November 9th, 2005

flavored with age

Lileks wins again

For people (like, say, my girfriend) who wonder why I am so obsessed with James Lileks: it's because unlike almost every other conservative talking head in the world, he's got real talent. Back when I started reading his short humor columns, he didn't show a peep of right-wing mania, aside from the occasional plainchant about how rap music was noisy or baseball players got paid too much. His Gallery of Regrettable Foods and Interior Desecrations books are still drop-dead hilarious, even though he wrote the latter when he was becoming enthralled by Republican bullshit. And even though he gets more cranky and less funny as time goes on, he can still put a bullet between your eyes when you least expect it.

Want proof? Here it is.
fight the machine

CATHOLIC! SCHOOLGIRLS RULE!

Last night, I was walking past Gordon Tech on my way home from work, and there was a whole armada of Catholic anti-abortion activists handing out flyers and pamphlets to the kids. All of them were about the evils of gagortion: how if you have one your life will be ruined; about how partial-birth and soft-tissue abortion is a myth (you know, like Demeter); how OH MY GOD LOOK AT THIS PHOTO OF A VIABLE AND ADORABLE BABY GETTING TORN APART BY RUSTY MEAT CLEAVERS! This morning, on my way back to work, the ground was littered with said booklets, broadsheets and tracts.

The odd thing is, I've been walking past Gordon Tech almost every day for the last three years, and I've lived in this neighborhood for about eight...and I've never seen these dingbats out haranguing teenagers about their reproductive choices until now. And we didn't have an election day yesterday in Chicago, so it wasn't that; besides, high school kids can't vote. (And thank goodness for that, or there would be federally mandated baggy jeans requirements.) So what changed? Funny you should ask: this year, for the first time in its history, Gordon Tech became co-ed; it was a boys' school for six decades before that. And these people weren't handing out Just Say No To Baby-Killing screeds to everyone; they were handing them out to the girls.

Of course, they weren't handing out pro-condom tracts to the boys...
flavored with age

If you bleed me, am I not a prick?: Tit-Bits, Vol. 5

I am just a man. I have needs. And when someone offers me sex for money or drugs, what am I expected to do? Say no?

***

The only thing that kept me out of the NBA was racial prejudice. I was blackballed from competetive basketball solely because I'm white. And short. And fat. And I can't jump, or shoot, or dunk. And I'm a bad rebounder, a poor passer and a terrible defender. I can't think tactically, have no body-awareness, and never know where my teammates are on the court. I have trouble blocking shots, controlling the ball and remembering which team I'm on or which basket is my goal. And for that, I couldn't even get a try-out. It's nothing but reverse racism.

***

My best friend's nephew was talking to me about his school's Career Day after I took him to the Indian reservation to buy discounted smokes. He told me that he really wanted to be a doctor, but he couldn't stand the sight of blood. I reassured him that you can just break someone's fingers or hit him in the stomach and kidneys with a bag of oranges if they don't pay their bill, and they don't bleed at all. He seemed reassured, because he didn't say anything to me for the rest of the trip.

***

People always talk about Hitler's Final Solution like it was some terrible thing. Hey, I say, he failed, right? There are still Jews! So what's the big deal?

***

If I had to name one thing that makes me really proud to be an American, I guess it would be my cock.

***

Many years had elapsed during which nothing of Combray, save what was comprised in the theathre and the drama of my going to bed there, had any existence for me, when, one day in winter as I came home, my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been molded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I cried out "Ma! What, were they out of fuckin' Hydrox?"

***

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe so much of the political divisiveness, bitterness and anger in our country today could be avoided if we just followed the Golden Rule: "eliminate the capital gains tax".

***

I know many people are skeptical of my alien-abduction story. They say that it's 'inconsistent' or 'crazy', that I 'tell it differently every time', that I 'make up' words when telling it, that there are no 'witnesses' or 'proof' or 'corroborating evidence', and that I am a 'mentally unstable alcoholic' with a 'history' of 'pathological lying'. But I know what happened to me. I was there and they weren't. And if I wasn't anally probed by extraterrestrials, why do I cruise gay bars every night? Answer me that, scientist.

***

If I were to make a list of qualities I am looking for in a best friend, I would start with honesty, integrity, faithfulness, a large inheritance, reliability, kindness, poor memory, forgiveness, a sense of humor, and fainting spells. Not in that order, though.

***

Whenever someone talks about how successful Bill Gates is, I ask them, "If he's so great, how come he's not some brilliant businessman who has parlayed his computer company into the world's most powerful corporation and made himself one of the richest men on the planet?" And they say, "He is." That's when I realize that I don't know who Bill Gates is.
fight the machine

La Hell France

Boy, the AP/Yahoo! special news section on the French unrest is a cornucopia of goofy headline writing.

Nice curfew breeds resentment
NOT SO NICE AFTER ALL! HO HO

Neighbors on Riot Patrol
Riot Patrol! Starring Jack Klugman.

Germans: Riots won't spread
And man, when a German tells you riots won't spread...

Far-Right Leader: Riots Only the Start
Next up: ill-mannered graffiti!

De Villepin attacked for imposing riot law
By rioters!

No mercy in conveyor-belt justice
I never really liked the band No Mercy, so I'm not sure if I'm going to go see Conveyor-Belt Justice.

Pocket-sized weapon with deadliest effect
Mssr., être que un mortel arme dans votre poche? Ou êtes-vous simplement heureux de me voir?