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Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's All Over But the Whining

I might as well get this out of the way. I don't give a fuck about OWS. There it is. I said it. Man, that felt good. I appreciate the sentiment, the passion and the human microphone thing was cool, though I must admit, it got boring. In fact, the whole thing was boring. It lacked pizzazz! There was nothing for the common man in the OWS movement. Oh, I know it was a movement of people coming together at a grass roots level to bring about change in our society and that part of it had potential. But, let's face it, there wasn't a "name" attached and Jesus, if the only face you can get is Michael Moore, then there isn't much hope for your movement. It wasn't long after the hippies started forming drum circles in front of city hall, here in LA, that I began to get a hankering to go down there and see what was going on. But, then I thought about having to hang out with dirty hippies and decided to stay home. I didn't see anyone go on TV telling me to go down there and get involved; asking me to back them up. I got a few emails asking me for money, but I ignored them. In fact, the only place I occupied in the weeks after the first tent went up was The Spearmint Rhino. For about four hours one evening I let all my money troubles wash over me as a tall, leggy stripper named Paris took me for all I had. Trust me; it was far more enjoyable than a drum circle. I did manage to catch a couple of live streams of general assemblies or at least I think they were general assemblies; I'm not sure, I was playing Arkham Asylum on my PS3 at the time. I took note of the fact that Villaraigosa, the mayor of LA was out shaking hands and giving out blankets to the protesters very early on. This might also have swayed my opinion in deciding to go down there. I just didn't think that it made much sense to shake a hand that was trying to wrap itself around my neck. I heard that the Slavoj Zizek showed up at one of the OWS events and was quite impressed either; said, they were just out there camping. This might have swayed my opinion as well.
There was clearly a shit or get off the pot moment when his Eminence, The Mayor, decided it was time for everyone to go home. He wasn't smiling and taking pictures, the time for that had passed. He sent LA's finest down and they did what cops do; throw people in jail. There were a number of people who went straight down there to support the protesters when the order came down. Many of them made sure to post a status update on Facebook letting everyone know they wouldn't be posting pictures of cats playing piano for a few days. They followed that up with a post about how the LAPD made them sit in a bus for several hours and they had no choice, but to piss themselves. Yuck! Anyhow, it looks like the whole OWS thing has run it's course. They went from getting 6 figure contributions just a couple of months ago to wearing "will occupy something for food" signs by the expressways. I'm not happy about this; nor, do I intend to gloat. I think it's a sad thing to see a movement with so much positive energy fizzle out.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Good Ol' Daze

Nostalgia: A yearning for the past, often in idealized form.
It's hard to deny that in choosing to be a republican, one is also choosing be aligned with anti-intellectuals. religious, homo-phobic, anti-woman, perverts and angry, gun-toting, sociopaths hell bent on destroying even the most basic functions that make our society function.  Add to this the cult of death status that the Tea-jadists earned in the last two debates and you've got an incredibly frightening minority of rich, white, religious zealots who, through their blind, political loyalty are well positioned to send Barack packing in a little over a year.  It's frightening to think of President Perry, but BO and the Dems have asked for it by betraying the progressives in the party.  BO, to anyone who was paying attention had never really declared himself to be a liberal or progressive.  What he offered was an alternative to the typical rich, white dude in the 10K suit by being the rich, black dude in the 10K suit; that and he symbolized progress, even though he wasn't (and clearly still isn't) for it.  Don't take my word for it; BO dug his own grave with progressives long ago with his Pontious Pilate routine concerning gay marriage, not to mention a few dozen other issues and one look at the people he was putting in charge of this nation's financial oversight apparatus', just after the election, was a dead give away that we were in for more of the same "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" mentality of the last 30 years.  

But, BO isn't the problem here, nor necessarily are the republicans the rock in our shoes.  What we, American's with fully developed frontal lobes, keep encountering in our struggle to move forward with civilization is a small, but well organized, minority of brutes in the electorate that have hunkered down and are waiting for either Jesus to show up again or for "Leave it to Beaver" to be on Prime-time TV.  Most of them are my age, if not just a bit older; which means they are not old enough to truly remember the good old days that they are constantly pining for.  These troglodytes are sticking to the notion that America was once a great nation, that did no wrong and everyone was always happy.  They want to come home to the Eisenhower era ranch house after a long day at the Reagan era office.  Well, the truth is that that America never existed; at least not for people of color, the poor, women, children or even dogs.  That America was sponsoring oppressive tyrants all over the world, operating an apartheid system within its own borders and learning to consume this worlds resources at an exponential rate.  At least this is America as the "enlightened" angry liberal side presents it in attacking the right.  I think both sides are right and simultaneously dead wrong.  

