display | more...

First and foremost, attention must be paid to such a man.


I'm waiting for my lucky day.

That's not some sort of generalized wistful longing. I literally have a lucky day. It's the same day every year. It's been lucky for at least the last 22 years— perhaps longer, perhaps since I was born or before. It's coming up soon, and I'm waiting for it.

To be perfectly honest, I have an entire lucky week, which actually lasts 8 days. So . . . I got that going for me. . . .which is nice. I'm a little shy about saying exactly when my lucky day is. I feel like it's kind of like telling what you wished for when you blew out the birthday candles. I'll say this though: it's coming up soon, and I need it.

We found out last week that the cute little bungalow we live in, just blocks away from Green Lake in Seattle, won't be ours after May. I suppose it never was ours. Such is the curse of renting. So me and my wife, six months pregnant, now go in search of another such happy little house for ourselves, our three year old and our baby to be. People say, "Haven't you guys ever considered buying?" which is, of course, closely equivalent to asking, "Have you thought about being richer?" Sure, we might be able to afford some piece of shit 30 miles out right now, but do we really want to make one of the most important business decisions of our life under the gun like we are? As miserable as it promises to be, I'd rather move all our crap, yet again to yet another rental, than pledge my corporate slave wages for a tantamount eternity to some place I hate just so I can call myself a homeowner.

*****

I've been re-reading the Tao Te Ching, since—I don't know, November?— at no more than one chapter a day. I'm up to 35. If one is serious about getting anything out of this deceptively plain-spoken book, this is how you must approach it. You'll also need at least two reliable but divergent translations. I go with Gia-Fu Feng for the more conservative, lofty approach, and Ursula LeGuin for her wonderful down-homey feel, that I can only suspect, cuts closer to the Old Man's heart. Consider this excerpt from Chapter 11:

Hollowed out,
Clay makes a pot.
Where the pot's not
Is where it's useful

I can almost hear her saying, "Why shy away from the children's book rhyme? Do you think for a second that Lao Tzu would?"

Lately the the old man has been counseling me to lay low, wait and see, do nothing and watch while nothing goes undone. I suppose if I wanted or expected different counsel, I wouldn't be reading the Tao Te Ching. Still, there's a way this old man who never existed speaks to you that no old man who ever existed can. The verses aren't as smoothly impregnable as classic Zen koans, but similar to them in that they certainly don't crack at the first blow of the hammer either. Not hardly. If you think you have, you haven't. If you think you haven't, well ... that's a start.

So sure, if you've never read it, go out and buy it and read it cover to cover in an evening and say to yourself, "Man, that's the driest, dumbest, most repetitive collection of greeting card crap I've ever read." Then please, after a few months, take my advice and read it a chapter a day, out loud to yourself, checking yourself at chapters that don't sink in right away and re-reading them until they do. Will it change your life? Yeah, it'll change your life. Just like regularly meditating changes your life, in ways so profound and subtle that you're hard-pressed to articulate them, or to convince anyone else how you've changed, and that you're not just trying to convince yourself in first place.

But does it matter?

Give it a shot. It honestly doesn't take much to allow yourself to allow that this ancient, ancient book about how the universe is bigger than you is bigger than you.

And isn't that a glass of lemonade on a sunny day?

*****

I recently pushed a relative noob to get her ass out of the catbox and post another of her fabulous daylogs about her hectic job. She protested that E2 purists hate daylogs almost as much as they hate posted poetry. Well, first of all, I'm pretty sure I've never met an E2 purist, and I hope to god I never do. And secondly, who the fuck cares? I wanted her to write for me and my selfish reasons alone. I can't think of a single unselfish act that I've committed here. It's part of the reason this place works for me. It's driven by selfishness, as the self keeps expanding. It's like Adam Smith butt-fucked the Buddha and got lost inside.

*****

Theatre's a wasteland. And I find I'd rather die in the desert of script-writing than move to the jungle of prose.

The old man seems to be with me on this.

Accept being unimportant.
Do not be concerned with loss or gain.

I'm working on some ideas to produce some pieces in completely new ways, and I'm working on some grants that would bring me more money than I've ever seen writing plays, but I'm also not holding my breath.

I have, however, been toying with some poetry, and shockingly enough, posting it with some success here. Frankly, I can't think of a better place to put poetry. It has all the immediate impact of a slam, with none of the slam's protective pretensions. You may only reach JohnnyGoodyear with your brilliance, but then again, even if you manage to get yourself published in one of the country's most prestigious journals of verse, you still may only reach JohnnyGoodyear, or worse, his lesser, snootier "legit lit" equivalent.

