Monday, July 24, 2006

Secret Chiefs 3 “Exodus” video

This page is becoming nothing more than a series of links to You Tube, but I don’t care.

Friday, July 21, 2006

“Why is your music so fucking loud? You must be brain-dead”

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Burt Bacharach via Mr. Bungle

Friday, July 14, 2006

Melvins Clips

Melvins get rocking with “Oven” and “Anaconda” live:

Melvins get arty in the “Queen” video:

Dale Crover always looks like he’s killing his drum kit, no matter how soft or slow he’s playing.

Thank you You Tube for providing me with hours of distraction. Glorious fucker.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


There’s a pro-life gathering at the Daley Center. A bunch of people are standing around, holding over-sized pictures of dismembered fetuses. And each one of these people is the best argument for abortion I can think of.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Haven't I Done This Before? Oh Well..

My brother has run afoul of an internet troll. It happens. There are plenty of people who like to start cyber fights. They get off on the idea that they are upsetting people as much as they get off on the anonymity of the net. I wonder what they’d be like in person? Probably disappointing; probably they’d be some little bugger with nothing much to say and a lot less to back it up.

I remember when a friend first introduced me to the internet. I was pretty green to all things online in the 90’s, mainly as I was, I admit, afraid of words like “virtual” and “cyber” not to mention too drunk and/or pissed off to really care. The world was embracing technology and I thought it’d be more fun to be a luddite. I was young once…

Anyway, I have always had a love/hate relationship with technology. I like the convenience of it and it has certainly made being a student a lot easier, but I am simultaneously repelled by the ever changing, ever advancing world that replaces the old so quickly I could never possibly keep up. What does one do with their old Playstation when the next comes along? How do you reconcile buying a new cell phone or replacing your computer because your current model, barely three years old, is suddenly intolerably too bulky?

Forget repelled, I should say I am distrustful of this type of rampant technological improvement, which leads, of course, to rampant consumerism. When I see someone on the train with two or more gadgets on their hip, I wonder who the fuck they are and what is so important that they have to be that accessible. To me, it’s a sucker’s deal. Just because something is new doesn’t mean it’s worth having. I can’t understand why I would need an Ipod. And if I had one, why would I replace it with another if mine was working perfectly? Technology is not meant to be so precarious. If replacements (or “upgrades,” as that has a more positive connotation) are that necessary, something is wrong. If I buy something, the fucking thing better last and if a new model comes along before the old one is busted, it would have to wake me up with a cup of mocha java, play all of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos on the harpsichord and massage my feet before I shell out any hard earned cash.

In the ongoing debate over the value of new gadgetry, I find a lot of examples against, mostly in the form of people who are unable to ride on a bus without gabbing into a cell phone. It appears that a symptom of our lightning fast tech era is that people have become so dependent on cellular communication and flashing lights that they can’t simply shut the fuck up and put down the handheld devices. The idea of not being tethered to the cell phone is unthinkable. A few of my friends couldn’t get through their days without sending 50 text messages. I get scores of “funny” email forwards from friends and family, most of which get quickly deleted. I suppose I could use a laugh as much as the next person, but when it comes in the form of online toilet humor I usually just sigh. All of these little annoyances—and really none of this is all that bad—is just one aspect of the increasingly technological world, and, all things considered, the improvements seem to outweigh the annoyances. Still, when I’m on the bus and that loud, obnoxious prick is sharing his weekend plans with everyone within earshot (and many outside of it), I tend to forget how far we’ve come and focus only on how low we can sink.

Now all that being said, I’m as bad as anyone else. I feel robbed when the computer breaks down or when I forget my cell phone, as if I have been denied access to a party where all the smart, funny, attractive people hang out. And then when I get in, I remember there are mostly a lot of not-so-smart, dull, ugly people hanging onto the walls, sipping watered down drinks and chatting about Boston Legal or House or something equally tiresome. But there are also a lot of interesting encounters there as well. I just have to dig through the tares to find the wheat.

