Hops In Humboldt Fest For The Alcoholic In Us All

As folks shed some tears over Ted Kennedy's corpse being put into the ground ("Thank God he won't kill again!"), Fortuna, California played host to Hops in Humboldt, a celebration of micro brews for people too snobby to enjoy Schlitz, but too poor to afford wine. I find it a tad bit ironic that this took place the day Kennedy was laid to rest.

Some of you may be too young to remember why Ted Kennedy was a big name, but at one time (and this has been glossed over since his death) he was remember as the guy who had a run in with the justice system and got his driver's license suspended and a two-month jail sentence (which was suspended). What did he do? He left the scene of an injury accident. Actually, let's be more precise, he was the intoxicated (though there is some question to that) driver in a car that went over a bridge. There was a woman in the car. She died. Some argued she would not be dead had Kennedy not waited until the morning to report the accident. Maybe he was hungover. Maybe he was tired. Shit, he's a Kennedy. When they aren't out banging actresses, doing cocaine, flying planes and raping, they're catching up on much needed zzzzs.

So while various family members were conveniently forgetting Kennedy's past, Fortuna was hoping (ta da) with people I've dubbed Hopheads. (Has that name been taken?) They were enjoying the weather and the brews. My guess is that if any of them got drunk, drove off a bridge, left their passenger in the car to drown, and then waited quite a few hours to call in the accident they'd have the proverbial fucking book thrown at them. Not our Teddy, though.

These Hopheads probably haven't given too much thought to Kennedy. I know I wouldn't. They were probably enjoying some Great White and hoping one female would get trashed enough to show a breast or two. (That also happens to be the same reason I like going to the mall.) The festival has a good reputation, though, so I dbout that happened. They had their fun, though, just like Kennedy's clan did.

Hops is over. Kennedy is, too. Now young ladies everywhere can feel safe knowing a drunk Ted won't drag them into his car only to drive them straight into the drink as he masturbates to their screams. Now would it hurt you ladies to show a breast or two?
Fog today. Lovely in its own way. The sun still shines though.


Hard to buy ammo in Humboldt. It is being stock piled by people afraid of government.


Rita's In Eureka Robbed

Apparently the Rita's up by Figs in Eureka, California was robbed last night. A guy, who comes close (but not exact) to fitting my description pulled out a gun and demanded money.

Rita's is not my favorite Mexican place in Eureka. My favorite place closed months ago. Rita's isn't even a place I'll pay for anymore. I had fish tacos there that were great, but the chicken ones were disgusting. Hence, no more Rita's.

I wish the staff of Rita's a speedy recovery in their trauma, and to the crook: Next time hit up Chappala's. That place really sucks.
My post on health care was sarcasm. I like old people and soldiers. More to follow.


Humboldt is finally cold. About time.

Happy Monday!

Just another manic Monday! Time to put on smile. Get a gleam in my eye. A spring in my step. Who cares that my back, neck and stomach feel like they've been worked over by the Jew Bear. I'm still a happy guy. I love dealing with idiots all day. It makes me feel like I'm doing the world some good by guiding them through life by their frail hands. Wiping the drool from their gaping mouths gives me a sense of satisfaction not unlike masturbation. I live for these precious moments.

I love sarcasm.

Actually, it's now the thrill of the hunt. How badly can I make someone feel through words alone? How far can I push them? How long until I make them cry? I will take perverse pleasure in dealing with these things.

The sun burns bright. It feeds the fire that cleanse the soul. A gaseous inferno that threatens consumption while at the same time nourishing those who heed its power. The glorious light in the sky. The power that takes the dark away and shuns it to corners best left untouched.

By this light the graves are dug, waiting for their latest tenants. By this light the children shall play upon these graves, happy to know that the stupidity contained beneath shall never pollute this Earth again.

A drink to the sun. A nod to the power.

God, I hate these people.

But if you aren't one of them, have a great day and take care. Don't let stupid grind you down.


Reformed On Health Care Reform

I, as addicts are fond of saying, have had a moment of clarity ... and it's all thanks to the healthcare reform screamers. I have found, after careful research and soul searching, that these gun-toting senior citizens and wealthy folks are right, but flawed. You see, because they are relying upon flawed sources (right wing talk radio, which is not known for truth, and a drug addict named Limbaugh) their arguments are weak and don't go far enough.

People like those Tea Party Patriots are right. We don't need government involved in healthcare. Government screws up everything it touches. And we're to let medical decisions like who lives and dies rest in its hands? I think not. I'm an anarchist. I don't trust the government. Why was I thinking healthcare reform was a good idea? The only problem is that these opponents, because of the morons they are listening to, only know half the problem.

Not only should the government get out of healthcare reform (public option, my ass), but we need to get rid of the VA, Medicare, and Medi-Cal/Medicaid – to name just a few things. These are all government run programs. These are all at taxpayer expense, and they reek of socialism.

Soldiers have taken on a job. They have signed up and are getting paid, just like any other job. If you work at McDonald's, you know the risks. If you work for the military, you know the risks. Why should we treat our soldiers any different? They aren't dumb. They come from some of the most educated, wealthiest families in the country. They are getting paid a handsome sum. If they get hurt, their own insurance should cover it. Don't have their own insurance? Too bad. Tea Party Parrots aren't saying this, but it's true. The government footing the bill for their medical care is socialism plain and simple. We, the taxpayers, are being double-dipped. We are already paying the soldiers' salaries, which are quite high given the poor job they are doing overseas (terrorism has increased, Bin Laden has not been captured and so on since they got over there), so they can afford their own medical insurance. We don't need them sucking off both government tits. In fact, I would say taxpayers should not be funding the military period. All it is paying for is war overseas. Where was this grand, expensive military when 9/11 happened? All those fighter jets and the towers still came down? Heads should've rolled over that one. We shouldn't be fighting overseas anyway, and we haven't been invaded since Dinosaur Times. Military funding is bad money following bad practices. Tea Party Parrots need to step up to the plate and call it what it is. Paying for the VA and for the military (and the soldiers bloated salaries/retirement) is a waste of taxpayer dollars and an insult to hard-working Americans everywhere who don't fuck up their jobs.

