Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Joining the Confederacy

When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that
all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.
--Jonathan Swift

I do not think I am a genius. I also don't think I am a dunce. But I pretty much know a dunce when I see one. And I tend to see lots of them. They vote for one thing. And they "rise to their level of incompetence" quickly as Lawrence Peter's suggested, in most organizations.

But still the dunces are the majority. And nothing rallys the dunces like perceiving someone is smarter than they are. This is why George W. was the perfect presidential candidate. He didn't threaten the dunces because he was one of them. Al Gore did threaten the dunces.

I have to admit I am torn by the battle over the democratic nomination for a presidential candidate. I am going to break my own rules of not engaging in political or religious discussions and say that I think Hillary Clinton is the better choice than Barack Obama. I think Obama means well. But he is woefully out of his league. And I think he is hovering dangerously close to his level of incompetence and the dunces are clearly coming out to support him. They are clearly being threatened by Clinton who is obviously incredibly intelligent and more qualified to be President. God forbid we elect the right person for the job.

The sad thing is that if Obama gets the nominated (which at this point seems inevitable), we have to join the Confederacy to avoid McCain and the rest of the Mega Dunces dragging us kicking and screaming into four more years of unthinkable Republican rule. I'll vote for Obama, but I think he is woefully naive and I can't help but get flashbacks to Jimmy Carter floundering through the Oval Office trying to do the right thing. That could only open the door to even more conservative dunces.

It is very sad when you have to choose between the lesser of two evil dunces. God politics sucks.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer hair
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy

Hair, hair, hair, hair
Grow it, show it
Long as I can grow it
My hair

I let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home for the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for the buzzin' bees
A nest for birds
There ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my...

Hair, hair, hair, hair,
Grow it, show it
Long as I can grow it
My hair

--Hair; Hair the Musical

From the first time I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964, I pretty much knew I was going to grow my hair long. And by today's standards, the Beatle's hair wasn't really that long. But by the late 50s and early 60s standards they were scandalously shaggy.

Maybe it was also my own backlash reaction to my mother's do-it-at-home haircuts that inevitably led to me wanting my hair long. And perhaps my mother was tired of trying to even up her slips of the clippers. So my hair grew. I remember my Aunt Erma teasing me unmercifully about it, asking, "Who is this pretty little girl?"

That just strengthened my resolve. I spent most of my youth, adolescence and young adulthood with fairly long hair. At one point in the 90s, I am ashamed to say, I even had a ponytail.

With 50 less than a month away, I keep my hair (grateful that I've kept my hair) respectfully short. I do not want to be one of those middle-aged men who tries to hide from Father Time in the fashions of his youth. I don't wear my ear rings anymore, either. My tattoo is my only concession to rebellion. But I got that when I was 45, so I figure it is exempt from the stigma of a aging man not accepting his fate gracefully.

But part of me misses my flowing locks. I miss my face framed by free range hair. I miss bandanas and headbands. I even miss the constant brushing the hair out of my face. Maybe it is the silver that has strangled the once brown strands and feeds the longing. Or maybe it is the Samson in me longing for that symbol of strength that maturity has robbed from me.

Who knows? Someday, maybe when I'm staring at 60 and more aged than middle aged I'll let the hair grow again (provided I am still blessed with it). Cause no matter how you cut it, there really ain't no words for the beauty, the splendor and the wonder of my hair.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Timothy is Leery

It's been quite awhile since I've had a theme week on Dizgraceland. For one, it takes alot of energy to come up with a theme and then it takes alot of energy to stick with it for a week. So I've been leery of starting one up again (ha, you wondered how I was going to work leery into the post to justify the photo). But sometimes a theme creeps in unbeknownst to me.

Far out.

I was really too young to appreciate the 60s. I grew up in Idaho and by the time the 60s made it there, it was the 70s. Disco hit there in the 80s and I think they are getting grunge about now. It's just one of those timewarp states.

I was 10-years old in 1968 when the 60s were at their peak. So suffice to say, I missed out on free love and I never dropped acid. But I was old enough to appreciate the music of the 60s as it crackled through the tiny speaker of my transistor radio. I idolized the Beatles. I remember Steppenwolfe, Three Dog Night, Jefferson Airplane (yes, they once were an Airplane), the Who, the Guess Who, Creedance Clearwater Revival and Tommy James and the Shondells. Ironic thing is, most of these bands work has been covered by recent artists so my children will likely be singing the same songs I did when I was 10.

Far out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why would anybody...

...want to be President of the United States? famous?

Okay, money, maybe. But I am getting a bit more disgusted than usual at our society's fascination with dissecting the rich, powerful and famous (or infamous). I'm sick of all of the presidential candidates and we aren't even through with the primaries. I am tired of the train wreck they call Britney Spears. And I don't want to know what the mentally ill gunman who opened fire in a Chicago university lecture hall had for breakfast.

Why do we have to know all this crap about people just because they are politicians, singers, movie stars or mass murderers? I don't even want to know these things about people I know. And what human being out there could withstand any of the scrutiny of the slobbering packs of papparazi or press?

And it seems as though there are cameras everywhere so even the non famous are caught doing disgusting things and displayed on the tabloid news programs. Programs like American Idol and Survivor turn even the most vile and untalented individuals into microwave celebrities. But when the bell goes off they are done and has beens.

