Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I feel fat and lazy.  I go to work and go home and sit my fat ass down in front of a TV, while at the same time playing computer games until my brain is fairly buzzing with blinking lights and my mood is pacified.  It's like alcohol, only without a hangover.  I'm doing exactly the same thing I used to do with booze, only now I'm doing it with technology.  I've wasted YEARS doing this same old sh-8.

I started eating bread again in January.  (I was sick and gosh darn it, I deserved to eat something I wanted!)  And so I've gained back everything I lost in the last three months. 

In my internal movie, this is how it would go:  After job, go home.  Take a walk or ride the stationary bike for 45 minutes.  Eat something quick and light.  Write for 2 hours.  Or do some other kind of work for 2 hours, whether it be editing, lesson plans, etc.  2 hours of TV, or one Netflix (with or without computer game at the same time).  Bed.  Up at 7.  1 hour of personal work (fiction, editing, bill paying, filing, etc.)  Go to job.

That would give me plenty of time to get caught up on mail, filing, getting organized, etc.  This is how it goes in my internal movie.  Will life mirror art?


Friday, February 16, 2007


W must GO!

But so must Cheney.  I'm about to turn 49 and this administration has confirmed what I've always known about Republicans: they're viscious, corporate profit-driven warmongers who will not hesitate to stoop lower than pig slop to achieve their ends. 

So if W lobs bombs into Iran, congress must act and act immediately.  But it is not enough merely to impeach W, that will not lead to any substantive change.  His co-president Dick Cheney must be impeached at the same time.  The illegal exposure of Valerie Plame can be tied to him, so there's plenty to get him on.  Only if both executives are impeached and convicted can the third in line to the presidency assume the office, and that's the speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Big Blonde

Behold the big blonde...

Blousy, brassy, beautiful, a sexy cream and sugar and strawberry pink concoction.  Mounds of luscious merangue bosom, drawn butter, hollandaise lemon mayonnaise.  We love you...

Behold the big blonde...

Not the party girl we thought she was.  Behold the big brassy ring on her finger and the hole in her heart.  The twisted dance of homeless love.  Cracked crab meat cocktail.  We love you ... not.

Behold the big blonde...

Hourglass figure, scoops of candy spiral vanilla ice cream, cheesecake.  Brassy brassiere, hips like peanut brittle.  Behold her coo, pigeon voiced, smile all unjoyful, desperately winking an SOS in morse code through Maybelline.

We love you not.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born, Dutch educated woman without a country dedicated to telling the story of her struggle to the world.  Most famously, she is also a filmmaker and social critic who collaborated with assassinated Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh.  She has lived under a sentence of death since their film Submission was made.  The message attached to the dagger with which Van Gogh was stabbed was primarily a death threat against Hirsi Ali.  She has since emigrated to the United States where she now is employed as a resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.  In 2005 she was one of Time magazine's World's 100 Most Influential People.

Friday, February 9, 2007


I've been reading "Islam Unveiled" by Robert Spencer.  As I stated in one of my previous posts, I purchased this book in an effort to learn more about Islam, and hopefully, to reduce the fear I have of the religion and its adherents.  Unfortunately, the knowledge is having the opposite effect: it is increasing my fear rather than diminishing it.  Islam, when looked at coolly, non-rhetorically, and without apology, is as bellicose as the terrorists (Al Qaeda, Hamas, PLO, Hizbollah, Mujahedin, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, et. al.) suggest it is; that far from being Islamic "fundamentalists" i.e., marginalized on the fringe, they are far closer to mainstream Islamic belief and practice than leaders in the West want to accept. 

Fear is the motivating factor here.  We are Ostriches.  We may not be involved in a war with Islam, but Spencer makes a case that Islam is engaged in a war with us.  He cites numerous statements by Imams and clerics both in the West and in the Middle East which support this thesis, some of them sufficiently highly placed that they are invited to prayer meetings at the White House.  We want to believe that the terrorists (see the above list) are abberations, that they do not reflect true Islam, that the majority of Muslims accept the Koran as poetic metaphor and not the literal Word of God, and have an enlightened disregard for the Koran's constant, insistent calls for violence against the infidel.

But that does not seem to be the case, proven by even a cursory reading of the Koran.  Full disclosure: I have not read the Koran, nor do I anticipate doing so.  But Spencer quotes liberally from the book and I am convinced of his scholarship.  To call Osama Bin Laden an Islamic Fundamentalist is to infer that violence and terrorism are "fundamental" values to Islam.  And that may be true, uncomfortably for the Western rationalist.  More to follow.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Rest In Peace

Anna Nicole Smith.  She was killed by the disease of celebrity.  Even the birth of her daughter could not assauge her grief over the death of her beloved son.  Did she give up on life?  What meaning is there in a life lived in camera glare and under scrutiny, your rightful fortune withheld by scheming step-children?  The ballooning body, the self-medication, the rootless, restless meandering.  Hotel to hotel to hotel.  Celebrity homelessness.  The poor dear. 

Rest in Peace Anna Nicole.

A true crime writer has raised a theory that Jeffrey Dahmer killed Adam Walsh, son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh in 1981.  (Dahmer would have been 21 at the time.  This would have been after his first murder).  Like John Walsh, I don't believe it.  It doesn't reflect Dahmer's signature.  Dahmer was interested in relationships with dead things.  He would never have discarded Adam's head in an irrigation canal.  He would have kept it close to him.

