Wednesday, November 28, 2007

D to the O to the double G, phoning it in from the LBC

I love Snoop Dogg, don't get me wrong. He's sublimely talented, and his presence as a guest on another person's track is often the kiss of life where its artistic success and acclaim would otherwise sag.

But what the hell is with him lately?

(Note: this is about music, not videos... so you will need sound and a strong stomach.)

I give you his patron cameo on Will-I-Am's "The Donque Song" (a song that could be improved either by leaving out the female "talent" and Snoop's phoned-in performance entirely, or by inserting the barrel-chucking sound from Donque Kong. (Evidently this is how we spell it now.)

And now, I give you something even worse... the "clean" (um... no) version of his inane crapbabble new song, "Sexual Eruption." To make it even less sensical, but not at all clean, the title and most of the lyrics have been amended to "Sensual Seduction."


The seventies are back, folks. But not the good part. Nope, we're all out of funk. Instead, it's the soulless, coked-up bump and grind and explicit tastelessness that ruined the fun for all of us, bringing us an era of shoulderpads and misguided economics.

Okay, I admit "the Donque Song" is kind of catchy....... dammit. (But when you have to computer modulate someone's voice to make their 4 word participation on a song in order to bring them up to a low simmer of suckage, you might just opt to leave them out... and honestly, haven't we heard Snoop's rap before in several chunks? While from a literary standpoint it's darn cool to see almost Skaldic or Old English types of formulaic poetry arise popularly, one does tend to recall Orwell's versificator...)

I blame you, Dogg.

(Actually, I might blame Paula Deen. While never the vanguard of health food or lucidity, she has gone plumb batshit mad and is now regularly deep-frying lard between hits off her hash pipe or whatever else it is that makes her lose battles of wits with Kermit the frog, twist Refrigerator Perry's nipples and worship his manliness, and make out with her son. WTF?! Yes, I'm talking about the Thanksgiving special. Julia Child, at her most drunken and butter-loving, was never quite the incarnation of 1977 that Paula Deen has become. Hell, Graham Kerr in his Galloping Gourmet days was less excessive, and he was about two steps from Mr. Roeper.)

Okay, rant over. But please, no. I don't care if you bring back hipster pants, diagonal stripes, cowboy fringe, or lounge suits. I kind of want the 'fro to come back. And I like funk and disco. But somebody needs to put away the time machine that opens onto the bowels of Hell.

'Tis the Season

At the risk of revealing what a lame sense of humor I have to those of you who aren't already sure... I give you a few delights of the season.

You will need sound and a not-work-safe-safe environment (there are cussy lyrics, but your boss has probably already heard them... unless he or she lives in a cave) for Nine Inch Noels.

Here's a gloriously frightening treat from Office Max: And when I load in our faces from the Deathmarch of Dimes Walkathon, it makes me laugh...because our cheerful sappy grins look really pathological when they are atop impish elf bodies. (These load slowly.)


For those who are in for a little more humbuggery, there's always Office Max's It's insufficiently grumpy, though.

And for that person on your list who haz everything... FLAVOR.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Napoleon complex

On Saturday, we went to SLO to look for migrating Canada geese who had stopped over. We knew to look for migrants because they had passed over us, and we wanted to go bask in their honking, tranquil, rejuvenating presence.

We found them where we expected to (birders + the Internet = easy to find birds). Having piled out of our car at Laguna Lake to stand among what surely must have been the world's loudest few Mallards and a passel of coots, whose green rail feet look absurdly Big Bird reminiscent despite their tiny size, we were surrounded by the beloved "ah-onk!" that we had gone to hear.

We were just standing and loving them (and being a little anxious because people should not allow their hellspawn to throw rocks at wildlife... it's a short road to hellspawn once the rocks come out) when a sweet middle-aged nut came trundling over with his bag of bread. "Buzzard-ducks," he called, sweetly. "Here, buzzard-ducks!"

I have a way with the insane (endearingly and not). I grinned and asked, "the Muscovies?"

"I call them buzzard-ducks," he explained, unnecessarily.

