Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fascism Is The New Black

Note:I'm not sure what happened with this post, but it was originally posted last Thursday. However, I now found that Blogger only saved it as a draft. Is this another in the list of Blogger Beta woes?

Between 9am and 11am this morning, I observed 5 shirts with the German war eagle insignia, which was a popular symbol during WWI. It was later altered in WWII by the Nazis, but most shirts seem to favor the WWI slightly less fascist-correlated emblem. I'm just curious why this symbol seems to have suddenly become trendy. Admittedly, it is pretty cool, but after the associations with white supremacy and other unsavory paradigms, I'm still kind of surprised that anyone would want to wear it. Then again, I realize the sheeple are stupid, and would wear skid-marked panties on their head if they saw some famous person do it first. Unless said person was Tara Reid, because that's probably a weekly occurance for her, and we all know she's not fashionable.

I'm also kind of surprised at the modern American fascination with fascism and retrograde politics in general. It's almost as if we want to go back to this falsely idealized post-Victorian era. Think that democracy in Iraq is a new idea? Wrong. The US set up the government that bred Saddam Hussein in the early 1900s, when it overthrew a dictator and set up a false democracy. Sound familiar? Why we think we're going to succeed where our forefathers completely failed is beyond me. Oh yeah, it's because we have iPods. We totally kick ass because we've got iPods! So nanny nanny boo boo to you, foolish leaders of old!

Maybe it's just me, but when I watch the news (though mainstream's a joke), read blogs, or consult the BBC, it looks like we're setting up a similar situation to what Germany found itself in before it fell sway to the persuasion of the Nazi party. Are we one depression away from becoming a fascist state? Does Halliburton have a contract to sew millions of Star of David and Pink Triangle patches? I know I'm getting a little carried away, but one really does have to wonder.

Update: Since this is posted a few days late, it kind of works that there's a prime example of what I'm talking about. Read this article from the New York Times, and try to not rip your hair out. What the hell happened to critical thinking skills here in the US?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

While I Was In England

Intel unrolled their line of Duo Core processors. I could give a shit, but everyone else melted like little smoosh-faced wax lions. Yay. Another reason programmers need to write awful code that'll take up massive amounts of hard drive space, and eat RAM like my mother eats Xanax. Okay, she doesn't really eat Xanax, but it would definitely help.

Everyone in the US was educated about Trans-fat and Omega-3s. I was under the impression that these were either drag queens, or members of the Decepticons. Guess I am sorely wrong on both counts. I think that Omega-3 has something to do with fish, which means that I'll probably die without it, but at least I won't have to eat fish.

Everyone in my office was trained to be a deadly assassin, and walk in stilettos. Okay, I'm totally lying about the stilettos, because it's nigh impossible for the average person. Cake for Charlie... impossible for mortals.

Catty Nurses and Bitchy Dogs

Last night in my HIV/AIDS course, we had to do a bit of group work. Since I didn't want to hang with the pretentious twats (AKA Seminary Boyz) I sat with the group of nurses up front. Damn, them girls get catty! They were looking around the room discussing which girl looked too mannish for her own good, which boy had Dumbo ears (and did his lower appendages match?), which girl looked like she'd crawled out of an 80's dance video, which twin in the back looked the gayest, and which pastor in the previous hour had spewed the most bullshit. Loving every second of it, I egged it on for all it was worth; in this case, it was worth the price of gold.

After class, I went "home" to two whiney bitches. Madison was mad at me about something, and refused to let me take off her bark collar until we'd sat there for 45 minutes. Mind you, the fact that she still had the collar on didn't seem to deter her from barking at me. She'd bark, you'd hear a little electric whine sound, she'd flinch, and then she'd bark again. This went on for a good portion of the 45 minutes, until she finally allowed me to take off the collar, and she collapsed on the couch. Apparently, we have a dog with serious masochistic tendencies here. She'd probably do well in one of the Eagle bars. Should I take her to PetSmart shopping for a harness?

Fashion Forward

I knew there was a reason I heart Syndie so much!

t-shirt idea, by syndie

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

A couple of weeks ago, my boss asked if I could watch his dogs for a few days. I agreed, since it's a pretty easy gig, and then promptly forgot about it.

Yesterday, I walked into work, and my boss handed me a key to his house. He then gave me a laundry list of things to do for the dogs, and said "see you next Monday!" Ack! Monday?!? Apparently "a few days" means different things to different people. Here I was expecting maybe two nights away from my home, and it'll be nearly a week.

Good thing he's got satellite tv, that's all I gotta say.


