Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tales of Terror

The curtain of twilight will drop in thirteen short hours, and after the life-giving sun, protector of all that is righteous and holy, slips beneath the horizon to settle into a deep sleep, pitch-black Walpurgisnacht arrives when the witches -- you know, left-wing chicks -- emerge from the cthonic shadows to begin their blasphemous sacrifice of the tiniest, most sweetestest babies in the history of the world to satisfy the insatiable, flesh-hungry maw of The Dark Lord, draped in a darkness so dark, you wouldn't be able to see anything in that darkest dark even if you had one of those industrial-strength flashlights, the kind they sometimes sell at Home Depot.

So in honor of this poor man's Halloween without candy, I offer to you this chilling tale that will curdle your blood and freeze your bones.

*whoosh! whoosh!*

That was a spooky wind sound. Not scary enough for you?

How about this:

Scared yet?

Brit: On today's show, Sean Hannity, Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly and myself will be talking about the issues of the day that are of vital import to each and every American: Barack Obama's patriotism problem, Barack Obama's pastor problem and why John McCain is so strapping. Sean, let's start with you.

Sean: Brit, everything has worked to perfection these last seven years: the flourishing economy, record-low unemployment and inflation, anti-terrorism efforts that would make Tom Clancy proud and the decision of geopolitical genius that was the invasion of Iraq. And what have we seen since? A prodigious drop in worldwide terrorism, stable crude oil prices and the first Jeffersonian democracy in the Middle East after toppling the most evil man since Hitler, Saddam Hussein.

The reason Barack Hussein Obama doesn't wear a flag pin is because he fears the blinding aura of the president, and when people see an American flag, they can think of only one thing: George W. Bush.

Chris: He doesn't fear Bush you fool, he fears the New and Improved Codpiece! Just imagine him, a seasoned pilot, landing on that flight deck!

Bill: You want him to crash another plane and waste more of the taxpayer's dollars? Who's looking out for you? I am. So just shut up, MSNBC bitch.
Shut. Up.

Chris: You want a piece of me, cultural backwater? Nice jacket, by the way.
East coast elitist.

Brit: Gentleman, gentleman, you're sounding like the left side of the internets. Now, the Vice President's lawyer says that no one in this dimension or the next -- including our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ -- has any authority over his office.

Sean: Sieg heil, mein Cheney. Brit, don't be meek little girly girl like Alan. Even that flea is in awe of the power that dare not speak its name. I have something much more important to say here. We all know that Rev. Wright is a rampaging, Afrocentric lunatic who wants to spearhead the Barack Hussein Obama plan of enslaving White Christian America, and this dovetails brilliantly into my original point --

Chris: John McCain! John McCain! Baba booey! Baba booey!

Sean: Don't interrupt me again you out-of-touch beltway bastard! I'm a man of the people!

Brit: Gentleman, please, a little decorum. And perhaps a towel to wipe off my drool. I'm not as spry as I used to be.

Sean: Shut the hell up, old man. You want to tangle, Matthews? Let's g --

Chris: Sean and Alan sitting in a tree...


Bill: Holy shit! Matthews ate Sean! He's the real Jekyll and Hyde!
You sonofabitch!

Brit: *screams* It's too late for me! Run, Bill, r --

Bill: I'll fucking get you, Matthews!

To be continued?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

All work and no play makes Randal, well, duller

Mr. Graves: There, now I just need to flesh it out a bit.

Mrs. Graves: You need to do more than just 'flesh it out.'

Mr. Graves: I'll get fleshy after the Cavs' game. Wink.

Mrs. Graves: The hell you will. You haven't even cut the grass yet.

The above is a tale of fiction. With my legendary work ethic by my side, I slaughtered the grass with my spinning blade of suburban death the way a cook slaughters dead cow parts with a fresh set of Ginsu knives. Before the Cavs' game.

I didn't get fleshy though, for I fell asleep on the couch working on my paper. Scholarship before sensuality, that's my motto. And the real reason I slept on the couch.

Just kidding.

But I busted my ass yesterday and the paper is coming along nicely.

Just kidding.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Who's on first in right field?

The Fucking Yankees will try anything to win.

Do I have a post? No No No

Must we let them fool us
? no no no!
Have we got our freedom? no no no!
Is it getting better? no no no!
Do we love each other? no no no!
Must we wait forever no no no just until the Great Porn Dragon comes!

Friday, April 25, 2008

70° is too goddamn hot.

Oh, how I miss the white stuff. No, George, the other white stuff.
Anyway, in the milieu of yours truly:

Overcast smothers sunny.
Cold beats heat.
Winter flings spring.
Memory slays reality.


I've never been one of those yahoos jumping around on their green brown grass, screaming "yay! the earth blossoms once more!" to the indifferent cosmos above. If you are one of those yahoos, my condolences. This kook likes it the other way (summer, in actuality, is the great bane of my existence, and if I could make it autumn all year round, I would). Flora are cool though.

