Monday, December 31, 2007

resolved in '08: keep grinding

Warrior Ant Press resolutions for the New Year.

Zero tolerance for torture.
Lose 10 pounds.
Impeach George Bush and Dick "the Dick" Cheney.
Start smoking cigarettes.

warrior ant press 10th anniversary


We're not real big on birthday celebrations but here's one we want to mention before the year gets away from us. Warrior Ant Press was 10 years old this past November. This is an image from the first Minister of Information piece, taken at a show of William F. Burroughs called "Shootings and Paintings" whereby Burroughs hung a bunch of his work that had first been painted and then shot up with guns and/or bows and arrows. The show was messy crap, but the public came en masse to see the showman and buy some of his work before he passed on.

Burroughs, who was completely stoned at the opening on a mixture of heroin and alcohol was propped into the corner where he greeted the gathering, fawning, cognesceti eager to shake his hand and gush praise. He hardly noticed that I was dressed in a gold-leafed Class A hazmat suit when I sat across from him, scanned him with Geiger counter, then took his photo. I immediately began to manipulate the Polaroid image, much to the horror of those gathered around, then was offered $500 cash for the image - which I refused. Burroughs was oblivious to all the commotion. After he passed out, I took his chair and the cognesceti assumed that I was part of the show and asked for my autograph. I gladly obliged.

The text above the images reads, "Shoot every author orator permit nothing true" was an assemblage from the gallery brochure with a nod to a technique Burroughs used early in his career of cutting and rearranging the text of other writers. Burroughs is flanked by images of a pile of human excrement that was in the gallery parking lot, one taken on my way into the gallery and the other on my way out. The first is marked Crap ,and labeled revolutionary, and the other marked More of the Same Crap, and labeled visionary again with text lifted from the brochure.

Recycle Art. Manipulated Polaroids, gold and silver leaf, found objects on paper, 1997, 8" x 12"

2008 predictions from warrior ant press

Ten things that may come to pass in 2008.

*A new television network will emerge from the writer's strike which won't be settled until after the November elections. Called FTW, For the Win, the network will feature only shows that pit contestants against one another. Just some of the shows on tap at FTW:

--*Fed by Spears -- The raucus pilot begins just as Britney finds out that K-Fed is really the father of Jamie Lynn's baby! Then we follow the trio through the courts and into rehab and back again in the custody battle of the century. With Judge Mathis presiding, it's winner take ALL THE KIDS. Losers pay alimony, court costs, and the therapist bills.

--*Auf'd the Campaign Trail --Follows the crazy antics of Rudy Gulliani on (and auf) the campaign trail as he tries to become President. Americans tune in droves for the sex, swearing, and lying. As the election nears, and to boost ratings among gays and security moms, Gulliani replaces his campaign staff with a team of make-over artists that includes Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks, Ty Pennington, and Tom Bergeron. Rudy then storms the campaign trail in a Utilikilt preaching tolerance, 9/11, and family values. Miraculously, the ploy works because Mike Huckabee can't remember why the US and France are allies; a video clip of Mitt Romney coming out of the restroom with Larry Craig turns up on TMZ; Fred Thompson quits after the California primary, stating, "I make more money in Law and Order residuals than the President does in a year, what the hell's the point in that?";and during an appearance on American Gladitors to prove he's the toughest candidate, John McCain suffers post-tramatic stress while jousting, gets knocked into the water and nearly drowns. A cell phone video of the event will become the most-watched YouTube video of the year.

*Dick "the Dick" Cheney will suffer another heart attack, his 9th, and perish only to surprise the devil himself by coming back to life once the embaling fluid reaches his heart.

*George Bush will remain in office but "the Dick" will still be in charge.

*Bono will play himself in a movie even appearing as himself during his early childhood, will stop wearing those goofy-ass shades everywhere, and will negioate a temporary peace in war-torn Pakistan.

*In an effort to bolster her flagging campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will ditch Celine Dion for Snoop Dogg, who always wanted to 'pop that bitch'.

*Much to Hillary's dismay, the Dogg convinces Chelsea Clinton to make a guest appearance on his reality show Fatherhood, they fall in love, and live happily ever after.

*Barack Obama will become the second bi-racial candidate (after Bill Clinton) to be nominated for the Presidency. The swing state of Michigan will play heavily in the election and ultimately cause the ruination of Obama due to high number of illiterate voters who confuse his name with that of Osama bin Laden. "'Ain't voting for no terrorist, 'cause if I do, they will have won" one disgruntled voter will be heard to say.

*After being elected President, Rudy Gilliani will be linked to truthers, but the Supreme Court will refuse to rule against the notion that 'it was in the country's best interest to start World War III.'

Sunday, December 30, 2007

buck up pardners



The Sprint Center, a downtown concept arena, opened its doors recently in Kansas City. It's opening was bolstered by a ten show gig by Good 'Ole Boy and Walmart shopper Garth Brooks. City Manager, Wayne Cauthen, who was in Denver when Coors Field opened, loves grown-ups hooping and hollerin', wearing their Sunday-go-to-meeting cowboy boots and hats, and spending lots of money in the city. Last night the Sprint Center hosted the World's Toughest Cowboy Rodeo along with a Party in the Dirt by the latest Boothell buzz, Trent Tomlinson.

Rodeo, according to the sponsors of the World's Toughest Cowboy, is one of America's fastest growing sports. I thought that was Nascar, but here I think we're talking the same demographics. Go to the rodeo if you haven't been in a while and you can find out why George Bush in in office. God, the flag, and standing tall, all for sale, and a shot of Jagermeister on the side. BooRah.

And since there's so much competition for our entertainment dollars and attention, this rodeo starts with explosions, backlighting, and hip-hop dubs. For those not familiar with the Toughest Cowboy concept, and I wasn't, it's this. It's a made-for-tv event. What isn't? This rodeo is series of indoor arena events that are held during the winter, the typically off-season of the sport. This keeps the concept in the minds of the audience and allows the promoters to go into previously untapped, or understaturated markets. "Twelve of the toughest hombres on the planet" are paired against each other in 3 rodeo events at each arena stop. Since this was the first event this year, I'm not sure how they were ranked, but each competitor is seeded. One goes against 12, two against 11, and so forth. For each round, there are three: bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding, they are given a score. Two out of three wins the head-to-head and the highest total points is declared the winner of that evenings event. As the events progress throughout the tournament, people start to get eliminated until the final rodeo pits the last remaining 4 and they compete to win among other things the Jagermeister Ranch, which apparently is a place somewhere out West that cowboys and George Bush still dream about.

And because audiences tend to drift off the deep end if things aren't happening all the time, it moves fast. Between event changes we have barrel races, "Who doesn't like "pretty ladies on horseback!" the announcer says, but at least there's prize money (amount not stated) and chuckwagon races, which is like a cross between a dirt-track and a chariot race but with a team of horses and dudes in cowboy hats carrying cell phones, everyone going in circles with lot's of dirt flying around. Plus, there's ample time for promotions of the sponsors products. The Jagermeister girls shooting t-shirts into the upper deck. The Polaris paper airplane toss - "win $50,000 worth of ATVs!", and the cattle dog with the monkey-on-its-back who makes the sheep run up the ramp and jump down into the tiny, tiny portable pen.

In short, the World's Toughest Cowboy competition is like a big rodeo party. At the end, they raise that night's winner up in the air on a giant triangle thingy while buckin' broncs snort and cavort about the arena beneath him. Yes, pardners, they really did this. There's even an after-party.

Last night's after-party was hosted by Trent Tomlinson, who is the second biggest county-rock star to emerge from the same town where Sheryl Crow hails from. Trent, who landed 2 top forty country hits with his first cd sings a lot about drinking, his drinking girlfriend, and hanging out with his family drinking 'neath a shade tree.

The best endorsement I've heard about Tomlinson was from the counter woman at Alford's Pit Bar-B-que. "Why, he's a sweetheart. Comes to visit me every time he comes home." There you go, just like Mike Huckabee - Faith. Family. Freedom. The music though? It sucks balls...of the World's Toughest Cowboy.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

i wish. i wish i could say.

