Thursday, January 04, 2007

Beware the Perspiration Nazis-1

This morning, I nearly found myself on a trip to Knuckle Junction with that most annoying of gym rats, the Perspiration Nazi.

If any of my SAGE fellows were ever to set foot in a weight room, they would know of whom I speak. I speak of the self righteous, self appointed bacteria hound, who patrols the room in search of somebody who actually might be sweating. He watches, and he stalks, ready to pounce on somebody who might actually be more focused on his deltoids than giving a dumbell some sort of quickie handjob with a rag and disinfectent.

Just this morning, I was focusing my formidable concentration on a form of deltoid curl, using 70 pound dumbells. I couldn't help but notice that somebody seemed to be staring at me from across the gym--not an uncommon occurrence, I might add. I had assumed that this person was yet another admirer of my reknowned fitness work ethic. Unfortunately, I was mistaken.

No, I am afraid my "admirer" was merely a member of that (now) all too familiar sweat police, that low form of persnickety poseur, that paranoid personality unwilling to get in the trenches and work on his body, content instead with a lot in life that exists to prohibit perspiration in the weight rooms throughout this land.

Well, today, he toyed with the wrong body builder. The Perspiration Nazi tangled with a man nearly 5'6" tall, 185 pounds, with no more than 4% body fat. He tried to make a run up the mountain named P.D. "Bo" Steed, and he was sent hurtling to the shards of rock below. Thank goodness Mr. Bo Jangles wasn't there to witness the events unfold, as I am currently far too busy to transport my longtime companion to his Los Angeles veterinarian once again.

More on this tale in the days to come.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sniff.....Sniff...Oh The Horrible Pain!

Bo,

We do live in challenged times, but I say we must adapt!

Personally I, like so many of our fellow countrymen (women?), would have much preferred if the poor, doomed ex-cleanser had been given the privilege of some serious couch time with Doctor Phil. Imagine the emotion! The feelings! Oh yes, I am almost gleeful just thinking of the possibilities!

Then, when it all becomes nearly too much we will have the privilege....yes Bo, the privilege of witnessing the great retribution from the Doc. Philtribution I call it! Boo Yah! In that outraged Texas drawl that only the good Doctor can summon for times like this he could berate the Mass Murderer - not just for his crimes - but more importantly for his POORLY LIVED LIFE. The man CHEATED ON HIS WIFE for God's sake! He didn't HUG HIS BOYS! These are his real crimes and the man is A MONSTER I TELL YOU!

Only then could the Mad Gasser really feel remorse. He'd cry, we'd cry and all of us would see that it was his fate. He didn't want to feed his subjects to the lions, he had to do it because (alas) Daddy didn't tuck him in at night. (Sniff, sniff)

Oh, Bo I weep with remorse! What have we done?! We've BECOME THE MONSTER! I can't go on with this horrible knowledge....for me life will now have no joy. Saddam, Saddam the ex-wind of Arab Greatness (as long as you didn't piss him off) didn't get the privileges typically reserved the giants of our world who go astray. Mel did, and he hates Jews too! Is poor Saddam so different? Just think, had he been born with access to better theater, he might have turned out so differently. "Die Kurd" would have just been another buddy movie. But he wasn't so lucky was he Bo?

So now what am I to do? Perhaps...just perhaps....Oprah will comfort me? I know she is busy with the orphanage and all, but I hurt and am in pain. Poor Saddam! Poor Me! We're one and the same; vile human rabble in need of serious TV couch time and scorn from well dressed and slightly bored housewives.

CAN'T YOU SEE THIS IS A CRY FOR HELP?!

X

P.S.

Gotta run! Rachel is making Gnochi with K-Fed. Scrumptious!

Outrage of the Week-2

Imagine the horror: some gallows humor broke out in Baghdad last week, and it would appear that the late Mr. Hussein was made fun of before his (not so) Long Slow Goodbye. "In an unofficial cellphone video recording that was broadcast around the world and posted on countless Web sites, Mr. Hussein is shown standing on the gallows platform with the noose around his neck at dawn on Saturday, facing a barrage of mockery and derision from unseen tormentors below the gallows."