But one thing I'm convinced we do have in common from time to time is l'angoisse de la page blanche. Thus, some more verse in an attempt to fill the blogging void and to celebrate something -- just not your vile warm weather. So gather 'round the dormant hearth, stick some flowers in your hair and dance the ceremonial dance of the hippies -- a shudder! Pourquoi ?

The unholy conjuration from the infernal depths of my notebooks seen below!

A horror hungry for new victims on which to inflict poetical misery and woe!

What, you thought I'd blather on about politics again for show?

Hell. No.

After that introduction, it's best to let this official NATO training video show you what to do upon encountering such a grim beast:

For those willing to brave my typically overwrought and melancholic verse, read on:

Winter walk

What shadow passes by, plucked from long years,
the illusive crucible. Colors dull
in the evening air as tired fingers
of worn breath wrap around, tear out the heart.
Hours bleed remembrance throughout each street,
an old picture of the snow in my hand.
White palette of December, brazen cold
here in the throat, every word in vain.
A tongue stricken with weary repentance
wears an uneasy crown. The livid sky
draws frigid arrows down, biting shafts
unsated. Scores of shivering wounds rise
to sculpt the murder of light’s dwindling glow –
sympathy laid waste, entombed is the day.
My steps painted with a nocturnal mark,
perfumed hymns of our forgotten kingdom
blossom through the ice. Beautiful poison
courses within cathedral heights; the stone
ebbs away. Ruins of idolatry,
conjuring flurries of your witchery,
imprison this soul in memorials.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Everything is political

"Yes it is, commie."

Except this blog most of the time these days.

What can I say. I hate the political process. No, really, I do. Yet it, unfortunately, is as necessary as both air and water, whether we like it or not -- and if we're honest with ourselves, we don't, save for you insane junkie types who go past hanging on every minute of Russertapalooza and the tidal wave of online screeds and daily, nay, hourly, blog postings; you know who you are. Get some help, quick -- since its slimy tendrils have long slithered their way into every facet of existence, threatening to choke off the oxygen to our brains so that we mindlessly spend our evenings and Sunday mornings watching talking hairpieces and bitching about superdelegates, institutionalized torture, a neverending story of fraud and corruption, spineless opposition parties, a willfully supine press corps, bowling and shots of whiskey, preachers, teachers and Ricky Feacher -- sorry, a momentary Brown-out -- the falling dollar and how we're going to pay for little Susie's doctor bills all while throwing various and sundry objects at our televisions in the hope that one, just one, of them will defy the laws of physics and muss up the well-coiffed plastic skulls of those overpaid automatons.

En plus, its inherent trainwreck status makes it extremely difficult to concentrate solely on things that don't make us want to upchuck our raisin bran -- go on, try avoiding it for any length of time, I dare you -- and since I, like you -- don't deny it -- am a selfish bastard, I'd much rather be composing some more bad verse, doing my best impression of Satan gurgling hydrochloric acid while filtering my simmering rage through some Scandinavian death metal or fighting off tears like John Boehner as I lose myself in a Haydn string quartet.

But there it is.

Staring back from the shadows with its blank, bloodshot eyes dangling beneath a wizened, withered brow, uncounted thoughts of the most heinous evil clang sharply in the deepest, blackest caverns of its eternal -- until the sun goes red giant, anyway -- mind. If you listen close, you can hear them, biding their time. Waiting with the most perfect patience. Waiting for the next human error -- and it will come. Waiting to open its dripping jaws, our shivering souls exposed to the yawning abyss of madness, to be devoured, to be no more.


It is impossible for homo sapiens to ever reach a collective state of blissful tulip frolicking, and no matter how much long overdue and vitally necessary tweaking and de-monkey wrenching we do to our utterly fucked-up system, it'll still fall squarely in the camp of suck, for there is no more flawed variable in any equation one can conceive of than the variable of humanity in politics.

I haven't done a politically-themed post in awhile, so in order to rectify such an egregious oversight, let me go on, not a rant as such -- that's been taken care of above, in an aimless way, as it turned out -- but a quiet declaration of personal beliefs formulated from years of careful consideration of the issues list of things I'm right on, so kindly shut your contradictory noisehole:

