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Archive for June, 2012

Pro

Hi there. I’m busy folks so there’s not much to say. Sorta dealing with the knowledge that there are people in the world who, for reasons I guess make sense from a practical perspective to them, will do things to make ya feel kinda bad. Yeah, whatever. I’m breaking up with people left and right today. I’m just not into all the drama trauma of territorial pissings and unsolicited “information sharing” to the degree that it’s causing problems in my life. Tell you what: live with your choices and mess with your own heads. I’m tired of caring and am certainly not interested in relying on people who have other agendas when it comes to being a friend. Peace.

And, that’s all I’ve got today for real. I could talk Obamacare and how I agree with George Will and I think the decision yesterday just got Romney elected; and I could talk about wiretaps that could become public record and how, if sanctioning of Fast & Furious goes high enough, how I agree with the coach when he said: “Well that would seem to be a BFD. Maybe Obama can make shirts about that too.”; or I could talk about how I’m actually nervous about playing softball in this ridiculous heat. 110 degrees with the heat index? Come on man.

But I’ll save all that. There will be plenty of time to discuss the political stuff as we move forward into November and as for the heat — hopefully this will be a freak wave and we can get back to normal for this time of year. 82 degrees will feel pretty nice after all this. And I have some plans for the holiday so things will be okay by next week. Bump all you trouble makers.

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The new truth

In the interest of pissing off the feminists — because that’s funny to me — here’s a quote from a friend. Who’s a guy! I know, right? Men are evil. And hilarious.

“I’m really sorry you’re on your period. Believe me, we all are. But if you just take some Midol, you might not bitch quite so much. Perhaps we can hide it in a piece of cheese for you…”

Anyway, that’s really all I have for today. It’s been a few busy days at work for me and I’m trying to get ready to leave town in a couple of weeks so it’s busy at home, too. And I moved offices — just a few doors down the hall and it’s probably going to be slightly quieter — but only slightly — and that’s likely a good. I need to start separating some of my business from my personal. Sometimes difficult in a small office.

Anyway, I just have a few links for you with no real comments. I’m kind of bummed out because I recently found out that someone I know has apparently become something of an asshole. I can’t even — and y’all know this is rare for me — describe it further. That is the best, most accurate description. And all because being an asshole apparently gets you things. Who knew?

Anyway, links for you. Enjoy them. I’m trying to forget about asshole-ish-ness and narcissism and look forward to things like a softball game Friday, a pub crawl Saturday, a brunch date Sunday etc. I’m aware that there are good things in my life, things to look forward to: people who like to laugh; handsome men interested in you just because they like you, not because you can provide them with …Jesus, I don’t know…whatever it is opportunists are actually after; cocktails on the beach; laps in a friend’s pool; pleasant and hilarious conversation where everyone learns a little something; and other things that are real and simple and fine. I’ve just been looking at other things for a little while now and, well, I’m having to shake off the blergh of all that. Pops says, “You have to separate yourself from it Sarah. Otherwise you make excuses and accommodations and that doesn’t do any good for anyone.” Sure, I get that. Wish it didn’t make me question some basic truths about things. Like what actually leads to happiness and if self-interestedness is actually more fruitful than being there for others. Meh. No worries. Just a turning away from the negative. It’ll be okay. No, it’ll be a good.

I kind of love this.

A friend of mine is dealing with all this crap. This guy seriously needs his ass kicked. Yeah, I said it.

Ahahahahahaha! Awesome.

I guess it’s okay to like Rubio now. Jon Stewart said so.

Heh.

I wonder if Holder will pay his buddy back for making him the scapegoat…

If I’m lucky enough to have some little jawas, this will be on the car.

My favorite chef talks about my favorite fruit. Seriously, Pops always grew these in our garden and we used to eat them raw with salt and pepper as part of a meal. I still use them this way as a side dish today. I enjoy low-maintenance, especially in cooking.

