Friday, March 17, 2006

Thinking Of Renaming My Blog "Bowel Movement". It Feels That Good

oopsie. got a little excited there at the battle front for the hearts and minds of indecisive voters who might think that we're getting nothing accomplished over in Iraq. which we are. just yesterday or so, we did an air assault...the largest since 2003. and we captured like 50 insurgents and weapons caches and other stuff. it's just that, well, oh hell, read the Time article. effed it up or just needed a photo op. most likely the latter. bush's and cheney's popularity goes into the toilet and they see the water swirling, what do they do? go and terrorize an area that has needed "cleansing" 4 or 5 times in the past couple of years. and invite all of the embedded reporters. one, at least, of whom reported the truth of the mission. so pathetic. but then, my lab bitch at work still thinks that iraq must have been involved with the 9/11 bombings because bin Laden is an Arab. he and i were listening to the country music station (he listens, i tune out) and a song came on and the singer was crying about if you like your freedom thank the soldiers over in Iraq revenging us for 9/11. i had to stop what i was doing and yell at the radio.

Him (lab bitch): what the fuck are you yelling at?

Me: i can't believe they're still selling this type of bullshit to us. does anyone believe it anymore?

Him: what?

i explain to him that fact that Iraq was not involved in the attacks.

Him: well, it was the bin laden guy.

Me: yeah, it was. bin laden.

Him: well, he's from there. he's Arab. isn't he an Arab? It's the middle east?

Me: yes, he is. but that's a damn big area. and he's from saudi arabia and was hiding in afghanistan when we went after him. not in iraq.

Him:'s fucked up. are you sure?

Me: yeah, it is, i am...what is?

Him: fuck, i don't know. you wanna change the station?

Me: nah, that's okay. i like this song.

(what i yelled was "oh shut the fuck up you stupid fucking redneck sister fucking cocksucker asshole liar shitforbrains dumbfuck")

what i meant was "being the spineless liberal that i am i must beg to differ with your assessment even though i recognize you as an informed, pro-america, patriotic, non-terrorist sympathizing, red-blooded, true blue, anti-choice, anti-feminist, jesse helms and roy moore backing, rush limbaugh and bill o'reilley and sean hannity listening, UN basher who thinks all towelheads are inscrutable and look alike and we as United States white citizens are the new supreme beings on the block and have been since God created the world 6 or 7000 years ago and began painting Jesus as a petite-nosed Caucasian who never seemed to get a sunburn even though he lived in a desert region."

that's what i meant to say. because i don't want to offend anyone. it's not politic or in anyone's best interest to offend or point out logical anomalies concerning our country's history over the past 30 years or so or ask why the president is mistruthing or why the press daily trots out whatever it is the white house is spewing for breakfast or whether any of us have a grip on the realities of our global territorial rights (notice that i am not using the words hegemony, imperialism and xenophobia, because those are words that have no place in the lexicon of civilised discourse). all i mean to say is that perhaps, just perhaps, kinky friedman had it right when he sang "they ain't making jews like jesus anymore".

and, by the way, the kinkster is running for governor of texas and any help you can give him would be greatly appreciated. he's all for shutting down the border for a while, but he's just as in favor of gay mariage, because he truly believes that "gays should have the same right to be just as miserable as the rest of us". a sentiment i couldn't agree with more.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mea Culpa? Try Mea Assa!

