Wednesday, December 31, 2008

According to My Chinese-American Roommate

Whooo. Thank God we're at work today, huh? Am I right?!

Screw this. I'm bloggin', facebookin', twittin', um...forumin'...

...uh...I refuse to myspace so fuck right off with that thought...


well, that's probably enough. That's all I'm doing today.



I guess it's time for the third annual Year End Crap Up here at The Lake Street Get Down, and I want to thank everyone who supported my ass through another year.

I can't believe that I know so many non-jerks. Nice work, you guys.

2008: A Year That, According to My Chinese Roommate Would Be Full of Good Luck, But Wound Up Being Full of ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

-- out of work, but had lots of time to write. Finished a novella, as well as several episodes of Mine and Bernie's Show. Oh, and tried to break into the freelance erotica business for quick cash, but was put down like Ol' Yeller. Damn!

-- Worked for Ralph. That's both a literal truth and a particularly expressive euphemism (if you live in Los Angeles and work in Century City or know Paul S.). I miss that crazy momofuka every day. I could never get a decent picture of it, but my desk faced this gigantic technicolor nightmare of a portrait of Ralph a grateful client/insane person had painted of Ralph sandwiched between Woody Allen and Groucho Marx. That portrait -- all 64 square feet of it -- was never more than a foot and a half from me, no matter where I went in that closet of a cubicle I worked in. Cramazing. Ralph quickly became the inspiration for the boss character in Mine and Bernie's Show.

March -- got the job here at [name of publication redacted]. Blah blah blah, I'm not living up to my potential KISS MY ASS. I was broke, I needed money. Also, I'm you know...meeting people. That is Los Angelese for "this is how I rationalize my low pay."

...anyway, at that point my year went to shit. I ran a marathon in December and did some other big stuff (met Leonard Nimoy and Don Cheadle and Tilda Swinton and Jeff Goldblum and Garcelle Beauvais*) and saw about 40 puppet shows, but who cares, really? I'm looking forward to 2009 and things getting better.

Peace on Earth and goodwill to all people. I hope you guys get everything you're looking for in the new year.

* I know, that's a pretty random ass inclusion, eh? She was gorgeous and sweet, though

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

You Can Do Whatever You Like

Hmmm. I'll probably try to do some year-end crap up, just like I always do, but until then? Feast your eyes on some Yul Brynner.

Yul Brynner is one of those cats that I thought was [light-skinned] black forever. Seriously! I know I'm not the only person who thought that.

Girl6, can I get a witness?

COME ON. Dude looks like Avery Brooks there!

I can hear Orlando already, talking about "why didn't you post some pictures from Westworld?" Sorry, Hiller -- that's your favorite movie.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Have Been in the Tent

It's a few days late. But I just saw it, and I want to share it. So, like the good people at slacktivist, from whom I grabbed it, I'm going to hope that Salon turns a blind eye and lets it stand.

A Tent Among Us

So I called my Jesuit friend, Tom, who is a hopeless alcoholic of the worst sort, sober now for 22 years, someone who sometimes gets fat and wants to hang himself, so I trust him. I said, "Tell me a story about Advent. Tell me about people getting well."

He thought for a while. Then he said, "OK."

In 1976, when he first got sober, he was living in the People's Republic of Berkeley, going to the very hip AA meetings there, where there were no fluorescent lights and not too much clapping -- or that yahoo-cowboy-hat-in-the-air enthusiasm that you get in L.A., according to sober friends. And everything was more or less all right in early sobriety, except that he felt utterly insane all the time, filled with hostility and fear and self-contempt. But I mean, other than that everything was OK. Then he got transferred to Los Angeles in the winter, and he did not know a soul. "It was a nightmare," he says. "I was afraid to go into entire areas of L.A., because the only places I knew were the bars. So I called the cardinal and asked him for the name of anyone he knew in town who was in AA. And he told me to call this guy Terry."

Terry, as it turned out, had been sober for five years at that point, so Tom thought he was God. They made arrangements to go to a meeting that night in the back of the Episcopal Cathedral, right in the heart of downtown L.A. It was Terry's favorite meeting, full of low-bottom drunks and junkies -- people from nearby halfway houses, bikers, jazz musicians. "Plus it's a men's stag meeting," says Tom. "So already I've got issues.

"There I am on my first date with this new friend Terry, who turns out to not be real chatty. He's clumsy and ill at ease, an introvert with no social skills, but the cardinal has heard that he's also good with newly sober people. He asks me how I am, and after a long moment, I say, 'I'm just scared,' and he nods and says gently, 'That's right.'

"I don't know a thing about him, I don't what sort of things he thinks about or who he votes for, but he takes me to this meeting near skid row, where all these awful looking alkies are hanging out in the yard, waiting for a meeting to start. I'm tense, I'm just staring. It's a whole bunch of strangers, all of them clearly very damaged -- working their way back slowly, but not yet real attractive. The people back in Berkeley AA all seem like David Niven in comparison, and I'm thinking, Who are these people? Why am I here?

"All my scanners are out. It's all I can do not to bolt.

"Ten minutes before the meeting began, Terry directed me to a long flight of stairs heading up to a windowless, airless room. I started walking up the stairs, with my jaws clenched, muttering to myself tensely just like the guy in front of me, this guy my own age who was stumbling and numb and maybe not yet quite on his first day of sobriety.

"The only things getting me up the stairs are Terry, behind me, pushing me forward every so often, and this conviction I have that this is as bad as it's ever going to be -- that if I can get through this, I can get through anything. Well. All of a sudden, the man in front of me soils himself. I guess his sphincter just relaxes. Shit runs down onto his shoes, but he keeps walking. He doesn't seem to notice.

"However, I do. I clapped a hand over my mouth and nose, and my eyes bugged out but I couldn't get out of line because of the crush behind me. And so, holding my breath, I walk into the windowless, airless room.

"Now, this meeting has a greeter, which is a person who stands at the door saying hello. And this one is a biker with a shaved head, a huge gut and a Volga boatman mustache. He gets one whiff of the man with shit on his shoes and throws up all over everything.

"You've seen the Edvard Munch painting of the guy on the bridge screaming, right? That's me. That's what I look like. But Terry enters the room right behind me. And there's total pandemonium, no one knows what to do. The man who had soiled himself stumbles forward and plops down in a chair. A fan blows the terrible smells of shit and vomit around the windowless room, and people start smoking just to fill in the spaces in the air. Finally Terry reaches out to the greeter, who had thrown up. He puts his hand on the man's shoulder.

"Wow," he says. "Looks like you got caught by surprise." And they both laugh. Right? Terry asks a couple of guys to go with him down the hall to the men's room, and help this guy get cleaned up. There are towels there, and kitty litter, to absorb various effluvia, because this is a meeting where people show up routinely in pretty bad shape. So while they're helping the greeter get cleaned up, other people start cleaning up the meeting room. Then Terry approaches the other man.

