Friday, March 31, 2006

Prayer Is Not Even A Placebo

The NY Times reports that a decade-long study of some 1800 patients who underwent heart surgery shows that having strangers pray for the patients had no effect on their recovery. This is presumably because God hates science. Ot it could be that God is not Christian, and doesn't respond to prayers from those sadly mistaken heretics, since the groups doing the praying were all from Catholic or Protestant denominatoins. In other news, furiously pushing the button won't make the elevator get there any faster and wishing for something won't make it happen.

Oh, and this study cost taxpayers $2.3 million. I look forward to seeing the Christian spin on this, which will probably be, "oh, it didn't study individuals praying for their OWN recovery, so it's invalid." Bah fucking humbug.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

War (Huh!) Good God Y'All...

Anti-war song meme sweeps teh intraweb, tens afflicted. Just to be difficult, here's my counter-contribution:

Let's Have A War, by Fear

Let's have a war!
So you can go die!
Let's have a war!
We can start in New Jersey!
Let's have a war!
Give guns to the queers!
Let's have a war!
Clear out this place!
Let's have a war!
We need the space!

There too many of us
There's too many of us
There's too many
There's too many of us
There's too many of us
There's too many

Let's have a war!

Power Lunch (Including Coffee And Pit Bulls)

Met Loretta Nall (for guvner), Steve Gordon (from Hammer of Truth), and Blue Gal (eponymous) for lunch yesterday after all, and a jolly good time it was. We managed to solve the problems of drugs, prison overcrowding, theocratic pseudo-democracy, and public education, all while curing cancer and fighting terrorism, so everyone can just relax and go home now. Whew. Glad that's over with. We're a few days away from cracking the "why does toast always land buttered-side-down problem", and once that's done, welcome to Utopia, baby. It was hard for me to get my head in the game at first, having come straight from a two-hour bitch session about "drugs are bad.....m'kay" to being amidst a group of intelligent, articulate people who actually believe that ordinary people have a stake in bettering their society by speaking out and doing something. Having for years been one of the "Oh yeah? Don't make me whine about it!" people, I felt very out of my element, but the three of them were so friendly and open that they drew me out of my shell and though I felt as though I were swimming in political waters that were way over my pointy little head, the water was comfortably warm.

It was the first time I've ever met anyone I first contacted over teh intraweb (except for that one transsexual escort: much love to Kellee!!! Thanks for the hepatitis!) and I have to say that I had a great time and it was well worth missing my usual Wednesday afternoon pre-work nap. God, how lame is that? Plus, we drank coffee like it was about to become illegal, and by the time we dispersed, I was vibrating like a tuning fork.

I didn't get a chance to ask Loretta the hard questions that I'd intended to ask. No, that's not right. I had the chance, but I didn't ask, because she was completely charming and frank and real, and every time I started angling to ask a question our server popped up with coffee refills and anecdotes about stolen pit bulls.

Evidently she and her boyfriend have been raising show-quality (she says) pit bulls, and a few weeks ago their home was burglarized and their pit bulls were stolen. Yeah, I know. How much PCP do you have to smoke to think, "I know! Let's go steal some pit bulls!" And how wussy are these dogs anyway if they allow themselves to be stolen? These aren't chihuahuas, they're fucking PIT BULLS. That waitress should have gotten home and discovered a scene of bloody carnage and called 911 instead of whatever ineffectual Shelby County law enforcement agency she was copmplaining about (she told us, but I wasn't listening: I was in nod and smile mode, where I frantically try to maintain a conversational thread for future deployment after being derailed by unexpected irrelevance). If your pit bull bitch doesn't defend her pups, she wasn't worth owning.

Pit bulls are great dogs, for people who respect the breed and take the time to raise them right. They are fearless, loyal, and tenacious. I read somewhere (too lazy to google it) that the reason they make such great therapy dogs is the same reason they can be dangerous; they genuinely don't fear anything, and so people who look and smell and act differently than other people are not a problem for these dogs. Which makes me wonder: is courage hereditary?

A good writer would now spend a paragraph or so tying this theme of courage into the original topic of blogging and political activism. I am not a good writer, so fuck you.

