You ever just want to say fuck it?

Once I slapped my imagination on my back like a pair of feathered wings held tight with wax, and soared up high toward my Apollonian muse without a single cold hard logic otherwise. But the closer I came the farther I was and you know the story: the wax melted away until the wings flew off and I was plunged back down to the cold hard sick world.

And on the way down I said "fuck it," because it was worth every rushed second toward the inevitable cessation of all knowing. Because what is there to know really, except for the flights and fancies of imagination and our own death?

My dad has been at war for four months now, but it feels much longer. He was my best friend, my father. We would have our days together, but now we can’t since he is fighting for you and me.

I think my dad is doing something really important. I’m very proud of him. Sometimes I wish he was here, but I’m glad he is fighting for the United States. I’m very happy he’s my father.

My dad was at Fort Leanerde Wood, Missouri. The base has a library, movie theater, a museum, and housing. It’s like a mini-town. I think my dad does amazing things, but this is the best.



written by a fifth grade girl in emotional response to her father being away during wartime in the Persian Gulf.

A Plea for Creativity

This is a word of advice to all those currently enrolled, or that will be enrolled in a Writing Fiction class. For the sanity of your fellow classmates, take advantage of this class and actually write fiction. Play with ideas and use your brain. This is the best opportunity you may ever have for this type of outlet.

Why the anger? The semester is nearly over and it's been a sheer and utter disappointment. Entering this class I looked forward to experimenting with some ideas bouncing around in my head. I'd taken Creative Nonfiction the semester before and was exhausted of writing about myself, my family, etc. It was time for a change. Being a business major has virtually eliminated all creative outlets, specifically those involving composition. What has the result been? We've had to workshop each other papers, so let me break down the 16 "Fiction" stories I've read so far. They can be generalized into 4 basic groups.

  • It's the 6th grade, and my best friend and I are having a fight!
  • Here's a fight my girlfriend and I had in high school, let me just rename the characters.
  • I once had this really dull job when I was 16, no wait, I mean the main character "Franchesco" did.
  • I think the captain of the football team likes me!
  • This is what I've dealt with so far. Now, I can't be condescending and claim to be a better writer than they are. I'm terrible. My grammar is all over the place (a byproduct of not having read an entire book until sophomore year of college). My verb tense has problems, I keep placing the -s on the wrong words. at least I'm trying to make the story interesting to my reader. That being said, they're writing about their own monotonaus lives and changing the names (usually, there have been instances when they used their own name though). So far my two stories have dealt with an alcoholic committing suicide and an interracial couple facing racism from the parents of the boy (the girl dies at the end). Admittedly, my stories are a bit dark, to a point of almost being laughable. Someone always dies even if it isn't necessary for the story to evolve. It's simply an attempt to try something new, so why can't they? How can there be 15 English majors, and the one business major is the only writer putting some effort in conception and not just composition. On behalf of your future or current classmates, I beg you, use some creativity!

    I met with my new surgeon on Monday. There are some hard times ahead, but when it's all over I should have my life back. Here's what's going to happen: I go in for surgery on May 13, 2003. The doctor will cut into the closed-off portions of intestines that have caused me so much trouble and attempt to open them up. Other sections that are beyond repair will be removed, if possible. This will require one week in the hospital and then several weeks at home in bed. So right now until the surgery date I just have to hang in there and keep hydrated. I've had to postpone another class, leaving me with two now, and I haven't been to work in two weeks.

    I also made an unpleasant discovery today: at some point recently the company that makes Ensure, my only source of nutrition lately, began adding whey to the formula and this has been the source of my continued worsening condition. I can't digest milk products when I'm healthy, let alone when I'm all messed up inside.

    On the bright side, I never liked Ensure anyways. Good riddance.

    Gotta clean today...

    I won't even pretend to be happy about it, but the house is a bit of a sty and it is being valued by the bank in approximately 2 hours... I suppose that should be all the motivation I need to seduce the broom into a quick dance, but it's still hard...

