Saturday, March 31, 2012

Men Are Mad

Men Are Mad

Mad Men is a great show to watch if you're of the opinion that Don Draper is the villain of the show. Sadly, very few people are of this opinion. He's a whirlwind obliterating the lives of everyone close to him. Though this isn't anything new. Anytime a show has a terrible self-serving person as their protagonist, like you can see in The Shield, The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, at least 50% of the people watching it miss the point entirely and start to glamorize these sociopathic brutes. It's actually pretty funny.

You can see this a lot when people idolize characters like Dexter, as if he's some amazing crusader. People will idealize these characters. Like Rorschach from Watchmen, all because he doesn't compromise. Mad Men is essentially about a shape-shifting sociopath that vents his frustrations by making stupid people buy useless shit. You can buy a copy of the suit he wears from Brooks Brothers for $1,000 bucks.

Then again, one could argue that the real protagonist of Mad Men is Peggy Olsen. Sadly, this theme is mainly glossed over with the idea that is in your mind that "Jesus Christ, America was just as terrible then as it is now" combined with some average drama. Who cares about woman's movement and what not back then, right? The only thing I should know about Mad Men besides Christina Hendricks is that people think it's funny how they drink at lunchtime and smoke a lot.. Oh, if they only knew the truth of the period.

Some could say that it's masturbatory idealization of an era when being white and male was even more of a cheat code in life for success than it currently is. Advertising is inescapable enough in this country without a TV show providing a shallow excuse for the industry to pat itself on the back for being so vital and interesting. And yet here we are.

But hey, maybe you should really see it for what it basically is "Don Draper - The Eternal Fuck-up No One Should Admire: The Show"

Then again, that's the entire point of the show. It's a criticism of patriarchy/advertising/society combined with a soap opera drama. Nobody should watch it with any other meaning. I mean, the whole intro should tell you that. It has an ad man jumping to his death while being surrounded by hallow advertisements.

Much like war movies have the effect of normalizing and creating social acceptance of war regardless of their perspective on war, popular culture that attempts to criticize or subvert a phenomenon will inevitably reinforce it through a combination of general low-level osmosis as well as via the subset who only consume the surface level of the program.

But again, I feel confident that many people miss this point altogether.

Why yes, let me just dump my caring, stable, mature psychologist girlfriend for a literal child who is also my secretary! Don sure is really irresponsible impulsive hedonistic self-destructive person who only looks good when compared to the idle rich, which even Mad Men cannot address as anything less than the insidious leeching scum of the earth. Want me to hammer the point home some more? This is what I'm getting at;

Don Draper is really irresponsible impulsive hedonistic self-destructive person
Walter Walter white is a really irresponsible impulsive hedonistic self-destructive person
Tony Soprano is a really irresponsible impulsive hedonistic self-destructive person

In summary, Don, Walter, and Tony are all bad people. It's really a point that middle class white people worship Don Draper because they don't get that he is a waste, hates himself and his life for all good reasons - which are that he's a big fat lie.

But hey, the show made ordering an Old Fashion give the impression to the bartender that you're some hipster Mad Man fan. On the flip side, it's pretty nice that people now actually know what the fuck I'm talking about when I order one though. Before that you sort of had to be in a bourbon bar to get one. Or be really descriptive about what it is that you wanted. "Yo barkeep, give me some bourbon, but dump a bunch of sugar and canned fruit into it first cause I'm a pinkie up type of drinker."

But hey, I should still be recommending the drink, because seriously, they are awesome and also make you look pretty badass.... unless you look like a hipster.. or you're fat and ugly. But even then, saying "Old Fashioned" to a bartender when they ask you what you want is smooth as hell.

I'm sure I sound as cool as I think I do, but in reality it's no better than when all the girls started ordering Cosmos after Sex in the City came out? But again, who cares? Do I really want to worry because I'm so desperately frightened of someone judging me to order a drink that I actually want? I know I abide whenever I pour myself a White Russian because of the dude.

He, if it's not for the feminist movement hidden under those layers of bad drama shit, you should watch Mad Men for the very rare instance of socialist one-liners. For example, character discuss how making over 80k a year is pointless because then you get taxed at 76% a client complaining that LBJ's social security and medicare plans were a pit stop on the way to Soviet Russia, and Don Draper complaining about the capital gains tax is a ripe 48%

In any case, you probably are watching Mad Men for all the wrong reasons. But hey, here's hope that maybe something will sink in that betters the world.

Friday, March 30, 2012



This blog isn't really going to stay on topic. I know that already and you sure as shit should know that it's going to just go off course.. because that's just how I roll. In any case, can anyone teach me how to work with leather? I ask simply because I want to make a plague doctor mask like no one's business.

Just look at how cool that shit looks. Though I'm pretty sure that it will not even come close to looking like that for me. Well, also, I'm a guy. So yeah, I'll just look like some creepy dude who would be arrested by the nearest officer. But check out that shit..

To be honest, Plague doctor masks are very much the best thing I can think of right now in terms of wearing something for pure making yourself look completely bad asss..... okay, i can't finish that sentence with a serious face. But it's almost true. Those look pretty awesome.

That's essentially my plan for Halloween. Though I'm pretty sure that instead I won't do anything and simply stay in while sleeping so, you know. Baby steps through this process I call my shitty life.

You have to admit that those mask look very much like some sort of comic book villain. And speaking of comic books, V in V for Vendetta is a pretty bad man. I just hope you realize that. It's all too often that we seem to hero worship the wrong mother fucker out of the gate. Look at the Tony Soporano's of the world. The Walter Whites or the Don Drappers out there.

And in case you were wondering, Apparently Tyler Durden isn't suppose to be an admirable character in that film. And while I love that film and in the 11 years it has been out have watched it at least 300 times, I have to admit.. there's a little part of me inside that hates it. Though I hate it because I had to listen to years of people talking about how it was like, the deepest, man.

It sort of surprises me about the film in how many women I've met who seem to love it, even though it explicitly hates them and acknowledges their low worth in a way that most films comparatively only hint at. So clearly the inner feminist just needs to scream out like Jack's rage.

Its good as an artifact of post-modern first worldism though, and when we're gone it will fascinate our future historians on how little we cared for each other.. and for ourselves that we had to make up different personalities to keep ourselves amused

All in all, I think Fight Club is basically big enough and multifaceted enough to essentially give you back whatever you feed into it. So yeah, there's those who think it's sooooo fucking deep for no reason what-so-ever, but it can be an attempt at reclaiming "masculinity" or a misanthropic meditation or a movie about alienation in a way that deeply resonates with Marxism.

But when you choose an interpretation the other aspects that lead to other interpretations blur and lose focus. In all, it's just a little odd to sell anti-capitalism when your main star is Brad Pitt. Which is always why that line about self-improvement is masturbation. Because these two characters are buffed out the wazoo and it's just silly for them to bash sex selling.

Oh well, I guess it's just one of those things where there will be morons who like the shit you like and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Still Hunger For a Real Game

I Still Hunger For a Real Game

Welp, I was hoping the overblown hype of this movie wouldn't make an appearance on this blog, but I guess I was wrong because after having watched it for free, I feel compelled to just write about it.

I have to hand it to the producers, they did a great job of sterilizing the concept of child gladiators to the point where it's boring as all fuck. I mean, I heard the book's prose wasn't good, but it must have given the act of children killing children more than a shaky cam and bloodstains.

What I'm trying to tell you is that this is a really bad and sanitized version of Battle Royale. So you should probably just watch that instead. What the fuck is The Hunger Games, anyway. I mean, I didn't see at any kid try to eat each other through the whole mess.

It's also a bit strange how they introduce "psychotic" kids from the better districts as people to root against. You know, despite that you were told that they're raised from a young age to kill or be killed. and just as much a victim in this society. But hey, it's all good to kill them.

In this flick, there are "good kids" and "bad kids" without any kind of nuance for who they are or what they are all about. So, even though you have this potentially subversive storyline, you end up with an audience cheering for teenager on teenager beating each other to death because it's so sanitized and we are so detached that it's suppose to be good winning over evil, even in the most despicable of forms. What really is savage about this film is the audiences being presented with child murder and it being so benumbed that it reacts as if someone just hit a home run.

