Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ali G vs. Religion

Martha Wainwright

Did you catch Martha Wainwright on Letterman last night? This is from an earlier appearance. Special thanks to Chris Boyd for expanding my muscial horizons in the past month. Cheers!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Shock and Awe

Do Ordain and Establish

George doesn't read, but maybe he'd do with a box set of School House Rock?

Cinnamon Floss Update

Okay a few weeks ago I railed about the decline of quality and the eventual disappearance of cinnamon dental floss. But I held out a tiny strand of hope that maybe, just maybe, this one Target store was an anomaly. But no! No! I went to a different Target today and the cinnamon floss wasn't there. Again, with the phasing out of the cinnamon floss peg. There will be no cinnamon floss at Target in the future.

Lest you think I am the only one who's going crazy looking for the cinnamon floss take gander at
this. Note: I prefer waxed.

For the curious or the just plain desperate you can buy it online here and here and here. Stay tuned. This is part of an ongoing investigation. I'm curious to see if drugstores and other corporate type stores have followed Target's lead. Do you think they have it at Wall Drug?

Protect Our President

On your left you'll notice our President writing on Old Glory with a Sharpie. I'm concerned for him. This week, the Senate has scheduled up to four days of debate on a flag burning/desecration amendment. For the love of God! E-mail your local Senator and encourage them to vote against this amendment. Help keep our Commander-in-Chief out of jail. Or not. It's a free country.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Shelter from the Shit Storm

The feeling that you're completely taken care of. Considering the present shit storm, it's harder and harder to find something besides whiskey and pills that do the trick. Well add this. If you like blues music, or even if you don't, get "The Boss of the Blues". Singer Big Joe Turner and pianist Pete Johnson are at the top of their game. You couldn't be in better hands. What are you waiting for? Toss out the pills, turn off CNN, put this baby on, and sit back. Oh, hey. There's a little whiskey left. Might as well not let it go to waste.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

This Is Your Wake Up Call

Here's today's gut laugh. Extreme Japanese wake up pranks.

Guess That's Why They Need to Be Posted

Stephen Colbert stumps Congressman Lynn Westmoreland on the Ten Commandments. Brilliant.

The Deadwood Connection

Okay, maybe it's because of E's post and the fact I just got done watching the second season of "Deadwood". I couldn't help thinking of Nixon as Al Swearengen (pictured 3rd from the left) and Bush as E.B.Farnum. (2nd from left) When Swearengen lies to you, you're mad, but still have a healthy respect for his position. When E.B. lies to you, you just feel like an idiot for trusting anything the little weasel had to say.

I'm in the Mood for Dick

Yours truly is feeling nostalgic and squishy inside like on of those diner jelly donuts with the pink icing that look oh-so tempting at 5:30 am when your mind is a little bent. Maybe it's the punishing heat but I'm thinking of 1972 and the Watergate Hearings, my mother snarling about missing her "stories." Still, we watched. We watched obsessively for weeks. Maybe because Mom was wasted on Valium and Dickle. Or maybe she had a thing for Archibald Cox. Did you realize that an estimated 85% of U.S. households watched at least one of the hearings (so much for tearing a country apart). 1972 was the year my political conscience was born. I remember hanging out on the swings with my friend Kim and talking about the election. She was in sixth grade, I was in fifth. We were big supporters of McGovern.

So anyway, it's 2006 now and I'm watching Bush explain his failures to the European press and I find myself missing Dick. Dick Nixon.
Yeah. I'm sorry we don't have 'ol Dick Nixon to kick around anymore. I want to see a little more finesse when someone lies to my face, not this guffawing aw-shucks loser frat boy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I'm Only Asking

In the June issue of Harper's Ben Metcalf poses some interesting questions. For example this juicy number:
Because I am loath to violate whatever fresh new mores the people have agreed upon, or have been told they agree upon, and because I do not care to have my ass kicked repeatedly in a holding cell while I beg to see a lawyer, I almost hesitate to ask the following question. I will ask it, though, out of what used to be called simple human decency: Am I allowed to write that I would like to hunt down George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and kill him with my bare hands?
Another excerpt:
True, George W. Bush is an ignorant, cruel, closed-minded, avaricious, sneaky, irresponsible, thieving, brain-damaged frat boy with a drinking problem and a taste for bloodshed, whose numerous crimes have been abetted by the moral corruption of his party cohort and whose contempt for American military lives alone warrants his impeachment, but what has it ever won us to say so? How has it profited the people for their writers to argue that a wealthy, comfortable citizen deserves a wealthy, comfortable retirement when we all know full well that he has earned confinement and conviction and perhaps even a request for that barbaric death penalty he so loudly supports? What goal, besides an impoverished guarantee of my own personal “freedom,” is served by a refusal to acknowledge that I might easily, and enjoyably, rid us of this man forever with my very hands?
[Full article here. Found via Frank's Wild Lunch.]
And file this under "Who's Minding the Fucking Store?" The Washington Post review of Ron Suskind's book The One Percent Doctrine.

