Friday, November 30, 2007

I love politicians!

Andy Lewis, a newly elected Delaware County commissioner, recently uttered a bit of idiocy that will remain among my favorite for eternity. As you may know, Lewis and his Republican cohorts campaigned on the ominous warning that their Democratic opponents would raise taxes but that they, the heroic GOP standard-bearers, would "hold the line." Well, there was a line, but it was fed to the voters, because now these folks are talking about tax increases. I just have to post a quote from Lewis himself, explaining his elastic position on the issue:

"Holding the line on taxes does not mean no tax increase."

Of course not. I think any reasonable person would understand that holding the line on taxes means being willing to raise them. Duh.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not against taxation. In fact, you'll never hear me complain about the amount of taxes I pay, although I make no such promises in regards to the use to which my money is put. However, I can't stand these zeros who rail against high taxes but happily avail themselves of the multitude of amenities taxes provide.

New favorite lyric:

"An American army regulation
Says you mustn't kill more than ten percent of a nation
Because to do so causes permanent psychological damage
It's not permanent but they didn't know that."

Artist: Sinead O'Connor (Dave Clayton/Sinead O'Connor)
Song: Famine
Album: Universal Mother

Thursday, November 29, 2007

In my day...

Yeah, it's one of those posts. However, let me preface by saying that, generally speaking, I do not think that life was better ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. Today's computers are more user-friendly, our medicines more effective, and loads of other stuff I'll not bother to mention but which you can fill in for yourself. However, I think in a few areas we were better off, say, twenty-five years ago, than we are now. Here they are:

News: Back in '82, the news was on in the morning, at noon, at dinnertime and late at night. If something happened at 3pm...well, you waited a few hours to find out about it. (Unless it was really momentous, when networks would interrupt programming to tell you about it.) Today you can get news in six zillion ways and at all hours of the day, and you can even enable RSS feeds on various topics so that you'll never, ever miss the latest updates on whatever topic you've chosen. Call me curmudgeonly (Curmudgeon! Curmudgeon!), but I think this created a society of fear. Because reports of every happening everywhere in the world is available to any joker with Web access, we've developed perceptions of risk far out of proportion to actual threats. A child was abducted in and lock yours in a room! This is what brought us Megan's Laws and other fear-motivated but ultimately useless public policies.

Communication: If you were alive in 1982, you remember the days when you got phone calls in one place: home. If you weren't there, you didn't get the call. Hell, most people didn't even have answering machines! These days, with cell phones and Blackberrys and who knows what else, you're on call 24-7. No matter where people are or what they're doing, they're ready, willing and able to answer the burning cell-phone question "Where are you?" Cell phones ring in movie theaters, restaurants, concerts, operas, courtrooms...I once had a date (a first date, mind you) in which the gentleman took a call and stayed on the phone for five minutes. (I didn't put out on that date, if you're wondering, and I always put out. That's how mad I was.) There's something quintessentially rude about the way cell phones are used, and it's coarsened our society, not to mention made our roads more dangerous with drivers who think they're better at multitasking than they actually are.

Entertainment: In that golden yesteryear of 1982, you had six channels; seven, if you counted PBS. Now you have seven hundred thousand, and most of what you'll find on them is utter crap. Most theaters had one screen; today, they can have more than twenty. They say competition improves, but that certainly has not been the case with media explosion. Do you think a movie like "Taxi Driver" would be made today? Would you expect "All In The Family" to make its way into today's television programming? The intensity of competition has really just prodded producers to aim at the lowest common denominator, so as to gather the biggest possible audience. That means dumbing down the content, and after years of being treated like it's stupid, the American public has lowered itself admirably to the occasion. That's why "American Pie" had two sequels.

Again, I don't pretend that 1982 was some kind of golden age; it wasn't, and I am glad we are here and not there. But not everything we've gained has been a boon. I also realize that the things I listed have been negative not because of any inherent factor but because of misuse. It's my blog, tho, so I get to bitch.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A voice of reason...

...where you'd least expect to find it: the state legislature. Check out this opinion piece by Rep. Daylin Leach, who represents the 149th District. He very deftly deflates the hysterical objections of the NRA nuts who think that a reporting requirement is the first step on the way to the gulag.

Have you heard the rumors about retiring Senator Trent Lott's association with gay escort Benjamin Nicholas? I won't pretend these rumors are substantiated, but they certainly are interesting. I find it curious that Nicholas at first says that he doesn't want to add complication to "Trent's" life (they are on a first-name basis?!?) because "it's the professional thing to do." Uhh...just what profession are we talking about, Ben? When pressed, he says Lott (evidently, he's forgotten the senator's first name) has alot to deal with and that he, Nicholas, doesn't want to "add fuel to the embers." Finally, when he was caught out, he said that he and Senator Lott (now evidently remembering Trent's profession) have no "current affiliation." That's a very careful statement, don't you think?