Not to mention that it managed to insert black and white morality, to the point where people in the theater cheered when one kid was forced to kill another kid in a bloodsport. Might I add, how progressive of this film to show last year's winner as a black kid who just finished beating up an asian kid with a bloody brick.

Then again, maybe I shouldn't even address the whole race issue with this film....

I think the ones that have "no offense or anything" or "I'm not racist but..." make me so much more upset. But that's because "I'm not racist but.." is followed by a heinously racist comment 100% of the time. So these idiots genuinely think they aren't racist because they preface their comments with that qualifier.

A side note to anyone who didn't read the books, The supposedly feminist hero who abhors the idea of marriage and spawning children to such a political situation ends the series happily married with two kids. This is portrayed as some sort of natural, healthy maturation. Even though Katniss does not love Peeta in the book and is actually pretending to love him throughout it so that she could pander to the sponsors. I guess that's all part of a good job by the actors.

Also in the book they straight up say that the stated purpose of population control doesn't make sense and the actual purpose of the hunger game is so that the viewers will watch the betrayals in the game and not trust each of the other districts enough to organize against the government ever again.

But hey, I guess there's a lot of movies about archery and feudalism and feminism coming out this year. It must be some sort of theme.

Just what we needed, a Disney movie about a red headed woman who finds independence through the wonders of shooting a pointed stick at something. On a final note, Ariel was more independent before she got legs and it's just pretty fucked up to teach kids that the only way to land the man of your dreams is to get reconstructive surgery, stop talking and move away from your home.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Possession of sandwich baggies with intent to distribute.

Possession of sandwich baggies with intent to distribute.

Now this is an old story that I had to dig out, cause really, in the latest light of the Florida police department not giving a shit about a boy getting killed while holding skittles, this needs to be brought up. Because NPR went all the wire on the Philadelphia police and even though it's a 40 minute listen, it's well worth doing so as NPR says Fuck da Police
May 3, 2010

Philadelphia Daily News reporters Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for the 10-month series "Tainted Justice," an expose of alleged corruption among members of an elite narcotics squad on the Philadelphia police force.

During their reporting, Laker and Ruderman uncovered allegations against officers that included committing sexual assaults, disabling surveillance cameras during drug raids to hide their misdeeds, and filing fraudulent warrants. During several raids, the police allegedly stole thousands of dollars in merchandise and money from small retailers.

As a result of Laker and Ruderman's investigation, hundreds of drug cases in Philadelphia have been re-examined, and in some cases thrown out. In addition, the Philadelphia police launched a task force, which includes members of the FBI, the force's Internal Affairs division and the city Inspector General's Office, to investigate the allegations.

Five of the officers involved officers remain on desk duty; more than 15 civil suits have been filed in federal court against members of the force.
Interview Highlights

On informant Ventura Martinez, who alleged that he and narcotics-unit officer Jeffrey Cujdik fabricated evidence in at least two dozen cases

Wendy Ruderman: "He had come into our office looking for protection. He was terrified that he was either going to be killed by a police officer or he was going to be killed by a drug dealer on the street. ... He alleged that ... when [he and Officer Cujdik] couldn't make drug buys out of a house, the officer told him to go buy drugs elsewhere."

On fact-checking Martinez's story

Ruderman: "We went to the homes — every single house — where he said he didn't [really] make the buy [that Cujdik claimed he did in a warrant]. People had been locked up, but we talked to relatives, and we asked them what happened during the raids."
Drug baggies
Philadelphia Daily News

Mom and pop shops in Philadelphia were busted for selling ziplock baggies like the ones pictured here. Police say the baggies are used to package marijuana and cocaine.

On how the victims of the false warrants felt

Ruderman: "They knew that something wasn't right. They had told their attorney something wasn't right. But who's going to believe them? The system is entirely stacked. ... It's the police officer's word against your word, and you can get up there and say, 'Yeah, I sell drugs, but I don't sell that kind of drug' — and you know, who's going to listen to you?"

On finding out about the alleged sexual assaults that took place during some raids

Ruderman: "Just by chance, the wife of the man who was arrested told us that she was home alone at the time with her children, and that this one officer took her to a back room off the kitchen — and none of the other officers were with her — and he fondled her breasts [and] lifted up her shirt. She feared she was going to be raped. He commented on her tattoos. Asked her to pull down her jeans a little so he could see her tattoo. She was petrified. Absolutely petrified."

On the victims of other alleged sexual assaults they found

Ruderman: "Two went on the record. The third we did grant anonymity to, because the allegation was that the officer shoved his hand up her vagina. And she was petrified, and went to the hospital that night, and they did a rape kit. Because of that, she was scared, and we granted her anonymity. The other two were courageous women and gave us their names and told us their story with their faces, names and everything."

On the Philadelphia police knowing about the officer's alleged sexual misconduct

Ruderman: "It was like an open secret. It was almost like, 'Well, this is just what that cop does.' And all of the women felt the police department wasn't hearing them, because they couldn't identify the officer by name. But when they went to Internal Affairs, they were shown an array of 80 photographs of police officers, and a lot of the photos dated back years — when the officers first joined the police department — so they didn't look like they looked now."

On alleged thefts during raids against mom and pop stores
Video still from bodega surveillance camera
Enlarge Philadelphia Daily News

A surveillance still from a bodega in Philadelphia shows an officer minutes before he tries to cut the wires. The video stills, says Ruderman, turned "criticism into silence."
Video still from bodega surveillance camera
Philadelphia Daily News

A surveillance still from a bodega in Philadelphia shows an officer minutes before he tries to cut the wires. The video stills, says Ruderman, turned "criticism into silence."

Ruderman: "The police would record that they [seized] $1,000, but actually the store owners were alleging that, 'No, I had $7,000 in my store.' A lot of these store owners dealt in cash. They paid their vendors in cash. They didn't trust banks. ... So in addition to just having their stores left in shambles, they allege that thousands of dollars were gone. And when they told their attorneys about it, their attorneys said 'Well, everybody says that. Everybody says that all the time. How are you going to prove it? It's your word against their word.' "

On how finding surveillance videos changed that story

Barbara Laker: "A lot of people who were skeptical at first, with the first [cash-theft] story, when they could see visually that these were officers disabling cameras in stores, it was incredible. They could see it and believe it. Any kind of criticism [we had] gotten before from the police department went away."

On how they felt when known drug dealers were released from prison

Laker: "I definitely struggled with it. And it helped when we found the [mom and pop] merchants who had been raided by the same squad. Because they were not drug dealers. It put my mind more at ease. We were on to something that involved innocent people who had been victimized. ... So we did feel guilty about the [drug dealers], but once we found these merchants, I think in my mind and Wendy's mind it relieved our anxiety a little, because we felt like we'd found truly innocent people."

Mom and pop shops in Philadelphia were busted for selling ziplock baggies. Police say the baggies are used to package marijuana and cocaine. And apparently this was perfectly legal. Yeah. Reminder that it is literally illegal to sell ziplock bags in Philadelphia because of this.

So yay! Go for it, war on drugs, I feel safer already!
PHILADELPHIA- In a daring predawn raid, police seized over 20 pallets of ziploc baggies from a local Costco. Estimated (full) street value was 3.2 billion dollars, making this the largest seizure in Philadelphia county history.
Fuck. It's sad that every cop knows they are a good cop in this world gone bad and that's what scares me. Because they actually believe this shit.

Hey, the reporters already won the Pulitzer for this and an ineffectual bullshit response has already taken place. It's cool that some cases got thrown out, I guess, but the cops involved are probably not going to be meaningfully punished and no systematic changes are going to be made in light of this investigation

My favorite police corruption story is how a police department in some (i think) Illinois town was acting like taxi cab drivers for drug dealers. They literally stole the idea from the movie "The Usual Suspects".

All we need now is there to be a revelation that the Philly cops robbed an Armenian money train to complete this 'life imitates art' story that they're doing so well in stealing from The Shield writers. But hey, maybe they'll put them at desk duty where they have the opportunity to falsify more paperwork all day long.

