Friday, February 25, 2005

mo blog

H07, Will Robinson
The wife and I sat down on the couch the other night to watch HAMMER (with Fred Williamson) and SUPERSIZE ME (with Vin Diesel, I think), but when we put the former disc into good old Panasonic RV22, it stopped, and displayed the mysterious message: “H07.” Same occurred when we inserted the latter disc, and another from our collection. Disappointed, we turned to the VCR and a viewing of DRACULA’S DAUGHTER, from our personal collection. Excellent movie, by the way. About vampires.

Today, at the urging of my wife, I applied Google liberally to “H07,” and found dozens of complaints from people whose Panasonic DVD players had stopped working, shortly after their warranties expired. The disc drive just dies, apparently. It can be revived with WD-40, briefly, but for all intents and purposes it is an undead machine.

If you’re thinking of buying a Panasonic DVD player, in other words, don’t. At least I only paid fifty bucks for it, and it worked fine for two years.

I went to the dentist, thinking I’d lost a filling, but instead, I found I had a fractured tooth, which was extracted. The dentist informed me that my mouth had been emitting a warning message, “H07.” And I didn’t even have a warranty!

In other news:
From the New York Times: “Kansas Prosecutor Demands Files on Late-Term Abortion Patients.”

From the article: “Attorney General Phill Kline, a Republican, said that he needs the information to prosecute criminal cases.”

Uh-huh. Sure he does. Suuuure he does.

Fiendish old people.
NextUSA, a conservative organization allegedly composed of the same folks who did the infamous Swift Boat ads, has targeted AARP, which opposes privatizing social security. Its ad shows a soldier with red “X” over him on one side, two men kissing on the other, and the caption: “The REAL AARP Agenda.”

At least the retired folks are too old to have abortions. They’d probably just have them right and left, in between bridge games, and scraping money together for medications.

Oscar malaise
The New York Times has also informed me that Hollywood is experiencing “Oscar fatigue.” A spokesman for the academy told the Times, an academy spokesman, John Pavlik, who acknowledged an active discussion of the issue in his organization. "How often can you see the same person win the same award and not be fatigued by it?"

You want fatigue? Kill that person winning the same award, and drag his body across the Mojave Desert, that’ll give you fatigue. Watching the Oscars is not, by any stretch of the imagination, fatiguing. What it is, is boring. Boredom and fatigue are not the same thing.

Oh, the Chris Rock controversy? There is no controversy! It was just something Matt Drudge wanted to generate, for reasons known only to him. I predict Chris Rock too will be boring. I will however avoid fatigue and follow my usual practice of not watching the Oscars.

Duck’s Breath
The Duck’s Breath web site is up.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


So I was unfurling my “Democrats: Buncha Big Ol’ Flag-Mangling Traitors,” and pondering the words of a a fellow I met last Friday. Of a liberal bent, he confessed to being “disoriented” by the modern world. Hey, I hear that! No wonder Hunter Thompson ate his gun. Well, the drugs probably had something to do with it. And the fact that he’s been coasting (in a daze) on his reputation for, oh, thirty years or so.

I wandered over to Liberal Quicksand, where I found this:

“…They do not know it or accept it, but liberals are traitors to this nation…. John Kerry actually said in his campaign, ‘I want to make sure we have judges who interpret the Constitution of the United States according to the law.’ This is a 20 - year Senator running for president speaking. As usual, liberals are 180 degrees out of sync. Judges are suppose (sic) to interpret a law according to the Constitution! The liberals know this of course, which is precisely why they are traitors.”

Of course! The Internet is shot through with this sort of thing. Take a nit, pick it, and come to the conclusion that your opponent should be shot. Not by you, of course, you’re a reasonable person. But by somebody.

Then there’s New York GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik, who said last week that "the Democrats simply have refused to learn the lessons of the past two election cycles, and now they can be accurately called the party of Barbara Boxer, Lynne Stewart and Howard Dean.”

Well, I suppose that’s accurate, assuming that Lynne Stewart is a registered Democrat. She is the attorney who defended the “blind sheik,” who masterminded the first World Trade Center attack. She was recently convicted of aiding terrorism because she passed along messages from her client to other people, some of which may have had propaganda value. Thin gruel, if you ask me. But that’s the subsistence on which the soldiers of the culture war abide.