Oh, an aside to Blue Gal. You said on your blog, "Bitter Old Punk seems none of the three in person." Well, thanks for the first two, but I am Punk As Fuck!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I Am Called, But The Phone Fucks Up

Loretta Nall writes me and says she's planning on lunching where I work tomorrow at noon. Dammit. I have brainwashing class until noon-thirty (oh, the irony -- I can't have lunch with a libertarian candidate for governor because the state has mandated that I attend twice-weekly lessons in powerlessness). She includes her cell phone number, so I call and leave her a message, explaining my dilemma. I say that I'm up late, so feel free to call.

A few minutes later, the phone rings.

"It's Loretta," a husky voice with a smile in it says when I answer. Well, hey there. "Can you hear me OK? You're coming through all garbled. My phone's fucked up. I'll call you right back." Click.

She never called. Those flighty libertarians.

And so off to bed. I'll just go to brainwashing in work clothes, and then directly to work. Maybe I'll see her there. I'm turning in the last six of my required AA meeting signatures, so I'm hoping to see light at the end of this brainwashing tunnel. Like, Thursday.

And then I can go back to smoking crack and shooting heroin in my neck.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Stage Fright

One of my posts has been reposted in its entirety on Loretta Nall's blog. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm sure she gets tons more traffic than I do, and now everyone's gonna hear about my sad little escapade. Of course, if I wanted to keep it quiet, I wouldn't have posted it to teh intraweb, right?

Must. Cease. Hyperventilating.

Just don't dooce me, O Mighty Employer Who Has Remained Unmentioned Due To Fear Of This Very Real Possibility. Just don't dooce me. Daddy got billz to pay.

Ms. Nall left a very polite comment below, and was diplomatic enough to ignore my heavy breathing in my post about her candidacy. I look forward to meeting her and ogling her boobies when she's in town.

Funny thing is, I e-mailed her after I noticed her comment last night and pasted that very post into the e-mail I sent at 6:27 AM (no I wasn't up extra early -- I'm a vampire). I figured it would give her a laugh. But the post appeared on her site at 5:17 AM, so she must have actually read my whole blog before I thought to send it to her. Of course, it never occurred to me to check HER blog before sending the e-mail. I figured she'd just hit Technorati and seen I'd linked to her and flipped by to check it out. I never thought anything I said would be worth reposting.

Must. Not. Damage. Gubernatorial. Candidacy. With. Stupid. Shit.

And now I have this sinking sensation that I'm getting involved in something that involves doing more than showing up for work or coming home and surfing teh intraweb. Dammit. I lob invective from the sidelines, I don't actually jump into the arena and participate.

Or do I?

Jeff Freeman: The Blogging Game

Jeff Freeman: The Blogging Game

It's so meta, it's metameta.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

LSU Will Beat UCLA

You heard it here first. Glen Davis is The Man. I actually don't give a squishy shit about college basketball, but for some reason I find myself rooting for Baby Shaq and his teammates. In other sports news, Holy Cross beat fucking Minnesota in college hockey. That's the upset of the century, and it probably won't even make Sportscenter.

I'd like to see more televised fencing and lacrosse. Lacrosse is such a great sport. I've never played, but I've always enjoyed watching it. Any game that has LEGAL hits with the equivalent of a broomstick is cool with me. Plus, when refs call penalties, play continues and substitutions are during the game, so there's lots of uninterrupted action, unlike every other sport.

Final round of The Players Championship at Sawgrass is tomorrow, so I'll make excuses to stay home and watch golfing goodness. Everyone knows about the 17th hole, the island green, blah blah blah, but c'mon, these guys can't find a club that they KNOW will carry 150 yards? I find that difficult to believe. Pick your stick, aim for the center of the green, and two-putt. I'm a 25 handicapper, and even I know I can hit a 7-iron 150 yards. The best hole on the course, I think, is the 18th, which curves around the water and offers some terrifying second-shot options to anyone who hasn't nailed the tiny strip of fairway.

