I feel I should do some writing here. Something other than angry partisan ranting that is. I’m a bit too busy geeking out and watching the entire run of Joss Whedon’s Firefly on DVD. This weekend, the Firefly movie Serenity and the Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean created Mirrormask are coming out. Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman, releasing major motion pictures at the same time. September 30 is a national geek holiday. There hasn’t been a convergence of wonderful things quite so fullof wonder since the legendary Vonnegut/monkeys convergence of earlier this month.
Serenity tomorrow, Mirrormask Saturday…I haven’t had sex in a really long time and it’s times like these that I really don’t care at all…
I apologize to my dear readers for saying that. I’m such a bad person.
The phrase "Hammer Down" actually appears in the They Might Be Giants song "Rabid Child" not, as previously indicated, the They Might Be Giants song "Chess Piece Face".
Whatjailislike.com/adg sincerely regrets the error.
Lots of fun events recently. Not the least of which is Tom Delay being indicted for something or other…Woo and Hoo in succession! He is as awful a person as exists anywhere and I hope he is repeatedly tortured and sodomized in a comfortable white collar prison. Of course a Texas jury will probably let him off for being a good Christian man and then go looking for more dark skinned thugs to ritually kill.
But I just read he’s resigned as Majority Leader! I’ve been coincidentally listening to the They Might Be Giants song “Chess Piece Face” in which a cheerfully malevolent voice keeps repeating the phrase “Hammer Down, Hammer Down”.
And get a load of that Michael “There are people in the Superdome?” Brown guy, defending himself before a mostly Republican Congressional committee (Nancy Pelosi is rather foolishly boycotting it for some reason) talking about how he was an ubercompetent selfless prince of a public official during Katrina and how he heroically shuffled papers in the eye of the storm. We’re used to seeing this kind of thing from Bush minions, but my breath was actually taken away by reading his insistence that absolutely nothing went wrong on the federal level. His insistence that the “federal government is not a first responder” staggers me. To a MASSIVE HURRICANE? Yes, I know the mayor and the governor were not exactly flawless in their response (um, it’s Louisiana) to this thing, but I’m a little clueless as to when it was decided that MASSIVE HURRICANES were municipal events. I mean this event did not occur in the city limits of New Orleans. Lots of other towns and cities in the gulf coast were destroyed. And people were trapped behind. Why is no one talking about THEIR mayors? Or the Republican (actually former chairman of the Republican party if I’m not mistaken) By the way, the state and local officials DID execute, according to Time magazine, (one of them old fashioned print publications) a pre-existing evacuation plan which coordinated traffic on three different state highways to create an escape route. 80% of New Orleans’ population got out in twenty four hours. Which is frankly amazing. And that was the state and local officials on their own, with absolutely zero help from DC. Was it really so GODDAMN much to ask to have them maybe take care of that other twenty percent that got trapped?
But, Mr. Brown solemnly informs us, evacuation is not FEMA’s job. Law enforcement is not FEMA’s job. Providing food and water to thousands of trapped, starving American citizens is not FEMA’s job. (Or the military’s, which does that sort of thing all the time in Afghanistan and Iraq) What exactly, one might rhetorically ask, IS FEMA’s job? Punk, if you think those papers are going to shuffle themselves, you should shut your mouth, step aside and let the grownups do what they need to do.
Maybe the Nuremberg defendants should have ditched the "following orders" defense and isntead, high mindedly refused to play the Blame Game.
To their everlasting credit, the mostly GOP Congresscritters tore his foul entrails apart.
Of course, this hasn’t stopped FEMA from rehiring Brown as a six figure salary “consultant”. Guess you can’t keep a good Bush crony down. What sage counsel will he be providing them with? “Don’t strain yourselves too much, boys. Life’s too short to work so hard.”
Autumn has come to my fair city, which makes me extremely happy. I adore the start of fall, as I believe I’ve noted on this here site before. This morning was the kind that is much hated by philistines and much loved by me. A warm rain was falling from a twilighty sky at 8 in the morning…that’s the world I wanna live in.