I’m revisiting some music I love. They both mean something to me right now…

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Holy cow, I have had a revelation! I went to my Thursday night dance class — a physical experience that is almost religious in nature and having the added benefit of keeping my body fairly tight. Have you seen what ballet does for the butt? It’s a good — and when I came a home a number of cool things went down: 1. Z was waiting by the door. Usually I have to wander around the block calling him before he comes down from whatever roof or out from under whatever porch he’s chilling in. 2. My friend Ashley and I had a phone date and that was nice. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a female friend who had a similar outlook on things, i.e. we prefer the company of men to women. She likes to text me sometimes and just say “bitches be crazy.” And I get that. But more on that in a few… and 3. As I was farting around on the interwebz I discovered something that gave me the insight and clarity I needed to finally just cap something that needed to be capped, at least for the time being and the discernible future. Sorry to be cryptic, but it’s impolite to reveal too much in these matters since I have a fairly strict “don’t be a bitch” rule I try to live by. What did I discover? Knowledge my friends. The knowledge that there are women in the world who will do anything to keep the interest of their man, up to and including trying to be someone else. Holy Christ, it was a moment of uncomfortable “ah-ha.” And then — well, kind of a numb sadness I guess. But not for me. Oh no — for me it was a “Whew. If anyone ever made me feel like I needed to spin my wheels that much just to keep them interested I’d be exhausted, week 1.” Followed by: “Man, I wonder if that’s really what it takes — buying, negotiating, stressing, flattering, etc…?” Followed by: “Well if it is, I’d be terrible at it, and so things are as they should be.”

Now, don’t get me wrong — I like for a man to know how much I like him. I just prefer to show them in ways that are…um…other?…than ones involving constant, unfinished, grand, sweeping efforts to impress and dazzle. Because after a while, spinning those wheels does get exhausting and you begin to wonder if it’s worth it. And he starts to wonder why you’re not working as hard for his attention any more. And then you both get resentful because things have changed …

Ah well. Knowledge is power, and really that’s all I’ve ever needed to progress (we like that word, yes? Progressive. It resonates.) forward — a little knowledge. A little power. A little more understanding that I had no desire to engage in — nor did I see the benefit of and in fact see the future disaster that comes with — wheel spinning. But I suppose it’s fun while it lasts. Because, hey, some bitches be crazy. But here’s a secret ladies: some dudes want you to be. But not the good ones.

Best epiphany ever.

And now, because it’s actually fairly relevant, another excellent conversation with The Coach from a few days ago:

Charles: Want to see the stupidest thing I’ve read in a while?
1:50 PM me: yes i do
Charles: Ok
So this is a friend of a friend
Posting to Facebook
“I have a very serious request. If you want to not be unfriended by me, you are to never mention god or jesus on any post that I start. I am violently opposed to any form of religion and will not tolerate such stupidity as “god loves you” or praise to jesus” By the way the lower case letters are deliberate. Now, on your posts, of course say anything you want, preach a sermon, but don’t get my temper up by linking any type religion to me personally. Love all of youbut that is something i will not put up with even from my sister.
I am not gonna try to change you so don’t try to change me. Pick someone else who doesn’t have a degree in Philosophy. I also do not want to argue the issue, just respect my right to enjoy freedom from religion.
Putting on my helmit and bullet proof vest.”
1:51 PM And then he followed it up with this: “As the smartest man I ever studied under, Dr. Munster, head of the Philosophy Dept at Ga. State really summed it up for me many years ago. He said, goodness, kindness, love, tolerance, and morality have nothing to do with religion. Actually religion could be more accurately linked to, hatred, racism, intolerance, violence and many other evil concepts.”
1:53 PM me: oh for the love of God
i absolutely adore people that misunderstand that religion is philosophy
and vice versa
at least at its inception
1:54 PM Charles: I like how he talks like just because he has a degree in philosophy that he’s automatically smarter than everyone
And proceeds to misspell the word helmet
Also
1:55 PM Getting a degree in philosophy is NOT that hard
me: no it’s not. also, the religion dept. and philosophy dept. were located in the same building at UGA
for a reason
Charles: Right
1:56 PM me: [redacted]
it’s more anti God than it is pro reason
Charles: What an asshat
Yeah
Like, that’s the most intolerant thing I’ve read in a while
If you mention God, I’m unfriending you
Even if you’re my sister
1:57 PM I mean, replace his atheism with any religion
And he’s a fundamentalist bigot
“If you imply that Jesus isn’t the son of God, I’m unfriending you.”
1:58 PM “If you don’t accept Allah as the one true God and Muhammad as his prophet, I’m unfriending you.”
me: pretty much
also, what’s with the need to be so far away from it that you can’t entertain it in your comment stream?
i mean, what happened to this guy that made his rage so close to the surface on this issue?
1:59 PM i mean, i’m not saying it’s wrong to do that
i have to put distance between myself and things
but i usually know why
Charles: Clearly it’s because he’s smarter than everyone around him
And can’t handle all the stupidity
me: uh
if you can’t handle it
then you can’t answer it…
Charles: Right
2:00 PM Judging by his profile picture
He’s the stereotypical pseudo-intellectual hipster
Like, I guarantee you that this guy is a Ron Paul supporter
me: heh
2:01 PM not an obama supporter?
i mean, Ron Paul at least is nominally libertarian
i.e. can accept other viewpoints
Charles: Oh
Well sure, Ron Paul
But I’m not talking about Ron Paul
I’m talking about Ron Paul supporters
The kind that flip the eff out when Rand endorses Romney
2:02 PM me: oh yeah
those guys
the fundies
Charles: Yeah
Well, picture this
Dude’s got those plastic rim glasses
Pretty chubby
Balding on top, but still has long hair
2:03 PM there’s nothing okay about not letting it go man
like, your hair has to leave you now
be gracious and let it go
Charles: I can’t tell if he has one of those soul patches
2:04 PM Or if that’s just a chin shadow
me: he sounds hot
2:05 PM Charles: Ha
Oh man
I just looked at his Facebook pictures
But I guess he got rid of his hair
2:06 PM [redacted]
Oh good lord
2:07 PM Do you know [Name of Semi-famous Atlanta band]
me: yes….
i’m afraid now
Charles: Apparently he’s their bass player
2:08 PM me: um
is that cool?
2:09 PM Charles: Behold:[redacted image of said bass player]
me: whoa!
don’t ever do that again
i’m eating
Charles: Haha sorry
me: why is he such a hater i wonder?
tongue in cheek
Charles: Ha
2:10 PM See, what pisses me off
Is the whole thing like “Religion is more related to racism and hatred and other evil things…”
Yeah, because atheism never does anything like that
2:11 PM The atheistic regimes of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Communist China
They all have sterling human rights records
me: but they weren’t stupid
2:12 PM see, believing in the unseen is apparently the baseline measure for intellect
don’t you know that?
so, it doesn’t matter if atheism has overseen horrors
they aren’t mouth breathers. they believe in what they can see and prove.
except string theory and stuff like that
2:13 PM because being smart > being kind
Charles: True
2:14 PM me: except…
being unkind and telling people to slag off your facebook thread if they dare not meet one of your rules
really isn’t all that smart
i bet that guy has loads of friends
Charles: Ha
Well that’s the thing
A handful of people were like “Right on, man!”
2:15 PM What miserable people
me: misery parties with itself
not a party i want an invite to
can you imagine?
this punch isn’t very good
how dare they serve bleu cheese and not havarti?
2:16 PM i hate blended scotch…
this music sucks!!!
blah, blah, blah
Charles: Pretty much
Life is really hard when everything sucks but you

