Thursday, November 12, 2009

Almost 30: Looking Back, Looking Forward

I'm officially two and a half hours or so from turning the big 3 - 0. And like quite a portion of the elderly population, I'm a bit deluded; a bit confused.

I mean, just how am I supposed to act at thirty? Should I stop by a medical supply and buy a walker? A Hoveround?

Retire and settle into a pair Depends undergarments. Cover these with slim fitting grey Russell Athletic sweatpants. Watch reruns of "Golden Girls" on TVLand. Shuffle around the house in tube socks and furry slippers only when absolutely necessary. And finally don an ill-fitting bathrobe to hide the whole mess.

Then, I'll pop a couple dozen prescription medications until I eventually succumb, dying in a putrid slop of human waste.

The horror. The horror.

I really don't want to say goodbye to my twenties. My twenties were, for the most part, pretty fucking cool. It seemed like the skinny, goofy bastard I'd been in my teens finally came into his own when turning-point twenty came around.

The writer in his twenties. He looked good. He partied a lot. Experimented with all sorts of substances and sexual positions. Made a douche of himself quite often. Redeemed himself when he could. And came through it all relatively physically and mentally intact. A veritable expose of well-spent youth.

Now, as I reach the winter of my twenties, life has changed completely. It's not just about me anymore. I've got a daughter now. So, the partying has come to a near complete close. And when I do drink, I find my tolerance is WAY, WAY lower than it was just a year ago.

I don't hit the gym. Ever. Don't really have time for it.

I try not to act like a douche, but it still happens on occasion. Usually around my family, which is regrettable, to say the least. They may forgive my little lapses, but like elephants, they never forget.

Basically, I now find myself much more cognizant of me. Sure, that statement sounds weird. But it's true. Where I'd do whatever I wanted in my twenties because it brought me pleasure, and I'd rarely suffer any consequences for my actions, now I find myself analyzing every thing I do before I do it. Analyzing things TO DEATH.

And I'm still getting used to it.

I guess my point is that my thirties already started somewhere in my late twenties. So, thirty is not that big a deal after all.

Now forty... that's something else entirely.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What We Need

Like most Americans, I've kept an eye on the current health care debate.

Unlike most, however, I'm well-informed on the topic, as I've taken it upon myself to do the reading and research.

I know a little something about health care. And I know how I would fix it.

But unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your political pinstripes), what I would do with the American health care system doesn't matter.

Because this current debate has nothing to do with logic, rationale, or comparison of the health care methods of other countries. In this debate, the insane are running the asylum. People who wouldn't have voted for Obama if he were a shade or two lighter are tearing roughshod across our TV screens, misinforming and frightening our just a shade above ignorant populous with outright lies and loony Far Right propaganda.

Now, middle America is scared. They're turning against reform. It seems the public option may be dropped from the health care reform bill, all because a few very vocal maniacs think socialism is a four letter word. Which means we'll just spend more money on a broken system with yet another health care bill.

I'm confused. It's not like health care reform was a surprise. President Obama ran on the issue and won the election in a landslide.

It just doesn't make sense. Was I the only one watching the debates? The only one voting for actual change?

Where did it all go wrong?

When President Obama didn't take the bull by the horns, lay out the problems with American health care, and outline how he planned to fix it in simple terms that even the dumbest of Americans could understand, he screwed up. This lack of a chat with the people allowed the Right Wing to fear-monger, playing on the fears of the common man and his lack of knowledge, lack of understanding.

Which is why we need to clone FDR and get his ass back in office in a hurry. If he were in office, everyone would have Medicare.

But he isn't. So, until the FDR clone is ready, you've got to get your shit together Obama. Drop the Harvard talk. Skip the witticisms. Speak as the common man speaks.

Revive the Fireside Chat.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What If It All Just... Stopped?

I've always been a little leery of technology. Net tech, specifically. My reasoning is simple. For every positive steadily progressing connectivity brings, there is a negative.

You're probably saying that there's a positive and negative side to just about everything, and to that I agree. Ice cream is delicious, but not if you're lactose intolerant. Surprise birthday parties are wonderful, but not if you're going through some aging crisis. Puppies are cute, but if you're allergic....

One caveat. Ice cream and birthday parties and puppies aren't necessary to live one's life in the modern age. Connectivity technology, however, is an absolute need.

Which brings us to a question: What if it all just shut down? What if the phones and cables and satellites and electricity and internet just decided to stop working? What if all went black?

I got an admittedly minute glimpse of such an apocalyptic future today.

The location of the end times? The Stop & Shop gas station.

The issue? The credit card swipes and Stop & Shop card scanners were down.

The outcome? The elderly were PISSED!

It was funny, really. After I tried to scan my S&S card twice and got an "invalid card" screen, I just smiled. Walked over to the cashier. Prepaid for my gas and went back to the pump. Pumped my 30 dollars of gas and left.

What happened during that time was enlightening.

The elderly were utterly befuddled. It was as if they'd never lived in a world without "at the pump" credit card swiping and S&S cards before. One angry bitch of a woman yelled at her obviously cuckolded husband, telling him to "swipe the card again" after he'd done it only about a half dozen times.

Why he'd even tried once made zero sense, because there were notes on every pump saying the credit card swipes were down (but not a word about the S&S card scanner). But I bet he did it only because she told him to.

Anyway, that mean-spirited whoo-ah continued badgering her poor bastard of a husband while he continued staring at the pump, dumbfounded.

At the cashier stand, another elderly lady verbally shat her way into my life.

"The pump keeps saying my card is invalid." Her tone implied that she thought I was a Stop & Shop employee.

"They're all saying that." I answered. "The credit card swipes are down, too. I'm just going to prepay with the cashier."

She sucked her teeth. "That's just great," she spat savagely. "Just what kind of place are they running here?"

I wanted to tell her it was a Stop & Shop gas station, not the Four fucking Seasons, you irate slut. I wanted to tell her that these things happen occasionally, so be patient and act civilized before I slap your bridgework out of your wrinkly mealy mouth.

But I kept mum.

The point? If everything were to crash today, the young and middle-aged would be fine. They'd adapt.

But the elderly? They'll be crafting suits of armor out of garbage cans and beating the stinky old shit out of each other in the Thunderdome in no time.

I can't wait.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

On Dealing with the Police

Now, I wasn't going to comment on the issue of Dr. Gates' arrest in Cambridge. But since our President decided it wise to make a biased comment... without knowing the entirety of the story... I've decided to join in, and leap upon the bandwagon.

But unlike our Prez, I'm not going to comment on the case at hand. Personally, I think both sides are at fault here, and I think the idea of racial profiling is a moot point.

What I feel went wrong was: A) The police went into the situation in their typical tough guy manner, and possibly put down Dr. Gates by speaking to him in an especially brusque manner (after all, they were responding to a B&E).

B) Dr. Gates decided to (obnoxiously) return the favor to the police (and play the "it's because I'm black, isn't it?" card).

C) The police (stupidly) arrested Dr. Gates for disorderly conduct.

And there you have it. Two big screwups.

Let me explain. I don't know if you've ever had experience with police, but I have. And most of the time, I am confronted with a situation similar to A. The cops come in with a bunch of bravado. Possibly even put you down personally, or intellectually.

So, A isn't a screwup. A is business as usual. And I've got no problem with business as usual. Cops can't be genially questioning suspected criminals. That'd just make them... journalists.

But what you don't do (and I've learned this from extensive experience) is respond as Dr. Gates did in B. No matter how right you are, trying to turn the situation around on the police isn't going to work out in your favor. Getting cocky and demanding names and badge numbers is only going to piss them off.

The proper response in a similar situation is to take whatever the police give you with a, "Yes, sir," or, "No, ma'am." Smile and nod and be as cooperative as possible. Courtesy in the face of discourtesy. Respect in the face of perceived disrespect. That is all.