And then there's Medicare.

Medicare primarily covers the elderly and disabled, two groups of people who not only suck up most of the medical costs in this country but are also two groups that contribute the least. Elderly people's best years are behind them, which is why they no longer work. Outside of factory labor, fast food and occasional movie bits, the disabled don't produce more than they consume. These two groups are given lots of lip service about how valuable they are, but if that were the case would they be the butt of so many jokes? The government is paying for these groups' medical needs. Yes there is a buy-in associated with Medicare that many have to pay for themselves. The Part B buy-in at this point is $96.40 a month. The Medicare client or the government pays that. Either way, that's a small price to pay for the amount of services these folks use. We need to get our government money out of there and turn them over to private insurance companies. I know the Tea Party Parrots are some of the same people spouting nonsense about death panels, but if there ever is to be a death panel, these two groups need to be the first to go. It's not young and middle-age folks using these services. It's your grandmother and your uncle who got all fucked up in a drunken auto accident. Good-bye. And quit using my tax dollars, you leeches!

Medi-Cal and Medicaid go without saying. These are more services paid for by the government in the hopes that if people have healthcare they will have healthier children, get check ups, and get items of concern taken care of before they become bigger problems and cost more money in treatment. All well and good, but it is still tax money going to preventive measures. We all know that if people get sick without healthcare they don't clog up the emergency rooms. They crawl into a corner and quietly die. Besides, by taking money away from these programs and putting it the working people's paychecks where it belongs, we can ensure that the Medicare clients are the first to go when we let swine flu rage out of control. The two take care of each other if we just take that net away. Nets aren't always good things. Just ask tuna.

While we're at it, we need to eliminate all welfare -- social and corporate. Corporate welfare, of course, eats up more than social welfare with its subsidies, bail outs, free land give aways, airwave give aways and so on. We call all wax romantic about how CEOs are the ultimate rugged individuals who built their businesses from nothing, but the railroads, Internet, transportation industries, weapons industries, pharmaceuticals and so on would not be here without big government control of the marketplace, subsidies and the like. We need to remove the corporations safety nets, too. Nobody rides for free anymore, and corporations do not need protectionist measures at the expense of the taxpayer. No more public risk, private profit. No more bail outs. These corporations got us into this economic mess, and now we need to show them we mean business. They need to play under the same rules as individuals. And this goes for small businesses, too. No more write-offs. No more incentives. You're out to dry with the rest of them.

Ironically, Fox and Limbaugh are people/entities who thoroughly benefit from corporate welfare, and they are the ones spreading so much misinformation. They are protected by the FCC, who keeps “pirate” radio stations and broadcasts at bay and acts as a de facto censor with how it doles out “licenses.” We need to get rid of the communist-inspired FCC and let these media institutions defend themselves ... minus our taxpayer dollars. And while we are at it, we need to stop having state, federal and municipal authorities enforcing laws. These laws, which are inefficient at best, don't benefit everyone, and the amount of time it takes to draft them, enforce them and carry out justice is a waste of valuable tax money. Why should child molesters be protected from angry mobs? Why should white collar criminals enjoy the same protections as said child molesters? They shouldn't. The justice system we currently have is borderline socialist, and that also means the prisons must be abolished. I don't want my tax money used to keep these sociopaths safe from the public that wants to rip them to shreds. Let's stop throwing money at this problem and let good ol' fashion street justice take its course. Hey, Madoff! I've got a noose for you. Gonna string you up like a pinata and let those bilked take a few dozen whacks at you with baseball bats. We'll pull you right out of that cushy cell you're in. How many hits do you think it will take before your juicy bits spill out? Twenty? Four dozen? We're waiting!

No more tax money should be spent on programs meant to keep teens from having sex, either. I don't want the government making those decisions. Bigger families means more consumers and producers (at least until they get crippled or old). Fourteen and fifteen-year-old girls are at the perfect breeding age and are desired both by peers and older men. Why do we want to hamper that? Are we another China? Sure seems so. In just a few short years these young ladies' desirability will decrease 20% by every year they stay in the market. We need those babies and we need them now. I just don't think we should be paying to keep them from pregnancy or helping them give birth. That's what mommy and daddy's insurance is for.

Say what you want about Baby Bush, but he was a good president. He kept his mouth shut. He didn't try to fix problems that aren't the government's domain (such as war, energy, healthcare and so on), and he didn't stand in the way of “progress.” He let corporations ride for free, though, which was a huge flaw on his administration's behalf. If he had just cut government out of all those things it does now, such as aiding veterans (which was drastically reduced under his watch – hurray!) and maintaining the roads, he would have left office a victor instead of disgraced. Now we have this Obama character with big plans. And we have his enemies, which are a group largely void of individual thought or foresight. I've always been a big picture guy who has said the truth as I see it. These puppets shouting down politicians at town hall are suckers. Fox, Republicans (government whores like their Democrat cousins), and Limbaugh want to protect their own interests and are using these people to do it. They want the tax money to go to things like corporations and the FCC, never seeing how socialist these institutions are. (Or in the case of corporations -- tyrannies.) I just can't believe these town criers can't see this. Maybe I'm wrong and they do see it, but they lack the strength of their convictions (something far more likely). They are definitely lacking something, though, and it isn't just brains.

As I drove to the movies today, I saw the perfect of example of my tax dollars being used in a way that does not benefit me. In front of me was a car with handicap plates. I'm not disabled, so I cannot park in their spaces. If I do, I get a ticket. Cities use blue paint to denote handicap parking spaces. Blue paint costs taxpayer money. Administering the blue paint costs taxpayer money. Having someone look for violators costs taxpayer money. For someone to actually process the fine and deal with the financial end costs taxpayer money. I don't want my money going toward that. I get no benefits from that system. I only lose money in the end. How is this fair?

