Thursday, September 29, 2005


The Bug Man quickened his pace. Bent at the hip, his shoulders thrust forward like a spinster with a crumpled spine, he could have easily been mistaken for a man trying to outrun an approaching thunderstorm. But there was no rain falling from the night sky of the capital city - just the swamp's notorious, sinful stickiness. Humid and heavy as always, the air pressed down like a heavy burden, or a heavy conscience. Tonight, though, was even tougher going for the Bug Man. He could feel an added pressure in the hazy atmosphere, a feeling that his life's work - his resilient diligence to the Party, his ruthless gamesmanship, his uncompromising corruption - had erroneously manifested itself as a punishing physical burden, like a pile of coal thrown into a bundle upon his back, which the Bug Man had no choice but to carry lugubriously through the night. He pressed on, moving swiftly down the leaf-cluttered street.

As he shuffled, alone, down the lonely Georgetown lane, a flurry of emotions flashed through his mind: retribution, sabotage, rage, violence. "'Do unto others,' the Bible says. And what if others fuck you over? What if they fuck you hard?" the Bug Man thought to himself. He paused for a second, then snickered. "Come on, Bug Man. This isn't the first time your back has been thrust, forcefully, against the wall."

"And it won't be the last," he said aloud, to no one.

He turned the corner and walked hurriedly to his destination, his house. Waiting for him there were his wife, his children, his beautiful little lies. For forty years, these were his dirty secrets, his endless facade. They were the daily reminders of a lifetime of duplicity. He stopped.

"What am I doing? I can't go back there. Not tonight. Not after what happened today."

For a moment he stood perfectly still, listening to the croaks of the bullfrogs along the Potomac and the yellow leaves falling delicately to the sidewalk. A moment of simple, unpredictable solitude, followed by an epiphany. The Bug Man would not be spending tonight with his wife. He alone knew whose touch could heal the wounds of his heart; whose body would be the balm that covered and closed his scars. He knew it deep in his blood; the simple realization of the moment seemed more clear to him than all of the senseless political agendas he'd spent his life so tirelessly fighting for. He reached into his pocket for his cell phone, already thinking to himself what he would say and how he would say it, and as he grabbed the phone's hard plastic casing his hand brushed against his growing erection, pushing against his pant's dark fabric, alert and aware, ecstatic and alive.


Brownie sat alone at the end of the bar, hidden in the dark shadows of the old mahogany panelling. "The Log Cabin" was the last place anyone would expect to find him, and Wednesday nights were always slow. He knew this place well from his Arabian Horse Association days - more than a few times he'd found himself frustrated with the incompetency of his staff and left, unnoticed, at four in the afternoon for a whiskey and a screw. Funny how the mind works. Funny how he could look back now and remember those times fondly. The halcyon days. The salad days.

"Fucking assholes," he muttered to himself. "What do they think I am, some kind of superhero?"

He felt the rage rising again, unmuted and righteous. He swung the thick, heavy glass in his hand in small circles, listening as the cubes of ice swirled and clinked together like windchimes. Already that night he'd tried to find some outlet for his pain, and for his desires. Already he'd bought drinks for three men sitting near him at the bar; already three men had recognized him and declined his offer.

"Thanks," one man had said. "But I'm not New Orleans."

In the glowing half-light of the television screen, images from his hearing, taped earlier that day in front of Congress, reflected off of Brownie's face. He drank the rest of his whiskey in one gulp, grimacing, then placed the glass down on the bar and pounded the wood with his fist.

"Damn these liberals," he said through gritted teeth. "Damn them to hell."

Brownie peered behind the bar and tried to grab the attention of Mike, the bartender, who seemed to be chatting to a young Asian man with soft skin and a well defined chest. It was clear the Asian worked out. His body was tight but not slight; his demeanor commanding but approachable.

"If only," he thought to himself. "If only."

Not even the shameful, darkened corners of "The Log Cabin" were a suitable place to hide from his bottomless wells of self-pity. Brownie felt beaten, mugged. Robbed of his pride.

"How dare they," he said to himself aloud. "How dare those bastards."