I wish.
I wish I could say.
I wish I could say that all the snow could be removed from the walk with a few, quick strokes of the broom. And that it wouldn't come back in even deeper drifts. That a 50 percent blend of Sulawesi and Yemeni beans made a perfectly piquant cup of French press. That all of the storm windows purchased last fall had been put on the house. And that the house was clean, or even organized.

I wish.
I wish I could say.
I wish I could say that the high-efficiency gas logs were just that; and that I could trust them not to suffocate me during the night if left on. That work was always fulfilling. That going home for the holidays wasn't always steeped in television, alcohol, and racism.

I wish.
I wish I could say.
I wish I cold say that impetuosity didn't drive so many of my decisions. I wish Caroline would take off her glasses, squint, and say "yummy goodness" after dinner. That writing was effortless. That the snow was deep enough for skis. Or better yet, snowshoes. That I was less judgemental, more temperamental, more forgiving.

I wish.
I wish I could say.
I wish I could say that all the time spent reading books had made me a better person; better than not having spent that same time among people. That I knew with certainty just one of the following: that I was attractive, charming, or interesting to H., whom I meet last week and who hasn't returned my phone call.

I wish.
I wish I could say.
I wish I could say that my mother was still alive. That her death hadn't affected me so. That my father had always been so sweet. That I was less familiar with addiction. That I had spent more time in church; that I wasn't an atheist. That a year, month, or even a week went by that I didn't say to myself, 'you're crazy.'

I wish.
I wish I could say.
I wish I could say that I knew the bounds of gravity and had overcome them. At least once. That the strong attraction wasn't always so strong and that we could release it and walk through walls. That we could remember each others name. That someone might stop by unexpectedly.

I wish.
I wish I could say.
I wish that I could say how proud I was to know you. That you are accomplished. And smart. And that you make me smile. That I miss you. That I long to hold you again. That there was a cure for lung cancer.

I wish.
I wish I could say.
I wish I could say that I was in the clear, out of the woods, and on my way. That there was a better way. A better way to say it. But there doesn't appear to be. Not today. Maybe tomorrow, or the day after, or next year, but not today.

I wish.
I wish I could say.

-----------------------

Peace, Joy, and a New Year to you. All the love.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

myspace, your dna


Next year's buzz gift? It just well may be a personal genetic scan for you and your family. For an introductory price of less than a $1000 you can have your DNA code scanned and then placed in an online database that is accessible to you, your friends, and your family. What chance do you have of getting the Hearbreak of Psoriais*? You can find out.

*Psoriais is just one of 18 diseases that the program covers.

find out more:
the heartbreak of psoriasis

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

48 days, week 2

Week 2
Sunday. 3:00 A.M.
Jack Bauer, imprisoned in the Glendale City Jail, tosses in the upper bunk, mutters what sounds like "chicken, watch out for the chicken" then bolts upright. "Jack?" his cellmate Vincent calls out. "You OK brother? It's been a week man, the feel for the hard stuff ought to be outta you."

"No, it's not that. I saw something last night that troubles me."

"You still ragging on that man-in-the-chicken-suit jazz? Give it up brother. Ain't nothing you can do about it here. And the warden, he thought you'd lost your mind, he was ready to put you in the padded room."

"Fuck the warden."

"Amen to that. But watch out, he likes to be on top."

"I'm telling you Vincent, that chicken suit is bad news. I've got to get out of here. Now!"

"Don't we all, Jack, don't we all."

Sunday. 14:00 PM.
"Yeah", Tony Almeda picks up the phone at this desk in CTU headquarters.

"Tony, shhh!it's me," he hears Nina on the other end. "Listen, I've got news from Jack."

"Jack? How? No one from CTY is supposed to talk to him."

"I didn't. Jeff Green, he got picked up last night near Malibu for being an ass, spent the night in the drunk tank, then got transferred to Glendale, before his Larry David kicked him free this morning."

"Green? the writer? the fat-fuck?"

"Yeah that's him. Apparently, when he's been drinking he's not so funny. And since the strike started that's all he's done. Last night, he and Nikki Finke got a little carried away at BooRah, Malibu's latest buzz restaurant. Apparently they were having a little too much fun at Brad Grey's expense who was across the room."

"What's this got to do with Jack?"

While Green was at Glendale, he overheard the desk sargeant going on and on about a stink that Jack was raising the night before; said Jack almost got committed he was acting so crazy."

"What about?"

"Apparently it had something to do with a man in a chicken suit."

Monday. 10:00 AM.
David Pouffe, aid to Senator Barack Obama, bangs on the door of the charter bus. The door opens, he steps inside, greets a few members of the volunteer staff, motions to Obama who listening to his iPod.
"
"Listen, Barack, we got word that the man-in-the-chicken-suit may be showing up at some more events later today."

"No, we're cool. I talked to HRC. It's an old joke between us. A dude in beaver coat and raccoon hat will be filming her today."

"Problem is, this FogHorn Leghorn wasn't Hillary's joke. The man she hired was found this morning at the Hampton Inn just off I-29 near Des Moines. He was hanging from shower rod, still in costume, his entrails going down the drain. This dude that greeted you, we're not real sure who he is, but we think he's dangerous."

"What's his beef?"

"He knows you don't eat chicken."

"I always knew Colonel Sanders was a racist."

Monday. 10:00 AM.
A car pulls into the Sonic in Dubuque, Iowa. Inside is a woman named Bridgit. She orders a Breakfast Toaster sandwich and a large coffee. Then asks if they have whole wheat bread and turbinado sugar. When her order comes she pays with a $20 dollar bill, says "Merry Christmas! Keep the change." to the young carhop, then rolls up the window. Her cells phone rings.

"You got it?"

Bridget opens the Sonic bag and looks inside. "Got it."

Tuesday. 11:00 A.M.
Hillary Clinton, wearing a green pantsuit stands on a makeshift stage constructed of hay bales and some old John Deere signs. There are combines parked strategically to her left and right and in the cabin of one sits a Secret Service agent and in the other, Tony Almeda. They are furtively scanning the crowd. It's a brisk fall day, perfect for football, so even though the man they are looking for stands out amid the Carharts and seed caps, most in the crowd don't bother to look his way. However, pay give much thought although one farmer nudges his wife when the man in the raccoon coat and coonskin hat brushes past them and says, "Look Merle, I bet that's one of those Times writers".

Tuesday. 11:02 P.M.
Tony Almeda says into his lapel. "Nina, he's behind you, 5-O'clock."
Nina turns and moves toward the man. He's approaching the stage both hands in his pockets. Nina abruptly slams into the side of him, knocking him to the ground. She falls on top of him. She pulls the man to his feet by the lapels holding them so he can't raise his arms. "I'm so sorry. Clumsy me." she says to the perplexed onlookers. To the man she whispers, "See those guys in the combines. One wrong move and they'll blow your fucking brains out. Now turn around and come with me."

The man opens his coat and tries to put his hand inside. Nina grabs his wrist, there is audible 'crack', the man winches but does not cry out.

Wednesday. 3:06 A.M.
Tony Almeda walks out of the interrogation room, sweat runs down his forehead. CTU Director George Mason confronts him, "anything?"

"Nothing yet."

"Keep it up. We've got to get something, and soon. Obama is scheduled to make another appearance in a few hours."

Wednesday, 10:45 A.M.
Mason looks over Nina's shoulder as she works on a computer, "what have you got on this guy we picked up yesterday?"

"Jason Park, former envoy to South Korea under the Carter Administration. Hasn't worked in politics since. Spent some time on K-street aftwards...pharmacueticals...tobacco industry...farm lobby, usual stuff. Grew up on a cattle ranch near Omaha. Disappeared for a few years in the early 90's though. That's all we got on him for now."

"Keep working. We've got to get something from him."

Wednesday, 5:15 P.M.
Jack Bauer, sits in the canteen with his cellmate Vincent, they are eating dinner. An greasy Mexican, tattoos covering his neck, walks behind them. Jack pushes back from the table, knocking the man, causing him to spill the contents of his tray.

