Friday, April 30, 2010

Lies, Damned Lies, & the News
The article to which I've hyperlinked is not a hack job, it is a fairly objective piece of journalism but for one error, one seemingly small misstatement that few people would even be able to recognize as a misstatement, and yet which reflects a pernicious and incalculably dangerous falsehood that has gotten its hooks in the American conscience. Hyperlink. That misstatement? That there is a "constitutional requirement for separation of church and state." Read your Constitution—at least I'm hoping each one of you has a copy of the U.S. Constitution in your home. If you do not, for shame. Acquire a copy posthaste! There are numerous organizations that distribute them free of charge—and nowhere therein will you find the words "separation of church and state." Nor is even the idea to be found in the Constitution.

Those words, which so many Americans in their blissful, irresponsible ignorance assume to be part and parcel of our nigh-scared Constitution, come from the personal correspondence of Thomas Jefferson. The same Thomas Jefferson who was neither a participant in the Constitutional Convention nor a signatory to said Constitution. Not even in a public essay such as those we know as the Federalist Papers, no, but in then-President Jefferson's personal correspondence, fifteen years after the Constitution was written, fourteen years after it was ratified.

What does the Constitution actually say on the subject? The relevant excerpt from Amendment I to the Constitution of the United States: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." What does this mean? The Congress has not the power to declare an established church, a state religion; the Congress cannot create a "Church of America" analogous to the Church of England or the Danish National Church. That is not nearly the same things as a separation of church and state. The innumerable ways in which Jefferson's "wall of separation between church and State" is used to prohibit the supposedly Constitutionally-guaranteed free exercise of religion is a subject for another day, a subject to which one could devote an entire life. The important takeaway from today's brief remarks? Think about the implications of the lie that our great republic is meant to be governed by a "separation of church and state" and try to be aware of the myriad ways in which this lie is perpetuated casually every day, such as in the aforementioned Yahoo! article. (Note to self: consider posting to The Secret Base the paper written on this very subject a year ago.)

Step 1: recognizing the existence of a problem.

I patronized the hardware store Tuesday afternoon to purchase a few mowings' supply of the enormous, double-lined paper sacks into which Grand Blanc Township's waste removal contractor requires all grass clippings and yard waste be placed for curbside collection. While waiting for the HALs to talk to one another, I set my wallet down on the counter and took up the proffered pen with which I would sign the charge card receipt. The cashier, a girl still in high school were I to hazard a guess, saw the skull-and-crossbones tattooed on my forearm and the different skull-and-crossbones pattern on the wallet and ejaculated, "Hey, your wallet looks like your arm!"

I replied, "Yep, almost like there's a theme." I meant this to be lighthearted and amusing, but fear it came out as snarky.

In Colorado a couple weeks ago, a one-off teammate (explained in the forthcoming "Master Debaters" post) named Warren made the asinine observation that I am an extremely unlikely person to have a tattoo, because possessing a tattoo stands in direct opposition to my personality. (I am forced to paraphrase, but I swear that I am capturing as accurately as I can the tenor of his words.) A few days later, on the final night before our departure, Warren, who espoused the usual atheist line that possessing religious faith and any significant degree of intelligence are mutually exclusive, was shocked to learn that I am an adherent of the Catholic faith. This revelation knocked his socks off, figuratively. I would be nothing without my faith; every decent thing inside me, every kind or charitable impulse I've ever felt, comes not from my darka nd wretched soul, but from the Holy Ghost, Him operating the levers of my heart. If Warren's pompous and superficial observations had failed to glean that I am—or at least try to be while fairly drowning in my own wickedness—a man of faith, what possible stock could be placed in his opinion that my personality is incompatible with having a tattoo?

