Today I am very angry. Here are my reviews.

New Nine Inch Nails: sucks. Can't get into it. Trent Reznor can't get beyond ripping himself off to be anything definite. He's not mad anymore. There's no passion. There's no music. Just loud, discordant sound from a middle-aged guy who needs more money. This is the sound of someone who's beyond needing the outlet anymore. He used to coax the purest anger out of his electronics. Now, he's bored and it comes out in his music. Bye. I'm going to play Pretty Hate Machine. That was a good album. Wish I could get my money back for this piece of dung.

New Dave Matthews: Goddamn Dave, I love ya, but you're starting to suck. You and Trent, ripping yourselves off. You used to play songs to the melody in your head, but these are melodies from someone else's head. You used to amaze me. Now you're boring. These are the songs you get from someone who had to squeeze off eleven albums in a row. These are the songs of someone dizzy. Disoriented. Lost his way. Come back to us Dave. Someday you will. Not now, though. Sorry I bought this one, Dave. Double DVD included or not. Gimme Dancing Nancies any day over this pile.

New Porcupine Tree: Steven Wilson is a genius just like Dave Matthews and Trent Reznor are geniuses. The difference is that Steve hasn't been enjoying the same level of success as the other guys, so his stuff is still new and weird. He's kind of self-referential. But he's still got the fire. I can still feel the pain that makes this guy write. Don't let my album money go to your head and turn out like Dave and Trent.

New Star Warz. Yes, I am going to review a movie I have not seen. I'm going to review how I feel about the whole social cataclysm. This is starting to piss me off. I had friends leave work early to go stand in line for eight hours to catch the 12:01AM show on Wednesday night. They tell me the lines for the 3:00AM show on Thursday AM wrapped once around the AMC Mercado 12-plex, and they were showing it on all 12 screens. Here in silicon valley, people lined up weeks in advance. The shows are sold out, all theaters from here to Elko till Monday which is fine because I wouldn't spend money on this blistering waste of un-belief-suspendable crap if George Lucas came to my house and invited me to a private screening for the price of a bag of microwave popcorn. I am tired of entertainment franchises trying to pipe computer adulterated shit into my cortex. Juggernauts. When the movie is over, I have to get back in my petrochemical propelled automobile and drive to my home made of British Columbian timber and galvanized steel nails. When George Lucas changes my life, I'll care about his product. The smartest computer we've made still loses at chess to human grand masters and can't predict the path of a hurricane-- so forget about droids shooting blasters and armies of cloned orcs fighting Jedi knights. What the hell do the Jedi's fight, anyway? It's still an army of clones. Didn't we just have 14 hours of dwarves and elves and boll weevels fighting clones?

Clearly, the American public has an insatiable hunger for scenes of the righteous fighting soulless automatons--a parameter to which our leadership is not blind.

The Messianic Legacy. Goddamn it, why does every book I pick up have to suck? These bastards wrote Holy Blood, Holy Grail back in the late 70's. That was the book that exposed the Priori of Sion and the entire history of Mary Magdeline, the Merovingian blood line, and the alternate history of Jesus Christ that was made popular in The DaVinci Code. As I have mentioned before, I thought The DaVinci Code sucked, but clearly I'm in the minority. A world-wide minority, it turns out. Tom Hanks disagrees with me to the point he bought the movie rights and is playing the leading man.

Good for you, Tom. Good for you.

Well, so there you have the whole "Christ as Historical Fact" versus "Christ as Fictional Hero" thing exposed and so people like me are out reading books like The Messianic Legacy to get more info on the subject. In fact, where Holy Blood, Holy Grail was a lengthly recounting of a historical treasure hunt, The Messianic Legacy is an exercise in journalistic self-aggrandizement. These three British bastards get led around by their collective nose rings by a group of French, British, and American millionaires who claim to be representatives of the now famous Priori of Sion and wind up nowhere. All we can do, we poor readers, is to skim the pages as quickly as possible and hope we waste as little time on this nonsense as possible.

The one thing I found interesting in the book is their drawing parallels with the current trend in world politics de-separation of church and state. Starting with Iran and moving in to third world countries such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States of America, they chronicle a disturbing pattern of religious zealotism overpowering the conscious logical processes of entire populations with the fundamentalism du jour. Their parallels to the Third Reich are extreme, emotion evoking, and in terrible taste, but they're not entirely without merit as the tactics used by religious leaders who adopt political stances are identical to those used by Hitler during his rise to power.

Of course, the book was written in 1986, so the American Third Reich they talk about is the rise of fundamentalist Christianity in politics during the Reagan administration. Now, I'm not a Republican, but Ronald Reagan was just a plan nice man, and good man. Not a particularly smart man, but a very measured man, and one who knew the meaning of being a leader. Though, like his Republican successor, he believed we were living in the End Days when the Apocalypse could be brought on at any moment.

The book authors point out that if the Apocalypse were to be brought about, it would most definitely be by the hand of those with the power to cause it and who due to their religious convictions are certain it will happen.

They also point out that the rise of Jesus Christ happened during a time that was also felt to be "THE LAST DAYS" by the religious clerics of the holy land.

Two thousand five years ago.

The day in their calendar must be some kind of weird astronomical solar year thingy. Like, these are the end days in Whale Years. In Redwood Tree years. Two thousand human years equals twenty redwood tree years. So, we're still in the redwood tree end days. The apocalypse is upon us. Satan rules the earth. Everybody get to rapturing the hell out of here so I don't have to wait in line behind you at Hollywood Video while you debate the increased sinfulness quotient of "R" versus "PG-13".

Anyway, the book sucks, religion invading politics sucks, people inspiring hate in the name of God sucks. Being forced to watch the FOX Angry White Man channel while on the treadmill at the gym sucks.

Here's what's good.

Talking to someone who loves you.

Today I was lifting weights in the gym, getting out all my frustrations about all the crummy CDs and Books I've bought, shitty Star Warz all over the place, goddamned Islamic and Christian fundamentalists in perpetual denial, not realizing they're the same thing, praying to the same God to kill the other, trying to undo thousands of years of human learning with fear and hatred in the name of God -- and my wife walked in.

I finally worked my way up to 225 on the incline bench. I always lift alone, so I try to be safe. I add a little every week and now after a lot of weeks I'm up to 225, 10 reps safely with no spotter. I was on my 4th set (I could only pull off 3 reps before I felt like I might drop the bar on my brain) when I racked the bar and there was my wife looking at me.

I got off the bench and after reracking the plates, we started for home.

"I'm up to 225 pounds," I said. "It took me a while."

"You could benchpress me easily," she said.

And I thought, wow. I can benchpress a girl. In fact, I could probably incline press two supermodels.

Totally. If I was on my back in bed with a naked woman, I could lift her up over me a couple times. In fact, I did that once. I could do it again. I remember how it felt and it was great. She giggling, balancing on my upstretched arms, hair falling down around her face above me. Eyes delighted while I pushed her upward a foot.

I could sling her over my shoulder and carry her over the threshold. I could toss her up in the air and twirl her like one of those Spanish dancers. I could save her from a bear.

Yeah. From a bear.

"I could save you from a bear," I said to my wife, who wasn't involved in the prior conversation in my mind so she just squinted at me.


"A bear," I said. And in my mind I wrestled a brown bear while my honey ran to safety.

I think if some bears would just get off their asses and attack, a lot of my problems would be much simpler.