17 Apr, 06 > 23 Apr, 06
10 Apr, 06 > 16 Apr, 06
3 Apr, 06 > 9 Apr, 06
27 Mar, 06 > 2 Apr, 06
20 Mar, 06 > 26 Mar, 06
13 Mar, 06 > 19 Mar, 06
6 Mar, 06 > 12 Mar, 06
27 Feb, 06 > 5 Mar, 06
20 Feb, 06 > 26 Feb, 06
13 Feb, 06 > 19 Feb, 06
6 Feb, 06 > 12 Feb, 06
30 Jan, 06 > 5 Feb, 06
23 Jan, 06 > 29 Jan, 06
16 Jan, 06 > 22 Jan, 06
9 Jan, 06 > 15 Jan, 06
2 Jan, 06 > 8 Jan, 06
26 Dec, 05 > 1 Jan, 06
19 Dec, 05 > 25 Dec, 05
12 Dec, 05 > 18 Dec, 05
5 Dec, 05 > 11 Dec, 05
28 Nov, 05 > 4 Dec, 05
21 Nov, 05 > 27 Nov, 05
14 Nov, 05 > 20 Nov, 05
7 Nov, 05 > 13 Nov, 05
31 Oct, 05 > 6 Nov, 05
24 Oct, 05 > 30 Oct, 05
17 Oct, 05 > 23 Oct, 05
10 Oct, 05 > 16 Oct, 05
3 Oct, 05 > 9 Oct, 05
26 Sep, 05 > 2 Oct, 05
19 Sep, 05 > 25 Sep, 05
12 Sep, 05 > 18 Sep, 05
5 Sep, 05 > 11 Sep, 05
29 Aug, 05 > 4 Sep, 05
22 Aug, 05 > 28 Aug, 05
15 Aug, 05 > 21 Aug, 05
8 Aug, 05 > 14 Aug, 05
1 Aug, 05 > 7 Aug, 05
25 Jul, 05 > 31 Jul, 05
18 Jul, 05 > 24 Jul, 05
11 Jul, 05 > 17 Jul, 05
4 Jul, 05 > 10 Jul, 05
27 Jun, 05 > 3 Jul, 05
20 Jun, 05 > 26 Jun, 05
13 Jun, 05 > 19 Jun, 05
6 Jun, 05 > 12 Jun, 05
30 May, 05 > 5 Jun, 05
23 May, 05 > 29 May, 05
16 May, 05 > 22 May, 05
9 May, 05 > 15 May, 05
2 May, 05 > 8 May, 05
25 Apr, 05 > 1 May, 05
18 Apr, 05 > 24 Apr, 05
11 Apr, 05 > 17 Apr, 05
4 Apr, 05 > 10 Apr, 05
28 Mar, 05 > 3 Apr, 05
21 Mar, 05 > 27 Mar, 05
14 Mar, 05 > 20 Mar, 05
7 Mar, 05 > 13 Mar, 05
28 Feb, 05 > 6 Mar, 05
21 Feb, 05 > 27 Feb, 05
14 Feb, 05 > 20 Feb, 05
7 Feb, 05 > 13 Feb, 05
31 Jan, 05 > 6 Feb, 05
24 Jan, 05 > 30 Jan, 05
17 Jan, 05 > 23 Jan, 05
10 Jan, 05 > 16 Jan, 05
3 Jan, 05 > 9 Jan, 05
27 Dec, 04 > 2 Jan, 05
20 Dec, 04 > 26 Dec, 04
13 Dec, 04 > 19 Dec, 04
6 Dec, 04 > 12 Dec, 04
29 Nov, 04 > 5 Dec, 04
22 Nov, 04 > 28 Nov, 04
15 Nov, 04 > 21 Nov, 04
8 Nov, 04 > 14 Nov, 04
1 Nov, 04 > 7 Nov, 04
25 Oct, 04 > 31 Oct, 04
18 Oct, 04 > 24 Oct, 04
11 Oct, 04 > 17 Oct, 04
4 Oct, 04 > 10 Oct, 04
27 Sep, 04 > 3 Oct, 04
20 Sep, 04 > 26 Sep, 04
13 Sep, 04 > 19 Sep, 04
6 Sep, 04 > 12 Sep, 04
30 Aug, 04 > 5 Sep, 04
23 Aug, 04 > 29 Aug, 04
16 Aug, 04 > 22 Aug, 04
9 Aug, 04 > 15 Aug, 04
2 Aug, 04 > 8 Aug, 04
26 Jul, 04 > 1 Aug, 04
19 Jul, 04 > 25 Jul, 04
12 Jul, 04 > 18 Jul, 04
5 Jul, 04 > 11 Jul, 04
28 Jun, 04 > 4 Jul, 04
21 Jun, 04 > 27 Jun, 04
14 Jun, 04 > 20 Jun, 04
7 Jun, 04 > 13 Jun, 04
