Archive for October, 2008|Monthly archive page

trolls

alright. it’s Saturday night, I have no date, a two-liter bottle of Shasta and my all-Rush mixtape. let’s rock.
– Philip J. Fry

the newspaper endorsed Jim Gilmore for the open Senate seat in Va. well, as of tomorrow we’ll have endorsed him, so technically not yet. but no one reads this, so fuck it.
Gilmore, a former governor, is gong to lose in an honest to god landslide, to former governor Mark Warner. polls have him down by about 25, 30 points. he got the GOP nomination through a state convention, not through a primary, which means more political wrangling amongst zealots and less referendum.
to be honest, I haven’t even paid attention to the race, but my newspaper is literally one of the only editorial pages in the state that is backing Gilmore. this is because our editorial board is dominated by our publisher, who — and I’m only observing from the sidelines here — seems to be a wealthy good ol’ boy who hasn’t the slightest idea of how to run a newspaper. so, you know, of course we’re backing the arch-conservative senatorial candidate, which will only cause the locals to criticize us even more.
he’s doing this in Charlottesville. think Madison, Wisconsin. Bloomington. Ann Arbor. the entire state of Vermont. Portland Oregon. San Francisco. Aspen. this is Charlottesville.

the Gilmore editorial came on the day that we run your boy, syndicated columnist/buffoon Cal Thomas. Cal Thomas is a reactionary wingnut who sees everything in unyielding shades of black and white.
today’s column was a peach. 
Cal Thomas wrote: Electing Barack Obama president of the United States would be a roll of loaded dice. We will live (and possibly die) to regret it.

ever since the hysteria erupted over the “spread the wealth around” comment, Cal Thomas has been on the Obama socialist bend pretty goddamned hard. so I titled the column “Barack Obama, radical socialist”. fuck it. I feel responsible for having to put that page together, and that’s what the asshole is saying,


yes, fuck it. I’ll write more later.

okay, it is later.
I’ve been reading on Jim Gilmore’s website. … on the “issues” page. and if this is any indication, Jim Gilmore seems to be just another run of the mill conservative candidate. strong military, tough on immigration, thinks gay marriage should be illegal and abortion outlawed. I’m not looking very hard, but if this is basically what he’s been running on for the last couple of months, then he hasn’t been trying very hard.
with that in mind, the senate election I’m gonna probably sit out. 
in 2006 I voted in California. the one ballot I didn’t fill out was the gubernatorial one; I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger. it just seemed so … ridiculous. and I knew nothing about the guy he was running against. Democratic party treasurer from LA, I think.
so according to just about every poll, Warner’s going to beat Gilmore by a wide margin. and I haven’t paid any attention to either candidate, besides the snap judgments I’ve made of both of them:
Gilmore’s a cretinous thug who commands the respect of no one but the most detestable members of his party, and Warner’s a millionaire businessman from northern Virginia who got into politics ten years ago, because that’s what successful businessmen do.
I don’t like politicians like this, who see their successes in the private sector as a mandate for election to public office. I don’t like Terry McAuliffe. I don’t like Mitt Romney. Warner, fair enough, did a stint as governor, and did well what the governor should do: manage the state’s economy. beyond that, I’m nonplussed. this thing’s a foregone conclusion, anyway, so I’m not going to sweat it at all. congratulations, Senator Warner.

now, Goode and Perriello, on the other hand …

don’t worry, I’m on it again

“God has so richly blessed our land with the supplies we need.”
– Sarah Palin, explaining why Baby Jesus thinks we should drill for the inadequate amounts of oil underneath wildlife refuges.

I’ll be back later.

I am back, and in a foul mood. thank god there’s politics to ruin baseball!
let’s us follow Barack Obama’s primetime informercial.

this is what a giant warchest buys you. follow along as Obama introduces us to America.

first up: some asshole in Kansas City who has about six kids and can’t afford to get his ACL fixed. is money a problem, sir? then maybe you shouldn’t have so many kids. I’m allowed to say that, because I’ll never get elected to anything.

Obama’s back, standing in a gazebo and talking to a pensioner who looks like he’s about to cry … and this is an ad. I think these people are actors. everyone looks to scrubbed.
someone’s noodling on an acoustic guitar.
and now Ted Strickland. “he’s a Democrat who’s gonna cut taxes!”
Kathleen Sebelius: it must be his Midwest roots. I agree, Sebelius. it must be.

now, a new family that Obama’s talkin’ bout: a black couple in Ohio. retirees, own their home. had to take a loan out on their house because they gotdam Medicaid ain’t cutting it. Larry had to go to work at Wal-Mart like a chump to pick up the slack. okay, I’ve got nothing snide to say about them. this genuinely looks like it sucks. 

