Saturday, August 4

Last Chance, Science

The scientific community's ability to break down and analyze the most basic elements of existence, come up with answers to our most existential questions and cure our genetic malfunctions has only been surpassed by its crippling inability to make any of that sound vaguely interesting.

I recently took a tour of Jet Propulsion Laboratory's facilities with my wife and our rocket scientist friend, and I can honestly say that it is the only time in my life that I've ever felt so intellectually stimulated while being so goddam bored. Microchips, robots, rockets, and climate monitoring systems beaming information about our planet from thousands of miles above the Earth's atmosphere took a cognitive backseat to the fact that, aesthetically, all of the videos looked like they were rendered in 8-bit graphics on a 1970s-era computer with the sole purpose of showing British schoolchildren How Space Works. Fucking snooze.

The big problem with Science and Shit Like Science is the fact that its staff consists entirely of people who have no interest in presenting what they do for a living in any sort of interesting way. If they did, they would be working in the entertainment industry. The resulting society this leaves us is a sort of Bizarro-World where uninteresting, troped-out shit makes a lot of money because it visually excites us, and the people whose job descriptions are literally "Launch Fucking Robots Into Space" have to see their budgets cut due to a lack of public interest.

Here's an anecdote from our JPL tour that might explain things a bit: have you ever had someone explain a 3-D movie to you? Like, the actual process of teaching a computer how to trick a human brain into thinking that a 2-D image is leaping off of a screen? I have. I can honestly say that it's fucking boring. We walked past a giant sign saying "Earth: 3-D!" and, since there was a long line in front of it, figured that it would be interesting and great. It turned out to be a 15 minute ordeal, and five of those minutes consisted of a middle-aged man explaining to the audience how 3-D technology works, while the other ten minutes showed us how the Earth's weather looks from one of JPL's satellites. No one cares, nerds. When I put on 3-D glasses I want you to shut the fuck up and show me dick robots fighting monsters made entirely of boobs and vaginas.

I understand that when you're processing tons and tons of data per second, you don't necessarily want to tie up computing power in making it look pretty, but I don't fucking care. That shit was boring. What JPL and other scientists should do during any PR event is simply dress in togas, stand on a giant black obelisk, and scream out their job descriptions in the most interesting way possible. One man would stand up, scream "I view the Earth's weather from the heavens and predict its behavior with my robot seraphim who fly beyond the reach of mortal man!", then throw down a smoke bomb and run away. Another would say "I control the arms and legs of a mechanical man who flies to the dusty Red Planet, examines the land there, and sends us messages through the aether to let us know that Life has taken hold on planets other than ours!", smoke bomb, etc. At some point there should be a playing of Europe's "Final Countdown" during an orgy break, and then everyone would go back to their Pronouncements of Employment while wine and feta cheese was served. I would fucking PAY to go to an event like that, instead of dragging my feet to go to Nerd Central where 11-year-old kids and middle-aged Asian men took pictures of vaguely sciencey-looking things on their off-brand smartphones and talked in lisped,excited voices about how cool all of this is. However, I know this will never, ever happen, because scientists and technicians have been too conditioned by years of bullying and societal contempt to ever make themselves seem cool to anyone outside their field.

Here's a fun experiment - the next time you're talking to someone about what they do for a living and they say anything science related, try and make it sound cooler than they do and watch how quickly they back away from it. For example, my rocket scientist friend HATES being referred to as my "rocket scientist friend" (also, my wife hates being referred to as "that drunk guy's wife", but whatever). Whenever she tells people that she works at Jet Propulsion Labs, the conversation goes like this:
Them: "Oh, so you're a rocket scientist?"
Her: "Well, kinda. I do work in the planning and reliability modeling stages of mission development, so whenever a project is proposed it's my job to find the most fiscally and mechanically reliable and responsible way to achieve the goal of the mission."
Them: "Oh, so you design rockets?"
Her: "Oh, no, that's what the aerospace engineers do. See, what I do is...."
Them: *glazed look for ten minutes*

It drives me nuts that she does this, because she really is a fucking rocket scientist. When she tells people that her job is a Reliability Engineer and they ask what that means, it takes everything within me not to get right in their faces and scream "It means she ENGINEERS fucking RELIABILITY! BITCH! Think about THAT!" Then I would stare at them and back away slowly, sometimes dropping my drumsticks, but usually not. There, I just saved everyone ten minutes of awkward conversation and made you sound ten times cooler. Now let's get back to drinking.
(Caveat: If someone tries to make their job sound better than you think it sounds, they aren't a scientist, they just work in the IT department or are a secretary.)

Because scientists and other nerds are too busy cracking the puzzle-box of the universe without taking the time to make it look pretty, the only reason we, as the general public, care about them is because they fuck up so spectacularly. Think about the NASA of the past twenty or thirty years, and what comes to mind? Challenger. The retirement of the space shuttle. If you really love NASA and JPL, maybe you'll remember the 1999 crash of a $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter that occurred when Lockheed Martin built an English-unit spacecraft to fly with JPL's metric-system software. HAHAHAHA!!! What a cock-up that was!
The only reason we care about science is because the fuck-ups are so damn amazing. Three Mile Island, Challenger, Columbia, Apollo 13. We, as the mouth-breathing public, love watching those disasters because it's like watching a movie. We don't care about the fact that there are over a million pieces of equipment on a space shuttle and that, with a 99% success rate of those pieces, that still means that over a thousand things can go wrong at any given time. We don't care that sending human beings into orbit and recovering them safely is one of humanity's greatest achievements, or that people make or break their careers on the smallest details of space travel because the difference between "mission success" and "flaming fucking massacre in the sky" can hinge on whether or not a certain piece was fabricated with a 60% nickel alloy instead of a 30% nickel alloy. We only want to point fingers at exploding things and say "Gotdam taxpayer money right there!" when three weeks ago we had no idea that NASA was even still around.

Science, let me talk to you, man-to-concept for a second here. I love you and I hate you. I love you because you give me such wonderful things, like microwaveable burritos, the knowledge that dolphins have names for each other, the nuances of bird grammar, and glimpses into the infinite chain of events that started with an explosion of energy that formed atoms, molecules, galaxies, planets, and eventually my stupid drunken ass sitting in front of a keyboard updating a near-dead blog for an audience of myself and confused Googlers*. But goddam, are you boring. You made the Internet, then allowed it to make fun of you. So this is your last chance before I break up with you and move on to a life filled with liberal arts and reality TV. I'm serious this time. The next time someone starts talking about the Higgs-Boson particle, or the latest finding in evolutionary biology, or carbon nanotubes, I'm just going to look at them and say "Yes, but how many WOMEN were involved in that discovery? Don't you think the feminist perspective has a lot to offer?" I will become your crazy bitch ex-girlfriend, rending and twisting everything you have to say with my triple-edged sword of pedantry and illogic and inebriation. This is seriously your last chance, because if you can't pull this simple task off, then you don't love me.

Tomorrow, the Mars Science Laboratory will be entering the Martian atmosphere. It has been flying for about 200 days now, and will be landing on Mars around 10:30 PDT. And I am going to be there (well, at JPL, not Mars) to watch the landing.

The MSL is an awesome fucking achievement, so Science, shut the fuck up for a second and let me explain it to the public, because you'll just bore everyone.

Basically, we (Americans using Asian engineers) launched a rocket about two hundred days ago. Inside that rocket is a robot the size of a car. This robot looks like WALL-E, and its entire job is to look for Martians.

And then laser the fuck out of them, I assume.

Are you with me so far? Awesome. Now, the coolest part of the whole entry/descent/landing procedure for the MSL is the fact that it's going to utilize new technologies in such a way as to....

Oh, fuck, I almost made it sound boring. The reason that I'm so stoked to be there for the landing of the MSL is because my rocket scientist friends and some other people built a real-life motherfucking Transformer Rocket to drop a car-sized robot onto Mars via sky-crane. To give you perhaps a better idea of how this goes down, watch this not-too-shitty NASA video that was put out. It has some great animation starting around 3:04.


If you can watch this without humming the Halo theme in your head, then you might also be a robot. In which case, hail, Metal Overlord!

That's right, bitches. Through the sheer power of the human mind, we are going to another fucking planet via Robot Car to search for life. Although, to be fair, if the sight of a giant supersonic parachute deploying and a car-sized, claw-lookin' motherfucker of a robot being lowered by rocket-sky-crane onto the planet's surface doesn't immediately make all sentient life run and hide, then the idea of natural selection needs to be severely revised.

This magnificent bitch totally looks like WALL-E, only instead of saying its own name all the time, it just says "Fuck yeah!"

