Coffee on my mind, urine in my bladder, and what looks to be a transient just closing the bathroom-door behind him at my local coffee-shop. Here, I ponder this daunting choice: Do I get in the lunch-hour rush-rush line for my eagerly-anticipated java? -or- Do I stay in the line for the can? Both lines are coagulating rapidly; my crackhead-like one-step, two-step is telling me to use the facilitiesbefore I order my coffee...less because of imminent urination, and more because I then avoid the stilted, demanding tone that accompanies asking for a diuretic with a throbbing urinary-tract. Bad choice. It’s twenty-five fucking minutes later, and whatever is going on in the bathroom has not yet ceased; the fact that the line to procure coffee snakes out of the storefront and on to the sidewalk comes a very distant second in my mind to not if but when I'm going to spew pee down both pant-legs, like a firehose wedged into the open-mouth of a crocodile. I’m going apeshit over the sheer number of times the hand-dryer has been clicked when he emerges...and he is, by any description, a bum - a bum who is nonchalantly shaking out what looks to be a damp denim vest. After I blast into the john and, similarly, blast the roof off of it with a torrent of urination that could only be properly conveyed with the word “devastating,” I come out intending to verbally tear-into this bum with all the righteous-indignation that I can muster. Now, I’m in University-area Hammertown, surrounded by button-up-shirted, bespectacled philosophy-majors...who were absolutely beside themselves when I began to query the bum as to what, in the fuck, he was doing washing himself as though he was in the locker-room of the YMCA. One aforementioned think-tanker, aghast, tells me to leave it alone; another tells me to back off; a third puffs out his chest and asks me what my problem is. Let me finish, I say. I stop into this coffee-shop to let loose the liquid-demons of my previous coffee while remaining in close-contact with those who will supply another, I explain. There is a glorious, shining, spit-polished Bathroom of the Gods at the Burger King literally a block away, I say, where this myopic clod could treat himself to just about anything short of a fucking pedicure, and I have to hop on one leg for twenty-five minutes for what will be, at most, a forty-five-second piss? That is fucking ridiculous, I continue, and if anyone sees a flaw in my reasoning, please, let me know. There was no response; I could see in everyone‘s eyes, bum included, that they knew this thing was air tight, and I walked outside carrying my customary strut and glowing with all the light that comes with coffee-shop-silencing glory.
I tend not to mind my own business during the course of any given day; let that be said up front. However, whilst smoking a cigarette in a mostly-deserted parking-lot while pacing up a storm, the converse is very much true - this is my time to brood, so I shut the fuck up and brood. Now, usually when I spy someone walking in my general vicinity, I avert my subconscious pacing-path to strut away from the interloper, eventually turning again to find them gone...and back I go to the solace of my blissful brooding, and everything is the way it should be. Today, though, was a different story - today, a girl of maybe sixteen wandered into my little sector of solitude and just hung around; I could see her in my peripheral-vision, and she just, well, stood there. I ultimately relented and faced what I was sure was going to be some sort of problem...but no: this girl blew me a kiss, giggled, and ran into a nearby bank. Incredulous though I was, the whole thing reminded me of the girl I knew in high-school whose 40-year-old uncle left his wife & kids to "start a new life"...with a sixteen-year-old. I was but three years removed from this girl with the daddy/boyfriend-complex at the time, but I was, even then, appalled. You can blow your head through your ass fifteen times a day telling me that "she didn't look sixteen", and I'll frown and assume that you have no idea what sixteen-year-old girls look like. Regardless, you reprobate, here's a hint: Shoes. The girl who inexplicably kissed at me was wearing white, dirty, untied running shoes that were, and this is key, too big for her...as if her mom was still buying shoes that she'd "grow in to". Suffice it to say, women don't wear these shoes, and if they do, it's because they're in full power-walk-gear and had some sort of "what size am I?" mental-breakdown in Foot Locker. Girls dressed to the nines wait at bus-stops all over Hammertown, and one glance at their dilapidated footwear tells you that they're heading for school - and I'm not talking college. Here’s my theory...and if someone else came up with it first, let me know: as a gender, guys are immature; as such, the guys who didn’t even get a whiff of tail in high-school still, more than likely, see the opposite-sex with those same sixteen-year-old eyes that were watching scrambled-cable-TV-porn back before the internet made the "naughtiness" of porn almost superfluous; combine this with the fact that teenaged-girls can, quite easily, become infatuated with older-men, and there’s your witches’ brew of Svengaliesque nastiness. Gah; I’m so unsettled right now.
