Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Jesus Christ died for nothing, I suppose.

"Bush Says War Is Worth Sacrifice," sez the Washington Post. long as the "sacrifice" involves some other mother's son...more tax cuts, anyone?

I did not witness last night's distraction. Because frankly, watching that vile little ratfucking war criminal nauseates me. Still, whenever he's set to give a speech like that, I half-hope/wonder if he's going to do something unscripted and just offer a surprise resignation right then and there. I mean honestly, it's his only hope. Surely he must *realize* on some level that, super happy fuzzy talk notwithstanding, things are going to hell and there is no chance of them improving? Sure, for some unfathomable reason forty percent of America still thinks he's doing a swell job, but funny thing about bubbles: they have this tendency to burst.

I'm thinking realistically here: I know that the odds of the man experiencing a crisis of conscience are approximately the same as the odds of us actually winning the war on terra--but you'd think that, for purely pragmatic reasons, he'd want to get the hell out of there. The tryant's mind functions much like that of any other criminal: they just don't factor the possiblity of getting caught into their plans. It's why the notion of the death penalty as a "deterent" is a crock of shit.

And hey, sometimes they're right: Stalin stayed in power and died of natural causes. But this ain't Stalinist Russia, and in spite of the increasingly overheated rhetoric of your more fascist-leaning right-wing pundits, I don't think it's going to be anytime in the near future, either. Seems to me that if bush doesn't give up of his own accord, he's gonna be remembered--in a best-case (from his point of view) scenario--as a dumber, less ethical version of RMN. Sure, Reagan remains a saint in the republican canon, but, shittastic as he was, he lacked one single, defining clusterfuck of proportions quite as massive as those of the Iraq debacle.

Get out while you can, Georgie. Mea culpas issued after you've been caught tend to be less than believable.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Onion is mythologically illiterate.

Ah, Lloyd Schumner Sr, my old arch-nemesis...we meet again.

In this week's horoscope:

Pisces: (Feb. 19—March 20)
You used to compare yourself to Icarus, but you're less likely to do so now that you know he once helped a woman cheat on her husband by having sex with a cow.

When I first saw this, I thought, what? The fact that they generalize the story to make it sound goofier meant that at first I missed the reference--but that would not have happened if they'd named the RIGHT MYTHOLOGICAL FIGURE. It's Daedalus who built the wooden cow. Not Icarus. Sheesh. And it doesn't help that the phrasing makes it sound like it's Icarus [sic] who was having sex with the cow, either. I thought at first that that might have been intentional, since it's such a clumsy, obvious mistake, but that really doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you think about it.

Sorry to nitpick, but...nitpicking is what I do.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Bits & Bites

1. Yup, the Kelo v. New London decision is really, really fucked up, and I cannot TELL you how pissed off I am to have to agree with fucking Thomas and Scalia, but jayzus, what the hell is WRONG with the alleged "good guys" in this situation? The mind, she boggles.

2. A cynicism-free moment: This story is incredibly inspiring, and this woman NEEDS to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

3. I don't like a sponge mop! I like a string mop!" Via World o' Crap (I can't be bothered to make a link--it's right in the sidebar), a truly bizarre/creepy story. This is what happens when they try to be amusing, apparently. Would it be too much to ask who gave this woman a doctorate? And in what?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Raise what's left of the flag for me

"'Ask the men and women who stood on top of the World Trade Center,' said Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA). "Ask them and they will tell you: pass this [anti flag desecration] amendment.'"

Ha ha! Good one, Rep Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA)! I'm sure that was the FIRST thing on their minds! Sure, some anti-American librul traitor-types would say that you're cynically exploiting the dead to make to make political capital over something that couldn't possibly be less important, but I say...oh, fuck it, I can't do this. What en evil little fucktard. It seriously doesn't get much more vile than this. Like most Americans, I have no particular interest in flag-burning. It is not something I would particularly care to invest time and effort in. I mean, sure, it may not be the all-time most aesthetically pleasing flag on god's green earth but honestly, who but a bunch of dimwitted "patriots" could possibly CARE about it?