So that's where I'll be, tomorrow night, watching the Last Chance of Science. Because if human beings fuck this up, there's really no hope left for Science. At all. This is the coolest thing that anyone could ever be a part of in their lifetime, besides interspecies genetic manipulation and relativistic faster-than-light travel. After all the crashes of the past, well, entire history of NASA, if this bitch crashes then there's no more future for American space travel. Considering the fact that the entire landing process only takes seven minutes to complete, and transmissions from Mars to Earth take fourteen minutes, there's a good twenty-one minutes or so where I get to be around hundreds of people who are wondering if they're gonna have jobs tomorrow. So if Curiosity lands successfully, it will exponentially increase our knowledge of the origins of life in our solar system and do a lot of other cool shit. And if it crashes, I will try to be sober enough to not stand up and start slow-clapping in a room full of failed rocket scientists. Either way, it's gonna be a great time.

This is the only way you can save our failing relationship, Science. Try not to fuck this one up. 

Now bring me a drink.

*(P.S., amateur threeway, peeing on cows, hippo lip deep-dicking. There, that should generate some traffic).

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Thursday, July 15

Fuck Superheroes

Now I know what you're thinking - this is gonna be another ADI column about the growing field of superhero hentai porn and various merits of the Black Cat and Spidergirl, respectively. But it's not. This is the tale of a Great American Hero and his wrongful imprisonment for fighting The Power as told by someone who is ill-informed and popping Vicodin.
Our story begins, as all great stories do, with me.
I ride a bike every day to work. Monday through Friday, it's pretty enjoyable, despite the 100+ degree heat and the Death Race 2000-style driving which characterizes areas of LA which enjoy high rates of Korean immigration. The keyword which motivates my pedal-pushing, however, is functionality. I ride a hand-me-down bike to work because it's cheaper than owning a car, and because I'm too damn lazy to walk. Most of the time, I'm the only biker on the street.
Come the weekend, however, a deluge of gears and douchebaggery descends upon the streets of suburban LA like some kind of Schwinn-sponsored Katrina.
Basically, there are three types of cyclists: people who ride Schwinns, have beards and drink PBR out of a can to show how unique they are; people who, like me, ride a bike because it's functional and cheap (usually while wearing some sort of food-service-industry-related attire), and the Wannabe Superheroes.
The Schwinn riders are pretty innocuous, as they only ride their bikes to one of three places: Starbucks, to stare at Facebook on their MacBooks while holding onto a pile of Real Books (to disguise the fact that they actually can't read), to the local bar to drink $6 PBR out of a can, or to a park of some sort so they can lie in the grass and throw around words like "post-colonial" and "neo-abstract". More often than not, they just walk their bikes around and leave them chained to mailboxes and light posts. Fair enough. Although this is douchey behavior in the extreme, at least these people are self-proclaimed pacifists who have the muscle tone of overcooked quinoa pasta, so punching them in the face serves as a fun pastime with little negative consequences.
People who I describe as "people like me" are ipso facto awesome people full of rage and nicotine, so there's no reason to say anything bad about them. Ever.
However, the Wanabe Superheroes emit a cloud of Annoying so thick and noxious that there is no reason to pull over your car, bike, scooter, or whatever, and go all Thompson on their ass.

Pictured: Justice

Imagine the following scenario - you are born into an affluent family. Your parents are white and non-threatening in that they are both tied up with various business ventures and extramarital affairs. Your childhood consists of unconsciously absorbing your parents' latent fear of homosexuals and minorities and playing with your Barbie and Ken dolls. Barbie and Ken have it all. Barbie and Ken have a separate outfit for every single fucking occasion. Barbie and Ken are your only friends (fuck Skipper and that black chick), and the long hours they spend with you and the nanny are the only solace you as a young child have in a house filled with white wine spritzers and prescription drug abuse.
Now you grow up. You go to a college full of other white, rich children, where you learn about how evil white, rich people are (other white, rich people, not you). You learn that by eating a box of Kraft Easy Mac you're not only responsible for killing a minority somewhere in the Third World, but you're releasing an unspecificed amount of Carbon Footprint into the Global Warming Sphere. Or something like that. You didn't really pay attention, due to you constant diet of white wine spritzers and prescription drugs.
Again, your only source of solace is Barbie and Ken. But playing with dolls is frowned upon at college (unless you go to Wesleyan University or are getting a degree in positive psychology). So you do the next best thing - you act like Barbie or Ken. Plastic hair, disposable friends, token black people, and all the outfits you can buy! Just like when you were a kid! A shirt to play sports in, a shirt to go hiking in, an SUV in case you ever enjoy the Great Outdoors (you won't), and all the shoes you could want! The more expensive, the better!
After the revolving door of your life spins again, you find yourself with a degree in something or other (maybe Post-Colonial Studies, you're not exactly sure what to call it, but you do know that you watched The Wire while high on Percocet and you're qualified to talk about the plight of black people with a fair degree of accuracy). By the sole virtue of your hard work and gumption, you're now working a desk job for your dad's friend. Good for you!
You still love the clothing and plastic hair. After choosing a "partner" of some sort (you call your wife a partner to show how enlightened you are and how in touch with the gay community your marriage is), you settle into a life of sedentary staring, devoid of interest or purpose. Your only joys are buying expensive dinners for your business colleagues and not tipping your waiter (fuck them. If they wanted money, they should get an education, AMIRIGHT! *high five to golf buddy*)
Suddenly, you notice that you're fat. Clearly, this is the fault of processed foods and Big Industry somehow, so you decide to take matters into your own hands. You begin questioning waiters at restaurants as to what exactly is in every entree, sneering to your dining guests at every third ingredient ("Salt? Are you kidding me? Why not just give me rat poison?!? AMIRIGHT?! Oh, and don't forget the extra ranch dressing"). You would totally take the time to cook for yourself, but then how would you get that special feeling of superiority? And this weight still isn't coming off...perhaps a new shirt is in order.
Then you notice that your friend Steve has the perfect solution. He rides a bike on the weekends! And he's fairly in shape! In the sense that he doesn't wheeze for ten minutes after getting out of his desk chair!
You start looking up bikes online. Not just any bike will do - you take the task of choosing a grown up bike as seriously now as you did when you were ten: you need a bitchin' bike with flashy colors so everyone knows how in shape you are. Plus, you vaguely remember something about car exhaust and polar bear ice caps, so you know it's better for the environment to ride a bike.
You get your first bike, as excited as a kid on Christmas morning, only with slightly more sexual arousal. Man, is it bitchin'! You resist the urge to put streamers on the handle and bicycle cards in the spokes, because you're a grown up now and have to do grown up things ever since Dad died of cirrhosis and Mom moved to Phoenix with a 20 year old tennis instructor named Paolo.
But this raises an important issue: how will people know how important you are without streamers on your handles and Sammy Sosa grinning his mongoloid grin in your spokes? Then your friend Steve stops into the same bike store to pick up some bike-related thing. Maybe a gear. You hide behind a rack of bike things and watch as Steve approaches another rack of bike things.
HOLY SHIT! LOOK AT STEVE'S BIKING OUTFIT! What the fuck is that? Is that some kind of wet suit?! SOME KIND OF WET SUIT TO WEAR ON DRY LAND!!! And just look how GAUDY it is. People will see you coming from a mile away, at least. Passing cars might just run into each other as they stop to marvel at this variegated skintight wonder riding his bike instead of releasing Chlorofluorowhateverthefucks into baby polar bear snouts. You want, you NEED one. You would kill your cheating ex-wife and emo teenage daughter just to have a suit like that. A special suit for special times when you're out saving the world.

Wait just a fucking second.
Special skintight suit? Saving the world? Killing people?


You're just like BATMAN!!

And so you drop hundreds of dollars on a suit, dish out hundreds more for a helmet to protect that precious brain of yours with its BA in Neo-Post-Global Mahogany or whatever the hell, and then find out from the kid at the bike store that there are even MORE ACCESSORIES TO BE HAD!! Fucking CLEATS?! How can you not automatically lose weight while wearing cleats?! And the kid at the bike store has dreadlocks, so you know he's legit.
Fuck yeah. You are so ready to rock.