"Because of the fleshy patches on their faces?" I asked, equally unnecessary. To have seen a Muscovy is to understand the name "buzzard-duck."

"Yep. They'll usually come right over. They're not hungry; my wife just fed them a whole loaf of bread."

We smiled and chatted about having come to see the geese. He told us about his favorites, the Chinese geese. He had names for them: Napoleon, his favorite; Gimpy-Goose, the white goose who had taken over the role of pariah; the Crossnecks, who sound the alarm and cross their necks when they see him.

Yep, he was one of us.

He recommended we walk down the shore of the lake and look for Napoleon, a brown Chinese goose. We did so, partially to give him more personal space in which to baby talk the "buzzard-ducks."

We admired geese and ducks. We picked wild anise and crushed it to enjoy its licorice scent. We speculated on which goose might be Napoleon.

It didn't take long. Our friend caught up with us, calling, "Nap-oooooooo-leon!" The Chinese geese on the opposite shore took up a talkative fuss, somewhere between the creaking of a swing set and a science-fictional dinosaur howl. They wanted bread, maybe, but they were trying to talk our friend into bringing it over to them.

"Nap-ooooooooo-leon," he called. Then he explained again what he had told me before. "You see, he comes over even if he isn't hungry. He just comes over to hang out and be together. Every once in a while he starts showing me nest sites; breaks my heart. I mean, the first time, I thought, oh no, uh oh, I can't deal with this."

And Napoleon launched himself on the water, as majestic as a swan, if a swan loosed plaintively monstery cries every few moments. "Aeeeeenk!"

Our friend, just as joyously and enthusiastically, with just as little self-consciousness, responded "yeah!"





When Napoleon had finally put to shore and wandered diffidently down the coast, trailed by opportunistic Canadas (and one cackling minima ssp.), our friend sat on a stump and offered bread. Napoleon came up, creaking softly and elevating his bill skyward, stretching out his long neck. He would lay his face right up near the face of the human, like (I imagine) the Crossnecks would, like I've seen hundreds of geese do to one another.

"Who's my good goosey?" our new friend crooned in a hushed, but still exuberant, approximation of the dinosaur-inspiring goose voice. "Napoleon! You're my good goosey! Yeah!"

It was plainly evident on both the human and the goosey faces that they had found one another and loved one another. The goose wasn't hungry; he nibbled to please his host, but he was there just to emanate love and be close to another soul who adored him unconditionally. The man petted him with barely-touching, kindly strokes of the back of his hand, and Napoleon reveled in the attention, craning his long lovely neck and singing soft "talking" notes. "I think I must remind him of his former owner," the man confided softly to us.

"He loves you," I answered, awed.

"I love him. I would take him home, if I had a pond," he said.

Who could be so heartless as to abandon an imprinted goose? They imprint for life. They mate for life. They are silly and a pain in the ass sometimes, to be sure, but geese have a deep-rooted goodness that astonishes the trenchant observer.

"Haaeeeenk?" Napoleon asked blissfully, softly.

"Yeah!" the man responded, his plain, everyday, middle-aged face radiant. "Napoleon. My good goosey."

Sure, the man is a half-crazy crank with a healthy dose of irreverent animism (and no less am I), but that bird thinks that he hung the moon. I have rarely shared a moment so intimate, so breathtakingly beautiful, and so sweet-- let alone with a stranger.

Thank you, Napoleon. Thank you, mister. (I should have asked your name.)

I've only enjoyed that trust from two wild geese.

One was a fatally injured gosling we "rescued" (there was little we could do but make him comfortable), who was ready to accept kind touch and comfort from any creature. He rewarded us with the same accepting and serene gaze and intimate being-together. We called him Galahad Goose because he was brave and pure, and mourned him sincerely.

The other was Crookey, the crooked-necked goose who visited the little park in Pullman, Washington, where we hung out a lot doing outdoor things. Crookey didn't mind when we showed up empty handed; the grass from our fingers tasted better to him than the grass growing under his bill. He didn't even mind when we petted him, barely brushing his silky feathers, with the backs of our fingers. He came up practically into our laps and hung out with the humans, all trusting eyes and winsome expression.