If you are against healthcare reform and you have a family member on Medicare, you are a hypocrite. If you are against your tax dollars funding “socialist” programs and you or a family member benefits from the VA hospital, you are a hypocrite. If you are against the government “interfering” with the free market and yet you aren't calling for the end of state, county and federal run prisons, you are a coward at best. If you think welfare should end for citizens, but don't think that it should end for corporations, you are a hypocrite and a coward. I bet that fits the bill for most people who oppose healthcare reform. The sad thing is, not only are they hypocrites and cowards – they're being played. Effectively. Smoothly. Sadly. They are pawns. Weak-minded. Untested. Uneducated. Ignorance is not only bliss, it's dangerous in some cases. Because of how weak they are, they give me my one out when it comes to the government using my tax dollars for medical purposes. You see, I would gladly pay taxes to have all of them forcibly sterilized.

Anyone with me on this one?


Judge, Jury Executioner ... Live!

I promised I wouldn't write about my shit job anymore, and I won't. But based on certain things that happened yesterday and people in places of authority (not my supervisor) not doing anything about things, I've decided to really live by my words. Starting today I'm making people be responsible for their actions when dealing with me. No more sensitivity. No more playing nice. No more being a diplomatic kind of guy. I'm calling it like I see it. Don't care about the consequences. Don't care what happens to them. Anyone who makes my life harder, acts the fool around me, or just is a general dumb ass in my direction will get the brunt of whatever I'm feeling at the time. Now I may ignore it, or I may go ballistic. One thing is for sure, though: Where I've held back before I will not hold back now.

This pain I've been experiencing for around a week is a direct result of stress. Time to engage in some soul-satisfying stress relief.

Now I'm lookin' for the sun ...


Humboldt Tea Party Patriots Back At

Karen Brooks, on my television, again, starts blabbing about the Humboldt Tea Party Patriots. You know of them from my other posts. Just look up the labels.

Healthcare reform. Angry people parroting what they heard on talk radio. Poor and middle class people being played for suckers by both sides of the debate. People claiming they don't want their tax dollars going to people who have "bad" lifestyles. Isn't it ironic?

Here's what I don't want my tax dollars going to.

Corporations. I don't want my tax dollars going to businesses to advertise overseas. I don't want my tax dollars used for bailouts. I don't want my tax dollars used as subsidies. I don't want my tax dollars going to fund research on the public dollar that a private entity (Lockheed comes to mind) will get its hands on along with the profits. Hey, corporations, I'm going to say what your CEOs say to the poor every day. Make better choices and pay for it your damn self. And don't use the threat of pulling tax dollars away from your coffers as an excuse to threaten pulling jobs out to send overseas. Maybe if you do that, we should yank your ability to sell goods in America. Fuckers.

The military. I know we need a "defense," especially with the rest of the world still pretty angry with us over ... everything. Guess what? The rest of the world has a right to be angry. We go after countries because we "think" they have weapons of mass destruction. Guess who has them? Guess who has used them? Yeah, us. If we let the rest of the world use our standards, we'd be doomed. Cut the military spending and send it to humanitarian efforts. Not only is it the right thing to do and makes sense, it's good PR -- something the Pentagon understands so damn well.

Those are the two biggies. Those are the two that suck up more money than anything that is spent on the public. And for all you people who want to cut people off of the same services you take advantage of under a different name -- well, I've found the perfect home for you. It's called a landfill. Dump you in and bury you. I only picked that place because I can't go back in time and put you in the World Trade Center thirty minutes before Hell came down on 9/11. But if I could ...



Follow Up Part 2: Attack Of The Stupid

... and no sooner did I post than another e-mail came through. I'm just doing select quotes. He's going to be pissed. I'm sorry, bud. You brought this one on yourself.

"You hit it on the head. These women are idiots and deserve what them [sic] get."

I never said that and wouldn't. Look at your situation. Where is your wife? She moved out. Why? You like your pain pills ... a lot. Were you always like that? In school you liked your drugs, too.

"... she leaves me! To today I don't get it. She gets me fired and then bitches I can't pay child support. I'm the big badd [sic] guy here? She got me fired!!!"

You admitted to me you got fired for not showing up to work. How is she responsible for that? You went on food stamps and blamed your "state" when you got cut off, though you admitted to not sending in paperwork. You seem quick to blame everyone but yourself. Again, just like you were in school. I've said all this to you before in e-mails. I'm just doing it in public now so maybe you feel some shame. Maybe I should mention your name.

"I'm getting evictted [sic]. I'll be on the streets with no food, no money, no nothing. There's no child support then. She gets pissed at me because I come by her work to see her. How else am I supposed to see her? I can't go to her house.?"

You are getting evicted because you didn't pay rent. You didn't pay rent because you got fired. You got fired because you didn't show up to work. You didn't show up for work because you like pain pills and are lazy. Whose fault is this?

If you're on the streets with nothing it's because you haven't gone back in to get your food benefits reinstated. We don't ask for a lot, but you got to take that first baby step and we'll hold your hand the rest of the way.

She got pissed at you because she doesn't want to see you and you can't take the hint.

And he ends with this:

"Right on! You said it. I'm at the librrary [sic] and I see these women with these kids and you know they are single moms and you think you have to wonder what they did to end up taht [sic] way. You got to wonder you know?? Waht [sic] did they do?"

They left people like you.

You totally misread everything I wrote. Thank you for that. You proved my point. If you send me another e-mail with as much stupidity in it, I will print your name and a link to your Facebook page. You, like far too many other people, have an amazing ability to not connect the dots in your life. If you would, you'd get a clear picture and then you'd possibly be able to change things. Until then, however, enjoy your free Internet in the library you hungry, pill-addled absent parent motherfucker.

A Follow Up On The Crazy Post

I want to make it clear that I am not blaming women in that post. I received an e-mail accusing me of that. (Why don't more people just question me here?) I am not blaming women, but I am saying that women need to look at their role in these types of situations.

I am, however, blaming men. When your actions become abusive, it's your fault. Flat out. If it's self-defense, that's different (and I know that happens more often than reported). But if you start this cycle of stalk, mentally abuse, physically abuse -- it's your fault. You are reacting badly to a situation.

I've said my piece. Comment away.


