Finally, the United States of America has confidantly voted into office its first black President, and today is the first day of the Future after all. I am so proud again to be an American.
We owe a tremendous debt to black, female, latino, and other “minority” voters, many of whom have until today been disenfranchised - not just for what they have done today, but for what they have done in the past to bring us to this moment.
O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won.
(Of course, i have omitted stanzas which are not needed and do not serve this day; the poem, after all, is an elegy.)
We voted today.
- Poll workers didn’t know what they were doing. One lady was on the phone with the Board of Elections the entire time, asking a new question for virtually every single voter. They could not locate the provisional ballots initially.
- Holly, who registered and until today showed up on the local Board of Elections web site, had to vote via provisional ballot. I did not. She and i both independently witnessed two other couples having the same problem. The poll worker said that it had been happening. But also insisted that Holly wasn’t registered, and that the web site had provided incorrect information. How the web site would even have her name is beyond me.
- We had zero privacy. There were no boundaries, and i filled out my ballot within inches of people standing in line who could all see every choice i made very clearly. Thankfully, did not get lynched afterward for voting strongly anti-American.
- Also, there were only two tables set up for filling out ballots, and two chairs for each. Holy fuck that is not going to get people in and out, or entice people to wait when it takes hours and hours to get to that miserable but glorious point.
However, do not let these things stand in your way! If you have problems:
- Contact your local Board of Elections,
- Contact your local and/or national party HQ,
- Contact 1.866.OUR.VOTE, and
- Make your local media aware of the situation
Dearest Republicans and other whiners (i’m looking at you, “Democrats” “for” “McCain”) :
Stop moaning. The people of these United States are Doing Their Thing. The next president won’t be your little evangelical white pet unless your childish attempts at voter fraud, intimidation, and rigging somehow manage to be successful. Which they won’t, because most of you can barely work your internets without asking for help from younger, smarter, less oafish people.
The house next door to us is abandoned and boarded up. It didn’t used to be. There used to be some middle-aged lady living there. She was an addict of some sort. There was often craziness over there, including one priceless Trailer Park Boys moment which i will leave for another time.
Then she moved out.
Squatters moved in. And out.
The place was boarded up, the brush and foliage have overgrown, and the place is a headache for all of us over here.
Today, there is a dead thing in the back yard. It looks like a dog from where i can see it.
First, i called Dead Animal Removal. They directed me to Animal Control, as it’s not public property and they don’t have jurisdiction to just wander onto the property and remove random dead things. Animal Control directed me to the police department - i guess the call was transferred to the county Sherriff’s office, because they advised me to contact city police, who advised that i should definitely contact Housing… who suggested that maybe someone (as in one of us neighbors) could just get a bag and a shovel and get it over with. I persuaded her to connect me with the inspector for that address, and left a rather terse message on his voicemail that someone needs to do something about this problem property and that either he needs to contact the owner or let me know how i can do so myself.
So i contacted the Mayor’s office. I can’t remember the lady’s name, but she was wonderful and took the information down to pass along to whoever it is that needs to know these sorts of things.
Then i got antsy. I looked up the property info on the county’s web site (see here and here). A simple search on the name and address gave some interesting info, including the fact that the address is the same as that of a previous owner. Oddly enough, that same address in Dublin, Ohio also was the address of a defunct UFO organization called MORA.
So to you, mister Timothy Freidenberger TR (or mister Kurt Novak, whoever owns the goddamn place), i say this:
Come and get your fucking house under control, sir! I would burn the god damned thing down myself but your overgrown branches would no doubt catch our own place of residence, with ourselves inside, aflame to boot, not to mention the nasty legal ramifications of such an terrible but no doubt really goddamn enjoyable act.
UPDATE1: Mister Novak returned my call. I advised him that the property is a nuisance. He shifted blame to the city, which certainly bears some of the burden of responsibility. I advised that the owner is also a source of the problem, as there is brush and trees so overgrown that the bums who appropriated our television panel had no problem hiding in them. He seemed to be under the impression that someone he pays actually comes out to take care of the place. I further advised that it would probably be best to just raze the goddamn thing down and sell the land. He didn’t see that as an option, and the call ended on a note of pretend cordiality not long afterward.
UPDATE2: Someone actually came out, i know not from whence, and removed the dead thing.
My old friend Jason Stafford died Sunday morning from ALS or complications thereof at ~7:45am.
The obituary will run tomorrow in at least one local paper (thanks Tillie and Travis and Kevin and Dani). You can find the obits for the Dayton Daily Nothing and the Springfield News Sucks at the following addresses:
Viewing Wednesday 6-8pm
Funeral 11am Thursday
Gilbert-Fellers in Brookville
Will be seeing you there, in blackest black.
