Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dick Durbin Has To Step Down as Whip

I have said it before and I wil say it again: DICK DURBIN, the CRYING BABY, needs to turn over the post of minority whip to someone who can make a difference. Who is that person? I don't know.

For that matter, where was the leadership with regard to Alito? At DL tonight Martin told me that Reid was up front that he didn't have the votes for a filibuster, but you know, if I was a leader, I wouldn't accept that, especially not with a reliable whip. So what's up with this whole "no leader, no whip, no strategy" thing? Explain, please. Kerry did a brave thing, and the people who supported him were fucking awesome. Where was the leadership trumpeting our brave opposition?

For that matter, where was MoveOn, True Majority, and the rest? Sure, i got a bunch of "Gee Bad Luck Stand Strong For Next Time" emails after the fact (twice today from MoveOn) but not one email in the weeks and months beforehand. Hey thanks for your sympathy guys, but you know your leadership would have helped. I sign all those things you send me. Where the fuck were you this time making a stink?

If the Washington Post is to be believed, the Dems were out of town in the weeks before the ALito hearing, and thus strategy was... well, nonexistent. This was attributed to Leahy if I remember. Someone's gotta send me the refernece. Why is that? Why did the leadership drop the ball on a matter as important as a Supremem Court nomination? Especially this one?

If I was a leader, I would do like the Republicans did when they were the minority: I would toss red meat to my base and say to my whip, "well, you'd damn well better get me the votes. and you'd damn well better make sure it plays well in the press."

Reid is an OK leader: he would make a better whip. What we need right now is a good whip. Durbin's not that guy. As I've posted at various other sites, you never once saw Tom DeLay or Newt Gingrich cry because the Democrats villified them. Not once. In fact, they revel in the rage they inspire on the left. We need someone who can stick it right in the GOP's eye (no pun intended), in a way that empowers our base. The dems need a Howard Stern.

Dick Durbin and Harry Reid are not Howard Stern. Durbin's not even Imus.

Cindy Sheehan Invited To, Arrested Before Attending, SOTU

Republicans Are Scumbags

WASHINGTON - Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier in
Iraq who reinvigorated the anti-war movement, was arrested and removed from the House gallery Tuesday night just before
President Bush's State of the Union address, a police spokeswoman said.

Sheehan, who was invited to attend the speech by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., was charged with demonstrating in the Capitol building, said Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider. The charge was later changed to unlawful conduct, Schneider said. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Sheehan was taken in handcuffs from the Capitol to police headquarters a few blocks away. Her case was processed as Bush spoke.

Schneider said Sheehan had worn a T-shirt with an anti-war slogan to the speech and covered it up until she took her seat. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed, but she did not respond, the spokeswoman said.

Police handcuffed Sheehan and removed her from the gallery before Bush arrived. Sheehan was to be released on her own recognizance, Schneider said.

"I'm proud that Cindy's my guest tonight," Woolsey said in an interview before the speech. "She has made a difference in the debate to bring our troops home from Iraq."

Woolsey offered Sheehan a ticket to the speech — Gallery 5, seat 7, row A — earlier Tuesday while Sheehan was attending an "alternative state of the union" press conference by CODEPINK, a group pushing for an end to the Iraq war.

Sheehan, wrapped in a bright pink scarf against the cold, protested outside the White House with a handful of others before heading to the Capitol Tuesday evening. There were no cameras around, but the small band faced the executive mansion and repeatedly shouted, "You're evicted! Get out of our house!"

Sheehan was arrested in September with about 300 other anti-war activists in front of the White House after a weekend of protests against the war in Iraq. In August, she spent 26 days camped near Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he was spending a working vacation.

George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress are shit. They are shit. Greasy, corn-crusted, stinking sulfurous shit.
And Tim Russert is a fucking asshole.

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Liveblogging Tim Kaine

What am I talking about and what does it have to do with anything?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Vichy Democrats

While officially neutral in the war, it was essentially a Nazi puppet state that collaborated with the Nazis, including on the Nazis' racial policies.

Vichy Democrats has the lowdown on the cowardly bastards that voted for cloture on the Alito nomination.

I say "cowardly" because what kind of politician is afraid to challenge a President with an approval rating in the 30s? For crying out loud, did Gingrich EVER roll over for Bill Clinton, whose popularity ratings at the nadir of his career cream those of Mr. Bush? Just yesterday I read in the Washington Post that Democrats are preferred by the majority of the public for 2006: what kind of politician cavils before a party mired in scandal, war, and economic blight?

This man has had enough.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Senators Kerry and Kennedy, and thank you to every Senator who jumped on board:
Barbara Boxer (D- CA) , 202-224-3553
Dianne Feinstein (D- CA) , 202-224-3841
Christopher J. Dodd (D- CT), 202-224-2823
Richard J. Durbin (D- IL) , 202-224-2152
Barack Obama (D- IL), 202-224-2854, fax: (202) 228-4260
John F. Kerry (D- MA) , 202-224-2742
Edward M. Kennedy (D- MA) , 202-224-4543
Paul S. Sarbanes (D- MD), 202-224-4524
Debbie A. Stabenow (D- MI) , 202-224-4822
Mark Dayton (D- MN), 202-224-3244, fax: (202) 228-2186
Frank Lautenberg (D- NJ), 202-224-3224, fax: (202) 224-9707
Robert Menendez (D- NJ), 202-224-4744, fax: (202) 228-2197
Harry Reid (D- NV) , 202-224-3542
Hillary Rodham Clinton (D- NY) , 202-224-4451
Charles Schumer (D- NY) , 202-224-6542
Ron Wyden (D- OR) , 202-224-5244
Jack Reed (D- RI), 202-224-4642, fax: (202) 224-4680
Patrick J. Leahy (D- VT), 202-224-4242, fax: (202) 224-3479
James M. Jeffords (I- VT), 202-224-5141
Russell D. Feingold (D- WI) , 202-224-5323

All of you deserve our thanks, some of it conditional:

Harry Reid: you need to step down as minority leader and give the job to someone more effective. Boxer would be a decent choice.
Dick Durbin: You fucking sissypants diaper. You need to resign, IMMEDIATELY. As whip, it's your job to get your democrats in line: I have no love for Tom DeLay, but the man was an effective fucking whip.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden and Diane Feinstein: You undermined filibuster momentum. You have to learn when to shut up. You're not some fucking rock stars, you're public servants. If you had Reid's back or Kerry's back, that could have made a major difference. But NOOOOOO, you had to shoot off your fucking selfish ego-ass mouths. Biden: give it up. You're not going o be President.