    As one last desperate attempt to procrastinate as much as possible I give you this: My plan of attack. Who knows, it may inspire y'all to clean up your collective acts as well (not that I'm saying you're untidy at all). More likely I will just get downvoted eh... at least I'm not cleaning :)

    Probably the most important thing to do right off the bat is to get some atmosphere happenin...So my first act will be to get some tunes pumpin to speed things up (amphetamines would be better were I not the clean living individual that I am...).
    Next I will procure a large sized Garbage bag (hopefully) found in the cupboard. Into this I will shovel all of the leftover McDonalds packaging, Corona bottles and other assorted rubbish items. On the way I will put the remotes and Xbox controlers in their proper places as well.
    Ok should be pretty tidy at this point (not yet clean). My next move will be to sweep and mop the floors. I hate this part but my girlfriend tells me it's pretty important - kinda like keeping my desktop free of AOL icons I suppose. Once this is done I will attack the teetering mound of crockery in the sink and clean the benches in my wake.

    {{Change the CD}}

    Bathroom, hmmm - ok I suppose I can shove all of the dirty clothes into the basket (apparently there for that purpose but who can be sure eh?) or maybe even the washing machine. A deft flick of the wrist will send the toilet seat on it's downward trajectory and perhaps a quick blast of air freshener will keep the bank guy happy.
    Hmmmmm... The bedroom seems ok to me, that just leaves the storeroom (like fuck) and my computer room - but that's a whole other story...

    Well I suppose I can't put this off any longer - wish me luck (I'll need it)

    /me jumps up, tunes in and completes the task with a minimum of fuss...

    It's cool when something interesting happens for a change.

    The last week or two have been insufferably boring and mindlessly tedious. School is one day after another of the same thing, and it was bumming me out in a major way.

    Today, however, something anti-repetitive happened.

    This morning, I wasn't planning on going to the prom. The very thought seemed ridiculous to me. I mean, it's just a mindless teen ritual, right?

    This I thought until third block. During Small Animal Care (a.k.a. sit around and talk time) I learned that I had not one but two prospective dates. And AND they were the top two girls that I would have chosen to go with me anyway, had I decided that I was serious about going.

    I still can't decide if going to the prom is going to be a bad thing or a good thing. It was all set up for me right under my eyes. Date, tux, transportation, and food. All I need do is buy a ticket. Pretty neat concept, that.

    We lost a volleyball game today (I was in the zone though, by golly, by God). My date was there (playing, not watching), and I'm currently pretty excited. My simple teenage mind now floats in happy circles around my skull.

    I am the granddaughter of Eastern European peasant immigrants. I am the granddaughter of a single teenage mom who made the ultimate sacrifice, to ensure the well-being of all three of her daughters. I am the granddaughter of a four foot tall Italian fireball nicknamed ‘queenie’ who adopted her baby-girl, divorced her abusive husband (and by doing so her family, and religion ) and raised her daughter on love and canned vegetables.

    I am the daughter of teenage hippies. I am the daughter of a single mom, Kindergarten teacher, cook for the wealthy who sacrificed personal life and free-time in order to raise her daughters on organic food and quality education. I am the daughter of a machanic, pot-smoking meditating wanderer who worked a forty hour week in four days so he could fly home and spend three days in a row with his young daughters.

    I paid for college with government loans and house cleaning jobs. I traversed Great Britain alone and on foot. I hitchhiked through Costa Rica with two equally naïve female friends, forgetting to plan enough money for the one requisite bus-ride out of the jungle, and having to rely on the kindness of strangers in a never forgotten lesson in humility and proper planning.

    I know how to pull an ill-managed business out of a downward spiral and into a profitable enterprise. I also know when to call it quits, how to protect the principals, and how to prepare for a final audit. I prefer to help a two-year-old master the art of categorization or a four-year-old learn to somersault.

    It might not be glamorous but I am proud of who I am, of where I come from. I am proud of the strength and warmth and love and resiliance of my parents and grandparents. My father may have never graduated from college, but it was he who introduced me to Tolstoy, Gibran and unconditional love.

