So, not only is work insane (and by insane I mean ab-so-lute-ly fucking bugshit, eyes crossed, tongue out, drooling nuts), but I heard something today about a friend that I didn't like hearing. Now, the first person I heard it from is one of the cross-eyed lunatics. About half of what comes out this person's cockhole goes in one ear and out the other. That's what you do with crazy. You nod and hope it goes away. The other name involved surprised me. Expected better, I did. Didn't get it. (And if you think this has to do with people at work, you may want to think again. I have a life outside of that concentration camp in the guise of a place of aid.)

Now, I felt no need to tell cross-eyed that the words spewing forth were nuts. To me, that says I feel some respect for the words. I didn't. I only defend people from people I or they respect. Why bother with the others? You won't change their mind. They won't see your point of view. It's a wasted effort. Again, you just nod and hope it goes away. It wasn't true. It doesn't matter. But it still bugged me.

It didn't bug me because it's true (it's not). It didn't bug me because they were right (they aren't). It didn't bug me because it's the same old shit (it is). It bugged me because some people never grow out of high school no matter how old they are. It bugged me because some people stick their nose where it doesn't belong. It bugged me because people you think are nice and reasonable are no different than the rest of the swine.

And today was a bad day for this. Emergency problems. Case problems. Client problems. And then stupidity. I had no real reaction. Sometimes that's the best policy. But I dwelled on it. I started to think of another friend there who told me how his/her friends dwindled in numbers and how decisions made in the past have screwed up his/her future.

And I thought some more.

I thought of high school, rumors, drama, backstabbing, two-faced shit talkers, busy bodies. Morally bankrupt, socially retarded bottom dwellers.

It wasn't just this one thing. It was everything. This was the straw. This was the choke point. I took a good long look in the mirror in the bathroom. Water from the sink was dripping down my face. Stress was at a high. Should I call shit as I see it and start all kinds of problems, problems that wouldn't be visited upon me but on others? Casualities? Should I do that? Should I stick true to my values and say that if it comes from crazy it doesn't need to be addressed? Then I came up with another alternative.

I'll just kill them.

There are quite a few people in this world I would let die if I came upon them at the scene of an accident. I'll admit I don't care about that them much. But what if I looked upon them as enemies and destroyed them?

Nah, that's just as bug-eyed.

But I could promote it. Try to push things in a certain direction. Start the ball rolling. Get the show on the road. Manipulate. Influence. Create situations where you can kind of guess the outcome.

I think that could work. Alleviate the pressure. I know you get rid of some insanity and more fills the void, but why not work on getting rid of that, too?

Some people need to disappear for the better of humanity. I know I shouldn't judge, but if not me, who?

Here's to your destruction. God, I hope your respective families get a call that they found you all dead of shotgun blasts in some nameless gutter on a dead-end street. You deserve it ... more than you'll ever know.

AT and T -- Creators of Swine Flu

There it was in my mailbox ... again. Another bill from AT and T ... again ... after my service has been over for two months. Earlier that week a telemarketer for AT and T called to tell me about the company's "low rates." Instead, I told him about the company's "incompetent managers and piss poor service."

This bill was really nothing more than a statement letting me know it received my two-plus-dollars, as if I cared whether or not it was received. "This is not a bill," it read.

God, I can't wait until the next AT and T patsy calls.


Pocono Mountain Nightmares

I was one of the unlucky ones who went to high school at Pocono Mt. Senior High. Football ruled. We got the first day of deer season off. And if you were "different" (i.e., you had your own opinions and didn't dress like everyone else), you were a target for administration and peers. You were asking for it. You deserved it. You were different, and they let you know it.

Gym class, as many people know, was the worst. We had a "teacher," whose name I can't remember, call us "tampons" because we weren't running fast enough. He also called the class "fags." Oh,the tolerant '80s.

I'll admit that I gave administration its share of grief. I excelled at it (as anyone who works with me can imagine). I challenged them at every step. I threatened them. I pulled pranks. I know I wasn't a saint, but I can say I was a product of my environment ... and it got me watched.

The administration at Pocono Mt. kept me under a careful eye. They deemed me homicidal and suicidal. They fabricated stories about my friends coming to them in fear and disgust. They thought I was as dumb as they were and that I wouldn't question that, but I did. And as soon as they were confronted, they fell apart.

I got to thinking about this because of Columbine. It's been in the news this week. Now, I could see wanting to shoot fellow classmates and administration, but I would not have been as random. I always turned my hatred to those who deserved it. (I picture that gym teacher checking his underwear every morning, praying those drops of blood will disappear, but not telling anyone out of fear. Happy cancer, asshole! Maybe you should use a tampon to block the flow.)

Back in those days I did a 'zine. I ran a photo of a KKK rally and stated that it was a shot from our administration's annual picnic. I offered suggestions on how to deal with the staff, including the one that since they acted like Nazis we should let their neighbors know what they are dealing with by painting swastikas on their houses. That was when I started to learn a lot about libel laws and a publisher's responsibility. In the administration's favor, they didn't sue me ... and one of my more liked teachers definitely had a case when he woke up with a swastika painted on his house. Funny how that comes back to bite you sometimes.

If those Columbine kids did it out of anger, I can understand ... to a point. Too much was too random. Random anger loses its message far too easily. (Look at the confusion surrounding that incident.) That much anger needs to be directed like a laser. In that sense, those boys got it all wrong.

For those of you still in school ... have a great day. It won't be forever, but while you are there have some fun with it. Remember ... these are the best days of your life.


A Good Start

Here's the story: Click here for the laugh of the day!

I was just talking about this very thing the other day. These idiots who have put us into this financial mess should either commit suicide or be shot. Hell, if some guy got caught breaking into your house to fuel his drug addiction, you could shoot him and get away with it if you said your life was in danger. How is our situation any different.

