Archive for the 'Essays' Category

The Macaca heard around the world

Friday, November 10th, 2006

scary Monkey

If ever there was one moment that changed the direction of a nation, it was George Allen’s macaca moment. It was a moment that encapsulated everything that was wrong with the GOP. And while no one can say if that cost him the election or cost the GOP the Senate, one thing is clear to me - it cost Allen the election and cost the GOP the Senate.

Yes, there he was, George Allen, one-time chosen one, at a rally staring down at a young Indian-American, and as casually as could be, as if no one would either know or deny him this right, Allen started calling him a monkey and started humiliating him publicly. It was shameful and hard to watch.

“Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia,” Allen told the dark-skinned student filming the event for the eventual winner of the Senate race, Jim Webb.

But make no mistake about it, that’s what the GOP had become. From George W. Bush poking Matt Lauer in the chest or waving his arms angrily whenever anyone asked him a tough question; to Rush Limbaugh openly mocking a much-loved and Parkinson’s stricken actor in Michael J. Fox; to Ann Coulter mocking 9/11 victims; to Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld snarling at anyone who would not accept their endless lies; to the Jack Abramoff situation; to a Congress held hostage and sharply veering toward a dictatorial attitude and so much more — what Allen did was make it impossible to overlook — these were bad people that flown off the edge of normal, American discourse.

Some will get what’s coming to them. Bush and much of his team should expect to spend the next two years being investigated on a score of issues, and rightly so. Time will tell if the Democratic party can handle the job that’s been put in front of them. Will they maturely work toward resurrecting a system that has become corrupted beyond rational belief? Or will they go hell-bent for revenge and only exacerbate the problems of the U.S. government?

Time will tell. Only one thing is certain - the world now can look at the U.S. again and not see Americans as completely out-of-touch, narcissistic enemies of the planet. They can see that Americans are not all reckless cowboys, intent on enriching corporations and going on imperialistic sprees. Americans can still do what’s right.

And we have a racist ex-Senator from Virginia who couldn’t hide his true self to thank for it.


Can GOP survive Islamofascist vs. Page-banging trade off?

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

Welcome to the latest installment of “Things I love”

I love the fact that the PNAC party was ushered into power on generalizatiins, half-truths, rumors and innuendos, and now they are aghast that they may be getting sent out the very same way.

Because there’s a chance terrorist islamofascists will come take over the U.S. and enslave you.

And there’s a chance Mark Foley and other Republicans have been banging your children like they were $2 whores.

Now choose.


Yes! You can love your country without worshipping the state

Friday, September 29th, 2006

Here in Brazil, the most popular colors for clothing are green and yellow. You see people wearing shirts emblazoned with “Brasil” all day long. Everyone owns their own replica of the national soccer team’s jersey.

People here adore Brazil.

The average Brazilian, however, believes that their government is a bunch of crooks, to be treated with suspicion, and with the knowledge that they will eventually screw the general population.

People here hate their government.

They are not considered “anti-Brazilian” for hating their government, however. I get the impression things are that way in most nations, actually, with at very least citizens remaining constantly wary of those that serve them.

Strange how that’s not at all the way things are in the United States, where if you don’t love the “State” then you must hate the country and all it stands for.



The Politics of idiocy

Monday, September 25th, 2006

One of the great things I’ve learned being in a South American country is this - the liberal, or more socialist political party always has the advantage. The more poor the country, the more true this seems to be.

In Brazil, Lula will run away with his second term as president by pandering to the poor. The same is true in regards to Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and the other leftist leaders down these parts.

Now, in these countries, the general populace is extremely poor. So really, whenever a politician does something for them, they will gladly give them their vote. In the U.S., people aren’t as poor, but I truly believe democrats have a natural advantage as people always want something for nothing. The margin of error is closer, however, therefore, if the more conservative party can come up with a solid schtick, they can even the odds.

In the U.S., that schtick is obviously fear. That it works so well is truly amazing. How many of us know people that are educated and erudite, yet seem to have a deep belief that we are in a great “War of Civilizations” and that if we do not go on a constant attack, give up civil rights and our national soul, then everyone in the U.S. will be forced to bow to Mecca and speak Arabic?

That it makes no sense whatsoever is of no concern to them. They truly believe that some nation-less groups, without armies, and for the most part with divergent goals, are going to come to the U.S., defeat the country and take over.

And for those that think that way, the fact that many of us know that this is a ludicrous thought does not mean we want to lay down all arms and warmly allow crazed religous types to come take over. Not everything is black and white, you see. But the fact is, Israel, surrounded by nations that despise it and would love to see them removed from the Earth, still stands. They are vigilant, but they are not insane.