They call me Churchill, Ward Churchill.
Poor sap. He thought because he was tenured, he could say any goddam thing that popped into his head. What an idiot.

See, the thing is, free speech only works as long as you’re cool (Hunter Thompson). And by free speech, of course, I mean speech that is offensive, abusive, pornographic, rude, and politically incorrect, or correct, depending.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Shrink Blog

Psychology in the news!
Psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis have just published a study in SCIENCE Magazine, suggesting – the way scientists do – that human beings might actually have a sixth sense, warning us of trouble. Of course, being scientists, they do not attribute this sixth sense to a higher power, or a mystical process, but to the anterior cingulate cortex, which is apparently part of the brain. Who knew? Speaking personally, you had me at medulla oblongata.

And there’s a new book out, called The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness and (a Lot of) Success in America, by John D. Gartner, a psychotherapist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School.

Crazy Rich
Its thesis is that the rich are indeed different from you and me: they’re nuts. Specifically, they’re hypomanics. Gartner writes, "Hypomanics are brimming with infectious energy, irrational confidence, and really big ideas. They think, talk, move, and make decisions quickly. Anyone who slows them down with questions 'just doesn't get it.' " Sounds like a White House Press Conference.

According to Slate Magazine, Gartner posits that we all be crazy. Perhaps “this nation of immigrants has a gene pool of hypomanics.” Americans may be "culturally and genetically predisposed to economic risk." That’s why I’m broke. It’s not my fault!

Meanwhile back at the zoo…
In the “Bad gorilla, no banana” department, it has come over the wires that two women are suing the foundation that cares for the famous gorilla Koko. According to Reuters, their lawyers claim “they were fired for refusing to show the animal their breasts.”

Yes, the lawsuit claims that "Through sign language… Koko 'demanded' plaintiffs remove their clothing and show Koko their breasts."

The mediary for this demand was president of the Gorilla Foundation, Francine Patterson, who interpreted Koko’s sign language, and – according to the lawsuit – “often discussed her employees' breasts with Koko.”

As I understand it, Koko’s vocabulary consists of roughly 1,000 words, which may be massive for a gorilla, but kind of skimpy if you’re going to have a breast discussion. At least that’s been my experience.

The suit also alleges that "On one ,,, occasion, Patterson said, 'Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples. I will turn my back so Kendra can show you her nipples.’"

Poor bored Koko. Now, there was a restored scene in the original KING KONG, in which the Fay Wray-obsessed giant gorilla holds her in the palm of his hand, and gently removes her clothing, while gazing at at her lovingly. Has Koko seen this movie? You know, monkey see, monkey do.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Bill O'Reilly BLog, Kind Of

John Grimmis Responds to His Critic
People are certainly entitled to their opinions, but they should confine them to books, and not the people who wrote them. I should expect such ad hominem claptrap, I suppose, from the left wing “Internet.” Still, one sighs. One shudders. One fears for America, and its new climate of hatchet jobs, meanspirited “blogs,” and cheap shots.

My television talk show, GRIMMIS IN YOUR FACE, is watched by millions on a daily basis. It is not only not “…a sucky new front in the culture wars” as your (anonymous) critic so crudely puts it, it is an island of civility in a sea of snide discourse. And John Grimmis is the lone Crusoe gathering like-minded Fridays into the fold.

Yes, I did once punch a hippie on the air, but I was only fulfilling the dreams of millions. I had given her every opportunity to talk turkey, make sense, make her case. She would not stay on message, something snapped, and I clocked her. I’m neither proud nor ashamed of this action. But it certainly was not “totally wack,” as your mindless critic put it.

But even if it was, what on earth does that have to do with my book? It certainly echoes themes from my show, but NOW WHAT, AMERICA? is not only a whole different genre, it reinvents that genre.

I find it interesting that your critic chooses to indulge in character assassination rather than treat my concept of Novelifactualization with the seriousness it deserves. And I spend eighteen pages explaining it! Briefly, Novelifactualization is a process whereby I turn fiction into fact, and vice versa. Nowhere does your critic even mention this.

Instead he accuses me of being “scary incoherent.” Where is your evidence? If I am a pioneer in a genre of my own invention, how can there possibly be judgment on how well I handle it? Your ignorance is shameful.