Finally, check out David Byrne's consideration of Hitler's Secretary and E.B. White's This Is New York.

HST on Letterman 1988

He discusses Gary Hart, among other things. Letterman pushes the interview at times and that's annnoying because it jars Mr. Thompson's thoughtful, considered rhythm. It's still delightful. And yes, it was taped in a hotel room.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Woodrose Ballroom

I have my story. You all have yours. The time, place, and band that was your first musical religious experience. It was 1969. I was 17 and living in a rural town in western Massachusetts. The only live rock bands I'd ever seen were my chronological contemporaries performing pale imitations of the songs of the moment at high school dances. Around the same time, two guys from Boston bought an old roller skating rink in a town even smaller than Shelburne Falls, 15 miles down the road in South Deerfield. They called it The Woodrose Ballroom. I walked in there and saw The J Geils Blues Band. (pictured above) They turned on a dime. The Ballroom shook. Sparks flew. Lead singer Peter Wolf had to have springs in his sneakers. He sang and jumped all over that stage like a wolf on Acme Crank in a Chuck Jones cartoon. Magic Dick's harp sliced us all in half. The Woodrose must have had connections because they had some kick ass bands in there including James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, and even The Velvet Underground.
Things change. In 1970, I went in the Navy for 4 years, and when I returned The Woodrose was gone and there was an auction house in it's place. Whatever that magic was, I believe it's happening somewhere to some 17 year old, in some small joint right now somewhere in the world. Thanks to J Geils and The Woodrose Ballroom for making it happen to me.

Anna Eshoo Draws the Line At Impeachment

I recently wrote a letter to Anna Eshoo asking her to support impeachment proceedings against President Bush. Here's the feeble response she sent me:
Dear Ms. Spreen, Thank you for contacting me about impeachment. I have heard from many constituents who support impeachment of the President, however, I don't believe it is something to be taken lightly. As a practical matter, the Republican Party controls both the House and the Senate and therefore articles of impeachment against President Bush will go absolutely nowhere. I lived through an impeachment process and it tears the country apart. I believe this President's policies should be and will be impeached at the polls.

Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress
Okay. So the gist is this: the Democrats don't have any power and probably won't any power any time soon (ie. forget about the mid-term elections, we are so screwed). Sure, back in 1998 Trent Lott and Joe Lieberman were pushing to have Bill Clinton censured, and the Republicans in Congress thought "hey, we can't let the guy off that easy, he got a blow job for Christsakes." A blow job people. The Republicans wanted to impeach Clinton for getting a blow job. Well, for lying about getting a blow job. In the post 9/11 world, things are different. The President can openly lie to Congress and the Amercian people, and there's not one little old thing we can do about it. It's like President Bush said, "The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper." Thank you. Kiss off, Ms. Spreen. Oh, wait, if you guys want Bush out of office so bad, "impeach him" at the polls.

Now Anna, you're just being coy. We've seen how effective "impeaching him" at the polls has been - I mean, this President lost the 2000 election by over 500,000 votes and the 2004 election is also suspect. Maybe it was those groovy voting machines financed by the families of Howard Ahmanson and Nelson Baker Hunt (of the Chalcedon Foundation).

Oh. And in case you haven't noticed. This country is already torn apart by the Iraq War which Congress so generously gave the President a blank check to execute.

Of course, Anna's just towing the line set by Nancy Pelosi who announced that Democrats won't be pursuing impeachment. Mostly, because there's fifteen seats up for grabs in the mid-terms and the dems don't want to bolster Republican fundraising efforts by going after Bush. Lame-ass democrats.

Maybe Codepink has it right. Indict the bastard.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The King of Beers a Fool?

With all the ways we're pissing off the world, sometimes the smaller ways can be overlooked. I drink Bud. I enjoy it. But installing it as the only beer you can drink in a German soccer stadium during The World Cup is akin to inviting me to dance with the Bolshoi Ballet on Russian New Year. On Monday, June 12th, Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote from Germany:"The Gelsenkirchen soccer stadium has two other names, but to me, it is the Homer Dome, after the patron saint of beer enjoyment, Herr Simpson.

