Monthly Archives: October 2006

We’re in the middle of re-organize our massive storage area, which is a filthy, tiring, days-long project. Tonight, we stopped to get Chinese for dinner. My fortune cookie declared “You will enjoy a life of wealth equal to your talents.”

I immediately thought, “Shit. I was afraid of that.”

I’ve never been a Jim Jarmusch fan. I despised Mystery Train, wished death upon Dead Man, thought Night on Earth felt more like two years, and the only thing I hated more than Coffee and Cigarettes was each subsequent volume of Coffee and Cigarettes. (I guess it’s worth noting that I also loathe actual coffee and actual cigarettes.)

I never needed to see Ghost Dog to know that I was gonna have a hard time sitting through a movie with Forest Whitaker (who’s fucking brilliant in The Last King of Scotland, incidentally, which is very nearly an equally brilliant movie) as a modern-day samurai set to a hip-hop soundtrack. Just thinking about it makes my gums bleed.

But Kylie & I both love Bill Murray. I’ve always admired his genuine acting work (okay, Razor’s Edge was a big pickled tongue sandwich, but otherwise…) and he seems to get better as he ages. As a movie, I would fuck Lost in Translation if I could, so that goodwill carried over enough for me to be curious about Broken Flowers.

Hegel said “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” Since Hegel is much smarter and much less alive than I, Netflix delivered Broken Flowers on Thursday, and last night we sat down to watch it. Kylie’s never seen a Jarmusch film before, so she’s blameless.

I cannot tell you how awful this film is. Before the opening credits were finished, I was ready to scream. Every shot in Broken Flowers contained at least one element, if not several, that made me crazy. I have seen more attractive, interesting and cohesive creations in the diaper of a colicky baby.

This film looks and feels like some C- final film project from the University of Kentucky film school. It’s badly shot, haphazardly edited, distractingly art directed and based on a facile, moronic excuse for a script. I’ve shot three-day porn movies that had better dialogue, made more sense, and had less gratuitous nudity. At one point, Kylie turned to me and said, “Is anything going to happen in this movie?”

Well, of course not.

Actually, that’s a lie; the kinda-cute, overdone teeny-bopper who plays Sharon Stone’s daughter walks into the living room where Bill Murray — whom she’s just met — is sitting. And she’s completely nude, for no fucking reason at all. So that happens.

If you’ve been lucky enough to miss this little epic, just watch High Fidelity and imagine the bad-hair-art-school-fag version of it done with actors who’ve just gotten their Lithium dosages upped by the director, and you’re on the right track. Then remember, come thanksgiving, that you haven’t seen Broken Flowers.

At one point, it struck us that the interior of the rental car Bill Murray has just picked up at whatever airport he’s coming from (there is no geography given in the movie; it all takes place “wherever”) looks an awful lot like the interior of his last rental car from the prior leg of his trip.

I guessed that they simply hadn’t bothered to switch cars for the different cities — more work than this crew could manage, I’d guess — so we decided that if they showed us the exterior of the car and it was the same piece-of-shit white Ford Contour, we were turning the fucking blight off immediately.

It was.

We did.

Okay, I’m breaking my own rule tonight. As I said recently I’m trying to stay away from politics, but I’m so pissed-off spitting-mad at the fucktards who make up the “media” in this country I can hardly speak lately, so rather than sit in my car trying to throttle the ethereal spirit of the NPR correspondent on the radio, I’m gonna get this off my chest.

First, a total digression… is it a requirement that you have a completely F’ed-up name to work for NPR? I’ve long held this theory. I mean, c’mon; all on the same network, you have Uri Berliner (a jelly donut that bends spoons?), David Bianculli (love him in The Sopranos), Claude Brodesser-Akner (what, is that his married name?), Alan Cheuse, Farai Chideya, Andrei Codrescu, Korva Coleman, Audie Cornish, Mandalit del Barco, Ira Flatow (sounds like a sound effect from theBatman TV show), David Folkenflik (hey, that’s what we make! Folkenfliks!), Tom Gjelten, Don Gonyea (penicillin can cure that), Vertamae Grosvenor, Anya Grundmann, Annabelle Gurwitch (loved her in Harry Potter and the Dementor’s Mistress), Maria Hinojosa, Adam Hochberg (city of phlegm?), Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Steve Inskeep (better than Steve B&B I guess), Xeni Jardin (who came to one of our orgies once, no BS), Robert Krulwich, Frank Langfitt, Daniel Pinkwater (the runoff from a gay bathhouse?), Sylvia Poggioli, Snigdha Prakash (I love these with vindaloo sauce), Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, Nora Raum, Julie Rovner, Elizabeth Shogren (Cthulhu’s little sister?), Joanne Silberner (who has a face made for radio and a voice made for print), Lakshmi Singh, Nina Totenberg (city of death?), Neda Ulaby, Nick van der Kolk, Linda Wertheimer, Eric Westervelt, Doualy Xaykaothao, John Ydstie, Jim Zarroli and Daniel Zwerdling.

