Monday, February 28, 2005

Amid massive protests, the pro-Syrian cabinet in Lebanon has resigned. Who honestly thinks this had nothing to do with the elections in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia?

My Back, My Back
Meine Vater took the day off work today because his back hurts. Moving causes him obvious pain. In the fall of 2003, for the first and thus far only time in my life, I threw my back out. Sitting still was fine, but any movement caused searing pain, which was impossible to ignore. After a day and a half, it disappeared as suddenly as it had come. At the time, knowing my dad had thrown his back out several times, I asked his advice. Would heat alleviate the pain? Was Tylenol worth taking, or too weak to be of any use? His only answer, "Lose some weight." So, here's hoping the pain from his back keeps him up all night. Suffer, you miserable sack of shit.

Of course, what's really upsetting is that a part of me feels actual, honest-to-Bog sympathy for him. I've sent the dark bastard down to the legal department to see if we can declare that traitorous portion of my mind persona non grata or enact some other legal sanction. Jerk.

May the Force Be With You
Friday night, Guy Zach Nie!, Kiel, and I saw Mustard Plug at The Flint Local 432. I was wearing my "Weird Al" "The Saga Begins" T-shirt. On the front is a picture of Weird Al, modeled after the Episode I teaser poster (the one with Ani and Vader's shadow); on the back is a list of tour dates such as "Tatooine - Mos Eisley Cantina", "Alderaan - (CANCELLED)", and "Naboo - Theed Palace." Two fifteen year old girls came up to me and one said, "I like your shirt." So of course, I had to break out the album and listen to "The Saga Begins." Holy wow, only three weeks until Clone Wars! Less than three months until Revenge of the Sith!

"Oh my, my, this here Anakin guy,
Maybe Vader someday later,
Now he's just a small fry,
And he left his home
And kissed his mommy goodbye
Saying, 'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi,
Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi.'"
--"Weird Al" Yankovic, "The Saga Begins" from Running With Scissors

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Queue
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe, and Everything

Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish ***in progress***
Douglas Adams, "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe"
Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Bram Stoker, Dracula
Leslie Charteris, something from the library
Opinion Poll
The results are in! Who am I to disagree with Krista and The Watergirl? The boy to whom Margaret lost her virginity is Jeremy Metz. I think I was already leaning that way. Originally, his name was Jason Beck, but the hero of the SPP is Jason Seaholm and I didn't want to repeat the first name, and Neutral Man's character in the Trifecta project is Neil Beckman, just a little too close to Beck. So, Jeremy it is, and thus the opening paragraph of In Search of the Perfect Lesbian:

"Margaret lost her virginity to a boy named Jeremy Metz. He wasn't her boyfriend. She would never date him. He was a goddamned frat boy looking for an easy lay and she was in the mood to get fucked."

And now another poll: Scipio Winter is a cold bastard, yet he is inexplicably hung up on his last girlfriend; he's still crazy about her six months after she unceremoniously dumped him for another fellow. She is now an American, but was born a Soviet citizen. Her family left Russia when she was ten. I'm having difficulty deciding between these three names. One is a red herring, but I am having real trouble choosing between the other two:

Nadia Kamenskaya
Anya Kamenskaya
Svetlana Kamenskaya

My genuine thanks to those who have opined on these questions.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Me: "I am going to find a Chaldean named Fred and induce him to travel to Ulan Bator, Mongolia and then you, my dear, will rue this day."
Skeeter: "That's not a sentence you read every day."
Whenever I hear "The Wild Sea" by The Aquabats!, I am nearly overcome by a desire to join the Merchant Marine.

"Sailing on and on and on and on,
Into the ocean, into the Sun,
I'm going a'viking, my dad and me,
On the wild sea!


The wild sea is calling me,
The wild sea is calling me,
The wild sea is calling me,
The wild sea is calling me!"

I should see The Life Aquatic again....

The Rebel Black Dot Society
I have no idea how to ballpark anything. How many inches of snow did we get last night? No idea. How much does that girl weigh? Um, seven? I find that wild guesses are less inaccurate if you don't provide units. I'm just saying, I can't tell you how much these people weigh, which would help you form a mental picture. I'm sorry, I just can't.

Margaret - 5'2", green eyes, red hair. Margaret is a tiny creature. She sez of herself that she has the body of a ten year-old boy and can't wait until her breasts grow in. She's more classically pretty than she is cute, but hides it behind her glasses and unassuming wardrobe: jeans, band T-shirts, and Chuck Taylors.

