Monday, October 31, 2005

Now this is what a politician should look like!

Courtesy of the OC Weekly:

"If you live in Orange and have kids in elementary school, you'll sleep soundly at night knowing that your children's education is safeguarded by a school board that includes a man whose single-issue agenda is exposing the evil conspiracy against him by Albertsons, the supermarket chain. Rocco won his election last November thanks to conservative parents who opposed his teachers'-union-backed opponent and didn't care that they knew absolutely nothing about Rocco. Well -- not absolutely nothing, exactly. During the race, Rocco distributed fliers denouncing "The Partnership," which is what he calls the conspiracy that began with his 1980 arrest for shoplifting at an Albertsons store in Santa Ana. He had a copy with him at his Dec. 9 swearing-in ceremony. "All the information you need is in here," he said, jabbing his finger at the broadside. "This is an expose, not a manifesto. Expose is a French word, not a Russian. . . . We're living in a time of secret organizations, corruption and, most of all, dictatorship." Rocco finished his acceptance speech by saying something in Italian. Then he shrugged, as if to say he was as confused as everyone else. "I hope Mr. Rocco will be a breath of fresh air in our district," chirped conservative gadfly Katherine Moran during the public-comments portion of the meeting. "I felt you would not be another teachers' union puppet. I did vote for you because it was the lesser of two evils. I mean that as a compliment." MITIGATING FACTOR: Rocco's right: the Partnership is real."

What's next, David Johansen as a Jehovah's Witness?

This new documentary about Arthur "Killer" Kane of the New York Dolls is supposed to be the shit. It's about how he went from a glamorous hard-core punk with a fondness for alcohol to an abstimious church-going Mormon. Hey, that's my story arc in reverse!

I know what I'm going as!

West Hollywood. Halloween Carnival. Angel wings, white leather hot shorts, and tons of glitter to show off my gym-toned abs. Topping it off, this season's hottest heartthrob!

Courtesy of I love Karl Rove.

Shameless self-promotion

Dear Sullivanistas, if you would, please also check out the web site for my soon-to-be released documentary about gay guys who play tough guy sports, Straight Acting. I hope that you too will be,

Welcome Sullivan readers!

I must say that I am


Sin is inside of us; it's sticky and smelly. Sometimes it gets on the outside, as well...

I had to steal this from Aravosis, who found it on Focus On the Family. It's instructions for how to scare the shit out of your kid, and the Jesus in:
What to Do About Halloween

The Pumpkin Gospel

What you need:

* pumpkin
* newspapers
* sharp knife
* spoon
* large bowl
* candle
* matches
* Bible

What to do:

Prepare a place for your pumpkin carving. Set newspapers on a table and get out the knife, spoon and bowl. Cut an opening in the top of the pumpkin. Have your kids pull out all of the seeds and scrape out the inside of the pumpkin.

What to talk about:

* How is the stuff we pulled out of the pumpkin like sin in our heart? (They’re both yucky; sin is inside us; it’s sticky and smelly.)
* How is the way we cleaned out the pumpkin like the way Jesus cleans us out when we confess our sins? (All the yucky stuff is taken away; Jesus scoops out the sin.)

What to do:

Draw a happy face on the pumpkin, then use the sharp knife to carve it out. When you are finished, read aloud 2 Corinthians 5:17 and/or Ephesians 2:10.

What to talk about:

* How have we made this pumpkin a “new creation”? (It has a face now; it used to be just a pumpkin, but now it’s a jack-o’-lantern.)
* How do we become a new creation when Jesus comes into our hearts? (We learn to love Him more; we’re no longer filled with yucky stuff; we become God’s children.)

What to share:

When Jesus comes into our hearts, we become new creations, just as our pumpkin became a new creation. Read Matthew 5:14-16. Then light a candle and place it in the pumpkin. Turn off the room lights so everyone can see the candlelight coming through the pumpkin’s face.

What to talk about:

How is the way the candlelight comes through the pumpkin like the way God wants our light to shine? (God wants others to see how much we love Him; God wants our light to be seen by others.)

What to do:

Sing age-appropriate songs such as This Little Light of Mine (younger children) or Shine, Jesus, Shine (older children and teenagers.)


Sunday, October 30, 2005

Andrew Sullivan Believes in Evolution

I was reading Sully this morning on his outrage over the Plame affair, and I kept feeling this dizzy sense of cognitive dissonance. This was, after all, essentially the guy who pretty much talked me into leaning towards the war. Hell, this is the guy who kept George Bush at near-constant attention with his slavish fellatio for the two years after 9/11. So I figured I needed a visual aid to help quell my sea-sickness:



It all somehow makes more sense this way.

