Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh, the horror!

Humanity's fascination with our darker natures, with our primal instincts and the vile acts that lurk inside merely sleeping, with our intellectual and emotional frights, our boogeymen both real and imagined, shunned and purposely cultivated, our folk beliefs that we've transformed over centuries into old wives' tales, post-modern good luck charms, urban and rural tales of degradation and horrors hiding from the light, our deep-seated psychological fears and our love of being scared shitless; all these wonderful things are wrapped up in one night rooted in the ancient Gaelic belief in "a time when supernatural forces were especially to be guarded against or propitiated" - thanks, Professor Hutton. Slap on top Christian festivals of the dead, et voilà, spine-chilling terror.

So what scares the hell out of me more than anything else, save perhaps the Vice President hungry for blood and wielding a double-barreled shotgun?

Writer's block.

Why can't I, on today of all days, think of a single goddamn thing to write about? Oh sure, finding a topic was a piece of devil's food cake with the richest chocolate frosting so thick you'd need a knife to slice it. Which is probably what was clogging my pen, come to think of it. So many classic films that I've watched seemingly thousands of times and hold very dear, so many brilliant works of literature that have transcended the uneducated, highbrow insult of being "just horror" to shock, impress, amuse, sadden, scare, so many dead bodies, their crimson blood glistening in the flickering candlelight, their lives insulted by the the stench of the charnel house and mocked by the shadowy danse macabre on the slate-grey stone walls of my basem - anyway, I'm wordlessly adrift on a mute sea with my fingers having been broken by the ghostly crew of a long-disappeared pirate ship, starving and ready to die on a boat that's rapidly taking on water.

Therefore, in the spirit of the day's - and night's - devilry, I cheat and take the easy way out, submitting to you a series of links - six, to be exact, because, you know, that's evil - by bloggers better than I. Read on, potential serial killer victim.

One man's brilliant take on the history, horrors and homages of the legendary Halloween. Okay, this one's by me. So I lied. What better day than today to be a diabolical bastard?

Speaking of homages, and that one in particular, Dr. Zombie tells us why his distant cousin Rob's version isn't all that bad. Though spot-on with the good and the bad - I have my own similar quibbles with the movie - he's 100% correct, iron-shackle guaranteed, with the one flaw that, unfortunately for me, was fatal.

Speaking even further about homages, remakes, pick the word you wish, when I heard there was going to be a new version of quite possibly my favorite George Romero flick, Dawn of the Dead, I had my reservations. I have nothing personally against remakes, reinterpretations - which, if you read my Halloween post, and I can see whether you did or you didn't, you'd know - but could Zack Snyder pull it off? Though it doesn't have the same charm as the original, I think he did. It's good, bloody, violent fun. Old Dark House isn't as enthusiastic as I am, but read his take anyway lest I report you to DHS. They have some haunted houses in beautiful Eastern Europe that have perfected the mindfuck, if you catch my meaning.

What foolish human hasn't seen the granddaddy of zombie flicks, The Night of the Living Dead? Mr. Romero would be most displeased if you were to say that you haven't, and I'm sure Evil Mommy would be as well, and she lays out the reasons why this film claws above mere gut-wrenching chills and thrills.

Arbogast speaks profoundly and pointedly about a highly-anticipated yet flawed, though nowhere near as vomit-inducing as most, 'zombie' sequel, 28 Weeks Later.

I've watched this movie I don't know how many times. If it had been on VHS, I would've worn it out by now. Or maybe that was my stash of porn. Regardless, I'll perhaps one day write something on it, but until that glorious event is sanctioned by Satan through one of his babely, scantily-clad lieutenants - please don't send Cheney this time, you fucker - you'll just have to read a riff by Becca, one of hell's heroes, on The Ninth Gate.

It's Halloween. What scares the Hades out of you?

[insert blood-curdling scream of your choice]

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No such thing as a slam dunk

The euphoria of finally - FINALLY - making the championship round of the greatest basketball league on this simultaneously wonderful and bleak planet was quickly washed away by a silver and black tidal wave marshaled by a cadre of non-Americans (including - egads! - a Frenchman! Qui a gagné le MVP ! Sacré bleu ! Please don't cry, Troo 'murrikans, it'll be alright) that surely upset some of the maroons in this red state that I call home more than they otherwise would've been. But that was last year, and with the following list of major upgrades -


- well, there's always next year. I should have that tattooed on my ass.

Atlantic: Boston. Duh. Kevin Garnett + Ray Allen + Paul Pierce + a bunch of Jim McIlvaines and Matt Maloneys would win this division. Of course, if any of the three miss extended time, quite a different tale, though I'm sure once they've raced to a sizable lead, there will be a plethora of suitors willing to be bench help. New Jersey still has Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson, Vince Carter and healthy-again Euro-surprise Nenad Krstic, Toronto remains relatively deep but continues to lack that killer outside scorer (no, Jason Kapono doesn't count - he's not shooting 51.4% from three-land again), the Knicks have some talent, but what a fucking cloud of grim depression that hangs heavy over MSG, the North American sporting world's very own House of Usher - Isaiah Thomas, for all of his greatness as a player, is just a lousy GM and an even lousier human being. And then there's poor Philadelphia, busting their ass but lacking enough quality players.

Central: Chicago. You have no idea how much that pained me to type that for obvious reasons that need not be talked about here - this is a pro-family blog, after all - but the fact remains that the Bulls have a much deeper team than we do. LeBron cannot do everything on his own. Perhaps Shannon Brown or, more likely, Boobie Gibson, will take his game to the clichéd next level. Detroit has quietly been adding infusions of young talent, and although their big-minute guys find a few more greys each season, our brutal, early-season schedule and the continued absence of Tweedledum and Tweedledumber Varejao and Pavlovic won't help with the wins and losses. Milwaukee can score but allows the other team to score more and Indiana is just a mess. Think Jermaine O'Neal's trade demands might ratchet up a bit on the Volume-O-Meter? Would you trust Jamaal Tinsley to run your point for 82 games?

Southeast: This division is garbage, but garbage with potential! Orlando, by signing Rashard Lewis, probably vaulted ahead of the rest, but their long-term ceiling will be a division title and no more unless Dwight Howard becomes the next Bill Russell. Washington, led by Agent Zero, can light it up and though not the immovable object as a team, Caron Butler is nasty enough to patch up any holes here and there. Miami has oft-injured Dwayne Wade, a broke-down Shaq and pieces parts. Atlanta and Charlotte should, on paper, bring up the rear, but both teams, especially the Hawks, are collecting some nice, young talent, but is Acie Law ready to step in and eliminate their glaring weakness? The loss of the underrated Sean May should keep Charlotte in last.

Southwest: San Antonio. The New England Patriots of the NBA minus the rank arrogance, the Spurs have tweaked their roster just enough to remain on top, but will their cost-cutting trade of Luis Scola to division rival Houston come back to haunt them in the way that - no, better not go there. The Rockets, if they stay healthy, and with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, that's a huge if, have the talent to push the Spurs for the league's best record and the title. The question with Dallas, after last season's spectacular flameout against an inferior opponent (it cannot be overstated just how much of a joke performance and a crappy coaching job from one of the best that was) is completely psychological. New Orleans remains a borderline playoff team, but with Chris Paul, anything is possible in the lower half of the West. Memphis won't, barring alien intervention, sniff the postseason, but in a few years and with a few more savvy moves, they certainly will.