Something shook against his leg. A muscle spasm? Immediately he remembered what his doctor had told him, that the previous weeks' overwhelming stress could lead to a stroke or, worse, a heart attack. "Do they start in your thigh?" he wondered hastily. A brief moment of panic and then, with relief, he remembered. His number two phone, the outgoing only phone. The "Bat Phone". For a second, as he tried to push the fuzzy inebriation from his head, he sought to remember to whom he'd given this number. Certainly no one in his family. Certainly no one at FEMA, who never gave a goddamn about him before "The Disaster" and surely didn't now. No, no, it was coming back to him. There was one person who knew the number. One person he trusted, one person he wanted to receive a call from, at any time, in any situation. One person who made the little crony in his pants shake the sleep out of his eye and harden with vigor. He held the phone in his hand, then pressed it lightly to his face.

"I want you to demote me," Brownie whispered. The voice on the other line panted, the breaths heavy. Brownie went on, encouraged. "I want to feel your feeding tube inside me." He waited for a reply, hoping he hadn't gone too far.

"You'll have to indict me first," came the voice on the other end.

"Are you asking me to be your special prosecutor?"

"Only if you can promise prison time. And only if I get bottom bunk."

"Oh, you've been a bad boy, haven't you?"

"Guilty as charged."


Brownie put the phone back in his pocket and tried to compose himself. Sweat gathered in the creases of his palms. He stood on one leg and tugged at his slacks, trying to hide the bulge of his enlargening genitals, the hibernating bear that finally, after a too-long winter, smells the scent of salmon in the rivers and feels the urge - that innate need - to hunt and to kill and to gorge. It was stumbling toward the entrance of the cave, ready to see the springtime sun, ready to splash in the mountain river, ready for its destiny.

The entrance door opened and the bar fell quiet. Only the sound of the jukebox arm, pivoting and whirring and reaching for another record, could be heard. The door closed and a man in a trenchcoat walked toward the corner, toward Brownie. As he inched closer, the jukebox glowed and snaps from the needle hitting the dusty record popped over the speakers. A piano, then a voice.

When the shades are drawn
And the light of the moon is banned
And the stars up above
Walk the heavens hand in hand
There's a shady place
At the end of the working day

The Bug Man stood next to Brownie's stool. He stared into his eyes, remembering the hot summer nights they had shared together. The golfing trips to Scotland. The box seats at the baseball games. The quick getaways to Korea, the secret trysts that not even Abramoff knew about. He looked at the man sitting next to him and tried to see something new and beautiful in his lover's eyes. Finally, Brownie met the Bug Man's gaze and spoke, softly, haltingly.

"Couldn't find any Indian chiefs to fuck?"

The Bug Man held his stare. "It's people like you that make me ashamed to be an American."

Brownie stared back, then turned to play with the empty glass on the bar. "Not a fan of bureaucrats, Tom?"

"Or pass-the-buckers."

Brownie smiled and nodded. The Bug Man knew where to hit, where to stick the knife and how far to turn it. A little too much and it was painful, dangerous. But just enough and it was ecstasy, it was a dance on hot coals, that strange erotic thrill of being spit on and slapped.

"Must be tough having such high standards," Brownie countered.

"Not exactly something you'd know about, is it, Brown?" Turning, turning, slowly twisting the blade.

"Pretty rough words for an alcoholic Orkin Man."

"Oh, I'm sorry, can you not handle rough?" the Bug Man asked, placing his hand on Brownie's thigh and squeezing, rubbing.

"I can handle anything you've got."

"I've got a natural disaster brewing in my pants. Can you handle that?"

"I'll do a heck of a job," Brownie replied. He grabbed the Bug Man's hand and moved it the four inches to his groin, needing so badly a hand there, needing a man's hand.

"And if I ruin your ass, you won't blame someone else?"

"I'll blame you, you son of a bitch. I'll blame you, I'll tell everyone about-"

The Bug Man kissed Brownie passionately, forcefully. He thrusted his throbbing lobbyist into his lover's equally swollen, fully-competent political appointee.

"Why did I have to fall in love with you?" whispered Brownie. "You're a disgusting, evil man."

"Shhh..." the Bug Man softly said, putting his fingers to the other man's lips. "Let's not speak of love tonight."

They paused and held each other, gently, tenderly, and listened to the softly playing jukebox . For us, they think. For us alone.

There's a jukebox plays all night
And we can dance real close
Beneath the pulse of a neon light

"I want you, Tom," Brownie said, breathing hotly into the soft folds of the Bug Man's shirt. "I want you to destroy my infrastructure."

