a sort of flat wide-brim hat. After they sat back down at their instruments and Amanda said "Isn't my sister sexy?", that I realized they were dressed as The White Stripes. They then kicked into a smoking cover of My Doorbell.

And they wrapped up the evening with The Flesh Failures (Let The Sunshine In) from Hair! after inviting DeVotchka and the other openers on stage. And not the Aquarius combo version either, the original whole song from the musical by itself. It was a raucous beautiful end to the night. Not many bands could get away with it. Only The Polyphonic Spree comes to mind as another who could. When it comes to the Dolls theatrics, when it works (party sing-along of a 60's musical number) it's fantastic and fabulous, when it doesn't (bad high school mime feminist theatre, statue people) it is hokey and embarrassing. But the moments that do work are worth it.

And everyone knows I really don't like Boston very much, but that last song at the end of a tour for a rising star band in front of the hometown Boston crowd full of their friends and longest-time fans was just fantastic.

They have a live DVD coming out on Nov. 22nd.

Live clips and videos here.

Song samples here.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Stupidest Generation

Watching CNN this morning and there is a story about how people in south Florida are having a hard time getting gas for their cars. With electricity still out in a lot of places the pumps won't work. So in the story they go to a gas station that has power and there is a half-mile long line going down the street waiting to get fuel. Now this is understandable, a hurricane just swept through and all, and it can take a while to get power back up and running. Plus, you know, they need to kind of prioritize. Hospitals I would imagine would be toward the front of that list, way ahead of getting power back on at the local Stop & Go. But that's not good enough for some of the people in line at the gas station, as we found out when CNN interviewed some of those in line.

Here's one that really stuck out when I saw it right before leaving this morning. A woman, a twentysomething girl really, in the line was sitting in her car and they show her saying that the situation is just terrible and that it's like living in a "Third World country". Yes, she compared her life to living in a Third World country. And she said this while sitting in a car that appeared less than 3-4 years old, with a mouth full of thousands of dollars worth of orthodonture, a Starbucks cup sitting in the cup holder, and she was holding a cell phone to her ear. I'm not making this shit up. And I'm willing to bet she had an iPod in there too. Let me say it again: She said it was like a Third World country.

I'd like to say this to the young lady. Listen, you stupid bimbo, do you know what in America is like a third world country? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!!

You were in line to get gasoline, not clean water or a small bag of rice. You were chatting with your friends while waiting, not trying to comfort your AIDS infected baby or throwing up from cholera.

You were in line to buy gas somewhere you could also grab a Diet Coke. It was not a line to sign up for open spaces in the refugee camp. It also wasn't a line to see if one of the bodies in the recently discovered mass grave was your husband or father.

The Americans of my generation ("X") and later (whatever stupid name they've given that one) are in serious need of a wake-up call. Another Great Depression might do us a some good. A little perspective is just what the doctor ordered. I don't know how our grandparents can stand to be around us.

The people in the Third World would love to have our damn problems. Think about that the next time your DSL connection goes down for three minutes or when there's not enough chocolate in your Frappuccino.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Always Low Morals. Always.

Open up the New York Times today and there is this article about Wal-Mart. It seems that the $10.5 billion in pure profit they make every year is just not paying the bills and they want to do some belt tightening. Now it won't be easy, but the executives at Wal-Mart are up to the task. How will they do this you ask? Lower bonuses and stock options for the CEO and president and other VPs and execs? Oh goodness no, that would be inhumane. No they are going to go after the excessive benefit packages they give to those spoiled employees. It's going to be tough, but with enough hard work and creativity, maybe the CEO can keep all of his vacation homes. What a fucking tragedy it would be to have to decide which one to give up. I mean come on, could you choose between Aspen or Rome? Swiss Alps or Nantucket? Poor guy must know how Sophie felt, tough choices and all. But hell, why choose at all? There are much better ways to fix Wal-Mart's cash flow problem.

First of all, having health coverage for almost 45% of their employees is such a burden. So they'll have to cut benefits (because they were just waaaaay too generous) and raise the employee contribution. Hey, they're making almost $18,000 a year now, so they won't mind shelling out $2500 for out of pocket health costs. They'll get by with the $15,000 left over (before taxes) just fine. They'll just have to get another roommate in their residential hotel room. With their employee discount (except on sale items of course) they'll even be able to easily add another hotplate and double the size of their kitchen. And with Wal-Marts new bunk cots you won't even notice 8 people sharing a one room apartment. And with the extra health care cost they'll more easily qualify for food stamps. So you see, Wal-Mart is helping their employees more and more.