Northwest: Utah. A lot of folks like the Nuggets, especially if Kenyon Martin can come back and fill a sixth-man role to aid the high-flying trio of Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson and J.R. Smith, but the Jazz can flat out brutalize you in the paint, though the Jerry Sloan/AK-47 soap opera might mess with their always buoyant and hijinks-filled locker room. Plus, Marcus Camby is about due to miss a brobdingnagian amount of time. Man, is Kevin Durant going to be fun to watch in Suicideville. Too bad their asshole owner will probably get enough corporate-sucking judges to allow him to break their lease and escape to Oklahoma. The Timberwolves finally set KG free, replacing him with a bushel of young, inexperienced talent. It's going to be a long year in the land of militant atheism and Al Franken. Watch out though for Al Jefferson. Speaking of a long year, the Jail Blazers finally become a legitimately-run, classy franchise and Greg Oden's knee goes wonky. But with LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy and another high draft pick next season, look out in 2008-09.

Pacific: Phoenix. Hey, Shawn Marion? Shut the fuck up and play. You'll never have it as good as you do now with The Amazing Canadian 'Do tossing you beautiful, poetic passes and Amare destroying lesser men near the basket, thereby freeing you up to be all Matrix-y. But their owner, ugh. I wish these rich fucks would stop buying professional sports franchises with the sole purpose of making money. Go start some millionaire loan firm in Monaco or Dubai instead of selling draft picks and your only interior tough guy and pissing off the fan base who struggles to pay sick cash for one lousy game a year. The rest of the division? Kobe (for now) + Odom + crap, a Warriors team that'll run like Republicans after the newest talking point but won't duplicate last season's miracle run, a Clippers team that has a severely injured Elton Brand and a point guard in E.T. who'll be traded by the deadline, and a Kings team that's Kevin Martin, an extra from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and not much else. Besides missing Mike Bibby for 1-2 months.

Eastern playoff teams: Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Orlando, Cleveland, Washington, New Jersey, Toronto.

Western playoff teams: San Antonio, Phoenix, Houston, Utah, Dallas, Denver, L.A. Lakers, New Orleans.

NBA Finals: As much as I'd love to see us get another crack at the Spurs, I don't see it happening unless LeBron moves from merely spectacular to transcendent, from Robert Schumann to Ludwig van Beethoven. Or the supporting cast - when it shows up - yes, I'm looking at you two idiots - improves enough to where he doesn't need to take 30 shots, rebound like a power forward and be a reasonable facsimile of Bob Cousy. And I know the Spurs historically do a Saberhagen and only kick world-class ass every other year, but they'll buck that bizarre trend this time around. San Antonio over Chicago.

The drink of the Cleveland sports fan is a bitter bromide.
Bottoms up, mes amis, and numb the pain.

Early evening update:
Tweedledum signed. That's one clown down.

They moved April Fools' Day and didn't tell me!

Fifty-two percent.

52% of Americans are comfortable with dropping munitions upon the heads of Iranians, which will, of course, result in their fiery and painful deaths, a punishment deserved because the cartoon supervillians that run our nation require, in their limited, Manichean faux-worldview, a cartoon supervillian even more outrageous and animated than they themselves are.

I understand the power of propaganda, but given the fact that in poll after poll Bush's popularity hovers around the average January temperature in the northern U.S., this only proves once more that the average American is an idiot and that Bush eating a live baby on television is the only action that could possibly, irrevocably, sever his lunacy from our own appetite for it. And I have serious reservations about that.

I'm going to have a drink.

Diplomatic immunity

"Tell us what happened, and it'll be like nothing happened."

The investigators from the agency's investigative arm, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, did not, however, have the authority to offer such immunity grants, the newspaper said, citing U.S. government officials.

The offers represent a potentially serious investigative misstep that could complicate efforts to prosecute Blackwater employees involved in the incident, the newspaper said.
What serious investigative misstep? That instead of a few low-level peons getting punished, no one gets punished? Because booting a few buck privates out of the army sure has cleaned up our operations and our image throughout the world, hasn't it. So put your worries to rest, Neidermeyer, there will be no interruption to your teenage Rambo fantasies.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 7

Blogger ate my original post, so here's a slimmed-down, time-constrained version of this legendary and beloved series.

The Good: We've won back-to-back games for the first time since the Ordovician, The Edwards-Winslow Show stunned the audience once more under maestro Derek Anderson.

The Bad: The defense is still garbage. Until he got hurt yet again, Steven Jackson ran through the eleven defenders as if they were holograms. There's no way in hell we even sniff the playoffs with this garbage unit playing as poorly as it does, week after week.

The Ugly: Nearly a dozen penalties. The Sawks won the whole thing. Boston is the new New York.

Up next: at home against the birds from Grungeland. We've come to snuff the Roosters Seahawks! YEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Sorry, temporary possession by Layne Staley. I'm okay now, thanks.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I cannot compare it to coming down off a high, since I don't partake of illegal substances, ever, not once, no sir, move along officer, but the intellectual shift from writing a short story novella back to my usual medium of poetry felt quite odd. It wasn't emptiness or a feeling of being unfulfilled, because the craft required for each is completely different, nor was it the sense of sitting in an emotional decompression chamber after having swam in a deep, gently undulating ocean, une grande symphonie contre la musique de chambre, a vital, constantly moving current. Each has something to say, and in the only way it naturally can.

So, after writing my first one in months, a few discarded attempts interrupting the story along its tortured creation notwithstanding, I stared at the finished piece lying dormant in the notebook. I cannot fathom how anyone can create on a computer screen - I say while typing this post - when the physical process of putting a pen or pencil to paper, the curves of each stroke gently pressing on the pulp, leaving its mark the way a finger tracing a word or a picture forms a ghostly impression on your lover's skin, the tactile nature of pulling something from seemingly nothing with your own hands, feels so much more immediate, alive, personal. It matters.

But did this poem matter? I'm never satisfied with my work, as I imagine most anyone, whether a genius, or in my case, a textbook mediocre writer, would be, yet something was off, askew. It felt wrong in a way I could not explain. The words sat there, motionless, a pieced together Frankenstein still waiting for its electrical jolt. On those rare occasions when the planets align and the moon is blushing, I'll write something that on a first reading strikes me in my own narrow imagination as quite moving, conveying a true feeling of yearning, of the erotic, of sadness. The test comes with later readings when it still, surprisingly, seems fresh. How did I come up with that? Yet this was flat, stale, which wouldn't have been out of the ordinary considering the fact that I hadn't finished anything for nearly half a year, but once you learn to ride a bike...

A solitary activity, trudging through banality as commonplace as cool drops windswept onto your face are, creeping into your eyes as you pedal through a chill autumn mist. Writing a poem to successfully recreate an emotional imprint using human language is nigh impossible. As with moving from French to English, Italian to Spanish, Russian to Greek, something is lost in the translation. For even the masters can never paint a true representation of what playfully gnaws or brutally devours them within the limited confines of a collection of words. They can approach greater heights than us mere mortals, to be sure, but it remains nothing more than a replica. For myself, I'd sooner have success, after being dropped in the middle of Paris, of charming so well the natives, who conveniently ignore my lack of citizenship, with my Franglais that they elect me mayor than I would with explaining the exact emotions that I felt, that demanded I write them out.

I tried to animate the body, but my feeble attempts resulted in silence. The lines couldn't be improved any further beyond their initial birth. They would remain weak, vulnerable to the predators, the mob of a million better pieces that I've read, that remain unread or, I hoped, yet to be created by my own head and heart. Everything has to die at some point. I just didn't expect it to be so soon. Waiting for a stroke of lightning to make its rare, inspirational appearance, I put the pen back to the paper and began to fabricate another series of curves and lines that I hope will become a replica worth revisiting.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"I'll take 'Constitutionality' for $800, Alex."