I wrote an essay about my friend here:
Yesterday morning at about 7:45 in the a.m., the world lost one of its most gifted and talented minds. My old high school pal Jason Stafford died from ALS after a 2 1/2 year fight that brought his body to its knees.
I met Jason either through mutual friends or through the band program at our old alma mater, Tecumseh High School. Over the years, we became very tight, and performed a number of questionable but downright hilarious acts together. We used to drive fast down country roads and goof off after school. Notoriously, we got childishly drunk and attended a school dance, where we were all caught and suspended. For me, it was my first real taste of alcohol, and became a stupid end to an already faltering career as a high school student.
Jason earned the nickname “Froot Loop” for his unusually wacky sense of humor. You always knew he was around by his loud but always jolly laughter. I don’t think i have any memories of him where he’s not laughing the whole way through. Some of my memories of those times have degraded over the years, leaving just that sacred sound echoing through the fog. If somewhere in the world, something goofy was happening, you could have bet your very life that Jason was involved.
I also credit Jason with turning me on to Drakkar Noir, which was the scent of the day for bemulletted, Camaro-driving guys across the American heartland, and which was virtually guaranteed to get a teenager laid, which it did not in our cases. Or maybe just mine.
Jason played guitar. He had a beautiful gray Les Paul and an Ovation acoustic. He was so humble. He always downplayed his abilities, but he was an extremely capable musician. He also played trumpet. Along with Bill Davenport, we formed an ad hoc band at band camp my senior year called Homicidal Cat, for the sole purpose of playing “Helter Skelter” and freaking out the grownups. We were lousy, but not because of poor musicianship on anyone’s part. In hindsight, we should have had a drummer.
He and i both always ran around with the bad crowd, and by bad crowd, i mean drummers and saxaphone players. People who, instead of rocking out to Phantom of the Opera, were rocking out to Metallica, the Pink Floyd, and AC/DC.
We were in marching band together. That’s probably all i should say about that. Whenever you hear the phrase “this one time, in band camp,” you should bear in mind that high school students who are shipped far away from parental guidance make a habit out of having an absolutely improper amount of fun, and much of it highly questionable.
I can say with impunity, knowing whatever statute of limitations may have been applied has long gathered dust by now, that he was absolutely instrumental, no pun intended, in the creation and probably the transportation of the World’s Largest Spitball (unconfirmed), which had to be transported via industrial-sized trashcan lid, over to the girls building, where it was promptly dropped by the two or three giggling chicken-shits it took to do so, of whom i was among their number. He also assisted in the removal of an extension cord which was inconveniently supplying a camping site worker with electricity which would have otherwise caused him to wake up on time, and with a weather forecast that would have permitted our band director to make plans for us that day.
I only have a single memory of him where we didn’t get along for a few minutes. After school one day, he jumped into my blue 1977 Chevy Nova, started it, and proceeded to repeatedly test out the transmission by shifting it back and forth, back and forth, from Drive to Reverse, with myself on top, pounding vigorously on the hood and demanding angrily that he let go of my precious toy. Within about ten minutes (probably less), he was hugging me and calling me a teddy bear.
I’ve never in all my life, either before or since, met a more good-hearted or sweet-natured guy, and i probably never will again. And whatever happened between high school and now, i will forever be saddened that i wasn’t right there with him, because if there was ever a guy who you could count on to cheer you up no matter what the circumstances were, it was Jason Stafford.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a degenerative nervous system disorder that is always fatal. Treatments are available but there is no cure. Famous sufferers include Stephen Hawking, who has had it since 1963, and guitarist/composer Jason Becker. It is terrible, but with advances in stem cell technology, there may yet be hope for the future.
- Just got back from the Emergeny Veterinary Clinic in Moraine. I had hit Speck full-force in the eye with his latest favorite toy, a Kong tennis-ball dumbbell. He likes daddy to throw it and bounce it off the wall at the top of the stairs so it goes bouncing all the way downstairs. So i threw it hard, but he’d gotten a head start and i popped him right in the eye. No permanent damage, just blunt trauma to the eye - mainly just discomfort. He seems fine now, but we’re out $164 - which digs into our rent, unfortunately. I feel like such an asshole right now.
- I’ve just started playing Anarchy Online. It’s pretty cool, and you can play the non-expanded version for free. I’m a froobie.
- I’ve STILL got that damn cough. It’s just not going away. It’s a little better now, though. And when i take my antibiotics, which i’ve been on for a couple of weeks now, i get nauseated and sleepy. I hate this.