But you better believe that that would change toute de suite the instant this misbegotten amendment were to pass. On that day, I'm hying my ass down to Target, picking up a dozen or so cheapass flags along with some gasoline, and WHOOSH! Those motherfuckers are going up in flames! Let's have us a barbecue! You're all invited! We'll take some good pictures to send to "Duke" while we're at it.

And I'm sure we'd hardly be the only ones. In fact, it is quite apparent to anyone with half a functioning brain that the net effect of this amendment would be a dramatic increase in flag-immolation. But hey, that would only be an issue for them if they actually gave a flying fuck about it, as opposed to using it to desperately try to distract attention from the unholy clusterfuck of massive proportions that the Iraq is becom--HEY! LOOK OVER THERE! SOME DIRTY HIPPIES ARE SETTING OL' GLORY ON FIRE! ARE US REAL MURCANS GONNA STAND FOR THAT?!? SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT!!!!11

And so it goes. Is it getting warm in here?

Penelope in Washington

Yeah, so the other day I saw a diamond ad on the side of a bus featuring some pictures of rings and the copy "yes yes I will Yes." Although it should be "yes I said yes I will Yes," the ad was clearly copping from the well-known last line of Ulysses. And in spite of the fact that the world diamond industry is so unspeakably evil that you have to cover your eyes to prevent your face from being fucking melted like in Raiders of the Lost spite of that, I have to admit: that's pretty classy. Notwithstanding that the message would have been somewhat undermined by "I thought well as well him as another," which comes just a little before. Still, in looking through the book to write this, I remembered what gorgeous poetry it all is, so here is the last bit, with the beginning kind of arbitrarily chosen.

O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down Jo me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

Read the whole thing, as they say.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

How cool is this?

Pretty quite fairly cool, I'd say. There was an episode of Deep Space Nine involving a primitive spaceship that ran on solar wind; at the time I thought, bah! What is this unscientific gobbledygook?! Now, not so much.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

My brother writes letters

Editor, Sun-Gazette:
I have been distressed and disturbed by the recent Mallard Fillmore cartoons written by Bruce Tinsley and published by the Sun-Gazette. While allegations that certain reports of human rights violations at Guantanamo were exaggerated have been constantly made by Bush loyalists, Tinsley's usage of naked Donald Rumsfeld imagery in repeating these charges stretches the boundaries of good taste.
When I read the daily comic pages I do not commonly expect the image of the nude secretary of defense to be thrust into my mind. Tinsley's fixation on the subject challenges the conventions of polite society enjoyed by Williamsport residents. Moreover, repugnance at the thought of a disrobed Rumsfeld is something that I believe Republicans, Democrats and independents can agree on. For the common good, I urge Tinsley to focus more on intelligent humor and less on presidential Cabinet nudity.
Jeremy Moses

Father's Day...and why not?

Not that I put much store in Hallmark-created holidays or anything, and not that I could say anything to my father now if I wanted to, he being, as per always at this time of year, at a fishing resort in northern Ontario and not reachable by phone. Nonetheless, it bears saying, so I'll say it: by any metric, he's a really kickass father. As I've gotten older, I feel like I've only gotten closer to him. He's very wise in many ways, I can have really deep conversations with him, and last election night, he called me at three in the morning and talked me off of the figurative window ledge.

You forgive us and we'll forgive you

Saw John Prine in concert. Fun show...I'm not what you'd call a super, massive Prine fan; I only have a few CDs, so I didn't know a lot of the songs, but it was all good. He opened with "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore"--as appropriate now as it was for Vietnam, obviously--and the crowd exploded at the first "we're already overcrowded from your dirty little war." As we did at the part in his new song "Some Humans Ain't Human" that goes "you're feeling your freedom/and the world's off your back/some hotshot ["cowboy" in the studio version] from Texas/starts his own war in Iraq." And there was a very poignant rendition of "Sam Stone," also quite relevant: when they're calculating war costs, nobody ever factors in the deep and permanent fucked-upedness of soldiers who theoretically survive. But it wasn't all serious political stuff: he told amusing, goofy anectodes; "Fish and Whistle" was as fun as ever; and we all sang along to the chorus of "Illegal Smile." Fun times. Fun times indeed.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Take This Waltz

Friday, June 17, 2005

Purely symbolic, meaningless gesture of defiance

Dick Durbin stands for me, motherfuckers.

