Monday, November 22, 2010

classic American fear-driven idiocy

The snowplows are out in force.  The cause?  1" of snow on the streets.

What a flashback.  I thought I was back in DC for a minute.  Lawd-a-Merseybeat, every fool knows you can't drive in 1" of snow, it's IMPOSSIBLE!

SEND THE PLOWS OUT.  NOW!

If you know how snow becomes ice, raise your hand.

Pressure + heat, eh?

So if the traction is good when there's 1" of snow on the pavement, why send a plow across it? To burnish it into a polished sheet of white ice? Brilliant! Now the roads truly ARE difficult to drive on, but it's not due to the snow.

It's due to the anxiety-laden response to the snow.

I love it when a town is so obsessed with catering to the rich flatlanders who move to it, that its snow-plowing takes on an invigorated new dimension. Used to be 1" of snow was common, let it fall, let it lay, it's just a little snow.

Not now. Now it's a fucking WHITE HOLOCAUST OF DANGER!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the rocks, the trees, they cannot speak for themselves

Empathy is the most puzzling human sensation. I think if I were alive in a less callous time in America's history, I might say the most curious human sensation is love. But when I look around me today, I see much more likely explanations for people falling in love, and fewer demonstrations of empathy.

So I begin wondering where empathy comes from and where it is on the human landscape today -- how pervasive, how remote, how absent.

My first powerful feeling of empathy as a little boy was in a pet store. I was probably 6 years old. We were at the fish tanks. The fish in the tank we were watching was said to be carnivorous. The tank's label said that, I mean. I knew what the word meant. I asked the pet store employee what the fish ate. He said, "other fish... here, let me show you," and grabbed a small goldfish.

___________________________

I have to digress here. Pandora is playing PDA by Interpol. I have to digress to my first listen of Turn on the Bright Lights, and the impact it had on me. I liked the way it reminded me of better aspects of bands I'd enjoyed 20 years earlier, bands like Joy Division, Mighty Lemon Drops, Chameleons... while at the same time making something that sounded new. That's what art is supposed to do, I thought to myself. I was really impressed with that album. Sadly, they have fallen flat on every album since then. At least they put out one really good one.  Obstacle 1 and PDA are my two favorites from that album, at least right now I'd say that.


___________________________

When the pet store employee dropped the goldfish in the tank I immediately wondered what the predatory game was going to look like.  Would it take long?  Would the goldfish get eaten whole, or in pieces?  Just strange logical questions, that's what I was asking myself.  Then suddenly the goldfish got eaten and it was like my mind underwent some reversal.  All that logic shot out of my noggin and I was overwhelmed by the fear that I was imagining the fish felt as it got eaten.  And by the realization that the fish's life had just ended.  And by the fact that the pet store employee didn't mind ending that fish's life.  The whole chain of events seemed cruel to me, and I started crying for the fish's lost life and the cruel sequence of events.  "Why'd you have to do that?" I asked the pet store employee.

My mother and her boyfriend took me out of the pet store and to the car.  They tried to calm me down by being logical, something that normally worked for me.  But I couldn't hear them.  "That's the way nature works," they said.  "If those fish were out in their normal habitat, that carnivorous fish would eat little fish like that goldfish.  That's how they survive."  I knew that, of course.  The logical questions I was asking myself right before the goldfish got eaten, they obviously show that. 

There's a difference between knowing something logically and factually, and experiencing the thing.

What I see around me today is a whole lot of acceptance of things as just the way they are right now.  Resignation, bland acceptance. 

I guess that they're afraid to feel empathy.

Does that mean empathy can be turned off by one's will?

Where has the empathy gone?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

from the land of the ratchet

From a recent thread about Baby Bibi and Happy Hills... my comments below:

***************************

Trail of Tears:
American racism is tempered by it's scale and its diversity. Israel's is not. The American ruling class, therefore, looks to Israel as an ideal of how to manage second class citizens.
vs

miguel:
ToT, your theory does not explain the tremendous amount of effort and cost Israel expends to discipline American public officials and the unseemly groveling they get in return.

Maybe things really are just as they seem: Big Lobby, Big Power.
Advantage, Trail of Tears

Israel's behavior is part of the package Trail of Tears described, miguel. Israel doesn't put pressure on the USA, not if the USA all along planned to do what was "pressured" into doing.

It's not that tough to figure out, really. You just need to have no preferences on who's the bad actor, and then examine the situation as it plays out.

How did Israel get created? And in 60 years it has turned the tables, so that it gets to call shots?

Afraid I've yet to see any evidence to suggest the USA gets strong-armed by Israel. I'll look at whatever you can offer though. Just don't be pissed if I disagree on what the evidence suggests.

*   *   *

The idea that Jewish Nationalism/Zionism predates the formation of Israel in the 1940s doesn't change the point that the biggest global political and fiscal support for Israel's creation came from the USA and Great Britain.

Jewish Nationalism explains the theocratic and highly tribalist nature of Israel's outlook toward its neighbors.

It doesn't explain that the USA never rebukes Israel in meaningful ways, ways other than mild verbal chiding, which often takes the form of silent assent rather than actual spoken criticism. In some folks' eyes I guess the silence speaks great volumes about how extensively Israel controls the USA, but I just don't see how that view, that causal linkage, is supported by anything other than conjecture.

Israel serves many purposes. The most obvious is a cultural salve following the Holocaust. The less obvious ones surround the choice of location for Israel (all that oil!), and the manner in which it was created (land stolen from Palestinians). World War 2 had just shown the planet's leading financial powers (USA and Great Britain) how heavily we depend on oil. That point wasn't lost on the way to deciding what to put in the middle of Palestine, and how to put it there.

Anyone who thinks Israel's vector-based status is too indirect and therefore unlikely to be real --those who think the Tail of Israel wags the Dog of America-- should spend some time examining how the Leisure Class enjoy playing elaborate games of human behavioral chess with those whom they control through economic (business/investment) and political (through the foregoing economic) power-wielding. An easy tour of the subject can be found in Robert Greene's The 48 Laws of Power. I suggest reading that book before saying something is too elaborate.

***************************

at Wikipedia: The 48 Laws of Power

at Bezosville: The 48 Laws of Power

scattershot

1) Binging on this lately.  Definitely not "3 stars" material.  Am I biased?  Not abnormally or irrationally.  Some YLT songs I don't like.  Sometimes they're a little too precious for me.  Some of their softer, more recent albums suit me more as background music than anything else.  But Electr-O-Pura is my favorite YLT, with this one a close second.  Never really understood the max-out freak-out for Painful, to be honest.  I like it okay but it isn't one I play very often.