"You can call George Clooney an Oscar winner. You can call him a liberal. Just don't call him a blogger.The celebrity-populated Huffington Post has removed the actor's riff on lily-livered Democrats after the star complained the site misrepresented him as one of its bloggers.According to a statement Wednesday, Clooney said Arianna Huffington, the site's namesake and political pundit, cobbled together sound bites from Larry King Live and quotes from London's Guardian for an entry, "George Clooney: I Am a Liberal. There, I Said It!," that was published Monday."These are not my writings. They are answers to questions, and there is a huge difference," Clooney said.To the New York Daily News, Clooney was blunt: "I feel abused," he said.The Clooney entry made headlines for its frank assessment of ostensive opposition party leadership in the run-up to theIraq war: "We knew the link betweenSaddam Hussein andOsama bin Laden was bulls--t. Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these Democrats saying, 'We were misled.' It makes me want to shout, 'F--k you, you weren't misled. You were afraid of being called unpatriotic.' "Clooney hasn't disavowed the sentiment, but he did demand Huffington publish a disclaimer, he told the Daily News."She told me that it's a big no-no in the blogosphere, where people are supposed to write their own pieces," Clooney said in the newspaper.For her part, Huffington insists the blog imbroglio was the result of "an honest misunderstanding" among those in Clooney's camp.In a post Wednesday, Huffington wrote that the Clooney entry went live "only after we received written approval from his representative to do so."Huffington admitted that, yes, her team pieced together the item from old interviews. But before the so-called "sample blog" was published, she wrote, it was reviewed and okayed by a publicist for Clooney's Oscar-nominated Best Picture entry, Good Night, and Good Luck."Any misunderstanding that occurred, occurred between Clooney and the publicist," Huffington wrote. "We based our decision to post on the unambiguous approval we received in writing."In another Huffington Post entry, movie producer Jane Hamsher wrote that she was with Huffington the night her Web host recruited Clooney to join the blogging world. "And the conversation went down as she describes it today," she wrote.Hamsher openly wondered if Clooney distanced himself from his byline because he "got spooked [by] Fox News" or because "he just doesn't know his office bungled the communique."In the Daily News, Clooney spoke of being studied--not skittish. "I stand by what I do," he said in the newspaper. "But I'm very cautious not to take giant steps onto soapboxes, because I think they're polarizing."Huffington seemed sensitive to the target that is the Hollywood star on a soapbox, telling the Los Angeles Times she held off on posting the Clooney item until after theAcademy Awards.Clooney, who was up for threeOscars claimed the Best Supporting Actor trophy for the political thriller Syriana.The Huffington Post launched last year. While the likes ofGwyneth Paltrow and Warren Beatty haven't blogged there yet, as advance publicity buzzed they would, the likes of John Cusack, Larry David, Al Franken, director Nora Ephron andBillMaher have.If you're awaiting the next contribution from George Clooney, don't hold your breath.Telling the Daily News that Huffington had all but threatened him over their fracas, Clooney retorted: "Well, screw you!"

i'd like to start by saying that clooney is a big poopie head. i take back everything i said about he and i being almost exactly alike (i.e. the good looks, the schwing and all that). and i will not, repeat will not, be erasing his blog from my blog just because he didn't actually say the stuff yet. i will not participate in revisionist history even if the initial piece was made from cloth as of now. that doesn't matter. what does matter is that he might have said it at some point in the future, which further in the future would be the past, which would then mean that he indeed would have been going to say it already and had. just because he didn't say it then doesn't make it any less future true.there. i feel vindicated for the things that may happen without my knowing them yet.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Back To Politics

"...a mistake experts say most law students wouldn't make..."
my goodness. our government can't even win a slam-dunk case against an admitted terrorist. they convict him and blow the penalty phase, because they can't play by the rules (which are set up to favor the prosecution). oh boy. i have such trust in this group of yahoos that i'm thinking of trading for euros.

"...It's starting to come from Republicans, and they are the ones who must rescue the country from themselves..."
garrison keillor has something to say over at the chicago tribune about the woes of our current world. i like the poetic irony of republicans being the ones who need to save us from what they created, because the democrats most likely can't.

"...Our goal is to improve the quality of customer service and phone support in the US. This free website is run by volunteers and is powered by over one million consumers who demand high quality phone support from the companies that they use..."
this might be cool. a website that teaches you how to get through all of the phone crap and talk to a real live person. how many of us have spent 10 minutes navigating the maze of push-this-button in order to find out that they're closed or you should have called this number when you could have bypassed it all and found someone? i haven't tried it yet, but one of you might.

Heh. They Said "Crapo"

so, what the fuck does an Idaho politician have to do with the Virgin Islands? and what does his spokesperson mean by saying that states should have the right to determine states' business? the Virgin Islands aren't a state, never were and most likely never will be...though it would be cool to be able to fly there without a passport. oh, and it's always great to see Crapo's name in the news. now, if he would only run for president. "elect me and i promise you'll get what you deserve".