"My friend," he says gently, "it looks like you have trouble here."

The man just nods.

"We're going to give you a hand," says Terry.

"So three men from the recovery house next door help him to his feet, walk him to the halfway house and put him in the shower. They wash his clothes and shoes and give him their things to wear while he waits. They give him coffee and dinner, and they give him respect. I talked to these other men later, and even though they had very little sobriety, they did not cast this other guy off for not being well enough to be there. Somehow this broken guy was treated like one of them, because they could see that he was one of them. No one was pretending he wasn't covered with shit, but there was a real sense of kinship. And that is what we mean when we talk about grace.

"Back at the meeting at the Episcopal Cathedral, I was just totally amazed by what I had seen. And I had a little shred of hope. I couldn't have put it into words, but until that meeting, I had thought that I would recover with men and women like myself; which is to say, overeducated, fun to be with and housebroken. And that this would happen quickly and efficiently. But I was wrong. So I'll tell you what the promise of Advent is: It is that God has set up a tent among us and will help us work together on our stuff. And this will only happen over time."

(Copyright © 2000 All rights reserved.)

The Things You Find

Eight Different Futures

I THINK there are eight different futures. I can’t prove it because it’s not really a fact but it’s definitely true. Once I ate too much of that Bonne Maman apricot jam, the one with the tablecloth pattern on the lid and real bits of fruit inside. It was so tasty I ate just jam for about three weeks until the brain damage kicked in and after that pretty much everything was sticky and sweet and waaaarm. Anyway I had no mates so noone called the paramedics for ages and of course during that time I was deep in the jamvoid and I saw some of the futures.

One of them was called George and he had a cool hat like you sometimes see anglers wearing and anyway most of the time it looked like an army ranger hat but then the other times he turned up the brim and it made him look like a
totally gay sailor. I asked him why he kept changing it around and he said it wasn’t him it was non deterministic probability and the uncertainty principle that was doing it or maybe not even doing anything to it at all. I said WELL I wasn’t certain about THAT at all mate and we had a good laugh me and future number one George. Even so he turned out to be a bit of a wanker after a while cos there’s only so many stories about his time on safari or his villa on the Costa del Sol that you can take when you’re in a hallucinogenic nightmare world so I just wandered off into the futuredesert to find myself for a bit like Jesus only I did it for about forty minutes not days cos I figured I’d pretty much cracked it after that see. So now I’d done that I was going to look for the Wizard of Oz but I couldn’t remember if he was real or not and if he was real would he be more likely to be in my jamvision or less likely and just as I was about to ask the tin man what his thoughts on the matter were when I got zapped with them electropads by Margaret from the St Johns after the Avon lady had got a bit concerned about the orange goo smeared all over the inside of the windows and called the police. Don’t fuckin worry I told em it’s fucking produit en France mate! All that shit is super incroyable with me! I’ve been to the shittin’ future boys! DIABETES AAAAHHHH.

There are times that I am so glad for the internet.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

This is the Face

...Of a bitch about to turn 34.

I'm sat here at 6:12 pm on Christmas Eve. My brother is watching some maniac Saving Private Ryan youtube video with Pops Jugo in one room; his wife is in another room -- doing yoga, I think? I'm in the dining room drinking bootleg mimosas and just, you know, sitting here. Grateful for my family and stuff. A little sheepish that my dramatically cunty supplications to the universe (something along the lines of "Dear God, please don't make me have to go hang out with some people I barely know") resulted in the continuation of record snowfalls in Spokane that mean that no, I probably won't have to go hang out with my sister-in-law's parents...but, of course, also mean that she won't be able to hang with her parents, either. Now, obviously, in my Scrooge McDuck-like bitchcaking this past Friday, I was [typically] only thinking of myself. I didn't want...I gotta come up with a good pseudonym for Sis-in-Law, shit...anyway, I didn't want to ruin her Christmas. For reasons I won't go into here, this time of year is especially hard for her family, and so yeah, I need to offer a major mea culpa for blowing my stack. The universe keeps track of that shit, yo. Birthdays are bullshit, anyway.

Anyway, yeah. 34.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cowboy Up

A hearty cup of wassail to all you lovely bitches who wrote in or called to express sympathy with my tale of Christmas woe -- especially because none of you surrendered to the well-deserved urge to holler that I should man the hell up and quit bitchcaking about having to spend the holidays with my family and while I'm at it, I should recognize that it's a blessing that I even had the money to spend on that motherfucking plane ticket, so I should get a little fucking perspective, ok?

None of you said that, and for that I am profoundly grateful. Even though it definitely needed saying. Also, none of you have yet complained over the fact that I never seem to post anything but tirade-laden first drafts of anything anymore, so kudos for not pointing that out, either. I'm certain that a lot of those commas and semi-colons and shit weren't there when I originally typed that last post; is it possible that Blogger is adding them? Weird.

So, I made it to Spokane. I'm going to post photos later if I can, because you gotta see my brother's house. He's 25, people! It's ridiculous how well he's doing in life. I'm so proud of my little scallopini. Fun fact: his house costs $922/mo. I bet some of that money I spent buying plane tickets here is subsidizing some housing up in this piece. Less than a thousand bucks for a HUGE 3 bedroom house? I would sign up, but as I believe I made clear in my last post, I hate this fucking town.

Anyway, I've reconciled myself to the fact that I am going to be spending my birthday outside Yakima, WA -- it was pretty easy once I realized that I was just going to stay drunk the whole day. Anyone who doesn't like it can kiss my natural black ass. It's gonna be my birthday!

So, all in all, things are turning out ok. My dad has put a little weight on, which is good, because he gets really stick-like and emaciated when he frets. I'm going to pick up Iron Fist when I get out of here and we'll spend the first couple of days exorcising a little 2008 pon farr. Whorelando, Fergus, and Bernie are all going to be getting their Xmas Xpressions late, but I think they'll all be pleased once they receive them.

It's been absolutely the worst year ever. But it looks like it won't end too badly. Or as I like to say to Hiller: "when you've been face down in the shit for long enough, just flipping over onto your back is a huge improvement."

Next up: mottos for 2009! Yes, people! It's that time of year again! Get your nominations in!

