28 April 2007


Thanks to an Australian blog that, frankly, I've never read before today -- Five Public Opinions -- via the oh-so-fair and balanced Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy (of which, your slime-mouthed Chronicler happens to be a member), I've inadvertently crashed head-on with one of the most enjoyable sites I've ever, well, inadvertently crashed into: The Great Firewall of China. It turns out that, yes, this empty claptrap blowhard less-than-nothing of a blog from hell is being blocked by the benevolent corporate despots who rule the PRC. How about that? Imagine -- the poor toiling Chinese masses, incessantly slapping together just about every conceivable consumer good in your nearest Wal-Mart, are officially denied the highly questionable benefits of suffering through my endless whiny wankerings about allergies, commuter traffic, and the terminal indifference of the average American. Do you suppose the totalitarian freaks in Beijing know something that, perhaps, I don't?

Actually, I'm sure it's merely that the corporate Stalinists at the top of the Chinese hierarchy block
all Blogger/Google sites, as a matter of course. But it's nice to know that some pig-fucker authoritarians somewhere might think enough of this nonsense to keep their subjects from viewing it. I encourage everyone to check out The Great Firewall of China and see how well-considered their blogsites are in the world's most populous country. It's fun!

27 April 2007


I’m perversely fascinated by ordinary people going about their ordinary business. They all look so normal, so blandly prosaic, so boringly phlegmatic, so blissfully unconcerned, so energetically empty ... as if they hadn’t a care in the world. How do they do that?

Maybe it’s a subconscious thing, a mental defense mechanism, that shields them from the consequences of thinking about anything too deeply. Certainly, their conditioned selfishness and consumerist-oriented egocentrism have significant -- perhaps decisive -- roles to play; as far as there being any self-awareness involved, who the hell knows. Just a startling mess of artificially up-beat, cheap plastic automatons sporting strychnine grins and pumping endless wafts of hot wind through gaping maws that never seem to close ... is what it looks like to me.

Yes, it’s merely another hopelessly trying day for your wooly-brained, foul-mouthed chronicler here. Fuck.

As mentioned, the seemingly homogenized group-think behavior one constantly butts up against is strangely compelling, in a clinical sort of way. Being stranded in commuter traffic or buying a loaf of bread at the grocery store or sitting in a bright and over-cheerful coffee shop across the street from a “fitness center” surrounded by SUV’s -- not to mention the endless parade of other ridiculous monkey-motion that constitutes our collective experience -- it all provides a 24-hour a day front-row seat for viewing, analyzing, and ultimately giving up trying to understand this interesting phenomenon. That it exists, there’s no question. There’s also no question that there’s a relatively small, hard-edged coterie of disaffected individuals out there who, for some inexplicable reason, have managed to defy the dominant programming by which everybody else is largely animated and controlled. You all know who you are.

Now, how is it that some members of this cockeyed culture of conformity and corruption have actually managed to fall through the cracks, as it were, in the seemingly air-tight and otherwise comprehensive web of indoctrination and thought control? I don’t mean those who might oppose, say, the misapplication of power for merely tactical reasons -- those whose malcontent is paper-thin and highly malleable, to say the least: opportunists who are integral components of the power structure, such as so-called “opposition party” politicians or fence-sitting corporate types awash in cash, and all of
that ilk. No, what I had in mind was that atomized collection out there of the puzzled and angry; that compact corps of round pegs in a world full of square holes; the relatively small band of thinking people whose intellects, for whatever unknown reasons, still manage to function on some sort of independent basis. What strange set of circumstances conspired to burden a few of us with the ability to use our heads as something other than ambulatory haircut platforms?

Yes, of course -- more idiotic questions nobody could possibly answer. For me, the fundamental issue is this: how do you come to an accommodation with a political-pop culture that is a sheer, premeditated fraud,
without being debased or compromised in the process? Or can you? Or should you even bother? Should you just suck it up and blindly embrace a system that produces newspaper headlines like “BAGHDAD BOMB VICTIMS DON’T COUNT IN U.S. TALLY” (Sacramento Bee, 26 April 2007) -- or, rather, remain aloof, contemptuous, viciously cynical, monumentally angry, bile-spittingly enraged, and utterly uncompromising?

I can’t speak for anybody else, but at least I know what side
my sore flat feet are not-so-firmly planted on ... But then, a new post by Riverbend comes along and smashes this self-indulgent snarky bullshit into the tiny shards of perspective-less nothing that it truly is ... I need to have my head examined ...

