Hey, Pig

"Nothing can stop me now/'Cause I just don't care." -- Nine Inch Nails

My last post brought plenty of kind words and concern from friends and strangers. I appreciated it all. I will find a way to deal with this pain. Like I told one friend, the difference between being numb and feeling is the difference between Jeffrey Dahmer and Gaspar Noe. I've never been a fan of Dahmer.

Ideally, GG Allin seems to be a good model for which to base an existence on.

Above this ancient computer is a picture (it's actually to the left). Two blonde-haired women in Nazi uniforms. It's from Rob Zombie's "Werewolf Women of the SS" and is autographed by Sybil Danning (met her a little while back). It says, "Darling Doug, Behave - or else!"

Or else, Sybil. Or else.

"Burn the fuse." -- GG Allin

Fuse is lit. Let's see what explodes.


This Machine Eats Souls

We've all had those times. The times when you want to slit your wrists and drown in the blood. The times when you want to slip that noose around your neck and dangle in a final dance. The times where a bullet that tears through your brain is a far easier thing to deal with than the emotions that loiter there. Those are dark times and places, and I've been living there for over a year.

Yeah, it's gotten worse. I spend most of my alone time in the dark these days. In fact, as I type this, I'm in the dark. The only light is the cold glow of my aged computer monitor. (The only thing on this computer that still works well.) I go through the motions. I fake all the right emotions. But most of all, I understand.

I understand that my daughter, the thing I love most in the world, would miss me if I were to perish. I understand that I would create a ripple that I wouldn't have to deal with ... and I've never been one to shrug off responsibility.

But I'll be damned if it isn't getting harder to face myself every day.

Most recently I was talked out of taking that final step by someone who is pretty near and dear to me, and if she read this, she would flip. And rightly so. When you start to get honest about those dark holes, people start to get a little frightened.

I see people all around me smiling and going about their business as if they had not a care in the world. They don't think about the abusive parents who kill their own children. They don't think of cancers that are starting to spread in a manner very similiar to a virus. They don't think of the crass consumerism that is cannibalizing our society. They don't think of religious wars or corporate terrorism. They don't think, period. They smile. They buy. They eat. They fuck. They move on. If they have emotions, they suppress them with medicine, drugs, alcohol, television. Anything to keep from facing reality.

I've never shyed away from the "real" of it all. I've always embraced it. I've always faced it head on with bared teeth. If you can't beat them ... destroy them. I was almost always above it all. Lately, though, I've been under it all, and I'm worried.

I go to a job I don't like (thankful that my co-workers are some of the best people I've had the pleasure of working beside -- most of them at least). I start arguments for the hell of it. I face financial ruin. I sense my world quickly going to shit, and I want to bail. I don't think anyone can blame me, either.

I've never been a drinker. I've watched it ruin too many lives. Vodka, however, is starting to have an almost sexy appeal to me.

I always thought that if I was going to take myself out, I would take a bunch of people with me. Not so sure I have that in me too much these days, but I do feel a bit of the GG Allin side of me seeping in around the corners more often than not.

So what to do? Trudge on? Keep the mask on? Smile so no one asks questions they don't want to hear the answers to? Pretend it is okay so it will be? What is that saying? Fake it to make it? Is that what I should do?

There are things I want out of life. First and foremost, I want to see what kind of adult my girl turns into. Second, I want to leave my mark. I just wonder if these things are in my future. I don't know. I just don't know.

I've never hid the fact that I feel alien in this world. I never lied about my contempt for my fellow humans. I never trusted them. Never liked them. Never wanted to turn to them, either. Now I think I need to.

I don't want lies. I want truth. I want to know that things will really be okay. I want to know that these fools walking around with an ignorant grin on their faces really are ignorant. They don't have some magic formula. They simply don't know any better. I want to know I'm better than that, and I don't have to accept what has been forced into my face.

The problem is, nobody can tell me these things. I have to figure them out for myself. I have to burn. I have to dissect. I have to suffer. That is the only way I can progress. It's the only way anyone can progress.

How much suffering can one take, though, before the thought of ending it all becomes more than just an easy, weak solution and instead turns into an overwhelming desire? I don't know what point I'm at. I don't know if anyone ever does. All I know is that I have spent years turning this type of pain onto others, using their stupidity and complacency to amuse myself, and I don't know if I have it in me anymore.

I used to think I'd be dead by 27. I now wish I would have been right.