No More Cheap Wine in 2009
Taking What's Mine in 2009
Watch Me Opine in 2009
Nickel-and-Dimed in 2009
Accruing No Fines in 2009
Walking the Line in 2009

Saturday, December 20, 2008

...And A Bah Humbug to You Bitches, Too

It seemed like such a neat solution; and on the face of it, it was. My brother and sister-in-law live in wack ass Spokane, Washington: a town with little to recommend it apart from their presence. Conversely, it has a lot of items in the debit column, the most prominent [for my purposes] being its notorious reputation for flight jackassery. To wit: it is impossible to fly there, from any city, in any season, for less than 400 bucks. Before my parents retired and moved away from there, they'd lived in Spokane for about six years, and every year I try in vain to score a cheap ticket. I came up snake eyes every motherfucking time. And then my brother joined the Air Force and suffered the colossally shit luck to be stationed -- his very first base! -- right back in dreary ass Spokane, so really, he's lived there, like, twelve years or some nonsense. So if you want to see him, you gotta deal with this, like, cosmic slap and get ripped off by every airline that deigns to fly there. I hate that fucking town!

Now, as you know, I'm a salty bitch at the best of times; and I run from sentimentality and raw emotion like the unrepentant Scrooge I am, but when it comes to the holidays, I usually try to rein in the vitriol and suck it up for the fam. Obviously, this year, it is more important than ever that my brother, father and I get together and lean each other. I'm anxious to see them, I really am.

But the problem is, Christmas is also my birthday. So for every Xmas in living memory, except for the few times I was just way too broke to fly home, I've spent the day with the family, milling around in my pajamas, drinking motherfucking mulled wine, eating stuffing and generally wondering how the hell my life got away from me. Eh, whatever. Part of growing up is realizing that no one gives as much of a crap about your birthday as you do. I had just started to reconcile myself to the idea that I was never, ever going to have a glamorous birthday with friends for the rest of my natural life but instead would, once a year, re-enter some timeless zone of arrested development wherein I choked down too-sweet birthday cake and rationalized around the dinner table whatever life choice was currently causing my parents to worry and brother to ridicule me and then I would fly back to the future and my grown up home in Minneapolis or London or Portland or wherever and my real life would start up again.

Let me say this -- I have never, in my life, had a great birthday*. I've had great Christmases, but as birthdays go, I usually just try to forget that it's even happening.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I'm dramatically delicious, obviously. But also because the bittersweet anticipation I'm feeling at reuniting with my brother and father this year has of late been decisively tipped over into the wholly bitter column.

A few months ago, my brother decided that it was not worth it for him and his wife to fly out to North Carolina (where my parents lived/Dad still lives) for the holiday, because he doesn't have much time off work and cross-country airfare for two people is no joke. "Cool, cool," Pops Jugo and I say. "Sometimes life intrudes." We told Li'l Bro Jugo to stay in Washington, and go spend the holiday with his wife's parents. Since my mom died, my dad has [understandably] not wanted to spend a lot of time in the house by himself, and he's spend the last couple of months on the road: visiting friends and family, and just generally trying to talk life back into his soul. But he's tired, now, and he wants to be home in Durham. He didn't feel like travelling for Christmas. I was cool with that. I planned to go ahead and spend the holiday with Pops in North Cackalacka.

At some point, Brian decided that it would be great for us to go ahead and all gather, but since he can't leave Spokane, Pops and I should come to Washington. Now, I live in L.A., so even though I hate Spokane, it's going to take me a lot less time to fly up the coast than to fly cross-country, so I was tentatively cool with this new plan. Dad wasn't too happy about it, but Brian pre-empted his arguments by just buying him a ticket, anyway. Ok, so we're all up to speed, right? Christmas 2008 is going to be in Spokane. We're all set.

Only we're not all set, because as I mentioned at the beginning, flying into
Spokane is irrationally expensive. Sometime in the last month or so, I get the idea that I'd like to drive up to Washington instead of flying. I have a new car that gets great gas mileage [plus gas is now 50% cheaper than it was this summer], and I can use this opportunity to stop and see some friends in San Francisco and Iron Fist in Portland. I was thinking that, no, winter driving is not ideal for long distances, but what the hell: I grew up in fucking Wyoming and lived for ten years in Minneapolis, so snow and cold are not completely fucking unknown to me. I can handle this. I got AAA and a cooler full of snacks? I'm straight.

But for the past four weeks, my brother and dad have been hounding me non-stop about the driving. Over and over again. Texts and calls. Texts and calls. Over and over. Never leaving me alone about the fucking driving. And I would just like to state for the record that I get it, ok? It's less than 8 months ago that our beautiful Tina lost control of her car on slick roads and left us all behind, so I know that the prospect of me taking to the mean streets was not exactly an appealing proposition for them. Finally, I snapped. I bought a plane ticket. It cost me approximately one billion dollars, but I did it. Because I love my family and I don't want them to worry. And because my brother was using up my measly text message allowance with his fucking harping. I caved. Got a ticket that will get me in on Monday and take off on Friday.

Only now that's a fucking problem for Li'l Bro Jugo, because he has decided that, actually, we're all -- him, his wife, my dad, and me -- going to spend Christmas with his wife's family...a lovely couple who don't actually live in Spokane. I've met my sister-in-law's parents twice and I like just fine but don't actually know them that well, but there goes Li'l Bro Jugo, asking anyway could I maybe change my flight to leave a little bit later thanks so that no one has to get up too early and take me to the airport?

I have had it with Li'l Bro Jugo, y'all. I want you to try (you'll fail, but try anyway) to imagine the unscaleable heights of my fury after getting off the phone with my brother this morning. I just spent a truly appalling amount of money buying a last-minute ticket to a town that's famed for being appallingly expensive to fly into at the best of times (there's never a best of times in Spokane) only to find out that I've inconveniently messed with the schedule for his holiday celebration in some small-town hamlet with people I barely know? Are you fucking telling me that you have unilaterally decided that I AM SPENDING MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY AT A STRANGER'S HOUSE and I should arrange to leave later so that we can all stay LONGER AND so no one has to get up early? IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE FUCKING TELLING ME?

Tina, I love my brother. I really do. But if you don't step down from heaven into this situation and work on your child, I am going to punch my way through his face.

*ask me about the time my parents forgot that it was my birthday and I had to make my own cake...from a mix...and the mix my dad got was for pineapple upside down cake, my most hated cake flavor in the world!
< /span>

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Every Day I'm Grateful

I have been struggling lately, mostly with the awful recognition that I don't spend nearly enough time or mental energy being thankful for how profoundly blessed and lucky I am to be who I am.

I don't mean that in an "I'm so fly" way... even though that's clearly the case, right, kids?!

...I mean that even though I have had a shitty, shitty year, I know that most of my days have been good ones. I've been on food stamps; but I've never really gone hungry. It's been touch-and-go as to whether I'd have a roof over my head in the past; but I've never really been homeless. I've been in real physical danger before, but obviously I made it through without being raped or assaulted or killed.