Yet, an ocean removed, many in the U.S. have gone insane. Because a political party has made them that way.

In the end, that’s all it is. We have given our basic common sense over to politicians, and they have run with it. And here’s the thing:

Politicians don’t care about you. Not even a little bit. They just want to remain in, or achieve power. If that means giving you some meal vouchers, fine. If it means terrifying you with boogie men and sending your sons to their deaths in meaningless wars, fine. Whatever it takes. Left and right meet in the middle when it comes to achieving and/or maintaing power.

A country is made up of its people. A nation is not its government and the people that run it. And until people start demanding their government work for them, then they will continue to be abused by politicans and others whose only concerns is their own power.

There are no politicans out there to save us. That is our job.


The Blair Necessities: Because when life gets tough, Lisa Whelchel makes a great target

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

I’m not gay, but I’ve seen plenty of gay people on TV, and let me tell you, I like what I see.

So when I happened upon the site Nervous Breakdown (”Dictae of a New York City-ensconced worried gay”), I happily gulped down what he had to offer (It’s freeing to make gay innuendos). And let me tell you, the guy is a fun blogger who cheerfully spreads the snark thickly enough that you need a special snark-cleaning appliance to clean it off your screen.

I mean, where else would you find “Super Mario on Ice?”

Anyway, I followed NB to another site of his, which may in fact be the second-greatest site of all time, “The Blair Necessities.” It’s a blog that mocks what is obviously the greatest site of all time,

Yes, the former Facts of Life bitchy bombshell has her own Web site, and lo and behold, she is Christian with an intensity that likely has Christ himself hinting at her to cool it. The site itself is mesmerizing, including information on her book “Taking Care of the Me in Mommy” (where’s the “confused yet delighted and horrified” emoticon when you need it?), among other things.

By far though, the best part of the site, and the part that the Blair Necessities focuses on, is the “Coffee Talk” section.

Here’s a little taste of what the complexly devout Whelchel has to say these days, filtered through “Blair Necessities, Coffee Talk Companion” of course:

Lisa Whelchel: What prompted me to write this was thinking about how each church denomination I’ve attended, five in all, have all had such a distinctly profound influence on my life and ministry. I can see God’s hand so evidently as He has used the different bodies of believers to shape me into who I am today.

Blair Necessities: We can see God’s hand, too, believe it or not. Right now it’s shoving itself down God’s throat. You know, this is the first time we’ve ever really felt bad for God. Like, really.

It’s truly fantastic stuff, the perfect thing for you when you feel your head is about to explode watching Team Bush plot to save the world by killing Iranians as well as Iraqians and anyone else lighter that Whelchel’s defiantly hyper-white husband.

The best part is, we can openly mock Whelchel, and the worst we’ll get from it is prayers from her. It’s totally win-win. I imagine she’s spent many an hour trying to pray the Snarky Gayness Demon off our friend at Nervous Breakdown, but it doesn’t appear to be taking. Which is truly a victory for us all.

Lisa Whelchel

Lisa Whelchel: Because without
Christ, she’d be doing soft-porn
lesbo scenes with Alyssa Milano.


‘Hitler’s Cross’ a bad name for a restaurant, but as bad as a pest-control company named ‘Osama’s’?

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

There have been a few stories in the news lately about a restaraunt in Índia that took the name “Hitler’s Cross.”

“Hitler is a catchy name. Everyone knows Hitler,” said owner Puneet Sabhlok, 23, who had went as far as putting a swastika on the logo.

Anyway, after a stern talking to from some Jewish organizations, Sabhlok has decided to change the name. He didn’t seem to mean any disrespect, but just wanted to get people’s attention, which he did, withg the price being that he has the firm taint of immoral upon him.

Still, I found it quite humorous that the frightened gargoyles at Little Green Footballs found this quite outrageous, even though they’ll call up the specter of Hitler to describe everyone from Iran’s leader to a guy who cut them off in traffic.

Luckily for them they don’t live in Brazil, where in the state of Minas Gerais there’s a pest-control place that has chosen the name Osama’s (Note to self: Get picture of this business this week). It’s named as such because, well, they kill everything.

I can guarantee this: It’s not meant as a slam for those that died in 9/11. But the thing that American’s don’t seem to understand, or play off with a quick “Who cares what anyone thinks” is that the majority of the rest of the world is made up of nations that don’t treat war as a national pasttime. And after the Bush re-election, the rest of the world seems to think Americans are scary and stupid bullies. Especially in South America, which has been an endless victim of American tinkering.

