Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Belated Introduction

Back before I started getting all of my news from Skippystalin, I discovered Seattle's alt weekly The Stranger. Most alt weeklys are only good for the classifieds and the show listings and are ignored by most people. Seattle is different. It's so different, in fact, that I discovered The Stranger while living in Chicago and having no use for the classifieds and show listings half a continent away.

In the comments at the slog, that's the Stranger's blog, someone asked why an Objectivist would be reading the Stranger. That's an easy question to answer, and my answer bears repeating here. I think this is probably not the first time I've told this story in this space, but it's important enough to tell again.

It was Dan Savage's articles on the Aaron Palmer story (2nd article here) that made me a regular reader of The Stranger, and rummager of the Savage Love archives posted there. Those two articles I just linked are the best things ever written on the evil of prohibition (or the drug war as some are still calling it).

Then there was The opening chapter of Dan Savage's Skipping Towards Gomorrah.

I think this pretty much closes the case on the Stranger as the only real newspaper in America.

It opens up another question which the voices in my head refuse to shut up about.

Q: "So Luke, why have you never introduced yourself in this blog as an Objectivist?".

A: I didn't want this blog to be about that. I don't agree with Ayn Rand's views on Swear words (I'm a fan), and some other things, but the main reason is that advocating a particular philosophy is a task best left to the pros. The Ayn Rand Institute and bloggers like Diana Hsieh, Ari Armstrong, and Gus Van Horn are doing that better than I could. I wouldn't expect them to approve of this blog, because I don't. I see blogging as a fun outlet and also an exercise that's worth my time. I do think my take on things may occasionally have value to some, otherwise I wouldn't publish it, but I don't want to add my name to a list of serious activists until I'm ready to actually be one. Since I'm not a professional writer and have professional plans in a very different direction for the next many years, I don't see myself contributing substantially to the kind of serious letter writing that these bloggers are doing. That's why I'm only now identifying this fake-name blog as one written by an Objectivist.

Q: "So why should an Objectivist get all his news from Skippystalin, who is pretty clearly not one?"

A: That's another writing assignment that I've been putting off. I'll go into more detail on this later, but the short answer is like this: Advocating for a better future requires keeping an eye on the culture of the present day. This is a frustrating and painful chore. Skippy is the absolute best therapy for this frustration. His People v. Paris Hilton is one of the better examples. And go here if you want to see the best case for getting all your news from Skippy. History is another good cure for the panic that can set in when looking at current events. If you think the present world is fucked, you haven't really digested the history of the 1930's and 40's. You really don't know what fucked is. But now I digress and I have New Years shit to do, so all of you have a happy new years!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Always Take Pictures

Kids today are used to cell-phone cameras. We all know that some of them have had issues with using those powers for good. Just to be clear, I'm in favor of girls sending naked pictures, especially when they're to me, but not when they're under the age of consent and live in a fucking ass-brained jurisdiction where that could get them charged with a felony! But cell-phone cameras and the internets are good things, like knowledge, and I'm in favor, but there's one thing these kids today might not know so much about, so hopefully they can learn something here: good shit needs to be fucking photographed!!! It needs to be fucking photo-ed right fucking now!!

When I was living in Roger's Park, my part of it was not very exciting. I was right a mile south of Howard street, which the border with Evanston. The hood combines the boringness of the suburbs with the shittiness of some of the moderately shitty parts of the city, until you get to know it, then you realize that you're not only saving money on rent, but you have blogworthy shit all around you. It's a totally wierd intersection of the normal mid-west and the weirder parts of Chicago. There's bars like "The Ho", where you order a Jameson and get a wierd mix of peppermint schnapps and pappy's corn squeezins from Iowa and a lecture on how everyone in this neighborhood gets mugged eventually from the drunk at the next stool. There's much that's good in that neighborhood. I never did get mugged in the year I was living there, but I think my drinking skills are a bit ahead of that guy. There's a gay bar near there called The Jackhammer. I'm not looking to get jackhammered in the ass... not by a man anyway, but if I was, it would be good to know that there's a place that openly advertises that and that this place is in a neighborhood where I can buy a family valuin house, walk the dog to the beach and pick up crack-whores on Morse.

Now you're wondering, that doesn't sound like anything I want to see a picture of. And you're right, suburban streets, with the occasional crack whore get-mugged block shuffled in, it's not the kind of thing anyone should ever photograph, well, occasionally there's something like this whack ass house. Does anyone know what you call that pattern?

But the point is, even in places that look boring on the surface, there's shit worth seeing if you look close, and Roger's Park also had one store that I will regret not taking pictures of for the rest of my natural fucking life!! It was called CASKET CITY. They had a sign almost as in your face as The Drug Zone, but the letters were block square and when it was lit up it just called out to you. "Step right up casket lovers! We got white caskets! black caskets! brown caskets! SMELLY CASKETS! If we don't got it you don't want it! If you buy one casket for us, we'll throw in a casket of equal or lesser value for a penny!!" I used to pass by it and say to whoever I was with "We need to get some photos of that!". And we would agree, but we wouldn't get our fucking asses out there in the always way too hot or way too fucking cold Chicago weather and actually take the fucking photo, and then the place went out of business! I've recently been searching all the internets for a picture of one of the world's coolest storefronts, but there are none. I did find a yellowpages profile that teases me with the idea that this place is still in business with a phone number and everything.

The fates conspired to tease me again when one of the Brandybucks told me that there was a picture of CASKET CITY at Prairie Joe's, a restaurant in Evanston. First of all, a restaurant with a website that looks like a Butthole Surfers album cover is my kind of place. Second of all, the food is really good. But they had taken down their Casket City picture. If you're ever in Evanston, you should go eat there, and tell them that Luke Baggins is still hoping to see that picture. I gave the guy my email and he said he would dig around for that image, but he had an actual job, unlike me, so things like digging up pictures of CASKET CITY don't go to the top of his Things-to-do list.

But kids, photograph things that don't get you felony charged and post them online, that's the moral of the story.

Local News

Okay, last time I posted, I was telling all of you something about what it's like to live in Seattle. Tonight was a good slice of the picture. I'm all fucked up, and on my way home, I stop into a bar. It's a local landmark. The Blue Moon.