And now for the rest. These are the names and the faces of the people who sold you out on Alito. These are the Democracts who put reproductive rights in the hands of Sam Alito; who put civil rights in the hands of Sam Alito; who were too scared to stand up to George Bush the failure. Click on their faces to go to their websites (or in many cases the websites of their challengers). FUCK YOU you fucking traitorous Vichy collaborators. NOT. ONE. DIME.

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Daniel Akaka: pronounced "a caca" as in "a piece of shit." Also voted in avor of Arctic Drilling.

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Max Baucus, "a Senator from Montana who has a voting record that shows he is complicit with [the Bush] agenda.

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Jeff "Bunghole" Bingaman. Also voted for the Bankruptcy Bill, which helps large corporations declare bankruptcy while making it harder for individuals to do the same. No current challenger.

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Defender of the Constitution, my eye. Thanks for the fucking, Fuckhead.

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Maria "Can't Win" Cantwell. Also voted for, and continues to support, Iraq War. Voted for the bankruptcy bill.

More on the way. God DAMN am I pissed off at these assholes.

Joe Lieberman is a LOSER

Joe Lieberman has announced he will be voting for cloture in the Alito nomination. Joe has a long history of stabbing his party in the back. Here's Joementum speaking about recently about the war on Iraq, and how Democrats should respond:
It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation's peril.

In fact, whenever FOX news needs a democrat to badmouth other Dems, they get Joe. Who was it that argued against the Bush-Gore recounts? Lieberman. Who was the first Democrat to get openly critical about Clinton's blowjob? Lieberman. Who continues to support the war in Iraq? Who helped make insurance so expensive in Connecticut? Lieberman.


If you live in Connecticut, or want to see Holy Joe out on his Holy Ass, give some money to Ned Lamont, who's considering running against Howdy Doody in 2006.
His site is here!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter believes that Justice Stevens should be poisoned.

That's OK. I believe that Ann Coulter should be shot in the face. Not that I would do such a thing, but I wouldn't be sad if it happened.

Barring that, she should be raped repeatedly until she's pregnant and then forced to keep the baby.

What, I can't say things like that? Then why can Coulter?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Open Letter to Verizon

My name is Brendan Skwire: I use verizon for my
landline and dsl, and use a verizon wireless
cell-phone. To be honest, the service has been
mediocre at best (outside of Verizon dsl's customer
service which has been excellent).

I am writing today about your advertisements on
MSNBC's Hardball television show. In the past few
weeks, host Chris Matthews, who purports to be an
objective reporter, has been lobbing unfair
allegations about democrats on his show. Specifically,
he has suggested that we are in cahoots with Osama bin

I assure you all that as a former Boy Scout (first
class), a homeowner, a citizen of this fine country,
and a democrat that I do not have any love for mr. bin
Laden. I also assure you that I am deeply offended
and angered by Mr. Matthews' comments, and when I
received word of a boycott of companies I was
delighted to jump on board.

Mr. Matthews needs to apologize to his viewers for
this slanderous mischaracterization. The president's
current approval rating is 36%: does Mr. Matthews
believe the majority of Americans are traitors in
league with bin Laden?

If Mr. Matthews does not apologize with a week, or if
Verizon does not pull their ads from his show, like
many others I will be dropping ALL of my business with
Verizon. Cavalier telephone offers lower long
distance; Comcast and Urban Cable Works offer internet
service; and cellphone companies are a dime a dozen
these days.

Verizon should do the right thing: drop your ads on
Hardball until Matthews and save me (and your bottom
line) a real pain in the butt.

I await your prompt and courteous response to this
important matter.

Brendan Skwire

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I just love this photo.
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Sam has this expression on his face that is so happy, so fully engaged in what's going on around him.

It makes me want to cry.
It makes me want to cry because I miss him so much
but also because

I miss that innocence in myself.

I still remember the first record that rocked me.
How could I forget it, I still own it!
I was 2. It's been 33 years...
I remember when I was Sam's age.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Management Note

An aside to friends and readers: A few of my recent posts have been fairly over-the-top in terms of personal anger and angst. In some areas, I believe I have succumbed to my own feelings of self-pity: for instance, it is not true, as I stated that I do not know any women who have been left by their men. In fact, I know quite a few. There are probably a few other extreme mischaracterizations I could mention...

In any event, my health insurance card finally came this week, which means I can get some long-overdue counseling to help me deal with everything that's transpired over the past few months/years.

Please pardon any hyperbole you've seen here recently, with regard to my family and personal emotions; but don't expect therapy to make me Mr. Sweetness-and-Light either: it's not like I don't have surplus of bile or targets at which to spew it.

And with that, I'm off to the brew supply store: brown ale number 2 gets underway tomorrow afternoon!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New Sam: Cookies and Pho

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LTE: Philladelphia Weekly

To the Editor:

What a stupid, ignorant, and selfish letter Adam
Levick sent the Philadelphia Weekly last week

Writing "And you don't need to be a conservative to
acknowledge that, excluding rape, women make choices
in their personal lives that determine the number of
children they ultimately have", Mr. Levick refuses to
acknowledge the role of birth control failure in
unexpected pregnancy. Some data for Mr. Levick:
condoms, 11% failure rate; diaphragm with spermicide:
17% failure rate; the Pill: 1%-3% failure rate
Unless Mr. Levick knows Ms. Bell personally, he cannot
know whether or not she was taking contraceptive

If memory serves me, so-called "conservatives" have an
enormous preoccupation with outlawing or restricting
abortion (and in many cases, birth control itself: our
own Rick Santorum is on record in opposition to
Griswold v. CT). The only words Ms. Bell offers us
regarding her religious beliefs are "I never intended
to have another baby, but God has a plan." Did it
enter Mr. Levick's mind that Ms. Bell is maybe personally
opposed to abortion?

Mr. Levick refers to Ms. Bell's sexual activity as
"personal moral abdication". You don't need to be a
sexual libertine to wonder whether Mr. Levick has
ever had sex outside of marriage; whether he has had
sex for any reason other than procreation; or whether
he has ever uttered, as so many of us have, "What do
you mean you're pregnant? We've been SO CAREFUL?!?"