And what the hell is with people working there too long. Don't they understand that their yearly 25 cent raise is hurting the caddies tips at the management outings? Won't someone think of the caddies?!?! You would think with all the incentive given to associates (Wal-Mart's term for serf) to move on and get another job, from union busting to spy cameras to drug testing to sexual harassment, no one should want to work there for more than Wal-Mart's goal of a few months. Getting all employees to quit before they're due for their first raise you would think would be a pretty easy goal to achieve. But nooooo, these damn people have "rent" and "groceries" to buy. Dammit, where are these people's priorities? Selfish pricks putting food on their table without a thought of what it's doing to the shareholders. The fucking nerve of these damn people. Some poor stock owner somewhere is having second thoughts about buying the fourth Hummer because of the horrible financial straights of Wal-Mart, and these damn "workers" are only thinking of themselves.

Combined with lowering the 4% contribution to the 401(k) to 3%, weeding out these long term employees and not hiring any more fat people (except for the seniors who open the door - they've got Medicare) will help this poor, poor company hold off on raising the price of plastic laundry bins by a nickel. It gives me the shivers just to entertain the thought. Oh the humanity.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Great Pro-Life Smoke Screen

OK, so another Supreme Court nomination for Dumbfuck to name and a new round of bitching back and forth and a lot of rhetoric over abortion, which apparently is the only issue the Supreme Court will ever deal with again in the future. Now of course I don't want to see Roe v. Wade overturned and the rights of women set back once again, but there are other issues when it comes to the Supremos and the left is losing sight of them all because of both sides' inability to see these nominations as anything more than their referendum on abortion.

And that's exactly the way Dubya wants it. All of this blind screaming about abortion is making him a happy camper. If there is one thing I know about this idiot, it's this: George W. Bush doesn't give a shit about abortion. He doesn't care if there are three trillion abortions a year. It's just a bunch of bullshit to rally the religious wackos into voting for him, just like that thing he said about Jesus being his favorite philosopher during the first campaign. If that didn't smell like a lie from a mile away I don't know what would. Personally, I agree with Thomas Jefferson when he asked why, if Jesus was such a great philosopher, didn't he actually write down any of his own thoughts and instead have other people do it for him? Now someone like your neighborhood priest or reverend might come up with a defense for that but Bush hasn't even given that any thought. Why would he? No one in the media would think to have him defend or expand upon a pre-planned answer anyway, so he doesn't need to worry about it. I'll let you in on a little secret. Bush doesn't even have a favorite philosopher. I would guess he couldn't even name a real philosopher, hence the Jesus answer. He probably had that as his stock answer for several things that stump him. Like if he's asked to name his favorite poet he'd probably name Jesus again. When in doubt, go with Christ.

And just like the Jesus nonsense, this anti-choice stance is just another smokescreen to keep everyone focused on something besides what is really going on. And it works like a charm. Everyone on both sides of the abortion issue is so worked up into a frenzy that it is clouding the real agenda being pushed. Listen up people! The Oilman isn't trying to overturn Roe v. Wade. If you think that's his agenda, well I'm sorry, but you are just duped no matter what side of the issue you fall. Georgie Boy is no friend of the fetus. He is a friend of big business, and that's who he's trying to help with the cronies he's putting on the court. Exactly what kind of person is he trying to put on the court? Constitutional scholars? Longtime professional jurists? No. What kind of lawyers are both Roberts and Miers? That's right, corporate attorneys. This is no accident. Bush isn't watching out for the unborn, he's watching out for the CEOs. Getting pro-business lawyers on the court will go a long way in pushing the agenda of the Texas Twit for years to come. If it's good for big business then it's good for America is the marching song of the corporate right and there is no telling how far down a dark road this will lead us.

You think the right to abortion is what you have to worry about? Not even on his radar. Dubya is much more interested in striking down clean air and water laws, getting rid of protected wilderness because it's standing in the way of drilling for something, getting Social Security declared unconstitutional, striking down the minimum wage, and tons of other evil shit I haven't even thought of. The right of union workers to collective bargaining could be at stake in the future. And if your company wants to take a DNA sample from you as a condition of employment, which side do you think a Supreme Court full of corporate attorneys is going come down on? Right to privacy will stop at the company door.

Don't get too caught up in the anti-choice nonsense. The abortion issue is the guy they send to the front to get slaughtered, a sacrificial lamb to the bigger goal. And that goal is a world where the rights of corporations trump yours and mine.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Apocalypse Soon (Brains Of Darkness)

So I have seen the signs of the coming apocalypse and it is not pretty. You may think it is the recent glut of disasters like the hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires, floods and the like. But you would be wrong. No, to see the real signs of the end of the world just stay up late at night and watch VH1. I'm talking about these insane "celebrity reality" shows.