31 May, 04 > 6 Jun, 04
24 May, 04 > 30 May, 04
17 May, 04 > 23 May, 04
10 May, 04 > 16 May, 04
3 May, 04 > 9 May, 04
26 Apr, 04 > 2 May, 04
19 Apr, 04 > 25 Apr, 04
12 Apr, 04 > 18 Apr, 04
5 Apr, 04 > 11 Apr, 04
29 Mar, 04 > 4 Apr, 04
22 Mar, 04 > 28 Mar, 04
15 Mar, 04 > 21 Mar, 04
8 Mar, 04 > 14 Mar, 04
1 Mar, 04 > 7 Mar, 04
23 Feb, 04 > 29 Feb, 04
16 Feb, 04 > 22 Feb, 04
9 Feb, 04 > 15 Feb, 04
2 Feb, 04 > 8 Feb, 04
26 Jan, 04 > 1 Feb, 04
19 Jan, 04 > 25 Jan, 04
12 Jan, 04 > 18 Jan, 04
5 Jan, 04 > 11 Jan, 04
29 Dec, 03 > 4 Jan, 04
22 Dec, 03 > 28 Dec, 03
15 Dec, 03 > 21 Dec, 03
8 Dec, 03 > 14 Dec, 03
1 Dec, 03 > 7 Dec, 03
24 Nov, 03 > 30 Nov, 03
17 Nov, 03 > 23 Nov, 03
10 Nov, 03 > 16 Nov, 03
27 Oct, 03 > 2 Nov, 03
20 Oct, 03 > 26 Oct, 03
13 Oct, 03 > 19 Oct, 03
6 Oct, 03 > 12 Oct, 03
29 Sep, 03 > 5 Oct, 03
22 Sep, 03 > 28 Sep, 03
15 Sep, 03 > 21 Sep, 03
8 Sep, 03 > 14 Sep, 03
1 Sep, 03 > 7 Sep, 03
25 Aug, 03 > 31 Aug, 03
18 Aug, 03 > 24 Aug, 03
11 Aug, 03 > 17 Aug, 03
4 Aug, 03 > 10 Aug, 03
28 Jul, 03 > 3 Aug, 03
21 Jul, 03 > 27 Jul, 03
14 Jul, 03 > 20 Jul, 03
7 Jul, 03 > 13 Jul, 03
30 Jun, 03 > 6 Jul, 03
23 Jun, 03 > 29 Jun, 03
16 Jun, 03 > 22 Jun, 03
9 Jun, 03 > 15 Jun, 03
2 Jun, 03 > 8 Jun, 03
26 May, 03 > 1 Jun, 03
19 May, 03 > 25 May, 03
12 May, 03 > 18 May, 03
5 May, 03 > 11 May, 03
28 Apr, 03 > 4 May, 03
21 Apr, 03 > 27 Apr, 03
Better Living through Science
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The Loyal Opposition
The Left Coaster
Deep Blade
Moonbattery Park
Saturday, 12 July 2003
Howard Dean's Saliva
Mood:  accident prone
With unprecedented precision of force and great care to spare the population, the United States and its friends went into Iraq and overthrew one of the worst tyrants of the last half-century. We were and are right to have done this for a great number of reasons, few of which are intelligible to the Springer-type voter-oid (or, to his somewhat more sophisticated cousin, the still-traumatized Floridians-for-Gore voter). But what we have now is the media desperate to open a crack in the armor of this President ---and it will do so with this terribly hot issue of whether Bush was lying to the world about the Iraqis seeking uranium from Africa. Well, let's call this what it is and be done with it.