Is a pest-control business named “Osama’s” disrespectful? Of course. But it shows how the rest of the world is quickly losing respect for the United States.


Jelqing: Something only Satanists and Scrabble players need be concerned about

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

As the a long-range analysis of viewers of this site somewhat resembles binary code, I was held by the belief that I would receive no spam whatsoever. And while I don’t receive much, I do get approximately 30-50 attempts at spamming the comments section of the site per week.

Yesterday, however, I received a spam attempt that actually impressed me. You see, the current trend is to stick “Hey, you’re site is super keen” or some such text in the comment area, along with say, 23,000 links to porn or other such sites. Yesterday, I was impressed that I received one that was remarkably straightforward.

It was, in a way, as if they knew me. They were certain my penis was too small, and that I needed help. I felt somewhat exposed. And not in the good, trench-coat-at-church way, either. Nonetheles, I was able to shake it off, except for the post’s reference to “jelqing.”


It turns out this is some type penis-enlarging exercise, maneuver, thing, of which I found all the necessary information for at a very appealing site called Satanosphere. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m anti-Satan all the way, baby. But it’s not like these guys are Scientologists or anything.

They did a much better job descibing the jelqing phenomenon than I could ever hope. I particularly enjoyed this section from Satanosphere’s post on Jelqing:

As with any mysterious (and widely sought after) ancient technique or substance, real hard information about jelqing, like how to do it (or how badly you’ll wreck your willy doing it) is hard to come by. Controversy about it, however, is not. Google Groups firmed things up a little bit. Read this whole thread from the beginning for a few flaccid humorous moments.

One thing about this still kind of sticks with me though … How come is it that when men want to enlarge their man-parts it’s almost universally viewed as totally creepy, and the websites about it are incredibly tacky and weird?

Now, I’m married, so my need to jelq is fairly low. But I am hoping the word will enter the Scrabble lexicon, where, if played wisely, it could be worth something like 1,500 points.


Well if you love the terrorists so much, why don’t you marry one?

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

Only one thing is certain in this crazy, mixed-up world: this blog is really going to hurt my election efforts should I decide to run for office some day.

Nonetheless, seeing the recent trial of the Marines charged with heinous crimes against Iraqis, there was a part of me that was hurt, but a part that fully understood their actions. Our troops are just like any other section of society, and there will be fringe groups that will do things that will shock and horrify us.

The question is, how do we react to fringe groups like this?

Remember when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City Federal building in 1995? Remember, then we killed him for it? Yeah, that guy. Anyway, after that happened, the U.S. as a nation didn’t declare all-out military conflict with white supremacists, or any other anti-government types, yet, in the time since, homegrown terrorists have not blown up any more buildings.

After all, it would be silly to declare war on a fringe group, right? Just keep an eye on them, and superior intelligence will usually rendered them more or less impotent.

So go forward to Sept. 11, 2001 and a fringe group of Islamic extremists commit a horrendous act against us. Again, keep in mind, we didn’t rush out and attack them, because they’re a fringe group. Heck, these days we aren’t even bothering to really look for Osama bin Laden anymore. He’s much too fringe and impotent for us to worry about.

Instead, of course, the government half-assed it in Afghanistan and worked to attack Iraq, all the while showing pictures of people hurling themselves off the World Trade Center, pummeling the public with erroneous connections to the fringe groups, in order to do what they really wanted to do anyway, as the Project for the New American Century foretold.

Now days the erroneous connections are accepted as truth, and all one must do is question the war in Iraq, and the band of happy idiots accuse you of spending your off time giving terrorists deep-tissue massages.

Which means questioning anything about the Middle East is strictly off limits. Question what past Middle Eastern involvement by the U.S. and Europe have added to the fire? You love terrorists. Question if Israel has gone overboard in its strikes against Lebanon? You worship the terrorist lifestyle. Question why we don’t do a damn thing to Saudi Arabia, even through the 9/11 hijackers actually came from there? Well, you sir are a terrorist to ask such an insane question.

The only acceptable line of thinking is that all Middle Easterners are animals, bent on random acts of mass destruction. They either demand a world under Shia Law, or just want everyone dead and have no thought process whatsoever. They are like this because they are like this. They are simple-minded animals.

So this makes a simple-minded, animalistic response by the U.S. the right thing to do. Because if we don’t like act animals, the great thinkers leading our nation preach, then that means we are laying down our arms and coddling everyone. There is no in between. It is kill or be killed, just like in the wild.