I had a job interview yesterday for a new job. It's for the HIV/AIDS prevention program on campus, and it would be a really good job. I'd work the same amount of hours that I do now (well, maybe a bit more, but I'd get paid for the volunteer work I do for them now) and it pays about $3 an hour more than my current job. When you make a meager wage, $3/hour is a lot of money.

I'm really hoping I get this job, not just for the money, but also because I want to focus on the educational aspect of the job. I'd love to go to classes to talk about the group, as well as hold workshops to educate people about safer sex. I get really frustrated with the current paradigm that "abstinence only" education is the way to go, for two main reasons. 1) Like that early 90's song says, "people are still having sex." 2) Newer studies are showing that "abstinence only" education works very short term, but then it's been noticed that those educated in this system are even more likely to have have sex in the next year, and do so unprotected. Proper education is the only way we're going to cut down on the AIDS epidemic, but people won't accept that, and it frustrates the hell out of me.

I should know by the end of the week if I have the job or not. I'll let everyone know how it goes.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Eye of the Storm

I stand at the eye of the storm. I find myself in a small patch of zen surrounded by the tempests of life. All around me, the wind howls with judgement, disdain, and displeasure. I find peace and harmony instead here at the eye of the storm, and radiate love like a beacon to the forelorn.

Bwahahaha! Who am I kidding?

Things pretty much suck right now. I've got a job interview for the HIV Prevention program on Monday morning, but I have a lot of worries that I won't get the job. While I have no doubts that I'm more qualified than the other applicants, I also realize this is one of those times where not fitting a stereotype definitely will hurt me. I'm not being negative about this, just realistic.

I'm drowning in school work this semester too. 17 credits is about 4 too many for my last semester, when combined with the 20 hours of work and additional volunteer time I'm doing. Things are stacking up at a crazy rate, and I don't feel like I can keep up most days. Weekends aren't for relaxing right now; they're for catching up on homework and housework. I'm also really frustrated with the courses I have to take this semester. Only two pertain to what I want to do with my life, and the others are just hoops for this circus poodle to jump through. Spanish, Pre-History of Europe, and Astronomy do not inspire me; they demean me. Being well rounded is good, but forcing the issue just for the sake of it belittles people. I also struggle with my Independent Study Film course. The big problem is that I forget about it, since there's no real class, and haven't done anything on it to date. Also, I know that my advisor will just hose me over on this one. I could make the best short film in the history of short films, and he'd still only give me a B or C. I say this from prior experience, where I've had to teach his courses for him (due to his incompetence - a charge I don't make lightly), and yet he still grades me poorly. Wanker.

I'm just not sure what to do right now. I know a lot of things need to change, but I'm unsure how to go about it. I need direction. I'm listless and bored. God, being back in Idaho is awful.

Coded Message

There's a new cub at McKee's Pet Shop in town, and I think it should be added to the petting zoo. Woof!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Cherry Poppin' Blackfoot

About a month ago, I designed a brochure for the Blackfoot Performing Arts Centre. They've started a new concert series, and needed to do some serious advertising. It was a really good paying piece of work, and gave me some much needed graphic design experience. I'd done some print work a few years ago, but it'd been a while, and this project was a good refresher.

In a sad yet slightly humorous twist of fate, one of the scheduled performers died of a heart attack two days after we sent the brochure off to the printers. Part of me wasn't very surprised, since the man was kind of old when he did one of the songs for the original Rocky soundtrack. And yes, that really was his claim to fame.

Anyway, a replacement had to be found. I'm not sure how, or why... but the Cherry Poppin' Daddies will be gracing Idaho with a performance this spring. Mwahahahaha! I can almost hear all of the old people's heads exploding already. This should be good.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Catch U Next Tuesday

No matter how many scenarios you play through in your mind, you realize there's never a good way to tell your friend that his girlfriend is a complete and utter cunt.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I Do Feel Lost

The second verse of this song isn't what I'm thinking at all, but the rest is ringing pretty true right now. Here's Country Mile by Camera Obscura.

Song for preview purposes only.
Silver Birch against a Swedish sky
The singer in the band made me want to cry
We’re all inside our own heads now
We are leaving new friends
We are leaving this town
I wish you could be here with me
I would show you off like a trophy
The road it winds, it twists, it turns, now my stomach burns

Once again I’ll be the foolish one
Thinking a blink of these lashes would make you come
Don’t you worry, don’t get in a state
I don’t believe in true love anyway
Who’s being pessimistic now
I could document this as our first and our last row
The more you look forlorn, the more to you I warm

I won’t be seeing you for a long while
I hope it’s not as long as a country mile
I feel lost

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Anatomically Correct

There are two shows on television I just don't understand the appeal for. The first is Grey's Anatomy, and I just don't get why people watch it. I've tried watching it a few times now, and find myself bored after a few minutes. Whiney people whining about whiney problems has never appealed to me, and thus, my avoidance of small children with innept parents. "Whah whah my lack of sex whah whah need this stat whah heart condition whah whah." That's some dialogue from the pilot, though it could fit in any standard episode of the show. Maybe if I was a shoe-gazing emo kid that was in trouble for wearing my sister's jeans, then I'd be all over it. As is, I'll pass on this crap.