I'm not trying to pee in any one's kool-aid, but I would like to step up and say that I, for one, am increasingly aware of just how fucking lucky I have been. I heard this story on NPR the other day about the food crisis in Zimbabwe. I know you know what I'm talking about. That bit about how some people are so desperate for food that they have been forced to sift through cow dung for undigested corn kernels, which they then pound into meal and eat...?

Ladies and gentlemen. I submit to you that that is an abomination. How do we allow that to happen? And yet, how do we help? It's such a huge problem. Where does one person fit in? How does one person start to help? I don't know, but I have to find out. I just can't sleep right anymore.

Undigested corn kernels. From cow dung. I have never, and barring some kind of cataclysm, will never be that hungry. A lot of people who live in this country can say that with reasonable fucking certainty. And a lot of people in other countries can't.

Anyway, when I feel like this, it helps to focus on things a little closer to home, and try to make one small thing better. If you're the same, please consider donating via the wonderful DonorsChoose to a couple of teachers in poverty-stricken, inner-city schools in this very country. I read about some today at ellephd. A particularly compelling proposal is excerpted below*:

We can not learn without the basic foundation. I teach high schoolers, 9th-12th grades. My students are considered high risk for dropping out. Many of them want to succeed, but having paper and pencil for many of them is a challenge. Our school does not have a counselor, therefore I take on this task for free. I assist them with essays for colleges, correspondence work to earn credits if they are short for graduation, tutor after school with math, English, and other subjects, and help them complete all of their college admission processes from FAFSA to the application stage. These basic supplies would help them and me so much because they are embarrassed when they do not have pen and paper. I try to buy what I can, but in my state, my parish is the second poorest. We are paid at the bottom of the state. Please help me. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's Been a Long Time, Etc. Etc. Etc

There are a lot of things I want to talk to you about, kids, up to and including Thanksgiving and feeling grateful and out-of-town guests and how I make the best stuffing. And I will get to all of that. I would also like to talk to you about my boyfriend, who is the simplest, sweetest, most random of souls...a man who, when watching the new Star Trek trailer (not the one with the fi-yah at the end), saw the shots of them building the Enterprise and mumbled approvingly, "I'm glad they're creating jobs," like Star Trek was for real and they actually hired construction workers and electricians and welders (like him!) to build it. Like the Enterprise was a real thing, yo. I'm rubbing off on him like whoa.

So anyway, I'll get to all that, but I can't wait any longer to show you this, which is a for real thing that ding graciously pointed us all to, and my reaction has run the gamut from wide-eyed hysteria to wondering how someone could have so accurately captured on film the dreams I had as a nine year old, and yet not cast me in a single role. Cramazing. Who is this guy? Please, please, please watch this thing to the end.

And don't try to don the cloak of hipster irony, either, but that song is an astonishing earworm. You will succumb to the charms of Chris Dane Owens. You will.

But seriously -- how much money did they spend on this thing? This video looks crazy expensive. Even just hiring that one redheaded porn star must have cost something.

Oh, and ladies: he's single!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some Stuff Should Stay Buried

Something I just remembered: when I was young there were certain things I was convinced I was going to do every single day when I finally achieved adulthood. Item the first: buy candy. Man! In my head, I was going to be buying so much fucking candy! I didn't understand why adults weren't constantly rolling into stores . They had all that money! Item the second: I was going to dress myself. And when I say "dress myself," I mean "attire myself in the traditional ethnic costumes of the world," because I used to love the parade of nations they had during the Miss Universe pageants. I had a whole plan for my Grown Up working Lady's Wardrobe. Like, Monday I would dress up like Miss Ecuador, and Tuesday would be Miss Kenya; Wednesday is Miss Russian Steppes day or something...I don't know. I didn't actually plan it out in that much detail. I just thought that the minute I hit eighteen and left the cruel tyrannical fiefdom of my playa-hating parents, I was going to be eating so much candy and wearing so many folk costumes.

Those [blessed, merry] few of you who read this and are parents: how do you decide how much self-expression to allow your kids? I mean, you have to see them doing stuff some times and think, Yes, that's my baby. That's who he/she is. And you see their little personality forming their choices and tastes and it's cool, right? Even though the thing they're currently expressing is bullshit? I'm just wondering, because I have been thinking about having children and I wondering what to do if I have a dork, nutball, insane dumbass like I was as a kid.

I don't know what triggered that memory yesterday, but there it is; at one point in my loser adolescence, I was obsessed with clothes. Not particularly notable for a girl-child in the promised land, I agree. But the point is, I a)had no taste and b) came from a working-class family* so I couldn't afford any of the things I actually wanted to wear. I dressed out of KMart and Goodwill, mostly. And I was aware that this marked me, in the same way that my giant Sally Jessy Raphael-glasses marked me, and my overwhelming need to talk about Doctor Who marked me, and a whole host of other unfortunate unmentionables marked me [I'm not talking Wasp Factory stuff here, so don't get excited].

So anyway, I watch these shows like My Super Sweet 16 [actually, I watch the Spanish-language version, Quiero Mi Quinces, because that shit is way better] and I wonder if maybe, if I grew up in a ridiculously wealthy family and had only semi-involved parents...would I have been able to realize my dream of dressing like a one-woman "We Are the World" video but without waiting until I was an adult?!

Sometimes I think about those things.

* we were a military family. We weren't poor, but we certainly didn't have any money. My mom worked two jobs for as long as I can remember

Friday, November 21, 2008

Flying Car Bullshit

Sweet Hesus, why am I just discovering pictures for sad children?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Let The Record Show

Marring my extreme elation at this country finally living up to the content of its creed, has been my horror at the passage of Prop 8 here in California. We'll get in to that later. But first, can we also dismiss the ridiculous notion that black people are to blame for this shit?

EDIT: Adding more, because this meme has exploded across the mainstream media and the blogosphere at large. I'm shocked -- we're all in a post-racial America now, don't you know -- at the ease with which former allies are turning against each other. This is some sick, serious shit.

Why Prop 8 Won -- great breakdown from The Nation
You Might Be a Homophobe? -- blog post from Renee
Gays v African-American Meme Benefits No One -- blogpost from ellephd
More Prop 8 Black and Latino Blaming - Vivir Latino
A Primer From a Brown Straight Girl -- the always wonderful bitchph.d

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ok?! Ok?!

Reid should have pulled his card way back.

