Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Bucketful of Mental


(and so the wheels start to come off)
By DAVID BROOKS In 1811, there was no anesthesia. In those days one either had surgery without--or died. The heroes of yore by necessity developed a chelonian shell. To prove this point, I knocked back a gin and tonic and gave myself a mastectomy. Heroically, not only did I have a full removal of my right breast, but moreover I had the courage to write about it.
And in doing so, I learned something fascinating--this isn't just a mental struggle but a head struggle as well. Because brain is inside of head. I realized that I would never be a person of character and courage if I did not write this up in a column for the Times (also I would never get paid for it--my editor is a bastard). And then very quickly go on national radio and television to talk about how important it is for us to find that humble yet courageous determination within us and thereby be able to go and talk about our moral humble yet courageous determination on radio and TV. How else would people know about it?

Heroic Functions (Not Pertaining To My Colon) 
You may say, “Wow, this guy is some self-appointed guardian of virtue who is able to criticize anyone and everyone except himself, and therefore in all likelihood the worst kind of hypocrite,” but what?  You’re wrong. (Asshole.) It's simply of function of my moral-humble-courageous-determination accompanied by gritted teeth. A heroic function.

My struggle reminds me of me and my character: It is not only mental, it is also head-al. Heroism exists not only on the battlefield or in me cashing my paycheck or racking up book sales but is also brain-al, in the ability to face unpleasant thoughts--specifically, unpleasant thoughts about what's wrong with America and why they're not doing as I've told them--and how they just seem to ignore my tooth-gritting-heroic-yet-humble-but-still-courageous-determination.
In the past, you see, Americans lived at a time when people were more conscious of the fallen nature of men and women. Yes things fell, dear reader, and in ways much worse than sagging genitalia.
People were held to be inherently sinful, and to be a decent person one had to struggle against one’s weaknesses.
(This did not include weaknesses such as the desire to own other human beings as slaves or use them for sex or go Rwanda on aborigines--that was just business.)
This meant conquering mental laziness with arduous and sometimes numbingly boring lessons (no doubt Science by now has will very soon have demonstrated that boredom makes us better people). It meant conquering frivolity by sitting through earnest sermons and speeches--or memorizing the Koran.
Singing, dancing, flying kites, and worst of all, spontaneous hand-clapping are all to be frowned upon. Whistling and blowing into an empty wine jug, although not necessarily desirable or capable of leading to our self-betterment, are probably not detrimental and moreover not mentioned in any religious text I know of.
But I digress: People who write sermons (and otherwise make a living by boring the shit out of everyone) have studied some religious text, and therefore are quite capable of telling others how to live, even in an era when everyone could read aforementioned texts if they cared to do so.

A Matter of Character
We must conquer our modern selfish self-approval by staring straight at what is painful. For example, I have to twist logic into pretzels that would consternate the most avid yogi to prove that Dubya was a great president--not because he did anything right—oh no, my friends, greatness does not arise from success—it was because he had a little thing I call character. The character to make bad decisions with terrible timing; the  character to not do anything in a crisis;  the character to go on a vacation of mountain-biking and working out in his private gym, regardless of those who thought he should be working (except when he did work it was usually a disaster but see previous comment about character); the character to decide to invade Falluja on a whim and then uninvade Falluja; and then the character to invade Falluja again; and the character to courage to fly over New Orleans; the character to follow the blunderings of his own massive ego and continue the war in Iraq and insist that it’s going great, year in and year out, until it wasn’t; the character to make the same mistakes, over and over and over, no matter what his critics said. 
And in this character we can see courage: The courage to lay waste to so many human lives, devastating so many hopes and dreams, snuffing out entire families, even--all the while exhibiting the compassion of a dim-witted mastodon humming a showtune while blithely crushing a litter of baby mice beneath its left forefoot.
But times have changed. Shrubya is gone now. Character is gone. Morality is dead. There’s less talk of sin and more talk about why God created a universe in which everyone wants to sin--and then abdicated responsibility for the whole durn thing (which plainly makes no sense whatsoever).
Fortunately, I am here--here to fill that gap--that gap between you, your lazy flabby moral fitness, and God and the self-loathing He wants for you to have. But our lazy/flabby/self-loving culture places less emphasis on the need to struggle against one’s own mental feebleness. And that, oh gentle-yet-disgustingly-morally-flabby reader, is why He put me here: To judge you.