In other news, my cat Sid got bit by something a few days ago (I'd hate to think it was a dachshund, but it may have been) and this morning the cyst adjacent to the wound burst in spectacular fashion, leading to Amazing Stinky Cat, who wanted to parade his odiferousness around the house before submitting to a rubdown. He seems rather proud of his battle scar, and he isn't feverish or lethargic, so I figure he'll be OK. Sissy cat. His housemate Nancy took on a fucking racoon and walked away unscathed; he can't handle a dachshund? I hope the other cats laugh at him.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Kids Today

...should defend themselves, against the 70s. Just got off the phone with a friend who is a 10th grade English teacher at an inner city school. He despairs. "They don't want to learn, they don't have a concept of how to learn, and I have kids in my class with severe learning disabilities who have been 'mainstreamed' so I can't teach UP to them without teaching DOWN to the rest of the class." His litany of woe continues: "I don't see one scintilla of intellectual ardor in any of the 28 students in my class. They don't care, the school doesn't care, as long as I don't fail them all, and then they'll go over my teaching history with tweezers and a fine-toothed comb and find fault with me. All I want is for them to pass the high school exam, and since some of them are writing at a seventh-grade level, I don't think that's going to happen."

This is why I am a bartender. My students choose to come to class and leave happy, although the chances are good I've taught them nothing at all. Except that tipping is a great American tradtion.

I try to buck him up. Tell them, I suggest, that their brains are a weapon that they can point at the Man, and the Man is constantly trying to sand down their weapon, and only by keeping it honed can they triumph over adversity.

"Do you really think any of these kids know the meaning of the word 'honed'?" he asks, resignation dripping from his sigh.

So say "sharpened". They know that word.

I fail to buck him up. Education in Alabama is doomed to churning out Taco Bell employees.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Loretta Nall For Governor

In the great tradition of Shorty Price, another fringe candidate has thrown her hat into the governor's race. Loretta Nall is seeking the Libertarian Party of Alabama's gubernatorial nomination. Her platform is one of drug law reform and prison reform. Her blog is insightful, feisty, and impassioned. She is dismissed as a kook, but she's at least as qualified as most of the asshats we send to Montgomery on a regular basis. Plus she seems to have remarkable...ahem...assets. At least remarkable enough to drive Alabama columnist Bob Ingram into a frothing, censorious fit. And Ms. Nall, it is safe to say, is the only declared candidate for the Alabama governorship who is on record as not wearing panties. (Calls to Lucy Baxley's campaign office were not even attempted, because frankly, I don't want to know.)

I'm generally leery of Libertarians, since they tend to live in a fantasyland where multinational corporations are actually good global citizens, and unfettered anarcho-syndicalism leads to a happy healthy Mad-Max style societal free-for-all. But Ms. Nall appears to be the kind of populist libertarian I could totally get behind. Or beneath. Or atop.

If anyone is so inclined, here's the PayPal link to make a contribution to Loretta Nall's quixotic and valiant campaign.

Unsubstantiated Theories

Get two southern white boys together with an infinite supply of music and a case of beer and the song "Pancho and Lefty" will be played at least once.

God likes insects. A lot.

At age 35, a gene switches on and people realize that they do, in fact, like pedal steel guitar.

At seven-thirty on a Friday night, the equation for available martini glasses behind any busy bar sums to -2.

It is easier to reimagine the past than to foretell the future, which is why hindsight is 20/20.

Even rednecks know people that they think are rednecks.

Roy Moore is evil. That's not a theory, just a sense I get from staring into those cold, cold eyes.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I Already Called It Creepy, Now It's Just Sick

Who the fuck IS this guy?

Monday, March 20, 2006

I know you like to think your s**t don't stink....
Howdy folks! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I had a pretty good one, if I may say so. Don’t have much to report today, other than I’m working out of town again. This time I’m in Mobile, Alabama, and I’m here for another food show...what fun! I’ll be here through Wednesday so I’m not sure if I’ll get another chance to post again for a couple days, although I’ll try to if I have the time.

I know I promised to write about the last day of the “Chuck and Julie” experience from last weekend, but I’m afraid it’ll have to wait. Actually Julie is going to write about it today and post some more pictures as well. If you’re wanting to read about our night in the tent you might want to click on over to her blog and check it out. Plus you'll get to see me urinating. I’m sure you’ll be entertained!

