Tuesday, October 28, 2008

something worth getting angry about


this is the kind of news story that just shouldn't be there. i shouldn't be able to go to my hometown newspaper and see the headline "man charged with 10th drunken driving offense." there are so many reasons why this should just not be possible. for organization's sake, i'll list a few, because i know you're so very interested (even though you, the 'readers' don't exist in the case of this blog):

1. probability factor #1 -- you know why we never hear of someone's 10th d.u.i.? -- it certainly isn't because we have reasonably tough laws to keep these people off the road - it's because they usually kill themselves and/or a few others on their 1st, 2nd or 3rd. the fact that this guy has somehow not killed anyone is astounding, and defies all odds. if i didn't want to cut off his testacles and feed them to a raccoon, i'd go meet him and ask him to buy me a lottery ticket.

2. probability factor #2 -- the fact that he's been ARRESTED 10 times is completely ridiculous as well. i imagine this guy has probably been drunk about 90% of the time he's driven a car in the last 20 years. i don't think that's an outrageous conjecture. and i would expect that one would get caught while driving visibly impaired (to other drivers, pedestrians, the odd cop car he happens to drive by) maybe one out of every 4 or 5 times. and that's when it's REALLY blatant. like pissed his pants, threw up on the dash, bumper bowling with the sidewalks drunk.

3. there was a woman in the car with him. they switched seats when he got pulled over, so she obviously knew this guy had prior convictions/a history. just the fact that TWO HUMAN BRAINS couldn't catch this decision in the "why the fuck would i ever let this guy/myself drive" filter is a testament to how insanely wide the range of function there is in our species. i only hope that these two represent the far extreme, opposite the guy who invented the remote control.

4. the only humans lower on the scale of reason and responsibility are ... whoever has been in charge of our drug and alcohol policy for the last 75 years, and the rest of us that tolerate it. i mean, i'm all about america being a great place and all, but i think the system is in need of more than just a slight tweaking when you can get 5-10 in a federal prison for growing a pot plant in your basement, and this scum of the earth (AND HIS FUCKING CHAPERONE) is out there trying to keep his van on one of the three blurry roads in his line of vision. as i've ranted before, i think there are a lot of causes that aren't worth the effort, but the attitude that 'rights' are more important than public safety should be stomped out of any intelligent, compassionate society long before ol' Numbnuts has a chance to get behind the wheel again. here i go...

but things don't change. i've had personal experience with friends who have either lost their own life, or taken others' by drinking and driving, and my disappointment isn't so much with their behavior, although i certainly think such acts should come with severe punishment (one paid for his mistake with his own life, the other will continue to pay for the rest of his with guilt and a constant need for strict self-control). my beef is with their (and my) friends who act shocked and careful for a month or two, and then continue their weekly drive home from the bar after 5 or 6 mgd's and 4 shots of absolut. i know that most everyone has driven once or twice when they shouldn't have - usually when we're 17. but to continue doing so into your 20's and beyond, and after you've seen what can happen to good people who make that one bad choice - is like spitting on graves.

it's not a funny story anymore - "i was so smashed, i don't even know how i got home," - trying deal with something we know is flatly immoral and offensive by making it funny. i wonder if the same people think it's funny when they have to pay for the medical bills of 50-year smokers and motorcycle wheely-pullers who think helmets are 'gay.' we're so selfish that we can't bear to consider the potential consequences, so we leave our cares at home, in the sock drawer, or buried back in the closet in a box next to a picture of a dead friend, or up on the shelf with all the booze we could be drinking at home anyway, with living friends, with the music quiet enough to still have a conversation, and the price of watered-down beer at a reasonable retail level.

now, i've been to bars, i understand the appeal. but i've also lived next to one. i understand the fights, the broken glass that pops my tires, and the wasteoids stumbling out the door in their cloak of shit cologne, to their black car, revving the engine and speeding off toward the 'bystanders' and the 'families of three' and the 'telephone poles.' they ride off with their rights strapped to their chests, terrorizing the innocents like some jackass jihadist, fighting for nothings, blaring badass music to enhance the feeling of independence and power that comes from slamming coors all night and grabbing an ass or two.

