Friday, March 24, 2006

The Truth Is

Everyone is interesting if you watch them long enough. That's why everyone needs a reality show. Even David Hasselhoff.

Legal filings by his soon-to-be-ex wife report that the Hass "grabbed me and pushed me hard into a car." She adds: "In the past, he has also broken my nose and called me 'whore,' 'c***,' 'bitch,' 'slut' and 'drug addict' in front of our children."

Wonder if the car was KIT. And could he testify? I imagine this all took place in Germany.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Kevin Federline Throws a "Curve Ball" on MySpace

Dear Haters,

A powerfull blow has been struck against you and your hatred. A new rap "freestyle" by our hero is now on his myspace page.

He both represents Fresno and gets all up in US Magazine's grill as he brags about Britney's house on this soon to be classic track!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Pulling Out the Big Guns

Guess who was FOR the Dubai ports deal? Nineteen-year old Pierce Bush.

Cruising for Trouble

If this latest Tom Cruise Story is true I'm continuing my inadvertent boycott of "Mission Impossible II" for the third installment of the series of the most boring explosions you've ever seen.

He's pissed at Paramount's involvement in the hilarious and now infamous "South Park Scientology Episode". And he's threatening not to do any publicity. I bet the marketers behind "War of the Worlds" wish they had that option back when he was chair hopping and psychiatry bashing.

Think Your Friends Suck?

If the story Friends Encourage Jennifer Aniston to Pursue George Clooney is true (which of course it isn't), she has the worst pals in the entire world.

"Listen, Jen. I know that dating the guy that everyone in the world wants to hump didn't work out for you the first time, but give it another shot. At least he doesn't have any VDs. Allegedly!"

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Real World- Key West!

I don’t trust myself. One day I’m going to miss a season of the Real World and it will be over. I’ll have lost touch with the kids. It almost happened, I’ll tell you. I missed Real World- New York Part II. I’ve come to know some of the cast members through the Gauntlets I-III and The Challenges, but it isn’t the same. Then it’s all vaudeville. No context.

The Real World— as lame as it is— is the best indication how dumb, white or very white acting happy college-aged kids are living right now. HANDS DOWN.

So I am SO with this new season in Key West. The series continues it’s Forrest Gump-like interaction with the biggest news stories of our time. First it had the first openly gay person ever, Pedro, on the show. Too bad he had the AIDS. Then they were actually filming in Chicago when 9/11 happened. We got to see those kids watch the whole thing on TV. Now they move into Key West right as Katrina hits the Gulf Coast. They had to spend hours alone in their hotels before they could be safely transported to their beachside villa/manor.

One girl has anorexia, which I am predicting along with the terms IED and Lazy Sunday will be the most popular new dictionary terms of 2006.

One person of skin color owns homes and he’s young AND goes clubbing.

Then there is a Jewish guy who is actually very attractive.

Good looking out, MTV. I depend on you.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Why it's Hard to Be Against Illegal Immigration Part 1:
Mexican Rape Victims 'Denied Help'

I can't say it any better than the BBC, "Rape victims in Mexico are routinely denied access to legal abortion, says Human Rights Watch in a new study. It says official figures reveal more than 120,000 women are raped in Mexico each year but the real figure could be much higher. The group says many of these women are intimidated by officials into having backroom abortions or going through with the pregnancies unwillingly."

How can we spread human rights to the Middle East if we can help our neighbors?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Watching Peter Pace on NBC'S MEET THE PRESS

He’s the head of the Army or something.

Two interesting things:

1. He said girls can go to school NOW. Made me wonder what the educational situation was like under Saddam.
2. He was asked how he felt about the Iraq Prime Minister praising Noam Chomsky. It obviously pissed him off. But he said if al-Jaafari read Chomsky among other writers, it is probably healthy. Made me think about Chomsky. I think he’s essentially a Deconstructionist. He makes arguments that privilege the view of the US government as a belligerent hegemony. It’s potentially true. It also leaves little room for moderates who believe in the power of Democracy, but also feel that our government persecutes violence that doesn’t or shouldn’t represent our feelings.

I am mostly a pragmatist that desires stability, like most people. I want people to have a government that is the only source of legitimate violence. I also want the rule of that goverment to be legitimate in itself, that does not sway from the rule of law nor checks and balances. I think a big thing missing from the Neo-Con philosophy is Common Sense, of course. In general, but also in the Thomas Paine sense. We need an articulate argument why Democracy is a better path. Democracy has to stand for something or it is simply a front for tyranny. Democracy needs to have a central text the same way Islam does. Democracy cannot see women in one way depending on religion or validate Military Rule in Pakistan and hope to retain its authenticity.

My recommendation as the central text of Democracy: THE BILL OF RIGHTS.