"The answer, Senator Craig: Waterboarding."
"What is 'constitutional.'"
"You have control of the board, Senator."
"Hmmm. 'Constitutionality' for $1000."
"The answer is, 'Minnesota's disorderly conduct law."
"Alex, what is 'unconstitutional.'"
"Good job, Senator. You have the lead going into Final Jeopardy. Players, think about this during the commercial break: Famous Stances. We'll be right back after these messages."

Fun with captions!

"What's best in life? Heh, heh, to cut brush, see the turrists bein' waterboarded and to hear, hey, Conan, what's a la-men-tay-shun?"

[Vy kant I bee zee Prezident? Vat a putz!]

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The REAL Zen Master

Rust Cheney never sleeps.

OMFG! Teh TAXXX !*%^@#$&*(%^@#$&*%^&*

Charlie, this ain't gonna surf.

The House's top Democratic tax writer on Thursday unveiled a $1 trillion plan to repeal the alternative minimum tax and lower the tax burden on most lower- and middle-income people.
The most comical part? The fact that this isn't even halfway to what we'll end up spending on The Eternal War On Über-Hitlerian Stalinist DFH Islamocommunistomarxianfascist Baby-Blood-Drinking Nun-Beheading Jihadism. Of course, there are predictably some who are less-than-enthused about Mr. Rangel's proposal.
Republicans quickly voiced strong opposition to the long-term plan. "This is the largest individual income tax increase in history," Rep. Jim McCrery of Louisiana, Rangel's low-key GOP counterpart on the committee, wrote fellow Republicans. Rangel, he said, "is selling pure snake oil."
At first glance, I became slightly incensed at the inherent message of the adjective low-key, but then quickly realized that as the current Republican breed swims, saying a Democrat is selling pure snake oil indeed registers pretty low on the LeftCo Angry-O-Meter. He could've stated that by passing tax increases on those who have gorged themselves into exploding stomachs - deadly sin for thee and not for me - at the trough of the American taxpayer for the last six years is exactly what Al-Qaeda would want. Because if this increase on those who can easily afford it were to pass, the government would have more money to fight the fires that Al-Qaeda itself started - wait, forget I mentioned it. Trying to comprehend wingnut logic hurts my brain.


Don't you want to keep more of your hard-earned money to buy more guns and ammo so you can fight off Al-Qaeda during the inevitable invasion, thereby thwarting their plan to force your wife to accessorize with burkas and put your children in madrasahs?

The Dead Russian Composer Personality Test

If I were a Dead Russian Composer, I would be Dmitri Shostakovich!

I am a shy, nervous, unassuming, fidgety, and stuttery little person who began composing the same year I started music lessons of any sort. I wrote the first of my fifteen symphonies at age 18, and my second opera, "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District," when I was only 26. Unfortunately, Stalin hated the opera, and put me on the Enemy Of The People List for life. I nevertheless kept composing the works I wanted to write in private; some of my vocal cycles and 15 string quartets mock the Soviet System in notes. And I somehow was NOT killed in the process! And Harry Potter(c) stole my glasses and broke them!

Who would you be? Dead Russian Composer Personality Test

I suppose that if someone held a gun to my head, I'd be forced to admit that I prefer Tchaikovsky - being a big sap and such, er, I mean, HULK SMASH! - but hard to argue with the results.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ebony vs. Ivory

Veeery interesting.

It was not quite 2:30 a.m. in Washington on Tuesday when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California asked President Bush to declare an emergency because of the wildfires raging in his state. An hour or so later, the request - pre-approved by Mr. Bush before he left the Oval Office on Monday evening - was granted.
Wow, that was fast, Mr. President. Way to keep on top of things. Sounds like someone has been reading a newspaper watching something other than children's cartoons. Wondering why? Don't. Just peruse the following chart:

When one, and by one, I mean über-capitalist closet racists, has an opportunity through a natural disaster to remake, through a diabolical, laissez-faire crucible, a city predominantly minority and poor - one of those rarest of groups hated even more than DFHs - into a sparkly, cracker wonderland, one doesn't pass on such a precious, heavenly gift. Barkeep, another round for the Americans for Tax Reform. Minstrels, play.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The inevitable inevitableness of inevitability

We have Godwin's Law, so how about Stark's Law: when a Democrat, after doing something righteous, realizes that he or she is a Democrat, they will, after ripping out and throwing away their spine, shamble over to the darkest corner available and curl up into a little ball while mumbling a weak-kneed apology for the benefit of, oh, I don't know, the lunatic 24-percenters, slimy DLC jackasses, talking hairpieces and Very Serious Broderites.

Republicans want it, Democrats don't. It's that simple.

You're voting for Mike Huckabee

Why? Whaddya mean why? You want to piss off Chuck Norris?

What's that? You don't understand? And why all these questions when there shouldn't be any questions when it concerns Chuck Norris? Let me assuage your fears of Chuck Norris coming over to your house and beating you to a bloody pulp merely by staring at you because his eyes are two extra fists.

Last night on CNN's Situation Room - 30 seconds I'll never get back, curse the motherfucker who invented TV remotes - hosted by the Walking Stubble, we mere homo sapiens (no, Mr. Norris, that's our genus - no, not our genius, only your fists are genius, oh, nevermind - rest assured we're not all gay, and those very few that are, well, they all live in San Francisco and Taxachusetts, so you can Texas Ranger it up all you want - no, I'm not making fun of you, Mr. Norris - please don't kill me) learned that the esteemed defender of Intelligent Design and personal bodyguard to the Super Magical Jesus Baby is backing Mike Huckabee for President. We also learned that there was a flap about Willard's hair at the Who Hates Brown People More and Torture Makes Me Horny debate.

I know this is merely the 752,334,193rd post on why the media sucks, and I also know that I'm not contributing one damn thing to a higher discourse of why they continue to talk about inane, pointless things while complaining that no one really wants to be talking about inane, pointless things but would rather be talking about, but cannot, because this egregious inanity of pointlessness must be highlighted as an example of the superficiality of the blogosphere, the important issues of the day such as the Mukasey nomination and whether he is a supporter of the President's unconstitutional spying policies and why it doesn't matter because if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide; whether any of the candidates have a plan for withdrawal from our illegal occupation of a sovereign nation which they don't because there's all that rich, creamy oil lustily calling our name from underneath all that sand; whether the Indians' monumental collapse could've been prevented by Chuck Norris -

- no, Mr. Norris, I'm not questioning your immense, God-given powers of fisticuffery. If you had played for the 1962 Mets, they would've won the World Series. No, please, Mr. Norris, I was only joking, does anyone remember laughter? Oh shit, tell my wife and kids I love them. Donate my body to science - if there's anything left - Zeppelin ruuuuulllllleeeesss............

Monday, October 22, 2007

Boston 4, Cleveland 3

I really want to believe
in sporting teams from Cleve'
but a punch in the guts
and a kick in the nuts -
hang on, for now I must heave.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cleveland 3, Boston 3

1997 World Series: 9th inning lead in Game 7. Lost.
1998 ALCS: 2-1 series lead. Lost.
1999 ALDS: 2-0 series lead. Lost.
2001 ALDS: 2-1 series lead. Lost.
2007 ALCS: 3-1 series lead. Ugh. Kind of figured it wasn't our night when the first five batters hit the ball a total of 180 feet, not a one leaving the infield, and the sixth, the much-maligned J.D. Drew, puts four on the board. And to top it all off, Fucking Curt Schilling is about as Republican as you can get.