Your Welcome
The resultant mental flabbiness is most evident in politics. Many liberals would never ask themselves why they were so wrong about the surge in Iraq while George Bush was so right. The question is too uncomfortable. After all, he only made six years of terrible decisions and the American public really stopped caring years before the surge, after being told we were constantly winning, and then it turned out that we were neither winning nor losing, and then it turned out that we were winning so that we could leave Iraq and leave them to start bombing each other all over again, and their so -called leaders have about as much chance of getting along as two ethnically-un-diverse prison gangs vying for control of the heroin distribution in Cell Block C...or that the plan was never Bush's in the first place, or that Bush himself realized only too late that he had given control of his foreign policy to a neo-imperialist with absolutely no respect for human rights whatsoever. If this isn't liberal flabbiness, what is it? Could I have been wrong? Please--when have I ever been wrong. I mean, I write for the NY Times...so that's pretty goddamn unlikely. To use a fancy word, there’s a metacognition deficit--but it's not in me. It's in YOU.
You're welcome, America.
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Monday, August 30, 2010


Orange County Is No Longer Nixon Country - NYTimes.com

CINEMA CORNER: Very, Very, Very Inappropriate Licking


Why did Google put a "Lesbian Personals" ad on my blog?

What's Wrong With The Internet.

Now the men who would be building beer-can houses to lost love are now just downloading vhs-rips of 80's destapa movies detailing the adventures of sultry Mediterranean bicurious women. Future anthropologists will be still have mountains of trash to dig through, however.

Note: Instead of "houses," that should have been "beer-can Taj Mahals" (which would confuse the hell out of the future alien anthropologists from the future who think all a boy wants is to spend a night with his mommy--robots are idiots even after we're extinct.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Angela And The Fifty Hoovers - NYTimes.com

Angela And The Fifty Hoovers - NYTimes.com

Krugman swiftly debunks the idea that Germany has undergone an austerity program or that the U.S. has rapidly expanded spending.

A Republican Comes Out of the Closet - NYTimes.com

"Oh dude, now all my bros are going to call me 'Ken Gayman'. But you know what? I'm okay with that. I'm okay with that. 'Mehlman' sounds a bit, oh, French. Now as I was saying, bomb them all."

The Picture That Says It All

Well At Least All That Money Was Benefited Someone
Graft-Fighting Prosecutor Dismissed By Karzai

Without Defending "Doctor" Laura...

Odds were if you called in to her show, you're an idiot.
Dr. Laura’s Blog

My guardian knows what is best for me and when to beat me senseless as well.

And if my guardian shoots me in the face then he has done what had to be done.

90 Lashes And We Cancel Your Cellphone Account.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jerusalem. Doodie. I'm Still In Jerusalem.

Manly Man's Man George F. Will

I was still in Jerusalem (as noted in the title above but I thought perhaps I should hammer that home just to make sure the reader understands).  The ceiling fan in sped around in its endless, maddening cycle of futulity--I was still soacking in nad-sweat and growing ever more convinced that my testicles were going to evolve gills if I spent one more day in this hell hole.  My only companions were a bottle of gin, a revolver, and a Gideon's Torah.  Since I don't read Hebrew I made the pages into paper airplanes to while away the time.  The hotel maid didn't seem happy when she saw my miniature aerospace adventures but fortunately I don't speak Hebrew either.

Then he arrived.  First I heard footfalls on the stairs--strong, manly footfalls that said, "I've throttled hamsters with my bare hands." Not the faint, womanly footsteps of a Parisian existentialist with emphysema.

The odor was next--a reek of masculine man-stench stung my nostrils. My olfactory system went into overdrive and before I knew it my brain was a kaleidoscope of sensory overload. Memories made of colors, sounds, scents and tastes came to me in a whirling vortex, especially this one that took place in a church basement.  (Really wish I could forget that one.)  My heart was racing and every nerve, every fiber was at full alert.

Then the door opened and in he walked--Netanyahu.  His commanding aura took over the room--the blood pounded in my ears--my hands trembled--and a quiet voice in the distance sang.  I knew then that I was in love. Delirious, hopeless, forever-to-the-very-end love.

Then. He spoke.  "Hi.  Bagel?"

Yes.  There would be many bagels to come.

--to be continued--


We drove to the a hill near the border...from their we could see the settlements and past that, the Gaza Strip...or as I like to call it, Mexico East.  "Look--over 50,000 rockets ready to strike at us," he stated bluntly. His voice had the tone of weary despair like a punch-drunk fighter trying to order a French meal, or maybe a slow kid playing with a hammer and sheet metal.

"So what do we do about it?"

He opened a bottle of wine and knocked back a long drink, then handed me the bottle.  I hadn't drank since shot a guy for snoring too loud but I didn't want to look like a sissy-boy, so I drank too.  The booze rumbled around my gut like train going off the tracks.  It felt good.

"We move our capital closer to the rockets."

"What about diplomacy? Negotiations? Peace? Compromise?"

He waved his hand as thought swatting a jihadist.  "Those beasts? They don't understand such things. They only know one thing: Death."

"What about their children?"

"They only know death as well?"

"What about the women?"




"Rug merchants? Cooks? Cigarette importers? Barbers? Hookay cafe managers?"

"Death death death death death death death death."

