Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is a live action version of The Aristocrats. I can see why it's supposed to be funny, but, for the most part, it's just shocking.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Forgive Me, Blogger, For I Have Sinned

I have put off blogging for the last couple of days, because Blogger pissed me off.*

I hope that sounds odd. I meant it to sound odd. But it probably doesn't to anyone reading this, because it is a virtuial certainty that anyone reading this uses Blogger, and, thus, has at some point or another, had difficulty. That I get "pissed off" when I have difficulty with it is not, I think, a personality flaw. Rather it is my natural reaction when something that has been purposely designed to aid and abett a particular activity functions to make that activity difficult if not impossible.

Share and enjoy!

*I tried to create a post including pictures, not knowing-- silly me!!!-- that Blogger would decide to put the pictures wherever it damned well wanted, that Blogger will not copy text, and that it would decide that, since the last thing I pasted in (by mistake, since Blogger refused to copy text and thus pasted in the last thing I had copied) was a link, everything I typed in after that should be a link, first to the Snopes website, and then to the Blogger picture finder, and that when I wanted to recover the post I thought I had copied, what I really wanted was the link to the blogger picture finder. Share and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

"How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed?"

--Dashiel Hammet
We are living in a strange age.
An age in which people can wail and moan and cry disaster over the meagerest of crimes. An age in which maelstroms become touchstones for those looking to touch the general public for a share of their funds. An age in which charity is corporate profit.
But the strangest thing about this age, which has the advantage of being so far removed from the effects and reasonings of a major war, is not the outrage that foments-- not ferments, foments, a word that the rest of the world seems to have forgotten to use-- over actions that, in any other war, any real war, would simply fade into the background of general brutality and insanity. I like that outrage. It's silly at times, it's stupid at times, but it gives me a general feeling of optimism, like maybe we are approaching an age where even idiots* know that war is wrong and stupid.
No, the strangest thing is that there seem to have been put in place agents whose job it is to stir up whatever vestiges of the perverse and dirty-minded there are out there who still think that war, or better yet, war based on racism, is a good thing. My personal exposure to that is chronicled elsewhere, in connection to incidents which, now that they are years behind me, I do not desire to dredge up. But recently I got a glimpse of what they're up to.
It happened when I went to investigate a commentator to one of my wife's blog entries. Since I have sworn an oath of secrecy to the identity of the blog-- she wishes it to remain anonymous-- I will refrain from divulging the supposed name of the commentator, but for the purposes of this description I will give him the pseudonym "Willie Flogger."
Willie's comment was both obtuse and flirtatious, and it was probably due to the second nature of the comment that I looked the bastard up. The first blush investigation revealed two blog entries, one entreating bloggers to turn off their spam blockers so as to not limit their exposure to popularity, the second entreating them to subscribe to a spammer service that, he claimed, would guarantee that millions upon millions of netizens would visit their blogs.
It sounded like bullshit, so I decided to look one layer deeper in, see if this Willie Flogger person was actually a person.
The next post I ran across said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "40,000 dead in India and Pakistan? Good! It serves them right, the Muslim bastards, they sleep in tents anyways!"
I kid you not. The logic was that stunning.
I have concluded that Willie Flogger is a dog. That is to say: he is not an actual human being. He is one of a number of old Crays that were bought at a discount by the John Locke Society, programmed to spew hateful rhetoric out onto the net under the cover of concocted personas in the hopes of uncovering the callous, mean-spirited, bloodthirsty racist in all of us, somehow believing that these traits are what has been lost in the American spirit, and that if we are to return to times of greatness and glory, we must unleash our inner idgits and get down to some ol' fashioned lynching! Today in Iraq, tomorrow, Poughkeepsie!
And so, Willie Flogger-- if that is your real name-- we all know you're out there. And most of us don't care.
So there.
*cf. the Admin.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mean People Suck.

Harold Pinter was announced as the winner of the Nobel for Lit this morning.

This is from the Beeb's online feed:

"Pinter, 75, whose plays include The Birthday Party and Betrayal, was announced as the winner of the $1.3m (£723,000) cash prize on Thursday.

"The Nobel academy said Pinter's work 'uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms'.

"Pinter is widely regarded as the UK's greatest living playwright."

I hate Pinter.