Clearly, Nicholas either had a relationship with Lott or he wants us to think he did. Perhaps he's just a drama queen (a predilection certainly not unknown amongst gay men) who's looking for attention, but I don't think so. If you check out his Web site, it's clear that Nicholas' clients are relatively well-heeled and probably desirous of discretion, so I can't imagine good ol' Ben really wants to attract this kind of attention. I dismissed these rumors at first, but now I'm starting to wonder if there's not some fire behind all this smoke.

New favorite lyric:

"You're the hammer that's falling
You are the dripping tap inside
Insane and deranged
No easy words that could explain."

Artist: Go-Go's* (Go-Go's/Anna Waronker)
Song: I Think I Need Sleep
Album: God Bless the Go-Go's

*Yeah, I know that's two consecutive new favorites from the Go-Go's. It's been that kinda week.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Game. Set. Match.

Sorry for strutting a bit, but I had a fabulous set at Helium last night and I am flying high about it! Got lots of laughs on material that was less than four hours old and which was, in my view, a bit personally revealing. I felt like I could have taken the walk home in four giant steps.

Speaking of steps, mine are considerably noisier these days, as my left Merrell has developed one of those inexplicable squeaks that happens every time I put my left foot down. I wish those squeaks would start sporadically so I'd have some warning that it was time to replace the shoes, but nuthin' doing. Yesterday: good shoe; today: squeaky annoyance. I am very particular about the type of shoe I wear, and of course City Sports had that type in every size but mine, so I had to order it. Therefore, the city will be somewhat noisier until next week.

Note to those who will see me within the next two or three days: I am going to be insufferably positive about my Helium set. Forgive, please.

New favorite lyric:

"Lust to love
Was the last thing I was dreaming of
And now all I want is just to love
Lust has turned to love."

Artist: Go-Go's (Jane Wiedlin/Charlotte Caffey)
Song: Lust to Love
Album: Beauty and the Beat

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


You can find a vid of my latest stage foray on YouTube, but be warned that it's not pretty. It was a very bad crowd for me, interested chiefly in dick jokes, of which I have none. They also seemed to like masturbation humor; I was the sixth or seventh comic on stage that night, and every other one had jokes on that topic. Every single one. So, if you want a good jerk-off joke...well, don't ask me, because I haven't heard any lately.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This sums it up

You want to know why I wouldn't vote for Rudy Giuliani in a million years? Check out his own words about his reflections during the 9/11 period in NYC.

"At one point I stopped. I'd probably made about 10 decisions. I wasn't sure they were right. And I said to God, 'God, you know, you know how this is going to come out. I don't. And I'm going to make the decisions, and you're going to make them right."

Call me crazy, but maybe he should be asking God to help him make the right decisions, instead of expecting God to...what? Change the world so those decisions turn out to be right?

This confirms what I've read about Giuliani, who has in the past said he grew up sensing he had a destiny and that 9/11 was when it arrived. That, in my view, is dangerous. I don't want any part of a candidate who thinks he's been touched by a god, destiny, fate, whatever. Not for president, not for Congress...hell, not even for committeeperson. No way. That leads to a belief that it's OK to break laws or engage in sleazy deals because, what the hell, it's all in a good cause. Also, it makes you think you're irreplaceable. Nobody is. The job of POTUS will get done by someone, and if that someone isn't Rudy the nation will not slide into the Atlantic.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Just so you know...

...before you decide to scream in an elevator, you should probably check to see if said elevator has a camera.

Saw "Razor" at the Riverview last night, and I give it a thumbs-up. I think it airs on TV November 24, and I recommend watching it. I'd thought about titling this post something like, "'Razor' cuts deep" or "'Razor' is a cut above'," but then I realized how annoying that would be.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


....chicken salad from Reading Terminal. I don't normally buy chicken salad because when it's bad it's really bad, but the stuff Hatville Deli serves is downright tasty. Have some. Now!

I am getting really tired of presidential debates in which the candidates are asked about their opinions on torture in the context of a "Jack Bauer" scenario. Since when did it become intellectually respectable to frame questions of national policy in terms of a television series? Shall we now engage in debates about abortion based on the situation faced by the President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol?

Hey, Yagathai showed "Deer Woman" at Movie Night yesterday, and it was a howl. One of the funnier MN selections of late, and definitely one I'll remember for a long time. Apparently the flick is part of the "Masters of Horror" series, for those who want to look it up.

I'm currently watching fifth-season episodes of "Babylon 5" to support my theory that Sheridan was an awful politician who got it wrong half the time and then weaseled out of his responsibility to make it right. You're probably thinking, "Uhh...don't you have socks to sort, or some lint to pick out of your navel?" Yeah, I'd really do something so useless.

New favorite lyric:

"Who's peeking out from under a stairway, calling a name that's lighter than air
Who's bending down to give me a rainbow, everyone knows it's Windy
Who's tripping down the streets of the city, smiling at everybody he** sees
Who's reaching out to capture a moment everyone knows it's Windy"

Artist: The Association (Ruthann Friedman)
Song: Windy
Album: Insight Out

**Yes, you saw "he." Believe it or not, this song was written by Ruthann Friedman about a man, but when The Association recorded it they changed the lyrics. You can find the original lyrics here.