The response amongst the frothing right-wing to the Senator's entirely accurate statement is some scary fucking shit. They've been raving about librul traitors for quite some time, of course, but possibly the fact that an actual US Senator had the guts to tell it like it bloody well is.

I can't believe I'm saying this, and I do feel a deep sense of embarrassment that I'm even thinking along these lines, but: I'm seriously thinking of buying a gun. Because the murderous rage against anyone who opposed this whole bloody fucking mess, already at a violent boil, is only going to increase in intensity the more painfully obvious it becomes that, by any definition you can name, we've lost the war, and lost it badly.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

You give love a bad name

So it seems that the sublimated rage and loathing that you always knew was bubbling just under the surface of the Circus family is finally starting to manifest itself. I hope that this is a continuing trend. It would really improve the comic.

Lest we forget...

Today is Bloomsday #101. I feel like to be properly in the spirit of things, I ought to have found a more elliptical way of saying that, but my imaginative powers, sadly, were lacking. At any rate, be sure to have a drink for Leopold and Stephen. Cheers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Everybody run!

Finished Rabbit, Run this afternoon. Very impressive. I'm moving on to Redux immediately. But the purpose of this post is to highlight the following quote from an amazon review of the book, presented without comment:

"Twenty pages into this book, I was appalled by what the main character, Rabbit, does - runs away from his wife. I was especially surprised later on when much adultery occurs. What made it shocking was that this book is on my high school's summer reading list. Why would the curriculum allow for a book that evolves around adultery, I wondered."

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Light amusement

Here's something I read about that everyone can enjoy: you enter "[your first name] is" on google, et voila! You can learn all sorts of fascinating and alarming things you never knew about yourself.

"I am sure that Geoff is not himself intentionally engaging in stereotypical,
racist rhetoric."

"Geoff is a retired Army officer and former Green Beret."

"Geoff is now in Tasmania completing the last leg of the Trail and I said before he is the first person to do this."

"Geoff is now faced with the task of cutting out the soldered section and copying the original, which will be a real labour of love, but this is the sort of person he is."

"Geoff is loved by major companies for his outrageous, hilarious, thought provoking
and most certainly unforgettable presentations."

"Geoff is also collaborating with the renowned Bulgarian marimba and percussion virtuoso Daniella Ganeva on a special project."

"Geoff is currently serving his third term as the Member of Parliament for Halifax West and is a member of three Cabinet committees (Domestic Affairs, Aboriginal Affairs and Global Affairs)." (eat your heart out, Gabrielle!)

"Geoff is proud to announce that he will be teaming up with Yes drummer Alan White in his new band, "White", for both touring and recording."

"Geoff is off to become an army dentist, a four-year stint, combined with officer training at the Army barracks at Randwick."

"Geoff is one of the great unsung heroes of the British rock-climbing scene."

"Geoff is not gay what idiot threw that one over you??"

"Geoff is sitting on a small, hard bed in a Cambodian brothel."

"The bright side is Geoff is such an asshole, no woman wants to spend much time with him so he will not reproduce his genes." :(

Monday, June 13, 2005

"It's all about YOU, isn't it?"