"You're going to lick those eggs off my boots Pussy, and then you're going to bring me your food. I like 2 sugars in my coffee." He smiles at Jack.

"I'm sorry," Jack says, turns away briefly then wheels and clocks the man.

A huge melee ensues. Guards quickly surround them, pull them apart, restrain them, the drag Jack away. "You're a dead man, Bauer!" the Mexican spits at him. Jack stares back.

Wednesday, 6:45 P.M.
The door opens on a solitary cell. Jack Bauer, bruised and bleeding is drug into cell and dumped. He slowly opens his eyes, then reaches into his waistband and removes a cellphone.

Wednesday, 7:15 P.M.

Nina's cell phone rings.

"Nina, it's Jack."

"OH My God! Jack!"

Thursday, 9:45 A.M.
Nina, Tony, and Director Mason are looking through a see-through window onto an interrogation room. Inside a man, wearing a coonskin cap and raccoon coat is slumped over the desk.

Thursday, 10:00 A.M.
Mason looks at Tony. "Are you sure about this? Is this legal?"

"Doesn't matter." Almeda replies, "The future of the Presidency may hang in the balance."

"This man is the key." Nina says to them both. "You have to do it. That's what Jack said."

Thursday, 11:00 A.M.

The Obama entourage pulls into the parking lot of the Centerville High School. David Pouffe looks over at Obama. "You sure about this? We could cancel. Say you've got the flu."

Obama looks up from the latest issue of Maxim, "what, and have people say I'm black, AND a pussy? No way. I'm in this till the end."

A high school band begins to play, America the Beautiful, the bus doors open, and Obama smiling broadly steps into the crowd.

Thursday, 11:10 A.M.
Eddie Salazaar stands beside his car on a gravel road, hood up, steam pouring from beneath the hood, talking into a cell phone. An elderly, farm couple driving a pick-up truck pulls up along side him asks if he needs help. The man goes into a long story, he's in town covering the primaries, has to be Centerville at 11 cover this event, he's already late, got lost, then his car overheats. Of all the luck. The couple says, "we're headed that way, we could give you a lift."

"Really? Folks in Iowa are so kind. Just let me get my camera gear." The man pops the trunk and pulls a heavy duffle bag and sets it on the ground. The farmer, steps from the truck, "here let me help you" and he moves toward the bag.

As the farmer approaches, Eddie Salazaar pulls a 45 with a silencer and shots the man in the forehead, then opens the passenger door and pulls the man's wife out. She screams at the sight of her husband laying face down, blood seeping into the gravel. "I'm not going to hurt you." Eddie says.

Eddie walks her to the shoulder. "Turn around. Get down on knees!" he shoves her toward the ditch.

She sobs, "don't shoot me. What do you want from us?"

The truck pulls away revealing two prone bodies.

Friday, 7:00 A.M.
A man is strapped to board, his hands and feet bound, his face covered with a cloth. The table is slanted so the man's feet are above his head. The tail of a coonskin cap can be seen trailing off the table. Water is dripping from the end of the tail. The man is gasping is air.

Tony Almeda emerges from the room. CTU Director Mason confronts him. "Well? Did he talk?"

"Yeah, he talked. After he shat himself."

Saturday 5:00 P.M.
A slot opens in the center of Jack Bauer's cell door. He slides his uneaten food back to the guard. "You gotta eat something" the guard says.

"Not hungry." Jack grunts. When the slot closes, Jack slides down into a fetal position, begins to sob. Then he takes out his cell phone, punches in some numbers. A woman answers.

"Kim?"

"Dad? is that you? Where are you?"

"Merry Christmas, baby, I love you."

see also:
m.o.i.: 48 days, week 1
m.o.i.: Damn it! I just can't do this anymore.

Monday, December 24, 2007

there's gold in them there hills?

After just 26 short episodes, YouTube has acquired the syndication rights to Speechless, the video series starring A-list actors, who make silent screen appearances in support of the writer's strike. It's now in reruns! I haven't seen anything as absurd since the plot line of National Treasure 2. Ron Paul saw NT2 this weekend, along with at least 5 million other Americans, and believes that the treasure unveiled in the movie may hold to the key to our budgetary woes.

wintry mix


Ignoring the advice of Chappe the Chaplain who said, "don't go! don't go! you'll die if you go!" we went anyway. We didn't die, although we did encounter every possible type of winter weather in a 4.5 hour stretch. Snow. Sleet. Freezing rain. Snow pellets. Mixtures of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain. Such a bummer, having to drive 50 mph on the interstate - even when you life depends upon it - which I suppose it did.

We made it to St. Louis, where if you don't have a restaurant named after you, you're not really a true sports star in this town. In one shopping district alone, there are 3 restaurants named after former or current Cardinal baseball or football players. We opted for Pujols 5, a dynamic American restaurant, which appeared to mean a sports bars cum fine?dining restaurant mixed in with the sounds of Boom! Boom is a disco cover band that rocked the house with a non-stop opening ofBoogie, Woogie, Oogie, Get Down Tonight, Boogie Man, and Brick House. Save something for later? No way! You need a band for your wedding, then this is the one for if you want to get everyone on the dance floor.

Only caution at Pujols 5. Ask for a locally brewed beer here and watch out! they'll bring you a Budweiser.
elsewhere:

the sounds of boom

Friday, December 21, 2007

Chops w Lamb of God Sauce

The Solstice is here and Christmas is just around the corner so this is a time for feasting. Why not Lamb? Here's a simple dish that is perfect for the feast occasion. The sauce is the faith that binds this dish. It's a variant on the classic brown sauce and if you're worried about calories, forget it, is has less than a glass of eggnog and is far more inspirational. Feasts don't have to mean gorging, if you want to gorge on the Holidays I suggest a trip to the mall, sans inhibitions and credit-card-in-tow. You'll be sick for a month and the less wise for it. Feasts mean friends, family, food, and fun.

Chops w/ Lamb of God Sauce

For the chops. Thick cut grass-fed lamb chops.

Lamb of God Sauce.
You will need:
1 quart of Lamb stock (see link below for lamb soup)
1 pint of Shatto Farms Heavy Cream.
Fresh Rosemary to garnish.

Place one quart of lamb stock that has been carefully strained to remove the impurities in a non-oxidizing pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ~30 minutes to reduce the volume to a glaze, approximately 1/4 cup. The goal is to complete and total the essence of the lamb. The final amount of the reduction based upon the initial water content but it should thinly coat a spoon. Careful at the end! If you scorch the reduction you're done. There's no recovery; it's a do over, and a long one.

Just at the point that the lamb glaze comes together add 3 cups of heavy cream. Your sauce pan has to have some room for expansion or you'll have a mess. Whisk the cream, bring to a boil and at this point you'll notice that it wants to foam considerably. Immediately turn down the heat, stirring and occasionally whisking if necessary to prevent a boil over. Once you get past this initial phase, you can turn the heat down to simmer and the sauce will not boil over. Reduce the liquid by half whisking as needed to prevent the sauce from scorching.

Do not bastardize the sauce with binding or thickening agents. It will not break if made properly. Hold the sauce in a warm spot prior to serving. You can even store it overnight in the fridge, glass or stainless steel only, and then gently reheat prior to serving.

Salt and pepper the lamb (you can substitute pork here if you question your faith) chops then grill them for 4 minutes a side. Let stand for a few minutes and serve. Suggested sides.
Snow peas with caramelized ginger.
Baby portabellas poached in zinfandel.
Moon and stars toast points. (Farm-to-market grains galore).

One word for this dish. Divine.

see also:
m.o.i.: lamb soup- three degrees of separation

elsewhere:
shatto farms
good-natured family farms

what the funk up with dat?


Mayor Mark Funkhouse took the stage this week with his improvisational version of NNIICCEE, although it was more a gesture of composure and lack of performance. The weekly gig also starred Vincent Gallo, and together they made a mess of jamming, mostly on their knees as they couldn't quite find the right melody to satisfy their constituents nor get much satisfaction from the crowd. Some audience members yawned, some were nonplussed, but more were down-right obnoxious with the heavy-handed criticism such as, "rank avatars, the both". The consensus reaction could best be described as "What the Funk just happened?"

