Friday, July 31, 2009
Prime Minister Sali Berisha said that Democrats, who control 74 of parliament's 140 seats, will pass the law.
It's a good idea, when everybody's screaming and pitching fits to go straight to the source.
So I read the police report filed by Sgt. Crowley of the Cambridge PD.
You too can read it here .
Mr. President, I have to disagree with you. Sgt. Crowley did not act stupidly. He knew exactly what he was doing.
His actions were not stupid, they were unconstitutional, overbearing and fascist.
According to Crowley's own report, he arrested Gates for simply mouthing off.
It breaks down to this. Once Crowley established that Gates was actually the homeowner, there was nothing for him to do but leave.
If a cop comes to my door, I have an obligation to cooperate only as much as I see fit, then it's fuck your sister and get out of my driveway, pig.
President Obama, your remarks, spot on as they were, landed you in hot water.
You had to say something to calm things down. I understand how politics works.
But you managed to stand your ground.
They demanded an apology and you refused to give it to them. You never said you were sorry.
For that, I love you.
For that, I respect you.
Mr. President, you managed to sit at a table and have a beer with that fucking pig. You have a stronger stomach than I do.
The tragedy is that if you aren't a personal friend of the President, you don't have a voice.
How many people are fist-fucked by cops every day that none of us ever hear about because they have no way of getting their stories heard? We need to start thinking about those people.
We've been talking a lot about racial profiling since this whole thing exploded, but that is only one of the dialogues we ought to be having.
The other is the larger issue of the way cops are behaving in general.
We are living in a country where the police are simply out of control. The arrest and incarceration rates are disproportionate to any other country that claims to be free.
You can't say that we don't live in a police state and keep a straight face.
Sgt. Crowley, banned from the BatCave and fuck your mother.
If you care, right now, I'm listening to
Thursday, July 30, 2009
When Sharon asked me why I had shot myself in the face, I knew just what I wanted to tell her, but of course, I couldn’t talk.
I could not have possibly said anything without lips or teeth and only a stub of a tongue left, but she stood there nonetheless, looking at me stupidly, waiting for an answer.
So I grunted. She ran out of the cage, still looking horrified, and for a second, I thought that she was just going to leave me there to bleed to death all by myself. Maybe the sight of me was too much; she was always squeamish.
I had not seen myself yet, but to be fair, I must have looked a fright. But she came back a few seconds later with a notepad and a pen.
She shoved them into my hands and I glared back at her with what probably would have been a look of disbelief if I had a face to wear it on.
“Uh,” I said successfully since ‘uh’ comes right from the throat and doesn’t need a mouth to shape it. I took the cap off the pen and scribbled, “911” on the notepad. Duh.
“Oh, right,” said Sharon. “Sorry.”
And she ran out for the phone. As much as I disliked the idea of calling those bastards, those paramedics and asking for their help, there was really not much choice. I was still bleeding and I was not a doctor, but I did know that a person can not bleed for too long without, you know, dying.
Aside from that, shooting one’s face off really is as painful as you would think. And say what you will about those black-hearted sons of bitches, they carry morphine in those little packs of theirs.
Me? I thought the best thing to do would be to slump over and black out.
I do not remember meeting Sharon, so she must always have been there.
I lost my virginity to her when I was fourteen and she was twenty and we had been a certain kind of buddies ever since.
I had heard people say that sex was a letdown when it finally happened, and I remember bracing myself for a disappointment, but I should not have bothered. It lived up to the hype. That's one of those moments that are just frozen for me.
It took me a few seconds before I realized that it was not my whole body being engulfed. It felt like I was in her entirely.
It was suffocating.
What I remember most sharply was her smell. Her hair was long and crimped and it covered my face as she draped over me. She used that shampoo that smells like fruit, strawberries specifically.
The next morning, I went right out and bought a slew of Strawberry Shortcake dolls. To this day, I still can not masturbate without them.
And, all the fourteen years since, I do not think the two of us have gone more than three or four days without hooking up, even during her short marriage.
Hell, I even flew to Atlantic City for her honeymoon and managed to get her to slip away from her new husband for a couple of hours. It was not hard; she just left him there at the Blackjack table while we went up to their room.
If that story is not something to be proud of, then I give up.
But her marriage only lasted for seven months. It did not fall apart or anything. Her husband never found us out. Nothing that dramatic.
