Wednesday, November 30, 2005


If there's one thing I want everyone to know, it's that I've got a real soft spot for retards.

It's true. I've said as much before.

Many of you may not know that a family of member of mine is handicapped. She's a really sweet person, full of song and energy. She's also usually full of pills - pills that fill her with energy. As far as the song stuff, I'm not really sure where that comes from. Maybe from the hymnal she carries with her everywhere, the one she's memorized. But really, that's just a guess. The woman loves to sing, and she loves to sing loudly. (Word to the wise: if, at some point during the upcoming Christmas vacation, you find yourself sitting on the couch next to my cousin and "Feliz Navidad" starts playing on the speakers, either turn the radio off or find something productive to do in the kitchen. Otherwise, you're in for one of the worst renditions of "Baleese Babibab" you've ever heard.)

Now, the reason I bring up my cousin is because I want everyone to know that my appreciation of the handicapped is not some pie-in-sky, naive fantasy. I'm not just some schmoe who's watched I Am Sam twenty times and thinks all retards are functional adults who should be able to raise their own children. I mean, ok, yes, technically I've seen I Am Sam numerous times, but the point is this: I fully realize that Hollywood's depiction of the disabled is hardly an accurate one. You see, I've lived it and I've breathed it and I know what it's about. Of course, I didn't live it quite so realistically or breathe it quite so deeply as the young group-home nurse who happened to cross my cousin for some retarded reason and find a television flying at her face. (Another word to the wise: don't take away my cousin's cigarettes. Also: if she wants to eat an entire carton of Whoppers, let her. Also: don't change the channel when The Cosby Show is on. I'm for real about that.)

The point of all that nonsense is simply to say, in more words or less, my cousin is a real human being and a sweetheart to boot. I mean, who among you, besides the handicapped, would get excited after completing the first grade for the twenty first time? None of you. You'd be all like, "Yawn. This wasn't any fun last year either," rolling your eyes the entire time and, in general, acting like a real asshole. And that's just the beginning of why you're a douche and my cousin is the salt of the earth. Every year she struggles to memorize her multiplication flashcards, every year she gets more than 60% of them right, and every year it's a fucking milestone. And there you are complaining because you couldn't get home in time to watch a rerun of "Everybody Loves Raymond".

You may wonder to yourself why I'm bring up the plight of the retard at all. Well, call it inspiration. Inspirado. You see, on the way to the outdoor mall that I occasionally find myself trekking to during my lunch break, I pass, nearly every time, a sweetly-looking retarded woman at the corner of Constellation Avenue and Avenue of the Stars. There she stands, like a sentry keeping watch, stoic and proud, her pants pulled up to her sternum and her fanny-pack cocked slightly to the side, waiting for someone or something to briskly sweep her away and, I fear, indenture her to another night of washing dishes or mopping bathrooms (it is because that I am so intimately connected to the handicapped peoples that I constantly worry for their safety and their rights). Of course, I'm sure I worry for nothing. Undoubtedly, her elderly mother or a very caring sister or perhaps some scowling, government-paid biddy will come by and pick her up and take her back home. In an ideal world, I imagine that the woman is employed at some bank, works two hours a day licking envelopes (hopefully someone showed her how to use one of those water bottle things), and says funny, off-color, inappropriate things to the employees. Her presence not only lightens the employees' day, it makes them laugh; makes them feel good about themselves for considering, if only for a moment, that maybe their cushy life actually wouldn't have been ruined had they not convinced their wife to abort the abnormal fetus growing in her uterus. In addition to all that, the woman herself makes a little bit of money to help mom or sis pay the bills, finds fulfillment in doing a job well, and gets to see the bright lights of the big city the whole while.

All in all, the world is a little brighter; the air a little sweeter.

So there you go people. Another life lesson from yours truly. Slow down, take stock, smell the roses, and thank the good lord you're not mopping the bathrooms at some junior high school in Kansas, talking to yourself all day long and, at night, playing with your Power Rangers dolls. Or, fuck it, that may be the life you lead and it may be great. That's the whole shebang right there. Retarded or no, we all live our own destiny; we can all teach others a little something about this crazy thing we call "life".