And a band gets up on stage and starts singing:

Dan! DAN!
The Dirty Baker Man!
He will Lick Your Ass
But he will not clean a Pan!

Just think about that a minute. It's kinda deep.

Update: I just got a myspace message from the band saying that every word of that song is true!

Anyway, the band was called Kled, their website is Here. Check it out. Read the blurb, which says:

"Kled is low-brow heavy metal disco spawned in the mountains of Montana in the late 90's. The brainless child of guitarist/vocalist Pat Phlymm, Kled was born out of rural USA ennui coupled with modern dance-theatre performance art. Kled's songs straddle the fence between such capital-letter topics as Poop and Death, while bubbling in a stylistically perverse rock'em and sock'em context. Augmented by the knuckledragging antics of But,Cake (drums) and Beirdo (bass), Kled is on a mindless mission to aurally tackle the most sardonic of hipsters and the most repressed of conservatives by opening hearts, minds, and colons along the way. .."

But this is how I walk home on a weekend. This is what happens when you live in Seattle.

I was just on Facebook pointing out how sad it was that Merle Haggard's scheduled show at the Emerald Queen had been cancelled. Then, because I get my news from Skippystalin I quickly found out why the show was cancelled. This is what happens when you know where to go for your news. I pity all you fools who go elsewhere.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Music History

Michael Azerrad, Rolling Stone: "...admired by everyone from Springsteen to the Sex Pistols [The Sonics] - cut loose with bloodcurdling screams, Neanderthal drumming and heavily distorted guitar..."

Andy Parypa, 1984 Seattle Times: "If our records sound distorted, it's because they are. My Brother (Larry, guitar) was always fooling around with the amps. They were always overdriven. Or he was disconnecting the speakers and poking a hole in them with an ice pick. That's how we ended up sounding like a train wreck"

It's common when you're young to want to be someone else when you grow up. Having no knowledge of the limits of your own capabilities you often imagine yourself being Luke Skywalker or something. Then you get a little older and read the story about Robert Plant, some groupie and a Mudshark in Seattle's Edgewater Inn and your fantasy life grows up a little and you start wanting to be a rock star. Then you get older and get to know who you are and the finite range of what you can and can't be. Also you start admiring a different kind of achievements.

The point is that Seattle is always at the center of music history and that I generally read a lot of Skippystalin, but I almost never wish I was him, but that changed for a brief moment last Friday night. Some might ask "why would anyone wish they were Skippy even for a second?" And that's a fair question. I certainly don't think my liver or penis could withstand the kind of unrestrained decades of warfare that his are thoroughly accustomed to by now. And I also wouldn't want to have to go through this last election an admirer of McCain. That would have to have been a fairly brutal disappointment. The thing that got me wishing I could be Skippy just for an evening was when I walked home from seeing The Sonics-- not the losing basketball team bought by Oklahoma city, the founding fathers of Punk Rock from Tacoma. I saw them play at the Paramount and knew that, when I got home, If I was Skippy, I could do this bit of music history justice, but being me, I can't.

Everyone with any kind of culture has read Skippy's take on Elvis and The Stones. But it's his pieces on lesser known characters (lesser known to me anyway) like Johnny Johnson, Phil Spector, or Sammy Davis Jr. that really make you realize that he has done his share of homework in music. He did it in his teens, then he did my share and moved on to a couple of other peoples'. If I had that background, I would have done something with Friday night to give all of you a clue what it meant. But sadly, this is all you get. It sucks to be you.

I used to think it was pretty cool that the week of my 15th birthday Nirvana was opening for the Butthole Surfers at Union Station That was my first year of going to lots of shows. I got my first hit of acid at that show, given to me by a total stranger. If you've never taken drugs handed to you anonymously during the costume contest of a Butthole Surfers halloween show, you really don't know what living is. That was pretty cool, and it was another great halloween show, but this tops it in some ways. Although the girl dressed up as an asshole was something I'll never forget. I would love to see a picture of that. The point is, now I have a pretty good idea of what cool is and what it isn't, so my take on just how cool Friday night was is better than most peoples'.

I will say this, having warned you of just how much I wish I had the kind of preparation Skippy has when he goes to write about music. If you go to That Link, it takes you to one of those myspace pages that play music automatically. I hate this "feature" most of the time. But this page has 4 out of 5 of their most essential tracks. You might listen to "Strychnine", my favorite, and think "Oh come on Luke! there's lots of bands with that kind of sound." I'd love to hear you name one that sounded like that in 19 fuckin 65! Cause that's when that album was on the market. "The Witch" was beaten on the Northwest regional charts only narrowly by Petula Clark's "Downtown" and made it as far as #22 in some other part of the country. These guys invented punk rock by accident and then proceeded to do it better than anybody who has tried to do it on purpose, but only for a couple of years, then they flamed out. So they played their first show in 35 years, last year in goddamn Brooklyn NY. I was pissed. Then they played London. Finally they got back here and I couldn't keep myself away. I almost didn't go. They are too goddamn old to be doing that kind of shit. I'm too fucking old and I wasn't born for another 8 years when they first recorded those songs and were in their 20's. Gerrie Roslie was unable to speak for days after recording their cover of Little Richard's "Keep a Knockin", and last Friday night, he let the base player sing it. Their new base player did a competent job, but the Sonics' version will make your head spin around and make you wonder if you're posessed. When the other guy started singing, I was like "of course Roslie's not going to try that, he's as old as Keith Richards." But then he did Psycho and Strychnine and rocked the paramount.

Another reason I almost didn't go is that living in Seattle has spoiled me. My idea of a real show is in a bar at most 40 feet from the band with a crowd milling around. You can walk to a show like that from any of the places I've lived here and you can walk past several others on your way. I walked past 2 live shows on my way home from the Sonics and was handed a PBR in honor of halloween by a local do-gooder. I drank it to make sure there were no roofies in it and it was okay.