He just died very unexpectedly.
I am pretty sure that deep down, she knows that I killed him.
I came to just long enough to see one of those shits in his white uniform kneeling over me. That was not a pleasant sight, but on the plus side, I noticed that it did not hurt anymore.
He must have given me some morphine first thing.
Either that, or I was slipping away. I had heard that you lose feeling right before you die.
I could not have told you where I had picked that little tidbit of information up, but I started to panic. I had to do something to see whether or not I was still alive.
I managed to lift my fist and punch him square in the jaw. I was disappointed at how weak it felt when I connected, but it still felt pretty good.
He laughed if you can believe it.
"This guy's a fighter," the medic announced. “He'll be okay; he's got spunk."
And people wonder why I hate these guys.
Heroes my dick.
I am not sure why I can’t remember his name. It really does not matter, but it worries me, the thought that maybe my memory is slipping.
It started with a B, but it was not common. No simple Bob or Bill could have ever snared my Sharon.
And it definitely wasn’t Bubba. I would remember that. He was handsome, I guess. But none too bright.
The news came as a shock. I didn’t want to marry her myself, but I was not to keen on the idea of sharing her, either. There was no 'I met this guy,' no 'I went out with this hottie last night,' no 'I let this guy get to third on our first date.'
No, she did not tell me until the last minute.
We had just finished and I was getting dressed and she just blurted out, "I'm getting married the day after tomorrow. I thought you should know."
And that was it. I was not even invited to the wedding. I actually think that she may have had it in her head to stop seeing me altogether. I walked out without a word.
Sharon rode with me in the ambulance. She looked like she just might start crying.
I have always hated that. Maybe it was just me, but it seemed like a remarkably long ride to the hospital. I was drifting in and out, so it was hard to tell, and besides, I had forgotten to wind my watch.
To be honest, I could not even remember if I was wearing it. Even if I was, I could not have looked at it.
The paramedic was in the way.
Those guys ruin everything. But my apartment is less than two miles from the county hospital. We should have been there by now.
It looked like they were taking me to the hospital in the good part of town.
Christ, maybe I was in trouble.
When I built it three years ago, I had no idea it would come in so useful. I was in my black helicopter phase and I was pretty sure we had been lied to when they said that the cold war was over.
Seriously, they just got up there one day and announced that our enemies were not our enemies anymore.
It was so sudden and it felt like bullshit. I could not have even told you what my theory was, but it was frightening.
I think it may have had something to do with globalization or zombies or both. And fire. I have always been afraid of fire.
At any rate, I was pretty sure something bad was going to happen. The sense of danger I had was urgent, nonetheless.
I knew that I had to build a cage.
The longer the ambulance ride lasted, the surer I was that I was done for. Which should not have been surprising, I mean, how many people survive a pointblank gunshot wound to the head?
Actually, more than you would think, according to the sixty year old Mexican nurse who looked after me and bathed me every day in the weeks following what they called my 'incident.'
At least I still had my eyes, she would tell me. She told me stories of people who lived long, rich and full lives without any faces at all.
It did not cheer me up much, but bless her heart for trying.
All the way to the hospital, Sharon kept begging me to keep fighting and pull through. She told me that she loved me.
Come on. I may be dense, but I am not gullible.
I don't think she has ever really forgiven me for showing up at her poor, handsome dead husband's funeral. I really should have left her alone with her grief, but I wanted to see it for myself.
When I saw her crying, it pissed me off.
The funeral was beautiful, though. I could only hope that when my time came, people would go to so much trouble. All the flowers were white and blue and all the people wore black and cried.
He was even more handsome than ever. Whoever had reconstructed his face, they were very good. He was laid out in a spiffy tux and the whole thing was so fancy that when I first saw him, I thought maybe I had killed James Bond by mistake.
But no, it was just Sharon's poor, stupid, handsome, dead husband. The look on her face when she saw me was unmistakable and furious.
I figured I was in for an earful next time I saw her. But she never confronted me.
She did not even bring it up that night when I was balling her.
The bullet came out through the top of my head, right at my hairline. It missed my brain completely.
I had been using it as a storage closet for years, ever since the end of my short-lived conspiracy theory phase. The things I thought I might need in case of nuclear emergency, did not take up much room.
A couple boxes of non-perishable food and a manual can opener. Two flashlights and plenty of batteries.
