Monkey With a Typewriter

"...Look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty."
- Groucho Marx in Monkey Business, 1931

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Have you seen my new blogs? I have Movie Reviews, Book Reviews, and Music Reviews! FUN! That will allow me to free up this blog for its original intention: political ramblings! Well, actually, it will mostly be about my writing, how I'm progressing, what I'm accomplishing and thinking of, etc. You know, the kind of thing most authors wait to do until after they've published and people care. But i'll still insert the random humor and political insights...

So anyway, have you been telling your friends about this site? Why not? Go! Help spread the word! Tell them to link to me! (I'll link to them...if it's a cool site...)

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I just got to thinking, I haven't made any movie/book/album recommendations lately.
And I know you live and die for them.

So I say to you, "I'm rockin' on Steve Burns." Yeah, THAT Steve Burns. Blue's Clues Steve Burns. I think a writer's best friend could be Steve's fantastic "songs for dustmites" followed by the Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots". Simply amazing. Although it would have been quite cool to hear Blue give a "Bah-BAHR!!!" in the background. Plus, Steve Burns looks EXACTLY like my friend Joe Capps. Or does Joe look like Steve? Perhaps I'll find photos of the two to post here for comparison...
Anyway, Is there a word for this kind of music? It's not Emo. It's not alt.rock, but Lordy I miss my alt.rock. And I miss my rock, too. Perhaps Velvet Revolver could change all of this...

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - Fun, Murder, Murder, fun and more Murder at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The fair that introduced America to Shredded Wheat, Pabst Blue Ribbon, the Ferris Wheel, and the vicious serial killer.

Join Me! by Danny Wallace -- READ IT! JOIN DANNY! Because as the song says, "You gotta join...join Danny!" He's British! He's hilarious! He's started a cult that nobody would be ashamed to join! (I'm having my passport photo taken this weekend!) You'll see-- it's easy, it's fun, it's an idea I wish I would have thought of... maybe I can be vice-general of the California branch of the Karma Army. Here, look at this and understand. JOIN DANNY! - It's not a cult, it's a collective!

Politics and monkeys...

This post is a bit lazy on my part, but that's okay, because it's funny stuff. Quotes about our mighty commander in chief, his cronies, etc, from late-night...
Which makes me wish Conan O'Brien would run for president.

"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had a press conference at the Pentagon.
If you listen to him speak, it really makes you wonder what the f**k he's
thinking. [Shows clip of Rumsfeld threatening to hold Syria and Iran
accountable for hostile acts against the U.S.] Do you see what he just did
there? We're in the middle of a war, and he's starting another war. We're
already fighting Iraq and he's like, 'Syria, you want a piece?' ...There is
nothing like a cantankerous old man who takes a hey-you-kids-get-off-my-lawn
approach to foreign policy. The guy's literally just like drunk swinging a
broken bottle at people. 'Hey Netherlands, you looking at me?'" --Jon Stewart

"President Bush delivered a commencement speech at a university in
Wisconsin. A very inspirational speech. Apparently Bush told the students,
'You can do anything in life if your parents work hard enough.'" --Conan

"President Bush's campaign is now attacking John Kerry for throwing away
some of his medals to protest the Vietnam War. Bush did not have any medals
to throw away, but in his defense he did have all his services records
thrown out." --Jay Leno

"We ought to thank President Bush. He made it a lot easier for people to do
taxes this year. No job, no income tax this year." --Jay Leno

"President Bush earned $400,000 for his job as president last year. That's
not really that much for being president when you think about it. But
President Bush, he doesn't do it for the money, he does it for the eight
months of vacation every year." --Jay Leno

"In his press conference last night, President Bush said he could not
remember a single mistake he had made in the last two years. The president's
exact quote was: 'I ain't make none mistakes ever.'" --Conan O'Brien

"In response to a request by the 9/11 commission the White House agreed to
declassify the president's daily intelligence briefing from August 6th
titled 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.' The
commission also wants to see the August 20th briefing, 'No Seriously Bin
Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States' and also from August
26th, 'Mr. President, Please Put Down the Game Boy, Bin Laden Determined to
Attack Inside the United States.'" --Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live's "Weekend

Some sad news, President Bush's lapdog passed away. Gee, I didn't even know
Tony Blair was sick?" --Jay Leno

And jokewriters were worried when Clinton left office...
Reagan once talked about the need to eliminate the "Evil Empire". And Egg Shen once said, "China is here, Mr. Burton." To which Jack Burton replied, "China is here? What the hell does that mean?" My point is, Big Trouble in Little China was a good movie. And someday, I'd like to write the sequel.
Because when the wind's howlin' and the rain's coming down in sheets, and you think the world's coming to an end, ol' Jack Burton just looks that storm in the eye and says 'Give it your best shot pal. I can take it.'