Pete - 5'11 1/2" (bitterly resents not being 6'), brown eyes, brown hair. Pete's overweight, but not as fat as I am. He's stronger and more athletic than the potbelly would lead one to believe, and believes his sideburns are his best feature. He owns six pairs of identical blue jeans.

Mary Cannibal - 5'9", blue eyes, light brown hair. Mary is the kind of beautiful that makes men stupid, tall, thin, and impossibly well proportioned. Margaret wanted to resent her when they first met. She never wears pants, only skirts, but doesn't dress provocatively.

Scipio - 6'1", blue eyes, blonde hair. Scipio is, as the kids say, cut, solid muscle from head to foot, but his neutral facial expression has a cruel cast to it that puts many people off. He always wears a collared shirt, and carries himself with an unnatural rigidity.

Parker - 5'10", blue eyes, black hair. Parker is almost as beautiful as his sister. He's not ripped like Scipio, but is very well toned. He's slight of frame for his height and his eyes are such a brilliant blue that Pete swears they must be LEDs. All that, and he's a rock star. Life is unfair.

Stacey - 5'4", brown eyes, black hair. Stacey is thinner than Margaret, even though she has two extra inches of height. She wears gigantic hooded sweatshirts, but is obsessed with her figure. She spends hours each day in the pool and at the gym and eats like a bird. She was a fat kid, and was teased mercilessly by her picture perfect mother, probably the root of the whole mess. Margaret's very concerned.
Screws Fall In
East Germany (Democratic German Republic)
West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany)

Screws Fall Out
Czech Republic

Bosnia and Herzegovina
--Muslim-Croat Alliance
--Republika Srpska
Serbia and Montenegro

Soviet Union
The Ukraine
I stopped by 7-Eleven this afternoon and the clerk said to me, "I'm not even supposed to be here today." Then we discussed the practical limitations of playing hockey on the roof. Good times with a complete stranger.

The Rebel Black Dot Society
Being of limited talent and imagination, all of my important characters are distilled/reworked versions of myself. Margaret is as I imagine I'd be, or hope I'd be, were I a girl. (There's just no way to say that without it sounding weird.) Scipio is the pure asshole I wish I had the courage to be. Parker is me crossed with a healthy dose of Steeziness. Mary is as devout as I long to be. Pete is the least changed version of myself, though he is kinder than I as my more jerkish tendencies have been transfered to Scipio. However, there is one enormous (and it is hard to overstate how vital this is) difference between Pete and me: he has no Mountain of Love. My brother is the single most important thing in the world to me; Bog, country, Dr Pepper, these are all secondary concerns. Pete has an older sister, quite similar to my own sister, but she is six years Pete's elder (The L.A.W. is three and a half mine). Still, my brother and I are closer than any other siblings I have ever encountered, or any of whom I've ever heard, and I didn't want to simply abandon such a potentially rich element. So, I have embodied our bond in the brother-sister duo of Parker and Mary Peppard. I think I feel more comfortable dealing with such a bond between two characters who are much less me. I'm babbling, aren't I?

Margaret Eastman, 19, has four siblings, a sister and three brothers. Francis Xavier, 28, is her half-brother from their mother's first marriage. She has an older sister, Paige, 21, and twin younger brothers, Sean and Will, 16.

Pete Foster, 20, has an older sister, April, 26.

Mary Peppard, 19, has an older brother, Parker, 22.

Scipio Winter, 20, has five siblings, four sisters and a brother. Livia, 23; Cato, 22; Julia, 19; Portia, 16; and Agrippina, 15.

Parker Peppard, 22, has a younger sister, Mary, 19.

Stacey Hiraki, 18, is an only child.

Kari Putterman, 19, I don't know yet.

Brandy McCown, 21, has siblings (she seems like the type), but I have yet to devise them.

Mark Greenwald, 22, is probably an only child. Jerk.

Opinion Poll
Which name is better for the frat boy to whom Margaret loses her virginity: Jeremy Metz or Geoff Metz? He's a frathole, but other than that he's not a bad guy. The sex was exactly what Margaret wanted at the time it happened, but as the story progresses Metz begins to feel uncomfortable, not that he did anything wrong, but more like he feels he was inadvertently part of something unfortunate.

