Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wanker Of The Week

This is what happens when a preacher's kid tries to be a rebel without, you know, actually rebelling against anything. Enter Ryan Dobson, the Gen-X-skateboarding-and-surfing-to-the-max son of that bile-filled, queer-obsessed, latter-day Anthony Comstock, Dr. James Dobson. I mean, Ryan isn't one of those stuffy "church" types. No, he's totally street, giving all the cred to J.C. He has a soul-patch-featuring web site, named Kor, which is apparently hip contemporary slang for "core" (Ryan doesn't let those uptight grammer police tell him what to do!) where he preaches the gospel of the Extreme Sports Jesus:

But the best part of Ryan's shtick is that he has written a book with the beautifully forthright title Be Intolerant! Here's a sample:

"I'm totally intolerant. Totally, radically intolerant. Some people call me a narrow-minded, Bible-thumping, backward-thinking, fundamentalist white male bigot. In fact, it happens every day."

"I'm intolerant. I'm not ignorant, but I am intolerant. I'm not a racist or a bigot, but I am intolerant. I don't hate people; I disagree with ideas. Make no mistake, I am intolerant. I am intolerant because I love. The world hates me because I love in this way, but I cannot stop. I dare not stop. I serve a Lord who loved enough to be intolerant. No more trying to please the world and please God at the same time. Get your armor on, take up your cross, and come on out to where the adventure beings. Go out and be intolerant--in love."

Yeah, that's just what Jesus was. Intolerant. Actually, you know, he was. He was intolerant of the Pharisees, the religious leaders of his day that were obsessed with petty rules and puffed-up political causes, and who tried to limit grace to the select few whom they considered righteous.

Oh, and they frequently handed their rabbanical positions onto their sons as well.

So let me add Ryan Dobson to my long list of men who could really do with life handing them a good, old-fashioned ass-kicking before they ever open their mouths again. Humility is a bummer, man.

And since he apparently gets called a "narrow-minded, Bible-thumping, backward-thinking, fundamentalist white male bigot" every day (where the hell is this guy hanging out?) I guess today is my turn. Ryan Dobson, you are a bigot. And a cringe-inducingly uncool one at that, soul patch or not.

Dude. Harsh.

P.S. I won't even get into the fact that he used the line "The world hates me because I love in this way, but I cannot stop."
They've got counseling for that kind of thing.

Questionable Provenance

If this is an authentic Rudolf Schindler, then my garage must have been designed by Richard Neutra.

Besides, it's all about Eddie Fickett these days.

New Kicks

Ladies and gentlemen, the Jean-Micheal Basquiat Reeboks. I know, I'm a total art fag. This is why I must avoid SportieLA at all costs.

Potty Mouth

My boss Dov, walking through my office, with a camera crew from the Today Show.

Dov: Hey Spence!

Spence: Hey Dov!

Dov: (To Reporter) Spence receives the e-mails that people send into the company through our web site.

Spence: Yup.

Dov: How often do we get people asking us about buying stock in the company?

Spence. Every fucking day. Oh shit, I guess I shouldn't be cursing while you're filming.

Reporter: Give that man a raise.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


We all know the Urban Myth of the Granny Car.

Old woman, possibly from Pasadena, buys a car destined one day to be a classic. She drives it to church. She drives it to the store. She drives it to the doctor. Year after year, it accumulates minimal mileage while mostly occupying the garage. Finally, granny gets too old to drive and puts the car up for sale.

That's when you happen along.

After years of bad car karma, years of old BMWs that smelt like rotten eggs, Karmann Ghias that you can punch a whole through due to rust, Wranglers blowing their engines in middle of Indiana, claptrap Mercedes losing their transmissions on a pass in the Rockies, Wranglers being destroyed by drunk drivers in Koreatown, Toyotas blowing their engines on the 57 freeway, and most recently, a hapless Chevy Cavalier losing its life to a drunk on Marmion Way who managed to drive off six blocks and pass out in the street, my luck has changed.

1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Liter Sedan. 28,588 original miles.


Driven by an 85 year old lady who went into a home. Not a ding. Not a scratch. Not a tear. You know the road tar that cars get behind the front wheels? None of that. Everything works. Everything is perfect. A stock time capsule.

You're damn right it's going in the garage.

I'll put up some pics as soon as I have them.