So the acting CFO of Freddie Mac offs himself? We care why? It's a good start, I say. The rest should be like little lemmings and follow his good example. Hey, maybe if we chip in what's left of our meager savings we can do mass shipments of razor blades, pills and bullets. Who is with me here?


A Letter To Obama

Mr. President,

You've taken some heat lately for a handshake, a ritual done throughout the civilized world, with Chavez, a man whom many in this country think is another incarnation of Satan. Oddly enough, you haven't taken so much heat over not going after torturers and the men who gave them their orders, which includes most of the Bush administration.

How the hell are you going to discipline your girls when they hit the rebellious years? "But Dad, I'm just a half hour late. Bush caused people to die and he gets off scott-free while I lose use of the car for a month? How is that fair?" She's right.

You can't say torture is bad and then not do anything about it. You can't tell other countries that America is somehow different now under your regime, but not go after the people who started an illegal war. Bush and his people are war criminals by even the loosest of definitions. War criminals need to be tried for their crimes. You aren't even suggesting that. What kind of message does that send? Business as usual. Sure, you may not be ordering torture, but there's nothing stopping Cheney from serving in some future administration. You could help change that, but you aren't.

The men who actually did the torturing of hostages (and that's what a lot of them were)? They were just "following orders." Brilliant.

And people are upset about a handshake. A handshake! How is Chavez worse than Bush? Because Bush is a monster, but he's our monster? Chavez is a foreign monster? Chavez is so evil, he gave Obama a book! I know that the Fox demographic, which consists mainly of beer-swilling pedophiles, thinks books are learning tools and are therefore instruments of the devil, but come on. Obama likes to read. (Again, for the Fox crowd, reading is something you do with books.)

Obama, you, like Clinton and like Bush in many respects, take heat for all the wrong things. (Bush didn't take enough heat for his policies and actions, but the did get more than enough criticism for his vocabulary.) You need to do the right thing and go after our criminals, the ones still walking free in America. Just make sure you don't shake Bush's hand. You've already touched one too many "monsters" this month.


An Explanation Part 2

Okay, yeah, I'm insane. If you go to the bottom of this page, you'll see all the blogs I'm doing now. I've decided that this blog has kind of become more personal and less about things. Therefore, I decided to do other blogs that focus on things I like, and leave this one to be more personal/political.

Stretching myself too thin? No. Some people like the personal. Some people like the video game stuff. So now people can follow what they want to.

It's been an eventful Sunday. My television is dying. My car is making weird noises. I can't save money. I have to go to work tomorrow and deal with a conference call.

Honestly, I think I want a handgun license. Call it insurance.

New Blog Part 2

Okay, there is another one up. The Last Picture Blog. This one is going to be an extension of my old "Excess Hollywood" column and is for fans of cinema. If you ever read those old columns, you know what to expect.

New Blog

Okay, I've started another new blog. This one is devoted to video games. 8 Bit Disasters.

I'm going to be doing a few other blog specific ones, too. Movies. Books. Comic books. Should be pretty self-explanatory.

New Piece Up

New post on my other blog. It's my first "Excess Hollywood" column.


Kill Your Television

I've been thinking of buying a new television. Granted, I need money to do this, but banks are easy marks, so I'm not super worried. My Toshiba, which was given to me, is developing some weird lines at the top of the screen that don't bode well for its future. I have another smaller set I can use, but the Toshiba is so big I can't move it on my own (not without dropping a testicle or two, at least).

So I've been mulling it over. I want a widescreen, doesn't have to be huge, and won't be plasma. (A waste of time and money for a not-so-great picture.) It will be HD, of course, as that is the wave of the future. I probably won't get a Blu-Ray player to go with it, though. Most of the movies I enjoy (with the exception of the Star Wars films) won't benefit from Blu-Ray. I don't care how good the picture looks, a shit movie is still a shit movie even if the shit is clearer.

I've been looking around Target, Sears, Costco and so on. Getting jealous. Choking on the idea of spending that much. Wondering how I'll fit it in here. I need one, though, and probably sooner than later.

I hate being a slave to television. I enjoy "Top Gear," though, and watch some sports and a hell of a lot of movies (it's my job), so I need something. If any of you know of any good scams, fill me in. If I can't watch "The Devil's Rejects" whenever my little heart desires I may just go insane.


Seventh Son Of The Seventh Son

I realize that I must be patient. If I have patience, good things will come. I've seen what my future is, and it's nothing but good. It's the getting there -- the wait -- that is a struggle. It's hard to be reminded of what I don't have every day. Instead of focusing on what I do have, I worry about what's not there. I know it's only a matter of time ...

I'm not big on second chances. I know you don't often get them in life, so when you do, you grab onto them and you don't screw them up because while second chances are rare, third time chances just don't really exist.

I'm focused on that mission. Doing things in certain steps. I don't have time for decoration or cheap games. I don't have time to tip toe around people. I care about my friends, but if any of them decide to act like pricks, I'll drop them like a diseased goat. I can do this mission alone and probably will at some point, and that will be okay because the outcome is worth it.

I guess the question is: How much am I willing to lose to get what I want?

The answer is: Nearly everything. Nearly. To lose too much dooms the future. Nearly everything ... and I think it is starting.

Red Nails

That last post, the one about Spring, came from a truly horrible day filled with much hurt and anger,mixed with a healthy dose of exhaustion and massive back pain. It was stream of consciousness nonsense that just sort of came out.

I realize some of that may sound crazy, but I write horror stories (some are available for purchase on this very blog). It's a form of therapy. Some people pay others to listen to them. Some self-medicate. I write. It's a healthy alternative for all involved.