Just a little side-trip. Sorry.

So everyone knows that the Dems are gonna take the House in November, and possibly even, if the wind blows the right way, the Senate, right? I mean, the polls are overwhelming, the data continues to show a sharp decline (about time fer fuck’s sake!) in King George the Retard’s approval ratings, and by extension, the rest of the cocksuckers and scumbags who’ve had control for the last 12 years, i.e. the Republican Congress.

(I should mention at this point — a second digression, with my apologies — that in my book, ALLpoliticians are liars, cheats and thieves, and I do not believe a single word any of them says,EVER. PERIOD. I believe they are all bought and sold, often by interests most of us will never see record or hear the names of. I find the Democrats to be marginally less offensive than the Republicans simply because the Dems are in the pocket of interests I deem to be a frisson less harmful to the national interest. The Republicans are now so firmly entrenched in being the lapdogs of religious whackos that they have become dangerously evil. The Democrats are a more harmless brand of evil.

I should also explain that Little Boots — or The Retard King — and his cronies are significantly more evil and destructive than any group of scum that have held the President’s office in our lifetime, and anything that damages the despotic reign of the forces who pull li’l W.’s strings is a good thing, period. If you think I’m being melodramatic, tell me when in our lifetime a President has been granted despotic powers and given the ability to suspend habeus corpus at will without oversight?

Yup. Never.)

Okay. Whew. Ya see why I avoid political blogging?

So anyway, everyone knows the Dems should sweep in November. Except Karl Rove. Old Karl seems pretty goddamned certain that the powers-that-abuse are going to stay seated when November’s musical chairs fiasco has run its course. Smug, even. Like the cat that ate the canary.

Now, I know Karl is a sucker of Satan’s cock and a consummate liar, but I find it disconcerting that he would be willing to go on the record stating categorically that the Dems won’t take either house of Congress and made to look like an ass (I think he likes looking like an asshole, but that’s a semantic discussion for another day).

So what’s going on? Well, obviously, the same fucking thing that went on in the 2004 elections.THE FIX IS IN, YOU FUCKING IDIOTS! I mean, how fucking ignorant are Amercians? How gullible are the media pundits? Can’t we call this what it is?

A. Fix.

It wasn’t enough to learn that Warren O’Dell promised to deliver Ohio to the Republicans, just before that state gave Bush his second presidency against all odds and exit polls, amidst a flurry of some of the most heinous voting “discrepancies” recorded since JFK won Illinois from a landslide of support by dead folks (hey, Kennedy was really popular with the anti-Eisenhower Cadavers Club). It isn’t enough that Diebold’s machines have been shown to be easily hackable even if the Luddite voting volunteers follow the security protocols.

Which, incidentally, only 37% of them do correctly. And it isn’t enough that neither Diebold or ES&S will allow their “proprietary” voting machine software to be inspected or audited, even by the Secretaries of State who bought the fucking things. And it isn’t enough that less than 30% of the electronic voting machines in this country offer a paper trail.

People will still line up at the polls like lowing cattle to do their pointless civic duty, and when they check the news the next morning to discover that somehow, miraculously — by a very thin, the thinnest of margins, even (these aren’t dumb guys… except George, who is rock-fucking-stupid) — the Republicans have held onto both houses, no doubt through the mysterious workings of god’s will and a shitload of corporate money, blah, blah, blah… the cattle will be disappointed and surprised.

And they will do… nothing. Because no one really cares. In survey after survey, people have expressed overwhelming doubt of their elected representatives’ honesty and integrity. And yet, they vote for them anyway, because what else is there to do? Apathy has killed activism. Accepting the truth is hard because it requires either A: drastic action, or B: acquiescence. Neither is easy.

Ignorance is way easy. Dude.

I’ve been telling people about the problems with E-voting machines since 2002, and unless I’m talking to someone who’s just as paranoid, sociopathic, and prone to looking at the big picture as I am, their eyes glaze over. They shrug and seem to forget the whole thing before we’ve even finished discussing it because it’s an insoluble problem without tearing the whole system apart.