Tomorrow's another day, however. I'll be damned if I know what it brings.



Today I was told I was disrespectful to the president. Not only was I disrespectful, but so was the journalist who tossed his shoes at him. The person who told me this wasn't too suprised I was being "a pill," but she was upset that "some foreign guy" would do such a thing.

Granted, the president declared war on the "foreign" guy's country, but that shouldn't matter. Even victims of invaders should show some respect. All the president did was send in troops who shoot first, ask questions later. He didn't throw his damn shoes at anyone. The nerve!

I always thought presidents were fair targets, no pun intended. They need to be questioned, mocked and every once in a while get a shoe in the face. When a president, such as Bush, is in charge of a country that has gone so deep into the shitter and has totally lost the respect of the world, you would think he would be thankful it was just a shoe or two. Let's not mince words, either. The economy and the country's credibility is actually small potatoes compared to Bush's other transgressions. He's a war criminal. At the very least, prison should be in his future ... along with several of his cabinet members. But that will never happen. If shoes are disrespectful, prison is off the fucking radar.

The United States government has a long history of playing the hypocrite, bully, and might is right card. If the US or one of its client states does it, it's legal and morally sound. If a country the US doesn't happen to agree with does the same action, it's a crime. This, of course, never even makes it into polite discussion. This, of course, is never even mentioned by those who think I'm disrespectful.

Bush is not the only bad president we've ever had. Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and many of the presidents (if not all) before them have done some truly horrible things. I can't think of a single president who doesn't have some blood on his hands. And the past few of them have also qualified as war criminals.

So, yes, Virginia, I am disrespectful. So are a bunch of other people ... and they should be. Sometimes, when you're morally outraged, you have to do act. You have to make a stand. If throwing shoes at a president who lied to the world in order to wage an illegal war on a country that had already been crippled by sanctions is your solution to the problem, then I say toss away. If throwing shoes is your response to a president who has only been reactive to nearly every single major problem that has hit his own country (even when he had plenty of warning on the issues such as the economy and Hurrican Katrina), then start practicing your aim.

Be disrespectful America, and don't let Obama off any easier.
To all who would throw shoes at the president: I salute you. Too bad shoes don't explode.



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Stocks fall. When will investors start jumping out windows again? I miss the good old days.


Cheney indicted? Am I having a wet dream? What next? Bush goes on a bender and sodomizes Rove on live television?


Fires destroy southern California. God's revenge for passing Prop. 8 and being intolerant? Food for thought.


Palin's Uncertain Future

A lot (far too much, actually) talk in the mainstream media has centered on Governor Sarah Palin and her future plans. Will she go quietly into the night to govern that state most Americans treat like a creepy uncle, or will she return to the forefront before the next election to assault Americans with her maverick sense of stupidity? The consensus seems to be mixed, with about half thinking she's good for the Republican party and the other half thinking she sunk it.

I'm a registered Republican. Why would an anarchist even be registered to vote, let alone be a registered Republican? Because it gets me on a lot of phone polls and sends a lot of junk mail to my mailbox. I get to vote in their primaries. In other words, I get to know what Republicans are thinking, and when I take a phone survey and vote I get to throw my two cents in. I'll be telling the Republicans they should stick with this goofy-accented television joke of a governor.

Palin is good for the Republicans the same way anorexia is good for a model. You look good for a while, even as people ignore the obvious, but eventually things get really bad. Let's let the war mongers think she's good for business. Let's let Americans more scared of God than they are of a serious economic depression place her on the altar. The more attention paid to her will result in more attention being paid to her, and I don't believe she's good enough to withstand the scrutiny. Granted, she has a few years to polish her act, and she will polish. Those Republicans who stick by her will groom her, but will it be good enough? You can't erase stupidity no matter who you are surrounded by. Dubya showed the world that. Her ignorance ain't goin' away, y'all.

So let's keep attention focused on her. Let's make the Republican party defend or demonize her. Let's make the media continue to ask for interviews so we can learn just how badly she failed geography. This will only serve us well.

And while you are at it, I recommend changing your party status. Sometimes you really can make change from inside.


Stopped watching presidential coverage. Too much masturbation for my liking.
NBC states mass exodus from private sector to government service. Inspired or inspired insanity?
NBC newscasters like to use terms like "the system works" and "who rules us" in regards to the Obama victory. Telling.
Wet eyes turn to a new president. History made. Status quo still firmly in place. The system is safe. The system works. Obey.
Do not neglect to pick your new boss today! Pick right and the sky will be bright blue tomorrow. Or so you think.