The other show whose popularity is unfathomable to me is House. I'm amazed that people watch each week with baited breath to see what will befall the bitchy-yet-brilliant Dr. House. Spoiler Alert: it'll be the same damn thing as last week, but with a different fill-in-the-blank disease! Could this show be any more formulaic?

Here's an episode of House in 6 easy steps:
1) someone comes to hospital with strange/exotic disease.
2) other medical staff stand around looking perplexed and befuddled.
3) House shows up with "unconventional" diagnosis and/or cure.
4) everyone gets pissy with House.
5) House is correct, and saves the day.
6) everyone else sulks that House was right.
I dare anyone to prove me wrong on this one. I've only seen about 4 episodes, but thought it was a rerun every time.

Praise Jesus for Project Runway, or I'd just have to throw my tv out the window.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Now Hear This!

This post is about some new music I wanted to share with my favorite blogmonkeys. It seems like you can find out just about anything for crap artists like Justin Timberjacksonwannabelake or Beyon-dgawdawfulcatinheathowling-ce, but it takes a little digging to find the good stuff. So, since I know my blogmonkeys have better things to do with their time than surf for music, I've decided to help you out.

Ray LaMontagne: I bought this CD a few weeks ago, after hearing it at Virgin and getting moist. It's a mix of folk, americana, and neo-soul. Even my picky-ass mother, who likes no music except Abba and Tina Turner, exclaimed that it was "pretty good" after listening to it yesterday. Hey, you make me drive from Boise, you listen to what I want.

Bonnie "Prince" Billy: I don't know most of his stuff, but I found a link to his new video this afternoon. (Requires QuickTime.) It's good folk music, if you prefer your folk a little less crack addicted than say Devandra Banhart's brand of folk. It also features a semi-adorkable guy wearing what appears to be an afghan puli dog.

Zero 7: I didn't really like their new album at first, but it really grew on me. Kind of like that fungus on my taint, but with less negative side effects. Anyway, their new album combines a few of my favorite things: Zero 7, Jose Gonzalez, and videos of swirling/morphing food. Hot damn!

Malajube: French-Canadians that foolishly decided to sing in French, rather than Canadian. At least they didn't marry 90-year-old men and get tricked into performing at Vegas. I have no idea what they're singing about, but I like it. Check out their inventive videos, and try to imagine they're singing about love or puppies, and not skinning little children alive, since it's not in English, and there's a possibility that's what's going on.

The Rapture: I heard these guys were the originators of the dance-rock genre you all should be worshipping right along with me. Yes, you. The tortured one with the eyeliner and the Bravery tshirt in the corner, who's much too cool to fall for crappy emo, yet still feels all the same ways as his whiney emo counterpart. Scoot your booty to The Rapture instead of Dashboard Crapfessional, and revel in the fact people actually like you at the end of the day.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sex and the City: Shooting Blanks

I just read this hilarious story on the BBC News site about the women in a Columbian city refusing to have sex with their men unless the men give up their gangster ways.

They even have a hot new rap song that they've written to back up their sex strike. Here's a sample lyric:

As women we are worth a lot. We don't want to fall for violent men because with them we lose too much.
Catchy! It's got a good beat, and you can dance to it. I'm just waiting for Paris Hilton to do a cover of it for her sophomore release.

Not to be outdone by a bunch of frigid women in Columbia (I'm kidding) I've decided to do my own rap lyric for them:
Bang your gun, you won't bang me. Stuck in the forest screwing chimpanzees.
Okay, that's shite. No wonder my recording career never got off the ground.

80's Porno Guy

There's a guy I see everywhere on campus lately that I've taken to calling "80's Porno Guy." I highly doubt he's filming amateur erotic films at home or anything, but he does look mysteriously like he just stepped off the set of some late 80's porn set: Short permed (I think... it may be natural) hair, porno 'stache, painted on Levis, completely white Reebok tennis shoes. It's just really odd.

I just saw him sitting on a bench smoking a cigarette. All I could think of was him getting it on in white tube socks with the coloured stripes at the top while watching Magnum P.I. It's kind of creepy.