2) I agree with this... though I'd say it began before Reagan, as a response to the citizen outcry during the Vietnam era.  Which leads me to the following naivete-driven observation:  I'd say that Ford and Carter had the opportunity to reframe the POTUS's role in talking to the public about how the Fed Govt responded to the public's expression of dissatisfaction (Kent State).  Ford obviously wasn't going to do anything about that, he was a bumbler and a sort of accidental POTUS.  As to Carter -- I like the general persona, the public one I mean, of Jimmy Carter.  He's the only POTUS I ever really wanted to meet.  I know lots of bad shit happened during his era, and I'm not apologizing for any of it.  I'm just saying he's more like the kind of person I'd like to talk to, more so than any other POTUS who has been around in my lifetime.  If I was a biographer I'd want to write his, more than that of any other POTUS.  Maybe my soft spot for him has a little to do with his demeanor, and maybe he's got me buffaloed.  But I don't think so.  And an even bigger but:  in any case Jimmy didn't say much about Kent State etc either and didn't mind the SWATification of Feebs and state/local po-po.FN


3) Winter is thwarting my plan of MTB riding today.  Temp in the teens, blowing snow all around.  Town is mad with Griz-Cat game shenanigans.  Cabin fever will set in by 8pm, guaranteed.


_____________________

FN - Students of Pop-Culture-via-TeeVee will recall that during the Ford Era, there was a show on TV that glorified these new SWAT teams. You know its name, right?

Friday, November 19, 2010

left at Ethan's, right around the corner, heading straight for you

Ethan's recent post talked about Corporado Groupthink Missionaries (my term), and in the comments after was this by miguel:
The tendency toward this crap among folks who consider themselves too smart, modern and classy for Christianity is rather large.
"This crap" would be referring to the Corporado Groupthink Missionary Canticles.

And I said:
Ayup.

Not only are they too "grown-up" for Xtianity, they are "post-religion" and make serious efforts to denigrate religion as a whole, as a category. Meanwhile, they have their own religion, though it's not formally recognized as such with a widely-acknowledged church, synagogue or temple. Their religion uses different symbols and the church, it is City Hall, it is the Hoover FBI building, it is the White House.
The last segment is what I want to emphasize, like a drill sergeant reminding a grunt that he can't go cry to mommy:
and the church, it is City Hall, it is the Hoover FBI building, it is the White House.

they didn't care about my jam or my bird

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

heads are gonna roll


Oxtrot is a member of the Dark Elf race, his class is Spellsword, and he is affiliated with the Mages Guild, the Fighters Guild, and the Thieves Guild

He began his career as an initiate with the merchant princes of House Hlaalu, but in a moment of dire poverty he was forced to steal from a fellow Hlaalu clansman.  This caused his expulsion from the merchant prince tribe, but he shed no tears and laughed at their tribal insecurities.

Through steady work he rose to Level 13, preferring light armor and the long blade over stealth and a poisoned dagger.  Sometimes he delivered mortal wounds from a distance, sniper-style, with a longbow.

His great accomplishment today was being nominated for a position with the Morag Tong, the assassins' guild.  It's like being tapped by Shin Bet!

Long live the RPG!

Left without food, they turned on each other

Self-styled "leftists" have a lot of failures to tally lately.  Barry O'Barmy shows himself to be Bush/Cheney's 3d Term.  Donklecongress 2006-2010 shows itself to be the same as Evil Rethuglican Congress of 2000-2004.  2010 elections show Team Donkey with lots of players retiring or going on Injured Reserve for 2 years or more.

What's a "leftist" to do, but attack everyone he sees as a "fellow leftist" who has been "incompetent" or the like, and blame each one for these "failures".

The real failure, of course, is that of the "leftist," who continues to hang with Glossy Karl and all the little Baby Marxists.FN

This is starting to come into view for the "leftist," so naturally, the "leftist" has to attack what's remaining:  anarchists, nihilists, libertarians, and everyone else who isn't a Democrat or Republican.

Keep cannibalizing, "leftists."  Clearly you've got a winning strategy!

__________________

FN - Baby Marxist would be anyone who thinks The State Is The Answer, and therefore the only problem the Baby Marxist sees with America 2010 is "incompetence" -- which usually is attributable to someone not holding multiple degrees from an Ivy or an Ivy Analog (i.e. Stanford).  Baby Marxists assume that a big paternalist central government is The Best We Can Do, and the idea of minarchism or anarchism, the Baby Marxist finds not just scary, but existentially threatening.  To the Baby Marxist, security begins and ends with the State -- not with the Baby Marxist's own self-reliance, self-sufficiency, or self-determination.  For an example of how Baby Marxists are easily palliated, witness the Pacifier recently offered and eagerly accepted:  Elizabeth Warren.

The courage of a chihuahua, the wisdom of a dunce

Poor John Caruso.  He posted something this AM about Justin Raimondo, in which Caruso fellates and brings to orgasm The Mighty Noam and then smokes a filtered menthol 100 to celebrate the Unity With Noam.

I posted a comment reminding Giovanni that The Mighty Noam is hardly the hero proposed, given his tenure at MIT where he promotes MIT and teaches people how to lie, creatively, with clever turns of phrase.

This, supposedly, is what makes The Mighty Noam admirable to Caruso. 

Well, it actually seems to have embarrassed Caruso to have my comment there, so he took it down.

Just the other day, he said I was a "troll" with a form of Tourette's.  He said this because he, like so many others, doesn't bother to read my comments or posts, but instead just discards them as meaningless.  Presumable that's because I don't fluff any heroes, and more particularly, that I'm not Doing Oral on the same ones Giovanni would suck off and huff hurriedly, with glee.

And oh, yes... I'm aware that it's crass, rude, and despicable to fire salvos toward A Distant Ocean which functions much more like a fabled mirage.

jew no whut ahm talkin bowt?

Okay, peeplz.

Many of y'all are thinking that Binny tells the USA what to do. 

I want you to consider something:  the US Govt gives Israel what Israel wants for a very good reason, and it has nothing to do with Israel being the tail that wags the dog named Sammy. 

It has everything to do with Zion being a nice puppet state in a strategically important region of the planet.

Peeplz, Sammy helped create Zion along with Sammy's cool, bad-toothed cousin Limey who lives across the pond.

They did so to get a thuggish client state who can be the blamed lackey in a triangulating move.

Israel doesn't tell us what to do.  Israel does what we want.

And Binny is obnoxious, with breath that smells like decaying human baby flesh.  It would be fun to see his head roll down the street as a soccer ball punted about by Palestinian youth.  Indeed it would.

But that doesn't mean that Binny controls Barry O.

did you know...

...that if you don't write in stuffy, starched-collar polysyllabics of the kind preferred and used by professors of puerile pedantic puffery, there's a lot of people who will say you're not serious, not informed, not experienced, not wise, not worth anyone's attention.

Apparently, wisdom and rectitude are always directly related to the kinds of writing that rate highly on what Paul Fussell called the Fog or Pomposity Index.  As I recall that Index, it gave higher marks for synonyms that have more syllables, and higher marks for words, phrases and syntax that serve obscurantism more than clear, direct communication. 

Insular jargon from a narrow academic niche would be a good example.  Acronyms, however, are not.

Remember, kids:  when you write on your own blog, it's not supposed to be about what you want.  No, it's not that.

You need to be guessing what any random viewer may interpret as a distortion of your clear words, and you need to be covering those random viewers' potential confusions with elaboration and full exhaustion of every conceivable angle. 