Yes. Yes, it is. And as an object lesson in this, here's the most narcissistic post I've ever written! Here's a barrage of online personality tests I took., okay, so that looked like death warmed over when I published it. Blogspot has some serious issues with HTML. Whatever I slapped it on my old site; you can see it here if the spirit so moves you.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Good films and bad films

I saw the new Miyazaki film, Howl's Moving Castle, today. Wow. I mean, seriously: WOW. Let's not mince words: this was one fantastic film, even by Miyazaki's high standards. I hestitate to declare it his best work, since I'm lacking all perspective right now, but, well...maybe it is. I do not think I can talk about it coherently. Go see it. I know it's only playing in big cities right now, but I don't care--drive all night if you have to. And for the record, let me note that, yes, Salon's Stephanie Zacharek has no fucking soul.

And now, a roundup of the preview that ran prior to the film. First up is a documentary about penguins. This is getting a theatrical release? Surprising, but it looks like a neat-o film. I'm totally gonna see it if I get the chance.

Next up is...Pride and Prejudice. Um, aren't there already somewhere in the neighborhood of forty-seven film versions of P&P already? I'd love to hear how this was pitched. Listening to the narrator breathlessly explain the story was faintly comical: yeah. We all know. "From Jane Austen," he proclaimed, "the beloved author of Emma and Sense and Sensibility." Uh, yeah. Are they really trying to pretend that P&P is so obscure that people who may be famiilar with Emma and S&S will think, whoa! There's a Jane Austen novel I've never heard of? I must see the movie version! Regardless of these outside matters, though, the film, as most such adaptations, looks terrible. Look, kids, I like her novels just fine, but hearing Austen, or Austenesque, dialogue put in actors' mouths is just unbearable. The best Austen film, and indeed the ONLY one that I actually enjoy, is still Clueless.

However, I would sooner watch ten thousand Jane Austen films than subject myself to the film adverised in our next preview, which is a CG cartoon about valiant carrier pigeons. Truly ghastly-looking, with a script full of the hyperactive, allegedly comedic but in reality intensely irritating dialogue that has become de rigeur for the genre. Shouldn't people be sick of this crap by now? I think instead they should make a film aboud Passenger pigeons, and their valiant struggle against extinction. But in the end, they fail and are wiped out. That would be some funny shit right there.

My hatred is only intensified by our next preview, yet ANOTHER cg cartoon, Chicken Little. Gah. I thought the carrier pigeon one was shit, but, hard as it is to believe, this one looks ever worse. You know, you would think that some executive at Disney would watch Howl's Moving Castle (which Disney localized). And then he would watch Chicken Little, and feel a deep, ineradicable sense of shame and self-loathing. But I suppose once you reach that level on the totem pole, you've probably succeeded in entirely annihilating whatever sense of shame you once had.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Naked Donald Rumsfeld

Sorry for that headline. However, it must be pointed out that the author of Mallard Fillmore, Bruce Tinsley, never all that stable, has completely fucking lost his mind.

Friday, June 10, 2005


I was going to do this music meme at some point in any case, but now, spurred on by my friend Gabrielle, I'm doing it sooner rather than later. Huzzah!

1. Total volume of music files on your computer?

4,971 songs, 13 days, 1 hour, 35 minutes, 2 seconds playing time, 17.47 GB. Mind you, that’s not my compete music collection—I have loads of CDs that I haven’t burned, either because my musical tastes have changed to the point that I have little interest in them, or just because I’m too damn lazy.

2. Song playing right now?

“Rolling Down to Old Maui,” as performed by Jonathan Moorman and Charlie MacLeod. A powerful a cappella rendition of an old whaling song. Regrettably, unless there’s some magic secret I’m missing, there is no way in hell you’ll ever find it online. Go ahead, google “Rolling Down to Old Maui”+"Jonathan Moorman." See? No hits. Unless this entry ends up showing up. The track comes from a pub’s compilation CD that I purchased at an outdoor concert in Montreal which as far as the internet is concerned does not exist. Anyway, long story short, if you think this is the kind of thing you’d enjoy, ask me and I’ll email you it.

3. Last CD I bought?
I rarely buy CDs in physical form lately unless it’s an artist I know I like. And even from itunes, I haven’t done much buying lately. However, I did just today purchase an album: Fairport Convention’s Unhalfbricking, because people always compare them to Steeleye Span. It’s all right, but it doesn’t blow me away; I certainly don’t think it’s the all-time classic everyone says it is. A lot of the tracks have a kind of annoying hippie-ish vibe to them. I imagine I would prefer their albums that have more traditional material.