There is a third America that existed; the America that I remember reading about and am still inspired by; it is the America that I am pining for.  The America that was coming to grips with it's oppression of people of color and began a long and often bloody struggle to get us on the path towards equality.  It is the America that looked to the great strides that European nations had made in re-building their infrastructure after WWII and decided to build great roads and bridges that brought us closer as a nation and put people to work.  It is the America that looked to the sky at night and wondered in awe at what the view might be like looking from the other direction.  It is the America that decided that working men and woman deserved a living wage and that all children should have an opportunity for the best education in the world.   It is the America of dreams and hope, not fear and distrust.  It is not the America of cynicism or myth.  It is not the America that belongs only to the powerful and rich.  It is not the America of angry zealots or no-nothing nihilists.  It is the pragmatic America that Jefferson imagined should run like a "great machine".  As long as we have leaders that stand up only for powerful interests, economic alchemy and a tiny minority of nostalgic buffoons, that machine will never be great again.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Rat Fuck Manifesto

The Rat Fuck Manifesto  (Click for link to LIVE performance)

From this point all bets are off:  These are the terms of our unconditional surrender!

Mandatory medical marijuana to be delivered by buttoned-down assholes in Armani suits in 30 minutes or less.
Universal pizza coverage, but not from Dominos or Pizza Hut or Papa John’s; Chicago style, you know, the good stuff.
Rivers of beer that flow like wine from valleys of rum
Trees that grow Cheetos and Doritos and Tostitos and Banditos, Fritos and Chispitos.

Free slurpees for everyone!

From now on awkward, weird and smelly is the new tall, dark and handsome.
No mall will have less than 4 Gamestops, 3 comic book stores, 2 Chik-Fil-As and at least one dispensary.
No more health food stores, gyms, vitamin shoppes or healing centers; they’re for wimps anyways.

SUV drivers must wear shirts that read, “Yes, I have a small dick.”
Che Guevarra shirts can only be worn by those who can demonstrate an understanding of the difference between branding and populism.
Men can only wear sandals on the beach!  Without jeans!  and for fuck-sake take off that Ed Hardy shirt you look like a rainbow with a hangover puked all over you!
Women may wear sandals wherever they like, provided they have pedicures (sorry ladies, the foot-fetish committee demands we put this one in).

Reality TV is hereby abolished and replaced with reality!
Social networking is to be replaced with networking socially.
Justin Beiber, Sarah Palin, Tom Cruise, Martha Stewart, Donald Trump YOU are all hereby banished and take Snookie, whoever the fuck that is, with you!
All butch-like, brutish sports are hereby abolished.
Halo will be our nation’s new past-time.
Goodbye 24 hour news cycle
Hello 24 hour porn cycle.
Money used for wars now goes towards opening the first Krispy Kreme on the moon.
No more end of the world prophecies, from now on we stick to our regularly scheduled Mayan apocalypse.

The immediate creation of a national “The Shoe is on the Other Foot Program”
Whoever wants to get married can, except for fundamentalist Christians
Supporting Our Troops will take a back seat to Sustaining Our Scholars.
Tree-hugging, long haired, vegan, hippie, peaceniks are required to “Cowboy UP!”
Deep frying, backwoods, NASCAR and backyard barbeque, mouth breathers are required “mellow out man.”
Minutemen are to be deported immediately
Global warming deniers are to be relocated to the nearest igloo.
Misogynists – you’re going to have to share your true feelings with us.
Feminists – Oh my God!  We’re going shopping!

Communists made to consume
Corporatists made to commune
Creationists made to Evolve
Evolutionists made to create
Protestors will police policemen
Policemen will protest protestors
The dog will live with the cat
The cat with the canary
The canary with the worm!

The national bird is now a ghetto pigeon.
The purple mountains majesty is now a dark uninviting alley.
The rocket’s red glare will be replaced by the reflective glow of black light from a bong.
Yes, our flag will still be there, but it will have orange stars, pink hearts, yellow moons, green clovers, blue diamonds and rainbow stripes.
Apple pie will only be as American as Arroz con Pollo.
And they can have their Plymouth Rock, we got Aztlan, ese!

Down with corporate America; except for CostCo (It’s cheaper to buy in bulk).
Up with Democracy; except for voting (most people just aren’t well informed)
Long live the worker; except for those fuckers at the DMV (Just drawing a paycheck aren’t ya?)
All Power to the People; except the ones that disagree with us (by the way, please see a representative about your membership dues, immediately).
Down with tyranny and oppression; except when there’s something in it for us (especially when we can get away with it)
Love thy neighbor; except that asshole down the street who won’t clean his front yard (his wife’s kinda’ hot though)

Here we stand!
Fists in the air!
Fire in our bellies!
Blood in our eyes!
So say we all:

 The United (mostly) Rat Fucks of the World!