I worry that we are betraying the wild ducks we feed by currying trust in them, that will be abused by the hellspawn, sporthunters, and douchebags of the world. I don't think I have an option; they tag along with Sir Maxalot and Duckira when we feed them, and those two tame rescuee heavy ducks NEED our care. I also worry about geese like Crookey, who migrated with his flock, when they are so loving and trusting of humans. They are brilliant ambassadors for birdkind, but they endanger their lovely, graceful necks thereby. Napoleon is a park-dwelling non-migrant; he will be partially safe. Galahad was past risk, and all of us knew it.

What a world, where we have to worry about allowing something to trust us.

Is kindness abuse? Oh me, oh my.

Anyway, I hate to bring up a bitter note, but birds are the only animals not protected by the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) -- the only federal law designed to protect animals at slaughter. Butterball is the latest horror house in the scandal that you have surely heard directed at KFC or others. 'Tis the season for me to fret about these things; if you would like to do something small but pro-active, please think about taking action to get birds included in the (poorly enforced, crappy, but better than nothing) HMSA.

H & T, I am not ignoring you

If you wrote to me when you asked for the ol' e-mail address, I have yet to receive it. If you never did, fine; if you did send something, forgive me! I have been waiting with baited breath, but I don't have it.

Hugs to you and you and the little one, too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Kopi Luwak

Not to stretch this metaphor too far, but it seems that we overdose on critical buzz before we ever trust a product these days. Was it always this way? It seems to me that there was a time when I saw a movie trailer and said "that looks good," without checking what my more trusted sources thought. I would just walk into restaurants without reading reviews. I would try a perfume or body product because I liked the notes listed on the packaging or ad-- or even because I liked the package, or name.

Now, I'm a cynical bastard and I tend to trust harsh criticism from strangers much more than I trust ad copy, gut reactions, or raves from friends and family members with taste that matches only questionably to mine.

I blame the Internets. We are all experts; we dissect topics on which we are only self-declared experts, savage one another's opinions in ways undreamed of in previous decades, and get trenchantly involved in details that are only minutae. We're a society of conceited dilettantes and malevolent cynics, feeding one another's pricklier impulses without ever trying anything new.

We are schizophrenic, now: simultaneous neophobes and conspicuous, obsessive consumers. We churn through experiences at a phenomenal rate, but first, we vet them through the opinions of people who are ultimately strangers and probably no more expert than we are, ourselves.

No wonder rates of autism are on the rise. We are a society of housecats. And it's virulently contagious. Rampant cynicism was so cool when I was in school... now it's considered countercultural to be nice (think emo or twee, and try not to aggro.) Soulless Oscar Wilde imitators hell-bent on offending our peers in ever more sophisticated and cynical ways. Exclusivity has the prerequisite of excluding-- we do not want to like the majority of what we see.

We won't enjoy something until someone else has taken a chance at digesting it. And that's the excuse for today's loosely connected metaphor.

The civet cat (they're not cats) is an animal with sexual glands in its butt, which excrete a filthy smelling compound long used for a perfume fixative. In large quantities, civet (the gunk, not the critter) smells like ass. In small quantities, well diluted and masked by prettier aromas, it is seductive and lends fixity to fragrances. Sources vary in levels of cruelty, but the animals do not have to be killed to yield their valuable goop.

One of their cousins, also a civet, eats coffee cherries. They don't digest them well, so the coffee cherries just end up intact in their feces.

Collected, cleaned, and processed, the resultant coffee cherries are made into Kopi Luwak, one of the (supposedly) finest and most luxurious coffees in the world.

Are you wincing and telling yourself that you would not drink it? Me too -- for reasons that I find more solid than "critics say it's overrated."

I'm going to try to like things for their own sake for a few days, and see if I can still do it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hail Eris

The Principia Discordia, online.

It's probably not worksafe. It's both joyously silly and joyously serious. And I am more Discordian than anything else.