In a similar vein, Amelia, one of my economics professors (who is, in fact, younger than me), has observed, more kindly, that I don't seem like the sort of person who would have my specific tattoo, a skull-and-crossbones, worn very publicly on my almost ubiquitously exposed—due to my love of short sleeves—left forearm. As I explained to her, or attempted to explain, that is entirely dependent on what one takes the skull-and-crossbones to mean. Many have asked me if it symbolizes poison, an idea that not once occurred to me before my tattoo was inked; most of these individuals have been involved with elementary education, a field with which I've had no interaction since "graduating" from the fifth grade in 1990. Others have asked if the skull (not so much the crossbones) symbolizes death. My specific skull-and-crossbones tattoo, nor far that matter the distinct skull-and-crossbones design on my wallet, symbolizes neither death nor poison. I am far forgiving of Amelia than Warren for two reasons: a) she knew me far better when first she made her observation, and b) her insight, although incorrect, was based on the (I must admit) easily misconstrued design of my tattoo, whereas Warren's was based on a far broader, and thus even more incorrect, set of assumptions about the nature and purpose of tattoos.

I try not to let people surprise me, yet I am continually staggered by the sweeping assumptions we make based upon the flimsiest of evidence. It boggles the mind.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Vampire Weekend, "Bryn" from Vampire Weekend (T.L.A.M.)

Donnerstag, 29 April
Less Than Jake, "All My Best Friends Are Metalheads" from Hello Rockview (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Inspired by the above "Ink," which I began composing on Thursday.

"Do you know about his strength and convictions?
Or how she puts all her faith in religion?
Did we take the time to really discover
How little we know about each other?"

Mittwoch, 28 April
John Barry, "The James Bond Theme from Dr. No" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Reel Big Fish, "Sell Out" from Turn the Radio Off (T.L.A.M.)


"'Baby, don't you sign that paper tonight,' she said,
But I can't work in fast food all my life."

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Secret Base of the Rebel Black Dot Society is back in business. Thanks, Geniuses!

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
The Get Up Kids, "Anne Arbour" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Last Winter, Anne Arbour was all I had!"

Sonntag, 25 April
William Shatner, "You'll Have Time" from Has Been (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Death has not been lurking about, not shadowing me lately, and for this I am grateful. I mean not to tempt fate with this R.B.D.S.O.T.D. selection, but now that The Squeak is returned home, restored to her parents, I can think of no finer meditation on the way time slips through all of our fingers than "You'll Have Time." I reveled in The Squeak's visit, but now that she is gone I know I could better have taken advantage of the time allotted us. Curse my slothful bones!

"Why did I waste it,
Why didn't I taste it?"

Samstag, 24 April
The Littlest Man Band, "Always Sayin'" from Better Book Ends (T.L.A.M.)


"You're always sayin'
That it's all goin' better,
We'll I've seen you,
And it needs to.
God, I hope that it's all goin' better for you!
And you're sayin'
That it tastes so much sweeter,
Well I've been there,
And it's bitter.
God, I wish that I could feel sorry for you!"

Freitag, 23 April
John Hodgman, "Slingshot" from This American Life: Stories of Hope & Fear (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The R.B.D.S.O.T.D. isn't always a song.

"As metaphors for life and death on the Boardwalk go, gambling in Atlantic City is pretty promising, but the Slingshot is better, for two reasons: 1) Though it is unlikely, it may actually kill you. And 2) It reminds you that when you are close to death, and intimate with it, when you are spinning fast and high in the dark night with nothing around you, it is difficult to tell what is happening, it is difficult to be afraid. Far more difficult than it is on the ground."

Donnerstag, 22 April
The Puppini Sisters, "Bei Mir Bist Du Schön" from Betcha Bottom Dollar (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "It means you're the fairest in the land."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I shall be a thoroughly unpleasant and outright beastly piker once The Squeak departs tomorrow, driven to such antisocial behavior by the pain of missing her terribly. Why oh why does she have to go back to her parents? They're the ones who went off to Italy, leaving her behind in the first place! Woe is me, woe is me.

On the plus side, my HAL is reportedly restored to health and functionality. We shall see if the Geniuses live up to their billing. I type these lines on my father's dilapidated laptop. I thank him for the loan, but this is plainly inadequate. There is so verdammt much about which I wish to bloggy blog! By Lucifer's beard, this is vexing!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Puppini Sisters, "In the Mood" from Betcha Bottom Dollar (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: You can't see this right now, but I'm smiling from ear to bloody ear.
My cute little Mac Mini appears to have given up the ghost. I have an appointment to see the "Geniuses" at the Apple Store on Freitag. "Misery, misery, misery."