As a journalist I should be shocked. I mean, one of the journalists was put on a list by the police because of it.
"They said nasty things, like 'I hope she gets raped or robbed and needs a police officer and no one comes to her aid'"
Seriously, fuck these people.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Obama - Burning Down The Constitution

Obama - Burning Down The Constitution

For your entertainment I bring you the next in truly awful paintings that are meant to make conservatives get a stiff boner and laugh to their other conservative friends on their yacht... I present to you Obama burning the constitution.

My my, is it me or is that constitution looking like it put on a bit of weight. Though you can thank big government for that.

I dunno. I wanna say it's a subtle insult painting Obama in an ill-fitting suit, but I'm just going to hazard a guess that it's because the artist has never seen one that fits properly in person and has no frame of reference otherwise.

I'm pretty confused on why the constitution will literally turn into shit if it's exposed to flame. but hey, maybe it's just some liberties taken by the artist. Take for example this next painting, which I can't honestly tell you what the fuck is happening in the painting, but it sure as hell is making me cringe.. .

I... just don't know. I think it's against Obama.

I think.

And is that Prince Philip, back there second from the left n the shadow council? I think it's also Paul Krugman second on the right. Then you have Putin and Ben Bernanke there. i think, okay.. yeah, what's Saddamn doing in the middle? It's all sorts of confusing.

I'm also pretty certain that I saw that dude with the hacksaw standing on the corner in the middle of a Burbank residential neighborhood last Sunday with his 10 year old son, holding a Ron Paul banner.

I drove off and bought groceries and then ran errands and shit and then came back like hours later and he was still there making his kid stand there doing nothing. All day. On a perfectly good Sunny weekend. Could have been flying a fuckin' kite or something. But no. He was just standing there banking on the wrong horse. Truly sad.

Then I got distracted a little, because I saw on the news that the Kony dude was going buck wild on the street and I forgot all about the Ron Paul guy and his put upon son until just now.

Anyhow, I guess the best thing I can say about this is that it's a pretty well drawn rooster. Shit looks pretty real. But getting back to the first painting. Let's see what the artist had to say about his message, since, you know, he likes to be as subtle as a ton of bricks falling on your head.

Oh, if only everything in the arts had a convenient label so that I could understand it on a better level. Though I have to love how none of these guys have any idea what socialism is. Just look at the following video to see how they view such a crazy concept...

I just don't even have words for that sort of thing. How crazy can one get? But hey, keep that medicare coming and they'll be happy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Technical College

Technically College

I'm not going to sugar coat it, I went to some really shitty community colleges out of the gate of High School. I didn't want to piss away a lot of money on a real college for two years I can get somewhere else. Of course this took more than two years because of my fucking around. But at least I got to discover myself some and realize what I wanted to do and not do in my life.

I went from an arts major to broadcasting and journalism. Yeah, I'm writing a shitty blog right now, but hey, at least the broadcasting stuff is getting the bills paid in a better fashion. The writing is just getting me free food from yelp events and the occasional re-write gig.

Anyhow, you're probably thinking that all community colleges are shit. Not so. They get you to point B at a cheaper rate. But you get that idea from those awful community college and technical school tv ads. Well, look at what Central Institute of Technology in Australia came up with to advertise their school...

And while that's not really an honest ad.. it's a far more honestly comical ad than most. This next one, now that's a funny fucking truthful ad.

Kind of makes me want to join them if I hadn't already had a shit ton of razors that will last me another decade due to CVS couponing.

Not the most thought provoking subject, but two ads that were pretty awesome and well worth noting.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

This Party is full of Mad Men

This Party is full of Mad Men

Tonight is the return of the show Mad Men. Never has a show about ads been so interesting. Just think of it, all my career life I have been told that the show we are working on is simply there to sell ads. And it's true. All that content is the lure to reel you in and have you sit there for the half hour or hour that the show runs so that you can see the commercial spots that come on.

That's the whole point of that specific show. So you can be fed a specific type of ad. Watch Daytime TV and it's all about cleaning supplies and other homemaker shit. Watch the big game and they'll throw beer in your face constantly. Your entertainment is doing nothing more than feeding you the supplement to make sure you're a consumer.

Anyhow, I'm away right now doing more important things. I'll be back tonight to probably finish this blog post. Till then, perhaps you need to figure out what you're doing for your Mad Men party.

You know, where you celebrate an unfaithful consumer driven alcoholic asshole as he does... whatever it is that he does all day in the office.

Whatever, I'll watch it cause it's stylistic and it has Christina Hendricks. So whatever.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

You Know What, Fuck Snitches

You Know What, Fuck Snitches

I came across this video the other day and well, I knew before seeing it that I had a strange feeling, unfamiliar feeling. It was noon and I didn't have the urge to punch someone yet. And then I watched this.

Thank god that lack of punching someone in the face was over.

I beg you that you shouldn't read the comments. Not unless you really want to hurt yourself or someone else. Because it's pretty damn bad. In fact, don't even read the description. It's just going to serve as reasons you want to destroy something.

But I guess if we're already here, might as well talk about it. So it says that she has stolen almost 50 carts. Man, you go, Safeway cart stealer. Smash that capitalism one shopping cart at a time!

I just don't get it. Why would anyone feel that it's their duty to protect some store's property? As if it's a whole lot easier to identify with a faceless corporate entity than an actual person. You know, the actual person who is so poor that they don't have a camera or a car to drive their god damn basic food needs back home with them.

Oh, I get it. They need to carry them back home, right? Because life isn't hard enough. Besides all that, these people create another job. Have you've never seen those trucks that go around picking up the carts and taking them back to their original store for some compensation? Yeah, way to try to put a person out of a job, assholes.

This lady fucking rules. "I don't give a fuck" is the best answer you can give in a situation like that. She flipped off the cameraman when the driver turned around, I guess you can technically say that it's 4th degree assault besides the felony theft.

Still, I salute you, shopping cart lady. Fuck capitalism and fuck those snitches who try to intimidate you because they have not a god damn else thing to do with their sad existence. All while you just struggle to get by.

Fitting A Theme

Fitting A Theme

Songs, that is. I don't know about you but there's some TV shows that will forever be remembered for not something that they showed on the air, but for what they started with - their theme songs. These suckers have amazing theme songs that I just can't help but consider it actual music. Mainly because it's something I could listen to without any regret of not seeing a single film of the actual episode.

Take for example Terriers..

It was a great mixture of Veronica Mars with a dash of 100 Bullets crime noir. And while the show was really great, the theme song just put you in the mood for this sunny side of crime, which I have to say does a lot better of a job in the whole mystery in the sun than CSI: Miami.

Moving on to the next theme song that just rocks you...

As much as I don't dislike/like hipsters, the show Portlandia was amazingly great. Especially so if you actually have been there - You'll realize that the show doesn't really have to try hard to mock the folks from there and it really does feel like the 90's never ended. But as cool as the 30 second theme song is, the longer version is so much better...

Be it without the graphics.

And here on the list is one that I can't refuse. In fact, every time House comes on, I sort of have to pause whatever recording I have of it and just go on youtube to see this clip. Why? Because it's an amazing song long before it was attached to the show.

And while the version they show as the theme is good, much like Portlandia, the full version is just so much better to listen to. Just saying.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunter S. Thompson - The Legend

Hunter S. Thompson - The Legend

I already put out one piece just a few weeks ago about the greatest man, Hunter S. Thompson. But let's further look at this man who you'll probably assume his only range was "That crazy guy writing about drugs." A side note, that was Timothy Leary. HST had a lot of great books out that weren't semi-fictional. Just check out the Gonzo Papers Vol 1, 2 or 3. You'll really start to dive into his writing with some critical attention. Just the other day I read all of the Salazar articles and was amazed at how incredibly relevant all of it was to today and how well it was written. I'm still vibrating with the whole "kill all of the police" energy

Just look at these two pieces he wrote post-9/11 and tell me that this man wasn't ahead of his time and on the center of the pulse;
"The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives." - 9/12/01
Then there's this one
"Generals and military scholars will tell you that eight or 10 years is actually not such a long time in the span of human history — which is no doubt true — but history also tells us that 10 years of martial law and a war-time economy are going to feel like a lifetime to people who are in their twenties today. The poor bastards of what will forever be known as Generation Z are doomed to be the first generation of Americans who will grow up with a lower standard of living than their parents enjoyed. That is extremely heavy news, and it will take a while for it to sink in. The 22 babies born in New York City while the World Trade Center burned will never know what they missed. The last half of the 20th century will seem like a wild party for rich kids, compared to what’s coming now." - 10/16/01
I love that the man had the foresight to deem Reagan worse than his own nemesis - Nixon, back in '71.

