please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Monday, January 28, 2008

Our Fathers

In most of the recent discussions I've heard about this most annoying of primary seasons, the tone continues to be playground politics:
"I'm voting for the black one, even though he refuses to be specific about anything, because I'm black."
"Well, I'm voting for the woman, even though her entire message changes every five minutes with the polls, because I'm a woman."
"Well, I'm voting for the smily white southern dude, even though he seems to have discovered his blue-collarness five minutes ago-bringing him to question the staggering wage inequity, gutted industrial base and shamefully bad health care system in this country-because I'm a white, smily southern dude myself, and-not that I'm racist or sexist or anything-the other two seem to be saying nothing of any actual substance."

Well, the last one was a little nuanced, perhaps pointing out my own bias in this one. But I'm one of those spoilsports who always are asking that stupid question; When are we going to get around to talking about why this person should or should not be President? Not what they "are", but in what way are they competent to lead?

Fun thing is, the Republicans are doing it too, except the question is much simpler to answer: I'm voting for (crazy fuck nut) because I'm (the same type of crazy fuck nut) too.

Bill Clinton is doing a wonderful job of shitting away the last of the comparative good will he is viewed with, these days. I, like a lot of people who ostensibly should have been pleased with him as a president, spent most of his administration boiling mad about the truly awful shit he did. But these days, whenever we Libbles (as opposed to 'servatives) get together, there is plenty of wistful sighing because At least Bill was nowhere near as bad as the monster we got now.
Which is true, but no reason to turn a blind eye to the bad things he did, and maybe be honest with ourselves; a lot of what's going on now couldn't have happened without him paving the way.
In any case, he sounds like a racist shitbag every time I hear him. It's not playing well. I don't care for Hillary, but this sort of thing will make The Man With No Message president. Or worse: McCain.

So what do we have in the way of a ranking for bad presidencies? Well, I'm noticing that the original Book of Lists seems to no longer be in my posession, and the book came out in 1977, so in their list on this subject, they missed out on a number of true baddies, yet to come.
I think they hit all the classics, though. James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Herbert Hoover (ah, but don't they really mean Coolidge?), Nixon of course.

But what's my list, in order of badness? Well...

1. George Walker Bush (2001-present)
Well, there's plenty of objections to ranking him first. For one, the sitting president is always the least popular president. History will tell, right?
Furthermore, what can I say that hasn't already been said? By me, on this blog, and everyone else who's ever commented on the subject, we've covered it pretty well, over these last seven years. But lest we forget:

This is the guy who completed the work-begun well before him, granted-of utterly dismantling the Constitution, gutting what remained of the Bill of Rights, decided that the Geneva Convention didn't matter. On his watch, we became that nation that tortures people and makes jokes about it.
His administration has created an international gulag of prisons with no serious oversight, weakened services for Veterans, managed to actually make the Middle East less stable, for fuck's sake.

Even if the army of spooks that surround the guy didn't pay off a bunch of Saudis to crash a bunch of planes and kill several thousand Americans, they at very least were warned several times that it was going to happen, and did nothing to stop it.
The federal election system is utterly undone now, and any effort to fix it, or even point out what's wrong is never to be uttered in public. The federal courts are packed with right-wing ideologues. The economy is in a ditch deeper than any it's ever seen, and unlike every other President I can say that about, Bush didn't inherit this one.

And he and his minions did more to make religion a major issue in American politics than-Oh, man...This list just begins the discussion, so let's just stop there. Space concerns.

2. Ronald Wilson Reagan (1981-89)
It's another administration where the central question is, oh, where to begin?
Well, they did a fine job of ending the notion that government is there to do good things. Matter of fact, they actively promulgated the notion that government itself is bad, and therefore so is regulation of any sort.

They re-introduced open race hatred as a political tactic, and they continued the C.I.A.'s (Vietnam era) drug-smuggling operation as a means to fund death squads in Central America, while funneling arms to despotic regimes in the Middle East.
It was determined that the environment no longer mattered, and that the best policy toward the Soviet Union was continued one-upsmanship that repeatedly left us on the brink of nuclear war.

He made it clear, once and for all, that Americans don't want ideas of any sort, they want bullshit. This has been true for a long time, but he made it policy.

3. Richard Milhous Nixon (1969-74)
The most openly criminal administration since Harding (who Nixon admired, actually) or Grant.
It is well known that Nixon's money was actually mob money, but oftentide washed in the cleansing blood of the lamb (Howard Hughes, actually), and it is also well known that the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. had long-standing ties with said mob, finding it easier to do business with them than that other thing.

