Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Poetry Corner
(apologies, I am no poet)

i type my name in the blank space
agree to the terms of services, click, send, and no going back!
my spine is tight
i feel like a roly poly
in a ball of discomfort
about to bounce back and crawl again
to better spaces than behind this white screen
are you numb from the voyeurism yet?
the screen asks in its best stephen hawking impression
colon, hyphen, lowercase "l"

is this house too dirty?
or too sterile
my senses aren't what they used to be
but up there in the woods
on a hilltop among pine, eucalyptus and others
clean dirt and crisp morning air you can taste!
my insides are one with the outsides
and i don't feel much like dusting
just waving my flashlight around in the dark
truths revealing themselves in the spotlight

i watched a creature go into cardiac arrest
found in a drop of tap water
sprawled under a microscope
in a biology class i was a youth
i remember how it scrambled
on a circular, circus arena of minute proportions
my heart sank at our shared spectacle
i felt foolish and naive
heart sinking
life and death were the same in that moment
and so it forever will be, i thought
No We Can't

The John McCain answer to the "Yes We Can" video.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Best of Sarah Palin Criticisms: A Cathartic Post

I just need to get all my Sarah Palin anger out and move on to the more positive things in life. I need to think of all the intelligent women out there and let go--surely these debates and the onslaught of disgust on part of the media and the general public will attribute to this pig's ultimate downfall. (Yes I unapologetically will refer to this swine as none other than what she is). I decided to unleash my Sarah Palin bests. So here's my list, here goes:

1. Best Palin quote that summarizes my feelings on Mrs. Palin thus far comes from Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone:

The truly disgusting thing about Sarah Palin isn’t that she’s totally unqualified, or a religious zealot, or married to a secessionist, or unable to educate her own daughter about sex, or a fake conservative who raised taxes and porked up earmark millions every chance she got. No, the most disgusting thing about her is what she says about us: That you can ram us in the ass for eight solid years, and we’ll not only thank you for your trouble, we’ll sign you up for eight more years, if only you promise to stroke us in the right spot for few hours around election time.

2. Best quote from a Katie Couric interview:

Katie Couric: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious: what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?

Sarah Palin: I've read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.

KC: But, like, what ones specifically? I'm curious.

SP: All of 'em, any of 'em that have been in front of me over all these years.

KC: Can you name a few?

SP: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news too. Alaska isn't a foreign country, where, it's kind of suggested and it seems like, 'Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C. may be thinking and doing when you live up there in Alaska?' Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

3. Best Sarah Palin video:

4. Best Palin rumors (that I made up myself and have been trying to spread all over the internets):

Sarah Palin brushes her teeth with whale sperm.
Sarah Palin had "The Tao of Pooh" banned because she does not like potty humor.
Sarah Palin found out about the VP position through McCain's Craigslist ad.
Sarah Palin was raised by seals in a cave. When she came of age, she clubbed her mother to death and feasted upon her flesh.
Sarah Palin not only charges rape victims for forensic examinations, she charges forensic examiners a special fee for investigating rape cases, then she rapes the forensic examiners.
Sarah Palin doesn't like the Crypts, because they take all the Bloods out (Sarah Palin is like Dracula, get it? A blood drinker!)
Sarah Palin likes to read the cliff notes of the Left Behind series on the toilet.
Sarah Palin once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
Sarah Palin won "Miss Congealiality" at an Alaskan beauty pageant for her frozen jello pops.
Sarah Palin had a lung transplant from a moose because the best surgeons in Alaska are veternarians.
Sarah Palin gave me syphilis.
Sarah Palin showed up to the try-outs for the full length feature film, Flashdance, in a trench coat and nothing else and all the casting agents projectile vomited at the sight of her.
Sarah Palin has a tattoo of Charlton Heston on her ass.
Sarah Palin likes to shoot-up batmizfahs at random.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Feeling Check: Politically Burnt Out