You got to go, Joe. Remember this? Harry Reid needs to bring a little bit of this kind of fire to his talk with Lieberman:

"Furthermore, during a Senate vote Wednesday, Obama dragged Lieberman by the hand to a far corner of the Senate chamber and engaged in what appeared to reporters in the gallery as an intense, three-minute conversation.
While it was unclear what the two were discussing, the body language suggested that Obama was trying to convince Lieberman of something and his stance appeared slightly intimidating.
Using forceful, but not angry, hand gestures, Obama literally backed up Lieberman against the wall, leaned in very close at times, and appeared to be trying to dominate the conversation, as the two talked over each other in a few instances.
Still, Obama and Lieberman seemed to be trying to keep the back-and-forth congenial as they both patted each other on the back during and after the exchange.
Afterwards, Obama smiled and pointed up at reporters peering over the edge of the press gallery for a better glimpse of their interaction.
Obama loyalists were quick to express their frustration with Lieberman's decision and warned that if he continues to take a lead role in attacking Obama it could complicate his professional relationship with the Caucus."

This is My President. This is My First Lady.

Love them.

Justice Delayed

Best voicemail of the night:

Bernie: ...blah blah blah...and I also got to vote against the judge who sentenced me to the girls' home, so that was cool...

People Wept

"And Then They Wept" -- Charles M. Blow

"History will record this as the night the souls of black folk, living and dead, wept – and laughed, screamed and danced – releasing 400 years of pent up emotion.

They were the souls of those whose bodies littered the bottom of the Atlantic, whose families were torn asunder, whose names were erased.

They were those who knew the terror of being set upon by men with clubs, of being trapped in a torched house, of dangling at the end of a rough rope.

They were the souls of those who knew the humiliation of another person’s spit trailing down their faces, of being treated like children well into their twilight years, of being derided and despised for the beauty God gave them.

They were also the tears of those for whom “Yes We Can, ” Obama’s campaign slogan, took on a broader, more profound meaning.

“Yes We Can” escape the prison of lowered expectations and the cycles of poor choices. “Yes We Can” rise above history and beyond hatred. “Yes We Can” ascend to Martin Luther King’s mountain top and see the promised land where dreams are fulfilled, where the best man wins and where justice prevails.

During this election African-Americans, their hearts weary from disappointment, dared to hope and dream again. Tonight their dream has been realized.

Whether or not you agree with Barack Obama’s politics, there is no denying that his election represents a seminal moment in the African-American narrative and a giant leap forward on the road to America’s racial reconciliation.

In fact everyone, regardless of race, should feel free to shed a tear and be proud of how far our country has come."

thanks to Parker, who dropped me the link, even though he couldn't be bothered to answer his phone at 1 in the morning and celebrate with me

Yes, We Did

Tina, Stanley, Lo, Dick, and Jonah: we did it.

Yes, we did.

Reactions Around the World

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Before You Even Fix Your Mouth

Because you'll be hearing about this ad nauseaum if Fox News can force you to, let's just clear some stuff up right now concerning those Black Panthers allegedly intimidating voters in North Philly (because there are so many white voters in that neighborhood, o'course): an account from an actual poll worker.

Whatever. According to some people, an Obama administration is just the beginning of a federal mandatory gay marriage abortion tax payable to your black overlords.

Lazy Live Bloggin'

From my cousin, Delacey, via text:

To my smart friends, I'm sure u already made ur choice of who ur going 2 vote 4...To my easily influenced undecided friends...McCain shot Biggie and Tupac...

Monday, November 03, 2008

I am so nervous. So worried. I have been yelling all day at people to shut up talking about the election because I don't want to jinx this. Seriously! I called a 24 hour moratorium on discussing this shit. If things go wrong, I will know who is to blame. All of you losers who don't believe in the power of bad juju.

In fourteen and a half hours, I'm going to vote for Barack.

Do not fuck this up, America.

EDIT: Sympathies to the Obama family: word is that Barack's grandmother passed today.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Are You Out Of Your Part-Time Mind?

Huh. I studiously avoid Diddy, but today I'm co-signing everything he has to say. Ain't no line too damn long, people.

"If you go to the polls and the line looks like it's going down to the next state, you just walk to the next state and get your ass at the end of the line!"

Friday, October 24, 2008


"Here are the facts. ACORN verifies the legitimacy of every registration its canvassers collect. If they can't authenticate the registration, or it's incomplete or questionable in other ways, they flag that form as problematic ("fraudulent", "incomplete", et cetera). They then hand in all registration forms, even the problematic ones, to elections officials, as they are required to do by law. In almost every case where you've heard about fraud by ACORN, it's because ACORN itself notified officials about the fraud that's been perpetrated on them by rogue canvassers. Most officials who run to the media screaming "ACORN is committing fraud" know all of the above but don't bother to share those facts with the media they've run to. None of this is about voter fraud. None of it. Where any fraud has occurred, it's voter registration fraud and has resulted in exactly zero fraudulent votes.

You'll hear that Donald Duck, Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy, Mickey Mouse and (new this year) the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys football team have all had fraudulent registrations submitted in their names. That's true. And we know this, why? Because ACORN told officials about it when they followed the law and turned in those registrations, flagged as fraudulent." [emphasis mine]

"The Republican Voter Fraud Hoax" -- Brad Friedman

A Little Bit of Little Bit


I can't believe I just started watching this show. Hell, I'm afraid to keep watching this show, because I know it just stops at season three, all unresolved and damn!

Y'all know that I'll watch anything with Brad Dourif in it, so frankly, I'm surprised that it took me so long to sign on.

Don't worry; this won't be like the time I had my wisdom teeth out and blew through all 90 seasons of The West Wing in a drooly, narcotic-stuffed weekend and I would have long conversations with Toby that I thought were actually happening.

I'm currently stalled at S1E10. Because netflix is playing me. In fact, I don't even know why I bother ordering my queue! I'll probably get items 100, 217, and 43 on my list next. Netflix is a janky ho, sometimes.

Anyway, there's a lot to love about this show, all I which I want to get into later when I finish the first season. For right now, I just want to think about this little scene, which comes near the end of things for Rev. Smith. He starts off as this irritating if ultimately good-hearted nuisance...and then he becomes this living, breathing, human part of the camp...and then...

Well, it starts off looking like epilepsy. But it turns out to be a tumor. His vision goes. He loses control over the left side of his body. He smells phantom smells and can't remember things and it's just heartbreaking. And this poor man tries so hard to bear it like a Christian soldier; and for the most part, he seems to be superhumanly stoic about the whole thing. But in this scene, you can see him let down his guard a bit with the only two men in the camp able to offer that little bit of succor that means everything.

I know what's coming next, ok? And as powerful as that will be (I just went ahead and spoiled myself at various Deadwood message boards), I'm just struck dumb by this scene for some reason. There's just something about the way Seth and Sol offer to walk Rev Smith home that gets me.