Where this gets interesting is that Nixon's never well-hidden personal sense of insecurity and failure was with him (and by proxy, us) always, and this made him do funny things.
So, this corrupt, middling politician and deeply insecure little boy-man is pretty run-of-the-mill as far as men go: unfortunately, this one-after a series of precipitously timed assassinations-became president.

He sent his toady Kissinger to derail the Paris peace accords (which would have ended the Vietnam war a good seven or eight years earlier), just to fuck over Johnson, and get the Democrats out of the White House. Then, he ramped up the bombings and increased the troop levels.
Later, after spending several decades ridiculing all who recommended that we develop some sort of normalized relations with mainland China, he sent Kissinger to do just that, and is still given credit as having "opened up China".

When he was told that he couldn't invade Cambodia, he proceeded to 'secretly' bomb the living shit out of it anyway, because he could. He was the first President to wiretap private citizens, simply because they did not agree with him, and when he realized that all his crimes would eventually come back to haunt him, he used some of that good, good mob money to develop a secret intelligence unit within the West Wing.
They were from that awful melange of ex-C.I.A. spooks and Cuban right-wing nutfucks that had been following Mr. Nixon around for his entire career. It is good, I think, that they were all deeply incompetent. And the only thing that prevented the Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox from not getting the entire story later, when the questions were being asked, was Nixon firing him.
(Oh, and the entire story? That all these people were part of the conspiracy that killed Kennedy.)

Actually, my favorite story of all involves Nixon's wish for a wired nation. Via coaxial cable, all of us could shop, watch the news, communicate-whatever, from private computers that would be in every home. The only trade off? The government would easily be able to track everything you did.
And so, this early version of the Internet never got off the ground-impeachment prevented it-and they all laughed at Nixon for it. Just like always.

4. Harry S. Truman (1945-53)
In many ways, this one (seen here in his Masonic regalia) was every bit the little guy overtaken by large events that he is always portrayed as. He was a loyal foot soldier for the machine of Mr. Tom Pendergast in Kansas City (and when the old crook died, the now-President Truman went to his funeral), and learned well how to keep his mouth shut. Eventually, he was rewarded with the Vice-Presidency, since Roosevelt knew he was dying, and knew that he'd better put somebody in there with a folksy manner, and no ideas of his own.

Dropping the atomic bomb? Eh, history is still out on that one. Drafting the striking railroad workers into the army and then forcing them back to work? Shitty, yes, but on a far more benign scale than many presidents.

No, his inclusion here (and such high ranking) is for one thing only: the National Security Act.
This is the act that has kept the country I live in on a continual wartime footing for as long as I've been alive, and for most of the time my parents have been alive. It keeps this country in a perpetual state of emergency, during which the President (regardless of which one) is granted extraordinary powers. It has led to the creation of secretive intelligence-gathering bureaus that seem to have always been more trouble than they're worth, more likely than not to fuck up the big stuff, and less interested in American safety than they are in just fucking shit up.

It means that most of our economy is military in origin, the conventional thinking being that war always makes for better economies. Maybe; but not 'wars' that last sixty-plus years. You'll note that there's been plenty of recessions, inflation, stagflation and all the other things that economies do in the time since 1947.
This has utterly fucked us, it spelled the final death of the republic and the entry into empire; spreading our asses thinly across the globe, cultivating paranoia as a way of life, making our leaders feel that they can do anything, at home or abroad.

As always, the nice little man did this because he was told to by various people he felt he could trust.

Hm. Buchanan? His dithering bullshit pretty much saw to it that the Civil War happened. Clinton? Can't thank him enough for NAFTA, though that was probably going to happen anyway. He did just as much damage to civil rights as any other president though; turning the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms into a fightin' wing of the government to be used for personal vendettas...Suborning perjury certainly made us look like a classy bunch. Welfare 'Reform', The Defense of Marriage Act ...Hell, he did everything the Republicans had been trying to do for years. No wonder they hated him...Ford?

