Saturday, November 20, 2004


Bring out the Knives


16 hour shift on Wednesday, 11 hour split on Friday, I'm about to go in again. Luckily, the kitchen chemistry is good. I love the kitchen, and being the literarily-minded person I am, I also love the book Down and Out in Paris and London, by George Orwell--it has a lot of interesting things to say regarding kitchen exchanges--and also provides some interesting counter-points to those who say Orwell was politically in line with the Neo-conservative agenda. Print it out, read it. It's a good book, and'll give you lots of insight into precisely why you shouldn't be overly alarmed at the blood-curdling scream or the clatter of smashed dishes emanating from the kitchen of your favorite restaurant.

Juergen, my boss at present, is trying his hardest to school me on the proper use of knives. I'm sure there are poetic metaphors to be had in that direction, so I'm listening. Plus, good knife-work stands a better chance of getting you a decent kitchen job than a spotless CV. More on that, later. Still working on faith, and it will be forthcoming. For now, I'm working every day of the week, trying to arrange an interview for the zine (among other duties), awaiting word on the PhD proposal, and moving house by November 30th. A full schedule. But I think in those spaces of time given me, and more words will be forthcoming.

However, the main reason I wanted to post is because I really, really agree with the substance of this frivolous lawsuit. I'd say that over half of that trauma I experienced in high school is directly attributable to this game. Largely because I wasn't clever enough to figure out how to get a mate, lob the balls at each other, catch each other's throw, and be called out of the game--at which point we could retire to the bench and discuss matters that passed for philosophical in those days...and even if what passed for philosophy was an in-depth discussion regarding whether Prince or Michael Jackson was the better musician, it came a whole helluva lot closer to what we were supposed to be doing in school than what was going on in gym. Kill the game, I say. Or at least let those who hate it opt the hell out.

I'm off to another fun-filled evening at the Twisted Bavarian...hope all of you are faring well on your own respective fronts.

Tschuss and out...tchitch

Friday, November 12, 2004



Hey, hey, hey...

For those who don't know, I've been busily working with a group of upstart cooks and revolutionaries here in Munich to open up a pub/restaurant where I will be working as prep cook and (hopefully) one source of inspiration. Likely to get the show going there, once again, as well, though right now, all emphasis is on the physical aspects of the place. In any case, today I successfully earned my German health certificate (had to be told, A-gain, that I need to wash my hands before handling food, need to keep the kitchen clean, and need to be especially careful with food products containing animal protein...), and the place cleared the KVR (the big, bad German bureaucracy...I could tell you stories...that place makes Kafka's Castle look like a holiday resort...) just today. Tomorrow I'm having my birthday party there, so the staff can have a dry run with friendly faces (though we're likely to dream up some zingers just to test 'em). Sunday brunch we make a good old fashioned Suthern breakfast, then we open up for business proper on Tuesday.

The place is called The Twisted Bavarian, and if you click that link, you'll get the restaraunt's blog, maintained by Graham Stewart, who is one of the minds behind the place.

On other fronts: I'm dreaming up a post regarding belief, and the role I see it playing in politics. I'm going to hold off posting til I get that down to my satisfaction, because I think that may be a better way into a thoughtful response to the current political climate than my original, bile induced thought of writing a letter to a lover who has done something to lose my faith. I'll probably continue to think on that, but I'm not sure it gets posted here. In essence, I'm thinking we should maybe try to just be friends.

Mostly though, life goes on, and the only real shaping I do of the political climate is through my own individual decisions regarding life. Those add up, but I'm not sure how much reason has to do with the composite of those individual decisions. Still, I got two hands to move things with, and a voice to sound my siren with.

Me to work. Just doin what I need to as one human among 6 billion. Ya know.

Thursday, November 11, 2004



In an attempt to work my way back to the subject I actually intended to explore on this site, (though really, where do politics and creative language separate?) I offer you this gem from Andy Borowitz, which details a major new initiative launched by the Bush administration.

Also, gotta love a good pun, and flaming liberal editorial cartoonist Bill Mitchell delivers in his latest: "'Mandate?!' Shoot, I thought Dubya was agin' that sorta thing..."

Wednesday, November 10, 2004



Okay, I need to get busy with a LOT of thoughts, but I'm trying real hard to let the stuff percolate, so that it comes out properly brewed. That, and time has been pretty mad recently. However, I find myself with a little extra time, and a few links I want to add to the sidebar, as well as sharing in the "daily" area. For those of my friends and interlocutors who are questioning a few of the assumptions on the left, notably that guiding idea that a good portion of the reason for the success of Bush in managing to secure a second term is directly attributable to the evangelical vote, let me just say, acknowledged. I did, in fact, read a CNN story that claimed Bush had enjoyed only a 2% increase amongst those saying they went to church every week--from 59% to 61%. I guess, in my own search for reasons why this man won (because it is truly beyond me why he won), I'm searching for practical measures by which to address what I consider to be a horrible wrong perpetuated on a system I truly do hold dear. Fault me on my leftist leanings if you must, but understand that my reservations regarding this administration have everything to do with the original, rationalistic, largely deistic and empirically based principles upon which I see that system to be founded. That, and some genuinely challenging issues this system faces in, like it or no, an increasingly globalized environment.