Just don't - and I'm serious about this - don't fucking change the channel when "The Cosby Show" is on. I'm for real about that.


Don't tell anyone, but The American Mastodon is going to have a pretty sweet Christmas Tree this year, and a pretty sweet star atop it.


All I know is that their latest effort, "One Way Ticket To Hell ... and Back," is probably the best album name of all time.

As the New York Times puts it: The British band the Darkness is made up of smart people pretending to be dumb people with aspirations to be quite clever. [...] The opening to the title song of "One Way Ticket to Hell ... and Back" could have been written by a sketch-comedy troupe: panpipes, the sound of cocaine being cut into lines and snorted, and then a guitar riff with a cowbell.

At the end of the day, I find The Darkness amusing but not amusing enough to actually buy another album of theirs.

They put it best in the New York Times article: I respect it, and desire never to hear it again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Kohl's Sign

Editor, Times-Union:

When Kohl's first opened on Ind. 15N, they had a scripture verse on the Kohl's sign at the entrance off of 15 on the brick sign. It is now gone. What happened to the scripture? What is the story behind the removal?

I so enjoyed the scripture being there!

Since Kohl's is a privately owned company, I would think that they would have the right to leave it there.

Is this another place where atheist or other religions are demanding that display of a scripture verses, etc. be removed? Did anyone else notice that at first it was there and now it is gone?

What is this nation coming to?

Janice Engelberth
Mastodon City


Commends Neumann

Editor, Times-Union:

This letter is to commend Jeffrey Neumann and Madison School. I am so proud of him and his school for what they stood up for on Veterans Day.

Saying the National Anthem, the Pledge af Allegiance, speaking of America's freedoms, thank you notes to the National Guard, then at the end singing Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA." I still get tears when I hear this song.

It took a lot of guts to stand up and do what is right, especially in this day and age when there is so much controversy on our rights or not having the right to say anything with the word God in it. I think our Government has gone by the way-side anymore with the God issue. We need to remember we were put on this great earth by God and we have so many blessings and freedoms to be thankful for.

When our kids went to Madison, they never had the privilege of being under Mr. Neuwmann, they had William Farrar, another really great guy!

But again, my heart goes out to Mr. Neumann and his school kids for standing up for what is right and going ahead and doing it, I am so proud of you.

Blessings to all,
Margaret Anne Oswalt
Mastodon City


More good timey Christmas stuff: Sufjan Stevens sings with yuletide cheer.


Reviewer: Thierry Nguyen (Berkeley, CA USA) - See all my reviews

In a flurry of humor, depression, and morbid curiosity, I actually went and bought this damn book. I haven't read it cover to cover, but I've digested a good chunk of it. A significant portion of it is dedicated to reprinting USENET posts, where Nishigaki posts his ideas to a depression newsgroup, and every other poster gets completely and utterly baffled. The first few chapters are just this sense of back and forth. Then it launches into heavy theory, written in that zesty sense of "Engrish" as seen in the description. Its method for combating depression is something that I have yet to even consider trying, but as a general humor book, this is probably one of the funniest and most bizarre reads you'll encounter. I still randomly open to a page, read it, and feel better about whatever the heck was bringing me down in the first place. Get this book for comedy, not for advice.

Monday, November 28, 2005


I'm probably doing myself a disservice here, because I plan on using one of this band's songs on Concept Two: In Which Elton John Becomes a Man and Sheds the Snakeskin of his Youth and Leaves it to Rot By the Side of a Creek, but here you go anyway: The Department of Eagles, as recommended to me by "The Voz", or "The Wizard of Voz", or "Vozhalla", or "Hollywood and Voz", or "The Boys of Voztober", or "The Vozby Show", or "A Lost Voz", or "His Vozerino", if you're not into that whole brevity thing.

A couple of people have sent me this link and, since I'm allergic to peanuts, I ascertain they either want to inform me of this disturbing incident and caution me against warming to lovers with peanut breath or, as I suspect is more accurately the case, wish to remind me that I am abnormal and weak and vulnerable and, further, that this fact is funny to them.