May I refer you all to the parable of the bitter tea? It consoles me when I am tempted to argue the finer points of things which I cannot agree with even in their grosser forms. It should be required reading before playing on the Internet.

by Rev. Dr. Hypocrates Magoun,
P.P. POEE PRIEST, Okinawa Cabal

When Hypoc was through meditating with St. Gulik, he went there into the kitchen where he busied himself with preparing the feast and in his endeavor, he found that there was some old tea in a pan left standing from the night before, when he had in his weakness forgot about its making and had let it sit steeping for 24 hours.

It was dark and murky and it was Hypoc's intention to use this old tea by diluting it with water.

And again in his weakness, chose without further consideration and plunged into the physical labor of the preparations.

It was then when deeply immersed in the pleasure of that trip, he had a sudden loud clear voice in his head saying,

"it is bitter tea that involves you so."

Hypoc heard the voice, but the struggle inside intensified, and the pattern, previously established with the physical laboring and the muscle messages coordinated and unified or perhaps coded, continued to exert their influence and Hypoc succummed to the pressure and he denied the voice.

And again he plunged into the physical orgy and completed the task.

And Lo as the voice had predicted, the tea was bitter.

Environmental vegetarianism, being green/light green, and carbon dieting

Le wow.

Your car is less wasteful than your metabolism-- provided you feed the latter on animal products. Holy crap. I may have to go back to a responsible diet sooner than later, if I am going to face myself in the mirror. In the dark. 'Cuz Dubya has another way to save energy, and it's monkeying with the damn daylight savings calendar.

As I get older, I find that I am a less and less repentant sinner... but that I am more responsible in other ways.

Rediscovering lost loves

When I was in Peru and suffocating under a wave of My Government Has Gone Bughouse Crazy, Oh Hell, Can I Ever Come Home, I took great solace in a few blogs I randomly found while wandering around the ol' Series of Tubes.

One of these blogs is Thoughtviper. Bill the Splut doesn't know I'm watching him, but he tickles me. He rants. He talks goo-goo talk at his cats. He is hilarious and often embarrassing to sympathize with.

I adore it. It's so I-can-hang-out-with-able. And he's a constant source of random, wonderful links to things entertaining and stupid on the Internet.

I went googling for him, remembering only the name of his older, white cat (Kill Kill) and that he had "Thought" as part of his blog title. Believe it or not, and in spite of whatever lists I got myself on by googling +"kill kill" +thought +blog, I found it again.

I'm not remotely caught up. Oh well. More for me to rediscover. He posted this delightful tidbit and I think you'll get a giggle from it.

This quote had me laughing out loud and annoying Pat while he works on his lesson plan:
To be honest, it's not like I'm a brave man. I'm not. At all. It just, well, it doesn't take that much strength of will not to be scared. Who the hell am I supposed to be scared of? Joseph Padilla, dirty bomber who didn't actually know how to build a bomb, had no allies or supplies, and against whom the government case is so weak they're now shuffling him from court to court to avoid the public embarassment of a trial? The fuckwits who were going to take down the Brooklyn Bridge with blowtorches? Richard Reid, the Zeppo of suicide bombers? The great Canadian plot that had organized over the internet, was penetrated by the Mounties on day one, and we were told had a TRUCK FULL OF EXPLOSIVES ... which they had bought from the Mounties in a sting operation but hey let's skip right over that. Or how about the "compound" of Christian cultists in Florida who were planning on blowing up the Sears Tower with ... kung fu?


Monday, November 5, 2007

I don't know what to call this one

Horsin' around?
Power steering?
Mr. Ed?
Got Milk?

Anyway, on the way to go and meet Robert and Gabi at Big Sky Cafe for lunch as they returned from their honeymoon camping trip in Big Sur, I saw a horse standing up on 2 feet. I was bewildered until I saw why: he was mounting a cow. Or maybe a steer. I don't really know. But I do know it wasn't a horse.


Just thought you'd all want to know.

Friday, November 2, 2007

All advertisements will be deleted

This is for "Adam," and everyone like him (if they are not indeed bots).

If you post comments on my blog containing ads, I will delete them as soon as I find them. It's not worth your time to post them.

You don't have to go away, but please stop littering.