It was so obvious now--peace negotiations, truces, ceasefires--nothing could work.

We exchanged the bottle over and over, and then his hand grazed mine...and suddenly I heard that choir of angels singing from a distant place in my besotted mind: True love at last I've found you!'

"Take me now, Nettie!"

And then he made violent passionate masculine love to me. And yes, rockets were launched. Oh yes, my friends, rockets were launched.  (Note to my wife: Things might not be the same when I come back.)

--George F. Will, Jerusalem--

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thousands Protest Ground Zero Mosque, Visit Ground Zero Starbucks, Patronize Ground Zero Strip Clubs

The Weekly Standard | A Weekly Conservative Magazine and Blog of News and Opinion.

Their Hatred Validates Your Hatred - Glenn Beck

By Glenn Beck

That's right, America, I'm saying exactly what you're thinking. Their precious Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations was in fact a giant cover-up concocted by Otto Von Bismark, Emperor Meiji and Theodore Roosevelt to halt Zionism and destroy the world economy--knowing that this would lead to the election of Harry Truman in 1948 and create socialized health care and government-forced abortions of white babies until whiteness is extinct.  It's what liberals want.

So should we fear, hate and distrust anyone associated with Islam? Sure, why not.  Isn't that, after all, the basic message of Jesus?

Let me quote from the Gospel of Luke: "And lo, Christ sayeth, Go forth and sell t-shirts, baseball caps, and all kinds of novelty crap, and do it in my name, and sayeth to the people, 'It is what the Lord would do.'"

Because everyone is a liar and a hypocrite.  Unless you happen to believe exactly as I believe--in which case you are justified in anything and everything you say or do.  

'Glenn Beck': Segregation in the 20th Century - Glenn Beck - FOXNews.com

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mosque Mania (Frank Rich Weighs In)

Appropriated from Rich and the NY Times, sorry.

Poor General Petraeus. Over the last week he has been ubiquitous in the majornewspapers and on television as he pursues a publicity tour to pitch the war he’s inherited. But have you heard any buzz about what he had to say? Any debate? Any anything? No one was listening and no one cared. Everyone was too busy yelling about the mosque.
It’s poignant, really. Even as America’s most venerable soldier returned from the front to valiantly assume the role of Willy Loman, the product he was selling was being discredited and discontinued by his own self-proclaimed allies at home.

Muslims: Human Beings, Or Evil Extra-Dimensional Time-Traveling Cyborgs?

This Is Not The Time For Honesty

How to discourage college students

The truth, though, is that for all schools the numbers are misleading. They count as deadbeats students who have restructured their loans, with government approval, to pay only interest for the first few years, until their earnings can be expected to grow, and who remain up to date on their restructured payment schedules. It makes no sense to retroactively punish schools, and their potential students, for practices that the Education Department has encouraged until now.

Honesty about the value of worthless but expensive degrees will only discourage potential suckers--er, students--from pursuing such degrees by going into a black hole of debt from which they will never escape. And this will not help our wealthy friends in corporate America who rely on this cycle of taxpayer-subsidized fools--um, potential students--to keep them in the pink (with green).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FCU: Fact Check Unit

The Diaries of Miss Virginia Taft-Harding-Mayflower

Well dearies Jackie O. may have been a subversive bolshevik but she did have CLASS.  I told her as much at Elaine's in 1973, she just laughed and told me I was insane. I then informed her that I had photos of her meeting with COMINTERN and then the Secret Service ordered me to leave the building.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

GREAT RECESSION: American Resurgence Does Squat For News Magazine

April 19th 2010 cover of Newsweek

Newsweek sold for $1.00, which is probably at least 99 cents more than it's worth.

Hammertime: It's Time To End Religious Freedom

by Chuck "The Hammer" Krauthammer

A place is made sacred by what people believe--this is a fact so painfully obvious that only the godless-liberal-elite could drive by it without noticing.  For example, Michael Bloomberg in his limo.  Much the way I fail to notice my Mexican groundskeepers.  Are they there? Who knows? The grounds are kept, and God help them if they're unkept.

Sacredness is created by the suffering of the ignorant and the sacrifice of heroes, and the presence of the transcendent: This is why we must build a a gigantic, 200-story McDonald's outlet at Ground Zero--lest the sacrifice and suffering be forgotten, we must construct not a mosque, not a community center, but a place that creates more suffering and sacrifice.  In this case the suffering of the ignorant who eat there because they can't find any other convenient place for lunch, and the sacrifice of those who must work there because it's the only job they can find.  And as they devour more saturated fat in one excessive five-minute meal than your average Roman slave would get in a lifetime, there children can play in the smoke-inhalation tubes, the bouncing-bodies-bounce, the collapsing-walls-wonderland, or maybe just look at photos of charred bodies while munching on chicken nuggets dipped in BBQ sauce.