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Walk away

I’m not a quitter. I never have been. There have been times when all I wanted to do was run far, far away from something but my parents taught me early that honoring your commitments — even if it’s a small one or one that matters only to you — is one of the most important things in the world because it strengthens character and provides you the future grit necessary to survive adversity. But I gotta say — and maybe it’s just because I’m from the South — I’ve never had a man cross a room (as it were) to come at me physically while yelling and being verbally aggressive while the other men in the “room” — who are ostensibly friends — stood there and said…nothing. No, “Dude, you need to chill. That’s a girl.” No, “Whoa man, take a step back.” No, “Stop being a complete prick man. You did something shitty to her so why don’t you just let her go and blow it off.” No, none of those things. And, honestly, I don’t know how to be around that anymore. I mean, I’m generally not a fearful type of girl. I grew up with 4 brothers and I know how to scrap if I have to. So, if my instinct is to run to the largest guy in the room and actually ask for protection it’s because I’m confused by the rage I see coming at me and I’m not sure in the moment if I’m prepared to meet it. I feel threatened in other words. And then to be called a coward by the same aggressive man trying to — let’s just call it what it is — pick on a girl. I don’t know. Do I need to honor that? I suppose I will because it feels foreign not to. I think the worst is that I was told that somehow I’m part of the problem, that I’m somehow responsible for the fact that this person seems to have a weird desire to see me cry and publicly humiliated. “We just wish you two didn’t try to kill each other all the time.” Let me clarify: I don’t want to kill him. I want to be left alone. I do not engage him and choose not to speak to him beyond being polite if he addresses me so that I don’t give him a reason to “try to kill me.” And yet he finds a way. So, I accept no responsibility for his behavior. And am saddened that people are confused by what’s happening to the degree that I’m somehow being asked to shoulder some of the weight of the problem. It is not mine and I will not carry it. But I guess I now know I’m on my own. Nothing really different about that I suppose. I’m just tired of crying over assholes. I mean, I don’t think anyone has ever been this tired before…

But this, discovered because someone posted about his roll earlier, made me feel better. I’m not sure why. I think I just relate to the tortured poet-athlete.

And then the Trotter sent this and, given our recent web redesign and future design changes we have planned, made me laugh and feel sorry for our web design contractors.

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Bourbon cupcake from the Beer, Bourbon, BBQ fest this weekend. Already found a recipe I’m trying. Secret: the bourbon’s in the frosting…

I feel like crying today and I don’t know why. I think it’s because I’m missing everyone I love. I don’t like being away from them although I accept it’s necessary. And sometimes it makes me feel sad. But it’s tempered with the knowledge that the only reason it stings is because there’s love there and, well, that’s just tremendous isn’t it? How lucky I am to be able to have it and give it. And sometimes all those things — all those past hurts and fights and disagreements — I just want to throw out the window and replace them with words of love and joy and future hilarity and cocktails and dancing etc. etc. But people need those blankets of familiarity I guess — those parameters. And so, out of love I will keep them, too. But the minute you’re willing to toss them let me know. Cause they’re heavy and I’m tired of carrying them.

Anyway, I don’t have much except that one of my good friends made me cry Friday because he thinks I’m too judgmental. Meh. I just want better for him than hook ups with hoodrats and I guess that makes him feel pressured. But I won’t stop thinking better of you. Please stop making me cry.

This was a good read on the train out to Arlington and Ashley’s pool yesterday. For obvious reasons. It’s always more complicated than it seems. Always. Once you understand that, things get pretty simple. Weird.

They say that a man is set apart by how he uses “the power which the strong have over the weak . . . the educated over the unlettered. . . . The forbearing or inoffensive use of this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light. . . . He can not only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.”

We have a game tonight on by the Washington Monument. I’m thinking we’ll play since we’ve had to reschedule a few games already and Charles says he may cry if we have to reschedule another. So, unless it’s monsoon time, come see us.

Also, despite not having made one game this year and the fact that apparently no one can beat the Yankees (okay fine Ashley. You win. They are good. Satisfied?), I’m finally getting to go to some baseball games in July. And then I think at least one make-up game in August. All I know is I’m in withdrawal and disoriented…

Ashley’s coming to our tournament in August just to be supportive and look at hot dudes. I told her for $30 you can spend a weekend drinking free beer, eating free food, and talking to cute boys in baseball pants. She signed up immediately and wants to wear her bikini. Love that kid.

I broke this album out last week. Forgot how much I liked it. Have the best tracks to start your week…

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The Onion gets it.

Happy Father’s Day pops. You’re the coolest, toughest, kindest, and smartest. I love you.

I post this almost every father’s Day but it is very nearly exactly how I feel about Pops. And so, again…

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Ash posted the image above a bit earlier. Man, it’s so true. She and I need to have t-shirts made. Although I look more like i do those things than she does, sometimes, when dressed appropriately or when the Southern accent is in full-form, people are a little surprised by the whiskey and f-bombs.