Have you seen these thing? I stayed up late one night and started flipping through the channels and came across them at about 1:00am or so, and I can't believe the idiocy. First off, let's deal with the term "reality". From Survivor to whatever the name of the show that Paris Hilton is on, there is nothing real or unscripted about these shows. But that's the media term for them, so you know what I mean when I refer to them, it is by no means my endorsement of their "reality".

The first one I saw that night is called My Fair Brady, and as you might expect it features a former cast member of the 2nd crappiest show ever (the first being Gilligan's Island - We get it already, you'd be off the island by now if you would just murder Gilligan and he would stop ruining the escape plane/boat/bike/surfboard/pod), The Brady Bunch. Specifically the guy that played Peter. Now the premise of the show is his relationship with some bimbo he met while living in the Surreal Life house last year. Now if there was any show of this genre that I thought had promise, it would be the Surreal Life. Put together a bunch of washed up actors or other 15 minutes of fame people and watch the self respect go flying out the window. Any show that can have Tammy Faye Baker and 70s porn star Ron Jeremy living in the same house must have potential. So I guess Peter Brady was on one of the incarnations of the show, and he ended up getting jiggy with some woman who was on another reality show called America's Top Whorebag or some shit like that. I don't know if she was the winner or not, but she seems like the perfect model, as she has an IQ that barely registers on the scale.

So I watch some of this and I just can't believe what I'm seeing. She moves in with him in LA and they have all these little self-created dramas (she should get her own place, she should get a car, he should propose, blah blah blah), and they show them going out on the town getting fucked up and doing stupid shit that rich people with too much time on their hands do. Like him trying to French-kiss Jane Wiedlin of Go-Gos and PETA fame at her birthday party. Seriously.

And to top off the evening I saw this show, he invites Mom Brady to come over and meet his girlfriend and to give them relationship advice. Turns out that Mrs. Brady is a licensed therapist! I'm not, but it seemed to me she should have been talking to Peter about his Oedipal Complex. Creepy.

But what is really the creepy thing is what the show basically is. A pathetic middle-aged guy, whose life/career peaked over 30 years ago, trying desperately to hang on to the remaining shreds of fame hooking up with someone about 25 years his junior who is trying desperately to cling on to his remaining fame to get some for herself. And neither person seems to care how pathetic they look. Apparently, pathetic and famous is better than not being famous at all. Fame for the sake of being famous. And that's all this girl wants obviously. And him too, why else would he have gone on the Surreal Life show to begin with? Used to be that a person with no brains or talent who wanted to be famous would just go into porn, but now they have reality television. I wish they would just stick to the porn, like the guy who played the kid in the Richard Pryor movie The Toy. But I would imagine he's probably already working on a deal for his triumphant return to pseudo-credibility on Surreal Life 7: Flick's Revenge.

And then after the Brady nonsense comes Breaking Bonaduce. There's not enough space in my blog to talk about this show about the ex-Partridge going to marriage counseling, you just have to see it for yourself. What a shocker though, that two people who got married on their first date would end up in counseling. Just when you didn't think Danny Partridge's life couldn't sink any lower than his boxing match with Donny Osmond a few years back, you get this train wreck of a show. The best (worst?) part had to be when he went on his radio show (how does this guy have a radio gig anyway?) and told the world that he cheated on his wife. Classy.

I suppose that just like blue is the new black, Loser seems to be the new Winner. Thanks a lot Beck. Though I trace a lot of the blame back to Kato Kaelin. The idea that brainless, talentless twits could become big stars had to come from some TV producer seeing Kato become a household word.

Sad and pathetic really. Like, oh I don't know, starting a blog even though you're not really a writer. But who would do that?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Just A Thought

After reading that Harriet Miers is 60 years old and single with no children, am I the only one who's wondering how long it will be before the lesbian rumors start?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Silenced Guitars

Today I am sad. August Wilson died yesterday. He was only 60 years old. Along with Arthur Miller, who also died earlier this year, I consider Wilson to be one of the two greatest American playwrights of the 20th century. The New York Times obituary in the link will give you a great sense of who he was and what he meant to American theatre and, possibly more important, to black culture. I can't do him more justice than they have. I can only share what he meant to me.