    Fuck it! Damn straight!

    A saying which will one day be as embraced as Carpe Diem. It's really the exact same thought, except that the fuck it inside tells you to not deal with the stupid bullshit in life and to instead fill your life with more interesting things, like porn.

    Indeed this whole not really caring thing has set me free of a lot of things. I plan to say the following to my grandparents after they tell me I should be glad I didn't get into a northern aristocracy of a school etc.

    Excuse me, but I really don't give a damn what you think. Because of you people I know it's not my job to have children because it's not my job to fuck someone up on a close, personal level. Quite frankly you are worthless. You don't need me to be happy so forget me. Enjoy your satelitte television so you can watch the golf channel you could see on cable anyway while you go "Gosh, that Tiger Woods sure isn't so Black for a Black guy!"

    Oh, excuse me, i'm sure you meant that in a good way. Just like you had my fathers interests in mind when you beat the crap out of him for picking up a book. I don't want to hear the heart wrenching story of how you learned to trust him with silverware, but i'm sure it's touching. Now if you'll excuse me i'm going to go talk with people I want to hurt less.

    Seriously, it's fun to cause assholes pain. Try it!
    Shonkytonk @ The St Kilda Army and Navy Club

    All the audience say Awww! - AWWWWW!
    The lift say Awww! - AWWWWW!
    All the band say Awww - AWWWWW!

    As I hadn't seen them for a while I decided to go see Fred Negro and the band play at the Army and Navy club in St Kilda as I hadn't been to that venue and it was free entertainment on a Friday night.

    My foot is a lot better this week so I walked down to St Kilda from my house (which only took about 45 minutes) it wasn't raining or even that cold so I didn't really my coat.

    What you have to remember when going to see a band in a pub is that the actual starting time is always at least 1/2 an hour after it says in the promotions. Tonight didn't disappoint as the band had a problem setting up the P.A. - they should have got out their soldiering iron, smouldering iron. You know flux sucks. All I want's a soldiering iron.

    The band played quite a few new songs tonight and the two new members: Ollie Laurie on guitar and Drew Gallin on second guitar and pedal steel.

    They both seem to be settling into the band quite well but Ollie had to leave after the first set to go play with the band The Exotics at another pub.

    I liked the new songs they played (the Brian Wilson themed one was a bit obscure though) and all the old favourites where there including 'My Uncle used to love me but she died' and 'Miss my mind' with a new sound thanks to the new guitarists. What I want to know is if they are going to play Dave Moll's old song 'Soldering Iron' as he did the vocals on it whenever I saw it.

    Adding to the experience was when someone turned on the mirror ball which span around too fast for while and then stopped. Fred also had fun throwing a tantrum during a song called 'Mama' and used the big dance floor to act out his 'pub fiction' song.

    As I wanted to get the tram back home rather than walking I caught the No. 69 tram back from just out the front (going in the opposite direction that I catch it to work in the mornings) and I couldn't believe all the street walkers out tonight.

    They were not like the really sick looking ones I saw getting on the tram near Caulfield train station (who were falling asleep) as they looked quite young and really attractive.

    Going past the Carlisle Motor Inn I saw two women (a blonde with long legs and brunette) standing either side of the driveway - the blonde waved and jumped around when I gave her the 'thumbs up' sign from the tram - AYYYYY!.

    On the corner of Carlisle and Greeves street there was a really good looking Asian woman and a blonde-haired woman with large breasts wearing a tight white t-shirt.

    The scene reminded me quite a lot of the following:
    "Melbourne swarms with prostitutes. Morning noon and night they are seen exhibiting themselves at their doors and windows, and with all the effrontery of harlotry. In the streets they may be seen at all times, frequently without their bonnets, walking arm in arm and three abreast. Around hotels they congregate every evening, they rendezvous at the Theatre Royal bars for special practise at their seductive art."
    The Argus, 1859 (during the Gold Rush in Victoria)

    What I liked about that report as they seem to be more concerned about the women not wearing hats than anything else.