Your first day of biking, you wake up to NPR, listen briefly to a Nuanced Political Issue, and get ready to take your new bike to go to work. You silently hum the Danny Elfman theme to Batman as you suit up. Your cleats make walking a near impossibility, but fuck it, transportation isn't an issue to someone with a bitchin' bike and a bitchin' suit. You are so fucking cool.
Fuck. Yes.
Mounting your alloy steed and carefully adjusting your straps to a more realistic level, you set out to take back the asphalt lanes of the city from its oppressive exhaust-belching overlords. Switching your internal soundtrack to "Ride of the Valkyries", you take off.
Should you ride on the sidewalk? Hell no! You are just as precious and special as any other car-driving douchebag on the road. Probably even more so because you Care About the Earth. Your Nalgene bottle says as much. Sidewalks are for pussies and people who don't want to be seen. You are going to ride proudly down the center of Your Lane, because you spent too much goddam money on this getup to not be seen and respected. You are king. Your carbon footprint is going to look like it was made by one of those bound-up little Chinese girls.
Chuckling to yourself and checking briefly to make sure that there aren't any Chinese people around who might have heard your racist thoughts with their telepathic antennae, you pedal like the eco-conscious Captain Planet that you are. The world is your oyster, you are its savior, and....
Was that a car? DID THAT CAR JUST ALMOST HIT YOU?! Why didn't that car stop at the intersection? You know that YOU have the stop sign, but HE'S the douchebag vomiting methane and carcinogens into the air with his Corolla. THAT CAR'S NOT EVEN A HYBRID, MURDERER!! MATRICIDE!! HE'S KILLING MOTHER EARTH!! Fuck that guy, I bet he doesn't even care about the polar bears and their ice caps.
Shaking it off, you continue cycling, but with more caution. Snapped out of your self-involved reverie, you notice that everyone in a car seems to be paying more attention to other cars than they are to you. Don't they see your lime-green superhero suit? What about your superhero helmet?
Why are they giving more attention to those DOUCHEBAGS in their DEATH MACHINES than they are to me?! CAN'T THEY SEE I'M SAVING THE PLANET?!
As more time goes on (about three blocks from now), you realize that biking is hard. You seem to remember something about Los Angeles being a desert. A part of you tries to give a pep talk by saying that pioneers in covered wagons were able to cross the Mojave without even the promise of air conditioning, but a bigger part of you says that YOU'RE smarter than they were, because their actions and irresponsible land maintenance led to dying polar cap bear babies, whatever the fuck, who cares, it's hot as BALLS out here. SIX BLOCKS! That's all you've gone?!
Fuck this.
Defeated and perspiring, you head home to take your car to work, thousands of dollars poorer and feeling like you did when Mommy brought home her "special friend" Javier and you realized three years later that he was boning her.
That day is miserable. You scream at your underlings at work. You yell at the waiter taking your order because his tap water isn't filtered and his bottled water is too expensive. Everything sucks.
You muster the courage to talk to Bike Rider Steve, and the conversation goes something like this:
You: Hey, Stevarooni McGoony, you still riding?
Steve: Yup, got a big ride coming up this weekend. We're gonna go three whole miles!
You: Whoa! Really? Wait, who's "we"?
Steve: Oh, you know, just some guys I ride with. Hey, I saw you crying on the curb in a cycling suit on the way to work today. When did you start riding?
You: Oh, you know, just trying to get back into it. I just haven't really found a good group to go with.
Steve: You should totes ride with us. I'll tweet the deets at you later.
You: Aaaaalll Riiiiiiight. Giggity. Officespeak. Etc.

When the weekend finally rolls around, you join your newfound friends for a "fun ride". This takes you back to childhood days of summer, when everyone was "in it for the fun", and life "wasn't a contest" and "everybody was a winner". This is exactly what you need. This is like the time you and Jimmy McIrish formed a bike gang and ruled the streets together, but then your mom wouldn't let him hang around you after she found you practicing your French kissing on each other.
Everyone is dressed flashily and expensively. There's one guy there in shorts and a T-Shirt, but he quickly pulls ahead of the rest of you, leaving everyone to talk about how he must be new to cycling due to his lack of proper accoutrements. You chip in, "Doesn't he know this isn't a race?" Everyone else sweatily concurs.
The streets are yours. You ride freely through residential areas, casting off the chains of stop signs and streetlights, secure and immortal in your latex armor. You ride three bikes across in egalitarian formation, ignorant to the honking of cars behind you, basking in the glow of your own smugness, finally, FINALLY, receiving the recognition and respect that only thousands of dollars on bicycles and bicycle-related accessories can bring. And no one can stop you, because if there's one thing a liberal arts degree will teach you, it's that a capitalist system that uses complicated machinery and puts people in a single file line is ALWAYS morally inferior to an egalitarian, eco-friendly system that's "closer to the earth". And every weekend, you are the sweaty, cramping embodiment of that system.
But only on the weekends.

Did that rambling vignette sound familiar to you? If it did, go kill yourself.
If not, then perhaps you now understand better the growing phenomenon of the Great White Biker. I didn't realize that biking was so popular, considering the fact that biking sucks ass. I'm not saying that everyone has the same motivation for biking. Just the ones who wear cycle suits. Every weekend, the streets around where I live are choked with multi-chromatic douchebags who fail to follow any traffic laws and zip in front of moving cars as if they are protected by an airbag-like bubble of self-worth which will save them from injury.
Myself, I like to follow a simple code of safety known as "Darwinian traffic laws". Basically, if I'm going to die because I fly through an intersection, then it's my fucking fault. End of story.
Here's a quick scenario: I'm at an intersection. I don't have a stop sign. A car on my right has a stop sign. I know the car can't see me, because the driver is a) Asian, and b) a woman. Now, I can bitch about biker's rights and maintain my right of way by entering the intersection, or I can stop for two seconds and not get my ass run over. It's very simple. (The same rules apply in the ghetto: I can run from a group of black guys at night and come off as racist, or I can pretend to be enlightened and get mugged). Sometimes, you have to lose the moral high ground in the interest of not getting your shit ruined.

Enter Dr. Christopher Thompson, Great American Hero and recipient of the Angry Drunken Irishman Award for Getting Shit Done.
Two years ago, Dr. Thompson was driving his Infiniti in an affluent neighborhood full of picturesque scenery. It was the Fourth of July, which means that this affluent scenery was probably inundated by garish latex wearing superhero wannabes. Dr. Thompson had dealt with this shit before, and wasn't having any of it. He came up behind two cyclists who were riding side-by-side, wrapped in the security blanket of a white upbringing and expendable income, and yelled at them to "ride single file". The cyclists yelled back profanities at him, perhaps erring in assuming that their Narcissism Force Field was also soundproof. Dr. Thompson saw right through their shit, and decided to do something about it.
Now, I may be just speculating here, but I'm guessing that if these had been two Hell's Angels riding side-by-side, Dr. Thompson would have let them ride in peace, because at least Hell's Angels have the nuts to handle being run over by a car. However, Thompson, being a medical doctor, knew that latex and pricey helmets don't give you magical powers, so he decided to exercise some "tough love" to let these two assholes know it, too.
Dr. Thompson just wanted to drop some knowledge, that's all.

Dr. Thompson, showing an unflagging commitment to knowledge and learning, pulled ahead of the two bikers and slammed on his brakes, sending one of them over the car and the other into his back windshield.
Don't think this is justified? Consider the following quote from "victim" Ron Peterson during the court hearings:

“These past 18 months have been difficult, to say the least,” he told the court. “Being the victim of multiple felonies is not a pleasant experience, one which is made even more difficult by the constant court date postponements, stress of being cross-examined, recounting the event again and again, and then finally, the constant worry that in the end the truth will not be heard and justice will not be served. To my great relief the truth has been heard and Dr. Thompson has been found guilty on all counts. Now the question finally arises: Will justice be served?”
-Ron Peterson, Whiny Bitch

I have made it a policy ever since the Rodney King trials to never disagree with anything the LA County Court System has to say. However, I will say that maybe, just MAYBE, this Pussy Ass Bitch deserved to run into the back of a car. Consider the following logical argument.
1) Cars drive on roads
2) Cyclists are always bitching that they're not treated as "equally" as cars.
3) If a car drove into the back of Dr. Thompson, that car would be at fault.
4) Therefore, Ron Peterson is at fault.
5) And a bitch.

Not only was Dr. Thompson sentenced to do five years of jail time, but Ron Peterson DID NOT HAVE TO PAY FOR THE DAMAGE HE DID TO DR. THOMPSON'S CAR.
You can't just buff that shit out.

This is bullshit. Dr. Thompson is a Great American Hero, and I would like to personally congratulate him on doing his part to rid our streets of the Latex Scourge.
However, I do not encourage people to emulate his behavior, since it is apparently a "felony", not to mention inefficient. Next time you find yourself in a similar situation in which a douchebag on a bike is screaming profanities at you, just run them right the hell over.

Unless that douchebag is me.

Now bring me a drink. A Superhero Biker (that's like a Bloody Mary, only instead of Tabasco you add vagina juice to it and throw it in your waiter's face.)