The stadium is the site of two breathtaking marvels of German engineering: the playing pitch and the beer-circulation system.

For World Cup play, the city's 53,000-seat stadium is Arena Aufschalke, because it is home of the Shalke '04 pro team. During regular Bundesliga play, the place reverts to its beer-sponsor name, Veltins-Arena.

The grass is phenomenal, as green and precisely clipped as that of Wimbledon or Augusta National. The stadium is partially roofed, not healthy for grass, but the entire field slides out the back of the stadium on rails, like a 2-acre cookie tin sliding out of the oven, so the grass can photosynthesize to its heart's content.

But here's the coolest part:

There are four gigantic beer vats under the grandstands, each holding and cooling about 13,000 liters of fresh brewski. Snaking from the tanks to the concession-stand taps and luxury suites is a 5-kilometer network of insulated pipes, rushing cold, fresh Veltins beer to the thirsty coal-miner fans.

Alas, World Cup cups here in Gelsenkirchen will not runneth over with sweet Veltins. The system is shut down because the Cup's official beer is Budweiser.

The eighth wonder of the world will not be in operation this month. A moment of silence, please."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Meerkat Manor

Forget watching reality television with real people, now you can watch reality television with meerkats on Animal Planet. Meerkat Manor focuses on a group of meerkats living in the Kalahari Desert. Read more here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Under the Weather

Sorry to be so light on the postings. Down sick with the stomach flu with my two kids. Hope to back at it soon.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Tater? Tomater?

Cult film? By Angus MacLachlan and Phil Morrison, writer and director of Junebug.

Tater Tomater

Day in the life of a cafeteria worker gone mad.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

People Movies with Animal Names

I go to the movies a lot. I'm beginning to think I'm an animated car and the animals in my yard are cute drawings that talk. Two flicks I've seen recently have thankfully snapped me the hell out of it. Yes, I am a people and I have two people movies to prove it. They have names that sound like National Geographic specials so don't get fooled and let em pass you by. See "The Squid and the Whale" and "Junebug". Both are out on DVD. I hate it when our fellow homo sapiens give away the story so you're not hearing anything from me. Except that both are packed with exceptional actors saying the words of exceptional writers. Okay and this. "Junebug" was my favorite. Actor Scott Wilson is always a joy to see and Amy Adams, who I've never seen before but hope to see a lot more of, gives the performance of a lifetime. Gary Hawkins, writing in the magazine Oxford American compares what she's done to DeNiro's Travis Bickle or Sheen and Spacek in "Badlands" All will go on to great work but not surpass that perfect blend of performer and role. Enjoy fellow humans.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Tomorrow is KIP Day

Yep. That's right. June 10 is the 2nd Annual Knit in Public day. More here.

Untalkative Bunny Joins A Knitting Circle

Totally Naked Hands Knitting

University of Rhode Island Knitting Club Homage to Tarantino

The Road To Guantanamo

MPAA "Approved"

Official website

...I Need Answers To A Couple Of Questions by David Aaronovitch of The Times. Read more here and here.

Read about the annual Human Rights Watch International Film Festival

Speech by Irene Khan, Amnesty International Report 2005
In 2004, far from any sign of principled leadership, we saw a new and dangerous agenda in the making, rewriting the rules of human rights, discrediting the institutions of international cooperation and usurping the language of justice and freedom to promote policies that create fear and insecurity.

The US is leading this agenda, with the UK, European states, Australia and other states following.

Under this agenda, accountability is being set aside in favour of impunity; a prime example being the refusal of the US Administration or US Congress to conduct a full and independent investigation of the use of torture and ill treatment by US officials, despite the public outrage over Abu Ghraib and despite the evidence, collected by AI and other, of similar practices in Bagram, Guantanamo and other detention centres under US control.

Another example was the attempt by the UK – thankfully unsuccessfully – (in the Baha Moussa case) to argue that its soldiers in Iraq are not bound by human rights law (notwithstanding Mr. Blair’s claim that they are there to save the Iraqi population from Saddam’s abuses - but obviously not from British ones)

The pick and choose approach to international law is being replaced by a "erode where you can, select if you must and subvert where you will" approach.
Check out the Price of Oil.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Stalker Comes in for Tea

OOOH! The light here hurts my eyes. First off, hi. I'm the Reverend. I've been a daily fan of Elizabeth's entries and this here Piefurcation blog for quite some time now. It's entertaining and from what I can tell, a sight more accurate and informative than anything you'll find on Fox. I was content to sit back here in the dark and post the occasional snide comment. Then it happened. Elizabeth asked me if I'd like to contribute. (pause) I felt like a stalker whose victim suddenly turned, walked right up to him, and asked him in for tea. There's been a distinct power shift and I'm very uneasy. But the tea is delicious. I think I'll drop in once in a while. And one more thing. You out there. Yeah... You. And you too. I encourage you to post a comment now and then. The more the merrier. Hey! I'm a stalker fer chrissakes. If I can come out of the shadows, so can you.