- And i’ve been depressed as hell lately about my life. I’m trying so hard, but i’m going nowhere. I’ve applied at so many places in the last few months that it’s not even funny. I rarely ever seem to get any response. I’ve had a single interview in the last couple of months. It went well, but it looks as if that employer is going to be extending an offer to an earlier candidate.
- My voter registration has FINALLY been processed. I’m all set to help Obama get elected to the Presidency of the United States.
And, if you haven’t seen it already, check out the Sarah Palin prank call:
This is an open letter to white people, to poor people, to working stiffs, and everyone in between. This is not directed at those whose conditions are extremely comfortable.
I have a number of friends who have confided in me their fear that if Barack Obama gets elected, he will work to ensure that blacks thrive and whites suffer, or something to that stupid effect. This is something i simply do not understand, and i hesitate to call those people ignorant buffoons - but it’s difficult not to.
I believe that one of the biggest social problems in America today is that minorities feel disenfranchised. I know from experience that it’s hard not to wallow in misery when you’re depressed beyond the will to live. Maybe i’m completely wrong, but i think that minority groups are overflowing with people who feel that there is no real hope - and the natural fringe elements that are set to negative action, either in abject hopeless despairing nihilism, simple apathy, or as a means to an end. It’s sad to see this happen in the colorful but hopeless ghettos across America (just as it is sad to see it happen in salt-white Appalachia, etc., only perhaps more so within minority communities, due to the fact that it almost certainly could have been prevented generations beforehand).
Can you imagine the positive potential of having a President who is not white, inspiring people of all colors, all over America, with the idea, realized, that anyone truly can be what they want to be, do what they want to do, and become who they most wish they could be? Can you imagine people - of all stripes - actually living up to their full potential, or at the very least, earnestly trying to do so? I don’t know, it just sounds like a promising idea to me.
“But I feel disenfranchised,” whines the white friend, in mock-misery, either not realizing or not caring that they sound as if they truly believe themselves to be somehow more important than anyone else.
And of course you do - there’s no need for the belligerent, dramatic moaning. But you are not just an angry white male. Of course you feel disenfranchised - you are; you make less than half what your boss makes, while doing more than twice as much actual work! (Should your boss pay more taxes than you? Perhaps we might ask: should you, who makes far less than your boss does, pay less taxes than your boss pays?)
You are a member of the largest single group in America today: the working poor. You are a member of the majority. If you are a white male, you are a member of multiple majorities. What can the largest group of people do if they pool their efforts?
What can the majority do?
You are not without power. You can affect change. We can change the world. And we will, but we have to do it together.
The real minority in this nation is the wealthy. But they are not without tremendous power! The power that the rich have been enjoying for centuries dwarfs the kind of power that you and i can ever even imagine yielding. And yet, we are the majority.
I have heard many claim that the United States is a meritocracy; it is no more a meritocracy than it is a magical wonderland of lollipop-cities filled with rainbow-riding unicorns. The United States is currently a plutocracy; an oligarchy; an aristocracy, ruled over by a minority of the extremely wealthy.
It’s time to take our country back from the hands of the merciless, the pitiless, the rich plutarchs who tell the rest of us what to do and hold us down so they can continue to sit on our breaking backs with their sacks of pilfered riches. Stand up, you workers, and let those riders fall where they may!
Martin Sargent (from Unscrewed, Infected, Web Drifter and Internet Superstar, also formerly of TechTV’s The Screen Savers) and Sarah Lane (from popSiren, also formerly of The Screen Savers and later on Attack of the Show) have been canned by evil Revision3 execs, along with their respective shows. Several others were also let go. (Here’s Martin’s heartbreaking Tweet.)
Revision3 just went down to Revision2 in my book, and maybe not even that. Those shows had a lot of heart, a lot of soul. I loved Martin’s shows, and popSiren has no doubt influenced a generation of young women to take up careers in technology, geekology, or to otherwise become visionaries like the bold, talented, and fun women on that show. It’s a sad, sad day for Internets.
For my own records, here are some comments/posts i’ve made about this tragic malarky, most of which are just ranting and whining about this crappy, crappy turn. You can skip them, i just want to go back and see if anyone wants to fight me or anything.
This is the only decent picture of me as Satan.
And here’s Holly as a sexy-ass she-devil:
A surprising number of people actually got the joke. Only one didn’t - a McCain supporter, of course, who had to have her drunken Palin-obsessed girlfriend explain it to her.
I made a big deal out of shaking hands with a John McCain lookalike; judging by his nervous chuckle, he was actually a real live McCain supporter. Said i, “i’m a huge fan - let’s end the world together!”
Had photo taken twice by very nice Democrats, including one couple who had just voted earlier in the day.