If anyone was offended ... fuck you. I believe that people's offensive level is equal to their Every once in a while you need to offend people in order to wake them up. It's crude, but effective. If it offended you, you needed it.

Happy Friday, everyone. Enjoy your day. Do some coke. Pick up a hooker. Masturbate in Hot Topic. Send a scary, random text message. Go to a restaurant and hit on staff members of the same sex in an obvious, uncomfortable way. Create as much chaos as possible and take great joy in it. You deserve it.


Spring Has Sprung!

Oh, the days are beautiful! Sunshine. Flowers. Birds. Children playing. It's Spring again! My favorite time of the year. It's all about rebirth as green becomes the Earth's color of choice. The air is filled with the scent of orchids and freshly mowed grass. It puts a smile on the face.

When this time of the year comes, and the sky is clear of those bad rain clouds, I like to tend to my garden. Nothing says fun like getting on my knees in my Spring Flings (my name for the jeans I wear when planting) and getting dirt under my nails. This year is no different.

I took my shovel out to the backyard and dug yet another hole, breathing in the heady aroma of fertile soil. When I finished I went inside and took a very cool shower. I had to go out and find someone to help me plant a tree. Every spring I add more nutrients to the soil and plant something. It's not much, but it's what I do to help make my planet a little better for my fellow people.

This year I'm planting a Japanese Maple.

At my local hardware store I spy with my two eyes a few people who look like they could be of use. One guy is a bit too effeminate for my tastes, but he'd do in a pinch. He's in the garden section, so he has that going for him. Then I see a pixie of a woman who looks like she'd be a fun conversation.

She is!

We talk about planting, the longer days, smiles and puppy dogs. She's 28! I tell her she doesn't look a day over 25. She tells me she loves my wit! Nobody ever said that to me before. My wit! It's a amazing what the people are saying to each other these days. I wonder if I'm "cool"?

I ask my new Spring friend, Amy, if she'd like to come over to a dinner of pasta and sauce, and she actually agrees! It looks like plants aren't the only thing going through a rebirth. It seems my love life has taken off like a Fourth of July firework.

I invite her over early so she can help me plant the tree. She agrees! I won't wear my Spring Flings, but I do have some nifty shorts. I hope she can keep her hands off my legs. LOL!!!!!!

I show her to the back yard. I forgot to put my shovel away, for which I apologize.

Amy says she's puzzled. The hole I dug is too big. I tell her I have a hard time judging these things.

"But it's really big," she says.

I hate when they start asking questions and making assumptions. It's all talk, talk, talk. So I pick up the shovel.

That snatch never knew what hit her.

Thump! Right into the hole! Hole in one! She's bleeding from where the shovel split her scalp, but is otherwise breathing.

For a second I consider pouring gas into the hole and setting her on fire. I dismiss that, though. What if she gets out?

Instead, I toss dirt in. I don't have much time before she comes to. I wouldn't bury her alive if I didn't have to, but if she woke up I doubt she'd give me much time to explain.

I get her covered in enough dirt to put the tree in, which I do. I imagine I can hear her. I felt the soil shift. I asked if she wanted to help plant the tree. She's helping now! Those roots will push their way through her skin. Beautiful.

I swore I could hear her screaming under the dirt. Chilling.

It's Spring! Don't let it to to waste! Put on your Spring Flings and plant a tree. You'll be glad you did.

Great God, It's Gary Coleman!

I have always been here before.



I've always had this great idea for a Batman story arc. Those who have discussed this with me know what it is. I won't get into the idea here in the fruitless hope that DC may someday ask me to write a few issues of one of the Batman comics. I'd have to be a pretty big name because what I want to do is not something that DC would take too lightly. My story would be a natural progression for the character as I see him, and it would change the DC universe ever so slightly.

I was thinking about this while getting ready to go grocery shopping this morning. Character progressions and writing. In comic books, characters can only change ever so slightly before they turn into something that has strayed so far from what the core of the character is that it ultimately dooms the progression. Batman has suffered from this. Wolverine. Spider-Man. Superman. Iron Man. In fact, the only big name hero I can think of who has progressed in any manner that seems not only plausible but also works for him is Daredevil, one of my favorites. In comic books, characters are unable to progress due to the nature of the industry and its fans. In writing novels, however, a character must progress and is expected to. The reaction of readers is almost the exact opposite of comic book fans. The more real the progression, the better.

(The exception, of course, are franchise characters. Those characters are essentially comic book characters. The Executioner comes to mind.)

These differences aren't necessarily bad, but when it comes to comic books it is limiting. Sure, characters have changed in very subtle ways, but have do they honestly progress? Let's face it, wouldn't Professor X, in all his intelligence, see how easy it would be to turn Wolverine into some sort of killing machine (which has happened) and saw fit to totally take the out the violent aspects of his personality for the safety of the world? Maybe. Maybe not. If I wrote any of the X titles ...

As a writer, I, like any other writer who likes comic books, have characters I'd love to do. Batman is one of them, if only to tell this story. I would not want to do Daredevil. Nor would I want to do Star Wars. I'm too much of a fan and only want to be a spectator to these worlds. I don't want to be involved behind the scenes. It would take the fun out of it for me. Batman, the titles of which I tend to enjoy, is different. I don't have as much personal involvement in him as I do Daredevil.

Will I ever get to write Batman? Unlikely. A few years ago I did a fan fiction piece which was published and then promptly taken down (or so I was told). It wasn't a progression for the character, but I did explore some unpleasant truths about his values and morals as I saw them. Maybe in the future I'll get to explore him a little more ... this time with DC's wishes. I don't expect to, but if I ever do I'll announce it here because it will be a story that gets people talking and debating, and it would change the character forever (and I don't want this to be one of the Elseworlds toss offs), and in the world of comics that can be the kiss of death ... until the next writer comes along.