Thus I smile with all my Irish happy bar fight viciousness at all these nodergeeks who automatically downvote poetry. I don't think I'd post it if they didn't. All true art is based on the proposition that art is impossible.

This notion is directly related to another one of my pet laws of human nature: people nearly never change. The fact that they do some times, in light of the fact that it's practically impossible to, is the only thing that makes them interesting, and the only reason, ultimately, that art exists. If you believe you have a hope in hell of reaching anyone, you're damned near deluding yourself, and thus, damned near the right neighborhood for creating meaningful art.

A hope in hell. That's all it is. That's all we have here, or anywhere.

I'll take it.

Am I an idiot, or what?

So check this: I'm coming from New York City to my parents' house in joisey. Caught a 1:17 train, was supposed to get me into Montclair 'round 2. Problem was, this particular train required a transfer at Newark Broad Street. The conductor told me 'no problem. Just catch the train after this one that pulls in on the same track, it'll take you where you need to go.'

Fine. So I get off at Newark and catch the next train to pull into the station. As I hand my ticket to the conductor, he looks at it and goes 'you're on the wrong train. We're not going there.'

Fuck. Ok, so I get off at the next station (East Orange, as it turns out. Miserable little town and not the safest place in the world.) I cross the platform, wait an hour and sweet talk the conductor of the next train into letting me ride one stop back to Newark for free as, at this point, I've got a buck in my pocket. Awesome.

So I pull into Newark, switch platforms to go back the way I was and check the schedule. Next train's in ten minutes - at this point I'll only be an hour late. I run downstairs, get a snack with my remaining dollar and run upstairs just as my train's pulling into the station.

I get on the train and settle back, and then I notice that I'm on the wrong fucking train again, heading right back to East Orange but THIS time it's running express. I watch as the same East Orange train station blurrs past me and get off the train - broke, hungry and freezing my ass off - in Brick Church. I have ZERO idea as to where Brick Church is, I have sixteen cents in my pocket and no way of getting anywhere at all.

So I call up my friend Marcus who goes to school in New Brunswick, about an hour away by car. He's got nothin' to do and he knows I'm in dire straits so he comes to pick me up and drives me back to my parents'. Mom gives me money and I buy him dinner (ok, we split dinner, but I was gonna) and we make plans to hang out tomorrow. Worked out for the best for all of us.

The thing that irks me is: I've been doing the New Jersey Transit thing since I was a little kid, taking afternoons off of school to visit friends in different parts of the state from Dover to Greenbrook to Gilette to New Brunswick and I've NEVER had a problem like this one.

I got into Montclair two three hours late and feeling like a total ass, or more specifically like I didn't know my way around my home turf any more. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Hi! I'm Karen Hart with your Entertainment Today report this morning. I have a special treat for you today. Here with me in the studio is the artist with the latest chart-busting hit Please Baby Don't Downvote Me from the album "Evurthang," the #1 single in America right now. Please welcome R&B artist Smooth E2!

Smooth E2: Thank you, thank you Karen. It's a pleasure to be here on America This Morning.

Karen: It's a pleasure to have you! All right, now, most people who haven't heard the song, and maybe some who have, may not know exactly what the song, or the album for that matter, means. Could you please maybe provide us with some background for the album and song?

Smooth E2: Sure, Karen, sure. You see, it's about this website I belong to where you write stuff on it and, like, people will, uh, either upvote them or downvote them. And the song is basically about the frustration and devastation of being downvoted, especially by somebody that you love. And that's what the song is really about, the heartache of being disapproved by...by somebody whom you cherish.

Karen: I, uh, well I bet that would be pretty heartbreaking!

Smooth E2: Fer real, Karen, definitely.

Karen: So, let's briefly touch on some of these other great songs in this album. I know that Please Baby Don't Downvote Me is the smash hit here, but the album has several other gems. Like for instance Bad Rep. Could you explain this one?

Smooth E2: Sure, Karen. These things you write on this website, nodes or write-ups, whatever you wish to call them, if they get more downvotes than upvotes they have what's called a negative rep, or bad rep. Rep I guess is short fo reputation. It's about the frustration and devastation of getting a bad rep on one of your cherished nodes.

Karen: I can certainly see how that would have you down in the dumps, Smooth! Now, uh, this one's interesting, I hope the FCC won't mind me saying the full title here. Don't Eat My Node, Bitch. What's this one all about?