Sports gods, I ask this with all sincerity, what the fuck did we do to piss you off? Can't we methodically march through a series of opponents, Caesar over the Celts? C'mon. One lousy goddamn time. We're not greedy like Noo Yawk or Bah-ston. Fucking sheesh.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

So let it be written, so let it be done

In a nondescript suburban bungalow where the beeps and buzzes emanating from the living room television on an orthodox Friday evening were, along with the intermittent scratch of a charcoal pencil by one child upon a piece of thick art paper, the ambient sounds drowned out by the other hooting and hollering after finally defeating a big boss man in the Ocarina of Time; where the murmurs of my wife, stretched out in relaxation on the couch, practicing her Welsh grammar - good luck with that screwy language - and where, lying silently underneath it all, was the dread emptiness of a baseball travel day, I rudely pressed my hands flat on the dining room table, blissfully unaware of having entwined the cord of my headphones around a finger so that when I stood up - resolute, determined that this was the night I would finally, at last, for sure this time, no doubt about it, save your questions for the end, complete my overwritten, long hibernating, godforsaken piece of fiction - they came crashing down with such a violent thud upon the wood, still shiny from a quickly-applied coat of Orange Glow hours before, the other inhabitants were forced by one of the unwritten laws of human relationships to chuckle. Grimacing as I passed my family to pull the tattered, spiral-bound notebook and its gently fading black cover off the shelf, I returned to the table and a stack of CDs, a staunch believer, a man of faith, that the muses would kiss my forehead and whisper the words of inspiration to allow me to finish.

Writing without sound, without a heavenly, or hellish, strain of notes is anathema to me. To others, music is mere background noise, something to hum along to while waxing your car, scrubbing the floor or reading a dime-store novel. For myself, it's the lifeblood of art - hell, of life, itself. Literature? You better know the language. Cinema? The world is ready-made for you. Painting? The same. Music, more than any other art form, can be applied to your world, the memories, both real and imagined, thrust upon you or carefully cultivated, becoming one with the notes that echo inside your head and your heart. I can't play a lick, I don't know any theory, yet the tears begin to well upon every listen of the allegretto in Beethoven's 7th. Why? The sculptured sound, the insistent and sad ostinato, the memories they represent for me, that I willfully associate with those measures. And you, you might feel something completely different. Even a chanson by Fauré, a song by Jacques Brel, an Italian opera by Handel can move someone who knows only English. Universal, indeed.

Perhaps even more disconcerting than a lack of music is the struggle to decide precisely what to listen to. Remembering an absolutely beautiful post at dents de lait about the author witnessing a production of Hector Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette, I decided to riff off that, bypassing a vocal version, Sir Colin Davis' take on said score, and move instead to an old instrumental warhorse, Tchaikovsky's overture on that same subject, here coupled with his 5th symphony, both masterfully conducted by Daniele Gatti. Now, the blame for overplaying lies squarely at the feet of unimaginative classical radio station programmers and not with poor Piotr. The guy was gifted with an affinity for melody; some of us should be so cursed. Anyway, strip off all the cliché that surrounds this piece, that threatens to choke it into silence, and you're left with a stunning work. And the 5th ain't too bad, either. But, given how I wanted to finish up with that, I decided to start with the 4th/Capriccio Italien.

Why these particular works? More than anything else, the evolution of my story from a tale of a monk-like, black magic-wielding Charles Baudelaire wreaking subterranean havoc on an unsuspecting Paris to a Lovecraftian ghost story to an atmospheric yarn-cum-romance-cum-mixed bag of whatever stuff I could glean from the palimpsest of my life: imagination, things read long ago, allusions, anecdotes, a line of verse, a word. There's an inherent melancholia in these pieces, for obvious reasons, and they seemed to be the perfect fit for the end of my tale and its tristesses de la lune.

Pen, paper. Paper, pen. Now write.

It wasn't strictly a catharsis, nor was it a labor of love, but something that I needed to do. That's the best description that I can fabricate, as banal as it sounds. I suppose that writers with actual skill would understand what I mean. I have no delusions or pretensions to ever try this again, at least not anytime in the near future. It was in the doing, the writing of a larger-scale form, the challenge of a being a Gravesian Boyce to a Dickensian Beethoven. A far, far lesser light - rest quietly, William, that jab was directed at myself, certainly not you - who nonetheless completed something that he's wanted to do for years.

The mere act of writing, composing, painting, that one thing which elevates us above our barbaric, animal nature that all too often manifests itself [fuck, it's hard leaving politics out of a post - must - resist], to have drunk from that rich reservoir of the very best of humanity, to not have destroyed, but to have created something that will be read not by millions but by a mere handful at best feels - after pens run out of ink during sleepless nights, after daydreams and the transcription of long-simmering thoughts, after reevaluation, rearrangement and spending far too much time on whether or not to change a word or a phrase, after ephemeral ideas quickly jotted down on a tiny pocket notebook stuffed in my backpack while on the bus to and from work, after the repeating of a theme over and over in my head when walking down my street or grocery shopping, using the back of the receipt if necessary - pretty damn good.

What didn't feel pretty damn good was getting up after the final notes of the last CD rang out into nothingness and realizing only then that I had had one too many glasses of wine. I closed my notebook with the gently fading black cover, turned off the light and began to navigate around the table, the cats' scratching post and down the hall to our bedroom, with only the weak beams of the streetlight outside to guide me, high comedy for all. Larry, Curly and Moe would've been proud. I'm just glad everyone else was surprisingly asleep, for I certainly would've knocked them over. I'm even more glad that l'histoire de Madeleine et Gabriel est fini enfin.

"I promise to be good."

If only we could get a small handful of our politicians to do the same - and follow through. Not that he always did, but then again, he wasn't running the fucking country. Happy Birthday, Arthur Rimbaud.

And at least Verlaine didn't shoot anyone in the face.

Friday, October 19, 2007

You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to

Torture. Gotta get me some of that!

President Bush's nominee for attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey, declined Thursday to say if he considered harsh interrogation techniques like waterboarding, which simulates drowning, to constitute torture or to be illegal if used on terrorism suspects.
A dog-and-pony show not resulting in straight answers? Why, I'm as shocked as you are! Though I and anyone else with at least partially-functioning mental faculties should not be shocked at this:
"Is waterboarding constitutional?" Mr. Mukasey was asked by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, in one of the sharpest exchanges.

"I don't know what is involved in the technique," Mr. Mukasey replied. "If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional."
Is or isn't waterboarding torture? Is or isn't ketchup a vegetable? These are questions man was not meant to ask. Do you think you could handle even a hint of the profound mysteries of the universe, the paradoxes that lie dormant throughout the dimensions, woven in the fabric of space and time, ready to trip up the unaware without a moment's notice?
"I mean, it is or it isn't," Mr. Whitehouse continued.

Waterboarding, he said, "is the practice of putting somebody in a reclining position, strapping them down, putting cloth over their faces and pouring water over the cloth to simulate the feeling of drowning. Is that constitutional?"
Good job, Sheldon, if that is your real name. You just gave away, in a public forum, valuable information that will now be used by our enemies to adjust their tactics in their eternal quest to defeat liberty, freedom, fuzzy little bunnies and the Super Magical Jesus Baby.
Mr. Mukasey again demurred, saying, "If it amounts to torture, it is not constitutional."

Mr. Whitehouse said he was "very disappointed in that answer; I think it is purely semantic."

"I'm sorry," Mr. Mukasey replied.
I'm not. That was some funny shit. Imagine, if you will, decades of wingnut screeds, first screamed, yelled and vomited out in diabolical, blood-soaked gatherings, always crowned with a virgin sacrifice to their unnamed dark lord - one can almost smell the long-dried stain of carnage on the filthy, cold stone - always held in dungeons one wag calls "thinktanks," then hastily typed up and printed by chained and starving minions, a jagged, venomous poetry directed at the strawman of lefty "moral relativism."

