April 11, 2008 archive

Writing in the Raw: Ripping Fiction From The Facts

It’s all about having something to do, really. About how you keep your creative brain churning when it’s already spent the entire workday creating for other people. About how you can make music by yourself when the guys in the band have all moved away so gigs & rehearsals are rare and special. About being selfish. About lying your fucking head off. About writing what you know, with deliberate mistakes. About lots of things that won’t be crammed into a riffy list. Abou…yeah, well, you know.

The backstory is not important. It will only get in the way and make readers guess at motivation when they should just enjoy the story. Because hey, even amateurs and dilettantes never let the truth get in the way of a good story, right? That’s right, buddy. The rules are likewise less than important. Oh really? Fuck yes. Maybe not made to be broken, but made to be bent. Bent to your will. Bent to what suits the story. Third person not honest enough? Ditch it for first-person narrative. Why trust those narrators, anyway? What have they ever done to earn that? Point A to B to C plots too boring? Duh. Okay then, how about some medeas res, dude? Eh, okay, I guess, but what else you got? Split narratives, man. Split narratives and alternating tenses? Damn, give me a goddam headache, whydoncha.

It’s Official: Docudharma is rated XXX!

Last night I was headed from Hyannis, Massachusetts back to the island of Nantucket on the Steamship Authority’s ferry boat, and decided to check my email and see what was happening on my favorite blogs.  I logged onto the boat’s WiFi service, typed in the URL for Docudharma, and then, to my horror, I was…

Obama had better pull his head out of his posterior.

According to MSNBC, McCain has erased Obama’s ten point lead over him.  If the senator from Illinois doesn’t start running like a Democrat, and stop acting like a fucking Republican, he’s going to find himself making one hell of a concession speech come November.  And that shall be bad in far more ways than one.

If Obama really wanted to win this thing, he could have distinguished himself by running to the left of Hillary Clinton — not to the right of her.  His failure to seal the deal, combined with his Republican-style attacks (not that Mrs. Clinton is innocent of following suit) and condescending dismissals of the challenges faced by minorities, indicates that he is fully prepared to blow it come November.  Consider this: Recent polls show that Ralph Nader may actually get up to five percent of the vote in November, and that a sizable number of Clinton supporters are likely to vote for McCain — twenty-eight percent, in fact.

That is how things stand at this point.  Can you imagine what shall happen if a bruised and battered Obama comes out of the Democratic National Convention, having alienated upwards of 33% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, and with the media attacking him at every turn having smelled blood in the water?  Imagine that pathetic creature going up against McCain.  We cannot allow overconfidence to cost us this time.  There really is far too much at stake.


Ten Years After

Nearly Two Years After I posted this at Talkleft what has changed?

Like a compulsive obsessive gambling addict whose lost all of his own capital as well as nearly all the money his family had, Bush the “decider” has “decided” that he’s going to “show them all” by placing one last huge bet of more money stolen from his family on one last roll of the dice, risking all for the big payoff.

He’s painted himself into a corner and he’s dreaming, or rather fantasizing, and refuses to leave the casino until he’s blown his whole load and completely ruined his family and their reputation and solvency.

Pony Partial-Tones

Once again filling in for RiaD’s T.I.T.A.S.S.  (Thurdays I Think About Stupid Stuff—- for the libidinous n00bs)

RiaD is obviously still not 100%, having only posted 4 Essays and made 233 comments since her return Mar. 30th.  Rest and Eat dear Ria.  

So,anyway, I had been planning to take a bunch of cheap shots at this:


but my friend, we’ll call him Bill, received another shipment of vinyl.  In it was an album by The Monks.

So Meg and her fan will have to wait.

Introducing The Monks

Gary Burger: Lead guitar, lead vocalist

Larry Clark: Organ, vocalist

Dave Day: Banjo (initially rhythm guitar), vocalist (died January 10, 2008)

Eddie Shaw: Bass guitar, vocalist

Roger Johnston: Drums, vocalist (died November 8, 2004)

All the members were American GIs stationed in Germany in the mid-sixties. They began playing together in 1964, calling themselves the 5 Torquays. The Torquays differed little from countless other bands of the time: They covered Chuck Berry songs and played music inspired by the British beat groups. But the band experimented together musically – Gary Burger said:

“It probably took us a year to get the sound right. We experimented all the time. A lot of the experiments were total failures and some of the songs we worked on were terrible. But the ones we kept felt like they had something special to them. And they became more defined over time.”


Maybe can’t quote from the official site.


This will not be pleasing to everyone.

The Monk Chant


How To Do Now

Shaw told me in a 2003 interview. “Our crowd was a harder crowd, so to speak. We’d play that song very sarcastically, and the whole audience would sing, ‘I want to fuck your hand.'”


The Torture Planners: “Why are we talking about this in the White House?”

[I know buhdy already wrote on this — see cite for him below — but I figured an extra commentary wouldn’t hurt, providing also a bit more information on the legalities involved. — V.]

In a very interesting follow-up to the unfolding story on the 2003 John Yoo memorandum that justified the use of torture, ABC news is reporting how the CIA came to the White House after the spring 2002 capture of al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan and asked for permission to use more “aggressive” interrogation techniques. Citing anonymous sources, ABC says that beginning with the Zubaydah case, “the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency.” These discussions evidently included the use of waterboarding, as the CIA has admitted using this torture technique on Zubaydah.

The “Principals” — high-level Bush administration officials — present included National Security Adviser Condolezza Rice, who chaired the meetings, “Vice President Cheney… Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft.”

While Ashcroft is said to have signed off on the legality of the interrogations, he got squeamish about how it was being approved. Perhaps he was afraid of future legal and political consequences. Perhaps he remembered how the secrets of the Wannsee Conference were ultimately leaked. Per the ABC story (also reported over at Reuters):

With Apologies to Emo Philips

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said “Stop! don’t do it!”

“Why shouldn’t I?” he said.

I said: Well, there’s so much to live for!

He said: Like what?

I said: The Bush era is almost over! Are you a Democrat or a Republican?

He said: Democrat.

I said: Me too! Are you a liberal, a moderate, or a conservative?

He said: Liberal.

I said: Me too! Would you like a president like John McCain, who will talk about global warming, but offer only a weak industry friendly approach to dealing with it, or do you agree with the Democratic candidates that we need to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050?

He said: Reduce emissions by 80%!

I said: Me too! Would you like John McCain, who wouldn’t mind if the Iraq War lasted another 10,000 years, or would you prefer the approach of the Democratic candidates, who vow to start pulling us out next year??

He said: Out of Iraq!

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