Wouldn't it just make more sense to talk about what you plan on doing first, try to set the stage a little bit, and then have a go at it? I guess the notion that the voters "elected the council to use our brains" has now expired. You would think that the Mayor rolling over on the Bannister Mall super-tiff would have garnered more support than an awkward, last-ditch lawsuit proffered by the Mayor Pro-tem.

Lots of things around here need changing; why the Funk do you think he got elected in the first place? But the power structure isn't going to go down easily. The fact that minorities stood behind City Manager Wayne Cauthen in Funk's effort to oust him, is just another example of people doing what's not in their best interest. If someone can tell me how having the City Manager in a 25-year tax-abated condo helps the poor, or how the advent of several hundred crappy stadium food service and parking lot jobs in downtown helps minorities, then bring on the salsa, I'm ready to tango.

On the flip side, for all the front-porch sitting in the company of friends and a malted beverage that the Mayor's been doing, he could use some advise from the other side - the side that 3-steps to hard liquor and hard work. One of the campaign promises that Mark made was that he was going to surround himself with people who agreed with him, as well as those who didn't agree with him. Seems like he's waited a little too long to find those that disagree with him because they keep turning up in council chambers and either casting votes against him, or publicly castigating him. Worst, these Christians are likely to be stingy with the forgiveness. It's going to take more than eggnog to make this Council sound mellifluous again.


elsewhere:
nniiccee funky porch
the band rriiccee

Thursday, December 20, 2007

bringing some light to our darkest hours



On Friday, just in time for Christmas and the Winter Solstice, the culpability of the Bush Administration torture crowd will be questioned by a federal judge. The government must appear before Federal District Court Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr to answer questions about why the government withheld evidence in a criminal trial and then destroyed said evidence, even when warned against doing either by the court. Let's hope Judge Kennedy sees the government's actions for what they were, and sets the stage for indictments of a slew of White House counsels who were part and parcel to such blatant disregard for the rule of law, which they pretend to cherish, yet so patently ignore.

This includes former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who served as White House counsel until early 2005; Gonzales'successor, Harriet Miers, who was briefly nominated to the Supreme Court before her name was withdrawn for being El Presidento's urequited love slave; John B. Bellinger III, who until January 2005 was the senior lawyer at the National Security Council,and David Addington, who is Vice President Dick "the Dick" Cheney's chief of staff and formerly his cousel. Lawyers all, and when they go against the wishes of the court willfully and knowingly, it amounts to Obstruction of justice and Conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice.

The Bush Administration objects to being forced to appear before Judge Kennedy, just as they object to each and every request to shed light on their dungeons and dragons roleplaying with the world, our future, and the constitution. A little sunlight will be the undoing of these devils. Thanks goodness the days are going to start getting longer as of today.
see also:
m.o.i.:: insane clown posse

elsewhere:
officials to submit to questioning

ap cia videotapes analysis

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

red carpet massacre?

Jeez! Writer's Guild of America (WGA) has announced that they won't grant waivers to the Golden Globes and the Oscars and people are crying foul, foul, foul. "We want our stars! We demand our stars. You can have our homes, our dignity, our jobs, but our stars? NO! Not the Stars!" It's as though the whole economy can come crashing down like the twin towers if the stars don't show up on Hollywood Boulevard the last Monday in February. Well maybe it can, given that unless our feckless consumers feel good about themselves, well, then they can't shop. And shop they must. And feel good they must. Least they have dispense with their own dreams and star in their own reality show. Thank goodness I won last week's immunity challenge so that I have a brief respite from my own.

Warrior Ant Press offers this compromise. WGA gives the Oscars a waiver. The red carpet rolls, the glitterati descend from on high, the press and fans fawn alike over the costumes, the hair, the makeup, and Enertainment Tonight scores an interview or two. Even David Carr, the CarpetBagger, gets an interview with an A-lister. In return, actors who win awards have to come to the podium and remain speechless - for 90 seconds.

tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc,tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc,tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toctic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc,tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc,tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc..

Ninety seconds is a long time. That was only 60 secs.

Maestro! The music.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

48 days, week 1


Week 1

Sunday. 17:00 P.M.
Two blue Suburbans, windows heavily tinted, screech to a halt in front of the Glendale City jail. Three men in dark clothes and even darker sunglasses emerge from the vehicle where they are met by three uniformed officers. The vehicle is quickly surrounded by a throng of onlookers, television reporters, and paparazzi. One of the men in dark clothes turns his back on the crowd and speaks quietly into a cell phone, then motions to the other two and they all move to the rear of the vehicle. When the crowd begins to surge forward, the uniformed officers push them back with a fierce intensity.

The rear doors are opened to reveal a cuffed and shrouded figure. The man is pulled from the vehicle, and because his feet are also shackled is forced to shuffle his way forward. Guards hold him upright, drag his feet when he lingers to sounds of "Jack, Jack, look this way!", and brusquely pull him up the steps. A young boy, no older than 15 rushes to get a close-up photo of the shrouded figure. One of the sun-glassed guards shoves the boy to the ground. "Get the fuck out of here!" he spits at the boy. Someone at the back of the crowd screams, "Hey, you can't do that to him." The man wheels, glares, and begins to move toward the voice. "Victor! Victor!" a voice shouts. The man stops. "Leave it." Victor turns away, moves to the boy, picks him up by the elbow, and leans in where only the boy can hear him. "Next time I break your fuckin' leg."

Within the hour TMZ has footage of the incidence on its web site. It becomes the lead story for Entertainment Tonight, even Katie Couric makes mention of it on the Nightly News.

Sunday. 17:05 PM.
A white 4-door Ford Escort with a dent in the front quarter-panel pulls into the underground parking lot of the jail and parks in the sole handicapped parking space. Jack Bauer, accompanied by his attorney, emerge from the car whereupon they enter the building and Jack surrenders himself to the desk sergeant who after taking his personal effects, asks him for an autograph. Jack's attorney produces a photo from his briefcase, which Jack signs and hands to the officer. "Let's go," the officer says.

Monday. 10:00 PM.
Jack Bauer plays chess with his cellmate, Vincent. Before going to bed, Vincent tells him that he’s glad he's back in the house. Jack gives a nod and a cold stare but says nothing.

Tuesday. 8:00 AM.
Senator Barack Obama, an African-American running for President, writes his speech for the following day’s Iowa campaign event.

Tuesday. 12:00 P.M.
Carl Rovner transmits from Charleston, South Carolina that a man in a chicken outfit is coming to Iowa to heckle Senator Obama at tomorrow's event. Agent Richard Walsh, a high ranking Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) officer, is alerted.

Tuesday. 12:05 P.M.
Walsh tries to reach Agent Bauer on his cell phone to no avail.

Tuesday. 12:06 A.M.
Agent Walsh phones CTU headquarters and asks to speak to Agent Bauer. Je is informed that Bauer has been placed on administrative leave for 48 days and is not to be contacted by any member of the staff. Walsh asks to speak with District Director George Mason but is told that he's unavailable. Agent Nina Myers gets on the phone and tells Walsh that she can't divulge Jack's whereabouts, or when he will be back on duty, but that Jack is OK and recovering.

Wednesday, 10:45 A.M.
Outside of Post 10 of the Fraternal Order of the Exalted Woodsmen, a man in a chicken suit clucks at Senator Obama as he enters the hall to deliver a short campaign speech. The passing is captured on film by a Iowa farmer with a newly purchased digital camera. He sells the film for $12,000, more profit than he made all of last on his cow-calf operation. The film becomes the lead story that evening on Entertainment Tonight.

Thursday, 2:45 A.M.
Jamey Farrell, sitting in his parent's basement in his boxer shorts and smoking a joint, posts a copy of the man-in-the-chicken-suit clucks at Senator Obama on YouTube. The video is 32 seconds in it's entirety. He gets paid nothing.

Thursday, 9:45 A.M.
A guard bangs on the cell of Jack Bauer. "Bauer, let's go. You have a visitor."