Well, his is a long and varied career of cleaning up messes anyway, so it figures that he'd be the one to seriously look us all in the eye after Watergate and tell us that we would be too hurt by a lengthy investigation into exactly how badly the Constitution was damaged/ignored by Nixon. That our long national nightmare was over; the bad man has gone away, now go back to sleep.
Since the C.I.A. in particular came out of that one looking very stupid, Ford decided he was going to clean up The Agency by bringing in an outsider: George Herbert Walker Bush, who by all accounts was anything but an outsider.
But to be fair, he did fire Rumsfeld and Cheney.LBJ belongs in here, even though I feel that he may have been lied to even more deeply than any of these people. But for the same reason as Truman: he left a legacy that is awful.
His was truly the beginning of the Imperial Presidency: ever since the Gulf of Tonkin and the rewriting of the War Powers Act, pretty much whenever a President wants a war, he asks Congress-if at all-mostly as a formality.
All of his plans for finally trying to make America a more level playing field for all of its citizens? Underfunded by the War, I'm afraid. A war that he knew was a waste of time, a war he ultimately came to know could not be won, and yet he did nothing to stop it.
Until he did try, but then Nixon's people fucked him over in Paris (or was it Vienna?), you know the drill...



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Home of the Thousand-Pound Shithammer

So, there's another blog by a Portland stagehand. I'd heard about it, but hadn't previously been able to find it, as it is on MySpace, which I feel is retarded.
It's called Wheels to Jesus, which is a truck-loader's term, describing the action of loading a wheeled conveyance onto a truck, wheels up. I can tell that the guy is from here, as some of his friends are also stagehands that I know.

I particularly like this:
"Stagehand noun You. Seriously, I don't care what it says on your card. Just like all marines are riflemen, all theatrical technicians of any sort are stagehands. Stagehands are the infantry of show business, and upon their shoulders falls all the heavy lifting. There is no shame in this. The scenery must move, and it will not move by itself (unless the budget is truly ridiculous). You started as a stagehand, and if enough gear is in the way of complex device you must delicately adjust, you will move it, just like you used to do all day. (This doesn't mean you're going to move it while a dozen newbie box-pushers watch you)."

Yes indeed. There is also one of those ubiquitous time-lapse-photography films that is a staple of all rock documentaries, depicting the building of a professional outdoor festival stage, on his blog. In it, all the employees look like busy ants, which is both fascinating, and also somewhat of an insult: it fails to capture the intricacy of the work.
But that's okay. It doesn't pay to take your job, like yourself, too seriously. Except when you must, if you know what I mean.

For some reason, this brings me to thinking about The Antagonist, which was my paper-only 'zine that I was publishing in 1999. Remember the zine Revolution? And how all of us are now bloggers, and no one cares about zines?
Well, this isn't quite true, but I really don't read the damn things anymore, and yet if I were to do it all over again, it'd be just me, a printer, a photocopy machine and lots of clip art (I have a forest of the shit). I wouldn't bother putting it online, because on here, things mostly get lost.

The Antagonist only ran for three issues (May, June and August) in '99. It was the culmination of so many ideas I'd had for so many years, the central one being You can review Anything.
Besides, all these pieces really belonged nowhere else, and where else could I put all that fantastic clip art?
The subject matter tended to include a lengthy editorial note up front, some review demonstrating that you can, indeed, review anything, my restaurant review specifically geared for the breakfast consumer ("Slaying You Some Breakfast"), a text deconstruction, a feature called "For You Kids" that was a parody of those awful syndicated advice columns for teens 'n tweens, a review of some current album (later replaced by the "Periodic Table of My Favorite Albums"), "Media Crapshoot", 'in which we take notice of the subtle shifts in the bullshit continuum', as I described it in the first issue, an art review, a book review, "End of Relationship Theater", in which I recount the poignant/hilarious aspects of my many breakups, and several things of varying quality by various friends.

The layout itself, painstakingly crafted by me in many-hour sessions at Kinko's, tended to be grafitti cut-up in nature. Upside-down blocks of personals ads formed the background of the first issue's (subtitled 'Here Among the Great Majority of Americans') cover. The second issue's ('For the Gentleman or Lady who Drinks Whiskey out of a Fruit Jar') cover featured a great deal of that generic office clip art that is supposed to be fun and is appended to memos and reminders of potlucks. Where it should say things like "PARTY!" or "T.G.I.F.!", it instead reads "MISERY!" and "SERVITUDE!".

