Upsetting
Thursday, October 31, 2002
 
A kid "dressed" as a heavy metaller came to the door wearing a Suicidal Tendencies hat and Slayer shirt. He might've been 14.
When I said, "Finally, a metaller," he responded with:

"I got a bud, wanna smoke?"

NOFX was all wrong, these kids are just fine.
 
 
The line of the night - and perhaps of the year - came after I gave the candy and my standard "be safe" line.

A boy about 6 years old and dressed as a, well, a boy about 6 years old in a sweatshirt, said:

"We will, my dad has a gun."
 
 
My Budweiser over/under during trick-or-treating is 5.
 
 
Tired is the whale that ritually heads south to spawn.
It's like that trip to Mexico from Alaska. Wears a brother down.

We are the gray and blue people. You don't notice us, and for the most part that's fine with us. We thrive on anonymity. We are often alone, and that in itself makes us a very cohesive band.
We work in your offices, train at your gyms, drink black coffee at your cafés and let you in on the freeway at the exact moment you curse and think that everyone in the world is out of touch with your needs and goals.

If you revel in, seek out or enjoy boredom, is it still called "boredom?"

If it's your fancy to be pulseless, static and, yet, content, are you in fact bored?

We don't think so.

 
 
For the second time in less than a month, the cops told the neighbors and me to get inside – for our own good. There is nothing like the peace that attends a night's sleep with eight police cars parked in front of your home.

But that’s nothing compared to what an old friend of mine’s going through down in the land of the Ticos.

If you would’ve had a ballot for Most Likely To Open A Surf Shop In Costa Rica And Later Get Jailed For Growing Marijuana, this guy would’ve won in a landslide. I remember him as honest, kind and always smiling.
 
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
 
Peter’d asked his girl to marry him twice, and both times she declined, explaining that she loved him but didn’t want to walk down that road again. Her first marriage ended with the cops, a restraining order and a middle-of-the-night car ride out of state.

“I figure it’s three strikes and I’m out,” he told me as we drink cans of Budweiser in his front yard.

It’s funny, boys and their baseball metaphors, even from Day 1.
Did you get to second base? No, I struck out.

Then later, when single guys recklessly try to notch the belt.
Would she say that you had a quality at-bat? No, I’d have to say I gave away an at-bat.

Great players never give away an at-bat.

“Maybe,” I told Peter. “You should work the count into your favor before you ask again. Instead of it being 0-2, you could take a couple pitches and get it even at 2-2. Then you’d probably see a hitter’s pitch.”

And a man referring to a woman as a “girl” is not an intended slight. We only do this because we continue to see ourselves as guys, not men.
 
 
Hello again!
Below is the timeline for tomorrow's festivities:
9:00 All pumpkin CARVING and pumpkin BAKING entries to be delivered to _____.
9:15 to 10:00 Ballots collected for the pumpkin CARVING contest
9:30 to 10:00 Esteemed panel of judges to taste pumpkin BAKING entries and choose a winner
11:00 Costume parade to begin in Human Resources
The parade will end in the ______ area where winners will be announced for the following:
Pumpkin Carving Contest
Pumpkin Baking Contest
Best Departmental Decorations
Best Departmental Costumes
Most Original Costume
Funniest Costume
Spookiest Costume
 
 
Hello,
We need judges for tomorrow's Pumpkin Baking Contest! Please use the voting buttons above.
At 3pm today we will draw 5 judges from all those interested.
To be a judge you must meet all three of these criteria:
You will not have any entries into the pumpkin baking contest.
You like pumpkin and would be willing to taste all entries - which could be anything made with pumpkin.
You will be available from 9:30 am to 10 am tomorrow to taste the entries and select a winner.
 
Tuesday, October 29, 2002
 
For some reason, I don't believe Cheryl Miller when she says "everyone in the country" wanted to know how Grant Hill's ankle would hold up in his basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
 
 
Good afternoon,
I just want to take a moment to remind you of a few eTimesheet policies.
If you are taking vacation please enter your time PRIOR to being gone. This way we don't have to try to figure out your timesheet while you are gone.
If you are manager/supervisor and plan on taking pay week Monday off, please appoint someone to complete the necessary tasks in your absence.
Your adherence to these policies is greatly appreciated and will help assure that we all get paid on time!
Thank you!
 
 
While we were having coffee this morning, my friend Keith stopped me from crying about the president of the United States of America starting World War III for personal reasons.
“Who cares if he’s only doing it to fix what his dad couldn’t put right?” Keith asked. “The fuck can you do about it?”

It was rhetorical: not a damn thing.

“So, put it outta your mind,” he said. “I’ll tell you how.”

Five years older than me, Keith wasn’t always right, but he often came up with some pretty good points.

“Shoot,” I said.
A tranny passed by, huge boobs, platinum hair and a neck twice the size of mine. She fixed herself in the window of the café and continued down the block. She looked like she gave a shit about Bush, Iraq and the end of the world.
I set my coffee down and settled on Keith’s eyes.

“You have someone who loves you?” He said.
“Best I know.”

“And you love her, right?”
“With all I got.”

“Okay, you’re one-for-one,” he said. “Do you have something in your life you are passionate about?”
“Several of them.”

“Great. Here’s my last question: Do you have a place to rest your head at night?”
“Yep, same place every night.”

“Okay, then, quit your fucking complaining. You got more than most men’ll ever have. Leave the war-mongering to the war mongers, and just do your thing.”

He leaned back for punctuation.

“It’s that easy, huh?” I asked.

“That’s all there is to it,” he said, raising his eyebrows and smiling.
 
 
Good Morning,

In preparation for our transition to the Platinum Inventory system that is quickly approaching, the Distribution Center will be closed for non-essential traffic 10/29 - 10/30, (today and tomorrow).

Shipping will not close down! Please take all shipping Requests to the Tech Shop for proper dissemination. Should you require assistance or materials, please call any extension in the DC.

Your cooperation is appreciated.
 
Monday, October 28, 2002
 
The man who didn’t want what he got, Kurt Cobain, is haunting the children and their parents once again. Through the lost song and the junkie widow and her lawsuits, the specter of the blond, left-handed guitarist with the scratchy wail is among us once again.

Poor guy.

He did what he did, and that’s it. Call it what you want, but he did what he wanted to do. Give it any name, throw the book of adjectives at the little guy, and it doesn’t matter.
He’s gone because he wanted to be gone, and that’s the way it is.

You still wouldn’t like it here, man. It’s worse now that it was when you left eight years ago. I don’t know what to tell your daughter about the future, and I can only pray that her mom knows what she’s doing. Pray to you, that is, but it’s really none of my business.

As if we haven’t pored over the artifacts and wreckage of your life, the lost song clears up, once and for all, that this life was just too much for you.
I know how you felt. Sometimes I can’t believe I have to live here, too. It just doesn’t seem like the way the world was drawn up.

Or maybe it’s exactly as it was drawn up.

I’m not going to do what you did, but I can relate to why you did it. I’m not saying I understand, but I can relate. And I think I’m not alone.
This is a terrible, terrible place that you left.

I don’t know where you are now, but I know you’re not here. I doubt where you are is much worse than here.

Here, we don’t learn.
 
 
A set of car keys was left in the employee break room. Please claim them at the front desk by identifying the car make.

Thank you!
 
 
I respect what Barry Bonds does as a baseball player, but I do not like Barry Bonds. I respect him, but I do not like him.
Respect and admiration are not mutually exclusive, I don't think.
 