    If you are going to ask why I didn't decide to walk home - WHAT ARE YOU NUTS! There have been too many muggings by pimps, bashings, people being ripped off and others being arrested. It's just not worth it. You may as well walk around singing the line from the Grandmaster Flash song 'The Message' - "Junkies in the alley with the baseball bat!"

    The paradoxical pairing of Black Eyes and Q and Not U

    Last night I went to see Q and Not U play at the Black Cat in D.C. They are without a doubt my favorite D.C. band -- more on that later.

    Also playing were Black Eyes, the band of the moment. The buzz band. The “next big thing” everyone’s talking about. A year ago I had lunch with an old scenester acquaintance of mine, arguably the most infamous music fan in Washington D.C., a guy I used to know from going to shows way back when I was in college. In those days only about 25 kids turned out (everyone else was seeing Belly or Alice in Chains or whatever alt-rock band was in town), and you pretty much knew everybody by sight if not by name. That was back when Dischord, Simple Machines and Teenbeat formed the holy triumvirate of D.C. labels.

    In any event, I should have known the guy couldn’t be trusted when he recommended the Indian deli we were eating at. The food was terrible. But I was willing to give him the benefit of a doubt.

    “You’ve gotta see Black Eyes,” he said. Pronouncing it to sound like “Black Guys.”

    “’Black Guys’, huh? That’s pretty clever.”

    “No, No -- Black EYES. You have to see them. They’re incredible. Like a young Fugazi or Rites of Spring.”

    That’s what everyone says whenever a new “hot” band emerges -- that seeing them is like seeing a young Fugazi or Rites of Spring. It’s sort of irritating. I should know, because I often use that expression myself. I think it’s because we all long to have been there when Fugazi or Rites of Spring, arguably the two greatest bands this city ever produced, were starting out -- since we weren’t, we pretend that these new, mostly inferior bands are a resurrection.

    “Why is it I’ve never heard of them?”

    “Oh, they don’t like playing traditional club shows. They only play at churches and house parties -- the type of places where you have to be cool enough to know the password. I could tell you the next time they play.”

    And of course, in typical hipster style, I never heard from him again. But I was intrigued -- I wanted to see this band. Over the course of a year, more people raved to me about how great they were. I should have never bought into the hype -- the last “incredible” band, El Guapo, turned out to be a bunch of guys who bang out lame jazz-influenced math rock and call it “improvisational.”

    So when I saw that Black Eyes were opening for Q and Not U, I was excited to say the least. I had to hear them. I was so convinced of their greatness, that I even dropped $10 on their new Dischord CD before I even heard them. If the band is on Dischord, they have to be good, right?

    When Black Eyes came on, there were close to 1,000 kids pressed up against front of the stage. You could feel the buzz of excitement, the energy in the crowd. The audible sigh when the band appeared -- two drummers, a bassist and two guitar players, spread out symmetrically like a “V” with the drummers forming the point.

    “This is going to be good,” I said to myself.

    And then one of the guitarists began reading a poem about the war. Problem number one: he read it in a high-pitched baby voice; problem number two: I wasn’t quite sure if he was mocking the war, mocking the protestors, or both. As I scratched my head in confusion, the band began playing. The drums were incredible -- the two intertwining drummers creating rhythms that would otherwise only be possible by drum machine or some kind of artificial assistance. The bass player expertly complemented the drums, but the guitars were just assorted screeches and scratches, not adding anything to the music. I kept waiting for them to kick in, but they never did.

    “This could still be okay,” I thought.

    And then the vocals started. The high-pitched baby voice turned into a loud squealing monkey voice. The words were completely inaudible, but I kept seeing an image in my head of a chimpanzee swinging on a vine, howling at gun-toting Sudanese poachers. It was utterly dreadful.