so i realize this isn't most of the people i know, or would care to know. and yes, i'm a little more 'personally' pissed about this, because this particular 10-time asshole was pulled over on roads that lead to the cottage and my brother's house. but i've had a shitty month, and this gives me the opportunity to vent about something i take very seriously. i do a lot of crap that avoids rational behavior filters. i have very little right to preach to anyone about anything. but i think that the 'right' to scream at the top of my lungs about this - even AT people i consider pretty in-line with reasonable standards for citizenship and decency - is one i'd fight for. but i'll fight sober, or i'll take a damn cab to the battlefront.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

fluff and circumstrands in old duder's head

perhaps part of my blog readership problem is that i don't use gimmicks to get all of the nonyous involved, like polling everynobody's 'top 5 lumber companies north of the mason-dixon line' or 'best dead poet's contemporary society's critiques of said dead poet's least famous poem' (which i think says more about the universe we live in than even the top 2 lumber companies, but less than 'socially acceptable sideburn length's correlation to number of hard drug using congressmenandwomen'), but pardon me for having STANDARDS (common excuse for short-sightedness/egomania).

if i were to ask an either/or, it would be... (i'm going nowhere near t-rex vs. bluelips) ... okay. got one that i can comment back and forth about with myself: would you rather go see shakespeare of your choice performed by brits with 'sir's and 'lady's in front of their names on the playbill, or go see some beethoven string quartets performed brilliantly by dorks in highwater pants?

a. brits
b. dorks
c. wii tennis

that's my survey. here's the value of each as relayed to me by a yet unnamed congressman jonesin' for some blow:

a. brits
good shakespeare combines the musical aspect of spoken poetry with the great human element. alongside dostoevsky, shakespeare would partner the world's most worthy private psychology practice. kings, paupers, student-murderers, revolutionaries -- the two have the 'condition' covered. i suppose though, that the rate of rehabilitation of their patients may not be so respectable - lots of godless pricks, suicidal intellectuals, and born-again whores with imprisoned boyfriends - but they'd diagnose like there was no tomorrow.

b. dorks
the string quartet is, in the words of daniel p. christiansen, simply the finest ensemble that will ever be forced to sit in a semi-circle and read little black dots together, and cue each other with ridiculous heaving breaths and flips of wavy hair. okay, so those weren't his exact words, but you get the point. a well-executed late beethoven quartet is like learning a new language without all the memorization (no, this isn't an ad for rosetta stone) - you just can't speak it when it's over.

c. wii tennis
not much i've known is as satisfying as beating sarah and elisa, to quote a certain tv ad, "like a rented mule."

Monday, October 20, 2008

draft, octoberish

of the four we name the most, fall is the greatest season.
it settles down, oversized feathered winds
blowing fragile collections at our window as we drive down the hill.

we hang comfort on our shoulders,
stand amidst the swirling with hands in lined pockets
like some great solitude of hidden worth, always looking alone,
always feeling love and failure and memory.

fall points outside of itself in memory,
to strangers lost and loves diminished,
to friends dead and dying, to acquaintances' gentle colors.

it points to early spring snow at a funeral,
to chantal's taking off and david's coming down,
to quiet flakes on the dark windshield that night,
and to having shared it with one who has diminished.

of the four, fall is the warmest.
overestimating cold morning's hold on midafternoon,
overcoats in summerish sun, sweatish brow,
hot hair and carseats that woke up with a chill.

there isn't any other right now
than my corduroy, than my sinuses
than the dewed lawn as a sea for shortwalks,
wetting toes like a static rain that becomes our bodies.

Monday, October 13, 2008

and dan wins the prize

not sure what the prize is man, but it's coming.

to my question about the reasoning behind not meeting with world 'leaders' who suck a big fat one, hayes gave (in my mind) the best possible answer - because it was short and full of sense.

"talking with crooks= bad because it makes them seem more legit than they are.

talking with crooks= good because it exposes their foolish ideas for the whole world to condemn."

if 'one true sentence' really is the goal, there's two of them.

on 'part of why i'm so bitter'

i've often thought i'm becoming more moderate in recent years, but the fact is, i'm just identifying with no one at all who has picked a party anymore. it doesn't even have to do with issues most of the time. i used to spend time listening to conservative talkshow hosts speak reason about fiscal policy, and watch the liberal media fall over itself trying to get some 'jfk2' elected - none of which have ever approximated jfk's ability to fuck sex symbols in the Lincoln bedroom. i still have some of that vantage point, but it no longer amuses me. and the added exhaustion of really tiring whining from some of the same talkshow hosts, and a completely assbackwards social agenda, and i have lost all real interest and respect.