Now most people don't walk as far as I decided to go last night, because they don't understand how amazing it is walking in Seattle. I have enough experience of other places to understand that it never really rains here and never gets genuinely cold. It's impossible to take the weather here seriously after a couple of years in Chicago, and a couple in a job that keeps you outside a lot, including one winter in Korea, you realize that the weather here isn't meant to be taken seriously. It's here to entertain you. And it was beautiful that friday night I'm glad I went. Even though a great big theater is a major drawback to me, it was a great show, a great walk home, a great free beer handed to me on the walk home. A decent buzz on the walk home. I really will miss this city if I have to leave for my next job.

This guy's take is interesting, I don't think I agree about the Beattles, or that opening act, I found them pretty decent, but a good take.

The Costumes! I almost forgot the costumes. My favorite was someone dressed as Uma Thurman from Pulp Fiction with adrenaline syringe protruding from the chest.

My favorite Halloween costume of all time was a woman with dark hair who painted on a five-o'clock shadow put a belt around her neck and a dildo in front of her pants with glue coming out of it and said she was Michael Hutchence. Number 2 would be the woman at the Butts show in 88 who dressed as a butthole. Someday, pictures of that will appear on the internets, and that will be a happy day!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Exhibit B

I've been in a running argument with several of my friends about whether the world is better off or worse now. Some people think stupidity is on the rise, I think the practice of filming stupidity and posting it to Youtube is on the rise, but the actual phenomenon is more like the tides and is always with us as long as there is free will.

But this morning I'm listening to the The Savage Lovecast, today's equivalent of the radio, and today's episode starts with "Hey Dan. I've been involved in sex with various fruit items for a long time, my favorite being cantelope..." A lot of the people who think the world is fucked today still insist on reading old media like newspapers and/or watching CNN. And many more don't listen to the The Savage Lovecast weekly or get all of their news from Skippystalin. I can't imagine living that way, and it's likely that the world would seem doomed if I were to try it.

Anyway, in grandma's day, could you turn on the radio and have the show start with "Hey Dan. I've been involved in sex with various fruit items for a long time, my favorite being cantelope..."? The answer is NO you fucking couldn't! How can anyone faced with evidence like that believe that the world is not better off now?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Athletic Professional Seeks Registered Sex Offender for Good Times!

I know, you're thinking "sex offenders do horrible things like rape and molest children! And they're almost never women!". We're entering a whole new era. A fifteen year old girl is being tried on kiddie porn charges for sending nekkid pics of herself. If she's convicted, she may have to register as a sex offender. Stop and think about that for a minute.

Some of you may need more than a minute.

I certainly needed more than a minute to digest that bit of info. The thought of meeting a hot girl then discovering that she's registered as a sex offender was too much and I had to take several more minutes before I could get back to the keyboard.

When I was fifteen, if a hot girl got herself on a sex offender registry, I would have made it my mission in life to get myself on one before sixteen. I can see sex crime being the new drugs. There will be DARE to keep kids off emailing nude pics of themselves campaigns in the schools with special cars and police officers devoted to the task. Kids will recite bullshit about how they're going to resist the temptation to film themselves with a bullwhip up their ass, all the while thinking about how to edit the hours of footage they took the previous weekend. When I was 14, my 7th grade class took "Refusal Skills" classes. They made us practice saying now to things like offers of drugs and other things we were supposed to say "no" to. The next generation will have to have expanded classes to include practicing skills like checking for hidden cameras in your lover's room and/or truck stop bathroom, and special seminars on how consent to a deviant sex act by your classmates does not equal consent to film same and post it on x-tube.

Some people may look at a story like this and see tragedy. You may think sex-offender registries were intended to protect us and our children from truly dangerous predators. You might think it is not funny at all that kids could soon start seeing sex-crime as a rite-of-passage-- something to demonstrate their coolness and grownupness to their peers. I've long been resigned to the fact that some people just have no imagination.

"I was 15 when I was added to the local Sex offender registry, but my girlfriend didn't get on one until she was 16."

"What did you do?"

"I posted a video of me rogering myself with my dad's 9-iron, then blogged about it from a school computer."

"FUCK!! I've seen your dad's golf clubs! You must be hardcore to take that sumbitch in the mud trail! "

"Yeah, proving yourself has never been easy, And really, would we want it to be? but I had what it took."

"Sounds like you were lookin to get caught."

"Well every other kid was on the registry, Goth chicks didn't give me the time of day until I had my offender's card. Once I got it, I was swimmin in angsty goth pussy! I couldn't play sports what the fuck else was I gonna do?"

Young kids will be told how serious sex-crime is. Really! It's nothing to joke about. You may think you're not hurting anybody when you film your underage self consensually getting a blowjob, but that's the gateway crime. You might be a decent well adjusted kid, but you'll become addicted to posting naked pictures of yourself in degrading and dehumanizing situations online and feel the need to escalate the habit. You could basically turn into somebody else without knowing it.

Remember, you read it here first!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Skippy News

As many of you know, my first online venture was a blog devoted to why I get all my news from Skippystalin. I've had some success explaining to people over the years the merits of this reading strategy. But what I didn't have was one short list of the classics that best exemplify why getting your news any other place is a waste of time. So I posted this list a while ago. It's sort of like a starter kit, like a mini-bible, only without as much incest and genocide and molestation of the domestic servants. Anyone who is not yet getting all their news from Skippystalin should take a look at this list. And anyone who is, should let me know if they think I've missed something that should be on that list.

Private Space Industry Betrayed

Since the first private tourist space flights, right thinking people all over the world have been wondering when they will see porn filmed in space. What will the facial shot look like in zero gravity? These kinds of questions have dominated the drawing rooms and parlors where intellectuals gather. Sadly, the answers will have to wait. Richard Branson has refused a one million dollar offer to host a porn-shoot on his space-ship. Without eternal fucking vigilance, communism will prevail. Joe Bob used to say that when another drive-in would close. I think it's appropriate in these troubled times. So many people are worrying about stupid shit, they don't have time to be outraged over this.

And the next time Dan Savage goes on about how sex negative and sex-phobic American culture is, they need to show him this article.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fall News

A bunch has happened. I went to Chicago to visit the Brandybuck cousins. You can read highlights of that trip here and especially here. The other big highlight was the A & T grill.