Obama’s talking about energy independence. blah blah blah, talking points, you know, he’s gonna kill McCain. he’s gonna fucking kill him. look at this, he’s talking on a network television station for half an hour before a fucking World Series game. what’s McCain doing? my money’s on a circle jerk with a bunch of +50 veterans.

more endorsements: Tim Kaine, and that piece of shit from Google, Eric Schmidt, they like Obama too. this motherfucker knows busniess, they say, as we move to more scenes of Obama talking to rooms full of polite white people.

and now we’re on to education policy. lots of children and soft piano music. pictures of his parents.
says education and health care are a right for all Americans. and speaking of health care, he’s got an idear how to fix it. two words, bitches: Information Technology. computerized health records is on the way.

oh, and he’s a good father.
here’s your boy Dick Durbin: he was a clear leader in Springfield, Illinois.
and Claire McCaskill: “he had to fight senior members of the Senate who liked it just fine the way it was”, what with their fancy airplane rides and such.
Joe Biden: he and Big Dick Lugar stopped Loose Nukes! also, he was impressed with the way he came in and just asked tough questions. of all of the cheesedick, instantly-recognizable bullshit moments during the last 20 minutes, this is the most obvious one.
Obama, paraphrased: Biden’s the greatest senator ever, which, of course, is why I picked him.

next family, hillbilly autoworkers. I have nothing to say, except that the patriarch of this family has a nice moustache.

now, images of the Great Depression and stock footage of WWII.
“I learned from an early age from my grandparents how vital it is to defend liberty.” what did I learn from my grandparents? A) never trust management, and B) Gary was cool until black people moved in. racism dies hard. 
but this is his foreign policy segue, cause now  we’re talking about foreign policy. he’s gonna, apparently, be one mean son of a bitch. but he understand it’s family members who fight our wars, so he won’t go too nuts.
Bill Richardson, foreign policy expert: this guy could be a great president!

and now, he finishes with a climactic live speech in Orlando, Florida. packed house. Biden’s on stage with him. wide shots, lots of people.

you know, I intrinsically prefer Democrats to Republicans, and when you peel away the bullshit, Obama to McCain, but this is just too much. this country would elect a goddamn vampire to the presidency if that vampire had enough money. this last half hour is much less democracy than it is a fucking advertising campaign. Obama’s flying off the shelves right now.
either way, next Tuesday’s gonna be a bloodbath. John McCain’s gonna get stomped like a grape.

on with the World Series.

I can’t believe it it’s true!

Daunte Culpepper just worked out with the Lions, and they’re talking contract.
holy shit, that’s big news! not kidding! I’m excited. and I will report back later when I find more out.

wolves

Dave said the other day, “all you do on the blog is write about politics.” I said, “no, I don’t, Dave.” but he’s right. it’s all I write on right now.
hey, did you hear there’s an election coming up?

this turned up on CNN and Politico tonight. Politico has it as tensions rising within the McCain campaign. CNN has it as ‘Palin’s ‘going rogue”.
Sarah Palin is off the reservation, people.
I will agree that the media has basically called it for Obama. I was talking to a friend of mine from work the other night, Rachana, who said as much. she’s a cool head, and I think she’s right. still, you gotta wonder how much that affects things so far out, and what came first: the growth of Obama’s lead, or the growing assumption that he will win. I tend to think he grew his lead on his own, and then the 24-hour news cycle jumped on board, and after that it tended to snowball. I disagree that there was any bias involved in it; I just think We The People like to have a clear favorite. and if the McCain campaign managers hadn’t been such fuckwits up to this point, I think the election wouldn’t be pointing toward a landslide, like it is right now.
yes. landslide. you know how it’s gonna be a landslide? according to a Big Ten Poll released this week, Obama’s on top of McCain by ten points in Indiana. ten points. in Indiana
more on Indiana later. 