Mockery and Derision. At a hanging, no less. I am willing to bet these same rubes would have snickered while Hitler's corpse burned, or while Goering puked up his last bit of bile. In the Era of Feelings, we presumably are supposed to actually give a crap that Mr. Hussein's feelings may have been hurt.

Moments before he was killed.

I have taken note before that we indeed live in seriously addled times, and the dearth of irony in the above quote--embedded on the front page of our nation's Paper of Record--establishes this point once again.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Outrage of the Week

Here is a child who clearly did not read my Gettysberg Address series.

Friday, December 22, 2006

In Praise of Leonard Cohen, In Praise of 2007

Many times, as I am painting, I listen to the genius that is Leonard Cohen.

Perhaps it is Cohen's nearly toxic mix of the melancholy and the poetic that draws me in. I have been told that my paintings have a similar air of poetic sadness about them. Perhaps his gravel filled voice, not unlike my own, helps gives me my artistic voice. Perhaps the fact that we are both just over 5'5" makes us naturally kindred spirits.

Perhaps, alas, and especially during this time of year, I am just some Joseph looking for a manger.

I realize my life has been nothing if not a continuing trajectory toward excellence, and would not change that life a whit. This is one effect of reading Aristotle, and taking him seriously. I realize many of my fans envy the life I have led, what with the fawning admiration of young coeds, a fighting record nearly unblemished, a body of scholarship unparalleled, and my ongoing and increasingly successful fight against the social injustice.

The only thing missing from my storybook life is, it sometimes seems, a famous blue raincoat torn at the shoulder.

In a spirit of candor, I must admit that Christmas and New Year's holidays always sadden me just abit. Having grown up an orphan, I have no family but the faithful Mr. Bo Jangles. Having lived a life so many do in fact envy, making "friends" has never been easy. Unless I am in the Octagon, most of my activities are solitary pursuits.

I readily acknowledge that it is hard to hold the hand of anyone who is reaching for the sky just to surrender.

But do think of me, my SAGE fellows, as you revel with your families and friends through the year end holidays. Use my example, perhaps, as your inspiration for your New Year's resolutions. Tip your glass in my lonely direction, remembering, always, that the rain falls down on the works of last year's man.

I shall return in 2007.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

More Bombs, More Scotch, and More Patricia Deyton-Knox Please

Bo,

My good friend, I meant "bizarre" in only the best possible sense! Surely you must realize that I meant no offense but perhaps suffered from a need to do; as you point out, thinking can get in a man's way.

I must confess, life in these Bushian times is so depressing for a man such as myself. We have far too much thinking going on and not much doing. More troops, less troops; Rumsfeld is in, Rumsfeld is out;We like the little Arab people, we hate the Arab people. Its enough to drive a man of action insane! There can be little doubt that when the festivities started we were rolling. Hell, we knew we had to do something so we just did it! We're the United Freaking States of America baby! Truly, we had the Afghany formula right; Screw with America and we bomb the shit out of your stinking little country. Why we can't seem to apply this same formula to the "insurgents" (read pissant little cowards) is far beyond my pay grade.

I've been in the D.C. situation room, I've sat in conference as some toady tried to determine if a proposed action would upset the "delicate balance". These people know nothing! They're always talking about "maintaining the balance", "the balance is so delicate", and "letting a little steam of to relieve the pressure". They never can seem to comprehend that when you're walking around with a bomb, usually the best thing to do is blow that mutha up where it's safe before it blows you up! Hell, that little toady? That bastard - right now - is trying so hard to determine the balance with such precision that he can't even see that the whole pile of shit is about to collapse on top on his sweaty little head.

Which, I guess, is a long way of saying I was projecting my professional frustration on my Fellows here at SAGE. Was I wrong to do so? Perhaps in tenor, yes. But can anyone say that my point was far from the mark? I think not. Great to see your post today, you might have a quibble with my message, but dammit Bo, you know how to come through when duty calls. I've always admired that about you.

Listen, I was thinking. That PDK chick is kinda hot when she gets a little of the old smoky elixer in her (I'm talking scotch son); you remember the night after the Seahawks won the NFC? Yes, hell of a party she threw - a most memorable night indeed. Perhaps she needs a couple hardy gents to take her to dinner and get the ole creative juices flowing.

Whaddya think, Bo?