Anyway, I just have links and diversions today and a thought I’d like to pass along: I work for an organization that is a “First Amendment shop” as we like to say. And one thing I really like about what we do is this basic premise that the First Amendment and the freedoms contained therein serve not to protect consensus thinking and speech, but rather unpopular ideas and voices. People forget that sometimes and we’d do well to remember it.

Alright, I’m maybe going out on The Hill later (Ted’s Bulletin? I don’t know but I like that place a lot…) and then Lynz and I are hitting the National Harbor tomorrow for beer, bourbon and bbq. Seriously, I don’t even know how to be more excited about that latter. Because that’s just a triumvirate of awesome right there. So, while I wait with bated breath for those things, here’s some fun things…

This summer lobster salad with little marinated grape tomatoes is a wonder to behold.

A cure for what ails ya.

Hmmmm. We use one at work — although I’d prefer we all just go remote desktop but there’s some issue with how slow database transactions are on the server without a dedicated VPN line — so this is something to watch.

Ahahahahaha! This would be me at the Weiner Circle…(h/t The Coach.)

Love me some Danny Boyle in general but the fact that he’s channeling Shakespeare? Swoon…

Heh.

My pops taught this discipline to Officer Candidates while he was in the Army. Which I think is really cool and probably explains why he bought me a telescope when I was an itty bit. So he could use it.

Excellent advice. “Then pummel it with the medicine of perspective and objective honesty to starve it and inhibit its growth. Imagine it shrinking smaller and smaller until it’s just a dot, and it disappears.”

46-50 pretty well clinches it for me. No pun intended. (h/t Julie D.)

And in case you need another reason, well…

Frightening and pretty damned amazing.

Finally, take note trolls:

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Everybody knows

Gah. Note to self: playing dumb to be accepted is as lame now as it was when you were 13. Why would anyone want to be perceived as less intelligent than they are? Mystery…Also, ass-kissing? Also still sucks. Moving. On.

Okay den my peeps. Here’s a great conversation from yesterday wherein the Coach and I figure out that a) Wiccans are really only the least of the problem, and b) he is a women hater.

me: blergh
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/magazine/facing-my-second-unwanted-pregnancy.html?src=recg
11:11 AM Charles: Just got around to reading that article
Holy hell
11:14 AM me: yes
she went to wiccans for christ’s sake
Charles: Ha
I’m less bothered by that
Than the whole “I’ll just drink this and miscarriage, because that’s totally not an abortion”
11:15 AM The hell do you think an abortion is?
me: right
but a miscarriage is something that just happens to you
not something you do…
Charles: Yeah
Even if you choose to start the process
11:16 AM me: oh yeah
and keep your freaking skirt down if you can’t be trusted to be responsible
jesus God in heaven
it’s pretty simple
11:17 AM Charles: No joke
That’s what I don’t understand
“Oh, I had to get an abortion because I didn’t love my husband…”
What?
11:18 AM And the sentence about the second guy makes me curious
“This time, a condom broke during my first intimate encounter with an older guy who was happy to squire me around New York but would have fled at news of a baby.”
Would have fled?
Did you even bother to ask?
me: no, she didn’t
11:19 AM she’s blaming the guys and illustrating one of my main points of contention with the “my body, my choice” crowd
there always seem to be other people at fault, or the reason why they need an abortion
they never actually just make the choice and own it as THEIR choice
it gets on my nerves
Charles: Right
11:20 AM me: so, it’s their choice
but not their fault?
i fucking hate that kind of inconsistency
11:21 AM Charles: Well, there are certainly people who admit they just didn’t want a baby
But my whole thing is that there are points along the way to make that decision
11:22 AM That don’t involve terminating a pregnancy
me: but then you have to not get busy in the burger king bathroom, as it were
what kind of fun is that?
Charles: Yeah, sorry to be such a drag
11:23 AM me: you hate women
Charles: Totally

Now, just some links because I’m disappointed. I mean, I hold certain people up to be smarter than some of the ridiculous stuff I see within my own social group, and outside of it. And it’s a bummer to learn that choosing to be an idiot is, I guess, a viable path because the payoff is so great (?). Drag…

This cat looks almost exactly like Z. But I’ve never had this vantage point with him. Or this conversation. Ahem.