    Yet the kids loved it. They pumped their fists in the air, sang along and cheered between songs. The crowd surged with perpetual excitement, and a small mosh pit -- virtually unheard of in usually reserved D.C. audiences -- formed at the front. Things improved when the second guitar player sang, but not by much.

    Beyond the music, what really bothered me was the band’s attitude. There is a long tradition in D.C. of contempt for the audience that goes back to Nation of Ulysses, Slant 6, the Make*Up, Bratmobile, Cold Cold Hearts, Bikini Kill (when they were in town), etc. I’ve never been comfortable with that -- I’ve always hated it when bands act above the audience. As Pantaliamon puts it: “You’re either lame for thinking you’re cool enough to be at the show, or lame for liking the music at all.” But what troubled me terribly about Black Eyes was that they seemed to have contempt for their own music; they seemed embarrassed to be playing those songs, not because those songs are bad (which they are), but because they were too good to be playing music at all.

    They acted as if they were doing us all a huge favor for being on stage, that it was a big sacrifice for them to be playing their instruments. Now, I’ve met one of their drummers, he’s a couple years younger than me and seems like a good guy. But the guitarists -- kids probably a good 10 years younger than I am, who were probably still singing “Row Row Row Your Boat” when I first saw Fugazi -- were so snarky and condescending, I remarked to a Pantaliamon that if I ever saw them on the street things might get violent.

    Luckily, their contempt for the audience was so great that they stopped playing after only twenty minutes or so. Which must have been a record for the Black Cat, a place where time dilates and a bad opening band takes your entire childhood to get off the stage. Black Eyes must have some paranormal ability to shut off the Black Cat Time Dilation Effect, and I am grateful. I blinked and they were gone.

    After they disappeared, Q and Not U came out. I immediately noticed that guitarist Chris Richards had scrawled “Call the White House” on the front of his guitar amp, along with the White House phone number. After a brief mishap where the sound man forgot to turn on the stage mics, ruining the first two songs, the sound was fixed and Q and Not U were incredible as always.

    How to describe them? Imagine D.C. post-punk crossed with soul and electronic dance and you’ll get the gist. They make sounds with guitars that only a synthesizer should be able to make. And unlike the “experimentalism” of Black Eyes, Q and Not U’s music sounds natural. They’re pop songs at their core, but pop songs laced with socio-political ideas. You really can’t go wrong with that formula.

    Some of Black Eyes’ fans were more interested in talking than listening to Q and Not U, so Pantaliamon and I eventually pushed closer to the stage where we couldn’t hear them anymore. Which I’m glad we did, because we were about to witness one of the most emotionally moving sets I’ve ever been to.

    At the end of the song “A Line in the Sand,” the band segued into something that may or may not have been improvised -- an anthem denouncing Bush and the war. After months of being dissatisfied with the lameness of the protest movement, of the clichéd, dull and predictable hippies speaking out against the war, I finally heard someone who could voice the rage and anger and sadness that I feel. Although I was too busy dancing to commit the words to memory, I remember one line in particular: “Bush isn’t getting any monuments in my town.” And also an excellent chorus about how Bush “first stole the election, now he’s stealing the lives of Iraqis and American soldiers.”

    It was cathartic for me in the way that Fugazi used to be. Where my feelings and ideas are articulated in song. I haven’t felt that way at a show in a very long time. Black Eyes made me want to give up on punk rock, but Q and Not U made me remember just why at 28 I still listen to it.

    Q and Not U are on tour right now -- you should go see them if you get a chance. I’d say that they’re just like Fugazi in their prime, but as I said before, that would be unfair. They’re more like Q and Not U in their prime. They’re a band you’ll tell your kids about. I know I will.