Finally, did anybody else watch yesterday's game between the Giants and Seahawks? Holy moly. For those who didn't watch the game, this is all you need to know: at the end of regulation and twice in overtime, the Giants' placekicker, Jay Feely, missed what would have been game winning field goals. That's three chances to win the game, and three duffs. The Seahawks went on to win the game.

Now, I'm not a professional athlete, but I am aware of the challenges and difficulties of succeeding in professional sports. I understand that they are astronomical. Of all of the motley crue of highly-paid athletes (at least in America), placekickers may have it the easiest of all. Millions dollars are given to you, every year, if you do one thing: kick a football through two posts.

You don't have to run with the ball, you don't have to pass it, you don't have to tackle the guy with the ball, you don't have to shoot it, dribble it, catch it, hit it, pass it, slap it, or outrun it. You just have to kick it. Forward. A distance of roughly 50 yards. Through two metal posts.

Every day of your life, what do you do? You practice kicking a ball far, and through posts. You train, you develop muscles in your legs. You eat well, you stay limber, you don't ride motorcycles or go bungy-jumping. You marry a beautiful woman, have three little kids. But damn it all, you don't lose focus. You kick, kick, kick. You fucking kick. You kick every fucking day of your life. Because a) you want to keep making millions of dollars a year fucking kicking a ball and b) you don't want to be the asshole that misses three consecutive, potentially game-winning field goals.

I could go on like this for some time, which would be annoying, so I'll just stop while I'm ahead.

But I mean. Seriously. ALL HE HAS TO DO IS KICK A BALL THROUGH A COUPLE OF POSTS. I'm sure that if I practiced enough I could get pretty good at it. Not amazing but consistent, at least, and certainly consistent in the 40 and under range.

Amateurs, dude.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Kill him!

Why aren't I the reincarnation of Buddha? Is it just me, or is life sooooo not fair! Furreals!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Who is the funniest comedian of all time?

A) Robin Williams
B) Billy Crystal

Let's hear what random people on IMDb have to say:

Pro-Robin: The hardest thing in the acting business is to make someone laugh. And laugh hard! Robin Williams succeeds with what seems like ease, he just fires one joke after another and around 20% are so amazingly funny you wonder if you ever saw a funnier stand-up performance in your life. He made me realize one other thing - comedians are the philosophers of modern time, they are hardcore critics of current state of politics, drugs, sports, environment, just name it, they have witty and to the spot anecdotes for every subject. Without them we would be so much emptier, they realize stuff that's true just no one else sees it.

Pro-Billy: This is Billy Crystal's show. He has an understated, ordinary, humble screen presence. It's not the case that every single line HAS to be funny in order for us to like him - with Crystal, a joke can fall flat and somehow it doesn't make him personally look bad. But here every line IS funny, so he has charm to burn.

Now, you decide!! Cast your votes below!

Thursday, November 17, 2005


The other night I watched yet another documentary by Werner Herzog, Wheel of Time, and had some interesting thoughts. Thoughts so interesting I had no recourse but to blog about them. And blog about them hard. Watch yo'self.

The film shows and explains, among other things, the pilgrimage of hundreds of thousands of Buddhist monks to Bodh Gaya, the ancient sacred site where the Buddha found enlightenment under a Bodhi tree. Yawn. The film also shows the practice of the creation of a sand mandala, an intricate diagram that is drawn by monks using different colored sands

that, when finished, is completely destroyed, like all things, because nothing is permanent, such is life, yadda yadda yadda. In one of the unintentionally hilarious moments in the film, of which there are considerably fewer than in other Herzog projects, Herzog speaks with the Dali Lama and asks him to describe the picture represented by the sand mandala, referred to as the "Wheel of Time." Unfortunately, the Lama has a tenuous grasp on both the English language and, it seems, the precise meaning of the central symbol of his religion. Herzog tries to salvage the answer after a couple of incomprehensible minutes, interjecting in the middle of the Lama's explanation, "So it's all very complicated, then."