Sunday, October 27, 2002
 
Barry Bonds is the greatest baseball player ever, and he just turned in, perhaps, the greatest postseason performance of all time.
Yet, I don't have the words to explain how glad I am that he is not a World Series champion.

That's not hatin', that's just the way it is.

I know you're with me.
 
 
California sun has sunk
Behind the Anaheim Hills, here comes the night
I was high on junk
And the warm winds of Santa Ana feel alright
 
Friday, October 25, 2002
 
Are these condolences?

Paul Wellstone was a man of deep convictions. He was a plainspoken fellow who did his best for his state and for his country.

That's what the president of the United States of America said from his house in Texas about the death of the Minnesota senator.
 
 
AXL ROSE is an anagram for ORAL SEX.

Axl Rose, by the way, is 40 years old.
 
 
In my dreams, a lesbian Republican congresswoman comes to me while I’m shooting baskets on a blacktop playground and asks me where I stand on abortion.

I wondered where she stood.

“That depends on you,” she said. “I’m a politician, remember.”

“Never really thought about it, you know,” I told her. “I’m a man, and such matters don’t really concern me. I use condoms.”

The ball fell through the mesh net – I’d hit like four in a row – and she gave me a nice bounce pass. I shot again, but I was a little long. The ball kicked off the back the rim and went toward the jungle gym.
Neither of us hurried after it.

She pushed the bridge of her glasses up and raised her eyebrows.
“You don’t have an opinion?”

Really, I didn’t. Fortune had smiled upon me, and I’d never had to confront the issue. An Italian girl I knew told me that she was going to get pregnant by me so she could stay in the country. After I told her that only the baby would get a free pass, she slapped me and went back to Florence.

Friends of mine have had abortions, and I read that Madonna’s tally runs into the teens. I even drove one friend to The Clinic. The bloody posters and the shrieking people outside. God and murder.

I walked back toward her with the ball.

“You’re right, I guess I do have an opinion,” I said. I held the ball at my waist. It’s so corny when the missed or made shot is wicked symbolic in the movies.
“I am all for abortion, or should I say, a woman’s right to choose. Those people on the other side have forced me to oppose them.”
 
Thursday, October 24, 2002
 
Attention All Corporate Employees!
Next Friday’s Company meeting will conclude with a:

TGIF MIXER
COLD BEER or SODA FOR ALL!
(Mandatory until 4:45 p.m.)

Also meet the dedicated members of your SAFETY COMMITTEE and find out who is certified in FIRST AID/CPR by the Red Cross - good to know in the event of an emergency!
 
 
Let me tell you about your blood, Bamboo Kid.
It ain’t Coca-Cola, it’s rice.
 
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
 
Take a deep breath.
On Oct. 4, I recorded the following entry:

Identify the true statement:

The governor of New Jersey is calling for the resignation of the state’s poet laureate because the poet is black.

The governor of New Jersey is calling for the resignation of the state’s poet laureate because the poet is a poor speller for a poet.

The governor of New Jersey is calling for the resignation of the state’s poet laureate because the poet wrote a poem the governor does not like.


For the correct answer, the reader was instructed to click here.

If you've made it this far, you may want to read the e-mail the poet sent me regarding my post of Oct. 4. (If it's too much for you, click here to read what went up yesterday afternoon.)
Like I said, take a deep breath. (And, sic throughout.)

STATEMENT BY AMIRI BARAKA, NEW JERSEY POET LAUREATE 10/2/2002
I WILL NOT “APOLOGIZE”, I WILL NOT “RESIGN!”