Before I close this up there’s something I want to run past you all. I’ve been thinking about a new weekly feature for my blog. As everyone knows, Half-Nekkid Thursday is an enormous hit in the blogosphere, but I think we can take it a step further. Check it out...I’m envisioning something I’d like to call “Fecal Fridays”. You all know, as well as I do, that sometimes when you get up from the toilet you’re pretty impressed with what you see in the bowl. How many times have you called out to your significant other and said, “Hey (insert name here), you gotta come see this!” Well imagine if you were to take a picture of it and then post it on your blog? I’m sure it would be a big hit! We could even have a button made up for it, just like for HNT. Y’all let me know what you think. I’m expecting the response to be positive and over the top! Think of the comments we could all get. Each one would end with “Happy Fecal Friday!”, or “HFF!” for short! Seriously, think about it and let me know. Osbasso created a hit, why can't I? ;)

Welcome to Alabama.

I Need A Ride the Hank III show at The Nick Thursday night, because I'm almost certain (hey, it's 3 AM, how certain is anything at 3 AM?) that my lovely wife is going to totally WUSS on me and leave me rideless, since I have 22 months before I get my license back, and she announced today that it's Her Time, so by Thursday I can expect volcanic invective and very little traction vis-a-vis Shit I Want To Do. Despite my slogging onward through torticollis and an EXTREMELY busy and lucrative shift. No rest for the wicked. If you are going to the show, e-mail me at Jon_at_blakehelms_dot_net. I'll put gas in your car, and beer in your belly. I'll be out of touch from 9-1 tomorrow, and again from 4-11, so don't look for an immediate response. But if anyone wants to step up and help a brother out, I'll be in touch after 11 PM. Thank you, I love you, this is all getting kinda Phishy, so I'll end here. Need ride. Hank III. Thursday night. Nick. Will Buy Beer. Nuff said.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Music Orgy

My friend Tim just left the house and we spent the whole evening exploiting his subscription to Rhapsody. It reminded me of how things are actually BETTER now than what they were, in that it used to be you had to change vinyl or cassette and then guess at where the song was to turn your friends on to tunes you liked. Now it's instant. Everyone under 30 is like, yeah, so what? Well, it's huge to me, 'cause I'm fuckin' old. He forced me to listen to the Cure, I retaliated by forcing him to listen to Alice Donut.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Is It Up Yet?

Of course my blog is on the bad server. Is this shit fixed yet?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

How Do The Caveman Suits Fit, Guys?

Matthew Lee Cloyd, in the Shelby County Jail caveman suit

Russell Lee DeBusk, similarly stylishly attired

Benjamin Nathan Moseley is also ready for his close-up

These mugshots of the three alleged church burners are available on the Shelby County Sheriff's Office website. I notice that they're wearing what inmates call the caveman suits: the garb that is designed to prevent you from killing yourself by hanging. That suggests that they've been placed in segregation under suicide watch; so no contact with other inmates, lights on 24-7, no reading material, no padding on the cold cinderblock slab that serves as a bunk. And they check on you every hour, so no uninterrupted sleep. Nothing but you and your thoughts, and the screams and gibbering of the truly disturbed poo-flingers in the cells around you.

I heard from a source close to the investigation that one of the young men was in the process of painting his toenails pink when he was arrested. This factoid may bear on the decision of at least one of the three to not make bond, so they can avoid being picked up on state charges and therefore shipped to the Bibb or Greene County Jails, which are probably not as nice and safe as the suicide cells in Shelby County are.

When sitting in a cold cell under constant fluorescent light in a caveman suit in the Shelby County Jail is considered by your attorney to be your BEST option, you have well and truly fucked your shit up.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

In Which I Force Myself To Write Something

Steeling myself for brainwashing class tomorrow morning. Just ten more AA meetings to go and I'll be through. (After I pay the last $165 in fines.) I'm hoping to be finished by my 40th birthday, as a little birthday present to myself. That's a month away, so it's do-able. Then I can put my money towards important things, like buying an Xbox360 and a copy of Oblivion.

Moderately busy tonight, though nothing like the hellacious slam we had Tuesday.

I'm going to add a sidebar item about books I'm reading or planning to read. Don't everyone clap at once, it frightens the children. I need to polish off a few more chapters in that HTML book I dropped $40 on, and then abandoned at chapter three. It sits accusingly on my coffeetable, waiting for me, but so far I've succeeded in ignoring it.