Especially in combination with The Squeak sleeping in the room that houses my mother's HAL, this could well put the kibosh on The Secret Base.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
She & Him, "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: From the soundtrack to (500) Days of Summer. Now's as good a time as any to remember, "This is not a love story. This is a story about love."

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Banzai Beard Bonanza II: Bonsai's Revenge
Day 113: I only had to send my dad two emails before he transmitted the latest batch of beard photographs, taken on Day 108 (Wayback Machinelink). Not as fast as the previous batch, way back in the Day 60s, but nothing about which to bellyache. I am grateful for the invaluable aid he has rendered to the B.B.B. II.

Reaction to the beard has grown more and more positive the deeper and deeper we've gone into this second Bonanza. The Most Dangerous Game & The Cowgirl say they prefer the bearded me to the pre-Christmas beardless model, puny debate nerds far and wide are in awe of the beard, and due to my recent foray into campus politics (still working on the title, the only reason this was left out of "Coming Attractions") my bearded visage is now well known even to students & faculty I've never met. The Magnificent Moustache Malarkey, formerly the Massive Moustache Mistake—the epilogue to the Banzai Beard Bonanza that will see my face & neck shorn of the beard, the moustache left in splendid isolation, and my beloved sideburns restored—was originally to last for three weeks, from "Cinco de Moustache" to Where's Teddy?'s first birthday. But he who insisted that I be clean shaven by wee Teddy's birthday has since apologized—unnecessarily, I've assured him—for demanding the moustache's eradication, praised the overall performance of the Bonanza (to which he was always opposed), and left the end of the Magnificent Moustache Malarkey entirely up to my judgment.

I have grown accustomed to the beard over the last four months. I'm both used to & comfortable with how I look; the appearance of the beard & moustache is a routine if small source of joy throughout the day, much in the same fashion as my tattoo; and I am not at all looking forward to returning to the shaving grind. During the first Banzai Beard Bonanza, I was antsy to be rid of the beard; here in Bonsai's Revenge, I'm apprehensive about the impending absence. Nevertheless, the moustache's days are numbered. I am sorely tempted to retain the moustache, to explore the extremes of glorious ridiculousness to which I might carry the handlebar style, but the Bonanza (including the Malarkey) was always meant as a temporary endeavour: it had a very definite beginning; so, to my mind, it must have a definite end. Why I wanted to grow a beard in the first place was unfathomable to most, why I'll shave it all off will surely be unfathomable to many, including many of the same persons. The fathomless mystery of the Bonanza is no small portion of its appeal to me.

The Malarkey will come to an end sooner rather than later, of that let there be no doubt, but mark also that I highly doubt we will have to wait another five years, until the Banzai Beard Bonanza III: Third Time's the Harm, to see a return of my magnificent moustache.


The following Jones bottle cap fortunes are taped to the interior face of the door to my room, next to the mirror. Now these are what you should always find when you unscrew a Jones Soda bottle cap!

"Your present plans are going to succeed." (the whole of CADMUS)

"Soon you will be sitting on top of the world." (CADMUS)

"You are heading in the right direction." (Projects EPIMETHEUS, MERCATOR, & RADIANT, maybe PANDORA)

"You have artistic talent. Do something creative." (Projects TROIKA & TRITON & Serma VI)

"You will step on the soil of many countries."

(This last fortune + From Russia, with Love + the moustache = ?, to be continued in the next episode of "Project PANDORA"…)

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
R.E.M., "It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: This afternoon, I was seized by a sudden and random urge to read Francis Fukuyama's The End of History and the Last Man. (I do not have time to embark upon The End of History until, at the earliest, late in the looming Summer, by which time the urge may well have ebbed, but that's neither here nor there.) I think the subsequent leap to "It's the End of the World…" is fairly short.
Operation AXIOM
"The shot heard 'round the world," the Battles of Lexington & Concord that opened the Revolutionary War, was fired two hundred thirty-five years ago to the day. At the time, nearly every inch of the earth was reigned over by a crowned warlord of one title or another, be he a king, emperor, sultan, shogun, prince, or chief. Today, nearly every nation-state is presided over by a president, of greater or lesser democratic legitimacy, dependent on local conditions. More progress toward building a world based on justice and prosperity has been made in the last two and a third centuries than in the preceding five millennia, and 'twas all touched off by the courageous stand against the redcoats by the minutemen at Lexington & Concord. Remember with gratitude and awe the events of 19 April 1775, and above all else take today to cherish the freedom that was bought at an almost unbearable price in blood over the last two hundred thirty-five years.

