Monday, July 30, 2007

What if the Harry Potter Saga Were Set in East LA?

Mr. and Mrs. Sanchez-Vicario of Avenue 23 were fair and balanced, all-American people and quite proud of it. They weren’t the type to believe in conspiracies or to receive welfare or to skip deductions on their taxes or to miss church or to leave parking tickets unpaid for very long at all.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Meanest Man Contest Climbs the Corporate Ladder to Underground Success

The only hip-hop act to survive the dot-com bubble, Meanest Man Contest continues to wow California's indie rock crowds with their brazenly genius music, which effortlessly comments on corporate America's vacuous motivations. While the beats draw your mind into the belly of the snake, concepts like "Raps Get Rhymed" remind the consumer what they want.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In Sith, Did Lucas Finally Come Close to a Prequel Worthy of the Trilogy?

Let’s talk Episode III. I know, I know: it’s an unpleasant topic. We all know that George Lucas should have never, EVER made those God-Awful prequels. But he did, and there’s no changing that now.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Don’t marry nobody with an ex. There’s nothing ex about troubles.

But a heart wants what a heart wants. At least, her stupid heart wanted what her stupid heart wanted.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Resolve Arguments like a Pro with 7 Proven Techniques.

I don't know what I enjoy more: having arguments or resolving them.

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The Hummer is the most hated vehicle in the world.

The Hummer is a symbol of all that’s wrong with humanity. Big, fat, ugly, narcissistic, and blissfully ignorant of just how foul it really is. What kind of a person drives a Hummer? What kind of a statement do you make behind the wheel of an H2 or H3? Or even (gasp) an H6? Allow John Prindle to tell you.

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Her husband’s ideas were always bad. Like putting ketchup in the pasta sauce. Bad. Getting married at all. Bad. Having a baby. Bad. Breathing. Bad.

But he knew what it was like to know pain. And if someone really knows that, it’s almost impossible to disagree with any word he says. As a lie left his mouth, he’d just look back at her with all the hurt in the world, hurt spilling over cheeks, down across the deep into the valley of his mouth. All falling inside where there was an endless pit that pain had carved. She couldn’t fill that with truth. She couldn’t even try.

When they first fell in love, he said things like, I like to imagine the sun is a peach, and if you stare into it for too long or, maybe at all, your eyes grow fuzz. Fuzz you can’t blink away.

And that’s when pain was good because it meant you knew things that you couldn’t say. That was before he told her that he had no idea how to spare anything.

It would’ve been nice to know that first. Since it was all she’d ever learn about him. That and what hurt did to ideas. It made them bad.


He was seventeen then. Seventeen for a whole year, that’s how things go.

He was in love with a girl, a girl who bled and bled and could never stop. So if a rose pricked her finger, she could be in the hospital for a week. And they’d have to give her new blood. So, he gave his blood, all the time. It was mixed with all the A/B blood from everywhere and given to her through a needle cursed into a vein down spilling across corridors of lungs and the chamber of the heart and out again if she bled again.

And when she did, it didn’t stop.

The blood was bad then. I don’t have to tell you why. But some people knew it and didn’t do anything about it because that required pause and tests and thoughts. And when someone is bleeding, you don’t think. You just wish, wish for it to stop. Wishes usually clot. But they didn’t. Not for her.

He often wondered who’s blood was bad. Maybe it was his. But no. No. It was someone else. Someone she never knew.

Death was slow then. No one knew how slow it could be. He was nineteen when she died. Nineteen for the whole year. And they knew what it was then. But that was when they wouldn’t say it. Back when death was death and death made sense. There was a time like that, but he was seventeen then.

They met when they were nine on one of those roads that only had a schoolhouse on it.

They walked across the street from each other to school and then back from school. And didn’t say a word. That went on for years, until the day she fell. He looked both ways and rushed across the street. She was lying there, holding an elbow. And she told him about blood and blood and blood and blood and blood. Blood was the end of that story.

Monday, July 16, 2007

What Should You Eat After Sex?

I was thinking about food and sex recently. And also for the bulk of the last decade. At most moments of the day, I think an honest person would confess to thinking of one, the other, or both. And are there any meals more memorable and rewarding than those eaten after sex?

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I’m Certified Gangster

"But really,” he said, “there’s this comic on YouTube, Bill Hicks, he died of cancer. He’s like Dennis Leary but funny. Anyway, he talks about how stupid patriotism is.” As his words came out, he looked around. Everyone was staring at him like he was a house pet that suddenly learned to speak.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Why is food so goddam important?

