Saturday, January 31, 2009

Songs for the weekend

We all need theme songs, so why not a couple from Eddie Spaghetti...

PRETTY FUCKED UP

And then the logical conclusion...

HUNGOVER TOGETHER for those of you lucky enough, or unlucky enough, to be sharing such a conclusion.

Friday, January 30, 2009

If can just get off of this LA Freeway

without getting killed her caught.

This song is not about my hometown, and I realize that sometimes not all the best songs are. Just most of them... Anyway, despite that it is not about New York City, it does a pretty fair job of capturing how I feel sometimes, waking up to the prospect of climbing down into the hole in the ground to catch a train to a grimy street that looks like something Charles Dickens dreamed up in a laudanum nightmare.

LA Freeway, by Guy Clark

The video, it seems, similarly to every day life, gets cut short... but it's worth the listen.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Glossophagia takes a stab at celebrity gossip!



Has Courtney Cox had a nosejob? All evidence points to....

YES!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lest I be misconstrued...

as being anti-religion, or bearing any ill will towards religious people for their beliefs. I am not. I am, however, deeply offended by the those who would lord their religious beliefs over the rights of others in the political realm, i.e. Proposition 8 in California. Here are a few notes on the protections we are supposed to have under the Constitution, and a few more on how they've been undermined on the state level by religious fascism:

THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

Article VI.

Clause 3

"... but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Amendment I

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

State Constitutions that Discriminate Against Atheists

Arkansas State Constitution, Article 19 Section 1 ("Miscellaneous Provisions")

No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court.

Maryland's Declaration of Rights, Article 36

"That as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to Him, all persons are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty; wherefore, no person ought by any law to be molested in his person or estate, on account of his religious persuasion, or profession, or for his religious practice, unless, under the color of religion, he shall disturb the good order, peace or safety of the State, or shall infringe the laws of morality, or injure others in their natural, civil or religious rights; nor ought any person to be compelled to frequent, or maintain, or contribute, unless on contract, to maintain, any place of worship, or any ministry; nor shall any person, otherwise competent, be deemed incompetent as a witness, or juror, on account of his religious belief; provided, he believes in the existence of God, and that under His dispensation such person will be held morally accountable for his acts, and be rewarded or punished therefore either in this world or in the world to come."

Massachusetts' State Constitution, Article 3

"Any every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law: and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law."

Comment: Apparently Non-Christians are not "equally under the protection of the law".

Mississippi State Constitution. Article 14 ("General Provisions"), Section 265

No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.

North Carolina's State Constitution, Article 6 Section 8

"Disqualifications of office. The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God."

Pennsylvania's State Constitution, Article 1 Section 4

"No person who acknowledges the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this Commonwealth."

South Carolina's State Constitution, Article 4 Section 2

"No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor who denies the existence of the Supreme Being; ..."

Note: If you continue reading you will find that (in Section the Lieutenant Governor must also meet the same qualifications as the Governor.

Tennessee's State Constitution, Article 9 Section 2

"No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state."

Texas' State Constitution, Article 1 Section 4

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being."

So, after a period of a few months, where we've been told that all things are possible for all people under our great democratic society, it turns out it isn't true at all.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pope Videous Viralus I

I concede that the Pope is always an easy target. The current Pontiff's Nazi Youth past notwithstanding, he's stuck his papal piggies in his holy mouth a few times already. The suggestion that the indigenous people of South America, having been quite nearly exterminated by Spanish genocide, were better off after whitey brought them Jesus, was a tad insensitive, no?

If I were his handlers, I'd make shit-sure that His Holiness was confined to making speeches to devout followers, rather than let it all hang out, as THIS NEWS might suggest they're doing.

That's right, boys and girls: THE POPE CHANNEL!!! All Pope. All Day. Every Day.

No doubt that this is part of the public relations machine, which is cute in theory. It's PR for Christ's top PR firm. Will embracing the technology of youth, though, help spread the word? Will it become the biggest joke on the internet? There are a lot of questions.

Instant access to the Pope, though, doesn't necessarily mea instant access to the Pope. Sure you can click on and see his latest speeches and statements. It definitely doesn't mean you'll see them in their entirety though and it allows the big shots in PR to engage in some serious historical revisionism. If The Pope Channel is taken as credible reference material to all things Papal, then the next time The Big Guy makes another horrible public gaffe (and it's quite evident by the repeated pattern that he believes all this ridiculous stuff--something along the lines of spiritual eugenics and euthanasia) then damage control can hit the net nearly instantly. While some may call embracing new technology bold, I would say it's just plain sneaky.

In the meantime, for the rest of us who don't believe an omnipotent being should need a PR firm, it might be a great source of comic relief. You couldn't write a character like this--a dottering goose-stepper in a pointy hat and robes. This is great stuff.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Danger Danger, Will Robinson

MY BATTERIES HAVE RUN OUT, WILL ROBINSON.