Sunday Basset/Beagle blogging

This is my Luke. Most Handsome. Dog. Ever.

Somewhere, a grad student sheds a hot tear of shame...

I agree with most the points that James Traub makes in this article in the New York Times Magazine about anti-Americanism amongst the European intelligentsia. It really does get away to silly degrees. People like Harold Pinter and Dario Fo have created in their minds the necessary underpinning of any true faith; a convincing devil. And I think that Traub makes a good point about how the old cold-war anti-Americanism, which was powered in large part by the idea of dichotomy, of "choosing sides", had nowhere to go after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and thus became even more bitter and ingrown, to the point that European leftists were vociferously supporting a thug like Slobodan Milosovec back in 1999 just to spite America.

But the thing that made me sad was the way this article felt like it was dated, like it was written in 1999, when anti-American hysteria in Europe was less, well, justified. The article felt strangely mis-directed, and as I thought of why, it struck me, the degree to which one of the most undercounted costs of the Iraq blunder was the rhetorical arming of people who already hated America.

It's not to say that it hasn't been reckoned in one way; we all realize how our actions have inflamed anti-Americanism in the Islamic world. But we've also unfortunately, by our poor leadership, proven every crackpot on the left just a little bit right.

Don't get me wrong. These folks had their agenda long before George Bush strolled carelessly onto the scene. Yes, you had Kosovo, and you also had the immediate reactions right after Sept. 11th. Noam Chomsky went to Pakistan, a roiling, unstable hotbed of Islamic terror, and gave a nationally televised speech in which he claimed that the American invasion of Afghanistan, then about to start, would take at least 100,000 Muslim lives. People like Pinter and John LeCarre have long said unbelievably foolish things about America. You have the case of Lars Von Trier, a man seemingly obsessed with making two-dimensional attacks on American culture, even though he has never set foot in the United States. It's just bizarre. But the battle was never for these minds, given as they are to flights of melodrama and excess, to the love of a good Miltonian villian. Rather, one wonders about those who would be swayed by such rhetorical talents.

Which is why in our adolescent temper-tantrum on the world's stage, we are, as my mother used to remind me, only hurting ourselves. Be it through their condescending reporting (is there a single cracker left in Alabama who hasn't been talked into making sub-literate religious exclamations on the BBC?) to the smarmy polemical crowd-pleasers old artistic hacks use to mask their fading talents (has anyone even performed Pinter since 1973?) anti-American intellectuals are making a killing right now in Europe. They've just got so much material to work with.

There is an old political axiom about giving your enemy the knife to stab you with. In its diplomatic tone-deafness, armed hubris, and gross miscalculations in Iraq, the administration has done the equivalent of taking the street corner prophet, the mad ranter in rags who normally shouts his curses in raging impotence, and arming him to the teeth.
That can't be good for the neighborhood.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Who reads me?

The Sitemeter at the bottom of this page is a wonderful tool, letting me know how many hits I've had, who's on my blog, where they come from geographically, and where, in a section called "Referrals", they were just before coming to this blog. I love to read this, and see where folks have found me. Often, this may be from a blogroll on another site that I like. But then you get weird ones like this blog. It's a conservative Catholic blog dedicated to discussions of attempts to promote orthodoxy within the church, with all kinds of posts about obscure bishops and Latin masses. Now personally, I think that there have been few greater impediments to human progress and generators of human misery then the Catholic Church. But, just the same, I love that people who would never agree with me might read my blog. I take all comers, faithful, converso, and heretical. Whether you are reading for amusement, titillation, or to stoke your sense of outrage, you are welcome. I should warn you though, that if you scroll down, you might see Courtney Love's tit, and an unkind reference to The Madonna.
I know you're lurking, Ratzi. Your secret's safe with me.

Genesis 3:14

The greatest curse of living on the East Side of L.A. is the Cobrasnake. He slithers down out of the Hollywood hills to take photos of drunk hipsters at parties, photos that he posts to his site, which then work to inspire Heathers across the great American middle to new and silly sartorial trends like trucker hats and cowboy boots with shorts. I would hate him and everything he engenders, even if he hadn't trashed my friend Mo's house once.