Yeah, Werner. You ain't kidding.

The film develops with very little narration or explication and instead leaves to images that which words can't really explain. There was the man who walked 3,000 miles over three and a half years, performing prostrations the entire way (basically, take a step, pray, kneel, lay flat on your stomach, extend your hands fully, bring your hands back to your sides, do a push up, stand up, take a step, and repeat the process). There was the tall rock column in the center of the Bodh Gaya village that, it was believed by villagers, possessed healing powers. The old and the sick hugged it and rubbed their backs on it, tried to grasp it, moving around it slowly in a clockwise twirl. There was the heated argument about the nature of reality, full of fists punching palms, a large group of elders sitting in a circle about the debaters, listening as they made their points. And there was a perforated wall, constructed with slats not unlike prison bars, through which hungry young women held out their hands and who were given morsels of bread and seeds by passing monks.

As I watched the film and witnessed the accumulation of these strange rituals of suffering and physical pain, these entrenched fetishes, the endless attempt to discover the inherent emptiness of existence and, from that knowledge, to find the compassion to truly love others, one thought kept crossing my mind, repeating itself over and over again like some indecipherable Tibetan chant: this could have been the fate of Christianity.

How did Christianity end up the way it did? It doesn't make any more sense than if it had become a religion of bald dudes and wrinkled old women rubbing their asses on an old stone pillar. In his day, Jesus subverted the status quo. Today, Christianity is about maintaining the status quo. The loudest and most common tenet of Christianity espoused in today's world is, "Don't be weird." In all seriousness, modern-day Christianity is, at its heart, about getting your clothes from J.C. Penney or the GAP, driving a Ford Taurus, and listening to U2 albums.

In a parallel universe, Christ died on the cross as a provocateur despised by the Roman state, but his teachings lived on. In time, people began to worship him. They performed rituals that emulated his life and emphasized the lessons of his sermons. As a rite of passage, young men and women traveled to the deserts of Israel and for forty days fasted, praying to God for strength and endurance. In churches every week, as congregations gathered to worship their God and discuss the teachings of Jesus, bowls filled with water were set next to the doorway. All who came to the church removed their shoes and waited as the minister washed their feet before they entered. Jesus once stated that he must "suffer many things, be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers, and that He must be killed and after three days rise again." As a way to remember the sufferings of Jesus, future ministers underwent strenous prostrations at seminary. They whipped each other and flayed their backs, not in an effort to be like Jesus, but rather to come to an understanding of the physical suffering he experienced for the benefit of all mankind. A scarred back would become then a symbol of the physical limitations of the human body, and the power of men to rise above pain.

"Blessed are the meek," and therefore the meek become blessed. "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go heaven," and therefore wealth is abhorred. But not even abhorred; forgotten. These parallel-universe Christians are so focused on the spiritual importance of Jesus that money and possessions become hindrances to piety.

It's almost like they're, uh, Buddhists.

Now, I'm not saying that Buddhism and Christianity are the same religion or even that they are somehow compatible. What I am saying is that the Bible is so contradictory that any religion derived from it can't help but be arbitrary. There is enough in it, and certainly enough in the teachings of Jesus, to have founded a religion not unlike Buddhism. Funny, then, but not surprising, that Christiany has been co-opted and interpreted as a religion for the majority, for the strong, for the rich, and for the well-liked, focused on personal sin and personal comfort and not about emptiness, unworthiness, humility, compassion, understanding, yadda, yadda, and yadda.

What actually is surprising is that Buddhism has survived for so long and has remained true to its core beliefs. Watching Wheel of Time gives you a feeling that these people are truly happy, truly serene; that they believe they are both so small in the eyes of God and so large in their own perception of the world around them that they come to a much more realistic understanding of life. And isn't that what all this nonsense is about? Figuring out what we're doing here?

Buddhists may be capital "C" Crazy, but they're also fucking cool and have the amazing ability to eat nothing but soup and tea.