It's the inverse of the Emperor's New Clothes, basically.

So let this be a warning to you, Mr Repeat Customer, or Ms First-Time Visitor:

I post partial thoughts, sentence fragments, and occasional spleen-venting. 

This is not an academic blog, where all possible thoughts, twists, takes, turns, and tautologies are considered, re-considered, and triple-guessed.

In case you hadn't noticed.

--Chucky Oxtrot


PS:  If my posts piss you off, confuse you, or alienate you, please don't hesitate to leave a comment which tells me how stupid, bigoted, impatient, narrow-minded, foolish, impetuous, impertinent, disrespectful, haughty, disdainful, callous, crude, mean, wicked, impish, puckish, disturbed, deranged, whacked, insane, unhinged, melting-down, gone loco, run amok, or satanic I am.

PPS:  Oh, and thanks for stopping by.  Seriously.  No, I mean it.  Especially if you're going to call me stupid or narrow-minded.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I disagree with Montag!

Montag suggests Sriracha is the top of the pyramid.

I disagree.

I say it's Cholula, King of the Food Pyramid!


Viva el Rey!  Muy sabroso!

Chris Hedges fails again.

He has once again failed to appraise the world accurately, probably because of his own patrician, elite schooling -- which makes it impossible for him to criticize the thing that gave rise to his own perspective, because that would be tantamount to finding himself mistaken.  And surely, we cannot have a mistaken Chris Hedges.  Shit, the sky would fall!

More later.  I have to go work now.

*************

Okay, it's later.  Here are the flaws in the most recent Hedgehog Hassle:

1) Constantly reinforces Us vs Them, Right vs Left, Dem vs Repub.  Constantly.  While pretending to criticize the more objectionable (whatever that means in Hedgehog land) practices or actors.

2) Reaches too quickly to disparage "radical" or "extreme" fringes of thought, which contaminates the reader against the people who offer such thought without the reader first encountering the supposed "radical" or "extreme" notion in a detached fashion.  Poisoning the well, in other words.

3) Appears to be trying for a More Leftist than You perspective, whereby he strangely gives Trotsky an indirect compliment by complaining on the absence of Trotskyist thought in 2010 academia.  Fluffs Glossy Karl a bit too.

4) Gets all nostalgic for The Bygone Era of Widespread Public Political Consciousness -- a total fabrication by the Hedgehog, but one he's holding onto for dear life.

5) Continues to misunderstand that the problem is this:  What is true, versus what is a fraud offered for profiteering.  Not partisan pissing, not right vs left, not commie vs capitalist.  Hedgie, old sport -- even the "leftist" centralized authorities tend toward private gain for the select few.  This is why we anarchists want to dismantle centralized authority, because it works to favor the elite at the expense of the massses.  What you don't see, Hedgie, is that Glossy Karl and Priapic Leon (along with Vicious V.I.) were not trying to level the playing field to make life better for all.  Nope.  They were trying to perpetuate the Us vs Them -- they all sought a new Centralized Authority with an assumption that if the C.A. were staffed by Competent People of the Proper Perspective, all would be Valhalla.

When you are a product of fancy private schools, you have a hard time criticizing what is Fancy.  In fact, you often embody The Fancy yourself.

Chris Hedges sure does.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

sleety sunday



Your fucking Professors of Alchemy

You dipshits.  You fuckwads.  You arse-licking bunghole consumers.

I'm talking to you, "economists" and Econ Fanboys.

You think you know the world because you have reduced it to cobbled-together extrapolations of representations of facsimiles of stand-ins for the mannequins you are calling humans -- which you pretend and proudly proclaim to be studying accurately, DIPSHIT.

You don't know shit.

What you are doing is sitting at a Switchboard Operator's location, circa 1940, and deciding which plug to put into which socket to allow Party A to join Parties X, F and Q in a Party Line call.

If we reduce the Federal Lending Rate, all disparities of power and right disappear, magically! So sayeth I!
You can tell yourself you're studying and proclaiming meaningful shit.

You're just an entertainer.  You're Mike Lupica.

So go fuck yourself/ves.  Harshly.  Without lubricant.

And then go read one of those entries that hits the 0.001% occurrence jackpot:  The Poor Haven't Been Forgotten, by vastleft over at Crystal Chandeliers R Us.

And hey -- thanks for that yeomanlike job of selling snake oil to the rubes.  Really.  The Corporatocracy appreciates your sycophantic toadyism.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dear Progressive, dear Liberal --

Good morning.

You are an important person, I know.  And you have impressive accomplishments on your resume, enviable stepping stones on your CV, this is clear.  Anyone can see that.  Harvard law, Yale undergrad, and you even have a Dartmouth MBA.  Unbelievable, really.

You know the value of a good education, don't you?

I'd like you to ponder something.

Imagine you're 45 years old and your oldest child is nearing prep school age.  You agonize over what school to choose.  If you're in DC you're probably looking at Sidwell Friends, Landon, Georgetown Prep, Holton Arms, Madeira, etc.  But have you heard?  There's a new kid in town!

This new school is known as "the NatSec Nest" and goes by the name Elysian Academy.  At Elysian, they follow a simple formula:
play by our rules, or we will kill you.
They mean this literally. When you agree to send your child there --which you do by signing a contract in triplicate before a Notary Public, and the signing is documented with a digital video recording-- you must agree to accede all parental authority to Elysian, including corporal punishment and administration of social justice.

The Elysian headmaster is given wide authority to determine the appropriate punishment for students who misbehave. One category of misbehavior is known as Treason vs Elysian.  The standards for this category's invocation are vague, malleable, and ultimately left to the headmaster's discretion.  Essentially, the category is reserved for students whose behavior -- spoken word, written word, artistic product, or legible clothing worn, for example -- suggests an attitude that questions the ultimate authority of Elysian or its faculty and administration, by doubting the rectitude of that authority, or wondering about the meted out punishments used by that authority.

If your teenager is found guilty of Treason vs Elysian, the headmaster may terminate your child's tenure at Elysian.  And by "terminating tenure," Elysian means extermination.  Elysian means, your child will die at Elysian's hands, or the hands of a person or entity engaged by Elysian for the purpose of enforcing rules.

Elysian's headmaster hasn't used this sanction very often, but he regularly reminds the campus and all interested parties that he intends to retain and safeguard the right to use the sanction.  The headmaster says it is crucial to the fortification and durability of Elysian's "reputation" in the local, national and global Prep School Reputation landscape, which the headmaster assures all listeners and readers is vital to Elysian's enduring stature as the Prep School of Choice for Distinguishing Parents.

Elysian's headmaster is historically significant -- he is bisexual, he is half-Brazilian, he is confined to a wheelchair.  He is the first non-White ever to hold the position of Leading Prep School Headmaster.  He is the first cripple to hold the position.  He is the first non-heterosexual to hold the position.  And to add value, he comes from all the best schools himself.  Moreover, before he came to Elysian, he was a professor of contract law at Yale Law School. 

