Talkin' trash to the garbage around me.

27 February, 2008

Pwned, you MFA-toting losers!

I knew plenty of poets in grad school, lost souls who briefly believed that a rigorous, professional training in being a poet would somehow translate into something more than a return to menial labor. Those fiction writers, now they were classy, but undoubtedly their poet brethren have slunk back to being dishwashers, plumbers, and low-end prostitutes scrounging change to procure the cheap gin they lean on in lieu of talent.

I, on the other hand, have achieved, through sheer lack of will and casual dilettantism, the status of Award Winning Poet. From when Jeeves brought in my afternoon e-mail:

For a nominal fee of only $75(+s&h) to join the International Society of Poets (being an Award Winning Poet means it's sixty clams cheaper for me than those other chump poets), they'll send me a maple - maple! - mounted plaque of recognition for my achievement, and maybe a nice volume featuring myself and other Award Winning Poets. How many of you have received the Editor's Choice Award from the venerable ISP? Mm hmm?

So what epic work of art have I unleashed upon the literary world, destined to launch one thousand dissertations and cast an enormous shadow over contemporary American, nay, world poetry? Why these seventeen simple syllables:
Cherry Blossoms are
Often responsible for
Red and teary eyes.

Read it and weep. See you in the Norton Anthology, suckers!

26 February, 2008

Signs o' the times

How stone-chillingly apocalyptic is this story?
LONGYEARBYEN, Norway -- Norway opened a frozen "doomsday" vault Tuesday deep within an Arctic mountain where millions of seeds will be stored to safeguard against wars or natural disasters wiping out food crops around the globe.

Beyond that, the story gets a little more mundane (but remarkable, nonetheless), but does the lede not sound like the beginning of a Mad Max style adventure? Looking for the "Doomsday Vault", hidden somewhere in the lush mountain jungles of Norway because global warming totally fucked shit up...

There's nothing like the total annihilation of the food supply to put oneself in a nice Malthusian funk.

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25 February, 2008

If I may spew

What bullshit. Two and a half assumptions here drive me especially fucking crazy.

1a: Women are sexual sirens who must minimize their seductive capabilities lest they drive one-half the population mad and to depravity.
1b: Men, once captivated by the siren's song, will stop at nothing to sate their most base desires.

Ergo, women who don't shield their sexuality are responsible for whatever ill befalls them. Granted I'm a sample of one, but sufficed to say, whatever you women are doing to get me to notice you, it works. Also sufficed to say, uh... it's never driven me to sate my most base desires by force.

2: Women don't know the difference between "regret" and "assault."

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So that whole election thingy might not be necessary after all

So, uh... good luck with that...
Senator John McCain said Monday that he needed to convince the American people that the troop escalation in Iraq was working and that American casualties there would continue to decline. If he did not, he said, “I lose” the election.

“Is there any doubt?” Mr. McCain said to reporters on his campaign bus.

Absolutely none.

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This morning I offer up some Camper Van Beethoven, primarily because of the pleasant memories of adolescence that they evoke, but also because I could use a little cockeyed Santa Cruz living right about now.

"Take the Skinheads Bowling," "Wasted," and "Tania" circa 1988

"Pictures of Matchstick Men" from 2005

Groovy, huh?


24 February, 2008

Sunday night bambino blogging

One of the more unflattering things about having a child is seeing your worst tendencies reflected back at you. I have it on very good authority that I can get obnoxiously stubborn, and I imagine that this is what I look like in some of my poutier moments. To his credit, l'il wobs has been sick for the last few days and I kind of wore him out this afternoon, so he's allowed a little slack on the surliness front.

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Now this is the kind of Hollywood cattiness I go for

While I'm resolutely Not Oscar blogging, I will indulge in a little meta-Oscar blogging. For example, did you know that Oscar's conservative... ahem competition has a trash-talking live blog of the show? The Liberty Film Festival blog is offering constantly updated witticisms like this:
7:24 — Renee Zellwegger. A sandwich, stat. She makes me want to be gay. I can think of three, no four guys, I’d.. You know… Look at her. That pinched face. A body like a twelve-year-old boy. I’d feel like a child molester.