And now, here we are.

If I may, I'd like to close out with another humorous note. Once more unto the breach, dear Patsy:
"I don't know whether you received some criticism from anybody in the administration last night after your testimony," he said, "but I sensed a difference, and a number of people here, Republican and Democratic alike, have sensed a difference."

Mr. Mukasey insisted there had been no pressure from the White House on Wednesday, saying, "I received no criticism."
Everything according to plan. Delicious.

Cleveland 3, Boston 2

Sonofabitch. At least we don't have to face Jack White's strike-throwin' ass again. We have two chances to wrap it up, sparkly and golden, teasing - nay, mocking - that lie before us but, as I've said a million times and will say a billion more until a sporting squadron from this town actually wins one of those really shiny trophies, this is Cleveland. So we'll probably need three.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Pharyngula Mutating Genre Meme

Candace tagged me. These memes always seem to go much more smoothly while partaking of the spirits, but since I'm currently sober with nary a bottle of le vin in sight, I'll fall back on that true-blue-liberal camaraderie of sharing in the misery. Rules are as follows:

There are a set of questions below that are all of the form, "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...".

Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:

* You can leave them exactly as is.

* You can delete any one question.

* You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question. For instance, you could change "The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is..." to "The best time travel novel in Westerns is...", or "The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is...", or "The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is...".

* You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...".

* You must have at least one question in your set, or you've gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you're not viable.

Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions.

Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.

My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Pharyngula.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Metamagician and the Hellfire Clubs.
My great-great-great-great-great-grandparent is Flying Trilobite.
My great-great-great-great-grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock.
My great-great-great-grandparent is Shakespeare's Sister.
My great-great-grandparent is Shayera.
My great-grandparent is PoliShifter.
My grandparent is Lizzy.
My parent is Candace.

1. The best time travel film in SF/Fantasy is: The Adventures of the Doughy Pantload Planet of the Apes.

2. The best scary movie in scientific dystopias is: Alien.

3. The best cult novel in teenage angst is: Oh shit, I don't know. I mostly read old stuff. The Catcher in the Rye, I suppose.

4. The best stand-up comedian in American comedy is: George Carlin.

5. The best sexy movie in American film is: Penthouse Pets 9 The Piano.

6. The best French poet in the nineteenth century is: Charles Baudelaire.

Some folks don't like doing memes, and since us lefties are known the world over to be wishy-washy, I certainly won't send a gang of Blackwater thugs to break down your front door and force you at gunpoint to fill this out. On the other hand, if the following don't answer and/or alter these questions as per the command of our octopus overlord, well, heavy are the hearts that carry the blame for starting World War III to their irradiated graves:

Evil Mommy.
Yazoo Street Scandal.

Je m'excuse, mes amis.

Old blood and guts

Chris Dodd overlooking the perpetually supine Congress.

Senator, you do realize that you're a Democrat, yes? Color me the entire spectrum of confused - even indigo. It's that bad. And sure, he's far behind Hillary, Obama and Edwards in all the polls, but no other Senators not currently running or planning to run for President have done this. And he's a Democrat. My head hurts. I believe I failed to mention that he's a Democrat.

I'm going to lie down for awhile. Or maybe I'm already lying down and this is all just a strange hallucination. Look! Leprechauns frolicking with Astérix!

Ladies and gentlemen, start your drinking

But I fucking hate bad news.

The agreement between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Bush administration would also include a greater role for the secret intelligence court in overseeing and approving methods of wiretapping used by the security agency, the official said.

But it is not clear whether this and other toughened civil liberties safeguards included in the agreement will go far enough to mollify senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who will also review the plan once the intelligence panel finishes its work.

Word of the deal came came hours after House Republicans used a parliamentary maneuver to scuttle a vote on a measure that would have imposed new restrictions on the security agency's eavesdropping powers.
"Hey, you, look over there!"
"What am I supposed to see?"
"Did you spit in his coffee?"
"Yeah. Heh, heh. Jackass."

At the start of the day, Democrats were confident that the measure would gain approval in the house despite a veto threat from President Bush. But after an afternoon of partisan sniping [editor's translation: whiny Republican hypocrisy], Democratic leaders put off that vote because of a competing measure from Republicans that on its face asked lawmakers to declare where they stood on stopping Osama bin Laden from attacking the United States again.
I don't know what's more impressive, the continued wingnut chutzpah of evoking Osama and/or 9/11 whenever it suits their nefarious purposes despite the fact of never having caught the guy or not actually wanting the guy caught because who's a better poster boy for the Eternal War on Brown People, or the fact that Democrats fall for it. Every. Single. Time.
The Republican maneuver "would've killed the bill, and we couldn't risk that," said a senior Democratic aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal leadership deliberations. "We thought we'd be able to defeat it, but it became clear that we couldn't."
When you've deliberately shot yourself in the foot over and over for the past 6+ years until all that's left is a bloody, pulpy stump, it's quite difficult to kick the lizard-brains in the ass, isn't it.

Oh, Dems, one more thing: Osama!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fuck yeah, motherfucker

I fucking love good news.

A bunch of fucking scienticians said that it's a good idea to swear at work because all the stress and bullshit that methodically builds up into a giant fucking wall of asshat residue that could topple over at a moment's notice and crush your fucking skull can be alleviated merely by swearing just a little fucking bit. How fucking cool is that?

Though this shit pissed me off:

The pair said swearing in front of senior staff or customers should be seriously discouraged or banned, but in other circumstances it helped foster solidarity among employees and express frustration, stress or other feelings.
Hey motherfuckers, senior staff and customers are the groups that cause the frustation, stress and other fucking feelings. You dumbasses. Fix your fucking study so, for official health reasons, we can go off without resorting to Republican-style bloodshed and end up as a new entry in the fucking DSM-IV. Now. NOW, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES!

Sure, it was typed instead of spoken, but I do feel better. Try it, I'm sure you will, too. Thanks, Yehuda and Stuart!

Set 'em up with the off-speed...

...before knocking 'em down with the heat.

Well played, Mr. Mukasey. Everyone hates the Holocaust. Except Ann Coulter, John Hagee, and various other deranged mouthbreathers who either are the public voice of the conversative cult or have the President's ear.

So, forgive my distrust of anyone that Bush puts forth, because kind words so often lead to bloody actions. Just on pure, pristine principle (Pollyannaish of me, I'll readily admit) we should tell this guy to fuck off, or have I missed someone approved by Congress in the past 6+ years that hasn't turned out to be a wingnut hack? He doesn't appear to be Abu G, but I'm sick of taking chances. Aren't you?

Rudy! related update:
Buvez ! Buvez ! so that we may forget about this.

Cleveland 3, Boston 1

Hot damn. I never thought I'd see the day where our staff, during playoff baseball, would hold Boston's mighty lineup to 5 runs over a 24-inning span. That's a 1.88 ERA, folks, 11.2 innings of which have been gobbled up by unheralded starters Jake Westbrook and Paul Byrd. It's nearly time to cue Peter Venkman's rant, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Stockholm Syndrome

"I like him."

- Senator Patrick Leahy on Bush minion Michael Mukasey.

I'm going to start keeping a bottle of something in my desk. I'm open to suggestions, but nothing too harsh. I don't want to set my esophagus on fire, so preferably something smooth that awakens the rich, scented memories of the rolling countryside and its endless fields of wildflowers and tree-lined horizons and, lastly, holds the taste of mellow, thoughtful relaxation that blooms best in a beautiful, secluded café far away from this incresingly dystopian society riddled with malcontents and purveyors of wankery.

We never stop working for you the Feds

"Sure, what else you need? Credit card numbers, pin numbers, social security? Mmm, I got it all, baby."