The Oklahoma City bombing, an act of incomprehensible terror until it was overshadowed by 9/11 six years later, was perpetrated fifteen years ago to the day. The history of the world is one long, seemingly unending nightmare of war, poverty, famine, and injustice; so, yes, the loss of one hundred eight-six souls at the Murrah Federal Building pales in comparison to the crushing of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the then-contemporary Rwandan Genocide, or a thousand thousand other examples of barbarity and horror. But I was fifteen years-old when Timothy McVeigh unleashed his monstrous evil, safe and secure in an America that had defeated Communism and was still dizzy from our heady triumph in the Gulf War; I believe I should be forgiven for being more shocked and frightened by Oklahoma City than by, say, a fait accompli like the Sack of Madgeburg. 1995 feels like it was a lifetime ago, yet I still recall clearly learning the news of that 19 April. We prevail over terrorism when we refuse to forget those who were murdered, but also refuse to allow their murderers to dictate our actions.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Project MERCATOR: Jonesin'
Yours truly attended the "first bonfire of the year" last night, bring as my contributions a four-pack of Jones Cream Soda & a can o' Pringles. My attempts to share the Pringles were politely declined, which I did not mind one bit. The Joneses, too, I shared, though only one was taken. I drank two whilst sitting round the fire pit and a third once I returned home.

My first fortune, read aloud by firelight with some difficulty: "Call an old friend." In this I was thwarted by The Cowgirl, who insisted I ring her mobile. I explained that we'd been friends for less than a year, hardly satisfying the "old friend" requirement, but she'd hear none of it. I called her mobile while standing mere feet from her, and due to the remoteness of our location suffered rather a poor connection throughout our brief conversation. After the fact, I quite enjoyed the ridiculousness of what had occurred.

My second fortune: "You just helped save a child's eyesight. Thank you." Prompting me to ejaculate, "Damn it!" To the rightly confused looks that greeted this strange remark, I read the non-fortune aloud and explained that while I am greatly in favor helping to save children's eyesight, when I read my Jones fortune I expect a it to be just that, a fortune. Or, like the above, an exhortation. I regard this as thoroughly reasonable on my part.

My third fortune, the one unscrewed at home: "Fun and excitement will soon be yours." That's more like it!

The fourth fortune, the one unscrewed by someone else—a churl named Armen, I believe—is quite another matter. Superstition is a sin and I do not believe that the fortunes under Jones bottle caps are in any way fortunes, nor is there any such thing as fortune-telling (though divinely-inspired prophecy as recorded in Scripture is of course real), but who doesn't like a little bit of silly fun now and again? And if that fun takes the form of an almost Stuart Smalley-style daily affirmation or the winking promise of better days ahead? So much the better.

Now, I did not open the bottle of Jones to which this fortune's cap belonged, but a Jones fortune abandoned is like a birthday wish not kept secret: null and void. My hope, then, is that by salvaging the bottle cap when I washed out the bottle in preparation for returning it for Michigan's fat (& phat) deposit of 10¢ per bottle, I might lay claim to at least some portion of the fortune's promise. Here's hoping: "You will find much fulfillment with someone special very soon."

And you knew this was coming:

A short skirt,
A Gimmes shirt,
A Jones Soda,
Ain't life grand?

Coming Attractions
I shall have to devise a name for the Spring that saw a homebody like me on the road for five out of the last seven weekends. 'Twas a grand old time, but taxing when conjoined with the usual rigors of an academic semester. Oddly enough, while enjoying this weekend at home, including helping out with The Squeak, I rather regularly wondered what adventures I might be having were I elsewhere. But, for the nonce, The Secret Base as in dire need of some serious attention.

"This Week in Motorsport" - The first four rounds of the 2010 World Championship, grands prix in Bahrain, Australia, Malaysia, & China; plus, "By endurance we conquer," the 12 Hours of Sebring & I can't wait for the 24 Heures du Mans.