4. Five songs you listen to a lot and which mean something to you?
I don’t know, man. I can’t help thinking that “listen to a lot” and “mean something to you” are to very distinct categories. So I’ll treat them as such. First, the five most-listened to songs in itunes’ “top twenty-five most played menu:

Joan Baez, “Johnny I Hardly Knew Yeh”—Great performance of a powerful anti-war song. Also check out the more punkish version performed by The Tossers.

Nick Cave, “To Be By Your Side”—From the soundtrack to the documentary/poem-in-movie-form Winged Migration. This just sends shivers down my spine. Maybe the most romantic song I’ve ever heard (I suppose James’ “5-0” and Leonard Cohen’s “Light as the Breeze” would be the other main contenders). “Over the shifting desert plains/Across mountains all in flames/Through howling winds and driving rains/To be by your side.” Yeah.

Johnny Dowd, “Mother’s Little Helper”—Huh. A Rolling Stones cover, obviously. It’s not my favorite Dowd song or anything, but it IS quite good. It’s a non-album track, so I listened to it quite a few times when I found it on limewire, hence it’s position.

Men Without Hats, “Safety Dance”—Okay, okay!

Steeleye Span, “Boys of Bedlam”—“Me staff has murdered giants/And me bag a long knife carries/For to cut mince pies from children’s thighs/With which to feed the faeries.” Heh indeed. A genuinely unnerving portrait of insanity; one of my favorite Span tunes.

And five songs that “mean something to me.” This is inevitably gonna be a bit arbitrary, but nonetheless:

Blur, “Girls & Boys”—Not even my favorite Blur song (though it’s certainly a good one), but it IS the song that kickstarted the rabid anglophilia that consumed me for many a year. I heard it on a college radio station, and there was a delayed reaction: somehow, a few months later, it just clicked. And that was that.

Tom Waits, “Singapore”—The Captain is a one-armed dwarf! He’s throwing dice along the wharf! Likewise, this is the song that began my rabid Waits fandom, eventually leading me to other artists like Leonard Cohen, Johnny Dowd, and the Handsome Family. In that sense, I suppose you could say it also sort of weaned me a way form the exclusionary anglophilia I used to have going. So, full-circle and like that.

Gordon Bok, “Peter Kagan and the Wind”—Bok was the soundtrack to much of my childhood, and beyond that he’s just a fantastic, underrated talent. This is an extraordinarily powerful (and I'm well-aware that I'm over-using the word "powerful" in this post) story-song; it gets me every time. Art doesn’t bring me to tears; I’m just not programmed that way. But this song comes damn close.

Leonard Cohen, “Democracy”—Although the repeated assertion that “democracy is coming to the USA” seems, oh, I don’t know, perhaps a little overly optimistic at this point, the fact remains that, better than anything else I can think of, this song creates a real sense of religious awe. Far more so than a more explicitly religious song from some crap Creedy-type Christian band. “From the wells of disappointment where the women kneel and pray/From the grace of god in the desert here and the desert far away.” Or else “We’ll be going down so deep the river’s gonna weep/And the mountain’s gonna shout AMEN!” Amen to that.

Yoko Kanno (composer; not sure who actually performs it), “Call Me, Call Me”—Anybody who’s familiar with Cowboy Bebop can back me up on this. A good song on its own; a heartbreaking one in the context of the episode, reflecting both Ed’s sense of freedom and Faye’s ineffable loneliness.

5. Pass this on to whom?
As before, everyone is welcome to participate.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I can do it if I WANNA

I want to do one of these "book memes" that's been appearing on blogs lately, but nobody will ever pass one on to me because nobody loves me or indeed knows I exist. But I'm bloody well going to do it ANYWAY. You can't stop me. Actually, it seems there are two different ones floating around, so I'm just going to mash the two of them together for TWO TIMES THE FUN.

