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.:[Thursday, May 20, 2004]:.
BENJAMIN THE SCRIVENER
So I'm working again.
Now the "old Ben" would be pissed right now. The old Ben would rather not be working at all, and, if he had to work, would rather be working (er... maybe "working" is overstating it a bit... let's say "being paid to show up at an office every day") in a field that conveys at least a little bit of prestige so that he could bask in the reflected glory of his betters, rather than working in a field that involves physical labor, washing dishes, and Ranch dressing. But I've had a revelation, a "road to Damascus" experience, so to speak, thanks to that incomparable philosopher, Rodney Moore (not safe for work). Maybe my new vocation involves salted and cured meats, three kinds of cheese, and magnetically attaching a sign to my truck, but you know what? That doesn't matter. Because IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ANAL CREAMPIES.
I used to get murderously angry at my old boss when he bitched about my clothing. I used to have a mental inventory of replies to his running commentary on my wardrobe which I was always too chicken to use: 1) "Where's my belt? I used it to garrote a hooker last night. Damn, I guess it's in a shallow grave now." 2) "What the fuck's it to you, chief? You trying out for the Fab 5?" 3) "Yes, sir, my shirt is a bit wrinkled. On a related note, have you checked your messages? A grizzled 1890's prospector called, he wants his mustache back." So, I'm sure you wouldn't be suprised to find out that when I arrived at my new job tonight and was told I needed to wear the company shirt (which says "I work for Pepperoni Rolls!" in 400 point bold type on the front, and God only knows what on the back, I was afraid to look), I wanted to explain with some vehemence that they might as well send me out for deliveries with a shirt that says "Give me a tip..." on the front and "...of a cock in my ass" on the back. Those of you who know me well may be suprised, but when the manager not only made me wear the shirt, but also made me tuck it in, I smiled and calmly did as I was told. You wanna know why? Because IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ANAL CREAMPIES.
At my old job, decisions of management often drove me apoplectic with rage. Being instructed to "stop working on those interrogatories and go get me some barbecue" or "go to Auto Zone and buy me a new radiator cap before you meet with that client," or having to attend two hour long weekly staff meetings that were 1 hour and 55 minutes of stories about my boss' early twenties (all of which I'd heard 50 times already) and 5 minutes of ridicule directed at your humble narrator were some of the lesser irritations. Tonight, my new manager informed me that the store is changing its name, within the month, to "Rockin' Tomatoes." I couldn't believe my ears. "Rocket Tomatoes?" I asked, baffled, to be sure. "No, Rockin' Tomatoes, like 'Rock n Roll.'" Rocket Tomatoes is a very stupid name for a restaurant, but the idea of rocket propelled fruit is at least interesting for the mayhem it would cause. Rockin' Tomatoes, on the other hand, is a superlatively stupid name which will only reveal itself to be stupider once they unveil the logo (which will, undoubtedly, consist of an in-your-face-tomato, fist held defiantly in the air, holding a guitar, with a tribal art tatoo displayed prominently on his upper arm... in short, the Nickelback of the produce department at the supermarket. A tomato that no respectable banana or mango would to take home to meet her parents, that's for goddamn sure) So, instead of a shirt that says "I work for Pepperoni Rolls!" I may soon be wearing a shirt that says "Rockin' Tomatoes" on the front and, knowing my luck, "Can I Suck Your Cock?" on the back. But do I let these developments get me down? No. Because, damn you, and I can't emphasize this enough... IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ANAL CREAMPIES.
Rodney Moore has changed my life. No longer am I driven to murderous rage by the day-to-day occurences of life. Because, and I've learned this from hard experience, my friends, so trust me on this... IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ANAL CREAMPIES.
| a BEN production by me at 8:13 PM
.:[Tuesday, May 18, 2004]:.