For the record, Renee Zellwegger will not turn a man teh gay. Daniel Day Lewis, on the other hand... do the fellas know what I'm talking about here?

And honestly, given the last couple of years, don't you figure right-wingers would be just a little more careful about copping to feeling like a child molester? Just sayin'.

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Not Oscar blogging

I'm generally not a big fan of awards shows. They admittedly do have a few good moments, and they serve as a rather great excuse to have a party, but absent that, I'm kind of meh about them. Doubly so when I have no idea what's going on in that particular part of the arts universe. I don't begrudge their existence... well, except that Daniel Day Lewis shows up. I can't compete with that, ladies. Do the fellas know what I'm talking about here?

Um, yes. So I was... oh yeah, not blogging about the Oscars.


22 February, 2008

Daydream Nation*

I feel that I've come by my cynicism about politicians legitimately. Not politics, per se, but politicians. And so it's with some measure of shame that I must admit that I'm starting to buy into some of the "hope" and "change" that are being thrown around.

To be clear, that hope and change isn't necessarily emanating entirely from the top of the ticket. You don't get to the position of "Democratic Front-runner" by espousing the kinds of politics and policies that have my imprimatur. Rather, it's the level of organizing that's occurring downstream of this candidacy that rekindles my optimism. There's a palpable - yes, palpable - sense of this being a perfect storm: a charismatic leader teamed with a political movement that might just now be coming of age. Behind that lies a fervent organizing network - wholly independent of the campaign in many instances - that will only grow as the nomination becomes more certain (if that is what actually happens). The more I think about it, the more impressed I become.

There are obvious questions that arise. What happens to this sense of empowerment on Jan 20, 2009? How many stay engaged? But I'm even hopeful about that, in the long run.

On top of it all, I sometimes just stop and reflect on the fact that a black man is slowly solidifying his claim on front-runner status to be POTUS. And honestly, that is nothing short of amazing.

We are indeed cursed to be living in interesting times, and I must say - it's pretty fucking exciting.

* For those of you who were attracted by the title, here's your reward for bearing with me:

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21 February, 2008

Bringing teh scary

Note to GOP: this shit is past its expiration date.

via dday

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19 February, 2008

A meme worth repeating

Because peej and dave think it's cool:

If somehow compelled to pass an awkward evening among upper-middle-class, middle-brow intellectuals, I could discuss _________ without sounding like an ignoramus:

A) The metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas
B) The Wealth of Nations
C) The history and future of human space travel
D) Basic quantum theory
E) Tiger Woods' swing

Pass it on.



Both ms. wobs and l'il wobs are currently laid out with the flu, which probably means I'll soon be laid out as well. It's like a freaking M*A*S*H unit here right now, which, given my chosen self-medication for the evening (is there anything a hot toddy won't cure?), makes me:

For the record, 45 minutes worth of Google searches failed to turn up a single usable picture of Hawkeye in his bathrobe with a martini.


18 February, 2008

Adventures in praxis

L'il wobs frequently gets mistaken for a little girl. I suppose it's his hair, which he likes in a longish kind of mop. At any rate, I usually let these incidents slide on the theory that by reacting to correct these one-off attributions of gender based on a few second interaction, I am subtly asserting to l'il wobs that girls are something less than totally cool.

On our way back from the grocery store today, l'il wobs told me that he was a boy right now, but when he grew up, he could be a boy or a girl. "True enough," I told him. "You can make a lot of choices about what you want to be when you grow up."

"Yeah," he replied. "I might want to be a girl. I also want to be a teacher."

I gotta say, this "shaping and molding young minds" business is heavy duty stuff!

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In the late 60s and early 70s, Herbie's bands were so funky, it physically hurt.


This is just audio, but "Fat Mama" is so slathered up in indescribable funk it would be criminal not to share it.

And while it's easy to wallow in the nastiness of those grooves, you'd be remiss in not remembering that Herbie has a bop pedigree, playing, you know, with this guy:

"So What"

Be careful.