Well, this guy has finally become enough of a wanker to be spotted by the coolhunters at the L.A. Times, who rewarded him with a front-page "lifestyle" piece. He used this opportunity for a national spotlight to say what may be the single stupidest thing uttered since the 2000 election:

"That's what so exciting about the time we're in right now. There's so much space for creativity. Our parents' generation had to deal with wars and Vietnam and all that. Ever since the '80s and '90s, it's been a real good time."

I detect a new trend, and I'm calling dibs on it! All future references to this phrase or concept must henceforth cite me as the source:
Republican Hipsters.


From the NYT, courtesy of Sullivan:
Mr. Fitzgerald was spotted Friday morning outside the office of James Sharp, Mr. Bush's personal lawyer. Mr. Bush was interviewed about the case by Mr. Fitzgerald last year. It is not known what discussions, if any, were taking place between the prosecutor and Mr. Sharp. Mr. Sharp did not return a phone call, and Mr. Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, declined to comment.

For all the scorn and hatred the Republicans directed towards the French in the lead up to the war, there is one aspect of the French governmental system of which I'm sure they are very jealous. It is against the law in France for criminal charges to be brought against a sitting President. Jacques Chirac has in fact been using this law to shield himself from prosecution in a bribery and corruption case dating from when he was the Mayor of Paris. However, there is no such law on the books here.
Dare we to dream?

Audioblog Welcome

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, October 28, 2005

The other big story

Warpresident has found the actual copy of Harriet's resignation letter:

Sure Anxiety Inducer

Just like the first time, I failed 8th grade math. You can test yourself here.
Now if they could just figure out a way to test how popular you were in 8th grade! On second thought, sadly I wouldn't pass that one either....

From the Onion

I would suggest an end to the cornholing...

#8 is my favorite!

Here's Wonkette's poll results for a new prison nick for Scooter:

10. Token

9. Crutchy

8. Scooter X

7. Asspen

6. Target of Probes

5. Slam Dunk!

4. Yellowcakes

3. Ham Sandwich

2. I Am A Fugitive From a Cheney Gang

1. Irving

Watch out for the showers

I'm thinking of buying the fifth season of Oz as a going-away present for Scooter. But I have one question. Is it tacky to burn a DVD boxset and wrap it back up before you give it as a gift? What if one of the discs gets scratched? I guess that I could tell him that I found it used at Amoeba.
BTW, he needs to think long and hard about his handle. Scooter is a total bitch bottom name.
Or maybe he knows that?
I would suggest he borrow a page from his boss and insist that everyone inside call him "Big Time".

Rove redux

Once again, Karl Rove, surprised and delighted!

Batter up!

Oddjack, the Denton betting blog, has published this odds list on the next pro athlete to come out of the closet, in the wake of Sheryl Swoopes.
Despite the 14/1 odds, I'm betting on Peyton Manning. I put my money where my mouth would like to be.
Not that Kordell Stewart isn't a nice backup...

Code Red!!!!

Pundits, we have a code red! Swarm!Swarm!Swarm! Candy Crowley has lost her earpiece! John King has a stray hair! We need punditry, people, punditry! We need instant spin on undigested facts! Now! NOW!

Le Passion Selon La Madonna.

So, it seems that every "gay" blog on the universe feels the need to comment effusively every time there is a new Madonna record (I'm talking about you, Andy!).
So allow me to comment. I hate that bitch.
No, hate is too strong a word. Loath might be better. Halfway between hate and disdain. I hate, however, having to blog about her. So let's get this out of the way.
Madonna is a middling talent, an 80's New York scenester who managed to put together a career by fucking the best producers of the day, like Jellybean Benitez and Nile Rodgers. They managed to craft some solid pop songs around her weak mid-range voice, and that's about it. She was however a marketing genius, and was smart enough to cultivate a following of fashionable New York fags who made her career and still worship her to this day. Anyone who has suffered the misfortune of hearing Madonna sing acoustically will testify to how thin a talent she really is.
But more than Madonna, I hate her influence. Hey, I like a bass-heavy song with a strong rhythm as much as the next guy, but the linking of club music and gay culture was one of the things that kept me in the closet for so long. I'm not joking! Music is important, at least to me. Music has seriously altered the course of my life on several occasions. The first time I heard the Saint Matthew Passion was the day that I decided to stop being a Mormon. Music has always worked to kick my ass into gear. But when I came out, it was the opposite; the music of the gay club and bar scene was tying to kick my ass right back in to the closet! I mean, here I was, this kid who loved hard indie rock and punk and alt-country, going to bars where they were playing shitty Madonna re-mixes at full volume. Maybe it works on crystal, but on a Thursday evening when you just want to have a cheap beer and a nice conversation, it was ridiculous.
Gays need to embrace this country's full musical heritage, not just that of fag hags and disco queens. I once went to a gay bar in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the DJ interspersed sets of dance music with sets of country top 40. The twinks would jump up for the Madonna, and the boys and girls in their cowboy drag would jump up for Garth Brooks. I just got dizzy. This was Tulsa. A gay bar. Had these folks never heard of Emmylou Harris?
One of the true reliefs of my life was when I came out of the closet and moved to Hollywood and discovered the East Side gay indie-rock scene. To go into a gay bar and hear the Pixies for the first time was almost an out-of-body experience. There are so many gay men and lesbians out there (I met a lot of them while making my film) who stay away from "gay culture" because they don't think it fits their lifestyle. They don't like the music, the bar culture, the cattiness, and the obsession with taste and shopping that is so egregiously demonstrated on Queer Eye For the Straight Guy. Like me, they watch that show and they emphasize with the poor slob whose life is being hijacked.
Queer or not, I don't see the appeal of Madonna. Or Celine Dion. Or Barbra Streisand. Or Bette Midler. Or Judy "what the hell?" Garland.
On the other hand, Courtney Love, there's a fucking gay icon!