Gods and Monsters

Try as I might (and I do try), I just don't understand ninety-nine percent of the (in)human race. I can't understand their motives, their actions, their ways. I don't know why they do what they do, and I am afraid I don't care to try and understand any longer.

As a species, I'm disappointed. We make weapons capable of destroying a planet, but yet we still can't understand the basic concept of simple decency. It's a wicked combination -- all that might and so little brains. We create different moralities -- rules to live our lives by -- and then promptly ignore them when it is convenient. Thou shalt not kill ... unless it's a war. Thou shalt respect life -- unless it's a female's life. Thou shalt be kind to strangers -- unless it's that guy who's always begging for money.

Here's my feelings on the subject. At about 14 I decided to be totally honest with myself. It isn't always easy, and I haven't always succeded, but I believe I'm better off than the people who constantly lie to themselves and justify their actions any way they can when it goes against their beliefs.

I believe all people should be free. I believe people should be free to take drugs, go to hookers and not wear seat belts. I believe my rights end when they infringe on your's. I believe most people are blind sheep with zero brains, and I do my best to stay out of their way. I believe God is a myth, but I respect those who believe in it because I believe in things I cannot prove, either. I believe in giving respect when it is earned. I believe any authority that is justified by force is no authority at all. I believe governments make people's lives worse. I believe some people should be killed by the rest of society, but I don't think the government should do it. (How about having the victims or their families handle the justice?) I believe people can have whatever opinion they want, and I respect it ... if it is well thought out ... which they rarely are. I believe most people have poor taste in art and entertainment, but can't really be expected to know what is good because nobody tells them. I believe religion is just another story like the Star Wars saga or "Christine." I believe most people don't have a clue and are happy that way. I believe most people vote based on one issue and who seems the most like them. I believe television has replaced common sense. I believe most people enjoy being consumers and statistics or else they'd act differently. I believe morals and values are something most people believe are set in stone for themselves, yet they are happy to treat them like toilet paper without even realizing it. I believe we are safer with citizens owning weapons. I believe justice is when stupid people are not kept safe from the outcomes of their actions. I believe there is no justice anymore. I believe that alcoholism and homosexuality aren't diseases and as long as we treat them as such we are lying to ourselves. I believe in being nice to those who deserve it and laughing when my enemies get what's coming to them. I believe in caring about social injustices, but I also believe in taking care of myself first. I believe we are headed for disaster and it is probably deserved. I believe 9/11 has been exploited by both political parties, but members of either party will only believe it about their opposites. I believe people who think their is a difference between political parties are lying to themselves. I believe my morals and values are situational and I'm not afraid to admit it, but the general plan I have is solid and a good way to live my life or I wouldn't be doing it. I believe perversion can be a good thing. I believe alcohol and drugs help the government keep people under control and are a total waste of time.

There's more. There always is. And there are exceptions. There always are. I am political, but not in the way most people would expect. I am not religious, but I don't care if others are and I tend not to mock them for it. I used to, but it got pointless.

As for the rest of society. I don't think they think of these things enough. They go to church, they vote, they watch NBC's newscasts and read the yearly book, but they don't think on their own. They think whatever the bumperstickers tell them to, and I think that makes them dangerous. Ill-informed and unaware is never a good thing. In fact, it's stuff like that which makes me glad we have police.

How do we sleep at night? Oh yeah ... medicated.


Vote for your new boss November 4! Remember: You need to be told what to do. See you at the polls.


Eureka Pizza Hut totally fouls up meal and then comps it. How damn hard can that job be? Maybe cooks just cannot read.
In Pizza Hut. People gasping about Jennifer Hudson's tragedy. Surreal.


Interview with Beat Man to appear on filmthreat.com soon done by your's truly.
Any readers from Humboldt please post a comment. I want to know who is out there.

Some of Them Looking Just Like You

Just a quick thought. How can you be a maverick or an icon for change if you are still wearing a three-piece suit? Just curious. Does anyone believe the presidential candidates when they say such things? (McCain and his trophy VP pick use the word "maverick" so much that you would think someone needs to change their batteries.)

As readers know, I don't like either of the fools, but I wonder how many fools the fools are fooling. Based on the excitement of my friends, most of whom support Obama, quite a few.