Turning in early tonight, so I'll be in bed by two in the morning....

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Pointing At The Moon

A friend called the other day and mentioned the "pointing at the moon" example that often comes up in Buddhist thought. I googled a bit (is "google" an accepted verb yet? Well, it should be.) and told him that I'd found the phrase to be a Buddhist example of confusing the lesson for the object of the lesson, or mistaking the Buddha for the object of reverence instead of his teachings.
Tonight my friend Carl drives me home. Carl is a very nice guy. He works in the kitchen and is putting himself through Bible college. His niece Tanya is often working at the Stop-and-Rob where I frequently buy cigarettes and Yoo-Hoos after work. Tonight Carl is driving Tanya's car, a Toyota Matrix without a rear bumper. His usual car is a Mazda and the passenger door is the only one that works, because Carl swears that the first thing that wears out on Mazdas is the cheap plastic door-opening device. None of that has anything to do with what I'm talking about, I'm just setting the scene. (Do people actually edit their blogs?) Carl mentions that he's working on a paper for school; the topic is "euthanasia". Interesting. I think, well, I know how the Bible college version of this paper is supposed to work out: euthanasia is bad, m'kay?
I tell Carl about my father's death. Not because it has anything to do with euthanasia, but it did have something to do with living will DNR orders and a family's grief and I'd worked thirteen hours and felt like talking about something other than, "Whaddya have, sir?" My point to Carl is that even though my father specifically said in his living will that even though he did not want his life to be continued by artificial means after natural death it was still a wrenching decision to pull the plug, because my mom and I, both unchurched, did not want to give up that last shred of hope. We wanted him to come back, to ask for a Jack and water, to see the Falcons beat Minnesota in the NFC Championship game, to tell me to get a real job, to ask Mom to make gravy after she'd made bacon and biscuits. We knew it was false hope. But it was the only hope available, and we clung to it for hours, until we tearfully requested that he be removed from artificial ventilation. It felt like I killed him. Intellectually, I know I didn't. He had no brain activity, he was only breathing via mechanical intervention. But it still felt like I killed him. I tell Carl that the problem that I, Mr. Atheist, have with euthanasia is that it denies the rest of us whatever contributions could have been made by the person who decided to end their own life. What if Stephen Hawking had just given up and blown his brains out? We'd never know that black holes emit radiation (OK, maybe not, but we wouldn't have known it in such a timely fashion). What if...I ran out of examples.
"I think if you're ready to die and your family is ready for you to die then euthanasia is a viable option," I tell him, not sure if I actually believe that. I'd like to say that he began quoting Scripture at that point, but in fact he did not. What he really said was more along the lines of "there's a big grey area and it's hard to draw those lines."
Damn. I hate reasonable Christians. You're supposed to be thumping Bibles and telling me I'm going to hell, not acknowledging my pain and sympathiszing with me. The conversion eventually moved to Prime Directives, as every religious conversation does. So I pointed at the moon.

Monday, March 13, 2006

This Place Gets It

This is the best back-of-the-menu screed I have ever read. All hail The Vortex (and they make a damn fine burger, too).

Sunday, March 12, 2006


The bar printer is disgorging ticket after ticket, our bar is wrapped two deep, even the usually unflappable Ian is breaking a sweat, and it's only six-twenty.

It stays that way until nine. I can't leave the well, I can't run trash, bustubs, anything, because I'm hip-deep in alligators and running out of house vodka.

We never got weeded, just extremely busy. It reminded me of a post I just made to AskMetaFilter the other day:

...sometimes when the place is hopping I'll find myself grinning unconsciously because I'm enjoying work so much. It's like there are a thousand little detailed lists in my head, each linked to a specific guest or task, and they get shuffled around and rearranged automatically to accommodate where I am in the various processes. When it's all working right, I'll be moving with what seems to me to be preternatural efficiency, without having to hurry. I'm looking three to five tickets ahead, fetching bottles and glasses and consolidating shakers while carrying on four different conversations with customers, all the while communicating with the waitstaff and making multiple drinks simultaneously, both hands always in motion, always knowing exactly where everything is and what to reach for next. It's really exhilarating.