English FYI

Oh, and someone asked why this photo reads "DORKING DIVISION" right below me. Let's just say that my Anglo-Saxon cousins have my number....

In the interest of full disclosure...

Just so I can avoid a whole "Sullivan-Signorele incident" here's my online dating profile.
Please enjoy the photo of my ass.
Did I mention that I'm single?
Star Trek cast members encouraged to apply.

Where no man has gone before? That's what they all say.

I can only imagine the orgiastic outpouring of slash fiction this is going to inspire. Gentlemen, we have indeed crossed the final set your phasers on "Stunning!".

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I heart my neighborhood

So they are filming some movie here at the factory, something they do almost weekly. We had the wee Tom Cruise and his massive Scientology tent here last month for Mission Impossible 3 (Ving Rhames is hot!). For this one, in addition to an entire fleet of old compacts made up as Asian taxis, they have blown up at least seven brand-new black Lincoln Navigators, as well as a silver Range Rover. They've got another Rover sitting there waiting in the bullpen. I've never been so tempted to steal a car in all my life. I'll try and get up some pics up tomorrow.
And Hollywood wonders why they aren't making any money!

White People talkin'

I love satire. Right. But what's worse then when satire goes bad? I have got to admit that what annoys me about this Steve Gaillard post is that it just isn't that funny. Funny is important, because context is everything in discussing race, which is why a black man can use language a white man cannot. It's called the Richard Pryor exemption. It's an exemption that I myself hold, when it comes to queers and white trash. So Gaillard's posting is indeed racist, because it was not funny. Humor would have changed that context.

But what's really annoying is how these kinds of things get mis-used by conservatives the same way that the ex-gay movement does; as a ticket to making outlandish oversimplifications:

Look! This blog posting proves that the Left are the real racists!
Look! Because of Jesus, this onetime tranny crack addict is now wearing a Men's Warehouse suit and standing next to his suspiciously over-made wife!
Look! The Clintons had cronyism too! Remember Travelgate? Anyone? Anyone?

It's not that these aren't valid points. It's just that they are quibbling points. Maybe that onetime tranny really did find a lurking heterosexual deep within himself. Who am I to say? I do know that the vast majority of gay folks, myself included, failed to ever change our orientation. The same way I know that many of the average white Republicans I grew up with don't give a shit about black people, except when they need something to rant about.
The White House Travel Office is not the Supreme Court.
And Michael Steele is not a "sambo". In fact, he may be the whitest man in Maryland.

Best Miers Fallout Quote Ever!

"I think the President should look across the country and find the most qualified man, woman, or minority."
-Trent Lott


I guess we're going to find out if I was right. This is what happens when you blog at 2AM West Coast time.

Save Harriet!