Edit: this clip won't affect you if you haven't been watching the show; so don't even bother sitting through this clip if you're dead inside and liable to comment in my box about how you were umoved and I'm corny and this looks like a dumb show because I swear to you, I will raise hell up in here. This show is my new shit. I will not hear anything said against it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not Laughing Now, Are You?

via Jack and Jill Politics

Friday, October 17, 2008

Living through the last two presidential election cycles has made me so paranoid, yo. As an Obama administration looks increasingly inevitable, I keep wondering what October surprise is around the corner to fuck it up for us. The closer we get to 4 November, the less I want to talk about it. I don't want to jinx anything with my patented and world-famous brand of fuckituppity! I need to be out of this equation! Anything I want this badly is destined to not come to pass.

I really, really wish my mom was going to be here to pull that lever for Barack. She was so committed to social justice, on a large and small scale. And I know that she saw in Barack Obama a kindred spirit -- someone who genuinely cared about other people. Like, cared about them and wanted the best for them.

And my mother, who grew up in the segregated south of the 1950s...I just can't imagine what it would have been like for her (and will be like, for her surviving brothers and sisters) to pull the lever for Brother Barack.

Listen, I'm child of the '80s. After being wrenched from the bosom of my loving cousins in VA, I moved to Wyoming with my mom and new stepdad, where I was often the only black person in my class, in my school, in the fucking vicinity. But nevertheless, I grew up in an environment that was largely welcoming (not really, but at least people weren't hateful*). I mean, I'm not going to lie to you: it sucked not being around black people. But the qualitative differences between the de facto segregation of my childhood and the de jure segregation of my mother's childhood and parts of her adulthood...well, I just wish she were here so that I could celebrate with her. Because she would be celebrating. My, Tina loved a party. And a party for the ol' red, white, and blue?

She would have been smiling to beat the band. She loved this country. She really did.

By the way, that dashing young serviceman in the center of that photo board was my uncle Stanley, who was killed in Vietnam. All of my uncles, my dad, my brother, and over half of my cousins -- male and female --have served or are currently serving this nation honorably and well. So you know where you can put those questions about patriotism, right?

* I have a couple of stories, but I will save those for a time when I am less likely to set something on fire

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Could...But I Won't

That is, I could start whistling that heinous intro to "Winds of Change" so that you get an appropriate sense of how momentous this is -- the tide turning, and all that. Found this over at Jack and Jill, who've been doing an excellent job keeping up with who is endorsing whom:

Conservative paper endorses Democrat for the first time in 72 years.

"For eight years, American politics has been marked by smears, fears and greed. For too long, we've practiced partisanship in Washington, not politics. The result is a cynicism every bit as deep as that which infected the nation when Richard Nixon was shamed from office and when Bill Clinton brought shame to the office.

This must end, but John McCain can't do it. He can't inspire, nor can he really break from a past that is breaking this nation.

McCain is an American hero, and he has served this country in the Senate with determination. He has gone against his party, but the fact is his ties to the Bush administration and its policies are deep. Americans know we cannot keep going down this path.

McCain, who has voted consistently for deregulation, started off two weeks ago declaring the U.S. economy fundamentally sound but ended the week sounding like a populist. Who is he really?

He tends to shoot from the hip and go on gut instinct. The nation cannot go through four more years of literally and figuratively shooting now and asking questions later."

I found this endorsement, from Esquire, to be a much more provocative read, however. Check it out.

"In truth, though, Senator Obama is the only one of the two candidates who seems to believe in the idea of a political commonwealth, that there are those things — be they the guarantees in the Bill of Rights or mountains in Alaska — that we own together. Barack Obama stands, however inchoately and however diffidently, for the notion that a common purpose is necessary for common problems, that “government,” as it is designed in our founding documents, is our collective responsibility. It is this collective responsibility that built America into a great power without peer in the history of the world. And it is this collective responsibility that has succumbed to nearly thirty years of phony rightist populism, corporate brigandage, and the wildly cheered abandonment of a common American civic purpose. It is shocking that in America an argument for salvaging the common good is regarded as a radical notion by anyone, but that is where we are. And that is what Barack Obama seems to stand for. After all, as a young man with his potential, he could have headed straight to midtown Manhattan and made a fortune. Instead, he took a church job working for poor people in Chicago, and for his troubles, he and those poor people have been viciously jeered by the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin. Such is their regard for the common good. And such is Obama’s promise. And in that, however inchoately and however diffidently, Obama stands not only against Bushism, but against Reaganism, which gave it birth. And that is more than enough."

Lord knows, my own political dial has been yanked so far to the left, it's broken off. So while I support Barack Obama wholeheartedly, it is with the certain knowledge that some of the progressive ideals in which I believe strongly (prison reform, to take one instance mentioned by the writer of Esquire's endorsement) will likely not be addressed by an Obama administration as forcefully as I would like. But I also understand, like this writer, that there is absolutely no chance of them being addressed at all in a McCain administration.

We're fighting for the soul of our country here, people.

Fellow Californians, you have one week left to register to vote.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Nah Right

Dismantling some of the more bullshit explanations for the current economic crisis.

Misunderstanding Credit and Housing Crises: Blaming the CRA, GSEs [yanked from over at The Big Picture]

"It's telling that, amid all the recent recriminations, even lenders have not fingered CRA. That's because CRA didn't bring about the reckless lending at the heart of the crisis. Just as sub-prime lending was exploding, CRA was losing force and relevance. And the worst offenders, the independent mortgage companies, were never subject to CRA -- or any federal regulator. Law didn't make them lend. The profit motive did."
-Robert Gordon, American Prospect

Making the rounds amongst a certain subset of wingnuts on CNBC, at IBD and other selfconfoozled folks has been the meme that the entire housing and credit crisis traces to the the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977. An alternative zombie myth is the credit crisis is due to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A 1999 article from the New York Times about the GSE's role in subprime mortgages has been circulating as if its the rosetta stone of the credit crisis.
These memes have become a rallying cry --
cognitive dissonance writ large -- of those folks who have been pushing for greater and greater deregulation, and are now attempting to disown the results of their handiwork.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Right. So, I couldn't go to the Creative Emmys because Pops Jugo was in town, but the other chicks got to go, and look. They took a picture with Kenneth the Page. You'll remember AB (fierce chick on the right) from this post.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I'm So Tired Even My Feelings Hurt

Well, I ran those 12 miles, in case anyone cares.

Question! Is there a better running song than Fugazi's "Waiting Room"? The answer, my friends, is no!

Actually, that is not true! The best song to kick ass to on the mean streets of LA is Brother Ali's "The Puzzle."

And that's a FACT. I require one of two things from my music, ladies and gentlemen: it should either make me want to fuck someone or shoot someone. Only one of those urges is of any use to me while running the streets of pizza. I need pure, unadulterated adrenaline when I'm out there, pounding pavement and dodging dog shit. Having said that, when you hit mile 8, mile 9, and you've got nothing left in you, a little hip hop triumphalism will keep you going. Listen, kids: you know those tshirts that say "I'm in shape -- round is a shape"? Well, that's what I'm dealing with here. I'm round as a gatdamn dinner roll.* Every mile I notch is one more lesson I teach myself about being a fighter.