A Bible and a stack of porn to keep my mind occupied. Several bottles of whiskey and a couple cases of beer. Two cartons of cigarettes, a clay ashtray that my niece had made me and a plastic disposable lighter.
A bucket with a seat welded to the top for a relatively comfortable makeshift toilet. A bottle of valium in case I decided to just end it.
And a pistol. I'd read somewhere that, in a nuclear blast, the people who aren't killed turn into freaks. So I got a gun in case a gang of mutant zombies decided to come around looking to put their syphilitic hands on my supplies.
When I got over my paranoia, one of the first things I did was clear out the cage so I could store boxes full of things that I didn't want but was too lazy to throw away.
I ate the food, drank the booze and smoked the smokes.
I threw out the Bible and kept the porn.
The gun stayed where it was, in a small box with the bullets on the highest shelf.
It never occurred to me to get rid of it any more than it had occurred to me to use it. I forgot all about it.
Sharon comes by every day, careful not to be there the same time as the chaplain.
She hates God now. Could you fucking blame her? She ran into the chaplain once, my second day there. He told her to trust in Jesus because he had a plan for everything. She sat there with her lips drawn tight, listening, her face growing paler as she fumed until she finally gritted her teeth and growled at him to leave which he did without a fight.
I am grateful to her. She kisses me and I lie there, silently, wishing I could kiss her back.
She talks and talks and asks questions even though she knows I can not answer her.
Mostly she wants to know, why did I do it?
I love her and I hate her and honestly, even if I could talk, I do not think I would have the heart to tell her the truth.
The first time I talked to her poor, dead husband was that night, during their honeymoon, after Sharon and I had finished. I went downstairs into the casino and sat down next to him at the blackjack table.
I noticed right off how goddamn handsome he was. It was hard to miss. I have always been good-looking enough, but there was something else there. He had kindness in his face.
"Any luck?" I asked casually, putting my meager stack of chips on the table. He kept his eyes carefully on his cards and the dealer, but he managed to answer me out of the side of his mouth.
"I'm up six hundred," he said. He did not seem too excited, though.
“Wow,” I said. “You got some kind of system or are you just lucky?” I leaned in close, like I was going to tell him a secret, but I said, loud enough for the dealer to hear, “You count cards?”
The dealer chuckled. “I’m not smart enough to count cards,” said the stupid husband candidly.
“Well, what’s your system?” I asked.
“Hit sixteen and under. Stay seventeen and over,” he said. He still hadn’t looked at me. Not once.
“That’s not much of a system,” I pointed out. “I think it’s just how one plays twenty-one.”
“Well at any rate, I’m up six hundred,” he said. “Maybe it is luck, though. I’m not very smart.” He still had not looked at me.
It must be sad to have the guy boning your wife walk right up and introduce himself and still not be able to pick him out of a lineup. And this guy, this timid creature who had so little dignity that he was willing to tell a stranger twice in the space of thirty seconds that he was stupid, this was who my Sharon had picked over me.
He had to go.
The night when I made love, to Sharon for the first time, I wanted her to fall asleep with me even though I knew full well that it was not feasible.
Normally, it would have been a point of contention, my parents insisting on leaving me with a babysitter when I was fourteen years old, for God’s sake. But, as long as they kept hiring Sharon to watch over me, I never argued.
She had been my sitter since I was six and my first ever below-the-belt girl feelings were for her. I was eleven when I got my first erection. Sharon was putting me to bed. She was lying next to me, reading me a story and stroking my hair when suddenly, I felt one of her tits rub up against my arm and poing!!!
Right out of nowhere.
People talk about puberty like it’s a long process. First you get a little fuzz, then zits, then your voice cracks, etc.
But for me, it was instantaneous.
One second, I had a teeny dinky I would not have been able to do anything with even if the opportunity had introduced itself, and the next second, it was a throbbing hard-on, a living thing, desperate for some flesh to burrow.
She bent down to kiss me on the forehead, just like she always did before switching off the lights and I quickly moved, kissing her right on the mouth. And Jesus, her lips were soft.
It took a lot of effort and manipulation on my part. There were a few veiled threats and even a little begging. But three years later, she let me take her.
After we had finished, when she was lying there over me, her hair covering my face, I started to doze off. Then, she climbed off me. I felt something like grief when I slipped out of her.
“Where are you going?” I demanded.