Your candidate sucks.
So does yours.
The Maverick® is a fucking lunatic.
We're addicted to oil and that will never change until it becomes so scarce that we're forced to don ridiculous, poorly cobbled together S&M outfits while sporting bad haircuts as we jet across the irradiated landscape in rickety, steam-and-rubber-band-powered vehicles to kill our closest neighbors who I'm sure have a vast stockpile of the crude and who are dozens of miles away because everyone in between had died long ago from the virulent plague the government had no answer for because we're peons but just like during the Black Death, they too felt they would be immune from heaven's wrath, unlike those filthy, sinful serfs (hubris, like stupidity and death, never absent from the human condition) and so refused to formulate any kind of effective countermeasure so all one sees in the vast emptiness of the eerily vacant American landscape are rotting, abandoned buildings whose rubble, along with the miscellaneous detritus of a dead civilization, is infested with disease-carrying vermin and pustule-saturated flesh hanging and about to drop off the toxin-bleached bones of carcass after carcass strewn along the cracked, weathered highways into the endless sea of dust that stretches all the way to the Canadian border where, once beyond, one can buy cheap, yet quality, goods, relax with some herb, curb your newfound hunger at a Tim Hortons, watch hockey on the holograph, take a leisurely stroll through the wind and solar energy parks, finishing up with a smiling saunter past the sun-dappled granite of the International Polar Bear Musuem to enjoy a refreshing dip in the iceless, no-longer-Arctic Ocean.

But that's not for awhile yet. I'm going to go watch some teevee.

I think Hardball is on.

Sudden Death 2: Electric Boogaloo

"You wish you had these electric threads, Randal."

Didn't Meatloaf once sing "four out of eight ain't bad?" Okay, so I stupidly, blindly chose the Devils -- heart over head will get you every time, as the Rangers did indeed dominate the Devils during the regular season; many thanks to Spartacus for reminding me -- but dammit, five of the six Avalanche-Wild games were decided by one goal, the Capitals lost in a game 7 overtime and Anaheim was apparently still hungover from all the Stanley Cup boozing and subsequent scraping of the vomit off their skates. At least I don't dress like Don Cherry.

Montreal vs. Philadelphia: What the hell happened to the Habs power play? The Flyers have -- outside of Old Man Kovalev -- more playoff experience up front (Briere, Prospal) and clutch of impressive young talent (Lupul, Richards, Carter), but Montreal has the blueline edge and a more critical one in goal, Carey Price's game 6, third period meltdown notwithstanding. Canadiens in six.

Pittsburgh vs. N.Y. Rangers: The best young offensive talent in the game against a legitimate defensive juggernaut. Sure, the Devils weren't as potent as in years past, but Henrik Lundqvist shut them down. He won't be as successful in slowing Crosby, Malkin and the gang, and if Fleury plays like that in goal again, despite their long layoff after easily dispatching the Senators, it won't matter anyway. There will be some initial rusty butterflies to take care of. Thus, Penguins in seven.

Detroit vs. Colorado: Any chance we can round up Patrick Roy, Mike Vernon, Claude Lemieux and Darren McCarty for a battle royale? Colorado's oddly successful mix of Methuselahism (Sakic, Forsberg, Foote), injured mullets (Smyth) and wild mood swings (Theodore) worked in the first round but Detroit overcame their near-annual nemesis, an inferior first round opponent and are therefore ready for the long haul. Add in Chris Osgood playing like it was 1998 and their old guys should have enough left in the tank to move on. Red Wings in seven.

San Jose vs. Dallas: "The Sharks, deeper than most of the league and as talented as anyone, will dispatch Calgary with ease." It took them seven. "That's okay, the Stars will set the world to rights by losing as they always do in the first round because of their putrid offense." They scored 3.33 goals/game against the defending champs (and their future Hall of Famer back tandem) which would've led the NHL during the regular season. So, hell if I know. San Jose was the best road team in the league, but middle-of-the-pack at home. Since they have home ice, this can only mean they'll advance, right? Sharks in seven.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rosenkranz and Guildenstern are dead

"The hell we are! We both made movies just last year! And learn to spell while you're at it. Is everyone in the colonies as stupid as you?"

Not Rosencrantz, but German philosopher Johann Karl Friedrich Rosenkranz was indeed born on this day in 1805. I'm sure some guy with the surname of Guildenstern was as well. Both are presumed dead.

"Er, what about me?"

What about you? You're dead, too.

"But my works aren't."

Good point.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wherein I'm tempted to make stuff up

Raw. Power.

All this merely because I posted about one of my loves, professional basketball? Oh, Freida Bee, don't make me put up another piece of putrescent verse, you know I don't have anything randomly interesting left to say.

Thus, as chiseled on white marble streaked with pulsing veins of porphyry, carefully excavated from underneath an ancient temple in the faraway lands over the sea, older than the first city-states themselves, as seen in the British Museum [cue music of awe-inspiring humility and supplication] the rules:

*Link to the person who tagged you.
*Post the rules on your blog.
*Write six random things about yourself.
*Tag six random people by linking to their blogs.
*Let each of the six know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment (on each blog).
*Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

1. Whenever I hear or see the word 'frog,' the first thing that immediately pops in my head is an image of Charles Durning singing "frog legs, frog legs, get 'em while they're hot!" I have no control over this.

2. It's disturbingly comic yet thoroughly unsurprising that when one combs through past experience and events to find something worth talking about, it's nearly always something that one doesn't want to talk about, for whatever reason, good, bad or a murky mixture of the two. Does this count as number two? Damn right it does.

