March 4th, 2003

flavored with age

Fun with the government

So, I was listening to NPR this morning, as I often do, because I like to drive myself insane before I go to work. And here's three entertaining stories that lend credence to I.F. Stone's claim that "all governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed":

1. A bomb goes off at an airport on Mindanao Island in the Phillipines, killing 18 people. This is the first, and deadliest, such incident since U.S. troops were sent to the Phillipines to help quash a Muslim rebellion. (Well you might ask, why are American combat troops being sent to a foreign country to help settle their domestic turbulence? The answer: shut up.) The Bush administration's response is twofold: first, the presence of U.S. troops in no way provoked this action; second, the attack just proves how badly U.S. troops are needed.

2. Saddam Hussein, who has given weapons inspectors unprecedented access to sites all over Iraq, has complied with all U.N. deadlines, and who has cooperated in a way you wouldn't expect from a guy who we're constantly being told is a threat to the entire world, has now begun destroying missiles as fast as he can get his hands on them. Despite the fact that he is doing everything we have asked him to do -- give full access to inspectors, meet disclosure deadlines and destroy banned weapons -- Ari Fleischer announces that he is "not cooperating" and that his actions are "fakes".

3. North Korea, who is acting like a bratty little brother desperate for attention with the exception that few people's bratty little brothers have nuclear weapons, has been escalating and provoking left and right to get the U.S. to enter talks with them. The U.S., which seems much more interested in a country that doesn't have nuclear weapons, claims that they will not enter talks unless those talks are "multilateral". (Well you might ask, why is the U.S. suddenly concerned about multilateralism, considering that almost everything the Bush administration has done up to this point has been a model of unilateralism? The answer: shut up.)
flavored with age


People always, or rather never, ask me: "If you could be one famous celebrity, who would you be? Whose life would you like to lead?" My answer is always, by which I mean never, the same:


Yes, I know what you're saying: "Who?"


“The diet doctor?” you ask.



Tom Atkins, the hardest working man in show business. Tom Atkins, the man who was craggy and gruff when he came out of the womb. Tom Atkins, the man who invariably plays a cop, a soldier, or a doctor who might as well be a cop or a soldier. He even played Xena's father on "Xena: Warrior Princess", and all you could think of was 'Xena's dad was a cop?'


Tom Atkins, who was Lt. Cdr. Alex Diehl on "The Rockford Files" (aside: did you know that James Garner is SEVENTY-FIVE GODDAMN YEARS OLD?). Tom Atkins, who is so stereotyped as a policeman people probably surrender to him on the streets. Tom Atkins, whose roles include Det. McCleary, Sgt. Fred Hardy, Det. Grogan, Det. Leland, Sheriff Collier, Det. Ray Cameron, Sgt. Krebs, Lt. Bragdon, Lt. Tom Sullivan, Sgt. Harry Cole, Det. Frank Standish, Major Weems, and the unforgettable 'Policeman in Apartment.'


Sure, he has a propensity to star in movies with titles like "Striking Distance", "Sworn to Vengeance", "Dead Man Out", "Blind Justice", "Striking Back", and "Murder Me, Murder You". But not only does he exude cool, old-school film-noir toughness from his every rocky pore, but he also has appeared in movies that are really good (“Serpico” and the incredible, underrated “The Ninth Configuration”, in which Tom played a soldier and was the last time in history he didn’t have a mustache), or sort of good (“Lethal Weapon”, “Bob Roberts”), or, best of all, are better than they have any right to be. Here I refer to the movies that made me fall in love with Tom Atkins, and bow before his throne as the King of Movies That Don’t Suck Nearly as Much as They Should. He was the cop-like dad in “Creepshow”. He was the cop-like doctor in “Halloween III: Season of the Witch”. He was the cop-like cop in “Escape from New York”. And he was the cop-like maniac in “Maniac Cop”.

And, as if there weren’t reason enough to want to live the life of Atkins, he played uber-cynical, mega-tuff Det. Ray Cameron in the outstanding, rarely-seen 1980s teen-horror classic “Night of the Creeps”. Not only did he play a cop in this movie, not only did another actor play him as a teenager and he was STILL a cop, and not only did he have some spiffy dialogue and a great catchphrase (“thrill me”), but he had one of the best lines in the history of ‘80s cinema:

“I’ve got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is, your dates are here. The bad news is, they’re dead.”

Tom Atkins. Goddamn.
flavored with age

Rocken sie?

For some reason, I have been getting a lot of hits on my website recently from Germany. ("A lot", for me, meaning "more than three".) I have gotten half a dozen hits from a German record label, half a dozen hits from ANOTHER German record label, and a couple of hits from an ISP in a city in east Germany.

And then there's Unbounded.

Apparently, for reasons that are entirely unclear to me, my log is the "alltime best link" of "guitarist Torben" of an East German punk band called Unbounded.

Now, how they found my site is a mystery to me. As is why "guitarist Torben" would be such a fan of my writing, since judging from the Unbounded site, his English is, how you say, inelegant. I think it's hard enough to read my writing if you're a native English speaker. But the fact remains that I have gotten about a dozen hits from Unbounded's site, so who am I to look a gift horse in the mush? My site needs all the hits it can get.

So here's a shout-out to Torben, Sven, Dirk and Ingo of Unbounded. Sie ordnen, meine Ostdeutschen punk brüdern!