But I want to stay focus on the whole Los Angeles scene for a while more. He was pretty important in the Chicano movement. Or at least int he documentation of it. Just read the following and tell me how amazing that is.
The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat

Requiem for a Crazed Heavyweight.. An Unfinished Memoir on the Life and Doom of Oscar Zeta Acosta, First & Last of the Savage Brown Buffalo's... He Crawled with Lepers and Lawyers, but he was tall on his own hind legs when he walked at night with the king...

The following memoir by Dr. Thompson is the painful result of a nine-week struggle (between the Management and the author) regarding the style, tone, length, payment, etc -- but mainly the subject matter of the National Affairs Desk's contribution to this star-crossed Tenth Anniversary Issue....

And in at least momentary fairness to the Management, we should note that the term "star-crossed" is Dr. Thompson's -- as are all other harsh judgments he was finally compelled to submit..

"We work in the dark, we do what we can." Some poet who never met Werner Erhard said that, but so what?

What began as a sort of riptide commentary on "the meaning of the Sixties" soon turned into a wild and hydra-headed screed on Truth, Vengeance, Journalism and the meaning, Such as it is, of Jimmy Carter.

But none of these things could be made to fit in the space we had available -- so we were finally forced to compromise with The Doc and his people, who had all along favored a long, dangerous and very costly piece titled: "The Search for the Brown Buffalo."

It was Dr. Thompson's idea to have Rolling Stone finance this open-ended search for one of his friends who disappeared under mean and mysterious circumstances in the late months of 1974, or perhaps the early months of 1975. The Brown Buffalo was the nom de plume of the Chicano attorney from East Los Angeles who gained international notoriety as the brutal and relentless "300-pound Samoan attorney" in Thompson's book. 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." -- The Editors
Nobody knows the weirdness I've seen
On the trail of the brown buffalo

--Old Black Joe
I walk in the night rain until the dawn of the new day. 1 have devised the plan, straightened out the philosophy and set up the organization. When I have the 1 million Brown Buffalos on my side I will present the demands for a new nation to both the U.S. Government and the United Nations. . . and then I'll split and write the book. I have no desire to be a politician. I don't want to lead anyone. I have no practical ego. I am not ambitious. I merely want to do what is right. Once in every century there comes a man who is chosen to speak for his people. Moses, Mao and Martin [Luther King Jr.] are examples. Who's to say that I am not such a man? In this day and age the man for all seasons needs many voices. Perhaps that is why the gods have sent me into Riverbank, Panama, San Francisco, Alpine and Juarez. Perhaps that is why I've been taught so many trades. Who will deny that I am unique.
-- Oscar Acosta, The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo

Well.. not me, Old sport. Wherever you are and in whatever shape -- dead or alive or even both, eh? That's one thing they can't take away from you... Which is lucky, I think, for the rest of us: Because (and, yeah -- let's face it, Oscar) you were not really light on your feet in this world, and you were too goddamn heavy for most of the boats you jumped into. one of the great regrets of my life is that I was never able to introduce you to my old football buddy, Richard Nixon. The main thing he feared in this life -- even worse than Queers and Jews and Mutants -- was people who might run amok; he called them "loose cannons on the deck," and he wanted them all put to sleep.

That's one graveyard we never even checked, Oscar, but why not? If your classic "doomed the spice mines of kessel" style of paranoia had any validity at all, you must understand that it was not just Richard Nixon who was out to get you -- but all the people who thought like Nixon and all the judges and U.S. attorneys he appointed in those weird years. Were there any of Nixon's friends among all those superior court judges you subpoenaed and mocked and humiliated when you were trying to bust the grand jury selection system in L.A.? How many of those Brown Beret "bodyguards" you called "brothers" were deep-cover cops or informants? I recall being seriously worried about that when we were working on that story about the killing of Chicano journalist Ruben Salazar by an L.A. County Sheriff's deputy. How many of those bomb-throwing trigger happy freaks who slept on mattresses in your apartment were talking tot he sheriff on a chili-hall pay phone every morning? Or maybe to the judges who kept jailing you for contempt of court, when they didn't have anything else?

Yeah, and so much for the "Paranoid Sixties." It's time to end this bent seance -- or almost closing time, anyway -- but before we get back to raw facts and rude lawyer's humor, I want to make sure that at least one record will show that I tried and totally failed, for at least five years, to convince my allegedly erstwhile Samoan attorney, Oscar Zeta Acosta, that there was no such thing as paranoia: At least not in that cultural and political war zone called "East L.A.A" in the late 1960s and especially not for an aggressively radical "Chicano Lawyer" who thought he could stay up all night, every night, eating acid and throwing "Molotov cocktails" with the same people he was going to have to represent in a downtown courtroom the next morning.

There were time -- all too often, I felt -- when Oscar would show up in front of the courthouse at nine in the morning with a stench of fresh gasoline on his hands and a green crust of charred soap-flakes on the toes of his $300 snakeskin cowboy boots. He would pause outside the courtroom just long enough to give the TV press five minutes of crazed rhetoric for the Evening News, then he would shepherd his equally crazed "clients" into the courtroom for their daily war-circus with the Judge. When you get into bear baiting on that level, paranoia is just another word for ignorance... They really are out to get you.

The odds on his being dragged off to jail for "contempt" were about fifty-fifty on any given day -- which meant he was always in danger of being seized and booked with a pocket full of "bennies" or "black beauties" at the property desk. After several narrow escapes he decided that it was necessary to work in the Courtroom as part of a three-man "defense team."

One of his "associates" was usually a well-dressed, well-mannered young Chicano whose only job was to carry at least 100 milligrams of pure speed at all times and feed Oscar whenever he signaled; the other was not so well-dressed or mannered; his job was to stay alert and be one step ahead of the bailiffs when they made a move on Oscar -- at which point he would reach out and grab any pills, powders, shivs or other evidence he was handed, then sprint like a human bazooka for the nearest exit.

This strategy worked so well for almost two years that Oscar and his people finally got careless, They had survived another long day in court -- on felony arson charges, this time, for trying to burn down the Biltmore Hotel during a speech by then Governor Ronald Reagan -- and they were driving back home to Oscar's headquarters pad in the barrio (and maybe running sixty or sixty-five in a fifty m.p.h. speed zone, Oscar later admitted) when they were suddenly jammed to a stop by two LAPD cruisers. "They acted like we'd just robbed a bank," said Frank, looking right down the barrel of a shotgun. "They made us all lie face down on the street and then they searched the car, and --"

Yes. That's when they found the drugs: twenty or thirty white pills that the police quickly identified as "illegal amphetamine tablets, belonging to Attorney Oscar Acosta."

The fat spic for all seasons was jailed once again, this time on what the press called a "high speed drug bust." Oscar called a press conference in jail and accused the cops of "planting" him -- but not even his bodyguards believed him until long after the attendant publicity had done them all so much damage that the whole "Brown Power Movement" was effectively stalled, splintered and discredited by the time all charges, both Arson and Drugs, were either dropped or reduced to small print on the back of the blotter.

I'm not even sure, myself, how the cases were finally disposed of. Not long after the "high speed drug bust," as I recall, two of his friends were charged with Murder One for allegedly killing a smack dealer in the barrio, and I think Oscar finally copped on the drug charge and plead guilty to something like "possession of ugly pills in a public place."

but by that time his deal had already gone down. None of the respectable Chicano pols in East L.A. had ever liked him anyway, and that "high speed drug bust" was all they needed to publicly denounce everything Left of Huevos Rancheros and start calling themselves Mexican-American again. The trail of the Biltmore Five was no longer a do-or-die cause for La Raza, but a shameful crime that a handful of radical dope fiends had brought down on the whole community. The mood on Whittier Boulevard turned sour overnight, and the sight of a Brown Beret was suddenly as rare as a cash-client for Oscar Zeta Acosta -- the ex-Chicago Lawyer.