Immigration Agonistes

SO I was standing in an Indian Casino in Okmulgee Oklahoma. Or rather, the "Casino Room" of a truck stop, run by my tribe, the Muskogee Creek Nation. I'd just won thirty bucks off the slots and was wisely calling it quits. I'm standing in line to cash out, and to my left there are four young Latino guys. It's late Saturday afternoon, and these dudes are dressed up for a night on the town, spit-polished boots, perfect white cowboy hats, pressed jeans and western-cut shirts. They are dropping a few coins in the machines and talking animatedly to each other in Spanish. They've worked all week and they are blowing off some steam. They look good.

Next to me in line is a wrinkled, brokedown-looking white man. He has the sloped shoulders of a guy who's been on disability for a long time. I notice him because I see in him shooting the evil eye, a dog-shooting ugliness, a sour grimace of hatred. He's watching the Latino guys. He sees me next to him, a big pale-skinned bearded bubba, assumes I'm a safe bet, and hisses from his thin set lips "You should have to speak English if you're gonna gamble here".

What the fuck pulling a lever on a slot machine has to do with speaking English is the question I don't ask him.

In all the silly, blown-up, manipulated debate about immigration, there are many voices. There are honest people who don't agree with me that immigrants to this country should be welcomed and helped to succeed, and that we should open up our nation to a much higher level of legal immigration, thus reducing the need for illegal border crossings and lives lived in the margins. Many of these people make cogent arguments based on reasoned, thoughtful principles. They see as much as I do a broken system, but offer a different way to fix it.

But then there's this. Raw, knife-slice tribalism. Ugly insecurities fanned by megalomaniacs. Bitter sad people who are desperate for any available scapegoat that will stave off a critical self-evaluation, and make them begin the painful questioning of an American economic system that has fucked them over all their lives.

I'm not saying that the conservative leaders who are railing about immigration are driven by the same base emotions as this pitiful old man. They are smarter then that. I am saying that they are relying on him, and people like him, to fuel the right-wing political machine with their blind rage and race-bating hatred.

Which is worse in a degree of magnitude I can't even calculate. I didn't feel angry at the old man, out there on the wide-open plain with his poverty and struggles, being lured by the AM sirens of unrighteous indignation. No, I felt sorry for him. It's those who have fed him that lie, the lie that four hard-working clean-cut young men speaking in their soft rolling tongue were the cause of his world of problems, they are the ones that made me angry.


If anyone is still reading this blog, thank you. I shall resume posting. It's been a weird few weeks. I lost my car to a drunk driver, discovered the Miracle Car (tm) to replace it, went to Oklahoma, and volunteered for the Red Cross. More about these developments later. Let me just say that I apologize for my lengthy delay, and shall produce yummy content forthwith.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Monday, June 05, 2006

Sodomy Monday

Andrew Sullivan kindly published the e-mail I sent him after watching the White House press conference pushing for gay marriage:

Having just watched George Bush speaking in his desultory way about gay marriage, I felt a secret glee rise up within me. I think we just watched the death of the opposition to gay marriage.

When a hugely unpopular President rises and speaks with the megaphone of the Presidency about an issue that most consider to be deeply personal, he drags this issue from the realm of family, morals, and religious tradition, into the crass world of politics. By tying gay marriage to the fading star of contemporary 'conservatism', the President has given many people who may otherwise be uncomfortable with the idea of same-sex relationships the concrete reason they need to change their minds. 'If these guys are so hard against it,' millions of Americans without a direct stake in this debate must be thinking, 'it may be a good thing'.

Just as George Wallace's extremism nailed shut the sarcophagus of Jim Crow, so this George will be trotted out as the personification of the bigotry of an era passed. Sometimes, a man's reputation rings louder then his arguments. George Bush's failed Presidency will drag this issue down as does a drowning man a healthy swimmer.

Here's what I put in the last unpublished part of the letter, which went off on a bit of a tangent:

Oh, the conservative political machine will continue to trot out this red cape with regularity, to rise up the baying amongst the Christian Pharisees and whip them into an angry mob, but no matter how many times they cry Barabbas and seek the blood of another queer scapegoat, they will never have their lust satisfied. To actually pass this law would be the worst possible outcome for the conservative manipulators. The dog must never catch the rabbit, lest it never race again.