Change and the rugged individualism of being a "maverick" can be good things, but when they are thrown around by members of the establishment who haven't really done all that much to separate themselves from their peers, they mean very little. I know McCain has taken some unpopular stands within his own party, but I don't see him taking any truly innovative stands. The same holds true with Obama.

Mavericks? Agents of change? Nope. Just the standard talking heads feeding America what they think it wants to hear ... and so far they have been right.


Die Zorros

Voodoo Rhythm Records' Die Zorros is one of those strange bands you just can't put a finger on. This serves the band well, but may leave listeners in the cold ... unless you have fully committed yourself to the Voodoo ride, as have I.

"History of Rock Vol. 7" came out a few years ago. It has moody organs and a sound that harkens back to slow dances at a 1960's Junior High. Hell, the third track is "Blue Moon." You can kind of figure it out from there.

Fans of Voodoo's other acts like The Monsters and The Come 'n' Go won't quite know what to make of this release. It doesn't evoke barroom brawls or leather jackets, but it does have that twisted David Lynch-inspired feel to it that puts it right at home in the Voodoo stable. And if one were to actually look at the entire Voodoo catalog you would see that the Die Zorros have a definite place in the jigsaw puzzle.

Die Zorros is music you drink exotic drinks to. It is music to play when you have someone tied up in the basement and you want to take your time with the dirty work. "Black," a stellar song, works its way into your head and makes you think you stepped into some trippy drug film from an era when Hollywood still took chances. "Stairway to Heaven" is a tip to that awful Led band, but this version clocks in at just under three minutes. Fuck the original. This is tolerable. "Final Countdown" sounds like something left on the cutting room floor (accidentally, of course) from "A Fistful of Dollars." How many of today's releases can make these claims?

Die Zorros isn't the reason I love Voodoo Rhythm Records. It's one of the reasons, though. When "History of Rock Vol. 7" initially came out, I didn't listen to it that much. It didn't grab me. Now, however, I've listened to it three times in less than 12 hours today, and I keep finding something new in it. It is a soundtrack to a film that doesn't exist, but should, and that's what makes it worth owning.

Voodoo Rhythm Records isn't that well-known in this country. I've covered the documentary and the Reverend Beat-Man's DVD on filmthreat.com in my attempt to bring it attention in the good ol' US of A, but for now it remains a musician's label. The music it produces is bold, exciting and has its roots in all that is good in rock. Die Zorros' "History of Rock Vol. 7" proves it in the most roundabout way possible. Don't believe me, though. Go to the site and sample some of the bands. Download a free song or two and get your blood flowing. The music you will hear beats anything on any major label around today. You can thank me later. I know you will.


The Race to (Mis)Lead

If you've been paying attention, you know the race for the next president of the United States is in full swing. Of all the candidates who threw their hats into the ring, the mass media only pays any attention to two of them now. You know their names. I don't need to rehash.

Some people claim the Democrat is humanity's salvation. Others claim the Republican is the only one who can keep this country on course. And the mass media acknowledges no other parties.

Many of my friends believe one will be better than the other. Perhaps it's due to a stance on the war. Perhaps it has to do with civil rights. The economy. Age. Experience. Wisdom. Hope. My friends, like most of the population, have chosen sides. They are ready to fight for their candidate. The better man must win.

I don't see two different people or two different parties. I see two piles of the same shit. I don't want to step in either, and while I realize one pile may have some slight differences, it all comes from the same source. The status quo will be protected.

Victory will be kind to one of the two candidates. Things may inadvertently get better for the country, but our reckless capitalistic ways will not change. Our moral arrogance will remain firmly in place. We may come out looking better, but you can only put so much make-up on a tumor, and our cancer is at the boiling point.

When I cast my vote, it will be "no confidence." I can't go any other way and still look at myself in the mirror in the morning. I can't vote for anyone who will keep the same lies in place, who will take the same money from the same sources, who will say one thing and cast a vote that goes the other way. I can't and won't. An old anarchist motto is "Only sheep need a leader." I firmly believe that. I'm just shocked that with the way the world is, we have so many people still willing to say, "Baaaa!"


Hero Worship

Every once in a while I'm asked about heroes. Do I have any? Who are they? Why do I think they're heroes?