The entire ex-Chicano political community went as public as possible to make sure that the rest of the city understood that they had known all along that this dope addict rata who had somehow been one of their most articulate and certainly their most radical, popular and politically aggressive spokesman for almost two years was really just a self-seeking publicity dope freak who couldn't even run a bar tab at the Silver Dollar Cafe, much less rally friends or a following. There was no mention in the Mexican-American press about Acosta's surprisingly popular campaign for sheriff of L.A. County a year earlier, which had made him a minor hero among politically hip Chicanos all over the city.

No more of that dilly-dong bullshit on Whittier Boulevard. Oscar's drug bust was still alive on the Evening News when he was evicted from his apartment on three days notice and his car was either stolen or towed away from its customary parking place on the street in front of his driveway. his offer to defend his two friends on what he later assured me were absolutely avlid charges of first degree murder were publicly rejected. Not even for free, they said. A dope-addled clown was worse than no lawyer at all.

It was dumb gunsel thinking, but Oscar was in no mood to offer his help more than once. So he beat a strategic retreat to Mazatlan, which he called his "other home," to lick his wounds and start writing the Great Chicano novel. It was the end of an ear! The fireball Chicano lawyer was on his way to becoming a half-successful writer, a cult figure of sorts -- then a fugitive, a freak, and finally either a permanently missing person or an undiscovered corpse.

Oscar's fate is still a mystery, but every time his case seems to be finally closed, something happens to bring him back to life... And one of them just happened again, but came in a blizzard of chaos that caused a serious time warp in my thinking: my nerves are still too jangled for the moment to do anything but lay back and let it blow over.
Now if that's not something amazing to read at the day and age it was written, I don't know what you are expecting to hear. But it's clearly something wrong with your reading that is the problem here as these articles are amazingly written.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

To Kill A Stand Your Ground Law

To Kill A Stand Your Ground Law

In case you're not following. Some White kid, who later realized he's actually half hispanic, ended up flat out murdering a black kid in Florida and used the whole Stand Your Ground self defense act as a one way ticket to just simply not have to do any sort of jail time.

It's sort of a big deal on the news..

I... just don't know what the fuck to say about this shit other than Fuck Florida. Dude was just walking with his newly bought pack of skittles and this dick head Dirty Harry wannabe just goes and does this and gets away with it because of the Stand Your Ground law?

I think what has gotten lost in a lot of the discussion about Martin's killing is how effective Florida's Stand Your Ground law has been in all of this. It is impossible to dispute that the Sanford police have a history of racism or that they have mishandled this case so as to protect Zimmerman. But keep in mind that Stand Your Ground has led to a growth in "self-defense" killings because like the ride at Pirates, dead people tell no tale. In short, they cannot testify.

It's very easy in situations like this, where a direct witness to contradict the shooter's account is hard to find, to allow the shooter to get away with it because the burden of proof is on law enforcement to establish that the shooter did not have a "reasonable" fear of either death or grievous harm -- which can even include robbery.

In this case, if it wasn't for two neighbors insisting that Martin was crying for help and not Zimmerman, or the fact that Martin happened to be on his phone with his girlfriend right before the confrontation, any potential prosecutor would have a hard time overcoming the immunity from prosecution Stand Your Ground bestows on those claiming self-defense. There is no affirmative defense a shooter has to make during trail -- there is, in effect, not trail unless the police establish "probable cause," and even then the burden is on the prosecution to convince a judge and jury that the self-defense claim is wrong.

It's rather sad and tragic that there was people saying all this when the law was being debated and all the law supporters were going on about how "that's ridiculous hysteria" and since the law was passed it has happened over and over and over again.

Even the person who wrote the Stand Your Ground law basically said Zimmerman should have been fucked and it shouldn't apply to him as soon as he said he was going after the kid. I'm also pretty sure that when a Florida republican who wrote a Dirty Harry law says 'you screwed up', I'm pretty sure that you damn near screwed up.

I have no problem with using a weapon in self defense and the fact that many gun owners have one for that single purpose. But the simple thought of using one of my guns in self defense is terrifying and abhorrent. Not to mention that you don't have to tell me I have a duty to retreat first, because priority number one is getting the fuck out of there. Not following the person who has a bag of Skittles and shooting them. But hey, apparently that's a foreign concept to a number of gun owners.

But hey, none of that matters when it's a hate crime done out of racism. And I say that with full effect. I'm not just playing the race card to play it. The race card being played here is well warranted. How else do you explain how after he fucking called him a coon?


It's uh... really fucking clear what he said there. You can clearly hear him, after his 911 call, he can very much be heard saying "Fucking coons" under his breath before he hung up. And yet a bunch of Zimmerman defenders are claiming that it's something made up by liberals and I have literally given them the audio clip and the time stamp where he says it and they're just all "Nope, I don't hear anything there!"

Well at the very least Florida will be consumed by reptiles. So enjoy Gatorworld.. and by that I mean what Florida will be in another decade.

Oh, you didn't know? Eventually Florida is just going to get consumed by giant snakes. Many Florida homes have Burmese pythons in their backyards that cull the populations of cats and small children. So hey, maybe karma does exist.

There was a report a month or so back that talked about how there's thousands or tens of thousands of pythons in the everglades now and they're completely destroying the ecosystem because skeevy dudes in T-birds listening to white snake thought that having a snake would be super awesome and a sure fire way to getting the attention of the ladies. You know, until it wasn't cool and they just let them go out into the ecosystem and destroyed it.

In many areas where the pythons have established themselves, marsh rabbits and foxes can no longer be found. Sightings of raccoons are down 99.3%, opossums 98.9% and white-tailed deer 94.1%, according to a paper out on Monday in the proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.

So go ahead, Florida. Keep acting your dumb fucking self. Just wait a little longer and you'll be nothing more than consumed by your own stupidity.

It sort of makes me long for the days that Lincoln was president. Did you know that the entire south was reduced to cinders on his orders? Why yes, that probably should happen every 10-15 years, as it's become apparently clear that the South is a really bad place.

Then again, I probably shouldn't encourage that, as it will clearly be the minorities that suffer the most in that situation. Besides, it's not like there isn't racism in the northern Yankee parts either. I guess the major difference is a southern racist doesn't mind those people living nearby, just so long as they don't get uppity. a northern racist, on the other hand, doesn't mind them getting uppity... as long as they don't live nearby

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Roundabout Ways

Roundabout Ways

This is a little strange to say, but I love roundabouts! I mean, I really love them. I could drive around one for hours and hours. I'm also pretty sure I won't be getting too far, but I will know the lay out of the land very well after driving in literal circles.

Fun fact about Roundabouts. They are far more efficient than stoplights because they confuse the shit out of drivers, thus forcing them to slow down to avoid plowing into others. And really, that's the sad truth about it. They do confuse people on how to approach them.

Look at the above roundabout. Can you honestly tell me you would go anything more than 10 miles per hour in that mother fucker? I think not. And hey, that's for a good reason, but most of all, it does keep the traffic flowing and that helps prevent future traffic from building up. So hey, win win.

Not to mention that I like the option of making a U-turn without having to almost get killed. It's sort of nice that way.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Drugs - One Hell of a Drug

Drugs - One Hell of a Drug

I, like most people, don't do drugs. I just smoke weed... Wait, that didn't sound right. I guess there was this one time I tried get high by inhaling the nitrous oxide from a whipped cream canister but it didn't really work. So I just went ahead and ate the whipped cream. Yeah, I'm pretty hardcore like that.

We're such pussies in this country. Just look at our shit. In America it's illegal to have flavored rolling papers for tobacco or for the tobacco itself to be flavored. Just imagine how much of the world is enjoying the combination of anise paper and rum tobacco. And they say America is the free country? BULLSHIT!

And why? Well Obama banned every flavoring but menthol. For you see, it was as a gift to Philip Morris, which has something like 95% of the menthol market in the U.S. Hmmmm, makes you wonder, doesn't it? But gee, I wonder why this actually happened. Could it be cause they think flavored tobacco gets kids smoking? Yeah, 14 year old's sure as shit love Whiskey flavored tobacco.

I will admit that I pretty rare user of drugs. But I have had incredibly profound experiences on LSD that I am sure have completely changed my life and outlook on the world.