Many people at my office think that I’m a quiet, reserved type, when in fact, I’m just seething with contempt for my surroundings. So I like surprising them once in a while. We had an office party on Friday which involved karaoke. Judge me if you will, but I rock the house in karaoke, so I grabbed the microphone and awed the crowd. Pretty cool. Then a girl I really like commanded me to dance with her and I danced horribly, as I usually do. Never get too pleased with yourself, Leahy.
My evil MBA uberboss, whose leadership consists entirely of consulting spreadsheets that tell her to fire people, complimented me on my performance then smilingly said, “You know, Rory, you’re in the wrong business.”
I saw the opening performance of my dark and scary play later Friday night and it made me want to hide under my chair. Really. SCAAAARRRYYYY…
While the play generally came off beautifully, my roommate, who is a theatre critic and all, offered the best critique of the show when she said she found the violence against women in the play (which is in the script) unnecessarily fetishized and sexualized (which is not in the script) and I was hard pressed to disagree, so if you see the show and find yourself feeling icky about that, I disavow all responsibility.
Several people say the lead actor (playing the serial killer) looks and acts a bit like me, which is creepy. My friend Rob who also saw the show with me, said that the guy might be cast to play me in a movie titled “The Rory Leahy Story”. I like the idea of someone doing research on how to play me.
“Is it true his shirt was tucked into his underwear two thirds as often as not?”
Man, looking at my last entry on New Orleans, I can’t believe how ridiculously soft I am on GWB sometimes. I’ve always had this silly Frank Capra/West Wing view of the office of the presidency that even when I’m violently opposed to a man politically, I will still respect the man and the office and assorted clichés, but you know what? That guy is seriously a dickwad.
I’d like to take this moment to send a shoutout to Michelle, friend of my friend Sam. I didn’t meet Michelle until she hosted a party in Oak Park (the Evanston of the West) Saturday night. But she apparently reads this website. People I don’t know who read this website rock. If you are someone I do know who reads this website, you may feel free to make the inference that I don’t particularly care about you because it’s entirely intentional.
Just in case you missed this:
"Rory, the main character in your play is exactly like you, if you were an insane serial killer."
-Nora Best, 2005
Just thought I'd take a moment to plug a play I wrote that is opening this weekend. It's called "Gods of the Earth" and it's part of a festival of three dark and scary one act plays being put on by a theatre company called Dark Night Gallery. A couple of months ago, I submitted a script to them, they selected it to be one of their final six and presented them in a single night. The audience voted on the three they liked best and mine now gets to have a full four week production at the Chicago Park District's fabulous Chase Park Theatre, 4701 N. Ashland Ave. (a few blocks west of the Lawrence Red Line)
Relative to this one, most of the plays I write are lighthearted tales about fluffy puppies frolicking in green fields. This one is...not. It's protagonist, as the quote above indicates, is a witty, charming, handsome insane serial killer, kind of like Hannibal Lecter (with an MTV Generation "edge"!) But there are positive, humanistic elements to the play too, such as the ending in which he gets trampled by fluffy puppies. That's not the actual ending.
This one's not for the weak of heart, especially as it is being directed by the terrific Craig Rosen, and acted by these three mega talented kids, John, Erin and Sonia, (the big actors like Madonna all go by their first names) it's BRUTAL. But it's only like twenty five minutes long so it'll be over soon.
It opens this Friday, September 16 and closes Sunday, October 16. It's Fridays and Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 3. I think it costs between $10-$15, they didn't really tell me that part.
Anyway, if you've always had a vague feeling that you should stay very, very far away from me, this show will be all the confirmation you need.
There were monkeys…and Kurt Vonnegut…in the same episode of the Daily Show. I have never felt more alive. I feel like the universe is a wonderful, beautiful toy that I want to keep playing with until it explodes in a fiery, gaseous ball of heat and light…This is what Paradise looks like…when it’s about to fall into the sea in a really hilarious fashion.