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Wednesday, May 5

The Dr. ADI Cleanse

I moved to Los Angeles about three years ago, and among the many, many differences between LA and the rural Midwest where I grew up, one ideological standpoint came to bear more than the others. I'm talking about diet.
I don't defend a lot of Midwest food. I don't care for mayonnaise, hotdogs, mac-n-cheese, or any combination thereof that gets thrown in a bowl and called "salad" at family potlucks just because it has apple slices in it. But there is something to be said about the Midwest diet (or, as foodie douchebags would call it, "comfort food"). For one thing, Midwest cooks know their audience. They're not about to spend an extra $3 for name-brand mayonnaise when they know their customers can't tell the difference. For another, there really is no substitute for something called "cheese balls" (which is just cheddar cheese breaded and fried and served with ranch dressing) when you're blitzed off of 50 cent draft Miller Lites. And for a third, I think that a lot of foodie douchebags forget that all great Midwest cuisine starts out the same way that all great global cuisine starts out: poverty. It's not that people like eating foie gras, lobster, or oysters - it's just that they had to literally dig their food out of the murky dirt of the ocean's toilet because their kings and lords or whatever the hell spent all their money on shit like peacock's tongues and "page boys". So yes, Midwest cuisine is a legitimate gourmet art form and should be appreciated like whoa.
Where the hell was I going with that?
Oh yeah. People in LA go absolutely retarded over their food. Driving this mindset is a deeply-held belief that if you just eat the right foods, work out for six hours a day, avoid sunlight and unfiltered water and all other things that humans were genetically programmed to do thousands of years ago, then their spouse will stop cheating on them with a younger person.
Perhaps the most mind-bogglingly asinine notion that exists in Southern California is known as "the Master Cleanse". After spending about five minutes reading their website, I now know that there is only one step to doing this cleanse, and it is "the lemonade diet" (sidenote: I once put an unwitting frat boy on the lemonade diet, only instead of lemonade I used my pee. Did I get any recognition for it? No. And this is why the terrorists are winning.)
When the Master Cleanse Masters say "diet", they mean that lemonade is literally all you put into your body, and when they say "lemonade", they mean a mix of cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and lemon juice.
This goes against everything human beings have been trying to achieve since we learned to walk upright.
This is what hummingbirds eat, only they aren't stupid enough to put cayenne pepper in it.
The main reason that this diet succeeds, as far as I can tell, is that you poop and poop and poop, and then when you're done pooping all that comes out of you is mucus and black shit and Cthulu spawn.
Now those of you who live in the Midwest know where I'm going with this - WE FIGURED THIS OUT YEARS AGO!
If literally pooping your guts out is good for you and if Southern California wallet ladies* are willing to shell out money to people telling them to poop, then I am jumping right the hell on this bandwagon and announcing the official Dr. Angry Drunken Irishman Colon Cleanse Method of Weight Loss Reduction and Toning Genius Baby Making Recipe. And I'm giving it to you for free so you'll tell your friends and build some hype before I publish the exact same shit in book form and charge you $13.95 for it.

This is a tough diet, so if you feel the need to snack at all, you should do so with a 20 oz. bottle of Mountain Dew and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. And man, you better snack.

Breakfast: Fuck breakfast. You should still be too hungover to even think about breakfast. Grab a snack bag of Doritos and a Mountain Dew from a gas station. Add a Slim Jim for protein. Smoke a cigarette and get going. Today is the first day of a New You!
Lunch: Cabbage with ranch dressing. Chop up five hardboiled eggs and a Buddig lunch meat pack of roast beef to put on top. Drink 3 Coors Lights with it.
Dinner: Domino's Pizza with Buffalo Kickers. Mix 2 packets Ranch with 1 packet Hot Sauce to dip the kickers in, then, after making sure no one is looking, dip the pizza slices in that shit as well. You know you want to.
Drink half a fifth of egg nog. All of this should be done while sitting on a couch and watching The Shield.

Day 2:
Breakfast: Triple shot of espresso and two cigarettes (smoked back to back).
Lunch: Four Bud Lites and a Taco Bell Chalupa combo. Get the beef nacho cheese ones. Check out that awesome Baja Blast Mountain Dew that they have at Taco Bell, marvel at the size of your beverage cup, then spike that shit with some rum.
Dinner: Lamb legs marinated in equal parts butter, garlic, salt, and parsley. Grill it. Eat while drinking three fingers of single-malt scotch (neat) before drinking shots of scotch and crying on the phone to the pizza delivery guy from the night before (I recommend J&B scotch).
After this, eat two bowls of Lucky Charms cereal. Continue watching The Shield.

Day 3:
Breakfast: Triple shot of espresso and two cigarettes.
Lunch: Fuck lunch. Keep smoking cigarettes. If you get hungry, wrap a slice of ham around some cheese and drink a quart of milk with it.
Dinner: Pork loin with white sauce. Throw the white sauce away because it looks like jizz, then eat the pork loin with your hands while dipping it into a bowl of barbeque sauce. Switch your TV watching habits to musicals - I suggest Little Shop of Horrors and Pete's Dragon. After those are done, eat a box of Oreos.

Day 4:
Breakfast: Orange juice and black coffee, then three eggs cooked in the fat you gain from cooking a half-pound of bacon. Then four cigarettes.
EXERCISE TIME!: Run out into traffic in search of the nearest public restroom because Dukie Dragons should be slithering out of your Rancor Pit in a way that resembles toothpaste. This is what we in the medical community refer to as "mud butt".
Lunch: Should be spent cursing God on the toilet. After this, eat two burritos (no rice, fuck that shit) from a street vendor.
Dinner: Mix equal parts goat, bleu, and Dubliner cheese into balls, drizzle with honey, and mush up with some avocados. Call it "Irish guacamole" to justify it to your friends, who have now begun to leave you. After this, cry alone over a six-pack of Stone IPA, or whatever the hoppiest beer is wherever you live. Then eat a bag of marshmallows and a bag of Hershey's kisses at the same time.

Day 5:
Breakfast: Denny's Grand-Slam. When I say "breakfast", I mean that you should still be up from the night before having decided that life is no longer worth living. Go to Denny's and eat a whole Grand Slam with a strawberry shake at three in the morning before passing out at the table. When they kick you out, smoke five cigarettes on the way home.
Lunch: Pasta salad. And a martini. Tell the bartender to make it dirty "like your mom" and then look around to see if any other bar patrons want to high-five your witticisms. If they don't, order three more martinis and drink them as fast as possible.
Dinner: KFC Double Down Combo. I recommend the potato wedges as a good source of starch. After this, eat an ice cream cake.

Day 6:
YOU'RE DONE! CONGRATS!! Drink a pot of black coffee and smoke a pack of cigarettes all day in celebration!

I guarantee, if you haven't shit yourself inside out, I will give you your money back. This is the way that real men cleanse.

Now bring me a drink while I sit on the toilet.

*I call these bitches "wallet ladies" because they look brown and wrinkly and like they're made of leather. Just like their husbands' wallets.

P.S. For a different take on this, check out Dan O'Brien's article for a more corporate way to shit your guts out.

