Wednesday, December 14, 2005

It happens the world over...

Indoneasean troops invaded a tiny island recently and deposed its leader, an australian surfer. Another fateful blow for democracy worldwide. No longer do we live under the torturous rule of surfers.

Meanwhile, the president has admitted the intelligence for the war was wrong and it's

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

R.I.P. Tookie

Six times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Executed by the State of California.

Absolutely no words left to say.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I seem to have this effect on people...

It seems like every time I enter a party, it either clears out or become a much more lame party, which I've come to accept, given my lame-ass nature.

But cities?!? Now I just feel a little insulted.

Before I came to Minnepolis, it was the nation's most literate city. But now that I'm here, it's slipped down to second behind those unwashed hippies in Seattle. Furthremore, people seem to be leaving in droves.'s enough to make a boy feel unpopular. Well, even more so.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cherished Childhood memories and sexual predators

When I was younger, every Christmas season (and yes, I said Christmas, you godless liberal atheists...and other religions) my folks and I used to go the library and check out a record of various "ethnic" Christmas songs form around the world, because we're those kind of open-minded people, right?

Anyway, my favorite song by far was Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey because I liked the make the donkey noises along with the donkey on the recording (I didn't have many friends).

So, last Christmas, I had come home with my precious few days off of work, and my girlfriend at the time had for some reason never heard of the Dominic or his multi-ethnic friends, so I dashed straight-off to the library to find it. Well, it turns out that the Fort Dodge Public Library is one amongst many libraries that now bans adults unaccompanied by children in the children's section of the library (to attempt to stop kidnapping and sexual predators). So after a few moments browsing in the children's section, I was promptly asked to leave.

Turns out they had gotten rid of their record collection years ago anyway, so it didn't matter, but I still felt a little depressed getting kicked out of the library because they thought I was a sexual predator when I was simply trying to relive one of my most cherished chidlhood memories.

But all was not lost, because today while randomly downloading seasonal music, I stumbled onto a copy of Dominic, and have been listening to it ad naseum.

And to think, if it were up to the ACLU, I would have to listen to Dominic, the Italian-American Secular Gift-Exchange Quadraped.

Thank God for Bill O'Reilley.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Racism is bad? Controversial, but true

Today has been declared the 1st annual "Blog Against Racism Day." I tried to think of many different high-minded essays I could write about the evils of racism, but each one just ended up with me becomng depressed that it's still necessary to be against racism. I mean, come the fuck on, folks. According to my calendar, it's the year 2005. We're still not passed that shit? Anyway, I figure that no one who goes out of their way to read a blog written by someone like me is very racist, so in the end, it's a moot point.

But try to to punch a racist person in the back of the head today.

You know, to help out.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Christial update

So it turns out that the fella that called me about his Jesus-related court plans (see below) was actually my friend and fellow improv troupe member AJ, not my protest friend Dave (although this does seem like a thing Dave would do, just so you know the kind of people I call friends). Anyway, because nothing happens in Iowa, even in our bigger cities, his little dress up incident made the cover of the local newspaper. Check out the online version here.

One of the better gags I've ever been privy to, and one more of the many things that makes me proud to call the 29th state home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

With friends like these" or "The Right Finally Wins"

So I get woken up this morning by an as-of-yet unidentified caller. Here is the conversation verbatim:

Caller: Hey Woz, guess who's showing up for jury duty this morning at the Blackhawk county courthouse?

Me: (very groggy and only half awake) I dunno

Caller: Jesus Christ

Me: What?

Caller: Jesus Christ!

Me: (by now extremely confused) He's come back to judge the living and the dead?

Caller: No, me in costume as Jesus Christ

Me: Alright...lemme know how that goes

Caller: I will. Gotta go, I'm getting called in now

At first I thought it all was just a beautiful dream, but I checked my cell phone when I finally got out of bed, and the call did indeed happen. I don't recognize the number, but I have a few guesses as to who it is. Regardless, it warms my heart to know that whoever it was made sure to let me know it was happening.

A great way to start off your day.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Hooray for our team!

Today is Kurt Vonnegut's birthday.

Kurt is probably the most-influential living writer, or at least living American writer. And he's a good-ol' Midwestern boy (or fresh water person, as he would put it) who even spent a good deal of time at the Iowa Writer's Workshop. As a socialist, semi-Christian, cynic, and all-around cantankerous old man, he's come to embody pretty much everything good about America. Thankfully, he broke his own promise to never write again by releasing a new book "A Man Without a Country," a semi-autobiographical work full of his musings on the state of the world.

Being a huge Vonnegut fan, I snapped it up right away, and read it cover to cover in one night. Almost. Seeing as Kurt has gotten quite old, it's extremely likely that this will be the last book he evers writes. As such, I just can't bring myself to read the last page of the book, because once I do, there will officially be no new Vonnegut books. Ever. From then on out, I'll just be re-reading classics, which is fine, but just not the same.

You see, Kurt is one of the few living legends that folks such as myself can look up to. Sure, there are other great, and possibly even better, figures in American literature (Twain, Heller, etc.) but they're all dead and gone. There just seems to be so much more urgency in reading brilliant works by those still inhabiting the earth. Probably the same feeling people used to have when a new Hednrix album would come out. Or the feeling we used to get every sunday night watching the Simpsons from seasons 4 through 8.

Anyway, go out and buy the book. It's good. Well, at least everything up to the last page.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

And then this...

As always, "I'm not making this up!™"

A bold step toward equal rights

Things have looked dismal lately. Rosa Parks, the "mother of the civil rights movement" passed away last week admist an administration and political culture that seeks to overturn most, if not all, of the gains she and others of the great Civil Rights movement fought for.

But there's a silver lining to this cloud.

Yes, for the first time ever, the Westchester Cat show (motto: we've got cats!) is going to honor...get ready...a dog. But not just any dog. A dog who was once named Cat of the Year in 1998.

Has the world gone topsy-turvy?

You bet it has!

Topsy-turvy for ending inequality.

I hope we all learn a little something from this. It doesn't matter if your skin is white or black or brown, or if your genetic make-up is feline or canine. Deep down, we're all people (or quadraped animals) and as such, we should all be treated equally.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Singing the red state...blues?

New York, New York
I Left My Heart (in San Francisco)”
My old Virginnie Home
California Dreaming
The bands Kansas, Boston, Chicago, and to some extent, Toto

The list could go on and on. So many states and locales have their own songs or bands bearing their name. Most of them (e.g. California, New York) have so many songs written about them (not even counting whiny acousitc songs that very few people, thankfully, ever hear) that you cannot even name them all.

Not Iowa.

Poor Iowa gets no love, whether it be from smart-alec big-town professors or from ironically named punk bands.

Hell, most people think we’re the potato state.

But there have been a few brave souls who’ve stood up and showed their pride in the home of quite possibly the nation’s worst president (take that, Texas!).

Of course, outside of Slipknot, you’ve never heard of any band from Iowa, much less anyone singing about Iowa. So I’ve compiled for you an entirely unthorough review of all songs about Iowa that can be downloaded conveniently off of limewire and their relevance to the Hawkeye state.

1) Iowa Nice--Meredith Wilson

Following the golden rule of artistic life, if you’re form the middle of nowhere, you have to make sure your opus is about the place you're from. And Meredith Wilson did not skip out on this obligation in the slightest, making an entire musical (Music Man, for those of you who haven’t caught on yet) about the 29th state.

Relevance to Iowa:

Excellently captures Iowans and our ability to be both nice and easily fooled by slick out-of-towners. Except now they sell meth instead of band uniforms.

2) Iowa--John Linnell

John is not from Iowa. Rather, he is from the annoying pop duo (and assumedly also soem sort of geographic region that's not Iowa), They Might be Giants. For those of you not familiar with TMBG, they’re the group that the semi-popular girl in your high school who’s bent on proving she’s different, but not too different, listens to.

Relevance to Iowa:

While the song does posit the entirely plausible notion that the state of Iowa is a witch, it incorrectly holds that as a state-witch we would cast spells on Vermont. We would do no such thing. All of our spells would be focused on New Hampshire, to add insult to injury. Think about it.

3) Iowa--Dar Williams

Soulful acoustic chick that somehow avoids the seemingly painfully obvious comparisons to Ani. Except she’s talented.

Relevance to Iowa:

Though it’s more of a love song, huge props to the fact that it could be set anywhere, but it’s set in Iowa. Also, successfully captures the fact that we’re modest folk out here.

4) The Truth About Iowa--Stretch Armstrong

Iowa is actually home to a surprisingly large amount of hardcore music (take it from a fella who knows), despite our humble and reserved ways, so this fits in well. Again, not from Iowa, but I love them for giving us love.