When I heard the broadcast announcing the Presidency for Bush in 2004, when Ohio was the deciding factor, I knew exactly what had happened. I knew Ohio had paperless Diebold machines, and when precincts that hadn’t voted for a Republican president since Warren Harding began reporting big margins for Bush, it was obvious what went down.

It took two years for that info to make it into the mainstream press. The serious reportage into all the varieties of vote-stealing and blocking that went on in 2004 is just beginning, and like the investigations that proved that Gore won Florida in 2000, the final reports will be buried ’cause, gosh, they guy’s already President, and two or three thousand pointlessly dead kids later, what the hell can we do?

And this year, in Ohio, they’ll be voting on those same machines.

I’m not suggesting any big course of action, because, honestly, I’m in the acquiescence camp. I firmly believe that the die has been cast, and that what little influence voters once had in the American political system (and, believe me, it has been extremely minor for the last seventy years or more) is now completely gone. Short of armed rebellion (and someone else will have to start that ‘cuz I’m old an tired and there are Galactica episodes on), we have no more say in the workings of this most-expensive of public injustices .

I point this out merely as a public service for those who do care. I hope more than you can know that I turn out to be wrong, but for the record, when you wake up and see the news on November 8th, and discover that I was right, what are you gonna do?

Whine. Bitch. Moan. Blog. And do nothing. Just like me.

Incindetally, as a P.S., Keith Olbermann has been presenting some truly heroic editorials on hisCountdown show, commentaries worthy of Edward R. Murrow. The best of them is his piece about Bush’s War Commisions Act and how it signals the end of our system of law (no joke; educate yourself because this is serious shit. This nutball can now yank any American off the street, disappear them to some secret prison on foreign soil, and tell no one anywhere. Legally).

You can check that out here:

But you’ll want to watch his other recent stuff as well.

Also, Jack Cafferty has been doing some great stuff on CNN’s Broken Governement specials. Here’s a great clip:

You can also search “CNN Broken Government” on YouTube to find several other interesting clips.

Someone asked me recently why I don’t blog about politics (being that, in real life, I have a well-armed, nimble, bellicose armada of facts and opinions about the past, present & future political situation of this declining nation at my command). Simply put, there’s just too much to get really,really angry about, especially with the Cheney/Rumsfeld crew of evil cocksuckers in charge. I mean, where d’ya even begin with these guys.

So I read the news, grind my teeth in frustrated silence at virtually everything I find, and select the little bite-size nuggets to vent about. This morning’s winner goes a little something like this:

Windows virus worms onto some Apple iPods

This kind of thing tickles me no end. Turns out that Apple just figured out that they shipped a whole slew of video iPods that come with the RavMonE virus preinstalled for your convenience. Apparently, one of their Windows machines got infected about a month ago, and they just now noticed. It wouldn’t be nearly as funny as it is if Apple, in their classic, smug-ass fashion, didn’t blame… wait for it… Microsoft.

Yup. Turns out if Windows wasn’t so susceptible to those damned viruses, poor Apple wouldn’t have had this problem.

Or it could just be that the guys who work at Apple are no different than the average Mac user; computer retards who don’t know a USB port from a UPS truck.

Now, before you get all pissy and pouty, let me explain that there’s nothing wrong with the average Mac that a sledgehammer and an electromagnet wouldn’t fix. They are the absolute cutting-edge of 2005 technology at only twice the price of today’s PCs… what’s not to love?

I should make it clear that I’m no fan of Windows, either. It’s a bloated piece of shit OS (POSOS, ya get it?) full of buggy legacy code that guarantees parts of it have never worked, and never will. But, y’know, a PC is a pretty clever piece of hardware, and making them safe for fucktards who insist on opening every attachment from Barclay’s bank, even though they don’t have an account there, is a tough chore. But then I find user error funny.

Not as funny as Greg Joswiak blaming Redmond because he shipped bob knows how many iPods with a worm pre-installed, but good for a chuckle nonetheless. This arrogance from the Apple camp that OSX is somehow more resilient to viruses is the comical part.

Let’s make this plain: It ain’t. There simply aren’t that many disaffected code-jockeys out there writing viruses for Apple because what’s the point? First of all, it’s kind of like challenging a Geranium to a footrace. Also, if you take the iPod out of the stats, Apple has about 4.2% of the PC market. Even hackers don’t have that much time on their hands.