Then, I came home and got some musical advice from Skippystalin. If you're not getting all your news from him, you're just fucked in ways that are hard for me to describe. Then Dr. Reverend chimed in on the musical advice topic.

Then a guy pulled off one of the most creative robberies I've ever heard of using an innertube down the river I played in as a little kid as a getaway route. Journalists don't have a real education, or else they would know that the word for innertubing down a river like that is "butthole surfing" and that's where the band gets their name. I hope they catch the fucker. I wouldn't want that kind of creativity and cleverness out on the street dreaming up more shit like this, much as I enjoyed the headline.

And then, Skippy was down about the likely defeat of McCain in the election. And I tried to cheer him up with Ass Jihad, one of the greatest works of shit poetry ever written. Since it came out a little over a year ago, I've been re-reading it every couple of months. It's a classic! It always improves my mood. I hope it helps Skippy through this troubled time. If you haven't read it, run, don't walk to that link! If you ever are at a friend's house and don't have the link handy, you can always google "ass jihad". That search string (without the quotes), will get you there. It will also get you some funny targeted text ads. Of course, if you have to google it, that probably means you didn't tatoo the Ass Jihad link to your chest.

Here's what I got to the right of my search results:

Islamic Society in the US
Visit Minaret of Freedom Online
For Islamic News and Information.

Uncle Sam Lives in Quincy
Short film tells the story of a man
who changed his name to Uncle Sam

Mustache Rides T-Shirts
High quality T-Shirts
with a sexy design!

Oliver North's US Heroes
Experience Real Stories from Real
American War Heroes. Buy Today!

New Free RPG Dragon Fable
Free Adventure Game! Fight dragons
with spell or sword in an epic RPG.

Meet Black singles
Free to Join. 1000's of pictures &
video's of Beautiful Black singles

It's good to see that Oliver North appreciates some good counter-ass-jihading. The author of that post is certainly an American hero, but I'm wondering about some of those other links. What do you think is the relationship between "Dragonfable" and Ass Jihad? The dating site makes sense though. I've been reciting the words to Ass Jihad to every hot woman I meet lately and I think it will get me laid much better than my performance of "it places the lotion in the basket".

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A New Hope

Now that so many international readers have come to rely on this blog for factual, fair and balanced commentary on cultural trends and geo-political issues, I feel my neglect may have far reaching consequences. A responsible blogger would try to correct this, but sadly, that blogger isn't me. I have a bunch of other shit on my plate. I will however throw you all this one bone with a few fragments of meat on it.

Sarah Silverman is the new hope we've all been waiting for in these dark times. If you're a cultured gentleman like myself, you have watched Youtube avidly for new clips of her ever since her ode to Matt Damon. Some of you are not as intellectual as I am, so you might not have noticed that youtube clips of her come and go rather quickly. Her poop song is sadly no longer with us. But it has already inspired a generation of young girls with guitars. We have this duet. And this girl has covered it as a solo act. When I was her age, girls had stupid role models and when they picked up a guitar to sing something, it was some kumbayah bullshit that teachers thought would promote the welfare of baby seals or something. I really envy the generation that grew up under the loving umbrella of Al Gore's internets. If you missed Sarah's original performance of that song, you missed something very special and you will have to wait until they get that show onto Netflix.

There was a bit of discussion over at SWC about whether the world was in better or worse shape than 20 years ago. If this doesn't settle that question for you, I don't know what will.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Holding Up

The first disc of Deadwood was only moderately interesting. A friend urged me to give it another chance, I did and it pulled me in for the first two seasons. That's understating it a lot actually. It had me dying for the next episode. The dialogue was original in ways I just couldn't get enough of. Then the 3rd season came along and nothing made sense and it seemed all like they were just plugging random shit into some formula. I decided I will eventually re-watch the first two seasons and see how much of the fascination was just the newness of the concept and how much it still keeps my attention. This suburban dialogue in Deadwood style made me laugh out loud and reminded me of it.

I'm re-watching Entourage and Weeds first seasons. Weeds is only sometimes as hilarious as it continuously was the first time I watched it. I have a feeling the 2nd and 3rd seasons will hold up better over time because they really get into the theme of how many ways life in the suburbs is completely fucked. Entourage is awesome right out of the gate. One literature professor commented on how similar the culture portrayed in that show is to the Japanese Heian court culture of the 11th century and any other court culture really. And it just reminds me of how unforgiveably lame Tudors was. They could have had another Entourage, only with violence on top of sex. You can tell that's what they were going for. But they put zero effort into it. Just string the sex and violence together and hope those will carry the show seems to have been the approach and it's a huge waste of good material. With the Tudor court, you really have the material for something as good as Entourage or better. It's really a shame the way that they wasted it.

But the best show of all time is still Firefly, followed by The Wire. They are both shows you can re-watch a year or so later and see things you missed before and other things you're glad to have in your memory.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


One thing all of you should know about me. I'm a TV junkie. I love the shows that have been available through Netflix ever since I discovered Buffy in 02. But, I've been unable to watch TV lately and it's disturbing-- almost like being impotent or something. The problem I've been having is that I just watched the end of Season 3 of Weeds and I'm afraid that there's just nothing on tv that's as good. But, I finally overcame my fears and put in another DVD. It was Californication. It has all the things I look for in a TV show: fornication, and more fornication. But I'm 10 minutes into the pilot episode and I'm having a suspension of disbelief problem. A spoiler follows that people who worry about such things should be aware of:

**** Spoiler Warning *******

Okay the main character is running out of the house of a guy whose hot wife he is fucking and he didn't have time to get his pants. So he shows up to pick up his daughter for her weekend with dad with no pants on just some spandexy looking undies that I would probably know the name of if I shopped at all. He brings the daughter to his apartment and she goes to watch Pirates of the Carribean. She comes out of the room asking "why is there a naked lady on your bed? There's no hair on her vagina do you think she's okay?". The girl just said things like "Johnny Dep is hot." She looks like she must be at least 10 or 11. How likely is it that a girl of 10 or 11 who thinks Johnny Dep is hot doesn't know about pussy shaving in the Internet age? I would ask Skippy, but I think this is a question for the ladies.

Monday, May 26, 2008

We Are The Word (of Porn!)