Our scientists call it a "Vicious Topspin Gravitational Pull" - this is nerd-speak for what actually keeps us put on this crazy spheroid as we careen through space; the theory goes further, suggesting that our sun, which comes in five-hour-intervals, isn’t spinning around us, but rather that this “Topspin” of our Ball-Earth rotates us sunny-side-up every five hours as our sun stays in place. Regardless of what holds who where, it's been a good life, living as I have in the Stitches...I got my condo on the cheap, just as it was being built, and it's well big enough to accommodate my lovely wife, our three strapping kids and our two adorable dogs, though the neighbourhood does leave something to be desired - a circumstance we hadn't foreseen in living so close to the dry, flat deserts of White Leather; we cringe at the thought of our children accidentally finding themselves footing-less on that slick Ball-Earth, but we are equally relieved that, unlike our euchre-buddies the Stevensons, we are nowhere near the strange designs that our astronauts have dubbed, “The Signature of Bud Selig”. These odd, textured, seemingly stamped loops on the White Leather are a matter of much consternation, and since the beginning of time there have been scientific-naysayers...those who believe that it is actually this "Bud" who created the sun, the sky, the totality of our Ball-Earth despite the scientific proof to the contrary; these "Bud-ists" hold that there is but a matter of time before our Ball-Earth is snuffed out, enveloped by a "Great Glove in the Sky". Ironically, this is where the "Bud-ists" and the scientists agree, at least in theory: a lot has been made of the "Big Crack", the explosion of time and space that created our Ball-Earth...and later proofs have posited that our world is traveling in an arching pattern, as if hammered by the aluminum-stick of some supreme athletic-being, that we are destined to "land", sooner than later, on a massive, lush place called "That Lady's Front Yard". I, for one, have no time for these "doomsday" prognosticators; I can't spend my life worrying about whether our world will end up in the "Great Glove" or "That Lady's Front Yard"...not with children to raise and my newly-minted promotion down at the Stitch-Recovery Plant. Yes, it will mean more time away from my family, but I might finally be able to move us into that swanky neighbourhood up in Rawlings County, the nationally-known home of the Grand Dent. What could be better?
Ain't seen the sun in 66 days... -Ice Cube, "Natural Born Killaz"
Ah, and what of the days when quoting Ice Cube wasn't followed by a block of qualifiers?
They were good days - back when Cube called the LA riots, when his threat of shooting Sergeant Coon in the face was taken seriously, when he could rhyme "POW!" with "style"...before he became a latter-day Fresh-Prince of Bel-Air with an estimated worth of $145 million.
"66 days" actually feels more like eleven months; I've been predominantly solar-powered for as long as I can remember, and this unending lack of sunshiny-goodness has contributed greatly to my less than stellar mood of late...sure, I could move to the tropics, as some have suggested, enjoying the sun year-round like a black-headed python, but then I'd lose out on the anticipation; I'll petulantly stomp through the irritating snow and infuriating cold if I've got a summertime's worth of glee coming my way.
Still, as much as I like complaining, even Ice Cube himself would be appalled at how much I've written about racism this year; growing up, I looked at "racism" the same way that I looked at religion: as a silly relic of a much more foolish time. Imagine how surprised I was, after removing my head from my ass, when I found that churches still pack 'em in on Sundays, and that lethargy had become epidemic.
There are, like, twelve different reasons to hate any given person...why use racism?
I'm willing to bet nickels to Neanderthals that even a bigot would hold open a door for humans of a different make and model on the first truly sunny day of the year - call me idiotically-optimistic if you must, but I can’t be the only person who feels like literally rolling around on the grass in the warm sunshine, can I?
Well, maybe so...but what of it? Surely people have seen a full-grown man standing in a gas-station’s centremost area pointing at the sky in some preposterous euphoria, getting beeped at by impatient SUVs, their zoot-suited drivers yelling as though I was blocking their path to Shangri-la, which I most certainly was...especially if Heaven is the rush-hour traffic of North-Hammertown.
No? Too bad.
Though it does explain why religion still exists - some people need instructions for everything.