Lord have mercy
You can't sit still
You can't sit still

Tom pulled Brownie's face toward his own and looked into the man's magical, delicate eyes. "I'm going to redistrict your rectum."

"Oh God, I want you to hammer it. I want you to hammer it hard."

"I can hammer it. I can hammer it and I will, I'll hammer it, I'll hammer it, I'll hammer it..." his whispers getting softer and softer, his hand clasping his lover's, the two of them then walking toward the door, through the shadows, into the humid capital city night, into each other's arm, into love - if only for a night.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


"Happiness, like despair and malaise, can be found in the sparrow's bush."

"To be pure in spirit, one must travel to the desert of his mind and clean all the rocks."

"When you sleep, be like the eagle who soars over the mountain, so that you never stop moving."

"This life is but a mirror to our dreams, through which we see the clarity of truth."

"Jealousy, like a bear, can only be killed through starvation."

"The sky's lightning bolts remind us not to be thieves in the image of a fox."

"Do not lust for your brother's wife; let her lust for you and stone her."

"The strongest tree in the countryside is like a stalk of grass compared to the power of the cricket that sings through the night."

"If you look into the face of your friends and see joy, look away as they wish to steal it from you always."

"To the simple man, perseverance is more important than luck. To the civilized man, there is only one option: to persevere with luck."

"Human misery is the donkey balm that mends the sheep's scars."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Dear Editor, The Upland Reporter and Weekend Trader:

Maybe you've noticed there was a hurricane or two. I saw them. I read about them in your paper and I heard about them on the radio. Ask me if I'm surprised. Well, I'm not.

People forget that God's judgment is supreme. He doesn't cotton to sinfulness and sexual vagaries. Maybe you've heard about Sodom and Gomorrah? Sure you have, it's all there in the Bible. When you let the homosexuals prance around in the streets something bad is bound to happen. God can only hold His nose for so long. That's what people tend to forget. God is always watching, even when it seems like He's not. So, if you want to say hello to the homosexuals and treat them like normal human beings, be sure you're also ready to say goodbye to your city, is what I'm saying. It's there in the Bible.

And what about all those riverboat casinos? Did you know that the day before the hurricane came through they were fixing to open the largest casino riverboat ever on the Gulf Coast? Doesn't take a rocket scientist to put two and two together. I don't claim to be a smart man but I do know up from down. Did you hear that in one of those casinos there were rooms where you could drink alcohol, gamble, and watch naked ladies dance around? A swift hand comes through and smashes all that garbage to bits and we sit around and try to figure out what it is God's trying to tell us. Huh, gee. I wonder.

I heard on the Rush Limbaugh show the other day that it's a known fact that most of the people of New Orleans were on welfare. And that those people on welfare were smoking crackpipes with the money the government gave them. I told my neighbor Jack Hendry back in 1964 that welfare wouldn't get this country a square inch and don't mind me if I assume for a second that I was right. You think God condones sloth and depravity? Those people live in America, they shouldn't be blaming anybody. My dad was poorer than an Indian without a teepee, but he still succeeded and even became an usher at our church. Sit around on your behinds all day doing drugs and shooting your neighbor - you better believe God's got some opinions about that kind of behavior.

I saw on Fox News the other day that now we have the ACLU coming down and causing a stink. Who died and made them kings? They think they have all the answers. Well, you know who does have all the answers? I'll give you a hint. Starts with a G and ends with a D.

And here's another thing: didn't the government just order all the courthouses to remove the Ten Commandments from their lawns? You don't think God's maybe blowing off a little steam at the fact that He's no longer welcome in our public institutions? I know I'd be a little miffed if I sent my only son to earth to die for everyone's sins only to be forgotten and despised. Another wonderful moment in American history for which we can thank the ACLU. Before you know it, the court will be mandating orgies and pederasty and after it's too late and God has smited us all we'll think, "huh, maybe we should have stopped those liberals before they got on a roll." I'm not a person who's afraid to call a spade a spade.

I wonder how many abortions those welfare moms down in New Orleans have had. I'm guessing a whole heck of a lot more than the number of people who might've died in the storm. God's giving you a wake-up call, people. What if my mom had had an abortion? I tell you, sometimes I'm glad she didn't and sometimes I wonder what the heck this whole world is coming to and figure that somebody should have rubbed me out before I knew any better. But ask me if I think killing babies is something Jesus would've done. I don't know everything, but I do know that me and God are in agreement when it comes to that one.