Verizon Communications, the nation's second-largest telecom company, told congressional investigators that it has provided customers' telephone records to federal authorities in emergency cases without court orders hundreds of times since 2005.

The company said it does not determine the requests' legality or necessity because to do so would slow efforts to save lives in criminal investigations.
Verizon and AT&T said it was not their role to second-guess the legitimacy of emergency government requests.
Funny, Congress has said the same thing. I'm surprised the Fed's Can You Hear Me Now campaign hasn't been a question at a Democratic presidential debate:

"If the only way to stop a nuclear device from going off in Washington, D.C. during a Redskins' playoff game, which would kill millions including football-loving voters who have come together in their shared love of the gridiron and the camaraderie that it engenders, the national and foreign sporting press, and the precious, precious children of those football-loving voters who only wanted to sip hot chocolate while learning about a great American tradition, was to forsake wasting such very valuable time getting a warrant and immediately listening on a person-to-person, incoming foreign call, would you do it? Senator Clinton?"

Anyway, the rest of the article had a few corporate toadies playing Sergeant Schultz - the government and the corporations in cahoots; now, where have I heard that before - and of course, a government tool blathering on about something or other, best demonstrated by the conversation one will never, ever have with a Bush administration official:

"Uh, this isn't going to be about National Security, is it?"
"All things are about National Security, Homer. Except this."

Cleveland 2, Boston 1

And the surprises never stop. Old Man Kenny keeps on chooglin', Jake Westbrook outduels the guy with the inane nickname and, most shocking of all, Baserunners Joe didn't allow a one. Not. One.

Which means, of course, we'll knock off Boston, then lose to the upstart Rockies in the World Series, who will promptly fall back into last next season, leaving Cleveland with the New-And-Improved Extra-Bitter flavor of soul-wrenching defeat in our collective mouth.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 6

The Good: The Edwards/Winslow Show went off without a hitch, thanks to the magisterial stage direction of Derek Anderson (3-0 TD-INT ratio) and the hard charging of ensemble cast members Jason Wright and Jerome Harrison. We score with the critics.

The Bad: Of course, we let a lot of goodwill slip through our fingers. Will the run defense ever improve? Ever? Bueller?

The Ugly: Living lackadaisical late made the score closer than it should have been.

Up next: Rest and relaxation on the sunny shores of Lake Erie.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cleveland 1, Boston 1

Well, that was certainly an unexpected way to win. I did feel a bit better after escaping Okajima and Papelbon with the score still tied, but talk about a historic fucking meltdown. Too much beans and chowda for newcomer Gagne, I suppose. Don't want to pitch on an empty stomach, but a man's got to know his limitations. Game 3 on Monday? I don't know what the hell will happen. Do you?

Bonus Oddity: The new AP top three tomorrow: Ohio State, Boston College and South Florida? Um, playoff please? Thanks.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Tales From Bizarro World!

When we last left our intrepid traveler, Ms. Rice was bravely confronting the despotic, undemocratic regime of Canada. Avoiding the perils of the Great White North by the skin of her teeth, she now sets her sights on the biggest blight of them all, the wall that cannot be scaled, that forever casts its long, dark, cold shadow over burgeoning freedom, choking off the sun and preventing the seeds of liberty from ever spreading its roots throughout the fertile soil of hope - the United States!

"I think there's too much concentration of power in the White House. I have told the Americans that. Everybody has doubts about the full independence of the judiciary. There are clearly questions about the independence of the electronic media and there are, I think, questions about the strength of Congress," said Rice, referring to the American legislative body.
Powerful words, but will they prove to be Ms. Rice's downfall? Can she be saved before the maniacal thugs of the Stars and Stripes cast her into the Black Pit of Desolation, subsisting only on moldy bread and polluted water, never to see the light of day again?

Tune in next week, True Believers, to find out!

To find out what Ms. Rice actually said, click here.

Assault on Convent 13

"The power of Christ compels you to fuck off!"

According to the Telegraph, "they adopted a siege mentality, hired security guards, changed the locks on the gates and shunned all contact with the outside world."

Police officers used a ladder to scale the convent walls, removed the women, some of whom swore at the police and called them "servants of Satan," and arrested the mother superior and the renegade monk.
Now that's some hardcore Christianity. Makes me a bit disappointed in the nuns I had as teachers growing up. Perhaps the conservatives have been right all along: America is weakening under the nefarious liberal influence. We may have forgotten Poland, but Poland hasn't forgotten The Lord!

Boston 1, Cleveland 0

Walking tall too many.

It's a good thing for C.C. that league awards are voted on before the postseason or he might have garnered only a couple of third-place sympathy votes for the Cy Young. Of course, he'd just send his thank you notes to the wrong location.

But, when you take giving up ten runs, add Jack White pitching as well as he did plus the expert platework of Big Papi and the Real Spaceman, both of whom can go Lee van Cleef on your ass at any time, you're generally going to lose.

However, if Fausto can channel some Mephistophelian magic tonight - all praise to You, Infernal Master of the Nether Realms and a mean fiddle player, to boot - a split in Fenway would certainly be more than palatable. It might even be as tasty as all-you-can-eat Chinese.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Who watches the watchers?

"No, no, hear me out, Vlad. You'll love this idea."

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, has ordered an unusual internal inquiry into the work of the agency's inspector general, whose aggressive investigations of the C.I.A.'s detention and interrogation programs and other matters have created resentment among agency operatives.
I hate - no, I seethe with rage - when people do their taxpayer-funded jobs, but thankfully I'm not alone on this.
"These are good people who thought they were doing the right thing," said one former agency official. "And now they're getting beat up pretty bad and they have to go out an hire a lawyer."
I hear ya, man. I know it's frustrating to go through each day not being able to use the skills of cooperation and social interaction we've been learning since childhood. Like that time when my kindergarten teacher taught us how to press someone's nostrils closed while we held their head underwater in the bathroom sink to get them to let us play with the new box of Legos for a bit, or that time in high school when Jimmy cut ahead of me in line during lunch and the principal demonstrated that the proper technique to teach him a lesson was to apply a very high voltage to his scrotum. Jimmy never cut ahead of me again.

These are good people fighting the good fight, violating every notion of international law and decorum, destroying the very ideas of freedom and liberty so you can keep yours. Within reason, of course.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Who's the lyingest of them all?

"There is an Iranian history of obfuscation and, indeed, lying to the IAEA," she said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"There is a history of Iran not answering important questions about what is going on and there is Iran pursuing nuclear technologies that can lead to nuclear weapons-grade material," Rice told reporters aboard her plane as she headed to Moscow.
We certainly have the moral high ground here, with our complete lack of verbal prestidigitation and physical legerdemain throughout the long and storied history of our beloved shining city on a hill, a beacon to all the downtrodden of the world, notably those swarthy types who live on top of our oil most disadvantaged by the cruel vagaries of fate whose strings are controlled by the dark puppetmaster of the infernal depths, Satan.

Oh, how that beaming sun of democracy and freedom has shone brightest within the last six glorious years, the most spectacular and heartwarming show of trust and love towards our brothers and sisters across the seas and throughout all of the Lord's domain since the dawn of time, Amen.

Which is precisely why, lying or not, Iran would probably like some fucking nukes. Would you trust us? It's too bad they'd pose such a threat as to dwarf the measly two or three ICBMs pointed at us for about 40 years, making us all wet our pants and hide under Bill Kristol's bed. Not sure if there's enough room for 300 million, but by gosh, we'll sure try!

You mean they didn't cancel the rest of the playoffs?