Brendan Skwire

In Which the CityPaper Takes Christine Flowers to the Woodshed

This is very funny.

Cardinal Sins

I know it's fashionable to bash Catholic priests, but the vicious attacks that Brian Hickey leveled against the clergy via his fictitious clerics (deviants all) just fan the flames of anti-Catholicism and indicates to what extent your paper is willing to be a sycophantic mouthpiece for the so-called progressive secularists out there in readership land [Philly Blunt, "Bearing True Witness," Jan. 12, 2006]. I'm frankly sick and tired of having my faith ridiculed by every columnist (lapsed Catholic or not) who thinks it's fun to use "pervert" and "priest" (or variations thereof) in the same sentence.

Christine Flowers
Via E-mail

Hickey responds: Unfortunately, the clerics referenced in the column weren't fictitious; their stories were taken directly from the District Attorney's grand jury report on clergy abuse.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Drone Bee

Sometimes I feel like a drone bee.

Their main function in the hive is to be ready to fertilize a receptive queen. Mating occurs in flight, which accounts for the need of the drones for better vision, which is provided by their big eyes. Should a drone succeed in mating it will soon die because the reproductive organ and associated abdominal tissues are ripped from the drone's body as copulation occurs. Several drones mate with a virgin queen on her mating flights. Honeybee queen breeders may breed drones to be used for artificial insemination or open mating. A queen mating yard must have many drones to be successful.

In areas with severe winters, all drones are driven out of the hive. A colony begins to rear drones in spring and drone population reaches its peak coinciding with swarm season. The life expectancy of a drone is about 90 days.

That's me. I have served my purpose: to fertilize the female. Now, it's all about how much money I can pony up toward the baby's upbringing. As for an actual role in my son's life, well that's another matter all together. Out of the hive with you...

John Tierney, resident moron (and conservative, big surprise there: the two words go together better than "flies" and "shit") at the New York Times wrote a piece that pissed me off last week with a fatuous piece about "mens' abortion rights", the thrust of which was that men often get forced into fatherhood they never wanted (much as many women argue that overturning Roe would force them to have children THEY may not want), and should have the option of "financial abortion" that is, a legal document absolving them of financial responsibility for a child they never wanted. I'm marginally sympathetic to that point of view, considering my [rather specific] situation, but one thing that pissed me off even more was the comments at blogs that dealt with the Tierney's piece. Some samples, largely from T-Bogg:

Tell ya what, when daddy puts half a million in trust for in utero junior, then we can talk about whether or not daddy gets a say. That way if daddy walks after junior is three months old, junior has a fall back position.
# posted by Anonymous : 10:23 AM

me ... I love how he equates writing a support check once a month with being "equally responsible" ...

Tierny gives ninnies a bad name
# posted by Anonymous : 8:21 AM

Okay. Men should be allowed to discuss whether to have a child.

Which means, to me, that they get to have the discussion with the woman who is carrying the child about what she's ultimately going to do, in the same way that she gets to have the discussion with him about whether he's ultimately going to change diapers at three AM and drive carpool and stay home with the sick kid, etc.

There's a big difference between encouraging men to be equal parents and encouraging women to discuss reproductive choices with men, and enacting laws to require both.

Child support is not "parenting with equal responsibilities". Until we have legislation requiring actual "parenting with equal responsibilities", then, legislation requiring women to discuss abortion or pregnancy with the man is putting the cart before the horse.

What a glib asshole Tierney is.
# posted by D. Sidhe : 9:58 AM

What glib assholes Anonymous 1 & 2 and D Sidhe are. I know a number of men who are dying to be fulltime fathers, who have been reduced to little more than a check once a month.

To be honest, I do not personally know one single mother who was abandoned by her partner: rather it was the fathers who were all let go, as if being a father is just another position in the corporation, one that can be filled or replaced if necessary. Except that once you've been fired, you're still tied to the company. Oh, and send money now, before I call a lawyer.

Consider Alice, a young mother I know here in Philly. "You would LOVE my ex-boyfriend Chuck," she told me. "I knew pretty soon after Alan was born that things weren't going to work out, so I broke up with him. He didn't take it well at first, and he cries sometimes, but I do let him have Alan every other weekend. And we're close too. I can't wait for you to meet him!" They were the same tones Melissa uses when she talks about having to keep Sam from something he wants. "He just doesn't know any better." "It's for his own good." "I have to do the thinking for him and hope he learns."

That's fine if you're a baby. But for a man? No respect: just pity, condescension, and a couple of fucking crumbs.

As a matter of fact, I did meet Chuck, just a few weeks later. He didn't seem particularly happy about the arrangement: he had that same ten-mile stare I get when the troubles begin weighing heavily. It struck me that the "closeness" Alice had trumpeted was purely out of necessity so Chuck could continue to see his son.

"You're lucky," I told him. "You get to see your boy every couple of weeks." Chuck sneered, and I think if he didn't know what I was going through, he would have punched me in the face.

"'Lucky'? LUCKY? Yeah, that's me," he spat. "Lucky Chuck...

"Hey, it's not your fault," he added hastily. "You're in a much worse boat than I am..."

My friend Susanne is the same way: she talks about her ex- as if he was retarded, or an old dog that can't help but pee on the floor. My boss, who is a wonderful person, speaks of her ex-husband in the same way: useless but pitiable.

[Did you know that the vast majority of divorces are instigated by women, and the vast majority of men had no idea there was somethign wrong? It's true: I spent three years at a job in which I abstracted studies on divorce, single parenting, and noncustodial fathers. It's nearly always the woman who gives the man the heave-ho, and it's nearly ALWAYS without warning. Buzz buzz, little drones, buzz buzz. You served your purpose. Out of the hive with you!]

Melissa wrote me last night "[My parents] don't think you're a bad dad, they say all the time how keen you are to see Sam when you can." yes dear, like the time this week I was supposed to talk to Sam on his birthday and you brought him to your parents' house. "You can call us over there." Sit up, doggy. Sit pretty, sit pretty! There's your biscuit! Maybe I'm more doggy than drone.