X

Wise Words

Especially the last line: "And, Mr. President, in the absence of a terrorist attack that threatens worldwide commerce, the shopping habits of Americans are really and truly none of your business."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Call To Arms

In response to my fellow Fellows whining, I post a call to arms.

Personally I think the blog suffers from nothing other than commitment. Good Lord people it takes very little to pound out 300 words on virtually any subject there is and hit "post". We can scrap the project if you'd like and I'll reinvigorate the POH (I have a wonderful co-branding opportunity under way thanks to the prolific Mr. Smith), but this would register as something more than a moderate disappointment with me.

We've managed to assemble a stable of wildly creative (Cap'n Fritters? The Old Mule, Brookson, Patricia and that cute little guy.....I mean what the hell!) reasonably talented writers who lack one small item.

Guts! Perhaps this is because two of our founders are from an area of the country that built a monument to those with the gumption to leave, but I hate ascribe the blame to them and use the excuse solely for the opportunity to get in a stolen line from the Simpsons. The fact is that we simply need to put pen to paper and crank out the wild tales that I know we are capable of. But it's going to take a good 20 minutes a day people.

Lets face it, My Ann Coulter stuff was brilliant. Danger, guns, sex and one of America's most loathsome personalities all wrapped in to one squirm inducing tale. Hell, we even had murderous A-Rabs! Could I buy a comment to help the narrative along? Nope. Bo's Lincoln tale, while completely bizarre and not nearly as good as my effort (keep that to yourself) was terrific, yet we had trouble mounting the effort to support the guy! He even posted a picture of that drooling beast the little guy calls a companion!

The truth is, in the time it takes to type "I'm busy with work" or "I'm applying for grad school" a comment could be posted. In the time it takes to post two more excuses, some original writing can hit the web and continue our quest for an audience.

To quote the late, great John Blutarsky, "Did we quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?! No! Lets.....go! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

So there you have it folks. 353 words, 12 minutes, numerous grammatical errors but still sufficiently rousing to incite at least one of you to comment. The questions is do you have the guts?

X

Friday, December 15, 2006

Projects Best Aborted

I dabbled in a little project for the past year or so, something of a pulpy dystopian thriller--a civil war between the Reds and Blues: feminazis ally themselves with radical Muslims, homosexuals, atheists, Marxists and inner city gangstas high on crack cocaine to do battle with megacorporate cyborgs and rural Christianists brandishing shotguns and rattlesnakes, themselves cranked up on crystal meth. Largely incapable of either fending for or defending themselves, suburbanites find themselves caught in the middle, huddled in their McMansions, attempting to master backyard agriculture in order to survive (the gas tanks of their SUVs are of course empty), but are quickly dismayed to learn that their genetically modified seeds were only good for one season.

For a while it was great fun, but though it was largely a cautionary tale I eventually realized I could not possibly write such shit, and certainly no one would want to read it.

And then I learned of this. Orson, to claim your little book is an admonition to both sides regarding political fault lines is sadly disengenuous. I'm disappointed in you. If you now prefer the role of propagandist to novelist, then accept the mantle with the gusto of Mr. Hannity, and stop this incessant whining regarding your supposed ostracism from literary circles. You're welcome at my house again anytime so long as this unbecoming braying ceases.

The fact is that much of the supposed divisiveness that exists amongst our fellow citizens is manufactured and perpetrated by a tiny group of politicos whose looks and talents were insufficient for employment elsewhere in the entertainment industry. They serve up bellicose insipidity for an audience that opts for the news channels, talk radio, and blogs rather than an acerebral program elsewhere on the tee-vee or (better) proper edification via a good book. Whilst we should not risk understating the stupidity of the average American, the vast majority of the populace remains largely non-partisan and simply wishes to be left alone. If a citizen votes (a big if), it is generally for the party he or she perceives to be more likely to keep them from being bothered, whether by the government, big business or self-appointed adjudicators of morality. Such animosity as would lead to actual armed conflict exists largely in the minds of a very few. The rest of us may look with some dismay upon the yard signs displayed by our neighbors, but we nevertheless exchange pleasantries over the fence as we accept from them a sackful of rhubarb in exchange for zucchini. Which is why, in the end, such works as Orson's do serve a momentary purpose before they become dated curiosities, unintelligible to anyone happening upon them a few years hence: they shock us out of the now. And then they go in the trash.