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Oh, I know, another blog...
But I can't help it. The more I read about the reaction of conservatives to the Iraqi prison torture, the angrier I get. These seem to be the most frequent "comeback" gems from the right:
1. Where was the outrage when our guys got killed?
2. Islam is evil
3. Sure it was bad, but we do more for their countries than their leaders do.
4. Muslims are bad.
5. The media is blowing this out of proportion and giving ammunition to Anti-American forces.

Where to begin...
1. I am outraged at the murder of American civilians. I was (and still am) outraged at the lies of Clinton. I am outraged he stood by and basically did nothing when the USS Cole was attacked. I am outraged that President Bush the first, Ronald Reagan, Cheney, Georgey Jr. etc CREATED the Taliban, armed Saddam Hussein, removed democratically elected (but administration unfriendly) leaders and replaced them with cruel despots and basically stuck us in the muckhole we're in. However, NONE of that gives us the right to act like hooligans. We have to set the example. When you're at the top of the mountain, you can either strut around and throw rocks at those coming up, or you can offer them encouragement and show them how to climb higher.
2. Do not equate fear of another culture with that culture being evil.
3. We have to be better. Resting on your laurels is not an option.
4. So is Pat Robertson.
5. Anyone can claim media bias, either right or left. But what are you going to tell me, these photos are taken out of context?

You know, conservatives got angry with what Bill Clinton did in the oval office (me too). So why are they tolerating dick and Bush in the office now? It ain't right.

Okay, in the interest of being "fair and balanced" with my last post:

Clarification from Rush:
"Now, don't misunderstand. I'm not suggesting that the torture is okay, because I don't think it is. I'm not suggesting it's not a big deal. I'm not suggesting anything of the sort. I'm trying to say we are in a war, and there are bad guys from our perspective, and they are it, and there are good guys from our perspective, and we are it; and amongst both groups you've got some factions who don't qualify. There are probably some good people in the bad guys and some rotten apples in the good guys, and these people that did this so-called torture may in fact be the rotten apples of the good guy group. But it's like I said: it doesn't taint the whole military effort and it doesn't taint us, but the world is joining in now trying to taint us as a nation, as a people, and as a culture by virtue of these pictures on the basis that we have humiliated these people. What is hijacking our own airplanes and flying them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? How humiliating is it to blow up American civilians in a convoy and have their charred bodies dragged from the car and dragged through it streets? There seems to be no sensitivity, concern or outrage for any of this anywhere in the world. So pardon me if my patience is a little short. Again, just so nobody misunderstands, I am not condoning it, supporting it, encouraging it, and suggesting that more of it happen. I'm just saying that this overreaction has gone way, way, way too far, and I'm suspicious of it. I think the overreaction is politically inspired and motivated, and has an objective, which is to undercut our effort. I think people who are overreacting to this are doing so in an effort to harm our ability to prevail here, and I'll be blunt about it, the reason people want to harm our ability to prevail is because they think somehow it will resound negatively on Bush at the polls."

All well and good, BUT:
When you are the "guardians of the free world", (and we should strive to be- nobody else has our money, means, and power, and all us Spidey fans know what Uncle Ben says about great power...), you have to hold yourself to a higher standard. It is quite possible to maintain outrage over atrocities done to Americans while at the same time vilifying those soldiers who would engage in the same practices.
We knew this wouldn't be a popular war. So why weren't precautions taken? Why are we setting ourselves up for more war, terrorism, etc. in the future?

Reason #7,345,961 to remove conservatives from positions of power. Here he is, El Rushbo, that supreme bastion of "compassionate conservatism", Rush Limbaugh, weighing in on the torture of Iraqi prisoners by US Soldiers:

"This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation! And we’re going to ruin people’s lives over it? And we’re going to hamper our military effort? And then we’re going to really hammer ‘em because they had a good time?!
You know, these people are being fired at everyday - I’m talking about the people having a good time.
You ever hear of emotional release?
You ever hear of need to blow some steam off?
These people are the enemy!"

I think people who have lost jobs since Bush took office should visit Rush and "blow some steam off" with the "good time" device of "military attack dogs" and "sodomy with chemical light sticks".
But that's just the opinion of a bleeding heart.
I am a strong supporter of the US military, when their actions are justified (ie- Afghanistan. Remember Afghanistan? That country where terrorists actually live and breed and seek to destroy us? Oh yeah...). My father served 20 years in the military. I couldn't be prouder of him for his service to our country.
This kind of action brings disgrace to the dedication and service of all those who have served the United States honorably. And even better, it gives the Arab world more to hate than "our freedom", which is NOT why we were attacked in the first place.
GARR. This blog ain't big enough to contain my fury.