The source of all my news has a new post on one of my all-time favorite topics: pornography!. He quoted some numbers on the amount of revenue generated by porn that I thought were too good to be true, so I looked them up. It turns out that sometimes, it sounds too good to be true, but is true nonetheles. This is one of those times.

I found this anti-porn site that confirms the whopping $13 billion dollar figure for US porn revenue. But it does more than that! It shows different countries porn revenues and the news gets even better. The countries with higher porn revenue values than us are, in descending order, China, South Korea, and Japan! I remember reading in American Caesar how General Arthur Macarthur took his recently commissioned, West Point graduate son Douglas on a tour of Asia in the years before the first World War and told him that Asia would be the future focus of our country's international relations. Time after time we see just how right he was.

I've spent a year in South Korea, and I can sort-of almost have a conversation in Korean. I've spent six months in Japan and I can just about read a novel in Japanese. One thing I've been saying since I started reading Japanese is that I don't feel like their culture is even as foreign to me as that of continental Europe. French was my first foreign language and I feel way more like I'm looking at a completely alien mindset watching French movies and reading French novels than I have in any of my contact with the Japanese culture. I think the idea that we are "western" and the Japanese aren't is dated at best. Read Naomi by Tanizaki Junichiro and see if the way people think, feel, and write about it is more foreign to you than something by Camus or Sartre.

That might be an apples-to-oranges comparison because High-brow culture is foreign to anybody not trained in subjecting your self to senseless bullshit, while pop culture, coming from anywhere on earth, is more international and a lot less boring.

Anyway, back to Porn. Japan's per-capita porn revenue more than triples ours while South Korean pornographers rake in fully ten times the revenue of their American counterparts. Oddly enough, I did a google search on "Banned in South Korea" expecting to find stories about pin-up girls books being banned there. Those stories were common a couple of years ago. I found not a single one. An interesting thing about Korea is that things change must faster over there. A Korean friend explained this to me recently. What happens is you go to school expected to refer to people one grade ahead of you using respectful terms and you wind up seeing the people a year older as a different generation. Nobody anywhere on earth wants to be seen using the slang of the previous generation or wearing their styles. In Korea the previous generation is only 1 or two years older than you. Back when I was still practicing Korean, some friends taught me some swear words. They were all amused by the way I said them with my funny foreign accent. The next day I was saying my new swear words with the same group plus one other woman who was 5 years older than the rest of us. She wasn't amused at all. She was seriously offended and pissed off at the rest of them for teaching me that. It was years later when I told someone of this incident that the Korean speedy generation gap was explained to me.

So the current generation of Koreans is consuming more porn-- ten times more!-- in terms of revenue than the US. Maybe there's some hope for South Korea. When you look at a culture where large numbers of people turn out to protest against U.S. beef, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that the entire country is retarded. But they do some things right there. They make good cheap cars. They have a great protestant / Confucian work ethic. I've known about these things for a while. But watching ten times the porn that Americans watch is a sign that they may be headed for a better place culturally.

Korea is more European than the U.S. and Japan when it comes to protesting in general. There is a subculture in the U.S. that think's it's reasonable to go out in the streets and hold up signs and shout their opinions at the passers by. Americans generally view protesting as something like dressing up in Star Wars costumes in public only less amusing. It's not something normal Americans would ever want to be seen doing. The Japanese seem to have a similar attitude toward marching in the streets. South Korea and Europe, on the other hand, respect protestors. A protest in France or in South Korea is a social even to see and be seen at like a Baseball game or a golf course in the US or in Japan. The idea that it's okay for grown-ups to throw tantrums in public and that it will accomplish something is a serious social ill that afflicts most of the world, but not the US or Japan.

But I've digressed all over the fucking place and the point is that the world is rapidly becoming a better place and these porn statistics prove it beyond a doubt.

The Chinese numbers are particularly encouraging.

It's also funny just how much reading pleasure a porn fan can get from a site with the words "family safe media" in it's url.

I should also mention that I have found no evidence yet that there's anyone on earth who agrees with my views on the idea of Western vs. Eastern cultures.

Let me recap what those views are in case all this rambling has buried that point. Most people (actually everyone I've met or read) think that the U.S. and Europe are "western" while Japan, China and some other countries are "eastern". But on the porn consumption charts, China, Japan, South Korea and the U.S. form one block while the rest of the world forms another. I think that other charts could be made measuring other cultural tendencies that would show Japan and the Anglosphere having more in common than Japan and the rest of Asia. I believe that there are many other ways in which the US is closer culturally to Japan than to continental Europe, but proving it is a long way off.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Calling all Advice Gurus

The cause of making fun of bigger cities has never needed your services more urgently than now. Charles Muedede is asking for your help in thinking for a name for a fucker of starfuckers? If not you, who? If not now, when?

More Persecution

There have been more and more stories like this one of alcohol regulators running right over the first ammendment. What would the ACLU say if the local police department called me and asked me to take down my big "Worship Satan!" billboard from my front lawn. I think they would call that intimidation and persecution. But when alcohol regulators "ask" someone to change their packaging because it offends their sensibilities, that only comes up on the radar of a few alt-weeklys. It's only a brewery being "asked" to comply with the anti-drug agenda by a regulator who has the power to destroy his business.

I have the word "ask" in quotes throughout this, because I got it from the SFIST post, but the actual article says that federal regulators have ordered the Shasta Brewing company to stop selling beer with those caps.

Here's the Seattle version. I would be much more interested in voting if getting rid of the Washington State Liquor Control Board was on the ballot.

In Good News

Dominic Holden's the week on drugs column is a must read. What's unusual this time is that so much of the news is good. 3,000 crack offenders got reduced sentences, and people in california made fun of the prohibition regime openly. I wish the Stranger had a link to that column.

Oh, and check out the job that he and Dan Savage are doing on the local paper's coverage of the recent drug raids.