As my good friend and blind squirrel Anthony Cartouche is so fond of pointing out, I had some problems predicting potential winners in the LDS. If you were stupid enough to use them in your quest to lose cash, go buddy up to a Republican. There's plenty of wingnut welfare to go around to help you recoup your losses. Write on Teh Gay, Hillary Laughs!, Rudy! as Flash Gordon (the savior of the universe, and all that) or Islamocommunofascistbeheadingism. Any of these topics should help you get started. Anyway, onto the penultimate round:

Arizona vs. Colorado: After last week, fuck if I know. One would have to give the pitching edge to the former, the hitting edge to the latter. The Diamondbacks have Brandon Webb and the Rockies do not, so Arizona in 6.

Cleveland vs. Boston: Hey, did you hear? Joe Torre, The Kindest, Gentlest, Most Decent Man In American Sporting History might lose his job! Derek Jeter is still The Greatest Shortstop Evah! Alex Rodriguez is still The Greatest Choker Evah! And in other, obviously less pressing news, the two best teams in baseball are playing for a shot at the World Series. Two excellent offenses; two superior starting rotations; two talented, if recently - okay, all year for Baserunners Joe - shaky bullpens; what more could you ask for. [Shut up TV execs, The Fucking Yankees lost. Deal with it.] It may not go seven, but I fully expect each game to be pretty damn close with much opportunity for nail biting and the wrenching of guts in the spirit of the 1986 NLCS. A random break either way might decide it. My head says Boston in 7, my heart says the Tribe in the same. Just don't put any money down on it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


It's plain to see how easily blogger burnout can burrow itself inside your skull and slowly, painfully, eat your brains, after reading garbage like this.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said providing the immunity will likely be the price of getting President Bush to sign into law new legislation extending the government's surveillance authority.
Hey Representative Dumbass - may I call you Dumbass? - the Bush administration hasn't told the truth on a goddamn thing whether in the majority or the minority and, given how it's anathema to how they do business anyway, why would they start now? Bipartisanship; trust; honor; these words simply do not exist anywhere within their banal minds that are equipped with one thing only: a laser-like focus on how to fuck other people's shit up in order to profit from it. But that's fine, don't believe me. Just listen to them spell it out for you.
In a conference call with reporters, a senior Justice Department official called Hoyer's offer "encouraging" but would not commit to sharing the data. The official spoke only on condition of anonymity while negotiations with Congress continue.
Rep. Dumbass, in Republican Newspeak, "encouraging" means "we have those gutless cowards right where we want them." And no matter what less-diabolical-than-before provisions you write up in your New And Improved® We Don't Need No Stinkin' Warrant Bill - a "blanket" court order for up to one year? you can get a whole lotta spyin' done in 365 days - administration criminals are going to do whatever they damn well please. Still don't believe me?
The Bush administration agreed on Oct. 5 to "assemble" that information by Oct. 22 - after the bill is supposed to be voted on by Congress - but warned that many of the requested documents may be withheld.
If that isn't a sucker's bet, I don't know what is. You in?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cleveland 3, The Fucking Yankees 1

Talking Head A: Did you see how we fucked The Fucking Yankees?
Talking Head B: Fuck The Fucking Yankees!
Talking Head A: And when we fucking fucked The Fucking Yankees?
Talking Head B: Fucking A, how we fucked The Fucking Yankees!

You want insightful, in-depth analysis of the series' major trends such as The Fucking Yankees inability to deal with some bugs, the assorted minutiae of how The Greatest Lineup In The History Of The Known Universe stunk up the joint in not one, but two American cities, and the quirky trivia of why Johnny Damon is a sellout hack who isn't shunned enough, go watch ESPN because all that matters to the proprietor of this ridiculous corner of the internets, and all that should matter to you, unless you're a fan of The Fucking Yankees in which case ha-fucking-ha ad infinitum until your head explodes from the monolithic repetition of that childish taunt, its incessant hammering increasing the pressure in your skull until it splatters its contents so violently that even OxyClean couldn't erase such a mess, is that we fucked The Fucking Yankees.

Now that's the sentence Proust would've wrote on this series if he decided to try his hand at replacing his actual talent with my juvenile vulgarity. And if he had not, you know, died 85 years ago. But I think it's pretty safe to say that he wouldn't have rooted for our Madame Verdurin, The Fucking Yankees.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Cleveland 2, The Fucking Yankees 1

For the second straight game, when not facing that old, brokedown warhorse ready for the glue factory, the offense has decided to imitate Houdini, David Copperfield, Doug Henning and Crazy Uncle Lou. We've seen the disappearing coin trick already. Go drink your Metamucil.

The pain was made worse by the peformance of Johnny Damon. What exactly is it like to sell your honor, your principles and your soul to work for The Evil Empire?

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 5

The Good: Jamie Jason Wright filled in quite well for a nicked-up Jamal Lewis, showing a shifty quickness that should be utilized more in the future, right, Romeo? Um, we held New England below a lot of their season averages. Yeah, I know. Woo. The third down defense was superb, with the Patriots converting only 2 of 12 chances. Of course, this was offset by...

The Bad: ...shoddy tackling. You're not matadors. Wrap the fuckers up, just like you learned in Pee-Wee League. Derek Anderson reverting to the DA of old, thereby cancelling The Edwards/Winslow Show until it was too late.

The Ugly: Too many blown coverages, making yet another journeyman back look like a Pro Bowler, giving up a cheap TD with seconds remaining, an 0-4 turnover ratio. Reverse that against these guys, and maybe we would've had a chance. Certainly a mixed bag of performances this week all around.

Up next: At home against Miami. That's 0-5 Miami. Get it? Don't fuck it up. The AFC is looking more top-heavy than expected. One never knows.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Come work for The Pagan Throne!

Pagans always throw the best parties, anyway.

Plus, who'd be a much more enjoyable boss to work for,

this slimy, evil fuck, or

a pagan goddess? Sorry, Bill, you stay right where you're at. You and Hannity can argue over who has the biggest lapel p - oh, you don't have one on either. Nevermind.

Camera obscura

I always feel like someone's watching me.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday ordered tighter controls on U.S. security contractor Blackwater, including putting cameras on its convoys, after last month's deadly shootings in Iraq.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said dozens of diplomatic security agents would also be sent to Iraq to accompany each convoy protected by Blackwater guards.
Soft words followed by harsh, decisive action. Teddy would be so proud. But, how will American bloodlust be sated now?
The new measures will apply only to Blackwater and not to two other key State Department security contractors in Iraq, Triple Canopy and DynCorp, McCormack said.
Whew! That was close. At least the circus of Terminators can continue spreading frivolity throughout the desert sands covering our oil of the free Iraqi people. They're no Blackwater to be sure but, hey, who can be? Though please, tell me more about these Very Special People you mentioned earlier.
Special agents would begin immediately accompanying Blackwater when the firm transports U.S. diplomatic personnel outside the fortified international zone, McCormack said.
I know what you're thinking. What about when Blackwater isn't transporting U.S. diplomatic personnel, but is out and a-viking about? Not to worry. They'll make sure any incriminating footage gets into the right hands.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Cleveland 2, The Fucking Yankees 0

What a bargain that Fausto is. Thanks, Mephistopheles! Not a fan of the 2-for-752 w/RISP, though. But goddamn, Mr. Hafner, wear all the fucking ECW shirts you want.

One of the few things in life finer, more sweet, more delicious, more memorable than putting the smackdown on The Fucking Yankees is
ripping the heart out of The Fucking Yankees.

Ask Bob Shrum - he'll know what to do!

This is true.

Please, no one hold your breath, for you might die.