The worst thing we could do is let people worship their god anywhere near Ground Zero.  This is not only offensive to the hellbound who infest Manhattan like headlice--it's also offensive to the heaven-bound who perpetually complain about the separation of Church and State, or anyone who wants to interfere in the making of a profit (as when I saw nothing wrong with Walt Disney's Country Bear Gettysburg Massacre Jubilee Singalong).

Furthermore, when people worship their god--especially a god I dislike--it makes them forget the wonderful ways we celebrate suffering and sacrifice, such as watching sports games on Veterans Day (this helps us remember the millions who died pointlessly in the WWI, and thanking them for doing so by chugging brewskies).

Besides, there are restrictions on where we build things.  Zoning laws, albeit inherently evil unless say you're plowing a black neighborhood over with a freeway, are a good thing (such as plowing over a mosque with a freeway).  It's not like we're building something useful, like a Wal-Mart or a McDonald's.

So let's remember: We must have a 200-story giant McDonald's at Ground Zero.  After all, cultural sensitivity is a one-way street...and it's the street on which I live. Thank you and goodnight.

Taliban Motorcycle Gangs Running Roughshod; Highway Patrol Nowhere In Sight

Taliban takes hold in once-peaceful northern Afghanistan

Whatever happened to those guys who used to fight the Taliban? Did they all leave?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Professional Village Yenta And Bigot/Homophobe Really Sorry If She Did Anything To Affect Her Revenue Stream

Dr. Laura apologizes for saying N-word on the air

Stated Ms. Laura, who is a doctor in the same way any neighborhood busybody and know-it-all is a doctor, "Anyone who thinks AM radio listeners are anything but total knobs are most likely total knobs who listen to AM radio and can barely operate a door handle.  That being said, I'm really, really, really, really, really super-sorry and I'll never never never do it again.  I'm not full of hate, I just sound like I am. There is a difference. Thank you and I'm really sorry, especially to the makers of Bayer Aspirin and Pampers."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

THE GREAT RECESSION: Barnes&Noble To Launch New "Christian Desperation" Category

Iranian Tourism Bureau Failing To Increase Tourism With Youtube Videos

Woman Sentenced to Death by Stoning Reportedly Appears on Iranian Television - The Lede Blog - NYTimes.com

Who Ever Thought That WASPs Would Love Israel So Fucking Much?

All-around man's man
George F. Will

Netanyahu, the anti-Obama
by awesome super special guest columnist George F. Will

Now as anyone who's followed American history for the last 50 years or so should know, the right has long realized that mindless nationalism has long been our province.  It is much more than our prerogative--it's our playground.  And this is not the time to stop playing and get serious.

Let me begin my missive of disdainful disgust with Europe (in which I shall express my deep-seated, barely suppressed rage beneath the pretense of a cool exterior and a pose of calm detachment).  And the thing I loathe more than any other thing is common sense.  The world is dark and light, black and white, good and evil, special and unspecial.  The opposite of dualism is a muckish gray sewage spill of compromise, reasonableness, common decency, and compassion--and I am having none of it.

The world is Either/Or. Science has proven this.  Therefore, for him to acknowledge that Palestinians are human beings can mean only one thing: Obama hates Israel.  He probably would have been for the Holocaust. As one Israeli official noted, "If Palestinians are victims, who are the victimizers?"  Either all Palestinians are victims or all Israelis are victims.  It doesn't matter if you're living on a garbage dump near Jerusalem living off of polluted run-off and mouldy bread crust--there's no room for moral equivocation.  Equivocation just leads to seeing the point-of-view of powerless failures, and who cares about them? It's God's job to judge them and send them to Hell--if we start feeding them, we simply postpone the inevitable.

And what has Europe to say in all of this?  Those wuss-fiends don't even have countries anymore--just a union.  Is that some kind of gay marriage thing?  They can certainly never understand the joys and pleasures of thoughtless patriotism and rampant jingoism any longer; they are weak and no longer have the spirit for war.

Israel, on the other hand, is like Netanyahu: Tough, masculine, rugged, trained in the ways of commandos, of killing a man with a plastic spork.  Just like me, as when I went to college during the Vietnam war, or taught political something something during the Vietnam War or  worked for a U.S. senator during the Vietnam War, or wrote newspaper columns after the Vietnam War. (Which we could have won by the way.)  Tough, rugged, masculine columns, reeking of manly sack sweat . Nothing gay or effeminate there.  (To the families of those who died defending my freedom to get a college deferment: Thank you.)

In other words, fairness means right, and right means me, by which I mean I am always right (in the sense that I am correct--though I am right as well). Regardless of the evidence.