As a young theatre student at a college in Middleofnowhere Illinois, I first came across his magical work. I was in my first directing class and was considering if that's what I wanted to do with my life. I had gone to school as an actor but got the idea to give directing a shot. I wasn't sure if it would be something that I could do or not. The first assignment I received was to read and analyze Wilson's Fences. From the moment I read it I knew that I was going to be a director. A play with amazing depth and characters that stand toe to toe with those in Miller's Death Of A Salesman. And it spoke so well to the experiences of real people, and seemed to be written with the idea that it was just about those people, but for them. I sought out the rest of his plays soon after. For those of you that don't know, as I didn't when I first read Fences, he wrote a cycle of ten plays that each represented a decade of the black experience in America. At the time I first read his work he was only through five of them. His first would open in 1981 and his last just earlier this year. Two of them won Pulitzer Prizes, which in my mind means he was robbed eight times.

I saw him speak in person twice. Once at Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival and the other time at Chicago's Printers Row Book Fair. At the first he just read scenes from his plays for an hour, which would bore me to tears if anyone else did that. But I was as riveted as if I were at a full production.

But don't take my word for it. If you don't know his work, go to the library and check out his plays. You won't be sorry.

Although I have yet to direct one of his plays, it is the kind of theatre he brought to the American stage that inspired me to stick with this unforgiving career choice. I hope one day I can repay him by putting on a spectacular production of one of his works that would make him proud.

Thank you August. And Goodbye.

The plays of August Wilson's ten play cycle, in order of the decade in which they take place:
(Descriptions courtesy of Associated Press)

1900s — Gem of the Ocean A haunting, ghostlike play, conjuring tales of slave ships and the black man arriving in chains in the New World.

1910s — Joe Turner's Come and Gone Set in a Pittsburgh boarding house, the children and grandchildren of slavery grapple with a world that won't let them forget the past.

1920s — Ma Rainey's Black Bottom A volatile trumpet player rebels against racism in a Chicago recording studio.

1930s — The Piano Lesson A brother and sister battle over a family heirloom, a link to the slavery in their past.

1940s — Seven Guitars The final days of a Pittsburgh blues guitarist, telling the story of how and why he died.

1950s — Fences A father-son drama of dreams denied and how that denial affects the relationship between the two men.

1960s — Two Trains Running The displaced and the dreamers congregate in a dilapidated Pittsburgh restaurant scheduled for demolition.

1970s — Jitney Another father-son tale, set in a gypsy cab station, as the owner of the cab company squares off against his offspring, newly released from prison.

1980s — King Hedley II An ex-con attempts to get his life back on track despite the desperation, despair and violence that surrounds him.

1990s — Radio Golf A successful middle-class entrepreneur tries to reconcile the present with the past.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Fuck I hate libertarians. Just fuckin' hate them. I used to not feel this way. My thoughts about Libertarians used to be "well, it's better than being a Republican". But over the years I've come to the conclusion that a Libertarian is nothing more than a Republican who likes to smoke weed, or worse, a Republican who did waaaaay too much acid in college. Sure, they pull you in to their spell with their talk of being against the anti-gay marriage amendment, for legalizing drugs, and generally letting people do whatever kinky things they want to do in the privacy of their homes. But as you start to peel away at the outside to reveal the moral core you see there is something much more sinister going on. You start to see it has a heck of a lot more to do with unregulated capitalism than it does with individual rights. These idiots believe that if the market wants it then the market should get it, not matter what the effect it may have on society. They don't believe in the minimum wage, if someone wants to only pay 35 cents/hour for a job and someone will take that job then it's all good in their mind. Along with their soul mates the Republicans, they make silly arguments about the minimum wage causing jobs to go away even though that has never happened in the past. We're talking about a law that had a drastic effect on cutting the poverty level in this country but oh no, we can't have that, it's not the free market. And don't even suggest to these free marketeers that maybe it's a good idea to have gas mileage regulation. Los Angeles could be down to a visibility of zero from all the smog and these guys will still be saying shit like "if someone wants to buy a car that gets half a mile to the gallon, then they should be able to buy one." I swear it wouldn't stop there with these morons. At their best, these Libertarians would believe it OK if someone wanted to buy plutonium for personal use. At their worst, they believe if someone has the money to buy nuclear warheads, well then hey, let them have nukes. It's their money right? And those old growth trees in the national forests are just sitting there doing nothing when they could be making somebody a buck.

Social Security? Evil Socialism.
Public education? Can't have that.
Environmentalism? Only if it makes a profit.

Want to make a Libertarian shudder? Just walk up to one and say "public transportation." He/she may go in to convulsions.