Relevance to Iowa:

Hard to the song about an incident that happened in Iowa? Possibly. But it doesn’t take 18 hours to cross Iowa by car. It’s more like 4-5. But we do all treat each other like family, so it at least gets that right.

5) Iowa Waltz--Greg Brown

A song about a man who was born in Iowa, plans on staying there for life, and prominently features every country/bluegrass instrument possible. Never heard of Greg Brown before this experiment (turns out he's pretty cool...the shit you find on the information super highway, eh?), but he clearly has a high opinion of Iowa, so he can’t be all that bad. Or sane.

Relevance to Iowa:

The opening line “out there in the corn, in the middle of the U.S.A.” not only captures our greatest export, but also our geographical and political centrality. That, and the fact that we’re backward people who never want to leave, because we’re afraid of the outside world. Possibly the most relevant Iowa-related song ever recorded.

6) Iowa Fight Song

The rousing tune that always gets Kinnick stadium and/or Carver-Hawkeye Arena going. And the only words on this track are “Iowa, Iowa, Iowa.”

Relevance to Iowa:

Seems pretty damn relevant, but for the fact that it only covers Hawk fans. No love for Cyclone fans. And especially no love for Panther fans, but there’s only about of those anyway.

There you have it. Probably the most comprehensive list of Iowa-related music ever compiled, with a little something for everyone. And a bit surprising, really. I didn't think I'd find anything, but here I find myself opened to a multitude of new, pro-Iowa musicians.

California, New're on notice. Iowa's a comin'. Musically, that is.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Team member of the month?!?

My roomate Gutter has finally acheived the dream, and bested the inanimate carbon rod (pictured), as he has been named Menard's Team Member of the Month. We're still unsure as to what this means, but what we do know is that you get a call at home that wakes you up in morning to inform you of the fact you've been selected for such an honor. But now we're left to wonder: what sorts of amazing rights and responsibilities come with such an honor? An executive parking space? Free tile grout? A ham and a bronze plaque? A date with the sexy, sexy Menards lady who replaced the Menard's guy for a short period when he was out with health problems, but for some reason wore his glasses?

Only the good Lord above knows, but I, for one, am waiting with baited breath to see what wonders await him. Check back for updates.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Best Trent Lott quote ever?

Trent has a quality stock-room full of great quotes. Who can forget him saying that we would have had many less problems in the 60s if the country had voted in Stom Thurmond for president, who of course, was running on a segregation ticket? I know I can't.

But Trent has out-Trented himself. Today, he let this little gem slip live on CNN:

"It's time for the president to search the nation to find the best man, woman, or minority to fill the supreme court vacancy"

As always, "I'm not making this up!"

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Very interesting new blog...

A new person has entered the blogging world, and he promises to be an interesting read.

That man is Jerry Baker.

I want to tell you a little something about Jerry Baker, but most of what I can tell you is not necissarily known to be true. What I do know is that Jerry is a staple of the Cedar Falls/Waterloo (Iowa) progressive scene. You can always see Jerry in his trademark overalls, sandwhich board sign, and hiker's backpack, complete with 5' U.S. flag flying on a tall flag pole coming out of his back pack. He's definately an older fellow, but where he comes from, no one knows. What he's done in his life is open to conjecture and hearsay. My favorite Jerry Baker life story is that he used to be a high-level analyst for the CIA (he is an active member of Mensa, so it could be true) but was fired under suspicious circumstances, and thus turned radically progressive due to his hatred of the government he formerly believed in. No idea if it's true, but it's a great story.

However, one story I do know is true.

In 1984, Jerry ran for president of the United States as part of the "Big Deal" party. They were only on the ballot in Iowa. To trump up support for his candidcay, he walked all over the nation with only his backpack, sandwhich board (with "Jerry Baker for President" emblazoned on it), and his big flag flying proudly behind him. If you ask him about it, he'll give you a photo copy of a story about him from the New York Times (he always carries several with him).

In addition to protests, he can almost always be found at the University of Northern Iowa library, doing research (on what I ahve no idea) or swearing loudly at the computers that don't work.

I've only read his blog a few times, but trust me, you don't have to be a friend of Jerry's or a resident of Iowa to take something away form a reading of this man's blog. Check it out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rock and Roll alter egos

I was struck by an idea in a blog of a prof of mine that all musicians should have a cartoon alter-ego, so that they are free to experiment without the weight of past successes hovering over them (ala the all-star members of the Gorillaz). Of course, he was saying this in respect to legends of music such as Bruce Springstein and Neil Young, not former members of the CF Soundstation/Unity Crew or Broken Arms, but I feel it's just as important for us no-names. Maybe even more important. Most everyone has fun performing all sorts of styles of music, but most everyone will also note that to make it in today's music industry, you have to concentrate most (if not all) of your attention and publicity-seeking stunts on one musical personae. Having your cartoonish alter-ego to make great music that you may or may not want associated with your name is a great outlet for all of the creativity that just doesn't fly in today's restrictive, genre-dominated music scene. So in short, I encourage everyone to be a cartoon character in a semi-fictituos band, for a multitude of reasons, much as I have been fortunate enough to be a bassist/vocalist/drummer/guitarist for The Consumption of Neat Colors, illustrated above so well by my boy Widda-T.

I'm the one playing the know, just incase you don't recognize me solely by my well-defined pectoral muscles.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Lookie how professional I am...

Getting a squre day-job does crush a good part of your soul, but it at least gets you a neato web-profile.

So I've got that going for me.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Exploding alligators and low approval ratings: coincidence?

Florida: many things to many people. The sunshine state. America's wang. Home of overranked football teams.

But mostly it's a place where we, the rest of the nation, dump our unwanted things.

Like the elderly.

Or Burmeese pythons.

It seems that the Burmeese python population is exploding in the everglades, leading to humorous photos like these of half-digested alligators bursting out of the stomachs of pythons. It turns out that the Burmeese python was a favorite family pet a few years back, but the unwanted ones are now being dumped in the everglades and are causing huge problems, as they have no natural predators there, but thrive in the warm, moist conditions.

Much the same can be said for the elderly. They've long out-lived their cute-ness, so we dump them into a nice warm, moist climate where they can thrive amongst themselves and have no natural predators.

But there are un-intended consequences, such as voting Republican, that we didn't forsee, and we're now paying for dearly.

However, unlike nature, this problem seems to be self-correcting, as Bush's approval rating has dipped below 40%, with only 24% of Americans believing our nation is headed in the right direction.

Now if only we could take care of that snake problem.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I am not digitally capable of back-hollering

Gwen Stefani is set to receive an award next week for having the first single ever to break 1,000,000 legal downloads, proving once again, that although you can afford a computer, you can't necessisarily afford taste.

Necessity is the mother of all invention

Just when you thought your pitiful, meaningless life could never improve, along comes: ">carbonated yogurt!

Biggest selling point: "It's not painful like soda pop" said Lynn Ogden, a food science professor at Brigham Young University.

Finally, a substitute for all those hours of agonizing pain I've sat through trying to force down a soda will be replaced with soothing time spent with my carbonated yogurt.

Ogden, the inventor of corbonated yogurt, is in talks with a company that also sells e-Moo, a carbonted milk.

Life begins today!

Memories of inadvertant collegiate troublemaking

So I was reminiscing the other day with a college professor friend from undergrad (a very amusing man himself, check him out here) and I mentioned the time a poster I had put up for a theatre group I was in (everyone's favorite No Shame Theatre) which was semi-controversial. I don't exactly remember what it was (I made a ton of posters for No Shame) but I'm pretty sure it was the one in which I had a poorly drawn stick-figure Jesus on the cross with a very bloddy face and the caption read "No Shame: Christ it's good!" which I thought was pretty clever.

Anyway, somehow a state representative who happened to be on campus happened to see it, and set up a metting with the dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts (whom he mistakenly thought had somehting to do with No Shame) and himself and several other senators demanding that the person responsible for this (me) be removed from the school and severley disciplined.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I don't seek out trouble. It just finds me.

Anyway, then Doug reminded me of an incident I'd largely forgotten. A long time ago, the improv troupe I was in was taking publicity photos. We took one of those "for fun" photos (you know, where the camera person says "Oh, gee, you're all such a fun group. Why don't you take a funny picture?" as if it's an extremely novel concept to photograph people in humorous poses)and seeing as I figured it would never see the light of day, I whipped out the ol' finger penis. The finger penis, of course, is when one puts their hand down their pants and puts their index finger through the fly of their pants so it looks like their penis is sticking out.

How was I supposed to know that was the picture the school newspaper would use to accompany an article about the troupe?

Well, again, the shit hit the fan, the newspaper got in trouble, the director got in trouble, the theater manager got in trouble, and sevreal others. I, of course, did not, but I prefer to see myself as more of a victim in this case anyway.

Incidentally, the picture is still up on the newspaper's website for some reason. Check out my finger penis.