(By the way, John[ny] Sidney McCain = 666 - not that that means anything.)
Best costume i saw, besides Lara Croft, awesome Batman, and Catwoman… i mean really creative and original… Linda Blair as Regan in the Exorcist, in bed and everything, with a guy in a priest outfit walking beside her. Wish i woulda thought to snap any pics!! *facepalm* Will try and remember to search the local sites for a photo.
Here’s a funny card i sent to my good friend Greg earlier today. I think it’s a minor fucking masterpiece.
Thought about you while on the toilet today, directly after touching myself in an inappropriate and medically questionable manner, and right before i scrambled downstairs to find those pills that i take to help me forget that i am secretly a raging homosexual. Forgetting my prior enterprise, i neglected to wipe and left a warm, gooey trail all the way down the hall, which will henceforward always remind me fondly of you, and your inadvisably unaltered face.
Have decided i’m going to dedicate my life to Jesus. Do you know him? He’s that Mexican guy who lives at the end of my block. I just found out that he was the one who “stole my innocence,” back in my prison days. That’s a euphemism for fist-raping me in the man-twat while wearing rawhide work gloves and strangling me erotically with a bicycle chain his sister sneaked in for him.
Anyway, wishing you a happy whatever-it-is that you people celebrate today. Oh, wait, i forgot - you’re white. In that case, just have a regular, mediocre day. I’m sure you’re used to having nothing much to look forward to by now. Remember, the Bible says that the meek will inherit the Earth, and that the Bible has been all but proven to be completely full of lies. So don’t get your hopes up, lest they be pointlessly dashed against the rocks like so many empty-headed salmon. Fortunately for you, the inevitable Heat Death of the Universe will ultimately render us both paradoxically equals. So you have that going for you anyway.
I sincerely hope your cries for help do not remain unheeded for much longer, especially seeing as i’ve placed a rather large wager that you’ll survive until at least the end of the year. I do try to keep up with whether or not you’ve died; in the future (once my foolish but potentially lucrative bet has paid off), i’ll try to take a more active role in this regard.
See you at the comic book store with all the other clammy, pale losers and underwear-fetishists.
With greatest vague ambivalence or something,
your well-heeled, superior-bred Estonian advocate,
p.s., oh, and give my best to M, and keep whatever’s left over for yourself. I think you deserve it, even if no-one else does.
Well, it finally happened. We have been robbed. Our nice Samsung flat-panel LCD television set is now sitting in the parlour of one who never deserved it. Along with the remote. I wanna murder a mothafucka.
Somewhere out there is a scruffy hillbilly prick basking in the warm blue glow of my bad-ass Samsung. I can’t drive around to find them, because without the car here, they’ll just waltz right back in. I know it’s somewhere in this very neighborhood, but i daren’t take my eyes off of those items which they curiously left behind, for they will surely be back for them.
They took nothing else - which actually kind of sucks, because we just know their swift but short-sighted Possession Relocation Services are going to be rendered again. Everything was in plain sight! Guitars, keyboards and recording equipment, media devices, laptops, desktops, a camera, mp3 player, tons of DVDs and CDs and games - all right there. No more. I am putting them all away, since i apparently don’t deserve to have them any more.
Incidentally, this is the second time my life-space has been robbed. Several years ago I had all my CDs and my TV set taken from me. You work your life away - blood, sweat & tears and all that - and then some rotten, moronic asshat thinks they deserve it and you don’t so they just come in and take it. I partly blame this stupid gimme-gimme society we have so proudly built for ourselves.
- a fucking big man-eating dog with built-in violent aggression towards intruders,
- a shotgun (god damn i hate that i need a gun),
- someplace to stash our remaining valuables,
- moving-away cash - fast!, and
- a different, less crappy goddamned city. FUCK YOU, Dayton, Ohio.
I have a real bad feeling about my short-term future.
(Wherein the author expounds upon his deep disgust and hatred for the city he once loved so dearly.)
I know we used to be kinda tight - but never really all that close somehow, even though you were always in my heart when i was away. You’ve got to admit, i’ve been trying like hell to get reacquainted with you these last few years. Really, the love has never diminished.
Until now. You have shown me your true colors; the ones i always secretly knew existed in the back of my mind, but never wanted to actually admit to myself were there. I loved you, and you have used me. You were using me all along, weren’t you? Well, my love: fuck you right back. I hate you. I seriously wish that i didn’t, but there it is: i do.
When i first moved into your diseased little middle-American labor-driven bosom, i knew that something didn’t feel quite right. That warm glow just wasn’t there.
Your only value is in history. You’re only good for one-night stands, a casual drive-by down the Oregon District during happy hour. Nothing more. I’m sorry, but it’s true.