    This daylog is dedicated to the POWs/MIA US Troops during the War in Iraq


    Army Sgt. Edward J. Anguiano, 24
    3rd Combat Support Battalion
    Brownsville, Texas.
    Went missing after his convoy was ambushed in Iraq on March 23, 2003

    Sgt. George Edward Buggs, 31
    3rd Forward Support Battalion
    3rd Infantry Division Barnwell, South Carolina
    Went missing after his convoy was ambushed in Iraq on March 23, 2003

    Pfc. Tamario D. Burkett, 21
    1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment
    Erie, New York
    Went missing engaged in operations on the outskirts of Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Cpl. Kemaphoom A. Chanawong- se, 22
    1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment
    Waterford, Connecticut
    Went missing engaged in operations on the outskirts of Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Lance Cpl. Donald J. Cline Jr., 21
    1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment
    Washoe, Nevada
    Went missing engaged in operations on the outskirts of Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Master Sgt. Robert J. Dowdy, 38
    507th Maintenance Company
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Went missing in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Pvt. Ruben Estrella-Soto, 18
    507th Maintenance Company
    El Paso, Texas
    Went missing in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Pvt. Jonathan L. Gifford, 20
    1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment
    Macon, Illinois
    Went missing engaged in operations on the outskirts of
    Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Spc. Edgar Hernandez, 21
    507th Maintenance Company
    Mission, Texas
    Captured in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Spc. Joseph Hudson, 23
    507th Maintenance Company
    Alamogordo, New Mexico
    Captured in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Pvt. Nolen R. Hutchings, 19
    1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment
    Boiling Springs, South Carolina
    Went missing engaged in operations on the outskirts of Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Spc. Shoshana Johnson, 30
    507th Maintenance Company
    El Paso, Texas
    Captured in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Spc. James M. Kiehl, 22
    507th Maintenance Company
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Went missing in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Pfc. Jessica Lynch, 19
    507th Maintenance Company
    Palestine, West Virginia
    Was missing after an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003.
    Rescued April 2, 2003, by U.S. troops from Saddam Hospital in Nasiriya.

    Pfc. Patrick Miller, 23
    507th Maintenance Company
    Walter, Kansas
    Captured in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Pfc. Lori Piestewa, 22
    507th Maintenance Company
    Tuba City, Arizona
    Went missing in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Sgt. Fernando Padilla- Ramirez, 26
    Marine Wing Support Squadron-371, Marine Wing Support Group-37
    Yuma, Arizona
    Went missing conducting convoy operations in the vicinity of Al Nasiriyah on March 28, 2003

    Sgt. James Riley, 31
    507th Maintenance Company
    Pennsauken, New Jersey
    Captured in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Pfc. Brandon Sloan, 19
    507th Maintenance Company
    Bedford, Ohio
    Went missing in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Chief Warrant Officer Johnny Villareal Mata, 35
    507th Maintenance Company
    El Paso, Texas
    Went missing in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Sgt. Donald Walters, 33
    507th Maintenance Company
    Kanas City, Kansas
    Went missing in an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003

    Chief Warrant Officer David S. Williams, 30
    1st Battalion of the 227th Aviation Regiment
    Florida
    Captured during helicopter action near Karbala on March 24, 2003

    Chief Warrant Officer Ronald D. Young, 26
    1st Battalion of the 227th Aviation Regiment
    Lithia Springs, Georgia
    Captured during helicopter action near Karbala on March 24, 2003

    The peril of self-control

    One second I am kissing someone’s lips. One second I spinning out on the highway. The next second the lady at the donut shop is calling me sweetie and the Catholic school-boys still look at me as if I am delicious. These are all great things.

    One second I want a married man, the next he disgusts me. I can see how both are right. One second I want him because his wife is a PhD and has everything and I have nothing. I want to steal what they have and appreciate it more than she ever would. The next second I think I better not. I better not. I want to be married some day. What goes around comes around.

    One second I flirt with a cute, Catholic, bisexual the next I argue. ‘Why!!! Men and women have perfectly complementary body parts!!!’ I say, ‘but, with the ass and you can’t tell the difference.’ He says ‘It feels even better.’ ‘But, breasts.’ I say, ‘cannot be replaced or simulated’ ‘well, some men have those too but they look much better on the women. You’re right.’