Smooth E2: Well, it's about the frustration and devastation of having one of your write-ups eaten, if somebody high up thinks it is really bad, and that's one of the toughest things of all, you know...having your, uh, write-up eaten. It's really rough, you know.

Karen: Now, this song here, Pipelink my Love, what is this about? What in the heck does "pipelink" mean here, Smooth?

Smooth E2: Well, Karen, it's about saying one thing and meaning another. It's about, when you're talkin to your lover and you, like, you say things to them, but they have a deeper meaning, a, uh, hidden meaning, right? But it can be devastating and frustrating if they don't pick up on it, or, uh, click on your pipelink. Ya dig?

Karen: Well, I think so, Smooth. Yeah. Communication is certainly a problem with a lot of couples out there.

Smooth E2: Yeah, zactly. I, uh, really feel I'm speakin to the people, y'know, speakin to their hearts with this album. I really feel that I'm touchin the people, y'know?

Karen: Well, with lyrics like "baby, when you be downvotin I feel like I been smoten," I can see why, Smooth! Now, could you please, maybe just briefly hit on this song here, this enigmatically titled Donfreenut and Toaster Mess Me Up? Because this one really seems quite different from the rest, like it has a bit of rap in it, a bit of an edge...

Smooth E2: Ah, well, you see Karen, hehheh, these two cats on this website, they be tearin it up, their write-ups are always hilarious, or touching, or both, they really speak to your mind, your soul. I wuz just doin a little tribute to 'em, y'know? Gotta represent!

Karen: And that certainly is important, Smooth. Now, I have to ask you: this song, it only debuted two weeks ago and it's already #1 on the charts. You've been catapulted into fame rather quickly here, how have you been handling it, this almost-instant fame here?

Smooth E2: Well, I'm tryin to take it one step at a time, y'know? Yeah, it's been a roller coaster, but I'm tryin to remain humble. I'm still the same dude who grew up in my little neighborhood back in St. Louis, in a suburb called Normandy. I'm still tryin to keep it real, y'know? Ya dig?

Karen: I certainly do, Smooth! Well, I'm afraid we're almost out of time. Just one more thing, I hear you're already planning your next album and that it's going to be titled "Evurthang 2." Could you maybe confirm this rumor?

Smooth E2: Sure. That's what I'm thinkin about titlin it. But, I'm just mainly right now tryin to focus on the here and now right now, Karen.

Karen: Well, we can't wait for your next album, but for now I guess we'll have to enjoy this one. Thank you so much for joining us! This has been Smooth E2 everybody with the chart-climbing album "Evurthang," on sale at all major music outlets right now. Go out and buy one! Coming up next after the break we'll be speaking with our Court TV insider about the Michael Jackson molestation trial...

I Hate It Here

The Word E2 Feed

Rumours of my death have been vastly exaggerated. Rumours of my being found inebriated in an alley dazedly clutching several violated, shocked puppies and a fifth of Jack Daniels are not true. Loyal readers would know how I feel about puppies in general, and understand that I would never be foolish enough to leave witnesses to such tomfoolery. In any case, Jack Daniels is pisswater drunk only by the lechers of the rural regions who wish to think they are preserving a culture which in fact is worthy only of the shotgun shells it dumps in unbiodegradable turdpiles wherever there's enough squirrels to provide fun or dinner.

That said, let's talk about my favorite subject, the Smirker and his band of cronies, as well as their wonderful relationships with those who would be my colleagues were I not such a solo revolting shit. It's been a bad year for this linchpin of American Democracy. Let's start with (I can't say 'first' because the list of assrapings that this weaseljerker and his tops have been pulling off is too long and convoluted) the revelations that the White House has been paying "journalists" to promote bits of the Old Scum ideology without (crucial point) divulging their connection to the Administration. Whoops. I'd say this makes the Administration look bad, but that's really a non-starter; when you're looking at a group of leering incontinent ass-monkeys frantically cleaning each others' slimed backsides while circlejerking and making bets on how much of the American Public they can spray on, it's a tad hard to say how something makes them 'look bad.'

After the first incident, the Smirker's people come forward and dissemble and deny as usual, stating their commitment to 'values' and swearing that their White House would never do such a thing. Again. Certainly.

So, naturally, two more incidents surface, with the so-called journos admitting the payola in public.