My brother and I used to race home from school to watch Lost In Space, (and then Dark Shadows). It was never inconceivable to us that by the late 90s (in which the show was set), space travel would be common. We had seen technology moving forward in leaps and bounds. We had seen men walk on the moon. It seemed entirely possible that in a boundless universe there would be other planets capable of sustaining life, if populated by strange beings with a bent for ending that life.

It still seems entirely plausible to me that such worlds exist, even if my desire to see them is somewhat diminished. I've a hard enough time navigating this world with it's obstacles and pitfalls. A morning on the F train is filled with plenty of alien creatures, and unlike Lost In Space with everybody miraculously speaking English (except for the pretty green chick with the salad bowl headgear--pretty, handsome, handsome, pretty Doctor Smith) I have a hard time communicating with any of them.

The adventures of the Robinson family fueled so many dreams. We would sit awake at night discussing where we might be, and what we'd be doing and how we would be living in the very distant 1998. Reality bore very little resemblance to anything we conjured in our space-hyped imaginations. The year came and went and we were still earthbound, though duly impressed by TANG, juiceboxes and the International Space Station. Scientists and engineers are still mucking about with robots and artificial intelligence. I've spent my adult life seeking real intelligence (my own mostly) and that is every bit as elusive. With regard to technology, I'm still not all that certain how toasters work. Electricity remains mysterious. I won't even get into the whole thing with airplanes. It astonishes me every time I see one up there, not unlike how some primitive forest person must have felt seeing one for the first time.

Or Robot tooling about with his dryer-hose arms waving up and down...

Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!!!

R.I.P. Bob May

And speaking of danger and technology, this is my horrorscope today:

Quickie
Words alone won't communicate what you want. You must do your talking face to face.
Overview

Pay closer attention to what other people are trying to tell you today -- it may be that they're not as clear as they would like. In fact, you may need to plumb the depths and ask big questions.

The first big question I have is, do people still talk face to face these days? The second I'll plumb the depths for, can I have a day with no big questions?

Friday, January 16, 2009

We've fallen upon hard times...

What is the world coming to when you can't CHAIN AND WHIP YOUR MALE ESCORTS???. All my best wiseass lines, though, have been unfortunately misappropriated by the prosecutors, like:

Did you really want to hurt him? Did you really want to make him cry?

I guess that's all too obvious anyway.

Pardon my slacking here, by the way, on both frequency of blog posts and the all too easy jokes. I've been under the weather since returning to what I've always fondly referred to as my DIRTY OLD TOWN. The new year has gotten off to a strange start and there has been little to say about it. It has seemed best to put to put the nose to the proverbial grindstone and the shoulder to the wheel. It has seemed more prudent to set aside whimsy and attend to matters where my energy (and failing that my presence) has been more needed. It's all good.

I've spent the best of the last three days in the throes of migraine stupor, and this is certainly not a cry for sympathy. That's the thing with migraines. Each one feels like there can be no possible recovery. You don't even want to recover, if for no other reason than the fear of the next one. I'm simply telling how it is. Minutes seem like hours. Days seem like weeks (as the song goes).

There are moments of clarity though, when you know that if this is as bad as it gets, you can handle anything. I knew, at some point in the wee hours, while searching desperately for the cool spot on the pillow and sucking in the frigid air from the cracked window, that at some point, it would be gone.

Clarity. In the last several years, I've known a half dozen people, ranging in age from 3 to 45, that have had (or are battling) some form of cancer. What is my neurological quirk when measured against something like that?

Nothing at all. At some point in the wee hours, after catching myself in a moment of self-pity, clarity came and gave me an extra knock... the donkey punch of reality... and I smiled.

It wasn't gone today, not totally, that migraine, but it lessened. It will be back to reality tomorrow or the next day, and that reality isn't so bad at all. Not for me, anyway.

If there is one resolution I will stick by and fight for in 2009 it will be to remain aware of my blessings. That sounds religious, doesn't it? Whatever. From whatever source, I remain blessed, a lucky man in a world where horrible things happen to much nicer people.

My other resolution for 2009, and one I've made before but failed, was to find some way or ways to repay my own good fortune... and it has come from every direction my entire life. My debts are enormous.

Selah

Silly geese!

Will George Bush, now in his final days, invade Canada because of AVIAN TERRORISM from the Great White North?

Monday, January 05, 2009

You can never go home again...

I don't know the origin of this adage, but it's wrong.

You can, of course, go home. It just takes longer sometimes than others.

Literally speaking, anyway...

I've just done it, with mixed feelings. There are those that I missed terribly and can't wait to see them.

And then there are others... It is, in all, a perfect balance then, isn't it?

Happy New Year, all (belated).

I've already done away with one of my very first resolutions for 2009 and that was to rid myself of my dependency on ellipses... Let's just see which of the others makes it past Lent.