Listen when life leaves you beaten up
Don't lay around in it, hurry pick them pieces up
Cling closely to the people you love
They're your umbrella when the weathers tough
See to it that your head is up
If not just remember this
Just never let your chest and your chin touch in public
Those that stand against us would love this
Man, fuck them, something's bugging em'
They feel inadequate or something and that's been dug in em'
So deep they can't stand someone else making shit
Player hatred, same concept created Satan
Play em, no never mind let em play their part
They're here to make us prove we are what we say we are
We say we are the hard-hearted
Been discarded from everything we've ever been part of
They just robbed it
Unguarded, tormented and tortured
And got nothing but scars and grey hairs to show for it
Fuck that, every stone that's ever been cast or blow that ever landed
Helped to build that man that's standing before your bitch ass
I'm back to wreak havoc: I never retired, retreated or recanted
I, don't expect you to have stood where I'm standing
Why, respect is the only thing I'm demanding
Try, you and I could build this understanding
You can't honestly shake unless you know where my hand's been brother

This is a piece of my puzzle now
Through the years I found peace in my struggle now
If we were put here to carry a great weight
The very things we hate are here to build those muscles
This is a piece of my puzzle now
Through the years I found peace in my struggle now
(Who's to blame for the state I'm in - yours truly
I play my cards but somehow I can't win
--Brother Ali, "The Puzzle"

*and twice as delicious

Saturday, October 04, 2008


I have to run 12 miles tomorrow. Ugh.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

And furtherfuckingmore

Via Glenn Greenwald's excellent "The Right's Two-Pronged Religion of Self-Pity and Rage"" comes the even more excellent Victimology Blues," a post from the fine folks at We Are Respectable Negroes -- a site which, by the by, namechecks my newest homegirl and sister-from-another-mister, girl6 (that link takes you to my favorite blog post of hers ever, and that includes all the ones that talk about a naked Spock, so you know I'se serious.

The funniest thing I read online today:

"I tried to add Peter Schilling as a friend on Facebook, and that motherfucker disapproved me."

And thus concludes my biennial post on Major Tom, a song with which I am happily, but inexplicably, obsessed.

So, I was stuck on a bus while the debates were happening, and I kept tuning in via NPR and then having to tune out because I would get so fucking angry. I'm not going to lie. And I'm not going to surprise you here, either. Sarah Palin gets on my last motherfucking nerve -- and I say this as someone who believes that she is more to be pitied than vilified. Or at least, I used to believe that. I used to think that she had been thrown into something for which she was clearly unfit and largely ignorant. That is, I knew that she didn't know anything, but it seemed as if she didn't know that she didn't know anything. Like, in the same way that it's possible for the vast majority of us to go about our uncritical ways never thinking about how much we don't know about, say, particle physics, I suspected -- and the sheer weight of youtube/CNN/newspaper evidence indicated - that Sarah Palin had gone through her 40+ years never worrying too much about Hamas or RU-487 or Plessy v. Ferguson. Which would be fine, if she was just some regla citizen. But ladies and gentlemen, this woman has a one-in-five chance, if her ticket is elected, of occupying the highest office in the land, and being the most powerful human being on this earth. FUCK YOU, AMERICA, that anyone, anywhere, in any corner of this great land, allows this travesty of a candidacy to proceed.

It's clear from what I was able to catch of the debates tonight (I was stuck on a bus listening to it on NPR) that Gov. Palin is not the happy idiot I thought she was, but rather, something altogether more insidious -- she's a mean idiot. She's one of those people who doesn't know much, and is happy not to know much.

You know, when people were talking yesterday about how Gov. Palin couldn't name a single Supreme Court case with which she disagreed -- not because she's in complete accord with the long history of American jurisprudence -- but because she actually couldn't name a single Supreme Court Case, I had to stop and think a moment. How many cases could I name, on the spot, if pressed? The people I was speaking with could name 5, 6, 10 off the tops of their heads (yes, I do know some lawyers, but I also know some regla folks). And the thing is, trying to keep it honest, I had to admit that five was my limit, without really sitting down and thinking it through.


And I had the good sense to be ashamed of myself. Because a lot more of the rights I take for granted every day aren't covered in the five I could easily call to mind. Now, in my defense, I was able to come up with a lot more once I thought about it, but that's not the fucking point. The point is, there are people who don't know anything and want to, and there are people who don't anything and don't care to. Because as far as they're concerned, it doesn't matter.

This attitude infuriates me. This attitude, evident throughout the debate tonight, that says, "well, Joe Six-Pack is a good guy, and so whatever he thinks is probably ok," ...



Being "a good person" is not enough. Just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best is not enough. Just wishing and hoping and praying that America will continue to manifest its destiny as some chosen state is not fucking enough. Fuck you, Joe Six-pack! I would love to have a beer with you and watch the game! But I don't want you to be president! We all love to play armchair quarterback on Monday morning, but the fact is, there's a reason why ...

Ok. cough, sputter

I want a president that is smarter than me. I want a vice-president that's smarter than me. No, I don't happen to think that that's necessarily demonstrated by the acquisition of advanced degrees. But I do want some evidence of a sharp intellect and astute judgment. To paraphrase my best friend Fergus: yeah, Sarah Palin is just like you, Mr. And Mrs. Middle America. And I wouldn't vote for your ignorant ass, either.

For fuck's sake.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Happy birthday, Beautiful. I'm so glad you were born. I'm so glad you were mine.

Earnestine aka "Teeny" aka "Tina" Horton Hudson. Born this day, 1948.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Reach Out and Touch Someone

It's hardest on Saturdays, because that is when I would call and we would talk for awhile

Saturday, 27 September -- 5 months since the accident

Friday, September 26, 2008

re: extension?
September 24, 2008 in history and current events by dana

subject: extension?

Dear John,

While I sympathize with the demands of balancing both legislative and campaign issues, I cannot, in accord with historical policy, grant your request for an extension on the debate. Dean’s excuses can only be granted in the cases of health or personal emergencies, and would need to be submitted to me in writing. A physician’s note is also acceptable.

Dana McCourt

On Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 12:00pm, John McCain wrote:

sorry to bother you and i know this request is late but i have been really busy and i want to call an emergency meeting with the president and understanding all the material is taking up a lot of my time so i find myself woefully underprepared and i am throwing myself on your mercy. can i get an extension over the weekend on the debate so i can present my best work to you? or should i get a dean’s excuse?