Humorous post-script: Awhile back, I was at the home of one of the other members of the troupe, and he had an article cut out of the paper where they used the same picture again. However, this time, the headshots of folks were cut out and put into their own little squares to make it look like they were pictures taken individually. So in the picture of the girl in front of me in the group photo, you could just see her face and a weird dangling object in front of it.

And as always, "I'm not making this up!™"

Friday, September 30, 2005

A critical anlysis of your cherished childhood memories

The president wants to send a man to Mars by 2015.

And Captain Planet is nothing but a tool of imperialist, racist global corporate capitalism.

In cartoon form.

How's this you ask? The Captain did so much for the environment, you say?

Not so fast. As if the mullet were not enough evidence, look at the powers all of the planeteers were assigned: there was wind, earth, fire, water, and heart. And what does the Latino kid get stuck with? Heart.

The shittiest power of them all.

While everyone else was out there making floods, and forrst fires, and earthquakes, this kid's stuck in the back standing there like a douchebag with no discernable superpower. No one wants the power of heart. I mean, what could he do? Make people fall in love? No! Only fate and circumstance can do that. A love devoid of free will is no love at all.

So, Captain Planet gave the shittiest job to the Latino kid. It's like the entire American economy, only in scale. Cartoon scale. People complain about Mexicans taking all of our jobs, when they’re not taking the kick ass jobs like doctor, or water; they’re taking the shitty jobs like janitor, or heart.

But they tried to mask the fact that it was racist by including one of every major ethnic minority group as defined by the network legal team. But of course, in their racist conception, the asian girl was a scientist. Obviously they needed a scientist to teach kids about the earth and that type of shit, but why'd it have to be the Asian girl? Why couldn't it have been the Scottish kid, or was he too busy getting drunk and playing golf?

So what's the point of all of this?

It’s called being a critical thinker, asshole. Captain Planet seemed like a harmless cartoon. In fact, it seemed like a good one. It tried to teach our children to love and respect the earth. Instead, it implicitly taught them to be racist tools of global capitalist imperialism. It’s just like this Mars landing. It sound all benign and even wonderful, until you think of the fact that there are millions of peple starving on earth, and instead of feeding them, we’re wasting billions of dollars sending people thousands of light years away for little to no reason. We may as well be searching for five magical rings that combine to form a weird gray superhero.

The kind of thing graduate study in the social sciences enables you to figure out.

Hurrah for education!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Doesn't matter your political views...

Well, I thought it was an urban legend, but it actually exists. The website actually exists. It's a site where soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan can trade photos of brutally murdered/tortured Iraqis and Afghanis in exchange for access to pornography. Of course, all of the extremely gruesome photos (not safe for work, by the way) have captions such as "That's what you get for messing with the U.S." or other similarly machoistic nonsense. And of course, these mutillated bodies are almost always surrounded by groups of smiling soldiers giving a hearty Lyndie England-sytle thumbs up.

People, I don't care what you think about this war or any other subject, this shit is just about as wrong as wrong can physically possibly be.

Just something to ponder with your "Support Our Troops" bumper sticker.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Mars Volta/System of a Down Concert Review

Out of every show I've ever been to in my short existance, this one undoubtedly featured both the best hair and dance moves. But for a review in full...

Opening Act: Hella

Caught about the last 5 minutes of their set due to a wrong turn (still new to town). But from what I heard of their set and then later heard from musically-trustworthy friends, these guys are worth a listen.

First Act: The Mars Volta

Undoubtedly on of the greatest bands in current existance. These guys are insane musically and dance-illy, which very well could be a word. Throughout their set I couldn't help but think this was about the closest thing I would get to seeing Led Zep perform live. And not just because of the Robert lant-esque bell-bottom suits. The show was electric and insanely high-energy. The kind of thing that shows that good musicians are always better live. Not to say that Francis the Mute was not brilliant (it was) but it was merely one take from some great improvisers. Catch them live while they still exist as an entity.

Second Act: System of a Down

Given their outspoken political views with such side projects as Axis of Justice, I was expecting more political ranting between songs, but this was kept to only one comment from Darin about how we should establish one big purple state. The set was fairly straight-forward renditions of their music, but was notable for the extended intro's Darin performed. Also, more than one song had clearly newer lyrics either to reflect the current political landscape or just because these guys are clever lyricysts (sometimes) and like to show it off. I did question just how long it is until Darin releases a solo albulm, given the fact that he wrote a good 70-80% of SOAD's last albulm and was definately center-stage at the show. Finally, they capped off the show with an extended version of "Sugar" from way back in the day which got the hardcore fans going.

Only complaint about the show:

I do enjoy some hardcore and shred-metal (and I'm only semi-emberrassed to admit it) when it's done well. But like so many sub-genres, even if I like the music, I typically hate the people who listen to it. The best example is that in the exceptionally long line in the bathroom between sets, all of the stupid metal-heads were complaining about how weird and boring the Mars Volta are, which I would have argued about with them if they weren't all clearly on steroids.

Even though, couldn't kill my good music buzz. I must say, it's so nice to live in a city where it's only a 15 minute drive to see good music, instead of 4 hour drive.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Whatever happened to Teddy Roosevelt...

The great trust-buster must be rolling in his grave. Right now, Wal-Mart is applying for a liscence to open a bank in Utah. That's right folks, soon you could be banking at the good ol' Bank of Wal-Mart, presumably with 8 year old Asain girls for tellers. The FDIC is having an open public comment period to get feedback on whether it should allow Wal-Mart to do this or not. Because apparently being the largest employer and private company in the world just isn't what it used to be. For reasons that are far too painfully obvious, a Bank of Wal-Mart would pretty much spell out the apocolypse. Please go here and voice your displeasure and let the FDIC know not to go through with this.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Who's reading Jesse's blog? Part II of never-ending series...

Earlier I made a semi-humorous (or at least attempting to be humorous) post looking at who reads my blog and how they came to it. Most came looking for pornography, which either says something good about my exercise program, or just kinda tells the story of the internet as a whole. But now I've got a new and even more disturbing brand of fan. I was momentarily excited when I found that a recent post garnered a fair number of comments. Upon reading them, I found that 3 out of the 4 posts were actually advertisements for debt consolidation and/or loans. But again, this makes me ponder life. Is it just the internet? Or, have I been so horribly mis-managing my finances that people who don't even know me have finally taken to anonymously posting on my blog in a last-ditch effort to help me? Either way, I'm saddened and just a bit hurt. I mean, if "Sonya" or "blogs r us" really think I have that big of a problem with my finances, why couldn't they give me a call, or tell me over a cup of tea at the Hard Times? And "7472" with the extremely confusing offer of penis enlargement pills after posting half of an article about Orphans International Worldwide? I though I knew you "7472," but apparently we're just not the good friends that I thought. And really, if there's a problem of too many orphans in the world, shouldn't we all try to cut back on our consumption of penis-enlarging pills? I mean, they're not exactly related, but it can't be helping anything.

As always, "I'm not making this up!™"

I don't care about your political views, these people are just assholes

Senator Rick Santorum (the man whose name is synonymous with the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is often the by-product of anal sex) said that those who didn't leave New Orleans should be punished for not leaving (because having everything you own destroyed and half of your family killed isn't punishment...unless you're a pussy) and Barbara Bush pushed the envelope even further by saying that since the people who are stuck in the Superdome amongst dead bodies and raping looters were poorin the first place, they have it pretty good now. She may be right, though. I mean, it's practially like a vacation for these people. They don't have to go to work (because the place where they work is under 30 feet of water), they get free food (possibly), and they get the opportunity to be beaten up/raped and have the few meager possessions they have left stolen from them. Sounds good to me. Especially since the Bush administration response to this tragedy is pretty much the same thing as erecting a Bruce Lee statue to bring about peace andreconcilliation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Boy, I'd sure hate to be the president right now...

Here it is, straight from the White House website, posted on August 26th:

"The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Louisiana and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the parishes located in the path of Hurricane Katrina beginning on August 26, 2005, and continuing."

Confused? It means the president assumed responsibility for the disaster relief for Katrina before it even happened. But this didn't make him cut short his vacation until 3 days after the storm hit. Would someone kindly explain to me how he's not responsible for the thousands of lives lost because of the entire lack of a federal response in the aftermath of this catastrophe?

Rental stories of the damned...

So I've officially lived in my new apartment (technically a "condo") for a month and nothing has broken and needed to be repaired yet. Yet, being the operative term. But this is actually quite a step up from the previous hole-in-a-basement that I lived in. By the time I had hit the one month mark there, my apartment had already flooded 2 times, the toilet had broken down, the kitchen sink drain had broken, and the pipes in the false ceiling had burst, causing a foul-smelling brown liquid to rain down on everything I own. Good times.