More Religious Persecution in the Military

When I first heard the story of the Air Force Academy cadets being harrassed for their non-religious views, it sounded like less of a big deal than the way it was being spun. The bullet points, as I understood them, were that senior cadets had told atheist cadets that they were going to hell. On the one hand, the religious cadets are entitled to believe that we infidels are damned, on the other hand, if you use your seniority to force a junior to listen to your opinion on matters that don't concern the job, you're undermining discipline. So it is a kind of harrassment that should concern the chain of command. But it's a pretty mild offense. The difference in rank is not a big deal. A bigger deal would be a platoon sergeant ordering his soldiers to attend an Amway meeting (or a religious one). That would be a substantial level of rank being abused. From 93 to 97, when I was in the Army, nothing like this ever happened and my first contact with a military chaplain, in the welcome briefing at reception prior to basic training, began with his assurance to all of the recruits that one of his responsibilities was to see that it didn't and that he took this seriously. There was never any doubt in my mind during those four years that this kind of abuse of authority, if it occurred, would be quickly and severely punished.

It looks like that may have changed

Going back to the way it was in 93-97 when I was in. There was one prayer breakfast that we were given the option of attending in stead of doing our morning physical training. I decided to go because, as is often the case in the Infantry, my muscles were all kinds of sore from previous days training. It didn't strike me as a horribly unfair priviledging of religion by the commander because soldiers are let out of garrison duties every now and then for family reasons or other reasons. So, when I heard about the harrassment of AF academy cadets, I didn't take the story too seriously. Being told you're going to hell is not harrassment. Being told you'll suffer professional repercussions if you don't bathe in the blood of the lamb and/or drink it, on the other hand, is a very serious crime against the discipline of the unit. When the Army gives you authority over someone else, it's with the understanding that it's to be used for the Army's purposes, and the Army really only has only one-- that is to defend the US constitution. To use that authority toward some other end, whether it be promoting Amway, Jesus, or Aleister Crowley is.

We had one democrat in my platoon. I don't know of him suffering any repercussions for holding those views and Bill Clinton was hated quite passionately in the Army in those days. Charly company upstairs from us had a Satan Worshipper whose room was decorated with Anton Lavey posters. He went to Ranger school-- a very prestigious thing in the infantry-- and showed no sign of suffering any professional setbacks for his wierdness. I remember hosting a binge-drinking evening in my room one night which consisted of a debate between him and my pagan next door neighbor with Metallica blasting as high as my speakers would go to try and drown them out so the rest of us could concentrate on drinking. We all binge-drank together and understood that our differing views on whether to sacrifice rodents to the earth-mother or to Satan, or whether to instead drink the blood of Jesus were separate from our jobs and that debating these things on duty would be as wrong as drinking on duty.

Oh and we also had a platoon sergeant who was into Amway and who tried to recruit for it, with a little success. He never suggested that people didn't have a right to not take Amway seriously.

Our First Sergeant at one morning formation said "I would like to have one of those 'Impeach Clinton, and her husband too.' bumper stickers, but I don't because that would ...." I can't remember the rest, but the point was we were free to engage in political and religious activity, but not in uniform and we were always required to do so as private citizens. Claiming to speak for the Army on political or religious matters was recognized as a crime.

Stories like this could be a serious problem.

Spc. Hall's approach to it, forming a group for atheists and free-thinkers, has some merit. It's an open sort of "we're here! we're queer!" kind of statement. And the blood-drinkers are constitutionally required to accept atheists and Satan worshippers in the ranks. They are constitutionally required not to persecute pagan goddess worshippers even though their beliefs are by far the dumbest. They should have an in-their-face reminder of that. But is shouldn't come from the troops. It needs to come from the chain of command.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Here's an interesting review of the dishonesty of The Ben Stein film Expelled. What's interesting about it is the amount of energy religious groups are spending trying to attack science. One might think that religion is so well established in American society as to not feel threatened by science. One would be wrong.

In other propaganda news, Blackfive, a site run mostly by current and former US Soldiers, reports that Al Jazeera actually does a better job of reporting on the war in Iraq than any American media outlets. I was a bit surprised at first, but not so much now.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Classics

I can't remember exactly how I first stumbled across Skippy, but I think it may have been via Anna. You'll notice that that's a cached page. I was reading Skippy's late 2003 posts, and there were a couple of mentions of her. I clearly remember first coming across Primal Purge via Kim DuToit, who I discovered via a bunch of relatively forgettable blogs. Purge is no longer with us, but the Google cache is still holding onto her archives. If you run out of current shit to read, it's always a good idea to know where the good archives are. They are here, here, and here in that order. Those last two are really goddamn close, so the order kind of breaks down on those.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

An unusual list

I couldn't agree more strongly with the first item on this list, and I understand how it goes with the 2nd, but the 3rd and fourth have me very confused. Can anyone explain it?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The 80's

List of the Day has a list of the top 80's teen sex comedies. There's a bunch of people saying "I can't believe Porky's isn't on it." Porky's played a big role in my experience of the 80's.

I grew up without a TV, so there's lots of movies that everybody my age has seen but I haven't. I still haven't seen a whole Godzilla movie. My parents were very liberal and didn't care about kids seeing boobies, but they cared very much about kids seeing something stupid and their time being wasted going to a movie that was lame. So, I went through the 80's never having seen Porky's. I listened to the stories other kids told about it in the cafeteria hanging on every word. I wonder how to even explain to someone who's 20 now what it was like to turn 17 and be able to rent R movies back in pre-internet times. I think I actually started renting them much earlier than that. I don't think anybody really checked. Ever since that day when I realized that I could rent R flicks, sometime in the late 80's or something, I had a plan to finally rent Porky's and just get that out of my system. But I never got around to it. I was too busy with the Italian nude satan movies (This is the one the Duvall video factory had. And then I got into art films (mistake). And then I re-discovered the Japanese cartoons of my youth. I never found the time for Porky's. Now I think my dad was probably right about it being retarded and not worth anyone's time, and I've gotten so much pickier about what I watch with shows like Weeds, or The Wire out there. I don't know if I'll ever get to it.

The other fucked-up thing is that I've never seen any of the flicks on this list. Some of them may be legitimately good.

The problem with having List of the Day in my Google reader is that it's a high volume blog, that means I skim past a lot of the posts, but then I see something like this Tab commercial from back in the day and wish I had read all of them.

Currently Reading: The Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett (for the 2nd time, this is the best spy novel ever written!)