A Little South Of Crazy

The past few weeks has taught me something very interesting about the women I know. Far too many of them have a lot of fucking crazy in their lives ... and all of it leads to the men in their lives. This past week it has really hit a pinnacle as police on both coasts were busy with taking care of men who can't seem to take care of themselves. How did things get here?

I'll admit that at times I have been the crazy ex-boyfriend ... back in high school ... back before I could legally drink. I grew up, though. Decided to be a man. Decided to have some pride, take some responsibility and do what men do best and keep my mouth shut tight and muddle through the nonsense without killing anyone who didn't deserve it. I didn't turn into a stalker, a diva, a little boy, a psychopath, a liar and so on. My friends, many of whom think I'm creepy for whatever reason, also know I'm not like that. There is something else that nags at me, though. I don't think these guys suddenly changed, and that makes me wonder: What did these women ever see in these guys?

Now, men, if you are one of these guys or have been, let me say I understand. I understand how a woman can get you all wrapped up in a bundle of rage so badly that you don't know what to do, so you do what men do best. You get violent. Either toward yourself or others. I get that. We've all been there. The difference is that some of us don't act on it. Some do.

Now, ladies, what happened? Did you overlook all this shit? Did you miss it when you went a' courtin'? Were all the right words said in such a way that you forgot what your instincts were telling you? Did you think you could change him? Did you try? I don't know every one of the situations in their lives, but I do know this, all of the situations took a turn for the worse once the woman opened her eyes.

Men are fragile creatures, girls. Fragile mentally. We've got physical strength over you and that's it. We also devote a lot of mental space to you fine creatures. When you turn us away, we get more than a little jacked up. We lose all sense of self-worth. Often times we wonder what set you off, as our behavior hasn't changed. You just seemed to get tired of it. If you don't have the hours of introspection under your belt, this blow to the psyche can be a little trying.

But it shouldn't be this way. For the past few weeks I've been having an alarming number of my female friends tell me about the problems they are having with boyfriends, husbands and ex-husbands. (And some of this shit is spilling over into my life, which I thoroughly don't appreciate.) Some of these men are free. Some are in jail. Some are in prison. Some will no doubt be there soon if they don't shape up.

Humboldt County, for better or for worse, has a strong female population. Much of our male population, though, seems weak. Fathers who don't want to take care of their kids. Boyfriends who like to use their girl's back as a place to leave a boot print. Men who like to sucker their ladies out of their money and then split. This, of course, is not native to this area, but I see it a lot. Almost every day. It gets tiring. It makes me ashamed to be a male.

Guys, you may have displayed this behavior the entire time of the relationship. You may have made no bones about it. That still doesn't give you the right to act the fool when it comes to dealing with the woman you love or loved. It doesn't give you the right to demand that everyone drop what they are doing to deal with your sorry ass. We understand you are hurt, jilted, depressed, angry, scared. We understand, but this isn't the way to cope. I disagree with the whole "hands aren't for hurting" campaign. Hurting is one of the function of hands, but you got a brain, too, and you got to use it. Other women don't find this behavior attractive, and women do talk, my friends. Word gets around. Eventually, all you attract is crazy, and then your life really goes out of control.

I never doubted that O.J. did it. Never. Not for a single second. I don't think he hired anyone. I don't think it was a drug cartel. It was him. Jealous. Angry. Hurt. Seething with the kind of rage that only a woman can inspire in you. He went to his ex-wife's house, saw that guy coming out and just lost it. In his mind he pictured her doing things to him that she used to with him. He snapped. Just snapped. And before he knew it, it was over. Done. Two lives were snuffed out and the psychic disconnect began.

Yeah, women have made me mad. Seething, even. Have I ever said things I regretted? Yes. Done things I've felt bad about? Of course. Love does stupid shit to people all the time. Women are guilty of the same. What I learned, though, is that you don't act out on those feelings ... not if you want to stay free, alive and see your kids. You don't act the psycho while trying to get your woman to acknowledge you. You sit down. Assess those feelings. Look at what you did. Look at what she did. And then you move on and never make those mistakes again.

And ladies, that goes for you, too. If you see the writing on the wall, take ten minutes and fucking read it. It sounds harsh, but it may save you a lot of grief in the future.

It could also save your kids the trauma of identifying a body ... your's or his.


Welcome To Humboldt, Asshole

The new semester at Humboldt State University brings in a gaggle of new hippies. Of course, I have to see these unwashed trust fund kids wandering the streets, cheating death by walking in front of my car, and taking up my time at work.

They come to Humboldt for the reputation and the pot. Arcata is ground central for them with their multi-colored shirts and white boy dreads. It would be funny if they didn't annoy me so much.

They'll come to HSU, do the hippie thing for a few years and then start selling insurance. Such is the way of the Phish fans. Again, funny if it weren't so tragic. Sell out? Well, there's nothing really left to sell out. More like just sad.

So for a few months they'll sit on the plaza and play their drums, pass a joint around and trip on LSD, and then it's back to Kentucky for Christmas (and a shock to the family as they see how far their son has fallen).

So, to all you hippies, welcome! Enjoy our pot. Sleep with our hippie women residents (no self-respecting citizen wants them anyway). Get a job in an organic cafe. Play your wooden instruments around town.

Now leave.


The Man Who Would Be King

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. came close in today's Michigan race. Fast car, good luck, fresh tires. Leader Jimmie Johnson ran out of fuel (again). With two laps to go, Junior was in third place. Brian Vickers and Jeff Gordon stood between him and the checkered flag. Both of those cars were low on fuel.

White flag. One to go. Things do not look good for the boy wonder. Not good at all.

They weren't. He finished third, which is not bad. He hasn't won in fortysome races, though, and a win would have been sweet. He wasn't complaining about third. In fact, he was quite happy.

NASCAR fans know the problem here. The Earnhardt legacy is long. Ralph Earnhardt was one of the pioneers of the sport. Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was a god among men. The reputation of the one they called the Intimidater is the stuff of legends. The black number 3 car coming up behind you was the kiss of death. He didn't win the most races of drivers, but he won some of the most spectacular. Love him or hate him, he was a force to be reckoned with. When he died, his son had already obtained a sizable fan base. With the elder Earnhardt gone, many turned their allegiance to his boy. They were big shoes to fill, and the man knows it.