You guys, I'm really burnt out on the politics these days. I find myself in a strange space of fluctuating stagnation, unable to prioritize the things that matter most in life. For instance, if McCain wins, I have promised myself I will leave the country. I have a plan, I know people, they will prove resourceful, I will be in Spain if you must know but I will leave my email for you to keep in touch. --but I have to stand back and ask myself the question: should lofty ideologies and political intangibles really shape my personal life in such a way that career and family pursuits should be affected? How will my decisions affect those nearest and dearest? If they go down along with the rest of the country, is it not my patriotic duty to go down with them? I do realize that under an Obama administration things could go tits up all the same. But that's besides the point. I refuse to live in a country run by an oil-thirsty madman. Again.

I've been having a difficult time expressing my frustration with the state of the State at the moment. Sometimes I wish we could have a collective "TO" on the election sports for just a second, just to sit back and contemplate everything that's happened to the country, why it happened and how we got here. A "war" nobody wants. An economic collapse to rival the Great Depression. A monkey tyrant imposture for president. A culture war that nobody wanted. An absurd spectacle masquerading as democracy.

I believe it to be true what a lot of lefty commentators are saying these days, that we live in a "post-rational" society.

If we do not, can a conservative economic expert please explain to me why Republicans are resorting to Socialism--and big government more generally--while denouncing such things? Can an Obama adviser explain to me why Democrats can't question and decry a corrupt politician for fear of being sexist as they choose to nominate the first African American for president? Can CNN, the New York Times and their leeching media adherents explain why we pretend, year after year, that there isn't this sick cycle of young men and women losing their innocence more and more each day, who will eventually need to incorporate themselves into society and function after the years of death machine brainwashing wears off? Can anyone, PLEASE, anyone tell me how McCain got away with passing himself off as a man of the militants, celebrated POW action man, who, as a congressman, repeatedly denies benefits to veterans returning from duty? Or how a monstrous fraud like Palin can stand up at a podium, look a television monitor dead-on, and tell the public that they will have a friend in the White House that will support parents of special needs children even as McCain has repeatedly denied further spending on education for special needs children?

That John McCain/Sarah Palin ticket is such a massive hoax on the American electorate, perhaps the biggest hoax since the founding of the nation. I can think of no other presidential ticket comprised of two individuals so blatantly hypocritical and eager to swindle a public that is about to be on its knees financially. If there was a grand taste test, like Pepsi and Coke, where both tickets were left without identity and packaging, shrouded merely in policies and legislation, those Republican bastards would be more laughable than Ross Perot and Alan Keyes combined. In fact, if you took that same taste test, with a Perot/Keyes ticket v. a McCain/Palin one, I'll bet the former would get elected. That is how absurd this system is.

Much to my chagrin, I find myself lashing out by trolling conservative bloggers' sites. I should know better, it's not that there aren't intelligent, passionate people who actually believe John McCain would make a good president. They just look at facts in a really warped way. Like when I question what kind of woman this female conservative blogger was for supporting a man who does not support equal rights and equal pay for women. She responded by quoting him:

"I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems," McCain told reporters yesterday. "This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system."

I can't correct her on her misconception that McCain is pro-woman on this matter because what was made obvious by this kind of response is that she hasn't fine-tuned her bullshitometer. Plain and simple. Who can argue with someone who only sees what they want to see? Upon reflecting from my own cheap shots, I realized that I do a lot of that myself--seeing only what I want to see. It doesn't help my political viewpoints, living in this liberal bubble and left unable to productively engage, face-to-face, with those from conservative backgrounds. Not that I am saying I would ever agree with one of those bastards on anything that means anything: the war, the economy, social spending, taxes, et al.

I just want a prosperous future for myself and my family. I don't think that's too much to ask. I don't think conservatives don't want that, I just think they've clung to vapid political identities that don't mean anything... and are evil right down to their cold black hearts, which pump not blood like yours and mine, but rather a thick, vomitous oil that oozes through their rotten veins and clots in their pea-sized brains which becomes the cause of their Nazi-esque patterns of violent behavior. (Thank you South Park.)