I Express Condolences To AT And T

I contacted AT and T through its website to give it my condolences on the recent sabotage it experienced (see last post). I only had 1,000 characters to work with. Enjoy the letter.

Recently heard about the fiber optic sabotage in California's Bay Area. Have to say I'm glad it happened. As a guy screwed over by AT&T's utter incompetence, I take great pleasure in the economic hardship and loss of public confidence the company is experiencing. My hat is off to the saboteur(s). Here's hoping you fine folks get sued for your lack of security. God knows I'd consider it if I lived down there. -You Friend, Doug Brunell http://cancerouszeitgeist.blogspot.com

AT and T Vandalism Makes My Day

My friend George sent me this article, which I am reprinting below. I had heard about the fiber optic lines being cut, but did not realize AT and T owned some of them. To the vandals: Kudos. I'm sure your beef wasn't with AT and T, but the fact that you cost them money gets my respect.

I'll keep you all posted when the FBI comes knocking.

You can read what you will into the bits about the union and the imported help. I think it speaks for itself.

See, AT and T! Everyone hates you! Snip.

$250,000 reward in phone cable vandalism

John Coté,Michael Taylor, Chronicle Staff Writers

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Authorities hope a quarter-million-dollar reward will shake loose a tipster to lead them to the vandals who severed underground fiber-optic cables, cutting off phone service for tens of thousands of people and disrupting life throughout southern Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties.

Investigators said Friday they are tracking down at least 10 leads and reviewing traffic-camera footage taken near one of four sites where the cables were cut Thursday in hopes of a breakthrough.

AT&T, which owns many of the severed cables, increased the $100,000 reward it offered after the cables were sabotaged to $250,000 on Friday, an incentive that police believe will be compelling.

"This case is going to be solved through a citizen contact," said San Jose police Sgt. Ronnie Lopez, calling the reward "huge."

No suspects have been named. Police revealed little about the investigation, saying some physical evidence had been found but providing no details.

The sabotage crippled parts of the three counties. Public safety crews that rely on 911 calls, hospitals trying to access medical records and people who wanted to make a landline or cell phone call, use an ATM or make a purchase with a credit card found services down. Repairs were completed, and full service was restored early Friday, about 24 hours after the first problems were reported.

Although many people trying to get emergency help via 911 were unable to do so for much of Thursday, officials were cautiously optimistic that no major problems had gone unreported.

"We've been running around doing a lot of service calls, but nothing as far as any major crime or emergency that was discovered," said Santa Cruz County sheriff's Sgt. Christine Swannack.
ifting manhole covers

Most of the 10 severed fiber-optic cables were in San Jose, where the first four were cut shortly before 1:30 a.m. Thursday in an underground vault along Monterey Highway north of Blossom Hill Road. Those belong to AT&T.

Four more underground cables, at least two of which belong to AT&T, were cut about two hours later at two locations near each other along Old County Road near Bing Street in San Carlos, authorities said. Two others were cut in south San Jose.

Each time, the vandals had to pry up manhole covers, climb down into vaults and chop through the thick cables.

Considering their importance to public safety and the economy, fiber-optic cables are not highly secured. The manholes are on public streets, and their covers generally are not that difficult to remove.

The typical manhole cover, a 250- to 350-pound disc of cast iron, can be removed with the use of a J-hook, a steel pole with a hook at one end, or any similar tool. AT&T spokesman John Britton said the vandals must have had access to such tools, but he declined to discuss what extra security precautions the company's manholes had, if any.

There are ways to deter thieves - or fiber-optic cable cutters - from getting into manholes, said Luke Menchl of the Neenah Foundry in Wisconsin, one of the nation's largest manufacturers of manhole covers.

Manhole covers can be locked with five- or six-headed bolts that require special tools to remove, he said. For those who want more security, there's a lock that Menchl likened to "a big security lug nut on expensive automobile wheels."

"U.S. embassies use them," Menchl said.

Ultimately, however, "getting a manhole cover up is not that difficult, even if it's bolted," Menchl said.
ontract talks

The sabotage in the South Bay came as AT&T was negotiating with the Communications Workers of America for a contract covering more than 80,000 employees, who have been working under their old pact since it expired Sunday.

"We are working under an expired contract and are prepared to strike at any time, which makes the timing of this vandalism difficult for us," said Libby Sayre, a regional director for the union.

"Neither the union nor its members are involved in this in any way," she said. "Our members spend their lives keeping up the equipment. We're confident they didn't do this."

Sayre said AT&T brought in contract workers earlier this year to work on fiber-optic cables in the South Bay, apparently to prepare them to take over in the event of a strike.

"There are nonunion employees who have access to the sites and the information to do this," Sayre said.

Britton said he had no specifics on contractors who have worked in the area.

"AT&T has used vendors at many times when different things come up," Britton said. "Do we have contingency plans for possible labor issues? Yes."

FBI agents are helping San Jose and San Carlos police with the "tedious, methodical process" of running down leads, Lopez said. The vandals could face federal and state charges.

In San Carlos, investigators reviewed footage from a red-light enforcement camera a few blocks from where the cables were cut in case the vandals were somehow recorded passing through, Cmdr. Rich Cinfio said.

"Everything's a possibility right now," Lopez said. "We're going to expect the unexpected."


I did not include the tip line because I would prefer if my readers didn't send in tips. If you want the reward money, find the number yourself.

There Goes The Neighborhood

I'm driving home Friday. Just stopped at the post office. It's sunny. What some people would describe as being "nice out." (I prefer the rain.) I'm traveling up H Street. Driver's side window wide open. Body Count's first release is playing on the stereo.