LAISSEZ FAIRE CHILD-REARING... IT'S NOT JUST FOR MY PARENTS ANYMORE
Via Conrad comes this item about the cicada infestation in the American East. Now, I like children okay... but someone recently pointed out to me that this is because I don't have any and am not often around any, and on the rare occasions when I do have contact with mucosos (as they say in Spanish)I generally make a few generic comments and then run off and smoke cigarettes. Which is true, as far as that goes. And, granted, when bugs have landed on me, or buzzed around me, I've done some pretty stupid things... none of which consisted of putting my hand under a moving automobile, hitting someone in the face with a baseball bat, or sticking my foot under a running lawnmower. Although maybe the true horror of the locust plague in Exodus lay in gluts of comically Darwinian mishaps among slack-jawed Egyptian children.
I've often said my parents followed a Darwinian parenting philosophy. My brothers and I were free-range children. While this resulted in a fraternal pecking order ripped from the pages of "Lord of the Flies," it didn't ever actually result in any trips to the hospital.
Not to say that I didn't occasionally witness events that rivaled the kids in the above article for sheer gene-pool cleaning stupidity. Crazy Ryan frequently received ridiculous injuries for stupid reasons:
1. When we were in middle school, he was racing around the block on his bicycle and timing himself... he checked his watch, ran face first into a wall, broke his leg and had to have his ear surgically reattached.
2. Shortly after the above incident (while he was still in a cast), a friend of ours told him it would be funny if he jumped down an entire flight of stairs, so he did and broke his leg again.
3. He used to ride his bike to high school (a distance, round trip, of about 20 miles). Since we went to a magnet school, that required that he travel through some parts of town that are often featured on the television show "Cops" when filmed in Fort Worth. Someone beat him up and took his bike. He borrowed a mutual friend's bike, and was promptly beaten up and bike-jacked again.
4. When working at Motel 6, he was robbed at gunpoint. He attacked the robber with the hotel telephone, and got pistol-whipped. He was then fired by Motel 6 because it is company policy not to resist armed robbery.
5. He had stolen a skateboard from a neighbor and skated to my house. When he arrived, he was covered in "road rashes" and bleeding. I asked him what happened and he said that part of the bike trail was closed, he had run into a barrier blocking the path, and tumbled 20 feet into a ravine.
6. He stole a bottle of cologne from Foley's in Hulen Mall, was chased by store personnel, jumped into the back of a moving truck, and then jumped out of the moving truck on a freeway entrance ramp, once again covering himself in "road rash."
| a BEN production by me at 5:06 AM
.:[Tuesday, May 11, 2004]:.
A MAJORITY BELIEVES...
A majority believes that we should give up in Iraq.
A majority believes "Van Helsing" was the best movie to go see last weekend.
So, obviously, we should all withdraw our support for liberating an oppressed people and go watch a crappy Hugh Jackman movie.
Well, no, of course. John Kerry, despite being a vocal opponent of the Iraq war, isn't going to pull our troops out, bring them home, give them barbecue, and throw the Iraqis the finger. He says that "no matter who is elected in November" we will help bring about a "stable, peaceful, and pluralistic society" in Iraq. What is he presenting, exactly, that differs from the foreign policy of the current administeration?
Well, according to the op-ed he wrote in the Washington Post, he wants to internationalize the occupation with troops from NATO and civilian administration from the U.N. Considering that the only real military power and transport capability within both NATO and the U.N., not to mention actual dollar-in-the-bank funding, comes from the United States, I think that there can be very little distinction between actual American boots-on-the-ground, and NATO and U.N. boots-on-the-ground (or dollars in the bank). And given the fact that the U.N. doesn't appear to be all that competent (or honest) in civilian or military management, internationalizing this operation doesn't seem to be the wisest course of action.
| a BEN production by me at 1:04 AM
.:[Monday, May 10, 2004]:.
HOW ABOUT A GOVERNMENT SPONSORED "WORLD'S BIGGEST HIV+ GANGBANG?"