Want my ID officer? Yes sir, here's my ID.

Did I know that light was red? No, ma'am.

And so on.

What I'm trying to get at here is there's a time and place to make an argument, and that's in court. The police are just doing their jobs. And if you're not guilty of anything, why act like a dick? Just suck it up and make your case in court.

As for C, the cops definitely fucked up here. And, the court saw fit to drop the charges. So, the court was in agreement. And it'd be ripe time to move on, if it weren't for people like our President referring to the Cambridge cops as "stupid" for arresting Dr. Gates.

No. What's stupid is this sham of a health care reform bill currently getting mauled to shreds by our health industry lobby owned Congress.

I digress. Continuing, I hoped Dr. Gates would rise above this shit and move on. The man's an intellectual. An academic. I've read and seen some of his work, and admire and respect him.

But, I'm frankly quite upset that Dr. Gates has gone all Al Sharpton with this minor arrest, turning it into some kind of popular martyrdom experiment by comparing his couple minutes in lockup to the plights of millions of incarcerated African Americans.

Simply, I thought Dr. Gates was better than that. Higher. On another plane. Now, I know even the best of our academics will turn an unfortunate event into a chance at wider exposure.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Common Sense: Health Care

Health care reform has been in the news a lot lately. In that time, the media's batted around all sorts of rarely explained terms as everyday facts of life. Strange terms like public, single-payer, and traditional policies, have left many wondering what the hell's happening in Washington.

At least one of these terms is roughly straightforward: traditional policies. These are the private policies already offered by insurance companies, sold to consumers either a) directly, or b) through their employers.

But what about public and single-payer policies?

Public health care policies refer to something similar to the Massachusetts state health care system, in that a state, or public, policy (or policies) is offered alongside the traditional, private policies. The basic idea is that the public policy will compete with the private policies, keeping health insurance costs down.

The single-payer policy doesn't refer to traditional US health care policy, like the term would suggest (a single consumer buys a single plan). Rather, this is a government run system, similar to that found in Canada or the UK, where everyone has the same health care plan paid for by the taxpayer (i.e. the government is the single-payer).

Now, there's a lot of debate going on in Congress about health care. Many say it's too expensive to take on right now. Others want health care reform, but don't want it to affect traditional providers. After all, the health care lobby exerts ENORMOUS influence in Congress, and nobody wants to kill his/her own political self by voting for anything that could possibly harm your largest campaign contributors.

Finally, some Republicans refuse to even consider health care reform simply because Obama wants to pass it so badly. One even referred to the issue as Obama's "Waterloo", implying that if the Republicans can stop Obama here, they'll break him.

Mere political grandstanding, if you ask me.

Though I'm no fan of the current Obama plan (and worry about what the final product will look like), I think it's a step in the right direction.

I just don't think his plan goes far enough.

There's no reason why this country shouldn't provide everyone with single-payer health care. Smaller countries with smaller GDPs provide their citizens with better, more widely accessible health care than the country with the largest GDP (the US is currently ranked 37th by the WHO, behind countries like France, the UK, and... gulp... Cuba and Morocco). With each passing year, hell, each passing month, health insurance gets more and more expensive in the US (my health plan leapt fifty percent in the passing year).

Let's face it. Health care is a booming, powerful industry in this country.

And that statement alone proves it's beyond time for serious reform.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Aliens Were Here? Are Here? Wha?!?

So the other day, I was watching a show about something called "Ancient Astronaut Theory" on The History Channel. It's a rather long, somewhat convoluted theory, but I'll simplify it as best as possible.

Basically, believers of Ancient Astronaut theory believe that some time ago (possibly as long as twenty thousand years ago) aliens (from space, not Mexico) came to Earth and gave knowledge to primitive humans and (here's the sexy part!) possibly interbred with them.

The basis of this theory is simple. There are things that are, even in our scientifically advanced state, beyond our explanation. For example: How did stone age (or was it bronze age?) humans build the Great Pyramids with their limited technology? Why are pyramids found oceans apart (Egypt and South America)? Why do supposedly separate peoples have similar ideas about religion and architecture? Why so many eerie examples of what appear to be spacemen in cave art? Etcetera, etcetera.

The simple answer: Aliens set all this shit in motion. Aliens, so the argument goes, are quite literally the parents of us all.

My threefold argument with Ancient Astronaut theory is this.

1. It completely discounts human ingenuity and willpower, and does not take into account the all-encompassing devotion of early humanity to their gods - their rulers.

Now, AA theorists get around this by claiming that Pharaohs, Mayan kings and the like WERE the gods - aliens. Of course, there's no physical evidence that proves aliens and humans interbred, and, one can only assume that creatures from other planets would have different numbers of chromosomes... making interbreeding impossible. But AA theory isn't about hard evidence.

2. The theory not only underestimates humanity, it grossly underestimates the alien element. My questions about aliens always start with our depiction of them. Why are they shaped like us (arms, legs, etc.)? Why do they travel in spaceships? Why the obsession with sex? The probing and the breeding experiments?

If aliens were so far advanced, wouldn't they be over sex? Why would they mate with hairy, stinky, possibly diseased humans? If they were so smart, wouldn't they have known about syphilis? Gonorrhea?

Put simply, an advanced alien boning a human would be akin to the Dalai Lama fucking a spider monkey.

If the aliens were so advanced, why the hell would they build pyramids out of stone? Wouldn't they create some wild, indestructible alloy? After all: They just traveled an untold amount of light years to get here.

And my guess is they weren't flying in a stone ship.

And finally, 3. The Ancient Astronaut theory does for today what the gods of yesteryear did for early civilizations - It gives a simple explanation for the difficult to explain.

Why does it rain? The gods do it. Why does the sun rise? The gods do it.

How did the Egyptians build the Pyramids?

Aliens helped them (or just built the Pyramids themselves as "landmarks" for future landings).

Ancient Astronaut theory is like that rusty bucket I used to use to fetch water in New Hampshire: It just doesn't hold. It underestimates everything, all for a simple "new gods" answer: Nothing more than a write-off embarrassment for our supposedly "technologically advanced" race.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Blogs Are Up!

The new blogs are up. You can find links in the navbar to the right. Much, much more soon.

Dut Dut Duh Dah!

Guess what, everyone? I'm adding two new blogs! One will feature my drink stories/recipes/reviews, the other will focus entirely on book reviews.

Basically, after southcoast247 bit the dust, I felt (some of) the show must go on. And since drinking and reading are two of my favorite pastimes, this new direction seems like the next logical step (until I get hired, or something).

Check back here for updates.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Takin' a Snooze

Sorry everyone. For the past, I don't know, two weeks or so, I've been on hiatus. My explanation for the break is simple. I just haven't had much to talk about.

Funny coincidence. The media at large hasn't had much to say over the last two weeks, either.

Because two weeks ago, Michael Jackson died. And since then, any responsible decider in the American media has been on vacation, allowing the tabloid rats in the ranks to let the MJ story take full reign and precedence over such trivial matters as civil unrest in Iran and North Korean missile tests.

Some may be surprised how quickly the major media outlets rolled over their serious reportage for all MJ, all the time coverage. I, however, saw it all coming from the moment I heard about his death on the 25th. Felt it like a hurricane on the horizon. Because the big news (Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, the economy) has nothing on the biggest of news (MJ, 9/11).

Yes, I compared the coverage of MJ's death to 9/11. And I'll tell you why.

Simply, it's because of the all-encompassing nature of a story like MJ's death... or 9/11 - and the pervasive, grossly subjective reportage that followed it. It's everywhere, everyday. And, like 9/11, any story on MJ is fair game... even if that tale is rather tall.