This used to be a country that feared and worshipped God and asked for His blessing. I guess nowadays it's easier to fear and worship your local Taco Bell or your internet porn that it is to get on your hands and knees and ask for some repentance. We live in the age of the "me" culture, and I for one am sick of everyone sticking all their sin in my face all the time, then sitting around shocked when God sends in the calvary to clean up the battlefield.

Seems like nowadays the liberals and the gays and the media elite don't mind telling everyone else how they should or shouldn't live. Well, maybe if they took a page from Jesus's life and just tried showing a little humility, we all wouldn't find ourselves in such a mess.

Yeah, right. Don't hold your breath.

Welcome to the future, people. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Maximillian Morris
(via telegraph)

Monday, September 26, 2005


For D'Angelo, a man I've often joked about but always respected; a man whose music has not always been fully appreciated, but whose silky smooth falsetto love-whisper has proven and reinforced a legendary legacy of body-rocking, mind-blowing, sweat-pouring, butt-shaking, wang-dangling, toe-licking, old-faithful-producing coitus.

So tonight, as you make love to your partner, turn off the Coldplay or the Charlie Parker or the Mannheim Steamroller. Root through your pile of dust-covered jewel boxes and pull out that sweet, sweet Brown Sugar. Smoke a jay and light some candles and - my friends, you do not want to forget this step - set your CD player to "repeat". Hide the clocks and forget who you are. Let D'Angelo take you away; ride your pony through that August meadow, the sun slipping through the sky and pulling the blue with it, an orgy of colors on the endless horizon as your pony bucks and gallops and sends you reeling through a field of lillies and roses. Be one with the D'Ange. Be him while you can.

D'Angelo, above, is pictured right before, right after, or during the physical act of love, a practice he indulges in, on average, every 52 minutes.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Hello, little rabbits. Sincerest apologies for letting you alone this past week, leaving you to fend for yourself in the darkened thickets of the garden of Man. You may have asked yourself, "My lands, I wonder what happened to that nice fellow, Mr. American Mastodon?" You might have continued, "I do hope he is all right."

Well if it's worth anything to you, and I hope it is, I thank you for your possible concern. As it is, I am quite fine and happy as a clam. Now just how do you think that saying came about? Is it because clams smile? Or at the least appear to smile, what with the curvature of the opening of their respective shells? I would guess that's it, but I'm no malacologist (that's science-speak for a person who studies mollusks). Nor am I am an etymologist. In fact, I'm not really an ologist of any kind, save being an ologist of smoove, which makes me a smoove-ologist. However, I should note that smoove-ology is not considered by most universities a credible academic field, though gains have been made in recent years.

Gee, it's kind of hard to just jump back in to the tepid waters of the blogosphere. Actually, that's a lie. Blogging may be the easiest thing in the world. It's the shame of blogging that is hard to overcome, the nagging self-doubt and self-consciousness that whispers in your ear, "You know, asshole, if you didn't continue to live your life as though you imagined yourself to be a person that you are not then maybe we, meaning you and I, that is the person that you are and the person that you imagine yourself to be, wouldn't be here right now, or in other words, you would be doing something that your imagined self would find interesting and not, you see what I'm saying, blogging." But that voice is quickly quelled by the numbing drugs I've found myself addicted to and the soothing sounds of Sam Cook's greatest hits CD, a masterwork of an album and yet another valid justification of the Emancipation Proclamation. By my count, we're up to twelve; thirteen if you count Magic Johnson, which personally I don't. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.

Do you remember that scene in Finding Forrester where Sean Connery has his misunderstood-because-he's a-cliched-poor-and-black student copy the beginning of one of Connery's character's works, so as to get the proverbial writing-ball rolling? And then the gambit works and the boy writes a fantastic piece of Revelatory Literature? Also, remember when Sean Connery says, "You're the man now, dawg?" That part was great. Anyway, seeing as how I don't have much more to write about and seeing as how I'd like to get into the groove of writing more in the upcoming weeks and months, I've decided to replicate a passage from the greatest American novel ever written, "The Moviegoer," by Walker Percy. I'm reading it again now for the fifth time, and it's true what they say: the good things in life only get better. Do they say that? I don't know. The only book I've ever read more times than "The Moviegoer" is "This Boy's Life" by Tobias Wolff. Now, at this point in my life, when I re-read "This Boy's Life," it is more of a personal mile marker than it is a revelatory experience, ie, reading certain passages of the book today at 25 invokes feelings and emotions I had at 16, 19, 23. It's like having a little bottle of the most memorable smells of your life and breathing again a girl's hair from when you were 18, the smell of the concrete when you fell and split open your head when you were 13, the smoldering flesh and exhaust fluid when you killed a deer with your car when you were 21. Ah, memories.