But possibly the best story comes from when the pipes in the wall burst and my kitchen and bathroom walls become little art deco/po-mo waterfalls. So I call the landlord's maintenance guy, who's really nice, but clearly a full-blown alcoholic, and kinda insane. So he comes over at 11 p.m. on sunday night to fix the problem. Not exactly an orthodox time for maintenance work, but such is life. Now, I lived in a one room efficiency, so it wasn't like I could ignore him. I mean, I could go around the corner so I couldn't see him, but he talks loudly to himself, so it was semi-distracting.

Well, he finds the problem, and he now thinks he knows why the pipes burst. He found my bottle of emuratic acid under the sink (my Dad's a chemist, so he can get even cooler cleaning solvents than your average janitor) and thinks that the fumes from this tightly-capped bottle caused the pipes inside the wall four feet away to burst, which makes some sense, I suppose. But not to worry, he comes to me and says "I think it's your acid, but I went ahead and beat the hell outta the whole area with a wrench so the landlord doesn't know it was your fault, but you didn't hear that from me." How nice of him.

But then it turns out that this is too much work for him, so he calls in an associate. The time is now a little after midnight, and I have to work in the morning. It's now like a bad 3 Stooges episode, only there's only 2 of them, and I think they're both drunk. But it gets more entertaining, because I hear snippets of conversation such as:

Dude 1: "Did you turn off the power?"

Dude 2: "Yeah, I already took care of it"

Dude 1: "If you turned off the power, why is the light still on?"

Dude 2: "Must be on another breaker"

Dude 1: "Ok" (slight pause) "Ow! Damnit!" (sound of Dude 1 hitting the floor)

Dude 2: "Oops. Maybe I didn't turn it off."


Dude 1: "It should be fine as long as there's no smoke"

Dude 2: "Well, I'm getting alot of blue smoke back here"

Dude 1: "Hmmm...well, I don't know what that means, but it can't be good."

Out of sheer curiosity, I round the orner into the kitchen, and my stove is sitting on the patio outside, and they're doing somehting with an acetylene torch. It's now 2 in the morning, and a third person has come over. But this one's a girl, and I don't think she's a maintenance worker, because she's just sitting on my kitchen table drinking one of my sodas and telling dirty jokes. Finally, it get's to be about 4 a.m., and seeing as how I have to work the next day, I tell them I'm taking off to sleep at a friend's house for the night and that they should lock up when they're done. When I get home at 10, they're gone, but they've taken a bunch of food and used all of my dish towels to wipe up grease. Fortunately no valuables are gone.

I consider it a pretty good repair job.

Except for the fact that they removed a very important support for the sink, so it now leans forward so far you have to pull up on the front and bend it the other way to get the water to go down the drain. I thank God I'm moving out of there in a few weeks and go on with my life.

In short, pretty much nothing could happen in this new apartment/condominium that would really throw me.

"Latex condom? I sure wish I lived in one of those"-Abe Simpson

They have the internet on computers now...

It's been quite a light summer for the ol' blog here, but I've finally made the big transition to Minneapolis and graduate school and have my new computer all wired and ready to go. So, I may finally get back to regular blogging. Hopefully. So if you've read this in the past and have quit reading because I rarely updated it this summer and you happent o be checking by chance, start coming back regularly.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Crime Watch: Who will Bush arrest first?

Will it be...

A) Osama Bin Laden, the man who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and is still conducting terrorist attacks


B) Cindy Sheehan, mother of a American soldier who died in combat in Iraq

While the CIA says it had Bin Laden trapped in early 2002 but the President refused to send enough troops to capture him, he has made it clear that if the grieving mother of a fallen soldier sets foot on his ranch in texas, she will be arrested as a threat to national security.

So what does Mrs. Sheehan want that's so intimidating?

She wants one hour of Bush's time during his 5-week long vacation to explain to him why she and all of the other members of Gold Star Families for Peace (families that have lost a loved on in combat) want him to bring the troops home so no one else's children have to die. This, of course, being a much more greivous crime than ramming planes into the World Trade Center.

Which one will it be, Mr. Bush?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Who wouldn't want a baby girl named after a boy named after a girl?

 So my friend/improv troupe director Doug is about to have a baby. Well, technically his wife Laurel is about to have the baby, but you know what I mean. Anyway, the baby was due on the first of August, but it's still hanging out, enjoying yet another perfect day in the womb, making it 8 days late. On his homepage, Doug has a "baby watch," and will let the world know what day the little girl (potentially known as "Francie"...blech) has entered the world.

Now, the catch is that the 11th is my birthday. This means that if the little one holds out for a mere two more days, she and I will share the day of our birth, mine having come a scant 23 years before hers. Now, at that point, being a good friend of the family, and all-around renaissance man, it would only seem appropriate that they name their child after me. Yes, Jesse Scott Genesius Wozniak Palmer Shaw. Sounds pretty good to me. Much, much better than "Francie," at least.

The problem is that despite the numerous times I have brought this idea up, Doug and Laurel politely laugh and then change the subject, as if I'm making some sort of poorly conceived joke. To show them I'm serious, I need your help with my petition. I have started a letter campaign asking them to name their child after me if it is indeed born on the 11th. An adendum to the letter asks Laurel to hold out until the 11th to ensure that this happens. I need you, loyal reader, to send a copy of the letter to Doug in the hopes that enough letters will sway their opinion. Please send letters to You may feel free to compose your own letter, or simply copy and paste the letter below:

To Dr. Douglas Shaw and Laurel Palmer (which I'm vaguely certain is her last name...on second thought, better just leave that out),

As a concerned citizen, it has come to my attention that you two are about to become the bearers of a new human life. As countless medical and psychological studies have shown, a child's name can have a great impact on future health and well-being. Therefore, as first time parents, you undoubtedly want to give your child a moniker that will bring her health and good fortune through all the years. That is why I would like to add my voice to the growing number of conceerned individuals that request your child's name be Jesse Scott Genesius Wozniak, with whatever last names you deem appropriate to saddle her with as well. In addition, I would like to request Laurel to postpone delivery of the child until the 11th of August, in the year of our Lord 2005, but no later, as this has been proven to be a day on which exceptionally attractive and talented people have been born (such as wrestling Hall-of-Fame member Terry "Hulk" Hogan and holder of the world's highest recorded IQ/parade magazine advice columnist Marilyn Vos Savant). In so doing this, you will be giving a gift not only to your unborn child, but to the future of humanity.
In solidarity with your momentous task,
Johnathon Quincy Public

Friday, August 05, 2005

A Great Day for common sense

CNN has just announced that they have indefinately suspended conservative/creepy commentator Robert Novak after he had a tempertantrum on air in which he swore at James Carville (which, admittedly, most of us want to do) and then stormed off the set. You might remember Novak as the man who committed treason by publishing, in his nationally syndicated column, that Valerie Plame is an undercover CIA agent, thus putting her life in great danger. Of course, it was in no way connected to the fact that Mz. Plame's husband, Joe Wilson (also a CIA agent), was a very vocal critic of the President's reasoning for going to war. Oh, and his storming off the set has nothing to with the fact that the moderator was just about to ask him about the investigation into his treason. I'm sure there's a very valid reason for all of this, and that history will prove Novak was only trying to serve his country. In the meantime, you can watch the footage of his entire career being destroyed here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Visual Guide to My Education

I've mentioned a few times in my blog that I'm finally leaving Iowa and beginning graduate school at the University of Minnesota. This lead me to do some misty-eyed reflecting on my past educational experiences. More specifically, I've spent a large amount of time reflecting on how idiotic school mascots are. Here, presented for the first time, is a life that can contend for having endured the worst ideas people have ever had to create school spirit.

High School: Rodger Dodger

Since I couldn't find and online image, I was forced to draw a composite sketch, although this is pretty much it. His name is Rodger Dodger (quite descriptive in and of itself), and as to what he is, your guess is as good as mine. Top hat? Life-sized promotional battery? Friendly anthropomorphic bong? All I know is that the outfit required someone under 5'4" to wear it, so the majority of the time, we didn't have a mascot.

Undergrad: T.C. Panther

This is the mascot of the University of Northern Iowa Panthers, seen here cavorting with a drunken elderly woman. Quite ferocious and at least of discernable genesis. Yes, just like De La Soul, I graduated from UNI-versity. Anecdotally, I once saw T.C. in the student union while I was studying. Apparently, the cheerleading squad, in conjunction with some fraternity, was offering to take your picture with T.C. for a fee to benefit some charity. Seriously. I remember that he (and he is a an article here in which he relates having to beat up a high school student in self-defense) spent quite a bit of time at the tables of attractive women. Now, I can't help but wonder what he was thinking. He can't be seen or heard from inside there. But he seemed to be fully expecting to stumble onto a girl sitting there thinking "I have such a void in my life. If only I could fill it with sex with a man who isn't afraid to dress up in an over-sized novelty animal costume." Oh, and what does the "T.C." stand for, you ask? It stands for "The Cat." Yes, his full name is "The Cat Panther." However, even this redundant name does not take the cake, for there is also...

