Even Amateur Porn Isn't Safe

Amateur porn has always been the original "reality" show.  Real people having real sex.  Often for little or no money -- just the thrill of appearing on camera at their most carnal.

A news report out yesterday (you can read it here) features reality star/pro-wrestler/amateur porn star Razor Rizzoti (aka Maxxx Loadz -- brilliantly ridiculous) and his slow rise to fame in those respective worlds.  Porn-wise, he's been in over 20 Homegrown Video features.

Amateur porn fans know of Homegrown.  It has the longest amateur porn series known to man.  One has to wonder, however, just how amateur amateur can be when a reality star (he's been on Extreme Forensics so you know he's serious) has wormed his way into it.

Reality "stars" (often in their own mind and in the words of a mass media that doesn't understand politics well enough to cover it) have invaded every aspect of our lives.  Porn makes sense, but -- my God -- is nothing sacred?  I don't care about these people who go from reality show to reality show, famous for nothing more than a screwed up name and a personality that would never fly in a fictional show. 

I haven't followed Homegrown Video in years.  I used to review its films, and have generally enjoyed them for what they are.  I had great contacts with employees there and the "head" of it.  I even interviewed some of the people.  Seeing that it is not immune to the allure of these cheap seat stars makes me question a lot of what I liked about that industry.  Standard porn was always a capitalistic endeavor, which makes such pandering easily understandable.  Reality stars turning to porn seems concomitant to everything standard porn stands for.  Amateur porn, however, always felt different.  Yes, there was money to be made (and money was made), and something like Homegrown is far different from mom and dad shooting a movie and distributing it on Naughty Bids, but I ask again: Is nothing sacred?

Homegrown, as amateur as its amateur movies are, is still a huge business, and associating itself with a reality slab o' flesh is natural in some obscene way.  I just expected more from it.  It's hippie-vibe is forever lost with the addition of Loadz.  After all, what could be less free-spirited than a guy who has been on something called Jerseylicious?


The Cold Tower of Despair

"Victims.  Aren't we all?"  That's what the Crow asked.  It's a great quote, as I think it hits right to the heart of victimhood status here in America.  People used to have pride in things like family (unfounded), nationality (same thing) and accomplishments (one thing people should have pride in).  Some took pride in their values and morals.  Again, commendable, though those things tend to be far too fluid to take any real sense of pride in ... unless you are a samurai or something. 

Now we take pride in being a victim.  We wear the crown of staples like a badge of courage.  Not a survivor.  Survivor implies strength.  Victim.  You can blame all your woes on it.  You are a victim of sexual assault, therefore you sexually assault.  You are a victim of your mother beating you, therefore you beat your kids.  You are a victim of addiction to Twinkies, therefore you shoot gay people.  Claim "victim" and you can wash your hands of everything. 

It is highly convenient.  It is highly coveted.  Who can be the greatest victim.  All eyes turn to the fallen.  I remember back when I worked in the factory.  A woman had just been diagnosed with cancer.  She was pretty stoic about it.  Family history said the odds were in her favor for catching that bus.  A co-worker who heard her talking about this decided to one-up her.  (Keep in mind, the newly crowned carrier of the Big C was not talking to this woman or claiming victim status.)  She said, and while this is not a direct quote, it is close enough, "That's nothing.  I slipped on ice a few years ago and broke my leg in two places."

Victims don't even know how to distinguish their true victim status.

Everyone wants to be a bigger victim than the last.  Everyone wants to use their status as an excuse.  "You can't blame me.  I'm a victim.  I'm not responsible for my actions.  I'm a victim."

It's not that I don't have sympathy.  I do.  I'm not a heartless machine.  I just can't believe that people not only can't distinguish real tragedy from minor inconvenience (cancer is a far bigger problem than a broken leg), but that they also take the status they claim to so hate and turn it into a crutch for every woe they have.

Survivors are to be commended.  Survivors that take their victimhood and turn it into inspiration or even revenge (the rapist who shoots her attacker, for instance) should be applauded. 

All of this stems from someone who told me the other day that the reason she keeps making bad decisions is because she is a "victim" of a one-parent family. 

Months ago, maybe a year ago, a boy was burned alive over a video game.  He survived.  He's going through therapy both mental and physical.  He looked remarkably well given his situation.  He was a victim of greed.  He has become a survivor.  I saw an interview with him.  It was short.  I don't remember a word he said, but not one single sentence was anywhere near as stupid as what that woman said to me.  Not one.  In fact, I doubt he would ever utter something so stupid.

What I've discovered, in my dealings with these victims of whatever ailment they believe has wronged them, is that they had some tragedy in life and now they blame all the bad decisions they make on it.  The only people who buy it?  Other so-called victims.  The survivors see through that shit like it is the finest crystal. 

Victimhood isn't a get out of jail free card.  It is a stepping stone to how you are going to live the rest of your life.  You'll either be a survivor of whatever life has dealt you, or you'll be a victim of it forever.  It will be your call and your call only.  

And lest anyone think I am downplaying real tragedy (or even perceived tragedy, because in the end, all that really matters is the perception), I'm not.  I understand that bad shit happens.  People are dealt rotten deals, and it can be crippling.  I'm attacking the idea that people should continue to embrace these things and give them power.  What they should do is conquer them and destroy them.  If you don't get that ... well, you may be a victim.


Punishment Junkie

While the East Coast is thrown around by a snowstorm like a drunk teen at a college frat party, I get up after having some very pleasant dreams.

Of course, I waken to a world on the West Coast where rain has become a staple.  Not complaining about that; I like it.  Sometimes, however, I miss the absolute blizzards that shut the world down and make mayors wring their hands in terror.

I had been waking up to headaches on a nearly daily basis for weeks, if not months now, and yesterday I thought I had pinpointed it.  Every time I woke up the first thought that came to mind was, "It's my fucking pillow."

Usually when falling asleep, I put my head down between two pillows.  Don't know why I do this.  Maybe it's because it mimics the warm feeling of a woman's breasts.  Hell, I don't know.  As I was thinking about it yesterday I realized it probably had to do with neck support.  And then I saw this commercial for a Sobakawa Cloud Pillow.

I didn't care about any of the mumbo jumbo being spouted forth on the commercial.  I didn't buy the claims that it was 300 years in the making.  Nor did I believe there over 10 million microbeads in it.  After all, was I going to count that?  Hell no.  What intrigued me was its shape.  It looked exactly like what I was envisioning as being the cure to my morning headaches.  (That and less stress.)

My daughter convinced me to get it, and I tried it out last night.  I had read some negative things online, such as the noise of the microbeads shifting being distracting (I'm a light sleeper, and they did not bother me one bit).  I also read that it gets "hot."  I also did not find that to be true.  What I found was no headache.

It's too early to tell if this was a fluke or a placebo affect.  (Which, according to what I heard on NPR last week, is stronger than we ever suspected.)  All I know is that I woke up without a headache, though it was still Monday and I would like nothing more than to not be doing what I'm doing today.

Though I'm still not too sure I'd want to be on the East Coast.


The Cold Fingers of Death

Last night I tried to post a piece on me touching Aleister Crowley's helmet ... something I should not have done according to the placard that was beside it.

My computer went nut butters and I wasn't able to post it at all. 

I'm not one to believe in the occult, though I understand its allure and power, but I did find it ironic that the entire post was about me touching something Crowley used to wear, something I wasn't supposed to touch, and then that post pretty much disappeared into the nether of the Internet.

If you don't know who Crowley is, you can easily look him up.  They don't make people like him anymore.  The Beatles were influenced by him.  He's made appearances in video games.  His books were mandatory reading for lots of disenfranchised youth.  He was The Great Beast.  The Unholy Roller.  The Dope Fiend.

Personally, I can understand the appeal, but I never put much stock into it.  Fascinating?  You bet?  A piece of culture that doesn't exist anymore?  Not that I can find.  A real conduit into the unknown?  No.  Only the unknown of our minds.