The internet has allowed me to read a lot of critical essays on authors and subjects I enjoy, download music and get advanced notice of concerts, book releases and movies I might not have known of otherwise. So yeah, it can be helpful in my everyday pursuit of entertainment and stimulation, just as it can also speed things up at the office. Then again, as I have often said, if Sisyphus had these sorts of technological advancements, he’d have to push that boulder uphill twice a day. Things are faster, but not a whole lot better. We’re connected to each other and can communicate via email at the speed of light, just as quickly as we could if we were face to face having a conversation the old fashioned way. The hermit in me loves the internet but that childlike part—the one who has five senses and wants them appeased—wants to hear a voice not the clacking of a keyboard, wants to see a face in the flesh and not the digital rendering of it, and is freaked out because computers have no smell. Technology can sometimes be sensory deprivation.

I originally got a blog because my father had one and I suddenly felt left-behind in the dust of the cyber age. And it was all my fault. I could have had a blog. I ought to have had one when everyone closer to my age did, right? My dad’s blog was the last straw. So I signed up, figuring I could be as vain and inane as the rest of the world. I got this here page and started to quickly add my overblown sense of self-worth to the already ego-clogged internet.

A large amount of the posts on this blog are links to things I find interesting, which means a lot of people will not give a damn. Ditto my opinions. Why cares, really? Okay, I know who cares (hola niña!), and it is for that one reader that I keep this thing afloat. And I expect few people ever will stumble onto this blog. I don’t blame you, there’s so many out there… it’s staggering to consider. With all the great novels I have left to read, why should I devote much time to reading the unedited ramblings of the blogosphere? Why should you?

Such ruminations make me think about shutting down this blog. To be honest, the word “blog” really upsets me. Such an ugly little word, like a filthy rodent scurrying across your kitchen floor. I don’t like the word and I don’t like blogs themselves, and yet here’s mine hanging out there, begging for attention. I might shut it down, but there is as little a point in doing that as there is in keeping it running. A space is provided for all of us to vent and make jokes and placate our fragile egos. It’s therapeutic, which is fine, but it’s also contributing to the online community of people who think they have something to say. At least I have no illusions.

Anyway, I know who my main reader is, so I’ll keep tailoring this thing to her tastes (te amo!), but as for the rest of you—should any trolls happen upon this page—I have dismantled the comments section, so sorry, you’ll have to pick pointless fights elsewhere. Yeah, it’s my blog and I don’t think anyone else needs a voice here. I may be as desperate for attention as the rest of the blogosphere, but I’m not so insecure that I need to make sure anyone’s reading. Sleep tight.

Ariel Dorfman on Immigration

Thanks again Lo. Besitos.

From THE WASHINGTON POST, Sunday, May 7, 2006

"Waving the Star-Spanglish Banner"

The airing last week on Hispanic radio stations of "Nuestro Himno," a Spanish-language adaptation of the American national anthem, has been greeted with an unprecedented and, indeed, astonishing wave of denunciations all over the United States.

Talk show hosts and academics have indignantly called this loving rendition
by a group of Latino artists a desecration of a national symbol. Senators—both the conservative Lamar Alexander and the liberal Edward M. Kennedy— have declared that "The Star-Spangled Banner" should be sung exclusively in Enlish. And they have been joined by President Bush, who has used the occasion to remind the citizenry that "one of the important things here is, when we debate this issue, that we not lose our national soul.

The national soul? In danger of being lost? Because Haitian American singer Wyclef Jean and Cuban American rapper Pitbull are crooning " a la luz de la aurora" instead of "by the dawn's early light"? Would such an outcry have erupted over a Navajo version of the national anthem? Or if the words had been rendered into Basque or Farsi or Inuit? Would anybody have cared if some nostalgic band had decided to recover and record the legendary 1860s translations of the song into Yiddish or Latin?

Of course not.