And I unapologetically love the terms sorostitute and frathole. Long live the F.R.A.T. Party!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Monday, February 21, 2005

Wow, I really am a monster. I just read that Hunter S. Thompson killed himself, and I laughed. My first reaction was to chuckle. Then, I was shocked, but not scandalized, that I laughed. I still haven't gotten around to feeling bad for him and his family. Even given my rather odd views on suicide, I'm surprised that I laughed. What can I say? It strikes me as funny.

The Queue
I've finished The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and have moved on to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hello, Kitty
I took Sam to the veterinarian a week ago yesterday. The doc seemed to think he's in not terrible shape for a cat of his advanced years. Nice to know, but unfortunately the visit seemed to have a deleterious effect on his appetite. It might just be a coincidence, but he's eaten very little since we got back. He's already tiny and can't afford to lose any more weight, yet it seems as if he's wasting away before my very eyes.

This moment of joy is brought to you by Dr. Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee... BWA HA HA! BWA HA HA HA HA! A HA HA HA HA HA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HA HAHAHA HA!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

"And it may be the whiskey talking,
But the whiskey says I miss you every day."
--Fountains of Wayne, "No Better Place" from Welcome Interstate Managers
I find my mind dwelling on the fearsome might of the 23rd century Klingon military machine. The iconic silhouette of a Klingon battlecruiser is uniquely intimidating. Bog, I love Star Trek.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Don't Panic
There is a trailer for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy at I'm trying not to panic and I'm not predicting doom and gloom, but... Zaphod Beeblebrox only has one head. Seriously, what in the high holy hell is that?

The Queue
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe ***in progress***
Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe, and Everything
Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Douglas Adams, "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe"
Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Bram Stoker, Dracula
Leslie Charteris, something from the library
The weather forecast called for between two and four inches of snow. The ground is still suspiciously green and bare for being covered in two to four inches of snow. This February is a debacle. Damn the weatherman.

"Damn the man. Save the Empire."

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Rebel Black Dot Society - The House of Winter
All of the Winters have Roman names. The tradition was started by Scipio Winter's great-grandfather James Winter, who named his two sons after Julius Caesar and Pompey. I don't have the entire family tree worked out, but here's what I have. Titles in italics indicate relation to Scipio; underlined names are those used as "first names."

James Winter, great-grandfather - deceased

{his sons}
Gaius Julius Caesar Winter, grandfather
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus "Pompey" Winter, great-uncle

{Caesar's sons}
Marcus Cocceius Nerva Winter, uncle
Marcus Ulpius Nerva Trajanus "Trajan" Winter, uncle
Publius Aelius Trajanus Hadrianus "Hadrian" Winter, uncle - deceased
Titus Aurelius Fulvius Boionius Arrius Antoninus Pius Winter, father
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus Winter, uncle

{Antoninus Pius's children}
Livia Antonina Winter, M.D., sister
Marcus Portius Cato Winter, brother
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Winter, himself
Julia Antonina Winter, sister
Portia Antonina Winter, sister
Agrippina Antonina Winter, sister

{Marcus Aurelius's children}
Aurelia Augusta Winter, cousin
Lucius Septimius Severus Winter, cousin

One of the reasons Scipio's mother (as yet unnamed) divorced his father, Antoninus Pius, was she felt smothered by the extended Winter family, all of whom live near each other. Antoninus Pius is very close to his father, uncle, three surviving brothers, and cousins (I'm sure Pompey had kids, I just haven't invented them yet), and dotes on his six children, custody of whom he retained after the divorce.

Family, specifically sibling relationships, plays an important part in nearly all my work.
The Democrats in the Senate held up the confirmations of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. Tell me, if you are President Bush, what exactly is the incentive to compromise with these people? Senate confirmation of cabinet secretaries is supposed to be a civil affair, in essense a rubber stamp, and yet the Dems, still sulking about Election Day, decided to brawl. Essentially, their strategy is to be jerks at every turn. Were I advising Dr. Frist, my counsel would consist of just two words: scorched earth.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Clearly, the Syrians aren't responsible for the massive bombing in Beirut. Also, I am the reincarnation of the Babylonian god Marduk and an ardent supporter of both Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D, NY) and Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy (D, MA).

Opinion Poll
I recognize now that perhaps I was not as clear as might have been desirable. Ryan Hershey and the to-be-named middle aged guy are not the same person.