There, across the street, standing on the corner is a cop. He has something aimed my way. I immediately think I'm going to be killed by either a state copy or someone from the Humboldt County Sheriff's department who has gone off his rocker from dealing with one too many pot heads. He's going to open fire with his service weapon and pump eight shots through my windshield, opening up my head and chest in a bright red spray festooned with bone and brain matter.

Ironically, "Cop Killer" is blasting on my stereo at this point.

It's a speed trap. Up ahead there are police on both sides of the road pulling people over and ruining weekends. I have to stop right next to a cop ticketing a speeder, so I crank up the stereo a little louder, sing along with the song and wait for the light to change. It's one of those moments that don't happen too often in life.

I saw Ice-T's Body Count at the first Lollapalooza tour. It was pretty standard, but good enough to get me to pick up the first release (on casette no less). The thing is a pretty uneven affair with about every other song kind of sucking. At some points it sounds like rap trying to be metal (with Ice-T singing about things he thinks metal is all about like voodoo and killing one's mother). At others it is actually fairly competent (like "Cop Killer"). There's no argument that it is heavy.

That said, I never bothered buying any of the band's other releases.

Ice-T plays a cop now, the irony of which I'm sure is not lost on him. Me? I put the tape away when I got home figuring it would be another year or two before I feel the urge to listen to it again. At least I wasn't shot that day, but that would have been the ultimate irony don't you think?


Do They Owe Us A Living?

Those with a history in punk may recognize the title of this blog post. It's from Crass, one of the great anarchist bands. It's message is: If you go to the schools they tell you to, do the work demanded of you, shouldn't you be owed a living? After all, the powers that be, whether it is the government or teachers, tell you that if you go to school and work hard you'll live the dream.

I imagine the masses who are without jobs at this very moment are asking the same thing? There are, of course, different answers.

Working people, people with more old-fashioned values, those who have faith in the government will all say you are owed nothing.

People who feel that if they follow the rules they should reap the rewards may think you are owed a living.

The answer is, you should be rewarded for listening, but you won't be, so why listen? Why pay attention to what they say? Why follow their rules? There is no redeemable outcome. There is no promise of a silver lining. The biggest promise they can keep (most likely) is that if you follow the rules you won't go to jail. Fact is, people break those rules every day and don't go to jail. What is the reward?

Homes are being lost. Retirement is being sacked. College funds are dwindling. Jobs are disappearing. Companies are shutting down. What is the reward? Stress. Alcoholism. Debt. Homelessness. Thank you for your time. Please continue to believe in us. We have your best interests in mind.

Fuck that.

The rules are meant to keep the rabble in line. They don't apply to those in power. By the time someone realizes that it is usually too late.

Here are a few basic truths that get me through the day.

Government rules by force. Any authority that keeps its position by threat of or use of force is an illegitimate authority. It needs to be questioned and dismantled.

School primes you for work and does not teach you how to ask the important questions. If you love school, you'll like work.

The hardest work should be done for yourself. If you devote your time to your job, it will suck it up and ultimately won't reward you well enough for what you've done.

Religion, government, and learning institutions do their best to keep people in line. They work in tandem to keep people uneducated and ignorant. The best education is the one you give yourself. Take what they teach, learn to read between its lines, and you will see what those institutions have in store for you.

You should never get your news from one source.

And last, but not least, one person can make a difference. Just look at the guy who shot Reagan. Not only did he change lives, but he had Republicans facing a moral crisis in gun control vs. personal freedom.

Do they owe us a living? No. And we don't owe them our lives, either.


You Can Be The President

Those mission posts were done from my cell phone while I was attending a function. I am on a mission, though. Go out to PA. Sell a manuscript. Quit my job. Everything else will fall into place. Honestly, I could quit any day and live out of my car, but it makes seeing my daughter hard. Haven't ruled it out yet, though. Yeah, I'm disliking it that much, and I do feel bad about an e-mail I sent to my supervisor where I kind of laid out what is bugging me.

Instead of concentrating on the hate, I am going to channel that energy into getting out of there. It'll be good for my sanity.

And once I fly out to PA, a plan will be set into motion and live will be good.

"Don't want a gig or a good time" -- Black Flag

Truth be told, I'm all for gigs and a good time, but concentration is key. Being focused laser-like on the ultimate goal. Set myself and family up for life. My biggest wish is that my daughter never have to deal with the fuckwads that I must put up with. I know she'll run into her share, but I hope it's never on this massive scale.

I would love for this blog to earn me some decent income. It's a slow ride there, but the word of it is starting to get out. Promote, promote, promote. That's not something I ever liked (as my publisher will tell you). I believe in letting the work sell itself. Promotion feels too much like, "Buy my snake oil. It will cure what ails ye." I was never comfortable doing that sort of thing and have a hard time trusting those who are. It always feels a little whorish, if you know what I mean.

Focus, like a samurai, on that mission. Blood staining the clothes and the sword cutting through bone. Eyes open while I sleep.

This is what I need to do. This is what I must do.
A sold manuscript makes it easier to quit my hell job. A mission in blood.
Mission gets accomplished and all else falls into place. Me getting to PA begins the first leg which ends with a new future.
I am on a mission. Just need to be focused. PA. Manuscript sold. Quit job. A mission.


Son Of Evil

To get myself mentally straight for work I'll often listen to GG Allin on the way in. Cranked up on the car stereo or on my MP3 player while I determine eligibility. Allin, whom many people hate with good reason, is a force that gets me through the day.

There's something comforting about his raw anger that makes me feel a little less alone in my burning hatred. There's something almost funny about the way he could command a room. He acted in a way people would describe as more animal than human, but to me that made him more honest than the "humans" who would criticize him.