“I have to finish my homework,” she said, stepping back into her panties. “And your parents will be home soon. Just go to sleep.”
“Sleep with me,” I said.
“I can’t,” she insisted. She was almost dressed by now, which was really starting to upset me.
“Then just lie here with me until I fall asleep,” I said.
She leaned down and kissed me, putting her tongue just between my lips before pulling away. “I can’t,” she repeated. “I’m afraid I’d fall asleep and then we’d be in trouble. Or at least I would be.”
Then she got up, turned off the light and left, closing my door behind her. I was so furious, I do not know how I managed to fall asleep, but eventually, I did. The next day, I got back at her.
I spilled the beans; I told my dad everything. He told me to stop telling lies and that I should be more respectful of my babysitter and that it was wrong to spread stories and so forth.
At first, I was a little hurt that he did not believe what I was telling him, but then I saw his face.
He was beaming with pride. Fourteen and already banging college students. What father wouldn't be proud?
Two days later, Sharon was back. As my dad and mom walked out the door, leaving me with my trusted babysitter, I swear he winked at me.
And it all happened again. Twice that time.
The strange thing is that Sharon’s stupid pretty husband and I became what you might call friends or at least as close to what a person like me comes to friends.
Our friendship wasn’t deep or meaningful; we never shared feelings or had long talks or any of the things that women do. But we got close enough for me to feel bad about not remembering his name.
We would get together every so often to drink and do the things that guys do, usually right after I’d been with Sharon. I tried to schedule our male bonding time to follow my trysts with her.
For some reason, that was when I felt the most affection for the poor guy, when I could still smell his wife on my fingers.
Whether this was pity or some need to relish in my conquest only a shrink could know for sure.
It has been eleven days now and so far, there is no end in sight. God knows when they are going to let me out of this place.
Sharon still comes by every day to give me a sponge bath and a handjob and to cry by my bed.
And the things she says, the things she says.
I think that maybe, finally, she is mine. I still have not decided whether or not it was worth it.
It was not planned out. I know what it sounds like, but it was not. It started innocently enough. I just needed some time alone with my thoughts. I called her on a Tuesday, and I told her to come over to my place on Friday and let herself in with the key I had given her, God knows how long ago.
Then, I restocked the cage and locked myself in. The first day or so was actually pleasant. I went through most of the whiskey and all of the porn.
I did not get much thinking done. But by Thursday morning, I wanted out pretty badly. I was trapped with nothing but my own thoughts and believe me, that is not a good thing.
Then, in the middle of the night, late Thursday or early Friday, whichever way you want to look at it, I remembered the gun. I took it out of its box and just looked at it for who knows how long. Hours. I knew was supposed to do something, but I did not know what.
For a while, I thought maybe I would kill Sharon, but I did not want that. There was no reason for it. I stared down the business end of that gun thinking hard, then not thinking at all and then it hit me.
I put the barrel under my chin. It didn’t take but a few seconds before I found that I had worked up the courage and then, there was nothing to do but pull the trigger. And that’s how I lost my face.
Last night I had a dream about a taco stand. I had to pee worse than I think I ever have in my life. I did not want a taco, but I went into a small taco stand so I could use their bathroom.
When I walked in, I saw the bathroom in the corner. It was a stall, out there in the open so you could see the feet of the person who was using it.
A Mexican with a thick moustache and a cowboy hat was peeing. He was tall, so you could see his head as it rolled back while he emptied himself. I knew I was in a fix. I could never make myself go if everybody in the taco stand could hear me.
I bought a burrito, walked out, chucked it into a dumpster and pissed in the alley. I have no idea what this dream means.
I remember that morning, when I told Sharon what I wanted from her, too clearly. I figured that if I gave her fair warning, my conscience would not bother me and I was right.
On the other hand, it is entirely possible that I would have been okay with it either way. I was never one for guilt.
“I want you to end it with him,” I told her.
We were lying in bed together, which was rare. I usually took off right afterward. I think I took her off guard when I turned toward her and started stroking her hair instead of just climbing out of bed and getting dressed. Like I said, it was unusual, but we needed to have a talk.
“I can’t stop seeing him,” she said. “He’s my husband.”
“I didn’t tell you to stop seeing him,” I said. “You can stay married to him for all I care.”
“Stop fucking him.”