{a.} Ryan Hershey (Chaffee does not appear to have struck a positive chord with anyone) is a 23 year-old graduate of the University of Michigan. He is a native of Holland, Michigan and now resides in Grand Blanc, Michigan. He moved there after graduation and began working as a mid-level manager in some or other faceless corporation, a position he does not at all enjoy. He got good grades throughout school, earned a college degree, got a well-paying job, and thoroughly detests his life. Well, detests might be a little strong. But he is sad all the time and profoundly lonely. Not my most creative character, I know, but he is intended for a joint project I have undertaken with Neutral Man and Captain Malice, a study in malaise and alienation. (However, a "meeting" held last weekend to discuss the project resulted in no discussion of the project; so, I may revamp poor Ryan and relocate him to the universe of In Search of the Perfect Lesbian.)

{b.} Other Guy is in his mid-thirties, married with no kids. He need not be white, he could be anything. He lives in suburban Detroit; so, maybe he's Chaldean. He works an inoffensive job and lives in an inoffensive home. I would call his taste in music offensive, but most people would call it normal. He was an athlete in high school, but not a jock. His neighbors like him, his coworkers like him. He loves his wife and she loves him.

He is a good, decent man who made one terrible mistake. He wasn't driving drunk. He wasn't speeding. He wasn't asleep at the wheel. He just inexplicably drove through a red light and crashed into the the side of Scipio Winter's mother and stepfather's SUV, killing her but leaving both men virtually unscathed. He was haunted by the accident and nearly destroyed by guilt. The judge saw his regret and sentenced him to no jail time for what had been truly an accident. He apologized to the stepfather and the Winter family (Mr. A.P. Winter and his six children) and tried to move on with his life.

He was a good, decent man who made one terrible mistake. One bright January morning, Livia, Cato, and Scipio Winter kidnapped him from outside his own home and murdered him. His body was never found; his greaving wife had to bury an empty coffin. The police suspected the three eldest Winter children, but had no evidence of a murder, much less evidence tying them to said murder.

I need a good name for this man; I like some of the suggestions given in response to the previous post.

Oh yeah, happy Valentine's Day, everybody.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I am a mean bastard, that cannot be changed, but I have made progress in being able to hold my tongue. Though sometimes I question if this has been for good or for ill.

Opinion Poll!
I really do value your comments, dear readers, and would appreciate you weighing in on the following.

Which name should I use: Ryan Hershey or Ryan Chaffee?

I need a good name for a white male, American, mid-thirties, married with no children. Drives a mid-sized SUV, works as a mid-level manager/professional. He's popular, personable, and psychologically healthy.

Thanks, kids.

Friday, February 11, 2005

There are worse fates than staying in on Friday nights...
8:00pm Star Trek: Enterprise - no. 1
9:00pm Stargate Atlantis - no. 3
10:00pm Battlestar Galactica - no. 2
11:00pm Stargate SG-1 - no. 4
One of the things I love about myself is my propensity to get wrapped up in something, to fixate on one thing or another. I don't have a short attention span, but I like to let my mind jump from one subject to another, in part to see the odd connections it makes and how it segues between utterly unrelated fields. And so, in the midst of that aimless casting about, it is nice to obsess, to be absorbed by an idea.

Right now, the only thing I want to think about is Wonderfalls.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Just remember, kids, it's important not to confuse rain, reign, and rein.

"She hates rain, so I hope it rains at her wedding."

"By the end of the short reign of Alexander the Great, his empire was so expansive that it could be fairly remarked, 'He reigns over the wide world.'"

"Rein in your temper or you'll never be handed the reins of this company."

The Rebel Black Dot Society - King of Prussia
Prompted by a question from Kiel, I have utilized ye olde internet to search for a real world band called "King of Prussia." To my disappointment, I successfully found one. So, should I change the name of Parker Peppard's band? Things to consider:

(a) I found only one reference to King Of Prussia, and it was from early 2002, now nearly three years ago. You snooze, you lose, and for all I know King Of Prussia is now defunct.

(b) The single mention gave me the impression that it's not a band, but one guy. I hate bands that are just one permanent guy and a bunch of mercenaries as backup, or at least I do when they use a real band name. Jason Mraz is fine (the name, not the music), but I hate both Nine Inch Nails and Bright Eyes (name and music). If you're just one guy, not a real, every-member-is-important band, use your fucking name, not a real band name.

(c) Parker Peppard is a fictional character, not a real person, and he is the fictional frontman for a fictional band made up of fictional people.