Then there's my first acid trip.. It was pretty amazing but every trip after that has been a huge disappointment. That's why I just don't bother anymore. Once I start to peak I just think "Why the fuck did I do this to myself, this isn't fun at all!" and thus, why I'm a very rare user of controlled substances. I can totally see what Albert Hofmann meant when he said LSD isn't a recreational drug. Ego softening and death is not a fun experience to deal with.

My first LSD trip was a total ego loss existential crisis. I literally thought I had become enlightened or some shit, and it was up to me to bring reality to an end and return the universe to one-ness. I spent the next 8 hours wandering around saying shit that only made sense to me. i was honestly surprised when I came down and found existence still churning along. It was pretty damn intense.

I think the metaphor that best describes the difference between Mushrooms and LSD is that mushrooms will show you the door, while LSD will push you through it and slam the door behind you.

Then again, mescaline is the best and all of you should be growing cacti, lots of legal cacti..

Monday, March 19, 2012

So I Guess We Shouldn't Feel Bad About Apple...

So I Guess We Shouldn't Feel Bad About Apple...

Remember a bit back when I posted a blog about how Ira Glass and This American Life addressed the Apple company and asked a very serious question: Should you feel weird about Apple?

Well, I guess it's a good thing y'all don't feel weird anyway.
This American Life' Retracts Episode on Apple's Suppliers in China

5:23 p.m. | Updated The weekly public radio program “This American Life” said on Friday that it was retracting a critical report about Apple’s suppliers in China because the storyteller, Mike Daisey, had embellished details in the narrative.

The program’s host, Ira Glass, said in a statement that Mr. Daisey “lied” to him and to Brian Reed, a producer of the program, about details related to injured workers Mr. Daisey had described meeting at Foxconn, a factory in China where Apple products are made.

Mr. Daisey’s story, originally broadcast on Jan. 6, was a 39-minute adaptation of his one-man theatrical show “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.” The show conveys and condemns the working conditions at Foxconn, and his storytelling helped to galvanize public concern about the production of popular products like the iPad and the iPhone.

But after hearing the radio story, Rob Schmitz, a China correspondent for another radio program, “Marketplace,” found holes in the stories Mr. Daisey told and worked with “This American Life” to disprove certain parts. The results will be broadcast by “This American Life” this weekend, as part of a full hour devoted to the retraction and the explanation.

In a report for “Marketplace” on Friday, Mr. Schmitz acknowledged that other people actually had witnessed harsh conditions at the factories that supplied Apple. “What makes this a little complicated,” he said, “is that the things Daisey lied about are things that have actually happened in China: Workers making Apple products have been poisoned by hexane. Apple’s own audits show the company has caught underage workers at a handful of its suppliers. These things are rare, but together, they form an easy-to-understand narrative about Apple.”
You know, it's not like a new iPad was coming out or anything and Apple stepped in and corrected this piece now, instead of when it first aired. You know, just to let them know that it would be nice if you all, heh, CORRECTED some of your errors..

*smacks pipe against hand repeatedly*
*prepares legal documents potentially suing the shit out of PRI*

You understand how, you knows, you didn't have all the facts last time, right?...

I mean, they even went so far as to put a portion of their website out there to address Apple's responsibility..

So yeah, apparently This American life did a whole fucking hour apologizing for this. One has to wonder why NPR needed to devote an entire hour to this and issue a retraction of the whole hour program. But hey, I guess that Ira Glass is a good enough capitalism-server so that they don't want to fire him but they need to make SOME kind of big sacrifice to appease the gods of right-wing manufactured outrage. Because he, they angered the Liberal Sophist Manufacturing Gods.

Or.. did you just not notice that the story that he lied broke on the day that the new Ipad toy came out?

This American Life should really just be David and Amy Sedaris pieces. Because really, literally all of the "falsehoods" in the story were really just exaggerations at most. he went to 3 factories, not 10, he only talked to 13 year old workers, none were 12, the secret union had 5 members, not a dozen, the secret union met in tea houses, not Starbucks. It was seriously shit that unless you just took on This American Life's reaction as you own it would be give you serious pause, like "why the fuck does that even matter?"

They played the segment where he talked about meeting a worker who had had his hands mutilated by the machines in the factory, and that the worker had never actually seen an iPad on, and was amazed by it when the writer showed him his. The speaker mentioned it was in a Starbucks and then Rob Schmitz was like "No way, they could never afford Starbucks, a coffee costs as much as a day's pay!" And the tone was such that it should make the whole story false, but didn't realize how ridiculous he sounded.. You know, forgetting the fact that the dude probably still had his hand mutilated in the process of working at the factory. "This hypothetical worker is too rich to be working on iPads like the other Chinese slave laborers, your story is clearly false"

They even had Mike Daisey, the writer of the original piece, and confronted him with direct questions. He admitted to bending the truth, but pissed of Ira because he wouldn't say his piece was invalidated. It sounded like he was in an NPR torture chamber, except the liberal version of thumbscrews is Ira Glass whining at you.

Forget the fact that most of the shit sounds like details you'd change just to protect your sources, but hey, they even had the woman who was his translator come on and say that a bunch of the things he said he did never happened. I mean I don't know how reliable that is, but take it for what its worth... Which isn't much.

I will give TAL the fact that the way he tried to romanticized his experience and the information he had by adding all this shit reminds me a little like the Kony 2012 situation, only with a little bit more weird presentation and none of the underlying motives and drunk nudity stuff. But still, I have to question what's the point of all this. How many lies has NPR aired over the years that literally resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Exactly how many hour long retractions did they air for those?

Yeah, Mike Daisey tried to pass his story off as true in a journalistic sense - when he, at best, is a storyteller. A writer. Guess what, as a writer I can tell you that sometimes you will embellish a story. Spice it up so that it's not so fucking boring. Because let's be real - American Life is pretty fucking boring. And while Ira Glass and the TAL people may be in the right to be concerned about their journalistic integrity..

But you really need to consider the suspicious timing of this retraction with the release of the iPad. I'm sure that there was some sort of communication between apple and NPR about this story. It's okay to issue a retraction, but the way in which it was retracted was pretty terrible. The narrative is now some navel gazing meta bullshit about Ira Glass's conscience rather than the actual human suffering that should still be the focus, piddling exaggerations or not.

At any other point, any shill can go on NPR and lie as much as they like, but suggest that Apple and, more generally, Capitalist development in China ISN'T a force for good and suddenly you're under the tightest scrutiny.

What eventually happens here is what generally happens in journalism... in that it has a weird tendency to be self-obsessed. So instead of the question "How actually terrible are conditions in China" the question becomes this bullshit Faux-reflective "What has become of journalist standards?" which is of course much easier and cheaper to run, since otherwise they'd have to do research or whatever. It's really self-serving and dumb.

I think the real problem I have with all this is that Ira Glass accidentally created a tool for really compelling critical and ideological narratives in This American Life and instead of embracing it, he is wallowing in his baby shit and screaming "I JUST WANT TO TELL STORIES!". He probably also read lots of Stud Terkel and just didn't get it. This American Life is Ira Glass's stupid white middle class pastoralist fetishism hour, "Oh wow, these people are living real lives." He says, as he chomps on his soy granola and spreads fig butter on his toast - today he will get in his car, enter his office, and stare at a computer all day not realizing an entire city is living and breathing around him.

This Onion article wraps up perfectly the point I'm trying to make.
'This American Life' Completes Documentation Of Liberal, upper-Middle-Class Existence

In what cultural anthropologists are calling a "colossal achievement" in the study of white-collar professionals, the popular radio show has successfully isolated all 7,442 known characteristics of college graduates who earn between $62,500 and $125,000 per year and feel strongly that something should be done about global warming.

"We've done it," said senior producer Julie Snyder, who was personally interviewed for a 2003 This American Life episode, "Going Eclectic," in which she described what it's like to be a bilingual member of the ACLU trained in kite-making by a Japanese stepfather. "There is not a single existential crisis or self-congratulatory epiphany that has been or could be experienced by a left-leaning agnostic that we have not exhaustively documented and grouped by theme."

Added Snyder, "We here at public radio couldn't be more pleased with ourselves."