I'm not saying you should be afraid of them. I enjoy Penn and Teller as much as anybody, and that guy that played Chainsaw in the Summer School movie (and was in Sleep With Me) is one of my favorite unknown actors. They are certainly a lot more fun to hang around than the Rick Santorum type Republicans. But don't believe their hype. It's all good to share the bong with them and munch on Fritos and have kinky weird sex if that's your thing, but remember that these people think Indonesian children working in Nike sweatshops and making Phil Knight lots of money is good for the world.

They don't care about the ends, as long as the means are capitalism.

Fuck that.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Bud's Reply

Sorry for the long absence everyone. I have no good excuse.

So get this. You remember the open letter to Bud Selig that I wrote? Well, I actually printed it out and sent it to him, as well as emailed to a few newspapers, none of which printed it (pricks). Well guess what? Bud responded. I kid you not. This is what he wrote:

September 16, 2005

Ms. (name witheld)

Dear Ms. (name),

Thank you for your letter of September 3, 2005. Even though the tone of your letter is both disappointing and inaccurate, I will answer you anyway.

The fact of the matter is that I think baseball has been extraordinarily sensitive to the recent tragedy. We have not only raised a lot of money, but we have sent a lot of supplies to that area. We have also cut public service announcements to help raise money. I am sure you will note with interest that the National Football league nor anyone else has stopped playing games. I don't believe anything would have been gained by that, and in fact, I watched some of the people who were dislocated who watched the New Orleans Saints game on television and said it was a great thing they were able to continue to watch sports. Your observations about my commissionership are interesting. You are entitled to your opinion, despite the fact that baseball is having its greatest year with record revenues and creating excitement like it hasn't done in many years. People now refer to this era as the golden era, so your observations are both ludicrous and unfortunate. To question baseball's sincerity and sensitivity is really inappropriate.


Allan H. Selig, commissioner of Baseball

Now I realize I spell my name in a weird way, but he assumed I was female, which is funny because I thought my rudeness and mockery of him came across as very male. I should have cursed more. I guess I need to sign my letters "Mr. (my name)" from now on. But the best part of this is his "the NFL isn't doing it either" defense of what I wrote to him, and ignoring my question why he stopped games for the World Trade Center attacks but not for New Orleans. If it is such a great thing for people to still be able to watch sports after a tragedy why did he stop for six days after September 11, 2001? But the best is his defense of his commissioner. Selig has always been defensive when people criticize the crappy job he's done, but I had no idea he would get that way when jabbed by someone completely inconsequential(me). So that gave me a wonderful laugh. I would love him to name me one person who calls this the "golden era" of baseball. I can't believe he really believes that. Stuff doesn't get called the golden era of anything while it's going on, that happens like 20 years later when people are nostalgic. I can't believe there is anyone besides MLB's marketing department who refers to this season as the golden age. And how can someone's tone be inaccurate?

I may not have accomplished much with my little letter, but at least I got a rise out of Bud Selig. So that's cool. I'll probably write him again.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bad News Day

I open up my Sunday paper and I see this:

Cheney OK after surgery to repair aneurysms


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I Got Nothin'

No, really.

Can't think of anything to write about right now.

All week I've been planning to write a treatise on the virtue of hate, but I haven't been able to quite get it yet.

Also hopefully coming soon: Reasons why Libertarians suck ass.

All ideas and no execution right now.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Alas, Poor Weather Man

Have you seen this dumbass Chad Myers on CNN? He's the weather guy I'm forced to put up with while watching the around the clock Hurricane coverage on the news. I know I know, I bitch about people on CNN all the time yet I continue to watch. But when you flip the channel and your other choices are Rita Cosby on MSNBC, whose voice can best be described as sounding like Tiny Tim with laryngitis, or FOX, where they're figuring out ways to blame the hurricane on the Welfare State and gay abortionists, CNN turns out to be the least annoying place to get your news. I do wish they'd fire most of the reporters, except for Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Christiane Amanpour. Maybe Anderson Cooper too, but only if he stops saying "Here at 360 we show both sides and let you decide" every five minutes. The rest of them have to go. Did you see Larry King ask Celine Dion to sing a song while she bawling?

This Myers guy is a real piece of work lately. Normally a TV weather guy wouldn't bother me. They're basically just stupid lazy people who fell into a sweet gig that requires very little work or brain function, and I can respect that. But this guy has issues. He gets snippy with the other anchors when they ask what something he just said in weather guy lingo means, which is just weird to see. Seriously, all one of them asked was what he means when he says the hurricane is getting "airy" and he loses it. And he seems to get pissed off about names of hurricanes. Ever since the latest one, Ophelia, has popped up he has just been snide and pissy. First I heard him say something like, "where the heck do they get these names?", and then "Ophelia, how's that for a name?!". Eventually, he starts spelling it every time he talks about it, which prompts miles O'Brien to ask "Hey Chad, why do you keep spelling Ophelia every time you say it?", and you can tell he's making fun of Chad at this point. Chad's reply was testy as hell and actually said "because it's so weird, whoever heard of..." and O'Brien kind of did the "OK, OK Chad.." thing.