See that "When you can."? What she means is "when we allow you to". At least that's the way it feels to me. I have no say in when I see Sam; everything is subject to veto.

The other night Melissa IM'ed to tell me about her job offer: $60,000.
I'm happy for Sam's sake. I'm currently pulling in $32,000, and if it were not for my housemates, I don't know how I'd pay my support. I don't know how I'm going to scare up the extra $100/month for Sam's Montessori. I don't know how I'm going to aford his babysitter when he visits next. I don't know how I'm going to manage to financially handle the move to Vermont, in which I'm pulling up stakes at the worst possible moment and starting life over in a state with very few jobs.

Yet here's my ex rubbing my face in her good fortune.
I learned yesterday that McGill University fucked her over on the job they offered her, and it's an interesting commentary on loyalty that, no matter how angry I am at Melissa about everything else, I believe she deserved that job, and that she really DID get a better offer than UPenn. I am SO ready to fill up the van, drive to Montreal, and throttle the living shit out of the bastard that fucked her over.

I will write more about this later. I am coming to terms with the fact that I have become, as someone has put it, "a mean and angry person that I don't want to talk to", and it's just gone too far.

Elmo, God, and Me

While Sam was visiting, I watched a whole bunch of children's programs on DVD.

A big favorite was Thomas the Tank Engine. The theme song gets stuck in your head for days on end, and the only thing I can say in its defense is "At least the theme isn't as bad as the theme from Barney the Dinosaur" (which we did NOT watch). There's an additional clip on the end of the "Hooray for Thomas" dvd, a montage of the Isle of Sodor with children singing a truly cloying and awful song called "The Red Balloon".

James see the red ballooooon
Twisting and spinning and diving and soaring...

(I always replace the second line with "Farting and fucking and shitting and puking" or something similar. It keeps me sane. "Drinking and fighting and drugging and tripping...")

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We watched a little bit of Bob the Builder, which Melissa hates but I kind of enjoy. That's probably because I'm a guy, and like all guys I used to be a boy, with the inherent fascination with heavy machinery.

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We also watched Elmo's World: Happy Holidays! (EW:HH for short), which wasn't as bad as I expected it would be, but left me with some niggling questions.

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I must admit that I have long loathed Elmo. When I was a boy [he said, sounding like the crotchety old bastard he's turned into], we had none of this "Elmo" shit. Just the sound of that muppet's squeaky voice is enough to send me to the top of a very tall building without a net. However, I have to admit that after watching the dvd, Elmo really isn't that obnoxious. Once you get past the squeaking, there's a lot for adults to laugh at with Elmo: just like the rest of the Sesame Street characters, Elmo's lines have plenty of subtle adult humor. Certainly more than the retarded purple dinosaur.

No, what was weird about EW:HH! was the complete absence of God, and by God I mean Jehovah, Yahweh, or whatever you want to call Him. It. Whatever.

I think anyone who reads this blog knows that I have little patience for religion. About the closest I come to any belief in God is the Deist concept as articulated so powerfully by Thomas Paine in Age of Reason (this one's a biggie):

THE WORD OF GOD IS THE CREATION WE BEHOLD: And it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man.

Human language is local and changeable, and is therefore incapable of being used as the means of unchangeable and universal information. The idea that God sent Jesus Christ to publish, as they say, the glad tidings to all nations, from one end of the earth unto the other, is consistent only with the ignorance of those who know nothing of the extent of the world, and who believed, as those world-saviours believed, and continued to believe for several centuries, (and that in contradiction to the discoveries of philosophers and the experience of navigators,) that the earth was flat like a trencher; and that a man might walk to the end of it.

But how was Jesus Christ to make anything known to all nations? He could speak but one language, which was Hebrew; and there are in the world several hundred languages. Scarcely any two nations speak the same language, or understand each other; and as to translations, every man who knows anything of languages, knows that it is impossible to translate from one language into another, not only without losing a great part of the original, but frequently of mistaking the sense; and besides all this, the art of printing was wholly unknown at the time Christ lived.

It is always necessary that the means that are to accomplish any end be equal to the accomplishment of that end, or the end cannot be accomplished. It is in this that the difference between finite and infinite power and wisdom discovers itself. Man frequently fails in accomplishing his end, from a natural inability of the power to the purpose; and frequently from the want of wisdom to apply power properly. But it is impossible for infinite power and wisdom to fail as man faileth. The means it useth are always equal to the end: but human language, more especially as there is not an universal language, is incapable of being used as an universal means of unchangeable and uniform information; and therefore it is not the means that God useth in manifesting himself universally to man.

It is only in the CREATION that all our ideas and conceptions of a word of God can unite. The Creation speaketh an universal language, independently of human speech or human language, multiplied and various as they be. It is an ever existing original, which every man can read. It cannot be forged; it cannot be counterfeited; it cannot be lost; it cannot be altered; it cannot be suppressed. It does not depend upon the will of man whether it shall be published or not; it publishes itself from one end of the earth to the other. It preaches to all nations and to all worlds; and this word of God reveals to man all that is necessary for man to know of God.

Do we want to contemplate his power? We see it in the immensity of the creation. Do we want to contemplate his wisdom? We see it in the unchangeable order by which the incomprehensible Whole is governed. Do we want to contemplate his munificence? We see it in the abundance with which he fills the earth. Do we want to contemplate his mercy? We see it in his not withholding that abundance even from the unthankful. In fine, do we want to know what God is? Search not the book called the scripture, which any human hand might make, but the scripture called the Creation.

Furthermore, I believe the Christian sense of justice is a joke:
For the internal evidence is, that the theory or doctrine of redemption has for its basis an idea of pecuniary justice, and not that of moral justice.

If I owe a person money, and cannot pay him, and he threatens to put me in prison, another person can take the debt upon himself, and pay it for me. But if I have committed a crime, every circumstance of the case is changed. Moral justice cannot take the innocent for the guilty even if the innocent would offer itself. To suppose justice to do this, is to destroy the principle of its existence, which is the thingitself. It is then no longer justice. It is indiscriminate revenge.

This single reflection will show that the doctrine of redemption is founded on a mere pecuniary idea corresponding to that of a debt which another person might pay; and as this pecuniary idea corresponds again with the system of second redemptions, obtained through the means of money given to the church for pardons, the probability is that the same persons fabricated both the one and the other of those theories; and that, in truth, there is no such thing as redemption; that it is fabulous; and that man stands in the same relative condition with his Maker he ever did stand, since man existed; and that it is his greatest consolation to think so.