There is a reason why so many great artists use food as their theme. Eating, the most basic of bodily functions, has the potential to open our hearts, to make us whole, to bring us home to ourselves.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Are the Democratic Presidential Candidates Bigots?

Every time Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama open their mouths on the issue of gay marriage, they manage to invoke the nauseating, sanctimonious spirit of bigotry.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Promo for the New Novela:
Without Breasts There is No Paradise

Find out more about Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso.

Who was the Greatest Professional Wrestler of the 1980s and early 90s?

Remember when Professional Wrestling was real?

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Meet Underdog Lady

For years, she's hated Howard Stern.

She carries a grudge against Howard Stern, maintaining that she was lured to the show "through deceit and guile"[1] and that her association with him and inclusion in the Wack Pack has sullied her family-friendly image.

Suzanne Muldowney
is Underdog Lady.

She wants to make Figure Jogging an Olympic sport.

Why didn't Kimmel ask her about Stern? Probably because he didn't want to make her cry.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Live Earth Sampler

Live Earth was best enjoyed in little snippets.

That's why Sneakmove's coverage of the event was the best.

Choose your favorite artists and then take the 7-Point Pledge.

Foo Fighters
The Police w/ John Mayer and Kayne West
Joss Stone
Chris Cornell
Sneaky Sound System
Paolo Nutini
Shakira w/ Gustavo Cerati
Linkin Park
Snoop Dogg
Jack Johnson
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Beastie Boys
Spinal Tap and the All-Bass Army
Drummers kick off the event

Welcome to a New Era of Design

Here's a great quote from Bokardo, a great blog on Social Design:

All I can say is: welcome to a new age of design. An age where you work with your users to find out the best solution, and in doing so you not only solicit their feedback, but you show them you’re human and you care by actually having a conversation with them. While some people don’t deign to have conversations and only want to be seen as an expert, others are more humble and realize that it’s OK to actually have a conversation instead. Let people know you’re not perfect. In fact…you’ll notice that it’s quite endearing to be honest instead.

In his discussion about the Netflix community blog, Joshua Porter points out the virtues of collaborating with your users, especially about very sensitive issues like being about to conceal some of your rentals from your "friends" in their new community, eg I don't mind that people know I saw the Aristocrats just not the Aristocats.

I think Socrates once said, If you're lucky enough to have users, you better help them do what they want. While no one can always fully realize or express what he or she wants, forums, blogs, wikis, etc. present the opportunity to collect community consensus. Of course, your job is to implement their desires by over delivering on your brand promise eg Netflix- the best way to find, get and enjoy movies

The one good thing about the Bush Administration is we've learned that there is a huge vacuum between not governing by the polls and ignoring the will of your constituency. Error too much to one side and your ability to analyze your objectives will be swept away.

Can you be late for an intervention?

My friends can’t even mess up their lives right. I’ve been loosely associating with loser boys on downward cycles for years, and the closest I’ve gotten to an intervention was blocking someone on instant messenger.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Al Gore III, Redeem Yourself By Getting Your Dad to Run

If you haven't heard, this week Al Gore III, who is a corn-fed mixture of his two adorable parents, was allegedly caught going 100 in his Prius. The cops also found pot and a bunch of prescription drugs. I know what you are thinking, "Thank god it was a Prius." If he'd been in an coal-burning SUV with cases of Aqua Net in the back. His dad would have canceled Live Earth in shame.

But I'd like to take this minor tragedy and make a larger point to Al III.

Yes, Al Gore III, at what must be the toughest point of your life, I'd like to remind you of a man who was once down and out. This was a man who was beaten by hypocrisy and corruption. And this man was redeemed by his own unwillingness to let failure define him. That man is Al Gore, your dad. Yes, Al Gore, the man who either provided some of the genes or some of the environment that helped you become an addict.

You must have conflicted opinions about your dad since you actually know him. And I know exactly how you feel.

I love Al But it wasn't always this way. In the late 90s I was the typical jackass in my parachute pants listening to my Alanis on my pre-iPod listening device. And along with, "Who let the dogs out?" I kept asking everyone, "Bush/Gore, what's the difference, bro? It's like fighting over who had better harmonies, *nsync or the Backstreet Boys." That was a quaint fallacy that was spread and fed by Michael Moore, who I'll forgive when I get my single-payer health insurance.