Colin appears to be negatively disposed to the Iraq conflict, and the money that's being spent there. Now, I'm generally opposed to any government spending. However, invading other countries and overthrowing tinpot dictators is one of the few things that the federal government appears to do well. Also, since an invasion of an oppressive regime is not something that I can buy for myself in a free market, this seems like as good a way to spend my tax dollars as any. One could argue that the war has been a great success, at least in terms of functioning as our own "domino theory" for democracy.
A bunch of asshats running a military prison notwithstanding, it isn't all bad news.
And if this war is all about cronyism... Hugo Chavez is a corrupt dictator sitting on a shitload of oil in our own hemisphere. If all we wanted was oil contracts, we could have stayed out of the tarbaby that is the Middle East altogether and invaded Venezuela.
Colin suggests that there are better things to do with $100 billion, such as:
1. A bounty for a cure for AIDS. Now, I'm no meditrician, but my understanding is that viral diseases are notoriously hard to cure, what with the rapidly mutating nature of the virus. There's no cure for herpes or HPV, either, which affect a hell of a lot more people than HIV. And I think that it's a little heavy-handed to accuse the pharmaceutical industry of refusing to develop an HIV cure just to secure higher profits through management-type treatments. A pharma company which developed an AIDS treatment which could be effectively called a cure would see its share-price and goodwill shoot through the roof... I doubt they are discouraging R&D in this direction because they see more profit in a chronically ill segment of our population.
2. Eradicate polio and malaria worldwide. They did eradicate malaria, or damn near, back in the sixties. The cure was a little miracle called DDT. We all know what happened, there. Unfortunately, throwing money at malaria isn't going to solve the problem... applying appropriate techniques to dealing with malaria is the only way to help. As far as polio is concerned, it appears that there are already initiatives dealing with it.
3. Educate everyone in the U.S. I'll be the first one to admit, as a fine example of the failure of American public schools, that public education in our fine country is a clusterfucked mess. I doubt $100 billion is going to do much good, or at least any more good than the money that gets thrown at the problem now. Probably the only real solution is parents taking an active interest in their children's educational growth, but hell, I don't have any kids, and I don't know.
4. Forget unemployment - whole industries could be made with that kind of money. But... if it's the federal government that is setting up and administering that industry, well... look at the former state-run industries in the old Eastern Bloc.
5. Make a light saber. Well, I suppose you could use it to slice bread.
6. Nationwide transition to non-nuclear alternative energy sources. That's all well and good, as far as it goes. After watching the Middle East behave like Gordian Knot of pathologically deranged cultures for my entire life, I, like P.J. O'Rourke, am becoming a big believer in non-petroleum energy sources just so that the Middle East will never have any strategic significance to anyone ever again. But what to replace it with? He's already eliminated nuclear... which leaves hydro (insufficient to meet nation's energy needs), solar (insufficient to meet nation's energy needs), wind (ditto), geothermal (ditto), and biomass (ditto). You can't just say "let's get rid of oil" without some sort of energy source with which to replace it. Eliminating nuclear is the surest way to ensure that we will continue to use petroleum, because it's the only proven technology which even comes close to having the capacity to replace oil in total energy produced.
7. End world hunger and sterilize people. Hunger is a political problem. Famines aren't caused by scarcity of food. More often than not, famines have political causes - especially in Africa. Want to end world hunger? Work to end agricultural price supports, tariffs, and import and export quotas, promote globalization, and work to end corrupt kleptocracies in the developing world which use starvation as a political tool.
8. Stem cells. It's already funded. Just because the federal government isn't vomiting grants all over stem cell R&D doesn't mean there aren't shitloads of private organizations who aren't. And the Israel issue... shit. It's a done deal. Nobody's blowing up Berlin train stations because of the plight of the Sudeten Germans. Nobody's blowing up the Japanese embassy out of sympathy for the displace Ainus. The Palestinians, displaced or not, have to accept that self-determination won't occur until they've given up the ambition of killing every Jew and restoring Greater Palestine from Mediterranean to the West Bank. Fifty years later, it strikes me that it's not the Israelis who are insane, but the Palestinians for continuing to espouse some sort of cult of victimhood.