And so, after due consideration, Parker's band is still going to be called King of Prussia. It's a great name and I had never, ever heard of the real world King Of Prussia (the band, obviously I knew of the town) when I made it up. If In Search of the Perfect Lesbian is ever published and push comes to shove, and I can't use/get permission to use "King of Prussia," I'll simply rechristen the band "King of Prussia, PA." In the early days of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, they were simply The Bosstones; but, there was another Boston-area band alredy called The Bosstones, so they added the wickedly awesome "Mighty Mighty." Thus, to my thinking, King of Prussia, PA is legally distinctive from King Of Prussia.

And after push comes to shove, if worse comes to worst, I can always go back to the original name, which I still like (just but not as much), Polska. Ooo, or Hohenzollern. It rolls of the tongue... Hohenzollern....

Man Up
Donovan McNabb has disavowed the claims of his teammates that he was sick in the last minutes of Super Bowl XXXIX. Damn it, and I was so looking forward to hating him. Curse you, McNabb! Pay attention, kids, because that's how you man up: you not only refuse to make excuses, but you slap down the excuses of others. I'll never like Donovan McNabb and I'll never root for him (I can never forgive that Syracuse game), but I respect the hell out of him.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Ash Wednesday
This is my favorite day of the year to be Catholic. There are better days to be Christian (Easter, when God saved us all; Christmas, because who doesn't love presents?), but there's no better day to be Catholic. Except maybe the day a new pope is elected, but I've never experienced that; John Paul II's the only Bishop of Rome I've ever known. It's worth getting up unbogly early in the morning to walk aroudn with the ashes on your forehead all day. This morning's sermon was about praying and giving charitably in quiet, not bragging about your piety, but the ashes fly right in the face of that. Or maybe they don't; maybe they are meant to serve as a reminder to everyone else that today is the beginning of a holy season, even if the Protestants have no sense of decorum.

In any event, one of the things I truly love about being Catholic is the institutional eccentricity. We burn palm leaves and then smear the ashes on our foreheads. For the next month and a half, I can't have meat on Fridays. Why Fridays? And somehow fish doesn't qualify as meat. What about narwhal? Could I eat narwhal on a Friday during Lent? It lives in the sea like a fish (eat it), but it's a mammal like a cow (don't eat it). And why is purple the color of Lent? So bizarre. I love being Catholic.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Dr. Howard Dean is going to be the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. That is such wonderful news.
The League of Nations
Between Paul Volcker's interim report on the oil-for-food and this gem, does the United Nations have any credibility left? Id be curious to hear a defense of Kofi Annan's performance as Secretary-General. I mean that. I can't think of a single positive thing to say about him; so, don't have any idea how someone might defend him. Please, astound me.

From time to time, certainly not every week, I tape the UPN show Veronica Mars. (It airs at 9 o'clock on Tuesday, the same time as Scrubs; so, clearly I can't watch the show when it's broadcast.) Kristen Bell is fierce and lovely, and it's an entertaining little show. However, since those rat finks at UPN announced the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise last week, I have given serious consideration to boycotting the entire network. Strike that, I'm not considering, I've made the decision to boycott. Some might argue that I am cutting my nose to spite my face; after all, I'm involuntarily losing a show I love, so what could be gained by depriving myself of another show I enjoy? But anyone who would make that argument knows nothing about spite. What is to be gained? Peace of mind, my friends, peace of mind. Effective immediately, I won't watch anything on UPN that isn't Star Trek: Enterprise. Once the curtain falls on that wonderful and underappreciated show, I won't watch anything on UPN until Star Trek returns (though I personally hope that when [if] Star Trek returns, it won't have anyting to do with UPN). Veronica Mars is UPN's first non-Star Trek show I ever watched, and now those geniuses have convinced me to give it up. Rot in hell, you bastards.

Man Up
There is a story circulating that Donovan McNabb had the dry-heaves at the end of the Super Bowl, thus preventing Philadelphia from running the no-huddle offense. Sweet fancy Moses, can't you pussies even lose like men? "Ooo ooo, it wasn't our fault, our quarterback was sick!" That's just sickening. I've never liked the Eagles, they are braggarts and egotists, but this is outragous even by the low standards to which I hold them. You lost. Suck it up. The Philadelphia Eagles are the lowest bunch of bottomfeeders in the NFL, even worse than Jerry Jones and the hated Cowboys. You lost, now own up to it, you pussies.
The Rebel Black Dot Society
Margaret Eastman loved Mark Greenwald, but he broke her heart. On the rebound she thinks she loves Kari Putterman, and won't let the fact that neither of them is a lesbian deter her.