21 April 2007


It’s a bit unfortunate, I suppose, that the evil skunk-pig who ostensibly “represents” California’s 4th Congressional district carries the name Doolittle; every time I hear that name mouthed, or see it in print, visions of audacious bastards flying B-25’s off the pitching deck of the USS Hornet sluggishly spring to mind. That’s too bad, really, since -- obviously -- the only thing that Abramoffist and Tom DeLay protege John has in common with the hugely brass-balled Colonel (later, General) Jimmy is a last name. It makes not a lick of sense to conflate and/or confuse the two, but, whatever.

The 4th district is one of those weird, anomalous contradictions that make the state of California such a strange place. Encompassing the entire northeast chunk of the state, stretching from Modoc to El Dorado counties, the 4th is populated largely by a cross-section of people that clearly don’t fit the California stereotype: my jaundiced eyeball sees them mainly as rabid gun-loving right-wing freakbags, transplanted racist hillbillies, long-distance SUV commuters who clog the roads and the air in the Valley like ambulatory pollution machines, and barricaded-compound religionists who spew non-stop homilies to Jesus while their trigger fingers itch to send as many less-than-lilywhite folks “onward” as possible. Unfair characterizations? Perhaps. Or perhaps not, especially when you compare them to what these inbred jugheads have to say about the moderately Democratic lowlanders here in Sacramento -- and don’t
even get them started on Los Angeles or (horror of horrors) San Francisco.

In any case, I know these people all too well, since a number of the witless bastards I work for actually live in the quasi-Aryan Nation/Doolittle-Land of the Sierra foothills.

It’s hardly surprising that such a widely dispersed clatter of toothless hoseheads would continually send an unabashed, thieving piece of human waste like John Doolittle back to Washington as their Congressional representative, as if he was some sort of clean-cut guardian angel protecting all the god-fearing crackers from the slavering weirdos storming out of Sacramento and the Bay Area, intent on utterly devouring them and spitting up their remains like so many chicken bones. The pinheads are only doing what their abridged intelligence and bleak world-view allow -- happily having their chains yanked by right-wing charlatans and demagogues like Doolittle. What
is a bit surprising is that the FBI would actually go after this piece of political toejam, this lower-tier closeted Nazi whose ultimate goal in life is apparently to be Karl Rove’s commode scrubber. It’s gratifying to see trouble -- any kind of trouble -- heaped on this foul person, even if it has been somewhat overshadowed by the ongoing Torquemada Gonzales show this week, as well as a random massacre or two and the carnage in Iraq. But it’s something, I suppose. Although waiting several months after Doolittle was safely re-elected to launch an investigation is a little questionable, to say the least. But we have to take our good news wherever we can find it.

Truth be told, though, pathetic bogtrotters like Doolittle (and now the chucklehead in Arizona) are really just tiny guppies wallowing in a huge befouled sea of corruption; the truly monstrous predators in this ocean of bile and puke, grown bloated and arrogant beyond belief on the empty calories of their overpowering ambitions -- Rove, Cheney, et. al. -- are still free to pursue their destructive mischief.
Schadenfreude at the apparent teetering of bit-player Doolittle is all fine and good, but it’s useful to remember that he’s nothing but an empty, threadbare suit within the wider political scheme of things.

And, of course, he’s even
more of a less-than-nothing non-person slime-smear when compared to the authentically gutsy Colonel Jimmy. It’s absurd to even mention the two in the same sentence -- I apologize.

18 April 2007


The past several days and weeks prove rather conclusively the fundamental worthlessness of comprehensive sobriety, particularly as it relates to tapdancing along the ragged fringes of the great Californian exurban toilet bowl, as it were. Getting, and remaining, at least half-way blottoed is the only solution to this madness, apparently.

“Solution” -- yeah, right. That’s a good one.

When I spare half a thought about quaint notions like Congress “challenging” the Chimp on the almost non-issue of “supplemental war spending” (or whatever the fuck it’s officially called), or mild mysteries such as Torquemada Gonzales still having a job, or, now, newspaper headlines that read “HORROR, OUTRAGE AT CAMPUS KILLINGS” (The Sacramento Bee, 17 April 2007), I unconsciously find myself reaching for the nearest bottle -- of beer, wine, power steering fluid, anything. While not technically on the wagon, minor alterations to the daily drudge of living have created a situation that’s virtually indistinguishable, which, generally speaking, is probably a good thing. However, for all the alleged benefits of alcohol avoidance, it’s left me psychologically unprepared for the continuous, utterly relentless onslaught of corruption and violent dissolution that so epitomizes this ridiculous epoch.