So you can trust him with your child's life.  He has a nice resume, and his multiple-minority status absolutely ensures that you will know he is safely holding your child's existence in his hand. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

huh?

People who say that a sport --any sport-- "needs to grow" strike me as the most naive of the greenhorns.  It's clearly a juvenile perspective, wisdom-wise.  Sports do not need to "grow".  They just are.  They are, whether 1,000,000 people per day play them, or whether 10,000 per week play them.  Even the sports that very few people participate in -- say, fencing or curling -- will thrive and survive without "growth."

What is it that causes people to say a sport "needs to grow" --what causes them to say it with such certainty, such absolute conviction that it's an essential truth? 

The two sports I play now, alpine skiing and mountain bike riding, do not need to "grow" in order to keep me doing them.  In fact, I am almost opposite the "needs to grow" perspective, since I tend to dislike athletic activities that occur in crowds.  I don't like skiing with lots and lots of people.  I don't like standing in lift lines, comparing "outfits" or "setups" or "rigs" as if that has anything to do with skiing itself.  I ski because of the sensation I get from moving downhill at speed, using a device/tool/toy that requires balance, coordination, technique, anticipation.  The same reasons I like riding mountain bikes.

The mountain bike related internet sites I read have a strong contingent of "we need to grow the sport" writers, participants, editors, whatever.  But no matter how often they repeat this "fact" or "essential truth," I find it at best a misleading folk tale and at worst a destructive cliche. 

Usually people say skiing needs to "grow" with bigger, more insane tricks.  I say "watch Steep."  And remember that when I say that, I like steep mountains, and I like riding them on skis and mountain bikes.FN 

To me this thing of "the sport has to grow" is another indicator of where humanity is fucked up right now, psychologically.  It's another place where humans are being external rather than internal.

I believe this, for example:  if you're a skier, the only thing that needs to grow is your skiing abilities, at a rate sufficient to keep you energized about skiing.

Personalities range on this question of what keeps a person energized.  That's where the suggestion of "watch Steep" comes in.  I know people who ski stuff much steeper than I like, and I know people who think what I like to ski is scary steep.

The mountain offers more than enough challenge.  The sport doesn't need to "grow."  What needs to grow is your perspective, your imagination, your creativity, your sense of play.

Skiing doesn't exist as an entity.  It's an activity, it's animated by people.  It has no life outside the people doing it.

Stop looking outside.  Stop looking to what others say or do.  Stop externalizing.

That's when you will grow as an athlete.

And as a human being.


__________________________

FN - And, remember that within a year of the movie's release, two of its stars were dead, killed in skiing accidents.

niced algae... uh...

various

1) People who sign their correspondence with "Best," or with "All Best," or with "All the Best" -- you people... I want you to tell me... all the best WHAT? Wishes? Then why leave that word off? Too cool to use it? Prototyping a new slang phrase?FN

2) Explain to me why people would move to a town in Western Montana to "live a more relaxed lifestyle," yet would be in a huge fucking hurry all the time, and would be pushy, and aggressive, and arrogant in even the simplest of things -- like fighting for a spot in the checkout at the grocery, like racing to a parking spot at the grocery. Why would you move to a town with the idea of it being a nicer, more genial place -- and with it imagined as a slower-paced, more relaxed setting in which to live... but then proceed to treat your fellow resident as an enemy, or as an obstacle? You people who fit this description, I'd appreciate it if you'd just shuffle on off to Guyana and have some Jonestown Flavr-Aid. Dig? Maybe taking the Hemingway out would be acceptable as a substitute for the Flavr-Aid.

3) Having to sit in a line of traffic through more than 10 cycles of a traffic signal that is not broken, that's just fucked up. That it occurs in a town of fewer than 100k people is even more fucked up. That it occurs on a roadway that was "improved" in 2000 for the purpose of handling more traffic, and that many of us said they were only making for a bigger parking lot -- yeah, that's way more fucked up. You have to want to manage a town poorly in order to take the path Missoula is on. I'm not talking about competence or merit. I'm talking about people working destructively, with selfishness as their only consideration, even though they're in a public office.

4) The observations in (3) are especially poignant when you remember, or are made to understand, that Missoula is a liberal/progressive town, with a Mayor and City Council who pride themselves on being "forward-thinking" et cetera. And they're made more so by the fact that there are many, many issues aside from the massive clusterfuck known as Reserve Street, and aside from traffic flow questions. The others are related thematically, however, under the general umbrella of "growth," something that the Mayor and Council (and the surrounding County Commissioners) want badly -- even at the same time they are saying they want to preserve a slow, relaxed, friendly and happy place to live. Well, they've clearly failed at the quality of life aim -- and their only defense now is to say it's a lesser evil... to say "it's bad everywhere," as if that were not only true but obviously so. What are they smoking? I can drive over to the ID panhandle and see nothing like this. I can drive to the NW corner of MT and see nothing like this. It's most definitely NOT happening everywhere.

5) Justin's recent Cotton Candy entry contained the following quote by David Seaton:
Those who are cheerfully going about the work of dismantling the welfare state seem blissfully unaware that the welfare state was created by men as, or even more conservative then themselves, (Bismark, for example) in order to avoid revolutionary social movements which would destabilize and jeopardize the entire economic system and society itself. This was a strategy that was so eminently successful that it practically has destroyed revolutionary praxis.
Justin also had some commentary of his own, including this excerpt:
The ruling class is playing a dangerous game, and perhaps they are so far removed from the masses and the masses’ lives are so abstract to them, that they simply cannot imagine suffering any consequences for chipping away at their lives. Perhaps they are arrogant and ignorant enough to imagine that an earlier, softer ruling class built the edifices of social programs and protections in a time of luxury and good hearted munificence and that these can be dismantled with little or no blowback.
I wanted to comment on both. First, to Seaton:

----> Dude, drop the fucking academic lingo. Praxis? GMAFB, you pretentious twat.  Seriously.  Do you really sit around with your friends, or with casual acquaintances, talking about "praxis"?  Dude.  Come on.

And second, to Seaton and to Justin:

----> You both appear to miss an essential point of human psychology that explains the present situation a whole lot better than the assumption of failing to show sufficient respect to those who came before.  This idea of historical imperatives, of the need to follow history's lessons, is a very twisted form of inculcation.  History doesn't dictate, it informs.  And what it informs with is based mostly on whose perspective is the basis for the historical account. 

What really explains the behavior afoot now across the planet in "first world" countries is a fucked-up cocktail of fear's various manifestations:  insecurity, greed, power-lust, division, tribalism.

It's not even on the fucking agenda to consider what has come before.  It's not a question of following the correct antecedents.  It's not about the lessons of past regimes.

It's about what is happening now, here.

Nobody's required to follow any forefather's instruction, however overt or covert that lesson might be.