There I go, writing about symbolism being the "nectar of dimwitted numbskulls" on the day that baseball celebrated the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first Major-League game...and, granted, I was talking about the ridiculousness of the confederate flag, but what's the difference between revering a flag and revering a number? Not much. I don't think that the heads of MLB could think of a higher honour for Robinson then the retiring of 42 ten years ago, rightfully making him bigger than the game itself...but what looked at the time as a surprisingly original gesture of respect is being usurped so that "42" will, at some point, hold the same iconographical-status as the cross or the Stars and Stripes, which is, I'm sure, the point. You've seen those mini-vans sporting "jesus-fish", or the cheeky "Darwin-fish"-with-feet response on Volvos...or those ridiculous "jesus-fish-with-TRUTH-written-in-the-fish-eating-the-Darwin-fish" response-response? Bumper-warfare at its finest, indeed, but useless. Kind of like making "42" a symbol of Jackie Robinson's ugly battle against systemic-segregation. The man should be honoured at every opportunity, and he is...but it's kind of like Joe Morgan's performance in the booth during the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast: self-serving, like Milhouse, who "knew the dog before he came to school". Morgan to Rachel Robinson (Jackie's widow):
"We'll talk about it when I call you tomorrow." Morgan to Hank Aaron: "We'll talk about it when I call you next week." Morgan to Frank Robinson:"Tell me about when you first heard about how good a baseball player I was."* *The above Morganisms may be complete fabrications. Baseball is trying to horn-in on Robinson's accomplishments, even though Robinson was fighting against not only society, but baseball itself; it's like the bully from high-school who's ass you eventually kicked going on and on about how great you were in defending yourself...great, at first, but then, christ, man, leave it alone - you only had to kick his ass because he wouldn't leave you be in the first place. I agree with Spike Lee, who sounded justifiably angry in his pre-game rant, that Robinson would probably be pissed-off if he saw how little "race-relations" had progressed in 60 years...and maybe you noticed that, unlike Joe Morgan, Lee wasn't showing off the 42-Dodger-jersey on his lap like it was his own crowning achievement - ol' Spike had been wearing the jersey at every conceivable opportunity for, oh, twenty years; he didn't need to transfer his own cache to Major League Baseball and their forever-attempts to make things right with the memory of Jackie Robinson. Listening to Robinson's wife Rachel talk about him was the best part of the night, because he was a guy, not some made-up legend like Jesus Christ...he was just a guy with more intestinal-fortitude than 168 fire-fighters, and, as such, there isn't any approbation that Major-League Baseball can bestow on anybody for the repulsive racism they allowed before 1947, and that's that. Hitler:
"Sorry about all that." Jews:
"Oh. Okay." He said he was sorry! Everything's fine now!
There it is, clear as the face of a zit-creamed adolescent...the "Stainless Banner" of the confederate flag draped across the back window of a pickup truck parked two blocks from my apartment. Now, you can get all pissy and foot-in-mouth your way into an argument detailing the flag's representative patriotism, liberty, freedom, bloo bloo blah, but then you're likely a whiny fuck who just cain't believe that somebody would tarnish yer daddy's flag...'specially not them coloured folk down at the NAACP! Tarnation! Gol-lee! Fuck off; whatever your useless, anticlimactic comeback is going to be, the fact of the matter is that I live in Canada...the only thing that this flag represents around here is astonishing ignorance and some sort of redneck-cowboyism that seems to be permeating the lily-whiteboy, pickup-truck-buying culture of today. Tight white-t-shirt-wearing toughguys who wear cowboy-hats in the same way that a liar is pathologically-defensive are as useless as a shit-eating grin on a pig; yeah, one of these culture-thieving morons will help you move that heavy cabinet, but ask them why their put-on down-south accent is necessary in metropolitan Hammertown, and they'll probably ask you where you want it... "What?" "Head or gut." [confused pause]
"What?" "I'm gonna punch ya, and I wanna know where ya want it - head or gut." Yes, and then it's time for a little game of "Look For Something Hard to Hit the Jackass With"...which, to be honest, isn't as easy as it sounds, surrounded as I usually am by nothing more than stepped-on cigarette-butts and candy-wrappers. But I digress. If I wrote a book that became an international phenomenon, but was, hundreds of years from now, repurposed to be the lynchpin of some group's spite-ridden, hate-filled agenda and the spawn-of-my-spawn-of-my-spawn-of-my-spawn got all huffy about it, I'd kick him in the neck from beyond the grave and tell him to get over it. Let it go, for fuck's sake. It's a goddamned flag; symbolism is the nectar of dimwitted numbskulls, and flags are their Fuckwit Juice...even worse is adopting another country's intolerance as your own because you're a charisma-challenged black-hole of non-identity that watched the "Blue-Collar Comedy Tour" too many times alone in your basement. As a former friend used to say, I'm getting sick and tired of being sick and tired...though, at this moment, I'mactually sick and really, really tired. And grumpy? Oh yes. VERY grumpy.