Well, naturlich, a more or less permanent state of drunkenness is no solution to anything. But there’s something to be said for maintaining the illusion of a numb, boozy cheesecloth of indifference -- the better to strain out as much of the neo-con terror rampage as possible.

Seriously, though. I’m so burned out, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to care about anymore. College students in a state with some of the most lax gun laws in the nation, who had the supreme karmic misfortune to be on the receiving end of some psychotic nutjob with a cracked brain pan? Hundreds of thousands of dead people in the boiling charnel house otherwise known as Iraq? $3 gasoline? Republicans who obscenely decry gun violence while starting illegal wars of aggression, who then allow laws prohibiting automatic weapons to lapse? Global environmental degradation and the coming uninhabitability of the earth? Corporate media whores who gladly facilitate neo-con bullshit? “American Idol”? The fascist thug-freaks who overthrew the United States government in 2000? Migraine headaches? Impeachment? What? For fuck’s sake.


Tom Waits wrote and recorded a song a few years ago called “Get Behind the Mule,” and while it may not provide a definitive answer to the insane hallucination in which we seem to be pointlessly spinning these days, minds far more enlightened than mine might construe it as a starting point of sorts. My favorite bit:

Pin your ear to the wisdom post
Pin your eye to the line
Never let the weeds get higher than the garden
Always keep a sapphire in your mind
Always keep a diamond in your mind

You got to get behind the mule
In the morning and plow

I need a beer.

17 April 2007


You know, I'm constantly amazed -- one might even say,
hornswaggled -- by the cornucopia of nostalgic relics and miscellaneous tidbits of one's former life to be found at the back of a seldom-opened drawer, or a hard-to-remember-what-the-fuck-this-is shoebox, or the mysteriously dank linen cabinet that nobody ever opens anymore ... for instance, a 16-year-old ticket stub that represents something that, well, just made sense. To us, at least.

So, Lee, hang in -- everybody's (
ahem) rooting for you. Hardy har.

Seriously ...

11 April 2007


Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84 ...


Hard to believe that all those gasoline-swilling shithead suburbanites are still diligently hard at it, over the way in the “fitness center” next to the Jack In The Box. But then again, irony and pathos being such rare and virtually unknown commodities among halfwits and flapdoodlers of this sort, it isn’t really all that mysterious. Or surprising. Or particularly interesting, for that matter.


Is it just me, or is the problem of concentrating on specific issues more general and widespread? I know, that’s probably the most thoroughly ridiculous rhetorical question one can concoct, since the answer is as patently obvious as global warming and Republican corruption. I only throw this impossible question out there because ... actually, I’m not sure; maybe it’s due to the fact that this shallow, anonymous sardine of a blog is a complete mess, which arguably is just a reflection of the disastrous turmoil rumbling inside the numb skull of its author. Perhaps there are other reasons, perhaps not.


People seem to be so
earnest, so enthused, so absorbed in the hollow minutia that constitutes the empty physicality of their existence. Gums flap endlessly, creating a veritable wind tunnel for non-stop gusts of blustery noise that don’t mean anything half the time; hands are constantly flailed around and fingers are pointed in a palsy of self-righteous pontification -- always directed outward, never inward; commuters scurry about in a sick pretense of purposefulness, going to insane lengths to screw a happy face onto what is little more than a vacuous exercise in self-destruction; mass quantities of empty calories are gleefully consumed by legions of over-excited television junkies who constantly chitter and jabber about the paternity of some bleached-blonde medical freak’s motherless baby, sparing little or none of their severely restricted capacity for discernment of, and critical thinking about, such things as Neo-Con malfeasance, endless war, or the challenges of living in a theocratic-fascist dictatorship desperately trying to give birth to itself ... All the bright-eyed knuckleheads, the simpering consumerist blowholes, and the stupid fucking sock puppets in human guise sure seem to be enjoying themselves.


News item, Associated Press via the San Francisco Chronicle, 11 April 2007:


President Bush’s spy chief is pushing to expand the government’s surveillance authority at the same time the administration is under attack for stretching its domestic eavesdropping powers.