Bush was wrong to have included this claim in his State of the Union address. It was gratuitous and, had he been more careful, he would not have used it. Someone on the TV made the good point that Bush the Elder, being the former head of the CIA, would certainly not have made such a poor choice.

Okay, so the President oversold us on all the reasons why Saddam and the Baathists needed to be driven from Iraq. Maybe he believed that the uranium claim was just one more stick of kindling to toss onto the fire to get people's attention. Regardless, this is no crime, no matter how anxious Howard Dean and the liberals are to make it one.

It just so happens that Saddam and his regime did, at one point, seek to develop a nuclear program. And it is absolutely certain that Saddam was in possession of multiple kinds of extremely dangerous chemicals and biotoxins. We still don't know the full extent of these programs or what their status was when we liberated Iraq. There are still plenty of Iraqi psychopaths that we haven't liquidated yet who, if they could, would try to use those weapons of mass murder against us and their own people. Do the self-loathing, Bush-haters doubt that? They can be angry all they want about the President's error in judgement in advertising some low-grade intelligence (now known to be false), but what does that mean in the broader context? The isolationism of the Democratic Party continues to be one of the oddest developments of the early 21st Century. Who would've guessed that the party of Wilson and FDR and Truman would be such a bunch of ostriches with their heads in the sand?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:00 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Friday, 11 July 2003
Mein Springerhass
Mood:  don't ask
Looks like Springer's actually going to do this thing and run for the U.S. Senate from Ohio. It's an absolute outrage. I don't care if he was mayor of Cincinnati or the King of Siam: he's a rotten whoremonger and a cultural disease-carrier. He has no right to cheapen the dignity of our highest institutions with his appeal to the dregs of society.

I can't explicitly advocate the one thing I would most like to see done in the case of this piece of shit, but I would laugh loud and long and dance a drunken jig if that one thing ever occurred. There ought to be consequences for what pieces of shit like Jerry Springer do to our culture. I don't permit that sort of shit in my home and I disrespect anyone who does.

Down with whoremongers and the vectors of vulgarity and ignorance. They should be burnt at the stake.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 10:45 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 9 July 2003
How It Will End
The world cannot long endure the ideological antagonism between Islam and the West. The former ideological division of communism and capitalism largely resolved itself, with either a sudden and traumatic change of course ---or through the gradual evolution from the state economy through the black market and into the brave new world of the free market. The artificial blocs and unions came tumbling apart in the space of only a few years, and what hasn't already disintegrated will, as I say, evolve away from the communist "ideal."

But, now, we have a new enemy: Islam. You don't want to hear that, being the fair-minded and loving humanitarian you are, but that is our new foe. Oh, you knew that neither drugs nor spam nor porno were going to keep Vulcan's fires burning; they're too ubiquitous and essential to our own character to have ever been the replacement for our struggle with the commies we needed. So here comes Islam --militant, anti-western, anti-Christian, Jew-hating Islam--- to slap us in the face and remind us that our work is never done, and that mankind's destiny is in danger so long as that religion's most violent practitioners are at liberty. Moreover, it has the far deeper roots of history and culture and the threat of God's violence inculcated into its believers' [souls] from the start that mere Leninism or Stalinism could never depend on. That is, the infection of this ideology runs too deep to ever be turned through conversion; it must be eradicated one beating heart at a time.

September 11th changed everything. Exposed a lot of shitheadedness and treachery and self-loathing among people you'd always hoped were better than that. But they aren't. They hate their own culture and they hate their own country and they're going down on their knees right along with the fez-headed floor-kissers. Apologists and cannon fodder is how I see them. Subhuman whores who go to Baghdad and chain themselves to Saddam's mosques because they were beaten and sexually abused by their fathers when they were children and don't know how to stop hating themselves. Pathetic. I won't pity you, though. Don't have enough contempt, although I should.

No, my mind is wandering over to the reason why it will end the way it will. It's because the Muslim cannot keep his mosque and his capitol apart. He still sees some virtue in treating everyone he knows just as Mohammed would: hatred for the outsider (never mind the much-storied friendliness to strangers, Jew boy: you ain't never seein' none of that), shame over women, distrust of one's own free will, etc. Governed and enslaved by a book in ways that no secularized Christian would tolerate anymore. And that's the thing: here in the Christian and post-Christian West, we've found a way to put everything where it belongs. Look at how freaked out the pricks from the ACLU get when someone suggests that we have a minute of silence in a public classroom. That's quite a bit different from your basic madrassa where the [teachers] tell the kids that Jews are monkeys and pigs, and where they all get on their knees and touch the floor with their foreheads and pray in the direction of Mecca. What a well-oiled machine. What a thing worth smashing.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:56 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Wednesday, 9 July 2003 11:51 AM CDT
I've only read a couple of short articles on the "settlement" reached by basketball fan Spike Lee and Viacom (parent company of the television network TNN) regarding the latter's move to change that network's name from TNN to Spike TV, but I detect the strong odor of extortion in what few details have emerged.