So. Bright spots. Ashcroft goes. Mixed blessing, because this is one of the members that I would reserve my greatest invective for, but I'm not yet convinced Bush is going to use the many appointments--some of them potentially very long-term--to reach out to that part of his constituency that leans left. We'll see. I'll just say, were he to do so, the 'healing' Kerry called for might be somewhat expedited. Also, many, many friends have been directing me to gems here and there on the web. These are solace for the left, so if you can't stomach it, you've been warned. First off, Robin, who maintains a very smart blog dedicating itself to matters philosophical, specifically around questions of technology and the cognitive sciences, and who posts some righteous links over there, including William Gibson's blog and Greg Egan's website. Two sci-fi writers who rock--especially Egan. Robin posts a link to a website containing a piece entitled "Fuck the South," far from reasoned, except that it does provide some interesting data regarding some of the "moral" questions raised by the recent campaign. Well, the title says it all regarding likely objections.

There is, additionally, an editorial over at the Washington Post (registration is required, relatively painless) entitled "Am I Blue? I apologize for everything I believe in. May I go now?" that I thought worth the read. This one I actually encourage our right-leaning friends to read, in order to perhaps nurture some understanding when your leftie friends don't just lay down for the tanks. Finally, a friend from over at sends me this gallery of leftie nincompoops who apparently feel bad enough about the election to want to issue a public apology for it.

As for myself, I have decided, for the time being, to follow my usually absurdist instincts, and to place the blame squarely where I think it belongs: on politicians. Thus, for the forseeable future, I am officially advocating that all voters stop voting for politicians. My own choice, for 2008, would have been Leonard Cohen, only he is, of course, Canadian. Yet one more reason to move. So, at present, I'm starting to lean heavily toward Uma Thurman, simply because I've decided I might as well vote with my dick for all the difference it makes. Now it's up to both parties to persuade me otherwise.

On a less bright note, my good friend in meatspace, Alfonso, sends me several links to this developing story, which may, perhaps, express my real concerns regarding current American foreign policy. The genie's been out of the bottle for a while, now, folks. By what standards do we (and that pronoun needs to be understood as uttered by an American, to Americans) decide who gets to rub the lamp? Tricky footing, this, and it's likely to get trickier.

Finally, a couple of updates on the sidebar, and a new profile pic, both of which I'll be updating as soon as I've finished this post. The links include Dandee's Live Journal and an update under the name Paul Sonntag. Paul is a very able writer, someone I know from my hometown and who has shared ideas with me in a variety of venues (I still have a stack of letters from a correspondence long ago, tucked away in my ever-growing files), and to be honest, my caustic wit, where it exists at all, doesn't hold a candle to his. He also trends've been warned. Do go over and drop a comment in the mailbox, however. It's a new blog, and I'm looking forward to watching it develop. Finally, the pic: Halloween night, with me as Randy Pan the Goat Man with a bevy of Gorgon beauties. It's amazing what you can do with a bald head, a goatee, and a couple of latex horns. The night before, I went as B. L. Zebub, same horns, only wearing a suit, with a red shirt. I did manage to secure one signature, BTW, and intend to collect.

Okay, me out for now. Getting over the nastiest political hangover I've ever had the displeasure to incur in my entire short life. Now, I just gotta start putting what I feel into words. I will say this: it has been snowing in Munich recently, and yesterday, on the way to pick my daughter up from school, I saw a mother and a child on the sidewalk, the mother crouched over to fasten the child's coat, and the child, eyes in rapt pleasure, lightly stroking the snowflakes in her mother's hair. And I thought, that's what this life shit is all about. Not these god-damned bombs, and not these god-damned ideologies.

Is it any wonder I should feel a certain level of nausea in the wake of what just happened in America? Really?

Also, thanks all for the comments. They are being digested, and I appreciate the thoughts behind all that has been contributed here on this page. We are all blessed to know each other...whether we feel like saying so or not.

Peace, y'all.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Tin Foil Hats

Conspiracy Theory Number 1
Conspiracy Theory Number 2 (Thanks, Dandee )
Conspiracy Theory Number 3

The burden of proof is, of course, on anyone claiming fraud. My own take is that this was a clear expression of the will of the American people, and that gay marriage and abortion are more important to them than the fate of Iraq, or the specifics regarding the war on terror. My question, however: Do you fault those who continue to investigate these matters? Do you consider people who see this as worth looking into to be part of the problem?

As for me, I have every interest in believing that this election was won fair and square. My political sanity might well be at stake. If I were presented solid evidence to the contrary, I think I would have to radically re-examine my pacifistic leanings.

But really, is questioning such things unpatriotic? Unproductive? Beside the point?

Or should we be taking a long hard look at these matters?


A tasteless political allegory

...and perhaps a signal of my own shift in political sentiment.