Here's the human psychology at play:  lizard-brain self-protection.  What's happening now is a desire to grab as much as possible while there is something to grab.  Whomever has something that those holding power wish to grab, that person/group/nation is in physical danger right now.  Witness the oil-consuming nations cocking their legs and peeing on the oil-bearing nations.  Check out the coltan mining in Africa for microprocessor electronics -- mining being done in the most destructive fashion possible.  Examine Don Blankenship's business destroying mountains in Appalachia.  These are not the acts of people who care about history, or care about future generations.FN2

To the extent they can be said to care about their progeny, they intend to do so by accumulating stuff -- money, real estate, commercial paper, securities, and currencies.  They have no intention of caring for the natural world.  None whatever.  Absolutely none.

A certain segment of those who hold and exercise power in governmental or organized social ways (such as large businesses), they fall prey to some delusions about why they don't have to care about the Earth.  Some are religious, and pine for End Times -- or are more liberal in their religion and simply think God will provide.  Some are technophiles and believe "technology" will save us.  And the rest just don't give a flying fuck.  Living for the moment, they are.  Juvenile, scared, and arrogant.  Perpetually 15 years old.

That's their outlook.  And, sadly, it is the outlook of a great many who have absolutely no power and who seek no power -- the partisan pissants, the Donkey and Elephant faithful, the footsoldiers of political theatre's tribalist war.  Most Americans have allowed themselves to feel no mutuality with their fellow Americans.  They're just selfish pricks and cunts, most of 'em.  Selfish, scared, and in a big hurry to get nowhere.   But they want to get there while Driving the Best Vehicle, while Living in an Upscale Development, while Working a Prestigious Career.

I'm not saying there is no reason to learn from history.  I'm saying that those who hold power now, they do not care about history.  Not one whit.  If they were eggheads rather than greedheads, they'd pride themselves on being post-history.

And I'm saying most Americans are distracted, numb and apathetic, and that's why the greedheads can get away with as much as they do.

__________________________

FN - This reminds me of that gig of talking about a "side" when you really mean "side dish" or "side order." Dumbfuck, the 2d word is necessary so I know what kind of "side" you're talking about. You use the word "side" by itself, then you suggest the geometric idea, not a dish that accompanies a main course in a meal. Okay, dumbfuck? Hey, thanks for your cooperation. Preeshaytit.

FN2 - There's another global concern that I'd wager most ignore, related to China's absurd hyper-industrialized, uber-consumerist "growth" that reminds me of nothing more than fast-replicating, fast-metastasizing malignant cancer. Cleveland's burning Cuyahoga River will have nothing on China's wastelands, which will likely rival or maybe even surpass Chernobyl, Prince William Sound, or the Deepwater Horizon vicinity. Hey, notice how all these eco-calamities were man-made? And how they've all happened in the past 50 years? And humans have been alive how long? And we can do that much damage that quickly? Sure, nothing to be concerned about. Who needs clean air, water, land? There's money to be made!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

did you?

Did you ever participate in the US Military?

If so, I'm sorry. I'm sorry you thought that was the wisest route out of whatever predicament compelled your participation. Or I'm sorry that you felt it an "honorable career" if you chose it without the compulsion of dire existential circumstance.

I have a 2d cousin that I remember watching go off to Vietnam, and remember even more powerfully his return from Vietnam: body intact, psyche destroyed.

...which experience compelled me to announce to my family, "I will go to Canada" -- referring to the possibility of my being drafted during an ongoing military effort.

I couldn't ever abide by the hierarchy of the military, the ridiculous requirement of obeisance regardless of  lacking wisdom in the command requiring obedience. I don't expect Mother's Brother Samuel to have my corporal interests, my existential well-being, in mind when he requries my conscription.

Luckily I am well past the age of draft eligibility today.

Arthur Silber's comment on today's "holiday" status is well worth reading.

black tie optional

one clueless mofo

David Sirota.

Sirota thinks "winning elections" is what this is about.  He thinks the rightward shift is a product of a strategy to "win elections."

What a fucking moron.

He's too rich and pampered to care about what it really is:  theatre -- and he's been one of the stage hands for a long time.  He thinks he's in Realityville, he's unaware he's on a stage creating fiction.

US versus THEM!

Go Team Davey!  Go, TEAM!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the few. the proud. the backbone of America.

uh, nope. not gonna talk about Chesty Puller or PX Kelley.

I'm talking about the (temporarily) Thriving and Striving Class of Americans, that lot who are making nice coin in a job where they know they provide nothing of value to anyone in their community, but tell themselves that the work indeed is valuable because shit, look how much I make and fuck, look at that badass fleet of sporty Euro cars-crossovers-SUVs in my 8-car garage, and holy hell look at the bags of saline I just paid to have installed in my wife's ribcage JEEZUS now LISTEN I don't care if they're fake if they give me that kind of wood or what passes therefor when I take my Levitra.

Yeah, you.

You've got it all sewn up, haven't you? Big ol' McMansion, country club membership, fly fishing trips to the Chilean Andes, ski weeks in Gstaad. Damn those plastic bags look good on your wife! Everyone's jealous, we're all jealous, the guys want to be you just for at least one quick romp even if your wife's breath is worse than a baby-eating MOSSAD agent's, the girls envy her tits and "lifestyle." Your kids are in Montessori pre-pre-school at ages 6 months and 17 months and... well... you know, they're not competitive there or anything but hey Mr Yuptastical your kids are the smartest we've seen since we opened our doors in mid-2008.  Signed, Elite Acres Montessori.

The other day you were at a trail junction about 30 yds to my left, and despite the relative quiet of the setting and the lack of anyone else in the area save you & me, you shouted "HOWDY!" at me and then got angry when I said "yup," and replied, "I SAID, HOWDY!" to which I again said "yup," which prompted you to say "ASSHOLE!".

Remember that?

Yeah.  Next time, please don't say anything to me.  I'd prefer to be left alone, especially by people like you.

Thanks.

Now, please -- resume your masterly oversight of the universe's workings.  Let a peon ride his bike in peace, will ya?

Thanks.

slightly perturbed men on Stuyvesant Avenue

After reading and hearing lots of praise for Mad Men, I recently rented and watched the earliest (in its own history) DVDs I could rent from Wastings: 1st season, disc 2; 3d season, disc 3. These are my impressions.

The obsession with early-60s American "lifestyle" (a word I hate almost as much as I hate willful ignorance) is a strange mix of faithful rendition of the indicia of the era (symbolic nostalgia -- cigarettes, booze, suit-and-tie, slicked short-cut hair) and glossed-over, under-rug-swept omission of details. Yes, I could get that this isn't omission but rather timid address, a/k/a subtlety -- perhaps I would agree with the tag "subtle" but I prefer the interpretation of "cowardly, fond romanticism" and I stand by that.

The creation, filling-out and buffing/polishing of stereotypes does no good for 2010 America. What's the aim? Thank God it's 2010 and not 1960? Fuck that. I'd prefer a more Lynch-like take on things, as in Blue Velvet. Where's the scary underlying the polished grooming? What's scary? Don Draper's "mysterious past"? That one gay dude's closeted status? The big question of whether the pampered trust fund kid Pete Campbell can actually work for a buck? Gimme a break.