The recent dishonest, consciously distorted and insulting non-interpretation of my poem, “Somebody Blew Up America” by the “Anti-Defamation” League, is fundamentally an attempt to defame me. And with that, an attempt to repress and stigmatize independent thinkers everywhere.
This trashy propaganda is characteristic of right-wing zealots who are interested only in slander and character assassination of those whose views or philosophies differ from or are in contradiction to theirs.
First, the poem underlying theme focuses on how Black Americans have suffered from domestic terrorism since being kidnapped into US chattel slavery, e.g., by Slave Owners, US & State Laws, Klan, Skin Heads, Domestic Nazis, Lynching, denial of rights, national oppression, racism, character assassination, historically, and at this very minute throughout the US. The relevance of this to Bush call for a “War on Terrorism”, is that Black people feel we have always been victims of terror, governmental and general, so we cannot get as frenzied and hysterical as the people who while asking us to dismiss our history and contemporary reality to join them, in the name of a shallow “patriotism” in attacking the majority of people in the world, especially people of color and in the third world.
This is said to us, even as this counterfeit president has legalized the Confederate Flag in Mississippi. Could the victims of European Fascism be as frantically loyal to a regime that would fly a Nazi Swastika over their homes? So we cannot, in good conscience, celebrate what seems to us an international crusade to set up a military dictatorship over the world, legitimatized at base, by white supremacy, carried out, no matter the crude lies, as the most terrifying form of Imperialism and its attendant national oppression. All of it designed to drain super profits bluntly from the colored peoples of the world, but as well, from the majority of the peoples in the world. For all the frantic condemnations of Terror by Bush &c, as the single International Super Power, they are the most dangerous terrorists in the world!
Actually, in my focus on various forces of terror Afro Americans and other oppressed people of the world have suffered, slavery, colonialism, Imperialism, Neo neo-colonialism, National Oppression, the ADL disingenuously makes no mention of my probing into the creators of the holocaust, e.g., “who put the Jews in ovens, / and who helped them do it, / Who said “America First”/ and Ok’d the yellow stars”, which of course is a reference to America’s domestic fascists just before World War @ and the Nazi Holocaust.
Nor do these ADL purveyors of falsehood mention the poem’s listing of some of the Jews across the world, oppressed, imprisoned, murdered by actual Anti- Semitic forces, open or disguised. The poem asks “Who killed Rosa Luxembourg, Liebnecht/Who murdered the Rosenbergs/ And all the good people iced, tortured, assassinate, vanished”.
The ADL apparently is not outraged by McCarthy era frame-up and execution of the Rosenbergs, nor the assassination of German Jewish Communist leaders like Liebnecht, Luxembourg. The ADL leaves these things out to try to make their lies more believable, and also because these victims of imperialism were on the Left
Happily the Star Ledger published the entire poem, though including in a box, supposedly identifying the offending phrases, my question, “Who Blew Up The Reichstag?” as if the ADL had also claimed that the poem was inferring that Jews did it. When it was Hitler’s destruction of the Reichstag, that provided the pretext for the general imprisonment of Jews, after incarcerating Communists, Social Democrats and Trade Unionists. Why this was done one can only speculate, but this is the kind of sloppy or intentionally slanderous journalism one can often find in the media. It also reflects the kind of unprincipled attack that characterizes ADL press release.
The Reichstag fire, parallels the 911 Attack, in that after that “mysterious act of terrorism”, which Hitler blamed on Jews and Communists, the Nazis passed a law The Reichstag Enablement Act, that gave the Nazis much the same carte blanche as the Bush administration used the 911 tragedy to pass the wholly undemocratic Patriot Bill and begin rounding up suspects, even without identifying them. Of course the actual arsonists of the Reichstag terror were never found, though most scholars are certain it was the Nazis themselves.
Of the other lines of the poem, which the ADL termed an example of the Hitlerian “Big Lie”, and the poet’s “spewing Anti-Semitic venom”. The lines, “Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get/bombed?” Well now, certainly, even the Democratic Party has affirmed that the Bush Administration knew. I agree with this, and it is everywhere on the Internet that not only was the US warned repeatedly by Germany, France, Russia, England but also Israel. Michael Ruppert of the Green Party has issued a video stating clearly, “Israeli security issued urgent warnings to the CIA of large-scale terror attacks. …And that the Israeli Mossad knew that the attacks were going to take place…they knew that the World Trade Center were the targets. This is from British newspaper the “Telegraph”. (Copies of these documents available with this statement.)
In addition there are articles in all forms of media and of course the Internet confirming or suggesting that the entire Imperialist world knew and had warned the US CIA in advance, but no action was taken. WHY. They say they “couldn’t connect the dots”. The FBI agents in Minnesota and Arizona who sd that FBI received a report in 1998 that a terrorist organization …planned to bring people to the US to enroll in flight schools. Zacharias Moussoui, now charged with conspiring in the Sept 11 attacks, was arrested by the Minnesota agents of the FBI in August 2001 but FBI HQ denied agents request to seek a warrant even to search his computer. And in a prepared statement by a Minnesota FBI agent, he blamed legal restrictions but principally FBI headquarters for impeding a more aggressive investigation of this man. As for the other agent’s attempt to warn the FBI HQ of these attacks, he was rebuffed when he made the report, but now FBI HQ says it has not record of such warning. (See Truthout.org/docs)
There are other incredible dots on the media, for instance the stockholders of American Airlines and United, which were the carriers highjacked to commit the terror began withdrawing stock from these companies in August before the attacks.
The most offensive phrase in the poem to my various attackers is, “Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers / to stay home that day/ Why did Sharon stay away?” To infer that I am accusing Israel of committing the atrocity is disingenuous slander and character assassination. But I do believe, as I stated about England, Germany, France, Russia, that the Israeli government, certainly it’s security force, SHABAK knew about the attack in advance.
My sources were, “Ha’aretz” and “Yadiot Ahranot” (two Israeli newspapers) “Al Watan” (a Jordanian newspaper), “Manar” -TV and the website of the Israeli security force SHABAK. There are myriad references to this in Reuters, Der Spiegel.
The Israeli newspaper Yadiot Ahranot lst revealed that SHABAK had canceled Sharon’s appearance in New York City that day, Sept 11, where he was supposed to speak at an “Israel Day” celebration. This was also mentioned in the Star Ledger, to the effect that Sharon was supposed to visit the US, but no dates were mentioned.
It is the Green Party’s Ruppert who makes the most effective case for the 4000 Israeli workers (Not Jewish Workers!) but Israeli nationals. He says in his video, “if what I am showing you is know overtly although the media, how much more does our thirty billion dollar intelligence community know”/
He goes on, and this seems true to me, It is “Nonsense” to say the Israelis did it They were warning the U.S. hand over fist…” Ruppert speculates further 1. The US did not listen 2. They needed the attacks” which I leave to time, as Malcolm X sd, Time will tell.
But the most stunning revelation is this, again Ruppert, “We reviewed the list of former tenants of the World Trade Center at the on-line Wall St Journal site. And there’s the website. It is an alphabetical list of tenants. Scroll to the very bottom and notice the moving date for the office of Zim American-Israeli Shipping to Norfolk Virginia. They were in the World Trade Center. They must have had Mossad” (or Shabak- AB) input because they vacated one week before September and they broke their lease. The Israelis didn’t pull the attack, but they were smart enough to get their people out of the way. How come our government didn’t do the same thing for us.“ (Statement & Quote by George DeCarlo, Coordinator of Union County Greens, Co Founder of the NJ Lavender Greens- included in media pkg.)
The poem was never saying anything else, i.e., why didn’t the other slaughtered Americans know? I WAS NOT SAYING ISRAEL WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTACK, BUT THAT THEY KNEW AND OUR OWN COUNTERFEIT PRESIDENT DID TOO!
There is other disturbing facts surround the hideous 911 attacks, which my family and I could see from the third floor bathroom window of our homes! And certainly one day all this will be thoroughly investigated. The poem says “Who know why Five Israelis was filming the explosion/ And cracking they sides at the notion.” I got this story from The Star Ledger, where it appeared twice, and The New York Times.
The reference to “cracking they sides” or laughing uproariously while filming the 911 attack, apparently on the top of a truck from the Jersey side is a direct paraphrase of the Ledger articles. In fact, the State Police, who arrested them, stated that that is one of the reasons they did arrest them, because they were laughing.
Again, these were Israeli Nationals, persons holding Israeli passports. The Times article even reported on what their lives were like in Jail. And implied they would be deported. So this reference is not more of the ADL’s “Anti-Semitic venom” but arrived at merely from studying the US media.
Why those five Israelis were there filming and laughing I do not claim know. That’s why the poem here and throughout continuously chants the question WHO WHO WHO? That is, who is responsible for this horrible crime and WHY? It is a poem that aims to probe and disturb, but there is not the slightest evidence of Anti-Semitism, as anyone who reads it without some insidious bias would have to agree.
Why the ADL would do this, I can only speculate.
I wish they and other concerned pundits would speculate on how an Airplane flying in America, where the pilot has to file a flight plan before taking off, how can such a plane or two or three of them file such a route in which they would travel, and in the case of the planes leaving Boston make 45 degree turns south and fly 54 minutes to the World Trade Center and 90 minutes to the Pentagon and not be challenged by US Air Defense Fighters, or brought down by ground to air missiles?
Having been in the Air Force I know those ADC fighters would normally confront such “rogue” aircraft within a few minutes! Why was this not done? Let the ADL and the media investigating me, investigate that!