There's a reason for the current uproar. The streets of America are not filled with marching Eskimos or Basque patriots, and certainly not with scholars ardently shouting against discrimination in the lost language of Virgil. What resonated in Los Angeles and Atlanta, Chicago and New York, as recently as last Monday were the voices of hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding that the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants
in the United States be granted amnesty. And the language in which they were chanting was the same sacrilegious Spanish of "Nuestro Himno."

No wonder the Spanish version of the national anthem caused such alarm: It was a reminder that, along with their swarthy and laboring bodies, those immigrants had smuggled into El Norte the extremely vivacious language of Miguel de Cervantes and Octavio Paz. They weren't coming here merely to work, bake bread, lay bricks, change diapers, wash dishes, pick strawberries, work, work, work; Dios mío , they might decide to speak! And not necessarily in English.

Although English is what most immigrant parents have always wanted for their children, what distinguishes these recent arrivals from earlier huddled masses is that they're not repared to abandon la lengua materna, the mother tongue. Spanish is not going to fade away like Norwegian or Italian or German did during previous assimilative waves. It is not only whispered by the largest minority group in the United States, but is also being
Spoken and written and dreamed, right now, at this very moment, by hundreds of millions of men and women in the immense neighboring Latino South. Spanish
is a language that has come to stay.

I believe this is why "Nuestro Himno" has been received with such trepidation. By infiltrating one of the safest symbols of U.S. national identity with Spanish syllables, this version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" has crossed a line. It has inadvertently announced something many Americans have dreaded for years: that their country is on its way to becoming a bilingual nation.

If I'm right about this, and America will sometime soon be articulating its identity in two languages, then the question looms: How will the citizens of the United States react to this monumental challenge?

One possibility, of course, is a nativist backlash, with more vigilante Minutemen swilling beer in the Arizona sun, more calls for deporting all illegal workers, more demands that an impenetrable wall be built against the foreign hordes, more attempts to dismantle bilingual education in U.S. schools.

But others may tell themselves that the United States has been built on diversity and tolerance and that, at a time when the national soul is indeed being tested, at a time when the democratic ideals at the heart of American identity are truly in danger of being sacrificed on the altar of false security, our better angels should welcome the wonders of Spanish to thestruggle and the debate.

For those who are afraid and claim it can't be done and believe that the United States can only endure if it is monolingual, there's a simple answer. It comes in words that have been heard on the streets of America in recent days, sung and imagined by men and women who crossed deserts and risked everything to live the American dream. In words that the nation's founders and pioneers might have embraced, and that have now become part of the national vocabulary:

Sí, se puede.

Yes, it can be done.

Ariel Dorfman, a Chilean American playwright, is a professor of literature at Duke University. His latest books are Other Septembers, Many Americas and Burning City, a novel written with his youngest son Joaquín.

Giordano's: Flavored with Homophobia

From Lo, who got it from Ana Castillo, who got it from... I don't know where. There’s much better pizza in Chicago anyway.

Gay men asked to leave a pizza joint in Chicago

Hey again, everyone... Thank you for all your outstanding support so far. We are NOT going to let them get away with this. For the time being, I ask that everyone who reads this, and has anyone in their life who is gay, or who just believes in gay rights in general, please repost this as often as possible... I want the world to know that Giordano's Pizza flat out refused my friends and I service based on the fact we are gay men. Here's the post...

"Hey everyone... So a bunch of us (Jamie *me*, Joe, Adam, Matt, Kyle, Sebastian, Charlie, Cale, and three others) went down to The Taste tonight to see the fireworks display, and had our hearts set on eating at Giordano's pizza at the Prudential building...