That sounds far more mysterious and intriguing than it truly is. I'm simply a smart aleck cartoon character with a hat. No torrid love affairs nor tales of righteous violence here.

3. After my great-grandmother kicked the bucket (save your fucking gasps, she was one snarky chick) during the waning days of Saint Ronnie's kingship, amidst the dispersal of her stuff to various members of the family, we received The Great Pumpkin, her orange Chevette, a wondrous relic of the Bitchin' Camero, bralessness and weed-saturated 70s. When one has been instructed on and driven nothing but cars with power steering, to go to that thing with its notoriously bad steering column was quite interesting. I laugh when I picture the modern jackass trying to multitask with a cell phone all-but-glued between the ear and shoulder, one hand holding a steaming hot cup of coffee -- just don't put it between your legs, the one shot at suing McDonald's is long gone -- the other desperately pleading with futility to cut him or her some slack and please, oh God/Allah/Zeus/Odin/Marduk/Flying Spaghetti Monster -- Cthulhu doesn't give a shit about your problems -- let me make this turn without crashing into that hot dog cart or mailbox!

4. I'm really straining here. I already told the story about the Lego guillotine. Wait, I do recall once upon a time that when my neighbor's dad was putting in the foundations for a deck, we stole a bag of Quick Crete to see if we could make some stone shoes. Relax. It's not as if Johnny suffered that much. He had all those fish to eat, and that's brain food, so I'm sure he used his newly discovered smarts to find his way back to the surface. Or maybe we just buried some Star Wars figures up to their necks in the backyard. At least that's what I told the cops.

5. I Can't Remember anything else.

6. No, really, I can't. So, go Earth Day, buy a Green Machine.

I'm sure everyone has been tagged or is in the process of being tagged by now, and if not, enjoy the freedom given to us by Der Leader and choose whether or not to complete this meme. God Bless Darth Vader!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

One Two and done

I felt pretty damn good entering last year's playoffs, having predicted a Cleveland-San Antonio final before the season began. No, seriously, ask around. That will not happen this season. Nor will last October's revelation that appeared in a haze of magical, purple smoke immediately after my steely gaze into the crystal ball of futurama -- not that I mind because that means the Bulls have imploded. Ha, I say to you, Flying Nunly, ha. Oh sure, the aging Spurs could wake up and win the brutal Western conference, but us? Pshaw. If the meandering Cavs end up stealing a game or two from Boston in the conference semis, eat, drink and be merry, because that'll be the limit of our rapturous joy until The Rapture. Well, unless Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce all end up on the no-fly list and simultaneously get picked up at Logan International for some European gulag-style vacation. Sweet Beelzebub, is the West loaded. The picks, don't use 'em to bet (especially after my Devils laid a colossal, prehistoric egg), yadda yadda yadda:

Boston vs. Atlanta: Well, denizens of Georgia no doubt already sweating in the humid shadows of blossoming peach trees, you got your wish fulfilled through the Mike Bibby trade: you made the playoffs. Enjoy it, because you'll be gone right quick. The unquestioned best defensive team in the league versus a bunch of brash upstarts? This one is going to be ug-lee. Celtics in four.

Detroit vs. Philadelphia: In between stretches of Rasheed and Co. whining about being disrespected and/or complaining about how the better team did not win because of the refs being aliens or a David Stern conspiracy -- and since we're on the subject of The Most Powerful Commish in Sports, can we at least recognize his complicity in this evil? Yeah, I've got a problem with tradition getting it in the ass from corporates while we subsidize their luxury suited stadia and arenas for legions of empty suits who don't even follow the fucking sport. Dave, go fuck yourself and get a job with the Bush administration while you're at it -- the Pistons are actually the deepest they've been in awhile. The hard-nosed play of the 76ers notwithstanding, Motor City shouldn't have much of a problem here. Pistons in five.

Orlando vs. Toronto: What the hell happened to the Raptors? They were within striking distacne of a three seed for awhle. And what the hell happened to Hedo Turkoglu? After Dwight Howard, he's been, by far, their best player. Didn't he used to be mediocre? I can't see the Magic becoming much more than this era's 1980s Atlanta Hawks. Talented, but not talented enough to break through. Dominique, Kevin Willis, Doc Rivers, that was a fun team. Oh yeah, this series. Magic in six, because the Raptors have to wake up at least a little, don't they?

Cleveland vs. Washington: Period of adjustment. The new guys will get with the program. They just need a killer instinct. Blah blah blah diddy blah.


Because we've got home court and the best player in the league -- sorry, Kobe fans, your guy's probable win of a Lifetime Achievement Award, a.k.a. the MVP, doesn't earn that rep in this corner. Shouldn't Memphis be the real winner? -- we'll move on, but barely. Certainly doesn't help that the Wizards big three are healthy, unlike last April. Did I mention ugh? And while we're at it, thanks for putting game one on at 12h30 EST. While I'm at work. Fuckers. Cavs in seven.