All that said, I do not begrudge the Christians, Jews, Muslims, or any other faith their peculiar and specific beliefs (although many of them would probably like to deny me mine). The fact is if you're talking about the history or meaning behind a religious holiday, you simpy have to address the concept of God. I didn't like Bile O'Reilly's pretend "War on Christmas" either, but the it is nonetheless true that calling it "Holiday this" or "Holiday that" is really a marketing term designed to bring in as many consumers as possible. Muslims don't Christmas shop, but they MAY come out for a "Holiday sale". (Jews are far more likely, in my experience, to celebrate "fake Christmas" as Mariel Woloff puts it.)

EW:HH is called precisely that because the video's purpose is to explain the reason behind Christmas, Hannukah, and Kwanzaa. Knowing very little about Kwanzaa, I will stick to the the two former.

Christmas is explained through a school-play type sketch put on by the muppets, including Herry Monster, Grover, and Cookie Monster as the three Wise Men (Cookie Monster brings cookies instead of myrrh, because he ate all the myrrh. Then he eats the cookies too, very funny stuff). Prairie Dawn does the narration and plays the incidental music on the piano. After all the stuff about the Christmas star that guided the magi, the birth in the manger, no room at the inn, Prairie Dawn explains that reason we celebrate Jesus' birth is that he was a "great teacher."

That's it. Nothing about the so-called "virgin birth" (and if Joseph believed that one, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell him), nothing about the angel visiting the shepherds. I can understand glossing over Herod's slaughter of the babies, heck, even that scary-as-fuck crucifixion shit, but without the particular role of the supernatural in the conception and birth of Mr. Christ, it leaves the viewer wondering "well, why don't we have Gandhimas, or Confucius Carols?" For that matter, why don't we have "Miss Couttsmas"? She was the best second-grade teacher ever! Thus, the main character, Jesus' Dad, is absent from the explanation of Christmas. [Kind of like me in the story of Sam. but then I'd be sounding really bitter. Except I AM really bit... oh never mind.]

So on to Hannukah, which was also pretty entertaining. Elmo wants to learn about the holiday so he turns his tv to the Hannukah Channel, where animated newscaster Veronica Monica tells the story of Hannukah. It starts off well enough: the Romans seize the temple and won't allow the Jews "to live and worship as they please." Along comes Judah Macabee, who looks and sounds an awful lot like Roger Ramjet. "I'm Judah Macabee, and I live and worship as I please!". He gets the rest of the Macabees together and they kick the Romans out of the Temple. "And stay out, ya meanies!" Judah yells as they sulk away. Judah wants to light the lamp to celebrate their victory, but as we all know the lamp only has enough oil for one day. The servant goes off for more oil, and amazingly, the lamp burns for eight whole days.

"That's some great lamp!" exults Judah.

"It wasn't me," says the lamp.

"Then that must mean it was... A MIRACLE!" announces Judah Macabee. And that's that. No mention of where the miracle came from, who caused the miracle, or any further information. The prime mover in the story, Yahweh, is again simply absent.

I will reiterate that I am not a religious man, and that I do not profess these faiths. I think the premises they're based on are flawed at best, and in general ludicrous (a particularly spectacular take down of God's "mercy" can be seen in Age of Reason, part 1, chapter 7; and part two, chapter 1 in the deconstruction of Moses' character).

However, if you're promising to tell people the reason behind religious holidays, you simply have to include God. You cannot tell the story of the Civil War without slavery or Abraham Lincoln. You cannot tell the story of the Revolution with the Minutemen or George Washington or mad King George. You don't have to AGREE with or endorse all their actions (lord knows our "friends" below the Mason Dixon line continue to refer to the Civil War as "the war of northern aggression" and think nothing of hoisting their traitorous flag above their statehouses), but they are the main characters in the story and need to be included.

I do not know why God is omitted from EW:HH. I can understand the reluctance of a publicly funded organization like PBS to endorse one religion over the other, but that wasn't the purpose of this dvd. How difficult would it have been for the writers to have come up with a line for one of the characters such as "People who celebrate Christmas are called Christians, a belief that has many varieties. They believe in the same God as Jewish people, but also believe that Jesus was God himself turned into a man, and that he came to our world to teach us how to be good." A similar explanation for the miracle of the lamp would have been welcome as well. It's not a miracle without God or some other supernatural cause: otherwise it's just a cheap magic trick or a coincidence.

Personally, I'm glad I don't believe in God. If I did, I'd be wondering what the fuck I did to deserve all the shit He's rained down on me for the past two fucking years. But for some little kid, this dvd doesn't answer any questions or open the door for more discussion.

Perhaps that's for the best: can you imagine what kind of stuff I'd be telling Sam about the [non]existence of God? "Well, son, it's kind of like Santy Claus but for grownups. The difference is, if you're bad, instead of getting coal in the sticking, you get thrown into a forever-burning, but never-destroying, lake of fire. So while you DO have free will, you'd better love God really good or He'll hurt you forever."

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Wow. That Was Really Bad.

Anyone who's read this blog for since late 2005 knows that Sam's mom and I are separated, and that I've been plagued by angst and foul moods ever since. I've mentioned in previous posts the depression thatmoves in like a thunderstorm within days after he returns for Canada [please pardon the worn-out metaphor of storm clouds for depression; the great, grey masses and the low pressure are simply representatives without parallel.]

This time was no exception: he went home on Saturday evening, and after a delay of about three days, everything came crashing down by Wednesday or Thursday. By Friday... yeesh. We had a half-day at work to finally throw out holiday party (postponed once due to snow, and then a second time due to incompetence). The bash was in a great room in a bar I would never ordinarily visit: Finnigan's Wake.

I'm going to digress for a moment. Finnigan's is known as a cop's bar, as well as a meat market during the weekends, but on the second floor they have functions in the Lincoln Room, which has a great story surrounding it. A space cut out in the floor, lined with bannisters, looks down on the first-floor bar. A casket has been attached to one of the railings, in tribute to the building's original purpose as a casket factory. Indeed, the factory manufactured the casket that Abraham Lincoln was buried in: it's alittle known fact that after the assasination at Ford's Theatre, the 16th President was brought to Philadelphia, where he laid in state at Independence Hall.