Listening: Train of Life by Roger Miller

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Religious persecution in the military

This headline: US military accused of harboring fundamentalism, bothers me for reasons I'll get into in a minute, but first, the article below that headline deserves everyone's attention.

The first thing that came to my mind on reading it was that I never saw or heard of anything like that in my four years in the Army. But, eleven years have passed since I got out and a lot can change in that time. I remember the series of welcome briefings at Ft. Benning reception. Near the beginning of the post chaplain's briefing were these words " of my responsibilities is to ensure that all your participation in religious activity is voluntary." The article paints a very different picture than the one I remember and if it's widespread, it's a serious problem. Even if it's not widespread and was just a problem in that one unit, it's serious.
The trouble started there when he would not pray in the mess hall.
"A senior ranking staff sergeant told me to leave and sit somewhere else because I refused to pray," Hall, a 23-year-old US army specialist, told AFP. Later, Hall was confronted by a major for holding an authorized meeting of "atheists and freethinkers" on his base. The officer threatened to discipline him and block his re-enlistment. "He said: 'You guys are being a problem and problems can be removed,'" Hall said. "He was yelling at us and stuff and at the very end he says, 'I really love you guys, I want you to see the light.'"
Another part of the article that everybody has quoted bears repeating again
"I am at war with those people who would create a fundamentalist Christian theocracy in the technologically most lethal organization ever created by our species, which is the United States armed forces," he said.
If the incidents actually were as described in the article, I say a-fuckin-men to that.

But aside from the court case, and the importance of it to the future of this country, the headline: US military accused of harboring fundamentalism is nearly as shocking as the incidents it reports on. It implies that fundamentalism is some kind of crime. In fact, the first ammendment to the US constitution harbors fundamentalism no less than it harbors atheism. If the Army didn't harbor fundamentalism, islam, paganism as well as atheism it would be in breach of its most fundamental obligation. The purpose of the US Army is to protect your right to believe in the worst and most destructive ideas as well as the good ones at your own risk and expense. There's just so much wrong with that headline, I don't know where to start. It's probably just a reporter rushing to meet a deadline and not thinking about what the words mean. But, on the other hand, I know there are college graduates out there who see no difference between tolerating fundamentalism and persecuting atheists.

My advice to service members offered special treatment in return for attending a religious event, or illegally threatened with punishment for not attending is to go, and to blog it. The more we know about our enemies, the better.

Currently Reading: The Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett

Listening: Psycho! by The Sonics

Thursday, April 3, 2008

1 in 5 endangered children is rescued online

That headline is something I just made up. It's a takeoff on those billboards that pretend to inform parents of the new dangers to their kids with the grave warning "1 in 5 children is sexually solicited online." I haven't found the writeup of the survey that made that claim. This page pretends to cite it, but doesn't link to anything. I strongly suspect that the methodology of that survey was similar to the one I just used in the making of this headline. I have yet to see is an actual story of any harm coming to a child via this kind of solicitation. So while the big scary Internets have billboards warning parents of the threat they pose to kids. Nobody but Dan Savage is warning parents of the threat posed by youth pastors. Unlike these tech alarmists, Savage cites reports of actual incidents. This is a regular feature on the Slog. They really should have a label for it.

Speaking of actual incidents, Here's a story of a woman resscuing her kidnapped child thanks to a tip submitted to her myspace page. But there's no billboards along the freeway announcing this story. It's always respectable to promote panic, especially when new technology is involved.

Imagine if a survey was conducted on youth pastor child molestation and the results posted on a billboard. How do you suppose religious groups would respond? I think that billboard would get a very different kind of reception than the 1 in 5 kids billboards have.

To be fair, Savage has not established that youth pastor molestations are actually more common than other kinds, but he has done more than the "1 in 5 kids.." alarmists.

Oh, and this youth pastor post really shines a light on the different standards that are applied. Oh, and check out This one.

Theme Music: Willie the Pimp part 1 by Frank Zappa from The Mothers Life Filmore East June 1971.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Must hear

If you're not listening to the Savage love-cast every week, you're really missing the point of the whole internet thing. Here are some of the money quotes from this week:

"...Percocet is like tea or pot or crabs, you're just supposed to share Percocet without being asked.

...Abusing perscription drugs is common these days and a taste for Percocet is very common these days. My last birthday cake was frosted with Percocet."

Listen to the Whole thing

Theme Music: Booze, Tobacco, Dope, Pussy, Cars by the Butthole Surfers from Widowermaker

Saturday, March 29, 2008


When I first started Tards Anonymous Skippy said that Acidman was the one who really deserved to have a whole other blog devoted to cataloging his greatest moments. While I couldn't quite agree with that--The one blogger who I keep digging around for that post that I read some time ago about something--that's skippy, but Acidman is important for another reason. About 4 years ago, Acidman had a post about the greatest country songs of all time and he mentioned that Roger Miller was an under-appreciated country singer. I remembered Roger Miller from the Disney Robin Hood flick, which is a great flick and if you don't remember it, you should Netflix it right now, but I decided to go on Rhapsody and check this guy out. In the last 4 years, if you could tally up all of my music listening, you would see Roger Miller's King of the Road boxed set clocking in at about 70% or more of all my music listening time since then. So, I owe Acidman a big one. His tip paid off and then some. All of you who care about Acidman should check out Roger Miller.

Here is a list of the tracks you need to hear before you can claim to know something about music, all of them are on the King of the Road boxed set which you can hear on Rhapsody, or some of you will download it some other way and some of you will go and buy it at a store. If you do any of those things, you'll be really glad you did.

One dyin and a buryin -- this is a horrible song. It's about suicide. It's really soothing. It's so wrong for a song about suicide to be so soothing. If you're into suicide, you'll love this song. If you look back on "Not in Nottingham" from your childhood, you'll recoil in horror from this song, but you'll want to hear it again. And then again, and again. It's a fucked up song, listen to it and you'll know what I'm talking about.

I've Been A Long Time Leavin, But I'll Be A Long Time Gone -- This is just simply the best fucking 2 minutes of music ever fucking recorded. If you don't agree with that, you're probably a turd-fondling kitten molester, really listen to this song and see if it's not the most fun 2 minutes you've ever experienced.