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Friday, December 11

Eye Candy

Monday, October 26

I Touch Your Food

As the healthcare debate rages on and swine-flu panic escalates into a perceived "national emergency", let's take a second to look at ourselves. Forget that shit clogging up your inbox about poor little Dudley Dumbfuck with leukemia and AIDS and brain cancer and Lou Gehrig's disease who is wasting away in a hospital right now because CIGNA won't sponsor some experimental treatment that could save his worthless life. Forget the RNC "death panel" apocalyptic scenarios with old people being dragged from their beds and denied treatment because their organs are needed for the young and virile. Forget the swine flu panic, stop biting your nails and worrying about whether or not you should get a virus injected into you at the risk of paralysis to protect yourself from a disease that's identical to the regular flu.
Forget that shit. I want to talk about you right now.
Anyone reading this site has probably eaten at a restaurant within the last week. I want to talk about that experience. I don't care if this was a fast-food restaurant, a Sizzler, or a high-end restaurant. At any given point, if you haven't been eating at home and preparing your own food, someone like me probably touched your food. And I don't just mean before it was cooked, or that they touched your plate while handing your food to you, I mean they probably touched a piece of food literally minutes before it went into your mouth. What does this have to do with health care? Let me explain to you, in a nutshell, how the restaurant industry (FUN FACT: 40% of our nation's economy is made up of the restaurant industry...did I make that up? I can't remember) operates.
If you pay attention at all to eating establishments within the past twenty years, you've probably noticed a lot of young people and immigrants. You may have even waited tables yourself at some point in the past. If that's the case, you already know where I'm going with this. The plain truth is, America's restaurants are operated primarily by today's indentured servants. Now, I don't mean to sound like I'm bitching here, but waiting tables and washing dishes sucks ass. That's why the turnover in restaurant employment constantly hovers around 200%-300% annually. The people who wait tables are either career servers, which means they hate you because they've been dealing with asshole customers for the last ten years and are so jaded to the plight of other human beings that they wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire, or they're temporary servers, which means that they cannot WAIT until they get that callback/book deal/script greenlit/college degree and can quit the living hell of waiting tables. The people who work in the kitchens of restaurants are either illegal immigrants working for less than minimum wage, which means that they really don't give a shit about anything other than working a lot of hours and not getting caught by INS, or legal immigrants who don't give a shit about anything. The restaurant is managed by someone whose job is to be bitched at by his superiors (if it's a corporate restaurant) or to bitch at his employees (if it's a small business) - in both instances, the bitching comes about because the restaurant isn't making enough money.
Now, there's a lot of anger floating around this restaurant, and the cause of this anger comes from a single source: you, the customer.
Waiting tables a year ago was an ok situation. People were coming to restaurants for the right reason: to experience new food and to relax without having to hassle with cooking dinner at home. However, after the "economy tanked", we in the restaurant industry were allowed a rare glimpse into the true nature of our customers: angry, idiotic, greedy, manipulative fuckheads. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you think that you're a good person. But let's be frank here - even YOU wouldn't want to wait on you in a restaurant. Let's go step by step and see where you went wrong -
Drinks - Don't order water. Instead of ordering water, use the secret, superpals code that all waiters use and instead shout "I'm a cheapass!!" instead of ordering water. Honestly, when you ask for a water as your beverage, all I hear is "No Tip". If you ask for a water without ice, I hear "I went to Europe recently and want to show everyone how cultured I am", "I am European", or "I have such severe dietary needs that I can't handle ice". All of this translates into "No Tip". If you order a water with "extra lemon slices" and then squeeze all the lemons into your water followed by a shitload of sugar (which I have to refill after you've left) in an attempt to make your own lemonade, then I have just labelled you as "knuckle-dragging shitflinger".
Please stop doing this homemade lemonade shit at your table. No one is applauding your frugality here. When we see you do this, and then turn to your date and say "it's just as good and it's free!", then we must ask you - why the fuck are you in a restaurant in the first place? Stay home and make lemonade. That way I don't have to deal with you.
What you should be doing in a restaurant is ordering booze, or at the very least, a specialty virgin drink. If you're eating out, there must be a reason, so fucking celebrate! Show your date a good time! Don't be a cheap ass! Did I mention that I hate you?!
Appetizers - Appetizers and entrees are not, not NOT the same thing. That's why they have different names. Don't order an appetizer as an entree. That's something that Nazis do (FUN FACT: Hitler only ordered appetizers whenever he went out to restaurants. He also killed a lot of Jews). If you're getting an appetizer, then get an entree as well. If not, then get the fuck out and go to someplace where they serve combo meals. I don't need you to sit here and use a table for three hours just to eat some fucking chicken fingers when I could be waiting on people who actually have money. If you're one of those people who likes to frequent a certain restaurant, fancies himself a "regular", and has had to "downgrade" to "only ordering appetizers" because of the "recession", then shut the fuck up because I stopped listening to you. If the recession is so bad, then stay at home and eat Ramen. No one likes you.
Entrees - Stop splitting entrees. I'll let you in on a little secret - the reason some restaurants have a charge for splitting entrees isn't because it's so difficult for us to plate a single serving onto two different plates, it's because it's fucking irritating. Again, you say "split entree", I say "cheap ass motherfucker too lazy to cook for himself". (FUN FACT: I had a couple come in a week ago and split an entree. Then they split another entree because they were still hungry. Think about this for a second).
Entrees are the way they are because the chef or owner has designed them that way. If you don't like it that way, eat elsewhere. You won't be missed.
And while we're on that subject, let me point something else out to you - you are not a fucking chef. I know that you like to watch Bravo reality shows about chefs and probably have a Food & Wine subscription, but that doesn't give you license to criticize or change my menu. Stop asking to have entrees prepared especially for you. I have fifty other people to wait on and my cook has two hundred tickets up. When I punch in "Special Order", he reads it as "Drop This Item On The Floor". You are an asshole and should die. It's not that it's hard for us to make your salad just the way you want it. Honestly, 90% of the time I agree with your changes. It's just that everyone else in the restaurant wants to change their entrees as well, and when you multiply special requests by 200, it slows down my kitchen and I then have to listen to you bitch about why it took so long for your special order to come out. You understand how this could be a "lose/lose" for me.
If you like to change menu items, split entrees, and be an overall asshole, then stay home. It's a lot cheaper. Admit to yourself that you only like to eat out because it makes you feel powerful to have someone else wait on you, then try cooking for yourself. Better yet, go to a soup kitchen and feed homeless people all day to see what restaurant work is like. Then kill yourself
Desserts - I don't care if you order dessert or not, but let's just say this - if you're going to get dessert, get dessert. Don't ask me a million fucking questions about calorie content, taste, what my preferences are, etc., and then decide to forgo dessert. I don't mean to be sexist here, but women are by far the worst offenders when it comes to this. A group of women will be finished splitting their entrees, and the single fat friend they keep around to make them all feel better about themselves is still hungry. All the questions about dessert really get her going, until she's drooling from all sorts of lips over the thought of some awesome dessert, and then the Lead Bitch (you know who you are) will say that she's not going to eat dessert because she's watching her figure. Now this poor fat girl whose only redeeming quality is making her superficial friends look better by comparison has to go without dessert, because she'll be damned if she's the only one at the table macking on some brownies while these other bitches look on in disgust. And all this after you cock-teased her by asking your waiter what the most decadent and delicious desserts are, making him describe it in such minute detail that she can practically taste it before you tore it out of her mouth with your anorexic claw.
No wonder she eats her feelings.
Meanwhile, I've just wasted a lot of time explaining a dessert to you that you won't buy when I could be in the kitchen dropping entrees on the ground.
Get the Fuck Out - Seriously. When you're done, unless you left an exorbitant tip (by which I mean more than 20%), you need to leave. You don't live here, and no one wants to listen to your theories about moral relativism or Kuhn's postmodern works or even what your baby did today. You are done at my establishment. You have paid me, I have serviced you, now you must go so that someone else can start the dharmic wheel of my servitude once again. If there's nothing to eat on your table, then why are you still at the fucking restaurant?
After You Leave - Once you're gone, I or one of my immigrant compadres will pick up your dirty Kleenex off the table, sweep up the Cheerios your asshole kid threw all over the ground, take your half-eaten entree to the dishwasher, who has to deal with your disgusting shit, clean up your spilled drinks, and seat the next person there. You have no idea how disgusting you and your fellow restaurant patrons are. I have picked up snotty Kleenex, cigarette butts, empty containers, children's toys, and a number of soiled diapers from the same table you are sitting at, and trust me, it's as gross as it sounds.
Where Does Health Care Come In? - Like it or not, the food service industry will always hate you. There's really nothing you can do to change this, it's just what we do. You don't tip enough, you don't order enough, or you were rude to us. Frankly, we're impossible to please. But there's some justification to our hatred, and it's this: you probably work a 9-5 job, Monday through Friday, have weekends and federal holidays off, and have benefits.
We have none of that.
In fact, it is impossible to have any sort of physical ailment and wait tables. You need full use of all hands, fingers, feet and toes, and can't be sniffling or coughing when you do it. Waiters need to be impossibly healthy or we don't get paid.
That's why we hide it.
We have rent to pay just like everyone else, so we can't afford to miss work. We don't get sick days. We drink and party a lot, and if that ever catches up to us, well, we have Visine, Day-Quil, Pepto-Bismol, and a whole other host of OTC drugs to conceal our condition from you. A number of us probably have swine flu right now and are still waiting tables because if we don't, we can't live.
We don't get sick days. We don't get paid time off. We don't get holiday pay. We're expected to be working our hardest when everyone else is having fun and relaxing. And if we get sick, we can't afford the $300 it costs to go to the doctor and get some prescription meds for a potentially serious condition. We just suck it up until we get so sick we can't physically make it in to work, or we power through and work until we get better. Going to the doctor is expensive. Health care is expensive. Try paying for that when your only source of income is some shitbrain who tips you $3 on a $70 check because "he didn't bring me my water fast enough". It's impossible without either government help or a change in attitudes about tipping, and I don't see anyone starting the trend to tip better so their waiters can have healthcare.
The next time you bitch about a public option for health care, or think that nationalized health care is a bad idea, look at the people waiting on you in a restaurant. Think about how much we hate you. Think about how we aren't washing our hands because we have to rush to refill you water glass for the sixth time. Think about what we're doing to your food right now.
If you don't believe me, ask anyone who works in a restaurant what their plan is if they get sick. If they don't laugh in your face outright, they'll probably say something like "wave a magic bone over the problem and pray". Do someone a favor. Tip better.
I have spent a lot of time in management in a fast-food restaurant, for those of you who are curious. I want you to know that it's even more disgusting than anything I've described here.