As John Aravosis puts it, the men over at Concerned Women of America have determined that Harriet Miers is Not Concerned Enough.
Well, it's time for the Democrats to step in and save Harriet.
Look, as much as anyone, I enjoy the pleasure of a big ole' Bush belly flop. But after the rush wears off and we're all standing around the tapped-out keg muttering "good times, yeah, good times", that's when it's gonna hit us:
Holy Shit, What Have We Done!
Unless Bush pulls yet another tone-deaf move, (not something that can ever be ruled out, do to The Bubble) he's going to try and save face after Harriet by reaching out to the base. Without Karl around to wrangle the wingnuts and whisper sweet nothings in James Dobson's ear, he'll have one way to rally the troops; lift up his broom and declare Shenanigans.
Yeah, it will be a call for all-out red-meat jihad. The Dems held their powder dry through the John "Scalia with a smile" Roberts confirmation, recognizing Teflon when they see it, and figuring the next one down the pike will be the real killable beast. They were right, in all the wrong ways.
If the Dems declare war on the Meirs replacement nominee, short of being able to produce a dead hooker or a baby-killing past, people are gonna start glancing at their watches. There is a kind of kid-gloves effect that comes to the next turn around after a bruising nomination battle; just ask David Souter. After the sheer debacle and entertainment of the electric-blue power suits and the Hallmark mash notes, it's gonna be hard to get people to care about some conservative stiff and his ridiculous ideas about "The Constitution in Exile" or the G-d-given righteousness of Lochner V New York. Never mind the dangerous shoals that lurk therein.
And so with Harriet, we pick the unknown instead of the known. Maybe she won't be as bad as the fire-breather who inevitably would follow her. Maybe she'll try as hard to suck up to Breyer or Kennedy as she did to GWB. Either way, I'd rather risk a Miers then invite in a Bork. Harry Reid, it's time to grab a few moderate Republicans and circle your wagons.
Better a sop then a stiletto, any day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"So-called Republicans"

I hate Janeane Garafolo. I really do. If she didn't exist, conservatives would have to invent her; a sarcastic actress in full "outrage" mode, with dead lousy comic timing, who poorly sums up the talking points she just read off Dailykos, breaking it up with occasional wannabe tough-guy screeches along the lines of "Nick Kristof can kiss my big white ass!!!!"
She leaks condescension, in that unique way that makes your gut tighten if you are anything but a true believer. No critical thinking, no real compassion or insight into the American psyche, no genuine attempts to understand folks who don't agree with her. She's the worst kind of ideologue, the mirror image of what she claims to hate.
That said, I was laughing my ass off last night. She had worked herself up into such a lather on her radio show (by far the worst on Air America, after they pulled Chuck D. Sam Seder sounds like he screamed for three hours before the show started) that she kept wrongly throwing out the phrase "so-called".
"So-called" is one of the cheapest tricks in the ranter's bag. It's a strictly ad hominem low-baller, the kind of cliche that is used by smarmy people to attack their opponent instead of their opponent's ideas. But Janeane was in such a state that she kept using the phrase "so-called Republicans", over and over.
What, like they've let their party memberships expire?

Karl Rove was surprised, and delighted, to find out that indictments were not forthcoming this Halloween...

Sex Education, Texas style.

This has been circulating down in Texas:

The Best part?
" I went to the recent Texas/Texas Tech game, 80,000 people in the stands. Heterosexuals, with God's blessing, had made every single person there!"

No shit?
I guess that's why my boyfriend hasn't gotten pregnant yet...

Worst. Metaphor. Ever.

Are you feeling a little bit hollow on the inside?
Has your materialistic lifestyle left you gutted, as well as damp and sticky?
Have you lost your metaphorical seeds?

Cue this AP story:
"Although Halloween has become increasingly popular across Europe — complete with carved pumpkins, witches on broomsticks, makeshift houses of horror and costumed children rushing door to door for candy — it's begun to breed a backlash. Critics see it as the epitome of crass, U.S.-style commercialism. Halloween "undermines our cultural identity," complained the Rev. Giordano Frosini, a Roman Catholic theologian who serves as vicar-general in the Diocese of Pistoia near Florence, Italy.
Frosini denounced the holiday as a "manifestation of neo-paganism" and an expression of American cultural supremacy. "Pumpkins show their emptiness," he said."

Pumpkins show us our emptiness.
Now it all makes sense.

He keeps going and going

This morning, John Dickerson was on the Al Franken show, and he was talking about how everyone in the White House had given up on Harriet Miers, except for the President. He remarked that this was also what had happened last spring with Social Security reform. The President continued to believe long after the reality of it's failure had seeped in to everyone else. Either the entire staff at the White House is afraid to tell George Bush the truth (and as everyone knows, he doesn't read the papers), or he's afraid to admit it.
Either way, George Bush is the energizer bunny of stupidity.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The devil's math.