I don't think I have heroes, per se. There are writers I admire, musicians I admire, film directors I admire and so on. Heroes, though? Heroes are those folks like volunteer fire fighters who dive head first into a flaming building to pull out a drunk who fell asleep with a lit cigarette. That's someone trying to save a life with little regard for their own. Let's face it, even with the proper training there's a lot of danger associated with going into a burning building. At some point you may not make it out alive. Heroes, yes, but I don't worship them.

When I'm asked, I usually instead talk about the people I admire. When it comes to musicians there are three of them. Two of which I've been lucky enough to talk to and even become friendly with.

GG Allin, Henry Rollins, and Jello Biafra.

Allin, whom I was an acquaintance of, was pure emotion. He was dangerous. He made his art (and it was art) mean something. He brought terror back into music, and the audience was worse off for it. He hated the people who came to see him and it showed. I admire that trait in a performer. He understood that the audience was there for him and not the other way around. When he asked my band, JFK's Head, to open for him, we considered it ... for all of ten minutes. Too dangerous for us, but God what a thrill.

Rollins, whom I also used to talk to through e-mail, always represented discipline and self-control. Those are two other traits I admire. He "looked the lie right in the eye" and wasn't "afraid to see too clearly." Introspection took on new meaning, and it was through interviews with him that I became familiar with Nietschze.

Biafra, whom I've written to often but have never heard from, showed me that you could be political and a prankster and make life into one big piece of performance art (like Andy Kaufman -- another one I admire) to not only teach, but to also poke fun. Running for mayor of San Francisco was brilliant. Performing at the Bammies was sublime. Biafra, to quote a Lard song he did, made his life a big prank on a society he hated. I can totally get behind that.

Raw, disciplined emotion aimed at opening eyes and amusing one's self. Those men and those qualities just about say it all. If you can't see it, you'll never get it. And if you do get it, you know how important those things are.

Kafka wrote a story that was called (I believe) "The Hunger Artist." It's about an artist (a performance artist in a cage if I recall correctly) who starves himself. It's an attack on his audience (or at least I read it as such), and that has always stuck with me. Allin, Rollins and Biafra, while all being very different people, also combine all those things "The Hunger Artist" represents.

Hero worship? No way. But a strong respect for the ability of the enlightened? You bet your ass.


Parent on Fire

Every time I pass by Nancy Grace's cable show, which is usually brutal in its delivery and therefore unwatchable, I can't help but see pictures of that smiling, missing kid (whose name I won't mention). The girl's mom reported her missing 31 days after realizing the kid was gone and is now (as of the last report I heard) in jail. A bounty hunter is trying to bail her out because she needs a "friend." What this woman, whose name I also won't mention, really needs is a hammer to the teeth.

Most reasonable, sane parents would not be out hitting night clubs when they discover their kid is missing. Not this mom. She's out there rubbing breasts with other women and chillin'. You'd be hard pressed to find anything wrong in her life. In fact, from all those reported conversations I heard, and all those pictures I've seen, Mom looks like everything is going a-ok. Well, except for the jail thing. (Wonder if she's been rubbing breasts there?)

Whenever I think about a parent hurting a kid, I get a little irrational. Call it the human in me, but I don't think parents should be doing bad things to their offspring. This woman, who Nancy Grace is basing an industry around, should suffer the same fate as her child. If she won't tell authorities where the kid is (she has been, to put it mildly, inconsistent with her stories), she should go missing. I've got a garage, some power tools and a hell of an imagination. Give her to me for a few days. I may be able to get a confession out of her. At the very least I'll have fun.

This bounty hunter, the one who wants to be her "friend," is stating that once she's out he'll find the child within a week. I'm not sure how he knows that, but it would be great if he did. I suspect if that is true, however, that smiling little girl will not be breathing. He's convinced she's still alive, but we all know how well those things usually go. It's a major story when the kid is found alive. It's par for the course when they're dead.

And before you think I'm advocating torturing the mom, I'm not really saying it should be done. I'm just saying I wouldn't shed a tear if it happened. I'd say it's justice served. She obviously knows more than she's saying, and when there is a child involved that is verboten. You don't keep secrets.

If she needs a "friend," then she needs to start acting human ... like a parent ... not some mom finally relieved of a burden, which is what those pictures seem to show.

And if she killed her daughter? Well, I don't believe in Hell, but I do believe that there will plenty of people who would like to put her through their own version of it. Here's to hoping she gets to party with them. Cheers!