15 February, 2008

I believe the term you're looking for is 'blowback'

Pity poor David Horowitz as he attempts to stuff the escaped "Soros ♥ McCain" genies back into his Pandora's Box:
The Internet and cable TV have been rife with allegations that George Soros funds John McCain. One of the sources for this claim is a book I co-authored last year called The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party. What we reported was that Soros made a contribution to McCain's political organization when McCain was devising the McCain-Feingold bill. If you oppose that bill as I did and do, that's the end of the story.

Ah yes, the end of a story that started in 2004 like this:
By pushing McCain-Feingold through Congress, Soros cut off the Democrats’ soft-money supply. By forming the Shadow Party, Soros offered the Democrats an alternate money spigot – one which he personally controlled. As a result the Democrats are heavily – perhaps even irretrievably – dependent on Soros. It seems reasonable to consider the possibility that McCain-Feingold, from its very inception, was a Soros power play to gain control of the Democratic Party.

People who take Soros money are co-opted liberal drones. Got it. In 2005, David Horowitz's Shadow Party co-author chimed in with some alarming news:
Founded on June 26, 2001, McCain's Reform Institute for Campaign and Election Issues has long served as a nerve center for the so-called "campaign finance reform" movement – a movement which has done nothing to clean up campaign finance, but has done a great deal to empower federal judges and government bureaucrats to regulate political speech, in defiance of the Bill of Rights.

Now here's the kicker. The list of donors published on the Reform Institute's Web site reads like a veritable Who's Who of radical, leftwing foundations, including the Tides Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Proteus Fund and George Soros' Open Society Institute (hat tip, Winfield Myers).

Not surprisingly, in view of the above associations, Arianna Huffington serves on the Reform Institute's Advisory Board. Huffington has long acted as a front for George Soros' "campaign finance reform" efforts. In 2000, she organized the so-called Shadow Conventions which provided John McCain with a bully pulpit to stump for his now-infamous McCain-Feingold Act. George Soros shouldered about one third of the cost of the Shadow Conventions.

What's this? Some liberal people with some communist puppet-master's money are somehow in cahoots with John McCain? You don't think John McCain could... nah!
As Sen. John McCain assumes the GOP front-runner mantle, his long-standing, but little-noticed association with donors such as George Soros and Teresa Heinz Kerry is receiving new attention among his Republican critics.

In 2001, McCain founded the Alexandria, Va.-based Reform Institute as a vehicle to receive funding from George Soros' Open Society Institute and Teresa Heinz Kerry's Tides Foundation and several other prominent non-profit organizations.

McCain used the institute to promote his political agenda and provide compensation to key campaign operatives between elections.

OMFG! McCain is totally pwned by Soros! Yikes, DHo! All that shit-stirring about Soros came to bite McCain in the ass when it came to convincing some of your nuttier comrades (OMFG, there's people nuttier than Horowitz!). How are you going to walk that one back into the barn?
Soros is an anti-American radical, who thinks George Bush is responsible for the war on terror and that Israel is the aggressor and genocidal armies like Hamas the victims.

In case that wasn't clear enough, Horowitz is saying that Soros is a Nazi.
On these critical issues of our time, John McCain has absolutely nothing in common with George Soros

John McCain is decidedly not a Nazi.
For Soros "American supremacy" is the greatest threat for world peace. For McCain, American military supremacy is the greatest guarantor of world peace. That's quite a difference.

McCain is, in fact, the anti-Nazi who will smite all the brown-skinned Nazis in the Middle East - or wherever they might reside. And McCain is such a savvy anti-Nazi, he's actually taking Soros' Nazi money and then using it to kick his ass. And that's pretty sweet.

I dunno. Given DHos red-diaper background, we have every reason to suspect his endorsement of McCain:
Presently, I am engaged in a nationwide campaign to get the Republican Party to champion the cause of poor people and minorities.

That spells RINO to me.

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13 February, 2008

Note to self

Double-check that all the lids are tightly sealed if the boy helps you pack your lunch. Yogurt covered ham sandwiches are not as appealing as they seem.


12 February, 2008

Reading tip for the evening

Blog comments are best enjoyed as though they're being delivered by Tom Hanks or Martin Sheen in a Ken Burns documentary: "... and that is why I think McCain is demonstrably pro-NAMBLA. LordsGOP, February 8, 2008 at 3:46 AM."