What I think about Mad Men's following is that people actually are nostalgic for that post-WW2 era where everyone Dressed Nicely and The Economy Was Good.

Monday, November 8, 2010

one of Oxtrot's many brushes with An American Emperor

In 1991-1992 I lived in upper NW DC and worked at MWCOG next to Union Station, right near Gonzaga.  I was able to do a good 11-mile paved commute on my then-MTB, my first MTB, a weird bike that started life as a Trek 930.  As I rode it more for commuting I put on one of those goofy Scott AT-4 handlebars, which let me get all tri-geeky flat-backed when hauling ass on Avocet 2.0 slicks.  The narrow-hands grip of that bar's flat section really didn't work on trails, so it eventually got pitched -- when I moved up to Baltimore and stopped commuting by bike.

The bike commute route was a good one and let me use Rock Creek Park for a big chunk of the ride.  For most of the first half of the Park I would ride on the Parkway and other Park roads.  But once the traffic picked up, deeper into the city, I would jump off the Parkway and onto the bike path.  The Park's bike path spat me out by the Tidal Basin.  From there I'd ride a mix of roads, bike/jogger paths and sidewalks to get to my office.

On one particular morning I had a bike washout crash just below GW University Hospital.  Some walking user of the bike/jog path must have heard me coming behind him at the last minute and he jumped left, toward Rock Creek Parkway, just before I came around him.  I had to swerve right to avoid hitting him.  He didn't leave me enough room on his left to go around him there -- any wider than his footpath and I'd be in the mix with cars at 45mph on the Parkway.  So I have to dodge right.  And the path here is covered in light sand, and its paved with cobbles that are a bit polished.  The bike doesn't really go right.  It just loses traction.  I go down so fast and hard that my chin smacks the pavement before I can try to thwart the impact with my hands, or by reacting with my torso.  I don't quite get a concussion but it's close.  My chin is torn open and bleeding like crazy.  The pedestrian doesn't stop, he's still walking.  I get my bike together and pedal up the cloverleaf to GW Univ Hosp where I try to go in to get sewed up, but I can't bring in my bike says the Security Guy and I haven't got a lock (we have locked bike storage provided at my office).  So I pedal about 8 miles up to my house, chin torn open, flapping and bleeding as I pedal.  Hit home, ditch the bike, call a taxi to GW Hosp, get sewed up, walk to Metro, tube to work.  Just about 1 hr late.

But I want to talk about a different kind of mid-commute event.

Part of my usual route was to ride along the Wilbur Mills and Fanne Foxe Memorial Reflecting Pool, then down to the Ellipse.  One day as I was reaching the first stretch of the Ellipse, I saw a couple of Secret Service vehicles, those black Chevy Suburbans, each with its back window down and a suited, earpieced, aviator-sunglasses-wearing SS dude wielding a small machine gun occupying the space.  They were driving along the wide pea-graveled human boulevard of the EllipseFN at what was probably 10 mph.

As I approached them I asked if I should go another way.  The SS dude in the nearest Suburban said, "no, it's okay, you can keep on riding, just don't do anything sudden, and ride on around us." 

"Okay," I said, and pedaled on.

Right up to the point where I was about 8 feet off the right shoulder of a slowly jogging Slick Willie, at whom I looked and to whom I said, "Mornin', Mr President," and kept right on pedaling past him, on to work.

He looked stressed and strained, red-faced with exertion.  I didn't keep looking at him, but I was sure he was about to pop a blood vessel.  Apparently he didn't, as I heard nothing more from behind me once I got about 50 yards past the entourage.

I'm still pissed he didn't ask me for advice on tightening things up at EPA.

______________________

FN -- My memory of this part of DC is hazy, so I just checked this map. What I'm talking about here is the end of the Ellipse/Wash Monument grounds and the start of the Mall, around 14th and Independence.

can't take it with you

I would like security coverage for my bike ride from the remote part of town back to my house at 5:30pm a few nights a week. I promise it wouldn't be too expensive. My value to the American populace should be clear: I'm not afraid to call bullshit on even the most revered and sainted viziers, mages, lecteurs, experts, grandees, poltroons, masters, kings, lords, emperors, knights, despots, dictators, doctors, lawgivers -- or any of their errand boys and office clerks.

Paltry, I promise, in comparison to what St Barry o' the Barmy spends.


yes, it is

It's a bad world.

CFingly motherfuggingly ignorant

Glenn Greenwald, of course.

The fuckstick has been wrong on so many things in the past decade that his sagacity is not just in question -- it's never even been on display.

Do yourself a favor and ignore Glenn fucking Greenwald as an "authority" on anything save the formula of how to enhance one's public profile as an "expert" on a subject about which one's actually quite ignorant.

come on, dude. try to be consistent.

From the land of the Tiffany Chandelier:
How about a jobs guarantee, for starters? Then:

1. Medicare for All

2. End the wars

3. Clawback from the rich*
Uh, NOPE.

Jobs guarantees = wage slavery guarantees. There is no surer way to rigidify our informal caste system than a jobs guarantee.  Aside from that, this focus puts too much emphasis on a person's status as an EMPLOYEE rather than as a citizen with rights equal to that of his/her EMPLOYER.

Get it, Lambert?

Does Tiffany Chandelier ever investigate whether people need jobs in the first place?  No, the rich-pretending-at-empathy-for-the-poor never do.

And as to the Medicare for all suggestion, I say fuck off.  Bureaucratized medicine with huge levels of middle-management waste, profligate form-filling "regulatory compliance," and the other assorted problems with centralized power delivering a highly individualized service?  No fucking thanks.

It's not the only option, Lambert.  And among the options available, it's just about the worst.  In fact, it's even arguable that thematically, Obamacare (mandatory purchase of illusory coverage) is an adequate stand-in for "Medicare for all."  The similarities outweigh the technical, insubstantial differences.

I do love how you pretend to be against riches and privilege, though.  That's a neat trick for a pampered yuppie fucktard.

Lambert reminds me of the guy my friend CC and I call "the Condescendoire" --

Hot potato(e).

Analyzing Federal power in my adult, legal-to-vote lifetime suggests there is no difference to me in whether the Republicans or the Democrats hold power, nor in the margin by which either one holds "majority" power.  No matter whether it's an Elephant or a Donkey in the White House or running the Congress, we get "privatizing" moves to benefit corporate interests, we get "wars" designed to benefit corporate interests, we get "health care reform" designed to benefit corporate interests, we get "economic stimulus" designed to benefit corporate interests, we get "infrastructure improvement" designed to benefit corporate interests.

The enantiomeric relationship between Elephant and Donkey is at its display peak right now, as if it were mating season and the bipartisan nature were trying to reveal its Decorative Plumage to attract suitable mates.

What?  What's with the biological reproductive ritual analogy? 

The suitable mates are the corporate interests whose aims and goals are pursued by the Bipartisan Bipeds of Brilliant Bureaucracy.

Not us regular joes and janes.

If it works out the same whether Repub or Dem runs the show, to what end to people ally themselves with a party?

