Thursday, April 24, 2003

Live from Long Beach!

I'm in Long Beach, California right now, blogging from the upstairs of an Internet Cafe that my friend Rachel told me was a gay internet cafe. I'm not sure if the internet here is gay or the coffee, or this tall drink of water Scott who's sitting on my lap gently suckling my earlobe, but the Chai Lattes here are to die for.
Easter night I boarded a Greyhound bus with a friend. Just 58 hours later, we had arrived in Los Angeles, California. I finished three books: Make Believe Town by David Mamet, A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O'Connor and The Dog of the South by Charles Portis. I recommend each of them. I completely forgot, however, to stay on top of the news. In such a newsy time in world history, that's totally unforgivable.
So what I've decided to do is craft my own version (having still not read a newspaper, or so much as flipped past the news on television--for all I know, SARS has killed everyone back home) of the news, using my experiences on the bus as sort of a guide. Here, for your edification, is the news from the last two days:
Late Sunday, April 20
It's almost one in the morning. A very, very fat Colin Powell boards enters the Oval Office, dragging behind him a quarrelsome three-year-old Donald Rumsfeld. Donald begins to ask (and does not stop for some time) why Colin Powell is "not driving the train." "Why ain't you drivin' the train, Momma?"
"Ain't you gonna drive the train, Momma?"

Monday, April 21
During a seven-hour respite from fighting, troops in Baghdad decide to lock their Army luggage up in the world's largest coin-operated Army locker and step outside of the Army depot for a smoke. Upon seeing the neighborhood, they quickly board an Army taxi and fly uptown to the barracks of their friend, Sgt. Derek. Even though they woke him up at oh five hundred hours, he was still nice and hospitable and even took the troops out to breakfast.Eventually, the troops had to return to the Army depot, where the fighting was about to begin again. When they did, it took far too long for the fighting to begin and the directions were not all that clear.
In other news: President Bush makes short work of Make Believe Town and Vice President Dick Cheney takes a pretty big bite out of The Jungle.

Tuesday, April 22
If my creativity serves me, Tuesday was a pretty big day in the news.Of primary importance, Jay Garner took over both seats in front of the President and the Vice President, even though he'd only paid for one seat, and put both seats as far back as they could possibly go, thereby earning himself lots of "accidental" bumps from the First and Second knees.
Also: Condoleeza Rice, Tom Ridge and Saddam Hussein (also known as the creepy pool-championship-attending threesome from Boston) continued to spill shit all over the floor of world politics all day, getting the First and Second carry-on bags very messy.

Wednesday, April 23
You know what, I was falling in-and-out of sleep all days as we drove around Los Angeles. Also, I can't keep this joke up any longer. Sorry.

Tomorrow I hope to post a little bit on the fun I'm having in California. I have to come back here anyway to pick Scott up for our date.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

So, I'm crazy; so, what's the fuss?

Tonight, I board a bus headed for Los Angeles. With me will be my trusted and esteemed colleague Chad Roberts, of Havilland fame.

We are headed to Los Angeles to see people that we don't get to see often enough. What does this mean for you, the reader? It means no new posts until Wednesday. That's when we'll arrive in Los Angeles. And even then I think I'm going to have to find a library or internet cafe.

I will do whatever it takes. Look forward to hearing about what will hopefully be an entertaining trip. If it sucks, I will surely take it out on you.

Until Wednesday...

Friday, April 18, 2003

The Jefferson Muzzle Awards, via La Beta Corpo:

    Announced on or near April 13 -- the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson -- the Jefferson Muzzles are awarded as a means to draw national attention to abridgments of free speech and press and, at the same time, foster an appreciation for those tenets of the First Amendment. Because the importance and value of free expression extend far beyond the First Amendment's limit on government censorship, acts of private censorship are not spared consideration for the dubious honor of receiving a Muzzle...

This year's recipients include US Attorney General John Ashcroft, the 107th US Congress, Mayor Tom Bates of Berkeley, California and others.