So Chad thinks Ophelia is an odd, nobody ever heard of it kind of name.

Memo to CNN: Please buy Chad Myers a copy of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. If Elizabethan drama is not his thing, then at least get him a copy of the Indigo Girls' fifth album. His brain seems to be hurting.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

An Open Letter To Bud Selig

September 3, 2005

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167

Dear Mr. Selig,

I write to you today as a baseball fan and an American citizen. In the aftermath of the attacks on our country on September 11, 2001, as commissioner of baseball you made a difficult and important decision. You shut down the game. No baseball was played for five full days. You stopped the game out of respect for the dead, to give the country a period of mourning. It didn't seem appropriate to play a game in the face of such tragedy. You called your friend, President Bush, and told him that baseball would do whatever he wanted and you would follow his lead. Whatever he needed, you would do. Shea Stadium in Queens was used as a staging ground for relief efforts at the World Trade Center, and many players, managers, coaches, and baseball employees were involved in aiding those efforts. At the time you made remarks about how there are things in the world more important than playing a baseball game, and that the country had more pressing things to focus on at that time. It was, in many people's opinion, a shining moment for America's Pastime.

I have watched my television, in horror and sadness, for the past six days as the city of New Orleans sits underwater and tens of thousands of survivors struggle to survive. Many of them have already lost that battle and many more will in the coming hours and days. The situation is so dire that there is still no way of knowing how many lives have been lost. Many officials have publicly expressed that they expect the number of dead to exceed 10,000, over three times the number that perished in Manhattan on that horrible day four years ago.

My question to you is a simple one. Where is Baseball now? Have you called your friend Mr. Bush and made the same offer as you did in 2001? Have you even considered that it might be in bad taste to continue to play the game while still in the middle of the largest disaster to hit our country? Have you called the governor of Texas and offered Minute Maid Park, a retractable roof stadium in Houston, as another shelter to place refugees from Louisiana. Last night, as many people sat in the parking lot of the now full Astrodome waiting for rides to other shelters in the state, baseball fans were cheering an Astros victory over the Athletics just a couple of miles away. The sheer number of refugees coming out of New Orleans has created a shelter problem America has not seen in its history, which is why sports stadiums are being used. Major League Baseball has several domed or retractable-roof stadiums all around the country, including one in your home town of Milwaukee. Have you made any offer to stop playing the game and allow, or even order, the use of these sites as refugee shelters? If not, why? I know that none of the citizens in the Gulf region of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are season ticket holders like many of the people who perished in New York. But is there no place in your heart that will consider helping them? The million dollars MLB donated to the relief effort I'm sure is appreciated by the Red Cross and is a good PR move for you, but have you given any thought at all to finding out if there is more you can do? Is there any thought in your mind about the effect of this tragedy beyond the impact it might have on playoff ratings or the cost of jet fuel for the team charters? When this tragedy hit, was your first thought "Those poor people," or was it "Thank God we don't have a team in New Orleans, that would have been a major headache"?

I can understand, since you are widely considered to be the biggest failure to ever hold the title, that you are no longer concerned with your legacy as Commissioner of Major League Baseball. But what about your legacy as a human being and an American?

Yours sincerely,

Out Of Tune
Boston, MA

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

George & Haley - A Love Story

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said on the news yesterday that he had spoken with President Vacation several times in the aftermath of Katrina. This is how I imagine the conversations went.

Dubya: Hey Haley's Comet, how's it shakin'?

Haley: Not bad Georgie Porgie. How's the vacation going? Getting your well deserved rest?

Dubya: Oh yea, lots of great photo-ops of brush clearing too. So, I saw the hurricane footage on my TV here at the ranch. Wow. You and the family OK?

Haley: Oh yea, family is all safe. The hotel they're at is out of caviar though, so they've had to rough it a little bit.

Dubya: Bummer.

Haley: Yea.

Dubya: So listen, I just called to congratulate you on your disaster. It's a lucky thing you were governor when this happened instead of a Democrat.

Haley: I know. I'm just glad the day finally came. As you know, it's tough to keep up the approval ratings with out a human tragedy to ride. Now I can breathe easy.