We should know that Bush and his Right Wing crew want War against all the forces of their so called “Axis of Evil” What a not so wild coincidence that the path of this Axis parallels the route of the proposed US oil corporations- pipe line from Saudi to the far east, apparently to oppose the spiraling economic growth and influence of China. They scream “Bin Laden” and “Taliban” and destroy Afghanistan, install a puppet president and a shadow occupation force.
Next in the Axis is Iraq, we should have known that. With no real proof at all again the people of the US outraged and frightened by the Reichstag of 911 are hyped with chants of “Regime Change” and “Saddam Hussein”. No longer is the madness of crowds being aroused by the “Anti –Terrorist” campaign and Bin Laden as the Devil figure used to rouse the people to a patriotic frenzy, now it is Saddam Hussein. So forget last month’s war and get ready for this month's.
Bush says he wants “regime change” in Palestine, he wants to oust Arafat, now in Iraq, and he wants to oust Saddam. The Axis projects Iran next and then North Korea. What is this an updated version of 1984 or an American version of Hitler’s and Bush 1’s) New World Order?
Regime Change, why? Because these regimes are anti democratic or terrorists or in the case of Saddam, they have “weapons of mass destruction”.
Well if being anti democratic were a good rationalization for foreign invasions of countries then the United States better watch out because the Florida coup, which tricked the American people into accepting Bush as President is anything but democratic. Should we let foreign countries invade us to get rid of Bush? What would be the American People’s reaction to such Third Reich replay?
And as for Saddam having “weapons of mass destruction” (or mass diversion as some critics say) The US has these weapons. So do Israel, South Africa, Germany, France, Italy, England, Russia, and now China, India, Pakistan. How is it the US and its allies (except the Chinese) can have such weapons, but no one else can. The answer to that, of course, is White Supremacy and Imperialism. And what should be the growing understanding by the American people and the democratic people of the world, is what the far right Bush coven wants is a military dictatorship of the world.
The ADL, by attacking me by distorting what my poem is saying, is doing its usual ugly, as a well known running dog of imperialism, particularly by attacking anyone who takes an independent position or is critical of Israeli Imperialism and its attendant ideology political Zionism. As they are attempting with me the ADL slanders anyone who is not happy with Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians
As Anti Semitic, when lst of all Israel and its guiding philosophy have nothing to do, as categories, with Jews. (See “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators”, Brenner
But this is the trick such demagogues as the ADL use to hide the crimes of Imperialist Israel. When we criticize US imperialism does that make us enemies of Christianity, maybe only to Jerry Falwell and such Right wing Christian Zealots, perhaps Asscraft But neither Israel nor Zionism is the same as Judaism. (Op cit Brenner; also “The Dilemma of the Modern Jew, Prinz”.) But this is the trick the Israeli’s and their sympathizers use to hide behind Judaism. Israel (and it’s political Zionism) has as much to do with Judaism, as the US has to do with Christianity.
In the US our constitution makes clear that this is a secular nation and by law theoretically enforces separation of church and state, tho Mr. Bush and Mr. Asscraft have demonstrated they disagree, and Israel outright says it is a “Jewish State” but if that is so then that explains why it can discriminate against its Arab people living inside Israel and make them 2nd class citizens, in much the same way that South Africa, a close friend did under Apartheid. (See “The Crisis of Black Jewish Relations”, Brenner & Bloom; “Israel and South Africa”, Stevens & Ellmessi; The “Arabs in Israel” by Sabri Jiryis, foreword by Noam Chomsky)
The ADL attacks so it can confuse people and show me as just another Anti- Semitic attacker of their absolutely false depictions of Israel as a victim of Palestinian Terrorism. This is absolutely in tune with the Bush administrations
Frenzied “destroy Iraq regime change “Jones” (a street word for narcotics addiction) that the administration is chanting around us like cheer leaders at a football game! So that US imperialism can transform the whole of the Middle East, the Arab world into a gas station (See “Bushwacked: A Counterfeit President for a Fake Democracy”, Baraka)
So that we are supposed to believe that if a little girl blows herself up in a Israeli Pizza Parlor, she is a terrorist, but when Israeli Jets, made in the USA, destroy whole sections of Palestinian cities, bulldoze neighborhoods, all but destroy the Palestinian Center of Governance, with its President, Yasser Arafat, inside sitting in the dark, it is the Israelis who are victims and the little Palestinian girl or boy or young man or young woman or even elder, they are the terrorists. We are supposed to be intimidated by demagogues like the Anti Defamation League (who shd be called the Anti Anti Defamation League) so that Israel as a jr. partner of the Bush led US goosestep to world military domination can commit ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in the name of fighting terrorism.
It is the ADL, which is actually guilty of what its leader, Abraham Foxman calls the Hitlerian “Big Lie”, and ironically it is the ADL, which is “spewing anti-Semitic venom”. The same ADL which became aware of “Black Anti Semitism”, which it had earlier said has never been a threat, until Stokely Carmichael and SNCC began to support the PLO and the Palestinian Struggle as a Liberation Struggle and condemn Israeli Imperialism and Zionism. That is when, as Stokeley Carmichael says in the APRP’s “Smash Zionism” the ADL smashed SNCC instead.
As Israel drew closer to South Africa, politically, economically, militarily in the 60’s (Op Cit, above & others) the Black Liberation Movement and African Nations became more and more guilty, according to the ADL, of “Black Anti-Semitism”.
This is the same ADL who opposed Affirmative Action, even though many Jews benefited by the Civil Rights Struggle, and the most notable white comrades in that struggle were young Jews. The same ADL that filed an Amicus Curiae (friend of the court brief) in the historic and reactionary Baake Decision which challenged & defeated the University of California’s affirmative action as “racist” and was explained by the ADL as its opposition to quotas. So that the university’s could now enforce a quota on Black students of none!
This is the same ADL, which in league with the American Israel Political Action Committee, just a few weeks ago sent millions of dollars into Atlanta, Georgia to defeat progressive Black Congress woman Cynthia McKinney, because she called for a more balance American view of the Palestinian –Israeli Conflict.
These same forces defeated in Alabama, another progressive Black incumbent Congressman, because he too dared to support the Palestinians. (See New York Times), Amsterdam News, Star Ledger).
Very much like the way Bush touts “Regime Change,” recently even hinting at an attempted Assassination of Saddam Hussein, if the American People rise up and force our congress to deny the Bush juggernaut of terror to attack Iraq. ADL and their " bagman" AIPAC didn’t like these black politicians stance on Israel, so in a minute and a few million dollars, they are gone!
So now, it’s my turn. Using my poem, Somebody Blew Up America” they are
Going to spread the Big Lie, distort what poem says. Cover the fact that this poem actually is an attack on Imperialism, National Oppression, Monopoly Capitalism, Racism, Anti-Semitism. I challenge ADL to show anywhere in this poem that is Anti-Semitic in the least. In their press release they say talk about “Jews being scapegoated throughout history…’ then “conspiracy mongers of the Arab world…have taken Anti-Israel propaganda to a new level “ (Mr. Foxman, what is the Arab World? Alan Dershowitz in his “Chutzpah” says the basis of bigotry is “overgeneralization,” so where is the “Arab World”? Is Detroit included? Asscraft thinks so.
Earlier the press release mentions “the Muslim World” does that include Lyons Ave, Newark? But then from “Anti-Semitism” the release goes to Israel, not Jews, and Israeli Mossad as those victimized. So they fight Anti Semitism
Mainly by “defending” Israel. In fact they defend Israel like Joe McCarthy “defended” the US against Communism. Included in my package is a communiqué from an Israeli Peace Organization “: Gush Shalom”, “Israeli Peace Block (see Defamation from the Anti Defamation League Answered” (info@gush-shalom.org) This was first published 7/11/2000 as a press release. “In the past 24 hours, an attack is being mounted against Gush Shalom. Knesset Member Collette Avital (Labor) has actually lodge a complaint with the police, claiming that cartoons presented on our website constitute “incitement”. And the powerful American Jewish organization Anti –Defamation League found time, even on election day, over there, to disseminate a message of defamation against “Gush Shalom”, which already resulted in hate e mails being sent our address”
In a following message signed by Adam Keller Gush, Shalom Spokesperson. The organization defends itself from an ADL pres release s “expressing outrage at Gush Shalom’s portrayal of Prime Minster Barak as a killer of Palestinian children in a caricature on its web site, stating that the image of Barak standing on the bleeding bullet ridden body of a Palestinian child is abhorrent.”
Gush Shalom replies, "Still after consulting with my fellow activists I am in a position to make an offer. Should a complete week – seven days pass in which not a single unarmed Palestinian is killed by the Israeli armed forces which are answerable to Mr. Barak, we would remove the above mentioned cartoon from our website.
The Gush Shalom statement ends “As for the ADL- an organization which claims to “counter hatred prejudice and bigotry” can you truly find no other places to search for such, with Israeli society in its present condition, except at our modest website. Was the ADL attacking these Israelis for being Anti Semitic or criticizing rather forcefully the continuous murder of the Palestinians. So in Israel itself, ADL is still covering for and attacking anyone, even Israeli citizens themselves who oppose the Bush Zionist Plan to de-Palestinianize Palestine!
Another communication from Israel (robertoj69@yahoo.com). This signed by 95 Israeli Academics (copy included in pkg), Sept 23, 2002 that begins “URGENT WARNING: THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT MAY BE CONTEMPLATING CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY” It goes on, “We members of the Israeli academe are horrified by US buildup of aggression towards Iraq and by the Israeli political leadership’s enthusiastic support of it. We are deeply worried by indications that the “fog of war” could be exploited by the Israeli government to commit further crimes against the Palestinian people, up to full-fledged ethnic cleansing.”
One striking description of the Israeli Military by these professors is that in an interview found in Ha’aretz Sept 19, 2002, Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon describe the Palestinians as a “cancerous manifestation” and equated the military actions in the Occupied territories with “chemotherapy”