What was odd was writing this piece about this great helmet that one of his ladies made for him and how I felt about touching history ... and then due to the uncertainty of the Internet it isn't able to be posted, edited or even found.  Those believers in the the physical rather than mental powers of magic and certain occult-think would look to that as proof.  I think serious scholars of such things, however, would use that to exemplify the very real power the occult has upon the mind.  (After all, I don't think I'm alone in thinking that is where the real power always resides.)  

The power of symbols, the occult (using the commonly understood definition), and other such things is how it can affect those who accept them on face value.  Their power does not necessarily reside in them.  It is manifested by those who believe.  It has nothing to do with real magic or the occult and everything to do with humans and their unending ability to attribute magical powers upon things.  It is why religion works. 

Religious types often label the same type of thinking they have that is attributed to a different "god" or belief system as "the occult."  In America, anything that falls outside of the big box religions is often "occult" in nature.  This makes people who believe these things to become easily exploitable.  An effective occultist, such as Crowley (and, of course, the ultimate bad daddy Anton LaVey) knows this and uses this to his or her advantage.  And what an advantage it is!  You are loved!  You are hated!  You are feared!  You are worshipped!  You have followers who will do anything for you, and people who want you dead.  It think it's fairly easy to see the appeal of that.

I found it somewhat ironic that while writing about Crowley and my touching of a helmet that I should have kept my hands off of, my posting totally disappeared.  At no time did I think it was due to Crowley's influence from beyond the grave. 

I don't attribute any supernatural powers to people like Crowley.  I just think they are great manipulators and sometimes blatant exploiters.  What makes them fascinating to me is not how they do it, but the people who let themselves be exploited.  What drives them?  What do they see in people like Crowley?  Why do they love him or fear him?  It's a great sociological experiment that goes to show just how weak our minds are.  I tend to think that the more you believe in things that can't be proven (like religion or ghosts -- and I admit a fascination/skepticism about things like that), the more you leave yourself open to all kinds of "magical thinking."  I am interested in the idea of ghosts.  I don't look at them as supernatural beings, but rather a form of energy.  I understand I can't prove this, and nor has it been proven to my satisfaction, so I remain somewhat skeptical, unlike, say, I am about the sun coming up every morning.  I believe that will happen.  Science and experience says it's a safe bet I'll wake up to the sun rise.  By remaining skeptical I believe I protect myself from falling into a rut where I start to believe ever magical idea thrown my way, be it miracles or the power of Satan.  I don't think others have it that easy because they embrace things without much thought or input from reality.  That may feel people with a sense of relief or a feeling of power, but it does little to prevent them from being easily exploited.
There is no Crowley lingering around in the shadows these days.  I find that kind of sad, actually.  People haven't become any less believing, so it says to me that people have started accepting the "natural order" of magical thinking (big box religion) moreso than ever before.  In the past, the occult was part of our landscape.  You don't see that much anymore.  There are no more "personalities" to latch onto.  There is simply religion and the rest of the world.  I don't care either way, as I have no problem with people believing what they want to, but I do think it makes our culture a little less interesting.  Perhaps the closest we've come to that is Marilyn Manson or the lesser-known Boyd Rice back in the day.  (I happen to think Rice is more fascinating than Manson, but you can't argue Manson's cultural appeal.  Rice requires more of an intellectual examination from the masses, and our masses aren't into that at all.  Manson is easily digested, and that works in his favor, though I think most of the public at large just finds him shocking and thinks little of the occult aspect of his work.)

I think Crowley's time, which wasn't all that long ago, would have been fascinating to live in.  The public was less jaded, more willing to examine the unknown.  Now all we seem to care about is Facebook and inane postings, or deals at the mall.   That child-like wonder at the world around has been reduced to a Google search.  The occult is nothing more than black clothes at Hot Topic or some heavy eyeliner.  We have lost our ability to generate true rebel figures.  CNN doesn't cover people like Rice.  It covers those idiotic flash mobs that people seem to think are really special.  ("Oh look!  People are singing in the mall!  How crazy!")

Maybe this will all change someday, and another occult figure will stomp his way to the forefront of culture.  Until that happens, we still have the memory and words of Crowley ...  and his apparent ability to destroy the Internet from beyond the grave.


A Danger to Society

I think the highest compliment one can receive is that they are a "danger to society."  When you look at society in its vast arena of dysfunction, is there any greater thing to be other than a threat?

I look around and I see the liars, the thieves, the two-faced, the back-stabbers, the do-gooders with egos, the clueless running the various shows, the people who wear victimhood like a crown, the people whose fifteen minutes is based on their lack of intelligence, the greedy, the bottom feeders, the chum, the blissfully ignorant, the woefully inept, the people who think they know best, the people who know nothing, the lizard people, the snobs, the people who can't run their own lives but are more than happy to tell you how to run yours, the half-truths, the vapidly elite, the people who can only consume, the holier-than-thou, the ones who fear every devil but themselves, those who lack a moral compass, those who don't know what that means, the kings, the queens, the rulers, the happily ruled.  In other words: the people who surround you every day.  Not all of them, but enough of them to give you pause.

If you have a shred of morality, a millimeter of integrity -- how can you be anything but a danger?

I see it every day.  In my "real" life.  In my "work" life.  I see people who treat each other like caged animals.  There is no understanding.  No compassion.  No empathy.  No shared situation.  It is greed.  It is fear.  It is directionless hate.  It is a loaded gun (safety off) and placed in the hands of a spastic LSD tossback who sees everything as a threat.  They only understand hurt, anger, fury and disrespect when it is finally tossed their way.  And when they get it, they don't like it.  Not one bit.  No, Sir.  Not one bit at all.

Again, how is being a danger to that not admirable?

I'm not perfect.  I would never attempt to be.  But what I do attempt is to be the kind of person who treats others with the respect they've earned from me.  The kind of guy who can look at himself in the mirror and feel not only good about the choices I've made, but that I've also really thought about the choices I've made and how they affect others.  I want to lay my head down at night thinking I've done the right thing.

My "right thing" can be motivated by many things.  Fear.  Greed.  Rage.  Altruism.  Compassion.  Hate.  But I do my damned best to make sure it is never motivated by ignorance.  I examine what I will do and how it will affect people.  I don't pretend I live in a bubble, because I don't.  And when I see how others live their lives, I think being a danger is a great cosmic balance in their universe of choice.

The greatest danger to society isn't armed with a gun or a dirty bomb.  The rest of society just sees that as unrestrained rage, fundamentalism and extreme.  When they see that, they can dismiss it.  They can say, "That won't happen to me."  No.  The greatest danger isn't armed with any weapon but the truth and a willingness to say it.  And if they don't say it at the time, they act on it so that it can later be seen ... often when it's too late for anyone to react.  A danger like that gets into people's heads.  It can't be ignored.  It cuts to the bone and twists. 

I raise my cup of coffee to you folks, the dangers to the world of complacency, moral pits, and the mask wearers.  Keep up the good work.  Keep spitting out the truth.  Keep being a danger.  It beats being one of them.


A Bitter Point of Rage

There are two phrases I hope to hear less of this upcoming year.  (To wish them to go away is just too much.  I'm not starry-eyed optimist.  I know they won't disappear.)  I hear them far too often, and have actually been guilty of using them once or twice myself.  When I do slip, I end up burning myself on the stove as punishment for such a lazy transgression.  I have learned my lesson.

The first phrase, and this has actually sneaked into the mainstream news once or twice happens to be: "It is what it is."  If there is a more nebulous, jaw-droppingly drool-worthy phrase out there, I don't know of it.  (Thankfully.)  It is what it is is the vocal equivalent of throwing your hands in the air, shrugging your shoulders and saying, "I don't get it.  I don't want to get it.  To try and figure it out, let alone vocalize it is too much, so I will simply say 'it is what it is' and let you figure it out and argue it if you must."  I have usually heard this phrase uttered when the topic at hand is negative or depressing in some way.

"Oh, that sucks that your mother died."

"It is what it is."

Weak and pathetic.  People have so lost their ability to verbally express what is on their minds that they have resorted to saying the equivalent of "a car is a car" -- only with less detail. 