But when they do make time, hoo-boy. A few years back, in response to Apple’s “switch” campaign, some malicious villain I’d like to buy a beer wrote a little worm called SwtchBck and spammed it out to graphic designers from his free Apple.com e-mail address. Once it installed, it reformatted — oh, sorry Mac geeks, re-initialized — their primary hard drive in Windows NTFS format.

Now that’s funny.

I recognize that I’m a miserable prick. Most of the people around me understand this as well, and accept it. I make no apologies, but I try (with varied amounts of success) not to take it out on them.

It’s easier to ignore when I’m stressed or crazy-busy because I simply don’t have the time to be surly (like most things, doing it well requires a certain amount of effort). When I’m idle or left to myself for long periods of time is when it really begins to manifest in an ugly, self-indulgent tendency towards socio-sadism.

With the exception of our trip to Jamaica at the beginning of July, I haven’t had an idle moment in… oh… twenty years. Yeah, I stop every now and again. Watch a movie or take a vacation or something, but that’s a choice. There’s always something I should be doing, and that little, nagging voice never really goes away. But I can’t remember the last time I just… had nothing that needed doing.

However.

Kylie has been out of town this week so things that might otherwise have been minor annoyances have been irritating the shit out of me. One computer decided it was a good week to have a completely undeserved breakdown, so I’ve been fixing that. Someone I consider — and might have to reconsider — a friend kicked me in the balls, professionally-speaking, and I’ve been counteracting that.

On top of which, it seems to be one of those “everyone wants me to do their fucking jobs for them” weeks. People I work with by choice, people I work with because they’ve been picked by the companies I work for, and people who shouldn’t be working with anyone at all… all of them need a fucking baby bottle and a cookie and a pat on the head and could you bring me a blanket and does it have to be that color and could you move the house a foot to the left and what do you do when you look for something and jesus fucking christ, PEOPLE!

All of which just serves to make the little, meaningless shit even more annoying. It drives me crazy that Tricia Helfer, the hot blonde spokesmodel for the Cylons who plays Number Six onBattlestar Galactica, mispronounces nuclear like some dipshit senator from Georgia, so every time she says “nookyahlur” during an episode I think of the retarded mongoloid we have for a president.

It makes me nuts that not a single one of our fucking minions seems capable of putting ANYTHING back where they fucking FOUND it.

I hate it that I wasted half an hour on the phone with Film L.A. reporting a mainstream crew that shot on the street in front of our place on Sunday and dumped their fucking craft service garbageon our goddamned corner.

Then I get a call from a… I dunno what the fuck he is, mainstream acquaintance, I guess… on the East coast who has been hassling me for a copy of Corruption since before we shot the fucking thing telling me that he got the DVD I sent him, and while he would normally never watch anything with (*anonymous performer*) in it because he dislikes (*anonymous performer*)so much, he’ll make an exception for me.

Do I even need to say it? Can I resist?

No.

FUCK YOU you fucking obnoxious little New York ASSHOLE! I mean, who the fuck does this arrogant, Manhattan-island-cave-troll think he is, for fuck’s sake?!? And people don’t understand why I would never wanna live there!

*pant*pant*pant*

Okay. But there’s an upside. Y’see, those of you who aren’t miserable fucks, or who don’t possess one of your very own, probably don’t know that deep down, guys like me are the biggest sentimental slobs in the world, and all of your emotional responses get heightened when you’re this bent out of shape. I’ve been re-watching the second season of the new Doctor Who this week as I’ve been resuscitating PCs, and I cried like a baby last night at the final episode (oh, shut up).

As I was moving pictures around on K’s newly-living computer, I spent far too long looking at snaps of our animals (she really is the crazy old cat lady, you know — she’s got thousands of pictures), particularly the so-cute-you-wanna-crush-em shots of our kitten when she was still sweet, before she grew into the loveless fur-tube she is now.

And I finally found some of Adrianna Nicole’s clips from InSex on the IntarWeb, which also make me misty-eyed, but just the one eye.

So Kylie gets back this weekend, which is good, at least for me. I can’t take much more of this emotional roller-coaster; I’ll be glad to get back to my normal, ten-different-shades-of-black world view. In the meantime, if anyone wants to come by and mock me for crying at, I dunno, Field of Dreams or Aliens or something so I can get really good and annoyed and completely pop a stitch — just to vent steam, you understand — you just let me know.

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Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. — Anonymous