Grad School: Goldie Gopher

Yes, now I will be represented by Goldie the Golden Gopher, seen here conferring an honorary degree upon State Representative Gene Pelowski. I think "Goldie" may be even more stupid than "The Cat Panther," but it's a pretty close call.

Although over my career I may have totalled the highest number of idiotic mascots, I didn't hit the worst of them. For example, I could have been any of these:

In the religious category, we have the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest, as well as the Battlin' Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan. Of course, they don't match the loveliness of Lansig (Mich) Lugnuts or the Akron (Ohio) Zips. Then there's my personal favorites, the UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs.

However, none of these are overtaken by the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys who preseumably at one point in time had both Michael Douglas and Toby Maguire playing for them, with a pep band soundtrack by Bob Dylan.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Too good to pass up

This blog won't be as funny as it could be because I'm on a 10 yr old p.c. in a 3rd world nation, but I found this little doozy on MSN. Rock and Roll "legend' and former News frontman Huey Lewis will be starring in "Chicago" on Broadway. He may or may not be appearing in "Checking In," the smash-hit broadway musical about the Betty Ford Center, as well. He joins such other luminaries who left one tragically successful career to join the ranks or legitimate stage actors as John Schneider (Bo Duke), who came all the way from Hazzard county to play Frank Butler, and Macaulay Culkin, who at age 20 re-entered the acting world by plaing a 15 yr old in Madame Melville in London. I think I won't be the first in rushing off to the box office this year!

A long and probably boring blog

Hey, I'm finally at a computer with enough time to do this, so I'm just putting down shitty, unedited e-mails I sent to friends about my trip. Feel free to peruse them...some are funny, some are politically interesting, some are just pointless personal stuff that will mean nothing to those of you who aren't my close friends, but seeing as how I haven't posted in a month or so, I thought I'd do this. Look for new and better posts coming next weekn when I'm back in the good ol' U.S. of A.

Sawatdee Crampdt (hello--from a fella)! Today downtown Bangkok was shut down because of massive anti-government protests, and I just couldn't help but think of all of you. So I thought I'd send you an e-mail to let you know how my trip is going, instead of sending you all postcards. I mean, I'm not made of Baht, people. Oh, and for those of you on the listserve who don't know me, feel free to delete this, or read on for an entertaining missle about my first week in Thailand. This is one of your more intersting countries. It's great to know that imperialism is alive and well--they just cannot get enough of white people here. In fact, they themselves want to be white, as is evidenced by the fact that literally every third commercial on tv is for whitening cream. (Side note on television--the MTV here is phenomenal. It plays a mixture of different asian videos, all looking as if they were shot with a $10 budget in someone's basement. I cannot understand a single word they say, but that's hardly necessary, if these lyrics are anything like the bands played no the U.S. MTV). It's pretty saddening to see how much people hate their own skin color. The upside of imperialism is that over here, my brother and I and his friend Jason are all considered very attractive, so I had to turn down several offers to go home with various women at the bar last night, which is definately a very new experience. So far, I've only been in Bangkok (one night here and the world's your'll only get that refference if you listen to ABBA) and I must say that it's a very interesting city. The other day we were given a tour of it by the mother of the foreign exchange student my parents will be hosting next year. She's in the prime minister's cabinet as the secertary of technology, which is extremely impressive for a woman in this nation. So it was kind of like the equivilant of getting a tour of D.C. from Condeleeza Rice, except without the evil. We saw some pretty amazing things, all of which I'm not going to try to describe, because you really have to be there. But I can say that Buddhasts just love to cover things in gold. The hotel (or "mansion" as it, assumedly ironically, calls itself) is right across the street from the MBK center, which is Thailand's answer to the Mall of America. Yet another upside of imperialism--the dollar goes very far here. The exchange rate is roughly 40 Baht to one dollar, and to put it in perspective, my entire family, plus a friend, plus my borther's fiance, just had an entire dinner for 180 Baht, or roughy $4.50 U.S. And that was the entire bill, not per person. So again, it's nice to see the upside of our crippling economic policies (sorry about the rant, but you know what they say--you can take the boy out of rigorous sociological study, but you can't take the rigorous sociological study out of the boy). The other more interesting thing about Bangkok is the means of transportation available. For sissies there's the taxi, which are just like US taxis, only nicer. But for the fun-loving, there are these things called Tuk Tuks, which are hard to describe, but are basically half a counch on the back end of a motorcycle. The best thing about riding in a Tuk Tuk is that the drivers of them are completely insane. You haven't lived until you've been on the back of a motorcycle driving on the dividing strip between two lanes of oncoming traffic the wrong way down a one-way street. The straight-up motorcylclists are even crazier, never afraid to hop on the sidewalk, median, or gutter or to challenge a bus for the right of way. Kind of ironic that a culture which is so stereotyped for being selfless and polite has such crazy drivers. It is actually reccomended that you neglect traffic laws when driving in Thailand. Today we visited one of the schools my brother used to teach at, and again we experienced the upside of imperialism. As white people very rarely come out to the smaller provinces, we were of course treated like royalty for having such pale skin. Pretty ackward, but fu at the same time. My brother had to make an impromptu speech to the entire student body of the school, but he didn't have too many inspirational words of wisdom for the kids, so it was pretty short. I thought it was pretty hilarious, though. Well, much more than that has happened, but I've already wasted enough of your time. Hope you're all having a fun and safe time back there in the states, and hopefully you've been mildly amused by my recollections.

I'm now in the village of Amnat Charoen, where my brother lives. Life sure is interesting in the boondocks of a third-worl nation. For instance, last week I encountered my first eve Thai toilet. It consisits of a hole in the ground with two footholes next to it. The flushing mechanism AND toilet paper is a bowl floating in a concrete tub full of stagnant water next to the toilet. Needless to say, I've learned to hold it until I get home to Wassana's (my borther's fiance's mom, even though because of myt age I can't call her that, it's easier for the purposes of this e-mail) house, where thankfully there is a western style toilet. Well, a close approximation of a western style toilet. The food is pretty good, but Jason and I made the mistake of saying we like fish the first day we got here, so every night Wassan fixes us each a foot-long fish to eat. I don't know a polite way to tell her that the previous 10 fish have been enough to last me for life. Last night we had Thai pizza, which like everything in this country, is an attempt to copy something western that fails miserably. It was quite interesting. I would do just about anything in the world for a good hamburger. I'm actually beggining to miss America. It's like Lisa Simpson said "America may have it's granduers and it's follies, but mostly it's where all of our stuff is." Last night, through a strange series of events, I went out drinking and karoake-ing with an entire platoon of US Marines. With my back to back renditions of Bon Jovi's "It's my life" and Bryan Adam's "Everything I do I do it for you," I became quite the toast of the Marines, if you can believe it. Even though every toast (which happened approximately every 45 seconds) was either to the "Red White and Blue, what we die for" or for "Kicking Saddams ass" or some such thing like that, the Marines unanimously thought that Bush is an idiot and this war is wrong. Of course, that didn't stop them from following orders and shipping out to Falujah today, which they al knew too well meant that they weren't all coming back. To add to the irony, I had lunch on the Mekong river yesterday. Interesting to have lunch on the river where my uncle took half a dozen bullets 30 years ago. Again, maybe I'm too cynical, but it was surreal to be placidly looking at a place where thousands of people died because Henry Kissinger is a jerk. And he won the Nobel Peace Prize, thus making the prize entirely meaningless. Yesterday we went to yet another Buddhest temple (as a side note, for those who complain about Catholics eating off of gold plates at mass while people starve, which granted, is despicable, they should see one of the thousands of Buddhest temples), I got stung by a very angry wasp many times. I'm sure it was my white, male God becoming upset with me for paying respect to the wrong person. Anyway, the welts have finally gone down enough for me to move my arms, but there's definately still some pain there. On the plus side, after climbing a seven-story spiral staircase with stairs that I shit you not were only 3" wide, I saw a bag containing the bones of Buddha, so I should get some good karma out of that. In happier news, my new suit of Thai silk clothes came back from the tailor today, so I'll be looking pretty styling for the engagement party this friday. I've never had a tailor made suit of clothes before, so I'm feeling pretty good. Well, that's about al for now. The only computer I was able to find that's connected to the net looks ot be about 20 years old, so I'm having a heck of a time using it. So please excuse what I am sure are the many thousands of spelling and grammar errors. Well, much, much more than that has happened, but that's all I have time to write. If you've made it this far, thanks plenty for reading.