Anyways I'm retreating into the wilderness for the remainder of the week. Goin' campin. Being away from the media should do me some good.

Until the debates of course. I'll grab my popcorn and a few beers and with supreme glee watch the schadenfreude that should be McCain's public shaming.

P.S. GOOD magazine blows. Just watch their McCain video, with the cutesy Stevie Wonder music in the background. If they're so GOOD what the f**k man?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Les MisBarack

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

One of my favorite musicals + the Obama campaign= sheer brilliance. The mind reels at which musical the Republican ticket would use to represent thier campaign: "Sweeney Todd"? McCain obviously has the look and lack of scruples of a demon barber. Or how about the obvious choice, "Annie, Get Your Gun"? Shit Sarah, shit! We're in a plane and there are wolves below! Better get yer gun, lady!

Monday, September 15, 2008

David Foster Wallace's "American Idea"

I never knew much about David Foster Wallace, and ignorantly wrote off his work as pretentious as only the most pretentious people I knew had read his masterpiece, Infinite Jest. So I guess I stupidly considered him pretentious by association--which that impressive tome itself may in fact be--however, after his death on Sunday (a suicide by hanging), I found some of his essays online and do believe that, slowly, I am becoming enamored. Perhaps his novels won't move me, but his essays and rhetorical ideas are enough to give me great pause.

Here's an essay he wrote for the Atlantic, which can be found on their site along with several other great minds on the topic of "The American Idea." Other writers include Senator Biden, Joyce Carol Oates, Cornel West and John Updike.

Just Asking

Are some things still worth dying for? Is the American idea* one such thing? Are you up for a thought experiment? What if we chose to regard the 2,973 innocents killed in the atrocities of 9/11 not as victims but as democratic martyrs, “sacrifices on the altar of freedom”?* In other words, what if we decided that a certain baseline vulnerability to terrorism is part of the price of the American idea? And, thus, that ours is a generation of Americans called to make great sacrifices in order to preserve our democratic way of life—sacrifices not just of our soldiers and money but of our personal safety and comfort?

In still other words, what if we chose to accept the fact that every few years, despite all reasonable precautions, some hundreds or thousands of us may die in the sort of ghastly terrorist attack that a democratic republic cannot 100-percent protect itself from without subverting the very principles that make it worth protecting?

Is this thought experiment monstrous? Would it be monstrous to refer to the 40,000-plus domestic highway deaths we accept each year because the mobility and autonomy of the car are evidently worth that high price? Is monstrousness why no serious public figure now will speak of the delusory trade-off of liberty for safety that Ben Franklin warned about more than 200 years ago? What exactly has changed between Franklin’s time and ours? Why now can we not have a serious national conversation about sacrifice, the inevitability of sacrifice—either of (a) some portion of safety or (b) some portion of the rights and protections that make the American idea so incalculably precious?

In the absence of such a conversation, can we trust our elected leaders to value and protect the American idea as they act to secure the homeland? What are the effects on the American idea of Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Patriot Acts I and II, warrantless surveillance, Executive Order 13233, corporate contractors performing military functions, the Military Commissions Act, NSPD 51, etc., etc.? Assume for a moment that some of these measures really have helped make our persons and property safer—are they worth it? Where and when was the public debate on whether they’re worth it? Was there no such debate because we’re not capable of having or demanding one? Why not? Have we actually become so selfish and scared that we don’t even want to consider whether some things trump safety? What kind of future does that augur?

1. Given the strict Gramm-Rudmanewque space limit here, let's just please all agree that we generally know what this term connotes—an open society, consent of the governed, enumerated powers, Federalist 10, pluralism, due process, transparency ... the whole democratic roil.

2. (This phrase is Lincoln's, more or less)

I love that he explores the concept of sacrifice in the context of patriotism. If we had leaders that were actual, respectable statesmen, we'd be having myriad public talks of shared sacrifice and acting upon them for the sake of our collective future. As opposed to having evil madmen sacrificing our security and very livelihoods in private.