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has circulated a draft bill that would expand the government’s powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, liberalizing how that law can be used.

More here.


It’s April in the Sacramento Valley and it’s raining -- a certain guarantee of exploding allergies and debilitating migraines, once it dries up and gets hot.


And finally, an overheard workplace conversation:

co-worker #1: “This has been, like, just the weirdest day!”

co-worker #2: “How so?”

co-worker #1: “I don’t know.”

I have no freakin' idea of where I live anymore.

09 April 2007


Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

-- Ambrose Bierce,
The Devil’s Dictionary, 1906, 1911

Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.

-- Henry Adams,
The Education of Henry Adams, 1907

All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.

-- John Arbuthnot, quoted in Richard Garnett’s
Life of Emerson, 1887

The standard of intellect in politics is so low that men of moderate mental capacity have to stoop in order to reach it.

-- attributed to Hilaire Belloc after a term in the House of Commons

One has to be a lowbrow, a bit of a murderer, to be a politician, ready and willing to see people sacrificed, slaughtered, for the sake of an idea, whether a good one or a bad one.

-- Henry Miller,
Writers at Work, 1963

Politicians ... are the semi-failures in business and the professions, men of mediocre mentality, dubious morality and magnificent commonplaceness.

-- Walter B. Pitkin,
The Twilight of the American Mind, 1928

A politician imitates the Devil, as the Devil imitates a cannon: wheresoever he comes to do mischief, he comes with his backside towards you.

-- John Webster,
The White Devil, c. 1608

Spare me the sight of this thankless breed, these politicians who cringe for favors from a screaming mob and do not care what harm they do their friends, providing they can please a crowd!

-- Euripedes,
Hecuba, c. 425 BC

There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honor.

-- Benjamin Disreali,
Vivian Grey, 1824

A special thanks to the best source of bile and negativity I’ve ever seen, a book entitled
Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: an encyclopedic compendium of classical and contemporary abhorrence, abomination, abuse, acrimony, anger, animosity, annoyance, antipathy, aversion, bitchery, bitterness, calumny, cynicism, derogation, detestation, disaffection, disgust, disparagement, distemper, execration, hostility, insolence, insult, invective, loathing, malevolence, malice, malignity, misanthropy, odium, perversity, pique, rancor, resentment, revulsion, sarcasm, spite, spleen, umbrage, venom, vilification, vituperation, and downright nastiness. (Simon and Schuster, 1984. Compiled and edited by Nat Shapiro)

All thinking beings should have a copy of this book ... I wonder if it’s still in print ...

08 April 2007


A tired and frayed crap-hole of epic proportion; a shuffling, comatose parade of allegedly “human” wreckage; rumpled, unraveled drunks breathlessly competing with the seriously over-loud vomitus exploding out of an irritatingly ugly jukebox; a band of bleached middle-aged hacks, sporting dynamic bowling-pin physiques, sets up on the green-stamp sized stage, prepatory to launching a spineless assault of sadly mediocre blues songs rendered with as much superficial sincerity as possible; cigarette smoke wafts relentlessly through the two glassless, metal-slab windows, chimneyed from the dubious depths and diseased internal organs of what appear to be skinhead bikers just released on their own recognizance; the band begins to play -- I’m already bored; the bartender, with all her hard-to-ignore over-abundance of womanly curves, for some reason is sporting an inexplicable, Ingrid-Bergman-after-shacking-up-with-Roberto-Rossellini hairdo, the sort of bobbed frowse you might’ve seen in a dilapidated Roman pasta shack, circa 1948; puzzled suburbanites start to straggle in, perhaps thinking this might be the Church of Scientology which is actually located just down the street; the inebriates clap, as if the band is committing something on stage that deserves positive acknowledgement ...

I could go on and on, but to what purpose? It’s merely a normal “open mike blues jam” at The Torch Club, a downtown Sacramento institution that’s been destroying livers and wrecking ear drums for the past sixty or seventy years.

I’ve momentarily forgotten what the true purpose of this blog is supposed to be. Please excuse me.

Oh no -- they just dragged what appears to be some poor old homeless dude up there, to sing a song ... I’m outa here.