Certainly the ADL will have to go after these “Anti Semites” using the “Big Lie” and “Spewing Anti-Semitic Venom”! And the growing list of progressive democratic people around the world who will have opinions about Israel and Political Zionism independent of the ADL, the ADL will have to attack and slander them as well

I challenge the ADL to set up a national television program so that we might debate this issue. We can project the poem on a wall and go down line by new and discuss it. If not that then why not a forum or debate some place like NYC Town Hall or at Symphony Hall in Newark.
Why not take a survey of those who heard the poem at the Dodge Festival? Those who registered and the students brought by schools could be contacted and a survey taken to reflect just the majority of people hearing the poem thought, not just some shadowy surrogates of Imperialism who are trying to convince people that I and my poem are the enemy not US and Israeli Imperialism.
I have already gotten a great many communications praising the poem. A great many E-mail letters and phone calls not only praising the poem, and the poet for writing it, but also opposing the attempt to violate my first amendment rights by this oft repeated ADL skin game of calling critics of imperialism Anti Semites.
I have already said, in answer to what Governor McGreevey is quoted as demanding that I apologize and that I resign as NJ Poet Laureate. And I have said repeatedly that I will do neither. It is unfortunate that Governor McGreevey has been stampeded by paid liars, and apologists for ethnic cleansing and white supremacy, bourgeois nationalists and the dangerously ignorant, to be panicked into joining in the ADL’s slander, belittling my intelligence, and insulting not only my person, my family, my fellow artists and activists who know all this is just the feces of a very small cow. But they are also attacking my work in the arts and my social political views. By demanding that I apologize to Evil and Submit to some fundamentally racist and politically motivated call for me to resign as New Jersey’s Poet Laureate, he is insulting the broad group of people who know he is incorrect and who have read and celebrated and valued my work. And that is a grave mistake, one I am hoping he will correct.
“Somebody Blew Up America!” was written Oct 1, 2001. A month after the terror attack. Almost immediately I circulated it around the world on the Internet.
In addition, I have read this poem in Spain, Portugal, Africa, Switzerland, Italy, Finland and it was translated into German and read on German radio, at Universities and other venues across this country. It has become one of the most circulated of my poems.
Yet it was not until I read the poem at the Dodge Poetry Festival that I got negative response from three people that I know of. The overwhelming response was an almost thunderous applause. I even had to come out and take a second bow at one performance. So why now and Who, as the poem asks, is behind it? Perhaps the forces which have dishonestly tried to characterize the poem as “venom” or merely “a harangue” (just as they called John Coltrane’s music “Barbaric Yawps”) are simply, the Charlie McCarthy voices for Bush & Sharon’s Edgar Bergen’s. Empty-headed devilish dummies constructed of wood and painted and costumed to look like it is real people speaking, when all the time it is imperialism is the ventriloquist speaking through their mouths,
NO, I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE, I WILL NOT RESIGN. In fact I will continue to do what I have appointed to do but still have not been paid to do. Publicize and Popularize poetry and poets throughout this state. To set up new venues and new networks for poetry reading and workshops, in the state’s libraries and schools and other institutions. Hopefully initiated and given paradigm right here in the Newark Public Library, its branches and throughout the school system. Therefore giving more of our citizens access to poetry, involving poets of all nationalities, both male and female, of diverse experience and styles. I have already begun to enlist coordinators of poetry programs throughout the state, so that we can network a tour of poets, hopefully beginning in January, throughout the state.
To do this I will be approaching local, county, state, federal and private funding. And expand our budget with the cooperation of these other existing programs. We will ask that poets POET-ON! That they begin to produce at least one poem or publish a poem monthly, in the most modest forms, Kinko style, and give them away if they have to. That they begin to set up readings not only in the places we mentioned but also in parks and restaurants and in neighborhoods.
We say this because we feel that this state and indeed this nation and this world is desperately in need of the deepest and most profound human values that poetry can teach. That is what Keats and Du Bois called for the poet to do, to bring Truth and Beauty. To be like the most ancient paradigmythic image of the poet. To be like Osiris and Orpheus, whose job it was to raise the Sun each morning with song and story. To illuminate the human mind, and bring light into the world. POET ON!

 
 
Oh, all the rules.

My friend Tom told me that he thought whining worked when it comes to solving problems because “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

“But isn’t the squeaky wheel also a pain in the ass?”

We were at the public course near my house, the one that costs $8 for nine holes if you have a resident’s card. Golf isn’t my game, but every couple of months I meet Tom to hit a bucket of balls at the range. It’s kind of an excuse to do something before we go drink beers.

He is a very good golfer, but his swing is violent and awkward. The results, though, are impressive: his 3 wood at the range sailed well past the 250 sign.
I don’t hang out with a lot of golfers, but there’s something refreshing about how Tom doesn’t really follow his shot. He knows it’s going straight, and he has a pretty good idea where it’ll end up.

He turned to me.

“In this day and age, no one gives a shit about the manner in which they conduct their affairs,” he said. “All that matters is the outcome, and if these fuckers cry a little to get their way, I almost have to tip my cap to them.”
 
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
 
Thirty-five thousand feet above the United States of America, I try to imagine the countryside as the county sex offender map, clusters of red dots that pock the land and dissipate its joy. Glowing orbs of depravity.
In the aircraft itself, there is the usual: forced smiles, warm drinks, and Jennifer Aniston’s fake boobs. The video screens that drop from the ceiling show advertising disguised as entertainment.

The plane bounces and dips in the choppy air, and I recall a feature on Channel 8 news in San Diego that the station titled TURBULANCE. Just like that.

A couple goes for it in the bathroom, and I wonder in what context – and to whom – they’ll tell the story. Mom, Dad, you’re not going to believe it. George and I are members of the Mile High Club.

If an entire World Series game takes places while you are airborne, was the game really played?

The president of the United States of America is in the magazines, his head uncannily resembling a balloon. Slumped over the lectern, his oration looks constipated. He seems to be imploring.
Coalition building, they might call it.

The descent into the land of the pedophiles and armed psychotics is smooth, and the weather in Denver is 28 degrees. Oatmeal people wait outside the security checkpoints, forbidden to be at the gates because of the 19 Muslim men who flew the airliners into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania.

That was a nice job on their part, the Muslim men, making flying more difficult for everyone the world ‘round. And it’s too bad, because flying was darn convenient.
Still is, actually, despite the best efforts of the Muslim men.
 
Monday, October 21, 2002
 
The pomo homo says:

Open the jails and set the men free – Saddam, you punker!
Devil’s in the mailbox.

Charlie Rose and Anna Quindlin are talking about all the important friends they have in common, and Ramona and I are standing under an umbrella, watching Ozzy pee on the Alamo.

Hot weather, hot world, hot dog.
Y’all come back soon, y’hear?

I do, and I will.
Love, Joseph Smith

 
Sunday, October 20, 2002
 
Ramona's having a birthday tomorrow.
 
Saturday, October 19, 2002
 
Denver International Airport is filled with creepy traveling businessmen who look like they have large stashes of child pornography. The three toss-bags talking behind Ramona and me are going on about how there won’t be any women at The Meeting.

“Well, there will be a couple,” one says in slow Texas drawl.