We were seated, drink and food orders were placed, and we were waiting for our food, and talking amongst ourselves. Two of the people in our group, who are dating, had their arms around each other, and gave each other one simple kiss. Not but a minute later, the manager, Peter, was at our table telling us we needed to leave, because he did not want to see that in the resturant. He refused to serve our food, and essentially kicked us out for being gay men.
After a while, we realized he was most definately not going to serve our food, so we stood outside Giordano's, all of us with cell phones in hands, calling every media outlet in Chicago. I was only able to get a hold of Kiss FM, and I recorded a sound byte about the situation that I was told they would play it some time tonight. I think some of them got through to FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC, and CLTV, the Tribune, and The Sun Times. We also called two lawyers, and plan on calling the corporate office in mass this morning... I'm asking you as all my friends, please don't let them get away with this. We are in the 21st century, and we are still dealing with discrimination. PLEASE READ THIS BULLETIN, and repost it to get as much support on our side as we can... Thank you all! God bless!

You CAN make a difference! Help us get our word out... Repost this as much as possible, so that everyone can see it. The corporate office was closed this morning, but you can contact them using the following information...

Giordanza Pizza
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Phone: 312-201-1441
Fax: 312-201-9216
Corporate Office:

Questions Regarding Orders - 1-800-982-1756
Consumer Questions and Concerns -

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I do feel better.

Te amo.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Grumpy ol' Bastard Corner

I might be the last one who should talk, considering I spend a large amount of time flapping my gums not to mention driving through town with noise-music rattling the cheap speakers of my little black car, but damn this world is fucking loud.

People have such booming, obnoxious voices; the car horns and squeaking breaks of CTA buses; the bastards on cell phones who can’t ride the train without talking to someone, those illiterate dullards; the children who all too recently learned to speak and therefore must fill every window of silence with their all-important child's voices; the 40-ish, slightly heavy, very plain, pampered bitch who yelled at me at the Botanic Gardens because she thought I took her parking spot, the cunt, the one who decided to act like a child instead of an adult and speak to me in a courteous manner, yes her, the one who ran to my car and started screaming about how she had been waiting for that spot for 10 minutes (a lie!) and how she has two children with her, as if I give a fuck that she is too stupid to use a condom, the vain bitch, yeah her, she with her big mouth and dead eyes, she who has never been told to shut the fuck up, she married to a hen-pecked, long-suffering man, she with two kids who will someday sit in a shrink’s office and cry and remember how they were raised by a goddamn shrew; the lunatic woman who sat in Leona’s and talked to herself all through her meal, pepping her monologue with racial slurs and comments as to how the owner “will pay, oh yeah, this is gonna cost him!”—it’s all too much.

We have developed the ability to communicate, which is a serious skill when one considers the first grunts of man, not to mention the initial croaking of frogs having freshly evolved from fish. All of that somehow managed to become the languages of the world, the art, the poetry, the music. It is all about communication, and this is a wonderful thing. Or so it seems. Lately I have been more interested in silence. All of evolution and the sophisticated manners in which human beings communicate—from the varied languages, both living and dead, to the theories and laws that govern them; from semiotics and symbols, rules and violations of rules, the intricate mechanics of grammar and the flamboyant dance of the vernacular—it all points to how human beings have a gift they cannot appreciate. And for every poem that might affirm one’s life, there are hundreds of Jerry Springer veterans waiting to demonstrate how little they have to say with so many poorly chosen words. And they will say it loud.

Nearly everyone is granted a voice, even if they have nothing to say, or if what they have to say is a pile of shit. (Proof positive: the blog!) It is not enough that we have big, loud voices, but we have created other ways of making noise. Artless noise, no less. It’s all getting to be too much for me. I grow old, I grow old…trousers rolled, beaches, human voices, all that, everything, too much, please let’s all just take a minute and shut the fuck up, just for a minute, no talking, no cell phones, no radios, no click-clack of stiletto heels, no laughter, no crying, nothing, empty space, just for a minute... There, was that so hard? It was? Of course it was, you fucking loudmouth prick.

Boom Boom!

I hate the 4th of July. Such a loud and stupid way to celebrate our independence. It only demonstrates what a brash, childish, obnoxious country we are.

Thanks for listening.