I really need to learn the fine art of being ignorant of my surroundings.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fashionable Jonesing

I have a confession; I'm a junkie. There, I said it. It's all out in the open now for everyone to see, and you'll all just have to deal with it.

It started slowly. A little free sample here, another there... and suddenly I was hooked. My mom had warned me not to spend time with "those people," as they were surely up to no good, but I was too arrogant to listen.

Yes, those bastards at NBC and Bravo got me hooked on this season of Project Runway. I love the show. The drama, the fighting, and the occasional flash of fashion make me salivate. More, more, more! I need more!

I watched a big block of it on Bravo this last Sunday, and just found one of the best weekly recaps about it. It's written by Dave White, who's the much better version of Joe.My.God, IMNSHO. His recent story about taking his stroke-afflicted mother bra shopping made me want to cry and laugh at the same time. It also made me secretly wish that my mother would have a stroke, so that we could maybe be close, and she'd be restricted to saying "no" and "muahmuahmuhmuhmuah" too. God, that would be heaven. Not having to listen to her scream "John, what were you thinking?!?" in her harpie voice is worth the price of extra salty bacon alone. Hmmm... now I have to research stoke induction methods.

Monday, September 11, 2006

AIDS On My Mind

I've been thinking about HIV/AIDS a lot lately. I've got an upper-level Biology course every Tuesday night about it, and we're presented with startling facts every week. I recently applied for a job with an HIV prevention program at ISU. A week ago, I tested negative for my HIV test. I think about it a lot lately.

Can you believe that conservative estimates are saying nearly 40 MILLION people will be infected with HIV in the next decade? Approximately 2.8 million died last year of AIDS, and another 4 million were infected with HIV.

You look at the numbers, and you realize it's only a matter of time until someone you know is touched by the disease, gets HIV, or dies of AIDS. I've been lucky so far, and only have a few distant degrees-of-separation to HIV/AIDS. I know it can't last long though.

PBS's Frontline did a great 4-hour series about the HIV/AIDS epidemic. If you're like me, you missed it on tv, but you can now watch it online. Thanks PBS!

9/11 Anniversary: 5 Years of Insanity

I know that this is the time to sit back and reflect about how 9/11 changed my life, and how I was affected, and what I was doing at the time... but that's not me. Nor, really, do I give a crap about 9/11.

Gasp! How can this be? Well, lets look at some statistics.

Death total from Sept. 11 attacks: Roughly 2,800 (though debated as high as 3,000)

Death rate in 2001 (U.S.) from heart disease: 669,697 (averages to 1835/day)

Death rate in 2001 (U.S.) from cancer: 553,251 (averages to 1516/day)

Death rate in 2001 (U.S.) from AIDS: 15,000 (est.)
So, statistically, more people died of heart disease and cancer on September 11 than did people from terrorist attacks. Wow, interesting. They seem to fail to mention that in all of the "pro-freedom" propaganda. Hey, remember that crazy thing a few years ago called the Boxing Day Tsunami? How many died? Do you even remember there was a tsunami? Yeah, me neither. That's because we can't handily label people and write compelling docudramas about what happened. Nobody can harbor angst against a giant wall of water for 5 years and have it still be deemed socially acceptable.

So, this year, I demand a change. This year, I won't sit and bemoan what happened, and pretend that it was much worse than it really was. I won't sit and watch awful dramaumentaries on TV and partake in the emotional masturbation that seems to be happening so much this year. Nor will I not cringe when I listen to the word "evil" be thrown around so arbitrarily concerning that day, while I can look at the actions of our country since that date and mentally use the same term.

Yes, 9/11 was bad, but no, it doesn't merit the levels of insanity that seem to have swept the world since then. I hate to admit that the terrorists won, but damn, it's like they really didn't even have to try to make people go clinically insane. They just tricked us into blaming one set of religious zealots while wholeheartedly embracing another, and trading civil liberties for the illusion of safety.

Now that's a sad fact I will bemoan.

Not Happy

I "upgraded" to the new version of Blogger today, and I'm not happy at all. There are a few nifty additions, but overall, I'm unimpressed.

I just spent nearly 3 hours trying to figure out how to get my comments from Haloscan into the new Blogger, with no luck. I still have all of the old comments saved in Haloscan, but it won't interface with Blogger's messed up new templates.

I'll keep trying to get the old comments working in here. If i can't get it to work, I'll have to go back to Blogger's commenting system, which is crap. I'll let you know the final verdict soon.

Update: I ended up finding my old template and reverting back to it, so it looks as if comments are back now. What a pain in the ass! I'm really getting frustrated with Blogger lately. It's kind of like how Hotmail was great until Microsoft took over... if you catch my googley drift.