Want.

It’s a strange truth but sometimes Cracked.com teaches me things.

All the talk of eugenics lately puts me in the mind of this movie. Seriously, you should watch it. Then we’ll talk about the wonder of genetic engineering.

I buy this.

It is my work to be concerned about such things as these so would love your thoughts…

That succotash looks glorious.

I fear the male version of Showgirls but Channing Tatum can dance so let’s give it a whirl…

Heh. Keep it real Harper.

I have no idea why but I had a dream last night where I ran around saying the “The penis mightier” to everyone I saw, and then ran away laughing. Lord. I’m 12.

One from back in the day. You know I love a good cover.

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Carry on

I’m going to write about something I don’t really care about anymore but I was reminded recently of a tendency and this anecdote illustrates it. And, as is my way, I write about these things to make sense of them so I can put them away and get other things done. Several years ago I was involved with a man who meant a lot to me for a time. I swallowed a lot of words and bit my tongue frequently with him because, as he had been through a nasty divorce and had some health problems, I thought it was what he needed from me. But there came a time when his lunches with a married co-worker (my current colleague, his former) started not to sit so well with me and so I suggested that perhaps letting her be a shoulder to cry on regarding how unhappy she was in her marriage may be playing a risky game. He did the right thing and “broke it off,” coming home one day with all of his books and movies she had borrowed in his arms. And tears in his eyes.

Now, I can honestly say I regret this a little — those tears pissed me off. Just flat pissed me off. There I was, playing surrogate mom to his kids when they visited, making him dinner every night, sitting up with him when his blood sugar went nuts due to the diabetes and helping him get regulated at sometimes 3 or 4 in the morning. And he was crying because he couldn’t have his cake and eat it, too. I told him calmly, dispassionately even, to forget it. If she meant that much to him, by all means, they should be friends. I knew when I said it I was sanctioning the relationship. He knew it, too. And I think he figured if I didn’t care then — well, I didn’t care. And maybe that’s true, I don’t know. All I know is that this was the beginning of the end of the relationship (one that took me a few years to really put behind me) and that what breaks my proverbial camel’s back is often strange and out of nowhere. I mean, he had finally told the woman he couldn’t see her — for me, I might add. He certainly wouldn’t have had that conversation had I not suggested it — and I just threw it back at him because he made me feel guilty for stripping him of something that he clearly liked SO MUCH that it caused him to cry at the thought of losing it because he would just miss it SO MUCH. The point is, I don’t like people who make me feel guilty about being with me because they are somehow missing out on something else — something better — by wasting their time on me. And so, while I regret being hard enough to feel nothing, I regret more the regret over it. Because that’s why it took a few years to move past it…regret can seem like other things and you think it means you still love or you’ve made a mistake or etc. etc.

In the end, dude made the right decision — he married the woman and I moved to DC. And really, I can’t imagine my life there anymore. But I can say that one way to run me off — because I flash point and I’ve no desire to fix it — is to make me feel like you’re missing out on something by being with me. Because guess what? — we all are when we make our choices. That’s how it works. We choose what’s in our best interest. That’s human. But bump you if you make someone feel bad for your decisions.

Okay, offdachest. This made me happy this morning.

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Kochcakes

Hi. I’m looking forward to getting out on the mall this afternoon for a softball game but here are a few thoughts before I set to work on writing an op-ed for my actual paying job…

This looks ‘shopped. (h/t The Trotter. The Coach, when I sent it to him, said it most certainly is because “muzzle blasts from machine guns don’t look like that.”)