L.A. Lakers vs. Denver: O, Los Angeles, how do I hate thee, let me count the ways. On second thought, no, since I'd be here awhile. I don't want to say "if Andrew Bynum was healthy, they'd be the prohibitive favorite" because you can't just plug someone in and assume things will go smoothly, but Pau Gasol was a nice consolation prize. Add in the improvement of players such as Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic and Luke Walton and the free-wheeling Nuggets will have their hands full. Plus, isn't Marcus Camby waaaaay overdue to get injured? Lakers in six.

New Orleans vs. Dallas: This pairing isn't all that odd until one realizes that the vagabond Hornets are the #2 seed. But they are indeed very real. Hey, Atlanta, still think you did right by passing on Chris Paul, the savior of basketball in the Big Easy? Peja Stojakovic's wonky back seems to be in remission, so there's a definite outside threat to match the criminally underrated David West inside, but I imagine the Mavericks would love nothing more than to put last year's spectacularly awful flameout six feet under. With old man Kidd on board, I think they will, at least for one round. Mavericks in seven.

San Antonio vs. Phoenix: The Big Fundamental vs. Shaq Fu and plenty of mouthing and series-changing plays; it's just like the Spurs-Lakers from earlier this decade. Except the former is still All-NBA calibre whereas the Big Aristotle or the Big Decrepit or whatever he's calling himself these days isn't. But hey, if he takes up enough space, grabs double-digit boards and stays off the foulshot buffet, then sure, the Suns can advance. But Manu has returned and I can't back off my prediction of the Spurs busting their unexplainable alternating title tradition. They'll hold off the slow creep of age for one more campaign, and the Suns might end up missing Shawn Marion's defense more than they realized. This is going to be a fun series. There might even be some blood. Spurs in seven.

Utah vs. Houston: Poor Houston. They finally have, on paper at least, the team to challenge for the title and Yao Ming ends up having his season cut short extra early. Oh, and while he's out, the Rockets win a bunch more games, wrapping up at twenty-two straight, the second longest streak in NBA history. So what do they do? Get matched up with the one team that can equal their toughness. And for all the talk about how Utah is a monster at home and a puppy on the road, remember, they won game seven in Houston last year. It won't go that far, and Tracy McGrady will get blamed again when know-nothings should be blaming Yao's foot, which obviously has some extra shadowy curse laid upon it. Point guard Rafer Alton missing at least two games is just icing on the angry sports talk show cake. Jazz in six.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Don't worry, I'm not going to sing. Do you enjoy the harmonious cacophony of fingernails cascading down a chalkboard? An event quite reminiscent of me being tuneful, as tuneful as the screams the world currently finds itself going deaf from.

I'm sure once we get our house in order, we'll be able to afford that hearing aid we so desperately need. I need a drink to celebrate this upbeatness. Anyone have some ice?

And you doubted my fabulous mood. Bloody wankers.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that's right on time

"These Chinamen doors fools even me!"

Since we're on the subject of deception, in order to trick the Technorati Troll -- and what is more of altered-reality, mind-fucking space trip than that? -- one cannot simply add stuff to the side of your blog in order for the recipient to get credit; the link must be in a post. You geeky little scamps!

Anyway, these ladies have been added to the blogroll because I enjoy their writing, their witty, spiced with a bit o' the anger, commentary at various sites that fear being crushed by the Cyclopean behemoth floating in the tubes with diabolical intent that is The Google, or they've sent me cash:

Utah Savage

I've got nothing else today, but I'm in a terrible fabulous mood, so here's a happy yet understated little ballad about the three things humans do better above all else, peace, love and understanding:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Restrictions may apply

"That's a ridiculous question. Pumpkinhead steals his questions from me!"

This is unpatriotic!

Maybe Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton can sum up their policy differences in 30 seconds or less on Wednesday night.

They will have to if they are going to get their points across well on networks other than ABC, which is sponsoring the hotly anticipated Democratic debate that evening. According to the usage guidelines circulated by ABC, other news organizations are only allowed to excerpt half a minute from the broadcast.

I've been blessed by The Lord to live in the Eastern time zone, but what about our brave men and women out west? They'll be forced to engage in bated breathing while waiting for such hotly anticipated Gibby nuggets like:

"Senator Billary -- can you put down the shot glass and rifle, please? -- will you actually be able to take the call at 3 a.m. telling you that the deadly Iran/Al-Qaeda Conglomerate of Cartoon Supervillainy has started their invasion of The Free Democratic Republic Of Iraq if you're busy busting up yet another one of your husband's trysts?"

"Senator Osama, in between bouts of wiping marijuana ash from the dog-eared pages of your copy of Das Kapital, do you eat both Christian babies on your plate, or do you share a limb or two with your Muslim brethren and sistren as your communist manifesto dictates you should?"

Enjoy watching that claptrap, kids. I'm afraid I'll have to pass. That booze won't drink itself.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Nothing to see here, keep moving!"