Senators, interrupted

"The exhaust pipe on my car was shooting flames out if it Wednesday, Thursday and today, and I'm afraid it will tomorrow, too!"
"Don't you think you should get that checked out?"
"No, I'll just wait until it blows up."

Democratic lawmakers assailed the Justice Department yesterday for issuing secret memos that authorized harsh CIA interrogation techniques, demanding that the Bush administration turn over the documents. But officials refused and said the tactics did not violate anti-torture laws.
Idiots. Time is precious and cannot be foolishly wasted telling everyone when there are repressed sadist games to be played suspects to be interrogated. The laws were changed secretly for a reason. Terrorists read newspapers, too.
One opinion issued by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel in May 2005 authorized a combination of painful physical and psychological interrogation tactics, including head slapping, frigid temperatures and simulated drowning, according to current and former officials familiar with the issue.
Boys will be boys. But should Bush and Co. be worried? Messrs. Eggen and Abramowitz claim that the memos
create an unwelcome complication for the Bush administration as it tries to win confirmation of former federal judge Michael B. Mukasey as the next attorney general.
If I were a member of the Bush administration, I wouldn't sweat it. Paddy is on the case and he
vowed to question Mukasey closely about his views on interrogation policies during confirmation hearings this month.
"Mr. Mukasey, do you think we should torture suspects in custody?"
"I can't answer that because potential suspects might learn how to combat specific techniques."
"But I'm not asking for specifics, merely your view on whether we should or should not torture."
"I can't answer that because then you might not vote for me."
"Your honesty is refreshing, Mr. Mukasey. I think we're done. I'm starving. Anyone up for some Chinese?"

And let's be realistic for a moment. As Francis Fragging Townsend said
If Americans are killed because we failed to do the hard things, the American people would have the absolute right to ask us why.
Damn straight. Ain't nothin' more 'murrikan than combating barbarity with barbarity.

"Yeah. I don't think you'll be getting that memo."

You ungrateful bastards update:
Bush, speaking emphatically, noted that "highly trained professionals" conduct any questioning. "And by the way," he said, "we have gotten information from these high-value detainees that have helped protect you."

So there.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cleveland 1, The Fucking Yankees 0

There are few things in life finer, more sweet, more delicious, more memorable than putting the smackdown on The Fucking Yankees.

And what got into Old Man Kenny? It was the 1995 ALCS all over again.

The Thing That Should Not Be

Not counting some of the excellent not-all-that short shorts featured in the series presented by Lurker Films, could we potentially be looking at the first great, full-length, Lovecraft flick?

O, Mighty Cthulhu, make it so! You can even devour Washington, D.C. if it will make you happy. Just don't eat the rest of us until after the movie.

Please stop punching yourself

There's already enough blood to clean up as it is.

In a letter to Mr. Mukasey made public Wednesday, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, said he would go forward with the confirmation hearings without the promise of documents.
Because too much information is a bad thing.
The decision to go forward with the hearings appeared to reflect a calculation by Mr. Leahy and other Democrats that they did not want to be seen as willing to leave the post unfilled after complaining so loudly of turmoil in the department under Mr. Gonzales.
They wouldn't dare foolishly risk the well-deserved backlash from The Dean and his acolytes of High Broderism. They're Very Serious People who are the Guardians of Sacred Bipartisanship. Would you wish the Democrats to bring down their Holy Wrath and make us all suffer?
Despite concerns among Democrats and some civil liberties groups about Mr. Mukasey's past support for sweeping national security powers for the executive branch, his nomination has generally been well received on Capitol Hill, among Democrats and Republicans alike.
That's it? That's the issue that would've kept these hearings from going smoothly? Everything's been going swimmingly under The New and Improved Unitary Executive, or haven't you been paying attention? Sure, Roberts, Alito and Gonzales may have been a wee bit to the right of the majority of Americans on every possible issue, but since Bush has gotten what he wants, what would be the point of ramming through yet another wingnut nominee? He's certainly not greedy for the powertrip gravy train to stay fresh and tasty. Stupid moonbats.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I'm Dick Cheney and I approve this violence

Others are far more eloquent on this subject, but this is just completely fucked up.

If only we didn't have The Neverending War on Terror of Al-Qaeda Christian-Baby-Eating Sharia-Law-Worshipping Mullah Soldiers of Muhammad Who Want To Invade and Control America, Burn Our Bibles and Behead Us keeping us from multitasking and risking pissing off China - the country that owns us - to maybe possibly do something for the people of Burma. Perhaps we can send them a nice fruitcake for Christmas. I'm sure the war with Iran will be all wrapped up by then.

Money talks and E.coli walks around your intestinal tract with impunity

I know this issue isn't as sexy as Blackwater, but this does just as fine a job in exposing the yawning abyss that is the Republican soul.

Yesterday, Mike Leavitt, secretary of health and human services and chairman of a panel established by President Bush to study the safety of imported food, reflected that point of view when he said: "We simply cannot inspect our way to safety."
I'd prefer sorcery myself, with all the pyrotechnics and luminous clouds of exploding stars and whatnot. Very cool, but not very practical, being an imaginary thing like a compassionate conservative. So, what to do?
Government and industry officials note that the sheer volume of imports - $2.2 trillion this year, twice the level in 2000 - makes increasing inspections impractical. It would require hundreds, if not thousands, of new inspectors, and would slow business at the borders, they say.
"Oh, boy! The deep fryer's here. Heh, heh, I got it used from the navy. You can flash-fry a buffalo in forty seconds."
"Forty seconds? But I want it now!"

Again, I say, what to do?
"That's called technology."

So we can expect the same high-level of service and concern that our sea and airports are receiving. Better stock up on Pepto Bismol and antibiotics. But you guys are right about an increase in inspections costing more. Golly gee, if only we had some extra money lying around, but we wasted it on lollipops, Zagnut bars and weed.

Diamonds and Pearls - ECW t-shirts

1. Mr. Hafner, please stop wearing that silly shirt while you hawk Cox Cable on the teevee. You look like an idiot.
2. Mr. Hafner, please hit many home runs against The Fucking Yankees.
3. Predictions:

Arizona vs. Chicago: Don't look at the W-L records; the Cubs are the better team. The Diamondbacks have a stellar defense and Brandon Webb is a stud, but he can't do it by himself against Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Rich Hill and the Cubs' suddenly power-mad offense. Cubs in 4.

Philadelphia vs. Colorado: Everyone had these teams playing in October, huh. Both played out of their fucking minds down the stretch, both have better offenses than pitching staffs, so it comes down to wild cards, x-factors and whatever cliché you care to dig up. I'll go with Cole Hamels. If he pitches like he's capable, the Phillies advance. So, Philadelphia in 5.

Boston vs. Anaheim (I know it's the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Anti-Semitic Corpse of Walt Disney Uber-Corp. Inc., but I don't fucking care - Boston vs. California! Dave Henderson! Donnie Moore! (just no one off themself, okay?): John Lackey pitches as well in Fenway as I would and I can't see Garrett Anderson continuing his MVP-like second half. The Red Sox have a scarier lineup and though their bullpen has imploded down the stretch, I can't see that continuing either. Though all of those shouldn'ts still could, I see Boston in 4.

Cleveland vs. The Fucking Yankees: "Good pitching always beats good hitting" is a crock, otherwise Atlanta would have about seven trophies instead of one, but good pitching certainly helps. Front-to-back - well, maybe not Baserunners Joe Borowski - we have the better staff and our offense can be just as lethal. Our 1-2 is better than their 1-2, so Tribe in 5.

For those of you who don't live in Cleveland or New York and are not soulless frontrunners, perhaps these will help you decide who to root for:

2007 Cleveland Indians team photo.

2007 New York Yankees team photo.

Fuck The Fucking Yankees.