    ‘And…And well, tell me, your friend there, how will you enjoy him tonight?’ he says. ‘He is my friend, friends, that’s all’ I say ‘Have you known him biblically? ‘He is Jewish, no new testament. The Catholics have a bible though… I hear.’ ‘And the Catholics do it with guilt!’ I go home alone, he goes home alone, good for me. One second I have my pride. One second I have my dignity. The next second I have nothing more to talk about.

    I started off having a nice enough day.

    Work was fairly dull until, as usual, it picked up at the last minute. After having my usual lunchtime meal of a bottle of orange juice (I've been put on a low-sodium diet, and there's nowhere within walking distance of my office that serves food that hasn't been salted, cured, salted again, soaked in brine, and salted one more time before being served on a bed of salt), I was plenty hungry.

    I went over to visit my brother right after work, and we set up his new floor fan while listening to Rob Zombie's new "House of 1000 Corpses" soundtrack. Rob's remake of "Brick House" (with Lionel Richie and a rapper named Trina) rocks your socks off, but I suspect that's mostly because there's never been a version of "Brick House" that didn't rock your socks off.

    After that, I got home and was told by someone who I thought was my friend that he considered me one of the "anti-USA camp." I don't like screaming rage at my friends, so I told him I'd talk to him when I cooled down.

    Well, I haven't cooled down yet. I still don't want to scream rage at him, but I'm certainly reevaluating whether I want to call someone a friend who holds me in such ridiculously low esteem. Quite frankly, what I'd like to do is considerably worse than just screaming. I'm afraid I wished I could do very rude, very violent things to him. Is that wrong? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. The New York Post recently published an editorial wishing for another Kent State Massacre. People in Massachusetts, Washington, North Carolina, Alabama, Arizona, and Louisiana have received death threats, been attacked, and been harassed by pro-war protestors, often encouraged by the media. In some cases, the police have helped out the attackers. I remember in the mid-1990s, lots of people had bumper stickers on their cars asking "Where's Lee Harvey Oswald when we really need them?" I don't remember any of them being arrested; you think I could expect such treatment if I gave in to my thuggish impulses?

    I'm sure some of you don't know why being called "anti-USA" would make me mad. Hey, I'm against the war, right? Wolf Blitzer says that means I'm against America. Aaron Brown says that means I want the troops dead. Bill O'Reilly says anyone opposed to the war is guilty of treason. Andrew Sullivan says I want Saddam to win. Rush Limbaugh says I'll only be satisfied when all Americans are dead. Ann Coulter says I deserve a bullet in the back of the head. What's to complain about, huh?

    See, I vote in every election they have. I file my taxes on time and with enthusiasm. I write polite letters to my Congressmen and am nice to children, the elderly, and friendly dogs. I got madder'n spit after 9/11, and I was all in favor of the campaign to get rid of Osama bin Laden. I'm rooting for the war to be over in a hurry, with minimal loss of life on both sides. I am, by every worthwhile yardstick, an excellent American. So what've I done that makes me one of the "anti-USA camp"? Criticized the president during wartime? If that were actually treasonous, Rush, O'Reilly, Tom DeLay--and my friend--would've been strung up during Clinton's bombing campaign in Kosovo. Criticizing the president--criticizing any president--is protected speech. It's not seditious. It's not in bad taste. It doesn't strengthen America's enemies.

    Here, take a look at this, a'ight?

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
    Now, point out to me where it says "except during a war, when you should agree with the president and his policies." Can't find it, can you? Ya know why? Because it's not there. What's that mean? It means that if I say I dislike the president or his policies or his ever-expanding War on Iraq, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Maybe Eventually Al Qaeda--that's not illegal under any possible interpretation of the Constitution. It isn't treason. It isn't a death-penalty offense. It doesn't mean you hate America.

    You can call me "anti-war". You can call me "anti-Bush". But you call me "anti-USA" and I'm gonna bash your fucking teeth in. I'm against this war; that doesn't mean I'm pacifistic enough not to bash you if I gotta.

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