The floor is now open for Dan to tell me everything that I got wrong about Buddhism, and Koopa to tell me everything I got wrong about Christianity. I just want to say that you've been a wonderful audience and I love you all. And no, I won't do that. No, no - seriously, dude, keep your shoes on. I ain't like that. You can wash your own feet.


Jesus Christ, pictured above, is all like, "peace," and, "love," and shit, which is totally stuff a Buddhist would be into.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


But if you've watched ABC in the past three weeks, then surely you've seen the crazy screaming Christian woman talking about how the other family is so ungodly. If not, watch the link here to bring you up to speed.

Well, as always, the internet does what it does best: takes something awesome and makes it awesomer.

Try these three links on for size.

The last one is the best.

This poor woman actually thinks she's not crazy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Geez, people, relax! It's only a microphone!

Ok, so I took Trevor's idea of changing the wording in the banner in the corner, I used Koopa's idea of a phallic object poking up at the bottom of the frame, and I apologize now to Ian if he really is friends with Herbie Mann's kid.

Of course, I also used the idea all of you were thinking, but didn't have the courage to say: find a way to use Elton John. Somehow. I don't care, you said. Just make it happen, hombre.

And I did. And it was done.


How best to photoshop this? Leave your suggestions in the comments, I'll pick a winner, work on a masterwork tonight, and post the result tomorrow.

Monday, November 14, 2005


I'm getting quite excited to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, if for no other reason than I'm greatly looking forward to having my faith reinforced by an ill-conceived allegory that attempts to depict Jesus (whom the Bible claims preached to paupers and whores, renounced the human urges of power and money, and lived a quiet and largely unknown life of humility) as a mighty, attractive, deep-voiced, fearsome lion.

This article about C.S. "Jack" Lewis is a quick read and quite interesting, and contains this wonderful line: An old Oxford tradition claims that Bertrand Russell, on being asked why his concerns had turned so dramatically away from academic philosophy, replied, with great dignity, "Because I discovered fucking."

This dude liked to do it with his friend's mom. Eww!


I've sent out the first batch of Concept Ones and have a few more in the mail. Any more takers out there? Free music, people. Not even Steve Jobs can offer that. Not yet, at least.

So, my roommate and I had a kegger this weekend. Actually, it was only a pony keg. So, to be honest, it was more like we had a half-kegger. Which my friend pointed out was, to be precise, a quarter keg. Apparently regular kegs are half kegs. So, ok, we had a quarter-kegger. It was awesome. Well, about half awesome. Ok, technically speaking, probably a quarter-awesome. But I did do a keg stand, which was fun, until I realized that some lecherous reveler ripped my jeans. My good jeans. My broken in, perfectly-fitting Wrangler jeans. Which apparently aren't as durable as advertised. You'd think that riding a bucking bronco or roping a steer would be a little more strenuous on the fabric than getting hoisted at an 80 angle and drinking beer from a tap for roughly ten seconds. But no. It's not. Take it from me.

A man who's been there. A man who's done that.

Did anybody watch football games yesterday? They show the shittiest games out here in Los Angeles. Here's the games we could have watched: Giants vs. Vikings, Seahawks vs. Rams, and Denver vs. Oakland. Thanks, dickwads. Those are some really great games. What, do I write to my congressman about this or something?

Hopefully I'll write some sort of a real post later today, instead of just another diary entry.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Even when I find a news story that I find to be humorous, I don't really laugh out loud. Maybe I'll smile, or shake my head, or send a hyperlink to a friend, or blog about it. Like right now!

But this story had me in stitches. Maybe it's just because I'm having a weird day, or am high on caffeine; I don't know. All I do know is that Pat Robertson is quickly becoming America's most loveable hateful idiot, surpassing even the self-made king of self-righteous judgment, Jerry Falwell. I tell ya: if I were a parent of high school senior right now, I'd do my best to stop him or her from trying to attend that bastion of liberal permissiveness, Bob Jones University, and try to persuade them to just get a degree by watching the 700 Club. It's the only way to be sure that your child will continue to grow in Christ's image.

The best part of the article is this bit:

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said on his daily television show broadcast from Virginia, "The 700 Club."