I'm fucking sick again, mucous filling the space between my ears usually reserved for the plotting of new forms of self-aggrandizement, and like my health, it seems that the whole world has gone to shit... Kurt Vonnegut is dead, and though not a literal tragedy in terms of age (he was 84), it is a literary tragedy; anytime a powerfully-rebellious, original mind is snuffed out, the world becomes just a little less tolerable... New tidal-waves of racial-ignorance are washing up on the shores of popular-media, with Don Imus getting shit-canned for calling a university women's basketball-team "nappy headed hos", Tony Blair saying, unnecessarily, that recent violence in Britain wouldn't cease "by pretending it is not young black kids doing it", and the revelation that a leather-couch ordered in Brampton will come in a shade of "nigger-brown"... To top it all off, kind of weakly considering the above bullshit, last night's Peeping Tom show was disappointing...they were under an immense amount of pressure, admittedly, after having opened for Gnarls Barkley during one of the best shows I've ever seen; still, the entertainment value was high, despite the up-and-down sound-quality, and, to be honest, I'd probably pay for a ticket to watch Mike Patton feed animals at the zoo, so I shouldn't complain... No, I should complain; bitching & moaning has been CLINICALLY-PROVEN to help the healing process....it's a SCIENTIFIC FACT. Also proven, though more spuriously, is that CAPITAL-LETTERS greatly aid in the GETTING OVER of ONE'S SELF.
Which of these choices, do you figure, would be most likely for inclusion among the "Blog of the Day" elite: a) some dude writing about the war
b) some gal writing about her kids
c) some gal writing about her kids...and what they do in their gosh-darn mini-van!
d) Egomania & Dipshittery You're goddamned right if you chose "d" - Blog of the Motherfucking Day. For reciprocal karmic-value alone, here is a little about said Awards: Blog of the Day Awards offers the best selection of weblogs and famous blogs on a variety of topics. Selection of Best Blogs of the Day is usually done a few days ahead of time based on nominations up to that point. Criteria include content, quality, creativity, and the personal opinion of the judges. Judges grant up to four awards each day in recognition of outstanding nominees who are recommended by visitors to the site and by a panel of judges who bestow the honor of a Daily Blog Award upon the recipients. Now, this is key: Being named a Blog of the Day Awards Winner can be the crowning achievement of a lifetime of work or it can be the beginning of a new chapter in the life of a blogger. Presentation of these awards can bring acclaim and notoriety beyond their wildest imaginings. The accolades and praise heaped upon winners of these prestigious awards can be best described as fabulous and the stuff of legends. That is EXTREMELY true - like the heaviest hammer in the universe hitting the nail so squarely on the head that it splits said nail in two, creating nail-slivers of such immense-yet-symmetrical power that the only shame that exists is in the fact that the nail-shrapnel was no longer one absolute being. Indelibly true. Anybody who feels the need to drool over the prize, along with the everlasting-yet-fleeting love of what appears to be a "blogging community" of some sort, in the form of a graphic that anyone can snag with the freely-offered "winner"-codes they are displaying on the front page, well, snap a quick glance to your right and you'll see what being excessively well-deserving gets you. I can't wait to quit my actual job-type-job to...what do you MEAN there's no cash prize? Son of a bitch.
I would like to take a moment to congratulate myself on the unfettered heroism that exists on this Blog of Valiance; it's, I'm sure, quite easy to read the preceding entries and assume that I spend my days solving crimes & rescuing babies from burning buildings, returning home to drink coffee, smoke, and glorify my exploits in cyberspace... Karmic acknowledgement notwithstanding, I, alas, tend to bring these situations on myself...but so what? Kudos to Corn Flakes, I'll take a compliment as far as it will go, benign though the accomplishments might be: Me: "Racism is stupid." Audience of, maybe, four: "Right on!" If that makes me a hero, which it does, then so be it. This approach, however, has been critiqued, the writing considered "aloof" by one such reviewer, which, to my mind, is less unflattering then an affirmation that things are, indeed, what they seem...like stating that sharks swim, or that monkeys are filthy. Egomania & Dipshittery - never let it be said that the writing doesn't live up to the promise of the title. Oh, there'll be more "critiques"; I'm signed up for a bunch, eagerly awaiting one in particular from these cats...kindred souls or worthy targets for a scathing back-and-forth, InterWeb style? [rubbing hands together in anticipation] Solipsism is the new Bashful.