A patriot is reborn and other election day tales

I weathered a ten-block round-trip stroll down an icy sidewalk to my precinct polling station in order to perform my patriotic duty this evening. It was a mite bit less patriotic than the last time I voted at a polling station back in 1998, taking the last bus out of Eugene to Leaburg, voting at the community center, and trudging five star-spangled miles upriver through the thick fall rain to my house in Vida, but light-years more patriotic than the government-forced election regime I had to suffer through for the next four cycles - a thrall to the un-American, and quite frankly, vaguely Communist, Oregon Vote by Mail system. In an Ecstasy-and-red-wine fuzzed post-coital embrace, ms. wobs and I would cackle seditiously, invoke various Pagan deities, and conspire to mark our ballots in such a manner as to most righteously smash freedom. A veritable "Poke and Vote" it was. Medical marijuana? Why only medical? Tax cut? Why not? Physician-assisted suicide? Don't give up yet, we're legalizing weed!

I don't do that anymore. Nope, tonight I was an upstanding citizen treading the red, white, and blue path to liberty with my fellow citizens, and it felt good - far better than those libertine voodoo incantations to elect Ralph Nader.

Bonus election day tale: In 1996, a friend of mine and I spent the better part of the late afternoon getting drunk on a half-rack of Rainier pounders, financed mostly through the return of 144 beer bottles (the maximum that the Safeway would take - we had plenty more). In the early evening we went through the rain to our polling place, where we tramped in wearing dripping wet rain suits and smelling of cheap beer. We weren't obnoxious, but we were having fun, and we started chatting up the amused people in line behind us. Someone sternly commented that we might have been enjoying ourselves too much, given the task at hand. My friend good-naturedly shot back, "And my vote counts just as much as yours!"

Bonus bonus!: Hey look! Results!

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11 February, 2008

Monday night bambino blogging

Some of you have asked, and very politely, I must commend, for more pictures of the lad, which is a perfectly fair thing to ask for, and I'm happy to oblige. Unfortunately, I haven't been around the camera much lately, so I'm lacking in new material (I'll remedy that soon). So here's an oldie but goodie. I posted the hipster version of this shot earlier, but the one here really captures who l'il wobs is. It's one of our favorite photos.

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I get mail

For some reason, I opened the spam this evening and got something so gleefully strange, I had to share:
from: Grieves Shamlin []
reply-to: Grieves Shamlin [],
to: medullanoodle(at)gmail(dot)com,
date: Feb 11, 2008 9:29 PM
subject: peoples


Are you a freqquent visitor of rretail softwaree stores?
We know what you're overppaying for:
- box manufacturiing
- CD

- salespperson salary
- Rentt of shop sspace
- Year--to-year increasingg taxes in your countryy

Well, what for ?! You're able to dowwnload everythingg legally NOW! Faabulous range of softwaree and LOW prices will make you smile and save your money! Welcome to

Displayed, the overreaching zeal of a gaoler who without
reason. That familiar, hysterical quality the ocean as if
she were his favourite bride. When thrown in gear, had been
running as smoothly the most primitive manual task its right
dignity, i suppose it was a good lesson to me and made wandered
about, hunting deer, and wild boars, with great devotion,
possessed of hearts full to commercial and military preeminence,
it may have doen heretofore: that which have made on look
on the absent, tender face as the great masters, were illustratio
(quint. Vi. 2, 32) and perspicientia an old fellow who hitherto
had held his peace radha laughingly said unto shalya these
words, adapted to their early settlements in canaan and.

I haven't actually haven't clicked on the link, but if any of y'all do, could you tell me if I reallyy can get hott softwaree deals while avoiding the year-to-year increasingg taxes in my countryy. Isn't that last paragraph so like the really bad creative writing majors we've all met, whom I've come to think of as the "method writers"?: "Hey, I just drank a fifth of Bushmills and started my sequel to Finnegan's Wake?"

And while I'm generally pleased to see that the author of this particular spam mail has been conscious enough to use gender-neutral pronouns, the phrase "salespperson salary" just generally strikes me as wrong outside of the random doubling of consonants.

Verily a threshent beyond of which bilbo would succumb originally mon petit chou (John 3:16) until wrestled away from conquistadors in peru, cake and.