1) Total number of books owned?

Haha. Several thousand, although in all fairness, that is counting all the crappy genre fiction (please note that this is a judgment on my *taste* in genre fiction, not genre fiction in general) that I read when I was smaller. Suffice it to say: a lot.

2) The last book I bought?

Rabbit, Run by John Updike. I've never read Updike, and I'm quite keen to try. It's next on my list.

3) The last book I read?

The last book I finished was Quicksand, by Junichiro Tanizaki. I wrote a less-than-favorable amazon review of that one.

4) 5 books that mean a lot to me?

The Dragonlance Chronicles, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman--hey, "mean a lot" is open to interpretation, and I'm trying to not seem excessively snobbish here. The road that these (okay, counting them as a single entry is kind of cheating) lead me down may not have been so great, and it's been a while since I've dipped into them, so I can't exactly vouch for the quality of writing in any objective way, but they still make me feel all wobbly and nostalgic. Like other people with Tolkien, I fancy.

Dhalgren, by Samuel R. Delany--I guess this must have been the first really substantial "literary" novel I ever read, no doubt because it had a thin (very thin) veneer of genre about it. So, you know, I proved to myself that I could. And then I got to meet him and get him to sign my copy, which sort of made it a definitive experience.

Homer's Odyssey--I can't point to a specific version, but various retellings of the story read to me by my parents made a huge impression of me. It's a big world out there.

Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon--I think it was when I finally sat down and read this mofo that I finally cast off all literary timidity: from that point on, anything was fair game. And it's a pretty fucking dazzling novel, to boot.

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez--I read the last page, looked up, and said out loud, "this may be the best novel I've ever read." And well may it be.

5) You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

I, uh...have never read Farenheit 451, so I'm not one hundred percent sure what the concept is. But I imagine it involves something like memorizing an entire book so as to preserve its contents. I could fudge it a little and list a big anthology, but that would be kind of lame. So then my immediate thought is Gravity's Rainbow, but then I realize that someone else probably has that covered. So I choose The Doll by Boleslaw Prus, on the basis that as far as I know this thing is not circulating in the Polish-speaking world, and it's unlikely that it would ever be chosen by a native anglophone. And it's a great novel.

6) Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

It's kind of odd, given all I've read, but I'm sort of thinking No, I don't think so. I'm groping around, but nothing is coming to me. I get emotionally involved with fictional characters of course, but...but quite like that, somehow. My loss, perhaps.

7) What are you currently reading?

I'm almost finished with Thomas Pynchon's V. After that, as noted, Updike.

8) Five books you would take to a deserted island:

The Norton Anthology of Poetry--Because including all four volumes of the Norton Anthology of English Literature would be cheating a little tooblatantly. What we're going for here is longetivity.

Orlando Furioso, by Ludovico Ariosto, trans. Barbara Reynolds--I AM however going to cheat by including both volumes of this as one item. Just try to stop me! It's a great story, or you can just linger over the poetry, which is frequently sublime.

Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon--Because, come on, man, we're on a freaking desert island here. We don't want a novel that we can just absorb and toss aside in a single reading.

Ulysses, by James Joyce--for the same reason.

The Columbia Encyclopedia--Perfect for browsing through and dreaming. Seriously, you can do it for hours. Perfect for this little island getaway.

9) Tag five people and have them do it on their blogs

There's no point to that, since, as noted, nobody knows who I am. But if anybody wants to do it in comments, there's very little I can do to stop you.


Okay, this isn’t new exactly, and maybe you’ve seen it, but it’s new to ME, so and I feel the need to vent. So first read this, then this.