As Nabokov famously said to Thoreau before their final falling out at Finland Station, “If there is a trout in the milk, it is because I put it there.” But no, you lefties always fall back on name-calling when confronted with ideas your feeble brains can’t comprehend. You heard me right, you pussy. I’d like to get you alone in one of those crack-infested alleys you liberals help to foster, you sonofabitch. But I digress.

As my character/composite, Brick Randall, puts it to the treasonous President in Chapter Two: “When the bell rings, friend, somebody’s gonna be toast, and my fingers aren’t gonna be part of the sandwich.” In other words, you can try to lay a glove on me, but your blows are as drifting feathers tickling my face after a childish pillow fight. I remain on the best seller lists, despite your quibbles.

Yes, I am friends with Newt Gingrich, but I am also on a first name basis with many Democratic party operatives. I am independent and blunt. I can be a nice guy, as any of my ex-wives will attest, but if I am disrespected, I can be the howling wind that destroyed Gomorrah, Krakatoa, and other treacherous regions.

Yet I am unfailingly polite. Even as my fists fall upon you like the twin hammers of God, you will note my soft murmurs of apology. That’s the kind of guy I am. Mano a mano, even stupid activists and trial lawyers learn to respect me. And perhaps, someday, I will learn to respect them, if they ever open their goddam ears to the truth.

A careful reading of NOW WHAT, AMERICA? reveals that it is the one true book, immune to criticism, carping, and sarcasm. The sooner you unrepentant name-calling neo-Marxist scum realize this, the happier John Grimmis will be. After all, what’s the alternative? A socialist state is what. But that would make YOU happy, wouldn’t it?

Words cannot contain my spite. John Grimmis has tried, but his spite is too unwieldy for the basket of language. And whose fault is that? Yours. I have done my best. I can do no more. I’m loosening my necktie, and walking sadly away. Shaking my head slowly from side to side. Gazing down.

And don’t try to coldcock me from behind, you bastard. I have eyes in the back of my head. I give up on you. You are dead to me. Buy my book!

Thursday, February 17, 2005


I was on a very crowded bus, stopped, when I heard a commotion in front of me, the participants of which I could not see.

A man was saying, sarcastically, “That’s right, take the seat. Even though there’s nothing wrong with you.”

The person he was scorning said something which I could not hear.

The man responded: “The moral values in this fucking city!”

A few moments later, the bus moved on. Looking out the rear door window, I saw a very large man in an Hawaiian shirt, holding a very large toddler gazing angrily down the street. A very large pre-teen boy stood beside them, looking embarrassed.

My take: red stater visits blue state, finds himself disappointed.

Walking home with my wife, we saw a gaggle of skateboarding boys (five, count ‘em, five) were practicing stunts at the 23rd and Irving N-Judah stop, which has a raised concrete platform, perfect for skateboarding antics.

I was amused to see one of them almost fall off his board as we walked by.

Gloria, the gypsy psychic, who lives and works just across from the Muni stop, was predictably glaring out her window at the young people. A car drove by, trying to get through the milling kids, and honked its horn.

As it slowed, and then passed by, a white kid lifted his head, and muttered, “Fuck you honky.”

My take: young honky is living in denial of his own honkiness.

But remember: skateboarding is not a crime.

I was ahead of the curve, MSM-wise, but behind the curve, blog-wise, when I made my (hopefully) snarky remarks about Jack Gannon recently. I am extremely interested to see where this goes, if anywhere. Gay hooker/fake reporter: what is up with that?

This launches on Monday. Please go there.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

blog o' blogs

Another one bites the dust.
An interceptor rocket, launched last Sunday from Alaska, refused to leave its pad. Spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency, Richard Lehner, blamed a ground-support equipment failure this time, and not the rocket itself. This is the third failure in a row. Each test sets us back about $85 million.

England in the news!
According to the Guardian, microchips are placed in new garbage bins in south London, so the local council “can judge whether they are producing too much rubbish.” That’s all we need – bureaucrats peering into our garbage. Yes, I did drink all that beer. Want to make something of it?

Chris Rocks!
According to the Drudge Report, the Academy is a little worried that Chris Rock may be too controversial to host the incredibly boring Oscar ceremonies.