Inside, there is both a fictional table of contents ("I Just Wanna Do A Tribute Album To You: A rundown of all the bands who've recently acknowledged the huge influence of Foghat on today's hot new music P.12 [inset, bottom of page]") that is upside down, plus an actual table of contents. There is also a list of
"ANSWERS to Last Month's Quiz:
1. See, Maggie's Farm is like, society, man.
2. Getting the blood off your clown suit.
3. It protrudes.
4. Because I was that cowboy.
5. Yes, and look where it got him.
6. Probably not.
7. Seven.
8. If you're into that kind of thing, I guess.
9. Six pairs of Don Alvarzho tweezers.
10. Portland Hoffa.
11. "Come come, men! They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist-"

And of course, there had been no quiz, the previous month.

The third issue ('Midnight in the Garden of Good 'n Plenty') was specifically political in nature, and was adorned with lurid, darkly photocopied Stanley Tredick photos of the Watergate conspirators testifying, mixed with the William Steig drawings from Wilhelm Reich's Listen, Little Man!
By this time, the layout design was starting to spiral inward upon itself, each of the pages printed on inverted and sometimes blacked-out pages of the previous issues. This led to a look somewhat reminiscent of government documents released to the public, but with redactions.

I do a text deconstruction in this one that is a letter I received from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, supposedly written by Bill Clinton:
"This is a great time to be an American.
(Bad place to start. Reeks too strongly of bullshit. Plus, I can hear that wheezy voice of his in my mind. This is the beginning of a deadly unfunny comedy routine.)

Right now, 45 gutsy and principled Democratic senators...
(I envision richly muscled Democrats, stripped to the waist, dealing out fisty fireworks to those who oppose Our Agenda.)

Over the last few years we have revitalized the American Dream...
(It is an empty statement that is also a lie. Fascinating. The Dems are so powerful, they can revive a myth.)"

And so on. One of my favorite 'Media Crapshoot(s)' is in here; in which I go on and on about advertising campaigns that are so inept as to appear criminally negligent:

"There's a commercial for a nasal spray. The announcer builds it up nicely, then delivers the payload- "Nasalcrom. You heard right. Nasalcrom." Unintentionally underscoring how stupid a name it is. Furthermore, that 'you heard right' is a tacit acknowledgement that yes, we know our product's name sounds like 'nasal crumb'."

A list of "Occupational Hazards of Being American":

1. You might drop your corn dog and get mustard stain on your clothes.
2. Not enough vowels in Alpha Bits.

6. You dearly love cars that eat gas and are built to fall apart.
7. Your neighbors probably think everything on the news is true.

9. No matter what you do, you'll probably be sued for something.
12. Everybody's got a big chip on their shoulder about how wonderful their part of America is. You might get in a Big Fight about this.
12a. Everybody's got a big chip on their shoulder about everything, and you run a real chance of getting in a Big Fight over absolutely nothing.

15. Debate rather than discussion, counseling rather than working out your own shit, euphemism rather than honesty...
18. Thighmaster!
18a. Miracle Aminophyllin Thigh Cream!
19. No matter what they put in front of you, you'll buy it.

20. Highly religious folk who can barely read and have no sense of irony whatsoever.
21. A much-desired 'norm' that no one really seems to achieve constantly being praised as the highest ideal.

22. Our long-standing love affair with black dwarves or small-statured black folk, ala Gary Coleman, Emmanuel Lewis, that fuckin' Urkel kid, Frankie Lymon, Sammy Davis Jr., etc.
23. Yer town so small, all there is to do is git yer girlfriend pregnint.

24. No pizza beer flavor cigarette.
25. All political opinions expressible by bumper stickers and baseball caps.

26. Never can get big enough gun rack for your rocket launcher with anti-tank device.
28. There is such thing as 'The Drug Czar'.

29. Entire country has an inferiority complex.
31. Texas.

So why did it end? Well, it was a lot of work for one person, although as usual, I didn't really want anyone else screwing up my personal vision. I distributed it very sparingly, as opposed to just dropping it all over the damn place, which had been my original idea. I had envisioned it as the alternative to Portland's (then) one-and-only weekly, but then two more came along, somewhat obviating the need for a semi-monthly, especially written by one person.

I wouldn't mind trying it again, with the same recurring columns and paper-only format, but with contributions of others. Or hell; why not make it into a cooperative blog too? Hell, for a while there I owned the domain name, but all it ever said when you went there was "what the fuck did you expect?"


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Errata & Addenda, with Updates

(Because hindsight is so damn shiny: of course I've been wrong about a number of statements made here in the last almost-three-years. Where the wrong is addressed in the comments, I'll let it stand that way; often the corrector is, themselves, incorrect.)

