Thursday, May 19, 2005

Today I Am an American. Absolutely. Don't Hate.

I feel so American today. Not that I really know what that means, because I might be too close to it to be a good judge, but that's never stopped me before. Besides, what's more American than that!

Oh, let me tell you what's more American than that!!!!

I arrived at work at 7:30 in the a-to-the-goddamn-m. Just to offset my European day off yesterday. I mean, shit. A brutha gots to redeem himself in the face of his paycheck writers. These bills ain’t gonna pay themselves! I need to whore my life-hours to pay for all this TV-fueled consumption! Hurray for properly motivated work ethic! Hurray!

I was arguing with myself the difference between ethics and morals, as it applies to foreign policy, on my way to work. I’ve been watching a really good documentary on Henry Kissinger: The Trials of Henry Kissinger (Trial? Trials? Whatever). It is a piece which continues what many others have posed: Henry Kissinger was a decidedly dubious character who was at the helm of US foreign policy as it was used to do some rather nasty things. Coups (Chile), covert attacks on sovereign nations involving large-scale carpet bombing (Cambodia), support of genocide (East Timor) and the like. When confronted with the idea that morality as it applies to an individual should be applied to nation-states, Kissinger wholly disagreed. His basis was that the nation-state, unlike the individual, was (is, will be) many times positioned to only choose between evils. As if we as individuals are never in such situations. I mean, everyone’s been in a situation where they were breaking into a car to steal something worth trading for crack, when they see a tranny hooker (who they once beat up for a free trick), getting hammered with a mallet by their newly found Uzbek pimp. We’ve all been there Kiss, we all know the difficulties of choosing between evils. And it is a question of moral fiber as to whether or not we a) break the window and get glass all over the seat we’ll be sitting on or b) take the extra time to pop the lock like a true professional. While we watch the tranny catch a good ol’ ex-KGB style beating.

Just like any nation-state out there.

Morals vs. ethics. Always an interesting debate. And we Americans will argue that shit to the dirt, to defend our right to ignore ourselves or each other. And everyone else, when it fits our fancy. Abortion, gun control, poor crop rotation in Kenya, identity theft, whatever is happening in Rwanda, coffee slaves in Viet Nam, prayer in schools, the human rights of homosexuals, the dancing rights of Texas cheerleaders… you name it. There’s nothing more American than feeding at the morals vs. ethics buffet, picking and choosing based on context, whatever fits our ideologue-driven moment.

I am going to eat three breakfast tacos for breakfast. Oh gluttony, my most American of traits, how I praise thee for your abilities to excite me and then immediately throw me into fits of despair. How you manage to make my country the land of excesses is beyond fascinating. An eventually morbid pursuit. The chase is on, and I will catch up to you and defeat you in but a Hollywood sense if nothing else. Then I will have a death-covered Krispy Kreem, a Parliament smoke, fingernail bump of Columbian Paradise, and a random lawsuit against someone with more wealth than me (with no basis beyond my sense of entitlement to everyone else’s money) to celebrate my reckless hypocrisy. It will be a thing of beauty.

I am wearing a plaid shirt. Like Paul Bunyan. I’m a lumber jack and I’m okay. We like our plaid, even though it really is kind of French Canadian (gasp!). We lay claim to it anyhow, because it’s the new “blue collar” style. I wear it to give off that “sure, I work in an air conditioned office during the day, but you bet your ass I can clean my own carburetor and flush the wife’s radiator in the evenin’ time” kind of look. Makes me feel… American male. All kinds of Abercrombie off in this piece. Word.

God I love this country. I am ecstatic that I was NOT born in to the lower castes of 19th century India. That would really blow. And I would have no breakfast tacos to feast upon while drinking my Vietnamese slave-coffee. Which would be most unsettling for me to live without.

My country, ‘tis of thee I sing (of bling, and clandestine imports which I will be pimped well in order to afford). God bless us all! SUHWEEEEEEEEET!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Today, I Am International. Sort of. Not Really.

I feel so European today. Not that I even know what that means, really. But if I were to wake up tomorrow, European, I believe my average daily life would occur much as mine has today. Well, western Europe anyhow.

I got to work at 10am. Fuck me. Europeans, as productive as they have been in the (rather distant) past (my ancestors included), have pretty much fallen off the work wagon. I’ll take the slings and arrows for that comment. I realize it’s a generalization, and that there are a handful of twenty-somethings in Prague, busting their asses and working some wicked 9 hour days to build some real accomplishments. But really, Europe is no longer known for doing a whole hell of a lot on the business front. Go ahead, fume, collect some questionable statistics on various GDPs and shuffle them my way. In the end, I will be right. And here’s why:

1. They have enough to get by, so they aren’t stressing the dough. I mean, they gots castles and shit.

2. They figured out, generations ago, that slaving away all of life’s daylight hours (save for some precious carrot-esque ‘vacation days’) is quite possibly the worst way to live. So the priority to work hits them after a nice, calm and enjoyable morning (ending around 10am) if it hits them at all. Live first, work later.

So don’t assume I’m knocking them or their seemingly lazy ways. Not only do I respect them, hell, I subscribe to their philosophy (and I’d like to have a castle to match, but not a dirty one, thank you).

I dicked with exchange rates all morning. While I was doing this, as part of my paid-job, I was reminded of my visits to Europe. Constantly balancing those damned currencies against each other, wishing everyone would just GET WITH the EURO already. I mean, fuck. Shit or get off the goddamn pot.