“Why?” she asked, all doe-eyed and innocent, trying to pretend that she had no idea what I was getting at.
I figured I might as well get all cliché on her, so I just slid three fingers inside her and said, “Because I want this all for myself.” She looked at me like I was crazy.
“Do this for me,” I said.
“Sharon, I’m warning you.”
See? I gave her fair warning. I actually used the word ‘warning.’ What more do you want? She said she would have to think about it.
Three days later, I went fishing with Sharon’s poor stupid husband as guys will sometimes do. I was trying to think of a subtle way to broach the subject, like complaining about an imaginary girlfriend or maybe an ‘I was reading this article in Cosmo,’ introduction.
But then I decided that he wasn’t clever enough to warrant a round-about approach, so I just asked him. “Hey buddy, when was the last time you nailed your wife?”
“This morning,” he said with a goofy, kind of endearing smile.
I did not hesitate. There was no sense wasting any time. I kicked his legs out from under him and held his face under the water.
The poor stupid bastard did not resist. Hell, I did not even feel him wiggle.
He probably did not realize he was being killed until his lungs started to fill with water.
Or maybe he wanted to die. Stranger things have happened and believe me when I tell you that a good woman can do that to a fella.
I do not know how long exactly it takes for somebody’s lungs to fill with water. I could never hold my breath for more than a minute, so I figure that was about how long it took.
When I was holding him under, a peace came over me. I looked up at the shore, at the trees and I have never felt more at one with nature as I did at that moment.
Time just slowed to a crawl.
I could not tell you how long I knelt there with my hands pushing down on the back of his head, but it was the most beautiful few minutes of my life.
After three weeks of medical treatment and physical and psychological therapy, they let Sharon take me home.
She kept her day job, but she was able to drop down to part time because, as it turns out, when you lose your face, you are entitled to a social security check every month.
We have a good life together. She gives me lots of attention and lets me fuck her anytime I want. Mostly, though, she just sits with me and holds my hand while we watch TV.
Most importantly, with all the attention my poor invalid self needs, she does not have time for another man.
And all it cost me was my face.
I really never was that handsome to begin with.
Yep. She’s completely and irrevocably mine.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
That may or may not be the case with video games like Resident Evil 5 and Dead Space.
The great thing about Dead Space is that you have to aim at the monsters' limbs instead of the head or the body.
Second, if you've been playing video games all this time, Dead Space is forcing you to go against all the instincts you've developed over years of having to aim for the head and body.
I have also decided to start letting you know what I'm listening to as I'm writing this shit. I'm listening to Einsturzende Neubauten if you didn't put together from the record cover above this paragraph. So yeah. Take that.
Monday, July 27, 2009
It's a film about how Jackson, a kid with Tourette Syndrome clawed his way out of poverty and went to LSU to become one of the greatest NCAA players of all time.
He was then quickly drafted into the NBA where he continued to astonish both media and fans.
After converting to Islam and changing his name to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, he declined to stand for the national anthem before games.
He was not showy. This was not a loud protest.
He respected the fact that the flag did have meaning for most Americans and he wasn't going to try to fly in the face of that. He wasn't on a mission to make a statement.
He just hung back in the hallway between the locker room and the court.
He was so discreet that it took like a year and a half for somebody to notice.
And when they did, was there ever a hissy-fit.
He was suspended indefinitely and America threw a fit. He must hate America.
In a country where one of the ideals we hold dear is the notion that we can't be forced to compromise our religious beliefs, I found it disturbing that nobody stepped back and asked a vital question.
Is it possible that one's religion might forbid standing for an anthem or a pledge or a flag?
Could that be somewhere in the Qur'an?
Could it be a principle found in other religions?
What about Christianity? Should Christians stand for the national anthem? Should Christians pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America?
Is it possible that there are portions of the Bible that could easily be interpreted this way? That a servant of God pledges allegiance to no one but God?
When we get to the other side there are three guys we might be able to ask about that.
So, what happened to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf?
After four games, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon, two fellow Muslim NBA players, spoke with him and convinced him to compromise.
Abdul-Raul would stand before each game, cover his face and pray.
You would think that the hatchet would have been buried at that point.
Abdul-Rauf was traded to the Sacramento Kings where he was essentially benched.
He still kicked ass.
He led the league in points scored per minute, so when they let him on the court, he was still one of the best players in the country.
