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22 November 2005

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Since we'll be on the road tomorrow (up to visit the family, including dear brother) I thought I'd leave you with a lively holiday jingle:

Eat us, hey, it's Thanksgiving day
Eat us, we make a nice buffet
We lost the race with Farmer Ed
Eat us 'cause we're good and dead

White man or red man
From East, North, or South
Chop off our legs
And put 'em in your mouth

Eat me! (sauteed or barbecued)
Eat me! (we once were pets, but now we're food)
We won't stay fresh for very long
So eat us before we finish this song
Eat us before we finish this song!

20 November 2005

To the voters of OH-2.

The most frustrating aspect of the recent Virginia gubernatorial election was the understanding by any reasonably impartial observer that Tim Kaine, the Democratic candidate, was clearly the superior choice. In terms of economic growth, in terms of leadership, in terms of dealing with the Republican party, Kaine had the proven track record. It was as much of a no-brainer as these things get, save the fact that the guy with the (R) by his name gets 48% of the vote even if his stump speech is "Shit my pants and do a dance! I'm taking that night train to Cucamonga!"

Jerry Kilgore, the Repub, wasn't that eloquent. His economic plan was to raise spending and cut taxes (I'M NOT KIDDING). He pulled out the Hitler card in TV ads attacking Kaine (and I'm not talking about the lovable Ted Hitler). He lost by 5 points; he should have lost by 20. C'mon, VA Repubs, you knew your guy wasn't up to snuff and made the moronic Jim Gilmore look like John Warner by comparison (yes, I mean John, there's a guy I don't agree with but has a brain in his head).

There was a special election in the 2nd district in Ohio not too long ago where once again, a clearly superior candidate had to fight the well-entrenched inertia of Republican voters. Jean Schmidt, who managed to embarrass herself time and time again on national TV, still eked out a win over Paul Hackett. Many voters in that district bucked tradition, but it wasn't enough.

To those of you that voted (R) because that's what you always do, this is what you voted for.

Like that vote now?

16 November 2005

So, pick yer deathbed tune yet?

I don't think it's especially profound to say that most of us hope to have some degree of control over the end of our lives (after a long, happy life, natch). Hopefully, all our of deaths will be peaceful, serene, and surrounded by loved ones.

Well, we don't know if that's going to happen, but we can at least make sure the background music's good.

For years, my decision was obvious. "Asleep" by The Smiths, right? Had that nice lullaby feel, sad, snotty, chock full of contempt and that "you'll be sorry when I'm DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!" attitude that just somehow seemed to fit.

Then, with age came wisdom and a more optimistic worldview, and I thought that "Now My Heart is Full" would be a great sendoff.

Then I discovered there were other songwriters besides Morrissey. That's what happens when you wait seven years between albums. Asshole. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't mean that, I can't stay mad at you.

Wait a minute. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, deathbed tunes!

I don't know if this was true, but Howard Stern said that when Joey Ramone passed away, he was listening to "In A Little While" by U2. Nice song, it certainly gains significance by its role in the passing of one of America's greats, but if you're going to pick a U2 deathbed song, it's gotta be "One".

Or maybe we should go the ironic route? Although I bet even Alanis is sick of that song by now. How about "I Don't Wanna Grow Up"? Two great versions to choose from! "It's the End of The World as We Know It" wouldn't be a bad choice, but what if the Grim Reaper comes to guide you for your journey? You wouldn't want him thinking you're a wise-ass...

"We Are The World"? No, what if the Grim Reaper throws up and accidentally overturns the boat as you're drifting down the River Styx? (You can make your own "Sail Away" joke).

"Waiting for a Friend"? Hmmmm, I don't think the last image I want in my mind is Keith Richards, death is scary enough by itself.

"Not Dark Yet"? Heeeeeeey, not bad, but Bob might have written that one for himself.

Hold on, what if as you shuffle off this mortal coil, and you reach the crossroads/pearly gates/settle up station or whatever, and the tiebreaker just happens to be your appreciation of phat rhymes and dope beats? Well, maybe I should go with Jay-Z's "My 1st Song". If it was good enough to end the career of HOV, how can I argue against it?

Why not just embrace sentimentalism? "What A Wonderful World". If people bust your chops for a cheesy deathbed song, you can just choose to walk the earth and haunt the motherfuckers.

Radiohead's "How to Disappear Completely" is a strong candidate right now. Graceful, pretty, Yorke's pleading vocals properly convey the sense of proportion of one soul in an endless universe. Also, it's almost six minutes long, which might be important when you're near the end.

At this moment, I think I might go with Robyn Hitchcock's version of "Tryin' to Get to Heaven Before They Close The Door". Hitchcock, like Yorke, gets the sense of proportion across, but there's an edge there that I like. It's a gorgeous, calming song with the same lullaby feel of "Asleep" but without the pout.