The youngest of the three, a guy I saw not wash his hands in the bathroom after taking a piss – and before shaking one of these dick-off’s hand – responds to this by saying,
“There’s gotta be. Someone’s gotta get the coffee.”

I loudly just told Ramona what these assholes behind us were talking about. I almost just wrote that she kept on reading the paper, but then she put it down and said something about these fuck-wads.

No wonder these business guys always have to pay for sex.
 
Friday, October 18, 2002
 
Ramona and I are going to Texas for the weekend, and I’m making a list of things to grab when I get home. Thus far, I’ve included socks, toothbrush and passport.
It really is a different world.
But I’m looking forward to seeing those folks down there. They may not be right – and they may be a little thick – but they’re straightforward, which is commendable.

Ramona doesn’t really like red meat, but I’m going to have a big steak down there. If I get a chance, I’m going to eat BEVO.

The president of the United States of America is from Texas, and I hope I don't run into him while I'm down there.
 
 
It takes a big man to admit the following:
a) he watched the movie “Legally Blonde”
b) it was actually pretty entertaining
 
 
Whatever the annual CIA budget is – the exact figure, believed to be about $4 billion, is classified – it’s a shitload of taxpayer money.

I know there are all sorts of arguments available, but I can’t get this staggering financial sum out of my head when the director of the CIA tells me it is inevitable that my country is going to suffer another devastating terrorist attack, perhaps on a greater scale than Sept. 11, and there’s not a damn thing he or his agency can do about it.

If I don’t justify my pay, I’m out of a job.
 
Thursday, October 17, 2002
 
I can’t fucking believe it, an Islamic leader has been implicated in a series of bombings in Indonesia, including the one that killed at least 183 in the Bali nightclub district over the weekend.
An Islamic leader, of all things.
It’s really rare nowadays to come across an Islamic terrorist. That’s so weird.

An Islamic terrorist.
That must make the Prophet proud, right Mr. Falwell?
 
 
Forgive me for not extending my congratulations to Saddam Hussein yesterday for commanding all 11,445,638 of the votes cast in a referendum in which Iraqis were asked to decide if they were for or against the president of the republic remaining in power seven more years. To enjoy such absolute popularity, and to lead a country in which so many votes can be counted overnight, is truly commendable.
You, sir, must be doing something right.

In my country, it is difficult to find out where to vote, and our people are often uninformed when they reach the polls. In a society where a financial empire can collapse in a few clicks on a computer, the actual devices which record our votes – the very machinery of democracy – are complicated and misleading. Some people can’t determine for whom they’re casting their lot.

And we don’t even let everyone who lives here vote. Until just a few years ago, black people and women weren’t allowed to vote. Oftentimes, not all of the votes are even counted. And when they are all counted, they don’t really count, so to speak. We have something called an Electoral College, if you can believe that. Our votes graduate from our communities and go to university, where they’re commandeered by someone else.

If you look up Electoral College in the dictionary, this is what it says:
A body of electors chosen to elect the President and Vice President of the United States.

It’s all rather confusing and unsettling.

In Iraq, voting is more simple.
 
 
After listening to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ new album 1 ½ times, I have concluded that the band would not be furious with me for acquiring it via the Internet at no cost.
They might want me to kick a little cash their way, but I’m reasonably confident they know it’s unrealistic to ask me to pay $18.98 plus tax for ANY record.

As the lyrics from the title track go:

As we celebrate mediocrity
All the boys upstairs wanna see
How much you’ll pay
For whatcha you used to get for free

 
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
 
These men are driving your sons to premature deaths.
Your sons chose their lives, and entrusted those lives to these men.
My heart is with you.

These men scare me, but your sons fill me with pride in humanity.
 
  Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon, in brief remarks, said Israel had never had a better friend in the White House than Bush.
"We never had such cooperaition in everything as we have with the current administration."
 
  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Cardinals manager Tony La Russa
... The NLCS is La Russa's Waterloo. The Cardinals have been dumped in all three appearances in the NLCS with him as the manager.
And it's worse than it appears.
After leading Atlanta 3-1 in 1996, the Cardinals blew the series by losing three consecutive games. And they managed only one win against the NY Mets in 2000, and one vs. San Francisco this year.
Translation: La Russa has lost 11 of his last 13 NLCS games.
That's awful ...
 
 
The great thing about owning a handgun is that I can shoot another human being to death with impunity. Sure, I have to register my firearm, but the bullet that speeds from the barrel is its own animal.
A bullet is anonymous.

It’s unlike being in my car and running someone over. They can just run my make, model and plate, and I’m toast.

With a handgun, I can kill without worry.
That’s what I love about guns.
I shoot and forget.

Plus, squeezing the trigger makes me feel like a Man.
 
 
Scientology refers to itself as a “church” for purposes of avoiding certain taxes.

The “church” is based, in part, on one man’s science fiction writings. Followers of Scientology include the world’s biggest movie star, Tom Cruise, and John Travolta, who – until a series of offensively terrible movies, including one based on a Scientology work – wasn’t far behind Cruise in terms of movie star magnitude.

Thus, millionaire movie stars, too, are followers.
 
Tuesday, October 15, 2002
 
Rudy is going to Mexico City to help clean up crime in Distrito Federal for something like $4 million a year.

Before Sept. 11, I thought Rudy was a puritanical cocksucker, and he may still be. But I like him anyway.
And I like Mexico City, the steaming masses and choked skyline. I once thought I would live in El Zocalo for 10 years and learn how to play the trumpet, something about my sketches of Spain being inaudible scribbles on the ears of the deaf.
Something like that.

For Rudy and Mexico City, I hope he doesn’t get assassinated down there. I don’t want Rudy dead, and the people of Mexico do not deserve another stain on the national psyche.
The guy stood amid the rubble and gas of Sept. 11, but he wasn’t safe in our capital.

It’s a different ballgame down there, New York mayor or not.

Good luck, Rudy.
 
 
NAQOYQATSI
 
 
Good night, Tony La Russa, good night.
Your St. Louis Cardinals were eliminated from the baseball playoffs last night by the Giants of San Francisco. Your team lost.
They are the losers.

You won a World Series, Tony, after the Loma Prieto earthquake disrupted the 1989 series and your A’s went on to beat the Giants.

You lost a World Series, Tony, when Big Boy homered off your Eck in Game 1 of the ’88 series. The Dodgers of Big Boy and Bull Dog whipped your vaunted A’s.

In 1990, those same vaunted A’s, they of the three straight World Series appearances, were unceremoniously swept by the Reds.

Tony La Russa, in six years in St. Louis, you have not guided the Cardinals to a World Series.

Good night, Tony La Russa.
 
Monday, October 14, 2002
 
I’m supposed to go watch a man bring a tenor saxophone to life, but I can’t stop thinking about the bombs. Everywhere I see bombs, and I have no faith. In anything.

No one talks about the Why. Only Who and Where.
There is no reason for the bombs, yet there are all the reasons.

Who will talk about the bombs? Who will stop the bombs?
Who will be bombed next? Who will be the next person to die from the bombs without even knowing Why?

The tenor saxophone has the answers I need. I will listen to the horn, feel its healing tones wash through me. I will not think of the bombs anymore. I will think about the horn and life and love and Ramona.

I will not think about the bombs until tomorrow.
 
Sunday, October 13, 2002
 
Ramona and I went out and painted each other red last night. We drank pitchers of Heineken and played the jukebox: X, The Replacements and the new Hot Snakes record.
The cabdriver on the way home volunteered that he was an al-Qaida member.
I said, “Never heard of it. What’s that?”