"Master Debating" - Arizona, M.I.S.L., Colorado, & the rise of "Big Mac"

"Project MERCATOR" - The Last Angry Man in The Big Apple

"The Banzai Beard Bonanza II: Bonsai's Revenge" - Success upon success, beyond my most reckless hopes! And a renaming of the follow-on Massive Moustache Mistake.

"Project PANDORA" - Past (The Sardine), Present (The Impossible Ingenue), & Future (eerie that when I met her I was reading From Russia, with Love)!

All this & more! Thank you for reading.

This Week in Motorsport
Behold! The Lotus T127, the first Lotus to compete in the Formula One World Championship since the original Team Lotus gave up the ghost in '94. Any car would be gorgeous in the famous green & yellow livery, but isn't that one of the most beautiful things you've ever seen?

Formula fun!
The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Barenaked Ladies, "Bull in a China Shop" from Barenaked Ladies Are Me (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Inspired by a graphic that appeared on-screen during the Acura Pre-Race Show preceding SPEED's broadcast of the Chinese Grand Prix, referring to the two cars from Red Bull Racing starting the Shanghai-hosted race from the first and second positions: "Red Bull in a China Shop?"

Back to B.N.L. & the R.B.D.S.O.T.D.: "I'm a bottle of diet poison."

Samstag, 17 April
The Sandfleas, "My Baby's Got a Poopy Diaper" from Rice Capades (Captain Thumbs-Up)

Commentary: The Sandfleas are enemies of The Aquabats!, thereby making them enemies also of fun, goodness, & decency.

"Don't want to change her,
'Cause that's a real danger,
That's way stinky, oh yeah!
It's her diaper,
I'm not gonna wipe her,
That's your problem, baby!"

Yesterday, my mom laid The Squeak down to a nap and then stepped out to purchase a few items from the green grocer. No sooner had she left than The Squeak awoke with a diaper full of fury. It was harrowing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Fountains of Wayne, "Prom Theme" from Utopia Parkway (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: D.J. with neither taste nor imagination? Check. Souvenir champagne flutes to commemorate an event at which no alcohol was served? Check. Girls with no self-esteem grinding on the dance floor with their douchebag boyfriends? Check. Trying to catch lightning in a bottle—repeating the unmitigated triumph of last November's Miracle Ball by attending tonight's President's Ball—might have been one of Project MERCATOR's more ill-advised efforts. Fun was had by all, there as just a lot more dreck to wade through first.

"But tonight we'll reach for the stars."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

He's Dead, Jim
My mom has the cancer. In February, she was afflicted for weeks with a sore nose, sore to the touch and continuously dripping. After this had persisted beyond the bounds of the normal winter sniffles, she consulted her physician who found a polyp in one of her nostrils. A month ago, the polyp was surgically removed; a week later we learned that further examination had revealed the extracted polyp to be a malignancy. Subsequent detailed scans of my mother's body have found no additional traces of the cancer, but even so she is to have another surgery in a fortnight, to remove additional tissue from the interior of her nose and excise one of her lymph nodes for close inspection. Second opinions have been sought and diagnoses confirmed, and she is now under the care of the physician who has successfully seen her dear friend Rose through repeated bouts with multiple forms of the cancer; my mother appears to be in good hands, and cautious optimism are our watchwords. Further reports as events transpire.

Prayers to the merciful Lord for her good health and long life would be most warmly appreciated.

Four months old today, The Squeak arrives by aeroplane upon the morrow, conducted by Brother-in-L.A.W. and to be met by my parents. She will reside with us for a week while her parents are on holiday in Italy, briefly visiting the life they left behind when their beautiful daughter was born. I saw Where's Teddy? for but one fleeting evening last week before departing for Colorado and the national debate tournament. I hope to pay a longer visit to him at his home in verdammt Ohio in a few weeks' time, though there is a chance he'll soon be returning to sacred Michigan to meet his cousin, The Squeak. Worlds colliding?