Crapo donations questioned
Related stories
Idaho government and politics
Associated Press
March 15, 2006
U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, received more than twice as much money in donations from people in the U.S. Virgin Islands than from his home state last year, according to the Federal Elections Commission.
That prompted the Senate Majority Project, a Democratic interest group, to question Crapo's involvement in the islands, which have a population of 110,000 people.
Crapo had received $39,000 from Virgin Islands residents by the end of the 2005-06 election cycle, compared with just under $20,000 from Idaho residents.
Lobbyists for the islands are trying to reduce the number of days a person must remain on the islands to be considered a resident, an issue that could have tax benefits.
Currently, under a 2004 act of Congress, individuals must spend at least half the year in the Virgin Islands to be considered a resident for tax purposes. Lobbyists would like to see that reduced to an average of 122 days per year over a three-year period.
Crapo, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, is looking into the issue.
"He's very much involved in the philosophy states should be able to determine states' business," Crapo spokeswoman Susan Wheeler told the Idaho State Journal. "And in the same vein, territories should be able to determine the tax benefits that bolster business and the economy."
Wheeler said that encouraging economic development in the islands would help reduce an illegal drug and slave trade.
"It's in the United States' best interest to have the Virgin Islands prosper," she said.

Ramblin' Rogue, Part Deux

Airplanejane has her best line from the Rogue: "draw me a map and i'll go down on you". not bad, not bad at all, though needing a map implies that the asker is a bit on the, shall we say, ignorant side. Now, my favorite lines from the Rogue (and I can hear all of you panting and drooling in antici...pation) are:
It isn't gay if it's done in the Rogue (Nile Seguin)


Prison Sex doesn't count as cheating (mustang)


Let's sell baby sized tee shirts that say "Spawn of the Rogue" (kamotion and Jen)


"All of the box office goes to the performers, the other half goes to my bar tab" (either Laaz or me, not too sure which. the party was that good)

I like solitaire's changing errogenous to erroguenous on APJ's blog commment section. And thanks again to all of you who made my stay a wonderful time. Mustang, Lecram, Kamotion, Jade Ed Gypsy (by the way jade, i got an email from someone who would like to "borrow" your play), Jen, Blake, Kien, Laaz, APJ, um, the rest of you know who you are. rock on.

By the way, I am making a dvd for Kamotion of her wedding last year and the party afterwards as well as one for me and Lecram. Let me or Lecram know if you're interested. It will be much cheaper to try and dupe it ourselves as the people doing it for me want $10 a pop. The tape is raw and unedited with lots of me talking behind the camera (sorry). it includes the wedding, the awards, and the party. lots of band and crowd shots. some interview type things and walking around. the wedding alone is worth it...a real tear in the eye moment. let me know and i'll see what i can do.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ramblin' Rogue

and what was up with mike smooching on dr. o? and the ass grabbing going on between mike, mustang, john and dr. o? and who did laaz lock tongues with? and why was steph entertaining a group of young men? and should someone ask sara's friend if it's true what they say about rwandan-canadians? and if kamotion's happily married, why was she mashing with the most virile stud in the crowd? and how did the bartender get so drunk? and why was she asking us to get mike drunker than her so he wouldn't realize how drunk she was? and when did blake start yelling at the audience as part of his act? and, finally, did anyone see lecram get in a fight with a bush this year?