You can say his music was bad. Most of it was. You can say he was reprehensible. He was. You can say he was dangerous. Definitely. You can say he was unforgiving and relentless. All true. If you pissed him off, you knew it. If you were a "friend," you had the same problem. Some people have claimed I'm an asshole and dick. Trust me when I say I'm nothing compared to Allin.

Allin sang that he was the "highest power." Born Jesus Christ Allin, he may have been. He definitely made rock dangerous in a way that Motley Crue never could. You took things further than Marilyn Manson ever dreamed. Ozzy biting the head off a bat was nothing compared to Allin eating and flinging his feces into the crowd or giving his brother a bj on stage.

Oddly enough, Allin never had a Top 40 song.

Sometimes I'll sing along at work. Sometimes under my breath, sometimes not. I don't really worry about offending someone. I work with "adults." I expect them to act like adults do. When I listen to him and sing the lyrics, I feel liberated. I feel like I can snap at any moment, and that feels good.

Sometimes, when someone approaches my desk with what looks like it will be a problem to me, I'll eye the scissors or even grab them. It's a subtle message, but a message nonetheless. Would I ever use them? Of course not. I'm not that crazy. Besides, you can see it on my face when I'm about to explode. Some co-workers have seen that.

Liberating. Exhilirating. Human.

"I am the highest power." -- GG Allin


When They Break You

There's a lot of people that like nothing more than to make you feel small. They like to grind you down, mess you up, belittle you, drag you through the mud, torture you -- and all for the ever so slight, ever so fake feeling of superiority. Too many people, though, let them. Especially if it's someone they respect.

A friend of mine went through that today. Was made to feel all of two inches high as a giant boot came down. Hearing about it made me angry. Hearing the words "but I respected him" made me hate.

When you have people's respect you have to watch your words carefully. You have to watch how you phrase things. Respect is not easy to earn, and some ill-thought sentences can blow it for good. You don't have to censor yourself, but you have to think. If someone respects you, there's a reason for it. There is something there they see. This is a world where respect is as rare as honor and truth. Why blow that for a ten second feeling of superiority? Why jeopardize all of that with petty insults when you can cure the problem with a straight line of discussion that keeps your respect intact?

Maybe because your respect was never really worth it in the first place.

I dole out my respect based on many different factors. One of those is respect for yourself. I can't respect you if you can't respect yourself. When you belittle people to feel like a god, that's when I throw my respect away.

Honestly, I'm good at making people feel like they are shit. It's one thing I do quite well. I can cut deep and hard. I don't do it for the reasons I've outlined. It looks, however, like I might have to start.


Girl Talk

I've been listening to a lot of Prince lately. Another throwback to my younger days. I don't think Prince has done worth listening to since the late '80s, but I do his earlier work quite a bit. Let's face it, the man can play a mean guitar. My daughter, however, has other ideas about the man.

My girl is fascinated with the music I listen to. While her personal tastes run more to Hannah Montana, she also enjoys Peeping Tom and the Misfits. When it comes to Prince, though, she is puzzled.

"How can a boy sing like a girl? Why does he sing like a girl?"

I had no good answer for that. She's right. He does sing in falsetto sometimes. It's his style. It works for his songs. Of course, she thinks differently.

Of all the music I've played her, that's the one she questions. I don't even know how to go into this with her, so for now I let it go. Yes, he's a boy who sings like a girl. But he's also a musical genius who has lost his way.

That's the one that has me baffled.


Deep Down Trauma Hounds

This weekend was insanity served under the guise of new hope for a child who desperately wanted it. Without getting into details, to say I'm upset is an understatement.

I can take nonsense and make due with it. I'm an adult. I can cope. Children are a totally different thing. I did my best. I talked. I asked questions. I answered questions asked of me. In the end, I couldn't make what happened right or even make sense.

Those who I've told know what I'm talking about. Those who don't will have long stopped reading. The bottom line is, I can't stand to see my little girl hurt, and she's gone through a lot these past few months and has taken it like a trooper. This was too much. This got under my skin in a way few things have. I don't like what happened, but I understand. I understand that adults make decisions good and bad and often act without thinking all the way through. That's all well and great when nobody else is in the crossfire. It starts to become morally reprehensible when others are involved for no reason other than the fact that they are there.

My anger may or may not fade in time. I don't have to live with decisions made, but I had to explain to my little girl why things were the way they were. She's almost five, but the words she tossed my way were more mature than I get from a lot of adults. She is wise beyond her years, and normally I'd think that's a good thing, but with the insight she has ... well, these decisions didn't fly for her, either.

People say kids get over things. They do. I don't think people should be so cavalier about that, though, because while they do get over things, they also remember. "Things" form the basis for the rest of their lives. "Things" usually don't destroy, but they mold. If you don't think your decisions affect them, think about all the crap you remember from your parents and how it shaped your life, relationships and decisions you've made.

I've often said that parents are the worst thing to happen to children. They hurt them the most. No kid asks to be born, and then you have these people put in charge of taking care of them and making them responsible adults. The problem is that most parents aren't responsible adults. They are mixed up, often hopeless creatures just trying to get through life without causing anymore pain and destruction. I'm the same way. I'm not a saint, and nor would I say I am. I think I'm an adequate father at best, and wish I were better. This weekend showed me just how powerless I can be.

People wonder why I'm always so angry, so bitter, so cynical. It's because I open my eyes and pay attention. I don't sugarcoat my feelings, and I don't pretend things don't exist. I see as much of the truth as possible, even when it isn't pleasant. This weekend ranked right up there in unpleasantness. I contained myself. I maintained ... until later, when I broke down on the phone and felt all of an inch tall because the emotions flooded in.