Now come serve me a drink so I can stiff you on the tip.

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Wednesday, September 3

The RNC Commentary

(NOTE: This article contains a number of inaccuracies which have since come to my attention. I don't care. The article stays as is, because I sincerely believe that Palin is unqualified to be Vice President. As her record has shown, she is not even fit to be governor of Alaska or Mayor of Wasilla. She is fit to be a hockey mom. Leave the running of the country to the men.


Right now I'm watching the Republican National Convention. I really, really can't function right now, due to the uncontrollable rage flaming within my soul that threatens to blaze its way through my chest and consume my friends and fellow Obama supporters. Honestly, if I think about the insane hypocrisy being touted right now on TV (Romney calling the Supreme Court liberal, the Governor of Hawaii stating that being mayor of a town of 5,000 is qualification for being president, Giuliani dancing around spewing "9/11", etc.) I will go out and crush the first car I see with a McCain sticker on it with my bare hands. Seriously.
So, instead, I have decided to publish a never-before-read letter which I received a few days ago from now-famous tard baby, Trig Palin. Due to the sensitive nature of the letter, I have been keeping it to myself, but since watching the RNC has thrown me into a true ADI alcoholic rage, I figure what the hell.
The country needs to read this. Please excuse the misspellings and poor sentence structure, and keep in mind that this was written by a five-month-old retard Republican.

Deaw Amewica,
Erm, erm, ok, ok, I has to say this about my mommy being the pwesident lady.
Ok, erm, ok.

Pwease elect my mommy Sawa
[sic] to be pwesident. I wealize...

Okay, I'm sick and tired of typing this mongoloid shit. Let me just translate it as I type it out.

Dear America,
This is Trig Palin speaking. Yes, yes, I know that my name is retarded, but then again, so am I. I would just like to speak on behalf of my mother's campaign to promote both her and McCain and, in fact, the Republican party at large.
Please overlook the fact that my sister is now pregnant out of wedlock. That's not an important Republican value, and I'd like to say right now that people's families are off-limits. Seriously. (If you want to go debate whether or not my mommy is named Sarah or Bristol, go here.) It doesn't change the fact that I'm retarded, which is really what I want to talk about right now.
My mommy is running on a platform right now which flies in the face of everything she claims qualifies her as a Real American. Her daughter is pregnant, yet she slashed funding for teen mothers in Alaska. There's no need for welfare suckers like those unwed mothers to put a drain on our economy when we're in a liberal-caused recession. I fully look forward to the day when I turn eighteen and my mommy and all other Republicans turn me out into the world to get my own job. I don't want to be a drain on the economy, and I fully expect to have a great living making minimum wage in a fast-food restaurant before I die six months later in the gutter. Yes, I know that my mommy in her speech said that she loves special needs children, but that was after she had a tard baby like myself. Before I came along, she cut funding for special needs kids by 62%.
I want to see my America drilled. I want to see offshore oil rigs off the coastline. I don't want to be taken care of by the government, and I don't want to suck off the taxes of the able-bodied. I expect to get a haircut and a real job, not to be a hippy like those liberals.
Also, please ignore the Republican lambasting of the unions and the subsequent claiming that my father is "proudly" a member of the Steelworker's Union. Please ignore the fact that my sister is pregnant while my mother supports abstinence-only education in public schools. Please ignore the fact that my mother was part of a creepy Alaskan separatist cadre. Please ignore the fact that my mommy supports creationism taught in schools while having a retarded son (proof that God had no hand in my formation). And please ignore the pictures of my mommy wearing a shirt that calls attention to her boobies.
That's just creepy.
Please heed the advice of a five-month-old retard Republican. I don't want to be taken care of just because of my disability. That's what hippies and minorities do. I want to chase the American dream, and I want to die in a gutter if I have to.
Go America.

-Trig Palin.

God, I hate Republicans. Seriously, vote Obama.

Bring me a drink. Some malt liquor, please.
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Monday, August 18

In the Street

The only people for me are the Roman candle people, those flames which consume themselves by their own hunger for attention, the sparkly fire-cracker people who explode themselves in a burst of strenuous energy demanding, craving, burning for validation, who shine across three cubic feet of night sky and make everyone say "ooh, aah" and then are promptly forgotten in the interest of more important matters.
I am America's beat poet.
I am the son of privilege, the self-afflicted martyr, the child with a father and mother who just don't understand him, the brother seeking to belittle my siblings' accomplishments in favor of my own mediocrity, a far distant cousin to the homeless.
I am the ascetic who has taken a vow of poverty and wants everyone to know it.
I am the undiscovered genius, read and favored by other undiscovered genius, special only because of my obscurity.
I have been noticed by the few, and because they are few they can call themselves elite, because in my world correlation equals causation, and by calling themselves elite they can sleep easy at night knowing they are superior, yet I sleep at night knowing I am the most superior of all, because I am singular, misunderstood, thrown aside by a world I have found too challenging, too difficult, too hard for my fomenting genius. I am apart from the rest of the world, yet seek my validation from it.
I sit in coffee shops.
I sit in street corners.
I desperately want you to know that I crave privacy.
Yet I read in public, write in public, sing, play guitar, perform in public, wishing someone would come up to me and ask what I was reading, what I was writing, who wrote that delectable tune on the guitar?
I did.
Thanks for not asking.
I have been educated at the bosom of the obscure institution, a small liberal arts college, where I was shown that Marxism is the only hope for the working class, that Lenin was right, that Castro will succeed if only given the chance.
I became so caught up in my love for the New World Order that I was always looking forward, onward, upward to an impossible tomorrow, where all men are equal, there are no genders, no families, no working class.
I neglect to look behind, to the sweat of my ancestors' brows that provide for this college education, to the structure of capitalism which allows such ideas to be manufactured and sold. There's no need to live in the past.
My stories, poems, vignettes, rondels, free verse, and poetry slam poems are exercises in Attention Deficit Disorder. I see the beauty in everything, and explain it in offensive ways. The butterfly lands on my shoulder not like the kiss of a lover in a dream, but like a piece of ash from the World Trade Center. There is a swelling, intense, engorged feeling in my bowels, and I describe the beautiful releasing of my sphincter as I poop in almost sexual reverie. I write for pages and pages of description, never seeing where my work is going or tying it back to what I have written, only content to be in the moment, to see a snippet of time frozen forever on the page. Devils can take storylines, plots, and character development. This is about what I see, where I am right now. I want you to be me.
I want you to validate me.
I have no need to edit, spell check, or make my work any gooder. I write, freewheeling through the pages, splashing my ink here and there with a memorable word or two, never wishing to oppress this feeling of freedom that I believe I have. To edit is to say that I am not good enough to do it perfectly the first time.
I have a fragile self-esteem. Please validate me.
There is no improvement, no self-analysis. There is only being in the page. I am content to be as I am, now and forever, suckling at the financial teat of my parents long after my college years are done, railing against an iron pig of a society who does not understand what it's like to be me, who won't validate me, who says my words "need work" when all I want to do is be on this page, safe in my nest of insecurity, snuggled against my fellow would-be paupers in a disgusting facsimile of la vie Boheme.
I am America's beat poet.

Bring me a drink.
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Wednesday, July 30

Why Don't We Care Anymore?

This might possibly be the most serious thing I have written on this blog as of goes.

