Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Polar Bears are Toast

All that crap about permanent ice expanding? Wrong. It's gone.

"Unfortunately, what we found was that the multi-year (ice) has all but disappeared. What's left is this remnant, rotten ice."

in reference to:

""Unfortunately, what we found was that the multi-year (ice) has all but disappeared. What's left is this remnant, rotten ice.""
- 'Permanent' Arctic ice vanishing - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, November 20, 2009

This Day, For Thers

My favorite blog is Whiskey Fire, and my favorite blogger is Thers, who's mother just died. In his post about her passing, he links to Donne, Death Be Not Proud, an understandable sentiment from a man who just lost his mother. Since it's my son's birthday ("Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow..."), I'm going to be celebrating today, but I really want to take this little time for Thers who certainly deserves a taste of the beautiful for a moment, if only as a reward for his tireless raking of muck.

I like the Donne, especially after some Bushmills, but I'm more of a modern poetry lover, and I always think of what might just be My Favorite Poem (although that is certainly an even more elusive classification than Favorite Blog or Blogger) on such occasions, which is by Lawrence Raab. Since I couldn't find it on the internets anywhere, I'll put it here, for Thers.

This Day

Watching the beautiful
sticks of trees as they click and sway,
the first green unraveling,

it's easy to imagine I might
remember this day forever.
I say it to myself,

never to others, while the poem
made hoping to preserve it
is changed, then changed again

to fit another order
it happens to discover.
At the end I find myself

in a room by a window, or at the edge
of a field, with the same clear
sky above me wherein later

I will imagine clouds, as if
some movement were required. That,
or a different kind of stillness.

So there must also be
a family circled round
the bedside of someone

who is dying. I place
myself among them.
All of us are waiting

for the little we believe we need
to hold on to and repeat.
But this is not my family

although it is you
who are dying, your words
I am again unable to imagine

as everything continues
sliding together in the light,
that day so easily

changed to this one,
the sky that is so blue, and the clouds
that cross my gaze with such terrible speed.

--Lawrence Raab

Saturday, November 14, 2009

George Bush and Most of His Administration Committed Treason

Over at the Bush Treason Blog today, I wanted to answer the question Why Do I Call It Bush Treason, so I took a look at the NYT book review for The Ground Truth. Take a little trip back to the start of the whole damn enchilada that led to Republicans voting to protect rapists. Seems (maybe you should sit down for this) the Bushaviks lied (!) about their response to the 9/11 attacks in order to make themselves (and The Fearless Leader) seem more heroic than they actually were.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Reason Why I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Reading Whisky Fire

Or: when only creative cursing can possibly explain the outrage over the idiots on the political right...

This bit of outrageous outrage from my neighbor Thers today:

Here is why I dislike the American Political Insider Press, and by "dislike," I mean, "want to toss into a vat of shark-infested sulfuric acid." It is because of this class of thing from The Politico.
When Al Franken ran for the Senate last year, the former “Saturday Night Live” star had to reassure skeptics that the fierce partisan attacks he lobbed at Republicans as an author and radio host wouldn’t define his style as a legislator.
But because of one of his first pieces of legislation, Democrats now have their most brazen attack line of the emerging 2010 campaign season: that Republicans are insensitive to rape victims.
The charge stems from a Franken-sponsored amendment that would prohibit the Department of Defense from contracting with companies that require employees to resolve workplace complaints — including complaints of sexual assault — through private arbitration rather than the courts.
Only in the god-blighted shitworld of the horrible fuckassed American Political Insider Press is it possible to even fucking think for a motherfucking minute that it's Playing with Partisan Dynamite to argue that the American government should not negotiate expensive contracts with companies that shield rapists. What the fuck? What the motherfucking fuck?