When it doesn't work, then I'm in the weeds, and I have to focus on tasks sequentially to work my way out of the hole.

It isn't something I can automatically conjure up. It just happens, and I usually don't even know it has happened until business tails off and I have a second to stand still. It's a rush, it's like a drug.

I've discussed this with a regular customer who happens to be a surgeon. He said he had experienced similar states when performing complicated operations. It's not a "zone", because that sort of implies that your mind is turned off or is somehow on cruise control, and it's not "focus" because that implies attention to detail, when in fact it is awareness of detail without needing to give attention to it. It's like pulling back from a part of an image to a distance that allows you to see the whole thing in one encompassing glance. It's like looking at jigsaw puzzle pieces jumbled in a box and already knowing where they all go, how it all fits together.

I've noticed that it is much more difficult to get into this mode when business is slow -- all the stopping and starting seems to inhibit the process. That's why I love the busy nights. Flow, and cash-flow.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


From today's New York Times:
...the Chinese Communist Party is trying to remake itself into an efficient, modern machine. But to do so, it has chosen one of its oldest political tools -- a Maoist-style ideological campaign, complete with required study groups. For 14 months and counting, the party's 70 million rank-and-file members have been ordered to read speeches by Mao and Deng Xiaoping, as well as the numbing treatise of 17,000-plus words that is the party constitution. Mandatory meetings include sessions where cadres must offer self-criticisms and also criticize everyone else.

Boy, does that sound familiar. This process, known as "bao xian", or "preserving the progressiveness", sounds remarkably like the way the Exalted Leaders of the Glorious State of Alabama treat people arrested for possession of marijuana. In fact, the leaders' insistence that every such person "complete the program" (with a state-stamped certificate of graduation, no less) is also in accord with the principles of "bao xian". And the similarities don't end there:
A Beijing graduate student said that he was required to attend four meetings a week from September through December....(a)t one meeting...everyone watched a movie about the collapse of the Soviet Union "to show us 'the grave consequences' of losing Communism." Businessmen have complained about having to reschedule appointments to make time for bao xian meetings. An older party member in Henan Province, Mao Yinduan, said one of the topics discussed during bao xian meetings held by his party branch was lunchtime boozing. "He used to like drinking," Mr. Mao said...nodding toward an embarassed colleague. But other party members mentioned this in a meeting. NOw he has stopped drinking." Then Mr Mao added, "I used to like drinking, too. People raised that with me, and I've stopped."

The first step is admitting to your comrades in the Glorious Revolution that you have a problem.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Fire! Huh Huh Huh (Not So Cool)

One of the young men arrested on suspicion of arson in several Alabama church burnings has been identified as Russ DeBusk,of Hoover, AL, a theater student at Birmingham-Southern College. Here's a pic of Russ working on a set (second photo):

A second suspect, Matt Cloyd, from Indian Springs, AL, a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was a student volunteer at the 13th Annual Latin American Studies Symposium held last April (link is to a PDF file).

The third suspect, Ben Moseley, also a theater major at Birmingham-Southern College, was a featured player in last fall's comic production of "Young Zombies in Love":
From The Hilltop News, October 5, 2005, by Whit Smith, Staff Writer:
"What is your favorite organelle, if you will, of Young Zombies in Love?" I asked Ben Moseley, a sophomore who will play Jamie Fodder in the upcoming BSC theater production. I watched his brooding face by the cryptic glow of a single lava lamp, wondering what cognitive discourse was conjuring in the dark, somewhat twisted and disillusioned conduits of his hyper-creative conscience. He responded, "This sharp, sardonic, quasi-morbid production-a characteristic I dubbed as a'Diet-Tim-Burton' of a show will draw from a number of incredible cast and crew members to create a seamless comedic experience. It'll be hilarious." Ben Moseley is from Grayson Valley, which is an unincorporated sect of Birmingham, Ala.. It is a place where his offbeat sense of humor matured from class prankster to budding theatrical genius. He is in the business of bringing a laugh to any situation on or off the stage with unadulterated, Ritalin-free antics and genuine character. "So what exactly," I asked, "is Young Zombies in Love all about? Remember, putting spoilers in newsprint is about as tactful and useful as those bolted onto '84 Honda Accords. Keep it modest." "Young Zombies holds a place in my heart 'For what?' you might ask," said Ben. "But the answer is obvious: it's a detailed spin-off of those old 50's horror moviesyou know, the kind of stuff usually reserved for Winn-Dixie clearance bins and grainy, early-morning TCM. It's a production filled with song, dance, and lighthearted romance; this play is theatrical 'Thriller,' if I may be so corny. It'll be scary-good. Game on." It sounds like Young Zombies in Love will surely enslave the populace of Birmingham-Southern with its stomach-churning laughs and visuals; it's sure to be a performance that will leave you feeling vigorous and refreshingly "un-dead."

