Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

20 June, 2007

George Leef is an idiot

But most of you knew that about this right-wing kook. His gaffe today, however, is particularly egregious:
A key finding [of a Mackinac Center (a conservative think-tank) policy paper]: although Michigan, over the period 1980-2000, spent significantly more per capita on higher ed than did other large midwestern states (Ohio and Illinois, specifically), its rate of economic growth lagged behind.

To many people, this conclusion will seem strange.

Actually, it doesn't seem strange to anyone who factors in deindustrialization and the precipitous decline of the auto industry in Michigan, which neither Leef nor the report's authors do.

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19 June, 2007

Punk Rock Monday

And I bet you thought I forgot about you. Not so. Today we have Jawbox from three different eras.

"Manatee Bound" from 1989

"Won't Come Off" from 1995

And lastly, but certainly not leastly, "Savory" from 1997

PRM is going to be taking a hiatus for the next few weeks as the wobs household moves East. BTW, thanks to KM for the music mix for the road! I'm looking forward to popping it in come next Monday!


14 June, 2007

Running for president as performance art

While some of our friends at the Bellman might be smitten by Bill Richardson on the strength of one of his video ads (and a clever ad it is), Richardson's got nothing on Mike Gravel, who is either waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay deeper than you or I could ever possibly comprehend or utterly and completely batshit insane.

Either way, he'd most certainly make a better president than the White House's current occupant.

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13 June, 2007

We do not as of yet know if they will be midgets

Nothing will cheer up your jailbird pal like hiring her dopplegangers to party with you on your 21st birthday ("soberly," of course). I'm sure someone will find that hee-fuckin'-larious.

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Wrap that shit up

Did anyone ever teach this man to use a fucking condom?

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Adventures in white liberal guilt

Should I have felt bad as I did for being unable to finish my massive platter of Ethiopian food this evening?


Mi casa es su casa

Our cute little house in a cute little neighborhood in a cute little suburb of a monstrous metropolis. Come visit us, won't you?


11 June, 2007

Punk Rock Monday

Posting a little early this week - I've got an early flight back East to catch.

It's enough that they created punkabilly. But the Cramps get extra PRM cred for playing a free show at a freakin' mental institution. It's pretty fucking amazing to see and just gives me another reason to love this band.

"The Way I Walk"

"Human Fly"

This clip of "Tear It Up" just oozes psycho-sexuality:


08 June, 2007

Don't you worry your pretty little head Princess Sparkle Pony

I'd be praising Carol Iannone for her candor if it weren't for the fact that I'm staring at the shriveled black heart of conservatism:
We need to maintain the idea of merit so that students will have the abilities needed for the colleges they enter, and the curriculum will not need to be watered down and then supplemented by remediation and special advisers and so forth. But perhaps more important, such affirmative action conveys the impression that society is supposed to do something about the all the inequities of human existence, and that there is something deeply wrong with a society where inequities exist. Inequities are part of life, as every mother must know. The sooner young people learn to stop feeling entitled to redress, and the sooner they get to working hard with the gifts and opportunities they do have, the better.

I've had the misfortune of having to keep on top of the right's specious reasoning regarding affirmative action for the last few weeks. They're pretty smart about it, couching their arguments in rugged individualism, feigned concern for its effects on minorities, and "pragmatic" critiques. But deep down, they all feel like Carol: for some people, life sucks. Get over it, 'cause there's nothing you can fucking do about it, so don't even try.

It's hard to discuss the problems with affirmative action (I think we can all agree that it's not the end-all to solving our entrenched racial problems) with the right when, for them, the racial problem isn't a problem, it's just the way things are.

Yup, the world looks just like it's supposed to when you're living large on the wingnut welfare.

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06 June, 2007

Idiosyncratic pet causes

Like any other college town, Eugene is full of people who have narrow pet causes that are the Number One Issue of The Day and demand everyone in the immediate vicinity's attention. However, I'm not sure that any other town has someone whose civic mission is to persuade someone from the local transit authority to lick his sweaty nut-sack, as his daily howls of protest have led me to believe.