anyway. Palin’s “people” say she’s been mismanaged. and a McCain aide says she’s a diva, and Politico suggests that she’s gonna be at the lead of one of the vicious factions of terrifying cannibals in the looming Republican civil war.
that war is coming. no, really, it’s coming, I guarantee it. we’re still ten days out from the general election, the Republicans are about to get murdered, and it looks like they know it. already there are lines being drawn in the sand. take, for example, the Post’s editorial page on Friday. it had, on one day (and I’m not kidding) that EJ Dionne column I made note of yesterday about this coming fight; a Charles Krauthammer column endorsing McCain and damning those who’ve jumped ship — “I’d rather lose the election than lose my bearings,” he writes, and then he starts naming names; and a Kathleen Parker column suggesting that McCain picked Palin because he wants to fuck her … which is unequivocally the dumbest thing I’ve read all week, but she has a point. people are thinking about it (but careful there, lo-jack, this link is most definitely pornography).
all of that’s fine. fuck them. I hope they all come out of those battles emotionally and physically scarred. but what I got out of the CNN and Politico stories was that O Yes, it is true: the McCain campaign didn’t spend a lot of time vetting their vice presidential pick. and now they have a certain Ms. Somebody on their ticket who they don’t fully understand, let alone agree with.
and if this evil hooker from Alaska ends up a national political force for the next ten, fifteen years, a new mouth-breathing heroine for social conservatism, well. then these stupid bastards who unleashed her upon us should be held accountable, retroactively, for that crime.
we will say: fuck you, Steve Schmidt. look what you did, you asshole. are you happy?

so yeah, man, Indiana.
Lake County made the national AP wire today because of the fight Democrats and Republicans are having over early voting sites. this made me tear up. home, sweet home!
the Canadian read the story, and he said that that was horrible, this intentional voter disenfranchisement. see, the local GOP wants satellite early voting stations in Gary, East Chicago and Hammond shut down because they argue that the county election board must be unanimous in approving them. the election board voted party line because these cities, which are far from the county seat and the one guaranteed early voting station, are poor and very, very blue. and the Republicans want to make it as hard as possible for the Democrats to get all of those minorities to the polls. it is an election season, after all.
oh, yes, I agree, yes. it is horrible. harrible! but the poor Canadian has underestimated the Lake County Democrat. to wit, I will posit that Democrats, at least before this election cycle, have generally been viewed as weak, passive politicians. fuck, I’d argue that they didn’t actually win in the 2006 midterms, the Republicans just managed to fuck up so completely that the only thing they could do was lose.
but the Lake County Democrat is unlike its national brethren. the Lake County Democrat is corrupt to the core, is of very loose morals, and has giant, swinging balls. so the Republicans will make some bullshit argument about how everyone should have to drive all the way down to Crown Point from Hammond and Gary to get to an early voting station. and it will look bad, because this argument will fall on political partisan- and racial lines, because everybody knows Gary is black, East Chicago is hispanic, and Hammond is everything, and all are very democratic. but this will not work. because this is Lake County, whitebread. it may as well be Chicago in the 1950s. and those goddamned polls will stay open. 

it’s now around 1:30 in the morning, and the World Series game is in the 9th inning. rain delay. the Rays just intentionally walked two batters to load the bases after as baserunner reached third on a wild throw. that strikes me as pretty goddamned dumb, even if they’re playing for a strikeout, then a double play. but then again, I know nothing about baseball. … oh wait. ope. Phils win. 
but I just stumbled upon this delicious nugget of information: because there was a stolen base in the first game, that means free tacos at Taco Bell on Tuesday.
hell yes. I am there. thank god for sports tie-in promotions.

carving

got another copy of ‘Daily Operation’ today. 
that’s three albums I’ve restored. Neil Young’s ‘Harvest’, ‘Bone Machine’ by Tom Waits. and Gang Starr. Gang Starr and Neil Young I lost, Tom Waits, Josh lifted off of me. that son of a bitch.

I’ve been noting the conservative implosion recently. I’m not the first, and not the last. opinion columnist in the Washington Post/whatever else he farms himself out to noted it today. I want to say that the party is eating itself, but I’ll wait until after McCain loses spectacularly. he hasn’t done it yet, which means it isn’t guaranteed. certainly looks that way, though, doesn’t it?

so yeah. pretty goddamned boring evening. nothing on my mind. nothing at all. what a shame.

negotiation

I took an astronomy class in college, got a D. not because that class was especially hard, but because I was a stupid asshole and didn’t bother to study. but I did get one cool thing out of it: NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. that’s it, above. makes you want to find a telescope to look through.
I gotta move to the country. out west. like, northern Nevada. where you can look up at the sky at night and see the lights, and not from the city. now, just to become independently wealthy, and I can set this plan in motion. 
and, just cause I’m here right now: there’s gotta be life out there. has to be. you know how many goddamned stars are out there? no? I don’t either, but it’s a helluva lot. there has to be life somewhere else. the law of averages demands of it.