The owner of Finnigan's Wake was standing outside his brand-new, just opened bar when a random dogwalker engaged him in a conversation about the building and its history. "My mother," said the dogwalker, "owns the funeral home where Lincoln laid before bewing placed in the casket. It's been converted from a fuineral home to an apartment building, but most of the original woodwork is still there..." Finnigan's owner hurried upt he street and managed to buy the actual doors that Lincoln's lifeless body was wheeled through: they are mounted on the wall, surrounded by Civil War memorabilia.

Back from my digression: Churchill's black dog had made itself at home a few days prior, its teeth anchored deep in my leg, but it had been tolerable anough that i could manage a sickly grin and respond "Oh, pretty good" when my colleagues at the office would chirp "Good morning, how are you". As Friday wore on, the dog grew bigger, and after an hour or so at the holiday party, surrounded by co-workers laughing, dancing, and drinking beer, I began to feel tired, irritable, and anti-social. It is no wonder that another word for "party-pooper" is "wet blanket". I felt exactly as if a heavy, wet, wool blanket had been dropped on my head, and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. The insistent beat of the drum machine and the shouting of the hip hop "artist" throbbed in tandem with the blood rushing through my temples, and my eyelids sunk as I glanced around the room and sipped my beer. People were getting dragged onto the dance floor at random, and I knew that if I stayed I'd be impressed into jerking around like a broken marionette to music I don't like even when I'm in a GOOD mood. I got up and began looking at the 150-year old newspapers as if they were museum piece, moving inexorably toward the elevator, where I had wisely piled my coat and a present for Sam when I had arrived. Prescient, that.

I escaped the party unimpeded, although I am sure there will be questions about my whereabouts when I get back to work. When I got home it was 4:30; I took off my pants and crawled into bed, where I slept like a lead pipe until almost 7:00 pm. When I awoke, I didn' feel any better, but I knew that if I didn't get up, I'd be sitting awake and miserable until 3:00 in the morning. Shower... hot water beating off my back, deeply breathing the steam. Kitchen... used the last of my coconut milk and tofu to make some thai food; followed by a bowl or two and some beer; followed by some leftover tunafish; followed by another bowl and a beer; followed by television. Oh sweet television and your gallery of familiar morons, how you comfort me, from the career-ending bad writing and acting at "King of Queens" and "Numb3rs" (Jerry Stiller, you hit your nadir on this dreck; Rob Morrow, don't you wish you'd stuck with "Northern Exposure"?; short guy from "Ally MacBeal", don't you wish you'd never agreed to that singing crap?), to the history of lint on (where else) PBS.

All this time, the blanket never went away. I was supposed to brew today, but it may have to wait until tomorrow, because it took a lot out of me just to pull on a pair of jeans and walk out to the car to get the yeast and malt I'd left out there the night before. I was in bed by 11:30, and slept until almost 10:00 this morning.

I feel better now, although it may be a temporary reprieve. But man, that was really bad. It wasn't just "unhappiness" which is what I always associate with depression. It was the sheer lack of energy, the inability to remain vertical, the clouds that covered clear thinking, the physical swampiness, that got me.

It happens every time the boy leaves. Every. Single. Time. Is this something I'll be dealing with for the rest of my life?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

this is f-ed up yo...

This is just fucked up.

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I understand his name (was, I guess, before the little guy died) "Cy" as in "Cyclops", but I would have named him "Eyeball".

Sam's Birthday is Today

Sam's 2nd birthday is today.
This will be the second birthday I've missed, and probably not the last. As you may suspect, I am in a BLACK mood today, reflecting on the past two years, and the past four months in particular, ever since the knife was slipped, so cleanly and quietly, into my back. "Nothing personal; it's just business, and I got a better offer."

There are a number of people I extend a wish to on this special day (I think you know who you are), and that wish is "Nothing but the worst for 2006; I wish you failure, loneliness, and misery. I hope nothing turns out the way you planned; I hope you lose your jobs and can't get unemployment. FUCK YOU."

I am to call Sam tonight at his grandparents' house. I don't want to do this, since it means I will have to talk to the grandparents, or at the very least hear them celebrating in the background, gloating over my misery, and talking shit about me behind my back the way they always do.

So yes, Melissa would like me to call tonight, but I won't, I can't, do it. I'm not going to have my face rubbed in it like some kind of cur. Maybe it's a Hobbes Choice, but if the choice is "be miserable" or "be miserable in front of people who thrill to my misery" I would rather be miserable on my own terms, and on my own. I'm certainly not going to spend it in the virtual company of those who make me miserable.

Happy Birthday Sam. Everyone else can kiss my ass.
[Note to atrios visitors: I don't do a lot of politics here. Scroll down for the Flowers brouhaha...which is really kind of minor and silly in the big picture.]

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Photobucket bandwidth Exceeded

While I sure enjoyed all the attention courtesy of Eschaton, I guess all you new visitors exceeded my photobucket bandwidth for the month. Or at least until 1/14/05, when it resets (my monthly bandwidth is based on the date I registered with Photobucket, in this case the 14th).

So you won't get to see pictures of my incredibly cute kid until Sunday.

I'll have new shots by then anyway.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A funny idea

So my brother and I were just talking about the new anti-annoyance law, which punishes "Whoever...utilizes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet... without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person...who receives the communications" with fines "under title 18 or imprison[ment] not more than two years, or both."

My idea:
Go to Free Republic or a similar site.
Register under one's own name.
Publish a post such as "I hate George Bush!", "Republicans Suck!", and "George Will Wears A Toupee!" and let the games begin as warhammer36, irakhawk, and spttrps96 come out of the woodwork.

Just saying.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Gone Again

There is something missing.
There is something missing here.
I know what it is,
But I can't feel it yet.

I am cleaning today,
Vaccuuming, dusting,
Putting away the toys for next time.
The remains of Fun Trick Noise Maker
Bang Snaps rattle up the tube.
Something is missing here,
But what I feel is presence

the presence of absence,
dead-air tv
no reception hum,
background snow.

Something is missing here.