"Smarmy comment."

[Paragraph of Z-grade snark, interspersed with links scooped out of the tubes: Bush sucks as much as the Bullpen From Hell, Cheney sucks as much as Baserunners Joe, neither Democrat would have been able to fix all that much shit because the system of which they're very much an integral part of is designed to not accept fixing (no, the good kind of fixing, there's plenty of room for 'fixing,' like elections, wink, nudge), and in a few decades, I, for one, will welcome our new Mad Max overlords.]

As your reward for paying The Man, go surf for some porn.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It was a dark and stormy night

"Hey, children, it's storytime! Today we'll be reading My Pet G --"

"Hold it right there, kid. You're gonna listen to this story instead. And don't forget the rest. If you know what's good for you."

"I know what's good for me, Sam, and it's a saucy tale."

"Saucy is fine and dandy, but how about saucy with a side of strange."

"We'll keep going. You want another one? Just say the word. Instead of going to prison you'll hear this story about a bastard."

Friday, April 11, 2008

Re - cy - cling?

"Kids, always recycle. TO THE EXTREME!"

This isn't a public service announcement about separating the aluminum cans and glass jars from the rest of your refuse, but about taking your discarded creative crap and fashioning something that is, if not worthy of praise, at least worthy of not being stabbed to death. If it was a person, which it's not.

Anyway, I don't really have any profound statements on the matter -- or on any matter, for that matter (no, no, I'll stop). Simply that when you excise chunks from your novel, lines from your poem, measures from your song, don't throw it in the garbage. Ever.

Within the poem below, there are two lines that are not all that new, one from a couple of months back, and one that is at least a few years old. I liked the imagery, the actual sound of the words, but they didn't fit all that well in the pieces they were initially cut from. Thus, where the hell is my highlighter? Always easier to have letters buried in the junk catch one's eye when they're surrounded by a sea of fluorescent orange, especially now that my vision seems to geometrically get worse with each passing year. Though for some strange reason, my wife, not that much younger than I, is the one who always gets the AARP and Golden Buckeye mailers, all while getting carded now and then when she buys the booze, whereas I probably have the visage of someone's old dirty uncle.

Oh yeah, my point.

The emotions surrounding something I've written, fragmented or not, are bound to resurface at some place in the space-time continuum, so, whenever I'm in a creative rut or suffering from the nasty infection of writer's block, I'll scour the cryptic, dead language of my notebooks -- I don't exaggerate, they honestly do look like some undecipherable, antediluvian code -- in the hope of being inspired, of finding something malleable. More often than not, that proves to be a pointless exercise of hopelessly rummaging through already-picked-clean carcasses, but if I'm feeling extra full of my default state of shit sunny or even that rarest of emotions, melancholia, the pen will be kind enough to write something. Thankfully -- or not thankfully, depending on your point of view -- it was.

Pandemonium’s death

The maelstrom screams wishes into ash
as day and night clash within gnarled whispers
of vacant words, your binding tresses. Black
secrets beneath brought forth into twilight,
into darkening shade; hallowed murmurs
arrayed in red, steeped in ways of chaos,
submit to our immortal order. Old
omens stalk, draw life in the pained quiet –
comes the misrule of seductive hours.
Desire, you create and devour
betwixt sun and moon, so pulled down below.
O time, what do mine eyes with grief behold?

Plumes of stars reawaken paradise –
the wanton illusion, the deceiver
enthroned in the constellations above.
Draped by the empyrean adorned with gold,
this legerdemain: chasms lured from sleep
to meet your gaze and find their reflection.
Clarity struck by a graceful weapon,
the silent speech lay wreathed around our feet,
punishment birthed with each wretched step
traveling beyond greying horizons
to slumber and dream in the dying lands,
to live centuries from a verdant touch.

The flame extolled, condemned, now extinguished,
descends through the coil of smoke. Evening
begins to wander amidst the vanquished.
To the vanished, the luminous spoils,
final splendors spent in a stormy dance
of crystallized wounds now quelled by discord.
Souls ensorcelled in icy ritual
sacrifice fables for one serene breath.
Darkness slips to wrap its dreadful veil
over these mouths rich with blood. Woven lines
circumscribe all the lost moments buried
with permanence from the fatigue of love.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Got Dem War Criminal Blues Again Mama!

There once was a man who liked heads ‘a shiny,
who wanted his way in ways most whiney.
While smirking up his mugs,
he conspired with thugs --
too bad none’ll ever have a roomie named Tiny.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Le sorcier poétique

Bloody hell, in my musical sadness, I can't believe I almost forgot to post this!

Christians crusade with the Bible.
Muslims jihad with the Qur'an.
Mormons serve up golden plates.
Devil worshipers spill blood to the works of Anton LaVey.
Neocons try and recreate Stalin and Hitler.
Scientologists jump like Tom Cruise.
I pluck Les Fleurs du Mal.