9. I have no idea what he's talking about.
None of Colin's proposals take into account, however, that the federal government is not renowned for spending money wisely. In O'Rourke's estimation, there are 4 ways of spending money - a) you're spending your own money on yourself, so you're motivated to get the best product at the best price; b) you're spending your own money on somebody else, so you're less interested in the quality of the product; c) you're spending someone else's money on yourself, so you're less interested in getting the best price; and d) you're spending someone else's money on someone else, so "who gives a shit?" It's apparent which of these categories government spending falls into.
One more P.J. quote: "You are smarter than the government. Therefore, when the government is paying you to do something you wouldn't normally do, it's almost always paying you to do something idiotic."
| a BEN production by me at 4:25 PM
.:[Friday, May 07, 2004]:.
IT'S OKAY BABY... I'VE GOT GENITAL WARTS
You know, I see some value in all of this. My masturbatory fantasies often involve a woman suffering from an eventually fatal chronic disease.
| a BEN production by me at 12:48 AM
.:[Thursday, May 06, 2004]:.
IS SOMEONE DEFECATING IN MY MOUTH, SPOUTING TIRED ROMANTIC-COMEDY CLICHES AT ME, AND GIVING ME BRAIN DAMAGE?
No, of course not, but that's close.
Why do I watch things like "Bridget Jones' Diary?" Well, the answer is simple: I want to have sex. And apparently women are brain damaged when it comes to films. And not brain damaged in the still-functional-and-comically-tragic-Crackhead-Bob kind of way, but hideously and fundamentally brain damaged in the maybe-we-should-remove-the-feeding-tube-Terry-Schiavo kind of way.
Men have historically been driven to ridiculous lengths in the pursuit of the skirt. Van Gogh cut his ear off. Samson, like many of us, got a shitty haircut at the behest of his woman and ended up having to push a temple down on himself. There was a rumor a while back about Osama bin Laden declaring jihad on the west because a white woman said he had a small penis. That may sound ridiculous, my women readers, but any man could tell you that's not such a bad reason to kill infidels.
So I watched "Bridget Jones' Diary." And I get to see yet another movie about a sensitive and caring woman who just wants the right man but can't seem to find him but she finds one that she thinks is him and another one she thinks she hates but it turns out the one she thought she hated was actually the one she wanted and happily ever after the end. This is such a novel plot concept that I spent the whole film on the edge of my seat wondering which man she would end up with.
No wait... that was I typo. I actually spent the whole movie wondering what Bea Arthur would look like naked and receiving an enema. This may seem like a grotesque and disturbing mental image, but it's not half as bad as the reality of this movie flickering on my retinas like razor blades inching across my eyeballs.
Excuse me now. I must go wash my brain out with beer.
That's all until tomorrow, when your intrepid correspondent will probably be forced to go to a poetry reading or an interpretive drum circle or a class on feminst dance theory...
| a BEN production by me at 11:06 PM
Boy, if I had a nickel for every time one of my dates ended like this, I could finally afford to eat a decent dinner. Like instead of Ramen, I'd eat two packets of Ramen and a peanut butter sandwich.
Actually, though, I shouldn't pass judgement on this guy. Maybe he's a Kennedy.
| a BEN production by me at 11:01 PM
Not to be outdone by Micah Wright, "Asshat Uber Alles" Michael Moore was lying when he said that Disney backed out of distributing "Farenheit 911" at the last minute.
I can only hope that the Academy voters recognize the genius of Moore's documentary (and I think we can all rest assured, it's genius) so that I can once again be treated to endless soundbite loops of an awkward fat man acting self-righteous in front of a self-congratulatory circle-jerk.
I lost all respect for the Oscars when "Midnight Run" got snubbed. Bunch of pretentious assholes.
| a BEN production by me at 10:37 PM