-- The Edge of the American West

Another Reason I Can't Wait to Finally Pull the Trigger

I'm sick of seeing Christian Slater's Smirk-o-Tron Eyebrow leering at me from the billboard at Olympic and Westwood five days a week. I can't stand gazing up at that rumpled motherfucker David Duchovny and his pillowcase of a face at Westwood and Rochester. And even though the attempt to wallpaper L.A. in cheeky images of Michael C. Hall has moved beyond this ad,

all the new ads do is remind me of that creepy ass dead arm and ugh. Stop it, America. I'm not interested in this show and I'm not interested in purchasing any more narcotics to help me sleep at night.

I will say though, I'm surprised by how much better looking Michael C. Hall is in Dexter, because I remember that in the .2 picoseconds of Six Feet Under that I managed to sit through, I thought he had a Charlie Brown blockhead. But look! His longish serial killer locks actually make him look kind of handsome. Weird. America, we need to talk about this.

But before we start that discussion, I should re-emphasize that, no, I'm not interested in that jive ass show. I'm also not interested in Weeds, so quit trying to get me to watch that shit, too. Are you listening, Bernie? I'm not going to start watching Bones and I ain't going to start watching motherfucking Weeds!

Why am I so angry?!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can't Stop, Won't Stop (Part 7)

What Part of McCain's Campaign Has Been Suspended? --yanked from over there at DailyKos.

by Scout Finch
Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:00:03 PM PDT
John McCain shocked everyone with his announcement yesterday that he was "suspending" his campaign to deal with the financial crisis and he suggested there was simply no time for a debate with Obama.
But, what - exactly - did he "suspend"? His surrogates are all over television, attacking Obama. His campaign ads are still running and his Internet fundraising is still operational. McCain's press crew is fully operational. He spent the day with Rick Davis, his lobbyist campaign manager. And all of his campaign offices are still open and fully operational.
And now comes word via Jonathan Martin at The Politico that McCain will spend the evening doing interviews on ABC, NBC, and CBS.
Sounds like the only thing John McCain wants to put on hold is the debate with Barack Obama. And who could blame him? He's got a lot of explaining to do to the American people about how the GOP and their cronies got us into this mess.

Hold Up, Wait a Minute


Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. You have to watch this. Sarah Palin's explanation of her foreign policy experience. Don't just read the transcript. You actually have to watch it happen.

COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--


PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.

The latest from Glenn Greenwald, formerly a Palin-sympathizer:

"But Sarah Palin's
performance in the tiny vignettes of unscripted dialogue [in the Katie Couric interview] in which we've been allowed to see her has been nothing short of frightening -- really, as I said, pity-inducing. And I say that as someone who has thought from the start that the criticisms of her abilities -- as opposed to her ideology -- were much too extreme. One of two things is absolutely clear at this point: she is either (a) completely ignorant about the most basic political issues -- a vacant, ill-informed, incurious know-nothing, or (b) aggressively concealing her actual beliefs about these matters because she's petrified of deviating from the simple-minded campaign talking points she's been fed and/or because her actual beliefs are so politically unpalatable, even when taking into account the right-wing extremism that is permitted, even rewarded, in our mainstream. I'm not really sure which is worse, but it doesn't really matter, because with 40 days left before the election, both options are heinous."

Get In Where You Fit In

Before I forget, and before it disappears into the ether, go clap ears on the lastest episode of "God's Jukebox" (link good until 3pm PST). My request gets shouted out around an hour and 49 minutes into the show (bonus: you can fast forward directly to my hot-ass choice with the new BBC iplayer).

Mark Lamarr still loves me, etc, etc.

This show has a lot of stand out tracks, kids. You'll be glad you listened.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Did everybody know this except for me? Well? Did you?!

Did you know that Martha Plimpton ol' Foxy Funderburke's kid?

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Deed It

My dad flies out tomorrow morning, and I am going to miss his crazy ass. He's been schooling me in Dad-style for the past week: apparently, I haven't been giving him enough credit for being such an iconic trend-setter and tastemaker . According to Pops Jugo, he is responsible for -- among other things - the popularity of cargo shorts, small cars, Stella Artois, and running. "I was doing that shit back in the 70s," he says, with only a soupcon of irony. "People thought I was crazy."

So if you have problems with the prevalence of any of those things, take it up with my Dad.

Think of it Like This

Tim Wise continues to nail it:

"White privilege is being able to give a 36 minute speech in which you talk about lipstick and make fun of your opponent, while laying out no substantive policy positions on any issue at all, and still manage to be considered a legitimate candidate, while a black person who gives an hour speech the week before, in which he lays out specific policy proposals on several issues, is still criticized for being too vague about what he would do if elected."

This is Your Nation on White Privilege

(NOTE: I added some things to this piece, and made a few changes to other parts for accuracy and clarity. So, if you are going to send the piece around to more people m please send this version if possible)

This is Your Nation on White Privilege
By Tim Wise

For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.

White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto is "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she's being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college and the fact that she lives close to Russia--you're somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because suddenly your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is when you can take nearly twenty-four hours to get to a hospital after beginning to leak amniotic fluid, and still be viewed as a great mom whose commitment to her children is unquestionable, and whose "next door neighbor" qualities make her ready to be VP, while if you're a black candidate for president and you let your children be interviewed for a few seconds on TV, you're irresponsibly exploiting them.

White privilege is being able to give a 36 minute speech in which you talk about lipstick and make fun of your opponent, while laying out no substantive policy positions on any issue at all, and still manage to be considered a legitimate candidate, while a black person who gives an hour speech the week before, in which he lays out specific policy proposals on several issues, is still criticized for being too vague about what he would do if elected.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God's punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you're just a good church-going Christian, but if you're black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you're an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to go to a prestigious prep school, then to Yale and then Harvard Business school, and yet, still be seen as just an average guy (George W. Bush) while being black, going to a prestigious prep school, then Occidental College, then Columbia, and then to Harvard Law, makes you "uppity," and a snob who probably looks down on regular folks.

White privilege is being able to graduate near the bottom of your college class (McCain), or graduate with a C average from Yale (W.) and that's OK, and you're cut out to be president, but if you're black and you graduate near the top of your class from Harvard Law, you can't be trusted to make good decisions in office.

White privilege is being able to dump your first wife after she's disfigured in a car crash so you can take up with a multi-millionaire beauty queen (who you go on to call the c-word in public) and still be thought of as a man of strong family values, while if you're black and married for nearly twenty years to the same woman, your family is viewed as un-American and your gestures of affection for each other are called "terrorist fist bumps."

White privilege is being able to sing a song about bombing Iran and still be viewed as a sober and rational statesman, with the maturity to be president, while being black and suggesting that the U.S. should speak with other nations, even when we have disagreements with them, makes you "dangerously naive and immature."

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism and an absent father is apparently among the "lesser adversities" faced by other politicians, as Sarah Palin explained in her convention speech.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren't sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.