As of late, my new roommate has been deeply immersed in the writing and life of the late Doctor, Hunter S. Thompson. Intrigued by this man, I became involved in his studies as well, reading what I could about Thompson and researching his life (by "researching" I mean I went and saw Gonzo and stepped out halfway through to go buy a pack of smokes). I have been called "Thompson-esque" before, usually due to my affinity for drinking to excess, making outlandish statements, womanizing to excess, and wearing ridiculous hats.
Exhibit A

As you can see, Hunter Thompson and I have a lot in common. But while watching Gonzo, I felt a certain sadness creep over me as the images flickered across the screen. It's not something you can describe easily with a word, or even with a series of's more of a sense of loss. Watching the evens of the '60s and '70s unfold, from Martin Luther King to the Vietnam protests to the campaign trail of '82, there was a marked difference from the footage of yesteryear to the footage of today: people just don't care anymore.
In the heyday of rock and roll, long hair and political angst, Americans would show up in droves to protest the treatment of blacks, the rights of women, and America's foreign policy. Now we watch other people protest on TV. Instead of marching down to City Hall to hear someone talk about their political platforms, we sit at home and watch what the evening news chooses to tell us, at most getting up from our recliners, brushing the microwave dinners from our abundant laps, and waddling to the computer to give our opinion in some online CNN poll. Instead of being part of the news, we accept that news happens Elsewhere, and that it does not affect us. And where has it gotten us?
Now we pay $5 a gallon for gasoline, exported from the countries that we are told are our sworn enemies. Now we watch as our politicians re-enact the high school pranks of their youth in a holocaustic equivalent of egging someone's house. Now we turn to a screen, a monitor, and a keyboard to make our voices heard in an anonymous poll which no one takes seriously. Instead of chaining ourselves to a shop front and screaming for change, we click on "a", "b", "c" or "undecided" in some media-fed frivolous online survey. Instead of learning about a political candidate's policy, or going to their next local appearance to question their policies, we turn from C-SPAN to TMZ because it's more entertaining. Nothing affects US, the US of A, the City on a Hill, the ineffable and chosen-by-God Leaders of the Free World, because we are in charge. Who gives a shit about those left behind? Who cares about the children dying Over There? Countless blogs and essays and articles are written by our armed services, detailing the terrible killing of children and civilians which has occurred in this misguided war in Iraq, and no one cares because it does not affect America.
When the Twin Towers went down, we cared. We remixed a popular song ("How Many People Wanna Kick Some Ass?"), interspersed it with some sound bites from our President, and bought an American Flag. By the time we declared war on Iraq, we were either too afraid of another 9/11 or too apathetic to look at the terrible policy put forward by Bush. I know I was.
I was in New York when we declared war on Iraq, with a scheduled stop the next day in D.C. I was so terrified of another 9/11 that I would have gladly signed any version of the Patriot Act put before me. Hell, I would have endorsed the Malleus Maleficarum if it meant that I could feel safe. I'm not ashamed to admit it.
I am ashamed to admit, however, that as a generation Americans have become so complacent and so inveterate in our apathy that it takes something as severe as 9/11 to get us to pay attention to what's going on in the world. I'm ashamed of my generation, and I'm ashamed that we care more about the fact that Soul Caliber IV will contain Darth Vader and Yoda than we do the genocide that's occurring in Darfur and the political unrest in East Timor. I'm ashamed that right now, there are people Googling Soul Caliber IV because I just said that instead of continuing on to read this next sentence.
Our attention spans now last thirty minutes, with commercial breaks. Look at the way our media has changed: movies now have four or five different plot lines in them to keep our attention, compared to the long narratives of Streetcar Named Desire or Citizen Kane. We can't remember what happened a month ago, let alone years ago. Remember Terry Schiavo? Remember how you felt watching the airplanes fly into the World Trade Center?
Remember the last book you read?
Hunter Thompson's life and legacy continues to inspire me. He was a freak, yes, but we need freaks to push us out of our comfort zone, to make us better people, to help us realize what's truly important. Sure, maybe getting naked and smoking peyote in the woods isn't your thing. But unless someone pushes for the legalization of it, how will you know where you stand and why? What's important to you?
More importantly, what have you done with your life that's so goddam important?
Get out of your house. Climb a mountain. Sleep with a stranger. Find out where your limits are, why they are there, and push them. Hunter S. Thompson was a freak, yes, but I'm proud to be compared to him. I have three fears: that when I die, there will be a beautiful woman unloved, a good dinner uneaten, and I will have caught Bigfoot. We only have a little time on this Earth, and instead of beating Halo 3, I find it much more important to accomplish something substantial. Take a picture of yourself peeing in the ocean. Take a picture of yourself fighting a shark. Write a book. DO SOMETHING!

Now go get me a goddam drink.

Vote Obama.
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Sunday, June 29

Fuck the OC

Until recently, I firmly believed that Claremont, California (town motto: "No Parking") was the worst place in existence. Situated in the eastern part of LA County, Claremont is home to five undergraduate universities, two graduate institutions, and about three bars that all close at ten PM. Oh, and old people. Hundreds and hundreds of rich, myopic, liberal bleeding-heart-until-you're-on-my-lawn-then-I'm-calling-the-cops old people who make working in the service industry a living nightmare and walking across the street a ritual which I fondly refer to as "Suicide Practice".
However, despite all its flaws and odd peccadilloes, Claremont has at least one thing going for it: it's not located in Orange County.
About a month ago, a roommate of mine moved to Huntington Beach (town motto: "Spend Money Then Please Leave"), which may be familiar to those of you who are avid ornithologists, as it is the natural habitat of the North American Poloed Douchebag. Not only is Huntington Beach a pain in the ass to reach, since a large part of getting there involves driving on Highway 1, otherwise known as the Pacific Coast Highway or the Big Fat Tourist Sidewalk, but actually spending time in Huntington Beach is a painful experience which I can only compare to babysitting someone else's children. Is it clear to you yet that I hate the OC? If not, let me elaborate.
The OC is populated largely by young, beautiful people, which doesn't sound so bad until you remember that young, beautiful people often have never taken the time to develop an actual personality and expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter courtesy of Daddy's Credit Card. Those who aren't young and beautiful either stay inside until nightfall when they come out to feed on the flesh of the living or try their god-damnedest to appear young and beautiful. The result is that any woman over the age of thirty five has spent so much time tanning and constructing her physical features that she bears a striking resemblance to what she really is: a gaping leather receptacle designed only to hold money, otherwise known as a wallet. The men have these irritating, and I mean IRRITATING, effete characteristics which cause them to care about what brand their sunglasses are, the fact that their polo shirt collar is not popped at the right angle, and the condition of their cuticles. In fact, during the time I have spent in the OC, I doubt that I encountered one person who did not appear to spend at least two hours preparing themselves for their daily business. Remember Christian Bale's character in American Psycho who spent about thirty minutes of dialogue detailing how he kept himself looking good? Imagine populating an entire Southern Californian county with that, and you would be close to envisioning the hell on earth that is Orange County.
I have made three trips to Orange County. As I said earlier, my roommate moved there, so my first trip was spent moving him in and sleeping with his new female roommate, who is a natural-born OC girl and a "devout" Christian. (Although I tend to refrain from commenting on the sincerity of a person's religious beliefs, the fact that she hooked up with me four hours after meeting me makes me doubt that "God" should be listed as her first interest on her Facebook page. In a perfect world, "being a whore" would be listed first, then God). The second trip was spent drinking wine until five in the morning and tramping around downtown Huntington Beach with two guys who were picking fights with literally every other man we encountered. Although this would normally amuse me greatly, I was out of cigarettes while this was happening, so it just struck me as irritating.
My final trip to the OC ever was to attend the Official Housewarming Party of my ex-roommate. This just really drove the final nail in the coffin home for me. Everyone at this party was either trying to hook up or fight.
Let me just pause for a minute here and dispel any whispers of my own hypocrisy which may be starting to swirl about the back of your head. Yes, I generally march about downtown areas and house parties looking to either fight or fuck (this can be ascertained by the fact that I'll generally be yelling "I'm here to fight or fuck or both!" between shots of tequila). Yes, I generally do one or the other with a fair degree of frequency. However, I maintain that my fighting and fucking attempts are tempered with a sensible degree of childish whimsy and affability which renders them both unoffensive and hilarious. That being said, let me continue to elaborate upon why I hate the OC.
In Southern California, Land of Dreams and Movies (and Porno, if you live in the Valley), there is always a sense of insecurity that hangs over any given crowd of people, much like the infamous smog that hangs over the surrounding mountaintops. In the case of OC denizens, however, this feeling of insecurity is an immutable thread which runs through the spectacularly uncomplicated tapestry of an OC personality. If no one is paying attention to you at a party, then it must be because you have no value as a human being. Therefore, in order to increase your own self-worth, you should sleep with someone or beat someone up. Sounds reasonable, right?
No. No, it's not reasonable. I fail to see why people always have to pretend that there is a spotlight emitting the light of importance upon them at all times, and if this spotlight, which is powered by the opinions of other people, starts to fade, then their soul will flicker out and die in obscurity. Seriously, nobody cares about you. Ok, let me just write a quick note to the residents of Orange County here in the middle of my rant:

Dear OC Asshole,
Nobody cares about you. You are not an interesting person. You are attractive, yes, and you have lots of money, yes, but that doesn't mean that I actually want to engage in a conversation with you. I would rather watch Ron Popeil infomercials in a sauna while eating a seven pound wheel of gouda cheese than talk to you about how much money you have. P.S., I know you had your boobs done. Congrats. No one cares.