Dubya: You bet. But don't forget us at the top. We need an approval ratings bump too.

Haley: Already covered my friend. I already wrote a little something for my pres conference about how you've offered full help and cooperation from Washington. Any other suggestions?

Dubya: Be sure to mention that I was begging to come down there, but you said no.

Haley: Do you want to come?

Dubya: Fuck no! I'm still on vacation. Just tell them that I wanted to come see the area and comfort all the dumb hicks but you said I should stay away for now while the rescue operations are going on. It's a win-win. I look compassionate and caring and you look like a strong leader.

Haley: Good thinking!

Dubya: Thanks, Karl taught me that.

Haley: Any suggestions for me? I'm going to want to look compassionate at some point too, but I really don't want to have to go out and hug any of these dirty people. I mean, come on, they've been wading around in shit for two days now.

Dubya: No, no. Don't worry. I'll tell you what you do. You're going on a fly-over of the wreckage right?

Haley: Right after I get off the phone.

Dubya: Great. OK, so when you're asked about what you saw, this is what you do. Start talking about the wreckage in terms of nuclear explosions and comparisons to Hiroshima and the tsunami. Then, when talking about the loss of life, start to sob a little. Not a whole lot, just a little. Make it seem like you might lose it, but are just able to contain yourself and remain strong. If you go too far you'll look like a pussy, but if you don't have any sort of watery eyes you'll seem cold-hearted. It's tough, so you should practice before you "go live".

Haley: Boy, I don't know. Crying? I don't know if I'll be able to muster that up.

Dubya: It's easier than you think. You just have to think of something depressing. I learned it from Schwarzenegger. Look at the tapes of my comments on September 12th, 2001 and you can see what I mean. Remember how I was blubbering up when talking about all the deaths at the World Trade Center?

Haley: Of course, it was a moment that brought the country together. Your finest hour. Really showed a lot of compassion and empathy for the victims.

Dubya: Yea, it was a great moment for me. You know what I was thinking about?

Haley: Not the victims?

Dubya: Oh god no. I was thinking about the time I screwed up and traded Sammy Sosa to the White Sox. That still kills me. (sob) Ahem, excuse me, little something in my throat...

Haley: Wow, thanks for the advice. I wasn't sure how I was going to handle that.

Dubya: Oh, before I forget, make sure you don't think of anything too sad.

Haley: Why?

Dubya: Trust me on this. If you think of anything too depressing the waterworks might open up all the way and then you won't be able to stop crying. You'll then say bye-bye to reelection. One time, when I was practicing in the mirror, I decided to think about Daddy losing to Bubba in '92 and I couldn't stop bawling for three hours. Way to gut-wrenching of a thought. I had to wait eight full years before I could snort coke off the mirror in the Lincoln bedroom again. Best damn coke mirror in the world. Mmmmm...coke. I gotta go, I'll call you later.

Haley: All right Mr. President, thanks for the advice.

Dubya: (snort) Oh yeeeaaaa, that's the stuff......(snort)

(Several hours later)

Haley: Hello?

Dubya: Hey! Haley Haley bo baley banana fana foe faley fe fi foe faley Haley!

Haley: Hey! Prez Man! How you doin'? Did you see me on TV?

Dubya: That's why I'm callin'! Great fuckin' job my man! Holy shit, that choking up was just awesome! That was almost as good as my 9/11 performances.

Haley: Oh sir, you're being too kind...

Dubya: No really, I was so jealous. I haven't had a good tragedy to hang my agenda on for too long. So tell me, between us, what were you thinking of when you started to tear up?

Haley: Oh, just an old memory from my school days when the Feds forced Mississippi to integrate the schools.

Dubya: Ooooh, that's a good one. Luckily for me I went to an exclusive east coast prep school so we didn't have to let any coloreds in.

Haley: Yea, it was a dark time in Mississippi. But that memory served me well today.

Dubya: It sure did. I could hear the approval points going up up up!

Haley: Great. Now what should I do?

Dubya: You just stick with me and you'll be great. First thing, just keep right on saying things like your "hearts go out to the victims", and "god bless the people of our state" and all that religious based shit the people think we believe. And be nice to everybody, especially democrats.

Haley: What?! Oh I don't think I can do that Geor...

Dubya: Trust me on this. Who's the one who rode a national tragedy for three full years all the way to reelection?

Haley: You.

Dubya: That's right. So pay attention. Ok, so after it calms down a little, go to one of the shelter areas and do some photo-ops with the refugees.

Haley: Aww shit man, those people haven't showered in days.