I'm now in Malaysia, having finished my little tour of Thailand. The wedding/engagementparty (we're not really sure which one it's a long story) was really fun. Very different, but interesting. Even my brother, who speaks the language, had very little idea what was going on the whole time, so I don't feel so bad. And then, of course, there was karaoke. Nobody does more karaoke than Thai people. I don't know how much of this news you're getting in the states, but there's a very peculiar situation going on in Southern Thailand. Might even be something for Amnesty to focus on next year. Anyway, there has been a large increase of Muslim seperatists in the region for quite some time (think Al Quiada-type folks) that have been commiting quite a bit of violence. Anyway, the gov't had opriginally pledged to solve it peacefully with full respect for human rights, etc. But now, in the pas two weeks, theprime minister went around the parliament and declared a state of martial law. He can now censor any publication, detain and arrest without charge, wiretap without warrant, and, well, basically everything that's in the Patriot Act. I think the most depressing part of it, though, is that the newspapers (which were already subject to censorships laws, but are now subject to even more stringent censorship) are still dramatically better than American newspapers. Eveery major paper carried article after article criticising the PM's move and calling for greater respect for civil liberties and human rights. And these are CENSORED newspapers. To make a tired point, we know what American newspapers would do in that situation, because we're already in it. So there's some interesting politics form this side of the world. 牋?Malaysia is quite a different world from Thailand eventhough they share a common border. The most obvious difference is that it is a Islamicist state, and not a Buddhast state. It's extremely weird to see women walking around in full burkhas. Even though most women wear only a simple veil, or not religious clothing at all for some, there are still plenty of woemn dressed head to toe in black, even some with their eyes covered. It's like Pop says, it's hard to understand why every major religion in the world feels it needs to oppress women. The politics here are similarly fragile. Again, though, it's pretty similar to the states. There's a growing fundamentalist movement which wants to enfore it's crazy, half-baked interpretation of a religion on everyone, and a vocal opposition which would prefer to be allowed religious freedom. So there are many interesting posters and spray paint around, but those voicing anti-Islamicist state opinions are usually defaced by the gov't before anyone can read them. But as an Orang Pute (honky) I've had no problems, so I don't think things are getting that bad yet. Malaysia is a former Brittish colony, so pretty much everyone here speaks pretty good English, which is nice, because my Malay is even worse than my Thai, which is not very good at all. Though right now we're having a very Malay experience, because in the small village we're in, the best Hotel we could find features amneties such as being only a block away from a public toilet, which is less than convenient when you get up in the middle of the night and need to use the bathroom. Also, the smaller towns tend to be more conservative, so I'm usually not allowed to enter buildings wearing shorts (you're not supposed to show you legs), which is extremely annoying because it's about 110 degrees in the shade. But I always find something to complain about. On the upside, it's extremely beautiful here, and my parents were able to find their old friends form when they were in the peace corps 30 years ago, so we've gotten to see so many intersting things too numerous to mention. 牋 Well, that about does it. I'm set to come home to the states in a short while, and then I'llbe off to Minneapolis. I miss you all and hope you'll come visit me up in the Twin Cities. Take care.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Expect blogging to be pretty gosh darn light

Loyal readers, faithful and true: just letting you know that blogging on this site will be extremely light to non-existant for the next month. I'll be visitng my brother in Thailand and some old friends of my parents in Malaysia, so I'll be out fo the country from tommorow until August 1st. I may hit a computer somewhere in there and have some time to throw down a post or two, but I don't know how likely that is. So, read all the old posts one more time and appreciate both their humor and historical significance, and come back August 1st to resume your regular reading.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Lifestyles of the rich and...Jesse?!?

Seeing as today is my last day at work here at the ol' FCC, my coworkers took me out to lunch. Not just any lunch, but Bena's restaurant, conveniently located at the fancy-shmancy Pipac Centre (note that it is not speeled "center," for that is how poor people would spell it). For those of you not in the CF area, the Pipac Centre is a really fancy place (think marble floors...actual marble) where people have weddings and proms and things like that. So the lunch was as it always is at those kind of places, overpriced and focused much more on the appearanca rather than the actual taste. But that's not what caught my eye. When I went to the bathroom, the urinals were entirely filled with ice. Right up to the brim. Every last one of them. So I used the ice-filled urinal, and I came back after I was done eating (too much water to drink) and they had been re-filled. Up to the brim with ice. Now, I'm certainley not rich by any means, but I've eaten in fancy restaraunts before, and none of them had ice-filled urinals. Is this the new thing amongst the ostentaiously rich?

Well, apparently (according to this source) it's because people are too lazy to flush. My theory? Rich people just like doing things differently, even when it makes no sense, just as a way of seperating themselves from us. For example, right now Ken Lay is somewhere yelling at his butler because their isn't enough ice in the toilet.

Friday, June 17, 2005

How to tell you're losing a war, part XIV

Readers of this blog will be quite familiar with my position on the war, so there's no need to get into all of that here. And seeing as I'm a fairly meaningless person in the grand scheme of things, my opnion also matters little. However, some important people with important opinions are starting to agree with me, and they're people you wouldn't have thought would join my side of the battle.

For instance, Representative Walter Jones. You may remeber him as the Republican Congressman from North Carolina who lead the battle to rename French Fries to "Freedom Fries" in the Capitol lunchroom (also while doing so, he presumably took his shirt off and spun it above his head in a helicopting motion). Well, now Rep.Jones, still very much a Southern Republican, is one of four co-sponsors of a bill in the house demanding a withdrawl of troops beginning in 2006. Also among the signers, the best dressed man in either chamer of congress, Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii).

Much like LBJ said of Walter Cronkite and the Vietnam war, Bush will one day look back and say "When I lost Freedom Fries Guy, I lost the nation."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

¡Viva Bolivia!

Under the "You think we got it bad here" file...

Currently, as you're reading this (or it may have already happened, if you don't check often enough) the Bolivian government is meeting in secret to put in a *gasp* puppet of U.S. corporations. Despite the fact that over 80% of the population does not want him being in office. In fact, they blockaded all the roads so that the corrupt officials had to be flown out into the boonies to avoid democracy. However, thousands of Bolivians are marching through the country side to show their dissaproval.

Read about here.

Who reads my blog? Let's take a look-see...

So I got this fancy new hit counter (prominently displayed down at the bottom of the ol' blog...don't trust it's count, though, because my blog is much older than the counter, so it looks like not too many people have visited) and one of its best features is that it allows me to see what web page someone visited immediately before they came to my blog. For instance, if someone was googling something and my blog came up, it would show me what they were googling.

Sounds fun, right?

Well, it's actually kind of disturbing. There is some humorous stuff, such as the majority of people coming to my blog were searching for some combination of "Lil' Jon" and "Nerd," no doubt coming to see an old blog of mine with the diminuative Johnathon's senior protrait. But the disturbing thing is that many people who ended up at my blog were clearly looking for porn. In one case, this individual was clearly looking for incestuos porn. One of the many downfalls of a having blog titled "I blogged your MOM" and having an entry titled "I kick ASS for the Lord, my SON," I suppose. You can see how the combination would cause problems.

So I guess what I'm getting at, is that although I do appreciate a good round of consensual sexual intercourse, if you're looking for that, I'm afraid all you will encounter here is some witty reparte and sarcastic political commentary. Sorry about that.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


In case you haven't heard of the Downing Street Memo yet, the jist of it is that David Manning, A Biritish intelligence official, had his notes from meetings with Bush & Co. leaked to the public. In the notes from his meeting with them in 2002, he noted that Bush wanted to go to war with Iraq, but the justification just wasn't there. So, he noted, the "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." So this proves that the president was (get ready to gasp) lying!

But it gets better.

So several members of congress were upset by this memo (and by "several" I mean "89") and they wrote a letter to President Bush expressing their shock and outrage. Scott McClellan, the President's press secretary, said he has "no need" to respond to the letter.

Just for clarification:
He claims to have no need to respond to a letter written to the President by 89 members of congress asking him to explain a memo that proves he lied about a war which was killed nearly 2,000 Americans in a nation which posed no threat to us.

As always, "I'm not making this up™!"

Friday, June 03, 2005

Best genre-crossing musical pairing ever?

A) Jay-Z & Linkin Park
B) Slash & Michael Jackson
C) Tim McGraw and Nelly
D) Paula Abdul and Mc Skat Cat
E) Bing Crosby and David Bowie

Which is it people?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

How to destroy the credibility of something entirely credible, part1

So Amnetsy International recently came out with a 200+ page report detailing the abuses of prisoners in American detention camps. In it, Amnesty referred to the prison camps (especially Gauntanamo Bay) as the new-century "gulags," comparing them to the prisons where political dissidents in the Soviet Union where allegedly disappeared to. The point is, the allegation was always that the Soviets used the Gulag to imprison those who they disliked, for as long as they wanted and without any charges. George Bush has taken great offense to this. As he is quick to point out, our prisons hwere we send people that we dislike for as long as we want without charging them with anything are to prevent terrorism, thus making them ok. So he came out and call the Amnesty allegations "absurd."