Paging Dr. Sanjay Gupta! What's the word on MJ's toxicology results? We need an ambiguous report on that unreleased bit of information, STAT!

Katie Couric! Come out from behind that desk! We need you to report on some real news! Get over to Debbie Rowe and see if she'll fight for custody of the kids! And hitch up your skirt, damnit! Show a little thigh!

Geraldo Rivera! Get in front of a camera and start positing wild conspiracy theories! Who killed Michael Jackson? Who benefits most by having Michael dead?

The media! That's who!

MJ's death and 9/11 have a lot in common. Both surprised and shocked the world. Both proved a boon for conspiracy theorists. Both had widely televised memorial services. Both stories ruled supreme over the media for some time.

And both exhibited the triumph of subjectivity over objectivity.

But only 9/11 was a real, relevant story that demanded objectivity and, unfortunately, didn't get much of it. And only 9/11 will continue to affect the people of this nation, and the world, for years to come.

The case of MJ, sad and tragic to some, highly annoying to others, isn't relevant to the majority of us. It doesn't affect how we live our lives or will live in the future. All MJ's death has done is allow the media to throw objectivity aside and let the bloggers take over.

Which is fine as far as MJ stories go. But not kosher for a supposedly objective entity like the media.

Oh well. I guess in a world as screwed up as ours, even the media needs to take a snooze. Better on MJ than 9/11.

(For further reading, check out my commentary on the Jackson verdict from 2005.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

the time capsule!

so, after searching my name on google, i found a link to an old craig cares archive. reading some of these things is like opening up a time capsule.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Like most everyone, I'm currently mesmerized by the crisis in Iran, and hope all this popular protest leads to significant change in the country.

However, unlike some, I'm totally behind President Obama's stance on the crisis. For more, check out this.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Once Again, PETA Overreacts

Obama swats a fly during a televised interview, and PETA flips out.

Unsurprisingly, PETA is out of it's collective mind. Anything to make news.

Thankfully, Obama's press secretary had no comment. The Prez has enough problems to deal with, and apologizing for swatting a fly isn't high on my list of things I'd like to see him do. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lost in Translation

So, my girlfriend's gotten me into HBO's The Wire, a series that wrapped a few years ago. Currently, we're watching episodes On Demand, and I have a lot of catching up to do.

But basically, I've gotten the gist of it. Set in Baltimore, Maryland, The Wire tells the story of a city plagued with problems by detailing the lives of a seemingly diverse citizenry: Drug Dealers, Police, Politicians, Community Activists, Teachers, etc. The Wire's Baltimore is like most depressed inner cities, filled with people of good and bad intentions joined by common desires. Getting ahead. Making a buck. Or a difference. Taking power. Or staying there.

One thing in particular gives me an edge when watching The Wire: My urban upbringing. Put it this way. When The Wire's inner city characters speak, I'm often called upon to translate. I'm like a walking Urban Dictionary.

Got something you'd like me to translate? Go ahead. Try me. I can take the most urban speak and turn it into something any whitebread motherfucker can understand. Guaranteed.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation: Good Idea?

Whenever I think about... umm... stimulating myself, there's one thing I'm never tempted to do: Tie something around my neck and balls and choke myself to intensify the experience.

I don't know. There's just something about my family and friends and kid learning that their brother or buddy or daddy died trying to get himself off that really isn't appealing to me.

Then again, from what I hear, auto-erotic asphyxiation is pretty intense. Supposedly, it's right up there with manual prostate stimulation (AKA milking) and electrical testicle stimulation (AKA torture). It's something between sex and death. To quote the infamous Paris Hilton, "That's hot."

When done right, auto-erotic asphyxiation chokes you just enough to bring you to the point of death. Then, at the last second, you pull out of the choke, get a big old gasp of air, and do it again, until you eventually have a pretty spectacular, spaced-out orgasm (strangely enough, the Greeks referred to the orgasm as "the little death"). Then you pick yourself up, mop your load off yourself (or not. Maybe you just rub it in.), and get back to work on that novel nobody's going to read.

When auto-erotic asphyxiation goes wrong, you pass out from lack of oxygen. Then you hang there for awhile, unconscious. Then you die.

That's not really the bad part. Actually, that kind of death seems like a good way to go. You're not thinking about death: You're thinking about blowing a load. Death is just an unexpected byproduct. You accidentally pass out and basically die in your sleep. Oopsie.

The bad part is that some time later, you end up discovered by some poor unfortunate. He or she finds you hanging by the neck in the nude. Your face is bloated and purple and unrecognizable. Your cock is much the same... only it's as limp and dead as you are.

You know, I really liked David Carradine. And I thought INXS and Michael Hutchence had their moments, too.

But whenever I see or hear anything featuring either, the first thing that'll come to mind is the image of a grotesque, purple-faced dead man hanging by the neck with his purple cock in his hands. And that's a fucked up thing to have associated with your memory of someone.

Shit. I don't think I can watch Kill Bill ever again.

Damn! I liked that movie.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


He was buried in the backyard.

And, after some careful research, I found it wasn't really Jesus.

Anyhow, I was chopping out a section of the yard near the deck for a garden. As I was dragging up some sod, I came across what seemed a little plastic statuette.

I dusted some soil off the figure. He had a loaf of bread in one arm and a jug of wine in the other. He looked an awful lot like Jesus.

I felt kind of like the protagonist in one of Jhumpa Lahiri's short stories, where these Hindus moved into a house and came across a bunch of Christian artifacts and kept them in a shrine type place.

So, I brought Jesus inside. Scrubbed him clean in the sink. And placed him with some Confucius and Buddha figurines, so the three could commiserate.

Later, my Mother told me over the phone that I should put Jesus back.

"If you found him buried, he was probably there for a reason."

I just scoffed and said Jesus was better off in the house with Confucius and Buddha than in the ground somewhere.

The next day, I was outside, grading the garden with a rake, when I snagged something. I tugged a little bit. It was a black plastic garbage bag.

And then I noticed the scent. It wasn't bad. Wasn't like decaying body. It was the must and soil scent bones make after there's nothing left. It's familiar - A scent I know from my time working as a grave digger at the New Bedford Jewish Cemetery.

I knew there was something skeletal in the bag. I had to open it and make sure there wasn't a dead kid in there or something. You never know. You know?

So I opened the bag, and discovered what I was expecting -  some small, thin, rust-colored bones (bones don't look bleach white after spending time in the earth). I thought my worst fears had been realized.

Then, I found the jaw bone. It was about three inches long and had sharp teeth. Maybe a cat's jaw. Or a dog's. But definitely not a human's.

Satisfied, I threw the jaw back into the bag. Went inside and found the statuette.

"It's Joseph." A friend said. "People bury him in their backyards when they want to sell their houses."

I placed Joseph back with the cat or dog or whatever it was, and covered him over with soil and stones.

And though I was tempted to plant a tomato on top of the grave (probably good, fertile soil), I did not.

Great TV - HBO's "In Treatment"

There isn't much to HBO's critically acclaimed series In Treatment. A room. A few comfortable chairs. A therapist. A patient.

And the dialogue between the two.

That's it.

And that's all In Treatment needs, because it works.

In Treatment tells the ongoing story of a psychotherapist named Paul (played by Gabriel Byrne). In four of the five weekly installments, we watch Paul interact with his patients. In this latest second season, those patients included a former lover of Paul's who desperately wants a child, a college student stricken with cancer, a couple and their confused child going through divorce, and an embattled Wall Street CEO attempting to salvage his career.

In the fifth weekly installment, we follow Paul as he visits his therapist (Dianne Wiest).

7 weeks. 35 shows.

Simple, right?


This show masters the art of letting the viewer learn just enough information about all the parties involved to keep him hooked. The cat is never entirely let out of the bag. Bits of insight are painfully gleaned over the course of therapy sessions.