2000 is just a number. When you are adding up the calculus of war, it's nothing, really. One day at Antietam or Pont Du Hoc claimed more American lives. One day in the Congo claims more lives today. So it doesn't help to look at that number, 2000. It helps to look at one:

This kid on the left is Andrew Bedard. He's from Missoula, Montana.
He is 19. This picture is only two years old.
His friends were surprised when he joined the Marines. He didn't seem the gung-ho type. When they would ask him about going to Iraq, he would joke about being stationed to Hawaii.
He is an only child.
His parents are divorced.
He wants to come home and go to the University of Montana. He calls his friends from Iraq, sometimes in the middle of the night, and asks them if they'll still be around when he gets back in four years. It's hard being away from them. He reminds them of how good they have it back in Missoula. In Iraq, everyone is poor and things are pretty much destroyed.
He has a dog named Boingo.
He's a bit shy, but still manages to be popular.

He had been in Iraq a month when he was killed October 4th.

Here's what someone posted on a memorial site for Andrew:
"An entire country is now free for the first time in living memory and your name will forever be remembered in Marine Corp history. In the years to follow as other countries in the Middle East start to follow the great freedom principle, it’ll be men like you will stand above and look down on a safer and more secure and peaceful world."


Maybe the worst part of it is that Andrew died for an experiment, a gamble taken by men and women he didn't know, an experiment to see if they could prove a theory they had about foreign policy. No, all kinds of bullshit theories:

American Greatness Conservatism.
Draining the Swamp.
The Exportation of Democracy.
Re-Making the Map of the Middle East.
Securing Our Energy Reserves.
The End Of History.
Fighting Terrorists On Their Home Turf.
Re-Defining American Power After the Cold War.
The Islamic Ring Of Fire.
The Clash of Civilizations.


In forty years starting in 1932, government doctors in Tuskegee, Alabama, purposely did not treat black men with syphilis so that they could study the effects of the disease. This is one of the darkest chapters in the history of American governance, when the powerful decided to do away with the powerless as a way of testing their pet ideas.
Well, at least the Tuskegee Experiment was an attempt to treat a crippling, deadly disease, and at least it had the nobility of a good end, even if that end was polluted by such horrific means. The current Neo-Conservative experiment we are undertaking in Iraq has no such noble goal. It's all about finding more useful ways to project American power, whether that power is used for better or for worse. It's about seeing how far the principles of this country can be stretched, bruised, and worn out in the pursuit of that power. It's about ego, the ego of men who have bided their time and spent their lives scratching away in the hopes of finally achieving a Straussian Gnosis, a secret knowledge that would place them in charge, inconvenient facts and the lessons of history and the voices of caution be damned. They are in charge now, and their knowledge has failed. But the price won't be posted to their door.

I have a confession; I supported the war. I was one of the "liberal hawks" who focused only on the (true) horror of the Hussein regime, without listening to the nagging doubts of caution and the fear of pride that I felt right above my belt. No, I too was swept up in the bright hubristic vision, and thought that we could re-make the broken map. I remember thinking such silly things at the time:

The invasion will be welcomed, after the people realize Hussein is gone for good.
Iraq is at heart a middle-class country.
We could move our bases out of Saudi Arabia, and have a stable base of power in the Middle East.
The other Satrapies will democratize because of our example in Iraq, and our menace.
If the Shia and Sunnis and Kurds don't get along, we'll just break the country up.
We're the only remaining superpower. We have a moral obligation to project power against dictators.


See the other 1999 here.

This is why Judith Miller is no hero

Courtesy of a letter writer to Romenesko:

"As the New York Times has learned, to its apparent chagrin, when a newspaper quotes anonymous sources, it is substituting its credibility for that of the source. Given the current public opinion of American journalism, should the Times be using its credibility to advance the interests of Scooter Libby, Ahmed Chalabi or anybody else unwilling to stand up for what they say? Should anybody?"

Lonely Town

This post may be the most perfect evocation of life in a big city I've read in a long time. I know just the kind of loneliness he is describing.

New things I love

Yes, as Kevin says, they're a drug band. A very good drug band.

Lesbians are hot!

I guess this is the face you make when your daddy is about to get indicted. The funny thing is, this is what the Advocate is running as Mary Cheney's file photo. Snarky, boys, very snarky.

The most subtle of plots...

Nothing like a good, ole-fashioned Pastor-Off!
Muslim terrorist nurses in Maine!

"these slimy thugs are turning on each other like runner-up beauty queens."