Scroll to bottom of page to see TRFM performed live at The LAst Bookstore!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Like Sunshine and Rain

Let me get this out in the open first: I did not know that bin laden was fish food until the day after it happened.  Pardon my ignorance, but the regularly schedule program was boring and I desperately needed to catch up on Californication.  The following morning I saw the headline in the hands of a fella who was waiting for his five dollar foot long and YES I gave him a high five.  This was a visceral reaction to an event that was important for me to put closure to, because I, like the rest of the country and most of the world had been traumatized over a decade ago and been unable to process it to it's conclusion.  In other words, YES, I was happy the fucker was finally dead.  In retrospect, not my finest moment.  I should have reflected upon his death and unlike that dickhead, the Dalai Lama, forgiven and forgotten.  Fear not, dear reader, unlike his holiness, I have not gone reactionary or lost my fucking mind like those assholes at Faux Gnewz (welcome to Bizarro World).

Speaking of bad decisions, we should never have designated this operation codename: "Geronimo."  Yes, that was totally insensitive, not to mention ignorant of historical facts and Yes totally racist.  Geronimo was the name of a brave Apache warrior who fought against U.S and Mexican expansion, was betrayed by those who captured him, as well as, a handful of his own troops and ultimately denounced his decision to surrender to the duplicitous white devil.  OBL was a spoiled, rich, dickhead. who brainwashed his followers into committing mass murder, told them to live in caves while he lived it up in a million dollar mansion until he was killed and (allegedly: see my post) spent his last moments, hiding behind his old lady.  They had nothing in common except that both of them pissed off whitey to the point that thousands of people died in the process of their pursuit.  The next time we go after the world's most notorious terrorist (anyone who lived through Abu-Nidal knows there will be) we'll call it operation "Crush the Cracker" and then we'll be square.

OBL was a bad dude; no doubt.  He went ape shit, because of his devotion to a backwards-assed religion (as they all are, in my humble opinion).  He decided that human beings suck so bad, that 3 thousand of them should die in a single blow.  But, let's also remember that Saddam was far worse.  He killed hundreds of thousands over decades and that doesn't include the torture or the war vs Iran that he started (reportedly).  I don't recall anyone outside of Iraq dancing in the street to his death.  Over 300K died on the command of Harry Truman and people didn't take to the streets in ticker tape parades to celebrate those deaths (they celebrated the end of a horrible war).  So, why would Americans, who so vehemently decried the celebration, in parts of the Middle East, of the fall of the twin towers in 01', take to the streets (and the net) to espouse their love for the grim reaper's work?  I believe that the celebrations we saw post OBL were nothing more than a brief sigh of relief.  That's it!

Just as my first reaction was to high five a stranger a couple days ago, so was my reaction to stare into a stranger's eyes, longing for consolation the morning of September 11th.  Many of us felt that we were connected to an event that made us feel hopeless, unable to control our own destiny and terrified of what was around every corner on that day and our confusion led us to a place where we did some weird shit.  That's it.  That's all there is to it.  We aren't evil.  We don't love death.  We aren't being racist or depraved, homicidal, predators.  We are a people who were pushed under for a long time and now we have come up for air.

We've spent ten years walking this earth like heavily-armed, zombies; unsure of who the enemy really is and only knowing that hunger burns in our bellies.  A hunger that has driven us to turn on each other when the brains have holed up in a shopping mall.  Now, all of a sudden, things are different.  We're baaaaack!  This is a good thing and quite frankly if it means dopey college kids do the running man at Ground Zero, I can't blame them.  They're doing what dopey college kids do; look for excuses to party and avoid using the left sides of their brains.  As for myself, I'd like to say that I was enlightened enough to have suppressed the urge to chant USA! USA! USA!  But, the truth is, I haven't felt like chanting that since we elected our first black president and I can't think of when the last time before that was; maybe around the same time I was young and dumb enough to not understand the difference between joy and pain.

I duhman Pikchurs/ DENIED!

Osama bin dead for about three days now and without hesitation the conspiracy theories and rumors about how, if and when he "really" died, hit the web.  After the celebrating (see my second OBL post), the web was aflutter with wild speculation about how the mission had to be a lie; merely an attempt by the government to fool us all into believing that the world's most wanted terrorist had finally met his demise.  No one can explain why the government would go through the trouble of doing this, of course, just like they can't explain why there would be a second gunman on the grassy knoll or how the thousands of NASA workers involved in the moon landing could keep a secret for so long, but then conspiracy buffs don't need reason.  All that one needs to believe a conspiracy is a belief that a conspiracy exists; no evidence of Obama's birth place will ever satiate the desire of birthers, just as no pictures of Osama's corpse will ever convince these kooks that the boogeyman is now fish food.

A few months ago I posted a blog about the Wikileaks matter and I think I made a reasonable defense of Jullian Assange and why I thought what he and Bradley Manning did was good for Democracy.  What I got was an unexpected reaction by people who thought that Wikileaks was just another campaign by the government to dis-inform the American public.  I can't tell you how livid this made me!  The idea that a private citizen can freely go on a website and look at hundreds of thousands of previously undisclosed government documents is unprecedented in American history and still there were people out there that without reason, logic or study dismissed, in the blink of an eye, this treasure trove of insight into how the government works, as bunch of malarkey.  LIVID!