So, when you see our troops being accused of acting like animals, remember that, for now, this is likely a fringe group of the military. But with a nation that more and more prides itself on being primal, we should expect more of this behavior, because it is the behavior that is expected of us.

And as long as disagreeing means you’re a terrorist, then the nation as a whole is more and more becoming an extremely dangerous fringe group to the rest of the globe.


Essay: Just a guy from a cold generation

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Here’s an essay I sent in to some Alaskan Web site, but the dude never paid me, so I figured I’d reclaim it so I could post it here. I honestly don’t remember if it’s any good. I’m sure I thought it was at the time. But you know how that goes. It is all true, however.


I guess every generation can look back on the previous generation and feel like they somehow missed something. This goes even further when we have one group that gets called “The Greatest Generation.” Sure, that’s wonderful for them, or whoever’s left of them, but hey, we get it, you got Hitler. You win. Where does that leave the rest of us though?

I’m pretty sure I fall into Generation X, having just missed the Generation-We-Never-Really-Got-Around-to-Naming, which followed the Baby Boom Generation. That would probably be a bad one, too. Your generation is basically known for being born. A lot. They just missed killing Hitler and all they got was Korea and Vietnam. Sucks to be them.

Of course, Generation X is basically known to be a generation that finally got sick of trying to do better than our parents. We believe we should leave our own children something more easily attainable. Call us Generation-Taking-A-Dive-For-Future-Generations, if you will.

Anyway, I suppose it boils down to the concept that every generation feels as though they missed out on something. I’m sure the greatest generation felt slighted by the Generation-That-Came-Before-We-Started-Naming-Generations for the fact that they had World War I. So the greatest generation had to go out and win World War II in the nick of time, kill some super villains and screw up everything for the rest of us.

Moving to Alaska at the age of 21, I was struck full force with the feeling that I missed out. Mostly because I had. In the late-1980s, Alaska was just shaking of the excesses of building a pipeline and all the money that came with doing menial labour in sub-zero temperatures. Digging a hole in the arctic was worth about $40 an hour in 1979. Digging that same hole in 1989 just meant you were probably discretely burying someone.

There’s a popular bumper sticker on cars in Alaska: “Please God, let us have another oil boom, I promise not to piss it away this time.” That’s mostly due to the fact that for every pipeline worker that made $100,000 a year, there was a bartender that made $120,000 and a hooker that made $140,000. They were heady times for sin in a land sinners tend to congregate to anyway. Alaska has always been America’s version of Australia — albeit a voluntary one. Give those criminals and shut-ins loads of money and a schedule that requires two weeks of work and two weeks of leisure and Satan can hardly keep up.

Oh, how I wish I could have been there to piss away $100,000 a year, but alas, I missed the whole damn thing. By the time I got to Anchorage, the crews were down to a cherished few at Prudhomme Bay, and they were mostly responsible, upstanding types. And with my first job being as a bartender in the city’s red-light district, I got all too accustomed to counting change for a Schlitz. Tips were as rare as bikini-clad blondes, and equally as aloof.

So while a decade earlier Alaska was swimming in money and rich drunks, I got to experience Alaska swimming in oil after an idiot drunk decided to park the Exxon Valdez on a rock bed. Of course, there was some temporary financial gain for those that were able to go clean up the oily mess, I, somehow, didn’t qualify to clean rocks and seagulls, as my application was rejected. So, I got to watch on TV as a bunch of scraggly-haired eco-lovers cleaned rocks and sobbed tenderly when they would find oily dead otters. Though a fellow bartender put that into perspective.

“It’s survival of the fittest,” he said. “What Alaska really needed anyway was tougher otters.”

My next Alaskan adventure was being a commercial fisherman in the Bering Sea. I like calling it an adventure because not many people have been commercial fisherman and their concept of a fisherman is based on endless PBS specials claiming it to be the world’s most dangerous job. I’m all for perpetuating that myth, even though the type of fishing I did wasn’t all that dangerous. I worked on a long-liner that caught the crafty and elusive cod on, well, long lines. The real dangerous job in the Bering Sea is working in the crabbing industry, which loses several boats and countless crewmembers each year. I like calling myself an adventurer of course, but that’s awfully hard to do while trapped in a wayward crab pot somewhere off the coast of Dutch Harbor.

So, I worked on a relatively luxurious long-liner for parts of three years, where I could make around $20-25,000 in five months. Not bad money really, but it took a lot less time to piss it away than the riches oil workers used to make. That was the big temptation of working on a crab boat, where you could make up to $60,000 in three months, which then your family could piss away on an extravagant, body-less grave site for you.