See, I live a little further out in the woods than Thers. No one can hear me scream except my wife and kid, and they're used to it (Bush was president for more than half of Spencer's life).  I have this little blog, where I occasionally tee up on some particular brand of lunatic peanut butter that sticks to the top of your brain and tastes like shit (and I also have this other blog--to which, unfortunately, I have to keep posting as long as certain war mongering junta members walk around free--in which I usually go off on some particularly nasty revelation about, for example, torturing people  in order to get "confessions" about the exact bullshit you just made up and told some idiot reporter) but... I don't have that many readers.

What the hell was I just saying? Oh, yeah, how I envy Thers for being heard when yelling FUCK (a Jon Stewartification: the effectiveness of yelling fuck is directly proportional to the number of people who actually hear you). So, I settle for a little surrogate satisfaction by subscribing to Whiskey Fire.

Reading this catharsis not only purges me of the need to take a picture of KKKarl Rove outside and target practice on it (with a BB Gun, you sillies, since I'm too physically fucked up to use the Bush punching bag anymore), but it also serves the purpose of (and how much does it suck that we need such a thing serving such a purpose?) reminding us that rape is a crime for which no arbitration need apply. In the real, just, and moral world of how-to-deal-with-a-crime, all we need is investigation, testimony, and evidence, and the sick fucks who think it's some kind of fun to gang rape someone because they figure, "Hey, we work for Halliburton and Dick Cheney's got our backs," those sick fucks go to jail after their fair trial.

And I thought you fucking Republicans were all about locking up criminals... Oh, were these white guys that did this rape?

As for Manu Raju, the concern troll at Politico who shook this disturbing cling-on ball of political reasoning off his ass hairs yesterday, well, I'm just glad Thers reads between the lines of your turds so I don't have to.

Or, as we said up here at our house after all those Repugs voted to protect rapists: "Holy Fucking Shitballs! Senator Al Franken just got those fuckers but good!"


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Keith Visona Was a Great Stagehand and a Better Friend

When I was a young stagehand in LA scraping up work scraping the paint off the floor at ABC stage 54, the old Lawrence Welk stage at the ABC Prospect Lot in Hollywood, I met Keith Visona, a drawly southerner with an Italian-style demeanor of gregariousness. He could, and did, make friends with anyone and everyone. He genuinely liked people.

We worked together many times over the years, most notably on the Home Show on stage 54. When that show went non-union, we picketed together. When I couldn't get new work right away, and then the Northridge earthquake shook the employment scene into rubble, our car was repossessed. Keith lent me his "yellow rocket," a beat up old Datsun pickup that he had kept running for many hundreds of thousands of miles with, as we southerners say, duct tape, spit, and a lot of hope. There were, I'm pretty sure, a few wire clothes hangers holding things together under the hood. Keith was the King of southern ingenuity.

After driving the rocket for a few months, I managed to get back on my feet, and went to his house to return the truck. He was cooking, which he loved to do, and wanted to show me his huge baseball card collection. There was a homeless guy in there helping sort the cards. Keith's charity.

Keith went on to have a good career for a stagehand, working as head carpenter mostly, most notably City Guys and Nurses. You couldn't ask for a better guy to work for. He was patient, never minded teaching you something, but didn't hold you by the hand and dictate every minute detail. He's let you figure your own way as much as he could. When I became a head of department, I would often think, "What would Keith do?"

We lost touch over the years, and he got cancer. I got osteoarthritis and moved up here, about as far away from Hollywood as you can get. He and I kept in touch, occasionally, by email. I always liked the funny things he sent to his list, and I was happy to be on it.

A few weeks ago, Keith went down to Atlanta, where they were going to try a new Chemo. Here's his last Facebook post:
I am tired, more than usual though. I am packing for a move back to Georgia and relatives that can keep me on schedule for this new try at a of chemo/radiation. Should be settled in a week, see you all then. Keith

He was surrounded by friends and loved ones when he died yesterday. I'm sure that's the way he would want it. Surrounded by loved ones right in the middle of the fall classic.

And Halloween used to be my favorite holiday.