Monthly Archives: April 2011

Student of the Month

You should slap yourself in the face if you have a sticker like these on your bumper. No one cares.

I sometimes forget that most people don’t look to George Carlin for a voice of sanity and reason. In one of his more recent stand-up specials he railed about parents who put stickers on their bumpers that read: We Are The Proud Parents Of An Honor Roll Student At The Midvail Academy. This was during the ’90s when those stickers seemed to be in abundance. Carlin- who is thankfully our Voice of Reason even today- put these parents in their places. Do they actually think anyone cares about their child’s minor scholastic achievements?

It’s pathetic and I was happy that they seemed to be fading in popularity. Until I saw a bumper sticker recently even more ridiculous that is revamping my hatred for the whole idea behind these stickers. Driving down the road I saw on the back of someone’s Ford SUV: We Are The Proud Parents Of The Student Of The Month at the Midvail Academy. Student of the month. That is how goddamn sorry we are getting in this country. Come on, if your kid wins a student of the month award that is just a sign that he is a dunce and the school is doing whatever they can to boost his non- existent self- esteem.

Also, what ever happened to losers in this country? Isn’t anyone a loser anymore? Even if you do subscribe to this rating of kids in school crap, shouldn’t you save it for the ones that actually achieve something? Student of the month. Hell, a kid could get that reward just by showing up and not cursing at his teacher while he’s looking at porn on his cell phone. How do you motivate and get the respect of kids if you give them soft, meaningless recognition such as Student of the Month? They are not that important. You could also read that as saying: This shitty little kid wasn’t a complete waste of space this month. Forget all this business. Tell the truth. Let the kids learn about losing. Let them learn about defeat and utter failure. It will build character. Let them cry their little eyes out because they have failed. Then let them come back and try some more.

This works.

Yep. That works too.

OK. Here's the exception.

And we have a winner!


Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Musings


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That’s The Kinda Shit That Ruins My Day

You’ve all heard this expression. Maybe you’ve actually used it yourself once or twice. You know what’s interesting about it though? We say it when mostly meaningless and harmless things happen to us. You stub your toe twice in a day and after the second time you say ‘boy, that’s the kinda shit that ruins my day.’ Or maybe you say it when you get 12 red lights in a row. We never it say when it really means something. We never smash ourselves in the crotch and say ‘that’s going to ruin my day’. Even though it seems to fall into the former category of non-serious issues, that’s a somewhat realistic case where it would apply. We never hear of people getting seriously injured– or if we are seriously injured– or of our loved ones confirming that we are, in fact, completely worthless and respond by saying, ‘yep, that’s the kinda shit that ruins my day’.

Earlier today I was downtown in Santa Cruz and walked past two of the good-for-nothing street kids who wear Bob Marley t-shirts and wait for handouts or make snide comments to people with jobs. One was sitting on a bench and the other was standing facing him at his side. The one sitting bent over and tried putting out his cigarette on the leg of the bench, but just enough so that he could fire up the rest later. Apparently, too much tobacco fell out of the cigarette, rendering it garbage. He said, looking at the wasted butt, ‘man, that’s the kinda shit that ruins my day.’ I thought, ‘really? not having half a cigarette ruins your day? How lucky you must be!’ It was astounding for him to say that. I thought, ‘so, not having anywhere to live doesn’t ruin your day? Not knowing where your next meal is going to come from doesn’t ruin your day? Having no future in your current lifestyle doesn’t ruin your day?’

The only thing in his case that could ruin his day I would imagine would be for someone to give him money. Not because he didn’t earn it, but because of what could potentially happen to him depending on how he spent it. Let’s say he bought some of the cheap, pure Mexican heroin that is so popular in Santa Cruz. But let’s say that he got a batch that was too pure for him and he overdosed on it. That, my friends, would surely be something to ruin his day.


Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Musings


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Grapes of Wrath

On a purely superficial level, Henry Fonda had the most bad ass sounding voice. No one talks like that. All the better that Leone cast him as a villain.

I’m working on a project on Woody Guthrie and, at this point, have been casting a pretty wide net as far as my sources go. Right now I am essentially doing what I can do to get reacquainted with the great American bard as a person and the times he lived through. So last night I watched the movie version of The Grapes of Wrath for the first time. Steinbeck and Guthrie were reportedly pretty tight and the influence of The Grapes of Wrath is evident in Guthrie’s album Dust Bowl Ballads.

As I was watching Grapes I was really struck, yet again, at how non-commonsensical (whoa) the reactions of citizens and authority figures were to struggling Americans. (It is one thing to listen to a song or story of how they were treated, altogether something else to see it acted out.) Here were people who were migrating- moving- somewhere and yet were repeatedly stopped and told to keep moving, often with the sting of a billy club ringing in their heads. Here were people whose homes and farms were destroyed, went to the Promised Land of California looking for work and yet were regarded as being lazy and shiftless.