And now we have people dismissing the reported death of Bin Laden, because they can't see videos of the mission as it takes place, or pictures of the corpse or whatever it is that will personally appease their cynicism.  Now that the administration has decided not to show the pictures of the century, I suppose the conspiracy theorists will stop taking their meds and, just to see how far their babble will take them before they end up rocking in a puddle of their own piss, inside a padded cell, take to conjuring up stories of imaginary "photoshoped" pictures and evil cabals within the NSA that trace their origins back to Skull and Bones.  Take note, those of you who want to propagate incendiary lies based on conjecture and a lack of information, as of recently, all that conspiracy BS hasn't gone very well for certain people.  Not to cast stones, but it's a bad time to have a name that rhymes with chump.

To those kooks, I say: don't bemoan the lack of closure you feel; the rest of us are satisfied.  Don't complain that you don't have enough evidence to satisfy your curiosity; the fucker is dead, that's good enough for everyone else.  Don't try to lend your crazy theories any credibility by arguing that your sources are solid, fascinating and well documented on the internet; so is German schizer porn.  Don't try to convince us that all you need is a video of the assault team in action; an MP3 of OBL's death rattle, a picture of the SEAL team standing naked over the corpse with a half dozen dwarfs in Elmo suits on unicycles, playing banjos as the Blue Angels do a fly-by; we all know there isn't a damn shred of evidence that will make you drop your agenda.

To our government apparatchiks I say, simply, Julian Assange, True Majority, Amnesty International et. al. will not rest until the shit, that has hit the fan, has been swept off the parade ground.

As for me, I have only have 3 reasonable questions:
1:  How is that OBL hung out, eating hummus, listening to Bob Seger albums for 30 minutes as a firefight raged in his living room; then the minute a half dozen heavily armed, bad-asses stormed into his bedroom, that was the moment he decided to reach for a piece?
2.  Dude, had a million dollar compound and he didn't have a "safe" room "where the magic happens"?  Even those fools on Cribs got that shit.  Even Saddam had a spider hole.  Jesus, he's an infamous terrorist, that evaded the 10th Mountain Division in Tora Bora for over a year and he didn't have enough sense to build an escape tunnel?  What?  They don't have Hogan's Heroes or Jodi Foster films in Pakistan?
3.  If the president and his cabinet et. al. had access to a direct video feed of the operation, including second by second accounts into every turn of action (I can only imagine that what they were seeing looked like an Xbox game), how is it that the first accounts of what happened to OBL were completely dismissed the very next day as incorrect?  He initially was reported to have gone down in a blaze of glory like he was a villain in a Chuck Norris flick; complete with a mansion full of bodyguards, a female human shield, firing off rounds until the bitter end.  The very next day, we were informed that, that was all bullshit and dude was unarmed when he got capped and the woman with him was actually trying to protect him and got shot in the leg for her troubles.

In any case, I'm willing to forget these silly questions, now that we finally have a president that keeps his campaign promises concerning the war on terror (or any campaign promises for that matter) .  If only we can get him to keep his promise to make our government more transparent, maybe bin laden conspiracy theorists will be relegated to that place where Larouchies, birthers and people who believe the moon is made of cheese end up; irrelevant and denied anything but a footnote in history.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Rich Will Taste Delicious

I watched this show called "Undercover Boss" and for those who haven't seen it, it's a reality show where they take some rich fuck that runs a company and ignores his employees then they disguise him and plop him down on the shop floor with the great unwashed morlocks that sweat so that he can take month long vacations in Fiji twice a year.  Apparently, this recycled Daddy Warbucks rich, middle-aged, white dude with a golden heart narrative is all the rage these days.  Whereas, we used to be invited into the world of the "rich-as-extravagant" (IE. "Cribs") or the "rich-as-spoiled-giggling-twats" (IE. Paris Hilton), the Hollywood junk pushers are trying to convince us that rich folk are warm hearted, generous to a fault, easy to relate to and just like anyone else.  Personally, I liked it better when they lived in gated communities and drove around in cars with smoked windows.  The final straw for me is a remake of Arthur staring Russell Brand.  The last thing I want is a remake of one of my favorite movies where Arthur goes from being a guy who doesn't care about money to being a guy who is desperate to keep his wealth.  It's just to close to the truth, except of course in real life rich, greedy bastards will throw you and your newborn out of your home and let your ailing 80 year old mother starve to death before going without.  Brand's Arthur is, according to the synopsis I read, hard up to hang on to his wealth and ends up doing all kinds of wacky things to do it.  *UGH*
There is an incredible amount of talk about class warfare these days.  Of course, it is only worthy to comment on it when it's a poor person, a union worker or an average schmuck complaining about how one-sided the distribution of wealth has become in this country.  It is now known that only 400 families in this country own as much wealth as the lowest 155 million of us.  If you ask me this country has been in a state of perpetual class warfare and the great herd have been under siege since well before Annie was living the hard knock life.  This inability to see ourselves as victims or targets may be a social phenomenon, but I believe that it is the effective use of propaganda used by those in power since the time of the great labor struggles in this country, that is responsible for how blind we are to the simplest and most basic need of most species in the animal kingdom; Self-fucking-preservation.  Look back to the 20s and 30s and you will see how these class struggles played out the same way they do now and it's no coincidence that those struggles coincide with the birth of the PR industry (Don't take my word for it; look up Edward Bernays or what Chomsky referred to as, "The Mohawk Valley Formula").  Americans are convinced that we, who are not filthy rich at the moment, have a pretty good shot at it and that it is only a matter of time before we hit the lottery, inherit an estate or find a leprechauns pot-o-gold at the end of a rainbow.  If there is one message the middle class in this country should be bombarded with daily it is that, we have absolutely nothing in common with Trump, Gates, Buffet, the Kochs (evil fucking bastards if ever there were any; Bond villain evil)or Hilton and as such,we need to start looking out for our own interests.  This is, of course, not likely as long as we are drawn to shows about hicks getting rich off of digging for gold in Alaska or buying storage units that were abandoned by people who couldn't afford them any longer.  GET A CLUE!  You have a better chance of getting hit on the head by a meteor than becoming a millionaire, billionaire or even a hundred-thousandaire for that matter.  The people who control wealth in this country know it and have used your delusion against you for decades! Now if only there were some way to get this message across to people; a vehicle by which to inspire thoughtful democratic dialogue, promote a genuine sense of social responsibility and awareness of good old fashioned American egalitarian values.  Hmmm, I wonder?  How'd they do it Tunisia and Egypt?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

