Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ashabot weekend report

I got a confirmation number from the Nevada Arts Council the other day so the packet of poems I sent them passed inspection and will be considered for their yearly Artist's Fellowship Grant. Naturally, they will be rejected. That's understood. I'm not bracing myself for disappointment. Well maybe I am a little bit, but it's simply a fact. I don't write the kind of cozy, narrative poetry that is so popular these days. A friend and I submitted work just to keep our hands in the process. Don't worry. I will post the judge's comments, just as I did last year. They were completely negative but entertaining.

We woke up to snow on Saturday. It looked like someone sprayed crumbly white foam on everything but by mid-morning it melted away and I finally got all the plants planted. Because of the cold, the birds in the Bird Park got a big chunk of vegeterian suet (Marvel Meal) and lots of old cereal, peanuts, and endless sunflower seeds. Also, I caught 2 more mice in the humane trap and drove them out to the river to join their relatives, the teaming hoard of other Lelands. I'm approaching the final third of Cryptonomicon and dread the day when I reach the inevitable 918th page and be booted back out into mundane reality. Nothing like a good book, especially after just reading a really shitty one.

And finally, I still haven't finished the epilogue to the Cockroach Diary. I suspect I'm dragging my heels because I don't want to end it but it has. I've got to sort through photos, pick a video or two and polish up the short piece of music I wrote after Delicata died. It will all get done eventually. They lived in a small world with its own time and order so no need to impose a deadline now.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Saturday matinee, weekend picks

It's Saturday so kick back at the matinee...

The Hardest Part
Cheezy daytime TV throws down the gauntlet. Time to butch up.

Early 90's show created by Robert Smigel and Conan. Hilarious.

Bush impeachment

"Ask not what your President can do for you, because he's clearly not about to do jack. Ask what you can do to send him back to Crawford to await criminal prosecution. All the resources you need to get involved are here: After Downing Street"

Friday, May 26, 2006

Hobo holiday

I found this on a site by and for hobos
and thought it was kind of interesting.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

FBI raid on lawmaker

Certainly Democrats deserve criticism for not standing up to Bush's extremism. They have proven themselves spineless whimps but if they are guilty of being door mats then the Republicans are one giant red carpet that has paved the way for this Administration's contemptible agenda and high crimes. It's pathetic only now that the FBI raided a fellow politicians's office that they are suddenly "outraged" and speaking against Bush's gestapo tactics. Apparently we learned nothing from the Germans and their Hitler.

"In Germany they first came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me--and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- Reverend Martin Niemoller, Germany 1945

Rove indictment update, Truthout

This fine image created by: Stephen Pitt of Light to Dark

I am a political junky. Can't help it. It's due to my gallows personality, I suppose. I'm fascinated by the fray. Anyway, I'm dashing off to Reno in 5 minutes but just wanted to pass along this Rove update from truthout in case you haven't read it.

According to them, the reason Rove has not yet been indicted in the Valerie Plame case may be because he is turning state's witness against Cheney. We can only hope. And Fitzpatrick may ultimately get Bush. My god, could justice and truth prevail? These rat bastards should all be in jail but instead they are running us headlong into war with Iran...and beyond.

Anyway, gotta go. Have a great day. Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Eternal Value of Privacy

Too many wrongly characterize the debate as "security versus privacy." The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that's why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.

My thoughts exactly and as I'm very busy with Spring at the moment this will have to do for my current rant. The volunteer sunflowers are up and vying for prominence in their oh so tiny garden and need my help as they can't walk to a less crowded spot by themselves. The crows are standing on the fence demanding more (terrible but don't tell them) organic blueberry waffles. They soak them in water first, something I didn't think of. Healthy food. Ya gotta know how to eat it. Then there's a little lopsided tree still waiting for me to find a place for it to live out its life in peace and enough sunshine. Plus, I have to finish Delicata's memorial including the Coda for Three Cockroaches and that's just the fun stuff. The world is demanding things of me as well but it all has to wait in line with everything while I finish this blog post, doesn't it? Anyway, speak up. Rail against the machine. As always, silence is death.

Sir! No sir!

And, if you want to lighten up and are up for a little slight of eye, check out John Sadowski's latest illusion. Very cool.

UPDATE: Okay, So I'm ADHD-PI but here's another exciting little adventure from the Bird Park, as it happens. I call it Waffle and the Crow. Now, I've really got to get busy.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

La morte di La Delicata

I've tarried writing about this for the last few days but here it is in part, the real news, the end of the story of the life and times of three giant, hissing Madagascan cockroaches living in an oasis in the Nevada desert.