Now let's just forget all of that nasty, pervasive anti-semitism of so many years ago, when Hasidim was about as welcome as typhoid.  Now it's Muslims that we need to exclude. (Unless they're Jewish.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

News Not Heard On Fox News

Analysis Looks at Effect of Letting Tax Cuts Lapse for Rich - NYTimes.com:

"For their part, Republicans do not emphasize the impact of extending the tax cuts for wealthy individuals. Rather, they say Mr. Obama is about to spring a big tax increase on many small-business owners who file their taxes as individuals. Analyses from the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization, show that less than 3 percent of filers with small-business income pay at the top two income tax rates, and many of those are doctors and lawyers in partnerships." Weird. I know they love news! Why wouldn't they report this? I just don't understand!

You're Innocent, We Screwed Up, Now Please Get The Hell Out

This Land - In the Rearview Mirror, Oklahoma and Death Row - NYTimes.com

Crossing The Finish Line/Mission Accomplished

In Mission With Afghan Police, Issues of Trust - NYTimes.com: "“We are happy to have them here now,” a villager said through a translator. “But if they kill a single civilian, people will turn against them.”"

Lo! A Giant Crock Of Shit Has Appeared!

Michael Gerson - Can Obama move beyond 'liberal uniter' to pragmatic centrist?

If I see one more opinion piece from some reactionary posing as a 'moderate centrist' (who just happens to be for getting rid of all social services and economic stimuli other than invading powerful nations who would surely destroy us--say, Mighty Yemen or Anorexic Afghanistan) I really think I'm going to puke.

(Is it just a coincidence that this clown looks like David Brooks?)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

In Other Words--Ain't Gonna' Happen

Inexperienced Companies Chase School Reform Funds - NYTimes.com: "Overhauling schools is challenging work, and experts say few efforts succeed. Breaking the cycle of failure in a school that has become a drop-out factory requires an “extreme reset,” said Tim Cawley, a managing director at the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a nonprofit group leading several turnaround efforts in Chicago. Usually that means installing a new principal and a newly committed teaching staff, invigorating the school’s culture with high expectations and a no-nonsense discipline, adopting a rigorous curriculum, and carrying out regular testing to determine what has been learned and what needs to be retaught, Mr. Cawley said."

Well maybe Halliburton will be building schools in the U.S.--given their track record in Iraq, should be bloody smashing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Study: Americans Pose The Greatest Danger To America

An example of just one of many
Americans who post a
threat to America

"Americans are not only a danger to themselves, but to the American Way Of Life as well," claims the results of a new scientific study published somewhere.  

Explained researchers, "Examples of Americans posing a threat to their democracy include mindless opposition to any sense of civic duty, a widespread belief that American hegemony justifies the indiscriminate use of military power, that wealth is infinite but taxation with representation is still immoral, that everyone can be a billionaire, that guns make everyone safer, that pollution is free and without cost, that greed is invariably good, that violating the Bill of Rights will make us safe, and that it's okay to be a self-centered dick."

No self-centered dicks were available for comment.

New Post: Something We Have Not Posted Before!

There! Something new is now posted! Take  that, Establishment!

In A Desperate Attempt To Increase Readership...

...my bloy will soon by renamed "Cute White Girl Missing."  Stay tuned.

Deemed To Be Amusing

A reader comments on firing of HP CEO Mark Hurd

"And it has stunted a decade-long search by H.P.’s employees for stability and pride at the patriarch of Silicon Valley companies."

I currently work for HP. Mark Hurd is loathed, detested, and reviled by every rank and file employee I have ever talked to. 

Any attempt to portray him as a stabilizing influence within the company is laughable. The glee in the cubicles when the HP company email announcing his resignation came out on Friday was palpable.

As grunts we are required to watch insipid HP videos that instruct us on sexual harassment and proper HP ethics. No exceptions to the must-watch rule. Apparently, Mark Hurd couldn't fit this into his busy schedule.

Pride? Stability? There are layoffs after layoffs after layoffs. Mark Hurd's utopian vision of the company would be having 99% percent of HP employees living and working in India and China and only the executives left in Palo Alto. The executives, of course, would be entitled to 99% of the corporation's annual budgeted compensation.

I took not one, but two, pay cuts last year. Meanwhile, Hurd made $25 million in 2009 (and $42 million in 2008) of which just $1.3 million was from salary. So when he sent out his "I am going to share your pain" email announcing that he was cutting his own salary by 20%, this was greeted by hoots of derision and only served to reinforce the universal belief here was a person totally tone deaf about the peons who helped him earn his disgraceful compensation.

Finally, Jodie Fisher accuses Hurd of sexual harassment but claims their relationship was not sexual. Quite bizarre. I guess paying hush money does not violate any HP ethics standards to the extent that it would preclude Hurd from collecting his $12 million severance payout.

Another Victim Of The Internet: Doctors Who Don't Want To Have To Make Satphone Calls To Friends And Colleagues


The Internet continues to cripple civilization by destroying the social skills of our precious youth--in this case doctors who realize that living in rural communities where you can't even make a cell phone call, much less go on a social networking site--can really suck. No matter how great the scenery is.