"For my feat of cookery this eve, I believe that I shall take the various parmesans, reggianatos and cave-aged gouda cheeses that I have been aging further (as an experiment), grate them, then take somewhere in the neighborhood of six egg whites, whip 'em up with dill and a bit of Pico Pica sauce, add the salmon I baked off last night, and some onion caramelized in bacon grease, and create a fucking masterpiece. The capper is that the resultant mix will go in the microwave. Yes: just like McDonald's does it. This is to give it that infusion of oxygen, as the cellular structure of the dish oscillates, that will cause it to puff up beyond all belief. I might add some tomato or asparagus, too."
------------------------------- from 'Hear It? Hell, I Can See the Motherfucker!', March '05

(I probably don't need to tell you that this dish was disgusting. But it was.)

"Years previous, I had experimented on myself. I was trying to determine if what I had heard-that niacin brings you down from LSD-was really true. I went out to George Rogers park, sat beside a spring, played the flute, wrote a little poetry, and after an hour, took niacin. I had determined that it reduces the psychological aspect of LSD, while there were still some residual visual distortions."
------------------from '911', September '05

("...wrote a little poetry and masturbated" was how that sentence should have ran. Don't know why I became such a damn blushing violet in this case. I also didn't become a 911 dispatcher, as was my plan at the time. Furthermore, if you look in the comments section, you find some dork who called himself 'Anonymous Asshole'. If you go there, you'll see that he only posted once, and is just tired of you and all your nastiness: "I am fed up with people like you. How dare you belittle other people with your piddly little comments. Grow up, already." He then spent the rest of his career tooling around the blogosphere, belittling other people with his piddly little comments.)

"I don't remember. In any case, her faculty is a published author, and the kind of person the media calls on when they would like to trot out An Expert. He asked a funny question the other day: "Who was the first president of the United States to declare war on terrorism?"
I would have answered Johnson, had I been there, but I would be wrong. His quote was, "This isn't a war against a particular country, but against tyranny." Close, but not quite the same abstraction.
Teddy Roosevelt. That's the answer. Then the teacher asked, "How did Roosevelt become presiedent?"
I'm gonna brag here, she knew this because I told her. Th' lady answered that he had been McKinley's vice president, when Bill got shot."
----------------------------from 'An Indulgence', September '05

(I apparently was not the one who told her that one, and it really pissed her off, causing her to stop reading my blog for a while. I made things worse by never going back and changing it, but I pretty much never edit: this is an online diary, remember? We can be wrong.)

"Cash Bastard, you've jacked me around for the last time!
don't be ridiculous. we're never going to make any meaningful connections this way. We spend far too much time sitting on our asses getting drunk in front of these benign radiation sources as it is. we decide these things, so we say."
---------------------------------from 'The Last One Left Awake', October '05

(Oddly, whenever Bee used to refer to me on her old Gather blog, it was by that name. Or maybe it was just 'Cash'. In any case, she'd never seen this post.)

(The entire post titled
'Helix', October '05: Petunia eventually moved back out to the farm, and her loveless, sexless marriage. Th' She Bear seems to be doing just fine, though.)

And this: the New Boss has been sold. Yup; so shortly after converting form a music venue ("We were losing our souls," one of the bartenders told me) to a pool hall/salsa dancing instruction concern, they decided to become a cowboy-themed bar."
----------------------------------------from 'What The Market Will Bear', November '05

(Aaand here we are not so many years after that, and said themed bar is gone, with a bunch of vague mutterings about 'unscrupulous people' on the part of the ownership, and a great deal of chuckling -about what an awful idea the whole thing was in the first place- on the part of the community at large.)

"Frankly, I just hope the P.O. feels like employing me."
----------------------------from 'Not A Republic', February '06

(I did not, ultimately, become a postal carrier.)

"We're getting near a place where we have enough footage for a first episode to be podcasted. The impulse here (and this has already been a problem) would be to fine tune the damn thing ad infinitum, and never actually reach a final product that can be shared. We are, at various points, going to be discussing just about everything that can be discussed, so the impulse is understandable. I intend to suggest that we get to a rational finishing point, and release the first salvo. It should be titled, I think, "Everything is Temporary".'
----------------------------from 'Everything Is Temporary', September '06

(Oh, but of course we never really got around to actually doing the damn show. Or may still one day, if the endless rewrites, at some point, end. And if I get more time in the middle of the night. And if most of the cast no longer keeps leaving town.)