... The victim had broken ribs, a broken back, a missing fingernail and toenail. The killing blow, as it were, was blunt force trauma to the head so severe that the autopsy revealed the victim's tooth in his stomach. The victim was 17 months old. His killers? His mom's boyfriend and a guy who lived with them. Mom did nothing to stop it. In the grand scheme of things, that child is much better off. The woman who brought him into the world did nothing to stop what was happening. She picked a boyfriend who was psychotic for whatever reason. The woman who was supposed to protect her son did everything to ensure his death. And that kid is still better off. What kind of life would he have had? And if he survived to the point where he ran away, what sort of life would he lead? What kind of decisions would he make? Who would he hurt?

Parents do bad things to their children. Some are physical. Some are mental. Some are planned. Most aren't. They make decisions often without thinking. They act human when they need to be superhuman. It's the whole reason young people shouldn't have kids. They don't know how to handle being young let alone handle a young one.

We always warn kids to be aware of strangers. It's a good warning to give. But we also have to look out for them when it comes to their parents. As parents, and some of you reading this are, we have to ask: How will my actions affect my child? Now there are some things you can't help. You have to take a new job. You have to spend a birthday in the hospital. You can't buy that special toy. But for the decisions where you have a choice, you need to think. You need to work them out before they affect anyone else.

I don't want to air my laundry in public, and that's kind of what I did here, but writing is therapeutic for me. It helps me sort out things. I wouldn't have even had to do this if I didn't spend time yesterday trying to explain to a four-year-old why her world went from candy to crap all in a few hours. I had no good explanation, either. I watch my words because I don't want to paint anyone in a bad light unless absolutely necessary, and my girl is way too young to understand all the nuances even if she is perceptive as all hell. It was torture, and it came after a week of her saying she wished a certain something could happen ... and then it did .. and then it was yanked away.

I believe that in time, in the teen years, my daughter will finally understand what has gone on around her. I fear she will experience her first taste of parental hate at this point. Serious hate. Not the hate that comes when you make a kid take a bath. No, the kind of hate that comes when a kid realizes his or her parents are flawed creatures that had no business bringing a kid into the world. I hope I'm wrong because as a teen you still don't have all the capacities to understand those decisions, but you're closer (and it doesn't matter how damn perceptive you are again).

If you're reading this in the future, girl, I'm sorry. I tried my best to explain in a way you would understand. You handled it well. You did. I wasn't happy with what went down, but I wasn't surprised. I know it came as a shock to you, going from Cloud 9 to Hell in such a short period of time. Maybe it will have no affect on your life years down the road. Maybe you won't even remember. I hope that's the case. But I try my best to not take those kind of chances. And I know the other party involved tries to, too. But sometimes we fail. I apologize, and I know the other party does, too. I hope that, years from now, that's enough. I hope you don't even remember what I'm talking about. Your face said otherwise at the time, though, and your later questions and conversations told me even more.

You are a wise child who is smarter than she should be at this age. It's up to both parents to remember that. I am sorry. I really am.


May The Road Rise With You

Another hellish day in a continuing series of hellish days. My fist so wants to find flesh. Tired of the stupid. Tired of wasting my time and energy, spinning my wheels. Slowly tuning out. ("My hands felt just like two balloons.")

I'm reviewing a movie. A man is trying to leave his life behind. It's a life of drugs, violence, death, hookers and a friend he has betrayed. As he gets his shit in order, tragedy strikes. Multiple stab wounds to the back. As is often the case in life, you don't see the shit when it comes from behind. You're left bleeding out on a sidewalk, strangers and friends gathering helpless and hopeless as the puddle grows ever wider.

You know how those days go?

I don't have drugs that I can inject. I don't drown my sorrows in alcohol. The only arms I can fall into are thousands of miles away. I don't have my daughter with me every day. I don't write much anymore. The only thing keeping me grounded these days is the voice attached to those arms, a voice that knows me very well, and I'm thinking she might be a little worried.

So I sit here. Misfits blaring, door open. Cars drive by, but I've got the blinds closed to keep out the sun. Don't like the light right now.

Self-illusion has never had much of a place with me (though friends would say otherwise). I wish I had that skill right about now, though. Things aren't working out the way I want them to. I'm not the way I want to be. This blog, as insignificant as it is, is keeping my head on kinda straight. I taste blood, though. I can't help it.

"My mirrors are black" -- Misfits

Perfect. Brings back memories of youth. Amazing how much of my life 20 some years ago is coming back. I like it. I just want it in the here and now instead of the hear and now.

I hate my job. I smile less these days. I need to sell a book. I need to option it for film. I need to need.

Yeah. I need to need.

Outlaw Scumfuc

It has been asked a lot of me lately. What the hell is up with Film Threat and my pieces? The short answer is: I don't know.

I've been sending reviews and interviews. I've worked hard on these, as anyone who has talked to me about it knows. Very little, however, is making its way onto the site. I have theories on this, but nothing I can prove. I'm supposed to be watching a movie now, but I don't want to wake my daughter. And yes, I'm wondering if my role there is coming to an end.

I've made a lot of good contacts through the site and have seen lots of great movies. It has gotten my name out there, and has led to some business opportunities. I would miss it if it ended, but it would also free up some time.

My "web presence" is almost nil these days, which is pushing me to get another manuscript published. I sent out the cannibal story to one publisher who found the ending too depressing, which kind of bugged me. It wasn't supposed to be happy. I'm hoping it can find a home, but I have my doubts. I had some people do a reading of it to get feedback (first time I've done that, but it won't be the last because I got some great critiques), and it was described as "disturbing" and one reader even said it reminded her of those '70s and '80s movies where you know everyone is going to have bad things happen to them. That was exactly what I was shooting for. Some readers couldn't make it very far because it upset them so much. That was an okay reaction, too. I don't think I'll change the ending, though.