Thursday, 10:00 A.M.
Bauer is lead into a room and told "10 minutes, no touching". Bauer looks around the room and recognizes no one.

Thursday, 10:01 A.M.
A young woman arises and walks toward Jack. When she reaches him, she pulls back her hooded sweater. "Kimberly! My god, you're alive!"

Friday, 10:00 P.M.
Vincent, Jack's cellmate says "Checkmate. Again. Damn, are you trying to set me up, motherfucker, because if you think I'm a sucker for that bullshit, you are wrong." "No," Jack says, "I'm just a little distracted". Vincent says, "I don't who that was that paid you a visit, but whoever it was sure fucked with your head." For the first time Jack is afraid and realizes that he may not be in control of the situation. Jack and Vincent have a heart-to-heart talk before turning in.

Saturday, 7:00 A.M.
A cell phone buzzes on a kitchen counter. Senator Clinton, still in her pajamas, picks up the phone. "Hillary," Barack greets her, "Good Morning. I gotta tell you, the chicken suit, wow, that was clever."

Saturday, 8:00 A.M.
Agent Walsh replays the phone conversation between Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Stops the tape. Rolls it again. Then picks up his phone and makes a call. "Tony Almeida please" he commands into the phone.

Saturday, 10:00 A.M.
District Director George Mason looks up from his desk, "What is it Tony?" Tony fills him in on the phone call between Obama and Clinton. "What do you think?" Mason asks Tony. Tony shakes his head. "Doesn't make sense."

Saturday 14:00 P.M.
Jack Bauer is walking through the common area of the jail. It is one of the few free moments the inmates have during the week. Jack walks past a man at a computer. The man is laughing out loud. "Wow. Check this shit out. Some dude in a chicken suit just dumped on that black dude Obama," the man guffaws. Jack stops. Grabs the mouse. Go back. Go back. He freezes the frame on a closeup of the man-in-a-chicken-suit's face. "Shit!" Jack exclaims, then yells "Guard! Guard! Guard! I have to speak to the warden. NOW!"

see also:
m.o.i.: Damn it! I just can't do this anymore.

Monday, December 17, 2007

how to survive the office party

Drink in moderation - before, during, and after.

Wear an Xmas sweater? OK. It might make your colleagues laugh, but will you feel better? Probably not, unless you look good in red and green. Outside of Nicole Kidman, there aren't many who do.

Eat Chinese. Sure. Why not. The atheists in the office won't be offended, nor will the Buddhists, and the company can feign inter-denominational understanding.

Improvise. Here's where those interpersonal retreat workshops can really pay off. Sit next to the bosses' spouse at dinner, be very charming, and really, really listen to them. Ask plenty of questions. Hey, if the boss doesn't listen to you, do you think they pay attention to their spouse? Probably not, and the spouse is likely to do more to raise your profile in a 5-minute conversation during the ride home if you make a good impression than all the ass-kissing you've ever done. So try it. What's the worst that could happen? An affair with the boss's spouse. Ahhh. Maybe that's what is meant when they say, ''don't be afraid to take risks" in the workplace.

In short. Don't worry about it. Every one's in the same boat. If you've already spent 20 years at the office being mediocre so you can draw a pension while you still have a few teeth left, then what's another hour or two?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

good books to you

Nothing says Christmas like The Wilder's Christmas show at the Reading Reptile. Full of 'ole timey music, corn pone humor, and family traditions. Yee Haw!

As to Christmas, and the soon-to-be New Year, Warrior Ant Press is releasing it's 2007 list of Pretty Good Books. These are books that captured our attention this year, or at least long enough for us to read them cover-to-cover. Not all of these books were published in 2007, that's just when WAP discovered them. We include them in our 2007 list, because a good book never goes out of style.

Here's fifteen books, in no particular order, and all of them are better than what's on television right now. Read one today.

Finn by Jon Clinch. Wow! No wonder Huck was a little conflicted. As politically incorrect as Twain as just as readable.

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell. 2006, Little, Brown, & Company. Nobody writes about the life of poor Ozark folk as well as Woodrell, and very few writers produce anything that even comes close to this level of storytelling.

A Well-Paid Slave: Curt Flood's Fight for Free Agency in Professional Sports by Brian Synder. 2006, Viking Publishers. You think the public doesn't like Barry Bonds. It's nothing compared to what Flood had to endure when he decided to challenge the monopoly known as Major League Baseball. Flood should be in the Hall of Fame for the legacy of his efforts.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. 2006, Shaye Aerhart Books. A perfect holiday whodunit about going home and confronting the demons of the past.

What is what by Dave Eggers. If this harrowing tale of struggle and triumph doesn't make you stop whining about your difficult life, you should seriously contemplate finding a new therapist.

The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer. This book will make you forget the Kite Runner.

The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon. 2007, Harper Collins. Oiih! A Hard-boiled Jewish detective and his Tlingit sidekick try to solve a crime in the Alaskan noir.

Alice Waters & Chez Panisse. by Thomas McNamee. 2007, Penguin Press. You haven't heard the last of Alice Waters till you've been served this tome for dessert. After 35 years of cooking, her marks are still fresh on the plate and there's more to come.

You don't Love Me Yet by Jonathan Lethem. 2007, A book that simultaneously pokes fun at the art world AND romance. What's not to like?

Cross County by Robert Sullivan. 2006. A different sort of travelogue written as if Jack Kerouac had traveled the interstate with his wife and kids fueled by Dunkin' Donuts, truck stop coffee, and seedy motels.

Doubt: A parable by John Patrick Shanley. Shanley's 2005 play won the Pulitzer Prize. It still resonates in our celebrity culture of love/hate and guilty/not guilty. Jury duty coming up? Take this one to the court house and turn some heads.

the unbinding by Walter Kirn. 2006, Anchor Books. An internet novel - now in books!

Under the Sun by Arthur Dorros. 2004 Amulet Books. A boy makes his way through war to a place of hope.

meditations in green by Stephen Wright. 2003. Vintage Paperbacks. The best novel about Vietnam, since, well, Vietnam.

Theft, by Peter Carey. The stuff of paintings - Art world intrigue, romance, and deceit.

elsewhere:
a bitter man lives here
the wilders

Saturday, December 15, 2007

snowy day, mountain dog



It's true. Rare West Tibetan Mountain Dogs love the snow. Why? They're from the mountains of West Tibet! It snows there. A lot. And they love packing around on snowy mountain trails.

This spirited Rare West Tibetan Mountain Dog goes crazy when it snows! He's like a 10-year from Florida, rolling around in it, making snow angels, licking it. The only thing I haven't yet seen this dog do with snow is make a snowman. He can definitely catch a snowball. And he can pull a sled. And all he asks in return? A biscuit shaped like Frosty. Sit boy. Sit. Yumm. Yumm.

see also:
m.o.i.: rare west tibetan mountain dog

elsewhere:
the not-a-rare-west-tibetan mountain-dog web site

your money, in an anthill?

Ahh...for that hard-to-shop for person on your gift list. You could make something, always recommended, but for the person who has more things than they need, then something well-crafted may be under appreciated. We wouldn't want to feel under appreciated.

Warrior Ant Press offers a few options.

How about a liter of Mansinthe - Marilyn Mansions boutique version of absinthe. Drink a bottle of this and you'll likely want to pluck out your own eyebrows and paint them back on. You may even opt for a little pancake makeup before the nights over.

Everyone wants to be healthy. How about a bottle of Human Growth Hormone. And for those of you with drug-testing policies in force at your place of employment, remember, there's still no urine test for Human Growth Hormone!



Tickets to a celebrity trial. Next year we have OJ: I did Vegas My Way; Phil Spector: I've had time to reload; Lindsey Lohan: crash-test dummy;and R.Kelly:I like em young and on film.
The hardest tickets to obtain, seem to be those to trials of Bush Administration officials but we're working hard to see if we can get some.

Friday, December 14, 2007

the revolution won't be youtubed

This season on the WGA.

Writer Boi.
Original air date, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007. Probably the most creative of the spate of new episodes to air. Hip-hoppity grooves on the grave of AMPTP. Directed and Edited by: David Schlussel
Shot by: Robert W. Swanson

3 and half pencils.