I have always hated Pinter, to the point that I can't even tell you which plays I force-fed myself in college when I kept reading that he stripped away the pretense and bared the human soul. From what I read, Pinter thinks-- call it that-- that people are essentially mean-spirited and deserve comeuppancee above all else. The monsters he drew, however, bear little resemblance to the vast majority of people I know, and believe me, I am no Pollyanna. Most people are transparent to me, I see right through them; their faults are thrown into sharp relief. This includes Pinter. He realized, early on, that he could make name and reputation out of cruelty humor cast as intellectual investigation. He wrote the Dallas of theater.

He also tried to cast America as the Fourth Reich. Schmuck. Doesn't he know our President is a dumbass? His shady operative shitheads? The corridors of power currently filled with fluffernutters who couldn't find their assholes with both hands? Harry should learn to think before he writes. Fourth Reich my ass.

Hell, Harry ought to learn to think. Makes me wish Sartre were still around.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Noodling Around

I found myself, having finished a fourth chapter for a sci-fi book I'm working on (writing, not reading), as well as having finished a bowl of Ramen noodles, I found myself thinking "I should blog." Then wondering if there was any merit in thinking one should blog. Then thinking "I should blog about noodles!"

Noodles, the Ramen kind, are one of my favorite things ever. I learned about them early, as my frugal mother figured that Ramen noodles were something that her kids could make for themselves, and for many years they were a constant in my diet. I didn't have them for about four years, during college, when I ate almost exclusively in the RDH, except in the summers, which I spent at home. By the time I entered Grad School, the Ramen Revelation was at hand: the rest of the student world had realized that Ramen noodles were something they could get for six or eight packets a buck, and terrible and unnatural things started happening. People were claiming they made THE best Ramen noodles, loaded up with cheese, tuna fish, potato chips, shoestring potatoes, rice, onions, tomatoes, and Cap'n Crunch.

I didn't say anything at the time, but I remember feeling a shudder in my soul. That's just wrong.

Not that I'm a purist, by any means. I am pretty bad about adding soy sauce to my noodles, which is to say that I do it every time and I add what is probably, technically, too much. I also have had-- and, I'm sure, will have-- alot of fun dumping things into the broth after cooking the noodles. My favorites so far include scallions, leeks, and shallot. (One or two extra ingredients is, I think, enough.) But once you start adding tuna fish and cheese, well, dammit! On top of which, by the time you do that, you're defeated the thing that made Ramens famous in the student world, which is the cheapness.

This comes to mind after the revelation that the shallot for sale in our area, currently, are the size of walnuts and are being sold at $4.99 each. This, too, is simply not right.

Another revelation that comes to hand is this: the vast difference between tuna and tuna fish. Tuna is the red fleshy stuff you get from a fishmonger, the raw flesh of a large fish. Tuna fish is the gray-white, mealy, salty crap that comes in the Starkist can, the cooked, processed fish bits that come from God knows where and is only good when mixed 3:1 with mayonnaise. (Although, admittedly, many things are good when mixed 3:1 with mayo.) I don't mean to come off here as a foodie snob here, just to note that there's a vast difference between the two.

$4.99, for bulbs the size of my . . . the size of a walnut! Medium sized walnuts, too, not the jumbos. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark . . .

Sunday, October 09, 2005


So we went and watched the Wallace & Grommet movie yesterday, with the result that Jerry Lee has seen Wallace & Grommet. I don't mean to say that it wasn't good; it was, funny and charming and witty, but I have to say that ninety minutes of Wallace & Grommet is about as much as I can stand in one sitting. Again, nothing against Wallace & Grommet. I mean to say this is a personal failing if anything: it struck me as too single-note, which probably means that I am missing something.

speaking missing something, we will be taking a walk downtown today. Charlotte--- where I'm blogging from, Charlotte, NC, my home town-- has, in recent years, developed a few features that make the downtown area fairly pedestrian-friendly, including several interesting parks, walk-don't-walk signs that chirp at you, fountains that kids can fiddle with, and, paradoxically, a trolley line.

Now the trolley line, in addition to providing controversy in several areas-- not the least of which has been the appellation, "trolley," which has provided many Charlotte oldsters and quasi-historians to make the specious claim "We never called 'em trolleys! Thems was STREETCARS!!!!"-- has also provided a paved path along it's route, which so far extends front he area now known as South End (Since 1995!) to the Northern extent of Downtown Proper, by which I mean that part of downtown where we have to stop kidding ourselves and admit that only bailbondsmen and surface parking lots flourish here. Now, of course, to say such a thing is sacrilege in my World Class City, but so is calling it Downtown-- "It's UPTOWN, dad-blammit! UPTOWN!!!" (The same way it's the Center City if you mean to include the upper west side, and the steaming trickle of cultural offal that passes for and "Arts District" is called No Da, short for North end of Davidson Street, where the whole "scene" was forcibly relocated from the Downtown area, where it was flourishing passably, to a "revitalization" area around 36th Street, where it is languishing, although languishing fashionably.) This route will take us past one of the city's most recent controversies: The ImagineOn project. This was supposed to be a cheery looking building housing both a library and a children's center where creativity and learning go hand in hand! Of course, the schmucks who planned the thing (and, to be fair, there were schmucketts involved as well) were the kind of people who assumed that creativity and learning don't go hand in hand unless forced to, so it shouldn't come as any real surprise that the finished building looks like an abandoned piece of industrial offal.