Which brings me to my 'point'. Jaq, over at 'Confessions of A Female Misogynist', contributed this to the ongoing discussion of gender relations that is our lot here in this, the freest and best-endowed of all Vales of Tears."
---------------------------------from 'I Am Wonderful', December '06

(And what have we learned lately, about blogs allowed to lie fallow? Ex-act-ly! They get taken over by spam-bots! Of course, a certain amount of the old content is still there, right alongside broadsides for remarkably general things:
The Fashion
Learn about The Fashion.
Www Fashion
Helpful Links for Www Fashion.
Find Fashions.

and then, with a sick irony considering the tenor of the blog that was formerly the occupant of this space, the blogster herself is reduced to Product:
Confessions Of a Female Misogynist 3a Reason 2319
Shop for Confessions Of a Female Misogynist 3a Reason 2319, and deals on tons of other products at MonsterMarketplace.

followed by this:
Octane TV - Start Your Engines!
Watch the best Crashes, Racing, Drifting, Hot chicks and motorcycles. Free videos on demand.

Sigh. It's hard out there for a post-feminist sistah.)

"Like Portland Winter Night Sky Soup. When Booty was cooking and I was waiting tables, he finally confessed to me that he was afraid of soup (sorry folks; he's Lebanese!). While in the middle of a busy lunch rush, I grabbed a big ol' pot and proceeded to demonstrate to him how easy it actually is.
I chopped up one large yellow onion very fine, started it on the fire with lots of olive oil. When it was starting to get translucent, I added thyme and rosemary. When it went from translucent to mush, I dumped in enough white wine to cover it.
As that started to bubble, I chopped up half a red cabbage, added it in and waited for it to get soft. Whilst doing so, I peeled some garlic cloves and looked upon him pityingly.
The garlic went in, and thennnn comes the soy sauce! It saltens the whole thing up, and gives it a meaty, gravy-like flavor that one could liken to beetless borscht. Top it with some fresh grated parmesan, and you got this purple madness so reminiscent of Portland's sky at night, in the winter. And thus the desert is crossed, eh?"
------------from 'Man, It's Disorienting Being Me', December '06

(Well, in this otherwise reasonable recipe for a perfectly good soup, let the savvy shopper note that at no point did I mention that you should add WATER to this mix. But you should, and indeed; I'm not sure what this concoction would end up being otherwise. This also marks the first place the word 'saltens' appears in my lexicon.)

"Pushing to one side my dark musing that apparently January is fatal to Republicans..."
--------------from 'A Timeless Treasury of Golden, Classic Hits', January '07

(And of course, this was right before my grandma, who was actually described at her funeral as, "if nothing else, a Democrat", died.)

"Ronnie Reyes is the king of them all. He is a motivational speaker of some sort, or was, until he became addicted to gambling, divorced and a sort of Beyond The Valley of the Sad Clowns inspirational lesson in how Not To Be."
---------------------------from 'Awright, Goddammit', January '07

(This man later found my blog whilst Googling himself. Despite the fact that I said some pretty damaging -though not untrue- things about him, he was his usual needy self and wanted my advice about how to be...Better, or something, noting that I sure seemed confident enough. Other people would've torn my head off after reading that stuff. Ronnie wanted to be friends. I'm not sure if the link still works, as I have noted lately that Blogsource has ceased to be. There has been a post a-building about my weird interaction with this guy, but I've been waiting to see if he goes away first. I'm imagining that my posting his name with a hyperlink (!) will just begin the whole process all over again.)
(So, you will note, in Googling him, that he has a blog on Blogspot now. Sample quote:

"Why do I blog?
And journal?
And write and write and write?
What is the point of it all?
It doesn't really lead anywhere.
There's no beginning, no end, no structure, no story, no purpose.
I don't sell anything, I'm not trying to convince anyone, I'm not trying to run for politics.
I just don't know where to go from here."

And neither do we, Ronnie. Neither do we...Also, you must check out:

"Something like that. But recently, someone smashed a window at the union hall, reached in and grabbed a laptop computer that had scads of personal information on it regarding members, especially recent hires, like myself."
---------------------from 'Family Portrait', July '07

(And of course, last week I found out that someone had indeed hijacked my identity. Someone either is profiting from said break-in, or my old ATM card that didn't have a picture of me got away from me. They went on a shopping spree to the tune of several thousand dollars, but let's hear it for my bank: they immediately noticed it was all taking place in Vancouver, Washington, where I never go.
(So I got all my money back. Still no idea what happened there, though.)