The Angry Drunken Irishman.

Okay, I just had to get that out of my system. Now where was I? Oh yes, the Party of the Damned.
Anyways, I showed up with a Minnesotan pastor and was sporting a camouflage fedora and a button up shirt with a cigarette burn in it because I am That Classy. Immediately, everyone attacked the hat:
"What, you think you're Indiana Jones?"
"Hey buddy, stupid hat!"
"Nice hat, loser."
Clearly, the hat is to be worn as a joke only. However, I was unprepared to find a house full of people who couldn't take a joke. So I did what I always do in awkward situations: I started drinking large amounts of tequila straight out of a wine glass.
However, the ridicule didn't stop with the hat. I was asked why I was drinking wine when there was alcohol to be had. I replied that I was drinking tequila. They asked what I mixed it with. I said nothing. They called me an alcoholic. End of discussion.
I believe that everyone has a breaking point where they just have to sit back and laugh, so I tried to push other people to that point by drinking straight out of the bottle, making fun of women, and generally acting the part of the harlequin buffoon. No such look. Any scathing comment made towards a girl was immediately followed by a pugilistic reply from some asshole in a polo shirt, and my attempts at white boy dancing to the Gypsy Kings were met with looks of scorn. Finally it dawned on me that people in the OC are just too shallow to laugh at anything that isn't Dave Chappelle or Family Guy. Well, fuck them.
The other part of the party that tended to suck some major ass was the fact that the roommate with whom I slept had decided to hedge her bets and ruin any chances I may have had with any other females by telling all the women at the party that we had hooked up. Fine. I don't care. By this time I had moved on and was dating an awesome woman. The ironic punch in the nuts came after the party when I got a call from my ex-roommate saying that this girl was pissed because I "told everybody at the party that we hooked up." That, my friends, is Christian guilt in motion: let's tell every girl here that I hooked up with this guy so that I may claim him as My Property, and then when everyone talks about the fact that we hooked up, I should act offended that my joke of a reputation may have somehow been damaged. It's disgusting. But why use all these words to describe the situation when two will suffice: hypocritical slut.
I really can't describe any more to you the intense seething rage I feel at the OC these days. It is a terrible cesspool of talentless sycophants whose only thought concerns who might be at Da Club tonight. The only way I can describe it is to ask you to picture yourself in an Abercrombie ad. You know, one of those black-and-white pictures you see around the mall with some shirtless guy staring at the camera. Picture yourself inside that picture. Sounds great, right? Now picture being stuck in that situation for eight hours. Picture being around someone whose only purpose in life is to look good. Picture trying to have a conversation with that person.
It sucks. The OC is fun for about five minutes, then it swiftly turns into a punishment of the human soul that would make Sisyphus cringe.
I hate the OC. I hate it so much that I hereby make the following decree: I ban myself from traversing in, cavorting about in, or otherwise setting foot in the OC for non-business related reasons, seeing as how the OC is a worthless stretch of intellectual wasteland in which no decent people reside.

Now bring me a drink. A Sex on the Beach.

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Monday, April 28

Vote for Bill Clinton's Wife!

I don’t know if anyone is as concerned about this as I am, but it seems that we have misplaced a lady of some importance. About a year ago, a woman named Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator of the state of New York, announced that she would be running for President of the United States. I, for one, was excited at the prospect of watching history in action, as this would be the first time a female candidate had what seemed to be a very good chance of becoming the Democratic candidate for office and thereafter, assuming that America was as tired of the Republican party after eight years of Bush as I was, the White House. Huzzah! I thought to myself. Maybe a woman can be elected President! Won’t that be swell?!
I consider myself a feminist, although I do thoroughly enjoy the privileges that society innately provides men, and part of the reason I always thought Hillary Rodham Clinton was a neat person was the fact that she kept her maiden name when she married Bill. She has been a staunch supporter of Roe v. Wade and a longtime advocate of women’s rights, and I always thought that Hillary showed her feminist “fightin’ spirit” by keeping a short haircut, not wearing excessive amounts of jewelry, and by being just as professional and businesslike as the men with whom she was surrounded. I also thought it was impressive how Hillary Rodham Clinton kept her and her husband’s careers thoroughly separate, mostly by using her full name whenever possible. Her books, It Takes a Village and Living History, were both published using her full legal name, thereby avoiding any confusion that might come from someone simply typing “Clinton” into a search engine.
However, it seems that Hillary Rodham Clinton has dropped off the map, and I am VERY disturbed that no one else seems to notice. Instead, the news media and political pundits focus on this “Clinton” character, a wife and mother who cries on national TV, and ignore the absence of Senator Rodham Clinton from New York. Is it too late to issue a missing person’s report? If not, I have one prepared:

MISSING: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Caucasian woman, middle-aged, short business-like haircut, last seen wearing a sensible suit and practical jewelry. May be found fighting unfair business practices in factories and advocating women’s rights in populated areas. Possibly being held captive by snipers at her grandfather's cabin.

Now, some of you out there may call me a “nut job” or a “conspiracy theorist” or even an “unsuccessful satirist”, but I believe that a doppelganger has been employed to cover up Ms. Rodham Clinton’s disappearance. The differences are subtle, but present: “Clinton”, as she goes by, seems to cry whenever politically appropriate, gripes about how long it takes her to get ready in the morning, and tells far-fetched stories about sniper fire in Bosnia and learning to shoot her grandpa’s gun. “Clinton” has issued thousands upon thousands of flyers with that single solitary surname on them without acknowledging Ms. Rodham Clinton’s feminist roots. “Clinton”, in essence, is piggybacking on a former President’s success by running as Bill Clinton’s Wife, and appears to be capable of doing anything in order to gain voter approval. I’m sure that wherever Senator Rodham Clinton is being held hostage by this “Clinton” character, she is not too pleased. “Clinton” is fond of saying that “It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush, and it’ll take another Clinton to clean up after the second one.” I’m sure Rodham Clinton would never promote the idea that sharing a surname denotes identical political ideologies; after all, didn’t she keep her maiden name in order to ensure that she and her husband wouldn’t be confused with one another?
Of course, I may be blowing things way out of proportion. Maybe Hillary Rodham Clinton saw the political convenience of being associated with one of America’s most popular presidents. Maybe she decided that maintaining her feminist ideologies might not win her the male vote. Hell, maybe “Rodham Clinton” was just too long to slap on a sign.

Maybe that’s what “Clinton” wants you to believe.

Fans of Hillary Rodham Clinton know, by repeatedly reading her website and listening to her old speeches, that Hillary Rodham Clinton does not back down from obstacles, she does not change her ideals to be popular, and dammit, she is a candidate of CHARACTER. There is no way that the Hillary Rodham Clinton I know would EVER piggyback on someone else's political career, lie to make herself look good, or berate another candidate. After all, that would be blatant, dripping, insincere hypocrisy in its worst form, and it would undermine any moral claim on which she could possibly base her legislative ideals.

Nope, she was kidnapped. That's the only one would be that ridiculously brash and arrogant while running for President.

Now bring me a drink.
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Monday, October 1

Feminist Author or Mental Patient?

That's right, it's time for everyone's favorite contest! One of the following two excerpts was required reading for a "Women and Literature" class I took in undergrad, and the other was included in a psychology textbook as an example of schizophrenia. Can you guess which is which?!?!? Let's play!

Excerpt 1 - "Mick Jagger wants to marry me. If I have Mick Jagger, I don't have to covet Geraldo Rivera. Mick Jagger is St. Nicholas and the Maharishi is Santa Claus. I want to form a gospel rock group called the Thorn Oil, but Geraldo wants me to be the music critic on Eyewitness News, so what can I do? Got to listen to my boyfriend. Teddy Kennedy cured me of my ugliness. I'm pregnant with the son of God. I'm going to marry David Berkowitz and get it over with. Creedmoor is the headquarters of the American Nazi Party. They're eating the patients here. Archie Bunker wants me to play his niece on his TV show. I work for Epic Records. I'm Joan of Arc. I'm Florence Nightingale. The door between the ward and the porch is the dividing line between New York and California. Divorce isn't a piece of paper, it's a feeling. Forget about Zip Codes. I need shock treatments. The body is run by electricity. My wiring is all faulty."

Ok, got any opinions yet? Well, let's see what excerpt 2 has for us!!!

Excerpt 2 - "She swallowed Gore Vidal. Then she swallowed Donald Trump. She took a blue capsule and a gold spansule - a B-complex and an E - and put them on the tablecloth a few inches apart. She pointed the one at the other. 'Martha Stewart,' she said, 'meet Oprah Winfrey.' She swallowed them both without water."

Any ideas? Leave comments casting your vote!
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