All of his Harper's articles can be found here. And an article he wrote about John McCain for Rolling Stone in 2000 can be read here.
Great moments in Myspace Profiles

The other day I discovered that Levi Johnston's (Mr. Bristol Palin's) Myspace profile had been leaked to the press before recently going private. Why anyone, especially someone in the public spotlight, would keep a Myspace profile public is beyond me. Since the boy's profile is no longer available, we can only imagine the kinds of wild party pics a young Mr. Bristol must have posted in the Meth Capital of Alaska. --did you know that 42 meth labs have been discovered in Wasilla since Sarah Palin became governor? Anyhoo. Here's a prime excerpt from what is sure to become a pillar of Christian values if sent to the White House with his newfound family:

"I'm a f**kin' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes. But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some sh*t and just f**kin' chillin' I guess. Ya f*ck with me I'll kick ass."
Status: "In a relationship."
Children: "I don't want kids."

Funny. Reminds me of another somewhat-public figure, Brittanie Mountz (sic), the notorious 19 year-old restaurant hostess and registered Republican that stole San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom's heart a few years back, right before he slept with his campaign director's wife. The local press had a field day with the musical "tastes" listed on her Myspace profile (also note, sic of "Sigar Ros" and "Goo Goo Dalls"):

Music: David Gray, Coldplay (of course), Travis, Beck, Feeder, Citizen Cope, Amos Lee, Thriving Ivory (the drummer is mighty fine), The Verve, Oasis, DMB, Jack, Alanis (bitch tunes), John Fruciante, U2, Annie Lennex, Damien Rice, Green Day, Eric Clapton, Sigar Ros, Macy Gray, Moby, Beethoven, Guster, Tom Petty, Pinback, Iron and Wine, Elliot Smith, Red Hot CP, Goo Goo Dalls, Nirvana, Lonestar, Garth Brooks, Led Zepllin, Jimmy Eat World, Norah Jones, Queen, Sublime, Bob....mmmm the list won't end.....

Nice-a! We got us some real classy youngsters sleeping with political figures in this here country.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Like a really bad Disney movie

Matt Damon: "It's like a really bad Disney movie. The hockey mom, you know, 'oh, I'm just a hockey mom'... and she's facing down President Putin... It's totally absurd... it's a really terrifying possibility... I need to know if she really think that dinosaurs were here 4,000 years ago. I want to know that, I really do. Because she's gonna have the nuclear codes."

Totally, Will Hunting, totally.

Questioning and condemning Palin is not misogynist! I'm so sick of the McCain camp's gender card power play. It's completely rational, intelligent and above all else patriotic not to want this mindless puppet as a VP and possible Pres. Thank you for providing the voice of reason, Matt Damon. Sometimes I wish the Obama campaign would just put it bluntly like Good Will and dish out some common sense to the public. Even if it comes across as a cheap shot.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The beginning of the end of clean elections?

The New York Times yesterday reported that students at Virginia Tech (after a surge in registered Dem voters) have been threatened by the state Board of Elections that, should they decide to register to vote using their college addresses, they may not qualify as dependents on their parents' tax return. In turn, student loans may be in jeopardy. But this, according to the IRS, is a false claim.

This is frightening stuff, people. Every time I talk to someone who seems cynical about an Obama victory, I typically respond by saying that they underestimate the youth vote this time around, as well as an upsurge in Hispanic first-time voters. While I do not believe my statements are overly optimistic, I do know that the impact of these votes will mean nothing without a solid, nationally-uniform voting system unencumbered by scare tactics and voter misinformation. It's just so fundamental; yet it's a topic that no one seems all too worried about. Let this story be a warning of the possible fraud to come.

From the BBC:

I think Virginia is the Ohio and Florida of 2008. With a huge demographic boom of government and knowledge workers in the Northern suburbs, this state has been trending Democrat. War hero McCain is also very popular here - look for this one to be fiercely fought.