We marked the solstice two weeks ago,
But this time of year it always gets darker earlier,
constant crepuscle,
Regardless of season:
It's quiet again.
Something is missing here.
I am remembering the laughing
and something is missing here
I am remembering taking care
and something is missing here
and I am saying things like "Fuck" and "Shit" again
and something is missing here.

He's gone again and
There's nothing to do
But do those same old things I used to do because
He's Gone Again.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I have meant to do this for a long time

I do not know how it was that I forgot to put The Best Page In the Universe on my blogroll, but it is there now.

Thrill to the exciting adventures of Maddox, described as "an insulting pirate" by Google.

Some favorites:
"I, Robot" in a nutshell,
Bill O'Reilly is a big blubbering vagina,
and one of my personal favorites, I am better than your kids.

I wish Maddox nothing but the best. Truly the best page in the universe.

In Which Christine Flowers Makes a [Greater] Fool of Herself

Christine Flowers is an occasional columnist at the Philadelphia Daily News who would be mediocre and uninspiring but for the fact that she is wrong on just about everything. She's a Democrat who supports Bush; she makes silly arguments in favor of the "pro-life" movement, against women's rights, and comparing breastfeeding in public to public urination. You name the topic and Christine Flowers will have something to say about it, and her comments will be completely wrong.

Last week, she wrote a particularly silly article, "Dover and the Cult of Science", in which she opined on "the double standard that seems to apply to scientists. The judge in the Dover case showed his disdain for anyone who would challenge the established scientific dogma of evolution, labeling them as transparent liars." I wrote a brief, and harsh, letter to the editor:

I thoroughly enjoyed Christine Flowers recent column,
"Dover and the Cult of Science", because it proved one
of my favorite Mark Twain quotes: "Better to keep
one's mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open
it and remove all doubt."

Please cancel this woman's worthless, wrongheaded
ramblings: Philadelphia already has a bad reputation
for mediocrity and stupidity, and Flowers' column just
makes things worse.
Brendan Skwire

Although I didn't see the Daily News over the weekend, I assume the letter was published, because Ms. Flowers sent me a reply:

Dear Brendan (I hope you won't be too upset at my familiarity)

I had a chance to read your letter to the editor in response to my recent oped on ID and hypocritical judges in the Daily News. Sorry you don't like my writing, but since I'll probably be around for a while, just save yourself the indigestion and don't read anything that has my byline in the future.

And next time, you could always email the source; I have more respect for people who actually engage in dialogue with the writers. I may disagree with them, but I respect them nonetheless. I don't have a blog, but my email is out there for all to use. I don't shy away from challeges.


Christine Flowers

P.S. Nice quote by Twain; it's my favorite. And about evolution-I think it has a lot of gaps. There are a number of missing links out there, and they all seem to have access to computers (present company excepted).

There are some things I don't do, and one of them is get in debates with people about "Intelligent Design" which is "Creationism" but with one extra word and one fewer syllable (I can shorten it to one word and two syllables: BULLSHIT). So I wrote back:

Why would I have a debate with someone who's wrong
about everything, and why would I care whether someone
who's wrong about everything has respect for me or

You obviously misunderstand the purpose of a letter
the the editor, which is to call public attention to
disagreement (or agreement) with a writer who's
writing toward the public?

And please, call me Mr. Skwire. I don't care for
familiar terms from people I don't know personally.

For someone who doesn't "shy away from challenges", Ms. Flowers is certainly a delicate, and quite fragrant, lily:

Oh my, touchy touchy MR. SKWIRE.

I suppose that explains everything. You have an amazingly closed mind, so I think you might want to stay out of Oliver Wendell Holmes free marketplace of ideas...you're a stranger there.

By the way, you might want to consult a dictionary more often and evaluate the meaning of 'mediocre.' It doesn't mean "anyone who doesn't agree with MR. SKWIRE."

And for an analysis from someone who has actually been published in an actual magazine, you might want to review this gem.


Christine (I'm not so self-important that I mind when people use my first name...you really need to lighten up)

Longtime NR contributor Tom Bethell has just published a superbly outrageous
new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science. Tom exposes the fraud,
greed, self-dealing, and sheer humbug in the "science" of half a dozen
topics, includingthe ban on DDT, cloning, and global warming. Does Tom take
on Darwinism? Oh, indeed he does.
Evolutionists say that intelligent design does not rise to the level of a
theory, and they may be right....If the advocates of design can invoke an
invisible Designer, or God, who can prevail over all difficulties any time
He wants and design any form of life at will, then we are more within the
realm of magic than of science. If there is nothing that an Intelligent
Designer cannot do, then the theory of intelligent design is unfalsifiable,
and not scientific for that reason. One critic of intelligent design,
Douglas H. Erwin, a paleobiologist at the Smithsonian Institution, told the
New York Times: "One of the rules of science is, no miracles allowed. That's
a fundamental presumption of what we do." But a comparable criticism can
also be leveled at Darwinism. If material causes only are admitted, and
nothing exists in the universe but molecules in motion, then evolution must
be true-a logical deduction from the premise of materialism. We are
indubitably here, along with millions of other species, so how did we get
here? Materialists have no choice but to accept that the molecules whirled
themselves into extraordinarily complex, conscious beings.

I'll concede that my letter to the editor was harsh, but tough titty: I've seen crueler letters in the Daily News. But other than stating bluntly that I think ms. Flowers is wrong about everything, I made no statements about Ms. Flowers as a person. Ms. Flowers, on the other hand, feels free to make a number of dubious (and by"dubious" I mean "completely baseless") statements about me. And you know, FUCK THAT. I wrote to her boss, Frank Burgos, who's responsible for the Editorial Page.

Dear Mr. Burgos,

A few days ago I sent a short Letter to the Editor at
the Daily News regarding one of Christine Flowers'
columns, "Dover and the Cult of Science", which I
disagreed with.

Ms. Flowers sent me an email, copied below, attempting
to engage me in a debate about "Intelligent Design", a
concept that has been discredited, and criticizing me
for responding to her column on the public forum of
your Letters page. In fact she discourages me from
writing letters to the editor: better I should email
her directly, as she would have "more respect" for me.