My problem, which may have led to problems with various publishers, is that I have a vision for my work. I don't mind making changes that make sense. If I want a mood to be depressing, though, I won't change that. It is part of the story. Any editor worth being paid knows that mood is part of the story. I won't apologize for giving a story about a family being attacked by cannibals a depressing ending. I didn't set out to make it depressing. I set out to make it real. No apologies. No changes.

I'll push ahead with it. I figure some publisher has got to love it at some point. I'll fine tune it more, but that ending will most likely stay unless I can think of even better one (and it did change from my original vision). One thing is certain, though: It won't change because it's too depressing.

What's really depressing is that an editor would ask a writer to do something like that.



The bathroom. The lights don't work. A quick sweep with the flashlight shows the bulbs have been removed from the row above the mirrors. You don't need the lights to see something is wrong, though. You can smell it.

There's no buzzing sound. Flies haven't landed yet. They find their way in under doors and through openings in windows. They are tenacious. They smell food. They land. They leave their young.

The light from the flashlight hits the tub. It's always the tub. Holds a body good. This one is naked. Female. Mid-to-late twenties ... maybe. Hard to tell. This is where the smell is coming from.

Ribbons. Ribbons of flash. Someone took their time. The neck is sawed through almost all the way. Head hangs at an odd angle. The eyes are still open, but they don't glean when the light hits them. They are dry. Some of the flesh has come off in the process. It is in small piles around the tub. You hear a noise in the living room. You don't flinch. Whoever did this should be long gone by now. You don't stick around after something like this. You take your trophy and go.


What did he take?

Heart is still there. There are no wounds there big enough to get it out. Breasts. Check. Fingers and toes. All in place. But what is that? Fingers. Down near the drain. Three fingers that aren't her's.

He left something instead. Didn't take a damn thing.

The fingers may or may not be his own, but up until a short time ago they were in his possession and he left them here. Why?

You move closer. The light doesn't move from the mess in the tub. What is that carved on the thigh?

"Righteous. Confident. Devastating."

"Not anymore," you whisper to yourself. This will stick in your head for days, though. You won't be able to let go. You'll see her alive and dead. You'll see her thrown in the tub and shopping for pears. She will be the first thing you see when you close your eyes at night, and she will haunt your dreams. She will make you hate your job because it's shit like this you can't hope to understand.

Who did it isn't as important as the why. The why you will never know because you know one very important thing. Some things don't have a why. Some things just happen without a reason. They are random events with no particular place in history. You fear this started out as one, but it sure didn't end that way.

When things start out random, they ripple and become "events." This murder meant nothing to the one who did it. It was meant to be found, and it was meant to be felt by the one who discovered it.

Mission accomplished.

You close the eyes. One finger on each lid, you pull them down. It's all you can do. You closed them, but you'll see them again. Every night. They will stare. They will ask. You won't answer because you can't, and never will be able to.

You flip open your phone. Dial the numbers. They are coming. They'll have their crime kits. They will crack jokes. They will fake seriousness. They will assure each other they will get to the bottom of it. They won't get that even if they discover the killer, they will never know the complete picture, but you do now.

You glance in the mirror and catch your face. You are pale. The light from the flashlight isn't great, but you can tell you are pale. You are surprised. You think you've seen it all, and now you realize it's been seeing you and can read you quite well.

You flick off the light and wait for them in the dark. It seems like the right thing to do. And you pray. You pray that body doesn't start talking to you. You don't want to know what it would say. You have an idea, but God knows those are words nobody wants to hear.

Because they'll be right, and there's no denying that one.

*Written because I needed to do something a little creative tonight. These images have been floating in my head for a few days. Don't know if it means anything. Probably means nothing.
Self-destruction in the form of introspection and honesty.
I wonder what is happening to me. Why am I a beast in human skin? A case of bitter contempt.
I feel like poison in the well of humanity. It is a wonder anyone talks to me. I am comfortable with this role, however.

Death And Taxes

They are the only two certain things, right? Death and taxes. What about hurdles that life tends to put in your way to keep you from obtaining your goals? I think that's a certainty, too. You know, you're on your way to see your boyfriend. It's late. You want to surprise him by showing up unexpected and giving him a hot romp to send him off to dreamland with a smile on his face. You slip the car key into the door and feel your back turn to fire. The knife blade goes deep, just right of the spine. Then it starts to slice around your side.

Or you find yourself with a need to make your life better. You know what you want. You know what you need to do to get it. Then, as you drive to work where you're making the money to make your life better, a car hits you head on. You got your seatbelt on, but that engine comes through the dash anyway. Now you got to think about the hot mess that was your legs and how you will ever walk again.

I don't put too much fate in things like fate, and I don't believe in God. I also don't believe there are reasons people get fucked with. I don't think karma exists. If it did, wouldn't Susan Smith have died soon after it came out that she killed her own kids? I do believe, however, that life is this great, whirling mass that eats its young. Some choose to be oblivious (and you can't blame them), and some try to change it (knowing the futility). Some just go for the ride.

I don't like thinking of this at all.

To me, life has all the subtlety of a spastic rapist armed with a straight razor and three days worth of meth racing through his system. It seems like every time something good starts to happen, this attacker pops with a hard-on and a desire to make me hurt.

My friends are going through hard times. The people I love are falling apart. I can't find a reason for all this other than, "That's life." I'm getting tired of saying that, but what can you say when it all starts going the way of the dinosaur?

We're all getting older. We all have more to lose. We all care too much. We all wish it were better. We all wish the shit would end.

And someday it will.

And then what?