The Rogue Minus Photos

well now, kiddies. let's talk Amtrak. there's something i'm never going to do again! i spent more time coming and going than i did visiting. 30 hours down (6 hours worth of delays like snow on the tracks, broken switches, freight trains whose cargo was more important than me) and 27 hours back. 50 hours in the 'no. add to that the drunk sitting behind me on the way down whose breath was, shall we say, redolent (hard alcohol and ginger ale) and who spent the entire trip hitting on the 16 year old girl next to him; the old couple veteran travelling couple across from me who chose to act as tour guides to everything ("oh, look at those mobile homes", "no, those are, um, modular homes", "oh, well those modular homes are in a very odd place. still, they're quite nice" and "how many times is that girl going to walk up and down the aisle? no one can get any sleep" "oh, i know, this is her third time in 10 minutes", "no, it's her fourth", "what?", "her fourth!", "whatever. why isn't the conductor doing anything about this?") which never ended; the schizophrenic woman who told her entire relationship story at least 3 ("no, it's her fourth", "what?") or 4 times in a dry, cottonmouthed sort of way; and the entire train crew who decided they'd had enough of our complaining halfway through the first trip. yum.
on the way back, it was better except for the businessman who cussed in his sleep when he wasn't snoring loudly. at one point, a train crewperson tried to prod him awake, but left without success saying "at least we know he's still alive". i was chastised by the snack car guy for wandering around in my socks. where does it say that i have to wear shoes at all times? of course, one hour later there was an announcement that i had to. probably didn't help that i stared the guy down and ordered my coffee anyway. $2.50 for a cup of bad coffee. $7.50 for a half-heated sandwich and small bottle of water. i heard the "burgers" were $6. i guess this is what happens when the government keeps cutting your funding.
let's see, there was the overfilled trashbag that tipped and cascaded down a flight of stairs. then there was the occasional scent of really, really potent ganja (some smelling burnt, some not). many more smokers than usual were riding both ways, so the official smoking stops were a cause for universal celebration. at one point, we had been stuck inside the train for over 5 hours in oregon. when the track switch finally got fixed, the conductor announced that the next stop would become a smoking stop. i think he knew that mutiny was close at hand and wisely chose to avert it.
the chairs on amtrak are not as comfortable as i remembered. my ass was so sore within the first 5 hours that finding an easy position to sit in became impossible. sleeping was a series of 10 minute naps. i probably shouldv'e eaten the vicodin.
the weather was another factor. it snowed in washington. it dumped in oregon. it rained, hailed and thundered in california. i was blamed repeatedly for bringing the foul weather with me to the festival. fortunately, kamotion was there from new jersey and i made sure to point her out. every time.
but enough about that. what about the festival. i arrived in fresno at 6pm and cabbed it over to veni vidi vici's just in time to grab a beer and settle in for blake jones's "ill advised solo show". great stuff. a liberal christian talking (well, singing) smack back at the right wing fundies who are attempting to hijack our country's morality. and he did so in very charming, sweet, innocent, vodka swilling fashion. okay, so he wasn't drinking that night due to a cold. but he coulda been. great songs and set-up. whatta way to start the rogue (plus, he's one of my bestest friends, so i had one obligation show out of the way). the rest of the evening was spent traipsing around with lecram and kamotion, visiting venues, saying hi to everyone and drinking to stay awake. along the way, i was able to pay homage to mustang and surprise airplanejane and give a long awaited hug to jade ed gypsy and trade riffs with kien(none of whom know how to blog responsibly, i.e. with any regularity). eventually, the hard core (some of it anyway) wound up at VVV's for shoptalk, dirtdishing, egostrokes and tippling...just like old times.
the next morning was slow wakeup at lecram's pad. of course, the first stop was at javawava for some eye opener. then, the festival madness for me began. i met my son and we hit two shows. the first was "it's okay to like porn". and, it turns out, it is okay. this show had been touted as offensive. cool. i'm a tough sell on the offensive and the you'll-laugh-out-loud. i did laugh out loud. but i wasn't offended. if anything, i came away instructed. i didn't know you could buy a vibrating cockring. food for thought. a good show that is about 3 or 4 months of serious development away from being a great show. blow-up dolls, average-sized dildos (well, to me anyway), a hardcore movie playing in the background, a dirty little sock puppet, stories of finding his parents' toys and playing with them (and his parents came to one of the shows. i think they were in the front row at the one i saw, mom was in hysterics). a jesus joke that had me in stitches. a running joke about the taste of semen. a dead baby joke that i was sure would make someone get up and leave. but no one did. very fun and totally rogue.
after that came one of my other obligation shows (not that lecram would have cared one way or the other): "lies my father told me" by, of course, lecram. i have to say i was a bit let down. he didn't bother to memorize his script. but it was really good writing. no, seriously (he hates it when people tell him his writing is good after seeing one of his shows), his stories are wonderful. i had heard all but one before, but it was great to hear them again in a staged setting with 50 other patrons hanging on every word. his style is very low-key, but in your face at the same time. he compels you into the story and dares you to look away. and his last line is a challenge laced equally with arrogance and invitation. "these are my stories. what have you got?". all in all, very well done. a little loose, but that's what happens when you're running the whole damn show and trying to perform. trust me on this. it's why i started dropping lines and whole pages the last two years. it becomes one or the other at some point. unless, of course, you're jaguar bennett.
then, it was on to the 7 pm show for jade ed gypsy's "here and now". the third of my obligation shows. and i have to warn you: obligation doesn't necessarily mean "oh man, i don't wanna, but i hafta". what it can mean is "i wanna AND i hafta". this was jade's first show which she had written. she has directed a show in every rogue festival since way back in...aught'2 (that's 2002 to you young'uns). but this year she had taken the next step and written her first feature piece, which i was supposed to star in. i came away very gratified and satisfied. the two actors did a more than reasonable job and i found myself at times not gnashing my teeth over spots i knew i could have done better. you see, i don't go to see plays, because no one likes to sit with me. evidently, i mutter. and what i mutter tends to be less than supportive of what i see happening on stage. evidently, i think i'm the best goddam actor in the world...well, fresno. and i can't be impressed. hell, i've been known to want to school actresses on how to give their lines. sad, really. anyway, the actors did well with the material and i was pleasantly impressed with jade's writing abilities for her first time. perhaps, the arcs weren't as high as they could be and some of the jokes were in-jokes, but she did in her first attempt better than i will ever be able to. and my hat's off to her until next year when i expect to be impressed yet once again.