In a way, In Treatment is almost therapeutic for the viewer.

And that is powerful TV.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Esquire Fiction Contest

I'm working on a piece for Esquire Magazine's fiction contest.

Length is cut off at 4,000 words. So, no more than 20 double-spaced pages. Must be submitted by August 1st.

The payoff is pretty nice. But Esquire is a nationally published magazine, and I imagine they'll receive many submissions. Victory won't be easy.

But you know what they say. Fortune favors the brave.

Any potential readers out there? I'll try to get a rough copy done by the end of the week. I'd need comments a week and a half or so after the initial draft is complete.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Saw a Dude Take a Dump Outside in Daylight

Some of my friends have wonderful stories about crazy homeless people.

I have the trump card.

One day, I was walking from where I worked at Carter's in Downtown, New Bedford, to a bank across the block called St. Anne's to deposit a check.

Along the way, I noticed a suspicious looking individual hanging out by the dumpster behind Naughty Dawgs. He didn't look crazy or homeless, but he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt, which was rather disconcerting.

He had long, wavy blondish hair and a slight beard, and was wearing cargo shorts. Basically, he looked like the average dude I'd see at a Pearly Baker show at The Bullpen.

(To my out of town readership: Pearly Baker is a Grateful Dead tribute band. The Bullpen is where they play their shows. Depending on your cup of tea, Pearly Baker are either the best or the worst thing ever. What I'm saying is, the dude looked like a burnt out hippie, and may've been.)

The thing that really got me about this guy was his shadiness. When I walked by and glared at him, he didn't make eye contact and kind of walked around the Naughty Dawgs dumpster; hid almost. Then I crossed the street to the bank, and the dude started scouting around the dumpster again. Maybe he lost something, I thought.

As I entered the bank, I looked out of the entryway and noticed the dude had made his way behind the dumpster, in between the dumpster and the building. When I got in the bank, he disappeared from view. Just dropped out of sight.

I walked to the window and noticed the dude squatting behind the dumpster.

I hurriedly made my transaction at the bank. When I left, the dude was nowhere to be found.

I was curious as to what this idiot was doing behind the dumpster. So, I walked over there to take a look. I thought he may've been looking for a partially concealed place to shoot up, and expected to find a used sharp.

Instead, I was greeted with a rather sloppy looking dump. I didn't stay too long to find out particulars, but I do know the guy wiped his ass with Dunkin' Donuts napkins, because there were shitty napkins all over the place.

I was going to tell the owners of Naughty Dawgs what happened, but didn't want them to think, even subconsciously, that I'd taken the shit.

And I felt for the guy. How many times had I been in similar situations? A man about to shit himself, in need of a toilet with none to be found. Pure torture.

So, I went back to work.

The next day, my buddy Jake and I were walking to Naughty Dawgs for lunch.

"I saw some guy taking a shit behind the Naughty Dawgs dumpster yesterday." I said.

Jake laughed. "You're full of shit, man."

"I'm not. You'll see."

And sure enough, the shit was still there. The wind had blown around the shitty napkins a bit, but one straggler remained, clinging to the turd for dear life.

That day, Jake learned never to doubt me again.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Herzog: Great Book, or Horror Show? You Tell Me

Every weekday, I listen to NPR news. I'm especially fond of a segment called "You Must Read This". It's basically writers recommending works by other writers.

And everybody knows nobody knows good writing like other writers.

This week, Jeffrey Eugenides, author of The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex, talked about how when he gets into a funk, he'll open Saul Bellow's Herzog to a page, any page. Start to read. And immediately, the blues just lift away like dew under a noonday sun.

Funny. I read Herzog and a passionate fury takes hold of me.

A synopsis: Herzog tells the story of a man named Herzog. The well-built son of Jewish immigrants, young Herzog gets his PhD and a bit of fame in academic circles. He marries. Gets divorced. Remarries. His new wife kicks him out. She's having an affair with his one-legged best friend.

He moves out to the Berkshires and begins writing letters. To newspapers. To fellow academics. To the dead.

He just writes. He doesn't send the letters.

He has a few lady friends, but there are some issues there. He tries to make amends with his ex-wife, but there's no making amends. She hates him. He goes to a therapist with her, and the therapist makes it seem as if everything is his fault. His divorce lawyer agrees with his wife and his therapist. His former best friend is laid back to a fault, attempting to remain Herzog's friend while he's fucking his wife and bathing his daughter. The best friend's ex-wife blames her situation on Herzog and verbally tears him to pieces.

Long story short, Herzog takes a gun from a relative's house and has some wild plan to kill his wife and her lover, then kidnap his daughter and make a run for it. Then, he can't go through with murder. So, he picks up his daughter....

And gets into an accident. The cops find the gun in the car. News of the gun gets to his ex-wife.

Uh oh.

Some analysts refer to Herzog as the first truly Jewish character in modern literature, but I don't see it. Then again, I'm not Jewish. But if I'm going for Jewish, I'll read Philip Roth. He's got being Jewish down to a science. Or at least I think he does.

My main gripe with Herzog, as a character and tale, is that the entire time I'm reading it, I just want to reach into the story and slap the shit out of Herzog and Bellow. Herzog the man's basically a study of impotency, and Bellow breathed life into him.

Herzog's a gifted academic who writes letters he never sends. He's a decently built man who doesn't beat the living shit out of the one-legged ex-best friend who's fucking his wife. He's a consistent failure, and that just gets old after a hundred or so pages, never mind four hundred. The whole time, I was just begging him to snap at somebody. Tell his wife off. Tell the lawyer to go fuck himself. Rip off his friend's prosthesis and beat the fuck out of him with it.

Point: If you want to read Herzog without reading it, read Bellow's Seize the Day. In my humble opinion, it tells the Herzog story without the length. At 120 or so pages, Bellow gets quickly to the point with Seize the Day. You get all the same impotency as Herzog. All that great Bellow style Eugenides goes on and on about. And the ending is far better. So there's my "You Must Read This".

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Smartest Television Ever?

A couple blogs ago, I mentioned something about a chef doing something dirty with the mashed potatoes.

I'd hope never to eat such potatoes.

But, if I was forced to eat those potatoes, I'd gladly do so... as long as the Swedish Chef made them.

The Muppet Show had to be one of the smartest shows on TV. It was a consistently hilarious skit show.

And, unlike a certain other consistently sucky skit show (I'm looking at you, SNL), Jim Henson and company moved on to other projects before The Muppet Show ever came close to becoming a pathetically lame caricature of itself.

Oh, how I mourn the loss of entertaining television! There are only a few decent shows left.

Until I expand a little more on good TV, enjoy this clip from The Muppet Show.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Swear, All of This is Au Natural, Baby!

Fresh off the Belgium presses: Doping officials showed up to the Belgian bodybuilding championships to test for steroids and other controlled substances.

And the bodybuilders fled rather than face testing.

Every single one of them got dressed.

And ran out the door.

It was a shocking event for the doping officials. Shocking... even though last year, 22 of the 29 bodybuilders tested positive for steroids.

But is it really shocking that bodybuilders use performance enhancing substances to look the way they do?

Judging from the picture above, I don't think so.

I have intimate knowledge of bodybuilding. For roughly five years, I was a serious bodybuilder. In the beginning, I made quite a few fast gains. But eventually, I plateaued - reached a level of strength and size that I just couldn't get beyond without help.

What'd I do? Not steroids. I took creatine to aid muscle growth and retain water. Swallowed horse pills of amino acids to help my muscles rebuild after workouts. Gulped down glucosamine and chondroitin to strengthen my joints. Jumped on the androstenedione bandwagon after Marc McGwire admitted to using the stuff as a steroid like substance to aid growth and strength. Forced down 3500 calorie Weight Gainer to gain weight during power cycles. Chewed Ephedrine and caffeine pills to cut down during tone cycles. Day and night, ate like a beast.