These are the Terms of Your Unconditional Surrender

I know this is not the best time to say this, but you reap what you sow.  There's a nine year old and a federal judge dead (among others) nearly a dozen wounded and a congresswoman whose life is forever changed by the violence that the right wing in this country has been cheerleading for since well before GW was tooting cocaine off a stripper's ass in Texas.  There has been so much talk about "who is to blame", "rhetoric", etc.  I know that when Gabrielle Giffords recovers,(I have faith in medical science that she will) she will, no doubt, say that neither Republicans or their wacko cheerleading squad had anything to do with it; that this tragedy happened because of a lone, deranged individual.  She is, after all, a politician and one from Arizona where you have to be pro-gun regardless of political affiliation or personal belief, if you want to be elected.
Personally, I think the blame for this is at the feet of US ALL.  Whether you believe that Milton Friedman's face belongs on Mt. Rushmore or that we should all be riding bicycles to work, makes no difference.  It is US who created, allowed or otherwise turned a blind eye to the Culture of Fear* that is prevalent in our society.  We The People have stuck it in and broken it off in ourselves; gruesome I know, but let's stop with the denial.
We refused to sit down like normal adults and discuss the repercussions of letting "The Gipper" decide to empty out the mental institutions long ago.  We argue the constitution instead of reason, safety and the building of a better society when we talk about gun control.  We allow politicians to rant about the evils of government, while ignoring that most of those fuckers make an assload of money as public servants.  We point our fingers at each other, instead of giving the finger to the individuals who try to convince us that safety and security is a question of what numbers you punch on a ballot.
There is no logic in continuing the debate of Left V. Right.  I see nothing but more of the same in our future.  Here is my only solution and it is not open to negotiation, addendum or revision:
From now on, instead of political identities, we split up into groups of those who want to evolve and those who want to stay stupid.  That simple.
Forget the constitution, ignore the rule of law, throw out the instruction manual:
Those who want to live in peace, progress and unfettered liberty; those who are truly tolerant of gays, women, minorities, the poor; who believe in logic, reason, science, art, intellectualism; who think people are good, reasonable, empathic, sane; those who don't want myths, half truths and fear to determine how our society will face challenges; those who want clean air, water and land; who want well funded educational, societal welfare, medical, public safety, art and literacy programs; those who don't believe that it is the end of the world, but even if it was we aren't going down without a fight; those of you who believe that violence and the language of violence only leads to more violence; those of you who believe these things, please stay calm, don't panic and please stay exactly where you are.  The rest of you motherfuckers, GRAB YOUR SHIT AND GET THE FUCK OUT!
We're going to treat this country like a shitty marriage from now on:  You don't want to be here?  Get the fuck out!  You think somebody is going to hurt you?  Get the fuck out!  You think you're being lied to?  Get the fuck out!  You believe that you're being sold out?  Get the fuck out!  You think the Chinese girl down the street is hotter than you and you're going to whine about being replaced instead of going to the mall, getting your hair done and picking up a sexy nightie at Vicki Secrets?  Get the fuck out!
Grab your AR-15, your Hummer, your home schooled little freaks, deep fryer, bible, power boat, 4-wheeler, Harley Davidson and whatever else you think someone is going to come along and pry from your cold dead hands and Please ... Get The Fuck OUT!