(As a way of having fun with this, a friend told me the other week that he had to get some lab work done.  I responded with a heartfelt, "Wow.  That doesn't sound fun.  You seem kind of upset about it.  How serious is it?"  His response was, "It is what it is, I guess."  This struck me as odd, so I responded in kind with, "Oh, that's true.  I hope you don't have an STD."  Vague meet random.  Shake and kiss.)

The other phrase is: "I'm just saying."  This is often used as an apology for some opinion or fact that is thrown out there that someone may possibly disagree with.  We have, as a society, become so weird about actually having opinions on anything, that an apology of some sort often seems necessary lest you offend some dolt.  Trust me, I know you're "just saying" it.  I just heard you say it.  You don't have to apologize for voicing an opinion or stating a fact ... even if you think I would be uncomfortable with it.  It's okay.

I've been guilty of the latter more than the former (with the shit I say, I often am offering an apology).  Being fascinated with culture and language causes me to examine these things, though.  Why we use what we use, and why things happen to catch on in a certain way.  And once they do catch on, why do they go away at some point? 

I believe that once you hear these phrases enough, you catch them like a cold, which in turns spreads them.  Verbal viruses that hatch in the brain and spread whenever the mouth is opened. 

Anyone have their own pet peeve phrases they'd like to throw out there?  I know it's hard to stop saying them once you do, but at some point you have to lose the virus.


Revisiting the Manuscript: The Human Chokehold

Being in a bad mood due to work going so far fucking South that it wasn't even funny, I decided to work on the manuscript.  It's an evil, nasty piece of work that often fucks with my head.  Writing last night, I thought back to some of the research I did, and a video I found.

The manuscript, as many know, deals with the very powerful mixture of sex and violence.  Fairly unapologetic.  Quickly spiraling out of control.  Doing research for it has been less than pleasant.  The video was part of that.

If you get easily disturbed, I'd recommend you go read some blog that details a the trials and tribulations of a happy family of five "just trying to live life one day at a time."  Otherwise, you might have nightmares.

The video is shot in a hotel room.  I can't make out the details of the city visible through the window in the background.  It is dark and the shades are mostly drawn, though it looks like the room is on the upper floors.  The camera is stationary.

A chair stands in the room.  Standing on this chair is a female who is nude except for the hood over her head.  It is hard to make out details of her body, but my guess would put her at middle age ... just like the guy standing next to her.

There is a noose around her neck. 

The noose is attached to a point somewhere above her head.  There is little slack in the rope.

The man has his hands between the woman's legs.  He is masturbating her.  The moans say she is enjoying it.  Though, if you've ever heard a woman moan there is sometimes no way to discern pleasure from pain and fear.

Then she utters the magic word.  I believe it was, "Now!"

The man yanks the chair away.  Her hands go to her neck.  She is swinging.  Her breath is cut off by the noose.  Her legs bend back at the knees.  The only sounds are the strains of the rope and that of her body trying to breathe.  It's a losing battle, as is her attempt to loosen the noose.

The man, who had gotten out of the way of her swinging body to watch with fascination in the background, moves in to grab her.  The video ends.  Her face unseen.  Outcome unknown (I assume she lived because I highly doubt this was her first time in front of the wheel so to speak).

The video was not erotic to me.  It was research.  It wasn't even what I was researching at the time.  (I believe I was actually looking up the amount of deaths by erotic asphyxiation every year that could actually be categorized as such and what their common factors were -- how many were solo based on how many had a partner present and so on.  It is those little touches that give a manuscript its realism.)  The images stuck in my mind, though, and I knew I would use them.  I would most likely not have a happy ending like this one (presumably) had.  My scene would end far, far worse.

Writing is my escape from the problems of the day.  It's my way to get all the little stories out of my head.  When finally deciding to write this one, you may remember that it was born out of several different things (a missing girl in Eureka, a twisted snuff scene, the idea that people often put a lot of faith in people and gave them all kinds of power all while playing with things they don't truly understand).  Oddly enough, it is not really motivated by anger, but when I'm angry, I work on it.  Therefore, it has an edge.

I like the idea that writing can be just as dangerous as film.  Maybe even moreso, because it gets in your head.  It stays there.  You fill in the blanks.  You personalize it.  You make it yours, and you can't get rid of it so easily. 

You most likely never saw the video I described.  I imagine you won't forget it for a while.  You pictured the hood being a certain color (I never mentioned it).  The carpet, too.  You filled in the missing furniture.  You decided on the lighting.  You decided on the ethnicity of the participants.  You decided if the man was bald or had a full head of hair.  You imagined the woman's breast size.  What her nipples looked like.  You determined what, if anything, the man was wearing. 

You created all of that in your head.  I had zero to do with it.  You recreated the video.  And while you may have found what I wrote to be disturbing (or erotic if you're one of those fun people), you are the one who made it so.  I gave you the canvas, and you painted it.  That's something writing can do so much better than film.  Film can hint at things, too, but the details are still overwhelming.  Film manipulates.  Writing creates.

The next time you're in a hotel room, remember this.  Think about what went on there.  Maybe this video will come back to you.  Maybe something else will.  If I did my job correctly, these images I helped you create will hit you at the most unexpected of times.  It may or may not have bothered you, but that is of less concern to me than the fact that you participated.  Because if your mind did it once, it can do it again.  That idea is in there now, and like LSD, it will find a home and roost.  It may never show its choking face again.

And then again ... the next time you are masturbating in the relative safety of your bed ... it may come back.

Happy holidays.


Do Not Look Behind the Curtains

WikiLeaks.  Just the name alone is enough to cause diplomats to shit the bed.  For news hounds like myself it is the cause of multiple newspaper articles (I think I read between three and five articles yesterday alone in the Times-Standard, and that paper sucks).

War footage.  Secret communications.  National security.  Rape.  These are all things that are mentioned when WikiLeaks inevitably pops up in the news.  Less mentioned is government transparency, the freedom that information brings, and the exact nature of what constitutes a threat.

Any government that is, for all intents and purposes, put in place by the public (through elections) should be transparent.  Look at it this way: If you hire a babysitter, shouldn't you be able to use any means within your power to make sure the babysitter isn't harming your child?  As a citizen in a representative republic, I want to know that my government isn't engaged in digging mass graves and burying people alive in them.

National security and the security of the men and women in the armed forces (or spies) is important, but so is the security of the American people.  I want to know if my government is acting in such a way that could bring harm upon my country and myself.  And if they are, I want them ousted.

It has been said that Julian Assange (WikiLeaks' driving force) has an agenda to bring down America.  If the information exposed is faked, then I would agree.  If, however, it is real (and I have not heard complaints that it is faked -- and if it was I doubt the governments of the world would be so up in arms), then he is merely exposing the fact that the Emperor has no clothes.  And to be honest, not everything he has exposed paints America in a negative light.  Not bombing the shit out of Iran while the rest of the Middle East is begging for that very action shows we aren't exactly the monsters everyone claims Assange is making us out to be.

Governments should not be allowed to operate in secret.  I recognize the need to guard many facts, and I understand that.  But policies should not be made behind closed doors.  Murderous acts and war crimes should not be covered up.  And most importantly, the American people should not be lied to about those things.  Assange has essentially said, "If you won't tell the truth, I will."  Here's the kicker ... even if our government was more open, nobody would care.

This material has been released, much of it has been available for a while.  (I spent hours about six months ago pouring over 9/11 text and pager message transcripts.)  The American public doesn't care about the dangerous behavior its government is engaged in.  Dancing With the Stars is important.  Trying to obtain biometric information on diplomats and murder is not.

This, of course, is not a partisan issue, either.  Both sides of the fence are pissed at this guy, and that can only be good.  They are scared, too, and they should be.  Our elected officials should be scared every day of their lives.  They should fear the public's wrath.  They should consider their actions and the harm they could cause currently and in the future.  If WikiLeaks helps that process along, I'm all for it.  Unfortunately, the issue has been skewed and the government is, once again, off the hook.