La Delicata, the last of the three, has pass away. She lived a good long time for a cockroach and had a peaceful death, a blessing for anyone in these mad times. There's more, and more to come, in the Cockroach Diary but this enough for tonight.

World Trade Center, the movie

Oliver Stone has put his name to a new Hollywood movie called World Trade Center but Stone is nothing. It's Paramount's movie and obviously propaganda designed to pump up public sentiment and fear. Clearly, its release is timed to benefit Conservatives using terror as political currency. It plays right into our glorified self-centeredness and feeds our national excuse justifying the immoral war we are inflicting on millions of innocents. It's sickening! Instead of indulging ourselves further, isn't it time we look beyond our cozy kitchens and face the sadly overlooked story of the Iraqi people's "courage and survival" during their extended time "shock and awe and incredible suffering"?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ben Metcalf, On Simple Human Decency

Excerpt from Ben Metcalf's article in Harper's Magazine, "On Simple Human Decency".

"Ever wonder if you're allowed to write, 'I would like to hunt down George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and kill him with my bare hands'?"

If you want to know the answer here's a link to the PDF of the article from the June 2006 issue of Harper's Magazine." It's a must read. 

photo credit: Sir! No Sir

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Questioning the SILENCE

Ben Metcalf, the Literary Editor for Harper’s Magazine, wrote a wonderful, brave article for their June issue. Do yourself a favor and read it. It's on page 9. But in case you don't get around to it, I have included a couple of paragraphs from it below. Metcalf asks a question that I'm sure has crossed the minds of more than a few decent, rational, upstanding citizens in the last few years, at least it has crossed mine.

Excerpt from "On Simple Human Decency"
- by Ben Metcalf - Harper's Magazine, June 2006

"I am therefore led to wonder what the common citizen is allowed to "say" anymore, in print or otherwise, and still feel reasonably sure that some indignant team of G-men, or else a pair of gung-ho local screws, will not drag him away to a detention center, there to act out, with the detainee as a prop, that familiar scene in which one hero cop or another is patriotically unable to resist certain outbursts against the detainee and what were once imagined to be the detainee's constitutional rights. Because I am loath to violate whatever fresh new mores the people have agreed upon, or have been told they agree upon, and because I do not care to have my ass kicked repeatedly in a holding cell while I beg to see a lawyer, I almost hesitate to ask the following question. I will ask it, though, out of what used to be called simple
human decency:

Am I allowed to write that I would like to hunt down George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and kill him with my bare hands?"

Given the mess Bush has gotten us into, I'd say Metcalf's question is a reasonable one. Not only is Bush an idiot, he is a corporate shill who has pimped the White House out to his shady, corporate cronies. And besides being stupid and pathologically unethical, Bush is also dangerously insane. He consults religious fundamentalists to make sure his foreign policy suits their wet dream vision of the Apocalypse. He is also personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, children, animals and our own, beautiful, young American soldiers who he sent to death based on his lies that he covered up by an act of treason, a crime punishable by death in a time of war. Then there's the illegal spying on Americans, the systematic shredding of our Constitution, the corporate rape of environment, the dismantling of our already inadequate health care, what to speak of his current, mad plan to embroil us in yet another war, this time with Iran etc, etc...oh god, the list does go on.

I am grateful there are at least a few brave writers left in the mainstream media who are willing to challenge the suffocating silence that blankets us today but I'm not going to be a spoiler. You'll have to read the article to find out whether or not it's okay to write:

I would like to hunt down George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and kill him with my bare hands.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Rove indicted

Supposedly on Friday Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald gave Karl Rove's lawyers an indictment for the squishy bastard charging Bush's Brain with perjury and lying to investigators about his role in the outing of CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame. I sure hope it's true. You can read the complete story yourself at several places including Truth Out and Oped News.

Apparently, Turd Blossom has 24 hours to get his affairs in order. That would make today THE DAY. Please oh please oh. Perhaps Dirty Dick is next? Seems that Fitzgerald has some incriminating notes on the subject penned by the Dickster himself. I can only hope that Sneaky George gets outed as well. They are all treasonist bastards.

Alternate realities: Al Gore on Saturday Night Live

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mother's day video card

A couple of days ago Mr. Lee sent me this little movie about brothers making a m's day photo. You may have seen it but I pass along here anyway in case you are still looking for that special something.

So...Happy Mother's Day whatever you are.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Peeping Tom

In case you're wondering, I did finish reading Tom Wolfe's latest book, "I am Charlotte Simmons". It stinks. He should have called it, "I am Peeping Tom Wolfe". It's a wank from start to finish.