And by “punk” I mean…

After close to a year and a half of Punk Rock Mondays, I’ve decided to tinker with the format. First and foremost, quite honestly, I’m running out of punk rock to post. You’ve obviously noted that I try to dredge up some vintage performances, and the well on much of what I know is running dry (and I don’t want to insult your intelligence by posting “vintage” Third Eye Blind from 1999).

But also, I couldn’t possibly fit the 8th Wonder of the World, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Mr. Please Please Please Me himself into the old format.

“Out of Sight” and “Maybe the Last Time” from 1966, and holy shit is that man on fire!

With Fred Wesley, Bootsy, and Catfish Collins in the 1971 line-up, “Ain’t It Funky” – to which the answer would be “yes”:

And enjoy the white people as they are forcibly reminded that James Brown has not only licensed them to get funky, he demands it of them! “Sex Machine” and “Get on the Good Foot” from 1976.

So, as Kentucky Fried Chicken morphed into KFC after they started serving the public genetically-modified six breasted chickens, Punk Rock Monday has become PRM, a nod to its venerable past, an embrace of its bionically-enhanced future. More vintage vids, probably not as much actual punk.

You may now commence bitching about how Punk Rock Monday used to be cool.

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10 February, 2008

The many moods of Pam

Pamela Geller manages to range the entire "rage spectrum," from being charmingly delusional:
Dr. Nancy (my sister) suggests we do a Humphrey:


In 1968 President Johnson had eventually decided not to run because of the Vietnam quagmire and the prominent figures in the primary were Eugene McCarthy who won some states and amassed delegates and the dynamic senator from New York Robert F. Kennedy who it was said had a good chance of winning the nomination if he could add California to his wins and have that momentum at his back. This he did, but moments later was shot to death. Vice President Humphrey wound up entering and winning the nomination despite not having participated in the primaries or amassing delegates because he had the support of the incumbent president Johnson and party insiders. Let's do it too. Tell Cheney to jump in, W should support him and we just need party insiders I guess. Or can we never pull what the Dems do a la Lautenberg?

to out-and-out genocidal:
Islamic practices must be utterly shunned, denounced and eradicated from our societies. No taquiya, no sharia, no Islam in the houses of government[.]

And she can hit all the points in between.

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09 February, 2008

The five stages of half-hearted, hackneyed political prose

So, you're an operative looking for a chit to gain access to the next imperial court, but you're tepid, at best, on your prospective choice. Why not pen a half-hearted plea to "unite the base" in the WaPo? Here, in a nutshell, are the five stages of coming to grips with having to endorse John McCain in an editorial:

Denial: "Endorse John McCain in the WaPo? Sure, that shouldn't be a problem."
Anger: "How many words do they want? I can't get past fucking 'He's not Hillary!'"
Bargaining: "Can't I just get my Aunt Helen and Uncle Leonard in Evansville on board and ditch the whole writing thing?"
Despair: "One hour until deadline?!? My consulting firm is fucked!"
Acceptance: "Here's what I got - a shitty adaptation of five stages of how to deal with shit that really sucks. God I fucking hate John McCain!"

But will they listen? Oh noes!:
On the Republican side, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee delivered a humiliating defeat to Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in the Kansas Republican presidential caucuses, and this evening he was leading McCain in the Louisiana contest and running neck and neck with him in Washington state.

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07 February, 2008

Because I'm there

And for anyone who ever thought that a late 1960s show could be anything but bliss, I give you the world's most fucked up acid-era "St. Stephen"

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Have I mentioned how big a douchebag I think Mitt Romney is, and how glad I am that he got completely thrashed?

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06 February, 2008

Little boys who refuse to grow up

This is surely taking the baseball memorabilia thing too seriously:
Brian McNamee has given federal investigators bloody gauze pads and syringes he said he used to inject Roger Clemens with steroids and human-growth hormone in 2000 and 2001, a lawyer familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Blue dresses, bloodied syringes. What's up with the obsession with famous people's precious bodily fluids?
Clemens’s Washington attorney, Lanny Breur, issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon that contended that the notion that McNamee had saved gauze pads and syringes for seven years “defies all sensibility.”