Sarah Palin Endorses "Likeminded" Unknown

When asked on why she was supporting a virtual unknown for a swing at the Maryland governor's mansion, Palin explained, very slowly and patiently, "Welllllllll we both really like the saaaaaame ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm things, like ummmmmmmmmm George Washington, ummmmmmm designer glasses, and theeeeeeeeeeeeeeee great people of our nation ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm."

MODERN HATE: What is "Reframing? (#2)

Reframing is a device used by positive, optimistic happy and successful people to create a positive outcome from a negative set of circumstances
A Kite That Couldn’t Be Tied Down - "Modern Love" - NYTimes

“In honor of Persephone!” she announced, cracking open a pinkish orb. She handed me half and I stared, shocked, at the gleaming maroon seeds—yes I was literally shocked.  (You haven’t lived till you’ve seen pomegranate, mes amis.
She was plucking them with abandon, letting the juice stain her fingers, not caring. I tried to breathe. I was overwhelmed by the sensuality of a woman eating.  Not simply ‘eating’, mind you, but eating, and eating fruit.  Eating with such a wild, raw, craven desire to put food in her mouth, chew it, and swallow it and then, yes, oh yes, so very, very slowly, sweetly, digest it.  Yes, digest it with enzymes and stomach acid and pulsating soft muscle tissue.  And perhaps belch a bit of it back up. 
The act was so alive with sexuality, and I realized that I had not been this aroused since I shared a stick a gum with the girls’ softball team in my freshman year—to be more precise, one of them punched me in the gut, stole my backpack and they split my Halloween candy. Still it was marvelous!  (All of the chewing gone amuck like some insane Bachhanal orgy of insane desire, writhing gums and gnashing molars, jaws clasping together in an ecstatic revelation of corn syrup, xanthine gum, disodium glutamate and sucrose—I tell you that you have never seen such a sight!)
It was winter in Pittsburgh, I was 18 years old, and I had never seen a pomegranate. I’d never been to a produce aisle, and now I was confronted by this magical and enchanting adventuress who had! I could only imagine her other possible retail escapades—perhaps a trip to a store that still sold Dungeons & Dragons figurines?
I’d met her weeks after arriving in Pittsburgh for college. Somewhat randomly—he actually rolled a die and read the corresponding answer from a piece of paper--her boyfriend had asked me: “Would you like to come to our party? We’re going to have this Albanian singing the Rig Veda in Frisian, an Indonesian shadow puppet performance of Glengarry Glen Ross, and then we’re all going to smoke hash and discuss how the flappping of the wings of a butterfly imply the existence of the executive washroom at Citibank.”  Yes, she and her bohemian circle of friends were a load of pretentious poseurs with delusions of mystical knowledge! I could never meet such a load of self-involved wankers in the suburbs!
She was a poet living in a castle-like apartment flooded (yes, literally) with books I’d never heard of--Dr. Seuss, Curious George Goes To The Adult Bookstore, oh and yes many more.  (Apparently I’ve never been to Barnes & Noble either.)
The details of her exotic childhood, I learned, included an organic farm in rural Texas—rural fucking Texas, can  you believe my luck? How fucking exotic is that?  Pretty fucking exotic, I’m sure, as anyone who’s ever been to rural Texas can tell you.  Imagine a beautiful lunar landscape devoid of ice, snow, living creatures, trees, grass and add in some reactionary freaks who think they’re living with the reincarnation of Jesus Christ! Ah! My heart races simply at the thought of her, plucking roses and singing hymns to Athena while knee-deep in cow shit!
She did origami and left it hidden for strangers to find—and I’m sure those people were thrilled to the marrow to find a piece of folded paper.
She was into queer theory. (Her boyfriend was something of an idiot.)
She got her clothes from the Goodwill Dumpster. She was everything I’d dreamed of but never knew existed—a 20 year old bag lady. Correction: A 20 year-old bag lady who was possibly a lesbian.
She was on a mission to soak up the magic humming just beyond the ordinary.  This involved never holding a down a job.  In the most magical, spiritual, and profound sense possible, of course.
Blah blah something blah more stuff.…She’d bought a one-way ticket to Japan.
The only person more devastated than me was her suddenly ex-boyfriend. Our common heartbreak inexplicable to the outside world, he and I mourned together. Only we knew the depths of her enchantment and, thus, the tragedy of our loss. Everyone else seemed to know we were suckers. While I sent her letter after letter, he actively plotted to get her back. In one hopeless ploy, he reasoned that if the two of us could lure her into a three-way relationship, our combined appeal might jointly win her over.
At 19 this seemed plausible to me—let’s face it, I’m about as smart as a box of broken hammers--and I went for it, pawing at him in the dark, remembering her.  His vagina felt a bit weird to me though.
After he’d fall asleep I’d sit in their living room and trace my finger over the books she’d left behind. (Seen it in a number of bad movies. so I felt obligated to do so.)
I ached in the presence of her ghost, even though she wasn’t actually dead and ghosts don’t exist.
With everyone I deemed important now abroad, I mustered up my newly developed confidence and hatched my own plan: I too would study in Japan and properly declare my love once and for all.  I would have done it earlier in the year, but then finals came and I was like super busy and stuff.
By June I was at Peking University studying Mandarin; six weeks later the program ended and I was standing in Tiananmen Square. And to my disbelief she was there, too, standing next to me, flying a makeshift kite. A kite! How magical and enchanting and shit!  And of which we were all completely bored after 30 fucking seconds, when we all realized that the phenomenon described in Bernoulli’s Principle isn’t all that exciting after your sixth birthday.