Speechless: the Episodes.
Premiered Thanksgiving Weekend on Deadline Hollywood Daily. Episodes to date - 21. Currently in reruns on the WGA and YouTube. Writers found themselves with a minor hit on their hands with these short pieces designed for viewers with hearing problems. Shot in a cinema verite style, these short pieces tell the world that this strike is really more about the A-list, than the W-list. After the 20th episode, some actors were left to wonder, "hey, why wasn't I asked to do one of these? have I been down-graded?
2 pencils and an eraser.

Hollywood Unions: Why this is their fight too
Original air date unknown. This episode of why all Hollywood unions share in the misery of writers reads like an office training video. If after 5 (now 6) weeks out, WGA is still trying to convince other unionists why the walkout is a good idea, then the next months are likely going to be intolerable for all union members. The last television show about a labor union member was the Honeymooners; perhaps this was the problem, no real basis for empathy. Walking the picket line can endear a certain amount of comraderie, but face it, no one really wants to have to stoop to begging for a raise, and when one does, it tends to make one feel more down-to-earth than they really prefer to be.
2 pencils and a pair of scissors.

Who's on the Line?
Original air date Tuesday, November 27, 2007.
Directed by Peter Hyoguchi
Edited by Patrick Francis
Music composed by Christopher James Thomas
Documentary about the life of a screenwriter and the jobs they must endure to keep producing scripts from the heart. Follows 4 writers and an assistant through a day on the picket lines. Some endearing moments. Too many kids. Not enough animals.
3 pencils.


Project Strike Life.
Pilot air date. Dec.2, 2007. Zany sitcom about the walking the line from the creative team of Chris Nolan and Laurie Noland. This series gets to the wacky misery at the heart of the YouTube strike experience: improv., music, and ad-libs - The epidsode "Picket Buddy" is a bit like the Larry David Show without the cursing. Yet. 3 episodes to date.
3 and half pencils.

Strike this! YouTube feature by laxhornet. Follows Matt, the writer, on his first day as a striker. Finally. Some satire. And Cursing. Lot's of it.

3 pencils

Thursday, December 13, 2007

everybody is a star

Doesn't the Grand American pastime have a long history of cheating? Stealing signs, doctoring baseballs in a variety of ways including placing them in the deep freeze, nicking and spitting on them, watering down the base paths, shaving the mound, grooming the foul lines. It's all part of the game. Stories are told in the dugout, in the clubhouse, and in the broadcasting booth until they become folklore. We love them. Do you hate Billy Martin because he drank a little (OK, a lot; maybe he even took an amphetamine or two but who really knows) and stole a few signs along the way to 7 World Series rings or because the Yankees won the World Series when your team was playing them and for all you can say about him, say this? He always played the game to WIN.

Years from now you'll still be telling your grand kids that you saw Barry Bonds hit a home run the last season, the record-breaking season. "Missed seeing the 756 by 3 games. Boy! was he a helluva player. They say he took steroids, but it was never proven. I think he was just a gifted athlete."

It's just a game. Fun to watch. Fun to follow. Fun to dream about. Remember your dreams about making it to the big leagues? And why didn't YOU make the sacrifices needed to get there, or did you just lack the talent?

Don't like MLB. There's always wiffle ball where every one's an Allstar.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

say it ain't so, jodi

There are some surprises on the list of 'players' who have been implicated in Senator George Mitchell's doping investigation. Those include Toby Keith, who once sang the National Anthem during the All-Star game and Homer Simpson, long thought to have gained his strength from beer and donuts, apparently bulked on synthetic testosterone while playing centerfield for the Mets (Episode 137).


Commissioner Bud Selig is praying that no members of the Bad News Bears appear on the list although one certainly has to wonder just how Jodi Foster went from shortstop to vigilante in a few short years. We find out the rest of the story tomorrow.

see also:

m.o.i.:marion jones cleared
m.o.i.: into the clear
m.o.i.: can't touch this*
m.o.i.: name your price
m.o.i.: serious inquiries only
m.o.i.: yankees on hgh
m.o.i: the real problem in baseball
m.o.i: this one's a bitch
m.o.i: got hgh?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

offended by nothing

The following was sent in by a faithful reader. It details an interesting email exchange about the appropriate use of Holiday displays at the office. We include it here to potentially offset similar encounters before they occur at your workplace.
------------------------------------------
To: All Department Employees

From: Michelle Quigley
Designated Agency Ethics Official

Subject: Guidance for the Upcoming Holiday Season

I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very merry and safe holiday season. Each year at this time many of us participate in holiday celebrations and activities occurring in and out of the office. While this is a time of celebration and joy, we must still be aware that there are rules and regulations which apply to all employees. As a result, the Departmental Ethics Office generally receives a number of questions from employees on the appropriateness of certain holiday activities.

Therefore, in anticipation of the more common questions received by my office, I have provided you with a summary of the rules governing various holiday activities.
Holiday Decorations
The Ethics Office has ruled that while offices may expend appropriated funds for reasonable seasonal decorations, such expenditures should be limited to those for use in the main entrances. central lobbies, or shared work areas of buildings. Seasonal decorations should not endorse, nor appear to endorse, any particular religious or political belief. Company funds may not be used to purchase decorations of a religious nature for private office space, nor for common areas.

Expenditures by the company are not authorized for decorating private areas or areas where the benefit is primarily for the employees who work in that area. However, employees may decorate their office areas, if decorations are purchased with their own funds (emphasis added). Such decorations may reflect the individual's cultural or religious beliefs (for example, a Christmas tree, a depiction of St. Nicholas, a menorah, or a Mkeka and Kinara), provided that such decorations do not interfere with the accomplishment of the employee's official responsibilities.

Wishing you the best this holiday season.
Michelle Quigley
Designated Agency Ethics Official
--------------------------

To: Michelle Quigley
Designated Agency Ethics Official

From: >name redacted for privacy purposes<

Subject: re: Guidance for the Upcoming Holiday Season

Thank you for clarifying the appropriate use of holday decorations at the office. We are decking the foyer, but not the Halls! Question though. After reading your email guidance, a frustrated employee came to me and asked, "would it be appropriate to display an atheistic holiday display in my cubicle?" My response, based upon your edifying email, was that as long as the display reflected his/hers belief system, then it was appropriate. The employee then left and on their lunch hour constructed such a display. The following morning, a nearby officemate came to me expressing considerable consternation at the display. I suggested that perhaps the best thing to do would be to ignore it, but no, this employee was adamant that the display was in fact highly offensive to them. I looked at the display and found nothing offensive. Can you advise as to the appropriateness of atheistic holiday displays in the office work environment?

A safe holiday to you.
>name redacted for privacy purposes<
---------------------------------------

To: >name redacted for privacy purposes<

From: Michelle Quigley
Designated Agency Ethics Official

Subject: Guidance for the Upcoming Holiday Season

Thanks for your interest in making the holidays fun and safe for all. I have checked with the comptroller as to the appropriateness of such a display within the confines of office space. Unfortunately though, athesism is not currently listed in the departmental guidelines as an official religion and thus is not covered under the Department's holiday guidance. Perhaps as a compromise, you might suggest that the employee in question simplify the display, thereby removing the offensive elements and thus lessening it's effect.

Peace to you this holiday season.
Michelle Quigley
Designated Agency Ethics Official
---------------------------------------------------

To: Michelle Quigley
Designated Agency Ethics Official

From: >name redacted for privacy purposes<

Subject: re: Guidance for the Upcoming Holiday Season

What a joy this time of year is! Snow is falling and everyone is making merry - but not on company time! I followed your advice and made the compromise suggestion of simplification. However, I must say that this suggestion was not meet with what one might call the Holiday Spirit. NO! No, indeed. The employee in question said such threats only strenghtened their personal resolve for a public display of beliefs.

Wishing you Joy and Prosperity in the New Year.
>name redacted for privacy purposes<
------------------------------------

To: >name redacted for privacy purposes<

From: Michelle Quigley
Designated Agency Ethics Official

Subject: re: Guidance for the Upcoming Holiday Season

I have met again with consel on this matter. They have suggested that the best approach is to allow the employee to display nothing.