Newsflash: Coalition Forces May Be Slightly Unfocused

It seems, for the most part, that Coalition forces have won in Baghdad, but we seem to be getting a pretty mixed message from the administration on where things stand. Some members of the administration suggest that we have not yet "won" the war, while other members of the administration, under the premise that we've won, seem to be calling for apologies and explanations from all the folks who suggested that war might not be as easy as everyone thinks.

A lot of this confusion boils down to Coalition forces wanting to avoid the responsibilities involved with being an occupying power. These responsibilities include (from Reuters):

    ARTICLE 50 says the occupying power must "facilitate the proper working of all institutions devoted to the care and education of children."

    ARTICLE 55 says the occupying power, as far as possible, "has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate."

    ARTICLE 56 says the occupying power "has the duty of ensuring and maintaining, with the cooperation of national and local authorities, the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory... Medical personnel of all categories shall be allowed to carry out their duties."

    ARTICLE 57 says that the occupying power is solely responsible for "stealing" all of the "shit" in the occupied country, and for "raping" or, at least, "brutalizing" the population.

    But ARTICLE 60 warns that the occupying power must "lay off, bro" and that the occupying power should "check itself before it wrecks itself."

    But then ARTICLE 63 be all "you don't know that population... you don't know that population!"

    Shit, so ARTICLE 67 be like, "Man, fuck this noise, bitch" and "I'm outta here."

    "What the fuck?" declares ARTICLE 70.

Until "victory" is declared, however, these articles do not apply. So in order to prolong the "campaign" side of the conflict, the Coalition has issued playing cards to troops with the names and faces of the most wanted folks. It seems, at first, like a good idea, but upon further inspection of the cards, it appears the whole thing may just be a stalling tactic, or some sort of wild goose chase:

    We all know that Luscious Jackson's international track record is not stellar, and I'm sure they've had their fair share of shady dealings with Saddam and his regime, but come on! Does anyone really believe that Luscious Jackson belongs in the top 52? This is unjustifiable.

    Actually, upon a little further research, this one is completely justified. Rule of the Bone was pretty much an instruction manual on suicide bombing. Let's go, US and UK; let's get Russell Banks!

    As far as I can tell, our government wants to paint the lovely Allison from Joe Millionaire as a terrorist simply because she refused to "fall" for "Evan" just because cameras were rolling. Her blatant disregard for consumer culture and her complete lack of respect for infalable television has made her the target of hundred of thousands of U.S., British and Australian troops. What, aren't there enough Iraqi women to rape?

Come on, Coalition forces, let's get our shit together and end this thing already! And if you do run into Allison, give her a good rogering for me, will ya?

Thursday, April 17, 2003

I Like My Billionaires Living, My Dieticians Healthy And My Friends Anglo

I Like My Billionaires LivTherefore, today is the absolute worst day of my life. I'm trying to piece it all together. I've been pacing since I woke up at 4 o'clock this morning. I awoke to my neighbor pounding on my door, delivering all the bad news. I've already smoked a pack-and-a-half of Pall Malls and I've consumed all of the coffee in the house.

There has to be some sort of connection. There must be a mastermind behind all of this. Days like today (with the death of John Paul Getty II, the death of Dr. Robert Atkins and the addition of Dr. Aisha Tyler to the cast of Friends--click on images above for CNN coverage) don't just happen; they're crafted.

It's days like today that make me question everything I believe. The events of Thursday, April 17, 2003 will always be remembered for causing me to question the following beliefs, copied right out of the manifesto I had to write for an assignment in a high school composition class:

    4. I believe that the rich don't die.
    13. I believe that diet and exercise can prevent slip-and-fall.
    103. I believe that Friends will always appeal to me, because I am a horrible racist.
    188. I believe that... Billionaires? Pshh... Who needs 'em?
    212. I believe that Aisha Tyler already has a job: it's that late night talk show where one time she made out with Leah Remini. Am I making this up?
    231. I believe that Jimmy Carter has forgotten his grudge against John Paul Getty II and Dr. Robert Atkins and has also stopped thinking of feindishly clever ways to kill someone.