Assange, from everything I can see, is not anti-American.  He's anti-secrecy.  He's anti-lying.  He's against governments taking advantage of their populations and populations throughout the world.  He's just made the mistake of picking on the world's super power, but I've always had this theory: You're only as strong as your opponents.  In this case, Assange is a fucking giant.


Rock the Qatar

In the news this week there were a few constant themes that played out: the economy is recovering at a snail's pace, WikiLeaks is still crapping in a lot of people's Corn Flakes, and Qatar (not a skin disease) is hosting the 2022 World Cup.  The only thing that was surprising was the 2022 World Cup announcement.

Qatar, a Muslim nation with a love of soccer (the real football), is a bit of a surprise to anyone who follows these things.  The summers average around 104 degrees, and the country has promised to build open air, air conditioned stadiums.  Oh yeah, and they will be carbon neutral.  A feat that sounds impressive, but may be nothing more than a pipe dream. 

America, in its bid, promised to sell a record five million tickets.  Five million tickets.  To soccer.  In America.


Of course, fans of the Beautiful Game were immediately lamenting the fact that women wouldn't be allowed in the stadiums, and that they wouldn't be able to quaff an overpriced beer.  Neither of those things are serious worries, but extremists have come out of the woodwork stating that Qatar would be replaced with a caliphate and that players would be kidnapped.

Yeah, that could be an issue.

The countries that were bidding for the 2022 World Cup were Australia, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Mexico, Indonesia and Qatar.  If you hear that little song in your head that includes the line "one of these things is not like the others," you are not alone. (Mexico and Indonesia had to cancel their bids.)

Initially, when hearing that Qatar won the bid, I thought, FIFA has gone batshit motherfucking insane.  South Africa makes more sense in hindsight.  Qatar has a population just under two million people.  That's three million less than what the US promised to sell in tickets.  What was FIFA thinking?

Quite simply, beyond the business aspect of it (Qatar has the oil), FIFA wanted the Middle East to host a World Cup.  It's the first Arab nation to do so.  It's not a horrible idea, and it's not an idea without merit, but realistically speaking, how many fans are going to be motivated to travel to a country where extremists are threatening action?  They'll sell tickets, of course, but not as many as the other countries would have ... including South Korea.

2022 is a long way off.  A lot can change in that time.  Qatar could get those stadiums up and functioning, and in twelve years we may be wondering why we were surprised by this move in the first place.  One thing that won't change in that time, though, is the number of fans of the game in America.  FIFA had hopes that America would be a soccer powerhouse and bring new fans to the table.  By naming Qatar as the 2022 host, FIFA has nearly guaranteed that won't happen.


Pigs in Zen

Black Friday.  Buy Nothing Day.  Two opposite ends of the spectrum.  Both are addressing the same thing: Americans and their unending consumption. 

If you watch the news around Thanksgiving you can be guaranteed of two things.  You will see a story about feeding the homeless and you will see one about shoppers camping out at stores to grab those "door buster" deals. 

Our people have a problem, and all medias keep it going.

I understand we live in a capitalist society and we need the green to keep feeding the machine.  I get that.  I also understand that for many, capitalism works.  I'm not adverse to making money and buying stuff ... even stuff I don't need.  I'm adverse to mindless, orgiastic spending and consumption.  Apparently, much of the rest of the world doesn't have any such problems. 

When 9/11 happened, Baby Bush told us to do our part to help America by continuing to shop.

The Super Bowl has more to do with how much is spent on ads and how many people watch them now than it does on what teams are playing.

Thanksgiving is less about giving thanks and more about developing shopping strategies. 

A Wal Mart employee was trampled to death in a throng of Black Friday shoppers.  The horde did not seem to care. 

People weren't just camping out at stores overnight.  A group of ten was outside a Best Buy, I believe, for over a week, taking shifts.  They were rewarded for their stupidity with new iPads.  When you see homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk, you yell, "Get a job!"  When you see some white women doing it, you give them iPads.

Buy Nothing Day was developed to make people think about their mindless spending, which is reinforced by Black Friday.  There is also a movement all about shopping at small businesses.  A frenzy is a frenzy, however, and it doesn't really matter where you do it.

I know people who love the insanity of Black Friday.  Oddly enough, and many are going to find this tasteless, but I will stick by it, their unrestrained glee is akin to a group of frat boys finding a girl passed out in the corner.  It is all about savagery and nothing of finesse comes out of it.  These Black Friday lunatics have all kinds of good intentions and military-like battle plans, but as soon as those doors open, the mouths froth and the eyes get glazed over with the notions of bargains.  They are pawing merchandise, pushing others out of the way ... all so that they can have their way with the goods.  After all, a sweater at half off is really fucking important.

I buy things.  I tend to only buy what I want and need.  I don't go into the spirit of celebration when it comes to consumerism.  I tend to agree with Fugazi that "merchandise keeps us in line."  The urge to consume goods is far greater in many Americans than the urge to do something truly important. 

And let's face it, if terrorists really wanted to strike fear, they wouldn't hit the Super Bowl, they'd hit a mall on Black Friday.  That would be all it takes to keep a majority of people thinking twice about their spending habits, though I'm sure the president would tell us to keep spending ... even if it endangered our lives. 

Buy Nothing Day (or the National Day of Mourning).  It's an idea well worth looking into.  Even if you can't follow it, at least think about it.  Unless, of course, you're too busy trampling people to death.


Keyword Fun!

Regular readers know the drill.  Once a month or so I find all the strange keywords that bring people to my blog.  It's always fun ... and often disturbing.  This month is no different.

First up is "giants fan."  Yes, the Giants won the World (really North America) Series, and yes I wrote about the team's fans.  Anyone coming here thinking I would write something positive, though, had a bit of a surprise.

"Beat Wear Speedfreak" has either returned or made its first appearance.  I don't know what it says about me that I can't remember if this came around before, but it can't bode well for what I write.

Disturbing best described the next search: "cm nail stripers."  I imagine this is some kind of weird hardware tool, but since most of the people that end up on my blog come here looking for porn, I can't help but wonder.

"coalinga dirt causes sickness" and "coffee symbolism" were next on the list.  I haven't the foggiest idea of what "coalinga dirt" is, but I do find it odd that when it comes to "coffee symbolism" they are closely related in the searches.

Another weird one is "creepy body."  Who the hell would enter that into a search engine?  Did they find what they were looking for?

Any of you familiar with Easy Rider magazine or the movie?  Both are about motorcycles and their riders.  Biker culture, man.  Can you dig?  Well, someone very interested in "easy rider mouth masturbator" came a knockin'.  (No pun intended.)  Frankly, I don't want to know what an easy rider mouth masturbater is.

The next search term is direct and to the point.  "Dripping cunt."  I wonder what post that led the searcher to?

"Extreme devil" seemed to be popular, too.  As if the devil isn't extreme enough, we need an even more devilish one.  Those kids and their Mountain Dew.

The next two searches go hand in hand.  "is ok to use the swastika in art?" and "how does the swastika affect people."  If you have to ask if it is okay to use it, you aren't an artist.  As to how it affects people, I think that's pretty well documented.  Just ask six million Jews.  Oh, wait.  You can't.  That answer your question? 

Following that there was "swastika bastardized." 

"japanese pierced tongue."  Need I say more?

Then there is the "philippine massacre autopsy."  Wouldn't that be "autopsies"?  Perhaps that is the "creepy body" guy.

"sexy naget image" appeared.  "Naget" is not a term I understand.  Last time I did this, it was mentioned, too, I believe.  Is "naget" some new sex thing I don't know about or care to know about, like docking or Betty White body rolls?  What the fuck is a "naget"?

Thinking I do public service announcements, someone came searching for "why we need blood donors."  If this keyword search fun stuff is any indicator, I don't want the blood from most people.  They're weird and creepy, which brings us to our last one.

This search phrase brought a chill to my spine for some reason.  It's not the worst thing I've read.  It's not related to sex or anything like that.  The image it conjurers up, however, left me inspired and creeped out.  It was "the dark prison massacre."