Lebanon

“When you are torn between your wanting to live and your feeling that you are in real danger, you choose to defend yourself, even if you know you could die, and even when you know your death would be gratuitous.”

television

TV’s on. I’ve got the volume muted. there’s a commercial with an anthropomorphic frog on, seling air fresheners. it’s kind of bugging me out.

back to school

tomorrow, I am going to call an advisor at the school of education in Bloomington to ask her about my options as to going back for my teaching certificate. I’ve been planning on this for a while; and I’m writing it on here because this way, half a dozen people I know will read it, and they’ll know I planned to do it, and in the event that I don’t, this will make me feel that much more like a failure.
the idea is, I’ll shame myself into action. we’ll see if it works.

more television

okay, now there’s a show on called ‘Sons of Anarchy’. it’s got that blonde guy with dreads from ‘Children of Men’, Ron Perlman, and Peggy Bundy. about a biker gang, and all the drama that goes with it. it’s not bad, except that I read “Hells Angels” a couple of years ago, so all of this bullshit about virtuous, multicultural 1 percenters is kind of hard to believe. whatever. this is the third, fourth episode I’ve watched. I guess that means I like it.

film festival

Charlottesville holds a film festival, every year; The Virginia Film Festival, they call it. that makes sense, of course they do. can you imagine any other city in this state holding a film festival?
anyway, there’s a movie they’re gonna show starring your boy Mickey Rourke, called “The Wrestler”. I wanna see this flick, but I’m scheduled to work. so put the word out: I’m scheming to get this evening off. your boy Mickey Rourke’s in it, come on!

TCB, BTO

Politico published a story about shrill US Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) yesterday. Bachmann is mostly known for saying outlandish shit, kissing President Bush on the cheek, and … and that’s about it; she’s only been in office since 2006. she doesn’t have any cred or creed, any real principles. she’s a conservative at the ass-end of a three decades of conservative dominance, and that means she’s into the war, off-shore drilling, the US Chamber of Commerce loves her, and she wants a ban on same-sex marriage. I haven’t looked up her record, but I’d be willing to bet that that’s what it is.
anyway, the story focuses on her apparent desire for media attention, and how this desire recently manifested into her calling for an investigation into how “pro-America or anti-America” certain members of Congress are.
she said this on a Friday-afternoon talking head show on MSNBC, which means that … oh, jesus christ, why am I going into this? who cares? this woman’s a non-factor. who gives a shit what this cartoon character thinks? she’ll probably lose re-election, go back to the Minneapolis burbs, have another dozen kids, be wealthy and despised by her neighbors.
the only reason I’m writing about this is because the article headline is “Bachmann turns to overdrive”. BTO, man! somebody at Politico has a sense of humor.

the Brooklyn pennant

‘A New Hope’ is on. this movie is the shit.

I took the train up to see Phil the other day.
the train station is about a ten minute walk from here, so I set my alarm to a point where I’d be able to hit snooze a couple of times, which I did. got up, packed, showered, left, went out of my way to get the newspaper, and walked into the train station as the train pulled up. cause I’m that. slick.
the train, while more comfortable than an airplane would have been, was still not that comfortable. I’d still take a train any day of the week rather than fly, travel is travel.
but it’s pretty amazing, nonetheless, that I can get on a train ten minutes from my house and get off it six hours later in midtown Manhattan. here it is:

.
this spot in New York City I know better than any others. when I was 16, my brother did two weeks at New York’s CNN bureau. I went up and stayed for a couple of days just for kicks, and the CNN bureau was right there. so that was kind of “the hub”.
so Phil met me, and then we proceeded to fuck around for a few hours. with beer and walking about and bitching about the government. we went through Columbus Circle. the south end of Central Park. saw the Plaza. walked down, Madison Ave. past all of the fuckin’ banks, to what is it, to Rockefeller Center. etc.

took the train from the site of the WTC under the river to Jersey City, where Phil lives with the girlfriend he’s had forever. who is cool.
ordered pizza, got sprinkle cones from the Mr. Softee who drove by. that was some cool shit, I wish I had an ice cream guy who came by with precise regularity. really, think: a motherfucker drives by your house, with a bunch of delicious ice cream, and he’ll hook you up for $1.50. that’s genius. I could make a killing.
we watched the debate. I thought McCain jumped out to an early lead — not because of his stronger policy proposals, but because he was aggressive, talking well and in a groove, and Obama was not. and then he started with the Joe the Plumber bullshit, and that was that: everything just became ridiculous.