Oh yeah, and I took protein. 90 plus grams during my power training cycles - way more than recommended for proper liver and kidney function.

I plateaued many times, and I'd take more stuff and change my workout routines to get out of those ruts to meet new goals. But eventually, my weight topped out at about 190 pounds. I stopped making gains in the gym. I'd come to that point where steroids were the next logical step.

And I had more than a few friends willing to help me take that leap.

But there, I balked. Suddenly, I wasn't so enthusiastic about being the most jacked 5'8" dude at the party.

OK. So, this decision coincided with a very attractive girl at a bar saying she was scared of me because I looked like I'd just gotten out of prison. And I'd reached a crossroads at college. Basically, it was spend 3 hours a day at the gym to look like a hardened criminal, or spend an hour at the gym and the other 2 studying and writing to get a college degree.

Long story short, the gym lost out. I just wasn't willing to devote everything to bodybuilding. And since I wasn't planning on doing it professionally, I made the right decision.

What I'm getting at here is talent, genetics, and training only gets you so far. The human body just wasn't meant to carry 300 pounds of muscle on a 5'10" frame (that is the size of former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, pictured above to the left, during competitions. He weighs 325 during off periods. The other, more recognizable gentleman is The Governator himself... another former Mr. Olympia, and no stranger to steroids.) The only way you get to that point is with lots,

and lots,

of help.

It takes a serious commitment to gamble with drugs like steroids, HGH, synthetic testosterone, and diuretics in order to get the build that bodybuilders do.

To recover from injury like professional wrestlers.

To give an aging lineman a little more strength coming off the line.

This isn't a condemnation of bodybuilders or any other athlete. And this isn't a condemnation of performance enhancing drugs.

Far as I'm concerned, if you're willing to go to such extreme lengths for the perfect body, for that home run swing, for the extra kick at the end of a marathon, or to keep that twilight career going a couple seasons longer, more power to you. And if performance enhancing drugs will get you to those greater human limits, why not do them?

OK. There are very good reasons not to do them. They're against the law, and against the operating rules of most sports.

But hey, who cares about rules? Everyone's doing them. So you do them, too.

And get caught.

Whatever you do, don't bullshit me. When caught, don't whine and say your doctor fucked up. Don't blame it on asthma medication or your wife. And, whatever you do, don't run out the door like a goddamned pussy when the federales appear to screen your orange piss.

Have the balls to come out and own the issue, and I'll continue to respect you. Don't, and you're a big, dead-to-me moron piece of shit.

Roger Clemens.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stupid Things Bartenders Do

Not long ago, I stopped in at the local public house and asked for a Guinness draft.

What I received looked something like this cutesy-poo pint to the left.

"What's this?" I asked.

"It's a Guinness." The bartender answered.

I shook my head. "Tsss... not the beer. This," I pointed at the doodle in the foamy head.

"Oh that. That's a shamrock." She seemed upset. "Can't you tell?"

"I know what it's supposed to be. What I want to know is why you put it there."

"Oh, it's just something I do." She said. Then she turned her nose up and waddled on down the line to the next customer.

I was so pissed. She should've just gone ahead and drawn a swollen furry penis on my draft. At least that would've been funny.

Before I could take a sip, a friend of mine arrived. He took one look at my beer and exploded in laughter.

"Hahaha... what are ya? Queeah?" He slapped me on the back. A slightly inebriated couple to our left started cracking up. "Seriously. Shamrocks in the Guinness? What kind of moron does that?"

Just then, the bartender arrived.

"That kind," I muttered.

Drawing shamrocks in the Guinness is one of those unnecessary things bartenders do, akin to a chef using his penis to whip your potatoes.

Ok... it's not exactly the same, a bartender sketching a clover in your draft and a chef using his man meat as a kitchen utensil. No matter. Unless I request the goddamned shamrock in my Guinness, I don't want it.

Put it this way: I don't need a fucking shamrock to remind me that Guinness is Irish beer, just like I don't need a lime to remind me that Corona is Mexican beer.

Rather, I need the lime because Corona is bad beer. Therefore, the lime is a necessity. The shamrock is not.

This unnecessary critique also goes to the troglodyte at the Catwalk who tossed half an orange in a pint of UFO, brought it over to me and told my bewildered eyes, "The orange really brings out the citrus tones."

Citrus tones? More like shitrus tones, after I catch dysentery from tongue-kissing a half rotten orange and end up stuck battling the hershey squirts all evening long.

So bartenders: Take it from someone who worked behind the bar. Unless you're slinging drinks at some classy martini joint, keep the fruity accoutrement to a minimum. And if you're thinking of putting some dumb design in a pint, or tossing a slice of orange into a perfectly good hefeweizen, ask first. 9 times out of 10, the answer's going to be no.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I Think I Have a Problem

About a year ago, a friend of mine and I were talking sports over Dark & Stormy's.

Well, let's clarify that. I talked sports, and my friend talked Noam Chomsky. He specifically spoke at length about Chomsky's belief that sports take the place of religion in a secular society, and both are, as Marx put it, "opiates for the masses".

Long story short, my friend doesn't follow sports. And I do.


Put it this way. When the scene in this picture occurred, I was screaming with manic devotion at that fucking pussy Gay-Rod, demanding Varitek to drive and plant that pretty son of a bitch into that hallowed Fenway turf, a tombstone commemorating the death of Yankee domination.

Wait. What am I saying? Manic devotion? Hallowed? Tombstones? What the hell is wrong with me?

And that's not the end of it. Along with my beloved Sox, I closely follow the Pats, Bruins, Celtics,  Revolution, British Soccer (Liverpool), Thoroughbred racing, International soccer, boxing, mixed martial arts. Hell, I'd follow beer pong tourneys if they were televised. Basically, if it's competitive, I'll watch, follow, and back it.

Which brings us to tonight and the dual Playoff blow: The Celtics lost, falling a game behind the Magic, and the Bruins lost again, falling two behind the Hurricanes. Tonight, I feel somewhat like how I felt when my first girlfriend cheated on me with some gangly, goofy motherfucking dishwasher: Physically ill.

Therein lies the problem. This stuff makes me sick! I literally fell into a deep depression after the Pats lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl. When the Sox lost to the Yankees on Aaron Boone's homer a few years back, I puked, and felt like hiding in my room for days. Just a few weeks ago, when Liverpool was eliminated from the Champions league by Chelsea, I found myself crestfallen, contemplating the tides and wondering just how long it would take to drown.

And now here I am, a bald, goateed man on the verge... of puking, crying...

... or ecstasy? Maybe? Please sweet baby Jesus... let the Bruins win.

Wait. Jesus? What am I saying? Something's definitely wrong with me. Garcon, another Mint Julep, please. I feel a bender coming on.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I have this friend. Great person.

One problem though. This person doesn't have a bullshit filter. Anything and everything that pops into this person's mind propels out and runs through my auditory canal like a hardcore squirt of fiery hot diarrhea, plopping and splattering forcefully into my brain like one of those horrorshow swine flu dumps that depth charges into the toilet bowl and blasts shitty water all over your butt cheeks. Just the thought of another of my friend's soliloquies has me actually desiring h1n1 infection.

Put simply, I'd rather puke and shit myself to death than listen to another diatribe about race relations and welfare, "opposite marriage", or how autism sufferers are "just faking it".

Yet, I'd take a million of my friend's scalding hot bouts of ultra conservative verbal dysentery before spending another day scanning the irrelevant Facebook updates page. Or worse: Tweeting.