What is interesting to me about this particular time period and case is that it is just another instance where Americans have shown their true colors. I am not of the notion to put a patriotic, utopian (utopic?) varnish on the total conception of America or American citizenship. On the other hand, I also don’t– like some young people today who are descendants of oppressed people and who are often more angry than their parents or grandparents were at their oppressors– think of Americans as being purely selfish, ignorant pawns of the upper-class. Yet there are too many cases where Americans do, not what isn’t right to each other, but what is the wrong. (There is difference between not doing the right thing and doing the wrong thing.) You’ll find such actions in the cases of Saccho and Vanzetti, the Haymarket Riot, and the Watts Riot of 1965 to name a few. Look at the way Americans act towards other Americans and you get a different impression of the patriotism, righteousness and egalitarianism of Americans throughout history. Again, this is not to say that Americans do the wrong thing in all matters of strife and crisis, but very often throughout our past we have acted in ways towards each other that dispel the myth of American citizenship being righteous, egalitarian or basically anything higher than selfish, violent, ignorant and purely in the cause of big business and the status-quo. Kind of makes you view the status of the country today in a different light.

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Music, Musings


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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Randomness



Let’s Give It Up

Clap, Bitches, Clap!

Some American comedians are known for doing a lot of cheerleading. Instead of telling jokes to get people going they fill their time on stage by getting the crowd to clap for things. It goes like this: ‘Hey, let’s give it up you guys are awesome tonight. Come on you bastards, let’s give it up!’ Or, ‘come on guys, let’s give it up for the ladies! Yeah ladies! Let’s give it up guys.’ You start to wonder where the joke telling comes in, or what their impression of their art is. I’ve heard lots of different things that crowds- who are there to laugh- are supposed to give it up for. But the other day I heard by far the dumbest, most ridiculous one that leads me to believe that the whole ‘let’s give it up’ business needs to stop. A female comic whose name I’ve forgotten put out a movie of a show she did in her hometown of D.C. When she came out she did the typical strutting around the stage and doing the whole ‘Oh yeah, D.C.! Let’s hear you!’ crap. Then she says, ‘I have so much makeup on right now it’s crazy. Let’s give it up for my makeup!’ I had to stop watching immediately. Clapping for makeup- what the hell? I have an idea. Let’s not give it up for makeup, let’s not give it up for the ladies, or the waitresses or the crowd or the city. Comedians should tell jokes and get applause for them and not generate false applause just for appealing to people’s desire to clap for makeup.

What the hell. Let’s Give It Up for:

Those coffee cup holders. Not our hands, those sleeves. What would we do without them?
Paper. Even though its going out of fashion. What if we didn’t have paper?
Water. Making beer would be difficult without water.
Animals who run under our wheels. It saves us the trouble of finding them and killing them.
Broth. Without it noodle soup would just be plain noodles.
Fire. Cause without it Arthur Brown wouldn’t sing about it.
Fingernails. How else we would pick the food stains off our shirts?
Ideas. What if no one had any ideas? Would we still have thoughts?
Logan’s Run. Seriously, that is a great movie.
The fact that the 1980s are past.
Stupid people. Who else would we get pissed at and make fun of?
Each other. Without each other we would be rambling bags of shit.
Religion. Without it we might actually be happy and at peace.
Eyesight. Without it we wouldn’t see people tripping and falling on their faces in public.
Farting. Because then no one would accidentally do it in public and be embarrassed.

This could go on forever…

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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Musings


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‘I Love You Even Though Your Stupid & Ugly’ Songs

I, like many people, enjoy sentimental tunes. Whether its Edith Piaf singing ‘La Vie En Rose‘ or The Ramones singing ‘Oh Oh I Love Her So‘, I dig all kinds of love songs. There’s one kind of love song, however, that I just don’t understand. I’m talking about the kind of love songs that essentially say, ‘your ugly, stupid and have zero potential, but hey, I love ya’. I keep coming across different variations of this type of song. Billie Holiday, in ‘My Man‘, sings about a guy who’s “not much on looks, he’s no hero” (read: he’s coward and a loser), and on top of that cheats on her. Oh yeah, he also beats her. Yet, she loves him. When he holds her in his arms the whole world is bright for that brief moment. All the rest of the time her life is miserable and he’s a lying, ugly, abusive, cheating coward.

Another song I’ve heard recently that follows this formula to comedic levels is Buck Owens’ ‘Ain’t It Amazin’, Gracie‘. The singer of the song has left his hometown and hometown girl Gracie to travel the world trying to make a living at singing. He sings that he has never been thrilled by a woman like he has by Gracie. Thrilled, huh? Right, okay. He then goes on to sing- and this is where it gets good- ‘She’s not the prettiest girl in the world, I know she’s not the smartest one too/ But she’s always there, and I know she cares and I know her little heart is true.’ So here is a guy who has been “thrilled” by his ugly, stupid hometown girl, yet has traveled all over the world meeting hot chicks. And we’re supposed to believe he hasn’t bagged any of them? So is he singing this song as a put down? ‘She’s ugly, stupid and will never make it in the world’? or, is he trying to avoid breaking Gracie’s heart by lying about how much action he gets on the road? It’s all so confusing.

I say this because love songs are supposed to be dramatic, romanticized takes on a person or relationship. What’s so romantic about telling the world the person you love is ugly and stupid and maybe abusive? And calling a spade a spade is all well and fine, but do they think these songs are actually going to make their stupid, ugly partners really happy?

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Posted by on April 22, 2011 in Music


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Bunghole Liquors

I can think of two things wrong with this.

It seems these Bunghole Liquors have a bit of history of ’em.

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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Randomness


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