Still, working on a long-liner was no easy task. The working day would last from 16 to 24 hours, the weather was brutally cold most the time because for some reason, the crafty and elusive codfish was never hungry during the warmer months. Those cunning bastards.

I started my fishing career at the age of 24. I distinctly remember standing on deck on my 25th birthday thinking: “It’s my birthday. I’m working. In the Bering Sea. And it’s snowing on me.” So, while my memory constantly reconstructs my fishing experience as an adventure of man against nature, with me, shirtless with a scarf, the wind blowing through my hair while my muscles rippled with every rock of the boat, the reality is I was mostly cold, smelling of fish and doing work that was mindless dreck.

Aside from cold dreck served on a cold windy plate, the thing I disliked the most about working on a fishing boat was the conversation, or lack of. For the most part, there wasn’t any, aside from great sexual conquest stories. Fisherman, it seems, are not much for hygiene, but every last one of them has had sex with at least two women at the same time on several occasions. And all the women were hot. I know this because they told me, ad nauseam.

The big problem was that, on a long-liner, you spend most of your time working on the line itself in a small room. Therefore, you’re pretty much trapped with the same people, telling the same stories for three or four months straight. So for the most part, I immersed myself in music. There was always a stereo playing, and most of us also had walkmans and headphones. My headphones had to be surgically taken off my head after I got off the boat I had them on so much. In the middle of one trip, my batteries died and, not being able to find replacements, I just left the headphones on, trying my best to avoid conversation.

Listening to the stereo ceased to be an option for me after someone found a Janet Jackson tape they liked and played it over and over and over. Not that I dislike the lovely Miss Jackson, but every time I had my headphones off, one of my crewmates would inform me, in horrifying detail, the nasty sexual things he wanted to do to her. Which was all likely to happen, of course, as Janet more than likely has a secret fetish for smelly fisherman. I’m sure he not only finally got her, but she invited several of her dancers to join the fun.

This is not to say there weren’t some interesting characters around. We had a captain who was on his final voyage who must have been about 75. It was vaguely terrifying having him as the man in charge. He would generally walk around the boat, calling people by the wrong names and screaming about the stir sticks we used for our coffee and then left lying around. I always imagined that one day we’d sink and he’d be running around the galley screaming “Someone pick up these damn stir sticks! Everywhere I look, stir sticks! Stir sticks!!”

Luckily we never sank, because I personally was in charge of launching one of the emergency rescue boats, and it was never adequately explained to me how I was supposed to get in the boat after I launched it.

There was also an Ethiopian guy on the boat one time. He told me his name several times, though I never remembered it and couldn’t pronounce it anyway. I started calling him Fred, and everyone else followed. This was one of my bigger achievements as a fisherman of course. There are few things in life better than giving someone a nickname that sticks. Hell, even Fred started putting Fred on all his gear. I’m sure he dropped the name after he went back home. Not much of a call for Freds in Ethiopia I imagine.

Easily my favorite guy I ever met on a boat was a six-foot-four, one-hundred-and-thirty-pound, frizzy-haired, one-eyed guy named Matt. At first look, Matt was a scary dude. He had that psycho killer thing going on, and with one eye dead, it made for one imposing skinny guy. In reality, however, he turned into one of the few guys I’d actually take my headphones off to talk to.

Matt was from Seattle and loved fishing. It gave him six months a year off to pursue a life of heavy pot smoking and wandering through the wilderness of Seattle. He would actually talk about non-Janet-Jackson humping things, which I found fabulous. He was nice to everyone, and even called Fred by his real name. Matt was even-tempered and cheerful, unless someone was goofing off and came near his good eye. “I’m already down one eye, get away from me,” he’d yell.

The story about how he lost his lost eye pretty much summed him up as a person. He was walking off a nice buzz in the woods outside Seattle with some friends when he was 18 (he was around 28 when I met him). A lone BB pellet was fired from somewhere around his group, and somehow hit him right in the eye, killing it. I asked him if he thought someone had shot at him on purpose:

“That would just bring me down, man,” he said. “I prefer to think that it was an accident. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

And so it goes. Matt was born a generation late. He would have made a perfect hippie. Well, actually he was a perfect hippie in a world where hippies are a dying breed. He never complained about it though. He was much more interested in talking about literature, catching fish and reveling in his odd, freakish appearance. “I’m just a long-haired one-eyed freak,” he was fond of saying.

Matt was part of his own This-World-Can-Still-Be-A-Pretty-Cool-Place Generation, and for that, I still think of him sometimes. He’s just the type of person you could imagine meeting in Alaska.