Have we completely forgotten about the epidemic of blatant voter fraud that has plagued this country for the past two presidential elections?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A little poetry for you establishment-loathing lovelies

Today I made a most excellent discovery in a tiny, cavernous Antiquarian book shop in Oakland. I found a $6 copy of The Nixon Poems. Written during the treacherous reign of Tricky Dick by poet and banned author (The Inner City Mother Goose) Eve Merriam, it is full of Python-esque collages and poems inspired by TD himself. Here's the poem that made apparent the need to purchase this book immediately:

"Found in an establishment fortune cookie"

If you
puke upon me
I shall
with velvet and sequins
and sell
to you.

Friday, September 05, 2008

RNC Roundup

Many of my friends had a hard time sitting through the '08 Republican National Convention for the past few days minus the irritating spells of nausea and maddening fits of anger, so I thought I'd offer it up in tiny, somewhat digestible pieces with the hope of inducing neither.

Here's Jon Stewart's badass commentary. I especially like his air guitar version of "Free Bird" after Rudy mentions 9/11. Also, I was particularly satisfied with Stewart's response to Sarah Palin when she denigrates community service, saying that "a small town mayor is kind of like a community organizer...with actual responsibilities." Stewart's mocking retort: "So to everyone out there trying to make a difference in their communities...fuck you! You know what you are? You're a thousand points of bullshit!" (Referencing, of course, GH Bush's speech on community service and the power of the individual in which he coined the phrase "a thousand points of light.")

Again, I don't mean to upset anyone, but I think everyone should watch the 9/11 fearmongering clip below, and Keith Olbermann's courageously sensitive response. Bless this man, he comes from a bygone era of venerable and dutiful broadcasters.

The GOP has really outdone themselves this year: laughing at the idea of community activism, passing sarcastic smears off as political rhetoric, exploiting 9/11 once again, ignoring the base level of depravity and strife the middle and lower classes are facing during a staggering economic crisis, boasting old war stories as if they are the only ones to know firsthand the tragedies of war...all of it disgusting beyond words.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

This is what I would have seen if millions of people weren't blocking my view

Radiohead Live

This post is two weeks overdue. I saw Radiohead on Friday the 22nd in the Golden Gate Park at approximately eight o'clock in the evening. They were the first nocturnal musical act ever to play in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Apparently no band has been worthy enough to perform at night since the establishment of this great urban park space in the late 19th century.

I saw Beck give a performance beforehand. I need not waste further words on this matter (sorry but mediocre performance + ZZ Top/ Blues Brothers look= loser! Seriously. And he played that song quite mediocrely).

When I finally made it to Radiohead's stage after a 15-minute journey traversing the wretchedly cramped fields of orgiastic music fiends, reaching a spot about .025 miles away, I stood in a sea of crazed uberfans far larger than the state of Alaska. Larger by millions of people, some would guesstimate. I would have loved to see Palin govern us: ha! (Sidenote: burn! Did you catch that burn? I totally burned that lady--what a scorcher).

I wrote an epic poem for Thom Yorke in my head as I listened to my favorite song in the world, "Paranoid Android." I recited it to my friend Ami later (she's just like me, but withou the "ty"):

Thom Yorke
You make every pore of my body morph
into tiny vaginas
to be penetrated by the great cosmic cock
of divine sonic rapture
If you were an astronaut
you'd be out of this world

One day I shall endeavor to write a poem a bit on the eloquent side, like this one from Joseph Moncure March's "The Wild Party":

Some love is fire: some love is rust:
But the fiercest, cleanest love is lust.
And their lust was tremendous. It had the feel
Of hammers clanging; and stone; and steel:
And torches of the savage, roaring kind
That rip through iron, and strike men blind:
Of long trains crashing through caverns under
Grey trembling streets, like angry thunder:
Of engines throbbing; and hoarse steam spouting;
And feet tramping; and great crowds shouting.
A lust so savage, they could have wrenched.
The flesh from bone, and not have blenched.

Sigh. Next time.