"And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there," he said.

How many qualifiers can this guy put on a blanket statement of certain retribution? Seems to me like Pat's hedging his bets a bit, though if you got him alone in a room he'd drop the caveats and let you know just how fucked Dover is going to be. Anyway, here's my shot at condemning a group of people, while also providing every opportunity to cover my ass if my predictions don't come true:

I'd like to say to the gays of the world: if there is a disaster where you live, don't turn to God, you've rejected him by sticking your penises in holes not made for their passage. Now, I'm not saying that there will be a disaster, but I bet there will be one, somewhere, and since there will no doubt be gay people living there, maybe even gay people who believe in evolution, which is something the Bible says not to believe in, and which Jesus reiterated, then don't go crying to God. Don't be surprised if you ask for His help and He doesn't help you. And don't think for a second that the reason God's not helping is because He doesn't exist, or that if He did exist, He wouldn't really care about the trivial affairs of what we're doing down here - no, God exists, He certainly does, and He gets mad and happy just like you and me. Believe me, friends, when I tell you that sticking your penises in all the wrong holes doesn't exactly make Him happy and also looking at the fossil record and using science to determine the ways in which different plant and animal species came to exist are maybe - if you'd stop to think about it - behaviors that the good Lord does not approve of. Now, there may not be a disaster but there also may be a disaster, and that disaster may or may not be the result of God's wrath, and whether or not you get help may or may not be the result of God's benevolence, but one thing is without a doubt, for sure, certain. And that is the fact that God will create a disaster that will punish you, at some point, for something that you've done, unless He chooses not to.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Guilty as charged!!

Alternate punch line:

Seriously, I'm just happy to see you!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Is the oddest movie I've seen this year, and the best.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


To receive the AM's new mix, entitled Concept One: In which Elton John travels to the Heart of Darkness and loses his sure-footed way, shoot me an email with your mailing address and I'll send it off faster than you can say, "Rocket Man".

This epic tale charts the journey of young Mr. John as he leaves posh London in a daunting quest to discover the elusive nature of Man, only to find himself alone in the wilderness, surrounded by chaos, ruin and despair. Among the brambles and thickets of his soul's dark forest, will he find what he's searching for? Will he have the courage, wisdom, and strength to find his way home again?

There's only one way to find out!

Songs by Elton John, The Turtles, Chad Vangaalen, The Black Keys, Black Mountain, Wilderness, Animal Collective, My Morning Jacket, Band of Bees, The Earlies, and Great Lake Swimmers.

Tell your friends! Get your very own copy today!

Friday, November 04, 2005


Vancouver Mellencamp


Holland Oats


From these articles that will soon be electronica band names:

-Western Front
-Ewald's Argument
-Mobile Hosts
-Immobile Chickens
-Lethal Outbreak
-Ominous Potential
-Evolved Lethality
-Pseudonymous Revere
-Case Fatality Rate
-Emerging Pathogens
-Toxin Virulence
-Salmonella typhimurium

Ok, that was pretty weak.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


That is a lot of pot.


And that is a lot of bull semen.


I think this means I just lost a bet, but I can't remember with whom or what amount.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I have a simple idea. It's nothing special, really. All it is is the solution to the world's troubles.

I'm getting ahead of myself. Forgive me. What I wish to talk about here, specifically, are the troubles our country seems to be having in the War on Terror. Increasingly, it is being revealed that our government is not merely turning a blind eye to torture but is, in fact, sanctioning it as a way to wrest information from those we deem high-level terrorists. Well, I'm going to come right and say something, and I don't care if it's controversial or alarming. What I have to say is this: I don't think people should be tortured.

Go ahead, crucify me. Tie me up and flog me. Hate me for my morals. Despise me for the love I feel for those around me. Do it, and see if I care.

Those that advocate torture have reasons for their position. They say, "Here are men - horrible, evil persons - who wish to destroy our way of life. They wish to kill us and cut off our heads and put in place a government of fascist and theocratic control. In turn, we must stop them." And because these people, for whatever reason, are overly verbose, they keep talking, saying, "We must stop them by finding out everything we can about them. We must discover their motives, their contacts, their plans and their plots. Sure, we try to find out these things through physical and mental strenuation, but at the end of the day, we are protecting America. We are doing God's work."