Earthquake Update

The earthquake last night was a 4.6, or so I read.

For those keeping score, that's God 0 and Doug 1. I'm still here, jerkface! Put that in your creation and smoke it!


Earthquake at 10:58

As I'm going through my blog stuff, trying to add an End of the World Countdown Counter, and earthquake rattled my house. I'm not a stranger to these types of things, but being on the Northcoast, as it's called, of California, I have to wonder when the next one will be the Big One.

I put this one at a 3.x. Don't know officially, because as I write this the pictures on my wall have finally stopped shaking.

Feeling that as I'm looking at the End of the World Countdown sure gave me a jolt, though. Gotta love when weird things like that happen.


Bigfoot Found?

The picture shows a body in a chest. Bigfoot? A clever hoax? I don't know, but there is a press conference scheduled for later today, and DNA evidence is supposedly being gathered.

I believe there are probably creatures like Bigfoot out there. There have been too many sightings and other "evidence" (I use quotes since the evidence hasn't been proven yet) to make me think something is possibly going on. Then again, a lot of people claim to have seen angels, but I don't believe in those.

I think I want to believe Bigfoot is real. The concept isn't too far out there, and science is discovering new animals from time to time, including those thought to be extinct. I have talked to several people who have claimed to have seen it, and I find most of their stories to be credible. The idea that Bigfoot could be out there appeals to me. I gives me great pleasure in knowing that we, as a society, still don't know everything about the world we live in.

If this body is real (and I have my doubts), it will change things. It won't be like finding an alien body, but it will force the scientific community to rethink the way it treats these tales (Loch Ness Monster and so on). It will be a great story for science and society.

I'll be following this closely. If it's fake, I'll still continue to hold out hope. If it is real, well, I'll be pretty content and even more driven to see one alive (there is going to be an expedition to caputre a live one in the same area the body was supposed to have been found).


Pointless Thunder

"Tropic Thunder" opened yesterday. I haven't seen it yet, but it's touched on things I've written about before -- chiefly actors who portray mentally disabled people and actors in blackface.

I'm not going to rehash those things here. The "Excess Hollywood" columns are thoroughly accessible on the net even by the most inept surfer. What I will say, however, is that I don't understand the protests.

On one level, I do, of course, understand. Nobody likes being made fun of. When mentally disabled people protest the movie and the character of Simple Jack, they are trying to say they don't like the way their group is being portrayed. Fair enough. But how many have seen the picture? How many have thought about the message? How many of them protested Sean Penn when he played the role of a mentally disabled man and took it seriously? (That's far more offensive than someone doing it comedically to make a point.)

Groups protesting art and entertainment, whether they be mentally disabled, gay, or albino, often come across as having no sense of humor, being opportunistic and uneducated. Sad, but true. Every single person in America could find one movie that portrays them in a negative light. How many of them take to the streets with signs bearing "clever" slogans? (I don't know if this lack of protest is due to laziness or because they understand that art and entertainment is just that and not real life, however.)

If mentally disabled groups really wanted to make an impact, they should point out exactly what "Tropic Thunder" is said to do: There are actors who will take the role of a mentally challenged person in order to win awards. Don't protest the films. Write articles about them. Do press releases. Protesting brings more attention to a movie you want nobody to see, and nine times out of ten you give the film more credit than it deserves, including free publicity.

I'm all for protesting for the right reasons, like shutting down nuclear power plants and schools that train backyard dictators, but art and entertainment? Those protests always work in reverse.


Desperation is our Bread and Butter!

I was asked why I was doing this blog. I stopped doing "Excess Hollywood," a popular column that later became blog, because I had no interest in living in the "blogosphere." So why do this?

The "Times-Standard" and its reliance on desperate writers begging for a byline. That's why.

The "Times-Standard" is Eureka, California's hometown newspaper. It's been around for ages, and is read by a sizable portion of Humboldt County's population. (The sizable portion that can read, at least.) Some of you may know of it.

Back when I was writing for "Tattoo Savage" I was looking for other writing outlets to supplement my income. (Every freelancer knows that timely paychecks aren't exactly a regular part of the gig.) I decided to try our local paper. The entertainment editor at the time was thrilled that I asked. There was a jazz festival coming up and the paper needed an experienced writer to cover it. The editor wanted coverage of the festival and interviews with several of the acts. I'm not a big fan of jazz, but I am a big fan of paying the bills, so I said I would be interested. I figured it would be at least 14 hours worth of work, and the editor agreed. I didn't think the paper would pay as much as the tattoo magazine (which averaged about $80 an hour), but I thought I'd make some decent money.