What happens? Not a thing, really. Why? Why is that? Have you people lost your faith not only in the press but in the notion even that things can be fixed? Have your representatives so lost their fear of phone calls and polling that they don't even bother to go through the motions? It's possible. Much is possible. A few pro forma protests happen, mostly from now-impotent Dems who can safely posture for constituents without risking action, because of their new minority.

Then recently, we're hit with round two. Jeff Gannon, a turdclown from some outfit he calls Talon News who is notable for throwing lifelines to the wonderfully incompetent weasel and apologist Scott McClellan and the Smirker himself during White House press briefings (sample quote: "How would you respond to these Democrats who are so obviously divorced from reality?") finally attracts some journalistic attention. Not from the professional journalists, oh no, that would be too much to ask. Too afraid of risking their access, their paychecks, their precious 'sources,' their ability to come sit in a room and have their ears stuffed with rank foulness on a daily basis by these fools - no, by citizens. On them thar intarweb things.

Turns out Mr. Gannon, who has been getting Press access to the briefing room and access to the President's rare news briefings, has been using a fake name. In fact, Talon News is a thinly disguised front organization for a few GOP activists, and Mr 'Gannon's credentials consist of a $50 shitrag garnered from a two-day seminar from some unaccredited org that meets in hotel ballrooms. Better yet, despite his staunch claim that he hates them thar liberals, and is a good, Christian, gun-ownin' truck drivin' White male Repub voter, he also seems to own domain names with titles like, hm, hotmilitarystuds.com, militaryescortsm4m.com, and the like. Plus on what appears to be his old AOL homepage, there are topless pics of the boy wearing dogtags and a milspec buzzcut, trolling for ass no less than that tired old tramp you drove past in front of the Dairy Mart last night with the thong pulled up under her belly overhang.

So, James Guckert...er, excuse me, 'Jeff Gannon', seems to have been highly interested in 'm4m' military escorting. Enough to buy domain names. Or at least, interested enough to try to bait liberals into think he was. In any case, that domain, and the corporate domain that owns Talon News, are both registered to him. Note: If he was, in fact, truly interested in m4m military escorting, I'd be much more tempted to support him. As my much-more-respectable colleage Wonkette says enthusiastically, "this town could use some more assfucking, yes it could." Who gives a flying fuck how he gets his jollies? I myself find a good bit of safely-done sport with young fresh fellows quite relaxing, if done with legally-aged courtesans who've had their medical checks; just as I see only goodness in dallying with comely wenches who seek my JOURNALISTIC WISDOM. No; the point is the hypocrisy, given that this is coming from the party which seems to have made it its mission in life to stamp out any such attempts by safety-minded funseeking adults to have and make whoopie by their own damn selves.

So, Mr. McClellan, the press asks, finally awakening to the fact that the American Public is starting to do its job for it and it might be rendered irrelevant enough to worry for its meager paycheck, can you tell us how someone with a fake name can be getting daily access to you and the press room, and credentials? We're sure, says at least one journo, we saw him with 'hard' - i.e. permanent - creds at least once, anyway. Plus, you call on him all the time, teach.

Assclown McClellan: Uh, I dunno who he is. He just showed up. I don't have anything to do with who gets into the room. It's not my job. I'm not a press critic.

...

We'll just leave that winner as it stands, really, the Press Secretary saying it's not his job to determine who gets into the room and that he's not a press critic. The Congressional Press Office, we find out now, rejected Gannon/Guckert's request for access after even a cursory examination of his so-called creds - not even because of the alias thing, but because they felt that the limited access they had to offer should go to news reporters who, you know, had some experience and portfolio at doing their job. Scott, how is the Congressional Press Office's job that different from yours, really? Other than the subject matter you're controlling access to?

Enough on that. Let's let it fester in the sun, like ripe puppy entrails steeping in bourbon. Pull it into a voodoo pattern and watch the Smirker blink quickly in the glaring battery lights of the minicams as his small monkey brain panics without handholders to speak to him from On High over his nonexistent earpiece - the one, it seems to turn out now, that the New York Times, once bastion of our Right To Know, decided to spike a story on a couple of days before the election because it 'wasn't their place to run stories to influence the election.'

Fucking excuse me?

According to research done by FAIR, Times reporters had backchecked a large amount of the theorizing and analysis being done on the web at the time regarding the Smirker's mysterious 'bulge' (no, not that one, that's for his veep to pack) - to the point of not only talking to the professional NASA photographic analyst who examined the pictures taken by FOX News during the debate, but also checking on said scientist's credentials by speaking to his peers. They had consulted with experts in the field of prompter mechanisms, body armor, and tailoring (all various explanations offered by the Smirker and cadre at various times for the bulge before they got their story straight). The reporters felt they had a good solid piece explaining that yes, the President, Mr. Values and Honesty, had in fact cheated during the Presidential debate.