06 April 2007


I talk an enormous amount of crap about this town, this strange and oddly diffused conglomerated mess of asphalt and plastic, the unlikely capital of the state of California. And rightly so, in my rather hidebound opinion. However, even in the midst of the latest excoriating screed about the abominable nature of the generality of knuckleheads here, a small gem manages to shine through. In the April 5th issue of the Sacramento News & Review -- a weekly alternative to the McClatchy (yes, that McClatchy) flagship dishrag Sacramento Bee -- there’s a well-written piece about the surprisingly lively condition of the area’s independent bookstore scene, by someone called Ralph Brave. What stood out was a quote by Jim Naify, the owner of Beer’s Books, the oldest continually operated book shop in Sacramento (opened in 1936). How many bookstore owners out there actually have Doctorates in Philosophy? That’s pretty flippin’ cool. Anyhow, he says:

“I think that this is a kind of critical time for ideas to be preserved and aired in as wide a range as possible. Some people today are opening your e-mails, looking at your bank account, checking your postal records and your credit card. I recommend to everybody that you e-mail yourself a copy of the US Constitution in hopes that somebody will open it and read it.

“One of the reasons for keeping the store going is making sure that a variety of ideas is out there and accessible to people, that there are books other than those chosen by corporate culture. There is an important literature out there that’s in danger of dying as collateral damage in the corporate wars. Keeping our bookstore going, for me, is something of a mission, that ideas appear and are available to people. We don’t need corporate economic censorship of our ideas. We need a whole range of ideas that engage people.”

Hmm. A thinking person who sells books ... right here in the pinhead, claptrap epicenter of the entire western United States. I never would’ve thought it was possible.

Blog note: I’ll be returning to the usual nasty and appalling brain-spew as soon as possible. I just needed a breather.

04 April 2007


The calculus of deception, the geometry of hidden (and not so hidden) agendas, the non-linear equation of half-truths, wishful thinking, and outright lies; tying together such apparent disparities as British sailors in Iranian custody, the overheating price of gasoline, and the fact that most people seem more interested in the start of baseball season than in flushing away the foul stench of the so-called Bush “administration” -- such exercises always put me in mind of nearly impenetrable mathematical problems. I say nearly impenetrable because, as obscure as it may seem, this one isn’t really all that indecipherable. It’s child’s play, actually.

Let’s see. Greed beyond belief plus positions of power, multiplied by an amoral willingness to use violence and deal out death, multiplied again by an ignorant and apathetic public and a ridiculous Congress full of Vichyite weaklings -- that’s the basic arithmetical superstructure of the bare thread the world is hanging by right now. Complicating matters further are a number of variables, including fifteen Jolly Jack Tars in rubber boats (rubber boats?) being planted in a stretch of water long in dispute, as an obviously deliberate provocation. The causus belli is in place and ready to go, the use of uniformed British pawns gives the Neo-Con monkey people in the United States a certain degree of camouflage for their role as the official enthusiasts of a new war, and the price of gasoline spirals out of control. War, death, deceit, and profit -- sounds pretty simple to me.

I suppose it’s valid enough to view the newest chapter of the Neo-Con saga in pseudo-mathematical terms. Or not, but, whatever. It’d be hard to gainsay the systematic, mathematical precision in which the stage is being set for yet another -- perhaps the last -- Repug assault on a sovereign nation floating upon an ocean of crude oil. It’s really nothing but an elaborate, and deadly, advertising campaign, dripping with more than its share of falsehoods and deceptions. But it is predictable and, truly, not especially imaginative or original; the bag of tricks, traditionally available to the legions of self-interested ghouls who have plagued human history with their existence, is not really very extensive. But then, it doesn’t need to be, given how hollow and base and oh-so-easily manipulated most people are -- particularly 21st century Americans with their culture of homogenized disposability. Whether it’s Gleiwitz in 1939, the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, Iraq in 2002-3, or Iran in 2007, it’s all the same tired but methodical (and effective) application of power run amok.

Yeah, well. The Russians are saying that the as-yet unveiled Neo-Con campaign of death against the hapless citizenry of Iran is scheduled to commence this week. Maybe, maybe not; regardless, if the Chimp and his brood aren’t removed with alacrity, another war -- sooner or later -- is very nearly a “dead cert,” as our rubber-boat-borne British sailors might put it. One could say it’s almost “mathematically” likely.

You know, I always hated math.

UPDATE TIME: OK, so Ahmadinejad refuses to follow the script scribbled by the thug-freaks in DC and decides to release our brave rubberized British sailors. Good for him; Rove and Cheney must be un-wadding each other’s boxers right about now.