(A disclaimer: To this day, I've never used Twitter. And I never will. From what I've seen and heard, it's something media outlets are attempting to push on America as the next big thing in social networking. Guess what: Something that basically amounts to the Facebook updates page minus the stupid apps and quizzes and plus a 140 character limit isn't the next big thing. It's texting. And everyone knows texting is so passe. Sexting is what's in. All the kids are doing it.)

So please: Before you go and update your Facebook status, or Tweet about how you're going to nap ("I'm sweepy") before going to the gym ("To git buff!") and renting Quantum of Solace (because you're just so alone), stop. Take some time to think about what you're going to post.

Because there's a good chance your nonsensical Too Much Information flood will send someone into meltdown.

Wait. That's a good line. I better post that to my Facebook page.

(Another disclaimer: I know zero people who Tweet. Or do I? You tell me.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rush Limbaugh to Run for Prez!

After months of speculation, the UK's Telegraph has reported that Conservative shock jock Rush Limbaugh has decided to put his money where his mouth is and run for the presidency in 2012. This puts Limbaugh on a collision course with Barack Obama. And that's what Limbaugh's been asking for since the 44th President took office.

"I've been demanding debates, numerous town halls, with Obama since he took office, and that coward has dodged me at every turn. By tossing my hat into the presidential fray, Obama can avoid me no longer. I can't wait to tear him to shreds on the national stage."

A reporter from the NY Times posited that President Obama may be busy with too many actual issues to debate Rush. The pundit replied, "Typical liberal rhetoric." He shook his head. "The liberal media has such a hard-on... (inaudible)... wanting a black president to do well. I hope he fails."

A reporter from the Post followed up. "What does being black have to do with it?"

Rush shrugged. "You know what I mean. The liberal media just puts this guy on a pedestal because he's black. If he were white, the media love affair would be over by now. Just because he's a darkie, they're in love with this guy. You know what I mean. I'll talk about it more during the debates."

When asked whether he'd lose weight to look more attractive on camera, Limbaugh was mum. "I'm not saying I'll lose weight, and I'm not saying I won't gain weight, either. That's it. No more questions." With that, and a jiggle of his ponderous man-boobs, Limbaugh waddled away to devise his master strategy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jesus Christ, It's... Jesus Christ?

Miracle of miracles! A life-sized "painting" of Jesus Christ "appeared" overnight last weekend on the wall of Premier Video, located on Lund's Corner in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and the lives of hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands, have changed.

At least a thousand devotees have made the pilgrimage to Premier Video. Some placed candles, flowers, and other gifts before the Jesus image. Others knelt reverently before the image in prayer.

Some wept.

Many of the reverent have deeply analyzed the image, considering it as an art critic would the Mona Lisa. They focus on the bleeding sacred heart, and say Jesus' heart bleeds because things are so bad in the world he can't take it anymore. They focus on his covered eyes, and say Jesus can't stand to see things as they are. That, or this Jesus is wiping away tears.

Or Jesus is covering his eyes because of the pornography available in the video store.

In one way, I'm surprised by this reaction. What amounts to little more than a Fathead image of a "see-no-evil" sacred heart Jesus has drawn the attention of the masses. All we need is "hear-no-evil" Jesus and "speak-no-evil" Jesus, and we've got a set.

I mean, come on. It's not like Jesus appeared on a potato chip. Or Jesus showed up in the humidity between two panes of glass. Or Mary appeared to three children in Fatima. Some dope simply took one of the many examples of Jesus one can find on the net, blew it up to full-size proportions, paint-by-numbered it, and stuck it on a wall. No miracles involved, and little artistic talent needed to accomplish the deed.

But in another way, I'm little surprised by this reaction. A Fathead Jesus has the attention of the massed unwashed. Big surprise.

As to who put up this Jesus, I'd look no further than the tenants and owner of the Premier Video building. After all, business has been up since Jesus made his appearance. Given the principle of Occam's Razor, one oughtn't look far to find an explanation for "see-no-evil" Jesus.

Unfortunately, the knuckleheads who have their kids on their knees, in public, praying to an image pasted on a porn shop, have little time for reason.

Or common sense.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Keep Your Eye on The Ball

In recent weeks, there's been considerable public outcry regarding the 165 million dollars in bonuses given to AIG executives. People have taken to protesting outside of executives' homes. A Congressional official called for these bonus-earning executives to commit ritual suicide, like the Japanese. Pundits have called for the lopped off heads (both big and little) of these individuals.

I understand the rage of the public. In an age where tremendous companies get billion dollar bailouts, yet continue to pump millions into supporting sports teams while the common man remains largely neglected, it's no surprise that people are pissed.

However, all this rage and looking to place blame only takes attention away from the truth of this situation: We need a solution, and we need one fast. Because if things continue as they are, we're all fucked.

Look. I feel that these AIG executives don't deserve an extra cent on top of what they've earned. But what does it matter what you or I think? They're contractually obligated to receive bonuses. There is little the Fed can legally do to get that money back. Sure, they can tax the bonuses. And public outcry may get executives to give their bonuses back. But what does that do in the long run?

And what of the executives at other bailed out corporations and their bonuses and plush executive suites? Why no outcry over Shitty Bank? Why the AIG focus?

Blame the media and their outcry du jour policy. Let's publicize something. Garner some rage. And never let it go until the public finally says, "Enough. This bores us. What's next?"

We all know that the bailout process was flawed. Treasury Secretary Paulson made some major errors. His ideas favored Wall Street. But did he break the law? If not, guess what: Move on.

Do we blame Barney Frank for this mess? How about Phil Gramm? If we really want to get to the crux of the issue, why don't we dig up the corpse of Ronald Reagan and torch it? After all, it was his policy of deregulation that led to "too big to fail" corporations like AIG and Citi. Or do we forget that deregulation actually helped grow the economy for awhile?

The problem here is, as Westerners and Americans in particular, we're always looking for someone else to blame. It's, "He did it." Not, "I did it." Here, we ought take a page from Eastern philosophies and, yes, the Japanese. For when one over there truly fucks up, he or she owns up to that dishonor.

Now, I'm not saying executives should kill themselves. Because if that were what I was saying, I'd recommend that every person who ever contributed to the detriment or growth of our economy in even the slightest way ought to kill themselves.

Got into a mortgage you couldn't afford? Kill yourself.

Paid or continue to pay a mortgage? Kill yourself. You encouraged banks to lend money to individuals who couldn't afford it.

Bought an Escalade? Kill yourself. You told GM to continue building large, expensive, inefficient shitpiles.

Bought a used Corolla? Kill yourself. You must buy new to grow the economy.

Bought a bunch of shit you don't need on credit? Kill yourself. Why buy a bunch of shit you merely want?

Then again, maybe you're thinking you're blameless. You don't buy anything. You live off the grid. Grow your own food. Make your own clothes from tree bark. Produce energy from human feces.

Guess what: Kill yourself for not pumping any money into the economy. 

What I'm trying to get at is this: Placing blame may feel good, but it gets us nowhere. Though levels of blame may differ, we're all guilty here. Whether we like it or not, we're all invested in the economic engine that runs this country. We may run with the torch-wielding mob, screaming for the blood of the aristocracy. But remember what happened after the French Revolution: The rich got their heads chopped off. The French, and the world, got Napoleon.

In other words: They got fucked. And if we're not far behind if we keep taking our eye off the ball.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Condoms Aren't The Answer

Once again, the Pope opens his mouth and a tumult of idiot barf spews all over the ears of his flock. En route to Africa, the Pope said condoms aren't the answer for AIDS. "On the contrary," his holiness said, "it only increases the problem."

So, what grand plan is the Pope pushing as the cure all for AIDS? That same old tired Christian tune: Abstinence and Sanctity of marriage.

