Monday, March 12, 2007

Society - Jack LaLanne Running for His Life

Everybody always knew Jack LaLanne was a poseur, a wannabe ... a mama's boy. But now, at 92 years old, he's showing just what a yellow wimp he really is. Challenged by 91-year-old Roland Fortin to a "gentleman's match" in the boxing ring, LaLanne's response is no response. Ducking his head in the sand, he's hoping that the whole business will just blow over. Or that Fortin will simply die before he's forced to actually man up or pussy out.

Well, you're not fooling us, "Mister Juice Tiger." We see exactly what you're about, pally. Afraid of a 91-year-old man. More than likely, those pecs are silicone.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Politics - Hypocrisy Revealed

So it turns out the aptly-named reptile, Newt Gingrich, was getting extramarital blowjobs from a House aide while he led the charge against Clinton for getting extra-marital blowjobs from a White House intern. Aside from the mental picture of Newt's cum-face, the most disparaging aspect is that there is no true punishment for this $80 million hypocrisy. Newt made his confession to a group of conservative Christians, stating that he "has fallen far short of God's standards." And that makes it all okay for right-wing Christians. "As long as you invoke God into your sins, you're a Christian man. And that's good enough for us." Such carte blanche by religious zealots is exactly why only atheists should be allowed to be politicians.

Someday a real rain will come and wash all the scum away. Better sooner than later.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Politics - Libby Guilty, Will Go Free

I don't think anybody doubts that Libby will never see the inside of a prison. If his appeal doesn't get drawn out to the next century, Bush will simply pardon him. In any event, if by some miracle he should be sentenced and not pardoned, he's looking at 1 - 3 years for treason, though nobody has the balls to actually charge him with Treason. One to three years, when somebody selling a nickel-bag of weed can get banged up for 20 years or more.

Speaking of no balls, why isn't anybody going after Bush and his boss, Cheney? Does anybody doubt for a second that they were involved? For christ's sake. Clinton gets taken to the cleaners for a blowjob, and these pricks get away with murder. Yes, murder. Over a hundred thousand people are dead because of their false pretexts for war, a CIA agent's life was jeopardized, the American Intelligence community was compromised in a time of war. And BushCo gets a free ride.

That's why I hate the Democrats nearly as much as I do the Republicans. While the GOP may be evil incarnate, the Democrats have absolutely zero balls. No teeth. No conviction. Bush and Cheney are every bit as guilty as Scooter, but our "democratic process" allows the pantomime of a fallguy.

Them's me two bits. Rant over.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Blogging - John Chow Wants You to Make Money

The word out there is that there is a lot of money to be made from blogging. But you just have to know how. Well, John Chow is here to tell you all the tricks. This self-described internet mogul reports that his blog went from earning $352.94 his first month last September to $7011.05 in February of 2007. And he's not just gloating, either. He's willing to share all his secrets.

Making Money from a Blog breaks down the sources of John's revenue and links to all the little tricks that will get your blog up there in the big leagues. And like anything else, there is no free lunch. The methods that he describes take time and dedication, but the end result will at least get you a really nice lunch, the kind whose bill of $1,ooo doesn't suddenly make you feel nauseous.

However, no matter how arduously and diligently you follow the steps that he outlines, there is one basic rule that limits the number of moguls in the high-dollar blogger club: Content is Key.

Not everybody can write well, not everybody has the feel for what topics will attract a high number of visitors to a blog, not everybody has the artistic and technical know-how to make their blog visually appealing to more than just a few confederates in their particular aesthetic esoterica. That's something for which one needs talent and/or training.

For example, this blog: I already know how to write. However, my varied interests prevent me from establishing a specialized niche that reaches out to a specific sector. The appearance is fine, but it's something that appeals to my taste (which some describe as Baroque), not to a broader market. And the two hard, long weeks that I spent learning how to program in order to achieve this look were a nightmare to which I hope never to return. I don't imagine myself ever earning much from blogging. One, after all, has to respect their own limitations.

And I imagine that most people --before they invest the hundreds of hours that John's methods require-- should take careful stock of the situation. For many, blogging is just a means to socialize, propagandize and express themselves. While dollar signs are apt to shine in all of our eyes, it's important to embrace our reasons for doing things. John is definitely in it for the money. And more power to him. He does what he does well and he creates content that appeals to the masses.

I suppose that one of these days, I just might try to emulate him. But in a cool way.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Society - Ann Coulter, Again

Well, this jerk just loves to get attention for herself, no matter how. Little Whore-bag Annie made the headlines yet again by making stupid and offensive comments, this time at the Conservative Political Action Conference. To wit, “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.”

Her reference was to Grey's Anatomy star, Isaiah Washington, who called one of his co-stars a faggot and subsequently checked into rehab after a public outcry by the gay community. I have to admit, the whole checking into rehab thing is absolutely ridiculous, but it's unfortunate that a cunt like Ann Coulter has to be the only one who brings attention to the zeitgeist of such an exagerrated form of mea culpa.

If I were a fag, I'd probably be offended too by the typical uses of the word. Therefore, it's only with compassion, empathy, respect and common sense that I don't throw the word around like I did in high school. But, that said, I do have pleasant memories of the recent past, when Bill and Ted (remember them?) could hug each other, suddenly push apart, and say, "Fag." The joke was more on them than on gays.