At least it had nothing to do with "nagets" or swastikas, but still ... weird.


Invasion of the Party Snatchers

Bush has a book out.  The Tea Party fouled up the election in some pretty horrendous ways.  Jobs are still a thing of the past for many people, and stores seem to think moving Black Friday up a few weeks will keep them from drowning.

If you were cynical, you'd almost have to think the country was going under faster than any one of those places in Africa only actors seem to have heard of.

If you were an optimist, you'd say this is the wake up call to Americans to stop voting against their interests.

If, however, you see yourself as a realist, you'd have to say that this is what you get when you have the world's most powerful country stocked with voters who don't care about facts, who stick to their religion when convenient, and where xenophobia isn't only considered healthy but now called a "lifestyle choice."  Put into more simple terms, the chickens have come home to roost.

Capitalism, religion and fear do not make an empire great.  In fact, they make it fail.  We are witnessing full-bore the product of our breeding, and it's a monster-child that makes many of us choke back our own bile.  Is there a chance to turn things around?  Of course there is.  This isn't nature.  This is man-made.  Will we have the fortitude to do it?  Based on how I've seen the a large segment of the population act in times like this, I doubt it.  A large-scale crisis like 9/11 probably wouldn't change anything, either.  It's going to take real pain, real sacrifice, and eyes that are wide open to reality to change this ship's course.

Most telling is that you have Obama in the White House.  He's an unwavering capitalist through and through (as every president in my lifetime has been).  However, he has been successfully painted ("successfully" because people believe it) as a socialist, a communist, a Muslim, a fascist and has had his citizenship challenged.  Normally those fringe groups are on the outside looking in.  This time they voted, and they were rewarded like the seals at the water show (or so they think).  What do you think is going to happen when someone rises to really unite these blinder-wearing mouth-breathers?

We'll see in 2012.  Maybe it really is the end.


Bum Rush the Show

Tonight, after my darling princess falls fast asleep, I will turn back to the manuscript. I've been working on it like a madman since Friday in an attempt to push it past where I was when I lost it.  I keep coming up on new tangents, however, and that is slowing things down.  So is the fact that I am often exhausted by the time I get to work on it.  (I was actually going to be working on it now instead of doing this post, but what I want to write will take more time than I am alloted this morning.)  I had joked with Kiddo about going to a writer's retreat.  I wouldn't do it it because I have too many other things going on and it sounds pretentious, but I can understand its appeal.

The scene I'm working on tonight is one that existed in the version that became corrupted.  It's a good scene involving people watching that becomes downright uncomfortable for the narrator.  It does a lot to establish two of the main characters, too.  It is not graphic scene (other than in language or ideas), at least not the way it originally panned out (who knows about now), but it is squirm-inducing nonetheless.  I had fun writing it the first time.  I don't know what it will be like this time around.  The first draft of it had some great lines that I won't reproduce here because they fit the flow just right.  Now the entire flow has been changed by having to restart the damn thing, so the lines would sound forced.  How it will turn out now is anyone's guess, but if this scene doesn't work, nothing beyond it will work, either, and I may as well scrap the damn thing and start the manuscript on entertainment I've been mulling over for some time.

Enjoy the day.


New Jersey and Irony -- Perfect Together

You may have caught this on the news.  Recently, what is thought to be the world's largest pie fight (custard, of course) was staged in New Jersey.  I watched the report on CNN Headline News.  It was presented without a hint of irony.  Why was it ironic?

The pie fight was staged as a benefit to help out a Trenton-area soup kitchen.  In that sense it was beneficial.  $10,000 was raised.  I just wondered why nobody questioned the idea of wasting food in order to help raise money for a soup kitchen.  It just seems wrong.

Granted, the pie fight raised a lot of money, most likely more than any poorly organized car wash could (though when you got teen girls standing by the side of the street advertising a car wash you usually get customers).  It comes across, however, as a really strange decision.  Couldn't the soup kitchen use those pies?  I'm fairly sure poor people like pie, too.  Maybe I'm wrong. 

The pie fight consisted of 400 students and staff from Lawrenceville School.  I  wonder what kind of lessons they are teaching these kids there.  Bombing countries in a quest for peace?  Suspending civil liberties in order to ensure our freedoms?  People on Medicare voting for Tea Party candidates?  Fucking for virginity?  I even read a few articles on this, and not a single one mentioned the irony.  I'm sure one is out there, but I missed it, much like these kids missed the message, too.

Good job, kids.  I can't help but ponder what you learned.


My Gun, Your Mouth -- A Love Affair to Remember

I have already been invited to a Super Bowl party.  I rarely watch this thing even when it's one of the few teams I enjoy.  The guy who invited me seemed disappointed when I said I would probably pass.  Can't imagine how that came as a shock, but so be it.

Woke up this morning and it was pouring out.  Beautiful sound.  The sky seems to be clearing up, which is depressing in its own right, but laying in bed and hearing the sound of rain hitting the roof and deck made me appreciate the fact that I don't live on a highway or out in some desert. 

I worked on the manuscript a lot last night.  Rebuilding it after the file corruption has not been fun.  In fact, it has been downright miserable, as I can't really remember if I had written some of these scenes before.  I now have six back up copies because the OCD has come out in full force.  After working on that I read Necronomicon 5: The Journal of Horror and Erotic Cinema.  I finished up the essay on John Carpenter and his influences and then started up on the zombie resurgence, which I'm not thrilled with.  Fascinating reading, however.  Great theories presented, and lots of new ways to look at some films.  Still don't appreciate the vomit pile of remakes, however.

Got a rather odd e-mail asking if I'd like to do some script clean-up on dialogue.  Very tempted to say "yes" to this one.  Again had to let him know if I did so I wouldn't be able to review it as it would be a conflict of interest.  He may or may not like that.  Either way, still flattered.   Dialogue says everything about the character.

Don't know if any of you saw the supposed missile launch off the CA coast (there are those who think it is the contrail of a plane seen at an odd angle, and others who disagree), but it comes on the tail of an event on 10/27/10 that got a bit of coverage.  The US lost control of 50 ICBMs.  Nuclear.  We've never lost control of that many before.  Apparently we weren't in any danger.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It's strange timing to say the least.  I also noticed that while the military was quick to say they don't know what launched off the coast, they also didn't rush out to investigate it (at least not that I saw).  Comforting.  The government hasn't said if any missiles went missing (I highly doubt the government would report this), but if you had your hands on a bunch of them would you do a test launch, or would you just hope for the best and fire one into the heart of Los Angeles?

George Bush is on the Today show.  He is pushing his book.  Decision Points.  He does talk about being drunk at a dinner party with his parents in it.  He does not appear drunk on the Today show.  I can't say for sure, though.  He does appear happy.  You've seen that Alfred E. Newman grin before.  He's got it in full force.  I think he wants to mount Ann Curry.  Well get in line, Bub.  Who doesn't?  I won't get to see what I believe will be an utterly fascinating and in-depth interview at the hands of NBC's competent morning hucksters, and I can't see wasting DVR space.  I would love to hear his tales of hitting on women when he's drunk, though.  

Happy day.


Exploitation or Fetishization?

If you see him coming through the door you are screwed.
I'm sure you've seen it or at least know of it.  To Catch a Predator, part of the Dateline family with Chris Hansen as your host into a world of pedophiles and poor excuses.  On the surface it seems harmless enough.  Who can argue with pedophiles getting busted?  Once you start to think about it, however, things get ... sticky.

For those who don't know, the series of shows is based on a simple idea: people use the Internet to set up sexual meetings with children.  Hansen, with the help of local police and Perverted-Justice (a group that has decoys posing as children in chat rooms who engage in sexual chats with adults and set up meetings) uses the standard uncover tactics in order to catch (mostly) males who come to a house to have sex with a "child."  The pedophiles offer crazy excuses as to why they came to have sex with the "child," and then they are arrested.  You can click here to see an example.

Pedophile arrested and taken off the streets.  A decoy who is left safe.  Hansen gets ratings.  Everyone wins, right?