We decided taking a train across Russia was a good idea because it involved a lot of not-working.  She slept a lot on the train; she also read for hours and barely ate. I bonded with her brother over spoonfuls of Nutella and ruthless make-believe gossip about our fellow passengers and how much more interesting we were.  I was a bit sorry that none of our fellow passengers died but that’s life huh? We got to the topic of her ex-boyfriend.
“She only liked him because they read at the exact same pace and turned pages at the same time,” her brother said, rolling his eyes. “Not exactly my idea of romance.”   Well I did mention her boyfriend was pretty thick, but look who’s talking?
I swooned at the thought of her reading something undoubtedly wonderful in the adjoining compartment but forced myself to nod.  Ah, reading, swooning…don’t get me started.
Nights were hard. She was inevitably inches away, sleeping peacefully as my desire for her boiled. In Ulan Bator, under a sky thick and white with stars, we decided to sleep in a yurt on the steppe.
As her brother slept, she whispered to me: “Have you heard about that hand-built, nine-grotto Virgin Mary shrine some priest spent 42 years piecing together in Iowa?”
I told her I’d build her a bigger one if she wanted.
She laughed and played with my hair, knowing it was true but not wanting to show it. The shrine I had already built for her was painfully exposed; in two years my mainstream existence had been razed to the ground to make room for a garden in which her every eccentricity was welcomed to bloom. What was I doing in Mongolia? It seemed I would follow her anywhere.  Being a complete tool, I it apparently never crossed my mind that I was acting like a complete tool.
While staying with a family, our kindly Russian host mother instructed us to strip and smack each other with birch branches in a backyard sauna. This is where we finally did kiss, under an orange moon, but her heart was elusive while mine was unsophisticated and greedy.  Russian mothers are sick bitches.
We whiled our days away in bookstores and second-rate amusement parks, eating hot dogs and forgetting to go to the Kremlin. When she and her brother decided to ditch the train and hitchhike their way through Finland and the Baltic states — all the way to relatives in France — I suddenly felt like an impostor about to be discovered. I wanted to keep going but couldn’t keep up.
I was too afraid not to return to Pittsburgh, not to finish college, not to tell my parents exactly where I was. I didn’t have much money and was too afraid to hitch. She seemed genuinely sad but did not stop me from leaving. As I turned my back on her at the first major fork in the road, I was grudgingly conscious of a painful realization: My life was not one of one-way tickets. Not yet.  The painful realization that I was a complete tool is still decades away.
Over the next few years (an actual quote people) she passed through Pittsburgh many times and we’d always go swimming in a fountain, or stencil poetry onto sidewalks, or cook pizza or kiss, only for a day or two, and then she’d be gone. I’d beg for her ever-changing address and she’d write, inconsistently, sending short stories and watercolors too good to be from someone I knew (Not even I’m sure what the hell I mean by that—I reckon it just sounded like a good way to close a sentence). One day she showed up with a new boyfriend.   Quelle surprise! She’s not even queer.  You would think at this point I would have realized that I’d been an utterly, completely bamboozled tool whose chain had been yanked for literally years by this poetess-vagina-tease extraordinaire.  (Please, I’m in way too deep.)
The only thing worse than losing her was the realization that I’d never had her…And it only took me five years to figure that out.
She is now an accomplished writer, the recipient of many fellowships and awards. My first thought: Thank God professional judges of the potential for magic in artists have justified my fanatic obsession.  For now, I told myself, I could tell myself that I had not been a total chump under the control of someone who couldn’t care less about me, but instead believe that this relationship really mattered.  Surely if someone has talent, they have to be a good person and not some manipulative sociopath, right?  And there’s no way you can discover about love and art without being dominated by some egocentric, self-loving freak? Right? I’m right, right?
And then I saw it. Among her various honors and residencies, chosen out of the hundreds of cities she has visited and thousands of experiences accumulated, out of the many, many, many dupes she has used and tossed outside like worn rags and broken toys…out of all those idiots and fools, she had written that she once flew kites in Tiananmen Square. She couldn’t remember why or with whom or couldn’t be bothered to mention it but it’s okay because she’s an enchanted magical artist.  And that validates my totally insipid behavior.
I tried to breathe. (Love gives me asthma.)
But we never forget who showed us that there were fruiter fruits, not just fruit—even though that person can’t be bothered to write or call or answer emails or respond to messages left for them or telegrams or satellite calls or personal deliveries or documents or suicide threats outside their house screaming at the top of my voice. 
So please take a few minutes to wander down to the produce aisle at Trader Joe’s and have a gander round—with the proper and suitable awe, of course.  And if you write some half-assed poetry about how spiritual it is to suck on a mango or some crap, drop me a line—I’m a sucker for narcissists, sociopaths, and other assorted, nondescript fuckwits.
The author is and remains a giant chump who can be led on more easily than a dog on a leash following crumbs of bacon. But her expertise at reframing is fucking great.