But re-reading "The Moviegoer" is still an exploration. I can still divine new truths from the writing; passages can still make me sit up and say, "Hey now Mr. Percy, this is a fine observation you've made and I'm thankful you've imparted it in such a fantastic way to me." For instance:

"There was a time when this was the last book on earth I'd have chosen to read. Until recent years, I read only 'fundamental' books, that is, key books on key subjects, such as War and Peace, the novel of novels; A Study of History, the solution of the problem of time; Schroedinger's What is Life?, Einstein's The Universe as I See It, and such. During those years I stood outside the universe and sought to understand it. I lived in my room as an Anyone living Anywhere and read fundamental books and only for diversion took walks around the neighborhood and saw an occasional movie. Certainly it did not matter to me where I was when I read such a book as The Expanding Universe. The greatest success of this enterprise, which I call my vertical search, came one night when I sat in a hotel room in Birmingham and read a book called The Chemistry of Life. When I finished it, it seemed to me that the main goals of my search were reached or were in principle reachable, whereupon I went out and saw a movie called It Happened One Night which was itself very good. A memorable night. The only difficulty was that though the universe had been disposed of, I myself was left over. There I lay in my hotel room with my search over yet still obliged to draw one breath and then the next. But now I have undertaken a different kind of search, a horizontal search. As a consequence, what takes place in my room is less important. What is important is what I shall find when I leave my room and wander in the neighborhood. Before, I wandered as a diversion. Now, I wander seriously and sit and read as a diversion."

It's like, wow, you know? The only difficulty was that though the universe had been disposed of, I myself was left over. There I lay in my hotel room with my search over yet still obliged to draw one breath and then the next. Walker, babe, I feel ya! Holla back!

Well, sorry to bore you, but if through this post I've led just one of you to a used copy of "The Moviegoer" and, in turn, a search of your own design, then I'll continue to be as happy as a clam. A couple of things before I give the 10-4: first, I wish Mr. T.J. Creekside the best of luck in whatever it is he's going to do now that's he's not "sponging", and I hope he'll come back and start writing soon. I've always enjoyed his site and his sensibilites. Keep on Truckin', Mr. Jackson! Drop the hammer!

And finally, because this post is over-long and tedious, I would like nothing more than to reward you all with this gift of mirth and joy. Toodles! And have a great weekend, little rabbits!

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Big news yesterday was that this very funny Onion article, originally published in February of 2004, has now become a perplexing and head-shakingly unnecessary - though not very funny - reality.

Big news today is that a very funny and as-yet unwritten (though surely easily imagined) Onion article (actually, this one comes pretty close), has now become a perplexing, head-shakingly homoerotic, and confusingly misguided attempt at *ahem* Catholic rectification - though not very funny - reality. Reminds me of the repeatedly uttered line from John Sayles' estrogen-fest Passion Fish: "I didn't ask for the anal probe."

I didn't ask for the Catholic Probe!
I didn't ask for the Catholic Probe!
(whispering, shivering) I didn't ask for the... catholic... probe...
(in Kennedy voice) I didn't ask for the Catholic Probe.
I didn't ask for the Catholic Probe?
I didn't ask for the Catholic probe.
I didn't ask for the Catholic probe.

You can see where I'm going with this!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


But it's still quite important that we don't leave. It's a reasonable position to think that the war was wrong at the time and that the idjits in charge didn't and don't know what they're doing, but still we must soldier towards greater security and safety for the country of Iraq and hope that our military is up to the task. Don't make the mistake, my lib'ral friends, of thinking that acquiescence is morally right. There is a choice to be made - on the one hand, we stay and there is a glimmer of hope that, through time, stability comes to Iraq and violence, however slowly, subsides. The other choice is that we leave and civil war erupts. Civilians die at a rate much faster than the current one, Iran and Syria fill the power vaccumm, and the Turks protect their border by bombing the Kurds. Whatever remains is left for al-Qaeda and Baathists. I don't get it. Why would we leave? Surely the repercussions would be much worse. I suspect that some people - not most or even many, just some - who want our military to leave wish it mainly for the reason that it would shame Bush. Perhaps the silliest reason to wish anything. For my money, I'll go with the glimmer of hope.



