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Thursday, December 29, 2005


Replies: 4 comments

Hi, this is a great blog. Great topic also. keep it going on.

Posted by Adult Personals @ 12/28/2005 07:33 PM CST

How are you supposed to react to Spam that compliments you?

Monday, December 26, 2005


Feeling ill. May be using that as an excuse for not writing nearly enough this Christmas break. Check that, am definitely using it as an excuse, but I'm still not feeling well. Will probably go to work tomorrow anyway, sick days being largely a relic of America's socialist past. My workplace's "Operations Director" (roughly equivalent to Himmler in WWII era Germany) once wrote a lengthy e-mail about how sick days were theft from my employers. I'm too ill to say anything really clever and devastating about her but be assured that she is a sad and unpleasant little woman for whom death would be a welcome and appropriate release from a meaningless and poisonous life.

I was just saying the other day that human beings are far too quick to judge the totality of other people's character on the basis of very limited knowledge.

I'm going to keep doing that because it's fun.

Now that the Jesus Day stuff is over, what are people doing on New Year's Eve? I have no plans. Last year I had two parties to go to, now nothing. People clearly like me even less now than they did then. I'm sure I did a lot of terrible things in 2005.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Here It Is Merry Christmas

Thanks for the song, Marc.

My family relations being what they are, I'm spending Christmas Eve in my apartment watching movies and things. Do not weep for me, for it is awesome.

My roommate was recently gone for the week and now she's doing whatever it is the rest of you people do on the holidays. Having the apartment to myself means dancing around the living room in my underwear. Metaphorically.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

current events I'm fairly sure about but not entirely

Here's what I feel about NYC transit workers going on strike: I'm not sure, but I mainly think it's management's fault. I'm a huge fan of organized labor. (Dear Twinters: Blow me) My father was a proud union carpenter (and officer) for decades. Without unions, I never would have remotely been a part of the American middle class (nor would most people, whether they're in unions or not, unions *created* the American middle class) Organized labor put a roof over my head, food in my belly all my life. I certainly never would have gotten to go to a Catholic high school or even a state university without my father's union membership. Unions took us out of the Dark Ages of the nineteenth century, when laborers weren't much more than slaves, indeed, their lives were considered more disposable because they weren't property.

I believe firmly in the right to strike, but as my dad says, never strike unless you know you can win. And thanks to Ronald Reagan (may worms feast upon him) you mostly can't anymore. My hometown's proud Republican newspaper frames this as "unions wanting more money". This is the Big Lie. They're not trying to get more money, they're trying to preserve their pensions and their health benefits. This isn't about greed, this is about fighting for the American way of life. The Captains of Industry, they of the hagiographic magazine covers, want to bring the Dark Ages, back, make no mistake about that. But shutting down New York City was a public relations disaster. It gets people who should be on their side, like my roommate who was vacationing there, hating them. That's not right. And the decent hardworking commuters of New York deserve better too, though I think the anger should be directed at the bean counters and not the workers. A better idea (my roommate's) would be an act of mass civil disobediance: Let everyone ride for free for a couple of days. That would be pretty cool.

But the strongarm tactics I'm hearing about are appaling. People are being docked two days pay for every day they participate in the strike, and they're talking about throwing people in jail. Jail. For striking. What the fuck?

What people need to understand though, is that the world doesn't spin because of Ayn Randian supermen. It spins because of ordinary people like you and me. And those people, all of those people, deserve respect.

The other thing I'm not sure about is the whole NSA spying thing. It's a familiar story: George W Bush does something terrible, the Left screams that Bush is Hitler, obscuring the fact that Bush did in fact do something terrible.

I have no problem with the government spying on the phone conversations of suspected terrorists. No problem. At all. But is it such a Goddamn chore to get input from an outside authority (like say a federal judge) on who exactly a "suspected terrorist" is? 'Cause in the sixties, Martin Luther King was an agent of Communist subversion, and by the seventies, anyone working for the Democratic Party was. Oh yeah, and John Lennon was a dangerous foreign national.

But the Bush crowd views rule of law as weakness against terror. And too many liberals have too hard a time explaining why they too, want to fight the bad guys but in the right way.

Lost in the shuffle (and not as easily tied back to the Boss Man) is the fact that the Defense Department is conducting domestic spy operations (the fuck?) against Quakers and animal rights groups.

As Molly Ivins said, these people can't tell the difference between a vegetarian and a terrorist.

I can. Vegetarians are fine.

Vegans are fucking terrorists.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

let me make this clear

Is everyone who happens to be reading this weblog also reading Rik Reppe's? Because you all need to be reading Rik Reppe. That's my alliterative truth for the day.

Monday, December 19, 2005

the bar has been lowered

I was in my neighborhood Walgreens a few minutes ago, buying much more ice cream than I have any business buying and I was looking at their cheap DVD racks. Walgreens likes to sell horrible movies for like, two dollars for some reason, and I noticed some crappy slasher movie titled "The Frightening".