Is it just me, or is the Pope seriously deluded? Just like the morons in Congress and our former prez who advocated abstinence only sex education (an oxymoron) and tightened restrictions on abortion, the moron Pope seems to ignore cold facts. Underage or legal, married or not, people are going to have sex. It's human nature. It's what we're wired to do, and what we do best.

I will agree with the Pope that condoms aren't the answer for AIDS. But the one measure known to offer protection from infection to sexually active individuals definitely doesn't increase the problem. Rather, condoms are just one of the many answers to controlling the disease.

But hey, you know what I always say: Let a guy who doesn't have sex be in charge of everyone's sex lives. It's almost as smart as letting politicians say what a woman can or can't do with her body.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cancel Your Travel Plans

Well, the news from Mexico continues to get worse. As the Mexican military fights cartel militias, Forbes magazine put druglord Joaquin Guzman (the fellow to the left) on its list of billionaires.

Awesome. While businesses everywhere lay off workers, Guzman continues hiring gunmen and paying off high-ranking officials from his seemingly bottomless pockets.

Crime might pay after all.

Here's some more news about Mexico. Basically, if you're planning a trip South of the Border anytime soon, you might want to change your plans.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thank You, Jon Stewart

If you read my threads, you already know I'm a big fan of The Daily Show. But the other night, Jon Stewart really connected with me with his "Old Man Stewart" rant about Twitter.

Twitter. For the past couple years, people have been trying to get me to sign up for it. I haven't.

But this isn't some quirk in the life of Craig-O. Oh no... I've never really been into new tech. I'm the guy who had a pager at 18 (about 5 years after pagers were the new thing), and waited until his 21st birthday to pick up a cell phone. I still view Blu-Ray as a quaint little fad. This suspicion of new technologies all started fifteen years ago, when I got burned by the mini-disc format.

Which brings us back to Twitter. To this day, I have no idea how Twitter works. But I have a vague idea that it's not unlike the Facebook thing where you tell everyone, "what you're doing right now".

Newsflash! Nobody cares!

Though I guess I'm supposed to care about Twitter. If our Senators and Representatives can Twitter during the Economic State of the Union address, Twitter must be something especially important.

You know, when our Congressional officials resort to acting like a bunch of schoolgirls passing notes in class during a speech about the crisis that may lead to our country's bankruptcy, I don't exactly feel very optimistic about our government.

In fact, two words describe how I feel about our current situation. "We're fucked."

Now maybe I'll go sign up for this Twitter thing and Tweet that to all my friends.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Republicans Are Retarded

So, President Obama unveiled his economic plan today. And right on cue, the Pavlovian Republican party slobbered over the document, denouncing it as wasteful spending that our great grandchildren will be paying off a century from now.

This is all highly ironic, coming from the party that tripled government spending (the greatest single spending and deficit increase in American history) during the Bush years and put us in "great grandchildren paying off" territory long, long ago.

Let's face facts, here. The Republicans are pro-limited government IN THEORY ONLY! When it comes to things they're really into, like Defense spending, the GOP will bankrupt this country by dumping cash into it. They'll cut education and public works projects to pay for senseless wars in Stone Age countries the common man can't find on a map. And if they can't get enough money by pulling taxpayer programs, they'll borrow from China or Saudi Arabia to finance their aims.

Time and again, the Republicans pull the same bullshit. Yet people keep voting them in, because they buy the "you're safer with us" fear-mongering garbage that they spout every election season. First it's the Russians. Then the Iraqis. Now terrorists and the Iranians. Who's next? Bangladeshis?

It's plainly obvious that the Republicans want Obama to fail. What they don't seem to understand is that if he fails, the country goes with him. Ergo, the Republicans want AMERICA to fail. And I say Fuck Them. Their 19th century policies send American dollars into foreign countries that really don't like us.

It's time this country put the world on notice. It's time for serious change. And it's not going to be cheap. But change never is.

Currently, I'm a fan of the Obama budget. From what I've learned, it focuses on infrastructure and new energy initiatives. It's about time our government focus inwardly rather than outwardly. I'm driving down 195, watching concrete crumble from overpasses and girders corrode to nothingness, just wondering if today's going to be the day when one of them gives and hey, Time's Up! Fire up the crematory. Craig-O's down for the count.

Or maybe it's not me. Maybe it's 13 people on a bridge in Minnesota. Who knows?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

OK, A Diversion, Then Back to the Republicans

Alright. So I can't find the video on the web. But today's speech by President Obama to House Democrats had to be one of the most entertaining things I've seen in awhile. Talk about common sense... the Prez was just oozing it today.

And it's about goddamned time. After weeks of Republican stalling, the Prez had no other choice but to finally get out there, take things personally, and more or less say, "There's only one way. My way." We don't have time to fuck around.

Sure. The Republicans are going to complain. They probably won't vote for the stimulus. But they weren't going to, anyway. They're just trying to get in the news as contrarian voices, continuing the old Washington game. But screw them. Their starving constituents will see through the political bullshit.

So bravo, President Obama. While you have power and popular backing, you've got to use it. The Democrats need to pass this thing, ASAP. Action is required now. Talk is cheap.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Is THAT the Best You've Got?!?

Recently, news corporations have told me that this piece of shit to my right is the man that I, as a Liberal, have to fear: The new Conservative voice, Rush Limbaugh.

My reaction: Are you serious? This guy has been around for what seems like decades, and the only people that take him seriously are White Supremacists and the intellectually impaired (both of whom are often interchangeable).

I mean, seriously. The new Conservative voice? Rush Limbaugh makes Ronald Reagan look like Barack Obama. He's just a hair to the left of Mussolini, for shit's sake. If this is whom Conservatives want to emulate, by all means: Do so. Drive the moderates to the left. We won't mind.

This waste of skin is nothing more than a racist gay-bashing hypocrite. He's too divisive a figure to act as a mouthpiece for his party. If you have the education of a 12-year-old backwoods pig fucker, you like him. If you've a college degree and any sense of reason, you hate him. The end.

I could go on about Rush, but he's not worth my time. He'll just continue being a contrarian voice during Democratic administrations, a salad tossing Conservative cheerleader during the next Republican administration.

Next up: Sarah Palin.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Who Cares?

So, Michael Phelps likes to hit the bong every so often, and I'm thinking BIG FUCKING DEAL! This was the dude who, against all odds, managed to win 8 goddamned gold medals, legitimately, without the help of steroids, blood doping, HGH.

This is the man who had a nation bursting with pride at his accomplishment. Yes, the USA may wrongly think it can do whatever it wants on the world stage. We can invade Iraq without UN backing. We can choose to ignore the Geneva Convention in the name of the War on Terror. In the eyes of the world, we may seem little better morally than the "terrorists" we torture, but hell: Only AMERICA could produce a swimmer of Michael Phelps' stature. In the swimming pool, AMERICA can do ANYTHING. And there's nothing the world can do about it! Take that, France!

Look at us now: A country once so grateful for Phelps' accomplishment has become a nation of critics. How could Phelps, such an icon to American youth, break their hearts?

More importantly, How could the swimmer do it by smoking that hated Mary Jane?

Because, guess what: After the Athens Olympics, Phelps got busted for a DUI. The reaction to that little misadventure: Somewhat ho-hum. But now that he's smoked a bong, the anti-drug chickens have come home to roost.

They say: We're ashamed of you, Michael. How could you do this to us, Michael? How could you do this to the children?

I say: Have you no shame? This is the man who brought America glory at the Olympic games. This is the man who makes your kids care about swimming, a sport nobody cares about. This is the man who may singlehandedly destroy childhood obesity!

Ok. Maybe that's going a bit far. But who the hell cares what he does in his off time? Man smokes a bong, and you're ready to crucify him? Are you shittin' me?

Let me tell you something, you critics. With each passing day, we grow nearer to legalizing the herb. So get used to it. Soon enough, you'll see men walking down the street smoking bongs, and there'll be nothing you can do about it.