I don't disagree with the sentiment that detaining and finding valuable information from this people is important for our country's security. I do, however, disagree with the means by which this end is being acheived. Where does torture get you? Tears, broken bones, pyramids of naked people, fake drownings. Well, I've got a better idea. A third way, if you will: a new path. Instead of torturing them, let's just kill them.

Kill them with kindness.

Stay with me here. I've thought about this for awhile now, and I've come to the conclusion that what these horrible terrorists need is not a slap to the side of the head and a knee to the groin. They need a smile, a tall cup of hot chocolate, and a teddy bear to sleep with at night. Here's what we do. All that money we're spending on detaining these people, torturing them, and then hiding this sad fact from the world? Spend it on making a super-awesome detention center somewhere in North Dakota. Like, an Area 51 kind of thing. Completely isolated, completely protected by the goverment, but within the boundaries of the United States and full of wondrous opportunities for personal, spiritual, and emotional growth.

What do we hear about these people? Sexually repressed, frustrated with the poverty they see around them, detached from the rest of society, feelings of powerlessness. It's so painfully obvious: these people need a hug. They need to join a club or read a good book. Maybe get some friends together and start a band. As long as the detainment center has large, open grounds (rememember, in the lovely plains of North Dakota), then there is the possibility of, for instance, in the summer, flying kites. In the winter, who wouldn't want to round up a few of those rascally, bearded evildoers and go sledding?

You know the old saying: it is easier to catch bees with honey. How about: it is easier to stop international terrorism with daily breaks for tea, nightly hot tub sessions, and civil conversations about the meaning of life.

Imagine. Instead of CIA operatives or MP officers beating prisoners or playing "sniff the snake", the government hires therapists, religious counselors, artists and poets. We breed a culture of hope, create a "heaven on earth" scenario in the middle of North Dakota. And then, as you become their friends, as you spend the summer nights witnessing the beautiful Northern Lights and marvel at their divine construction, smile and lean over to the terrorist next to you and say, "You know, Adbul, you're not such a bad guy. Tell me, what made you do it? Why did you want to kill Americans? Where are your friends? We want to find them and bring them here and show them the America loves all people and that we don't wish harm to anyone. Oh - also - could you pass me that joint? Thanks."

(Long inhale)

"Did you watch any TV last night, Adbul? Shit man, they were showing the Hunt for Red October again on TBS. That shit is seriously intense. Here you go, finish this roach off. Man, look at those lights - those stars. Your God, Abdul, is truly an awesome God. He fills me with hope and peace. Fuck, it's getting late. Wanna join me in the hot tub?"

Look me in the face and tell me that this wouldn't work. Do it. Do it.

You can't.

Fatten the lamb, so to say. Get them used to a certain level of comfort. A certain level of pleasure. Get them to discuss their religion. Open their eyes. Broaden their horizons. No more torture. Only love. A big stinking bear hug of love and kindness.

You think these terrorists could defeat kindness? They wouldn't last a second.

Plant the seeds of hope, friends, and a garden will grow. A garden of, well, hope.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


What have you listened to lately that you're currently digging?

Buddy gave me a couple of Neko Case CD's the other day and I tell you: that is some groovy stuff. Am looking forward to seeing her live in a couple of weeks.

My Morning Jacket's new CD, Z, is suprisingly good. Not that their other stuff was bad, more sort of "eh", but this new CD is like (headshake) - whaaaa? I'm also going to be seeing them at the Henry Fonda in a week or so.

So tell me - where else is the proverbial "it" at?


Maybe. Go to this link and watch "How to deal with a bad crippled comic."

Thank me later!


Black person getting abducted by aliens?

Me neither.

Bill Cosby, above, makes the case that aliens don't abduct black people because aliens are offended by poor grammar. Jesse Jackson, seated next to Cosby, blamed the lack of alien interest on the CIA.