So, at risk of being uber-nerdy, can I just say that for the first time since I moved to DC I feel optimistic that a sea-change in political and philosophical thought is actually possible here given Walker’s recall survival in Wisconsin. It will be interesting, if things go down in November the way they look more and more likely to go down every day, to see what the city feels like next year because all I know is a place where the very young and very ill-informed have been emboldened for the past four years to be utter, raging, irresponsible selfish asswipes. I wonder if the air will feel different. The Coach says not to get too optimistic too early. But I can’t help it. I think what happened in Wisconsin is so revealing. I mean, Wisconsin is not Georgia. They are blue, traditionally and holistically. And they elected Walker not once, but twice. And don’t even get me started on the “but Barret was outspent!” garbage. Wisconsin law governing recall elections allows for a loosening of campaign contributions for the candidate being recalled. So yes, Walker could raise a lot more money. Because the unions got out there and went door to door having people sign a petition to recall him. As I saw it said on Twitter: “The unions picked a fight and they lost.” And now they’re crying about it.

Also, they ended up pitching in what some reports estimate is close to $21 million so they closed that spending gap from 10 to 1 to about 2 to 1. But watching MSNBC as the results rolled in, which the Coach and I did while chatting over gchat, you didn’t hear anything about that. But Lord was MSNBC edifying to watch. I had no idea — I mean literally no idea — how bad it actually is. I mean, these guys were so detached from reality it was actually scary — and hilarious. Maddow calling Walker a “radical”, Schultz mad at the boys upstairs for calling the race so early (uh, he was up by something like 100,000 votes 45 minutes in. It was done, man. Accept it.), O’Donnell continuously using the phrase “squeaked by” referring to Walker’s win. I mean, I have conversations (or try to. Lately it’s been harder and harder because I’m afraid of losing IQ points) with people who are quite liberal in their political philosophy but that beat all I had ever seen. I haven’t watched that programming in some time so I had forgotten. Now, Fox News was clearly pretty biased in their coverage as well — there’s no debate about where Hannity comes down on these things — but I never got the feeling that they might come out of their skin for joy over what they considered a win. The MSNBC crowd was beside themselves. So. Weird.

In any event, thanks to my sister Juli, I think I have a pretty good idea why Walker “squeaked” past Barrett. This article that Juli sent postulates that the American heart and mind disallows complete defeat. We don’t like it. And when the situation gets as bad as it’s gotten, we rebel. It’s just who we are. So, to this author the evil empire is the Chicago machine. Not all that surprising really. One last thing, with all the reports of Romney raising more money than Obama this past month, look for screams of how big money is buying the election in the coming days and weeks.

As an aside and apropos of nothing, I get the biggest kick out of dudes who are so passionate about abortion and making sure women have that choice. I don’t know why but it cracks me up. It always sounds like such bullshit, like the guy is just interested in impressing some chick he’s either currently having at (gotta make sure she understands that he’s cool if she has to get an abortion. “I totes support your choice, baby. Wanna go somewhere quiet and hit it?”) or in trying to appear all sensitive and enlightened and blah, blah, bleah. Digressing.

Thanks Henke. This was pretty interesting. Sometimes I wonder if I decided to disappear if anyone would try to find me…Here’s the conclusion.

I’m starting to really like this band.

More markers and hints for November.

Yep.

In praise of misfits.

And here’s why misfits are awesome.

A friend of mine has just decided to have an Olympics Party — my God how I love to watch Olympic swimming. Seriously, one of the greatest things in the world — and I think I’m making these.

Coda — Ray Bradbury

About two years ago, a letter arrived from a solemn young Vassar lady telling me how much she enjoyed my experiment in space mythology, The Martian Chronicles.

But, she added, wouldn’t it be a good idea, this late in time, to rewrite the book inserting more women’s characters and roles?

A few years before that I got a certain amount of mail concerning the same Martian book complaining that the blacks in the book were Uncle Toms and why didn’t I “do them over”?

Along about then came a note from a Southern white suggesting that I was prejudiced in favor of the blacks and the entire story should be dropped.

Two weeks ago my mountain of mail delivered forth a pipsqueak mouse of a letter from a well-known publishing house that wanted to reprint my story “The Fog Horn” in a high school reader.
In my story, I had described a lighthouse as having, late at night, an illumination coming from it that was a “God light.” Looking up at it from the viewpoint of any sea-creature one would have felt that one was in “the Presence.”
The editors had deleted “God-Light” and “in the Presence.”