Not really.

A catch for any age group?  Nope.
While few would argue that arresting pedophiles is a bad thing, if you watch these specials you quickly realize that they are just as sleazy and exploitive as the clueless pedophiles they vow to bring to justice.

Each special is like a laundry list of perversions, complete with pixelated photographs of (often) male genitalia.  Transcripts of Internet chats between an adult male (usually) and a thirteen-year-old (or so) girl are read aloud with voice actors (the girl is usually portrayed as giggley) with the words typed out on screen.  When the chat is too graphic, words are censored, but you still get the gist of it all.  When the pedophiles are confronted by Hansen, he goes through the transcripts again.  A typical conversation may go something like, "You said you want to perform oral sex on her, and would like her to blank your blank.  And you thought she was thirteen."  Throughout the entire show, the fact that the girl is underage is constantly juxtaposed with this highly sexual discussion.  I imagine the sexual talk is described in such detail and the photos shown in order to demonstrate how sleazy these men are, but it comes across as nothing less than another exploitation of "children."

Yes, I'm wearing a thong.  No, I'm not 13.
What kind of underwear are you wearing?  I want to fondle your breasts.  Model your thong for me?  What is your bra size?  This came from one conversation.  None of it was necessary to let audiences know that the man is a pervert.  He's coming to meet a girl he believes to be thirteen for sex.  How much more evidence do you need?  Hansen and company are appealing to the closet pedophile they believe resides in us all.  It reminds one of all the lurid coverage that came with the JonBenet Ramsey case.  (Remember the bruises and the unknown DNA in her panties?)

A pixelated mess shows an active webcam shot.  You can't see anything.  Hansen lets viewers know they are looking at a live webcam shot of the pedophile masturbating that he transmitted to a girl he believed was 11.

A pedophile is identified by his screenname "Rick's Talented Tongue."  Hansen reads transcripts from his chat.  "Can I tease and please your blank with my tongue?"  His penis picture (pixelated to protect viewers) is shown again.

If you were a pedophile without an Internet connection, Hansen's undercover projects would provide you with plenty of material to masturbate to.

It's been argued that Perverted-Justice and To Catch a Predator are really nothing more than harassment and entrapment.  I'm not going into any arguments on that here as to do that raises debate about everything from our justice system to age of consent laws.  What I hoped to show with this was that these specials are not without their own pedophilia taint.  They go above and beyond what they have to show and describe in order to titillate and appeal to deviant sexual interests in children.  It's yet another example of the media saying, "Look how bad this is as we use the exact same mindset to sell our show."  I have no compassion for pedophiles, but I also have no compassion for "reporters" who pretend to be above that while sexualizing all this behavior in order to secure ratings.

Only a decoy would agree to admit to meet a guy with the name "Ice Truck Killer."
I'm sure Hansen and NBC's intentions are good, but I'm also sure the use of the imagery and the reading of transcripts is done in order to keep people watching.

Before the Internet, the United States government was perhaps the biggest distributor of child pornography in an attempt to capture pedophiles.  Project Looking Glass (you can look it up if so inclined) was just one example of the government (such as the U.S. postal service) sending out child pornography in order to arrest pedophiles.  Very few people spoke out against this because 1)hardly anyone knew of it, and 2)who would speak out against catching pedophiles?  The government doesn't have to do such things anymore, as the Internet, which is easily monitored, does all its work for it.  About twice a year you'll hear of a major sex ring being broken up, a ring that distributes some sort of child pornography to various pedophiles and the like.  Hansen's show is a throwback to the era of Project Looking Glass, only this exploitive peep show/sting operation is presented as entertainment for the world to see.  (And like Project Looking Glass, suicide is an outcome of the investigation.)

When hounded by Hansen, the only way out is arrest or a bullet to the head.
From what I can gather, no new episodes of these specials have aired in about three years ... but channels like MSNBC run the old episodes (often several back to back) on a regular basis.  It's like a kiddie porn marathon.

Yes, Hansen has a point that these "sexual predators" are sick, but when you turn the very act you supposedly abhor into a fetish, you are just as guilty ... if not moreso.  Especially when you do it for ratings.


Woke Up With Sunshine in my Heart and Rainbows in my Eyes

Shower.  Hot.  Refreshing.  On the "massage" mode.  Turntable, which is slowly dying, spinning the Dwarves.  Turned up loud enough to hear over the machine gun fire of water.

Coffee.  Two cups.  Black.  Hot.  Refreshing. 

Bad dream I had slowly fading from my mind.  Tried to put it into perspective.  Succeeded.  Never did acid.  Very active imagination, though.

E-mails.  Didn't want to work on the manuscript, as I would stay home all day and write.  At a pivotal point.  Could this be why I'm having these terrible dreams?

Could also stay home and finish Necronomicon Book 5: The Journal of Horror and Erotic Cinema.  I would take it to work, but I fear the cover would offend someone.  I could turn it over, but whenever I bring a book people like to see what I'm reading.  I'm a large proponent of "if it offends thee, don't look," but I know other people go by the "curiosity killed the cat" method of life and then get pissed when they get exposed to some mental pathogen intent on destroying their worldview.  So the book stays at home.  Great stuff on xenophobia, the Hostel franchise and the role of "becoming" (especially amongst females) in horror cinema, tracing back to the forgotten Hammer gem Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde. Makes the heart weep.

Getting the portfolio polished.  Putting out some query letters. Hope springs eternal, or some such nonsense. 

Watched some Extras last night and was reminded why the American version of The Office is still just a pale imitation of what it sprang from.  Sure, it has come into its own, but it still isn't as satisfying or even successful as its British father.  What that show did in such a small span of time is nothing short of amazing.  It went out at the right moment, and if anyone thinks differently they would have a hard time proving it to me. 

Enjoy the day.


The New America (aka Same as it Ever Was)

The white guy from Mission Linen said it best.  He was glad the election turned out the way it did so "America could get back to its good values."  I, however, wasn't sure what values he was referring to.  The key word wasn't "good."  It was "back."

How far back did he want to go?  Back to the '90s?  The '80s?  The '60s?  1947?  Pre-WWII?  1841?  1840?  1776?  How far did he want to roll back the clock?  Where did America "lose" its way?  Typically, when people are saying things like the Mission Linen guy did, it is when America elected a black president.  Some have an even bigger grasp of history and can remember back "decades ago" when Clinton was in the White House, and will use that as the point to where America took a turn to the radical Left (though Clinton was many things, a Leftist is not one of them).

I, too, would love a return to some good ol' American values.  I want to go back to a time when corporations weren't treated as people.  When robber barons had yet to exist.  When stock brokers dove out their windows.  When colonists rebelled against attacks on civil liberties.  When rugged invidualism was more than just an empty value.  A time before the military-industrial complex.  A time when the idea of corporate welfare was laughed at instead of worshipped.  A time when the environment was free of smog.

I think that Mission Linen guy wants the same things as me.  I just don't get why he was so happy about how the election came out.  Oh, I get it now.  He thinks those guys elected into office are going to do that.  I think the joke's on him.


2010: The Republicans Strike Back

Watching the election returns on NBC gives me a much clearer picture of what makes up the Tea Party.  It is the equivalent of a mentally retarded twelve-year-old boy who is holding a handgun and the safety is off.  Someone, be it an innocent bystander or the child himself, is going to get hurt.

Jerry Brown looks like he's winning.  Proposition 19 (free pot for everyone) looks like it's failing.  Republicans look like they are taking power, which means all the country's problems will be fixed in a month or so ... about 20 days more than anyone gave Obama to fix the mess he inherited.  All you unemployed should be back to work pronto.

This election has been a mixed bag of insanity, depression and befuddlement.  Those wide-eyed, quivering lipped liberals who supported Obama en masse seemingly decided to catch the early show of Paranormal Activity 2 instead of voting.  Perhaps they felt so left down by what has been a decidedly lackluster program.  Perhaps they figured Arizona would never ban state affirmative action programs.  Whose got egg on their faces now?