A few weeks ago, as you may vaguely recall, TNN (formerly The Nashville Network and, later, The National Network) began advertising its new name, Spike TV. Apparently, the word spike conjures up the appropriate image and style that the network was looking for in pursuing the young white male demographic.

However, all of that came to a screeching halt when two incredible things happened: Spike Lee filed a suit against Viacom for using "his" name which, somehow, caused a judge to issue an injunction in his favor.

I still don't see how that was possible, since Lee is hardly the first or even the only person or creation to sport the name Spike. What kind of a dumbass judge would have even entertained his complaint? It's absurd on its face.

Anyhow, it's all water under the bridge, for it now appears that Viacom will get to have its way and call TNN Spike ---but at a price. For, you see, Spike Lee was not so much concerned about "his" name being associated with a lot of low-brow, cracker-assed, trailer-park televison entertainment (a racist rationale, anyway), but was far more interested in the fact that he could get Viacom (a huge multimedia corporation) over a barrel and cause them some trouble. Hmmm. So, what should Viacom do to get out of trouble? Why, play some ball, Johnny! Spike will now "allow" the use of "his" name to go forward so long as Viacom enters into substantial negotiations with him in opening up its other entertainment venues, like MTV and VH1. Get it? The whole thing was an extortion bid. Ridiculous.

Congratulations, Spike: you're no better than Jesse Fucking Jackson or one of Dr. King's kids.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 3:35 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 7 July 2003
Then Go Back to Your Office
I'm listening to these Democratic reps on the Texas House floor complaining that they are being kept from "meaningfully" participating in the process of redrawing this state's district map, but they aren't accomplishing anything. Their participation, at this moment, is meaningless. And it's all their fault. They fucked around during the regular session with their running off to Oklahoma and not doing their jobs, and because of that the taxpayers of Texas now have to spend money we don't have to hold a special session to finish the job that should have been finished back then. Oh, what a brave bunch of civil disobeyers! Show the whole country what a bullying lot of Republicans there are in the President's home state. Not one of you lousy sword-swallowers is actually going to keep this redistricting from happening, so what the hell are you doing wasting our time? Stand up and pander to your base on my dime? Get the fuck out of here! Go rhetoricize in your head!

The district map we have now is out of date because it is gerrymandered to favor the Democratic Party, which is no longer the dominant electoral party in this state. Look at the numbers, you dopes. More Republicans are voting here than ever before. The Governor, the Lt. Governor, the Speaker, and every major statewide office in Texas is held by a Republican. Is it possible that you crybabies imagined that the GOP's dominance wasn't going to be reflected in our federal legislative delegation?

You've already lost. The map will change regardless of your nonsense. Apologize to us for causing this special session to be called and go back to lobbying each other until you blow back into town in '05.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:03 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 6 July 2003
The Infantilization of the Texas Democratic Party
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: "Low Rider" by War
As I've pointed out before, the Texas state rep Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) is a personally likable guy, but his behavior in all this quorum-killing and race-baiting that the Texas Democratic Party is engaged in is simply outrageous. There is nothing honorable or clever or constructive in what these fucking morons have done, and Richard's been front and center during this whole thing. The state party has handled its electoral "demotion" with an astonishing lack of maturity, but that is what happens when your party conceives of itself as a clearinghouse for ethnic identity politics and the celebration of victimization. You say you're "entitled" to be heard at every turn in this redistricting mess because you're Latino? What a joke! Nobody around here gives a good damn who your parents are, Richard. Grow up and face the reality of the situation: the Republican Party (and if there was ever a case where the phrase "for now" applied, it would be here) has become the majority party in this state. Are you really such a two year-old that you can't accept the logic of this state's Congressional caucus also being Republican-controlled? You don't seem to have any trouble recognizing the legitimacy of proportional representation in other areas of political life, so what's your malfunction here?