*Read Barry Glassner book of the same title for added thrills.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future." -- George Orwell

It's never easy crossing into conspiracy theorist territory, but I think in the case of Julian Assange and Wikileaks I'm willing to suspend my usual cynicism and disbelief that evil forces are at work trying to destroy the forces of good. Whatever you think of this whole debacle I would suggest that it is not cause for hanging traitors, hunting down tattle-tales or preparing for Armageddon.
This is like when a magician reveals the secrets of the illusion. There is always a group of magicians that whine and bitch about the integrity of the art being irrevocably altered. This first group is like the bunch of thieving rats in Washington that are bemoaning the "attack" by "terrorist hackers". The second group of magician accepts that the cat is out of the bag and move on to design bigger and more bad ass tricks, like Chris Angel does. These magicians are similar to the second group of politicians that are standing up for Assange and calling for a re-evaluation of our foreign policy, like Ron Paul. Okay, I just praised Chris Angel and Ron Paul in the same paragraph, something is seriously amiss.
Accusing Assange or PFC Bradley Manning, the real hero/traitor/pain-in-the-ass in all of this, is pointless. Pandora's box is now open for business and in fact, no one should be surprised that diplomacy is a slippery slope filled with preening ambassadors, two-faced backstabbing on a global scale and suitcases filled with millions of dollars. We can't do anything about what's in these cables except apologize for having our ambassadors and such make honest assessments about the world we live in. What excites me, however, as what we have the potential to learn about the process of negotiating with foreign countries. Not the give and take of it all. Something far more valuable for the future of democracy.
This is a treasure trove of information that we would never have access to any other way. No FOI request would ever reveal half of what we are getting from these cables. There are no black redaction lines on the paper, no filters, no court battles; this is how it's supposed to be! Security experts have for years warned the U.S. of the folly of trying to hide all of it's secrets in the information age. We have allowed the government to create within itself an environment where the individuals in charge of looking out for the public trust, insulate themselves and let their guard down. This is a recipe for disaster and we should probably be thankful that we haven't seen anything worse than AhMADdinejad calling us conspirators (seriously, dude, you need to come up with fresh material).
The real reason, I believe, for the uproar is that future generations will use this information when writing the historical narrative of the United States. These cables go back to 1966. That means that 50, 75 or 100 years from now when all the nearly 400k cables have been analyzed, put into proper context and weighed for their importance by scholars and compared and contrasted to what other information is available to the world about the times that we live in, what we believe about our country today will probably make us the laughing stock of future generations of Americans. The narrative is no longer under the control of elites, it has been open-sourced, the curtain pulled back and the old lies are no longer convenient to anyone.
This, in my humble opinion, is a good thing. No one likes it when we, as a country, suck. Personally, I hate it. The truth is we do a lot of shady things throughout the world to keep the lights on at home. But at least now maybe, just maybe, we can teach future generations something about democracy that no other civilization before us was able to convey; that democracy must be transparent, otherwise it's nothing but a bad magic trick. I just wonder when the "Free Julian" shirts are going to hit the market, because I'll be the first in line.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I know, I know, everybody is bummed out over the election. The world is coming to an end, the dream is over and so much for change, hope and all the other bullshit we were promised. Look, the problem is we have a two party system; plain and simple, just like that. There is the corporate fuckface party and the corporate fuckface party lite. The structure is not about to cave in to a bunch of dirty ex-hippies, brown people and other undesirables. We are the great unwashed, the massive herd and as Bill Maher pointed out this week, on his show, the electorate is a dumb dog that responds only to intonation and fear.
Now, the good news: The Republicans won by small margins across the board, mostly in traditionally Red places and the overwhelming majority of PROGRESSIVE Dems held on to their seats. The reality is the voters that came out a couple of years ago told the Dems to get bent this time around and let's face it they had good reason. If you were gay you were pissed off about DADT and marriage, Latinos were pissed about immigration, middle aged white folk panicked over jobs and young people weren't really pissed just too stoned to remember to come out and vote for prop 19 (seriously, where were you guys?). Basically, everybody had something to gripe about so we all stayed home. The problem with not going to the polls and supporting the Dems is that now we have two years to look forward to where government will not only fuck us ALL over, it will do it very slowly and clumsily. I think that the next two years of the Obama presidency will make the Clinton years look like the Carter era. Fear, paranoia and hatred are in the forecast and we have only ourselves to blame; we punished the Dems thinking they will listen now, but the Dems take their defeats as a signal that they have to move further right every time. We have shown the establishment what can happen when Blacks, Latinos, women, gays, progressives, smart people and stoners get together. The problem is we backed a gelding instead of a stallion. Obama may win re-election if he stops acting like the dumb kid in eighth grade that ate his own boogers at lunch, hoping to make friends with the bullies. Maybe in 2012, we'll get a president that has a set; RUN HILLARY RUN!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How To Just Say NO to Teabagging