Jesus Christ, Hack Horror Movie Writers of America, do you have any Goddamn respect for yourselves at all?

Seriously, is that title supposed to chill me or something? Is it supposed to be self fulfilling prophecy? Power of positive thinking? Really, I can smell your desperation when you choose to title your film with a description of the emotional state it will allegedly evoke in me.

I'm almost finished with the first draft of my current opus, following closely on the heels of my own foray into horror writing, "Gods of the Earth". That was the darkest thing I've ever written, this one is shaping up to be the lightest thing I've ever written. I've been a little worried about it at times, I don't want it to be *too* light, actually I don't mind light, but I don't want it to be slight. That is I want it to be about something. In an odd way it's become about it's own lightness. Hopefully it's going to be a fun romantic comedy that will bring joy to people's hearts.

I'm going to call it "The Amusing".

Friday, December 16, 2005


I just read that the great character actor John Spencer, who played "Leo" on the "West Wing" died. He was incredibly charming onscreen. The most touching words I can say of the recently departed are that I can think of lots of other people I'd rather have dead than him.

Friday, December 9, 2005


Hola Amigos, I know it's been a long time etc.

We had a classic Chicago snowstorm yesterday. I may be one of the few people in the world who appreciates how awesome a classic Chicago snowstorm is. Not being an automobile owner may be a factor, I don't know. Last night I stood by the 19th story windows of my office building. I looked at four different windows, four different directions, the snow was swirling in all of them. It was really beautiful. I love my city.

Then I boarded the rush hour el train, perhaps even more crowded than usual because or weather related delays. Anyway, there was a Crazy Street Person in my car. Crazy Street People bother some, they mostly just amuse me. I've been riding the el all my life, on an almost daily basis (Champaign years excepted) since I was fourteen. I've seen it all and if you flinch when some insane/drunk/otherwise chemically impaired guy is talking about how God's Love Needs To Save Him From The Dirty Bitches, you're a rube. I don't care how long you've lived here.

This one was different. This one was a Bad Guy. He had the potential to hurt someone. I've seen my share of those guys too. They don't make me flinch either, but they merit my attention. Maybe I've seen him before, I feel like I've seen most of them, but I'd never seen him like this. He was a black man, as most but certainly not all Crazy Street People are, early sixties maybe, Rasta haircut. He started screaming at people for their perceived crimes against his person. "Pushing him" as everyone packed into a rush hour snowstorm el car will be pushed. He started telling people he would fuck them up. This is when most of the crowded car took notice. He started ranting, predictably, about the racists who had kept him down all his life, about white people and their crimes. Like a strong majority of Crazy Street People, he noted his valorous Vietnam service (in 1994 or so, a maybe thirty year old white Crazy Street Person with a Kurt Cobain haircut told me he was a Vietnam veteran, do the math) but this guy, well I didn't have much reason not to believe him, other than the fact that he was a raving loonie of course. I then saw him look quizzically at a young black man who, like me, was just watching. He asked "You serve your country? You a soldier? You a vet aincha?" The young man didn't answer for a moment, then clinched his teeth and said, "Yeah, man, I'm a vet. But I don't have to talk about it."

Maybe the Walking Wounded can in fact, recognize each other...

Crazy Street Person went back to screaming about white people and threatening to fuck them up. As we approached the Belmont hub station, people began filing out but he kept up the ranting, Finally, a middle aged man rose from his seat, told him to shut the fuck up, he backed down, rather fearfully it seemed.

A couple of minutes later, he found his courage, resumed ranting and started directing epithets to the middle aged guy. He started in, inevitably, on the bloodsucking Jews. This was the point at which a young black woman, who had a child next to her, echoed the earlier sentiment about the fuck that he should shut up. She told him he was scum and that he was no better than any racist. He advanced towards her and directed his haraungue towards her. Now the point at which he starts threatening a young woman with a child is probably a little bit past the point at which a run of the mill Psychotic Asshole becomes a Psychotic Asshole In Need Of A Beatdown. I looked around and it was clear that every man on the train felt that way. One guy said so, and I told him I was with him. But right then, the middle aged guy took him by the arm and said "Come over here and talk to me". At that point he calmed down. The situation was resolved peacefully. He talked about the ghetto he grew up in and hateful Whitey and whatever, but he did it all relatively calmly. He proclaimed "Chi-town is MY town". That at least, is something we've got in common. We were headed into the Howard terminal now.

"We gettin' near the lake now." He said. It's true. We were. "You know what's beautiful 'bout Chicago? That lake. No matter what people...white people...You got the lake. Nobody owns that lake. No matter how poor you are, they can't never take that lake away from you. Belongs to everybody..."

I smiled then. I smiled a lot.

As if I needed to learn it again, even a Psychotic Asshole can make me smile...

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