But when our indignation is wrapped up in the flag we can't see anything beyond that.
The flag blinds us so we don't even ask whether or not this young man's religious objection had any merit.
The flag blinds us to the point where we would rather bench one of the few players in the NBA who ranked up there with Jordan than let someone we dubbed "Un-American" have the ball.
McCarthyism never left. It just quieted down for a while.
The most tragic thing in all this is the lesson that America took from this.
That lesson is: Stand up for what you believe in only if I like what you say.
This is why heroes are so rare.
Courage and moral stands are punished and I don't take any pleasure in saying it, but that makes for a very shameful society.
"as mean and as sick and as cruel as anybody that I've ever had on this program"
Again, this was a guy who repeatedly stuck up for Falwell for God's sake. So Once again, Phuck you, Phelps Phamily. Phuck your church. Fuck your God. Because your God does not exist. And fuck you. And I'm pretty sure that the man himself feels the same way I do.
In case you haven't been paying attention, on May 31st, Roeder is accused of walking into the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, KS and shooting Dr. Tiller who was serving as an usher.
He is charged with first-degree murder.
Neither the prosecution or the defense are willing to say anything about the case and Roeder has so far refused to say what plea he plans to enter.
He has, however, been chatty about the crime itself.
Here are some of the things he has said over the course of several interviews with the Associated Press.
"Violence is not wrong in all situations, so if it takes that -- then if it is done righteously -- then, if it's done, it is OK."
"I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal."
When asked if Tiller's murder was justified, Roeder replied, "Well, yeah. The thing is, how could it not be?"
"War has been declared upon the unborn."
He indicated that he would be "very pleased" if others took action to stop abortion "by any means necessary."
But every time Roeder has gotten close, he has stopped just short of confessing.
And the thing about reading between the lines, as obvious as it might be, is that it isn't evidence, so we do have to go through the formality of the preliminary hearing.
I'd like to think that one day this whole mess will be behind us and we can all sleep easy in our cloud beds with our halo pillows with our harp-sounding white noise machines with the warm feeling that comes from knowing that Roeder is in Hell being sodomized by Satan.
And that is what Flag Day is all about.
We, along with his wife, Jeanne and his children and grandchildren can find consolation that Dr. Tiller died because he refused to cower.
He saved the lives of countless women who had nobody else to turn to and he knew full well how this could have ended.
That kind of courage moves me beyond words.
That kind of compassion leaves me speechless.
For now, all we can do is hope for justice and that somebody will be brave enough to step up and put themselves in harms way to help these women who have nobody else who is willing to help then.
And pray that this isn't in fact the beginning of an attack on a much larger scale.
Foiled again by my own slothfulness. Bastard!
So, it’s very dark and very funny at the same time. There were even a few times when this genuinely creeped me out which is rare for me (desensitized and jaded as I am.)
One thing about the medium of the graphic novel/comic book is that for some reason, the writers/artists seem to feel freer to paint their protagonists in whatever way they see fit. They don’t try to force virtues onto their characters if they don’t fit.
Unlike most fiction writers, they seem to have made peace with the fact that the people they create can be truly bad people, far worse than the typical anti-hero we sometimes see.
Such was the case in Wanted.
(Although, if you look at the trailer for the film, it looks like whoever adapted it for the screen either didn’t think the audience would have the stomach for a truly evil protagonist or they just had no balls. I'll watch it sooner or later seeing as how I’ve already resigned myself to being disappointed.)
At any rate, the writers of The Darkness: Depths of Hell don’t seem to deem it necessary to paint Jackie Estacado as some kind of tragic, tormented soul who unwillingly has to bear the burden of this horrible curse.
(To sum up, the curse is that there are these demons, imps, whatever called the Darkness who live inside Jackie and periodically persuade him to let them out to wreak havoc.)
Jackie is the perfect carrier for this curse, primarily because he is a killer and cohabiting with evil just comes naturally to him.
But even without this philosophical alignment of how people behave, there’s still much to enjoy about this book.
Anytime a group of demons are ripping apart a person, feeding on their entrails and one of them takes the time to pause, look up and say “Got mustard?” is going to be entertaining.
Plus, whoever the artist was on this, they really know how to draw boobies.
I also read Conversations with the Devil by Jeff Rovin and it just fucking sucked.
I picked it up because it’s about Satan and again, big fan, but how the fucking fuck does someone like this get published for fuck's sake?