Here again, I will predict the future.

You see, when Bush was calling the thrice-checked report absurd, he focused on the fact that Guantanamo was called a gulag, not so much on the fact that we have both video and pictorial evidence of prisoners being beaten to death. What is going to happen now is yet another show of republican brilliance. Bush and the entire wingnut media will focus entirely on the word "gualg" instead of the quite-correct charges of abuse. Then we will have big debates in the media as Bill O' Reilly yells at his guest for agreeing with the use of the term gulag. In the end, Amnesty will finally back down and retract the word gulag, and Bush will triumphantly come out and say "See! Our rape and tortoure chambers are not gulags!" and everyone will forget the fact that the 200+ page report was entirely true.

Gosh, it's kind of depressing, isn't it?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

It was so polite of them to invite us, but we prefer cake to thousands of our children dead

So there are a precious, precious few in the White House press corps who still feel the need to do their job. This little doozy of a gem of a conversation came out the other day as Scott McClellan, the White House press seceratary, defended the invasion:

Question: the other day -- in fact, this week, you said that we, the united states, is in afghanistan and iraq by invitation. would you like to correct that incredible distortion of american history --

Mr. mcclellan: no, we are -- that's where we currently --

q: -- in view of your credibility is already mired? how can you say that?

Mr. mcclellan: helen, i think everyone in the room knows that you're taking that comment out of context. there are two democratically-elected governments in iraq and --

q: were we invited to iraq?

Mr. mcclellan: there are two democratically-elected governemtns now in iraq and afghanistan, and we are there at their invitation. they are sovereign governments, and we are there today --

q: you mean if they had asked us out, that we would have left?

Mr. mcclellan: no, helen, i'm talking about today. we are there at their invitation. they are sovereign governemnts --

q: i'm talking about today, too.

Mr. mcclellan: -- and we are doing all we can to train and equip their security forces so that they can provide for their own security as they move forward on a free and democratic future.

q: did we invade those countries?

Mr. mcclellan: go ahead, steve...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Angry movie rant...

So two jerk-offs at Time magazine (they refer to them as "movie critics") have come up with a list of the 100 best movies of all time. One movie that was conspicuously left off of the list just happens to be my favorite movie, Apocolypse Now. They also left off some notable others, such as North by Northwest that I haven't seen, so those don't piss me off as much. This isn't just a personal beef. It's not like I'm complaining that they left off Pretty Woman and I'm upset because that Julia Roberts has such a pretty smile. I mean, this is Apocolypse Now. Never mind that the American Film Institute named it the 28th best film ever made, or the fact that the editorial board of the Modern Library named "Heart of Darkness" (the novella on which it was based) one of the 100 greatest English language novels of the 20th century.

Here's what really pisses me off though.

It's more about who did make the list. It had all of your truly notables, like Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Casablanca. However, it also features such lesser known notables as 2003's Finding Nemo and the 1982 classic featuring acting hero Rutger Hauer, Blade Runner. That's right...fucking BLADE RUNNER. Blade Runner?!?!? I repeat myself only because I cannot believe they thought that Blade Runner is a better movie than Apocolypse Now. I mean...Blade Runner? Why not put Rambo III on the list? Because after all, Rambo didn't save his commanding officer from Afghani warlords, he also got a spike through his midestion, so to cauterize the wound, he was forced to pour gunpowder into his stomach and light it on fire, causing an explosion to burst out of both sides of his torso, after which he was fine. And he did this only after crawling miles through sewer pipes to escape a prison camp. Now that deserves a nod from Time magazine.

Friday, May 20, 2005

How does one define tautology? Well, it's strikingly similar to quagmire

So there's a very funny episode of the Simspons (entitled "Lard of the Dance" for those of you nerdy enough to know t.v. episodes by their titles) in which Homer tries to make money off of selling grease. In it, he has the following conversation with Bart after he's recylced the grease he got from cooking up and feeding to the dog a pound of bacon:

Homer: Woo-hoo! 63 cents!
Bart: But dad, all that bacon cost $27.
Homer: Yeah, but your mom bought it.
Bart: But doesn't she get her money from you?
Homer: And I get my money from grease...what's the problem?

The problem with this logic is that it's the same logic being used by the Bush administration in Iraq right now. As William Pfaff points out, the occupation of Iraq is what is responsible for the insurgency. It's pretty simple; the Iraqi people didn't like Sadaam, but strangley enough, they don't like someone else coming in to kill and torture them, either. The insurgency is simply a reaction to a bunch of foreignors who are killing thousands upon thousands of people. So the conversation basically goes like this:

Bush: We'll leave Iraq as soon as the insurgency stops.
Rational thought: But the insurgency only exists because they're upset about being occupied.
Bush: Yes, and we'll stop occupying them as soon as the insurgency stops.

People, say whatever you will will about the administration, but when their logic is the same logic used by Homer Simpson, it's definately time to become suspicious.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The best rap super group you've never heard of

Boston area MCs Mr. Lif and Akrobatik, along with longtime friend DJ Fakts One, have finally made it official and formed the new rap super group The Perceptionists. Their first release, Black Dialogue, is probably the best rap albulm of the year this far. With DJ Fakts dropping audio samples from Aqua Teen Hunger Force and a guest appearance by Shock G, a/k/a Humpty Hump (yes, he's still spunky and prefers a lumpier style oatmeal), it touches on both the poignant and the insignificant. The Lyrical style ranges from "Where are the weapons of mass destruction?/Been looking for months and we ain't found nothin/Hey Mr. President tell us something/Knew from the beggining yo ass was bluffin" to "Get ladies in bunches/They like the stomach so I don't do crunches."

Go support your local capitalist and get this album now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Stop the new-cue-ler option

Folks, in case you haven't been paying attention, Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader, is set to move through complicated parliamentary rules today to eliminate the filibuster so that he and W can move any judge they want through the senate with Democrats unable to put up any opposition. And they're actually trying to put up oposition this time.

Please take 2 minutes out of your day to call your senator and ask them to oppose removing the filibuster. This is an extremely important issue, the state of our democracy hangs in the balance, etc.

Senate Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Monday, May 16, 2005

I'm mentally unstable, bitch!

Don't know how many of you are following the Dave Chapelle saga, but the story as to why the third season of his show isn't happening range from him being in a mental hospital in South Africa, to over-the-top partying and drugs, to taking a break for spirituality reasons, to the network suits being uncomfortable with how fas he's pushing the racial envelope. Whatever the case is, and wherever he's at, I think we all join in wishing him a speedy recovery.

And that he makes more of those shows where he makes fun of Rick James, because that's hi-larious and the joke certainley has not burned itself out!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Stating the obvious

The Iraqi government and the U.N. have released a report detailing the fact that life in Iraq is not going as well as FOX news might lead you to believe. Apparently, the "illegal, immoral, and unjust" war we have going on over there is killing tons of children and other innocent people. On top of that, the unemployment rate is sky-rocketing and income levels are dropping dramatically. At least they have some form of oil and power based plutocracy masquerading as democracy now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Take that, imperialism!

But I thought they were a RED state...ha cha cha cha

So it turns out that He can do many things, but the one thing Jesus Christ cannot do is get a driver's liscence in West Virginia. It turns out that there is a man who has been going by the name of Jesus Christ for the last 15 years, and holds a Washington driver's liscence and passport in that name, but is being denied a driver's liscence by West Virginia because he never got his name legally changed. Read the full story here.

And as always, "I'm Not Making This Up™"

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Finally, the MVP goes to a guard...who's an anti-war communist

So the NBA really has a problem with ignoring set-up men, and only giving the MVP to the finishers underneath (i.e. Kevin Garnett last year). This is why John Stockton never won an MVP award, but Shaq, who's having his worst season ever statistically and isn't even the MVP of his own team, comes in a very close second. But this year they gave the award to the guy who makes everyone else look good.

And is a huge pinko.

Steve Nash, this years MVP of the National Basketball Association, came out strongly against the Iraq war, even showing up to the All-Star game wearing a shirt that read "Shoot Baskets, Not People." He further criticised the media for failing to report the truth on the war, as well. Finally, in a move near and dear to all of our hearts, when he told the New York Times that the last book he read was the Communist Manifesto, which he read so he could better understand the previous book he read about the life of Che Guevara. Now that's my kind of athlete.

Rad about his anti-war stances here and read a humorous article about his communistic playing style here.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

How far will the army go? Pretty damn far, it seems

So there's this kid in Colorado who wanted to see how desperate the Army was for just one more recruit. So he called up his local recruiter and taped the conversation. He said he had two major problems: he droppped out of high school and he has a drug problem. No problem at all, the recruiter told him, he could cimply get a fake degree online and use a detox kit (that the recruiter would pay for half of) and he would be fine. Read about it here.