"Stauroteuthis syrtensis appears to be relatively common...." How depressing, I was planning on making one into sushi, but since it's not on the verge of extinction, I've lost interest.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Will Obama's Chin Drive Voters Away In November?

Obama's Chin Might Affect
Voter Turnout In November

President Obama: Too much chin or not enough? 

America: Chin resentment on the rise? 

Is too much chin driving independent voters to the right?

Would more chin increase his approval ratings?

Would less chin raise the deficit or stimulate the economy? 

What other kind of crap will we use to fill the vacuum that is cable network news between now and November? Any missing white girls out there missing?  

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Flimflam Man - Readers' Comments - NYTimes.com

The Flimflam Man - Readers' Comments - NYTimes.com

"Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money." George Carlin

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Unconditional Love

An image that really
has naught to do with the

People ask me about unconditional love. Well you have to ensure it by constantly buying gifts that no one needs. The more expensive and more useless, the more love. It's that simple, people, it's a straight fucking line.

Summoned By God (To Write This Column) by superspecial awesome guest star David Brooks

This is a column about two ways of thinking about your life.  

(As usual, I was inspired by one of the primary sources of spiritual insight in our modern world: The Harvard Business Review.)  

Anyhoo.  Two ways.  In one way, there is that side; in the other, the opposite side. (The opposite of that; I think this is clear.)  

One way is American; the other way, not.  

One is right; one is also right...but in a way that is un-American and will destroy our American way of life, our American values, everything that makes life worth living, and quite possibly life itself.  

(But I respect it, as utterly repugnant as it is to me.)

But isn't it true that sometimes we have do to things sometimes one way, and sometimes the other?  So sometimes we have must do things in the first manner, and other times in the second?  Go figure.

Probably at this point you're saying to yourself, "This guy can't possibly  be serious.  Every week he sets up a false duality and then conjectures a solution so full of holes that it couldn't get past a freshman philosophy course. And yet he gets paid for it."

Well, my response to that is: Up yours. God summoned me to write this--how else could I possibly vomit forth whatever idiocy possesses my cortex and get cold hard cash for it to boot?  Not without the intervention of the Divine.  Obviously.

So it's your choice, gentle reader.  Either submit to God's Mysterious, Ineffable Will, or submit to your individualistic, pioneering American DNA.  Or perhaps both.  Or maybe neither.

There is no contradiction there, just as there is no contradiction between believing that wars, roads, schools and hospitals pay for themselves, or that deficits are paid for by tax cuts, or that hiding from a war is as courageous as actually fighting in one.

There.  I have passed Go and it's time for my $200 schekels.  From God. (After all, he's the one who put me here.)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

U.A.E. Is to Bar BlackBerry E-Mail Over Security Issues - NYTimes.com

"Too Hot For Riyadh" Video With
Prurient Photos Of Hot Ankle Action
Stirs Islamic Outrage...
(And More)

U.A.E. Is to Bar BlackBerry E-Mail Over Security Issues - NYTimes.com

WE here at DRT suspect that the Filipino and other expatriates who do the grunt work in these countries will barely notice.

Although from what I've read, modern Saudi Arabia sounds like a very high-class outlet mall in the Mojave. You might be able to witness a stoning, but you'll never see a Frankie Goes To Hollywood reunion.  Which is probably how the whole durn thing got started anyway.

And These Are The Ones Who LIKE Us

Op-Ed Contributor - In Pakistan, Echoes of American Betrayal - NYTimes.com: "The ISI and the C.I.A. have colluded twice in the destruction of Afghanistan."

Yes, the CIA wanted Afghanistanis to fight and kill each other in a pointless, internecine civil war filled with atrocities. Maybe they're also secretly putting fluoride in your cat's drinking water so that he can spy on you and report back to Langley, you daft dick.

Steamy Mustache Oppression

Coming Soon...