However, it’s pretty clear that Rovin really doesn’t know much about Satan or God or psychotherapy or teenagers or angst or human beings and how they behave and react to anything.
A few months ago, I gave up on just shy of page 100, tossed it in the backseat of my car and forgot about it. Then, I went to a doctor’s appointment or something like that, (yeah, I think it was the doctor) and forgot to bring anything to read.
So, I dug Conversations with the Devil out and in the next ten pages or so, the story actually started.
Then the story got old and tired and just when I’d start to put it down, every 50 pages or so, something would happen that was just interesting enough to make me keep reading.
So, the book does have some genuinely unsettling moments but not nearly enough to recommend that anybody wade through 428 pages of shit just for a couple of mildly entertaining surprises.
Rovin simply does not do Satan justice.
Then, I read Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff which can be best described as mournful.
This book, like the film, is part scathing social commentary, part intensely personal and painful human story.
Politically, Warriors makes a persuasive and eloquent argument for making restitution for past atrocities before we can move on.
When an entire race is oppressed, enslaved and/or worse, you can't just wake up one day and say, "Okay, we're not doing that anymore, so level playing field and we're all good now."
Genocide and slavery have not only a psychological but an economic impact that will impact a culture for generations and just saying that we're equal now simply isn't good enough.
Reparations have to be made and Warriors makes this argument very well.
But even when you cast the soapbox aside, the human side of this story is simply heartbreaking, but not depressing just for the sake of it. It shows the hope and the despair of the Maori people in equal measures.
The central characters, the Heke family both endure and create such severe misery that at times, you think that nobody could possibly crawl out from under all this anguish and it’s a testament to the strength of some of these people, particularly Beth, the Heke matriarch, that they do.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Here's the sad part. When I googled Kansas City Underground Theater, just out of the vain hopes that maybe this town offered something I didn't know about, the results that came up were how to put a home theater in your basement. Stupid literalists.
Anybody who makes a vampire movie and includes a scene of said vampires playing baseball gets to be Brendan Gleeson's taint in their next life.
I'm not saying anything bad about Brendan Gleeson. I just wouldn't want to spend one of my lives being his taint.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
This is heartbreaking and it's everywhere, twice this weekend in my city. Accidents, random, strays, it doesn't matter. It has to stop. It's not worth it.
Aurora man killed at firing range - The Denver Post
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Saturday, July 18, 2009
This is in response to a good friend's response to a post of mine urging President Obama to reverse our military’s 'don't-ask-don't-tell' policy.
Why is it that I can say anything in the world with impunity while our service men and women have to shut up?
I have never served partly because of ideological reasons and partly because I don't have the balls.
Every civil rights struggle in every period of history in every region of the world has looked and behaved differently.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
The figure of 5,000 may be a minimum estimate.” Richard Schwarz, SEPTIC ABORTION 7 (1968); “One recent study at the University of California... ’s School of Public Health estimated 5,000 to 10,000 abortion deaths annually.” Lawrence Lader, ABORTION 3 (1966);
“[M]ore than five thousand women may have died as a direct result [of criminal abortion in the United States in 1962].” Zad Leavy & Jerome M. Kummer, Criminal Abortion: Human Hardship and Unyielding Laws, 35 S. CAL. L. REV. 123, 124 (1962);
“Taussig and others have concluded that the abortion death rate during the late 1920s was about 1.2% and amounted to over 8,000 deaths per year.” Russell S. Fisher, Criminal Abortion, in Harold Rosen, THERAPEUTIC ABORTION, MEDICAL PSYCHIATRIC, LEGAL, ANTHROPOLOGICAL, AND RELIGIOUS CONSIDERATIONS 8 (1954).
For me this is the reason for supporting reproductive rights. It's not an issue of personal autonomy. It is the simple fact that when abortion is inaccessible, women die and I just refuse to accept that.
When I said, "You are hypocrites," (admittedly an overstatement but I've never been one to shy away from heavy-handed rhetoric) I was speaking to the fact that in all the debates I've had over this issue, I've never heard a good response from somebody from the anti-abortion side as to what they have to say about those 5,000 women every year who died from illegal and unsafe abortions.
When I said that Roe saves lives, these are the lives I'm talking about.
There are women I care about who very possibly could have been in danger if they had not been able to see a doctor to terminate their pregnancy and admittedly that makes this issue very personal to me.