The planes and rains have come and washed away the solid understanding of self that infused the solid fiber of yesterday's American. It may have been been more difficult for our ancestors to put a decent meal on their children's table; may have been more difficult to loosen the soil of their field by hand than by machine, but where their backs were harder so too their convictions and faith in the goodness of their nation. Rarely today does one feel that civic pride. In our leisure we find it too easy to forget that this nation was not built on the principle of safety and care but freedom and opportunity. That allowing a man the ability to do what he wishes is the most important gift you can give him.

Sometimes, though, we are reminded of the Great Dream that is America.

Friday, September 09, 2005


I directed you to some funny links.

Well, honey, you ain't seen nothing yet!

Oh, irony, how I love and cherish you.

Also: this happened a lot sooner than I thought.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


This is funny.

So is this.

And this.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Yesterday during my six hour drive down the California 5, I did what I always do during long car trips. I tuned to the AM dial and, barring the good luck of finding Coast to Coast with Art Bell, sought out the most blustery bloviator I could find. Well, let me tell you. It's pretty sad to hear the cleanup effort of the Republican party-liners contructing cities of straw men to dismantle and obliterate. Sample snippet: "What I don't understand is all these people - all these liberals - trying to place all the blame of this hurricane on George Bush's doorstep. Well, let me ask you: Did George Bush create that hurricane? Was that his fault? What would John Kerry have done, I'd ask them, to stop this hurricane from doing the damage it did?" Wow, great point.

Sometimes you just have to shake your head.

One nut that I enjoy listening to more than the others, however, is Michael Savage. Whereas Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are, I'm beginning to understand in my growing understanding of this world, definable fascists, Savage is just a crazy old codger who hates everyone. Specifically, he hates Mexicans, Muslims, liberals, environmentalists, the gays, lawyers, and actors, but he also finds room in his heart to occassionally spew his venom at Bush, conservatives, and the current Republican politicians. It's amazing sometimes to listen to him. He talks about how he never spends time with anyone else, just his dog, and that he wastes away his lonely hours walking around the house in his underwear talking to himself - and that this is how he comes up with his brilliant ideas - ideas like: all the Muslim extremists and gays should be shot; there should be a walled border with Mexico; and nobody should give money to the relief efforts.

Let me repeat that. He urged his listeners yesterday to not give any money to the Red Cross or other organizations, fearing they will "profit" from tragedy.

Still, the guy is entertaining to listen to and, surprisingly, despite the putrid rancor he spews, still strikes me as a normal though greatly flawed guy. Kind of like a crazy uncle who, despite his rampant xenophobia, has some real tender spots and a fondness for animals. Unlike, of course, Hannity and O'Reilly and Limbaugh, an offensive tryptic of wealth and power who strike me as robots beyond any smidge of human compassion or empathy.

Anyway, the blaming and finger-pointing are pretty bad right now and none of it is going to get any better. How predictable is the current right-wing propoganda machine? Their scorched earth policy of destroying any and all critics is already calling for the heads of Blanco and Nagin and Landrieu and Jesse Jackson and Geraldo Rivera and CNN and NBC and any other liberals who dare criticize the President or a Federal agency. Jesus. Did you hear that Cindy Sheehan had a bastard black baby with John McCain? Did you know that John Kerry shot Max Cleland's legs off in Vietnam? I bet you didn't know that.

But enough of the mudslinging. Enough of the bickering and character accusations. It's clear enough to me that our country, aided by the unprecedented ineptitude of our current government, is having some sort of schizophrenic episode. We need leadership and vision. We need some ideas of how to approach things differently, of how to reunite the American Van Peoples, of how to once again be a great and strong country. What we need, my friends, is the American Mastodon to run this show once and for all. Below is my platform. I ask for your vote.

1) One Year of Civil Service. I think this has been proposed by McCain. Upon turning 18, every American citizen enters a year of service for their country. Like the military, service members from various regional, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds are forced to work together, thus introducing young adults to the ways other Americans live and work. Barring the fact that one is already in prison or the military, every citizen must enlist. No waivers for the kids of bankers or politicians.