of the few friends i have who care/get involved in politics, i see 9.8/10 (congrats hayes, you're two-tenths of a person) of them controlled by their own 'ideas,' and they get pitifully invested in things that aren't worth quite so much effort or care. there are issues that demand passion and dedication until the goal is met (way to go connecticut), but these leaders and potential leaders aren't worth fighting for. all the democrats' progressive rhetoric aside, neither of the two parties we get to choose between affirms that sexual preference is something to be egalitarian about, and the republicans have tasted the power of the mob who votes for creationism - don't expect a return to a separation of church and state anytime soon. i too, am looking forward to maher's movie. and i used to be someone who defended at least the idea of religion from the dangers of a godless secularism (see Revolution, Russian).

but god is dead, and Nietzsche didn't kill him, the born-agains did. so i'm living with that new reality.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

some sort of open letter to a diety. to be read with mitch hedberg's voice in mind, maybe. (for recreational purposes only, do not try at home)

and so i think really we either conquer the shit out of things, or we make tea and enjoy puppies. and it might seem best to conquer the shit out of other people's tea and puppies and then bring them back to enjoy your own tea and your own puppies when you got home, and you could put your feet up and have some bourbon and really enjoy how soft that particular new puppy is and how nice and warm and tasty that earl grey is, but then maybe not.

what are tea and puppies really, when you've spent the whole day conquering the shit out of things? (i mean, you really fucked shit up – you’ve got like 4 times as much land as yesterday!) i think, like, kind of like an old woman’s, unproductive waste of time really.

and what is conquering the shit out of things when you've spent the day making great fucking tea and getting to know your groovy puppies? (that one with the one ear that does that thing when he barks -- he's a fucking riot man, he really cares about you man!) i think the conquering seems like, kind of like a pointless rage of egoism and insensitivity, and a disgrace to other living things really there, guy.

so i think it's pretty hilarious that humans have been handed the potential for both conquering the shit out of things, and of caring deeply about the lives of puppies, and about the wonders of tea -- at the same goddamned time! we get all these cool tools like thumbs and brains and teeth and computers and lawyers to conquer the shit out of things, and all these subtle mysterious inclinations like love and compassion and ethical concerns, and the jesus guy, and the buddha guy, and other guys, and they come from the same building blocks, from the same pieces, from the same bucket of mixed up legos. some crazy shit to think about, man.

i don’t think there’s a dude there with a whitebeard, and a good aim with a lightning bolt, and a whole lotta veteran leadership, but i guess there are the the catholics and the hamas and the jews and the witnesses and the people who think the spaceship is comin(they've obviously decided, and when someone has decided, they are correct unless the rest of us conquer them so badly that history forgets them, and i'm quite enjoying my tea for now, thank you very much), but if he does exist, he surely is a funny, funny dude who quite obviously doesn't give a shit about puppies, or things, or tea. he’s got some wicked good shit to smoke – better than we've yet found, to enhance his enjoyment of all the observations he's probably lost interest in anyhow, so maybe he’s just listening to kid a, all starin’ off into space there, all ‘man, those horns are crazy,’ or busted stuff and he’s all like ‘tim is really good,’ and i’m like ‘man, tim isn’t on this album’ and shit. could be.

man, but you know, maybe not, and instead he’s got some wicked good tea and some pretty jivin’ puppies that do amazing tricks to keep his interest after conquering the universe and playing stupid tricks on all the jesuits and communists and spoiledrichsaudibastards and gandhi and brothers and sisters and acidheads and puppies that run around trying to be his friend.
man. god.

you're one craaaaaazy motherfucker man.

pretty good job though, so far man, i’d give you like a B-

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

t-rex and bluelips

dude is an extinct predator, but his teeth are never bloody.

dude is always really cold, but i never see his teeth chattering.