Twenty-five dollars was the rate I was quoted. Not per hour. For the piece. Twenty-five dollars. Oh, and I'd get to see my name in print.

I reminded the editor that my name was already in print on a regular basis, and I wasn't doing the piece to pad my portfolio. I was writing to make a living. Not stroke the ol' ego.

The editor understood, but kept insisting it would be a great experience that would look good in my portfolio. I asked how it could possibly look better than an international magazine (one of a few at the time). There was no answer, and I didn't take the assignment.

Fast forward quite a few years. My poker book comes out. Press releases are sent to all sorts of media, including the "Times-Standard." Does my local paper contact me for an interview? No. The newspaper in my old hometown, a place that had every reason to hate me, had a writer call me up and I did an interview on my lunch break.

I couldn't help but wonder who was sleeping behind the wheel at the "Times-Standard." It was a ready-made story, and anyone who remembered me from the last contact I had with the publication had long since left the paper. Here I was thinking I might like to give the writing thing another shot (it really needed some better film critics), and the entire incident soured me ... again.

A few more years goes by. I noticed that the paper was doing its own blog and publishing some of the pieces in its print edition. Should I dare? I was kind of missing the immediate gratification of "Excess Hollywood." Should I? I should. I did. I contacted the editor and told him I was interested (knowing I would have to water it down as the stuff the paper tended to like had to do with mothers writing about the cute things their kids did). I also gave him some direction to the online stuff I had written (most notably Film Threat, which the "Wall Street Journal" ranked as one of the five best movie sites). He asked to see some samples and then we could talk.

Instead of getting excited, I became depressed. Why would I want to help the "Times-Standard," that exploiter of hungry freelancers, sell papers and capture surfing web eyes? I wouldn't. And I didn't. I shined it. I didn't even respond to the editor's e-mail. I had no desire to write about flower shows, coffee shops, or the cute things animals in my neighborhood did. I'd leave that to the clueless and self-important. I'd do my own thing.

And here we are ...

Obama is running for president. Bernie Mac is dead ... for real this time. CNN is running exciting video clips of people commenting on the John Edwards "sex scandal." The music industry continues to implode. The Joker is everywhere. The Olympics is showing the world why nobody should care. A lady clones her dead dog and is revealed to be someone accused of kidnapping a man and keeping him as a sex slave decades ago. Wildfires ravage California while the Arnie attempts to cut the pay of state employees to minimum wage. The Blue Lake chief of police (now ex-chief to be exact) is accused of some pretty horrific crimes involving spousal rape and firearms.

It seems like a pretty good time to get back into the commentating business. Sticking my nose where it is unwelcome. Poking my finger into that festering wound that is society. This is the kind of thing I enjoy, the kind of thing I don't do nearly enough these days. How long will I stick with it? I can't answer that, but I think it will quite a ride regardless of its length.

Introduce Yourself ...

Okay, a bit about myself.

White. Male. Married. Father. Office monkey. Writer. Author. One-time musician. Prankster.

Someof you may know me from my film reviews and interviews on filmthreat.com(where I also wrote "Excess Hollywood"). Some may have bought my book ("PocketAces: The Newbie's Guide to Online Texas Hold-Em"). Some may remember mefrom my "Violence Fetish" e-mails, or read "Tattoo Savage" back when it wasactually about tattoos and piercings. (That magazine is a shell of whatit used to be.) Some may remember the 'zines I did and wrote for.

Whydo a blog now? Why do a blog when I have no time? Because finishing upa manuscript is lonely business. Writing is a lonely business, period. I want people to remember my name. Not in the way Robin Meade's name isremembered, more like in the way Stalin's name is remembered. It's hardto do that when you're doing movie and music reviews, the occasional interviewand working on a book people may or may not ever see.

What will Icover? Whatever I feel like. Pretty simple. Just like the e-mail transmissionsand 'zines. Whatever. I. Feel. Like.

Got questions? Send them in. I don't check my e-mail every day (I'm not a Luddite, but I'm close), butI will eventually respond.

And one more thing ... these posts won'texactly be polished pieces of literature. Again, I don't have time for that. These will be from-the-gut blows that are as raw as a herpes sore and justas disgusting.