2) Raise the Minimum Wage. What the fuck, people. Work 40 hour weeks, 52 weeks a year, and not make $12,000? In this country? What's the point of getting off welfare and getting a job when the enticement is so pitiful? Listen, if you're a "small business owner" that can't get by paying your employees another dollar an hour, then maybe you shouldn't be running your own business. Of course, the reason why minimum wage is so low is directly related to my next point of order:

3) Enforce Immigration Laws. I've got to say, I'm behind Pat Buchanan and Mr. Savage on this one. The increasingly porous border is bad news for America for an entire laundry list of reasons. One of the unfortunate results of allowing so many illegal residents to cross into America, besides the drug and weapons running, is the fact that it is difficult to establish a credible minimum wage. Is it really surprising that Bush doesn't really care about closing the border? Illegal immigration hurts the lower class American worker at the benefit of business owners. It's also adding, however slightly, to the further crippling of our health care system.

4) Improve Health Care Accessibility. I don't know how to fix health care. I just know that insurance rates are too high for individuals, corporations, and the government. When people don't have health care, be they Americans or illegals, they ultimately do more harm than good to our economy. Of course, people might know how to better take care of themselves if they were properly educated.

5) Increase Spending on Public Education. Do people realize that very few politicians and other government officials send their children to public schools? Hmm...why is that? People shout to the high heavens if- god forbid - they ever have to pay higher taxes, yet some parents have no trouble spending an extra $20,000 a year sending their children to school every year. Build more schools, build better schools, and actively promote on college and university campuses education as a career choice. Pay teachers better, though ultimately their union has to loosen its grip. Seniority is not the best pay system.

6) Keep the Estate Tax, Institue More Luxury Taxes, and Tax the Highest Economic Brackets. If you don't agree with that, you're a waste of skin. One downside of the myth of the "American Dream" is that steelworkers in St. Louis making $37,000 a year still think that they're going to be millionaires in 5 years. And, oh boy, when they're millionaires, they don't want no guvment taking their money!

7) Third Party Ascendancy. We need a third party like something awful. Barring that, we need a bi-partisan Presidential candidacy. McCain/Obama. Clark/Giuliani. I don't care. Pick something, anything. Though I'd personally rather have this country drift more to the left, the greatest political urgency right now is to end the noisy bickering and partisanship. One step toward that goal would be to elect a President and Vice President of oppossing parties.

8) More Lap Dances. Simply put, we need more educated, gyrating, legal American citizens or legal aliens, properly insured, working for more than minimum wage, rubbing their breasts in my face. Perhaps this could be part of the Civil Service? A corps of hot 18-year olds, working for their country, one glitter-covered nipple at a time. Don't tell me I don't have any good ideas.

Also, you're all very welcome.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Considering only eight or so people read this site, there is typically no point in writing about serious matters, whether they be political, religious, sexual, culinary, emotional, neurological, or any other adjective that desribes something that aflicts people. However, I feel compelled to write something about what is currently occurring in the Gulf and specifically, in New Orleans. Now, I realize that me writing a little something here is right below driving home with a box of Wheat Thins and taking a nap on my sofa on the futility scale, but so be it. Let me vent and get some things of my chest, if you don't mind. And while you're at, be my guest to stop reading now and go about your day, as the following will surely be boring, rehashed in the days to come, and pitifully wrong-sighted once this whole mess continues.

For one thing, I am really fucking angry. (How angry are you??) Well, I already told you. I'm really fucking angry. I'm angry that I feel so completely ineffectual and useless and that the only recourse I have is to give some money to the Red Cross. But watching people die - uh, actually fucking die!! - on the side of a road because no medicine, food, or supplies can get to them really chaps my cushy-Los Angeles-job ass. I am appaled at our government. Specifically, our President and his Cabinet. Of course, I've been no fan of Bush, but I am also not one to put blame on the shoulders of those who do not deserve it. However, his response to what has happened and continues to happen is just so typical (emphasis mine, der) it makes me want to actually be a better person or at least a more courageous person, a person so courageous he could easily imagine punching that grinning Nero in the fucking maw and wear his shattered teeth like an elastic bracelet and then shove something disgusting, like, say the fecal matter floating through New Orleans, in his smirking little mouth.