Saturday, October 4, 2008

a sort of moment

so i guess i just had one. listening to an old frat house recording of dave matthews playing #40. i wondered if i'd ever been present for such a moment. not with a mic handy, tape running, but at least a beer handy, memory running.

i asked the question of the room, directed indirectly at em and gem, em mashing tuna for a bagel tuna melt, gem waiting patiently for mistakes to hit the floor. i had a moment there, realizing my own thoughts about the universe, about art's slow estimation of where we ought to be.

i'm a singular being with moments that have importance to me. we spent a good part of the night tonight planning wedding things, conjecturing of the reliability of relatives, the travelbility of friends in far off states.

the tuna mashing and the patience is my love, and my love is subtly sending out its genius to my quiet listenhood. i'm here for this. i've got no tape running, but i'm here, and it's as good as it gets.

you think itzhak perlman would play our wedding?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

can someone (out of the none of you) clarify something for me?

i'm trying not to listen, watch or involve my cares or brain in politics at all, but i'm curious if there's someone out of the none of you out there reading can clarify something for me: what is the harm in sitting down with some asshole iranian punk bitchass slop of pissed on yellow paper that came from a building made of some bricks and some mortar.... i forgot what i was talking about.... oh - and having a cup of coffee for an hour, telling him he's wrong, and he better get out of the 12th century, thanking him for the coffee, and flying back home?

it's supposedly naive to even suggest this - and i understand it would be pointless -- he's going to stay in the 12th century - but what exactly does it hurt? is it a pissing contest? i've never even heard of that pissing contest. usually pissing contests involve proving your strength by embracing confrontation - which diplomacy with a nutbag would be - not by giving the silent treatment.

i understand one theory - which seemed to work with arafat - that in the arab world, if you are irrelevant, you are essentially dead. and by not meeting with a country's leader, you are saying something about his real position -- but we can't barricade Ach!mydinner'shot!'s house, give him 'the hand,' and let him have a little timeout (like Israel/we did with arafat). Achmadidashot isn't just going to go away. he's a piss-ant, but he's not on the same level as arafat. arafat was a crook and a liar and a profiteer and a politician. Achtungbabyjad is a hateful, braindead, completely fucking off-his-rocker leader of a country full of people drinking the kool-aid he's handed out. we need to play the game. the biggest failure of the u.s. in reaction to islamofacismcrazyshit has been not to play the game - use the media and goodfaceness to fight some battles for us.

okay. please someone bring me some bourbon. i don't want to focus on this anymore. i want to listen to some piano jazz. i'll pull the lever when it's time to bomb some nuts if it gets to that point (i'm no pacifist, but i recognize incompetence when i see it - and we try to bomb anyone with a lever soon, it's all over folks - see post on 'the rules have changed'), but i really just want to drink myself stupid and turn the volume down on this campaign bullshit and turn the volume up on some bad plus. mmmmm.... whiskey and dave king on drums.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

amusing post, lively discussion, my inevitable, dull opinion


my load of bullshit:

"i have to admit, i didn’t take the time to read all the comments. i am at work, and i do have to pretend somewhat that i’m typing up something very important.

so if i’m repeating anything that’s been discussed, sorry.

i think the general analogy to genres as oil fields that can be sucked dry is really missing the point, or one of the bigger points of the value of music. certainly, some value in music is to intrigue us, a la progressive technique - but two elements of modern music make that totally unnecessary to make something good, or even great.

first: music has the power to move without being different than things we’ve heard before (at least generally different - not the same notes w/ the same rhythm) - the abstract emotional power of beethoven’s seventh may have had progressive clout when first performed, but it doesn’t to listeners nowadays - it’s just gutwrenchingly powerful. there are musical formulas that have been proven to ‘work’ in affecting people, and recycling them doesn’t make them any less valuable - it still takes great craft to pull it off, in most cases.

second: words. lyrics. i happen to be a fan of folk music, but i recognize that powerful or interesting lyrics are the only reason folk survives. dylan wasn’t musically interesting, but people still listened. it translates, although maybe not in such a focused fashion, to other more ‘rockish’ music. it’s part of why i feel like radiohead has plateaued (recently slowed down progressive sense + can’t understand a damn word he says = i get bored w/anything after kid a), and why i can listen to soul coughing records that groove and groove again in much the same way.

so progress-ivity doesn’t make something great, and a lack of it doesn’t limit greatness. that being said, i am someone who prescribes to the notion that art should be an ever-expanding field, and that’s made possible by experimenting with new sounds and combinations. since i also think that art is essentially our way of very slowly realizing the aesthetic value of everything (all-inclusive), i try not to snobify and throw out the ‘old’ music that doesn’t intrigue our curious ear. artistic movements are moods of a specific subset of culture that get projected onto larger groups by institutions of art.

popular ‘rock’ will die and be reborn every so often, but good music never goes away. it just gets harder to find. i suppose one has to drill deeper."