The guy snorted and kinda laughed. He didn’t explain what al-Qaida was.

“You know what?” I said. “I think I have heard of it, a pro-abortion group, right? They fight outside Planned Parenthood against those people who hold the big signs of the mangled fetuses.”
“No, my friend,” he said as the cab slowed. “We do not abortion.”

Ramona got out first, and I tipped the guy 20 percent.
“Have a good one,” I said. I know where my money’s headed.

“You, my friend, have a good one,” he said without looking at me.

As I walked away and he sped off, it crossed my mind that there should be more abortions. All over the place. Televised and beamed into cafeterias and schools.

After all, it’s legal. And Lord knows there are too many people here.
 
Saturday, October 12, 2002
 
The redhead in the Nashville Pussy T-shirt was looking for trouble, and that's all I'll say about that.
Trouble.
 
Friday, October 11, 2002
 
My e-mail to a reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune regarding a column he wrote about Padres third baseman Phil Nevin:

Nevin can go screw. He's a boorish thug with a skewed sense of entitlement.

The reporter's response:

Thanks for your message. I don't know Phil Nevin well enough to be able to characterize him, but I find it fascinating how little support he seems to enjoy in this town.
 
  Life as a video game

According to the World Net Daily, the training video captured in Afghanistan shows al-Qaida operatives practicing the following kinds of assaults:

- using pickup trucks with shooters concealed in the bed of the trucks
- using motorcycles as a shooting platform for drive-bys and assassinations
- execution of prisoners
- ambushes of law-enforcement officers
- residential assassinations
- assassination on a golf course using a rocket-propelled grenade and rifle fire
- drive-up kidnapping of target walking on a street
- use of tunnels, storm drains and sewers for infiltration during urban raids
- rappelling from rooftops of buildings to make entry on upper floors
- use of motorcycles for grenade attacks
- raids on buildings with large numbers of occupants – perhaps schools or office buildings
 
 
When something horrible happens in a community, people always say, “This hits a little too close to home.”
What does that mean, exactly, that all of the world’s horrors are meant to be visited upon other people?

We’re all linked, and we’re all humans, for better or worse.
So we’re all in this together. No one – not even children anymore – is given a free pass.

Maybe when we realize the stark inevitability that, yes, bad shit does happen even in your neighborhood, we’ll start wanting to get along with our neighbors.
 
Thursday, October 10, 2002
 
I unsubscribe to a newsletter CBS Sportsline.com was sending me, and they send me an e-mail informing me that I have unsubscribed.
That's close to getting a pop-up window that doesn't even have an advertisement, only an error message.
 
  Message from The Sheikh
The American government is leading the country towards hell. ... We say to the Americans as people and to American mothers, if they cherish their lives and if they cherish their sons, they must elect an American patriotic government that caters to their interests, not the interests of the Jews. If the present injustice continues with the wave of national consciousness, it will inevitably move the battle to American soil.
 
 
I realized this morning on my way to work - where I make money - that the shmucks in the BMWs and Mercedeses are not worthy of the empty derision with which I’ve historically regarded them. In front of me was a burgundy convertible with a license plate frame that read I LOVE MY BMW, and I got to thinking:
This guy’s not an asshole – he’s just figured out how to win at the game we all have to play.
Capitalism, then, turns us all into the same people. Trying to resist or play by your own rules is futile, and I gotta snap out of this short-sighted idealism.
Get me my broker!

We need a bigger house, better cars and more-far-flung vacations.
You don’t cry about paying $3.50 for a cup of coffee or $80 for a pair of jeans if you make big bucks, so get on board.
And who cares what you do for a living, so long as The Number is right.
 
Wednesday, October 09, 2002
 
The police searching for the person who is indiscriminately shooting people to death in the suburbs of the capital of the United States of America find a note that reads: DEAR POLICEMAN, I AM GOD.

If there were no religion, and the idea of God did not exist, what would the note say?

DEAR POLICEMAN, I AM YOU (?)
 
 
I remember reading somewhere, it might’ve been in Henry Louis Gates’ great Colored People, that had he wanted to play the game, Harry Belafonte could’ve had the career of Sidney Poitier. Maybe it wasn’t in Gates’ book, perhaps it was in a New Yorker article, but I do remember Belafonte saying something to the effect of doing things on his terms, whether that meant mainstream success and riches or not.
Now, I know the guy’s done just fine for himself, but I feel what he was saying.
Wait, I found it on the Internet, it was in a New Yorker piece:

“Sidney was always more pliable, more accommodating ... he never disturbed the white psyche in anything he did,” Belafonte said.

I think the article might’ve been written by Gates.

Anyway, whether you agree with him or not, you gotta admire Belafonte’s stones for going after Colin Powell on a San Diego radio station.

This guy expounds on Belafonte.
 
Tuesday, October 08, 2002
 
Some guys I work with and I play basketball at lunch, and after each game I use one of the two showers the company was nice enough to provide its employees.
I’ve never been very litigious-minded – in fact, legal matters make me quite uneasy – but when I was drying off today the thought crossed my mind that if the gay marketing guy had drilled a hole in wall and was watching me get dressed I would probably be able to sue my company for a couple hundred thousand dollars.

Then I thought, that’s something Sharon Stone would do, she of the getting mad at the zookeepers after her husband had his foot eaten by that Komodo dragon while he was standing in the fucking cage, unlike anyone else who visits the Los Angeles Zoo is permitted to do.
Instead, I decided I would just take it as a compliment.
Fuck Sharon Stone.
 
 
Ramona and I are going to have babies some day, and we’re making a list of names:

Oscar
Ella
Beverly
Elaina
Henry
Iris
Blackie
Horace
Albert
Tom Petty
Veronica
 
Monday, October 07, 2002
 
A U.S.-Iraq war, the unrest in Israel and the occupied territories, and the apparent relentless desire of Muslim extremists to bring the United States of America to its knees combine to form a Perfect Storm that threatens the future of the world.
It’s getting really hot, I told Kevin today, and something’s gotta give. This can’t go on forever.

“The prefect solution,” he said. “Would be for us to bomb Iraq, and Iraq to nuke Israel and the Palestinians.”
“Both sides,” I said, coming to terms with the idea. “Just vanish them all and start over?”
“That’s all,” he said. “Wipe it all out, have ‘em shoot for teams and start over.”
I told him the perfect solution would be like in the cartoons, when Jerry slowly saws a hole around a sleeping Tom, causing the blue cat to fall through the floor. Just cut away all the land that is Israel and the territories and push it out to sea – or sink it.
“Yeah, or like Etch A Sketch,” Kevin said. “Just shake the screen and start over again.”

“Maybe just pave the whole area,” I suggested. “Nothing but blacktop from the Med Sea to Saudia Arabia. Maybe line it with parking spaces, and make it a big parking lot.”
“Why not?” He said, firm in his belief that anything would be better than it is today.
“Say to them, Listen, you had 50 odd years to sort this thing out, and you’re obviously having no luck.”
“Right,” he said. “You guys are both right, and you’re both wrong. But we’ve had enough, and now it has to come to an end.”
“See ya at the Christmas party.”
He nodded and started walking away.
“Yep,” he said. “See ya at the Christmas party.”
 
  Los Angeles residents!
Drop everything to catch a reading by the great Scottish writer Irvine Welsh tomorrow night at the Skylight Books in Los Feliz. You may have seen the movie based on his novel Trainspotting, but there’s so much more.
 
  Plato
The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.
 