The fallout of last week's "elections" has the Donkey-faithful blaming everyone and everything for some brand or form of "thinking like Republicans" or a "rightward move" by the Democrats.  There's also occasional muttering about "competence" and "courage," as if the reason the Donkeys are acting as they are (corporate sycophants who would gladly fuck everyone in the ass with a glass-impregnated baseball bat, like the NYPD did on Abner Louima) is because they are "incomptent" or "spineless."

No, dear partisan lackey.  That does not explain the DonkleCongress nor the DonklePOTUS nor the Donkle Cabinet.

What explains the Donkeys' rightward "shift" is the fact that the Donkeys have been corporate sycophants for my entire adult voting life, and by all historic evidence I can find, for decades before that as well.

It's just more brazen now.  And that's because Bush/Cheney were ultra-proud and overt regarding their corporate sycophancy.  The fascism is out in the open now.

Oh.  What's that you say?  We're not a fascist country?

I think you haven't spent much time comparing America 2010 to Italy in the 1940s, and how each nation's government moved toward benefiting corporate business interests at the expense of individual freedoms, individual rights, and individual social interests (what some might call "entitlements" arising from being a fellow human being living in a mutual society). 

Of course it's doctrinal in America that selfishness is actually social conscience.  Probably that's due to long-gestating AynRandism, mixed with "trickle-down" economics which suggest that being a consumer is man's highest calling.

I don't know about you, but my ability to buy from among 43 types of ketchup doesn't really palliate the loss of individual freedoms and privacy wrought by the Wonderfully Bipartisan Federal Criminal Syndicate, and it doesn't help the unemployed and underemployed find "jobs" in a country which tells its citizenry that a "job" leading to a "career" is essential to existential fulfillment.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

he's a fluffer, he's a nutter

Our Glorious Post-Racist Donkledictator:
Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said he doesn’t “begrudge” the $17 million bonus awarded to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon or the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein....

* * *

“I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”
Dig especially on the psychological warfare he's using:
“I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth."
He's telling Americans what they think.

He's telling them what they think.

Eh?

Say "think of the children!" but accept maltreatment of those children



nod to Skeptical Eye for posting this.

mankind in a nutshell

Occasionally, the foibles of mankind --and I mean that literally, as in the problems inhering in masculinity-- are well displayed on an internet discussion thread.

EXAMPLE: Empty Beer 29er Forum discussion of frame materials.

My favorite poster-of-meaningless-bluster is either Turveyd or El Caballo.  Turveyd makes me want to give him the award because of his stubborn insistence that his distinctly wrong assertions are indeed the truth.  El Caballo has a different angle from which to claim greatness:  he uses analogies to other things and implies that thanks to his analogy, his argument is correct.  Meanwhile he never provides evidence of the factual points supporting his assertions.  His analogies are straw-men, distractions from his lack of proof.

People who suggest you cannot feel the difference in frame tubing, design, material are simply ignorant of the fact that other athletes have greater sensory awareness.  I am fully aware that the type of saddle (how much padding, and whether it suits my anatomy), the type of tire (width, volume, tread design, tread compound), the tire PSI, the seatpost material (certain Ti posts are designed to flex; carbon posts mute vibrations), the handlebar material (again, carbon muting etc) and grip design and material (whether the grip diameter suits your hand size/strength/stamina, whether the compound is firm or soft) -- all these things affect how a bicycle rides.

Shit, I would even say that when it's optimal temperature outside for my body, I'm more limber and feel more powerful, so on those days almost every bike feels pretty good to me.

But even with those points I can still note differences in frame material.  I notice that Aluminum sacrifices ride comfort for increased power transfer.  I notice that Steel is springy and when the right mix of tube size, tube thickness, butting profiles, etc are mated in a single design, the springiness is well balanced against pedaling efficiency.  I notice that compared to steel, Titanium mutes some trail vibration and doesn't require painting to remain durable to the elements -- but like steel, it can be very flexy if someone tries too hard to make it too springy.FN

I'm not imagining that stuff, no matter what some ignorant dipshit on Empty Beer might argue to the contrary.  I've been an athlete my whole life, always had good proprioceptive awareness.  When I was a golfer I was able to tell differences in club feel based on clubhead design.  I used to go to the driving range and hit test 7-irons from various manufacturers, compare their behavior.  That's how my mind and body work in an athletic thing -- my mind remains analytical, paying attention to details of feel throughout the using of the athletic tool.

Some (if not many, if not most) weekend, armchair athletes are at such a low level of skill and development that they cannot sense such things.  Apparently they believe their own personal limitations are the limitations of everyone else.  This kind of naivete is very common among earnest novices.  Most of them would probably do well to find a coach who can help them get in tune with their athletic tools.  But this is America, the land of instant gratification.  A deeper, more fundamental approach just isn't warranted.

Men tend to deal with their awareness (if any) of this disparity between their actual skill/knowledge, and that which they wish to present to the world, through arrogant bluster (trying to sound authoritative), as if booming and keening are tantamount to wisdom and experience.  The internet's anonymity screen merely enhances this male UberFraud personality trait.

_________________________

FN - This generally is why I think Ti frames are too expensive -- from my own functional perspective.  Their ride quality really isn't greater than good steel, so mostly, from a functional view, I'm paying for the durability of titanium tubing's natural finish.  Repairs are much more expensive, because Ti welding requires an Argon purge, and very clean surface prep... Ti joints will fail if contaminated, no matter how pretty their appearance, and the contamination sensitivity is very high.  Also, Ti tubing is hard, so the cutting & prep work requires ultra-sharp cutting tools and it dulls those tools very quickly.  Labor wise, and tooling wise, Ti is very expensive to work with.  And the tubing itself is very expensive compared to steel. 

you two look like cousins or something



Friday, November 5, 2010

good steel

I have owned and extensively ridden titanium, aluminum and steel hardtail MTBs.  The best rides have been on good steel frames, without exception.

The first good steel frame I had was a singlespeed frame done by Doug Curtiss at Curtlo.  It mimicked the angles of the hardtail frame I was riding at the time, but added horizontal track ends and had no derailleur hanger.  It was a rim-brake frame.  I built it with a 100mm fork and rode it for quite a few years -- 2001 through 2007.  It was a perfect mix of smooth ride (compliance) and quick response when pedaling as a SS -- torquey, grunty stuff as well as sewing-machine spins on flats.  It was as if the bottom bracket would only move upward, never weirdly outward or twisting.  It seemed to absorb roots, rocks and ruts without complaint.
Original Curtlo Solo Mountaineer
I sold that bike in 2008, after riding a 29" wheeled SS for a year and being convinced the SS and the 29" wheel are made for each other. 

Inbred 29er SS circa 2007

Curtlo Solo Mountaineer, just before sale.
I convinced myself it had shortcomings, like the rim-brake rear wheel.  But to be honest I was happy riding that bike with an Avid mechanical disc up front and a Magura hydraulic rim brake on the rear wheel.  It was a great-riding bike, in all conditions.