As I start this entry (though I don't think as I finish) it's Friday night and I'm kickin' it Rorystyle, I've just read some comics, watched some Arrested Development, am trading snarky witticisms with my roommate and she's also singing to me. But I'm also thinking about the disaster and, God forgive me, it's political implications. Lots of people are blaming the government for its failure to respond adequately to this horror and they're blaming the President for these failures. I'm not entirely comfortable with this. I'm not in the camp of what's sometimes called the Looney Left that believes George W Bush is some sort of demonic being, but I do think he's a terrible leader, and fanatically committed to some very stupid ideological fallacies. And it shows.
But I don't want to talk about Katrina right now, believe me I don't. I want to rewind a bit. About four years ago, to the last big apocalyptic event (on these shores of course, fuck Indochina or Sudeyann or whatever, we're Americans) Let's talk about the world famous morning of September 11, 2001. There are some fairly crazy people who believe that Bush deliberately allowed it to happen, or in fact, orchestrated the whole thing, and believe lots of other utter, pernicious nonsense along those lines, I'm not one of them. There's a much larger faction of our populace that the attacks could have been prevented if those in charge had been listening and doing their jobs properly. Am I one of them? Pretty much, not quite. I feel if you add up all the information that (we know of) the government had: The Moussaui investigation in Minneapolis, the data they had on Atta, NSA interceptions, stuff that was coming in from German intelligence and elsewhere overseas, the CIA memo, the warnings that were being desperately issued by people like Richard Clarke, all that just the top of my head, it all adds up to the fact that there were dots to connect that weren't being connected. John Ashcroft stopped flying on commercial aircraft in July, 2001. That's not conspiracy theory, that's what the reality based community calls "a fact". They knew an attack was coming (hell *I* knew an attack was coming for years, because I read the right magazines) If they had worked harder to anticipate the nature of that attack...Could they have stopped it? I don't know, quite likely not. But that doesn't change the fact that much, much more could have and should have been done with that goal in mind. There's no question that the Administration was caught with its pants around it's *Goddamn ankles* and, sickeningly, rather than admit this and try to move forward, they repeatedly lied, covered up and obfuscated this reality.
Fast forward back to the present day, we have what I perceive to be a colossal, colossal failure to help the people who needed it. As soon as it became clear, meteorologically, that thing was going to destroy so much of the Gulf Coast, a massive federal evacuation and assistance plan should have been, if not deployed, put in place, and don't give me any "libertarian" crap about how that would be Big Brother exercising his totalitarian grip, and fuck the laws on the books about how the governor has to make a formal request for assistance and bla bla...I was under the impression that "9/11 changed everything". The latest "what the fuck" to come out of the region has been that the Red Cross (whom I recently gave ten bucks to at Barack Obama's helpful suggestion) is banned from the region by the National Guard "Because it would encourage peole to stay". Now when the military bans the Red Cross from disaster sites in other countries, we usually call THAT totalitarianism.
By the way you should all be reading http://www.nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/ because Neil Gaiman regards its proprietor Theresa Nielsen Hayden as one of the more brilliant sources of information on the planet, which is a hell of an endorsement, also one of my roommate's best friends works with her at Tor Books, and that's awesome. Anyway, from her I've learned that a while back the Department of Homeland Security decided to privatise hurricane management services in New Orleans. Privatise...Oh wonderful... Handed out a nice .5 million dollar contract to something called Innovative Something or Other. Praise be the glories of the free market! They did a bangup job whoever the hell they are!
Anyway, my point to all this is that for the second time in four years, a Nightmare Scenario has played itself out on American soil, both times, thousands of people have died, and in both cases, the response from our government has been woefully, woefully inadequate. One man, George W. Bush, must ultimately be held responsible for this. Is that fair? No, it's not fair, but as the old saying goes, and as the last week has ambly demonstrated, neither is life. The President must be held responsible because he is the Man in the Chair (when he isn't on the ranch that is) he's supposed to be Captain Kirk, the man with the magical buck stopping abilities. Only he's very much not. Would this clusterfuck upon clusterfuck still have happened with a better person in the White House? I don't know. But the point is, no one else IS in the White House.
In baseball you get three strikes. But this ain't baseball.