It Happened Just That Way -- This is the happiest song ever recorded. It's a close runner-up to the last song for best couple minutes ever recorded.

Dang Me -- This was one of Roger Miller's first hits. It is about fucking up everything. If you're anything like me, you know about fucking up things, and you've had a good thing once or twice and fucked it up. Anyway this is the fuck-up anthem. Listen to it with whiskey nearby.

The Wrong Kind of Girl -- How many songs have the words "...My life is so wasted on things cheap and bad." in them? Not nearly enough is the answer. Those words just rule. I really wish they had this song on Karaoke. "Dang Me" is in most bars' Karaoke books, but I've yet to see "The Wrong Kind of Girl". It really needs to be there. I would love to Karaoke this song. You all need to listen to it. It will change your life.

You Can't Rollerskate In a Buffalo Herd -- Brilliant!

Okay, the rest, I dont' have so much specific to say about them, but you should give them a listen anyway:

Invitation to the Blues
Lock, Stock and Teardrops -- Fuck you have to hear this one!!!
Poor Little John
When Your House Is Not a Home
The Moon is High and So am I!
Less and Less
Train of Life
The Last Word in Lonesome is Me (this was an old standard before Roger did it, but his version is the best)
Pardon This Coffin
Do Wacka Do (This song is retarded, but in a really good way. Give it a listen)

The majority of my music listening since that day in early '03 sometime when Acidman wrote that post has been guided by Acidman's tip, and I do owe him for that. Roger Miller has been one of the greatest musical discoveries of my life. If you listen to these tracks I've listed here and aren't impressed, you probably don't have a soul and should be sterilized and deported to some really shitty place. That's all. I have to go back to drinking now.

update: I was totally fucked up when I wrote this. I see that I put "fuck you've got to here this one next to some tracks. I don't know if I stand by that sober. I do stand by the list as a whole though. And there's many other good tracks on that set of discs, but these are the best.
Tunes: They Always Look Better When They're Leavin, by Becky Hobbs

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Global Issues

I went in my GMail to add Luke Baggins as an author over at Tards Anonymous and my sponsored link at the top of my inbox said: " - Do you think Paris Hilton can do good in Rwanda?"

To give this question the serious consideration it deserves would require a combination of hard alcohol and laughing gas and whatever prescription Rush Limbaugh is on, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

On one hand, Paris Hilton has proven her ability to flash her cooter at a photographer. The importance of this skill can't be overstated, but a quick look at any of the dog-eared from daily use National Geographics next to my bed reveals that many women in Africa had that skill even before Paris had pubes to shave.

Where there's genocide, there's usually warlords. And where there's warlords there's priviledged warlords' bastard children who enjoy a lifestyle not too different from what Paris is famous for. So it's not clear exactly what Paris brings to the table that they don't already have there.

On the other hand, third-world warlord heiresses are not known for making fuck-tapes of themselves with night-vision. Maybe if they did more of that over there, the economy would boom and the warring factions would all join hands. Maybe Paris is the New Hope for Africa.

Why this blog?

I started Tards Anonymous as a place for Skippystalin fans to meet and share stories of things like where they were when they first read the Long Dong of the Law or which was their favorite ode to one of his many muses. That went well. It got lots of responses, mostly from imaginary readers, and then Skippy himself threw us some links. The problem is that my own views don't always coincide with Skippy's and I wanted that site to be for all Skippy fans, real and imaginary, Satanist and Pastafarian. So I needed another separate place for my own responses to the news that I get from Skippy (that's all of my news in case you were wondering).

Third World Invasions

This article on Immigration by Craig Biddle starts out brilliantly and then runs into some problems.

I won't comment on the brilliant part, other than to say that it's worth reading and you should check it out.

The basic thesis of the article, which I agree with wholeheartedly is in this quote: "...This prohibition [on immigration], however, is un-American and immoral. The basic principle of America—the principle of individual rights—demands a policy of open immigration."

The problem is in the next quote: "Open immigration does not mean that anyone may enter the country at any location or in any manner he chooses; it is not unchecked or unmonitored immigration."

To have a right to any activity is to have a right to the unchecked and unmonitored pursuit of it. The problem would be apparent to most if I said "Free speech doesn't mean unchecked or unmonitored speech." A state which requires all publications to submit to some kind of approval process can claim to uphold free speech, but not honestly.

Open immigration absolutely does mean unchecked and unmonitored immigration. It also means a great big unchecked flood of immigrants. Morally, we have no right to check this flood and practically it's suicidal not to welcome it. The fear of these huddled masses is sustained by a feast of undeserved respect and it's central to the issue. It has to be faced head-on by all advocates of immigration with the mockery and derision it deserves. When you say "I'm for more legal immigration--but, don't worry, we'll screen out the bad ones." What stands out is that you acknowledge and respect the widespread fear. All statements concerning current US immigration issues will be measured by how they address the concerns about the huddled masses who Pat Buchanan would have us believe are yearning--not to breathe free, but rather to turn America into Mexico. The history and present day reality of immigrants supports Emma Lazarus and shits all over Buchanan.

Harry Binswanger answers the practical concerns best Money Quotes:
It is asked: 'Won't the immigrants take our jobs?' The answer is: 'Yes, so we can go on to better, higher-paying jobs.'
A popular misconception is that immigrants come here to get welfare. To the extent that is true, immigrants do constitute a burden. But this issue is mooted by the passage, under the Clinton Administration, of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity and Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which makes legal permanent residents ineligible for most forms of welfare for 5 years. I support this kind of legislation.

Further, if the fear is of non-working immigrants, why is the pending legislation aimed at employers of immigrants?

This other article by Binswanger also in Capmag is shorter and deals with the (bullshit) concerns about immigration and terrorism. Capitalism Magazine is a must-read in general.

And This one, by Steve Brockerman shovels a much needed scoop of litter onto the fear of overpopulation.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Men of the Cloth

Preachers are funny. Skippy's favorite has a boner for white America. While I prefer this guy and his graphic presentation with the smokin hot whore of babylon. I report, you decide.