Sarah Palin is sending Twitter messages to Obama.  Well, I'm sure they're directed at him, but whether or not he's reading them is beyond me.  Obviously, the Tea Party parrots aren't reading them because the Internet was developed with taxpayer money and they don't support things like that.  It reeks of socialism or communism or reverse racism or some such shit.

2012, besides being the absolute end of the world so says science, is going to be fascinating.  My prediction: Based on the absolute ignorance of those who have been elected tonight, coupled with the drooling Tea Party parrots, I can only say that the economy will not get better, rights will continue to erode, and religious fundamentalism (both Christian and Islamic) will rear its misshapen head in ways we never thought we'd see.  Why?  Because now people think they have a mandate and Obama never took advantage of the one he did actually have.

Then again, I'm a fuckin' anarchist. They can all rot.


Election Erections

Tomorrow is election day.  You may have heard about it.  You may have seen the ads on television, received robo calls, or been gifted with junk mail.  If you're in California, you may have noticed a peculiar face gracing many of these ads.

Meg Whitman.  Meggy, to her friends.  The former CEO of eBay.  Her official campaign slogan is "Money talks.  Bullshit walks."  She is running for governor of California.  If Arnold can do it ...

Meg's main and really only competition is Jerry Brown.  Brown, as many long-time Californians know, has had a love/hate affair with this state going back decades.  The Dead Kennedys lampooned him.  Bill Clinton took him to task.  He tasted the sweet, sweet juices of Linda Ronstadt.

When it comes down to the nitty gritty, California's choices come down to a guy who screwed a popular singer, or a woman who made her fortune on people selling broken Hummels.  If history is any indication, Brown may have this one in the bag.

California loves a character.  Be it the kindly uncle going senile Reagan.  The Terminator.  Moonbeam (voted into office twice).  The KKK supported Friend Richardson.  We've voted in our share of yawn inducing stiffs, too.  Most recently that would be Gray Davis, whose very name invokes notions of fog and the missionary position ... with no eye contact.

Meg is hard to warm up to that even women voters have a hard time supporting her.  (Do you even hear anything about Tea Parrots supporting her?) Perhaps its her tired, over-achiever look, or just the fact that she seems built like a linebacker.  Either way, women have been noticeably quiet on this race, which leads saner minds to believe that saner minds are going with Jerry.  Meg comes across to females as the female boss who will do anything to keep her power, while Jerry comes across as a harmless guy whose most heinous crime would be to shoot a sneaky glance at your breasts when he thinks you aren't looking.

In the end, the issues don't matter much to the majority of California's voters.  If they did, Meg would've never been ahead in the polls, as very little she said made any sense.  Nope, what matters to the people of the state I currently call "home" is how much comfort they get from their candidates.  As long as a candidate has enough money and doesn't come across as a modern-day Mr. Beckert, he or she should be fine.  (And I should note that by the end of Maudiences felt some sympathy for Mr. Beckert despite his pedophile/murderer status.) 

Meg is no child-killing pedophile ... at least not that I can tell.  She does, however, come across as little more than a bully in a business suit.  Californians may not take to that as well as they would to Brown, who is older than his opponent yet looks ten times more livelier.  You can picture Meg downing her pills nightly in a ritualistic fashion as she chases them with bourbon.  Brown is more of a tofu kind of guy, and as a state we love that.

The race has been tight, and probably will be tight until the last ballot is counted (however falsely).   The only given is that if Brown wins very little will change in California, and if Meg wins things will get worse.   Ideal?  Hell no.  Reality?  Very much so.    I'd rather have the staus quo in place than face a world where Meg has some sort of power over an economy which rivals that of many countries.

California is on the cusp of madness.  How it goes will depend on who is at the helm.  My prediction?  The man who, as described by the Dead Kennedys, has an aura that "smiles and never frowns."

SF is About to Explode

As the Giants stand poised to win the North American Series, baseball fans (a.k.a -- people with too much ADD to enjoy golf) are on the edge of their seats dressed in their Halloween colors and chanting things about "beards" and "freaks."  They aren't chanting about circuses or something homosexual, however.  This is the San Francisco Giants about to lay waste to the Texas Rangers.  And like most things, it is overshadowing the election, but ... it also serves as symbolic of what is going on in this country.

San Francisco.  Liberal.  Progressive. 

Texas.  Conservative.  Roll back.

If a game were to be decided by goodwill alone, the Giants would have it.  I lived near Philly when the Phillies went to the World Series many moons ago.  Philly has nothing on what is going on throughout Northern California.  You would think each individual Giants fan thinks he or she is solely responsible for the team getting as far as it did.  It's called pride, and if all these people were as hyped about the fucking election, it would send shivers of terror down the spines of politicians of all ilks.  Instead, the country can rest secure in the fact that most people take baseball far more seriously than something that can actually effect their lives.  Kind of like finding out you have some near-terminal disease, but instead focusing on what a great haircut you got.

The Texas Rangers only really have fans in Texas.  It makes sense.  After decades of telling the rest of the country not to mess with it, Texas isolated itself from the rest of the modern world.  It's symbolic Great Wall of Texas ensuring that it has fallen behind the rest of the country when it comes to things like civil rights, the death penalty, homosexuality and standards.  The average Texan is a beef-eater, wife beater and proud of it, Sir.  The average Californian loves sushi and isn't "skeeved out" by the site of men holding hands.

Frankly, I like my beef and sushi, but I'm not willing to go as far as Texans and declare ignorance my religion.

The Bush Boys showed up at the last game.  It was Halloween, and one couldn't tell if the Bushes were in costume or not.  I can only imagine that for them, watching their sacred Rangers sink deeper into defeat was a lot like watching Baby Bush's final years in the White House.  Father Bush, ever the ball-busting dick, turned to his son in the eighth inning and asked, "Seem familiar, son?"

Baby Bush could only answer with that Alfred E. Newman grin.  "What?  Me think?"

Enjoy the game, Baby.  Enjoy the game.

There is potentially one more game to go.  If SF wins, I imagine there will be a small percentage of men who ejaculate into their Lee's on the spot, and more than one woman will long for her husband to grow his hair.  Permasmiles will last only until they realize that winning really changed nothing.  It's not like it is a true World Series.  It's not like the SF city government will topple if the Giants fail to "bring it home."  In a month or less it will be like nothing happened.  At least until the distraction of the Super Bowl creeps in, with its promise of new advertising and Bud girls performing fellatio on condensation-dripping bottles.

I have nothing against baseball, really.  I'm not a Giants fan, and while I don't hate the team the way I do the Phillies, I do enjoy giving the SF team's fans a good ribbing now and then.  Quite frankly, the people I know who care about such things are proud of the team they love, and civilized about it.

It doesn't change the fact that an election is just a day away, and I can say I haven't heard but on Giants fan talk about it in any meaningful way.  Not to say they haven't -- I just haven't heard it.

Is that scary, or understandable since the Giants are about to enter the history books?  I guess it all depends on how you feel about baseball and life in general.  In the end, though, baseball is a game.  Nothing more or nothing less.  The financial fortunes won are not claimed by the fans (though the losses could be).  All those eager beavers get is a sense of pride and the right to say, "We did it."

You sure did.


It's Time for Keyword Fun! (a.k.a - Girl With Gun)

As regular readers know, I'm fascinated with the search terms that draw people to my blog.  About once a month I go in and see the craziness and then report it here.  As always, Regan Reese is still one of the big attractions.  That is not odd, however.  "California Naget Fucking Vidio 2010" is.

I don't know what the hell a California Naget Fucking Vidio 2010 is, or how it would even make my blog come up on a search, but a few people found it that way.  Perhaps it was one friend calling another.  "Hey, I Googled some shit today.  California Naget Fucking Vidio 2010 was what I was looking for, and I came to this weird blog thing.  Just enter that in and you'll get there.  No.  I don't know what the hell a Naget is."  If any of you readers have a clue, fill me in please.