It may be of some slight interest to the reader to know that, when I was an operative with the TDP back in the mid 90s, I met Richard Raymond and a good many other state politicians. Part of my job was working with these people and getting the best possible information on who was voting for the party. In far too many cases, it wasn't Latinos who were voting. And it wasn't blacks, either. Politicans like Richard need to keep their districts configured to maximize the effect of ghettoized or balkanized ethnic groups because, if districts were simply organized along the most logical and geographical lines, white voters would overwhelm these minority groups. That's a stone fact. Actual, by-the-numbers competition would kill these ethno-politicians.

By the way, Lloyd Doggett the U.S. Representative from Travis County, Texas, makes me sick. It's okay for him to go ahead and stick his dick in the mashed potatoes, but God forbid that Tom De Lay get in on the action, too.

Let's hear it for a majority-Republican Congressional caucus from a Republican-majority state! Yeee-haaaa!!!!

Posted by Toby Petzold at 3:07 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 5 July 2003
Letters of the Law
I've read a few articles lately dissenting from the current Supreme Court's decision to overturn the states' anti-sodomy laws and the chief argument always seems to be that the Constitution does not guarantee any right to gay sex. This is the very face of the "strict constructionist" ---and it represents the very worst of conservatism.

Strict constructionists ignore the many thousands of statutes and regulations established and enforced by the Federal government that have no discernable origin in the Constitution and, yet, there they are, uncontroversial and morally neutral. It must be the wider-ranging interpretive authority of the judiciary that strict constructionists balk at, but why? They can't actually doubt that laws must be interpreted, can they? If every contingency and circumstance of criminal and civil law could be anticipated with mathematical certainty, the executive could force out the judiciary with the end of its abacus.

So, why is a judiciary necessary? At the higher, more abstract end of the spectrum of the answer is the fact that laws and regulations sometimes outlive the social context in which they were first drafted; judgements must sometimes be rendered in cases and places where a politicized legislative body is unwilling to abolish a foolish and unpopular law. A black slave, for example, is no longer considered three-fifths of a human being for the purposes of calculating a state's number of representatives because, obviously, no black person (at least on this continent) is still a slave. Historical reality superseded the law.

Nor is the Constitution an absolutely perfect document in other ways. It did not spring from the forehead of Zeus or was drawn from a stone like Excalibur. It, too, has been monkeyed with over the decades (e.g., the Prohibition amendments) or been necessarily emended (e.g., the amendment providing for the succession to the Presidency), so it is not as though the Constitution is above interpretation or expansion.

Conservatives making a Constitutional argument against the repeal of the anti-sodomy laws are out of step with the historical reality of gay rights. If they wish to make this case a proving ground against other left-to-libertarian social attitudes and practices, they are making a huge error. Next will come the gay marriage laws and we shall see just how reciprocal the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution truly is. Conservatives and the Christian right and whoever else are going to have to face the reality of gay rights, whether they approve or not.

Strict constructionism is a loser of an argument, friends. Every time some otherwise reasonable conservative commentator or legislator or executive starts up with what the Constitution "allows," they make everyone else uneasy. For instance, if you want to see conservatism collapse at the ballot box, just pipe up about how Roe v. Wade is "bad Constitutional law." The conservative may, in the strictest sense, be correct, but will being correct be enough to pay the bills when his ass is out of office?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:35 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 30 June 2003
Roach Hotel...on FOX!
Mood:  spacey
I just woke up from a good long nap and the first thing I see on the TV is a preview of next week's Paradise Hotel, which is apparently a reality show featuring lab rats (i.e., 20-something sluts of both genders) performing for cameras (infrared in the bedrooms, of course) and idly poking at the little levers for some tasty pellets. What fucking garbage. I want a reality show where I take these kids and the soulless pimps who vetted and hired them and stick them in a darkened chamber where I can lecture them before I release the Zyklon B gas.

"This reality show should only have taken a few minutes," I intone over the PA system, "but I've padded it out to sitcom-length so that the cud-chewers watching at home will have something to [think] about.

"I am murdering all of you on film and taking plenty of close-ups so that your tortured expressions will keep me warm at night.

"The children are right to applaud me, Ralph. But this disgusting nonsense ends here and now."

It's impossible for normal people to appreciate the narcissism and sociopathy of those involved in these televised splayings of the emotional labia of the witting retarded, but it keeps the beer-drinking public feeling better about itself, so look away when you pull even with the wreck and pray that Toutatis strikes.