Hmm. No Cure songs on this list. I'm a bit surprised, actually.

(Update coming w/song links.)

14 November 2005

"Come work at Wal-mart: it's much better than getting kicked in the nuts..."

We took in a free showing of Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price at our local theater; the audience were treated to a provocative documentary that presented the controversial thesis that Wal-Mart sucks.

First, the bad. The music's mixed too high, the interviewees are mixed too low, I'm not a big fan of the whole "the government's subsidies to WM could buy 10,000 teachers" use of statistics (yeah, it's true, but Wal-Mart's not the reason education is underfunded in this country), and the movie as a whole is about as subtle as a flock of ostriches spraying diarrhea in your face.

What the movie does do is an excellent job defining why precisely Wal-Mart sucks. We all know it squeezes out small businesses and ruins lives, but the movie showed the families (no liberals, they) who believed in the American Dream, did all the hard work and played by the rules and still got screwed. We all know Wal-Mart treats workers like sh*t, but the scale of the deception, the billions of dollars made by bilking workers out of 15 minutes of overtime a day, the refusal to make the tiniest concession for health care or pensions, is simply astonishing. And the exposure of a China sweatshop where Wal-Mart products are made is stomach-churning.

The movie very pointedly seems to seek out the opinions of hardline conservatives in order to defuse the knee-jerk Michael Moore critics; I'd like to think that the issues raised by this film (need for better health care, CEO excess, fair day's work=fair day's pay) will become a greater part of the national discourse as a result of this film's release.

And in the interest of full disclosure, my wife and I had made the decision to let our Sam's Club cards elapse in December a few weeks ago.

09 November 2005

Thank you, Virginia.

What a relief. The size of Kaine's victory tells me that even Republicans realized what an utter nimrod Kilgore was.

Disaster averted.

08 November 2005

Let's call it for Kaine right now...

...because I'll be damned if another close election goes to the Repubs just because they have a better noise machine.

Yes, Tim Kaine won a glorious victory, sending the message that good government gets rewarded by the voters and negative campaigning doesn't work.

For you Republicans, you can take solace in the fact that a Kaine governorship will be better for business and create a welcome stability. So go off and do what you do, I don't know what that is, but I'm guessing it involves not having fun and being incredibly repressed.

And Dems, just remember that when you're flashing a Repub the loser sign, use your RIGHT hand, otherwise it looks like a "J".

07 November 2005

A short message to Virginia Republicans...

Sit this one out. Please.

Why would you even consider voting for Kilgore? Really. His proposal is to cut taxes and increase government spending, and let "the economy" balance the budget. We did that already back in '97, remember? It was horrible. Gilmore ran the state into the ground, and now that we finally got back to zero, you'd even think of letting Kilgore hold the ledger?

Why else? Afraid the death penalty will be stopped? That'll happen in Virginia when the Wizards win the Super Bowl.*

Scared of gay marriage? We'll have that in Virginia right after we abolish the death penalty.

So stay home. Give this state a Democratic governor, save yourself some money, build a future for your kids, and you can piss and moan for the next four years and we'll pretend to listen. Deal?

*yes, I know the Wizards are a basketball team...

04 November 2005


You bastards! You bloody, bloody bastards!

What am...SHIT! FUCK!!!!!


This is BULLSHIT! This is even bigger bullshit than Krull!


02 November 2005

So, what did we learn yesterday, kids?

What happens when the Democrats stand up and bring the smackdown? Republicans run and cry like little girls. Sorry, that's offensive to little girls.

Rather anti-climactic, huh? Just like that movie Krull where Prince Colwyn gets the awesome weapon, the Glaive, a five-point razor-blade boomerang, but he's warned by the old fart not to use it until the time is right. So he's storming the Black Fortress with his tiny band of rogues against the awesome army of the Beast, and he's outnumbered like five to one AND they have position on him, but he's still holding his goddamn sword like that's going to be effective at fifty feet uphill against laser spears, and you're yelling "ASSHOLE, THE GODDAMN GLAIVE IS RIGHT THERE! THE TIME IS RIGHT, SHITHEAD!", but no, he waits for the Cyclops to change his mind and come running to the rescue. Then he finally uses it against the Beast for five seconds only to lose it, so he has to finish him off with flames shooting from his hand and HOW THE FUCK DID THAT HAPPEN? Are inhabitants of this planet simply impervious to fire? And when he sticks his hand in that river of lava to retrieve the Glaive, he's pretty calm about it all, don't you think?

Yeah, Krull was bullshit.

I seem to have drifted a bit away from the point. OK, what did we learn, kids? That Krull was bullshit.