It's official, I'm a professional class writer now and have the credentials to back it up! I'm back to being unemployed, but at least I have a nice new diploma hanging on my wall and as a result of my new-found, free time, I've spent some time out and about and I've been approached by a couple of Teabaggers to join their group of like-minded delusional honkys. Don't ask me why these creeps think I'm the kind of dude that would join them, although one of them did point out that the "destroy corporate America" sticker on my laptop echoed his very own sentiments towards America Inc. which, just goes to show how completely uninformed those knuckleheads truly are about their own "movement."
The first time I was approached to join up I was firm, but fair. I simply said, "absolutely not" and "not a chance" and "Not interested." The dude was persistent, that's why I had to say NO 3 different ways and he didn't stop pushing until I flipped him off and mouthed, "FUCK OFF" at him. Don't feel bad for him, he's the asshole who forgot to switch on his hearing aid.
Now the second time I was approached it came on the tail end of a long discourse about why Tony "Soprano" Hayward should not be in front of Congress explaining himself to the American people for his role in the greatest Eco-disaster of all time. The idiot turned to me and asked, "So, do you think that you ..." and he didn't get much farther than that, because I nearly passed out from the blood rushing to my head and ended up stumbling out of the Starbux and sitting in my car in the parking lot for 15 minutes hitting the dashboard and rubbing my chest. Fortunately, the paramedics didn't need to be called and the policeman that drove by only glanced my way and must have decided that he didn't want to deal with the paperwork.
So, as I explained, I've got plenty of free time and I've decided that there is a huge enclave of rich, white, republicans in the SouthBay that are out to bring more imbeciles into their "Don't Tread On Me," "Obama is a socialist," "Sarah Palin would totally fuck me," "Hand me my musket and triangle hat," delusional, fun-house world.

I must be prepared. We must be prepared.

So, I've put together a little shpeal to use on those agents of evil and I've decided that for the good of humankind, I'm going to open source it and you don't even have to give me credit for the eloquent way you are going to publicly insult those fuckers. Oh, that reminds me, don't tell the prosecutors or the judge where you got it from either, as this is very likely to land you in the pokey, if you say it with enough passion. And it goes a little something like this:

Sir (or Mam)
I believe that reasonable human beings only fear the end of times when people like you are given power and not solely because a black man is democratically elected to lead our nation. I think that the problems our world and our country face must be addressed through calmed reason, logical thought, devoid of political, social and economic agendas. I think that you and your ilk are the greatest threat to civilization that has existed since the rise of European Fascism and that may be giving you too much credit, but nobody thought those little beer-hall rants were going to lead to anything either. I believe that America is indeed the greatest country in the world and what has made it so, is that we give the poor, the tired and the hungry a chance to become the empowered, the educated and the productive.
I know that your ultimate goal is a revolution in this country, at least that's what your slogan, "a revolution is brewin'" implies. I seriously doubt that any of you know the hardship and pain that follows a revolution; lives turned upside down and families split apart all in the name of progress. Your "revolution" is not about progress, it's far too centered on a nostalgic return to simpler times. Times when Blacks hopelessly forced to the back of the bus, Mexican's toiled, far out of sight, in the fields, women gave themselves abortions in the family kitchen, gays were beaten with impunity into their closets and "white only" signs hung in every boardroom and corner of congress. That is the revolution you want and I think it's only fair to warn you and the others, that it is a revolution you will lose.
I am the product of the more than 50 year fight against your oppression and hatred of people who are different from you. I will not go quietly and I will fight to the death to keep you from pushing the indignities on to my son that you forced on to me.
So go now, find something more constructive to do with your golden years; go back to your golf game, volunteer in a cancer ward or try to get right with your god before your light fades away and you are left in the cosmic darkness you crave so badly for all of us. All that said, I respectfully decline to join your organization, not with a simple no; but with a very loud and clear HELL NO!

See. Nothing to it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Into the Breach Once More

I have neglected my poor blog. But, not my writing.
I have just a couple of months left before I will be done with my MFA. It is so good to be almost done! TAing is a different experience. I like molding the young minds of future psychos (Long Shall We March!). I can see doing it in my future because it is rock star to have kids come up to you and say you are the coolest teacher they've ever had.
After having dedicated the last 4 years to the writing thing, I think I'm at a point where I've developed the drive and can say I have the developed the skills to give this professional writing thing a go.
For those with background in such things, here is the life of a pro writer as I know it:

First, you have limited choices and unfortunately many of them will be predetermined for you anyhow, so no need to fret over them; that's the good news.
It would appear that the world of the writer is far more complex than the average Joe might think. Let me dispel the first and biggest myth:

Writers do not make money.
We are artists and like all artists there are those that wipe their asses with cold hard cash and those that can't afford asses.
Most supplement their incomes by teaching; these are not always the most badass among us, but they certainly don't get the credit they deserve.
Many of us make it because of our benefactors and those who believe in our work; Sadly, there are too few these days who believe The Arts must be supported above all other things, but their contributions are invaluable; their example thankfully ignores pragmatism and they keep our Art from totally dying. Then there are whores who take and take and take and deserve to be fed to hungry wolves.
Ultimately, writers are the masters of our own universe and that's because we live in our heads. That's about the only great thing about being a writer; getting to live off grid. Most people toil and crack their sinews and hate the lives they lead. Most can't stand getting up in the morning and deal with their stress in unhealthy ways. My life is a constant roll of the dice; I like it this way, not for the gamble; the expectation of rolling a hard six. I like it this way, because it's as close as I can get to being a bum without being homeless. That's not to say writers don't work. I put in at least 4 hours a day of writing. Yes, I know, most of you out there work 8, 10 , 12 hours days and still can't pay your bills. But, at the end of 4 hours my brain hurts; No, really it fucking hurts.
It's almost over now and I'll have to see what the future brings. Things are pretty shitty in our economy and the last thing anyone gives a shit about is buying books written by shitheads. But, me, I'll be glad when I'm done. Unemployed or not; with or without a contract with a publishing house; regardless of having an agent or a production deal; this is what I will do until I die. Or until I open a bar.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hollywood Goes Native

A reviewer from "Mail Online" called it Dances with Smurfs. I've read a lot of commentaries in the past few days concerning Avatar; people taking shots at James Cameron; complaining about everything from how expensive the film is, to how flimsy and cliche' the story is. I think that there are many valid points to be made about what's bad about the film; cliche', sure; flimsy plot line, OK; $450 mil production costs, that's the producers problem not yours; this is the most visually stunning film since LOTR; money well spent says my artistic sensibilities. But, the commentary about how racist the film is, is too much even for my radical ass.
The criticism goes like this; you've got a white, male protagonist who goes "native", hooks up with the tribe's princess and becomes the "great white hope," saving all the natives from the evil that is upon them. There is some discussion as to whether this film is just another white fantasy flick, in which centuries of oppression are dealt with by placing a white person, in the role of savior to an entire race or tribe, such as in Dances With Wolves. I agree that there are many similarities and it is valid to ask the question, "why another white male in the position of hero and savior to an indigenous population, when there is clearly no basis in reality for such a role"; history has white folk pegged as oppressors (sorry, take it up with your ancestors not me).
Now, to clarify, I understand where the criticism is coming from and certainly some of it is quite valid in many ways; but this is Science Fiction, people! It's not supposed to reflect reality.
Calling Avatar another example of Hollywood's racist agenda is not seeing the forest for the trees. First off, our white, male protagonist is not just a white dude; he's white, yes, but he's also a vet, disabled and he's poor. Except for Coming Home (1978) I don't recall ever seeing a protagonist that hit all three of these diverse categories of "shit out of luck." This, my friends, is diversity and insisting that since he's white the character is not fit for the role of hero to these people, is denying these other facts concerning the character and makes me wonder why they would be ignored in the first place by some of these critics.
The women in this film are all in powerful roles. Sigourney Weaver is a ball busting, brilliant scientist (smartest person in the film) and I should point out that the character, like the actress, is pushing 70; lest we forget that diversity also applies to age. Zoe Saldana as the leader of these aliens (actually she becomes leader later in the film, sorry about the spoiler, but it becomes obvious early on she's going to take charge anyways) is a courageous warrior, who holds her own against the males in her tribe. She doesn't fall for "avatar", Jake Sully, preferring to keep their relationship professional, until of course the two fall in love, which by my observation is a mutual affair (no rape, force or clubbing and dragging into a cave takes place). She is fierce, intelligent and deeply spiritual; another trifecta of shit women are not supposed to be in films. Lastly, Michelle Rodriguez's character, our fourth hero (notice: three heroic figures out of four are female) and clearly a woman of color; sacrifices herself in an incredibly valiant and unselfish act and not to mention is the only character on screen during a battle scene to reject violence and turns her back on the horror she sees. She is also, incidentally, the savior of this film, without her, forget the third act.
OK, so here we have it. Let's get this out in the open. As an aspiring film maker, screenwriter, what have you, I have a little bit of insight into how the system works and let me assure you that Hollywood only gives a fuck about one color; GREEN! They don't give a shit about our color, age, religion, political beliefs, struggles or whether you like Asian lady-boys for breakfast. They want your ass in the seat and they want you to bring a couple of friends and this movie is proof of that. 77 mil last week and 75 this week; guess what? It's a blockbuster and there is no denying that regardless of the criticisms it's going to go down in history as a smashing success and that is all that Hollywood gives a shit about. Everything else is incidental and instead of criticizing Cameron for the white male protagonist we should be recognizing him for getting a diversity of characters in positive roles.
Still not convinced? Well, then let me ask you this; the evil, racist, antagonists who were trying to destroy the natives without any consideration for their humanity, who were solely on the planet for the purpose of destroying everything in their paths and depriving the natives of any share of the wealth they were entitled to, weren't they rich, powerful, white males?
I think the only ones who should be bitching about this film's portrayal of power, gender and racial roles are those assholes on FOX and talk radio. Considering they have all but ignored this movie means they are either not going to the movies these days or our side is winning.

Will Write for Food:

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