Junior will never be his father. As much as fans would love to see that, he will never be that man. His driving style is not the same. His demeanor is not the same. His way of dealing with problems is not the same. He is his own man, and while fans like that, they also still hold him to higher expectations than, say, some like Kevin Harvick. They cheer when he leads. They boo when someone takes him out. Sometimes they get vicious. They don't seem to care that he doesn't win a lot of races, but you know it's there, and you know he feels the pressure.

Earnhardt Jr., like it or not, is the face of NASCAR. He is what the fans think of when they think of the sport. Jeff Gordon might be a media darling. Tony Stewart may get much deserved praise by the racing journalists and reporters. But Junior is the sport. It's a role I don't think he is comfortable with, and that is obvious by the way he fields some questions. He knows his place is important, but he also knows people unfairly compare him to his father and they are waiting for it come out of him.

It never will.

There have always been rumors that Junior will quit the sport. I'd hate to see it happen, but I wouldn't blame him if he did. The legacy is not something he asked for, and I doubt he wants it. He just wanted to race, and that has been tainted. As if the pressure of racing weren't enough (and make no mistakes, the sport is nothing but pressure both mentally and physically), he gets the pressure of living up to a man who has been turned into a deity by fans and the media. How can anyone live up to that? How can anyone withstand the scrutiny? I believe the only reason he hasn't quit already is because he loves the sport so much, and if you love it, you want that championship.

I know Junior is capable of it. I know he has the skills to pull off a championship run. I know he can stand up under the microscope. But how long does a person want to do that before it just becomes a hassle? If he walks away, he will have my respect. If he stays, same deal.

I just wish the comparisons would stop. Focus on the driver, and not his heritage. Save that for the highlight reel that comes after the championship win. That's when it will matter.


Michael Vick Versus The World

You see the name and you either love, hate or are indifferent. I'm of the currently indifferent camp, though that could change. In full disclosure, football is my third favorite sport, and the Eagles are a team I consider one of my favorites (along with the Rams and Steelers). That said, I'm not a fan of individual players, and Vick has never been one I really had any feelings about. I find his crimes horrible, don't know how I feel about second chances, and don't know exactly how I feel about the Eagles signing him.

But I am fascinated by it.

Jeffrey Lurie was obviously conflicted about the entire thing. Here he was, a man who had a sports team (where the only emphasis should be on winning) confronted with the opportunity not only to have a player of Vick's caliber, but the chance to take him away from other teams. The only problem? He found Vick's crimes "despicable" and stated he needed to see a lot of "self-hatred" in Vick. Strong words. In fact, I'm not sure I can point to a team where I've seen someone in Lurie's position say such a thing about someone his team just signed. Not even in the real football (soccer), which has its share of problem players.

No one in the media seems to be doubting Lurie's words, or even the fact that he was so conflicted over the decision. Andy Reid, being a firm believer in second chances due to his own personal family problems, was almost a given in his support. As was Donovan McNabb. Lurie, however, was the wildcard. He could've tanked the deal, and many say he should have. He didn't, though, and now we are here.

Lurie wants Vick and the Eagles to be agents of social change. The Humane Society is said to be working with Vick. Vick has said, heartfelt or not, that he apologizes for his crimes (in different words delivered with all the flair of an emotional cripple). EA Sports is most likely going to put him in the Madden 10 update, as I covered in my other blog, 8 Bit Disasters. Reid wants the Eagles to have a potential weapon (there is a slim chance Vick may never play a season game as of this writing). The fans are divided. Non-fans are divided. It's a fascinating story that brings together topics rarely associated with one another.

Professional sports. Animal rights. Second chances. Cultural mores. The role of a sports team. The role of corporations. It has the potential to bring about a lot of different discussions ranging from racism to the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). In that sense, America's oddly named football joins the ranks of the real football.

The Eagles may have made a horrible PR move, but it made a smart football move (though it did take a gamble that may fail financially but work strategically). The fans will be the final deciding vote on all this. It is doubtful they will stay away. But if Lurie is serious about wanting to bring about social change, and Reid is serious about second chances, then maybe they did the right thing.

I've written a comment on this subject on the Pretty Nameless blog. It was half sarcastic, but I was serious about the second chances part. Even if a person doesn't agree with second chances for some crimes (and I am one of those), we should never take that power away from other people.

This debate isn't over. Not even close. I suspect it will get even better, and I'm curious as to how it plays out. At the very least, this is a nightmare situation that could very well blow up in the Eagles' face. So far, however, Lurie and company have handled this just right in the media. There was obviously a lot of thinking that went into this decision, and I would love to read the transcript of the meeting, as I'm sure Vick was grilled unlike any other player in recent history. And in the end I think Lurie still has his doubts. But he's not shying away from anything, and I believe his words. (If I recall correctly, this is a guy who still mourns the loss of two family dogs from cancer a few years back.) Will the fans care, though?

We'll see soon.


BART Strike Set

From what I heard in passing, a BART strike is set for Monday ... just in time for work! As to be expected, I support the strike. I believe in supporting workers, shunning scabs and being in solidarity with those trying to keep their benefits or striving to make their working conditions better. I know riders are going to be upset, but it needs to be noted that if it weren't for unions, anarchists and other activists, there no forty-hour work week and nor would there be many of the protections workers have. Haymarket still matters today ... despite what you may hear.



It's late.

I remember when things used to be simpler. When things really mattered. I remember thinking I had things under control. A girl I used to know decades ago said she only knew of three people who had their shit together. Me. Charles Manson. Henry Rollins. At least I think that was the list. Kind of a mixed blessing there either way.

Can't imagine what she'd think now if she looked into this brain of mine.

I'm tired of feeling this way. Not doing enough creative writing. Did some last night. Felt good. Felt real good. Felt like I was moving my future along. Haven't had time tonight. This does not count.

I start to slip when I don't do creative writing. I get a little touched.