now, it's 8 pm and time for dinner with my son. we supped at livingstone's. he had the new orleans burger. i had the mushroom and jack. he had the curly fries. i had the steak fries. we used both ketchup and ranch dressing. he drank copious amounts of coffee. i never got a refill on my iced tea. the conversation was great and i learned a lot about his current life and i saw again how much i miss him. he's grown into an intelligent, thoughtful, conflicted young man. and he's too young for all of that crap. he should be testing his immortality and celebrating his immunity. maybe i moved from there too soon.
anyhoo, then it was time for the closing night party. which is part of the reason we started the rogue in the first place. one, as an excuse to have a big fucker of a party, and two, to get our own shit on stage for really cheap. who knew other people would want in? who knew they would accept lollipops for awards? who knew they would balk at the entry price and then wonder why they didn't get into the rogue before when they saw the money they'd made? who knew that canada could be so effing funny at our expense (okay, well i did)? who knew that last year and this year would mark a turning point in the rogue and establish it as THE party of the year? last year, no one left the party. it rocked and rocked and rocked all night long. all night. all night. all night long. lollipops really were handed out as awards and they were a hit. at any other festival it's certificates or whatnot that celebrate the eliteness of the event. not here. and this year we didn't bother to hand anything out. just the mention of your name and your award was enough (though i really think they should be given an excuse to approach the stage). and this year, lecram and jaguar got a bit sassy in their speeches to the masses. not just thank you and keep it up. no, this time it was we rock and the world had better take notice, because it ain't gonna stop and if everyone doesn't get on the love train then we're going to screw them prison-style. or something like that. i remember being invited up on stage as one of the has-beens and nodding like crazy until lecram mentioned his ass.
the party was insane. once again, no one left. once again, the band rocked and everyone danced and drank copious amounts of alcohol. everyone hugged and laughed and capered and reveled in the moment of an event so important to this town and to themselves. as for the core members who make this work each year, the party is the first and only chance to relax and celebrate another job well done. in a month next year's festival will get underway with meetings and chores. but the smiles on the performers' faces is almost better than getting paid for this crap.
oh, and being an alumnus has its benefits. i didn't pay for a single drink. if i didn't have a beer in my hand someone was buying me one. and i didn't have a damn thing to do with this year's gig. man, i have to quit shit more often.
i did, however, manage to spend almost $200 at the festival. some of it was on music cd's from the performers (my local music list is quite extensive), tickets to shows, dinner for me and the son, the cab, outrageous tips to the wonderful bartenders (katie and lief and hillary), a tee shirt that i should NOT have been required to pay for being the awesome support group that i am for lecram, coffee at javawava, and sundry. and this is the other thing that we have done for the community. 7000 tickets (give or take) get sold and a lot of money gets spent in the Tower District. people who want nothing to do with us make money. those who support us make lots of money, because we in turn push their services. it's a win-win situation. the performers walk off with all of the box office and the local restrauteurs and caffeine pushers make out as well. and we the poor roguesters continue to beg. that's anarchy at its finest, because it sleeps well at night nestled up against capitalism. knowing that its ends are being met and who knows what the next gig will hold in store for it.
sunday was the Brunch. food scarfing time and general relaxation and don't talk shop for two hours. the core meets and eats. the afterglow continues, but is not mentioned too often. food is the important focus. as is the thought that we all like each other still and are probably willing to continue working together. we ate at the Tang Dynasty, a chinese buffet place. lots of food, too many choices, and all you can eat. i made three trips myself. however, no matter how hard i looked i could find anything except...Tang. so, i had sprite, because izabella was drinking it. and i know not to differ too much from bella. she's my girlfriend, you see. and a very demanding one at that. what she wants to do or say or play i go along. it doesn't help that she's in kindergarten or something like that. you can't reason with a kindergartner. actually, you can't reason with any female. seriously, when's the last time you were able to use NASCAR as an arguing point? she was a trendsetter, though. she got soft ice cream in a very small cone. i saw that and followed. then came a few others in our party. it became a running theme. the, hugegargantuanmustang walked back with a cone cradled between one finger and it was on. even laaz got one and he doesn't like ice cream.
so, lunch ended. we all hugged and made promises of undying love and getting together and visiting and trading dna and leaving spouses. and it was just me and lecram and kien and kamotion and bella and APJ and jag and devon and nile seguin ("fear of a brown planet". didn't see it, because i'd seen it twice last year at the san francisco fringe festival and figured he'd earned all of the money he was going to get out of me and now was the encore i never got before) at javawava, drinking caffeinated beverages and riffing. kien got his rock star moment when another rogue musician bought a cd and asked him to autograph it. seguin got in a good riff on refusing to autograph and calling for security. seguin continued to make us laugh, because he is a master at riffing on the conversaqtion at hand. he never stepped out of it and he never tried to dominate. but when he had a chance he could shut us up for 5 minutes at a time. other than the laughter. we closed down javawava, a theme in keeping with the rest of the weekend and parted ways. i went with lecram and we hung at his pad until it was time to catch the train.
and the rest is misery.
and if you were expecting pictures from me from the marcel. he downloaded them, my computer fucking fucked them. i downloaded them, too. then, i couldn't access them. now, they no longer exist. all i have left of the weekend is this:

my computer and blogspot not wanting to cooperate in any fashion whatsoever.

Me and Georgio Down By The Schoolyard

George Clooney is to many merely a pretty face and a Hollywood elitist out of touch with whatever reality is supposed to look like nowadays. But take away the looks, the fame, the power, the I.Q. and the money, and what do you have? Me.
The following is a recent article he wrote for the Huffington post:

"I am a liberal. And I make no apologies for it. Hell, I'm proud of it.
Too many people run away from the label. They whisper it like you'd whisper "I'm a Nazi." Like it's dirty word. But turn away from saying "I'm a liberal" and it's like you're turning away from saying that blacks should be allowed to sit in the front of the bus, that women should be able to vote and get paid the same as a man, that McCarthy was wrong, that Vietnam was a mistake. And that Saddam Hussein had no ties to al-Qaeda and had nothing to do with 9/11.
This is an incredibly polarized time (wonder how that happened?). But I find that, more and more, people are trying to find things we can agree on. And, for me, one of the things we absolutely need to agree on is the idea that we're all allowed to question authority. We have to agree that it's not unpatriotic to hold our leaders accountable and to speak out.
That's one of the things that drew me to making a film about Murrow. When you hear Murrow say, "We mustn't confuse dissent with disloyalty" and "We can't defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home," it's like he's commenting on today's headlines.
The fear of been criticized can be paralyzing. Just look at the way so many Democrats caved in the run up to the war. In 2003, a lot of us were saying, where is the link between Saddam and bin Laden? What does Iraq have to do with 9/11? We knew it was bullshit. Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these Democrats saying, "We were misled." It makes me want to shout, "Fuck you, you weren't misled. You were afraid of being called unpatriotic."
Bottom line: it's not merely our right to question our government, it's our duty. Whatever the consequences. We can't demand freedom of speech then turn around and say, But please don't say bad things about us. You gotta be a grown up and take your hits.
I am a liberal. Fire away."

just got back from the Rogue festival. will be posting tomorrow (well, later today) on my experiences with photos!