As part of his “club routine,” Rock is alleged to have said, "Abortion, it's beautiful, it's beautiful abortion is legal. I love going to an abortion rally to pick up women, cause you know they are f**king." This is offensive, I suppose, if you’re easily offended, in which case, you probably wouldn’t attend a Chris Rock routine in the first place.

According to Drudge, Rock also declared (to whom, he does not say), "I never watched the Oscars. Come on, it's a fashion show. What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars? Show me one!"

And he added: "Awards for art are f**king idiotic."

Hey, if he’s hosting, I might even watch the Oscars this year.

Newspapers in trouble!
CNET lets us know that: “Free community Web site Craigslist has cost San Francisco Bay Area newspapers up to $65 million in employment advertising revenue, according to a report released Monday.”

So that’s why they don’t publish me! They can’t afford me! Will Craigslist publish me? No, because it’s the fucking internet (excuse me, make that f**king internet), where everything is free, man! It’s changing the world!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Blogged to extinction

Two journalists down, how many to go?
Eason Jordan, the chief news executive at CNN, resigned Friday, following protest over his remarks in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Mr. Jordan apparently told the assembled that the United States military had deliberately killed 12 journalists.

Bloggers were on this story like fleas on a dog, and the New York Times today said “bloggers have laid claim to a prominent media career for the second time in five months,” the first one being Jack Gannon's, who resigned from Talon News, when bloggers discovered that Jack Gannon wasn’t his real name, and Talon News is apparently just a Republican front. Bloggers became suspicious of Gannon when he asked President Bush at a press conference how he was going to work with Democrats, because they are “people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality.” Neither journalist seems to have been operating under high standards of objectivity.

Blogospheroids are in the habit of referring to mainstream media as “MSM,” because without acronyms, we are nothing.

This is Dirty Harry, we’re talking about, right?
Now Clint Eastwood is going down, man. That pinko is history!

Rush Limbaugh has called his movie, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, "liberal propaganda," because it supposedly endorses euthanasia. Michael Medved’s opinion of the movie? “Hate is not too strong a word.” Conservative Debbie Schlussel called the movie a “left-wing diatribe.” I thought it was a boxing picture. What do I know? And why don’t these idiots just throw popcorn at the screen like normal people?

New Study!
A new study claims that lobsters don’t feel pain. Pity. Personally, I want them to suffer before I eat them.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

You Bloggin' To Me?

Taxi Driver II
I am an avid, if ironic fan of gossip, and am all-twitter (laconically) over the news that Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro may team up to do a sequel to TAXI DRIVER. The first one ended, as I recall, with poor Travis Bickle running amok in the hope that he would commit “suicide by lowlife pimp,” and save an innocent life in the process. Instead, he became a hero, though (it’s implied) he is still dangerously crazy with a growing black hole where his social skills ought to be.
So what will become of him in the sequel? I think perhaps he should run for office, nothing too grand, perhaps a city supervisor or councilman, some position where a lack of social graces is considered an electable quality.

I don’t know what the plot would be – something to do with “No Child Left Behind,” perhaps, in which Councilman Bickle is asked to intercede for a child (Dakota Fanning) who’s slowly being driven insane with stress and boredom, from the constant cramming for pointless tests. Bickle falls in love with the mother (Mary-Kate Olsen), and decides to take out the Secretary of Education (Jeff Bridges).

At the last minute he gets cold feet, and instead enlists the aid of a homeless coalition (Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, David Carradine, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christopher Walken) who put together an alternative to public education, broker peace in Iraq, and the rest of the mid-East, and then beat a pimp (John Leguizamo) to death with baseball bats. The movie ends with them getting awards and applause, kind of like the first STAR WARS.

Unique Americans
Last Friday, promoting his lamebrain social security reform in Omaha, President Bush met Mary Mornin, divorced mother of three (including a “mentally challenged” son).

Ms. Mornin volunteered the information that she was working three jobs, to which President Bush responded: “You work three jobs?”

Ms. Mornin: “Three jobs, yes.”

President Bush: “Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that.”

It’s so great when American choose to work three jobs, isn’t it?

Our creepy world.
Apple is suing a guy for announcing on his web site the products that he surmised Apple would offer. Those lovable hippies at Apple sure are litigious!

On the other side of the aisle, Microsoft has announced plans to purchase Sybari, which makes anti-virus software. This will probably enable Microsoft to charge its customers more to get rid of the viruses that the flaws in Explorer made possible in the first place.