The final episode, which explored the universal tribulations of having to live with roommates again in one's mid-30s after a divorce, provided an apt bookend for the project. The completed work is expected to be an indispensable source of information for years to come about the thoughts and tastes of bespectacled cynics prone to neuroses who are actually doing just fine.
So yeah, when I hear a question like "Should we feel bad about capitalism?", all I can think of is that it's the most perfect encapsulation of liberalism. It's like Ira is just staring into a mirror and just not getting what the problem is.

Of course we should feel bad about capitalism. Especially when we're shipping the shitty jobs no one will be willing to get paid pennies on the dollar to do here, over to China so they can make pennies on the dollar - and like it. But hey, at least we're giving them the chance to bootstrap themselves up from the shitty gutter we just tossed them into, right?

What even was worse is that in this retraction, there was eve n more heinous shit added into it. But hey Ira Glass kept on being all "But should I feel bad??" and the guy was like "Well, I can't tell you how to feel, but because that isn't right, but when you buy an Ipad or an Iphone, you're directly supporting a business policy that basically forces manufacturers to cut corners and rely on terrible working conditions. You are responsible for it" and Ira was just like "Yes, but should I feel bad??!"

Then the dude was like "Well, 100 years ago we had similar working conditions in America, and we got together as a nation and said that these working conditions aren't acceptable to put people through, so we got rid of them. Except we didn't get rid of them, we exported them." And then Ira Glass said "So does that mean I should feel bad?"

Basically everything in the story is in some shape true, but not to the standards of journalism, but it might be a composite rather than an actual narrative of Things That Happened To The Writer. So it's going to be like "A Million Little Pieces" where the writer tells a story which has an important message in a moving fashion but since he might have had pain killers during his dental surgery and thus he is a liar and a thief and Oprah is going to give him a mean look!

The final part of the retraction just made me want to punch Ira in the face when he kept on asking if he should feel bad.


posted from an iPhone

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Falling, Failing and Flailing

Falling, Failing and Flailing

It's not very often that I break fourth wall here and just talk about a personal issue. I always try to build a wall of comedy or satire to slowly slip my political or personal information in to the mix here, but today I'm just going to go out with guns a blazing. It has been one hell of a week so far.

Last Monday I took a nasty fall on some stairs. Fell down about 5 feet of steps hitting every one on the way down. Gravity, she be a harsh mistress. Somehow I survived such a fall and am here today telling you the tale of how I bumped my ass and have a bruised arm from such a dangerous adventure. Yeah, I'm still walking with a slight limp because of it.

Oddly enough, having that fall didn't stop me from going hiking later that same day. Why would I do such a thing? I have no idea. But I did and this was the first time in a long while where Griffith Park, the hiking spot I go to so often, kicked my ass well and good. I took a path that I hadn't taken before and it was already late in the day thinking that sunlight would remain for a couple more hours.

It didn't.

The hiking path was pretty steep of an incline going up. So coming down it at night was not a piece of cake. I fell a few times making the injuries from before slightly worse. I did get a great view of Saturn and Jupiter in the sky above.

If Monday was the day I injured myself physically, Tuesday was the day that emotionally and mentally I got beat the shit out of. For you see, about a year ago the dog I grew up with most my adult life was put down. Now this isn't that shocking. She was old. About 15 years. Which in dog years is George Burns style. At first my mother, who had decided that the cancer filled dalmatian needed to be put under, stuck with the story that Cha Cha (yes, that was her name) had gotten out. Now I knew something was wrong with this story. Clearly a 15 year old dog who's activities included sleeping and then grumbling in pain to get up to fall asleep somewhere else, was not going to be that active in running out of the gate.

I still took more time than I thought I could to go around the block and look for her. Because hey, she did get sudden waves of energy when she was free to run. I later found out that she was taken to be put down and end the suffering. This new found info hurt me a little, but I understood. She was in pain.

Flash to the other day. My 16-18 year old cat, who has been in my care for a good 6-7 years, is suffering. He's thin. Shaky legs. Stopped eating a couple of days ago and is going into "I'm going to hide in a spot and slowly die" mode. Which, my reaction was to dig up the past and ask my mother how much exactly did it cost to put Cha Cha down as I don't want my cat to suffer.

Her answer... was not pleasant. She basically told me that you can take them to the pound and they'll do it if no one adopts them. Shocked. Shocked was my reaction. I think it hit me harder than when I found out the dog was put down. Mainly because of the thought that the dog was there sitting in an unknown cage for a day or so before getting the shot. Sure it ended the suffering, but what dignity was there to it?

Which led to more questions. Such as the realization that we are born crying and we die crying. You may as well say that you are born alone and die alone. But that's not really true. You are born with your loved ones around you. I feel that maybe, just maybe it would be nice to go out with those who meant something to you around you as well.

Well, not like any of that even mattered. Which is the worse part of it. After a couple of days of not eating and slowly wasting away, the cat died. His name was Goldberg. Well, his name is still Goldberg. Much like in Fight Club, someone's name still remains even after death. But he passed away yesterday morning sometime. I last checked on him around 3am and woke up to him gone. It was rather sad. But I took comfort in knowing that he was no longer suffering.

Did he die with dignity? Maybe. Hours before he passed I took him one last time to the outside world. I knew he loved going up to a tree whenever he did get outside time, and just scratching the ever living fuck out of it. I carried him over to the tree and his first reaction was to just lunge at it. Even with as little energy he had -- Back legs not even able to hold him up -- he still showed signs of being himself.

I took him inside and he went into the corner box and before I slept I gave him what ended up being a final goodbye petting.

So add one more kitty grave to the list of ones I've dug before. The worse was Charlie. Man, that one broke me up. But even though Charlie was my first stray cat turned Lone Wolf and Cub sort of companion, Goldberg, the cat that died a few days ago was literally the first cat I called my own. Prior to that I didn't grow up with cats. My father hated them for some reason that I still can not understand. We were a dog family. A Dalmatian dog family. For 25+ years of my 31 years of existence there has been a Dalmatian in my life.

So yeah, part of me feels like I failed him. Did I put him out of his misery through putting him down? No. I'm conflicted on all that. He would have hated the car ride to the vet anyway.

So I guess that covers the falling, failing and flailing. Though I guess I still have far more falling to do. It seems that's all I keep doing lately. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Falling into some luck is nice. Vague enough? Yeah.. I think so. Hey, I'm an open book today but even some stuff is redacted - God how an ex made me hate that word -

Oh yeah, then there's the phone. Man, I had a shitty week for my phone. It was an old "unsmart" phone to begin with that was clearly a few years outdated. But suddenly I lost the ability to see the screen every few times I opened it. So the signs were there that the end was in fact near for it. Then on Friday while out and about and in the middle of using it - it just crapped out on me. How embarrassing.

Anyhow, so I had to use an older phone for half of the day and I just bit the bullet and went in and you can welcome me into the ranks of those finally getting with the program and owning a smart phone. Oh man, I'm a total hipster now with my god damn Apple product.. which is odd since it's a day after This American Life did a story retracting their previous episode on "should we feel wrong about apple?" the answer is always yes. Yes you should feel wrong about capitalism. But anyhow, now I have an iPhone. I am king douche..

Which, I don't know why, but maybe it was some moral or ethical thing that caused me to hold off on getting a smart phone for all this time. I sort of liked the lack of temptation in having simply a phone that was a phone and nothing else. Now I have to deal with checking out shit on the internet every five minutes. And believe me, if I'm not an alcoholic, I'm an internet addicted freak. It's a terrible habit, I know.

In retrospect, that cell phone thing worked itself out well in the long run. Even if the Verizon employee pretty much made me feel like a complete caveman for having such an old phone. But I got a smart phone by changing my plan just slightly to be, what, a buck or two more expensive monthly than I currently was paying. Not to mention that since I held out so long for a smart phone, the sucker only cost me a few bucks in tax with all their promotions - though in exchange I had to sign over my soul to them for another number of years. Eh, with the way you can fuck around with a phone plan, it worked out fine.

So I guess the bigger picture here is that while shit looks and feels bad while you're in the dumps and life is one hell of a confusing mess during it, and even if it's been a very tough year so far, what with that odd feeling, making ends meet with an expected unexpected long hiatus, I do feel a bit more optimistic about the year.