I have withdrawn my request for the pleasure of a certain young lady's company for an evening. Jenny (who shan't be mentioned often enough to necessitate a codename) is a casual friend from school to whom I proposed a date while we were out celebrating The Most Dangerous Game's birthday in February. A fetching lass, she is a libertine and so no serious relationship would have been possible between us, but we'd have had a lovely time together and taking her to dinner would have afforded me valuable experience as to how I should comport myself when escorting a comely girl out on the town. In the time since she accepted my invitation Jenny has shrugged off my several attempts to pin down a date for our date. She has her pick of the fellas and I acknowledge that the opportunity cost of going out with me would have been high—this would have been at least one night that ended without sex—but the fact remains that she accepted my invitation, an acceptance that to my mind requires a good faith effort to set a date and arrange a time. I've seen no such good faith in the nigh two months since. I am endeavoring to cultivate patience as a skill and patient I have been, but absent the slightest gesture of good faith on her part I could not have done otherwise than I have done. It must be said, defiance must be served: your loss, Jenny.

Tomorrow evening, I shall have the pleasure of escorting The Impossible Ingenue to the 25th anniversary President's Ball, an excuse to don our finery and dance the night away. I have pending also a date with another girl, the particulars of time and place to be arranged as swiftly as possible. And while in the Mile High City during the weekend just past I enjoyed an encounter that must be considered spooky in light of my then-current, since-concluded reading of From Russia, with Love. Details in the days ahead.

The Queue
Fear not, I have every intention of expounding sooner rather than later on the intersection of Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 and Project PANDORA.

Ian Fleming, Moonraker
Ian Fleming, Diamonds are Forever
Ian Fleming, From Russia, with Love

Ian Fleming, Doctor No

Ian Fleming, Goldfinger
Ian Fleming, For Your Eyes Only
Ian Fleming, Thunderball

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Fountains of Wayne, "It Must Be Summer" from Utopia Parkway (T.L.A.M.)


"It must be summer
'Cause the streets are bare.
And I try your number,
But you're just not there."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today got completely away from me. I was supposed to be home by 7:00 P.M., but didn't cross the threshold into the house until just shy of 10:00 P.M., at which point my mom invited me to join her for the series finale of Ugly Betty, which we so used to enjoy watching together.

The Banzai Beard Bonanza II: Bonsai's Revenge
Day 108: Long overdue new photographs were taken this evening and will be posted as soon as I can prize them away from my father. There have been serious developments regarding the moustache, with implications for both the soon-to-be renamed Massive Moustache Mistake and, 'tis hoped, Project PANDORA.

"If you can wait and not be tired by waiting."
—from "If—" by Rudyard Kipling

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Wombats, "Kill the Director" from A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "I've met someone that makes me feel seasick."
Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
Unbidden but not entirely unwelcome, I have acquired an enemy. I have set into motion the means of achieving my revenge. Naught that I would write could approach, much less surpass, Poe's exquisite commentary from "The Cask of Amontillado":

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled—but the very definiteness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

Or, from Alfred Bester's novel, The Stars My Destination:

"You pass me by," he said with slow mounting fury. "You leave me rot like a dog. You leave me die, VorgaVorga-T:1339. No. I get out of here, me. I follow you, Vorga. I find you, Vorga. I pay you back, me. I rot you. I kill you, Vorga. I kill you filthy."

The acid of fury ran through him, eating away the brute patience and sluggishness that had made a cipher of Gully Foyle, precipitating a chain of reactions that would make an infernal machine of Gully Foyle. He was dedicated.

"Vorga, I kill you filthy."

I kill you filthy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Less Than Jake, "Danny Says" from Hello Rockview (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Burnt out on the scene!"

Montag, 12 April
Roy Orbison, "You Got It" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Ladies & gentlemen, the power of the human voice.

Sonntag, 11 April
Rosemary Nichols, Linda Gardner, & Caryl Little, "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" from Fiddler On the Roof (T.L.A.M.)

Samstag, 10 April
John Williams & the London Symphony Orchestra, "Irina's Theme" from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Starting on Saturday night, the weekend took on a distinctive and delightful Russian character.

Freitag, 9 April
Letters to Cleo, "Pizza Cutter" from Wholesale Meats and Fish (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Whenever I listen to Letters to Cleo I wonder why I don't listen to Letters to Cleo more often.