“It is just not credible — who in their right mind does such a thing?” Breur said.

To answer your question, either someone who's going to have a Hall of Fame caliber collection of doping products or someone who knew the risks of what he was doing and wasn't about to be taken down alone.

Hardball, indeed.

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05 February, 2008

So many more questions

Well, Obama has garnered the crucial Grateful Dead endorsement (hat tip). That might be enough for some hemp-clad dreadie who just put down the bong, but not for me. Nosiree.
Bassist Phil Lesh, 67, said he met Obama, who told him he has some Grateful Dead songs on his iPod music player, last year.

Which songs, Senator? Some cuts from American Beauty or the Scarlet>Fire from Cornell '77?

Donna: Yay or Nay?

Pigpen, Keith, or Brent?

And most importantly, Bobby or Jerry?

Don't think that you can duck the hard questions, say that you've got some Dead tunes on your iPod, and think you can win my vote... which I'll get around to casting when I come down.

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02 February, 2008

On the political economy of the barnyard

Most of you are familiar with the children's book Click, Clack, Moo. The gist of the story is that the hens and cows withhold their eggs and milk in order to force Farmer Brown to acquiesce to providing them with electric blankets. In order to seal the bargain, the cows agree to trade their typewriter (with which they were able to make demands) for the blankets. Future hijinx ensue when the ducks, a third party in settling the dispute, abscond with the typewriter and issue their own demand for a diving board at the duck pond. The last page, with the image of a duck diving from a newly installed diving board, leads us to believe that they too were able to leverage the solidarity of their species and bargain.

Now, we could debate for hours the wisdom of bargaining away the typewriter (seriously, do it in the comments), but what intrigues me is that the ducks somehow won. In terms of the barnyard economy, the ducks seem to be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to making demands. The ducks only bring value to the farm in two ways - as food or as animals that enhance the barnyard ambiance that is so crucial in promoting agri-tourisim. In the latter case, given the negligible income generated from the hordes of tourists flocking to see a "working" farm - were the goods producing animals not on strike - and given the expense of caring for them, I'm betting the ducks were loss leaders. Farmer Brown could have just as easily sold the whole gaggle to some fancy French restaurant in the city to recoup his lost revenue from the "staples strike" of aught-eight, sent a chilling message to the rest of the barnyard community, and grabbed his damn typewriter without having to install a fucking diving board. Or even more chillingly, Farmer Brown could have made an example of Mr. Lead McDuck by prepping him up for foie gras.

So I ask again, what could the ducks have possibly had that would give them leverage over Farmer Brown?

I've only been able to come up with one answer that fits the facts of the story - the ducks were the barnyard good squad, employed by Farmer Brown with a cush duck pond and all the feed they can eat in return for keeping the rest of livestock in line. Farmer Brown employs them to break the strike, the ducks arrange for the veal truck to be spotted in the farm parking lot, the cows, um... cowed by the aggressive display, but still wanting those blankets, stand firm on their one demand but agree to give up the one means by which they could make demands. After greasing the deal, the ducks, mercenaries with no set of loyalties that they are, decide that it's Farmer Brown who owes them big for mediating an agreeable solution, and when Farmer Brown initially ignores them, he wakes up next to the head of his plow-horse. The ducks then, through a savvy combination of patronage and calculated violence, maintain labor peace and managerial benign neglect to keep their dope smuggling ring intact and away from prying eyes.

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01 February, 2008

Answer me this

Really. WTF is going on with all of these Hollywood Scientologists? Why actors? Why not Presbyterianism?

Seriously, WTF is up with that?

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And I for one welcome our post-modern overlords

Shorter K-Fed:
I fucked a self-destructing pop star and knocked her up... twice! And one day that is going to score me... wait, my fifteen minutes aren't done yet!

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Note to self

When a hotel maintains that they have "free wifi," what they mean is that they've made a weak to non-existent signal available which will provide your computer with the illusion of internetiness with actually allowing it to suckle at the teat of the information tubes.

In other words, last night you missed out on my Williamsburg inspired 10,000 word discourse on new advances in the maintenance of historical simulacrum. Poor you.