But, alas, such days of free speech are long past. Marketing basically dictates what public performance can and cannot say. And Annie, being the dinosaur that she is, can't help but make an ass of herself. Though, one has to admit, being an ass is exactly what sells her books and makes her a saught after public speaker. She obviously knows what she's doing, at least economically.

But one day, Annie's going to develope a cancer or something. She'll wither away into a semblance of the whining liberals that she disdains so much. And more than likely, nobody will give a rat's ass. So, while she may fill her bank account by acting like an insensitive bitch, in the long run she is, and will be, poorer than the schizophrenic nut on the corner who shouts "Jew!" and "Nigger!" at passing cars. To hell with her.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Language - Did I Just Say That Out Loud?

There are words or expressions for just about everything in the human experience. The beauty of English is that if we haven't got it, we steal it from another language and make it our own. That's one reason why English is considered the most precise language in existence. Some examples:

  • NULLIBIST n. One who denies the existence of the soul in space.
  • PROSOPOPEIA n. A rhetorical introduction of an imagined speaker. "If this bed could talk ..."
  • DISCISSION n. Sticking a needle in the eye.
  • DEFENESTRATE v. To throw a person through a window.
  • HORRESCO REFERENS n. Exhibiting horror from a memory.
  • OMPHALOSKEPSIS n. Contemplation of one's navel.
  • GYNOTIKOLOBOMASSOPHILE n. Someone who likes to nibble on a woman's earlobe.
But there is one sensation that I have never been able to find a word for:

That embarrassed feeling one has when uncertain if they have just spoken a thought out loud, usually while deep in thought in a public space

I once thought that it was something unique to me, just a quirk of personality, or a side-effect from past experimentation with LSD. But I've discovered through various conversations that it's a feeling quite common among people. Yet, nobody has a word for it.

Over the years, when the curiosity has returned from a long absence, I've sent the occasional email to a language expert, searched reverse dictionaries, and when all that failed, I even tried to construct it from word stems. Here are some of my efforts:

  • proloquor dubium
  • erubescundus in oratorius ambiguito
  • verecundor in quam oratorio
  • andabatic excogitation
  • uncertain mental encopresis
  • deja logorrhea malnoia
  • possible schizophrenia
  • fucking nuts

I'll say right off the bat that my Latin sucks. Probably the grammatical constructions above are way off. Still, I like the sound of proloquor dubium. Andabatic excogitation is okay as well. But uncertain mental encopresis has an expressive quality that endears. Encopresis means, "unintentional defecation." Nice.

I'd like to make this post a call to arms for any wordsmiths or etymologists out there who might take a jab at this. Does the concept I'm describing already exist in speech? Is there a better way of describing it than what I've attempted above? By all means, please share. Let's make history together. If Dan Savage can create a neoligism for santorum, we can fill an equally important gap in the language. Make it happen, cap'ns.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Culture - The Legacy of Franco

Catalunya probably suffered the worst during the Franco years. El Caudillo had a special paranoid hatred in his heart for what for centuries had been considered the most cultural and enlightened region of Spain. Aside from the region forming the bastion of The Republic during the war, it was also against the social advances authored by Catalans that Franco staged his military rebellion. And for this reason, in the post-war years up until the death of the dictator, Catalans were subjugated to particularly harsh suppression. Place names were changed --for example, Sant Cugat became San Cucufato-- people speaking their mother tongue were subject to beatings by the Guardia Civil, fines and arrest.

Of course, it wasn't only Catalunya who suffered. Anybody overheard criticizing the dictatorship or even some innocuous element in the system was likely to simply disappear. Over the course of two generations, this began to have a profound effect on the mentality of the population. And this effect can be seen today in the lack of motivation for an essential economic change. The general attitude in the population is, "Keep your head low, keep quiet, don't rock the boat."

A good illustration of this can be made in comparing the country to France. The French are very quick to go on strike and protest in order to safeguard their own economic dignity. But not so in Spain. In a country where the cost of buying or renting a home has tripled in the past 8 years, where the cost of basic necessities has doubled while the average income has grown only 2 or 3% per year, people discuss and complain about the problem in private, but nobody hits the streets en masse to rectify the situation.

A typical salary here can run between €600 and €1,400 per month. But the cost of a flat begins at €500. The situation is in stasis, because those who are older purchased their homes before the spike in housing. And those who are 30 years old or younger still live with their parents. Nobody is happy about the situation, but nobody is willing to do anything about it either. My boss, for example, has increased her prices over 50% in the past few years, but this increase doesn't reflect any investment in facilities or salaries. In other words, it all goes in her pocket. And the other employees, Spaniards, prefer not to complain openly to the boss. They prefer to go about their job without lios. It's a very typical attitude here.

But what's curious about this attitude is that it was the very opposite before the Civil War. People fought hard in order to gain social and economic dignity. Protests were as common as milk wagons on the street. Pamphlets and newspapers were published with enormous headlines in harsh rhetoric, full of exclamation points. But no more. The people have been cowed. And most of them don't realize it or even know why. Es así, is the phrase du jour. It's like that. Very Zen, very Taoist. But, it's also reminsicent of the old adage, "If you act like a victim, you will be victimized."

One thing is certain: The situation will not remain viable much longer. When young people eventually move out of their parents' homes and begin looking for their own apartments, and they discover just how impossible it is to survive with the shit salaries that are being paid, there will be a demand for drastic change. The economy, while stable now, will eventually suffer a profound paradigm shift. Something volatile is on the horizon.