05 June, 2007

Be a part of history

I know many of you sit around saying to yourself, "Golly, I wish there was a way I could somehow be a part of wobblie's epic cross-country relocation extravaganza, but I'm not up for a week long roadtrip or moving boxes." Well, now you can.

The good folks at Mapquest tell me that I'll be covering some 2826 miles in the VW Beetle. That's about five days for which I'll need music. Not that I don't have plenty of music, but it's all stuff I've heard. So what I'm asking from you, dear reader, is for you to make me a "road-trip mix" CD. Or two. Get your friends and loved ones to make me one as well. The more the merrier (those 42 hours aren't going to pass without some help, friends). But make sure they get here before June 24, otherwise I'll be long gone.

I'm serious. If everyone who reads this blog makes one CD, I'll have, uh... six for the trip!

Even if you're afield from Eugene, you're still invited! Just e-mail me for my mailing address. Be a part of the adventure, without actually having to experience Nebraska.


04 June, 2007

A poor labor market

If there's one thing that characterizes Eugene, it's a piss-poor labor market. I've heard that there's 11 applications for every professional job here, not to mention a glut of degrees being churned out by the local institution of higher education. So arriving in 1996 (with a vague idea about wanting to attend graduate school "later"), I had to find work. My first attempt at working was going door-to-door "for the environment" as an OSPIRG canvasser. I wasn't very good at it. I dreaded cold-knocking on doors and hitting people up for cash. I lasted three days, although those three days introduced me to some crazy friends.

My poor first try at post-college made me reassess my life in Eugene by making money the old fashioned way: hawking parking lot items at Phish shows across the country. When I returned to Eugene a month and a half later, a friend of mine had taken a job as the HR person for an agency which ran group homes for people with developmental disabilities. My job was to pretty much helping people with their day to day lives for three straight days, sleeping overnight on-site. Fairly mellow stuff - a little dramatic with the clients, but not taxing work. Nor did it pay well, and we weren't treated particularly well by the bosses, but that's a story for down the road. I will say that the group home scene in Eugene was an odd mix of people. With the minimum work requirements being a high school diploma and a clean criminal record, you came across a wide swath of low-income Eugene/Springfield. I met a good chunk of the radical scene through working in group homes - folks who would work three days a week in town at a group home and then live in a tree for the next three days, with a "day off" wedged between. I met a lot of tweakers, including one woman who always worked the night shift. She had the typical shrunken head look of a crank fiend, and would always ask us if she could take the five-gallon buckets in which we bought laundry detergent.

I saw some really bizarre shit working in that business. There was one client who, every day, we would have to comb his apartment from top to bottom to make sure there was nothing there - staples, loose paper, anything - that he would eat. This person had eaten part of his couch before. And the leather uppers of a basketball shoe. Another client was perhaps the sweetest woman ever, who loved to kick back with Hamm's beer and grunt "party," but because of her experience in the state institution, she freaked out when it was time to be showered. On at least four separate occasions that I can recall, I had glass bowls that she had launched narrowly miss my head.

I had a client miss the bus and try to drive his battery-operated wheelchair down the freeway to get home.

I worked in the field for five years. An important five years, to be sure, but I wasn't sad to leave it to return to graduate school in 2001.

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It's time once again for the Punk Rock Monday

Yes it is.

fIREHOSE is the first band for whom I willfully misrepresented my age in order to see, when I was 17 years old, a gangly high school senior loose on the Cumberland strip in Knoxville, TN. This particular iteration of Mike Watt's musical career isn't the strongest, but I love popping in Raging Full On now and again, especially for the brilliant "Relatin Dudes to Jazz."

"Brave Captain"

Covers of the Butthole Surfer's "Revolution (Part Two)" and the Blue Oyster Cult's "The Red and The Black," featuring the Surfer's Paul Leary (beware the camera work in this one, it's a little nausea-inducing)


01 June, 2007

Cheatin' bastard.

A-Rod occupies the ninth level of hell in the inferno of my most loathed athletic figures. At least he got me over my hatred of Derek Jeter.