Again, Peace.
Michelle Quigley
Designated Agency Ethics Official
---------------------------------------
To: Michelle Quigley
Designated Agency Ethics Official

From: >name redacted for privacy purposes<
Subject: re: Guidance for the Upcoming Holiday Season

Joyous Holidays indeed. We have successfully resolved the issue. After some soul searching in the off-hours, and upon closer inspection, it was determined by all parties that the display contained nothing of offense.

Your Ally in All things Allah.
>name redacted for privacy purposes<
p.s. A photo of the display is enclosed so that you make your own determination and assure the Department of Ethics that we have made the right choice.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

the only documentary that matters

"People get ready, there's a train 'a comin'." Curtis Mayfield.

When asked early in his career by a sneering journalist, "what makes you guys so different?" Joe Strummer, lead singer of The Clash, shot back, "well, for one thing, we never brush our teeth." This was Alfred Jarry asking for a toothbrush on his death bed and it sent the message to Fleet Street that The Clash didn't give a fuck whether you liked them or not. They did care if you listened though and they worked hard to get people to listen. Helped by art school backgrounds, Strummer and bandmates Mick Jones and Joe Simonon, understood that fame was part talent, part marketing, and part attitude. And the more famous you were, the more people listened. And listen they did.

It was hard to ignore The Clash in the early 80s if you were following punk, interested in politics, or just slightly at odds with the foibles, failures, and lies of the Reagan and Thatcher administrations. "The only band that matters," Epic Records Director of A&R, Bruce Harris, once said about the Clash. It was a statement oft repeated in the heyday of punk, post-punk, and the years since. Of all the people who have agreed with that statement, and there have been many, the one who most certainly would have not agreed with it, was Strummer. The Clash mattered because they made you realize how much the music and politics of Woody Guthrie, Joan Baez, and the Wailers mattered.

In the new documentary, The Future is Unwritten: Joe Strummer, director Julien Temple tells the story of the singer, his early days as the the leader of the 101's, the house band for West London squatters, and how Strummer came to The Clash and led them to the summit of the U.K. and U.S. punk scenes before fame, drugs, and jealousy dismantled them, sending two-thirds of its members into rehab and exiled Strummer into the wilderness of his own soul. It was nearly 10 years before Strummer came out of the woods to back another band, the Mescaleroes.

The film is full of early footage of The Clash, even before they hit it big, much of it culled from Temple's early work following the Sex Pistols. The Clash's first gig was as an opening act for the Sex Pistols. One early scene in the film has Strummer alone in the studio laying down the vocals to White Riot, screaming at the top of his lungs "Everybody does, just what they're told to; nobody wants to go to jail", immersed in the mantra, and oblivious to the world. Stummer's varied musical tastes and love of the genre are woven into the film via archival BBC recordings of song introductions done on London Calling, a radio show that Strummer hosted.

Temple juxtaposes quick edits of old grainy black and white footage with new color images of testimonials shot around campfires and candid interviews with other Clash members, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, and Topper Headon. During his wilderness period, Strummer discovered how a bonfire could set people at ease and bring out the stories and music in people. Temple reprises the technique here to some effect, although it's two-thirds through the movie before we discover why the campfire scenes. Joe Ely and rapper Melle Mel of the Grandmaster Five, with whom The Clash first toured in the US, share some good stories about how The Clash conquered the US. Melle Mel, also points out that, despite being a visionary, Strummer was a bit of a personal coward, afraid of confrontation. John Cusak sounds like an adoring fan when he describes the bands impact on him, but campfire scenes with Johnny Depp (talking like a pirate!) and Bono seem forced and contrived. When Martin Scorcese says, that although there is no The Clash music in the soundtrack to Raging Bull, it was his inspiration for the film, well, frankly, it's hard to believe.

If you followed The Clash and the punk scene, or even if you just care about music, democracy, and how it's made and why, then this is one film you won't want to miss.

Damn it! I just can't do this anymore.


Fox has announced that it will not be airing new episodes of the hit series 24 beginning in January, 2008 as expected due to the lingering writer's strike in Hollywood. In it's place, Fox will air 48, a new reality show that follows the exploits of former CTU operative Jack Bauer as he negiotiates the rough and tumble world of the Glendale city jail.

In a related story, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Televison Producers (AMPTP) and striking writers agreed to suspend talks for the entire period of Bauer's time in jail so that tv fans would not have to miss any episodes of 24 without Agent Bauer.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

the big O, a bird dog, and some love

Now the Mike Huckabee has found that the key to Conservative Christians is an endorsement from Walker, Texas Ranger, and Barack has discovered that the secret to capturing the attention of the suburban security mom is to bring on the big O, we thought it about time other candidates got on board the Celebrity Endorsement Train.

Here's a few of Warrior Ant Press recommendations for how other candidates can bring much needed attention to their campaigns with a well-placed celebrity endorsement.

Quaid can demonstrate that he and Edwards still have the hair and a cool attitude.

Tancredo needs to stop being goofy. Together he and his bounty hunter can bird dog the 3,000 mile fence.

Opposites attract?Jenna Elfman, Scientologist and the Mitt the Mormon*. A clash of 2 CULTures?

Fred Thompson's campaign needs a little Love-Hewitt.

Golden boy Paul and material girl Madonna can really deliver a line.

*Editor's note: Some Mormon sects allow multiple flags.

a chubby for war


Vice-President Dick "the Dick" Cheney was in Kansas City yesterday, Pearl Harbor Day. The Dick, as those who work for him like to call him, was in town trying to raise money for more military mayhem, thus his stop at the most phallic (complete with testicles) of all U.S. war monuments, the Liberty Memorial. After some chest thumping by his doctor, Cheney was given the ok to strip into his skivvies and run naked in the snow. The WorldWide Headquarters of Warrior Ant Press located just a few blocks away from the event, noticed that in the short time that the VP was in town, the skyies darkened considerably over the city, a cold, bitter wind came down from the north, and at least 25 people were killed in attacks in Iraq.

m.o.i.: dick cheney shakes hands with the devil
m.o.i.: one life to live
m.o.i.: cheney's bunker revealed!
m.o.i.: impeach the dick

Thursday, December 6, 2007

insane clown posse

When will members of the Bush administration be held accountable for their criminal acts?

Today the New York Times published an article revealing that the C.I.A. destroyed tapes of agents using what they referred to as, extreme interrogation techniques, but many would likely view as torture. The interrogations took place in 2002, and the C.I.A. destroyed the tapes in 2005. On at least 2 occasions prior to their destruction, attorneys for the C.I.A. told federal prosecutors who requested any documents that might show evidence of such "interrogation" techniques that the C.I.A. had none. High ranking C.I.A. officials also told members of the 9/11 commission and members of the House Intelligence Committee that no such documents existed.

Now it appears that they did have such information in the form of videotapes and audiotapes and rather than turn over the requested evidence, it was destroyed. The evidence was also witheld from the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, who was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 9/11 attacks. We are not coming to the defense of Mr. Zacarias, but when the government can destroy evidence in trials, can withhold evidence in trials at its discretion, and can deny defendants access to legal counsel, then we have serious problems in this country.

This goes against our entire system of law. Lying to federal prosecutors! Withholding of evidence when specifically requested from Congressional oversight committees. There has to be a modicum of trust between the people and the government or the government will cease to function. The people will, and should, demand this. This was Nixon's downfall. Lying to American public and destroying evidence. Americans won't stand for this bullshit much longer.

There should be immediate calls for a special counsel to investigate the destruction of criminal evidence, and if anyone, anyone is found to be involved in such actions they should be charged with perjury, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice. It's time to put more people with ties to this morally bankrupt administration of liars, cheats, and thugs behind bars. This includes Porter Goss, who was head of the C.I.A. at the time and who had to have known this was being done. He would have had to ok such an action. It's time for the Bush Administration to retreat to a dungeon of its own making.

elsewhere:
dungeons and dragons

the innocents

Today is the feast day of St. Nicholas, known as St. Nicholas Day. Last night, my childlike friends, who are very fond of St. Nicholas and doing well in the world, left a box of sweets on my doorstep. In keeping with the benevolent nature of St. Nicholas, such sweets are meant to be shared, not hoarded.