A year after Doug Curtiss built that singlespeed I wanted a hardtail for a 5" travel fork, one that I could ride on trails that had drops of 5 feet or so, sorta like this:

Oxtrot circa 2003
and still ride all day on long alpine rides, places like this:

SA somewhere in the N. Rockies
 The result was

Oxtrot's Curtlo, SA's Curtlo, JL's Curtlo circa 2004
 ...which recently was revived as this bike

Since I posted that, I have done a pair of good trail rides on the bike.  I find that the bike responds as well as that old singlespeed, while being comfortable in choppy stuff.

My other hardtail bike is an On-One Inbred 29er SS.  It has an incredible ride, very much like that old 26" Curtlo SS frame.  And even better, that Inbred frame cost only $250 with a new headset.

I'm not tossing any cliches that involve rhyming with "real," but I have to say that a steel frame is my favorite thing in MTB riding.

hey! hipster! THIS is how you do irony.



Dedicated to my pwoggie and lib-wool pals.  Y'all know who you are.  Your Emperor's new robes are beautiful and thrilling, aren't they?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

One of last night's overlooked news stories

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  And to all you kids out there tuned in via your cell phone, welcome to you too, and stay engaged -- you'll get to vote when you turn 18!

Today's elections have been hotly contested and the ramifications and reverberations emanating from their results will be felt for decades.  Experts already are calling this the most momentous election since the nation was founded.

The most significant result is said to have occurred in the state of Bamperus, located nearly smack-dab in the middle of the United Corportions of Greedia.  Pig Party candidate Hector Overton Fenster nosed out Daghdu Party candidate Beth-Ann H. Yu-Briss.  Fenster received 46% of the vote, while Yu-Briss received 41%.  The remaining 13% voted for Death's Head Party candidate G. Rimmersen Rhieper.

Bamperus has long been a hotbed of political contest.  As early as November 2009, Fenster and Yu-Briss began their public debate caustic mudslinging glib, superficial pretense at public forum discussion juvenile pot-shotting, but originally they were joined together in attacking Rhieper as an unhinged moonbat.  Party members were livid:
Rhieper is one of those people who won't be happy until we're back in the stone age, trying vainly to build a fire for warmth.  (Jenna Faichtitz, 34 yrs old mother of six, currently working as a Porn Star.  Identifies as member of Daghdu Party.)

Rhieper is trying to take us back to an era where politicians couldn't just promise to do something for the children and thereby win an election on a cheap cliche.  (Vance Plumbum, 47 yrs old, unmarried and working as a Sewage Inspector.  Identifies as member of Pig Party.)

Rhieper reminds me of that one guy back in high school who nobody thought was cool.  (Sandy Barbidahl, 28 yrs old Professional Shopper.  Identifies as member of Daghdu Party.)
Supporters of Rhieper weren't as agitated, and most of them simply seemed amused at the tensions.  Sten Ohgren, a 36 year old logger and sawyer from the highlands of Bamperus, simply chuckled when we asked him about the campaigns.  "I like to sit back with a cold beer and browse the internet discussion forums that support the Pig Party and the Daghdu Party.  It's like watching a bunch of catty 10-year-old girls from very spoiled backgrounds, arguing over which ballet slipper one should wear in order to take a good photograph for one's portfolio.  I can't imagine people being more wound-up over something less relevant."

We asked Ohgren why he supported Rhieper.  His response:  "Support?  What are you talking about?  He's just the sensible choice when you compare his views to the views of those idiot Pig and Daghdu fucktards."

Now that Fenster has been given the nod to travel to his new office in Blackwaterton, P.U.,** Daghdu Party operatives are eagerly predicting what life will be like in Bamperus for Daghdu faithfuls.  Prissy Toadwell, who lives in the upscale Fecal Ridge section of Bamperus capital city Coprolitus, is predicting a grim interim -- 
Well of course those Pig Party people aren't going to have any manners.  Esteemed practices such as engraved invitations, Black Tie dinners, and Charity Auctions will fall by the wayside, making room for pit barbecue, greasy overalls, and tobacco stains.  Stock up on your favorite pinot grigio, because Prohibition is right around the corner.  But you'll still be able to find moonshine, provided you know someone in the Pig Party.  Oh, and I'm sure we're going to see a radical shift in entertainment.  TV will stop delivering relevant, innovative dramas about noble law enforcement personnel, and instead we'll find country music stars hosting variety shows where the target audience IQ is somewhere around 25 on the Stanford-Binet scale.  Your grocery store will no longer stock arugula, bok choy, or edamame.  Instead we'll see an uptick in pig's feet, head cheese, and Slim Jims.  The Toyota Prius will no longer be produced.  Instead we will see a big push to get everyone onto an ATV, and our National Forests will be turned into ATV playgrounds.  In short, we are descending into Hell.
For the Greedia National Trivia Network, I'm Gaunt Blusterson.  Good evening.

_____________________

** P.U. = Paternalist Utopia, a federal district located on the Nation's east coast, adjacent to the Dungwater Tidal Estuary.  Blackwaterton, PU is the nation's capital. 

what it isn't

Sports fans show their earnest "knowledgeable insider" status by citation to statistics and rare facts about the game and its players.

Political eedjits who pride themselves on being "informed" do much the same.

Commentary this AM is focused on the splits of "power" in the Congress, with emphasis on who holds the majority in which house, et cetera, et cetera. 

You know, I hope, that such emphases are about as relevant to the Federal Political Reality as the brand of deodorant Wade Boggs used when he was at his playing peak and how that deodorant affected his play.

If you really think that holding "the majority" in either house has any impact on how things will play out during the next 4-6 years, I'd love to hear your arguments justifying that position.

Be prepared to be picked apart, examined, disproved, and embarrassed.

By me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

old but still a pony

My boing-boing bike needs a suspension hardware overhaul this winter, so I pulled the parts and put them onto an old hardtail frame that I got in 2001 or 2002. I rode this frame a fair amount during the first year after I got it, but then got into riding boing-boing bikes. The frame got re-coated a few years back (2006?) when I was trying to build frames myself and wanted to test the work of a local powdercoater.

Here's the spec: 69 deg HA @ 130mm fork travel, 16.75 CS, 23.25 TT, 73 deg SA. Don't remember BB height and too lazy to measure. Tubes are OX Platinum.

I defy you: do not wince, dare not cringe

...when you read this and realize how true is its message.

Monday, November 1, 2010

punny new fraze

Political AlGoreRhythm:

The act of using a boring, policy wonk/drone "analysis" to justify one's white collar corporate criminal complicity... and doing it over, and over, and over -- rhythmically.

Perrin's vision is accurate, sharp

Dennis Perrin on the Irony-on-Training-Wheels rally with Stewart & Colbert:

Stewart's main audience are white, college-educated/age liberals with deep self-regard. For them, politics is basically voting Democrat and little more.

The "little more" involves mostly knee-jerk vitriol uttered (meatspace) or posted (blawgistan) with antipathy toward Evil Rethuglicans, or self-congratulation on choosing someone who isn't an Evil Rethuglican.