I have these ideas for this blog and the others. Want to do a piece on justice. Want to do one on the powers of words and symbols. On Satanic Music For Good Children I want to do a piece on the Beatles. When my daughter turns eighteen I have this idea of going to South America for a while and finding a cannibal tribe. Want to partake. Some people want to see the Great Wall. Daddy Bush wanted to jump out of a plane. I want to get in touch with our most primal of fears. Will I do it? Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not. Quite honestly, I'm not too keen on camping, and that seems like it would be a little too much roughing it for my own good. I appreciate things like showers, running water, cable television. Still, it would be an experience worth writing about. Living amongst cannibals for a month. Taking part of their culture. Chronicling it. Fascinating.

I like coming on here when I'm tired and just writing whatever comes to mind. It's cheaper than therapy, and it does cause me problems from time to time, but I'm no stranger to controversy. I wear it like a comfortable coat. I don't care, and it shows.

See all those healthcare reform public meetings that devolve into chaos? I find it fascinating. I'm all for protesting, even violent protest. I just think the protests I have seen so far are poorly thought out rhetoric. It seems like the louder one screams the less they have to say. I wonder if these people have actually read anything on the reform outside their comfortable sphere of influence, or if they've relied only on talk radio and the columnists they agree with. To get all sides of the story, you have to look at all sides. I heard one screaming about socialism and how she doesn't want the government providing healthcare. I don't trust the government, either, but I had to wonder if she wanted the VA to stop providing care for our soldiers or if that is somehow different? I hope she's protesting that, too. Also saw one saying she didn't want her country to look like Russia. Since Russia is primarily capitalist now, I'd have to agree. I've always been partial to pre-Civil War Spain myself, but that won't fly now. Hell, we drink Coke!

It's late. It reminds me a line from The The. "It's late/And I'm the last person on this plane still awake." I may have gotten that somewhat wrong. It may be "train" instead of "plane," but the idea is the same.

Too tired to edit the manuscript. Don't want to fuck it up. I like having a block of time where I don't have to do anything and I'm wide awake. That ain't now. That depresses me. Everything sucks me dry. I feel like I'm putting a lot of time and effort into things that just don't need it.

A casual friend said something interesting to me today. Her words kinda shot around my head for a while. "You're the only person I know who can operate effectively at the edge of anger for so long. When do you stop?"

I don't know. Didn't know what to say. Could only laugh. That did not help the conversation.

Another co-worker told me she liked my shop local diatribe. I thanked her. It's nice to hear some positive words from time to time. That one seemed to hit home for some people.

It's only Tuesday. Can't imagine the rest of the week.


Monday Hate Streak

Another Monday. Took Tylenol III the night before for back pain. Woke up at three, teeth grinding, staring at the ceiling. I turned on the radio. When my daughter isn't here I need the noise because there are no sleep sounds coming from the other room. A car goes by. Hip-hop blares from its speakers. I imagine it's the standard white guy behind the wheel. The same guy who would be locking his doors if he saw a black guy on the corner right now.

Four something. Still can't sleep. Mind is racing. It's Monday. Back to Hell. My daughter isn't here. I miss her. I miss my mind. I miss her more. I feel lucky to have her in my life. I hate that it's only part time. Can't comprehend those parents who dash out on their kids. It makes no sense to me. The Rolling Stones come on. "Sympathy for the Devil." Yeah, that's got to be good. I like the early Stones. So much better than what the band became, which was a joke. I suppose that's how most of us end up anyway. A bad joke just kicking on, unaware of how useless we've become.

Five something. Might as well get up. I think of that woman who got drunk and high and ended up driving the wrong way on the highway. I'm glad she's dead. Fucking ecstatic. Wish the innocent kids weren't killed. Husband described her as perfect. I think he and I have very different definitions of perfect. Another example of why family is the worse thing to happen to children. This woman was a waste of a person. That she was so self-centered to put others in harm's way says much about her. She should've been taken sooner. I believe drugs should be legal. I also believe people need to be held responsible for their actions. I don't buy the "addiction is a disease" mantra. Cancer is a disease. My old stand-by lupus is a disease. You don't buy diseases from dealers or the corner store. Addiction is what the weak rely on to get through the day, and if you can't handle your addiction you deserve to be taken out before you can do damage to others. It rarely works out that way, though. Usually they have to take others down. A failed life that ends up destroying other hopeful lives. Her husband calls her perfect. I say she's a dead fuck-up who was apparently too dumb to know better. Hope you believe in Hell, waste girl.

I get up. Put on Faith No More. Hope it's uplifting. It's not. Decide not to shave. No need to. Who am I trying to impress? The shower isn't good. It hurts to stand up. Once again I can understand Dr. Thompson's suicide. I rarely use painkillers. Want to feel the pain sometimes. Let's me know I'm alive. This is not one of those days. I have a job to do ... no matter how useless it is. Feed the masses, boy-o.

I turn the shower, which I have set at massage (not for the same reason the ladies do), off and step out. Wrap a towel around me. Hear sirens. They stop across the street. It's a fire truck. Brilliant yellow. I think that I once heard that most heart attacks happen on Monday morning. Wonder if that will be my fate. I hope that if so, it happens when my girl isn't here. I don't want her to wake up to a dead father. That shit scars. I found a corpse once. Wasn't expecting it. I hated the guy. Wanted to kill him the week before. Was glad he was dead. He, too, was a waste. It still freaked me out, though.

I picture me waking up with my chest tight. I reach for the phone. Arm goes numb. I drop it. Reach for the cell. Thumb, which is shaking way too much, pushes the button. I wait for it to go on. For some reason my room goes darker. It sounds like I'm in a tunnel. Must be okay now because I'm going back asleep.

Yeah, that's what I see.

I watch the firefighters exit the truck to go into the house. I turn away from the window. I gotta get dressed and feed those masses, boy-o. I gotta function. I gotta turn this anger into an energy.

I drink coffee for breakfast. It's bitter. I don't add sugar and milk. I don't have a vagina. Don't need that shit. I like the strength. Used to hate coffee. Warm liquids weren't my thing. Still aren't. It makes me feel better than soda, though.