Donnerstag, 8 April
The Proclaimers, "Love Can Move Mountains" from Notes & Rhymes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The love bit is only retroactively applicable, but 'twas always my intention to make reference to the mountainous landscape of Colorado in Thursday's R.B.D.S.O.T.D.

Samstag, 3 April
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, "Danny's Song" from Have a Ball (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Thanks, Mrs. Skeeter, Esq.!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The next few days are to be the fifth out of the last six weekends that I have spent away from the comforts of home and hearth. Please forgive my neglecting The Secret Base, it has not been due to sloth or disinterest, but rather a suicidally punishing schedule, a baleful confluence of bad timing piled upon yet worse timing.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
John Williams & the London Symphony Orchestra, "The Raiders March" from Raiders of the Lost Ark: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (T.L.A.M.)

Dienstag, 6 April
Denis Leary, "Asshole" from No Cure for Cancer (T.L.A.M.)

Montag, 5 April
She & Him, "Gonna Get Along Without You Now" from Volume Two (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Magical.

Sonntag, 4 April
Fountains of Wayne, "Michael and Heather at the Baggage Claim" from Traffic and Weather (T.L.A.M.)


"Michael says, 'Heather, have you had enough?'
Heather says, 'Michael, you know that it's you I love.'"

Samstag, 3 April
Commentary: The selection of last Saturday's R.B.D.S.O.T.D. is pending due to difficulty remembering what song we were singing on the march towards the Ethiopian restaurant at which we had such a lovely dinner. All I can offer in my defense are the words of the inimitable Dr. Johnson, "There is a wicked inclination in most people to suppose an old man decayed in his intellects. If a young or middle-aged man, when leaving a company, does not recollect where he laid his hat, it is nothing; but if the same inattention is discovered in an old man, people will shrug up their shoulders, and say, 'His memory is going.'"

Freitag, 2 April
They Might Be Giants, "The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)" from Apollo 18 (T.L.A.M.)

Donnerstag, 1 April
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Another One Rides the Bus" from "Weird Al" Yankovic (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Was the bus ride from the District of Columbia to Old New Amsterdam naught more than an overly involved April Fools' Day prank?

Mittwoch, 31 März
Katiä, "The Minstrel Boy" from Can't Stop the Love Sled (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "The Minstrel Boy" is a weird song to sing softly to a little baby, but it was the first song that came to mind when I was holding The Squeak. Do I love "The Minstrel Boy" on its own merits, or is my affection for the ballad a mere extension of my deep & profound love for a good man, Miles Edward O'Brien? Thank you, Chief.

Dienstag, 30 März
The Pogues, "A Rainy Night in Soho" from The Best of The Pogues (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: 'Twas a rainy night in the Lower East Side, not a rainy night in Soho (that was Monday), but close enough for our purposes. In any event, The Pogues are almost certainly referring to the real Soho in London, not the faux Soho on Manhattan.

Montag, 29 März
The Puppini Sisters, "Soho Nights" from The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo (T.L.A.M.)

Sonntag, 28 März
Nicholas Ginbey, "Amanda Song" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: A future chapter of Project PANDORA.

Samstag, 27 März
They Might Be Giants, "New York City" from Factory Showroom (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Dedicated with love & thanks to Mrs. & Mr. Skeeter, Esqs. "'Cause everyone's your friend in New York City."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Misery, misery, misery. Too busy to catch my breath, beset by inebriates & buffoons, and my Macintosh appears to be on the fritz. My dad's laptop can connect wirelessly to the internet, and his diagnostics of the wireless router indicate its signal strength is strong, yet AirPort cannot connect to any woreless network. My HAL was working fine last night. I type these lines from my mother's HAL, in her cramped, airless office nook. Man alive, I wish I was still on vacation in Old New Amsterdam.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oliver Hazzard Perry wrote, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours." Walt Kelly repurposed the line as, "We have met the enemy and he is us." I don't know why this seems so fitting to my first meeting with my niece-cum-god(less)daughter Natalie, but it does, at least to me. Her clever father, Brother-in-L.A.W., has given her a delightful, ubiquitous nickname, which I shall henceforth use as her Secret Base codename. No April Fools' gag, this. I have met The Squeak, and she is super rad.