I used to think it would be cool to be famous. I wanted to be a celebrated author that people marveled at and wrote fan mail. The beauty of being a bestselling author is that you can be eccentric, a recluse and dress badly. And still people will think you are cool. I thought that until Hunter S. Thompson blew his brains out.

I really don't want people sifting through my trash looking for trash. I don't want people snapping photos of me under the bathroom stall at an airport. And I wouldn't want any of my bad days turned into a mental breakdown by the media and broadcast at noon, five and 11 o-clock.

And I really wouldn't want to be the President of the United States and have most of the world think I was satan just so I could age in dog years in the Oval Office while political pundants debated my IQ.

I guess when it comes down to it, being a nobody is really something.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Why do they call them colds?

A cold hops in on little frog feet.
It sits on slimy haunches,
Lurking over nose and sinus,
And then moves on...
....or snot.

With apologies to Carl Sandburg
A cold isn't...cold that is. You usually have a fever. So they shouldn't call them colds. I suppose calling them hots would be more accurate. But lusting after someone already snagged that label (as in "I've got the hots for you"). And why do they call them "the common cold?" Are there uncommon colds or exotic colds?

Rachet a cold up a notch and you have the flu (not to be confused with a fireplace flue which is a shaft that sucks smoke up your chimney). The flu is a cold on steroids.

If you hadn't guessed, I have a cold. It shouldn't be the flu. I had a flu shot. Though I've heard reports that some people are getting the flu anyway because they gave everyone shots for a different strain of the flu then the one going around.

But I digress. You have to forgive me because I have a cold.

Though most people aren't sympathetic when you have a cold because they think they are going to get it from you. But the main way people get colds is by touching things that people with colds have touched and then rubbing their own eyes or picking their noses and thus introducing the cold germs to their system. It goes something like this:

"Cold, meet my system, system meet the cold."



"Got any mucous membraines I can inflame?"

"Yeah, I think there are some in the nasal cavity and up there in the sinuses."


Then the cold makes itself at home like a third cousin on your mother's side who hasn't worked in five years. The only way you can get rid of it is introducing it to someone elses system. It eventually leaves, but you still have lots of dirty towels and no beer left.

I'm not sure why no one has discovered a cure for the cold. I don't even think there is a foundation for finding a cure. I suppose it wouldn't make a very good telethon or charity race. "Race for the Cold" doesn't have a very nice ring to it.

Personally, I think Kleenex probably does what it can to prevent anyone working on a cure for the cold. I wouldn't put it past them to hire people with colds to work in their factories and sneeze on the tissues as they are putting them in those cardboard boxes. There's gold in them thar nostrils. And the big wigs at Kleenex know that a cure for the cold is nothing to sneeze at.

Ha ha ha...

I have to go blow my nose now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Engaging the commentors (or Y I issnt ignorant)

Today I received a random comment on a post I wrote back in August 2004 when I obviously thought I was incredibly witty. The commentor, someone named Aly, thought otherwise.

Aly has left a new comment on your post "Engaging the enemy: the spam wars":

Amusing enough, but one thing bothered me... It's perfectly reasonable for someone to have a name such as Emmanuel H****. I know a couple who gave their children Korean first names despite their clearly Italian last name. The wife is from Korea and it was important to her. So don't think you're so witty for spotting the difference in name origins when in fact you're just being ignorant. I'm not arguing that it was a fake name, simply clarifying that a name like that is not so uncommon.
Posted by Aly to
Dizgraceland at 11:40 AM

I Googled the name "Emmanuel H****" and sure enough seven entries popped up with that name (including my post about spam wars). As impressive as that is, I don't think it supports Aly's "clarification" that "Emmanuel H****" is a common name.

Petty minutia aside, I find it amazing that this person would miss the entire point of the post and call me ignorant for baiting a spammer by questioning their bogus choice of a name to try and scam me. I don't think I am witty for spotting the difference in name orgins. But I do think it was pretty funny to waste a spammer's time. And I think Aly is as sharp as a river rock for honing in on the single most insignificant part of the post.

Hey Aly, go back to My Space and leave us ignorant bloggers be. Or better yet, post your e-mail address next time and I'll forward it on to my spammer friend. Those Nigerian guys love intellectuals like you.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Odds are the 'Next Blog' sucks

Every now and then I give in to the perverse urge to click on the "Next Blog" button Blogger so graciously provides us at the top of our blogs. This random venture into blogdom used to be good for a few moments of diversion. Although it didn't reap you much quality, at least you were exposed to actual bloggers trying to blog. Now, odds are you will bring up some piece of crap, lowlife spam site that uses Blogger's free Web hosting to clog the bandwith with sales pitches. And although I value diversity, I am kind of wondering if anyone in the English speaking world is blogging anymore.

I would love to click on "next blog" and actually be able to read some content, not look at photos of shoes from Hong Kong. Show me the blogs, not the clogs. I want to read about people's lives, not scan endless links of shopping scams.

Okay Blogger, you aren't doing the blog world any favor by not having any criteria for who can have a blog on your server. Why don't you create a certification process for bloggers that separates the blog wheat from the blog chaff? Some of us legitimately have been writing blogs for years and we are obscured by the blog spammers you allow to have Blogger accounts. I'm telling you, what this blog world needs is an enema.