But Bush didn't cause the Hurricane just as God or Allah or the gays or the hot little college girls going wild (mmm...) caused it, and I don't begrudge him the fact that this is a horrible tragedy that no President would want to fall on his watch. But guess what, head-honcho-senor-in-chargo? You're the Big Cheese. You're the Man. We look to you in times of trouble and as Americans tend to gauge our response and actions on your behavior, your words, the faces you make, your posture - we're even watching you as you carry your well-groomed dog on and off planes during National Emergencies. And it adds up. And it adds up. And when the Nation sees you playing guitar on the TUESDAY after the hurricane hit (Sunday night/Monday morning), well, guess what? Sorry, lost my train of thought. Oh, right. Fuck. You.

Let's go back in history. Remember that Clinton guy? He sure was a prick, huh? Loose-moraled and opportunistic. I bet if this happened on his watch, he'd be out at some nightclub dancing with interns and getting blowjobs from hookers!! Actually, history tells a different story. One, unfortunately, we can now only hope would have been repeated by this President.

But like I said earlier, I don't blame Bush for what happened. The hurricane would have happened anyway. And to cart out the fact that we are at war and New Orleans would have been saved if only - oh, if only!! - some of the money we are spending in Iraq were diverted to engineering projects designed to fortify the levees seems particularly erroneous. The fact is, people have known about the problem inherent in the topography of New Orleans for centuries and the thing standing in the way of properly protecting the city was not George Bush but the political process in our country, a process that always and uniformly rewards quick results. What sort of a politician introduces long-term, expensive projects that benefit the next mayor, or the next governor? The sort of politicians that lose.

Still, Bush's response and the response of our Homeland Security and FEMA has been pathetic and ridiculous. This is what we've been paying millions (billions) of dollars for? This is how our government has fortified and streamlined our resources so as to assuage our fears in a time of anxiety and "war"? By doing fuck all? I'm sorry, for this, I really am, but color me, uh, non-plussed.

What this has led to, as we have all seen, is chaos and anarchy. Left behind after the evacuations were the elderly, the incapable, and the poor. Most of them were black. Any racists out there who think that this is just black people being black certainly hasn't been to parts of southern Ohio or Indiana, or West Virginia or Tennessee, places where similar sights would certainly occur if some section of the state found itself underwater - albeit, the ragged and overweight and wheelchair-bound would be white, not black. They would also be in the possession of guns, roving the countryside in gangs and getting while the getting is good. You can count on that. Being poor and desperate and resorting to tribal allegiance knows no color.

Which brings me to this: watching the footage the last couple of days has further solidified my previously tenuous belief that I need to acquire a gun. Maybe not right now, not this year, but at some point. We live in a society where guns are not only allowed, they are owned in massive proliferation, by preachers and criminals and schoolteachers and doctors. What's the point of denying myself a weapon to protect myself? The scenes coming out of New Orleans are chaotic, and there was a two-day warning for people to evacuate. If a massive earthquake hits the west coast, if there is another terrorist attack (specifically if it is a coordinated attack), or if heaven forbid China or some such nation gets the idea in 20 years or so to stick a thorn in our side, then I'd like to have a gun.

To those who say that it is silly to have a gun for whatever reason, I say, I don't care. The nature of the world is violence and chaos and disorder and I'm a grown man and that means I can have a gun. And as I walk from the ashes of some bombed-out or earthquake-rattled city with my belongings in a backpack, I'll have a gun with me. That might sound paranoid and apocalyptic, but you know what? After seeing what has happened in New Orleans, I think it's foolish to think that that scene couldn't be played out in another American city. Dresden was destroyed. The whole of Japan, obliterated. New York could have taken a much worse hit than two jets ramming into buildings and someday very well may. There will be another Great War in the next 50 years, and natural disasters, if you believe some scientists, will only increase in frequency and intensity. We saw what happened after the tsunami. Imagine a massive earthquake in San Francisco. Gas lines breaking, fires destroying city blocks, possible flooding. Then the guns come out and the looting begins and the exodus - but to where? What if the bridges crumble? Even if they don't, cars will be useless as people walk over the three bridges. It may sound like a nightmare scenario but compare it to New Orleans.

Sometimes we have to be reminded that this is what panic and desperation looks like, writ large. In the future, I'll have my gun.

Or my guitar, if I ever get elected President.