Toutatis, strike.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:42 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Robert Mapplethorpe's Love Loaf
I hear the Democratic Party's going to put another feather in its cap when that awful whoremonger Jerry Springer runs for the U.S. Senate from Ohio. What an incredible embarrassment! It makes Sonny Bono look like the second coming of Daniel Webster. But you just watch the "party of the people" in Ohio stand by and let a piece of crap like Springer take the nomination. The other night, I watched a bit of Geraldo River (the former Jerry Rivers) interviewing Springer and bringing up the sleaze factor and Springer says it's not about him, but about his ideas. Ha, ha. Right: noblesse oblige from the man who hosts miscegenated teenaged sluts and their stripper mothers for the delectation of unemployed drug addicts who enjoy starting their days watching people on TV marginally more fucked up than they are. There are more reasons to hate Springer (and the unironically condescending Geraldo) than there are seconds in a day, but if you want the latest and best reason to disrespect the Democratic Party, wait until they run Jerry Springer for the Senate. Is there any wonder why there's a billion psychotic fezheads out there out for our blood?

Posted by Toby Petzold at 12:05 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Election Night 1996
Wanted to share with you the wisdom of the late David Brinkley. I actually remember watching him make these remarks on live television. Every one of his colleagues turned in their seats like Brinkley had just ripped one. Cowards.

On Clinton's victory: "I wish to say that we all look forward with great pleasure to four more years of wonderful, inspiring speeches, full of wit, poetry, music, love and affection ---and more goddamned nonsense....Bill Clinton has [no creativity]. He has not a creative bone in his body. Therefore, he is a bore and will always be a bore."

Tee hee. Love that man. I'm just sorry that he felt the need to apologize to that used car salesman the next day.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:28 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 28 June 2003
"File-Swapping Is Cool, Daddy, and You Know It!"
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Some Shit I Stole, Yo!
I hear that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is about to start suing hundreds of users of peer-to-peer music file-swapping networks to intimidate them out of copyright-infringement. Well, all I can say to that is "Good luck, dumbasses!" How many fingers does that little Dutch boy have? I mean, there are hundreds of hack-happy slackers out there just dying to be the one who starts up the next generation of p2p networks that operate on full anonymity. There's nothing the RIAA can really do to stop what's happening.

It may be that file-swapping is killing the recording industry, but that's only because the recording industry has been making a killing forever. Some of these "artists" have been given everything by the big corporations and the only way to justify it is to keep the price of albums artificially high. Eighteen bucks for a Jennifer Lopez album from Sam Goodys or Camelot Music? Get the fuck out of here, you fucking thieves. I'm looking at a large stack of CDs I got for twenty bucks and a big fat coax cable and I'm thinking something tells me I'm into something good, beeatch. Oh, and fuck Herman's Hermits, too.

You want the real story behind the decline of the recording industry? There's an immense amount of unlistenable horseshit out there. That's it. That's the whole of it. If someone were to shove the American Top 40 (do they even have that anymore?) in my face and threaten me with death to hum a few bars of any one of those songs, I couldn't do it. Songwriting has absolutely and undeniably died. Pop music is now solely the domain of untalented and uncreative young black people. It's an enormously embarrassing passage in the history of American music these days. The only songs that it's even possible to like are re-makes of songs I grew up with. What are today's kids going to grow up to remember? Nothing created by those of their own generation, that's for sure.

I hope that file-swapping destroys the music business so that it will have to resort to such things as promoting talent that can actually create its own music in a live setting. I'll take it up the slopchute for a thirty dollar ticket or a twenty dollar tee-shirt if the band who's doing it makes me give a damn five minutes after I've heard 'em play their hearts out for me.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 8:06 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 27 June 2003
Victor Davis Hanson Is God
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: "Pollo Asado" by Ween
One of my favorite writers at National Review Online is Victor Davis Hanson. And, today, he is on fire:

"We must accept that it is a cornerstone of Mexican foreign policy to export illegally each year a million of its own to the United States to avoid needed reform at home and to influence American domestic policy."

That is as clear and concise an assessment of what we are faced with as any I've ever read. Man, when I was younger, I was absolutely inflamed against that whole situation. Pissed at the left for adulterating white Protestant culture and pissed at the right for betraying our society for the sake of cheap labor. Where did my anger go? Maybe it was in the incubator for a while, but the power went out and they had to throw out all the spoiled passions. That's what happens when you "grow up." Things are left to slide and the old Irish has to get tamped down to keep the neighbors from calling the cops.