Check e-mail. Send out my reviews. Call my women. Look in the mirror. My smile is a mask. That's from an old punk song. I want to punch what I see because I don't like it. If my girl was here we would be watching television and laughing our asses off. She has the best laugh. Comes from the gut. Honest. True.

The fire truck is gone now. Don't know what happened. Not my business. The clock ticks away. Every second I get closer to disaster. I put a shirt over my Profane Existence shirt. Can't have that at work. Or can I? People wear shorts and flip flops because this is Humboldt. We're laid back.

So glad I don't own a hand gun.

I don't hate Mondays. I fear them.


Sleepless In Humboldt County

A half hour ago I was dead tired. In fact, I was sleeping. A commercial playing on the television woke me up. My mind started racing. It's been a shit week.

My daughter went on vacation for a few days. My credit card got stolen by someone who is bound to be very sorry at some point. ("What's this? Your testicle? Shit, I ripped that right out. You'd think they'd be attached better. Never mind. Open up. Yes, your mouth! Did you suddenly develop a hearing problem? Did I speak French? No, so open up. Wider. Wider. Like you're about to suck your daddy's cock. There you go. That's wide enough. I'm gonna rest this piece of your body on your lower teeth. You're gonna bite down, but don't your burst that puppy yet. I swear to fucking Christ if you shake your head 'no' one more time I will slice your lip off and force you to eat that, too. There you go. Good boy. Keep it between your teeth until I say different. Lick it. That's right. Lick it. What's it taste like? That's you! You're tasting you! I bet you always wanted to suck your own dick. Maybe you even tried it. This ain't your cock, but it's close enough. Want me to get your cock? No, I'm kidding. You should've seen your face, though. Wish I had a camera.") I had to deal with cops. More rumors at work. Feeling like I want to be away from people for a while.

If I seem off to you, don't worry. I probably am. I want to remove myself from society because I don't get you people anymore. I'm surprised more gyms don't get shot up.

Take me away.

The Charges As Such

It has been said I am an Obama basher. This is, of course, partially true. I'm actually a president basher because I have no respect for the title. I don't respect the office. I don't respect the job. I don't respect the system. And I make no apologies for it.

Maybe in the future we'll have someone who isn't sucking on the corporate tit, who thinks war is the last resort, who keeps their promises, who is interested in actually seeing this country become what it could be. What we've been getting is the exact opposite of what should be. Obama is no different. He's just more articulate than our last jackass, and is slightly more reasonable. He hasn't stopped our illegal wars. He hasn't pulled this country out of an economic nosedive. He hasn't made the corporations a target (though he has targeted them more than any other president in recent history). He hasn't done much of what he promised, and that makes him a lot like every other president who came before him.

You shouldn't be asking why I don't like him or the job. I need to be asking you why you believe in that job and that man. Are you that easily sold? Are you that blindly patriotic? Do you really think that the title alone is worthy of respect? Why?

I'm not out to change anyone's mind. I am out to get people to question what they believe. I feel that's the only way people can progress. Question everything, including me. I can defend myself and my beliefs. Can you?


Cash For Clunkers ... Suckers

Cash for Clunkers was, by some accounts, a tremendous success. Cash given for cars with poor mileage so that people could afford more fuel efficient cars? Seems like the perfect plan. And get this – it helped out the ailing auto industry. There was one word you didn't really hear too much about, though.


Cash for Clunkers was a subsidy for the auto industry, which kind of deserves to be where it's at due to poor decisions made by the goons in charge. (Hyundai, it should be noted, does not seem to be having the same problems as the U.S. car companies.) It was another form of a bailout. That money wasn't given to people to buy bikes, which would have been even more fuel efficient. It was given to buy cars. Expensive cars. Jack your insurance rate up because you're making payments cars.

The auto industry, as to be expected, loved it. (Especially the Japanese manufacturers, who by some accounts are getting most of this money.) Many Americans loved it, too. I'm sure other ailing industries would love to have their customers wooed with payouts, too. Alas, poor Joe Six Pack, you'll get no money to buy your Schlitz.

Where's the Sixty for Sluts program? Sixty bucks to go to a hooker. What about G's for Games, where you get money to buy video games? Singles for Sodas? Money for Movies? Bills for Butts? Cash for Cable? It seems silly when you think about it, but I understand the thought process behind it. Help the auto industry. Clean up the environment ... somewhat. It's all very feel-good, typical liberal bullshit.

Obama has been, and I say this with all seriousness, a colossal disappointment. He spins a great speech, has tremendous plans, but can't seem to pull anything together and make it stick. Democrats paint him as a messiah with a degree and a knack for communication. Republicans paint him as a socialist of the worse sort (which is about the worse they are capable of saying without exposing any racist undertones inherent in the party). The truth is he's just another talking head who says things a lot of people (and other countries) want to hear. When you think about his record and a lot of his rhetoric, however, you start to see that there isn't much difference between him and any other president we've had since I've been alive. He's keeping the military-industrial complex firmly in place. He speaks of fixing healthcare. He values education. He wants to help the poor. About the only notable thing he's really done to set himself apart from his peers is to say that his administration will leave the medicinal marijuana operations alone. When it comes down to it, he's a more politically correct Clinton, a more articulate Baby Bush, a less secretive Father Bush, a better educated Reagan, and a more effective Carter. I fear that when he leaves office after his second term (and I think that we will have him for two terms) his greatest contribution to American history is that he will be the first black president ... and nothing else.

Cash for Clunkers is a bail-out like when the Baby Bush administration hooked up Haliburton. Yeah, one is less evil, but it's still capitalism at its finest. When social services are getting cut in almost all the states, pumping money into GM and Ford's coffers seems a little distasteful.

This is his standard MO. Sell a good plan and people seem to forget what it is they are buying. I think he's a better choice than some and not as good as others, and I like that he values intelligence and science, but I temper that with a realistic view of what he really is. He's the gatekeeper of the status quo. He may be better at keeping the rabble in line without the use of force, but make no mistake, he's still keeping us in line.

God, if only he did half of what he people think he's capable of we'd all be a lot better off. Unfortunately, he's part of a corrupt system, which ultimately limits his effectiveness. Cash for Clunkers may do exactly what he wants it to, and that's the problem.