Dubya: You have to do it. It's no big deal. Have your staff find a shelter that has their water working and go to that one. Go in the afternoon so your sure everyone's already had a shower.

Haley: Hey, that's good thinking.

Dubya: Another Karl idea. He's worth every bit of Halliburton stock I've given him. Now, you'll have to sit through the most mind-numbing stories about people's houses and pets being gone, lost family heirlooms, and missing grandparents and shit. But stick with it. You'll want to run screaming back to your hotel and order a steak, but you have to sit through every single annoying cry-baby bitching about their lost business. I've found that if you do one or two shots of bourbon before you go, it helps you just kind of phase out and think about other things. And make sure you hug people. That's very important.

Haley: Ah crap. Even the black ones?

Dubya: Especially the black ones. And the Democrats.

Haley: I think I'm gonna be sick.

Dubya: Leading is hard work.

Haley: Anything else? What about down the road?

Dubya: Well, here's the game plan for the next few weeks and months. First, don't say anything bad about Democrats for a while.

Haley: Awwww...

Dubya: I'm serious. Play nice with them and say that you're working together for the good of blah blah blah and all that shit. It plays great in the sticks. Oh, and let the looting go on for a while.

Haley: What?!

Dubya: Yea. Tell the people that you have to let the authorities do the rescue stuff and you can't stop it now. This will work to your advantage later. And mine.

Haley: How could this possibly...

Dubya: Well, who wants to end affirmative action in his state?

Haley: I do.

Dubya: And what color are the looters?

Haley: Ah ha.

Dubya: See what I mean? So a couple of months down the road, when you are arresting all the people the cops have identified in the videos, and the videos are airing again on TV, you can introduce your affirmative action bill. You won't need to bother saying anything bad about Negroes because the media will be doing it for you. And you'll probably be able to get away with adding looting to the list of death penalty eligible crimes. Nothing says leadership like killing Negroes.

Haley: Brilliant. How will this help you?

Dubya: Ah, that's the beauty of this one, I get to kill two birds with one stone. I'll be able to attack the Democrats as soft on crime, because they wouldn't let us stop the looters. So that will give me some more time distracting everyone from the Iraq dealy thing I got us into. And calling Democrats soft on crime is a proven winner, and they'll want to look tougher so they'll give me more expanded powers in the Patriot Act. Which, in turn, will allow me to put more of them coloreds who don't vote for me in jail. Most of my problems get solved by calling the Democrats pussies.

Haley: That doesn't really make any sense though. How can I blame the Democrats for the looting if I'm...

Dubya: Sense?! What country do you think we're in, Sweden? Does it make any sense when I say that people against me bombing the shit out of the Middle East are giving aid and comfort to the enemy and are helping the terrorist win?

Haley: No, none at all actually.

Dubya: See? And it also helps me because I'm going to be untouchable for the next couple of weeks. I'll be touring with you down in Mississippi and hugging the peasants and comforting them, and I'll also get to go to Louisiana and tour with whatever that Frenchie governors name is. And that bitch will have to be nice to me and not say anything bad about my policy for months or she'll look like a total jerk. Ha ha! Plus, I'm going to get credit for rushing back from my vacation early to deal with it even though it was over anyway. Oh man this hurricane is sweet!

Haley: So, do you think I can ride this all the way to reelection?

Dubya: My brother, I think you can ride this all the way to the White House.

Haley: Really?

Dubya: Heck yea! Stick with me kid. Just remember, every speech you give after this you have to mention Katrina at least six or seven times. Oooh, and when you kick off your campaign you should use that "Walking on Sunshine" song. Yea, that will be sweet. You gotta keep reminding them who was in charge when disaster struck. You can't lose that way. I don't know why, you just can't.

Haley: Thanks a lot George, I'm really going to have some fun with this now. Leave it to you to know how to turn a negative into a positive.

Dubya: That's what I'm good at. Now, I'll be seeing you down there this weekend. I'm going to go look over the speech Karl wrote for me. I'll be talking about how we're not going to wait for the hurricanes to come to us before we act. We're going to fight them on their turf and kill them where they live.

Haley: Nice. That Karl's got a knack.

Dubya: He sure does. Oh, and Haley?

Haley: Yes Georgie?

Dubya: After you move in to the White house, do you think I could still come over and use the mirror in the Lincoln Bedroom?

Haley: Anything for you George.

Dubya: Boo-ya! Party Time! (snort) Ahhhh...that's what I'm talkin' about. All right comet guy, you have fun huggin' the blacks, and I'll see you this weekend. (snort) Yee-Haw! Oh cool, Andy Griffith is on! (snort)