I hated on Bush and the religious right for like, an hour. I read this guy’s blog, which is a fascinating read, and even though it doesn’t tell me anything I don’t already know, it mixed with the two cups of coffee (with grounds floating about the bottom) to fuel my irritation surrounding the way the US governs and considers itself. Ourselves. Europeans do this regularly, and they’ll tell you as much if you ask (but don’t accuse them of thinking about the US too much, because they’ll tell you to stop acting like the US is the center of the universe. Which will confuse you. Okay? Okay.).

I am wearing a black shirt with grey slacks and black dress shoes. This, of course, is a total Americanization of what it means to ‘dress European’, as it is more the dress code for all metropolitan, deeply urban cities throughout the western world (hello NYC, Toronto, Dallas, Seattle, Tokyo, blah-blah-blah). But somewhere along the line, this wardrobe arrangement became synonymous with French bistro revolutionaries, Italian Vespa riders, and “Now It’s Time Shprockets Ven Vee Dance!” Berliners. So. I’m pimping the European look. With spiky, mangled hair atop my skull. I feel like I should be typing this in Dutch while eating a gyro, sipping my espresso and putting through the streets on a dented moped.

I feel like I should stop typing altogether. So I will. Right now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I just want to, like... Like.

I’ve been really negative lately. You know? No you don't. Because you never listen to anything I say. I'm always struggling over here and you just sit in your tower! (cock-ass and whatnot)

Jesus. That's exactly what I'm talking about. Right there. That last sentence and subsequent piece of TD theft. It's as if I’ve just been crapping all over any/everything that falls in front of me here lately. Like a parakeet. With bad cough.

Living a life of pointless negativity is an art form. A thing of beauty, negativisims are. As is ultraconvoluted word usage and verbage-structure of non-wordistic… words.

Right. But it isn't my thing, see? It isn't my preferred medium. Or any other size for that matter.

So, I’ve decided, on a whim (just like the time I contracted syphilis, remember that?!! Whoo!), to talk about things I like. I have no idea whether or not you will understand how deep my liking goes for the following things.

Why I like Canada.

Canada gets cold. I really enjoy a nice cold snap. I think winter is the best true season (fall is really my favorite, but it’s like, a half-season or some shit). I fucking hate the heat. I grew up in Houston, and you know what? My eyelids perspire in that godforsaken city, every August. I own a black vehicle, and the last time I was in H-town, my rear-view mirror threatened to fall off due to the heat that was circulating through the truck cabin. What the fuck is up with that? So really, I like Canada because it is not as hot as Houston.

This list is already not going the way I planned. I used negativity to prop up some positivity right there. Plus, I made up the word ‘positivity’, apparently, because my spell checker is going apeshit over it.

It’s freaking out over ‘apeshit’ as well. I just can’t manage to avoid loss for un-trying around here, or however that cliché goes. I’ll try this again.

Why I like Basketball.

Because I can’t ice skate, I’m not much of a juicer, Wrestling is for future politicians and inmates (or both, as the case may be), football is just too damn expensive, and the body count from every riot I’ve ever managed has been minimal (so no Soccer for me. Damn.).

See, I’m using the negatives to prop up my shit again.


Mulligan the previous basketball diary.

Why I like Basketball (but better this time).

The first goal I played on was a cardboard box with a tire over it. On the ground. Against my neighbor’s garage door (right where the SHADOW of a much higher, more weather resistant basketball goal would typically be). And the ball was a strange, oblong-ish, mutated rubber-product with “Keep On Truckin!!!” repeated all around its equator, with blocky semi-trailers stenciled on there, as if spray painted. It was an inappropriately small ball for the job. I would probably be able to palm in my left hand today. My left hand is approximately the size of your average eighth grade girl’s. And you know what they say about that, don’t you?

Yep. I’m right handed.

So the ball and goal were hardly what one would consider top, mid, or low-notch equipment. But then again, I didn’t know shit about basketball either. It could have been two tennis balls, three bags of dirt, and garden weasel. I’d still call it by the same name.

That’s why I love basketball.

Subtlety was never one of my strong suits.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Uh, help? Maybe?

Has anyone ever self-published anything before? Cafe Press or any of that mumbo-jumbo? Heard of it? Used it ever? What’s the 411 on these shmoes? I have a little project I’m working on, a piece for the sake of sentimentality if you will (nothing I would consider forwarding to Random House or some shit). I have a plan for it, and it requires decent binding, easy delivery, and some cover art. It’s personal-ish, but I want it to be nice. It deserves to be nice.

So, unless I can pull off something pretty professional looking over at fucking kinko’s (if that’s possible, and you know how, let a brutha know), I’m going to need the aide of some professional types, preferably in the binding/publishing/whatever industry. Where do I go if I want to publish something on my own? Some one-off kinda shit?

Man. After checking out that Cafe Press website, it occurs to me that MANY people actually publish their blogs. I am having a bit of trouble understanding this trend. I mean, it’s already published, right? For free? Out on the interweb? So… what’s with the hard copy? Are people buying these things for their coffee tables or what?


I can understand the publishing of stories, fact or fiction, which just happen to be on a blog. But to just publish the same shit that got posted out in blog land, in chronological order? Like THIS entry? That’s… an awful idea.

I might publish a book that is entirely made up of pictures of my toes. From all different angles. Some black and white, some color. Filters over the lens. Perhaps some drawings or paintings of them. Photos of interpretive dance, designed to represent the digits of my feet. It will be marketed in Burma, and Burma alone. I believe they need my toes.

Any word on the self-publishing thing? You got some knowledge to drop or what?