Things are changing quickly here. I'm waiting the results on the PhD proposal, likely to be waiting until at least early December, and in the meanwhile taking steps to secure some sort of employment outside of the states--in Munich, in fact, and that is an ongoing, and quite interesting, project, that I will get more into in another post.

And I have a lot to say.

I have some important questions for myself:
1) Why should the results of this election cause me as much consternation as they have, when I truly believe that the merest shadow separates the proposed policies of Kerry and Bush?
2) How much faith do I continue to place in the democratic process, as it manifests itself in the United States? (and the parallel: how much faith in reasoned discourse? This one is important to my own political voice, i.e., how modulated it remains.)
3) In the wake of these results, where do I place my own hopes for better solutions than the ones being proposed at present?
4) What action is best suited to forwarding those solutions?
5) How does my individual voice fit into that action?

I am very fortunate right now to be cleaning a very dirty commercial kitchen--lots of old grease to be stripped from every surface--wire brushes and strong chemicals. This is helpful. It grounds me. It forces some pretty complex thoughts into very physical terms...and, if I can manage to do what I want to do, I'll be chronicling some of those here.

For today, because there's a lot I'm supposed to be doing, I offer you a political metaphor, which details (in much the same way that this video does) my real take on the Dems and the Republicans. It's an old joke, told to me by an old friend, who also survived a kitchen with me in Chicago. And I make no apologies to the squeamish--I also have never figured out if it's racist or not, though when I tell it, I usually try to adopt a Mexican accent--and my wife tells me the true test is whether that delivery is necessary to the joke. I don't know, and you can castigate me if you think it in poor taste. With that wind-up, here is a brief political allegory from an extremely disgruntled member of the body politic:

I was searching, one day, for Mister Rodriguez, when I came across a fellow who was leaning against a wall. I asked him if he knew Mister Rodriguez, and he turned to me, and said:

"You ask me about Mister Rodriguez. Let me tell you something about Mister Rodriguez. One day, I was walking through the desert, when I see Mister Rodriguez, and he is riding a burro and holding a gun. And he rides up to me, and he points his gun to me, and he says, 'Mister. Off with the pants.' Well, what could I do? He has the gun, so I take off my pants. Then Mister Rodriguez, he says, 'Mister. Shit.' What could I do? He has the gun, so I shit. Then...Mister Rodriguez, he says, 'Eat shit.' What could I do? He has the gun, so I eat shit. And this caused Mister Rodriguez to laugh and laugh, and he laughed so hard he fall off his burro, and he drops his gun. So I pick up the gun, and I point it to him, and I say, 'Mister Rodriguez, off with the pants.' What could he do? I have the gun, so he takes off his pants. Then I point the gun to him and say 'Mister Rodriguez. Shit.' What could he do? I have the gun, so he shit. Then...then I point the gun to him and say, 'Mister Rodriguez. Eat shit.' What could he do? I have the gun, so he eat shit.

And you ask me about Mister Rodriguez?

We had lunch together."

Friday, November 05, 2004


Perhaps it's time for some real political exercising those state's rights Republicans are always on about... Posted by Hello


We're Happy Because We Eat LARD!

Well, it appears that the liberal lapdog press is at it again.

"We take the report of missing munitions very seriously. And we are looking into the facts and circumstances of this incident."

Thank you very much. I feel much safer now.

(My head hurts. Badly.)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Let the Interesting Times Roll

Suffice it to say this morning's news is not welcome, on my front...but to create a thoughtful, and honest, response to these events will take time. I know it isn't over...but if the numbers I've read are right (Ohio around 140,000 advantage Bush, 250,000 absentee and provisional ballots), the odds are very high that a man I feel is fundamentally unsuited for his job will be allowed to continue in that capacity for another 4 years.

I have a lot to say, but don't know how to say it yet. That is my job, and I hope I am suited for that.

In the meantime, I was planning on posting the following today, no matter what the outcome. Just my real take on the matter, once the partisan shite gets stripped away. Courtesy of Tone, I offer you this, from Section 23 of The Antichrist, by Friedrich Nietzsche:

"But when faith is thus exalted above everything else, it necessarily follows that reason, knowledge and patient inquiry have to be discredited: the road to the truth becomes a forbidden road. — Hope, in its stronger forms, is a great deal more powerful stimulans to life than any sort of realized joy can ever be. Man must be sustained in suffering by a hope so high that no conflict with actuality can dash it — so high, indeed, that no fulfillment can satisfy it: a hope reaching out beyond this world. (Precisely because of this power that hope has of making the suffering hold out, the Greeks regarded it as the evil of evils, as the most malign of evils; it remained behind at the source of all evil.)"

Make of it what you will. I'm not in perfect agreement, though I love the wit: I think hope has a disciplined form, one that I first truly encountered on September 11, 2001, and one that, in the coming days, will require much work on my part in order for it to prove sustainable.

In the meantime, thinking--and a welcoming to all who might read this to share their own thoughts, in the form of comments, here.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?