Here's the criminal complaint from FindLaw.

So much for those budding theatrical careers, guys. If, of course, our Boys In Blue have the right people in custody, which is by no means a sure thing. (IANAL Legal disclaimer: everyone mentioned herein is innocent of everything until proven guilty, even though it has been reported that the three have confessed.)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

You're A Better Man Than I, Gunga Din

It was dead at work, tumbleweeds rolling through the place, and I spent the afternoon composing a brilliant post, which, of course, I didn't write down because it was so brilliant that surely I'd remember it when I got home and which, of course, I've now completely forgotten.

Hit count doubled since yesterday. Holy shit, it's exponential.In a week, I'll be the most popular blogger on the planet. Then I'll start posting pictures of kitties and rainbows. Heh.

I did see something unique happen on Metafilter. In a thread on, of all things, Dungeons & Dragons, a flame war broke out, and got fairly ugly, by MeFi standards. And you know what happened? The two people flaming each other actually calmed down and apologized.

I'll pause for a second to let that sink in.

Two people posting under anonymous handles and with no threat of physical coercion actually decided that the best course of action was to be big men about it and bury the hatchet. There's hope for our species yet.

Monday, March 06, 2006

How To Know If Your Neighbors Are Growing Pot

This is a public service message from BitterOldPunk. If you see your neighbors engaged in any activity even remotely similar to that displayed on the following four video clips, call the police and have them arrested immediately. Growing marijuana is illegal. I do not encourage or advocate growing marijuana. Think of the children.

Evil Brit Cannabis Grower, Part One

Evil Brit Cannabis Grower, Part Two

Evil Brit Cannabis Grower, Part Three

Evil Brit Cannabis Grower, Part Four

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Creativity Sucks, Reflects Lazy Blogger

Two weeks into this blogging experience and I've discovered a dismaying truth: in order to have anything worthwhile to blog about, I'm going to have to leave the house. It is not enough to sit on my ass surfing teh intraweb while watching midnight Daily Show reruns, trolling for inspiration and eating Cheez Doodles.


See, I'm a broke-ass bitch right now, and with no car (or license with which to legally operate one) and no money, it requires a major logistical effort to go anywhere; in other words, I have to Ask My Wife. (Who I found out tonight reads this blog because she caught a spelling error.) So I'm pretty much stuck at home or at work.

I could write about Jon Stewart's performance at the Oscars, but that would mean actually giving half a damn, which I don't. I could write about the amusing adventures and adorable poses of our pets, but then I'd be just like every other Alabama blogger out there. Ditto for poorly-reasoned political screeds lifted from other blogs. Or I could try just plain creepy.

See? There it is again. Substituting links instead of actually writing scathing prose. And the purpose of this blog, the theme, if you will, the central pole from which the whole goddamn tent depends, is SPEWING VITRIOL. Which is exhausting, frankly. Y'all should thank me.


I Am Such A Hater

So at work tonight I'm busy as hell and this leather-faced bottle blonde with tits that looked like two fried eggs nailed to a wall keeps leaning over the bar and shouting for the other bartender, who was doing his level best to ignore her, despite standing mere inches away.

"I want Grey Goose in my Hpnotiq martini! Not too much pineapple juice - that makes it ooky! And make my friend one too!" the harpy shrilled at least 473 times in a thirty-second interval. Yes, she really said "ooky". I wanted to break the Grey Goose bottle over that harpy's empty skull. "Here, lady. How's about a nice warm mug of SHUT THE FUCK UP."