St. Nicholaus is, among other things, patron saint to children, sailors, and the innocent.

Images of St. Nicholaus by Elizabeth Janovsky
more at:
m.o.i.: xmas, where x = green

elsewhere:
St. Nicholas

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

bad thoughts, good america

You never know who you'll run into at a Knitters concert. Stay long enough, you might even meet yourself.

After the first couple of songs in the crowded, overheated confines of Davy's Uptown Ramblers Club, I was having more than a few misgivings about the "Knitters" and their tangled mess of folk, country, and rockabilly. The licks were there, the steady backbeat of professionalism, but where was the heart and soul? Hidden behind the modulated ennui of Excene Cervenca? Brought down to hillbilly-punk mortality by John Doe's cold? I wasn't feeling it, despite, thank god, a smoke-free respite (thanks to Doe's cold) from the usual stuffy confines of the tomb that is Davey's.

Then they launched into an updated version of "I must not think bad thoughts" and shortly thereafter guitarist Dave Alvin keyed me, himself, the band and the crowd into the regenerative power of rock and roll. Very soon, backed with sweet rhythms from DJ Bonebrak, on drums, and Johnny Rae Bartel, on stand-up bass, and help from the good-looking Dead Rock West, the sweat began to pour, the party was on, and the mixed age crowd of acid-hick-punk rocksters was digging a collective grove and a representative portion of all age groups were documenting the experience with cell phone cameras and another round of drinks.
There were birthdays being celebrated, a knitter simultaneously doing the pogo and baby slippers next to the stage, and the understanding that folk and punk music are both about trying to change the world and having a good time in the process. Here's to all that and being in the trenches. Salut. Now go get some dirt and live music beneath your nails.

bush says world to end soon

Today, El Presidento Bush, announced that the world will end on January 20th, 2009. It was the third such announcement from the bully pulpit, and despite criticism from others that it might not actually happen, Bush, claiming “a great intel discovery” led him to this conclusion, insisted that no this time, it really, really, really will happen.

Monday, December 3, 2007

xmas, where x = green

Holiday decorations are down this year. Lot's of reasons, choose one: 1) sub-prime mortgage collapse; 2) stagnating economy; 3) colder than normal weather; 4) warmer than normal weather; 5)the writer's strike ;6) grumpiness. Could be any of those reasons. Doesn't matter, they're down, and holidays are suffering because of it. Don't fret. There's still plenty of time for a remedy.

In the old days, the remedy for the holiday blues might be a few glasses of eggnog, Nat Cole, or a drive around town to see the lights. Yeah, lights. Crazy yard displays. As long as we don't have to put them up, take them down, or deal with the traffic, they are great. Except yard lights aren't very environmentally sensitive, but there are still plenty of 'em of there. And here's how you can take advantage of them, without adding to the carbon budget.












To save gas and to spread a little holiday cheer WARRIOR ANT PRESS is officially announcing Xmas, where x = green. Xmas,where x = green is a carbon neutral holiday lights tour that requires no car trips around town to complete and view. It also doesn't consume any more resources than what's already out there in the public display. Warrior Ant Press has been documenting and posting holiday displays for the last several weeks on our website. These we discover during dog walks, work commutes, and weekly errands. We document them with our digi-cam, post them on a web-sharing site, and then feed them to our blog. We will continue to add to this display throughout the season and now we're inviting your participation. And it's so easy. Easier than shopping for your dad.

Here's how it works.

First. Document your own holiday display. Or walk around your neighborhood, town, or village and document the BEST displays of others. You know where they are and if you don't then by walking around town, you'll soon find out. They don't have to be extravagant. Some of best displays are the most simple. Alternatively, you can capture 'displays of opportunity' during your holiday travels. But if you have to drive 30 minutes out of the way to see it and document it, then you're defeating the carbon neutral purpose.




Be creative with your photos. Just keep them on topic. You can try to capture the one, true essence of the display. Or you can go for the panoramic view.

Please avoid overtly commercial displays. Where x=green is about another green altogether than money.

Second. Post the photos on Flickr or Picasa with the tag "carbon neutral xmas lights tour". Your photos will be appearing within a few minutes.

You can also setup your own slideshow on your blog and feed these same photos by choosing the keywords option instead of the user option. Use the keyword "carbon neutral xmas lights tour" and soon your sites will be displaying all the slides with that tag.

thanks,

Peace, Joy, and Prosperity to you this Holiday Season,

the staff @ Warrior Ant Press

Sunday, December 2, 2007

don't try this at home

Fried chicken. Who doesn't love it? Ok, animal rights activists, vegans and vegetarians probably don't. But what about free-range, sustainably harvested , small family-farm-raised, pan-fried chicken? Doesn't that sound great?

But frying chicken at home? Not encouraged. Like smoking indoors. For a few minutes of satisfaction, it's just not worth subjecting your family to the grime and aftertaste. Warrior Ant Press set out to find if it was possible to create the taste of homemade fried chicken without the grease, feathers, and fry daddy.

Here's how we did it.

Procure some chicken from a local farm. Because we are fond of drumsticks, we got ours from Drumstick Farm, a specialty outfit that produces only drumsticks and wings for sale to the public, the rest of the chicken being distributed solely to a fine dining establishment that utilizes only the breast and thigh meat but that is another story altogether. Also from said local farm we obtained some heavy cream. Only chickens were harmed in the frying of this chicken. No lard was used.

Deep-fried chicken without the fryer

For this you will need.

10 chicken legs (or 1 cut frying chicken) raised on Proust, caviar, and progressive politics.

1 cup unpasteurized, heavy cream from folks who read Proust to their chickens.

2 cups Martha White self-rising cornmeal (facilitates the intersection of high and low culture).

Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and paprika to taste.

Several tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Wash, drain, and dry the chicken legs (or parts). Bring to room temp.
Blend together well the cornmeal, salt, pepper, and spices.
Pass the chicken pieces through the heavy cream and into the cornmeal spice mixture. Coat all sides evenly then place the chicken pieces in a casserole dish coated liberally with olive oil.

Bake the chicken, uncovered at 350 for ~30 minutes. Turn the chicken at least once to facilitate browning and crisping of the coating. Remove, let stand for a few minutes, and serve with mashed potatoes, steamed green beans, and lots of sweet iced tea.

What you will discover when you are finished is that although you may have prepared an adequate dinner, tasty, not altogether without some nod to sustainability, it will be no substitute for pan-fried chicken. There isn't one. Except fried chicken.

Recommendation. If you really want the flavor of pan-fried chicken you'll have to go to Stroud's. Strouds, whose motto is "We choke our own chickens", and who has never meet a chicken joke they didn't like, is a James Beard Award recipient. Not bad for a restaurant that only serves fried chicken. And Stroud's which closed its flagship store to make way for progress (read a road through the middle of it) has announced plans to open a new restaurant in Fairway, Kansas by the end of the year. Fairway, as the name implies, is a fair place, if you're white and middle class - sorta like Iowa which also loves pan-fried chicken and a good chicken joke. Here's one.

Q. Why is the Brownback campaign like a flock of Rhode Island Reds.
A. They both laid eggs in Iowa.

green eggs and lamb

huckabee to headline halftime show


Everything that is hard to obtain is easily assailed by the mob - Ptolemy.

The primary system is much like the Bowl Championship Series, largely serving a demographic - white, rural, and wealthy - that continues to exert a greater extent on the politics of the country than they rightfully deserve. So on January 3rd, when Iowans shuffle home from their precinct meetings, after having caucused on the future of about 1 percent of the delegates to the national conventions, the country will have suffered through nearly 30 bowl games, more bowl games than presidential debates. Regardless, within a few days of the New Year, no one will be the wiser as who will occupy the highest office in the land or who holds title to No. 1. Most won't care.

elseswhere:

iowa straw poll results

huckabee to headline orange bowl halftime show