This? Now?

"How do you know it was a phone sex number?" the cop asked. He was sitting on my couch, using my pen (he forgot his), and was taking down a report.

Let me rewind.

I got home. It was the usual stressful day. No sleep last night. To make it worse, this was the last time I was going to see my daughter for a few days. So, no, shit was not good. My answering machine was blinking when I got in. I usually don't check the calls right away, but felt the need to. It was my credit card company. A card, which was attached to a savings account, had some suspicious charges. I logged into the account and first saw that it had been drained. All my money I was saving for a plane trip, my daughter's Christmas presents, EC Archives books and so on, was gone. In their place were charges to various companies. Oh my fucking God.

A quick call to a woman in India yielded nothing. Another call to a man in Europe proved equally disastrous. A call to the credit card company got the card canceled, which screwed up my automatic billing. I started calling the companies that were on my statement. One company told me they'd do a reverse IP search, and I wished them luck. He suggested I file a police report, which I did.

"How did you know it was a phone sex number?" the cop asked.

"Because when I called it, it was a woman moaning. She later asked for my credit card number. I figure they got it once, I'm not giving it again."

He laughed. In his defense, he got there a few minutes after I called, and this is the beginning of the month. Meth money time. Eureka's finest are busy people this week, yet here he was taking a report on something we both knew would not produce any tangible results. The bottom line was I wanted my money back. And if someone catches who did it, I want their name(s) ... so I can cut them ear to ear ... and yeah, that's justified. Steal from me, I steal from you. I just go further.

But I know the odds. Slim to none the person would be caught. The person can't be that intelligent. (Who the hell pays for porn even with a stolen card number? The shit is free, like, everywhere.) But they are most likely smart enough to bounce around from IP to IP, and I suspect the customer service representative who told me that told me to scare me into admitting I did it myself. (It didn't work, for when he told me they do that IP search I said, "Good. Let's get the motherfucker.") I just want the card company to give me my money back so all this work I do isn't for nothing.

This topped an already piss ass few months of nothing but stress. Oh, and as for sleep. Already tried tonight. Not working. Too much of too much is being oh so much that ain't right. It's ten to midnight, and I gotta get up at five. Gotta face an uncertain job that I hate. Gotta face a good chunk of money blown away. Gotta face co-workers who think I'm not myself (and they aren't the only ones).

I'm not one to give up easily, but I am one to stop caring. When it comes, I hope nobody acts too surprised.

Your New Job

I go from watching a movie to news on the economy. Things are looking brighter, the pundits are sure to repeat over and over. People we should have no confidence in are saying we should have confidence in the economy. Anyone actually dealing and living in the actual world knows things are somewhat different and no amount of cash for clunkers will change that.

Jobs that pay a livable wage are about as rare as an honest politician. Jobs that pay minimum wage see competition between teenagers (who can be easily molded) and fathers with a family to feed. More and more people are on the streets with their handmade signs begging for your hard earned dollars.

Confidence is sorely lacking.

Ideally, I'd support myself with my writing (working on it). It's harder, but I believe that working for yourself is the only kind of work you can really have pride in. I believe that if you don't produce, you're a consumer. My job is not something that is tied strictly to me. Someone can replace me instantly. My writing, however, can only be done by me, and this is the job I want to do. Too many people have no discernible skills. They can't flip burgers because they can't show up on time. They can't work security because of that felony. They can't be around disabled adults because they lack patience. There's never been jobs for them simply because they can't handle them. It's different now, though.

Now there are hardly any jobs for anyone. Yes, I see Kohl's is hiring locally. Those jobs will be filled quickly. There just aren't enough for the people who want them, which means that wages will eventually drop, benefits will go away, and people will be working at jobs they are thoroughly overqualified for. eBay only goes so far, so Burger King here they come.

Confidence is not the problem. Greed is. Greed has always been a huge problem, but you can pinpoint our current economic disaster to unleashed greed. Yes, that is simplistic, but break it down and that is what it comes down to. Greed. Unbridled. Ugly. Greed.

Greed is not, for lack of a better word, good. It is a monster that ends up engulfing everything and shitting out destruction. We are seeing it now. We saw it before. We will see it again because greed is our nature. We lack the common sense to have it any other way.

The pundits can keep saying it's changing. It will one day change. But we won't remember what got us there in the first place, and it will happen all over again.

Let's hear it for greed! Remember that while you are on the phone trying to get through to unemployment what got you here in the first place. And remember what you have done to contribute to it.

One Can Only Hope This Ends Badly

I fell asleep last night to the strains of "Free Bird." It was after two a.m., which is typical of me now. Wouldn't be so bad except that I get up around five ... in the morning. It made me think of a text I received very late in the evening. A text I didn't get around to reading until I looked at the clock and saw it was one a.m. and my mind was racing.

What brings me peace?

It was a simple question. It was a simple question that begged for a complicated answer. What brings me peace?

My daughter brings me peace. She is the reason I get up in the morning. Seeing her develop from a baby to a smart, funny, insane five-year-old with a habit of shouting that I'm "going down old man" while we're playing video games is something that makes me so utterly happy that it makes me hate humanity all the more. You see, I go from here to the world and that's where it all falls apart.

Peace has never been a friend of mine. I believe that I'm at my best when I'm in a state of anger and rage, all my cylinders firing. My daughter changes that. I operate best now when I'm around her. Simple. Easy. End of story.

Except it's not.

I don't know how I deal with people on any kind of human level from day to day. The urge to withdraw from society grows greater. It's a protectionist move. I don't see humanity as having a lot to offer. The liars, the weak, the ignorant -- they are all around and they are slowly taking over the show. They say things like, "I don't support the war, but I support the troops." They buy wine in boxes. They fight each other for deals at the store. They make animals look downright civilized.

I, like GG Allin, will not act civilized. I will not even try because this idea of civilization leaves a lot to be desired.

So, what brings me peace? My daughter. My daughter and the hope that someday real justice will visit the people who deserve it, the folks who should not be saved from their fate.

That and really good pizza.