Bonne anniversaire, Charles Baudelaire.

I appreciate you not rising from the grave and carting your crumbling skeleton across the sea to pummel me with Ali-like efficiency, given how often I've been the flâneur strolling through your pages in my unending search for a whiff of that black magical versification. Hey, if Zep can liberally borrow from the great bluesmen, I don't see what's wrong with me doing the same to you, right? Thanks for not suing, but just to be on the safe side, I highly recommend taking a swim in this river:

Le Léthé

Viens sur mon coeur, âme cruelle et sourde,
Tigre adoré, monstre aux airs indolents;
Je veux longtemps plonger mes doigts tremblants
Dans l'épaisseur de ta crinière lourde;

Dans tes jupons remplis de ton parfum
Ensevelir ma tête endolorie,
Et respirer, comme une fleur flétrie,
Le doux relent de mon amour défunt.

Je veux dormir! dormir plutôt que vivre!
Dans un sommeil aussi doux que la mort,
J'étalerai mes baisers sans remords
Sur ton beau corps poli comme le cuivre.

Pour engloutir mes sanglots apaisés
Rien ne me vaut l'abîme de ta couche;
L'oubli puissant habite sur ta bouche,
Et le Léthé coule dans tes baisers.

À mon destin, désormais mon délice,
J'obéirai comme un prédestiné;
Martyr docile, innocent condamné,
Dont la ferveur attise le supplice,

Je sucerai, pour noyer ma rancoeur,
Le népenthès et la bonne ciguë
Aux bouts charmants de cette gorge aiguë
Qui n'a jamais emprisonné de coeur.

Dethroned Emperor

I was going to save this vintage Celtic Frost footage from 1986 for next January 20 (boy, aren't I clever), but upon hearing that Frost mainman Thomas Fischer has decided to quit the band, I figured I'd use it now. Just be careful and don't get your eyes poked out by the twirling drumsticks.

At least my sometimes better half and I got to see and meet them on their comeback tour in 2006. Man, were they fucking loud and brutal. It was beautiful. Sniff.

Evidently obvious, patently apparent

"Stop! Hearing time!"

Please hammer, hurt 'em.

Democrats in the House of Representatives on Wednesday intend to use hearings on Iraq to hammer home what they think is a key political point: that the expense of the Iraq war is making it harder for the American economy to rebound.

Republicans are critical of Democrats' efforts to blame Iraq for the economy's doldrums.

Hey now, leftist kooks, that's not fair. It's not all Iraq's fault! Some other stuff happened, too. Sheesh. Don't you guys want VICTORY?

"This latest argument from Democratic leaders smacks of political opportunism at its very worst," said House Republican leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Is there a Kleenex in the house?

And I wonder what the over/under is on how long this guy will stick around. He sounds a bit too wishy-washy, don't you think? Fair trials? Cruel, coercive techniques? Everything's cruel according to you. Keeping him chained up in the backyard is cruel. Pulling on his tail is cruel. Yelling in his ears is cruel. Everything is cruel. So excuse me if I'm cruel!

Go back to Virginia, pinko. Perhaps we can get Yoo. It's not as if he has any meetings he'll be attending in the near future.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sudden death

Out of my 1.3 readers, I believe that 0.007 of you follow hockey. Rejoice, rejoice, verily thou shalt rejoice, this post is for you! For the rest of you knuckleheads, I'll have another lazy man birthday post up tomorrow for someone artistically near and dear to me. But for now, lace up those skates and check someone into the fucking boards!

As usual, I highly recommend not using these predictions as the basis for any wager involving cash, goods or services, even more so since I get to watch far less hockey than I'd like, thanks to the bizarre sporting tastes of my fellow Americans. At least my cable company has the fucking NHL Network. Finally. And I'll always have the Blue Jackets, though let me know when they do something about that pop-gun offense. Future Vezina trophy winner Pascal Leclaire will be a future Vezina trophy winner somewhere else if they don't. Though to be fair, Rick Nash was a +3 this season and Nikolai Zherdev showed signs of life. Anyway, the picks.

Montreal vs. Boston: One figured the young talent that the Habs have been accumulating (Chris Higgins, the Kostitsyns, Tomas Plekanec, Mark Streit) would blossom at some point, but to a man, almost all did this season, and when you add in another youngster, goalie Carey Price, playing out of his head (Ken Dryden or Patrick Roy, anyone?) and the resurgence of greybeard Alexei Kovalev who had his best season in over a decade, plus already solid special teams, well, you have the East's number one seed. En plus, they completely owned the Bruins this year. No reason that should stop now. Canadiens in five.

Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa: My preseason pick for Stanley Cup champ isn't looking so hot. In my defense, how the hell was I to know that they'd waste a 15-2-0 start, both Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher would get put on, er, ice so close to playoff time and that Ray Emery would be joining Dominik Hasek and Terry Sawchuk in the We Are Looney Goalies club? Marc-Andre Fleury won't have to be Tom Barasso after all. The Senators are a fucking mess. Penguins in six.