Let’s have cartoon contests to illustrate these beauties to the world. There are something to stand for, at least. (I'm gonna change number two since it's kind of dumb.)

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear TIVO ( or similar devices) , shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Hebrew School Bully

I don’t want you to think that Jews are wimps. Robert Cohn in The Sun Also Rises is the tough guy in the story, the boxer. He even beats up the matador, if I remember correctly. I just wasn’t scared of anyone at Hebrew School. It was definitely a reaction to my day job as a nerd at my regular school. A loud-mouthed, ostentatious nerd with the nickname
“The Walking Encyclopedia," a nickname I was proud of.

At Hebrew School, I talked back to teachers and gave kids dirty looks if they didn't agree with me-- even about facts. Fuck you! I know how old Moses was when he died.

Thusly I was friends with all the girls. I was definitely hostile to the boys who were in the Tuesday-Thursday program. They were fey and fancy and stuck-up compared to the salt of the Earth that was in the Monday-Wednesday world. Especially the Cohen twins.

Their snide putdowns, with a lisp as an exclamation to every sentence. Their comfort with male-to-male affection, hugging often, sitting with arms around each other on the Monday or Wednesdays they had to sit in because of a doctor’s appointment or something to do with singing. They were always singing. Their voices unchanged by obviously undeveloped genitals of some sort. And the girls loved them. Women-- babies, girls, women and grandmothers-- could not help but smile around this tuneful twosome.

To make it all worse they had singing in common with Yossi, the principal of the Hebrew School. My arch-nemesis in my effort to be a bully. He sang whenever he could. His hands out in front of him approximating the roundness of his belly. He was always stubbly, in his late thirties, Israeli and nothing I wanted to be, except in charge.

The news that the Cohen twins were moving to Monday-Wednesday for all of Gimmel (which is the grade in Hebrew School that means you are one year from your Bar Mitzvah, when your parents would let you quit if they didn’t really believe in the stuff), made Yossi as pleased as my Hebrew School buddy Brian after four or five cups of watered-down Manischewitz. That meant they could be in Yossi’s singing class that was an elective that could only be offered then due to Yossi’s many obligations, like buying five of the same belt or lecturing kids about what Tel Aviv was really like.

It pissed me off. The worst thing about the Cohens is that they didn’t even get that I was a bully. When I talked over them, it meant shut up. When I pretended to hug another boy, it meant they were gross. Nothing could stop those kids from smiling, hugging. They were even happy on the days their braces got tightened.

Of course, it had to turn into a fight, a physical one. I was going to have to show them that this Jew meant business. I think I got one good punch to one of their arms before Yossi pulled me into his office. Both of the Cohens smiling as Brian demanded to be in trouble with me. But Yossi wouldn’t have it. He wanted me one on one. I was going to sing.

“You a natural leader,” he told me as I leaned back in a folding chair, looking at the flute and music stand that some Art Director had put in Yossi’s trailer office to make it seem like he was interesting and comic at the same time. “You choose to use that for negative.”

His English was so bad that I noticed and it made me chuckle. “I don’t think you sing very well,” I said, surprised at my own courage and lack of subtext.

“Why do you come here?” he asked. “Just for mom?”


“Well, I’ll call her then. Let her know what you are up to.”

I was a bit scared, but I just chuckled.

He shook his head and sent me out.

When the carpool dropped me off, I went straight to my mom’s room and pressed the button to erase his message. As it erased it played. The only sentence that made sense was that I was a very bad boy. It sounded like such a struggle for him to speak, compared to the way Hebrew melodies flowed out through his smile. It was such a struggle, that I felt good, that empty, hateful way that bullies do.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My First Taste of Fundamentalist Islam

Going to Denny’s after work was a ritual that got old fast. The food was always the same, only good if fried, and so were the people. White kids from our high school or another nearby. More the music type than the sports type. Less cheery than the cheerleaders, but nicer too. Occasionally I would see a random person I hadn’t seen since their Bar Mitzvah or something, but it was mostly Moons Over My Hammy, every thing dipped in Ranch Dressing and the same faces over and over.

Quayam was different. He had a beard. He sat by himself in a long-sleeve-buttoned-up shirt that seemed more utilitarian than dressy. With a glass of water and two eggs over easy that he never ate, he painted for hours on a large pad of paper using something like chalk but closer to paint. First landscapes then faces of people in the restaurant. Always exaggerating color making everything flush, the complete opposite of how they looked for real, slouched in their booths, drenched in fluorescent lights.

When we got to know him, he spoke often of heaven. Filled with virgins, rainbows and gifts like “the strength of 1,000 wrestler” when you got there. We were just a group of guys, so his attitude about women never really came out. But I can guess now.