As for you, Michael: Smoke on. And don't apologize to anyone. You shouldn't feel guilty for smoking a little bud. You're 23-years-old. Smoking pot's the natural thing to do at that age. So, toke up while you can, buddy. London's only three years away.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Part 4 - Teens Are Stupid

After the lengthy descriptions I've given in parts 2 and 3, it seems ideal to keep part 4 short and sweet. So, let's sum up teen sexuality in as few words possible.

Teens are dumb.

Teens think they know everything, but they're as bright as a sack of cannonballs. Sure, they may be street smart, or book smart, or (if they're lucky) a little bit of both. They may possess common sense. Hell, perhaps a few will rank as geniuses, acing every IQ test tossed at them.

But when it comes to life, they know zero until they've lived it. Teens just haven't lived long enough to know that decisions they make today aren't necessarily the decisions they'd make a year from now in the same situation. The kids who are shortsighted enough to sign purity pledges or take nude photos/videos of themselves share one thing in common: Both think life remains static and don't fully understand the ramifications of the decisions they're making.

Sure. They may feel like they're the coolest kids in school right now, with their purity rings and what not. But, in a decade or so they'll look back on the little nugget in time that we refer to as adolescence and say, "Wow. Look at that hair. Those shoes. And that purity ring.'

'I was a retard back then."

Here's the crux of the matter: The only way teens learn anything is by screwing up. So, educate them. Warn them of the consequences of their decisions. And let them make some stupid choices. If they have any intelligence/common sense, they'll learn from their mistakes.

If not, look on the bright side... the world won't be lacking in amateur teen porn anytime soon.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hot Nude Pics! - Part 3

The heavily made up, modestly attractive young lady to our right is the antithesis of the trend-setters featured in Part 2. Not unlike God and Satan, the Jonas Brothers and Vanessa Hudgens (of High School Musical fame) are ideological enemies facing each other across the field of Armageddon. If ever Neo-Con Evangelicals desired a reason for precipitation of the Apocalypse, they've got a choice one here.

Ok. Maybe that's going a bit far. Because unlike the concepts of God and Satan, the humans known as the Jonas Brothers and Vanessa Hudgens aren't actual enemies. In fact, they have quite a bit in common. They're teens. Employed by Disney. Rich. Most likely friends. And idols to nearly every cable television viewing child in the US.

However, where the Jonas Brothers reign as the current torchbearers of the teen purity movement, Vanessa Hudgens exists as a lesson to teens and preteens everywhere: Don't take nude pics or videos of yourself and send them to anyone. Period.

Because if you do, everyone's going to see them. Not just your boyfriend/girlfriend, but Dad. Mom. Grandpa. That creepy dude who lives in the rundown shack down the block. All your friends. Your entire school (including the administration). Everyone in your city/town.

But let's not stop there. For once a nude digital photo/video is uploaded to the web, the world is its oyster.

Of course, that oyster may take that homemade porno or closeup crotchshot and turn it into a wondrous pearl. Like Kim Kardashian, riches and fame may come because of the... ahem... interesting way you move your behind during coitus.

However, for every Kim, there are a million people who never get famous for their porn. Their videos and photos get picked up by sites like redtube and sluttygf, destined to forever become masturbatory material for the unwashed masses.

I assume taking nude photos/videos of yourself is tempting because its so easy to do. With our steadily advancing technology, it's never been simpler to take a photo or video (cell phone), send it to someone, and have that file uploaded to the web. In minutes, your "private" photo/video becomes fodder for a public with an insatiable demand for (adolescent) pornography. The extent of that demand? Go to Google. Search for "nude teens", and you get just under 4 million results.

But we can't blame technology for everything. We must combine tech with the popularity of porn stars during the mid to late 1990s, the antics of celebs like Paris Hilton and Miss Hudgens, and the narcissistic nature of web culture. Only then do we discover what has created a legion of willing young porn stars and  made digital pornography a societal norm.

You may argue otherwise. But when you read this respected study, and find that 20% of teens and 33% of young adults say they've posted nudes of themselves online, your argument falls flat.

Funny how porn has become the norm among teens, and virginity is now something of a taboo. My, how things change. In Part 4, I'll wrap it all up in one nice, tight package.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Part 2 - Chastity Chic - The Purity Ring Phenomena

Thanks to the three fashion-retarded stooges to the left, the purity ring has become the latest fad among the trendy teenybopper set.

On its face, it's not such a bad thing. After about a decade of the hypersexed Britneys, Christinas, and Paris Hiltons of the world displaying their visibly stretched out cooches for all the world to see, its somewhat refreshing to see kids keeping their oh so trendy clothes on, sporting their virginity vows with a single silver ring.

Let's face it. Abstinence is the cool thing now. Kids everywhere are sporting their purity rings and saying, "I'm waiting for true love." Which is really cute and all. The devotion to abstract concepts always is.

Everyone knows abstinence works. Or at least it does until the mid teen years. After kids turn 15 or 16, however, hormones are going to take over no matter how chaste their upbringing or how great their fear in a higher power. Its just the natural way. And nature always wins: Especially when you've got a group of outwardly happy yet inwardly frustrated sexually preoccupied kids hanging out together.

Once kids hit those mid-teens, screw the purity ring. They're better off with some old-fashioned sex-ed, a box of condoms and birth control. That purity ring will only come in handy when they need to pawn it for some back alley abortion procedure, penicillin, or diapers.

Here are the facts. No matter what virginity pledge a pre-teen takes or jewelry they wear, he or she is just as likely to have premarital sex as the kid who didn't take a vow. More disturbing, however, is that those taking virginity pledges are 10% less likely to practice safe sex than those that haven't.

What does this say about purity rings, purity balls, and the like?

Well, let me tell you a story. A friend of mine was hanging out with a girl. She was a veritable poster child of chastity, going with her church on state to state virginity pilgrimages, touting the virtues of abstinence, wearing the purity ring. Point is, she was anything but chaste with my friend. And, according to him, he wasn't her first.

So, from what I know about purity rings, public virginity vows and the like, its all grand theatre, but doesn't work in practice. Because virginity vows are more about the parents than the children.

When the idea of a chastity vow is first proposed, its usually the parents who bring it up. Parents, especially fervently religious churchgoing parents, want their children to remain chaste until marriage. One reason is its what their religion demands.

Another, however, is far more selfish. Parents (especially fathers with daughters) don't want to think of their kids having sex. Much like the asshole pushing hockey on the kid who wants to play baseball, these parents push chastity on kids who really don't understand the ramifications of the concept. And if pressure doesn't work, they resort to bribing their kids with the purity ball, a big party not unlike a Sweet 16, except celibacy is the cause for celebration.

So, sure: The kid is more than happy to get the cool ring and the awesome party, and promises to remain a virgin until marriage. But then there's another question: What constitutes virginity? Is mutual masturbation ok? Oral sex? Anal?

Here's what I gather from the article. Abstinence only parents aren't clear enough with their children as to what sex is. Of course, if they were perfectly clear with their kids about sex, that wouldn't be true abstinence only education.

Well, the kids are going to find out what sex is, whether their parents like it or not. They're going to learn what they're missing from friends and popular culture. And they're going to rebel. Say, "Fuck what my parents think". And they'll screw the first gangly piece of garbage they meet at a drunken toga party at that totally uncool off campus frat. And who would've thought they'd get the clap/herpes/pregnant from a lackluster unprotected one-nighter?

So, let's cut the charade already, Jonas Brothers. Purity rings and abstinence vows don't work. But at least they aren't as stupid as taking nude pictures/videos of yourself and sending it over the net to someone you really, really like, because he/she would never share it with anyone else, right?

Next: Part 3.