If we DON’T get viruses, will Microsoft sue us?

Monday, February 07, 2005

And another thing....

Blog clots
Don’t get me wrong, I love my blog, but it is NEVER going to make me money (somebody, please, prove me wrong?). The media blather about blog “influence” seems to me just wishful thinking on bloggers’ parts and half-hearted paranoia (and its accompanying self-importance) on the part of the media.

Remember Video? Back in the eighties, network television was going to be replaced by a kind of roll-your-own do-it-yourself video revolution. What happened? Well, we still have local cable access shows, some of which have a camp appeal, but the networks stagger on, despite the hippies.

Now there’s “podcasting.” Webbers and webbies are creating their own shows which listeners can download to their iPods. Apparently there are hundreds of these shows out there. Their appeal, according to the Associated Press, is that “ unlike traditional radio, shows can be easily paused, rewound or fast-forwarded. The listener doesn't need to be near a PC, unlike most forms of Internet radio.”

Well, I seldom listen to stuff on my computer, unless it’s something sent to me as a joke. I don’t own an iPod. And I kind of like listening to the radio, because you DON’T know what you’re going to hear next. If everything we watch, read, or hear is just a reflection of what we’ve watched, read, or heard yesterday, well, aren’t we doing to ourselves what mass media already does? Why do their work for us?

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Super. Just Super.

Super Bowl Mania
I’m trying to feel the Super Bowl excitement. Well, okay I’m not. I’ve always hated professional football, and the Superbowl can actually make me physically ill. There’s something about the white noise of the crowd, the constant chatter of the announcers, and the pointless spectacle of large men I don’t know smashing into each other in an effort to increase income for themselves and their respective teams, only to be washed up at thirty-five with wobbly kneecaps, no job prospects, and no social security to look forward to. Fun!

Social Security
I’m trying to feel the Social Security reform excitement. But I have a hunch that besides young people who can afford not to worry about what’s going to happen financially when they’re 65, the only people really excited about Social Security reform are investment bankers, who are hovering around that pile of cash like the Mafia and a union fund.

A public transportation moment
I was on the crowded train with my groceries at my feet, when the train came to a stop and a wizened Chinese man moved to get off. I bent over to move my groceries, but the man stepped over them, then turned back to me, waggled a finger at me and said, “Eh! Stupid guy!”

Bar sinister codes?
In an effort to stem organ theft from corpses, UC Berkeley is considering the installation of bar codes or radio frequency devices on cadavers.

Speaking of corpses, California (always on the cutting edge) recently passed a law making necrophilia illegal.

Duck’s Breath dvd news
We are about to launch our very own web site with just OODLES of fun stuff on it, and a chance to order our DVD (of course). This space will keep you informed.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Fetch, Blog, Fetch

Jesus, is he still alive?
Jesse Helms, objecting to Bill Clinton’s appointment as the UN’s tsunami reconstruction go-to guy, called him a ”left-wing, undisciplined and ethically challenged former President of the United States,” in a letter trying to raise funds for his senatorial library. Message: know your constituents.

Nepal and…
The king of Nepal has apparently put most of the government under house arrest in an effort to… thwart Maoist insurgents. Wow. I didn’t even know there were Maoists out there any more.

In the meantime, an election occurred in Iraq that went much better than feared. Hooray! A comparison between that election and the Vietnam election of 1967 has been making the e-mail rounds (a comparison refuted earlier this week by my favorite crank, Christopher Hitchens, in Slate). Well, it’s too soon to tell. Many would like to believe that the Bush administration really knows what it’s doing. I am not one of that number.

Dean Dean Dean!
Howard Dean may become the head of the Democratic National Committee. This is either scary or heartening.

Homeland Security
Drudge has broken a story which is supposed to appear in the Washington Post tomorrow that the Department of Homeland Security is plagued by “personality conflicts, bureaucratic bottlenecks and an atmosphere of demoralization.” Personally, I think it could probably all be fixed with duct tape.

Deep in the heart…
There was a recent study of the high school abstinence program in Texas. From Reuters: “The study showed about 23 percent of ninth-grade girls, typically 13 to 14 years old, had sex before receiving abstinence education. After taking the course, 29 percent of the girls in the same group said they had had sex.” Abstinence, therefore, must be an aphrodisiac. Q.E.D.