Or at least it did the last five times I saw it, which was before construction was complete. It could be that they have tarted it up since I last saw it, made it look less like a cross between a truck stop, an aluminum extruding plant, and a cut-rate airplane hangar, and more like something that was make out of a child's building-blocks. (Which, judging by the archictectural renderings I've seen, must be what they had in mind.) And it could be that they have some decent programs, something that might offer actual value and life-experience for the younger generation.

But I have to admit, I have my biases, and the deck is stacked against this project as far as I'm concerned. They will have to prove the project's worth to me. Until they do, the thing will be known to those who know me as The Imaginarium.

PS: Spellchecker news: used the spellchecker on the latest installment of this blog, and it turns out that the Blogger spellchecker does not recognize the word "schmucks," offering as a substitute the word "schmuck," implying, I suppose, that the Blogger assumes there would only be one schmuck in any given room. It also, of course, didn't recognize "schmuckettes," providing, as the nearest reasonable match, "Schenectady." Of course, the most obvious word the Blogger spellchecker doesn't recognize is, obviously, necessarily, as a matter of course, the word "blog."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

There is no Joy in Bloggville

OK. My second day on Blogger, and here's the news so far:

My wife alerted me to some typos in the first post, which is also to serve as an introduction. I went in, edited the text, saved and published, and Blogger wiped the text of the post AND the edits I made to the template YESTERDAY.

After about ten minutes of dedicated cursing and flailing about, I got the text and template changes restored, the latter, of course, requiring re-keying by hand, and having gone to assure myself that all was well, I noticed that I now had 3 comments to the first entry.

3 comments! YAY! So I checked them out. One, of course, was the Wifey. One, of course, was Doc Nagel. And the third, of course, was a SPAM. And it didn't even want to sell me good drugs!!!

Bobo the Blogger may not be long for this world.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Introduction

My actual name is Jim Williams. My childhood friends and my Mom called me Jimmy, and some still do. When I was in college, one of my pals rented a semi-soft-porn flick called Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, strictly on the grounds that one of the players, listed in the credits, was named Jimmy Williams.

Jimmy Williams played a bit part as a trucker in a bar who gets set up by one of the chainsaw hookers, whose idea of a come on is to try to humiliate him by making fun of his name. ("What's your name?" "Beau." "Beau as in 'Bo-Bo?" "No," the character insisted, quite insulted, "Beau as in BO.") So, naturally, after that evening Bobo became one of my less wieldy, and thus rarely used, nicknames.

When I was in Grad school, I wrote a poem called "The Saga of Bobo, the Wandering Pallbearer." The title was a goof on a book my Ishmael Reed, The Free-Lance Pallbearers, the central gag being that a wander pallbearer isn't of very much use. (There's only one of him, you see.) In the poem, my alter ego Bobo is stumbled upon in the desert by a young Jewess. When she finds him, he is buried to his waist in the sand. Taking her presence as encouragement, Our Hero starts struggling to free himself. (There is no indication of how he got in this predicament; the poem is painfully short on exposition.) He eventually manages to free one leg, but in doing so he puts himself in an awkward position as is unabel to continue to struggle free. He looks to the girl for help, and she signals that she cannot be of help to him by showing him her knish. It might not make any sense now, but at the time seemed to be a quite apt metaphor for a failed relationship I had just had while ensconced in a grad school program I didn't feel comfortable with.

The poem never saw the light of day. The girl I wrote it (partly) about read it and failed to identify herself in it. I mailed a copy to Dog Nagel, and he quite liked it. He uses it as a nickname for me to this day, usually as a mark of derision. I think I might have sent a copy off to one of the Illiteratti, the writers' group workshopping folks I hung out with while at college, but I could be wrong about that.

So there you have it: The Saga of Bobo, the Wandering Pallbearer. I know. But why does anyone do anything?