Pete Foster loves Noelle Heinkel, or at least he used to. By this point it might just be habit. It's occurred to him that he might love Margaret, if he wasn't busy pining for Noelle.

Mary Peppard loves the Almighty and the Church, but most of all she loves the sacrament of communion. She takes communion every day. Sometimes she worries about that.

Scipio Winter loves Nadia Kamenskaya, even though she broke his heart. So now he fucks Supergirl, but love has nothing to do with it.

Parker Peppard loves Brandy McCown and his sister Mary. He loves his music and his band, King of Prussia. But first and foremost, he loves Mary.

Brandy knows better than to compete with Mary; so, she accepts those parts of Parker he keeps apart from Mary. Some people don't understand why she accepts half of Parker, but Brandy feels no need to explain herself.

Stacey Hiraki doesn't love her as yet unnamed boyfriend, but they have fun and that's what matters.

Noelle loves Neal Cohen to the exclusion of all else. No one can fathom why. Bridges haved been burned, or at least singed, and there has been much unpleasantness.

Other Stories
Ryan Hershey isn't sure he loves anything anymore. Or maybe that's just pretense. In any event, he feels entitled to a little pretention. Ryan has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

I don't know Jill Barnes yet. Fitting since Ryan thinks he loves her, though he knows nothing about her other than her name and that he likes her haircut.

Sunday, February 6, 2005

Return of the Jedi
Revenge of the Sith

Recently, I watched the movie Radioland Murders, a Lucasfilm production from 1994 (George Lucas, story and executive producer). First of all, it's a hell of a film, absolutely fantastic. It is a farce/whodunit set in the golden age of radio. Mary Stuart Masterson and Brian Benben are the leads in a brilliant ensemble cast. I highly recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor. Also of interest are some of the crew, specifically producer Rick McCallum, director of photography David Tattersall, and production designer Gavin Bocquet. McCallum, Tattersall, and Bocquet are, respectively, the producer, director of photography, and production designer for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, and the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Just as with Young Indiana Jones, an added dimension of enjoyment in Radioland Murders is watching George Lucas get ready for the prequel trilogy. The films were literally years in the making. Wicked.

Saturday, February 5, 2005

As Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard said last week, and I'm paraphrasing, "How many Afrikaaners voted in South Africa's first open elections? And who cares?" The Sunni comprise 20% of the Iraqi population, they were Saddam Hussein's power base, and under his rule Iraq's Shiites and Kurds were slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands. So why is it that both ABC News and NPR seem more concerned with the self-marginalization of the Sunnis than the ascension of the Shiite Arabs and Kurds? It is as if we were concerned how the National Socialists felt about suddenly being replaced as kings of the mountain in post-World War II Germany. The Sunnis were the bad guys! No dictator can remain in power without the tacit support of large numbers of my population; the Sunnis were Saddam's footsoldiers and henchmen. They comprise the majority of the homegrown Iraqi insurgents. If they chose not to vote in last Sunday's elections, they have only themselves to blame, for listening to religious leaders who urged a boycott of the elections to implicitly or explicitly supporting the terorists in their midst. Fortunately for them, they will find that the Shiites and Kurds, once in power, will be far more generous to them than they ever were.

Meine Vater is watching The Matrix Revolutions downstaris. Poor bastard.

Mom is watching The Paper Chase. If she wanted to know how terrible the first year of law school is, I could have just steered her to Skeeter's blog.

The Stars My Destination
I find that my sadness over the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise is being mitigated by two phenomenon: the quality of the current episodes and the impending grandeur otherwise known as Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Last night's episode, "United," was fantastic. Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, and Tellarites united in common cause against the Romulan menace... my Bog, we are so close now to the Federation. The fools at Viacom and UPN have no idea what they are doing. They have taken a multimillion dollar marketing juggernaut and done everything in their power to sabotage and undermine it. All I ask it that their every ambition meet with ruin and their every dream die on the vine.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