I wrote back informing the delightful Ms. Flowers that
I had no interest in emailing with her, and informed
her that a public column invites a public response.
That is the whole purpose of a letter to the editor,
which as you will read, Ms. Flowers doesn't quite

Although I expected no further correspondence from Ms.
Flowers, I awoke this morning to find an incredibly
thin-skinned and highly unprofessional email waiting
for me, copied below, berating me and my point of

Mr. Burgos, Ms. Flowers already has a powerful
platform to broadcast her perspective: a column in
your paper. It seems unfitting that one of your
columnists is unable to take criticism, harsh or

As you will see, Ms. Flowers' letter to me, which
borders on the hysterical, makes baseless claims about
my character and my point of view simply because I
disagree with her. This is unfair, unwarranted, and
more than a little unhinged. While past
correspondence with your paper has occasionally earned
me a personal response from a writer, never once has
someone replied in such a coarse and vulgar fashion.

If Ms. Flowers wants to write about her belief in
intelligent design or any other pseudo-science she
happens to swallow, that is certainly her right.
However, she cannot expect that readers will not
respond to her writing simply because she has a column
at the Daily News and we don't: that is the worst kind
of Ivory Tower mentality. She is certainly off-base
levying personal attacks on a reader.

Please inform Ms. Flowers that if she wants any kind
of credibility with Daily News readers she has to
learn to take criticism, whether harsh or
constructive. She could learn from the example of
Will Bunch, who regularly gets comments bordering on
the profane at Attytood, and manages to shrug them off
with good humor.

I have copied all of our correspondence below, with
Ms. Flowers' original email to me at the bottom of the
scroll. I'm sure you will agree that her last email
to me is inappropriate, and not the way you'd like
your writers to represent the Daily News, which, like
all newspapers, thrives on the marketplace of ideas.

Mr. Burgos, I expect an apology from Ms. Flowers who
knows nothing at all about me other than that I
dislike her column, but feels compelled to call me
names and question my character. Please inform me as
to what actions you will be taking.

Brendan Skwire

Updates as they come...
[Update: Welcome Atrios Readers! And I have heard back from the Daily News that they are looking into the matter. Enjoy the site everyone!]
[Update 2: It's interesting that all of Flowers' emails to me were sent before my letter to the editor was even published. Daily News Editor Frank Burgos asked me if I had cc-ed ms. Flowers in my original LTE: I had not. I have no idea where she found my email, or for that matter why she referenced blogging. Google my name: this blog doesn't come up until the 9th page of results.]

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New Sam: Mummers Parade

My friend Christina took these at the Mummer's Parade here in Philly, which I think was finally nationally televised. I love the Mummer's Parade. I love the strut. I know the words to "Oh Them Golden Slippers". I want to join one of the String Bands, preferably as a bass player (the bassists strap the upright bass to the chest and march with everyone else). Enjoy!

First we took the the trolley
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and then the subway
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to get down to Broad and Federal.

We got Sam a little foam crown that made him look like the statue of liberty (and which advertised free tax assistance). The parade was very exciting!

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And what was he looking at?

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The mummer's parade was fun, and later Sam rocked the playground. here's some more (yeah, I know it's all baby pictures, but wtf, I only get to see him a couple of times a year. bear with me...)

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The day wasn't complete til Sam ate a croissant as big as his head.
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All in all a busy couple of days.

Rhode Island Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Ray at Philly Bits posted this one:
Rhode Island Legalizes Medical Marijuana

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Rhode Island on Tuesday became the 11th state to legalize medical marijuana and the first since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that patients who use the drug can still be prosecuted under federal law.

The House overrode a veto by Gov. Don Carcieri, 59-13, allowing people with illnesses such as cancer and AIDS to grow up to 12 marijuana plants or buy 2.5 ounces of marijuana to relieve their symptoms. Those who do are required to register with the state and get an identification card...

"I'm sure everybody in this room knows at least one person who would have benefited from medical marijuana," Rep. Thomas Slater, who has cancer, told fellow lawmakers before the vote. Slater said he doesn't use marijuana now but it could become part of his treatment in the future.

Click the link for more.
Brave on RI's part, onsidering it flies right in the face of the Supreme Court decision and the Feds.

Back in US History at Rogers High School, we learned about Rhode Island's reputation for defiance in the years leading up to the American Revolution. They were known for scuttling British ships, and blaming it on Connecticut.

I wonder if the soil that grew such fine grapes for the Vikings who first visited from Europe can produce good pot too?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Open Letter to Johnny Cash

Dear JR:

I've been a fan of your best music and not a fan of some of your worst (some of your songs are just weak) ever since I was introduced to you the first "American Recordings" album back in the mid 1990s. I've always thought for all the laurels thrown in your path, your prose writing has been neglected. For instance, the liner notes to Live at Folsom Prison and Live at San Quentin are fantastic, visceral writing that grabs you by the back of the neck and forces you into the mess line.

Yet you seem to have a comfort with your writing that many people, many who have far more formal education than you did, can ever hope to have. Your voice is a storytellers voice.

That's sort of why I'm writing. A friend of mine gave me a great old videotape you made back in 1974: Johnny Cash: Ridin' the Rails. When I first saw the video, I have to admit, there were a few times I was laughing, and not in the "laughing with" sense. Your enthusiasm during the "driving of the golden spike" scene is so intense, it seems you think you, Johnny Cash, are actually witnessing history. Johnny Cash, The Man in Black is a 6-year old at heart. Bwahahaha!

I was embarrassed for you during that scene, and never finished the movie until yesterday when I put it on for Sam, who loves trains. And you know what? Johnny, that movie is one of the best things you've ever done. Really. Sam was simply entranced by the trains, and he listened to you sing all those great old songs that I sing him, and a bunch I've never thought to sing him. You came across as such a kind, gentle, and nice man, without a trace of the brooding with which you have been forever saddled. When I watched the silly "golden spike" scene through my kid's eyes, your immersion in the proceedings was contagious. The documentary footage of gandy dancers was also very cool. Sam particularly liked the Confederate Railroad scene.

We watched half the video yesterday. It was the first thing he went for this morning. Instead of a story tonight, he watched the end of the video tonight. The longer the video went on, the more I appreciated your role as narrator. The simple and direct way you addressed the audience was perfect for a little guy like Sam and older kids, but was completely engaging for adults too.

I'm going to make sure I find a copy of this on DVD so Sam can watch it back home in Montreal.

Thanks for making this documantary.
Best to June and her folks, and say hello to Jimmy Martin for me!
Brendan Skwire