I should have known better. Your gay neighborhoods are too straight, your gay business district too laughably tiny. You’d think i didn’t care, but i do. Diversity is the spice of life, Dayton. For a saucy little dish such as yourself, you need to mix it up a little better. You are still segregated, no matter what you say. You don’t even provide bus service to the malls from the West side. Come on! Why is that, Dayton? Seriously now - give me a straight answer, and don’t think too hard for something pretty to say. We know, we all do. Such a pathetic, racist little weasel.
And speaking of people who aren’t where they should be, where is your middle class, anyway? My only choice with you is to live by rich white Beamer-driving dickheads, or in the ghetto. I’d love to live somewhere in between, but you neither have that, nor do you have any means for me to get there. My advice to you in this regard: get jobs. And pay people what they’re worth. And when the UD kids graduate - kick ‘em out. Back to wherever their filthy rich little behinds came from. Give the rest of us some space to get ahead, instead of whoring yourself out to the foreign-born Easterners, who bring their decadent and depraved “me-first” ways from across the Appalachian range to our once-proud mud-whipped riverbanks!
This brings me to my last point. Since the vast majority of your residents are poor and undereducated (do you even know what a school levy is??), it’s no wonder at all why everybody in the heart of the city is a criminal. You can’t go anywhere around you anymore without risking life and/or limb! Is it much of a stretch to imagine why even the police are fearful of your slums? What you need is industry. Enterprise. Something people can believe in, that gives ‘em a real, honest goal to work towards. But all you care about is bling and fireworks, and taking what you can from those who cannot afford to give any more. Ah, but you are at least good at that: crushing the tender souls of those who could have provided you with peace, and with comfort in your premature old-age.
I call bullshit on you, Dayton Ohio. The Wrights and the Ketterings and poor sweet old Mister Dunbar are all choking on their worms because you have forgotten what made them and yourself so great, back in the foggy mists of your bygone golden age! You are a rotten, stinking pusbag of a city, and you need some serious bitch-slapping to force you to get your shit together. Look at you! You smell of piss and hobo vomit, and your wrinkles are like vast crevasses, eager to swallow men whole. When is the last time you actually felt good about yourself? Honestly? Your glory days long gone, you are relegated to retelling the same old tired stories of your wonder years, the twinkle in your eye having vanished many years back.
It’s high time for me to leave you once again for greener pastures. No, don’t say that! I never, ever wanted to just give up on you. Not once! But sadly, you have left me finally with no choice.
From now on, and until you change your ways, and i mean really seriously take a good long hard look at yourself and actually change your ways… you are dead to me. You will one day soon be that thankfully nearly-forgotten ex-, about whom i tell horror stories to my new friends, in a far-off place, away from you and your putrid, decaying streets filled with haunted, meth-hollowed eyes and rivers of discarded waste and gutter-bile.
I honestly do wish you the best, really. But good riddance, when i leave you forever. This time i really truly mean it.
(I posted this as a response to some angry and unpleasant conservative’s blog
post , and figured if i was going to do any research at all, i may as well reap the benefit of publishing it here as well, since that person might not be able to read very well anyway.)
McCain is 72 and has had melanoma. That means skin cancer. The average life expectancy in the U.S. is currently about 75 years for males. And he was a smoker for many years of his life, quitting in 1980 when he was about 44.
You do the math.
If McCain’s elected, we MAY very well wind up with a backstabbing moron who thinks dinosaurs and humans coexisted a mere few thousand years ago, speaks in tongues, believes in witches, can’t pronounce the name of the thousands of planet-killing warheads she’s going to have her hands all over, and thinks that the END of the fucking WORLD is a GOOD thing(?!!).*
But she winks and says something folksy (meaning, retarded and hillbilly) and mindless Republicans all over the country swoon.
It never fails to shock me how brutally ignorant conservatives are.
*in my book, anyone who WANTS the world to end is on the side of evil. Like Doctor Doom evil.
Want an argument for accessibility?
Uber-cool Glenda Watson Hyatt, aka the Left Thumb Blogger, shares her perspective on how WordPress has improved her ability to communicate effectively on the internets.
Whether you are 100% able-bodied or not, accessibility is important. Because no matter who you are, the future is coming. Some day many of us may have devices assisting us, whether we need them or not, and completely removing all barriers between humans and machines will be an important first step in enabling us to proliferate on the digital grid - on a truly level playing field.
I’ve committed to making my upcoming theme be as accessible as possible. You should too, especially if you want to meet the Future head-on. Keeping all variants of humanity and machinery in mind when designing user interfaces of any kind will be important there.