Some five years back, the editors of yet another anthology for school readers put together a volume with some 400 (count ’em) short stories in it. How do you cram 400 short stories by Twain, Irving, Poe, Maupassant and Bierce into one book?
Simplicity itself. Skin, debone, demarrow, scarify, melt, render down and destroy. Every adjective that counted, every verb that moved, every metaphor that weighed more than a mosquito – out! Every simile that would have made a sub-moron’s mouth twitch – gone! Any aside that explained the two-bit philosophy of a first-rate writer – lost!
Every story, slenderized, starved, bluepenciled, leeched and bled white, resembled every other story. Twain read like Poe read like Shakespeare read like Dostoevsky read like – in the finale – Edgar Guest. Every word of more than three syllables had been razored. Every image that demanded so much as one instant’s attention – shot dead.

Do you begin to get the damned and incredible picture?
How did I react to all of the above?
By “firing” the whole lot.
By sending them rejection slips to each and every one.
By ticketing the assembly of idiots to the far reaches of hell.

The point is obvious. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist / Unitarian, Irish / Italian / Octogenarian / Zen Buddhist, Zionist/Seventh-day Adventist, Women’s Lib/Republican, Mattachine/FourSquareGospel feel it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme.

Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by the minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from the book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the library closed forever.

“Shut the door, they’re coming through the window, shut the window, they’re coming through the door,” are the words to an old song. They fit my lifestyle with newly arriving butcher/censors every month. Only six months ago, I discovered that, over the years, some cubby-hole editors at Ballantine Books, fearful of contaminating the young, had, bit by bit, censored some 75 separate sections from the novel. Students, reading the novel which, after all, deals with the censorship and book-burning in the future, wrote to tell me of this exquisite irony. Judy-Lynn Del Rey, one of the new Ballantine editors, is having the entire book reset and republished this summer with all the damns and hells back in place.

A final test for old Job II here: I sent a play, Leviathan 99, off to a university theater a month ago. My play is based on the “Moby Dick” mythology, dedicated to Melville, and concerns a rocket crew and a blind space captain who venture forth to encounter a Great White Comet and destroy the destroyer. My drama premiers as an opera in Paris this autumn. But, for now, the university wrote back that they hardly dared to my play – it had no women in it! And the ERA ladies on campus would descend with baseball bats if the drama department even tried!

Grinding my bicuspids into powder, I suggested that would mean, from now on, no more productions of Boys in the Band (no women), or The Women (no men), Or, counting heads, male and female, a good lot of Shakespeare that would never be seen again, especially if you count line and find that all the good stuff went to the males!
I wrote back maybe they should do my play one week, and The Women the next. They probably thought I was joking, and I’m not sure that I wasn’t.

For it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water-conversationalist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics. The real world is the playing ground for each and every group, to make or unmake laws. But the tip of the nose of my book or stories or poems is where their rights and my territorial imperatives begin, run and rule. If Mormons do not like my plays, let them write their own. If the Irish hate my Dublin stories, let them rent typewriters. If teachers and grammar school editors find my jawbreaker sentences shatter their mushmild teeth, let them eat stale cake dunked in weak tea of their own ungodly manufacture. If the Chicano intellectuals wish to re-cut my “Wonderful Ice Cream Suit” so it shapes “Zoot,” may the belt unravel and the pants fall.

For, let’s face it, digression is the soul of wit. Take the philosophic asides away from Dante, Milton or Hamlet’s father’s ghost and what stays is dry bones. Laurence Sterne said it once: Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine, the life, the soul of reading! Take them out and one cold eternal winter would reign in every page. Restore them to the writer – he steps forth like a bridegroom, bids them all-hail, brings in variety and forbids the appetite to fail.

In sum, do not insult me with the beheadings, finger-choppings or the lung-deflations you plan for my works. I need my head to shake or nod, my hand to wave or make into a fist, my lungs to shout or whisper with. I will not go gently onto a shelf, degutted, to become a non-book.

All you umpire, back to the bleachers. Referees, hit the showers. It’s my game. I pitch, I hit, I catch. I run the bases. At sunset I’ve won or lost. At sunrise, I’m out again, giving it the old try.

And no one can help me. Not even you.

Let me know if you find it.

The Koch Foundation just dropped off cupcakes in our office. Those bastards.

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