But I put my mixed emotions behind me and stood behind your dad when it mattered. Now I'm asking you to do the same.

Let me tell you Al III, the night before your dad announced he wasn't going to run for President in 2004, he hosted Saturday Night Live, as you may remember.

Jeff Richards, a friend of mine at the time, was a featured player in the cast and, because of that freak twist of fate, I got to attend the show and the various after-parties.

The first after-party was held in some too expensive restaurant of the future that I'd never be allowed into again. It was a smoky mélange of SNL people, Gore people and friends of the musical guests Phish. That mix was personified by the actor John C. Riley, who is much taller than you'd expect.

In my friend's town-car on the way to the after-party, I'd heard that Kristin Gore, the younger of the two hot Goredaughters and a writer on shows like Futurama, had written the best joke of Gore's monologue. After a sketch where he picks a running-mate in the style of the show the Bachelor, Gore says to the camera, "It still pains me to think about how hard Kerry and Edwards cried that night. But I wish them the best, and I'm sure that they'll make someone a wonderful Vice-President some day." (It was a big laugh in a show of big laughs. Another highlight was a great sketch where Gore played the wonky accountant/big brother to Willy Wonka, portrayed by Jeff, who's Wonka impression is undeniably freaky and ingenius.)

On that ride over, I decided my goal for the night was to congratulate Kristin Gore on that joke.

The night becomes morning fast. The show ends at one and by three AM things are finally in full swing. Jeff went off to mingle. Without him, I was trapped in my observer mode. I watch, watch, watch. This famous person. That one. This woman leans over to kiss some man. Are they famous? Can you be that good looking and not be famous? After about an hour of being lost in my own hazy anonymity, I found Jeff milling around a pseudo line of people trying to shake Al Gore's hand. Jeff was near Tipper who was off to the side of Al meeting people on her own. During that week, both Tipper and Al had gotten to know Jeff by name. I walked up next to Jeff and said, "Introduce me to her, would ya?"

As the words left my mouth, I regretted them. Jeff immediately tapped Tipper on the shoulder, "I'd like you to meet my friend Jason. He's Larry Flynt's son." (I'm not. I'm Bernie's son, which is only embarrassing to me if you've met him.)

Tipper looked shocked, the way a nice mom looks shocked when you cuss in her kitchen. She scanned the room, presumably for Secret Service men to detain me.

To break the ocean of ice and insecurity that had developed in my soul, I said, "Did your daughter write that joke about making a great Vice President some day?"

"She did." Tipper Gore smiled in a way that made the room seem brightly lit all of a sudden.

"It was the best joke of the night." I heard myself and sounded like a stoned Eddie Haskell, which actually worked perfectly for that setting.

"You have to tell her that!" Tipper grabbed my by the shoulder and lead me to Kristen. I repeated my accurate but still asskissy compliment as Tipper stood by us to made sure we had an actual conversation. After Tipper walked away, we traded two or three more awkward lines as stared at the pleasant way her lips rested against her teeth before I excused myself.

"I'm going to get in line to talk to your dad now," I think I said.
As I waited, smoke dimmed the lights over my head. I felt crowded, alone, the only unknown person in the world. Basically I had one in a series of over a million crises of consciousness. As I pressed on my heart trying to dissuade it from racing, I asked myself, "Why I am alive? Why I leave my room?"

When Al Gore interrupted my crisis to greet me with his subtle but still shiny smile, my mind went blank. When I decided that I needed to speak, I decided I needed to apologize for not voting for him. Somewhere, some wise part of my brain vetoed that idea allowing to to say something pretty good. Something I will always be proud of for the rest of my life.

I what I said not only represent my deepest convictions but also revealed the deep and utter futility from which I engage this world.

I said, "Mr. Gore, please run. We need you."

This was before I had seen An Inconvenient Truth, before Iraq had been revealed as the greatest political mistake in a century, before Katrina revealed the incompetence of the Bush government.

This was before I knew enough to know how bad we need Al Gore.

His smile faded into a thank you that told me, Please move on.

Of course, I had no idea that he had already taped an interview in which he annouced he would not run and the US would have another six to seven years of bad luck. That interview ran the next day on 60 Minutes. So, I just probably made him feel bad. Because deep down, even he knew I was right.