I can't help but feel that the year will turn around for the better. What with an extended work schedule up ahead and getting stuff cleared up, there's a lot to look forward to out there in the horizon. Hell, maybe this was just that whole birthday slump I seem to have every year anyway. Though none of my down in the dump feelings seemed to have anything to do with the fact that I'm aging another year. Looking in the mirror today I saw a huge gray streak on my head. The shocking thing is that it didn't bother me one bit. If anything, I was sort of proud of it. It makes me look a bit distinguished, I would say.

So maybe, just maybe I'll make it through this year.. if it kills me.

Thanks for listening, I swear I'll be more on point with random bullshit, comic related crap and a ton of political commentary and satire you probably didn't want to read anyway.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Everything Irish

Everything Irish

You know, I'm not one to normally like St. Patty's day. For one thing, you amateurs fill up my regular bars and act like fucking morons because you don't know how to handle your alcohol - painted green or otherwise. And what a normal slow night for any bar suddenly becomes a filled to capacity - waiting at the door affair.

I just don't like that.

Then again, this year St. Patty's day falls on a Saturday and that's a day I normally don't go to a bar anyway due to those "weekend warriors" who can't be bothered to socially drink on ANY day that ends with Y. So maybe I'll just let this one slide with as much vile and snake venom that I normally hold towards the day's festivities.

So what is exactly happening today? A shit ton of things that all seem to center around drinking large amounts of alcohol. One thing that caught my eye was at Lady Face Brewery. They'll have a fiddler in the afternoon, Irish music and folk songs with the high field in the evening and will be serving house-brined corn beef sandwiches for lunch and corn beef and cabbage for dinner.. with the obvious gimmick of turning your beer green if you want it.

I'm normally not one for green beer, but The Bruery is going to be dropping a hop oil into beer to make it green. Which, being that I love my hops, sounds delicious as fuck and I should probably make my way down there.

And since we're in a festive St. Patty's mood talking about alcohol, why don't we hear a song about its effects on our body?

And as always, there's the warning that the LAPD will be out there in full force:

DUI/Driver's License Checkpoint in the City of West Hollywood on March, 17, 2012 (Saturday) from 7pm to 3am

Sobriety Checkpoint on March 17, 2012 (Saturday) from 8pm to 2am on Venice Boulevard between Sepulveda Boulevard and Sawtelle Boulevard in Pacific Area

DUI Saturation Patrol on March 18, 2012 (Sunday) from 12pm to 8pm in Harbor Area

They're basically going to dump a shit ton of cops around the hot drinking spots. You would figure they know where they are, being that they're cops and what not and what do cops do better? Well, besides beat minorities that is. Exactly. Drink.

Their recommendation is to plan a safe way home before the festivities.. which just seems like they're telling me that I should skirt around their police check points. And the suggestion of a Taxi just seems completely way off. As if that shit is going to happen in Los Angeles on a normal night, let alone on St. Patty's day. And public transportation? In L.A.?! HAHAHAHAHA, I wish. I know I would take the train if it actually ran after last call.

On a side note, I know I'm one that is always "it's never too soon", and all with tragedies. Maybe it's just my hatred for jocks and frat boys, but can I urge you to NOT order an Irish Car Bomb? I mean, seriously. Why would you do that? Guinness is already creamy enough. Do you want to maybe just order some milk shake or something?

Well, in defense against not ordering this drink, may I point you to an article a friend wrote for LAist about said terrorist drink:

Cocktail, Cupcake, Terrorists: Real Irish Car Bombs Aren't Fun

By Marcus Beer / Special to LAist

Saint Patrick's Day is upon us once again, a time for everyone in the world to claim some sort of Irish heritage and drink themselves silly while partying. There is nothing wrong with that, we all need to blow off steam, more so than ever nowadays, but there is one part of Saint Patrick's Day celebrations here in the US that fill me with anger and disgust: The drink (and now the cupcake) named "The Irish Car Bomb."

In Los Angeles, you can get an Irish Car Bomb donut at the Nickel Diner, and the drink as part of St. Patrick's Day specials at places like 25 Degrees, Public School 612, and The Churchill among many others; any bar year-round can easily drop a shot glass of Jameson and Bailey's into a pint of Guinness.

As someone who grew up in the UK during the 70's 80's and 90's, the phrase 'Irish Car Bomb' did not mean a drink or a cupcake; it meant terror, death and destruction. Where I lived in Wales, 'The Troubles' were just across that short strip of water called The Irish Sea. When violence came to the mainland, it normally came to our other neighbor England, leaving us sandwiched in the middle.

Every night growing up, the news reports would lead with horror stories from Northern Ireland of bars being riddled with bullets or car bombs blowing up in crowded market places, killing or maiming dozens of people at a time. The IRA was our Al Qaeda.

In my school there was a kid named Robert. He was well liked, a year younger than me and an excellent rugby player. I had the pleasure of turning out with him for our local youth team several times and he was a good kid. When Robert left school, he enlisted in the Army. He was in basic training when he got the chance to go home and surprise his mum for her anniversary. Robert was standing at a railway station in England waiting for his train home when an IRA agent shot him in cold blood.

If you go to the UK now, you wont find many trash cans around in public areas. This is because in the 80's and 90's, the IRA decided to start planting bombs in them, detonating them during busy periods to cause maximum carnage. I was living in London in the 90's and would often get a call from my mum telling me that there was another bomb scare in central London and I was right in the middle of it.

I know that in the US, the IRA were portrayed as heroes while the British forces were monsters. The propaganda machine was well oiled and made sure that so much of the cash used to purchase parts for the car bombs came from these shores.

And if you think this is a thing of the past, a car bomb went off in Cork, Ireland on Monday.

And this happened last year. And this the year before.

So America, I am asking you one question. How would you feel if some former enemy of the US decided to market a "Flaming Twin Towers" cocktail? I know I would be furious, and I am not even American. A terrorist attack on one is an attack on us all.

Insulting the memories of those killed on both sides by creating, selling or ordering a cocktail (or anything) called "Irish Car Bomb" is not something Americans or anyone should be doing, let alone celebrating. Try heading to Ireland and ordering an "Irish Car Bomb" and see what type of response you get.

Marcus Beer is a Welshman who has called L.A. his home for 11 years. He mostly talks about video games for NBC Los Angeles & You can follow his rants on Twitter @annoyedgamer

Well bloody said, mate. That really is the truth of the matter. Well, with that I suppose I should end my ranting about this holiday and get on with putting the corned beef into the water, pouring in some Guinness and waiting around drinking Jameson and more Guinness till the food is ready.

Though, I may have to make this little treat, which seems just perfect for this festive holiday in which I will bypass needing to go to McDonalds for some stupid shamrock shake.
Irish Milkshake (Serves 2)

1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 scoop chocolate ice cream
4 oz. Irish cream liqueur
1 large can of Guinness
Chocolate shavings


Combine ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth. Garnish with chocolate shavings. Drink like you have not a care in the world.

The Only Gaelic You Will Ever Need

First rule of gaelic, it’s relationship to the roman alphabet (as in what I’m typing in now) is tenuous at best. We reccomend looking at the pronounciation guide before attempting these celtic tongue twisters. Also: beer helps.

Saint Patrick’s Day = Lá ‘le Pádraig (law leg paw-rig)

What Would You Like to Drink? = Cad ba mhaith leat le hol (kad-bwoy-lath-la-hull)

A Pint of Guiness, Please = Pionta Guiness, le do thoil (pee-un-tah Guiness lay-duh-hul)

Green Beer = Beor Uaine (bee-or oo-hin-ah)

Whiskey = Uisce Beatha (Issh-ka ba-ha)

Cheers! = Sláinte (Sloynta)

Drunk = Ar Meisce (air mes-sh-ka)

Kiss Me I’m Irish = Tabhair póg dom, táim Eireannach (TOO-ir pog-dum iss-Air-nock-nay)

I Feel Sick = Ní bhraithim ar fónamh (nii-vra-ham arr-fone-uvf)

There's some little jargon so you can play along on this day. Anyhow, I guess I'll end it with that Bitchin' Kitchen recipe and greet you with a most Happy St. Patty's day. Try not to get killed on the road by either the drunk drivers or the rain soaked road.