The fact that he cheated or was controlled and still managed only to eke out what even his supporters could only spin to be a weak draw should tell you something, by the way.

In any case, the Times, at that point, fell down on their job. They failed you, they failed me, they failed the system, and they failed their colleagues. They decided at an editorial level or higher that this story 'wasn't appropriate.' Note: There wasn't a question about the story's accuracy. This was due no doubt not only to the backchecking procedure, but also to the degree of distancing being done in the piece. The story was all over the nets, as well as in lesser print publications by that time; what was news at that point was the professional photo analysis (done by a government scientist hired for his training and experience in just that area) coupled with expert opinion from those whose jobs involved that form of technology, and their willingness to go on the record for a publication of the Times' stature.

But the Times spiked it.

At that point, the fuckery of the system closed in.

So now, we have active payola for content. We have willful suppression of damaging content, with or without active interference from the WH. We have the placement of blatant shills, with questionable backgrounds, inside the Press Corps with the job of not only asking softball questions (cribbed from GOP fact sheets in many cases, by the way) but of therefore using up access otherwise available to actual newspeople trying to perform their democratic task of holding the policymakers' feet to an ever-weakening fire. We have the Smirker himself likely cheating his ass off on national television, exposed only because his own favorite network disregarded a Secret Service order not to place cameras at that angle during the appearance.

Just for icing on the cake, it turns out Gannon/Guckert was one of the first, if not the first, 'press' to refer to the leaked CIA memo in the Valerie Plame affair - which has landed him on the subpoena list. How did he get this memo? Especially him? He referred to it before Novak did. It's one thing to say that a 'whistleblower' gave Novak, who (whatever else he is in his private time where he might, for all we know, fist small forest creatures without benefit of lubrication) is a well-known figure, such a document. However, who in the holy fuck is Gannon, especially then? He was only notable for being a nobody with a fake name who claimed he had 'daily meetings' privately with Scott McClellan.

Daily meetings, huh?

This stinks so badly, people, that if you can't smell it, you must work shoveling sickened elephant diarrhea for a living. Not that that's bad, someone has to do it - look what people like me do for a living - but it sure must deaden the nose.

We can argue the incompetence or duplicity or sheer downright arrogance and fuckwittery of the Smirker and Crew another time. Now, however, I wanted to focus on one thing - their ongoing and deliberate attempts to sabotage one of the traditional American defenses against their kind - the examination and dissemination of information by a free and uncontrolled press. Note I do not say 'unbiased' - Biased is fine, so long as it's made clear. Uncontrolled. Had Talon News and 'Gannon' simply said 'Hi, we're paid for by the GOP' then much of this criticism would be moot.

But they didn't. They relied on you being too stupid and lazy to figure it out.

Some of you werent.

The rest of you are why I hate it here.

-Spider Jerusalem

I'm so fucking depressed, I don't know which end is up.

You know a daylog that starts like that is going to be a hoot and two hollers.

I've been in the throes of this particular spell for a couple months now. It gets a little better, just to tease me; then it gets worse. It's like a rollercoaster but with paper cuts and lemon juice. It's like being trapped underneath a wet carpet. Ugh. I hate that I am writing this, and here of all places. I nuked my livejournal because I didn't want to have to explain myself to anyone. I don't want to do the things that would make me feel better. I just want to sleep, play go, and sleep. And then there's fucking work. It couldn't be more boring. Yes it could. It would be more boring if they took my computer away, but since I am a web developer, that wouldn't be good for anyone.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuckety-fuk-fuk.

Today, Friday, the last day of the week, is a day of endings.

I spent two hours in a dentist's chair this morning, bringing to an end my 12 months of Invisalign treatment. The last thing done was to yet again fill my mouth with goo and wait three minutes for it to harden into a mold; a week from now, I'll pick up my permanent retainer.

Then I returned to the office, where in the afternoon I closed out my last day at NetLojix, leaving one month short of my ten year anniversary there. Everybody was very sorry to see me leave. I'll certainly be taking many memories from Silicon Beach Communications -- AvTel Communications -- NetLojix Communications with me as I start the next phase of my professional life. (And after years of walking, I'll be driving to work again. Yuck.)

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.