Sunday, October 23, 2005

testing 10.23.2005

Thursday, August 18, 2005

PENGUINS: COMIC, FLIGHTLESS, WEB-FOOTED LITTLE BASTARDS (JUST KIDDDING!)

A few nights ago I watched, and loved, the new documentary film March of the Penguins. I'll say more about that in a bit. But, first, a word from Monty Python's Flying Circus on penguins:

Presenter: Penguins, yes, penguins. What relevance do penguins have to the furtherance of medical science? Well, strangely enough quite a lot, a major breakthrough, maybe. It was from such an unlikely beginning as an unwanted fungus accidentally growing on a sterile plate that Sir Alexander Fleming gave the world penicillin. James Watt watched an ordinary household kettle boiling and conceived the potentiality of steam power. Would Albert Einstein ever have hit upon the theory of relativity if he hadn't been clever? All these tremendous leaps forward have been taken in the dark. Would Rutherford ever have split the atom if he hadn't tried? Could Marconi have invented the radio if he hadn't by pure chance spent years working at the problem? Are these amazing breakthroughs ever achieved except by years and years of unremitting study? Of course not. What I said earlier about accidental discoveries must have been wrong. Nevertheless scientists believe that these penguins, these comic flightless web-footed little bastards may finally unwittingly help man to fathom the uncharted depths of the human mind. Professor Rosewall of the Laver Institute.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

THE RIGHTEOUS, AND RIGHT, INDIGNATION OF A GREAT WRITER

I avoid posting entire articles but this time I must make an exception. Here is E. L. Doctorow on President Bush and the sad state of our republic.

The Unfeeling President

I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our 21-year-olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.

He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the 1,000 dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be.

They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life . . . they come to his desk as a political liability, which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that, rather than controlling terrorism, his war in Iraq has licensed it. So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice.

He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to.

Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing -- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends.

A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the president who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the 35 million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the 40 percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills - it is amazing for how many people in this country this president does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest 1 percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the quality of air in coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it.

But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneous aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over he world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble.

Finally, the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail. How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot mourn but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

Monday, August 15, 2005

SO MANY REASONS TO THANK CINDY SHEEHAN

For holding our leader(s) accountable in the absence of news media that serve the public interest.
For facing up to the inevitable ridicule, childishness, and pure hatred that have captured the discourse of "conservatives," and giving them a chance to reveal themselves to the world as the sad and sadistic humanoids that they are.
For expressing the truth that working for peace is harder and more dangerous work than resorting to war.
For reminding those who voted for George W. Bush that they do not know what is best for the citizens of the U.S. and citizens of the world.
For proving that one person can make a difference and that every person must try.

"I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of their way and let them have it."--DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, 1959

Saturday, August 13, 2005

BULL'S EYE

Yet another worthless film from yet another former Saturday Night Dead "comedian" is in theatres, adding to the pervasive rotting-flesh and excrement stink of U.S. popular culture. I could only be speaking of Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo. Produced by that walking, talking pillar of garbage Adam Sandler, and starring his cretinous crony Rob Schneider.

This excerpt from www.filmcritic.com captures my sentiments not only about Deuce, but about the majority of movies made in the past 15 years in the U.S.---

Let me leave you with a thought experiment: Imagine if one morning all the major Hollywood studio execs went into work and found the walls of their offices covered in shit. It wouldn’t be pleasant for them. But for a minute, at least, they would know how we feel every weekend as we walk out of the theaters.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

THERE GOES JUSTICE ROBERTS'S NEIGHBORHOOD?

Back after a jaunt to St. Louis, Missouri, the Mighty Mississippi, and a concert by the even mightier Bruce Springsteen. I neglect my blog for just a few days, and when I return--lo and behold, some opposition to John Roberts, the President's Supreme Court pick, has slithered out from among a nest of vermin under a Rock of Ages.

Seems that some of Bush's True Red supporters, those who wallowed in the bloodbath of Passion of the Christ and devour that series of cartoonish novels that combine half-assed science fiction with full-throttle fire and brimstone, are upset that Roberts worked on a case that defended the rights of human beings who have the audacity to presume that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is germane to their same-sexuality.

Repent, you son of a bitch!

Last week, those U.S. citizens who fancy themselves moderate Bush supporters, an oxymoron if I ever heard one, became a bit queasy when they heard their man boost the teaching of intelligent design, i.e. Protestant Christian Creationism, alongside evolutionary science. Now, they have something else to worry about--the emerging reality of organized opposition to J.R., but from folks who want damnation for dykes and fags.

(I imagine there'll be some sort of public renunciation on J.R.'s part of his involvement in that case, along with a pledge not to be an activist judge who has seditious and strange ideas about how our Constitution and Bill of Rights should apply to ALL Americans.)

Two observations: If you voted for Bush, you voted for all of the very worst flies and maggots that are drawn to the pile of shit that is his ideology, and this serves you right (and the rest of us, very wrong);

And, when is what passes for the Left in this country going to start making some noise and getting some media coverage by opposing J.R. for the right reasons?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

LENNY BRUCE (BORN LEONARD SCHNEIDER, 10/13/1925, DIED 08/03/1966)

"LENNY BRUCE" BY ROBERT ALLEN ZIMMERMAN

SPECIAL THANKS TO DANIEL JOSEPH "DANNY BOY" FITZSTEPHENS
Lenny Bruce is dead but his ghost lives on and on. Never did get any Golden Globe award, never made it to Synanon.

He was an outlaw, that's for sure, More of an outlaw than you ever were. Lenny Bruce is gone but his spirit's livin' on and on.

Maybe he had some problems, maybe some things that he couldn't work out. But he sure was funny and he sure told the truth and he knew what he was talkin' about.

Never robbed any churches nor cut off any babies' heads, He just took the folks in high places and he shined a light in their beds. He's on some other shore, he didn't wanna live anymore.

Lenny Bruce is dead but he didn't commit any crime. He just had the insight to rip off the lid before its time. I rode with him in a taxi once, only for a mile and a half, Seemed like it took a couple of months.

Lenny Bruce moved on and like the ones that killed him, gone. They said that he was sick 'cause he didn't play by the rules. He just showed the wise men of his day to be nothing more than fools.

They stamped him and they labeled him like they do with pants and shirts, He fought a war on a battlefield where every victory hurts. Lenny Bruce was bad, he was the brother that you never had.
Copyright © 1981 Special Rider Music

antiheroes of Wyoming history, the 1st in a series (collect them all!)

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