On his website, this novel is described as a "much-anticipated triumph by America's master chronicler immortalizing the sex-crazed, jock-obsessed college life of the '00s". Hardly. If you ask me, this book chronicles a senior citizen's creepy obsession with the sex lives of young people. At the end, Wolfe has a dumpy, tenured relic of a professor force a moral reckoning upon the characters but it's a weak attempt to give the novel a point. The "Man in White" is lost in the revels of self-indulgence. It's kind of sad but fascinating in a train wreck kind of way. As an aside I found it interesting that Wolfe and Bush are great fans of one another. Figures. They'd make quite a duo at a karaoke night club.

Excerpt from page 270:
" The machine, called a StairMaster, allowed you to run — if you could really call it running — without taking your feet off a pair of huge pedals. It was a bit like standing up and "pumping" on a bicycle. There were many girls...Some wore plain, sexless gym clothes, T-shirts, sweatshirts, running shorts, and sneakers. More, however, came dressed as...girls. Super-low-cut sweatpants they had! And short T-shirts! And lots of nubile young flesh and belly buttons in between! From the back...was he seeing a little buttocks décolletage, a little cleavage...Right in front of Adam, a girl with long blond hair pumped away on the StairMaster in low-waisted lavender nylon running shorts and an abbreviated, royal blue basketball jersey. She didn't have large breasts, but with each rotation her nipples pressed out against the thin nylon of the halter, and her belly button winked this way and that in the long expanse of bare flesh. Four machines down the row, a girl wore black tights, which gripped every curve and crevice of her loins like a second skin, and a flesh-colored athletic bra. The tops of her breasts bobbed up and down like flan. You have to look twice to make sure she had on any bra at all. The sight aroused Adam. His own loins were on the qui vive, as if something were about to...happen in this so-called fitness center...The push of a button, the flick of a switch...and they would stop pretending anymore and plunge into a full-blown rout, an out-and-out orgy, and rutrutrutrutrut..."
Obviously, it's ol' Tom who's rutrutrutrutruting.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Tombstone Stories, Reno

I've taken a lot of photos of graves in the Nevada outback. They are scattered throughout my Nevada Journal along with other quirky pictures from the region. The graves in the desert are generally from the 1800's and have mellowed into colorful, anonymous history. The wind and grinding sand have rubbed names away but not the sense of a journey with high hopes and strong bonds.

This memento beside Interstate 395 near Reno's Hilton Casino marks a different end along the road that came later, after the pioneers and explorers carved a path through the west and vanished along it. These stones mark the end of a hopeless journey that, as the story goes, no one took to nowhere.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

SF short

The Cobert thing interrupted the regular ebb and flow of things around here so it's merely coincidence that I'm posting the link to another video at this point. This is a short one called "They are made out of meat". It's based on a story by Hugo Award winning SF author Terry Bisson. I find it wonderfully quirky. Perhaps you might enjoy it as well.

Bush's reaction to Colbert roast

Bush during the ass kicking Colbert gave him at the Correspondents Dinner via IFLIM. Now, until these current updated links are pulled like the others have been, this about covers it.

The Google links are not accessible half the time but these links have been good from the start:
Colbert video part 1
Colbert video part 2

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Thanks Colbert

RE-RE-RE-RE-RE UPDATE ... keeping up with the Colbert video is a task. The links keep getting removed but for the moment you can see them here:

Google Video post

The Google links is not accessible half the time but these links have been good from the start:
Colbert video part 1
Colbert video part 2

Was Stephen Colbert's Cspan monologue merely edgy dinner theatre or is our collective voice finally beginning to break free of the spell cast by the retrogressives? To the extent that the answer is up to us, like Colbert on Saturday night, we've got to kick so-called "political correctness" to the curb. It's cowardliness masquerading virtue. Still, always good to give credit where credit is due. Colbert broke the Perfect Silence at the White House Media Whores Dinner. Here's a place you can thank him.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Right-wing conspirators

First in a series. Meet the conspirators who are manipulating America, dismantling our Constitution, Bill of Rights and working, step by baby step, to replace our Democracy with extremist, fundamentalist religious rule.

Howard F. Ahmanson Jr is a multimillionaire who, among other things, owns the company that produces and oversees the Diebold electronic voting machines. Where campaigns fall short, it's Diebold to the rescue. These machines are designed so that they don't produce a back up paper trail that would verify voting results. These machines are easily adjusted to show whatever outcome the Conspiracy wants. Naturally Bush allows Diebold to police themselves. Cosy little arrangement. When the Retrogressives finally take over everything, Ahmanson wants a mandatory death penalty for alcoholics.”