Nothing Left To Lose Club

Michael Berg. American. Michael speaks out against the air-raid that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Michael's son, Nick, was reportedly beheaded by al-Zarqawi.

The Rev writes the following:
I'm not worthy to stand next to this guy's dirty clothes hamper. Out of this unspeakable personal tragedy comes the clearest voice of reason that cuts through all this bullshit. And a pox on the news weasels shoving microphones in his face at this time, no doubt hoping for a visceral blood lust reaction. Humans can aspire to it, but how can you get any deeper than this guy? I can't. I want to kick some serious news weasel butt.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Left Behind: The Video Game

Gee, nothing says Old Testament like a video game that combines killing with the word of God. If you're a good little Reconstructionist maybe Santa will leave one in your stocking. Oh, wait. If we restore old testament law does that mean we lose Christmas?

Check out "Jesus Loves A Machine Gun" for more info on the game.

More on Reconstructionists. Here, and here on their own site. Here, here, and here for other views.

Point of clarification: I know the Left Behind crowd are premillenialists and that Reconstructionists are post-millenialists. My own twisted sense of humor made me go
for the eschatological smash-up.

Thanks to the Rev for this morning's material.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cintra Wilson, Stephen Colbert & Voldemort

Verizon, AT & T, et al and their participation in the NSA wiretapping program. Ever wonder what's in it for them? Cintra Wilson has a bead on that and then some. [The Dregulator] Thankfully online at long last! Here's the NewStandard article she mentions. Love the headline: Verizon Refuses to come Clean about Wiretapping. Can you hear me now?

Stephen Colbert's commencement address to the 2006 graduates of Knox College. [Found on TV] Watch truncated version. Read full text.

Groovy t-shirts from goats.

Planned Obsolescence

Where is the cinnamon dental floss? Has it come to this? Honestly, I've had to live with my share of disappointment (I'm going to make a list), so it's the little things that get me by (list 2). I've managed okay since they took Quisp off the market for the second time in my life (I first swallowed that bitter pill when I was six and if you know me, it probably explains a lot). How I manage without my "Quispy, quunchy, quazy energy cereal" I'll never know, but I do. I do. Actually, I've just found that you can buy Quisp online here. Egads! I'm getting my credit card now! Be back in a flash.


Yep. Very few things are worth lifetime devotion, but Quisp, it's right up there. Buy some yourself and you'll see, rather you'll taste, true cereal goodness. I wouldn't steer you wrong. Now where were we? Right. There's been a definite decline in the quality and quantity of cinnamon floss. It's like year after year they're cutting back on the flavor. If you have a box of cinnamon floss do a taste comparison with mint floss and you'll see. Skimping on the cinnamon.

It used to be that I could walk into Target and the cinnamon floss would be there ready for the purchasing. I could buy a box at a time. Not so anymore. It's gotten so desperate in the past three years that I've taken to hoarding the cinnamon floss - buying five, six boxes at a time. I thought over-purchasing would indicate that there's a steady, dependable market for it, but no. I went to Target the other day and there was no cinnamon floss! They had even removed the little peg/label thingies indicating to me that there would be no more cinnamon floss. Target has taken a stand and declared there are only two kinds of people in the world - Mint and flavorless flossers. Lots of textures though. Easy glide, waxed, tape, it's like floss has become aero-dynamic. People are losing valuable moments of their lives because their floss is creating drag. Floss makers aren't just in the business of preventing gingivitis, they're also giving us a little bit of our lives back every day in every way.

Well, I don't want it. I prefer to live on the edge, grab life by the balls and cut my life short with cinnamon floss. There are worse ways to go.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments

You gotta see this! And we gotta try it at home...perfect the technique over the coming months.

It will be a fine addition to our Alka Seltzer rockets from last summer.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Pancake Mountain

Hip kid's show on DCTV Public Access. More here and here. Or watch.

Rolling Stones & Eric Clapton: Atlantic City, NJ December 19, 1989

Sometimes it's a rooster, sometimes it's a peacock. If you see it, send it home.

Thank you, YouTube.