Or, go here and read about the army recruiting people straight of out psychiatric hospitals. As always, I must reiterate my patented catch-phrase...I'm not making this up™!

Happy Mother's Day

As always, peaceniks like me have to ruin everything by bringing up relevant history. Mother's day actually started as a day for the advocacy of peace. It's true. Read about it here. It was initiated by Julia Ward Howe, the lady who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic. She had become distraught by the violence of the Franco-Prussian war and decided it was up to the Mothers of humankind to bring about peace. So she went around the world establishing a holiday for mothers to promote peace. So instead of chocolates, why not honor the true meaning of mother's day and fight for peace?

Here is the original Mother's Day proclamation
--Julia Ward Howe, 1870

Arise then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
'We will not have questions decided by irrelevant agencies.
'Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage for caresses and applause.
'Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, and patience.
'We women of one country will be too tender to those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
'From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own, it says "Disarm! Disarm!"
'The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
'Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.'
As men have forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after his time the sacred impress not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Brains! Brains!

Hey, if you have a minute, check out this website. I think you'll be pleasantly suprised.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Members of the Silly Hats Only club, unite!

I have now witnessed the greatest thing ever animated. Rejected by Don Hertzfeldt. Buy/download it immediately. You will thank me.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I kick ass for the lord, my son

I ask you, who is your coach?

"Woah there son, a forearm block goes like this!"
Pictured above, Jesus instructing a child to his blackbelt.

Oh, and I will give $5, American, to anyone who gets the refference made in the title of this post.

I have joined the most elite of companies...

I have now joined the elite ranks of Jeff Foxworthy and Don Rickles, and I couldn't be any happier. Last saturday night was my last ever show with comical improvisation troupe Half Masted 3.2, and as a parting good bye, the rest of the troupe roasted me in the good-natured fashion of the Friar's club. I laughed, I cried, and I learned that I apprently talk really loud and clap my hands somewhat like a mokey.

Also, a girl had to go the hospital with a concussion.

Seriously, though, in my life thus far I've done very few things that I will look back on as fondly and with as much pride as being in this truope, which is an extremely sad indictment of what a meaningless life I've lead. But still, it's been really fun.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I don't seek out controversy, controversy just finds me...

So for those of you who go to UNI or live in the Cedar Valley area, you may have picked up tuesday's copy of the Northern Iowan. And you may have seen an article about the improv troupe I'm in, Half Masted 3.2. Well, to accompany the article, we sent them several publicity photos we had takenseveral moths ago (note my shorter dreadlocks) and they chose one to put in their fine publication. To be most accurate, for their half-page photo they chose this one:

I'm the fellow standing in the back at the top, for those of you not familiar with my earthly visage. Can you notice anything wrong with the picture? Well, I can. Not knowing this picture was ever going to be used for publicity (being as it is a very silly picture), I decided to use Jesse's patented fingerpenis(TM) to make with the funny business. Well, apparently the editors of the NI didn't notice, but several very angry students did. Now my fingerpenis(TM) has gotten the troupe and our director in some hot water. Obviously this was not my intention.

Nothing else to say, but good thing I didn't use my actual penis.

Obligatory penis joke:
Jesse: "Good thing I didn't use my actual penis"
Clever Reader: "That's ok, no one would have been able to see it. Zing!"

But I'ma the figgin' a pope!

So I've been really busy and haven't had time weigh in with my thoughts and feelings about the new pontiff yet, but has anyone else noticed that we've elected the evil emporer form Star Wars as the new pope? I can't be the only one who's noticed the similarities, both physical and otherwise...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What?!? The police told a lie?!?!

You may have heard about all those violent protestors at the Republican convention this year in New York. They must have been very violent, because over 1,000 people were arrested. At one recent trial, a policeman testified that the defendant had to be subdued and carried off by 4 police officers because he was so beligerant. Well, according to a videotape of what actually happened, the man was arrested by only one officer and walked calmly to the police vehicle after being cuffed. In fact, the officer that gave such a vivid testimony of this man kicking, biting, scrathing, and committing all other forms of assault was not even actually at the scene. And this has been the norm for many of the trials. Oh, and this informaiton didn't come from indymedia or some other hippie site, but from that fairly reputable New York Times.

They haven't done enough to ruin their own religion, now they feel they have to ruin mine, too

So the other day on FOX news (yes, that FOX news) the guest on Neil Cavuto's show was Hussein Ibish of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committe. When Ibish mentioned that the Pope impressed the Muslim world by being so strongly against the Iraq war, the discussion went as follows:

Ibish: "I think he impressed a lot of people in the Arab and Islamic world by taking a strong stance against the war in Iraq and by taking, by rejecting, you know, very categorically the idea of preemptive warfare, and what have you. So, he was respected both as a religious figure but also as a political figure who was able to be a friend of Israel and a friend of the Palestinians at the same time. Something we might want to..."

Cavuto, interrupting: "Well, to be fair, his views were not that black and white on the war in Iraq, but, Hussein thank you very much."

Ibish: "No. I think you're wrong about that."

Cavuto: "Well, we can argue but I don't want to argue with you today because I like you."

Well, actually Mr. Cavuto, you can't argue about it. For you see, my conservative friend, the Pope called the war on Iraq both a "defeat for humanity" and "immoral, illegal, and unjust" both of which I think make his stance fairly clear. But as always, I report and you decide.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

And then there were 3...

Ok, so I don't want to become one of those people who blogs about pointless life-type things that no one cares about, but I have a dilemma. As most of you know (or maybe not most of you, assuming people I don't know may be reading my blog...probably not, though) I'm in the middle of applying to grad school. Well, actually, I'm at the end of it. To be specific, I have 8 days before I need to inform schools as to whether or not I will be attending them. Here's the stats on the schools I applied to.

University of Wisconsin Madison--Tied for best sociology graduate program in the nation. However, extremely funky funding situation means I would always be wondering if I could afford to eat the next semester, so they're effectively out.

University of Oregon--My fallback school I only applied to in the freak chance that everyone else denied me admission. Screw 'em.

University of California Berkeley--The other school tied for number 1. As such, they are offering me very little in funding, meaning I would have to go into debt if I went there. Although their prestige is very handy in finding a job after graduation, they also have an earned reputation of being a place where the faculty just don't give a fuck about their grad students succeeding or failing.

University of California Santa Barbara--Pretty nice funding package offered, temperature in the 70s 320 days a year, three faculty with whom it would quite benefit me to work with. Top 20 school, so my career options are still open. However, Santa Barbara is kind of a small town, and the cost of living is very high there.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities--By far the best funding package, also a top 20 school. However, they're very focused on breaking back into the Top 10, and as such, really discourage students from street-level activism, of which I'm quite fond. Not too sure how many faculty they have that I really want to work with.

Boston College--By far the coolest school. Full of crazy left-wing faculty who are always getting arrested for verious causes and writing really cool stuff. However, has a very low departmental rating, which would make it hard to find employment afterwards.

Univrsity of Michigan Ann Arbor--Denied me entrance. Fuck 'em.

So you can see the quandry I am in. Where the hell should I go to grad school?!? I only have 8 days to figure this out, people!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Is Lil' Jon a nerd? Yeeeeaaaaah!

So you've probably already seen this, but in case you haven't, this is Lil' Jon's senior picture. Man, I have more street cred than this guy, and I don't even have a diamond-encrusted crunk juice chalice.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I've been attacked by the right-wing attack machine! Hurrah!

So, I was doing that thing where you google your own name and see what there is about you out on the ol' internet, and I stumbled across something very interesting. Several months ago, I wrote a letter to the Editor of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier (I'd link to it, but they don't archive letters to the editor this long) about how it's actually protestors, not the military, that get us our freedoms (the end of segregation, the GI Bill, freedom of speech, Social Security, the weekend, the 40 hour work week, child labor laws, to name a few). Anyhoo, some right-wing jerk-off posted it on his blog! It's way down at the bottom of the page (right above some drunken pictures of former ISU coach Larry Eustachy) in which he reprints the entirety of my article. He then informs me that this is "off the scale of lunacy" and that some needs to get me my medication. I'm not even sure how he knew I had a sore throat when I wrote that article.

But yes, stating indesputable historical facts is "off the scale of lunacy." This must be why there are no conservative college professors--they get very angered by intelligence, or even the simple reciting of facts.

Of course, I can be really upset by him being mean to me, because he also has a very erudite post in which he claimes the Associated Press is a terrorist organization. We'd better shut down EVERY NEWSPAPER IN AMERICA then, because they all use AP articles.

Quick! My meds!