First inclination is to treat this as really black humor. But thinking about it a little just makes me angry. Really, really angry. So let me just say: Derek, you stupid fucking IDIOT. Seriously, they don’t come much more braindead than you. What the HELL were you thinking? Yeah, you’re a reeaall cool guy, you are: a right fucking rebel. The government’s not the boss of me! They can’t make me to anything I don’t wanna do! You obnoxious little brat: they were trying to save your stupid ass, but noooo…you had to live out your inane, juvenile, libertarian fantasies instead, didn’t you? Howard Roark would be proud, I’m sure. I mean for GOD’S sake, what’s the thinking here? “Sure, on the one hand, there’s a small but real chance that a seatbelt could save my life driving on an icy interstate. But on the other hand, NO ONE tells Derek Kieper what to do! Will to power! Rargh!” Yeah, that’s some real trenchant-ass risk analysis right there.

So was it worth it, dude? Yes, it was a tragic death—but at least your loved ones have the comfort of knowing that you died in a noble struggle with an oppressive government that cruelly wanted to, um, stop you from getting yourself killed (god, it’s like living in Stalinist Russia, isn’t it?). I’m sure they were just choked up with joy knowing that you went out so gloriously.

And the kicker, of course, is that it’s painfully obvious that the libertarian attitude he’s trying to cop is, as per almost always, just so much bullshit (and not just because he was a typically dimwitted warmongering Bush cheerleader, either). Does anyone really believe that, had Derek actually genuinely thought there was a chance it would save his life, he wouldn’t have worn a seatbelt? Of course not. Like kids through the ages, he thought he was immortal. It was all a pose. He just wanted to look cool and rebellious, and he chose the most excruciatingly stupid way possible to do it.

But even if, for some unfathomable reason, he really was cool with dying just so long as he was at the same time defying the government…well, that’s what’s wrong with libertarianism in a nutshell, isn’t it? It’s all about selfishness, as any disciple of Ayn Rand would gladly tell you. So my death might shatter other people’s lives? Who cares. I do what I want. Real nice, dude.

This may seem harsh, and maybe it is. Ol’ Derek wasn’t anything special, he was just a typical dumb kid who happened to find himself in an unfortunate congruence of circumstance. He certainly didn’t deserve to die*. But for some reason the story just REALLY rubbed me the wrong way. Such arrogant stupidity.

Life is a series of calculated risks no matter what you do. There’s really no need to play Russian Roulette to spice it up. So for god’s sake, kids, don’t vote for Republicans, and wear your goddamn seatbelt.

*disclaimer: as an anti-capital punishment absolutist, I don’t think anybody deserves to die. But if I did, I still wouldn’t think that he did.

A brief yet vaguely amusing anecdote with a minor point at the end

So I was six or seven and I believed in Santa Claus. He lives at the North Pole and he makes toys, right? That's what he does. He MAKES those sumbitches. So my assumption, naturally, was that you could just ask for whatever you could think of and Santa would just cobble it together for you. And what I wanted was "a remote-controlled helicopter for Georgie." 'Georgie' was the brand-name (I think) for a particular stuffed monkey that was very popular at my school at the time. And so I wanted a helicopter that he could fly around in at my behest. "Does such a thing exist?" my parents asked dubiously. "Santa can build it," I patiently explained to them. I mean, duh. This isn't rocket science.

I don't remember much of a sense of disappointment when this contrivance failed to materialize under the tree. Perhaps at some level I knew that it wasn't really a feasible request. Still, I wonder how often kids do that--ask for imaginary gifts. You'd think it would be a common phenomenon, but you (by which I mean, I) never hear about it. Are children's imaginations really so stunted by barrages of advertising that it never even occurs to them that there could be anything beyond what the teevee bombards their eyeballs with? A dismaying thought.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

And now for something blah blah blah

A weblog devoted to Uri Geller. For some reason, this strikes me as insanely hilarious.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The money can be made if you really want some more

Coke is life. Sometimes humanity just fucking sickens me.

Friday, June 03, 2005


I do my best not to traffic in fluffy celebrity gossip-type non-news, but tragically, I had couldn't but see the headline as I scanned google news. Ugh. I resent living a culture where I'm forced to have things like this stuck in my brain. Time to call Jihad on People Magazine. And while we're at it, also on Entertainment Weekly. Because, come on.