But take it from one who was steeped in venom and gall: there's Mexican politicians and bandleaders out there who think and talk as naturally as breathing about the reality of la raza and Aztlan. Don't you fucking doubt it, holmes. It'll do you and us no good to ignore it, although that is what is happening. You'd just better hope they lose their tongues and crucifixes faster than we lose our will to fight or the demographic beast will consume this culture from the inside out. You gotta cut that shit with some Cotton Mather and Woodrow Wilson and some other uptight honky-assed bidness if you want there to be some semblance of Lincoln's last, best hope of Earth left at century's end.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:09 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 27 June 2003 6:17 PM CDT
Thursday, 26 June 2003
Tops Have Bottoms!
Mood:  cheeky
The United States Supreme Court says that Texas' anti-sodomy laws are unConstitutional and that y'all can assume the position once again in freedom and pleasure.

And now I am wondering why they can't declare involuntary celibacy a crime against humanity (or, maybe just a crime against me).

Posted by Toby Petzold at 4:45 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 27 June 2003 6:18 PM CDT
Wednesday, 25 June 2003
Legal Query
Mood:  not sure
Is there a law against me sending a sealed tin of dog shit to Molly Ivins? Maybe one that's labelled as her favorite brand of sweeties or snuff so that she'll eagerly pry it open and it will unload all over her? I think she's a lousy old hag of a poser. She had a column in the paper the other day about how fascinating Sidney Blumenthal's new book on the Clinton years is and how the "vast right-wing conspiracy" was the prime mover in Clinton's disgrace and impeachment. Well, that's a lot of nonsense, lady. Clinton himself was the cause of all his problems. The longer you repress that fact, the more I'm going to laugh at your yellow dog shit democrat-ism. You and Hightower and your whole bunch of liberal "populists" are a joke.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 6:12 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Wednesday, 25 June 2003 2:54 PM CDT
Tuesday, 24 June 2003
Word from the Bench
It was a mixed bag from the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday on affirmative action ("racial preferences," if you prefer). The big University of Michigan rulings came down in a somewhat Solomonic fashion: yes, race can be considered for admission to law school, but the automatic awarding of points to minority undergraduate applicants based merely on their ethnicity is no longer allowed.

Actually, I'm fine with this first ruling because I accept the fact that a law school is inherently oriented toward an elite portion of a school's student body; there is an expectation that candidates to a law school would be subject to a more rigorous and individualized assessment than those in the larger-scaled admissions process to the undergraduate program. Moreover, being elite, law schools have a special prerogative in maintaining their political, philosophical, and cultural identities. Perhaps I romanticize the claim to unique reputations that certain law schools have (having experience of none of them), but I can accept that certain law schools do, in fact, have these reputations and, therefore, may reserve the right to cultivate the kind of student bodies they wish to instruct.

The more broad-ranging and influential ruling now keeps schools like Michigan from rewarding undergraduate applicants for being black or Latino or whatever. Giving a middle-class black kid 20 points (on a 150-point scale) he needs to qualify for admission just because he is black is ridiculous when his white counterpart might be the one who hails from a lousy neighborhood with no ethnic-based scholarship or help from his parents to smoothe the way. It's simple racism. Minority parents, kids, and politicians aren't going to like it, but it does an unqualified black kid no good to admit him to a school where he doesn't belong just to see him drop out after a harried semester or two.

Here's the deal, folks: I taught a year in a middle school in Los Angeles. Small experience, you may say (although, if you've never even taught a day, you may not), but look at who my kids were. All but one or two were black, Latino, Filipino, Vietnamese, etc. I had some magnificently talented and bright children (whose names I fairly expect to hear again some day) and I know that they can compete with any kid anywhere. That's a fact in your Library of Congress. Some of my kids will be in the very top few percentiles of their senior high classes. They will find a way to pay for their college and to succeed wildly. But it all has to do with the way they are being raised and prepared now. Some of my kids' parents are going to be involved with their educations like crazy; some are going to be abandoned to the wolves ---and it makes me cringe. But the ones who show the promise and who exhibit the character in their teens are going to make it. They will. They don't need some pencil pusher in Ann Arbor to pity them or make an exception for them: they already are the exception. They will succeed because so many more will not. You can't, as Sgt. Hartman might say, "miracle" their asses over that obstacle; they have to do it for themselves. If they have the ability, they will; if they don't, they shouldn't be there, anyway.