Figuring in the 5,000 women who died every year from illegal abortions, a conservative estimate would put the number of womens' lives that Roe saved at well over 150,000.
And that is simply why I am pro-choice.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
It’s sloppy and predictable and it was just biding its time. I never knew what it was before now. I did not believe in it, but somehow, I knew that it would get me.
And now I’m finding out that there are some things that man was never supposed to know. Like the Tree of Good and Evil. I’m crouched on the floor in the corner of my bedroom.
My bed, a mattress on the floor with no frame looks inviting, but I just can’t lie down. When it finally ends, I want to be awake. I thought it was harmless.
All I can do now is sit here, chewing what’s left of my fingernails, down to the bones and smoking the rest of my cigarettes.
There are eleven left in the pack. I hope they last longer than I do; smoking has always been my security blanket and I can’t deal with a craving in my last moments.
That was my first stop this afternoon. I went into the gas station and bought three packs of cigarettes. I live just around the corner and they carry these cigarettes special for me, French ones that you would never find in a gas station.
I buy three packs every day. He was standing next to a bicycle in a white shirt and a black tie and he was very, very handsome. I was walking quickly; I don’t like to be bothered and the man, smiling, handed me one of those gospel tracts.
“’How much do I love you?’ Christ asked. ‘This much.’ Then he spread his arms and died for me.” I think it got in through my hand. The only reason I say that is because my index fingernail fell off first. Against my better judgment, I took the gospel tract. Sometimes, it’s just easier not to put up a fight. I did not even think about it again until just now; I shoved it into the front pocket of my jeans along with my loose change and keys and walked away.
It’s taken one hand entirely, withered it until it crumbled and fell away like ash off a cigarette and it has moved through my chest into both of my legs. And now it’s bubbling under my skin, turning it dark and blistering. It’s only been a few minutes since I tried to lift one of my legs only to have it dissolve and fall onto the floor, like God was tapping a cigarette.
It’s almost over now, but there’s one small mercy: it’s left my right hand alone so I can still smoke. I’ll light my last cigarette now; it’s almost over. I only have seconds left. With the scant flaps of flesh under my nose and over my chin, I can manage to suck on my cigarette.
She was beautiful and I had no idea that she was in league with the two men on their bicycles. She caught up to me and I thought she wanted me. She touched my hand and told me that I was loved and then she turned and walked away to add another notch in her crucifix. But God, she was gorgeous.
If my lips were still on my face, I’d be smiling beautifully.
All that’s left now, aside from half a cigarette and my stink is memories.
I’m not so sure I want all of them.
Like my baptism; I panicked. The preacher dipped me under the water, and I felt an unbearable fear. I’d never even imagined that kind of fear.
Even in my nightmares, I hadn’t guessed that anyone could be this afraid. I’m looking at the walls of my bedroom and I realize just how sharp the corners are and suddenly, I’m afraid of the ceiling.
Suddenly it occurred to me, when Brother Jim held me under with his chubby hand, what I was preparing for. I was going to die. That was the first time I really understood that. I guess for some reason, maybe childishness, maybe believing in the second coming of Christ, I’d always thought I would be exempt.
But when my head went under and the water crept over me, I knew that I was not special. I was going to die just like everyone and that’s why it was so important for me to go through this; I had to prepare myself to go to Heaven. And I couldn’t breathe.
The light is here now, just like when the preacher brought me up from the water and I gulped the sweet air as hard as I could. I stare up at the corner of my room, where the top of two walls meet the ceiling and it’s sharp enough to cut, so I cower on the floor.
After my Baptism, I gave up the faith. Surely, God would not take a child and send him to hell. If I was not a believer, I knew there was no way I could die.
God would just not do that. But I’m older now. I can see it and it’s gorgeous; it’s a white light, just like everyone said it would be.
It’s enveloping me and my last cigarette is only ash now.
Across the room, I can see the corner of the floor and it’s just as jagged. If I could, I’d scoot to the middle of the room; I know this corner is going to cut me.
My good hand has given out now and it’s all I can do to keep the cigarette in my mouth. And now it’s gone. I don’t know if He has given me peace or if I have just lost that part of my mind, but suddenly, I’m not afraid anymore.
All I can think is how breathtaking Heaven will be if I make it.
I’m going out like a candle.