but that seems like decades-old news. the only news is that the debate was a draw, and McCain did nothing to slow Obama’s continuous march to the presidency. today’s news was your boy Colin Powell; a once-proud man who it appears was used by the Bush administration so it could get its goddamned war, he endorsed Obama. this article is great, too. you should read it.
that’s some fucking news. you know, endorsements can only go so far — Scarlett Johansson publicly supports Obama, and that’s not newsworthy — but, really. an endorsment from a legitimate voice, one roundly respected by all? the kind of guy who can get himself booked on ‘Meet the Press’ by picking up the phone two weeks before the election and saying “I have an announcement to make”? that’s news.
I think it says something raw and fundamental about what the Republican party has become when a national political figure I always kind of thought of as a staple Republican endorses the other candidate. 
but I’m not gonna go to the wounded animal analogy again. no: it’s like the GOP has got a fever, and in a few months its body is going to forcibly eject neoconservatism from its orifices. projectile vomiting and diarrhea. and in that bloody wake, it’s gonna crush the Dick Cheneys and Paul Wolfowitzes and Rumsfelds and Richard Pearles under its boot. then a week or two in bed (or, relatively speaking, a couple of presidential cycles) and then it’ll be back, healthy, once more in the ring.

so the next morning we went and got breakfast and then took a train back into town. we fucked about in the financial sector. saw Alexander Hamilton’s grave. saw a Ralph Nader rally on the steps of Federal Hall. the New York Stock Exchange. watched tourists cup the anatomically correct bull statue’s balls.
took the Subway back up to Penn Station, smoked a cigarette, high-fived it, and bam. back on the train.
on the way back, I almost read through ‘Hey Rube’ by Hunter S Thompson. key word is almost. I have about fifty pages to go. they’ll go quick, when I get around to it.

some pictures to follow.

Rockefeller Center. I think of that Peanuts made-for-TV Christmas movie.

Grand Central Terminal.

Phil unenthusiastically joining the protest.

I went on a trip

I’ll write more on this later. until then …

11:30 pm, Wednesday. Jersey City, NJ:

“hey man. you want a banana?”

hitting doubles

edit: speaking of Dave, his brother, Jay, is coming to DC. I know this guy!

I’m watching a movie called ‘BloodMonkey’ with F Murray Abraham.

I’ve been laying off writing about politics for a while.
going back, at stretches, I’d write something every day, whether it was worth it or not. but in the last few days politics has devolved into stupid rednecks feeding off the political energy, screaming oaths against Obama. Williams Ayres. this ACORN bullshit.
McCain’s campaign is thrashing about like a wildebeest that just took a sideful of buckshot at close range. a dying animal, surprised and terrified by its impending mortality. bleating as it kicks up a cloud of dust on the living Savanna. desperation in its huge, wild eyes. if the wildebeest manages to get its legs underneath it, it might make it for a few more weeks … shit, it could maybe even win the election. but it’s very close to requiring a mercy killing.
John Kerry is on MSNBC right now. Kerry is an incorrigible asshole, but he’s a hilarious political attack dog. they come so easily to him, his rants on Republicans. it’s because these rants are paraphrases of everything he desperately wanted to say to George Bush in 2004, and now he can say it; you can see that he’s an intelligent man, albeit also stiff and vanilla, and he’s less detestable in this role. “catharis, John. let her rip.”

but tomorrow — or more precisely, in about eight hours — I’m taking the train up to NYC to hang out with Phil. in my phone, his number is listed as “Phils dumb ass”. this makes me laugh whenever he calls. this trip was kind of planned around the debate, so I need to get my ass in gear and start enjoying politics again.
so, with that, I’ll say that I saw Kathleen Parker talking to Stephen Colbert the other night, and while I have hated virtually everything I’ve ever read by her (I literally used to read Townhall.com regularly just to keep my boiliing distaste for conservatives at a boiling fever), I must say she’s a lot more likeable now. it probably had something to do that I thought she was pretty hot for a middle-aged woman. but politically, she’s still swine.

I also informed Smith that I’m installing myself on the White Sox bandwagon. I’m putting my goddamn foot down. baseball has grown on me this season, and after the last couple of weeks of hitting doubles and watching the playoffs, I gotta have a horse in the race. 
I back Chicago sports, Bears, Bulls, etc. so, when I was in Ind. a few weeks ago, I was talking baseball with Dave, and he said, “which Chicago team do you back?” Dave is a huge Cubs fan. and before I could answer, he said, “don’t say both.”
around there, you gotta come down on a side. alright, then, Dave, fuck it. White Sox. I’ve always leaned that way anyway, I’ve never just drawn a line in the sand about it.

I should be sleeping.
so I will take a lot of pictures in NYC. I bought a bunch of batteries so the thing doesn’t die on me.
and I’ll be back directly, in two days.