You know the difference between the damned and the elect? Free will. It's a lie that we are pre-ordained by external forces to be what we are; the real choice has always been for each of us to make for ourselves. Aware of that, you strive; unaware, you moulder away. But that's nothing harsh: an active conscience is some evidence of election, but you can still wilfully betray it by ignoring its dictates. Someone wholly ignorant of those dictates and lives conscienceless is, therefore, damned.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:00 AM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 24 June 2003 8:44 AM CDT
Saturday, 21 June 2003
Come Listen
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Adam Bork's "Lester the Clown"
Yeah, actually that Beck song is called "Nobody's Fault But My Own." It's really nice. If you're ever lucky enough to catch his performance of that song from his Austin City Limits appearance (earlier this year, I guess), it'll put chills down your spine.

Speaking of chills down spines, an old friend of mine named Adam Bork (who, in certain contexts, calls himself Earthpig) is back from his exile on main street (3 years plus in NYC) and is playing for the edification of us mere mortals. He is a talented singer-songwriter, but the thing I cannot tire of is his guitar-playing. There are certain sounds he makes with his Stratocaster that are his. That is to say, he owns those notes or tones or whatever they're properly called like they were individually-wrapped candies from the Adam Bork Auditory Meme Company. No one else can make them, which is just part of why he is a rare guitarist. Anyway, his work deserves far wider currency than it has, but people are unaccustomed to Adam's little ironies, I guess it is, and so he plays to small rooms when he should be playing to large clubs. Caviar to the general he is not.

If you're in Austin, Texas on any of the next several Wednesday nights (about 10 PM), drop in on him (and probably me) at Flipnotics on Barton Springs Road.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 11:26 PM CDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Friday, 20 June 2003
Sure. Why Not?
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: "Wasted Blues" by Beck
Obviously, I feel very foolish for having believed that everything was alright with my friend and his daughter, but I just didn't know. I suppose I could go ahead and compound my folly by wondering out loud about the state of law enforcement in Mexico and why these people can't help execute a Federal warrant on a fugitive from their neighbors del norte, but what good would it do? You see, sovereignty is a fiction that some nations sell to others to help keep their spirits up. Can't have the neighbors see what a ramshackle house of cards you live in. The corruption and incompetence of the Mexican police is proverbial. And I'm pissed off. This should have been over by now.

Hang in there, Greg. Right makes might.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 9:05 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 19 June 2003
Practically every commentary I've read on the San Antonio Spurs' world championship has been negative, except for the obligatory compliments to Robinson and Duncan for their good character. Why should it matter that the championship series was one of the lowest-rated ever? I know it's all business, but there is still a sport there and all its attendant pride and joy. I don't give a good damn that Jordan or O'Neal weren't in on it, either; a very solid team won as a team. Is that too boring for you hotdog-eaters? Like your basketball full of showboat and egotism? Tough. That shit got beat by the Big Fundamental and a deep bench.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:51 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Hold On Just a Second
Mood:  incredulous
And now I'm hearing that the Mexican authorities have somehow allowed the situation with Sabrina Allen to deteriorate. Not sure what's happening. But, I think something ridiculous is going on.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 5:40 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 14 June 2003
The Allens' Prayers Are Answered
Mood:  celebratory
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Sabrina Allen has been found alive and well in Mexico City. Her daddy's hard work down there has paid off. Just as Greg had suspected, his ex-wife had taken Sabrina there and had colored her blonde hair black. But that stuff was never going to work so long as Greg was making his own efforts at detection.

Apparently, it was one of the signs that he's been posting all over Mexico City that finally got the attention of a woman there who had seen Sabrina and her mother.

Let's just hope that the Mexican authorities expedite matters and let Greg come home with Sabrina right away.

I don't know what fate will befall Greg's ex-wife, but I hope it's appropriate.

I can't help but note how soon after I performed my own craniorectal extraction on this subject that it all came to a wonderful and just resolution. Not that the two events are related, but I am quite pleased that one followed the other so closely. I didn't even have the time to find the e-mail addresses of my old friends in Los Angeles to write to about this before it worked itself out.

If I had a cigar, I'd probably smoke it.

Come home soon, Greg and Sabrina.

Posted by Toby Petzold at 7:57 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older