I have been known to describe Senator Evan Bayh (D, Indiana) as "a Democrat I could vote for." No more. Fuck Evan Bayh. He can eat shit. Bayh was one of the thirteen Democratic senators to vote against Secretary Rice's appointment to run the State Department. Why? Because he wants to be president and it's never too early to start moving to the Left to cozy up to Democratic primary voters ahead of the 2008 contest. Cynical motherfucker. Evan Bayh is a soulless piece of trash, and from this point forward his misfortune is my delight. Hit by a car? Hilarious. Wife cheats on him? Great. Killed in a wheat thresher accident? Fantastic.
Groundhog Day
Yesterday, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, a dire forecast of six more weeks of winter. According to the tradition, if he doesn't see his shadow, this augurs an early spring. Now, I can't speak to the weather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, but here in the Great Lakes State is winter only lasts six more weeks after February 2, that would constitute an early spring. So, it's the same prediction whether the blasted groundhog sees his shadow or not. Of course, that pretty much makes the groundhog's prognostications foolproof. Well done, city fathers of Punxsutawney! You can't lose! Brillaint!

Would Punksutawney Phil be acceptable as an album title?

Just Say "No" to Fun, Part II
I have to somewhat amend my support for the Mountain of Love's decision to skip last night's Mu330 show. He chose to play innertube water polo as a Genesee County All-Star, and as a founder and former captain of the GCAS, I applaud his participation. There are, after all, only three regular season water polo games a year. But after the game, when presumably he would be too tired to join me in Detroit, he went to the Blind Pig to see the band Oh My God in concert. It would be one thing had he said he was going to skip Mu330 to see Oh My God; that would be a mistake, but he has a free will and the right to make that mistake. But he told me he wouldn't be coming to the show because of the water polo game, which clearly didn't prevent him from going to a different show.

Where No Fan Has Gone Before
I feel kind of guilty about this, but I'm not all that upset about the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise. Make no mistake, I love the show. I don't just watch it out of habit or loyalty to Star Trek, I really love Enterprise. I've taken issue with the way established continuity was treated, going all the way back to the pilot, "Broken Bow," but it's a damned good show and I wish a pox on those bastards at UPN and Viacom for killing it. But, there has been talk of cancellation for over a year now, and talk of Star Trek needing a break for years. I suppose I had braced myself for this.

That said, let us not underestimate the tragedy of this moment. Yes, Star Trek has been in continuous production for eighteen years, but talk of a break being a good thing is madness! Eighteen years passed between the cancellation of the original series and the franchise's resurrection with Star Trek: The Next Generation. Remember those years in the wilderness! Remember what it was like to not have any new Trek! And with Rick Berman having successfully driven the movie franchise into the ground, I truly fear for the future of both Star Trek and science fiction television. Maybe I'm more upset about this that I thought I was. Maybe right now I'm just shocked, I'm numb.

At any rate, I will cherish the last ten episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. You should, too. They might be the last Star Trek for a very long time indeed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Just Say "No" to Fun
What the hell happened to us? I recall shows when the then-Bald Mountain, Never Girl, Neutral Man, The Guy, and The Plate would all go. Having six or seven people at a show was never the rule, but it wasn't terribly rare either. Tonight I drove into the heart of Detroit to see Mu330 by myself. I understand that people have moved away (Never Girl lives in Sacramento, The Plate in D.C.) and that's not what bothers me. The people who are still here just aren't the same. People have always had conflicting commitments, and I wholeheartedly support the Mountain's decision to forgo tonight's show in order to play for the Genesee County All-Stars. But some people just didn't feel like going to tonight's show. Sadly, that is more and more the pattern; one show becomes two, two become three, and pretty soon you just don't go to concerts anymore, because you have other things you're doing.

I think what I'm talking about is becoming an adult. Adults don't just take off in the middle of the week and go to a rock show (never mind the fact that I was home from Detroit, a solid hour's drive, by midnight). Adults would rather not leave their coat in the car on a bitterly cold winter night; kids going to a show know you have to leave the coat in the car, because there certainly won't be any place to put it once you're in the pit. Slowly, almost so slowly that no one noticed, my friends became anti-fun. The end of childhood is inevitable, but is it also inevitable that one turn against the concept of fun? Tonight's show was more fun than a barrel of monkeys (we did the original Detroit Powerskank), yet I feel as if I've witnessed a tragedy.

Also, Star Trek: Enterprise was cancelled today. Neutral Man sez everything that needs to be said. Boldly go....

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Two years ago, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded during atmospheric reentry. It's sad how few people seem to give a damn. Six Americans and one Israeli died, but they have never been honored as were the brave souls who died aboard the Challenger. Hyperlink. Godspeed.