A realization dawned. I hate drunks. I'm a bartender who hates drunks. I hate self-righteous recovering drunks, and I hate actively drinking drunks. I shouldn't think this way. Drunks pay my bills. Drunks usually tip well and many of them come back again and again like moths to a flame. Drunks usually think I'm a fine fellow, an admirable rock of reason and sanity in their shifting, liquid lives. I make drunks happy. I'll bet hookers feel the same way about johns that I feel about drunks. I'll take their money with a smile, give them what they want, say something witty enough to get a laugh and then move on to the next one, having offered the illusion of companionability. I'm like a hooker for drunks, except the fluids I exchange with them are spirituous instead of bodily, and I make much less money.

Because I work in a relatively upscale place, I don't really have to deal with hordes of drunks. It's only on Friday and Saturday nights that they come out in droves. And because I close on those nights, I get to see the little dramas play out until the lights come on (cue that Semisonic song, you know the one).

Oh well. It's a living. I am such a hater.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Drug Counselor Goes To Any Length (For Crack)

I have it on good authority that a senior drug counselor at a local rehab center allegedly has been fired from his job after selling most of his family's valuables to buy crack. They've (allegedly) changed the locks at the rehab center so he can't sneak back in and steal their stuff, too. (Now if they'd just change the weepy piano music on their home page.) Said my source, "The guy was a real asshole -- he was the kind of Big Book true-believer who thought that everyone who ever had a glass of wine needed to join AA. I hear he's staying at the Jimmy Hale Mission while on this crack binge because his family can't put up with his shit." (No link for the mission was available, as I suppose homeless men don't have Internet access and don't need Google Maps to find the soup line. They can just follow the trail of Wild Irish Rose bottles.)

I guess this guy really bought into the "powerless over our addictions" spiel. Well, now he'll have a bunch of drama to unload at the infinite number of future losers meetings he'll undoubtedly attend, when he's through sucking dick in the bus station to buy another rock.

Cocaine. It's a helluva drug.

Friday, March 03, 2006

May We See Your Papers?

And we wonder if our rights are being abridged.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

No Fun Allowed

Brainwashing class today was less than a hoot, but more than a yawn. The topic: cross-addiction. Quit drinking? Great, but now you smoke too much. Quit smoking? Great, but now you eat too much. Quit overeating? Great, but now you jerk off too much. Quit waxin' willie? Great, but now you play the ponies too much. Quit gambling? Great, but... well, you get the picture. I have a term for this kind of insidious propaganda: "psychological subluxation". Subluxation is the term chiropractors use to bait you into scheduling a return visit, every two weeks for the rest of your life. It's a word that even sounds like it means something. It's like the current psychobabble about addictiveness. By painting with a brush that broad, where anything can be addictive (You have 200 Hummel figurines? Addict!), psychologists and counselors ensure a steady cash stream, since they've convinced people that anything short of anhedonia is self-destructive. It's the new Puritanism: make sure people feel guilty about feeling good, and they'll pay you for it. Of course, this means that the people who genuinely need medical help for addictive behavior end up instead in "talking therapy" with a new prescription for "anti-anxiety" medication in their trembling hands.

It was a telling moment a couple of weeks ago when I was told by my Care Bear Inquisitor that the only thing standing between me and "graduating" (do I get a diploma? Kewl!) was showing attendance at a bunch of AA/NA meetings, since, and I quote, "There's no problem otherwise, since you're all paid up."

Oh, so THAT'S what this is about.

May Cause Drowsiness

So in these brainwashing meetings people often rattle off the catalogue of their prescribed medications. There are folks in their late 20s who've been taking Klonopin since they were 14. Sorry, guys, but you're doomed. You've got a benzo jones so deep your dog is named Prince Valium. But the therapist nods and smiles and berates me for having a (bunch of) beer during the Super Bowl. Or another guy for taking a toke after work. But as long as Dr. Feelgood sez its OK, get addicted to anything you like. As long as its in pill form, and prescribed by a physician. That way it's helping you, right? Especially something that offers heroin-quality addictiveness plus the bonus of potentially fatal withdrawal if stopped abruptly.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

50 Reasons To Love YouTube

Videos of the New York Dolls. RAWK!

OK, on closer review, maybe only twenty reasons.