 
Driving north on the dark Interstate 5 this morning, I was hoping that some wasted Marine on his way back to Camp Pendleton from Tijuana would not smash into my car. Those guys love to get crazy-shithoused in TJ and try to drive back to the base. Usually right around Encinitas they peter out, fall asleep and end up in a brutal wreck. Often, they plow into CHP officers on the side of the freeway.
Cops like that, too, when a drunken Marine kills one of their own.
 
Sunday, October 06, 2002
 
The Replacements tune “We’ll Inherit the Earth” is not only the worst song on the band’s wildly inconsistent album Don’t Tell a Soul, it might also be the worst song I’ve ever heard.
I mean, it’s that bad.

But that doesn’t really have anything to do with the price of tea in China or waging war against a country because its ruler chooses to not accept your Manifest Destiny.
Nor does that terrible song have anything to do with the American jakey choosing pleasure over substance.

You saw that guy, the one who made everyone laugh in that temporary, gee-I’m-glad-I’m-not-that-guy-but-he-is-kinda-funny way. Think of all the consequences of his actions, and know you could never get away with it.
And you thank your lucky stars you ain’t he and he ain’t you.

Maybe instead of spitting on soldiers, we could be aim for those who kill the soldiers, the ones who sentence them to death.
You can’t reach them, though, because they are hidden behind the high walls of their castles.

The president told me the other day that he doesn’t know if alleged terror mastermind Osama bin Laden is alive.
“Frankly, I don’t care,” he said.

I care, and I think I’m not alone.

But I’ll forget about all this and go get the good Replacements album, Let It Be. That I’ll listen to, and I’ll forget about people killing in the name of.
I’ll wrap my arms around myself and hold on tightly.
And I'll remind myself how much I love you.
 
Saturday, October 05, 2002
 
Yankee, go home.
 
 
There are a bunch of cops in my neighborhood this Saturday afternoon, and they say they’re looking for a guy running through backyards on my street with a handgun.
My neighbor is out front drinking a Beck’s, rhythmically peeking back in at the TV and the Yankees-Angels game. Currently, the Angels are winning 1-0. My neighbor – who I know rolls his own cigarettes – is wearing a Yankee jersey with no number.
I’m listening to Rancid and the police helicopter, having an afternoon coffee.
It’s hot outside, too.
 
Friday, October 04, 2002
 
Identify the true statement:

The governor of New Jersey is calling for the resignation of the state’s poet laureate because the poet is black.

The governor of New Jersey is calling for the resignation of the state’s poet laureate because the poet is a poor speller for a poet.

The governor of New Jersey is calling for the resignation of the state’s poet laureate because the poet wrote a poem the governor does not like.
 
 
Milo doesn’t know it yet, but we’re starting a band together. I’m going to play guitar and yell, and he’s going to play drums. If you know a bassist, lemme know. I was thinking about asking the neighbor kid to learn a few chords.

We’ll call it The Tossers or The Piazzas.

I was thinking about it this morning when I was stuck in traffic jam that made Mexico City look like Montana.
But I didn’t care because I was listening to Three Snakes and One Charm, drinking a smashing cup of coffee and thinking about Ramona and my band.
Listening, drinking, thinking.

Our set will consist of four songs, all of which’ll be covers:

“Loving Cup” by The Stones
The first song off that Tool record Aenima
“All I Want for X-Mas” in honor of my departed hero Cranford

And the third tune to be named later. I would like to do “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man,” but I can’t approximate anything close to Chuck Berry on the guitar. (Not that I can any of the other tunes, but there’s something about playing Chuck the right way.)

Four songs in 15 minutes, and we’ll be done.
 
Thursday, October 03, 2002
  Billets-doux to my 2002 Fantasy Baseball World Series champions
OF – Vernon Wells, Toronto Blue Jays – How you ever flew beneath the radar of our league, I will never know. Your numbers were quietly excellent, and they certainly exceeded those of men with better PR.
What I am sure of is the outstanding week you had – highlighted by a massive 4-for-5 game to start the week – during our World Series. You filled in where men like Juan Gonzalez and Ellis Burks couldn’t, and I am eternally grateful for your excellent play.
I’m only sorry that you will be a high draft pick next year.
All the best, and thanks again.
 
 
I could tell that little Ella was confused when her mom and I were talking about how we slept last night. She was in the kitchen, a coloring book tucked under her arm, rubbing her face still puffy from sleep.
“It looks like someone slept well last night,” her mom said, taking our daughter into her arms and kissing her about the face.
The girl giggled and pushed into Grace’s shirt, one she would have to change before going to work.
“Mama,” Ella said. “Why do you and Daddy always say ‘How did you sleep?’”

Grace asked if she was curious because little girls always sleep well, sleep the whole night through without worry.
“I d’know,” the child said, a bit unsure. “I just wanted to know.”

Because, I thought, sleep for adults is not the given that it is for children. I wanted to tell our daughter that sleep for adults is harder to come by because with each day that passes we lose a little more of the innocence and naiveté that allowed us to embody the cliché slept like a baby.
We know about people who like to torture and lie and take advantage of the unknowing. The manipulators and their horrors prey on our night mind, and we can’t really go to sleep because we must remain vigilant to protect you, dear Ella.
The more we know, the more uncomfortable we become, my princess.

Grace tells Ella that it’s a game between Mama and Daddy. We like to see who can sleep the best, she tells the child. At the end of the contest, the winner gets a prize.
Ella’s face brightens.

“Who’s winning?” She asks excitedly.

Grace gives me a look that’s more statement than question.
“It’s tied, sweetie,” she says. “We’re all tied right now.”
 
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
  Billets-doux to my 2002 Fantasy Baseball World Series champions
OF – Vladimir Guerrero, Montreal Expos – Rolen may have been my favorite player for all the bullshit he went through with that useless manager Larry Bowa in Philadelphia, but you, I am proud to announce, are the Most Valuable Player of the AHOLES.
I don’t even know what your numbers were – I know they were monstrous – but I know that you could hit two home runs or steal three bases at any given time, regardless of score or situation. You fell to me at the fifth overall pick, and given the chance, I would’ve drafted you higher.
Your enthusiasm for the game and unnatural talent are a pleasure to watch – even though I never get to see you play because you are on the Expos. It was wonderful to know that if the Expos scored runs, you or Jose Vidro were likely involved.
Congrats, MVP.
 
  Billets-doux to my 2002 Fantasy Baseball World Series champions
OF – Lance Berkman, Houston Astros – Lance, I would be an ungrateful idiot if I were to complain about the monster season you had. There is just no arguing with 42 HRs, 128 RBI and 106 runs. However, since you had 29 HRs and 81 RBI at the All-Star break, you will be remembered by me for your lackluster second half, cruel as that may be.
And, you had a terrible World Series week, amassing just two points (the equivalent of two walks) over five games.
Anyway, thanks for a great first half.
 
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
  Billets-doux to my 2002 Fantasy Baseball World Series champions
OF – Bobby Abreu, Philadelphia Phillies – Because you got off to a slow start by your standards, I was able to acquire you for only Astros pitcher Carlos Hernandez and A’s outfielder Jermaine Dye. What you did when you arrived to my team, the AHOLES, was remarkable, and you might’ve been my most consistent scorer.
You finished as the 10th-highest scoring outfielder in our league with only 20 HRs and 83 RBI; had more than 150 hits, 6 of which were triples; and swiped a terrific 29 bases.
Best of all, you played nearly every day, and you always found a way to tally. That you are from Venezuela is only gravy.
Many thanks.
 
Formerly GOD'S LONELY MAN

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