Anyway Al Gore III, I am still a proud Democrat, just like you and your father. Just like him, I will support the Democratic Presidential nominee no matter what. I'd be happy to vote for the first woman President, the first black President, but I would prefer to vote for the most qualified man ever to run for president.

That man is Al Gore.

So, don't worry about you right now, Al III. After you convince your dad to run, get a driver for a couple of years or just live on a carbon neutral cruise ship. Then do anything you want not to embarrass the Gore or the Prius brand again.

Just get your dad to run and all will be forgiven. Seriously, we need him.

Friday, July 06, 2007

What's more obscene, a mother nursing a child or blowing up a building?

Goddammit, it sure would be nice to be able to see a woman feeding her baby in a movie sometime.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

How the Highways Changed the Trains of Northern California

Today they're filled with people who are either too poor or confused to fly or drive.

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You know life is sad

when Monster Dot Com gives up on you.

In my last email of job matches, there was only one lead:
Nose hair model.

The good news?

I got the job!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What a Reader Understands

About John Prindle's story A Shadowdark Doorway.

Everything is a mirror for breakfast.
Everything makes sense in terms of want.
Seriously, I'm acting this way on purpose.
Seriously, I'm taking a walk.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Are we getting the post-Janet Jackson version of "Die Hard"?

The big issue, of course, came from Fox’s decision to restrict “Live Free or Die Hard” to a PG-13 rating. I was still hopeful that Bruce would get to say his most famous, profane catch phrase at the end of the movie because I thought the rule was that you could get on F-bomb in a PG-13 flick (see, “Fuckin’ Chuck Norris,” in “Dodgeball”).

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Monday, July 02, 2007

People Always Ask Me

How did you benefit by studying under Bobby McFerrin for a decade.

At that point, I turn my chest into a drum and tell them from the bottom of my heart.

Is going to therapy worth it if you just have to lie?

Every week, Chissa knew to look forward to disapproving commentary about her wardrobe, her taste in television and the men in Chissa’s life. Joe became “the guy who did that thing with your tampon.” Nick was “the drug addict with the flesh-eating virus.” And Craig was just the “molester,” though he hadn’t been convicted.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

A NEW New Testament

When two great forces oppose each other, the victory will go to the one that knows how to yield. -Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching: Chapter 69

When I read the The New Testament recently, I was shocked both by anti-Semitism in parts of the Gospels, especially in synoptic gospels of Matthew and Luke, and the absurdity of Revelations.

The anti-Semitism comes in the portrayals of the Jews. Never in the words of Jesus. In Matthew 24:27 when the people/or the Jews in some translations call for the death of Jesus then proclaim as one voice, "His blood be on us, and on our children." Also Judas is the only disciple referred to as a Jew, when Jesus and all the disciples were Jews.

The Christians I know disavow most the hate and extremism evident some passages of the Bible, both the Old and New Testament. But they still embrace the whole book and "pick and chose." Doesn't that potentially lead to a moral relativism that opposes the concept of truth?

I fear that approach of accepting the entire Bible hinges on the fallacy that the Bible was put together by God. I know this seemingly fanatical belief is accepted by millions of Christians. But unlike the Old Testament where the political motivations are only inherent in the text, the New Testament's canonization was a documented process, part of a political PR campaign of early church fathers.

At the risk of offending people who feel they are better because of religion, I think open-minded, humanist Christians should consider a more modern testament, laid bare of the obvious political motivations of the past.

If you have faith in Jesus' good word, why not rid the document of the debasements of the past?

Here are my suggestions for a New New Testament:

I absolutely love and endorse the feminism, humanism and honesty of the Gospel of Mark.

It's probably the most influential story ever written-- created the Gospel genre (Gospel is actual taken directly from the name of Roman Proclamations, so political!)

While John possesses some of the same political antipathy towards the Jews of Luke and Mark, John is also a worthy and mystical document.

The Epistles of John range from fantastic to Karl Rove-inspired. I don't see much use for them.

While its construction and imagery are fantastic, Revelations reads to me like the paranoid product of some sort of religious infighting. It raises most of the problems in Christianity-- extreme end times thinking, constant waring and "the whore of Babylon" is blatantly a sexist reference to a rival female Christian.

How about a new Christianity based just on Mark and John?

I think everyone can agree that Acts should go. That's like the Super Friends of the Bible. Fun when you're young, but so glorifying to the heroes in a weird way.