Rest in Peace Adam.

I found and bought Life 102: What to Do When Your Guru Sues You by Peter McWilliams from Amazon marketplace.  See previous post for details.  I look forward to reading the book that a cult leader has tried to supress.

Rest in Peace Peter.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Heart Sick

The world is a mighty F-ed up place, full of terrified, F-d up people.  The dissonance between values and actions is so painful that I, like Hamlet, wish I could simply dissipate, vaporize my molecules into a fine red mist.

Peter McWilliams was an author who wrote the popular Life 101 series of books back in the 90s with his authorial partner, John-Roger.  The trail of this story lead from research into Arianna Huffington, who was a devotee of John-Roger.  A click on John-Roger revealed him to be a founder of a new religious movement (NRM) the subtext of which is spelled c.u.l.t.  Peter McWilliams and JR wrote several books that dealt with a non-violent, non-combative approach to life, of finding purpose and enjoyment in daily living.  I remember being quite taken with Life 101, in particular the quotes they found to incorporate into the book.  My favorite was one from Fran Liebowitz, "Whenever I feel an urge to do something artistic, paint, or play music, or write, I eat something sweet and the feeling passes."  (A riff on the Hershey bar fix for alcoholics in early recovery).

In any event, apparently a deep rift developed between the two men.  You can visit this website to find some of the details about the organization JR founded.  Some of the allegations against John-Roger are described at Wikipedia (scroll down to "criticisms").  The spiciest, I'm sure, have never been aired.  McWilliam's venting screed, Life 102 I don't believe has been kept in print due to libel litigation. 

Be that as it may, the trail lead me ultimately to McWilliams himself, who died in 2000 after choaking on his own vomit.  He was desperately ill with AIDS.  He and an associate had taken to growing medical marijuana under the aegis of California proposition 215 which legalized it for that purpose.  However, the DEA and the feds got involved, moving the case to Federal Court, out of the jurisdiction of the state, in order to send a message.  While out on bail, McWilliams was prevented from using marijuana as an antiemetic.  A failed drug test would have cost him his mother's house.  Thus the irony of his final moment. 

In response, Judge George H. King, the jurist responsible for trying the case said this (you'll have to click and read.  It's too horrible to rekey).  However, I strongly urge you to read it.  That a Judge could say such blatantly horrific, mean-spirited, inhumane and biased things clearly shows wilful misconduct in my view.  If these statements attributed to him are true, his dancing on the grave of this poor soul is evil beyond words to express and sick by any standard.  It deserves impeachment.  To think he was elevated to the federal bench by Clinton.  (In two years we will be able to say, "the FIRST president Clinton....")

To be confronted by such blatant disregard for a fellow human being's pain is to feel physical pain in my own body.  My chest siezes, my breath shortens, my pores open, my eyes blur.  I feel an urge to flee, go somewhere completely deserted.  Nobody else is to be trusted.  I can trust no-one!  That our society can engender the kind of truculent inhumanity in which a judge can say that a person who didn't conform deserved death, then our nation is utterly lost.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Hoarding and Islam

My friend Steve has blogged about his desire to own a movie, not just rent it from time to time.  I understand this perfectly because I suffer from it, too.  Granted, some of the movies I buy are extremely eclectic and unrentable from netflix or other outlets (such as a bizarre silent film version of The Call of Cthulhu that uses a pastiche black & white technique ala Guy Madden). 

However, owning something rather than borrowing something is a product of a hoarding mentality.  I suffer from it, and from what Steve describes, he has a mild condition as well.  I believe it to be a response to internalized fear or anxiety.  In neither of us is it compulsive, though I might be more compulsive than Steve about it.  I won't go into any more detail other than to say that my hoarding is largely electronic.  I have far more audio books in MP3 format than I will ever be able to listen to.  The fear for me is that I will someday be bored.  And in that boredom I will want a certain thingy to alleviate that boredom and I won't have it close at hand.  The fear here is existential.  Boredom equates to meaninglessness.  It is irrational--because you can't expect a DVD or an audiobook to give your life meaning. 

For me it is also a hedge against writing, or working toward something constructive.  When I write I constantly have to counter the "voice" that tells me it's pointless, I'm too old, I'll never be published, everything I do is crap, etc.  That voice is so painful that I find other things to do, such as play computer games, watch TV or DVD (or all three together) which silences that "voice."

Another subset of the problem of hoarding is impulse control.  I don't think either Steve or I have a big problem with that.  But giving into an impulse can bring a feeling of euphoria which we must guard against.

Today I purchased two audio books from my club ( both having to do with Islam.  I've decided I need to know more.  Information is power and if I can be better informed about this religion perhaps I can mitigate the fear it engenders in me.  I was listening to a commentator on Fox News (no surprise) that called Islamic fundamentalists"Nazis in fezzes."  While I think it's probably bigoted to assume that all Islamicists wear fezzes, I'd much rather deal with a Nazi than a Muslim fundamentalist.  And that just goes to show you the depth of my personal antipathy for Islam.  I must learn more.  Knowledge is power, and fear is the absence of power.  Thus fear is the absence of knowledge.  It is also the absence of faith and belief.  I need to have faith in the West.  Our civilization is 30,000 years old and it will survive.