OK, maybe Schadenfreude is a good thing. Very gay Schadenfreude.

Give up.

You know you want to.
Pay special attention to the end of the thermometer.
I love being so hot!hot!hot!

My new place

This is my new place in Mt. Washington. It's in a great neighborhood, one of the oldest in the city. Mt. Washington is this bohemian enclave that few people outside of L.A. know about, the kind of place that is as far from Hollywood as Uzbekistan. My little bungalow is within walking distance of the Gold Line train, a market, and a great coffee shop. The Basset-Beagle loves it. Yee-ha!

Monday, October 24, 2005

I heart Austin

Just in time for the anti-gay marriage initiative in Texas, it's a good, old-fashioned Klan Rally! Sorry, I mean Christian Family Values event. If I know anything about Austin, the queers down there could probably bounce these boys right out of town whiles still doing the boot-shuffle down at the Rainbow Cattle Company. Speaking of which, Best Logo Ever:

Now here's a constitutional highjacking I can get behind...

A jury of your peers

Tom Delay has asked that the judge in his case be dismissed because he has contributed to Democrats and Apparently in the new "culture war" America, only Republicans are allowed to judge Republicans. It's like some fucked-up Balkan border country where only Muslims can try Muslims, Christians can try Christians, and Left-handed Lesbian Eskimos can try creative-dominant Inuit muff-divers.
I guess that Tom Delay has the right to demand a jury of his peers; which means that bailiffs in Texas are going to soon be crashing every bris in the state. How else to round up that many dickheads?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Oprah. Yikes!

The Oprah Winfrey show contacted my producer to see about using an exerpt from my film for the show on Tuesday. Apparently it's about "coming out".

Friday, October 21, 2005

The problem with downtown

If you haven't been reading Steve Lopez's columns on Skid Row this week, you should, if only as a reminder that downtown Los Angeles is the shameful dumping ground of the biggest homeless population in America. Every day Skid Row is like a full-time Katrina New Orleans, with the weak and desperate hanging on by their fingernails.
I live downtown. In fact, you could see my block on the map of Skid Row that ran with the piece. Yeah, downtown is changing, but not fast enough. The problems of downtown are going to require a concentrated fix, and real commitment. It's embarrassing to me that I don't have that commitment. I'm moving.
The problem isn't that I have that suburbanite tight-stomach fear of the dirty, crazy, and, well, black people who live on the city's streets. I mean, I once lived in a shitty government housing project on a third-world Caribbean island. I can live anywhere. Luke, however, cannot.
Luke is my Basset Hound. He's 1 and 1/2, and he loves going for walks. Like all hounds, he keeps his nose down, looking for good things to sniff and taste. Unfortunately, those good things include such items as used rubbers, abandoned colostomy bags, and human waste.
Downtown is filthy, like no American city is filthy. Concentrated piles of filth. New Yorkers talk about how filthy their city is, but I know New York, and it doesn't hold a candle to the sheer ugly contamination that builds up Inferno-like around the impromptu homeless camps of my city. I walk my dog, and I am constantly choking him back from one disgusting find after another. I'm just waiting for the day when Luke's fine nose actually sniffs out a dead body.
But I'm not going to wait. I love my view. I love my building, and my room, and the amazing architecture that surrounds me. My neighborhood East of Alameda has some of the last true overlooked gems left on the West Coast, old brick buildings with great light and views of Los Angeles's landmark bridges. If they would actually follow through on plans to unbury the Los Angeles river, it could be one of the most amazing urban neighborhoods in the country.
But it's not. And I worry about my dog. I'll put up with the noise from the pallet company next door, the traffic on Alameda, the general lack of services after 6p.m., and the constant hustle and menace of getting spare-changed twenty times a day. But I won't put up with my dog getting sick, or picking up something that makes me sick as well. The fact that the city does so little to even do this most basic of civic functions, keeping the streets clean, is too depressing. Tomorrow I'm looking at a place up in the arroyo, right along the Gold Line, and within walking distance of a grocery store and a coffee shop. It's an old historic neighborhood. It was L.A.'s first suburb.

Child Abuse in Bakersfield?? Never!

My favorite adorable Aryan supremicists are back in the news. Ladies and gentlemen, Prussian Blue!

From today's L.A. Times

Ya know when you throw up a little in your mouth, and then force it back down?

Priorities, priorities...