Less surprising is the search for "photos of amazon cannibalists."  "Cannibalists" is an odd term, but since I write about cannibalism enough, it's no surprise that a search for that would bring people here.  If any of you are women looking into cannibalism -- I want your numbers.

"Girl With Gun" brought quite a few lookers, too.  I often use images of females packing heat, so I'm not shocked.  I find it sexy.  Who wouldn't?  Cowards, that's who.

After that came another puzzler.  "Insane asylum ideas."  Really?  Here's what I picture: Some unemployed, clueless guy is sitting at home trying desperately to come up with an idea to make rent.  He thinks, "You know what?  There aren't enough insane asylums around.  I think I'll open one.  Now, how do I go about doing that?"  Boom.  Welcome to the Zeitgeist, you budding entrepreneur.  If your insane asylum idea tanks, how about an orphanage?  We don't have many of those, either.

And finally we have "Japanese hookers."  People looking for hookers often end up at my blog.  My guess is they leave pretty disappointed.  I have no hookers here, let alone the prized Japanese ones.  Now that Craig's List can't advertise these services, I suppose more and more people will end up here looking for a $20 hummer.  I hate to disappoint, so if any hookers want to advertise, I'll run your ads for a small fee.  I'll run a special for the next month for all hookers of the Japanese persuasion.  Just contact me for rates.  (By now I know some of you are wondering if I'm joking or not.  Hell, I think I would run them.  I could use the extra income with the holidays coming, and if people are coming here looking for it ...)

Sticking with the theme of whores, my mail-in ballot should have reached its destination today.  I can't remember how many "No confidence" write-in votes I cast, but it was a rather large number.  As always, I voted on the local measures and state propositions.  Today I got a slew of calls from the Republican party (proud member for years just to fuck shit up) urging me to vote, vote, vote (or at least stomp a Move On groupie).  It's tiring, really.  At the post office today, though, I ran into the best example I think I could possibly find of a Meg Whitman supporter.

There was a big SUV parked in front of the post office.  The first thing I noticed was the woman with the three large boxes trying to close the SUV's doors.  Then I saw the Whitman sticker, gently placed on the vehicle's rear window, almost as if it were some agency parking permit.

The woman got into the post office before me.  As soon as I entered I could tell she was pissed.  "Why is this closed?"

I didn't think she was talking to me until she said it again, and I could tell it was said in my direction.  Keep in mind, I am not a postal employee, and nor did I look like one with my black cargo pants, black hooded sweatshirt (I don't call them hoodies because I'm not fucking twelve), sleeves rolled up and tattoos exposed and septum piercing down.

"Why is this closed?"

"It's after five," I answered, not that I needed to.

She let out a loud sigh.  I imagine she wanted me to know how upset she was.  I could tell.  The bitch aura was coming off her in nausea-inducing waves.  "Well what time is it?"

Time to kick you in the teeth.  "It's almost five thirty."

Another loud sigh.  I get it, Lady.  You've got three huge boxes that had to be there yesterday.  You knew about it for weeks, though, but you fell behind.  You had things to do.  Now that you got your shit together and lugged these things into the post office, you think someone should be there to serve you.  No matter that you waited for weeks or have a lousy sense of time.  You demand service.

I'm sure your husband is a happy guy.

"I need to send these out."
I did not respond, but I did slow down my recycling efforts.  I was disposing of sales fliers and all my Republican party endorsements that they spent good money sending to me.  This was getting good.

The woman looked around, almost as if she were searching for some secret door so that she could get into the back room.  "I think I hear people back there."  She was starting to calm down.

And then, cryptically, she said, "This is why people use e-mail."

I looked at her boxes and said, "Yeah, that's how I send all my packages."

Oh my God, she wanted to kill me.  Or at least that's what this Whitman supporter's stare said.  Instead of castrating me and then choking me to death with my dismembered member, she broke out her cell phone and contacted someone.  I didn't stick around.  I was already running late.  I'll admit that I was really tempted to go back in and say that I saw her Meg Whitman sticker and that I was a really big fan of Meg's father, Walt, but I was pretty sure she'd fucking explode.

So, Super Bitchy Meg Whitman Supporter, if you ended up here because you were lookin' for Japanese hookers or a California Naget Fucking Vidio 2010, I bid you welcome.  You're kind of famous now.  Just be thankful I didn't have a phone capable of video or I would've put your little tantrum all over Youtube.



A Sweet, Bloody Kiss

I completed my mail-in California ballot tonight, happily filling in little boxes next to names and propositions, doing my best to chart my state's uncertain future.

As per usual, the choices for candidates left me unexcited.  California has its typical status quo flunkies all proclaiming they aren't status quo, and the outsider fringe nut cases whose chances of winning are even less than the proverbial snowball's chance of surviving Hell.  And then there are the propositions.

Prop. 19 (decriminalization of pot) is the one that has the news media abuzz.  This is not some local CA hype, either.  The coverage is worldwide.  We are still fucking around in Iraq and Afghanistan, our state's budget is another smoke and mirrors magic show that stunned citizens last year, the country's economy is less-than-stellar, and all the news wants to report about is the Tea Party and people being able to get stoned legally in California. 

This proposition came up again at the post office when I ran into a woman I know kind of casually.  She's got this great devil woman tattoo on her back that was done in Las Vegas.  She wanted to know if I was happy it was finally on the ballot (I've been writing about the decriminalization of pot for years, and she's read my stuff).

"I'm happy about it," I said, "but kind of disappointed that this seems to be the only talking point."

"I'm sick of it already," she said.  "There's got to be something else to focus on."

And that hit it on the head.  There are plenty of other issues to focus on, but if you got people talking about Prop. 19 you can avoid discussion on these other unpleasant things.  (Besides having great tattoos and being intelligent, she also knows what Re/Search is, which gives her a huge plus in my book.)  Distract the public with pot, and they can think that's the most important issue facing their neighbors.  Forget the economy.  Forget the war.  Forget the fact that California (and the rest of the country) is up for not only redistricting, but how it is to be redistricted.  Forget all that.  Let's talk about legally being able to possess Trainwreck.

I told Devil Girl that I was happy it got on the ballot and had a good chance of passing, but was also disappointed that at the end of the day the more important stories were taking a back seat to Kush and company.  She agreed (told you she was smart), but said that this was at least a positive step in the right direction.

Agreed ... but I really wish the media would focus on some other stories like the voter intimidation that is threatening to disrupt polling places, or even the overcrowded prisons.  There are other issues out there.  Not all of us are too stoned to notice.

Newcastle by Way of Baimbridge -- Random Stuff

The past two days have been a flurry of friends who were never very political in the past asking me to vote either yes or no on Proposition 19, which would decriminalize pot in California.  I think I've written on this enough here and in other places that most people would know my general stance on it.  I haven't read all the details yet, but as of now my opinion hasn't changed.  I think Bill Maher hit it on the head that this is the wedge issue Democrats can use.  Strange how it's this that gets people to the polls and not something more important like war or other economic issues.

On that note, more people have talked to me about the legalization of pot than they have over the governor's race, which is something I also find strange.  It seems inevitable to me that pot will eventually become legalized.  If not this election, soon.  It just makes common sense.  Sort of like gay marriage.  The governor's race is less inevitable, and probably far more important.  Neither candidate is ideal, but this is one time you can plainly see the value in voting for one of the lesser of two evils (other candidates don't stand a chance in this race).  Normally I'm against doing such a thing, but here it is so apparent what the outcome of each candidate's policy could be that it seems like this would galvanize people moreso than weed legislation.  Maybe the governor's race is too boring or something.  Perhaps they can discuss it on the unemployment lines.

With such a huge push to stop illegal immigration, I'd love to see the Native Americans get involved in it.  Only, instead of using the slightly scary faces of leering Mexican males, they use white Wall Street types.  That would amuse me to no end.

I think the Tea Party has a good idea in tapping into people's ill-conceived fears and then making them turn against their own self-interests.  At some point a few breakaways will open their eyes.  I just hope it's not too late, but knowing history, it probably will be.  By the way, has anyone seen that witch's birth certificate?