Washington vs. Philadelphia: Forget matchups, who outside of Philadelphia is rooting for the Flyers? Alexander Ovechkin is one bad dude and sure, Philly is probably a bit deeper team after years of good drafting and smart signings and trades, but come on, Ovechkin! With an assist from rookie center Nicklas Backstrom! Capitals in seven.

New Jersey vs. N.Y. Rangers: Some things never change: every year the Devils lose pieces, Martin Brodeur is in net and the Devils make the playoffs. The supposedly high-flying Ranger offense never materialized (23rd in goals) but with young netminder Henrik Lundqvist doing his best Brodeur imitation (6th in 2.23 GAA, right after that other guy), that wasn't the death knell it could have been. But, far be it from me to not choose a team with such a diabolical nickname. Devils in six.

Detroit vs. Nashville: Kudos to the Predators for making the playoffs despite their offseason fire sale. How that town ever ended up with a hockey franchise, I'll never know. [Randal, a hint: it starts with M and rhymes with funny]. Unquestionably the most lopsided matchup of the first round, Hockeytown better remember such past first-round flameouts to inferior-on-paper opponents (Los Angeles in 2001, Anaheim in 2003, Edmonton in 2006). They will. Red Wings in five.

San Jose vs. Calgary: The Sharks are a very deep team, Evgeni Nabokov is playing wonderfully (46 wins and a 2.14 GAA) and the Flames are about as inconsistent as it gets. And with Mikka Kiprusoff suddenly human, unless he returns to his 2004 Stanley Cup form, this will be a short series. Jarome Iginla can't do it by himself. Sharks in six.

Minnesota vs. Colorado: The Wild have great special teams and are about as non-exciting a hockey team as there is. Now, I don't mean they're bloody boring like the Devils of the mid-90s, just not a whizbang fireworks display. Hey, is Marian Gaborik hurt yet? For Colorado, old man Joe Sakic is back and Jose Theodore has not sucked of late but they're just a bit more beat up than Minnesota. Thus, Wild in seven.

Anaheim vs. Dallas: Who knew there was scoring in Texas? [insert own dude ranch joke here]. Sure, it looks like Marty Turco finally has an offense to back him up (thanks Mike Ribeiro, for having your best season ever the year after I trade you from my fantasy team, asshole) but when the going gets tough, Anaheim has angry young man Chris Pronger ready to step on you (and get suspended). The Stars not having Sergei Zubov around won't help either. Ducks in seven.

Rocks and roll!

"Whoa! Their Stonehenge goes up to eleven!"

If you're into archaeology and/or old stuff, and I know you all are -- don't bother lying to me -- then you can follow the profoundly exciting revelations here as the team digs through layer after layer in hope of finding the buried treasure.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Poems for Algernon

O, mes amis, je m'excuse ! It's been nearly an entire week since we last celebrated a birthday of someone that no one ever reads anymore except as required for a college lit course. On this day over 170 years ago, English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne screamed his way into this mortal coil.

He would later write some, à mon avis, some groovy stuff, so for your literary edification, here are the first three stanzas from his A Watch In the Night. Given the state of the world, they still resonate a bit, no?

Watchman, what of the night? -
Storm and thunder and rain,
Lights that waver and wane,
Leaving the watchfires unlit.
Only the balefires are bright,
And the flash of the lamps now and then
From a palace where spoilers sit,
Trampling the children of men.

Prophet, what of the night? -
I stand by the verge of the sea,
Banished, uncomforted, free,
Hearing the noise of the waves
And sudden flashes that smite
Some man's tyrannous head,
Thundering, heard among graves
That hide the hosts of his dead.

Mourners, what of the night? -
All night through without sleep
We weep, and we weep, and we weep.
Who shall give us our sons?
Beaks of raven and kite,
Mouths of wolf and of hound,
Give us them back whom the guns
Shot for you dead on the ground.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Poll dancing

Get your mind out of the gutter. I'm not talking about this kind --

-- I'm talking about this kind:

Apparently, in the jargon of the scienticians, we think America is currently in a state of suck.

Americans are more dissatisfied with the country’s direction than at any time since the New York Times/CBS News poll began asking about the subject in the early 1990s, according to the latest poll.
Oh, you goddamn lefty kooks, whine whine whine, bitch bitch bitch. It's the same thing every single time all while everything is fine. Rosy and peachy with a hint of chartreuse, in fact. Wait, what's that you say?
A majority of nearly every demographic and political group — Democrats and Republicans, men and women, residents of cities and rural areas, college graduates and those who finished only high school — say the United States is headed in the wrong direction. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said the country was worse off than five years ago; just 4 percent said it was better off.
Gasp! Wait, relax you say? Pourquoi ?

"Because you like me, you really, really like me!"