On Aug. 31, (FEMA employee) Bahamonde e-mailed Brown to tell him that thousands of evacuees were gathering in the streets with no food or water and that "estimates are many will die within hours.""Sir, I know that you know the situation is past critical," Bahamonde wrote. "The sooner we can get the medical patients out, the sooner we can get them out."A short time later, Brown's press secretary, Sharon Worthy, wrote colleagues to complain that the FEMA director needed more time to eat dinner at a Baton Rouge restaurant that evening. "He needs much more that (sic) 20 or 30 minutes," Worthy wrote."Restaurants are getting busy," she said. "We now have traffic to encounter to go to and from a location of his choise (sic), followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc. Thank you."

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Speaking of Schadenfreude

I don't know whether L'affaire Dreier is tragic or hilarious. I'm leaning towards hilarious.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Schadenfreude is bad

So I was at the bar on Saturday night, and my favorite East-side queer indie-rock dj, Paul V, was up doing his thing, and he gets on Bush, like he usually does. Alright with me. I'm wearing my Kanye "George Bush doesn't care about black people" T-shirt. Paul even plays the clip. But he gets going about how great it is that these guys are getting their due, how finally it's coming around, etc. So I lean over to Kevin and I say "yeah, and I guess it's going to be coming around for the next three and a half years". The point is, we're stuck with it. They aren't going anywhere. It's good, very good, that these guys are getting their due. And maybe if the Dem's take back Congress next year, we might actually get to the bottom of what went on leading into the war. But George Bush could get caught on camera beating a baby seal while taking slugs from a 40 of Olde English, and it wouldn't matter. It would only mean "President Cheney".
Unless Dick gets indicted....

Gotcha syndrome

It's a bit silly for lefties, myself included, to tie ourselves up in knots over Valerie Plame. Anyone who actually wants to change the rules will admit, as Daniel Patrick Moynahan pointed out in his book Secrecy, one of the great challenges to change in America has become the National Security state, and its addiction to secret classifications. It was, after all, legitimate to understand that Joseph Wilson was possibly sent to Niger by his wife. It doesn't change the impact and truth of his report, or the way it was ignored by the White House. But so many on the left so badly want to burn Bush that they are willing to overlook the fact that essentially, the whistle was blown on the CIA's nepotism. Look, Wilson was certainly qualified for the job, and nepotism isn't always bad. What Rove and Libby did, whether or not it was a minor crime, it was not a lie. Instead, they lied to the Grand Jury about actually telling the truth to the press. So it depends on the coverup to hang them, which it probably will, for in a testament to their own hubris, they have refused to learn the first rule of Washington:
Everything Comes Out. And it's a good thing.

Politics should be criminal

But I guess that Mr. Delay's troubles are all part of the "criminality of politics". That's the new RW(right wing) meme. Break the fundraising laws, gerrymander a district, out an undercover agent and when you get caught, you cynically complain that that's just how politics is done. God knows I've heard that excuse for Nixon.
But it's not how it's done. So, why do people buy it? Why are we so ready to accept the cynical cop-out? It's as if, having seen political dirty tricks in dozens of films, the real thing is more excusable. We never stop to say "hey there, that's not the way it should be done". Maybe the greatest lie of modern conservatism is that which says that hard conservative politics is better because politics is such a nasty game. Never question the game, and your conclusions of who plays it best are guided to the cheap negativity at the heart of conservatism.
Which is sad. I can still hear how wrong it sounded to me, how it grated as a child, growing up amongst these church-people in the wake of Watergate, these folks who would express such optimism at so many things in life, such belief and hope and faith in salvation, but who slipped into the tone of the most jaded and sin-worn cynic whenever politics was mentioned. It just didn't fit. "Love thy neighbor" wasn't enough to fill the hole drilled into them by the relentless conservative dogma of "love thyself first, you fool". It was so out of character, so cheap and easy, to believe the worst of people, something that conservatism has demanded since Hobbes.
Besides, real cynicism needs to be earned. Someone like Tom Delay, or Rush Limbaugh, or Dick Cheney, doesn't deserve their cynical sneers. They haven't earned them.

Mmmm, headwounds. Posted by Picasa

Tom Delay's arrest warrant.
Ah, beautiful.

I like happy songs too!

Or this one.

Or this record.

This is what I'm listening to, sitting at my window at the factory in downtown Los Angeles, as the clouds go away. All I want in life is a boyfriend who would understand that I am breaking up with him if I gave him this album.
And links!

With doggies!

One with photos!


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Yeah, it's a blog. Oh boy.