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Triple Beam Protection

You know, I was going on and on yesterday about how I don't really need a triple-beam scale, and how we don't really have any room for the damn thing, but now I'm viewing it as art.
It is far more aesthetically pleasing than a digital scale, and brings back interesting memories of junior high science classes.

Gringa Alta Prima doesn't need it, and for the time being thinks that I'm just holding onto it for her, but now I've decided: it stays, and let's start weighing things.

Now, th' Gringa took down her blog, Camilla-Jane, over the summer. But it's back, and what has happened to it is analogous to what happened to George's.
It has the problem where the space has been taken over by competing spambots. Whereas George's blog was suddenly replaced by a blog template, th' Gringa's was commandeered by some program that clearly hasn't had any human oversight for a long while.

You can tell this due to the unfortunate pairing of unrelated acronyms in the first post:
" Another option is a small business owner, with a
Professional employer organizations (polyoxyethylene). The poly ethylene oxide, also known as
Employee leasing companies, handle human resources functions ..."

And it just keeps going on like that. Then the inevitable happens:

"8 Reasons Why Your Man Isn�t More Romantic On Valentine�s Day"

It wouldn't be spam if something like this wasn't made available. How do I please my man, exactly? Polyoxyethylene?
First, some theories as to why your man isn?t...That way on February 14th:
"They can be expected, gifts of chocolate, romantic cards, and secretly retained in the fashionable restaurants.instead many men have psychological modules, enabling them from the more romantic."

Those modules sound kind of Scientological, if you ask me. There is also the problem, as there often is with material of this sort, with translation from some Asian language, which may or may not be the case with this:
"1. A person may not know how important it is romantic, the woman he is."

Although maybe that is so with this:
"2. Some men simply do not know how to do. A man may have never seen his father model romantic behavior, his growth process. Therefore, he has never developed a curry favor with skills"
Mmm. Sounds delicious. And it's right; some men simply do not know how to do. Having seen my father's growth process on a couple of occasions in various locker rooms, I feel that I...

"5. The man may be struggling with addiction. Forced to like alcohol or drug abuse, sexual addiction or provide an escape gambling,"
It is difficult, being a man. One is often forced to like things that, by the very nature of their wording, just can't be good. Also, helping gambling to escape its wrongful incarceration, while providing a sense of the heroic that we men need, strikes me as possibly being impossible.

"7. Some partners have repeatedly delayed. Husband to the well-off can buy flowers or restaurant reservations until it is too late"
I personally can make restaurant reservations for days. Until they find my corpse, phone in hand, still on hold.

There's a thing about why prepaid debit cards are good for you, in which the first sentence and the headline are eerily alike, then my favorite header of all:
"Don't Hire Someone to Steal Your Joy: Decorate Your Home Yourself!"

After this, two of my favorite posts from the original blog, "Harrison" and "Bender", though they have been rendered into giant blocks of text, with no breaks for paragraphs. So now I've seen how this can happen to an active blog, and how it can resurrect a dead one. Makes me wonder how mine reads in Malaysia.

And of course, all I have to do is hit 'next blog' a couple times, and out of the next five, four are similar babble:
"ve no, don't on the whole calculate not filial?""66 agreeable beauty picture areanot filial!"Ren Zong Da ."So, the mother who is person's son and doesn't know him for the monarch but again is everywhere drift calculate of without definite residence not66 agreeable beauty picture areaon the whole not filial?"

Again, part someone's blog, part weird sales appeal. And those are the ones that aren't entirely
awkward sales appeals.

** ** **

Not sure what else to say here. Last January when Bee and I named the New Year, we perhaps started a surreal tradition. I hadn't really thought about it until she asked me what I thought this one's name should be.
'Dane Bramledge' (say it), I decided. If there could be said to be a set criteria for this nomenclatural game, I suppose that it has something to do with being both a prefix for the phrase 'teen prostitute' as well as sort of sounding like an actual name, albeit in this Bizarro World kinda mirror image.

And I want it to be heroically dumb-sounding. I want old-school, leaky prostate, Hollywood He-Man of Decades Past kind of names like Steve Railsback, Gig Young, Richard Baseheart, Tab Hunter, Lee Majors...These could all be names that fit the above criteria, if you ask me.
So yes: happy Dane Bramledge to you and yours. More content-rich describings in the near-to-middlin' future.